So, what do I, a random computer nerd, think about Bush's plan for Mars? I'm a bit dismayed at the low level of funding it's being given, the budget is off by an order of magnitude, but it's better than nothing, and hopefully the next President will fund it at a much higher level. It's going to be expensive, and it's going to cost human lives, we'd better accept that now before we start. The debate over whether or not we should be doing this reminds me of this bit from The West Wing:
Sam: There are a lot of hungry people in the world, Mal, and none of them are hungry 'cause we went to the moon. None of them are colder, and certainly none of them are dumber 'cause we went to the moon.
Mallory: And we went to the moon. Do we really have to go to Mars?
Sam: Cause it's next. 'Cause we came out of the cave. And we looked over the hill, and we saw fire. And we crossed the ocean, and we pioneered the West, and we took to the sky. The history of man is hung on a timeline of exploration, and this is what's next.