Army Wrong

If this inside story of the rot at West Point is accurate, the implications are truly frightening. There’s no good reason to not believe it, given the evidence:

I feel sorry for this punk’s platoon.

No institution is perfectMy alma mater certainly isn’t; many of us Old Corps alums are gravely concerned about declining standards among cadets. 

That’s the way it goes with each passing generation: them kids today got it easy! When we expect perfection, every flaw is magnified all the more. But…

Anyone who cares about the integrity of our armed forces (sadly, not enough of us) has real cause for concern. The warfighters have largely been purged to make way for a new crop of PC wussies who are now field and flag grade officers. That’s how an avowed Communist makes it through a place like West Point. 

The worst part is this guy graduated to assume the sacred duty of leading troops. Which means, as usual, it’s the enlisteds who will suffer the most.

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Dogs and Cats Living Together

Mass Hysteria!

Here’s a perfect (and perfectly awful) example of what I was talking about yesterday:

Antifa stabs man for his “Neo-Nazi” haircut.

Because his hipster ‘do looked Alt-Reich.

A handy rule of thumb: if you’re randomly assaulting people for suspected Fascism, surprise! You’re the Fascist!

I’m convinced that we’ve become so hopelessly polarized that the only thing to snap us out of it will be some kind of national cataclysm.

The problem with cataclysms is they’re, well, cataclysmic. You can’t know what form they might take and there’s no guarantee of a happy ending. And for certain groups, it’s exactly what they want.

Decline and Fall: Threats Unmasked

So I take a few months off from the blog to finish Frozen Orbit, and you guys just up and trash the place. Seriously, is everybody a Nazi now?

Apparently so, if by “Nazi” you mean “anyone who disagrees with the received leftist wisdom.” This is something we’ve always suspected, of course, but now one of their former leading lights finally burps up the truth in The UK Guardian:

“The lesson from Charlottesville is not how dangerous the neo-Nazis are. It is the unmasking of the Republican party leadership. In the wake of last weekend’s horror and tragedy, let us finally, finally rip off the veneer that Trump’s affinity for white supremacy is distinct from the Republican agenda of voter suppression, renewed mass incarceration and the expulsion of immigrants.”

Continue reading “Decline and Fall: Threats Unmasked”

SpaceXpensive

Being a privately-held company, SpaceX’s finances have been notoriously opaque. No doubt Elon Musk prefers it that way, because he can’t be too pleased with last month’s Wall Street Journal “expose” of their account books.  The story is still behind the WSJ paywall so we’ll have to take The Motley Fool‘s word for it:

In an expose compiled from “exclusive … internal documents” — probably obtained from the “former SpaceX employees” that it interviewed — theJournal confirms that SpaceX has in fact been losing money since at least the beginning of 2015. Says the Journal, not only did SpaceX rack up losses of $260 million in 2015, but it actually incurred “an operating loss every quarter, and also negative cash flow of roughly $15 million.”

For the record, this means SpaceX was losing money nearly one year before the company removed the famous “profitable and cash-flow positive” assertion from its website.

Not too surprising, considering that their launch rate was still well below target even before losing two boosters to “rapid unscheduled disassembly.”

No Kerbals were harmed during this simulation.
Not SpaceX, but you get the idea. No Kerbonauts were harmed in production of this graphic.

Continue reading “SpaceXpensive”

Wounded Animals, etc.

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Just because the Leftists are out of power doesn’t make them any less dangerous:

While most of our operatives started and stayed with one specific group, I was unable to initially penetrate the group I was responsible for infiltrating. I had to work my way up the ladder, moving from one group to another in order to achieve my objective. In my migration from group to group, I found that political ideology was a significant factor in the determination of what types of activities the groups would sponsor; ranging from sit-ins to marches to direct action. I can broadly classify these ideologies as liberal socialists, communists and anarchists.

Continue reading “Wounded Animals, etc.”

A Modest Proposal

This headline is just begging to have a list of names appended to it:

Put People on Mars by 2033 – For the Good of the Nation

I agree with the sentiment, but that’s as far as it goes. Not to take away from the achievements of the authors, but this is just pablum:

Third and most importantly, the European Space Agency, Russians, and Chinese continue to accelerate their human spaceflight programs. Americans must not cede the finish line. Our country should not wait until we receive the news that someone else has won the race to Mars for our leaders in Washington to ask, “How’s our space program doing? Why didn’t we get first place?” It will be too late. We must ask those questions now.

Nice try, but the very first sentence of that argument is hopelessly flawed. ESA has no “manned space program” other than the astronauts who’ve hitched rides with us and the Russians. The Russian program occasionally announces grandiose plans for new ventures, but the reality is they’re mired in funding and quality control problems. And at the rate the Chinese are putting up crews, the idea of them landing men on Mars in another 15 years is laughable.

There is no “race” to Mars, much as I want to see us go. Repeating the same tired pitches for Apollo 2.0 is not achieving anything, unless they’re just positioning themselves for political appointments.

As Rand Simberg often points out, it shouldn’t be NASA’s job to send humans to Mars. Their job should be making it possible for the National Geographic Society to send humans to Mars.

 

 

 

 

Waiting to Exhale

Holding my breath describes how I’ve felt for the last decade or so, for reasons both obvious and not-so. Col. Schlichter explains:

Then came 9/11 followed by 15-plus years of botched wars and economic decline, along with an unprecedented cultural offensive against normal Americans. Once the only place you heard that average Americans were racist sexist homophobic everythingist everythingphobic was on college campuses; now, with the active assistance of Obama and his collaborators, it’s everywhere – in our entertainment, in the media, in our faces.

And we’re sick of it. #ThisIsWhyYouGotTrump

We want to return to normality, and in an ironic twist of fate it was Donald Trump, the most unnormal guy imaginable, who promised it.

When I started this blog, my plan was to keep the political rants to a minimum. Quit laughing. Really. I mean it, you guys.

So yeah, that didn’t work out too well. Once you’re active in the free-speech arena, it’s well nigh impossible to ignore the almost daily train of outrages foisted upon us by our duly elected leaders.

“Leaders,” they’ve been anything but. And lest you think I’m only talking about Obama (which I mostly am), it really starts with W’s infuriating refusal to defend himself and his actions. “Staying above the fray” acting all Presidential left him to be defined by his enemies, which included the press. If you’re going to get us into protracted and questionable wars, you’d better be ready to not only take criticism but fight back. He wasn’t, and the troops he sent into harm’s way deserved at least that much. The 2008 crash just cemented the deal and paved the way for the most radically Left-wing administration in our history, at least since Wilson.

We really don’t need to recap the malevolently incompetent policies, but this line of crap he’s pushing that they’ve not had any major scandals…’scuse me, I just threw up in my mouth a bit. Excuse me there Barky, but you’ve had plenty. You’ve just never been held to account for any of them. Kevin Williamson runs it down at National Review:

Under the Obama administration’s watch, the Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies from the BATF to the NLRB were illegally used to target and harass the president’s political enemies. The IRS targeting scandal was the most high-profile of these, but others are just as worrisome. Federal investigations and congressional oversight were obstructed, and investigators were lied to outright — a serious crime.The administration protected the wrongdoers and saw to it that they retired with generous federal pensions rather than serving federal sentences for their crimes.

The Obama administration oversaw the illegal sale of arms to Mexican traffickers for purposes that to this date have not been adequately explained, and those guns have been used to murder American law-enforcement officers.

President Obama’s secretary of state was involved in a high-profile case in which she improperly set up a private e-mail system to evade ordinary governmental oversight; she and her associates routinely misled investigators, obstructed investigations, and hid or destroyed evidence. These are all serious crimes.

The Obama administration made ransom payments to the Iranian government and lied about having done so. (Me: not to mention giving them money and a clear path to build nukes. Yeah, that’s gonna end well)

Under the Obama administration, the Secret Service has been a one-agency scandal factory, from drunk agents driving their cars into White House barriers to getting mixed up with hookers in Cartagena.

Under the guise of developing “green” energy projects, the Obama administration shunted money to politically connected cronies at Solyndra and elsewhere.

Obama’s men at the Veterans Administration oversaw a system in which our servicemen lost their lives to bureaucratic incompetence and medical neglect, and then falsified records to cover it up. (Me: This one alone should’ve ended with torches and pitchforks)

Under the flimsiest of national-security pretexts, the Obama administration used the Department of Justice to spy on Fox News reporter James Rosen. It also spied on the Associated Press.

The Obama administration’s attorney general, Eric Holder, left office while being held in contempt of Congress for inhibiting the investigation of other Obama administration scandals.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443911/obamas-many-scandals-abuse-government-power-worse-sex-scandals

I admit that Obama was never going to meet my approval. That’s because I’m not a Leftist. But I’ve also avoided sensationalist news outlets and tried to balance respectable sources: National Review v. The Atlantic, Washington Post v. Wall Street Journal, etc. (I was going to include “CNN v. Fox” but gave up on all the cable outlets years ago).

How about NPR v. Mark Levin (which sounds like a lawsuit they could sell tickets to)? Try switching between those two sometime; it’ll just about leave you schizophrenic. Anyhoo…

No, this has always been much more than simple policy disagreements. Obama straight-up frightened me because I understood the kind of person he was and the beliefs he held. Much of it’s right there in his own books. I am no Trump fanboy, but after eight years of having what’s felt like an enemy sympathizer in the White House, it will be a tremendous relief to once again have a President who isn’t actively working against our interests. I expected to love half of what Trump does and hate the other half; so far that’s about how things are shaping up. But I do believe that he will remain true to our allies and not cozy up to our enemies.

To which I say: Thank God.

Moving the Political Blogging Switch to OFF position. I’ve got books to write.

 

A Republic, If You Can Keep It

5922-benjamin-franklin-quote

Of the many memorable quotes from old Ben Franklin, his observation on the type of government established by the Constitutional Convention may be the most prescient: “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Keeping our Republic is entirely up to us, because if enough of us desire tyranny (or can be fooled into voting for it), then it’s over. No amount of resistance can stop the destruction of our system once there’s a critical mass of voters behind it. There will always be people who look to exploit the ignorant among us. And right now, far too many of us have no understanding of our constitutional system and the rule of law.

The Constitution is not some nebulous idea foisted on us by a bunch of privileged white men: it is the guard rail they established to protect future generations of Americans from a government that they expected to eventually try to exceed the boundaries set for it.

Because they knew. From history and personal experience, they knew the extent to which men were corruptible and power-hungry. Our Founders understood human nature better than most, and Franklin in particular had a way of distilling complex thoughts down to their memorable essence: “Make yourself sheep and the wolves will eat you.”

Think about that. There will always be grasping people with ill intentions who’d like to take advantage of the rest of us who only desire to be left the hell alone. So they pester, cajole, snipe, intimidate, and bully until we knuckle under because we’re otherwise too busy living our lives to care enough to push back.

So don’t be a pushover. Don’t be passive. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that if you compromise just a little bit more, maybe the other side will finally accept your good intentions and leave you alone.

How’s that worked out through history?

It’s cynical, but that’s where we are now. Our choices are reduced to a fully armed and operational, out-in-the-open Democrat Socialist party versus a neutered and flaccid Whig Republican “party.” One caters to the Politically-Connected Rich while claiming to be the party of the poor and downtrodden, while the other represents the Chamber-of-Commerce Rich as it pretends to represent us knuckle-draggin’, gun-totin’, Bible-thumpin’ Real Americans.

Bitch, please.

No wonder we’ve been left with such miserable nominees. The fix was always in for Hillary, and I’m not convinced Team Donkey didn’t tip the scales for Trump either. The Wikileaks dumps pretty much confirmed that he was her preferred opponent from early on.

Well, be careful what you wish for. No matter what else happens, Trump is a disruptive force in a system that is ripe for disruption. That doesn’t mean it’ll turn out well, just that it’s going to happen. If he loses, the disruption will be confined to the GOP (which richly deserves it and will hopefully emerge stronger – again, no guarantees).

But if he wins…

Look: much as I would’ve preferred someone else, Trump’s our guy. He’s a loudmouth, thin-skinned ignoramus who will probably do something stupid and/or impeachable within his first year in office.

But so will Hillary, if she hasn’t already (which she has). Assuming the GOP retains Congress, they’re far more likely to go after Trump than Clinton. It’s always easier to pick a fight with your own side when you know the other side would happily burn down Capitol Hill while their buddies in the press pin the blame on you. And once again, enough of the public will buy it to make a difference.

Maybe. It feels like something is changing, like enough of us are finally learning how thoroughly corrupt the system is.

For one, the press has moved from transparent bias to outright collusion. They feed debate questions ahead of time to their favored candidates, while soliciting hostile questions to use against the designated opponent.

Is there a qualitative difference between private and public corruption? I think so. Trump has no doubt cut many corners, screwed over many people, and cooked many books in his day (I’m frankly surprised that the Clinton Crime Family hasn’t dumped more than they have. Maybe he’s cleaner than any of us thought). Meanwhile, the FBI Director lays out a bulletproof case for multiple indictments of Queen Hillary but in the end pulls his punches because “she didn’t mean it” or some such twaddle. No matter that intent isn’t required when we’re talking about violating the Espionage Act. I’m no lawyer, but I can read.

Which all brings us to the Unforgivable Sin: the loss of our rule of law. Our society can withstand a lot, but when it becomes clear that the law only applies to certain people then things sour quickly. This why I went from Never to If I Must to Enthusiastically Trump: when one side gets a pass on the worst kinds of corruption and abuses of power while the other side is continually harassed by “neutral” government entities, what are we to think? What are we to do when the whole system feels like it’s hanging by a thread?

For starters, we vote against the corrupt. We’ll figure out the rest later.

In the meantime, don’t feed the wolves.

SpaceX: Going Big or Going Home

If you’re a space nerd, I don’t have to tell you how big a deal today is. SpaceX just dropped this concept video for a taste of what they’re up to before the main event:

Yeah, it’s big. It’ll be interesting to hear how they plan to put all those windows up in the pointy end. Watch here to find out:

Not to be outdone, Blue Origin’s been rather busy too:

New Glenn wind tunnel model. Credit: Blue Origin
New Glenn wind tunnel model. Credit: Blue Origin

Welcome to the future, y’all.