Friday, 12 May 95 Washington, DC
1. "ELIMINATING INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY" -- ONE SCIENTIST AT A
In a letter to the New York Times, the serial bomber who has
been killing or maiming academics for two decades explained that, "We
would not want anyone to think that we have any desire to hurt
professors who study archaeology, history, literature or harmless stuff
like that. The people we are out to get are the scientists and engineers,
especially in critical fields like computers and genetics.... We advocate
eliminating industrial society."
2. ELIMINATING THE FEDERAL DEFICIT -- ONE DEPARTMENT AT A
This week, the chairs of the Senate and House Budget Committees
announced plans for balancing the federal budget by 2002. A lot must
happen before any of this is translated into appropriations, but it appears
that the federal government is going to look very different--and a lot
smaller. The Kasich plan in the House has far more detail than the plan
Domenici presented to the Senate; it is also necessarily more radical,
since it includes a tax cut as promised in the Contract. But taxes aside,
the two plans share a common outlook: privatize it where you can,
devolve it to the states where you can't, and if you can't do either,
- NSF: Both plans call for refocusing on basic research. Under Kasich's
plan, NSF would continue to grow to $3.3B by FY 2000.
- NASA: Under the Kasich plan, NASA funding would decline from $14B
to $11.7. In a truly awesome disregard for common sense, the space
station would be fully funded, and the shuttle would be privatized.
Mission to Planet Earth would be "descoped" by $2.7B.
- NIST: Both Kasich and Domenici call for abolishing the Commerce
Department, but Kasich would preserve NIST as a separate agency. As
expected, the Advanced Technology Program would be eliminated.
- ENERGY: Although the Kasich budget calls for eliminating DOE, General
Science is protected, including the Drell bump (WN 27 May 94) and the
Facilities Utilization Initiative (WN 10 Feb 95). Energy supply would drop
by two-thirds--except hydrogen research.
- EDUCATION: The Kasich plan calls for abolishing the Department of
Education and "returning education to the state and local level." What will
become of the essential pieces? Well, maybe there won't be any; more
than 150 programs would be terminated.
- OTA: Both plans eliminate the Office of Technology Assessment.
3. FLASH! SPACE STATION AUTHORIZATION BILL IS PULLED BY
Walker (R-PA), chair of the House Science Committee, acted
after he was put "on notice" by George Brown (D-CA) that the bill (WN 7
Apr 95) might not receive support from key Committee Democrats.
THE AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOCIETY (Note: Opinions are the author's
and are not necessarily shared by the APS, but they should be.)