H.R. 2617, the Apollo Lunar Landing Legacy Act, was introduced to Congress on July 8 of this year by Representative Donna Edwards. Ms. Edwards is a Democrat representing Maryland’s 4 Congressional District. Her district surrounds the east side of the District of Columbia and follows a narrow corridor across I-95 and spreads out again south of Baltimore almost to the seashore.
The following is excerpted from the actual House Resolution:
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
Congress finds that–
(1) on July 20, 1969, Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin E. ‘Buzz’ Aldrin Jr. became the first people to set foot on another celestial body, during the Apollo 11 mission;
(2) between 1969 and 1972, Apollo Missions 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17 all saw American astronauts visit the surface of the Moon;
(3) the 1970 Apollo 13 mission, which was aborted due to a serious malfunction en route to the Moon, also circled the Moon;
(4) the Apollo lunar program was one of the greatest achievements in American history;
(5) as commercial enterprises and foreign nations acquire the ability to land on the Moon it is necessary to protect the Apollo lunar landing sites for posterity; and
(6) establishing the Historical Park under this Act will expand and enhance the protection and preservation of the Apollo lunar landing sites and provide for greater recognition and public understanding of this singular achievement in American history.
SEC. 3. PURPOSES.
The purposes of this Act are–
(1) to preserve and protect for the benefit of present and future generations the nationally significant historic sites associated with the Historical Park;
(2) to preserve and protect for scientific inquiry the artifacts described in section 5(b); and
(3) to improve public understanding of the Apollo program and its legacy through preservation of the historic resources associated with the Apollo lunar landing sites.
My Aunt Ruthie and Uncle Bob sent me an actual letter (kids, look it up) in which they included a newspaper (imagine if Google News could get your hands dirty) clipping about this proposed Act.
The first thing I did was run to http://www.snopes.com to find the entry that told me this was a hoax. I searched and searched, but lunar parks were not mentioned. I Googled the Act, and I’ll be a son-of-a-bitch if it wasn’t the truth.
The first thing I thought when I read H.R. 2617 was “Holy crap, I missed the news story about how Congress solved all its differences and the country’s problems and now has time to fiddle fart around.”
I searched the news and found no such story…in lieu of fixing anything of any real importance to American citizens, Congress will consider this lunacy. My Uncle Bob summed it up with a note on the news clipping that said, “This is what we elect these clowns for…protect the Moon, but don’t worry about the deficit?”
Yes, Uncle Bob, that’s what it has come to, but, if it makes you feel any better, the web site http://www.govtrack.us gives the resolution only a 21 percent chance of getting out of committee and an anemic 7 percent chance of becoming law.
It has come to Representatives and Senators sitting around a twiddling their legislative thumbs because no real work can be done. Hell, the House cut the SNAP program and voted to repeal Obamacare 40 times.
The vast majority of people feel the same way as my Uncle…”DO SOMETHING IMPORTANT!”
The nation’s debt limit must be raised by October 1 of this year. Congress and the President have been coming to last-minute compromises and narrowly avoiding a government shut down for more than a year and a half.
Republican legislators are going home for summer recess to find their Tea Bagger constituents calling for letting the whole thing grind to a halt…total shutdown…everybody get your ball glove and go home…you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here…sorry, Pal, we don’t owe you any hospital care because you lost your leg in Afghanistan…screw everybody and don’t touch my shit or I’ll shoot you.
This is America in 2013…a whole bunch of people want the system destroyed so it can rise from its ashes as a leaner, meaner, screw all you brown people, poor people, old people, sick people, and women country.
Uncle Bob, what really scares me is that Democratic polling shows Republicans will be blamed if a shutdown happens, so in their tiny little politician hearts, Democrats look at a total shutdown as a plus for their party.
I leave you with this quote from (I think) the 1951 Disney film version of Alice in Wonderland that perfectly describes what’s happening:
“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?”