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NASA Politics

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

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  • Romney too. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xzvf ( 924443 ) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @07:00PM (#41645087)
    Write them both, either could be president in January, and maybe they'll bring up NASA funding around job creation during the election.
  • by CajunArson ( 465943 ) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @07:23PM (#41645247) Journal

    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:Romney too. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 13, 2012 @07:31PM (#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.

  • by Mabhatter ( 126906 ) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @07:41PM (#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:Romney too. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 13, 2012 @07:48PM (#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.

  • by danbuter ( 2019760 ) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @07:58PM (#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.
  • Re:Romney too. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ohnocitizen ( 1951674 ) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @07:59PM (#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. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jamstar7 ( 694492 ) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @08:00PM (#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. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @08:22PM (#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.

  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Saturday October 13, 2012 @08:25PM (#41645689) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • Re:Romney too. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 13, 2012 @08:31PM (#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. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @08:59PM (#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.

  • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @09:00PM (#41645913) Journal

    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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 13, 2012 @09:35PM (#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:Romney too. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 13, 2012 @09:41PM (#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. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @09:53PM (#41646185) Homepage Journal

    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."

  • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @10:24PM (#41646317)

    Except for the couple of years immediately after the president insisted we needed to go to the moon, where NASA consumed more than 4% of the national budget (but still wasn't very much), it has almost never accounted for a significant part of the budget in any way. For the entire life of the agency, the average budget (in 2007's dollars) has been something like $17,000,000,000/yr.

    Hell, since 9/11, we have spent TWICE as much conducting war in the middle east as NASA has spent in its entire fifty-five year live time, in which it developed rocket technology. Developed shuttle technology. Helped improve countless other technologies (including those for the military). Helped generate entire new private industries. Shot a man into space. Shot around the moon. Landed men on the moon several times. Built space-suit-jets for men in space. Conducted space walks. Built a space car. Built and deployed a telescope to see to the beginning of time. Built and manned a space station. Built one (wait, two?) little RC cars that we landed on the surface of Mars. Then built an SUV that we landed on Mars. Not to mention the satellites above our heads. The satellites far out in space, exploring the universe for decades, now. . .

    All of that is in *today's* dollars.

    So, let's not fool ourselves into believing NASA has ever had a "ton of funding". But, just think what we could accomplish if we blew up a few less brown people or facilitated a few fewer corporate (Haliburtin, KDR, etc) contracts in Afghanistan or Iraq with government resources and just funneled that little bit of money to NASA. Maybe push 5% of that "searchin' for WMDs" money over to NASA. Who knows what fucking amazing shit we could do?

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. Private industry yadda yadda. That'd be fine, if we apply that consistently. But if we're going to be debating what's worth funding, how the fuck is pursuing one of the most primitive needs of mankind not near the top of the list?

    Instead, we have to bank the whole of our space exploration on the guy who ships books and kindles to your doorstep, the guy behind Doom and Rage, and the guy behind PayPal. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but . . .

  • by tbird81 ( 946205 ) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @01:02AM (#41647015)

    Examples of "supernatural" (a.k.a. bullshit) claims that science can help answer:
    * Does prayer work to cure the sick? Sciences indicates no.
    * Was the world formed in six days? Science indicates no.
    * Did Noah get every species onto a boat? Science indicates no.
    * Are we reincarnated? Sciences indicates no.

    These can all be proved negative to my satisfaction.

    I didn't say science has anything to say about religion. Science is merely the act of trying to find answers with reason, and proving it with evidence. It's not a religion - it doesn't say a thing.

    I said "Anyone who truly understands science is..." not "Science is...".

    People who understand science see people being swindled by religion all the time - people are hurt by religion. Think about the babies raped in Africa to "cure HIV" - this is an extreme example of a false belief that is widely shared - basically a disorganised religion. If these people thought scientifically, they wouldn't do that. Same with faith healers, fortune telling, cold reading, greedy evangelists, stoned women etc.

  • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @04:27AM (#41647765) Journal

    And of course the absurdity of it all is this fallacious argument you seem to hold that is saying because a group of people organized into a religion believes the teachings and eye witness stories from 2000 to 6000 or more years ago to be fundamentally true that they have to ignore science, math, or anything else in their present day tasks.

    No one, let me repeat this, No one, thinks that because of their beliefs that something will automagically happen. Even the people who think God will provide what they need, do not sit around waiting or wishing, they actually attempt to accomplish something using the best tools available to them at the time and pray that it was enough. You bring up NASA and yes, there are people working for NASA, even on the mars rover and the Cassini project that are religious.

    You and everyone else who thinks so is living in a delusional world that has no connection to reality. The people who achieve things with science do so because they do not confuse science and religion. If you can look at science and claim it mandates a rejection of religion, you have no clue about science or religion at all and are more likely using science as your religion.

  • Re:Romney too. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rockoon ( 1252108 ) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @05:05AM (#41647897)

    So...Republicans did NOT work with the Democrat Bill Clinton to pass the (now gutted by Executive Order) Welfare Reform

    To be quite fair, the Republicans forced Clinton into a balanced budget by shutting down the government and threatening to shut it down again. The Democrats have been saying that Clinton was responsible for the balanced budget for so long now, that even people such as yourself that contradict that belief still give him some credit.

    It all started with a document called Contract With America, and while we may no longer like Newt because of his womanizing and corruption, he still got real beneficial stuff done while Speaker of the House. Very smart man, with certainly questionable ethics. Nobody is perfect, but we benefited.

    All-in-all tho, the most credit for the balanced budget should go to the tech bubble, not to Newt, the Republicans, and certainly not to Clinton.

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