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Bill Nye 'the Science Guy' Urges Letters To Obama To Restore NASA Budget Cuts

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the or-send-twenties dept.

NASA 259

MarkWhittington writes "Bill Nye, once known as 'The Science Guy' for his 1990s PBS educational television show, has cut a YouTube video in his current capacity of CEO of the Planetary Society urging people to write to President Obama to restore cuts to planetary science. The budget cuts were enacted by the president last February, causing consternation in the scientific community. Nye writes, 'If that proposal continues the steep decline in funding to NASA's planetary program it will gravely endanger the unique capabilities and outstanding people that have delivered U.S. leadership in space. We will lose a capability that took decades to develop and may never be replaced.'"

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259 comments

Romney too. (5, Insightful)

xzvf (924443) | about 2 years ago | (#41645087)

Write them both, either could be president in January, and maybe they'll bring up NASA funding around job creation during the election.

Re:Romney too. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645139)

Romney will win. Obama has nearly destroyed this country with his profligate spending, disregard of that national debt, and war on religion and small business. He has promised to close Gitmo, that unemployment would not exceed 8%, and to cut the deficit in half. Ask your self, has he delivered on a single one of these promises? Ask yourself, not if you are better off than 4 years ago, but if the people you know and that live near you are. Four years ago, you could make the case that a vote for Obama was justified as a vote to keep Palin out of the VP position. This time around, a vote for Obama would be a vote to keep Romney / Ryan out of the White House - the two guys who can fix this mess.

Re:Romney too. (5, Informative)

LostCluster2.0 (2637341) | about 2 years ago | (#41645191)

However, Romney has no credibility on budgets... he claimed that he left MA with a $20 Billion "Rainy Day Fund" when actually that was $20 Million in a debate just before the NH Primary that was televised by CNN.

Re:Romney too. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645371)

As compared to President Obama and a democratic majority in the Senate who create no budgets and spend $1 Trillion in deficits each year, yet can't manage to fund planetary science. Who has credibility then?

Re:Romney too. (5, Insightful)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about 2 years ago | (#41645497)

Still Obama. You don't seem to understand credibility vs ability. Romney's budgets in MA, and his proposed budgets for the US are full of lies that don't add up. Obama's budget - and his inability to find funding for planetary science (and fight those in both parties who oppose such funding) is an issue of ability. He's not making up numbers.

Re:Romney too. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645675)

Still Obama. You don't seem to understand credibility vs ability. Romney's budgets in MA, and his proposed budgets for the US are full of lies that don't add up. Obama's budget - and his inability to find funding for planetary science (and fight those in both parties who oppose such funding) is an issue of ability. He's not making up numbers.

Earth calling!

Senate rejects Obama budget in 99-0 vote [thehill.com]

...

In a 99-0 vote, all of the senators present rejected the president’s blueprint.

It’s the second year in a row the Senate has voted down Obama’s budget.

Obama's 2012 budget failed 97 to 0 last May...

Two years in a row, Obama hasn't been able to get even ONE Democrat Senator to vote for his budget.

OMFG that's PATHETIC.

Re:Romney too. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645853)

Yes it is pathetic: the Republicans sponsored a bill that they called the president's budget when it of course was not, and it was unsurprisingly defeated 97-0. The 99-0 vote was a repeat of the same pathetic Republican political antics. You have to be stupid to believe that zero Democratic Senators would be willing to vote for an actual White House budget.

Re:Romney too. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41646059)

Yes it is pathetic: the Republicans sponsored a bill that they called the president's budget when it of course was not, and it was unsurprisingly defeated 97-0. The 99-0 vote was a repeat of the same pathetic Republican political antics. You have to be stupid to believe that zero Democratic Senators would be willing to vote for an actual White House budget.

ROFLMAO. At you.

Yeah, right.

Harry Reid let that come to a vote, and no Republicans then voted for it?

What Earth do you live on? Does yours have a blue sky too?

Oh, yeah, get this:

Obama: If people read transcript, they’ll think I won last debate [washingtonexaminer.com]

Jeez, talk about a clueless "Hello, McFly!" moment.

Yeah, I want four more years of THAT.

Four more years of a President who has time to go on The View but doesn't have time to get intel briefs, doesn't know what's happening in Libya, Al Qaeda kills the US Ambassador, then Obumbles blames it on a tawdry video, then has to de facto admit to lying about it.

Yeah, I want four more years of THAT.

Tell me, how could a lobotomized Labrador do a worse job than THAT? You know that a lobotomized Labrador won't out-and-out LIE like that.

Re:Romney too. (5, Insightful)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 2 years ago | (#41645501)

As compared to President Obama and a democratic majority in the Senate who create no budgets and spend $1 Trillion in deficits each year, yet can't manage to fund planetary science. Who has credibility then?

Except budgets are started in the House per Federal law, which has been packed with Teaparty & Teaparty wannabes the last 2 years. Also, the Senate has enough Repubs & Teapartiers to fillibuster a call to vote for lunch and the 'Democratic majority' doesn't have the votes to get them to shut the fuck up. Nice strawman. Try again.

Re:Romney too. (3, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | about 2 years ago | (#41645673)

Well, they might actually try working with them instead of trying to get them to "shut the fuck up".

Democrats seem to be all about compromise as long as it's the Republicans doing the compromising.

Re:Romney too. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645733)

The republicans will not be "worked with" while there is a black man in the white house. They made this abundantly clear in 2009 and have been towing the party line.

Re:Romney too. (2, Interesting)

sycodon (149926) | about 2 years ago | (#41645785)

Tthe Race Card...now why didn't I see that coming?

Re:Romney too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645869)

You can replace "black" with "Democrat", and the results are exactly the same.

Re:Romney too. (4, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | about 2 years ago | (#41645911)

So...Republicans did NOT work with the Democrat Bill Clinton to pass the (now gutted by Executive Order) Welfare Reform which helped launch several years of balanced budgets (at least as balanced as they get in D.C.)

No, you are playing the race card, plain and simple. Congratulations, you won the race to the bottom.

Re:Romney too. (5, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 2 years ago | (#41646185)

Well, they might actually try working with them instead of trying to get them to "shut the fuck up".

Democrats seem to be all about compromise as long as it's the Republicans doing the compromising.

Your statement is so completely opposed to reality that I have to wonder what color the sky is on your planet.

The simple fact is that the Republicans in Congress have voted as a unified bloc, over and over, ever since Obama took office, while the Democrats have not. That's about as objective a measure of (un)willingness to compromise as you can find. The Democrats have compromised over and over again in a futile attempt to get the Republicans to agree to something--anything!--to help fix the mess the Republicans created, and which the Republicans are clearly determined to maintain. The Republican definition of compromise is "do everything I tell you, and I might hold off on calling you an America-hating socialist terrorist-lover for a day or so."

Re:Romney too. (2)

sycodon (149926) | about 2 years ago | (#41646223)

One might say they same thing of the Senate. So I expect you would hold the exact same opinion of them? Didn't think so.

Or, another way to look at t is that the Republican legislation actually makes enough sense that some Democrats feel they can tell Nancy to shove it and vote for it.

The bottom line is that the House is actually doing their job and legislation is being voted on. The Senate may as well just leave and be done with it.

Re:Romney too. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645925)

As compared to President Obama and a democratic majority in the Senate who create no budgets and spend $1 Trillion in deficits each year, yet can't manage to fund planetary science. Who has credibility then?

Except budgets are started in the House per Federal law, which has been packed with Teaparty & Teaparty wannabes the last 2 years. Also, the Senate has enough Repubs & Teapartiers to fillibuster a call to vote for lunch and the 'Democratic majority' doesn't have the votes to get them to shut the fuck up. Nice strawman. Try again.

Except that the House HAS passed a budget the past couple of years.

Guess who won't let them come to a vote in the Senate?

Dingy Harry Reid.

And get this:

Ryan raising cash at Mpls. event [publicradio.org]

...

Polls show that President Barack Obama is ahead in Minnesota, but Republican Party officials say they believe GOP nominee Mitt Romney has a shot at winning the state. If he does, he would be the first Republican to win Minnesota since 1972.

Officials with Obama's campaign say they believe the state is still competitive and are taking nothing for granted. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have no scheduled campaign stops in Minnesota over the next three weeks.

Sooo, Romney is competitive in Minnesota, a state even Ronald Reagan didn't carry in 1984's crushing landslide?

What's that tell you about who's gonna win in a few weeks?

Hint: it ain't the empty chair.

Oh, yeah, and regarding Clint Eastwood's empty chair? Given that the latest New Yorker cover is Romney schooling and empty chair in a debate, I gotta say Clint NAILED Obumbles with that, didn't he?

I'm loving the PANIC on the Dem side, too. Even Hillary! is getting thrown under the Obama bus.

What? NOBODY in the White House knew what was going on in Libya? THEN they made up a bald-faced LIE about a demonstration instigated by a two-bit YouTube video? Yeah, that just screams "competence", doesn't it?

Re:Romney too. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645453)

However, Romney has no credibility on budgets... he claimed that he left MA with a $20 Billion "Rainy Day Fund" when actually that was $20 Million in a debate just before the NH Primary that was televised by CNN.

Wut? ROMNEY has no credibility on budgets?!?!?!

What the fucking hell, Batman!

What color is the sky on your planet, anyway?

You know the difference between a drunk sailor and Obama?

When the drunk sailor runs out of money, HE STOPS SPENDING!

LostCluster2.0 has lost more than his cluster.

Re:Romney too. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645291)

You know, I'll harken you back to your own side's statement at the recent VP debate. Ryan waxed eloquently on how there was a difference between a person who only had criticism and somebody who had a solution, presenting himself as a solution provider.

Yet like him, you have only offered criticism and attacks, empty ones that you probably don't even support. Seriously, Obama compromised with Republicans on the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, and you still attack him on it?

Show some integrity.

Not that any of your other attacks are necessarily valid, but that one is especially void.

BTW, I prefer not letting a religion dictate to me what the laws are going to be. If you want to call making a decision on the laws based on objective principles and not the whims of a cranky old man in Rome to be a war on religion, that's on you.

Re:Romney too. (1)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#41645649)

Seriously, Obama compromised with Republicans on the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, and you still attack him on it?

I guess that depends on whether you think compromise is better than honoring your word. Politicians compromise all the time by taking money for votes and other bits of corruption. Don't you respect them more for that?

Further, the world doesn't exist merely to give me what I want. So I expect that I'll be able to get some things and not others. I don't let other people decide what things I should get and not get. So how does keeping the Guantanamo Bay prison open, even if that is something I'd want, compensate for the things I don't want, such as destruction of freedom via Obamacare?

Re:Romney too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41646155)

I guess that depends on whether you think compromise is better than honoring your word.

That implies a binary choice, with one always good, and one always bad.

I reject the implications of that, as I recognize that there are times when compromise is good, and when it is bad to be stubborn, and other times where compromise is bad, and being stubborn is good.

In any case, if I want something, and somebody agrees to let me have it, I will consider it dishonest to criticize them for that compromise.

Politicians compromise all the time by taking money for votes and other bits of corruption. Don't you respect them more for that?

Politicians stubbornly resist doing what is good for the people, do you respect them more for that? I don't.

Further, the world doesn't exist merely to give me what I want. So I expect that I'll be able to get some things and not others. I don't let other people decide what things I should get and not get. So how does keeping the Guantanamo Bay prison open, even if that is something I'd want, compensate for the things I don't want, such as destruction of freedom via Obamacare?

You're asking questions that don't relate to what you quoted of my words. My objection is to the use of it as a line of attack. I consider that dishonest and hypocritical.

If you wish to make a general purpose criticism of Obama, feel free, but don't quote my specific words regarding another subject and shoehorn them in.

Re:Romney too. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645413)

Obama pulled the country out of a death spiral set in motion by 8 years of the exact same policy standards that Romney supports. If Romney managed to win and restored the failed Bush policies based in trickle down economics, the economy will crash again sometime around 2014, significantly worse than it did in 2008, and the Republicans can tell the masses it was Obama's fault to rally support for a full sweep of the house and senate.

Luckily Romney has no chance to win thanks to his countless lies, willingness to say anything, and complete lack of conviction. He's George W. Bush 2.0.

Re:Romney too. (2)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#41645691)

Obama pulled the country out of a death spiral set in motion by 8 years of the exact same policy standards that Romney supports.

Then why is the country still death spiraling?

If Romney managed to win and restored the failed Bush policies based in trickle down economics, the economy will crash again sometime around 2014, significantly worse than it did in 2008, and the Republicans can tell the masses it was Obama's fault to rally support for a full sweep of the house and senate.

Oh, how the projection shines forth! We even have Obamacare to make that happen.

Luckily Romney has no chance to win thanks to his countless lies, willingness to say anything, and complete lack of conviction.

How glibly you speak when the other guy is Obama who has those problems in spades.

Re:Romney too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645701)

Huffington Post, down the road to Hell and turn Left.

AND no one will have health care then as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645715)

AND no one will have health care then as well and mitt may even get rid of the law saying that the ER must treat you law.

Then the only choice will be jail / prison care where you have to fail back on the bill of rights cruel and unusual part to get care.

Re:Romney too. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645517)

Meanwhile, Ryan's tax plan isn't fit to wipe my ass with. The "6 studies" (blog posts and op-ed pieces != studies, BTW) are wrong... The math simply doesn't work. The plan bets everything on a future rise in GDP that is by no means certain and has yet to materialize. How is the GDP going to rise if people have no money to spend? What's left of the middle class is going to get fucked.

Re:Romney too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645897)

Well, the math is complicated. Too complicated to explain here. Just be assured that people smarter and wealthier than you have run the numbers and approve. It's all good.

Re:Romney too. (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 years ago | (#41645981)

How is the GDP going to rise if people have no money to spend? What's left of the middle class is going to get fucked.

lol.. and the alternative is to tax the people who can invest in jobs. Your right, the middle class is getting fucked, but they seem to have largely consented to it with promises

Re:Romney too. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41646121)

There have been tax cuts for the past 10 years. Where are the goddamn jobs at? Oh right, they're in India and China. How is giving the rich another tax break going to help the middle class? Face it, trickle down doesn't work and is one of the biggest lies foisted on the American people. It's not a cooincidence that the standard of living in this country started going to shit after Reagan.

Re:Romney too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645221)

Romney is great, too, but only Obama can influence the Office of Management and Budget, which is currently allocating NASA's budget for the next fiscal year. Even if Obama loses, getting the OMB to be behind planetary science and write higher funding levels into the 5-year budget provides a certain amount of institutional inertia that can help preserve the advances that the program has made (like the successful landing of Curiosity).

Re:Romney too. (2)

morcego (260031) | about 2 years ago | (#41645603)

Write them both, either could be president in January, and maybe they'll bring up NASA funding around job creation during the election.

I wish people would take your (great) advice and just do it, instead of discussing the flaws and merits of their pet politician.

Wake up, guys. As Bill Nye said, write even if you don't like him (Obama or Romney). Afterwards we can discuss it. But don't waste time NOW.

Bill Nye (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645119)

the acting guy... just saying.

Re:Bill Nye (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645349)

From wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :

William Sanford Nye was born in Washington, D.C., to Jacqueline (née Jenkins; 1921–2000), a codebreaker during World War II, and Edwin Darby "Ned" Nye (1917–1997), also a World War II veteran, whose experience in a Japanese prisoner of war camp led him to become a sundial enthusiast.[4][5][6] Nye is a fourth-generation Washington resident through his father's side of the family. After attending Lafayette Elementary and Alice Deal Junior High in the city, he was accepted to the private Sidwell Friends School on a partial scholarship and graduated in 1973.[7][8] He studied mechanical engineering at Cornell University (where one of his professors was Carl Sagan[9]) and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1977.

Re:Bill Nye (4, Informative)

Riceballsan (816702) | about 2 years ago | (#41645387)

Umm... Bill Nye actually has a job as executive director of the planetary society, has a degree in mechanical engineering and he's worked as an engineer at boeing. The man knows his physics, just because his acting is why he is well known, does not effect his actual qualifications.

Not sure I care what Bill Nye thinks (-1, Flamebait)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 years ago | (#41645123)

Maybe Bill Nye the science guy would have more of an audience if he didn't talk about creationism and religious doctrine under the guise of science and stuck with science.

I'm afraid this might backfire with religious groups now associating NASA with anti-religion because of his earlier comments and create a backlash against the government wasting money on NASA.

Re:Not sure I care what Bill Nye thinks (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 2 years ago | (#41645477)

Prove your Deity exists and end all argument.

Do it now. The burden of proof is on those who contend that a thing is fact.

Religion is not based on evidence, therefore it's nonsense and its proponents delusional or liars. Prove your Sky Fairie is real and I'll recant then kiss his/her/its Noodly Appendage. Otherwise, fuck off.

Re:Not sure I care what Bill Nye thinks (0)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 years ago | (#41645901)

I don't have to prove anything exists. I can sit back and point out how the silly bullshit people play will come back to hurt them.

Religion has been around a lot longer then science so the onus is actually on you to prove it isn't true. Of course science has absolutely no ability to prove supernatural claims or disprove them for that matter so you cannot do it. So go around spouting shit about the religious then come on back and whine some more when they gand up to do something you don't like.

Like I said, I am afraid that they will use this to say NASA is evil and lobby against government spending on it. Go ahead and keep trying to piss people off then ask for their help.

Re:Not sure I care what Bill Nye thinks (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41646093)

That's not how burden of proof works. You are suggesting that the older idea is presumptively correct in the absence of proof. In reality, religion has had thousands of years to prove anything at all, and failed utterly to do so, whereas science has routinely either proven its claims, discarded them, or built more capable equipment for gathering evidence.

Re:Not sure I care what Bill Nye thinks (2, Informative)

tbird81 (946205) | about 2 years ago | (#41645503)

Anyone who truly understands science is inherently anti-religion. Sciences looks for answers for things that religion would rather you just shut-up and believe (and give money and power).

Re:Not sure I care what Bill Nye thinks (4, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 years ago | (#41645913)

You obviously do not know what science is. Science is not religion and does not say anything to religion because religion is full of supernatural claims that Science cannot prove or disprove.

Anyone who truly knows what science is would be indifferent about religion. They simply wouldn't care about it as it does not effect science at all.

Re:Not sure I care what Bill Nye thinks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41646125)

It does affect science. People have a psychological domain that is filled by ideas. This determines how the input from the senses is interpreted.

Religions often claim as territory in the psychological domain the concept of Truth. Science would also like to claim that territory. Religion got there first, and isn't afraid to fight dirty to keep the uppity scientists away from their brainland and its revenues.

Re:Not sure I care what Bill Nye thinks (3, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 years ago | (#41645689)

Believing that writing to Obama to change things will do any good requires a higher level of ignoring all available evidence than does belief in any given diety.

Lose what exactly? (0)

Jartan (219704) | about 2 years ago | (#41645151)

NASA was impressive, when it was committed to human exploration. They already lost that legacy. They replaced it with the shuttle, and then started doing an endless stream of space research.

Sometimes you have to shoot the scientists and turn it over to the engineers.

Re:Lose what exactly? (2)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 years ago | (#41646065)

NASA was impressive, when it was committed to human exploration. They already lost that legacy. They replaced it with the shuttle, and then started doing an endless stream of space research.

Sometimes you have to shoot the scientists and turn it over to the engineers.

You sure wasn't exactly the engineers that cut the manned human space exploration? After all, it's a sensible idea when it comes to pragmatic solutions.

Besides, the "Lose exactly what?" is a good question. Except that the alternatives are not "manned/unmanned space exploration" but the choices are: the "leadership in space" or the "capability"?
Because... you know?... other solutions may exists for maintaining the capability (e.g. collaboration./contracts with other space agencies, be them national or private), but if it's the "leadership in space" then yes, you have to pay for it.

As an engineer, I'd say: pick what you want first (picking also a why would be even better) then assess the solutions from this perspective... in this case, if picking "capability" maybe the "defunding" is a good enough solution?

Bill Nye, the media whore guy. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645165)

Bill Nye needs people to write to restore dementia cure funding. I can't figure out what's up with him lately. Get a life.

or... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#41645169)

You could wait until January.

Re:or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645347)

The 2014 budget is being drafted right now, January would be too late to influence it.

Re:or... (2)

sycodon (149926) | about 2 years ago | (#41645727)

There is no budget...give me a break.

Whatever passes in the house will be round filed by Harry and he'll just write a continuing resolution.

The Senate has ceased to act as a deliberative legislative body and is just a place for rich Senators to hang out.

Bill Nye the not-really-a-science guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645177)

He's no more of a "scientist" than most of us are. He's an engineer/comedian/entertainer/spout-his-opinions-as-if-they-are-fact guy. Like most of us.

Only on do it if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645185)

Hideo Kojima gets involved with NASA somehow.

Read the Constitution... (5, Insightful)

CajunArson (465943) | about 2 years ago | (#41645247)

The House is the body responsible for spending authorizations. If you want an increase in NASA's budget, write to your local congressman/woman first. The nice thing about the House is that with 435 members, it's theoretically possible that you might get some sort of response if there is enough constituent interest on the issue.

Re:Read the Constitution... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645309)

You should check out the FAQ about this: http://www.planetary.org/blogs/casey-dreier/20121011-write-the-president-for-planetary-exploration.html#faq

The point is that Congress is not working on a budget right now, and won't be until 2013. They put some money back into this area within NASA, but since they never passed the budget, NASA has to assume that the President's proposed budget is all they have to work with.

The Office of Management and Budget is the agency that allocates money and long-term spending within federal agencies. The President has control over the OMB. By ordering the OMB to release (or reallocate) funding to the planetary exploration division, the budget can be restored without special action from Congress.

Re:Read the Constitution... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645403)

A litte more clarity. The HOUSE has passed a budget for at least the last two years. The SENATE refuses to even bring one up for a vote. Blaming Congress in total for failing to pass a budget is a bit dishonest, its only 1 person in Congress that is refusing to allow a budget to be passed and his name is Harry Reid (D-NV).

Re:Read the Constitution... (1)

sycodon (149926) | about 2 years ago | (#41645737)

Mod this man (or woman) up.

Re:Read the Constitution... (2)

Score Whore (32328) | about 2 years ago | (#41645807)

The Office of Management and Budget is the agency that allocates money and long-term spending within federal agencies.

No they aren't. OMB is part of the executive branch. The executive branch is constrained by Congress, they cannot spend money on anything they want nor can they shuffle money around willy-nilly. Yes, the President submits a proposal to Congress and that proposal is developed at the OMB. But if Congress doesn't adopt that proposal then the President's budget is meaningless.

Re:Read the Constitution... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645321)

Why not write all of the above? Obama, your congress critters and Romney just for the heck of it? It's not like there is a lot of effort involved in this effort.

Re:Read the Constitution... (1)

Nutria (679911) | about 2 years ago | (#41645489)

We're spending trillions on legally mandatory spending (aka "entitlement" programs), Defense and bailouts, all the while borrowing many hundreds of billions from China/Japan/etc.

Eliminate some (or a lot) of that mandatory spending, and *then* increase NASA spending.

Why not raise taxes? "Eventually you run out of other people's money."

Re:Read the Constitution... (1)

sycodon (149926) | about 2 years ago | (#41645745)

How much do all those Obama Phones cost?

NASA bro, they help science. (-1, Offtopic)

xdcx (2711191) | about 2 years ago | (#41645261)

excuse me but, NASA is a private government corporation. they don't do anything for the public besides showing us some bullshit screenshots. How do we know how much information NASA is holding from the public? they are obviously allowed to do this. we shouldn't let NASA do the exploring for us, we need a public NON government corporation for the people, by the people. I want a website of a LIVE video camera that shows what these telescopes in orbit are showing these scientists looking in deep space, like the Hubble telescope. These observatories are completely capable of showing us by video LIVE everything they are looking at. Today If I want to explore space I have to buy a bullshit cheap telescope, google edited videos, documentaries, and screenshots. This isn't space exploration, and I shouldn't have to be a millionaire. so funk NASA.

Re:NASA bro, they help science. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645315)

> we need a public NON government corporation for the people, by the people.

It's frightening how much doublethink there is in America.

A "NON government" entity "for the people, by the people"?

What exactly do you think the government is? Is it not "for the people, by the people"? Is this not what it is for?

Re:NASA bro, they help science. (-1, Offtopic)

xdcx (2711191) | about 2 years ago | (#41645359)

I'd hate to break it to you bro but government has changed since November 19, 1863. capitalize FOR THE PEOPLE. LOL OBAMA PHONE

Re:NASA bro, they help science. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645793)

> we need a public NON government corporation for the people, by the people.

It's frightening how much doublethink there is in America.

A "NON government" entity "for the people, by the people"?

What exactly do you think the government is? Is it not "for the people, by the people"? Is this not what it is for?

With public employee unions funneling dues right back to Democrats, we now have waaaay too much government for the government by the government.

There's a reason even FDR was against allowing government employees to unionize.....

Re:NASA bro, they help science. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41646179)

It hasn't been that for a long, long time, unfortunately. Whether it ever was is a matter for some debate, but beyond 1913, it is absolutely certain that the government has been "to the people, for the money".

Re:NASA bro, they help science. (1)

SB9876 (723368) | about 2 years ago | (#41645365)

Dude, I think you forgot your tinfoil hat this morning.

Re:NASA bro, they help science. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645439)

Amen to that. Don't forget to vote a straight aluminum hat ticket this November. Everything could fall apart if the tinfoil hats win!

Mr. Obama prefers Big Bird (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645287)

I think Mr. Obama has made it clear that his priority is to support PBS and Big Bird, rather than NASA and planetary science.

Re:Mr. Obama prefers Big Bird (3, Insightful)

Mabhatter (126906) | about 2 years ago | (#41645373)

Because Big Bird only needs Millions in support.... NASA's projects require BILLIONS over multiple years.

Big Bird helps little kids... NASA helps rich defense contractors.... They usually vote Republican.

Re:Mr. Obama prefers Big Bird (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645435)

So NASA is brought to us by the letter R?

Re:Mr. Obama prefers Big Bird (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645525)

Because Big Bird only needs Millions in support.... NASA's projects require BILLIONS over multiple years.

Big Bird helps little kids... NASA helps rich defense contractors.... They usually vote Republican.

i remember reading a recent post from someone like vlm, harryfeet, fuzzywuzzywungus... (please correct me here /.) anyway they cited a pretty insane set of numbers regarding specifically the Space Shuttle program:

$233 Billion (in 2011 dollars) spread over 30 years, with 14 deaths.

vs. Iraq/Afghan war:

$4 Trillion spread over ~4 years, with ~20,000 deaths.

I have technology all over my home, in my pocket, on my desk, and in my car that all came directly from NASA's R&D, and a lot of it simply would not exist right now without the Space Shuttle program itself.

Name a single thing that have in your home, in your pocket, on your desk, or in your car that came directly from whatever the fuck the MIC has been spending $4 Trilion on over the last few years. You can't. Precisely because none of us are getting anything useful out of it. Period.

Didn't you guys get the memo? (2)

krisamico (452786) | about 2 years ago | (#41645305)

It has been decided that we will be staying here. We will pray to our Gods for nice weather and the forbearance of asteroids.

Save Our Budget! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645341)

Nye writes, 'If that proposal continues the steep decline in funding to NASA's planetary program it will gravely endanger the unique capabilities and outstanding people that have delivered U.S. leadership in space. We will lose a capability that took decades to develop and may never be replaced.'" ...And we will never get a chance to meet our gods - the Ancient Astronauts who built the Pyramids!

Nickname predates PBS (3, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#41645357)

He was "Bill Nye the Science Guy" back when he was a role player on "Almost Live!", which was a Seattle-area comic sketch show in the 80s and 90s.

Most of the time he was just a stock player, but occasionally he'd do a science-comedy mashup [youtube.com] ; and for each year's New Year's special episode he'd rig up some Rube Goldberg sciency contraption that'd be used to count down to the new year.

Although I think I liked him best as Speed Walker [youtube.com] , who fought crime while adhering to the conventions of the International Speed Walking Association.

Re:Nickname predates PBS (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 2 years ago | (#41645801)

Correct - he's not a scientist, he has played one on TV.

(And I miss "Almost Live!'.)

Re:Nickname predates PBS (1)

edelbrp (62429) | about 2 years ago | (#41646229)

While, true, he is best known as an entertainer of sorts, he's an engineer that's worked in a number of fields (I won't bother posting links to various bios; you can google for those.)

I grew up watching Almost Live! Loved that show. I loved the Billy Quan segments... "Be Like Billy!" It was a sort of extreme spoof of fake looking staged martial arts fighting movies taken to the extreme.

How about this... (1)

Voogru (2503382) | about 2 years ago | (#41645375)

Here's a better idea.

How about NASA setup a portal where citizens can donate money directly to NASA, in exchange for priority access varying on how much they contribute every month. Then NASA is no longer subject to the whims of congress, but by how much people value NASA.

If people want NASA, they'll be willing to pay for it directly, instead of indirectly through taxation.

Today's Air force is yeterday's NASA (1)

lilfields (961485) | about 2 years ago | (#41645391)

Though the Air force is used for military means rather than exploratory means, it's pretty clear that most of the prototypes in the AF pipeline are space and air...not just air. So many of the advances of shuttles etc that NASA has been pushing toward are being propagated into the Air force portfolio, NASA should just become a sub-arm of the Air force...basically. Then it can get military money (which we know is massive and won't be cut.) It just makes sense. NASA can deal with the interplanetary means of the air force and piggy back off of their funding AND their new air craft hybrids of space and air vehicles.

Natural order (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645393)

Thanks to Dubya and Obama, the US is no longer a major world player. It's no surprise the states is falling way behind in all branches of sciences. Don't worry though, give it a couple of years and major science will be done by the new superpowers. It looks like china and india are going to be the ones to take over.

If you don't like it just go back to watching american idol and cnn on your ipads like the rest of the uneducated american voters who allowed this to happen.

They should stick to their knitting (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645401)

The Republicans hate James Hansen because he is one of the main cheerleaders for catastrophic anthropogenic global warming.

Get rid of Hansen and the climate stuff and the Republicans will be a lot more supportive.

Somebody can't stand the truth (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645999)

The 'climate' thing is a major irritant to the Republicans. http://www.eenews.net/public/climatewire/2011/02/14/2 [eenews.net]

IMHO, some Republicans are willing to totally bork NASA just to get rid of Hansen.

Moderating the parent to -1 is an example of someone, who doesn't like the message, shooting the messanger.

Wait, what? (4, Informative)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#41645409)

Bill Nye 'the Science Guy' Urges Letters To Obama To Restore NASA Budget Cuts

"Restoring cuts" sounds like NASA getting less money.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

greenreaper (205818) | about 2 years ago | (#41645459)

I approve of these cuts. It's good to know that Bill Nye is behind them as well.

Re:Wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41646145)

Stardock sucks

Budget cuts are good ... ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645417)

More ESL (or even E3rdL) summary writing/editing.

The headline is pretty much the opposite of what Bill Nye is urging.

damn socialist always want other's money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645451)

Wtf? Socialism 101! "A" doesn't want to give money to "B" so ask "C" to force the money from "A" and give half of it to "B" and keep half for himself.
This is what science out of taxpayer's pocket means. Robbery by third-party invitation.

NASA broke even and even made money (4, Insightful)

danbuter (2019760) | about 2 years ago | (#41645485)

Unlike just about every other branch of government, NASA routinely either broke even or even made money, thanks to all of the stuff they invented. Heck, if they had patented all of it, the government would have a huge cash cow in NASA.

Sink the ship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645507)

It seems harsh, but the old ship (NASA and the fed gov't) is rotted though. Let planetary science sink. Wait a couple years with low funding. Spend the money to right the rest of the gov't (i.e., reduce debt). Then, once the people who don't know how to launch a satellite without a billion USD have found other things to do with their lives, restore funding and see what the next group does. I work in the space industry and the whole old guard is rusted though with layers and layers of bureaucratic red tape added over the decades. Nobody in charge tries to take it away. Lower funding is the only incentive to be cost conscious and remove the dead wood. After a few years, reinsert the funding. I know. It sounds harsh, but if we are serious about long term space expansion, the only way is to dump those who have taken us nowhere (relatively speaking) in the past several decades.

Re:Sink the ship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645665)

Taken us nowhere? Here's NASA's current missions list [nasa.gov] . As for the debt even a 30 year T-bill just barely beats inflation. Shorter term and you lose money. That's right, people around the country and around the world are flocking to buy our debt and pay for the privilege.

Ultimatley this shouldn't be Obama's choice (2)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 years ago | (#41645549)

Which departments are funded and how much funding they get is up to congress and not the president.

The president is not king or emperor and people need to stop treating the position this way. It is very dangerous because if we do this for too long the president will become emperor.

The majority of power must always reside in the legislature. They make the laws, they set policy, they debate the issues, they cut the deals. The president just runs the show after he's been given the rules.

Re:Ultimatley this shouldn't be Obama's choice (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 2 years ago | (#41645787)

You might read the US Constitution, and read up on the principle of separation of powers. Not only do you not understand how the current system works, you don't seem to understand that what you propose requires significant amendments to the Constitution.

Re:Ultimatley this shouldn't be Obama's choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645813)

It's up to Congress to allocate money in a general way per agency (usually). The Office of Management and Budget helps determine which programs inside the agency are funded given the total allotment given by Congress. The OMB works for the Administration, and uses 5-year budget outlays as their guide. They can terminate long-term projects (like NASA's ExoMars rover) if the OMB thinks that the project is untenable given their 5-year budget outlay, which is determined by the administration's budget proposal.

So yes, even though Congress allocates money, they only do so on a yearly basis. By writing the President now, we can put pressure on the OMB to reallocate money to the planetary sciences division within NASA and increase its outlay for the next 5 years. This allows NASA to start planning for launch opportunities in 2016, 2018, and 2020.

Re:Ultimatley this shouldn't be Obama's choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41646143)

The majority of power must always reside in the legislature. They make the laws, they set policy, they debate the issues, they cut the deals. The president just runs the show after he's been given the rules.

This is generally how it works. 96% of the shit that was Bush's fault? Not actually his fault. 95% of the shit that Obama isn't personally fixing? Not actually his responsibility.

There is, of course, a general trend for presidents to usurp more power in violation of the Constitution, but you can't really blame them for that. After all, Congress itself was busy violating the Constitution by the time John Adams was president - so why shouldn't the executive branch get to creatively interpret things once in a while?

I have two words for all this : (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645585)

Private sector.

The private sector is ALWAYS more efficient and more creative than any government program.

The best thing the government can do is bow out gracefully and create incentives for
the private sector. The rest will follow. If you don't believe this, look at the history of the
era of exploration on earth. Governments are slow and stupid and must pander to some
degree to the peasants. The private sector can do whatever it decides makes sense, as long
as funding is available.

Why not wait? (2)

nurb432 (527695) | about 2 years ago | (#41645763)

Wait until you see who wins the election. Then write that person. No need to write the loser as he is packing his bags.

Re:Why not wait? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645837)

The FY2014 budget is being devised RIGHT NOW. To have an effect on this budget, it's important to make this impression immediately, even if Romney wins.

Re:Why not wait? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645979)

Yeah, sit on your ass, wait for a better tomorrow. You're one of the reasons that the two party system can get away with fucking the citizens.

Science and Economics/Politics... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41645835)

Bill Nye may be an enthusiastic science guy, but that doesn't mean he understands economics or politics. In order to restore NASA's budget or to expand it (hey, why not?) someone has to pay for it. I think it would be hard to find either Democrats or Republicans that don't like the idea of a space program. However, they're much more likely to not like the idea of paying for it. That can be said for pretty much anything; conservatives aren't against healthcare for all Americans, they're against being forced to pay for healthcare for all Americans. So, if we pay for NASA's budget, what gets cut? Roads? Military? Education? Intelligence gathering? Something has to go -- or taxes have to increase, but if that stalls the economy, then increased tax rates might mean lower taxes collected anyway...

As far as my comment about Nye not understanding politics, it's important to remember that Congress has control over the budget. It's not up to the President. If Congress wants to go to war, but the President doesn't, the President doesn't send the troops (no war). If Congress doesn't want to go to war, but the President does, Congress can withhold all funding (no war). It's the idea behind our checks-and-balances system. What some call gridlock, our forefathers called checks-and-balances. Regardless, asking the President to restore NASA's budget is going to be about as effective as asking me to increase NASA's budget. You're asking the wrong person...

I appreciate what Bill Nye is trying to do, but asking Obama (or Romney) to increase the budget is simply wasting everyone's time. Sure, in theory Nye could motivate the president to address the people and use his superior oratory skills to convince the public and "force" the hand of Congress, but that's not Obama. It's not going to happen.

Re:Science and Economics/Politics... (1)

danbuter (2019760) | about 2 years ago | (#41646141)

If they government takes all of the money currently marked for Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt (outside any payments for our own stuff, I'm just talking the free money they give away) and gave it to NASA, the organization would likely triple in size.

NASA is a criminal organization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41646163)

For less than the cost of 4 space shuttle flights, SpaceX has developed an entire, successful space transportation program.

Between 1981 and 2011 the shuttle flew 135 times. At a conservative $450 million per launch we taxpayers spent $60,750,000,000.00 (almost 61 billion dollars) on shuttle launches.

The Space Shuttle Disasters, all 135 launches + program development, was simply a cash cow for contractors, much like ULA is.

Someone belongs IN JAIL!

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