February 01, 2003

Space Shuttle

Oh, crap. Yes, that's the only thing I can think of to say.

Via Cut on the Bias -- if I hadn't gone to Susanna's site I wouldn't have known about this probably until much later. I never watch tv.

Glenn Reynolds has more commentary. (I had to turn the tv off. I just can't stand the talking heads and filler talk.) He seems to think that this accident won't traumatize people like the Challenger disaster did. I'm not so optimistic about humanity: I fully expect the Safety Nazis to come out in force any minute now. And even though it is highly unlikely that terrorism had anything to do with this, I'll bet there will be a tie-in with the war effort pretty soon (they'll use the "we just lost billions of dollars and seven lives and Bush wants to throw even more money and lives away!" spiel). Yes, it's all right there in my crystal ball. One thing that won't happen? Re-thinking this whole Bureacracy in Space thing NASA has going, with its "let's just keep on using the twenty-five-year-old space vehicles instead of building newer, more efficiently-designed ones; we need to keep this quarter's budget down!" way of thinking.

Update: always believe the crystal ball. The accusation bandwagon has its first passenger, an interviewer on CBC Newsworld:

CBC Newsworld just interviewed writer Robert Sawyer for his reflections on the shuttle program and potential causes of the disaster. The Newsworld interviewer asked Sawyer whether the cause was "arrogance" on the part of the U.S. government.
Furthermore... the interviewer linked American "arrogance" explicitly to current potential conflict in the Middle East.
All-Purpose America Hatred, the gift that keeps on giving. (Also via Glenn Reynolds.)

A Further Update: Michele has lifted some rocks and found the slimy creatures thereunder emitting their predictable foul stenches.

Site news: I'm leaving just this one entry up here on the front page for today.

Swine commentary update: Bill Quick has it. To said quoted Iraqi person: you had better have said that under duress. Ah well, I bet six weeks from now (+/-) he'll be lining up to sing the praises of the US occupying forces, with his hand out. Am I cynical? You tell me.

Posted by Andrea Harris at February 1, 2003 09:51 AM

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of- wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air
Up, up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never Lark, or even Eagle flew -
And while with silent lifting mind, I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

- John Gillespie Magee, Jr, 1922-1944

Posted by: Dean Esmay at February 1, 2003 at 10:02 AM

On the Shreveport, LA weather radar you can see the debris track of the shuttle. There's a link and a capture on my blog...

Very sad...

Posted by: Dave at February 1, 2003 at 11:42 AM

With regard to the slimy ones and the Safety Nazis, stuff this down their throats and tell them to choke on it.

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at February 1, 2003 at 12:03 PM

Andrea, that's a great link. I put it on my blog and credited you.

It's nice to see these dirtbags reveal their true colors--pink and yellow--in writing.

Posted by: Steve H. at February 1, 2003 at 12:04 PM

I'm listening to C-Span right now, and a great number of the left-wing callers have basically said that the loss of the Columbia is a punishment from God because President Bush wants to go to war. Andrea, these people are beyond reason and beneath contempt.

Posted by: Matthew at February 1, 2003 at 01:13 PM

Mathew, interesting. The Religous Left.

Posted by: Stan D at February 1, 2003 at 01:35 PM

Indeed, and every bit as vile as a Pat Robertson-type claiming hurricanes hit Florida to punish us for Gay Day at Disney World. Vile, vile, vile . . .

Posted by: Matthew at February 1, 2003 at 01:55 PM

Some people have no shame. Fuck them. This is horrible, and so sad. Words fail me.

Posted by: David Jaroslav at February 1, 2003 at 01:59 PM

You know, I was going to make a comment in the morning that liberals will probably somehow blame bush for this... But then I thought it would've been a mean comment and refrained from doing so. I guess I've overestimated them.

Posted by: Stan D at February 1, 2003 at 02:15 PM

So sickening. Waiting for the disestablishmentarian outcry because Bush quoted Isaiah in his speech (that had me in tears).

Posted by: Marybeth at February 1, 2003 at 02:49 PM

I overestimated the loons, too, Stan. It scares me to think that idiots like that might drive automobiles or use sharp objects around other people.

Posted by: Scott at February 1, 2003 at 03:51 PM

Or breed.

Posted by: *** Dave at February 1, 2003 at 05:46 PM

or vote.

Posted by: Stan D at February 1, 2003 at 06:44 PM

But especially breed.

You asked if you were cynical. Maybe.

But aren't the cynics usually right?

Posted by: Demosthenes at February 1, 2003 at 07:19 PM

Amen on replacing old shuttles. Most of those orbiters are over 20 years old. Most of us don't have cars that old. Hell, my family is right at the official government poverty line and we drive vehicles newer than that.

Posted by: James P at February 1, 2003 at 08:50 PM

NASA certainly doesn't need me to defend them, and I'm not trying to. But, James P's comment about twenty year old cars isn't the best analogy! Believe me, if your twenty year old car received the same inspections and maintenance as the shuttles, it would still look and run exactly the way it did the day you picked it up from the dealer! The people at NASA know what they are dealing with, they don't "cut corners" and "make do".

Posted by: rinardman at February 1, 2003 at 10:33 PM

Hasn't anyone accused the Israelis yet?

Posted by: Lynn S at February 2, 2003 at 09:11 AM