Tag Archives: policy

CNN reporter advocates censorship by the FBI

Words fail me: In an interview of former FBI head James Comey, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour actually had to have the first amendment explained to her by Comey after she suggested that the FBI should act to censor speech it considers “hate speech.”.

“Of course, ‘lock her up’ was a feature of the 2016 Trump campaign,” Amanpour said. “Do you in retrospect wish that people like yourself, the FBI, I mean, the people in charge of law and order, had shut down that language — that it was dangerous potentially, that it could’ve created violence, that it’s kind of hate speech. Should that have been allowed?

Comey explained the First Amendment to Amanpour, replying, “That’s not the role for government to play. The beauty of this country is people can say what they want, even if it’s misleading and it’s demagoguery.” [emphasis mine]

I am no fan of Comey, as I think he was a willing participant in the effort at the FBI to illegally overturn the 2016 election of Trump. However, he at least has a basic understanding of the Constitution, the fundamental law of the land. For a reporter at a national cable network to not understand this is horrifying.

The video of Amanpour’s comments is posted below the fold. The clip begins with Amanpour giving Comey a platform to condemn any possible investigation into the FBI’s abuse of power. Not surprising, as he and others remain very vulnerable in this matter.

Amanpour then wonders why that the FBI didn’t shut down free speech she and Comey didn’t like. Also not surprising, coming from an employee of a network whose sole purpose these past two years has been to overthrow the legal election of Trump, in league with that corrupt FBI.

And CNN wonders why Trump calls them “fake news”.
» Read more

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Professor fired for challenging new fad of letting children pick their sex

They’re coming for you next: A University of Louisville (Kentucky) professor, fired for saying it is a bad idea to allow children to pick their sex, is suing the university.

The guy was chief of the university’s Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology. and merely said that it is a mistake to pump drugs into little kids just because they express confusion about sex.

Young children have nowhere near the life experience necessary to ‘decide’ they want to be a different sex. “When you think of it, children don’t know much about anything — and I say this with respect — I’ve raised three…but they don’t know anything at the age of 7, 8, or 9. Why should we listen to a 9-year-old about what time they’re going to bed?” Josephson said. “We don’t let them vote, we don’t let them drive, and so are we going to let them at the age of 8 or 9 decide they are no longer male or female? Unbelievable!”

…Instead of just putting young children on meds that block puberty development and cross-sex hormones, Josephson recommends a ‘go-slow’ approach (to, you know, let the kid grow up a little and get some more life experience). “In actuality, Dr. Josephson never refuted the existence of gender dysphoria; he simply advocated a different method for treating individuals experiencing it,” says the lawsuit.

Josephson, according to the lawsuit, has warned that trying to change one’s sex “often involves permanent social, medical, psychiatric, and other consequences that cannot be fully appreciated until adulthood (e.g., psychopathology, suicidal behavior, peer rejection, and permanent sterility).” He also noted that some kids and even teens who go through gender dysphoria will cease to experience it by late adolescence.

It appears the gay studies community at the university, upon hearing this professor’s opinions, then rallied to get him removed, with the full cooperation of university’s management.

Note that they aimed to get him fired because he expressed an opinion dissenting from the current gay agenda. How dare he! Such things are not allowed in today’s America. Doesn’t he know that the first amendment was designed to provide free speech only to some people, who have the right opinions. All others must shut up.

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Chick-fil-A banned from another airport

They’re coming for you next: A second airport has decided to not allow a Chick-fil-A franchise there because its owners are conservative.

New York Assemblyman Sean Ryan, a Democrat, celebrated the decision by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) and Delaware North to not move forward with plans to bring Chick-fil-A to the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. “A publicly financed facility like the Buffalo Niagara International Airport is not the appropriate venue for a Chick-fil-A restaurant,” Mr. Ryan said in a statement Friday. “I applaud the decision that has been made to remove Chick-fil-A from the plans for this project.”

Mr. Ryan said he opposes the popular chicken chain because of its “long history of supporting and funding anti-LGBTQ organizations.” [emphasis mine]

And exactly what are the evil causes that Chick-fil-A support?

The criticism of Chick-fil-A’s donating practices was renewed last month after the left-wing ThinkProgress released a report saying the chain’s foundation donated $1.8 million in 2017 to Christian and socially conservative groups with an alleged history of anti-LGBTQ bias, including the Salvation Army. The allegations are part of an ongoing backlash against Chick-fil-A that started in 2012 after CEO Dan Cathy, a conservative Christian, revealed his disapproval of gay marriage.

In other words, you are no longer allowed to express any dissent to the idea of gay marriage. You must be silenced, your businesses destroyed, and your families hounded from public life. In fact, why not simply round all these evil Christians up and put them in concentration camps? That would be the best way to stop them from expressing their evil ideas in public.

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NASA head says that Falcon Heavy remains a future option for Orion

At an agency meeting for employees NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine reiterated that NASA is still seriously considering the use of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy for future Orion lunar missions instead of SLS.

Bridenstine then laid out one scenario that has huge implications, not for a 2020 launch, but one later on. Until now, it was thought that only NASA’s Space Launch System could directly inject the Orion spacecraft into a lunar orbit, which made it the preferred option for getting astronauts to the Moon for any potential landing by 2024. However, Bridenstine said there was another option: a Falcon Heavy rocket with an Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage built by United Launch Alliance. “Talk about strange bedfellows,” he mused about the two rocket rivals.

This plan has the ability to put humans on the Moon by 2024, Bridenstine said. He then emphasized—twice—that NASA’s chief of human spaceflight, William Gerstenmaier, has yet to bless this approach due to a number of technical details. His reservations include the challenge of integrating the Falcon Heavy rocket in a horizontal position and then loading Orion with fuel in a vertical configuration on the launchpad. The Falcon Heavy would also require a larger payload fairing than it normally flies with. This would place uncertain stress on the rocket’s side-mounted boosters.

All the problems outlined in the second paragraph are the result of bad past management at NASA. Just as you design your rocket based the rocket engines you have — in order to save time and money — you design your capsule and manned vehicles based on the rockets that are available. NASA did not do this. It built Orion in a fantasy la-la land, without addressing the real world rocket options available. Now it has to either reconfigure, or get SpaceX to rethink the Falcon Heavy. Neither option will be cheap.

Regardless, Bridenstine’s statement is another shot across the bow to the porkmeisters in Congress. SLS is on shaky financial ground. It cannot compete in price with the commercial options. More significantly, it cannot come close to matching the launch rates of the private rockets. In the time NASA could put together one SLS launch, SpaceX could likely fly five to ten Falcon Heavies, and still do it for less money overall.

SLS is now tasked with a December 2020 deadline for launching that first unmanned test flight. Should it fail to meet that date, the political battle lines are now being laid for replacing it.

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Democracy comes to Turkey?

In local elections yesterday the party of Turkey’s long-time president Recep Tayyip Erdogan was pounded by several startling defeats.

The party of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lost control of the capital, Ankara, in local elections, in a blow to his 16-year rule.

The main opposition is also slightly ahead in the contest for mayor of Istanbul, figures published by the state-run Anadolu news agency suggest.

But the president’s AKP party is challenging the result in both cities.

Municipal elections were held across the nation on Sunday and an AKP-led alliance won more than 51% of the vote. [emphasis mine]

The article at the link hints at a depressed economy as the cause of these defeats, but I wonder if Erdogan’s recent moves trending in support of radical Islam also contributed. I also suspect that Erodgan’s support was actually a lot less than indicated by these numbers. Turkey is not really a democracy as an American would perceive it.

With most media either pro-government or controlled by Mr Erdogan’s supporters, critics believe opposition parties campaigned at a disadvantage. Mr Erdogan’s rallies dominated TV coverage.

The opposition pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) said the elections were unfair and refused to put forward candidates in several cities. Some of its leaders have been jailed on terrorism charges, accusations they reject.

I will not be surprised if the results flip in the coming week’s so that Erdogan’s party retains control in both cities. If this happens, however, I would also expect more turmoil there, as we are also seeing in many other places worldwide. Elections results recently have repeatedly slammed the status quo in places ruled by globalists, leftists, or Islamists. The establishment that has been in control then maneuvers things to nullify those elections.

The result: protests, violence, revolution, and bloodshed. Expect this in Turkey if the vote changes.

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Comedian wins plurality in Ukrainian election; run-off April 21

A Trump-type non-politician who plays a comedian-turned-president has won a plurality in Sunday’s Ukrainian election, with a run-off between the two top vote-getters set for April 21.

Volodymyr Zelensky, who plays a fictional president in a popular TV show, secured 30.4 percent of the vote on Sunday, early results showed. Petro Poroshenko, a billionaire magnate and Ukraine’s current leader, received 17.8 percent. With no-one expected to secure a majority when the final results are confirmed later on Monday, the two largely pro-EU candidates are set to go head-to-head in a run-off vote on April 21.

Though his lead in the first election is large, no one should assume he will win the plurality.

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India launches military satellite plus 28 smallsats

Capitalism in space: India today successfully used its PSLV rocket to launch one Indian military satellite plus 28 smallsats.

The rocket’s fourth stage demonstrated an additional capability.

Monday’s launch, the second of the year for India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), was tasked with a series of maneuvers for the rocket’s upper stage to insert twenty-nine deployable payloads into their pre-planned orbits over the first two hours of its flight.

Following separation of the last payload, the upper stage will maneuver to a final orbit where it will operate as a research platform, hosting three attached payloads to demonstrate this capability for future missions. The launch also tests out a new configuration for the PSLV, a further intermediate between the lightest and heaviest versions of the rocket.

UPDATE: Yesterday China also launched a communications satellite designed to facilitate in-space communications, using its Long March 3B rocket.

The leaders in the 2019 launch race:

4 China
3 SpaceX
3 Europe (Arianespace)
2 Russia
2 India

The U.S. continues to lead China in the national rankings 6 to 4.

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Cruz’s Space Frontier Act reintroduced; extends ISS to 2030

This week a bi-partisan group of senators reintroduced Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) Space Frontier Act.

The bill closely follows last year’s version of the Space Frontier Act, which Cruz and then-Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) shepherded through the Senate. Most of the bill covers efforts to reform commercial launch and remote sensing regulations in parallel with rulemaking activities currently underway by the Commerce and Transportation Departments. The bill also authorizes an extension of the International Space Station from 2024 to 2030 and elevates the Office of Space Commerce within the Commerce Department to the Bureau of Space Commerce.

They have changed one item that caused the House to reject the bill last year, one that exempted space-related bureaucracies from “the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which sets requirements for public meetings by such committees.” I suspect the exemption was an attempt to keep the job simple for these bureaucracies. At the same time, allowing them to function in the dark as they make regulations is not good either.

I have read through the bill [pdf], and my impression is that it really won’t change much. That it mandates the extension of ISS to 2030 however is important, as this means this big government project will continue to be funded, whether or not it makes sense to do so. Many in the space station private sector have said that it would be better that ISS was gone so that their efforts would not have to compete with it. I’m not sure this is true, however. All NASA really has to do to make ISS more commercially viable is to allow more commercial activities on it, including allowing private companies to attach their own modules that they own and control. Should NASA do this, the objections of the private space station community would become moot.

On a positive note, forcing NASA to continue to support ISS — which does have great value — will make it harder for NASA to find money for its Lunar Gateway boondoggle, a project that to my mind has far less obvious value, especially because it will cost far more than ISS to build and operate.

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A look at the March 31 Ukrainian election

Link here. It appears to be a race between a Trump and two established politicians of mixed qualities.

The choice is stark.

Stay the slow and not-quite-steady course with a deeply unpopular but seasoned leader [incumbent President Petro Poroshenko] who knows the ropes and has taken Ukraine westward despite foot-dragging on reforms and a failure to tackle entrenched corruption.

Go with another veteran [former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko], a political survivor with a dodgy past twice imprisoned by opponents who has lost two presidential elections but is banking on public disappointment and populist promises to carry her to victory.

Or take a chance on a comedian [Volodymyr Zelenskyy]with no experience in politics and governing but who has managed to tap into an antiestablishment mood similar to what’s brought unconventional leaders to power in the West by appealing directly to them for answers.

Right now, the comedian leads in the polls, and in looking at the videos at the link, it sure looks like he is trying to duplicate Trump’s success.

If no one gets 50% in the March 31 election, they will hold a run-off on April 21.

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UK lawmakers reject all Brexit deals

The British parliament today rejected for the third and probably last time the deals negotiated by prime minister Teresa May in connection with her country’s exit from the European Union.

Right now it looks like the UK will leave the European Union on April 12, with no deal. While this possibility is causing heartache and terror among establishment politicians in Europe and Britain, it would honor the will of the voters, who voted to leave, period. The deals that have been offered have generally been a maneuver to nullify that vote.

Those establishment politicians have offered several new options to nullify the voters’ choice, including delaying the exit by a year to allow time for new negotiations, or offering a do-over election. Right now it looks like neither will happen, and Great Britain will leave.

Will an exit be good or bad? It is hard to say, but my sense is that it will be generally good for Great Britain, with most of the suffering focused among the establishment, who have used the EU as a means to power. An exit will strip them of this.

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An explanation of the on-going Israeli elections

Link here. The video at the link is very much worth watching, as it clearly and quickly explains the nature of the on-going Israeli election, while also giving a sense of the present election trends.

Bottom line is that the conservative coalition led by Netanyahu remains solidly in the lead, reinforced by a new poll today.

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White reporters barred from press event in Savannah mayoral race

The new bigotry: White reporters were barred from entering or reporting on a press event involving black challengers to the present white Savannah mayor.

Race was front and center on Wednesday night during a meeting coordinated to garner support for just one black candidate in Savannah’s mayoral election.

With signs stating “Black press only” on the doors of the church where the meeting was held, white reporters were barred from entry, while black reporters for at least two television stations were permitted inside.

The event was coordinated by the Rev. Clarence Teddy Williams, owner of the consulting firm, The Trigon Group, who declined to discuss the entry policy.

The black reporters who did attend appeared to be working to coordinate their activities with the candidates in order to help pick a candidate who could win, something that it is totally inappropriate for reporters to do.

The article conveniently does not mention the party to which the candidates all belonged, but since these are all challenging the present Republican mayor, it seems reasonable to assume they were all Democrats. This conclusion is also reasonable considering the bigoted nature of that party these days.

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Senate rejects Democratic New Green Deal 57-0

The Senate yesterday rejected the Democratic New Green Deal proposal by a vote of 57-0, with 43 Democrats (including Bernie Sanders) voting present.

No senator voted to begin debate on the legislation, while 57 lawmakers voted against breaking the filibuster. Democratic Sens. Doug Jones of Alabama, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona joined 53 Republicans in voting “no.” Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, who caucuses with the Democrats, also voted “no.”

The vote had been teed up by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in a bid to make Democratic senators — including several 2020 presidential candidates — go on the record about the measure. McConnell had called the proposal “a radical, top-down, socialist makeover of the entire U.S. economy.”

The speech that Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) gave prior to the vote is worth watching for every one of its 13 minutes. He describes the substance of this bill quite accurately, and he does so in a most amusing manner.

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Scientists horrified that Trump wants to require universities to honor free speech

This is not a Babylon Bee story. An article today in the science journal Nature actually expressed outrage and concern about President Trump’s executive order last week tying the grants a university gets to its willingness to protect the free speech of all its students and teachers.

What evil thing did Trump’s order require of these universities? To quote the Nature article itself,

US President Donald Trump signed an executive order on 21 March that requires universities to certify that they protect free speech, or risk losing federal research funds.

Public institutions will have to certify that they are following free-speech protections laid out in the First Amendment of the US Constitution, and private institutions must promise to follow their stated policies on free speech, a White House official told reporters on 21 March.

The order applies to 12 research agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and NASA. It affects only money for research, not financial aid for students.

O the horror! The universities will have to show that they support free speech! What a travesty!

The Nature article then proceeded to find quotes from a number of scientists and organizations who oppose Trump’s action. One even claimed that Trump was not trying to protect free speech, “but the enhancement of conservative voices.”

In other words, to these scientists, there is plenty of free speech in academia. Liberals and leftists are all free to say whatever they want. However, any attempt to allow conservatives the right to speak is clearly a biased threat to freedom and must be stopped at all costs. And to threaten their funding because of this? The nerve of that bad orange man!

The intellectual dishonesty exhibited here is mind-boggling. And for it to come from scientists, whose entire field is built on the need for brutal intellectual honesty at all times, is quite appalling.

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The National Space Council’s full recommendations

Yesterday’s meeting of the National Space Council resulted in a number of recommendations beyond vice-president Mike Pence’s announcement that the Trump administration is quite willing to dump SLS if it doesn’t get its act together.

First, see this statement by NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine. He outlines the tasks that NASA has now been given, including getting astronauts on the Moon by 2024. Those tasks also require NASA to “[s]tay on schedule for flying Exploration Mission-1 with Orion on the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket next year, and for sending the first crewed mission to the lunar vicinity by 2022.”

This article at SpacePolicyOnline outlines those tasks in more detail, stating that:

NASA will create a Moon-to-Mars Mission Directorate and make all necessary efforts to achieve Exploration Mission-1 no later than 2020 and Exploration Mission-2 no later than 2022. [emphasis mine]

These announcements inadvertently reveal two facts. First, the establishment of a new directorate at NASA is Bridenstine’s attempt to shake up and take control of NASA’s bureaucracy. This will allow him to put people in place that support his agenda.

Will this work? I doubt it. I have watched NASA administrators do this time after time in the past twenty years, with nothing really changing. In a sense, it is really nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Second, they are admitting here (as indicated by the highlighted words) that the first SLS unmanned launch will not happen in June 2020. They have reviewed everything and realized the fastest way to get this launch off is to allow SLS to launch it, but they have also realized that the June date can’t be met. This announcement gives NASA and Boeing an extra six months, to the end of 2020, to get the mission off the ground.

The recommendations also included the release of major suggested changes to streamline how both the State Department and the FAA regulate commercial space. Neither appear to streamline things much. For example, the FAA’s new rule [pdf] on federal commercial space transportation requirements is only 580 pages long. My eyes glazed over as soon as I started reading it. Similarly, the new State Department procedures appear as complex. I haven’t digested either yet, so my pessimism might be unfounded. We shall see.

All in all, the significance of these policy announcements is not so much in the details, all of which illustrate the continuing incompetence and failures of the federal space bureaucracy. What these announcements instead tell us is that the Trump administration is finally attempting the first baby steps for gaining some measure of control over that federal space bureaucracy. It is telling that bureaucracy that it had finally has to do something, or face the consequences.

Whether the administration’s efforts will succeed however remains very questionable. Many in that bureaucracy and in Congress will oppose this effort. They like things as they are, where billions get distributed throughout the country to their friends, and no one is ever required to accomplish anything. And they have managed for the past twenty years to maintain this status quo. It will not be easy to force a change now.

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India claims it has successfully destroyed a satellite using an anti-sat missile

The new colonial movement: In a speech to his nation today, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that they have successfully completed their first anti-sat test, using a missile to destroy a satellite in low Earth orbit.

The Indian ASAT test is believed to have destroyed either the Microsat-R or the Microsat-TD satellite, likelier the former according to some sources. They were both built by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). ISRO launched the Microsat-R on January 24 this year and the Microsat-TD a year before that.

Prime Minister Modi declared the test, codenamed Mission Shakti, a success and claimed that an ASAT missile had destroyed the satellite in its low-Earth orbit.

The missile in question is described as a kinetic kill vehicle, which means it does not carry any explosives or other devices. Instead, its ‘kill’ capability arises simply from the fact that it smashes into the target satellite and shatters it using its kinetic energy.

At this altitude, about 300 km, experts said that debris from the collision would fall back to Earth, burning up in the atmosphere in a matter of weeks instead of posing a threat to other satellites. As a result, Mission Shakti is called a controlled ASAT test.

What this anti-sat test really demonstrates is India’s ability to to hit a very tiny target that is moving more than 17,000 miles per hour with a missile shot from Earth, which proves they can hit any target on Earth, with great accuracy. And it thus a blunt message to both Pakistan and China. Don’t attack us, because if you do, we have the capability to do you great harm.

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OneSpace orbital launch fails

Capitalism in space? The first orbital launch attempt by China’s smallsat company OneSpace failed today.

No information about the cause of the failure or what happened has been released as yet.

I’m going to say this again: While OneSpace is financed through private capital, like a private company, it is also supervised closely by the Chinese government. It is hardly a private company as we in the West would define it.

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Pence reiterates Trump administration’s willingness to abandon SLS

Turf war! At today’s National Space Council meeting, vice-president Mike Pence reiterated the Trump administration’s willingness to replace SLS with commercial rockets, if that is what it will take to get Americans back to the Moon by 2024.

Pence said the schedule for completing SLS must be accelerated, but also opened the door to using rockets built by a commercial spaceflight company for the lunar mission. “We’re not committed to any one contractor. If our current contractors can’t meet this objective, then we’ll find ones that will,” he said. “And if commercial rockets are the only way to get American astronauts to the moon in the next five years, then commercial rockets it will be.”

It is very clear now that the Trump administration is beginning the political war necessary for shutting down the SLS boondoggle, something that cannot happen easily considering how its large workforce is scattered in so many states and congressional districts. To make it happen, they need to publicly illustrate its failure, repeatedly, but do so in a manner that does not overly antagonize SLS’s supporters. This is why both Pence and NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine have been careful to express support for SLS, even as they hint at its replacement.

The battle is joined, however, and that could be a very good thing for the American space industry, in the coming years.

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OneSpace to attempt first orbital launch this week

OneSpace, one of a bunch of companies in China attempting to launch smallsats, is expected to attempt its first orbital launch this week.

The article gives a nice overview of the present competition in China between several of these smallsat private companies, dubbed OneSpace, LandSpace, ISpace, and LinkSpace. All are funded through private investment capital, so all claim to be a private companies. However, nothing done in space in China is done without the approval and direction of the government. They might be designed as private companies, but they are also designed expressly to serve the needs of the Chinese government. That their company names are all so similar only strengthens this conclusion.

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Key House Democrat announces opposition to Trump’s Space Force proposal

Adam Smith (D-Washington), the House Democrat who now heads the committee that approves military space funding, has announced his opposition to Trump’s Space Force proposal.

He revealed two objections. One, he claimed the proposal was top heavy in management, with its leadership delegated to one civilian and two generals. The second complaint I think is more pertinent.

The Trump proposal includes language about the Space Force’s civilian workforce that the Democrats just can’t stomach. In his statement, Smith says that “a large part of the proposal is an attack on the rights of DoD civilian employees. It asks for broad authority to waive long-standing and effective elements of civil service rules, pay rates, merit-based hiring, and senior civilian management practices.”

As usual, the Democrats are more interested in acting as union reps for the government workforce than serving the needs of the country. Trump’s proposal, as put forth, might not make sense, but Smith is clearly not interested in fixing it. Instead, he wants shape this new bureaucracy so that it provides him and DC with more funding and power. The country can go to hell.

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Russia cuts Proton price to match SpaceX

Capitalism in space: Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Roscosmos, yesterday said that Russia will cut costs so that the price they charge for a Proton launch will match SpaceX.

Russia is struggling to regain its Proton customer base after the launch failures of the past few years. I don’t think matching SpaceX’s prices will do it. Right now satellite companies view them as offering a less reliable product, and until they can prove this impression false they need to offer their rocket for even less that SpaceX.

This is in fact what SpaceX did at the beginning. Its rockets were untested and thus risky to use. To compensate they offered a cheaper way to space. Now Russia has to do the same, or the business will continue to go to others. I wonder if Rogozin understands this.

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U.S. recognizes Israeli sovereignty of Golan Heights

The United States today officially recognized the Israeli claim of sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

President Trump on Monday formally recognized the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, giving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a much-needed boost as he raced home to respond to a rocket attack that struck near Tel Aviv, wounding seven.

Mr. Trump’s proclamation reversed about a half-century of U.S. policy, which viewed the Golan Heights as Syrian territory occupied by Israel. “This was a long time in the making, it should have taken place many decades ago,” Mr. Trump said as he signed the papers inside the White House.

The rocket attack came from Gaza, causing Netanyahu to cut short his U.S. trip to deal with it.

Remember Gaza? That was the territory that Israel once controlled, and unilaterally left in order to give the Palestinians their own sovereign state. They have since used that sovereignty to elect terrorists as their leaders, and to lob bombs at innocent Israelis.

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European Court upholds conviction for condemning Mohammad’s child marriage

Fascist Europe: The European Court today upheld the Austrian conviction and punishment of a woman merely because she gave a talk where she described and then condemned Mohammad’s child marriage to a six-year-old, that he consummated with a rape when the child was nine.

Sabaditsch-Wolff, a diplomat’s daughter who has lived and worked in the Middle East, was censured for having spoken at a meeting organized by the right-wing Austrian Freedom Party 10 years ago in Vienna. Her intention was to speak about the treatment of women and the practice of jihad (“Holy War”) in countries such as Iran and Libya, on the basis of her own experience.

During her speech aimed at an audience of about 30 people, she spoke freely about the prophet Muhammad and his relationship with Aisha, whom he saw and desired when she was six years old. He married her on the spot, and the union was consummated when she was nine. He “liked to do it with children,” she said, adding that she had argued with her sister about the words she would use to describe the facts.

She insisted on being straightforward: “A 56-year-old and a six-year-old? What do we call it, if it is not pedophilia?”

A journalist present at the meeting taped her words. His editor-in-chief went on to turn them over to the police, and Sabaditsch-Wolff was indicted for inciting hatred toward Muslims and for having disparaged their prophet as unworthy of veneration.

She was not found guilty of the first violation. But she was condemned for the “disparagement” in 2011 to a 480-euro fine (about 550 U.S. dollars) or up to 60 days imprisonment.

The court has essentially endorsed the heckler’s veto, though we all know that if a Christian tried to do the same they would be denied. What will now happen is that the European Union will team up with vast numbers of new Muslim immigrants it forced its member nations to accept in the past decade to impose sharia on Europe.

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College political course chooses authors by race

Bigoted academia: A college course at the University of Colorado-Denver that is falsely dubbed “American Political Thought” specifically excludes any white authors from its reading list.

The syllabus fails to mention any of the major figures in America’s founding, including the Founding Fathers. When challenged by The College Fix on the lack of these voices in the syllabus given the title of the course, [Professor Chad] Shomura argued that he aims to encourage students to expand their perception of which thinkers are included in mainstream American thought. Shomura even admitted that past students have criticized the disconnect between the title of the course and the assigned texts.

Even if the course was titled “Fringe Figures in American Political Thought” it would still be bigoted. The criteria used to pick the reading material is not based on content but purely on race.

There was a time when everyone would have seen this professor for the bigot that he is. Now, we make excuses.

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Does the Mueller report suggest there is hope?

I have come to three somewhat contradictory conclusions in thinking this weekend about the unexpectedly reasonable conclusions announced in the final Mueller report, stating that, despite two years of intense investigation which at times bordered on a witch hunt, there was no collusion between Trump and the Russians to win the election.

1. Robert Mueller is a hack who works hard for the liberal Washington swamp, doing their bidding whenever he can. The summary letter of his report by Attorney General William Barr inadvertently reveals this.

In the first paragraph of Barr’s letter he describes Mueller’s report has entitled “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.” This would imply that Mueller’s goal was to investigate all possible aspects of Russian interference, including collusion that might have also taken place in the Clinton campaign.

However, in the very next paragraph Barr states,
» Read more

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Rogozin: Investigation into Soyuz sabotage to continue on ISS

In his remarks to journalists today Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin also said that the Russian investigation into the hole that was drilled in a Soyuz capsule last year is not over, and that they plan to do further “experiments” on ISS.

“The samples collected on the ISS are insufficient for final conclusions. Apparently, additional experiments in orbit will be required,” Rogozin said.

What those “additional experiments in orbit” will be was not explained. I suspect he is referring to the security cameras the Russians are installing on their part of ISS, with the hope of catching the saboteur in the act.

What I think is going on here is that they have not been able to uncover who did this on the ground, and are now trying to imply it might have been sabotage by a U.S. astronaut. Rogozin can’t say this outright, because he wants to keep good relations with the U.S. in the partnership on ISS. He can hint at it, however, and let his own press run with it.

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Russia offers to take over ISS if US exits

How kind of them! Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Roscosmos, told journalists today that Russia has formulated a proposal to take over ISS operations completely should the U.S. withdraw from the station.

“This is Roscosmos’ proposal. We believe that we can keep the station in case the Americans decide to withdraw from this project, through other countries and partners. We have technological and technical capabilities to keep the station on the orbit and fully provide both electric energy and water there,” Rogozin said.

Roscosmos’ director general explained that the Russian section may add new modules on the basis of the Science-Power Module (SPM), the first version of which will be launched to the station in 2022. “Here the Russian Federation has a unique opportunity. We can duplicate the SPM. Its design makes it possible to turn into home for other states – there can be the SPM-2, SPM-3, SPM-4, they may grow further, extending the international part of the station. We formulated this proposal, and we suggest our new partners doing it,” Rogozin said. [emphasis mine]

The highlighted text reveals Russia’s real goal. They take over station operations, and then sell to other nations modules for the station. Does the UAE want its own space station manned program? Buy a Russian-built module of your own, get it attached to ISS, and “Voila!” you have a very sophisticated and relatively permanent in-space facility all your own. And Russia will provide you the manned ferrying services!

This idea makes great sense. The Russians could even do it should the U.S. stick with ISS. It allows them to offer something far superior to the private, small, and short-lived separate station modules that a variety of private American companies are developing and offering for purchase or rent.

Of course, NASA could do the same, by allowing our private companies to attach modules of their own to ISS, for their own purposes. Historically, however, NASA’s management has been hostile to private enterprise, and in the past has frequently acted to oppose independent commercial activities on ISS. For example, when Russians wanted to fly Dennis Tito to ISS NASA strongly opposed this, and tried to stop it.

NASA has been changing in the past decades, however, so it could be that if the Russians push this hard, the competition could help the factions in NASA who are favor of private and free competition gain control of station management.

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Mueller submits report, ends investigation

Special Council Robert Mueller today submitted his report to his new boss Attorney General Bill Barr at the Department of Justice, officially ending his two year long investigation that was supposedly aimed at proving collusion between Donald Trump and the Russian government in order to get him elected.

In those two years, Mueller made a few indictments, none of which had anything to do with Trump-Russian collusion. Most were process crimes, created during the investigation against individuals for either not answering questions perfectly or because Mueller went on a fishing expedition until he found something. None would have happened had this faux investigation had not been instigated.

Moreover, according to the news story at the link, Mueller is “not recommending any further indictments” with this submission.

Or to put it more bluntly, this was all a sham, aimed at deposing the legally elected president of the United States.

Meanwhile, evidence of real collusion, involving Obama and Hillary Clinton and the Russians, was ignored, and in fact the FBI took hostile actions against those involved in revealing it.

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The pro-Iran and anti-Israel Democratic Party

Two stories in the past few days illustrate once again the growing fascist and anti-democratic trends within the modern Democratic Party, trends that every registered Democrat should look at with horror.

First there was condemnation by liberal activist groups like MoveOn and Code Pink of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Both also demanded that all Democratic presidential candidate boycott AIPAC’s annual conference. To quote MoveOn’s petition:

“It’s no secret that that AIPAC has worked to hinder diplomatic efforts like the Iran deal, is undermining Palestinian self-determination, and inviting figures actively involved in human rights violations to its stage,” Iram Ali, campaign director at MoveOn Political Action, said in a statement provided first to Politico. Ali said the move should “give a clear insight to 2020 candidates on where their base stands instead of prioritizing lobbying groups and policy people who rarely step outside of D.C.”

None of these claims are true. What AIPAC has done for decades is to support the right of Israel to exist, to oppose Islamic terrorism and the wholesale slaughter of Jews, and encourage the U.S. to work with the only viable democracy in the Middle East, for both Jews and Muslims.

These liberal demands were then followed by the immediate decision by all but one Democratic presidential candidate to skip the conference. What makes this significant is that many of these same Democrats have repeatedly spoken there in the past, and in doing so had expressed positive opinions about the organization.

Now however the Democratic Party increasingly sees Israel and its Jewish population as evil, and instead wish to ally themselves with the Islamic movement, a position that follows the lead of their younger anti-Semitic lawmakers like Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota).

The party’s desire to link itself to radical Islam is demonstrated by the second story today, in which five Democratic presidential candidates announced their endorsement of Iran and the very bad Obama nuclear deal that the U.S. should never have agreed to and that President Trump wisely terminated last year.

Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) declared they’d rejoin the Iran deal if Iran abides by it and so did two less-known candidates: Mayor of Miramar, Florida, Wayne Messam and writer and charity activist Marianne Williamson, reported Al-Monitor on March 19.

Note that there is ample evidence, outlined in great detail at the link, that Iran never abided by the treaty, before or after its signing.

Not all the Democratic candidates made this endorsement, but the trend is clear, nonetheless. The Democratic Party now increasingly prefers to ally itself with nations whose leaders routinely chant “Death to America!” and call for the annihilation of Israel.

And this trend makes sense, considering that party’s willingness in the last few years to abandon or even reject the Bill of Rights, preferring to use force and the power of government to impose their will on everyone. For such a party, being fellow-travelers with dictators and tyrants is not difficult.

If you are an ordinary registered Democrat, you need to reassess your loyalty to that party. It is not the political organization you probably think it is.

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Yutu-2 heads west!

LRO images of Yutu-2 on the Moon
Click for full image.

A new image from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) shows the path taken by the Chinese lunar rover Yutu-2 during its second lunar day of travel on the Moon. The LRO images on the right, cropped and reduced in resolution to show here, compares the rovers position at the start and end of February. The white arrow indicates the rover, with its Chang’e-4 lander visible between the three craters to the east. As noted by the LRO science team:

LRO passes over any given place on the Moon at least once every month (in the daylight), allowing the westward progress of the Yutu-2 rover to be seen. At the end of February, Yutu-2 was 69 meters from it’s home base, the Chang’e 4 lander; LROC images show Yutu-2 made 46 meters of westward progress during the month of February.

It appears from these orbital images that they are taking the smoothest route, with the fewest obstacles, away from the lander.

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