The Administrative State

declares independence.

The federal government seems to have accumulated a lot of parasites who are indifferent, or hostile to the Constitution. It may be necessary to hire some outside people to properly prosecute the criminals from the previous administration. It’s time to clean house in general, but if Trump was the man to do it, he would have started a long time ago. He’s too busy getting involved in Twitter wars to care, apparently.

[Update a few minutes later]

Speaking of the Constitution, no Mr. President, the Senate doesn’t report to you, and neither do Republicans. I had this crazy idea last year that the Republicans should have nominated someone who’s read the Constitution, but they had different ideas, apparently. But it will be nice if one effect of Trump is to restore Congress’s will to enforce its own prerogatives.

I do like this idea, though: “On my short-list for potential constitutional amendments is a ban on Senators becoming President. It would probably improve the presidency, and it would definitely improve the Senate.”

It would have saved us from Barack Obama, John McCain, John Kerry, and Bob Dole, among others.

Robert Heinlein

Sarah Hoyt has some thoughts on the man who loved women:

While I didn’t read Heinlein for his female characters – unlike toddlers and some of my colleagues, I can identify with and enjoy the adventures of characters not exactly like me – it was freeing, mind-expanding that Heinlein had women as space explorers, making their home on the final frontier, facing down danger with his male characters, and often being the voice of reason, the voice of sanity or the voice of daring.

His women lived lives they chose and were as competent as men when they needed to be while being still, undeniably female, and not giving up any of their own unique abilities and characteristics. They were space pilots, and secret agents (and yes, they used female razzle dazzle, because in jobs you use all that you are. No, that didn’t make them inferior) homesteaders on Mars, women who could and did fight against alien invaders.

Heinlein’s women were an integral part of the human race, capable of contributing to the survival of the species by all means necessary. Sure, they wanted to have children, because a species without children doesn’t survive, but they also stood ready to fight for and protect those children, and carry humanity into the future.

I was reminded of this, recently, while listening to the Moon landing day interviews with Robert A. Heinlein, where he makes the case for having women astronauts, (just as capable as men, weigh less, etc.) but in the next breath says that all of humanity needs to go to space: men, women, and children.

It is clear he doesn’t think women should be held back, either because they’re thought inferior or out of some misguided notion they need to be protected.

But at the same time, it is equally clear that his vision of humanity — the two halves of humanity, unequal but complementary, different but equal in rights and in abilities – is one of a species that goes to the stars, both sexes, all ages.

So to my colleagues, offended by aprons and parturition, I say, that’s fine. You play on Earth and pretend there’s no difference between men and women, and try to convince us that women deserve to rule by virtue of being victims.

I too, love, love, love women. They are my favorite people. They (or at least the best ones) have always been my best friends. And, I should add, I think that Naomi in The Expanse is a classic Heinleinian woman.


We hardly knew ye:

Jonah had a righteous rant about this on Friday:

…the cursing is not the issue, it’s the context. I recall some conservatives defending Donald Trump’s tweets at Mika Brzezinski on the grounds that Andrew Jackson had a filthy mouth too. Okay, but he kept the blue talk out of his official statements.

The reason why the Scaramucci brouhaha is so dismaying isn’t the less-than-shocking revelation that a guy who refers to himself in the third person as “The Mooch” curses. Nor is it the suggestion that Steve Bannon is one of only a handful of men to master the art of autofellatio (there’s a Wikipedia entry on this topic that I will refrain from linking to, for the children). That bit of rhetorical excess seems the single best illustration to date of the imperative in the Age of Trump to take some statements seriously, but not literally.

No, there are two main reasons the unfolding Scaramucci clown show should arouse concern. The first is that he has no idea what he’s doing and he might just be nuts. This is the White House communications director. But he apparently doesn’t know how off-the-record interviews work. Now, for roughly 99 percent of the American public, that’s nothing to be ashamed of. But, again, he is the White House communications director. I am not ashamed of my ignorance about how to do all manner of things, from how to remove a gallbladder to how to fly a plane. But I expect these skills from surgeons and pilots.

The Mooch also doesn’t seem to grok that a public financial-disclosure form is . . . public. Nor does he know that it’s wrong for him to reach out to his FBI “buddies” in an effort to sic them on fellow members of the White House staff. Oh, and most communications professionals know that it’s probably a bad idea to explain away your stream-of-consciousness character assassinations with the fact that you didn’t appreciate the fact that journalists are scum.

Professionals? Trump don’t need no stinkin’ professionals.

[Update a few minutes later]

Call the burn unit, stat!

[Update a while later]

From what I’m hearing, Kelly canned him after he refused to accept that he wouldn’t report direct to Trump. Sounds like the new Chief of Staff is putting the hammer down. Not sure how he’ll be able to deal with the daughter and son-in-law, though.

[Update a while longer later]

Lunar Cryonics

I accidentally started a Twitter conversation with Sandy Mazza as a result of this nice piece on markets being enabled by lower-cost launch, including space burial. I noted to her that it made no sense for the California Department of Public Health to be regulating it, and then mentioned that they shouldn’t have anything to do with cryonics, either. In the course of the discussion, I dug up an old piece I wrote for Cryonics Magazine back in 1990 (ctrl-F “Simberg” to find it). Given that things are finally looking promising for reducing cost of access to space in general, and likely the moon as well, I decided I’d resurrect it here. Note that I’ve been talking about the need for markets to drive down launch costs for three decades. Note also that it’s somewhat dated, in terms of its discussion of the NASP and American Rocket.

Continue reading Lunar Cryonics

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