Hmmm... technical trouble kept this post in jail on my PC, it couldn't escape to the server. Yippee, it's free.
So - my reaction to Colin Powell's speech before the U.N.: It was solid evidence that the Iraqis are not complying with terms of U.N. Resolution 1441. It was not solid evidence they're making WMDs, or that they have them. So it is a narrower smoking gun than many have wished for. It justifies further U.N. action, since it shows the U.N. resolution was violated, but it doesn't [by itself] justify U.S. military action. Bush must have other evidence that Iraq is making and/or has WMDs that he isn't willing to share yet - we're pretty far along the path of war. The reaction of the U.N. delegates was predictable - "oh, so Saddam is not complying with our resolution, let's send in more inspectors". I think we aren't going to get a second U.N. resolution sanctioning military action - France would veto, among other things - but that won't stop us...
Have you seen this picture? This is a frame from an Israeli TV program called "Erev Hadash" taken on January 20. Astronaut Ilan Ramon spoke with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon through a video link. He presented his view out the window of the Columbia shuttle. Right there on the surface of the wing you can see a long crack and a dent. Eleven days later, it was that same wing that broke off during reentry, causing the shuttle to disintegrate. Even if NASA knew about the damage from the moment it happened, they could have done nothing. Gene Kranz, the flight director who orchestrated the rescue of astronauts aboard the crippled Apollo 13 in 1970 ("Failure Is Not An Option"), said that from what he knew, there was nothing that could have been done to save the flight. "The options," he said in a telephone interview, "were just nonexistent".
I love it when old media reviews the blogosphere. They never get it right. Kind of like the way TV reviewed "The World Wide Web" [say it in a deep voice] in 1996. Ask yourself this: why is it that whenever the media do a story about something you really know, they get it wrong?
Guess what? They've explained hiccups. Thanks goodness for science!