For some reason, Ron Paul has taken to Fox News to skewer SpaceX

Enlarge / Former Congressman Ron Paul: Not a fan of SpaceX.

Three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul has written an opinion piece for Fox News that comes out swinging against SpaceX, accusing the company of benefiting from potentially having a monopoly on national security launches. The article also attacks US Sen. John McCain as a “lead sponsor” of provisions to give SpaceX a monopoly on launch services.

“Allowing SpaceX to obtain a monopoly over launch services harms taxpayers much more than forbidding the Pentagon from purchasing Russian products harms Vladimir Putin,” Paul writes. “If this provision becomes law, SpaceX will be able to charge the government more than they could in even a quasi-competitive market. This monopoly will also stifle innovation in rocket launching technology.”

Paul correctly notes that SpaceX has enjoyed substantial support from NASA, but, in return, the company has provided services at a significantly lower cost for the space agency. However, the irony of his “monopoly” argument is that it was SpaceX, and its Falcon 9 rocket, that brought competition into the Air Force launch services agreements. Before SpaceX was certified two years ago to compete for national security launch contracts, United Launch Alliance was the sole provider of these services for a decade. SpaceX has since provided launches at a large discount for the military.

In recent years, McCain and other senators have been pushing the Air Force and United Launch Alliance to develop an alternative launch vehicle to its workhorse Atlas V rocket, which relies on Russian-made RD-180 engines for lift. Paul asserts that the National Defense Authorization Act for 2018 represents “cronyism” for SpaceX because it “expressly forbids the Air Force from developing new launch vehicles by restricting expenditures to the development of new engines or the modification of existing systems.”

How the Air Force feels

The reality, according to Air Force officials, is that they don’t want to be saddled with the entire cost of building a new launch system to replace the Atlas V. This funding mechanism allows for United Launch Alliance to solicit engines from both Blue Origin and Aerojet Rocketdyne for its next-generation Vulcan launch vehicle. The authorization act Paul is lambasting as crony capitalism, therefore, is providing funding to United Launch Alliance to build a rocket that can compete with SpaceX on price.

Although Paul said Pentagon brass are concerned about the provision and its benefits for SpaceX, top Air Force officials have recently been complimentary of the rocket company founded by Elon Musk. “There are some very exciting things happening in commercial space that bring the opportunity for assured access to space at a very competitive price,” Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson testified in June, in reference to SpaceX. Gen. John Hyten, the head of US Strategic Command, also recently praised SpaceX’s approach.

It is not clear why Paul has chosen to weigh in on a complicated space policy matter such as the National Defense Authorization Act, but some clues may explain his hostility. Paul has not run for office since 2012, but at the time, two of his top six corporate donors were Boeing and Lockheed Martin, the parent companies of United Launch Alliance.

Paul also has been sympathetic to Russia in recent years, and SpaceX’s low-cost approach to launch threatens to take considerable market share away from Russian firms. For example, this year the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity has suggested the investigation into Russian meddling in US elections is a “farce” and said hostile efforts by US policymakers to sanction Russia were “irrational.”

Ron Paul: Crony defense budget hands SpaceX a monopoly – why?

Behind the high-minded rhetoric surrounding many government programs, there often (or even usually) lies some grant of special privilege to a powerful business interest. The most well-known example, of course, is ObamaCare’s individual mandate creating a guaranteed market for insurance companies. However, the most common hiding place for corporate welfare is the Pentagon. Hawkish politicians love sticking gifts to big corporations in the yearly National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). So it is no surprise to find an example of cronyism in the Fiscal Year 2018 NDAA, which the Senate is expected to vote on this week.

Specifically, Section 1615 of this year’s NDAA expressly forbids the Air Force from developing new launch vehicles by restricting expenditures to the development of new engines or the modification of existing systems. This prohibition is supposedly designed to address the “Russian threat” — a threat manufactured by those seeking a new Cold War. In addition to flaming anti-Russian hysteria, this provision makes the company SpaceX the only affordable option for launch services.

For obvious political reasons, Washington wants to phase out the use of Russian-manufactured RD-180 rocket engines. However, as former Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James made clear, the Department of Defense “would strongly prefer to not have to pay for the development of an RD-180 engine replacement that would benefit only one launch service provider.”

The union between politicians seeking to grow the welfare-warfare state and businesses seeking special favors from government solidifies the forces of big government’s control of Capitol Hill.

Allowing SpaceX to obtain a monopoly over launch services harms taxpayers much more than forbidding the Pentagon from purchasing Russian products harms Vladimir Putin. If this provision becomes law, SpaceX will be able to charge the government more than they could in even a quasi-competitive market. This monopoly will also stifle innovation in rocket launching technology.

Despite the numerous public statements by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk decrying crony capitalism, SpaceX would not exist without government contracts and subsidies. According to The Wall Street Journal, government contracts account for about 70 percent of SpaceX’s contracts. U.S. taxpayers have provided SpaceX more than $5.5 billion in the form of Air Force and NASA contracts.

SpaceX’s reliance on government subsidies lead it to behave in ways that distort the political and policy process. Companies like SpaceX have an incentive to invest in lobbyists and campaign contributions to keep the government money flowing. These companies shower their largess on powerful politicians whose political or ideological agenda dovetails with the companies’ demand for taxpayer subsidies.

The union between politicians seeking to grow the welfare-warfare state and businesses seeking special favors from government solidifies the forces of big government’s control of Capitol Hill.

A perfect example of how this system works against the taxpayer is the relationship between SpaceX and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz. Elon Musk is a generous donor to both Senator McCain’s campaigns and the McCain Institute, while Senator McCain has in the past been a lead sponsor of provisions that would give SpaceX a monopoly on launch services.

I do not mean to suggest that Senator McCain is helping start a new Cold War to receive donations from SpaceX. Anyone who knows John McCain knows he does not need financial incentives to promote a belligerent foreign policy. Rather, SpaceX supports John McCain because his policy preferences coincide with their business interests.

I rarely agree with Pentagon officials, and it is rare that I am on the same side of questions involving military spending as President Trump. However, the president and the Pentagon brass are correct in that this protectionist provision should be removed from the NDAA. It poisons relations between the U.S. and Russia to benefit one company. Killing this piece of cronyism would be a great way to start draining the swamp.

Ron Paul, a former congressman for Texas, is host of the Ron Paul Liberty Report and Chairman of Campaign for Liberty.

Interview: Producer Jason Michael Paul on bringing The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of The Godesses present to Australia, RePlay and working with Nintendo

When you get the possibility to sit down with a live performance producer who has constantly labored to carry the video sport marketplace we all like into the theatre, you don’t lose your phrases, you make some up! Very last 7 days, I acquired to talk with Jason Michael Paul before his globe-trotting adventures carry his The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of The Goddesses present to Australia and New Zealand.

Obtaining labored with a ton of video sport songs formerly in his profession, from game titles in the Nintendo steady these as the Legend of Zelda and Kirby series, to much more innately orchestral fare like The Elder Scrolls, Jason is exhibiting no indicators of slowing down at any time soon. This doesn’t modify the reality that his loved ones time is his most valuable, and I tell you that so I can tell you this: In order to do our interview as scheduled, Jason took time out of a day with his daughter at Disneyland to chat with me, and I greatly respect his undertaking so.

A room with a see – A photo of The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of The Goddesses in whole swing!

I experienced the rare gem of acquiring out of my dwelling a number of yrs again and having fun with the rePLAY: Symphony of Heroes Live performance at the Sydney Opera Dwelling that you have been also associated in, are we likely to get to see Zelda: Symphony of The Goddesses present in Sydney one day soon as effectively?

It just didn’t do the job out this individual time close to, but we will be again, we acquired much more tricks in the bag.

You have been associated in a preposterous variety of tasks during the yrs and with stars these as Elton John, Luciano Pavarotti, The A few Tenors and most of the video sport studios these as Sony and Konami, I ought to ask the question, out of absolutely everyone you have developed concert events or tasks for in addition to this new Symphony of The Goddesses, what has been the most superb for you?

Moreover Symphony of The Goddesses? That is tricky, Symphony of The Goddesses has been a actual high for me. I would say discovering what I did with Luciano Pavarotti was a highlight of my profession, just becoming close to greatness form of motivated me to do what I do. Right here I am 20 yrs later on undertaking what I like, it’s a fantastic feeling ya know!?

You are now largely entwined in this globe of video game titles and their songs, these as the very long operating Final Fantasy collection, do you enjoy participating in any game titles by yourself?

Of class, it’s taken on form of a new daily life. There is my daughter who loves participating in game titles, she is a Minecraft supporter and we have experienced the pleasure of participating in The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask together. I have been participating in much more than usual now mainly because we have been undertaking a lot of new songs for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild, so I acquired a possibility to check out that sport which was so considerably exciting. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is an additional sport I have been participating in, A Link In between Worlds is an additional and I have a nephew so we get into Tremendous Smash Bros as effectively. So yeah, I continue to play.

You have of class been to Australia just before with RePlay as stated before, what else have you acquired up individuals sleeves of yours and anything else for Australia?

Witnessing an additional of Jason Michael Paul’s productions again in 2014 rePLAY: Symphony of Heroes

I am working on an addition to rePLAY (Symphony of Heroes), a rebranded present, it’s referred to as Heroes: A Video clip Match Symphony! It is much more an alternate take on rePLAY, I’m also working on an additional job with the Elder Scrolls collection, hopefully have an announcement of that soon and I am even working with the collection creator Todd Howard himself so, that is rather enjoyable for me specifically now they are releasing it on [Nintendo] Swap. I am also working on Kirby, there is a 25th Anniversary coming up and concert events they have experienced in Tokyo and Osaka have been hugely thriving, so I’m in the operating for that, quite possibly get some thing like that to Sydney!

Following a very long tricky day or night of do the job, what is your favorite thing to do to chill out and take a breather?

I just enjoy my downtime with my loved ones, it’s genuinely the most crucial thing to me. I am also active, I play Basketball. I also am a massive espresso enthusiast and even have a rather thriving espresso chain in San Francisco (Espresso Cultures SOMA) and I’ve been in specialty espresso for in excess of a decade. I am looking ahead to striving some of Melbourne’s espresso when I’m in excess of there.

Do you get the time to view any Television exhibits or films in your down time and if so can you title some of your favorite composers of the two mediums?

I like animations, I have been looking at Castlevania on Netflix which is kinda awesome. I genuinely like acquiring my correct of Netflix. I just viewed all The Godfather’s 1,2 and 3. I capture up on films when I’m on planes, capture up on a lot of films when I am flying. Curb Your Enthusiasm is an additional present I like to view, just viewed the most current year.

As for composers, I like John Williams, he’s one of my favourites, there is a lot! John Debney is an additional one I enjoy, he did Passion of The Christ, Elf, Iron Person 2. Henry Manchini who was popular for Pink Panther. I am a producer so for me I like to employ the service of a lot of individuals varieties of composers.

Cannot wait to see one of your exhibits yet again when and if you make it again to Sydney! Until finally then, I am guaranteed your Melbourne present will be exceptional and we will be trying to keep a keen eye on your foreseeable future tasks, many thanks so considerably for the chat!

Zelda: Symphony of The Goddesses comes in Australia beginning from 24th August 2017 Simply click on the back links beneath to acquire Tickets!

Perth – 24th August – Riverside Theatre

Melbourne – 3rd September – Hamer Hall

Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul Shares How He Got To 6 Million Instagram Followers

On the court, Chris Paul is a force for the Los Angeles Clippers, recently returning from a thumb injury to put up double-digit points in back to back games. On Instagram, Paul is similarly competitive—racking up 6.2 million followers by being able to laugh at his mistakes (and buddy Kevin Hart’s relentless mocking). Back in 2015, for example, Paul was knocked to the ground by a fierce crossover from Steph Curry. Hart, of course, sent Paul a meme of the shot, his body bent over a Twister board.

These kinds of hijinks make Paul’s Instagram feel like a sort of playground, for Hart and for Paul’s kids, including the AAU youth teams he works with. Fast Company spoke with Paul about his Instagram strategies and his new philanthropic opportunity with real estate investment firm Turner Impact Capital.

How do you use Instagram? What kinds of things do you post?

With Instagram the people you enjoy following the most are people who are authentic. For me a lot of times there’s a lot of things surrounding my family and my kids, what’s going on in my life. Most of the stuff I do basketball-wise people get an opportunity to see at the games or on ESPN. I’m always trying to show people that we’re more than just athletes. We do normal things like everybody else. I take my kids to school and pick them up like everybody else.

How do you use Instagram to work with brands?

I’m partnered with Jordan, and I’m partnered with State Farm. It gives you a platform to offer insight into things you’re doing with your partners. I almost wonder what I did in the world before social media to find out and share information. I’m working out, training, and looking at my Instagram feed like “oh, that happened.” I remember after the Christmas Day game, Kevin Hart posted something funny on Instagram about a suit I was wearing and I reposted it.

Yeah, I saw one of Kevin’s posts about you. How did you and him become friends?

I’ve known Kev for a while. He was at my wedding back in 2010, so we’ve been friends for a while now. Kevin works incredibly hard. I get attached to people who are not only passionate about what they do no matter what field it is, but people who are also passionate about their kids and their families. That’s where the connection between me and Kev came in.

You just joined Turner Impact Capital and are going to be working with them. Why did you decide to be part of that?

I’ve had the opportunity to do so many great philanthropic things. You can’t imagine the faces of the kids when we get to work with them, but it’s also frustrating at times. This partnership with Turner Impact gives us the opportunity to make sustainable and scalable change in these different areas. Whether I’m playing in New Orleans or California or back in my home state of North Carolina, one of the major issues is affordable housing. To be able to go into these communities and try to make a change is something I’m really excited about.

What will you actually be doing with them?

First and foremost I’m an investor. But I’m excited to be able to bring awareness to these issues. We looked at the research and saw that one out of four homes is spending over 50% of their income on rent. That doesn’t leave much for food, tutoring, health. If you’re spending that much money on your rent you don’t have enough to pay for tutoring for your kids. What we’re trying to do with Turner Impact is bring services to these communities and give people reasons to stay and be proud of where they live.

Startup Security Weekly #13 – News



In the Startup News this week, the differences between Angel and VC investments, expanding the concept of entrepreneurship, is running a startup for you?, How To Become A Cybersecurity Entrepreneur In A Crowded Market, and making your elevator pitch more memorable, all that and more on this edition of Startup Security Weekly.

Full show Notes:

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