Sunday, March 31, 2002

Is NASA about to find a way to defy gravity? Read the article and then decide for yourself.
Mr.Clinton is unrepentant about his many sins and crimes. In fact, like most teenage boys caught being naughty (even when the teenager is in his fifties), he blames most of his troubles on others. That being the vast right wing conspiracy. Even so, since he seems to be raking in ten mil or so a year from speaking fees, he is proving that sometimes crime does pay.

The sad bit is that Newsweek reporter Jonathon Alter is doing the equivilent of walking and chewing gum at the same time, when he criticizes Clinton while sucking up to him.
Palestinians are complaining that Israelis are using captured televsion broadcast facilities to broadcast porn to West Bank TV viewers.

Obviously an evil Israeli plot to get the Palestinians to make love, not war.
This would be the news if we were to treat Palestinian terrorists the same way we treat Al Qaeda:

Tel Aviv 28 March, 2002. A new front in the war on terror was opened up as the United States and Israel launched strikes at terrorist targets throughout the Middle East.

Israeli troops entered several West Bank towns and it is reported that Yassir Arafat and several of his top aids have been taken into custedy.Israeli Prime Minister Sharon vows that the Palestinian leader will be put on trial for "crimes against humanity going back over thirty years." Street fighting is reported to be occuring in several West Bank towns as Palestinian gunmen vainly try to stop Israeli mechanized formations.

American B-52 and B-2 stealth bombers, as well as carrier based planes from the 6th Fleet, have launched massive strikes against terrorist camps in Lebenon and Syrian army formations facing the Golan Heights. Israeli armored units are reported to already be deep inside Lebenon and Syria, which were recently added to the "Axis of Evil" by US President GW Bush. The goal seems to not only to destroy terrorist infrastructure in the West Bank and Lebenon, but to effect a regime change in Syria.

European and Arab leaders have roundly condemned the new action and have called for a cease fire.

Saturday, March 30, 2002

As of this writing, Yassir Arafat is caged up in a couple of rooms at his headquarters, while the Israeli Army makes free in his compound, arresting his henchmen, and making away with the contents of weapons' caches and-no doubt-filing cabinets and computer hard drives. The Israelis have cut off his power and water, which raises an interesting possibility. A person cannot survive without water for more than about two or three days. Even if Arafat has the strength of will to try to become a martyre via dehydration, the Israelis can simply break in and carry him off on the pretext of saving his life, which they have pledged to do.

Then, maybe, a fast trip out of the region to some place more suitable. I would suggest the tribal areas of Pakistan where the remaints of the Al Qaeda are skulking. It would be just the place for that horrible little man to spend his last days.
One of NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe's more visionary projects is to develop technologies to use nuclear power to conquer distances in space and reach destinations in the Solar System (like Mars) quicker. He might want to read a new book about a very old project which used atomic explosives to propel huge space craft at speeds which would bring them to most places in the Solar System in weeks (or Mars in days).
The book is called Project Orion: The True Story of the Atomic Space Ship by George Dyson.

Friday, March 29, 2002

Under a NASA grant, a bioengineer has grown fish flesh in the lab. So far it's gold fish, so it's hardly appetizing, but there seems to be no reason why we can't also grow trout, salmon, and even-eventually-chicken, lamb, or beef.

Aside from the obvious benifits for space settlements, such lab grown flesh has a lot of implications. Will vegetarians (those who are for ethical rather than health purposes) have to rethink their adversion to such food now that it might nit involve the killing of animals? Will PETA lose an issue?

I'm also reminded of an Arthur C. Clarke story about a particular kind of delicacy which becomes available with such technology. You know what I mean. The one that's Hannibal Lecter's favorite.

With that in mind, I predict calls for the banning/heavy regulation of this technology real soon.

Thursday, March 28, 2002

With almost exquisit timing, Arafat is now hinting that he's ready for a cease fire.

Right. Fortunately the Bush Administration doesn't seem to be buying. And as for the Israelis, they're getting ready for their response by calling up reserves.
Ellen Goodman is shocked that Hollywood movies often fudge about history. She points at A Beautiful Mind, which left out some of the more unsavory aspects of John Nash's life, as an example.

I have news for Ms. Goodman. Hollywood has rarely if ever got history right. Braveheart, for example, had William Wallace impregnating the Princess of Wales with the future King Edward III, even though Edward was born nine years after Wallace has drawn and quartered.

One wonders if Ms. Goodman was as irate about Oliver Stone's various massacres of history, in particular JFK?

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Just when you though Palestinian barbarism couldn't be topped, now comes the fellow who blew himself up and nineteen (at last count) Jews who had sat down for a Passover Seder.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating. It's time for the Israelis to go through the West Bank and Gaza like Sherman through Georgia. Since the Palestinians don't want to negotiate peace, it's time that peace be imposed. And I'm increasingly of the opinion it should be a Roman peace (i.e., make a desert and call it peace.)
The Arab Summit seems to be descending into chaos. The Lebenese hosts (probably on orders from the Syrians) refused to allow Arafat to address the Summit via live sattelite hookup. Why?

"Lebanese officials also said there was concern that Israel could interfere with a live satellite hookup, and might use it to beam Sharon into the conference hall."

I'm not sure whether that means Sharon's image via television or whether they think Israel has a Star Trek style transporter.
A reader named Sara Callaman takes me to task for siding with the Israelis:

lawks a day, you yanks ! How come the rest of the world can see how pushy and aggressive america is being towards Palestine, and what double standards the government is using against 'terrorists' who they were sponsering five minutes ago!

How can Jews go to Palestine and try to shove out the people who live there, when they above many, should know what it is like to be persecuted for no reason except your race/ creed- whatever.

Finally, it does no good fighting everyone- it's like a school yard- soon everyone in the yard wil be fed up of old bossy boots, who wants to run everything! Such a sophoisticated (?) country should be able to think of more adult ways of negotiation and diplomacy to sort problems out!

Finally II As I understand it, there are plenty of Israelis and Palestinians living happily side by side- being treated together in hospital(s) so maybe the politicians need to look at themselves.


I assume Sara comes from some country in the British Commonwealth, which certainly was never "pushy and aggressive" toward anyone.
The farcical Arab Summit opened in Beruit with an endorsement of the fraudulent Saudi "peace" proposal. It also opened without the President of Egypt, the King of Jordan, or Yassir Arafat. Arafat was not able to attend because he could not bring himself to stop killing women and children and to publicly promise to stop doing that.
Forget about tweaking rockets to get Cheap Access to Space. There is a group of engineers and businessmen who think that a space elevator is doable in about ten to fifteen years for less than ten billion dollars.

Tuesday, March 26, 2002

Current House Majority Whip and future House Majority Leader Tom Delay has spoken out on the general malaise afflicting the US civil space program.

Here's a suggestion, Tom, for doing something about it. Use your influence to get a little bit of money added to NASA's budget to develop technologies for sending and sustaining people beyond Low Earth Orbit. It doesn't have to be a lot of money, but it would set down a marker and set the stage for a Presidential decision in-say-2004 when O'Keefe has gotten NASA's finances in order.
Some sharp eyed astronomers have gone over maps of the lunar surface created by the Clementine mission and have concluded that Malapert Mountain, overlooking the ice fields at the Lunar South Pole. Read the article and then ask yourself: Why aren't we assembling the first expedition to there?
George Will gives the Bush Administration the back of his hand for applying a double standard to Israel. We're in effect asking the Israelis to appease terrorists, while we hunt down other terrorists and kill them.

I know why Bush is doing this. He wants to keep the Arabs quiet so that we can go after Saddem. But this strategery is only delaying the inevitable. At some point, Israel will have to take Arafat and his absurd terrorist kingdom out. Better, in my view, that it be sooner than later. Let the Arabs howl all they want. If we show strength, there is nothing they can do about it.

Monday, March 25, 2002

A reader named Randolph Addison has some interesting thoughts on the best actor/best actress Oscars:

The saddest part of the Oscars and Halle Berry/Denzel winning is that they (Hollywood producers and actors) will pat themselves on the back as though they are pushing the envelope of acceptance for blacks--"Look at us, we're special. We gave, oops, we awarded a black person." So, did they earn the awards or were they given the awards? It is an ugly question but it must be asked after the gaudy acceptance speech by Halle. She should have said something simple about blacks but spent the majority of her speech on her acting skills and her future prospects (or something along those lines)--that's what Oscars are about, right?

Lest Hollywood forget that the American public goes to the movies and makes them wealthy; thusly, it is the American people who pay money to go see movies (with blacks in lead rolls) and have long crossed the hurdle of stereotypes and subtle or implied racism.

It simply saddens me that someone could receive an award and seem to wholly believe that the award was for being a little melanin-rich and not for acting ability...
Never let it be said that even the worst catastrophe does not contain within it certain opportunities. It looks like Playboy is looking for candidates for the Women of Enron spread.
Even though the Enron scandal is old news, a reader suggests thjat we still need to pay attention to it. That is to say, the real scandal:

Certainly there is a political dimension here.
Enron's chairman did meet with the president and the vice president in the Oval Office.

Enron gave $420,000 to the president's party over three years.
Enron donated $100,000 to the president's inauguration festivities!
The Enron chairman stayed at the White House 11times.

The corporation had access to the administration at its highest levels and even enlisted the Commerce and State Departments to grease deals for it.

The taxpayer-supported Export-Import Bank subsidized Enron for more than $600 million in just one transaction.

BUT...the president under whom all this happened wasn't George W. Bush.

It was Bill Clinton.
Congratulations to Hallie Berry and Denzel Washington for their Oscars. However, is it not remarkable that "progressive" Hollywood finds itself, in the year 2002, congratulating itself for giving the first Best Actress Award to a black American ever and the first Best Actor Award to a black American since Sydney Portier in 1964?

Some day, Tinseltown may catch up with the rest of the country in recognizing the accomplishments of blacks on a regular basis.

Saturday, March 23, 2002

Tom Clancy's new Jack Ryan novel, Red Rabbit will be out in August. This time, the story does not take place during the fictional Presidency of Jack Ryan. Instead, Clancy will take us back to those wonderful days of yesteryear during the Cold War when President Reagan was busy bringing about the downfall of the Soviet Empire. In a story which takes place after Patriot Games but before Hunt for Red October, young CIA analyst Jack Ryan must prevent the assassination of His Holiness John Paul II.
A web site about the science and art of Solar Sailing has crossed my notice. Check it out if you're interested in this unique method of space travel.
Last night we saw the 20th Anniversary edition of ET: The Extraterrestrial. The first thought which occured to me was what primative lives we endured back then. We had no CD players, no DVD, no home computers. Just broadcast TV and that absurd, clunky analog record player which was so prominent in Elliot's room.

And then of course there was how twenty years of popular culture have changed our additudes. Twenty years which have included fare such as the X Files (not to mention Waco and Ruby Ridge) have rendered those evil government agents which frightened us so much back then somewhat less than scary now. We know what real evil, government agents are capable of and those clowns weren't them.
Now if Speilberg had digitally inserted the Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files, instead of digitally removing their guns, things would be different.

But another thing, so far not mentioned in other media, is the famous OR scene, where the scary doctors are working over ET while Elliot is screaming, "Stop! You're killing him! YOU'RE KILLING HIM!" Back them most of us remember being frightened and scared along with Elliot. But now, after watching a lot of episodes of ER, we all had a vaugue understanding of the medical jargon the doctors were using. They weren't trying to kill ET. They were trying to help. Yep, blood gasses look bad. Need to start defibing. And for God's sake, someone take that hysterical kid out of here.

Nope, I guess you can't go home again.

Friday, March 22, 2002

One interesting result of the passage of CFR is that it seems to have brought together liberals and conservatives in an unprecedented way.
Speaking of Ron Howard, it looks like he's coming out with an Imax version of his epic film Apollo 13.

Thursday, March 21, 2002

There's a horrible rumor that Alec Baldwin may play Colonel William Travis in Ron Howard's upcoming movie about the Alamo. This, in my humble opinion, is an evil idea and should be nipped in the bud.

Now Russell Crowe as Jim Bowie and Tom Hanks as Travis, though....

So who to play Crockett?

I know. Tommy Lee Jones.
A reader seeks to entertain us with the following:

An airplane was about to crash; there were 4 passengers on board, but only 3 parachutes. The first passenger said, "I'm Kobe Bryant, the best NBA basketball player. The Lakers need me, I can't afford to die.." So he took the first parachute and left the plane. The second passenger, Hillary Clinton, said, "I am the wife of the former President of the United States; I am the most ambitious woman in the world. I am also a New York Senator, a potential future President and, above all, the smartest woman in the world." She grabbed the second parachute and jumped out of the plane. The third passenger, the Pope, says to the fourth passenger, a 10 year-old school boy, "I am old and frail and I don't have many years left. As a Christian I will sacrifice my life and let you have the last parachute." The boy said, "It's ok, there's still a parachute left for you. America's smartest woman took my school backpack."

A British historian named Gavin Menzies is about to publish a book which suggests that the 15th Century Chinese explorer Zheng He not only discovered America seventy years before Columbus, but circumnaviagted the globe a century before Magellan.

If this turns out to be true, the decision by Ming Dynasty mandarians to shut down Zheng's voyages of exploration can be seen as especially bone headed. Ming China turned away from exploration just as she was on the verge of becoming a world wide naval, trading empire, and became isolated and decadent. Five centuries later, China had become the door mat of every European colonial power.

This is a mistake that the current rulers of China are not prepared to make again, as witness their plans to become the third spacefaring power. And it should serve as a warning to Western (especially American) politicians who think it's safe to go slow on our own space efforts.
A Congressional hearing has revealed that NASA's accounting system is so antiquated that no one can figure out what things cost at the space agency. Yet, NASA's auidtor until last year gave the space agency a clean bill of health five years running.

The auditor? You guessed it. Arthur Anderson.

Fortunately, though, Price Waterhouse is now doingthe auditing and O'Keefe has fast tracked a new accounting system to be in place as early as next year.
So far Trent Lott hasn't backed down from his threats to tie up the Senate in revenge for the borking of Judge Pickering. Why the sudden infusion of backbone? Perhaps the Democrats have commited one outrage too many. Perhaps the Republicans senses, as Democrat Senator Zell Miller suggested, that the borking of Pickering is causing outrage in the South. Or maybe Lott is taking this matter personally.

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Despite that troublesome First Amendment which David Henderson (and others, see below) cite, sixty Senators voted to repeal the Constitution and pass Campaign Finance Reform.

President Bush should veto the bill because it is unconstitutional and he did, after all, swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, even John McCain. But he may sign the bill, ironically, because his advisors have concluded that it's the best way to sink CFR.

The scenario goes like this. If Bush vetos the bill, CFR fanatics will just try to pass it again and again until, at some point, they get a veto proof majority or-worse-a President willing to sign it. But if Bush signs it, then it goes straight to the Supreme Court which will-we are assured-strip out all the unconstitutional bits. That will just leave the doubling of the hard money limit to two thousand dollars per person, indexed to inflation. And there it will end.

Brilliant plan. But what if-as it has certainly done before-the Supremes decide to be creative and actually rule that CFR really doesn't violate the First Amendment? Could happen.
David Henderson poses the question, related to campaign finance reform: What part of "make no law" does Congress not understand?

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Clarence Page is bemused that no one seems to be offended by the Fighting Whities basketball team.
9/11, it seems, has had an affect on teenage slang. Here are some examples:

Their bedrooms are "ground zero." Translation? A total mess.

A mean teacher? He's "such a terrorist."

A student is disciplined? "It was total jihad."

Petty concerns? "That's so Sept. 10."

And out-of-style clothes? "Is that a burqa?"

Monday, March 18, 2002

The corrected galleys for my next novel, Children of Apollo, have arrived and I shall be checking to make sure the corrections have all been made. We'll also send out review copies to various places. If you are interested in receiving a review copy of Children of Apollo, please e-mail me at with your credentials and I'll send a copy in PDF format.

Sunday, March 17, 2002

Baroness Margaret Thatcher believes that most of the world's ills come out of continental Europe. She therefore-wisely-suggests that Great Britain withdraw from the European Union.

Read this and other pearls of wisdom in her new book Statecraft: Strategies for a Changing World.

Saturday, March 16, 2002

Phil Brennan asks Senator Zell Miller to come home to the Republican Party.

Friday, March 15, 2002

Speaking of Pickering (see below) Senator Zell Miller says that Pickering's Borking may have just elected a Republican to be Governor of Mississippi. Say, Zell, it's increasingly obvious that your fellow Democrats don't give a rat's behind about what you think. Why not get their attention by joining the GOP? That would really be payback.
Trent Lott is threatening to retaliate for the Borking of Judge Pickering. Yeah, we've heard that one before.
Now that a lot of people (not me, but that's another story) have seen Tonya Harding and Paula Jones duke it out, how about a real celeb bout. It would be Jean-Claude Van Damme (the "Muscles from Brussels"); Jackie Chan; Arnold Schwarzenegger; Sylvester Stallone; Dolph "Drago" Lundgren (Stallone's opponent in Rocky IV); Chuck Norris; David Carradine (for sentiment's sake); Steven Seagal; Wesley Snipes; and, because this is fantasy, Bruce Lee himself in a elimination fight to the death.

Thursday, March 14, 2002

President Bush appears to want to do with foreign aid what Newt Gingrich did with welfare. Poor countries will get development money. But in return they have toi stop being corrupt and embrace capitalism and freedom. Should be interesting.
An intramural basketball team at the University of Northern Colorado thought it had come up with the perfect vehicle to protest the use of American Indian names (the Chiefs, the Braves, the Redskins, etc) on sports teams. It had decided to call itself the Fighting Whities to show white folks what it's like.

However, according to Rush Limbaugh, American Whities are refusing to be offended. Indeed the University is being beseiged with requests for tee shirts and other memorabilia.

I think this is a healthy development. If people would only learn to calm now and not be offended by the least little thing, we might all live healthier lives.
Some kind of hidden strategery may be behind the President's mild criticism of Israel's own war on terrorism. I think (hope) that he's speaking primarily for Arab consumption. As evidence for this theory, Sharon's hammering of the Palestinian terrorists seems to be going on unabated.

The danger of publicly criticizing Israel, even mildly and just for public consumption, is that it might tend to embolden the terrorists and their supporters. The Saudis are already watering down their "peace proposal" (which was a joke to begin with.) And Arafat remains defiant.

When Zinni gets to the Middle East, he needs to tell Arafat in no uncertain terms that he needs to get serious about making peace and about stopping rather than inciting terror, or he and his absurd little kingdom will be shortly on the ash heap of history.
President Bush has been taken roundly to task by other bloggers and pundits over his decision to slap tarrifs on imported steel. But Donald Lambro suggests that this is part of a larger strategy to further free trade.

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Has anyone noticed that ever since Geraldo arrived at his current assignment in the Middle East that he's gotten positively squishy concerning who's right and who's wrong in the Israel-Palestinian War? Tonight, on Fox News, he went positively hysterical, comparing the Israelis to Nazis and accusing them of employing tactics designed to kill civilians.

Geraldo's stint in Afghanistan was frought with comedy. In between watching him dodge Taliban snipers and gas on about "mujahidin tribal freedom fighters", one at least got some entertainment. And his heart was at least on the right side. But now he's become positively dangerous, having assumed the role of Arafat's mouthpiece. I'm not sure why he's chosen to do this. He claims to be shocked by the carnage, but the carnage is far less today than during the Israeli-Lebenon War of 1982 when Geraldo was one of the few corespondants who did not have an anti-Israeli bias. But now perhaps the same moral flaw which caused him to support Clinton is causing him to slam the Israelis and support the terrorists who want to kill all of them.

In my opinion, Fox News needs to recall Geraldo from the Middle East immediately and then fire him. He is no long an objective or even a rational journalist. Hehas become a propegandist for terrorists and murderers.
And meanwhile in an election which was not fixed, Tony Sanchez won the right to get beat in the general election by Texas Governor Rick Perry. Also, as predicted by the Curmudgeon some time ago, Congressman Ken Bentsen's political career ended when he failed to make the runoff for the right to get beat in the general election for US Senator from Texas by the GOP.
It looks like Robert Mugabe of Zimbawae has managed to steal himself an election fair and square.

Tuesday, March 12, 2002

The superb Homer Hickam, the bestselling author of
Rocket Boys and Back to the Moon has just the idea for opening up the Solar System and its vast resources. A nuclear rocket.

Janet Reno former Attorney General (when she headed the Obstruction of Justice Department of Behalf of Bill Clinton) and current candidate for Governor of Florida is-well-uncomfortable about certain aspects of the war of terrorism. You know, the potential erosion of personal freedom and the open ended nature of the whole thing.

Right. This is the same woman who incited a barbarque of some ninety of so human beings in Waco, Texas as practically her first act as Attorney General. This is the same woman who arranged for the abduction and deportation to Cuba of Elian Gonzales. Indeed, this is the same woman, as Miami DA, who put people in jail on child molestation charges on evidence which can be said to be very flimsy.

How very sad and pathetic.

Monday, March 11, 2002

According to this LA Times story, maybe we should be bombarding the Taliban and other terrorists with Prozac rather than smart bombs.

Friday, March 08, 2002

Fred Thompson is retiring from the Senate. Now a weary nation casts its eyes toward-Professor Glenn Reynolds of the University of Tennessee Law School and the best and most well known web logs in existance.

Now what I am about to say will probably end all hope of a Senator Glenn Reynolds, but nevertheless should he choose to run he has my whole hearted support.

Thursday, March 07, 2002

The carnage continues apace in the Middle East. It seems to me that the Sharon government is finally edging toward what I call the Sherman scenario in dealing with the Palestinians. For those who are history impaired, General Sherman was an American Civil War General who concluded that the will of the Confederacy to fight had to be broken, as well as its abbility. To that end he marched his army from Atlanta to the Atlantic Ocean through Georgia, then the Carolinas, cutting a swath of destruction unparalleled since the days of Geingas Khan. While Sherman's name is still cursed today in some parts of the South, he achieved his objective.

That is precisely the strategy Israel needs to pursue. They need to go through the West Bank and Gaza and anniliate the infrastructure of Yassir Arafat's absurd terrorist kingdom. Not only to the Israelis need to destroy the military power of the Palestinians, but whatever economic infrastructure they have. Water and power systems, roads, farms, businesses, all need to be put the torch. Anyone connected with Arafat's terrorist kingdom, as well as allied terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezebollah, and Islamic Jihad, should be hunted down and killed outright.

Having done this, Israel can then-as Professor Glenn Reynolds has suggested-turn the West Bank and Gaza over to Jordanian "peacekeepers." Then the word community needs to engage in a bit of nationa building. Let's start with the schools and remove the antisemitic subtext which has permerated Palestinian curriculi and has inflamed generations of Palestinians to hate and terrorism. Let's teach Palestinian children to build and not to destroy.

Then-perhaps-they will have earned the right to their own state.,

Wednesday, March 06, 2002

There's yet another person trying for a tourist spot on ISS. Former Associate Administrator for Policy and Plans and former Executive Director of the National Space Society Lori Garver is seeking corporate and private sponserships to finance her space jaunt. The purpose? To demonstrate that "ordinary people" can fly in space.

Of course, most ordinary people I know couldn't begin to raise the twenty million necessary to finance a trip to ISS.

Garver's tenure at NSS was frought with considerable controversy. She was often accused of supporting whatever the agenda NASA supported at the time as opposed to the National Space Society's stated goal of "creating a space faring civilization." She also presided over declining membership and influence of NSS.

In the manner of "failing upward", Garver left NSS to first become an aid to then NASA Administrator Dan Goldin, and then an Associate Administrator. Rumor had it that she was on the short list to be Administrator under a Gore Presidency.

Now, as an editorial aside, I'm all in favor of corporate sponsers getting together to send people on space tours. But can't we find better candidates than a failed, ex-bureaucrat claiming to be an "ordinary person?" Let's select from a list of writers, poets, artists, journalists to send into space. Indeed, let's hold an essay contest for High School Students. Every year, the student who submits the best essay on the subject of-say-why people should live in space-gets to go. Have a college level version of the contest too. Or, as an alterantive, have the student submit an idea for an experiment. The winner gets to fly with his or her experiment on board ISS.

That would certainly generate more interest in space travel than yet another Washington insider grabbing a flight into space. It would certainly be less cynical.
Alec Baldwin has let slip why he didn't leave the country when GW Bush became President. It's a word parsing worthy of Bill Clinton.

Tuesday, March 05, 2002

The suits at ABC want to revamp This Week Without David Brinkley. Under plans being discussed in the media, Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts would be out. All well and good so far, but the new hosts would be George Stephenapolis and Claire Shipman. Shipman would be fine, but Stephenapolis is part of This Week's problem, not the solution. He's too young, too callow, and especially too liberal.

Worse, the suits want to move the program to New York. That's not how a Sunday morning talk show works. That's more like Good Morning America or The Today Show.

Here's an idea, ABC, free of charge. Give Donaldson, Roberts, and Stephenapolis the boot. Bring in Claire Shipman and offer Ted Koppel the other anchor position. Then give George Will a bigger role, allowing him to interview guests again. Then sit back and watch the revitalized show duke it out with Russert.

Monday, March 04, 2002

Scientists at Oak Ridge think they may have found a way to generate a fusion reaction with a desk top device. Despite the fact that the experiment and the paper describing it to be published in Science has been peer reviewed, the revelation is already generating quite a bit of controversy. This situation is similer to what took place during the "Cold Fusion" affair of about twelve or thirteen years ago.
Dr. David Criswell of the University of Houston in Clear Lake thinks he has just the reason to colonize the Moon. It involves the production and distribution of clean, limitless solar energy.
Shakedown: Exposing the Real Jesse Jackson by Kenneth R. Timmerman is now out and it looks like it will be the final nail in the coffin of one of the most skilled and nortorious flimflam men in the history of the United States. The book apparently shows that Jackson's great civil rights movement has been nothing less than a massive confidence scheme.

Ridley Scott is set to direct a movie about one of the earlier struggles of the West against Militant Islam. The film is called Crusades and is scheduled to be out next year some time.
The continuing meltdown of Tom Daschle and the Democrats is amazing to witness. Now Daschle is actually threatening the funding of the War on Terror for political gain. This kind of threat harkens back to the Post Vietnam War practice Liberal Democrats indulged in to hamper Republican Presidents' foreign and defense policy.

Why, with three thousand dead Americans in New York and the Pentagon, is Daschle doing this? Possibly because nothing he has tried to cut down President Bush and the GOP has worked. Not the economy, not the deficit, and not even Enron. The tragedy of Tom Daschle is that when it comes to a choice of enemies to fight, Al Qaeda or the Republicans, Daschle has chosen the latter. I'm not sure that the voters are going to go along with that at the polls this November.

Saturday, March 02, 2002

We Were Soldiers is a powerful, even searing account of the first major, American land battle in Vietnam, in a valley called Ia Drang over three bloody days in November, 1965. The performances, especially that of Mel Gibson, were solid. The battle sequences were horrifying. Despite the great advantage the Americans had in air and artillery, Ia Drang was an infantryman's battle, fought muzzle to muzzle, and even hand to hand. Death could come at one at any time, from any direction.

Much is made of the fact that the film shows some scenes from the point of view of the enemy, seeming to make him more symphathetic. I would tend to disagree. While Mel Gibson's Colonel Moore leads from the front, sharing the perils of his men, the Communist NVA commander commands from the relative safety of an underground bunker, sending hordes of his men out to die.

Most symphathetic are the men who fought and died, along with the women back home who loved them and in some cases mourned for them. Not one Oliver Stone style drug addict or baby killer among them. Just a group of Americans thrown into Hell and coming out the other end in honor and valor.

Go see this movie.
The mission of Mars Odyssey is not more than a few days old and it has already discovered "vast fields of ice" on Mars. Scientists are excited because the presence of water indicates the possibility of life. But the discovery is even more exciting when one considers the implications for human exploration and settlement.