Our Prisons

Have they become Jihad factories?

[Update a couple minutes later]

More information is coming to light about the head chopper:

Nolen was telling coworkers Thursday of an Islamic teaching that said women should be stoned for an offense, and that an argument followed the mark, Nolen was later fired and returned later Thursday, when he beheaded Colleen Hufford, the family member said.

The local mosque seems to be disowning him, fortunately.

Neil Tyson’s Latest

“Hey, you just have to trust me on all that stuff I made up“:

Eyewitnesses are a good thing. And if you believe Neil deGrasse Tyson is your lord and savior, his eyewitness testimony is of course sufficient for verifying, for instance, that George W. Bush quote.

But what about those of us who are not in the Tyson faith-based community? Are we “anti-intellectuals” to not trust in his unverified claims? I suppose that will be the continued approach by many in the media, some folks in the Wikipedia community (whose trust in Tyson puts the most devout religious piety to absolute shame), and the other fanboys.

I’ve never been as impressed with him as those who consider themselves my intellectual superiors have been demanding, but wow, he really is a piece of work.

[Update a while later]

Tyson finally admits that he botched the Bush quote:

Tyson claims to be a man of science who follows the evidence where it leads. The evidence here clearly shows Tyson screwed up. Whether knowingly or not, he regularly repeated a false account in order to cast aspersions on another public figure. The only proper thing to do is recant and apologize. That is what a person of integrity does.

I won’t be holding my breath.

Workplace Violence

I’m sure that it’s a complete coincidence that the guy who beheaded a woman in Oklahoma had converted to Islam and tried to get his co-workers to convert before he was fired.

Though, actually, it’s unclear that he’s CCW, because he’s reportedly an off-duty sheriff or deputy, so it may have been his LEO weapon. Either way, a sudden-Jihad syndrome being ended by a legal gun owner crosses the media streams.

[Afternoon update]

But remember, it has nothing to do with Islam.

[Update a few minutes later]
This is purported to be the guy’s Facebook page. Nope, no Islam here at all.

Who The Future Belongs To

It belongs to those of us who mock leftists mercilessly.

[Update a few minutes later]

Here’s a good start: Leftist politicians continue to slaughter innocent and defenseless animals:

Yet another defenseless creature was slaughtered by a left-wing politician, the New York Post revealed on Thursday. Adorable groundhog Staten Island Chuck was “chucked” to his death during an appearance with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a raging liberal, back in February. Officials sought to cover up the creature’s demise, so as not to fuel public outrage over the disturbing trend of liberal politicians murdering cute animals. They even lied about the true identity of the victim. . . . As horrific as de Blasio’s crime was, it pales in comparison to the carnage President Obama routinely inflicts upon the animal kingdom. His victims include: bald eagles, golden eagles, kit foxes, baby tortoises, and baby bats. Obama’s preferred methods of killing are significantly more brutal, including decapitation via wind turbine and incineration via solar panel heat laser. The mainstream media has done its best to ignore this trend, but it’s only a matter of time before the American people wake up and demand an end to the butchery.

And don’t forget that fly he callously and brutally murdered.

Less than six weeks until an election. You can stop the carnage.

Soyuz Mission Problem?

It may be in trouble. Initial tracking data tweeted by Jonathan McDowell indicates that their orbit is off in inclination by about 0.4 degrees, which is about 50 m/s (probably a hundred kg of propellant). Their total budget for the ascent is about 100 m/s, and it seems unlikely that they have that much margin. So it’s possible that they don’t have enough to both get to ISS and then do a later deorbit, which means they’d have to abort without going to the station.

But the most likely explanation is that it’s just bad tracking data (maybe measuring during a burn?). We’ll find out at the next trajectory update.

[Friday-morning update]

Well, they docked, so presumably, they also have enough to get home.

Jerry Pournelle

He’s posted a brief but complimentary review of the book (it’s buried deep in the post, after his lengthy discussion of his computer tech upgrades):

Safe Is Not An Option, by Rand Simberg is a reliability expert’s look at the space program. The book is discussed at length on its own web site. Those interested in the space program should read it: the book is quite critical of current space policies. It has endorsements from both astronauts and space policy analysts.

His general thesis is that NASA’s obsession, born of the days when “ours always blow up” and brought back with a vengeance by the Challenger disaster, is eliminating all human risk from spaceflight. That doesn’t work and the obsession is a huge obstacle to progress. There will always be risks, and we will always have heroes.

Simberg is an aerospace engineer with considerable experience and his analyses of various space incidents such as the Challenger Disaster are spot on, which is to say, I agree with them. Recommended.

Thanks!

Coffee

Is it ruining your productivity?

In other words, that euphoric short-term state that you enter after drinking coffee is what non-habitual caffeine consumers are experiencing all of the time. The difference is that for coffee drinkers, the feeling doesn’t last. “Coming off caffeine reduces your cognitive performance and has a negative impact on your mood. The only way to get back to normal is to drink caffeine, and when you do drink it, you feel like it’s taking you to new heights,” Bradberry explained. “In reality, the caffeine is just taking your performance back to normal for a short period.”

See, for me, the thing is that I can’t even tell whether or not I’ve had any. I just drink it for medicinal purposes. In fact, even though I now drink two cups almost every morning, I don’t consider myself a “habitual” drinker, because that implies that it’s a habit. It really isn’t, for me. I sometimes forget to drink it.

The Mann Lawsuit

We filed our response in the appeal. I have some excerpts over at Ricochet.

[Afternoon update]

Why Mann must be stopped.

[Update a couple minutes later]

He doesn’t link it, but I think that this is the Bishop Hill post being referred to.

[Late afternoon update]

Here‘s the formal statement from Sam Kazman, lead counsel for CEI.

Broken Government

Laws have gotten far too detailed:

Until recent decades, law based on principles was the structure of most public law. The Constitution is 10 pages long and provides basic precepts—say, the Fourth Amendment prohibition on “unreasonable searches and seizures”—without trying to define every situation. The recent Volcker Rule regulating proprietary trading, by contrast, is 950 pages, and, in the words of one banker, is “incoherent any way you look at it.”

Legal principles have the supreme virtue of activating individual responsibility. Law is still supreme. The goals of law are centralized, but implementation is decentralized. Every successful regulatory program works this way. New airplanes, for example, must be certified as “airworthy” by the FAA. There are no detailed regulations that set forth how many rivets per square foot are required. It’s up to the judgment of FAA officials. This system works pretty well. Which would you trust more, a plane approved by experts at the FAA or a plane that was allowed to fly merely because it satisfied a bunch of rules, many outdated?

The health-care law exemplifies this problem.