- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Space case

Google recently announced its sponsorship of the Lunar X Prize, which awards $20 million to the first private firm to land a robotic rover on the moon by the end of 2012. Will these companies need special permission to put something on the moon?

“Not exactly. You don’t need anyone to sign off on a lunar landing, but you do need a permit to launch anything into space from Earth. Governments oversee private space activity through the framework provided by the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which has been signed by 91 nations, including all the major space-faring countries. The treaty restricts the exploration of outer space to peaceful purposes and says it should be performed for the benefit of all nations. Article VI specifically addresses nongovernmental entities in space; it declares nations should ‘require authorization’ and ‘continuing supervision’ of citizens’ actions, but it does not stipulate how this might be accomplished.”

Morgan Smith, writing on “Lunar Parking Permits,” Thursday at Slate.com

The American way

“If there is an American answer to every problem, then America’s Muslims provided the most American of all answers to September 11. They saw the date as both a challenge and an opportunity. Six years after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, American Muslims are now self-confident and more influential than ever before. They earn as much money as the average American, they go on talk shows to tell their success stories and they are beginning to run for political office. …

“American senators offer Muslims internships, members of Congress hire Muslim press secretaries and chiefs of staff and the U.S. State Department recently appointed a female Muslim ambassador who also happens to be its chief adviser on issues of equality.

“Muslims are everywhere in U.S. politics: in government agencies and in the White House, in Congress and on city councils, in city halls and on planning commissions. They are the new imperative of political correctness in the United States.”

Marc Hujer and Daniel Steinvorth, writing on “American Muslims Strive to Become Model Citizens,” Sept. 13 in Spiegel Online at www.spiegel.de

Tripped up

“If you arrived at the ‘Left Behind By the Right’ panel at YearlyKos 2007 [in August] hoping for a glimpse of red-headed Web warrior Arianna Huffington, you were sadly out of luck. The large crowd sighed deeply, in unison, as Huffington Post Founding Editor Roy Sekoff broke the news that Arianna had been walking in New York City with Charlie Rose discussing an election year panel they were collaborating on when her high heel got stuck in a sewer grate and — ‘down she went’ … breaking her ankle.

“Somebody in the audience shouted, ‘It’s a Republican plot!’ …

“It was perfect. Arianna would never simply break her ankle, dahling. A story of her faltering in service of her fellow man, complete with a dollop of shameless, needless name-dropping, fit the bill perfectly. It was left to Sekoff to relay the details of Huffington’s conversion from the stingy right-wing dark side.”

Shawn Macomber, writing on “Scenes From a Crack-Up,” in the October issue of the American Spectator

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