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Phoenix
25th January 04, 06:36 AM
And now we come to it. I've always felt that a sign of good thinking was the refusal to be too fervently locked into any one partisan ideology. If I oppose something Bush is doing, I should also have opposed it when Clinton was doing it, and if there's a policy I supported under Clinton, I should also support it under Bush.

And here it is. During the Clinton era, I was all behind a policy of moonbase-making and Mars exploration. That was my number-one big-science dream, and it was one of the major reason I was mad at the billions blown on national missile defense when we could've been going to Mars.

Now, Bush comes out and says he wants a moonbase and a Mars mission; shouldn't I be on board? Well, I don't know about should be, but I'm not. I hate Bush for Mars.

Here's why. In principle, Mars missions and moonbases are good investments. People complain about spending money in space instead of right here on Earth, but that's idiotic. Of course the money's spent here on Earth, spent on employing researchers and scientists and engineers to solve a particular problem in a way that creates solutions for lots of other problems in the bargain. True, it's a high-end social investment, billions of dollars, but you get payoff from these kinds of things you just can't get any other way. Players of any of the Civilization games know what I'm talking about; Wonders of the World are worthwhile investmests.

But -- and here's the key-- they're worthwhile investments for a growing, confident, enthusiastic, forward-looking society that has its affairs in order -- kinda like Clinton's America or Canada today. But that ain't Bush's America, not by a longshot. Bush's America is a nervous, imploding, looking-over-its-shoulder train wreck of historical proportions due for rendezvous with its nemesis long before any spaceship's gonna be taking off for Mars.

The Bushites doesn't give a damn about science; in fact they hate it. There's the whole animosity for science that comes from their connections to fundamentalist Christian ideology, and then there's just a basic disrespect for what science is and what it does. Their attitude to science they don't like is: get different scientists. It's a pattern of thinking we can also see in their selection and interpretation of the "intelligence" on Iraq. Conclusion first, evidence after.

It's the ideology of power: what I say goes. I make reality. It's the defining characteristic of the Bush government; in a recent speech Al Gore said "in almost every policy area, the Administration's consistent goal has been to eliminate any constraints on their exercise of raw power, whether by law, regulation, alliance or treaty", and that pretty much nails it.

Consider what we've seen in Bush's first term. After running a campaign based on the messages of bringing civility back to the White House and of being a uniter rather than a divider, after losing the popular vote but taking the presidency through a blatantly partisan and legally indefensible Supreme Court decision, what did he do? Did he reach across divides to create a new America, offering basic respect to his opponents as Americans just as devoted to the dream of America as he was?

No, he didn't. The approach has been, tentatively at the start but locked in after 9-11, to push every agenda as far as it can go with zero compromise. Gigantic budget-busting tax cuts, secret energy policies, billions in handouts to drug companies, aggressive new powers of search, seizure and detention, and of course two wars, one of them launched with a case riddled from end to end with falsehoods against the objections of eight tenths of the world.

And incredible as it seems, get your head around it --this is all stuff Bush did when he's still holding back because he's worried about getting re-elected.

Scary, isn't it? But it gets scarier. Another result of the ideology of power is its startling short-sightedness. If your basic assumption is that everything will be as you would have it, you make one plan and you execute it. Things are not allowed to go wrong. Nothing has gone wrong. You just keep clunking along, exerting power with less and less idea how it's affecting everybody else. You can no longer even imagine anything other than your viewpoint. We saw that in Bush's 2004 State of the Union, which was such a bland recitation of old lies and justifications, without a single nod to reality, that it's meaningless.

The situation in Iraq is bad, and under Bush's control it's gonna get worse (keep an eye on the most important man in Iraq right now, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani, who's single-handedly blocking the absurd American "sovereignty handoff" planned for June by peskily insisting on elections). But the real problem, as they say, is the economy. The Bushites have served notice that their economic plan is to drive America towards bankruptcy as quickly as possible by blowing the budget on needless wars and gigantic handouts to people who need them the least at the cost of racking up enormous debts and starving all the government services that ordinary Americans rely on. It's economic suicide, and the financial markets of the world are starting to take that into account by backing, slowly but surely, away from the American dollar and the shakey, no-longer-guaranteed-to-be-solvent American economy the dollar represents.

I guess it's ironic that, for all their obsession about security, the Bushites' policies expose and weaken America's most vulnerable flank. America's military supremacy is unchallenged and currently unchallengeable, but it has gaping weaknesses in its economy. The Bushies are running America just as Bush ran all his previous companies: at a loss, crumbling into debt and eventual bailout. Who the hell is going to bail out America once Bush is gone?

blankslate
25th January 04, 07:25 AM
Right now the plan is not appealing to me in a romantic sense. Too much to get in order here at home. But in the big picture of things...its a process that has to continue in some form or another. I think the robotic explorers are good for now. Too many higher priorities at this point.

liuzg150181
25th January 04, 08:10 AM
Any way that can get Clinton back into the Oval Office?;)

blankslate
25th January 04, 09:17 AM
Hillary will run in 2008.

Freddy
25th January 04, 10:05 AM
Bush is calling home to Mars.

The_Ghost
25th January 04, 11:51 AM
I think Bush just wants us to be prepared from interstellar terrorist attacks.

Jenfucius
25th January 04, 11:51 AM
i thought this was going to be about female pubic hair on mars.

The_Ghost
25th January 04, 11:52 AM
Nope, but we should get some there.

stoogejitsu
26th January 04, 05:46 AM
Well, he's still better than Taft.

grego
28th January 04, 12:39 AM
ttt

FingerorMoon?
28th January 04, 01:01 AM
I disagree with all points no matter how logical if they distract from me seeing a man walk around on Mars.

How else are we going to put new batteries in all the robotic explorers that we lose contact with!