Problems in space commerce.

View 850 Thursday, November 13, 2014

“I have observed over the years that the unintended consequences of social action are always more important, and usually less agreeable, than the intended consequences.”

Irving Kristol

“Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.”

President Barack Obama, January 31, 2009


I was just sent this:



Wednesday, November 12, 2014 Last Update: 10:41 AM PT

Japanese Billionaire Sues ‘Space Lawyer’


HOUSTON (CN) – A Houston attorney bought Russian capsules for a commercial spaceflight venture that "were only museum pieces," defrauding a Japanese investor of $49 million, the billionaire investor claims in state court.
     Takafumie Horie, whose Internet portal company Livedoor made him a billionaire, sued Art Dula in Harris County Court on Monday.
     Dula specializes in "space law" and is the literary executor of Robert Heinlein, the legendary science fiction writer known for his stories about human space exploration.
     Dula also is trustee of the Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust, which awards cash to encourage research into commercial space exploration.
     Requests for comment from Dula, made through his law offices and through fellow defendant Excalibur Almaz Limited, were unsuccessful. A staff member in his office said Dula and his business partner Buckner Hightower are traveling outside the country and unavailable for comment.
     In his lawsuit, Horie claims Dula leveraged his position as trustee of the Heinlein trust to solicit him as a client and investor.

I know nothing more about this, including anything about the validity of “Courthouse News”. I have known Mr. Dula since the 1970’s and he was at one time a member of the Council I chaired which wrote space policy for the incoming Reagan Administration. A paper that Dula and Larry Niven wrote, “How to save civilization and make a little money,” outlined a policy of encouraging space development, and was the basis of much of the legislation creating the commercial space industry. The paper impressed Mr. Heinlein, who was a member of the Council. The Council of about 70 included General Graham of High Frontier, General Meyer who had commanded Marshall at Huntspatch (both of those officers were retired), General Schriever as represented by Colonel Kane his Director of Plans (Francis X. Kane, one of the coauthors of The Strategy of Technology but not acknowledged on the publication because he was on active duty at the time of publication), Buzz Aldrin, George Merrick then the manager of Space Shuttle for North American, Max Hunter,Jim Muncy of the Space Frontier Foundation, Poul Anderson, Jim Baen, and many other members of the space development leadership community. The Council’s papers went directly to the President, who incorporated a major Council conclusion in his “Star Wars” speech moving the US to the Strategic Defense Initiative, as well as to congressional leaders.

I have had little interaction with Art Dula since the turn of the Millenium. We have disagreed on his administration of the Heinlein trust, but we remain on good terms.


“They needed us to fight the Taliban. Now they don’t, so they pull the rug out from under us. Loyalty here seems like a one-way street.”



Roland Dobbins

Happy Veterans Day.


Obama to send 1,500 more troops to Iraq as campaign expands – MSN News

“[General] Kirby said many of the additional American troops would be dedicated to securing bases where training and advising would take place and cautioned that American troops still face risks.

"’We already had a couple of military deaths associated with this conflict…. Nothing we do is without risk,’ he said.”

So some “non-combatant advisor” troops have already died.

“A four-days dead military advisor smells the same as a four-days soldier,” Heinlein said through Oscar Gordon in <i>Glory Road</i>. That statement, written in a book in 1963 in which the hero is already “advising” (fighting) in Vietnam remains true today, and Heinlein was dead on the money about U. S. involvement in Vietnam, long before the phony Gulf of Tonkin incident.

(Before he died, later-Admiral James Stockdale said he overflew the Gulf and there were no North Vietnames ships there, he knew the incident was made up. That’s why when he was a POW, he damaged his own face so much he couldn’t be paraded in front of the press, so the truth couldn’t be cosmetically-effective tortured out of him and then have him say it for propaganda. He knew the war was manufactured, but he also, once we were committed and in the war, refused to give aid to the enemy.)

David K. M. Klaus

Wars of attrition are never popular with either the public or the troops. Viet Nam placed more strain on the Soviet economy than most realize, and absorbed a great deal of their capacity to make mischief elsewhere; and if ever a people deserved help, it was the South Vietnamese people, many of them refugees from Communist Tonkin. We should have won it, but we chose to stalemate it. That stalemate turned out to be a war of attrition that was much harder on the USSR than on us, and contributed to the downfall of communism a generation later.

There is no good outcome to an extended war of attrition in the Middle East. What we should do is choose a side to strengthen and make viable, do that, and get out.

I would choose the Kurds. Give a good general a division and all the Warthogs and he can undertake to solve the immediate problems of the Kurds, at minimum cost in blood and treasure. Continue to drop bombs without having an objective and we will accomplish very little.





Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.




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