Getting in the Game
My adventures in the world and the inlfuence of Sports Night.


Judith A. Resnik - Dr. Resnik's mission was the maiden voyage of Discovery, which completed 96 Earth orbits. She became the second American woman to go into space. Judith A. Resnik made the ultimate sacrifice and lost her life in service to the nation and the space program on January 28, 1986 at 36 years of age.

posted by Kevin | 2/01/2003 11:42:00 PM

Michael J. Smith - He was chosen to be the pilot of Challenger STS 51-L, which was destroyed one minute and 13 seconds after its launch. He was promoted posthumously to the rank of Navy Captain and had a chair named in his honor at the U.S. Navy Postgraduate School.

posted by Kevin | 2/01/2003 11:40:00 PM

Francis "Dick" Scobee - Dick Scobee was chosen as the spacecraft commander of Challenger STS 51-L, which was destroyed one minute and 13 seconds after its launch. Francis "Dick" Scobee made the ultimate sacrifice and lost his life in service to the nation and the space program on January 28, 1986 at 46 years of age.

posted by Kevin | 2/01/2003 09:23:00 PM

Roger Chaffee - Roger Chaffee was an American astronaut who was born on February 15, 1935, in Michigan. Chaffee became an astronaut in 1963. He was also killed in a flash fire aboard the Apollo 1 spacecraft during training.

posted by Kevin | 2/01/2003 09:21:00 PM

Edward White - Lieutenant Colonel White was the first U.S. Astronaut to walk in space. He was also the first man to use jet propulsion to maneuver himself in space. He was later killed to in the Apollo 1 fire.

posted by Kevin | 2/01/2003 07:42:00 PM

Michael J. Adams - Major Adams was in the X-15 program, which paved the way for America's space shuttle program, by proving that pilots could function in a weightless environment. He made seven flights in the X-15 attaining an altitude of 266,000 feet. On his final flight, the X-15 crashed.

posted by Kevin | 2/01/2003 07:40:00 PM

Clifton C. Williams - Major Williams was among the third group of astronauts selected by NASA. He was a backup pilot for the Gemini 10 mission. He was flying in a T-38 when it crashed.

posted by Kevin | 2/01/2003 07:39:00 PM

Robert H. Lawrence Jr. - Major Robert H. Lawrence, Jr., was the first African American chosen by NASA to be an astronaut. Lawrence was killed on 8 December 1967 in the crash of an F-104 at Edwards AFB.

posted by Kevin | 2/01/2003 07:36:00 PM

Theodore C. Freeman - Died in the crash of his T-38 jet after a snow goose crashed through the canopy during his landing approach in Houston, Texas

posted by Kevin | 2/01/2003 03:40:00 PM

Virgil I "Gus" Grisom - Janurary 27th, 1967 - was lost in the tragedy on Pad 34, with the rest of his Apollo 1 crew.

posted by Kevin | 2/01/2003 02:43:00 PM

Charles Bassett II - Feburary 18th, 1966 - Lost in when his T-68 crashed in Missouri on his way to inspect his spacecraft.

posted by Kevin | 2/01/2003 01:29:00 PM

For the next twnety-four hours this space is dedicated to twenty-four of my heros that have lost their lives, in service as astronauts, to make our lives and mankind better.

posted by Kevin | 2/01/2003 12:38:00 PM

Elliott See Jr. - Feburary 18th, 1966 - Lost in when his T-68 crashed in Missouri on his way to inspect his spacecraft.

posted by Kevin | 2/01/2003 12:38:00 PM

Sand and Water

[I haven't updated in a few days, so this is going to be long. I will move to the more traditional blog format soon, so this is the last of my essays. Soon I will actually write them out and post them elsewhere.]

Lewis Rothchild - "They don't have a choice ... people want leadership, Mr. President and in the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone ... They are so thirsty for it they'll crawl through a desert toward a mirage and when they discover there is no water, they'll drink the sand."

President Shepard - "Lewis, we have had Presidents that have been beloved, that couldn't find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight. People don't drink the sand because they are thirsty they drink the sand because they don't know the difference. "

The American President - by Aaron Sorkin

I agree with Lewis and Shepard's correction.

But my question is ... whose fault is this leadership drought? Why don't the people know the difference?

I tend to complain that President's get too much credit and too much blame for a lot of national issues. However, this is something I have been getting wrong for years. They get the right amount, however, the other 547 national officials in Washington don't, neither to the 500 CEOS of the Fortune 500, or the heads of over 6,500 national NGOs. This disease also spreads to our state and local leaders and infects many parents I am sure. Leadership is a hollow term and these people have become "administrators", "officers", or "politicians" rather than leaders.

What is a leader? My grandfather was one, but he wasn't a leader in the Army because he they pinned medals and bars on him. Instead he was dedicated to getting everyone "out of there", like most heros of World War II. His leadership lay in moving people with strength, skill, or example By getting as many people "out" as possible, so did he, and so did the world. Later, he never let my mom or my aunts and uncles settle, he taught them to keep at it, and in in turn he did the same for me.

The "leaders" of today bow to the concept of doing what their "constituency" wants or needs, not taking them anywhere. This translates to lack of leadership, they refuse to to teach people the difference between "drinking the sand" and "drinking water" so people don't demand leadership from anyone. They will often present moral judgments or even political ones, but with the the illusion of leadership (sand) instead of movement (water).

When I told my mom that I had to leave my job last night I got to find out what she thinks about what I talk about everyday. She explained her frustration with corporations, politicians, and groups like labor unions. She explained they aren't doing their job, not taking responsibility for their actions, and aren't called on either one. Finally she announced she was a cynic.

Is my mom "the cynic" she claims to be? No she isn't. She just knows the difference between sand and water, but doesn't see a drop for miles. Like me, she had her parents to teach her the difference. She still goes on, doing the same for her classes as a first grade teacher as she did for her sons and daughters and as her grandfather and grandmother did for her. They may be in 1st grade, but I have seen the difference she makes in their lives.

Few of our "leaders" are like this. They don't want to teach people the difference between "drinking the sand" and "drinking water." becasue they think it is impossible. Do they think the people they represent have no capacity to learn to do more than choose between A and B? I t seems so. My Political Science professors argued there is only sand too (the system), our only hope is to drink it (work within it) so we can do something, anything.

So how do you give people "water"? Just watch my dad recently. While my mom knows the difference and teaches it to her 1st graders and children, my father gives his bosses and his students leadership. For the past week he has been showing people "another way" to fix huge budget gaps.

The original plan was to cut summer school and use it to "mobilize people" against the drastic cuts. This is little effort made to lead anyone, it is an attempt to hurt them bad enough they will cry fowl. So he and his fellow school administrators took the cuts from the state and kept summer school. Money did not go on tree and choices were made, but the buck was not passed. He took them to water, and lead them back to the classroom, while trying to teach them why the cuts that were made need to be done.

In 10 days I am flying home to be with my family. My parents are stressed because it comes at such a hard time. Excited to see me, but stressed all the same. However, I am so excited to see them at their best before I try to follow their example.

My grandfather, my mother and father have mixed together in me to make me the better than I ever would be. My grandfather helped me see that you have to take people with you, my mother taught me the difference between sand and water, and my father taught me how to give people the water. They gave every part needed to lead, not deliver the illusion of it.

Hopefully I can do it.

That is why i am: Getting in the Game.

posted by Kevin | 2/01/2003 05:54:00 AM


"When we feel strongly about something, we will lead, we will act, even if others are not prepared to join us."

Did I miss something or did "leading" lose the piece of it's definition that included one needing others to follow you. Did Webster's in the last revision? Hold on let me check ...

Nope ... it's still there: 1 a : to guide someone or something along a way

The Army didn't omit it either: "Leadership is the process of influencing others to accomplish a mission by providing purpose, direction, and motivation while operating to accomplish the mission and improving the organization."

Now that my tounge is dislodged ...

As a former Army ROTC Cadet in Powell's old stomping grounds (NYC Army ROTC) I would like to respectfully point out what I learned there: Leadership is as much about communication and motivation as it is about action. In fact military definitions of senior leadership include language like "To achieve understanding and commitment of subordinates ... beyond that which is possible through the use of authority alone."

I have not seen a clear explanation of our mission and what my role is an American, I continuously watch the Commander-in-Chief and his administration call both our adversaries and our allies names. The Bush Adminstration meanwhile is "tired of talking", well too bad, if they had done it better in the first place it all might be over by now.

This continual ignorance to actual concept of leadership makes me wish sending a case of FM 22-100's (the Army manual on Leadership) to everyone working with the White House wasn't so insulting and more useful. A flip that book will tell you little things like: Two of the four indicators of leadership are morale and cohesion. Two of the four that they seem to be losing both at home and abroad.

Shape up Bush Administration or your fighting capacity in the long term will diminish along with the moral of those you wish lead at home and abroad. It's time to get back to basics and convince us and the world if you are truly right, or be be proven wrong and pack up. There is a lot to here at home and in Afganistan in National Security arena alone.

posted by Kevin | 1/27/2003 06:42:00 AM

In the end, my general praise for the revival of short form in commericals was only lived up to in two commercials, Bud's "Replay" and Reebok's "Terry Tate" commercials. Everything else seemed to be more similar to the to the old days of advertising that I do not look fondly at. This was the wrong day for my earlier post. Well at least the Raiders lost.

posted by Kevin | 1/27/2003 12:01:00 AM


Super Bowl Blogging ...

Since Oliver Willis is "football blogging" I think I am going some advetising blogging ...

I have to admit I not much of a Football fan, though in real football the gunner won 5-1 in their fourth FA Cup game. Go ahead start the anti-american rants now. I grew up playing soccer and have never played football much in my life, blame my parents. However, I will say that I can also blame the Raiders and Rams for leaving me as a kid, I rooted for the Jets this year.

This year, like most I am celebrating the Superbowl Ads. Not because I love advertising, but because advertising seems to be the most creative use of short form film that we have today. Many people credit Apple, steve Jobs, Chiat Day and ridley Scott for the development of the ad bonanza in the Superbowl with it's impressive "Big Brother" ad. However, I will go one step further, with the feature film and TV industry moving toward homogenuousness advetising has taken hold as being one of the two great mediums for short form filmaking.

The production value and creativity developed for the "Big Brother" ad has given us a Super Bowl with great commercials like the Budweiser "Zebra" commercial I just watch or the comeadic ESPN Sportscenter commecercials that are son entertaining. Granted I would love to have these fun short form "films" without them peddling products, but I'd love to have TV without commercials too. What is important to note as you watch these commercials that they are a lot better than they used to be, just look at the lame car commercials that you are forced to watch because the local dealer demand hard sell.

So I will be posting comments about them as the game goes on. Enjoy.

posted by Kevin | 1/26/2003 07:14:00 PM

Powell at the WEC

"Many of you now make your own foreign policy. Welcome to the club." - Sec. of State Colin Powell to the World Economic Forum audience of NGO, government and corporate leaders.

Powell says NGO's and corporations can conduct foreign policy but we never declared war on al Queda the worlds most famous NGO. This confuses me.

posted by Kevin | 1/26/2003 07:21:00 AM

When "we" go to war what to WE do?

As Oliver Willis points out we have stopped declaring war. However, we also have no need to ration, no draft, and now the National Guard could being shifted out of the US Military deployment strategy.

In Downsizing Democracy, Crenson and Ginsberg point out: as the military relies less on citizen soldiers the less war effects the Americans, and with it democracy weakens. The National Guard, being made up of part-time soldiers, is the last major connection between the Gulf war and the daily lives of Americans.

More and more war can be waged without public participation or comment. Without this discussion war is waged more similar to the way Greenspan raises and lowers interest rates, without our comment and without our participation. The National Guard proposal by the Bush administration is the move towards.

WE the people are not going to war, "we" will be.

Also NY Times article and many others fail to point out one thing:

Is the National Guard just being replaced by active duty personnel? NY Times assumes the Army itself is the only option. I would like to point out that the National Guard tends to fulfill duties that Haliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown, and Root and other contractors are now doing. It seems war might not only being taken away from the citizen, but being privatized and profited from even more under this plan.

posted by Kevin | 1/26/2003 06:55:00 AM

Now K-Mart ... wow ...

Well CNN is reporting that K-Mart has had accounting irregularities from it's top management . Another one bites the dust. I have three things to say about this ...

1) I better hear about this from every Democratic candidate and in a unified voice from the Senate and House leadership. Bush promised a year ago to take care of this and hasn't.

2) More on the Bush thing. If they need evidence he isn't doing anything... Harvey Pitt who "resigned" on election day, while voting was still going on is still in his office and still running the SEC. This is a concrete demand they can make tomorrow. I want TV images of him moving out. He can make a "smooth transition" without still being in charge.

3) I sure hope this isn't the beiginning of a large scale implosion of a number of corporations. We are not ready to figure out a new system. we need some time. I think we will have it, but I still pray. I always pray.

So that is it. Democrats get on the ball. This is issue two of the triangle I proposed two days ago. education, economy and Homeland Security. Go for it.

posted by Kevin | 1/26/2003 01:05:00 AM