Includes thoughts and comments about energy needs, resources, conservation and their relationship to politics at home and around the world.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Failure is Not an Option

That was a quote attributed to Gene Kranz, NASA Apollo Flight Director, in the movie "Apollo 13". At the 40th Anniversary event sponsored by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation on April 9, 2010 at the Kennedy Space Center, Kranz noted that he did not say that phrase. He allowed as to how during the stressful period of bringing back the Apollo 13 moon lander and its crew safely, the phrase was actually used by a member of his team in describing to another team member what Kranz said at the time. Kranz said something to the effect that they could not fail to bring the crew back alive which the first team member paraphrased into "Failure is not an option". And that is precisely the case with America's space program---we cannot allow it to fail in its mission which it will do if the Obama administration has its way.

Importance of Space Program

If you like speedy communications with friends, fellow workers or other members of your family over your cellphone or its many derivatives; if you find that little GPS unit you use helpful when travelling in unfamiliar territory ; if you enjoy XM or Sirius radio programming; if you enjoy that flat screen TV in your home and your kids enjoy the DVD player in the back seat of the family automobile; if you or the company you work for has saved money otherwise spent travelling to remote locations for meetings by using programs like Go To Meeting; if you appreciate any of those and other things made possible by the work of the passionately dedicated people at NASA and its corporate partners, you certainly owe them your thanks. Virtually every productive activity of modern-day mankind has benefitted from the space program.

One day, we humans will be faced with a need to set up civilization on another world if it is to continue its existence. I was 8 years old at an airshow with my grandfather in 1936 when he pointed up at aerial acrobats in their old cloth covered bi-planes doing their stunts. He said: "I envy you for the things you're going to see and experience in your lifetime, son, and a lot, if not most of it, will be out there!" He sensed even then that space travel and investigation were going to become a very important part of man's future.

Some people still don't see why we are spending money on a space program. Some of them say the money would be better spent to help the poor here on Earth. The fact is, there could be no Earth one day, given all we have come to know about our planet and objects in outer space that are headed our way.

Getting humankind into outer space and living there will require a scientific effort and energy beyond anything that has been done to date. A lot has already been accomplished to provide the base from which the continued effort will build. We must not let government stop what we must do.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Obamacare on the Move

Passage of the healthcare reform act adds further to the takeover of America by those who want us to become a European-style socialist state. The government now owns 67% of the American auto industry and, through various means of control, virtual ownership of the banking industry. The same will soon be the case of our healthcare industry. With the government taking over the student loan program, their takeover of higher education soon will be complete as well. What's next isn't pretty either.


Unionism is one of Obama's major tools for "transforming" the nation to collectivism. The unions were an early victim in the socialist/communist movement in America and by their actions have driven U.S. manufacturers to right-to-work States followed by foreign countries when unions started making inroads in such States. They fought company management at every turn to gain ever more costly benefits and wages. They refused to work with management to achieve productivity and profit goals that would have paid for their demands. Is it any wonder why companies moved operations out of the country?

In exchange for their help to get him elected, Obama gave the United Auto Workers (UAW) part ownership in GM and Chrysler, and through bailouts, gave government a majority piece of the rest. That kept GM and Chrysler out of bankruptcy which would have given management an opportunity to rid the companies of union influence and the outlandish legacy costs demanded by the UAW. No doubt the UAW's next move will be to gain Congressional approval of "card check" to grease the skids for a total takeover of any businesses with 50 or more employees.


Other groups also helped Obama reach the White House. Among them were Hispanics, both legitimate as well as illigitimate citizens. Illegal Hispanic immigrants in this country number somewhere between 12 million and 15 million. There are also many Asian illegals here. There is little doubt that Obama wants to grant the illegals amnesty and allow them to become citizens which, in his mind, adds up to more votes supporting his socialist/collectivist agenda.

My father came to this country as a boy of 4 years in 1896 with his mother from Vaasa, Finland. At the time, Finland was under the control of Russia and Czar Nicholas. No Finn could own private property. As a consequence, My grandparents and family were no more than tenant farmers (or "lodgers" as they were called in Finland). They came here seeking freedom from the harshness of Czarist rule and to enjoy all that our freedom allows. They came here under a strict quota system and, thanks to the Homestead Act, were able to build a home and dairy farm on a section of land in Lawrence County, South Dakota. It's worth noting that in that period of our nation's growth, development of the West was encouraged which was the purpose of the Homestead Act.

My father, his two brothers and his parents all went through the naturalization process to become valid American citizens. When we entered WWI in 1917, my father volunteered for service in the U.S. Army even though he could have avoided service due to his marriage and a growing family. He believed it was his duty and a privilege to fight for his adopted country. He was severely wounded near Belleau Wood in July 1918. He passed his patriotism to his four sons, me included, as we volunteered for service in WWII.

The point of all of the above commentary on immigration and patriotism is to underscore the difference in attitude between legal immigrants then v. illegal immigrants today. We must stop illegal immigration NOW!!!


The government takeover of the student loan program smells to high heaven of one more move aimed at controlling our lives. The takeover opens the door to favoritism in determining who gets educated in America and who doesn't. Marxism and socialism infiltrated higher education in this country back in the early 1930s and gradually turned students away from Americanism as defined by the Constitution of the United States toward socialism. As a consequence, 90% of the faculty in most colleges and universities in our country today are bonafide socialists. They are against private enterprise, against capitalism and have succeeded in filling the heads of their students with like thinking. They have tried to re-write history to further support their venomous thinking, passing it all on to their students all the way down to middle school children.