PowerLine -> When Did NASA Go to Pot? + Donald Trump recommends

PowerLine -> When Did NASA Go to Pot? + Donald Trump recommends

Daily Digest

  • When Did NASA Go to Pot?
  • Loose Ends (55)
  • New frontiers in “diversity”
  • Donald Trump recommends
  • Caravan update
When Did NASA Go to Pot?

Posted: 25 Nov 2018 10:59 AM PST

(Steven Hayward)If you study the history of NASA’s Apollo program in the 1960s, one thing you come to realize is that the tight timetable to reach the moon by the end of the decade meant that NASA didn’t have time to ossify into a bureaucracy, and they did things (i.e., took risks) in those days that would never be permitted today.

But you knew NASA had slipped into the maw of the administrative state when President Obama told NASA administrator Charles Bolden in 2010 that “Muslim outreach” should be a primary mission for the space agency.

Well, now it appears NASA doesn’t even want to go to Mars even if it could go to Mars. Gizmodo offers an account of a recent panel discussion about Mars hosted by Lucianne Walkowicz, the NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology, and you have to read this, not to believe it, because of course, the real problem with going to Mars is that it would represent “colonialism.” No, seriously, that’s what the thinking is:

Lucianne Walkowicz: I can’t give you an example of what a decolonized Mars looks like, but it starts by having multidisciplinary conversations about the things that happen here on Earth. I often give examples of Standing Rock as an Earth-based example of interests colliding, where you have indigenous people opposing a large-scale project that, much like space exploration, features cooperation between private industry and the government…

Gizmodo: What does decolonizing Mars mean to you?

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein: I’m trying to think carefully about what our relationship to Mars should be, and whether we can avoid reproducing deeply entrenched colonial behaviors as we seek to better understand our Solar System. This includes thinking about why our language for developing understandings of environments that are new to us tends to still be colonial: “colonizing Mars” and “exploring” and “developing,” for example. These are deeply fraught terms that have traditionally referred to problematic behaviors by imperialists with those that we would call “indigenous” and “people of color” often on the receiving end of violent activities. . .

Decolonization in the Martian context requires asking questions about who is entitled to what land. Can we be trusted to be in balance with Mars if we refuse to be in balance with Earth? Can we be trusted to be equitable in our dealings with each other in a Martian context if the U.S. and Canadian governments continue to attack indigenous sovereignty, violate indigenous lands, and engage in genocidal activities against indigenous people?

I think the answer is no. I think we need to clean up our mess before we start making a new mess somewhere else.

If these folks had been with NASA in the 1960s, we’d have never made it to the moon.


Loose Ends (55)

Posted: 25 Nov 2018 09:20 AM PST

(Steven Hayward) I really thought this Chuck Schumer tweet had to be one of those fake Babylon Bee contrivances, but this is real and has to be a contender for the most clueless tweet of the year since it implicitly acknowledges that Trump was right about federal judges:

Of course, Schumer is not without some vigorous competition, like this tweet:

So who is this guy?

It figures.

 If you think Schumer’s tweet is a doozy, get a load of this story:

Hillary Clinton: Europe must curb immigration to stop rightwing populists

Europe must get a handle on immigration to combat a growing threat from rightwing populists, Hillary Clinton has said, calling on the continent’s leaders to send out a stronger signal showing they are “not going to be able to continue provide refuge and support”.

In an interview with the Guardian, the former Democratic presidential candidate praised the generosity shown by the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, but suggested immigration was inflaming voters and contributed to the election of Donald Trump and Britain’s vote to leave the EU.

“I think Europe needs to get a handle on migration because that is what lit the flame,” Clinton said, speaking as part of a series of interviews with senior centrist political figures about the rise of populists, particularly on the right, in Europe and the Americas.

Translation: She wants to run in 2020. I especially like this bit of “news analysis” from the Guardian writer:

Clinton’s remarks are likely to prove controversial across Europe, which has struggled to form a unified position ever since more than 1 million migrants and refugees arrived in the EU in 2015.

First Schumer, and now Hillary. I think this is what Trump means by “winning.”

 Business Insider reported  a couple years back on a Crowdpac study of the political leanings of different industries and professions, and while there were no great surprises here (hey, look—Hollywood leans left!) it was still interesting to see where people fell out when it was charted:

For some reason, this study has suddenly started circulating again on social media, with several people observing that the industries clustered in the center (lobbyists, real estate, banking, pharmaceuticals, etc) tend to be the kind of industries engaged in “rent seeking,” i.e., dependent on government favoritism.


New frontiers in “diversity”

Posted: 25 Nov 2018 06:57 AM PST

(Scott Johnson)The Star Tribune never tires of creative ways to tout the alleged benefits of the immigrant waves transforming Minnesota. When one looks for an assessment of the costs, or an assessment of whether the costs might outweigh the benefits, one must look elsewhere.

This weekend the Star Tribune touts the coming of “diversity” to the business of craft beer. It reads to me like unintended satire. First, we have the obligatory passing of the white man. We have the obligatory obsession with race.

We make way for the ladies (“[m]ost of the recent gains in equality in the craft beer world have been along gender lines”), the Hmong (see the market in three-day funerals), a Uruguayan (and yet “[t]he beer they make in Latin America is the same as the beer they make all over the world”) and….well, that’s about it. There isn’t much of a story here. This is a joke without a punchline.

The Star Tribune presents the beer business as a sort of civil rights issue. The implication is that “equality” remains a distant goal in the business. However, it pulls up short of the comprehensive challenge raised by the business. The Beer Connoisseur decries “the lack of diversity across the board – in brewing, distributing, marketing, writing about and selling craft beer – when it comes to race/ethnicity, able-bodied/disabled, age, and other (including unperceived) identifiers.” Now we’re talking.

Back to the local scene, we note that the Star Tribune silently passes over the absence of Minnesota Somalis in the business. Why so shy?


Donald Trump recommends

Posted: 25 Nov 2018 05:12 AM PST

(Scott Johnson)Reviewing President Trump’s Twitter feed to check his latest pronouncements on the so-called caravan, I find that he recommends the November 18 installment of Mark Levin’s FOX News show with Victor Davis Hanson. I have embedded video of the show below.

Trump noted that Professor Hanson “was a very good and interesting guest” on the show and also recommended his most recent book, The Second World Wars, as well as his forthcoming book, The Case For Trump.

The Sunday morning gabfests have become such crashing bores, I offer the video in lieu of this morning’s lineup. FOX News has also posted the full transcript of the show here.


Caravan update

Posted: 25 Nov 2018 04:43 AM PST

(Scott Johnson)In yesterday’s “Caravan update” I observed that we have here a test of wills between President Trump and the supporters of invasion. Indeed, for his part, President Trump announced twice yesterday via his favorite medium “If for any reason it becomes necessary, we will CLOSE our Southern Border. There is no way that the United States will, after decades of abuse, put up with this costly and dangerous situation anymore!“ He threw down via Twitter:

Migrants at the Southern Border will not be allowed into the United States until their claims are individually approved in court. We only will allow those who come into our Country legally. Other than that our very strong policy is Catch and Detain. No “Releasing” into the U.S…

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2018

I wrote before word emerged that incoming Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador would work with the Trump administration to keep asylum seekers out of the United States while their applications are pending in court. This obviously represented a resolution of the test in favor of President Trump.

The New York Times reported that Mexico was mulling over such an agreement. Among other outlets, Politico followed up with the report of such an agreement. The New York Post qualified that report, indicating that Mexico might be backing out of the agreement. Indeed, FOX News reported that Mexico disputed reports of an agreement of any sort.

The test continues…


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