Sunday, February 5, 2017

Respect for the Office of the President

Everyone should respect the office of the President of the United States. Maybe I should add a qualifier to that: The person who is President is not the given that same respect if they choose to shower disgrace and disrespect on that office. Which brings us to the Clown in Charge, Donald Trump.  I don't use the word clown lightly; Donald Trump has earned the title. He's a laughingstock, as are so many of his ethics-challenged staff.

When he's not lying he's blundering around:

Calling heads of state without bothering to learn anything about the issues he might address with them. Mexico, Australia, Germany?  People around the world are wondering what sort of man we've elected. The answer is easy: a lazy, clownish child who happens to be old enough to be President.

Signing Executive orders that are ill-conceived, poorly executed and apparently without regard to the chaos they will create. He and his staff seem also have some sort of perverse notion of what's in the Constitution. I guess things are different in the alternative reality they occupy.

Health care reform? He's got a plan he keeps on promising to describe, but we're all still waiting. I suspect quite a few Republicans are waiting, too.

Going postal on judges. Remember the judge of Mexican heritage that Trump couldn't stop making bigoted attacks against?  Next up for the clown's pie in the face is Judge Robart and the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit for putting and maintaining a hold on the immigration ban. Recall that recent presidents of both parties have had their troubles with reversals in court.  George W. Bush (reviled by Democrats, liberals, and intellectual snobs) and Barack H. Obama (reviled by Republicans, conservatives, and bigots) both respected the separation of powers and managed not to launch into personal attacks after court setbacks. Pretty amazing, isn't it?

Setting up the economy for an epic collapse by threatening large tariffs. And for fun, also rescinding as many safeguards as possible that might have been keeping the investment community from repeating the same reckless behavior that gave us the Great Recession.  Thought your investments were safe? Sure they are... just relax and sit right here on Trump's whoopee cushion.

I will give him credit for what seems like a decent choice for Supreme Court. I would have much preferred a more moderate--perhaps even liberal--choice (Merrick Garland, maybe?), but he does seem like a thoughtful person of integrity and learning.  His conservatism is said to be well thought through, and I can't really ask for much more than that. Good luck to him in his service to the country, particularly if he happens to vote against something the Clown-in-Charge wants.


And back to Astronomy:

The topic at the recent workshop was guiding for astrophotography, and a club member sent me a link for a really good explanation of how to guide.

Here it is (It's for PHD 1.13, but although some things have changed with PHD 2, this remains a great read!

The folks working on PHD 2 have also prepared a guide for using it. It's not as comprehensive a treatment as the above source gives, but it's a fine explanation of PHD 2 usage.

Want to download PHD? Here's where you go:



I recommend PHD 2 because of its new features--I particularly like the drift polar alignment tool. If you have multiple guide scopes, guide cameras, or imaging mounts, you may like the ability to create profiles for different combinations of those. I've found version 2 to be more stable than version 1, but that may only be on the OS I use (Windows Vista) I hope to upgrade my imaging laptop this year to a Windows 10 model and will have more to say when that happens.

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