Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Palin, Colonel West, and President Bush contrasted with Barack Obama.
Loren Thompson continues his critique of SpaceX and how the rhetoric coming from that company often is at odds with reality. The article is uncommonly fair and balanced, unlike the personal attacks coming Thompson's way.

Addendum: Rand Simberg responds in the usual way. Rand does not specifically address Thompson's arguments or even for the most part dispute his facts, except in general (I.e. "I'm right and he's wrong.") The counter seems to be that Thompson is a stooge of the "legacy space companies", that Constellation was evil, so is the heavy lift vehicle the Congress is insisting on being built, and no one should examine whether SpaceX can actually do the things it claims to be able to do.

On the one hand we have a very sober, balanced examination of the commercial crew program, with a focus on SpaceX which praises the company as much as it tries to provide a reality check. On the other hand we have a rant filled with personal insults ("faux libertarian") and accusations of bad faith.

I am beginning to wonder if some people who claim to be supporters of commercial space are actually behaving more like members of a cult ready to scream and leap at heratics or anyone who questions the supposition "There is no God but commercial space and Elon Musk is its prophet."

Now, I rather hope SpaceX succeeds and begins to fly the Dragon on a regular basis. That is the key. As remarkable as flying the Falcon 9 twice was, the second time with a Dragon prototype, that is still a long way to developing a space taxi service that can launch on time and in safety. The future of human space flight in the United States may depend on SpaceX learning to do that.

Otherwise, we may have to rely on those "traditional Cold-War contractors" like Boeing, and wouldn't that just be a kick in the teeth.
DNC Chair Wasserman Makes Gaffes on Illegal Immigration, Cars and Israel
Rep. Debbie Wasserman, D-Fla., the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, has, if nothing else, provided limitless entertainment for journalists, bloggers, and other observers of American politics.
Anthony Weiner's Twitter Escapade Latest in Congressional Sex Scandals
Egyptian General Admits to Mass Sexual Abuse of Female Protesters
An Egyptian general has confirmed that women protesters during the recent uprising in Cairo were subjected to what has been euphemistically called "virginity tests." The general, who had previously denied the charge, defended the practice, according to CNN.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry to Veto Online Retail Sales Tax Bill
Did John F. Kennedy Go Wobbly on the Apollo Moon Landing?
Palin Becomes Free Market Candidate with Energy Subsidies Proposal
While the media pursued Sarah Palin like a gaggle of paparazzi across the northeast, the former governor did provide some interesting bit of news concerning her attitude toward energy subsidies. She wants to end them. All of them.
Sarah Palin Has Turned the Media into a Gaggle of Paparazzi
Episode Recap: 'Game of Thrones' Season 1, Episode 7 'You Win or You Die'
In "Game of Thrones," Season 1, Episode 7, "You Win or You Die," events are pointing toward an upcoming clash of arms that will rock the world of the story and promises to make a myriad of widows and orphans.
Why Have We Not Sent Humans to Mars Yet?
Vets, Active Military Show Conservative Strain at Odds with Obama
Houston Mayor Battles with Firefighters Union Over Budget Cuts

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sarah Palin Roars into Washington on a Harley, Dressed in Biker Regalia
The sight of Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska and potential future president of the United States, dressed from head to toe in black on the back of a Harley turned heads in Washington even among the "lamestream media."
Sarah Palin, wearing black from head to toe, riding a Harlkey at the head of hundreds of thousands of bikers. Is there nothing more designed to make the left loose it's collective bowls?
Oil Boom in South Texas, Using Controversial Fracking Method
Japanese Plan Would Turn Moon into a Giant Solar Collector
Iran Plans to Cut Itself Off from Internet to Shield its People from 'Dangerous' Ideas
Japan to Build Maglev Train Line Between Tokyo and Osaka
Japan has embarked on what promises to be the longest and most expensive maglev train project in history. Construction is scheduled to start in 2014 on a line that is planned to eventually connect Tokyo with Osaka, via Nagoya, according to Japan Today

Saturday, May 28, 2011

It's Time for Republicans to Do Their Own Version of 'Mediscare'
'Sexting' Law Changes Penalties for Teenagers, Passes Texas Legislature
NASA's Space Shuttle and Skylab: The Space Program that Wasn't
Sarah Palin was Invited to Rolling Thunder, Should Be Invited to Speak
Sarah Palin cannot show up at a pro veteran event without stirring controversy. The latest kerfuffle caused by her enemies in the question of whether or not she was invited to the Rolling Thunder rally to take place in Washington on Sunday.

On a related issue, unless Meghan McCain is trying to be funny she seems to be dating a class of men who are not only ungentlemanly, but profoundly stupid. The last thing one talks about when dating a woman is another woman.
Presidential candidate high school year book pictures.
Mitt Romney Supports the Ethanol Subsidy, Though Perhaps He Shouldn't
For Republicans running for president, one of the most vexing problems is what to do about Iowa's signature issue, which is to say ethanol subsidies. Following principles suggests opposition. Following political expediency suggests support.
Jeff Conway of 'Wizards and Warriors' and 'Babylon 5' Dies at Age 60
Jeff Conway, who died of an apparent overdose of pain killers that had put him in a coma, is best known of his roles in "Grease," both the play and the movie, and the 1970s era sitcom "Taxi," which also featured Danny Devito.

Friday, May 27, 2011

'Spinning the Law' , by Kendall Coffey - a Review
12 space shuttle missions that weren't
My favorite is the Skylab reboost mission. What we could have done with that in the 1980s...
Palin Could Leverage Unusual Campaign, Government Fatigue for Presidency
Sarah Palin Movie Falls Prey to Godwin's Law
Andrew Sullivan, who actually used to write sensible things before his obsession with Sarah Palin and Trig Trutherism sent him to see the wee folk, is aghast at the news that a Palin biopic is coming to a movie theater near you.
Texas Sen. Dan Patrick Explores Run for U.S. Senate
Discovery of Water Inside Moon Could Alter Origin Theory, Space Travel
Federal Judge Strikes Down Ban on Corporate Political Contributions
A federal judge in Alexandria, Va., has issued a ruling striking down the federal ban on corporations giving direct contributions to political candidates. The ruling is an extension of the Citizens United case that allowed corporate political advertising.
Poll: Vast Majority of Americans Favor Balanced Budget Amendment
A poll conducted by the Sachs/Mason-Dixon organization suggests that there is overwhelming support for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring a balanced budget. The balanced budget amendment is a proposal dating from the Reagan years.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Clinton Aims to Secure Legacy, Get Back at Obama with Medicare Overhaul
Two Proposals Aim to Reorganize U.S. Space Operations
Harry Reid Questions Rand Paul's Patriotism, Sticks Foot in Mouth
te Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said something rather incredible about Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.. Reid suggested that Paul was giving aid and comfort to terrorists due to the latter's opposition to the Patriot Act.
School Choice Plan Could Save Texas Public Schools from Funding Shortfall
Killing Bin Laden 'Boldest Decision...In Modern History'? Not Quite
Palin Burnishing Presidential Mettle with Trip to Historic Northeast
Starting Memorial Day weekend, Sarah Palin will begin what she calls the "One Nation Under God, Indivisible, With Liberty & Justice For All" tour of the northeast, starting in Washington, D.C., on a chartered bus.
Lunar Magma Has 100 Times More Water Than Previously Suggested
Of course we've already been to the Moon. Buzz has been there...
Ed Schultz Latest Exhibiter of 'Liberal Tourette's Syndrome'
Ed Schultz, one of MSNBC's stable of on-air ranters, waxed wroth at Laura Ingraham, a radio talk show host who occasionally appears on the Fox News Network, on his own radio show. Several times, Schultz called Ingraham a "slut."
Episode Recap: 'South Park' Creates 'Crack Baby Athletic Association'
In "South Park," Season 15, Episode 5, "Crack Baby Athletic Association," the boys explore those horrible commercials about children in need, exploitive YouTube videos, the exploitation of athletes, and the lies we tell our children.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Buzz Aldrin takes the occassion of the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's speach to defend the Obamaspace policy. Unfortunately he cannot make a compelling case for bypassing the Moon and going on to Mars. His idea of the United States being a junior partner in helping others go to the Moon is frankly loathsome.
Danish Ban of Marmite Riles Great Britain
Government Obstacle, Not Solution, to Expanding American Frontier
Vice President Joe Biden, who rarely passes up an opportunity to be entertaining, marked the 50th anniversary of the JFK man to the Moon speech to call for more spending -- what he calls "investments."
Benjamin Netanyahu's Speech Received Badly by the Palestinians
Saudis Face Problems Beyond Women Protesting Anti-Driving Laws
Manal al-Sherif, a 32-year-old Saudi woman, is an unusual champion for civil rights. The right she is campaigning for and for which she has so far been arrested twice is the right to drive a car, according to the Weekly Standard.
Texas Leads in 10-Year Job Growth
Obama's Britian Visit Features Diplomatic, Political Missteps
President Barack Obama's visit to Great Britain, coming on the heels of his becoming an Irishman for a day in the village of Moneygall, has featured a couple of rather embarrassing missteps.
Coming Soon: Sarah Palin the Movie
NASA's MPCV Inadequate for Asteroid, Mars Mission; Ideal for Lunar Missions

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sarah Palin, the Movie?

Oh, much more of this anon...
Is Apollo Still a Valid Model to Explore Space 50 Years After JFK's Speech?

Also, A United States Space Guard?

Or maybe a National Space Exploration Administration (NSEA)

Plus a view from three guys whom you might have heard of.

But today, America's leadership in space is slipping. NASA's human spaceflight program is in substantial disarray with no clear-cut mission in the offing. We will have no rockets to carry humans to low-Earth orbit and beyond for an indeterminate number of years. Congress has mandated the development of rocket launchers and spacecraft to explore the near-solar system beyond Earth orbit. But NASA has not yet announced a convincing strategy for their use. After a half-century of remarkable progress, a coherent plan for maintaining America's leadership in space exploration is no longer apparent.

But what do three old guys named Armstrong, Lovell, and Cernan know anyway?

And some thoughts by Paul Spudis.

Plus the incomparable Bob Zubrin on a transcontinental railroad to space.

And, of course, Rand Simberg's lament
Texas Legislature Passes Anti-Bullying Law
Obama's Year Slip Telling Sign of Waning Presidency
Much is being made of President Obama's signing the guest book at Westminster Abbey and dating it "24 May 2008." One really needs to give the president a little slack on this. He was doubtless jet lagged, as his staff explained.
Netanyahu Diplomatic Yet Firm Defining Conditions of Israel-Palestine Peace
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress Tuesday and gave a longer version of the lecture he gave President Obama on Middle Eastern history and politics. For the most part, Congress appreciated it.
Assaults on Sarah Palin Devolve from Travesty to Farce
Tripoli Airstrikes, Helicopter Gunship Raids Latest NATO Actions in Libya
Talking Past Each Other in Debating Commercial Space

Addendum: SpaceX responds, primarily by attacking Thompson personally.
Looking At, 'Moving On' from 'House' Season 7 Finale
"House," Season 7, Episode 23, "Moving On" begins ominously enough in front of Cuddy's house. There are a lot of police officers and first responders about. Wilson is getting his arm taped up. Cuddy is very angry.

Monday, May 23, 2011

President Obama Becomes an Irishman for a Day
How Religion and Space Travel Intersect
Even If Declared Incompetent, Jared Loughner Likely to Stand Trial Eventually
Was Captain Kidd a Pirate or an Innocent Privateer?
How Sarah Palin Can Prove Her Intelligence
John Ziegler, who is something of a media expert on Sarah Palin, writes in the Daily Caller on the question of why the left thinks Palin is stupid. It is a vexing question that has both a short answer and a long one.
Texas Senate Arrives at Loser Pays Compromise
Tim Pawlenty Wants to Be the Adult in the Room
Failed Doomsday Predictions -- Religious and Secular
Four Signs that Sarah Palin May Run in 2012
Episode Recap: 'The Borgias' First Season Finale
In "The Borgias," Season 1, Episode 9, "Neussuno (Nobody)," King Charles of France arrives at last in Rome at the head of his army. His entry into the Eternal City is somewhat less than triumphant, as everyone has fled.
'Game of Thrones' Explores the Price of 'A Golden Crown'
In "Game of Thrones," Season 1, Episode 6, "A Golden Crown," Eddard Stark awakes from his being waylaid by Jaime and his henchmen to see his old friend King Robert and his enemy Queen Cersei arguing over him.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

'Deadliest Warrior' Matches William the Conqueror Against Joan of Arc in Season 3
"Deadliest Warrior", the Spike TV show that matches up warriors from different periods of history against one another, have announced a new match up form Season 3. William the Conqueror will battle to the death with Joan of Arc.
Media Struggle to Find Meaning in L'affaire Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Daniels Out, Cain In, Pawlenty Coming In, Palin Waiting in the Wings
A Great, Vapid, Sterile, Space Debate
Texas House Passes State-Wide Smoking Ban Bill
Iran's Ahmadinejad Blames Drought on European Plot
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took the occasion of the dedication of a dam to accuse Europeans of "stealing the raindrops" from clouds over Iran with high tech equipment to cause a drought. Then, as if on cue, it began to rain.
How Many Jewish Voters Has Obama Alienated?
Reuters is reporting that many Jewish Americans are starting to rethink their support for President Barack Obama in the wake of his call for a return to the pre 1967 borders between Israel and the Palestinians. How much that will affect the 2012 campaign is unclear.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Senate Demands Documentation from NASA Regarding Heavy Life Vehicle, Orion Space Craft
Japanese Astronomers Discover 'Rogue Planets'
Facebook Page of Houston Serial Killer Elmer Wayne Henley Taken Down
Israeli's Netanyahu Takes Obama to School on the Middle East
The day after President Obama announced that a final peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians should be based upon the pre-1967 borders, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived at the White House in a fine fettle.
The CDC Wants You to Be Prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse
Forget about the Rapture. That was your grandfather's apocalypse. The Centers for Disease Control, in a perhaps lighthearted attempt to raise awareness for being prepared for any disaster, has a page up devoted to the Zombie Apocalypse.
The World Fails to End--Again
Cost of Houston Drainage Fee Angering City Homeowners
John Logsdon Wrestles with a Broken Space Policy
'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides': Film Review
"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" has a lot of great moments, even great sequences, not the least of all every time Johnny Depp is on screen as the swaying Captain Jack Sparrow. But the whole is somewhat less than the sum of its parts.
It looks like neither I nor anyone I know were taken up by the Rapture. Nor have the earthquakes happened.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Texas Senate Passes Eyewitness Procedure Reform Bill
Nixon Era Global Warming Memo Early Example of Hysteria
The Associated Press reports that in 1969, then-presidential adviser Daniel Patrick Moynihan urged the Nixon administration to address a then little known phenomenon known as global warming.
Bones to Experience Joys of Motherhood in Game-Changing Season Finale
"Bones" Season 6, Episode 23, "The Change in the Game" begins at a children's birthday party at a bowling alley and the brattiest kid who ever celebrated a birthday. His mom was reluctant to do what was necessary to discipline the rug rat.
Will Family Come First as Palin Mulls Presidential Run?
With Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump out and Newt Gingrich's campaign teetering on the edge, Fox News' Greta Van Sustren put the question to Sarah Palin: Does she have the "fire in the belly" for a presidential run?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chantal's sister's operation went very well. A bright spot in an otherwise week from Hell on her side of the family.
'South Park' Delves into Male Anatomy in Exploring World Issues
Sarah Palin appeared on the Sean Hannity Show on the Fox News Network and, while defending Newt Gingrich in the "food stamp president" imbroglio, revealed a little bit of her campaign strategy should she choose to run.
In Defending Gingrich, Palin Advises: Ignore the Lamestream Media

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Will 2012 Be a Replay of 1980?
The departure of Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump from the 2012 Republican presidential contest has had the expected effect. While Mitt Romney remains the frontrunner, rocketing very close on his six is Sarah Palin in the latest Gallup Poll.
Gabrielle Giffords to Receive Skull Implant
Ron Paul's Support of Drug Legalization Will Sink His Candidacy
Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul's support for the legalization of recreational drugs brings to mind the old joke about an argument between a conservative and a libertarian over that very subject.
Another step toward truly commercial space flight:

Naming U.S. Navy Cargo Ship After Cesar Chavez Proves Controversial
Dominique Strauss-Kahn's Problems Are Just Beginning
Delta Kappa Epsilon Suspended from Yale for Sexually Offensive Chanting
Harold Camping Predicts the Day and Date of Doomsday -- Again
Texas Gov. Rick Perry for President?
Sarah Palin vs. Newt Gingrich on the Paul Ryan Plan
NASA's Bolden's Defense of Constellation's Cancellation Still Unconvincing
In which your humble servant is quoted by a well known pundit. The irony is that he is not well known as a pundit, but as something else entirely.
Hopefully Cuddy Will Make a Satisfying Exit from 'House'
"House," the long-running medical drama starring Hugh Laurie as the curmudgeonly and brilliant Dr. Gregory House, will be returning for an eighth season. But it will be without his on-again, off-again lover Dr. Lisa Cuddy, reports TV Guide.
'Alcatraz' Represents Chance to Remedy 'Lost's' Incoherence
The trailer for J.J. Abrams' latest television weirdness, "Alcatraz," has been released for viewing. The new show, scheduled for the Fox Network as a mid season replacement, has a lot of similarities to "Lost."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

For a Proper Enemy to Fight
Frank Fleming, writing in Pajamas Media, laments that we need a better class of villains. By we, he means the United States. By a better class of villains, he means someone other than a gang of "porn addled terrorists."
'The Profession' by Steven Pressfield - a Review
Rachel Maddow Upset About Glenn Beck's 'Restoring Courage' Rally in Israel
Latest Obamacare Waivers Keep Graft Alive
It seems that 20 percent of the latest Obamacare waivers have gone to businesses, such as restaurants, nightclubs and hotels, which reside in Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco district. Sarah Palin had one word for it: corrupt.
Queen Elizabeth Visits Ireland; First British Monarch in 100 Years
Arnold Schwarzenegger Has Been Taken in Adultery
El Paso Students Fly Experiment on NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavour
Newt Gingrich and the Food Stamps Race Card
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Could Launch New Era of Unmanned Space Exploration
How to Defuse the Coming Venezuela Missile Crisis
The Iranians are preparing to construct a missile base in Venezuela, placing a part of South America, the Caribbean, and even south Florida under threat.
Jon Stewart Mistaken in Defense of Common
Jon Stewart, the Comedy Central fake news host, went mano a mano with Bill O'Reilly, a real news host, to debate him on the controversy surrounding the visit to the White House of gangsta rapper Common.
Episode Recap: 'House' Operates on Himself 'After Hours'
In "House" Season 7, Episode 22, "After Hours," the happy-go-lucky docs from Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital are doing things in the late night hours that are not altogether wise.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Newt Gingrich's Changing Views on Health Insurance Individual Mandates
No one could be more disappointed at Newt Gingrich's attack on his Medicare reform plan than Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee. In many ways, Ryan is like Gingrich of 20 years ago.
What the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer Will Do
Contact with Donors Another Hint of Palin's Executive Ambitions
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has started a direct mail campaign to start filling up the coffers of SarahPAC, according to the Washington Post. This move has stoked speculation about Palin's 2012 plans.
Donald Trump Bows Out of Presidential Race; Pundits in Mourning
Donald Trump has decided after all that the life of a real estate magnate and media personality was far more fun than that of a serious candidate for president. Thus, according to ABC News, he has fired himself from the job of candidate.
Texas Looks at Early Release of Elderly Prisoners to Save Health Care Costs
Arrest of IMF's Strauss-Kahn Roils French Politics, Elicits Conspiracy Accusations


Strauss-Kahn Sexual Assault Scandal Has Parallels in American Political History
Gabrielle Giffords Watches Her Husband, NASA's Mark Kelly, Soar into Space


Last Flight of Endeavour Carries Aloft a Proud Tradition of Exploration
Pope Alexander Commits the Sin of Pride on 'The Borgias'
In "The Borgias" Season 1, Episode 8,"The Art of War," the army of the French king, having obtained passage through Milan and Florence, is marching south toward Rome, prepared to depose Pope Alexander on its way to Naples.
Episode Recap: 'Game of Thrones' Season 1, Episode 5 'The Wolf and the Lion'
"Game of Thrones" Season 1, Episode 5, "The Wolf and the Lion" begins as the last episode left off, at the disastrous tournament where Sir Hugh, the squire of the last hand of the king, was killed. The blood continues to flow.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Newt Gingrich Goes After Paul Ryan Medicare Plan
Newt Gingrich made an astonishing performance on "Meet the Press" when he attacked Paul Ryan's plan to reform Medicare as being "too radical." Gingrich was somewhat vague as to what he would offer instead.
Can Buzz Aldrin Make Space an Issue in the 2012 Election?
Mike Huckabee Out; Sarah Palin In?
Bill Maher Wrong Again; One Can Be a Christian and Be Happy Bin Laden is Dead
Bill Maher is famous for saying outrageous things that reveal his own level of ignorance while raising the blood pressure of everyone who listens to him. A case in point was his recent statement about the death of Osama bin Laden. It seems Maher, a militant atheist, declared that one cannot be a Christian and celebrate the death of bin Laden. It seems that Maher does not understand the admonition of Jesus to love ones enemies. He also, incorrectly, said that Jesus was a pacifist.


Bill Maher: Faith-Based Climate Scientist
Bill Maher often disdains religion and its tendency to adhere to beliefs based on faith. But it seems that the host of HBO's "Real Time" is not above taking things on faith when it suits his inclinations.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Paul Spudis looks at the state of science education and finds some reason for encouragement,
Slew of 'Tell All' Books About Sarah Palin About to Hit Book Store Shelves
Iran's 'Eye for an 'Eye' Justice Says Something About Society in the Islamic Republic
The Islamic Republican of Iran is well known for the violent form of justice that it practices. There is the case of Ameneh Bahrami, who rejected a man's advances, whereupon the man poured acid on her face, permanently disfiguring and blinding her, according to David Pryce-Jones.
ATF-Caused Blaze Latest Incident in Texas/Obama Administration Wildfire Controversy
Robert Zubrin Latest Mars Mission, Using SpaceX's Falcon Heavy
Newt Gingrich's Climate Change Problem
Newt Gingrich is having to deal with a problem stemming from a 3-year-old ad in which he sat in a love seat with none other than then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and seemed to agree with the idea of human caused global warming.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Why Sarah Palin scares them.
A liberal Manhattan acquaintance of mine recently hit the nail on the head: “The thing about Palin that’s so scary is that she actually means what she says. She actually believes it. And she’ll do it. She’ll make it happen.”
It looks like Iron Sky, the Nazis in space epic, is coming closer to happening:

Whether Elected President or Not, Gingrich Still an Inspired Novelist
Ron Paul Engaging on Domestic Issues, Loses on Foreign Policy
Wisconsin's Herb Kohl to Leave Senate; Seat Up for Grabs
The announced retirement of Democratic Senator Herb Kohl has offered the promise of even more entertaining political drama in a state that has seen more than its share of that commodity in recent months.
Can 'That '70s Show's' Ashton Kutcher Replace Charlie Sheen on 'Two and a Half Men'?
Ashton Kutcher, who previously appeared on "That '70s Show," has been selected to replace Charlie Sheen on "Two and a Half Men." Kutcher will play a new character opposite the show's other star, John Cryer, according to Deadline Hollywood.
Porn Collection in Bin Laden Compound Contradicts Terrorist Leader's Opposition to Sexual Freedom
Along with a treasure trove of intelligence both digital and hard copy, the Navy SEALs who put an end to Osama bin Laden found a treasure of another sort. The SEALs discovered an extensive stash of pornography, according to Reuters.
Chantal's mom died of a heart attack very suddenly last night. At some point there will be a memorial service and at that point I will be offline in a day or so.

Addendum: Rand Simberg offers a kind condolence.
Whether Elected President or Not, Gingrich Still an Inspired Novelist
Ryan's Plan to Reform Medicare Is Best Chance to Save It
Chinese and American Space Programs: The Tortoise vs. the Hare
Newt Gingrich Prefers Space Prizes Over NASA Projects to Continue Exploration
Rain Makes Welcome Return to Drought-Stricken Houston
Why Ron Paul Cannot and Should Not Be President
NASA Restores Pluto as a Planet
Newt Gingrich Announces He's Running in 2012
Obama Mocks Border Security Concerns in El Paso
Will the Gangsta Rapper Common Controversy Affect Obama's Support Among Police Unions?
Episode Recap: 'Bones' Season 6, Episode 22, 'The Hole in the Heart'
The title of "Bones" Season 6, Episode 22, "The Hole in the Heart" is meant to be literal and metaphoric. Jacob Broadsky, the rogue sniper who put down the Gravedigger, has surfaced again and has a new target.
Superman Comes to His Senses, Celebrates What's Great about United States
What a difference a couple of weeks make. As previously reported, Action Comics #900 was going to feature Superman giving up his American citizenship to become a citizen of the world or something like that.
Obamas Hurt Their Cause by Having Gangsta Rapper at the White House
The gangsta rapper known as Common showed up at Michelle Obama's poetry evening, even though some had speculated that he would bow out in order to spare the president and first lady the embarrassment of his presence.
'South Park' Has Fun with 'Royal Pudding' at Canada's Expense
In "South Park" Season 15, Episode 3, "Royal Pudding," the boys decide to direct their ridicule at the recent royal wedding and, one of their favorite targets, the country of Canada. The episode, while having fun moments, seems slapped together, however.
Rapper's Views on Interracial Relationships Raise Serious Questions about Obamas' Circle of Friends
One of the aspects of the controversy surrounding the invitation to the White House of gangsta rapper Common that is disturbingly ironic is the artist's virulent opposition to interracial relationships.
Shutdown of Yucca Mountain Waste Facility Matter of Politicking, Not Science
One of the first acts of the Obama administration was to shut down the nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. A report from the Government Accountability Office reveals that there was no scientific or technical basis for the decision, according to Greenwire.
Obama at Risk of Overplaying Death of Osama Bin Laden
President Barack Obama has a new companion to take with him on the campaign trail. Starting at an Austin fundraiser, the president, with the help of an audience member, introduced the ghost of Osama bin Laden.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Obi Wan Kenobi, enemy of the Empire, is dead. Justice has been done.
Sears Runs Afoul of Illinois' Burdensome Tax Hike, Considers Exiting the State
A few months ago, the state of Illinois chose to address its persistent budget deficit by hiking income taxes. Now a number of businesses, including Sears, are considering leaving the state.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Liberals in Arizona County Want to Secede and Create a New State
Liberal activists in Prima County in Arizona, where Tucson resides, have started a process to try to detach the county from the rest of Arizona and create a new state, to be called Baja Arizona, according to Reuters.
'Stargate: Universe' Should Return as Major Theatrical Motion Picture
The final episode of "Stargate: Universe" ended with less of a conclusion and more of a cliffhanger, with the ultimate fate of the crew of the ancient starship "Destiny" left undetermined.
The Collapse of Donald Trump's Presidential Ambitions
Right, Left Analyses of Polls Miss the Mark for Possible Palin Presidential Run
The latest round in the endless "Sarah Palin cannot win the presidency so she had better not even try" articles has come from both the right and the left. Taking note of her bad poll numbers, each piece has its own explanation.
Annual Houston Police Report Raises Fears of Racial Profiling
Rick Santorum's Gay Problem
NASA's Plan to Sail on a Sea on Saturn's Moon Titan
SyFy Execs Will Run a 'Gauntlet' If No 'Stargate: Universe' TV Movie Is Produced
In "Stargate: Universe" Season 2, Episode 20, "Gauntlet," the crew of the Destiny is in big trouble, as usual. A new capability that can detect the drone command ships from a distance shows them just how much trouble they are in.
'House' Finds There Are No Easy 'Fixes'
In "House" Season 7, Episode 21, "The Fix," three people are in trouble and another should be. Dr. Wendy Lee, a bomb maker for the government, has the sort of seizure that sends her straight to the tender ministrations of House.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Noam Chomsky is Angry that We Killed Bin Laden

Addendum: Chris Hitchens responds as only he can.

First Lady Michelle Obama Invites Common Gangsta Rapper to White House Poetry Evening
It could be another case of the White House falling down on the vetting process or perhaps first lady Michelle Obama just doesn't care. But apparently she will host gangsta rapper Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr., aka Common at a poetry evening.
In a case of that was then, this is now, a website calling itself "Tea Party Space", a misnomer since most Tea Partiers who have thought about the issue oppose the Obama space policy, bemoans the idea of the United States Congress telling NASA how to design rockets.

What makes the idea that NASA should be the final arbiter of how space craft should be designed so interesting is the fact that the same people who are bitching and moaning about how specific the Congress is in laying out the requirements are for the heavy lift launcher, were not shy at going off on the last rocket system NASA was working on, the Ares 1 and the Ares V.

See the inconsistancy. The Internet Rocketeer club opposed NASA rocket designs before they supported them.
Reid, Obama Responsible for Moderate Senators' Move to the Right
Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, usually a reliable moderate who can be counted on to reach across the aisle and vote with Democrats, has started to shift just a little to the right and vote with her fellow Republicans more often than not.
Greatest prank call evah:

Gallup Shows Romney Supported by the Elite, Palin by the Working Class
Romney Should Scrap Presidential Run to Avoid Ghost of Health Care Reform
A problem that Mitt Romney and Barack Obama share is that they have supported a version of health care reform that many view with skepticism. In the case of Romneycare, now in existence for five years, that skepticism seems justified.
Skepticism About Commercial Space Defensible States 'The Space Review'
Rice University Engineering Students Build Solar Device to Sterilize Surgical Instruments
Death of Osama Bin Laden Inspires Video Game, Comedy Skits
La Nina Brings Hot, Humid Weather and Drought to Texas
Osama Bin Laden's Death Reveals His Favorite Products
Houston Dining Means More than TexMex, BBQ and Steak
Killing Bin Laden Part of Long Tradition of Targeting Enemy Leaders
'The Borgias' Find Time for Sex Even in Wartime
In "The Borgias" Season 1, Episode 7, "Death on a Pale Horse," the French King Charles VIII, at the behest of Cardinal Della Rovere, enters Italy with an army of 25,000 men to take Naples and establish himself as king of that city state.
Episode Recap: 'Game of Thrones' Season 1, Episode 4 'Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things'
In "Game of Thrones" Season 1, Episode 4, "Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things," journeys and searches take an abrupt turn, one to a character's benefit, two rather unexpectedly and violently.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

White House and Congress Clash Over NASA Funding, Space Cooperation with China
Tina Fey Returns to Her Sarah Palin Bimbo Impression on 'SNL'
Tina Fey, one of the stars of "30 Rock" and of a number of movies, was host of "Saturday Night Live" recently. Fey reprised her impersonation of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin during a mock debate skit.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Probes to Mars, Titan and a Comet Compete for NASA Discovery Funding
Houston Privatizes Convention, Hotel, Entertainment Operations
I know Joss Whedon is supposed to be a Hollywood lib. That is what makes Buffy the Conservative all the more interesting, especialy comeing on the heels of Firefly/Serenity being a right wing/libertarian paean for freedon, with the main character being the most red state/red neck hero in episodic televisiom--outside Justified, of course.
Often What One President Begins, the Next President Finishes
Via a tweet by Jake Tapper: "The Bin Laden is a drink that consists of two shots and a splash."
'Thor' Serves Up Plenty of Explosions, Special Effects and Action
In "Thor," the Kenneth Branagh film based on the Marvel Comics stories about the Norse God of Thunder, Chris Hemsworth is properly tall, rugged, blond, and handsome in the title role. Natalie Portman is kind of cute as a spunky climate scientist.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Jeff Greenfield has some artful bit of alternate history. What if bin Laden had been captured, not killed?
Granting Environment Legal Standing Will Paralyze Economy, Produce Nothing But Lawsuits
Fox News is reporting that a group of environmental activists in San Francisco is agitating to grant objects of nature, such as rivers and trees, "human rights" so that environmental lawyers can sue on their behalf.
German Judge's Classification of Bin Laden Operation as Crime Could Compromise U.S.-German Relations
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in trouble for her statement that she was "glad" that Al Qaida terrorist chieftain Osama bin Laden was dead. According to Der Spiegel, the matter has become the source of great controversy in Germany.
Tookies, the iconic hamburger place that is down the road a piece from the Johnson Space Flight Center, is reopening. Tookies has been closed ever since being trashed by Hurricane Ike.
Space Adventures Adds Hab Module to Private Around-the-Moon Space Voyage
Ahmadinejad Associates Arrested for 'Sorcery'
One sign that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may be on his way out as Iranian president is the fact that some of his associates have been arrested upon the charge of practicing "sorcery," according to The Guardian.
Texas Considers 'Loser Pays' Tort Reform Measure
House Passes Legislation to Boost Gulf Coast Oil Production, 'Address Soaring Gas Prices and Create New Jobs'
Obama Blows Political Capital Just Days After Bin Laden's Death
President Barack Obama went to Ground Zero in New York Thursday to lay a wreath and meet with first responders and family members to commemorate the execution of Osama bin Laden, In the process, the president may have blown a lot of goodwill.
The 'Bones' Crew Dispenses Welcome Justice on a Pair of Child Abusers
In "Bones" Season 6, Episode 21, "The Signs in the Silence," a young girl is found in an alley by a police officer. She is covered with blood, not her own, and has a bloody knife. She also cannot hear nor speak and is very agitated.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Loren Thompson provides a critique of the Obama/Musk space partnership and provides some inconvenient facts concerning the efficacy of SpaceX's operation.

But the laws of physics aren't going to change no matter how much demand spikes, and Musk's track record to date is not encouraging. Consider:

-- The initial launch of SpaceX's Falcon 1 vehicle was delayed over two years, and then suffered three failures before finally achieving a successful launch five years late.

-- The initial launch of SpaceX's Falcon 5 vehicle was originally expected to occur in 2005, and never happened at all.

-- The initial launch of SpaceX's Falcon 9 vehicle was delayed three years, and the company is now trying to back out of price commitments it made.

Meanwhile, Rand Simberg provides an adolescent "response" to Thompson's critique that consists of accusations of lying and conflict of interest. The former seems to revolve around the difference between $2 billion, which Thompson says SpaceX has been promised or paid, and "less than $300 million" which is Rand's figure. Thompson seems to be including the $1.6 billion cargo delivery to ISS contract SpaceX has gotten from NASA whereas Rand does not. No evidence of dishonesty here; just using different accounting.

As for the accusations of conflict of interest, Rand offers no proof, only insinuations.

Coupled with the rage that has resulted from the Cernan critique and Dr. Spudis' response, one cannot but help but get the impression that the supporters of Obamaspace are starting to become completely unhinged. This is somewhat saddening, because at the end of the day it is going to mean a lot of political damage to the cause of real commercial space flight. One can hope that when the wreckage is cleared, some kind of sensible policy will finally result that does not have the whiff of crony capitalism.
50 Years Ago, Alan Shepard Became First American in Space
Waterboarding's Value Based on Political Expediency, Not Principle
Three Late Stars Fleeing 9/11 in a Rental Car Recipe for Comedy Gold
The story sounds like a set up for the mother of all punchlines. The UK Daily Express is reporting that Michael Jackson, Marlon Brando, and Elizabeth Taylor fled New York in a rented car on 9/11 and drove all the way to Ohio, a 500 mile trip.
Obama Should Consult George H.W. Bush on Implementing New Miles Traveled Tax
The Obama administration, in a move that is likely to be controversial, is floating an idea to tax drivers on the miles they drive their cars, according to The Hill. It is unclear whether this new tax would replace or supplement the tax on gasoline.
The Boys from 'South Park' Save the World As Only They Can
In "South Park" Season 15 Episode 2 "Funnybot," the boys deal with tacky awards shows, humorless Germans, and a killer robot. Oddly enough, there is no gross out humor in this episode, unless you consider the end of the world gross.
Episode Recap: 'Justifed' Season 2, Episode 13 'Bloody Harlan'
In "Justified" Season 2, Episode 13, "Bloody Harlan," the story is one of those "it has all led to this" kind of episodes. The episode is well named, because, at the end of it, a lot of people are going to be dead or worse for wear.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Sarah Palin a Modern Cold War Hero in the Making
It is considered unusual for a former governor who holds no public office and is not currently running for another to have a foreign policy adviser. But Sarah Palin, not known for being conventional, has chosen Peter Schweizer for that job.
How a Navy SEAL is Trained
Imam Threatens to 'Hang' President Obama for Bin Laden Execution
Bush Exhibits Welcome Restraint in Not Accompanying Obama to Ground Zero
President Barack Obama invited former President George W. Bush to a special ceremony at Ground Zero in New York to commemorate the execution of Osama bin Laden.Bush has politely declined the invitation. Former President Bush will be at Ground Zero for the 10th anniversary of the attacks this September, however.
Was Osama Bin Laden's Body Treated with Too Little or Too Much Respect?
Bin Laden's Death Latest Milestone for Generation Born into War on Terror
President George W. Bush was in Florida at an education event in 2001, reading a story to a second grade class, when he received the first word of 9/11. As the 10-year anniversary draws nigh, some of those kids, now in high school, speak out.
Paul Spudis comes to the defense of Gene Cernan. I certainly agree that Cernan has been unfairly maligned by people who regard space policy choices as more a matter of religious fervor than positions worthy of legitimate debate.

Addenedum: Rand Simberg, as usual, misses the point. He also thinks that a partially completed inflatable space station sitting in a factory on the ground somehow constitutes a "market" for commercial space. Bigelow has a good concept and has done some great things so far. But it doesn't have anything a commercial space ship can go to yet.

This is a big part of the problem with so-called commercial space advocates. A company saying that it is going to do something for them is the same as it having been done. When people like Cernan and Spudis point out this inconvenient fact, they leap the length of their chains.
It looks like Superman will remain an American after all.
Why Can't the Obama Administration Get Its Story Straight About Bin Laden's Death?
Harrison Schmitt's Plan to Solve the Energy Problem by Mining the Moon
FEMA Denies Texas Disaster Relief for Wildfires; Politics Suspected
Stephen Harper Wins Conservative Majority in Canada; Implications for the United States
Michael Barone has a pretty good analysis of the recent Canadian elections that have placed the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper in a solid majority. Some of the other effects on Canadian politics are far reaching.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Morpheus had a slightly more successful tether test:

Houston Salary Increases Outpace National Average; Oil Industry Sets Pace
Obama Approval Rating Enjoys Temporary, Minimal Bump
Ad Astra Aerospace Shows VASIMR Propelled Lunar Cargo Run
.Osama Bin Laden Death Picture to Be Released?
Sarah Palin Refines Foreign Policy Doctrine with Five-Point Criterion
At a speech at Colorado Christian University Monday night, Sarah Palin further refined what has come to be known as "Palin Doctrine" of foreign and defense policy, representing a departure from both Bush and Obama practices.
Barack Obama Is No Harry Potter
The meme of the Harry Potter books being an allegory for the War on Terror has been around for a while, even though the early books of the series were first published in the 1990s. The movies, though, have been released throughout the war.
'House' and Company Undergo 'Changes'
In "House" Season 7 Episode 20 "Changes," we have a very unfortunate winner of the lottery, a stupid bet between Chase and Foreman, a somewhat irrational not mother-in-law, and two doctors who might have been made for each other.
The Destiny Runs a 'Blockade' of Killer Drones on 'Stargate Universe'
Having dropped off their alternate descendants, the crew of the Destiny begins "Stargate: Universe" Season 2, Episode 19 "Blockade" being blocked at every star they can refuel at by drone fleets. Desperate measures are called for.

"I can't believe there're not any gun stores on this planet."
"Maybe they're Canadians."

Monday, May 02, 2011

Bin Laden's Final Moments Marked by Cowardice
One of the more grotesque aspects of the manner of Osama bin Laden's departure from this world was how, as the Navy SEAL operators closed in, the terrorist chieftain used women as human shields to try to get away. One was apparently one of bin Laden's wives.
A Space Shuttle Launch, like a Royal Wedding, is Performance Art
The Death of Osama Bin Laden, the cartoon:

President Obama Takes Shots at the White House Correspondents Dinner
The Beatification of Pope John Paul II
Anti-War Figurehead Articulates Latest Conspiracy Theory
One of the oddest reactions to the end of Osama Bin Laden comes from Cindy Sheehan, the sad, middle-aged woman who went around the bend due to the death of her son in battle and who had been, at one time, darling of the anti-war movement.
JSOC SEAL Team 6 Operators Take Out Osama Bin Laden
Barbara Walters, Spike Lee, Michael Moore React to Bin Laden's Death with Snark
While most people of whatever political stripe have taken time out from partisan combat to simply savor the death of the monster Osama Bin Laden, not everyone has been able to help themselves from taking a few shots.
Armadillos Found to Carry Leprosy
Obama's Death of Osama Bin Laden Speech Filled with 'Malignant Narcissism'
Texans, Former President Bush Celebrate the Ending of Osama Bin Laden
'Game of Thrones' Offers Comment on Lavish Spending, Hard Times with 'Lord Snow'
In "Game of Thrones" Season 1, Episode 3 "Lord Snow," several characters of the unfolding drama in a world of magic and intrigue begin to realize that things are worse than they had ever imagined.
The Death of Osama Bin Laden: The End of the Beginning in the Long War
'The French King' Opts for War on 'The Borgias'
In "The Borgias" Season 1, Episode 6 "The French King," the closing acts of a process that will bring about an apocalypse in Italy are just about concluded. The period of intrigue and back stabbing is about to yield to war.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Report: Osama bin Laden, enemy of all humankind, has at last entered Hell. Much more anon.
Gene Cernan, that little known space explorer who did something totally irrelevant to what is going on today almost 40 years ago, had some thoughts about space at the crossroads. Naturally the Internet Rocketeer Club erupted in snarky derision that crosses the line into disrespect.

While there are some of what Gene had to say that I might quibble with, the gist of what the Internet Rocketeers are saying is, "Oh, he's just some old, fuddy duddy who doesn't know where it's really at. And how dare he imply that Elon Musk is not a graduate of Hogwarts and therefore cannot do magic!"

The stance of the cocky, hormone addled adolescent is going to hurt commercial space quite a bit politically. And since commercial space is now largely dependent on the good will of politicians, that seems to be criminally stupid.