February 16, 2007


Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:24 pm

1. Anyone even remotely familiar with this place knows that I like to write funny things (at least I think they’re funny) about Nancy Pelosi. I confess that, at the moment, I cannot think of any way to write anything funny about this. It’s too easy to say that I’m outraged – I am, to be sure. More to the point, as an American and as a veteran, what happened today in the House of Representatives breaks my heart. What they (and a dozen so-called Republicans) did comes with consequences, which they will have to live with.

2. Speaking of Americans, I just watched a History Channel piece on Apollo 11. The documentary featured the flight controller and Buzz Aldrin discussing the mission accompanied by footage of the trip to and from the moon. Watching it, I was taken by the historic value of the program. It would be as if we had a video of Lewis and Clark’s expedition and narration by Lewis and Clark themselves.

I am old enough to have watched on television (albeit in a foreign country) in awe as the Apollo 11 mission unfolded. What the documentary cannot possibly convey is the pins and needles on which the nation sat wondering whether these brave men would return to Earth and, if so, would they return alive, and would they bring with them some sort of “Satan Virus” that would wipe out the population of the planet.

The documentary also reminded me that the decision to land on the moon or to abort the mission (a most difficult task) was still on the table at a time when the Apollo 11 capsule was spitting distance to the lunar surface. Land? Crash on the lunar surface? Crash while trying to abort? There was no time for non-binding resolutions. A decision had to be made then and there. The decision was made to land. Everyone at NASA and in the United States held their breath while Neil Armstrong (a test pilot) manually steered the capsule to the lunar surface with 17 seconds worth of fuel to spare.

Grit. I think America has lost it.

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