Thursday, June 30, 2005

Go for Launch!

NASA has announced that the Return to Flight of the Space Shuttle is scheduled for July 13.

Friday, June 24, 2005

War of Words

T. Bevan at Real Clear Politics hits a bulls-eye on the Dems' hyperbolic reaction to Karl Rove's comments about liberal reaction to September 11.
I'll grant that Rove's parting shot about the "motives of liberals" was over the top. Still, for about five years now liberals (by which I mean most Democrats) have been running around the country with a big, broad brush calling conservatives (by which they mean most Republicans) evil, extremists, crooks, liars, thieves, theocrats, bigots, homophobes, racists, sexists, etc. and impugning their motives in any number of other ways on virtually a daily basis. Karl Rove calls liberals a bunch of sissies a single time and Democrats and the media have a collective seizure of apoplexy.
Supreme Court Ruling and Property Rights

Yesterday's Kelo v. New London decision (PDF) may be a major turning point in American legal history, while the reaction to it may become an equally significant turn in American politics. The Washington Post editorial describes it as a legally correct decision with a bad result, while George Will writes that this is one case where a little judicial activism would have been more than appropriate.
Those on the receiving end of the life-shattering power that the court has validated will almost always be individuals of modest means. So this liberal decision -- it augments government power to aggrandize itself by bulldozing individuals' interests -- favors muscular economic battalions at the expense of society's little platoons, such as homeowners and the neighborhoods they comprise.

Meanwhile, the Volokh Conspiracy comments and hosts a lengthy discussion on Kelo in the Blogosphere.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Space Voyages

The Planetary Society's Cosmos 1 solar sail experiment was launched today from a Russian submarine, but the experimental spacecraft's status is unclear due to lack of telemetry so far. For continuing updates, please go to the project's blog.

Today's launch occurred one year after SpaceShipOne's first flight into space, potentially heralding a new age of civilian spaceflight.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

A Grim Report

Terri Schiavo's autopsy report (PDF) was released yesterday, raising as many questions as it answered. Terri's family commented today.

Father Frank Pavone points out that the fundamental moral issue is unchanged by the autopsy results.
The autopsy says that Terri was beyond repair or rehabilitation. But that does not mean we are supposed to throw her away, like we throw away a car that is beyond repair. Again, there is no problem accepting this medical conclusion. But morally speaking, our compassion is not beyond repair. We can build a society that respects and protects all our brothers and sisters, recognizing that their value does not come from how well they function, perform, or produce.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Debt Cancelled for Poorest Nations

The 'G8' industrialized nations have agreed to cancel the debt to world lending institutions of 18 of the world's poorest nations. While there is debate over whether the move is appropriate, will be effective or goes far enough, it is encouraging to see the world's leading nations, including ours, take a serious initiative to address the ongoing scandalous tragedy of world poverty.
Reinventing NASA

Mike Griffin is shaking up and, in some cases, replacing senior NASA leadership.
Senior NASA officials and congressional and aerospace industry sources said yesterday that Griffin wants to clear away entrenched bureaucracy, and build a less political and more scientifically oriented team to implement President Bush's plan to return humans to the moon by 2020 and eventually send them to Mars.

Already announced is the planned resignation by Exploration Systems chief Craig Steidle.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Congratulations to Janice Rogers Brown

Despite all the howling and shrieking from the politically correct set, Judge Brown's nomination to the Federal Appeals Court was just approved by the Senate, 56-43.

The cloture vote for Judge William Pryor is now underway.--Cloture passes 67-32. Final vote on Judge Pryor expected this week.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Lunar Exploration History

Mark Whittington provides a history of lunar exploration missions, key political decisions and what it all means for the future in a sequence of sixteen short pages.
Essay on Terri Schiavo's Case

Paul McHugh, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, discusses the meaning of the Schiavo case in his essay. While he apparently has missed some of the disputes about certain 'facts' in the case, he does seem to have a handle on the opposing world views involved, and the practical effect on patients and medical professionals.
How could such a thing happen? This, after all, is not Nazi Germany, where the culture of death foreshadowed in the awful title of that book would reach such horrendous public proportions. But we in this country have our own, homegrown culture of death, whose face is legal and moral and benignly individualistic rather than authoritarian and pseudo-scientific.