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The Twisted Genius
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Fred, the space industry never had an influx of foreign talent beyond the limited H1-B visas and the likes of Elon Musk. It's faced ITAR restrictions since 1976. The current problems of NASA are American grown and raised.
Lars, I see that in all the retrospectives about the Moon shot being shown lately. There's an inner drive and sense of honor in those early pioneers that is quite uncommon today. They lived with a great fear of having to live with the shame of letting down the team if they didn't give their best to the mission and job at hand. Although not one of the earliest pioneers, John Muratore put this attitude to words when he wrote his NASA Pirates Code. - Pirates have to know what they’re doing. - If we fail, there is no mercy. - You’re operating outside the normal support structure of society. It’s all about knowing all the details. - You hit hard and fast. Pirates don’t spend months wandering around. - Pirates live on the edge or just in front of the wave that is about to catch them. - Piracy is about taking risks. Occasionally we’re going to fail and you’ll get some holes blown in you. - Pirates don’t have resources to waste. You’re always operating on a thin margin, not in fat city. - We’re all banded together. Definitely words to live by. I understand Muratore is now part of SpaceX.
dilbert, if you haven't already read "The Starship and the Canoe" by Kenneth Brower, you should. It's about Freeman Dyson's Project Orion and his son's experiences in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest including his huge aluminum framed kayaks for sail and paddle.
Larry, your intel about the JCS not advising caution is most disheartening. I wouldn't be surprised if the warmongers surrounding Trump are also telling him that his rally attending base is all for taking it to the raghead terrorists. That may not be far off. Sure those who support Trump for his professed aversion to adventurism will be appalled at war with Iran, but his more rabid base may follow him anywhere. Trump has no ideological need for war, but he does have a psychological need for adoration. That's not a good situation.
Larger and more maneuverable solar sails will be a boon to interplanetary and interstellar travel. A solar propelled Voyager with autonomous control could be at the vanguard of our space exploration in the future. On the manned exploration front, I watched a PBS show this week entitled "8 Days: To the Moon and Back" and found it to be almost as exciting as the original landing. This documentary used NASA recorder conversations among the astronauts coupled with actual footage, CGI and reenacted scenes to create a feeling of being side by side with them during their voyage. I heartedly recommend it. I braved the heat last night to sit outside and gaze at the Moon just as I did 50 years ago. Rather than sitting in front of a TV, I went stealth camping with 2 friends to a pine covered hilltop above a posted reservoir. We listed to Walter Cronkite narrate the landing as we laid on the deep pine needles and stared at the Moon. It was a far better experience than sitting in front of the TV.
The Sunjammer By Arthur C. Clarke | Illustrations by Robert McCall “T minus two minutes,” said the cabin radio. “Please confirm your readiness.” One by one, the other skippers answered. Merton recognized all the voices—some tense, some calm—for they were... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Colonel Lang, to the absolute best of my knowledge, Father O'Dea never broke his vow of chastity. He acknowledged he had normal male desires which he kept fully controlled through his faith and self-discipline. Without those desires, a vow of chastity has no real meaning. I make no excuses for those who lack that faith and self-discipline.
Eric, government safety and fuel efficiency regulations have something to do with that but that's clearly not the only reason. These companies are improving engineering, designing and manufacturing all the time. Getting the reputation of producing nothing but cheap crap is not good for the bottom line. However, this isn't always for the best. VW made a decision about a decade ago to "cheap out" on its cars in the US market. The difference was noticeable, but it was a marketing success. Most US buyers preferred the cheaper price over better features and materials.
I was lucky to Father James F. O'Dea as the pastor of our Church for as long as I lived there. He grew up in nearby Waterbury and was a Navy chaplain in the Pacific during the war. He was of that rare breed of men of high honor, morals, courage and compassion. We had an abnormally high concentration of that breed in my hometown. Father O'Dea told us the story of how some young seminarians asked him how they could stifle normal sexual urges. Father O'Dea told them he had no idea and that he would love to know if they ever found out how to do so. I didn't become jaded until I saw what caliber of men infest most of the world. Oh well. FIDO.
For over six years I felt I had a calling to become a Maryknoll missionary priest. I even went to a future priest summer camp at Stockbridge, MA run by the Marionists. Then the hormones kicked in. I became a Special Forces officer instead.
It goes far beyond the schools. It's the overarching Western business philosophy. I had to take one business course for ROTC. The central message from day one was that the business of business is to make money. A lot of us found this sleazy and disconcerting, but we never harbored dreams of being massively rich. This is in line with what semiconscious said below about Boeing maximizing dividends and share buybacks. They may talk about building fantastic aircraft, but that's just talk. They'll build the cheapest product they can in order to maximize profits. It wasn't always this way. The idea of offering a quality product for a fair price was once far more than a marketing slogan. It was a time when craftsmen, manufacturers and service providers stood behind their work as a matter of honor and pride. It is a philosophy of "being a man for others" for the business world.
My younger son has FIOS internet only which is cheaper than copper phone service with all the extra fees. He streams all the TV he wants directly from the internet to his TV or his tablet while sitting on the couch. No Roku or anything like that. He paid for HBO during the Game of Thrones season then dropped it. I'm not sure what streaming service he's paying for now (Hulu, SlingTV, YoutubeTV?), but he has more content than I can ever watch. I think he's tried all the streaming services once he dropped the FIOS TV and phone service. He also gets a lot of free content such as pirated Caps hockey games through some guy in Russia during the season. It's high quality with only a few seconds delay.
Ogling NFL cheerleaders, big deal. That seemed pretty normal to me. I'm waiting for more to come out about the 1992 private party at Mar a Lago with Trump, Epstein and 28 calendar girls. I get the feeling Trump is going tweet crazy right now primarily to change the subject. With Trump, Clinton, the DOJ enablers who protected Epstein and probably a host of others, Epstein is bound to be whacked as you and walrus said.
The internet is already killing cable and their subscription packages. You can now pick and choose channels and subscribe for a month or so. There's also a lot of free content. My sons have ditched cable TV and FIOS TV for what's available over the internet. I have neither. I still rely on two antennas in the attic for free local broadcast. Even though I live in a hollow at the very edge of signal reception, free digital broadcast offers us everything we want.
Fred, then what was the Washington Examiner's outrage over this unexpected disclosure? Clearly they did not read the thing. AOC should have written the thing as a tweet. Seems most Americans can't maintain concentration beyond 280 characters... SQUIRREL!
Andrei, one thing that impressed me about the Soviet Union was their treatment of traditional indigenous cultures of northern Siberia. These usually nomadic people, organized as bands and tribes, were probably the closest thing to communist society that ever existed under the CPSU. These circumpolar peoples were allowed to continue their political and economic structures while being more or less integrated into the Soviet Union. Whether this was a case of benign neglect or a conscious acknowledgement that these people were close to the ideal of communist society, I don't know. As an anthropologist, I see these band and tribal societies as close to a pure form of socialist society, predating capitalism and big C Communism by thousands of years.
Toggle Commented 7 days ago on Socialism and its roots at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Fred, officers and enlisted are seen and treated by the same medics, PAs and doctors. I never got a better bed in a hospital ward because I was an officer. In the field, medical care is treated in the same way as chow. The enlisted get fed and treated before the officers.
I know I'm late to the fray, but there is a lot of good discussion here. The new found shock about what the Green New Deal entails is amusing. The whole resolution is just a little over two thousand words even with all the "whereas" and "therefore" language. It's written quite plainly with no hidden meanings. Chakrabarti had this to say about the recent outrage. "They finally got us! The #GreenNewDeal is a plan to solve climate change AND reverse wealth inequality by proactively building the new energy economy in America. That means building solar panels, bullet trains, electric cars, batteries, new smart grids, and so much more. If only we had talked about it right there on the first page of the Green New Deal resolution..." I see it as no more a command economy that our current picking of economic winners and losers through regulations, subsidies and mandates. I feel the call for "guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage" and "providing all people of the United States with economic security" is a reach, but that's been in the GND from the beginning. I agree with Walrus that equating communism with socialism is not helpful. Communism relies on a vanguard party to rule without interference from other factions. The CPSU, the CCP, the nazi party, Pol Pot and other totalitarians have more in common with our push for a unitary executive. They use socialist rhetoric and even democratic rhetoric to convince the people of their legitimacy to rule just as those pushing for a unitary executive claim they alone speak for the American people. The commies are bad people, not because they're socialists, but because they are totalitarians.
In regards to the ruling referred to in AMERICA-HYSTERIA II, Sputnik interpreted the judge’s ruling all wrong. Concord asked the judge to hold DOJ/Mueller in contempt because the Mueller report emphatically stated that Concord/IRA conducted operations targeting the 2016 election at the direction of the Russian government. This is far more than what is alleged in the IRA indictment. As you correctly noted, the indictment “does not link the defendants to the Russian government.” Concord claims and the judge agreed that the conclusions included in the Mueller report and other government statements linked the defendants with the Russian government thus providing an “opinion about the defendants’ guilt and the evidence against them.” This violates a pretrial rule. However, the judge did not find the prosecution in contempt and denied Concord’s motion. As to the IRA activity being a mere click bait campaign, I offered the following as a response to Larry’s posting you also pointed to. “Recently read a Symantec study of the IRA's twitter campaign based on the full data set of IRA produced tweets leading up to the 2016 election (3,836 Twitter accounts and nearly 10 million tweets). The campaign used 3,836 total fake accounts with 123 main accounts pushing out new content supported by 3,713 auxiliary accounts amplifying messages by retweeting content from the main accounts. This included the influential and infamous TEN_GOP which eventually had 150,000 followers and 6 million retweets, almost all from real twitter users rather than IRA auxiliary accounts. The full report is at: How much did this cost? Probably not a damned thing outside of employee costs. This was just the twitter part of the IRA campaign. They were also active on Facebook and Instagram. Comparing the cost of social media ad campaigns does nothing to understand the Russian campaign. However, is a good place to understand how social media was used in the 2016 election cycle and in other areas as well. Jonathan Albright has been a prolific researcher in this field and has published prolifically in Medium.” Another researcher collected a large collection of twitter and other social media postings of the actual IRA produced material including the notorious @ten_GOP account. Click bait, my ass.
Russia will also contribute the Northern Sea Route to China's OBOR. I just saw an article today about Tonga joining OBOR much to the chagrin of Australia. China has been gaining influence in Tonga for quite a while similar to her efforts in Africa. OBOR is definitely going to reshape international commerce once it comes to fruition.
Your and my DHS went through two major reorganizations while I was there, the Reinvigoration and the Transformation. Both times the HQ and staff elements grew with no growth in the field. I always figured the next reorganization would be called the Transmogrification. DHS was referred to as Defense HUMINT after the standup of Homeland Security. It then became DCHC (Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center for a while until it became the DCS (Defense Clandestine Service) after I retired. Lord knows what's going on now.
Toggle Commented Jul 11, 2019 on AOC has a point about DHS at Sic Semper Tyrannis
I agree DHS and the Patriot Act are terrible mistakes for the all Americans. In addition to grabbing our acronym (Defense HUMINT Service) the idea of Homeland Security sounded way too Orwellian, like defense of the motherland. The worse part was the Patriot Act and it's authorization of massive surveillance of the American people. The only good thing that came out of this was greater info sharing among the IC and between the IC and other agencies. That would have happened anyways, maybe with a modification of an Executive Order to cement the change. Although DHS was a horrible creation, other agencies metastasized in similar ways. DIA grew several layers of bureaucracy since 9/11 including the JFCC-ISR (Joint Functional Component Command - Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance). I still don't know what that thing does.
Toggle Commented Jul 11, 2019 on AOC has a point about DHS at Sic Semper Tyrannis
MP98, I don't think the CG belongs permanently in the Navy Dept. It's primarily a law enforcement organization. It was fine under the Treasury operating in US territory and US waters. As in the past, it falls under the Navy Dept in time of war or other overseas conflict.
Toggle Commented Jul 11, 2019 on AOC has a point about DHS at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Epstein was originally funded by Deutsche Bank. I have no idea how much it was and if it was just a one time deal. DB definitely has a shady side. When I was retiring, a couple of friends and I were negotiating for a cybersecurity contract with them. My primary contribution was to assess the people we were dealing with. I told my buddies we should run. I got the feeling we could be left holding the bag if anything went sideways. We never regretted my assessment and recommendation.
I think AG Barr will be looking for ways to quash the Epstein affair. That’s why he refused to recuse. Trump has more exposure to this than you think. Trump was already accused of sexual assault of a young girl in the company of Epstein a while back. The girl dropped her complaint out of fear. Perhaps we’ll hear from her again now the SDNY is on the case or her photo is contained in the files seized from Epstein’s mansion. Trump was also seen frequenting Epstein’s NY house by witnesses. I doubt it was for poetry readings. In addition to infamously singing Epstein’s praises back in 2002, Trump also admitted during an on air interview with Howard Stern that he was a sexual predator. I am surprised Trump didn’t throw Acosta under the bus already. To the contrary, he’s standing by him and claiming Acosta’s a great guy. At least he’s now claiming he’s no longer a fan of Epstein. I’m sure he prudently dropped Epstein like a hot potato once he was first indicted. I’m waiting for Trump to deny ever meeting him or claiming he was just a coffee boy any day now. On another front, Trump’s allies are not happy with the DOJIG interview with Steele. After 16 hours of questioning, the IG investigators found Steele’s testimony credible and even surprising. The IG probed Steele’s extensive work on Russian interference efforts outside his dossier, his intelligence-collection methods and his findings about Carter Page and came away believing him.