November 8, 2006


Waking up

All across the country, people are waking up on the day after the 2006 midterm elections. Some people feel that they are waking up from a long nightmare. Other may perceive today’s new political reality as the real nightmare.

President Bush observed today that the “…people have spoken.”

The Department of Defense is getting a new leader.

The House of Representatives has a new majority, and a new majority leader.

The winning political campaign 2006 strategy: not being a Republican. Some candidates, in fact, seem to have taken that strategy to extremes. Democrats, however, now face a new nightmare reality — they must assume leadership.

Not being a Republican will probably not be a winning political strategy for Election 2008. So, what is the leadership plan? Comedian Lewis Black said “…You see, in our two-party system, the Democrats are the party of no ideas and the Republicans are the party of bad ideas….”

Congressional leadership could choose to reject bad ideas and no ideas– self-evident ideas occasionally make legislative history. The ink is faded, as you can see in the photo above, but the words still live as working political convictions of every individual human.

We have tried to finish the Iraq war with bad ideas or no ideas – the self-evident answer is still an option. It is self-evident that every individual citizen of Iraq (like the United States) possesses individual rights . To secure these rights, every individual citizen of Iraq (as well as the United States) creates and submits to a government of their own choosing. It is the right of every individual citizen of Iraq (not the United States) to alter or abolish the government they create to secure their own individual rights.

According to CNN, 71% of Iraqis responding to a survey by the University of Maryland favor a commitment by US-led forces in Iraq to withdraw within a year.


September 26, 2006

Launch

BBC reports SpaceLoft XL lifted off from Spaceport America in New Mexico, on Monday. Moments later it veered off course and crashed. (Hopefully, this is not prophetic for this blog’s first posting.)

According to the Aero-News Network, however, there is good news. Launch Logistics coordinator Tracey Larsen said it’s possible at least some of the payload survived intact. She is quoted in the article as observing, “…If it was easy, everyone would be doing it….”

The next scheduled launch is for October 21, according to Aero-News. Part of the payload scheduled for that flight will include the ashes of several celebrities (Mercury Astronaut Gordon Cooper and James Doohan, who played Scotty on Star Trek.)

The October flight is called the Legacy Flight by Celestis, a company of Space Services Inc., or SSI. The company says that remains will be returned to family or loved ones as a keepsake commemorating a final voyage to outer space.

Time Magazine featured SSI’s first successful flight – Conestoga I, almost 24 years ago. In an article posted September 20, 1982 another Mercury astronaut, Donald (“Deke”) Slayton, who was Conestoga’s flight director said “…We didn’t have a single anomaly in flight.”

Less than six months after Conestoga’s flight, Slayton chaired the first “Private Enterprise in Space” panel at the 25th Space Congress in Cocoa Beach, FL. Seven of the first companies involved in that infant industry presented research. One of those research papers (Orbital Economics: Engineering Growth) was presented by this blog’s author. Legacy is an important theme for this blog.

Obviously, another important theme for a blog named So Much for Small Talk will be Exploration – as well as Growth. The conclusion of that paper, over 20 years ago, was (and is) that “…there is a future for growth.”