Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Thoughts About Norm Augustine

Wednesday I will be attending a talk at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum by Norm Augustine.  He's 10 years older than I am.  He's also much richer and has led a much more well known career.  I've started wondering what my life would have been like if I had been born in 1935.  Would I have the conflicts with authority that I have had in my life?  I'm not the only one who has noticed our society moving in a more authoritarian direction in the past four, perhaps more, decades.

Augustine's career ranged back and forth between the private sector and government.  One must note, though, that the capstone of his "private career" was leading Lockheed-Martin through their merger.  That company is heavily dependent upon government contracts.  Indeed, it seems that all of American aerospace relies upon government help in some fashion.  Boeing needs the Export-Import Bank to help finance sales outside of the United States.  Then there is the United Launch Alliance -- a joint effort of Boeing and Lockheed-Martin.  Their Atlas rocket is now dependent upon Russian engines.

I am going to try and bring up questions about this kind of thing Wednesday at the COMSTAC meeting during the day and then at the Augustine talk in the evening.  I may also inject a bit of humor informally into these events because some people have described Augustine's Laws as being satirical, tongue in cheek, etc.  Telling people about The Penguins might get me a few chuckles and, perhaps, more.

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