Feb 282011

A lot of people have seen this video, showing the self-appointed mascot of the Wisconsin teachers union eloquently stating his position:

[youtube TZ0dJM3h-tE]

A longer clip is viewable HERE.

This screeching goofball has been identified as on Fred Levenhagen, who teaches eighth grade in the Lake County School District.

Better still, apparently he teaches “social studies,” and pulls down a paltry $94,937 in salary and bennies. Plus, he no doubt had a “doctors note” that day, so all his energetic screaming was done while he was clearly quite ill. Either that… or quite possibly he got one of those fraudulent doctors notes. In other words… he lied.

So, the question now becomes… since he feels it’s entirely appropriate for someone to interrupt others and scream repetitively, how is he going to react when one of his students stands up in the middle of class and starts yelling “Fred lies! Fred lies! Fred lies!”

Now, as to the larger topic of a government employee union taking some hits from the government: even FDR, “champion” of the socialist classes, knew that unionizing government workers was a bad idea.

Letter on the Resolution of Federation of Federal Employees Against Strikes in Federal Service

All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.

Unions like to cast themselves in the role of fighting against greedy employers. But in this case, the employer is the state government of Wisconsin… which is, when you come right down to it, the people of Wisconsin. So the teachers union is fighting against the people of Wisconsin.

 Posted by at 9:39 am
Feb 272011

The British government seems to take a really bizarre view of “squatters rights.”


After squatters moved into John Hamilton-Brown’s new £1million five bedroom home he has been forced to beg them to get out through his letterbox.

The group of foreigners were granted legal aid to fight to stay – while he was forced to represent himself.

One of the squatters, who said he was 20, told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘There are many empty homes and we should be able to live wherever we want.’

Shoreditch County Court refused to issue an interim possession order forcing them to vacate the property within 24 hours because of a technicality – and it could now be six weeks before they are told have to go.

The house is not abandoned, but legally owned. The squatters are thus tresspassing. Why can’t the police simply march in and arrest everyone? Were this Texas, the homeowner would, I believe, be allowed to kick in the door and start shooting. Which might explain why I don’t see the same sort of story out of Texas…

Additionally: if it’s legal for the trespassers to be in there, then it’d be legal for *other* tresspassers to be in there. Perhaps a bunch of neighbors could get together, force the door open, and march in? If the do so right after a local soccer or rugby game… why, it’d hardly be unexpected if a fight broke out and some people got roughed up and tossed out into the street, would it?

 Posted by at 10:20 am
Feb 262011

Last night while I was trying to figure out WTF was wrong with my connection to NASA, the cats were busy sleeping. Fingers finds that Raedthinn, when he’s not biting her head, makes a wonderful pillow upon which to rest her head.

And look who’s NOT invited:

 Posted by at 9:41 pm
Feb 262011

For the last several days, I’ve been unable to access a particular NASA website. Just now I noticed that I can’t acces *any* NASA website. Simply won’t connect. I’ve checked a bucketload of other links, and they all seem to work just fine… just not NASA “.gov” sites. Anyone else have this problem… or is it just me? And if it’s just me… WTF?

 Posted by at 4:03 am
Feb 262011

And here it is:


This is the real First Edition of the thing, with (hopefully) all the bugs worked out. It is revised from the original test release in having some major page formatting changes, some changes in illustrations, some minor re-writes. At 76 pages, it sells for the low, low price of $20.20, and is actually a fairly substantial publication. While MagCloud markets as selling magazines, it’s not printed on flimsy magazine paper, but good, sturdy trustworthy paper.

So, buy ’em up! The faster it sells – and the more it sells – will help determine just how enthusiastic I’ll get about further publications. Tell all your friends!

 Posted by at 2:18 am
Feb 252011

One of the earliest designs for a “wet lab” space station based on the S-IVb stage that can be directly traced to Skylab ancestry. This piece of NASA-MSFC artwork dates from 1966 and shows clear similarity to Skylab. The Apollo telescope mount is still clearly derived from the Lunar Module; the solar panel arrangement is obviously quite different, and it has retained the aerodynamic shrouds (which were probably meant to serve as micrometeoroid shielding). Another telescope is shown directly opposite the Apollo mount, and there’s of course the J-2 engine way at the back.

Drawings to come.

 Posted by at 1:30 am