Josh Galernter agrees with me that it’s time to end our dependency on the Russians for space. He doesn’t point out, though that we could probably start flying on Dragon any time we want. We just have to decide that it’s important.
Jeff Foust has a report at today’s issue of The Space Review.
There are good reasons to question its validity.
[Update a couple minutes later]
Nixon knew what had to be done to ensure a credible investigation. Obama should follow his example. Reaching Nixon’s ethical bar shouldn’t be that difficult.
It is when you’re more corrupt than Richard Nixon.
The Syrian Christians (who survive) are being forced to convert:
Just the other day in Pakistan, Christians “began the construction of a church on land donated by the Christian Akber Masih, a resident in the area. They built the walls of the building and placed a cross in front of the main gate of the small construction yard.” But “when a large group of Islamic extremists saw the Christian symbol they arrived unexpectedly with bulldozers and started demolishing the building.” Although the Christians notified police and authorities, “the perpetrators were not arrested.” As for the aggrieved Christians, they “have received threats and have to abandon the idea of the project to build a church.”
Thanks to Western intervention in the colonial era, the Conditions largely disappeared — not least because Muslim leaders and elites were themselves Westernizing. But today, as Muslims turn back to their Islamic heritage and its teachings — not least because Western leaders and elites are urging them to in the name of multiculturalism, if not moral relativism — the Conditions are returning. And woe to the Christian minority who dares break them by exercising religious freedom — what I call the “How Dare You?” phenomenon, which is responsible for the overwhelming majority of Islamic attacks on non-Muslims.
This is par for the course, and how Islam spread in the first place, not voluntarily through the evangelical preaching of its virtues and spiritual benefits. It was, in fact, the root cause of the Crusades.
…the hype must, instead.
So far, the biggest “denier” seems to be Gaia herself.
An interview with Michael Lopez-Alegria.
As I note in comments there, NASA is not the only orbital customer. Bigelow has long expressed an interest in purchasing flights when they’re available at an affordable price.
Where is the ombudsman? Or better yet, where is Jeff Bezos?
The community organizer against the ex-KGB agent.
Brighton Beach is in Putin’s sights.
We went up to the the California central coast for the weekend. Likely light blogging until Sunday night or Monday.
…seems to be pretty pointless.
…because the West is weak.
And that’s just the way the Democrats, from Madeleine NotSobright to Barack Obama, seem to like it.
Hey, Barack? The 1930s called. They want the UK's foreign policy back. http://t.co/4oUqVKMKxt
— Rand Simberg (@Rand_Simberg) March 20, 2014
[Update a couple minutes later]
Putin was changing the map while Europe was fixing the climate.
Also, when weak nations provoke stronger ones. Because part of strength is the will to use what power you have.
As he notes, if Obama’s unwilling to take on the Sierra Club, who should believe that he’ll take on Putin?
[Late afternoon update]
The real Cold Warriors understood that crushing the Evil Empire of Communism required us to take into account the interests of Russia as a nation. The elder statesmen who won the Cold War, including Henry Kissinger (whose opening to China flanked the Soviet Union), are trying in vain to inject a note of sanity into the clown show that passes for American foreign policy on both sides of the aisle. The Republican mainstream mistook Tahrir Square for Lexington Common, and then mistook Maidan for Tahrir Square. If only we were rougher and tougher, it is claimed, Crimea would be free today. That is just plain stupid; there is no possible state of the world in which Crimea would not be Russian. We had some ability to influence the terms under which it would be Russian, and we chose the worst possible course of action, namely open hostility combined with impotent posturing.
We have an elite that lives in its own virtual-reality world circumscribed by a failed ideology, unable to learn from its past mistakes (or even to admit that they were mistakes) and condemned to repeat the same blunders again and again. They posture at Putin the way a small boy stands up to the zoo lion behind cage bars. The lion, though, is not entirely without alternatives, as the alarming case of Iran should make clear.
It’s folly on every front.
Jon Gabriel has filled it out.
Jeff Foust has six takeaways.
SpaceX has it on their flight schedule for this year.
I’ve always wondered how anyone can think they know what an accent from before Edison would have sounded like. How do we know that Romans would have spoken the Latin of the modern Church?
[Update a few minutes later]
That second video on the how Shakespeare would have been performed in the day is quite interesting.
…has become a crime:
The combination of vague and pervasive criminal laws — the federal government literally doesn’t know how many federal criminal laws there are — and prosecutorial discretion, plus easy overcharging and coercive plea-bargaining, means that where criminal law is concerned we don’t really have a judicial system as most people imagine it. Instead, we have a criminal justice bureaucracy that assesses guilt and imposes penalties with only modest supervision from the judiciary, and with very little actual accountability. (When a South Carolina judge suggested earlier this year that prosecutors should follow the law, prosecutors revolted.)
In a recent Columbia Law Review essay, I suggest some remedies to this problem: First, prosecutors should have “skin in the game” — if someone’s charged with 100 crimes but convicted of only one, the state should have to pay 99% of his legal fees. This would discourage overcharging. (So would judicial oversight, but we’ve seen little enough of that.) Second, plea-bargain offers should be disclosed at trial, so that judges and juries can understand just how serious the state really thinks the offense is. Empowering juries and grand juries (a standard joke is that any competent prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich) would also provide more supervision. And finally, I think that prosecutors should be stripped of their absolute immunity to suit — an immunity created by judicial activism, not by statute — and should be subject to civil damages for misconduct such as withholding evidence.
It’s a travesty. They should take the whole federal criminal code and throw it out, and start over.
It’s a myth.
I agree. The problem isn’t a shortage of workers in that field. But innumeracy and scientific illiteracy is a big problem in our society, particularly among the voters. And that includes the illiteracy of those who mindlessly accept a lot of bogus nutrition and climate “science.”
We’ve been doing it for thousands of years. The theory that it happened with the advent of agriculture because they were hanging out in the granaries to catch rodents makes sense to me.
Even the New York Times is reporting on how we’ve been sold a dietary bill of goods for decades.
Now, if they could stop with the nonsense about counting calories, BMI, and eating whole grains.
The SEC is about to release them.
Options for confronting them:
Obama’s post-aggression sanctions regimen is not merely inadequate, it is a joke. Russian hard-power aggression, annexation and expansion require a hard-power response. Here are some I recommend: (1) We can’t flip-flop NATO Article 5, NATO’s commitment to mutual defense. The U.S. must demonstrate it takes its NATO obligations seriously. So, deploy U.S. troops to Poland. The U.S. withdrew its last tanks from Germany in 2013. The Poland garrison needs a U.S. armor brigade. (2) Cancel all defense budget cuts. Faculty club snark aside, peace through strength means something. (3) Open federal lands to natural gas “fracking” and start shipping gas to Europe. Undermining Russian gas sales is a real economic sanction. (4) Arm the Baltic nations. They are also NATO allies. And (5) deploy the GBI’s to Poland, and build a more robust missile defense system. As for permanently deploying U.S. Patriot PAC-3 short-range anti-missile missiles in Poland — that’s an idea whose time has come.
I think we need a new Marshall Plan to quickly reconfigure Europe’s energy infrastructure. If Obama was really serious about his “phone and pen” there are things that are entirely within his power to do. He could open up Keystone and approve the permits for those LNG terminals tomorrow. Investments in new European pipelines and terminals could be paid for with revenues from gas sales. And despite Kerry’s idiotic blathering about an end to all life on earth, this is the real crisis, not carbon.
So, it turns out that not only did early humans kill off megafauna like mammoths, but they may have wiped out the dinosaurs.
Damn you, Og. DAMN YOU TO HELL!
Note, the copy editor is responsible for that one. The story itself is OK.
Woody Allen has put more wood in the mouth of his characters than the guy who invented the disposable tongue depressor. Perhaps it’s this: Allen is a nihilist whose characters search for meaning; the Coen Brothers are romantics whose characters confront reality. The former example is grounded in the futility of it all; the latter is a caution against finding too much meaning in the swells and peaks and troughs of life. Not to say you shouldn’t look: that’s what art is for, as “Finding” clearly suggests. Something makes him sing like that. But in the end it’s not art that redeems him. The idea seems ridiculous, a sophomoric conceit.
An interesting new approach to understanding and curing aging.
And when he does it, the White House snarks about it, and is brutally and justifiably mocked on Twitter.
What NASA’s up to:
“There are three barriers particular to civil supersonic flight; sonic boom, high altitude emissions and airport noise. Of the three, boom is the most significant problem,” said Peter Coen, manager of NASA’s High Speed Project with the agency’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate’s Fundamental Aeronautics Program.
There’s a fourth barrier not mentioned: the low L/D, which restricts range and makes for high fuel costs. If that problem doesn’t get solved, it will never become a huge market, and will mostly be restricted to business jets.