Jeff Foust has a good roundup of the current state of play in industry/congressional skepticism about the ability of the new players to do the job.
And Tom Frieling describes an appallingly bad book on space history. This kind of thing is really inexcusable, and may feed ignorance for years. When I do my pieces for The New Atlantis, I circulate drafts among a lot of knowledgeable people, to make sure that I get it right. If I write a book, I’ll do the same thing. But I guess that kind of thing isn’t very important to some authors and publishers.
Those old battles have been eclipsed by a new struggle between two competing visions of the country’s future. In one, America will continue to be an exceptional nation organized around the principles of free enterprise — limited government, a reliance on entrepreneurship and rewards determined by market forces. In the other, America will move toward European-style statism grounded in expanding bureaucracies, a managed economy and large-scale income redistribution. These visions are not reconcilable. We must choose.
It is not at all clear which side will prevail. The forces of big government are entrenched and enjoy the full arsenal of the administration’s money and influence. Our leaders in Washington, aided by the unprecedented economic crisis of recent years and the panic it induced, have seized the moment to introduce breathtaking expansions of state power in huge swaths of the economy, from the health-care takeover to the financial regulatory bill that the Senate approved Thursday. If these forces continue to prevail, America will cease to be a free enterprise nation.
I know which side I’m on. Read the whole thing.
[Sunday afternoon update]
Yes, Virginia, there is a culture war. As noted, it’s the one that has been raging for two centuries between Rousseau and Locke. And the Rousseauians have a lot of blood on their hands.
My problem with this isn’t the diet per se (though I do like me them carbs) as the need for exercise. I read somewhere recently that there were huge health benefits to walking five miles a day. I can believe it, but who has the time? The only way I can imagine doing that is if I raised my desk and worked from a treadmill instead of a chair.
The thing that I find most irritating about the criticism (as well as in the health-care debate) is the declaration of life expectancy as a useful parameter. I don’t know what the life expectancy of paleolithic people was, but I’ll bet that diet was not a big factor in determining it. It’s important to understand that average life expectancy isn’t the age at which most people die. If it really was thirty, it was likely due to a) high infant mortality and b) a very violent lifestyle, in which the men were likely to be killed either hunting or fighting other humans, at a fairly young age. I suspect that if you manage to become an “elder” (i.e., someone in your thirties) you’d live a long time.
And now they refuse to read the textbook. Why am I not surprised? All of this prevarication and outright lies from the “liberal” press wouldn’t be quite as annoying if they didn’t do it from an ostensible perch of moral preening and self righteousness.