“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Neil Armstrong: Obamaspace a "long Downhill Slide to Mediocrity"

Neil Armstrong: Obamaspace a "long Downhill Slide to Mediocrity"

Published April 14, 2010 by:
Mark Whittington

Three Apollo era astronauts have sent a letter to President Obama condemning his plans to cancel the Constellation space exploration program. The astronauts who signed the letter are Jim Lovell, Gene Cernan, and Neil Armstrong.

The letter expressed the concern that under the Obama space plan, America will not only not have a certain method of sending astronauts to low Earth orbit, but also will have defer plans to explore space beyond low Earth orbit for the foreseeable future.

"For The United States, the leading space faring nation for nearly half a century, to be without carriage to low Earth orbit and with no human exploration capability to go beyond Earth orbit for an indeterminate time into the future, destines our nation to become one of second or even third rate stature. While the President's plan envisages humans traveling away from Earth and perhaps toward Mars at some time in the future, the lack of developed rockets and spacecraft will assure that ability will not be available for many years.

"Without the skill and experience that actual spacecraft operation provides, the USA is far too likely to be on a long downhill slide to mediocrity. America must decide if it wishes to remain a leader in space. If it does, we should institute a program which will give us the very best chance of achieving that goal. "

Under the Obama space plan, Americans would initially ride to the International Space Station on Russian Soyuz spacecraft at a price of in excess of $50 million plus, though the price is expected to go higher with time. Then commercial space craft will be developed as space taxis to convey crews and cargo to ISS in a few years.

The Obama space plan cancels the Constellation space exploration program and instead proposes a research and development program to build "game changing" technology that would make such exploration easier and cheaper at some indeterminate time in the future.

Many analysts wonder, though, what the metrics are to judge the success of the new R&D program. No one in the Obama administration has articulated what has to happen before a future American president can say that once again American astronauts can go to the Moon and other places beyond low Earth orbit. There are concerns that the R&D program is unfocused and vague and will not lead to anywhere.

Neil Armstrong rarely makes public statements, preferring to live in relative obscurity. Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the Moon, is often mentioned in the history of exploration alongside Columbus, Magellan, and Lewis and Clark. So the fact that Neil Armstrong choose to express himself, among others, about the Obama space plan lends that expression extra weight.

Source: Armstrong: Obama Hurting Space, Patrick Gavin, Politico, April 13th, 2010


  1. Well, we can't have it both ways; we're either broke, bankrupt, and have to put an end to all non-essential spending, or

    we have plenty of money, and can well afford to send Astronauts on joy rides into space.

    Pick one.

  2. False choice.

    We waste too much money on gobs and gobs of programs that do not work or are counterproductive.

    Fifty years of American invention, technological innovation and contributions to science and industry in space was a joy ride for the economy and American scientific leadership.

    I'll pick American investment in Space over most any government spending or entitlement program.

  3. Looks like a pretty expensive glass of "Tang" to me.

    I may be missing something, but I can't remember much worthwhile coming from the money.

  4. The US space program was an inspiration to hundreds of millions of people. Handing that over to the Chinese and the Indians while paying the Russians to take US astronauts into space, abandoning the ability of American engineers and science to service satellites such as the Hubbell is a fools mission.

    A fool's mission and a foolish decision brought to us by Obama, community organizer.

  5. If they want to shoot a missile defense system, or something like that, up there count me in.

    But, going to all that trouble, and expense just to erect a fancy Multi-Billion Dollar erector set, and send people up there to piddle around doing unexplained, and immediately forgotten, "experiments" has kinda lost my interest.

  6. The Hubbell telescope program alone cannot be denigrated as being merely a glass of Tang.

    Here are a few more:

    Computer Technology

    Computer-based scheduling systems, that uses artificial intelligence to manage thousands of overlapping activities involved in launch preparations of NASA's Space Shuttles. The NASA technology was licensed to a new company which developed commercial applications that provide real-time planning and optimization of manufacturing operations, integrated supply chains, and customer orders.uu

    SEMICONDUCTOR CUBING - NASA initiative led to the Memory Short Stack, a three-dimensional semiconductor package in which dozens of integrated circuits are stacked one atop another to form a cube, offering faster computer processing speeds, higher levels of integration, lower power requirements than conventional chip sets, and dramatic reduction in the size and weight of memory-intensive systems, such as medical imaging devices.

    STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS - This NASA program, originally created for spacecraft design, has been employed in a broad array of non-aerospace applications, such as the automobile industry, manufacture of machine tools, and hardware designs.

    WINDOWS VISUAL NEWS READER (Win Vn) - Software program developed to support payload technical documentation at Kennedy Space Center, allowing the exchange of technical information among a large group of users. WinVn is an enabling technology product that provides countless people with Internet access otherwise beyond their grasp, and it was optimized for organizations that have direct Internet access.

    AIR QUALITY MONITOR - Utilizing a NASA-developed, advanced analytical technique software package, an air quality monitor system was created, capable of separating the various gases in bulk smokestack exhaust streams and determining the amount of individual gases present within the stream for compliance with smokestack emission standards.

    VIRTUAL REALITY - NASA-developed research allows a user, with assistance from advanced technology devices, to figuratively project oneself into a computer-generated environment, matching the user's head motion, and, when coupled with a stereo viewing device and appropriate software, creates a telepresence experience.

    Other spinoffs in this area include: Advanced keyboards, Customer Service Software, Database Management System, Laser Surveying, Aircraft controls, Lightweight Compact Disc, Expert System Software, Microcomputers, and Design Graphics.

  7. They're shutting Hubbel down, anyway.

    I mean, I could get behind a "Mars" mission. Anything. But, we've been puttering around in low earth orbit for 30 years. Enough is enough.

  8. Consumer/Home/Recreation - NASA Spinoffs.

    ENRICHED BABY FOOD - A microalgae-based, vegetable-like oil called Formulaid developed from NASA-sponsored research on long duration space travel, contains two essential fatty acids found in human milk but not in most baby formulas, believed to be important for infants' mental and visual development.

    WATER PURIFICATION SYSTEM - NASA-developed municipal-size water treatment system for developing nations, called the Regenerable Biocide Delivery Unit, uses iodine rather than chlorine to kill bacteria.

    SCRATCH-RESISTANT LENSES - A modified version of a dual ion beam bonding process developed by NASA involves coating the lenses with a film of diamond-like carbon that not only provides scratch resistance, but also decreases surface friction, reducing water spots.

    POOL PURIFICATION - Space technology designed to sterilize water on long-duration spacecraft applied to swimming pool purification led to a system that uses two silver-copper alloy electrodes that generate silver and copper ions when an electric current passes through them to kill bacteria and algae without chemicals.

    RIBBED SWIMSUIT - NASA-developed riblets applied to competition swimsuits resulted in flume testing of 10 to 15 percent faster speeds than any other world class swim-suit due to the small, barely visible grooves that reduce friction and aerodynamic drag by modifying the turbulent airflow next to the skin.

    PORTABLE COOLERS/WARMERS - Based on a NASA-inspired space cooling system employing thermoelectric technology, the portable cooler/warmer plugs into the cigarette lighters of autos, recreational vehicles, boats, or motel outlets. Utilizes one or two miniaturized modules delivering the cooling power of a 10-pound block of ice and the heating power of up to 125 degrees Fahrenheit.

    SPORTS TRAINING - Space-developed cardio-muscular conditioner helps athletes increase muscular strength and cardiovascular fitness through kinetic exercise.

    ATHLETIC SHOES - Moon Boot material encapsulated in running shoe midsoles improve shock absorption and provides superior stability and motion control.

    Other spinoffs in this area include: Dustbuster, shock-absorbing helmets, home security systems, smoke detectors, flat panel televisions, high-density batteries, trash compactors, food packaging and freeze-dried technology, cool sportswear, sports bras, hair styling appliances, fogless ski goggles, self-adjusting sunglasses, composite golf clubs, hang gliders, art preservation, and quartz crystal timing equipment.

  9. Environmental and Resource Management - NASA Spinoffs

    MICROSPHERES - The first commercial products manufactured in orbit are tiny microspheres whose precise dimensions permit their use as reference standards for extremely accurate calibration of instruments in research and industrial laboratories. They are sold for applications in environmental control, medical research, and manufacturing.

    SOLAR ENERGY - NASA-pioneered photovoltaic power system for spacecraft applications was applied to programs to expand terrestrial applications as a viable alternative energy source in areas where no conventional power source exists.

    WEATHER FORECASTING AID - Space Shuttle environmental control technology led to the development of the Barorator which continuously measures the atmospheric pressure and calculates the instantaneous rate of change.

    FOREST MANAGEMENT - A NASA-initiated satellite scanning system monitors and maps forestation by detecting radiation reflected and emitted from trees.

    SENSORS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL - NASA development of an instrument for use in space life support research led to commercial development of a system to monitor an industrial process stream to assure that the effluent water's pH level is in compliance with environmental regulations.

    WIND MONITOR - Development of Jimsphere wind measurement balloon for space launches allows for making high resolution measurements of the wind profile for meteorological studies and predictions.

    TELEMETRY SYSTEMS - A spinoff company formed to commercialize NASA high-data-rate telemetry technology, manufactures a high-speed processing system for commercial communications applications.

    PLANT RESEARCH - NASA research on future moon and Mars bases is investigating using plants for food, oxygen, and water to reduce the need for outside supplies. This research utilizes Hydroponics (liquid nutrient solutions) instead of soil to support plant growth and finds applications for vegetable production on Earth.

    FIRE RESISTANT MATERIAL - Materials include chemically-treated fabric for sheets, uniforms for hazardous material handlers, crew's clothing, furniture, interior walls of submersibles and auto racer and refueler suits.

    RADIATION INSULATION - Aluminized polymer film is highly effective radiation barrier for both manned and unmanned spacecraft. Variations of this space-devised material are also used as an energy conservation technique for homes and offices. The materials are placed between wall studs and exterior facing before siding or between roof support and roof sheathing. The radiant barrier blocks 95% of radiant energy. Successful retrofit installations include schools and shrink wrap ovens.

    Other spinoffs in this area include: Whale identification method, environmental analysis, noise abatement, pollution measuring devices, pollution control devices, smokestack monitor, radioactive leak detector, earthquake prediction system, sewage treatment, energy saving air conditioning, and air purification.

  10. Health and Medicine - NASA Spinoffs

    DIGITAL IMAGING BREAST BIOPSY SYSTEM - The LORAD Stereo Guide Breast Biopsy system incorporates advanced Charge Coupled Devices (CCDs) as part of a digital camera system. The resulting device images breast tissue more clearly and efficiently. Known as stereotactic large-core needle biopsy, this nonsurgical system developed with Space Telescope Technology is less traumatic and greatly reduces the pain, scarring, radiation exposure, time, and money associated with surgical biopsies.

    BREAST CANCER DETECTION - A solar cell sensor is positioned directly beneath x-ray film, and determines exactly when film has received sufficient radiation and has been exposed to optimum density. Associated electronic equipment then sends a signal to cut off the x-ray source. Reduction of mammography x-ray exposure reduces radiation hazard and doubles the number of patient exams per machine.

    LASER ANGIOPLASTY - Laser angioplasty with a "cool" type of laser, caller an excimer laser, does not damage blood vessel walls and offers precise non-surgical cleanings of clogged arteries with extraordinary precision and fewer complications than in balloon angioplasty.

    ULTRASOUND SKIN DAMAGE ASSESSMENT - Advanced instrument using NASA ultrasound technology enables immediate assessment of burn damage depth, improving patient treatment, and may save lives in serious burn cases.

    HUMAN TISSUE STIMULATOR - Employing NASA satellite technology, the device is implanted in the body to help patient control chronic pain and involuntary motion disorders through electrical stimulation of targeted nerve centers or particular areas of the brain.

    COOL SUIT - Custom-made suit derived from space suits circulates coolant through tubes to lower patient's body/ temperature, producing dramatic improvement of symptoms of multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, spina bifida and other conditions.

    PROGRAMMABLE PACEMAKER - Incorporating multiple NASA technologies, the system consists of the implant and a physician's computer console containing the programming and a data printer. Communicates through wireless telemetry signals.

    OCULAR SCREENING - NASA image processing techniques are used to detect eye problems in very young children. An electronic flash from a 35-millimeter camera sends light into the child's eyes, and a photorefractor analyzes the retinal reflexes, producing an image of each eye.

    AUTOMATED URINALYSIS - NASA fluid dynamics studies helped development of system that automatically extracts and transfers sediment from urine sample to an analyzer microscope, replacing the manual centrifuge method.

    MEDICAL GAS ANALYZER - Astronaut-monitoring technology used to develop system to monitor operating rooms for analysis of anesthetic gasses and measurement of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen concentrations to assure proper breathing environment for surgery patients.

    VOICE-CONTROLLED WHEELCHAIR - NASA teleoperator and robot technology used to develop chair and manipulator that respond to 35 one-word voice commands utilizing a minicomputer to help patient perform daily tasks, like picking up packages, opening doors, and turning on appliances.

    Other spinoffs in this area include: Arteriosclerosis detection, ultrasound scanners, automatic insulin pump, portable x-ray device, invisible braces, dental arch wire, palate surgery technology, clean room apparel, implantable heart aid, MRI, bone analyzer, and cataract surgery tools.

  11. Industrial Productivity/Manufacturing Technology - NASA Spinoffs

    MAGNETIC LIQUIDS - Based on the NASA-developed ferrofluid concept involving synthetic fluids that can be positioned and controlled by magnetic force, the ferrofluidic seal was initially applied in a zero-leakage, nonwearing seal for the rotating shaft of a system used to make semiconductor chips, solving a persistent problem‹contamination due to leaking seals.

    WELDING SENSOR SYSTEM - Laser-based automated welder for industrial use incorporates a laser sensor system originally designed for Space Shuttle External Tank to track the seam where two pieces of metal are to be joined, measures gaps and minute misfits, and automatically corrects the welding torch distance and height.

    MICROLASERS - Based on a concept for optical communications over interplanetary distances, microlasers were developed for the commercial market to transmit communication signals and to drill, cut, or melt materials.

    MAGNETIC BEARING SYSTEM - Bearings developed from Space Shuttle designs support moving machinery without physical contact, permitting motion without friction or wear, and are now used in electric power generation, petroleum refining, machine tool operation, and natural gas pipelines.

    ENGINE LUBRICANT - A NASA-developed plasma-sprayed coating is used to coat valves in a new, ten-inch-long, four-cylinder rotary engine, eliminating the need for lubricating the rotorcam, which has no crankshaft, flywheel, distributor, or water pump.

    INTERACTIVE COMPUTER TRAINING - Known as Interactive Multimedia Training (IMT), originally developed to train astronauts and space operations personnel, now utilized by the commercial sector to train new employees and upgrade worker skills, using a computer system that engages all the senses, including text, video, animation, voice, sounds, and music.

    HIGH-PRESSURE WATERSTRIPPING - Technology developed for preparing Space Shuttle solid rocket boosters first evolved into the U.S. Air Force's Large Aircraft Robotic Paint Stripping (LARPS) system, and now used in the commercial airline industry, where the waterjet processing reduces coating removal time by 90 percent, using only water at ultra-high pressures up to 55,000 psi.

    ADVANCED WELDING TORCH - Based on the Variable Polarity Plasma Arc welding technology, a handheld torch originally developed for joining light alloys used in NASA's External Tank, is now used by major appliance manufacturers for sheet metal welding.

    Other spinoffs in this area include: Gasoline vapor recovery, self-locking fasteners, machine tool software, laser wire stripper, lubricant coating process, wireless communications, engine coatings, and engine design.

  12. Public Safety - NASA Spinoffs

    RADIATION HAZARD DETECTOR - NASA technology has made commercially available new, inexpensive, conveniently carried device for protection of people exposed to potentially dangerous levels of microwave radiation. Weighing only 4 ounces and about the size of a cigarette pack, it can be carried in a shirt pocket or clipped to a belt. Unit sounds an audible alarm when microwave radiation reaches a preset level.

    EMERGENCY RESPONSE ROBOT - Remotely-operated robot reduces human injury levels by performing hazardous tasks that would otherwise be handled by humans.

    PERSONAL ALARM SYSTEM - Pen-sized ultrasonic transmitter used by prison guards, teachers, the elderly, and disabled to call for help is based on space telemetry technology. Pen transmits a silent signal to receiver that will display the exact location of the emergency.

    EMERGENCY RESCUE CUTTERS - Lightweight cutters for freeing accident victims from wreckage developed using NASA pyrotechnic technology.

    FIREMAN'S AIR TANKS - Lighter-weight firefighter's air tanks have been developed. New back-pack system weighs only 20 lbs. for 30 minute air supply, 13 lbs. less than conventional firefighting tanks. They are pressurized at 4,500 psia (twice current tanks). A warning device tells the fireman when he or she is running out of air.

    PERSONAL STORM WARNING SYSTEM - Lightning detector gives 30-minute warning to golfers, boaters, homeowners, business owners, and private pilots.

    SELF-RIGHTING LIFE RAFT - Developed for the Apollo program, fully inflates in 12 seconds and protects lives during extremely adverse weather conditions with self-righting and gravity compensation features.

    Other spinoffs in this area include: Storm warning services (Doppler radar), firefighters' radios, lead poison detection, fire detector, flame detector, corrosion protection coating, protective clothing, and robotic hands.

  13. Transportation - NASA Spinoff

    STUDLESS WINTER TIRES - Viking Lander parachute shroud material is adapted and used to manufacture radial tires, increasing the tire material's chainlike molecular structure to five times the strength of steel should increase tread life by 10,000 miles.

    BETTER BRAKES - New, high-temperature composite space materials provide for better brake linings. Applications includes trucks, industrial equipment and passenger cars.

    TOLLBOOTH PURIFICATION - A laminar airflow technique used in NASA clean rooms for contamination-free assembly of space equipment is used at tollbooths on bridges and turnpikes to decrease the toll collector's inhalation of exhaust fumes.

    WEIGHT SAVING TECHNOLOGY - NASA research on composite materials is used to achieve a 30-percent weight reduction in a twin-turbine helicopter, resulting in a substantial increase in aircraft performance.

    IMPROVED AIRCRAFT ENGINE - Multiple NASA developed technological advancements resulted in a cleaner, quieter, more economical commercial aircraft engine known as the high bypass turbofan, featuring a 10-percent reduction in fuel consumption, lower noise levels, and emission reductions of oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, and unburned hydrocarbons.

    ADVANCED LUBRICANTS - An environmental-friendly lubricant designed to support the Space Shuttle Mobile Launcher Platform led to the development of three commercial lubricants for railroad track maintenance, for electric power company corrosion prevention, and as a hydraulic fluid with an oxidation life of 10,000 hours.

    ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEM - The Flywheel Energy Storage system, derived from two NASA-sponsored energy storage studies, is a chemical-free, mechanical battery that harnesses the energy of a rapidly spinning wheel and stores it as electricity with 50 times the capacity of a lead-acid battery, very useful for electric vehicles.

    NEW WING DESIGN FOR CORPORATE JETS - NASA-developed computer programs resulted in an advanced, lighter, more aerodynamically-efficient new wing for Gulfstream business aircraft.

    AIDS TO SCHOOL BUS DESIGN - Manufacturer uses three separate NASA-developed technologies originally developed for aviation and space use in their design and testing of a new school bus chassis. These technologies are a structural analysis computer program infrared stress measurement system, and a ride quality meter system.

    Other spinoffs in this area include: Safer bridges, emission testing, airline wheelchairs, electric car, auto design, methane-powered vehicles, windshear prediction, and aircraft design analysis.

  14. Bless you Deuce. I'm retired, worked at AFWL and other labs. Your list is important but the most important part is what we are losing in corporate memory and experience. If we ever hope to be a first world economy again, we have to develop and innovate and build things here in USA not china.

  15. Well, the patents on all of those advancements, they should be throwing off quite a pretty penny, to the Federals and NASA.

    So much technology developed, NASA should be self-funding, just from the licensing fees for all the inventions and such that they have developed with taxpayer dollars.

    The seed money has been spent, great technologies developed and there should be no need for further taxpayer subsidy.

    Space flight can and should be self-funding, if Deuces point about past technological developments from and by NASA is accurate.

  16. That is the beauty of cost/benefit analysis, after thirty years of technological advancements.

    After all the money spent, all the technology that has been developed.

    Just the licensing fees from Tang should amount to millions of dollars.

  17. Unless, of course, it is General Foods that has profited, from the subsidized development of Tang, not NASA and the American people.

  18. JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Organizers of tax-day tea parties are preparing for their biggest day of the year Thursday, as thousands of demonstrators participate in local rallies against high taxes and big government spending.

  19. rufus said...
    Well, we can't have it both ways; we're either broke, bankrupt, and have to put an end to all non-essential spending, or

    we have plenty of money, and can well afford to send Astronauts on joy rides into space.

    Pick one.
    More Bullshit from our resident Socialist:

    Comparing (small) costs of productive programs with ever rising (LARGE) costs of welfare programs, laughably claiming that they will surprise us with their lower than expected costs. la la land.

  20. Mr. Poon "Tang" sez...

    Well, Mr. Poontang, consider this:

    Having to ask Russia or China for permission to have them launch us up to repair a military satellite...

    Hell, keeping Hubble running alone would be worth having a man in space capability.

  21. BHO adds SIXTY BILLION DOLLARS worth of new taxes on

    ...SO Rufus can rail about the Rip-Off insurance companies as he praises the Dems for punishing



  22. Oh, and billions more taxes on
    "medical devices" give Rufus additional fuel for lecturing us of the evils of "private enterprise" in the Health Care business.

    Blame the victims.
    That'll git her done.

  23. All we have to do, doug, to repair a satellite, is hire Virgin Galatic to go up, taking the technicians up to fix it.

    Hire a US contractor, at much lower cost, than having the Federals fund the entire operation.

    By Daily Mail Reporter
    Last updated at 8:10 AM on 24th March 2010

    * Comments (42)
    * Videos
    * Add to My Stories

    Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo, the world's first commercial passenger spaceship, made its inaugural test flight over the California desert yesterday.

    The flight marked the start of a test programme that will progress to flights as a glider and then under rocket power.

    Throughout the two hour, 54 minute test, the space tourism rocket remained slung beneath the middle of the wing of its 'mothership' WhiteKnightTwo, a twin-fuselage carrier aircraft.

    The pair achieved an altitude of 45,000ft before returning to the Mojave Air and Space Port, which is 70 miles north of Los Angeles.

    'This is a momentous day,' designer Burt Rutan said.

    Read more:

    The Federals no longer have to tote the load, private enterprise can now fill the bill.

    That is the American Way.

    NASA is socialism, Virgin Galactic is not.

    There is the real choice, for the future.

  24. Virgin is a true virgin, wrt ever performing in space.
    Copying Scaled Composites designs.

    Both Boeing and Lockeed attempted viable commercial heavy launch capability missions.

    Neither found it economically viable.

    Scaled Composites may one day develope a way, but not yet.

    ...and NO ONE can match the real World experience of space missions that Boeing and Lockheed Martin bring to the table.

  25. Did Virgin merge with Scaled Composites?

    Rutan is the man.
    Virgin had the moneyman.

  26. "Sir Richard is in a deal with the Rutan-founded Scaled Composites of Mojave, California, to develop passenger-carrying spacecraft and launchers.
    SpaceShipTwo has been dubbed Virgin Spaceship Enterprise and the four-engine carrier jet is called Virgin Mothership Eve, after Sir Richard's mother.
    'Seeing the finished spaceship in December was a major day for us but watching VSS Enterprise fly for the first time really brings home what beautiful, groundbreaking vehicles Burt and his team have developed for us,' said Sir Richard.

    Read more:

    Sir Richard got smart!

    Previously, he was a competitor.

  27. It reminds me of a dinner I had a long time ago with a lady from Peru, who had the bluest eyes I have ever looked into. Her and her family left Peru to live in Costa Rica because of a redistribution land program.

    Everything, land livestock, machinery etc was redistributed to the peasants. The peasants ate the animals, seed stock, sold the machinery etc. etc. and in two years Peru was more broke than ever.

    There is good government and bad government decisions.

    ATC is a good thing. We don't need 50 standing armies.

    Forget the ideology and name one private company that has created more wealth and more technological change and has probably thrown off more tax revenue directly and indirectly than the US space program.

    In 1969, there was a massive shakeout in aerospace because we got to the moon and an attitude of "why go further and waste money in space?" took hold. The hippy generation was taking control of social issues and employment in engineering and space probably shrunk by 700,000.

    Name the redistribution project of choice that has contributed more to US welfare and the economy in general.

    Good luck.

  28. No heavy launch capability in sight, tho.
    Even by way of Burt. personal hero.

  29. My mother in law the human tissue stimulator for almost two years before her knee replacement. It wasn't implanted, though. It was hand held and she used it a few times a day that sent electrical current into her knee to alleviate the pain. She said it was from NASA and it worked.

  30. "I'm sure Obama will figure out some way to tax them out of business."

    - Peter, Rockville, USA, 26/3/2010

  31. Good that that device will be taxed to provide funds for our new, improved, cheaper socialized Health Care system, MLD.

  32. We have a president, schooled in community organizing, more experienced with Koolaid than coulombs, who went from a Chrylser 300 to a taxpayer supported 747, shuttling down to NASA to do a bow to the Chinese and Russian space program.

    All is good.

  33. I didn't know ionization for pool systems was designed by NASA. See, I learn something new everyday.

    Now if you could do something for this really bad crick in neck....

  34. The dumbest cliche of all time was "spending money in space." every penny and every job and every innovation never left the ground. It all became part of our collective intellectual capital and investment to and in American Industry.

    For a guy with such bigs ears, you would think he would listen more and talk less.

  35. You just don't understand, Deuce:

    He figures anytime their is a need, he, personally, can just flap them ears and lift any load, to any altitude.

    Come rain, or come shine.

  36. That 300 musta looked cool on the South Side.

    Now, he eschews such CO2 spewing abortions on wheels.
    ...from his suite in the 747.

  37. You know what, Doug? The new and wonderful (cough-cough) health care system has been passed and there's nothing we can do about it. No matter what we do these days, we're going to be taxed on it. It's inevitable. I went through a period of worrying how it's going to affect me and I'm not anymore. It's really not worth it, to me, to keep worrying about things that haven't affected me yet, life too short. And it will affect me, I'm sure of it, but for right now if I hear one more time how this or that is going to taxed to pay for health care reform I'm going to have to hit someone.

    And some people might not agree with my new found attitude but....I don't give a shit.

    It's just my mood lately it should pass in a month or two or maybe six.

  38. trish said...

    "My suggestion, Doug, is to take up heroic paddling. All else will fall into place in due time.

    Well. Don't forget the vodka.

    And, ah, a convenient suite at the resort.

    The problem with that, Trish, is the wife runs part of said resort, thus the accurate Intel on son's activities.

    No doubt the same would apply to me.

    ...if I could paddle.


  39. MLD,
    Hey, the plan is we re-take the House, and deny funding for Obamacare.

    In 2012, re-take the Senate and Whitehouse, and repeal the abomination.

  40. Doug, I know what the plan is but my response was to your comment about the NASA device being taxed for socialized health care.

    I knew you would get all technical on me. I didn't want you to read too much into this because there are things that we need to care about. I just have to much on my mind right now.

  41. It takes years, if not decades, to design, test, and manufacture space vehicles. When was this decision made?

  42. BTW, that Tax on Medical Devices is less than 3%.

    So, that $5,000.00 hip joint will be about $5,150.00 Wow.

  43. "No doubt the same would apply to me."

    No doubt.

    Well, it was a thought anyway.

    We're headed out of town for a couple of days.

    What Is Occupation is hereby appointed Acting Director of Domestic Counter Terror Operations.

    Don't let it all go to hell, man. And don't let anybody give you any shit.

  44. You just don't get it. Obama has been listening to too much Scott Heron poetry, that Tupak made famous:

    A rat done bit my sister Nell.
    (with Whitey on the moon)
    Her face and arms began to swell.
    (and Whitey's on the moon)
    I can't pay no doctor bill.
    (but Whitey's on the moon)
    Ten years from now I'll be payin' still.
    (while Whitey's on the moon)
    The man jus' upped my rent las' night.
    ('cause Whitey's on the moon)
    No hot water, no toilets, no lights.
    (but Whitey's on the moon)
    I wonder why he's uppi' me?
    ('cause Whitey's on the moon?)
    I wuz already payin' 'im fifty a week.
    (with Whitey on the moon)
    Taxes takin' my whole damn check,
    Junkies makin' me a nervous wreck,
    The price of food is goin' up,
    An' as if all that shit wuzn't enough:
    A rat done bit my sister Nell.
    (with Whitey on the moon)
    Her face an' arm began to swell.
    (but Whitey's on the moon)
    Was all that money I made las' year
    (for Whitey on the moon?)
    How come there ain't no money here?
    (Hmm! Whitey's on the moon)
    Y'know I jus' 'bout had my fill
    (of Whitey on the moon)
    I think I'll sen' these doctor bills,
    Airmail special
    (to Whitey on the moon)

  45. Shit, I gotta go finish my taxes. Damn, It would be easier just to sign over my bank account. Cut out the paper work.

    I might be a wee bit tipsey, later, tonight.

  46. Israel clamps down on West Bank ‘infiltrators’

    Patrick Martin

    Jerusalem — From Wednesday's Globe and Mail Published on Wednesday, Apr. 14, 2010 7:09PM EDT Last updated on Wednesday, Apr. 14, 2010 7:23PM EDT

    When Abdullah Alsaafin said goodbye to his wife last August, he didn’t know it might be for the last time. The couple and three of their four children live in Ramallah in the West Bank, home of Mrs. Alsaafin’s family, and Mr. Alsaafin was leaving to visit his ailing father in Gaza.

    Mr. Alsaafin, a British citizen and working journalist, had travelled frequently back and forth between the territories. On this occasion, however, he was stopped by Israeli authorities who learned he had been born in Gaza. They revoked his press credentials, said his passport was worthless, that he had (Israeli-issued) Gaza identification and was not entitled to live in the West Bank. He was ushered into Gaza and not allowed to leave.

    Israel is strict about Palestinians leaving Gaza these days and, as of this week, has become stricter in who can enter and who can stay in the West Bank.

    Army order No. 1,650 went into effect on Tuesday and, with it, Israel has widened the definition of who is not allowed to remain in the occupied territory. Basically, anyone who doesn’t have a “permit” is to be considered an “infiltrator” and subject to expulsion.

    Under orders established in 1969, shortly after the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and Golan Heights during the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel already had the power to expel infiltrators, but their definition was narrow: anyone who illegally entered the territory from an enemy state (Jordan, Egypt, Syria or Lebanon). Order No. 1,650 has no such qualification.

    “It’s so vague that it could apply to tens of thousands of people,” said Michael Kearney, lawyer for Al Haq, a Palestinian human-rights organization, “even to people who entered the West Bank legally, with Israel’s approval” – people such as Mr. Alsaafin.

    The 1993 Oslo Agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority made no distinction between a West Bank Palestinian and one from Gaza. They were free to move back and forth and to take up residence in either territory. As well, until 2000, Israel approved the move into the West Bank of thousands of Palestinians for purposes of family reunification.

    Palestinian experts say that many, if not most, of those people still do not have an official document acknowledging their new residency and thus lack the “permit” upon which Israel now insists.

    Israeli officials have been quick to play down the possible consequences of the new military orders, insisting it is not Israeli’s intention to use this order against those Palestinians who came in good faith to the West Bank.

    Only between 30 and 60 expulsions have been carried out in each of the past three years, says Peter Lerner, a military spokesman. “There will not be an increase in the volume as a result of the new orders,” he assured The Jerusalem Post newspaper.

    Many Palestinian experts accept that this truly is the Israeli position, for now.

    “We don’t think they’re going to round up all the Gazans in the West Bank and deport them,” one Palestinian lawyer and government adviser said. “Their immediate targets are likely the internationals,” he said, referring to people who work or volunteer for such organizations as the International Solidarity Movement. Many such people have overstayed their visitor’s visas, and overstayed their welcome as far as Israel is concerned.

    “But, down the road, these orders still could apply to many other people,” Mr. Kearney said.

    If they do, they would be in violation of the Geneva Conventions, Mr. Kearney said. Article 49 prohibits an occupying power from expelling persons unless “the security of the population” requires it. “There are no extenuating circumstances that would justify expulsion,” he said.

  47. Diana Buttu, a Canadian-born Israeli Palestinian and former adviser to the Palestinian Authority, acknowledges that this week’s changes to expulsion orders are not, in themselves, a big change. “But, taken with several other measures, we can see the direction Israel is going,” she said.

    She referred to recent regulations preventing international aid workers from coming and going between the West Bank and Jerusalem, a policy (recently suspended) to disallow residents of the West Bank to leave or enter the territory by way of Israel’s airport in Tel Aviv, and the end of family reunification.

    “By drips and drabs, they seem determined to want to make life so unbearable, people will just leave,” she said.

  48. Ash quoted his sister:

    “'By drips and drabs, they seem determined to want to make life so unbearable, people will just leave,' she said."

    As some have done here.

  49. Schedule for afternoon:

    1) Post Office

    2) Bank

    3) Bar - Real Bar with Real Alcohol


  50. Obama Sees Manned Missions to Mars

    So, Deuce, is getting the private sector involved in space exploration a bad thing? Are you championing socialism instead?

  51. Yeah, you pays a couple percent here and a few percent there and before you know it you've been nickeled and dimed out of half a year's pay.

  52. Rufus the Cherrypicker:

    No comment on SIXTY BILLION DOLLARS worth of new taxes on

    As expected.

  53. FYI - More trivia

    I heard that, last year all the tax revenue through June 10 went towards interest on the National Debt.

  54. Whit, you heard wrong.


  55. Well, the patents on all of those advancements, they should be throwing off quite a pretty penny, to the Federals and NASA.

    So much technology developed, NASA should be self-funding, just from the licensing fees for all the inventions and such that they have developed with taxpayer dollars.

    The seed money has been spent, great technologies developed and there should be no need for further taxpayer subsidy.

    Space flight can and should be self-funding, if Deuces point about past technological developments from and by NASA is accurate.

    Rat, I love the way you think...

  56. Forget evryrhing I said about why the continuation of NASA is a good idea.

    Forget all the alleged benefits.

    Picture American astronoughts (because that is what they would be) having to fly to Russia to hitch a ride on outdated Russian rockets.

    Picture the triumphalism of Chinese space accomplishments.

    Hasn't enough US industry been decimated by unintended consequences of bad trade decisions?

    Will you cheer with each picture of ticker tape parades in Beijing?

    If you are happy with that picture, Houston we have a problem.

  57. Whit, Treas Budget June, 2009

    Through June, 2009 Receipts were $1,588,000,000,000.00. Interest on the debt for the period was $320,000,000,000.00 (about 20%.)

  58. $320,000,000,000.00, That's it? All the fuss over a measly $320,000,000,000.00, in interest payments over six months?

    What's the problem?

  59. Deuce, it was 9 months. Federal fiscal year starts Oct 1.

  60. This Year we'll probably pay out about $400 B in interest, or about 3% of GDP, or 14% of tax collections.

    Don't get me wrong, it's getting too high, and the trendline is difinitely not good, but I think it's going to look a little better in a year, or so.

  61. Deuce said:

    "We have a president, schooled in community organizing, more experienced with Koolaid than coulombs..."

    What do you want to bet that this the first time anyone has used the word "coulombs" in a comment at The Bar?

    You deserve a drink on the house, Deuce. Oh, you are the house. Well, get over it. Pull yourself together. Life is tough.

  62. Sorry, I have a background in electrical design...

  63. Sorry, yes I believe you would win that bet.

  64. You can't believe a word you hear these days. Even on Bloomberg.

  65. obama has become famous and he can change the attitude of USA and also can change the thinking of Americans

    salvage auto yard