"orbital sentinels were helping man understand the vagaries of nature..."
What does that even mean?
"America’s only path to low Earth orbit and the International Space Station will now be subject to an agreement with Russia to purchase space on their Soyuz (at a price of over 50 million dollars per seat with significant increases expected in the near future)"
It currently costs America $160 million per astronaut to launch people in the shuttles.
"For The United States, the leading space faring nation for nearly half a century, to be without carriage to low Earth orbit and with no human exploration capability to go beyond Earth orbit for an indeterminate time into the future, destines our nation to become one of second or even third rate stature."
The decision to retire the shuttles this year was actually in place during Bush's administration. We have not had human exploration capability beyond Earth orbit since Apollo, some 40 years ago. And the Constellation Program wasn't expected to get us anywhere until 2020 or so.
What I don't get is why these guys think we can't do anything in space without people up there to do it.