SLS/ Orion takes a lot of trash talk here and elsewhere, and I'd tend to agree with the sense of the criticism. But then I tend to read news and sites that conform to my own prejudices (like many, I suppose).
There are always two sides to the story. I'd sure like to hear the rationale for the SLS from proponents in clear talk. surely there is a sense that it is doing something other than creating jobs? How are the arguments that it is way too expensive countered, for example? What is said about the point that it really has no mission?
Lots of thoughtful attempts to answer the questions that I posed. Attempts by thoughtful and informed people No actual answer, though, likely because there is no rational answer [or, one supposes, those with the answers aren't here because they don't like Keith :-) !]
More broadly, though: the denizens at NASAWatch follow space flight fairly closely. I know I do. So, by and large the criticism I read here is fact-based. So I wonder: what about the rest of the work the government is supposed to do? The tasks that I'm not qualified to judge? Is the monumental lack of direction in space exploration and in science emblematic of every damn federal program? Is the NASA screw-up what is happening everywhere?
Here's something terrifying: We live in a time when obstructionism is actually seen as a positive thing– just watch Bob Scheifer's interview with the Speaker of the House on Sunday. No matter where you sit with respect to President Obama, does it serve the country to simply oppose anything because the Administration proposed it, or supports it? No. I didn't like President Bush. I loved his Africa Aids program.
Yet obstructionism is the policy of the House, and of the Senate, where the Minority Leader famously and publicly advised the country in 2008 that his chief goal was assuring a one term presidency. The recent scuffle over approving second-tier appointments in the administration was elevated to 'nuclear war'? Really?
It's lunacy. I served as President of my synagogue for a few terms. When I was ready to turn over the reins, the new guy came in, immediately changed all of the software I'd installed, fired people, and made a mess. He never made an attempt to sit with me for transition. Why? Because there are folks in the world who simply feel they can do a better job, no matter what. It's stunningly partisan. And what does it get us?
Nothing, nothing in a democracy where no single person is ever a dictator. No matter the leadership, at some point we rally around, don't we, shouldn't we, for the good of the country? Shouldn't we find a way to respect each other and hammer out solutions?
Sorry. Maybe the wrong place for this harangue. I'm just so pissed off and demoralized. We are a stunningly, exceptionally rich country. And you know why we can't have nice things? Things like modern airports, a rail system, health care, college or other training? We could afford all of it and lower taxes at the same time. But just look at the fucking budget. We can't stay out of other people's business. We think we need to send rockets and drones to blow people up when building a road or a well or a school would buy undying love for the US anywhere in the world. And god forbid the government should make a risky investment in some alternative energy source that might fail, trying to move the country off oil. Because free enterprise!
And people are still without jobs. The wealth of the country is draining into the hands of the very few. Worship at the Altar of the Church of Corporate Citizenship is at an all time high. Folks continue voting against their own self-interest.
Nothing will happen while the House is loaded with very safe, very, very conservative seats. What you see now will likely prevail for at least a decade.
Ugh. I wish I were smarter.
[Sorry, everyone. And, why yes, I do feel better…]