Harvard Idiocy

Check out this editorial at The Crimson on Ares I-X:

Such an achievement augurs well: The new moon program is a shining rebuttal to detractors of America’s math and science programs as well as a promise for progress in American space exploration in the future.

To begin with, the rocket’s technical specifications are astounding. Thirty-two stories high, the Ares 1-X towers as the tallest rocket in the world. And the sight of the launch was no less spectacular than the rocket itself. The first stage of the engine brought the rocket 25 miles into the air until its fuel ran out and parachuted it into the ocean.

When Clark wrote the other day that the Ares was really tall, it was completely tongue-in-cheek, but this editorial writer seems to seriously believe that rocket height is a useful technical metric. And 25 whole miles in the air? What a spectacular achievement, fifty-plus years after the first orbital launch. But wait, it gets better:

But the true triumph of the Ares rocket doesn’t lie in its physical properties alone. It’s the less tangible inspiration the rocket will provide to future generations of American mathematicians, scientists, and engineers that makes it so important. Education reformers working with students from kindergarten through 12th grade will now be able to look to the rocket as a symbol of hope and inspiration. The Ares will encourage them to imagine even more fantastic goals and products that will be achieved after America repairs its education problem.

Yes, only the Corndog, flying a few times a year at billions per flight, will inspire the Young Pioneers, and fill them with hope. Hundreds or thousands of people going to and from orbit with their own money, reusable tugs fueled in LEO, or at the Lagrange points, on the moon, with orbital and lunar hotels? Boooorrring.

Sigh.

More Augustine Thoughts

Dennis Wingo says that NASA doesn’t need more money, it just needswhat NASA needs is a better architectural approach. I agree. But that’s doesn’t keep the jobs in the right places.

Despite my initial misreading of it, though, I even think that it’s possible to do it without the extra three billion. And it had better be, because I doubt if they’re going to get it.

For Friends Of Courtney Stadd

Sentencing occurs on Friday morning. Jim Muncy writes:

I plan to be there, and hope to see some of you as well.

It’s scheduled to start sometime between 930am and 945am. There are no limitations on friends showing up in the public gallery.

The details are:

Friday, Nov. 6, 9:30 am.
333 Constitution Ave, NW, Prettyman Federal Court Bldg,
Courtroom II, Judge Rosemary Collyer.

If you’re in DC that day and want to show your support, I hope you can make it.

A Deathblow

to Obamacare. Couldn’t happen soon enough, but maybe it did.

I think that historians will note that the high-water mark of the Obama presidency, at least in terms of trying to ram his radical agenda through in the wake of his election victory, will be the cap’n’tax bill that passed the House in the spring. From here on out, he won’t even have enough support from the Blue Dogs to attempt to commit political suicide with the rest. They know now that he can’t save them. And as Rush said yesterday (I caught ten minutes of him on the way to a client’s office), Nancy Pelosi doesn’t care if they lose their elections, as long as she doesn’t lose her majority. She’d rather have a thin majority of faithful cadres than a bigger one of ideologically suspect and unreliable moderates. So they had better realize that their loyalty is to their own voters, particularly in the so-called “Red” states (I never fail to be amazed at how the media has managed to foist that color on Republicans, when it’s so much more appropriate to the other party — I could swear it used to be the other way around in the nineties), and not to either the White House or their leadership.

As for NY-23, I think that there are several lessons there, but one of them is that if the Republicans want to win, they have to put up good candidates. Face it, Hoffman was a pretty geeky guy, and the Democrat was a Blue Dog, and not a bad fit for the district. It’s actually better for the Republicans to have him in place now, when he won’t have much time to develop his incumbency, and can come up with a better (i.e., not a “Republican” to the left of him, or dweeby carpet bagger with no political experience) candidate next fall. If they hadn’t been idiots, they would have come up with a better candidate in the first place, but considering what a Charlie Foxtrot the thing was, it’s pretty amazing that they came as close to beating Owens as they did. The Republican establishment had better pay close attention, and draw the right lessons.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Just in case Dick Morris is wrong, and we need to put a wooden stake through its heart, get to Washington tomorrow if you can.

Our Ursine Allies

But the president is spurning them, natch:

Barack Obama has announced that he is withdrawing from all existing treaties and security arrangements with the ursine community. Explaining his sharp break with the Bush administration’s policy of supporting overseas bear operations, president Obama said “bears are still our valued allies, but we can no longer pursue the arrogant policy of unilaterally supporting one member of the animal kingdom over another.”

He added, “Of course I believe in bear-exceptionalism, just as I believe in badger exceptionalism and tree sloth exceptionalism. But the days of a pecking order in the animal kingdom, with top of the food-chain predators and disrespected bottom-of-the-food-chain prey, are over.”

Some animals are more equal than others.

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