Sunday, July 22, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2134, July 22nd, 2012

Plant earth as seen from the moon. 


Friday was the 43rd anniversary of the first man walking on the moon. My generation and the previous WWII era people saw it as one of the most important landmark achievements of mankind. The things we take for granted today, cell phones, Teflon, plastics all could not have been possible without the space program. By some it has long been forgotten. For those who think history began on the day they were born, it isn’t even a blip on their radar screen. As the Presidential campaign lurches on, no one seems to be speaking of the future. President Obama attacks Mitt Romney on his Bain associations and Romney distorts the Affordable Care Act which he partly inspired when he was Governor of Massachusetts. Whoever is successful, both men will have to answer to history for not projecting a vision for America. Barack Obama especially will have to answer electorally to the people of Florida for essentially ending the space program. There were many significant factors about the announcement by President Kennedy in 1961 about how he wanted to land a man on the moon. It was a signal to the Soviet Union that we were serious about beating them and was a major component in the Cold War. It launched hundreds of thousands of young students into career of math and science. (The average age of a NASA employee at the time of the Moon landing was 28. What are our 28 years old doing of significance today? Making another version of Madden Football or that war game kids play until 4AM in the morning?) Among other things, perhaps the most important part of The Moon landing proposal by President Kennedy was that it was a proposition that would outlast his Presidency. It wasn’t designed to prop his party up for the 1962 mid term elections, it wasn’t designed to win him re-election in 1964, it was designed to provide a vision beyond his term in office. Politicians of today would do well to remember that aspect of the anniversary. Where are the ideas today that would inspire that one small step for mankind again?
The ignominious transfer of the Paterno statue. 


They took the statue of Joe Paterno down today at Penn State University. Workers in yellow vests and campus police converged on the site and began to chip away at the big statue and its accompanying wall where it was written that Paterno wanted to be remembered as a good educator, coach and humanitarian. Juror number three in the Sandusky trial was interviewed by ESPN and said this action was knee jerk and should not have happened. Others said that Paterno was complicit in perpetuating the scandal by giving the word that he was okay with Sandusky having access to the athletic facilities. The action by Penn State is a signal that they no longer care about the Paterno legacy. The thing they do have in common with Paterno is, like he, they want to protect something. Paterno wanted to protect his and the school’s legacy, the people at Penn State are just trying to keep the school in survival mode. History at Penn State can never be rewritten. The heinous acts of Jerry Sandusky and the blindness of Joe Paterno have to be acknowledged. But on the other side of the coin, the significant good Paterno did for the school cannot be erased either. Only the future will tell us how the school and Paterno will be judged. But that will take years. For now, fans of JoPa will cling to the words on that wall, “coach and educator”. That other word, “humanitarian” will be banished from the vocabulary when dealing with Joe Paterno.
Tim McCarver, former player and now Hall of Fame broadcaster. 


Today Ron Santo and Barry Larkin go into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. For Larkin it is the culmination of a great career. To Santo’s family, it is bittersweet. Santo died last year and was elected this year. Santo was a great fielder and dangerous hitter who should have been inducted way sooner. Another honoree was Tim McCarver who was elected in the broadcast wing. McCarver was a Phillies broadcaster in the early 80s and I had the opportunity to speak with him many times at the Vet when I wrote a sports column for the Pittston Dispatch. McCarver was used as a fill in announcer for ABC in the early 80s when the Phils got on national TV. That launched his career as a national broadcaster of note. In his induction yesterday he thanked Phils President Bill Giles for giving him his first broadcast contract. McCarver is one of the good guys in baseball and broadcasting. Unlike Ron Santo, it was nice to see him recognized when he was still vertical.


At 9:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good comment about the Moon landing anniversary. Nowhere in that speech did Kennedy mention elections and no one bitched about how we were bankrupting our grandchildren's future with the program. It was about vision. The future. Not like these clowns, Obama especially.

At 5:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reggie Jackson made himself scarce at this year's HOF inductions, no?


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