Tag Archives: bankruptcy

More fake papers accepted by sociology/gender/racism journals

In what has become almost a regular event, several honest academics (who call by the way identify themselves as “leftwing”) have once again successfully gotten published seven bogus papers in journals centered on gender, feminist, race, and ethnic studies.

Once they had a grasp on what was already being published, they quickly wrote 20 bogus papers. Seven of those were accepted for publication by various journals and several others were pending rewrites and probably would have been accepted if the authors hadn’t been forced to call off the experiment early. For comparison purposes, seven papers is the average number you would need to publish over seven years in order to secure tenure at most universities. The authors estimate at least 10 of the 20 would have been accepted given more time. And they could have kept churning these out and had one or two new papers accepted for publication every month, for as long as they wanted to continue.

They key point here is that the papers themselves were written not as an attempt to expand knowledge but as pure sophistry. Each one started with an absurd premise and then used the contours of social justice thought, what the authors call “grievance studies,” to make the premise seem plausible.

It is worth reading their full report. To show how corrupt these fields have become, one of those accepted papers simply took a chapter of Hitler’s Mein Kampf and reshaped it slightly using feminist jargon. As the project’s authors found. the point of these publications has nothing to do with knowledge,

This is the primary point of the project: What we just described is not knowledge production; it’s sophistry. That is, it’s a forgery of knowledge that should not be mistaken for the real thing. The biggest difference between us and the scholarship we are studying by emulation is that we know we made things up. [emphasis in original]

Below the fold is a short video the three scholars produced to explain their work, what it accomplished, and their own conclusions, which strongly condemn the entire field of ethnic, race, and gender studies.

The real problem however is not what these scholars learned and demonstrated. That these fields are corrupt and infused with leftist political ideology that makes all worthwhile research impossible has been proven for decades. In 1996 physicist Alan Sokol did exactly the same thing, getting a top sociology journal to publish a fake paper purposely filled with the obtuse leftist jargon that these journals prize.

The real problem is that nothing changes. These journals continue to publish this crap and the departments and fake professors who produce it continue to be funded. In fact, since Sokal’s hoax in 1996 their funding and power has grown, not shrunk, despite repeated similar stories in the past two decades demonstrating their willingness to publish fake papers, as long as those papers advocate political leftist garbage that works to destroy the search for truth that is the hallmark of western civilization.

The journals that accepted the seven papers above should all be shut down, today. The schools that fund the departments that publish in those journals should be closed, today. The professors who teach in those departments should be fired, today. None of them contribute anything worthwhile to our society or to academic scholarship, and in fact they are fueling the racial hatred and intolerance that is now pervading American intellectual society.

Unfortunately, I have no faith that any of that will happen. Instead, I expect their corrupt bigoted leftist effort to continue to grow, permeating more aspects of modern intellectual life, with the resulting hate they engender causing a growth in violence and oppression.
» Read more

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Democrats have abandoned the presumption of innocence

Link here. As I’ve said numerous times in the past year, they’re coming for you next. As carefully documented in the article, no longer does the Democratic Party believe that everyone should be innocent until proven guilty. Now their standard is everyone who opposes their agenda is automatically guilty of any crime any Democratic Party supporter lodges against them.

Any accusation must be accepted, no matter how flimsy, unprovable, or blatantly partisan. If a Democrat says you are guilty of any crime, your career must be ruined and you must be hounded from public life.

Meanwhile, if a Democrat such as Keith Ellison in Minnesota, presently running for that state’s attorney general, is creditably accused of abusing his girlfriend, with good documentary evidence to back up the accusation, we must ignore it completely. All Democrats are always innocent, and any attempt to make them accountable for anything they do is unacceptable.

If we the public accept this standard, the American experiment in democracy is dead. The Democrats will have an endless and unchallengeable veto on everything.

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Republican Congress boosts NIH spending, rejecting Trump proposed cuts

Failure theater: The Republicans in Congress have given the NIH a significant boost in spending, rejecting both Trump’s proposed cuts and reorganization proposals.

Congress has approved a $2 billion raise, to $39.1 billion, for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in a 2019 spending bill approved by House of Representatives and Senate negotiators last night.

As expected, the 5% boost matches the Senate’s proposed spending level and surpasses a $1.25 billion increase in a draft bill passed by the House. President Donald Trump’s administration had requested $34.8 billion for the fiscal year that begins 1 October. This is the fourth year in a row that NIH has received a substantial increase, after more than a decade of flat budgets.

Trump had also proposed shifting three Health & Human Service agencies into NIH. Congress ignored this.

This illustrates the bankrupt nature of the Republicans in Congress. Don’t believe them when they argue they want to limit government. They are lying. They pass tax cuts to make you happy and vote for them, then turn around and pour money we don’t have at their Washington friends.

This also illustrates the bankrupt nature of the American voter. We gobble up tax cuts, either ignore or celebrate Congress’s out-of-control spending, and then vote for the elected officials who do this.

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ISS airleak an accidental drill hole on ground

The airleak last week on ISS in the orbital module of a Soyuz capsule was not caused by a micrometeorite but by an accidental drill hole made by a technician on the ground who then, rather than reporting it, sealed it and covered it up..

“The hole was made on the ground. The person responsible for the act of negligence has been identified,” the source told the news agency.

Another source said a worker apparently accidentally drilled the hole, but instead of reporting it, simply sealed it. The sealant held for at least the two months the Soyuz spacecraft spent in orbit, before finally drying up and being pushed out of the hole by air pressure.

According to a Moskovsky Komsomolets report, the hole was located near the toilet and covered by decorative fabric. The Russian crew members used an epoxy-based sealant with metallic additives to plug both the hole and a fracture in the outer hull of the Soyuz located behind it, the newspaper said.

Well, if anything is going to put an end to the resistance to using privately built American manned capsule, this should do it. This is also going to do a great deal of harm to the Russian desire to sell tourist seats on their Soyuz.

Posted from Heber, Arizona.

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Trump cancels federal employee pay raise

President Trump today used his power under federal law to cancel this year’s scheduled federal employee pay raise of 2.1% as well as a 25% increase for “localities”.

In a letter to House and Senate leaders, Trump wrote that he’d decided “across-the-board” pay raises as well as locality pay raises for civilian federal workers in 2019 would be frozen. “I have determined that for 2019, both across‑the‑board pay increases and locality pay increases will be set at zero,” he wrote. “These alternative pay plan decisions will not materially affect our ability to attract and retain a well‑qualified Federal workforce,” Trump added.

In the letter, Trump said a 25.7-percent pay raise for localities, as well as a 2.1-percent pay increase for across-the-board pay, both scheduled for January 2019, would add billions to the federal deficit. Specifically, he pointed to the scheduled locality pay raise as costing $25 billion. “We must maintain efforts to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and Federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases,” Trump wrote in the letter.

This is what has made Trump different than every president since Reagan. He is willing to do things that shake up the status quo that are also falsely considered risky by the Washington political class. This will not hurt him politically in the least, despite what you will hear the pundits on the bankrupt mainstream media say. If anything, it will strongly help him and his political allies, as the American taxpaying public has been for many years disgusted with the overpaid federal workforce that has an amazing ability to regularly screw up any job they are given.

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The corruption centered on Mueller and Comey

President Trump might have his ethical issues, but at this point the questions surrounding him don’t hold a candle to the corruption revealed in two stories in the past two days about former FBI director James Comey and Special Council Robert Mueller.

The first story describes in enormous detail the flat-out whitewash that Comey and the FBI did in its investigation of the classified Clinton emails that had been found on an unclassified laptop owned by former Democratic congressman and convicted child molester Anthony Weiner. That whitewash included outright lies by Comey before Comgress.
» Read more

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Trump administration goes all in for LOP-G

The swamp wins! In a speech today Vice President Mike Pence made it clear that the Trump administration is giving its full endorsement to the construction of the Lunar Orbiting Platform-Gateway (LOP-G), as well as SLS and Orion. These big boondoggles, which will trap us in lunar orbit while the Chinese set up lunar bases and take possession of the surface and its resources, are going forward, with both the president’s support as well as Congress’s.

Providing further evidence that the Trump administration has bought into these projects, in his introduction of Pence NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine gave a big public endorsement to the executive secretary of the National Space Council, Scott Pace, a man who has been a big supporter of these projects of the bureaucracy. Pace believes we need these projects, despite the fact that they have been under construction for two decades, have cost an ungodly amount, and have literally flown nowhere.

Pence also said that they intend to have the space force a reality by 2020, and also hinted that the Trump administration is making a careful review on the future of ISS.

Overall, the speech was a big endorsement for government space, in every way, with the private sector designed not to lead as free Americans following their personal dreams but to follow, servants of the desires of the government and its wishes.

If you want to listen to about 30 minutes of pro-government promotion, I expect it will be posted here at some point.

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Three Russian space officials arrested for fraud

Russian investigators have arrested three officials from RKK Energia, the division in Roscosmos that builds and operates the Russian manned program, accusing them of fraud.

No further details were provided. This could indicate real fraud. It could also be the Russian way of cleaning house so new more politically favored players can be moved into position.

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Roscosmos in the news!

Three news stories from Russia, two from today and one from last week, provide us a flavor of the kind of space stories that come out of Russia almost daily, either making big promises of future great achievements, or making blustery excuses for the failure of those big promises to come true.

In the first the head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, rationalizes the failure of Russia to compete successfully with SpaceX.
» Read more

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Warren: Federal government must have more control over large corporations

They’re coming for you next: Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) this week proposed a new law that would give the federal government more control and power over large corporations.

The bill would create a new bureaucracy, would require all corporations with more than $1 billion in annual revenue to get that bureaucracy’s permission to operate, and require that 40% of their corporate boards be elected by employees.

To translate this into plain language, this is simply a power grab by Democrat Warren, which of course is par for the course for any Democrat. Give them the power to run things, and everything will be perfect! We can see what they mean simply by looking at the past fascist efforts of socialists in Venezuela, the Soviet Union, East Germany, North Korea, and every other socialist paradise where all power was centralized into the hands of ideologues like Warren.

Don’t you want the same here for America?

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State Department claims orbiting Russian satellite is a military threat

At a conference yesterday a State Department official claimed that an orbiting Russian satellite is behavior in a manner that suggests an unstated military purpose.

Russia has described the satellite in question as a “space apparatus inspector,” Yleem Poblete, assistant secretary for arms control, verification and compliance at the U.S. State Department, said at a conference on disarmament in Geneva yesterday. “But its behavior on orbit was inconsistent with anything seen before from on-orbit inspection or space situational-awareness capabilities, including other Russian inspection-satellite activities. We are concerned with what appears to be very abnormal behavior by a declared ‘space apparatus inspector,”’ Poblete said.

“We don’t know for certain what it is, and there is no way to verify it,” she added. “But Russian intentions with respect to this satellite are unclear and are obviously a very troubling development — particularly when considered in concert with statements by Russia’s Space Force commander, who highlighted that ‘assimilate[ing] new prototypes of weapons [into] Space Forces’ military units’ is a ‘main task facing the Aerospace Forces space troops.'”

If you read the whole speech, you will discover that much of this is somewhat overstated, and that it is simply part of the Trump administration’s aggressive lobbying in favor of creating a Space Force. I don’t deny that this satellite could be testing technologies that could have military uses. I can also recognize it when a government official is trying to use the press to advocate for more funding. At no point does Poblete describe in detail the behavior that makes them think this satellite is doing things “inconsistent with anything seen before from on-orbit inspection or space situational-awareness capabilities.” In fact, if it is making unusual orbital changes that is very consistent with these purposes since any satellite designed to make orbital inspections of other facilities would need that capability.

In fact, I bet it isn’t the satellite’s activity that concerns them, but its vague description. The Russians really haven’t told us what it is. While this is surely a concern, this speech’s purpose is to lobby for the Space Force, not pressure the Russians to provide more information.

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Trump revokes Brennan’s security clearance

As threatened last week, President Trump today revoked the security clearance for former CIA director and anti-Trump CNN talking head John Brennan.

President Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan, citing his “erratic conduct and behavior.” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, reading a statement from the president, said Mr. Brennan “leveraged his status as a former high-ranking official” to make false charges against the administration.

Mr. Trump’s statement began, “As the head of the executive branch and commander-in-chief, I have a unique constitutional responsibility to protect the nation’s classified information, including by controlling access to it. Today in fulfilling that responsibility, I’ve decided to revoke the security clearance of John Brennan, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency.”

The president said Mr. Brennan’s actions have “exceeded the limits of any professional courtesy.”

I’m not sure what difference this will make, as it seems a large percentage of the people who work for the CIA are as partisan as Brennan, will gladly leak any information to him that might harm Trump, and know that they likely face no consequences because the law seemingly does not apply to those allied with the Democrats.

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NASA rubberstamps Russian engines in Atlas 5 for manned flights

Surprise surprise! NASA has certified the Russian engines used in the Atlas 5 as safe for manned flights.

NASA had been claiming that, because it cannot observe every detail in how Russia builds the engines, it cannot certify them as safe for manned flight. This is, and has been, crap. The Atlas 5, with this engine, has been one of the most reliable rockets ever built.

In truth, what NASA’s bureaucracy was really doing was using these Russian engines as a wedge to slow down Boeing’s first manned flight, mainly because the commercial crew program is threatening NASA past monopoly on U.S. manned flight. Once privately built rockets and manned spacecraft fly, people are suddenly going to realize we don’t really need NASA.

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Japanese officials arrested, JAXA raided, in bribery scandal

Japanese officials have been arrested and offices at the space agency JAXA raided in a bribery scandal that also involves Japan’s education ministry.

It appears an official in the education ministry was bribing people, including one individual at JAXA, with meals and liquor in order to gain an advantage in contract bidding.

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Federal agents steal $29K from innocent man

Theft by government: Federal agents confiscated $29K cash from a man, who has never been charged with any crime, while he was proceeding through security at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.

Yuba City resident Josh Gingerich buys and flips trucks. A recent buying trip to do that cost him a bag of cash which was seized by a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) drug interdiction task force at O’Hare Airport. “A little over 29 grand,” the amount taken said Gingerich who was not arrested and did not break any laws. “No marijuana, no drugs.”

He believes an airport TSA agent saw the money in his backpack and tipped off the DEA. “They take you down to a dingy basement room,” said Gingerich. “No cameras…no nothing.”

Gingerich said he was set up by the officers who he says claimed to smell marijuana on a plastic bag filled with dirty laundry in his backpack. He said officers dumped the clothes, filled the bag with cash, then brought it to the drug dog. “They can just do what they want,” said Gingerich.

There might have been a marijuana smell there, but if so they never used that evidence to charge the man with a crime, only to steal his money.

The Constitution, specifically the Fifth Amendment in the Bill of Rights, is blatantly clear about this: “No person shall … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” You can’t get clearer. The entire civil forfeiture process is unconstitutional, illegal, and should end, now. It should especially end because of this quote from the story:

Last March, the U.S. Justice Department Inspector General released a report saying from 2007–2016, the DEA seized $3.2 billion with zero convictions tied to this money.

In other words, the DEA stole more than $3 billion from Americans, none of whom were ever found guilty of any crimes. This is theft by government, and must end.

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NASA wants to delay WFIRST to pay for Webb overruns

In testimony to Congress yesterday NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said that the agency wants to delay the Wide Field Infrared Space Telescope to pay for the new cost overruns of the James Webb Space Telescope.

Bridenstine said during the hearing that no decisions had been made on how to cover those additional JWST costs. “By the 2020 timeframe is when we’re going to need to have additional funds. So between now and then we’re going to have to make determinations,” he said. “Right now that process is underway.”

He said those decisions would consider the guidance from decadal surveys and a desire to maintain a balanced portfolio of programs. He specifically assured one member, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), that the extra funding would not come out of human spaceflight programs, particularly the Space Launch System. “This is relevant to the Science Mission Directorate exclusively, and that’s where, at this point, we’ve had discussions about what are the options going forward,” Bridenstine said.

Committee members used the two-and-a-half-hour hearing to express their frustrations with this latest delay, noting that the original concept for the mission [Webb] called for it to cost $500 million and launch in 2007, versus a current lifecycle cost of $9.6 billion and launch in 2021. “This is 19 times the original cost and a delay of 14 years,” said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the committee. “It doesn’t get much worse than that.” [emphasis mine]

Only yesterday I speculated that the cuts to WFIRST were related to Webb. It turns out I was right.

I have highlighted above one detail revealed at the hearing. I have always though Webb’s initial budget was $1 billion with a launch date of 2011. It appears it was less, by half, and it was supposed to launch four years sooner. Makes this boondoggle even more of an embarrassment for NASA and the astrophysics community. And for the astrophysics community it is also a disaster, because Webb’s overruns for the past two decades essentially wiped out what had been a very vibrant space astronomy program at NASA.

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Venezuela to remove 5 zeros from currency due to 1 million % inflation

The joys of collectivism! The socialist Venezuelan government has decided to remove 5 zeros, not 3, from its currency in order to battle a yearly inflation rate of 1 million percent.

Not surprisingly, the country’s dictator, President Nicolas Maduro, claims the country’s problems are not because of socialist policies but because of the evil United States:

The government has said it is the victim of an “economic war” led by opposition leaders with the help of Washington, which last year levied several rounds of sanctions against Maduro’s administration and a group of top officials.

Meanwhile,

Venezuela’s minimum wage is now about the equivalent of $1 a month, which has left citizens across the country unable to eat properly or obtain basic medical care – fueling an exodus of Venezuelans seeking to escape the economic crisis.

As Margaret Thatcher so accurately noted when speaking of socialism, communism, and all other collectivist ideologies, “Sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.”

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The federal black hole of lost nuclear bomb material

Link here. Key quote:

Unlike civilian stocks, which are closely monitored by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and openly regulated – with reports of thefts or disappearances sent to an international agency in Vienna — the handling of military stocks tended by the Department of Energy is much less transparent.

The Energy Department, which declined comment for this story, doesn’t talk about instances of lost and stolen nuclear material produced for the military. It also has been less willing than the commission to punish its contractors when they lose track of such material, several incidents suggest.

As much as six tons of nuclear material is recorded as missing and unaccounted. Worse,

Regarding transfers to academic researchers, government agencies, or commercial firms within the United States, the Energy Department’s inspector general concluded in 2009 –the most recent public accounting – that at least a pound of plutonium and 45 pounds of highly-enriched uranium loaned from military stocks had been officially listed until 2004 as securely stored, when in fact it was missing.

The most important point made by the article is that the federal government imposes no consequences on anyone in the government who screws up in this matter. In fact, the article cites examples where the incompetent were given awards afterward. Meanwhile, this same federal government has punished private contractors very severely for similar mishaps.

This really is par for the course. The federal government today is terribly run, and those in charge routinely get away with being incompetent, and often get bonuses for being so. If we had any sense, we’d shut it down, firing everyone. We could quickly hire new people and get things done better.

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California’s coming crash

Link here. Money quote:

Economist Herbert Stein once said: “If something can’t go on forever, it won’t.” California, on its current trajectory and with its new Socialist-inspired leadership, cannot go on forever. There simply isn’t enough money. The state will ultimately fail because the math says it has to.

Or as the article’s author also notes, “California’s aspiring new Socialists have already run out of other people’s money.” Worse, they don’t even know it, and plan to spend even more money they don’t have on more pie-in-the-sky communist fantasies.

California today reminds me of Venezuela ten years ago, when things started to go sour but no one there wanted to admit it. It also reminds me of the Soviet Union under Brezhnev in the 1970s. The collapse is coming, but the insane culture and leadership in California continues to do the same failed thing, over and over, expecting a different result. Instead, everything is going to crash. My big fear is that they will take everyone else down with them.

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Billions to replace or decommission thousands of wind turbines

The unintended consequences of good intentions: The tens of thousands of wind turbines installed in the last two decades are wearing out, and no one has the billions it will cost to either replace them or decommission them.

The life span of a wind turbine, power companies say, is between 20 and 25 years. But in Europe, with a much longer history of wind power generation, the life of a turbine appears to be somewhat less. “We don’t know with certainty the life spans of current turbines,” said Lisa Linowes, executive director of WindAction Group, a nonprofit which studies landowner rights and the impact of the wind energy industry. Its funding, according to its website, comes from environmentalists, energy experts and public donations and not the fossil fuel industry.

Linowes said most of the wind turbines operating within the United States have been put in place within the past 10 years. In Texas, most have become operational since 2005. “So we’re coming in on 10 years of life and we’re seeing blades need to be replaced, cells need to be replaced, so it’s unlikely they’re going to get 20 years out of these turbines,” she said.

Estimates put the tear-down cost of a single modern wind turbine, which can rise from 250 to 500 feet above the ground, at $200,000. With more than 50,000 wind turbines spinning in the United States, decommissioning costs are estimated at around $10 billion.

In Texas, there are approximately 12,000 turbines operational in the state. Decommissioning these turbines could cost as much as $2.3 billion. Which means landowners and counties in Texas could be on the hook for tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars if officials determine non-functional wind turbines need to be removed.

Or if that proves to be too costly, as seems likely, some areas of the state could become post-apocalyptic wastelands steepled with teetering and fallen wind turbines, locked in a rigor mortis of obsolescence.

The key here is that wind power is simply not profitable. The turbines were built almost exclusively because of giant federal subsidies — increased significantly during the Obama administration — that are expected to cost taxpayers almost $24 billion from 2016 to 2020.

Those subsidies might disappear under the Trump administration, but even if they don’t, they aren’t there to remove turbines but to build them. The companies that built the turbines aren’t making enough to pay for their replacement.

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James Webb Space Telescope delayed again, with budget rising

Based the conclusions [pdf] of an Independent Review Board (IRB), NASA has once again delayed the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, now set for 2021, while increasing its construction budget from $8 billion to almost $9 billion.

In its report, the IRB found that technical issues, including human errors, have greatly impacted the development schedule.

The agency previously had estimated an earlier launch date, but awaited findings from the IRB before making a final determination and considered data from Webb’s Standing Review Board. The agency established the new launch date estimate [March 30, 2021] to accommodate changes in the schedule due to environmental testing and work performance challenges by Northrop Grumman on the spacecraft’s sunshield and propulsion system. The telescope’s new total lifecycle cost, to support the revised launch date, is estimated at $9.66 billion; its new development cost estimate is $8.8 billion.

It is important to remember that Webb was originally supposed to cost $1 billion, and launch in 2011. It is now a decade behind schedule, with a cost almost ten times higher.

It really does appear like SLS and Webb are in a race to see who can get launched last. And right now, the race is neck and neck.

I should add that if the launch gets delayed much more, NASA will have further problems with the launch rocket. The Ariane 5 rocket, designated as the launch vehicle, is being retired around 2021. Beyond that date there might be problems using one.

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Innocent Red Hen businesses threatened nationwide

Ignorant fascists on the right: Numerous businesses nationwide with the name Red Hen are being attacked, including receiving death threats, merely because they happen to have the same business name as the restaurant in Virginia that refused to serve Trump press secretary Sarah Sanders.

Restaurants that share the name — but not any business ties — with the Lexington, Va., eatery that refused service to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders last weekend have received death threats, been deluged with harassment and had their businesses ripped on Yelp.

The harassment even extended to a book imprint: Red Hen Press in Pasadena, Calif., had to explain on Twitter that “‘Red Hen’ is not a restaurant franchise, it is a name incidentally shared by many independent and unaffiliated companies” and that Red Hen Press is “a book publishing company, not a well-named panini shop.”

The Red Hen restaurant in D.C. was egged and has had to post a sign in their window stating “#NOT THAT RED HEN.” The staff have been inundated with emails and calls to their personal phones threatening, among other messages, to burn the restaurants down and simply “Dead Hen.” Death threats began coming in on Saturday evening, when Sanders reported that she had been kicked out of the unaffiliated Lexington restaurant, and a police officer was posted outside the D.C. eatery; after the cop left for the night, the restaurant was egged.

Even a Washington restaurant affiliated with the Red Hen D.C. — All-Purpose — is being harassed.

Just because leftists have recently decided it is okay to use violence to attack their opponents does not give the right permission to do the same. Peacefully boycotting the correct restaurant is reasonable. Making death threats, and doing so against innocent people, is vile and unforgiveable. Two wrongs do not make a right.

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Were Democratic staffers working with Awan brothers to steal equipment?

New testimony suggests that Democratic congressional staffers were working with Awan brothers to steal significant amounts of equipment from their offices.

Rep. Yvette Clarke’s deputy chief of staff [Wendy Anderson] came into the office on a Saturday in December 2015 and caught the New York Democrat’s part-time IT aide, Abid Awan, rummaging through the congresswoman’s work area with new iPods and other equipment strewn around the room, according to a House document and interviews with Hill staff.

Wendy Anderson told Abid to get out of the office, the document said. She told Capitol Hill investigators that she soon suspected Clarke’s chief of staff, Shelley Davis, was working with Abid on a theft scheme, multiple House staffers with knowledge of the situation told The Daily Caller News Foundation. They also said that Anderson pushed for Abid’s firing.

But Clarke did not fire Abid until six months after the congresswoman formally acknowledged that $120,000 in equipment was missing, records show — not until after House investigators independently announced a review that would potentially catch financial discrepancies. Even then, Anderson told investigators she believed another top staffer in Clarke’s office was subverting their efforts, a House staffer with knowledge of the investigation said.

Read it all. The article outlines numerous facts that once again suggest deep corruption in many of congressional Democratic offices. It also provides a hint as to why the Democrats, led by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, have acted to stonewall the investigation. Either they are being blackmailed by the Awan brothers, or were partners-in-crime with them.

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House Judiciary Committee calls for impeachment or contempt for Rosenstein

On a partyline vote the House Judiciary Committee today passed a resolution requiring Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein turn over their requested documents in seven days or face impeachment or contempt.

I don’t think Rosenstein is worried, yet. The resolution doesn’t mean much, since the wimpy Republican leadership in the House has to get it passed there, and then it has to pass in the Senate, filled with even more cowardly Republicans and the obstructionist Democrats. However, this increasing pressure might make Trump reconsider Rosenstein’s employment. Or it might make Trump force Rosenstein to turn over the documents, as he is constitutionally required to do.

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Hawaii’s Supreme Court to review TMT’s permit, again

Hawaii’s Supreme Court is set to review, for the second time, the construction permit for the Thirty Meter Telescope.

Much of the arguments centered around whether it was a conflict of interest for a hearings officer who made a key recommendation in favor of the project to be a member of a Hawaii astronomy center. The state allowed retired judge Riki May Amano to preside over contested-case hearings for the contentious project despite complaints from telescope opponents who decried her paid membership to the Imiloa Astronomy Center.

The Big Island center is connected to the University of Hawaii, which is the permit applicant.

Opponents appealed to the Supreme Court after Amano recommended granting the permit and the state land board approved it. “She should have never presided over the case,” Richard Wurdeman, an attorney representing telescope opponents, told the justices. He noted the center included exhibits about the project planned for the Big Island’s Mauna Kea, Hawaii’s tallest mountain.

The details don’t really matter. Nor will the decision. The protesters will simply find another petty issue if they lose, and will appeal again. Their goal, apparently supported covertly by Hawaii’s Democratic government, is to delay, delay, and delay, until the consortium building TMT is forced to abandon Hawaii.

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Senate kills House bill to cut $15 billion from passed $300 billion spending deal

Failure theater: The Senate today killed a House bill that would have cut $15 billion from the $300 billion spending deal passed in March.

In a 48-50 vote, senators failed to discharge the measure from committee. A majority vote was needed.

GOP Sens. Richard Burr (N.C.) and Susan Collins (Maine) joined 48 members of the Democratic caucus in voting against bringing up the bill. “My belief … is that it’s the job of Congress to comb through these accounts and that’s what we do on the appropriations committee,” Collins said.

The vote is a blow to conservatives and the White House, who pushed the package in response to backlash from the GOP base over a mammoth rescissions package passed in March.

I wish Burr and Collins would simply switch parties. At least that way there would be no way for them to fool anyone into thinking they believe in smaller government or controlling spending.

The bill was garbage anyway, as it really did little to really promote smaller government or controlled spending. All it did was give House Republicans a fake talking point when they campaign for re-election in the fall. “I fought to cut the budget!” they will scream, citing the House vote that passed the bill, even though they all knew the bill did little, and that it was almost certain the Senate would kill it.

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A guide to spygate, from a retired FBI agent

Link here. He gives us the educated perspective of someone who worked at the bureau and understands the bureaucratic requirements that are involved with any investigation. What he finds clarifies much of what has happened, and does so in a way that strengthens the case that the upper management of the FBI was involved in an effort to prevent Trump’s election, and if that failed, create a situation where he could be forced out thereafter.

The article is also helpful in that it helps place many of the Strzok-Page texts in context, something that also strengthens the case against them and the agency.

More and more, it appears that the FBI and the Obama Justice Department were working to nullify the 2016 Presidential election, to fix it in order to guarantee a Democratic Party victory. Many people should go to jail for this.

And if they don’t, we will no longer have a constitutional government, of, for, and by the people.

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Walt Disney’s MultiPlane Camera

An evening pause: This was filmed in 1957, and was almost certainly made to be shown as part of Disney’s weekly television show series for kids that began in 1954 and was one of television’s most popular shows in the 1960s. It describes one of the most important technical developments in animation, developed by Disney, until the arrival of computers.

To repeat: This was made for kids, yet it is thoughtful, entertaining, educational, and quite detailed in the information being conveyed. It treats its young audience with great respect and dignity.

I generally do not watch children’s shows today, but the few that I have seen have generally been quite shallow, overwrought, and would have insulted me, when I was a child. I don’t know if today’s kids would react the same today, because when I was a child Disney’s show was somewhat typical. I expected to be treated with respect. Today’s kids might not have that expectation.

Hat tip Wayne DeVette.

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House passes tiny $15 billion budget cut

The corruption runs deep: House today passed, by the tiniest of margins, a minuscule $15 billion budget cut designed to make believe they are being fiscally responsible after their passage of a two year budget deal that added $300 billion of additional spending to the already bankrupt federal budget.

They will break their arms patting themselves on the back about this bill, even though they also know there is almost no chance this bill will make it through the Senate.

In other words, this is failure theater. After passing the bloated budget deal the Republicans in Congress went home to discover that the voters meant it when they said they wanted the budget slashed. They are now trying to manufacture a lie that says they are trying to cut the budget. They are lying however. They have no intention of trimming the budget. In this matter they are as corrupt as the Democrats.

And they wonder why we got Trump.

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Former staffer of Senate intelligence committee indicted for leaks

The corruption runs deep: The retired director of security for the Senate intelligence committee was arrested today after being indicted for leaking committee information to the press and then lying about it.

It appears he was having an affair with a reporter and feeding her information.

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