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O.K., who pays for the space toys?

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
January 22, 2004


The flimsier the product, the higher the price. — Ferengi Rules of Acquisition #82

I use to think George W. Bush was an idiot, soon my opinion evolved and it was obvious to me that Bush II was a corporate puppet bent on world domination and the perfect photo opportunity. I also came to the conclusion George W. Bush is not evil, that requires far more intelligence than the shrub possesses. Now, as W's campaign kicks into high spin, I am of the opinion he is a delusional corporate puppet who thinks most Americans are idiots.

I also wonder if Mr. Bush has ever attended a math class in his life.

As all of us know the Bush administration is not big on truth telling or keeping promises, we have accepted this as inevitable. It is also clear that George is capable of keeping promises; such as his promises to the extraction industries to streamline environmental regulation and his vow to drastically cut taxes. Bush Inc. has also been very diligent on fighting their global war on terrorism, they said they were going to make Americans safe no matter the cost to our wallets or civil liberties, and the campaign to do so is moving along unhindered by Constitutional restriction.

The problem is, fighting a global war and cutting taxes means the funds needed to buy bombs and Apache helicopters must be shifted from other governmental programs such as public education, health care, and other basic infrastructure needs. With billions of dollars being dropped on Iraq, and handed to corporations such as Halliburton and the Carlyle Group, little is left for domestic policy not connected to crony capitalism.

In the face of a darkening economic prospects, The Bush Administration now wants to commit trillions of dollars to space exploration as a way of uniting Americans in a grand purpose of building and maintaining a permanent moon base and manned trips to Mars. I can't help but laugh at such disconnection. The fact that George W. doesn't see he has already bankrupted future generations with his brand of tax cutting imperialism is comical in its absurdity. Again I ask; "Who is going to pay for all the space toys?"

The money George and friends want to shoot into space could provide universal health care for every American. But instead of promoting policy that reaches hundred of millions Bush Inc. wants to send a few to the moon. Talk about pie in the sky. Sure scientists stand to learn a great deal from space exploration, but cutting school budgets as a result of tax cuts means there will be less qualified individuals to make the trip. I also believe it is not the federal governments role to explore space.

The Untied States of America is a federation of states whose sole purpose is to protect the general welfare of its members. Large and mind-numbingly expensive schemes do little to enhance the livelihood of most Californians. And before anyone counters with claims of a thriving aerospace industry in the golden state, let me remind readers that these industries provide little in the way of directing sales tax into California coffers.

Nowhere in the California constitution does it say Californians should go hungry while the federal government goes to Mars. Lest we forget it is our money being shot into space. And I am certain, if asked, most parents would rather their children see a doctor when needed, than watch one or two strangers walking on the moon.

If Space exploration is the icing on the cake of civilization, it seems George W. Bush is doing away with the cake, and offering only the promise of icing. If Mr. Bush truly understood the people of California, as well as the other states in the union, he would know there are more pressing issues dominating our lives, such as mountains of debt, crippling pollution, and a failing democracy. Promising the moon while destroying the earth serves no one but corporate politicians.

The question for all of us is how the money needed to place one human on Mars, decades from now, can be better spent on Earth today.

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