With Friends Like These, Part Deux

Brian puts up a laughable response to our commentary on his overhyping of the Ken Lay/GWB connection.

Rand Simberg, Dawson and Glenn Reynolds appear to have been reading the “Clinton Death List” a little too often,

This is called a “non sequitur,” as only two of the names on the list are dead, as far as I know. As a matter of fact, I don’t think that I’ve ever read the “Clinton Death List.”

as they claim that the former president’s list of nefarious friends and associates was much worse than the current Bush association with Lay. Weirdo conspircay theory aside, the list presented by Rand doesn’t amount to a hill ‘o beans compared to the devastation that the multi-billion dollar, Ken Lay directed scam has wrought. Devastation to employees, shareholders, their families, local economies, and ultimately to the entire tax paying public.

The taxpaying public? How does this affect the “entire tax paying public”?

Of course, I also quit before I even started to get to all the Chinese money, and James Riady, and Bernie Schwarz, which resulted in quite a bit of illicit technology acquisition that may in fact have more devastating effects down the road than a company going bankrupt.

Look at Rand’s list. Other than Web Hubbell and the McDougals, do you recognize anyone?

So it’s OK to hang with con-men, gangsters and hoodlums, as long as they’re not household names (primarily because a Clinton-worshiping media made sure that they remained obscure)?

And as Charles Dodgson points out, Bush has started his own list of lesser riff raff with his recess appointment of Otto Reich.

Not sure how Reich qualifies for the rogues gallery, so this seems to be another non sequitur.

But Brian is in such a pathetically untenable position here, that out of kindness, I will give him Neil Bush.

Why?…Why?…Why?…

Perhaps this is so obvious that someone else has already mentioned it, but it seems to me, upon further reflection, that there is an answer to Megan’s question about why Enron (or any B2B) was advertising to a market that was in a position neither to purchase, or influence the purchase of, its products.

Was it trying to boost market? Obviously not. Was it trying to boost profits? How would that be accomplished with expensive and opaque ads? Was it trying to hype stock price?

Bingo.

“I Like To Watch”

According to Space.com, NASA is looking for public input on what it should do next. This story to me epitomizes much that is wrong with space policy and space reporting. The report is written by a “Senior Science Writer.” The survey is being sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences. The request for them to do so came in a letter from a NASA Associate Administrator for Space Science. The article, and all people involved, assume that the sole purpose of NASA is to do solar system exploration–the only issue is just which bit of the solar system to explore.

Sorry, folks, but we don’t spend fifteen gigabucks a year on NASA so that it can do science. NASA was actually formed in 1958 in response to a perceived national security threat–a grapefruit-sized Soviet object beeping over our heads. That threat having been vanquished, it continues to exist partly out of inertia, partly out of pork, and partly as a foreign policy tool. Science is just the fig leaf for all those other things.

While I’m all in favor of public input as to what we want to accomplish in space, the question shouldn’t be “what should NASA do?” The real question to the American people is “What do you want to do in space?” After they answer that question, we can then formulate some kind of national policy to respond to it (part of which might even be an overhaul, or even abolition, of NASA in its current form).

Every public opinion poll done on the matter indicates that a majority of the people would like to visit. But they’ve been intellectually bullied into believing that space is not for them, it’s only for “scientists,” and those with the “right stuff.” Let’s get voyeurism out of space, and back into the bedroom where it belongs.

“I Like To Watch”

According to Space.com, NASA is looking for public input on what it should do next. This story to me epitomizes much that is wrong with space policy and space reporting. The report is written by a “Senior Science Writer.” The survey is being sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences. The request for them to do so came in a letter from a NASA Associate Administrator for Space Science. The article, and all people involved, assume that the sole purpose of NASA is to do solar system exploration–the only issue is just which bit of the solar system to explore.

Sorry, folks, but we don’t spend fifteen gigabucks a year on NASA so that it can do science. NASA was actually formed in 1958 in response to a perceived national security threat–a grapefruit-sized Soviet object beeping over our heads. That threat having been vanquished, it continues to exist partly out of inertia, partly out of pork, and partly as a foreign policy tool. Science is just the fig leaf for all those other things.

While I’m all in favor of public input as to what we want to accomplish in space, the question shouldn’t be “what should NASA do?” The real question to the American people is “What do you want to do in space?” After they answer that question, we can then formulate some kind of national policy to respond to it (part of which might even be an overhaul, or even abolition, of NASA in its current form).

Every public opinion poll done on the matter indicates that a majority of the people would like to visit. But they’ve been intellectually bullied into believing that space is not for them, it’s only for “scientists,” and those with the “right stuff.” Let’s get voyeurism out of space, and back into the bedroom where it belongs.

“I Like To Watch”

According to Space.com, NASA is looking for public input on what it should do next. This story to me epitomizes much that is wrong with space policy and space reporting. The report is written by a “Senior Science Writer.” The survey is being sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences. The request for them to do so came in a letter from a NASA Associate Administrator for Space Science. The article, and all people involved, assume that the sole purpose of NASA is to do solar system exploration–the only issue is just which bit of the solar system to explore.

Sorry, folks, but we don’t spend fifteen gigabucks a year on NASA so that it can do science. NASA was actually formed in 1958 in response to a perceived national security threat–a grapefruit-sized Soviet object beeping over our heads. That threat having been vanquished, it continues to exist partly out of inertia, partly out of pork, and partly as a foreign policy tool. Science is just the fig leaf for all those other things.

While I’m all in favor of public input as to what we want to accomplish in space, the question shouldn’t be “what should NASA do?” The real question to the American people is “What do you want to do in space?” After they answer that question, we can then formulate some kind of national policy to respond to it (part of which might even be an overhaul, or even abolition, of NASA in its current form).

Every public opinion poll done on the matter indicates that a majority of the people would like to visit. But they’ve been intellectually bullied into believing that space is not for them, it’s only for “scientists,” and those with the “right stuff.” Let’s get voyeurism out of space, and back into the bedroom where it belongs.

They Both Had Little To Say

Andrew Sullivan has the best assessment of Tina Brown that I’ve seen yet in tomorrow’s Opinion Journal. She is devastatingly and accurately compared with Bill Clinton, which to me is the ultimate insult.

In retrospect, however, Sept. 11 was the watershed for Tinaism–not because of what it did to the economy, but because of what it did for the culture. That day reminded us that there are more important things than winning the news cycle, that the old virtues still matter, that substance counts, and that the opposite of “hot” is sometimes true. This culture is here to stay for the foreseeable future and it is one in which Tina Brown, as epitomized by Talk, has simply nothing to say.

At Least It’s Not “It’s A Small World After All”

Lileks has an insight that is unique in its ability to be simultaneously banal, powerful, and idiotic:

The other day I thought: why did it never occur to me that the Alphabet Song employs the same melody as ?Twinkle Twinkle Little Star?? Did I always know it and just forget it, or have I just realized this now? I mentioned it to my wife, and she had the same reaction.

I’m approaching a half century of age, and I’d never realized it either. What did we ever do before James Lileks?

At Least It’s Not “It’s A Small World After All”

Lileks has an insight that is unique in its ability to be simultaneously banal, powerful, and idiotic:

The other day I thought: why did it never occur to me that the Alphabet Song employs the same melody as ?Twinkle Twinkle Little Star?? Did I always know it and just forget it, or have I just realized this now? I mentioned it to my wife, and she had the same reaction.

I’m approaching a half century of age, and I’d never realized it either. What did we ever do before James Lileks?

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!