Monthly Archives: April 2012

Isn’t it time to end judicial activism in Canada, once and for all?

Laws in Canada are constructed and implemented by the parliaments of Canada and the provinces. These laws and statutes are administered and enforced by the respective bureaucracies of each government, and if necessary, are forwarded to the Canadian judiciary to administer fair punishment as detailed in the statute and by case-law, or to be arbitrated by the judiciary as to whether the law had been violated in fact, or that a dispute between parties needed binding judicial mediation. That is what the courts do.

On occasion, certain laws and statutes get challenged as to whether or not they meet the defined standards in Canada’s constitution and Charter.

But, in recent times, the Canadian judiciary has assumed a sociopolitical mantle that they are not entitled to bear. Social conscience lies within the democratic institutions of parliament, not within the increasing politically motivated ideology of unelected judges. Several recent Supreme Court decisions have gone way beyond the judicial mandate of the SCC, and the Quebec Superior Court’s just announced extension of the injunction against the destruction of the long gun registry records for Quebec, provides an excellent example of where the line in the sand for Canadian judges needs to be drawn.

The gun registry was created out of a Draconian Liberal act of parliament known as “Bill C68″ in 1994. Ramming this legislation through with a majority government on the pretext of public safety as a consequence of the shootings at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal in 1989, the Liberal government had managed to impose a long-held Liberal belief that citizens should not be permitted to be armed. It is, after all, anathema to liberal ideals for the masses to have the ability to change government by their own hand. Let’s be clear: Bill C68 was never about public safety, it was the first step in a documented 40 year plan to remove private ownership of firearms in Canada. Identification, followed by demonization and restriction, followed by confiscation. There are at least 13 violations of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms implicit in Bill C68 and the Criminal Code changes that ensued from it. The actions of a madman in Montreal was not due to the lack of a gun registry.

But beyond that, and despite the protestations of a number of vested-interest groups and the Canadian Chiefs of Police, a political lobby group, there has never been substantive documentation that a gun registry has any impact whatsoever on gun crime. It simply doesn’t exist. Rank and file police officers know it, law-abiding gun owners know it, criminals know it. There is evidence that gun ownership reduces confrontational crime; hence the success of US “shall-issue” concealed-carry laws.

Despite no evidence in support of the “public safety” argument for maintaining the registry, Justice Blanchard of the Quebec Superior Court concluded “The beneficial effects of maintaining the registry in Quebec appear greater than the urgency of applying the new law which will do away with the long-gun registry and destroy the data…”. This is judicial activism, not sober second thought. There are no beneficial effects of maintaining the registry.

While the lawyer for the Quebec government, Eric Dufour, argued, “There are about 1.5 million long guns in Quebec… on average, the registry saved about 300 lives a year”, he knows that he cannot back those claims up. No police force has ever been able to.

Bill C68 came about out of the hand wringing of a small group of young Quebec feminists, led by Heidi Rathgen and Wendy Cukier, who found a (sym)pathetic Liberal justice minister from Quebec, Alan Rock, and as they say, the rest is, and will hopefully soon be, history.

“Interpreting the will of parliament”, long the clarion call of activist judges, has reached a point where judicial interference in the governance of the land has become a serious issue. The “will of parliament” is written in the statutes, using language of law and common usage. In most statutes the “will” is clear; it is technicalities needing clarification, not intent. Judges, not even those who sit on the Supreme Court, have an authority to subvert the will of parliament. Judges, like every other citizen, can exercise their democratic right to affect the will of parliament on election day.

The Conservatives need to simply do what bill C19 requires – destroy the data. They then need to tell the court to quit subverting the will of parliament to their political ideology, and if necessary, tell the judiciary that if they don’t stop the ideological subversion, they will legislate the judiciary out of the process entirely.

FP: Vivian Krause: Suzuki’s funding

[Editorial comment: US tax code provides for massive aggregation of monies exempt from corporate tax as foundational "charities", with subsequent significant personal benefit to the principals and donors involved. Unlike in Canada, there are relatively few restrictions on the political use of these foundational grants for "social engineering", and the dollar amounts are staggering. While it's fun to characterize climate "deniers" as being in the pay of "Big Oil", the warchests of Big Green make Big Oil puny by comparison. Explore the World Wildlife Fund sometime, which just raised a million bucks running people up and down the CN Tower in
Toronto, for "Earth" Day. ]


Vivian Krause: Suzuki’s funding


  Apr 19, 2012 – 9:48 PM ET |Last Updated: Apr 20, 2012 11:40 AM ET

His foundation got $13-million from U.S. groups

More than any other initiative in the 2012 federal budget, the one that struck a chord with Canadians is $8-million for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to require greater transparency from non-profits with regard to their political activity and foreign funding. An Angus Reid poll found that 80% of Canadians support this move.

Environmentalists, however, feel that they’re being picked on.

David Suzuki has dismissed the focus on U.S. funding as “twisted logic” and “a conspiracy theory.” Further, in an open letter sent last week, Mr. Suzuki, Canada’s foremost environmentalist, suggested that his foundation is being “bullied.” He also announced that he has stepped off the board of his foundation. “I want to speak freely without fear that my words will be deemed too political,” he wrote.

Related: Kelly McParland:…wait a minute, doesn’t that have something to do with David Suzuki?

It stands to reason that David Suzuki would defend his funding. After all, he built his foundation with millions of U.S. dollars. Back in 2000, more than half of the Suzuki foundation’s budget was covered by U.S. foundations. The U.S. share has dropped dramatically since, from 52% in 2000 to 5% in 2010. Still, according to my calculations, over the past decade U.S. foundations accounted for at least 17% of the revenue of the David Suzuki Foundation. In correspondence for this article, the foundation did not dispute these numbers.

Of the $81-million that the Suzuki Foundation took in from 2000 to 2010, $44-million was from tax-receipted donations, $9-million was from other charities and $25-million (31%) was from unspecified gifts and other revenue. Tax returns also show that $3-million came from investment and rental income, sales of goods and services, and so on.

Between 2000 and 2010, total annual revenues doubled at the Suzuki foundation from $5-million to $10.6-million.

The foundation consistently generated a surplus such that total assets increased to $10.8-million as of 2010, up from $1.3-million in 2000.

Since the late 1990s, U.S. tax returns show that American foundations have made at least 30 grants to the David Suzuki Foundation, each for a value of US$100,000 or more.

The average value of these 30 U.S. grants (made in 34 disbursements) is US$267,000. The total value of the top 30 U.S. grants alone is US$9-million, equivalent to $13-million. This included US$1.8-million from the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation (“Hewlett”), US$1.5-million from the David & Lucile Packard Foundation (“Packard”), US$1.7-million from the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation (“Moore”), US$1-million from the Wilburforce Foundation, US$955,000 from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, US$930,000 from the Seattle-based Bullitt Foundation and at least US$181,000 from the Philadelphia-based Pew Charitable Trusts.

As far as I can tell, Suzuki’s connections with U.S. foundations go back to 1992. In the minutes of a retreat of the Environmental Grantmakers Association, held at Rosario Resort in Washington State in 1992, Suzuki is on record as saying, “I must say that I’ve been absolutely electrified to come here last night because the groups that I hang out with, of course, have very little money, just a lot of enthusiasm and commitment.

“And it’s nice to realize that there is some money available in the fight.”

The problem with Suzuki’s American funding is that for many years it was underreported or not reported at all. In annual reports for 2001, 2002 and 2003, Suzuki’s foundation mentions vaguely that it received grants from “throughout North America,” but names of donor foundations weren’t given. In those three years alone, the Suzuki foundation took in US$3.6-million from U.S. foundations ($5.5-million).

In 2004, the Suzuki foundation listed its largest donors, including U.S. foundations, as having contributed “more than $10,000,” when in fact Hewlett granted $750,000 over three years, Packard granted $340,000 and the Lannan Foundation gave $375,000. In 2006, Suzuki’s foundation listed the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation as having contributed “more than $5,000.” For that same year, Moore paid Suzuki’s foundation $570,868, tax returns show.

On top of the U.S. funding that the David Suzuki Foundation has received directly from U.S. foundations, the foundation has also received U.S. money indirectly through Tides Canada.

For example, in 2008 Tides Canada granted $377,586 to Suzuki’s foundation. That money originated from the Moore foundation, which has granted at least $92-million to BC. environmental organizations, including $32-million to Tides Canada.

When one looks at how the Suzuki Foundation spends money, the numbers are somewhat surprising. Between 2007 and 2010, revenue was $35.8-million. Of that, 53% went to charitable programs, 13% was management and administration, 15% was fundraising, 17% ($6-million over four years) went into assets, and 1% was for political activity, according to CRA filings.

When contacted for this article, the foundation objected to the use of information from its tax returns. “CRA financial filings data are not necessarily appropriate to assess financial performance,” the foundation wrote. Online, the foundation says that in 2010-11 it spent 71% of its operating budget on environmental programs and campaigns, 6% on administration and 23% on fundraising. The operating budget was $8.6-million, while total revenue for 2010 was $10.6 million, tax returns say.

By far, the foundation’s biggest expense is staff. Payroll (staff compensation plus professional and consulting fees) was $5-million in 2010, up from $500,000 in 2004. Neither David Suzuki nor his wife, the long-time president of the foundation, nor any member of the Suzuki family is paid by the foundation, it says.

As far as I can tell, Suzuki’s largest Canadian donor is the Claudine & Stephen Bronfman Foundation, which has granted at least $6-million (2000-10). Since 2008, Power Corp., the Lefebvre Foundation and the Trottier Family Foundation have given annual donations of at least $1-million.

Anonymous donors are also reported for $1-million or more. For 2010, the Sitka Foundation, run by Ross Beaty and his family, gave $407,000 and the Jim Pattison Foundation gave $200,000.

Since 2009, the CRA requires non-profits to report the total amount of funding that they receive from foreign sources. For 2009 and 2010, the Suzuki foundation reported roughly half a million per year from abroad ($514,096 and $553,560, respectively). That accounted for 5% or 6% of total revenue.

Of the 30 U.S. grants that Suzuki’s foundation received for a total of US$9-million, 29 are earmarked for British Columbia. Forget the rest of Canada, the only place that U.S. foundations have heavily funded Suzuki’s work is on the strategic, north coast of B.C., right smack where oil tankers export bound for Asia would need to travel.

For a total of US$2.8-million, 11 U.S. grants to the Suzuki foundation were tagged for projects specifically with First Nations on the north coast of B.C. Canadian tax returns show that between 2000 and 2003, the Suzuki Foundation disbursed $2-million to B.C. First Nations.

Some U.S. grants are telling.

For example, in 2004 the Rockefeller Brothers Fund paid the Suzuki Foundation $20,000 toward two projects. One was to predict the impact of global warming on fish. The other was “a campaign to support a continuing moratorium on offshore oil and gas exploration,” tax returns say.

Peter Robinson, president of the Suzuki Foundation, said the foundation sets its own funding objectives. “Our priorities are set by our board of directors not donors. When we find a grant maker — Canadian, U.S. or other — who shares our conservation mission, we apply for a grant and hope to be successful. This has enabled excellent science, policy and public education on some of the most pressing environmental issues facing Canada.”

The largest project of the Suzuki Foundation, Tides Canada and their U.S. funders, has been the creation of the Great Bear Rainforest, a 21 million hectare “no trade zone” on the north coast of B.C. It’s the size of Switzerland. Now, in the name of protecting the kermode bear, the so-called Great Spirit Bear, environmentalists say that oil tanker traffic must be banned on the entire north coast of B.C. No tankers means no oil exports to Asia and that the U.S. gets to keep its virtual monopoly on Canadian oil. Whether this was the intention all along or not, the Great Bear Rainforest has become The Great Trade Barrier, thanks in large part to David Suzuki, Tides Canada and their American backers.


Vivian Krause is a Vancouver researcher and writer. Her blog is www.fair-questions.com. On Twitter, she’s @FairQuestions

Hale: How We Nearly Lost Discovery

[Ed. note: Introspection is an attribute of a sober, focused mind. With it comes a humbling of the ego and an appreciation of one's innate humanity that Mr. Hale sums up in his final statement in his blog post: "...this is how I found out that we were never really as smart as we thought we were."]

How We Nearly Lost Discovery

by Wayne Hale, posted on April 18, 2012, to his blog.

Now that Discovery is safely delivered to the Smithsonian, I think I can tell the story of how we nearly lost her in July of 2005, and how well intentioned, highly motivated,  hard working, smart people can miss the most obvious.

It’s tough to know people who have died.  Many of us knew the astronauts on Challenger and Columbia well.  We had met with them daily, we had visited in their homes, we knew their families, their children.  It is not an easy thing to lose a colleague; especially one who entrusted their safety to you.  So don’t question whether we were motivated to prevent another loss.

Discovery was the shuttle return to flight vehicle after the Challenger was lost; two and a half years were spent from January 28, 1986 until Discovery flew in September 1988.  Many improvements were made which resulted in a safe space flight. Many improvements were made but safety was not assured.

It was not until Discovery again flew in July of 2006 before she flew safely.  That counts as the third “return to flight” mission for Discovery.

You see, we dodged a bullet in 2005.  One we should have seen coming but didn’t.

After the loss of Columbia, it became very clear that that the loss of insulating foam off of the external tank caused damage to the heat shield which lead to the loss of the good ship and crew.  It was a devastating time.  Tens of thousands of experiments, tests, and analyses were performed to discover why foam was lost from the external tank and how to prevent it.  One of the most powerful series of test performed used a partial panel, about 2 feet square, of the aluminum skin of the tank covered with foam.  This test article was chilled on one side to the cold temperature of the cryogenic hydrogen fuel, and heated on the other side with flames simulating the heat generated by supersonic flight through the lower atmosphere.  Adding high velocity airflow to mimic the high speed flight conditions, virtually all the time the foam stayed on the tank.  Only when small defects were embedded in the foam would some of that foam pop out under those strenuous conditions.

All the tests and analyses lead to the inexorable conclusion that defects in the application of the foam insulation could cause foam debris to be generated during the early supersonic phase of shuttle flight.  We informed the foam technicians at our plant in Michoud Louisiana that they were the cause of the loss of Columbia and then worked them overtime in training with new and exhaustive techniques on how to apply foam with no defects.

Many other safety measures were incorporated during those two and a half years; a new inspection boom with camera was built so that complete inspection could be made before shuttle re-entry; heatshield repair materials were tested and proven to work in the vacuum of space if repairs were needed, plans for safe haven at the International Space Station were formulated so the crew would be safe even if extreme, unrepairable damage were detected.  Anybody who followed the shuttle program in those days knows all this.

What you probably don’t know is that a side note in a final briefing before Discovery’s flight pointed out that the large chunk of foam that brought down Columbia could not have been liberated from an internal installation defect.  Hmm.  After 26 months of work, nobody knew how to address that little statement.  Of course we had fixed everything.  What else could there be?  What else could we do?  We were exhausted with study, test, redesign.  We decided to fly.

The launch seemed very normal, we had new cameras everywhere including one on the external tank itself.  We all breathed a sigh of relieve when Discovery reached orbit seemingly without incident.  The members of the Mission Management Team received an early briefing from the video review of no incidents; we boarded our planes from KSC to head back home, that mean Houston for me.

The next morning there was an early MMT briefing from the launch video review team, again nothing major to report; the crew had a busy day on orbit, my assignment was to go to the MMT press briefing where we gave a positive report.  It was on the drive home looking forward to dinner and sleep when I got the call.

I think that must have been the worst call of my life.  Once earlier I had gotten a call that my child had been in an auto accident and was being taken to the hospital in an ambulance.  That was a bad call.  This was worse.  Think of the worst phone call you have ever gotten.  I think this one was worse.

John Muratore, my good friend, fellow flight director, and current head of the shuttle program Systems Engineering and Integration office informed me in very flat terms that he was in the JSC video lab with head photo interpreter Cindy Conrad who had uncovered evidence of a large foam liberation during the critical mach number regime which appeared to have impacted the left wing of Discovery.  Just like Columbia.

I made a highly illegal U-turn in the middle of NASA Road 1 and probably exceeded the posted speed limit heading back to JSC and the photo lab.  Here is one still frame from the video they showed me:  A very large piece of foam coming off the tank heading for the wing.Video still of foam debris headed for Discovery's left wing

I thought I would not be able to breath again.

I thought of Eileen and her crew and how we had probably just killed them.

I thought of all the work and time and how wasted it had been.

I had no idea how I could possibly tell the team, the world, what had transpired.

But unlike Columbia, this time the crew had the means to inspect their heat shield.  That inspection revealed no damage.  The pictures and engineering data showed no damage.  Positive and unambiguous evidence showed the heat shield intact and safe.

Then and only then could I start breathing again.

The next day we told the crew, sent them the video, told the entire NASA senior management, and at the press conference showed the video and made the characterization that this was “unsatisfactory”.  A pretty bland word for the way I really felt

So what happened?  The video wasn’t really clear so either the foam missed the underside of the orbiter completely or struck such a glancing blow that the impact resulted in no damage.

But that is not the real question to be answered. What really happened to the foam?  We wouldn’t find out until December.

God gave us a great gift during the previous year.  We had ECO sensor problems.  At the time that did not look like a gift.  We filled the external tank with cryogenic fuel as a test in May and the Engine Cutoff Sensors – little wet/dry indicators at the bottom of the tank – malfunctioned; indicated dry when they were wet.  We scrubbed that tank from the first flight and sent it back to the factory to analyze sensors.

Now an external tank is a fragile and valuable thing.  On a good day the cost estimate for a completed, flight ready tank was $30 million.  On a bad day, more than twice that.  We never, ever, had shipped a tank back to the factory.  We tested them at the launch site, made occasional repairs, took lots of measurements, but never had shipped one back before that tank.

When we shipped it back – did I forget to mention that Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans the month after we launched Discovery?  Did I forget to mention that the steering mechanism on the trailer the tank was on failed so we sent another tank back to Michoud before the critical one?  Months passed and right before Christmas, we got these X-rays from Michoud.Xray image showing cracks on foam on external tank

They showed cracks in the foam.  Foam where no defects existed.  It turns out that the thermal cycles associated with filling the tank could crack the foam, especially in areas where there were two or more layers of foam.

Finally, this explained the Columbia foam loss.  And the Discovery foam loss.  And it had nothing to do with the improper installation of the foam.

I flew to New Orleans the next day, and called an all hands meeting where I publicly apologized to the foam technicians.  They had not caused the loss of Columbia through poor workmanship.  Those guys were reeling from the hurricane’s devastation to their homes and community, and has lived with nearly 3 years of blame.  Thin comfort for me to apologize, so late, so little.

We worked feverishly to remove foam on foam wherever we could, minimize it where it could not be eliminated, and the following July we were ready to try again.

Discovery flew on July 4, 2006; no significant foam loss occurred.

I consider that to be the real return to flight for the space shuttle.

So were we stupid?  Yes.  Can you learn from our mistake?  I hope so.

So when you go to the Smithsonian and see Discovery there, think how lucky you are to see her whole, intact, and with her crews safely on the ground.

You see, this is how I found out that we were never really as smart as we thought we were.

Maybe that is a lesson that applies to you, too.

Wayne Hale is retired from NASA after 32 years. In his career he was the Space Shuttle Program Manager or Deputy for 5 years, a Space Shuttle Flight Director for 40 missions, and is currently a consultant and full time grandpa. He is available for speaking engagements through Special Aerospace Services.

49 top NASA scientists call an end to NASA’s support for its position on CO2 as a major cause of climate change.

[Ed note: The following press release is squarely aimed at the antics of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies director, James Hansen, and others of the GISS team, notably Gavin Schmidt, controversial operator of the pro-AGW blog Real Climate. Hansen, an astrophysicist by profession, has been a strident antagonist of fossil fuel usage since the '80s. While still a US public servant, he has been lecturing from podia around the world, and been arrested more than once for civil disobedience, all the while expressing that his views are that of a private citizen. Schmidt is well-know for his heavy-handed moderation of "sceptics" when they comment on his blog (well, not his, really, but that's for the reader to delve into...). Questions have been raised by many observers as to how GISS members manage to continue their personal course of climate change advocacy while remaining the public face of a government agency.]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Blanquita Cullum 703-307-9510 bqview at mac.com

Joint letter to NASA Administrator blasts agency’s policy of ignoring empirical evidence

HOUSTON, TX – April 10, 2012.

49 former NASA scientists and astronauts sent a letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden last week admonishing the agency for it’s role in advocating a high degree of certainty that man-made CO2 is a major cause of climate change while neglecting empirical evidence that calls the theory into question.

The group, which includes seven Apollo astronauts and two former directors of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, are dismayed over the failure of NASA, and specifically the Goddard Institute For Space Studies (GISS), to make an objective assessment of all available scientific data on climate change. They charge that NASA is relying too heavily on complex climate models that have proven scientifically inadequate in predicting climate only one or two decades in advance.

H. Leighton Steward, chairman of the non-profit Plants Need CO2, noted that many of the former NASA scientists harbored doubts about the significance of the C02-climate change theory and have concerns over NASA’s advocacy on the issue. While making presentations in late 2011 to many of the signatories of the letter, Steward realized that the NASA scientists should make their concerns known to NASA and the GISS.

“These American heroes – the astronauts that took to space and the scientists and engineers that put them there – are simply stating their concern over NASA’s extreme advocacy for an unproven theory,” said Leighton Steward. “There’s a concern that if it turns out that CO2 is not a major cause of climate change, NASA will have put the reputation of NASA, NASA’s current and former employees, and even the very reputation of science itself at risk of public ridicule and distrust.”

Select excerpts from the letter:

“The unbridled advocacy of CO2 being the major cause of climate change is unbecoming of NASA’s history of making an objective assessment of all available scientific data prior to making decisions or public statements.”
“We believe the claims by NASA and GISS, that man-made carbon dioxide is having a catastrophic impact on global climate change are not substantiated.”
“We request that NASA refrain from including unproven and unsupported remarks in its future releases and websites on this subject.”

The full text of the letter:

March 28, 2012

The Honorable Charles Bolden, Jr.
NASA Administrator
NASA Headquarters
Washington, D.C. 20546-0001

Dear Charlie,

We, the undersigned, respectfully request that NASA and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) refrain from including unproven remarks in public releases and websites. We believe the claims by NASA and GISS, that man-made carbon dioxide is having a catastrophic impact on global climate change are not substantiated, especially when considering thousands of years of empirical data. With hundreds of well-known climate scientists and tens of thousands of other scientists publicly declaring their disbelief in the catastrophic forecasts, coming particularly from the GISS leadership, it is clear that the science is NOT settled.

The unbridled advocacy of CO2 being the major cause of climate change is unbecoming of NASA’s history of making an objective assessment of all available scientific data prior to making decisions or public statements.

As former NASA employees, we feel that NASA’s advocacy of an extreme position, prior to a thorough study of the possible overwhelming impact of natural climate drivers is inappropriate. We request that NASA refrain from including unproven and unsupported remarks in its future releases and websites on this subject. At risk is damage to the exemplary reputation of NASA, NASA’s current or former scientists and employees, and even the reputation of science itself.

For additional information regarding the science behind our concern, we recommend that you contact Harrison Schmitt or Walter Cunningham, or others they can recommend to you.

Thank you for considering this request.

Sincerely,

(Attached signatures)

CC: Mr. John Grunsfeld, Associate Administrator for Science

CC: Ass Mr. Chris Scolese, Director, Goddard Space Flight Center

Ref: Letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, dated 3-26-12, regarding a request for NASA to refrain from making unsubstantiated claims that human produced CO2 is having a catastrophic impact on climate change.

/s/ Jack Barneburg, Jack – JSC, Space Shuttle Structures, Engineering Directorate, 34 years

/s/ Larry Bell – JSC, Mgr. Crew Systems Div., Engineering Directorate, 32 years

/s/ Dr. Donald Bogard – JSC, Principal Investigator, Science Directorate, 41 years

/s/ Jerry C. Bostick – JSC, Principal Investigator, Science Directorate, 23 years

/s/ Dr. Phillip K. Chapman – JSC, Scientist – astronaut, 5 years

/s/ Michael F. Collins, JSC, Chief, Flight Design and Dynamics Division, MOD, 41 years

/s/ Dr. Kenneth Cox – JSC, Chief Flight Dynamics Div., Engr. Directorate, 40 years

/s/ Walter Cunningham – JSC, Astronaut, Apollo 7, 8 years

/s/ Dr. Donald M. Curry – JSC, Mgr. Shuttle Leading Edge, Thermal Protection Sys., Engr. Dir., 44 years

/s/ Leroy Day – Hdq. Deputy Director, Space Shuttle Program, 19 years

/s/ Dr. Henry P. Decell, Jr. – JSC, Chief, Theory & Analysis Office, 5 years

/s/Charles F. Deiterich – JSC, Mgr., Flight Operations Integration, MOD, 30 years

/s/ Dr. Harold Doiron – JSC, Chairman, Shuttle Pogo Prevention Panel, 16 years

/s/ Charles Duke – JSC, Astronaut, Apollo 16, 10 years

/s/ Anita Gale

/s/ Grace Germany – JSC, Program Analyst, 35 years

/s/ Ed Gibson – JSC, Astronaut Skylab 4, 14 years

/s/ Richard Gordon – JSC, Astronaut, Gemini Xi, Apollo 12, 9 years

/s/ Gerald C. Griffin – JSC, Apollo Flight Director, and Director of Johnson Space Center, 22 years

/s/ Thomas M. Grubbs – JSC, Chief, Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering Branch, 31 years

/s/ Thomas J. Harmon

/s/ David W. Heath – JSC, Reentry Specialist, MOD, 30 years

/s/ Miguel A. Hernandez, Jr. – JSC, Flight crew training and operations, 3 years

/s/ James R. Roundtree – JSC Branch Chief, 26 years

/s/ Enoch Jones – JSC, Mgr. SE&I, Shuttle Program Office, 26 years

/s/ Dr. Joseph Kerwin – JSC, Astronaut, Skylab 2, Director of Space and Life Sciences, 22 years

/s/ Jack Knight – JSC, Chief, Advanced Operations and Development Division, MOD, 40 years

/s/ Dr. Christopher C. Kraft – JSC, Apollo Flight Director and Director of Johnson Space Center, 24 years

/s/ Paul C. Kramer – JSC, Ass.t for Planning Aeroscience and Flight Mechanics Div., Egr. Dir., 34 years

/s/ Alex (Skip) Larsen

/s/ Dr. Lubert Leger – JSC, Ass’t. Chief Materials Division, Engr. Directorate, 30 years

/s/ Dr. Humbolt C. Mandell – JSC, Mgr. Shuttle Program Control and Advance Programs, 40 years

/s/ Donald K. McCutchen – JSC, Project Engineer – Space Shuttle and ISS Program Offices, 33 years

/s/ Thomas L. (Tom) Moser – Hdq. Dep. Assoc. Admin. & Director, Space Station Program, 28 years

/s/ Dr. George Mueller – Hdq., Assoc. Adm., Office of Space Flight, 6 years

/s/ Tom Ohesorge

/s/ James Peacock – JSC, Apollo and Shuttle Program Office, 21 years

/s/ Richard McFarland – JSC, Mgr. Motion Simulators, 28 years

/s/ Joseph E. Rogers – JSC, Chief, Structures and Dynamics Branch, Engr. Directorate,40 years

/s/ Bernard J. Rosenbaum – JSC, Chief Engineer, Propulsion and Power Division, Engr. Dir., 48 years

/s/ Dr. Harrison (Jack) Schmitt – JSC, Astronaut Apollo 17, 10 years

/s/ Gerard C. Shows – JSC, Asst. Manager, Quality Assurance, 30 years

/s/ Kenneth Suit – JSC, Ass’t Mgr., Systems Integration, Space Shuttle, 37 years

/s/ Robert F. Thompson – JSC, Program Manager, Space Shuttle, 44 years/s/ Frank Van Renesselaer – Hdq., Mgr. Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters, 15 years

/s/ Dr. James Visentine – JSC Materials Branch, Engineering Directorate, 30 years

/s/ Manfred (Dutch) von Ehrenfried – JSC, Flight Controller; Mercury, Gemini & Apollo, MOD, 10 years

/s/ George Weisskopf – JSC, Avionics Systems Division, Engineering Dir., 40 years

/s/ Al Worden – JSC, Astronaut, Apollo 15, 9 years

/s/ Thomas (Tom) Wysmuller – JSC, Meteorologist, 5 years

[H/T WUWT]

Cooke: British freedom of speech endangered

 

British Freedom of Speech Endangered
John Stuart Mill, where art thou?

By Charles C. W. Cooke      March 29, 2012 4:00 A.M.

 In Britain, the trend toward the curbing of free expression picked up speed on Monday, when British student Liam Stacey was sentenced to 56 days in prison for posting racist comments on Twitter. When Premier League footballer Fabrice Muamba had a heart attack during a soccer game and was rushed to hospital, a drunk Stacey took to the microblogging site and spewed a series of racially abhorrent tweets into the ether. Other Twitter users — including sports pundit and former top-flight footballer Stan Collymore — quickly noticed his words and reported Stacey to the police, who arrested him and charged him with incitement to racial hatred a few days later.

When Muamba collapsed, said the judge at Stacey’s trial, “not just the footballer’s family, not just the footballing world but the whole world were literally praying for his life. Your comments aggravated this situation.” In fact, it is hard to see how Stacey’s words aggravated anything much at all. What he wrote, utterly appalling and unprintable as it was, had bearing neither on the efficacy of Muamba’s life-saving treatment nor on the likelihood of his survival. It prevented nobody from praying for his life or exercising any of their own rights. And it encouraged nobody to do anything illegal. Sure, what Stacey wrote may have — should have — upset many people. But in a free country, that cannot be a crime.

Explaining his decision to imprison Stacey, the judge noted that he had “no choice but to impose an immediate custodial sentence to reflect the public outrage at what [Stacey had] done.” “To reflect the public outrage”? Translation: British speech law is determined by the sentiments of the mob. That this is the case would constitute a tragedy anywhere that free men live, but it is especially egregious in the land of John Stuart Mill. In On Liberty, Mill averred that “if all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.” His words carried no small print, nor did his associated contention that “there ought to exist the fullest liberty of professing and discussing, as a matter of ethical conviction, any doctrine, however immoral it might be considered.”

It is hard to fathom why exactly Stacey was singled out. It is a sad fact of modern life that people say racist and abhorrent things on social networks and public message boards all the time — YouTube’s comments section, particularly, is a sewer — and yet most go untouched. Given that a popular Twitter reaction to Stacey’s imprisonment on Monday was “I hope he gets raped by a black man in prison” — and there were other, even less charming, variants — one can but ask why such subsequent comments do not constitute as much of an incitement to racial hatred — to violence, perhaps — as the original, and why they are not worthy of the same punishment. If an eye for an eye makes the world blind, an insult for an insult would have seen thousands locked up in British jails this week if the law had been applied consistently.

 

Breitbart: Exclusive – Palin to Couric: ‘Game On’

[Ed. note: Ok, I'm calling this an April Fool's joke! Hosting a primetime flapfest on the most lefty network on TV. Sarah Palin? It will be entertaining, fer sure. She's been hinting on her facebook page that something was afoot. Aha! That's our girl -go get 'em Sarah!]

Exclusive – Palin to Couric: ‘Game On’

by Alexander Marlow,  March 31, 2012

 

When news broke that Katie Couric will be filling in for Robin Roberts next week on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” the country yawned.  Or, at least we did, until we learned that NBC plans to pit “The Rogue Warrior” against “The Perky One”: Sarah Palin will be guest-hosting “Today” this Tuesday.
NBC’s decision to seat the former Alaska Governor-turned-multimedia star in their anchor chair will likely prove to be a fruitful one. Since coming onto the national scene in 2008, Palin has become one of the most charismatic figures in conservative America and will likely bring “Today” an entirely different demographic of viewers.
“I see this as a good opportunity to bring an independent, common-sense conservative perspective to NBC. We’re ‘going rogue’ and infiltrating some turf for a day,” Palin told Breitbart News.
Palin and Couric will be squaring off, in a sense, for the first time since their controversial interview on the 2008 campaign trail.
When Breitbart News asked for a comment about the fact that she will be competing with Couric, Gov. Palin responded simply: “Game on.”
Indeed.

NBC Investigating Edited 911 Call From Night Trayvon Martin Died

[2012-04-10: Update below]

A story is breaking that NBC and the Today show intentionally edited out a crucial bit of dialogue between the 911 operator and George Zimmerman, the alleged shooter, the night Trayvon Martin died. The implication of the edit was that Zimmerman was racially profiling Martin, when in fact, he was responding to questions from the 911 operator. The Martin-Zimmerman case has exploded in the US, fueling racial tension, especially from the more vocal race agitators like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. The Hannity show on Fox news broke the story, subsequently reported by Matt Drudge and other news aggregators.

NBC has advised that they have launched an internal investigation into the matter. Regardless, the broader implications of this journalistic failure, willful or not, cannot be overstated. To date, Zimmerman has not been charged, but the revenge-mob mentality that has grown up over the event is having serious repercussions in many places. NBC, through its failure to do proper due diligence, or worse, through its possible complicity, may well have the blood of others on its hands before this matter settles.

Today presented Zimmerman’s call as: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black”, and failed to notify the audience that they had edited out a significant portion between “no good” and “He looks black”.

What was edited out of the exchange between Zimmerman and the 911 operator apparently went like this:

Zimmerman: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.”

911 operator: “Okay. And this guy, is he white, black or Hispanic?”

Zimmerman: “He looks black.”

To date, Zimmerman has not been charged – he has maintained that he acted in self-defence, and the local police force continues to investigate.

Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, along with many others, have been accused of starting a race war over the case, which has resulted in massive protests both in the US and in Britain.

A neighbour of Zimmerman has come forward to state that Zimmerman was all bandaged and bruised the day after the shooting, consistent with Zimmerman’s defence that he was attacked and acted in self-defence.

NBC reportedly fired a producer for this “edit”, but the cleanup goes on:

April 10, 2012
NBC’s “He Looks Black” – Now You See It, Now You Don’t

NBC is busy taking down the evidence of its repeated usage of its bogus edit of the George Zimmerman 911 call. This follows the firing of a producer for the use of the same bad edit on the March 27 Today Show. Left unanswered – what about the March 22 use on the Today Show? [LATE ADD: a third usage of "He looks black" has been found and edited out of existence (but not Google Cache!) at NBC 6 Miami, as described below. When will the Elite Media sniff a cover-up?]

Twelve days ago Dan Riehl found this at MSNBC:

“This guy looks like he’s up to no good … he looks black,” Zimmerman told a police dispatcher from his car. His father has said that Zimmerman is Hispanic, grew up in a multiracial family, and is not racist.

The use of ellipsis clearly indicate that the conversation was clipped. This version has since been re-edited (without any explanation) to include the complete exchange.

And Pajama’s Media Youtube commentary on the edit: