We Haven’t Lost The Moon

Over at National Review, Jeffrey Anderson (of whom I’d never before heard) is bewailing the new space policy, saying that Barack Obama is “no JFK.”

It’s been ten more years of going nowhere since Krauthammer wrote these words. Obama now proposes another ten to come.

As Krauthammer has rightly noted elsewhere, the most dangerous part of space exploration is leaving and entering the Earth’s atmosphere. The most interesting and exciting part is getting as far away as possible. So, what does President Obama propose? That we stay close to home.

That is simply untrue, at least if we are to believe rumors about Monday’s announcement. Saying that we don’t have a specific policy to go back to the moon on a specific date is not equivalent to “staying close to home.”

Sadly, many people continue to equate whatever NASA’s plans are with progress in space, and if they’re changed, or not fully funded, the assumption is that we are abandoning human spaceflight. But in fact, we’ve made little progress over the past few decades with NASA’s plans, and were going nowhere fast with the Program of Record that is mercifully, for both taxpayers and space (as opposed to NASA center) enthusiasts, about to be euthanized. Space policy is one of the few areas in which the administration seems to be getting it right, and it’s both ironic and sad that people who fancy themselves defenders of small government are also defenders of a bloated, expensive, and ineffective government program, for no other reasons than nostalgia for a Cold-War victory and a dead Democrat president.

[Update a few minutes later]

Another myth:

Furthermore, at a time when the president claims his focus is on jobs, scrapping these programs — on which we’ve already spent nearly $10 billion — would cut public spending in one area that actually creates jobs.

Of course it creates “jobs” when the government pours money into a make-work project. The question is, does it create or destroy wealth? Again, he’s making an argument that I’ll bet he’d deride as economically bogus if it were about hiking trails, or high-speed rail. And how many jobs are destroyed because the money being spent on NASA isn’t being applied to something more productive and desirable (particularly on productive and desirable things in space)?

[Late afternoon update]

For Instapundit readers, I have a follow-up post on this subject, which I hope will be cross posted at NRO soon, or at least this weekend.

[Monday morning update]

For those who came over here from NRO, I’ve extended and expanded on that Corner post here.

The Rebels Strike Back

According to this piece at Popular Mechanics, the new regime at NASA seems to be well disposed to DIRECT.

I remain an indifferent agnostic, because I think that any money spent on a heavy lifter is money wasted that would be better directed toward orbital infrastructure. And the big question that I have is how such a vehicle would be “commercial,” since there are few non-government customers for it.

Engagement

The Saints and Colts are still hoping to avoid having to play a football game:

“Playing this Super Bowl is our last resort,” said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who was flanked by the coaches and quarterbacks for the opposing teams. “Yes, there are some difficult issues that need to be hashed out, such as who will be the game’s MVP, the number of total passing yards for each quarterback, and which team will be named Super Bowl champion, but I think we made progress today.”

“The Colts and the Saints are unwavering in their commitment to avoid any violence and wish to resolve the Super Bowl peacefully, without a single football being thrown,” Goodell added.

I think that they should meet without preconditions.

Lessons In Health Care

from the Edinburgh zoo:

…it is a self-evident truth that all animals are created equal and endowed by their creator with unalienable rights, among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But it takes little thought to know that of these three rights, that to life must be primary, for without it the others are null and void. It is perfectly obvious that you can’t be free or pursue happiness if you’re dead.

This surely means that, if you are an animal lover, you should try to reduce any animal that you see in the wild at once to captivity, at least of the Edinburgh Zoo variety. Failure to do so is de facto condemning that animal to an early grave. The animal will be better fed, have fewer parasites, and be sheltered from the bad weather if you capture him. Above all, he, or it, will have much better health care than in the wild. Indeed, in the wild animals are even worse off than Americans without health insurance.

Dry humor is the best kind.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!