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Private space travel gets spotlight in Congress
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Private space travel gets spotlight in Congress

Private space travel gets spotlight in Congress

Private space travel gets spotlight in Congress

Now that the space shuttle program is retired, lawmakers want to make sure America isn't falling behind in space exploration.

Lawmakers say the future is bright for the private commercial space flight industry.

Today at a Senate hearing Retired Astronaut Captain Michael Lopez-Alegria testified the private sector can not only save money, but work faster than the government.

"We hope that commercial space flight will bring launches, which means people, which means jobs,” Lopez-Alegria said.

In just two weeks, assembly will begin on a big rocket needed for deep space exploration.

The first test flight is set for 2014.

The State of Oklahoma has its own Space Industry Development Authority designed to foster the private commercial space industry, including its own spaceport, one of only six in the United States to be licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The spaceport is located in the tiny southwest Oklahoma town of Burns Flat and at last report was still operational, but it hasn’t had any publicized activity in recent years.

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  • The word “dotard” is not new, although it hasn’t been used lately in polite (or even impolite) conversation. Kim Jong-Un unearthed it during a speech he made Friday; translators used the word “dotard” in describing President Donald Trump. >> Read more trending news Dictionary.com defines “dotard” as, “a person, especially an old person, exhibiting a decline in mental faculties; a weak-minded or foolish old person.” Merriam-Webster cites the first known use of the word in the 14th century and notes it’s in the “bottom 30 percent of words” on its website. It defines dotard as “a person in his or her dotage.” >> Twitter abuzz after Kim calls Trump a “dotard” “Dotage” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a state or period of senile decay marked by decline of mental poise and alertness.” According to the Ngram tool on Google, the word “dotard” peaked in 1823. William Shakespeare was a fan of the word. In “Much Ado About Nothing,” Leonato defends himself against Claudio and tells the soldier: “Tush, tush, man, never fleer and jest at me. I speak not like a dotard nor a fool.” In “Taming of the Shrew,” Baptista commands that Vincentio be imprisoned, saying 'Away with the dotard; to jail with him.”The “Irish Monthly Magazine of Politics and Literature” from 1833 carries this sentence: “A father’s stern command resigned her to the arms of a dotard. …”The “Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction” from 1842 contains this sentence: “This old favourite, and ‘father of cheap literature,’ though advanced in years, is not cast off as a thing lacking in interest; a dotard in its second childhood; but, on the contrary, is now looked upon as a hoary-headed sage, abounding in humour. …”Dotard appears to be making a comeback, thanks to Kim.
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  • Hurricane victims in the Florida Keys are receiving fresh barbecue meals from thanks to an airlift program by FedEx, reported. >> Read more trending news FedEx began airlifting more than 10,000 meals a day from Fort Myers to the Keys, following through on a request from one of its aircraft mechanics, Scott Guy. FedEx assigned two feeder aircraft to transport 3,700 pounds of food each day to residents affected by Hurricane Irma from Sunday through Wednesday, USA Today reported. Guy is a member of Operation BBQ Relief, which was formed to feed the hungry after a tornado struck Joplin, Mo., in 2011. The organization served 371,760 meals over 11 days on the Texas Gulf Coast after Hurricane Harvey, then shifted its focus to the Florida region hit by Hurricane Irma, USA Today reported.
  • Americans suffering from drug and alcohol addiction often find themselves with few alternatives outside of a jail cell or expensive rehabilitation facilities. But there is an alternative, available in Tulsa, that provides a chance to turn one’s life around with the help and support of others who know what the struggle is like. The organization is called Oxford House, and local outreach worker Thomas Floyd says it has experienced rapid growth in Oklahoma in recent years. “It’s actually the largest sober-living organization in the world,” he told KRMG. “How I actually got involved with it was a life of 20 years of addiction, incarceration, all those things. And the last time I was incarcerated, some people came in to the prison I was in and talked about Oxford House.” He moved into an Oxford House in 2013, he said. “The men in that house taught me about a 12-step program and how to live a productive life,” Floyd added. “We’re growing at a really fast rate here in Oklahoma, we’re up to 102 houses, 899 beds, in which we accept individuals either off the street, or out of treatment or detox, or just like me, out of prison. And we get them plugged into a 12-step program and teach them how to live life, on life’s terms.” He said there are three charter requirements for an Oxford House, which are segregated into house that accept males, females, or females with children. “The house must be democratically ran, it must be financially self-supporting, and it must evict anyone who drinks or uses.” He said residents have to pitch in on chores, hold a job, and contribute to the house’s collective finances. One can check the Oxford House vacancies website to see if any room is available in a particular area. A check by KRMG showed a number of beds available in the Tulsa area. To learn more about Oxford House, visit the website.
  • Ahead of a Tuesday Republican runoff, President Donald Trump is fully inserting himself in a U.S. Senate race in Alabama, holding a rally Friday night for Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL), who faces a spirited challenge from former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, in a race that has strained GOP alliances in the Yellowhammer State. The President will stop tonight in Huntsville, Alabama – not far from there, Mr. Trump had a gigantic rally back in late February of 2016, as he drew some 30,000 people to a football stadium in Madison. “I am supporting “Big” Luther Strange because he was so loyal and helpful to me!” Trump wrote in one of a number of tweets about the Alabama race. Senator Luther Strange has gone up a lot in the polls since I endorsed him a month ago. Now a close runoff. He will be great in D.C. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2017 Behind in the polls, Strange used a Thursday night debate with Moore to repeatedly remind Alabama voters who the President was supporting. “The first question is, who does the President support? The President supports me,” Strange said. As for Moore, he has drawn support from a number of conservative Republicans, but now finds himself pitted against someone who has the backing of the President, something that Strange mentioned several times at a debate on Thursday night. “This race is not me against the President,” Moore said. Moore would seem to be a perfect ally for the President – someone who rails against the GOP Establishment, focusing much of his ire on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – but Mr. Trump has stuck with “Big Luther,” who has trailed in the polls leading up to the runoff. “If they believe in Trump’s agenda – Moore is the clear choice,” said Rep. Steve King (R-IA), “but if they follow the cult of personality – then Strange.” Both US Senate Candidates have delivered their opening statements. pic.twitter.com/ogDS7MlRRT — Jalea Brooks (@JaleaBrooks) September 21, 2017 Strange was appointed earlier this year to fill the seat of Jeff Sessions, who left the Senate to become U.S. Attorney General – Sessions was the first Senator to support Mr. Trump, but that has not earned him any loyalty from the President, who has castigated Sessions repeatedly. While the President has backed Strange, Moore has received the backing of Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), who ran third in the original primary. But the big voice on Friday will be that of President Trump, who has certainly been putting his political capital on the line for Strange. Alabama is sooo lucky to have a candidate like 'Big' Luther Strange. Smart, tough on crime, borders & trade, loves Vets & Military. Tuesday! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 20, 2017