June 2, 2012

Socialistic Republicans may find it hard to reverse Obama's free-market policy...

Credit where it's due, Obama has gotten one thing right.

SpaceX Dragon returns to Earth:

...Musk, the billionaire behind PayPal and Tesla Motors, aims to launch the next supply mission in September under a steady contract with NASA, and insists astronauts can be riding Dragons to and from the space station in as little as three or four years. The next version of the Dragon, for crews, will land on terra firma with "helicopter precision" from propulsive thrusters, he noted. Initial testing is planned for later this year.

President Barack Obama is leading this charge to commercial spaceflight. He wants routine orbital flights turned over to private business so the space agency can work on getting astronauts to asteroids and Mars. Toward that effort, NASA has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in seed money to vying companies.

NASA astronauts are now forced to hitch rides on Russian rockets from Kazakhstan, an expensive and embarrassing outsourcing, especially after a half-century of manned launches from U.S. soil. It will be up to SpaceX or another U.S. enterprise to pick up the reins. Several companies are jockeying for first place....

One of the tortures for us conservatives for all my life has been the need to work within the Republican Party. Nice chaps and all, but trapped in the Blue Model. This during decades when we sensed a need to get beyond that, to start working with the new Information Age world that was emerging. This wasn't really conscious, mind you. But I'm theorizin' that this was what was happening under the surface. What we call "conservatism" is very much a new product of the new age. As Rick Pearlstein put it, "the most successful youth movement of the 60's was Youth for Goldwater."

And there is hardly any area where Republican obtuseness shows better than in their support of the "State Socialist" model of space exploitation. Giant companies symbiotically joined with giant bureaucracies. Well, the failures of the Space Shuttle program have taught us a lesson about how well that works. And if it's Obama who get it, rather than the supposed party of free markets, well, more power to him.

(This picture has nothing to do with SpaceX; it's the old Delta Clipper. Symbol to me of lost opportunities and squandered decades.)

From the memoirs of Fanny Kemble...

...While we were acting at Liverpool an experimental trip was proposed upon the line of railway which was being constructed between Liverpool and Manchester, the first mesh of that amazing iron net which now covers the whole surface of England and all the civilized portions of the earth. The Liverpool merchants, whose far-sighted self-interest prompted them to wise liberality, had accepted the risk of George Stephenson's magnificent experiment, which the committee of inquiry of the House of Commons had rejected for the government. These men, of less intellectual culture than the Parliament members, had the adventurous imagination proper to great speculators, which is the poetry of the counting-house and wharf, and were better able to receive the enthusiastic infection of the great projector's sanguine hope that the Westminster committee...[Thanks to David Foster at Chicagoboyz]
Posted by John Weidner at June 2, 2012 9:12 AM
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