Liberty Just in Case

A Dialogue for the September 12th World

Archive for November 29th, 2004

NASA’s Budget: What Should the Money Go For

Posted by Mark on November 29, 2004

An editorial in The New York Times I agree with. As soon as I finish, I’ll go check my temperature again. For now, this makes a whole lot of sense:

Space officials have reportedly told Congressional committees they can find most of the needed money by slicing $100 million or more from this program or that until the desired cuts are reached. Our feeling is that NASA should look very hard at terminating its two costliest programs, the International Space Station, now orbiting in a partially built state overhead, and the shuttle fleet that is being resuscitated to carry parts and astronauts up to the station. Those two programs eat up much of the NASA budget for little real gain.

The main reason for completing the station, aside from a stubborn desire to finish something once started, is concern that other nations collaborating on the station would resent being abandoned. Yet the same pressures that have led many Americans to consider the station a white elephant may also be at work abroad. It may be possible to persuade our international partners to accept some losses on the station in return for a truly important role in more visionary space exploration.

The one thing that has become apparent since President Bush proposed putting astronauts on the Moon and Mars is that no such plan can gain momentum until the station-shuttle complex is shut down.

Despite the arrogant “royal we” used by the Times, the editorial makes sense. NASA has a history of pouring good money after bad. The Moon and Mars missions must take center stage, or we run a very real danger of seeing the first colony on the moon speaking fluent chinese.

Posted in War and Terror | Leave a Comment »

NASA’s Budget: What Should the Money Go For

Posted by Mark on November 29, 2004

An editorial in The New York Times I agree with. As soon as I finish, I’ll go check my temperature again. For now, this makes a whole lot of sense:

Space officials have reportedly told Congressional committees they can find most of the needed money by slicing $100 million or more from this program or that until the desired cuts are reached. Our feeling is that NASA should look very hard at terminating its two costliest programs, the International Space Station, now orbiting in a partially built state overhead, and the shuttle fleet that is being resuscitated to carry parts and astronauts up to the station. Those two programs eat up much of the NASA budget for little real gain.

The main reason for completing the station, aside from a stubborn desire to finish something once started, is concern that other nations collaborating on the station would resent being abandoned. Yet the same pressures that have led many Americans to consider the station a white elephant may also be at work abroad. It may be possible to persuade our international partners to accept some losses on the station in return for a truly important role in more visionary space exploration.

The one thing that has become apparent since President Bush proposed putting astronauts on the Moon and Mars is that no such plan can gain momentum until the station-shuttle complex is shut down.

Despite the arrogant “royal we” used by the Times, the editorial makes sense. NASA has a history of pouring good money after bad. The Moon and Mars missions must take center stage, or we run a very real danger of seeing the first colony on the moon speaking fluent chinese.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Perhaps Maureen Should Listen to Her Family More

Posted by Mark on November 29, 2004

Poor Maureen Dowd. She just doesn’t get it:

WASHINGTON — I’ve been surprised, out on the road, how often I get asked about my family. They’re beyond red – more like crimson. My sister flew to West Virginia in October to work a phone bank for W.

People often wonder what our Thanksgiving is like.

It’s lovely – if you enjoy hearing about how brilliant Ann Coulter is, how misguided The New York Times’s editorial page is, and how valiant the president is as he tries to stop America’s slide into paganism.

This year, my brothers were on the warpath about news reports that Maryland public schools did not teach about Thanksgiving from a religious perspective. “Who do they think the Pilgrims thanked?” demanded Martin. “God.”

There are moments – when my brothers are sharing some snarky thing Rush Limbaugh said about me, or the latest bon mot from Pat Buchanan, with whom they grew up – that I’m tempted to stuff my ears with my mom’s potato stuffing, or go off and read a book by David Sedaris about normal family life.

Got a news flash, Miss Dowd. Your family life IS pretty normal for 80% of the country. Soooo, what does that say about you? Read the whole peice, if you haven’t. I couldn’t agree with her brother’s email more.

Posted in War and Terror | Leave a Comment »

Perhaps Maureen Should Listen to Her Family More

Posted by Mark on November 29, 2004

Poor Maureen Dowd. She just doesn’t get it:

WASHINGTON � I’ve been surprised, out on the road, how often I get asked about my family. They’re beyond red – more like crimson. My sister flew to West Virginia in October to work a phone bank for W.

People often wonder what our Thanksgiving is like.

It’s lovely – if you enjoy hearing about how brilliant Ann Coulter is, how misguided The New York Times’s editorial page is, and how valiant the president is as he tries to stop America’s slide into paganism.

This year, my brothers were on the warpath about news reports that Maryland public schools did not teach about Thanksgiving from a religious perspective. “Who do they think the Pilgrims thanked?” demanded Martin. “God.”

There are moments – when my brothers are sharing some snarky thing Rush Limbaugh said about me, or the latest bon mot from Pat Buchanan, with whom they grew up – that I’m tempted to stuff my ears with my mom’s potato stuffing, or go off and read a book by David Sedaris about normal family life.

Got a news flash, Miss Dowd. Your family life IS pretty normal for 80% of the country. Soooo, what does that say about you? Read the whole peice, if you haven’t. I couldn’t agree with her brother’s email more.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »