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Cheap sounding rockets?

Some news from This will definitely fill a niche, but at US$9000/kg it is a bit steep. This is about the same cost as putting a payload on a Russian Proton. The difference though is that the size of payload is much smaller on the sounding rocket. Even as a tertiary payload, a one kilo payload would not be taken seriously on a Proton. Read more »

Thoughts on Electricity

Faithful reader Spoonie Luv, in response to my post about electricity in California, New York, and Iraq, asks how a free market in electricity can be made to work. (Actually he asks for an example, but I'll enlarge the query to provide a better discussion of the issues.) Read more »

Quote of the Day

"Today's mighty oak was once just a nut who stood his ground."

California, New York and Iraq

Q. What do California, New York, and Iraq have in common?

A. Problems delivering power and a lack of a free market in power generation and delivery.

Coincidence? I think not.


A different view of Earth and Moon has found the surest way to annoy me. Just put up a picture taken from the ISS like this,

iss_moon.jpg Read more »

Gollum for Governor

Finally, a politician we can all trust.
News from CouncilofElrond

Of Snow Leopards and African Elephants

a leopardRobert Clayton Dean finds himself in a dilemma. The dilemma is about endangered species and libertarian principles. Since libertarian principles are congruent with economic principles, I do not see the dilemma. If snow leopards have a market value, then someone will supply snow leopards. Read more »

Ladies and Gentlemen, in the center ring...

Height challenged individuals, strongmen, clowns, and all the other acts that make a great circus are here. Welcome to the California gubernatorial race. Gary Coleman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gallagher, and Larry Flint have either formally filed or are actively getting the money, signatures, and paperwork put together. At least Californians (and the rest of the world) will be entertained while California burns. Hey, it's better than fading away, right?

Model rocket propellant

Shortly after 9/11 ammonium perchlorate composite propellant (APCP) used in model rocketry and the shuttle boosters was listed as an explosive to be regulated by the BATF. What is odd about this is that APCP is a good rocket propellant because it is not explosive. The NY Times has an article about the issue with more spin than an electron. According to the article: Read more »

Willful ignorance

Speaking of ignorance, one would hope that this commentary about government indoctrination center teachers and administrators is the exception rather than the rule. While the majority of teachers and administrators that I know are not this bad, there are a significant number who are willfully ignorant and openly anti-intellectual. Of course, this is a feature of the 19th century Prussian polizeistaat education system that the U.S. has embraced.

Trade restrictions

Do any of our politicians know any history? We already know they have no clue about economics or morals. In the real world such ignorance would be prosecuted as criminal negligence.

In 1929 the stock market crashed, and the U.S. entered into what is now known as the Great Depression. In 1930 the U.S. enacted the Smoot-Hawley Tariff and according to our own State Department: Read more »

Iraqi phones

As I expected, the Occupation Government cares more about expanding their mercantilist empire than Iraqi liberty. Story here.

Mobile Telephony in Iraq

A couple of days ago I pointed out an article about cell phones becoming mysteriously available in Iraq. Of course, I jumped to conclusions, as Brian Micklethwait over at Samizdata points out.

Now the BBC is reporting that the service is in fact from a non-government entity, set up without anyone's permission.

The beginning of the end for California?

California is really getting into a mess. The Dems broadcasted a bull session that includes damning comments about their strategy and attitude. California still doesn't have a budget, and they aren't getting any closer. The recall petition has been officially blessed as having plenty of signatures, so Gray Davis faces a recall vote this fall. It seems that the state government is about to implode. With any luck the myth of government will implode along with the state government.

The free market in Iraq

Look out, free market coming through!

At the bottom of this little piece from The Scotsman:

Meanwhile, mobile-phone services were mysteriously available in Baghdad yesterday, bringing cellular service - banned under Saddam Hussein - to ordinary people in the Iraqi capital for the first time.

Officially, a tender for the three mobile-phone licences the US-led administration plans to offer across Iraq has yet to take place.

Read more »