sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Take the High Ground


The eight miserable years of ObamaNation ended and we may be back in the game in Space within a month or so.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA and SpaceX are now aiming for a March debut of the first capsule from a private company designed to fly astronauts to the International Space Station. 
No one will be on board for the crew Dragon’s inaugural test flight to the orbiting outpost. 
Officials on Wednesday set March 2 as the latest launch date. If the demo goes well, two NASA astronauts will take a test flight in July aboard the SpaceX capsule. 
It would be the first launch of U.S. astronauts into orbit, from U.S. soil, since NASA’s shuttle program ended in 2011. 
Boeing, meanwhile, is shooting for an April launch of its first Starliner capsule without a crew. The first Starliner flight with astronauts would be August at best.

Venezuela

It's about granularity. Problems appears differently as you distance yourself from them. The Earth would appear as a pale blue dot if you stood on the surface of Mars (as the late Carl Sagan coined the phrase). The same is true of Venezuela and their embrace of socialism. From a cocktail party in the Washington Beltway, Venezuelan misery doesn't impact you. The canapés are passed and you pick up shrimp on a cracker and stuff it into your mouth, chased by yet another glass of champagne, as you pontificate. 

On the ground in a land where there is no food, soap, or toilet paper, the view changes. Venezuelans celebrated Youth Day yesterday, on 12 February, by demonstrating against the Maduro government, which still clings to a version of control. Large demonstrations were held in Caracas and at least six other cities.

Venezuelan opposition leaders, including President Juan Guaido, gave speeches to a crowd of thousands gathered in Caracas. Guaido tweeted, “Today all Venezuelans, in different states, accompany the relatives of the young people who lost their lives by repression of the dictatorship.” 

The Maduro government remains obdurate, but the recent demonstrations have been the first sustained large-scale protests by the opposition in two years.

President Maduro’s refusal to permit delivery of food and other humanitarian aid is not sustainable. The opposition intends to challenge the road blocks with caravans of relief goods. The stocks of US aid in Colombia undermine Maduro’s insistence that all Venezuelan problems are the result of US economic warfare.