Monday, August 30, 2004

If everyone in America could hear Rudy's speech, Kerry would just have to conclude that all is lost and drop out of the race.

It's probably too late for Kerry anyway.
Most Liberal Democrats seem to believe that George W. Bush was spawned by the Devil. There is, however, one exception.
The Moon is a "living" museum of the last four or so billion years.
When the Aldridge Commission report was issued, it was created with almost universal acclaim by the space activist community. Almost, not not entirely. Jeff Foust talks about one very angry dissenter.
David Boswell discusses space based solar power technology.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

A new X Prize contest may be in the making, this time to develop technologies needed to build space elevators.

Friday, August 27, 2004

There's a new twist in the Swift Boat controversy. It appears that there is more evidence that Kerry's Silver Star was fraudulent.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Looks like the Speilberg-Cruise version of War of the Worlds will have some competition in the form of a movie musical based on Jeff Wayne's double album from the 1970s by the same name. While the Speilberg-Cruise version will be modernized, Jeff Wayne's film will maintain HG Wells' Victorian venue.

Senator Jeff Bingaman (D) New Mexico has committed the mother of all ironies by supporting space tourism. There was a time that the Senator did not care for all of that space stuff. His first Senate race, in which he eventually unseated Harrison Schmitt, featured Bingaman knocking Schmitt for paying too much attention to space issues.
The President, egged on by John McCain, proposes exactly the wrong reaction to 527s. It is uncertain whether the goal is to force the 527s to adhere to hard money regulations or, as that enemy of free speech John McCain wants, to shut them down entirely. Either way, it demonstrates a lack of understanding of the first words of the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law---"

Instead, the President should do the statesmanlike thing and propose that McCain-Feingold be repealed. Let everyone say anything they want in whatever venue they want financed by wantever money they can raise, with the proviso of full and instant disclosure. Sure there is horrible speech out there. But the solution to it is not more court action or more legislation. The solution is more speech.
Ann Coulter gives the back of her hand to both Bill O'Reilly and Chris Matthews in the same column.
Kerry's supporters, especially in the media, have maintained that the documentary evidence, such as the Navy's after action reports, support Kerry's version of events. But guess who admitted in 1971 to writing the spot reports upon which those official after action reports were based?

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Miss Piggy as the Wicked Witch of the West doing a fight scene inspired by Kill Bill in a Muppets version of the Wizard of Oz as directed by Quentin Tarantino? The mind boggles.
The design of the first ships that will take human beings back to the Moon proceeds apace.
George Will celebrates the spirit of space exploration.
How sad and ironic that Max Cleland, a man who was dismembered fighting for freedom in a foreign land, is now being used by John Kerry, a man who once condemned Cleland and all Vietnam veterans as war criminals, in an effort to suppress free speech.
The Protest Warriors intend to conduct a little guerilla street theatre to counter the Far Left. Naturally the Far Left finds this threatening and wants it stopped.
A thirty five year old dairy entry made by a Swift Boat veteran has casted doubt on John Kerry's first Purple Heart. That veteran, by the way, was John Kerry.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Ten years ago Hillary Clinton tried to inflict a national health care system on the United States and, fortunately, failed by being too clever by half. Now she seems to have embraced something that resembles the free market, along with Bill Frist and Newt Gingrich.

We must also cultivate competition: Consumers need to know which doctors or care settings heal patients faster and better. Consumers need relevant information about providers' experiences and outcomes.

We need to create standards of quality measurement so consumers can shop for good health care. More than a decade ago, the state of New York launched a revolutionary program of public reporting on heart bypass surgery. Last year the New York Chamber of Commerce built on this effort by sponsoring the first statewide hospital report card.

Finally, consumers need information about the price of care. They must be able to compare health care pricing -- with information that is readily, publicly available.

A far cry from government bureaucrats determining all of those things. This looks promising, though, it being done by politicians, it also bears constant scrutiny.

Evidence mounts that the Swift Boat accusations has the Kerry Campaign in full blown panic mode. Drudge tells this bizzare story about a call placed to one of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
KERRY: "Why are all these swift boat guys opposed to me?"

BRANT: "You should know what you said when you came back, the impact it had on the young sailors and how it was disrespectful of our guys that were killed over there."

[Brant had two men killed in battle.]

KERRY: "When we dedicated swift boat one in '92, I said to all the swift guys that I wasn't talking about the swifties, I was talking about all the rest of the veterans."

Kerry then asked if he could meet Brant ["You were one of the best"] -- man to man -- face to face.

Brant declined the invite, explaining that Kerry was obviously not prepared to correct the record on exactly what happened during Vietnam and what happened when Kerry came back.

"All the rest of the veterans?" Including Max Cleland, John McCain, and everyone else Kerry has invoked?

Meanwhile, Kerry considers an appearance on one of the Sunday shows to try to put the affair to rest once and for all.

But I think it is too late.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Neil Armstrong's life's story is going to become a TV Movie on the Fox Network. This is the second Armstrong biop in development, including one for the big screen by Clint Eastwood.
Much has been made of President Bush's occassional mangling of the English language. However, those were nothing compared to some examples committed by certain famous liberal Democrats which have, oddly enough, gone unnoticed in the mainstream media.
Jeff Foust reports that Bob Zubrin of the Mars Society believes that a Kerry Administration would support the exploration of the Moon and Mars, based on a conversation Zubrin had with Kerry's "space staff."

While anything is possible where John Kerry is concerned, I have to remain a bit skeptical. It would help if Kerry were to make a positive statement on the subject. So far all of his public pronouncements have been harshly negative toward space exploration in general and the President's vision in particular.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Looks like Bob Dole, wounded war hero and venerable statesman, is not one of Kerry's band of brothers. Meanwhile, John Podesta is the latest Clintonoid, slimemeister retread to rise to Kerry's defense.
Is American supremecy in science in decline? Probably not yet, but there are danger signs.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Jim Oberg makes the case for space cooperation rather than space competition. Considering the progress made during the era of space competition (1957-72) vrs that made during the era of space cooperation (1984-present), I don't find the argument persuasive. I also think we have a more current, private sector example of how competition spurs things along with the X Prize.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Bell makes some outlandish arguments about the space race with China based on a whole host of misunderstandings of Chinese culture. Hint: It's a race even if it is a marathon and low key rather than a sprint. The tortoise can win if the hare is sleeping, as Aesop suggested. Also I'm not persuaded that the Chinese space effort is second rate because some of their rockets blow up. Some of ours have blown up as well, a couple with people inside.
Frank Sietzen, co author of New Moon Rising, a study of the evolution of President Bush's space policy, takes the time to answer a few questions from Space.Com.
There seems to be less than meets the eye concerning Lt. Kerry's rescue of Lt. Rassmann, for which he got a Bronze Star and his third Purple Heart.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Lorie Byrd is mad as hell at Chris Matthews. The decline of Matthews from the hard nosed, liberal critic of Bill Clinton to John Kerry toady is a sad thing to behold. And a lesson for all.

Addendum: Michelle Malkin relates the story of her savaging at the hands on Chris Matthews. Matthews needs at the least a good, healthy dose of sensitivity training. MSNBC would have fired anyone to the right of Matthews behaving in such a fashion.
Hugh Hewitt suggests that the Kerry Campaign is in full panic mode over the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign. Kerry has already (again!) violated a cardinal rule of politics. Never personally boast about your war time heroics (especially if those heroics are only in your imagination.)
If you want to take your tourism business to a country whose government is friendly to the United States, go no further than Italy. In fact, you need to go to Italy anyway if you have the means, for a whole variety of reasons. view the architecture and art, to sample the food and wine, to gaze at the women, to taste la dolce vita, to … sorry, I digress.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

The infamous "Sampan Incident" somewhat belies John Kerry's carefully crafted image as a "war hero."
Looks like the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ad has scored a direct hit on the Kerry Campaign.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

The story of how John Kerry acquired his first Purple Heart, as told by his fellow Swift Boat veterans.
Congressman Nick Smith (R) Michigan is a man in great need of an education on matters of space policy.
The benefits of manned space flight have been relatively few compared to the costs. The Washington Post reports that the International Space Station (ISS), if completed, is expected to run $17 billion over budget. While manned shuttles provide some useful scientific information, the major objective of many missions is simply to re-supply the space station. We spent $25.4 billion on the 11 Apollo missions. We are looking at $100 billion for the International Space Station. We spend $3-$4 billion on the shuttle (approximately $6,000 per pound of payload). These projects have provided relatively little scientific discovery compared to cost benefit of unmanned missions.

The problem is that the first sentence in that paragraph is untrue and the Congressman does not even bother to support it with facts. He mentions three manned space programs, two (the space shuttle and space station) which have been troubled by bad management and bad focus, and one (Apollo) that was wildly successfull without making that distinction. Humans are needed, even for the kind of scientific exploration that people generally understand when they think about the space program. Factor in commercial ventures and other things being considered, and humans are needed in the loop even more.

If Congressman Smith would like to start his education, this article would be a good start.

Monday, August 16, 2004

J. K. Rowlings poses two questions to herself that no one else has ever asked.
Rowling also said that she's pleased with the films so far and mentioned that there's two questions she's never been asked that she should have been asked. "If you want to speculate on anything, you should speculate on these two things, which will point you in the right direction. The first question that I have never been asked is, 'Why didn't Voldemort die?' Not, 'Why did Harry live?' but, 'Why didn't Voldemort die?' The killing curse rebounded, so he should have died. Why didn't he?... The other question that I am surprised no one has asked me since Phoenix came out is why Dumbledore did not kill or try to kill Voldemort in the scene in the ministry. I know that I am giving a lot away to people who have not read the book. Although Dumbledore gives a kind of reason to Voldemort, it is not the real reason."
Your Humble Servant asks the question: "What does John Kerry see when he looks to the heavens?" The answer may be disheartening.
Jeff Foust heaps well deserved praise on Moonrush by Dennis Wingo. The book points to the Moon as a hitherto unexamined source for solutions to energy problems (not just Helium 3 or space based solar power.) I'm currently in the middle of the book, and I add my own praise.

Sam Dinkin examines what he calls the "space vrs butter" arguement. It goes something like this. "Money spent on space exploration would be better spent on (insert favorite social program) to alleviate problems here on Earth." It is ultimately an evil proposition because of two very fallacious premises.

The first fallacious premise is that that the extra money freed up by not having a space program, or a vastly smaller one, would make any difference. Dinkin does a good job of knocking down that arguement.

The second fallacious premise, and Dinkin doesn't touch on it very much, is that throwing money at social problems would necessarily address those problems. Charles Murray, in his classic study of government poverty programs, Loosing Ground, suggested that huge welfare programs not only tend not to solve the problems they are designed to solve, but often make them worse. This fact was even recognized in the mid 1990s when a liberal Democrat President signed into law a reform, proposed and passed by a conservative Republican Congress, that ended welfare as an entitlement.

Think about what was wasted in the meantime. The United States bought the argument of the space vrs butter advocates in the 1970s, truncated the Apollo Program, deferred grand ideas like lunar settlements and missions to Mars, and then cheerfully spent hundreds of billions on social programs that Murray argues only made things worse.

And, as Dinkin points out, there are still people--like John Kerry--willing to make that same arguement today.

The American Medical Association has accused John Edwards, Senator from North Carolina and candidate for Vice President, of helping to drive that state's health care system into a a crisis.
During his 20 years of suing doctors and hospitals, he pioneered the art of blaming psychiatrists for patients who commit suicide and blaming doctors for delivering babies with cerebral palsy, according to doctors, fellow lawyers and legal observers who followed Mr. Edwards' career in North Carolina.
"The John Edwards we know crushed [obstetrics, gynecology] and neurosurgery in North Carolina," said Dr. Craig VanDerVeer, a Charlotte neurosurgeon. "As a result, thousands of patients lost their health care."

And he was well paid for his efforts too, I might add.

Friday, August 13, 2004

I've been hearing some disheartening gloom as of late in the media about the President's chances for reelection. Given that, I wonder what's up with this latest Gallup Poll.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Kerry seems to have suborned Douglas Brinkley, a historian who is living proof of the danger of writers falling too much in love with their subject, to "clarify" the Christmas in Cambodia story. It was really January. Honest.
Jim Oberg has some thoughts on claims that fragments of an alien space ship have been found near the site of the famous 1908 Tunguska explosion.
Unfit for Command, the book by John O'Neill and the other Swift Boat Veterans for Truth that is rocking the Kerry Campaign with accusations about Kerry's war record is now out.

I guess lying about sex can be career limiting for a Liberal Democrat, under certain circumstances.
More backlash against gay marriage, this time in California.
Looks like Tom Cruise will be fighting Martians in Spielberg's War of the Worlds, filming to start in November.
More debate in India over a human to the Moon program.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Ton Blankley muses on the whole Swift Boat Veterans for Truth scandal and its implications:
But considering all the testimony and evidence, John Kerry is either Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde. As of this moment there is about a 50-50 chance that we will elect, in the person of John Kerry, either a very fine man or a truly despicable man president of the United States.

Of course Kerry's record after Vietnam, starting with his slander of his fellow vets as "war criminals", would tend to lead one to the latter conclusion. Blankley has a challenge for his fellow journalists:
If it is not a pack of lies, the nation needs to know that, too. I would encourage some of the major voices of the non-conservative mainline media — Tim Russert, Dan Rather, Leonard Downie Jr. of The Washington Post — to do as I did. Spend an evening reading the book. If they are not struck by the damning picture it paints of John Kerry and the credibility of the presentation, forget about it. But if they judge it as I did, then let their consciences be their guide.

The Kerry people are confident that will never happen.
The campaign source said that the book was not considered a "serious" problem for the campaign, because, "the media wouldn't have the nerve to come at us with this kind of stuff," says the source. "The senior staff believes the media is committed to seeing us win this thing, and that the convention inoculated us from these kinds of stories. The senior guys really think we don't have a problem here."

Perhaps. But the Blogsphere has not been shy about examining the story in detail. Given that, I cannot imagine that the manstream media can ignore it forever.

And it would be well advised not to. Kerry has based his entire rationale for being President (aside from the volcanic hatred of President Bush by his supporters) on his alleged war time heroics. What if that story of valor turned out to be a lie? Elected such a person would send the signal that lying about war, as well as about sex, is acceptable in a liberal politician. Imagine electing another President with a propensity for lying, with the entire might and majesty of the government and a willing, mainstream media at his call to back up his lies. Further, imagine such a President spending most of his time doing so at the expense of his real duties--such as fighting the War on Terror.

Haven't we gone through that situation before? Do we really want to do it again?

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

James Bowman says we've got it all wrong. The remake of The Manchurian Candidate is not an anti-Bush polemic at all. The zombie-like Raymond Shaw in the remake is John Kerry.

Well, Senator, why don't you pass the time by playing a little solitaire?
Over at BlameBush.Com we see an explanation as to why John Kerry is a greater hero than Tommy Franks, Colin Powell, John McCain, Audie Murphy, George Patton, Ollie North, and George Washington. And no doubt US Grant, Robert E. Lee, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Teddy Roosevelt, and every charecter John Wayne ever played. Thanks to Chris Hall for pointing this one out.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Rand Simberg inveighs against that walking slime creature, Lanny Davis.
Thanks to Jim Oberg for passing along the reprint of a story from Insight Magazine about a junket to China taken by John Kerry, Senator and candidate for the Presidency back in the 1990s. It seems that Mr. Kerry has some well heeled friends in high places in Beijing.

Read the whole article and note the accompaning photo.
If the Kerry Campaign thinks that unleasing lawer-thugs to make threats of libel suits will make the accusations raised by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth go away, then it may wish to think again. This kind of behavior only makes the story persist and the longer it does, the more people may start to wonder.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

I have been writing for a long time that supporters of gay marriage (and I count myself among them) are in danger of causing a backlash by overreaching. The recent vote in Missouri seems to prove my point.

However, irony of ironies, gay marriage may be the key to breaking the Democratic monopoly on black voters in America. If that happens, the consequences are profound and reach far beyond the issue of whether men should marry men and women marry women.
Despite withering fire from the Kerry Campaign and the media, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are not backing down. Bravo Zulu, guys.
Joe Mitchell relates the story of his experiences of hate and bigotry.

Was he an African American living in the South, circi 1964?


Was he a Jew living in Nazi Germany?

Well, no.

In fact he is a Native Texan, living in present day California.

"How long did you live in Texas?" many potential employers and friends have queried with thinly veiled disgust.

"Where's your gun?" I have heard more than once sans the least hint of irony.

"You don't sound like you're from Texas," is a common refrain among astonished Coasties.

I have been subjected to countless unprovoked diatribes against the Bush clan and the evils of unregulated energy markets. I always smile and refrain from pointing out that California's 47 electoral votes went to Bush, Sr. in 1988, and that energy market deregulation was put into effect by Californians, not the Texas companies that happily exploited it.

I've even had a first date get up and leave the restaurant upon my confession of Texas origins. She said she could not associate with someone from George Bush's home state. The anger in her voice bordered on hissing. I was too shocked to protest. The snickers from surrounding tables were embarrassing. Yes, I paid the check, then I skulked out the door as quickly as possible.

Mitchell, whose politics oddly enough are far more liberal than that of most Californians, suggests that this kind of discrimination has political consequences.
It's funny how prejudice keeps otherwise "open-minded" people from recognizing one of their own. It is a typical "limousine liberal" mindset that favors well-to-do members of the Democratic Party from the two coasts at the expense of the non-union working class in the nation's midsection. The thinking goes: "If you come from the heartland or the South, you are too backward and too ignorant to understand what's best for the country."

Most of the folks in the nation's middle have heard that declaration loud and clear. It's why their states came up red in November 2000 and will most likely do so again in 2004. If the Democratic Party does not purge this elitist mentality from its ranks, it will never be able to make those red states blue.


Saturday, August 07, 2004

This news ought to make Robert Park and James Van Allen leap the length of their chains.
Kerry has taken up the Michael Moore canard about President Bush's continuing to read to the school children after hearing about the attack on the World Trade Center as being somehow evidence of indecision and perhaps even terror, instead of prudence and a desire not to cause panic. Turns out that Kerry spent forty minutes in a daze after the initial attack.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Against my better judgement, I saw the remake of the Machurian Candidate tonight. As I suspected, it is a pale shadow to the original. Whereas the original was a clever satire about the Cold War with solid performences by people like Angela Lansbury, Lawrence Harvey, and Frank Sinatra, the new version is a bitter, left wing polemic that shoe horns in every paranoid, liberal conspiracy theory without a hint of irony. Of the actors, only Meryl Streep turns in a decent performence with her impression of Hillary Clinton on steroids (Don't believe that tale of her doing Peggy Noonan; Peggy is a decent, Irish Catholic gal who would never do those things.) Denzel Washington, ordinarily a sound performer, looks confused. Lev Schreiber does a Raymond Shaw who seems more bored and irritated than angry. The "twist" at the end makes very little sense and could be spotted from miles away by anyone paying the least amount of attention.

Take my advice and rent a copy of the first movie.
John O'Neill, Vietnam Vet, lawyer, and political activist is in many ways the Un-Kerry, much to his credit.
The controversy over the Swiftboat Vets for Truth ad continues apace. Looks like we have some extremely biased and inaccurate reporting coming out of the Boston Globe, as well as a conflict of interest scandal involving one of that paper's ace reporters.

Addendum: The Boston Globe is standing by its original story, claiming that the quotes from Mr. Elliot are accurate. That and the Kerry Campaign's continued harsh reaction to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ad is doing little but draw more attention to questions about Kerry's Vietnam War service.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

The Bush Campaign is being a bit clever and nuanced with the Swiftboat Vets ad controversy. The campaign has proclaimed that they would never question Kerry's war record. Then it suggested that the two campaigns join hands to ban all outside advertising. The problem is that the Kerry Campaign is depending on just that kind of advertising to tide it over the month of August. The Kerry folks are not in the position to give up that help, thus they will be in a weaker position to attack the Swiftboat ad.
Kerry has sent lawyers out to suppress the Swuft Boat Vets for Truth Ad. This will accomplish two things. First, it will give the ad wider airing. Second, it will strengthen the impression that Kerry regards himself as a Bourbon Prince, exempt from the criticism of the peasents.
Veterans support Bush over Kerry 58 to 35 percent.
He Who Must Not Be Named has been named.
Senator John McCain came down to Florida and supported President Bush in general and the Moon, Mars, and Beyond Initiative in particular. This is important as McCain is the Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Technology Committee that oversees NASA.
Bush haters have a lot of bizzare reasons for their ire. But Sharon Stone's is really pushing the envelope, in my humble opinion.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

One of the things that those of us who oppose John Kerry have always had to say is, "Well, of course he was heroic in Vietnam. Have to give him that." But, according to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, most of whom served with Kerry, there is far less to that "heroism" than meets the eye. They've just rolled out a devestating ad that, if people listen to it, should blow Kerry's political career out of the water. The ad consists of Kerry's fellow vets speaking very calmly and professionally about Kerry's lies about his service.

I wonder, though, if there are people who so hate President Bush that they will either ignore the lies revealed in the ad or else choose to believe the lies and disbelieve the truth. I hope this is not the case.

Addendum: Just to illustrate what I mean, John McCain, who doesn't even hate George Bush ,finds the ad objectionable.
With humans about to move out into the Solar System, the fact that some of them will be lawyers is inevitable. And needed too, to a certain extent. Rules to protect private property in space will need to be formalized and agreed upon sooner or later.

Of course there are some who think there should be no private property in space.
"Outer space is a province of all mankind," says Sylvia Ospina, a member of the board of directors at the International Institute of Space Law. "There is not, and should not be, any privatization of outer space. It is a common thing that should belong to all."

Meaning that it would belong to no one. Or worse, just to governments. I had thought that we had put this kind of nonsense in the graveyard of history when the Moon Treaty was squashed. Apparently not, which is why people like Ospina needed to be watched and, when necessary, opposed.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Former Vietnam War POWs have a very special reason to be angry with John Kerry.
Sen. John Kerry's bid to become commander in chief of wartime America has opened old wounds among some former Vietnam-era prisoners of war who bristle over the Massachusetts Democrat's anti-war activism.
His activities and statements, pushed out of sight by a campaign that spotlights Mr. Kerry's service in Vietnam, were used by the POWs' North Vietnamese captors to sap the morale of prisoners and U.S. troops still in the field in South Vietnam, say former POWs.
If Alan Boyle is right, this Fall's final sprint for the X Prize may be a space race between Americans and Canadians. Imagine.
Messenger is on its way to Mercury.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Kerry suggests that President Bush's policy encourages terrorist recruitment. No word on what encouraged the recruitment of terrorists before Bush became President.
Kerry's economic plans will apparently remain a secret until after the election.
Sam Dinkin argues that James Van Allen misses the point about human space exploration. Dinkin suggests that human space exploration can be justified by other things besides science, which is true.

Interestingly, Van Allen accidently suggests that the Apollo program was an example of human exploration that yielded a lot of good science.
Few people doubt that the Apollo missions to the Moon as well as the precursory Mercury and Gemini missions not only had a valuable role for the United States in its Cold War with the Soviet Union but also lifted the spirits of humankind. In addition, the returned samples of lunar surface material fueled important scientific discoveries.

That would seem to me to be an argument, in part, in favor of the President's Moon, Mars, and Beyond Initiative.
Taylor Dinerman suggests that the House appropriations bill that guts the Bush Moon, Mars, and Beyond Initiative is not serious, but that the Bush Administrion's threat to veto it is very serious. And, unprecedented.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Back in August 1963, Dr. Robert Jastrow asked, "Why land on the Moon?"
There was a bounce coming out of the Democratic National Convention, according to Gallup. For President George W. Bush.