Confessions of a Rocket Scientist
Friday, July 30, 2004
  Paper Moon
Is everybody as disappointed in the Democratic Convention as I am?
I'm not putting down Kerry. Truth to tell I rather like the guy, and being a Vietnam veteran myself I feel a kinship with him. He hit just about all of my hot-buttons when he gave the acceptance speech, and I feel that for the first time in a long time I can cast a vote without holding my nose.
But something was missing. Space.
When the hell is this country going to get a real space program again? And when the hell are we going to get a president that does more than pay lip service to space?
I know all of the arguments against space. Its too risky. We need the money here. What are we getting for it. Blah blah blah.
Too risky? Yeah, too risky. We lost two space shuttles already, and fourteen people. That's too risky.
News flash - we will lose a lot more than fourteen souls today on our nation's highways. Does anybody call this a disaster? Do we close down the highways and prohibit automobile travel every time a car gets in an accident? Yes, there are a lot of risks in space travel, but it has a better safety record than any other transportation scheme known to man, including walking.
We need the money here. Let me ask you a question, bunky. Just where the hell do you think the money we spend on space is being spent? Do we send a check to some aliens in Roswell? Surprise, it gets spent right here on planet Earth, on real materials and real salaries for real people. And these people spend the money they make right here on earth, which makes more jobs and more money for even more people. And think about this. We have been cutting NASA's budget since 1970 and putting the money into social programs. Tell me, has this resulted in a lower number of people dependent on government handouts? Has this enhanced the quality of life for the inner city? The truth is, the money has largely been spent to line the pockets of greedy bureaucrats who award huge study grants to their cronies. America, we was robbed! And we are continuing to be robbed every day this farce continues.
I really have to laugh when some spoiled yuppie spawn tells me that space hasn't done a thing for us. This moron usually has a cell phone, cable TV, satellite radio, and a bunch of PC's. If it wasn't for space, we would still be spending ten bucks a minute to make a transatlantic telephone call and would have to wait several hours for the operator to place the call because all ten lines of the transatlantic cable are in use and there are several callers ahead of us.
So I am disappointed in the convention. I really want an aggressive space program with real goals and real timetables. This is how we got to the moon. I want a real program with a real commitment from the president, not a half-hearted politically motivated call from the shrub to "return to the moon" and "explore Mars."
So how about it, folks? Will John Kerry follow the lead of another famous JFK from Massachusetts, who inspired us with the goal of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely by the end of the century? Or will we get another paper promise?
I'm tired of getting a paper moon.
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Location: Quakertown, Pennsylvania, United States

Two time cancer survivor, happily married, LaSalle Alumnus

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