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topicolo
Feb 2, 2003, 11:34 PM
Bush wants more money for NASA (http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/02/02/bush.budget.nasa.reut/index.html)

For once, he's doing something completely right.
Smart move Georgie. It may not be a huge budget increase, but it's a good start.

MacAztec
Feb 2, 2003, 11:47 PM
And less money for helping out the rest of the world. Oh, how much do we spend each year to give the starving Africans food? And how do we benefit from that?

There are a lot of things that are stupid (i think) that the government funds.

NASA is not one of them:D

topicolo
Feb 3, 2003, 12:06 AM
Well, donating money to poor third world countries can help in at least one way: erasing the negative stereotypes that've plagued America.
These negative stereotypes are the cause of much of the hatred/terrorism against Americans. If the US can counteract some of the brainwashing that goes on in some of these countries, it'll be killing off terrorism at its source. Using force obviously doesn't work--just look at the Israelis, they're getting more suicide bombings since they started striking back.

uhlawboi80
Feb 3, 2003, 12:09 AM
im all for boosting NASAs funding! hell i almost took a job with them (they love them some biophysics majors)...but where exactly does W think this money is? he tossed the balanced budget concept in the crapper.

It was excusable post 9-11 to implement security changes and other research towards that goal, but his military build up and other crap are just insane. Cut taxes AND spend more? i can see how he ran a business into the ground before becoming president.

(and NO all you whiners, that isnt Bush bashing, i happen to be friends with his dad (the GOOD Bush) i just think his return to Reagonomics (and YES it is) is a bad idea that his dad was able to stop and help the economy turn around and Clinton continued)

digitalgiant
Feb 3, 2003, 01:52 AM
Originally posted by topicolo
Well, donating money to poor third world countries can help in at least one way: erasing the negative stereotypes that've plagued America.
These negative stereotypes are the cause of much of the hatred/terrorism against Americans. If the US can counteract some of the brainwashing that goes on in some of these countries, it'll be killing off terrorism at its source. Using force obviously doesn't work--just look at the Israelis, they're getting more suicide bombings since they started striking back.

We have been giving money away for years and years. They take the money smile at us and when we turn around,,,, they call us bad names. Screw'em. Lets feed our people before the rest of the world. Just my 2 cents

zoetropeuk
Feb 3, 2003, 04:59 AM
Screw'em. Lets feed our people before the rest of the world

Lets feed our people first, what a joke. Here is a very interesting fact:

Americans eat enough food per day to feed every single human on this planet a 4500 calorie diet. Considering a healthy male adult can survive on 2800 calories per day no wonder more than 50% of Americans are overweight. America is the nation of over consumption. When will you realise that you are the problem and not a part of any viable solution.

peterjhill
Feb 3, 2003, 06:30 AM
Originally posted by zoetropeuk
When will you realise that you are the problem and not a part of any viable solution.

Oh my god! You're right. I am the problem! I can never be part of any viable solution! I personally am the bane of world existance.
<rolleyes> Yes, America is the land of consumers. A comic once said, only in america would "all you can eat" be considered a good thing. Of course we are able to grow all of our food and be the largest food exporter in the world, so "so what"

kiwi_the_iwik
Feb 3, 2003, 07:53 AM
I think NASA should continue with full government backing.

Since it's inception, NASA has achieved greatness - not only in it's technological advancements in space engineering, but also in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, communications, exploration and invention: not to mention it's unwavering commitment in the face of adversity, such as the current crisis it's in.

It has brought hope and achievement at every level, and has given the World some of it's most memorable moments.

However, with everything, sacrifices are sometimes unfortunately made. Those men and women who were killed were proud to do their part for NASA and humankind. They died doing what they loved. I'm sure their wish would be to continue in the dream - of the genus Homo Sapien Sapien, free from the shackles of gravity, exploring, investigating, discovering...

...let the dream continue.

Juventuz
Feb 3, 2003, 10:53 AM
Originally posted by zoetropeuk
Lets feed our people first, what a joke. Here is a very interesting fact:

A joke? Here are some facts for you to ponder....

Over 9 million American children do not receive adequate meals. No, I'm not talking about eating junk food for dinner, I'm talking about kids not having enough to eat. Families not having enough food to feed everyone.

Here's some statistics for you...

http://www.secondharvest.org/newsroom/feature/c2a_need.html

There are 26 million Americans who do not have enough food to feed themselves.

Americans eat enough food per day to feed every single human on this planet a 4500 calorie diet. Considering a healthy male adult can survive on 2800 calories per day no wonder more than 50% of Americans are overweight. America is the nation of over consumption. When will you realise that you are the problem and not a part of any viable solution.

When will check your facts before you decide to criticize a nation?

The US is the biggest distrubtor of food donations to other nations, we are part of the solution.

uhlawboi80
Feb 3, 2003, 11:00 AM
first, i think the US is as much a part of the solution as anyone can claim to be..the problem is there ISNT a solution. second, zoetropeuk, you shouldnt toss out criticism from a nation that partially relies on the US for security.

lmalave
Feb 3, 2003, 01:36 PM
Originally posted by zoetropeuk


Lets feed our people first, what a joke. Here is a very interesting fact:

Americans eat enough food per day to feed every single human on this planet a 4500 calorie diet. Considering a healthy male adult can survive on 2800 calories per day no wonder more than 50% of Americans are overweight. America is the nation of over consumption. When will you realise that you are the problem and not a part of any viable solution.

Heh, do the math here - the data you're quoting is COMPLETELY impossible. If 300 million Americans consume enough calories to feed 6 billion people 4500 calories a day, that implies that the per capita calorie consumption in the U.S. would be 90,000 calories a day!!! Umm...I don't think that's even possible - I think that would be fatal to any human. Put some thought into what you're saying before you post such drivel.

And by the way, the data that I've read shows that the U.S. is only 3rd in the world when it comes to per capita calorie consumption - Ireland and Greece are actually the top 2. Oh, an by the way 2800 calories is enough to get nice and fat. An adult male can live on much less, believe me. (that being said the American average for a male is probably over 3000 calories, and for a female probably several hundred calories less).

lmalave
Feb 3, 2003, 01:47 PM
Originally posted by Juventuz


A joke? Here are some facts for you to ponder....

Over 9 million American children do not receive adequate meals. No, I'm not talking about eating junk food for dinner, I'm talking about kids not having enough to eat. Families not having enough food to feed everyone.

Here's some statistics for you...

http://www.secondharvest.org/newsroom/feature/c2a_need.html

There are 26 million Americans who do not have enough food to feed themselves.


No one in the U.S. has to go hungry, believe me. The average income in my household growing up was probably no more than $10,000 a year, but between welfare, food stamps, free school lunch (and breakfast), and government cheese/butter we not only did OK but lived pretty well, in my opinion (granted with my background I have far different standard for "living well" than most of you). If any kid is going hungry I will say from experience right now that it's a case of parental neglect, pure and simple. Fortunately I was blessed with a mom that though she had a rough time trying to figure out how to succeed in her own life, at least knew enough to keep her children happy and well fed with her meager resources.

That being said, I hope that Republicans think twice before advocating the callous policies they suggest. I don't know where I'd be today without government assistance. Not only did I eat well but I benefitted from a great public school education. Now I'd like to think that taxpayers got a good return on their investment, as I and my brother have grown up to be very productive members of society. Unfortunately, the attitude of many Republicans seems to be that poor people are hopeless and should just die of hunger on the streets so they can out of the gene pool. :( :( :(

I wish that were an exaggeration, but this is really the attitude that I've seen in this country.

mcrain
Feb 3, 2003, 01:54 PM
"Finish your beer, there are sober kids in India."

NASA - Not Another Shuttle Accident
NASA - Not Another Seven Astronauts

OK, look people, NASA suffered a terrible loss, but if you are for feeding the hungry, then you're probably also for less polution. NASA was in the middle of experimenting in ways in which to make vehicles far, far more efficient, thus reducing polution.

NASA does great things. They are expensive, but great.

(edit) Oh, and Republican's aren't evil, callous, or mean. They just disagree with Democrats on some issues, and just as Democrats can be bashed inappropriately by Republicans, you saying that Republicans want kids to starve is inappropriate, and gives those of us who really are trying to fight for the liberal point of view a bad name.

Mr. Anderson
Feb 3, 2003, 02:45 PM
The future of NASA is at a turning point here. What happens next is going to be crucial to its survival, regardless on whether it gets more money from the government or not. Its budget this year was 9 Billion, the same as it was 10 years ago. So effectively its been doing more with less money.

The one thing that they seem to have a problem with is commercialization of space. I say screw the principles and have companies pay for advertisement and celebs in space. Take that extra money and run the damn thing like a business, not like some hauty, pie in the sky(space) ideal.

D

Dont Hurt Me
Feb 3, 2003, 04:06 PM
First i would like to say i love nasa. Now with that being said who can argue that whenever government is running anything its going to cost us the tax payers 10 times as much as it would if it was a private business. I am all for space but didnt those clowns design and redesign the space station about a half of dozen times before actually trying to build it? And if iam not mistaken that cost millions even billions before they even started on the first part.Bottom line is government thinks it has a endless supply of our money and i dont know what is worse the fact that they constantly blow it or the fact that they do have a neverending supply of our money.:( Commercialize space and lets build a newer,faster,cheaper and more reliable way to orbit! Once we have a easy way to orbit that will open space up.but as long as we are using chemical rockets to push things up its going to cost a fortune!Maybe we need to take apart a crashed UFO and see how they do it!;)

Gelfin
Feb 3, 2003, 04:31 PM
Originally posted by zoetropeuk
Americans eat enough food per day to feed every single human on this planet a 4500 calorie diet. Considering a healthy male adult can survive on 2800 calories per day no wonder more than 50% of Americans are overweight. America is the nation of over consumption. When will you realise that you are the problem and not a part of any viable solution.

You just made that up, didn't you? Either that, or you believed somebody else who just made it up. Aside from the point lmalave made very well, a 4500 Calorie diet is outrageously high. You're talking about four super-sized Big Mac meals per day. Perhaps your distorted view of Americans includes such insane excess, but it isn't true. For a healthy adult male, even a 2800 Calorie diet is excessive. Your basic metabolic processes consume up to about 1200 Calories per day. How much you burn above that depends on your daily activity, but 2000 to 2400 Calories is a good target range.

Gelfin
Feb 3, 2003, 04:48 PM
Originally posted by Dont Hurt Me
I am all for space but didnt those clowns design and redesign the space station about a half of dozen times before actually trying to build it?

Congress cut their funding half a dozen times. And redesigns were necessary based on shifting priorities of the other participating nations. During the design of the ISS, Russia sort of ran out of money, for instance. Almost all of the redesigns of the ISS were to make it smaller and cheaper.

The space program has made, and continues to make, invaluable contributions. The problem they have with funding is that the results generated by a given NASA project typically will not be realized within any politician's term of office. The consequences, good or bad, of NASA funding decisions will be felt by some other administration. Therefore politicians see no advantage in funding it and an easy source of budget cuts. The only reason projects like the ISS ever get funding is that congresspeople agree to approve the funding only if associated contracts are given to companies in their own home states. Thus the fabrication of anything that goes into space is typically spread out over perhaps dozens of states, with all the inflated costs implied by such inefficiency.

So ultimately I agree with you completely that privatization of space is the only long-term solution.

job
Feb 3, 2003, 05:06 PM
Yah, great, money to NASA. I'm all for it.

...but it's a little late isn't it...

topicolo
Feb 3, 2003, 06:41 PM
I think that cutting the space program right now would be the equivalent of laying down and admitting that we've been defeated. The loss of another seven lives was tragic, but these sacrifices must be made if we are ever to break free of the shackles that bind us here on Earth.
If the early european explorers stopped sending ships out into the unknown as soon as they lost some people, Australia, North and South America wouldn't exist as we know it today (although some might argue that that's a good thing).
If people were afraid of small setbacks, we wouldn't have many of the technological advantages we enjoy today--stuff like airplanes, electricity, cars, etc. would never have been invented.

I think it's a wonderful thing that NASA is being given more money. It's an investment in the future of humankind.

MrMacMan
Feb 3, 2003, 07:43 PM
Does any of this money happen to tie in with the 'star wars' program...?

Hm... Just a thought...

Edit. Money not moeny.

lmalave
Feb 3, 2003, 08:25 PM
Originally posted by mcrain

(edit) Oh, and Republican's aren't evil, callous, or mean. They just disagree with Democrats on some issues, and just as Democrats can be bashed inappropriately by Republicans, you saying that Republicans want kids to starve is inappropriate, and gives those of us who really are trying to fight for the liberal point of view a bad name.

Heh, you only say this because the difference to you is only a few percentage points in the tax rate, so you view the difference as small. But as they say, everything is in the margins. Put yourself in the position of someone who in all likelihood would have been homeless under the current policies (I was blessed to grow up in a more civilized time). And if Republicans had their way I would have gone to a decrepit school and possibly gone hungry. So excuse me if I support policies that kept me ALIVE and made me EVERYTHING that I am today.

The reason I call Republicans callous is because I really believe that Social Darwinism and hostility toward the poor is very core to their philosophy. C'mon, listen to Rush Limbaugh or Newt Gingrich and tell me they're not callous. Every time they ranted about welfare mothers they were ranting about MY MOTHER, think about that! This is NOT an abstract issue for me. Being on the receiving end of it, I can tell you the there WAS and IS tremendous hostility toward the poor from Republicans, there's just no other word for it.

And that's the part that I don't get about Republicans, is, why all the sneering hostility? Why is there so much venom and toward poor people, Hillary Clinton, etc.? I'm sorry, you can say a lot of things about Liberals, but I just don't see the same sneering hostility being mainstream among them. And don't talk to me about freakin' protesters, they're so marginal! I'm talking Rush Limbaugh, a HUUUUUGE bestseller! And look at their congressional leaders: Newt Gingrich, Jesse Helms, Trent Lott - the list goes on. Where are the Liberal Rush Limbaughs? Where are the Liberal Jesse Helms? If I've overlooked the existence of mean-spirited mainstream Liberal leaders, please correct me.

MacFan25
Feb 3, 2003, 09:00 PM
I think funding NASA is a good idea. I wonder if it will be a while before anyone else goes up into space.

MyLeftNut
Feb 4, 2003, 02:30 AM
The Chinese are thinking of putting an astronaut up sometime this year maybe next....its gonna get crowded up there...

Thanatoast
Feb 4, 2003, 03:05 AM
i forgot about the chinese...

maybe this is an opportunity to start another space race. can't let the reds have the first base on mars now, can we? :D

gaomay
Feb 4, 2003, 05:19 AM
With regard to some of the comments made by fellow Brits here:

Yes, the US does have a consumer culture and yes, a reltively large proportion of US citizens are overweight.

However, the US is also the nation which gives more than any other in terms of aid to the third world. It also has guaranteed the security of Europe for circa the last 80 years. It's not perfect but it is folly to compare what exists to a perfect situation. In comparison to other possible situations (USSR wins the Cold War etc.) I'd choose what we have anyday.

I think it is too easy to engage in "yank-bashing" with out realising that we (the rest of the world and Europe in particular) have a great deal to br grateful for.

Mr. Anderson
Feb 4, 2003, 09:56 AM
Originally posted by gaomay
I think it is too easy to engage in "yank-bashing" with out realising that we (the rest of the world and Europe in particular) have a great deal to br grateful for.

Its nice to see that not everyone is totally close minded. :D As far as I see it, as long as you have more than two people, you can never really have what's perfect for each of them. Sure we can see a better world, but its not something that can change overnight or very easily.

Money for space exploration is quite important, more so than most people realize. Space is our future, period. Right now we're all, the human race, on one little planet, around one ordinary sun. So many things can happen that can wipe out everything we've done to this point. And I'm not talking just about asteroids colliding with earth. If a nearby star, one within a dozen light years or so decides to go super nova, we could be blasted by huge levels of radiation. That's not a good thing.

So by continuing a presense in space we're working on getting the human race off our one little planet and spreading out to others. Hopefully we'll get to other star systems and help insure our continued survival. What the purpose for that is, is open for debate. Might want to take that into the communtiy forum.

D

peter2002
Feb 4, 2003, 09:57 AM
I hate to be synical, but the "new" money Bush is proposing for NASA is almost the same exact amount he cut in last year's budget. I imagine the Democrats will use this as an issue in the next election against Bush and the Republicans. ABC News had a story about this on yesterday's evening news on TV.

Clark C
Feb 4, 2003, 02:12 PM
Imalave, you have no idea how wrong you are when you state there is no liberal version of Rush Limbaugh. It is a fact that 80% of media is liberal. There have been survey's. This means 80% of the opinion that is fed down your forced down you throat is liberal bias. In no way do mainstream Repubicans believe in social darwinism. I want to help out the poor as much as any Democrat, there are just different opinions on how to go about doing it. Believe me, it is the media that makes Republican look like Hitler, not republicans. I think it is great what you have done with your life Imalave, I think that is what everybody wants. Both parties in america to be a better place for everyone. ... ohhh yes, NASA is a good thing.

lmalave
Feb 4, 2003, 04:02 PM
Originally posted by Clark C
Imalave, you have no idea how wrong you are when you state there is no liberal version of Rush Limbaugh. It is a fact that 80% of media is liberal. There have been survey's. This means 80% of the opinion that is fed down your forced down you throat is liberal bias. In no way do mainstream Repubicans believe in social darwinism. I want to help out the poor as much as any Democrat, there are just different opinions on how to go about doing it. Believe me, it is the media that makes Republican look like Hitler, not republicans. I think it is great what you have done with your life Imalave, I think that is what everybody wants. Both parties in america to be a better place for everyone. ... ohhh yes, NASA is a good thing.

Well, I'm referring to quotes like the following from Rush Limbaugh, Republican hero:

"The poor in this country are the biggest piglets at the mother pig and her nipples. The poor feed off the largesse of this government and they give nothing back. Nothing. . . . They’re the ones that are always pandered to....Do they pay any taxes? No. They don’t pay a thing. They contribute nothing to this country. They do nothing but take from it."

My question is: why the hostility? Geez, I prefer respect, but between pity and hostility, I'll take pity anyday, thank you!

Here's some more quotes from "Rush Limbaugh's 35 Undeniable Truths" :rolleyes: :

"The culture war is between the winners and those who think they're losers who want to become winners. The losers think the only way they can become winners is by banding together all the losers and then empowering a leader of the losers to make things right for them."

and on non-economic issues:

"Feminism was established as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society."


This rhetoric of "piglets" and "losers" is very mean spirited and I have heard it echoed by MANY republicans. And yes, a lot of journalists are liberals, no question about that. But again, I ask you, where is the liberal mean-spiritedness? Where is the liberal Rush Limbaugh?

And to me this rhetoric seems very uncivilized. Keep in mind that the biggest demographic group among the poor is CHILDREN, who had no control over being born into poverty. To me, sneering at the poor is uncivilized - to me its a matter of basic manners in a civilized society. Sneering at the poor and wanting to cut their benefits is to me somewhat like taking a train seat that could've gone to a pregnant woman and then sneering at the woman because she was too slow to take the seat first. I think in a civilized society people help each other, ESPECIALLY when it's the strong helping the weak. That's why in civilized society children, elderly, etc. are always helped and given deference. It just seems like basic decency to me, and it seems unseemly to take benefits from children so people who already have more can just save a little more, take another vacation, etc. Yes, the middle class majority is entirely within their rights to cut benefits, just as a jerk guy is within his rights to take a train seat from a pregnant lady. But according to my (admittedly self-serving) philosophy it's indecent to do so.

macfan
Feb 4, 2003, 06:29 PM
I think in a civilized society people help each other, ESPECIALLY when it's the strong helping the weak.

While this is a wonderful sentiment with which I agree entirely, it does not follow that the federal government should be charged with such a task.

More generally, you don't really want to get in a "quote war" over who says worse things about whom in politics. Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer as well as a commentator. There are plenty of brash comments and more than enough inflamatory rhetoric to go arond on all sides.

lmalave
Feb 4, 2003, 10:34 PM
Originally posted by macfan


While this is a wonderful sentiment with which I agree entirely, it does not follow that the federal government should be charged with such a task.

More generally, you don't really want to get in a "quote war" over who says worse things about whom in politics. Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer as well as a commentator. There are plenty of brash comments and more than enough inflamatory rhetoric to go arond on all sides.

Oh, believe me, I would win a quote war. I chose Rush because of his immense popularity and unquestionable "mainstreamness". Let's not forget he was made an honorary member of the House by the Republican majority. Would you rather I chose quotes from Newt Gingrich, Trent Lott, Jesse Helms, Helen Chenoweth, or any various other Republican luminaries? Keep in mind these aren't people way out on the margins. We're talking Speakers of the House and Senate Majority Leaders!

I'm sorry, but all I see is the ugly, nauseating spectacle of the powerful beating up on the powerless, and that pretty much sums up Republican positions on class, race, and increasingly foreign policy. But obviously in today's America I'm outnumbered, so all I can really do is try to be a positive example of why we shouldn't give up on poor children. If you intervene early enough there *is* hope.

But really making in a difference in a kids life takes a significant investment in both time and money. I was blessed to grow up in a town that while not rich by any means (probably below the national average) is one of the most progressive towns in the country. My town made *significant* investments in public schools, public library, etc. So even though the poverty rate in the city and the county was quite high, I really believe that every kid in my town (provided they had supportive parents) really had a chance to excel. And I've seen the other side of things: I went to school in Puerto Rico for 8th grade, and within a year I started slipping into delinquency. Environment just makes a huge difference. Fortunately, my mom had the good sense to get me the hell out of there and go back to the fine school district that I was in before. It's really basic, folks. Having a top-notch school system and spending whatever it takes is always the best policy if you just think about it logically. It's pennies on the dollar. It'll pay for itself down the road in the form of a productive, tax-paying citizen. Hell, it'll pay for itself just in terms of reduced prison construction costs and prisoner housing costs. And I wish I was exaggerating there :(

I know you don't think the government is the best vehicle, but from my own personal experience it has done a lot of good, and I don't think private charities can ever replace the value of an outstanding public school system and public facilities. Think of it this way: if the government drastically cut benefits and also cut taxes, how much of the extra money would people give back to charity? Well, human nature being what it is, only a relatively small fraction of that freed up money would make its way back to charity. Which means a lot of kids would get left out in the cold (figuratively AND literally). Even assuming that private charities used resources more efficiently, the greater efficiency would never compensate for the drastically reduced resources, in my opinion.

LethalWolfe
Feb 4, 2003, 11:37 PM
Originally posted by dukestreet


Its nice to see that not everyone is totally close minded. :D As far as I see it, as long as you have more than two people, you can never really have what's perfect for each of them. Sure we can see a better world, but its not something that can change overnight or very easily.

Money for space exploration is quite important, more so than most people realize. Space is our future, period. Right now we're all, the human race, on one little planet, around one ordinary sun. So many things can happen that can wipe out everything we've done to this point. And I'm not talking just about asteroids colliding with earth. If a nearby star, one within a dozen light years or so decides to go super nova, we could be blasted by huge levels of radiation. That's not a good thing.

So by continuing a presense in space we're working on getting the human race off our one little planet and spreading out to others. Hopefully we'll get to other star systems and help insure our continued survival. What the purpose for that is, is open for debate. Might want to take that into the communtiy forum.

D

The importance of NASA is even more immediate than finding a way off Earth. There are tests and experiments that can only been done in space, and how many alloys<sp?> and composite materials were first developed for the space program? On a lighter note where would the world be w/o velcro and tang? ;)

I don't think many people realize how much technology develop for the space program or military use has filtered down into "everyday" products.


Lethal

macfan
Feb 4, 2003, 11:59 PM
Oh, believe me, I would win a quote war.

No, you wouldn't. There's plenty of heated rhetoric on all sides.

But really making in a difference in a kids life takes a significant investment in both time and money... It's really basic, folks. Having a top-notch school system and spending whatever it takes is always the best policy if you just think about it logically.

It isn't simply a matter of money. It is our public schools in the inner cities that are failing students, in spite of funding levels that are similar to or even higher than more successful public schools. Those who can afford it try to get their kids into private schools. (One of the policies of the evil Republicans is to allow vouchers for parents of students in failing schools. It is a policy supported in great numbers by those parents it would impact, but it is opposed by those who would be forced to compete for the students were this to take place). If you have a failing system, it doesn't matter how much money you spend on it, it will not work.

I know you don't think the government is the best vehicle, but from my own personal experience it has done a lot of good, and I don't think private charities can ever replace the value of an outstanding public school system and public facilities.

Republicans aren't advocating abolishing public education. That is the position of the Libertarian party.

Just a thought for you to consider. When Clinton signed welfare reform, he was severly criticized by those who said it would be devastating. However, it was not devastating.

Not being a Republican, it doesn't make much difference to me, but I think your statement that "Republican positions on class, race..." involve "powerful beating up on the powerless" is just a little over the top. Care to elaborate on how the administration's positions on race are so objectionable?

Clark C
Feb 5, 2003, 12:04 AM
You know what, I disagree with Rush on thoughs comments and I am sure many republicans disagree with those quotes. I think it is predjudice to put anyone in a group. That includes "Democrats", "Republicans", "Whites", "Christians"... they are all groups, but not every member of them is exactly the same. I agree with much of the republican philosophy, thats why I consider myself republican. I'm sure many democrats don't agree with everything their party (or one man in it) says. As said earlier, Rush is an entertainer as well as a political speaker. To gain popularity, the things that you say have to be extreme. I'm sure there are some poor people that feed off society, there are also a ton that contribute a lot. Statements like Rush's are supposed to be generalized (although I think the statements you mentioned are not true for many of poor people). As American's we need to place much less enphasis on political parties. There are much more than exactly 2 opinions on every matter..... and staying true to the original subject, NASA has needed more funding for a long time. Any money put into NASA will be returned to Americans with many technilogical advances.

lmalave
Feb 5, 2003, 10:12 AM
Originally posted by macfan

Just a thought for you to consider. When Clinton signed welfare reform, he was severly criticized by those who said it would be devastating. However, it was not devastating.


The Clinton administration and the Republican Congress benefitted from a technology and productivity boom that only comes along once every few decades, driving unemployment rates to historic lows and employing even the chronically unemployed. Previous parallels would include the manufacturing revolution of the 1920's and the railroad building boom of the late 1800's. NOW you will begin to see the pain as unemployment rises higher than even the levels at the time that welfare reform was implemented.

And don't tell me that welfare reforem has been without consequence. Something like 50% of the homeless are now families with children. Homelesness has always been a problem but it has not been a problem of CHILDREN on this scale before welfare reform.

See, what you have to realize is that there are deep-seated social and psychological reasons why some people have a hard time finding and keeping a job. It's not a simple as just saying that they're lazy. But at any rate, these are adults we're talking about. Why punish the children for the faults of their parents?

I know first hand that it's possible to be poor and still have a good upbringing and get a good education. I really don't think it's reasonable to expect a kid bouncing from homeless shelter to homeless shelter to do anything with their life, though. I believe society has to do everything possible to prevent this - otherwise society WILL pay the price down the road.

And yes, of course, I've read all the statisticst about failing schools. Hell, I'm living in NYC right now, one of the best-funded public school systems in the country on a per-child basis and yet still an abject failure. But notice I was careful to say that change require significant time and money. You absolutely have to change the attitudes of the kids and the teachers and society in general, and that is by no means an easy or overnight type of effort.

See, the difference is, in middle-class America kids have big dreams but at the same time they have every expectation that at minimum they can achieve the comfortable middle-class lifestyle that they grow up with. A lot of poor kids growing up also have big dreams but they *don't* have the natural expectation that, hey, at the very least they can grow up to have the house with the white picket fence. In fact, their natural expectation is that they will grow up to experience the same poverty that they see all around them. I firmly believe that almost anybody in this country can achieve at least an upper-middle class lifestyle if they put in the work, and that's what we need to make every kid realize.

sturm375
Feb 6, 2003, 09:45 AM
NASA should not become commercialized, and treated like a corporation. NASA is one, if not the, premier research center on this planet. This would change dramatically if it were commercialized/corporatized. As a percentage how much does the typical successful corporation spend on R&D? Not much, because corporations are interested in profit, of the monotary kind, not the intelectual/humanatarian.

I don't have a problem with an inititive for private space programs. It would be great to see a mining company attempt to mine the asteroid near us (I can't remember it's name), I belive it's closer to us than the moon. Lots of good metals in asteroids!

Restatement: We, the human race, need a research center like NASA, dedicated to space exploration for the purpose of gaining knowlage, not profit. And we need to fund it like we fund the Defense Department.

GeneR
Feb 6, 2003, 10:13 PM
Just my $0.02.

:D

Mr. Anderson
Feb 7, 2003, 10:00 AM
Originally posted by sturm375
NASA should not become commercialized, and treated like a corporation. NASA is one, if not the, premier research center on this planet. This would change dramatically if it were commercialized/corporatized. As a percentage how much does the typical successful corporation spend on R&D? Not much, because corporations are interested in profit, of the monotary kind, not the intelectual/humanatarian.

Well, you have a point, but why not approach it a little differently. Set up a different group/corporation that works on getting funding from the private sector that deals in the commercialization of space. Its not a matter selling out to mass media, its a matter of realizing that the future of space is going to be getting you, me and everybody else up there, safely and cheaply. The amount of money that can be made is enormous.

If they set up a separate entity that uses the NASA technology and also takes the profits (run it right and you'll be rolling in the money) to further develop technologies and systems. This way NASA remains a research group and the commercial one aids it.

Right now its an exclusive club, getting to space, and it doesn't need to be.

Also in the commercialization of space is handling the resources. An average C-Type asteroid, one of the near earth objects has trillions of dollars worth of minerals, metals and water (ice). Plans are in the works for private companies to start mining these things. Just getting the water alone makes it profitable because its so damn expensive to get it into orbit in the first place. The delta-v for a near earth object is a fraction of that from the surface of the Earth.

All I see is potential going to waste here. Its going to take decades at this point before we get to where we need to be, just because NASA is keeping things held tightly in their own hands.

D

sturm375
Feb 7, 2003, 10:58 AM
Originally posted by dukestreet


Well, you have a point, but why not approach it a little differently. Set up a different group/corporation that works on getting funding from the private sector that deals in the commercialization of space. Its not a matter selling out to mass media, its a matter of realizing that the future of space is going to be getting you, me and everybody else up there, safely and cheaply. The amount of money that can be made is enormous.

If they set up a separate entity that uses the NASA technology and also takes the profits (run it right and you'll be rolling in the money) to further develop technologies and systems. This way NASA remains a research group and the commercial one aids it.

Right now its an exclusive club, getting to space, and it doesn't need to be.

Also in the commercialization of space is handling the resources. An average C-Type asteroid, one of the near earth objects has trillions of dollars worth of minerals, metals and water (ice). Plans are in the works for private companies to start mining these things. Just getting the water alone makes it profitable because its so damn expensive to get it into orbit in the first place. The delta-v for a near earth object is a fraction of that from the surface of the Earth.

All I see is potential going to waste here. Its going to take decades at this point before we get to where we need to be, just because NASA is keeping things held tightly in their own hands.

D

I agree, to a point. If you can guarntee that there will be no pressure on NASA-Research to research specific thing over other because they would be more profitable, OK. The danger is that when you tie profits too closely to research, you loose the real goal, furthering the Human Species.

As I said, I'd fully support a private organization's attempt to "reach the stars." That in itself may help to drive space exploration's cost down. More than one place to sell Aerospace technology. Currently we have essentially many sellers, and one buyer, not the ideal economic enviroment.

Mr. Anderson
Feb 7, 2003, 11:17 AM
At first you'd have to have direct collaboration on projects - how do you get the people and items to space: Space Shuttle, or what ever replaces it. That would be a cooperative effort.

But like I said, at first. Once money starts flowing you can fund more projects, some would be research and others developing equipment/tech for more commercialization, which gets more money, which funds more development, etc.

It would require smart operations and a removal from the political intreague that is rife in NASA. I had an opportunity to work there for 3 months one summer and I can tell you it was an eye opener. Everyone is looking for funding for 'their' project and its quite cutthroat. There is so much to explore and learn and not enough time, manpower and money to do it all at once.

Look at the Pluto issue. If we don't go soon the planets atmosphere will change dramatically, going from frozen to the planets surface, to something resembling a very large comet (Kupeir Belt Object, actually) as it gets closer to the sun on its highly eliptical orbit. Given plutos 'year' we won't see it in the atmostphere configuration for 100 years or so - the pluto year is about 250 earth years, moving in an eliptical orbit 30-50 au from the sun. Now we have an opportunity to see something very unique and scientifically interesting, but budget cuts are going to scuttle the Pluto Express.

Check it out here (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/)

D

topicolo
Feb 8, 2003, 01:30 AM
As interesting as the pluto mission is, there are just other priorities on NASA's list, one of which will now be a replacement for the space shuttles. In the end, I see the space shuttles as a dead-end--these machines are big, bulky and inefficient.

It costs $10,000-$40,000/pound to launch something to space using the shuttle, why not put more funding into developing a replacement like the space planes that will be able to reduce it to $1000/pound? Also, somewhat more far-fetched space elevators may be able to save even more money by reducing that cost to around $100/pound. The space planes were scheduled to go into service after 2010, but I think they should come out sooner than that. NASA needs to scuttle their shuttle fleet and replace them with something lighter, more manouverable, and safer.

GeneR
Feb 8, 2003, 05:49 AM
Originally posted by topicolo
As interesting as the pluto mission is, there are just other priorities on NASA's list, one of which will now be a replacement for the space shuttles. In the end, I see the space shuttles as a dead-end--these machines are big, bulky and inefficient.

It costs $10,000-$40,000/pound to launch something to space using the shuttle, why not put more funding into developing a replacement like the space planes that will be able to reduce it to $1000/pound? Also, somewhat more far-fetched space elevators may be able to save even more money by reducing that cost to around $100/pound. The space planes were scheduled to go into service after 2010, but I think they should come out sooner than that. NASA needs to scuttle their shuttle fleet and replace them with something lighter, more manouverable, and safer.

I think the Space Elevator idea is way overdue. NASA's probably too deep into its shuttle program to consider this, though...

Mr. Anderson
Feb 10, 2003, 12:26 PM
Originally posted by GeneR
I think the Space Elevator idea is way overdue. NASA's probably too deep into its shuttle program to consider this, though...

Ok, first of all, the Space Elevator, at this time, is pure science fiction and theoretical dreaming. There are no materials that could handle the tensile strength required for the cables.

And how would you get it into space? It will have to be built down from space to the Earth, not the other way around.

Don't expect to see this ever happen in your life time.

Space planes are going to be the key in getting us into space, period, for the next century. We'll need to get the scram jets working and alternative power sources. But its going to take a while and if we see a true, single stage to orbit vehicle in the next decade, we'll be lucky. More work and funding should have been put aside for the shuttles replacement over a decade ago, but like I said, there is too much to do and its a big solar system and even bigger universe.

D

Dont Hurt Me
Feb 10, 2003, 12:57 PM
Dukestreet is hitting all the nails right on the head! i agree with almost everything you have said. we do need a single stage to orbit space plane to replace the shuttle. scramjets, ion drive, these are what is needed if we are to move forward. Once we have a cheap,fast way to orbit space will be opened. right now it is closed for the most part just because of the costs to get up there. The shuttle has been great but those technologies of the 60's and 70's are needing to be replaced with technology from the 90's and now. If we have a cheap way to orbit then we can work on a cheap and fast way to move throughout our solar system. ion drive smokes the chemicals by a mile and now we are talking months not years to move about the solar sytem! Just imagine what this would open up! The shuttle has been great but the time has come to build a replacement and even if they started today it would years before we see it. Nasa does need to be on the forefront of this technology and we do need to have some type of corporation/business implementing this so it can be commercialized. We need to remove the politics and the ( big government/wastefulness ) from space research and space travel.

Haberdasher
Feb 11, 2003, 03:50 PM
Regardless of whether you agree or disagree over funding to NASA, I do think it is rediculous that we are still using the same shuttle that has been flying for decades.

Apart from the B-52, the space shuttle is the OLDEST US AIRCRAFT IN OPERATION TODAY. This thing goes into FRICKIN SPACE! Do you know how much it costs to shoot this outdated behemoth into space?

500 million per launch.

The only reason that it is still around is to keep the contractors (Boeing, Lockheed Martin, I can't remember which...) happy with jobs and a massively profitable building and maitenence contract.

We MUST replace the space shuttle with something more economical. That, or send unmanned missions into space.

(Sorry about repeating some ideas here, but I think this needs to be said again!)

macfan
Feb 11, 2003, 04:16 PM
While I would like to see a space plane replace the shuttle, it is a little inaccurate to call the shuttle decades old technology. There have been major technology upgrades over the years to the fleet. There have been similar upgrades to the B 52. It's not the same plane. There are also many other planes in operation (the F-14 Tomcat, the U2, the C-130 Hercules, for instance) that are older than the shuttle.

Mr. Anderson
Feb 11, 2003, 04:28 PM
Yes, there are older aircraft, but how many of them are doing reentry at 17,000 mph?

Its very much an issue of wear and tear on the airframe and heat absorbtion tiles. The shuttle was old and the accident might have been caused by numerous things. But now it a good time to move ahead and get something that is a lot cheap to orbit/lbs than the current space shuttle.

D

Haberdasher
Feb 11, 2003, 09:38 PM
Originally posted by macfan
While I would like to see a space plane replace the shuttle, it is a little inaccurate to call the shuttle decades old technology. There have been major technology upgrades over the years to the fleet. There have been similar upgrades to the B 52. It's not the same plane. There are also many other planes in operation (the F-14 Tomcat, the U2, the C-130 Hercules, for instance) that are older than the shuttle.

I apologize, I mixed up a fact. I didn't mean to say it has existed that long. The fact I meant to say was that NASA expected the Columbia to last until 2020, a total of 40 years. That means it would be, except for the B-52, the longest running aircraft (continued service.)

This actually reminds me of a quote. This is a bit sketchy, but kind of apt.

A mercury (I believe) astronaut was on the launchpad when his rocket launch was aborted for a short while for technical reasons. Upon later interview, the astronaut had this to say about waiting in the cockpit while the rocket was fixed on the launchpad-

"All I could think about was that the rocket I was in had been built by the lowest bidder."

topicolo
Feb 11, 2003, 10:20 PM
While I agree with Dukestreet about space elevators not being feasible in the near future, I think they may come into existence sooner than he thinks. Sure, only carbon nanotubes have the tensile strength to withstand the stresses of having such an elevator, and sure, they've only been able to produce small (~1 gram) quantities, but this could all just be the beginning of the space travel revolution.

Like most new technologies, space travel has been stumbling forward slowly, but it is building momentum and eventually it will reach critical mass and the advances will grow exponentially. Look at computer technology--for the longest time (early 1900s), advances just inched along--but as soon as the solid state transistor was invented, critical mass was reached and the technology took off exponentially.

The same can be said of biotechnology and many other fields. I'm hoping that the forecasts for these future space technologies will prove accurate. The space shuttle, the international space station, and many of the current space technologies are horribly inefficient and waaaaay over budget. I mean, the space shuttle was originally envisioned to launch every week at a cost of 5 million per launch!