December 17, 2014

Dear Liberty,

     As I explained in my very first letter to you (Is Consensus Always Right?), the Wright Brothers were not the only ones working on flight at the turn of the 20th Century.  However, it was because of their tireless efforts that they realized that the universally accepted data on lift was inaccurate and had been for 150 years.  After making the proper adjustments, the Wright Brothers designed and built several gliders which they made trial run after trial run in a Dayton, Ohio field.  

     The truly remarkable aspect of this story is that neither of these men received a high school diploma, though Wilber was just shy of completing four years, let alone any higher education.  Orville dropped out his junior year to start his own business.  He designed and built, with Wilber’s help, a printing press and they began publishing their own weekly newspaper.  After a short time the brothers took advantage of the new bicycle trend, running a repair and service shop.  Not long after, they started producing their own bicycle brand out of their store, Wright Cycle Company.  It is out of this shop that the Wright brothers brought flight to life.

     Not having the winds needed for lift in Dayton, the brothers began exploring other areas of the country for a more suitable testing site, which they found in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.  The brothers disassembled their gliders, packed them up, and headed south.  They spent two years testing gliders, perfecting wing control, or the three-axis control system, before deciding they had the proper aircraft ready.  It was time to add power.  

     In 1903 their glider became a flyer.  They headed to North Caroline once again for weeks of more tests, more obstructions and more frustrations.  They were delayed for weeks due to broken engine shafts which required two trips back to Dayton to make repairs.  Blessed with perfect weather, they were ready to try a flight attempt on December 13, 1903.  Being it was a Sunday though, the brothers, sons of a bishop in the church, put their reverence to God above their personal goals and rested on that day.  On Monday morning they were ready to go with Wilbur winning the coin toss to be the first pilot.  He made a 3-second flight but caused major damage to the flyer due to the aircraft stalling after take-off.  The flyer was repaired and the brothers were ready again on December 17, 1903.  Orville was at the controls this time and he made the first successful flight of a self-propelled aircraft traveling 120 feet at a 10 feet altitude.  Three more flights were made that day of 175 and 200 feet by Wilber and Orville respectfully and an amazing 852 feet by Wilber for the last flight of the day.  The world would never be the same.

     Less than 66 years later American innovators, both private and at NASA, took us to the moon!  (see Man On The Moon)  This is an unbelievable accomplishment.  From America’s efforts with space travel we have computers, velcro, microwaves, Kidney dialysis machines, disposable diapers, satellite dishes, fire-resistant fabrics, and the internet, just to name a few.  

     Unfortunately, America has even begun to turn it’s back on space travel.  Under the keen eye of the Obama Administration, while the rest of the world continues to see the limitlessness of the universe, NASA’s focus has become Muslim relations.  Instead of inventing things like smoke detectors and fiber optics, America now works to become friends with people who enslave teenage women with the blessing of their holy book, the Quran, and blow up innocent children in schools in the name of Allah.

     Others in the country are actually trying to deny the moon landings altogether.  The thought is if you take away the great things America has achieved, you take away the greatness of America.

     Liberty, you don’t have to have a college degree to be successful.  You don’t have to have money to pursue your dreams.  But most importantly you don’t have to change your values and beliefs to satisfy academia to accomplish your goals.  It is when people break from the chains of the status quo that they accomplish feats beyond their wildest imagination.  Don’t believe those who tell you that you cannot reach for the sky.  Such people are too scared to reach themselves, or they are trying to control you.  Either way, as long as you are not defying God’s love and instruction for you, then nothing should stand in your way.  

     So on this day, we tip our hats to two bicycle makers who believed they could fly.  Not only were they right, their vision changed the world.

     That’s my 2 cents.