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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
A blog 'for independent minds'
Space Weirdness
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Opinion page editor Rick Holmes and other writers blog about national politics and issues. Holmes & Co. is a Blog for Independent Minds, a place for a free-flowing discussion of policy, news and opinion. This blog is the online cousin of the Opinion ...
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Opinion page editor Rick Holmes and other writers blog about national politics and issues. Holmes & Co. is a Blog for Independent Minds, a place for a free-flowing discussion of policy, news and opinion. This blog is the online cousin of the Opinion section of the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass. As such, our focus starts there and spreads to include Massachusetts, the nation and the world. Since successful blogs create communities of readers and writers, we hope the \x34& Co.\x34 will also come to include you.
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By Rob Meltzer
Nov. 11, 2013 5:18 p.m.



The MetroWest Daily News published an odd op ed piece by Gordon Arnold which purports to address the very real possibility that due to a flagging American spirit India and China would like soon supplant the United States as the space superpower. It was a stupid op ed piece.

http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/opinion/x915442640/Arnold-Someone-else-s-mission-to-Mars

First, space exploration is hardly a priority for this nation, and other than ego boosting it has no benefit to this country. Hell, we can’t find intelligent life on this planet and we expect to find it on others?

But, more so, the death of the space program reflects a deep and conscious series of policy decisions. Starting in 1967, the United States made a conscious decision to spend available resources on war and on social programs, and that policy has been continuing without interruption for nearly 50 years. Nobody is seriously suggesting, other than the Tea Party, that both federal social programs and military spending should be axed. In fact, both Republicans and Democrats have been engaged in a formal courtship dance of tit for tat for 50 years–since Republicans want military spending, they seem to accede to the Democrats need for social spending, and even Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush fell into that pattern. Barrycare is just another load on our taxes.

As far as I can ascertain from a search on the web, the last president to put any emphasis on the space program was Richard Nixon in 1972. Anyone have contrary information?

So Arnold’s column misses the point: we have no space program because this country doesn’t give a damn about a space program, or paying for one, and no politician is going to make an issue of it. Like so many things, we can have expensive wars, out of control federal social programs, a crazed anti terrorism campaign and a war on drugs and a space program too. What Gordon misses is that China and India may be reaching for the stars, but they have stupid, ugly, poor and unpleasant homelands here on earth. Maybe Gordon wants to move to Mumbai?

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