Crime Scene Investigation

Tucson:

Cue opening credit sequence

THE WHO
BRAAAAAAAAAAGGGHHHH!

Fast-paced action montage of CSI team shaking test tubes, spellchecking, studying tea bags under microscope, arresting cactus

THE WHO
We won’t get fooled again!

CSI Headquarters. Behind a two-way mirror, Krugman and Matthews watch as the suspect is interrogated by detectives Olbermann and Maddow.

OLBERMANN
Out with it, scumbag! Who are you working with? We know you’re hiding something – or somebody! At long last, have you no shame, sir?! Have you no decency?

DREAMBRAIN
Riddle me this, Batman. Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? That’s for me to know, but what am I? Ha hah! Heee! Ho hee! Pbblltth!

Olbermann jumps up angrily from chair, Maddow restrains him.

MADDOW
Look, pal. Olbermann here, he goes just a little crazy kookoo sometimes. You should see him when he goes full Special Commentary. But you can trust me. I’m your friend. I’ll take care of you, see? Here, have a nice hot cup of tea…

Dreambrain knocks the tea from the table

DREAMBRAIN
You’re trying to control my grammar! I have a constitutional right to saxophones!

MATTHEWS (on intercom)
Take five, detectives. His rightwing gibberish isn’t getting us anywhere.

KRUGMAN
Have the results gotten back from the toxicology lab yet?

MATTHEWS
Got ’em right here. Weed… acid… psilocybin… salvia… Red Bull… but so far a negative on tea. And transfats.

I don’t think it has as much potential as the other franchises.

In Search Of A Conservative Space Policy

With the quarter-century anniversary of the Challenger loss coming up next week, my thoughts on where we’ve been, and where we go from here. Even though I’m not really a conservative, I hope that the essay will make sense to them. Because unlike many, I at least speak the language, particularly when properly edited.

[Tuesday morning update]

I would note that there are two companion pieces to this, by Jeff Foust and Bob Zubrin.

Real Health Care

Some thoughts from Jim Pinkerton:

…every billionaire eventually discovers that vast wealth is little better than health insurance when it comes to securing good health. Wealth and health insurance are both forms of finance, and whether the plan is deluxe or bare-bones, finance is retrospective — after you get sick, people get paid to treat you. And yet what plutocrats — and all of us — really need is prospective, even preemptive, medical science, the kind that produces not just wellness plans, but actual vaccines and cures. The rich can afford the best doctors, and the plushest hospital suites, but if that scientific spadework isn’t done in advance, if the right cure doesn’t exist when it’s needed, it can’t be bought on short notice at any price. The polio vaccine, for example, took 17 years; genuinely effective treatments for AIDS took 15 years. Cures cannot be impulse purchases. They can’t be bid for on eBay, or even at Sotheby’s.

And the Democrats’ preferred policies will only make things worse. It’s mass murder, really. Or at least manslaughter. If I can be so uncivil.

NASA Flails

A good description of the current mess, from Bobby Block and Mark Matthews:

With the space shuttle set to retire this year, and no successor imminent, today’s NASA is being pulled apart by burdensome congressional demands, shrinking federal budgets, greedy contractors, a hidebound bureaucracy and an ambitious new commercial space industry that wants to shake up the status quo.

“Our civil space agency has decayed from Kennedy’s and Reagan’s visions of opening a new frontier to the point where it’s just a jobs program in a death spiral of addiction and denial, with thousands of honest innovators trapped inside like flies in bureaucratic amber,” said space-policy consultant James Muncy.

It occurred to me yesterday that NASA is a lot like Cuba, with its perfectly preserved 1950s vintage cars. It’s frozen in time in the sixties and seventies.

[Update a while later]

An excellent analogy at The Space Review today: NASA must take a small-ball approach.

[Update a few minutes later]

Can NASA develop a heavy-lift rocket? On the evidence, the answer would seem to be “no.” Of course, the real question is whether or not we need one, but Congress does, to keep the jobs going.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!

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