All posts by Rand Simberg

Darling, I Just Love Your Hair

Swiss dairy farmers have been banned from using hair spray to improve the looks of their cows.

…the head of the Cattle Association, Hans Siegentahler, now says: “Styling cows has been perfected in such a way that even experts couldn’t judge any longer whether a cow is a natural beauty or just made up. Cattle breeders should stick to the beauty ideal without deceiving anybody.”

When we can’t coif our cattle, the terrorists win.

Why Goldberg’s Book Is Numero Uno At NYT

Nice catch by Andrew Sullivan (or whoever pointed it out to him). And quick thinking by Shelby.

Exchange on CNN?s NewsNight, December 18:

Aaron Brown: “Some conservatives jumped on [Taliban fighter John] Walker, saying he is a product of cultural liberalism ? the California kind ? helping to turn an impressionable kid against his own country. Joining us from Salinas, California, one of those conservatives, Shelby Steele of the Hoover Institution. Mr. Steele wrote a provocative article the other day in The Wall Street Journal ? a column in the Journal. And here in New York, a columnist who thinks Mr. Steele is making an awfully broad generalization: Richard Cohen of the Washington Post. It?s nice to have both of you here.

Mr. Steele.”

Shelby Steele: “First of all, let me interrupt you just a minute. Is Richard Cohen a liberal?”

Brown: “Yeah, Richard Cohen?s a liberal. I think he would say that, wouldn?t he?”

Richard Cohen: “On this issue.”

Brown: “Okay. Everyone is now branded, I guess.”

Steele: “Great. If I?m going to be, everybody?s going to be.”

Why Goldberg’s Book Is Numero Uno At NYT

Nice catch by Andrew Sullivan (or whoever pointed it out to him). And quick thinking by Shelby.

Exchange on CNN?s NewsNight, December 18:

Aaron Brown: “Some conservatives jumped on [Taliban fighter John] Walker, saying he is a product of cultural liberalism ? the California kind ? helping to turn an impressionable kid against his own country. Joining us from Salinas, California, one of those conservatives, Shelby Steele of the Hoover Institution. Mr. Steele wrote a provocative article the other day in The Wall Street Journal ? a column in the Journal. And here in New York, a columnist who thinks Mr. Steele is making an awfully broad generalization: Richard Cohen of the Washington Post. It?s nice to have both of you here.

Mr. Steele.”

Shelby Steele: “First of all, let me interrupt you just a minute. Is Richard Cohen a liberal?”

Brown: “Yeah, Richard Cohen?s a liberal. I think he would say that, wouldn?t he?”

Richard Cohen: “On this issue.”

Brown: “Okay. Everyone is now branded, I guess.”

Steele: “Great. If I?m going to be, everybody?s going to be.”

Why Goldberg’s Book Is Numero Uno At NYT

Nice catch by Andrew Sullivan (or whoever pointed it out to him). And quick thinking by Shelby.

Exchange on CNN?s NewsNight, December 18:

Aaron Brown: “Some conservatives jumped on [Taliban fighter John] Walker, saying he is a product of cultural liberalism ? the California kind ? helping to turn an impressionable kid against his own country. Joining us from Salinas, California, one of those conservatives, Shelby Steele of the Hoover Institution. Mr. Steele wrote a provocative article the other day in The Wall Street Journal ? a column in the Journal. And here in New York, a columnist who thinks Mr. Steele is making an awfully broad generalization: Richard Cohen of the Washington Post. It?s nice to have both of you here.

Mr. Steele.”

Shelby Steele: “First of all, let me interrupt you just a minute. Is Richard Cohen a liberal?”

Brown: “Yeah, Richard Cohen?s a liberal. I think he would say that, wouldn?t he?”

Richard Cohen: “On this issue.”

Brown: “Okay. Everyone is now branded, I guess.”

Steele: “Great. If I?m going to be, everybody?s going to be.”

Why Are Funerals News?

I’m listening, with half an ear as I work, to the funeral of the guy killed in hostile fire in Afghanistan, on Fox News. It seems to have turned into a lengthy sermon. It sounds like I’m listening to something on Sunday morning on some double-digit VHF or UHF channel, instead of Friday afternoon on FNC.

I have no objection to such a thing at the funeral, if the family want it, but do the non-Christians among us really have to be subjected to it (yeah, I know, I can switch the channel)?

I just think that funerals are not news, at least not any more. I thought that Barbara Olson’s service was beautiful, but I still questioned its being telecast live. We’re only making a big deal about this one because there have been so few casualties, and none due to hostile fire, until this one. But if this were a real war, we wouldn’t have enough television bandwidth to broadcast all the funerals. The fact that he died is news. I’m sorry for his family, but his funeral isn’t.

They Still Don’t Get It

According to Aviation Now, NASA is now focused on airbreathers, or to be more precise, Rocket-Based Combined Cycle (RBCC) propulsion for the next generations of space transport.

Although virtually all of the third-generation reusable launch vehicle (RLV) concepts currently being considered by NASA rely on some form of combined-cycle propulsion to get to orbit, the space agency is still not insisting on single-stage vehicles.

Well, it’s nice that they’re not insisting on SSTO, I guess…

Obviously, the RBCC hobby shop at Marshall is winning the bureaucratic turf war.

Here’s a concept, guys. How about just putting out an RFQ for X pounds and Y people delivered to orbit, and let the market figure it out?

Nahhhh, that would mean the technology sandbox might get emptied…

They Still Don’t Get It

According to Aviation Now, NASA is now focused on airbreathers, or to be more precise, Rocket-Based Combined Cycle (RBCC) propulsion for the next generations of space transport.

Although virtually all of the third-generation reusable launch vehicle (RLV) concepts currently being considered by NASA rely on some form of combined-cycle propulsion to get to orbit, the space agency is still not insisting on single-stage vehicles.

Well, it’s nice that they’re not insisting on SSTO, I guess…

Obviously, the RBCC hobby shop at Marshall is winning the bureaucratic turf war.

Here’s a concept, guys. How about just putting out an RFQ for X pounds and Y people delivered to orbit, and let the market figure it out?

Nahhhh, that would mean the technology sandbox might get emptied…

They Still Don’t Get It

According to Aviation Now, NASA is now focused on airbreathers, or to be more precise, Rocket-Based Combined Cycle (RBCC) propulsion for the next generations of space transport.

Although virtually all of the third-generation reusable launch vehicle (RLV) concepts currently being considered by NASA rely on some form of combined-cycle propulsion to get to orbit, the space agency is still not insisting on single-stage vehicles.

Well, it’s nice that they’re not insisting on SSTO, I guess…

Obviously, the RBCC hobby shop at Marshall is winning the bureaucratic turf war.

Here’s a concept, guys. How about just putting out an RFQ for X pounds and Y people delivered to orbit, and let the market figure it out?

Nahhhh, that would mean the technology sandbox might get emptied…

The Ugly History Of “Progressive” Legislation

Bill Quick, in commenting on the recent appeals court ruling in Ohio, notes that the gun-control law in question (and many others of that era) were written for the purpose of keeping minorities unarmed. He’s right. And another dirty little secret is that the Davis-Bacon prevailing wage law was implemented to keep them from working (and thus taking jobs away from white men).

This, to me, in addition to being an argument for more exposure of the history of these oppressive laws, is also an argument for sunset provisions in all laws, so that harmful laws that arise from peculiar (and often unjust) circumstances are not perpetuated indefinitely. Requiring sunset for all congressional legislation (including all existing legislation) is one of my top candidates for a new constitutional amendment.

The Ugly History Of “Progressive” Legislation

Bill Quick, in commenting on the recent appeals court ruling in Ohio, notes that the gun-control law in question (and many others of that era) were written for the purpose of keeping minorities unarmed. He’s right. And another dirty little secret is that the Davis-Bacon prevailing wage law was implemented to keep them from working (and thus taking jobs away from white men).

This, to me, in addition to being an argument for more exposure of the history of these oppressive laws, is also an argument for sunset provisions in all laws, so that harmful laws that arise from peculiar (and often unjust) circumstances are not perpetuated indefinitely. Requiring sunset for all congressional legislation (including all existing legislation) is one of my top candidates for a new constitutional amendment.