Author Archives: Robert Zimmerman

Mystery missile an optical illusion?

At least one expert claims that the mystery missile launch off the California coast on was merely an optical illusion. Key quote:

John Pike of the security analyst group globalsecurity.org said the video shot by a news helicopter owned by KCBS is an optical illusion. Pike said the video is of an airplane heading toward the camera and the contrail is illuminated by the setting sun. He said the object can’t be a rocket because it appeared to alter its course.

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Leftist cartoonist calls for armed revolution against the right

Feel the hate: Leftist cartoonist Ted Rall calls for armed revolution against conservatives. The quote below from Rall’s writing nicely summarizes what he thinks of people who disagree with him:

The millions of partisans who follow Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and right-wing televangelists happen to be the best-armed people around, and they despise just about everyone who doesn’t think and pray like them. They will see collapse as affirmation of their beliefs that secular liberalism is destructive. They will also see it as an opportunity to create a new, ordered world atop the ashes. They will act to stop teenage sluts from getting abortions, teach niggers a lesson, and slaughter those spics, dots, and everyone else who doesn’t fit into their vision of what and who is right. [emphasis mine]

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The space program is dead, long live the space industry!

The news following the midterm election results have not sounded good for NASA. Two stories on Monday alone signaled the bad news:

Earlier stories last week were no more encouraging:

While Republicans have, since the 1970s, generally been more enthusiastic than Democrats about NASA and manned space exploration, the new Republican Congress has a tone that seems decidedly different from past years. Above all, it appears the public is finally becoming aware of the recent explosion in the federal debt, as illustrated by the graph below. (hat tip to Gateway Pundit and The Captain’s Comments.)

Federal deficit

The public’s growing concern about these numbers was clearly reflected in the election results. First, there was the success of many tea party candidates advocating fiscal responsibility and a radical shrinking of government. Even in cases where conservatives lost, the closeness of the election in districts or states where liberals have rarely in the past been challenged suggests the mood of the electorate is decidedly shifting in a direction against federal spending.

Second, the electorate seemed surprisingly hostile to pork, expressing little interest in being brought off with baubles for their home districts. Thus, candidates who ran against pork seemed to get far more enthusiastic attention and positive publicity than those elected officials famous for “bringing home the bacon.”

In such an atmosphere, the priorities of Congress will be forced to change. The outlook therefore does not look good for the type of pork funding represented by the NASA authorization bill passed on September 29, with its billions of subsidies for the aerospace industry.

We can see an indication of this new tone by some of the initial plans announced by the Republican leadership. As a first step, the Republicans have proposed cutting the federal budget back 2008 levels. This change alone would reduce NASA’s annual budget by about $2 billion, or 10%.

This solution, however, will not close the budget gap, only shrink it slightly. The Republicans will still be faced with massive amounts of red ink and a public demanding that they deal with it. To prove they mean what they say, the new House leadership will be forced to propose some additional draconian cuts.

Unfortunately, the circumstances at this moment has made NASA a prime budget-cutting target. » Read more

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Warrentless raids and arrests at Florida barbershops

This appears to be an abuse of power: Since August Florida police have conducted two warrentless sweeps, raiding nine barbershops and arresting 37 people (for “barbering without a license,” a misdemeanor), using the state’s business regulations as a cover. Key quotes:

The operations were conducted without warrants, under the authority of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation inspectors, who can enter salons at will.

With the exception of two misdemeanor marijuana charges and Vasquez’s arrest, deputies were unable to connect any of the illegal activity to anyone. Meanwhile, store owners reported property damage from the raids, including a large hole employees said deputies busted into a wall at 809 Barbershop in Ocoee. However, several owners said the damage to their businesses and reputations has been much worse.

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European plans to boost biofuels will hurt environment, say environmentalists

The law of unintended consequences strikes again! Nine environmental groups have found that the European Union’s plan to promote the use of biofuels over fossil fuels will actually damage the environment. Key quote:

The extra biofuels that Europe will use over the next decade will generate between 81 and 167 percent more carbon dioxide than fossil fuels, says the report.

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Cable subscribers flee to internet

More technology disruption! Cable companies are losing subscribers, and it appears they are shifting their video viewing to the internet. Key quote:

Consumers who use the Internet to get their movies and TV shows bypass not just the cable companies, but the cable networks that produce the content. The move could have the same disruptive effect on the TV and movie industries as digital downloads have had on music.

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Undefeated youth football team banned from playoffs for being too good

How’s this for teaching kids the wrong lessons: League officials have banned an undefeated youth football team from the playoffs because they are too good. The other teams in the league feared they lose if they played them again.

Update: Teaching kids the joy of winning instead of the misery of “fairness.” Key quote:

Every week you’ve been told that the important thing is just to have a good time. Well, this week it’s going to be different. The number one goal is to win; the number two goal is to have a good time. But I assure you: if you win, you will have a much better time!

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A high school production of To Kill a Mockingbird cancelled due to political correctness

Freedom of speech alert: A high school production of To Kill a Mockingbird was cancelled because of the play includes the word “nigger.” The absurdity of this is incredible. Not only was this how people spoke during the time period described in the book, Harper Lee’s book was central in bringing about the end to racial discrimination.

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