Mystery Spot on Dwarf Planet Ceres Has Mysterious Partner

The intrigue surrounding Ceres continues to deepen as a NASA probe gets closer to the dwarf planet.

The new photos of Ceres from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, which is scheduled to arrive in orbit around Ceres on the night of March 5, reveal that a puzzling bright spot on the dwarf planet’s surface has a buddy of sorts.

“Ceres’ bright spot can now be seen to have a companion of lesser brightness, but apparently in the same basin,” Dawn principal investigator Chris Russell, of UCLA, said in a statement. “This may be pointing to a volcanolike origin of the spots, but we will have to wait for better resolution before we can make such geologic interpretations.”

Dawn took the new images on Feb. 19, when it was about 29,000 miles (46,000 kilometers) from Ceres — still too far away to give scientists a good look at the peculiar spots.

“The brightest spot continues to be too small to resolve with our camera, but despite its size, it is brighter than anything else on Ceres,” Andreas Nathues, lead investigator for the framing camera team at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Gottingen, Germany, said in the same statement. “This is truly unexpected and still a mystery to us.”

Dawn will begin investigating the many mysteries of Ceres — the largest body in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter — in earnest soon enough. After reaching Ceres’ orbit next week, the probe will spend about six weeks working down to its first science orbit, getting there on April 23.

via Mystery Spot on Dwarf Planet Ceres Has Mysterious Partner

Obama to ban bullets by executive action, threatens top-selling AR-15 rifle

As promised, President Obama is using executive actions to impose gun control on the nation, targeting the top-selling rifle in the country, the AR-15 style semi-automatic, with a ban on one of the most-used AR bullets by sportsmen and target shooters.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives this month revealed that it is proposing to put the ban on 5.56 mm ammo on a fast track, immediately driving up the price of the bullets and prompting retailers, including the huge outdoors company Cabela’s, to urge sportsmen to urge Congress to stop the president.

Wednesday night, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, stepped in with a critical letter to the bureau demanding it explain the surprise and abrupt bullet ban. The letter is shown below.

The National Rifle Association, which is working with Goodlatte to gather co-signers, told Secrets that30 House members have already co-signed the letter and Goodlatte and the NRA are hoping to get a total of 100 fast.

“The Obama administration was unable to ban America’s most popular sporting rifle through the legislative process, so now it’s trying to ban commonly owned and used ammunition through regulation,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA-ILA, the group’s policy and lobby shop. “The NRA and our tens of millions of supporters across the country will fight to stop President Obama’s latest attack on our Second Amendment freedoms.”

via Obama to ban bullets by executive action, threatens top-selling AR-15 rifle

The Net Neutrality Scam

Yet again, the government wants to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. According to the Obama administration and the FCC, it is necessary to regulate internet service providers so that they don’t interfere with people’s access to the web. The claim immediately prompts one to ask: Who is being denied access to the web?

In the past twenty years, access to the internet has only become more widespread and service today is far faster for many people — including “ordinary” people — than it was twenty years ago, or even ten years ago. Today, broadband in Europe, where the internet is more tightly regulated, has less reach than it has in the United States.

The administration’s plan is rather innocuously called “net neutrality,” but in fact it has nothing at all to do with neutrality and is just a scheme to vastly increase the federal government’s control over the internet.

What is Net Neutrality?

We don’t know the details of the plan because the FCC refuses to let the taxpayers see the 300-page proposal before the FCC votes on it today. But, we do know a few things.

Currently, ISPs are regulated by the FCC, but as an “information service” under the less restrictive rules of so-called Title I. But now, the FCC wants to regulate ISPs as utilities under the far more restrictive Title II restrictions. For a clue as to how cutting edge this idea is, remember this switch to Title II regulation would put ISPs into the same regulatory regime as Ma Bell under the Communications Act of 1934.

So what does this mean for the FCC in practice? According to FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, “It gives the FCC the power to micromanage virtually every aspect of how the Internet works.” More specifically, Gordon Crovitz at the Wall Street Journal writes:

[With Net Netruality,] bureaucrats can review the fairness of Google’s search results, Facebook’s news feeds and news sites’ links to one another and to advertisers. BlackBerry is already lobbying the FCC to force Apple and Netflix to offer apps for BlackBerry’s unpopular phones. Bureaucrats will oversee peering, content-delivery networks and other parts of the interconnected network that enables everything from Netflix and YouTube to security drones and online surgery.

The administration insists these measures are necessary because — even though there is no evidence that this has actually happened — it is possible that at some point in the future, internet service providers could restrict some content and apps on the internet. Thus, we are told, control of content should be handed over to the federal government to ensure that internet service providers are “neutral” when it comes to deciding what is on the internet and what is not.

Can Goods Be Allocated in a “Neutral” Way?

The problem is that there is no such thing as “neutral” allocation of resources, whether done by government or the marketplace.

via The Net Neutrality Scam

RAND PAUL FLEXES 2016 MUSCLES ON FLORIDA TRIP, CAMPAIGNS AGAINST DC POLITICAL CLASS

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), a contender for the 2016 GOP nomination, flexed his potential presidential campaign muscles during a trip here this weekend—showing off his pull with grassroots voters and his ability to win over donors.

After arriving late Friday night after a speech in Montgomery, Alabama—Paul was the keynote before the Alabama GOP’s annual winter dinner—Paul on Saturday morning kicked off his day by holding a roundtable discussion with local doctors about healthcare policy.

“I think it’s very helpful to have someone familiar with healthcare here both inside the beltway and outside the beltway,” Dr. W.G. Eshbaugh, a reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgeon from the Naples area said. “He’s had a private practice and is able to articulate many of the challenges we face. It was a real pleasure to have that discussion with him.”

Eshbaugh was a year behind Paul at Duke Medical School—where Paul studied to become an ophthalmologist. Paul and his wife Kelly then moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where Paul practiced for more than a decade before he scored a surprising Senate primary win against the Mitch McConnell-backed Trey Grayson in 2010. As a U.S. Senator, he’s now one of the leading Republicans—along with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush—potentially vying for the GOP nomination in 2016.

Sergio Gor, Paul’s energetic communications director, explained to Breitbart News that Paul plans to highlight the fact he is a doctor on the campaign trail, and Paul has frequently held such roundtable type meetings with doctors nationwide on many occasions.

“Part of Sen. Paul’s appeal both inside of politics and outside of politics is he was a doctor and surgeon for so many years,”

via RAND PAUL FLEXES 2016 MUSCLES ON FLORIDA TRIP, CAMPAIGNS AGAINST DC POLITICAL CLASS