Wednesday, September 29, 2004

SpaceShipOne Up, One to Go

NASA TV, link via Spaceflight Now

Test Pilot Mike Melvill flew Scaled Composite's SpaceShipOne to a qualifying altitude for the Ansari X-Prize and returned safely to Earth. (Links to article and New Scientist article) A repeat performance required to win the prize is tentatively scheduled for Monday. A firm date may be announced tomorrow after further analysis of the unplanned roll during the craft's engine burn.
Pre-Election Bash
Went to a fun event in DC tonight to benefit a timely and critical cause, the Susan B. Anthony List, which is working to elect more prolife members of the House and Senate.

Monday, September 27, 2004

The Revolution Gains Momentum
Scaled Composite's SpaceShipOne is set for it's Wednesday first qualifying flight for the Ansari X-Prize, while the Canadian da Vinci Project has delayed its launch attempt.

Meanwhile, Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic has struck a deal to use SpaceShipOne technology to begin commercial suborbital flights in 2007. Not to be outdone, Bigelow Aerospace, developer of inflatable space habitats, is offering a $50 million prize for a transportation system to serve its orbital assets.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Yet another hurricane...
...approaches Florida. This time it's Hurricane Jeanne.

Florida Supreme Court rules against Terri's Law
The Florida Supreme Court ruled that the law violated the Florida Constitution's separation of powers. While the basis for the ruling may be technically correct, the pronouncement leaves Terri Schindler-Schiavo vulnerable to an unjust and cruel death. We need to pray as Governor Bush and Terri's family and lawyers consider alternative actions available.
More on the Blogosphere and the Old Media
Jonathan Last has published a timeline of the role of bloggers and other web sites in uncovering the CBS fiasco at The Weekly Standard.

Meanwhile, Frederick Turner ponders the larger meaning of these developments at Tech Central Station.
For as the story developed, something remarkable began to happen. The new community became aware of itself as a community -- the group mind, so to speak, had awakened, yawned, and seen itself in the mirror. As the various blogs, comment threads, and link systems cohered and came together, they started to recognize, exult in, and reflect upon their own power and speed, and a new tone entered the discussion. The power that the blogosphere recognized in itself was a veridical power, the power to discover the truth. Although much of the discourse was still in the jeering partisan spirit of the last weeks of an American general election, where the scoring of rhetorical points easily trumps the boring presentation of fact and logic, a new spirit of responsibility had emerged.

Monday, September 20, 2004

CBS 'fesses up.
Dan Rather and CBS News have admitted that they can no longer vouch for the documents alleging deficiencies in President Bush's National Guard service in the early 1970's. Of course, the other shoe has yet to drop. Who was the ultimate source of the forged documents and who all were involved in their dissemination?

Having a day job and slow typing fingers, I am what would probably be called a 'casual blogger'. I haven't been a part of the groundbreaking investigation of the CBS fiasco, but I'm proud of the large and growing community called the 'Blogosphere', itself a part of the New Media(or Alt Media) which played such a crucial role in this whole affair.

While this whole affair has brought unprecedented attention to the Alt Media, it's not the first time the non-traditional media have influenced the outcome of public events. For example, it was nearly a year ago that the Alt Media played a key role in saving the life of the disbled woman Terri Schindler-Schiavo (whose case is now being contested at the Florida Supreme Court). Rapid communication by thousands via e-mail, blogs, talk radio, etc. overcame Old Media bias and spurred Governor Jeb Bush and the Florida Legislature to take action to save Terri's life.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

A Really Nice Day
After Friday & Saturday's nasty weather caused by the remains of Ivan, today was a real nice fall-like day, which I spent at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, enjoying plentiful food, drink and entertainment. The Celtic style music performances were particularly appealing to me.

For links to Renaissance Festivals around the country, click here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Hurricane Ivan


The ferocious Hurricane Ivan is approaching the Gulf Coast tonight. Pray for all those in its path. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Jeanne is lurking in the Caribbean.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Empire strikes back, but Jedi bloggers carry on.
Dan Rather tonight presented an updated defense of the CBS story on supposed National Guard documents damaging to President Bush. Note that the story cites two new experts, Bill Glennon, described as a 'document expert', and Richard Katz, a 'software designer'. No backgrounds or affiliations are cited. I quickly Googled those names, but the results are inconclusive since they are common names and I seemed to get hits on multiple people. It will be interesting to see what more persistent researchers come up with.

Meanwhile, Roderick Boyd of the New York Sun describes how a number of bloggers examined and challenged the suspicious documents presented by CBS.

Finally, Father George Rutler has a humorous perspective on this whole spectacle.

Friday, September 10, 2004

With Remembrance and Resolve

September 11, 2001
Old Media Unraveling
The case of the apparently forged National Guard documents related to President Bush's service continues to unravel. Here is yesterday's post (with updates) on Powerline Blog, the response to the controversy by CBS and comments on the role of the New Media by Glenn Reynolds.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Hard Landing
The re-entry capsule from the Genesis probe, designed to collect solar wind samples, crashed into the Utah desert today when its parachute systems failed. While severely damaged, the capsule lodged into the desert sand pretty much in one piece. Project scientists are trying to determine if any of the solar wind samples survived for study.

Here are reports from NASA, and Spaceflight Now.

Friday, September 03, 2004



...other events in the world call for attention and prayer, including the latest terrorist atrocity in Russia, Hurricane Frances and Former President Bill Clinton's heart condition.
Grand Finale
W wrapped up the convention with a convincing, if a little lengthy, acceptance speech.

In this world of change, some things do not change: the values we try to live by, the institutions that give our lives meaning and purpose. Our society rests on a foundation of responsibility and character and family commitment.

... Because a caring society will value its weakest members, we must make a place for the unborn child. ...

Here's a little gem regarding Old Media opinion:

In 1946, 18 months after the fall of Berlin to allied forces, a journalist wrote in the New York Times, "Germany is a land in an acute stage of economic, political and moral crisis. [European] capitals are frightened. In every [military] headquarters, one meets alarmed officials doing their utmost to deal with the consequences of the occupation policy that they admit has failed." Maybe that same person's still around, writing editorials.

And on the ordeal the nation has endured:

The world saw that spirit three miles from here, when the people of this city faced peril together, and lifted a flag over the ruins, and defied the enemy with their courage. My fellow Americans, for as long as our country stands, people will look to the resurrection of New York City and they will say: Here buildings fell, and here a nation rose.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Give 'em Hell, Zell!
Georgia's retiring Democratic Senator Zell Miller is speaking now, saying that his family is more important than his party, and that W is the one he trusts to protect our country. He denounces Democratic 'manic obsession' to bring down W, unlike past history of bipartisanship in times of crisis. Praises our soldiers as liberators.

He's listing many of the U.S. armaments that John Kerry opposed. "US forces armed with what? Spitballs!" Contrasts Kerry's votes with campaign rhetoric.

John Kerry "more wrong, more weak and more wobbly" than any other leader. W committed to 'kind of forces to root out terrorists'. Now praising W's values.
"This Democrat is proud to stand with him!"

As background, here is an article on Zell's conversion from pro-abortion to prolife.

UPDATE (~10:30 PM) VP Dick Cheney is speaking to the convention now. He says he's 'glad Zell Miller is on our side'. Praising administration's record on education and the economy. "The Bush tax cuts are working."

Never lose sight of 'preserving the freedom and security of this nation'. Crowd chanting 'Four More Years'! "We're in a war we did not start, and have no choice to win." Terrorists 'did not know America, and did not know George W. Bush'. Listing positive outcomes in the world due to policy on terror. Now citing 'mighty debt to the US armed forces'.

VP says 2004 election one of most important in history. Cites differences between W & Kerry on national security. W 'will never seek a permission slip (from foreign leaders) to defend the American people'. We can count on W 'to get it right'.

Citing Kerry's changing positions spurs audience chants of 'Flip Flop!'. VP says W has 'a heart for the weak, the vulnerable and the afflicted' and 'calls evil by its name'. Signs are good for campaign 'even in Massachusetts'.

Post speech music: "Ain't No Stopping Us Now".