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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 1, 2004 2:59 AM. The previous post in this blog was Remember. The next post in this blog is We're No. 1!. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Tuesday, June 1, 2004

A great TV moment

I'm getting a big kick out of the television commercial that the AFL-CIO (that's a union, not a football league) is running against W., at least out here in Oregon. It shows average people talking about what they think this country needs, interspersed with Dum-Dum's famous "America will send men to Mars, and beyond" speech.

Very effective. He stumbles through his script as usual, and his message is one of his dopiest ever.

But then again, the majority of American voters don't usually care much about IQ. As Jon Lovitz's Dukakis once said of Dana Carvey's Bush Sr., "I can't believe I'm losin' to this guy."

Comments (15)

On the other hand, the "ordinary" people they talk to don't seem to understand too much either, about how many jobs the Mars program will create, or the economic benefits of solar power or the enormous social implications of having a new world to colonize, or even plain and simple national pride. Too bad those goofy Wright Brothers built that silly Flying Machine, when if man was meant to fly, he'd have wings. And why did Queen Isabella finance Columbus's crazy voyage when she had people starving at home? Wouldn't we all be better off if she had just parked it? I suppose if the Mars program is canceled, suddenly NASA's budget will be funneled into the pockets of the poor, right? Are you aware that you spend more on potato chips every month than you do on the space program? We need to invest in the future. The economic, practical, social, and philosophical implications of going to the Moon, Mars, and beyond are just too staggering to ignore, and to turn our back on them would be to turn our backs on what it is to be Americans.

Sorry, manned missions to Mars are an enormously, ridiculously, humongously stupid waste of money. We can learn everything we need to know and keep lots of people employed with new and better robots.

So pass the potato chips.

I'll agree with you about "too staggering to ignore," though -- that sums up the last three and half years pretty well, doesn't it?

since when does speaking ability have to do with IQ? People keeps saying W is dumb because he's not a great public speaking gets a little old. By this same rationale, everyone who stutters is stupid

Hi All,
As a non-American I don't really have the right to comment regarding the use of your tax monies.
However, as most of the other worldly economies are quagmired, it is the hope of most people world-wide that wish for a future ( a long future for Mankind ) that the US will pioneer the colonisation of space. The benefits can only be immense for both yourselves and the world at large. Your Mr Skocik's comments leave me with the hope that there are many Americans of like mind and that there is a future for mankind.

At least W didn't sleep with the young female staff, and violate them with cigars. I think we're crazy to go to outer space, but at least we have a decent family man in the White House. Oregon can go back to letting men marry men, mugging it up for the cameras to purposely enrage Christians. Maybe you can write in Teddy Kennedy or Barnie Frank for President.

Well, Brother Gary just spelled out the entire Republican philosophy -- small-minded, intolerant, old-fashioned, hateful and self-righteous. Space exploration represents everything the Republicans hate: freedom, opportunity, peace, knowledge, and new frontiers. Sometimes I wonder if Bush deliberately proposed the Mars plan in order to kill it, knowing Democrats would react emotionally and want to undermine the plan just because it was his idea.

Oh, please.

It's a question of priorities and focus, not an either-or issue. Did the man really need to waste a public pulpit for that announcement, trumpeting away as if he's singlehandedly saving the planet?

Fund it or don't fund it - but don't expect us to rally behind it, especially when there are millions of Americans eagerly waiting for the President's wisdom and vision on, oh, the whole jobs thing.

> Space exploration represents everything the Republicans hate: freedom, opportunity, peace, knowledge, and new frontiers.

> millions of Americans eagerly waiting for the President's wisdom and vision on, oh, the whole jobs thing.

> Maybe you can write in Teddy Kennedy or Barnie Frank for President.

This thread is about on the intellectual level of that commercial.

Interestingly, the commercial has had a very unintended effect on some lefties I know; they see the moon and Mars projects as some of the only good things Bush has proposed, and thus the commercial backfires. Poetic justice for the damn unions.

Space exploration gives the smartest people in society something to work on. Instead of slowing the world down for the slowest people, give the achievers something worthwhile to work on - and give them a chance to improve the world at the same time.

Interestingly, the commercial has had a very unintended effect on some lefties I know; they see the moon and Mars projects as some of the only good things Bush has proposed ...

Wishful thinking, Brett. WWP can't name one so-called "leftie" [your term, not ours] in or out of any circle known to him who thinks this way. The idea that "liberals" are embracing GWB's space plan are illusionary at best, a delusional distraction at worst.

WWB hasn't been paying attention. I'm very much a liberal, and I embrace the Moon and Mars programs -- in fact, it's what I've been hoping for for years, what I kept hoping Clinton would do. Clinton's nonaction on space issues was a big disappointment to me. Most of my family are even more liberal than I am, and they support the Mars program. Does nobody here remember that the original Apollo program was started by Kennedy? Many people I know have speculated that the Mars program was Bush's attempt to win over Democrats. Howard Dean also would have ordered a manned Mars program, one of many reasons I was really hoping he would take the primaries.

If you're going to pour so much energy into justifying the Mars mission on the basis of the spin-off benefits it produces, then you have to take Bush to task for killing the Hubble program in order to fund the Mars mission. With Hubble, we have what is perhaps the greatest source of useful astronomical data in 100 years.

Likewise, if the Mars mission is so important, we should pay for it. Instead, Bush continues to drain the social security trust fund in order tp pay for his tax cut.

P, I'm not saying it's a widespread sentiment among liberals. It's not, for the simple reason that Bush proposed it. If Bush came up with a cure for cancer, the left would denounce it as just a way to make Halliburton some more money. But I do know a few individuals who have expressed their admiration for the plans. Confidentially, of course; they wouldn't want to besmirch their Bu$Hitler credentials.

Robert Zubrin wrote an article harshly criticising the decision to cut Hubble. You can read it on
He suggests that terminating the Shuttle immediately could save Hubble, though I don't quite see how Hubble could continue to be serviced without the Shuttle. He also implies, but never directly states, that terminating the ISS would save loads of money for the Hubble and the Moon/Mars mission.

I'm not going to make a generalized arguement for space exploration, that would take up too much space and can be found elsewhere. Suffice it to say that as long as people like Bush and Bin Ladin are around, having a back-up society off Earth is a very good idea. Robots can't do that.

However, as for the claim that the "moontomars" funding ought to be redirected elsewhere in the space program, I think that the question is neither limited funding or Bush's (obvious) incompetance.

As for funding issues, there ought be no conflict between Hubble and going to Mars. The real reason that O'Keefe doesn't want to repair Hubble is that the CAIB report and other things that have been uncovered since the Columbia disaster basicly amount to the conclusion that the Columbia-class shuttles are poorly designed, dangerous, and poorly managed. He wants to keep shuttle flights to a minimum (meaning only the ISS flights that we've already promised to other countries). Even if the moontomars plan was canceled today, he would still be against the Hubble repair mission.

As for incompetance, the real problem is that NASA has shown an inability to build new launch systems well both because of Congressional interferance and buerocracy. Also, the current system by which contractors are paid by NASA (they're promised a percentage of whatever the costs are) actually gives them a motive to raise costs to make their chunck worth more. It would probably be wiser to have some sort of prize-based system used to motivate them to lower their costs.
Also, a single or double stage reusuable vehicle would probably be a better investment than the single-use booster system planned for the Crew Exploration Vehicle.

We need to get back on the path to human exploration and settlement, and the fact that Bush (incompetant fundamentalist neocon lunatic that he is) is promoting it is a good thing. However, it could certainly be managed better.

Open skies.


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