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Scientists Boycott NASA Conference Because of Ban On Chinese Participants

timothy posted 1 year,19 days | from the for-discriminating-tastes dept.

China 283

New submitter Eunuchswear writes "Congress has passed laws forbidding NASA from allowing Chinese nationals on its premises, so NASA was forced to reject applications from Chinese scientists to attend the upcoming meeting on the Kepler space telescope next month. This ban extends even to Chinese scientists and students working in the USA, angering many American scientists. Geoff Marcy, known for his work on exoplanets, is reported to be boycotting the conference. 'In good conscience, I cannot attend a meeting that discriminates in this way. The meeting is about planets located trillions of miles away, with no national security implications.' he said in an email to the conference organisers."

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As usual for the media (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047207)

They neglect to inform you that it was signed into law by US President Barack Obama.

More egg on the Administration's face.

Re: As usual for the media (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047235)

Yes. Because only the president passes a law.

He just signs the thing, and like many laws this one quite possibly couldve been snuck in an entire package of laws prepared by the llegislaive branch.

You know, the one where 1/4th of the branch is holding the entire country hostage over a law they passed but couldnt manage to legally repeal?

Re: As usual for the media (2, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047267)

You know that the President can veto laws he doesn't like, right? So it's sort of implicit that he's all for this.

Re: As usual for the media (4, Informative)

FunPika (1551249) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047295)

Depends on how much of Congress passed it, if it was somehow bipartisan enough to get a veto-proof majority (which has a snowball's chance in hell of happening on any bill with this Congress) then Obama can't do shit. I can't find the law in question in TFA though so I can't figure out how many votes it got. Chances are he did in fact agree with the law and sign it, but just noting there is a way for Congress to pass a law that the President is against.

Re: As usual for the media (3, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047313)

Or if the law is stuck as an amendment to a must-pass bill like an appropriations bill, or to something overwhelmingly popular, or something the presidents party has already committed to passing. The completly unrelated rider is a long-established tradition in American politics.

Re: As usual for the media (5, Informative)

FunPika (1551249) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047349)

Found it, the law was H.R. 933: Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 [] . It passed with more than 2/3 of both houses [] .

Re: As usual for the media (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047777)

This was sponsored by the Israeli lobby who didn't want to compete with the Chinese for stealing US technology.

Re: As usual for the media (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45048027)

We don't want chinks to have our superior technology. We shouldn't let anyone have our technology. WE MUST BE ABLE TO KICK ASS!

Re: As usual for the media (3, Interesting)

flimflammer (956759) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047815)

I still don't understand how that behavior is legal. Sneaking extra laws inside things into irrelevant laws should not be possible. This package deal all-or-nothing bunk needs to be rid of.

Re: As usual for the media (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45048053)

Agreed, but line item veto has it's own set of problems that could be abused. Laws need to be written with the unix philosophy and do one thing really well.

Re: As usual for the media (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047851)

"President can veto laws he doesn't like"

    Not if it's buried in a must pass bill.

Re: As usual for the media (1)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047293)

'Holding the country hostage' by withholding spending is legal too. Just FYI.

But what difference does it make which party they're part of? One incompetent politician is like another.

Re:As usual for the media (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047259)

Yup, more butthurt from whining American pussies "oh look the Chinese have a manned space program and we don't, so let's block all their scientists". Morons. Oh wait: maybe this is about Chinese human rights issues? ROFL like the US is not the greatest human rights violator and state sponsor of terrorism in the entire world nowadays. Talk about Tibet - no I'd rather talk about Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Yemen, and Syria - almost.

Re: As usual for the media (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047363)

I love it how you call us American pussies. There's a solid chance at some point we've pissed all over your country. An equally strong chance we've given you shit for free that your whiny ass didn't deserve and your worthless country wasted.

Stupid people shouldn't try to make silly blanket statements that are afforded by anonymity and cowardice. I'll pack mine up and go home - please feel free to flush yours where they belong and go fuck yourself.


180 degrees around. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047755)

Ask Canada for example what it's like to burn down the capital of the USA.

The only war you won was won by the "Cheese eating surrender monkeys". You were well grateful there, weren't you?

Re:180 degrees around. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047825)

I wish there was a -1, Retarded moderation.

Re:180 degrees around. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047917)

The War of 1812 was actually between the British and the Americans.
"Canada" was formed via The British North America Act in 1867.

Re:As usual for the media (5, Informative)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047641)

It's more to do with the fact that China is running massive corporate, scientific, industrial and military espionage operations against the West [] , particularly the US (but Europe is also badly affected). I wouldn't let the Chinese within 10 miles of the place.

So just like the USA and UK... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047681)


Re:As usual for the media (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047719)

It's more to do with the fact that NSA is running massive corporate, scientific, industrial and military espionage operations against everyone, particularly Everyone (but EVERYONE is also badly affected). I wouldn't let the Americans within 10 km (SI rules!) of anywhere.


Re:As usual for the media (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047759)

It's more to do with the fact that China is running massive corporate, scientific, industrial and military espionage operations against the West, particularly the US (but Europe is also badly affected). I wouldn't let the Chinese within 10 miles of the place.

In other words you wouldn't let 1/5th of the worlds population within 10 miles of the place.

Everyone is a Chinese spy without any showing without any cause just because some protectionist asshole says.

Re:As usual for the media (1)

icebike (68054) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047841)

What the hell does it matter what percent of the world population are Chinese nationals?

The Chinese don't let US scientists wander unfettered around their various government campuses either.

Re:As usual for the media (0)

Clsid (564627) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047819)

Jesus, you should try to hear yourself. What a tool.

Re:As usual for the media (0)

cold fjord (826450) | 1 year,19 days | (#45048005)

Do you bother to read the article? He's right. China is known for its massive spying in the US, Europe, and other places. This shouldn't be news to you if you are informed.

Re:As usual for the media (0)

Eunuchswear (210685) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047341)

Splendid. Congress isn't stuffed with cunts because Obama is a cunt.

Re:As usual for the media (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047879)

"Congress isn't stuffed with cunts because Obama is a cunt."

        No congress is stuffed with pricks and they need to fuck that cunt.


Explanets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047209)

You mean, like poor Pluto?

Re:Explanets? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047227)

And there's more to come. Just wait until he starts ripping Uranus.

Re:Explanets? (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047333)

Ah fuck, they didn't fix my typo!

(Well, they have now, so thanks for pointing it out Mr AC).

Re: Explanets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047823)

That really hurts. Totally uncalled for.

Poor little Pluto.

The Chinese response (5, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047231)

Once the Chinese start colonizing other planets in advance of Americans, they will simply ban Americans from visiting those planets in exchange. ;-)

Re:The Chinese response (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047327)

Everything I've seen the past 20 years indicates that the Chinese are trending towards a more open society, e.g. they let Hong Kong govern themselves when they could've gobbled them up, whereas Americans are trending towards a more closed and warmongering society, e.g. invasion of Iraq, stricter border controls, NSA.

So by the time we get to colonize planets, if Americans are still around they probably won't want to associate with any "foreigners" at all, and vice-versa nobody would welcome Americans.

Re:The Chinese response (2)

newcastlejon (1483695) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047405)

The Chinese didn't "let" the Hong Kong people govern themselves, it was written into the agreement between the UK and China that ceded HK to the latter.

Having had friends there during the transition... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047639)

China DID in fact put pressure on them regarding laws and such, however nowhere near as heavy-handed as on the mainland.

My friends had been sort of worried about it when it first happened but said after a number of people were out protesting in the streets that the Mainland government didn't crack down on them and instead simply began pushing more 'mainland styled' laws to be approved.

Sadly we lost touch when they headed off to college or I might have more insight into the aftermath.

Re:Having had friends there during the transition. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047739)

Sadly we lost touch when they headed off to college...

That's exactly what China wants you to believe.

Re:Having had friends there during the transition. (2)

Clsid (564627) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047837)

You have never been to Hong Kong it seems. Totally different place than mainland China, not only because of Cantonese, but also extremely fast internet with no internet filtering, cool movies and very cheap prices. I know a lot of people in Shanghai that travel over there just for shopping. Hell you actually need a different visa to get over there so I don't know why you think the Chinese government changed Hong Kong somehow.

Re:Having had friends there during the transition. (0)

cold fjord (826450) | 1 year,19 days | (#45048041)

Hong Kong's social and political organization is protected by treaty for a period of time after the transfer from the UK. (50 years I think.) After that the Chinese government can do what they want, which will be to introduce "socialism." There is some small chance they will tread lightly due to Hong Kong being the "goose that laid the golden egg," but I wouldn't count on it. The Chinese government is patient. In a few decades Hong Kong will be just another part of China.

Re:The Chinese response (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047801)

...and who, exactly, enforces that agreement?

Pick your team Dr. Marcy (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047255)

We all have difficult choices to make.

Re:Pick your team Dr. Marcy (1)

Dunbal (464142) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047301)

Scientists are notoriously inept at sports. I don't know what you think having one on your team will do. Go play your silly games. In the meantime I'll be in my lab.

Re:Pick your team Dr. Marcy (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45048009)

Scientists are also notoriously inept at showing gratitude to the country that gives them their grants.

blowback (1)

Moblaster (521614) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047263)

Billions of Chinese cyberattacks per day on American companies are the issue. Planets trillions of miles away? Not so much. Any honest analysis shows that China is "borrowing" knowledge from the USA as fast as humanly possible. It's enough of a courtesy that we do indeed allow their citizens to study and work here. We've done a fair job of maintaining decent civil and trade relationships despite a strained rivalry. Beyond that, the Chinese government and military apparatus can always take some responsibility for improving the relationship further.

Re:blowback (1)

cdrnet (1582149) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047303)

Given the US spying and cyberwar against the whole world, these chinese attempts are hardly relevant in practice.

Re:blowback (0)

sumdumass (711423) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047525)

Not really, the US spying and crap of more internal governmental information. The Chinese hackers are gathering and using this information to directly economically compete with us.

Re: blowback (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047951)

The US is THE biggest industrial espionage bastard in the world by a large margin. The spy on everyone and everything. Friends and foes. Not just government intelligence for national security reasons. No. Hardcore industrial espionage.

Despicable. The US has lost forever any right to be outraged or feel in any way moraly superior. Yes, you don't behead infidels or gays or use a whip against women. But all in all is the US moraly bankrupt. It's not the land of the free and the brave. It's the land of the paranoiac and the deceitfuls. And the land of arrogance. The US will land hard. On day. So very hard. It will hurt. I'm not an enemy of the US. No. I liked the gold old USA. This new one though. No. There is nothing likable left over.

Stop being arrogant, stop spying on the world, stop thinking of being exceptional. You are not. You are one of many. Some smaller, some larger. Yes. But just of many.

Re:blowback (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047325)

You've lost the right to talk about that thanks to Edward Snowden and the NSA. Oh please. POT, MEET KETTLE. In fact you're worse - the Chinese never denied spying on everyone and never claimed to be the "shining beacon of freedom and democracy in the world". Get stuffed, you can't bullshit your way out of anything anymore, American. We see you for what you are. signed: the rest of the world.

Re:blowback (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047395)

Not so much pot as black hole in this case. It's pretty much obvious at this point that vast majority of government backed attacks are made by US. They are the ones with by far the most resources, means and control over necessary companies and infrastructure. Not to mention expertise.

Re:blowback (4, Insightful)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047389)

So we punish scientists for the actions and policies enacted by politicians and businessmen? The scientists and students are not the ones responsible, in fact it's a generally accepted trend that they tend to be more liberal and open minded than the aggressive pricks in charge (in any country). You can flip that argument right around on us too.

Re:blowback (5, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | 1 year,19 days | (#45048067)

No, it is the scientists, businessmen, and students doing the spying. That is how China does it. They have an espionage system that they compare to "a thousand grains of sand [] ".

They are quite successful at it too. They have stolen everything from the most advanced US nuclear warhead design to advanced Russian anti-aircraft missile designs. They are not to be trifled with.

Re:blowback (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047399)


You obviously don't know how research works. If you did, you wouldn't be using the phrase "allow their citizens to study and work here". American universities aren't "allowing" the Chinese, Indian, Eastern European and other nationalities' students to study here, they are profiting from those students working for them for a pittance here. Trust me, if American citizens were clogging up the system of doctoral programs in STEM then no university would be going through the strenuous process of getting foreign students to do the drudgework for their research standing glory. I'm a foreigner (not Chinese but that doesn't frikking matter) with a doctorate in engineering who is working here in the US. I'm sick and tired of short-sighted and downright Tea Party-esque nutsacks like you. We had a bunch of those crazies protesting outside our company a couple of years ago chanting the you-took-our-jobs mantra. I'd have liked to have gone down to ask how many of those ignoramuses had a doctorate in electrical engineering like myself, but I was afraid one of them might pull a legally owned and carried handgun and frikking kill me with it.

Our company on average pays about $40K to get a foreigner like me into the country. This doesn't include the cost of sending teams of engineers overseas to conduct interviews. Do you nitwits really think they would ever do that if they could find Americans who were capable of doing the same thing? I hire for our company now, and I know for a fact that we prefer Americans, as we damn well should, since this is America. However, we sometimes go for months without finding the right candidates because H1B season is over.

Finally, you're whining about China cyberspying on the US? Seriously? Is your high horse made of an alloy of Forgetnewseum and Ironyblindium? In this day and age of NSA scandals is when you decide to take umbrage at "billions of Chinese cyberattacks per day"? You're outraged at China's cyberattacks a few weeks after it became known that the US government spied on diplomatic exchanges and on diplomats themselves?!

Get a life, and some capability of rational thought.

Re:blowback (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047691)

As an American all I can say is, Ouch!

Unfortunately, everything you wrote is 100% true. We really ought to hang our heads in shame now.

Re:blowback (1)

Clsid (564627) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047895)

A lot of people abuse the American system, from people on food stamps to Mexicans crossing the border, people with student visas that end up staying over there, etc, etc. The fact that Americans are doing a lot of business in China render your point invalid. Because if you don't like them, why do you keep investing over there? Hollywood is spending big on China, with massive advertising. All this hatred towards China coming from America is truly disturbing, especially so after you spend some time in China, and realize that most Chinese would like to be friends with America. Sometimes I honestly feel like telling them, don't get so excited, deep down they kind of hate you over there.

Due to Frank Wolf (5, Informative)

mbone (558574) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047285)

This is the responsibility of Frank Wolf, R-VA, of the Virginia 10th District. If you should live in the 10th District [] (in N. Virginia), contact him [] and let him know what you think about this.

I have met him several times, but have no idea what he really thinks he is accomplishing here.

Re:Due to Frank Wolf (2)

mpthompson (457482) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047323)

In all honesty, the bill did have to pass with a majority in both houses and be signed into law by Obama. He may have written or sponsored the original bill, but it's not like Frank Wolf did this on his own.

Re:Due to Frank Wolf (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047447)

According to an earlier poster, it wasn't a stand-alone bill, it was included in H.R. 933: Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013. So, yet another chance to take a bill required to operate the government used for an unrelated political purpose.

Re:Due to Frank Wolf (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047595)

Sec. 535. (a) None of the funds made available by this Act may be used for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) or the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to develop, design, plan, promulgate, implement, or execute a bilateral policy, program, order, or contract of any kind to participate, collaborate, or coordinate bilaterally in any way with China or any Chinese-owned company unless such activities are specifically authorized by a law enacted after the date of enactment of this Act.

(b) The limitation in subsection (a) shall also apply to any funds used to effectuate the hosting of official Chinese visitors at facilities belonging to or utilized by NASA.

(c) The limitations described in subsections (a) and (b) shall not apply to activities which NASA or OSTP has certified--

(1) pose no risk of resulting in the transfer of technology, data, or other information with national security or economic security implications to China or a Chinese-owned company; and

(2) will not involve knowing interactions with officials who have been determined by the United States to have direct involvement with violations of human rights.

(d) Any certification made under subsection (c) shall be submitted to the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate no later than 30 days prior to the activity in question and shall include a description of the purpose of the activity, its agenda, its major participants, and its location and timing.

Re:Due to Frank Wolf (2)

SeaFox (739806) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047337)

I have met him several times, but have no idea what he really thinks he is accomplishing here.

Doesn't sound too productive to contact him then, does it?

Re:Due to Frank Wolf (1)

mbone (558574) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047643)

I don't live in his district.

Re:Due to Frank Wolf (2)

mbone (558574) | 1 year,19 days | (#45048061)

Also, if I did live in his district, I would certainly contact him and tell him what I think, regardless of what I thought about what he thinks; that's how representative democracy works.

Re:Due to Frank Wolf (3, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047343)

He didn't need to know what he was accomplishing, he just needed to know how much he was going to get paid for it.

Re:Due to Frank Wolf (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047345)

The odd thing to me is directing feedback to conference organizers, when they have fuck-all to do with the policy.
Tin foil hat time: Perhaps this is part of a long term strategy to fuck over NASA, since science is bad and unholy and stuff.

Re:Due to Frank Wolf (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047387)

Because he is an old man desperate to have a Soviet Union to justify his world view and the military industrial complexes existence. So he takes yellow peril as a substitute.

It's called "Public Choice" (2)

SteveFoerster (136027) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047627)

Wolf thinks he's accomplishing pandering to the conservative majority of his district, and he's absolutely right. Remember, politicians and bureacrats most often make decisions that serve their own interests, not the interests of those they ostensibly represent or the public at large. There's a whole school of economic thought called "public choice" [] that studies this phenomenon.

Re:Due to Frank Wolf (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047773)

It's due to every senator and congressperson who voted it in, which amounted to more than 2/3 of each.

scientists don't understand spies (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047935)

Scientists don't understand how deceiving a good spy can be. I bet the PLA has lots of young, sexy Chinese grad students in America, seducing older, male professors, bugging their computers, taking photos to send back to the mainland, establishing relations with Americans to use in the future for blackmail. Anna Chapman was the tip of the iceberg. This blocking of a conference is a minor side effect of the big policy changes set in place by Congress.

Having said that, Russia probably has better rocket tech than America.

Well, the Chinese did spy on us... (2, Insightful)

mpthompson (457482) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047291)

... so I guess this will teach them a lesson about spying on other countries.

Of course, the irony of "the pot calling the kettle black" doesn't go unnoticed.

I'll file this under, "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. -- Mahatma Gandhi"

Re:Well, the Chinese did spy on us... (2)

cold fjord (826450) | 1 year,19 days | (#45048097)

The whole world isn't "blind" since pretty much every country spies on other countries, including China, Russia, Iran, Europe (North, South, East, and West), South American, the US, Canada, India, take your pick.

Americans must be buttfucked. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047307)


Current USA = Nazi Germany (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047361)

Hitler wrote Mein Kampf, laying down his plans and attentions ahead of time. The equivalent team in America wrote "Project for a New American Century", laying down their identical intentions to use false flags, invade and holocaust a list of nations including Iraq, Iran and Syria, build a racist movement against the Muslim peoples of the Earth, and ultimately build a path to World War against China.

9/11 was the serious start of the PNAC project, but every act of significant military planning in the US since then has been aimed at fighting a future war against China. Such a scenario absolutely considers that the USA will be the aggressor.

Do you sheeple that Slashdot propagandists target never question why the US war machine is growing at a phenomenal rate EVERY year? Do you not ask why every mass media outlet in the USA pushes military friendly propaganda on every possible show- news, reality TV, Drama, kids programming etc. No-one is allowed to say they are against the US army in present day America. This is an infinity away from common attitudes in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

When Obama's death squads executed that black woman in front of her child a day or so back, the US congress applauded the murder for tens of minutes, hooting and cheering. This is the psychopathic mindset of the sick, depraved monsters that rule over you.

Aping that infamous Twilight Zone episode, pathetic Obama drones (like most of you here) dribbled "it's good that they shot that unarmed woman dead in front of her child". In the fiction, a monstrous freak of a child has psychic powers that command the lives of all around him, leaving them no choice but to endless praise the perverted 'reality' he creates. In this real life, most of you willingly do the same when YOUR party (left or right) carries out evil atrocities in the name of 'security'.

I'm glad about this NASA story. Too many sheeple were brainwashed into thinking NASA was a civilian program, rather than a mask for America's space based weapons and military surveillance projects. Working for NASA is conceptually the same as working for those Nazi research organisations of wartime Germany. NASA is about one thing, and one thing only- the most efficient ways of murdering the greatest numbers of people on the Earth. The technology is explored and advanced for this reason alone. Useful idiots that work on NASA's space exploration programs bring massive benefits to the military side that represents 99.9% of everything NASA does.

Re:Current USA = Nazi Germany (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047495)

We've had so many wacko right-wing conspiracy trolls on /. lately, it's nice to see a wacko left-wing conspiracy troll instead. Refreshing, you know?

NASA not seen as important to Americans (1)

InfiniteLoopCounter (1355173) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047369)

This should not be accepatable that the US is closing many of its telescopes [] (temporarily) that were doing long term observations and now doing stupid things like politicizing one of the fronteers of human exploration (the search for other planets like our own). Maybe there need to be more people to write to politicians to let them know that there are voters out there that value these things?

Re:NASA not seen as important to Americans (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047517)

They may get the message once more television shows set in space appear on tv. People just want to explore their homes if the tube is a reflection of our desires.

So let me get this straight (5, Insightful)

istartedi (132515) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047383)

So. Let me get this straight. A Pfc has access to diplomatic cables and other documents with TS classifications; but a Chinese scientist can't attend a conference where the results are likely to be published in papers with no classification at all.

OK, I haven't read TFA (this is Slashdot) but the summary certainly makes it sound like total incompetence. I wish I could say I was surprised.

I bet I can explain this though. It probably has something to do with what happened at Los Alamos, where a Chinese scientist walked off with some sensitive information. The way to fix that problem was to make sure the sensitive information there was properly classified and restricted to people with the proper clearance. Instead it sounds like they decided to classify... a lot of science. Once again, incompetent.

Racial discrimination? (4, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047409)

Forbidding NASA from allowing Chinese nationals on the premises clearly has a disparate impact against people of Chinese ethnicity; therefore, this is discrimination based on race.

Under the latest interpretations of the Civil rights act; any disparate impact is discrimination.

The courts should be having a field day with this....

Re:Racial discrimination? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047475)

No, they won't. Chinese isn't an ethnicity, its a geopolitical designation. It doesn't discriminate on the basis of yellow skin or slanty eyes. Any oriental can come, as long as they're not from China.

Re:Racial discrimination? (0)

mysidia (191772) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047663)

It doesn't discriminate on the basis of yellow skin or slanty eyes. Any oriental can come, as long as they're not from China.

That fact doesn't matter. The law will block more people who happen to be Oriental than people who happen to be White. Therefore; the law has a disparate impact: Few/no White people are restricted by the rule, but many Oriental people are affected by the rule.

Re:Racial discrimination? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047925)

So if they passed a law that said Russian scientists could not attend, would that be discriminatory against whites? I'm sure it would affect more people that happen to be white people than happen people that happen to be oriental, so under your logic it would.

Re:Racial discrimination? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047509)

I didn't RTFA, but I'm pretty sure if you are an American citizen of Chinese ancestry you are free to attend the conference. That kind of blows your argument out of the water. Not like we haven't passed laws before that just affect citizens of certain countries like say a trade embargo on Cuba etc.......

Re:Racial discrimination? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047667)

More like Nationality instead of race. However, Foreign nationals are not typically privileged to all aspects of US law.

Besides, a previous law cannot bar a future law from being passed if they are on the same legislative hierarchy (State verses state, federal verses federal). Only a constitutional amendment can do that and it is limited insofar as another constitutional amendment can undo it. The courts will likely ignore it.

Re:Racial discrimination? (2)

xlsior (524145) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047799)

Federal laws prohibit discrimination not just on race, but also "national origin" -- which would include "from china", regardless of what race a person happens to be.

Re:Racial discrimination? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047863)

You expect the US government to follow it's own laws? hahahahahahahaha

Re:Racial discrimination? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047901)

Federal laws do not prohibit other Federal laws from doing a damn thing. Only the Constitution and Supreme Court precedents do.

Re:Racial discrimination? (1)

swillden (191260) | 1 year,19 days | (#45048033)

Federal laws prohibit discrimination not just on race, but also "national origin"

But not on citizenship. A Chinese national who acquired, say, Swedish citizenship could attend. A Swede who moved to China and became a Chinese citizen could not. Therefore, it's not discrimination on race or national origin.

Republitards (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047453)

another death nail for NASA.. Republicans want to shut it down and spend all the money on ICBMs, NASAs original reason for being....

Re:Republitards (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047543)

And the Democrats want to shut NASA down and give the money to drug addicts and illegal immigrants, as if that's the government's original reason for being...

Location, location, location... (4, Interesting)

msauve (701917) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047555)

Instead of having it at NASA, can't they just have it at the local Holiday Inn?

Re:Location, location, location... (1)

djupedal (584558) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047611)

Instead of having it at NASA, can't they just have it at the local Holiday Inn?

Good question/point - my guess is NASA is too worried about staying relevant. Might be time to shake things up a bit so science can benefit for a change.

Re:Location, location, location... (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047709)

Even better, hold it at the local Walmart . . . all the technology there is made in China . . . so nobody will have to worry about anyone from China stealing anything.

how far we've fallen. (5, Interesting)

nimbius (983462) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047623)

From TFA:
The recent Congressional action refers to a broader law passed in July which prohibits Nasa funds from being used to participate or collaborate with China in any way. The law has raised fears among some Nasa-funded scientists that they will have to sever ties with their Chinese collaborators, and no longer take on Chinese students. weve embraced this schitzophrenic notion that theyre both an ally as well as an enemy. our Frienemy manufacture entire lifestyles for americans, from phones to computers and even the next great bridge to replace the golden gate []
To insist your second largest trading partner is so prone to espionage as to warrant eviction from, historically, a great font of collaborative international scientific research of the modern era, misses the point entirely. to insist somehow they might glean some kernel of knowledge from NASA that they would not otherwise discover as a nation that manufactures supercomputers, high speed maglev transportation, and the worlds largest power plant ( [] ) is laughable.

this legislation was concocted by the republican party. Any woman or man of science should remember this as "the party that cant." In the past we hosted 7 astronauts aboard the russian space station MIR. Yet somehow today, the country that hasnt moved missiles into cuba, hasnt started proxy wars, and hasnt ginned up anti-american rhetoric is now so dangerous as to be inadmissable in the eyes of a party that as far as i can tell, stopped researching China after the cold war.

Re:how far we've fallen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047843)

"Schizophrenic" has nothing to do with conflicted, self-conflicting, dualistic or split in two.

Nasa government concspiracy coverup... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047695)


What did we tell you?

Even the USSR behind the Iron curtain had better and freerer information flow than the states do now.

Re:Nasa government concspiracy coverup... (1)

HiThere (15173) | 1 year,19 days | (#45048077)

Now that's not true. Yet.

Location, location, location (1)

beatljuice (735526) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047715)

Uh, can't they meet at a Hyatt down the road?

NASA? I thought the Republicans cancelled that.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047767)

Those outerspace guys are still around? Who knew!

Didn't work out so well in 1950 (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047791)

but the congresscritter responsible for this probably doesn't read history. The U.S. kicked out a Chinese scientist who went on to be China's equivalent of Werner von Braun. After arresting him for smuggling secret documents that turned out to be tables of logarithms.

NASA can't have its cake and eat it too (1)

Goldsmith (561202) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047811)

NASA can't 1) be the space engineering source for DoD and 2) be the open space science community for the world. TFA misses the point that political support for these measures was created when NASA knowingly broke rules on employing foreign nationals on classified projects.

Like every other scientist, space scientists need to decide how comfortable they are working on secret projects. In the end, if you take the money, you take the restrictions too. NASA should hand anything Congress wants classified over to other agencies and focus on the pure science.

Well, the Chinese (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | 1 year,19 days | (#45047921)

they have this planet, so they're the ones to laugh last.
NASA Schmasa.

Stuff from March regarding Rep. Frank Wolf [R-VA] (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45047949)

Lawmaker: NASA broke law with visits by China officials [] :

Wolf chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee that funds NASA. He's been one of China's loudest critics in Congress, particularly regarding the country's human rights record and its reported proclivity for spying.

Wolf does not want the United States to work with what he's called an "evil" government. He said the White House has bypassed his 2011 national security measure by using federal money to pay for joint space and technology ventures with China.

Last month, Wolf and Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, wrote to FBI Director Robert Mueller expressing concerns about the possible leak of highly sensitive technological information to China from the NASA Ames Research Center in California.

Lawmakers accuse Obama prosecutors of lying about espionage probe at NASA [] :

Congressional leaders are challenging a U.S. Attorney's denial that the Justice Department shut down a federal espionage investigation involving the illegal transfer of U.S. space defense weapons technology to foreign countries, including China, The Washington Examiner has learned.

Melinda Haag, the U.S. Attorney for Northern California, also denied that she had ever requested authority to prosecute anybody as a result of the espionage investigation.

But Sen. Charles Grassley, R-IA, and Representatives Lamar Smith, R-TX, and Frank Wolf, R-VA, say Haag's denials don't square with evidence they've reviewed and they wonder if Justice Department or White House officials interfered with a potentially explosive espionage investigation or if "politics played a role in the prosecutorial decisions made in this case."

NASA locks out foreigners, orders security review following concerns of Chinese spying [] :

Perhaps it’s the ambitions of the space agency that make it such a target for espionage. Wolf told Discovery News earlier this week that “the Chinese have the most comprehensive spying program in Washington that has ever been. They make the KGB look like they were the junior varsity or freshman team.”

I like how just because he is a expert in one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45048011)

Subject that makes him an expert on who and what is a national security risk.

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