SpaceX Returns

I’m in transit but thought I’d put up a quick post about Space X successfully launching a rocket, having it deploy satellites, then return to the Earth. You can see a truncated video below:

It looks like something out of a sci-fi movie.

This isn’t just cool; the economic potential is huge. This could cut the cost of putting things into orbit by tens of millions. In just my field, this could mean more space telescopes for the same funds. In other fields, you’re talking about affordable space tourism, cheap satellite, maybe even an economic way to clear out space debris.


Watching the Cardinals beat up on Philly last night I missed all the fun over at the Miss Universe Pageant;

Begging a few questions; obviously Harvey knows how to read, he does Family Feud, maybe larger printing or using crayons might help. The only reason to watch these pageants from a man’s point of view is the all too familiar train wreck of an answer when asked some dopey AGW question or world peace question (more hugs) from a moonbat judge. And from what I have been reading about the event, it always ends the same way, 2 finalists left with the first name read being first runner up, and yes, that was clearly written on the card, but if you never watched one of these things before (and clearly Harvey has not) maybe watching a few for familiarity would be a good idea?

Is there anything more embarrassing than having a stage full of beauty pageant contestants laughing at you for effing up the one thing you had to do that night?

I could not believe how far they let the error ride, why did they not correct him immediately?

Harvey clearly felt bad;

“I want to apologize emphatically to Miss Philippians and Miss Columbia. This was a terribly honest human mistake and I am so regretful.” (Photo: Twitter/IAmSteveHarvey)
You’ll notice he misspelled both “Colombia” and “Philippines.” Can we blame autocorrect? Let’s blame autocorrect.

Here’s Harvey confirming his mistake: The correct winner, Miss Philippines, and first runner-up, Miss Colombia, are listed on his card.

Another product of the public school system, or should we blame the Cleveland public school system?

Oh, That Liberal Media, Part 7614

You know, I can’t imagine why people think the media has a liberal bias. I mean it’s not like they stealthily edit articles to remove politically damaging quotes from the President and then come up with multiple BS explanations when caught.

Oh, wait. That’s exactly what they do.

(In other news, the media are going nuts because PPP did a poll asking voters if we should bomb Agrabah. 30% of GOP voters agreed. But Agrabah is not a real place; it’s the fictional city in the movie Aladdin.

Here’s the thing. You have to read further in to find it (and some outlets elide it entirely). But 19% of Democrats agreed. Moreover, 57% of Republicans said they didn’t know if we should bomb a fictional country. But only 45% of Democrats said they didn’t know. In other words, Democrats were more sure that they knew whether or not to bomb a country that doesn’t exist.

This is also an illustration of why polls mean little. You can get 20% of people to agree to anything in a poll, just from trolling. So when you hear something like “20% of Republicans think the moon is made of green cheese”, add a lot of salt.)

The New Order

During the debate earlier this week, Congress quietly issued an omnibus budget bill. It just passed both houses today. There is some stuff in the bill to like but a lot to dislike.

Dislikes first:

  • Provisions do tighten immigration and refugee procedures were dropped, although the visa waiver program will be tightened.
  • The bill increases overall spending.
  • The bill increased the budget deficit, albeit mostly through extending tax provisions.
  • The bill includes surveillance provisions that violate civil liberties, essentially passing CISA through the back door.

There are a few provisions I don’t have a strong opinion about at this point. The bill increases the number of H2-B visas dramatically, which is opposed in many quarters. It also drops the effort to defund Planned Parenthood. Personally, I would prefer that we drop all non-budget riders from the bill.

There’s another provision that’s kind of difficult to get a grasp on. The bill makes some tweaks to Obamacare: delaying the Cadillac tax, dropping the medical device tax and maintaining the caps on the “risk corridors”. The tax delays cost money but make Obamacare more palatable to some opponents. The risk corridors could result in insurance companies leaving the system. But the willingness of Democrats to negotiate away parts of Obamacare may portend an uncertain future for the program and an eventual overhaul. So we’ll have to see where this goes.

Now the good:

  • It lifts the crude oil export ban.
  • It make a number of tax breaks permanent or long-term, rather than having them renewed every year. This at least will mean more honest accounting. Indeed, much of the deficit increase is on paper because we’ve stopped pretending we’re going to let those tax breaks expire.
  • It replaces the sequester with more targeted spending cuts.
  • It avoids a government shutdown.

That last bit is probably the most important. The budget deal is a step toward renewing the normal budget process rather than budgeting through a series of self-created crises. It is a worrying step toward both parties agreeing to ignore the deficit. That will have to be addressed. But if we’re getting back to a normal budget process, it should at least be easier to tell what the hell Congress is doing.

Suck My Space Nerd Stick

Out of the loop, as years go by I find myself more and more ensconced outside the fence, and I’m not even really looking in. I don’t care about current fads, don’t listen to the top 40 (my siruis XM stays on Watercolors, Symphony Hall, or Classic Vinyl), don’t go to the movies that much (last one I took my kid to see Jurassic World in Imax 3D, 18 bucks, are you kidding me?) and I don’t need Vanity Fair to tell me what wines to drink or books to read. So I am a bit nonplussed at all the Star Wars Hysteria going on;

I’m with Katherine on this one. Yeah, I remember the first 3, saw them in the theaters, but life goes on. This new generation have no such nostalgia pulls to the series, yet, when the MSM tells them that they should be excited, they follow in lock step.

I will probably rent it when it comes out at Redbox so I am marginally interested.

2 questions for the group, have you ever gone to midnight showings or stood in line for ungodly hours waiting to see any movies, like ever, and does anyone here actually have wood over this movie and feel they must see it today?

They are all crooks

Just look at this and you will know what I mean..

This is another of the reasons why Trump has appeal as well..

Trophies For Everyone

Applications are now being accepted for The Cool Club. No expensive dues or actual accomplishments required, a minimalist approach will work well. A “Practice Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty” bumper sticker works, a cool multicolored ribbon on the lapel, a “live Strong” wrist ban or something similar, even a catchy slogan easily chanted (Black Lives Matter), all identifies you to the world as a caring individual, someone who wants a better kinder world but is not willing to sacrifice much to make it happen. And if you are a world leader (a progressive world leader who is easily swayed by fads or fearful of the PC police) then you throw wild expensive carbon emitting parties, all the while patting yourselves on the back at how enlighten and caring you are, more champagne;

Life is so much easier when things are settled, no more need to think about things, to scrutinize or weigh any more evidence, the science is settled, we did it, high fives all around. Now we can feel good about ourselves, our efforts (or lack thereof) will make our world a better place, yea for us.

OK, let the hand wringing begin.

Quick Debate Note

I caught parts of last night’s Republican debate. Nothing I saw changed my ongoing impressions: I like Rubio, I like some of what Paul’s saying, Christie remains tenacious, Bush is dead, Fiorinia has yet to move beyond her memorized talking points. But it also reinforced my other impression: that we are witnessing the early stages of an electoral trainwreck.

2016 is very winnable for the Republicans. Clinton, despite her pedigree, is an extremely weak candidate. Handed an easy Senate seat in 2000, she made it into a challenge, winning by 12 points in a state Algore won by 30 and that only because Rick Lazio turned out to be a giant asshole. Handed an easy nomination in 2008, one which she led by 20-30 points at times, she blew it, losing to an unknown half-term Senator with a funny name. Handed an easy nomination in 2016, she’s struggled to put away an elderly half-cracked socialist from Vermont.

Clinton is beatable. But she’s not beatable if the GOP nominates a fruitcake. And she’s not beatable if the GOP, in an effort to outcrazy the fruitcake, endorses such idiotic policies as shooting down Russian planes over Syria or carpet-bombing parts of Iraq and Syria.

I don’t know. I tend to be pessimistic about the GOP. But this is not looking good.

Bowe Needs To Go

Still no trial date in sight, but today the US Army announced their decision and charges filed re: Bowe Bergdahl;

U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will face a military court on charges of desertion and endangering fellow soldiers, the U.S. Army announced Monday.

Gen. Robert Abrams, the commander of U.S. Army Forces Command, ordered the court-martial on Monday, breaking with the U.S. military officer overseeing Bergdahl’s preliminary hearing who recommended that Bergdahl be referred to a special court-martial and face no jail time.

Abrams on Monday ordered Bergdahl’s case to a general court-martial, which means Bergdahl could face life imprisonment if convicted of “misbehavior before the enemy by endangering the safety of a command, unit or place.”

Of course the type of court martial and these particular charges were appropriate, and about damn time. Now more interminable waiting for justice, hopefully next year.

The worse charges, collaboration with the enemy, can’t be proved, lucky for him. Given his state of mind, bolstered by his emails sent home, it is perfectly conceivable that he spilled his guts regarding troop deployments, numbers, and patrol routes. But only his captures know for sure the level of his treason.

We have talked before how the military is an entirely different animal. Where a mugger or a thief in our society only has one victim, in the military, every soldier is a victim. His actions placed all his fellow soldiers at risk and some gave their lives searching for him. An effective fighting force demands cohesion and camaraderie, and these are jeopardized by even the mere appearance of special treatment due to political expediency.

Of course it was not his fault that our dopey President traded 5 Taliban generals for him, but he swore an oath, one that all other soldiers take seriously.

Naturally we are not privy to all the evidence, but we have a pretty good idea, based on eye witness sworn testimony from his fellow platoon members and supervisors, as to what happened. For my own self, I don’t think a guilty finding with time served cuts it. I want some Leavenworth time, 5 years is about right. Oh, and a dishonorable discharge with a forfeiture of all pay while being held captive.

Another Trump Rant

I mentioned the other day in a comment that The Donald is NOT leading in the latest Iowa poll, Ted Cruz is. Nothing real incendiary here though, can’t remember the last time the Iowa winner actually got the nomination, but still, Trump’s usual retort when confronted with something idiotic is ,”Well, the people love me and agree with me, look at all the polls”. And given this latest turn, how vicious do you think Trump will be towards Cruz in tomorrow’s debate?

There is a lot to like about Trump; he does not need their Judas money, he does not suffer fools easily, he understands the two most important issues (the economy and the dangers of Radical Islam), he drives liberals rabid, and his loyalties are not suspect. Do I wish he would be more circumspect, act more presidential, and understand the value and on unexpressed thought? Of course. And do I give two shits about what the MSM, the liberal elites and the GOPees think of Trump? You know the answer to that.

But this post is about his latest push;

According to The Hill, Trump said, “One of the first things I’d do in terms of executive order, if I win, will be to sign a strong, strong statement that would go out to the country, out to the world, anybody killing a police man, a police woman, a police officer, anybody killing a police officer, the death penalty is going to happen.”

I think everyone here knows where I stand on the rule of law, the need for law and order in any civilized society, and the stellar thankless work our men and women in blue do day in and day out. But this misses the mark on a number of levels, namely;

1) Since when is a police officers life worth more than another life? Isn’t that the main rub against hate crimes, that one class of people or person, their skin, is worth more and is more valuable than another’s? Yes, it is a dangerous job, but they know it going in and are trained to deal with these dangerous situations, and I might add handsomely compensated. But when a bank robber is pulled over and a gunfight ensues with the result being a dead cop, that crime is no more egregious or malevolent then back at the bank when he shot and killed a bank teller.

2) Considering that many states do not have the death penalty, voted on by the people of those states, a sweeping executive order nullifying that vote and throwing the 9th and 10 Amendments in the trash can is not really in the best interest of the people.

3) When are these guys going to learn the differences between the Executive and the Legislative branches of our federal government, which branch makes the laws and which one is responsible for implementing and enforcing the laws? Given the reckless shotgun approach the current guy took, how about a moratorium on executive orders for a while.

Yeah, it foments the base, but;

Rarely can you tell whether a new Trump policy idea was gamed out beforehand or just something he came up with on the fly while in front of a mic, and this is no exception.

And this idea will be placed on the same shelf with his other goofy ideas; Build a fence and have Mexico pay for it, start a trade war with China, deport 11 million illegals already living here, and baring ALL Muslims from coming to America.