Flag-Burning Laws

Yes, Trump’s tweet (as are many of his tweets) was stupid, but most of his critics have no ground to stand on:

I mean, pretty much the entire Democratic party supports overturning Citizens United — a case in which a filmmaker faced punishment for criticizing Hillary Clinton — so what free speech principles are they invoking now?

If it weren’t for double standards, they’d have none at all.

[Update a few minutes later]

The Recount Circus

It should effectively be over, because Michigan has certified for Trump. Even if Wisconsin hadn’t rejected the request for a hand recount, and Pennsylvania would allow one, Trump would still (absent faithless electors) have a majority of the Electoral College which (I don’t know why the ignorant continue to whine about the popular vote — Oh, wait, yes I do) is how we elect presidents in the United STATES of America. But it will continue, because it has nothing to do with the “integrity of the vote,” and everything to do with Green Party fundraising, and continuing chaos.

Statins

No scientific evidence for their use.”

It’s not just nutrition that’s a scientific Charlie Foxtrot. I had a cardiologist in Florida try to put me on Lipitor a few years ago. I told her, “there’s no scientific evidence that it reduces heart risk in people like me,” I told her. “Where did you hear that?” she demanded. “The Pfizer web site,” I replied. She was flabbergasted.

Elon Musk And “Space Exploration”

Here‘s kind of a typically dumb piece, which reeks of Apolloism:

I am a big fan of space exploration and I think that Elon Musk’s SpaceX is a visionary company that is trying to conduct meaningful space exploration. Yet, Congress might want to take a hard look at the ticket price for Musk’s latest endeavor before spending $10 billion to populate Mars.

First, SpaceX is not “trying to conduct meaningful space exploration.” It is trying to establish human settlements on Mars. And if it could really be done for as little as $10B, that would be an incredible bargain to the taxpayer, compared to (say) spending that same amount on SLS/Orion in the next three years, as NASA currently proposes.

I am a limited government conservative, yet I fully support government funded space travel. But it must be smart and it can’t fund risky adventures. The one concern I have about SpaceX’s plan to travel to Mars is that, on its face, the plan seems more like a for-profit enterprise than true space exploration. I would support pure exploration of Mars and a project that has a stated goal of forwarding humanity. Musk’s idea seems like he is more in it for profit than science.

#ProTip: “Limited-government conservatives” do not spurn profit. And even if making a profit on “science” was really a bad thing, settling Mars has nothing to do with “science.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, Musk has received about $4.9 billion already in government subsidies for his three companies. Now he comes to the federal government wanting more. And he has been the beneficiary of many contracts to put satellites into space that run in the billions.

#ProTip: Tesla and Solar City get subsidies. SpaceX gets contracts. One is nothing like the other two, other than federal dollars are involved.

This is a laudable idea and Elon Musk should be celebrated as one of the great innovators of our time, yet the taxpayers should not be funding for profit space exploration and may want to find another contractor who wants to go to space for purely scientific space exploration.

This is a perfect example of the mental confusion that occurs when (as many ignorantly did with Apollo) we conflate “exploration” with “science” with space development and settlement. Mr. Woodson needs to go read my recent screed.

[Update a couple minutes later]

As usual, the comments over there are idiotic, including a couple appearances of the ignorant “NASA’s Muslim outreach.”

Starship Troopers

…is the new Art of War.

And in that vein, it’s worth noting all the amusing butthurt among moron fans of the original Verhoeven dreck at the news that someone is going to do it right.

[Update a few minutes later[

Speaking of classic science fiction, an ode to Harlan Ellison, who is still with us.

And from occasional commenter Laura Montgomery, “How John Varley Broke My Heart But Other Science Fiction Writers Shouldn’t Have To“: some thoughts on space regulations.

[Late-evening update]

Link to Laura Montgomery’s blog was broken. Fixed now. Sorry!

The Democrat Party

lurches to the Left:

This contrasts with the 1990s, when a group of party activists consciously rebuilt the party to appeal to middle-class Americans. Groups like the Democratic Leadership Council — for whose think tank, the Progressive Policy Institute, I worked for several years — pushed notions of personal responsibility, welfare reform, tough crime policies and economic growth that, embraced by Bill Clinton, expanded the party’s base in the Midwest, the Appalachians and even the Southeast.

Such a shift to the middle is unlikely today. Progressives generally see Hillary Clinton’s loss as largely a rejection of her husband’s neoliberal policies and want to push the party further to the left.

This parallels developments in the United Kingdom, where, following their defeat in 2015, the Labour Party promoted a far-left figure, Jeremy Corbyn, as its leader. This was driven by grassroots progressives — deeply green, multiculturalist and openly socialist. Many, including several high up in Labour’s parliamentary party, believe the party has little chance to win under such leadership.

Democrats face a similar dilemma. Driven by their dominant academic and media “thought police,” any shift to the middle on issues like crime, climate change or regulation now seems unimaginable. Self-described progressives who now dominate the party generally adhere to a series of policies — from open borders to draconian climate change policies — that are unlikely to play well outside the coastal enclaves.

Obama’s only legacy will be the loss of the House, the Senate, dozens of statehouses and governor’s mansions, and the White House:

Whatever precise form Mr Trump’s administration takes, we know this: Mr Obama’s legacy will be purged. In many cases all it will take is the stroke of Mr Trump’s pen.

The Obama erasure will go far deeper than undoing domestic laws, or foreign deals. Mr Trump will repeal Obamacare, or alter it beyond recognition. He will “keep an open mind” about whether to pull the US out of the Paris agreement on climate change and quite probably blow up the US-Iran nuclear deal. These acts would undo Mr Obama’s most visible achievements. Less obvious ones, such as the ban on Arctic drilling and enhanced interrogation techniques and the intention of closing Guantánamo Bay (never completed) will also be consigned to the dustbin. It will be as if Mr Obama was never here.

And in most cases, that will be a good thing. Live by the pen and the phone, die by the pen and the phone. And I hope that Nancy Pelosi survives as the minority “leader.” It will simply continue the historically racist party’s decline.

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