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   Defending the right to rant!  


Ed Donath is eddobloggo...Conservative Commentary Columnist


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Defending the right to rant!


Conservative Commentary

 by Ed Donath


Moonwalking then and now.

Has there ever been a peacetime "America First" program that worked as intended by the president who proposed it? You've got to be substantially pre-millennial to have witnessed it, but such a lofty goal was accomplished during my lifetime.


That president was also elected in a squeaker which many people believe resulted from electoral mischief and injustice in an era when the nation was extremely divided over social issues and was living on the brink of WWIII. Some of the numerous byproducts of the plan included the creation of countless quality jobs, a boom in technology and industry, unquestionable national heroes, global prestige and national unity.


It should be noted that some of the approving comments to my original 2/22/11 publication of this commentary came from readers who were otherwise critical of my unswerving Obama-bashing.

On May 25, 1961 in an address to a joint session of Congress President John F. Kennedy challenged the USA to " a man on the Moon by the end of the decade." On May 25, 1961 in an address to a joint session of Congress President John F. Kennedy challenged the USA to " a man on the Moon by the end of the decade." Americans of all ages are familiar with both this famous JFK quote and the subsequent Neil Armstrong speechlet: "This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind..." issued by the astronaut from the lunar surface with nearly six months still showing on JFK's End-of-Decade Shot Clock.


The part of Kennedy's moonwalk challenge that most Americans have forgotten (or, more likely, were never taught) is that the essential reason for his asking Americans to undertake this monumental task was not for the technological advancements that would accrue from a ramped-up space exploration program nor from an increase in national pride and morale but, in JFK's own words within the same address: "... to catch up to and overtake the Soviet Union in the space race."

"This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind..." was issued by astronaut Neil Armstrong from the lunar surface with nearly six months remaining on JFK's End-of-Decade Shot Clock.Even if the mission had not been fully accomplished before the end of the Sixties, Project Apollo would, nonetheless, have been hailed as a huge and prideful success -- especially in light of the overcoming of tragic setbacks, not the least of which was the Kennedy assassination. By 1969, as a result of innumerable scientific, medical and technological advancements that it had already provided, the Apollo program stood as proof that we had, indeed, overtaken the Soviet Union not only in the space race but in the overall race for supremacy.

Equally important, our booming aerospace industry, its countless jobs, and the high quality of those employment opportunities plus the national excitement that NASA and aerospace companies had created were, perhaps, the only bridge across that infamous Viet Nam Era Generation Gap.

Furthermore, while the USSR continued to make advancements in rocket science and space station technology, the Kremlin, believing that American private sector investment and ingenuity would certainly fulfill Kennedy's prophesy, all but conceded the moon race to the USA and never posed a major threat to Kennedy's vision.  The Apollo Program's success was, in that sense, one of the many Cold War battle victories of capitalism over socialism. 

While NASA was and continues to be a sizable bureaucracy, its issuing of contracts rather than entitlements makes it a good economic stimulator -- true even in spite of the government wastefulness that liberals are quick to criticize in NASA and the military but snail slow to acknowledge similar over-spending and corruption when they are discovered in their beloved social programs.

Incidentally, many of LBJ's Great Society bureaucracies were championed by surviving members of the extended Kennedy Clan eager to capitalize on JFK's Democrat image while ignoring his fiscal conservatism, militarism and sharp-edged rhetorical style.

Other than our enemy, the Soviet Union, no other entities -- not corporations, nor individuals nor political groups -- were ever demonized by the Kennedy/Johnson administrations. Republican politicians, including Richard M. Nixon (who held office on the day the phrase "the Eagle has landed" was broadcast to the farthest corners of the earth by the American mainstream media), were content to be equal partners in JFK's nationalistic adventure.

We are stagnant today because we are no longer in a race to out-produce any of our rivals in any context -- certainly not those who are hell-bent on stealing what is rightfully ours. While the list of our avowed enemies has grown exponentially, political correctness has elevated these hostile governments to the level of "neighbor nations."

While our economy goes begging for a common cause to rally industry (and despite our possession of the same natural resources we had available to us in 1961 with a technologically enhanced ability to access them) our government discourages private sector growth through over-taxation and over-regulation. "moonwalking" is nothing more than a choreographed form of walking backward.

While our nation's wealth, influence, prestige and power have continued to shrink, the need for inspirational, unifying leadership is greater than ever.  Instead, we have had divisiveness from the top down. Moonwalking is now nothing more than a choreographed form of walking backward.


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The present occupant of the White House couldn't hold a candle to the residents of the past even those I disagree with. The destruction and grounding of the space program is in line with the programmed destruction of the country by the evil in the house.  2012 can be the opening to regaining the leadership in space and the world and closing the door on the last gasps of progressive fascism.



Palm Springs, CA

"...We are stagnant today because we are no longer in a race to out-produce, in any context, any of our rivals -- certainly not those hell-bent on stealing what is rightfully ours...."

Absolutely perfectly true statement. Your point was well made. Good one.



Lafayette, LA

I am rarely haunted by an editorial, but this "rant" smacked me hard.  The best times I ever had were in the 50's & 60's and being part of the greatest nation in the world. Having had a great life so far, I have never been more afraid of what the U.S. is becoming under this current despot and his serfs.  The worst part is that there is not a Boy Scout in sight to lead us...



The Wild, Wild West

Maybe there really is something to the "One World Gov't" hype after all ? !   Remember George Orwell's fictional book, 1984 ? !
A lot of it has come to fruition !



St. Cloud, MN

[You must give end-times Bible prophesy credit, as well. -ED]

What the US has really been missing for several decades is a solid position regarding innovation. We have been the leader in developing nearly every technology, from the light bulb to the cell phone. Then, we give it all away including the jobs to produce the products. It would seem that the best way to get out of the current economic situation is another technology boom similar to the nineties.



Lafayette, LA

Political correctness has put a fatal damper on our half-hearted efforts to confront our foreign enemies.  Remember "Wipe the (inappropriate term) off the Map?"  All the cartoon drawings of the "Nips" looking like buck toothed rats?  No one spoke of Japanese or Germans.  They were "(inappropriate term)" and "Nips" and "Krautheads" and "goose-steppers."  By relegating them to non-human status it was easier to carpet bomb their cities.  We killed hundreds of thousands of civilians (old men, women, children, hospital patients) and burned their cities with firestorms the updrats from which almost knocked our own bombers out of the sky. But we were not killing people. Just (inappropriate term) and Krauts. Can't do that today.  Our enemies can not be rag heads and camel jockeys and therefore be slaughtered wholesale.  In WW II we "killed 'em all and let God sort out what he wanted to keep." And we won.  Didn't gain much, but we won.  Can't do that today.  Not politically correct.  So now we can lose with dignity.



Phoenix, AZ

Nice piece Ed.... we have a bunch of new "sputniks" to choose from if Washington would loosen the reins instead of choking it off....:)>



Palm Springs, CA

Well-written, eddo. Sharp and concise...What this country really needs is to go back to a vision of America First (after God, of course). I can remember when our country really had a "We're # 1!" mentality, which, sadly, has been replaced by "Made in China".


What size shoe do you wear, m'boy? I'm going to gift you with a pair of Tony Lama blue-and-gold-Go-Southern, alligator-and-eel cowboy boots with shiny brass spinner rim tips, so you can be sharp as a tack as my special guest @ the 2012 BO Inaugural Ball & BBQ Rib Cooking Contest!


FYI, the fix is already in. Clarence Thomas' Seagram's V.O. and Black Velvet Marinade Short Ribs is the winner. We ain't told Michelle O yet, so there's probably gonna be some mess when she find out. You know how she can be sometimes...





Lafayette, LA

The active space program was associated with what was probably the greatest period of educational achievement in American history; its destruction, with decline of same. We traded reality-based excellence for egalitarian mediocrity, and look who's in the White House...


...The pure free-marketeer is a straw man. There are things that only government can do. Some of them are actually worthwhile. Imagine if Ferdinand and Isabella had funded a Muslim inclusion program instead of Columbus. I read a blog once where someone very non-pc compared the economic and technological contributions of the early space program with those of the school lunch program. The space program was cheap compared to the war on poverty. I don't think the space program's cost was the real reason for its being downsized. A funny thing is that a lot of medical and surgical techniques that threaten to bust Medicare are spin-offs using computer and other technology and materials from the space program. It is impossible to contain the increase in the cost of medical care without freezing innovation.



Lafayette, LA

Well I am cheered up Ed. Your realty snacks me into a depressive stagnant stupor. Your spot on take of JFK makes some current day Dems look like Stalin clones. JFK explained quite well the economics of taxation but this must be kept quiet in Camelot like so many of JFK’s freedom, self reliance and America first issues. Your post is so very sad when one realizes how distorted our PC crony politics have become. President Obama’s choice to use denigration and class warfare is probable the saddest thing a leader of our nation has ever openly engaged in. You are correct the divider is a divider. My hope for his success which would be all our success is almost zero. It is a sad time to be a citizen and to be optimistic is tougher than getting a low interest loan from China for our children to pay.



Wausau, WI

My pride and morale soars with each new billions of dollars we blow up and onward to the heavens!


And then I fill out my tax return and help pay for it!

Is this a country, or what?



Phoenix, AZ

Well said.

JFK spoke as a freedom-loving optimist. Today, we hear marxist jargon and pessimism.



Montgomery, AL

Revisionist, when one considers that Kennedy's dream would not have been possible without the technology supplied by Werner von Braun (the architect of the Saturn 5) and his team of German scientists.



Great Falls, MT

[Werner von Braun's technology had already been assimilated into the aerospace programs for 15 years by the time JFK made the "moon by the end of the decade" speech. Not to mention that the Rooskies had the other half of WvB's former rocket science team working on their space program -- who were decidedly ahead of his team from Day 1 (Sputnik, first man in space, more powerful rockets) -- which is why JFK needed to ramp up our own space program.  Revisionista heal thyself! -ED]

Great read Ed. One of your best.



Montgomery, AL  

"We are stagnant today because we are no longer in a race to out-produce any of our rivals in any context -- certainly not those who are hell-bent on stealing what is rightfully ours. While the list of our avowed enemies has grown exponentially, political correctness has elevated these hostile governments to the level of "neighbor nations."

Other countries do not need to steal anything. Everything the US has come up with for the past 50 years is handed over to other countries. We have been leaders in innovation and yet lag the world. One of the driving forces in this is the globalization of corporations. Technology is developed and then outsourced to China. Think about it, our innovation, that in many cases has been paid for by US taxpayers, is outsourced to COMMUNIST China. They then take the technology. Korea is another good example; the masters of reverse engineering. I have a friend that travels there regularly and it looks much like America. They copy everything we do.

And, the craziest thing about it is that we then import their copies back to the US. We need a new trade policy that keeps jobs here. It doesn't even matter what the "price" of an item is. All that matters is cash flow and the cash has been flowing out of this country. So what if an IPhone costs $1000 if it produced here. Why? More jobs here. People have more to spend. Taxes stay here. All that matters is the cash flow. Anyone that doesn't know that doesn't understand the fundamental premise of business.

Think about it. China has become a world power and will soon surpass the US as the largest economic power in the world. All built gladly by US Corporate profits. Next in line, India. Cling to Free Market thinking if you must, but at least acknowledge the consequences.


Lafayette, LA

Nice read Ed.



Palm Springs, CA

"We traded reality-based excellence for egalitarian mediocrity, and look who's in the White House."

Is it not the real truth that Bush was the one who made the decision and the downsizing of the NASA program began during his administration? -

However It's a good opportunity to take a shot at Obama - reminds of the health care debate and the GOP propaganda machine and the misinformation and scare tactics used against the elderly and uninformed?



Lafayette, LA

[It is not the real truth that the Reid-Pelosi Congress (Obama included) made the policy for the lame duck Bush during the last two years of his administration?  However, it's a good opportunity for a lefty like you to take the heat off the incompetent Obama - typical socialist blame and misinformation tactics like those used against the champions of the elderly and uninformed. Obama doesn't get slammed nearly enough for his corrupt ineptitude, hypocrisy and anti-Americanism.  I'll take every opportunity to do so if others won't. -ED]

"Moonwalking is now nothing more than a choreographed form of walking backward."

No matter if you are democrat or republican, its has to hit the heart with how disappointingly true this phrase is. To me it is because failure is so rewarded monetarily. Don't work? Free money. Don't have medical insurance? free doctors. Don't buy home insurance? free new place when the storm blows yours away. Excellence and the pursuit there of was traded for the purchase of votes.



Lafayette, LA

Perhaps more poignant today than when this incredible 'rant' was originally written. What a mind you have to write so many articles and kind of eerie that so many old 'rants' predicted the present and future...



The Wild, Wild West.

[Thanks for being around to read, re-read and comment for all these years. -ED]

I was such a fan of NASA and the space program. My daddy was friends with John Glenn. I still remember the moon walk, sitting in the living room with my whole family in awe. I cried when I heard our space station astronauts had to hitch rides to the space station.


You always hit the nail on the head eddo. Sad read, but a good one. I am so excited to see where we go in 2017!



Austin, TX

[MAGA will be a more difficult task in this less patriotic generation but it is do-able. Patriotic encouragement from real leadership, of course is the first step. -ED] 

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