I've never daylogged before, but the news just got to me here.

I was running a scholastic chess tournament yesterday when we heard of the news of the Columbia. I was saddened, and managed to catch a little of NPR news about it. But I knew that any real news (why it happened) and such won't be known for a while, if ever, so I turned it off and have been trying to avoid it.

My wife; however, has been watching CNN like crazy, and this morning she informs me that people have been stealing the fragments. And not only that, but they are saying "if the piece fell on my property, it's mine and I'm not giving it up." And then also people are trying to sell fragments (real or fake) on eBay. NASA spokesman Bruce Buckingham said, "We live in an evil world, and there are people that will do those types of things."

Has our culture become that crass? Have the property rights crowd become so powerful that nothing can be done about these kind of attitudes? If that fragment contained human remains, would that still belong to the property owner? "After all, it landed on my property."

I admit that I'm a liberal who feels that Dubya is incompetent and willfully and arrogantly ignorant of history and the consequences of governmental actions. That said (so you know my bias), I believe that the property rights populism started by Barry Goldwater, and mainstreamed by Ronald Reagan have created the climate for these kind of behaviors today.

The disrespect for governmental authority, the distrust for governmental decision making, the belief that the goverment should not do anything to interfere in what the individual wants to do, no matter what the consequences to the rest of the population.

And remember that this is happening in Northeast Texas and Louisiana. The heart of Dubya country.

Now I certainly admit that government is not always right, but individuals aren't always right either. There needs to be a balance, and as long as you have demagogues like Dubya, Tom DeLay, Rush Limbaugh, and the like with the political power they have, this country will be in trouble. Probably not in the short-term, but Pax Americana will not last.

And of course the leading Democrats will be too spineless to say anything about it.

And so it goes.