Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Finally . . . Perspective and a Sense of Humor

About astronauts who (gasp!) tip back a few. Charles Krauthammer does an admirable job of defending them. I especially love this line: "I dare say that if the standards of today’s fussy flight surgeons had been applied to pilots showing up for morning duty in the Battle of Britain, the signs in Piccadilly would today be in German."

Discussions - 4 Comments

No sh#@!

Hear, hear!

I remember a Car&Driver editorial from the 1970s. It said that NASA's biggest mistake was sanitizing the image of the astronauts. Car&Driver thought that if the public knew what the astronauts were really like -- Car&Driver focused on their affinity for sports cars and motorcycles and general hellraising -- public support for the space program would never wane.

I thought they were on to something.

I'm reading a book titled "FIGHTER BOYS;" it's about the experiences of RAF fighter pilots during the Battle of Britain.

Many pilots drank over 6 pints a night, and as the battle intensified towards late Summer, their drinking also intensified.

It was observed that those pilots who didn't go out drinking were MORE LIKELY to end up being shot down. There were RAF pilots who spent the whole night drinking and socializing, and would arrive at their field shortly prior to first light, without so much as an hour sleep.

Drinking was both a coping mechanism and also a way for the RAF pilots to maintain the right tone. There was social pressure to trivialize what they were doing and facing. Pilots that were shot down were said to have "gone in." One of the worst things that could be said of a pilot was that he was "shooting a line," which meant that he was affecting not a studied disregard for danger, but affecting a guy having to rough it. One of the more famous pilots, Douglas Bader, said that a squadron was "shooting a line" when they returned from France, because they were unshaved, unwashed, and clearly appeared worn out. They had been in action two weeks straight, lost half their compliment, and just completed covering the evacuation of the BEF at Dunkerque. Bader's judgement of that squadron wasn't made known to them until decades later, and when it was, it caused quite a stir.

Drinking is part of the lifestyle of the pilot, of the naval aviator. And I don't see the reason that we can trust them to fly multimillion dollar aircraft, but all of a sudden draw the line when they're transferred to NASA.

I've a better idea. Let's dump NASA. Let's deliver the whole damn thing over to the NAVY. The civilian administrators at NASA can't be relied on, they're likely to overreact to trifles, and they've a program that literally and figuratively goes in circles. NASA is increasingly given over to what pilots might term, the "Mickey Mouse."

NASA has outlived its usefulness.

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