2004.01.17 Take a deep breath:

i hate to admit it, but… i agree with george w. bush.

now, before you all go into a swoon or tizzy, bear in mind that, in 3 years of policy making, there so far is only 1 (ONE–more than "none", but less than "a couple", and way less than even "some") of his policies that i agree with–the new space policy. i should also admit that i haven't read the complete policy, or read or listened to all of the speech announcing the policy, however, what i have heard and read about the policy coincides almost exactly with what i–for the last 10 years–have considered to be our best path to continued space exploration. i personally think we could establish a permanent base on the moon much sooner than 2020, perhaps even by 2010 if we really pushed it. i also think a lunar base is an imperative next step in our space program, as it will provide a (relatively) near-earth proving ground for developing technologies to get us to mars.

i know that some (Paul, if i remember correctly, being one) think that we should turn that money towards earth, towards fixing all those things that georgie boy wants to break or give to the corporate interests (our environment being one example, our "lower class" being another, and our "economy" being the third, but not final). i can certainly see the point of this argument, the extended version of which would be that most technologies that would be developed for space with applications here at home could just as easily be developed either in the private sector, or with the right government in power. i have always been a proponent of a strong space program, frankly because i have the dream that someday i might get to visit the moon or another planet, or maybe even meet an extraterrestrial being. but i also think that the space program, if handled correctly, and, as we've seen with the spirit rover, successfully, can be a great source of inspiration and motivation and promise to the populace and the entire world. successful space programs are proven morale boosters, and on top of that, they reinforce a whole-world perspective, perhaps lessening petty moral conflicts and territorial disagreements. in fact, in a recent speech Al Gore gave to moveon.org members about the environment and the bush administration's egregious environmental policies, he used, as major components of his presentation, several images that only exist because of a successful space program. he specifically called out and mentioned the power of these types of images to influence public perception and awareness of their place in the world, and in the rest of the universe. so, i see a vibrant and aggressive space program as a necessity in helping to shape the planet-wide consciousness, so that, with any luck, we'll realize how "we're all in this together," and we'll hopefully stop killing each other.

well, there's my little pro-NASA spiel. oh yeah, i suppose i should mention that i think NASA's grown fat and lazy (to put it in succinct, human terms) and that they're going to have to seriously get their asses in gear if any of this is going to come to fruition. they've been learning to be lean and mean, again as the mars rover attests, but they're going to have to maintain that zeal and versatility once they're flush with new funds… which leads me to my next point.

i'm going to make a little prediction here, if anyone remembers around Feb. or Mar. of next year, remind us about this, ok? here goes: if, by some freak chance all the people with a real conscience in this nation get the croup and die before election day this year, and georgie boy gets re-elected; and bearing in mind the administration's record on pronouncing policies, passing legislation, and then pulling funding, i think i can safely predict that, when the budget proposal is put on the table next year, NASA will not get the promised funding increase, and will, in fact, see a major funding decrease. there's my prediction. dubya will underfund NASA and his proposed space program just like he's underfunded Homeland Insecurity and the No School Left Unpunished act.

now, to my next major point, and the little bit of news that made me write this post at 6 freakin o'clock in the morning, instead of waiting 'til tomorrow: yet another controversial bush political move is made and announced on a Friday. You see, the NASA thing was announced on Wednesday, and was rumored for several weeks beforehand, so he waited 'til Friday to announce this whammy.

judge charles w. pickering gets his seat on the appeals court handed to him by King George II, who sidesteps (admittedly, legally) the regular process which has kept pickering from getting confirmed for the last two damn years. pickering is an obvious racist, who deserves more to be shit-canned than promoted. If anyone can look at this and still not understand why i fucking hate georgie porgie, then… well, i don't know what. it's completely incomprehensible to me that this president can make these kinds of moves with no repercussions. well, hopefully, the repercussion will be that he gets his ass handed to him in November.

other news: massive behind the scenes changes to the gallery scripts which will effect no-one but me & brian 'cause i just made it easier for us to add images without having to go through some huge ordeal. if anyone notices breakage, let me know. by the way, for those of you who don't pay attention, or who forget easily, remember that that dropdown list up at the top there (assuming you're on the main theme–hey, remember those?) will take you not only to other blogs or sites we like, but other bipolar-related items or sub-projects like, gasp, the galleries! yay, obtuse navigational schemes!

finally, everybody wish the puffin a happy three-oh, which'll happen Real Soon Now™

- 06:33 am :: permalink :: 7 comments
categories ::  Angry/Hate - Bipolar: News - Birthday - Politics - Rants - x:13 Family

7 Responses to “Take a deep breath:”

sara said:

I agree! Amazing I know! The exploration of space is not only important for all the reasons you mentioned, some of the inventions that have come from our space program would not have been developed otherwise because there was no incentive, no need, no impetus to do so. I, therefore, am pretty happy!


# January 17, 2004,

Jennifer said:

I thought the plan to further explore Mars and the Moon, etc. was already in place – it lives on no matter the administration in office. For whatever that's worth.

I'm an absolute space discovery and science-junkie, but I'm not convinced that space exploration, and its truer intentions, will prove more beneficial to the average citizen than many other purposes to which those taxpayer-provided multi-billion dollar funds could be applied.

Happy Birthday, Paul! 30 actually ain't so bad. Really!

# January 18, 2004,

the puffin said:

thank you, one and all. i've enjoyed my late 20s more than my early 20s. i'm hoping my 30s will be even better.


the puffin

# January 18, 2004,

m@ said:


certainly, the ongoing plan to further explore mars was in place, but the proposed space policy puts definite steps in place for accomplishing that mission. the difference being that there's a defined plan, supposedly backed by federal funding. also, i can't say that i've heard a whole lot about first establishing a moon base (heard it proposed by the general scientific community, no doubt, but not necessarily as a waypoint in NASA's eventual mars goals).

and, as i said, i understand and can see your points that the money might certainly be better spent on initiatives at home, rather than in space. as i also said, i think that the space program provides an important psychological (as well as technological) influence on our world. the key for the government is in balancing the money spent well on meaningful projects at home, versus the money spent on space projects. i think that our government, with the right leadership, can adequately fund both.

# January 18, 2004,

brian. said:

Except the fact that he's wanting to up the budget a paltry $1 billion over 5 years. $1 billion? That's not even enough to buy the screws for a mission to Mars.

# January 21, 2004,

m@ said:

hehe. quite true. but as i said, i don't expect him to actually give even that much money to the space program, if (god forbid) he's re-elected.

conversely, at least he did make the gesture, and at least there now exists a codified process for the agency to shoot for. NASA has been divided for too long–between the ISS, robotic missions, shuttle upkeep and flights, they've been getting spread too thin. Now there's a defined goal and a defined path to that goal.

I read something yesterday where a spacer was talking about how NASA shouldn't "develop technologies to inhabit the moon", but should rather "develop technologies for manned Mars missions…" (which would necessarily involve habitation to some extent) "and use/test/adapt those technologies for any potential moon missions/bases". which, really, is pretty much what i said in my post (moon as proving ground), only more rigorously defined (moon as proving ground for mars tech).

hopefully, between the new president (please, god), NASA's recently discovered ability for frugality, efficiency, and expediency (the shoestring budgeted robotic missions), and the elimination of old/costly programs (ISS/Shuttle), NASA will be able to pull it all off. obviously, i'm rooting for them.

# January 22, 2004,

brad said:

Happy 30, Paul!

You'll finally be a man!

# January 22, 2004,