Tag Archives: United States

What if…. Limited Government

Lately, the writer in me has been thinking of a story where the U.S. breaks into two, peacefully(maybe). The conservative-libertarian states would create the limited government they want, while the liberals/progressives/socialists would have as much big government as they could stand (California comes to mind). Since three of my novels are heavily political, I thought I’d write a post on my thoughts (to a point, I could go on a rant if I’m not careful). I’ve been thinking about this on and off since the early 1990′s, when I was in high school, when RINO George HW Bush was President. Sure I’m unhappy with Obama being re-elected, but I could see that coming, what with the Republican Establishment forcing Romney down our throats. Being in Texas, I couldn’t vote in the Primaries until May, so my vote for Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, or Governor Perry would have been pointless. Thanks RINOS! Anyway, I’m sure you’ve heard about the petitions on the White House’s website where people from at least 20 states (since yesterday) have asked that their states be peacefully released from the Union. As of 11/13/2012 at 8:50 am Central time, the Texas petition has received 65,630 signatures, out of the 25k that was needed.  I know people think states can’t secede thanks to the War Between the States, but if Puerto Rico can vote itself into the U.S., then why can’t states vote themselves out? Food for thought.

Here are my thoughts on what my theoretical conservative(or would that be libertarian?) country would govern like:

1. No central government, which means no fixed central capital. If there are enough states that join, for a chosen period of time, say 4 years, a state capital would be chosen to be the nation’s capital. The Chief Exec would be the Governor of that State. The Legislative Branch wouldn’t meet in person. Since we have video chatting, they can stay home and telecommute. This would limit the ability for lobbyists and others to corrupt our representatives. Judicial Branch would also be elected, that means no more sitting on the Supreme Court for a lifetime.

2. All laws and constitutional amendments are to be voted on by the people. The politicians would be required to live under the same laws because of this. Politicians would be limited to a term of twelve years, and their salaries would be less than the average citizen makes, since most politicians already have a lot of money. Voting would be a requirement, even if you don’t want to vote for anyone, you would still have to show up at your polling place.

3. Churches and charities would take care of those less fortunate, no more spending billions on people who never lift themselves out of their situations, causing generations of people to be on the government dole. These churches and charities would teach people how to do things for themselves, how to make a living, etc. Families will be encouraged to take care of their elders.

4. The education system would be run locally. Each state and each local community has different needs, so it wouldn’t be possible to have nationwide standards. I wouldn’t expect a farm state like Kansas to need the same education that an oil/cattle state like Texas would have. All that would be required is that the Bible be part of the education and that Creationism also be taught in addition to the “established” sciences. University education will have less of an emphasis, that way having a low-level college degree will be a bigger deal, instead of making everyone have one just to have a job, which dilutes the importance. The free market system will dictate the needs of the education system.

5. We will have no official denomination, so this will not be a Baptist, Methodist, Mormon, Jewish, or even a Catholic nation. However, due to the inherent conflict with our nation being mostly Judeo-Christian, Islam will not be welcomed, as it is in direct conflict with our beliefs. Other faiths are welcome as long as they don’t try to change the culture of our nation. We will also not sell alcohol on Sundays.

6. Immigration – Considering how unlimited immigration ruined the United States, we will limit who can come here. We will welcome all conservatives from other states who are stuck in liberal/progressive/socialist hell, and if liberals in our new country want to leave, we will propose a trade agreement with the USA: Your conservatives for our liberals, kind of like a trade in sports. As for other immigrants, only those that contribute to our overall technological progression as a society can live here; i.e. scientists, inventors, people with knowledge. Other than that, all illegals who try to cross our borders(including liberals) will be immediately returned to where they came from. No amnesty. Asylum will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Anyone who needs medical care will be welcomed for the time it takes them to get the required care.

7. Defense/Military – All citizens will be required to buy a gun, learn how to use it, and open-carry will be encouraged. Graduates from high school will be required to serve at least 2 years in the military or in service of some sort that will teach you to be invested in your nation, so that way you will care what happens. We will not have entangling alliances with other nations; no military bases or embassies so we won’t be tempted to get involved in other peoples’ affairs, nor will we recognize the United Nations. If we’re attacked, we will respond in kind, maybe with a stronger response. When we go to war, it will be all-out war, none of this hobby war stuff the U.S. engaged in. One caveat to alliances: we will have an alliance with Israel, because it is the Christian thing to do, God blesses those that do, and they are one of the few nations that wouldn’t need us to hold their hand or fight for them in a conflict. Each state will have a ready-to-go militia, but the nation as a whole will not have a standing military. All militia will train for three days a month. Some of our states have nuclear weapons facilities, so those will also be at the ready to show others that we will not be trifled with.

8. Medical – The government will stay out of the way to let the Free Enterprise system handle this. Tort Reform will be done to prevent lawyers from suing every Doctor or Hospital, which would cause skyrocketing medical costs if there is no Tort Reform. Insurance can be bought across state lines so that costs can stay down. Technological progress will be encouraged and we will strive to have the best medical care in the world. We will be a Pro-Life nation; you can be abstinent, use protection, or carry the child to term and give it up for adoption (there are many families who would adopt). If you are unable due to your life being threatened, we will do all we can to help you both survive, but there are times when an infant can’t be saved. We will mourn the dead unborn as we do any person who has been alive for any period of time.

9. Resources – Since the new government will not gobble up all the unused land for themselves, companies will be encouraged to search for new sources of energy: oil, coal, natural gas. These companies will be asked to search for energy as cleanly as possible, since it would be in their best interest for us to stay healthy and our environment not damaged, since they have to live here too. No more subsidizing ethanol production, since that drives up the cost of food and other products made from corn. Large windmills will be taken down, since that kills off birds, instead of actually contributing to our energy production. If it makes economic sense, car companies will be encouraged (but not given oodles of “stimulus” money) to see if electric powered or hydrogen powered cars are actually feasible. We will encourage the mining of gold and silver, and base our monetary system on one of these minerals. Eminent domain will not be used by the government, state or local. If a person’s property has some resources beneath it, the company will pay for the use and royalties will be paid. Conservation will be encouraged and the free market system will dictate what works and what doesn’t.

10. Spending/Taxes – Instead of an income tax, we will have a flat sales tax, 10% will be the rate. Since we won’t have permanent military bases overseas or embassies, we won’t need to spend that money. We will not send monetary aid to other nations. There will be no Departments of Education, Energy, Homeland Security, HHS, or Labor, no IRS, no Federal Reserve, along with other pointless agencies that only spend money. We will go back to having only a Department of State, Treasury, Interior, Commerce, and Defense (or War). The States will build their own roads and maintain the interstate highways. Government will require that contractors bid as low as they can stand, no more paying $20k for something like a hammer. The government will live on a budget, like everyone else.

That is all I can think of for now. I know there are plenty of people who disagree, and will probably voice their displeasure. But remember, this is all theoretical and I’m writing out a possible storyline. Do I seriously think this will happen? No. But, having differing opinions is what used to make the United States such a good place to live, but now it seems like everyone is just angry with each other. In the immortal words of Rodney King…. can’t we all just get along?

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New Release: Final Frontier

Final Frontier is the sequel to the novel I published last year, New Frontier. Currently available for $2.99 on Kindle(ASIN: B009ORP5U0), SmashwordsNook, and Kobo. Also, Times of Trouble is currently going for $.99 on Kindle (ASIN:B0075CNFFI) (but is available in paperback and on other e-book platforms), and Out of Time, my time travel novel is always $.99 (on all ebook platforms). Update: all of my ebooks, but Beyond the New Frontier, are $.99 for the month on Kindle.

What it’s about:

In this sequel to New Frontier, the USS Lewis & Clark begin their search for the Soviet starship Yuri Gagarin. They find the wormhole that the Gagarin went through twelve years earlier and decide to go through it. On the other side, the crew of the Lewis & Clark find a solar system that used to be populated by aliens known as Pictorians, but they’re no longer there. Neither is the crew of the Gagarin. So, the Lewis & Clark is flown back through the wormhole to report back to Earth.

Unfortunately, something is wrong, they find themselves 30 years in the past. As they struggle to wait for their future to catch up, the crew of the Lewis & Clark make changes to certain events, but they cause unintended consequences; including making another alien species mad enough to forbid humans from traveling beyond the Sol System. Find out what happens in this conclusion of the New Frontier series.

Also available is the combined versions of both novels, which is available to borrow for free for Amazon Prime Memebers, called Beyond the New Frontier (ASIN: B009NVH76M) and is currently free until the end of Thursday, the 11th of October. Tops out at 84,779 words.

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#Newrelease: Times of Trial the 2nd novel in End Times series

Times of Trial is now available, and it’s the 2nd novel in my End Times series.

A preacher and his family, the Tyler’s, have a church that is dying in Arizona. Even though the church is dying, they take care of the remaining senior saints, including the ones in nursing homes and in hospice. The remaining family, the White’s, leave the same church and head to Wyoming to live in a community that was originally started by Doomsday Preppers back in the early 2000′s so they can attempt to escape the increasing persecution of Christians.

Meanwhile, President Collins orders the activation of Camps across the country that will house believers who he thinks are a threat to his rule. His patron, Michael Collins, manipulates events in the Middle East. The Tyler’s end up with others in a camp in Arizona, while the White’s and the community they live in gets attacked by government troops. Evans continues to manipulate events as the Rapture takes the Christians, and he gains ultimate power.

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

 

The next novel I’m writing is a sequel to New Frontier, and I will also write a short story anthology of some minor characters mentioned in both End Times novels. Eventually, I’ll write a novel about the character of Michael Evans, the patron of President Collins and the man who manipulates events around the world.

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Next novel, Times of Trial, possible book cover

This is a possible cover to my next novel, Times of Trial, but it probably could use some tweaking or something altogether different. I could use some feedback if anyone’s willing to give me some. I would appreciate it.

  The novel is a parallel novel to Times of Trouble. A preacher and his family, the Tyler’s,  have a church that is dying in Arizona, and they take care of the remaining senior saints, including the ones in nursing homes, etc. The remaining family, the White’s, leave the same church and head to Wyoming to live in a community that was originally started by Doomsday Preppers back in the early 2000′s so they can attempt to escape the increasing persecution of Christians. Meanwhile, President Collins orders the activation of Camps across the country that will house believers who he thinks are a threat to his rule. His patron, Michael Collins, places a new man in charge in Iran, who consolidates his power and attempts to take a swipe at Israel. Israel strikes back, but the rest of the world sympathizes with Iran. The Tyler’s end up with others in a Camp in Arizona,  the White’s and the community they live in get attacked, other events happen that also occur in Times of Trouble, and Evans continues to manipulate events as the Rapture takes the Christians, and he gains ultimate power.

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Times of Trouble, a new Christian fiction novel

Times of Trouble is my sixth novel, which will I will upload to Smashwords, B&N, and Createspace sometime in the next few days. It’s a Christian speculative fiction thriller. I’m aiming for the group of Christian readers who read the Left Behind series back in the late 90′s, and I’m hoping they’ll enjoy reading this novel.

What it’s about:

In the near future, the U.S. government has turned into a tyranny as the government agencies known as the EPA and TSA grow with ever more power, taking away the liberty many Americans had known for over two hundred years. They’re joined by a government agency, the Health Administration, which was put together in the mid-2010′s to regulate healthcare.

Told in first person point of view, Brian Atwood, our main character, is a field agent for the FBI in Omaha. His work involves mostly cyber terrorism and actual cases of potential real world terrorism. Eventually, his wife gives birth to their third child, who has Down’s Syndrome, which does not please the Health Administration because there are rules and regulations set-up in cases like these to prevent “genetic freaks” as they like to call them, from sucking up a lot of Health Admin money. Because the Atwoods are born again Christians, they never considered aborting the baby, so now the Health people have to take him away to deal with the problem later.

Meanwhile, the Secret Service decides to recruit Brian to be the personal agent of POTUS due to his great work involving a case that dealt with terrorism that would’ve involved Offutt Air Force Base. Brian’s faith is tested every day as he deals with a man that has no morals from what Brian can see, and is tested even more when his wife finds out that she’s dying from a fast growing form of breast cancer. Trouble in the rest of the world occurs as Iran attempts to nuke Israel, which fails spectacularly, so Israel takes care of the problem. This brings condemnation from everyone, including the US, which takes the side of Iran.

When the re-election of POTUS doesn’t turn out the way he wanted it, he and his people declare the election nullified because of supposed “irregularities” with the ballots. POTUS claims that the new President-elect may take the seat sometime in the middle of next year, if everything looks to be sorted out. POTUS purges his staff of what he considers unloyal people, including Brian. At the same time, he loses his wife, but regains the son he thought he had lost.

Brian moves back to his family home in Nebraska, where we follow what happens as the country slowly falls apart. Events play out as Brian and his family sees the End Times approach.

Stay tuned for news on when it can be purchased.

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New Frontier, new novel coming in early 2012

I’m currently working on the last couple of chapters of my new speculative fiction novel, which I call New Frontier. I’m expecting to be done sometime between the end of December to the end of January, barring unforseen circumstances of course.

The story originally started off with a prologue with the whole speech given by President Kennedy at Rice University in 1962 about all of our technological advances and how we’ve managed to come so far in such a short amount of time. I decided to cut that down, to the one paragraph everyone remembers him saying, which is:

“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too. It is for these reasons that I regard the decision last year to shift our efforts in space from low to high gear as among the most important decisions that will be made during my incumbency in the office of the Presidency…”

I’m not going to reveal any spoilers from this particular sub-plot, because I plan on having a 2nd book in this to make a series to explain why what happens in the prologue happens the way it does.

After this, I begin with a what-if Ronald Reagan became President in 1976 instead of 1980? Well, he has the US continue with the Moon landings and eventually building a Base on the moon, and even declaring that we’ll have people on Mars before 1989.

The Soviets decide to one-up the Americans, and decide to build a starship that would leave the solar system. Their attitude is basically, why do we need to piddle around the Sol System when there’s other solar systems out there to be conquered. The 2nd book will explore what happens to the Soviet ship, which, of course, will be after the Americans eventually send their own ship in the 2nd novel.

There is a storyline that follows the 1979 Iranian Hostage Crisis, but this time it ends in a completely different fashion. I have Osama bin Laden as a young apprentice to Khomeini, and he goes off on his own to form Al Qaeda (this is alternate history after all). In his first foray into terrorism, he makes a big statement that affects American politics in a big way. The US hunts him down and captures him (I was actually writing that when Osama was killed by the Seals, which de-railed my writing of this novel for a couple of weeks). He is taken care of in a way most ancient by people he hates.

In the meantime, we now have a base on the moon, a space station in orbit, and I re-write what happens with the Teacher in Space program by having Christa McAuliffe travel to the Moon to teach from there for a week. This time, the Challenger doesn’t blow up due to engineers discovering a problem, even though she’s not on that shuttle, and she gets to the Moon.

The US announces the team that will travel to Mars to establish a base there, and the Soviets use this opportunity to ask that two of their cosmonauts could go. The new POTUS tells the Soviet Premier no, as long as Eastern Europe was under the boot of communism. Weeks later, the Berlin Wall falls as does the Iron Curtain, and the US and USSR agree to let two cosmonauts go to Mars.

Terrorism raises its ugly head once again when the space station is attacked by remnants of Al Qaeda, and it also occurs to the Mars mission….

Near the end of the novel, colonists land on Mars, including Christa McAuliffe and her family. It’s the beginning of human colonization of the rest of the solar system.

At the end, the US and Russia announce a joint mission to explore the rest of the galaxy, and part of the mission is to find the missing Soviet starship, which will lead us back to what’s happening in the prologue when part of their mission goes awry.

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Voyager and the Aliens FREE short story

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My novel, The Usurper and September 11

I posted this last year, but I thought I would re-post it again.

In my novel, The Usurper, I explore terrorism as part of the novel and who in this fictional universe is actually responsible for starting it/financing it against the United States and everyone else in the world when it begins in the late 1960′s. I decided to have the KGB train various terrorist groups to undermine the western powers, no matter which side they were on, right wing, left wing, or religious terrorism, that way the Soviet Union thinks they can win against their main enemy, the United States.

Eventually, when the Soviet Union collapses in the novel, Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden takes up the training of their own terrorists, but are financed by a trillionare who can’t stand the Americans. I have the World Trade Center attacked in 1993 like they were originally, nothing changes in that regard. Then, I have Tim McVeigh attack the Murrah Building and I explain that he tries to side with Al Qaeda(in the novel), but because he was an American they wouldn’t help him.

On September 11, 2001, I do have the exact same thing happen to the WTC and the Pentagon, but, in my novel I have United Flight 93 turn out differently. The passengers(who have different names in this universe) on board take back control and land in Pittsburgh. Eventually, the President is blamed for the attacks and is accused of making up Osama bin Laden, so that the Department of Homeland Security can be created, and he can have his way. Eventually, that President is executed by forces of the new President. A few chapters later, one of the men who helped take back control of Flight 93, helps leads the resistance against the man who sides with Al Qaeda and is trying to turn the United States into a communist utopia.

In real life, it’s the now 10th anniversary of the attacks of September 11th. We should remember who our enemies are and not eat each other(Americans) alive because of some stupid disagreements. Instead of attacking each other, we should be focused on defeating the enemy, and we all know who that is.

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Today’s Sponsor on The Frugal eReader

I am today’s sponsor on The Frugal eReader

Ever wonder what would happen if our worst fears were realized and we elected someone who was willing to destroy the USA, even if he was destroyed himself? The Usurper is that novel. It is a fictional account of what would happen if the Soviet Union and KGB were given the chance to take down the United States from within. They use the American political system, education system, terrorism, and commit environmental disasters to achieve these goals.

The Soviet Union and the KGB refuse to let the purging of communists in the United States as awhole by Senator Joe McCarthy, and the House Un-American Activities Committee, deter them. Soviet Premier Khrushchev authorizes the KGB to embark on an ambitious, decades long plan to destroy the United States from within through the corruption of American politicians, the American education system, terrorism, and environmental disasters. Gary Jackson, the main character, is the fulfillment of the KGB plan to destroy the United States from within. They raise him from birth to hate everything about the United States, indoctrinate him, and introduce him to terrorists across the world, where the KGB dictates all terrorist attacks. When Gary is a teenager, he is sent to the United States to assimilate and begin his mission. Nothing will deter his goals of completely and utterly destroying the United States.

When the Soviet Union dissolves, he is given a choice, and he decides to continue with the mission. A terrorist organization ends up filling in the gap left by the absent KGB, and they, together with Gary, conspire to destroy everyone in the United States who doesn’t agree with them

Accolade:
“A cold-blooded, Clancy-esque political thriller; The Usurper is sure to entertain.” ~Nurture Your Books

Reviews:
The Usurper currently has a customer review rating on Amazon of 4 stars. Read them here.
The Usurper currently has a customer review rating on Smashwords of 4.5 stars. Read them here.

An Excerpt from Chapter Four:
“Do you know who else is enemy of the people?” asked Putin.
“The enemy is anyone who questions the word of the government. They must be destroyed; nobody can be spared if they disagree,” answered Gary.
“You know who is one of your enemies, Gary?” asked al Hussein.
“No, who?”
“One of your enemies is your mother. She doesn’t agree with the government controlling peoples’ lives, and she thinks terrorism to control the people is bad. What do you think we should do with her, Gary?” asked Putin.
“My mother is an enemy? But, she could be on our side,” Gary innocently remarked.
“We’ve talked about this before, Gary, and you know what you must do,”
“But… but…. I don’t want to do this,”
“Yes, I know, but she will destroy all that we are working for, and all of your future hopes and dreams. Again, I ask you, what should we do to people like her?”
Gary sighed, gulped a couple of times, and said, “The enemy has to die as an example to others not to think for themselves and do what they want. If my mother is an enemy, she must die,”
“Correct response. We need to go visit your mother to see that she is no longer a threat. Let’s go, Gary.” ordered Putin.
A few minutes later, the trio arrived at the house Gary and his mother lived in. They went inside, where Ann was in the kitchen cooking dinner, she heard them come in, went to meet them, saw her son, and went to hug him, but, Gary didn’t hug her back, so she asked, “What’s wrong?”
“You are the enemy, you must be destroyed.”

Purchase The Usurper at:
Amazon for $2.99
Smashwords for $2.99

Learn more about Cliff through his websites:
Author Website
Author Blog
Amazon Author Page
Author facebook Page
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The prologue to my next novel

I decided to add a prologue to my next novel, since its an alternate history about the US continuing with the moon landings after the Presidential Elections of 1976, and going even further than we are at currently. The prologue is the speech President Kennedy gave at Rice University in 1962, and I thought it might be a good way to start off the novel:

President Pitzer, Mr. Vice President, Governor, Congressman Thomas, Senator Wiley, and Congressman Miller, Mr. Webb, Mr. Bell, scientists, distinguished guests, and ladies and gentlemen:

I appreciate your president having made me an honorary visiting professor, and I will assure you that my first lecture will be very brief.

I am delighted to be here and I’m particularly delighted to be here on this occasion.

We meet at a college noted for knowledge, in a city noted for progress, in a state noted for strength, and we stand in need of all three, for we meet in an hour of change and challenge, in a decade of hope and fear, in an age of both knowledge and ignorance. The greater our knowledge increases, the greater our ignorance unfolds.

Despite the striking fact that most of the scientists that the world has ever known are alive and working today, despite the fact that this Nation’s own scientific manpower is doubling every 12 years in a rate of growth more than three times that of our population as a whole, despite that, the vast stretches of the unknown and the unanswered and the unfinished still far outstrip our collective comprehension.

No man can fully grasp how far and how fast we have come, but condense, if you will, the 50,000 years of man’s recorded history in a time span of but a half-century. Stated in these terms, we know very little about the first 40 years, except at the end of them advanced man had learned to use the skins of animals to cover them. Then about 10 years ago, under this standard, man emerged from his caves to construct other kinds of shelter. Only five years ago man learned to write and use a cart with wheels. Christianity began less than two years ago. The printing press came this year, and then less than two months ago, during this whole 50-year span of human history, the steam engine provided a new source of power. Newton explored the meaning of gravity. Last month electric lights and telephones and automobiles and airplanes became available. Only last week did we develop penicillin and television and nuclear power, and now if America’s new spacecraft succeeds in reaching Venus, we will have literally reached the stars before midnight tonight.

This is a breathtaking pace, and such a pace cannot help but create new ills as it dispels old, new ignorance, new problems, new dangers. Surely the opening vistas of space promise high costs and hardships, as well as high reward.

So it is not surprising that some would have us stay where we are a little longer to rest, to wait. But this city of Houston, this state of Texas, this country of the United States was not built by those who waited and rested and wished to look behind them. This country was conquered by those who moved forward–and so will space.

William Bradford, speaking in 1630 of the founding of the Plymouth Bay Colony, said that all great and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and both must be enterprised and overcome with answerable courage.

If this capsule history of our progress teaches us anything, it is that man, in his quest for knowledge and progress, is determined and cannot be deterred. The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join in it or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in this race for space.

Those who came before us made certain that this country rode the first waves of the industrial revolution, the first waves of modern invention, and the first wave of nuclear power, and this generation does not intend to founder in the backwash of the coming age of space. We mean to be a part of it–we mean to lead it. For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace. We have vowed that we shall not see space filled with weapons of mass destruction, but with instruments of knowledge and understanding.

Yet the vows of this Nation can only be fulfilled if we in this Nation are first, and, therefore, we intend to be first. In short, our leadership in science and industry, our hopes for peace and security, our obligations to ourselves as well as others, all require us to make this effort, to solve these mysteries, to solve them for the good of all men, and to become the world’s leading space-faring nation.

We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war. I do not say that we should or will go unprotected against the hostile misuse of space any more than we go unprotected against the hostile use of land or sea, but I do say that space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war, without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours.
There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation many never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

It is for these reasons that I regard the decision last year to shift our efforts in space from low to high gear as among the most important decisions that will be made during my incumbency in the office of the Presidency.

In the last 24 hours we have seen facilities now being created for the greatest and most complex exploration in man’s history. We have felt the ground shake and the air shattered by the testing of a Saturn C-1 booster rocket, many times as powerful as the Atlas which launched John Glenn, generating power equivalent to 10,000 automobiles with their accelerators on the floor. We have seen the site where five F-1 rocket engines, each one as powerful as all eight engines of the Saturn combined, will be clustered together to make the advanced Saturn missile, assembled in a new building to be built at Cape Canaveral as tall as a 48 story structure, as wide as a city block, and as long as two lengths of this field.

Within these last 19 months at least 45 satellites have circled the earth. Some 40 of them were made in the United States of America and they were far more sophisticated and supplied far more knowledge to the people of the world than those of the Soviet Union.

The Mariner spacecraft now on its way to Venus is the most intricate instrument in the history of space science. The accuracy of that shot is comparable to firing a missile from Cape Canaveral and dropping it in this stadium between the 40-yard lines.

Transit satellites are helping our ships at sea to steer a safer course. Tiros satellites have given us unprecedented warnings of hurricanes and storms, and will do the same for forest fires and icebergs.

We have had our failures, but so have others, even if they do not admit them. And they may be less public.

To be sure, we are behind, and will be behind for some time in manned flight. But we do not intend to stay behind, and in this decade, we shall make up and move ahead.

The growth of our science and education will be enriched by new knowledge of our universe and environment, by new techniques of learning and mapping and observation, by new tools and computers for industry, medicine, the home as well as the school. Technical institutions, such as Rice, will reap the harvest of these gains.

And finally, the space effort itself, while still in its infancy, has already created a great number of new companies, and tens of thousands of new jobs. Space and related industries are generating new demands in investment and skilled personnel, and this city and this state, and this region, will share greatly in this growth. What was once the furthest outpost on the old frontier of the West will be the furthest outpost on the new frontier of science and space. Houston, your city of Houston, with its Manned Spacecraft Center, will become the heart of a large scientific and engineering community. During the next 5 years the National Aeronautics and Space Administration expects to double the number of scientists and engineers in this area, to increase its outlays for salaries and expenses to $60 million a year; to invest some $200 million in plant and laboratory facilities; and to direct or contract for new space efforts over $1 billion from this center in this city.

To be sure, all this costs us all a good deal of money. This year’s space budget is three times what it was in January 1961, and it is greater than the space budget of the previous eight years combined. That budget now stands at $5,400 million a year–a staggering sum, though somewhat less than we pay for cigarettes and cigars every year. Space expenditures will soon rise some more, from 40 cents per person per week to more than 50 cents a week for every man, woman and child in the United States, for we have given this program a high national priority–even though I realize that this is in some measure an act of faith and vision, for we do not now know what benefits await us. But if I were to say, my fellow citizens, that we shall send to the moon, 240,000 miles away from the control station in Houston, a giant rocket more than 300 feet tall, the length of this football field, made of new metal alloys, some of which have not yet been invented, capable of standing heat and stresses several times more than have ever been experienced, fitted together with a precision better than the finest watch, carrying all the equipment needed for propulsion, guidance, control, communications, food and survival, on an untried mission, to an unknown celestial body, and then return it safely to earth, re-entering the atmosphere at speeds of over 25,000 miles per hour, causing heat about half that of the temperature of the sun–almost as hot as it is here today–and do all this, and do it right, and do it first before this decade is out–then we must be bold.

I’m the one who is doing all the work, so we just want you to stay cool for a minute. [laughter]
However, I think we’re going to do it, and I think that we must pay what needs to be paid. I don’t think we ought to waste any money, but I think we ought to do the job. And this will be done in the decade of the Sixties. It may be done while some of you are still here at school at this college and university. It will be done during the terms of office of some of the people who sit here on this platform. But it will be done. And it will be done before the end of this decade.
And I am delighted that this university is playing a part in putting a man on the moon as part of a great national effort of the United States of America.

Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said, “Because it is there.”

Well, space is there, and we’re going to climb it, and the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. And, therefore, as we set sail we ask God’s blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked.

Thank you.
President John F. Kennedy – September 12, 1962.

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