I was watching a Mars Science Laboratory news conference yesterday, and I was struck with how young the panelists were. Of course, the star of the Mission has been "Mohawk Guy," Bobak Ferdowsi, but yesterday, his stardom was totally eclipsed by a bunch of kids going on at great length and detail about the Mars Mission currently underway in Gale Crater. It was an impressive and important display.
While watching the landing drama at JPL, it seemed that "nothing had changed" at the Space Agencies, it was still being operated the same way, with the hierarchies, the same ranks of monitors, and the same 3 ring binders they've been using since the days of Werner von Braun.
But no. It's not the same. Not at all. There are similarities, to be sure, because what the Space Agencies are now is built on what they were 50 years ago when the Space Program became an integral part of everyone's life with the orbiting of manned spacecraft. The institutions that set our path to the stars are still the same, more or less, as they were at the beginning.
But it's an entirely different atmosphere and spirit than once pervaded NASA and JPL; these young people have a much greater level of accomplishment, when you get down to it, in their 20's and 30's, than their predecessors might have had in their 40's and 50's. They've done more, they've seen more, and with the spectacularly successful landing of the Curiosity Rover, they've managed an amazing task with grace, courage, and utter confidence in their skill and ability to do the impossible.
I just saw Mitt Romney introduce Randian Young Buck Paul Ryan as "the next President of the United States" and it immediately brought to mind the reality of the Bush Jr. presidency, in which the man who ran the show was VP Dick ("What a Dick") Cheney. And if there is a Romney presidency -- looking less and less likely as this Long Hot Summer drags on -- it's obvious that Mittster will defer to the Young Buck in the transformation of American society into a Randian dystopia.
That's the goal and game plan of our Overclass, and they have chosen Ryan as the man to implement their goals.
Ryan brings a young, indeed an almost adolescent, enthusiasm to the task he's accepted: dismantling what's left of the New Deal and Great Society and restoring America's position as a Third World hell hole the way it was meant to be. Like more than a few adolescents, he obviously enjoys bringing an end to the world as we know it, with as much malice and cruelty as he can engineer. It's a high for him.
The contrast between Ryan and the young people at the news conference yesterday could not be more acute. Ryan is a social demolition expert, that's his job. The young people at NASA and JPL, managing a Mars program that may well result in the first confirmation of life on another world (though I'm not holding my breath), are building what could well be a better future, or at least something that leads to The Future.
Ryan and his owners and sponsors (Willard is a nonentity now) have no such vision. They are obsessed with driving us backwards, destroying what's good in American society once and for all.
It is their mission.
It is their quest.
They are relentless.
It will be interesting to see how much Team Obama pre-concedes to them this time.