Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

Ben Stein delivered a moving message to families of those who have given their lives to defend our freedom.
Your loved ones' lives and deaths had as much meaning at the lives and deaths of every American who died for freedom from Valley Forge to the Battle of the Bulge to Cho-Sin Reservoir to the Cu Chi tunnels to the Balkans to Kabul, Afghanistan, to Falluja, Iraq.

And if the media doesn't know it, every other American does. This is a very difficult fight, but the ordinary American knows what your loved ones have done and respects them.
Democrats' Worst Nightmare

That is the title of Bob Novak's column describing Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele's campaign for the U.S. Senate.
Steele sees national implications and put it to me this way in a conversation before the recent rally in Upper Marlboro: "It's a breaking point. I've heard the talk: 'Hillary, Bill, Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, all are coming in to campaign against you. They can't bear to see you win this race.' If I win this race, I am sure that the whole dynamic changes."

This morning I was one of a large, enthusiastic group of supporters who walked with Lt. Gov. Steele in the parade in downtown Rockville, wearing the official Steele T-shirt I'd just received for the occasion. (Once you've got the T-shirt, you know the campaign is really underway.) The response of the crowds was as warm as today's summery weather, so it looks like it's going to be a good race for the Senate.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

"--time for a great new American enterprise--"

I had not yet even reached my sixth birthday, so I don't remember watching a presidential speech forty five years ago today (though I do remember watching Alan Shepard's flight a few weeks earlier), but this one had a lasting impact on my life and my career.
First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.

President John F. Kennedy, May 25, 1961

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Dud Vinci Code

With the long awaited/debated opening of the film version of Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code at hand, critics have turned thumbs down on the film's artistic traits, while Christians around the world are preparing to respond to its spiritual challenge. One of the best resources is Jesus Decoded, a TV/DVD documentary and an associated web site containing volumes of information challenging the myths portrayed in The Da Vinci Code. Both are sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Also, check out the many Catholic bloggers who are commenting (which makes this an opportune time to update the link to the Catholic Blog Directory (St. Blog's Parish) at the top of the 'Blogs' section of my sidebar).

I haven't read the novel and I don't expect to spend my money to promote the movie. Now if you want to see Ron Howard and Tom Hanks do something that they do well (portraying space exploration), check out a copy of Apollo 13 and enjoy it at home this weekend.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Newt on the Frontier

Meanwhile, a potential successor to W shares his thoughts in an e-mail interview on how to enable developments which will lead to migration into space.
Prez Speech

W proposed a multiple part approach to the illegal immigration issue, including National Guard deployment while Border Patrol forces are ramped up, enforcement against employers, and a 'guest worker' program. Commentary I've seen so far is ambiguous, although the combination of approaches proposed is what was generally expected.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Old Media v. Reality

As the Old Media continues its downward spiral into absurdity, it's about time I add the Media Research Center and its associated blog, NewsBusters, to my lists of links and blogs. In the blog, Rich Noyes dives into the Old Media hyperventilating over the NSA database story. My favorite paragraph is where he puts into perspective the relative intrusion into our privacy by the NSA v. that of another government agency.
Today’s article does not allege that any calls are listened in on. Indeed, as USA Today describes it, the program seems like a thoroughly innocuous database of the same information that appears on your phone bill, but with your name, address and other personal information removed. Given that another government agency — the IRS — maintains information on American citizens’ employment, banking, investments, mortgages, charitable contributions and even any declared medical expenses, this hardly seems like a major assault on personal liberty.

(Hat tip to Tim Graham at The Corner.)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

ISDC 2006

So much information coming out of the International Space Development Conference just held in LA. There is a sense of hopefulness in the air that efforts to open the frontier are gaining momentum.

No time right now to recapture it all here, so I'll refer you to a compendium of many of the presentations and other web reports at
Follow-up: Andrea Clark

Andrea Clark died peacefully on Sunday after her family successfully fought to reverse a Hospital decision to deny her life sustaining care.
Her family said she was not in pain but had developed a severe infection her body was unable to continue fighting.

"We hope that the battle that we fought for our sister will bring to light and bear witness to the horrible acts committed in the name of ethics in hospitals across the state of Texas," the Clark family said in a statement provided to