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Main Article: Obama-Kennedy "we set sail on this new sea" - space.

Poll Results: After a week of polling the results are in and was very surprised at the results. Want more polls? Click subscribe, scroll down to see poll results.

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This Progressive Democrat ran a new series of daily polls, "Americans in Space". After a week of daily voting the results are in and was very surprised at the results. So surprised that it reminded me of a speech President John F. Kennedy gave at Rice University. I have included a copy of the Kennedy Speech and I hope you read it. Parts have been Highlighted that will be discussed.
After a week of daily polls

Monday through Thursday, people voted on various options for the space program. Any option that didn't get a vote was dropped out of the next day's poll. By Friday all Mars options were out. The poll was down to two choices and the advocates and fans for the Mars Base had lost out.

For Friday's poll, even though it was about the two choices, a third option was offered it read:

Screw this I am still for MARS!

Why was I so surprised and why did it make me think of Kennedy?

21% STILL voted for a Mars Expedition. Why did they still want to goto Mars when every poll after a week of polling showed that Mars was petty much off the table?

Then I was reminded of what Kennedy said about why we went to the moon:
"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard,"

Why choose harder Mars missions? "not because they are easy, but because they are hard"

On Friday, a Moon Base won out with 30% of the vote.

Moon Base  30%
Leo Fuel Depot - FTP Vehicle  26%
MARS!  15%

If you compare friday's results with the combined totals for all five
polls you would be very surprised.

Moon Base Friday: 30%
Moon Base total: 29%

Leo Fuel Depot & FTP Vehicle on Friday: 26%
Leo Fuel Depot & FTP Vehicle Total:     28%

Mars on Friday: 15%
Mars Base Total: 20%

The three main vote getters:

moon base: ...................... 29%
LEO Fuel Depot FTP Vehicle: ..... 28%
mars base: ...................... 20%

Poll #1 Mars Base 34%
Poll #2 Moon Base 30%
Poll #3 Moon Base 40%
Poll #4 LEO Fuel Depot 38%
Poll #5 Moon base 30%

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Kennedy's Speech - Rice University - Audio Part 1 - Audio Part 2
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

.

President Pitzer, Mr. Vice President, Governor, Congressman Thomas, Senator Wiley, and Congressman Miller, Mr. Webb, Mr. Bell, scientists, distinguished guests, and ladies and gentlemen:

I appreciate your president having made me an honorary visiting professor, and I will assure you that my first lecture will be very brief. I am delighted to be here and I'm particularly delighted to be here on this occasion.

We meet at a college noted for knowledge, in a city noted for progress, in a State noted for strength, and we stand in need of all three, for we meet in an hour of change and challenge, in a decade of hope and fear, in an age of both knowledge and ignorance. The greater our knowledge increases, the greater our ignorance unfolds.

Despite the striking fact that most of the scientists that the world has ever known are alive and working today, despite the fact that this Nation's own scientific manpower is doubling every 12 years in a rate of growth more than three times that of our population as a whole -- despite that, the vast stretches of the unknown and the unanswered and the unfinished still far outstrip our collective comprehension.

No man can fully grasp how far and how fast we have come. But condense, if you will, the 50,000 years of man's recorded history in a time span of but a half a century. Stated in these terms, we know very little about the first 40 years, except at the end of them advanced man had learned to use the skins of animals to cover them. Then about 10 years ago, under this standard, man emerged from his caves to construct other kinds of shelter. Only five years ago man learned to write and use a cart with wheels. Christianity began less than two years ago. The printing press came this year. And then less than two months ago, during this whole 50-year span of human history, the steam engine provided a new source of power. Newton explored the meaning of gravity. Last month, electric lights and telephones and automobiles and airplanes became available. Only last week did we develop penicillin and television and nuclear power. And now if America's new spacecraft succeeds in reaching Venus, we will have literally reached the stars before midnight tonight.

This is a breathtaking pace, and such a pace cannot help but create new ills as it dispels old, new ignorance, new problems, new dangers. Surely the opening vistas of space promise high costs and hardships, as well as high reward.

So it is not surprising that some would have us stay where we are a little longer to rest, to wait. But this city of Houston, this State of Texas, this country of the United States was not built by those who waited and rested and wished to look behind them. This country was conquered by those who moved forward -- and so will space.

William Bradford, speaking in 1630 of the founding of the Plymouth Bay Colony, said that all great and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and both must be enterprised and overcome with answerable courage.

If this capsule history of our progress teaches us anything, it is that man, in his quest for knowledge and progress, is determined and cannot be deterred. The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join in it or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in this race for space.

Those who came before us made certain that this country rode the first waves of the industrial revolution, the first waves of modern invention, and the first wave of nuclear power, and this generation does not intend to founder in the backwash of the coming age of space. We mean to be a part of it -- we mean to lead it. For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace. We have vowed that we shall not see space filled with weapons of mass destruction, but with instruments of knowledge and understanding.

Yet the vows of this Nation can only be fulfilled if we in this Nation are first, and, therefore, we intend to be first. In short, our leadership in science and in industry, our hopes for peace and security, our obligations to ourselves as well as others, all require us to make this effort, to solve these mysteries, to solve them for the good of all men, and to become the world's leading space-faring nation.

We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war. I do not say that we should or will go unprotected against the hostile misuse of space any more than we go unprotected against the hostile use of land or sea, but I do say that space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war, without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours. There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again.

But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas? We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon -- We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we're willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.


It is for these reasons that I regard the decision last year to shift our efforts in space from low to high gear as among the most important decisions that will be made during my incumbency in the office of the Presidency.

In the last 24 hours we have seen facilities now being created for the greatest and most complex exploration in man's history. We have felt the ground shake and the air shattered by the testing of a Saturn C-1 booster rocket, many times as powerful as the Atlas which launched John Glenn, generating power equivalent to 10,000 automobiles with their accelerator on the floor. We have seen the site where five F-1 rocket engines, each one as powerful as all eight engines of the Saturn combined, will be clustered together to make the advanced Saturn missile, assembled in a new building to be built at Cape Canaveral as tall as a 48 story structure, as wide as a city block, and as long as two lengths of this field.

Within these last 19 months at least 45 satellites have circled the earth. Some 40 of them were made in the United States of America and they were far more sophisticated and supplied far more knowledge to the people of the world than those of the Soviet Union. The Mariner spacecraft -- The Mariner spacecraft now on its way to Venus is the most intricate instrument in the history of space science. The accuracy of that shot is comparable to firing a missile from Cape Canaveral and dropping it in this stadium between the 40-yard lines. Transit satellites are helping our ships at sea to steer a safer course. Tiros satellites have given us unprecedented warnings of hurricanes and storms, and will do the same for forest fires and icebergs.

We have had our failures, but so have others, even if they do not admit them. And they may be less public.

To be sure -- To be sure, we are behind, and will be behind for some time in manned flight. But we do not intend to stay behind, and in this decade, we shall make up and move ahead.

The growth of our science and education will be enriched by new knowledge of our universe and environment, by new techniques of learning and mapping and observation, by new tools and computers for industry, medicine, in the home as well as the school. Technical institutions, such as Rice, will reap the harvest of these gains.

And finally, the space effort itself, while still in its infancy, has already created a great number of new companies, and tens and thousands of new jobs. Space and related industries are generating new demands in investment and skilled personnel,

and this city and this State and this region will share greatly in this growth. What was once the furthest outpost on the old frontier of the West will be the furthest outpost on the new frontier of science and space. Houston -- Your city of Houston, with its Manned Spacecraft Center, will become the heart of a large scientific and engineering community. During the next 5 years the National Aeronautic[s] and Space Administration expects to double the number of scientists and engineers in this area, to increase its outlays for salaries and expenses to 60 million dollars a year; to invest some 200 million dollars in plant and laboratory facilities; and to direct or contract for new space efforts over 1 billion dollars from this Center in this city.

To be sure, all this costs us all a good deal of money. This year's space budget is three times what it was in January 1961, and it is greater than the space budget of the previous eight years combined. That budget now stands at 5 billion-400 million dollars a year -- a staggering sum, though somewhat less than we pay for cigarettes and cigars every year. Space expenditures -- Space expenditures will soon rise some more, from 40 cents per person per week to more than 50 cents a week for every man, woman, and child in the United States, for we have given this program a high national priority -- even though I realize that this is in some measure an act of faith and vision, for we do not now know what benefits await us.

But if I were to say, my fellow citizens, that we shall send to the moon, 240,000 miles away from the control station in Houston, a giant rocket more than 300 feet tall, the length of this football field, made of new metal alloys, some of which have not yet been invented, capable of standing heat and stresses several times more than have ever been experienced, fitted together with a precision better than the finest watch, carrying all the equipment needed for propulsion, guidance, control, communications, food and survival, on an untried mission, to an unknown celestial body, and then return it safely to earth, re-entering the atmosphere at speeds of over 25,000 miles per hour, causing heat about half that of the temperature of the sun -- almost as hot as it is here today -- and do all this -- and do all this, and do it right, and do it first before this decade is out -- then we must be bold.

I'm the one who's doing all the work, so we just want you to stay cool for a minute.

However, I think we're going to do it, and I think that we must pay what needs to be paid. I don't think we ought to waste any money, but I think we ought to do the job. And this will be done in the decade of the sixties. It may be done while some of you are still here at school at this college and university. It will be done during the terms of office of some of the people who sit here on this platform. But it will be done. And it will be done before the end of this decade. And I am delighted that this university is playing a part in putting a man on the moon as part of a great national effort of the United States of America.

Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said, "Because it is there."

Well, space is there, and we're going to climb it, and the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. And, therefore, as we set sail we ask God's blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked.
Thank you.

(end speech)

STAR TREK: IN the NEWS.

Being Transported into the World of Star Trek by Pony R. Horton

SATURDAY SPACE: The weekly poll of Progressive Democrats on Space Spending.

What percent of the yearly Federal budget should NASA get?

The peak spending for NASA during Apollo was about 4%. Around 130 billion a year in today's dollars. The current NASA budget has dropped like a STONE from those days. NASA received ONLY 20 billion in the last budget. Only about half of that, 10 billion goes towards manned space flight.

For the last 21 months on the campaign trail President-Elect Obama said that 18 billion a year in earmarks didn't matter, they represented such a small amount compared to a three TRILLION dollar+ yearly
Federal budget that there were more important issues.

If 18 billion dollars a year in earmarks is so unimportant that it is not even worth mentioning, think about how important 10 billion in manned flight is worth. Zero!

What percent of the next Federal Budget do you want Space to get?

NASA manned space flight doesn't even get the table scraps equal to the 18 billion in ear marks that President-Elect Obama said were so miniscule they were not worth the time discussing.

Originally posted to Vladislaw on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 01:09 PM PST.

Poll

Percent of Budget towards Space Spending.

23%8 votes
8%3 votes
20%7 votes
14%5 votes
5%2 votes
8%3 votes
17%6 votes

| 34 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar: Thank you. (8+ / 0-)

    Leave any thoughts, suggestions or points of view.

  •  Topic Thread: Kennedy & Space: (0+ / 0-)
    •  The future economy, Apollo and Mars. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vladislaw

      Apollo created, along with a host of spin off tech and products, the computer industry.  That industry, went from almost non-existent to larger and larger shares of and driving economic activity until, in many ways, that industry was the engine of the US economy in the 90s.  It is not only the PC and Web.
      Before those transformed whole segments of industry, society and daily life, there were years of steadily increasing productivity as computers from UNIVAC to the IBM 360.

      We now face historical moments that require the vision and courage that produced Apollo.  In the short term, WPA redux and green tech may be the immediate engine to pull ourselves from Bush abyss.  But what will be in 20 years when the wells are running dry, competition for raw materials become so fierce we will grow nostalgic for the Oil Wars, and the planet will make it undeniable that we are killing its ability to sustain us?

      All of the alternatives to Mars, more or less, share one fundamental flaw in this regard: they use off-the-shelve tech.  They are not, as the diarist says, "hard".

      And that means, for all their merit, they will not create the new tech and industries we will need in 15 or 20 years to sustain our economy.

      IMO, the only alternative that offers a realistic chance of that is the 'long-ball': Mars.  The rest, LEO depot, Moon base, etc, will have to be done also - to greater or lesser degrees - to pursue this 'long ball'.  But, none will - if made the end goal themselves - inspire the effort and imagination or produce the results as setting our nation's and world's eyes on a New World - a world that not only with relatively minor effort could be a truly new world for our species and civilization in less time than the last 'New World' went from Columbus to 1776, but which once likely birthed the only other Genesis we are likely to find in the foreseeable future.  

      And, to return to the mundane, that is so especially since the new technologies required for a Mars program are the kind that our planet and civilization will desperately need in 20 years: power sources, resource use efficiency and sustainability.

      (Parenthetically, if you want majority support  for this, do not ignore the new Genesis angle, to wit: God has given us an entirely new world to show the glory of his works, to marvel at the beauty of a creation that in its fundamental nature seems to demand that life 'come forth!'  He has graced us with living at a time when, whether by his achievements or ours, we can realistically make these new voyages of discovery.  How dare we turn our backs on his gifts. How dare we try to force him into a box smaller than this one, small world.  God has shown us the glory of his Universe.  Who are we to refuse His gift?

      If nothing else, it will peel another layer off the evangelical onion. ;->)

      •  Great post.... (0+ / 0-)

        "All of the alternatives to Mars, more or less, share one fundamental flaw in this regard: they use off-the-shelve tech.  They are not, as the diarist says, "hard".

        And that means, for all their merit, they will not create the new tech and industries we will need in 15 or 20 years to sustain our economy."

        I really liked this line.

        "Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success. Don't hesitate to step on them." Ferengi Rule of Aquistion #211

        by Vladislaw on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 02:40:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not necassarily (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vladislaw

        going to Mars could be done in a fashion similar to how we went to the moon - in a cost is no object, financially unsustainable method.  That is, to a limited degree, embraced by Dr. Zubrin's Mars Direct.  What we need, I would argue, is to develop and deploy the technologies, industries, markets, and regulations that enable us to become a spacefaring society.  

        Thats a much grander, and BIGGER, and harder task.  Taking 10 people to mars over a 10 year period?  Child's play.  

        Taking 10,000 people to orbit, 100 to the moon, and 10 to mars, in 5 years - Now we are serious.  

        •  Regulations, near the top. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FerrisValyn

          Finally resolve the property rights issues.

          I believe we are on the same page with a lot of ideas.

          I believe space tourism is something we can actually see happening over the next few years.

          "Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success. Don't hesitate to step on them." Ferengi Rule of Aquistion #211

          by Vladislaw on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 03:04:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Topic Thread: Nasa Budget: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atxcats
    •  It depends upon what NASA is spending it on (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vladislaw

      If we insist on following the traditional model, of 1 time shots, then I would argue nothing (is this a surprise to anyone).  

      If its purusing something larger, like this, or like this, well, then its time to be bold.  

      Its time for change.

      •  When I think of Solar Space Power- SSP (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        atxcats

        I am reminded of Jimmy Carter, he put solar panels on the White House in response to the OPEC Oil embargo.

        Reagan came into office and tore them down. SO TYPICAL.

        Why hasn't NASA been funded for even one demonstrator in space yet?

        "Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success. Don't hesitate to step on them." Ferengi Rule of Aquistion #211

        by Vladislaw on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 01:44:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No money, and the timeframe for the project (0+ / 0-)

          doesn't help.  And part of the problem is that this is a project that is well beyond just NASA

          •  Not a full blown system (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FerrisValyn, marykk

            I am refering to at least demostrators.

            I am remined of space hab when they introduced an inflatable habitat.

            Nasa tested it, then shelved it.

            I would like to see more responsive science.

            "Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success. Don't hesitate to step on them." Ferengi Rule of Aquistion #211

            by Vladislaw on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 01:56:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The reasons I cited are (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Vladislaw

              the main ones we haven't seen even a demonstration.  Thats the problem - money, time, and its a project beyond NASA.

              •  would SSP work as any sort of X Prize? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FerrisValyn

                At a National level?

                "Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success. Don't hesitate to step on them." Ferengi Rule of Aquistion #211

                by Vladislaw on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 02:03:19 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Microwave death-rays from above! (0+ / 0-)

                Silly?  Probably.  But make a real progress to SPS and you will hear it.

                The problem is not political. It is economic.  We have not contemplated a demonstrator for the same reason Reagan tore the collectors off the WH roof and Bush2 gave us the Iraq war while Cheney sneered at conservation:

                YOU. CAN. NOT. OWN. THE. SUN.

                You expect the oil companies (who after all own all the coal and uranium too) to stand by while a government they can buy builds the mechanism of their extinction?

                Now, if they found oil on the moon.... ;->

                •  I know the perception problems (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Vladislaw

                  very familiar with them.  That is why I've proposed doing the demonstration project as part of a plan to provide power during disaster relief - Power and energy are needed in gobs during a crisis situation, like Katrina, and traditionally, they use desial generators, which spew crap into the atmosphere.  Something like this is a win-win situation, for everyone.

                  As to the oil companies - yea that is the problem any alternative energy faces.  But we are now being forced to deal with those facts.

                •  I am reminded of Tesla (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  chrismorgan, atxcats

                  Wasn't it Morgan who asked Telsa, about his new form of energy, "where do you put the meter?"

                  Telsa responded, "There is no meter, the energy is free"

                  and Morgan cut funding?

                  "Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success. Don't hesitate to step on them." Ferengi Rule of Aquistion #211

                  by Vladislaw on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 02:58:44 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  We did it all in 2001... (2+ / 0-)

    weren't you paying attention.  We not only got to Mars we actually reached Jupiter.   There were a few flukes in the mission but we got there, and we would have set up a colony if it weren't for that damn computer, HAL I think it was called.

    If you want to get more details just rent the documentary, "2001"

    •  I only wish America,,, (0+ / 0-)

      Had both the courage and political will to actually build a Space ship to travel in space.

      "Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success. Don't hesitate to step on them." Ferengi Rule of Aquistion #211

      by Vladislaw on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 01:20:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why space? Because we need to do great things (3+ / 0-)

    again.

    Far to many of you on this site have never seen with your own eyes a human being walking on another world live.

    •  I agree with you. (0+ / 0-)

      We can build new markets outward, or try and find new markets here.

      "Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success. Don't hesitate to step on them." Ferengi Rule of Aquistion #211

      by Vladislaw on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 01:22:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  it isn't about markets it is about inspiration (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vladislaw

        for a lot of years people used to say "if we can put a man on the moon why can't we...."

        We don't say that much anymore.

        Putting a man on another world makes other problems that seem insurmountable certainly mountable.

        Because if we can put a man on Mars there is no reason why we can't do... X

    •  I have absolutely no problem with that. But (4+ / 0-)

      I'd like to see some fairly basic problems solved on this planet before we take on another.

      •  List some problems that we should deal with.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        phrogge prince

        I am curious which ones you give the highest priority to.

        Thank you.

        "Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success. Don't hesitate to step on them." Ferengi Rule of Aquistion #211

        by Vladislaw on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 01:29:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There are children in this country that do (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Vladislaw

          not have enough food.  Would it be all right if we initiated a program that solved starving children before we head to outer space?  Our bridges are falling into rivers; I'd like to see some major infrastructure repair -- these two for starters, maybe?

          •  Again, I come back to my question (0+ / 0-)

            what if they require going to space to solve?

            •  Might you give me an example of what (0+ / 0-)

              you're talking about?  I think most of us would agree that feeding starving children and repairing highways and bridges would not typically require a visit to outer space. Or perhaps I misunderstand you.

              •  I believe he may be refering to the (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                skippythebox

                following example. Every few thousand years a rock crashes into earth because we are living on a billard table.

                There are millions, maybe billions, of rocks in the asteroid belt, the kiper belt, and the ort cloud.

                They are constantly banging into each other and sooner or later parts and pieces may find it near earth.

                History is clear this. The bigger the rock the farther they are spaced apart. The last great die off from a space rock was about 65 million years ago.

                Either a species learns to deal with the rocks that can "crash onto the road" before they fall, or they get hit and die.

                "Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success. Don't hesitate to step on them." Ferengi Rule of Aquistion #211

                by Vladislaw on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 05:52:39 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  correction (0+ / 0-)

                  "find itself near earth.

                  History is clear on this. "

                  It should have read.

                  "Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success. Don't hesitate to step on them." Ferengi Rule of Aquistion #211

                  by Vladislaw on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 05:54:32 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                    •  Actually, no that wasn't what I had in mind (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Vladislaw

                      I was more thinking of something like this - ensuring people have adequate food and nutrition is usually best managed by having people join the economic workforce.  This means some sort of job creation.  The development of space has a huge potential for job creation.  For something like SSP alone, the estimation has been that the resulting number of jobs being created would be over a million.  

                      Another example - another issue we face is that of climate change/energy independence (at least I think its an issue).  Well, I've mentioned SSP before, in terms of a jobs creation program, but its main benefit is as a source of large scale clean energy.  

                      A third example - we all know the potential for stem cells, but doing stem cell production on earth has some definite problems.  However, if we could do stem cell production in space, we could get much better stem cells and thus better stem cell cures.  

                      Enough examples?

          •  I am a huge advocate for infrastructure. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            phrogge prince

            Bridges
            Highways
            High Speed Rail
            New Electrical Grid ( open source, plug and play)
            Offshore wind
            Space Fuel Depot
            ISS expansion
            New Schools - all new schools built green
            New Federal Gov buildings all go green
            Upgraded Port System and docking systems.

            "Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success. Don't hesitate to step on them." Ferengi Rule of Aquistion #211

            by Vladislaw on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 03:53:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  What if they required going to space (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vladislaw

        to solve?

        •  I have a poster hanging on the wall.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          skippythebox

          Of the Arizona meteor crater. If you want a reason to be out there, look at that hole in the ground.

          "Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success. Don't hesitate to step on them." Ferengi Rule of Aquistion #211

          by Vladislaw on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 01:34:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  There will always be a reason not to reach (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vladislaw

        the trick is to do it anyway.

        Remember back in the day when people used to say "if we can put a man on the moon why can't we do...?"  As I said above... putting a man on another world makes the insurmountable problems at home certainly mountable; if one can put a man on Mars one should also be able to do what the perspective of doing so will look like a much smaller feat; like feeding everyone.

        Because that is just a matter for throwing some seeds in the ground and adding some water and labor (over simplification I know).  Putting  a human being on another world alters the perception of can and can't be done by human beings.

        I have no idea how old you are but if you aren't old enough to remember the awe and wonder of seeing a human being walking on the moon, to feel the sheer joy of knowing that we as a race are not always blood thirsty savages 3 meals away from barbarity on a global scale, that we are also being capable of grace and greatness... then you have been robbed.

  •  I can see spending up to 3% (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vladislaw

    but there should be commensurate reductions (preferrably in the g-d defense budget), and we should get something to show for it.

    If it can help with the climate crisis then it's worth it's weight in gold.

    It's the fascism, stupid!

    by lastman on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 01:48:49 PM PST

  •  Billions of federal dollars... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vladislaw

    ...spent on single-payer health insurance would save the lives of thousands, and improve the quality of life of millions more.

    Billions of federal dollars spent on infrastructure would put Americans back to work, improve our economy, and go some way toward remedying the global financial crisis.

    Billions of federal dollars spent on education would help make the next generation more adaptable to changing economic trends in the information age.

    Billions of federal dollars spent on the development of alternative energy sources might well save untold numbers of species from extinction.

    Billions of federal dollars spent on sending people to Mars would...

    ...um...

    ...it would...um...

    ...uh...

    ...um...would be really neat!

    "Lies return." - African proverb

    by Night Train on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 02:12:32 PM PST

    •  I agree... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FerrisValyn, atxcats

      Billions spent on space infrastructure would put Americans back to work, especially engineers and high tech jobs.

      Billion spent on math and science education for space and other high technology.

      Billions spent on alternative energy like Solar Space Power, clean and green.

      so we do have some common and shared concerns.

      "Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success. Don't hesitate to step on them." Ferengi Rule of Aquistion #211

      by Vladislaw on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 02:16:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Billions spent on space development would (0+ / 0-)

      create a spacefaring society that would provide resources and opportunities for humanity to expand and grow, so that everyone has an opportunity to take part in society, and pursue their dreams.  

      •  A "spacefaring society" (0+ / 0-)

        is such a stupid idea, I don't know where to start. You are asking people to live in cans. And please spare us the talk of "terraforming." Given homo sapiens' miserable record with regarding the management of this planet's climate, I surely don't think it deserves to be entrusted with the management of another's.

        The idea of "spacefaring" into the sterile void is particularly revolting because it reflects a juvenile unwillingness to face the problems we've got here. Some would rather be "free" to shit in their own rice bowl and then just fly somewhere else. Manifest destiny, with no repercussions.  

        Space geeks don't like contemplating the inconvenient fact that most space travelers, while in space, end up riveted by the earth. Apollo astronauts, shuttle astronauts, and Soyuz cosmonauts have all agreed that during their off-duty time in space, watching the earth was by far their most pleasurable activity. Wally Schirra said it best: "I've been off the earth three times, and I'm telling ya, there is no place else to go." The moon is a nice place to visit, but...

        Send robots. They bring home the bacon. The Mars rovers have done a great job. More of that, please.

        Only when I see space geeks clamoring to build cities in Antarctica or on the sea (both far easier options) will I be able to even consider taking "space colonization" seriously. But a far better option would be to drastically lower our own population - or, better yet, cease reproducing entirely. We are are violent, quarrelsome, and loathsome, and our disappearance would be mourned by no other species.

        "Lies return." - African proverb

        by Night Train on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 02:40:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Doesn't this help... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Night Train

          "Space geeks don't like contemplating the inconvenient fact that most space travelers, while in space, end up riveted by the earth. Apollo astronauts, shuttle astronauts, and Soyuz cosmonauts have all agreed that during their off-duty time in space, watching the earth was by far their most pleasurable activity. "

          Didn't this make people MORE pro earth and invironment? When they gave speeches, wrote articles and books, wan't that messege of pretty much everyone is space? A healtheir appreciation for earth and what we have here?

          "Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success. Don't hesitate to step on them." Ferengi Rule of Aquistion #211

          by Vladislaw on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 02:48:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Night Train, I've always thought you live in a (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Night Train, Vladislaw

          very depressing place, ever since our first discussions.  To view all life as infestation, that isn't worth anything seems an incredible waste to me.  And I still do not see the consistency in the view that pursuing human rights ends with the extinction of human beings.  

          BTW, concerning your comment about cities in Antarctica, and under the ocean, I think its a great idea.  I'd love to see it.  But space puts more on my plate than I can manage as is.  

          •  Let me help you understand. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Vladislaw

            And I still do not see the consistency in the view that pursuing human rights ends with the extinction of human beings.

            I don't want to get on a soapbox this evening, but here is a rough thumbnail of some basic principles.

            (Of course you will find holes in these arguments, but that's because I'm banging this out in a hurry. To really set out these principles with proper rigor would require a complete book.)

            1.) I'm favor of the alleviation of suffering - not just of humans, but of all sentient beings that can feel pain and misery.

            2.) Since I reject all religion and the existence of any immortal "soul," and instead prefer reality, I also reject the notion that there is any fundamental division between homo sapiens and another sentient beings. Therefore the health and welfare of all sentient beings is important - not just that of homo sapiens.

            3.) This is why I don't eat meat, and it's also why I view homo sapiens as an invasive species - like kudzu or cockroaches, only worse - that has caused the extinction and/or misery of so many other species on this planet.

            4.) We are the result of evolution, not divine intention. Our distant ancestors' violent adaptability and grotesquely overdeveloped brains gave them a survival advantage - enabling them to leave the trees, take over the grasslands, and drive out other species from habitats all over the globe. There is no particular merit in this - it's just what happened.

            5.) Our tendency to view ourselves as "special" because of our intelligence is just species bias.

            6.) For all its vaunted "intelligence," homo sapiens remains violent, quarrelsome, and stupid - probably too stupid to save itself. Nuclear war is probably inevitable, unless we destroy ourselves some other way first (and also destroy other species in the process).

            7.) But we are smart enough to make moral choices (such as the choice to eat other sentient beings), which means we are smart enough to be guilty. (A cat eating a bird cannot make the moral choice to refrain from killing the bird.)

            8.) But as loathsome as people are (I speak of us collectively, and do not exclude myself), we still have the ability to suffer, and the only valid moral choice is to alleviate that suffering. The suffering of humans matters just as much as the suffering of any other sentient being.

            9.) If I were to treat my fellow humans with hostility or violence, I would be embodying the very thing I despise about humanity. I would be contradicting myself, and that is just one reason (out of many) why such actions on my part would be unacceptable.

            10.) Therefore I support alleviation of the suffering of all sentient creatures. Their suffering is probably inevitable, but we are morally constrained to alleviate it as much as we can. To indulge in a metaphor: We are in hell, and we cannot escape. But with some effort, perhaps we can occasionally provide some other sentient being with a glass of ice water in this fucking place.

            11.) I don't think any of this is depressing at all. What I do find depressing is some people's unwillingness to face, or at least honestly pursue, the truth.

            12.) The main reason why so many people refuse to pursue truth is because it inevitably comes into conflict with the pursuit of happiness. Presented with a stark choice between happiness and the truth, guess which one wins?

            13.) I certainly don't pretend to possess the truth, because I'm stupid. But I'm trying my best to pursue the truth. And the truth justifies itself. The truth matters because it's the truth - and it's the only thing that matters, because it's the truth. My own happiness is secondary. So even if the pursuit of truth was depressing (which I don't think it is), that wouldn't matter.

            Sorry this post is such a bunch of long-winded drivel.  

            "Lies return." - African proverb

            by Night Train on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 03:29:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You are passionate about this topic.... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FerrisValyn, Night Train

              I can see that. Here is one item you would have to flesh out because, as it stands, I believe I am diametrically opposed to this:

              "3.) This is why I don't eat meat, and it's also why I view homo sapiens as an invasive species - like kudzu or cockroaches, only worse - that has caused the extinction and/or misery of so many other species on this planet."

              It does not matter what species, from a virus to an elephant, all look for a competite advantage. If dandylion seeds land on grass it will shade out and kill all the grass. Shrubs take root, shade out the dandylions and destroy them. Animals come along and eat all the brush and a new species will try and get a competitive advantage to over take that environment.

              "Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success. Don't hesitate to step on them." Ferengi Rule of Aquistion #211

              by Vladislaw on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 03:38:04 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  You'll have to find the book then (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Night Train

              Because you are right, there is a number of holes, the biggest one (arguably) that pursuing the truth, and the idea of suffering/happiness as a zero-sum game are antithetical.  There is not a fixed amount of joy or suffering in this world, and the only way to reduce 1 is to reduce the other.  

              In your quest to define this as hell, you haven't considered the possiblity that we can make heaven here.  

              •  I'm not saying that happiness and the truth (0+ / 0-)

                will always conflict, nor that it's a zero-sum game (it isn't). But it's inevitable that the two will come into conflict sooner or later.

                Wish I could pursue this further, but I must go now. Thanks for your thoughtful response. (Thanks to Vladislaw also.)

                "Lies return." - African proverb

                by Night Train on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 03:46:46 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Surprised by the numbers? (0+ / 0-)

            I thought "LESS" was going to get 40% of the vote.

            I should have used a snappier title but I was in a more reflective mood, I was going all kennedy. It what happens whenever I read that.

            "Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success. Don't hesitate to step on them." Ferengi Rule of Aquistion #211

            by Vladislaw on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 03:31:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

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