RIP Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)


Neil Armstrong was a class act.  As the first man to walk on the moon, he was quiet, reserved, never sought notoriety and didn’t crave attention.  He preferred to live a peaceful life back home in Ohio after leaving the astronaut corps.

As a young man, he earned an engineering degree at Purdue University, served in the Navy for three years as an aviator, including 78 combat missions during the Korean War, and then became an experimental aircraft test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base as a civilian.  During his time there, he flew the X-15 rocket plane right to the edge of space, more than 207,000 feet above the earth.

In 1962, Armstrong joined NASA in its second group of astronauts, dubbed “the New Nine,” which also included Jim Lovell, Frank Borman, John Young, Ed White, and Pete Conrad. Continue reading

Are we still providing for the common defense?


In a report last week from national security expert Bill Gertz, a Russian Akula class nuclear attack submarine patrolled the waters of the Gulf of Mexico for a month over the summer.  The Akula’s job is to find and destroy US ballistic missile subs, known in Navy parlance as “boomers.”  It can also fire cruise missiles with a range of nearly 2,000 miles.

More troubling is that the Navy, whose job it is to detect enemy subs with satellites, ocean sensors and warning nets, and antisubmarine aircraft, had no idea the Akula was in the Gulf until after it was gone.  And with a major US boomer sub base at King’s Bay, Georgia, the report is all the more disturbing. Continue reading

Assessing the Romney-Ryan Ticket


Thomas R. Marshall, Vice President for Woodrow Wilson, once told a story indicative of his job’s anonymity.  “There once were two brothers.  One ran away to sea, the other was elected vice president.  Neither one of them was heard of again.”

Today, however, the office is much more prestigious and powerful, causing many politicians to seek it, rather than run from it, even though it can still wreck a career.  Just ask Dan Quayle.

Over the weekend, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney declared his choice for a vice presidential running mate, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan.  The pick was bold and seems to have excited conservatives and Tea Partiers, who thus far have been lukewarm toward the top of the ticket.  Since the announcement, massive crowds have gathered at Romney-Ryan rallies, some of the largest yet seen this season. Continue reading

A Historical Take on the New Gun Debate


It seems that every time some nut goes on a shooting spree, politicians crank up the tried-and-true gun control argument.  The recent Colorado killings gave liberals yet more ammunition (pardon the pun) to threaten our sacred gun rights.

What many politicians seem to have forgotten, if they ever knew to start with, is that our rights come from Almighty God; the government never bestowed them upon us.  Therefore, the government can never take them away.  Those that do are nothing more than tyrants, pure and simple.

The concept of natural rights was so important that the Anti-Federalists insisted, upon ratifying the new Constitution, that a Bill of Rights be included.  The Second Amendment is quite clear:   “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Continue reading

Drought 1887 versus Drought 2012: A Lesson from Grover Cleveland


Droughts periodically strike the United States and this year is no different, as a severe calamity has affected at least half the country, the worst, at least so far, since 1956.  The House of Representatives recently passed a one-year relief bill, yet the Senate adjourned for August recess without acting on it.  Senate Democrats have already passed a massive agriculture bill that totals nearly $1 trillion over a decade and want the House to do likewise.

So the question is not if there will be relief, but only how much relief will be doled out from Washington.  It wasn’t always this way.  During the late 1880’s, a severe drought struck Texas.  Congress, growing with progressive-minded members, sought to help, since no organization like the notoriously inept, incompetent, and corrupt FEMA existed in those days. Continue reading

The Impending Police State


“Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety,” wrote Benjamin Franklin in 1755, “deserve neither liberty nor safety.”  We don’t deserve either, he felt, because we will have neither.

Americans today seem to be doing just that, giving up our cherished rights as free men and women, with little resistance, in order to live in a promised state of security, protected from domestic criminals and international terrorists.  But are we really safe?  And are we still free? Continue reading