Sunday, July 31, 2011

Young People Abandoning Obama, Democrats Over Economic, Cultural Issues
As President Barack Obama contemplates his prospects for the 2012 election, he surely must be anxious about the fact that a key constituency that helped to elect him is 2008, young people, are abandoning him in droves, according to Michael Barone.This phenomenon was apparent in the 2010 midterm elections as the youth vote abandoned the Democrats, thanks to the weak economy and poor job prospects, Barone reports that this process is accelerating and deepening.
John Marburger and His Vision for Space Exploration
Very few people outside of political and space circles remember John Marburger, the White House science adviser for President George W. Bush, but if Americans every settle the high frontier of space, Marburger will have been a driving spirit for it.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry's Support of Human Life Constitutional Amendment Mollifies Pro-Lifers
Gov. Rick Perry of Texas has clarified his stance on abortion being a matter for the states to decide, according to the dictates of the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Perry favors the overturn of Roe v. Wade and a Human Life Amendment.
Formation of Free Syrian Army Provides Opportunities for American Foreign Policy
Syrian dictator Bashir Assad has not been able to quell the rebellion his regime is facing, despite several months of indiscriminate killing and mayhem. Now the Syrian Revolution may be entering a new phase with the defection of a Syrian general.
Apollo 15 Landed on the Moon 40 Years Ago
Forty years ago on July 30, 1971, Apollo 15 landed on the lunar surface in the Hadley Apennine region, Mare Imbrium near the Hadley Rille and near the Apennine Mountain range. Apollo 15 was the first long duration "J" mission.
Tropical Storm Don Fizzles Over Texas Gulf Coast, Brings Little Drought Relief
Tropical Storm Don, which had formed a few days ago in the Caribbean, made landfall on the Texas Gulf Coast just south of Baffin Bay, then immediately fell apart. Don did not bring nearly the amount of rain predicted to drought parched Texas.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Texas Gov. Rick Perry's Position that Abortion is a Matter for the States Irks Pro Lifers
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a presumptive candidate for president, has not only suggested that same sex marriage is a matter for the states, but also the question of abortion. The two, according to Perry, are covered by the 10th Amendment.
What's Next for the International Space Station?
With the conclusion of the space shuttle program and with commercial space flight still years away, NASA and its partners are discussing ways to use the newly completed International Space Station for the benefit of all humankind.
Paul Krugman Lies with Statistics to Blame Reagan for 1970s Stagflation
Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize winning economist who writes for the New York Times, exhibited the third type of lying by using manipulated statistics to "prove" that President Reagan did not usher in a period of unprecedented growth.
Debt Ceiling Deadline Looms as Boehner Bill Killed by Senate and Reid Bill is Stuck in Cloture
Government sausage making proceeded apace on Friday, with House Speaker John Boehner finally being able to pass his latest debt ceiling plan, sweetened with a balance budget amendment, by the narrowest of margins.
Visions Don't Pass Away in which Paul Spudis pays tribute to John Marburger.
'Cowboys and Aliens,' in Which ET Invades the Wild West and Then Wishes He Hadn't
In "Cowboys and Aliens," starring Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, and Olivia Wilde, there are enough familiar western plot lines to make a pretty decent movie even without ET trying to invade the Wild West.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Is NASA Trying to Kill Space Exploration with Meager SLS Manifest?
Recap: 'Burn Notice,' Season 5, Episode 6, 'The Enemy of My Enemy'
"Burn Notice," Season 5, Episode 6, "The Enemy of My Enemy" begins with Michael being called in by Pearce, his new CIA handler, for a new mission. It involves some bad-tempered Serbians and a purloined Predator drone.
'Futurama' Riffs on Time Travel, Alternate Reality, and Bad Ancestors
"Futurama," Season 6, Episode 20, "All the President's Heads" explores time travel, alternate universes, dubious ancestors, and makes a few jokes about U.S. presidents along the way.
Conservative Civil War Obscures Purpose of Debt Fight
Sarah Palin, in a somewhat oblique warning to Republican House freshmen, suggested on her Facebook page that they might find themselves with primary opponents next year if they vote for the Boehner debt ceiling bill.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Blows Struck Against Global Warming by NASA, Investigation of Scientist
The theory of global warming, or climate change, has taken a couple of very serious hits. A peer-reviewed study conducted by NASA suggests that more heat is being released into space than the global warming alarmists' computer models suggest.
Three Cheers for 'Tea Party Hobbits' Fighting 'One Ring' to Tax, Spend

Plus this from Rand Paul.
To those referring to "Tea Party hobbits." I'd rather be a hobbit than a troll.
Harrison Ford settles an old score from "Star Wars."

Rand Simberg has an account of a speech by Lori Garver at the New Space Conference than makes her sound like the NASA equivalent of Baghdad Bob. Apparently she is not only unaware that the Senate Commerce Committee has decided that NASA is withholding SLS documents and has thus issued a subpoena to get them, but is also unaware of the NASA Space Flight report about the launch manifest for SLS. How else to explain this happy talk about going to an asteroid by 2019? And of course, the blather about settling space seems to be at odds with abandoning the Moon.
Joan of Arc Battles William the Conqueror on 'Deadliest Warrior'
"Deadliest Warrior," Season 3, Episode 2, "Joan of Arc vs. William the Conqueror" pitted a 15th century peasant girl said to be inspired by God to save France from the English against a ruthless 11th century warlord who conquered the English. The advantages and disadvantages of the two sides are obvious.
Sept. Iowa Speech Holds Promise for Palin Presidential Bid Announcement
Fueling speculation that she intends to run for president, Sarah Palin has agreed to deliver the keynote speech at a Tea Party rally in Waukee, Iowa, on Sept 3. Iowa holds the first national caucus early next year.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Unhappiness of Nancy Pelosi
The Conundrum of Speaker John Boehner
McDonald's Happy Meal Change Under Pressure from Food Nazis
Is Obama Headed for a Landslide Defeat?
Tropical Storm Don Offers Texas Peril, but Also Rain and Lower Temperatures
Trailer for 'Battleship' Promises Alien-Fighting Action, Explosions
The trailer for "Battleship," a movie based on the iconic Hasbro game of naval combat, is now out. It stars Liam Neeson, Alexander Skarsard, Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker, and Rihanna and opens in May 2012.
The latest communique from the Space Access Society contains an interesting passage that illustrates one of the many things that is wrong with what is laughingly called "space activism."
We've been of mixed mind how actively we should oppose SLS for a while now. On the one hand, it is indisputably a huge piece of earmarked pork. Further, there's a strong likelihood that SLS will never fly at all for the proposed funding under the implicit political requirement of being managed by as much of the current NASA HSF booster establishment as can possibly be kept on the payroll. Finally, SLS's Congressional sponsors remain prone to trimming back actual useful NASA projects like Commercial Crew (fingers crossed CCP gets over their HSF-inspired micromanagement compulsion) and Space Technology Program to pay for minor plus-ups of the SLS porkfest.

Plus, attacking SLS all-out would be really, really satisfying. We'd certainly enjoy it, and we have reason to believe we'd mobilize considerable additional grass-roots support, because face it, a lot of you would enjoy it as well.

There are two boringly unsatisfying reasons why we've mostly limited ourselves to pointing out SLS's absurdities without actively trying to defund it.

Of course considering the current budget climate, the lack of leadership coming from the White House and NASA and the chaos in the Congress, it is uncertain that anything is going to fly anytime soon. Congress is getting ready to not only underfund SLS but also commercial crew. Coupled with that NASA moving to manage commercial crew the old fashioned way, and one sees shaping up another "lost decade" of American space flight, as Mike Griffin so adroitly put it.

With all of that, these people contemplating going after SLS because it would be "really, really satisfying" seems to these tired, old eyes to be the height of absurdity. Letting emotions interfere violates one of the first rules of political intrigue. Sadly too many people violate that rule.
Recap: 'Covert Affairs,' Season 2, Episode 8, 'Welcome to the Occupation'
In "Covert Affairs," Season 2, Episode 8, "Welcome to the Occupation," Annie is interrupted on her free climbing weekend with her doctor sweetie by an apparent gang of eco terrorists who take the board of an oil company hostage in Mexico City.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cruz-Dewhurst Senate Race in Texas to Be Establishment vs. Outsider Brawl
Kerry Spokesman's Medal Loss Revives Hypocrisy of 2004 Campaign
When Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., ran for president in 2004, he touted his Vietnam War service, for which he was decorated, as part of his campaign. A fellow veteran, Wade Sanders, himself a Silver Star recipient, vouched for him.
Minn. Emerges as Unlikely Battleground State for Presidential Nod
One of the more interesting developments in the nascent Republican primary race has been the brawl that has developed between two politicians from Minnesota: Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
Anders Breivik Lawyer: Client 'Probably Insane'
Obama Speech an Attempt to Save Presidency
Philippines President Benigno Aquino Warns China Over Spratly Islands Dispute
Glenn Beck Compares Norway Youth Camp Victims to 'Hitler Youth'
Obama and Boehner Give Dueling Speeches on the Debt Crisis
New Poll Has Contradictory Findings for Public Support of NASA Space Exploration
Harrison Ford's Wyatt Earp to Battle Al Capone in 'Black Hats'
No doubt on the basis of what many suggest is an impressive performance in the upcoming science fiction/Western "Cowboys and Aliens," Harrison Ford is set to play iconic lawman Wyatt Earp in the upcoming "Black Hats."

Monday, July 25, 2011

Could President Obama Be Impeached Over the Debt Ceiling?
Report: Texas Gov. Rick Perry to Enter Presidential Race in Late August
Democratic Rep. David Wu Stands Tough in Face of Sex Charge
NASA's Asteroid Mission -- Can We and Should We?
Anders Breivik and the Knights Templar
Anders Breivik's Manifesto: What Drove Him to Kill?
Norway Massacre Raises Questions About Criminal Justice in Europe
Could Amy Winehouse Have Been Saved?
'Falling Skies' Soft on Treason in 'Sanctuary 2'
In "Falling Skies," Season 1, Episode 7, "Sanctuary 2" it is discovered Clayton is very bad at being a foul traitor to his own species. For one thing, he captured Pope trying to steal his supplies and put him into chains. This puts the bike chef out indeed.
Recap: 'True Blood,' Season 4, Episode 5, 'Me and the Devil'
In "True Blood," Season 4, Episode 5, "Me and the Devil," there are at least two murders, a number of betrayals, lying, illicit sex, God having some fun, and threats made. It is just another fun time in the town of Bon Temps.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Amy Winehouse Joins the '27 Club' of Musicians Dying Young
EPA Cross State Pollution Rule -- Legitimate or Another Punishment for Texas?
A Congressman and an Astronaut Propose a New Plan to Explore Space

Addendum: There is a wild discussion over at Space Politics with the usual ranting, blathering, and clueless behavior. Here is an especially delicious gem coming from our favorite "recovered aerospace engineer," referring to Gene Cernan.
I can infer it from the clueless things he says. If someone tells me 2+2=5, I will call them out on it, and I don’t care if he was the first man to step on Mars.

Sheila Jackson Lee could not have said it better. It illustrates the arrogance and cluelessness exhibited over the years by the Internet Rocketeer club, a group of angry, little men who are about to get a cold dose of reality as adults like Olson move to reclaim the American space program.

For the record, by the way, Gene Cernan, whom Rand choose to slime, was the last man to walk on the Moon.
Terrorist Outrage in Oslo Rocks Norway, Causes Finger Pointing
Boehner's New Debt Ceiling Plan Backs Obama into a Corner
According to Byron York at the Washington Examiner, House Speaker John Boehner is preparing a new proposal to avert the debt ceiling crisis and to enact long term tax reform and spending reductions.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

Russia 'Age of Soyuz' Boasts Humiliating for United States
Rick Perry Raises Space as Political Issue by Attacking Obama
Inspired Clip from First New 'Beavis and Butt-Head' Airs at Comic-Con
Your humble correspondent reported in February that "Beavis and Butt-Head" is coming back with their nasty humor for the 21st century. Entertainment Weekly reports a clip aired at Comic-Con in San Diego of the first episode, which has the boys engaging in their classic, dumb high jinks.
Senate Democrats Vote Down Cut, Cap, and Balance, Seal Obama's Fate
Cut, Cap, and Balance has been voted down in the Senate along party lines. However, Senate Democrats might want to reconsider. According to a CNN poll of over 1,000 adults, Americans support the bill by about a two-to-one margin, as indicated by question 21.
Rand Simberg takes a swipe at heavy lift and then fails to convince about fuel depots.
Let me elaborate. Tell me where I’m going wrong, here. We can’t get to the moon without a lander. We can’t get to the moon without a lunar insertion stage. We can get to the moon without a heavy lifter, if we’re willing to either design the stage to accept and store propellant on orbit, or put up a separate propellant depot. Given that we have finite resources, if one wanted to get to the moon as quickly as possible using those resources, and one was rational, one would want to focus on those elements that are essential to get to the moon, and put off those things that are not so. This is just basic critical path analysis.

There are a couple of problems with Rand's rant.

First, he assumes that the lander has to be developed in tandem with the heavy lifter. To be sure there are some small scale projects going on at JSC and Marshal, but a lander does not have to be ready the very second that the heavy lifter is. The SLS/Space Ship Formally Known as Orion can do flight testing to lunar orbit and the lagrange points while the lander is developed.

Second, Rand's fixation on fuel depots as a panacea flies in the face of every study done on the subject, including the Augustine Committee, that concluded that shooting fuel tanks from the Earth's surface does not buy one any savings but does assume a great deal more risk. Now, fuel from the Moon, deployed to one of the Lagrange points using a mass driver is another thing entirely. However, first one has to get to the Moon and for that one needs heavy lift.
Recap: 'Burn Notice,' Season 5, Episode 5, 'Square One'
"Burn Notice," Season 5, Episode 5, "Square One" finds Michael Weston dealing with the aftermath of Max's murder. Michael also picked up a job involving an Army sniper's sister and a criminal mastermind.
'Futurama' Satirizes Insidious Social Ills of Kids TV Programs
"Futurama," Season 6, Episode 19, "Yo Leela Leela" is one of the better episodes of the current run of the show. That is because it pokes fun at something that rarely gets poked fun at but really ought to be: children's programming.
Bill Maher is a coward:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Is Rick Perry Too Much like George W. Bush to Be President?
Sen. Tom Harkin Mistakenly Calls the Wrong Party a 'Cult'
Heat Wave Turns Ind. Couple into Sexual Deviants
Apparently the intense heat wave gripping much of the United States can cause some people to behave in strange ways. A case in point is a couple in Cornersville, Ind., who decided to start having sex in a public swimming pool.
Apparently Sarah Palin Becoming a Grandmother Again is a Scandal

The latest pumped up scandal to come from the Palin family is the supposition by some that Britta Hanson, the wife of Sarah's son Track, an Army reservist and professional fisherman, is apparently pregnant.


Sarah Palin Shows Surprising Strength for a Non-Candidate
It is the conventional wisdom inside the Beltway that Sarah Palin not only will not enter the presidential race but should not. But the Washington Examiner's Byron York shows she is pretty strong for a never-can-be candidate.
How the Space Shuttle Soared at the Movies
Atlantis' Landing Marks Beginning of Commercial Space Flight (Hopefully)
The First Battle of Bull Run and the Legend of Stonewall Jackson
The First Battle of Bull Run, as the Union called it, or the First Battle of Manassas, as the Confederates called it, occurred July 21, 1861, and was the first major land engagement of the Civil War.
George Washington Faces Napoleon on 'Deadliest Warrior'
"Deadliest Warrior," Season 3, Episode 1, "George Washington vs. Napoleon Bonaparte" matched two generals of almost the same era but with decidedly different fighting styles. The episode also introduced changes in the show's format.
MSNBC's Contessa Brewer Gets Presumptuous with Ala. Rep., Regrets It
Contessa Brewer, an MSNBC personality, might want to take the time to research her guests and the subjects that will be covered in the interview. Then she will avoid the embarrassment she suffered while interviewing Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala.
The space shuttle Atlantis has landed at the Kennedy Space Center for the last time. I did an an analysis of the shuttle program several years ago. Much more about this subject anon.

Addendum: Rand Simberg dances on the grave of the space shuttle program. and then gets really cute.
For the record, I think that it’s important that we carry Anglospheric and western values into the cosmos, and I’m pretty confident we will. I am equally confident that we won’t do it if we persist in thinking (like the Chinese) that it will be done with a Twenty-Year Plan.

It can be argued that the crony capitalist method that is now being used to subsidize commercial space is right out of Beijing's playbook. Besides, my preferred models are Prince Henry the Navigator and President Thomas Jefferson, not the godless Red Chinese.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Is Bill Maher's Sexual History Fair Game?
Mediaite takes a dim view of some of the ladies on Fox News speculating about the roots of Bill Maher's rage against conservative women. The author of the piece, Francis Martel, thinks doing so concedes the moral high ground.
Steve Wynn -- No End to Economic Downturn Until End of Obama Administration
Marine Would Be Crazy Not to Go to Ball with Linda Hamilton
It looks like my suggestion to the Hollywood community to take soldiers out on dates has been taken to heart by at least some. According to Big Hollywood, the latest to agree to take a Marine to the Marine Corps Ball is Linda Hamilton, aka Sarah Connor.
Paul Spudis ruminates on the 42nd Apollo Day and the end of the space shuttle program.
We discarded both a working transportation system and a strategic path forward in space in exchange for promises of commercial space travel to LEO and dreams of human missions to an asteroid (with nebulous rationale and timetable). Wishing new capabilities into existence without a clear step-by-step path forward would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic. The administration came to a fork in the road, pondered the direction our national space program could go, and chose a path with no objective or productive program architecture that America could embrace to stay on top of her game.

James O'Keefe's crew strikes again, this time in the form of one of the super Mario brothers at a New York Medicaid office. It looks like Mario has a little business on the side.
'Cut, Cap and Balance' Passage Places Obama in a Quandary
Why Did We Stop Going to the Moon and Why Aren't We Going Back?
Recap: 'Covert Affairs,' Season 2, Episode 7, 'Half a World Away'
In "Covert Affairs," Season 2, Episode 7, "Half a World Away," Auggie is going to Istanbul on vacation to attend a jazz festival. This would ordinarily be a challenge for a blind man, but this is Auggie we are talking about.
DNC Chair More Dumb, Ditzy Than 'Vile, Unprofessional and Despicable'
Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-Fla., who also happens to be the chair of the DNC, has seriously annoyed a fellow member of the House, Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., in remarks she made on the floor of the House recently.
Aviation Week has an excellent piece on the current state of play in space. Here is the takeaway that will cause blood vessels to pop in certain quarters.
The initial operational capability of the Constellation program’s Orion/Ares I crew-launch stack endorsed by former President George W. Bush was a moving target. Its ambitious schedule slipped as the inevitable technical issues arose without adequate funding to fix them.

To date, the commercial replacements for Orion/Ares I favored by President Barack Obama have not hit major technical challenges like the thrust-oscillation issue that slowed Ares I. But that could be because they have not gotten far enough along in development to run into real trouble. Like Constellation, they are working to optimistic time lines, but they started later.

After Obama took office in 2009, his space-policy team surprised Congress with a budget request that terminated the Constellation program outright, including both the Ares I crew launcher and the planned Ares V heavy-lifter. The new plan handed to the private sector the job of transporting cargo and crew to the ISS. The budget request, delivered without preamble or detail to lawmakers accustomed to a more collaborative approach to working with the executive branch, triggered a strong negative reaction from senators and representatives.

And then there is this:
But SpaceX’s finances and the exact technical status of its vehicles remain hidden from view. The public-sector Ares I and Orion developments were more transparent until Obama terminated them as “unsustainable,” in the words of the outside panel headed by former Lockheed Martin CEO Norman Augustine commissioned by Obama to study the issue. That transparency left the projects open to criticism, not all of it constructive or even objective.

On the occasion of Apollo Day, who is reponsible for casting a pall on America's space future? President Obama for cancelling Constellation says J. Chistian Adams. Not so, says Rand Simberg. It's those rascally Republicans in Congress for not giving commercial space firms enough subsidies and for insisting that there be some government funded exploration.

Of the two, Adams is the most persuasive.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Can the 'Gang of Six' Senate Debt Ceiling Plan Pass?
In the wake of the House "Cut, Cap, and Balance" bill that raises the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion, cuts $2.4 trillion over 10 years from the federal budget, and passes the balanced budget amendment, the Senate now has its own plan.
N.C., S.C. Medicaid Staff Reaction to VERITAS Expose Troubling
Coburn Proposes Canceling NASA Program that Has Already Been Eliminated
Does the Closing of Borders Presage the End of the Physical Book Store?
Palin Film 'The Undefeated' to Expand to More Theaters
"The Undefeated," the Sarah Palin biopic that premiered last weekend to 10 screens across the country, will be expanding to a handful of extra theaters in selected markets. Starting Friday, the movie will show in 14 theaters
'Captain Planet's' Environmental Propaganda Won't Work on Big Screen
With cartoons like "GI Joe" and "Transformers" having become hit film franchises, the next animated cartoon to get the live action film treatment is "Captain Planet and the Planeteers," which ran on the Cartoon Network in the 1990s.
Murdoch Scandal Features Shaving Cream Attacks and Political Hypocrisy
Taliban Execution Video of Pakistani Prisoners Shows Terror Strategy
Doctors at Texas Children's Hospital Develop Laser Surgery Treatment for Epilepsy
Can Charlie Sheen Win with 'Anger Management' Sitcom?
Charlie Sheen's new sitcom project has been revealed to be an episodic television version of the 2003 film "Anger Management." Sheen will play an updated version of the role played in the movie by Jack Nicholson of an unorthodox anger management counselor.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Theft of Crucifix Illustrates Neglected Airport Security Problem
It seems that someone, either a baggage handler or an employee of the TSA, has stolen from the wrong radio talk show host at the Newark airport. Laura Ingraham, talk show host, television personality, and author, is missing a baptismal crucifix.
'MightyEagle' Lunar Lander Project Soars at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Visit India for Three Days of Talks
NASA's Dawn Orbits Asteroid Vesta for Year Long Mission
Obama Threatens Veto of of Cap, Cut and Balance Due to Lack of Tax Increases
The White House has responded to the House plan to raise the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion and cut spending by the same amount over the next 10 years. President Obama has threatened to veto the bill if it comes to his desk.
Project VERITAS Operatives Expose Medicaid Fraud in Ohio
James O'Keefe, the head of Project VERITAS who has used the hidden camera as a weapon of mass destruction, has struck again. The latest video involved various Medicaid offices in Ohio and a pair of gentlemen pretending to be Russian drug dealers, according to a story in the Daily Caller.
Could New York's Andrew Cuomo Benefit from an Obama Defeat in 2012?
Texas Gov. Perry Signs Bills Balancing Energy Production with the Environment
Recap: 'True Blood,' Season 4, Episode 4, 'I'm Alive and on Fire'
In "True Blood," Season 4, Episode 4, "I'm Alive and On Fire," Sookie, to her consternation, finds that fairy blood has the same effect on vampires as high-quality whiskey does on humans. After draining Claudia dry, Eric runs into the woods.
Recap: 'Falling Skies,' Season 1, Episode 5, 'Sanctuary 1'
In "Falling Skies," Season 1, Episode 5, "Sanctuary 1," a man named Clayton, claiming to be one of the last survivors of another resistance group, comes into camp claiming that the aliens are making a big offensive in their direction.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Egypt's Military Moves to Ensure It's Own Supremacy in New Constitution
The New York Times is reporting that the Egyptian Army is moving to establish a decisive role in the formation of the new Egyptian Constitution. There is a good news and a bad news aspect to this story.
Is NASA Diverting Funding from the Space Launch System?
Texas Border Sees Surge of Illegal Immigrants -- From India
Bill Maher Denies He is Sexist and Crazy by Making a Crazy, Sexist Rant About Sarah Palin
Jane Fonda Blames 'The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy' for a QVC Appearance Cancellation
Jane Fonda is blaming the vast right wing conspiracy for a cancellation of a planned appearance by her on the QVC network to promote her new book, "Prime Time." It seems that some people can't get past the visit to Hanoi.
Hating Sarah Palin can be hazardous to ones health. I suggest medication and deep meditation.
P.J. O'Rourke, who usually looks upon the world with a satirical eye, looks upon the last shuttle launch with his young son, and looks upon it with awe and sadness.

And that is nothing compared to what the boy felt.
My seven-year-old son, Cliff, watched the last space shuttle launch from the NASA viewing stands at the Kennedy Space Center. He had a spiritual experience of a kind that no amount of dragging him to Mass or even Fenway Park has inspired. His little face​—​seemingly made up entirely of open eyes​—​announced it: “This is awe!” He didn’t need to say anything and, having forgotten to breathe, he probably couldn’t. Indeed, for the first waking moment in his 89 months on earth, he was silent.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Boeing Explains Why it Needs Government Subsidies to Build a 'Commercial' Space Ship
Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee Displays Hypocrisy by Playing the Race Card
Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Other Great Fantasy Series for the Big and Small Screen
Big Opening for 'The Undefeated' Has Implications for Possible Palin Presidential Run
Just on the face of it, it would seem to have been the biggest risk in marketing history to roll out a documentary about a politician with less than stellar poll numbers on the same night that the last Harry Potter movie was scheduled to be released.
Airline Passenger Fondles TSA Agent; Is Turn About Fair Play?
Horror stories about TSA officials fondling airline passengers, some as young as six, as part of the check in gate security procedure, have abounded. But Yukari Mihamae, 61, a Colorado resident, added a new twist to the story.
The Battle of Hogwarts in 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2' an After Action Report
The Battle of Hogwarts, as depicted in the film "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" seems to have been choreographed by people who do not know anything about modern combat tactics. This may be by deliberate design, since that art seems to be absent in J.K. Rowling's wizarding world.
Obama's Mother's Health Insurance Fight Story Does Not Fit Known Facts

Addendum: Can I call it or what?
Papas maintains that the president’s story, if not exactly as Americans may have understood it, still stands as commentary on “the impact of pre-existing condition limits on insurance protection from health-care costs.” This would be a reasonable argument except that disability insurance, which is usually intended to cover wages lost to illness and not treatment, was never part of the debate in the health-care reform act.

It’s likely that the president will be forgiven this exaggeration in the service of a greater truth. But it was never, in fact, quite true.

"Greater truth" is liberalspeak for bald faced lies uttered for political gain. Parker forgets how unpopular Obamacare really is. The president will never be forgiven. Never,

Do Commercial Spin-offs Help Justify Projects like NASA's Space Shuttle?
'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2', Where it Has All Led Up To
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" concludes the film version of J.K. Rowlings epic for all ages about the boy wizard who grows up to become the last best hope for freedom in the wizarding world in England's green and pleasant land.
Just a piece of advice. Pretending to be cool by heaping disdain on a classic of children's literature does not work.

Friday, July 15, 2011

I have to admit, this is pretty clever, even if someone else likely came up with the idea.
During his call to the orbiting Space Shuttle Atlantis and International Space Station crews today, President Obama mentioned that a special American Flag had been carried to orbit on board Atlantis - a flag that had been carried aboard Columbia during STS-1. According to STS-135 Commander Chris Ferguson, this flag will be left on board the ISS until the next crew of Americans is launched from American soil aboard a commercial spacecraft. The President joked that this is going to become sort of a "capture the flag" game for the commercial spaceflight industry. Shortly thereafter SpaceX tweeted "SpaceX commencing flag capturing sequence..."

And thus the game begins.

Maybe one or more of the folks participating in the Google Lunar X Prize could carry a flag, packaged against the harsh lunar environment of course, for the first Americans back to recover and bring back.
'Why I Hate Texas' Wide of the Truth about 'Model' for Economic Growth
House Advances Debt Plan, Obama Stalls with Speech
While President Obama held his third press conference on the debt ceiling crisis, offering no specifics and no plan but lots of attempts at blame shifting, the House Republicans have decided to proceed without him.
Recap: 'Futurama,' Season 6, Episode 18, 'The Silence of the Clamps'
"Futurama," Season 6, Episode 18, "The Silence of the Clamps" is a takeoff more on mob movies, such as the "The Godfather," than on serial killer movies, despite what the title suggests.
Recap: 'Burn Notice,' Season 5, Episode 4, 'No Good Deed'
"Burn Notice," Season 5, Episode 4, "No Good Deed" has Michael and Max wearing that universal spy uniform, the tuxedo, at a charity function. Their target is a man who is keen to steal industrial secrets in the form of a tablet computer.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

SpaceX Discusses How Private/Public Partnership Can Advance Space Exploration
Obama Brand Fading with Latest Gallup Poll
Gallup has released a new poll that must be keeping the people at the White House awake at nights. The poll suggests that a generic Republican will beat President Barack Obama 47 percent to 39 percent in the 2012 election.
Obama to Celebrate Birthday Bacchanalia Day After America Goes Broke
President Barack Obama is scheduled to have his 50th birthday party Aug. 3, the day after America is supposed to go broke if an agreement is not reached to raise the debt ceiling. Worse timing cannot be imagined.
Teaser Trailer for Edgar Rice Burroughs Adaptation 'John Carter' Out
The first teaser trailer has been released for "John Carter," the film based on the series by Edgar Rice Burroughs about a former Confederate officer who is inexplicably transported to Mars, where he has numerous adventures.
Afghan Women to Turn Tables on Taliban with Air Force Training in Texas
Food Fascists Target National Hot Dog Month
July is National Hot Dog Month, celebrating that wondrous roll of meat inside a bun. The hot dog was said to have been invented in the city of Frankfurt sometime in the 13th century and brought to the United States in 1870 or so.
Obama Creates Drama, Walks Out of Debt Ceiling Talks in a Huff
Events Converging for Palin Presidential Run
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, in an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity, suggested that her decision whether or not to run for president will come in the late summer, suggesting an August or September announcement.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Arnold Schwarzenegger Gets Started on Alimony with 'The Last Stand'
Arnold Schwarzenegger has chosen his first post-governator film to appear in. The title of the movie is "The Last Stand." It has been described as a modern Western. It certainly has all the potential for action one expects from "Ahnold."
Can Sarah Palin Take New Hampshire with Secret Army of Supporters?
Just as in Iowa, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has a secret army gathering in the first national primary state of New Hampshire ready to spring into action the moment she announces, according to the Boston Herald.
Bomb Blasts Rock Mumbai, India; Was Pakistan Involved?
Ron Paul to Retire from the House to Concentrate on Presidential Run
'Real' Democrats Win Primaries in Wisconsin Recall Elections
Sherwood Schwartz, of 'Gilligan's Island' and 'The Brady Bunch,' Passes Away
Obama Threatens to Withhold Social Security Checks in Debt Ceiling Talks
House Hearings on NASA's Space Launch System a Kabuki Dance with No Real Purpose
Recap: 'Covert Affairs,' Season 2, Episode 6, 'The Outsiders'
"Covert Affairs," Season 2, Episode 6, "The Outsiders" finds Annie and Reva hiking along the Poland-Belarus border, planting surveillance cameras. Why the Poles, who seem perfectly capable of doing so, are not doing this is unknown.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Can There Be a Solution to American Fiscal Woes While Obama is President?
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has concluded, or at least has said that he has concluded, that no long-term solution of the federal debt is possible so long as Barack Obama is president of the United States.
Bill Maher Continues Sexualizing Female Politicians with CNN Interview
Bill Maher, the mad cap host of HBO's "Real Time," was interviewed by CNN's Piers Morgan and proved Keith Ablow's point once again about his issues with smart, attractive, conservative women.
Galveston's Tall Ship 'Elissa' Needs a Hull Replacement
Robotic Refueling Mission on the ISS Has Implications for Future of Space Flight
Has a Split Between John Boehner and Eric Cantor Opened?
Ahmed Wali Karzai's Assassination Leads to Instability in Kandahar, Afghanistan
SyFy's 'Alphas' a Show About Superheroes Without Costumes
"Alphas" is the latest episodic drama to premiere on the SyFy Channel. The show takes a stab at depicting what are, for all intents and purposes, superheroes, except they have no costumes and their powers could be explained by science.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Chinese Suggestion to Cut U.S. Military Spending Has Ulterior Motive
The chief of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army, Chen Bingde, has a helpful suggestion for politicians struggling with the debt crisis. His advice is to cut back on military spending. General Chen was hosting U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen in Beijing when he made these remarks, according to the Associated Press
U.K. 'Death Panel' Condemns Woman to Starve to Death
The sad and horrible case of Rudi Hargreaves, a 22-year-old teaching assistant living in Hull, East Yorks, England, demonstrates once again the perils of turning over health care decisions to government bureaucrats, in this case the National Health Service.
Mila Kunis Sets Good Example for Hollywood Interaction with Marine Date
Sgt. Scott Moore, U.S. Marine Corps, currently serving in Afghanistan, has posted a YouTube video asking actress Mila Kunis to the Marine Corps Ball in Greenville, N.C., on Nov. 11. According to Fox News, Kunis has graciously accepted the invitation.
Teacher Cheating Scandal Rocks Atlanta Public Schools
Was Sandra Rawline Fired from Capital One in Houston for Her Gray Hair?
Why Speaker John Boehner Walked Away from the Obama Budget 'Compromise'
After the End of the Space Shuttle, What Next for the Chinese Space Program?
Sarah Palin Tells Newsweek 'I Can Win'
Recap: 'True Blood,' Season 4, Episode 3, 'If You Love Me, Why Am I Dying?'
In "True Blood," Season 4, Episode 3, "If You Love Me, Why am I Dying?," Sookie is finding all sorts of aggravation. Eric, his memory taken away by the witches, is both a blessing and a curse. Spoilers follow.
Recap: 'Faling Skies,' Season 1, Episode 5, 'Silent Kill'
In "Falling Skies," Season 1, Episode 5, "Silent Kill," the folks of the Earth resistance are planning a raid to rescue some of the harnessed kids, including Tom's son Ben, being held in the ruins of a hospital. Spoilers follow.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

The Execution of Humberto Leal Garcia -- Justice or Politics?
Worst Space Policy Mistakes -- 1961 to 1984
After Atlantis, NASA's Space Future is Unknown
'Ironclad' - a Film of the Siege of Rochester Castle, 1215
"Ironclad," a film now in limited release, depicts the events surrounding the siege of Rochester Castle in England in the year 1215. The movie is kind of a medieval version of "The Seven Samurai."
Growing Vegetables is a Crime in Oak Park, Mich.
Julie Bass, a resident of Oak Park, Mich., is considered a dangerous criminal by local authorities and may face over three months in jail for her heinous crime. The awful crime Bass committed was planting a vegetable garden in her front yard.
Charlie Rangel Invokes Jesus, Moses, Allah to Support Raising the Debt Ceiling
Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., whose ethical problems has been the subject of much ink and band width, has decided to get very sanctimonious indeed about the debt ceiling crises. He addressed a plea to religious leaders.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Proposal for Deep Cuts in NASA Funding by House Panel Create Controversy
Operation Fast and Furious Could Decimate Obama Reelection Bid
Atlantis STS-135 Launch Marks Last Space Shuttle Mission
EPA Air Pollutant Rules Fall Heaviest On, May Also Benefit Texas
Notable Missions of the Space Shuttle Atlantis
White House Running Out of Options with Ongoing Economic Crisis
David Plouffe, an Obama senior political adviser, may wish he could go back in time and unsay what he said about the politics of unemployment. The unemployment rate for June rose to 9.2 percent, reports CNBC. The economic malaise continues.
Movie Trailers Now Out for 'The Iron Lady,' 'The Undefeated'
Two movie trailers have been released for films that depict the lives of two prominent female politicians. One is of an upcoming fictional biopic of Margaret Thatcher starring Meryl Streep. The other is for "The Undefeated" about Sarah Palin.
Dealing with Women Politicians with 'Sex Appeal'
One of the problems with dealing with some female candidates is how one deals with their physical appearance. Tim Pawlenty adviser Vin Weber felt that he had to instantly apologize when he referred to Michele Bachmann's "sex appeal."
Recap: 'Burn Notice,' Season 5, Episode 3, 'Mind Games'
In "Burn Notice," Season 5, Episode 3, "Mind Games," Michael is beginning to feel the psychological effects of a career that encourages paranoia. This includes thinking he is being followed when he is not and having nightmares.
Recap: 'Futurama,' Season 6, Episode 17, 'Law and Oracle'
In "Furturama," Season 6, Episode 17, "Law and Oracle," Fry finds himself tired of being the butt of jokes over at Planet Express. Also, he finds being a 1,000-plus-year-old delivery boy a little too hard on his dignity.
The trailer for the Sarah Palin movie, "The Undefeated."

The Undefeated Teaser Trailer from Dain Valverde on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Obama, Congressional Republicans Must Strike Deficit Reduction Agreement
The Commercial Space Federation has a neat video celebrating what it views as the coming great adventure of commercial space in the 21st Century. One will hope this is the case, despite the ham handed approach the current administration is taking and the cut throat politics taking place in the Congress.

One thing that should be noted, that despite the utter disdain that some commercial space advocates have for NASA, whomever put this ad together was sharp enough to try to relate the commercial space flights that are hopefully in our future with Mercury, Apollo, and even the space shuttle. That should be a lesson to the angry little men who think they are advancing the cause of commercial space when they are in fact alienating the very people they need for support. Space travel is pretty cool, no matter who employs the astronaut flying the space ship.

Addendum: Several have written that there does not seem to be anything in the ad about actual space exploration, going to the Moon and Mars and so on. Looking at it from that angle, one wonders if the Commercial Space Federation really means to suggest that we are going to be stuck in low Earth orbit for the rest of the century because of commercial space.
Commercial Space Advocates Too Arrogant with Texas Lawmakers
Media Matters' War on Fox News an Effort at Indoctrination
David Brock, the apostate ex-conservative turned liberal crusader, may regret declaring "war on Fox News" on behalf of the organization he now heads, Media Matters. Fox News has taken him at his word and is now acting accordingly.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

It has come to my attention that someone I have not seen in quite some time has been googling my name and has been reading this blog, hopefully with keen interest. If it is who I think it is, long time no see.
The Raid on Enteppe 35 Years On
35 years ago this past July 4, the American bicentennial, the Israeli Defense Forces executed what has to be the most daring hostage rescue mission in history, rescuing a plane filled with Jewish and Israeli hostages at Enteppe, deep inside Africa.
Preserved Dinosaur Tracks at the Texas Memorial Museum in Danger of Extinction
Is the Devil Really Dancing in Celebration of Casey Anthony's Acquittal?
Rumors of Jiang Zemin's Death Sparks Chinese Government Censorship
Southern California Unlikely to Become 51st State of the Union
Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone recently proposed that as many as 13 counties in southern California secede from the rest of the state and form their own state, to be called Southern California. The reasons for such a move are obvious to those who have followed the dysfunctional government in Sacramento. With over-spending, high taxation, and onerous regulation run amok, California, one of the nicest states of the union in which to live, is experiencing a net emigration, many to somewhat less comfortable but more business-friendly states like Texas.
Was the Space Shuttle a Mistake and What Comes Next?
Imagining Dexter Morgan Paying Casey Anthony a Visit Unhealthy, Wrong
Casey Anthony, who was recently acquitted of murdering 2-year-old daughter Caylee, has certainly become the most unpopular woman in America, so much so that Florida police are going to have to work full-time chasing down death threats.
Do Dirty Coal Fired Plants Really Mitigate Global Warming?
Immortality Just Around the Corner, Scientist Predicts
Has the first person to live to be 150 been born? Aubrey de Greys, biomedical gerontologist, seems to think so. Indeed, the birth of the first person to live a 1,000 years may be just 20 years away, according to Reuters.
Scott O'Grady, of Bosnian War Fame, to Run for the Texas House
'Covert Affairs' Ripped from Headlines with NASA-Probing Story
In "Covert Affairs,", Season 2, Episode 5, "Around the Sun," Annie is assigned to investigate NASA. In the meantime, Auggie is trying to adjust to being a suit in charge of the CIA's Office of Congressional Affairs.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Al-Qaida Guide to Avoiding Honey Traps Likely Ineffective
An Al-Qaida training manual has been uncovered that instructs young jihadis traveling in the West how to avoid honey traps, which are young, attractive female operatives trained to seduce men and gain a measure of control over them, according to the Daily Mirror.
Was Goal of Economic Stimulus a Payoff for Democrats, Supporters?
Critics of President Barack Obama's nearly $900 billion stimulus package consider it a failure, the equivalent of burning the money in a bonfire for all the effect it has had on the American economy. Now the president's Council of Economic Advisers agrees.
Jurors Serve Justice with Casey Anthony Acquittal
After all that fuss and wall-to-wall coverage, it seems Casey Anthony has been found not guilty of murdering 2-year-old daughter Caylee. The jury did get her on a process crime of lying to the police, however.
Space Camp Adapts to New Era of Exploration, Commercial Initiatives
Palin Could Hit the Presidency Ground Running with Secret Army in Iowa
Could an Independent Replace Biden on Obama Reelection Ticket?
Recap: 'Falling Skies,' Season 1, Episode 4, 'Grace'
In "Falling Skies," Season 1, Episode 4, "Grace," the freedom fighters of the 2nd Mass encounter more problems related to mounting an insurgency against an occupation force of aliens. They also have to deal with some personnel issues.
Recap: 'True Blood,' Season 4, Episode 2, 'You Smell like Dinner'
"True Blood," Season 4, Episode 2, "You Smell Like Dinner" finds the good people of Bon Temps in further trouble, mainly because of the introduction of a coven of witches who are raising the dead, something of concern for the vampires.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

A cold dash of reality for the "remain calm, all is well crowd for the space program.
We have a program. We have a budget. We have bipartisan support. We have a destination,” NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver said. “We are just putting finer points on the rocket design.”

Garver suggested that the agency’s critics fail to recognize the dire condition of the human spaceflight program when Obama took office.

“We have brought the program back from the brink,” Garver said. “We inherited a program that was in disarray.”

I would like to think that Lori is shamelessly spinning. Because if she actually believes that, she is nuts.

The Obama people took a space program that had problems that might have been fixed and managers and blew it up. We will likely be many years recovering from the damage these people have done.
NASA Veterans Plea to Keep the Space Shuttles Flying
Hugo Chavez Treated for Cancer in Cuba, Appears to Be Very Sick
Previous press reports have suggested that Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan dictator, was in a Cuban hospital having a "pelvic abscess" treated. It now appears, contrary to previous denials, that Chavez has been treated for cancer.
Case of Convicted Mexican Rape/Murderer in Texas Subject of International Controversy
How 'Transformers 3: The Dark of the Moon' Got the Apollo Moon Landing Wrong
"Transformers: The Dark of the Moon" begins with a fascinating alternate history of the Apollo program to tie it in with the war between two groups of giant robots from outer space for the Earth with the humans caught in between.
'Transformers 3: The Dark of the Moon': Giant Robots Destroy Chicago
"Transformers 3: The Dark of the Moon" starts with the intriguing premise that the Apollo moon landings had a hidden purpose that went beyond just showing the world that the United States was better than the Soviet Union at technology.

Friday, July 01, 2011

'The Economist' Celebrates the End of the Space Age
Ridley Scott's 'Prometheus' Sounds Promising, Based on Leaked Synopsis
Ain't It Cool News reports a possible plot synopsis from Ridley Scott's next film, "Prometheus," which would constitute the "Alien" director's return to the science fiction genre. 20th Century Fox is claiming that the synopsis is "way off."
4th of July in Texas Sees Fights Over God and Religious Expression
Glenn Beck Bids Farwell to Fox News
Glenn Beck, the mercurial star of TV and radio, aired Thursday his last show on Fox News. The show was a combination of a trip down memory lane and vintage Beck, part professorial, part mad prophet of the airways.
Will Democrats Wage War on Independence Day?
Harvard University, of all places, has chosen to question the patriotism of liberal Democrats. It seems that Republicans not only enjoy the 4th of July celebration more fervently, but one is more likely to become a Republican after experiencing one.
Robot Immortality, Health Care Reform Explored on 'Futurama'
In "Futurama," Season 6, Episode 16, "Ghost in the Machine," the question of whether robot life is valuable and whether they have souls is explored. It turns out that Bender may not have a soul, but he has software that is pretty much the same thing.
Recap: 'Burn Notice,' Season 5, Episode 2, 'Bloodlines'
"Burn Notice," Season 5, Episode 2, "Bloodlines" settles in the old tried-but-true format with the two story lines. One has Michael and company helping someone. The other now involves Michael doing his new job for the Agency.