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Friday, July 27, 2012

NewSpace 2012 

The Space Frontier Foundation's NewSpace 2012 conference is underway (starting yesterday going through tomorrow). I'm not there but I'm following much of it via live streaming of most of the sessions at this link. (Kudos to Spacevidcast!).

In another NewSpace development, Clark Lindsey (who is attending the conference) has signed off his Space Transportation News blog and will now monitor and report on developments in the commercial spaceflight industry at the NewSpace Watch site, which I've added to my side bar directly under the HobbySpace link where Clark will continue to post general space related items.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Anniversaries: One Great, One More Modest 


NASA

Today is the 43rd anniversary of the Apollo 11 pioneering expedition to the lunar surface, the day human beings first made landfall on another world. Check out Rand Simberg's ceremonial commemoration of that epic voyage. Here is a brief video capturing highlights of the first two explorers on the Moon.



Here is a poetic video piece by Rick Tumlinson (produced last year).



Today is also the ninth anniversary ('blogiversary') of the launch of this humble blog. Here is the inaugural post (Note that I was too inexperienced to think of giving it a title.) on Life at the Frontier.

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Will This Be The Defining Moment Of The Campaign? 

President Obama's remarks in Roanoke, VA last week may be remembered as a pivotal moment in the 2012 campaign. It is this line that has touched a nerve: "If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen."
As this Christian Science Monitor article points out, taking the president's words in context as referring to public infrastructure still reveals a lack of understanding of how the economy works.
"It’s not the government’s money!" (Rep. Raul) Labrador said. "It was business people who gave the government money so we could have roads and buildings and infrastructure. That is what is fundamentally deficient in this administration.... He completely and fundamentally misunderstands what creates business, what creates a thriving economy."
Pat Sajak has a pithy commentary on this whole situation, concluding that
These defining moments take hold most devastatingly when they confirm what a large portion of the electorate already believes. Taken alone, it seems unfair that a single moment, an unguarded remark or a slip of the tongue can carry such weight. They're often dismissed as "gotcha" moments, but when voters are able to nod and say, "I knew it," these moments stick and do terrible damage. We have witnessed such a moment.
The statement has been the subject of numerous photo cartoons on Facebook this week, but this Romney ad seems to have really hit home.

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Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy July 4th! 

As we join in the festivities of the Fourth, let's strive to keep to the values proclaimed in the Declaration that make it worth celebrating.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

This is a time to be mindful and protective of the full range of personal, religious and economic liberties. Some additional thoughts from around the web remind us of the significance of some words from the second stanza of America the Beautiful and thoughts on the Stars and Stripes from a famous Catholic English writer.
Wow. Think about that line: "by whose stars we are illumined, and by whose stripes we are healed." Have you ever thought about your flag that way - so Christ-like? G. K. Chesterton did. It’s a stirring interpretation of America and its mission.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2012

It's Up to We the People 

Thursday's Supreme Court decision allowing the legislative health care monstrosity known as Obamacare to stand has drawn a range of reactions. Predictably, many liberal supporters of the bill waxed misty-eyed about how this law would ensure that no-one would have to worry anymore that healthcare for themselves or their children would be totally covered and would ensure that ice cream cones would grow on trees - well, the two results would be about as equally likely.
Conservative reaction was more mixed with some praising Chief Justice Roberts' brilliance for painting Pres. Obama into a corner for violating his promise not to tax those with incomes below $250,000 and for setting up precedent for limiting federal powers in future cases. Others labeled Roberts a turncoat who has probably doomed our society to expansive statist policies.
Actually, whatever one's assessment of the Chief justice's decisive role in this case or what his own motivations were is beside the point. One thing that Roberts made clear is that the Court's role is to rule on the constitutionality of a law, not its wisdom. As Kathryn Jean Lopez clearly points out, that's up to We the People. It would have been nice to have the Supreme Court make it easy for us by ditching Obamacare. But we'll have to do it the way the Constitution lays out, to bust our butts and our personal schedules to elect the right people to office in order to defend life and liberty.

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