Saturday, December 17, 2022

A Few Short Stories

Not all space news for once.

First item: This is What Leadership Looks Like

Florida Governor Ron Desantis made it clear again that he wants to sign constitutional carry.  At a press conference on the 15th, Desantis was asked again if he wanted constitutional carry in '23, especially with the Rs taking a supermajority in the legislature.  Non-Floridians can be excused for not knowing that they've had a majority for over a decade and almost everything pro-gun has been sat on by the legislative leadership.  It has been Republicans that have blocked the passage of pro-gun legislation like Constitutional Carry, Open Carry, Campus Carry, Red Flag Repeal, and Second Amendment Sanctuary.  Yet if you listen to the campaign ads, everyone supports these things.

He laughs and says, “well, we’ve had a majority this whole time. I’ll let Paul answer that because I’m ready. [looking over to incoming House Speaker Paul Renner] Are you going to do it?”

Paul Renner responded with a “yes.”

Let’s break down the Governor’s statement quickly. He didn’t just say he supports Constitutional Carry, he politically called out the Republican-controlled legislature for its collective failure to pass during prior sessions.

Video short of the exchange here.  

The Governor made it clear it was in the legislature's lap saying, “we’ve had a majority this whole time.”  He said, “make it so” without saying those words.  What I've heard is that positive gun bills were trashed the last few times by Wilton Simpson, who term-limited out as the President of the Senate and is now the incoming Commissioner of Agriculture - who oversees the Concealed Carry permitting process. 

Second item:  This is What Destroying the World Order Looks Like

I start this by saying I haven't gone looking for other confirmations on this, but the American Wire website's feature called the “TIPP Insights” reports that Japan has apparently lost faith in their agreement with the US since the end of WWII to depend on us for big defense protection and not have a military capable of first-strike actions.  In other words, the Post WWII World Order has been tipped over.

President Xi’s ambition to “unify” Taiwan is well known. Lesser known fact: beyond Taiwan lie a group of islands that China claims as its own. These mostly uninhabited atolls and isles are a bone of contention between Tokyo and Beijing. The rich marine resources and oil deposits make these specks of land coveted real estate. Chinese naval vessels have made their presence felt more frequently in the region.

Many believe that China now feels emboldened to move on Taiwan. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is seen as a rupture of the “world order.” Nations are paying closer attention to their territorial defense. The failure to present a unified front against the invader (Moscow) has made people aware of the need for robust national militaries and enemy strike capabilities.

Tokyo, for its part, believes that, after Taiwan, the contested islands will be next on President Xi’s agenda. Unwilling to be caught off guard, Prime Minister Kishida is making moves to shore up Japan’s defenses. Moving past its pacifist constitution that forbade Japan from maintaining a full-fledged military, plans are underway to establish a world-class force with first-strike capabilities. The island country recently announced a $320 billion defense plan, doubling the current spending to 2% of the national GDP over the next five years.

Note the skyrocketing spending on the right side of this plot, shown as % of GDP.  You can see it stops short of the 2% of GDP mentioned above. Blue is a conversion of the Japanese spending in Yen to US dollars.

Of course China is accusing Japan of provocation and destabilizing the region.  As we all learned in the cold war, we can only see the purely defensive uses for anything we have, while we can see offensive uses for anything they have. That's what China's playing here.  

Third item: This is What Leading the World in Space Access Looks Like

Since the last report, SpaceX has launched missions 57 - 59 for the year, with NASA's SWOT mission from Vandenberg on Friday morning (Dec. 16), the SES O3B Empower mission yesterday evening from the KSC here, followed by the Starlink 4-37 mission Saturday afternoon (Dec. 17).  In addition to the milestone of being the most launches in a calendar year by far (so far) this is the 15th flight for this booster making it the fleet leader in reuse.  

Strangely, I don't see the booster number in any sources.  I'm pretty sure it's B1058, due to overlap between missions cited here and here.  

NextSpaceflight shows two more Falcon 9 launches for this year: Starlink Group 5-1 on Dec. 28 @ 3:19 AM EST, and finally Eros 3C on Thursday Dec. 29 at 1:58 AM EST from Vandenberg again.  If all goes according to plan, that'll be 61.

This evening's landing.  It wasn't anywhere as clear at that over here, and that sky isn't clear.


  1. China's belligerence has pushed South Korea, Singapore and... Japan into an interesting not-quite-alliance. All three are increasing defense spending, and Japan is slooowly changing its Constitution and the interpretation thereof to allow it to defend itself far far far away from the home islands.

    Very interesting. Was noticeable back during the SK Olympics and has only gotten more noticeable if you know where to look.

    Fat Kim isn't helping matters any, especially since it seems that Xi is losing some or lots of control over his used-to-be puppet Fat Kim.

    1. That's it in one. Once Fat Bill let the Norks get away with a nuke program, and then missiles started overflying Japan, the writing was on the wall for Japan to do everything short of repealing their constitution, and re-arming.
      The could build a nuke themselves in about 15 minutes from a standing start, and Nature abhors a vacuum, like the US shrinking its Pacific capabilities, which was largely the direct result of the imaginary "peace dividend".

      So, a militarily strong and nuclear-capable Japan? Nah, that won't get anyone itchy in the Pacific Basin. It's not like Japan tried to take over the whole Eastern Pacific themselves within living memory. Oh, waiaminute...

    2. Japan becoming a military power again is a huge thing.

  2. As to Constitutional Carry in Florida, it has always been the squishy RINOs who have kept arms rights from advancing back to where the state and national constitutions say they should be.

    I want CC. I don't want to be fingerprinted, again, and have my info on file, especially since I live in one of the leftist armpits of this glorious state.

    And, well, I'm not thin. And I sweat in above 70 degree weather, being of Northern German stock. So even in fall or spring I hate wearing layers. I want to be comfortable carrying a gun, and to be able to express my God-given right over the 'rights' of the state or nation.

    Dammit. The FL RINOs have been stabbing us in the back for forever, pretty much as soon as we got CCW signed. Wimpy loose-jointed idiots all.

    1. Just shows once again that Florida has its own McCarthys and McConnells!

  3. And SpaceX just continues to amaze. Keep it up, please....

    1. Oh, and I heard rumors over on yousetube that Blue Origins is getting into financial difficulties and may, just may, be getting ready to go Tango Uniform. Seems they're shedding senior engineers quietly.

    2. SpaceX, making the science fiction of my childhood come true!