Saturday, July 7, 2012

Happy Birthday, Robert A. Heinlein

Robert Anson Heinlein, often called the "dean of science fiction writers," was born 105 years ago today. Heinlein's writing stressed the importance of individual liberty and self reliance, the tendency of society to repress nonconformist thought, and the influence of organized religion on culture and government, among myriad other topics.

Heinlein was a prolific writer, his bibliography consisting of 32 novels, 59 short stories and 16 collections published during his life. Four films, two TV series, several episodes of a radio series, and a board game derive more or less directly from his work. Many of his works reference his own "future history,"

Heinlein's juveniles, S.F. novels for young adults, set many a youth on a quest to self-fulfillment and the close examination of the popular wisdom of the day. I count myself among those fortunate youth.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.