Category Archives: Law

Literally Dodging A Bullet

It’s amazing how lucky we are that he had his head turned that way, and was scratched instead of killed like Kennedy. What chaos that would have been. Imagine the Republican convention tomorrow, when he hasn’t even named his heir in announcing his pick for VP, and no one claims to know who it is other than him. Who would be the leader of the party? Who would rise? I’d guess it would have to be Speaker Johnson. He is, after all, currently third in line for the presidency. But would he pick up the chalice, or simply supervise the process of choosing?

The Falcon Failure

I can obviously understand the need for an investigation, and if SpaceX wants to do it with the FAA, that’s fine, but the FAA should have no say in when it flies again; that would be them doing mission assurance, which is not part of their charter. NASA, Jared Isaacman, or any of SpaceX’s other customers can decide when and whether they trust the vehicle, but FAA advisement should be just that. There was no public danger from this event (other than potential Starlink debris falling to earth), or reason to think there would be from any future similar failure.

Biden Has A Weak Hand

Some game theory from Nate Silver.

I’m not sure why he doesn’t mention what to me is an obvious way to force Biden out. All they have to do is say that they’re going to “realize” that there actually is a lot of evidence of family corruption, and it would be very sad if they were to start to agree with the Republicans about it, but what are you going to do? Does Nate not discuss this because he really believes it doesn’t exist, or because he doesn’t want to give it credence himself?

Fear, Uncertainty, And Doubt

Blue Origin and ULA (and they may soon be the same company) are pretty clearly threatened by SpaceX.

On the other hand, there have never been launch operations at this scale, anywhere. SpaceX should be getting on to sea launch as soon as possible, particularly given the much greater flexibility of orbital destinations this will give them.

[Update a while later]

More from Stephen Clark.

[Tuesday-afternoon update]

More from Jeff Foust. I was amused at this: “Ariane 6 is an answer to their needs. We’ll go through the inaugural launch, we’ll serve those customers, and we will continue to innovate.”

“Continue” to innovate? I’m still waiting for them to start.


[Update a few minutes later]

Meanwhile, in French Guiana:


On this particular 4th of July, I feel like we are at a potential pivot point. In two years, the Republic will be 250 years of age. The Romans lasted about twice that long before the transition to empire, and then its fall a few centuries later, but from here, we can see a potential end to our own before that milestone, on the current trajectory. Certainly, the election in November will be crucial.

What is ironic is that both sides see it as potentially catastrophic for their vision of the nation’s future. The Democrats, who have always hated the Republic, fear (or claim to fear) the loss of “our democracy” (something that, fortunately, we have never had). Republicans, whose party is named after it, fear the continued chipping away at it which started a century ago in the “Progressive” era, in which the Senate started to be popularly elected by the people of the states, rather than appointed by the states themselves. This began the erosion of the fundamental idea that the president was elected by the states rather than the populace, which was supposed to be represented in the House (the most powerful part of the government).

Eroding as well is the notion of separation of powers (something that both sides are guilty of, but the Democrats far more egregiously). Fortunately, the Supreme Court made a major, almost earthquakey decision last week by ending the so-called “Chevron” deference of the judiciary to what had become an unconstitutional fourth branch of government in the bureaucracy of the executive, accountable to no one. But first Barack Obama, then Joe Biden (who has effectively been Obama’s third term) repeatedly showed their contempt for this founding principle with their “pen and their phone” arrogating unto themselves the legislative powers given by the Constitution only to Congress, with their de facto legalization of the “dreamers” and the “forgiveness” of student loans, transferring wealth from hardworking Americans to those mostly well off. Biden even continues to defiantly take pride in this lawlessness while decrying the “crimes” of his predecessor and perhaps successor.

He has now fully weaponized his department of “justice” against his political opponent, a practice that began under Obama, during which his IRS targeted perceived domestic enemies. His unlawfully appointed special counsel, Jack Smith, now claims his intent to pursue Donald Trump for crimes (which Biden committed more egregiously but ironically will not be prosecuted for because the prosecutor judged him too mentally impaired to stand trial) right up until the inauguration, standing on its head previous department procedure to not engage in prosecutions prior to, let alone after an election.

The Democrats claim to fear (insanely, if they really believe it) that if Trump is elected, he will declare himself dictator for life and that it will be the last election. Republicans and other non-Democrats (like me) legitimately fear that if given four more years of power, they will complete the dismantlement of what remains of the Republic, packing the courts, including the supreme one, and the Senate with new states, and new election laws guaranteed to continue and expand the rigging and fraud that put them into power three and a half years ago.

I do believe that, almost a quarter of a millennium after the founding, the Republic is at a precipice, and that this election is not just the most consequential of my lifetime, but since that of 1860. There is talk again of civil war and, while I’m sure that the Democrats will lose again as they did then, it will once again tear the nation asunder, and is to be greatly feared, and if possible avoided. Vote this November as though your life, and that of the Republic itself, depended on it, because it very well may.

[Update a while later]

Stop calling it “the July 4th holiday.”

[Afternoon update]

First come rights, then comes a government to secure those rights.