Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sunday Sermon, For Neil

I remember watching Neil Armstrong step off the Moon Lander ladder and onto the surface of the Moon. If you weren't there you can't know what a thrill that gave a 19 year old engineering student and science junkie from way back. What folks who didn't live through it can't know was the fear for their lives we felt. I was scared for them and excited at the same time. When the module blasted off from the moon and we saw that they were on their way home I jumped around the room and yelled. Mom thought I was nuts.

Well now...It's a clear night and I'm going to take a glass of Malbec out on the deck and drink to Neil Armstrong in a couple of hours. His act was symbolic of all the work and thought and efforts of an entire nation to do something incredible that wasn't war. I wonder if we have it in us as "One Nation, Indivisible" to make another "Giant Leap for Mankind"? We worked for each other and for all of us back then. Could we do that today? 
Think what a gift to future generations we could make!
Maybe deal with global warming or our over population problem?
 Please? For Neil?
 I can't remember any goals or big projects longer than five years after the moon project. By setting a goal that would take ten years, Kennedy was setting it up for a President other than himself to bask in the glow. Now we've shifted to 5 year plans which, if successful, let the sitting President take credit, and if a failure, it won't happen until after the re-election campaign. Today's goals seem to be all about making sure your connected friends get rich and don't have to take the hit when they screw up big. The multi-billion dollar Savings and Loan debacle under Bush 1 was just a taste of what was to become a muti-trillion dollar bailout of the SEC and banking industries under Bush 2. Even Obama, who I support unconditionally against Romney, told us to wait until his second term to really face up and deal with the big problems. Kennedy was flawed but he had guts. Neil Armstrong and crew faced a slew of fairly horrible death scenarios if any one of the gazillion hand wired circuits wiggled loose. Wires that held his life by a tiny piece of copper.
 We hear of that same kind of bravery every day in our forgotten wars, only today, those brave Americans are apparently expendable to the whims of multi-national corporations and oligarchs who feast on a nation's ignorance and timidity.
 I want another Moon shot. The National soul demands it.

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