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Bush Guts Critical Science Projects And Outsources NASA Projects To India To Further His Ambitions

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In what appears to be a Bush attempt at out-Kennedying JFK, ‘ol GW apparently is slashing NASA’s research funds by $59.8 billion in order to make budgetary room to salvage his pompous and extravagant scheme to get a moon base in his name set up by 2020 and a Mars mission soon after. Of course financing it will become another administration’s problem, having no choice but to find a way to fund it long after he’s gone due to the money already spent on it by then. His pet moon project has already cost us taxpayers dearly, and it is estimated to grow to $3.98 billion by 2007. (Funds in my opinion that could definitely be better used armoring soldiers’ vehicles in Iraq or saving our vanishing middle class from extinction.)

There are two issues that this affects, one political and one scientific.

Let’s cover science first.

An editorial in Nature entitled “NASA in Reverse” stated:

NASA is undergoing a historic shift in direction without consulting scientists or paying attention to their advice. Projects with great appeal to scientists and to the public—including the search for planets around other stars and the study of dark energy—are being abandoned so that NASA can return astronauts to the moon half a century after the Apollo landings.

Reports from such sources as Space.com, NewScientistSpace, and the U.S. House of Representatives show that between now and 2011, in order to make monetary room for his ambitions, it’s been reported that the following scientific projects will be either cut or intentionally delayed long enough for the technology to become obsolete. Some of the projects that have already had a massive amount of time and effort put into them but that Bush is determined to scrap are…

Delaying of the launch of SIM (Space Interferometry Mission) until 2018. The SIM’s main mission is to accurately estimate the age of our universe (something creationists oppose), search for planets similar to Earth, and chart nearby stars in our galaxy capable of supporting life.

Cancellation of such projects as LISA (Laser Interferometry Space Antenna,) which was designed to find gravity waves that could be used to map the warped fabric of time around suspected black holes and to investigate how they agree with Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Also on the block for cancellation or delay is a planned array of orbiting X-ray detectors designed to find new galaxies, black holes, dark energy and matter. (Discoveries that also would interfere with Creationist’s views of God’s universe as they see it) Also slated for cuts is the cancellation or delay of the Joint Dark Energy Mission designed to put an instrument in space capable of measuring the amount of “Dark Matter” in the universe and possibly validating its age and a reason for the theory of an expanding universe.

Cancellation or delay into obsolescence the LandSat Data Continuity Mission, the Wide-Field Infrared Explorer and the Orbiting Carbon Observatory.

Delaying of the launch until 2014 (after he’s long gone from office) of a satellite system designed to track global weather systems called the GPM (Global Precipitation Measurement) to monitor planetary weather changes, and incidentally possibly confirm the damage that Global Warming is doing to our environment. The Hydrosphere State mission designed to track changing carbon, water, and energy phases of the changing freeze and thaw sequences in frigid zones on Earth could go too.

A plan to launch two space telescopes to search for evidence of planetary formation in stellar dust clouds call the Terrestrial Planet Finder mission.

Astrobiology sciences will suffer from the loss of a planned unmanned mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa to look for long-suspected liquid water and life. Also canceled are follow-up investigations into a plume of water discovered by astronomers on Saturn’s moon Enceladus.

Also gutted is a mission to Mars designed to bring back rock samples and return them to Earth, and also the NuSTAR X-ray space telescope array.

Aside from haphazard hardware and mission cuts, Bush has eliminated funds that would’ve financed university students across America pouring over the immense amount of scientific data coming in from past space missions yet to be analyzed, possibly revealing many unfound and overlooked great scientific discoveries, but now that data will sit useless in warehouses and databases for years to come. Some financial resources for projects dozens of years in the planning and execution stages are being dumped (despite commitments to other countries) and could seriously hurt international cooperation with the U.S. To name a couple, there’s NuStar with the Danish National Space Center and Constellation X with the Brera Astronomical Observatory in Italy.

And speaking of Danish and Italian interests…

On the political front

To add insult to injury, President Bush has recently agreed to have India launch two American lunar mapping instruments from their space hub in Bangalore in 2008 rather than having it done from NASA’s facilities in Florida! Not only does this have the effect of helping India get a leg up on China’s space program, but also it potentially damages our relationship with competing Pakistan.

This means that India will be taking over NASA’s $89 million two-year project to put American payloads into a 62-mile lunar orbit to find possible polar ice in the areas of the moon permanently out of our view and to map landing sites. Of the approximate 15-20 planned instruments aboard, 11 if them will be made in India, with a possible additional three devices coming from the European Space Agency.

Is President Bush really pushing India to compete with a Chinese plan to put an orbital rover on the lunar surface by 2012 without considering the international political consequences? Everyone seems to be overlooking the fact that India’s four-stage Chandrayann-1 rocket that’s going to be used for this mission is also potentially the same device being developed for carrying possible nuclear warheads, and that the research and technology provided by the U.S. could help them toward that end! (In case you didn’t notice, George — India didn’t sign the 1968 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.)

Makes you wonder if Bush fantasizes of the day when Kennedy Space Center is renamed the “GW Bush Space Port”, and the Johnson Space Center in Houston becoming the “Cheney Space Launch Headquarters” doesn’t it? Without a doubt this administration has done more to damage or hamper the advancement of Science not only in our Schools, but now in space as well.

But of course this is only my opinion.

Solus mei sententia

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About Jet Gardner

I like collecting books, music, movies, chess sets and friends
  • Thanks Mark Schannon for your editorial help!

  • Joey

    Lame duck.

    India’s cheaper
    India is the Worlds largest Democracy.
    Why we didn’t invest in India, rather than China is still a question many economists ponder.

    China is an unsuitable partner, still harbors Maoist thought and philosphy, and has ambitions counter to our livlihood.

    Glad to see India getting some support. I’m not happy that it’s government contract work and not corporate handouts… but then… India probably doesn’t have the resident cheap prison labor that China enjoys.

  • Wow where did you learn speed reading? Thanks fir contributing the first shot across the bow!

    This is more rage against the Bush machine for gutting science projects to further himself though.


  • Joey

    Timing is everything, I guess.

  • You’re right Joey, buy the time he’s out of office it’ll be too late to do anything about it.

    Like not being able to pull out of the International space station because of all the money and lives we’ve put into it already without admitting we were wrong to go into it without enough foreplanning, kinda like what we did in Iraq?

  • Joey there’s also the danger of the missile technology that we’re handing over to India, that could be used to tip those rockets with nuclear warheads!

  • Joey

    Klintoon sold the technology 10 years ago.

    and yes Bush will be out of office, which could effectively end the program.

    Another predictor could be Sarbanes/Oxley, in the wake of the ENRON scandle, reigning in, not only business, but government as well.

    Sadly, Sarbanes/Oxley doesn’t extend to businesses or govenment agencies already in exitance, but it does extend to DHS which was stood up after the bill was passed.

    It wouldn’t take a whole lot of effort to extend Sarbanes/Oxley beyond the constraints orignally imposed. THAT, would be interesting. The backwash tho’ is that Agencies would be scrambling to meet standard, and nothing would get done. Which, if you think about happens occasionally, depending in how deep a hole any administration digs itself into.

    I don’t think the model is reflected in the Bush administrations… probably due to the effects of 9/11 and the carte blanche exercising of fiscal spending.

  • Somehow I think The Bush administration has given them updated info by now, after all who wants an American project flying on an Indian rocket with only 10 year old technology.

    After all look how old the tech is on the Shuttle?

  • Bliffle

    The devil finds work for idle hands. GWB doesn’t work at his day job, so he has to go around looking for expensive unrewarding projects to start (and then abandon).

  • Everyone seems to be moving to India. India, in fact, is a very hot commercial real estate market at the moment due to the growth of new industry and investment in India.

  • Bliffle #9, yeay but at what expense to us?

  • Re #10 So you’re saying it’s okay to move NASA to India because it’s cheaper?

  • Here’s an idea:

    Support Bush’s goal of going back to the moon, complete with permanent bases, and an eventual manned mission to the surface of Mars.

    And ALSO support all those other things Jet itemized.

    Sure, it’ll cost a few extra billion dollars. So what?

    If you want to make up for the additional costs with some savings, here are a few examples of how we can do it:

    – Eliminate funding aid for Israel…

    – Reduce the Social Security COLA by 0.05%…

    – Raise the Social Security retirement age by 3 months…

    – Eliminate the ceiling on FICA payroll withholding taxes…

    – Pass a bill that prevents people in the US illegally from receiving welfare benefits…

    – Take donations from the average American in a fund-raising effort that will, once a certain financial threshold is reached, not only fund further space exploration, but also allow for the public torture and execution of Paris Hilton on live TV…

    Just bouncing some ideas off the wall…lemme know what you think!

  • Who’s Paris Hilton?

  • Across your open mind
    I trace erratic lines
    In motion and in time

    I fought a battle won
    To the surface of the sun
    Through fires on and on

    It’s only you
    It can’t be me
    For I myself refuse to be
    I am someone you’ll never know
    I am the little neutrino

    Solus is not far away
    It’s face is brighter than a day
    So don’t turn me away

    It’s only you
    It can’t be me
    For I myself refuse to be
    I am someone you’ll never know
    I am the little neutrino

    And now I’m passing through
    The one who is known as you
    And yet, you’ll never know I do
    I really do

    as performed by Klaatu

  • Jet–you’re welcome.

    RJ, the only thing wrong with your list (well, being kind) is that you don’t touch the rich, except for Social Security. How about taking the basest levels of politics out of science? Nah, stupid idea.

    In Decaf Veritas

  • I noticed that too, but I decided to err on the side of diplomacy…

    Solus mei sententia

  • By the way, will someone PLEASE tell me if I’ve got the latin right???? Several have suggested otherwise.

  • RJ:Everyone should be taxed 10 percent with no deductions… corporations too. Some fantasy huh?

  • I’m actually all for space exploration. If for no other reason than the fact I just want to know what that face thing on Mars actually is.

    With guys like Bush though, I just don’t trust it. I don’t want to see them militarizing space. The next thing you know with these guys, we’ll be detaining “enemy combatants” up on the moon the way these guys work. LOL…

    Good article though Jet.


  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Jet, your pieces are getting sharper and sharper all the time – you may have a future as a science writer; think on it… Of course if your country guts science, you’ll be stuck with religion. ;-))

    RJ, hit up the rich too. While you’re at it, eliminate aid to Egypt, as well as Israel. I agree with eliminating aid to Israel, BTW.

    According to you, Jet, the creationists are supposed to be the ones pleased with this? This is supposed to get all those conservative Christians to vote Republican in November? I think conservative Christians are smarter than that – but I’ve been wrong before.

    If you really want shots across the bow – with flame attached – post this to Desicritics. You should have a ball explaining to Indians what is wrong with outsourcing projects to India…


  • Glen 20, Thanks, while researching this I noticed that military space applications weren’t being cut, but I didn’t want to mention it for fear of hurting Halliburton’s feelings…

    Solus mei sententia

  • Ruvy #21, As you can see, there’s a real possibility that he’s gutting all the sciences not directly related to Military applications, either/or at the behest of the creationists.

    I honestly don’t think he gives a tinker’s damn about the moon, only getting his name on a plaque up there, or maybe having his profile replace Kennedy’s on the fifty cent piece.

    It irks me that he’s even willing to damage our national pride by outsourcing NASA missions to India, to the point of helping them develop technology that would hand them an ICBM.

    Bush has stated repeatedly that he’s a religious fatalist and believes that God is coming soon to reclaim us. I really believe that explains a lot of his decisions that look like he doesn’t care about the long-range complications or rammifications of his actions.

    Solus mei sententia

  • chantal stone

    Great Article Jet….

    I’m still on this though: “His pet moon project has already cost us taxpayers dearly, and it is estimated to grow to $3.98 billion by 2007. (Funds in my opinion that could definitely be better used armoring soldiers’ vehicles in Iraq or saving our vanishing middle class from extinction.)”

    I’m still trying to figure out where the logic is in screwing up the moon and galaxy, when we haven’t even attempted to fix the mess that’s made here on our own planet.

    I’m all for research, such as studying dark energy, and charting stars and galaxies that are similar to ours, etc. But whats the point of trying to get back to the moon? Been there, done that. If I’m not mistaken, I always thought a president’s priority was to the PEOPLE, not the history books.

    GWB is certainly no Jed Bartlett.

  • I don’t understand it any more than you do, and I’m the one that wrote this. It’s like I said in #23 ”

    Bush has stated repeatedly that he’s a religious fatalist and believes that God is coming soon to reclaim us. I really believe that explains a lot of his decisions that look like he doesn’t care about the long-range complications or rammifications of his actions.”

    The only trouble with that logic, looking back on it is that if god’s coming to take us all, what’s he care about the Moon and Mars for, unless it insurance in case he’s wrong.

    You’d think he’d be like other fundamentalists who think their ticket to heaven is how many souls they can show to St. Peter that they’ve saved to show what a good person they were.

    Solus mei sententia

  • PS thanks, I’m glad you liked it.

  • Yeah Chantal but where’s Lily Tomlin when you need her?

  • Joey

    Right on Chantel.
    40 years ago it may have been a priority. It’s not now. Let’s fix the earth. Then worry about the moon.

  • thanks Joey. what did you think of the article?

  • Joey

    “After all look how old the tech is on the Shuttle? lol” — Jet #8

    Jet, there is a reason the computers are so outdated on the shuttle.

    And it has to do with testing the chipsets against operating conditions in areas of high radiation. I think they’re operating on 486 technology… up from 386, however the pentium threw them a loop. Totally different design, and perhaps prone to failer in environments containing high rates of radiation (i.e. outside of the Van Allen belt).

    That’s the answer. And the Scientists are not going to approve anything until it has been carefully studied. It’s been going on for years, and really has nothing to do with expenditure. How costly is a new box? Nothing.

    Here’s another factoid… the computer chips in your car, are far and above the technology employed in the lunar excursion module (LEM) i.e. the lunar lander.

  • Thanks Joey but I meant about how Bush is so hellbent on his pet project that he’s sacrificing more important projects.

    Thanks for the computer info. I’m thinking of doing an article on Microsoft’s new operation system Vista soon.

  • Joey


    As much as I love science, space exploration etc… Now is not the time. I see Bush’s point in keeping the JFK flame alive (I almost said KFC)…. and science needs money to keep ahead of the technology game.

    Look at submarines. The U.S. has bar-none the most advanced underseas capability ever… should be scrap it? Think about the science involved, about the technology developed, about futhering technology to the civilian sector. It’s not going to happen with corporate America involved. They are only concerned with profit.

    What happens when the FEDGOV starts throwing money around is that Universities start receiving project grants, our youth become involved, technology advances and those within those university programs… advance their learning. It’s significant. It involves alot of people. It is good for America…. So now we involve India. As much as I like India… is it good for the American researcher (i.e. the university student)? I don’t know. Is India wearing out the shoe leather on this? Or, are American University’s doing the traditional grunt work and sending the design work to India for manufacture?

    I don’t know. India’s capability of machining the design’s is not a big stretch… but shorting American University’s in grants etc… and abusing the mind trust involved in that work to outside sources… on the taxpayer’s dime is not correct.

    So, what exactly are we doing? Sending R & D work to India, or production work?

    In my mind, that’s the meat of the issue.

  • Joey, as I see it Bush isn’t trying to keep the JFK flame alive; he’s trying to replace it with his own.

    He’s also bowing to creationalist fundumentalists by trying to supress science and astronomical proof of just how old the universe actually is.

  • Since Bush cut funds for students to pour over data from space probes, did you want Indian university students doing that too?

  • “While you’re at it, eliminate aid to Egypt, as well as Israel. I agree with eliminating aid to Israel, BTW.”

    Okay, I agree with that. No funding for Israel OR Egypt…even more savings! 🙂

  • “Bush has stated repeatedly that he’s a religious fatalist and believes that God is coming soon to reclaim us.”

    Uh, cite? I mean, complete with Armageddon and all…

  • RJ#32 So you’re advocating more cutback so he can build his moonbase?

  • Chantal#24 The only thing I can figure is that Bush wants his name on the Moonbase or to have Kennedy space center named after him.

    When everything is tallied, he’s as mediocre a president as his father, though he’s doing thing that in the long haul are either going to take a lot in the future to undo (constitutional changes) os he needs something named after him like an airport or something.

    Who knows

  • Mars first. Then the asteroids. Mine the asteroids so we can stop mining Earth. Harvest He-3 from the gas giant planets to fuel fusion reactors so we can stop burning up all our oil and coal. Use the wealth of the solar system to make human civilization healthy and sustainable on both Earth and Mars, so we don’t have all our eggs in one basket.

    After we’ve done all that, then, maybe, it could be worth the effort to go back to the moon.

  • Victor #39 I agree, but in order to do that we need the telescopes and scientific intruments that the Bush administration is cutting the funds for so he can have his moon base.

  • We can reach Mars without telescopes pointed at distant star systems. We can mine the asteroids without attempting to refine our understanding of the age of the universe. We can expand human civilization throughout our solar system without needing to measure gravity fluctuations around distant black holes.

    Don’t get me wrong. I believe we’d benefit in many ways if we had the vision to carry forward both sets of missions. In fact I believe the long term benefits would far outweigh the costs, and be a much better investment in humanity’s future than listening to the short term thinkers who want us to divert space science and exploration funding into military programs or social programs.

    However, I cannot in good conscience claim we need the cosmology science missions in order to successfully establish human settlements on Mars, to mine the asteroids, or to bring back the energy wealth waiting for us in the atmospheres of the gas giant planets.

  • Help me conprehend why everyone is so totally unconcerned about the Bush Administration handing over missile tech to India, which will be undoubtedly be used to make ICBMs to threaten China, Pakistan and others, making India a major world power.

    Why is everyone so damned unconcerned that millions of reams of scientific and astronomy data is sitting wasted, because the Republican administration won’t fund student help so that overworked scientists can benifit from knowledge we already have.

    Why is it that no one seems concerned that the Bush administration is allowing “unInteligent design” to be force on our schools, and that for some reason Evolution and Ecology have been branded “theories” and no one is putting up a fight about it!

    I can’t believe that no one cares how much of our national pride and reputation is being handed to India because they’re the lowest bidder on it.

    Maybe I had my hopes too high when the editors here praised me for doing astronomy topics when the last guy wandered off; but I’m beginning to see why!

    I’m quickly becoming discouraged as the editors of this site have told me that this is the best work I’ve done yet, and yet no one seems to care except for a few who only want to argue side issues instead of the main topic in the title of this post!

    Fluff I get published on Cleveland.com and silliness articles on music I get hundreds of responses.

    I’ll write articles where very little research is done, and I’m critisized for it, yet pieces like this an no one cares.

    What am I doing wrong people?

    Should my next article be on B5 or Disney’s Highschool musical?

  • Is B5 going to be in Disney’s High School Musical??!?!!!1!! (That should get you some more commenters in here…)

  • More comments != Better writing

  • Actually many articles here get no comments at all, so this one’s doing fairly well, even if you insist on measuring success by counting comments.

  • Joey

    “Help me conprehend why everyone is so totally unconcerned about the Bush Administration handing over missile tech to India, which will be undoubtedly be used to make ICBMs to threaten China, Pakistan and others, making India a major world power” — Jet #42

    You mentioned that? I didn’t read that in the article. What I read was that NASA is outsourcing to India, not that NASA is complimenting India’s first strike capability model. China has missile capability, North Korea too. India’s launched before, they have some capability already, India also has nuclear capability. India is also the world’s largest democracy, India is also threatened by China and Pakistan.

    You disguised the ICBM threat very carefully in your article. One could suppose that readers aren’t aligned with India’s fighting spirit and lust for world domination. Perhaps George Harrison had something to do with that.

  • Jet, please do not take offense, but articles like this are for the nerds (like me) who care about them. So us nerds comment on them.

    BC’s focus is on TV, movies, books, even. Read the title again. BLOG CRITICS! I know I’m seriously dating myself here, but the Beverly Hillbillies is NEWS here! So, if I write on Iran, for example, I better take a point of view that hasn’t been regurgitated endlessly in the “mainstream” press, something that the talking heads don’t talk about. I happen to have a different point of view from most others, and I do honestly believe what I write.

    But were I to endlessly regurgitate the huge amounts of trash that come from “moderate right wing Jews”, even if it were better written than the other vomitus, it would be as boring as all hell, and would generate one comment, if that.

    You’re not doing anything wrong, Jet. You’re building up your skills as a science writer, so that what you write is sharp, well researched, clearly understandable to Joe Six-Pack and funny as well. Don’t worry about the commnents.

    When you are getting paid per word, then you can worry about an audience. If you really want to fight over this article, become a Desicritic, post this piece where Indians can read this and get as mad all hell at you for trying to take the outsourcing bread that is feeding them out of their mouths. There, this piece is controverisal. Here, it is just another piece on how Republocrats shortsightedly screw over scientists. This is news?

  • Some of us are glad India has a space program, not just a missile program (like certain other national governments in Asia). In many ways it’s actually a good idea to encourage India to use its rocketry capabilities for launching peaceful research and communications satellites.

    Many people in the space advocacy community have been wanting something like this for a long time. Human space travel won’t really take off (pun intended), they argue, until most of the work is being done profitably by private corporations. And that won’t happen until the basic costs of space launches have been brought down to much lower levels than they are now. While I don’t agree with the view that this is the only way to go, it is one of several approaches that could work.

    On the political level, I’m really not too worried about India getting its hands on better launch technologies. India is one of the world’s few functioning democracies. (I’m defining democracy, for this context, as a state where the people’s power to change governments without violent revolution is not only a theoretical possibility, but where ruling parties have in fact peacefully stepped down after losing elections.) If India can’t be trusted with space launch technologies, then nobody is trustworthy enough to have them.

  • Jet #42, well this proved your theory, they’re reading the comments and not the article. Why read the whole thing when you can use the comments as cliff notes?

    Solus mei sententia

  • Victor #43 Tell me that isn’t all you got out of the article?

  • Suss#44 is that constructive critisism or just taking another editiorial shot a shitting on my best effort so far?

  • Joey #46 That’s laughable.

    You wrote “You mentioned that? I didn’t read that in the article. What I read was that NASA is outsourcing to India, Bb>not that NASA is complimenting India’s first strike capability model.

    Obviously you didn’t read the article or you would’ve read a couple of paragraphs down from Georgie’s photo…

    Everyone seems to be overlooking the fact that India’s four-stage Chandrayann-1 rocket that’s going to be used for this mission is also potentially the same device being developed for carrying possible nuclear warheads, and that the research and technology provided by the U.S. could help them toward that end

  • Joey #46 No not George Harrison, George Bush. India’s working sith 10-12 year old missile technology that’ll have to be upgraded in order to carry those intruments up for his pet project on the moon. It’s not coming from China or Russia, it’s coming from us. They’re motivated to protect themselves from threats from Pakistan. We’re supposed to be allied with Pakistan in the search for bin Laden, but we’re giving our friends India rocket tech so India has a first strike capability.

    What kind of foriegn policy is that?

  • I’m curious about your answer to comment #36. I’ve never heard gwb say anything about the end of the world…shouldn’t be to hard…you said he’s stated this repeatedly.

    I thought the congress wrote the budget…and the pres approved or vetoed it…isn’t that how it works?

  • Ruvy 47, no offense is ever taken from you Ruvy, because even if I did feel some I’d know it was unintentional.

    I’d say that what draws people to this site is the opinions posted in the comments, not the “Book reviews” wouldn’t you?

    People keep joyously coming back to see if someone can top the snide remark they just made, or to dispute what they think is an indisputable argument.

    Well, that was my impression anyway.

    The point is, this article wasn’t getting much attention till I had my little self-pitty party.

    I’ve said it before, as a writer I get frustrated that people seem to comment on the comments written here, and it seems most people haven’t even bothered to read the article they’re based on. I feel really strongly about how Bush is gutting this country’s science base in favor or relitious drivvel, and the only reason he’s going to the moon is to put money into the pockets of the fat-cats in the aerospace industry, instead of the scientists that are fleeing to other countries because of the “brain drain” we’re suffering.

    Solus mei sententia

  • Victor 48, at the expense of our national pride. At the expense of ignoring NASAs place in world history?

    Yes India is a great democracy, but they’re also defending themselve against what they percieve as an invader in Kashmir, and having nuclear missile capability and new-found economic mite can do strange things to countries.

  • Andy 54; Do you really believe that the republican dominated congress is going to say no to that power-mad man, and admit they’re not behind him with mid term elections coming up.


    Go to Google, put in “Bush religious end of days” and hit enter, you’ll come up with 24,000,000 entries take you pick… here’s mine

    Think of Bush’s constant reference to “Evildoers” and insistant and constant reference to god’s will and then do this…
    Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory
    Bush’s Armageddon Obsession, Revisited

    “We are lived by forces we scarcely understand,” wrote W.H. Auden. What forces live us now as America again torques toward war?

    George W. Bush is certainly the plaything of such forces as the geopolitics of oil but it seems that he is susceptible to other even darker archetypal concerns. Let me be blunt. The man is delusional and the shape of his delusion is specifically apocalyptic in belief and intent. That Bush would attack so many vital systems on so many fronts from foreign policy to the environment may seem confusing from the point of view of realpolitik but becomes transparent in terms of the apocalyptic worldview to which he subscribes. All systems are supposed to go down so the Messiah can come and Bush, seemingly, has taken on the role of the one who brings this to pass.

    The Reverend Billy Graham taught Bush to live in anticipation of the Second Coming but it was his friendship with Dr. Tony Evans that shaped Bush’s political understanding of how to deport himself in an apocalyptic era. Dr. Evans, the pastor of a large Dallas church and a founder of the Promise Keepers movement taught Bush about “how the world should be seen from a divine viewpoint,” according to Dr. Martin Hawkins, Evans assistant pastor.

    S.R. Shearer of Antipas Ministries writes, “Most of the leaders of the Promise Keepers embrace a doctrine of ‘end time’ (eschatology), known as ‘dominionim.’ Dominionism pictures the seizure of earthly (temporal) power by the ‘people of God’ as the only means through which the world can be rescued…. It is the eschatology that Bush has imbibed; an eschatology through which he has gradually (and easily) come to see himself as an agent of God who has been called by him to ‘restore the earth to God’s control’, a ‘chosen vessel’, so to speak, to bring in the Restoration of All Thingss.” Shearer calls this delusion, “Messianic leadership”– that is to say usurping the role usually ascribed to the Messiah.

    In Bush at War Bob Woodward writes, “Most presidents have high hopes. Some have grandiose visions of what they will achieve, and he was firmly in that camp.”

    “To answer these attacks and rid the world of evil,” says Bush. And again, “We will export death and violence to the four corners of the earth in defense of this great nation.” Grandiose visions. Woodward comments, “The president was casting his mission and that of the country in the grand vision of Gods Master Plan.”

    In dominionism we can see the theological source of Bush’s monomania. Not to be distracted by the fact that he lost the popular election by a half a million votes, that the Joint Chief of Staff at the Pentagon were so concerned about his plans to invade Iraq that they leaked their unanimous objection, that he has systematically alienated much of the world, that roughly seventy percent of Americans remain unconvinced of the imminent threat of Saddam Hussein and the same percentage object to war if there will be significant American casualties–none of this is in the least relevant. He believes his mandate toward action is from God.

    As humans we live within stories. Some stories, like apocalypse are thousands of years old. The scriptured text that informs Bush understanding of and enactment of the End of Days (Revelations 19) depicts Christ returning as the Heavenly Avenger. Revelations is the only New Testament book that justifies violence of any kind, and this it takes to the limit: Christ himself the agent of mass murder.

    “I saw heaven open and there before me was a white horse who is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war…He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood and his name is the word of God…Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the Nations. And I saw an angel standing in the sun who cried in a low voice to all the birds flying in midair–come gather together for the great supper of God, so you may eat the flesh of kings, generals and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great.”

    Such is “the glory of the coming of the Lord.” Truth, carnage, and the ecstasy of vultures. In a ruined world the Messiah slays the antichrist and creates “a new heaven and a new earth.” The dead are judged, the Christians saved and the rest damned to eternal torment. The New Jerusalem is established and the Lord rules it “with an iron scepter.”

    It is not inconceivable that Bush is literally and determinedly drawn, consciously and unconsciously, toward the enactment of such a scenario, as he believes, for God’s sake. Indeed the stark relentlessness of his policy in the Middle East suggests as much.

    It dishonors the profundity of the Christian tradition if one doesn’t note that Revelations has always been a rogue text. Because of its association with the Montanist heresy (which like contemporary fundamentalists took it to be literal rather than allegorical) it was with great reluctance that it was made scripture three centuries after the death of Christ. Traditionally attributed to St. John, most Biblical scholars now recognize its literary style and its theology has little in common with John’s gospel or his epistles and was likely written after his death. Martin Luther found the vindictive God of Revelations incompatible with the gospels and relegated it to the appendix of his German translation of the New Testament instead of the body of scripture. All the Protestant reformers except Calvin regarded apocalyptic millenialism to be heresy.

    But Revelations is also a rogue text because it is unmoored from its origins, which are far from Christian. It is a late variant on a story that was pervasive in the ancient world: the defeat of the wild and the uncivilized by a superior order upon which a New World would be established. Two thousand years before Revelations depicted Christ slaying the antichrist and laying out the New Jerusalem, Marduk slayed Tiamat and founded Babylon.

    This pagan myth recycled as a suspiciously unchristian Biblical test found new credence in the 19th century when John Darby virtually revived the Montanist heresy of investing it with a passionate literalism. Given to visions (he saw the British as one of the ten tribes of Israel) Darby left the priesthood of the Church of Ireland and preached Revelations as both prophecy and imminent history. >b>In this he inaugurated a lineage in which Bush’s mentors, the Reverend Billy Graham and Dr. Tony Evans are recent heirs. Revelations is much beloved by Muslim fundamentalists and like their Christian compatriots they also thrill to redemption through apocalypse. Jewish fundamentalists of course do not believe in Revelations but have nonetheless made common cause with the Christian Right. “It’s a very tragic situation in which Christian fundamentalists, certain groups of them that focus on Armageddon and the Rapture and the role of a war between Muslims and Jews in bringing about the Second Coming, are involved in a folie a deux with extremist Jews,” said Ian Lustick, the author of For the Land and the Lord: Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel. The Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition (and yes it is a single tradition) is being led by its fringe into the abyss and the rest of us with it.

    The world has been readied for the fire but the critical element is the Bush Administration. Never in the history of Christendom has there been a moment when this rogue element has carried anything like the credibility and political power that it carries now.

  • JR

    Jet in Columbus: We’re supposed to be allied with Pakistan in the search for bin Laden, but we’re giving our friends India rocket tech so India has a first strike capability.

    What kind of foriegn policy is that?

    I’d say the flaw in our foreign policy is in the alliance with Pakistan.

    If India puts nuclear warheads on missiles, they’re almost certainly going to aim them at Pakistan and China. I don’t have a problem with that.

  • JR if you’re trying to tell me that a nuclear skirmish between India and China won’t escelate into world war III, you’re not as in intelligent as I thought you were?

    An inexperienced India with a “finger on the button” is not something that would be good for world peace.

    And Bush is handing it to them because they’re the lowest bidder to get him his name on a moon base?

  • Comments are hardly a major draw to to the site. Which is maybe why we have 1 editor dedicated to comments and over 20 dedicated to the copy.

    But the comment discussions we do have are normally inhabited by a small core of people who do nothing but comment.

  • Fair enough Matt.

    Does a writer have some method of ascertaining how many times an article has been read without being commented on?

  • Not that’s article specific — we have the Sitemeter which tracks hits on all pages and the Most Popular on the sidebar but that’s about it.

  • JR

    An inexperienced India with a “finger on the button” is not something that would be good for world peace.

    I just don’t see that at all. Unlike Pakistan and China, India is a democracy at least as functional as the U.S. (with arguably more qualified leadership at this point). China has demonstrably more aggressive territorial aims and an authoritarian culture far more threatening to our values than anything I’ve seen or can imagine seeing out of India.

    If there is any threat to world peace and, more important, world freedom, it’s Red China. I’m far less concerned with avoiding WWIII and far more concerned with making sure China doesn’t win it.

  • Jet at #57. I was looking over the comment and have to note that it seems that you feel tht Bush is a fitting partner to Ahmadinejad in amessianic delusional lalaland… The two can dance us to hell together.

    From what you say, we’re not partners in the dance, of course, we’re the helpless idiots in the pockets of Bush and his poodle Olmert…

    The Jewish version of all this has Bush as Gog. In plain English, this means that he finds some reason to come to Israel, along with an army, and winds up dying on the mountains here to be eaten by the buzzards. So he winds up as high quality birdfood.

    In short, the blessing for Bush is that he remain well fed. I want to see the good birds of Israel well fed, too. I’m an animal lover, you know.

  • Sheds new light on the expression a bird in the hand is worth two in the Bush!

  • Mr. Sussman #62, Okay thanks for the info sir.

  • JR just suppose for a moment that Mexico got really pissed at us for militarizing our border and acquired nuclear technology. Now suppose Mexico wanted New Mexico back, like Pakistan wants Kashmir back from India. With India having “the bomb” suppose bin Laden figured they didn’t have the balls to use it and encouraged Pakastini rebels to invade Kashmir.

    You’re saying that all hell wouldn’t break loose politically in the whole region?

    I give up pal, we two sides of a different coin, not the same one.

  • Thank you Ruvy, as always. Now we have to figure how that helps Bush’s dilusional efforts to be remembered at the greatest president to take office, instead of a dork with a messiah complex and as inept in foriegn affairs as his father was.

  • Mr Rose, two birds in the hand just means a lot of shit on the floor.

    Thanks for contributing sir. 🙂

  • Jet, we needn’t fear losing our national pride just because our space agency cooperates with other space agencies around the world. (I’m responding to comment #56 here, by the way.)

    We’ve been partners with the European Space Agency, the Russian space industry, and the Japanese space industry for many years now, without suffering any terrible losses to NASA’s capabilities nor to its place in world history. I see no reason to fear a similar partnership with ISRO, the Indian Space Research Organization.

  • Victor we’re turning the first moon mission in almost 40 years over to India. You’re beginning to sound like you wrote the book that’s being promoted at the beginning of this piece next to the title.

    Solus mei sententia

  • Jet, people last visited the moon just 34 years ago. Japan sent two robotic probes there in the 1990s, and the most recent robotic lunar probe, Lunar Prospector, was programmed to impact with the moon’s surface in 1999. So this hardly qualifies as “the first moon mission in almost 40 years.”

    If you’re going to accuse me of lying just because I won’t swap out all my opinions and replace them with yours, at least check your facts when making your accusations.

    Our astronauts placed a plaque on the moon declaring: “We came in peace for all mankind.” Now you seem to wish the plaque read “Property of USA, foreigners keep out” (or maybe the more simply worded and familiar sign “Whites Only” could achieve the same effect, and remind India of the good old days).

  • Raj

    I am not aware of the details of the partnership between NASA and ISRO – the Indian space agency , but the writer and the commentators seem to be very ignorant about India.

    #India already has ICBMs capable of launching nuclear weapons. Called ‘Agni-1,2,3 ‘ and the ‘Brahmos’. Get that clear first. India does not need any help from US in the space program to enhance its nuclear strike capabilities – that is ridiculous.

    #India has a very successful space program and has over the last 30 years launched more than 50 satellites in space. For variety of purposes – communication , weather forcasting , military , media etc.

    # The writer makes the mistake of viewing relations with India vis-a-vis Pakistan. This is an insult to India because India is much more advanced technologically , is a much bigger country with an eonomy that is more than 10 times bigger than that of Pakistan’s. This is the big realisation the Bush administration has had and they are the first US administration to treat India with the respect it deserves.

    I am so amused at the writer’s concern at the bad effect an increased co-ordination with India will have on US relations with Pakistan.

    #India has been a nuclear power for the last 3 decades. And proudly so. No going back on that one. Security of the Indian people depends on the deterrence that bearing nuclear weapons provides , given the nature of the hostile neighborhood that India lives in.

  • Raj

    Further – I think the writer should demand Microsoft , Google , Yahoo , GE , IBM , Cisco , Adobe and the rest of the American hi-tech companies who have R&D labs in India , to open R&D centers in Pakistan as well. For the sake of US-Paksitan relations.

    Besides, Pakistani engineers are even cheaper than Indian engineers. Much cheaper infact. That should take care of the cost factor. What do you say ?

    Perhaps the writer should stand outside silicon valley buildings carrying placards – ‘we want to lose our jobs to Pakistan , not to India’….

  • Raj

    I have a big problem with the ignorant condescension that a poster called ‘Columbus’ displays with regard to India.


    An inexperienced India with a “finger on the button” is not something that would be good for world peace.

    And Bush is handing it to them because they’re the lowest bidder to get him his name on a moon base?”


    Hello !! Use google search sometime. India exploded its first nuclear bomb when Mrs.Indira Gandhi was the prime minister – way back in early 1970s.

    So India is hardly as ‘inexperienced’ in matters of nuclear as you make it to be , and has had its “finger on the button” for the last 30 years.

    Boy – you Americans are really ignorant about India and really underestimate us , dont you ?

  • “Help me conprehend why everyone is so totally unconcerned about the Bush Administration handing over missile tech to India, which will be undoubtedly be used to make ICBMs to threaten China, Pakistan and others, making India a major world power.”

    Um, maybe because India is a democracy, and relatively friendly to the US, so giving them such technology could be useful to us in our inevitable future disputes with Red China and potentially an unfriendly, Islamist Pakistan?

  • Raj

    “Help me conprehend why everyone is so totally unconcerned about the Bush Administration handing over missile tech to India, which will be undoubtedly be used to make ICBMs to threaten China, Pakistan and others, making India a major world power.”

    1. Bush administration is not handing over any missile technology to India.

    2. India already has a fairly advanced missile technology

    3. India already has developed ICBMs and is developing more in partnership with Russia – called the ‘Brahmos’.

    4. If China can be considered to be a ‘major world power’ , India is not too far behind.

  • MCH

    “Um, maybe because India is a democracy, and relatively friendly to the US, so giving them such technology could be useful to us in our inevitable future disputes with Red China and potentially an unfriendly, Islamist Pakistan?”

    True, we’ll need all the outside help we can get as more and more of our own able-bodied men evade service.

  • “True, we’ll need all the outside help we can get as more and more of our own able-bodied men evade service.”

    “Evade service”???

    Is there currently a Draft? Or was that just an election-year lie generated by P. Diddy and the Democrats back in 2004?

  • Joey

    Thank you Raj, at last. Whew! Trying to get that information over this crowd is an uphill battle.

    As I have stated before, and elsewhere. India is the LARGEST DEMOCRACY IN THE WORLD…. WHY HAS CORPORATE AMERIRICA LAVISHED AND SLATHERED UPON THE BOOTS OF MAOIST CHINA!!!! That’s uncomprehendable to me… and to several professors of economics I happen to converse with on a regular basis.

  • Victor 72-I mistyped in my haste and meant since the first moon walk in 1969 which was 37 years ago.

    I tell you what Victor, since you seem bound and determined to disagree and argue with anything and everything I write to the apparent point of obsession, and don’t seem to want to contribute, I’m just going to let go of the hope of having any kind of dialogue with you.

  • Raj

    Joey – as an Indian working for ‘Corporate America’ , I know for a fact that things are changing fast and US companies , as well as financial insititutions are investing heavily in India. Companies go where they can make money , get max. return for their investment. But I must admit India is a distant second to China as far as getting net US investment is concerned , and will remain so for the forseeable future. The difference is the sort of investment the two countries get. China mostly gets manufacturing – hardware, India mostly gets the information technology – software.

    China has an advantage in manufacturing because of the better infrastructure and flexible labor laws.

  • Excuse me all of you, but as a matter of national pride I wanted NASA to carry the American mission back to the moon.

    The point is that the Bush administration is closing down important science projects so he can fund his mission to Moon/Mars and not only is he doing it by outsourcing it to other countries, but he’s hurting my national pride, or am I too “liberal minded” for any one to believe I have pride in America.

    Solus mei sententia

  • Sorry to hurt you collective national prides, but the only reason China and India are thriving on American dollars is cheap labor

  • Raj

    Jet-Columbu – you are an ignorant idiot. That is all I can say about you.

  • Oh no,now I’m going to cry myself to sleep

  • MCH

    “Evade service??? Is there currently a Draft? Or was that just an election-year lie generated by P. Diddy and the Democrats back in 2004?”
    – RJ Elliott

    “I would have served, if not for the medical deferment I received from my family physician for a cyst on my bummy.”
    – Rush Limbaugh

  • Thanks MCH

  • JR

    Sorry to hurt you collective national prides, but the only reason China and India are thriving on American dollars is cheap labor

    I recently got a look at a high school math textbook from India. If you think those people are merely cheap labor, you are in for a rude awakening. Sorry to hurt your national pride, but when it comes to technology, we need them more than they need us.

  • Joey writes,

    “As I have stated before, and elsewhere. India is the LARGEST DEMOCRACY IN THE WORLD…. WHY HAS CORPORATE AMERIRICA LAVISHED AND SLATHERED UPON THE BOOTS OF MAOIST CHINA!!!! That’s uncomprehendable to me… and to several professors of economics I happen to converse with on a regular basis.”

    You mean you haven’t figured out the obvious? What corporation is a democracy!!! Corporations are hierarchies, like China.


    I hope you are learning a bit from Raj here. I didn’t want to raise the outsourcing issue and argue with you because frankly, you were slamming India, not Israel. Aside from its snooty attitude towards the Jewish state, I know little of the country, particularly its military and space programs, and could not talk intelligently to the issue. For the most part on Desicritics, I am the humble student.

    I agree with you that the Americans’ cutting serious research dollars is a major mistake. And they will pay, assuming that some messianic intervention in the next few years does not upset everybody’s apple carts.

    Unfortunately, Jet, because America is such a big country, as well as a prosperous one, Americans tend not to look beyond their own borders. It’s a big world out there.

    Not everybvody buys his underwear at K-Mart, if you know what I mean.

    And just so you should know, many corporations outsource call centers here. The native English speakers sound just like Americans or Englishmen. I know. I used to work in one. And I sound like a New Yorker or a Minnesotan, depending on where and whom I speak to. A friend of mine runs a stock brokerage out of Tel Aviv that deals with almost exclusively American clients. He can charge less. Labor is cheaper here, though not as cheap as in India or in Pakistan.

    Think about what productive activity American industry engages in these days. Look at your products. Then do some serious thinking as to why there is a sense in the USA that your nation is on the road to the toilet to be flushed down the drain of history.

  • -E

    Congrats, this article was picked for one of this week’s Ed Picks. Keep up the good work.

  • Jet wrote:

    RJ:Everyone should be taxed 10 percent with no deductions… corporations too. Some fantasy huh?

    Tax everyone at 10% leaving in all deductions, or tax them at 5% with the only deduction being the home mortgage deduction. With billions of working people in this country, there is no reason why anyone should have to pay more than 5%, other than to subsidize government waste, which there is way too much of.

  • I don’t think there are billions of people in the US…even if you count the non-working ones!

  • Raj your attitude about my country is another reason why I don’t think American technology should be riding atop Indian missiles.

    I have just as much right to my national pride as you do.

    Dear God I’m starting to sound like a republican!
    Dave Nalle would be so proud of me!

    Solus mei sententia

  • JR in a recent CNN report, it seems corporations are outsourcing college graduates to India to train them on the proper way to use our technology. Why? because it’s cheaper to train them over there than here. Once they’e got that experience then they’re brought back here.

    Now Bush and big business are not only outsourcing our best and brightest, our technology, but also our space programs!

    Next thing you know, I’ll have Raj claiming that years ago Indian scientists invented the telephone, missiles, movable type printing, and apple pie!

  • Ruvy 90-This article didn’t start out slamming India, nor was it ever meant to.

    I’m slamming Bush. If we’re going to have to pay to put his useless moon base up there ont the backs of cut American science, then BY DAMN THE LEAST HE CAN DO IS USE NASA AND AMERICAN KNOW-HOW to do it.

    That’s the point I’m trying to make.

    I only started putting India down, whe Raj started implying that the U.S. is somehow to a country that until recently was considered an overpopulated “third world” theocracy with cows wandering the streets and poverty everwhere, claiming they were the biggest Democracy in population only.

  • E#91 Thank you, I’m honored. Now if only I can get people to read the article instead of the comments!

  • Mr. Real Estate #92. The reason Congress won’t pass a flat tax is that it makes too much sense, and forces fat-cat millionaire republicans to pay their fair share.

    There is a sign over my desk that reads “If it makes sense, It’s against company policy!”

    I’ll offer a conpromise solution-A flat 7.5 percent paid by everyone NO DEDUCTIONS, including huge rich church corporations like Falwell and Robertson Inc. and our national debt would disappear instantly.

    The problem with Rebublican federal tax cuts is that the moment they happen, republican governors raise state taxes to offset them, leaving the rich with their monster deductions paying almost no taxes at all, and the shrinking middle class paying more after their “tax cut”

    Solus mei sententia

  • Andy 93 I’d think someone as intelligent as you come come up with something better than nit-picking over a typo.

    Solus mei sententia

  • if you want to eliminate the national debt legalize marijuana and tax it like alcohol…there’s be no debt..no SS worries…no medicare/medicaid worries…

  • ANDY!!!!!!!!!! aaaaaaaaaaMEN! Finally-someone with sense and reason!

  • smoke ’em if ya got ’em!

  • Jet, you’re being irrational in multiple ways here. You are attacking people whom you would readily recognize as your natural allies if you had more clarity of perception.

    Like you, I happen to disagree with Bush’s priorities on space exploration. But because my disagreement with him takes just a slightly different form from your disagreement with him, you consider me an enemy of your views? You leap to take offense at my efforts to discuss the issues you have raised, yet you also expressed a wish you could generate more discussion in the comments on your article.

    Here’s a clue for you. If you’d like to get more comments on your articles, maybe your best strategy for that might be something other than telling your potential allies they aren’t worthy to debate you and you’re giving up on them. Until you learn how to do that, you can drum up discussion on your articles without any more help from me. Good luck.

  • Victor your comments are most welcome here, but damn it after I acknowledge that you have a point it’s not necessary to keep REPEATEDLY throwing them back in my face!

    There are only so many times I’m going to acknowledge your opinions before I get frustrated and give up.

    INDIA IS NOT BEING ATTACKED IN THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE it was only after Raj started putting down the U.S. that I got pissed.

    I will say this again, my anger is pointed at Bush for giving the task of putting American satelites in orbit around the moon to ANY other country. In this case it just happens to be India, but the irk is pointed at BUSH.
    If he asked England or Canada to put the damned things up instead of our own NASA I’m be just as pissed.

    GOT IT???????????

    You’re acting like A fucking little brother that GLEEFULLY won’t stop needling me until I lose my temper-GROW THE FUCK UP!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Solus mei sententia

  • Ruvy 90-This article didn’t start out slamming India, nor was it ever meant to.

    Jet, it isn’t that I don’t sympathise with your views. I do. But attacks are in the eye of the beholder. I tried to point out more than once that this article would generate quite a bit of debate on a forum where Desis – Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans etc. – frequent. Raj’s comments are just a small spoonful of the saffron that would be dished out.

    Were I an Indian, I would have been offended by your comments. I’m not an Indian, so I wasn’t. But I could easily see where offense would have been taken.

    Now, do understand me. You express your views as a patriotic American who loves his country. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do that. I’ve been one after all, even if I’m not now. But be ready to face the attitudes of others who have pride in their own countries and their countries’ respective achievements.

  • Here’s a trend:

    “More comments” have a direct correlation with “more points of contention”

    So maybe you’re aimin’ for fewer comments.

  • Jet, I’m curious what you think about the various proposals for X-Prizes that are also being floated around as a more cost-effective way of reaching the moon goal? Using x-prizes instead of government funding would probably result in a more commerically-oriented, faster and more cost-effective process…and might enable NASA to continue to fund the pure science research that it is now being forced to cut.

    If I recall, the space shuttle program ended up sourcing parts from 48 states for political purposes – not precisely an efficient system.

    Better yet, let’s just give Burt Rutan $5-billion and a contract…

  • Ruvy 105, Shabbat shalom-as always the voice of reason-Barukh haShem

  • You know what Matthew, I’m going to write a sports article just to piss you off.

  • Deano #107 Thanks for contributing. Without doing the research I was under the impression that the X-prizes were for Orbital tourism.

    Let me look it up.

    Also I’ve got no problem with Canada providing the engineering for the orbital space arm… so that’s something?

    I guess even ‘ol Burt could us an extra 5 large?

  • Raj

    Look – I have no time for the idiot Jet’s ‘national pride’. Usually losers like him take recourse to boasting collective national achievments since they dont have much of their own. ‘Hey I may be a loser , but my country is the greatest and richest in the world and so I am better than you’ . Thats the way it is with people like Jet.

    The issue I have is with the fact the arrogant ignorance (ignorant and proud of it) displayed by this guy. Sadly none of the others here seem to have picked up on his ignorance/lies.

    I dont want to repeat myself , just check out my comments at #73 , 74 ,75 and 77 to see what I mean.

  • Raj

    Is that you in the picture Jet ? Jeez – you are one ugly creepy chap ain’t you….

  • Raj, cut Jet a little slack here. He is, like many Americans, rather ignorant of things going on beyond his own borders. Events in Iraq have changed that – a little bit. I used to be ignorant in the same way and far more provincial than he is. Trust me, there is nothing more provincial than a New Yorker who thinks that the sun sets in the Hudson River.

    A trip across the North American continent twenty five years ago, and living here have broadened those horizons some. At least I’m smart enough not to presume to know much about the Indian sub-continent!

    But Jet is no loser. Give him a chance to learn. International politics is just not his forté – yet.

  • Raj I guess I’ll have to state this again and again until my fingers fall off…

    I will say this again, my anger is pointed at Bush for giving the task of putting American satelites in orbit around the moon to ANY other country. In this case it just happens to be India, but the irk is pointed at BUSH.
    If he asked England or Canada to put the damned things up instead of our own NASA I’d be just as pissed

  • By the way Raj resorting to personal insults shows a lot of intelligence.

    I won’t return the favor, I’m better than that.

  • Raj

    Ruvy – I have studied/worked with many smart Americans. They dont crib about ‘national pride’ getting hurt because of – you know , globalisation. They would rather profit from it.

    But forget ‘national pride’….its his ignorance about the topic he writes and article about that makes me have so much contempt for him.

  • Deano, thanks for getting me curious enough to check out X-Prize’s site. You’re right it’d make a great program, too bad Bush’s administration has cut science funding to the point where it’s needed!

  • Wikipedia has a good summary: “The Ansari X Prize (formerly the X Prize) was a US$10,000,000 prize, offered by the X PRIZE Foundation, for the first non-government organization to launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space twice within two weeks.”

    “Into space” was defined as 100 km (62 miles). The overall objective was the development of low-cost methods and technologies to achieve orbital insertion.

    It was won last year by Burt Rutan’s company Scaled Composites with SpaceshipOne (Rutan, in case you don’t know who he is, was the aviation design pioneer who flew the plane Voyager around the world on a single tank of gas).

    The reason you probably associate the program with “space tourism” is that Richard Branson, of Virgin fame has signed up with Scaled Composites to build more vehicles and launch Virgin Intergalactic – a space tourism joint venture.

    There are a number of suggestions that offering such x-prizes and tax incentives would offer a more cost-efficient method of developing earth-to-orbit technologies and/or a viable moonbase then you can achieve with government funding and government bureaucracy (as well as other areas such as fuel-efficient cars, gene-mapping technology etc.).

    I have no idea whether this is something the Bush administration is interested in but it would certainly impact on the funding shortfalls you cited.

  • I wasn’t going to quote all that, and I think we posted our last comments at the same time, but It’s a great site worth visiting.

    Wikipedia is a good starting source by I’d rather go straight to the “horse’s Mouth” so to speak.

    Again let me thank you for your contribution to this string.

  • Raj

    Jet – I fully understand your need to find solace in your precious ‘national pride’…..bet there is not much else for you to be proud about.

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor] but do make sure you do a little more research the next time you write an article or an essay. Okay ?

    For a start , you can [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor] post a suitable reply to my posts #73,74,75 and 77 where I have nailed your lies.

    [Raj, please be civil or I will ban you. Thank you. Comments Editor]

  • Keep going Raj on and on and on and on. Just because you say it so doesn’t make it so… I’m beginning to feel really sorry for you.

    As for my research, since the editors of this site just picked this article to feature it, I’d say a few people disagree with you there.

    You had us all fooled that you might be someone with integrity or intelligence worth listening to until you started with the personal insults… now you’re just a smart-ass sitting at a keyboard.

    Make a meaningful contribution here, or go annoy someone somewhere else, you poor thing.

  • Nancy

    I have no problem with this Moon project, just as long as W is the chimp that gets packed off to stay there for the rest of his life. That alone would be worth it, for me.

  • Raj,

    A thought or two for you from someone in a country that both pofits and loses from globilization.

    Right now globalization cuts India’s way, and could cut Pakistan’s way even more, were they able to get their act together. But the day will come when the American economy will tank. The Yanks are sinking in debt up to their necks and don’t even realize how badly off they can be – though some have a sense. When that economy does tank, globalization will not necessarily cut India’s way anymore.

    India has not been able to lift itself out of poverty just yet, though massive efforts have been made and much progress has been made. A lot of that progress has been made by stripping the Yanks of their productive capacity. But this may not last too much longer, and India needs more time to lift its 1.5 billion to a better standard of living.

    It matters little that it has been Yanks who have lead the march in doing this. What these Yanks do not understand is that their middle own class – the basis of their prosperity and stability – is eroding quickly. And when this erosion reaches a critical point, the rich Yanks who have led the way benefitting from globalization will have to flee with their money to safety.

    History happens to all of us, Raj. I sense it is about to really happen to America.

  • Raj

    Lets discuss the article itself , shall we Jet ? By the way , getting an essay passed by the editors of a blog is no mean effort , huh , Jet ? That should certify you as a freakin genius huh ?

    Tell me , how did you jump from

    A ) “India will be taking over NASA’s $89 million two-year project to put American payloads into a 62-mile lunar orbit to find possible polar ice in the areas of the moon permanently out of our view and to map landing sites. Of the approximate 15-20 planned instruments aboard, 11 if them will be made in India, with a possible additional three devices coming from the European Space Agency.”


    B)”Is President Bush really pushing India to compete with a Chinese plan to put an orbital rover on the lunar surface by 2012 without considering the international political consequences? Everyone seems to be overlooking the fact that India’s four-stage Chandrayann-1 rocket that’s going to be used for this mission is also potentially the same device being developed for carrying possible nuclear warheads, and that the research and technology provided by the U.S. could help them toward that end! (In case you didn’t notice, George — India didn’t sign the 1968 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.)”

    Thats a fantastic leap of imagination dont you think Jet ? And such majestic condescention.

    Who new carrying little Nasa payloads and projects to explore polar ice on the moon would lead to the development of (horror of horrors) ICBMs ? Another mess up by Bush , huh Jet ?

    And yes Jet , Bush and the entire US administration are fully aware that India never signed the NPT in 1968. They are also aware – unlike you – that India exploded its first little nuclear bomb in – 1974.

  • Raj

    Ruvy ,

    You know which country is the biggest investor in India ? Not – its not the US. Its Japan. I dont understand why you make such a big deal about this globalisation thing. Globalisation is a simple concept where national boundaries do not hinder trade/business.

  • Raj

    By the way Ruvy – You are from Israel ? I just love that country. India and Israel doing a lot of joint research in defence technology as well as in bio-tech and agro-sciences. Already Israel is the 2nd biggest exporter of defence systems to India.

  • Yeah Raj,

    I live in Israel. In some ways it is a dream come true – in others, a nightmare. But I’m grateful to live here and not in the States, where I used to live. I feel I’m home, a feeling I never had in the country I was born in. I do not dislike America. But if you’re a Jew, and this is something that really matters to you, living in America is not the most productive thing to do.

    I’m grateful to see the burgeoning cooperation between India and Israel at long last… Israel and India are two nations with a great deal in common and two nations that can benefit each other immensely.

  • Jet, I don’t know why you think I am personally hostile toward you. I’ve expressed strong agreement with you on other subjects before, and have never wished you any harm. It certainly brings me no “glee” whatsoever to see you experience such intense emotional distress over our relatively minor disagreements on this issue.

  • My Thanks to Nancy for staying on topic.


  • All right okay, you’ve forced me to use both barrels of the shotgun… Here goes.

    Why am I conderned about the Bush administration permanently damaging relations with two of our closest allies Canada and Australia???

    Why am I concerned about misslie and nuclear concerns in southern Asia?

    Why do I dispute Rag’s spewing about India using “borrowed” technology from Canada to produce a nuclear bomb in ’74, but didn’t SUCCEED in making a usable weapon until 1998???

    read on…

    From Jet’s web research department…
    From Canada we have this…
    Canada, Australia share concerns over U.S. uranium cartel plans

    OTTAWA — Canada is rethinking the question of nuclear co-operation with India in light of concerns about that country’s nuclear weapons, Prime Minister Stephen Harper says.
    The Liberal government announced in September that Canada would resume trade in nuclear technology with India.
    Yesterday, however, Mr. Harper suggested that his Conservative government might impose a moratorium because of worries about the proliferation of nuclear weapons technology. India has not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
    Mr. Harper and visiting Australian Prime Minister John Howard share concerns about a U.S. plan to establish a uranium cartel to supply nuclear reactor fuel to other countries. The United States says its plan is a non-proliferation initiative to keep tight control on nuclear fuel that could be reprocessed to manufacture warheads.

    Even so, Mr. Howard said, Washington’s plan could freeze Canada and Australia out of global markets for uranium nuclear fuel. Australia and Canada are the world’s largest suppliers of uranium, but have not been included in the talks to establish the cartel.

    Mr. Harper, speaking at a joint news conference with the Australian leader, said the Conservatives have not yet established a nuclear policy. But he believes nuclear reactors will be an important source of energy in the decades ahead.

    But the question of supplying India is another matter, he suggested. “It’s an issue we are looking at with some degree of caution.”
    Canadians are particularly sensitive on this point, he said, because India used Canadian-supplied technology in the early 1970s to put together its first crude nuclear bomb.
    Mr. Harper said Canada will be looking to see if India signs on to international non-proliferation agreements as Ottawa decides whether to supply that country with nuclear technology.

    Canada and many other countries clamped a moratorium on nuclear-technology sales in 1998 when India resumed tests of nuclear warheads. Pakistan, India’s neighbor and political rival in southern Asia, followed suit and tested its own nuclear weapons…

    And from Pakistan, we have this…

    …In the interview that took place several weeks before threats were exchanged, Beg said a delegation from the Iranian Embassy in Pakistan had come to his office in January, seeking advice as Western pressure mounted on Iran to abandon its nuclear effort. Beg said he offered lessons learned from his experience dealing with India’s nuclear threat.

    He said he told the Iranians, whom he did not identify, that Pakistan had suspected India of collaborating with Israel in planning an attack on its nuclear facilities. By then, Pakistan had the bomb too.

    But both countries had adopted a strategy of ambiguity, he said, and Pakistan sent an emissary to India to warn that no matter who attacked it, Pakistan would retaliate against India.

    “We told India frankly that this is the threat we perceive and this is the action we are taking and the action we will take. It was a real deterrent,” he recalled telling the Iranians.

    He said he also advised them to “attempt to degrade the defense systems of Israel,” harass it through the Hamas government of the Palestinian Authority and the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon, and put second-strike nuclear weapons on submarines.

    Although analysts are divided on how soon Iran might have nuclear weapons, Beg said he is sure Iran has had enough time to develop them.

    But he insists the Pakistani government didn’t help, even though he says former prime minister Benazir Bhutto once told him the Iranians offered more than US$4 billion for the technology.

    Ephraim Asculai, a former senior official with the Israel Atomic Agency Commission, said he didn’t think Beg’s remarks reflected official Pakistani policy.

    Asculai said he believed Iran learned more from Iraq than from Pakistan, recalling that as soon as the 1991 Gulf War broke out, Saddam Hussein fired missiles at Israel, even though it wasn’t in the US-led coalition fighting Iraq.

    You’re right Raj, I’m lousy at doing research

    Solus mei sententia

  • WHAT??? you mean my comment 130 shut everyone up??
    IT’S A MIRACLE!!!!

  • Uh…I think it’s very late at night in India. Round world, right?

  • Oh, well I guess that’s a valid excuse…

  • Raj

    Jet –

    [Personal attack deleted]

    1. Canada’s statements about India using Canadian technology to produce nuclear bombs does not hold true because Canada never had nuclear weapons technology in the first place. Not now , and certainly not in the 1970s.

    2. I see you are now concerned how growing US-India relations affect US relations with Canada and Australia. Which is a very positive improvement on your earlier concern about how better US-India relations affected US ties with Pakistan. Good – atleast I see some progress from you.

    3. India exploding its first nuclear ‘crude’ bomb in 1970s is hardly a joke. That bomb if dropped on an enemy country by plane had the capacity to cause 4 or 5 Hiroshimas. The only nuclear bomb ever used in a war was ‘crude’ as well.

    4.I dont understand what you trying to prove by posting some random article. [Edited] For every nuclear tipped missile pointed at India’s direction by Pakistan or China, there are 100-200 more pointed at US by either Russia or China. The whole world is a dangerous place Jet , not just South-Asia. [Edited]


  • Call me a liar, call the Prime ministers of Canada and Australia liars. [Edited] here’s the link to prove it [Edited]

    Read the Canadian news article in that link and discover just how much of a jerk you just made of yourself. You now have zero credibility.

    I might also add that this bullshit of yours has nothing to do with the article.

    I feel embarrased for you

  • Ruvy you might find comment 130 of interest…

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Jet, I did. I types lousy but I reads good. First point. the name of the Israeli official is Azoulai – a typical Morrocan Jewish name – you mistook the ‘o’ for a ‘c’. Not relevant at all in terms of content, but rather in terms of your on-going vision problems – or those of the fellow who wrote the article…

    Second point. The mere fact that someone is a prime minister (or president) of a country does not mean he will not be a liar. That is just on general principles. I’m not calling anybody a liar.

    Third point. The American plan referred to in the comment has run into problems in both Israel and India. Anything that endangers our nuclear arsenal or threatens to limit it, is a problem for us. Both India and Israel have been most responsible in their behavior as nuclear powers and both have more than substantive reason to maintain nuclear arsenals. And from the article you present, we have more than substantive reason to put nuclear warheads on the missiles our submarines carry.

    Finally – and this is going to be hard for you to understand – in my book, the American government is generally the bad guy, not the good guy. This does not say anything bad about Americans generally, who are a top shelf bunch, for the most part. This is not some “hate America” spewage. Read my article Dependence Day, particularly comment #11. That will give you some insight in to my views.

    Yes, I would like very much to see an active American presence in space and Bush’s actions stink. But it is a big world out there, as well as a big universe.

  • Raj

    Jet – tell me , how can India steal nukes from Canada when Canada never had them in the first place ? This is a simple question. Dont you think ?

  • Raj

    By the way Ruvy – you know that google thing ? For the sake of your precious ‘national pride’ , make sure you never touch their latest service – Google Finance. Conceptualised , developed and marketed by the Indian engineers at google r&d centers in India. Okay..

  • Raj

    I’m sorry – the previous post was addressed to [Personal attack deleted] Jet , not to Ruvy.

    [Final warning, Raj. Get polite or get banned. Comments Editor]

  • Raj

    Okay Mr.Editor , I got it. No more personal attacks. [Edited]

    I apologise.

    You guys got a great site by the way…

  • that’s right…it’s a kinder gentler BC now a days…almost anyway…

  • troll

    child mild

  • Nancy

    Raj, what any of us physically looks like is immaterial; personal attacks based on race, looks, etc. only show that YOU are the one lacking; it doesn’t do squat to hurt Jet – or anyone else you target. So please grow up & get civil if you insist on continuing to blog here. Now, if you want to say you suspect he’s on drugs, that MAY be permitted; I tell Nalle that all the time & haven’t been swatted by the eds. yet…or maybe I’m just lucky & they never noticed.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Nancy, I’ll be more impressed with your skills if you can pull up this £ or this ¢. You’ll have me really admiring you if you can pull up this € or this ®. But you’ll have me drooling with jealousy if you can pull up the symbol for the New Shekel. I haven’t been able to get that symbol up at all.

  • Nancy

    Mmmm…that’s WP Typographic. I can get it on my wordprocessing program, but I don’t know how to translate it to the net. Sorry. Do I get points for knowing where it comes from?

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I dunno, Nancy.

    I pull this stuff off my character map. I can type the NIS symbol on my Word docs, but not here. Moveable Type, which is what I think Blog Critics uses, does not accept Hebrew symbols. I learned that the hard way a while ago while trying to post something about Purim.

    Shabbat Shalom, madam.

    I have to work on a very painful item to get it posted here and then shave.

  • Re: Comment 138 – On May 18, 1974, India detonated a 12-kiloton nuclear explosive in the Rajasthan desert. It was built using plutonium from a research reactor donated by Canada in 1956.

    India had acquired a Cirus 40 MWt heavy-water-moderated research reactor from Canada and purchased the heavy water required from the U.S.

    In 1964, India commissioned a reprocessing facility at Trombay, which was used to separate out the plutonium produced by the Cirus research reactor. This plutonium was used in India’s first nuclear test on May 18, 1974, described by the Indian government as a “peaceful nuclear explosion.”

    At the time, the materials and the reactor were supposedly under an international safeguards system and international inspectors to ensure that material transferred for peaceful purposes, was only used for those purposes. The resultant furor over the illegal use of Canadian nuclear technology put a cloud over Indo-Canadian relations and caused the suspension of the transfer of Canadian nuclear technologies that was officially ended only recently.

    My understanding is that while india did not directly “steal” any technology, they did violate prior agreements and protocols signed with both the Canadian and American governments and deliberately bypassed the controls and inspections in order to use Canadian nuclear technology to forge their first nuclear weapons.

    Also just for note, the lack of nuclear weaponry does not equate to the inability to manufacture of create nuclear weaponry. Canada has had the nuclear technology necessary to develop nuclear weapons for more than 40 years, but has, elected NOT to do so. That is very different from not having the capability.

  • Deano-Thanks for looking that up, I had parts of it, but it really wasn’t supposted to be part of this discussion until…

    Oh never mind.

    Thanks so much for the contribution to the discussion, much appreciated…


  • Deano-What was your Info source, that might make an interesting follow-up article if you don’t myind my stealing the idea?

  • you can find some good background on the CBC.

  • Okay thanks, I’ll check it out

  • Those weather satelites we were counting on to be launched to help forcast huricanes this year, gee with funding cut, the technology didn’t get developed, but Bush’s freinds got paid for them anyway didn’t they?

  • ArchBingBat asked if the only thing I write about has to do with sexual orientation, Hmmmmmmmm?

  • Gee… what ever did happen to Bush’s moon base?

  • This story was covered in the news media only today and in Jay Leno’s monologue. I wrote it in May!


  • Those GOP senators just keep biting the dust don’t they?
    WASHINGTON — Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, the longest-serving Republican senator in United States history and a figure of great influence in Washington as well as in his home state, has been indicted on federal corruption charges.

    Skip to next paragraph
    Enlarge This Image

    Brendan Smialowski for The New York Times
    Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska in Washington last year.

    Times Topics: Ted Stevens

    Al Grillo/Associated Press
    The authorities at the Stevens home in Girdwood, Alaska.
    Mr. Stevens, 84, was indicted on seven counts of falsely reporting income. The charges are related to renovations on his home and to gifts he has received. They arise from an investigation that has been under way for more than a year, in connection with the senator’s relationship with a businessman who oversaw the home-remodeling project.

    The indictment will surely reverberate through the November elections. Mr. Stevens, who has been in the Senate for 40 years, is up for re-election this year. Mark Begich, a popular Democratic mayor of Anchorage, hopes to supplant him.

    The Justice Department scheduled a news conference for Tuesday afternoon to announce the indictment.

    Republicans on Capitol Hill were already jittery over a lobbying and influence-peddling scandal related to the lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who is now in prison. Mr. Stevens’s troubles are not linked to that affair. Instead, they stem from his ties to an oil executive whose company won millions of dollars in federal contracts with the help of Mr. Stevens, whose home in Alaska was almost doubled in size in the renovation project.

    Mr. Stevens is a former chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and he is still on the panel. As chairman, he wielded huge influence, and did not hesitate to use it to steer money and projects to his state.

  • Jet

    I wonder what ever happened to Bush’s Moon Base?

  • Isn’t it called Crawford, Texas?

  • Jet

    Well, he had to spend the money somewhere-Haliburton doesn’t have branch offices on the moon yet.

  • Jet

    According to avaition week magazine…

    Jul 31, 2008
    By John M. Doyle/Aerospace Daily & Defense Report

    Former U.S. senator and astronaut John Glenn says placing a base on the moon to facilitate human exploration of outer space may not be such a great idea.

    Noting President Bush’s idea to return to the moon and use it as a launch pad to further explore space, Glenn told a congressional committee July 30 “it seems to me the moon is questionable as a way station” to Mars.

    “If that’s what we’re doing – which I don’t believe it is – but if that’s what we’re thinking about doing, that is enormously expensive,” Glenn told a House Science and Technology Committee hearing on NASA’s first 50 years and future challenges. Glenn said packing up thousands of tons of equipment from the Kennedy Space Center and sending it to the moon would be “an enormous order” that might not present a cost savings.

    It would be better, Glenn said, to build up a vehicle in Earth orbit and then accelerate out of Earth orbit. “That to me would be the cheapest way to go,” added Glenn, who orbited the Earth in a Mercury space capsule and later flew on the space shuttle

  • bliffle

    Sending humans into space is pretty silly at this point in time. Better that we should send instruments to solve specific problems: they can go further, for longer time, do better work, and we don’t have to worry about bringing them back.

  • Jet

    Oh I don’t know Bliffle, I can think of a few people I’d like to shoot into apace…

  • Bliff,

    Yes, better and cheaper science can be done with robotic satellites and probes. But at some point, there’s no substitute for actually getting out there and getting your hands dirty. Not to mention the human sense of adventure.

    As is often argued, if such an attitude had prevailed 500 years ago, we’d probably still be sitting in London and Paris and Lisbon and Genoa, and only now be starting to wonder what lay over the western horizon, and launching automated ships and planes to take a look.


    Glenn is right that it would be far cheaper to assemble Mars-going craft in Earth orbit rather than on the Moon – due to the lower escape velocity that would be needed by the finished vehicle. BUT he’s assuming for the sake of argument that the raw materials for the vehicle would be carted from Earth to Moon, put together there and then shot back up into orbit from the Moon’s surface. That’s just not practical, and note that he rightly qualifies it, “If that’s what we’re doing – which I don’t believe it is“. [my emphasis]

    There are a wealth of good ideas for using the Moon and its natural resources as a manufacturing base, without needing to bring anything up from Earth. But that’s some way in the future, and I don’t believe it forms a part of Bush’s/NASA’s plan at this stage.

  • Jet

    Gloria: As an American Veteran, I must say i’m “shocked”. How did we let this happen in the “greatest country in the world?”

    Read this article Gloria, it’s been going on longer than you think!

  • Cannonshop

    It could have also been pointed out that, unlike the U.S., INDIA’s university students learn math, and Science, instead of Marketing, Boozing, and Topless Dance-Offs.

  • Jet

    Cannon, when your kids are taught K-12 bible studies as fact versus science studies as “theories” what do you expect they’d do in college?

  • Cannonshop

    #167 Um… rebel? Go into Porn? Join the Libertarians? I dunno… I do know that the best-and-brightest America produces mainly go into Law-School (along with the top end of the Mediocre. The bottom end, of course, become Management or go into politics. The Worst become teachers…)

  • Cannonshop

    Oh, I forgot…and the few (very few) scientists? they either go into Environmental Advocacy (because they would like to eat, and appealing to vanity/guilt works) OR, they’re working hard to keep Americans hairy, hard, and big-boobed.

  • Jet

    Well, I can buy the liberarian part… I guess.