Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (2 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Article Stats   1 comment

Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

JFK's three, yes, cosmic, accomplishments

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; ; ; , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 11/22/13

Become a Fan
  (2 fans)

(Article changed on November 22, 2013 at 13:54)

He gave us the moon.

He saved us from nuclear doom.

He launched the Whole Earth movement.

Name another president who created three such" cosmic and improbable watersheds?

Who could?

John F. Kennedy, murdered on this date fifty years ago, was more than a handsome young prince of some mythic Camelot who served 1,000 days.

He was our greatest president. Set aside courageous accomplishments such as the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty with the Soviet Union, the enforcement of civil rights, creation of the Peace Corps, and charting a course that might've led us out of Vietnam before so many died"  

Kennedy's transcendent greatness is sufficiently proved by three things:

He gave us the moon, prevented nuclear doom, and launched the Whole Earth movement.

Even to state them so simply diminishes Kennedy's achievements, for nestled within each are bevies of consequences, intended or not, which not only prevented the end of the world as we know it, but which made our own world more dynamic, progressive, and opened our species to whole new worlds and visions of our place in the universe.

From http://www.flickr.com/photos/48638551@N03/10998418394/: Remembering Greatness: Solemn Remembrance of the Day When Hope + Tragedy Collided -- Transformed thru Opportunity in Dark Days #JFK #50YearsLater #LivingLegacyOfCourage
Remembering Greatness: Solemn Remembrance of the Day When Hope + Tragedy Collided -- Transformed thru Opportunity in Dark Days #JFK #50YearsLater #LivingLegacyOfCourage
(image by BeckyCortino)

Take them in order.

* In issuing his 1962 challenge that Americans place human beings on the moon within the decade ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g25G1M4EXrQ ), Kennedy gave future generations keys to a cosmic kingdom, for walks across other worlds surely will follow. His words launched blueprints for entire infrastructures that included heavy launch vehicles, lunar modules, even moon cars. Furthermore the heavens now teem with communications and weather satellites and observatories. Corporations are busy opening space to commerce and tourism. Spinoffs have led to miraculous changes in medical technology, computers, recycling, thermal technology and much else. Thanks to Kennedy we were able to follow up the moon landing with space stations and telescopes, such as the Hubble, revealing a cosmos teeming with billions of earth-type worlds. In effect, Kennedy spoke into existence a cosmology tantamount to a new religion without borders. The history of our universe, and the rise of life and intelligence within it, is a wondrous and elegant creation story. Most importantly, we're now an interplanetary species, in the broad sense. Already a dozen astronauts have trod the soil of another world and over two dozen have orbited that lovely lady some call Luna, and beheld our numinous earth rise above her horizons. Who can doubt millions will follow one day, assuming humanity survives?

* In resisting the overwhelming advice from a room full of generals and others that he should bomb Cuba and the Soviet Union, not only during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, but at several other points in his administration, Kennedy likely saved the lives of more than 60 million people who might've perished in the world's first nuclear exchange alone. Who knows how much carnage would have resulted from breakdowns in communications, transportation, medical infrastructure, trade and the resulting disease, famine, dislocation, and climate events to follow?

* Some will challenge the notion that Kennedy had anything to do with starting the Whole Earth movement, but consider this. In the mid-1960s, following a vision-quest of sorts, prankster Stewart Brand went around the country passing out buttons and cards asking the simple question, "Why haven't we seen a picture of the Whole Earth yet?" Within a couple of years NASA released such a picture, and Brand plastered it everywhere, most notably on the cover of The Whole Earth Catalogue, a manual for living an ecologically sustainable, if scruffy, life. The world's first Earth Day followed in 1970, and today the image of the Whole Earth is as ubiquitous as the Crucifix or Buddha. This image of our beautiful, cloud-swirled home has inspired writers, politicians and artists of all stripes to help stop global warming, clean up our air and water, and to preserve habitats of our fellow species around the world. Kennedy's moon initiative gave rise to that new icon.

Like many another president, John F. Kennedy was a flawed human being. He might've acted sooner to roll back America's burgeoning intervention in Vietnam. He might've done much else to thwart the military-industrial complex as well as excesses of secret spy agencies. He might've done more for civil rights.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

www.NewMillenniumWritings.com

Don Williams is a prize-winning columnist, short story writer, freelancer, and the founding editor and publisher of New Millennium Writings, an annual anthology of literary stories, essays and poems. His awards include a National Endowment for the (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

A word about Easter Island and other calamitous feedback loops

Atoms for War, Atoms for Peace: Only Japan knows both sides of nuclear coin

McCain's heroic story isn't the whole story; questions need asking

Obama at Ground Zero--How Executing Osama bin Laden Brutalized Us All

Biden wins debate, yet MSM insists on calling it a tie

Why Obama's right on Libya but Bush was wrong on Iraq

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
1 people are discussing this page, with 1 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Years back I read book after book about conspiraci... by Don Williams on Friday, Nov 22, 2013 at 1:51:46 PM