Open Thread

I did a little checking with Expert Opinion and its still pretty set: Trump is doomed. And I mean in the “he hasn’t got a chance” sense. But then you see the crowd at Trump’s rally in New Hampshire last night. Honestly, I can’t see how the man loses – his opponents can’t draw flies. But, the polls say he’s done. I guess we’ll find out next year.

As if you didn’t already know this, there’s leaked audio of the New York Times deciding to switch from “Russia” to “Racism” against Trump. Long time readers might remember my very long series of “What Media Bias?” posts. I stopped doing it because it was so obvious that it really didn’t need further explanation. But, still, nice to get some absolute confirmation.

China is cracking down on Hong Kong – some people are officially upset with Trump as he’s not being forceful about it. But, what’s he really supposed to do? He’s already engaged in a trade war with China. He’s already trying to detach North Korea from China’s orbit. He’s already buddying up to India and Vietnam against China. He’s rebuilding our Navy. He’s sending our ships into waters claimed by China. Short of war, there’s nothing we can do for Hong Kong: and I don’t think anyone wants to fight China over Hong Kong. It is sad, but it was inevitable: a tyranny simply will not tolerate the slightest bit of freedom. China only kept hands off until disruption wouldn’t roil markets too badly…and rely on it that Hong Kong’s rich will cut whatever deals are necessary with Beijing.

SpaceX is talking up its mission to Mars. I think we should go visit Mars, but I’m doubtful about our ability to live off Earth for any length of time. The more we learn about the planets, the more incredible it is that Earth has life…things just have to be so incredibly perfect for life to exist that the chances of it existing elsewhere are getting vanishingly small…and we’re also learning that what Earth has is not at all easy to replicate, even on a small scale. Among the massive problems, I see radiation as the largest. Living things don’t like it: our atmosphere and magnetic field keep out lots of it…but once away from Earth, you lose that protection and have to make the means of keeping it off you.

The Trump Administration has been facilitating talks between Israel and various Arab States…this is because Trump is just smarter than anyone we’ve had in the White House since Reagan.

Open Thread

As I write this, Ford won’t testify and Grassley is giving her until Friday to agree to testify. The only thing which could keep this alive would be a new accuser…and don’t think the Dems aren’t gaming that out to see if they could make it work, at least to the point where Kavanaugh’s confirmation is pushed past the mid-terms.

What has impressed me most over the past 48 hours is:

1. Aside from a few cowards, most non-left people have stood firm. For once, the non-Democrat part of the country is not running for the hills when the Democrats lob a grenade into the body politic. We’ve got to get into the mindset that we have to jump on the grenade. No more fear: fight back, every time.

2. I’m hearing from and about Average Joe’s and Jane’s – people who don’t follow politics closely and who don’t have strong loyalty to either party – who are furious over this. I’ve even heard such state that even if they could prove Kavanaugh did it, it shouldn’t stop him from being on the Court. As I’ve said before, the one thing Americans tend to unite on is that they don’t like unfairness. It is simply unfair to accuse a person of a horrible act and not only refuse all cross-examination of the accuser, but to make the accusation in such a way that the accused really has no way to even try to disprove the allegation.

How all this will work out in the near and long term, I don’t know: but I’m starting to suspect that this is going to cost the Democrats some Senate seats in November. There is a theory out there that it is all a case of mistaken identity – that it happened, but someone else was the perpetrator. This is possible…but I doubt it was “mistaken” identity…

Muckraking journalist James O’Keefe got a video of Justice Department officials admitting they use their official powers to help the political left. So, here’s the Deep State, guys: a collection of bureaucrats who view their primary loyalty as being to a political party – or movement – rather than to the people of the United States. They brag in the videos about how they can’t be fired – they are relying on the protections built into law so that people can’t be fired for political reasons: but such laws were also written on the assumption that the bureaucrats would remain carefully neutral in the political battles of the United States. It is time to clean house – and if it means changing the civil service laws, it’ll have to be done.

Interesting article on the prospect of microbial life in some briney lakes under the Martian ice…my view: life is probably very rare in the Universe. The conditions necessary for any life like we have on Earth are so narrow that the chances of any particular planet having them are small. One only need look at Mars and Venus to see…here are three planets, Venus, Mars and Earth, that all seem to have the necessary pre-conditions for life, but only one of them has it. My guess is that we’ll search a very long time, out to very far distances, and never detect anything alive.

The Air Force Secretary has mapped out a plan for the Space Force. A lot of people, including many on the right, have heaped ridicule on the President’s proposal…much as many did with Reagan’s proposal for SDI. But, folks, Space is important – I’ve held for 30 years that eventually Space will become as dominant as the Sea in human life. Whomever controls Space will control their own national destiny.