Well, Obviously It Will Never Happen, Then

I hadn’t seen it this explicit before, but unless he’s off the reservation, apparently NASA bans sex in space, at least at the ISS. No big deal. They’re only up there for six months at a time…

I could write a long essay on the ways in which this encapsulates everything that is wrong with the American space program, going all the way back to Mercury. I’ll bet that NASA banned adultery back then, too. Tom Wolfe just made those stories up.

[Update a few minutes later]

Glenn says that this opens up a market niche for other facilities. Well, yeah. Though it’s more like just one more reason not to count on the ISS as a tourist destination. Or at least as the hotel. What we need is a habitat coorbiting with it where space visitors can stay, and use as a base for visiting the ISS for tours, which will minimize disruption if they ever actually start doing research there, and allow people to do what they want in the sack (or floating out of it) without disturbing the little Miss Prisses on DE Street.

Call Them On It

Some thoughts on conservatives and media bias:

Every now and then, the curtain is pulled back on the mainstream media — and we see how these guys talk and act when they’re at their most authentic. This is important. Liberal media bias is maybe something we all have to live with, but that doesn’t mean it’s something to ignore, be blasé about, or excuse.

I’m grateful to both Walter Cronkite and Barbara Walters for something: They admitted, yes, the media are liberal, and a good thing, too. It has to be that way, they said. For — and this is Walters talking — journalism involves the “human condition,” and liberals care about the human condition. Unlike conservatives, who of course couldn’t give a rat’s a** about the human condition.

Anyway . . . Conservatives should be frank and bold when it comes to the media, as to everything else. And if others say you’re tiresome or whiny or uncool . . . well, so be it. Did you sign up for conservatism to be cool?

Well, I haven’t actually signed up for conservatism, but the bias has been blatant and obvious to me for decades.

Well, That Explains It

Markos’ pollster was defrauding him.

Boo, hoo.

[Update a couple minutes later]

“I hope Kos’ book hasn’t gone to the printer.”

Hey, live by the lies, die by the lies.

[Update a few minutes later]

Geraghty is saying “I told you so.”

[Mid-afternoon update]

Some useful thoughts from Jonah’s readers:

One of the most tasty of several delicious ironies connected with this story is the way the bogus polls seem to damaged closely-contested leftist political campaigns. The nutroots wasted a couple of million dollars, by my count, on races that were probably not winnable.

And this:

Did you look at the cross tabs on that thing? Many of the questions are laugh out loud funny in a tin foil hat sort of way. I loved this one: Should women work outside the home? That’s kooky even by Kos standards. That’s just the thing. The Kos guys dreamed up these question thinking these are the sorts of things right-wing crazies discuss in their secret lair. Can you imagine getting asked this stuff by a pollster? 90% of Americans would hang up after three questions like this.

The R2000 guys may be crooks, but Kos was asking for it. He was willing to pay for “polling data’ that confirmed his only little brand of moonbattery. Now he’s pissed that the polling company was unable to supply it without resorting to deceit.

Well, a fool and his money. But I guess it does show that the left is at least honest in their delusory and fantasized caricatures of conservatives. I often wonder whether they’re liars or just nuts. Now I guess we know.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Why Kos should have suspected something fishy months ago:

1/18/10 Politico – Insider Advantage Brown 52 – Coakley 43
1/18/10 ARG – Brown 52 – Coakley 45
1/18/10 PJM – Brown 52 – Coakley 42
1/18/10 Daily KOS – Brown 48 – Coakley 48
1/17/10 InsideMedford-MRG – Brown 51 – Coakley 41
1/17/10 PPP – Brown 51 – Coakley 46
1/16/10 ARG – Brown 48 – Coakley 45
1/15/10 PJM/CrossTarget – Brown 54 – Coakley 39
1/14/10 Suffolk University – Brown 50 – Coakley 46
1/14/10 R2000 – Brown 41 – Coakley 49

He was paying them to tell him what he wanted to hear.

An Offer Someone Can’t Refuse

Last time Andrew Breitbart put up a hundred grand for something, he had no takers, almost certainly because it didn’t exist. I’m referring, of course, to evidence that Tea Partiers used racial epithets at Queen Nancy and John Lewis’ giant-gavel trolling through the crowd on the mall when they passed health-care deform.

But this time, I suspect he’ll bag his quarry, because we know that the Journolist exists. Even if Ezra shut it down, every member of it (or at least many, if they kept them) has an archive. And a hundred Gs is a lot of money. Particularly to reporters in these parlous times for the reporting business:

The fact that 400 journalists did not recognize how wrong their collusion, however informal, was shows an enormous ethical blind spot toward the pretense of impartiality. As journalists actively participated in an online brainstorming session on how best to spin stories in favor of one party against another, they continued to cash their paychecks from their employers under the impression that they would report, not spin the agreed-upon “news” on behalf of their “JournoList” peers.

The American people, at least half of whom are the objects of scorn of this group of 400, deserve to know who was colluding against them so that in the future they can better understand how the once-objective media has come to be so corrupted and despised.

We want the list of journalists that comprised the 400 members of the “JournoList” and we want the contents of the listserv. Why should Weigel be the only person exposed and humiliated?

Why indeed? And when we see it, we’re also going to have a view inside the creation of the media echo chamber. It will be very interesting to correlate the discussions with the lock-step media narrative of the time.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Breitbart as The Joker:

This is like the Ferry Scene in The Dark Knight.

Heh. Except the criminals in the ferry were much more respectable.

Did Global Warming Kill Feminism?

Not really.

Feminism (at last the gender feminism that arose in the seventies) died during the Clinton administration, when Gloria Steinem gave Bill “one free grope,” and the feminists attacked women who were being sexually harassed by the most powerful man in the world, and defended the people who were trashing their reputations, tarring them as “nuts and sluts.” Not to mention when Nina Burleigh offered to given him a blow job, as thanks for maintaining her right to kill her children in the womb.

Jim Moron

The Virginia Congressman, just having beamed in from some other planet, says “the economy has recovered“:

In fact, in the last six months more jobs were created than Bush was able to generate in eight years, Chris. People don’t understand that, the economy has recovered.

Guess he picked a bad week to keep huffing glue.

Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth, Rick Santelli goes off on another righteous rant, and says to “stop spending.”

Here’s to that. Hope it stirs the folks up again, though he should have waited until closer to November. Of course, I suspect there’s plenty more where that came from.

A Grim Milestone

The UN “Human Rights” Council has now condemned Israel more than all other countries on the planet combined.

Well, of course. It is the worst country in the history of the universe.

And who would expect otherwise, with such saints and luminaries as this running the UNHCR?

Really, I think that it’s time to move the whole shebang from Turtle Bay to Brussells, the true “capital of the free world.” After all, the anti-dumbass says so.

Good News, Bad News

The new national space policy is out. Jeff Foust has some related links and initial thoughts.

First, the good news (and this is assuming that the people I’m linking are correct — I haven’t had time to read through it myself). As Clark points out, the policy to support NASA’s chartered requirement to encourage maximize the use of commercial activity now has a lot more detail. As Gary Hudson notes in comments, any sane reading of it kills the Orion lifeboat, at least as a sole-source Lockmart cost-plust ($4.5B?!) program.

The bad news, as related in this discussion kicked off by Neil Halelamien at NASA Spaceflight, is that the overall human spaceflight goals have been weakened considerably (per the comment from Bill White). I didn’t expect (and don’t care all that much) that the moon is no longer a goal (as I said, we’ll probably have a new policy in a less than three years anyway, and the old one wasn’t getting us to the moon). But it looks to me like the main thrust of the VSE has been lost, if true. The 2006 policy (which was based in part on the 2004 VSE), said that the goal was to “implement and sustain an innovative human and robotic exploration program with the objective of extending human presence across the solar system.”

The new policy deletes this and apparently replaces it with: “Pursue human and robotic initiatives to develop innovative technologies, foster new industries, strengthen international partnerships, inspire our Nation and the world, increase humanity’s understanding of the Earth, enhance scientific discovery, and explore our solar system and the universe beyond.”

From the standpoint of extending humans into space beyond earth, this is pretty weak tea in comparison. It in fact doesn’t require it. “Human and robotic initiatives” could mean having people in the space station monitoring robots exploring Mars. It doesn’t require humans on Mars, or anywhere beyond LEO (and perhaps even that). It could even just mean that humans at JPL will mind the robots. It all comes back to the outdated and useless notion that NASA is only about “science” and exploration. The old policy contained the word “explore,” but it was clearly much more than that, in its extending human presence language. The new policy has reverted to the exploration goal as an end in itself, rather than a means, and is a huge step backwards.

I don’t know whether this was deliberate or not (but given Holdren’s ideology, I’m assuming the worst), but clearly the goal of extending humanity into the solar system, which to me was the key element in the VSE missing for, well, forever in previous space policy has been abandoned. I am open to hearing an explanation from an administration official (most likely in the White House) as to why this language was changed, but for now, I consider it a betrayal of what much of the space community has been fighting for for decades, and thought we had won six and a half years ago.

Since the beginning of this administration, despite my strong disagreement with it on almost every other policy, I have been giving it the benefit of the doubt, defending it against many with whom I agree on other issues. I will continue to fight for the technologies needed to expand humans beyond the earth, and the needed commercialization of earth-to-orbit transportation for both crew and cargo, and I remain glad that we’ve killed off the parasitic monstrosity of Constellation, but I cannot, and will not defend this new policy document, at least in regard to that goal statement.

[Update a while later]

Well, that will teach me to post without Reading The Whole Thing. “Major Tom” says it contains these words:

The Administrator of NASA shall:

– Set far-reaching exploration milestones. By 2025, begin crewed missions beyond the moon, including sending humans to an asteroid. By the mid-2030s, send humans to orbit Mars and return them safely to Earth;

So that’s pretty clear. I’d still like to know when the wording changed, though. “Extending human presence across the solar system” wasn’t an explicit advocacy of space settlements, but it clearly implied more than mere exploration, at least to me. The solar system is sufficiently large that it implies people living in space, far beyond LEO and even Greater Metropolitan Earth.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!