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Health-care horrors

By Tom Toles


Been there, done that

I risk sounding anti-grand-human-quest-for-adventure by saying this, but I for one am pretty happy that U.S. plans to return to the moon have been back-burnered. This is one of the areas (there are several!) of public discourse where sloppy thinking has been allowed to hold sway. What is billed as the hunger for discovery has been marked by a notable absence of awareness of what we've actually found. (Hint: not new civilizations.)

We've traveled to the moon many times over, yet apparently are unwilling to see the obvious: The moon is a crappy place to live. Mostly dust and rocks. Really, really cold. An annoying absence of air. But plenty of lethal radiation.

But the moon, we are told, is just a stepping stone. To Mars. And beyond! Mars is essentially more of the same. Only more expensive to get to. Our whole solar system, outside of earth, is the worst kind of desert imaginable. We just want to keep pretending it's Star Trek out there. But what about the garden spots that surely exist in OTHER solar systems? They're way way way way way way far away. Check the map. Start work on those warp engines.

Space is fascinating, for sure, but it's just a bad place to live. Could we if we want to? Sure, but if the goal is inhabiting inhospitable places, the bottom of the ocean is still available. Closer, easier, cheaper, and just as senseless. Sending humans out to explore the cosmic death-zone is a ridiculously expensive way to do the exploring. Save space for our robots. They enjoy that sort of place. --Tom Toles



By Tom Toles  | March 24, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Health care, Obama White House  
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I for one have no ambitions for space travel, at least not at this time. Schenectady would do just fine.

Posted by: dudeupnorth | March 29, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I get a great deal of enjoyment from Mr. Toles's work. I have no idea as to his idiological orientation but from his work I believe he is an equal opportunity critic/commentator. If I'm correct, that would make him a rational and reasonable man. IMHO, a quality we need more of!

I'd like add that I greatly appreciate the insight provided by his posts. I do not agree with some of what he says but that is what makes us human.

Bottom line -- to Mr. Toles - Thank you for your work and your views!!

Posted by: Freethotlib | March 26, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Toles and the others celebrating the end of manned space flight for America would have been perfect in the Congress of 1803. That congress bemoaned that fact that Jefferson had spent 3 million dollars on a vast wasteland that would do nothing for the US. They complained about the expense of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and I bet a few said it was to dangerous to go and explorer. Had the Congress found out about the death of Sargent Floyd near Council Bluff the expedition would have been ordered back and Congressional investigations would have been started delaying the explorers until all risk was accounted for and future expeditions would have new rules of engagement. Had our current President been in that 1803 White House, we would still be a small country limited by the fear and expense of crossing the Mississippi. Please America, do nothing unless it is risk free.

Posted by: Blyleven4HoF | March 24, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Toles,

I much respect and continue to enjoy your insightful cartoons. You bring a stinging reminder of the real world, which is much needed in this day of a detached President, our so called representatives in Washington and what was a free world.

Today's blog with the Health Care masked as a bunny cartoon is spot on. The dems blindly pushed through this health care bill (and as time will show in November) they will be dancing on their own graves. The little trail of bunny pellets is just beginning now with protests, threats and so forth.

Grab your bag of popcorn the show is just getting started.

No 3-D glasses necessary. However, snorkel gear will be required as this country as we know it will be underwater in debt.

Posted by: fromthecheapseats | March 24, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Tom Toles has situational principles if it were GW Bush or any Republican actually cutting the space program as the Democrats have just done he would be crying bloody murder and pulling out all of that cherry picking of science crap, but since the Democrats are doing it doing Grandpa Tole's agrees of course.

Posted by: carbonhog | March 24, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Toles is only partly correct, and the portion he's correct about is the inhospitable nature of space. He doesn't seem to acknowledge the many scientific and technical advances that flowed from the space program.

I think "brent6" hit close to the mark; but Brent, it's not just social change, it's social change organized and dispensed by self appointed elites.

What we can easily do without are artists. They make amusing and pretty things, and they're clever (for the most part) but we have politicians to amuse us. Alas, we can't de-fund politicians, so let's de-fund artists instead. They can still make amusing and pretty things, and they could still be clever, but let's make them earn their keep.

Posted by: Curtis47 | March 24, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

As Stephen Hawking has observed, it is important for humans to spread out into space to ensure the survival of the species. I cannot myself perceive being so unimaginative as to be satisfied with sitting here on this rock until we annihilate ourselves or the Sun burns out.

Posted by: ksu499 | March 24, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Right on Tom. Robots are the way to go!

Posted by: berdy1 | March 24, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Well, that's no ordinary rabbit. That's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 24, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

It saddens me that this is the trend of modern published intellectual thought. That is, no change is acceptable unless it is social change.

Posted by: brent6 | March 24, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

What Tom doesn't remember or realize is that many of today's products and innovations came about because of the space race and the quest to create new materials to stand up to the rigors of outerspace. That nice silicone caulk that lasts 50 years and keeps the drafts out of your house? It was originally designed to hold the tiles on the space shuttle.

So yeah, let's put all the highest educated people out of work and pour money into the inner cities and let the welfare moms have more babies and see where that takes our country. I'd rather take the nearly $1 Trillion p$$d away on healthcare and put that into developing a sustainable and safer method of getting to low earth orbit and to the moon. What you are suggesting is going to hurt this country in the long term because you're cutting off the top of the ladder, there will be no where for the highly educated people to go and pretty soon you will have college educated people flipping burgers at McD's during the "boom" years as well as during the recessions!

Posted by: ATrueChristian | March 24, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty psyched Tom has his own blog for his cartoons and/or editorial thoughts now. Best political cartoonist in the country.

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | March 24, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Don't know what I seem to the world, but to me I seem like a boy playing on the sea-shore and an ocean of undiscovered potential lays out in front of me. The waves come crashing in and don't need mechanics. The technicians at the pickle factory are busy. Things look bad for General Electric as they looked worse for General Motors. The high-grade work continues on as they fiddle, empty space does not hold. A good violent shock today is better than a perfect violent shock next week. I really need more General Grants and another box of General Mills. We've got a government in a box and a bog and big hole to put it in. Naturally things go over into disorder. It's Kayoss.

Posted by: tossnokia | March 24, 2010 6:59 AM | Report abuse

You won't have to wait that long for the truth ads grandpa and did you see how many payoffs and bribes it took for the democrats to cooperate with each other and if they didn't cooperate they got kicked out.

Posted by: carbonhog | March 24, 2010 5:05 AM | Report abuse

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