NASA astronaut and “the first mother to fly in space” Dr. Anna Fisher took a veiled shot at President Obamaand his space policies Tuesday during an interview with a local anchor at Dulles International Airport where Discovery was making its last flight before being retired at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The local anchor Kristin Fisher pulled a little boy named Ethan out of the crowd who was dressed up as a NASA pilot and asked him if he wanted to be an astronaut when he grew up, which he answered in the affirmative.
“Any advice for Ethan, an aspiring astronaut?” she asked her mom.
“Study Russian,” Fisher quipped, to laughter. (Mediaite)
There is truth in comedy.
A bill already passed by the Senate and set to be rubber stamped by the House would make it mandatory for all new cars in the United States to be fitted with black box data recorders from 2015 onwards.
Section 31406 of Senate Bill 1813 (known as MAP-21), calls for “Mandatory Event Data Recorders” to be installed in all new automobiles and legislates for civil penalties to be imposed against individuals for failing to do so.
“Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall revise part 563 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, to require, beginning with model year 2015, that new passenger motor vehicles sold in the United States be equipped with an event data recorder that meets the requirements under that part,” states the bill.
Although the text of legislation states that such data would remain the property of the owner of the vehicle, the government would have the power to access it in a number of circumstances, including by court order, if the owner consents to make it available, and pursuant to an investigation or inspection conducted by the Secretary of Transportation.
Given the innumerable examples of both government and industry illegally using supposedly privacy-protected information to spy on individuals, this represents the slippery slope to total Big Brother surveillance of every American’s transport habits and location data.
The legislation, which has been given the Orwellian title ‘Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act’, sailed through the Senate after being heavily promoted by Democrats Harry Reid and Barbara Boxer and is also expected to pass the Republican-controlled House.
Given the fact that the same bill also includes a controversial provision that would empower the IRS to revoke passports of citizens merely accused of owing over $50,000 in back taxes, stripping them of their mobility rights, could the mandatory black boxes or a similar technology be used for the same purpose?
Biometric face-recognition and transdermol sensor technology that prevents an inebriated person from driving a car by disabling the automobile has already been developed, in addition to systems that refuse to allow the vehicle to start if the driver is deemed to be overtired.
The ultimate Big Brother scenario would be a system whereby every driver had to get de facto permission from the state to drive each time they get behind the wheel, once it had been determined from an iris scan that they were good citizens who have paid all their taxes and not misbehaved.
The push to pressure car manufacturers to install black box tracking devices in all new cars has been ongoing for over a decade. In 2006, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encouraged but did not require automobile manufacturers to install the systems.
However, in February last year NHTSA administrator David Strickland said the government was considering making the technology mandatory in the wake of recalls of millions of Toyota vehicles.
Earlier this year it was reported that the NHTSA would soon formally announce that all new cars would be mandated to have the devices fitted by law, which has now been codified into the MAP-21 bill.
And now 10 years later what is there argument, “it would take 10 years”…Funny how that worked out.
- There would be no production out of [ANWR] for at least 7 years.” -Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.)
- “Oil extracted from [ANWR] would not reach refineries for seven to ten years.” -Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
- “No oil will flow from ANWR…until from 7 to 10 years from now.” -Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)
- “Oil exploration in ANWR will not actually start producing oil for as many as 10 years.” -Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)
- “Even if we started drilling [in ANWR] tomorrow, the first barrel of crude oil would not make it to the market for at least 10 years.” -Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Ten years later, oil and gas production on federal lands is at a nine-year low, a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline costs an average $3.90, and the president is busy blaming “speculators” for high oil prices – a scapegoat that even a former Democratic Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner rejects.
1086 Days later!
What you’re looking at is a view of today’s Senate Budget Committee meeting, at which Chairman Kent Conrad conducted a faux “markup” of his party’s FY 2013 budget resolution. The near side of the table is where Democrats were supposed to sit. Granted, this entire exercise was somewhat academic because its resulting product would receive neither a vote in this committee, nor in the Senate at large. Details! Throughout much of the session, all 11 Republican members were present to, you know, do their jobs. Of the 12 committee Democrats, no more than 3 or 4 were in attendance at any given time, according to sources inside the meeting. “[The Democrats] showed absolutely no interest in discussing our big picture problems or offering solutions,” a GOP budget aide tells Townhall. “Those who were there showed up only to make a brief statement for the record, then took off. The photo speaks for itself.” That it does. In fact, in this particular photo, every single Democrat seat is vacant, except for that of Chairman Conrad. What to make of this? On one hand, why bother participating in a total farce? On the other, these Dems could have at least feigned interest in a requirement of their own public service. Senate Democrats have effectively renounced all pretense of responsible governance. They have done so in an attempt to avoid losing their precious majority — the very purpose of which, I thought, was to govern. We face a debt crisis that threatens to obliterate the America we know and love, yet an entire American political team has willfully and deliberately decided to eschew productive solutions in favor of sitting on the sidelines and shouting insults at their opponents.
“Give it a rest, Guy,” I can practically hear you saying, “you’ve been beating this dead horse for months.” Yes. Guilty as charged. This is a disgrace, and I’ll keep flogging this story every chance I get — especially as the MSM largely shrugs and offers its preferred party a pass. Here we have an entire house of Congress intentionally ignoring the law for political gain, as our nation approaches a terrifying solvency rubicon. Conservatives cannot, and will not, shut up about this. Parting thoughts: (1) Since the year 2009, not one single Democrat or Democrat-aligned member of the United States Senate has voted “yes” on any budget. They’ve refused to present their own ideas, of course, but they’ve also unanimously voted down every last alternative, from both Republicans and their own party’s president. Think about that. (2) Here the Democrats on the upper house’s Budget Committee, other than its retiring chairman. Name ’em and shame ’em:
(1) DSCC Chair Patty Murray (D-WA)
(2) Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), who has at least worked with Paul Ryan on a solid Medicare reform plan.
(3) Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), who is in a tough 2012 re-election fight.
(4) Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), who also faces re-election this year.
(5) Sen. Ben Cardin (D- MD)
(6) Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
(7) “Moderate” Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA)
(8) Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
(9) “Moderate” Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK)
(10) Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)
(11) Last but not least, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who did manage to find the time to blather on behalf of the defeated “Buffett Rule” on the Senate floor this week. During his speech, Whitehouse all but conceded that the measure serves no practical purpose beyond electoral positioning and “fairness:”
“The Senate Republican Leader has described the bill as yet another proposal from the White House that won’t create a single job or lower the price at the pump by a penny. Well, the Minority Leader is absolutely right that the aim of this bill is not to lower the unemployment rate or the price of gasoline.”
Party of ideas Folks! (townhall.com)
The Future’s so bright I have to wear Blinders!