Honoring Those Who Sacrificed For Us

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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Cosmological Thoughts

From Lileks:

Says io9: “Two enormous, gamma-ray-emitting structures are bubbling out of the center of our galaxy. And astronomers have no idea what caused them.” That’s comforting. They do have an explanation for the enormous white brackets and letters and numbers, each of which is several hundred light-years across, but about the bubbles they got bupkis. That’s not what gets me, though: it’s the Milky Way. Suddenly it seems as if we really should have a better name for the galaxy. You meet some aliens, work out the language issues, and find out they call the Galaxy “The Hand of God Prime” or “The Torch of the Void” or “The Cradle of Light,” and then they ask us, and then they look at us with their eyes on stalks moving quizzically up and down and say, in their grating metallic voices, “The Fluid of Mammary Glands Road? Seriously?” And one of them spies a Milky Way candy bar – actually, he heard its distinct chemical signature as it underwent a chemical change when the wrapper opened, and this produced a rather dissonant change in the infra-red spectrum, which they usually reserve for tragedy and dark comedy – and he asks why that is named after the galaxy. Or if it’s named for breast milk. “It’s all about tits with you people, isn’t it?” And then we sort of nod and say, well, you got us there, what can we say. But what did you say you called Andromeda, the Comely Buttock? To each his own, then.

Also thoughts on colliding galaxies, and failure to us a turn signal.

A Pattern In Close Elections

Mickey notices one:

That’s eight Dem wins, zero GOP wins. I sense a pattern! And this is a Republican year. Shouldn’t the nailbiters be distributed fairly evenly between the parties? …

If anyone has an explanation for this apparent phenomenon, let me know. All theories—including paranoid and supernatural explanations—will be considered. It’s also possible that Politico is biased in its selections. … My own hypothesis is that the pattern results from a curse issued by Al Gore after he was declared the loser in Florida in 2000 …

With all due respect to my friend Mickey, I have an alternate theory…

As Hugh Hewitt wrote, if it’s not close, they can’t cheat. Having a simple majority isn’t enough with these crooks.

Billion-Wise, Ten-Billion Foolish

I agree with Clark Lindsey’s post title on the stunningly stupid news that the Deficit Commission has recommended axing Commercial Crew, except it will end up costing a lot more than ten billion. It’s pretty clear from the announcement that they don’t even understand the purpose, and that it would save NASA billions. In fact, they are unwittingly recommending ending NASA human spaceflight, and consigning us to continuing to be held hostage by the Russians for years. More thoughts later, here or elsewhere. All of the nonsense about this in the media over the past many months hasn’t helped, of course.

[Evening update on the Left Coast]

I have more extensive thoughts over at National Review On-Line.

Update: The Free Speech Crisis At Iowahawk Blog

Worsens:

During the ongoing Iowahawk suspension / unsuspension / disunsuspension / strike crisis, I suspected that I and the other corporate “suits” at Iowahawk would pull out all stops to discredit me. But I never thought that I would stoop as low as to engage in a whispering campaign accusing me of treason against the United States of America. Sadly, this now appears to be the case. As we all know by now, a mysterious rocket powered missile was spotted over California today. Just as mysteriously, a new meme is appearing on Twitter, somehow linking this event with my recent alleged trip to California and subsequent suspension of myself.

Let me be clear. Yes, I was in California recently. And yes, during my visit I did spend last Thursday at XCOR Aerospace, a manufacturer of suborbital rocket vehicles in Mojave, at the invitation of renowned controversial science space blogger Rand Simberg.

And yes, okay, I sometimes enjoy playing with and/or driving rocket-propelled items. What of it? I have never sought to hide any of this from the public. But for anyone to somehow string these completely unrelated “facts” as evidence of some sort of bizarre master plan on my part to steal a rocket from XCOR and use it in a botched hold up of a Malibu liquor store, well, I mean, come on. That’s just crazy talk. The so-called “facts” being shopped around by Iowahawk’s corporate goons are as coincidental as the unexplained weekend break in and missing equipment at XCOR. If you ask me, the so-called “mystery rocket” was almost certainly fired by UN ships, seeking to enforce war crime sanctions against California for “The Kardashians,” “The Hills,” and “Real Housewives of Orange County.”

I am shocked that myself would suggest that I would be involved in a brazen military attack on what is arguably still part of the United States. At long last, me, have I no shame?

Not that I’ve ever noticed. Neither he nor him would last two minutes if either of them had any shame. And now he’s dragging me in as an accessory. At this point, a suspension without pay is far too lenient. He should be forced to start blogging again without pay.

Wise Up, Conservatives

Time to realize that the Apollo era is over. Iain Murray and I have a piece up at The American Spectator in response to that dumb blog post at Forbes last week. Many of the comments seem to utterly miss the point, though. And I have to say, I hadn’t previously been aware that I was a “committed leftist.” Though if I were a leftist, committing me would probably be the appropriate thing to do.

[Late morning update]

I am reliably informed that Loren Thompson, the guy who wrote that thing at Forbes, is bought and paid for by Lockmart. I would have mentioned that in the AmSpec piece had I known earlier.

And Mark Whittington has a hilarious comment, though (as always) completely inadvertently.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!

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