A conservative view of national, state and local politics by Steve Fair
Monday, October 21, 2019
US should invest in SPACE!
Weekly Opinion Editorial
America’s Space Dominance
by Steve Fair
When most people think of space exploration, they connect it with
Cape Canaveral or Houston, but Oklahoma actually plays a pivotal role in
advancing our country’s space posture. That’s because Oklahoma’s own Senator
Inhofe (R-OK) serves in a key role in Congress as the Chairman of the Senate
Armed Services Committee. In his leadership role, Senator Inhofe has been
championing our country’s need to expand our footprint in space, including
supporting the creation of Space Force under the U.S. Air Force (USAF). Both
Senator Inhofe and President Trump know that space is the next frontier - and
that it’s already a contested environment. When Neil Armstrong took those first
“small steps” on the moon, he solidified America’s victory in the space race.
But we are in a new era of space utilization, and threats from other countries
like China and Russia, are rising every day. That’s why it’s important we
invest today in order to maintain our dominance.
To achieve this,
the United States must invest in innovative aerospace technology. The government needs to take a
farsighted view and take well-calculated risks. Once a project secures an investment, it
must be completed, because kick-starting innovation requires patience and a
willingness to see promising and viable ideas come to life. Unfortunately,
that’s not what’s happening today.
The USAF realized that
to ensure we had assured access to space for spy satellites we needed to be
able to easily get to space. We no longer want to rely on Russian-made RD-180
engines. So they created the Launch Service Agreement program (LSA). And, in a
brilliant stroke, decided to invest upfront in cutting-edge projects to foster
competition to develop new launch vehicles - the first to be created in
decades. They also required private industry to put hundreds of millions of
their own dollars on the table in order to compete to be a part of this
program. Three companies were selected and now these three companies are
working on viable launch systems to provide high-quality launch services - on
American made rockets - to the USAF.
However, just because
the Air Force invested in a new program to stay ahead of the competition, it
doesn’t mean that the government procurement process has kept up. Now, because
of an outdated procurement strategy, the Air Force wants to cut off the
development funds before the benefits have been fully realized. The USAF has
already spent hundreds of millions of dollars in conjunction with these private
companies to develop launch vehicles and their required infrastructure. To stop
the funding now would hinder innovation and squander investment of all that
hard-earned taxpayer money. This also risks forfeiting vast sums of private
investment that benefits the taxpayers.
That’s why leaders like
Senator Inhofe must step forward to protect this investment. Senator Inhofe has
consistently fought to protect every dime of taxpayer money and to ensure the
United States continues to win the next era of the space race. It stands to
reason that he would be a perfect voice to fight to protect a program that does
both - ensures our continued dominance in space while responsibly using
FAIR- because that's my name and BIASED because the truth is we are all biased-either for something or against it. What's important is that our bias(opinions) are based on right- on absolute truth and not on changing values. What's right cannot change based on a change in circumstances. That is the basis for situational ethics.
Situation Ethics is a theory that is concerned with the outcome or consequences of an action; the end, as opposed to an action being intrinsically wrong. In the case of situation ethics, the end can justify the means. There are no absolutes. Your actions are guided only by your conscience.
A person's view of right can be subjective. But there is a way mankind can definitely know what's right and that is revealed in God's Word- the Bible. As His creatures, we should be biased toward things our Creator is for and biased against those things He is against. May God grant us the grace and understanding to know the difference.
PARTY AFFILIATION IS IMPORTANT! by Steve Fair- written in 2009
How important is political party affiliation? Some people mistakenly believe only politicians need political affiliation, which they use for support to get elected. They contend the electorate or voters, do not need to be aligned with any Party. These same people often state they “support the man, not the Party.” But whether they recognize it or not, they are supporting a party when they “support the man.” Most of the Founding Fathers had a negative view of political parties. In his farewell address to the nation, George Washington warned about political parties saying, “However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.” In spite of Washington's warning, political parties were formed anyway. From 1796 to 1828 the first political parties were formed. Starting with the Federalists and Anti-Federalists, two opposing factions arose. Each was concerned with how the new government was to be organized. The Federalists believed in a strong central government. Their philosophy and beliefs would closely mirror the Democrat Party today. The Anti-Federalists strongly supported the rights of the states. They would more closely align with Republicans today. Since the mid 1800s, the Ds and Rs have been the two major political parties in our country. Political parties flourished in our government mainly for legislative organization and expediencies sake. Why is Party affiliation important for the average voter? Party affiliation is important for three very simples reasons. First, party affiliation is the first vote a citizen casts. When a citizen registers as a Democrat, then they are aligning philosophically with the values, beliefs, tenets, and positions of the Democrats on the issues. Party affiliation “defines” you are and what you stand for. It should be taken as seriously as a vote for a specific candidate. Research what each Party stands for, their positions on issues, and then align with the Party that is closest to your values. Copies of both major Party platforms are available on-line or at the local library. Second, legislatures organize themselves and conduct business using party affiliation. The legislative branch of government is the most powerful arm of the three branches of government. Legislative bodies hold closed meeting of party members, called a caucus to decide on questions of policy or leadership. The Republicans hold a caucus meeting and the Democrats hold a caucus meeting-both at the state and federal level. Unfortunately, conservative, moderate and liberal philosophies do not hold caucus meetings or control the legislative agendas- parties do. When someone says they vote for “the man,” not the party, they fail to understand the power and function of a caucus system in a legislative body. The Party in the majority controls appointments, Chairmanships, the agenda and countless other things through the caucus. Third, party affiliation should be a matter of conviction, not convenience. Often, people align with a party so they can vote in primary elections or based on family tradition or geographies. Even candidates will align, file and run affiliated with a Party they have little philosophical agreement with. That decision is made out of convenience, not conviction. While no political party is perfect or has all the answers, there is a distinct difference between the two major parties and honest citizens should align with the Party that reflects their convictions. The Democrat Party is more liberal than the Republican Party. Liberals believe in more government control of business, the environment and speech, using large bureaucratic programs to address real or perceived social ills and constant reinterpretation of the Constitution. Liberals are more inclined to trust government than the people themselves. They see the role of government as a great provider of goods and services and have little faith in the individual to solve his own problems. Republicans are more conservative than Democrats. Conservatives believe in less government control of the environment and business. They want fewer and less comprehensive government programs to address real or perceived social ills. They believe in personal responsibility and trust individuals to make decisions for themselves. Republicans believe in a strict literal interpretation of the Constitution. A person should find out which of these philosophies best fits their view if they wish to actively participate in the political process. Party affiliation is important. Washington’s prophecy has come to past, and political parties have been used to empower “unprincipled men,” on both sides of the aisle, but like it or not, political parties are a reality in our system of government. Each concerned citizen should evaluate the philosophy, values, beliefs and tenets of each Party and align their party affiliation accordingly.
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