President Obama, who has overlooked various pork barrel spending projects placed into unrelated bills by the Congress, is reported to have decided to freeze the budget to NASA to prove he can cut the Federal Budget.
To put it bluntly, this means there is no money for the proposed Moon landing under his watch.
â€œThis represents a fundamental shift in U.S. plans for space,â€ said John Logsdon, a historian of the space program who is former director of George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute.
One is reminded of Jim Lovell in the film “Apollo 13″, who, when confronted with a life threatening disaster, could only lament: “We just lost the moon”. Because President Obama’s decision means that the US will no longer include the exploration of space as part of the country’s long term agenda.
The President’s willingness to cut back funds to put a man back on the moon shows that the Obama administration is clueless to the “geek vote”.
Years ago, C.P. Snow’s famous lecture on the “Two Cultures” noticed the gap between the elites in culture and the elites in science.
Obama’s administration and their helpers in the press ridicule those who disagree with them as ignorant serfs who don’t know anything. One can see this in David Brooke’s dismissal of the populism that rebels against
“..(President Obama’s) government of the highly educated….(including) urban politicians, academics, Hollywood donors and information-age professionals…
But notice someone else missing from Brooke’s list?
The scientists, the inventors, the “hands on” physicians, the computer programmers, the engineers, the mechanics, and others whose scientific training gives them the ability to find an efficient and practical solution to problems.
Geeks are more prone agree with Burke:
‘What is the use of discussing a man’s abstract right to food or to medicine? The question is upon the method of procuring and administering them. In this deliberation I shall always advise to call in the aid of the farmer and the physician, rather than the professor.”
Malaria killing millions? Don’t go out and organize protests against global warming; instead, make a vaccine which can actually save lives.
Clueless politicians cutting back on the space program? Build your own launch pad.
All of which calls to mind the death last week of esteemed writer J.D. Salinger. The beauty of Salinger’s prose is uncontested, and he did inspired many teenagers of the Baby Boom generation, for better or for worse.
But not everyone identified with Salinger’s angst ridden teens. John Scalzi writes:
If you were going to give me a teenage hero, give me Heinleinâ€™s Starman Jones…All Holden did was bitch, bitch, bitch. Put Holden at the controls of a starship and heâ€™d implode from stress. Not my hero, thanks…
I agree, although I would replace Starman Jones with Holly, from The Menace from Earth…
The Obama administration has a problem, and one that isn’t even recognized by those more cognizant with Saul Alinsky than with a slide rule.
It’s a problem of competency. It’s a problem of pragmatism. It’s a problem of knowing you have to solve the problem instead of following thousands of pages of bureaucratic rules.
Limiting the Space program budget in a year of ten thousand “earmarks” sendsÂ a message: Sorry, geeks, funding museums and ACORN activists is more important than exploring space, or the spinoffs from space research, from MRI’s to GPS systems…
So, despite all the adulation that assures us that the Obama administration is hip, in geekland he is clueless.
Which is why, of course, Brown won the Firefly vote…
Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.