We Can Put A Man On The Moon, But We Can't Make Killer Robot Police?Commentary • Science & Technology • Opinion • ISSUE 32•04 • Aug 26, 1997 By Irene Frederick, Taxpayer Irene Frederick Taxpayer Every time I watch the news, I see another story about all the wonderful things NASA is doing in outer space. I know, I know, it's all supposed to be very impressive and exciting. But to be honest, it just boils my blood. I mean, the federal government can put a man on the moon, but it can't build a killer robot police force to keep the cars from roaring down my street at 45 miles per hour? What kind of priorities do we have in this country? Just the other day, there was a big article in the Danville Tribune-Gleaner about the growing truancy problem among our town's youths. And then I read in USA Today how the government is spending $40 billion on outer-space surveillance satellites. Couldn't they put some of that satellite money to better use by constructing space-based laser cannons in geocentric orbit above Danville High to make sure our schoolchildren aren't skipping class? And for a fraction of what NASA spends on all that Mars rover monkey business, I could have a radio-wave-controlled stun gun that would finally stop those kids from stealing all the fruit off my Paula Red apple tree. It is painfully obvious that the government has the money and resources to build a high-energy force field around every single American, yet it doesn't. I mean, when I'm out grocery shopping, it's darn near impossible to keep my belongings secure. Are a few measly cameras in the corners of the Foodland really going to deter a thief? What about my handbag? The pictures in my wallet of little Kevin and Annie are irreplaceable! (I'm only going to be a grandmother once, you know! Unless, of course, the government finally gets on the ball with those cryogenic pods.) And that Hubble telescope, there's a real beaut. Who needs to know if there's life out in space trillions of light years away, anyway? As long as the spacemen don't come running through my yard right after it rains, leaving inch-deep footprints in my lawn like the Jiminez boys do, I don't care who they are! If only NASA had aimed that telescope at Danville instead of Pluto, you can bet my new azalea bushes wouldn't have been destroyed. It's shameful the way our downtown has been allowed to degenerate, what with soda-pop cans and candy-bar wrappers strewn on the sidewalks everywhere. Just thinking about all the millions spent on that Mir station gets me in a dither when I look around Danville and see trash everywhere, with no retractable vacuum-dome to suck it up. And it sure would cut down on those ill-mannered smokers who light up right next to "No Smoking" signs if their cigarettes were knocked from their hands by hovering cybernetic space bees. I have asthma, you know! If I can't demand killer robot police, then the least I can expect is a laser-powered servo-motored patrol-bot for my garage. How else will I know if it's a robber or just a raccoon rustling around out there late at night? I understand that in Sweden, every citizen is guaranteed a patrol-bot. But here in the world's richest nation, we go without! The sheer wastefulness of our government makes me sick!