McKeithan Column

Published 12:50 am Friday, September 26, 2008

By Staff
Think tank proposes solutions
Judge Judy and NASA are targeted
A “startup glitch” has shut down the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). (I could have told you that would happen.)
In case you aren’t aware, the LHC is a machine encased in a 17-mile circle buried 300 feet underneath France. It is supposed to smash atoms and tell us about the origins of mass and “dark energy.” Some scientists fear it will cause a mini-black hole that will suck us all into oblivion. Well, I guess if that’s going to happen, France is a good place to start.
What’s the price tag of the LHC — $9 billion? Yep, with a “b.”
All of that time, money and digging in an effort to answer the question, “What are the basic building blocks of the universe?” Shoot. I can answer that for half the money: Legos.
Think tank formed
I have formed a think tank to solve other difficult problems threatening our civilization. The International Division of Intellectual Observation and Thought (IDIOT) will answer the most perplexing mysteries of the universe.
I want to tackle our most pressing issues: Terrorism, global warming, poverty, male pattern baldness and Ralph Nader. (These are lofty aspirations for a man of meager means. Won’t you help? Become an honorary member of IDIOT. Your donation of $1 billion will help save our planet and ensure my mortgage payment through December.)
Return to the moon?
NASA has plans to return to the moon. The cost of another trip to a PLACE WE HAVE ALREADY BEEN is going to be approximately $300 quadrillion-trillion, and change.
This is hardly the heady stuff of the Cold War sixties. If someone had told John F. Kennedy that four decades after Neil Armstrong took a “giant leap for mankind” we would dream of — returning to the moon — I think he’d be disappointed in us.
Why the moon … again?
According to NASA administrator, Michael Griffin, the purpose is to inspire the country and improve Tang. Hey, Mikey! Doing something over again inspires no one. (Just ask my high school Algebra I teacher.)
Griffin wants to establish a moon base to help us colonize other planets. It seems we’re making Earth about as hospitable as a crockpot, so NASA wants us to bail and move to Uranus or a moon orbiting Pluto.*
I HATE moving.
Why don’t we spend that money on fixing Earth’s problems? We can cork all of the volcanoes, buy a comet-deflecting machine, get ECU in a BCS conference and prop up the financial markets that are as jittery as a turkey in November.
I don’t care that Mars may have once had water. Big whoop. Let’s stop sending golf carts there to collect soil samples and take vacation photos. I may not be a rocket scientist — but THEY ARE — and smart enough to know better.
Judge Judy is to blame
Through fancy cipherin’ — I have determined that over 75 percent of Earth’s available monetary resources go to pointless scientific projects and to Judge Judy. It should irk you (I’ve lost sleep over THIS one) that Her Honor makes over $45 million a year to preside over a fake courtroom on a soundstage in Hollywood. It is my hope that future President Palin will cancel the show and use the money to erase the national debt. (I see a catfight brewin’. Whoooee!)
I’m not part of the problem
Before those of you (who have Sound Off programmed on speed dial) pick up the phone to complain — let me address your concerns.
I realize there are indirect benefits to the technology arising from space exploration. We’re all grateful for pens that can write under water, reversible belts, mood rings and The Clapper. (NASA didn’t, however, score any points with polyester.)
I’m merely saying that in my opinion — ergo that of IDIOT — these monies are better directed elsewhere.
So there.
*Editor’s note: McKeithan used the words “Uranus” and “moon” in the same sentence without making an inappropriate joke. He is to be commended.
Ray McKeithan is associate publisher of the Washington Daily News. If you have any questions or comments about column topics or content and operations at the WDN, please send an email to: or call 252-940-4205.