Sunday, June 30, 2002

Bruce Wilson of the Daily Telegraph obviously never learned the maxim: Better to keep one's mouth shut and have people think you're a fool, rather than open it and remove all doubt.
I just finished a book which should be required reading for everyone who is interested in the politics of space exploration. It's entitled Selling Outerspace: Kennedy, The Media, and Funding for Project Apollo, 1961-63 by James Lee Kauffman. The book descibes the initial political and public relations battles which attended the beginning of Project Apollo, which eventually landed a series of expeditions on the lunar surface.

The book is not without its faults. Kauffman seems to accept at face value the arguements of certain labortory scientists and social liberals that human space flight is unnecessary, too expensive, and achieves goals which could be done just as well with robotic missions. He does not cite too much evidence to support this conclusion, and this is a glaring drawback of the book's examination of the scientific, economic, educational, and even military justifications for human space flight in general and the Apollo program in particular. In fact these arguements were very potent, but like all arguements which appeal to reason and a rational understanding of objective reality, often fell short.

"Selling Outer Space" is best when it examins the emotional, romantic argeument for human space exploration. That arguement was that by sending humans to explore space, the United States was recreating in the heavens the epic, pioneering narrative which was the very birth and growth of the country. Shephard, Glenn, and later Armstrong, Conrad, and Young were later day versions of Columbus, Magellean, Lewis, and Clark. That metaphor had great power in the early 1960s and Kauffman, I think, is quite correct that it "sealed the deal" as it were over whether the United States would embark on missions to the Moon.

The political and public relations struggle which Kauffman describes has some relevence for today's situation. While it is true that there is unlikely to be any more neck or nothing, cost is no object Apollo projects (though there are situations conceivable which might change that situation; say, the detection of a large rock headed on collision course for the Earth), even smaller efforts, using "better, faster, cheaper" management techniques, which support commercial development and are in turn supported by the same, are likely to be mired in the same arguements which rang through the halls of Congress and in the media in the early 1960s.

The question which arises, after citing the scientific, economic, educational, and even military justifications for-just to give an example-a human mission to Mars, will the frontier narrative work as it did in 1961? There is some arguement about that. When Dr. Bob Zubrin, the famous advocate of the settlement of Mars, suggested that such an effort was the "manifest destiny" of the human race, he was viciously attacked by even some fellow Mars advocates who brought up the fate of the American Indians in the settlement of Europeans of the Americas. The fact that there all no native Martians to oppress (except perhaps for bacteria) did not enter into the discussion. The revulsion that the phrase "manifest destiny", with its call to explore, settle, and tame a wilderness had very little to do with objective reality, but rather with a new age, radical left reading of history. The "myth" of the American frontier has been replaced, in the minds of certain people, with the myth of the rape of the American frontier.

So what to do? Do we avoid a fight with the politically correct by trying to find another narrative to use as a metaphor. I had suggested, at one time, the phrase the American Oddysey, seeing as few people accuse Oddyseus of raping the land and oppressing the natives.

However, I think that a call for some renewed space effort, whether back to the Moon, to Earth approaching asteroids, or even Mars, could serve a useful purpose for a parallel effort to try to win back our history from those politically correct scolds who think that the settlement of the Americas and the founding of the United States was just one, long drawn out atrocity inflicted by evil, murderous, greedy white men against peaceful, inoffensive, and indeed passive "Native Americans." After 9/11 there seems to be far less tolerance for the PC way of looking at the world and at history. A debate over the history of pioneering exploration, in which those people are defeated, will serve to facilitate the expansion of the human species to the planets and ultimately to the stars.
Al Gore has decided that it's more becoming to wage class warfare against the rich and powerful from the comfort of a 2.3 million dollar palace located in the toniest neighborhood in Nashville. He's also blasting President Bush's handling the War on Terror, suggesting that he would have done better. Right. That's sort of like Neville Chambelain criticizing Churchill for not being tough enough on Hitler.

Friday, June 28, 2002

In order to avoid offensing disabled people, the musical play version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame is being changed to The Bellringer of Notredame. No, I'm not kidding.
Mars needs liberals. Now it is entertaining to find someone on the left who actually approves of space settlements. And the idea of trying out liberal ideas at a Martian settlement is interesting, to say the least. Will political correctness mix with the pioneer spirit? That's an experiment I'd love to see tried.
More news on the shuttle problems. Reading between the lines, it looks like NASA is looking at repair options and will try to avoid replacing the linings entirely if at all possible.

Thursday, June 27, 2002

There's an unconfirmed story that should the cracked linings in the fuel lines of the space shuttle orbiters have to be replaced, much of the shuttle fleet may be grounded for two to three years. That's because the tooling to make the linings no longer exist and will have to be recreated..

More on this as more concrete information is known.
The Supreme Court's approval of vouchers is as history making in its own way as Brown vrs Board of Education. At long last, poor students will be able to opt out of failing public schools and go to private schools (even religious ones) instead. This will not, as opponents fear, mean the death of the public school system. This will force public schools to reform themselves.
Rand Simberg points out that the recent grounding of the space shuttle fleet is a reminder of the folly of relying on a single, government run vehicle for all of our human space flight needs. Despite the fact that it was a good idea at the time, the space shuttle program was set up to fail from the beginning. Why? you ask. Well, for two reasons. One, not enough resources were spent in the development phase to make the vehicle totally resuable. Two, it was an all things for all people vehicle built and run by the government.

Imagine if we had approached air travel that way? The thought just sends shivers up the spine.
James Higgens tells us that the Martha Stewert/ImClone scandal is the result of Corporate-Clintonism.

Indeed. Back when Slick Willy was getting away with lying and cheating, some of us were sadly pointing out what a bad example the former POTUS was making. Now from seventh graders having oral sex-and claiming that it isn't really sex-to corporate sharks shading their books, we have reaped what we have sown. Once again there are fortunately adults now in Washington to clean up the mess.
Ann Coulter rolled out her new book Slander: Liberal Lies about the American Right yesterday on just about every TV show I saw. As a constant victim of liberal smears, I find the book long overdue.

Unfortunately, I wasn't very impressed by Ann's various appearences. On one program, when challenged by the host for specific examples for some of her assertions, Ms. Coulter was unprepared. On another program, she complained constantly about being paired with a liberal guest and with questions about current events (the Pledge of Allegance ruling.)

Now I know that producers are not at this time beating down the door to get me to hawk Children of Apollo, but I think that even I could have done a better job. For instance, if asked to back up my assertion that liberals by and large tend to oppose space exploration, I would have a couple of quotes available. My favorite is one by Walter Mondale from 1970 in which he manages to mention every liberal enthusiasm (education, environment, housing, and so on) to express his opposition to the idea of a space station.

And if someone paired me with-say-Robert Park, I would relish the opportunity. ("Tell a real field scientist-say a geologist-that he should just stay home and watch rock formations on TV and he would laugh at you." or perhaps "What in heaven's name is wrong with outerspace bungee jumping? Sounds like fun to me.)

And if asked about-say-the current grounding of the space shuttle fleet, I respond, "As I suggest in my book, Children of Apollo---" and go from there.)

The trick, I'm told, is to get your face on TV, keep mentioning the name of your book, and try not to look like a fool. One would have thought Ann Coulter would have known this by now.
Now environmentalists are mad at Gray Davis. Why? you ask. Well, they claim that he's been bought off by the polluting industries.

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

The Senate voted to restore funding for missile defense which Carl Levin wanted to cut. It just goes to show that a kind word and a veto threat goes farther than just a kind word.
Here's an interesting discussion on the state of missile defense in this post ABM Treaty era.
The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals has just ruled the Pledge of Allegance unconstitutional. Yes, that's right, it did. They did so because it mentions "one nation under God."

This idiocy is one reason why the Republicans should recapture the Senate this year. Democrats have been holding up President Bush's conservative judicial nominees, who would presumably not rule in such a way, in an effort to keep the court system as liberal and as politically correct as possible.
Apparently Rosie O'Donnell is now a a Clinton Hater. Welcome to the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, Rosie.
Senator Max Baucus (D) Montana seems to be schoozing more with the Hollywood Left than with his own constituants. This may cost him.
Members of Congress of both parties are not amused by the investigation of the 4-H Club. The Ag Department should drio this silliness.

Monday, June 24, 2002

Bush's Agriculture Department is getting ready to embaress itself with a descent into political correctness. It is about to investigate the 4-H Club for civil rights violations. The crime? Using American Indian names and symbols.
Arnold Beichman wants to nominate President Bush for a Nobel Peace Prize for stopping a nuclear war between India and Pakistan. That would be wonderful, if only to see the look on Bill Clinton's face if Dubya were to win. Clinton actively campaigned for a Peace Prize, thinking he deserved one for his failed efforts in the Middle East.
White people in Zimbabwe are now forbidden to farm. But doing this, Zimbabwe may have consigned many of its citizens to slow death by starvation.
Gray Davis's main political advisor makes James Carville seem-well-sane. His behavior may help his boss into premature retirement this November.
Amtrak may soon consist of a single line linking Boston, New York, and Washington DC. And about time too.
Looks like Hollywood has gotten over its phobia about Muslim fanatics as bad people. I wonder if James Zogby has seen this?

The link, by the way, contains a few spoliers about next season's 24, one of my favorite TV shows.
President Bush's Middle East speach was not as horrible as I had feared. Indeed it seemed to be a dose of tough love for the Palestinians, giving them their marching orders which they must obey if they are to get their state. But can the Palestinians ween themselves from what Professor Glenn Reynolds has aptly called the "psychotic cult of death?" I tend to doubt it.
Is there no end to the damage caused to the environment by environmentalists? The latest example are the wild fires in Colorado and now Arizona caused primarily by the opposition by environmentalists to thinning forests.
My sources tell me that Men in Black 2 will have trailers for both Terminator 3 and The Two Towers.
Rand Simberg informs me the following of Mr. Carmack:
Is a writer of videogames, including Doom.

He's also the founder and president of Armadillo Aerospace, which he's
funding with his gaming fortune. He plans to have a passenger-carrying
suborbital vehicle in a couple years.

All I can say is, wow.

Oh, and good luck John on your space enterprise.

Sunday, June 23, 2002

A reader named John Carmack was kind enough to drop me the following note about Chidren of Apollo:
I just wanted to say I enjoyed the book. It pushed a couple other books I had already started down my reading stack for a while, so it was pretty compelling. I'll give Nocturne a try now.

Wow, maybe Children of Apollo really is a pretty good story if I'm actually getting fan mail.

Nocturne, by the way, is a thriller I wrote with the lovely and talented Ms. Chantal Whittington a few years ago. It can best be described as Nick and Nora Charles meet the Manchurian Candidate in Venice toward the end of the Cold War. I'm probably biased, but I think its a pretty good read as well.
The High Frontier of space still beckons, despite the fallacious arguements of some detractors.
Looks like NASA is actually serious about cutting space station costs. This move is going to make some people, who believe that the purpose of a space project is to employ the most people possible, angry.

Saturday, June 22, 2002

King Henry VIII of England may have delayed the Industrial Revolution by two hundred years when he seized the monasteries. It seems that some monks in Yorkshire had a working blast furnace.
Now PBS had banned a song by Charlie Daniels paying tribute to the victims of 9/11 from a 4th of July special.

Thursday, June 20, 2002

Is there no end to the capacity of Chris Mathews to embaress himself over his squishiness on the subject of Iraq? Apparently not, for on Thursday's Hardball he offered the following scenario to Peter Arnett. A group of Iraqi women, wearing tight clothes, shorts, and makeup in the Western style confront a group of American occupation troops in Bahgdad in the near future and explain to these American boys how much they hate them for overthrowing Saddem. Even Peter Arnett, who in his time has been a shill for both the Viet Cong and Saddem, found this a little too much. He suggested that the American boys and Iraqi girls would quickly pair off and go off somewhere to do what boys and girls do naturally.
Children of Apollo is now available at Books A Million and Barnes and Noble at thirty percent off the cover price.
A fascinating article about designing lunar bases.

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Here's a State Department circular which warns American women of the pitfalls of marrying Saudi men. The State Department also washes it's hands of the plight of American children kept hostage in the Kingdom by their Saudi fathers with a breath taking directness worthy of Pontius Pilate.

Naturally the State Department took the warning down when a Muslim pressure group complained. They are, to put it politely, gutless cowards and appeasers.
Looks like back to back suicide/murder bombings has caused the President to rethink his proposal for a "provisional state" for the Palestinians.
According to the Washington Times, Peter Jennings-a native of Canada-has banned American country singer Toby Keith from the opening slot on ABC's 4th of July Celebration for the crime of politically incorrect singing:
"Country star Toby Keith has never toed the politically correct line, but now it's cost him the opening slot on ABC's all-star Fourth of July celebration," reports Liza Zhito of the Texas Review Society.
"Keith was invited to perform his new song, 'Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)' at the upcoming telecast. But ABC's Peter Jennings pulled the plug, citing the song's lyrics, which he felt 'did not belong on his network,' Mr. Keith said."
Mr. Keith's song is an "angry tongue-lashing" of those behind the September 11 attacks, Miss Zhito says. The lyrics include a graphic offer to inflict painful damage on supporters of terrorism with a "boot that says 'Made in the USA.'"
As for ABC's Mr. Jennings, a native of Toronto, Mr. Keith is not impressed: "I don't care. He's Canadian, ain't he? It's our Fourth of July, not his."

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Ted Turner called the Israelis terrorists just a few hours before a Palestinian terrorist blew himself and twenty or so Israelis up.

And meanwhile the Bush Administration seems hell bent on calling for a "provisional" Palestinian State, though perhaps with enough strings attached (i.e. the Palestinians must stop murdering people) that the proposal will never fly.
Children of Apollo is now listed on the Uchronia Alternate History List.

Monday, June 17, 2002

Robert Novak reports that Sharon had some straight talk for some United States Senators. Biden, Kerry, Chafee and Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska seemed to still be in denial, though.

So interestingly enough seems to be Arabphile Robert Novak.
His own people have figured out that Governor Gray Davis is the most hated man in California. Not a nice thing to be when one is running for reelection.
Jed Babbin has an excellent idea of how to rescue some of the American children being held hostage in Saudi Arabia.
According to DoneDeal, Greg Bear's epic S-F novel, The Forge of God, its sequal, The Anvil of God, and a yet to be written third book in the series, are being developed as motion pictures.
House Majority Leader Dick Armey is having fun, according to the Washington Times, with those who said that Welfare Reform would be a disaster for the poor. The real record?

•There are 4.2 million fewer people living in poverty today.
•The poverty rate of single mothers is at its lowest point in U.S. history.
•Employment of single mothers has nearly doubled and employment of mothers without a high school diploma has increased by 60 percent.
•The share of children living in single-mother families has fallen, with no correlated increase in abuse against women and children.

Sunday, June 16, 2002

Looks like the covert phase of the liberation of Iraq is in full swing. And everybody in the country seems to be cool with that, except of course for Chris Mathews and Joe Biden.

Next stop should be, in my opinion, Saudi Arabia. The reasons are stated below.
The Sunday morning talkshows are having a group orgasm over the thirtieth anniversary of Watergate. Ah, those were to days, when the journalists were young, when they actually brought down a President, and when people still watched network news.

Saturday, June 15, 2002

The White House, increadibly, seems to be about to reward Palestinian terrorism with something called "provisional statehood". If that weren't horrible enough, Ari Fleischer has given the back of his hand to Pat Roush and dozens of other American women whose daughters have been kidnapped by their Saudi fathers and are being held in Saudi Arabia under barbaric conditions, in violation of American law and every standard of human decency. This kind of appeasement of Saudi barbarism and arrogance is not only bad policy, as it sends a signal that they can walk over the United States any time they want, but horrible politics as the mothers and grandmothers of these girls are not going to give up and Congress, which is showing more honor than the White House and especially the State Department in this matter, will take action if no one else does.

These, of course, are the same "allies" who fund terrorists and stoke the hatred of America and Israel on state sponsered media. It's an amazing situation. If a group of American girls were being held by Al Qaeda terrorists, the President would use all the might and majesty of the United States to get them back. But in a situation which is morally no different, our government seems to wish that the issue would go away. This is intolerable, indefensiable, and unteniable.

The President should immediately send the following message to the Saudi potentates. They must behave by the civilized norms of humanity, release these girls, American citizens all, and stop funding and formenting terrorism, or else diplomatic and economic sanctions will be imposed. If he doesn't, Congress is going to do it for him sooner or later.

And of course, We the People can have our say. If we abhore the kidnapping and mistreatment of American girls, we can contact President George W. Bush, and Vice President Dick Cheney, or contact the White House by more conventional means:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

COMMENTS: 202-456-1111
SWITCHBOARD: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461

And as for the State Department, the focus of dishonor on this issue:
Main switchboard number:
(202) 647-4000

Main address:
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

And, of course, the Saudi Embassy in Washington.

Friday, June 14, 2002

Three men are sitting on a bench across the street from the Alamo. One's a
Texan wearing a Stetson hat. One's a Muslim wearing a turban, and the third
an Apache Indian with an eagle feather woven in his hair.

The Indian is rather glum and says, "Once my people were many, but now we are

The Muslim puffs up and says, "Once were few, but now we are many millions."

The Texan adjusts his hat, finishes rolling a smoke, leans back on the bench
and drawls, "That's cause we ain't played cowboys and Muslims yet."
I just finished reading a wonderful alternate history novel.

It's entitled Hannibals Children by John Maddox Roberts.

The premise is that Hannibal defeated the Romans in the Second Punic War. Instead of destroying Rome, he allows the Romans to go into exile in the far north. The Romans found a second empire along the banks of the Danube and conquer the Germans and the Gauls. The story picks up a century later, with the Romans ready now to march south and take back Italy and pay the Carthegenians back for their humiliation.

Naturally it's the first in a series.

Japan seems to have the capability to send people into space, if it so wishes.
Under the new management of Sean O'Keefe, NASA seems to be on track to actually getting a handle on the costs of the space station.

After that, the task is to find ways to take ISS beyond core complete. My suggestion is to take the space station private and work that problem out commercially.
Hot on the heels of the proposed remake of Three Hundred Spartans, now comes a remark of El Cid, the early sixties epic staring Charleton Heston about the 11th Century hero who united Christians and Muslims in Spain against an invading army of Islamic fanatics. What an interesting message for our age that film would make.

Thursday, June 13, 2002

Richard Starr thinks that the Democrats are like bad poker players, unable to play effectively with a losing hand. George W. Bush has all of the aces, apparently.

Now does that make Dubya the Bret Maverick of American politics? Well, he does have a slight resemblence to Mel Gibson (James Garner is too old and can't play conservative charectors anyway.)
The Bush Administration has relaxed EPA rules in order to allow utilities to modernize some old power plants which were exempt from clean air rules under a grandfather clause of the Clean Air Act. The rules being relaxed would have required utilities to put in expensive antipollution devices, which meant that utilities were just declining to modernize. Now utilities will be able to make their plants more effecient, which will decrease pollution and lower utility bills.

Naturally the Denocrats and environmental extremists are going berserk, actually accusing the administration of wanted to kill people.
Some of my gentle readers have complained that they often can't find Children of Apollo in the stores and that very often the point and click stores (such as Amazon) have the book on back order. Chalk that one down to my small press publisher's not being able to keep up with the unexpected demand. I've been assured that steps are being taken to correct that situation.

The quickest and cheapest way to get a copy, in the meantime, is to order directly from the publisher. Also, check at the space website or the alternate history website which are listed to the left. I have bookmarked all the online stores I know of which carry the book.
Someone's doing a remake of the classic early 60s epic Three Hundred Spartans which stared Richard Egan as King Leonidas who led the Spartans at the Battle of Thermoplyae. That makes two Themoplyae projects, including Gates of Fire from the Steven Pressfield novel.
The idea that there is a link between clerical celibacy and child molestation is, to say the least, controversial. Is there something about clerical celibacy which turns people into pederasts? Or does clerical celibacy attract men who have a prodisposition toward little boys? Or, as many of my conservative friends suggest, are both suppositions bunk?

One thing about having married clerics (an arrangement which seems to have worked well in Protestant dominations for five hundred years and in Judaism for thousands of years), one would know who enjoys sex with adults and therefore are not likely to prey on the altar boys. Not a perfect correlation, of course, but a good, general rule of thumb nevertheless.
The ABM Treaty is dead. At last it is legal for the United States to defend itself against missiles.

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Now that Afghan women have been liberated from Islamic fanaticism by the might of American power, it's time for another group of women to be liberated. These are American women and girls held in Saudi Arabia by their Saudi fathers, in violation of American law and every decent idea of human rights. They are being aided and abetted by our own State Department.
Professor Reynolds muses on how future space settlers will govern themselves. It's a situation which I think Captain William Whittington of Virginia (circi 17th Century) and Lt. Cornelius Whittington of the Continental Army (1776-1783) would be well familier with. And more importantly they would approve.

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

In a desperate move to keep American defenseless, a bunch of House Democrats (along with out and out socialist Bernie Sanders) has sued in federal court to stop the country from withdrawing from the ABM Treaty.
Speaking of people who belong in an asylum, it looks like Atlantic City Democrat politics is cut throat. Literally.
It's not surprising (see below) that a majority of Palestinians favor the anniliation of Israel. But that brings to mind a question: Upon what basis do these people deserve a state?

Of course, the West Bank is too big to constitute an asylum.

Monday, June 10, 2002

The Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace has a report on what is contained in text books used to teach Palestinian children about Jews, Israel, and the history of the Middle East. The EU, the UN, and even the United States are paying for this swill which, in my opinion, even Goebels couldn't have dreamed up.
Leonard David has a piece about asteroid strikes. He suggests that even a "small" strike (i.e. one which does not destroy the world) could be mistaken for a nuclear strike, which could have horrible consequences. This problem was the subject of an old science fiction story, entitled Triggerman if I'm not mistaken.

Incidentally, I published a piece in Space Policy Digest some years ago on the problem of asteroid detection. How to Stop the Sky from Falling suggested that amature astronomies be given an incentive for searching for Earth approaching asteroids. Such people would be given ownership of every asteroid they discover. This would constitute potential wealth in the trillions of dollars, for instance, for a nickel-iron rock.

Naturally I also proposed an excemption from liability should someone's asteroid hit the Earth and leaves lawyers alive.

Saturday, June 08, 2002

On of the points I like to make is about the role that the American Left played in the gutting of the American space program in the early 1970s. The Left actually believed that every dollar spent on sending men to the Moon was literally bread taken out of the mouths of the hungry. Their point of view largely prevailed in the 1970s and all of those plans of space stations, lunar settlements, and missions to Mars which would have occured by the mid 1980s were deferred.

The terrible irony is that the social ills which the Left complained about were not alleviated by increased welfare spending. As Dr. Charles Murray documented in his classic study of welfare, Loosing Ground, social welfare programs actually made matters worse. An entire generation was cheated of the Moon and Mars so that drug addiction, homelessness, illegitiment births, and school drop outs could increase.

When I point this out, a lot of people dig in their heels in denial. It was Nixon. It was the inevitable result of fullfilling Kennedy's goal of landing a man on the Moon. It was anything but what it was. It was naked, partisan politics which crippled the US space program. The consequences reverberate even today, in my opinion. A lot of the NASA bureaucracy and the way it behaves stems from the shock of the post Apollo cut backs.

This is, by the way, one of the themes of Children of Apollo. For those who don't know already, my novel is set in an alternate history in which the space program was not crippled.

Finally, for your outrage, an example of what I've talked about. It is brought to us from courtesy of B. Chan. It's a 1960s style protest song. The difference is that the song does not protest the Vietnam War, or racism, or the Establishment. It protests the Apollo program.

from the album _Small Talk at 125th and Lenox_ (1970)
Written and performed by Gil-Scott Heron

A rat done bit my sister Nell.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Her face and arms began to swell.
(and Whitey's on the moon)
I can't pay no doctor bill.
(but Whitey's on the moon)
Ten years from now I'll be payin' still.
(while Whitey's on the moon)
The man jus' upped my rent las' night.
('cause Whitey's on the moon)
No hot water, no toilets, no lights.
(but Whitey's on the moon)
I wonder why he's uppi' me?
('cause Whitey's on the moon?)
I wuz already payin' 'im fifty a week.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Taxes takin' my whole damn check,
Junkies makin' me a nervous wreck,
The price of food is goin' up,
An' as if all that shit wuzn't enough:
A rat done bit my sister Nell.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Her face an' arm began to swell.
(but Whitey's on the moon)
Was all that money I made las' year
for Whitey on the moon?)
How come there ain't no money here?
(Hmm! Whitey's on the moon)
Y'know I jus' 'bout had my fill
(of Whitey on the moon)
I think I'll sen' these doctor bills,
Airmail special
to Whitey on the moon)

Friday, June 07, 2002

Jonah Goldberg, who's apparently on a roll about Mars, says that the cure for bureaucracy and bloated government is to start exploring and settling Mars,
I guess that being a Kennedy no longer means that one can get away with stuff.
Perhaps if the British still ran India we wouldn't be looking at nuclear war over there.
Now how in the same of heaven does the Washington DC Police Department miss a shin bone from the Chandra Levy crime scene? What utter incompetence.
Jonah Goldberg thinks that exploring and colonizing Mars would make splendid opportunities for women (and maybe men too) to become the Lewis and Clarks of the space age.

Come to think of it, I have always thought that it is a blot against humanity that women and minorities have yet to walk on the Moon. It is a blot I would have wiped out as soon as possible. In the meantime I imagine just that happening in Children of Apollo.

Thursday, June 06, 2002

Fifty eight years ago today, on the 6th of June, over a hundred thousand men, brave and true, hurtled themselves against Fortress Europe. They gave of their todays for all of our tommorows.
The Israelis have departed Arafat's compound for the time being. Unfortunately they did not take Arafat with them. A word of advice to Israel. This kind of forebearence is not working. It's past time to carry off Yassir in an iron cage. Don't exile him, though. Put him on trial for crimes against humanity.

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

With great guile, Hollywood has found a way to inflate the take for the live action version of Scooby Doo. The first trailer for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets will show before the giant, cowardly pooch.
Congress is headed toward doubling the budget of the National Science Foundation. Not good enough suggests former Speaker Newt Gingrich. He wants NSF's budget tripled.

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

President Bush has disavowed a report put out "by the bureacracy" suggesting that global warming is caused by man made causes. Well, that being the case, he might be well advised to purge the bureuacracy of people who think such things.
David Kopel & Professor Glenn Reynolds has a fascinating proposal. They suggest it's time to scrap the clause of the Outer Space Treaty which forbids nations from claiming celestrial bodies as national territory as a Cold War relic. This is so the protection of the United States Constitution can be extended to future space settlers and tyrannies-they mention both China and the UN-can be restrained from extending their tyranny beyond the Earth.

Monday, June 03, 2002

As I write this, Rush Limbaugh is going nuts over a story of an obscure White House environmental report sent to the UN which suggests that global warming is real and is caused by humans. True this is based upon a New York Times account and not on a reading of the actual report. However, Rush is going just a little over the top when he compared GW Bush to Al Gore. The global warming report, whatever else it says, does not suggest that any measures to combat it will be practicable. Al Gore would have demanded all sorts of draconian measures.

Therefore, all of this is meaningless.
Jim Pinkerton agrees with me that we had better get into a space race with the Chinese or else be left-literally-in the dirt. Pinkerton also gives the back of his hand to environmental extremists who want to make the Moon a national park.

Sunday, June 02, 2002

The National Space Society has endorsed Nick Lampson's Space Exploration Act of 2002 HR 4742. Here are the co-sponsers so far:

Representative Nick Lampson (D-TX)
Representative Gene Green (D-TX)
Representative Ken Bentsen (D-TX)
Representative Brad Carson (D-OK)
Representative Ralph Hall (D-TX)
Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX)
Representative Martin Frost (D-TX)
Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX).

Notice that they all but one come from Texas and all but one are Democrats.

Saturday, June 01, 2002

George Will inveighs against America's law suit culture, which seems to be undermining all common sense for the benefit of greedy trial lawyers. Fortunately a new organization, called Common Good has some ideas to change all that. Its board contains such diverse illuminaries as Newt Gingrich and George McGovern.