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Wednesday, September 14, 2022 Space!


Friends, this week's Newsmaker Show covers so many scintillating topics that frankly my mind was blown.  Your comparatively smaller minds might simply be vaporized!  Nonetheless, I advise you to assume the risk and listen in.  

In terms of current events, Brian and I cover the transition from Elizabeth II to Charles III, the persistence of inflation and its political consequences, Russia's reversal of fortune (?) in Ukraine, the DOJ's expanding dragnet focused on Trumpers of all stripes, NASDAQ's fondness for quotas, the insurrection (if I may call it that) at the New York Times, and more!

When we turn to This Day in History, Brian and I tackle the Soviet moon landing in 1959, Napoleon's conquest of Moscow (talk about an anti-climax!), and one of the bloodiest and most costly phases of the war in the Pacific in World War II.

Hot damn, what a show!


  1. Dr.Waddy from Jack: You commented on possible ramifications of the ascension of Charles III: that he may continue to express support for leftist environmentalism and thereby excite the ire of conservative Brits, is a plausible concern.Elizabeth II's popularity with her subjects was probably strongest on the Brit right because she was rightfully seen as a defender of tradition.The environmental left is the baleful definition of frantic, reflexive iconoclasm. One of the main reasons I cherish Great Britain so is because we share its history in so many ways. We were Brits once.

  2. Dr.Waddy from Jack: Good point about the risks history proves inherent in invading Russia. What if Putin can prosecute, by persuasion or dictation, a military effort he would justify by portraying a Ukraine free of Russia, hateful of Russia and open to Nato, as an actual invader deserving of the supreme effort displayed in defeating Napoleon and Hitler.A perceived threat to Crimea might give him pretext. It might be that prewar Russia was not outraged enough at the possibility of Ukraine joining Nato to support this war. But Crimea was taken from the Ottomans by Russia, not Ukraine. I still think Nato's astonishing march to Russia's borders,which strongly implies eventual Ukrainian membership, is greatly resented in Russia, enough so that other pretexts might suffice to manifest maximum effort against Ukraine or eve n Nato.

  3. Dr.Waddy from Jack: I think it is widely held that the West defeated Soviet Russia by goading it into bankruptcy from trying to out produce the West,in yes, very prestigious , astounding space exploration and in military power.But before Reagan, I do not think that we considered that outcome. Of course we rightly saw Russian superiority in space as a threat and as a discreditation of freedom. But our effort was defensive until Reagan was persuaded of the weakness of communism. But though we lamented those early and unanticipated spectacular Russian feats, they WERE thrilling.We had never seen the other side of the moon or imagined human machines entering interplanetary space. For a nation as wounded as post War Russia, their feats, close on one another, were astonishing, though counterproductive of well being for most Russians.

  4. Jack, I'd say there's a saccharine version of "environmentalism" that virtually anyone can tolerate. There's also a strident, eco-Marxist version that would set off right-wing alarm bells instantly. Let's hope Chuck the Third knows the difference.

    Hear hear, Jack! I still think it is far more likely that Russia will escalate in Ukraine than that it will submit. Why Putin hasn't declared war and fully mobilized I still don't understand. I guess, like Hitler, he wants to go easy on his own people, because he fears their wrath. He ought to fear LOSING more!

    Hmm, I'm not sure I agree that Soviet Russia's feats in space were "counterproductive of well being for most Russians". Massive defense spending, maybe, but when you think about it the Soviet space program more or less piggybacked on the Soviet missile program, which was essential to its survival in the nuclear age. If you're going to build ICBMs, heck, why not strap a cosmonaut to one and earn some plaudits... Kind of a no-brainer, if you ask me. Plus, the prestige that the Soviets earned from their space exploits may well have prolonged the life of their empire, because prestige yields (in their case) American circumspection, more allies and trade partners, occasional export earnings from technology transfers, and most importantly national self-confidence, without which any empire is doomed, and with which (if they'd maintained it) they'd probably still be prattling on about Marx, armed to the teeth...

  5. Dr. Waddy from Jack:Re: Your comments on Soviet space effort: well taken! Still: the exploding Russian purpose built moon rockets could have paid for alot of cabbage soup and communalkas.

  6. Ha! This is true. Billions spent on FAILED space gambits certainly were a gigantic waste. The Soviet shuttle program comes to mind.