Orbital Is On Board

Here’s the release from David Thompson in support of the new policy. Orbital was a loser, in that they were the subcontractor to Lockmart’s Orion contract for the Launch Abort System. If Orion isn’t going to carry crew into space (the new plan is for it to be a return vehicle only), then it doesn’t need one. I guess they’re just sucking it up and hoping that they’ll get a lot more cargo delivery business under the new plan.

Good News

DC voting rights is dead for this session.

The Washington Post’s Ben Pershing reports that House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has announced that a D.C. voting rights bill will not come up this session, in part because of opposition to an amendment that would have eliminated most of the District’s gun-control laws.

“At this point in time I do not see the ability to move it in this session of Congress,” said Hoyer (D-Md.), who added that he was “extraordinarily disappointed.”

D.C. has long sought a vote in the House, but many city leaders have expressed concerns about the gun amendment, and Hoyer blamed the amendment for preventing the measure from advancing.

The bad news, of course, is that we’ll have to come up with some other way of giving DC residents their Second Amendment rights.

It Fits The Pattern

I’ve noted before the statists’ tactic of screwing things up with government action, then using it as an excuse for further government action. Here’s the latest example over at Instapundit:

“The retired officers are saying that school lunches have helped make the nation’s young people so fat that fewer of them can meet the military’s physical fitness standards, and recruitment is in jeopardy.” So the one meal where teenagers are fed directly by the government is a major source of obesity, but we keep being told that the solution to widespread obesity is . . . more government? Uh huh.

I can’t wait until November.

Shocking News

Lunar craters may be electrified:

The researchers created computer simulations to discover what happens when the solar wind flows over the rims of polar craters. They discovered that in some ways, the solar wind behaves like wind on Earth — flowing into deep polar valleys and crater floors. Unlike wind on Earth, the dual electron-ion composition of the solar wind may create an unusual electric charge on the side of the mountain or crater wall; that is, on the inside of the rim directly below the solar wind flow.

Since electrons are over 1,000 times lighter than ions, the lighter electrons in the solar wind rush into a lunar crater or valley ahead of the heavy ions, creating a negatively charged region inside the crater. The ions eventually catch up, but rain into the crater at consistently lower concentrations than that of the electrons. This imbalance in the crater makes the inside walls and floor acquire a negative electric charge. The calculations reveal that the electron/ion separation effect is most extreme on a crater’s leeward edge — along the inside crater wall and at the crater floor nearest the solar wind flow. Along this inner edge, the heavy ions have the greatest difficulty getting to the surface. Compared to the electrons, they act like a tractor-trailer struggling to follow a motorcycle; they just can’t make as sharp a turn over the mountain top as the electrons.

“The electrons build up an electron cloud on this leeward edge of the crater wall and floor, which can create an unusually large negative charge of a few hundred Volts relative to the dense solar wind flowing over the top,” says Farrell.

One more thing to worry about. Could it be discharged with a big aluminum mesh net? Lots of aluminum on the moon…

Greased Lightning

I’ve been suffering with a crummy DSL connection for months, since the move back to CA (I’ve had to reboot the modem often, because it seems to slow down and start dropping packets periodically, with multi-second delays on pings). But yesterday, Verizon fiber finally came to the house.

This is real broadband, for the first time at home. It’s like night and day, in terms of page loads and video.

[Update a few minutes later]

No, I don’t know why the date is wrong. I did the test today. Maybe I should try a different site.

[A couple minutes later]

Bandwidthplace says that it’s about 4 Mbps up and 15 down.

Bill Clinton’s War Crimes

at Waco. We should make him regret dredging this stuff up. It’s like he’s vying with Jimmy Carter for worst ex-president ever.

[Update a few minutes later]

Damn Tim McVeigh to perdition. He’s managed to take this anniversary and turn it into mediafest about a sociopath murdering government workers, instead of the one about the government murdering children two years earlier. And the irony, of course, is that both occurred on the same date as the first shots to win our independence from a tyrannical government.

[Update a few minutes later]

What Bill Clinton has in common with King Edward Longshanks:

…powerful people in government have been making that argument literally for centuries.

Take England’s King Edward I, aka “the Longshanks” of “Braveheart” cinematic fame. It wasn’t just William Wallace and the Scots who made Longshanks uncomfortable; he also took very unkindly to criticism from his own subjects. So much so, in fact, that he manipulated what in 1275 passed for the English Parliament to approve Westminster I, a re-codification of basic English law.

Westminster I made it a crime to sow “tales whereby discord or occasion of discord or slander may grow between the king and his people or the great men of the realm.” That law put a stop to criticism of Longshanks and his best buddies among the nobles.

The Dems must really hate that pesky First Amendment.

[Update a while later]

The nonviolence of the tea parties is driving the Democrats nuts. Well, actually, there has been some violence. But only by leftist and union thugs.

Physician, Heal Thyself

John Conyers says that the “tea baggers” have an anger problem. And a rationality one:

“We are here now to understand the frustration of the tea baggers and the people who are angry,” said Conyers. “Many times when you’re angry, your rational abilities are compromised.”

Well, Rep. Conyers must have spent his entire life in a state of rage, then. Apparently his wife is the brains in that family. And that’s no compliment to her.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!