Columbia was torn apart in a plasma hurricane over an early-morning Texas sky, with seven crew aboard.
That event precipitated the recent chaos in space policy, because the Bush administration made a commitment to end the Shuttle program last year (though it has been extended into this one) without a realistic plan for replacing it. The Obama administration came up with one last year, but the porkers in Congress insist on continuing to waste money on dedicated NASA solutions that will almost certainly never fly. But this will all have to come to a head, in months if not weeks, when the fiscal reality finally hits NASA along with the rest of the federal government.
Leftist Groups Decry NASA Demonization
February 5, 2003
HOUSTON, Texas, USA (APUPI)
A number of progressive, liberal, and socialist organizations have banded together to protest the latest slanderous attack on them, and their noble unquestionable principles, this time by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Some of the more prominent groups include Postmodernists for Peace, the World People’s Liberation Front, the Liberation Front Of The People of the World, Socialists International, the American Communist Party, International ANSWER, Stalinists for Trotsky, Trotskyites for Chomsky, the NAALPOC (National Association for the Advancement of Liberal People Of Color), the ACLU, and the Green and Democratic parties.
In a press conference in Clear Lake City, outside the front gates of the NASA Johnson Space Center, Emilio Litella, the spokesman for the newly formed “Coalition For Social Justice And Leftist Anti-Defamation” complained that even before the investigation into the Columbia disaster was completed, they were being blamed for it.
“NASA has already started to leak rumors that it was caused by the left wing,” he said. “Once again, we’re being unfairly libeled by reactionary conservatives with an anti-human, anti-peace agenda. It’s obvious that this is part of an ongoing effort by right-wing baby-killing pencil-necked geeks to demonize all progressive forces, just as our pro-peace, no-war-for-oil message is starting to resonate with the American people, on the eve of a brutal and unjust war on the people of Iraq and Palestine.”
In Washington, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, a noted expert on demonization of progressive forces by the conservative media, was asked if the Democrats agreed with this complaint.
In a soft, pained, reasonable-sounding-yet-whiny voice, he replied, “Well, I have to say that I’m very disappointed at this rush to judgement on the part of the space agency. They claim to be objective, and that they aren’t going to say anything definitive until the investigation is complete, but anyone who reads the papers knows the direction that the investigation has been going.”
“Then shrill voices on talk radio and the internet pick it up, and make it sound as though those of us who are for truly compassionate policies, and are against tax cuts for the rich, are responsible for the destruction of the space shuttle. It’s just a continuation of the politics of personal destruction.”
“I and my family have received several death threats about this in the past hour alone, and that’s not even considering the normal daily ones from Bob Torricelli and Jim Jeffords. That was most disappointing.”
Senator Hillary Clinton, who happened to be in Mr. Daschle’s office measuring the draperies, added, “It’s just part of the ongoing vast, right-wing conspiracy against me and my husband, that I still wish that some enterprising reporter would go and dig up the real story on, instead of tarring voices for fairness with innuendo about blowing up space shuttles.”
When asked if she had ever had any involvement with the nation’s space program, she replied, “Well, I did want to be an astronaut, before I went through the period when I wanted to be a Marine, but the reactionary neanderthal rat-bastards at the space agency told me that girls need not apply. But other than that, I’m afraid I don’t recall.”
Back in Clear Lake, following the press conference, in response to queries, Kent Lovebreed, a crewcut spokesman from NASA’s Public Affairs Office, responded, “We regret that anyone feels that they’re under personal attack by our critical investigation into the cause of Saturday’s tragedy. We wouldn’t want to imply that there is anything sinister here. We are simply objective scientists and engineers, gathering the evidence, and following the trail wherever it leads. Right now, unfortunately, the left wing has to be considered the leading cause of that catastrophe.”
Asked if, as a result of the preliminary results of the investigation, NASA was considering laying down a design requirement that all future space vehicles have only right wings, he said, “It’s premature to make any kind of recommendation like that, but in light of our experience now, it certainly has to be one of the options on the table.”
[Copyright 2003 by Rand Simberg]
Some things never change.