Silicon Valley Lingo: Donald Trump Disrupts the Disrupters

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Part 2 of an occasional series on entrepreneurial buzz words

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Recently, 145 Silicon Valley tech executives wrote an open letter opposing the candidacy of Donald J. Trump for president. In the letter, they basically declared the billionaire to be a threat to America’s very future.

We believe in an inclusive country that fosters opportunity, creativity and a level playing field. Donald Trump does not. He campaigns on anger, bigotry, fear of new ideas and new people, and a fundamental belief that America is weak and in decline. We have listened to Donald Trump over the past year and we have concluded: Trump would be a disaster for innovation. His vision stands against the open exchange of ideas, free movement of people, and productive engagement with the outside world that is critical to our economy—and that provide the foundation for innovation and growth.

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GOP on Space: We’re in Favor of It

Donald Trump (Credit: Michael Vadon)
Donald Trump (Credit: Michael Vadon)

The Republican Party Platform has a brief mention of space located between sections on reforming the civil service and supporting people living in America’s far flung territories.

The section is below. It doesn’t say that much, but at least it’s there. The Democratic Party Platform has no mention of space.

America’s Future in Space: Continuing this Quest

The exploration of space has been a key part of U.S. global leadership and has supported innovation and ownership of technology. Over the last half-century, in partnership with our aerospace industry, the work of NASA has helped define and strengthen our nation’s technological prowess. From building the world’s most powerful rockets to landing men on the Moon, sending robotic spacecraft throughout our solar system and beyond, building the International Space Station, and launching space-based telescopes that allow scientists to better understand our universe, NASA science and engineering have produced spectacular results. The technologies that emerged from those programs propelled our aerospace industrial base and directly benefit our national security, safety, economy, and quality of life. Through its achievements, NASA has inspired generations of Americans to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, leading to careers that drive our country’s technological and economic engines.

Today, America’s leadership in space is challenged by countries eager to emulate — and surpass — NASA’s accomplishments. To preserve our national security interests and foster innovation and competitiveness, we must sustain our preeminence in space, launching more science missions, guaranteeing unfettered access, and maintaining a source of high-value American jobs.

Space & Politics Collide in GOP Convention

Donald Trump (Credit: Michael Vadon)
Donald Trump (Credit: Michael Vadon)

The Republican Convention starts on Monday, and the event is already stirring up some controversy. (Donald Trump? Controversy? Nooo….how could that be?)

Former NASA astronaut Eileen Collins, who became the first woman to command a space shuttle before the space agency retired the ones it had left to museums, is scheduled to speak during the convention at which delegates are schedule to nominate Trump for President.

There’s a move a foot to free the delegates to vote for another candidate, an effort that doesn’t seem likely to succeed, but is almost sure to cause violence if it did.

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Democratic Platform Includes One Sentence on Space

The Democratic National Platform contains a single mention about civil space policy:

President Obama has charted a new mission for NASA to lead us to a future that builds on America’s legacy of innovation and exploration.

It’s a bit disappointing that the Democrats didn’t choose to spotlight NASA’s new direction and its accomplishments. This was an opportunity to rebut Mitt Romney’s charges that the space agency is floundering because it lacks clear goals and direction.

On the other hand, the National Platform is a policy document. Obama’s space policy is out there, is well known, and is unlikely to change much if he’s re-elected. There is after several years of rancorous political debate, bi-partisan agreement on moving forward on both commercial space for low-Earth orbit and more traditional programs such as the Space Launch System and Orion for deep space.

 

Mitt Invokes Neil Armstrong in Acceptance Speech, Ignores Space Policy

Mitt Romney. (Credit: Gage Skidmore)

By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

Last night was a rather eventful one in Tampa, Florida. Clint Eastwood spent about 11 minutes berating an empty chair, startling everyone watching in the arena and on TV. There were two questions on everyone’s minds: what had that poor chair had done to deserve that,and why had Eastwood spent 82 years hiding his brilliant improvisational skills. (Clint, hit the comedy clubs! Or do a Rat Pack style show with Mickey Rooney, Jerry Seinfeld and Betty White. That would be such an awesome train wreck!)

Clint is always hard act to follow, no more so than on Thursday night. But, Mitt Romney gave it the old boarding school try. In his acceptance speech last night, the Republican Presidential nominee paid tribute to Neil Armstrong and America’s can-do spirit:

I was born in the middle of the century in the middle of the country, a classic baby boomer. It was a time when Americans were returning from war and eager to work. To be an American was to assume that all things were possible. When President Kennedy challenged Americans to go to the moon, the question wasn’t whether we’d get there, it was only when we’d get there.

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Space Frontier Foundation: Republicans the Party of Big Government Space

NYACK, N.Y. (SFF PR) — Today, the Republican Party released its 2012 platform, which included a provision entitled “America’s Future in Space: Continuing This Quest.” The non-partisan Space Frontier Foundation issued the following statement in response:

NASA seems to be one Big Government program many Republicans love. The GOP platform criticizes the federal government as “bloated, antiquated and unresponsive to taxpayers” but has nothing but hackneyed praise for NASA, and doesn’t even mention the increasing role of the private sector.  The authors of this platform must imagine they still live in the Cold War of the 1960s, when only governments launched payloads and people into space.

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Republican Party Space Policy Focuses on NASA

Mitt Romney. (Credit: Gage Skidmore)

The Republican Platform — a document that lays out what the party stands for in the upcoming Presidential election — includes a brief passage on the nation’s space program. The section is largely focused on NASA and the need to maintain American leadership in this area for the purposes of competitiveness, technological progress, and national security. There is no mention of commercial space nor any specific proposals on programs and initiatives. Nor does it contain any criticism of the Obama Administration.

This vagueness is largely in line with Mitt Romney’s approach to space, which has been to attack the Obama Administration as disastrous while offering no specifics on what he would change.

Read the space section below.

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