Art Pottery, Politics and Food
Friday, January 09, 2004

This morning’s Washington Post and New York Times lead with broad hints about Karl O’Selsnick’s next term-saving production tentatively entitled Gone with the Moon.
In both papers, the headlined Plan for Lunar Settlement reader-hook is unsupported by direct quotation in stories that quickly devolve into the usual Rovian, according to the WP, hashed-together:

Plans grew out of a White House group…after the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated on Feb. 1

and, according to NYT, budgetless:

Official cautioned that the proposal could be broad and open-ended.

crony, says the WP, pay-offs:

This is a boon for business and a boon for Texas.

with the added plus of a, according to NYT then WP, personality cult media angle:

Diverting attention from the Democratic presidential candidates

Bush's aides want him to have a "Kennedy moment".

Back on December 5th when this fat space balloon was first floated by the Bush Space Cadets, we posted links to Buzz Aldrin’s no longer freely available Op-Ed, Fly Me To L1, for the New York Times about a more scientific, realistic and, who’d a thunk it, peaceful approach to a human presence in interplanetary space.
In this administration’s tradition of in-fighting and telegraphing a 3rd Act stalemate, the Washington Post quotes an unnamed “Presidential Advisor” who mocks Karl’s production of Gone with the Moon as the:

Mission to Pluto.

The wreckage-strewn Earth Mars orbital trajectory clearly shows the depths of space to be treacherous to tiny gold-wrapped robots much less a large, shielded and yet undeveloped vehicles containing a few fragile humans.
The involvement of our finest young people, like those utilized in this military occupation of Iraq, should demand our most meticulous planning and not this morning’s cheap theatrics.
As Iraq was to the over all war on terror so to would a Moon Base be to a rational human approach to real interplanetary space travel, an expensive distraction with marginal bearing on the goal.
As of now there is no effective Earth to Space ferry.
Bush Cadets traveling to even our leaking low orbit space station would, now, have to wait in line for a Russian booster.
Once in space, our soon-to-be-highly-radioactive Bush Cadet needs to get to the Moon and land on it and then, once on the Moon he must figure a way off the Moon.
So, we have to figure a way out of this gravity well and thru lunar space to another gravity well to figure a way through interplanetary space to another steeper and more danger-packed gravity well while risking a hideous radiation-induced death all so President Bush can have a few seconds of looking like a Kennedy?
Sounds good to me.
Then, of course, there is the idea that space travel’s linkage with ideas of political nationalism (particularly US nationalism from the world’s present view) could force the ugly development of a renewed, and unproductive, Space Race between China, Japan and the Europeans.
Sounds like a plus, plus for the Bushies and the concept of highly industrialized interplanetary forever war.
Someone get me a smart black fascist cap while I figure a way to goose step in zero gee!

Photos: Reuters, NASA
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