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North Korea Celebrates American Independence

2006-07-05

Category: politics

In a stupid bold move, North Korea chose to celebrate the American Independence Day by launching fireworks of its own. (You can read the ABC News story here.) It seems they fired off five missiles including their new long range missile capable of possibly reaching California. This would have many Americans worried except that it?s California.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the planet, NASA put on a show of its own. The Space Shuttle Discovery took off to take supplies and a German to the International Space Station. This comes as a great relief to the astronauts already on the space station because they were dreadfully low on German. There were safety concerns, of course, but NASA is determined to get their money?s worth out of the remaining space shuttles (Discovery, Atlantis, Endeavor, and the General Lee.)

It seems a short time since President Kennedy challenged the American people with the thought of landing a man on the moon. Now we are building a space station with partner space agencies from around the world. In no time at all we will have the technology to get everybody the hell off my planet.

It helps that there are now private, commercial enterprises reaching for the stars. Free commerce is one of the things that make a country strong (along with huge amounts of natural resources and being too far away from other countries that might be a direct military threat.) Soon, business itself will be taking advantage of the bounty of the cosmos. That?ll be a real hoot.

From a practical, and therefore economically minded perspective, expansion into space provides jobs and opportunities for the general populace. When Americans complain that there jobs at the weasel shaving factory have gone to less expensive weasel shavers in other countries, they forget that there will be new, more technologically advanced jobs coming around the corner. If they press for the kind of large scale space exploration that involves moon bases and green space babes, they?ll be pushing for industrial jobs. Other countries favor this too because they know that Joe Sixpack is as happy making space station parts as he is making things for saturation bombing.

So, on this day when we celebrate the 230th birthday of the United States, let?s take pride in our ability to reach out to the stars. Even now, the citizens of other countries are encouraging us with cries of, ?Go away!?


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