European Terror Threats

And a warning in Berlin, that the Europeans have been ignoring for far too long. The biggest problem that liberal societies face in this war is how to properly confront a totalitarian political ideology masquerading as a religion.

[Update a few minutes later]

Geert Wilders on trial. This is a travesty, and a display of the true Islamaphobes are — those who betray western liberal values by shutting down any criticism of the most intolerant religion of all.

A Tale Of Two Rallies

I’d also like to see a compare and contrast between the mess left behind by both crowds. It’s a striking metaphor: the vast majority that wants peace and freedom to live their lives, and the small tyranny whose main goal seems to be to deliberately increase societal entropy. There are never as many of them as they want us to think there are — it’s why they come up with duplicitous names like “Bolsheviks.” Or “progressives.”

[Update a few minutes later]

I asked, and via Charlie Martin, we have received:

The bottom line is this–while it’s amusing to look at the pictures of all the trash left behind by the labor unions and left wing socialists, they aren’t going to give up their efforts to win on November 2 just because we’ve proven we are much neater than they are at rallies. Depending on which count you pay attention to, they did manage to persuade somewhere in the vicinity of 30,000 or so to come out on a Saturday. If you look closely, you’ll note that many of the attendees arrived on buses paid for by SEIU and other labor unions. You can bet that these groups will be throwing money around “like drunken sailors” over the next 30 days to get the crowd that littered the Mall Saturday to show up at the polls on November 2. We would be unwise to take our eye off the ball now.

Yes, clearly, neatness is not a value with them. Power is.

[Update late Sunday evening]

Who are you going to believe, us or your lying eyes?

Appropriate, considering it’s from a site called Crooks and Liars

[Monday morning update]

High-school students received class credit for attending the rally.

Did anyone attend this mini rent-a-mob who wasn’t bribed or coerced? And why do I suspect that they wouldn’t have gotten similar treatment for Glenn Beck’s rally?

We’re Not As Dumb As You Want Us To Be

…and you’re not as smart as you think you are.

[Update a few minutes later]

This is worth repeating:

If I had said a day ago that your typical New York Times reporter doesn’t have the vaguest sense of what the rule of law means, I would have heard from all sorts of earnest liberal readers — and probably some conservative ones too — about how I was setting up a straw man. But now we know it’s true. It’s not just that she doesn’t know what it is, it’s that even after (presumably) looking it up, she still couldn’t describe it and none of her editors raised an eyebrow when she buttered it.

I wouldn’t mind this rule by the “elites” quite as much if they really were elite, and not just graduates of grade-inflated Ivy-League schools who apparently never learned much of use in the real world, (assuming that they even had the cerebral propensity to do so).

That Was Fast

They must have had this ready to go, and were just waiting to find out if they were going to get the money they needed for Commercial Crew:

NASA intends to solicit proposals from all interested U.S. industry participants to further advance commercial crew space transportation system concepts and mature the design and development of elements of the system such as launch vehicles and spacecraft. NASA plans to use its ”other transactions” authority within the National Aeronautics and Space Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2451 et seq, to invest in multiple, competitively awarded, funded agreements. The funding available for awards will depend on the fiscal year 2011 appropriations; however, an anticipated funding level is expected to be provided in the Announcement. The agreements are expected to result in significant maturation of commercial crew systems with consideration given to NASA’s draft human certification requirements and standards or industry equivalent to those requirements and standards. This activity is referred to as Commercial Crew Development Round 2, or CCDev 2.

Finally, some real progress, assuming that the new Congress doesn’t try to kill it. I think that Boeing has even surprised themselves on how fast they can move, and cost effectively, when operating on this kind of contract. They’ve already developed an astonishing amount of hardware for the CST, relative to past programs.

[Update a while later]

Jeff Foust has more.

If Anyone Was Wondering

…why I was asking about ISS crew capacity, this is why:

The new space station would have an initial design life of about 15 years, Orbital Technologies officials have said. Soyuz spacecraft would ferry crews to the station, while unmanned Progress vehicles would keep it stocked with supplies.

The station will also fly in an orbit about 62 miles (100 km) from the International Space Station and in a similar inclination, or tilt, to make any transfers of crew or cargo between to two stations easier, the company said.

…The Russian space agency’s chief, Alexey Krasnov, added that a commercial space station could serve as a backup for International Space Station crews.

“For example, if a required maintenance procedure or a real emergency were to occur, without the return of the ISS crew to Earth, habitants could use the CSS as a safe haven,” Krasnov said.

If NASA was smart, they’d be buying a Sundancer or two from Bob Bigelow for the same purpose. With these kinds of co-orbiting facilities, you can have a true lifeboat, that doesn’t need to be able to enter. It might be Dragon based, or something else, but it’s basically a pressurized tug with life support and hatches (and perhaps an airlock), but it lives in space. And the ridiculous requirement that the entire ISS be capable of evacuating all inhabitants all the way back to earth goes away.

The Last Thing That Public Education Needs

…is more money:

The stimulus bill devoted $100 billion to education (about $80 billion of it for K–12). As Reason magazine notes, that’s twice the Department of Education’s annual budget. “Race to the Top” is less than 5 percent of this staggering gusher of money. It’s not “Race to the Top” that is the Obama administration’s signature education initiative, but spending that the teachers’ unions would only have dreamed of two short years ago.

These funds have kept school systems from having to undertake wrenching changes, or any changes at all. They have helped goose federal spending on education from $37.5 billion in the last year of the Bush administration to $88.8 billion in the second year of the Obama administration, according to the calculations of Jay Greene of the University of Arkansas.

While the private economy has shed 8 million jobs in a work force of 150 million during the downturn, the $550 billon education system has added jobs. It’s the great wonder of the American economy, growing during recessions and regardless of its quality. If everyone in America were a teacher, we’d truly be a worker’s paradise.

The spending would be justified if it correlated with outcomes.

But it never does. It was just a huge payoff to a huge Democrat political contributor, with money that we don’t have, but we’ll have to pay for eventually.

[Update a few minutes later]

Uniting political adversaries — against the unions. Public employee unions should be outlawed. They’ve destroyed California.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!