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23 July 2019

German Rocket-Scientists Not Getting Their Due

Eugene Cagle, NASA's engineering manager for the Saturn rocket program, regarded the role of Wernher von Braun in the American space program as crucial:

“(Von Braun) was the main player in all the work that went on. We might have been successful (without him), but not in the '60s. He was a great leader.” (V. Whitman, Times Daily, 20 July 1999)

How strange it is, then, that on the fiftieth anniversary of the first landing of Americans on the Moon, we have heard so much about the astronauts but very little about Wernher von Braun and his team of rocket-scientists from Germany – and that what we do hear about the German rocket-scientists today is largely negative.

Cagle's assessment is clearly correct. In the early 1950s the United States had two rocket programs, one run by the Army, which had the Germans, and one run by the Navy, which was plagued with failures. When the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was formed, it was built mainly around the team of Germans brought to the United States after the Second World War. We can safely conclude, therefore, that without Wernher von Braun and his team, there would have been many more failed rockets, and perhaps there would never have been a NASA.

As with some other big ideas, the idea of traveling to the Moon was a German elaboration of a French inspiration. Jules Verne's novel of 1865, De la Terre à la Lune, contained insights like the fact that Florida would be a good location for launches, but it was Hermann Oberth in the early 20th century who made the physical calculations of how acceleration out of the Earth's gravitational pull and into outer space might be possible. Fritz Lang's movie about a voyage to the Moon, die Frau im Mond (1921), and Oberth's book die Rakete in den Planetenräumen (1923), inspired a schoolboy named Wernher von Braun to learn the mathematics and the physics involved so that he himself might one day travel into outer space.

20 July 2019

Hadding & Cantwell, 8 July 2019: the March of Political Correctness

Funeral Scene from The Wild Angels with Peter Fonda, 1966. The movie represents the swastika and the cross as antitheses, reflecting Anglo-American propaganda more than historic National-Socialism, but the swastika as a symbol of rebellion against restrictions had a certain appeal, and was used that way in a number of cinematic productions in the 1960s.  Today you won't see that.

Musicians also used the swastika to indicate their independence from restrictive authority. From left to right, Siouxsie Sioux, Lemmy Kilmeister of Motorhead, Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols, and members of the Slovenian band Laibach. Several of these people in one way or another apologized under pressure. Sid Vicious most likely never apologized, but when the movie Sid and Nancy was made (1986), the swastika shirt was bowdlerized, replaced with a hammer-and-sickle shirt. Even the portrayal of a total degenerate like Sid Vicious wearing a swastika, as he often did, is for some people too much of an endorsement to be allowed. It would be surprising to see this today.
Talking to Cantwell, I conflated the plastic model kit of Tom Daniel's "Red Baron" with "Rommel's Rod." These were created in the late 60s and were sold for years in K-Mart. Both show that attitudes were very different in the 60s and 70s compared to now. "Nazi stuff" was cool -- and permitted.

Sadly the cutout of Adolf Hitler ultimately did not appear in the famous album-cover.

Bowie later apologized and proved that he really was a degenerate after all.

Two of the most popular series that ever aired on CBS Television featured characters whose cherished emblem was the Confederate Battle Flag -- which now, in the ratcheting-up of Political Correctness, has become a target for moralizing lunatics on a par with the swastika.

The Kurt H. Debus Conference Facility at Kennedy Space Center, named after the former ardent National-Socialist who was the USA's chief authority on rocket-launches from 1952 and retired as director of Kennedy Space Center in 1974. The conference-center has kept its name so far perhaps because there is no university-campus nearby.

04 July 2019

A Couple of New Memes

It has annoyed me for some months, seeing a two-frame cartoon that has an SA-man in the left frame and an Antifa thug in the right frame, both attacking "Free Speech." In the aftermath of the attack on Andy Ngo (and some others who got much less sympathy because they were straight, White non-journalists) in Portland, Oregon, this stupid cartoon has been trotted out again. I have altered the cartoon to make it more enlightening.

A few days ago I saw a photo that showed Dinesh D'Souza with an expression on his face that seems to me to convey more about his character than he would want anyone to know.

I have made a few variants on this meme, with different words for different contexts. This is the most general-purpose one. You can make your own variant with different text, but it should resemble something that D'Souza actually says, or at least implies. I don't know that he ever verbatim said, "Republicans believe that everybody is equal!" or, "Democrats are the real racists!" but a lot of his verbiage can be boiled down to those propositions. When it's stated so plainly, the ridiculousness is easier to see.

This one is about the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which, to the embarrassment of today's cowardly Republicans, presidential candidate Barry Goldwater opposed. 

Speaking of cowardly, backstabbing Republicans, there's this. It's not a meme in the normal sense but the information conveyed is important. The Republican Party has tried to give the pro-White voter just enough winks and dogwhistles to induce him to vote Republican instead of Democrat, while treating him more and more as an unwanted stepchild. Especially disgusting is the acquiescence of Southern White people in this abuse. I try to make them aware of it.