Random thoughts on politics, current events, popular culture, and whatever else interests me.
Mark R. Whittington is a writer residing in Houston, Texas. He is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including the novel of suspense Nocturne which he coauthored with his wife, Chantal, The Children of Apollo trilogy, The Last Moonwalker and Other Stories, Gabriella’s War, The Man from Mars: The Asteroid Mining Caper, and Why is it So Hard to Go Back to the Moon?
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Friday, June 30, 2017
Washington Redskins wins its trademark battle
As Hot Air reports, the Department of Justice has given up a court battle that would have forced the #Washington Redskins football team to give up trademark protections for its name. The case was started when the Patent and Trademark Office that revoked the team’s trademark for its name citing the disparagement clause that prohibits trademarks that disparage people or groups of people. A #Supreme Court case that involved an Asian band that wanted to trademark its name, “The Slants,” found the clause to be unconstitutional.
Report: Bernie Sanders’ wife tried to evict disabled residents of a group home
The story of Jane Sanders, the wife of Sen. #Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, a former presidential candidate, who is under FBI investigation for bank fraud keeps getting worse. Judicial Watch claims that it has obtained documents that prove that Ms. Sanders tried to evict the residents of a #Group Home for disabled people. The evidence includes emails between Ms. Sanders and two mayors of Burlington, Vermont.
House Armed Services votes to create United States Space Corps
In a move that is being compared to the 1947 law that created the Department of Defense, the House #Armed Services Committee has voted as part of the 2017 Defense Authorization Bill to create the #United States Space Corps. By 2019, the United States #Air Force will spin off all of its space warfighting assets to the new branch of the service. The Air Force is not happy with the move.
How government-run healthcare in Great Britain is killing a baby
With the debate on health care still raging in the United States, and politicians such as Sen. Bernie Sanders [VIDEO], I-Vermont and Sen. Elizabeth Warren demanding the imposition of single payer, government-run healthcare, it may be useful to examine how such systems work where they have been instituted. Hence, we have the case of little Charlie Gard, an infant suffering from a rare genetic disorder who has been condemned to die by #great britain’s socialist health system.
Fury over Trump tweet storm proceeds apace
The firestorm that is consuming Washington, but amusing the rest of the country, over President #Donald Trump’s Twitter broadside [VIDEO]against Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski is proceeding apace. An argument has broken out about whether Trump is mad or really a mad genius. Cogent arguments have been advanced for both propositions.
Senate Republicans struggle to come to yes for health care reform
As of this writing, Senate Republicans are still struggling to find a formula for a #Health Care Reform bill that at least 50 senators can accept. Senate Majority Leader #Mitch McConnell has taken $188 billion from the bill and is using the money to in effect bribe senators to come on board. In the meantime, Sen. #Ted Cruz, R-Texas has a compromise that might bring conservatives and moderates together.
Two strange Mars conspiracy theories
The folks at NASA are familiar with the conspiracy theory that men never went to the moon and that it was faked on a sound stage, likely by Stanley Kubrick. Now, however, a couple of other theories have risen from the media ooze concerning Mars, still the official target of NASA deep space exploration. The space agency has been obliged to deny both #Conspiracy theories.
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Are you ready for the James Bond Cinematic Universe?
The Playlist is reporting that the producers of the #James Bond films are considering creating what would be, in effect, a Bond #Cinematic Universe, similar to the Marvel Comics, DC Comics, and Star Wars universes. That means that along with the movies focusing on the iconic British secret agent, spinoff movies could happen starring supporting characters such as Q, Felix Leiter, or even Ernst Stavro Blofeld. The possibilities could be endless.
President Trump hits back at Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski
The good news, from President Donald Trump’s perspective, is that the media is no longer obsessing about Russia or the healthcare mess in the Senate. The bad news (though there is some argument about that) is that the media is now ablaze with outrage about what Trump tweeted about #Joe Scarborough and #Mika Brzezinski, MSNBC’s famous power couple.
Japan announces a plan to land people on the moon
The UK Daily Mail is reporting that the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has proposed that #Japan mount an effort to land an astronaut on the #moon by 2030. The effort would likely be part of an international effort. The proposal was probably made in response to an announcement by Japan’s Asian rival China to land astronauts on the moon, also by 2030.
Failure of single payer health care in California leads to death threats
The fallout of the collapse of an attempt to impose a single payer #health care system in California is proceeding apace. Various interest groups, such as the #California Nurses Association, are unhappy. Sen. #Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont has expressed his displeasure. Now, according to the Sacramento Bee, California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Reardon, who pulled the bill from this year’s legislative schedule, is the object of violent protests and even death threats.
Recall of California State Sen. Josh Newman advances
The Washington Free Beacon is reporting that anti-tax activists in California have gathered more than enough signatures to place a recall vote on the November ballot to remove Democratic State Sen. #Josh Newman from office. At issue is an increase in the gas tax and car licensing fees passed by the California state legislature to pay for an infrastructure program that has sparked a #Tax Revolt that has the potential to rival the one that roiled the state’s politics in the late 1970s.
House proposes a big funding increase for NASA over White House proposal
The House Appropriations subcommittee that funds NASA plans to propose a massive increase for the #Space Agency, according to Space News. The proposed increase is above the level suggested by the Trump administration for FY 2018.
Companies are working on the next generation solar electric propulsion engines
The future of space propulsion may well be new technology being developed by two #Companies called 'MSNW' and 'Aerojet' under a NASA program called 'Next Step Technologies for Exploration Partnerships' (NextSTEP.) The technology is similar to the electric propulsion system that has sent a number of NASA probes throughout the solar system, including Dawn, which explored Vesta and Ceres, but with many times the power put into it. The program was going to be used for the now defunct Asteroid Redirect Mission but will soon be utilized for the moon and Mars, according to GeekWire.
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Of ‘Rogue One’, Donald Trump, and ‘the Resistance’
I recently had a chance to watch “#Rogue One,” the Star Wars movie that appeared on the big screen around the holidays. The movie came out soon after the election of #Donald Trump as well as the untimely death of Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia in many of the films. So apparently a lot of Trump’s enemies now identify with the characters in the movie and consider themselves as part of “the Resistance” against Emperor Trump.
Antifa may go to the Gettysburg battlefield to protest
The Gettysburg National Military Park is one of the most visited Civil War battlefields in the United States, for the excellent reason that the battle that was fought for three days in July in and around the formerly sleepy Pennsylvania town may have decided the course of the war. Of course, one of the peak visitation times is the anniversary of the battle, July 1 through 3. According to the Harrisburg 100 blog, there is social media chatter that some #Antifa protesters are planning to show up as well.
‘Mayday 109’ to depict the World War II heroics of John F. Kennedy
Deadline Hollywood is reporting that Ansel Elgort, who is appearing in the current film “Baby Driver,” has been tapped to play Lt. JG John F. Kennedy in the upcoming “Mayday 109.” The film will tell the true story of the future president’s #World War Ii heroics when his PT boat was sunk by a #Japanese Destroyer. The movie was written by Samuel Franco and Evan Kilgore, who also wrote the script for “Keeper of the Diary,” the real story of how Otto Frank published his daughter Anne’s diary after World War II, now being directed by Kenneth Branagh.
‘1984’ play causes vomiting, screaming, and at least one fist fight
By all accounts that stage version of #George Orwell’s “1984” is not an easy night at the theater. The Washington Post reports that the torture scene, where the story’s protagonist Winston Smith is beaten and tormented with live rats, is causing people to vomit, scream, and in one case engage in a #Fist Fight.
Disturbed man rams 10 Commandments monument in Arkansas
The state of Arkansas recently erected a six feet tall monument to the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the state capitol, paid for with private funds. According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, an apparently disturbed man named #Michael Tate Reed rammed the monument with his vehicle and destroyed it, yelling, “Freedom!” Reed was taken into custody immediately afterward and is being held without bail pending charges of defacing objects of public respect, trespassing on Capitol grounds and first-degree criminal mischief.
I appeared on a broadcast of the Texas Standard in which I discussed the issues I raised in my Forbes piece. I am at about the 24 minute mark. I need to make a minor correction. I referred to an "elliptical orbit" where I meant to say equatorial orbit in one of my answers. regret the error.
Addendum: Here is the rocket tax story.
Hugh Jackman to play Gary Hart in ‘The Frontrunner’
Deadline Hollywood is reporting that #Hugh Jackman, best known for playing Wolverine in a number of Marvel Comics movies, is in talks to play #Gary Hart, the Democratic politician who was brought low because of an alleged affair with a woman named Donna Rice in a movie called “The Frontrunner.” The #Rise And Fall of Hart, who had started his career as George McGovern’s campaign manager in the 1972 presidential campaign before running for president in his own right in the 1980s, will serve as the basis of the movie.
Sarah Palin slaps a defamation suit against the New York Times
#Sarah Palin, following the “common sense suggestion” of a particular journalist, has decided to file suit against the #New York Times for defamation. At issue is an editorial the newspaper published that falsely linked her to the shooting of Gabby Giffords and several other people several years ago by a deranged gunman. The piece was published in the wake of the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise, a Republican, by another mentally disturbed shooter. The Times later issued a correction that Palin and her lawyers found to be inadequate.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
What’s wrong with Barack Obama vacationing around the world?
When he was president, Barack Obama came under considerable criticism for his frequent vacations, not to mention golfing outings. Now that he is no longer distracted by public office, the former president has embarked on a series of vacations that are so opulent that he is getting ire directed at him from the left, according to Fox News.
Another attempt to bring Isaac Asimov’s ‘The Foundation’ to television
Deadline Hollywood is reporting that Skydance Television is having a go at adapting #Isaac Asimov’s iconic science fiction series, “Foundation,” to the small screen. David Goyer, who was involved in the “Batman.” “Ghostrider,” and “Blade” series of films and Josh Friedman, who did the “War of the Worlds” remake and “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” will develop the project. The deal has been reached with the Asimov estate, but thus far the project has not come to the stage of pitching it to markets.
Donald Trump gloats over CNN fake news scandal
President #Donald Trump took the occasion to gloat on Twitter in the wake of the resignation of three CNN staffers after a story linking one of his supporters to a Russian bank was retracted, according to the Hill. “Wow, CNN had to retract a big story on "Russia," with 3 employees forced to resign. What about all the other phony stories they do? #fake news!” The tweet came out the same day that an Operation Veritas video was released of CNN Supervising Producer John Bonifield admitting that the story about Russian collusion with the Trump administration is “b---s---.”
NASA denies claim by Anonymous that it has discovered alien life
Last week the hacking organization that goes by the name of #Anonymous claimed that #NASA was prepared to make an announcement about the discovery of #Alien Life. However, the space agency has been obliged to state that no such news is forthcoming at least for the time being. The item is an example of fake news derived from a part of a sentence uttered by NASA science chief Thomas Zurbuchen taken out of context.
Bernie and Jane Sanders under investigation for bank fraud
These days, it is not fun to be Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont. This time last year, the elderly socialist was the hope of the progressive movement, albeit someone who had just got beat by Hillary Clinton. Now, though, Sanders and his wife are under investigation by the FBI for #Bank Fraud, a peculiar crime for someone who rails against capitalism for a living [VIDEO]. The turn of fortune is almost Shakespearean in its dimensions.
Monday, June 26, 2017
Jewish marchers expelled from a gay pride parade for carrying Star of David flag
A gay pride festival in Chicago, called “Dyke March,” that takes place annually before the official #Gay Pride Parade took an ugly turn when a group of Jewish marchers was expelled for carrying a flag with the #Star Of David on it. The reason, apparently, was that many at the parade were made uncomfortable by the presence of the universal symbol of Judaism. The march was considered pro-Palestinian and the flag, in the minds of its organizers, represented Zionism and thus a symbol of oppression.
More of my wisdom from Forbes Why The Proposed California Tax On Rockets Is Good For Texas
Supreme Court partly restores Trump travel ban pending review
During the final day of its current session, the #Supreme Court provided #President Donald Trump a clear victory by partly reinstating a #travel ban from majority Muslim countries that are centers of terrorism. The Court promised to rule on the full ban in the new session that starts in the fall. But since the travel ban was meant to be temporary pending a system of deep vetting of travelers from the countries in question, the ruling may be moot by the time it is made.
The Supreme Court makes decisions on two cases involving religious liberty
#The Supreme Court, on the last day of its current session, struck two blows for religious liberty. The first case involved a dispute between the #Trinity Lutheran Church and the state of Missouri. The other involves a Colorado bakery called Masterpiece Cakeshop that refused to bake a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding based on religious objections.
Blue Origin to build rocket engine factory in Huntsville, Alabama
L.com is reporting that #Blue Origin, the space launch company run by Amazon.com’s founder Jeff Bezos, intends to build a rocket engine factory in Huntsville, Alabama. The plant will manufacture 30 BE-4 engines per year for Blue Origin’s upcoming New Glenn rocket and United Launch Alliance rockets, the latter replacing Russian-made rocket engine. For various reasons, the move is considered shrewd from both a business and political perspective.
President Donald Trump to make United States an energy super power
According to Bloomberg, #President Donald Trump intends to roll out a new energy policy that will turn away from the Obama-era drive to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy. Instead, the policy goal is to establish American “dominance” in all forms of power generation, oil, gas, coal, nuclear, and renewables. The new policy will not only reflect the president’s skepticism about human-caused climate change but aligns energy policy more toward market realities.
SpaceX launces and then lands two Falcon 9s in just over 49 hours
Over the weekend, #SpaceX accomplished the rare feat of launching two #Falcon 9s within a little more than 49 hours and landing the first stages on separate sides of the United States. The first launch happened on Friday at the Kennedy Space Center, launching Bulgaria’s first communications satellite using a “fight proven” first stage. The second launch happened on Sunday and featured a new first stage with titanium fins to facilitate the landing to put 10 Iridium satellites into orbit from Vandenberg in California. Both launches and landings were brilliant successes.
‘Veep’ ends in a twist that sets up a political race for the ages
“#veep,” that marvelously funny satire on politics about a former president and vice president with a more than passing resemblance to Hillary Clinton, ended with a twist into some familiar and yet much-anticipated territory. The last episode of the season contained a number of flashbacks and ended with #Selina Meyer throwing away happiness to go after, once again, for that thing she craves more than anything.
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Rand Paul willing to deal on Senate GOP healthcare bill
Sen, #Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, one of the conservative holdouts against the Senate version of the healthcare reform bill, signaled his willingness to make a deal that will allow him to switch his vote to a yes. While he favors a 100 percent repeal of Obamacare, he stated that he would certainly vote for 90 percent repeal and might be willing to accept 80 percent repeal. While he declined to reveal what percentage the current bill represented, it is clear that it is still below that threshold, the Washington Examiner suggested.
Vice President Mike Pence confronted by characters from ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’
n what must be considered a bit of creative, albeit, over the top street theater, a group of protestors showed up at a speech that Vice President #Mike Pence was giving to a social conservative group wearing the red robes and white bonnets of characters from “#The Handmaid’s Tale.” The costumes, from a novel by Canadian writer Margaret Atwood, which has been turned into a series on Hulu [VIDEO], is set in a future world where radical Christians have overthrown the United States and had renamed it the #Republic Of Gilead.
Saturday, June 24, 2017
Hugh Hewitt interviews CIA Director Mike Pompeo on his TV debut
Conservative radio commentator #Hugh Hewitt’s new MSNBC show debuted Saturday morning, June 24, with a half hour long interview with #Cia Director #Mike Pompeo, with aa discussion of national security issues ranging from ISIS to North Korea. Meanwhile, the left-wing rage over Hewitt’s invasion of the MSNBC safe space continued unabated.
California steps back from the brink of universal health care
When we last left the #California State Legislature, it had discovered, much to its horror, that its plan to impose a government-run, Canadian-style health care system would essentially triple the state budget and hence the tax burden for Californians. The left-leaning lawmakers in Sacramento really want universal healthcare as much as Christians crave salvation or a drunkard needs his next drink. But that kind of tax and spending increase was too much, even for them. So California decided to punt.
Brad Pitt and Tommy Lee Jones voyage to a Heart of Darkness in ‘Ad Astra’
Deadline Hollywood is reporting that #Tommy Lee Jones and Brad Pitt are set to costar in a movie that has been described as “#Heart Of Darkness” in space entitled “Ad Astra.” The film, due to go into production in September. James Gray co-wrote the film and will direct.
Friday, June 23, 2017
Nancy Pelosi fights to keep her job
House Minority Leader #Nancy Pelosi, beset by a growing revolt within the #Democratic Party, has tried to justify her persistence in remaining in the House leadership. However, an increasing number of #democrats are demanding that she step aside and make way for younger leaders.
How Donald Trump is helping Mexico meet its Paris emissions targets
In a weird convergence, the #Natural Gas fracking boom and Mexico’s adherence to the #Paris Climate Accord are going to cause that country to be dependent on American natural gas to meet the emissions targets, according to the Washington Examiner. Also, if President Trump builds to the southern border wall and covers it with solar panels, Mexico will likely buy the electricity from that combination solar collector/border barrier, in effect paying for the wall. As the president had been given to say, “Winning. So much winning.”
A professor of physics lists three problems for Elon Musk’s Mars colony
#Elon Musk’s vision of building a self-sustaining city of a million people on Mars has excited the imagination of the world and has caused considerable debate as to its feasibility and desirability. Andrew Coates, Professor of Physics, Deputy Director (Solar System) at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UCL is the latest to enter the fray, via the pages of the UK Daily Mail. Coates foresees three problems concerning Musk’s Mars colony idea, which can be labeled contamination, temperature, and radiation.
Johnny Depp imagines an actor assassinating Donald Trump
#Johnny Depp, the actor, best known for playing Captain Jack Sparrow in the “Pirates of the #caribbean” films, just imagined a new role, if not for himself then maybe some other actor, that being a presidential assassin. He asked a crowd at Glastonbury 2017 music and arts festival, “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?” then he seemed to backtrack from the implication is a rambling, confused speech in which he claimed not to be an actor.
Elizabeth Warren did not get the memo on toning down rhetoric
When Rep Steve Scalise and several other people were shot during baseball practice by a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders, many in the media and the political realm began to meditate how superheated rhetoric could inspire the mentally unhinged to take violent action. The idea is if one accuses one's opponents of wanting to starve children and kill old people, somebody is going to take such statements as fact and not just political hyperbole. Some talk actually occurred about softening the tone and restoring, to the extent possible, comity between the two political parties. Sadly, some people have not gotten the message.
House members mandate reusable rockets for the military
Eric Berger at Ars Technica notes that an amendment was attached to the National Defense Authorization Act that requires the government to consider the utility of reusable rockets for launching military payloads by #House lawmakers. The amendment represents a win for companies such as SpaceX and #Blue Origin which are developing reusable rockets and a challenge to United Launch Alliance to start doing the same. Congress was not always keen on reusability. What changed?
Why teleoperated reports are no substitute for humans on the Moon and Mars
IEEE Spectrum discusses a new debate that has arisen among scientists over the question of sending #people to explore other worlds such as the Moon and #Mars. The discussion is a twist on the ancient humans vs. robots debate that was actually resolved by a British Royal Astronomical Society study in 2004 in favor of people. The twist argument is that sending robots to the surface of a planet that is teleoperated by humans in orbit will be cheaper than sending people but just as effective as the human element is still present. The proposition has a number of flaws.
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Wisconsin mulls bill to sanction people who disrupt campus speakers
One of the sad facts of life in modern America is that conservative speakers venture onto college campuses at their peril. The extreme case of what can happen took place at the University of California at Berkeley when Milo Yiannopoulos who was chased off campus by a mob of black-clad rioters who broke windows and set fires. Usually, student protestors will just scream and yell until the speaker gives up and leaves the stage or campus police to show up to escort the disrupters away. Now the #Wisconsin State Legislature is proposing to do something about these disruptions.
Gwyneth Paltrow’s new age website runs afoul of NASA
#Gwyneth Paltrow’s website, Goop, is a very fountain of strange advice for women’s health, along with fashion and travel tips. However, a company advertising what seems to be “healing stickers” has gone beyond the beyonds with a false claim that its product is based on NASA space suit technology, according to Gizmodo.
Chinese buy Soviet-era technology for a lunar lander
A deal reported by Popular Mechanics between the #Chinese and a Ukrainian aerospace firm suggests that #china may be aiming to put people on the moon sooner rather than later. Beijing has purchased the technology that the Soviet Union once developed for its version of the lunar module, the Lunny Korabl or Lunar Ship. The deal is likely to cut years off of the development of a Chinese lunar module.
Senate Republicans roll out ‘Obamacare Light’ bill
The Senate Republicans have rolled out their version of what they called Obamacare #Repeal and Replace. No one seems to be entirely satisfied with the work product that was done in secret by a group of senators. The right is calling it “Obamacare light.” The left predictably, is claiming that the bill will kill people. Hot Air suggests that it is all a ploy by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that will lead to something different being negotiated before the expected vote next week.
Hugh Hewitt given Saturday morning show on MSNBC
The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt is being given his own Saturday morning show on MSNBC. Hewitt, who already contributes commentary to other programs on the left-leaning #Cable News Network, will premiere on Saturday, June 24 at 8 a.m. Eastern. His radio talk show airs on the weekday morning on 6 a. m. Eastern.
Even without the Paris Accord the US is already lowering carbon emissions
When President Donald Trump pulled out of the #Paris Climate Accord, informed opinion suggested that the end of the world was nigh. Without official federal government policies encouraging lower #Carbon Emissions, climate change caused by human action would proceed apace with resulting disasters decades hence.
Is Nancy Pelosi finally on her way out?
The recent special election for the Georgia 6th congressional district was billed as a referendum on #President Donald Trump. However, it looks like it may be one for House Minority Leader #Nancy Pelosi instead. In the wake of the latest defeat of Democrats at the hands of Republicans more voices are being raised for Pelosi, age 77, to retire and make way for a younger generation of Democrats in leadership, according to in NBC News. While the discontent over the aging House leader is indicative of general divisions within the party, Pelosi will be staying around, at least for now.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Is the former Obama administration about to get a special counsel?
The New York Post is reporting that the Obama administration may be about to get its own special counsel. The issue at hand is accusations of #Obstruction Of Justice by then Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Ironically, the origin of the drive to examine Obama era legal practices originates, as with Robert Mueller examining Donald Trump, former FBI Director James Comey.
Could olive oil be effective against Alzheimer’s?
Could extra virgin #Olive Oil be an effective treatment against the onset of Alzheimer’s? That conclusion was reached by a group of researchers at #Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine, according to USA Today. The findings could have a beneficial impact on since an aging population is expected to result in an explosion of people who suffer from the disease that robs them of memory and then their self-identity before killing them. Alzheimer’s takes the great, including former President Ronald Reagan and actors Charlton Heston and Gene Wilder, and the small alike. No cure currently exists, so some treatments are available that alieves some of the symptoms and even slows the progress of the disease.
Democrats struggle to understand why they keep losing
In times past when #democrats lost special congressional elections in places like Montana and Kansas, they consoled themselves with the idea that they had won “moral victories,” the idea being that they had lost by less of a margin of error than usual. But with twin defeats in South Carolina and, especially, Georgia, that particular illusion is no longer possible. Now Democrats are scrambling to figure out why they are persistent losers, but in so doing are forming a classic circular firing squad, according to NBC News.
Team Indus still does not have a mission approval to shoot for the moon
#Team Indus, the Indian contestant in the #Google Lunar Xprize, seems to be ready for a planned December 28, 2017 launch to the moon. The group has secured a launch contract for a PSLV XL rocket, courtesy of Antrix, the commercial arm of ISRO, the Indian equivalent of NASA. It intends to share the cost of the moon shot with Team Hakuto, the Japanese entrant to the private moon race. However, Team Indus as of this writing lacks official government permission to go to the moon, according to the Indian Express.
The European Space Agency greenlights two space missions
The #European Space Agency has just approved two major #Space Missions, according to Science magazine. One, the Planetary Transits and Oscillations of stars (PLATO), is designed to find planets in orbit around other stars, similar to NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope. The other, Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA), will detect gravity waves caused by interstellar catastrophes such as collisions of galaxies and the creation of supermassive black holes.
Directors out from the untitled Han Solo ‘Star Wars’ project
One of the more anticipated films to come out of the Star Wars universe has been the as yet untitled #Han Solo origin story. The film, starring Alden Ehrenreich as a young Han Solo and Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, has been before the cameras since early 2017 and is scheduled to be released in May 2018. But now the project has lost its two directors, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, most famous for having made “The Lego Movie” and “21 Jump Street.”
Karen Handel triumphs over Jon Ossoff in the Georgia 6th congressional election
The Democratic Party is currently 0 for 5 in special congressional elections, thanks to defeats in South Carolina and, especially, Georgia. The Democratic candidate #Jon Ossoff poured $30 million into the race for the Georgia 6th congressional district with a result that he lost to #Karen Handel by almost four percentage points, 51.9 to 48.1 percent according to the New York Times. The Democrats claimed that the race was a referendum on President #Donald Trump, an assessment that the president’s partisans were pleased to agree with.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Gamblers make their predictions for the 2020 presidential election
Even though the first term of the Trump administration is just five months old, many people do not think it is too soon to look forward to 2020. The folks at the Washington Examiner have taken a look at a site called Betonline.ag to see who might come out on top during the next presidential election. The long list of candidates and their odds are illuminating.
Dracula being brought to television by the guys who brought us ‘Sherlock’
Variety is reporting that the BBC is in the early stages of developing “Dracula” for television. The exciting part of the project is that it is going to be run by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, who brought the world “#sherlock,” a modern retelling of the tales of the consulting detective written by Arthur Conan Doyle. The series will come out in limited seasons of feature-length episodes.
‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is racist
A lot of leftist commentators have praised the Hulu version of “#The Handmaid’s Tale” as being a dystopian horror story that has relevance for our times. The theory is that President #Donald Trump will, in short order, relegate all women to chattel [VIDEO] where they will be used as nothing but baby factories for the wealthy elite, the system justified by a peculiar reading of the Bible that most believing Christians cannot imagine, but that the book’s Canadian author, #Margaret Atwood, could. However, one of the sharp-eyed media critics at IO9 has discovered something unsettling about the Hulu series. It seems that “A Handmaid’s Tale" is racist.
Stephen Hawking wants to unite the world by exploring space
#Stephen Hawking, considered by some to be one of the most intelligent people in the world, has a bright idea to unite the world. The leading nations should combine their resources and effect a return to the moon by 2020. The effort would be followed by an expedition to Mars in 2025 and a lunar base in 30 years. He made this proposal at the Starmus Festival, which celebrates the sciences and arts in Trondheim, Norway according to the BBC.
Pay gap for Henry Cavill as 'Superman' and Gal Gadot’ as 'Wonder Woman' reported
Proving that the drama surrounding “#Wonder Woman” is almost as entertaining as the movie itself, the latest viral news to set social media on fire is the story that while #Henry Cavill made $14 million for “Man of Steel,” while Gal Gadot only made $300,000 for the much better performing “Wonder Woman.” Clearly, or at least uninformed opinion suggests, Hollywood sexism is in play. Actually, according to Vanity Fair, the comparison is #Apples To Oranges.
In the wake of Otto Warmbier’s death what is to be done with North Korea?
The sad and horrible death of #Otto Warmbier, held captive by #North Korea for 17 months before being returned with severe brain damage to his family, elicits the natural question, what should be done about it. The North Korean regime has slaughtered millions and has blighted the lives of tens of millions more during the hellish existence. However, an adage states that a single death is a tragedy but a million is a statistic, applies here. Warmbier’s murder cries out for retribution. However, as the Atlantic points out, there are no good options for dealing with North Korea, because of its immense military power and the insanity of its leadership.
NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope discovers 219 possible new worlds
#NASA has announced the recent discovery of what is calls 219 planet-candidates thanks to ongoing analysis if observations of the #Kepler Space Telescope. Of those possible planets, ten are thought to be rocky, near #Earth-sized worlds that are in orbit around their home stars where liquid water could occur on their surface, meaning life could exist on them. Follow-up observations by ground-based telescopes will now seek to verify these newly discovered planet-candidates.
Monday, June 19, 2017
‘Killjoys’ is coming back to SyFy at the end of June
One of the great aspects of summer for the past two years has been the fact that the SyFy Channel has run that great Canadian space opera, “Killjoys.” This year promises to be no exception, as the show returns for its third season on #June 30. The teaser trailer promises banter violence, intense heat, and unnecessary nudity as our heroes pursue the coolest job in the universe.
You will not believe what Lena Dunham tweeted about fathers
“Girls,” the HBO show that celebrated millennial dysfunction and vulgarity, is finally on the ash heap of history. However, its creator, Lena Dunham, seems to unwilling to follow the series that made her infamous into obscurity. Her latest atrocity was a snarky #Tweet that was apparently inspired by Father’s Day.
Russia threatens American aircraft over Syria
#Russia has issued a threat that all American aircraft operating west of the Euphrates River will now be considered “targets” by its forces in Syria. The warning stopped short of a promise to shoot #United States planes down. But, the threat demonstrates Russian anger at the downing of a Syrian bomber by the United States Navy F/A-18 while attacking Syrian Democratic Forces positions. The Russians are also suspending a communications line between its military and the American forces operating against ISIS in Syria.
Report: Trump has chosen the next NASA administrator
Keith Cowing, the purveyor of NASA Watch, has offered a cryptic tweet about the next #Nasa Administrator. “#Mike Pence had his meeting about space last week. Apparently, they now have a name for their #NASA Administrator nominee. Tick tock.” No word as to who is attached to their name, when the announcement is going to take place, and what else may have been decided during the meeting.
Is President Donald Trump under investigation?
Is #President #Donald Trump under investigation? At one time the president seemed to think so. He tweeted at much while railing about how unfair it was. However, CNN reports that the president’s lawyer Jay Sekulow, who ought to know about such things, says that Trump is not being investigated, despite the Washington Post story that suggested that he was. Then the Washington Examiner reports that #Special Counsel Robert Mueller has not decided whether or not the president should be investigated.
Why the civil war in Syria is so complicated
Two recent incidents illustrate what a complicated mess Syria has become, with a multi-faceted #Civil War with not two but several players fighting for territory and power. A United States Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet shot down a Syrian government Su-22 bomber that was dropping bombs on Syrian Democratic Forces, an American ally in the war against ISIS. Around the same time, Iran launched a missile barrage against ISIS forces in retaliation [VIDEO] for an attack by the terrorist army outside the Iranian parliament building in Tehran. Iran is an ally of the Syrian government of Bashir Assad. #The United States is an enemy of both ISIS and Iran.
Megyn Kelly takes apart Alex Jones on the air
The #Megyn Kelly interview with radio talk show host and conspiracy theorist #Alex Jones has aired. The interview had sparked a firestorm of controversy with demands that it not be aired for fear that it would provide Jones, considered by some to be an angry man with dubious beliefs, a network platform to spout his outrageous views. Jones had started to warn his listeners that the segment was going to be “unfair” to him. So did the reality match the anticipation?p
Sunday, June 18, 2017
Stephen Furst was a moon-faced bringer of joy
#Stephen Furst is well known for playing the fat kid, usually the butt of jokes, and on occasion transcending the stereotype. But his weight brought with it the consequence of type 2 diabetes, a condition that he struggled with all of his life and which eventually killed him at the all too young age of 63. He will be remembered for two fairly similar but also distinctive roles.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Joss Whedon version of ‘Wonder Woman’ script leaked
One of the interesting what-ifs about “#Wonder Woman” is that it might not have been directed by Patty Jenkins or starred Gal Gadot at all. As Heat Street reports, #joss whedon, of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Firefly” fame wrote a “Wonder Woman” script in 2005 with the idea that he would direct a movie starring Angelina Jolie as the title character. The studio rejected Whedon’s approach and decided to go in a different direction, with the results that “Wonder Woman” is a smash hit film. The script has been leaked on the Internet and people are not reacting very well.
What did the North Koreans do to Otto Warmbier?
The good news is that #Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old student, is free from a #North Korean prison where he spent the last 17 months. The bad news is that he has lost a considerable amount of brain tissue and will likely never recover. The Atlantic poses the obvious question, what happened to him?
Two protestors disrupt Trump killing production of ‘Julius Caesar’
The nightly assassination [VIDEO] of a figure dressed to look like Donald Trump at the Public Theater’s production of “Julius Caesar” in Central Park was proceeding as normal when some drama erupted from the audience. A young woman rushed the stage, shouting, “Stop liberal violence!”
Friday, June 16, 2017
Ted Cruz and Chuck Schumer demand the American embassy move to Jerusalem
There are probably no two men in the United States Senate who are as different that Sen. #Ted Cruz, R-Texas and Sen. #Chuck Schumer, D-New York. One of a conservative from deep red Texas and the other a hard left liberal from deep blue New York. However, the two senators have come together to jointly call for the immediate move of the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
President Trump alters Obama’s deal with Cuba
President Donald Trump traveled to Miami and told a cheering crowd of primarily Cuban-Americans that he is going to partially reverse [VIDEO] much of President Barack Obama’s opening to Cuba at a campaign-style event at the Manuel Artime Theater, named after a veteran of the Bay of Pigs Invasion. Trump condemned the Cuban government as a bloody tyranny and the Obama deal as one sided, constituting as it does an act of appeasement.
Scientists propose missions to Uranus or Neptune
No space probe has visited #Uranus or Neptune since the Voyager 2 flew by both #Ice Giants in the late 20th Century. A group of researchers from NASA and a number of universities have issued a report detailing four proposals for returns to Uranus or Neptune sometime in the 2030s according to the New Scientist.
Why did Amazon just buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion?
When #Amazon.com bought Whole #Foods, an upscale grocery chain specializing in organic products, for $13.7 billion it rocked the retail food industry. But why would the biggest online retail outlet spend that kind of money for a chain of #Brick And Mortar supermarkets? According to Geekwire, two very excellent reasons exist.
New therapy discovered at Johns Hopkins that could slow the spread of cancer
Typically when someone gets #Cancer, it is not the initial tumor that kills them. At some point, the tumor spreads to other parts of the body, such as the brain, the liver, or other parts to the point where it becomes untreatable. What if a therapy could be developed that could slow or even stop this process? A post-doctorate fellow at #Johns Hopkins may well have discovered such a therapy, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Alex Jones turns the tables on Megyn Kelly
The good news, from the point of view of NBC, is that the #Megyn Kelly interview with radio #Talk Show Host and conspiracy theorist #Alex Jones is garnering super tankers filled with publicity. The bad news is that the publicity is the sort that causes heartburn among network executives. The latest wrinkle is that Jones, on his radio show, released some audio recording that he apparently made in secret of Kelly reassuring him that the interview would not be a hit piece. Then, Jones claimed that the interview would likely be a hit piece, according to Politico.
SpaceX’s Elon Musk provides more details of his Mars colonization plan
SpaceX CEO #Elon Musk has published a paper detailing his plans to create a #Mars colony using a new super rocket, the #Interplanetary Transport Ship. The plan is, putting it mildly, breathtaking, involving a rocket with twice the lift capacity of the Saturn V. The goal is to reduce the cost of a one-way trip to Mars to $200,000 to as little as $100,000 for a person plus his or her baggage. The ITP would be able to take 100 people across the interplanetary gulfs at a time.
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Are oil companies getting big into renewables?
Oil Price reports that the movement of big #Oil Companies toward investing in renewable energy has begun, albeit in a halting and hesitant fashion. The reason this process has started is that the major #Oil And Gas companies foresee a time when demand for oil will peak and will start to subside, lowering prices and thus profits. It’s time, in the consideration of some, to get in on renewables such as solar and wind which have an enormous growth potential. Demand for oil may peak. Demand for energy has nowhere to go but up.
President Donald Trump declares the Y2K crisis over for the federal government
One of the advantages to having a businessman [VIDEO] in the Oval Office is that he brings sound private sector practices to the function of government. In that spirit, #President #Donald Trump has ordered agencies of the government to stop filing paperwork proving that the things they do are #Y2K compliant. Incredibly, the government has been wasting tens of thousands of man hours filing such paperwork 17 years after the crisis had passed.
Large numbers of people are afraid to ride in driverless cars
According to Bloomberg, one of the chief impediments to a future where people are tooling about in #driverless cars is the fear many people have of not being in control. It turns out that having one's hands on the wheel and foot on the accelerator and brake pedal is comforting. The fear of not being in control is entirely irrational. One is more likely to be hurt or killed in a car with a human behind the wheel than in one with a computer doing the driving.
The New York Times makes Sarah Palin famous again
The #New York Times has accomplished a feat that few people thought possible. The newspaper of record has made #Sarah Palin a national figure again. The former Alaska governor, vice presidential candidate, and Tea Party leader had lapsed into relative obscurity ever since Donald Trump had become a presidential candidate. But, by reviving the old canard linking her with the Gabby Giffords shooting, Palin is suddenly in the news again, with various media outlets springing to her defense and the politician herself offering and angry rebuke. The Washington Examiner reports that the Times has offered a belated and somewhat half-hearted correction to the calumnious editorial in question.
Hillary Clinton thinks she is a real life Wonder Woman
One thing is for certain. Both #Hillary Clinton and the movie “#Wonder Woman” are gifts that keep on giving for people who write opinion for a living. Now the two subjects have merged, thanks to the twice-failed presidential candidate comparing herself to the iconic DC Comics superhero who is the subject of a smash hit film in a video meant to honor actress Elizabeth Banks.
New York Times revives lie about Sarah Palin and the shooting of Gabby Giffords
The #New York Times took the occasion to editorialize about the shooting of Rep. Scalise and four others by a deranged Bernie Sanders supporter. In the midst of its meditation on the relationship between politics and violence in America the Times choose to dredge up a lie concerning #Sarah Palin and the shooting of Rep. #Gabby Giffords a few years ago along with the murders of six people, including a six year old girl, by another deranged shooter named Jared Lee Loughner.
Will the next NASA administrator be Jim Bridenstine or Newt Gingrich?
The identity of the next NASA administrator has been the subject of speculation since Donald Trump was elected president. The name most mentioned is that of Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Oklahoma, who is actively lobbying for the position. He has been interviewed twice by White House officials. However, no official indication has been made as to who will lead the space agency or when such an announcement will occur. Undeterred, NASA Watch’s Keith Cowing has published a couple of cryptic tweets that is supposed to suggest that Bridenstine is not a shoe in and that another possible candidate is in play.
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
NBC News decides to air the Megyn Kelly/Alex Jones interview segment
The suits at #NBC News apparently realized that they had a problem on their hands due to the firestorm surrounding the interview #Megyn Kelly had with radio talk show host and conspiracy nut #Alex Jones. Kelly’s Sunday night news magazine already suffered a huge drop in viewers from the first episode to the second, suggesting that audiences were not taking to the network’s new superstar. Many people in the executive suite do not want the headaches and criticism garnered by giving a conspiracy theorist a network platform. Page Six reports that emergency meetings are taking place at 30 Rock.
The Moby Mart is a store so convenient that it comes to you
While Amazon is developing the concept of the automated convenience #Store which doesn’t require checkout clerks and uses robots to restock itself, a company called Wheelys has taken the concept to the next level -- automated convenience stores that drive around in search of customers. The first of these #Moby Marts are being rolled out in Shanghai, China.
In the wake of the Scalise shooting, there are more calls for gun control
One of the sad but inevitable aspects of any mass shooting in the United States is the yammering for #Gun Control that follows. The spectacle is like kabuki theater. Liberal politicians and the media demand that “common sense” gun control like background checks, or closing the “gun show loophole” be passed. Cooler voices point out that none of these measures would have stopped the shooting in question and would, in any case, run afoul of the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution. Then things die down for a while until the next massacre. Such is now the case with the baseball diamond shooting by a deranged Bernie Sanders supporter against a group of Republican congressmen and staffers.
NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission is dead at last
Space News is reporting that #NASA is proceeding with the closing out of the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). The Trump administration canceled the project in its 2018 budget proposal. Congress does not seem to be inclined to save the program. So the ARM joins the host of other unrealized NASA missions that fell to the budget ax before they had a chance to fly.
Shooter of Rep. Steve Scalise was a Bernie Sanders supporter
In the early morning, during practice for a congressional baseball game, a deranged shooter named James T. Hodgkinson opened fire with a rifle on a group of Republican congressmen and staffers at an Alexandria, Virginia baseball diamond. When the shooting ended, Congressman #Steve Scalise, the House Majority Whip, Zach Barth, a congressional staffer, Matt Mika, a lobbyist, and two Capitol Hill Police officers, Krystal Griner and David Bailey, were wounded. The shooter died of his wounds. The carnage would have been far worse has the police officers, who typically guard members of the congressional leadership, had not been present, according to CNN.
The Chinese to grow potatoes and silkworms on the moon
When the Chang’e 4 spacecraft is launched by China to the moon, it will contain a small, three kg “mini ecosystem” that will include potatoes, silkworm eggs, and Arabidopsis seeds. The idea is to see how long the three organisms can survive on the #Lunar Surface, according to the South China Morning Post.
NASA’s Restore-L to refuel and repair Landsat 7 in 2020
One of the characteristics of communications and other satellites that help modern civilization function is that they require fuel to maneuver and stay on station as needed. Once they run out of fuel the satellites become space junk that becomes a hazard to navigation and need replacing at great expense. Now, according to Smithsonian Magazine, NASA’s Satellite Servicing Projects Division is working on technology to refuel old satellites, extending their lifespan, saving money, and cutting down on space junk.
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Australian researchers restore bone cartilage using a BioPen
Arthritis, for too many people, is a part of getting old. The disease causes the deterioration of cartilage that protects joints, such as in the knees and hips that cushion them and they turn about or bend. The result of such deterioration is often almost unbearable pain.
Report: Palestinians agree to stop paying families of terrorists
According to the Times of Israel, #Secretary of State #Rex Tillerson told a hearing of the Senate #Foreign Relations Committee that the Palestinian Authority has agreed to stop paying the families of terrorists who have been jailed or killed for committing acts of terror against Israelis. The announcement represents a rare concession from the Palestinians who have insisted that the murder of Israelis is a legitimate act of resistance.
Could President Donald Trump be impeached?
Rich Lowrey notes that a lot of loose talk of impeachment is going on in liberal Democratic circles. #President Donald Trump is not yet six months in office, and the top priority that is on people on the left’s mind is getting rid of him. The idea of impeaching #President Trump is problematic at best and potentially disastrous at worse for the Democrats.
Mark Ruffalo's Twitter demand to NBC, MSNBC to stop hiring ‘white conservatives’
#Mark Ruffalo is known for two things, playing the Incredible Hulk in the “Avengers” movies and supporting a variety of far-left causes and candidates. A little of both were manifest when the actor tweeted to his followers a petition demanding that NBC and its sister cable news network MSNBC stop hiring “white conservatives.”
Dennis Rodman is in North Korea again
Basketball great #Dennis Rodman is back in the news and, as has been the case recently, it has nothing to do with sports. Rodman is back in #North Korea to visit his old buddy Kim Jong-un. The Washington Post is starting rumors that Rodman is acting as #President Donald Trump’s secret envoy to the hermit kingdom, perhaps to free a handful of Americans being held by the regime, perhaps even to stop North Korea from building missiles to launch a nuclear strike against the United States and/or her allies.
Bernie Sanders supporters mull going third party
In a sign that the Democratic Party has not quite recovered from the defeat of #Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election, Fox News Insider is reporting that a group of #Bernie Sanders supporters is preparing to bolt the party. Depending on how serious the effort is, the move to create the “People’s Party” could be damaging for the long term prospects for the Democrats as they attempt to regain power.
Megyn Kelly interview with Alex Jones causes firestorm
#Megyn Kelly, who famously jumped from Fox News to NBC a few months ago, is already making news and causing controversy with her new Sunday Night magazine show. Due to an upcoming interview with radio talk show host and conspiracy theorist #Alex Jones. J.P, Morgan Chase has pulled its ads from the segment, scheduled to air next Sunday. Social media is ablaze with outrage.
Monday, June 12, 2017
Companies working on plan to make upper stages of Atlas 5 into space stations
Ars Technica is reporting that a group of three aerospace companies is reviving an idea that has been around in various forms since the Apollo program of the “wet workshop," and the idea is to take the third stage of a launch vehicle and refurbish it as a space station. The notion was considered as an option for what eventually became Skylab. Another version was mulled as a replacement for the #Space Station Freedom project.
Senate Republicans close on a deal for Obamacare repeal
A lot of things have been happening while the Russian hacking of the election conspiracy theory has been drowning out everything on cable news. First, the House voted to repeal the Dodd-Frank Financial Regulation law. Now, according to the Hill, Senate Republicans may be about to settle on a compromise that will repeal much of Obamacare.
Corporate sponsors pull out of Shakespeare play depicting Trump’s death
President #Donald Trump certainly has a lot of people fantasizing about how he really ought to be dead. First, Kathy Griffin displayed what looked like the severed head of the president during a TMZ photo shoot, simulating an ISIS decapitation video. Then the annual Shakespeare in the Park production of “#Julius Caesar” depicted the Roman soldier-statesman as being an orange-haired man [VIDEO] in a modern business suit, grabbing at women’s private parts before being cut down in the Theater of Pompey by people who resembled his aides and friends. But, unlike other examples of assassination porn, Hot Air notes that these cases are getting pushback.
ISS astronauts to make the first freshly baked bread in space
Astronaut food has been the subject of lots of research and development ever since space explorers made voyages long enough to need a lunch break. While what astronauts eat has progressed significantly from the awful nutrients pushed out of a toothpaste tube, dinner for the folks on the #international space station has, for the most part, consisted of prepackaged entrees and side dishes heated in a microwave. To be sure, the researchers on the #ISS have been growing veggies in research gardens and have had the opportunity to eat the results of their experiments. Now, the next first in space will consist of the first loaf of #Bread to be baked on the space station.
Harvard astrophysicist proposes prospecting asteroids with telescopes
One of the problems with asteroid mining is that while some of the big rocks hurtling through the solar system can be worth literally trillions of dollars, some of them are not. The trick is to weed out the asteroids that are comprised of trash rock and locate those that are either packed full of platinum group metals, as well as nickel and iron, and those that are called carbonaceous asteroids, meaning they contain water, a precious commodity for those exploring the high frontier of space.
The coal industry could become a source of rare earths
One of President Donald Trump’s campaign promises was to revive the American #coal industry, ravaged as it has been by President Obama’s drive to end the fossil fuel economy. But coal as a primary source of energy’s days may be numbered, thanks to cheap, much cleaner burning natural gas and the eventual development of other energy producing technologies such as fusion. However, the coal industry may get a second life, according to the Washington Examiner, thanks to rare earths, materials that are crucial to high-tech industries.
‘Wonder Woman’ is really a story of a soldier gone to war - spoilers
“#Wonder Woman,” the new, smash hit superhero movie starring Gal Gadot as the title character, has been described as everything from a feminist story to a Christian allegory. But the film is actually a meditation on the nature of war, dressed up in Ancient Greek myth and legend set during that bloodbath known as the “war to end all wars.”
Sunday, June 11, 2017
Could small fusion rockets open up the solar system?
One of the pressing problems hindering human spaceflight is the need for speed. Using chemical rockets available or in development, Mars is about the outer limit for human space exploration. Even so, Mars is a two to three year round trip with the hazards of microgravity and radiation waiting to threaten the lives of astronauts. A company called Princeton Satellite Systems aims to change all of that with something called small fusion propulsion.
Hundreds rally to defend the statue of Sam Houston
Saturday afternoon, June 10, hundreds of people showed up at the huge, equestrian statue of #Sam Houston, the father of #Texas Independence that has resided at Herman Park in Houston for almost a hundred years to defend it against Antifa protesters who are alleged to want to see it torn down. Despite the fact that some of the rally attendees were armed, as if ready to recreate the Battle of San Jacinto, the protest was peaceful, a fact attributed to a massive police presence and the fact that the Antifa people were no-shows.
Before the Dark Knight, Adam West was Batman
Long before the Dark Knight, #Adam West was a different kind of #Batman. For three seasons in the 1960s, crime fighting for a costumed superhero was good, silly fun, a respite for many living in an increasingly horrible decade.
Friday, June 09, 2017
What happened to Stephen Miller when he went to the all-female ‘Wonder Woman?’
A little while ago I wrote about how a conservative writer named Stephen Miller bought a ticket to one of the illegal all-female screenings of “#Wonder Woman” and hence put a torch to #social media. It seems that Mr. Miller has seen the movie and is alive to report the experience in the pages of Heat Street.
Nancy Pelosi begins to exhibit signs of reduced mental capacity
#Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader [VIDEO]and former Speaker of the #House, was once an influential politician. However, at the age of 77, she is starting to exhibit increasing signs of diminished cognitive capacity, seeming confused and lost during public events. The latest example took place during a recent press conference hours after Pelosi, ironically, called into question President Donald Trump’s sanity;
Reality Winner courtroom strategy is to be ‘Pretty, white, and cute’
Reality Leigh #Winner, the former NSA contractor who is currently in jail awaiting trial for passing top secret documents to a left wing news site, recently burbled out her strategy for avoiding a long stretch in prison to her sister during a prison phone call. She is apparently going to play the “Pretty, white, and cute” card. She forgot to add not being annoying, insane, and foolish.
Will ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ measure up to the first movie?
There probably isn't a child in the western world since 1964 who has not seen the original “Mary Poppins” and loved it and its star, the then young and always delightful #Julie Andrews. So when the announcement that “#Mary Poppins Returns,” starring Emily Blunt as the umbrella wielding, finger snapping, and flying nanny came out, audiences of all ages greeted the news with rare anticipation.
‘Stargate Universe’ to get ‘third season’ in the form of a comic book
“Stargate: Universe,” the third TV series in the SyFy Channel’s franchise that concerned the discovery of ancient, alien stargates that allow faster than light travel, was one of those shows that is considered as having been canceled too soon (like 'Star Trek' and 'Firefly') after two seasons. The show ended with an unresolved cliffhanger that aggravated fans of the show. Now, according to I09, “Stargate Universe” is getting a “third season” of sorts in the form of a comic book.
House Republicans vote to reform Dodd-Frank financial regulation law
While the political class and the media were entertaining themselves with the Comey Senate hearings, the House Republicans passed legislation that will gut the Obama-era Dodd-Frank Law that regulates the banking system in the United States. Many observers believe that the law, enacted in the wake of the financial collapse of 2008, has smothered the financial system and inhibits #Economic Growth through overregulation. Economic growth during the Obama years was anemic, never exceeding three percent of GDP per annum. Democrats disagree, claiming that Dodd-Frank is needed to prevent a repeat of the calamity that occurred during the last year of the younger Bush’s administration.
Theresa May’s epic fail causes British political earthquake
When #British Prime Minister Theresa May decided to hold a snap election, it seemed like a good idea at the time. The Conservative Party was 20 points ahead of Labour, mainly thanks to its leader, a certifiable lunatic named Jeremy Corbyn whose economic policy is somewhat to the left of Hugo Chavez’s and is considered by many to be a terrorist sympathizer. However, Ms. May managed to blow that lead and wind up losing her majority in parliament. She is now in talks with the Democratic Unionist Party, which won ten seats, to form a #Coalition Government. Here are some takeaways.
Thursday, June 08, 2017
Bernie Sanders’ religious test for public office
Sometimes, Sen #Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, is a curmudgeonly old man, spouting nonsense about the alleged joys of socialism. But on occasion, Sanders can get downright creepy and mean. Such was the case when he grilled Russell Vought about his beliefs as a Christian, which he believes will adversely affect his judgment as Deputy Director of OMB, an office to which he has been nominated?
Where will NASA’s new astronauts boldly go?
Eric Berger at Ars Technica noted the presentation of the new class of 12 astronauts, a diverse group of talented people, five women and seven men, and wondered what NASA intends to do with them. Neither Vice President Mike Pence nor Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot were too specific, except to reference Neil Armstrong’s first footsteps by suggesting that one or more of the astronauts would be making the next ones. But where?
Comey says that Loretta Lynch told him to downplay the Clinton investigation
While it looks like President Donald Trump is going to escape charges of committing an impeachable offense, though he seems to have behaved in an unseemly manner, it looks like former FBI Director James Comey has placed another former public official in some jeopardy. He has told the Senate in sworn testimony that then-Attorney General #Loretta Lynch asked him to downplay the investigation into the matter of the #Hillary Clinton email server by not calling it an investigation. That was not all she did.
Wednesday, June 07, 2017
Vice President Mike Pence introduces NASA’s new astronauts
NASA presented its 2017 class of astronauts at a ceremony at the Johnson Spaceflight Center south of Houston, Texas. The new astronauts, half men, and half women, come from a variety of military, academic, and commercial backgrounds. Unique among such presentations in recent years, the ceremony was attended by various public officials, including Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott, Sen. Ted Cruz. R-Texas, and #Vice President #Mike Pence. Pence made a welcoming speech that was mainly platitudes and did not reveal much new information. But the vice president’s address did add official confirmation to what is being reported about the Trump administration’s space policy.
Beijing to announce return to the moon, says China’s first man in space
It looks like that the Chinese government is going to officially approve a return to the moon program, according to the UK Telegraph. Yang Liwei, deputy director general of China Manned Space Agency and the first Chinese astronaut to fly into space, said in a group interview that Beijing “will not take long” to announce the new program. No date has been mentioned as to when China intends to follow in the footsteps of the Apollo astronauts.
Gun rights group appeals judge’s ruling in Katie Couric deceptive editing case
The Virginia Citizen’s #Defense League, a second amendment gun rights group, has decided to appeal the dismissal of its suit against Katie Couric for her deceptive editing of an exchange between its members and Couric in a documentary called “Under the Gun” according to the Washington Free Beacon. The case was dismissed by Judge John Gibney Jr., an Obama appointee because in his view the editing did not alter the facts of what occurred.
Attorney General Sessions ends forcing corporate payments to third parties
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has issued a memo that ended a controversial Obama-era practice of settling litigation against individual corporations by requiring them to pay money to third party special interest groups. Henceforth, any money extracted from a corporate wrongdoer will go to the actual victims of whatever practice the corporation is alleged to have done or to the #United States Treasury.
ISIS claims responsibility for terrorist attacks in Tehran
It looks like ISIS has expanded its field of operations if the terrorist army is telling the truth about attacks that have occurred in Tehran, the capital of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Suicide attackers launched assaults on the #Iranian Parliament and the tomb of the founder of the Islamic Republic, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. At least one person and as many as 12 died and 35 others wounded according to the New York Times.
Will planetary protection stop humans from going to Mars?
Eric Berger at Ars Technica recently had a conversation with Robert Zubrin, president of the #Mars Society and a leading advocate of Mars exploration and settlement. Zubrin is afraid that demands by some in the scientific community for “#Planetary Protection” will foreclose humans ever going to Mars. That concern has also been raised by SpaceX’s Elon Musk, who has Mars settlement aspirations of his own.
President Trump advances the idea of covering border wall with solar panels
One of the projects that are still listed on President Donald Trump’s agenda is the construction of the wall across the southern border, the better to control illegal immigration, Mention of the wall and the idea that Trump would make Mexico pay for it was a sure fire applauds line during the campaign. Months into the Trump presidency, progress on the wall has been stymied by the fact that neither Mexico nor congressional Democrats are willing to pay for it. Now, #President Trump has hit upon, thanks to a contractor in #Las Vegas, to make the sun pay for the wall.
Tuesday, June 06, 2017
William Shatner has an idea for a show called ‘The Young Guns of NASA’
#William Shatner has been around for decades, having played everything from the decadent, right-wing lawyer Denny Crane in “Boston Legal” to Alexander the Great in a failed pilot to a starship captain in that little-known science fiction series “Star Trek.” Shatner announced recently that he is trying to put together a tv show that he calls “#The Young Guns of #NASA.”
How is ‘Still Star Crossed’ going (spoilers)?
“#Still Star Crossed,” the ethnically diverse sequel to “Romeo and Juliet,” is not doing very well in the ratings, having placed second to a rerun of “Scorpion” in its Monday night timeslot. Still, the show has enough romantic folly and “Game of Thrones” style intrigue and murder to make the series worth an hour of one’s time a week.
Shakespeare play ‘Julius Caesar’ kills Donald Trump
“#Shakespeare in the Park” is annual summer entertainment when New Yorkers can go to Central Park and watch plays by the Bard under the stars. According to Mediaite, one of this year’s offerings is “#Julius Caesar.” The producers have decided to go full bore Kathy Griffin in the costuming, casting, and staging to give a little bit of relevance to the classic play about power and murder.
‘Wonder Woman’ as a Christian allegory
“#Wonder Woman,” the smash hit superhero film about the Amazonian warrior princess, had elicited plenty of bandwidth since months before it opened, particularly about political issues surrounding the film. However, people approach the movie from a variety of viewpoints. One, likely the majority view, look at “Wonder Woman” as an action-adventure thrill a minute entertainment that shows Gal Gadot hacking and slashing the Germans with wild abandon. A lot of feminists, on the other hand, view the film as a girl-power epic, a woman showing the men that she is just as good as (better than!) they are at smiting evil. However, a third way to look at the movie has arisen.
Al Franken cancels his appearance on Bill Maher’s ‘Real Time’
While the next episode of #Bill Maher’s “#real time” will air as scheduled, despite the use of an incendiary racial slur the host, it will be without previously scheduled guest Sen. #Al Franken, D-Minnesota. Franken has already been obliged to cancel an event with Kathy Griffin, who brought America together in condemnation thanks to her display for the cameras of what appeared to be the severed head of President Donald Trump. Franken has a book to sell and cannot be associated with such people.
Why was Reality Winner given a security clearance?
Reality Winner, the 25-year-old female NSA contractor who was arrested for passing #Top Secret Information to a news site, peppered her Facebook page and Twitter feed with alarming statements, particularly in regards to her hostility to the president of the United States. Winner’s social media material raises questions about why she was given a #Security Clearance, to begin with. The FBI took just a few hours to discover that Winner was the source of the leak and to put her in handcuffs.
Axiom Space reveals its plan for a private space station
Axiom Space, a new commercial space startup, has revealed its plan to ultimately build a commercial space station that it hopes to be a successor to the International Space Station when that facility is retired in 2024, according to Space.com. The management team of Axiom is very experienced at space station operations, having worked for NASA and NASA contractors on the ISS and astronaut training. The plan is a step by step path that starts with managing a #Space Tourism business at the ISS.
Monday, June 05, 2017
Scientists puzzled by a mysterious pit at the south pole of Mars
Recently the #Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been in orbit around the #Red Planet since 2006, found a feature at the Martian #South Pole that has scientists scratching their heads. The feature is a pit that looks like it is hundreds of meters wide and fairly deep. What caused the pit is something that scientists are not sure of yet.The Man from Mars: The Asteroid Mining Caper
How technology shaped the Battle of Midway 75 years ago
The #Battle Of Midway, which took place 75 years ago, is rightly regarded as having turned the tide in the Pacific War, ensuring that the Japanese could never score a knockout blow against the American Pacific Fleet and force a negotiated peace. The #Action took place when an American force of three aircraft carrier battle groups ambushed a Japanese fleet built around four carriers that were supporting an invasion of Midway Island, a military base in the middle of the Pacific.
How Bernie Sanders made socialism a money making enterprise
Socialism may have destroyed Venezuela, the latest proof that it is a failure as an economic system. However, expounding on the ideology has proven to be very lucrative for Sen. Bernie Sanders [VIDEO], I-Vermont, the only admitted socialist in the #United States Senate. The trick is a marketing plan that would have put anyone on Madison Avenue to shame, involving a presidential campaign and book sales.
President Trump proposes privatizing the air traffic control system
As everyone knows who has flown recently, air travel can be an aggravation. Besides the occasional beat down at the hands of airline employees, cramped seating, bad food, and security check lines make flying an aggravation. One should add to those bugs in the system the inability of many airlines to adhere to a schedule. Air flight delays translate into lost hours and billions of dollars in lost revenue for business travelers, not to mention travel disruptions for people keen to get to connecting flights and family events.
How did Megyn Kelly do on her return to the airwaves?
The return of Megyn Kelly to the airwaves was an event keenly anticipated by people who had followed her career when she was on Fox News. The fact that the first episode of her new show “Sunday Night” featured an interview with Russian leader Vladimir Putin increased interest to a fever pitch. Kelly has gone one and one with alpha males before, notably with Donald Trump. Trump reacted very badly to a question Kelly had put to him during one of the presidential debates, so much so that a lesser man would have seen his candidacy destroyed. Who could tell what Putin would do?