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A Dream Forever Stolen
Vanity | March 2 2009 | Scotsman

Posted on 03/02/2009 8:55:57 PM PST by Scotsman

Once upon a time when I was very young, my father and I lay outside on the banks of Lake erie late one hot summer night. Not one manmade light could be seen as far as the eye could see.

But there were lights. Oh, were there lights! Untold millions of them!

I had never seen anything like it before in my young life. I saw the Milky Way like a glorious, twinkly rainbow cutting a huge swath across the entire sky, from horizon to horizon.

I saw the wonders of the universe that night. A night that no matter how hard I tried over the following decades to replicate, I could not.

That was the night I knew that somehow, some way, we were going to the stars. I was going, too. Not as an astronaut, or space explorer out of a science fiction novel, but simply as a visitor, a tourist.

I knew that because I believed it. I believed it because my father told me that is where mankind is going, to the stars.

The next summer, Sputnik was launched.

Struggling through high school, my dream was kept alive as we visited the moon. Surely, I thought, the stars can not be far away. After all, a man just walked on the moon!

Little did I know then, in the Sixties, that walking on the moon would be the high point of mankind's reach. It took almost fourty years for the realization that man would not reach the stars to sink in, but it now finally has.

The amount of money our elected leaders have spent so far on the War on Poverty alone could have funded trillions of dollars in extratarestrial research and development. Could ten trillion dollars and fourty years of dedicated research create the mythical Stargate?

We, or at least I, will never know. My time for dreaming is over.

I fought for this country once, while we were walking on the moon. Who would not fight, I thought, for a country that held out such a dream to it's youth - the same dream I had on that dark night, on that grassy bank of Lake Erie in that magical summer of my father's and my dream.

I am too old to dream like that now. Those sorts of dreams are for the young - who think they are immortal and dreams like that seem attainable in a lifetime.

But I am not too old to fight for my country and the dreams of others - again.

Only this time I will be fighting our own government, for it is that government that has stolen my dream and I am willing to fight so that someone else can have that same dream ...

... and there will be a man someday that sees a different sunrise on a planet as many lightyears away from us as the amount of dollars that government has wasted over those precious, lost decades.

I am ready to fight for a dream forever stolen from me ...

... so that dreams are not ever forever lost, again.


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS:
Have at it.
1 posted on 03/02/2009 8:55:57 PM PST by Scotsman
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To: Scotsman

Well, I’m not sure the dream of walking on the stars is more noble than the dream of eradicating poverty.

Myself, I’d like to see free enterprise in charge of space exploration. I don’t see it as a constitutional mandate.

And of course, I believe the best war on poverty would involve far less government, less taxation, less regulation, proper enforcement of contracts, and enforcement of the law - not welfare.


2 posted on 03/02/2009 9:07:29 PM PST by Marie2 (Ora et labora)
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To: Scotsman
I am too old to dream like that now.

No, you are not. Aging means you have the right to dream more.
3 posted on 03/02/2009 9:11:00 PM PST by mysterio
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To: Marie2

Marie2, no one dreams of eradicating poverty.

Especially young kids. Can you imagine yourself looking up at the stars and being told that for some reason, your dream as a little kid is to eradicate poverty?

Don’t think so.

Actually, I CAN create a scenario like that, but it would be a dream of power, and how to achieve it, by stealing the dreams of mankind.

I appreciate the response though.

It gets the thought process going. :)


4 posted on 03/02/2009 9:15:31 PM PST by Scotsman
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To: mysterio

mysterio, I have different dreams now.

One of which is that some other little boy someday, will walk on that exotic, far, far distant planet.

My dream now, is to fight to create - REcreate a civilization that could make that dream possible.


5 posted on 03/02/2009 9:19:43 PM PST by Scotsman
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To: Scotsman

No truly, a lot of kids have very “mission of mercy” type dreams.

I often envisioned myself as a medical missionary of some type, spreading healing around to needy people. Florence Nightingale comes to mind. She spent her childhood doctoring little animals and dreaming of being a doctor.

I also daydreamed about taking in unwanted children a lot.

Perhaps boys feel differently, and imagine being on spaceships or fighting big battles, I don’t know.


6 posted on 03/02/2009 9:25:09 PM PST by Marie2 (Ora et labora)
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To: Scotsman
I'm 42 and have the same dream as you. I really have no problem with government programs to explore space although if a private venture wants to do so, I have no problem either. In a way, Columbus' voyages were a "government program" funded by Queen Isabella of Spain, sometimes that is needed as a kick start and the private sector takes over, except for defense of course.

I was hoping to see a man on Mars by now, let alone "by the 1980's." Now I wonder if I'll see before I croak.

BTW, like your description of the Milky Way sans any artificial lights around, it reminds me of the descriptions that were given to me from a World War II vet when he was aboard the USS Melvin, a destroyer in the Pacific, where all lights were out so it would make it harder for the Japanese to find them. He said the Milky Way was so bright. My father saw the same thing when he was on his way to Korea in the mid 1950's on an Army troop ship.
7 posted on 03/02/2009 9:25:39 PM PST by Nowhere Man (Is Barak HUSSEIN Obama an Anti-Christ? - B.O. Stinks! (Robert Riddle))
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To: Scotsman
My dream now, is to fight to create - REcreate a civilization that could make that dream possible.

Fight on, man. However, something I've been thinking a lot lately is "this too shall pass."

One thing I still believe in is dreams. As a scientist, I think your dream isn't that outlandish.
8 posted on 03/02/2009 9:27:00 PM PST by mysterio
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To: Scotsman

BTW, I remember the Moon landings when I was very little. Yeah, even though the Bamster says he will follow Bush’s plan to Mars, I’ll believe it when I see it. I’m with you, we need to recreate the nation that can do these things again.


9 posted on 03/02/2009 9:27:44 PM PST by Nowhere Man (Is Barak HUSSEIN Obama an Anti-Christ? - B.O. Stinks! (Robert Riddle))
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To: Marie2
Marie2 I agree, but ...

... none of them, you included I'll wager, ever dreamed of a ten trillion dollar black hole War On Poverty bureaucracy that would ultimately CREATE more poverty than it ever eliminated ...

... so far, three generations worth of it.

10 posted on 03/02/2009 9:30:06 PM PST by Scotsman
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To: Marie2
Marie2 I agree, but ...

... none of them, you included I'll wager, ever dreamed of a ten trillion dollar black hole War On Poverty bureaucracy that would ultimately CREATE more poverty than it ever eliminated ...

... so far, three generations worth of it.

11 posted on 03/02/2009 9:31:24 PM PST by Scotsman
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To: Scotsman

Space travel = waste of money


12 posted on 03/02/2009 9:39:06 PM PST by Age of Reason
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To: Nowhere Man

N-Man, in the last half of the last century, about the only entities that had the wherewithall to reach the Moon, and even on to Mars, was government.

Of course, back then, most people lived in social isolation - the only news was on the radio, and as it grew, broadcast TV, and of course, newspapers.

Even telephone calls beyond a few tens of miles were considered long distance and were to be avoided except for truely important things like births and deaths and such like.

Now - or rather at some indefineable point in the future, maybe private enterprise can do a better job. I would prefer that to government, after the last fourty years.

Tagline dittos, too. :)


13 posted on 03/02/2009 9:41:14 PM PST by Scotsman
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To: Scotsman

Aye.


14 posted on 03/02/2009 9:43:28 PM PST by MistrX
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To: Scotsman

Throughout our history, we Americans roamed the back country in forest and grassland; as children, running around, checking out bugs, chasing butterflies, playing with tadpoles, understanding our world. In my experience, those who lived in such an environment were more resourceful, more resilient than our city-dwellers. Why? Because they had to fix things. When you’re on the farm, there is no calling the handyman. I’m sure our city dwellers had to deal with more social issues, but when push comes to shove, I’d rather have a farmer or a rancher, than a narcissistic half-assed community organizer by my side, when things get rough.


15 posted on 03/02/2009 9:50:50 PM PST by Hoosier-Daddy ("It does no good to be a super power if you have to worry what the neighbors think." BuffaloJack)
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To: Age of Reason
Age of Reason ...

... hmmmm.

Keeping it simple, ever hear of Tang? Start there and come along and dream with me ...

Dream of asteroids the size of mountains made out of starstuff - Iron, Nickle, most of the southern half of the Periodic Table.

Dream of our DNA being scattered amongst the stars. Either we do the scattering, or the sun will do it for us, eventually.

It is in Man's very nature to be free, and the stars are waiting for free men to reach them.

Show me how the War on Poverty does that.

Nutz. Show me how the War on Poverty could even CREATE a new orange drink.

16 posted on 03/02/2009 9:51:14 PM PST by Scotsman
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To: Hoosier-Daddy
H-Daddy ...

... Star Farmer ...

The visions that conjures up!

THAT is our destiny, and our destination.

17 posted on 03/02/2009 9:57:13 PM PST by Scotsman
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To: Scotsman

Further!


18 posted on 03/02/2009 9:57:33 PM PST by Hoosier-Daddy ("It does no good to be a super power if you have to worry what the neighbors think." BuffaloJack)
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To: Scotsman

Scotsman, that was heart-stirring, and inspirational. I also saw and felt all of the same things that you did, as a child in the 60’s.

When my family lived on Okinawa in the mid-sixties, we had an island-wide power failure one night. It was summertime, and I can still remember the splendor of the sky that night. It was exactly as you described it. Truly awe inspiring.

I have also been very disappointed that our nation essentially abandoned the forward progress of manned exploration of the solar system. As a kid, I imagined that by the dawn of the 21st century we would have well established colonies on the moon, Mars, and maybe even far beyond that.

Sadly, all of that wonderful adventure hasn’t happened in my lifetime, but I do know that the last forty years is simply a lull in the story of space faring. One day, it will barely rate a mention in mankind’s great history.

Like you, I believe it’s now my duty to fight for the survival of this great nation, so that little dreamers of today can one day walk the dusty plains of far off worlds.


19 posted on 03/02/2009 9:58:12 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Age of Reason
Space travel = waste of money

What a cruel, stupid, and ignorant comment to make on this thread. The least you could do is present a reasoned argument for your invalidative little equation.

20 posted on 03/02/2009 10:01:47 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: mysterio
mysterio, you're right ...

... this too shall pass.

But what will be left?

I am intrigued by matched pairs of electrons, I think, that transmit information over distances instantly. Matter transmission is a ways off from what little I hear. Heard about a series of experiments using light waves/particles to transmit information across time also.

Baby steps.

21 posted on 03/02/2009 10:03:43 PM PST by Scotsman
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To: Scotsman

I agree, the war on poverty paradoxically creates and establishes poverty.

I think strengthening and defending the nuclear family is the best antidote to poverty there is.


22 posted on 03/02/2009 10:10:10 PM PST by Marie2 (Ora et labora)
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To: Hoosier-Daddy
H-Daddy ...

... imagine Space Prospectors mining the Asteroid Belt, Space Guard units corralling comets and retrograding their orbits to crash into Mars, adding precious water to the planet's atmosphere, terraforming it into a vibrant colony of mankind.

The moons of Saturn covered with ice, possibly with liquid water beneath, and life waiting for us to find it. Who knows what medical cures live within that life. There is a celestial jungle out there with wonders we can only feebly imagine.

23 posted on 03/02/2009 10:15:28 PM PST by Scotsman
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To: Windflier
Windflier, forty years is just a hiccup ...

... for Mankind.

For one Man, it can be an eternity.

Thank you. I'm grateful that it touched you. If I did it right, you will remember the visions it brought out in you at random times in the future, at key points when you are thinking back into the future that never was but could so handily yet be.

:)

24 posted on 03/02/2009 10:23:26 PM PST by Scotsman
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To: Scotsman

Truly! I do envision miners shooting a stream of heavy metals towards Earth for harvesting; Helium-3 on the Moon’s surface. But, ultimately, it will come from intrepid explorers willing to take the risk. It’s in our DNA. MAN, wouldn’t it be great?


25 posted on 03/02/2009 10:31:40 PM PST by Hoosier-Daddy ("It does no good to be a super power if you have to worry what the neighbors think." BuffaloJack)
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To: Scotsman
...forty years is just a hiccup ... for Mankind. For one Man, it can be an eternity.

This may not be real to you, but I'm going to say it anyway.

You will be there.

26 posted on 03/02/2009 10:39:20 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Hoosier-Daddy
H-Daddy, what a glorious sight it would be ...

... to stand on an asteroid and see the cold, neon blue glow of distant Ion Drive cargo ships as they plow the solar system's shipping lanes, delivering the building blocks of civilization to inner orbits and returning with supplies and Space Farmers ...

... :)

27 posted on 03/02/2009 10:59:12 PM PST by Scotsman
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To: Windflier
Windflier,

I'm grateful, thank you.

28 posted on 03/02/2009 11:00:10 PM PST by Scotsman
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To: Scotsman

Good post!
As an enthusiastic member of the Science Fiction Book Club (circa 1968 - 1971) and a devourer of every Robert Heinlein book, I share your sentiments more than you can know.

FRegards,
LH


29 posted on 03/02/2009 11:05:43 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Scotsman
At the turn of 2001 I wrote something similar. 2001 and it had little in common with the movie. I use to worry if we'd manage to get people living off this planet before we slipped back to some new dark age. I still do.

The hope I believe lies in automation, machines that can not only make copies of themselves but which can be reprogrammed from afar to do other things. That would make living in space not only cheap but profitable.

Reaching for the stars is still only a wish but the solar system is tantalizingly close to becoming a fresh home. I dream of seeing a new America reborn out there in our solar system free of the collectivist swamp of earth bound Obamanations.

30 posted on 03/02/2009 11:27:14 PM PST by Nateman (FUBO and the Alinsky you rode in on!)
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To: Scotsman

That was very well written.

Your writing style compels the reader to continue, and begs one to step into their own memories, looking back through the years for like dreams, like moments, like feelings of excitement, innocence and peace. At least it did me.

Seems we have traveled down a few of the same roads. I am 60, and while I don’t like this ‘getting older’ part of life, going through it reminds me daily of how very fortunate I have been, to live in a time and experience.... that others may never see.

My body will not allow me to be the warrior I once was, but I have the strength of ten men within me and I would gladly fight, again, so that younger eyes may see and live their dreams.

I still dream though. It’s easy to find more dreams... by simply looking into the eyes of my grandchildren.

As for that wonderful sight of the stars, that precious moment with your dad so many long years ago, you will see it again. This time you will be looking from the other direction, that is all. It will be just as beautiful, just as inspiring, just as vast and he will again be by your side.

Good night.....

Gator


31 posted on 03/03/2009 12:05:42 AM PST by Gator113 ("Noli nothis permittere te terere.")
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To: Scotsman
N-Man, in the last half of the last century, about the only entities that had the wherewithall to reach the Moon, and even on to Mars, was government.

True, I think it would have been very tough for a private entity back then to be able to "get it together" for such a feat. You would need the resources of the USA or USSR to tackle it.

Of course, back then, most people lived in social isolation - the only news was on the radio, and as it grew, broadcast TV, and of course, newspapers.

I remember back then, well the 1970's, most people got their news in the morning, sometimes at noon and the evening with the local news recap at bedtime. I remember watching the Moon landing on our 1959 black & white Philco. Come to think of it, there is an entire generation of adults that never, ever saw a man walk on the Moon live on TV.

Even telephone calls beyond a few tens of miles were considered long distance and were to be avoided except for truely important things like births and deaths and such like.

I know, because they cost a lot. I've always remembered "touch tone" phones, in fact, the Pittsburgh area was a test market for "touch tone" as early as 1959 or so. It started in Greensburg and Crafton, PA I think and went from there. I sometimes remember long distance calls when satellites became in use, there were times you can hear yourself in an echo.

Now - or rather at some indefineable point in the future, maybe private enterprise can do a better job. I would prefer that to government, after the last fourty years.

Agreed. I'd like to see some private venture to Mars that is beholden to no one, maybe we can clear up and get to the truth about things like the Face on Mars and so on.

Tagline dittos, too. :)

I like it. I'm in a role playing game group and the guy who runs the game I'm in came up with that one.
32 posted on 03/03/2009 7:26:20 AM PST by Nowhere Man (Is Barak HUSSEIN Obama an Anti-Christ? - B.O. Stinks! (Robert Riddle))
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To: Scotsman
Nutz. Show me how the War on Poverty could even CREATE a new orange drink.

True. At least some of the "make work" projects made by Hoover and FDR did have some benefits like Hoover Dam and other infrastructure or even again getting back on topic, the space program. At least those created some wealth in a round about way.
33 posted on 03/03/2009 7:28:35 AM PST by Nowhere Man (Is Barak HUSSEIN Obama an Anti-Christ? - B.O. Stinks! (Robert Riddle))
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To: Nateman
At the turn of 2001 I wrote something similar. 2001 and it had little in common with the movie. I use to worry if we'd manage to get people living off this planet before we slipped back to some new dark age. I still do.

I do believe we are in such a race, we need to get out there before we manage to whimper out or blow ourselves up. We managed to forge ahead and then we retracted and stagnated, even in some cases, fell backwards. I fear we might be losing this race. I can see maybe a new civilization thousands of years from now landing on the Moon and wondering about our artifacts there, that is, if the chain of history is broken. Red China orbits a man in space, big deal, the Soviet Union and United States did that 40 years prior to that and with vacuum tube and discrete transistor technology.
34 posted on 03/03/2009 7:34:35 AM PST by Nowhere Man (Is Barak HUSSEIN Obama an Anti-Christ? - B.O. Stinks! (Robert Riddle))
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To: Scotsman
Well written....reminds me of the opening quote from Gods and Generals...

"A human life, I think, should be well rooted in some area of native land where it may get the love of tender kinship from the earth, for the labors men go forth to, for the sounds and accents that haunt it, for whatever will give that early home a familiar unmistakable difference amidst the future widening of knowledge. The best introduction to astronomy is to think of the nightly heavens as a little lot of stars belonging to one's own homestead."

- George Eliot

35 posted on 03/03/2009 7:36:28 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Nowhere Man

America go to Mars? NOT! With the dumbing-down of our schools, there isn’t enough brain power to pull off such a feat. A friend is a physicist in the aerospace industry, and he’s disgusted at the caliber of PhDs that are coming in to the workforce.


36 posted on 03/03/2009 7:39:23 AM PST by MayflowerMadam ("Freedom" is just another word for "nothing left to lose".)
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To: All

Your comments are all appreciated greatly.

Thank you.


37 posted on 03/04/2009 5:33:35 PM PST by Scotsman
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