EU Mission to Mars; no thanks

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The EU has many urgent needs. A mission to Mars is not one of them. Greece may need another bailout. The EU is trying to form an army. There is massive illegal immigration. Many EU states have terrifyingly large deficits. The PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain) still suffer from massive unemployment. Among the young this is beyond massive. We need to turn to green energy.

The USA already has missions to Mars. It is wasteful for the United States too. There is no need for the EU to copy such profligacy. It is part of the EU’s small man syndrome. The European Union often tries and fails to rival the United States.

The EU is better than the USA in terms of dealing with poverty and providing healthcare. We have a far lower murder rate and a better human rights situation. Why do EU fanatics feel impelled to take on the US in space? Let the United States splurge money on vainglorious NASA programmes. Β There is no evidence of life on Mars. If there were very useful minerals on Mars it might be worth it.

This mission to Mars is grossly wasteful. Even if we could find something useful there it is not necessary that we go now. We could wait years until our economy is in healthier shape. To do so now is terrible folly. It is symptomatic of the EU’s childish megalomania. The improvidence of this project is scandalous. We need to husband out scarce resources and not squander them on ostentation. It is partly about building a European identity.

We could spend more on NATO so we would provide a realistic deterrent to Russia invading the Baltic republics.

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About Calers

Born Belfast 1971. I read history at Edinburgh. I did a Master's at UCL. I have semi-libertarian right wing opinions. I am married with a daughter and a son. I am allergic to cats. I am the falling hope of the not so stern and somewhat bending Tories. I am a legal beagle rather than and eagle. Big up the Commonwealth of Nations.

121 responses »

  1. In the long haul the space antics may prove to be more beneficial to the human race than today’s running-in-place competitions. Spending and spending, throwing good money after bad. Perhaps the EU (which has been around for just a few years compared to the US which has been spinning wheels for hundreds of years) can be understood in light of its long-term goals of a United Europe.

    I suppose the funds expended— on the dream of somehow preserving our human condition into the solar system and beyond—ARE frivolous. And none of us…not even our great great great great grandkids— will ever reap direct benefits. But wait!!! We already have—what about Velcro? πŸ™‚

    If nothing else…the dream and promise of a great future in which our respective Earth accomplishments can realize the altruistic goal of discovering NEW intelligent beings whith which we can interact…share discoveries and other-worldly innovations of Life…find new places for us as humans to spread out and perhaps conquer and dominate…make them like us. (Or become like them.) Not the least of the benefits to us may be the possibility of new adversaries to FIGHT WITH.

      • thanks. It’s one of my favorite subjects, dreamer that I am. If the human race can refrain from destroying ourselves long enough who know what wonders await? Spending every available nickle on bombs and missiles doesn’t help.

      • Quite. I am cognisant of our need for weapons for self-defence. However, military capability can be expanded far beyond any rational need. It creates and arms race. Nations also need to be willing to suffer deaths. The USA has the best equipment in the world but was not willing to sustain many fatalities in Iraq.

      • specifically I was addressing the space-exploration-expenditure thing in my post. It seems its all about ME-NOW in politics and world issues, with insufficient thoughts of the far distant future. If I’m asked, I think the world powers have enough over-kill to destroy the world and who knows how much all. Its stupid, beyond tragic.

      • We need not rush to address the long term future about planets. Clinate change is a problem NOW. This exploration adds to climate change.

      • As long as half of our politicians claim to disbelieve in climate change…beholden to the energy companies…their minions fail to think about it.

      • Quite. Many people are gulled by wishful thinking and greedy corporate propaganda. Thankfully there are some socially responsible corporations who do their bit. Unilever is amongst them. It is possible to turn a profit out of saving the planet.

      • Exactly. Did you read where they are drilling an oil line under the river that runs through Dakota Indian Land? Here we go again…corporate greed.

      • I wouldn’t advocate immediate concentration on figuring out how to get to the far reaches of the universe…just that we keep a steady interest in maintaining continuing education of ourselves in the future. Slow and easy does it…I’ll be dead anyway.

      • Nothing much on Pluto anyway…I’m talking about far, far, far past Pluto. Hundreds of years…maybe thousands of years.
        What I advocate is feeding the hungry, protecting the poor, educating everyone at a decent level…refraining from beating up on little countries and forcing unpleasant and greedy restraints on them. I tend to be a bleeding heart liberal, I guess. πŸ™‚

      • Quite right. Reaching the uttermost parts of the universe is not something we need to accomplish immediately. We have problems to contend with NOW. What about children dying from nutrition or lack of basic medicines?

      • yes…kids not getting vaccines, selective education standards, attacks on our fledgling health care system, stockpiling terrible weapons, land grabs. Right now we just need to get through the next election…stamp out bigotry and stupidity. Pump up our education system. (Sorry, I’m sort of concentrating on this side of the pond…I know the whole world has issues! πŸ™‚

      • ah…the only reason I would recommend leaving Earth would be when there is no such liveable place left. Hope springs eternal is true, and if I were running the world there would not be any rich people dominating everything….food for everyone…productive work…education…but as I said I am a Dreamer.

      • fascinating discussion…but I have to get back to listing dollhouse furniture etc. on ebay to try to make a buck so I can pay my gas bill. From the ridiculous to the sublime–if we know which is which. πŸ™‚

      • Thank you. It is wise to have some doubt. One should not express one’s opinion in overly strident terms. It is difficult when things become personal and emotions overheat.

      • yay for Sir Hillery! Getting to the top and being able to survey the horizon can and should help to provide ways to improve life. Lots of good from space related research now…Velcro for example. that’s a joke Son…as the cartoon rooster Senator Foghorn used to say.

      • My goodness. My point is that a mission to Mars is totally unnecessary. Even if were called for it does not need to happen now.

      • There is the Sir Edmund Hillery view. Why did you climb Everest? Because it was there. This is public money we are talking about. Use it to save children’s lives.

      • Quite. We have more than enough weapons. Countries that wish to fight need not only gizmoes. They also need the public to accept very high casualties among the military.

      • what? not MY kid! That’s the prevailing opinion on the draft. Too many rich kids getting cushy assignments while the general rabble marched off…

      • Quite right. College deferments – defer, defer until they reach the age of 30. Or like TRUMP use a very minor condition to avoid military service.

      • there was always the National Guard. But that was problematic…one example I like, when New Orleans was devastated by the big hurricane the Louisiana National Guard was deployed in Iraq…they had to “borrow” troops from other states.

      • It is commendable that states help each other. The USA has troops in most countries. The US needs some troops abroad but not in over 100 countries.

      • It’s called control. Those who say we have all these programs and give so much money to help other countries…bologna, the help oftens comes from a gun barrel. Not only the USA, either, really. We do tend to get around, I’ll admit.

      • my state, Ohio, could go either way…this area is very depressed, as it was once dependent on steel and auto manufacturing. No more. People are poor, and too many of them are uneducated. Minnesota is a different story, I’m not sure how they will go, although I think there is a higher level of thought processes there. πŸ™‚

      • ah…such are based on political ramifications…nobody wants their kid to march off to war. Better just lop missiles and stuff from the air…not very selective, but basically effective. πŸ™‚

      • You are right with drones and suchlike countries can reduce their casualties radically. Wars will be less unpopular in countries where there are v few fatalities.

      • Yep. One difference here is that we don’t have the draft. Every drivers’ license bureau has signs informing young drivers’ that their information is passed on to the Selective Service. Many don’t realize that means if the need ever arises they won’t have to search for warm bodies.

      • during the debates Lindsey Graham (I think it was) chatted on about the means of drafting to fulfill the legions of troops that Trump et al would need to “beat up the enemies.” I grew up at a time when all of my friends (male friends, relatives, classmates, boyfriends…etc.) served in the military. My first husband was a soldier stationed in Germany (at the time of the war in Korea) … second husband was involved in WWII…he was in France. When there was an election being a veteran was practically mandatory to succeed in politics or jobs like police or fire positions.

      • The thing about drones and off-shore missile lopping is that it is a casual trap shoot so to speak…targets are not well defined, too bad about collateral damage.

      • One must strive to reduce collateral damage but it cannot always be avoided. Enemy fighters might position themselves beside civilians to try to discourage attacks. One must also ask what the acceptable ratio is. If one could slay 10 foes but also kill 10 civilians would that be acceptable? I say not. What if it was 10 enemies and 1 civilian? What if it was 100 enemies and 1 civilian? The thing is people are seldom sure how many enemies and how many civilians are there. There are numberless mistakes in the fog of war. Situation develop rapidly.

      • There is the thing about Just Wars. There is no such thing…it is obscene when a holy flag leads the chargers on their nasty deeds… Then there is the issue of “the bad guys” specified as
        “them” against “us.” Evil, like Beauty, lies in the eye of the beholder. I am always in-between…there is no black-and-white, only greys…the winners decide who are the war criminals…might makes right.

      • I disagree. Sometimes wars are justified. They should be ended if one can achieve justice. One should not insist on accomplishing all one’s goals to a full extent. One can never be sure of victory. One has to weight justice against lives.

      • When did war and seizing of land ever equal justice? Oil is not a “just cause.” WE, of course, are on the side of good…but the other side thinks THEY are the good, and we are the bad. Demonization of the enemy helps, for those “masses” tend to believe whatever they are told…good and evil are two sides of the same coin.

      • There are just causes. Seizing land can lead to better outcomes for the inhabitants thereof. Most people in either army are not bad. They happen to be born in a country and they take its side. They believe what they are told on the whole. Sometimes they do not think about it. There cause may be rotten but the ordinary soldiers are normally not wicked. Likewise if one cause is righteous it can still be served by some loathsome people.

      • indeed…idealism lies with the source of survival, I think. There is always “us”
        and “them.” It seems many of us check every morning to find out who and what we are against that particular day.

      • We must remember that people are conscripted into an army or join out of careerism and conformity. People are pshchologically conditioned.

      • …or the need to make a living. When I was in high school, back in the dark ages, my knight…er, guy was a fighter pilot; my first husband a soldier; one of my school mates was disintegrated in a tank over in Korea. Virtually ALL the boys I knew were military bound. My brother was a sailor on an aircraft carrier. There was no “deciding” to join or not to join…they just did.

      • True. It was a given: mandatory military. All of my examples joined before they were drafted. Altruism was high at some times, such as in WWII, but by Vietnam not so much. I do favor a comprehensive draftl

      • The USA is now mainly for the working class or even the underclass. This is except for officers who often comes from upper middle class families. Officers often come from dynasties of officers.

      • much is due to “being in the right place at the right time,” or LUCK. Then, too, the “best” jobs went to former-military, until those types became less common. Not many of our politicians came from the military.

      • Republicans are totally against entitlements – unless it is for former military personnel. The US military is the most socialist organisation in the US. It is taxpayer funded and provides free healthcare to veterans for life. Moreover, they get education even when it has no military application. I knew a guy doing an English degree in the UK and he was in the US Army.

      • My oldest daughter was born in a US military hospital. My late-ex-husband was on 10% disability until he died. My brother is retired from the US Navy w/32 years in. . Our VA Hospital system is currently under attack because of poor administration of facilities. Yes the education part is good…my fighter pilot boyfriend got his engineering degree from the military.

      • His degree is useful to the military. My beef is with the US Government paying for serving officers to go and study English.

      • ah ha! Maybe he wants to become an English professor, or teach secondary school students to use the language. Lord knows someone needs to do that!

      • ah, so true! Education, or lack there of, is much of the culprit. Knowledge by and for the elite at the expense of the rabble…not even pretending to be equal.

      • ah, there is no prerequisite for “gainful” education…basket-weaving or alien art forms…practicality has no bearing on the “right” to learn (or not) whatever students want.

      • I regard people having a right to an education up to a certain age. It is hard to be precise about this but I would say to the age of 14. Thereafter it should be for those of middling and superior aptitude.

      • I once worked at the placement office of an Engineering college, back in the 1950s. The #1 Scholar had excelled throughout, and achieved an engineering degree, as “required” by his father. The young man’s dream had long been to own and maintain a business as an automobile mechanic, which of course demanded basic knowledge plus some experience and/or guidance, and money with which to accomplish his goal. His father was not happy about this…but apparently accepted the son’s following through on HIS ambitions, rather than Dad’s. The point, I guess, is that the Son pursued and achieved an educational level much higher than actually needed to pursue a non-higher-education traditional career. I don’t know what ever became of him…but I was reminded of his story when I read your comment.

      • I once worked for/with a young lawyer, who aspired to be a race car driver. He said that was not in his father’s lists of approved professions: Lawyer, Physician, Priest. Actually he worked at being a lawyer, but he also attained a modest level of local renown as a race car driver.

      • It is wise to become a member of a profession for the sake of job security. He can always seek to achieve another ambition. If that does not work out for him he has the law to fall back on.

      • once a yung lawyer told me he hated having to drive a big Lincoln with initials on the license plate, and wear suit and ties…while his old pals worked in the steel mills and drove cool cars and clothes

      • It is absurd that people set such store by appearances. What does the joB? The clothes or the person? Conformity is a curse. The legal profession is often judgmental and stultifying.

      • yes, the Dad was a strict taskmaster…the kids did what he said, regardless of age. I suppose because he paid all expenses through college etc., law school.

      • the “imponderable” is ahead this week…riots and general unrest perpetrated by the “educated elite” …just imagine had the tables reversed? Never a dull moment here in the “land of cowboy mentality.”

      • How many educated people are behind these riots? I accept that educated people are capable of perpetrating horrific crimes.

      • yes indeed. Here’s my point: it was widely believed that Trump would lose, and that his followers would riot and create havoc. Clinton’s people on the other hand said to be “college educated” and presumeably the opposite of the “deplorables,” as HC called them. (Indeed…I concur.) I expected him to lose, and for great unrest to follow. The opposite occurred.

        who knows who is “behind” these riots? I believe them to be spontaneous, mob mentality…and/or students (who tend to enjoy such events) events. Keeping an eye on the “others” … just my opinions…not any organized study. πŸ™‚

      • The Republicans are all for entitlements – corporate welfare, tax breaks for billionaires, lobbying, the war industry, overly generous packages for the military and CIA, the prison -industrial complex

      • so…did you see where our Vice President and one of our Presidential candidates are boasting about “dukeing it out behind the barn?” Not much couth at all… back a couple of centuries they would beat each other with canes on the senate floor. Ya gotta love our cowboy mentality.

      • There are some such people in all nations. I regret to say that the United States has more than its fair share. Excessive self-congratulation and the cult of machismo exacerbate these tendencies.

      • this is very true…when we did a lot of traveling we used to “joke” about having handy a little maple-leaf-pin that we could pop onto our collars…suggesting that we might have in fact been natives of our country=neighbor to the north. πŸ™‚

      • I know the small neighbour syndrome. Irish people are often mortally offended if people mistake them for the English. Unionists from Northern Ireland often disliked being called Irish since they think that would mean they are part of the Republic of Ireland.

      • I did a lot of traveling in Mexico, and tried to avoid tourists with the “look at the funny natives…why don’t they speak English?” attitude. A lot of Brits, Germans, Canadians on various excursions I was on…not sure if they/we really are the most obnoxious people, OR is it just because I didn’t hang out with other ethnic groups?

      • It is galling that some people are so staggeringly stupid. These people have no self-awareness. Do as you would be done by. In Mexico it is up to foreigners to learn Spanish.

      • sad but true. In the mountains, indigenous people often do not have a chance to learn Spanish, they speak Indian languages. In some areas the teachers in rural schools are 12-year-olds who have not yet managed to make it out of the villages…IF they are boys; girls rarely do.

      • yes. Boys/young men from the remote villages are often sent “out” into the world of the large cities by their families for the very purpose of learning Spanish in order to even hope to compete. Girls…no, they learn what they can, settle for being wives and mothers. Not that that isn’t an honorable pursuit—but it is limiting.

      • very true…but sometimes (often, maybe) the concept of just WHO is the enemy and WHO are the bad guys is blurred. It often occurs to me to wonder “what side are we on?”

      • The situation in Syria is fluid and confusing. It is a multi sided. There are many bogus accusations. The Kremlin tells the most barefaced lies. Putin claims that the Turkish Government is backing ISIS despite the Turkish military attacking ISIS. You should treat anything the Russian Government says with extreme scepticism.

  2. Reblogged this on SOMETIMES and commented:
    Here is an interesting post by Calers, one of my favorite bloggers…who always manages to stretch my imagination. Like Kermit the Frog, I subscribe to the like of Dreamers and Lovers and all of the many songs about rainbows and the sheer joy of speculation and imagination that is an innate part of our Human Intelligence. Or as my late husband once suggested: maybe I am “nuts.”

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