Texas town regulates SpaceX engine tests

Nice rocket company you got here. It would be a shame if something happened to it: The city council of McGregor, Texas, has imposed new regulations and fines on SpaceX should it perform rocket engine tests at its facility there in a manner the council does not like.

Though the city council was entirely within its rights, and the ban on night testing make sense, in reading the list of fines and regulations I couldn’t help thinking that they will in the end only accomplish one thing: to drive SpaceX away. This regulation in particular stood out:

The actual launching of any vehicle into the atmosphere or into space is specifically prohibited at the McGregor facility.

This would appear to ban SpaceX from doing any more hover tests of the Falcon 9 first stage. For an innovative company like SpaceX to operate as it wants, it needs the freedom to operate as it wants. These restrictions could prevent the company from doing so.

Reality bites liberal Texas judge

The Texas judge who visited the infected apartment of America’s first ebola victim without protection has now had a complaint filed against him for endangering his own 9-year-old daughter.

The concerned citizen reached out to Breitbart Texas in a phone interview and provided information about his complaint to [Child Protective Services]. He told Brietbart Texas he wanted to remain anonymous because he is a business owner and is concerned about retaliation. He said he felt Jenkins’ conduct was inappropriate and unnecessarily exposed his child to potential danger. “I am doing this because I am concerned about the child,” the complainant said, “and I am concerned for the children in her school who might become exposed if the virus were to spread.”

Read the article at the link. The risks to the judge’s family and their acquaintances are real. Moreover, there is evidence that the judge has spent considerable time in contact with infected locations and individuals, without protection.

But he cares! That absolves him of any guilt should his actions causes others to die!

The background to the Rick Perry indictment

A look at the historical background behind the absurd indictment this weekend.of Texas governor Rick Perry.

This indictment appears to be an example of the new Democratic Party modus operandi: Make up criminal charges against your opponents when you can’t beat them at the ballot box. They tried it in Alaska against Sarah Palin, they tried it in Wisconsin against Scott Walker and as many tea party activists there as possible, they tried it in Texas against Tom Delay, and back in the nineties they tried it against Newt Gingrich. In every case the charges were absurd and were eventually dropped or dismissed.

Now they are trying it against Rick Perry. If this is the best they can do it is no wonder no Democrat has won a state-wide election in Texas in years.

A new water supplier for SpaceX’s Texas spaceport.

A new water supplier has stepped forward to help fill SpaceX’s gigantic water needs at its proposed Texas spaceport.

An earlier news story had noted the insufficient water capacity in Brownsville compared to the amount of water SpaceX would need for its rocket launches. This new report illustrates how competition and the potential for profits always seems to solve these kinds of problems.

The proposed SpaceX spaceport in Brownsville, Texas, has passed its final federal environmental review.

The proposed SpaceX spaceport in Brownsville, Texas, has passed its final federal environmental review.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which had raised concerns about possible impact on habitat for some endangered species, ultimately concluded that “the project is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any listed or proposed to be listed species nor adversely modify piping plover critical habitat.”

But wildlife officials don’t expect the project to be harmless: Two individual cats, either from the endangered ocelot or jaguarondi species, could be lost as a result of the project in spite of efforts to avoid just that with measures such as posting warning signs along the road leading to the launch site. And federal wildlife officials also anticipate that more than 7 miles of beachfront used by nesting sea turtles could be disturbed by security patrols, though driving is already permitted on the beach.

I think every American should read these two paragraphs to gain an understanding of how ridiculous these environmental regulations sometimes are. This report appears to be junk and an enormous waste of effort and time.

The bottom line is to consider what has happened in Florida. The government established a wildlife preserve surrounding the Kennedy Space Center and the wildlife has been flourishing there for more than a half century. Because a launchpad is used so infrequently (12 times a year is what SpaceX proposes for Brownsville), it inflicts very little harm on the environment.

SpaceX continues to acquire land in Texas for its planned spaceport in Brownsville.

The competition heats up: SpaceX continues to acquire land in Texas for its planned spaceport in Brownsville.

Elon Musk’s Dogleg Park LLC picked up an additional five lots in late April, bringing the total number of lots it has acquired in Cameron County to 95. The total land area that SpaceX now owns is roughly 38 acres of land, public records show. This is in addition to 56.5 acres that SpaceX has under lease at the site of what would be the world’s first private and commercial vertical launch site.

Compared to the acquisitions made by the federal government when it established its space centers in Florida and Wallops Island, these purchases are small. Nonetheless, they are likely sufficient for what the company plans to do.

The BLM is considering taking advantage of an obscure legal dispute to confiscate 90,000 acres of privately owned land on the Texas-Oklahoma border

Fascists: The BLM is considering taking advantage of an obscure legal dispute to confiscate 90,000 acres of privately owned land on the Texas-Oklahoma border.

The last thing a just government would want to do is to steal land from the citizens. The legal issues need to be settled, but that is not the way to do it.

A Texas high school cut off the mike of a valedictorian during his speech when he deviated from his approved speech and began to talk about the Constitution.

The new freedom: A Texas high school cut off the mike of a valedictorian during his speech when he deviated from his approved speech and began to talk about the Constitution.

The school absolutely has the right in this context to cut off his microphone. I just find it a terrible approach to teaching.

The meteoric rise in Texas oil production since 2010.

The meteoric rise in Texas oil production since 2010.

Amazingly, oil production in the Lone Star State has more than doubled in less than three years, from 1.142 million bpd in July 2010 to 2.295 million bpd in February 2013, which has to be one of the most significant increases in oil output ever recorded in the history of the US over such a short period of time. A million bpd increase in oil output in less than three years in one state is remarkable, and would have never been possible without the revolutionary drilling techniques that just recently started accessing vast oceans of Texas shale oil.

The article does not going into any detail about why this boom suddenly started in 2010. They indicate that it is linked to the development of new drilling techniques, but I’d like to know more.

A decorated war veteran on a Boy Scout hike with his 15-year-old son was arrested by police in Texas because he was “rudely displaying” a firearm.

Does this make you feel safer? A decorated war veteran on a Boy Scout hike with his 15-year-old son was arrested by police in Texas because he was “rudely displaying” a firearm.

Army Master Sgt. C.J. Grisham told Fox News he was illegally disarmed by members of the Temple Police Dept. – even though he held the proper permits to carry his weapons. Grisham and his son were on a 10-mile hike in a rural area populated by wild boars and cougars. He was carrying an AR-15 rifle and a .45 caliber pistol. He was charged with resisting arrest – even though video his son filmed of the incident clearly showed that Grisham did not resist arrest. Police later reduced the charges to interfering with a peace officer while performing a duty – a class B misdemeanor.

Update: several commenters have pointed out facts about Grisham, including this very detailed report from Michael Yon, that raise serious questions about the reliability of this story. Worth reading.

A Texas judge is expected to rule today on whether cheerleaders have the right to quote the bible at high school football games.

A Texas judge is expected to rule today on whether cheerleaders have the right to quote the bible at high school football games.

And if he rules they can’t, I say they should go ahead anyway, as they have the right to express themselves no matter what a judge says.

Update: The judge has ruled in favor of the cheerleaders.

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