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July 20, 2019

Apollo 11 and American History [KT]

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Gerard Van de Leun put up a series of posts on the Apollo 11 mission at American Digest. Have you seen anything else interesting on this topic?

Here are some clues to content of each post:

Bill Whittle

The four curves that put us on the moon

It was all faked

A family affair

The descent

The descent according to Neil Armstrong

And today, Moonrise.

A lot of interesting information in the links above, some poetry and some drama. I thought this was worth thinking about, from the post about the four curves:


After everyone else had finished speaking at the Caltech gathering, Neil Armstrong calmly rose and went to a chalkboard. He drew four bell-type curves, spaced slightly apart, and labeled them: Leadership, Threat, Economy, and Talent. And he said to the room, "My thought is, when you get all these lined up, you can't stop something really big from happening." Indeed, the early 1960s had it all: a bold (and in some ways, desperate) president; the threat of the Soviet Union; flush federal coffers; and an unprecedented number of college-educated youngsters. When the curves aligned, Armstrong suggested that an Apollo could rise. According to Gerry Griffin, engineer, flight director and eventual director of the Johnson Space Center, everyone in the room was nodding in agreement, as if to say "Of course, that's it."

The analysis of rarely aligned curves can help explain why we haven't yet sent humans back into the cosmos. But four peaks fail to fully capture the miracle: 400,000 souls uniting in peacetime on a project so ambitious as to appear ludicrous.

There was also a post about Teddy Kennedy's "achievement" during that time.

And some music released from the White House. Much nicer.

American History

Further to last week's post, I had some interactions with "friends of friends" on Facebook that really convinced me that a serious segment of our society is dedicated to wiping out anything good in American history (and most anything bad from communist history) because, "feelings". And I am not ready to abandon the flag that represents to Founding to associates of CNN's new white supremacist contributor, whose economic ideas are very similar to the progressives who think they are effective against people like him.

And earlier this week, in a different format, J.J. Sefton picked up this piece from VDH about the left's push to dismantle America:

In their radical progressive view -- shared by billionaires from Silicon Valley, recent immigrants and the new Democratic Party -- America was flawed, perhaps fatally, at its origins. Things have not gotten much better in the country's subsequent 243 years, nor will they get any better -- at least not until America as we know it is dismantled and replaced by a new nation predicated on race, class and gender identity-politics agendas.
About half the country disagrees. It insists that America's sins, past and present, are those of mankind. But only in America were human failings constantly critiqued and addressed.

America does not have be perfect to be good. . . .

The traditionalists see American history as a unique effort to overcome human weakness, bias and sin. That effort is unmatched by other cultures and nations, and explains why millions of foreign nationals swarm into the United States, both legally and illegally.

These arguments over our past are really over the present -- and especially the future.

If progressives and socialists can at last convince the American public that their country was always hopelessly flawed, they can gain power to remake it based on their own interests. These elites see Americans not as unique individuals but as race, class and gender collectives, with shared grievances from the past that must be paid out in the present and the future.

We've seen something like this fight before, in 1861 -- and it didn't end well.


So, here is another review of that new, more balanced history textbook, suitable for students on a path to an AP history exam, Land of Hope: an Invitation to the Great American Story:

McClay presents the upheavals of the twentieth century as the result of an ever-present temptation to deviate from the Founding's principles. The consistent application of this critique is one of this book's greatest strengths. . . . . McClay doesn't sacrifice facts, but instead builds up from them, reintroducing a grandeur to American history all but absent in most books of this kind.

Hope it helps.

Yes, this is the Thread before the Gardening Thread.

Serving your mid-day open thread needs

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posted by Open Blogger at 11:48 AM

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