Category Archives: JFK

JFK’s Challenge to NASA

By 1961 the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union was well under way but even then few would have dreamed of what ended up happening by the end of the decade. On this date in 1961 John F. Kennedy put forward a goal for NASA and the country to chase. You can find an 8 minute clip of the speech on the JFK Library website.

I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.

It is one of the iconic quotes in American history and is meaningful even today as America ponders its future in space. Former Apollo commanders Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell and Eugence Cernan have penned an open letter voicing their disappointment about the future of NASA.

While the future of manned space flights from NASA is far from set in stone they did announce a plan earlier today to explore Asteroids starting in 2016.

Earlier today the JFK Library also released audio of JFK discussing the space program with NASA officials.
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50th anniversary of JFK Inauguration

At this hour 50 years ago JFK delivered his Inaugural Address.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country. 

That is the line we have all heard over and over again that gets quoted from this speech but there are other quotable lines as well.

Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans–born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage–and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

JFK was the first President born in the 20th century. His youthful persona helped him reach out to the younger generation and deliver a call to action.

Let both sides, for the first time, formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection and control of arms–and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute control of all nations.

The START Treaty was in the news not too long ago so I though this passage was relevant even today.

So let us begin anew–remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate. 

His words to the Soviet Union would fit well today if they were targeted to both parties in congress.

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Democratic National Convention

I would’ve liked to have done a nightly recap but time did not permit me to do so.

Day 1
When you think of this week a few years from now one of the main highlights will be the “surprise” appearance of Ted Kennedy. Even after all these years the man can hold the crowd in the palm of his hands. Its a shame he won’t be able to have a full campaign schedule this fall because he is an amazing asset for the Democrats to have.

Michelle Obama went out and did her job. She needed to come out and show her emotions and be “normal” She spoke eloquently which is no surprise given her back ground and helped set the pace of the convention. She has taken too much heat in this campaign for the “loving America” quote and the fist bump joke was just plain ridiculous. I wasn’t a big fan of the scene at the end with the younger daughter having the mic….but that is one of the dynamics at play here. There hasn’t been kids running around the White House since JFK was president.

Day 2
Haven’t had the chance to go back and watch it myself as of yet(will do so tonight)but everyone keeps telling me Dennis Kucinich did well with his “wake up America” speech. The keynote address from Mark Warner didn’t do too much for me. I was expecting something more from the “keynote address” but maybe I was grading it too hard….after all nothing will ever top the keynote address from 2004.

The Governor of Montana Brian Schweitzer gave a very good speech. I had never heard of the man but he is a very good speaker.

When all was said and done….this was Hillary’s big night. Going into the week I fully expected Bill and Hillary to do their thing and deliver 2 powerful speeches. Hillary definitely delivered. Just as she had when she first endorsed Obama she went out and did just about everything you would want her to do. Many people continue to complain about her demands at this convention….but I have no problems with them. She did run a historic campaign….and would’ve made a good candidate for President. Ever since the primaries ended she has done everything expected of her in my eyes so a little recognition at the convention is well deserved.

Day 3
Missed all of it but Biden’s speech. A solid choice for Vice President by Obama. Biden will go out and do the dirty work. He will go out and attack McCain so Obama doesn’t have to.

Just caught Bill Clinton’s speech tonight. I didn’t expect anything less. I had arguments with my brother and sister all week on this. Bill and Hillary care way too much about their legacies to have screwed this up.

Day 4
I’m surprised that Al Gore was saved until the 4th day….but I guess they needed a 2nd major speaker tonight. Nice little reminder from him that the next president will fill multiple Supreme Court seats. Loved the little recycling joke.

The images from tonight are just surreal.

Barack Obama was solid. Not his greatest speech by any stretch of the imagination but it did its job. The outdoor setting provided for some brilliant visuals and was fitting for this event as this was no ordinary acceptance speech. I’ll put up the link to the video as soon as one is available. I loved the little jabs he took at McCain. I truly believe that he will run circles around McCain at the debates. For those of who’ve grown to disdain a lot of our politicians Obama does bring a new energy. Chances are that we’ll be let down yet again….but for the moment can we at least hope? In the Words of the man himself….”Yes we can.”

Edit: Video