March 30, 2010

They're certifiable

This just in, from the American Patriot Foundation:

"I am today compelled to make the distasteful choice to invite my own court-martial, in pursuit of the truth about the president's eligibility under the constitution to hold office," said active duty Army Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin. The American Patriot Foundation, a nonprofit group, set up a legal defense fund and will provide Lt. Col. Lakin with a defense team.

The foundation says the president's continuing refusal to release his original 1961 birth certificate brought Lt. Col. Lakin to the point where he feels the commander-in-chief's orders are unlawful, and thus must be disobeyed.

If Lt. Col. Lakin wishes to sacrifice his career on the altar of obstinacy, that's his prerogative, but it seems foolish to make such a great sacrifice for such a pointless purpose. I wonder whether this is just another attempt to get the birth certificate matter before a court. Any court.

The "birthers," as those obsessed with the president's origin are pejoratively called by those of us with more important things to worry about, keep trying to file suit over the authenticity of the president's birth record. Their suits keep getting thrown out.

Birthers have made such a nuisance of themselves in Hawaii that legislators there are now considering a bill that would let state recordkeepers classify "vexatious" requests as an "abuse of process" and ignore them. Since Hawaii reportedly gets 10 to 20 birther requests each week, one can hardly blame them.

As this Associated Press article points out, Hawaii's health director and state registrar of vital statistics have verified that the health department has the original birth certificate. The department won't release it to birthers because state law restricts the release of such records.

There are heaps and heaps of evidence that the president was born where Hawaii's state officials say he was, and none that he was born anywhere else. What bothers me most isn't the time wasted on this nonsense. What bothers me most is that a barrel of crackpots are -- without any evidence -- accusing public servants of fraud.

Maybe Hawaii should sue the birthers for slander. That would be a trial worth watching.

March 21, 2010

Orion's hope

You can imagine my amusement, or bemusement, when the press release came over from Associated General Contractors telling me that the Orlando office of Hensel Phelps Construction Co. won an Aon Build America Award in the "Best Renovation of a Federal & Heavy Project" category for its conversion of a a 40-year old building at Kennedy Space Center into the new assembly facility for the Orion Capsule.


That's the same Orion Capsule that's part of the Constellation Program, which got its funding cut from NASA's 2011 budget.

J. Doug Pruitt, the president of AGC, said, “These are the projects that redefine communities, reinvent neighborhoods and remind us that anything is possible given the right mix of craft, skill and commitment.”

Pruitt said Hensel Phelps's Orion project was completed within 18 months, despite the need to abate more than 320 tons of hazardous materials, respect astronaut "quiet hours," and halt construction during launches.

Kirk Hazen, vice president and Southeast district manager at Hensel Phelps, said the company worked in partnership with Lockheed Martin to deliver the taxpayers "a unique project known as the 'Factory of the Future' that exceeded all safety, quality, budgetary, schedule, and environmental goals.”

Good job, guys. Now, if the taxpayers can bug their senators and representatives to pass the Human Space Flight Capability Assurance & Enhancement Act of 2010 (HR 4804), said taxpayers might actually get their money's worth out of this award-winning "Factory of the Future."

I would be remiss if I didn't point out that you can read about the bill at OBJ. And if you forget which persons in Congress are supposed to be representing you, check here.