Despite my previous post, there will be some NASA Tweetup posts coming. Didn't think I was gonna let it all slip by, did you?
'Til then, here's something to contemplate: I didn't notice this sign outside the diner I ate in on the first day of the tweetup until I overheard an entering patron tell a waitress: "That is some sign you got out there."
Obama's being blamed for a lot of things he didn't start - and for a lot of things that are, sadly and not-so-sadly, ending under his watch - and hey, anybody following the train wreck that was Dubya's two terms was going to have a hard row to hoe. The shuttle program was already being phased out around the time of Obama's election, but the anger at its end is clearly being directed at him.
Truth of the matter is, we in the U.S. no longer have the funding, or the political imperative that used to be goading us from the former Soviet Union, to continue space exploration all on our own...and if the continued trend towards cutting education and/or passing the management off of it to private enterprises keeps on, we will likely have a corresponding diminished role in the global scientific community currently launching people to the International Space Station, but planning for greater, farther destinations such as Mars.
I was also saddened to see Fox News on in the NASA employee cafeteria near the media site, too. The misinformation it passes on is spreading like wildfire and contributing to the general stupidity - hence the signage I saw on State Road 3 just south of Kennedy Space Center. Not that other 24/7 news outlets are much better...a truly critical eye on the media's reportage is an asset that must be developed now more than ever before.
How can we better educate folks in this current day and age about these issues? Will Obama actually grow a pair and start to take a stronger stand on the things that matter like the sciences, and, more importantly, will a majority of Congressional members follow his lead? I am, currently, at a loss concerning these questions...but I know there were 149 incredible, enthusiastic people chosen to be in that tent for two days learning about exploration beyond the Earth's gravity.
I even admonished one who said, "Oh, I'm just nobody."
No, you are somebody. All of us are.
So what do we do about it?