I’ve been hobbling around town the last few days with a torn calf muscle. (Whenever I put on my basketball shoes, I think I’m 18-years-old again.) I’ve used the time to do some more research for the National Debates (call me an optomist). One of the things I’ve been looking at is NASA. And as coincidence would have it (and, well, because it was staged in Florida), that topic came up last night in the Republican Debate. Each candidate, more or less, said they were committed to a robust Space Program. President Obama has echoed that as well. During a talk at Notre Dame University several years ago, I said all the great minds coming out of Stanford, MIT, etc., were developing these ultra-expensive, ultra-complex spacecraft — to take us to places where: “We can’t breathe the air. There is no gravity. And there is no food. Wouldn’t that be, oh, A LITTLE HINT GOD DIDN’T WANT US THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE?!” My research notes that NASA spent $209 billion alone on the 30 year Shuttle Program, which just ended. Ya gotta wonder, wouldn’t that money have been better spent on the poor in our inner cities and the scores of people starving to death worldwide — ON THIS PLANET?! Note: A Science News Magazine recently reported scientists believe they have found a red dwarf star that may be habitable, with temperatures that could range from 14 to 24 degrees (Spring in Barrow, Alaska). Only problem is: It would currently take 200 years to get there. Now I know that wouldn’t be for me. I have a hard time getting Liz to agree to a weekend away campaigning by myself. And anyway, if you really wanted that experience — why wouldn’t you just go to Barrow and take a side trip to look at the pipeline at Prudhoe Bay, or something?