I got this from my old college buddy David O’Nan, and am posting it everywhere in hopes that at least one or two more folks will participate. (I even cross-posted it on the Space Warfare Forum, and I’ll be putting it on Twitter later.)
The Space Studies Board and the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board of the National Academies (of Sciences, Engineering, etc.) have requested public input on the “Rationale and Goals of the U.S. Civil Space Program.” The deadline for submitting your opinion is January 30th.
The “Statement of Task” for the joint study is on this page:
An ad hoc committee will prepare a report to advise the nation on key goals and critical issues in 21st century U.S. civil space policy. The committee will identify overarching goals that are important for our national interest…. Using its best objective judgment and recognizing other national priorities, the committee will explore a possible long term future for U.S. civil space activities that is built upon lessons learned and past successes; is based on realistic expectations of future resources; and is credible scientifically, technically, and politically.
Here’s the link to the actual questionnaire, which invites you to consider
– What should be the rationale and goals for the civil space program?
– How can the civil space program address key national issues?
Inputs are limited to 600 words (I’m still formulating mine). I hope every space enthusiast will take this opportunity to tell the study group what direction they think the civil space program should go.
With their candidates all but confirmed, the Republicans and Democrats have settled down a bit — but just a bit — while the Anti-Campaign continues at its breathtakingly slow pace. Over in the forum, this morning I posted the Anti-Candidate position on Health Care, for those who are interested.
The position includes two specific ideas that would relieve some of the burden of legal costs for healthcare providers. Under the category of tort reform, and answering the question, “How could we fix this?”:
First, by disallowing every lawsuit filed against any hospital, clinic, or provider within six months of any death or other injury alleged to be a result of care. Why? Because great emotional distress affects our ability to make good decisions. A year would be better, but some period of time is needed for the family to gain some perspective on the event and decide if they believe the provider was negligent or was acting in good faith. It would be even better if cases would be summarily dismissed if the plaintiff and their legal team planned the suit during the hiatus, even if they filed after the time period expired. This wouldn’t end all ambulance-chasing, but it would reduce the number of frivolous, reactionary cases.
Second, by restricting the potential damage awards to be commensurate with the earning potential of the plaintiff and the injured party. As a (non-healthcare) example, if the hot coffee spilled in your lap will cause you to miss work, and the embarrassment of having spilled hot coffee in your lap will cause you to miss more work, then maybe you should be awarded an amount related to the amount of work you’re likely to miss. Unless you’re going to be out of work for 20 years and without your 50-grand-a-year paycheck, you shouldn’t get any million-dollar payout.
Of course, this is just an academic exercise … but it’s still fun.