Monthly Archives: July 2013

The state of SLS construction.

The state of SLS construction.

The article is mostly focused on the engineering challenges of building a new rocket out of old pieces of the space shuttle. Kind of reminds me of Frankenstein. Nonetheless, I do get the impression for the first time that this heavy lift rocket will be built, and will fly at least once.

After that, however, I expect it to die from lack of funds. In fact, its history will probably parallel that of the Soviet Union’s Energia rocket, which flew twice, once to launch their shuttle copycat Buran and once to lift a failed payload whose purpose has never been clearly revealed. Soon thereafter came bankruptcy and the end of the Soviet Union, which couldn’t afford such a monstrosity. SLS will likely see a similar fate.

Share

Homeland Security has lost track of more than one million foreigners after they have entered the country.

Does this make you feel safer? Homeland Security has lost track of more than one million foreigners after they have entered the country.

The government does track arrivals, but is years overdue in setting up a system to track departures — a goal set in a 1996 immigration law and reaffirmed in 2004, but which has eluded Republican and Democratic administrations. “DHS has not yet fulfilled the 2004 statutory requirement to implement a biometric exit capability, but has planning efforts under way to report to Congress in time for the fiscal year 2016 budget cycle on the costs and benefits of such a capability at airports and seaports,” GAO investigators wrote.

Homeland Security, like the TSA, is a fraud. Neither is capable of protecting us. Both are very skillful however at abusing innocent American citizens. Both should be eliminated. The country was actually safer — and freer — before they existed.

Share

More evidence that Obamacare is turning the U.S. workforce into a part-time workforce.

More evidence that Obamacare is turning the U.S. workforce into a part-time workforce.

The graphs are damning. The consequence of this shift is that the U.S. will increasingly be unable to compete in the global market. In addition, incomes and prosperity will shrink.

Share

New satellite data covering the period from 2000 to 2011 now shows that the atmosphere traps far less heat than predicted by every global warming climate model.

The uncertainty of science: New satellite data covering the period from 2000 to 2011 now shows that the atmosphere traps far less heat than predicted by every global warming climate model.

The models had predicted that the increase in CO2 — which is insufficient on its own to cause a greenhouse effect — would cause feedbacks with water (the atmosphere’s real greenhouse gas) that would increase the amount of atmospheric humidity which would thus trap heat in the atmosphere and raise the global temperature. The new data instead shows the opposite. The atmosphere is not trapping any heat. The greenhouse effect is not occurring as predicted.

Share

Emails between IRS official Lois Lerner and an attorney in the Federal Election Commission’s general counsel’s office show them twice colluding to illegally influence the FEC to prosecute conservative groups.

Working for the Democratic Party: Emails between IRS official Lois Lerner and an attorney in the Federal Election Commission’s general counsel’s office show them twice colluding to illegally influence the FEC to prosecute conservative groups.

The timing of the correspondence between Lerner and the FEC suggests the FEC attorney sought information from the IRS in order to influence an upcoming vote by the six FEC commissioners. The FEC received a complaint in March 2008 from the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party alleging that the American Future Fund had violated campaign-finance law by engaging in political advocacy without registering as a political-action committee. The American Future Fund responded to that complaint in June 2008, telling the commission that it had applied for tax exemption in March of that year and was a “501(c)(4) social-welfare organization that was organized to provide Americans with a conservative and free-market viewpoint and mechanism to communicate and advocate on the issues that most interest and concern them.” According to the e-mail correspondence, a month after receiving the American Future Fund’s response, the FEC general counsel’s office — which is prohibited under law from conducting an investigation into an organization before the FEC’s six commissioners have voted to do so — contacted Lerner to investigate the agency’s tax-exempt status. [emphasis mine]

Simply put, the law states that when the FEC receives a complaint, the commission must then decide whether to initiate an investigation. Until it does so, however, it is a crime for the FEC’s general counsel to do any investigation. It is also a crime for the IRS to provide them any confidential tax information. Yet, the FEC’s general counsel did do an investigation on at least two conservative groups prior to a vote and Lois Lerner at the IRS provided them what they wanted, all illegally.

It appears that for justice to be served and for trust to be restored to these bureaucracies a lot of people need to be fired. Unfortunately, I do not expect that to happen. The Democrats clearly want to take advantage of this corrupt bureaucracy to wield power and destroy their enemies, and the Republicans are too wimpy to fight back. The result: The corruption and abuse of power will continue to happen, and it will happen with increasing aggressiveness against conservatives.

Share

SpaceX has signed a contract with MDA to launch all three of Canada’s next generation Radarsat satellites.

The competition heats up: SpaceX has signed a contract with MDA to launch all three of Canada’s next generation Radarsat satellites.

MDA’s willingness to go with SpaceX prior to the September 5 launch of its Cassiope satellite on the Falcon 9 illustrates again the confidence they have in SpaceX. At the same time, this contract is for launches expected to occur around 2018, which is a long way away. Much can happen till then, including the possibility that SpaceX will go bust.

In other words, right now it is the successful launch of Falcon 9 that is of significance, not these new contracts. Only if those launches succeed will these contracts then become really significant.

Share

Many in the astronomy community do not agree with the recent conclusions of one astronomer that Comet ISON is likely a dud.

The uncertainty of science: Many in the astronomy community do not agree with the recent conclusions of one astronomer that Comet ISON is likely to be a dud.

The arguments from both sides are quite interesting. Stay tuned. We will find out in only a few more months.

Share

According to the observations of one Italian astronomer, it appears that Comet ISON will not be the “Comet of the Century,” as hoped.

According to the observations of one Italian astronomer, it appears that Comet ISON will not be the “Comet of the Century,” as hoped.

This fits with other recent reports, all of which suggested that the comet is not brightening as it should.

Share

On Friday an astronaut on ISS controlled and steered a rover on Earth.

On Friday an astronaut on ISS controlled and steered a rover on Earth.

While zipping around Earth several hundred miles above the planet’s surface, European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano drove a 220-pound (100 kilograms) rover across a moon-mimicking landscape here at NASA’s Ames Research Center, even ordering the robot to deploy a simulated film-based radio telescope antenna.

Share

A supernova has exploded in the galaxy M74, only 30 million light years away.

A supernova has exploded in the galaxy M74, only 30 million light years away.

This is one of the closest supernovae in recent years. Though it is still brightening and has reached 12th magnitude, it is not expected to brighten to naked eye visibility (about 6th magnitude). Astronomers however have spotted the progenitor star in archival Hubble images, which they have identified as a M-type red supergiant that was also particularly bright in the infrared.

Share

The sad fate of Democrat women.

The war on women: The sad fate of Democrat women.

It’s always a little galling (not to mention hilarious) for those of us on the right to reflect that the Democratic Party — the party of slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, and family-destroying social programs — the party of Detroit, New Orleans, Newark, and Baltimore — the party that facilitates a black abortion rate that would bring a smile to the face of Planned Parenthood’s genocidally racist founder — has somehow managed to sell itself to African Americans as the friend of black people!

But it’s beginning to be equally galling (and equally comic) to reflect that the Democrats have also contrived to present themselves as the party of women.

This is the party whose most powerful senator left his probable mistress to drown after a car accident; the party whose most popular living president is a serial philanderer and accused rapist; the party whose most prominent woman rose to that prominence by virtue of her stand-by-your-man loyalty to a louse; and now the party of Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer, two men who have humiliated their wives with truly creepy behavior and yet seek to continue their political careers regardless.

We all make mistakes and it’s not that the GOP hasn’t got its share of sexual shenanigans, but the Republican establishment doesn’t routinely make excuses for its recidivist miscreants or make icons of their victimized spouses. The Dems…? They seem to think their political agenda somehow excuses their personal behavior. I joked on the Ricochet podcast last week that the party’s new slogan should be, ”Women — We Treat You Like Dirt, But At Least You Can Kill Your Unborn Children!”

But don’t worry. The Democrats are there to protect women from Romney’s “binders full of women.”

Update: And then there’s this.

Share

The cost of complying with Obamacare is forcing insurance companies to abandon many state markets.

Finding out what’s in it: The cost of complying with Obamacare is forcing insurance companies to abandon many state markets.

In February 2010, a month before passage of the law, Obama explained at a bipartisan health care summit at the Blair House, “What we’ve said is that if you join one of these exchanges, you will have choice and you will have competition. You will have a menu of private insurance options that you’ll be able to purchase.”

Increasing the number of insurance options for individuals was one of the key ways in which Obama claimed the law would be able to drive down insurance costs. But with less than 70 days before the exchanges are set to open, large insurers are pulling out of states as a result of the health care law, resulting in less choice for consumers, not more.

This is exactly what happened in New York in 1992 when the state legislature passed a law with many of the same components as Obamacare. Insurance companies fled the state, and premiums went up.

Share

Congress fiercely divided over completely blank bill that says and does nothing.

If only all bills were this lacking in details: Congress fiercely divided over completely blank bill that says and does nothing.

A blank piece of legislation that says nothing, does nothing, and contains no text whatsoever has been the source of heated debate in Washington this week, and has sharply divided Congress along partisan lines, Beltway sources confirmed Thursday. Known as S.0000, the bill, which doesn’t have sponsors, co-sponsors, or an author, has reportedly drawn starkly contrasting opinions from legislators in both the Senate and House of Representatives, and has paved the way for a major legislative battle in coming months.

Read the whole thing. It accurately captures the reality of present day Washington, with the Democrats pounding the table for this bill and the Republicans pounding the table against it.

Share

According to two industry sources, the U.S. government has demanded that major internet companies provide it the stored passwords of their customers.

According to two industry sources, the federal government has demanded that major internet companies provide it the stored passwords of their customers.

“I’ve certainly seen them ask for passwords,” said one Internet industry source who spoke on condition of anonymity. “We push back.” A second person who has worked at a large Silicon Valley company confirmed that it received legal requests from the federal government for stored passwords. Companies “really heavily scrutinize” these requests, the person said. “There’s a lot of ‘over my dead body.'”

So far at least, it appears that the companies are doing the right thing and telling the government to go to hell.

Share

Forty-three peer-reviewed papers by a Japanese researcher are tainted with falsified or fabricated data, according to a Japanese newspaper report today.

Forty-three peer-reviewed papers by a Japanese researcher are tainted with falsified or fabricated data, according to a Japanese newspaper story today.

There really seems to be a lot of this going around, doesn’ t there?

Share

A GAO report has found that heath insurance premiums will skyrocket next year when Obamacare takes effect.

Finding out what’s in it: A GAO report has found that heath insurance premiums will skyrocket next year when Obamacare takes effect.

Starting next year, a 30 year-old earning $35,000 per year would have to pay $2,739 annually for a cheap “bronze plan” on the new health insurance exchanges, even after receiving subsidies, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s subsidy calculator. That’s more expensive than any state in the current system, and seven times more expensive than in the cheapest state, Nebraska, where premiums are currently as low as $349 annually.

Even an otherwise comparable 30 year-old earning $25,000 next year, who would qualify for more generous Obamacare subsidies, would have to pay $1,142 annually for a “bronze plan.” That’s still more expensive than current cheap rates in 45 states, and double the current cost in 19 states.

The article has a fascinating table outlining the minimum cost for healthcare in all fifty states. Not surprisingly, in the states that have Obamacare-type regulations, such as Massachusetts and New York, the cost for heathcare is far higher.

Share

Aerospace defense contractors Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon all show better than expected profits despite sequestration.

Chicken Little report: Aerospace defense contractors Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon all show better than expected profits despite sequestration.

It seems that each of these companies, finding their profits from defense pork to be relatively flat or dropping slightly, worked harder to sell their other products to other customers, and were generally successful. What a concept!

Share

The Detroit City Council unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday calling for the further prosecution of George Zimmerman.

The witch hunt continues: The Detroit City Council unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday calling for the further prosecution of George Zimmerman.

It not like these leaders in Detroit don’t have their own problems that they should be dealing with, eh?

As I said yesterday, they are thugs, jack-booted thugs. If they could arrange a kangaroo court to guarantee the conviction of those they dislike or disagree with, they would. And in fact, that is what they are trying to do right now.

Share
1 2 3 5