[U: Touchdown — Safe!] In The Next Few Hours, US Time, China May Drop Its Mars Rover Onto The Very Same Plain Where NASA’s 1976 Era Viking Sits… In A Long-Held Silence…

May 14, 2021 - Leave a Response

Updated, late Friday evening: The CNSA Zhurong rover is now sitting safely, in the southern quarter of the vast plain called Utopia Planitia, on Mars. Kudos to the people of China! End update.

We will keep a good thought, and a weather-eye on eye on the horizon — well into the coming luminous dawn, tomorrow. . . so that this all goes off without a hitch. An echo, to NASA’s own first soft landing at Utopia Planitia, on what Edgar Rice Burroughs memorably called. . . Barsoom.

Here’s the latest, from the translated CNSA press release:

. . .The Tianwen-1 probe plans to choose an opportunity to land on the Martian Utopia Plain from the early morning of May 15 to May 19, Beijing time. . . .

It is fascinating that the Chinese rover will be driving in the same zip code as. . . Viking, from all the way back in 1976. Grinning ear to ear, now. . . onward, to the undiscovered country out there. . . rising in the Spring’s night sky, like a red coal, with a moan. . . .


The REAL Lady A, Anita White — Blues Artist, Will Litigate Her Right To Use Her Own Name On Stage, In The Nashville Federal Courts, For Now…

May 14, 2021 - Leave a Response

As is often true, the trial level civil federal courts favor people with deep pockets, on purely procedural matters. This is one of those times. [Ms. White should be able to defend herself, in a forum closer to her home. But no matter, she will prevail.]

Anita White, a resident of the State of Washington (and she has a pending federal civil action in Seattle, too — but now that one will likely be stayed or transferred, to Nashville), is now going to be required to defend a suit brought by a multi-Platinum selling, all-white country band, on that band’s home turf — in Nashville. Ms. White will have to pay to have her witnesses, lawyers and herself flown into Nashville on a regular basis — just to keep using her own name, in blues performances, locally around the northwest, and southeast US.

Here’s this morning’s 20 page USDC ruling — and I expect Ms. White will win the right to keep using her common law trademark name, since it predates the country act’s use by over a decade.

To say that the wealthy country act baited Ms. White into the courts in Tennessee is no exaggeration. And we do know that her now very able trial counsel (at the Cooley firm) has taken the matter, on a pro bono basis (should she lose). But if she wins, they will recover perhaps over a million dollars in attorneys’ fees, from the country act and its record label — since the evidence clearly supports a finding of willfulness, in the infringement (and chicanery to draw her into accepting Tennessee as a suitable forum).

Do stay tuned — but in a year or so, we expect Ms. White will have prevailed. And if you want to help her, do go buy her recordings. Boycott the country act, as well. Onward, smiling — on a perfect Friday afternoon. . . . with more bike footage ahead!


And… In Happier News, Parler Has Been Completely DOA / Unreachable For Five Days…

May 12, 2021 - Leave a Response

I gather that — as of about ten days ago (I had stopped looking in, as I. Don’t. Care. — not about some former, no-longer crook-in-chief), the tech jugglers, at Mercer’s reborn little hate-gabber. . . were able to restore access to an iPhone style app, in the Apple App Store, for (mostly) rabid morons to download — and then be tracked, 24/7 by FBI, DHS, etc. Charmingly. . . perfect.

Then, on last Thursday night or so, they tried to do some form of site update, and apparently broke all the users’ logon APIs / credentialing scripts.

So. . . it is now day four, plus about 20 hours, that the site is/has been. . . 404.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of people. [If you aren’t up to speed on all of this, just put “Parler” in the search box upper left of the other property, and get all caught up.]

Onward, grinning. . . but indeed, this is how mindless hate most often dies — it simply dies. . . of boredom, with itself, and its insular little community of ditto-brains. Fitting indeed.


Updated Court Status — Come Friday, In The Quixotic Texas Matter, Seeking To Block Mr. Biden’s 100 Day “Deportation Pause” Order — Before Judge Tipton…

May 11, 2021 - Leave a Response

As we’ve repeatedly said, the Trump-appointed, largely underqualified young USDC judge in Texas seems unable to grasp that he doesn’t possess jurisdiction over the claims Texas seeks to assert — as under clearly correct US Supreme Court decisions, Texas (as an individual state) has no standing to sue the Biden administration over a order that doesn’t single Texas out, in any fashion.

Be that as it may, and that Mr. Biden’s 100 day pause has now expired, by the sheer passage of time — I would hope that the Texas court will now move toward dismissing this nonsense political action. But I expect more political speechifying from his bench on Friday, in truth, so I will listen in, and perhaps even live blog it, again. Here’s the latest:

. . .Status Conference set for 5/14/2021 at 09:00 AM before Judge Drew B Tipton, filed.

All Parties to appear by ZOOM. Zoom link will be emailed to parties.

Dial in instructions for the conference can be accessed within the High Profile Hearings with Public Access link at https://www.txs.uscourts.gov/

Except by leave of the presiding Judge, no photo- or electro-mechanical means of recordation or transmission of court proceedings is permitted. (KelliePapaioannouadi, 2) (Entered: 05/11/2021). . . .

Now you know — onward, grinning, despite Tipton’s utter disregard for federal law. . . this silly suit is going to draw to a close.


[U] Power Alley: It Would Be A Travesty — If Federal Bankruptcy Laws Do Shield Over $7 Billion Of The Sacklers’ Personal Wealth, While Ending Claims Against Purdue Pharma…

May 11, 2021 - Leave a Response

Forgive me, on this fine sunny Spring morning, as I return to a moment of. . . utter contempt, here.

Just as the NRA is seeking to use bankruptcy laws in Texas federal court — to skirt its open responsibility for pending mass shooting/gun death suits, and claims of undisclosed, unlawful Russian influenced US political-peddling campaigns. . . the Sackler family, whose entire fortune (at one time, nearly $15 billion) was made by deceptively marketing, and marking up prices on oxy-. . . seeks now to keep the bulk of its personal family wealth, via bankruptcy reorganization of what was Purdue.

That is. . . disgusting. Here is the UK’s Guardian on it all:

. . .Criticism has centered on the unusual proposition to shield the wealth of individual Sacklers, even though they are seeking bankruptcy only for their company and not for themselves.

Under the proposals, the two branches of the Sackler family that own Purdue Pharma would settle more than 3,000 lawsuits against the company by paying $4.3bn.

But the Sacklers would keep about $7bn, which would be personally protected from legal action over the part played by some family members in the illegal drive to mass-market OxyContin, for which Purdue has been twice convicted of criminal charges, in 2007 and last year. . . .

It takes a very cynical, jaundiced eye, to suggest that the Sacklers “need” around $7 billion, to scrape by — after the company was twice convicted of crimes — and the family has finished in the top five for the infamous Shkreli Award, every year since inception. Sheesh.

UPDATED @ 4 PM EDT: The Texas USBC Judge “Cooter” Hale (no, I am not kidding — that’s his name!) just ruled that the NRA may not use the bankruptcy statute to effectively move to Texas (and reincorporate there), with the sole goal being avoiding lawsuits properly brought by the AG of New York (to dissolve it as a scam non-profit), where the NRA is presently domiciled. The able judge dismissed the NRA’s Chapter 11 today, thus:

“. . .The NRA is a solvent and growing organization using this bankruptcy as a tool to win its dissolution lawsuit, and that is not an appropriate use of bankruptcy. . . .”

Perfect. End, update.


[U: Success!] OSIRUS-REx Departs From Bennu… In 35 Minutes… “See, It’s The Train That Moves, Not The Station…”

May 10, 2021 - Leave a Response

We are waiting for the NASA team, in conjunction with the Littleton, Colorado private contractor team to signal that the main engine has fired.

Then, after having added about 600 mph to its departure speed, measured relative to Bennu’s path, it will be on course to return to Earth in 2023. New departure explainer video, here — on top:

This main engine burn should go flawlessly, but that candle hasn’t been lit in almost three years. . . and space often does not. . . cooperate. So, we wait — smiling, but we wait.


Mother’s Day 2021 — At Dinner…

May 9, 2021 - Leave a Response

[UPDATE: Dropped Into the Indian Ocean Near the Maldives.] Just Like July of 1979 — We Are All In A “Space Junk / Hail Stone” Shooting Gallery, For The Next Day Or Two…

May 8, 2021 - Leave a Response

While any individual person’s risk of being hit is nearly infinitesimal — it is likely that this 22 ton piece of junk, likely in a super-sonic “hail shower” of broken up pieces. . . will fall somewhere onto Earth, in the next 48 hours.

To be clear, this rocket debris is less than a fortieth the mass that rained down over western Australia (Skylab: over 800 tons), in July 1979, when NASA allowed Skylab to fall back to Earth. Back then, precociously, the small-town in western Australia called Esperance sent NASA a $400 municipal ticket — for “littering”. But most of the larger pieces of Skylab ended up deep at the bottom of the Indian Ocean, in truth.

So, we will avoid demonizing the Chinese space program (as we too have committed this same sin, in much greater magnitude, as well) — but clearly, that agency should henceforth make more robust plans, for controlling de-orbit of its larger rocket stages. Here’s CNN on it, about an hour ago:

. . .The Long March 5B rocket, which is around 100 feet tall and weighs 22 tons, is expected to enter Earth’s atmosphere “around May 8,” according to a statement from Defense Department spokesperson Mike Howard, who said the US Space Command is tracking the rocket’s trajectory. . . .

Perhaps the name chosen for the Chinese Mars rover will prove prophetic, here at home — on Earth this weekend, but it is highly likely the whole hail storm of junk falls harmlessly into the deep blue Atlantic or Pacific oceans. We shall see. Onward, smiling just the same. . . .

That summer of ’79 — over a mile under the Earth, in the mines was. . . crazy, too.


Count Me… In! Over 80 Banksy Works, In Chicago — July 2021, As A Live In-Person Exhibit

May 5, 2021 - Leave a Response

This is certainly one of the times I’ll gladly show. . . my vaccine passport. [Longer term readers know my history with shameless fandom, for this artist — if you don’t, just click this link to the main site.]

To be able to walk languidly about a large gallery space, savoring each texture — standing only a foot or two from a wide array of authentic originals. . . how sweet. One local report has it, thus:

. . .The city of Chicago will hail over 80 original works from street artist Banksy in a new exhibit running July through November to a “secret location” in the West Loop neighborhood.

Presale ticket sales end May 6 at 10 a.m. . . . As of Tuesday evening, some dates in July have already sold out and many have limited availability. . . .

Banksy’s works are mainly dated between the years 1997 to 2008, according to the website, and include “Girl and Balloon” and “Flower Thrower,” among others.

Exhibit officials added that indoor pieces from original works on canvas, wood and paper have been less exposed, but will be on display. . . .

Yep — I’m all over this, like white on rice. Grin. . . .


But who shall I say will be my plus one?

Henry Olsen Commits A Fundamental Legal Error, When Looking At Trump’s Facebook “De-Platforming…”

May 5, 2021 - Leave a Response

I will note this — just briefly — so not too many people begin to think this conservative view is a good idea.

Mr. Olsen argues that Zuck ought to adopt Brandeburg v. Ohio, as his litmus test, as to people like Trump.

Here is his, in full, and the clearly erroneous heart of it:

. . .Zuckerberg should take this opportunity to expressly adopt the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions regarding when speech loses its First Amendment protections. The court held in Brandenburg v. Ohio that speech loses its constitutional protection only when “such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action. . . .”

Facebook is not a government actor. Full stop. Brandenburg concerned actions taken by the government, to suppress or censor “speech” — by a private actor. It was correctly decided, as against a government actor. The First Amendment starts with “shall make no law” for a reason. It applies to law-making bodies, not private clubs.

Mr. Olsen would not, I suppose, be in favor of a large throng of people — splashed with pigs’ blood, with inverted crosses on their chests — entering his (a private club, called a) church, for this purpose, on a Sunday morning during quiet reflective worship — and loudly and profanely chanting demon-worshiping hoots and hollers, while banging gongs and insulting the deity supposedly being worshiped there, by his “faithful”.

But in essence, he argues that his private club/church cannot stop that from happening, if his church must follow Bandenburg. His church is Facebook, here. He ought to just sit down — his makes no sense.