It Just Makes You Want To Cry

Here we go again. No one at this American Thinker piece, neither the author or any of the commenters, has clue one about the new policy:

Now, with the Obama administration’s new “plan” for NASA effectively ending nationally funded human spaceflight, we drop a torch others are grabbing.

Where do they come up with this nonsense? How can one sanely characterize a policy that extends ISS until at least the end of the decade, and that has billions of dollars budgeted to buy crew services, as “ending nationally funded human spaceflight”?

NASA has long been planning to cancel the Shuttle program, which is understandable, considering budget constraints and the priority of the Constellation program. But to cancel both programs leaves the U.S. with no viable human space transport. The International Space Station, which represents a $100-billion investment by U.S. taxpayers, will be unreachable by scientists and astronauts from the U.S. without hitching a ride on Russian or Chinese space transport. This is unacceptable.

Or from commercial American services, which will be available much sooner than Ares/Orion. And later, he finally gets around to discussing this:

With the ending of the Constellation program, there are no future human missions for the U.S., except those made possible in commercial spaceflight. While commercial spaceflight is tremendous in its future implications, it will progress only in areas that have demonstrated a possible fiscal return…and space operations are so expensive and difficult that it is highly unlikely that any true exploration would occur. Commercial space flight is space exploitation, not space exploration. For the foreseeable future, an entity like NASA — which is nationally funded and not constrained by profits and losses — and a project such as Constellation is the best way to extend our reach into and knowledge of space. Robotic missions are all well and good for certain applications, but one does not learn anything about putting humans in space by putting robotic vehicles in space.


Where to start?

Look. We are simply transitioning from a mode in which NASA develops and operates its own earth-to-orbit vehicles to spec, to one in which it purchases transportation services to LEO for crew from private providers, as it has been doing for years for satellites and probes. No one said that NASA was “getting out of the planetary exploration business” when it launched LRO and LCROSS on a commercial Atlas, and if they had they would have rightly been considered insane. Why is it any different for astronauts?

Exploration starts when we get into LEO, not at Cape Canaveral.

And you cannot simultaneously know anything about Constellation and state that it is “the best way to extend our reach into and knowledge of space.” Constellation was a fiscal disaster waiting to happen. It was unaffordable both in terms of its development costs, and its operational costs. There are many better ways to accomplish that goal. The new policy is one of them.

Jeebus crow.

Jobs Americans Can’t Do

Scott Ott, on the disastrous state of the American educational system, thanks to the unions and collectivists. They’ve achieved Dewey’s dream.

And this seems related:

There’s good news for American education. About three-quarters of residents — 74% — know the U.S. declared its independence from Great Britain in 1776. The bad news for the academic system — 26% do not. This 26% includes one-fifth who are unsure and 6% who thought the U.S. separated from another nation. That begs the question, “From where do the latter think the U.S. achieved its independence?” Among the countries mentioned are France, China, Japan, Mexico, and Spain.

Actually, as a commenter points out, it raises the question — it doesn’t “beg” it (a phrase that confuses many people). Which is also a symptom of deteriorating education, even among the supposedly educated.

As Predicted

It’s a media blackout for the Black Panthers and the (In)Justice Department.

[Update a few minutes later]

Well, at least the Al Gore sexual assault allegations have gone mainstream. As some have pointed out, part of his problem was his hubris in making himself a celebrity, which opened him up as fair game for the entertainment rags.

I wonder if he’s past his media sell-by date? Or they’re happy to toss him under the bus to give them a distraction from having to report corruption at the Justice Department?

[Afternoon update]

Well the Philadelphia EInquirer is finally covering a local story.

The Coming Depression

A cheery interview with Vox Day:

The dirty little secret of politics is that most politicians are of barely above average intelligence and possess very narrow educations. They’re mostly people with IQs of around 120 and a law degree. So, they know literally nothing about economics and lack the capacity to see that what the experts are telling them doesn’t add up. Given those circumstances, it should come as no surprise that they so readily embrace the economic theory that tells them exactly what they want to hear. “Go, thou, and spend, and thus shalt the economy be saved. And lo, thou shalt be the savior of thy people!” That’s a lot more palatable than being told that the nation is in dire straits and their careers are in jeopardy due to the actions of their predecessors, and that there’s not much they can do about it. So, they listen to the self-interested parties and blindly go about making the situation worse.

I think that he overestimates the intelligence of the narrowly educated lawyer/politicians. Particularly the one in the White House.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!