So it’s been confirmed: President Obama is keen on ending all American efforts to go back to the Moon. This doesn’t sound like a particularly inspired or forward-thinking move. I know that Buzz Aldrin as weighed in saying “this program will allow us to again be pushing the boundaries to achieve new and challenging things beyond Earth“; the Planetary Society has said “We’ll develop the technology to explore Deep Space, reaching new milestones in space and accomplishing new things here on Earth“; and the Bad Astronomer has commented “this may very well save NASA and our future manned exploration capabilities, if this is all done correctly“.
Still, the end result would be NASA canceling yet another major launch system initiative; no hope to go back to the Moon in the foreseeable future; vague promises of “future heavy-lift rocket systems…potentially taking us farther and faster into space” that sound quite empty as missing of any clear destination in time and space.
Phil Plait admitted as much in a tweet: “I think we sorta agree there, @unclebobmartin. There’s no real plan now. I’m hoping that by doing this, NASA can concentrate on big plans”
Now, if you add on top of that some other facts about the USA:
- still shipping weapons to Taiwan, as always
- sending troops to Afghanistan, as usual
- have no plans to leave Iraq for good in the foreseeable future, as always
- are still no way near a non-confrontational approach to Iran, as usual
- have shown no idea of any sort to bring the Israelo-Palestinian conflict anywhere, as always
- have tried to score low-level political points with a populist approach to banking management, as usual….
…isn’t that enough to label Obama’s as the least imaginative administration ever?
I do not understand the uproar against the words used by President Ahmadinejad at the UN Racism Conference in Switzerland. And what I specifically do not understand is why people feel compelled to add to the uproar, when it is as clear as daylight that he went to Geneva with the one and only goal of… causing an uproar, in order to go back home as a national hero right in the middle of his re-election campaign.
The most appropriate reaction to President Ahmadinejad’s outrageous remarks is therefore not a theatrical walkout in front of the TV cameras, nor a flurry of comparisons to Nazi Germany or calls for the “free world” to “wake up”.
We just have to call President Ahmadinejad’s behavior for what it is: electoral posturing, if not outright buffoonery. And far from an episode for the annals of Persian pride, just another of his “pickaxe blows” against the good international standing of the great people of Iran.
In the Obama Administration, Energy Secretary Steven Chu wants to start “addressing the scientific and technical challenges of climate change“. Meanwhile, Climate Czarine Carol Browner is on the record for stating that global warming is “the greatest challenge ever faced“.
But is that a vision shared by the President himself? Hardly so. Very recently at the Costa Mesa Town Hall Meeting in California (March 18) President Obama singularly failed to mention climate in a list of upcoming challenges including the cost of health care, the dependency on oil imports and education.
It appears that for the current President, “climate” is a useful but merely ancillary issue to “energy”. But how can “the greatest challenge ever faced” be subordinate to energy or anything else? And how long will the likes of Chu and Browner, and everybody else one the side of Al Gore, tolerate such a situation?
It will be interesting to see if the “doom and gloom” camp will be able to get any traction against President Obama’s very own “Yes we can” mantra.