Friday, November 18, 2005

SpaceX Sets a Date

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), has announced a launch time of 4 PM EST on Friday, November 25 (9 AM Saturday morning at the Pacific launch site) for the first Falcon 1 rocket.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

W Strikes Back!

In a Veteran's Day address in Pennsylvania on Friday, President Bush took on critics who claim he manipulated intelligence data to justify the war in Iraq.
And our debate at home must also be fair-minded. One of the hallmarks of a free society and what makes our country strong is that our political leaders can discuss their differences openly, even in times of war. When I made the decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power, Congress approved it with strong bipartisan support. I also recognize that some of our fellow citizens and elected officials didn't support the liberation of Iraq. And that is their right, and I respect it. As President and Commander-in-Chief, I accept the responsibilities, and the criticisms, and the consequences that come with such a solemn decision.

While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began. (Applause.) Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war. These critics are fully aware that a bipartisan Senate investigation found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community's judgments related to Iraq's weapons programs.

They also know that intelligence agencies from around the world agreed with our assessment of Saddam Hussein. They know the United Nations passed more than a dozen resolutions citing his development and possession of weapons of mass destruction. And many of these critics supported my opponent during the last election, who explained his position to support the resolution in the Congress this way: "When I vote to give the President of the United States the authority to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein, it is because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a threat, and a grave threat, to our security." That's why more than a hundred Democrats in the House and the Senate -- who had access to the same intelligence -- voted to support removing Saddam Hussein from power. (Applause.)

The stakes in the global war on terror are too high, and the national interest is too important, for politicians to throw out false charges. (Applause.) These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America's will. As our troops fight a ruthless enemy determined to destroy our way of life, they deserve to know that their elected leaders who voted to send them to war continue to stand behind them. (Applause.) Our troops deserve to know that this support will remain firm when the going gets tough. (Applause.) And our troops deserve to know that whatever our differences in Washington, our will is strong, our nation is united, and we will settle for nothing less than victory. (Applause.)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

On The Way

The European Space Agency's Venus Express spacecraft has been launched toward Venus.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Faith and Science

Faith and science are compatible, according to a Vatican cardinal. Meanwhile, a Jesuit astronomer ponders some big picture questions such as the possibility of other intelligent beings in the universe.
Brother Consolmagno told Catholic News Service that the whole question of how Catholicism would hold up if some form of life were discovered on another planet has piqued people's curiosity "for centuries."

He said his aim with the booklet was to reassure Catholics "that you shouldn't be afraid of these questions" and that "no matter what we learn, it doesn't invalidate what we already know" and believe. In other words, scientific study and discovery and religion enrich one another, not cancel out each other.

If new forms of life were to be discovered or highly advanced beings from outer space were to touch down on planet Earth, it would not mean "everything we believe in is wrong," rather, "we're going to find out that everything is truer in ways we couldn't even yet have imagined," he said.
Two Items Not Being Celebrated By The Politically Correct Set

Today is the 25th anniversary of the election of Ronald Reagan to the presidency, as noted by James Pinkerton.
Instead, 25 years ago today, on November 4, 1980, the voters in 44 states chose Ronald Reagan. So this day, like any happy anniversary, is worth celebrating. But in addition, we should remember that while Reagan demonstrated the importance of optimism, another conservative immortal, Barry Goldwater, offered us a sterner injunction: There are no final victories. And so on this day, and on all days henceforth, we must recommit ourselves to the maintenance, and the furtherance, of the Reaganaut agenda -- because if we don't, we could lose it all.

Meanwhile, the incumbent president whom the Gipper unseated is now urging his party to back away from its obsessively pro-abortion position, as reported by the Washington Times.
Mr. Carter said his party's congressional leadership only hurts Democrats by making a rigid pro-abortion rights stand the criterion for assessing judicial nominees.
"I have always thought it was not in the mainstream of the American public to be extremely liberal on many issues," Mr. Carter said. "I think our party's leaders -- some of them -- are overemphasizing the abortion issue."
While Mr. Carter has previously expressed ambivalence about abortion, his statements yesterday were "astonishing," said Robert Knight, director of the Culture and Family Institute at Concerned Women for America.
"He has long professed to be an evangelical Christian and yet he had embraced virtually all the liberal political agenda," said Mr. Knight. "Maybe with Jimmy Carter saying things he never uttered before, more liberals will rethink their worship of abortion as the high holy sacrament of liberalism."