Advice To A Recent Grad

I got this email a few days ago, and haven’t had the time to respond to it, but I thought I’d at least let my readers pick up the slack:

My name is XXXX and I have read your blog for a while now after being introduced to it through Instapundit. I’m sure you get plenty of e-mails like this where people ask for your advice or opinions on something so if you don’t have time to respond it’s more than understandable.

Some background on me; I recently graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a B.A. in Political Science and just finished my first semester in the University of North Dakota’s M.S. in Space Studies program. Also, I am in the Army National Guard and just transitioned into the public affairs career field, completing a basic course at the Defense Information School.

I had originally planned to go to law school and hope for a career in space law, but after moving to public affairs I’ve fallen in love with the PR-field and now hope to find a PR-related career-path in the aerospace industry. My biggest question to you is, where do I start? I’ve tried researching which PR firms have major aerospace companies as their clients but have found nothing. Also, I don’t see aerospace-PR jobs advertised a whole lot. I’m not sure where exactly to begin looking or who to attempt to contact.

Also, do you have any advice on how I could present my qualifications once I do find someone/place to contact? My issue is that I have a liberals arts bachelors that doesn’t directly apply to the career I want (anymore) and my actual PR-training might not be understood/taken seriously since it comes from the military.

One last question, am I foolish in pursuing the North Dakota program? I talked to a few alumni before I applied and they all had great things to say, however I sometimes wonder if I’m making the wrong decision pursuing an interdisciplinary degree that an employer might not “get” when they review my resume.

Sorry if this e-mail was a bit rambling. I greatly appreciate any help or advice you could give me.

As I said, I hope that some of my readers, who understand the PR world better than I, can help.

[Update later afternoon]

Some advice from a (smart, who knows this stuff) reader who prefers to remain anonymous, but may be useful to more than the emailer:

[He should] save up enough money in his bank account to work as an unpaid intern someplace when he’s done w/ classes in North Dakota. That will give him real-world experience, and could actually turn into a job at the firm he’s interning for. Also, it’ll help him confirm that P.R., which can be a field that chews up young people and spits them out, is what he really wants to do. And if he chooses a city that has lots of outfits working in industries he likes, he can make other useful contacts.

Sounds good to me.

Bradbury At Ninety

A perspective, over at National Review. Two things struck me about the piece, one of which has nothing to do with Bradbury per se:

While he is a great advocate for NASA and space travel, his greatest fictional works address the recurrent theme of much of the modern age’s more significant literature: the separation of spirit and imagination from technological achievement and the dangers that attend this divorce.

Note that James Person assumes that NASA and space travel are synonymous. This is a mind set that we have to break if we are to move forward in space. Here’s the other:

All too soon it was time to take our leave. Hamner, ever the gracious Virginia gentleman, shook hands with Bradbury and quietly expressed his thanks again for that long-ago piece of advice. As Bradbury turned to me, I shook his hand and said quietly, “Ray Bradbury, live forever!” Tears sprang into his eyes — he is a man who cries for joy at every kindness — and his mouth moved soundlessly for a moment, searching for words. Quickly he raised my hand to his lips and gave it a quick kiss. “God bless you, Jim,” he said. “God bless you — and I wish the same for you!”

What a contrast with Asimov, who was a notorious deathist (a major theme of The Bicentennial Man). Asimov is gone now, as he wished, and Bradbury is still with us, as he apparently continues to wish.

It’s not clear though, whether things like this will increase, or decrease his remaining time with us. If it’s the end of him, not a bad way to go.

The War That Broke Us


Just a reminder to people like the ignorant idiots in the Space Politics comments section as to why NASA’s budget is almost certainly going to take a whack from the coming Deficit Commission. It’s not the war, stupid. And note who was in charge of the Congress (and then the White House) when it skyrocketed. Note also that even with the dreaded “tax cuts,” it was declining, indicating that it wasn’t a revenue problem, or at least not one caused by the lower tax rates.


not science:

The government report instantly made headlines for the astonishing conclusion that approximately 75 percent of the oil had been collected, burned, skimmed or simply disappeared. Given the magnitude of the spill — the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history — some scientists concluded it was premature to draw such conclusions.

Another independent study released this week estimated as much as 79 percent of the oil remains in the Gulf, beneath the water’s surface.

Lehr’s admission that the peer review wasn’t completed in advance of the report’s release undermines the administration’s claim that it was.

And then, there’s this:

Interior Department officials knew beforehand that President Obama’s six-month moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico would cost more than 23,000 jobs and inflict devastating economic damage throughout the region.

Even so, the administration was not deferred from defying a federal judge and doing it anyway.

You’d almost think that they want to destroy the economy. I’m not sure what they’d be doing differently if they did.

And I don’t want to hear any more partisan noise about a “Republican war on science.”

Thoughts On “Islamaphobia”

From Andy McCarthy:

I have long argued that: (1) Islam is not a moderate doctrine; (2) Islamists who practice terror and are otherwise aggressive toward non-Muslims (and toward Muslims who disagree with them) are not twisting or perverting Islam; (3) this does not mean that the Islamist interpretation of Islam is the only possible viable interpretation; but (4) a concrete theology of “moderate Islam” does not exist (even though there are plenty of moderate Muslims) and therefore it will have to be created; and (5) because it will have to be non-literal and reformist, it will have a tough time competing with Islamist ideology which, however noxious it may be, has the advantage of being firmly rooted in Islamic scripture. Nevertheless, (6) Islamist ideology is anti-constitutional and anti-freedom in many of its core particulars, so that (7) if, instead of letting them pretend to be “moderates,” we force Islamists to defend their beliefs, we will marginalize them — at least in our society, which (8) will empower true moderate Muslim reformers and — maybe — give them the space they need to solidify a coherent, moderate Islam that embraces the West, and in particular the separation of secular public life from privately held religious beliefs.

It’s not a phobia if the fear is rational.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!