The MS In MSNBC

Lileks, on the moral superiority of our media and political “elites.” It’s really hard to use that word for them with a straight face.

Hope the attack was caused by one of the several dozen million militia members — also known as “Midwesterners.” After all, that’s the logical extension of being opposed to anything the government does while in control of the Democratic Party: blowing up that oasis of commerce and gaudy free enterprise, Times Square.

Fingers crossed: Oh, if only the attack was caused by someone protesting Arizona’s immigration policy. Such a thing would be misguided, but there’s a lot of anger out there about a law many say harkens back to Nazi Germany, where they rounded up Jews who had entered the Third Reich illegally, and made them return to Israel.

…CNN chatterboxes later ruminated that the fellow had a hard life in the U.S. — couldn’t get a good job, had his house foreclosed on. Granted. But this has happened to many during the Great Recession, and 99.99999% don’t sit down and conclude: “Well, it’s Pakistan for fertilizer bomb training, then.”

Do these people actually think about the stupid things they say?

I fully expect all those being foreclosed on to be put on a terrorist watch list. But we can’t discriminate against those Jihadis. That would be intolerant.

Doesn’t Water Flow Downhill?

I just saw a report on concerns among Gulf-shore residents about oil from the Gulf infiltrating the wetlands.

It’s springtime, right? It’s flooding a couple states north of there. The rivers are all flowing outward through the deltas. Short of major on-shore winds, how would this happen?

I should add, that they should be happy that this didn’t happen in hurricane season. Of course, if they don’t stop staunch the flow soon, it will be.

[Update a while later]

D’oh!

Per comments, I forgot tides. As a someone familiar with orbital mechanics, do I feel stupid?

Do you really need to ask?

When Is Racism Not Racism?

When it’s racism against white schoolchildren.

The left is always telling us that a power relationship has to be involved for it to be racism, it’s not enough to just have bigotry. Well, who has more power over kids while they’re at school than the school principal? And if figures that it would be in Ann Arbor.

Which reminds me of a true story. A few years ago, I was visiting some friends of mine who have a farm west of town, and as we were driving down the dirt road to their place, we saw a black squirrel run across the road in front of us. My friend said that probably the Ann Arbor city council had voted to bus him out there to increase local diversity.

The Pressure Is On

…at SpaceX. Alan Boyle talks to Elon Musk.

I think I’m going to be on Which Way LA this afternoon with Elon, talking about the moribund manned space industry in southern California. SpaceX is the only player standing.

[Update early afternoon]

I’ll definitely be on the air, in a little over half an hour. KCRW streams, so you can listen on the Intertubes, if you’re not near an FM radio in southern California.

[Bumped]

Off-Shore Drilling

A risk worth taking. Five-dollar gasoline will cause people to come to their senses, I suspect.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Time for some perspective:

From an environmental perspective, off-shore oil drilling is far safer than Mother Nature. As the Wall Street Journal noted yesterday, oil that seeps naturally from the ocean floor puts 47 million gallons of crude into U.S. waters annually. Thus far, Deepwater Horizon has leaked about three million gallons. That sounds like a lot of oil, and it is. But the Exxon Valdez leaked 11 million gallons into Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay. Even those figures are dwarfed, according to the Economist, by the amount of oil spilled in man-made disasters elsewhere around the world. Saddam Hussein’s destruction of Kuwaiti oil facilities during the Gulf War dumped more than 500 million barrels of crude into the Arabian Gulf. The 1979 blowout of Mexico’s Ixtoc 1 well resulted in 3.3 million barrels being dumped into the Gulf of Mexico. In short, Deepwater Horizon is an environmental crisis, but not the apocalypse that alarmists claim.

Unfortunately, perspective, and logic, aren’t politicians’ strong suits.

A Crazy Proposal

…from Senator Hutchison and Congresswoman Kosmas:

One alternative we have proposed would be to slow the flight rate of the remaining space shuttle missions and move those flights into next year and possibly 2012 while manifesting the planned backup flight with an available cargo capability. We can use this time to complete a detailed assessment of the spare and replacement equipment needs and provide for carriage to the space station if our analysis shows limits in other cargo vehicles. This modest measure would not call for increases to the number of shuttle flights, but instead would simply space them so the gap for America to deliver people and critical cargo to the space station under our own power would be narrowed considerably.

There is a tempo to processing the vehicles. If it is exceeded (trying to fly too fast) safety will be compromised. What these people apparently don’t understand is that you can also process too slowly, to the point at which the personnel will lose their edge. On top of that, each flight would end up costing two or three billion dollars. Each.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!