Friday, July 23, 2010

Once Upon A Time in Heaven: Jim Webb on White Privilege

Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) injects some much needed reality into the recent unpleasantness in his Wall Street Journal op-ed.

Forty years ago, as the United States experienced the civil rights movement, the supposed monolith of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant dominance served as the whipping post for almost every debate about power and status in America. After a full generation of such debate, WASP elites have fallen by the wayside and a plethora of government-enforced diversity policies have marginalized many white workers. The time has come to cease the false arguments and allow every American the benefit of a fair chance at the future.


NewSpace Conference

Go here for the latest. Obvious topic of discussion, House Science Committee's latest blow to commercial space. Which leads us naturally to...

Congress to America's future in space: Go fuck yourself

Here's some news to shove down the throat of the next idiot who suggests there's any difference between Democrats and Republicans where it concerns the sanctity of science.

The House Science and Technology Committee marked up its $19 billion Fiscal 2011 NASA authorization draft July 22, setting the stage for a House-Senate conference to reconcile differences in their two versions of the bill.

Building on work kicked off with the Senate Commerce Committee’s draft of a three-year NASA authorization bill, the Senate Appropriations Committee adopted its $19 billion NASA spending measure for Fiscal 2011 on July 21 (Aerospace DAILY, July 22).

The long logjam over U.S. space policy is breaking up, as the impasse between the White House and Congress evolves into serious negotiations over details of a compromise approach that would accelerate a heavy-lift launch vehicle and preserve the Orion crew exploration vehicle. But it remains to be seen if all of the work can be done in time to avoid a continuing resolution when the fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

...

Both authorization measures also pay for their changes from the original NASA budget request by backpedaling the administration’s centerpiece commercial human spaceflight plan.


Bottom line, Congress sets national science and engineering priorities by one metric only--jobs per district. FY2011 already showed the gap between the Augustine Commission's pie-in-the-sky dreams and the Administration's seriousness concerning space policy. Congress apparently couldn't suffer the idea of being outdone in rank foolishness. Here's to another decade of dicking around in LEO with nothing to show for it.

Here's a comparison of the House and Senate versions of FY2011, by the Space Foundation with respects to phantomdj at NasaSpaceFlight.com

Cost Plus

Over at Selenia Boondocks, contributor John Hare has a few choice things to say about government contracts:

If government contracting would quit worrying so much about how much profit a company makes, and start worrying about what is being delivered for the dollar, more companies would try for the contracts. A possible contract with 25-50% profit potential will attract more players. As more players enter a field, some will have better people or ideas which translates to lower costs, which becomes lower bids. When faced with real competition, Lockheed and Boeing can both find cost saving options when it is in their best interest to do so and they can make higher profit margins doing it.

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