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Space Government Politics

Obama Would Redirect NASA Funding to Education 357

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the perhaps-earlier-schooling-isn't-the-answer-either dept.
QuantumG writes "In a recent article on The Space Review, Greg Zsidisin reveals that Barack Obama plans to delay Project Constellation for at least five years, using the redirected funds to nationalize early-education for children under five years old to prepare them for the rigors of kindergarten and beyond, if he is elected president. It is feared that if this happens the Vision for Space Exploration will flounder and that may be the end of human spaceflight altogether."
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Obama Would Redirect NASA Funding to Education

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  • by The Ancients (626689) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @04:12AM (#23044942) Homepage

    Can we mod article summaries?

    It is feared that if this happens the Vision for Space Exploration will flounder and that may be the end of human spaceflight altogether.

    -1 Drama Queen

    So according to these doyens of space and associated fields, if a U.S. project is put off for 5 years (to educate children - how DARE they?) then this will quell humankind's desire to travel in space forever?

    I think there's some space all right, but it's obviously not all out there beyond the stars...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      However if this is true or not, I think, it's a good idea and should be at least taken in to consideration! Just ask yourself: What would be more useful for the world and U.S. citizens?

      1. a) "Quickly pulling out of Iraq" and therefore loosing some major influence in the middle east?
      2. b) Elevating the education level, in order not only to develop political awareness, which is necessary to prevent the manipulation and disinformation by political leaders? (Not that they would ever do this.)
      3. c) Realizing or --
      • The point is that the Budget of the Department of Eduction, as of 2007, is sixty six billion dollars. NASA's budget is 16 billion dollars.

        Do you really think that Department of Education is giving us four times the value that NASA is? (It's main initiative right now is something called "No Child Left Behind." )

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by blueg3 (192743)
          Bear in mind, of course, that the actual funding of schools is done at the state and local level, whereas NASA's budget is NASA's budget.
      • by alvinrod (889928)
        You've completely slanted the argument with your assessment.

        You assume that if we pull out of Iraq we'll loose influence with the middle east and that nothing positive could come out of it. This would also significantly reduce the budget in coming years by a considerable amount.

        I don't see how spending more money on education will automatically cause students to develop political awareness that will shield them from corrupt politicians. We've been increasing spending on education for decades now and a major
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by khallow (566160)

      Well, the fear is somewhat unreasonable, but it is there. But there're also people who fear the takeover of the British monarchy by alien lizards (insert your own choice for ludicrous things to be afraid of). So saying someone is "afraid" of a potential future ie not a useful observation to make.

      My take is that Obama is exchanging a program with concrete goals, even if they are expensive and perhaps poorly planned, for a feel-good measure. The money might be spent on "education", but what guarantee do we

      • (snip)...and take the funds for the proposed education program (assuming it actually has some value) from known overfunded areas like the entitlement programs, particularly Social Security, government retirement programs, etc. (snip)

        I am curious as to what you read where you learn that Social Security has too much money and that taking away government retirement programs is a good thing (hint, the primary reason people work for the government is the benefits, and most of those are the retirement).

        Also, the more socialist Obama becomes the more my vote swings back the other way.

        • by khallow (566160)

          I am curious as to what you read where you learn that Social Security has too much money and that taking away government retirement programs is a good thing (hint, the primary reason people work for the government is the benefits, and most of those are the retirement).

          You can always pay less benefits. And superficially putting money into education seems a more worthwhile use of Social Security than merely to transfer wealth from young to old. Second, while there are some tough jobs like in the military where the benefits are justified, most such positions would be filled anyway. The benefits are overly generous and those people would work anyway. The combination of job stability and benefits is hard to beat. Then there's such things as the federal retirement fund for r

      • As my father always explained to me, the problem with getting Federal or State grants and funds as a local school is that it always has strings attached. You need to jump through dozens of hoops to get the money, so many that sometimes it renders any financial advantage provided by the grant moot, or at the very least diverts human energy which could be spent dealing with problems on the ground.

        That said, for all its problems, more money for local schools would be a very good thing in the majority of cas

    • by nebosuke (1012041) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @07:42AM (#23045724)

      The problem is that the pool of available and willing professional expertise is not static. I've already witnessed this at my current workplace, where, after less than 1 year of abandoning a relatively complicated process for a far more simple but grossly less efficient one due to temporarily relaxed requirements, the very same people who used to run the former process are unable to revive it as requirements swing back towards tighter schedules and resources--in fact their efforts to do so have made things even worse.

      It is always harder to start (or revive) a program than to keep one running, and even highly skilled people who are capable of the latter may not be able to do the former if it is interrupted or temporarily disbanded for a significant period of time.

      If you interrupt an extremely technically demanding program for 5 years, it will either or both take a long time or a director and team of a totally different caliber to bootstrap it again.

      The principles described in the above also apply doubly to political will. At this point, NASA's funding is largely due to the legendary inertia of the government. If it were scrapped, it would take someone with an overwhelming mandate and clear, focused vision to build the political consensus and drive it through congress again.

      Note that 5 years means that he is scheduling the program's revival in the next presidential term. He does not feel that it should be his responsibility to put humpty dumpty back together again after pushing him off a the wall.

      It is hyperbole to say that this would kill manned space exploration, but it may well kill manned space exploration in the US until the next cold war/space race, which we are likely to lose if we try to revive gutted institutions to compete with a program with strong, decades-long unbroken momentum.

      Also, speaking to the larger issue of education, 'more funding' is absolutely not a silver bullet that will guarantee better quality, and the education section in his 'blueprint' booklet is totally opaque. It identifies many issues (the easiest part), states proposals to address the issues (also easy), and then does nothing to explain why or how those proposals will work (the only part that really matters).

      In all honesty, I think Obama is probably the candidate I dislike the least at this point, but--and I don't hold the following against him directly, per se--it really bothers me that his supporters seem to be under the influence of a Jobs-esque reality distortion field. That people on /. of all places are willing to trivialize the scrapping of a major program of NASA because a politician cries 'think of the children'--without even attempting a strong explanation of why this is necessary--is just sad.

    • by LWATCDR (28044)
      Well i think your being a little myoptic. I have heard this same claptrap. Why waste all that money on space, looking for little green men, studying the life cycle of spiders, pick your favorite science program. It is damaging feel good crap.
      No different than a town near me. They had a big problem with drugs and prostitution. So they closed the topless bars. Looks like you are doing something with out really doing anything useful.

      If the US puts off it's space program for a few years. Thousands if not tens o
  • by James_Duncan8181 (588316) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @04:14AM (#23044952) Homepage
    It's actually the first major thing I have disagreed with Obama on. My hint for those keeping score at home is that quickly pulling out of Iraq would generate a lot more spare funds. It's not like NASA is actually a major drain at all, and almost all of the money comes back to R&D and the like. *sighs* Still not wanting HRC or McCain though.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by arivanov (12034)
      Quickly pulling out of Iraq will create an Iran which is double the size of present. There will be a Kurd fragment in the north (with a tiny bit of oil) which may or may not end up being eaten by Turkey, an arab fragment in the west (with virtually no oil, just camels) which may or may not be eaten by Saudi and a Iraq-Iran shia state in the south, west and center.

      All of that with nukes. No thanks. Dealing with the strategic consequences of that in the long run may actually outweight current investment in th
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        The worst bit here is that if we did not topple Saddam we would have never had this problem on our hands.
        Assuming that he isn't immortal - for which there is empirical evidence - it would have happened anyway. It's just a question of when.
        • To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem [memorable-quotes.com]
        • by ultranova (717540)

          Assuming that he isn't immortal - for which there is empirical evidence - it would have happened anyway. It's just a question of when.

          Perhaps. Then again, Soviet Russia survived the death of Lenin and later Stalin, and communist China outlived Mao. Simply because a dictator is dead doesn't neccessarily mean that his regime will collapse.

          Does anyone know pre-invasion Iraq well enough to know if the Baath party could had stayed in power with Saddam dead ?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Oh noes! Iran! They're gonna NUKE us with their ICBMs!!!!1 Seriously, stop drinking the kool-aid and realize that we have bigger issues to worry about than freakin Iran.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by xtracto (837672)
          I recently went to a dinner with some friends (from Syria, Egypt, China, Lebanon and Iran). There were no people from the USA in the table (only British and Mexicans), all of us PhD students, R.As or Professors at my university.

          One of the conversation themes that arised was the invasion of the USA on Iraq and the overthrowing of Saddam Hussein. I found very interesting the point of view of this people that come from the Middle East and some of them (having just started their PhDs) were in their respective
          • by ravenshrike (808508) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @10:53AM (#23046668)
            Unless you're in an open state of war with said country, which technically speaking the US was, and said country readily breaks the cease-fire, thinking that there's no way in hell you'd end up retaliating. Admittedly, the actual reasons for the invasion were different, but the fact remains that the US and Iraq were still in a state of war.
            • by blueg3 (192743)
              No -- as people apparently don't want to declare war on other countries these days, we have, technically, never been at war with Iraq.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Leftist Troll (825839)
        Anyone thinking that "we can pullout fast" is delusional.

        OTOH, anyone who thinks that Iraq will turn into the next Japan or Germany if we stay a few more years is completely insane.

        It's going to be bad now or it's going to be bad later.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        "Quickly pulling out of Iraq will create an Iran which is double the size of present. There will be a Kurd fragment in the north (with a tiny bit of oil) which may or may not end up being eaten by Turkey, an arab fragment in the west (with virtually no oil, just camels) which may or may not be eaten by Saudi and a Iraq-Iran shia state in the south, west and center.

        All of that with nukes. No thanks. Dealing with the strategic consequences of that in the long run may actually outweight [sic] current investmen
      • by khallow (566160)

        Quickly pulling out of Iraq will create an Iran which is double the size of present.

        No it wouldn't. Iran is considerably larger than all of Iraq in population and land area. So adding southern Iraq to Iran, which isn't likely to happen IMHO, wouldn't "double" Iran. What could happen though is that Iran becomes considerably more powerful in the region due to a breakup in Iraq. That could require a larger US military presence in the Middle East than we currently have especially if Iran obtains nuclear weapons. For example, how do you prevent Iran from invading southern Iraq in the advent o

      • by gardyloo (512791)

        Quickly pulling out of Iraq will create an Iran which is double the size of present. There will be a Kurd fragment in the north (with a tiny bit of oil) which may or may not end up being eaten by Turkey, an arab fragment in the west (with virtually no oil, just camels) which may or may not be eaten by Saudi and a Iraq-Iran shia state in the south, west and center.

        I have no idea why, but that entire paragraph just made me hungry. Except for the camels bit. Now I have to go find breakfast.

        Slashdot! News for nerds. Looking after your daily nutritional needs since 1997.

    • by Falstius (963333) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @08:46AM (#23046008)

      My hint for those keeping score at home is that quickly pulling out of Iraq would generate a lot more spare funds.

      The Iraq war is paid for almost exclusively with special funding initiatives, it is not part of the budget. So ending the war won't suddenly free up trillions of dollars for other uses, it will just slow our descent into debt from the Demon Drop speed it is currently.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Mr. Slippery (47854)

        The Iraq war is paid for almost exclusively with special funding initiatives, it is not part of the budget. So ending the war won't suddenly free up trillions of dollars for other uses

        Do these "special funding initiatives" somehow not have to be paid for? If so, let's just declare "special funding initiatives" for universal health care, a trip to Mars, and a pony for every American.

        Of course ending the war would free up funds. The fact that war spending isn't accounted for in the regular budget is jus

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Falstius (963333)
          Of course the war has to be paid for, but the government does not have and has not allocated the money to pay for it. It is incredibly stupid. Welcome to neo-fiscal conservatism.
  • by Ezekiel68 (652736) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @04:17AM (#23044968)
    "Mommy, can I go out and play?"

    "Oh no you don't! Not until you've studied up for your advanced color identification exam!"

    • This is a massive government babysitting project that Obama is proposing. This has NOTHING to do with our current education system.
      Rob Reiner just tried passing a similar bill/program here in California. I'm surprised NASA's the target this time. It's ususally cigarette smokers or the "rich". Guess they're becoming an easy target, too.
      Hey moms, dads - no need to spend time with your kids anymore. No time for babies. Send them off for early "education".
      What a brave new world we live in....
  • And Iraq? (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by mcbridematt (544099)
    Well, once you're out of Middle Eastern crapholes you won't be spending on that right?
  • This remids me of... (Score:2, Informative)

    by niklash (1134135)
    an old star trek episode called First Contact.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Contact_(Star_Trek:_The_Next_Generation) [wikipedia.org]
  • I call shenanigans (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MAXOMENOS (9802)
    This story is based on someone's personal blog, who wrote this story based on a personal anecdote and a PDF that's hosted on some site I've never heard of. Meanwhile, I checked Obama's site and found no mention of any plan to make this particular cut. I think the author of the original story is making things up.
    • by Cookie3 (82257) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @04:52AM (#23045140) Homepage
      Source seems to be:
      http://my.barackobama.com/page/-/HQpress/112007%20education%20plan%201.pdf [barackobama.com]
      barackobama.com, of course, being the official Barack Obama website.
      This link then redirects to the 3cdn hosting site, where the PDF is located.
    • by khallow (566160)

      This story is based on someone's personal blog
      Except that the Space Review [thespacereview.com] is clearly not a personal blog. I take it you haven't actually read the article.
    • by toolie (22684) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @07:51AM (#23045758)
      This story has been all over like a month ago. The Orlando Sentinel had a story that they ran where it compared things Obama said outside of Florida to things he said while in Florida. Outside of FL, he goes on about slashing the NASA budget. Then, when talking to people that directly affects, he changes the story to spending less on education and more on NASA to try to get votes.

      Fuck, I hate politicians.
      • His message is change.

        In Soviet Florida he changes his message.

        The worst thing is, I'd still vote for him because Hillary and McCain are probably worse. If only his supporters would stop being so annoying. He's not a saint, he's a politician just like the rest, hell, he's better at negative campaigning than Hillary.

        • by hkmwbz (531650)
          Obama is better at negative campaigning? Er, not quite. It's Hillary who has been attacking Obama relentlessly while Obama has mostly been focusing on his own campaign.
      • by hkmwbz (531650)
        Got a link showing where he changes his story on this one? Are you sure he didn't actually reconsider his stance on this?
      • Pics or it didn't happen!

        Wait... wrong site.

        How 'bout a cite there? That's an awfully inflammatory thing to just lob out there.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jb68321 (1123905)

        The Orlando Sentinel had a story that they ran where it compared things Obama said outside of Florida to things he said while in Florida.

        Hm I thought he "didn't campaign" in FL. Can you get a link to that Orlando Sentinel story? It'd be great to send off to some Obama-trolls.

        But something else is important to remember everyone: the president cannot legislate, only Congress can. So everything requires the approval of Congress for funding, etc, and Obama would simply be initiating the discussion on these topics.

    • I checked Obama's site and found no mention of any plan to make this particular cut. I think the author of the original story is making things up.

      The first time he mentioned space in his campaign literature was on page 15 of a 15 page document about his plans for education (which in itself provides some insight into how important space is to him), where he says he's going to fund his additions to the 66 billion dollar education budget by cuts from NASA. The first citation is here [3cdn.net]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12, 2008 @04:36AM (#23045068)
    I will never understand why people have children they can't be bothered to raise. Shunted into daycare as soon as possible, raised by nannies, and they are still always clamoring for yet more school at younger ages.

    Open letter to the people having these children: Your genes are not special. Your kid will not cure cancer. Get over yourself. It's expensive to raise children--especially when you have to pay the people who are actually doing it. Why don't you just volunteer for one of those Big Brother programs on the weekends? You'll see those kids just as often as your own, with the added benefit of not causing all that emotional damage.

    Rigors of kindergarten, pffft.
    • by gcatullus (810326)
      Certainly daycare/nannies are not the ideal people to be raising your own children. But pre-school can help socialize kids who have stayed at home with mom since they were born.

      Now the idea of making it nationalized is terrible. There should be choices out there for more or less academic pre-schools, depending on what your kid enjoys.

    • I will never understand why people have children they can't be bothered to raise. Shunted into daycare as soon as possible, raised by nannies, and they are still always clamoring for yet more school at younger ages.

      Biology. There comes a point in the lives of many women (in their late 20s in my observation) where a hormonal switch gets flipped and they suddenly say "I want a baby." Then, after a horrific pregnancy + labor + first 3 months, they say "What have I done?" By then it's too late.

  • "Article" (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kaos07 (1113443)

    Calling blog posts articles sets a pretty dangerous precedent. It puts someone's personal viewpoint on the same level as say, an article from a respected published like Reuters and can create lots of FUD and unnecessary debate.

    Now I know this is Slashdot and there's many of you itching for an argument, waiting to pounce and say "Well the media is stupid and has bias too". That is correct. However, when we read an article from a respected news source, as opposed to someone's personal blog, we are assuming th

    • by khallow (566160)
      I don't see your point. The Reuters brand implies the qualification, certifiable research, etc. Calling it an "article" does not. In other words, there's a commonly accepted definition of article and I see no case for accepting your non-standard definition of "article". Further, this would be an article according to your definition since it is published under Space Review with a real, live editor. Course if you had actually read the "article" you would see immediately the following line: "[Editor's Note: Th
  • Not a bad idea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mcelrath (8027) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @06:30AM (#23045482) Homepage

    Honestly I don't think this is a bad idea. NASA has lost its focus. Right now it's major scientific project is a space station to give the retiring space shuttle a place to go.

    I think we've all been disappointed that the flying cars and weekend trips to mars envisioned by TV and authors in our childhood have not materialized. But the government was never a good way to go about space exploration. It's too risky, and governments are risk averse. A better way to do it is in the private sector. They're more tolerant of risk. The X-Prize has been phenomenally successful, and should be emulated. But government over-regulation, and subsidized competitors has prevented the private sector from flourishing. For a sad read, go over to Beale Aerospace's [bealaerospace.com] page.

    NASA needs to refocus its effort on science by contracting launch services from the private sector. Congress should rearrange the regulatory atmosphere to allow this to happen (particularly with respect to human spaceflight and liability), and to enable a competitive launch industry rather than the the fat-cat subsidized government contractors we have now.

    I want to go to the Moon and Mars too, but no more "flags & footprints". It's long past time we got serious about human spaceflight and did what it takes to make it an everyday occurrence. As long as all human spaceflight is in NASA's hands, nothing will change.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Leftist Troll (825839)
      the government was never a good way to go about space exploration. It's too risky, and governments are risk averse. A better way to do it is in the private sector.

      The X-Prize was cool and all, but let's be realistic, they never came close to leaving Earth's orbit. Not exactly deep space exploration.

      To be sure, we should relax some of the restrictions on private space flight, but that doesn't mean we should stop funding it publicly. Real deep space exploration is just not profitable, the private sector is no
    • I think we've all been disappointed that the flying cars and weekend trips to mars envisioned by TV and authors in our childhood have not materialized.

      I'm not. Because I eventually outgrew childhood and learned to distinguish fantasy and fiction from reality.

      A better way to do it is in the private sector. They're more tolerant of risk. The X-Prize has been phenomenally successful, and should be emulated.

      They're more tolerable of risk - when there is a profit to be made. There isn't much

    • by GlobalEcho (26240)

      NASA needs to refocus its effort on science

      NASA has never focused on science, and will never do so. They are focused on making the public feel good by putting people in space, when all the good science is done by robots. In the words of an astrophysicist friend of mine at University of Chicago, "the minute the manned missions to Mars and the moon were announced, they dropped the science budget like a $2 hooker shedding her clothes". They were glad to do it.

      They don't care about science and the science co

  • parents (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slashmojo (818930) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @06:41AM (#23045518)
    education for children under five

    Isn't that the parents job??
  • by EWAdams (953502) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @07:59AM (#23045788) Homepage

    America-centric bollocks. If NASA were razed to the ground and all its employees rounded up and shot, it still would not spell the end of human spaceflight... as John F. Kennedy knew perfectly well when he launched the race to the moon.

    Nothing could please the Russians more than to have lost the battle for the moon, but to have won the war for space.
    • by QuantumG (50515) *
      Blah, I didn't think it important to put "by NASA" on the end of the summary as obviously we're talking about NASA.

  • flounder (Score:2, Informative)

    by in_fla (849388)
    It's founder [google.com], not flounder. A flounder 1) is a bottom-dwelling flat fish [google.com] 2) was a Delta House pledge. Either could give NASA a run for its money,
    • by QuantumG (50515) *
      Thanks. I thought it was wrong but wasn't aware of the right word. Shame the Slashdot "editors" don't have your grasp of the English language.
  • Bring on the robots! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Daniel Rutter (126873) <dan@dansdata.com> on Saturday April 12, 2008 @08:16AM (#23045866) Homepage
    Humans are, fundamentally, abysmally unsuited to survival in space. Plus, we insist on bringing astronauts BACK, which makes every manned mission FAR more complex and expensive.

    Human spaceflight may be romantic and inspiring, and a human may be far more flexible and adaptable than any robot, but humans also have outrageous supply and environmental demands. It's simply impossible for manned missions to do more than a tiny fraction of what far cheaper automated probes can do.

    And every time NASA shoots a Shuttle into low orbit to feed the ISS so that it can be dropped into the ocean on schedule [umd.edu], they do almost zero to advance human knowledge, and spend enough money to send a whole new robot-rover mission to Mars and then run it for three months.

    People who insist that manned spaceflight is worth the price do not, I think, usually comprehend the magnitude of the difference between that price and the price of unmanned probes. They also seem to have a pretty poor grasp of what space science actually entails, and how little of it even theoretically can be done by people.
  • One word....FIRST. NASA puts up a lot of money for high schools to start a FIRST team. And the people who participate are the same kind of people NASA needs in the future.
  • America would start producing a lot more educated people, who would all say 'more space funding asshole!'
  • by DamienRBlack (1165691) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @12:06PM (#23047170)
    (My karma is screwed up, but you should read this anyway, despite the zero)

    At first, I was like, "Oh no, not the space program". But then I realized, maybe just because I'm trying to rationalize a way to agree with Obama, that I think I do actually agree. Here is why.

    Firstly, thanks to Bush, we really aren't going to be doing anything interesting in space anytime soon. Sure we could putter around and send some probes, but we aren't going to have the resources to do something really extraordinary for awhile.

    In the meantime, the US is slipping. We aren't the smartest, we aren't the biggest economy and we slowly shifting away from the center of the world. Like Egypt, China and Europe before, it is possible that the world's reins may slip from our hands unless we do something. Now whether that is a bad thing or not, I don't know, but as a government, I'm assuming a main goal is to retain influence.

    One of the best ways to maintain our influence is through education. If we really go all out on the next generation, then in 30 years, we'll still be the center of the modern world. If not, then in 30 years, China, Japan, Europe and India are going to stop sending us their smartest people and keep them for themselves, and then we'll just have the brain-deads over here watching American Idol.

    The best, most surefire way to increase the overall effectiveness of our education system is early education. We can pour trillion into high schools and get microscopic results, but just a fraction of that going into getting education out there to pre-kindergardeners and we will probably see general competency double. No I don't have a source for that, it being pure speculation, but it is well known that early development is a critical stage.

    Lately I've realized how little parent teach their kids. Some, I dare say most, do absolutely nothing. Nothing at all. Maybe the teach them to count to ten, but that is all. You're lucky if you get the ABC's as well. I find it shocking when I talk to people who didn't get taught anything as a child, and even more shocking when I see children not being taught.

    I was reading fluently and doing basic algebra before I entered kindergarden, and that lead has stuck with me my whole life. (Quite frustrating actually.)

    So yeah, those of you who are complaining that Obama isn't thinking long term, take a moment to consider whether you are thinking long term. Getting off of the planet, to a different solar system is going to take hundreds and hundreds of years of dedicated work and research. Furthermore, throughout those hundreds of years, society will have to be intelligent enough in general to realize the need for such a project and support it (which they aren't now). Possibly, before we dive straight for space flight, we need to raise the intellectual level of society high enough that they aren't looking at their own wallets so hard that we'll never get off the ground.

    Early education sounds like the best way to do that to me.

    P.S. I've only gotten one, count them, one bad mod (overrated), and I've got several (8 or 9) good ones, yet my karma has decided to become "bad". So now all my posts start at zero and no one ever reads them (let alone mods them up), meaning I can never get my karma to good, or at least normal. What is up with that. Should I just start a new account. Seriously, does one overrated mean I should be censored like this? Bah. Bah. I bet no one reads this either.

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