Thursday, January 31, 2002

Elizabeth Dole, of all people, seems to be the first target of the Democrats to slime Republicans with the Enron mess. Dole, who is running for the Senate, will soon be the target of campaign ads suggesting that she shouldn't have allowed an Enron sponsered fund raiser on her behalf to take place.

This, in my humble opinion, is so pathetic. First of all, Democrats took plenty of money from Enron too. Second of all, the American voters, who looked ascance at scandal politics when Clinton was in office, are not going to be very moved by the same now that Bush is President. I think people are going to find the sight of politicians pointing fingers at each other over a scandal where it is unclear any politician actually did anything wrong to be tiresome and unedifying. This is a case of the Democrats grasping for straws and maybe getting a hold of a razor blade.
One of my favorite SF series, The Lost Regiment, is being developed as a film project. The premise is that a Civil War Union regiment is sucked into a parallel universe where communities of humans are oppressed by nomadic aliens who roam about and literally treat the humans as cattle.

Tuesday, January 29, 2002

Aviation Week and Space Technology is reporting that the next NASA budget from the Bush administration will include money to build nuclear powered rockets. That's the kind of technology that could really open up the Solar System. A human expedition to Mars, for example, would take nine months round trip, instead of two and a half years with chemical rockets.
Also Drudge is reporting that DNC Chairman Terry Mcauliffe was up to his eyes involved in the bankruptcy of a company called Global Crossing. Global Crossing's Chairman helped Mcauliffe in a stock deal which turned $100,000 unto $18 million, which sort of makes Hillary's cattle futures scam pale by comparison. Global Crossing bought a lot of access to Bill Clinton for its generosity.
The GOP is supposed to be the party of big business. But Democrat Senator Chris Dodd helped Arthur Anderson a great deal and was well paid for his help.

Sunday, January 27, 2002

The Weekly Standard has a good suggestion of what ought to be done with Jihad Johney and the rest of those merry Taliban killers. I suspect that the author may have read Kipling about the tender mercies of Afghan women:

"When you're laying on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come down to cut up your remains,
Roll over to your rifle and blow out your brains,
And go to your God like a soldier!"
The notion of paying Black Americans money in the form of reparations for the evils of slavery is racist, fraudulent, and unworkable. But that fact doesn't prevent the unscrupulous from attempting to profit politically from furthering the cause. Or, as this story suggests, from profiting financially.

Thursday, January 24, 2002

Looks like NASA is doing a little marketing research for the future of the planetary exploration program. Some of the options (search for suitable sites for human colonies) are rather interesting:
Looks like Campaign Finance Reform might pass after all, because they say of Enron. Why this is so is somewhat hard to explain, but we'll make an attempt.

Campaign Finance Reform must pass because the political class is tired of all those people trying to affect the political process. Of course it would be indecorous to say so, thus we have to come up with any excuse that even sounds plausiable.

So, had Bush tried to save Enron, that would be proof that CFR was necessary because Enron would have been seen as having bought and paid for that service. However, since Bush did not save Enron, the proponents of CFR have come up with a new one. Bush should have saved Enron but did not because he was afraid of the appearence of corruption. If Enron had not "bought access", then Bush would have felt free to help Enron "based on the merits."

Dick Gephardt, who thinks he wants to be President, actually said that.
Civilized states such as Texas have laws allowing responsible citizens to carry concealed handguns. Despite the huffing and puffing of gun control fanatics, these laws have proven to be a remarkable deterent to crime. One thinks twice, after all, about mugging or raping someone if one doesn't know if one's victem will pull a Glock.

Now it seems that a surprising icon of liberalism recognized the utility of carrying a pistol. She did so while campaigning in the south for the civil rights of blacks. Her name was Eleanor Roosevelt.

I wonder if she ever told Hillary Clinton about this during the Senator's many seances.
Democrats got all huffy when Karl Rove suggested that Republicans are seen as better able to handle issues of war and national defense. But now at least some Democrats seem bent on proving Rove right by actually opposing the President's proposed defense buildup. Is it any wonder why polls are showing that there's an electoral reallignment toward the GOP? What sort of idiot opposes defense spending in the middle of a war?

Wednesday, January 23, 2002

George Will talks about election reform born of a horrible case of fraud in the last election. Only the fraud took place in Missouri, not Florida.

Monday, January 21, 2002

Newt Gingrich suggests that the government offer cash prices to promote technological innovation. His most interesting idea along these lines is to give a billion dollars to the person or entity which comes up with a way to get people and material into Earth orbit at ten percent of the current cost.

Sunday, January 20, 2002

John Podhoretz informs us that Enron is still dead as a political scandal a week after he first declared it so, despite the wishes of Bush haters.

Friday, January 18, 2002

Looks like Doris Kerns Goodwin, liberalism's most telegenic historian, also has a problem with using other people's material without attribution.
Drudge is reporting that Rush Limbaugh has regained eighty percent of his hearing. Some times medical science has the power not only to amaze, but to incite awe.
So that group of inbred degenerates known as the Saudi royal family thinks that America troops have become a "liability" in the Arab world and are thinking that those troops, which have kept the Iraqis and Iranians off of them for ten years, might have to leave.

Seems to me that it might be time to dust off those plans from the 1973 oil embargo to seize the oil fields. If that is too ungentle a solution, how about the following:

(1) Pass the Bush energy policy immediately. If this development is not sufficient evidence to Daschle and the other weird lefties in Congress that dependance on Arab oil has liabilities, then there is no hope for them.
(2) Seize territory in southern and/or nothern Iraq and use that as bases for American troops to finish off Saddem.
(3) Actively encourage dissidents in Iran to overthrow the iron rule of the mullahs.
(4) Tell Sharon that he may now take out that toy kingdom of Yassir Arafat's as well as Arafat himself. That will really torque the Saudis. It might even improve the chances for peace, however, by teaching the Palestinians the folly of war.

Thursday, January 17, 2002

Looks like Geraldo got shot at again, this time in Somalia. Fortunately for bad journalism, the bad guys keep missing.
Stephen Moore of the Club for Growth offers a devestating critique of Teddy Kennedy's view of how to end a recession. One of the more fascinating facts is that John Kennedy, unlike his little brother, understood the utility of tax cuts-even for the rich-in fostering economic growth.

Indeed, if JFK-who not only believed in tax cuts, but a strong military, an agressive foreign policy against tyrants and terrorists, and the space program-were to come back, would he not be condemned as an extreme right winger?

Wednesday, January 16, 2002

Teddy Kennedy wants to raise your taxes. He just told you. Now so have I.
Looks like Joe Leiberman may have a conflict of interest which might just prevent him from leading the Senate investigation of Enron. But then, who in the Senate does not?

Tuesday, January 15, 2002

Fred Barnes disagrees with Podhoretz, though he believes rightly that so far President Bush has emerged wholely triumphant and unscathed. Bush may have learned the secret to surviving scandals. That secret is don't do anything wrong.
John Podhoretz has officially declared the Enron scandal dead. Great. Now we can turn out attention to more important matters.

Monday, January 14, 2002

Looks like the media have something else to hyperventilate about besides all Enron all the time. I'm refering, of course, to the Taliban pretzel which for a few seconds laid low the President of the United States. Dubya seems to be fine, but what are the implications of this? Will members of congress be sent pretzels in envelopes with no return address? Will mail workers be hospitalized because pretzels somehow lodged in their windpipes? Will people be searched for pretzels at airport check-in?

Stay tuned.

Friday, January 11, 2002

While liberals are in a frenzy to find something in the Enron collapse to bring down the Bush Administration, David Brooks relates a story about Enron, the Clinton Administration, and a spot of possible bribery disguised as campaign contributions.

Thursday, January 10, 2002

Yassir Arafat has been caught commiting a bit of arms smuggling, not the sort of thing one does if one actually want peace with-say-Israel. Charles Krauthammer suggests, not for the first time, that it's high time that Arafat and that toy kingdom called the Palestinian Authority be eradicated from the face of the Earth. Makes sense to me.
Michael Kinsley makes a complete fool of himself and suggests that Bernard Goldberg is silly and stupid for suggesting liberal bias at CBS and in the media. Kinsley neglects, however, to give any evidence that Goldberg is wrong.
One supposes that it was inevitable. The media and of course the Democrats are trying to make the collapse of Enron President Bush's Whitewater. That is despite the fact that Bush was not involved or even knew in advance what was going on. One White House official attributes it to scandal envy. Clinton took it on the chin for eight years for his various misdeeds. So now the liberals in the media and elsewhere want to take revenge. Besides, it's entirely possible that the media has gotten bored with covering mundane stories like war and terrorism and want to go back to what it loves best, picking apart a juicy scandal ad nauseum. I suspect the story will die quickly. There's nothing there and the public will yawn.
Movie projects based on great people of history seem to be all the rage. Besides film projects based on Washington, Lincoln, and Julius Caesar, a pitch for a film based on the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine has been sold by Nicole Kidman. Of course I've always loved Kate Hepburn's depiction of her in The Lion in Winter, so I can hardly wait for what Kidman will do with the role.

Wednesday, January 09, 2002

HBO has jumped on the bandwagon and has become the fourth company to do an Alexander the Great project. It will be a ten part miniseries based on the excellant novels by Mary Renault, The Fire from Heaven and The Persian Boy. HBO will spend almost 125 million dollars on the project due to air in 2004.
The Chinese appear ready for the third test of the Senzhou space craft. Eventually, perhaps later this year, perhaps next year, the Chinese intend to use Senzhou to become the third nation to put people into Earth orbit.
A Japanese engineer has a new idea for space based energy. He suggests using orbiting lasers to blast hydrogen out of sea water.The hydrogen then can be burned in fuel cells.
Tom Shales makes a fool of himself again with a hysterical screed in the guise of a book review of Bernard Goldberg's Bias.

Shales usually writes movie reviews and occassionally make a fool of himself in that as well. About ten years ago he panned The Hunt for Red October on two points. First he suggested that no one would want to watch a film about the Cold War post fall of the Berlin Wall. Of course Hunt did exceedingly well at the box office. Then Shales suggested that no woman would ever want to watch the movie as there were no female charectors to identify with. This suggestion astonished every woman I know who replied, well, true there were no women, but Sean Connery is so fun to watch.

Jonah Goldberg, by the way,. has a splendid reply to Shale's ravings.

Tuesday, January 08, 2002

NASA Watch has a splendid account of a press breckfast meeting with NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe. It is a fascinating look into the mind of the man who will be dorecting the course of the US civil space program for the next several years.

Monday, January 07, 2002

And speaking of Daschle,it looks like he has ignited a firestorm inside the Democratic Party with his ill considered remarks about tax cuts causing recessions. Daschle forgot that a dozen Senators in his own caucus voted for President Bush's tax cut package. Some of those Senators, whom Daschle is implying helped worsen the recession, are up for reelection this year.
The Washington Monthly reports that Senator Daschle has his own Hillary problem. "The landmines in Linda Daschle's professional portfolio will make Hillary Clinton's pork futures and law-firm billings look like mousetraps."
Arthur C. Clarke looks at life beyond 2001.
Bruce Bartlett thinks that Daschle and the Democrats may be refighting the last war in their drive to do onto the son what they did to the father. I tend to agree.

Sunday, January 06, 2002

The latest example of Anti Catholic/Christian art has cropped up in a museum in the Napa Valley. A question: What is in the mind of "artists" which causes them to depict religious symbols in and on human waste products?

Saturday, January 05, 2002

We saw A Beautiful Mind Friday night and I cannot recommend this film enough. The story is about mathematics genius John Nash who through the course of his life battles bouts of madness and eventually overcomes his illness to win the Nobel Prize. Russell Crowe plays the lead role, which is a complete departure from his more macho charectors-Gladiator for example. There are solid supporting performences from Ed Harris and Jennifer Connelly.

If this film is not at least in the running for a bunch of Acadomy Awards, then there is no justice.

Friday, January 04, 2002

Tom Daschle began his campaign for President by attacking the current POTUS for causing the recession. Oddly enough, Daschle seems to believe that tax cuts cause recessions, which must mean that tax increases cause economic booms.

Thursday, January 03, 2002

Bill Clinton's dog, Buddy has died in an automobile accident. Buddy of course has not been the first Clinton friend or even the first Clinton dog to die young. No doubt, though, the Clintonistas will blame the tragedy on the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

Wednesday, January 02, 2002

The following came via the Newsmax Left Coast report:

"Does a TV show about a house in D.C., which tells the adventurous tales of roommate senators Schumer and Durbin and congressmen Delahunt and Miller, sound interesting to you?

"Apparently, it's extremely appealing to "Saturday Night Live" alumnus Al Franken. He's been working on a television sitcom titled "Little House on the Hill."

"Franken, author of a book that slammed radio personality Rush Limbaugh, dreams of filling our homes with seemingly hilarious programming about four middle-aged Democrat roomies who share a passion for expanding government and raising taxes.

"Look out, 'Friends.'"

The creators of South Park, as I recall, tried something like this with a sitcom about President George W. Bush. It bombed and the South Park folks know more about good comedy than Al Franken can learn in several lifetimes.
Pat Buchanan is coming out with a new book, with the calm, reasonable title of Death of the West. His scenario is that the West, an especially the United States, will be overrun by the starvling denizens of the Third World and that the US itself will become a Third World Country. Of course we've been hearing this nonsense since the beginning of the country, when all of those Germans, Irish (hear that Paddy?), Itallians, and East Europeans were going to wreck the country with their strange customs and incompehenisable languages, Hispanics (which Paddy seems to worry about the most), and Asians are just the latest.

Here's a prediction. In 2050, when Paddy thinks that the United States will become Columbia, we're going to be just fine. Sure there'll be more Asian-Americans and Hispanic-Americans, but most of them won't even speak the langauges of their ancestrial homeland and will be, in every aspect, just as American as those of us whose ancestors fought at the Cowpens.
Fox has hired away Greta Van Susteren from CNN. One question occurs: Why?
And speaking of the Hollywood Left, Sean Penn seriously doesn't like Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly. Penn compares the No Spinner to Osama Bin Laden, Adolf Hitler, and Joe McCarthey.