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« Hamburger | Main | A Misleading Metaphor »

Howard The Red (Planet)

Emailer Alan Bryan points out this little vignette from the WaPo:

Dallas, Tex.: If elected President, what are your plans for NASA and the Space Program? Do you think it's time to retire the Shuttle and move on to bigger and better things, such as a human mission to Mars, or returning to the moon?

Howard Dean: I am a strong supporter of NASA and every government program that furthers scientific research. I don't think we should close the shuttle program but I do believe that we should aggressively begin a program to have manned flights to Mars. This of course assumes that we can change Presidents so we can have a balanced budget again.

[VOICE=Edna Krabapple]

Hah! A Democrat president who can balance the budget.


Well, actually, maybe, assuming that he retains a Republican congress...

Anyway, this is meaningless for two reasons. First, he's not going to be elected (and this stance will do nothing to help--it's more likely to hurt), and second, the last time we had a Democrat announce a mission to another world, it ended up with flags and footprints, and no sustaining infrastructure. There's no reason to think that this would be any different.

Jay Manifold has some additional thoughts.

Posted by Rand Simberg at November 06, 2003 10:36 PM
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A Democrat president who can balance the budget.

Umm... didn't Clinton do that?

Posted by Dave at November 7, 2003 01:15 AM

And didn't George HW and George W, um, not do that?

Posted by Ben at November 7, 2003 05:16 AM

What difference does it make that a Democrat announced that we would land on the moon? NASA was created during the eisenhower administration so I guess by your logic we should blame him for all its subsequent failures. Anyway I don't think there is anything to be gained by putting infrastructure on mars - certainly the science can be done just as easily and far more cheaply by unmanned probes. In fact a great deal of groundbreaking science can be done without even leaving earth's orbit ala COBE, HST, and WMAP.

Posted by Matthew at November 7, 2003 09:43 AM

Nixon is the reason we left the moon and didn't come back, not Kennedy. Apollo follow-ons would have kept a sustained presence for at least several more years if his administration didn't axe them - and that's just a start to how things might have been different.

Posted by James at November 7, 2003 01:31 PM

As far as Clinton balancing the budget, he did it by allowing the Republicans to take over Congress in 1994. Prior to that, he certainly never had any plans to do so during his term.

As for the space history, Johnson cancelled Apollo, not Nixon (who simply declined to resurrect it). And Kennedy said himself that he didn't give a damn about space, to Jim Webb. Even if he'd lived, it's likely that it would have remained flags and footprints, and little more.

Posted by Rand Simberg at November 7, 2003 06:50 PM

Johnson cancelled Apollo to pay for the War on Poverty.

We lost the moon and have been stuck in a true three trillion dollar quagmire(the WoP) for over 35 years thanks to LBJ.

Posted by Mike Puckett at November 7, 2003 07:06 PM

Also, Clinton accidentally increased capital gains revenues when he agreed with the GOP to sign a capital gains rate cut. Reagan did the opposite, agreeing in 1986 to a House-demanded capital gains rate increase, which resulted in capital gains revenues dropping like a rock tied to a mob informant in Lake Michigan. The Laffer Curve in action.

Posted by Alan K. Henderson at November 7, 2003 11:10 PM

Howard Dean has a great idea. Travelling to Mars. All other planets have life, which we cannot see, nor can all our sophisticated equipment see, because the life in in a different dimension, a different vibration, and their life forms are superior to ours at this time. We merely imagine that we are alone in the universe, and we are sadly mistaken. We need to learn all we can. We only use 10% of our brain, so what is the other 90% to be used for? To limit ourselves to earth is like remaining in kindergarden, the dumming down.

Howard Dean's ideas are great. It doesn't matter what party he belongs to. We have had just as many bad leaders of one party as we have had of another party. Standing here pointing fingers at one another, resolves nothing, creates stagnation, along with the lack of progress to move ahead, learn, graduate, and move onto the next realm. Your comments about Howard Dean are not at all appreciated and you are not respected at all, for throwing insults.

Saying that xyz candidate cannot win is highly wrong. You have no business saying that. Who died and left you the great seer of all future revelations? Every candidate has the right to run and deserves total fairness. All polls should be outlawed permanently, for the rest of society to be rid of such negative influence slammed onto all the contenders to office. (people who behave like you, people who use your position to help sway people's votes toward the most popular contender--are dead wrong. people have minds of their own and can think for themselves, without your "help."

If a candidate got arrested / prosecuted for abusing his family, or whatever--we need to know all the true facts.

But this is not the case, in this instance.

We don't need to know that an honest and decent candidate cannot win, because of your high and mighty awe inspired intelligence.

The longer that people like you are allowed to continue predicting the future, the longer we will remain enslaved by the illuminati, who rule and control the whole world, who fix elections, who own the privately owned federal reserve bank, whose 12 ruling families reside in england, who take your federal money from your wallet every April 15th, and who send overseas to the IMF, the Fed Reserve, the Illuminati--who own all the news media to report the fake news, and who wage non-stop war to create perpetual debt so that the incorporated UNITED STATES OF AMERICA evolves in perpetual debt, so that it's subjects remain enslaved forever, to the Royal English Crown. Thanks, but no thanks.

Too bad you never read JFK's Dallas speech, about aliens. What a shame.

Posted by Terry at November 8, 2003 08:50 AM

Teh truth is out there Terry!

Posted by Mike Puckett at November 8, 2003 08:55 AM

[bemused expression]

I wonder if Terry is a typical Dean voter?

Posted by Rand Simberg at November 8, 2003 09:00 AM


Posted by Terry at November 8, 2003 09:14 AM

This is reinforcing my reluctance to convert to Movable Type and establish a commenting facility. ;)

Posted by Jay Manifold at November 8, 2003 09:44 AM

Posted by Terry at November 8, 2003 10:30 AM

Jay, you can have the best of both worlds. Upgrade to Moveable Type, and not have comments (e.g., Instapundit).

Terry, I don't mind Howard Dean fans per se, but I'd appreciate it if you'd stop cluttering up my comments section with goo-goo nonsense from other web sites. And if I were you, I'd either increase, or decrease the meds, whichever is necessary to get you back on planet earth.

Posted by Rand Simberg at November 8, 2003 12:26 PM

Terry-- "The X-Files" was not a documentary.

Posted by Raoul Ortega at November 8, 2003 04:49 PM

I dunno, I think I agree with Terry about ISO-9000 being a Satanic plot (see the diagram he referenced). ;)

Posted by Jay Manifold at November 9, 2003 11:34 AM

A manned mission to Mars might be worthwhile, under the following conditions:

1. There is no return trip.
2. Half the crew is female.

I'd get behind that sort of mission, even if it is executed by NASA.

Posted by Ken at November 10, 2003 05:51 AM

I for one could care less if the world's being manipulated/controlled by the illuminati, aka: the new world order...we can blame them for whatever goes wrong lol.

Posted by Jaguar Moon at November 10, 2003 10:35 AM

I just got inspired by this, went to google and found John Baez Crackpot Index, a idea i havent heard of before. Apparently, its a classic in ngs.

I think im going to customize one of them Bayesian spam filter algorithms to calculate CI automatically, and just apply a liberal Personal Crackpot Treshold Filter to everything i retrieve from the net.

Posted by at November 11, 2003 02:49 AM

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