November 5, 2005


When Spaceships Explode. Much of the U.S. space program has become privatized in recent years and now instead of a sometimes bumbling bureaucracy doing dumb things like launching the Challenger shuttle in frigid weather when its O-rings holding in its fuel weren’t flexible, there are corporations seeking to make big bucks. The explosions last week of an Antares rocket Tuesday and the Virgin Galactic SpaceShip2 on Friday were disasters and, considering the death of a SpaceShip2 pilot and serious injury to the other pilot, tragedies. How much a part did greed play? CounterPunch

Researchers predict spreading blackouts as cities grow larger. Electricity blackouts will become more common as surging power demand outpaces public and private utilities’ abilities to provide a continuous and reliable flow of power to customers, a new research paper asserts. . . . It also addresses issues around deregulation and privatization of electricity markets and the growth of intermittent energy sources like wind and solar power and how such resources affect reliability. Environment & Energy Publishing

IL: Critics Call Emanuel’s Pre-K Program ‘Privatizing Head Start’. A proposal from Mayor Rahm Emanuel to expand early childhood educational opportunities was approved by the City Council Finance Committee Monday, even as it was revealed the method for funding the expansion could wind up being a financial windfall for investors and drawing comparisons to the much-maligned parking meter privatization deal. Chicagoist

CA: Tiny LA district is approving charter schools beyond borders. A tiny, rural school district in northern Los Angeles County is under growing scrutiny over its approval of more than 20 new charter schools in the last few years, the majority of them serving students outside of its own district boundaries. LA School Report