A Clintonologist responds.

What's happening in our readers' forum.
Feb. 7 2003 11:44 PM

Duck and Cover? Duck and Rabbit.

Clintonology is all about appearances.

(Continued from Page 4)

We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them ... as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God."

And while there are partisan snipes back and forth, Cicero points to a bigger problem here (and here):

The Columbia most likely went down as a combination of mechanical failure and body fatigue. Twenty-two years in service is too long. I blame government for this, but not specifically the conservatives. NASA assured our government that a shuttle is good for 100 missions, discounting chronological age as unimportant. It's not the conservative government's fault. It is government's fault, period.

Finally, locdog makes this comparison with the attacks on Sept. 11 and America's national image:

in no way could this tragedy ever compare to what we experienced on that black day except one, and in that one it perhaps exceeds it. NASA has never been about anything practical. but throughout its existence, it has served as the most visible symbol of our technological might, intrepid spirit, and national pride. it is one of the few worthless government programs that no one minds seeing the billions pour into because everything that we like to believe is good about ourselves rides up with those brave young men and women in a burst of sound and fury, signifying everything. … part of america dies with every NASA tragedy, a part not told in the numbers or the dollars. ... 8:15 a.m.

J.D. Connor is assistant professor of English and of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard. He is working on a book about neoclassical Hollywood.

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