SpaceX drops protest against NASA launch decision

SpaceX has decided to withdraw its protest against NASA’s decision to choose ULA as the launch vehicle for its Lucy asteroid mission.

The company did not provide any reason for the withdrawal. I suspect Musk decided that it was doing SpaceX harm both publicly and privately. Publicly it threatened the launch date of Lucy, which might cause a significant and fatal delay to the mission. That did not make SpaceX look good to the general public.

Privately, I suspect that the protest was hurting SpaceX with NASA officials. They almost certainly did not say so directly, but I am certain they were able to make this clear in any number of ways. This, combined with the agency’s new willingness to consider commercial rockets, like the Falcon Heavy, for its lunar plans, probably convinced SpaceX that it was doing itself more harm than good with the protest.

The “March for Science”: a Democratic Party operation

No matter what the leaders of this weekend’s planned “March for Science” might claim about the neutrality of their event, this article in the journal Science today reveals its very decidedly partisan, leftist, and anti-Trump nature. Democrats are planned as major speakers at many venues, while no Republicans are participating anywhere.

“I’d be surprised if any Republicans participate,” says Representative Jerry McNerney (D–CA), one of only two House of Representatives members with a science Ph.D., who will be speaking at the San Francisco, California, march. “They may feel that they are on the receiving end of the protest.”

McNerney was also amazingly honest about the march’s partisanship in another quote: “McNerney thinks organizers of the march have been disingenuous by asserting their neutrality. ‘It’s a political rally, and they should acknowledge that.'”

Meanwhile, the journal Nature today published an article interviewing scientists about their view of the march. As expected, most supported the event for partisan and anti-Trump reasons. One person however was honest about this partisanship, and worried how such partisanship will hurt science.

I am not going to the March for Science, because some people in America view science as leftist. Maybe it’s because [former US vice-president] Al Gore launched ‘An Inconvenient Truth’. I’ve seen articles from right-wing outlets that are framing the march as focusing on gender equality and identity politics. I think it could easily politicize science because, even though the march’s mission statement isn’t anti-Trump, the marchers seem anti-Trump.

The bottom line is that the leaders of this march are organizing it not only to lobby for funds, but to advance the Democratic Party agenda and to protest Trump. And because the majority of today’s scientists are Democrats, if only because they would face blackballing in the modern leftist academic community if they were anything else, they are going along, some eagerly and some with reservations. Either way, Sunday’s “March for Science” is going to end up looking like a march against Trump and the Republican Party.

Be prepared as well for many mainstream reports on the March to frame it otherwise. They will be lying.

Man wearing Trump hat assaulted at Berkeley today

Fascists: A UC-Berkeley student wearing a Trump hat was attacked by two men today on the college campus.

The student—who was wearing one of Trump’s token Make America Great Again hats at the time of the exchange—was later identified as Jack Palkovic, a member of Berkeley’s College Republicans chapter who helped organize Wednesday night’s events. CBS reports that two unidentified men emerged from the vehicle, yanked the Trump hat from Palkovic’s head, and began to beat him until bystanders eventually intervened.

Although the two men attempted to flee the scene, police officers were able to prevent their escape, and placed both men in custody.

Charges against the attackers are being filed.

A side note: Today my wife and I were driving about town doing errands, and we passed an anti-Trump demonstration that reminded me remarkably of the tea party demonstrations I participated in in 2010-2011. The demonstrators had homemade signs, were smiling and enthusiastic, and doing nothing illegal. While I disagree with them politically, I celebrate their willingness to express publicly their political opinions most whole-heartedly.

There is one difference between these peaceful anti-Trump demonstrators and the tea party demonstrators that is important however. The former have rarely shown horror at the kinds of violence seen this week on college campuses and perpetrated in their name. They might mouth distaste for the violence, and might never do it themselves, but they have no outrage about it and if asked usually express some satisfaction that those bad conservatives or the bad people who support Trump got silenced. Too often, they celebrate the violence, even if they won’t do it themselves.

Among every tea party protester I have ever met (and I have met a lot of them), such behavior was always considered absolutely unacceptable. The idea of committing violence against their opposition was horrifying to them.

This distinction is important. It points us to the source of our modern political problems.

Project Veritas videos lead to one arrest

The undercover videos released last week by Project Veritas, showing evidence that anti-Trump protesters were planning violent acts of terrorism during the Trump inauguration, have now led to one arrest.

More important, the police think the videos acted to stop much of the mayhem the protesters were planning.

A D.C. police spokesman has confirmed that a secret video recording made Dec. 18 by one of O’Keefe’s operatives led to the arrest of one man and foiled an alleged plot to spread acid at the DeploraBall for Trump supporters at the National Press Club. It was not clear whether the alleged plotters ever obtained the acid.

Law enforcement authorities said they think that the successful penetration of DisruptJ20, an umbrella organization for a number of groups that police said sought to wreak havoc at the inauguration, forced it to abandon plans to try to shut down Metro trains and block entrances into the District, according to two law enforcement officials with knowledge of the investigation.

The police are also looking for two other men on the videos.

A Tea Party event today in Tucson

Last week I received an email from the local Tucson tea party, asking if I would be willing to attend a demonstration today in response to last week’s Supreme Court decision on Obamacare. To quote the email,

We would like to stage two simultaneous protests against the train wreck they call ObamaCare, at two separate locations Monday July 2nd, 4:00pm-5:45pm. 75 people at both locations are needed to make the necessary impact. They say the Tea Party is dead. What say ye? We need your commitment.

Today those protests took place at two different prominent street corners in the Tucson area. At each location there were about fifty people lining the sidewalk and holding signs and American flags out to passing motorists. My wife Diane and I went to one of those protests. Here are my impressions:
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The Secret Service shut down a “Fire Holder” rally this morning in front of the White House.

Freedom of speech in modern America: The Secret Service shut down a “Fire Holder” rally this morning in front of the White House.

After discovering a “suspicious package,” the Secret Service ended the protest. “Several agents seemed hostile to our march and seemed anxious for us to leave the area,” Maurice Lewis, a University of California student, told Campus Reform. “The discover[y of] the ‘unidentified package’ came just as the protest began gain traction.”

Not only should Holder be fired, so should Obama, for allowing this. And Romney should announce that he plans to investigate the Secret Service and fire them if this “suspicious package” report turns out to be false.

pA man was arrested and now faces 60 days in jail and a $500 fine for holding up a protest sign on the public plaza outside the Supreme Court in Washington.

Freedom of speech alert: A man was arrested and now faces 60 days in jail and a $500 fine for simply holding up a protest sign on the public plaza outside the Supreme Court in Washington.

Video of him shows he was still and quiet and more than 100 feet from the Court entrance. Nonetheless, officers arrested him, charging him with violating a so-called “no speech zone.”

Occupy Richmond stands up for the Richmond Tea Party

Pigs fly! Occupy Richmond stands with the Richmond Tea Party against the city government.

After the city accused the Richmond Tea Party of being overdue on tax filings,Occupy Richmond issued a statement saying “it would not surprise us” if the move was “retaliation” for the Tea Party’s criticism of Mayor Dwight Jones. […] “The Tea Party and Occupy movements disagree on many, many issues,” Occupy Richmond’s Thursday statement said. “This should not stop all Americans from proudly standing together against government abuses.” [emphasis mine]

Kudos to Occupy Richmond for understanding that an attack on freedom is an attack against everyone, even if the attack happens to be aimed at your opponents.

This also once again illustrates how completely stupid and politically tone deaf the city’s action is against the Richmond Tea Party. It will garner the mayor and his minions nothing but grief.

Violence and oppression from the left

Two stories today clearly illustrate the oppressive nature of the left. They don’t wish to debate and persuade. They want to impose their will on the rest of us, by force if necessary.

First there’s this: Occupy Wall Street has paid the bail for the OWS demonstrator who threatened to burn down New York and throw Molotov cocktails into the windows at Macy’s.

A week ago he wanted to toss Molotov cocktails at Macy’s, but Tuesday he was back at it, mixing it up in Zuccotti Park. The Daily News snapped photos of Occupy Wall Street nut case Nkrumah Tinsley, 29, prancing around after the movement coughed up $7,500 for his bail, his lawyer, Pierre Sussman said.

One of their demonstrators publicly admits he wants to destroy property and commit violence, and the OWS movement backs him to the hilt.

Then there’s this story:
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Police clear out Occupy protesters in Portland, arresting fifty

Update in Portland: The police have cleared out the Occupy protesters there, arresting fifty in the process.

Fortunately, it doesn’t appear that any serious violence occurred. Kudos to the police, as well as the protesters.

I take back my kind words about the protesters above. There is now evidence that at least some Occupy Portland protesters wanted to do serious harm, using “homemade grenades”.

Occupy Portland protesters prepare to confront police

Peace and love: It appears the Occupy Portland protesters are preparing to confront the police with homemade weapons and reinforcements.

People in the camp are expecting 100-300 re-enforcements from various locations. There may even be as many as 150 anarchists who will arrive soon. There is information that people may be in the in trees during a police action and that there are people who are attempting to obtain a large number of gas masks. There is a hole being dug in one of the parks and wood is being used to reinforce the area around it. There are reports that nails have been hammered into wood for weapons and that generally there are people in the camps preparing for a confrontation with police. . . People were seen carrying pallets into the camp shortly after 1:00 a.m. this morning. The destination of the pallets is a structure with graffiti in the northwest part of Chapman Park, also known as “The 420 Hotel”. The people there are very suspicious of any passers by, we are not sure at this point what exactly they are doing. We have been told it looks like they were making shields.

Man shot and killed “near” Occupy Oakland camp

Peace and love: A man was shot and killed at the Occupy Oakland camp today. Plus, an immediate effort by the protesters to squelch the press:

Reporter Aimee Allison of the Chronicle says she was attacked when she tried to take a cell phone photo. And she wasn’t the only one: “A few feet away a TV cameraman was shooting footage and a crowd of twenty or so men attacked and punched him, forcing him over the railing of the 14th Street BART Station.” Which means, even in the best-case scenario, there was an unconnected murder right next to the camp and a mob of protesters decided to do “damage control” by beating the hell out of journalists who were trying to report on it. That’s where we’re at here.

They should Occupy Prison

They should Occupy Prison.

I haven’t commented much on the Occupy Wall Street movement, mostly because I’ve been too busy moving. However, though I fully support their right to demonstrate and protest, I find the contrasts between these protests and the Tea Party protests to be striking. The differences are even highlighted in their names. “Occupy Wall Street” implies a right to impose its will on others, to take over without permission other people’s property. “The Tea Party,” though inspired by an equally illegal act of stealing British tea and destroying it, now implies the much more benign activity of a gathering to express one’s opinion. And the Tea Party protests proved this by the fact that to this date no tea party protester has been arrested, and no laws broken. In fact, the only documented violence at any tea party event that I have found was committed by opponents of that movement.

As to what these movements believe in, I readily admit that I am in agreement with the Tea Party ideas of smaller government and fiscal responsibility. I will also say that I oppose the calls for socialism and even communism from some Occupy Wall Street protesters.

Nonetheless, there are many in this latter movement who are expressing the same kind of rage and frustration at the recent partnership between big business and big government that led to bad policy, unaffordable bailouts, a collapsing housing market, and a suffocating economy that have been similarly expressed by many Tea Party protesters.

The protests of both groups are merely a reflection of the anger that ordinary people feel about the failure of both government and business to act responsibly and with some common sense in these last years.

Muslim students found guilty of conspiring to disrupt Israeli ambassador meeting

Eleven Muslim students have been found of guilty of conspiring to disrupt a speech of the Israeli ambassador.

The defendants, who are all in their early twenties, were convicted of one count each of conspiracy and disturbing an assembly and could face jail terms of up to a year, probation or community service at sentencing.

As I’ve said previously, I think it a mistake to prosecute these students for their impolite and disgusting behavior. It only makes them martyrs, something they surely don’t deserve.

Ann Barnhardt vs Lindsey Graham

This woman bluntly, clearly, and without apology explains freedom, the first amendment, and the difference between peaceful protest and violence to Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina).

Make sure you watch part 2 of her oration, where she goes through the worst quotes from the Koran (bookmarked with bacon strips!) and burns those pages.

University Protects Student Who Issued Jihadist Death Threats Against Conservatives and Jews

More craziness: McGill University has decided to protect the student who issued jihadist death threats against conservatives and Jews.

Some examples of the student’s threats: “I want to shoot everyone in this room,” followed by “I should have brought an M16.”

Here is McGill’s interpretation: “We have come to the conclusion that the messages don’t constitute a threat to the community.”

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