The History And Future Of Space Exploration

I missed my connection to LA, and am stuck in Chicago until I can find a flight some time tomorrow. It’s kind of late, and I don’t have much time for blogging, and many of you may have already seen it, but Glenn Reynolds has a piece on space exploration in the Journal tomorrow. And of course, Tuesday will be the 41st anniversary of the first steps on the moon. It’s not too late to plan a party to celebrate. I and the co-author, Bill Simon, will be on The Space Show that evening. We may even do a live version of the ceremony, though that’s still TBD.

Continued Light Blogging

We’re back in a (presumably) termite-free house, but it needs to be recombobulated, and we’re leaving first thing in the morning for a family reunion in Michigan, and won’t be back until Monday. So expect less bloggage than usual.

[Update late Saturday night]

Just checking in. Had a party at my brother’s house on a lake in Linden, with long-lost relatives, burgers and Koegels hot dogs, cole slaw from cabbage fresh from the garden, and abundant beer. Blogging will continue to be light.

As Dave Weigel Was To Conservatives

So is Steve Pearlstein to businessmen.

I heard that interview in the car, and was just shaking my head. How is it that someone this clueless about business and businessmen covers them as his beat? Just another reason that the legacy media is going down the tubes. As one commenter noted, that interview could have come right from Atlas Shrugged.

Via Instapundit, and yes, Amity Shlaes’ history of the Depression makes a hell of a lot more sense to me than any others I’ve read of it.

No Hicks Need Apply

Apparently in the interest of “diversity,” being a member of the 4H Club (and don’t even think about it if you’re a leader of such an organization, reduces your chances of getting into many private colleges:

what Espenshade and Radford found in regard to what they call “career-oriented activities” was truly shocking even to this hardened veteran of the campus ideological and cultural wars. Participation in such Red State activities as high school ROTC, 4-H clubs, or the Future Farmers of America was found to reduce very substantially a student’s chances of gaining admission to the competitive private colleges in the NSCE database on an all-other-things-considered basis. The admissions disadvantage was greatest for those in leadership positions in these activities or those winning honors and awards. “Being an officer or winning awards” for such career-oriented activities as junior ROTC, 4-H, or Future Farmers of America, say Espenshade and Radford, “has a significantly negative association with admission outcomes at highly selective institutions.” Excelling in these activities “is associated with 60 or 65 percent lower odds of admission.”

Espenshade and Radford don’t have much of an explanation for this find, which seems to place the private colleges even more at variance with their stated commitment to broadly based campus diversity. In his Bakke ruling Lewis Powell was impressed by the argument Harvard College offered defending the educational value of a demographically diverse student body: “A farm boy from Idaho can bring something to Harvard College that a Bostonian cannot offer. Similarly, a black student can usually bring something that a white person cannot offer.” The Espenshade/Radford study suggests that those farm boys from Idaho would do well to stay out of their local 4-H clubs or FFA organizations — or if they do join, they had better not list their membership on their college application forms. This is especially true if they were officers in any of these organizations. Future farmers of America don’t seem to count in the diversity-enhancement game played out at some of our more competitive private colleges, and are not only not recruited, but seem to be actually shunned. It is hard to explain this development other than as a case of ideological and cultural bias.

I’d love to hear their explanation for this.

Flying On Its Own?

I’m getting well-sourced indications that the first SpaceShipTwo drop test will occur today, and that they’re taxiing in Mojave.

[Update a few minutes later]

They may be having problems. The vehicle is reportedly out on the apron, but all the engines have been shut down.

[Thursday morning update]

Well, whatever the problem was yesterday, they seem to have fixed it.


The Land Of Obama

Leads the way to fiscal meltdown:

The state of Illinois — broke, overleveraged, and still refusing to get its accounts in order — is up to something interesting: selling bonds to meet its pension obligations. As one of the many states that refuse to set aside adequate money to fund its public-employee pensions, Illinois is headed to the debt markets to raise $3.7 billion for pension liabilities to get it through the year. This is a double dip: In January, Illinois sold $2.4 billion in bonds for pension obligations. Actually, make that a triple dip: It sold $10 billion in bonds to fund its pension liabilities in 2003. “States don’t traditionally fund their pensions with debt,” says CNN in a nice bit of understatement, “but the practice frees up other money that can be used for operations.” The double whammy here is that Illinois’s pensions are in trouble because it already spent the money it needed for its pension contributions in past years on other spending: Which is to say, Illinois is borrowing money it will have to repay eventually to repay the pension money it already spent to pay for other spending it couldn’t afford then and can’t afford now. If you’re wondering where Barack Obama developed his fiscal finesse, you don’t have far to look.

And wasn’t it nice of them to send him to Washington where he can do the same thing to the rest of us?

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!