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#TrumpDay – Hardcore Edition

Friday, July 8, 2011

Reflections of the Clear Blue Sky

Today the Space Shuttle Atlantis took off for the last time, as Obama has scrapped our space program in favor of using NASA to "make muslims feel good" and America will now have to hitch rides with Russia, which will now control the International Space Station. It is a sad day.

Before the launch, I was watching coverage on Fox News and they were talking about today's overcast weather when Shep Smith described previous launches he'd attended and the amazing feeling he gotten while watching our rockets blast off into the "clear blue sky", and suddenly I was hit with a flood of memories of things burned into my mind forever that came out of the clear blue sky...

The jihad came to us from out of the clear blue sky on September 11, 2001. It had been a gorgeous morning before the islamic terrorists came to kill thousands of us, and 60 miles north of Manhattan where I live in Dutchess County, it was disturbing to look up at the beautiful pristine sky above with the knowledge that less than an hour away the skies were filled with flames, smoke, horror and death.  You can read my story about that day and the days which followed HERE.

There are some lines from Pink Floyd's Goodbye Blue Sky that always come to mind when I think of that day:
Did-did-did-did-you ever wonder why we had to run for shelter
When the promise of a brave new world
Unfurled beneath a clear blue sky?

The flames are all long gone, but the pain lingers on.
Indeed it does. Even the video made long before the attacks, for a song about England in WWII, contains images that remind me - maybe not such a coincidence when you think about the fact that muslims collaborated with the Nazis...

I remember twenty five years ago sitting in an eighth grade Catholic school classroom as our teacher set up a television set so we could witness the historic event of the first civilian, a teacher, being sent up into space with the Challenger shuttle. We watched it launch into the clear blue sky with pride awe and then horror as a few seconds later the worst thing imaginable happened. We were sent home and I remember watching the coverage and praying that there would somehow be survivors, but there were none.

That night, I watched with my family as Ronald Reagan comforted the nation and I learned what true leadership looks like.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I'd planned to speak to you tonight to report on the state of the Union, but the events of earlier today have led me to change those plans. Today is a day for mourning and remembering. Nancy and I are pained to the core by the tragedy of the shuttle Challenger. We know we share this pain with all of the people of our country. This is truly a national loss.
Nineteen years ago, almost to the day, we lost three astronauts in a terrible accident on the ground. But, we've never lost an astronaut in flight; we've never had a tragedy like this. And perhaps we've forgotten the courage it took for the crew of the shuttle; but they, the Challenger Seven, were aware of the dangers, but overcame them and did their jobs brilliantly. We mourn seven heroes: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe. We mourn their loss as a nation together.
For the families of the seven, we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we're thinking about you so very much. Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, 'Give me a challenge and I'll meet it with joy.' They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths. They wished to serve, and they did. They served all of us.
We've grown used to wonders in this century. It's hard to dazzle us. But for twenty-five years the United States space program has been doing just that. We've grown used to the idea of space, and perhaps we forget that we've only just begun. We're still pioneers. They, the members of the Challenger crew, were pioneers.
And I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle's takeoff. I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them.
I've always had great faith in and respect for our space program, and what happened today does nothing to diminish it. We don't hide our space program. We don't keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That's the way freedom is, and we wouldn't change it for a minute. We'll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and, yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue. I want to add that I wish I could talk to every man and woman who works for NASA or who worked on this mission and tell them: "Your dedication and professionalism have moved and impressed us for decades. And we know of your anguish. We share it."
There's a coincidence today. On this day 390 years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and a historian later said, 'He lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it.' Well, today we can say of the Challenger crew: Their dedication was, like Drake's, complete.
The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for the journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of earth' to 'touch the face of God.'
Thank you.
President Ronald Reagan - January 28, 1986
The Columbia shuttle disaster also tore up a clear blue sky, as it was returning to Earth. Again, tragedy came on an otherwise gorgeous day, and again, an American President offered comfort to a nation in grief:

May the Atlantis crew find their way back home to us safely at the completion of their final mission. May America some day soon reclaim it's rightful position as the leader of the free world and in exploration of what lies beyond once again, and may we get through the next 561 days without any major national catastrophes so that we can be spared a bumbling, disconnected,  insincere reading off of a teleprompter that would only serve to mock our pain. May we be blessed again with real American leadership and may it not be too late when it arrives.

This post is quoted from and linked to at Blazing Cat Fur. Thank you, BCF! 

This post is quoted from and linked to at Pundit & Pundette. Thanks, Jill!  

This post is linked at The Other McCain. Thank you!  

This post is linked at Eye of Polyphemus. Thanks, Jamie!

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Always On Watch said...

And how many NASA employees will lose their jobs with the closing down of our space program?

Jeffrey Ellis said...

Obama has not scrapped our space program. The Shuttle was cancelled by G.W. Bush before Obama ever even took office. Right now it is Congress who threatens the space program -- house appropriations committee is talking about a ~$1.7B funding cut for FY12.

Zilla of the Resistance said...

Neil Armstrong does not agree with you.

Obama canceled our program to get back to the moon, Bush didn't. Obama told his director of NASA that his primary objective is to "make muslims feel good", Bush didn't do that, either.

Zilla of the Resistance said...

Even one is too many, from what I hear, it may be thousands.

Jeffrey Ellis said...

Armstrong has complained about the cancelling of Constellation. The fact is, the program was far over budget and beyond schedule and would not have gotten us back to the moon anyway until the 2030's at least, if then. And probably not, since the projected budget would have been eaten entirely by Ares I and Orion, leaving no budget left over for Ares V or a lunar lander.

There's plenty to criticize Obama about regarding space policy and a long list of other things, but I'm not convinced cancelling Constellation is one of them.

Zilla of the Resistance said...

To each their own, but I'm convinced that his screwing around with NASA is indeed something worth criticizing him over, along with all the other crap he's screwed up for America.  If something goes wrong with Atlantis before they can fly it back home, do you realize that we will be left at the mercy of the Russians to get our people back?

Jeffrey Ellis said...

Yes, I realize that. That was always going to be the case at the end of the Shuttle program, though, and is not Obama's fault.

sablegsd said...

Damn Zilla , you made me cry.  Reagan was magnificent.
Bush did well also.
Can you imagine zero EVER speaking in such a way?

I'm all maudlin because it's our 33rd anniversary.

Zilla of the Resistance said...

Yes it is.

Zilla of the Resistance said...

Aww, I'm sorry to make you cry! Happy anniversary! And no, I can't imagine Captain WTF ever speaking with genuine compassion about anything, as that sort of stuff generally requires one to have a soul. 

quite_rightly said...

I well remember Obama preceding his announcement of the Fort Hood massacre with three seemingly unending minutes of thanking staffers and offering "shout-outs" to audience members.

Hard to believe.

But then again, he didn't mind chewing gum at the Joplin memorial service for 113 dead.

Or escorting his wife to a somber, posthumous Medal of Honor award ceremony while she wore a splashy red and white patterned cocktail dress accessorized with huge dangling earrings and turquoise blue shoes.

Zilla of the Resistance said...

They are simply horrible people, classless, tactless, and wholly inappropriate for any given situation. I have yet to see either one of them get anything right, and I honestly did try to look past my premonitions of how awful it would be with those two commies in the White House, I tried to find a silver lining - I really did! - but there was none to be found. When absolutely pressed, the only nice thing I can honestly say about them is that their little one & their dog are very cute. 

Jeffrey Ellis said...

How so?

Jeffrey Ellis said...

You did not explain in any of your prior comments how the Shuttle program ending is Obama's fault. And I am not here because I take offence at your criticism of Obama; I'm here because I work at NASA and wanted to see what you had to say about the ending of the Shuttle program. I'll say this one last time: there are plenty of things to blame Obama for -- he is without a doubt in my mind the worst president we have ever had -- but the ending of the Shuttle program is not one of those things. You've failed to provide any evidence for that assertion, and now you are making all kinds of unfounded assumptions about why I am here and whether I read your post. You are demonstrating a rather disturbing lack of critical thinking skills. And I'm done here now.

Zilla of the Resistance said...

I don't need to "prove" what is well documented.
Obama ended the shuttle program, not Bush, look it up.
Obama mandated that NASA's "prime directive" is to "make muslims feel good", not
I could easily give you plenty of documentation which supports the truth,
but you're leaving anyway. Good riddance.


SignPainterGuy said...

DLTDHYITAOYWO ! Oh, it`s been real !

The Homeless Patriot said...

That was very inspiring!  Thanks for reminding us that we still have greatness and the potential for more in us as individuals and as a nation.

backwardsboy said...

That was a beautiful post, including Ronald Reagan's speech.

Link to you up soon at my little blog. Keep in touch...

Zilla of the Resistance said...

Thank you for reading it! may we live to see better days in America soon!

Zilla of the Resistance said...

Thank you, Backwardsboy! I loved your post about growing up around the Space program, it was very touching.

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