Monday, December 07, 2009

Footprints on the Moon

37 years ago this week, Man visited the moon for the last time.

Footprints on the moon, at least to me, represent the greatness of Man's mind. It is appropriate, considering our national mania for punishing achievement, that we are now ending the Space Shuttle program - with no intention to replace it.

The mentality of the aversion of risk which permeates our society lives by the creed: "If I am not unconditionally guaranteed a positive absolute, action is not worth the attempt."

Were the men who conceived and built this given a guarantee of success?

This is the Bloomer Cut, in Utah. 63 feet in depth, this is a small part of what made the transcontinental railroad possible. But it would not have been built without the mind of Man and his desire to achieve his goal.

The famous photograph(s) of the completion of the railroad at Promontory, Utah show the railroad "tycoons" and dignitaries at the driving of the golden spike. Instead of looking at this photograph and seeing it for what it is, the culmination of a great achievement, we have been taught to see what is not in the picture: The Chinese and Irish laborers. Where are the workers? we have been taught to ask. They deserve to be honored for their work! They were exploited by the railroad tycoons!

This is the same attitude that demanded the 8-hour work day, which now demands that the minimum wage be a "living" wage, and that those who produce must subsidize those who receive.