Why Space Policy Is A Mess

I know that it’s old news, but this is the first time I actually sat down and listened to this hearing excerpt. Alan Grayson is an ass and a jerk, but I can understand his frustration with Bolden, who doesn’t realize that the Augustine panel made no recommendations, who doesn’t know what the word “commercial” means, didn’t know whether or not Flexible Path included Constellation (it didn’t necessarily), isn’t able to articulate what the plans are, and doesn’t generally seem to know what’s going on at all.

A Failed Attempt

…at channelling FDR? John Pitney has a theory about the president’s latest bizarre off-prompter moment:

One can only guess what the president was thinking. I’m the new Roosevelt, right? So what did he do when he was under attack? He told union guys something about a dog. But instead of tossing off some humorous line about Bo the First Canine, he blurted out a bit of witless self-pity.

It was as senseless as it was unfunny. Not even the world’s looniest dog-hater has ever accused a pooch of ignoring the Constitution and a running up a $13 trillion debt.

I like Treacher’s take, myself:

Who’s a good president? Obama’s a good president, isn’t he? Yes he is!

I certainly wouldn’t compare Obama to a dog. Dogs are capable of learning.

Well, the question is, how old is this dog, and can he learn any new tricks in time for either this election, or the next one?

We Are Ruled By Professors

Thoughts from VDH:

So what did I learn in the university? I’ll try to be a bit less specific than I was in Who Killed Homer? written over a decade ago.

First was the false knowledge — odd for an institution devoted to free inquiry. The university runs like a 13th-century church in which the heliocentric maverick is a mortal sinner. So too on campus the Rosenbergs never spied. Alger Hiss was a martyr. Mao killed only a few who needed killing (see Anita Dunn on that one).

Che was not a murderous thug, but a hair-in-the-wind carefree motorcyclist. Minorities supposedly died proportionally higher in Vietnam — as they supposedly do now in Iraq and Afghanistan. Women are underrepresented as both undergraduates and as humanities graduate students. Anyone with an accented name obviously had picked grapes or was denied voting rights. Adlai Stevenson was an American saint, even more so than George McGovern. Only the unhinged even discussed doubts about global warming. Don’t question any of the above; it was all gospel — as we see now in D.C., from Keynes to Gorism to Cordoba as the beacon of Islamic tolerance during the Inquisition. (Doubt any of that, and that laid-back elbow-patched joking prof who told the class “Call me Bill,” in a flash, Gollum like, turned into a snarling jackal, screaming, “I am Doctor Jones, with important publications on climate change and a doctorate from Berkeley! How dare you question me!”)

The last time we had a college professor for president, almost a hundred years ago, we had our first fascist dictator. Maybe we need an inoculation every century or so. Of course, Wilson didn’t fend us off from Roosevelt.

Read the whole thing, especially about the chainsaw-wielding decapitating criminology professor.

Time Is Running Out

for NASA reform. Contact your representative while they’re in the district. Next week, when they come back, there will be another attempt to pass the ruinous NASA authorization bill in the House.

And speaking of reform, should NASA be abolished?

I don’t think that just renaming the agency will work. And can we please stop repeating the myth about Fisher pens and pencils? There are good reasons not to use a pencil in a space vehicle.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!