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.

 

Godspeed

fb_img_1481301422079When it comes to aerospace, Ohio has enjoyed an embarrassment of riches. There is very little I can say that you don’t already know about the Wright Brothers, Neil Armstrong, and John Glenn; there’s even less I could say that would do justice to their exploits.

Since he lived here in Columbus, Mr. Glenn’s legacy is perhaps being celebrated more than anywhere else. While there was very little I agreed with in his political career (other than his epic takedown of the vile Howard Metzenbaum), his achievements as a Marine aviator and Astronaut were remarkable. It’s easy to forget exactly how dangerous the test pilot business was in those days. And to be the first American to fly a repurposed ballistic missile into orbit (which tended to be rather explodey back then)? Yeah, the man had sack. Or as the great Tom Wolfe puts it, the indefinable quality that top-of-the-pyramid aviators dare not invoke:

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.

New From Blue

Just breaking via Twitter:

I must admit to a little bit of hero-worship for this guy: he made his fortune by giving people what they want via Amazon, and is using that fortune to build what he really wants. Not to mention that Kindle Direct almost single-handedly enabled my burgeoning writing career (as did Elon Musk to a barely lesser degree, who initially financed SpaceX with the money he made from selling PayPal). To have these two in competition is going to do more for our expansion into the solar system than anything since Apollo (which sadly didn’t do much in the long term). And I do kind of prefer Blue’s “open ended” approach to SpaceX’s “Occupy Mars” guiding philosophy – that is, we’ll build the vehicles. Someone else can buy them and send them wherever they want.

Ignoring Popular Science’s childish penis-envy headline, Mr. Bezos is engaging in a bit of a blocking play: SpaceX has been touting the Big Reveal of their Mars vehicle architecture later this month. That’s twice now where Bezos has stolen his thunder, so it’ll be telling to see Musk’s response as he wasn’t especially gracious about New Shepard’s first landing.

Much more at Ars Technica and The Verge, but I’ll note this from the Ars piece:

And this may just be the beginning. When Ars visited with Bezos earlier this year, the Amazon.com founder said, “Our first orbital vehicle will not be our last, and it will be the smallest orbital vehicle we will ever build.” Indeed, in his e-mail sent Monday, Bezos teased just this, writing “New Glenn is a very important step. It won’t be the last of course. Up next on our drawing board: New Armstrong. But that’s a story for the future.”

Obligatory Horn-Tooting

The online magazine Science Fiction & Fantasy World ran a nice little interview with yours truly, which I almost missed thanks to the holiday weekend. Makes me feel like a real author. Probably need to change my photo to something more erudite and writer-ly, like maybe a smoking jacket in a leather armchair in front of a wall of books that I’ve never read. Something like this guy…

You can leave anytime, just buy my books! Here, have some champagne.