GOING TO MARS AND WAITING FOR THE BATHROOM
The successful Mars landing has given a pleasant boost to big dreams of exploration. In Slate, David Grinspoon gives a partially cautionary, partially rhapsodic commentary on Mars, imperialist dreams, and the expansion of life.
The quotes from some of the Mars Society sound like liberal-nightmare-fantasy stuff. For example:
These comments were amplified by panelist Lowell Wood, an architect of Reagan-era"Star Wars" space-based weapons plans. Wood stated confidently that terraforming Mars will happen in the 21st century."It is the manifest destiny of the human race!" he declared and went on to boast,"In this country we are the builders of new worlds. In this country we took a raw wilderness and turned it into the shining city on the hill of our world."In contrast, Grinspoon’s careful support for the expansion of life to Mars (assuming none—or at least no advanced form—is there already) is a reminder that there really can be an idealism in expansion to the stars.
Of course if terrorists and orange alerts go with us, we may have to wear space suits with plumbing for the entire trip.
Of all the “Orange” security precautions, the “hall pass to bathroom” strikes me as the most asinine and inconvenient. (If you have not heard of this, check this article from the Guardian on bathroom breaks and flights from Australia)
It is one thing to do this if you actually get notice that a terrorist is on board, but to do it as policy seems an efficient way to create real hostility against the US and build disdain for logical U.S. security actions by associating them idiocies like this.