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Methinks it will be awhile then… January 28, 2009

Posted by shubber in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

xkcd nails it, again 🙂



When Police Regulate Research Scientists January 11, 2009

Posted by shubber in distracting PR, gauntlet being dropped, hot air, public service announcement, smack talk.
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Taking a brief detour from things space, I present to you this “would be funny if it weren’t so disturbing” bit of legislation that appears destined to get ramrodded through in NY. As the readers of this board tend towards the more scientifically/engineering minded, I thought you might find this worth a read.

NYPD Seeks an Air Monitor Crackdown for New Yorkers

The basic “rationale” is that by preventing private citizens, researchers, etc from monitoring for any sort of hazards (not just anthrax, but even asbestos and other air quality dangers), it “will not lead to excessive false alarms and unwarranted anxiety,” the first draft of the law states.

Want to test for pollution in low-income neighborhoods with high rates of childhood asthma? Gotta ask the cops for permission.

Apparently it originally comes from our friends at Homeland Security, and I suppose NY has been put up as the guinea pig. Not content with trying to convince you that there is a security danger in carrying more than 3 oz of a liquid onto an airplane (as if determined individuals wouldn’t simply put 15 ounces into 5 identical containers, meet up with 4 friends in the terminal and end up with 75 ounces of moonshine on the other side…) and that you should be conditioned to trust $9/hour government rent-a-cops for your safety when the real reason 9/11 was effective is that we WEREN’T EXPECTING THE HIJACKERS TO KILL THEMSELVES AND DESTROY THE PLANE, they are now looking to condition you to yet another bit of “the State knows best”.

Who won the War on Terror(tm) again?  Methinks there’s a smelly guy with a  beard laughing his ass off in a cave right now.  Possibly lacking a pulse and buried under 10000 tons of rubble, but still laughing.

What’s next? A note from his Mom? January 1, 2009

Posted by shubber in Congress, CRATS, distracting PR, gauntlet being dropped, hot air, Manned Space, NASA, public service announcement, smack talk, space, Wasting Money.
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So in honor of our 300th post, i was planning to do a detailed examination of where we’ve been in the past couple years since the Space Cynics blog was started, how the industry has/hasn’t matured, predictions we (and others) have made that have/haven’t come true, etc.

And then I read this little gem.

Seems that Mike Griffin has been fighting pretty hard to keep his job when the new Administration takes over – and now he’s recruited his wife into the mix.  The headline:

Don’t Fire My Husband, NASA Chief’s Wife Begs Obama

Really? Have you no shame, Mike? It’s not like you’ve presided over any great legacy at NASA in your relatively short tenure under President Bush. You are beholden to your special interests in the military industrial complex, and only grudgingly have allowed any form of innovation or private sector involvement to participate in our development of space when forced, kicking and screaming, to adopt Zero G flights over the Vomit Comet or fund COTS – and even then you can’t do it right.

But to send out (via priority mail) copies of your speeches, as if anyone would want to suffer through them a SECOND time, was priceless.  Granted, it’s not like the total cost of mailing was even a rounding error in NASA’s budget – it’s about leadership.  The CEO of an organization, which is what you are for all intents and purposes, sets the tone for the people who choose to work for him.  When you engage in such behavior, it reinforces the wrong sort of message to the rank and file employees – no different than when the President chooses to get a hummer in the Oval Office from an intern and then lie about it on national television.

It’s about Leadership.

You missed great opportunities to engage in development of true CRATS, real hypersonics research, support initial studies into SBSP (yes, even though I am very cynical about it, that IS part of NASA’s job IMHO), and to put nails in the coffins of both VSE and the ISS, freeing up billions of dollars to fund the hardest part of the equation – getting out of the gravity well.

So, perhaps I can weave in a bit of “The 300” after all.   End your tenure with dignity, not sniveling before the next President begging for your job.  Or, even sadder, having your wife beg for you. DO your job, now, and then go out with pride.  If that’s still possible.