Tuesday, July 04, 2006

4th of July 2006

Happy 4th of July!

Here's to America: The best nation on Earth!

Here's to the outrageous good fortune that we had to have our founding fathers, men of unparralelled genius, bravery, and integrity, be the authors of our constitution and founders of our nation. Men who had unlimited opportunities to seize the reins of power and didn't. Who had every opportunity to dissolve the union and pursue the government of their choosing, but saw that the long term security, integrity, and greatness of our nation required that it remain united. Men, like Washington, who could have been king, but dissolved his army and went back to his farm, unlike any other victorious general in history.

Here's to the nation that gave its people liberty. That freed them of the constraints of serfdom and slavery. That never thought to dictate the purpose of the lives of it's citizens with dogma and ideology. That recognized the fundamental rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, as essential to the dignity of mankind.

Here's to the nation, whose citizens, freed from the tyrrany of heresy and illegal thought, invented the modern world. Freed from the need for approval and status, built the modern world. Who dug the Panama Canal to link the oceans, lofted the skyscrapers to dominate the city skylines, fed the world, invented the airplane and landed men on the moon!

Here's to our soldiers who liberated our own nation, and afterwards proceeded to liberate the world. We overthrew the aggression of Germany not once, but twice. We took control of all of Europe - and gave it back! We conquered Japan, pacified it - and gave it back to it's people! The Korea which we succeeded in liberating today stands in such stark contrast to the Korea that we didn't that the border between the two can be clearly seen from orbit (esp at night). Here's to the only nation on earth with the ability to easily be an empire, with the ability to effortlessly crush the resistance of the world, but completely devoid of the will to do so!

Here's to America and all it stands for! Happy 4th of July!


Anonymous Gordon said...

Happy 4th to you, too, Qwerty.

Thank you for your comments on AeroGo, I left a response there.

Your recent post here on the risk in spaceflight is thought-provoking. I noted before how most of the public has no grasp of the trade-offs involved in managing risk. The press, unfortunately, seems to be particularly bad at getting this message across, as they sensationalize airliner crashes, nuclear accidents and other problems in systems that statistically are much safer than their alternatives.

Engineers are trained to analyze and optimize problems based on clearly-stated assumptions, recognizing at the outset that any solution will at some point fail (see Henry Petrosky's books for a good discussion of this).

I may write some more about this on AeroGo soon; I've had a lot on my mind this summer and have suffered from writer's block as a result; hopefully I can bust past that soon!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006 2:34:00 PM  

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