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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

Two Notable Events in January, 2010

There were two notable events that occurred in January. The first was the death of the author, J. D. Salinger, who died at the age of 91. He is best known for his novel, CATCHER IN THE RYE, although his novels (or perhaps best classified as novellas) FRANNY and ZOOEY, RAISE HIGHER THE ROOF BEAM,CARPENTER, and SEYMOUR are considered small masterpieces, as is his marvelous short story, A PERFECT DAY FOR BANANA FISH.

CATCHER IN THE RYE is considered a defining work of what it’s like to be a teenager, and his character in the novel, Holden Caulfield, is a portrait of the quintessential alienated teenager.
Salinger avoided the limelight, indeed becoming a recluse for most of his life. Nevertheless, he was celebrated by the literary world, and CATCHER IN THE RYE is considered by many literary critics as one of the best novels of the 20th century.
The second event is remarkable in its potential to be a major blow to the United States, and make it a secondary power, at best. The Obama budget to be presented to Congress in February contains only a small increase in funding for NASA, effectively killing the Moon and Mars Projects that proposed to put astronauts on the Moon and then on to Mars. Instead, NASA will have “Global Warming” as its major project––– what nonsense! what a disaster!

We are thus leaving space and handing its future over to China, India, and Russia, and possibly others, including private enterprise which can’t possibly marshal the resources and the technical expertise to carry out manned space travel.

Unfortunately, the Obama Administration does not understand that the future of humanity resides in space. The United States has been one of the prime leaders in this field for over four decades. One can only hope that this dreadful decision that will cripple NASA can be reversed in the near future, and America can once again take its place beside other technically advanced nations as one of the great leaders in Man’s journey into our solar system and beyond. Otherwise, our country will be relegated to the dustbin of history.

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