Saturday, June 9, 2012

NASA Bake Sale

Since rocket boosters are so expensive, this is the more economical way of getting to space...
The current administration has been one heck of a success when it comes to jobs created or saved...except for the fact that jobs haven't been created or saved really. And Obama has broken lots of ground on shovel-ready projects...which is a metaphor, because no ground was actually broken. The term "shovel ready" actually means that someone bought a shovel. They go for about $7.99 at Walmart, so not too hard to do.

NASA, of which I am a big supporter (when it actually does anything of note), was not on El Presidente's list of things to spend money on and has been getting funding cuts left and right over the last few years. Now I can hear my friends on the right screaming at me now about privatization of the space industry and lowering government spending. And heck, I am all for it. But there is a small list of things I think government should spend money on: Defense, Space Exploration, Justice, and Diplomacy are the main things that can't effectively be privatized. Defense, Justice, and Diplomacy will never, and should never be privatized due to the nature of what they are. Along with defense is nuclear weapons. We don't honestly want a private company making doesn't really fit on the market. I mean, yes, it would be cool to order your own Hydrogen Bomb on Amazon, but that means the bad guys could too, so its sort of a no-no.

Space can and will eventually be privatized. But it is really in its infancy as far as that goes, and the few private companies shooting for it are still depending on government to buy what they are selling. In other words, there isn't a market for space privatization isn't going to get us anywhere in the near future. It is just lovely that the Obama administration thinks that privatization of space is a good idea (or rather, privatization of anything). But leave it up to Barry to pick like the one thing that has no tangible market. Why did government choose to cut from NASA instead of all the other crappy little programs it could have cut from? Because exploring space doesn't give them power, that's why. The benefits of exploring space include finding resources, developing technologies to prevent an Earth-ending experience by all these silly rocks flying about in our solar system, and just plain good old human curiosity. None of that, however, translates to political power. And so NASA is easy for even a big spending democrat like Obama to sacrifice.

So, a bunch of scientists decided to hold a bake sale. Yeah, really, a bake sale. For NASA. To replace the $300 million in cuts to NASA's planetary science budget, a bunch of scientists are going to make brownies. Now, I dunno about you folks, but I'm not particularly keen on eating baked goods fashioned by people that calculate the velocity of rockets for a living. Something tells me that they just won't know what they're doing. Kind of like getting a haircut from a surgeon

But, I like the idea behind it. Many of us have joked about holding bake sales for the military or the government before, completely in jest, just to make a point about government spending and how they always cut the wrong things. These scientists are making the same point with their bake sale and their inability to simply joke about it. So if you see a NASA brownie or Saturn cookie somewhere, go ahead and buy one (but you probably shouldn't eat it). It's so uniquely American to find a way to make something work when the Government inevitably fails to do so (I'm looking at you, Greece).

Feel free to comment below. Please keep it civil and respect my no-cussin' policy.

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