August 31st, 2006

wombat

Thursday this n' that

If you have an interest in the old Soviet space program, or all the stuff their "news" agencies tended to sweep under the rug, you definitely need to check out Jim Oberg's Pioneering Space. Oberg, the author of Red Star In Orbit, Uncovering Soviet Disasters, and the more recent Star-Crossed Orbits, has some very interesting reading linked there, including the horrific "The Nedelin Catastrophe" and the chapter on dead cosmonauts from Uncovering Soviet Disasters, which I have more than my usual interest in on account of hearing the Komarov urban legends while I was on active duty. Anyway, Jim's a great writer and a first-rate sleuth - go check out his site and buy his books!

Cobb offers the hottest ticket in town. Mmmm, poundcake. On a related topic, Captain Ed notes that the nutroots have started going after other ideologically impure Democrats - this time in the Congressional Black Caucus. Also check out My Fourteenth, Not Yours, which talks about the ongoing constitutional law debate over whether the Fourteenth Amendment really applies to "anchor babies".

Jane Galt offers some hope for my prospects of finishing Blood Red Skies. She also has a critique of the folks who think government is more efficient than the private sector, and is relieved that Malcolm Gladwell doesn't hate her after all. (What? You didn't know I liked soap operas?)

The Bride wonders idly where all the student anti-war protestors are. The consensus among her commenters seems to be: no draft, no protests.

Tim Blair celebrates Plastic Turkey Day (Rachel), and in a similar vein, Captain Capitalism mocks Evo Morales and his fellow morons in the Bolivian government. (Kate)

One last morsel of food for thought: GM, Ford, and DaimlerChrysler have all been taking it in the shorts due to their huge labor costs and unwieldy management structures. At the same time, there are probably more auto manufacturing companies running loose in America than at any time since the Depression killed a bunch of them off. Is there a possibility that we could be on the verge of a boom in auto companies again? If a company confined itself to the task of designing combinations of existing chassis and drivetrains with original bodywork and interiors, and found a way to change the existing dealer sales paradigm, could they succeed in reviving one of the many defunct brands such as Peerless, Pierce Arrow, Studebaker, or DeSoto? They're making Packards again, after all...
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