Today’s blacklisted American: Minnesota to blacklist all Christians, Jews, or Muslims from teaching

The new Marxist rules for teaching in Minnesota

They’re coming for you next: Minnesota’s unelected education bureaucracy is about to impose new licensing requirements for teachers that will essentially blacklist all Christians, Jews, or Muslims by requiring teachers to teach the queer agenda as well as the critical race theory to young children.

Minnesota’s Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB), a division of the state Department of Education, has been working to change teacher certification requirements since 2019. Its latest public draft, which is finalized save for a few tweaks that don’t affect the content, includes multiple requirements that licensure candidates publicly support critical race theory and transgender ideology and include both in their teaching. Teachers must receive state licensure to be employed in Minnesota public and many private schools. [emphasis mine]

You can read the new licensing rules here [pdf]. The screen capture above shows the language requiring teachers to agree to the queer agenda. It also hints at full approval of the Marxism program of critical race theory, whereby all western civilization and America in particular is seeped in bigotry and hate, and must be condemned at all times.

Only a few paragraphs later the hints go away, and the licensing requirements make it clear that all teachers must from now on condemn the heritage of the United States.
» Read more

Today’s blacklisted American: Court clerk fired despite having valid health and religious reasons to refuse jab

Judge Claire Bradley, petty tyrant

They’re coming for you next: Today’s blacklist story is only one of tens of thousands, but it illustrates starkly the cruel and vindictive intolerance of the petty dictators who now run American society. It doesn’t matter if the jab doesn’t work. It doesn’t matter if you have valid health reasons for avoiding it. It doesn’t matter that you have religious beliefs. It doesn’t matter if you offer to be tested frequently to prove you aren’t sick. It doesn’t even matter that no mandate has been imposed by the local government.

The boss demands you to get jabbed, and if you dare to refuse, the boss will fire you.

Less than three years from retirement, Kitsap County court clerk Tammy Duryea was terminated in 2021 from her job because she did not wish to get the COVID shots for both health and religious reasons.

She has now sued, but her chances of victory are quite slim, especially since it was the court judges, led by Judge Claire Bradley, the presiding judge of the District Court, who imposed the shot mandate.
» Read more

The COVID jab: An emerging health disaster whose name cannot be spoken

Sudden collapse
One of many sudden collapses. Click for full video.

While from the beginning it appeared that the various COVID shots from different pharmaceutical companies were relatively safe to take, time is proving this assumption to be very false, with the data increasingly suggesting that the jab not only poses a significant, dangerous, and immediate health risk to young people, its long term effects on everyone who either chose to get it or was forced to by government mandate could very well be disastrous.

First the immediate risks. The numbers of individuals who have died suddenly and abruptly after getting the jab has been horrifying and shocking. Never in my life have I seen so many young and healthy people suddenly keeling over in public situations and dying. This story underlines the horror of the situation:

Such occurrences were unheard of prior to 2021. As noted at the link, “In fact, 500% more soccer players in the EU are dropping dead from heart attacks than just one year ago.” To capture the real horror of these events you need only watch the short video at this link. The thread that follows provides further documentation of this epidemic of “sudden death” and its apparent connection to the COVID shots.

Still, the actual medical link of these sudden heart failures to the COVID shots remains somewhat tentative, though more and more research is tying the two together.

From the last link:
» Read more

SpaceX to build five Starship/Superheavy prototypes in 2023

According to Elon Musk, SpaceX intends to build five Starship/Superheavy prototypes in 2023 for flight testing.

Assuming they can get launch permits, these five rockets should provide the company ample launch testing capability for at least the next two years, especially if it succeeds in landing these units and can consider reusing them in test flights.

At this moment, the launch permits from the federal government appears the main obstacle to getting this heavy lift reusable rocket tested and operational.

Pushback: Southwest flight attendant demands Southwest be sanctioned for violating the terms of her court victory

Southwest: Enemy to free speech

Bring a gun to a knife fight: Charlene Carter, a flight attendant who had worked at Southwest Airlines for 20 years, was fired in 2017 because she had publicly opposed for religious reasons the use of her union dues to fund pro-abortion protests, and was then reinstated after winning her lawsuit against the airline, is now demanding the court sanction Southwest for violating the terms of her court victory.

In her victory, Southwest was required to reinstate Carter with full benefits, and also issue a statement to its employees that it “may not” engage in religious discrimination. Instead, the airline sent out two notices. The first simply stated “that the Court ordered the company to notify them that it ‘does not’ discriminate on the basis of religion.” The second notice however was worse, as it once again slandered Carter for her religious beliefs.
» Read more

Russia delays three planned lunar probes because of sanctions

The research division that is building Russia’s Luna 26, Luna 27, and Luna 28 probes to the Moon announced today that these missions will likely be delayed up to two years because many needed components are no longer obtainable due to the international sanctions imposed on Russia because of its invasion of the Ukraine.

“Previously, we designed equipment using foreign components that we could buy from our foreign colleagues. Now that the sanctions have been imposed, we will [be switching to] Russian-made components,” Mitrofanov explained. According to him, researchers have to change design solutions amid the Western restrictions.

Some of these components cannot be so easily replaced by Russian versions. Assuming the Ukraine war does not end soon, expect even longer delays for these unmanned lunar missions.

Chinese company based in Hong Kong signs deal to build spaceport in Djibouti, Africa

Djibouti's location in Africa
Djibouti’s location is indicated in black.

The government of Djibouti, one of the smallest nations in Africa and located at the southern end of the Red Sea, has signed an agreement with a pseudo Chinese company, the Hong Kong Aerospace Technology Group, to build a major spaceport there.

According to the translated press release, the five year project will cost one billion dollars, include a lease for 30 years, and involve the construction of a port, highway, and electrical power distribution system.

As much as Hong Kong for more than two centuries has been a haven for private enterprise, it is now under the control of the communist Chinese, and they would not allow anyone from Hong Kong to make such a deal unless they were in full control.

Based on the map, there is almost no launch path out of Djibouti that will not cross another nation’s territory. Unless the Chinese plan to make all the first stages launched from this site reusable, they are going to dropping stages on a lot of people’s heads, without their permission. And they will be doing it to some places where war is often and continues to be the most frequently used negotiating tactic.

Hat tip to stringer Jay.

Pushback: Blacklisted Virginia Tech soccer player wins $100K settlement

Kiersten Hening, blacklisted by Virginia Tech
Kiersten Hening

Bring a gun to a knife fight: Kiersten Hening, a former Virginia Tech student and soccer player, has won a $100k settlement from the university and her former coach, Charles Adair, for blacklisting her from the team because she refused to kneel in support of Black Lives Matter during the National Anthem before a game.

In December Adair had lost in his attempt to obtain qualified immunity, and thus he became personally liable for his improper and discriminatory actions against Hening that violated her first amendment rights. Rather than allow the case to go before a jury, it appears Adair and the university negotiated a settlement. And while the settlement terms have not been made public, and Adair’s comments to the press try to imply that he got off scot free, this comment by one of Hening’s lawyer gives us a hint:

Attorney Adam Mortara tweeted in reply to Adair’s statement: “If by clarity you mean you are paying my client six figures in a settlement then you’re right that’s pretty clear. Honestly, Coach, read the Court’s opinion. You are paying. Defendants don’t pay in cases that have no standing.”

Mortara went on to thank Adair and his “bosses at Tech for paying the equivalent of several years of tuition.”

Whether this is a victory for free speech remains very unclear, however. Even if Adair did pay up, he remains the soccer coach at Virginia Tech, and clearly has the support not only of the administration but the women’s soccer community there:
» Read more

FCC votes to create its own space bureaucracy, despite lacking statutory authority

On January 9, 2023 the commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission FCC voted [pdf] to create its own space bureaucracy designed to regulate the lifespan of new satellites, despite lacking legal authority to do so.

As noted almost as an aside by this news article,

In order for the planned changes to go into effect, the FCC will first have to obtain congressional approval for the reorganization and place a notice in the Federal Register.

This vote pushed forward the plan announced in November that attempts to expand the regulatory power of the FCC beyond its legal authority. Expect Congress to push back somewhat, but right now most power in Washington is held by unelected bureaucracies like the FCC, not the elected legislators as defined by the Constitution. The FCC will continue to push hard, and mostly win in this power game. Congress right now is too divided and weak to fight back.

The result will be new regulations on satellite construction made by non-engineers and paper-pushers in the FCC, not engineers and managers in the companies actually building the satellites.

Construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope in Hawaii remains in limbo

Despite the successful power grab by protesters that stopped construction and took management of the telescopes on Mauna Kea in Hawaii away from the University of Hawaii and gave it to a newly created board made up of “observatory representatives, Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners, local business and education officials, and experts in land management,” construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) in Hawaii remains in limbo.

But there is another actor in this drama: the National Science Foundation (NSF). TMT has accrued substantial financial backing from its university backers and the governments of China, Japan, India, and Canada, but it is still far from fully funded and has asked NSF to fill the gap. TMT’s request has come in partnership with the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), another U.S.-led effort to build a massive new telescope. GMT’s site is already being prepared in Chile but it is also in financial straits.

Together, the two projects are seeking $3 billion from NSF in exchange for the wider U.S. astronomical community gaining access to a large slice of both scopes’ observing time. That proposal was judged by U.S. astronomers as their top priority for ground-based astronomy in the community’s decadal survey published in November 2021. NSF is now assessing whether this is a good investment for U.S. taxpayers.

Considering that Congress now believes that money grows on trees, and there is no reason not to fund anything anyone wants no matter how much debt it produces, I expect that the NSF will eventually fund both telescopes. There is however the slim possibility that the NSF will look at the new and very complex managerial make-up now running things in Hawaii and decide it is impractical and guaranteed to produce problems. The goals of the different members of this board are so contradictory that any construction on Mauna Kea will likely have to be renegotiated over and over again, causing further delays.

Of course, endless funding and delays could be considered a feature, not a bug, by our present corrupt federal government. In that case the NSF will celebrate these delays.

The modern American blacklist culture is wide and deep, and will require a lot of dredging to clear

What some conservatives are going to have to face to bring liberty back to America
What some conservatives are going to have to face
to bring liberty back to America

A wise man once said that to beat your enemy you need to know him better than he knows himself. It is to this purpose I write this essay.

Even now, with blacklisting, censorship, and intolerance against dissent the normal standard held by our leftist elitist intellectual class, conservatives still assume naturally that anyone they meet anywhere, whether on the street, at their job, or among their family, are old-fashioned freedom-loving Americans who — whether they are Republicans or Democrats — will stand together for liberty wherever tyrants strike.

This assumption is 100% wrong, and it is why conservatives have been so steadily losing ground in the battle for freedom for decades. Blacklisting is now acceptable to a large percentage of Americans on the left. Censorship and violence against their opponents is okay, and is actually considered the right thing to do for many ordinary Democrats.

Just yesterday the Democrats themselves in Congress proved this point. When faced with a bill that simply condemned the more than hundred violent attacks against “pro-life facilities, groups, and churches” since the May 2, 2022 leak of the Supreme Court decision striking down Roe v Wade, 208 out of 211 Democrats voted against it.

The bill did not support the banning of abortion. All it demanded that Congress:
» Read more

Saudi Arabia withdraws from Moon Treaty

On January 5, 2023, Saudi Arabia submitted its official withdrawal [pdf] from Moon Treaty, to be effective one year later.

The 1979 Moon Treaty is not the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which almost all space-faring nations have signed. The Moon Treaty has been signed by almost no one because its language literally forbids private ownership.

In a sense, the Artemis Accords, which Saudi Arabia recently signed, is in direct conflict with the Moon Treaty, and no nation can really honor both. The Artemis Accords were designed by the Trump administration to get around the less stringent restrictions on private enterprise imposed by the Outer Space Treaty. That it has encouraged the Saudis to leave the Moon Treaty, however, suggests that the Artemis Accords might eventually cause a major abandonment of the Outer Space Treaty as well. To withdraw from such treaties up until now has been considered taboo. Saudi Arabia might have broken that spell.

If so, this action by the Saudis could be the best news for the future exploration and settlement of the solar system that has occurred in years, even more significant than that first vertical landing of a Falcon 9 rocket. It might finally force a major revision in the Outer Space Treaty so that each nation’s laws can be applied to its own colonies.

Steady decline for decades in the publication of “disruptive science”

The steady decline in the publication of disruptive science

Though their definition of what makes a science paper disruptive is open to debate, a review of millions of peer-reviewed papers published since the end of World War II has shown a steady decline in such papers, as if scientists are increasingly unwilling or unable to think outside the box.

The graph to the right comes from this research.

The authors reasoned that if a study was highly disruptive, subsequent research would be less likely to cite the study’s references, and instead cite the study itself. Using the citation data from 45 million manuscripts and 3.9 million patents, the researchers calculated a measure of disruptiveness, called the ‘CD index’, in which values ranged from –1 for the least disruptive work to 1 for the most disruptive.

The average CD index declined by more than 90% between 1945 and 2010 for research manuscripts, and by more than 78% from 1980 to 2010 for patents. Disruptiveness declined in all of the analysed research fields and patent types, even when factoring in potential differences in factors such as citation practices.

The authors also analysed the most common verbs used in manuscripts and found that whereas research in the 1950s was more likely to use words evoking creation or discovery such as ‘produce’ or ‘determine’, that done in the 2010s was more likely to refer to incremental progress, using terms such as ‘improve’ or ‘enhance’.

The article that I link to above is from Nature, so of course it can’t see the elephant in the room, citing as a possible explanation “changes in the scientific enterprise” where most scientists today work as teams rather than alone.

I say, when you increasingly have big government money involved in research, following World War II, it becomes more and more difficult to buck the popular trends. Tie that to the growing blacklist culture that now destroys the career of any scientist who dares to say something even slightly different, and no one should be surprised originality is declining in scientific research. The culture will no longer tolerate it. You will tow the line, or you will be gone. Scientists are thus towing the line.

To my readers: I had intended to include this paper as part of a larger essay about the general blacklist culture that now dominates American society, but my continuing health issues make it difficult to sit at my desk for long periods. I hope to have things under control in the next few days, but until then my posting is going to continue to be limited.

Virgin Orbit’s launch from Cornwall finally scheduled for January 9th

The first orbital launch from the United Kingdom has finally been scheduled, with Virgin Orbit’s 747 taking off from an airport in Cornwall on January 9, 2023 and carrying its LauncherOne rocket with 9 satellites.

Monday’s mission opportunity has been purchased by the US National Reconnaissance Office and is being used to advance a number of satellite technologies of security and defence interest to both the American and British governments. But there are also civil applications being taken up on the flight – and a number of firsts, such as the first satellite built in Wales and the first satellite for the Sultanate of Oman.

The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority [CAA], which regulates commercial spaceflight in the UK, said on Thursday that all nine spacecraft on the manifest had now been licensed. Virgin and Spaceport Cornwall received their launch licences before Christmas.

The launch was originally planned for sometime in the summer, but delays in obtaining the launch permits from the CAA pushed it back a half year. That unexpected and unnecessary delay now threatens the very existence of Virgin Orbit, as the company could do no other launches as it waited and thus earned nothing.

Virgin Orbit completes $37 million stock sale

It appears that Virgin Orbit has just completed a $37 million sale of new common stock, valued at $0.0001 per share, and equal to about 10% of the company.

Hat tip to stringer Jay, who writes, “To me, it is like V.O. is printing money. They have already lost most of the value of the original stock, they are losing about $20 million a quarter, and they just raised $37M.”

Virgin Orbit had planned in 2022 about eight launches. It completed two, and then got blocked by the UK bureaucracy, completing no more launches for the rest of year while it waited months for permits to launch from Cornwall. During that time it could not launch its other customers because it only had one 747 in its fleet to launch its rocket.

No launches means no income. To keep the company afloat Branson has had his larger company Virgin Group transfer first $25 million and then another $20 million to Virgin Orbit. This stock sale appears to be another effort to keep Virgin Orbit above water.

The endless and unexpected delays getting permits to launch from Cornwall now suggests that some people in the UK government might not like Branson, and took this opportunity to sabotage him. Pure speculation I know, but not beyond the realm of possibility.

Updates on India’s space effort

It appears that India’s effort in space is evolving rapidly, based on several news stories today.

First, the Indian space agency ISRO signed a deal with Microsoft, whereby the software giant will provide support to private Indian space start-ups.

As part of a memorandum of understanding that Microsoft has signed with the Indian Space Research Organization, the firm will also provide space tech startups with go-to-market support and help them become enterprise ready, it said.

Startups handpicked by ISRO will be onboarded to Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub platform, where they will receive free access to several tools and resources. These tools include help with building and scaling on Azure, as well as GitHub Enterprise, Visual Studio Enterprise, Microsoft 365 and Power BI and Dynamics 365. [emphasis mine]

The highlighted phrase indicates once again that there is an aggressive turf war going on in India about who will control the aerospace industry. Similar to the battles that occurred at NASA in the 00s and 10s, there are people within ISRO who do not wish to cede their power to an independent private industry, and are doing whatever they can to block the Modi government’s effort to create such an independent industry.

In the end, as long as Modi government stands firm, this effort will fail. Private companies will increasingly succeed, and that success will feed the transition from a government-run industry to an independent and competitive one.

In other stories from India:
» Read more

Backlash against MIT’s blacklisting of teacher forces it to adopt Free Speech Resolution

MIT: unsure of its support of free speech

Today’s blacklist story is really a follow-up on an earlier story from November 2021. At that time MIT had cowardly bowed to the demands of the intolerant left and cancelled a lecture on planetary science by a planetary scientist, Dorian Abbott, merely because Abbott had also posted videos on line advocating the radical idea of free speech.

This action by MIT however did not go unnoticed, and in fact produced an aggressive backlash from both alumni and faculty members. The alumni withdrew their financial support to the school, while a group of 73 faculty members signed a letter demanding the school support free speech.

The faculty suggest[ed] the adoption of the Chicago Statement, which states, in part: “[T]he University is committed to free and open inquiry in all matters, it guarantees all members of the University community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn,” and that “it is not the proper role of the University to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive.”

Out of this effort the MIT Free Speech Alliance was formed, aimed at forcing these changes at MIT.

Now, less than two months later, it appears that this effort has borne fruit. » Read more

Pushback: Court denies school principal immunity from lawsuit for squelching free speech

Caroline Garrett
Former school principal Caroline Garrett

Pushback: A federal appeals court last week ruled that Caroline Garrett, the former principal of Wy’east Middle School in Portland, Oregon, does not have immunity from a lawsuit by a teacher, Eric Dodge, whom she threatened to punish for bringing a MAGA hat to several training sessions.

At the first training session with 60 participants, “fewer than five people complained, including the first presenter who was not a District employee,” and all trainings were completed without incident, according to the court records. “Clinton, Reagan, and Trump appointees coming together to affirm the First Amendment,” lawyer Gregory Conley tweeted in response to the ruling, referring to the panel of judges.

According to the court’s official ruling [pdf], Garrett threatened to punish Dodge if he brought the hat into school again:
» Read more

Pushback: University eliminates “bias reporting” option that allowed any student to anonymously squelch dissent

An afterthought at Southern Utah University
An afterthought at Southern Utah University

Bring a gun to a knife fight: After receiving a threat of legal action [pdf] for violating the first amendment rights of its students, South Utah University (SUU) eliminated a “bias reporting” option on its website that allowed any student to anonymously squelch dissent, simply because he or she did not like what the other person said.

Southern Utah University (SUU) removed a tab from its campus safety website where students and officials could report alleged “bias” or “hate” incidents after the Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF), a non-profit legal group, challenged that it violates students’ rights to free speech, SLF confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
» Read more

Philippines issues warning about Chinese rocket debris from launch

Flight path of Long March 3B
Click for full resolution image.

UPDATE: A tweet from China shows that the strap-on boosters of this rocket crashed near homes in China, though no one was hurt.

Original post:
The Philippine government issued a statement yesterday warning the public about possible debris from the December 29th launch by China of its Long March 3B rocket.

The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) is recommending precautionary measures related to expected unburned debris from the Long March 3B rocket scheduled for launch today between 12:33 PM and 01:10 PM Philippine time from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Xichang, Sichuan Province, China. Upon confirmation of planned launch dates, PhilSA immediately issued an advisory to all relevant government agencies on the estimated drop zone area and proposed the issuance of appropriate warnings on air and marine access.

Based on the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) issued by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), expected unburned debris, such as the rocket boosters and payload fairing, is projected to fall within a drop zone area located within the vicinity of Recto bank, approximately 137 kilometers from Ayungin Shoal and 200 kilometers from Quezon, Palawan. The unburned debris is designed to be discarded as the rocket enters outer space. While not projected to fall on land features or inhabited areas within the Philippine territory, falling debris poses danger and potential risk to ships, aircraft, fishing boats, and other vessels that will pass through the drop zone.

Though the drop zone avoided inhabited areas, it included regions where fisherman worked, and the flight path still flew over inhabited areas. The risk was extremely low, but it appears China also made no effort prior to launch to coordinate this situation with other governments, such as the Philippines. Its warning apparently arrived just before launch. Thus, there was risk that Filipino fisherman were in the drop zone at launch.

Pushback: Catholics sue Michigan for imposing queers and the queer agenda in religious schools

Repealed in Michigan
Doesn’t exist any longer in Michigan

Bring a gun to a knife fight: A century-old Catholic parish based in Grand Rapids, the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, is suing Michigan preemptively, anticipating that the state will soon require it to hire queers as well as teach the queer agenda in its school, based on the state’s very broad Civil Rights Act that forbids any discrimination based on sex.

The Michigan Supreme Court recently reinterpreted the prohibition on sex discrimination in Michigan’s Civil Rights Act and penal code to include sexual orientation and gender identity. That change requires Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish and its school, Sacred Heart Academy, to hire faculty and staff who lead lives in direct opposition to the Catholic faith, speak messages that violate Church doctrine, and refrain from articulating Catholic beliefs in teaching its students and when advertising the school to prospective students or job applicants.

Additionally, by preventing Sacred Heart from operating its school consistent with its beliefs, state officials are violating the rights of parents—including the three families who have joined the lawsuit—who specifically chose to send their children to Sacred Heart Academy because the school aligns with their values and religious beliefs.

You can read the lawsuit here [pdf]. It notes in detail the hostility to the Catholic Church by the Attorney General of Michigan, Democrat Dana Nessel, who appears eager to use the law to deny all Catholics their first amendment rights.
» Read more

Royal Astronomical Society ends blacklisting of James Webb

That’s nice of them: The Royal Astronomical Society in Britain last week announced that it has ended its blacklisting of James Webb, the man who headed NASA during the 1960s space race, by once again permitting writers of science papers for its Monthly Notices journal to use the full name of the James Webb Space Telescope.

The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) previously criticized NASA for not immediately addressing concerns that Webb persecuted queer employees; the NASA-led James Webb Space Telescope (JWST or Webb) that launched in December 2021 is named after him. But with new information to hand suggesting Webb played no direct role in these issues, Webb’s name can now reappear in scientific papers, the RAS stated Dec. 22.

“The RAS will now allow authors submitting scientific papers to its journals to use either ‘James Webb Space Telescope’ or the acronym ‘JWST’ to refer to the observatory,” RAS officials wrote. The major journals of the RAS include the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS), one of the top astronomical journals worldwide.

The society backed off from its position after NASA published a long detailed report documenting the utter falsehood of the claim. Too bad this so-called science organization didn’t consider the evidence itself before issuing its blacklist order. One would think scientists above all would consider evidence, not undocumented slanders, as essential before condemning a person.

Lex Fridman – Playing Guitar in a Self-Driving Car

An evening pause: The guitar playing is great, but if this is supposed to be a demonstration of the abilities of self-driving cars, to me it is a utter failure. The drive was on a test track, with no other cars. The car itself was probably never going faster than 25 miles per hour.

In fact, if anything this proves the impracticality of self-driving cars. Such technology might work in a completely controlled environment, but as soon as you add any random human element, it can’t work. Thus our options: we continue to drive ourselves, or we give up our freedom to drive so that all vehicles can be autonomous.

But as I say, the guitar playing is great.

Hat tip Wayne Devette.

Today’s blacklisted American: Computer maker Raspberry Pi boycotted because it hired a former policeman

Toby Roberts: Targeted for blacklisting
Toby Roberts: blacklisted because he once was
a policeman

They’re coming for you next: The mini-computer maker Raspberry Pi has found itself being boycotted because it hired a former policeman.

Toby Roberts, the former policeman, had spent years using Raspberry Pi’s in his policework building covert surveillance devices. As he wrote about his new job, “While I enjoyed my time in the police, it was tough at times, so it’s really pleasant now to be in such a joyful environment.”

The Buzzfeed article at the first link above quotes a small handful of people outraged at this hire. These two comments are typical:

Matt Lewis, a Denver-based site reliability engineer, echoed those sentiments. “I am disgusted that [Raspberry Pi’s] official post on Toby Roberts’ hiring promotes his use of their products to surveil individuals without their consent,” he wrote via Twitter DM. “In my eyes, this behavior is completely unethical and the work Toby has done for 15 years is indefensible. I’m also upset that they have chosen to double down on this position against the community outrage.”

Wikipedia consultant Pete Forsyth, who is from Oregon, also had strong words for Raspberry Pi. “I think this event will mark a turning point in the organization’s reputation,” he wrote via Twitter DM. “It’s hard to see how they can recover the trust they seem to have almost willfully dismantled today.”

» Read more

Today’s blacklisted American: Black scientist blacklisted for doing good research

Oluseyi Hakeem, blacklisted
Hakeem Oluseyi, Space Science Education Lead
for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate

They’re coming for you next: Today’s blacklist column describes an effort to not only cancel from history the man who led NASA for almost the entire 1960s space race, but to also blackball a scientist for doing good research that proved the campaign was not based on any facts.

Shortly before the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope last year, a petition was instigated to get it renamed because of accusations that Webb had persecuted homosexuals during his term as NASA administrator in the 1960s. As is now typical of our modern bankrupt intellectual class, as soon as this petition was issued more than 1,700 people signed it, all accepting at face value its accusations against Webb without any further research.

One scientist, who happened to be black, took a more detailed look at those accusations however and found them to be spurious. As Hakeem Oluseyi wrote:
» Read more

SpaceX has about 100 Starlink terminals working in Iran

Though the Iranian government opposes their use, according to a tweet by Elon Musk SpaceX now has almost 100 Starlink terminals working in Iran.

Elon Musk announced that SpaceX has almost 100 Starlink terminals active in Iran. SpaceX activated Starlink services in Iran in September, supporting the United States’ stance on providing internet freedom and free flow of information to Iranians.

Unlike Ukraine, SpaceX does not have the cooperation of the Iranian government to expand Starlink services in the country. In Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zlenskyy and the Minister of digital transformation Mykhailo Feorov have actively supports Starlink connection during the war with Russia.

In contrast, the Iranian government is actively trying to limit its citizens’ internet access. The United States government has taken a stance against the Iranian government’s decision regarding internet access for its people.

SpaceX has routinely cooperated with foreign governments before selling terminals, likely because to do otherwise would get it in trouble with the U.S. State Department. In this case however the State Department appears to have approved this action, and SpaceX then made it happen.

Today’s blacklisted American: Violence against churches and religious institutions skyrockets since 2018

The increase in violence against churches since 2018

The modern dark age: According to a recently published 84-page report [pdf] by the Family Research Council, vandalism, violence, and arson against churches and religious institutions has nearly tripled since 2018.

From the report:

Family Research Council identified a total of 420 documented acts of hostility that targeted 397
individual churches. These incidents occurred between January 2018 and September 2022 across 45 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. To conduct this research, we analyzed open-source documents, reports, and media outlets to assess the number of acts of hostility against churches over a five-year span.
» Read more

Today’s blacklisted American: Professor fired by a North Carolina school for having opinions

David Phillips
Dr. David Phillips

They’re coming for you next: Officials at the North Carolina Governor’s School (“a residential summer program for the state’s most talented rising high-school seniors.”) fired David Phillips, a professor there for eight summers, because they did not like the content of the optional three session seminar he held critiquing critical race theory.

In other words, they decided to blackball him simply because they did not agree with his opinions.

Phillips has now sued, with the Alliance Defending Freedom acting as his legal firm. The preamble of his lawsuit [pdf] describes what happened.

At the conclusion of each lecture, members of the audience — including staff members — reacted with open hostility to the ideas and viewpoints discussed. And they attacked whiteness, maleness, heterosexuality, and Christianity — none of which should have been relevant — in their comments and questions. Despite the hostility, Dr. Phillips stayed long after the published end time for each lecture to respond calmly to each question, and he even offered to meet with students and staff members later for further discussion.
» Read more

Newly passed Senate bill requires consultation between industry and government on space junk

Though the bill still needs to be passed by the House, a just passed Senate bill requires consultation between industry and government on space junk, short circuiting recent attempts at the FCC as well as in the House to impose arbitrary government regulations.

You can read the Senate bill here [pdf].

The final result will still be government regulation on the lifespan and final deposition of any object placed in orbit, from nanosats to large manned space stations, but unlike the earlier FCC proposal and House bill, NASA and other government agencies will have to obtain feedback from the commercial space industry before such regulations are imposed.

Sounds great, eh? In truth, this bill in the end still gives full power to the federal government to control the launching of future spacecraft of all sizes. It also leaves the details entirely up to the bureaucracy. If passed Congress would cede its regulatory power to unelected bureaucrats in the executive branch.

The requirement that industry consultation occur simply means that the initial regulations will likely make some sense. Beyond that however the power it bequeaths to the federal bureaucracy in NASA, FAA, FCC, and other agencies will in the long run be still abused.

The need for the establishment of an independent space-faring society, free from odious Earthbound regulation, continues to grow.

1 2 3 4 5 223