Monday, October 15, 2012
Yesterday, parachutist Felix Baumgartner stepped out of a perfectly good space capsule 24 miles above the Earth and set new records for highest freefall, fastest freefall, longest freefall, and the biggest balls since those held in honor of the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
And Hope n' Change isn't going to try to make some strained political metaphor out of Baumgartner's accomplishment (other than the joke above). Truth be told, in these trying times we just want to celebrate a hero - who reminds us that great things can still be done by private enterterprise and, especially, a courageous and motivated individual.
This was no simple Evel Kneivel type stunt, like trying to get a steam roller to jump over an entire Occupy Wall Street encampment. Rather, this was a scientific mission intended to push the limits of our knowledge about parachuting from an unthinkably dangerous height - critically important in case of another shuttle-type disaster in which our astronauts need a chance of surviving a high-velocity, unprotected return to Earth.
The dangers were myriad and almost too terrifying to list. There were many, many ways that Baumgartner could have died horribly - and only one way he could survive, if everything went perfectly. Which is, thankfully, what happened.
So let's take a moment to forget the "You didn't build that" negativism of this administration and just savor this stunning example of determination and courage.
On an entirely unrelated note, I'm looking forward to providing casual security at a Dinesh D'Souza (conservative author and man behind the "2016" movie) event this evening in North Texas. And by "casual security," I mean that I get an official event t-shirt and if Dinesh is attacked by protesters from Code Pink, I'll be expected to throw myself on top of shrieking women dressed as giant dayglo pink vaginas.
Hey, if Felix Baumgartner was willing to take the leap, it seems like the least I can do.