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I have a slew of dire topics to speak of, but REFUSE to pass up an opportunity to honor one of the true “superheroes” of our time.  Amazingly, press coverage of the death of Neil Armstrong has been scarcely broader than gold manipulation; however, in a nation focused on the NOW; on superficiality, gossip, texting, and video games; a guess an “old coot” like Neil Armstrong – let alone, his lesser-known partners Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins – are not worthy of a few hours of attention…

Space legend Neil Armstrong dies

I was not yet born when Apollo 11 landed on the moon on July 20th, 1969 – in easily, the most spectacular scientific accomplishment in human history.  Jules Verne wrote a fictional account of a moon landing in 1865 – From the Earth to the Moon – but not a soul imagined it could ever happen.  It took a century of study, but finally – after four other manned space missions – Apollo 11 accomplished the impossible…

Apollo 11 Moon Landing

Back then, the U.S. was still on the gold standard – and hadn’t yet sold its manufacturing base to the Far East for lobbyists’ campaign contributions.  Thus, a nearly debt-free, fully employed America could afford to spend 2%-5% of its budget on NASA, creating technology with very real, productive applications – and, of course, expanding mankind’s frontiers.  Today, however, the “rich and powerful” America spends less than 0.5% of its budget on NASA; and, after essentially scrapping most of its space program, NASA has largely become irrelevant.  Quite the sad commentary indeed…

Budget of NASA

When I think of Neil Armstrong, the thing that stands out most is his courage.  The moon is 239,000 miles away, like circumventing the globe ten times; thus, the thought of making a first-time trip of this distance – with just two companions, to boot – is mind-boggling.  Let alone, with essentially untested technology, in OUTER SPACE.  Furthermore, on the way home, your vehicle “burns up” as it plunges into the Ocean, protected only by a parachute.

It must have been the loneliest, and most exhilarating, feeling EVER, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon – a moment I wish I could have experienced, as many readers have.  When America is no longer a “superpower” – which sadly, won’t be long now – historians will write of the “rise and fall” of an Empire.  In my mind, the Apollo 11 will be regarded as America’s apex; and for that, I salute Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins – with all my heart.

You certainly did make “ONE GIANT LEAP” for mankind!


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