Thursday, November 27, 2003

The Space Exploration Act of 2003 was introduced on September 10, 2003 by Rep. Nick Lampson of Texas. This Act "will call for a return to the Moon, trips to near-earth asteroids, and a manned mission to Mars within 20 years."

It must be stopped. And decisively.

This Act completely misses the point about what is wrong with NASA's manned space program. That is, it shouldn't exist. The solution is not more flags'n'footprints missions, more trillion dollar white elephants. The solution is to get NASA out of the way of private enterprise. It is NASA's very presence in manned launch markets that artificially inflates costs and stifles innovation. NASA is also saddled with having to follow through on a bad decision not for a few weeks or quarters or even years, but for generations, as in the case with the Shuttle and (soon) the ISS. A private company could not afford to make bad design decisions (like putting wings on a vertically-launched spacecraft) and stick to them for more than a few quarters before it affected their stock value.

Instead, businesses have to make good decisions or they fold. A business may have a good design and still fold, but it wouldn't be spending hundreds of millions of taxpayers' dollars on every launch of seven people.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

I read a book I downloaded (quite legally I assure you) the other day, and it was really quite good, so I thought I ought ot mention it here on the blog. It is called Net Assets by Carl Bussjaeger, and it it is pretty decent read. The political situation has been only slightly exaggerated for dramatic effect, but it is easy to see that this relatively recent book is fairly close parody of the current administration. Well worth the read.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

I will be adding more links to the left hand column in the next few days, and maybe rearranging things in here. Expect more links to various libertarian bogs and sites, such as the links to Bureaucrash and Simon Jester at left. Also expect more links to other space and science-related blogs like Space Daily and PERMANENT. If people other than myself start reading this thing then I'll change that hit counter too.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Normally I give lawyers a hard time, but every now and then something makes me think that maybe ol' Billy wasn't 100% right. Such as this website, which is mounting a Supreme Court challenge against Income Tax under the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 13th amemdments to the US Constitution. About damn time.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Are you an Austrian economist? Take this quiz to find out. It is 25 questions, with four choices for each: an Austrian answer, a Chicago school answer, the Keynesian-neoclassical answer, and a socialist answer, all loosely defined. These are worth 4,2,1, and 0 points respectively. I got a score of 95 out of 100, and on the ones were I answered with the Chicago or Keynesian answer, after a closer look I would change my answers to the Austrian ones there too. So, I guess I am an Austrian economist.
I have seen this around a few places now, and I thought it would fit in nicely with this blog:

A New Covenant*
by L. Neil Smith

WE, THE UNDERSIGNED Witnesses to the Lesson of History -- that no Form of political Governance may be relied upon to secure the individual Rights of Life, Liberty, or Property -- now therefore establish and provide certain fundamental Precepts measuring our Conduct toward one another, and toward others:

Individual Sovereignty

FIRST, that we shall henceforward recognize each individual to be the exclusive Proprietor of his or her own Existence and of all products of that Existence, holding no Obligation binding among Individuals excepting those to which they voluntarily and explicitly consent;

Freedom from Coercion

SECOND, that under no Circumstances shall we acknowledge any Liberty to initiate Force against another Person, and shall instead defend the inalienable Right of Individuals to resist Coercion employing whatever Means prove necessary in their Judgement;

Association and Secession

THIRD, that we shall hold inviolable those Relationships among Individuals which are totally voluntary, but conversely, any Relationship not thus mutually agreeable shall be considered empty and invalid;

Individuality of Rights

FOURTH, that we shall regard Rights to be neither collective nor additive in Character -- two individuals shall have no more Rights than one, nor shall two million nor two thousand million -- nor shall any Group possess Rights in Excess of those belonging to its individual members;

Equality of Liberty

FIFTH, that we shall maintain these Principles without Respect to any person's Race, Nationality, Gender, sexual Preference, Age, or System of Beliefs, and hold that any Entity or Association, however constituted, acting to contravene them by initiation of Force -- or Threat of same -- shall have forfeited its Right to exist;


UPON UNANIMOUS CONSENT of the Members or Inhabitants of any Association or Territory, we further stipulate that this Agreement shall supercede all existing governmental Documents or Usages then pertinent, that such Constitutions, Charters, Acts, Laws, Statutes, Regulations, or Ordinances contradictory or destructive to the Ends which it expresses shall be null and void, and that this Covenant, being the Property of its Author and Signatories, shall not be Subject to Interpretation excepting insofar as it shall please them.


_________________________________ _______________________________
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_________________________________ _______________________________ '
name (please print) name (please print)


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*Excerpted from Chapter XVII of The Gallatin Divergence by L. Neil Smith, Del Rey Books (a division of Random House), New York, 1985, as amended by unanimous consent, October, 1986.

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