Sovereigns of the High Frontier
by Jim Davidson, July 18, 2007
Thanks for your excellent article.
First, I would like to address your remarks about our group.
"Finally, I loved hearing about an idea for "Sovereigns of the High Frontier," presumably adapted from the title of one of Victor Koman's books. But will this be a serious effort to develop a space industry in Wyoming? Or will it be closer to a Star Trekfan club?"
The three founders of our group, myself, John Wiltbank, and Ken Bollinger, met through Free State Wyoming at the second annual jamboree back in 2005. I certainly had in mind Victor Koman's book Kings of the High Frontier when I came up with the name. Though, "kings" are of course gender specific, and I wanted a term that would also include women.
Do we intend to develop a space industry in Wyoming? We intend to develop private space projects and activities, which should lead to an expanded space industry, not only in Wyoming, but also elsewhere. We are not government enthusiasts, so we intend no state or national subsidies for space industry in Wyoming nor anywhere. We are a Wyoming not for profit group, so we are not lobbying for any particular legislation, nor are we campaigning for any candidates.
So, what do we intend to do? We intend to provide education and information about space for as many people in Wyoming as may prove to be interested. We intend to provide resources, including libraries, observatories, laboratories, and meeting halls, so that those who are interested can learn more, meet each other, and work together on projects of common interest.
Among other things, I wish to encourage people to get back into the hobby of flying model rockets - which is the hobby which led me to become involved in flying commercial space rockets as a job in 1989. So, I intend for us to give a model rocket kit to every new member for the first few years.
What have we done so far? We have started with what is in reach. In particular, we were able to get a very good deal on some land and a used trailer. We have recently paid to have the land cleared and leveled and the trailer moved to its new location. We are hooking up electricity and water to it, and we'll begin cleaning it up in a few days. We plan to add a high speed Internet connection soon. We already have books donated to the Sovereigns first library, along with a donated computer. All these resources are being made available in Newcastle, Wyoming for our first library and classroom facility. We plan an extensive computer lab inside, as well.
Several of our friends are working on personal observatories in different parts of Wyoming. We plan to add to these a small observatory at our Newcastle location, including small telescopes and a sundial. When our friends are willing to have guests, we'll announce the locations of their observatories and organize star parties in different parts of the state. As soon as possible, we plan to start formal classes, including classes on model rocketry, physics, math, astronomy, space science, business planning, and space business.
Ultimately, we plan to be a global organization with a Solar System wide reach. However, one does not build a stairway to the stars in a single day, nor climb those stairs all in one bound. Creating a culture of people determined to change how people perceive space, and who gets to be involved in space achievement, is a long process. Ultimately, I suspect we'll involve universities and preparatory academies in our plans to create such a culture.
What does this group have to do with liberty? Everything. I believe that a free people are best suited to explore the universe. I believe that a free civilization beyond Earth can do much trade and commerce with Earth-bound individuals to mutual advantage. I believe that prosperity is a key element to the success of liberty in our time, and that capturing the wealth of the Solar System is a good way to gain greater prosperity soon.
We live on a planet that is not a closed system. The resources here are not entirely of local origin. Most of our fuel and all of our food has origin in the Sun, in part. Understanding the Solar System as a whole is itself useful, and bringing its greater resources to bear on the business opportunities on Earth is already a source of economic opportunity.
With particular regard to Star Trek, I don't like its socialist themes. I am familiar with the work of Gene Roddenberry, but I am not a fan of his views on economics nor his apparent preferences for a militarized society. I do appreciate his work in spreading the idea that people from all walks of life would one day fly in space.
Second, I would like to thank you for your comments on the Free State Wyoming strategy as "inherently a practical plan of action." I agree. In fact, when I first heard of this plan from my friend Boston, I liked it so well that I made plans to attend his presentation on it at the Grand Western Conference II in Three Forks, Montana back in 2004. I've also attended all of the jamborees for FSW.
I would like to point out that while there are eleven counties in Wyoming with population under 15,000, there are also 35 such counties in Colorado. Even if you do not plan to move to Wyoming to be a part of FSW, you may wish to consider moving to one of the smaller population counties in Colorado. There is room in the USA for more than one free state. While the much greater population of Colorado would mean it would take longer to have affect, the strategy of starting in the smaller population counties which is the basis for FSW's practical plan would also apply in Colorado.
I would urge the readers of Free Colorado to consider working to make more free the smaller population counties in your great state. Or move to Wyoming!
PS. You are welcome to publish all or part of this message. Please do not print my e-mail address. You are welcome to pass along my contact info from the hisovs.org site, though, if you get any inquiries. My address planetaryjim[**AT**]yahoo.com may also be published, or passed along to inquirers. Thanks.