Sunday, July 31, 2005

Space Shuttle Need 1970's Foam?

In 1997 NASA caved in to the environmentalists and began using a new kind of foam for insulation on the space shuttle. The result? One blew up and the latest has serious issues. Nobody wants to spend much time talking about the foam switch since chlorofluorocarbons have been deemed evil. CFC's were an integral part of the foam that stayed attached through the stress of space flights over and over again. This post at Mike's Noise is a good discussion on the present situation including

The irony of this is that in 2001, the EPA exempted NASA from enforcement
of its freon regulations because an audit determined that the amount of freon
used by NASA was minuscule. But apparently NASA was more concerned with
public relations and with making sure that their policies received a nod of
approval from environmental groups. NASA's
official report on the Columbia disaster
cited a change in the foam
application process -- and not the change in the foam itself -- as the most
sensible reason for the foam to start peeling off.

Recently, a NASA official was asked in an interview about theis very issue. He did a pretty good job of being evasive. Perhaps it's time for the MSM to turn up the heat a little. This was the first question I have heard address the foam change. More than likely it has been asked and I just missed it. It appears that it needs to be asked much more frequently.

Just a thought.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Ogre on Profiling

While doing my periodic blog scanning, I came across an interesting post over at Ogre's Politics & Views. He talks about various polls and political correctness. He points out that people don't mind forfeiting some rights to feel more secure. There have been cases made all around the issue recently. And then

49% of people disapprove of using racial or ethnic profiling in the fight
on terrorism.Sad. That's truly sad. Look, when ALL the terrorists fit an exact
profile, why won't we actually look for them?!? It's absolutely assanine NOT to
use profiling. If you local police chief took this view on crime-fighting, when
a woman reported that she'd been raped by a 6'6" Asian male, they'd have to
arrest and question 75-year old ladies and 6-year old kids!

Ol' BC hasn't determined how long it is going to take before the U.S. adopts Israel's plan of checking those who look like terrorists or those who act like terrorists. Someday, however, the time will probably come. At some point our liberties and rights are going to be so infringed upon that the majority of folks are going to say, "Time out! Let's move back towards reasonable."

I don't think Ogre missed this one altogether.

Just a thought.


Friday, July 29, 2005

Imagine This In The U.S.

Let's say you owned a fancy art museum or even just ran one for a high profile foundation. Now, let's just suppose for an instant that you granted free admission to anyone who came naked. How would that go over in the United States? Like a fart in a crowd? That's what happened at the prestigious Leopold Museum in Vienna. (Just click to read the whole article.

"We find a naked body every bit as beautiful as a clothed one," said
Elisabeth Leopold, who founded the museum with her husband, Rudolf. "If they
came only out of lust, we have to accept that. We stand for the truth."

I don't know about Vienna, but here in the U.S. there would be a ton of people there out of lust. Maybe we're a little short on sophistication.

Just a thought.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Leahy Still a Nutty Old Man

Wouldn't one think a senator may want to try to appear that he's going to approach the Judiciary Committee hearings on John Roberts with some degree of objectivity? Not Vermont's Patrick Leahy. He's already talking about voting against Roberts and the first question hasn't even been asked. Read the story here.

I know some lefties are nervous. I know some righties are nervous (see Ann Coulter). But let's let the guy answer the questions. He may have good answers. He may fool us all. Wouldn't be the first time.

Just a thought.

Monday, July 25, 2005

On Senate Consent

Ol' BC read an interesting statistic recently. Of the roughly 150 U.S. Supreme Court justices, only about 25 to 30 (I don't remember the exact number) have deemed it necessary to address the Senate. This seems like a much more cost efficient process compared to the recent bombardment of nominees by the Judiciary Committee. For years it was considered bad manners for a nominee to feel compelled to plead his case to the Senate. Somehow, that has all changed as Senators now seem to want all the TV time they can muster. It appears to me that framers had a pretty good process defined and over the years it has been obliterated. Andrea Neal noted in one of her columns

Alexander Hamilton would be appalled. Special-interest hysteria is exactly
what he and the framers hoped to avoid when they decided that the president
would nominate Supreme Court justices and the U.S. Senate would approve or
reject them.

Just an observation.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Donks Buy Votes in Philly - Where's the Outrage?

If the GOP ran this caper, it would be on the front page of every MSM paper. A article describes free cheese to those who vote for the Democrat candidates.

In type, they say "Free Cheese." The flyers list two candidates, both
Democrats, running in an area dominated by the 300-plus-unit Hill Creek housing
project. "This guy comes to the polls, votes, and asks us for his free cheese,"
says Eileen Kleindienst, a Republican judge of elections. Geraldine Hacker, the
Republican official who sent Kleindienst's complaint to the DA, thought the food
might be from a government nutrition program.

These things went on for years and years ranging from cash to half pints. But government cheese. What better way to buy votes? No expense to the party or the candidates. I wonder if this will make any network news programs.

Just a thought.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Observing Parallels

There are those who claim that by observing history one might get a clue as to what's in store in the future. Jonah Goldberg's article may give us a good view of what's around the corner.

the now largely forgotten speech by the British scholar and — briefly —
politician Enoch Powell, who, in 1968, recited the verse to suggest that Britain
was heading down a path that could only lead to social division and
multicultural chaos. Powell lamented the usual rogue's gallery of villains:
runaway immigration, secularism, feminism, et al. His worry was that the new
barbarians were tearing apart the institutions, values and norms that tend to
hold a nation together.

Sound familiar? We hear many of the same warnings here in the U.S. We are presently confronted with many of the same issues that faced the British thirty-five or forty years ago.

Now the future is here. Islamism is filling the yawning vacuum created by
multiculturalism. England is producing homegrown suicide bombers who are
supremely confident in a very non-British future for Britain. For years, the
police here have looked the other way as citizens have slaughtered their wives
and daughters in "honor killings." To clamp down would be "insensitive" to
cultural differences. They've looked the other way, as jihadi ideologues have
turned London into the Comintern of Muslim extremism. In other words, they
opened their minds so wide, their brains fell out. And now the Thames, like the
Tiber, is foaming with much blood.

Will we learn anything from the Brits? Is it already too late and the cow out of the barn? Or is there still time to restore the fabric of the United States?

Just a thought.

Mixed Reviews on John Roberts

Ann Coulter is one of Ol' BC's favorite reads, but she isn't real happy these days. She has her opinion on Dubya's nomination to the Supreme Court (as she does on most things).

So all we know about him for sure is that he can't dance and he probably doesn't
know who Jay-Z is. Other than that, he is a blank slate. Tabula rasa. Big zippo.
Nada. Oh, yeah ... We also know he's argued cases before the Supreme Court. Big
deal; so has Larry Flynt's attorney. But unfortunately, other than that that, we
don't know much about John Roberts. Stealth nominees have never turned out to be
a pleasant surprise for conservatives. Never. Not ever.

Well, for the most part that is true. However, I'm not sure that Roberts is that unknown. Larry Kudlow doesn't seem to be to disappointed with the selection.

This is a far cry from the Supreme Court of the past 70 years. As Mark Levin
writes in his bestselling book Men in Black, the Court has so expanded the
commerce clause that it has helped create a huge regulatory state where activist
judges have seized private property, taken over school systems and prisons,
interceded in private-sector hiring and firing practices, ordered farm quotas
and property-tax increases, and expelled God, prayer, and the Ten Commandments
from the public square. Levin calls this “socialism from the bench.” However,
rather than the regulatory state, Roberts is likely to choose private property
and the economic-freedom right of individuals.

If Roberts can influence the court to bring back some level of sanity to Commerce Clause interpretation, his appointment to the Court will be a smashing success. Roe v Wade - not that big a deal. It was a poor decision and may be overturned some day. The abortion issue will then revert to the individual states where the constitution says the authority belongs in the first place.

Kudlow also states:

Let it also be said that President Bush was true to his word. He nominated a
conservative based solely on the judicial merits, a church-going Catholic father
of two children who is a truly distinguished lawyer and jurist.
As a result,
Judge Roberts could be the first modern economic conservative to ascend to the
Court. Roberts of course knows full well that judicial change occurs slowly at
the margin. But as someone who seems to believe in the importance of market
forces that allow the entrepreneurial creative juices to flow, he is likely to
make a huge difference.

Let us hope, one and all, that Kudlow is correct in his assessment. If Ms. Coulter is correct, as she so often is, we're all in deep sh*t.

Just an observation.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

It's YTedK Day...

...but why not yesterday? It was on July 18, 1969 that Teddy drove off a paved road onto a dirt path and off a narrow wooden bridge into ten feet of water at Poucha Pond. Yet we remember the incident on July 19th. Why? It is because it was ten hours later, on July 19th, before Mr. Kennedy reported the "accident" to police. During this time, Mary Jo Kopechne suffocated.

For the record, Ol' BC has visited the Chappaquiddick site. There is no way Teddy boy took a wrong turn without realizing what had happened no matter how drunk he may have been. He turned off a nice paved road onto a dirt path. Within ten feet he would have realized the error if in fact it was an error.

The penalty? Teddy received a two months suspended sentence and lost his drivers license for one year for leaving the scene of an accident.

Mary Jo Kopechne was unable to testify.

Strangely enough, Senator Kennedy in one of his mighty orations asked in 1973, "Do we operate under a system of equal justice under law? Or is there one system for the average citizen and another for the high and mighty?"

Did he really need to ask that?

Just a thought.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

June Budget Surplus

This AP article reports that the budget surplus for the month of June is the best in three years. This is attributed to the fact that revenues to the government are increasing faster than earlier anticipated.

The government recorded the largest June budget surplus in three years,
reflecting a continued surge in government tax collections, the Treasury
Department reported Wednesday.

This should come as no surprise, as tax cuts do lead to increased revenues and almost always have. What also should not surprise anyone is the Dubya has spent money like there's no tomorrow. Ol' BC sees another tax cut for us working folks as a great idea as well as reeling in the spending. I could go on and on about sending money to African dictators in the form of aid which never seems to reach the people, but most of us are already aware of that. They do build some nice palaces though. Where has the G8 been hiding? Can't they see it too?

Just a thought.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

All I Can Say Is....WOW!

One of Ol' BC's favorite personalities jumped right into the fast track. It has been reported that Doyle Brunson, professional poker player supreme has made or is contemplating making a bid to purchase WPT Enterprises Inc which owns the wildly popular television series The World Poker Tour. Poker on television has grown by leaps and bounds recently and Texas Dolly must think it is going to continue to do so as his offer is double the company's market cap.

Read the Reuters report here.

Seven hundred million dollars is a ton of money and I hope Doyle has the business savy to make this a success if it comes to fruition. I especially hope he lives long enough to see it blossom as he's in his early seventies now. One thing for sure - making the bet isn't out of character for Doyle Brunson.

Just a thought.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Iraq & Terrorism Linked Again

Ol' BC recognizes that the Bush bashers continue to try to separate the Iraq situation and the battle against terror in the world. However, the Iraqi government's chief spokesman reiterated the connection in this AP article.

Speaking about Thursday's blasts in London that killed more than 50 people,
Laith Kubba said "we don't know exactly who carried out these acts but it is
clear that these networks used to be in Afghanistan and now they work in Iraq."

"We don't know exactly who enters Iraq then leaves to carry out attacks with explosives around the world," he told The Associated Press.

It will be interesting to see if this gets any network news play. There's a good chance that Admiral Ted Kennedy of the SS Oldsmobile will reconfirm for all of us shortly that there is no connection between Iraq and the war on terror.

It really doesn't matter if one supports the Iraq effort or not. It has long been known by those in Iraq that the nutso Islamic extremists have worked out of that country in varying degrees for years and years.

Just an observation.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Oops! (If This Is True)

Wizbang posted that it is reported one of the homocide bombers in London was recently released from Guantanamo Bay. He notes that it is awfully early to make that determination, but if this turns out to be true....

You could get a headache trying to follow the spin.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Will The Democrats Please Define "Activist"?

With all the rhetoric around the nominee to replace Sandra Day O'Connor, the term "activist" is being thrown around quite freely. In most cases it has been by the Democrats who don't want the president to nominate an activist. In articles like this we get

Nelson told Card that Bush's "No. 1 goal should be getting a good jurist
who won't be an activist judge" and that they would talk more once the president
makes it back to Washington, said David DiMartino, the senator's spokesman.

When I think of activists, I think of those working toward political or other type of goals. From the nominees I've seen Dubya propose to date, I can't think of an "activist" off the top of my head. Most appear to be pretty good justices who seem to try to intrepret the case before them within constitutional parameters. To Ol' BC, continous expansion of the Commerce Clause might constitute activism as would trying to smother the first amendment or the entire bill of rights.
I seriously doubt that we will see an "activist" proposed.

Just a thought, but how the MSM reports may be worth watching.

The Choice Belongs To Bush

Believe it or not, the one with the responsibility to submit a name to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is the president. Andrea Neal has a column addressing this very issue. It reminds us of the "advise and consent" duty of the Senate as well as some historical and constitutional documentation.

Alexander Hamilton would be appalled. Special-interest hysteria is exactly
what he and the framers hoped to avoid when they decided that the president
would nominate Supreme Court justices and the U.S. Senate would approve or
reject them.

Not only that,

The third and superior option, Hamilton said, was to give the president the
power to nominate candidates and let the Senate say aye or nay. "One man of
discernment is better fitted to analyze and estimate the peculiar qualities
adapted to particular offices, than a body of men of equal or perhaps even of
superior discernment," Hamilton explained.

You can see how insightful the Federalist No. 76 was. Now is when Dubya needs to make his selection and quit fretting over the liberal and conservative groups who are going to find fault with his nominee. As Ms. Neal says in her column

Bush needs to isolate himself from all political advisers who care more about
satisfying constituencies in a chess game than fulfilling a solemn duty. He
should cancel his July 11 consultation with a bipartisan group of senators. When
the Constitution's Article 2 refers to "advice and consent," it did not mean
that the president should pick a "compromise" nominee. Bush should base his
choice on one question only: Who is the wisest person for the job?

That ladies and gents, says it as clearly as Ol' BC has seen to date.

Just an observation.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

PBS Follow Up

A week or so ago, I posted a short piece about the new PBS president. Now, after the government had decided to reduce funding for Public Broadcasting, they've decided to back up and reinstate the money. Jonah Goldberg has an interesting column on PBS.

The liberal-conservative thing, however, is a sideshow. Public television
was created to help poor people, educate young people, and to promote diversity
on TV. Today, the average PBS viewer is in his late 50s. Somewhere around
two-thirds of the poor have cable or satellite TV. Even more have DVD or VCR
players. When PBS was created in 1967, it increased the number of television
stations by 25 percent. Today PBS stations constitute a rounding error among the
choices available to most consumers.
More relevant, with the obvious
exception of “Sesame Street,” the target audience for PBS isn’t remotely the
poor. It’s the well-to-do. Yes, some poor folks enjoy symphonies and entire
shows dedicated to shiitake mushrooms and fennel. I have no doubt that there’s
some lunch bucket Joe who races home after clearing roadkill all day just to
catch “Washington Week in Review.” But, come on, who’re we kidding?
that’s the great irony of the restored PBS budget cuts. Because budget rules
said the money had to come from somewhere, Congress raided social programs for
the poor to give Big Bird back his $100 million.

Jonah has some interesting stuff. It appears to Ol' BC the PBS market may have shifted somewhat. That may account in some way for the new president that so upsets the liberals.

Just a thought.

"Filibuster Back in Play." Shouldn't We Wait For a Nominee?

"Senate Gears Up For Showdown" "Filibuster, Nuclear Option are back in political play"
"..Urges Consensus Choice" These are some of the headlines Ol' BC has seen already following Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's announced retirement from the Supreme Court.

This prompts some thinking as well. Are the Democrats determined to "just say no" to anything Bush proposes or anyone he nominates? That certainly has seemed to be the case to date. At least the Dems could wait until the nominee is announced before beginning their headspinning rhetoroic. Normal folks may start to catch on.

Just a thought.