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February 2, 2003

An interesting point from Max Sawicky in the middle of his self-described “budget wonk response” to the shuttle disaster:
In politics, the use of tragedies to score policy points is routine. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. It’s how you make decisions in a democracy. I would say it really depends on the substance. For instance, using the Triangle Shirtwaist fire to motivate the improvement of occupational safety was entirely laudable. The martyrdom of civil rights workers advanced civil rights legislation. Using the crimes of a tyrant to justify a just war is appropriate. Obviously the question is whether the cause is just, and whether the link is well-founded. One thing is certain—anyone who accuses someone else of exploiting a tragedy for political aims is in the same game. Exploitation is really a question of whether the case is sufficiently plausible to merit further investigation. Some cases are pitched to the uninformed or geared to prejudice.
Max’s whole post is very much worth reading. [06:45 PM]
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Comments on An interesting point:

Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2003, 07:59 AM:

My sister, the family space policy expert, says she was not surprised by the loss of the Columbia, only surprised by how it happened. She said there were some serious safety problems with the fleet.

I thought that this was the last I was going to hear about that aspect of the disaster until I saw this morning's NYTimes story:
NASA Dismissed Advisers Who Warned About Safety

Chuck Divine ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2003, 04:00 PM:

There are a number of people at NASA and in aerospace companies that object to independent individuals. I saw plenty of that while I was at Goddard.

I feel a mixture of both sadness and anger. Yes, people are going to die on the high frontier. But they should be getting our best efforts, not what fits into the self serving agendas of petty tyrants.