Did We Go To The Moon?

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Since we’re now in the eight-day period where 50 years ago the Apollo 11 mission was taking place – this will be the first of three posts dedicated to the moon landing.

I thought we’d get the biggest question out of the way: did we actually land on the moon – or was the event just a big hoax? For one reason or another, our space program has yet to do anything bigger than the lunar landing with its astronauts since – and technically, our manned space program is in mothballs and has been now for eight years. We provide astronauts to be launched on Russian Soyuz rockets, yet we don’t have spacecraft of our own for the time being.

I was born in September of 1971 – two years and a month and a half after Apollo 11’s inaugural lunar trip, and when Apollo 17 made our final lunar journey to date, I was all of 15 months old. I’ve spent most of my life living on the west coast of Florida about 150 miles away from Cape Canaveral – though I once visited the Kennedy Space Center once in 1982. My memories of the space program seem to be the saddest chapters of its history – the Challenger disaster of 1986, and Columbia’s failed return home in 2003.

As for the moon landings being hoaxes, I’ve always been one to put that in the “not entirely impossible but improbable” category. I don’t think every conspiracy theory out there is a totally impossible notion – I’ve wondered if Lee Harvey Oswald really did kill JFK in 1963, for example, and what the true motivations were for killing the President. I’d say for every one conspiracy theory that’s real, you could probably find 10-20 that aren’t.

But the moon landings being hoaxes – that would seem to me to be a tough one to keep covered up all of this time that has gone by, so I’d say no.

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Facebook Deactivation Attempt Number Whatever

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It gets to the point perhaps where all of the attempts get farcical – but here I go again. I’m again experimenting with life without Facebook.

If you’ve been watching the news as of late – we’ve got another “racism” controversy involving the President getting into it with four rather young and novice members of the House of Representatives. When Mr. Trump suggested in a tweet Sunday that perhaps “The Squad” should go back where they came from, things got a bit chaotic. The Democrats and in turn the media accused the President of being a racist.

For what it is worth – my opinion (as of this moment – July 16, 2019 at 11am Eastern time) is he is still not a racist by my definition of the term. To me, someone who is racist uses racist slurs – and I’ve never seen any record of Mr. Trump using that kind of language. If there is proof of him ever using those words, my opinion will likely change – but at this moment, I have yet to see such proof.

Facebook (and Twitter too), being what that has become, always seems to provide someone who can’t handle someone like me having their own personal opinion. Someone from your past always seems to be around magically to be your own personal “thought police” to try and set you straight in effort to tell you, yes, that POTUS is a racist – and don’t mind the Congresswomen who won’t condemn Al Qaeda or Antifa. That debate will go on – somebody will win it, and somebody will lose it.

So I keep getting around to this idea of a limited social media sabbatical, and who knows – maybe it will stick this time. Besides, I enjoy doing this a bit more.

The War Of 13-12

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The decade of professional tennis that has been the 2010’s has now come full circle – with still a bit less than half a year left to go in it.

It began with that strange never-ending fifth set at Wimbledon that John Isner and Nick Mahut had, which shattered the record for the longest set of competitive tennis ever held with a 70-68 scoring wonder, among other records.

The last men’s match at Wimbledon this decade has now set more milestones – necessitated in a way by what happened back on those three days in 2010. Starting what this 2019 tournament, Wimbledon introduced the final-set tiebreak to their Grand Slam tournament – so if a match went 24 games without a winner (in other words, 12-12), the 25th game would be a tiebreak to decide matters.

As fate would have it, the men’s final became the first singles match that went that distance. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic went to 12-12 in the fifth – and off they went to a tiebreak the younger Novak quickly won.

No other men’s Grand Slam final ever needed a tiebreak to decide it in the sport’s history – though the tie break was only used in major tournaments about half a century ago. I said back in 2015 that final-set tiebreakers seemed like something inevitable, more or less like how MLB baseball will eventually use the DH in both leagues one day.

Let’s not overshadow that brilliant match both Roger and Novak put on either. It was one of the best tennis matches I’ve ever seen, start to finish. Excellent job, fellas – you did your profession proud this day.

Flashback: “Stairway To Heaven” by Dolly Parton

One of the many covers of the 1971 Led Zeppelin classic that, oddly enough, wasn’t a hit when it was first released – but has since been a go-to song in the playlists of classic rock radio stations all over the world.

I picked the Parton cover because it is a dedication to my ex-girlfriend, who’s mother passed away this past Wednesday afternoon.

Ross Was A Boss

As a general rule of thumb, I try not to eulogize everybody who passes on too much anymore. Better put, when I get around to do as such – it is for a good reason.

Yesterday, 1992 Presidential candidate Ross Perot passed away at the age of 89. To date, he is the last Independent candidate to have been included in the debates you see each election cycle – and no candidate since, outside of the Democratic or Republican nominee, has gotten more of a vote percentage as he did in 1992.

To this day, he’s the only candidate for President I’ve ever gone to see in person at a rally. On October 31, 1992, I took one of my aunts, who was a staunch Perot supporter, to the USF Sun Dome – and saw Mr. Perot speak to nearly 9,000 people in Tampa.

Of course, Perot didn’t win – Bill Clinton did, then the governor of Arkansas. At one point, Perot dropped out of the race despite polling well initially based on his frequent interviews with CNN’s Larry King. Had he not dropped out – what would have happened? Would there have been a Electoral College stalemate – where none of the three candidates get to the required 270 electoral votes? Could it have been possible that Ross would have won the popular vote but yet lose in the House of Representatives?

Assume for a moment we had a President Perot in 1993. If that had took place, then I think you would have seen the “derangement syndrome” we see now with President Trump a quarter of a century earlier. Perot would have formed essentially a coalition government with the Republicans with a Democratic run Congress – and the Democrats would treat Perot like the outsider they do now with the current President. Perot would come up with solutions, and the Dems foiling him at every turn – perhaps manufacturing a scandal that entices some sort of impeachment. Sound familiar?

Perot would have also fixed the economy – again, a lot like you’re seeing with the current President. How the 1996 elections would have worked – well, your guess is as good as mine there. Maybe the GOP recruits Perot to their side, and likely he would accept such a deal, at least to my way of thinking. Of course, that alternative 21st century might wind up different – and maybe everything we know, such as 9/11, never happens. Perhaps a New York businessman named Trump never gets on TV or has the need to enter the political arena – and how different that reality might have been.

Epstein Island

I don’t want to show you his face – but by now, the name of Jeffrey Epstein has made the news for some terrible reasons.

Late me state categorically that I don’t care who gets harelipped in the process. If you harm underage boys or girls, that’s a one-way ticket to hell in my book. Mr. Epstein is entitled to his day in court and a chance to prove his innocence, but if found guilty – nobody should show this guy any mercy.

What did the Clintons know, and what did they do with this man – and what did Mr. Trump know? It all must come out – and the public needs to know the names of everyone involved in this sick plot.

Let’s hope it does, for a change. If what’s being talked about is even one one-hundredth true, this is going to make the Penn State football scandal look small. You don’t harm children. Period.

Oops, They Did It Again

As most know by now, the US women’s soccer team complete its quest and won the World Cup a second successive time, defeating the Netherlands 2-0. They are the second women’s team and the fourth team at either the men’s or women’s level to win back-to-back World Cups. No one has ever won three World Cups in a row in either gender’s tournament.

The climax of the tournament continued to augment the political divide of the country – but I don’t root against “our” team, period. I wasn’t pleased to see the one player throw the American flag to the ground in one of the celebrations – but people do stupid stuff all the time, and who knows if the player knew the disrespect she was engaging in. I’ll let the soccer governing bodies of our country decide what to do on that score.

I’m more interested in whether or not the women’s team can repeat in 2023 then I am in all of the political fallout – but I can’t lie to you all and wonder what the future of our country winds up being after the 2020 elections, especially if it’s close and there’s allegations of chicanery.