USSS NASA/Time for an Acorn/HopelessSeptember 1, 2009
Whilst the Space Blogoverse awaits: the report of the HSF (Augustine) Committee; the subsequent decision by President Obama and finally its ruination by pork barrel partisan politicking in Congress…
Some ideas to sort wheat from chaff:
- Disincentive – a universal paycut, pro-rata with grade. If anyone works for NASA for less than 10k$ (1$ nominal) I would be surprised, as the really low paid workers: cleaners, ground staff, etc. would be likely already privatised and then even further ****ed by their employer! So: 10 to 100k$: 1% of salary. 100k$+: 10%! All external contracts and contractors should be terminated. As NASA files for the equivalent of Chapter 11. Renegotiations to be carried out by independent body. Fixed Price; Penalty Clauses and no more “Business as Usual.”
And NASA is not just financially Bankrupt…
- Performance Review
(Inverse) – instead of the usual exercise in kissing a$$, the junior
grade would assess the senior! Rating them for intransigence, stealing ideas, failing to give due credit and general incompetence. Heads should roll!
- Efficiency Drive – each centre be given one year to cut costs and bureau-crazyness[sic]. Then independent auditors are sent in. The centre that fails by the most CLOSES. (And the kicker! The centre that makes the most savings also closes, for sheer bloatworthyness!)
Whilst all this is going on the Captain Bolden and First Mate Garver (of the Good Ship USSS NASA) should be “Having A Field Day” with less of the make-work: deck swabbing; brasswork polishing and the like. Get into the bilges and scuppers where the real dirt is! Haul the ship into space dock and scrape off the Vacuum Weed, Space Barnacles and Hull Worms. You could consider keel hauling for some of the teredos! “Pour encourager les autres” (Voltaire) Although IMHO execution by firing squad would be justified if even half of *IT* were true.
Now for some advice to the President! Rather than a Rice University “Moon” Moment or an Oval Office “Freedom” Moment or indeed any other more grandiose scheme doomed to failure… Why not start off with something small? Like an Acorn. And a: National Tree for Space! the ‘National Acorn’ should be germinated in space; grown in space and ideally transplanted to the Moon when it gets too big. Educational outeach. Environmentalism. National planting of Trees. International planting of: Maple, Yew, White Birch, Eucalyptus, …Bamboo! Mighty Metaphors…
And some Hopeful advice for Congress? None. From what I have seen (thankfully from afar) …they are beyond Hope. But I understand there are some elections coming up.
Time to send a message!