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Obama Concedes the Space Race

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In the budget coming out on Monday, rumor is NASA is basically going to be stripped down like a cheap whore. We will lose our heavy duty launch vehicle. We will lose the launch vehicle that was to supersede the shuttle program. We will lose any hope of returning to the moon for many, many years. We will lose a generation of science, and a generation of scientific brain trust.

When Barack Obama was running for POTUS, one of the campaign promises he made to the people on the Space Coast is that he would not harm NASA. He promised to re- evaluate and would maintain the launch vehicles in the pipeline. He told his fawning and brainless supporters that he supported a “robust” Constellation-like program.

Barack Obama lied.

If he had told the truth, that he planned to strip NASA the way he is now planning to do, he would have lost thousands upon thousands of votes in Florida, perhaps throwing the state into John McCain’s column.

But Barack Obama lied.

He lied to the point where the current administrator of NASA, in an interview with Space Politics, admitted that it is even possible the entire astronaut program is going to be terminated.  Terminated.  No bucks, no Buck Rogers.

 It will take a yearly budget increase of about $3 billion a year to keep us on target to return to the moon. Instead, Obama and his spend-a-holic Democrats threw the money into a stimulus plan that is a total disaster. If just a small percentage of that money had been invested in NASA, it would have generated very real jobs, instead of the fake ones Obama’s administration reported in the fall.

Obama lied.

He is risking our leadership in space, turning it over to China and Russia. Then again, it is becoming more and more apparent that Obama’s administration is the biggest dirty joke the nation has ever seen. It is possible, considering how abjectly incompetently Obama’s Department of Justice handled the Hot Pants Bomber on Christmas Day that he doesn’t even know his people are killing NASA.

Then again, Obama lies.

He said anything anyone wanted to hear in order to get elected. He was interested in winning to the point where he would do anything, including make promises to ensure that thousands of jobs in Florida, Houston, and Huntsville, not to mention NASA installations throughout the country, would be saved.

Fat chance. Obama lied about it.

Polls show that a good 40% of the American people are stupid enough to think we no longer need a space program. Perhaps they need to be reminded of the transfer of technology from NASA to their everyday lives. Spinoffs include laptops, cell phones, pace makers, Velcro, and innumerable computer advances. If it were not for NASA, we would be living back in the Happy Days of Richie Cunningham and the Fonze.

Obama lied and an entire generation of science dies

For those who think we should not be spending the money on a government space program, NASA is one of the things the government does best. It is one of the few agencies and government enterprises that actually generates a revenue stream that dwarfs each dollar spent on it.

But, Obama and his Democrats would rather flush our future down the toilet of entitlements and bailouts to nowhere. He and his pals can bail out AIG, various banks, and stock brokerages to benefit his buddies, but they can’t invest a small portion of that money on a viable space program.

The Obama administration says they want to enable a commercial launch system in which private companies will send men and women into orbit. That is not a bad idea. In fact, it is entirely possible, and most likely probable, that we have reached the point where private enterprise can send people into space much more safely and cheaply than NASA could. The honest truth is our basic garden variety technology and geek out there could tinker a rocket together that would probably be safer and more technologically advanced than the Mercury Redstone.

One of the dirty little secrets about NASA is that they must use, like every other government agency, the lowest bidder. The shuttle program was built that way, and has done fairly well. If Jimmy Carter had not stripped the program of specific technologies and safety constraints, including parachutes for landing, things might be different. Until the ascendancy of Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter was NASA’s worst enemy.

Privatization is the optimal way to go. The problem is, do you really think the Obama administration is going to allow private industry to go ahead and develop technology? We all know, given the administration’s outright hatred of business and love of red tape and irrational regulations, that there is no way Barack Obama will allow a commercial launch industry to develop.

Let’s face it, if Obama lied about protecting NASA during the 2008 election cycle, he’s probably lying about assisting the commercial space industry

If Barack Obama were serious about creating jobs, his floundering administration could sink some money into NASA and let them go full throttle into the future. The problem is, Obama and his Democrats have mortgaged our future with repulsive debt. Ergo, he can cry crocodile tears about having to cut NASA, when that’s what he was planning all along, it is part of his track record.

Obama lied and NASA died.

As the author of this article, I may sound a bit angry and extremely bitter. There is a very good reason for that. Following the disastrous Jimmy Carter years, I became a lobbyist working with non-profit advocacy groups fighting to save NASA. The mindless and draconian cuts Jimmy Carter and William Proxmire made to destroy NASA nearly destroyed our exploration of space. The consensus was that nothing could be worse than Jimmy Carter.

It’s worse.

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About SJ Reidhead

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Why am I NOT surprised? I heard today the “space guys,” (wasn’t quite sure who it was because I was doing housework while listening), but they were pretty upset about this.

  • cannonshop

    Democrats lost interest in the space programme shortly before Armstrong stepped out on the moon. Might as well call ‘em what they are: The party of Proxmire.

  • zingzing

    jesus christ. “space race?” what is this, 1965? no one likes cutting funding to nasa. (and it does seem to me like a rather strange thing to cut.)

    however, as far as i can tell, it looks like the budget for nasa will go up, as usual. it was actually under bush that nasa’s budget took a hit. but, that wasn’t obama, so it was cool.

    the constellation program is taking the biggest hit, but that’s because it’s wildly expensive (a good 50% of the budget, far as i can see). meanwhile the privatization of space exploration has been something that’s been gathering steam for years, even under bush. so why are you only mad now? oh, i get it. natch.

    and where were you when the space shuttle program was shut down twice during the bush administration? and where have you been since 1972, the last time we sent men to the moon?

    and if you have some info that i don’t have, it might be helpful to include LINKS to said information. would that be too much to ask?

    and the whole adding in a separate paragraph for variations on “obama lied” is rather silly. nasa isn’t a political issue. everyone likes space. so why are you framing it like that? when you do, it just comes off as another pathetic swipe at obama.

  • zingzing

    cannonshop: “Might as well call ‘em what they are: The party of Proxmire.”

    yes, proxmire. he’s the one. ridiculous.

  • http://www.thepinkflamingoblog.com/ SJ Reidhead

    No, Obama directly lied about his position on space. I have a posting on my blog tomorrow about it, along with quotes, dates, etc. His original position was that NASA be defunded to provide more money for education. When confronted, he changed his position, saying he would support the very programs his administration is now cutting.

    I call what he has done a “lie”. You may call it something else, but that is your option.

    SJR
    The Pink Flamingo

  • Jordan Richardson

    It seems to me that Americans have a strange association with consistency in their government officials. While it’s true that elected officials serve the people, I’d be pretty annoyed if an elected official was so stuck in his or her own ideologies to not change his or her mind once in a while when new information or new circumstances arise.

    While I’m sure SJ knows about the “space race” more than I do, I’m certain her bias is colouring this discussion considerably. How “deceptive” Obama was on this issue is, to me at least, hardly clear.

  • Jordan Richardson

    And this is based on a rumour? Aren’t cuts a good thing, especially among spendaholic Dems?

  • zingzing

    well, why not provide links here, sj?

    budget cuts have to made, and just maybe setting up camp on the moon isn’t a high priority.

    besides, he said as far back as spring 2008 that he’d cut the constellation program in order to get more money for education… so that’s no lie.

    just to let you know, if you do want to back up your political rhetoric with actual facts, i’ll be checking on them. just post those facts here, or else i’ll just have to consider this another bit of hackery.

  • zingzing

    ah… well, i see that in late summer 08, he was saying “we’ve got to make sure that the money that’s going into NASA for basic research and development continues to go there. That has been a top priority for us.”

    but then he ordered an investigation (may 09) into the constellation program, brought on by nasa doubts as to the viability of the program, and found that neither nasa nor his investigative crew thought it would work and that costs were escalating.

    in fact, most of the research was already being done by private firms and it will continue to be that way. so, the quest continues.

    you’ve got a red herring in your hand, sj.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Well, I see RJ had her head too far up this article yesterday to watch the news.

    The message to all of us was cut the crap and start speaking to each other like adults.

    And

    I am probably the worst offender of this notion that even a critic can make a comment without inflaming everyone.

    SO

    “Here you are with your legacy genes and you just don’t get it.”
    See what flaming words feel like when they are directed towards you?

    This was meant respectfully RJ.

    :[ I have been a complete and utter fool towards many people here and most likely will be again right after I read the next article.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna
  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    RJ,

    I would like to clarify a word I used in comment #11.

    When I referred to our resources, I was not referring to your personal finances.

    What I was referring to, was the TAX money that we should all pay for the privilege of living in a free country.

    I don’t mean that we are a nation of people with their hands out for a free ride.

    What I am saying to you, is that ” None of us would be free to pursue anything if we didn’t support our government system.”

    You are only as free as your country is strong.

  • Mark

    jeannie, imo you’ve bought a pig in a poke. Take a look in the bag and you’ll see that the freedom that you think you’re buying has been replaced.

  • Charlie Doherty

    You are a typical Obama hater – lying about Obama lying to the American people.

    Obama originally said in the 2008 primaries he would cut Constellation programme spending to focus on education. If he reversed himself in the general election to please Florida voters, so be it. The programme wasn’t expected to get going until 2015 and had technical problems anyway – and as I point out below, there’s other alternatives (not-Russia related).

    If you want to bash him about lying about something, try his lies of omission about lobbyists taking policy roles in his administration – Politifact caught him in this lie after his SOTU address.

    But your article on Obama and NASA has too much emotion and anti-Obama bias, not enough facts.

    And if that wasn’t bad enough, you’re dead wrong saying the stimulus is a “disaster” when every credible person and economist knows it’s an 18-month project that so far has increased GDP by at least 3% in the 3rd & 4th quarters of 2009, and saved/created thousands of teachers, cops and firefighters jobs, over 600,000 in all, with another 1.5 million expected this year.

    Only partisan republicans think the stimulus was a waste – the bloated omnibus bill from last year is another issue.

    As bad as 10% unemployment rate is, without the package, the unemployment rate would’ve been 10.8% (a loss of another 1.2 million jobs), according to top economists.

    Moreover, your knee-jerk reaction to the Constellation funding ignores longstanding concerns about it and its Ares rockets and that the U.S. will still send humans to the Moon by 2020. And, thanks in part to the stimulus, NASA’s 2010 budget is bigger than 2008 under Bush. And the budget is expected to rise again in 2011. Also, there are other alternatives to the Constellation such as Delta IV and Atlas V rockets.

    But these facts don’t suit your agenda – to bash Obama at every turn, with no objectivity whatsoever.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    I love the way SJ Reidhead postures as a level headed thinker whilst writing hysterical rubbish…

    Hmm, writes cowboy books and is in love with a political party too.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Mark, #13,

    Is this the same cluster of pixels that did not have a long enough attention span to watch the SOTU?

    I gather you did not listen with open ears to the bipartisan speech at the House Republican retreat yesterday, either.

    I would provide you a link to it, but lets see if you can find it on your own.

    :\ treadmill time! bye

  • Princeton Conservative

    The Liar in Chief is directing NASA to concentrate on Earth-science projects — principally, “researching and monitoring climate change.” NASA will actually receive a budget increase of $200-$300 million over its current $18.7 billion budget.

    So rather than invest in innovation and technology he is shifting dollars to support a science that is being debunked on an hourly basis.

    The more policies and programs Obama announces the more incompetent he reveals himself to be.

    In addition although off topic – Obama’s State of the Union debacle made George Bush look like one of the greatest communicators of all time….Was it me or did Obama’s effort sound like someone reading off a list unconnected topics and ideas? Sounded like someone reading there grocery list, “We need eggs, soap and toilet paper….”

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    hessss baaack.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Charlie, #14,

    Great comment.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Jeannie,

    I love that Black-eyed Peas song. This seems to be Obama’s version though.

    Have a look at this page, if you like. I think these images say it all.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Arch,

    I already asked you these questions ,but you seem to have overlooked them.

    As I am trying to see the world through your eyes at the moment; I need to know where you actually are coming from.

    So, please let me ask you, “What profession are you currently in?”

    I realize that this might be the single most important motivator for most of your comments directed towards me.

    Also, “Have you written any articles here at BC?” I just ask you because I would really like to read one. Not that I have that many under my belt here either.

    :]jeannie the polite liberal

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Great video, Cindy. Of course, when they’re talking about casualties, they only count our own.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Roger,

    Who is Lillith?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Tolstoy Cat.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Here is a video clip for mark, educate yourself.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    So Cindy hides behind Tolstoy Cat? Should I ask you what persona’s you hide behind?

    :\ I’ll look for an answer later, and by the way, I do not click on any links provided by disingenuous pixels.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    In other words….Get real.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Yep, I was correct in blocking that name again…

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Jeannie!!! Awwww don’t do that. :-(

    (sends Jeannie a hug)

  • Charlie Doherty

    Thanks Jeannie. I’m no real expert on all things NASA, but all my comment took was a little bit of (google-based) research, as Brit Hume might say, “fair, balanced, and unafraid” of the facts. Some people (including the author of this article), apparently can’t do that.

  • cannonshop

    #17 Like I said, Proxmire. No money for real research, science, or development, plenty to keep his close buds employed. WM Proxmire it was dairy subsidies, Obama’s gutting the space programme to prop up his AGW pals.

    Something which, given the sheer number of sats in orbit looking at the earth, atmosphere, and temperature, mostly hacks down to paying consultancy fees and buying office supplies.

    It’s like the logic behind yucca mountain-instead of biting down and closing the cycle, they buried the shit, and now there’s a serious heat problem in their geologically unstable ‘safe disposal site’, dems always go for the Expedient over anything else. Today’s level of connectivity means you don’t need new sattelite constellations, just lots of processor power to collate and analyze the data you’re already recieving. It’s clerk-work, in other words-and three hundered million just about covers office supplies and payroll for what he’s keeping.

    And without a repudiation of the 1967 and 79 OST’s, government’s the only entity that’s LEGAL for actual space exploration with an eye to maybe getting some of our population relocated so that a single major disaster doesn’t make the human race extinct in one go.

    Unlike moviemaker fantasies, if the earth were in line for an ELE right now, we have jack-all but prayers to stop it, delay it, or divert it with, in fact, we’ve got jack-all to Detect it with. Until you’ve figured out how to address it, climate monitoring is navel-gazing non-activity.

  • Clavos the Impaler

    saved/created thousands of teachers, cops and firefighters jobs…

    Hmmm. And how do they determine the quantity of jobs “saved?”

    COS.

    Jeannie, if you want to know how many articles AC has published, look for him in the writer’s index.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    OK again,

    Clavos,

    I have clicked on his name many times in the threads and i always get re-directed to my own article on Health Care, I have looked for him in the index, nothing. (?)

    And when I say I don’t like fakes, I am not talking about your name. Because you have a good reason for not sharing your position here. At least not with new writers. I believe this is why.

    But to run around these threads in such a immature way, playing two or three faces simultaneously,and all the time pretending that we are going to all riot and become Anarchists? I am soo over it. In fact I suspect mental illness…

    of course you all think I’m a nut, but what the heck, I’m a real nut.:)

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Charlie, #30,

    I like you and I would try to ignore all of this background noise.

    We can think for ourselves in this world.

    :]jeannie takes no more crap.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I have often asked myself what are the people here taking from me and it took me over a year to find that answer.

    Only what I give them…

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Well, we are going shopping now to pay too much for everything.

    :/ Hopefully I will see you all later.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    By the way, Jeannie, very good link in #25. It was very informative.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You shouldn’t have directed her to the second link in #20.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Yeah, I realize that now. I am in the doghouse.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, she isn’t ready yet to make that leap, and I don’t blame her. We all want to believe.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    BTW, Cindy, you should look up the link Clavos sent me on the Lilith thread.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    To all, concerning quote by “Princeton Conservative”:

    Obama’s State of the Union debacle made George Bush look like one of the greatest communicators of all time

    It looks like we may have misunderestimated Mr. P.C…..

  • Princeton Conservative

    19 – jeannie danna
    Charlie, #14,
    Great comment.

    Jeannie, even if the statements in Charlie 14 are blatantly false and misleading they support your position so they must be “great”!
    When will the remaining few of Obama ideologues face the reality that

    1.He was never for hope or change.

    2.He isn’t the cerebral “Spock like” president the media portrays him as. He is obviously way over his “pay grade”. Obama acts at the level of an adjunct professor of an Illinois community college or a first year law clerk. Exactly what he was before he was elected.

    3.The more he opens his mouth the more he is despised both domestically and internationally.

    4.Jimmy Carter is one of the happiest ex presidents of all time. Carter knows that it is Obama and not him who will be remembered as the “Worst President Ever”.

    5.Like him or not….Bush was a leader. Something Obama will never be.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    FACTS! Why is it that the BC conservatives simply REFUSE to deal in FACTS? Because the facts continually show just how wrong they are.

    FOR ALL THOSE WHO THINK THAT CANCELING NASA’S Constellation project is tantamount to “conceding the space race”…

    …how about you read this article by someone named Buzz Aldrin.

    For those who may not be familiar with that name, I think you’ll find very, very few people who are more enthusiastic about America’s space program. Buzz is one of that select club who walked on the moon – he IS a rocket scientist – and he says to GET RID of the Constellation program:

    Here’s my plan — and yes, I AM a rocket scientist — cancel Ares 1 now [a.k.a. ‘Constellation program] and the version of the Orion capsule that is supposed to fly astronauts back and forth to the International Space Station. Instead, unleash the commercial sector by paying them for transportation services to the station. Could be capsules. Could be winged ships like the Space Shuttle, capable of flying back to a runway with its crews and cargoes, not splashing in the ocean like a cannonball. With the money saved, start developing a true heavy lifter worthy of the Saturn V’s successor. Could be a side-mount rocket like the Shuttles, with a tank-and-booster set flanked by a payload pod jammed full of cargo-or a space capsule with astronauts in tow. Or new upper stages capable of deep space missions. Let’s open ‘er up to a true competition, with designs from inside — and outside — NASA. If we bypass a foolish Moon race and let the development of the Moon be an international affair, we will have time to refine the super booster to make sure it is compatible with our deep space goals, like missions flying by comets or asteroids — or to the moons of Mars. Such a rocket would be ready when the time comes to colonize Mars. No more false starts and dead end rockets.

    Maybe use innovative elements like new upper stage engines, or entirely new propulsion systems. Or designs truly evolved from the Shuttle era. The idea is to get the best thinking from rocketeers before we start spending Uncle Sam’s space bucks.

    I confess I have a design in mind that I and my team have worked on for years. It’s called Aquila, and it is a true offspring of the Space Shuttle. It makes maximum use of the existing Shuttle infrastructure — unlike the real Ares — and Shuttle boosters, engines and the side-mounted design where today the winged orbiter rides into space. If we need bigger rocket engines, Boeing’s RS-68 behemoth is always available, flight proven and flight tested aboard the Delta IV commercial launchers. You see, heavy lifting doesn’t need to be heavy spending, if we do the job right.

    Did you see what Buzz Aldrin said? “Unleash the commercial sector”! And what did President Obama do? Precisely that! He earmarked $50M to stimulate research by commercial agencies, and Orbital and SpaceX are under contract to deliver cargo by rockets to the International Space Station after the space shuttle is phased out in 2010 or 2011. The $50 million in the solicitation would go toward developing ways for the private companies to ferry crew members, not just cargo, to the space station.

    $50 million dollars – not much, is it? It would have been TRIPLE that amount until the REPUBLICANS slashed the amount. Again, from Politifact.com:

    but under pressure from Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., [the $50M] was reduced by two-thirds. Shelby represents the state that’s home to the Marshall Space Flight Center, which is one of the locations where the expected successor to the space shuttle, known as Constellation, is being developed. Some backers of Constellation see private spaceflight companies – including Orbital Sciences Corp. and SpaceX – as competitors.

    So WHO is trying to keep the space program under control of the government? The Republicans. And WHO is trying to open the space program up to commercial competition? President Obama.

    And there is now wailing and gnashing of teeth among the Obama-haters who are reading this.

    FACTS! Next time, SJ Reidhead, try looking at the OTHER side of the story!

    But I forget – looking at the other side of the story is NOT a conservative trait….

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Looks like either we in Israel will be taking the real lead in space exploration – or NASA will use the agreement talked about here to steal our technology to use against us. It’s just too bad Israelis still think so highly of American science and trust the American government for anything.

    Have a good week!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Speaking of Glenn Beck…

    …I watched Dr. Strangelove this morning…and in the credits, what did I see? “Glen Beck”! With only one ‘n’ instead of two, but I think now we all can see where the modern-day pundit gets it…particularly since the Pulitzer Prize-winning politifact.com’s file on Glenn Beck has not listed a single true statement, or even a single ‘mostly true’ statement by the pundit.

    Ah, Irony, thy name is conservativedom!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    P.C. –

    Ah, yes! Senator Richard Shelby SURELY knows more about what NASA needs than Buzz Aldrin!

    Like I said – the moment someone says something against Republican or conservative orthodoxy, he’s immediately labeled as a commie socialist liberal (or in this case, a ‘political hack’)…regardless of the pedigree of his education, experience, and achievements!

    Yeah, why should someone DARE choose a man with absolutely top-notch education, a career in the military, another career in the space program, and experience matched by less than two dozen other people in history?

    Nah, the Republican senator knows better! Why? Because he’s a Republican!

    Way to go, p.c. You really made yourself look good with that one….

  • Princeton Conservative

    Glenn…sorry here are some more facts you omitted….

    1. Obama appoints ex-astronaut and industry lobbyist General Bolden to head up Nasa

    2. Breaking his pledge to keep lobbyists out of the whitehouse Obama issues a limited waiver to the administration’s ethics policy that states appointees cannot take part in matters “directly and substantially related” to their former employers for two years.

    3. Obama announces shift in policy supporting the same companies that Bodin lobbied for…

    Washington math 1+2+3= More Obama back room deals for special interest groups!!!

  • Mark

    jeannie, imo your inability to process satire leads you to make unwarranted assumptions about pixels and to add too much hominy to arguments. I leads me to conclude that you are one of the following:

    a) a Chinese disinformation officer
    b) a jeannie-bot
    c) a brain injury sufferer
    d) joking

    …hope you had fun shopping — let’s be bff

  • Charlie Doherty

    #45 proves that even when presented with authoritative sources such as Buzz Aldrin, conservatives like P.C. STILL can’t stomach them and resort to lies (i.e. saying Aldrin’s just “another partisan Democrat political hack”).

    Glenn, you’ve done a commendable with your comments so far but people like P.C. are not worth your time going back and forth with.

  • Matt

    This is because the space program is going to be PRIVATIZED! I for one am very pleased with this… this will save billions on the budget and our space travel program will become drastically more efficient. I don’t know what the liberal who wrote this article was thinking, but I, as a conservative, am very enthusiastic about the idea of LIMITING GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT!

  • Charlie Doherty

    P.C., I’m the seasoned one. You are the amateur here and living in a fantasy world where facts inconvenient to you don’t matter.

    Also, try READING my comments before attacking me falsely; For example, I already beat you to comment #50, point #2 in one of my earliest comments here (which pointed out Politifact taking Obama to task about being untruthful in his SOTU address regarding lobbyists in policy positions in his administration).

    I can handle inconvenient truths. You can’t.

  • Clavos the Impaler
  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    The big question is, “how are we going to get away from Planet Earth after it has been made uninhabitable by Man Made Climate Change?” That seems to be a big concern for many.

    Just this morning, as I glanced at the Pacific Ocean through my binoculars from up here in the mountains, I saw a large school of dolphins jumping around and waving. I think they were pantomiming “So long and thanks for all the fish,” but am not sure.

    Here, as a public service, is a site which may help.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    So PC? As a conservative, it’d seem you should be for privatization in the name of efficiency. I read your #57, and I understand your making an allowance for government to partner – in order “to create strategy and enable technology transfer,” if only because of the scope of the project.

    But in that case, what’s the objection to “insider dealing,” because that’s SOP anytime that government and private interests coincide.

    So what other process do you have in mind to replace the one presently in effect? That’s a rather purist position, especially for a conservative.

  • Princeton Conservative

    Roger…there needs to be a clear strategy developed that will enable collaboration with public, private at academic representation. Like everything else he has done Obama has enacted change with no strategy or plan. There also needs to be a focus on tech transfer for commercialization. The current NIH model is a good start.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    So are you talking about refashioning NASA along similar lines?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    You know, this is how I see it.

    For all of Ruvy’s bitching here at BC, at least he had the balls to leave America since he felt she treated him so poorly.

    “And she did!” “This is why no matter what this man says to me I still respect him.”

    further more,

    I am so sick of this constant sniveling whine in my ears every time I come here.

    “Oh America is lost, she had it but now it’s gone, bye bye miss Ameri….

    Well, I’ve got some news and advice for all the whiners here today.

    I am America!, RJ is America!, and all of you and all of your loved ones,alive and dead are America!

    “We are America!”

    So, if you can’t handle sucking it up and either giving a little more to the system or taking a little less from all of us, then leave like Ruvy did.

    or

    “Go buy a yourselves a pair!”

    :| I will return here shortly and I will be full of hope!”

  • p kikel

    Well, Obama has cancelled the Constellation Program and I can’t say as I’m surprised. It’s been SIX YEARS and over FIVE BILLION dollars since Bush put us on a new track with the Vision for Space Exploration and the only REAL HARDWARE NASA has to show for this effort is a SINGLE test flight of the Ares 1 launch vehicle! Mind you NASA wasn’t starting from scratch like it did in the early 60’s. It had existing launch infrastructure to start from this time. NASA had its chance to show us what it could do, but it squandered this opportunity. NASA has truly lost its way and become just another bloated and inefficient government agency! The only silver lining in all this is that with the public manned space program essentially DOA, the door is wide open for the private space sector to step up to the plate. I only hope they can do a better job than NASA has done these last six years. But that’s not setting the bar too high considering how badly NASA has blown it.

    I’ve been an ardent supporter of the Space Program for decades now, (since the heady days of Apollo). I had high expectations for NASA and our country, but we may have just ceded the final frontier to the emerging space faring nations. Maybe this is the century of American decline and we can look back at this decision by Obama as when it started.

    A very disappointed and jaded taxpayer!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, pkikel. What would you think of a joint venture – to include the Europeans and the Russians? (Unless of course we are prone to think of space exploration from the vantage point of national/military interests.)

    It would be a step, I should think, towards assuring/consolidating world’s peace.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Charly, #14,

    When people say that all lobbying is wrong, they are not considering the reason for the lobby.

    A nurses’ union going to Albany to ask for better wages or working conditions for their members is not the same as, a huge corporation going to Washington to influence laws in their favor.

    Also, A teachers’ union going to Washington to lobby for more resources in the classrooms for the students or a better living wage for their members, who have earned it through years of service, is not the same as, a powerful energy industry lobbyist going to Washington to secretly back our elected officials.

    READ IT IF YOU CAN, MY GRAMMAR IS REALLY MAD RIGHT NOW.

    So, it all comes down to the demise of certain words in our language and how we have allowed these words, thrust at us constantly by media and our elected officials, to become tainted.

    :0 whewww…

  • FitzBoodle

    Space race? That was over 40 years ago: we won.

    All the manned flights since then have been a waste of money (excepting, perhaps, the Hubble repair). Glory is too expensive.

    If you expect space exploration to solve the problems of human abuse and excess that threaten our current planet, then give up on transporting humans to distant planets (why would anyone think that would do anything other than threaten other planets?) and support unmanned flights that expand our knowledge of science and hold out the hope of dispelling the superstitions of religion and have the hope of leading us to a more humane society. Right here on earth.

  • Princeton Conservative

    jeannie danna…please dont justify lobbying by holding out the Teachers Union as an example. It is the most corrupt shake down organization responsible for failing schools and high taxes due to their lobbying efforts.

    Roger..NIH expanded into a larger organized tech development program is a win win.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, perhaps we’re are a dying Empire that refuses to go out without a bang?

  • pkikel

    Roger,

    I say go for it. We’re already doing a joint venture with the space station. In some respects we have the other member nations to thank for even having a space station. I agree, we need to get past this nationalistic attitude towards space exploration. The Europeans managed to do it with ESA. It’s time for a more global approach so we can share the cost and risk. Although, I don’t think the United Nations is up to the task.

    Thoughts?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Some of the savings could be allocated to “underdeveloped” countries, or the UN/humanitarian projects. But since we’re moving anyway towards globalization, what better way to symbolize the notion of a united world than via a joint space- exploration venture?

  • pkikel

    Roger,

    Agreed. Using the space station international agreements as a starting point it wouldn’t take much to extend and modify them for a truly global program. Up to this point, the US was always in the drivers seat for these types of programs. Given the increased participation of the fledgling space faring nations they’ll want more input and control of any future international space projects. Especially if they’re expected to shoulder a significant share of the cost. Even with the apparent decline of US participation in space I don’t think the US will give up their traditional role as “world leader” in these types of programs. Read: arrogance. It will probably take a third party to bring everyone to the table as equals. Not sure who that would be though.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Glenn, #44,

    You wrote a really strong comment full of FACTS! I didn’t see it earlier because I think I had blood shooting out of my eyeballs

    It is good to see a liberal here who thinks outside the box…

    :\ and Dan, Thanks for the fish.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Well, I see we couldn’t answer that one pertinent question could we…

    ?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #67,

    I think China will be a shoo-in, arrogance or not, given that we’re getting deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole.

    In fact, we may have to relinquish some of our technological edge and share it with the co-partners (it would be stolen anyway).
    But I don’t see any inherent problem or weakness in that. It would be like reverting to the balance of power idea during the Cold War era. And the world certainly wasn’t any more dangerous place then that it is now.

  • pkikel

    #67,

    I see your point. However, given recent tensions with China (not to mention future possibilities) I’m not so sure they would be a shoe-in. I think they have their own agenda and want to prove to the world they are a serious space power in their own right. Even though they’re using Russian technology for their spacecraft they have done a lot of their own modifications. In the end, (assuming the US does relinquish its leadership in space a la Obama’s latest decision) it will be a relatively level playing field. At least in space.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m thinking a “Federation of Planets” scenario, shall we say within the first half of this century.

  • Mark

    So, where are the Vulcans when we need them?

  • pkikel

    Give it time my friends….

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Mr. Spock to the rescue.
    But some already argue that Mr. Obama is Mr. Spock incarnated.

  • Mark

    …according to script we’re supposed to come up with some significant technology first

    too bad about the budget cuts

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    This is such a strange decision I find it troubling. NASA’s budget is minuscule compared to other spending and it generates good will and side benefits far out of proportion to the cost. Admittedly the agency has become inefficient and poiticized compared to its past, but it’s still a winning investment of tax dollars.

    Perhaps if NASA were unionized Obama would care about it.

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    First of all: what space race?

    Second, on the plus side, Obama looks set to rubber-stamp the extension of the space station mission to 2020 and support commercial (i.e. private sector) development of human launch systems, which frankly is the way to go.

    The time for NASA to return to the Moon was the mid-70s. Unfortunately, the US had got themselves involved in a nasty little war (as if there were any other kind) in the meantime, and shooting lots of gooks seemed puzzlingly to be more important.

    The Constellation program was never going to happen and even if it did, it would have been a bit of a let-down. There would have been Chinese, Russian, Japanese and probably Indian astronauts, not to mention Richard Branson, already on the Moon watching the Americans land and saying to each other, “I was wondering when they were going to show up.”

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    And apparently Senator Hutchinson says she’s going to introduce a bill to keep the Shuttle flying past the end of this year. I could see that happening anyway.

  • Clavos the Impaler

    Hutchison (no n)

  • zingzing

    clavo (no s)

    (is the secret compartment of your car where you smuggle drugs.)

  • cannonshop

    #77 Dave, NASA is unionized-at least, in the ground-and-gruntwork side of things, and the main support contractors (Like Boeing’s Defense-and-Space subdivision) are also unionized-heavily.

    It’s just not the SEIU. It’s Aerospace Machinists, Teamsters, UAW and other unions that are tied to industry-something Obama and the rest of his party despises unless it’s situated in China, or sweatshops in central america.

    What turned me against the Democrats really wasn’t their hypocrisy in other fronts, as much as how they ‘talk’ union, but then turn around and do all in their power to destroy union jobs to please their Watermelon (green on the outside, red on the inside) and Luddite buddies, internationalist cronies, and scumbag tax evading moneyman backers. The wall-street robber-barons got smart-they buy Democrats, and get them cheap.

  • zingzing

    cannonshop: “industry-something Obama and the rest of his party despises unless it’s situated in China, or sweatshops in central america.”

    yep. we hate that shit. stupid workers. they suck. go sweatshops! god, how we love child labor. idiots. can’t even spell right, but boy, can they make a shoe, i tell you what.

    “The wall-street robber-barons got smart-they buy Democrats, and get them cheap.”

    yeah. the left and wall street. best buds.

    what the fuck have you been smoking and how much did it fuck you up?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    It sounds like some people are really worried about those out-dated buggy whips.

    I wonder sometimes just how much alcohol is involved in the comments here at BC, just like some of the comments above me right now…

    and,

    If, some of you have the right to insult the American workforce, then the American workforce certainly ( at least in this country) has the right to stand up for itself… GO UNION! GO ALL OF THEM!!!!!

    The problem with facebook friends is that it can create a conflict of interest, so sorry Clav..I’m am going to have to opt out, it’s my right as a union member.

    :} Need a nice pair of shoes?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Hush now children, class is in session.

    :] Are you proud of yourselves now?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    and in my on-going quest to ferret out all of your true identities, I found one writer named Archie, who published two articles here at BC.

    When I clicked on his website, my security warning popped up warning “This site has a poor reputation!”

    OMG, maybe there is a new world order taking over the whole world, because even my security system is afraid…ooooo

    :

  • Clavos the Impaler

    (is the secret compartment of your car where you smuggle drugs.)

    Actually, I don’t do it myself, I hire mules from third world countries and have the mules smuggled in illegally. That way, once the drugs are in, I can rent the mules out as sex slaves. Extends the revenue stream much longer.

  • Mark

    …mules as sex slaves…kinky — dangerous, but kinky

  • Mark

    btw #86, my true identity is Jose Jimenez.

  • Clavos the Impaler

    The problem with facebook friends is that it can create a conflict of interest, so sorry Clav..I’m am going to have to opt out, it’s my right as a union member.

    No apology necessary or expected, Jeannie — it was your idea.

  • Clavos the Impaler
  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “The “art of the possible” isn’t static. With steady accomplishments, an effective leader can expand the zone of the possible. A winner draws new adherents, builds coalitions, acquires new strength for the next challenge.

    “For a weak leader, the opposite applies: His credibility shrinks, and so do the ranks of his followers. His ability to accomplish anything becomes doubtful.”

    Good quote from above.

    Read more: President’s ineptness quite clear after a year – KansasCity.com

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    The vicious circle as described by a right-thinking Keynesian:

    ” . . . targeted tax cuts, mostly for small business, are good to the extent they give businesses a nudge toward creating more jobs. But businesses won’t begin to create lots of jobs until they have lots of customers. And that won’t happen until lots more Americans have work. The only way to get them work when businesses aren’t hiring is for government to prime the pump.”

    See Robert Reich’s article.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    And the beat goes On,

    I like that!

    “The Stock Market has gained over 4,000 points and 3 million jobs have been created since Obama was elected President of the United States one short year ago.”

    :] What a great President, gotta love him.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger and Jeannie –

    Careful, you two – any hint of agreement with anything Obama’s ever done in his life will get you two labeled as far-left radical commie pinko socialist liberals…

    …or (to paraphrase Dave’s words) ‘treasonous saboteurs’.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave #77 –

    To whom should Obama listen – you? Or Buzz Aldrin? I refer you to my comment #45 (it might be #44).

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    It is unfortunate that the technology that would have saved the earth was to be this. But at least the boys at AIG got to have big parties before the earth was destroyed.

    I find it more than a little creepy that humans destroyed the whole planet for the sake of some pieces of paper they decided to hand back and forth to make sure no one got a bigger TV set than they have.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Glenn,

    I never worry about people who are into labeling others. I’m of the unswayable persuasion that those who resort to such tactics themselves suffer from ossification of brain cells.

    See, for example, my response to Baritone, as per this link: my #78 to his #75. (Which wasn’t, BTW, to suggest that Baritone is so handicapped.)

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Glenn,

    I thank GOD you are here.

    You must forgive me for jumping on your comments the other day.

    I don’t want you to hold the door open for me, but I do ask you to watch my back…It’s good to have police! and I mean this most sincerely.

    :] I can handle much more than the little dribbles that these “unknowns” can dish out.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    And the beat goes on,

    If, some of you have the right to insult the American workforce, then the American workforce certainly ( at least in this country) has the right to stand up for itself… GO UNION! GO ALL OF THEM!!!!!

    This is the line you should have posted here.

    :

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Jeannie,

    Get a grip of yourself. No one is attacking you here, yet you’ll all over the place.

    Just because some people may have an opinion as to Mr. Obama’s performance thus far, an opinion that is different from yours, doesn’t mean that you are being attacked, so don’t take it personally. Neither I nor Mark nor Cindy are your enemies.

    Each of us are individuals, and we all think somewhat differently. And that’s how it should be.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    you’re all over …

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I am going to leave now so you can continue to embarrass yourselves on your own..without my opinion.

    :o yawn…

  • Arch Conservative

    [Entire comment deleted. However, Archie, your recent more civil demeanour has been noted and is much appreciated. Please try not to backslide…]

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Read more: President’s ineptness quite clear after a year – KansasCity.com

    Rather ironic, I think, that someone would write an op-ed accusing the President of ineptitude… and use the wrong noun to describe it – in the headline, to boot.

    Just sayin’.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Jeannie – thanks – I’ll keep trying whenever I have the time to do so.

    Doc – It’s not just the writer of the article, but the editor who missed it, too.

    Arch – I will say that (with the exception of #105) you’ve been less crude than in the past…BUT to call a private individual a “dumb bitch” is not only a violation of BC rules, but it also makes you seem incapable of making your point without tossing insults. Please note that I did not say “you ARE incapable”, but “it makes you SEEM incapable”. Among educated and intelligent people, the more insulting one is in his use of language, the less he is taken seriously and the more he is seen as a puerile annoyance.

    I wouldn’t tell you that if I didn’t believe you capable of much better. I hope you take all this not as an insult, but as the constructive criticism that it is.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Glenn,

    Can I add a word.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I was going to say that it is important that we all are treated with respect here.

    see?

  • Clavos the Impaler

    Patronizing has nothing whatever to do with sincerity, Glenn.

    dictionary.com defines “patronize” as:

    “to behave in an offensively condescending manner toward: a professor who patronizes his students.”

    You constantly patronize everyone on these threads, Glenn, and your patronization above of Arch was a textbook example of it.

  • zingzing

    clavos, you can be just as patronizing. of course, sometimes people don’t realize that they come off that way. although, whenever someone says “this is constructive criticism,” it’s hard not to see it as patronizing (especially when you’re the target).

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Look at Zing’s post – that is constructive criticism itself. Perhaps I do come off as patronizing, and I certainly did not think that assuring someone that I was simply giving constructive criticism was somehow a sign of patronization.

    So take the opportunity to teach me. Show me how I should have worded my comment to Arch, assuming that I am as sincere as I claim?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Glenn and Clavos,

    I hope the following dialogue from My Man Godfrey might throw some light on the the alleged relationship in question. It’s not exactly the same, but what the heck:

    It’s William Powell and Carole Lombard in their respective roles. Enjoy.

    ACTION

    Oh, you’re more than a butler.
    You’re the first protege I ever had.

    – Protege?
    – You know, like Carlo.
    – Who is Carlo?
    – He’s Mother’s protege!
    You know, it’s awfully nice
    Carlo having a sponsor, because he doesn’t have to work and he gets more time for his practicing.

    – And that makes a difference.
    – Yes, I imagine it would.

    Do you play anything?
    Oh, I don’t mean games.
    – I mean the piano and things like that.
    – Well, I…

    It doesn’t really make any difference.
    It’s funny how some things make you think of other things.

    Yes, very peculiar.

    – Makes me feel so mature and grown up.
    – What does?

    Having a protege. You’re the first one I ever had.

    – You’ve never had others?
    – You’re the first, and it’s thrilling

    Not only does it occupy my mind,
    but it’s character-building too.

    Mm-hmm. Just what does a protege have to do?

    Well, you just go on buttling, and I sponsor you. Don’t you see?

    Yeah, it’s getting clearer.

    It’s really not much work, and it’s gonna be such fun.

    I’m sure it’s going to be heaps of fun.
    For instance, if Cornelia got mean, you
    wouldn’t have to do anything about it.
    I’m your sponsor, and I’d just take a sock at her.

    I hope that’ll never be necessary.

    I just wanted to give you the idea.

    That’s fine, but a protege has certain responsibilities also.
    For instance, if someone should ring
    for me now and I didn’t answer, that would reflect upon you because you’re my sponsor.
    – Don’t you see?

    – Yes, I never thought of that.

    You don’t know how nice it is having
    some intelligent person to talk to.

    It’s been very enlightening to me too.

    Oh, I just thought of something.
    Do you know what you are?

    – I’m not quite sure.

    – You’re my responsibility.

    – That’s very nice.

    END OF SEGMENT

  • zingzing

    glenn–heh. i saw that coming. of course, now it looks patronizing, and it may be at that. i certainly wasn’t trying to be, but i ran right into the brick wall i put up right in front of myself.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Wait a minute Clav.

    I thought THIS was the patronizing part: Among educated and intelligent people

  • cannonshop

    IF you have to say it’s construtive criticism, either your intent wasn’t, or your delivery was poor in the first place.

    Back to the original topic for a moment…because this has drifted all over the map now.

    Here’s the problem: anybody that can buy a launch-license can lift weather sattelites into orbit on something. If all you’re interested in is looking at the Earth, there’s already (quite possibly thousands) plenty of existing platforms in place that can and do monitor ozone, global temperature, atmospheric composition (You don’t even need a launch-license for that one-a weather balloon works just fine), and plenty of in-place monitoring stations worldwide for temperature collection-many of these aren’t even isolated to ‘academic’ access-you can access them at home, from your computer, and there’s actually quite a bit of private money going into this-because it’s useful data to have and lots of businesses need to know what the weather is doing. (Shipping, for instance, or agribusiness…)

    We don’t Need NASA for that.

    we need NASA for basically one job-NASA has the technology and infrastructure for manned spaceflight… or had it, anyway. They’ve got a monopoly on manned orbit right now if you want to put people up (Unless you WANT to funnel millions to Russia…), it’s either NASA, or the former Soviets-Burt Rutan’s spaceship one made one flight, which didn’t go as high, or as far, as John Glenn did forty years earlier.

    The entire reason we HAVE a NASA is manned spaceflight at this point-we’ve got several options for putting unmanned instrument packages into orbit, not just internationally, but domestically as well, the technology is well established, reliable (as reliable as any missile-based system can be) and proportionally not that expensive-certainly outfits like SeaLaunch were pushing toward being at least as cheap as launches from Florida, and Deltas have been lofting payloads longer than some posters have been alive here.

    Flat out, we don’t need NASA to put things into LEO or even GEO. We need NASA to send things longer distances, and we need it to send people up. That’s what it’s for.

    Cutting out manned flight means you’re just creating another government-entity-competing-with-private-entities. Compare the performance of UPS to the Post Office, yeah-if you really need it there on time, it’s not USPS you use. (My Brother in Law works at the Post office, poor bastard doesn’t know what holding a straight job IS.)

    So…what we have, is the Obama administration doing the reverse of Kennedy-

    “We do not do these things because they are Easy, but because they are Hard” doesn’t apply to Barack Obama and his vision of NASA…or much of anything else he’s done the last year or so. Instead, we have an executive taking easy outs that don’t even address the beginning of the problem.

    Oh, and Jeannie?

    The stock market always goes up when the shit hits the fan on mainstreet. One of the old jokes at boeing is that when someone high up wants to pump their stock values, they announce a delay, or a layoff, and gaining three million jobs when you lost six isn’t much of an endorsement, either.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Thanks for bringing this discussion to its proper focus. I’m all ears.

  • Arch Conservative

    What is it with the editors of this site and Nigel Farrage?

    Do you detest the man that much that you would delete any post with his name in it?

    I’ve never seen anything quite so bizarre on BC.

  • Clavos the Impaler

    You have no standing to be correcting Arch (or anyone) about something which doesn’t involve you, Glenn.

    That’s why it was patronizing, not the way it was phrased.

    And yes, zing, you and I both, I know.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I can assure you it wasn’t Dreadful, Archie, and that it’s got nothing to do with Nick Baggage.

    Are you certain now it wasn’t your language?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Archie (@ #117), neither Chris nor I nor, as far as I know, any of the editorial team has anything against Mr Farage. In fact, I have commented on the fellow myself.

    We are, however, trying to hold the site to a higher standard of civility than was previously the case: so you will see comments being deleted or edited for content that hitherto would have been left alone.

    Certain commenters’ protests of censorship notwithstanding, you are not being edited because you hold views we don’t like. You are being edited because we’d like you to be able to have a polite and constructive discussion every once in a while without things constantly degenerating into a slanging match.

    For further clarification, please refer to the comments policy, a handy link to which is posted above the comments box.

  • zingzing

    clavos: “You have no standing to be correcting Arch (or anyone) about something which doesn’t involve you, Glenn.”

    heh. if ANY of us stood by such restrictions, we’d all just have to shut up.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    In fact, check #52, Archie, on the following thread as to Dreadful’s positive opinion of Nick.

    And since he had gone the full mile to respond to Franco, you can bet your sweet arse he’d never exorcise you for bringing up Nick’s – sorry, Nigel’s name.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “You have no standing to be correcting Arch (or anyone) about something which doesn’t involve you, Glenn.”

    The irony abounds.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    LOL @ El B.

    Be fair, though. As BC’s self-appointed Grammar (and Spelling) Nazi, Clavos does mostly restrict himself to ensuring that people talk proper.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    BTW, comment # 121 is addressed to everybody, not just Archie.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    This does happen to raise an interesting question though – personalities aside – and I mean it in the most straightforward way.

    If none of the members of the BC community have a right to patronize one another – and I don’t believe we really ought to, never mind the question of having a right – does the situation change if we’re talking about those who hold official positions within the BC hierarchy?

    See, for example, #112 for an enlightened and to my mind totally unobjectionable manner of being “patronized” by a well-meaning sponsor.

  • Clavos the Impaler

    Glad you enjoyed it, El B — how do you spell that again?

  • Mark

    #121…well raspberries and arm pit farts to the censors

  • cannonshop

    #116 Okay, Roger, let’s focus on Space for a minute, instead of on Washington D.C…

    What do we need NASA for? I submit to thee, that we need NASA for two things:

    1. Manned programmes. Developing the training, safety, life-support, mobility, and ability to take people outside the Gravity Well. Private enterprise may have the technical capability, but thanks to existing law and treaties, only the government agency has anything approaching the desire to do this on any half-serious level. Government also has the only means when you start talking about insurance or doing the basic science-this is because there’s no profit in putting people up there, and anyone that’s had to endure living (as opposed to vacationing) in a tourist town knows that service-economies suck-everyone is poor/unemployed in the off season, and life generally sucks ass in such places unless you’re already independently wealthy when you get there.

    2. Deep space-again, legal and treaty issues mean that you can’t find enough private money to do this. There’s no return on the investment unless you’re Government, or you’re relying on tech-spinoffs.

    There’s a third, but it’s not NASA’s area of authority-that would be regulating. NASA isnt’ a regulatory agency-yet…and there’s no real ‘regulatory agency’ concerned with all aspects of spaceflight-it’s divided up between the Dept. of Interior (Launch Licenses issued here-twelve million bucks and it’s not refundable), and State department (thanks to OST ’67 and the treaty of ’79). the Military also has their hand in things…

    the reason the U.N. isn’t involved, is there’s no graft to be had-nobody’s making money going anywhere higher than LEO, and thanks to the various treaties, nobody ever will.

    Leaves us in the U.S. with NASA or Nobody, for those roles I’ve scratched out above.

    Now, mind you that NOAA, along with various public and private entities, has a host of ground-based weather stations, weather balloons (which easily reach up into the stratosphere), a vast array of existing sattelites, plus data from European, Russian, Chinese, and Indian sattelites to draw from, along with ocean-based probes from both government and private entities, all looking at the Climate-both short term, and long term-and you can build instruments yourself with plans and materials available on-line or from places as varied as the local farmer’s co-op to Radioshack (who’ll sell you a nice local weather station if you hit the store at the right time of year).

    All of this data dumps into the Internet, and is publicly available. to monitor the Climate, you don’t need a Space Programme, you need an office with internet access, and the hours free to analyze and collate raw data.

    This is the prime reason the cutback is a Proxmire, and not a serious effort-cutting development that literally only the Space Agency can do, in favour of projects that any Professor with a few Grad Students can handle-even with limited materials of his or her own, provided they know what they’re doing, (and that amatuers can handle on their own with only a little advice).

    This takes us back to the sick processes of Washington D.C., then-climate monitoring is EASY, deep space exploration, going back to the Moon, doing something difficult, or developing infrastructures that might allow someone, at some point, to get enough people out that it’s no longer a matter of “When” but “If” something catastrophic happens.

    (also, manned space offers the only real lab you have to work out methods to reverse three hundered plus years (the industrial age) of AGW, assuming the backers are correct-which is really five to ten THOUSAND YEARS of AGW (It’s called ‘Civilization’ kids). You’re not going to reverse it by driving a Prius and flickering your power on a windmill…)

    Put it this way: everything you’d need to colonize Mars or terraform venus is something you need if you really believe in Anthropogenic Global Warming, but aren’t willing to kill off 90%+ of the human race and put the rest into neolithic levels of technology and industrial development. Cutting space exploration is, therefore, stupid, and potentially dangerous REGARDLESS of where you sit on the Global Warming debates.

    Based on the Constitutional sections about the Fed maintaining ports and the terms of ‘promoting USEFUL arts’, it’s even a legitimate function of the government to pursue. Certainly on the basis that private individuals and organizations can’t do it, it’s certainly become, if it wasn’t already, legitimate for Government to conduct, whereas ‘social safety nets’ are more of a luxury that is popular, even when poorly administered, and entitlements are, simply put, dangerous drains.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Goodness, Cannon. You’re much more informed on the subject matter than I am. I can’t just respond impromptu.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    targeted tax cuts, mostly for small business, are good to the extent they give businesses a nudge toward creating more jobs.

    Sometimes Reich has some pretty smart ideas, but in this article he misses one glaring inconsistency. Tax cuts for small businesses are great (I say this in self interest as a small business owner) but what they do not do is create jobs. Unless the cuts are massive they don’t represent enough of a savings for any single small business to create even one additional jobs, and there is no additive value because small busiensses can’t pool their savings.

    The only kind of tax cuts which will actually create jobs are either cuts in the income tax or cuts in corporate taxes. Cuts in in the income tax will create jobs by stimulating the economy. Cuts in corporate taxes may create jobs because large corporations would save enough from a significant tax cut to actually hire more people, plus a large enough tax cut would work against offshoring and outsourcing of jobs and entire businesses. It might even attract new busineses to relocate here in the US.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I will respond to this later, Dave. Meanwhile, Cannon here is trying to redirect this thread to its proper thematics, and here we go again sabotaging his efforts.

  • cannonshop

    #131 I’m actually just more ‘obsessive’ about this topic than I am about ‘normal’ politics. I remember the hope around my home back when the Columbia had her first launch-I stayed home from school that day so we could watch it. I remember the lie about how we’d have another moon base by the late 1980’s and a Mars base by 1994, and how there would be a “Space Station Freedom” up there…and I remember my disbelief when Challenger died, and the empty feeling when Columbia burned up.

    When you build things that fly, and it isn’t JUST the paycheque, these things matter. I was horrified when it came out that they didn’t even check the gear before authorizing re-entry on Columbia-I get a certain satisfaction knowing that when a QA looks over my work, it’s right, and I know that passengers on a plane I built are going to get where they’re going alive and safe because I did my job right, and it’s a common feeling for people in Aviation-and NASA is what we all dreamed about as kids, or it used to be, anyway.

    Decades of gutting really has taken a toll-Columbia should’ve been replaced, but the replacement programme was cut, as were every other project that might’ve done more-and the money? pissed away on garbage. I understand the same problems exist on other, non-sexy-to-congressmen things, like the Atchafalaya flood controls and our crumbling infrastructure…but you know, the inner cities get money flushed on down the drain, more every year, and we can pay billions for new furniture in government offices every year, and federal buildings get more per year for redecoration than NASA gets in a decade, and, of course, the Dairy Farmers get their price controls.

  • cannonshop

    Here’s a thought to tickle your fancy when you look at the Economic news:

    What if, instead of paying off Goldmann-Sachs or buying Citicorp some nice parties, that money had been dumped into NASA, with the directive “Just Build it”? You know how many red states would turn blue if Obama and his congress had done that? “Just Build It” means Jobs, it would mean hope for more than unemployment extensions and a part-time burgerflipper job. It would have meant investment-states could fight over who gets factories and infrastructures, people discouraged and dropping out would step up, it would MEAN SOMETHING, the sheer need for crap to be FIXED, when combined with money-now-available, would be a real jumpstart on the economy.

    Roosevelt’s ‘success’ goes right down to projects like Hoover Dam and the TVA, this wasn’t handing out paycheques to shovel litter on the side of the highway, this was REAL stuff-hard stuff, things that aren’t easy, aren’t reshuffling office-supplies and paying out bonuses to millionaires, or flushing money down a hole.

    It could’ve been the Panama Canal of this generation, or the New Deal, instead, we got payoffs to the moneymen and open, obvious corruption that has put the nation into debt it not only can’t pay, but can’t generate the wealth to even maintain the interest on.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Hey, thanks for sharing. I can understand your excitement and your interest in all NASA projects. Also, I like the overall thrust of your #135.

  • cannonshop

    For that matter, if the Democrats declared “We win” in Iraq, and left the gear behind, and declared “We win” in Afghanistan, and left THAT gear behind, and put THAT budget to NASA, I don’t think most rank-and-file republicans would put up a fuss-as long as the money went to actually DOING things you can’t do from home on the Internet. This, of course, won’t happen anymore than shifting the budget priorities from HUD to NASA would happen, but imagine defense contractors scrambling to try and get into a CIVILIAN programme that needs their expertise…

    Yeah. Not Gonna Happen.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You’re right about one thing. Projects like Hoover Dam and the TVA were real things. And we need some real things today to make things happen. So NASA does emerge as one of the viable conduits.

  • cannonshop

    139 we NEED them, but we’re not going to GET them, Roger. THAT is the problem. What we get instead, are ‘stimulus’ packages that don’t provide more than short-term temporary employment for a few and vast sums of graft for the ones at the top, as well as insulating the most corrupt from the results of their own corruption, along with healthy payouts to slush-funds and political operatives.

    It started in the last year of Bush II, but Obama went and put a frigging supercharger on it-which is, admittedly, very expedient, but the damage has been done and it’s unlikely that it will be un-done before I’m dead of old age, and my neices are in their fifties. (assuming the damage is EVER un-done.)

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Zing –

    glenn–heh. i saw that coming. of course, now it looks patronizing, and it may be at that. i certainly wasn’t trying to be, but i ran right into the brick wall i put up right in front of myself.

    Maybe I’m just naive, but I wasn’t trying to throw it back at you. Clavos won’t believe this, but I’ve been completely forthright in everything I’ve posted. I honestly know no other way.

    For everyone, please take what I post at face value – for that’s how it’s meant.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    El B –

    Brilliant comment concerning irony -

  • zingzing

    yeah, well, we all know that sarcasm and sincerity are the hardest things to convey online.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    One of the things that Dave doesn’t like about me is that I keep throwing what he says back at him – like calling (in so many words) the entire Obama administration “treasonous saboteurs”, of deliberately sabotaging the U.S. economy…albeit without the least shred of actual evidence. If I were a betting man, I’d wager quite a bit that he’s sick of me throwing it back in his face.

    Now it’s your turn. Every time you butt in (as every BC writer is wont to do, even expected to do), then guess what I get to tell you? “You have no standing to be correcting anyone about something which doesn’t involve you, Clavos.”

  • cannonshop

    Glenn, who are you talking to?

    Seriously, you’ve moved from thread to thread ‘defending’ yourself by rantering about your personal feud with Clavos and Nalle.

    are you blocked for content or something? It’s getting more than a little bit disturbing, dude, seriously. You seem to be taking waaaayyy too much of this seriously, and you’re actually starting to edge into “WHiny” territory here. YOu’re better than this.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Roger, #138,

    The proposed dam to stop flooding in Napa Vally and the introduction of a real high speed train network along with all the solar, wind, and nuclear power plants proposed are real job and economic growth projects; are they not?

    :]

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Yes, there are, Jeannie.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, Arch. This thread is about space, but the subject of Space Academy may be off limits, especially with you doing the recruiting.

    The other possibility is, Nick Baggage may not be the kind person you represent him to be. He may be objectionable to some.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Roger, #147,

    Name some of them for me.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I just agreed with you.

  • Clavos the Impaler

    Clavos won’t believe this, but I’ve been completely forthright in everything I’ve posted. I honestly know no other way.

    Actually, Glenn, you’re mistaken. I don’t doubt your sincerity at all. I just think you’re tone deaf in your presentation, especialy when you lecture others on how to improve themselves, as you did with AC.

    And, of course I don’t agree with your politics.

    But forthright, you are…to a fault.

  • Clavos the Impaler

    Glenn, throw whatever you like back at me. I think I can probably hold my own and then some with you…

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Roger,

    Who do you mean? #149 or #151

  • Glenn Contrarian

    C-shop –

    Seriously, you’ve moved from thread to thread ‘defending’ yourself by rantering about your personal feud with Clavos and Nalle.

    Apparently you misunderstood the meaning of my comment – I was giving Clavos an example of what I will do when someone makes an accusation that is outside the pale…as Dave’s certainly was.

    Yes, I have posted quite a few times about Dave’s completely unfounded accusation. When someone makes such an accusation, with no evidence whatsoever, and paints with such a broad brush when he does so…if that’s not the height of irresponsibility, then it’s not far from it. That’s why I have no compunction whatsoever about throwing it back in his face – hopefully, he will learn not to go off the deep end as he did, and others will learn from his mistake as well.

    And as for Clavos – I have no personal feud with him whatsoever. I was simply showing him the opportunity he gave me to use his own words against him. Frankly, I’ve got a lot of respect for him because he is not just honest and forthright – he’s also quite level-headed. He and I will disagree on many things, but I’ve yet to see him make wild, completely unfounded accusations.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I said those are real projects. What else can I mean?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    On #151 – That’s constructive criticism and I’ll take it as such with gratitude. I’ll try to work on that. I think what it is, is that I’ve tried to write with an authoritative tone, and it may well be coming off as arrogance. I’ll do my level best to shift my tone, but not my sincerity. I really do appreciate your criticism – thank you.

    On #152 – Yes, you could. I have no doubt whatsoever of that. There are those who sometimes make wild claims and baseless accusations, and the credibility of their more serious and well-founded work suffers as a result. You make no wide-eyed, sweeping claims or baseless accusations. You might be wrong about something, but never, ever to the point of extremism…and that’s why people listen to you.

  • http://thihttp://blogcritics.org/writers/maddy-pumilia/ngsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Correction to Roger’s 147. Yes, there are, Jeannie.

    Should be:

    Yes [they] are, Jeannie.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Sure, Cindy – but I didn’t think it was necessary to make the correction.

  • http://thihttp://blogcritics.org/writers/maddy-pumilia/ngsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    149, 150, 153, 155…

    All those and the problem does not appear to have been resolved yet. I thought I would cut to the chase with a simple explication of the misunderstanding.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Of course. But the contending spirit was still present to distort even uncontentious facts or their presentation thereof.

    For which reason I didn’t bother.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “contentious spirit” is better

  • http://thihttp://blogcritics.org/writers/maddy-pumilia/ngsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    my bad…sorry

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    One of the things that Dave doesn’t like about me is that I keep throwing what he says back at him – like calling (in so many words) the entire Obama administration “treasonous saboteurs”, of deliberately sabotaging the U.S. economy…albeit without the least shred of actual evidence. If I were a betting man, I’d wager quite a bit that he’s sick of me throwing it back in his face.

    No, Glenn. What I like is your imprecision and tendency to take things I say out of context to distort their meaning. You provide an excellent example here. The whole thing about “sabotaging the US economy” if viewed in context makes perfect sense and is entirely reasonable. If you recall the actual article, it was considering explanations for the administration’s policies, and just offered intentional sabotaging of the economy as a possible explanation for their behavior.

    As you may recall, but will probably not admit, this is the same argument which was frequently leveled at the Bush administration who were accused of trying to “starve the beast” to create an artificial crisis and radically restructure the government and economy.

    Given what Obama has done in his first year, there are few explanations which make more sense than that he is deliberately trying to bankrupt the country so he can tear it all down and start over again on a centralized command and control model. Mere incompetence and ideological foolishness isn’t really a sufficient explanation for malfeasance on the scale which we are seeing it.

    So come up with a better explanation, because the facts all point to something verging on treason.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    The proposed dam to stop flooding in Napa Vally and the introduction of a real high speed train network along with all the solar, wind, and nuclear power plants proposed are real job and economic growth projects; are they not?

    Actually, the green energy industries you mention will put more people out of work in traditional energy industries than they will create jobs for in the new industries. As for the high speed rail, it might create some jobs, but it will cost enormously more than it returns in revenues or cost savings to commuters. And the damming is going to destroy small farmers and throw them off their land and into the workforce with inadequate skills and education.

    Dave

  • Baronius

    Dave, I think both you and SJ’s article are wrong. There’s no lying or deliberate sabotage here. Obama didn’t lie about the space program; he just didn’t think about it.

    Every politician, even a state senator, fantasizes about what his presidency will be like. He pictures himself making the changes he cares about, and everything else falling into place, and then a lot of parades. Barack Obama was a lawyer and community organizer, who became the juniormost US senator for two years, then went on the campaign trail. He got attention for denouncing the Iraq War. He’s never had any passion for the space program that I know of, and he’s never had any budget experience. In his heart, he imagined a booming economy and 100% funding for everything. He’s never faced a serious challenge, and never expected to.

    Of course his ideas are all over the place. He’s a child, and one with a flawed ideology. There’s nothing happening here that we didn’t expect, in fact predict.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    But he ran on hope and change, for crying out laud. You mean to say he din’t have a laundry list of the things that needed fixing?

    Not having passion for the space program or lack of budget experience shouldn’t necessarily disqualify the presidential candidate. There’s got to be more to it than meets the eye.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Baronius, according to Politifact (yeah, yeah, yeah, I can see Dave’s eyes rolling from here), Obama made nineteen distinct campaign pledges regarding the (various) space program(s). So he clearly was thinking about it, even if it wasn’t a top priority.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Twenty years ago I’d have been very upset about the decision to cancel Constellation. But NASA has, over the years, been so increasingly hamstrung by various political interests that it’s become almost impossible for it to do anything quickly, efficiently, or within budget.

    Twenty years ago the notion of private manned spaceflight was a distant dream; it’s now becoming a reality.

    Not to mention that the Russians have had cheap, reliable, efficient manned spacecraft for decades, that the Chinese manned program is looking increasingly vigorous and that now even India is talking about putting people in space.

    So I won’t be at all surprised if humans have returned to the Moon by 2020. They just won’t be NASA astronauts.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    I know my repeated attempts to get your attention on this particular subject has probably been frustrating everyone, and not just you. For that reason alone, I will stop bringing it up (unless your accusations go off the deep end again).

    As you may recall, but will probably not admit, this is the same argument which was frequently leveled at the Bush administration who were accused of trying to “starve the beast” to create an artificial crisis and radically restructure the government and economy.

    I most certainly DID see the same arguments by liberals leveled at Bush – and I held the same opinions of those liberals as I did of you, namely, that such a conspiracy is impossible. There is absolutely no way, given human nature, that an entire administration comprised of hundreds of high-level bureaucrats and all their myriad assistants could keep such a plot secret.

    As a historian, you can certainly point to grand conspiracies – but you also know that a conspiracy that involves more than just a very few people…doesn’t remain a conspiracy very long. You also know that this is particularly true in the modern world where the internet touches almost everything we do.

    You might try to make the argument that there must be only a very few, a small cabal, who are driving the rest to do their will…but again, this is unlikely in the extreme. Why? Remember, the TARP was implemented under Bush, and the stimulus was essentially an extension of the fiscal rescue efforts that began with the TARP. So are you going to claim that Bush and Obama were in cahoots to destroy the American economy? I don’t think so.

    Given what Obama has done in his first year, there are few explanations which make more sense than that he is deliberately trying to bankrupt the country so he can tear it all down and start over again on a centralized command and control model. Mere incompetence and ideological foolishness isn’t really a sufficient explanation for malfeasance on the scale which we are seeing it.

    Remember the Cato Institute’s ad in the paper in January ’09 where they trumpeted a list of 300 economists who were claiming that a massive stimulus was the absolutely worst thing for the economy? Right now, the economy’s growing faster than at any point since 2003.

    So which should we believe? Those 300 economists (many of whom, I suspect, worked for conservative think tanks or conservative-led firms, or otherwise had questionable credentials (again, only a suspicion…but I’ve got a pretty good track record on such suspicions))? Or should you believe the results of what President Obama has done?

    These are from today’s bloomberg.com – not exactly a liberal bastion, I think you’ll agree:

    U.S. Economy: Factories Expand at Fastest Pace in Five Years

    And here’s another quote from today at bloomberg.com:

    A record nine-quarter earnings slump for S&P 500 companies ended in the final three months of 2009 with a 76 percent increase in profits, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Almost 80 percent of the results released since Jan. 11 topped the average forecasts of Wall Street estimates, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

    If the Cato Institute’s “300 economists” were right a year ago, then would we be having this recovery so soon after facing the worst economic crisis since the Depression? Would we?

    So whom do we believe? You? Or the facts, the hard-and-fast numbers?

    Here’s a prediction: unless the Republicans see the light and actually start working with the president instead of rejecting his efforts at bipartisanship (as they’ve done for the past year), I expect the Republicans in Congress will double-down on their efforts to keep President Obama from achieving anything, anything at all.

    Why?

    Because they know down deep in their hearts that if Obama succeeds in reviving the economy before the 2010 election cycle, their prospects for a 1994 redux are quite dim indeed, and whoever they send up in 2012 will be nothing more than a sacrificial lamb.

    So here’s a different scenario – the president is trying to rescue the nation’s economy, and a certain group is trying to prevent him from doing so. Who, then, are the traitorous saboteurs?

  • Baronius

    Dread, candidates make nineteen different promises about everything. I just don’t remember this being an issue he cared about or featured. He was: a) end the Iraq War, b) save the economy from Bush, c) white racists won’t vote for me.

  • zingzing

    “white racists won’t vote for me.”

    and why would they? they’re racists. that said, i don’t recall him ever saying anything like that. conservatives, on the other hand, were saying lots of “black racists will vote for him.”

  • zingzing

    dave: “Actually, the green energy industries you mention will put more people out of work in traditional energy industries than they will create jobs for in the new industries.”

    so… competition is the enemy? it’s not like traditional energy industries will disappear should something new show up. and if they do, eventually, disappear, then it’s what they deserve. besides, fossil fuels don’t last forever. so we might as well figure something out.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I most certainly DID see the same arguments by liberals leveled at Bush – and I held the same opinions of those liberals as I did of you, namely, that such a conspiracy is impossible. There is absolutely no way, given human nature, that an entire administration comprised of hundreds of high-level bureaucrats and all their myriad assistants could keep such a plot secret.

    Your first mistake here is in confusing conspiracy with ideology. There were people in the Bush administration and on the political right well before Bush who openly advocated the “starve the beast” philosophy and there was nothing at all secret about it. There was no need to keep it secret because it was seen as a good thing by many in positions of power.

    As for Obama’s intentions or any conspiratorial element, again it’s ideology, not conspiracy. Obama subscribes to an ideology in which massive spending which forces the government to ultimately take over the entire private sector is seen as a positive, not a negative. It’s at the heart of Keynesianism and it’s discussed as a good thing openly by people like Paul Krugman.

    This seems to be the root problem with your viewpoint on this issue. You have either bought into the ideology or you are blind to its existence for some reason, mistakenly thinking that people would hide their intent when they actual operate clearly and in the open with no conspiracy required.

    Remember the Cato Institute’s ad in the paper in January ’09 where they trumpeted a list of 300 economists who were claiming that a massive stimulus was the absolutely worst thing for the economy? Right now, the economy’s growing faster than at any point since 2003.

    Those Cato scholars and many other economists would argue that another bubble and the massive quick economic growth that goes with it is part of the problem and not a solution to the problem. You are entirely mistaken in thinking that they would see this growth in the economy as good. In fact, many of them have written about the dangers which it poses. In fact, they were already pointing to the problem as early as last summer.

    So which should we believe? Those 300 economists (many of whom, I suspect, worked for conservative think tanks or conservative-led firms, or otherwise had questionable credentials (again, only a suspicion…but I’ve got a pretty good track record on such suspicions))? Or should you believe the results of what President Obama has done?

    Since the two don’t contradict each other, stick with the economists who predicted that Obama would create a new bubble and that it would lead to greater disaster.

    So whom do we believe? You? Or the facts, the hard-and-fast numbers?

    Since the facts and I agree on this, believe both.

    Because they know down deep in their hearts that if Obama succeeds in reviving the economy before the 2010 election cycle, their prospects for a 1994 redux are quite dim indeed, and whoever they send up in 2012 will be nothing more than a sacrificial lamb.

    It’s unlikely that the next bubble will last long enough for Obama to ride it to a second term, even if Republicans somehow manage to control the damage.

    What you and Obama do not seem to get is that the boom and bust cycle is the problem and it needs to be controlled. This can only be done by bringing the Fed and the government under control.

    Yes, growth is good, but it needs to be mild and sustainable, following a natural pattern. If it’s artificial and volatile because it is created artificially by stimulus spending, the results are disastrous especially for working people.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle


    so… competition is the enemy? it’s not like traditional energy industries will disappear should something new show up. and if they do, eventually, disappear, then it’s what they deserve. besides, fossil fuels don’t last forever. so we might as well figure something out.

    I kind of agree with you Zing, but it’s very deceptive to push Green jobs when all the evidence suggests that green conversion costs jobs rather than creating them.

    Dave

  • http://thihttp://blogcritics.org/writers/maddy-pumilia/ngsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Dave,

    I kind of agree with you Zing, but it’s very deceptive to push Green jobs when all the evidence suggests that green conversion costs jobs rather than creating them.

    Another sign that Capitalism and profit markets are doomed. They are not a sustainable way for things to run.

    How ludicrous to continue a system where choosing a sustainable plan for the environment you need to live in is not an economically viable option.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    What one could add is that all of this is happening within the capitalist system – the old resisting the new and fighting innovation. Which is like saying that the system appears to strive towards its own extinction.

    Until of course the new can be made profitable. But meanwhile, the vision perishes.

  • zingzing

    dave: “I kind of agree with you Zing, but it’s very deceptive to push Green jobs when all the evidence suggests that green conversion costs jobs rather than creating them.”

    like it or not, it’s coming. there’s no way around it. we WILL run out of oil, or we WILL get sick of having to bend our will to fit that of those who produce it. a robust amount of research can do nothing wrong for our economy. the oil companies will continue to rake in the profit, and if they’re smart, they’ll get to their own research into alternative fuel sources (i’m sure they already do–because they know there is a profit in it).

    eventually, the oil companies are going to be put out of business because there’s nothing left. if, when they go, green energy proves more efficient and needs less man-power, therefore creating a net job loss, well, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

    right now, it can only have a good impact on our economy. and it’s good for the environment. and it’s facing up to the reality that the golden age of oil won’t last forever.

    cindy: “How ludicrous to continue a system where choosing a sustainable plan for the environment you need to live in is not an economically viable option.”

    well, see, that won’t happen in the fat cats’ lifetime. so… what the fuck do they care?

  • Baronius

    The 300 economists?

    “This stimulus is madness!”
    “THIS! IS! SPARTA!”

  • Clavos the Impaler

    eventually, the oil companies are going to be put out of business because there’s nothing left.

    Don’t bet on it.

    Even after there isn’t a drop of oil left anywhere, they will still be the principal providers of energy. When the time comes, they will use their enormous wealth to buy up all the green energy producing technology and continue their domination and control of the energy supply.

    And the Arabs, particularly the Saudis, will be right in there with them…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    I really was trying think of a way to juxtapose the economists and the movie ‘300’, but you beat me to it!

    It’s still pretty funny….

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    Your first mistake here is in confusing conspiracy with ideology.

    No, I did not mistake anything. That’s why I got you to clarify, and you said that Obama was deliberately ruining the American economy. To do something ‘deliberately’ clearly means that thing has been done knowingly and willfully. You essentially said that he knows he is ruining the economy in order to exert more government control over it.

    Problem is, you gave NO evidence to support your contention. All you really said – as in your comment here – is nothing more than a claim that he subscribes to this or that economic theory.

    BTW – as of right now, America’s paying $400 billion dollars in interest on the national debt…the vast majority of which came from the past three Republican presidents. Frankly, when the Republicans go claiming about how financially responsible they are and at the same time go decrying Democratic fiscal irresponsibility, I think I’d rather just look at who’s added more to the deficit by far.

    And one more thing – YES, Obama’s got a huge deficit. This is what happened when he got a heaping helping of the crap sandwich he was handed by Bush.

    And when it comes to the economic ‘bubble’ that you and the learned individuals at the Cato Institute see coming, I can imagine what you’re going to claim when no such bubble materializes: “See – that’s how great America is! The fundamentals of our economy are so strong that it withstood even the worst Obama could do!”

    Never mind that it was the oh-so-financially-responsible Republicans that got us into this mess in the first place….

  • zingzing

    clavos: “Don’t bet on it. Even after there isn’t a drop of oil left anywhere, they will still be the principal providers of energy.”

    all fine and good. that’s the nature of business. but dave and his “green energy doesn’t create jobs” schtick just leaves it open for other countries. if we’re all for american industry taking the initiative, then let’s take it.

    since this post was originally about space, it seems that the right wingers here care about mars, and how the chinese and indians and russians are going to take over. let’s take care of earthly finances as well, eh? that’s how america got on top… let’s figure this shit out before they do.

  • cannonshop

    #175 Zing, what you’re missing, is simply this:

    Even if we all went ‘green’ tomorrow, and even IF it were sustainable and all your hopes and fantasies were fulfilled by the technology…

    The planet would still be warming up-even if AGW is entirely true(actually-Especially if ’tis true.) See, we’ve had civilization going on this rock for about ten to fifteen thousand years, depending on which Archaeologist is lecturing today. We’re only beginning to see the ‘bobble’ that’s been building all that time.

    This means you’re not going to stop it-even IPCC agrees with that.

    It’s about Control, Zing, not about fixing anything, it’s about centralizing authority and eliminating that troublesome middle-class.

    Because THAT is what any Central-Planning based system DOES-it always devolves into Serfs at the bottom, and Lords at the top-and the Lords are usually the people who control the key resource-whether it was water in the Egyptian empire, or Food, or military power, every era where Tyranny was rampant, a key element was central control of something required for life.

    Eliminate personal transport and put everyone on a train, and you control where and when and how someone can travel. That’s an enormous amount of power right there, it’s a good lever to create dependence and subservience.

    Wind Farms? that’s land that has to be kept under control-central control, Zing. centralized power, centralized authority. It’s amusing and sick that the same folks talking about putting a dam in the Napa valley breached five dams on the Snake River during a year when California was having rolling brown-outs due to lack of electric power, but there you go-it’s about control. that’s all it is, that’s all it is for, and it’s all it does.

    Mind that I think you’re all for central control of your neighbours, but you might ask what happens when your friends aren’t the people in charge of that control anymore, and you suddenly become the pink ape in the experiment.

    Because it inevitably DOES happen.

  • zingzing

    cannonshop–i don’t want to go back to feudalism. no one does. this is about the future and where we’re going to be if we don’t recognize that fossil fuels will run out and that we’re slaves to those who have them now. why do you think we’re fighting wars for oil right now? if we create our own energy, we’ll have no more use for the middle east, and they’ll have no more use for us. follow the money, end the conflict.

    this “centralized authority” shit is so far from my mind that it’s ridiculous. you’ve turned clean energy into some conspiracy theory. it’s stupid. try to think for a moment that the betterment of humanity isn’t some plot to take your money.

    “Mind that I think you’re all for central control of your neighbours, but you might ask what happens when your friends aren’t the people in charge of that control anymore,”

    i don’t know my neighbors. and they certainly aren’t in control of anything. i have no idea what you’re talking about.

    “Eliminate personal transport and put everyone on a train, and you control where and when and how someone can travel. That’s an enormous amount of power right there, it’s a good lever to create dependence and subservience.”

    get a horse.

    trains aren’t a bad thing. (owning a car in this city means paying the city hundreds of dollars ever month for parking tickets. yay!) i can walk. i can take a bus. i can rent a car. i can take a plane. i can go wherever the fuck i please. are you seriously questioning that? you think a car-less person can’t get around? and is a car in the bill of rights? i flat-out don’t want a car. it’s a pain in the ass. i don’t want to park, i don’t want to pay insurance, and i don’t want to pay parking tickets. cars are for suckers. if i lived in some backwoods shithole, maybe. seriously. “personal transportation?” jesus. the government is gonna run you down with a train, i suppose.

    “This means you’re not going to stop it-even IPCC agrees with that.”

    yeah, well, at least we might have a fighting chance. you too much of a pussy to try?

  • cannonshop

    Zing, first off, I don’t believe in AGW, second, I’ve got some education in the sciences-including Geology and some, small training in Meteorology. One side-effect of finding out just how insignificant human beings really are, is a small understanding of the scales on which those systems (the Earth, for want of a better term) actually work. another component of THAT, is realizing how much we don’t know about things we all pretend to know a LOT about.

    What you’re proposing is akin to trying to stop continental drift, Zing, or trying to prevent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

    You’re welcome to try-with YOUR resources, not mine. MINE are better spent adapting to what’s GOT to come in a dynamic system-which the CLimate is- you want to try and domesticate the damn PLANET, Zing-without taking into account what you’ll be destroying to domesticate it.

    I’m willing to live with the world I have, uncontrollable or not-at least, until I can move out. The World does NOT bend to human beings-not on the scale of global climate, not on the scale of global geology. It does things, and functions, regardless of whether human beings are here, or not.

    This is the main reason it’s idiotic to think you can change the Climate to suit you-it doesn’t WORK that way. The best you can manage with the resources available and technology we have, is surviving the climate you’ve got, and the one you’re going to, whether you like it or not, have in a few years.

    Adaptation is the key to survival, not trying to tell the tides not to come in.

  • cannonshop

    Further, as far as Adapting goes…

    Wind farms are vulnerable and terrain dependent, they rely on things not changing-they’re static. IF the weather-patterns change (and they do), your power plant is unstable. Likewise, solar farms require constant sunlight, or high density storage media, to function, and both require extensive and expensive maintenance. Have you accounted for your lubrication and maintenance issues with your wind-farm? do you have omnidirectional capability, and what happens on low-speed days?

    How are you keeping your solar panels clean? Dirty solar panels don’t produce at peak capacity. Solar also tends to stop working on cloudy days, and surface area means it’s vulnerable to hail and blown grit, as well as other entropic effects. do you know the size you need to power your city? (we’re talking basic shit here-lights and fans), do you have a buffer for surge days and slow days to keep the power stream ‘level’? (this is even a problem with Hydroelectric).

    What about ecological impacts from it? Solar panels mean sunlight’s not hitting ground below them, Zing. Especially if you need high density of energy. all of these are incredibly vulnerable to minor quakes and soil conditions.

    Nuclear COULD be a possible alternative, but there’s the waste-disposal problem. (at least it doesn’t dump radioactives straight into the air like Coal does…the waste is manageable because it’s compact and non-airborne.) Closing the fuel cycle reduces the waste problem, but the U.S. government’s been scared of that since the seventies (they misplaced several tonnes of refined Uranium, some claim the israelis used it to build nukes, I doubt that. Incompetence seems much, much, more likely-or mendacity-the lost fuel may never have existed…point being, Jimmy Carter signed an executive order in ’79 that ended closed-fuel research in the United States, so we end up with dangerous turd-boxes like Yucca Mountain instead…)

    Now, mind you that I think putting solar panels on every roof that can hold them is a good idea-they should be sold like roofing shingles at Lowes and Home Depot, and cost about as much, IMHO-but it’s not to ‘save de Erf”, it’s to shaft the power company and crack one more source of centralized power in our economy. Likewise, alternative fuel vehicles are a GREAT idea-if only more of them were legal in more states, and if only the major auto manufacturers weren’t sharing trust-holdings with the Oil companies…

    Further, efficiency is fundamentally good when you’re talking about technology-because it lowers the price of energy when it goes widespread, assuming your energy production sector isn’t the near-monopoly that forty years of merger-mania authorized by Uncle Sam hadn’t occurred.

    I Despise OPEC and all it stands for-but I’m not stupid enough to think that yapping about carbon is going to do as much, or as well, as pushing for broader, smaller-scale efforts does. Your city is a perfect example-if you REALLY want to make an impact, you should use your friends and contacts in the “Progressive” left, to get solar panels on top of every building, new or old, push for hybrid busses and tidal power (if you live near the sea-coast) to supplement the oil-burners you’re probably relying too much on, and you should definitely be lobbying to increase the efficiency of the turbines at any nearby hydroelectric facility-these things will DO what you want to DO-they’ll reduce energy costs and reliance on fossil fuels-or at least, reduce the rate of increase.

    To do any of that, you’ll have to learn to sacrifice some of your sacred cows-because the one thing localities CAN NOT rely on, is that uncle-sam will be a sugar-daddy forever-the money’s already GONE, the Credit’s running out now.

    There used to be a Lefty saying:

    “Think Globally, ACT LOCALLY.” There isn’t a hell of a lot of that in the real world from the Left side of things. (for that matter, from the Right either-but they aren’t trying to change how EVERYTHNG works, or change how the Climate works.)

    Failure is failure, success is success, if you can’t get your local city fathers to change, say, the building codes to put ‘green’ energy in without outside cash, what makes you think anyone else wants to pay for your upgrade?

    Choose: Inner City ‘investment’ (down a rathole), or fixing your own power-grid so that MAYBE you can be a little less dependent on someone else, and put the dividends into the rathole later on?

  • cannonshop

    Crap…I’m on a roll here…
    Imagine:

    Every high-rise in New York covered not in useless, heat-seeping glass, but useful solar panels, feeding into a distributed network and generating a kilowatt per square foot…

    Imagine every tower in Chicago, wrapped the same way, but with wind-turbines at ‘turbulence zones’ between the buildings and around Wrigley field…

    Imagine tidal turbines-turned by water moved using the gravity of the moon’s orbit, all along the east coast on the continental shelf.

    Imagine higher-efficiency turbines in every dam in the nation…

    There’s a couple of solar-panel research groups have figured out how to turn CO2 into other, longer-chain molecules useful for plastics-if you can make long-chain hydrocarbons using only the sun, you don’t need to import oil from the middle east.

    Now…here’s the cold fish of reality across the dreamer’s face.

    Ain’t. Gonna. Happen. Beyond the lack of political will, beneath it, you find one thing:

    NIMBY. People yap about alternative energy, but try getting the permits to build it, and see how many lawsuits you get.

  • cannonshop

    Imagine every house on your block, roofed with shingles that generate electricity, then go review the local ordinances, homeowner association by-laws, covenants, and restrictions.

    NIMBY. “It’s ugly…” “It doesn’t fit the Asthetic!!”…

    NIMBY is why this hasn’t already happened, and the biggest NIMBYs I’ve ever met?

    Democrats, Environmentalist believer Democrats. The Left only cares if they can use it on someone else.

  • Clavos the Impaler

    Just offshore of Miami is the world’s biggest current, the Gulfstream, which flows about 2 miles off our beaches at a steady, year-round speed of 2-3 knots (2.3-3.5 mph). It’s hundreds of feet deep, and dozens of miles wide.

    What an enormous amount of power is moving all that water. Why aren’t there turbines sunk down in the Gulfstream?

  • cannonshop

    187 NIMBY!! it’s the same reason there isn’t a windmill project off the Massachusetts coast!

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Eliminate personal transport and put everyone on a train, and you control where and when and how someone can travel.

    Right, because you can just pick up roads and move them where you want them to go.

  • Clavos

    Yeah, maybe cannon, but I’m talking about an underwater installation — the water is deep enough, and the Stream itslef is too. Once installed, there would be nothing visible, nothing would interfere with commercial marine traffic (which is considerable through the Straits of Florida), no reason, in short, for it NOT to happen, yet it doesn’t.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    That’s an interesting concept, Clav. Have you read or heard anything about the feasibility and/or engineering of such a project?

    There really is no deep-water construction industry, as far as I know, so whether the technology even exists to build a massive installation such as you envisage -without breaking the water surface – is a crucial point.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    I have a theory, which nobody else has suggested on this thread.

    Back in the 1960s, when the U.S. and Russia were trying to attack the moon with spaceships, an Irish folksinger, Brendan Behan, wrote a song begging, “Please Mr. Khrushchev, Please Mr. Eisenhower, grant me this great boon: don’t muck around, don’t muck around, don’t muck around with the moon.” I think President Obama listened to some old records one night and decided to do as Mr. Behan had asked. A nice gesture, we should all agree.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, what about the tube crossing the English Channel?

  • cannonshop

    190 Clavos, it’s a technological system, it’s likely expensive, the parts are big, and the Luddites are thick throughout the NIMBY movements. It doesn’t happen, in short, because it actually solves problems. The secret is that NIMBYs don’t care if they actually see it, they only care about preventing it from happening.

  • cannonshop

    Shorter form for ya, the reason you don’t see something like a gulf-stream-turbine is that it doesn’t destroy local economies or force people into the cities the way the Napa-Valley project would, it doesn’t tie up real-estate like a land-based windmill project does, and it would likely return more than the investment, unlike current-tech big solar installations.

  • zingzing

    now see… that’s better, cannonshop. constructive, rather than just some wishy-washy nwo shit. it’ll take me a while to go through all that you’ve had to say there, and who knows if i ever will, but for now…

    “get solar panels on top of every building, new or old, push for hybrid busses and tidal power”

    we already have many buildings with solar panels attached (of course, no one is being FORCED, because that would be about control,) we have hybrid busses already on the street (diesel fuel, running at a constant speed, with battery packs on the top for hill climbs, speed bursts, etc), and we’ve had tidal power since 2007.

    there’s also a movement to lessen the amount of cabs on the streets, as they are the significant reason why we have such bad traffic, and they are a significant source of noise and air pollution. you go out at night and probably 3 out of 4 cars on the streets are cabs.

    “if you can’t get your local city fathers to change, say, the building codes to put ‘green’ energy in without outside cash, what makes you think anyone else wants to pay for your upgrade?”

    we’re doing these things because they ultimately save money and make the air easier to breathe. forget global warming for a minute and think about air quality.

    “”Think Globally, ACT LOCALLY.” There isn’t a hell of a lot of that in the real world from the Left side of things.”

    i beg to differ. there’s “green” everything here, from green standards for new building construction, to planting 1 million trees around the city, to grocers “going green” by selling their own reusable bags. we’re doing our damn part, because it saves money and improves lives.

    “187 NIMBY!!”

    clavos’ suggestion has been being researched for years, and it is now before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for review. so, it’s happening.

    gah.

  • zingzing

    cannonshop: “Shorter form for ya, the reason you don’t see something like a gulf-stream-turbine is that it doesn’t destroy local economies or force people into the cities the way the Napa-Valley project would, it doesn’t tie up real-estate like a land-based windmill project does, and it would likely return more than the investment, unlike current-tech big solar installations.”

    that is the biggest load of bullshit i’ve seen you plop out. why would you even bother to think that? of course that’s not the motivation. if you don’t understand what you’re trying to fight, do you even know why you’re fighting it?

    seriously, being this willfully blind to the motivations of others is very counterproductive. you’re so wrong, it’s laughable.

    and the fact that the gulf stream turbines project has been going on for SEVERAL years already seems to elude you. and disprove you.

  • zingzing

    “Imagine: Every high-rise in New York covered not in useless, heat-seeping glass, but useful solar panels, feeding into a distributed network and generating a kilowatt per square foot…”

    now, see this is where we are on different pages. i’m not suggesting covering every building in nyc with solar panels YET. the technology just isn’t there. i’m saying get some money together and do some damn research and work to get solar power to the point where it is actually very useful, instead of just ignoring and dismissing it.

    you act as if things can’t be improved. or that the left is suggesting replacing traditional energy with the alternative sources as they are now. neither is true. and it’s ridiculous of you to think so.

  • cannonshop

    198 Zing, the tech’s been there for decades-it’s just nearly impossible to implement it under current regulatory codes in most of the country.

    As for ‘not yet’, “WHY NOT?” seriously. That much square footage would generate more than the thousand-acre solar stations in Arizona would, and it would be the bee’s knees for NY’s hot days. Even just current-tech panels could handle it at LESS than a KW/sq.ft.

    Urban temperature differentials might make wind-turbines in city centres more viable too-especially high-rise cities like NY and Chicago where you’ve got ‘Concrete canyons” that run for miles, and are packed with heat-generating human beings.

    I’d bet, with Current technology, you could theoretically power any major urban centre in the United States, within its own borders, at MINIMUM from day to day, just by installing this sort of thing exploiting the structure you already have-and if each Democrat in the country contributed, say, $100 once, you could even pay for a major power-drain like NYC, and get NYC off the oil-fired plants entirely. (Over 100 million voting Democrats in the United States, 100 bucks per head…gee, that’s ten billion dollars right there! that’s not even counting republicans who’d also chip in if they were asked because it’s neat, is actual progressive technology, and lowers the cost of the stuff for THEM-economy of scale and all that…)
    Such a retrofit would even put the hordes of jobless in our inner cities to work, for a change…and the next city would cost LESS-the infrastructure would already be in place, and the skill-base would already be developed.

    IT’s when you get federal graft involved, when the backers want the stuff paid for by other people, that the minor problems become major hurdles-that, and the NIMBYs.

  • cannonshop

    Zing, I know a guy at Boeing, he’s the owner of a small farm, and totally nuts about alternative energy-the difference being, he’s actually BUILT some of the stuff he talks about. In a state where the average electric bill is $175 a month during the winter, he pays about twelve bucks, and during hte summer, Bonneville Power Administration Pays him.

    it’s do-able. you just have to DO IT.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    what about the tube crossing the English Channel?

    The Channel Tunnel is just that, Rog: a tunnel through bedrock, not a tube resting on the seafloor.

    I seem to recall a tube such as you mention was considered, and in theory the engineering obstacles wouldn’t have been that great – it would have been the same basic technique as deep-sea cable-laying, only on a bigger scale. I think it was eventually ruled out because of the topography of the seafloor between Folkestone and Calais.

    A power generating system like Clav’s idea would probably have to be anchored on the ocean bottom. It couldn’t be free-floating or the current would simply pick it up and take it away. Although I suppose it could be fitted with propellers which moved it in a southward direction at two or three knots, thereby exactly countering the northward pull of the current.

  • cannonshop

    201-it would have to be anchored to generate more power than it would use, Doc-which isn’t that tough an engineering challenge-we have oil rigs off both sides of that peninsula, the tech isn’t too terribly different.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    An article on how such a system might work. It could be suspended in mid-ocean or, if we’re ruling that out because of Clav not wanting it to get in the way of his boat ;-) , anchored to the ocean floor.

    The article mentions that the system is, or was (it’s from 2008), being trialled in the Detroit River. I wonder what sort of results they’ve been getting.

    Some of the numbers the article mentions are staggering. If we could harness just 0.1% of the energy produced by ocean and river currents, there would be more than enough electricity to meet the needs of the entire current world population – twice over.

  • cannonshop

    damn, now I have drifted way-off-topic…

    Let’s see if we can somehow tie this latest digression back to the main topic…

    damn, it’s gone from space policy to energy policy…

    energy policy’s fun, one of the reasons I “LIKED” Palin (but not enough to think she’s presidential material) is that her stance on drilling echoed more of a “Stop niggling and just build something!”

    which is a sentiment I’m all in favour of-stop waiting for the tech to be perfect-the airplane and the automobile didn’t evolve to the sophistication they have today by sitting in labs unbuilt for generations, Radio and Television tech didn’t spend the last sixty years as laboratory toys unused by any but universities and hobbyists, and computers didn’t start getting really useful until they hit ‘the street’ in large numbers.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Perhaps we can get the ocean current turbines to generate enough electricity to catapult a projectile into LEO without the need for onboard propellant…

    ;-)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Great point, Cannon. The perfecting of the technologies is a matter of evolving.

    Just do it!

  • cannonshop

    #205 do you favour straight EM/railgun or laser-fired propulsion?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Well, whatever works best. Either way, the sonic boom is the bugger. But we’d be far enough out at sea that the only people it would be startling are a few fishermen.

  • cannonshop

    ooh…how ’bout this- back in the nineties, they did a tether-test in orbit, and the tether developed a static charge that blew the breakers on the shuttle and destroyed the instrument package.

    Now, if we built a tether using a mass for counterweight above Geosynchronous (So that our ‘string’ is kept taut under structural loads), and we hooked it up to a collector, we could maybe generate terrawatts from atmospheric friction-certainly enough energy to run a space elevator AND a couple of major cities…

  • cannonshop

    #208 Mind you that the noises will, no doubt, draw the ire of the whale-rescue crowd.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    This is a fascinating discussion. Some of you ought to be on an advisory board or part of a think-tank.

    What’s even more amazing, we keep on piddling with nineteenth century ideas while the possibilities of harnessing natural forms of energy are virtually endless.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Problem is, you gave NO evidence to support your contention. All you really said – as in your comment here – is nothing more than a claim that he subscribes to this or that economic theory.

    The evidence of his spending isn’t sufficient for you? Then nothing would be.

    BTW – as of right now, America’s paying $400 billion dollars in interest on the national debt…the vast majority of which came from the past three Republican presidents.

    This is just not true. The debt was relatively small up until the passage of TARP at the end of the Bush administration, which was the first massive increase, but even that increse pales in comparison to what Obama has already done, and that insane spending is a fraction of what he has planned for the future.

    He just submitted a $3.6 trillion dollar budget. That’s four times the highest budget Bush ever submitted. Stop trying to blame Bush and face reality.

    Frankly, when the Republicans go claiming about how financially responsible they are and at the same time go decrying Democratic fiscal irresponsibility, I think I’d rather just look at who’s added more to the deficit by far.

    Then you would be looking straight at Obama and the Democrats in Congress. Bush may have signed TARP, but they are the ones who passed it with a majority of Democrats opposing it. And you sure can’t blame Bush for the massive spending since then.

    And one more thing – YES, Obama’s got a huge deficit. This is what happened when he got a heaping helping of the crap sandwich he was handed by Bush.

    Bull. It’s what he chose to do in response to the economic crisis. He was not forced into it and he certainly wasn’t forced to spend the money so ineffectively and inappropriately.

    And when it comes to the economic ‘bubble’ that you and the learned individuals at the Cato Institute see coming,

    BTW, it’s not just me and the people at CATO. Concern over the bubble and the even worse crash coming after it is all over the business media.

    I can imagine what you’re going to claim when no such bubble materializes: “See – that’s how great America is! The fundamentals of our economy are so strong that it withstood even the worst Obama could do!”

    No, Glenn. I’m going to claim that the crash is still coming, because it is literally impossible to address a debt which with the addition of the current budget proposal will be so high that there actually isn’t enough available credit in the WORLD to finance it.

    Never mind that it was the oh-so-financially-responsible Republicans that got us into this mess in the first place….

    Which is, of course, completely untrue. It’s policies which began under Clinton and were promoted and defended by Democrats in Congress which were largely responsible. Not that Republicans are entirely innocent, but at least now they are trying to address the problem rather than continue repeating the same mistakes.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Dr. D. It’s not just ocean currents which could be harnessed. Even more powerful and easier to access are is the movement of tidal waters, especially in certain bays where tidal forces are concentrated. They could use the turbines to generate electricity on the way in and the way out, 4 times a day in an almost constant flow and it’s closer to shore and the tidal force in some of those bodies of water is phenomenal.

    There’s already a project in development to do this in the Bay of Fundy which has the most powerful tides in the world.

    Of course, this will never happen on a large scale because animal rights activists claim that the turbines will kill fish, even though there’s no evidence that open-core turbines like this are actually dangerous to fish. The econuts will find a way to derail this sort of project because they don’t want alternative energy, they want us all living in caves, or preferably dead to make room for animals.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    dave: “they don’t want alternative energy, they want us all living in caves, or preferably dead to make room for animals.”

    sigh. again. know your enemy. don’t just make up nonsense. how can you fight them if you don’t even know why they’re fighting? silly nonsense like this will get you nowhere. but i think you know that already.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Now, if we built a tether using a mass for counterweight above Geosynchronous (So that our ‘string’ is kept taut under structural loads), and we hooked it up to a collector, we could maybe generate terrawatts from atmospheric friction-certainly enough energy to run a space elevator AND a couple of major cities…

    Yeah, but the tricky part is getting the electricity down from orbit, absent said space elevator, for which project we’re still awaiting strong enough materials. We could use microwaves but those come with their own special and interesting problems, as your lunch will no doubt tell you.

  • Bennett

    At first I was dismayed by the cutting of the Constellation program, until I read more about the direction NASA is taking under President Obama. The author is dead wrong, and there are too many TRUE space enthusiasts who are thrilled at the innovation and intelligence that the NASA budget and the President’s priorities bring to the table.

    From Buzz Aldrin to Space.Com, anyone who is looking further than the pretty but underfunded VSE of the last administration knows that we needed to stop pouring billions of dollars into a failed program (Ares and Constellation).

    With the COTS participants ready to do resupply of the ISS, and astronaut transport by 2012, there is no need for NASA to develop a new system to reach LEO. Especially since it will already exist, courtesy of U.S. based commercial launch companies.

    Rather, NASA will focus on the technology needed for deep space (Mars) missions and really heavy lift technology. Robotic exploration will continue to grow in scope and is fully funded , for a change.

    Please READ the reviews of the new budget – by people who KNOW what they are talking about!

    Might as well move along folks, nothing of value to see here…

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “Please READ the reviews of the new budget – by people who KNOW what they are talking about!”

    But, Bennett, if articles were restricted to only those who knew what they were talking about, it would be awfully quiet around here. Hell, the blogosphere would implode

  • Clavos

    That might be a good thing — the blogosphere imploding.

  • Bennett

    “the blogosphere imploding”

    El Bicho,
    There is that. I forgot, as it’s been a few months since I checked in on BC. Not at all surprised to see the haters using every single decision or issue to spread misinformation.

    Buzz Aldrin’s Review

    We live in a beautiful world.

  • cannonshop

    #215 Yeah, that’s the one that actually NEEDS lab work…and it’s a fantasy, but it’s a fun one to contemplate. (For that matter, so’re the microwave power-sats. whatcha call ‘vaporware’, but it’s fun to write about…)

    On a more practical scale, NASA’s never developed a heavy-lift booster while being downsized, nor while looking ‘closer to earth’-studying the climate doesn’t take big loads lifted into orbit (the serious technical challenge for space exploration-anything that can deflect cosmic rays and handle micrometeorites over long periods is ridiculously heavy by NASA scaling…)

    What I would wish for, would be for NASA to get even HALF what we’re pouring down sewers in Wall Street…even a TENTH would pay for everything that’s been cut, and more.

    it’s not going to happen. Bernie Maddoff has more pull with the Administration than space does.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    To be fair, the cutting of the NASA budget is hardly the problem with the 3.6 trillion dollar obscenity that came out of the White House. NASA was far less well funded (and far more efficient) when they did their best work back in the 60s and 70s.

    Dave

  • cannonshop

    #221 What did you expect, Dave? Dems might not pay their taxes, but they DO pay off their backers.

  • Clavos

    Bernie Maddoff has more pull with the Administration than space does.

    Not necessarily. But, Bernie Madoff WAS more willing to bend the rules…

  • cannonshop

    #219: Aldrin’s a good writer, and he’s got a nice perspective, but…

    he’s wrong. NOw, let me explain why.

    The major problem, the major tech hurdle to Mars and eventually out of the solar system is the first hundered and twenty miles of the trip. There’s no money for heavy-lift in Obama’s proposed budget, and earth monitoring sattelites don’t weigh that much to begin with. ISS support can be (and is done) using fifty year old Soyuz technology, and thirty year old STS technology that’s going to be phased out by the end of 2011…leaving the Soyuz all by its lonesome. given that the proposed budget for this year is bigger than George Bush’s record walletbuster budgets by about four times, and that becomes a problem-because the only thing you can get Democrat AND Republican congresscritters to cut?

    Yeah, NASA. The proposed budget cuts heavy=lift to turn NASA into a redundant agency doing what NOAA and a host of other agencies already do.

    This means the tech IS NOT going to get cheaper for heavy-lift. The direction of commercial development is smaller packages, while commercial development on the manned front is focused more or less on rich-man’s-toy LEO and suborbital hops with a microscopic market.

    As for ISS-it’s going to ‘wear out’ around 2015 according to the most optimistic numbers-and the one lesson everyone should’ve learned from it, is you can’t do big projects in little, bite-sized chunks and expect them to either last, or work as intended. (It works, just badly, and proportionate to the cost, for not-very-long.)

    As noted up this very thread, the materials tech isn’t there for something that would be cheaper than big rockets-an Elevator, for instance-and likely won’t be there until we can get something bigger than a bathroom lab into space, where real work on null-gee alloys and carbon-chain forming can be done in vacuum, in f’ing quantities.

    Rocketry is pretty much like guns in one aspect-it’s a mature science, there’s not a lot you have left to learn about propellants or configuration, and nothing left unknown as far as principles that might make it cost less than it already does.

    The only chance you’ve got for a development that actually reduces costs, is to get the facilities and tech up there to discover it-and that’s not in the Obama Budget.

    You don’t figure out how to do things better in a focus-group, or in an office separated from the field, things are improved and figured out when you’re putting them to work and see how they perform, or fail to perform, in the real world-no simulation can ever match the effectiveness of actually doing something in the real world. The real world always contains surprises that the theorists didn’t know were there-if it didn’t, we wouldn’t need scientists.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    C-shop –

    given that the proposed budget for this year is bigger than George Bush’s record walletbuster budgets by about four times

    You know that’s a wild exaggeration…and absolutely wrong.

    Here’s something most modern conservatives aren’t used to: FACTS.

    THE BUDGET AND ECONOMIC OUTLOOK: FISCAL YEARS 2009 TO 2019

    If you’ll check the reference provided by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, look on table 5 on page 16…and guess what? In 2009 there were $3,543 billion in total outlays. In 2010 there are $3,236 billion in total outlays.

    The budget for 2010 is $307 billion LESS than the 2009 budget.

    Who submitted the 2009 budget? Bush.
    Who submitted the 2010 budget? Obama.

    So, um, WHAT were you saying about the oh-so-fiscally irresponsible Democrats? We spend $300B LESS…and we’re the bad guys!

    Now, if you’re really up to speed on things, you’ll look at the 2008 budget which was $2978B, and figure out that the much higher 2009 and 2010 budgets were due to TARP and the stimulus, respectively…trillions of taxpayer dollars that wouldn’t have been needed at all if it hadn’t been for the Great Recession caused by Republican fiscal policies!

    (Don’t forget that $200B SURPLUS Clinton handed Bush 43, now)

  • cannonshop

    225 Glenn, that’s an accounting trick-the bailout, Glenn. The one approved in the beginning of 2009, Glenn-the three point whatever Trillion, the GM buyout-those aren’t ‘on budget’ but the money was still spent-even without there BEING money to spend. 14b in credit-extension approved as well.

    Just because it’s ‘sequestered’ and not part of the same bill, doesn’t mean it’s got a special source of money that covers the expenditure.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    That’s rather a bold statement, Cannon…

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    The major problem, the major tech hurdle to Mars and eventually out of the solar system is the first hundered and twenty miles of the trip.

    Surprising (or maybe not!) how many people don’t realise this.

    ISS support can be (and is done) using fifty year old Soyuz technology, and thirty year old STS technology that’s going to be phased out by the end of 2011…leaving the Soyuz all by its lonesome.

    There’s also ESA’s Ariane 5 and its successors, not to mention SpaceX‘s Falcon 9/Dragon heavy-lift system, which is scheduled to begin testing this spring. I have a reliable source which says that SpaceX is planning on beginning manned orbital flights in the next three years, and that there are other companies with similar plans.

    And that’s an important point. The Shuttle was being retired at the end of this year (although I have a sneaky feeling that there may yet be developments which allow it to keep flying for a while) to make way for Ares/Constellation, which was still in the early stages of development when its cancellation was announced. Either way, NASA was going to be without a manned capability for at least five years – and the private sector was going to beat them back to orbit.

    This means the tech IS NOT going to get cheaper for heavy-lift.

    Not for NASA, agreed.

    The direction of commercial development is smaller packages, while commercial development on the manned front is focused more or less on rich-man’s-toy LEO and suborbital hops with a microscopic market.

    Not sure you’re right here. See above, and take a look around the websites of some of the commercial companies which have a manned capability coming down the pipe.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    C-shop

    You just pointed out an ‘accounting trick’ of 14B dollars. That’s not exactly chump change…but compared to the 300B dollars LESS that the Obama 2010 budget cost compared to the Bush 2009 budget, that same 14B dollars is not much at all…

    …and it is NOTHING compared to the financial disaster that were eight years of Bush and six years of total governmental control by the Republicans. Sorry, C-shop, but you’ll never, ever wish away that fact.

    And back to the main topic of this thread – frankly, I’d take Buzz Aldrin’s word over yours.

  • cannonshop

    #228 The problem with man-rating a rocket isn’t, surprisingly, power or reliability-it’s keeping your gee-forces at launch low enough that they don’t turn the crew into strawberry jam in a flight suit hot-pockets-and doing so reliably.

    I sure hope Spacex works out and doesn’t end up the Tucker Automobile of this generation, but I’m not holding my breath on that. As for Ariane, they had a man-lift booster in the works twenty years ago, and abandoned it for the same reason most of your commercial launch outfits don’t have one today-the cost per pound is higher and most of the packages they loft don’t need that much investment in machinery.

    Mechanically, a heavy-lift booster that doesn’t kill a prospective crew is just an excercise in design-but they’re expensive, and a lot of the promising tech (Aerospike engines, etc.) turned out to be not as efficient as promised, even on a theoretical level, much less an engineering one.

    As for the STS-that was supposed to have been replaced ten plus years ago, notably the projects intended to replace it are all extinct, including DCX and NASP-the two ‘leading’ programmes that had scale-test-articles built and flown.

    DCX really galled me when it was killed, they didn’t kill it because it didn’t work, they killed it because a pilot fucked up and crashed one of the test articles during a hover check…

    Which brings up the other problem-Congress and the Administration (ANY administration-bush had it as bad as Clinton or Obama here) are gun-shy about risking Astronauts. Now a small amount of risk-averse is okay, but flight IS risk. any flight, whether it’s on an A300 or a rocket. You minimize risks with procedures and careful work, but people still screw up- in 1986, the Admin boys at NASA ignored the engineers and we lost Challenger because of it, when Columbia went down, it was a screw up of monumental proportions because they ignored basic safety and didn’t check the hull after it was hit with the equivalent of a bird-strike at multimach speeds.

  • cannonshop

    You can’t design a ‘perfect’ system, no matter HOW long you wait. Waiting for Perfection is a long wait for a train that doesn’t come.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I saw a neat quote the other day somewhere, Cannon. It said something like, “Certainly a ship is safe in the harbour – but that’s not what a ship is for.”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Which is to say, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Better get to work on that space elevator, then.

    Come on.

    Chop chop.

    [whip crack]

  • cannonshop

    232 tell it to the oversight committees and the Administrators.

  • FitzBoodle

    Why are people still discussing manned space flight since it’s superfluous and expensive? Glamour?

  • cannonshop

    And a Proxmire Disciple chimes in! Because, Fitzboodle, it’s a better use of money than paying farmers not to farm, or buying solid-gold Lexus (Lexi?) for Hedge-Fund managers who lost all their clients’ money, and the technologies that come out of it are about your best bet for developing the kind of low-impact processes needed to actually reduce carbon emissions significantly enough to rescue the environment from big, bad, old humanity. Beyond that, it’s the only hedge possible against a true, not-invented-in-hollywood global catastrophe wiping out humanity or knocking us all back to the fucking stone age.

    The Dinosaurs had a run of over a hundered sixty five million years, but when shit happens, it happens-the only real defense is to have enough of your population not there when it happens-and there’s only one direction out of the way. It’s not a matter of ‘if’, and stopping something like that is more fantasy than The entire star-wars movie collection. It’s a matter of “When”, and while “When” might not be in your lifetime (Or your kids-if you have them), it WILL happen.

    Besides, the Earth is a little too crowded, and mass genocide is icky.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Wow, that’s a scary scenario, Cannon, “it’s the only hedge possible against a true, not-invented-in-hollywood global catastrophe wiping out humanity or knocking us all back to the fucking stone age.”

    What true global catastrophe are you foreseeing, friend? It’s Outer Limits stuff.

    I command you, though, for being forthright about the innumerable and foolish ways of spending money. That alone is argument enough for space exploration without any need to appeal to apocalyptic events.

    Aren’t intellectual curiosity and the explorer’s spirit reasons enough?

  • cannonshop

    #238 I don’t foresee shit, Roger. I’m not a psychic, but generally, if something HAS happened, it probably WILL happen. Chixichlub happened, we’ve got geological evidence of it-and it’s not the first, so it probably won’t be the last, and unlike Hollywood (where the heroes save the day with a mission and a bomb) reality says there’s nothing we have that can even touch, much less divert or stop, it from happening again. This is reinforced with periodic “Gee, got missed again” reports that make the news weeks after the near-miss.

    Just like volcanoes-it has happened, so it will happen. No glamour, no Bruce Willis wisecracking to save the day, no need for god or angels coming down from the heavens or an antichrist, the natural world contains so MANY ways to collapse what we know of civilization, so very many ways to wipe out the human race, that it would take thousands of pages to list them all, and millions to describe them.

    Like any other animal, if we become or remain too dependent on a single habitat, we’re pretty much doomed to extinction. The most successful animals are the ones that have the broadest, most varied range of habitats, so that any single localized event can’t kill them off.

    Extension of range is one of the prime drivers of the urge to explore and discover-separate it out, and you find what we have ample evidence of now-that is, that exploration is treated as a joke, and funded accordingly.

    Manned space taken seriously makes those pretty pictures from JPL worth something other than decoration.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    FitzBoodle: Why are people still discussing manned space flight since it’s superfluous and expensive? Glamour?

    Why are my wife and I discussing possible trips to New Zealand and/or Costa Rica and/or Croatia this year, since they’re superfluous and expensive? Glamour? Or because we want to and we can?

    In the short term I concede that there is little practical need to put humans in space; although one wonders why practicality has to overrule all other considerations. However, as Cannonshop points out at length, there is a terribly, terribly good reason to do so in the long term: which is that if our entire species remains on this planet, our entire species will eventually die off – from any of the many causes Cannon mentions, or hundreds of others.

    Once humanity successfully establishes footholds on other planets and moons and in other star systems, we will literally be impossible to kill off. Sure, one colonized world might happen to accidentally lose an argument with a passing black hole, and that would be a tragedy; but human life on the other settled worlds would go on.

    (I grant you that based on our track record so far, the idea of an indestructible human species careering about the stars may not be all that comforting.)

    Interplanetary and interstellar colonization is going to take a heck of a long time, though, so we’d better start NOW.

    All that said, the reason Roger gives in #238 is still the best one of all.

  • cannonshop

    Roger’s answer in 238 is ennobling, but it’s not the best reason-it’s just the one that appeals to a moral sensibility.

    The best reason is survival of the species, and the reason it should be US and not, say, North Korea, or Iran, or some as-yet-unrealized form of psychotic dictatorship or oppressive autocratic nutjob state whose plans AREN’T defined in quarterly reports, should be a question of what kind of huamn society you WANT to survive. The society that gets off its ass and goes out there with intent to stay is the one that will define the kind of humanity that will be the definition of humanity essentially forever…assuming ANY humans get out there before we’re like the Dinosaurs.

    It’s not just survival, then, but what kind of survival, what kind of society takes the lead, and keeps it long enough to guarantee that their ideas remain “extinction proof”.

  • http://spacecolonization.wikia.com/wiki/Space_Colonization_Wiki OpenSourceSpaceColonization

    Once again the intellectual and creative capacity of society as a whole is completely ignored, putting off human colonization of space for decades. We’re running out of every type of Earthbound energy resource you can imagine, and the only viable replacement for which we have already designed the technology is space-based solar power. Our investment in space should be local, and designed such that it is not simply an exploration of what’s out there, but that it actually helps us to sustain ourselves here on Earth, and COLONIZE local space as well. We currently have all our eggs in this one little basket called planet Earth, and there are a multitude of extinction events just lining up to destroy us. If we actually put colonies in orbit of the Earth (in part to maintain our space solar power satellites), on the Moon and on Mars, then should a large disaster happen to one of these baskets it won’t be able to destroy the entire human race, and we’d have the chance to continue to evolve elsewhere.

    The only way we can do this is if many more people than are currently employed by the space agencies of the world can come together to work on space colonization projects in concert, maximizing the use of our Earthbound energy resources while we still have them. We already have the technical skills to make colonization of space a reality, but as Mr Obama has just reminded us, we (the whole world) simply cannot afford to pay for it using our current financial models, and those financial models limit the amount of creativity that goes into space science because vast numbers of the population are excluded from contributing by default.

    So consider then the open source community, including big business, small businesses, academics, scientists, inventors and tinkerers, interested individuals et al. They have tackled some incredibly difficult problems using the internet as their design platform, and won. It is now high time that these principles are applied to the design and building of our human future in space. So I implore you, open source the entire field of space colonization. Create internet-based design platforms where anyone can contribute their knowledge, skills and work-time to designing, building and operating the machines we will need to colonize space and make use of the resources there, because by 2050 our population will be the highest it has ever been (~9 billion) just at the time when we run out of energy. If we have no other solution to the energy problem by that time, we will really need the space solar power solution.

  • Ed

    I thought Republicans supported privatization. How wonderfully hypocritical.

    P.S. We won the space race when Armstrong stepped on the moon. It’s over.