Memories of Senator Kennedy

In his long career of public service, Senator Edward  Kennedy championed good governance, as demonstrated by his enduring support for the Office of Technology Assessment.

Speaking on March 2, 1972 in support of the legislation that created OTA, he said:

Technology Assessment refers to matters of the utmost importance and urgency to those of us in the Congress and to each of our citizens.  Like it or not, science and technology have become central to our civilization, to our economic strength, to the preservation of our environment, and to the quality of our lives.

What citizen does not have vital data on himself stored in some computer memory cell?  Who is not at the mercy of far-reaching power blackouts and brownouts?  How many citizens are impervious to the transportation snarls that strangle our cities?  What family will not someday be dependent on the outmoded medical technology which prevails in far too many of our hospitals?

Which one of us doesn’t daily take some chemical additives with his food?  Or hasn’t used some medication which FDA hasn’t yet certified as effective?  Who doesn’t breathe the pollution in our air?  Or regret the filth in our rivers and streams?

We live in a world increasingly shaped by man, and technology is the principal tool he uses to shape it.

He favored OTA as a way of assuring that new technological developments would be “channeled so as to achieve the maximum benefit for humanity.”  The transcript of the hearing can be found here in the archive.  (The quote above is from pages 35-36.)

Senator Kennedy was the first chairman of  OTA’s Technology Assessment Board and served on its Board throughout OTA’s entire existence, until the agency was disbanded in 1995.

Near the end of OTA, on July 20, 1995, Senator Kennedy again spoke on the floor of the Senate in defense of OTA:

In the years ahead, as we move into the 21st century, there will be even greater need to rely on OTA for impartial assessment of technology-related policies.  The world of science and its impact on public policy are becoming more complex, not less.  Technology is central to every aspect of American life, from biotechnology to law enforcement, from agriculture to education.  It would be a serious mistake to limit our ability as a legislature to evaluate and respond to the scientific and technological challenges facing Congress, the Administration, and the Nation.

1 Response to “Memories of Senator Kennedy”

  • I remember when Mr.Kennedy’s, first brother JFK died, and I listened on a pocket radio the news.Then several years later as a kid I shook Robert’s hand in a dirt field in Long Beach on 3rd St. which joins the 710 freeway to LA while he was walking his dog as his walk in the Lincoln Park Chinese Garden was nixt because of the crowed that surrounded him and his car was so excited he couldn’t even be carried over their heads like they do to rock stars at a concert.The same crowed which trampled me down and is why I was walking home and found Robert walking his dog, and when I went home to watch TV the shows were interupted because Sir Han decided to shoot him.

    Now the Lincoln Park Chinese Garden is empty of water and the last bridge is in need of repair and the little pond where I would play with my model boats like the PT109, is but a memory like that old Navy by the sea…

    Now I had to find out that old Teddy Bear had past on by the internet as know one said anything about his passing or seemed to care as everyone is angry over his friend the new president’s policies against US,and our choice of Water Sport’s for terrorist’s….

    Well Mr.Theodore Kennedy, I’m big enough to say something for you when as just a kid no one listened…

    In mememory of the Kennedy’s and the Navy I would like to dedicate the old book I am reading : ” Two Years Before The Mast,” written by Henery Richard Dana Jr. who sailed from Boston around the Cape Horn to Western North America, ( which I Imagine was California, and perhaps the old port of Los Angeles, and Long Beach where I grew up ),on the Brig Sailing Ship ” Pilgrim.”

    Now old Henery made a lot of sense when he made his qoutes about the life of a sailor when instead of fuel or nuclear power all one had was the wind at his back and a few stars to guide his passage like the Southern Cross south of the Equator and the old North star of the North.

    I think the old Hughes Aerospace was 29 degrees Lat. by 118 degrees Long. off the 710 and 405. So for the old Boss I’ll say this in his memory when Robert Died ” I don’t want to be fast on the draw,but I want to be the first to write a memorial for you old Salt’s on FSA Twits ! ”

    I hope old Camelot remember’s how they treated old King Arther over his knights of the round table when Mordred brought US all to war against each other instead of those enemies of the realm and Christendom whenwe were doing battle with the enemies in the crusades. I guess it was more popular to win votes over damsels in distress while soldier’s were away fighting here at home and holding old King Richard and the Republic up for ransome for the new EO’s and policies freeing the terrorist’s and holding the old guard to blame for things like interogation while those that cut off our heads were free to commit more acts of violence like at Lockerbe and New York City 9/11.What do I care if the old lady has an affair as it is just as Noble for them to love another while we pay for it with another on the side as well.Lucky for me I am to Ignorant to be cool for old school or suckered by some Temptress Tossed. It’s none of my Bee’s Wax so do not expect me to light your candles with my fire unless it’s for those I know from the old round table and not the new of Mordreds birth right which is call for concern as to it’s legitimacy in the first place.

    To your Sir Knight I will speak kindly as your memories are part of my own of better day’s and better men who with Christ and Christianity gave grace while those of other faiths gave no quarter at all, ” Camelot, ” Avalon my old home, a Kingdom of Rome and the Holy See !

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