Ronald E. McNair, Challenger Astronaut

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The Ronald E. McNair Building at MIT with a group of students in a program named for him. We commemorate a day of the loss of so much talent and promise. A catastrophe that was the result of hubris.

“6 months prior to the launch, the following memo was sent by Roger Boisjoly — an engineer working at Morton Thiokol, the manufacturers of the solid rocket boosters — to the company’s Vice President, in which he predicted the problem and warned of a potential “catastrophe of the highest order.”

Boisjoly’s warning went unheeded; he then attempted to halt the launch, unsuccessfully. Boisjoly later revealed this memo to the presidential commission investigating the disaster…” [Link below]

http://www.lettersofnote.com/2009/10/result-would-be-catastrophe.html?m=1

 

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Judith Resnick, Challenger Astronaut

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AS we mark the years since this terrible event, don’t lose sight of Judith Resnick’s remarkable career and achievement.

http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/resnik-judith

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Walking To Denmark

 

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The Danish decision to strip arriving refugees of all valuables except wedding rings in order to help finance their presence in Denmark is cruel and grotesque. What exactly do they plan to do with grandma’s coin silver spoons and aunt Laila’s antique watch? Melt them down? Hold yard sales?

The situation in Denmark and elsewhere is indeed a crisis. Hundreds of thousands of people WALKING across continents in 2016 is a crisis. The arrival of hundreds a week from North Africa to Italy is a crisis. The hellish encampment at Calais is a crisis.

Germany made a decent attempt to think ahead, but they had no E.U. support or any other comprehensive help in attempting to plan and work things through. Why are no regional responses being developed? Temporary housing, food, medical care, social services. Instead, there is a rise of the finger-pointing, alarmist right. I’m not naïve, there are no simple fixes, but it is possible to avoid devolving into chaos.

All those big-wigs who just finished meeting in Davos could gather the financing, expertise, logistical problem-solving in a month-long emergency meeting and develop workable plans. Hell, Silicon Valley could do it. Horrible that the humane and political motivation is just not there.   Denmark-and-refugees-2015

Who Is Paying For the Texas Law School Case?

TEXAS

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-casemaker-idUSBRE8B30V220121204#ZVIyki0cCopz7xcE.97

UK Article. “Commemorating Sarah Parker Remond: Pioneering abolitionist and anti-racism campaigner”

Source: Commemorating Sarah Parker Remond: Pioneering abolitionist and anti-racism campaigner

Encore Charlie Hebdo

There is lively French response to this, pro and con. Moi, je le trouve con.

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Go Huddle Somewhere Else

 

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25 states, so far, ask the icon of Liberty to turn away from what she represents.

I remember the days when, if you wanted to teach at an American state university, you had to take a loyalty oath. Of course, if you were determined to “overthrow the American government,” as the phrase had it, the least of your problems was signing an oath to the contrary.

I just don’t see how letting in or keeping out Syrian refugees will in any way impede determined Daesh terrorists from getting into the country. Setting up shop in the US is the least of their problems.

I do understand the visceral fear that murderers could walk through the front door with false documents or credentials calling themselves refugees. But vetting is really hit or miss when the huddled masses in question come from a country where there are few if any reliable ways to get background info on anybody — so many administrative buildings have been destroyed, much of the bureaucracy no longer exists. Excellent fake passports are a new Turkish cottage industry.

It seems to me that Islamophobia has clouded clear thinking about security measures.

Paris En Deuil

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Photo: A statue in Pere Lachaise Cemetery