Rupert on the ropes: A few months ago, it seemed almost inevitable that Rupert Murdoch would take over all sources of news and crown himself King of Media. Now, however, Murdoch’s empire seems to be falling apart around him. After Murdoch’s company, News Corporation, became implicated in a phone hacking scandal, the British government, which is normally on friendly terms with Murdoch, turned hostile. In the latest move, Murdoch abandoned his attempts to acquire BSkyB, a British media company. While this would not normally be unusual, one must consider that it is usually the policy of News Corp to aggressively expand at all times. The fact that Murdoch is backing down indicates that he is taking the scandal surrounding his company very seriously. With luck, his programs might back down biased programming in a month or so too. One can dream.
The final voyage: On Friday, July 8 the last Space Shuttle, Atlantis, lifted off from launch pad 39A of the Kennedy Space Center headed toward the International Space Station. With this last mission, the 30-year-old program will finally be retired. Atlantis will touch down, the Shuttles will be packed up, and the lights will be turned off on the program forever. Since the 1980s, the Space Shuttle has been one of the most enduring symbols of space exploration in the United States. When children dreamed of being astronauts, they dreamed of riding into the stars nestled safely in space shuttles.
Well, I guess now they can dream of going into the stars riding shotgun with a Russian cosmonaut. Not quite as elegant of an image, but you can’t win ‘em all.
Immigration idiocy: The saga of Alabama’s new immigration law continues as Representative Mo Brooks says this on television:
“They are clogging up our emer- gency rooms and making our education system more expensive. . . I will do anything short of shooting them. Anything that is lawful, it needs to be done because illegal aliens need to quit taking jobs from American citizens.” Wow. Maybe some of this urgency would be understandable if we were, you know, actually a border state, but as it is we’re locked in by four other states and the ocean. Something tells me that immigration isn’t the most pressing issue to address in Alabama. In any case, well done Representative Brooks for showing that Alabama still has the special flavor of violent insanity in its public officials that it’s so well known for.
The odd couple: There are some things that were just never meant to mix. Oil and water. Fire and ice. Alabama fans and Auburn fans. Yes,
it’s hard to get those two groups to do anything together. Some can
barely occupy the same stadium without turning into rabid animals. But,
according to The Crimson White, Alabama students and Auburn students have set aside their difference and
come together to provide tornado relief. The student groups are working
together to rebuild a house in Tuscaloosa that was destroyed by the
April 27 tornados. The work was organized by a new group called “House United” whose
goal is to bring the two rival institutions together to work for the
better of Alabama. It’s not exactly holding hands and being buddy-buddy
forever, but it’s a start. Baby steps, you know?