Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Apocalypse now? And miss out on the fiscal cliff?

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

So far, so good.

If you’re reading this on Friday, it means the Mayan Apocalypse has not come to pass – yet. But the day is young. There’s still time for the Earth’s magnetic field to flip, a supervolcano to erupt or the hitherto invisible planet Nibiru to collide with ours.

We’re going out on a limb and assume that if nothing’s happened by now, we’re likely home-free.

Most people undoubtedly will be glad that this isn’t their last day. But we suspect some are starting to get a little antsy about now, like the guy who figured he didn’t have to go Christmas shopping with the world ending and all, or the woman who maxxed out all her credit cards because she’d never have to pay them off, right? Welcome to your low, low credit rating, ma’am.
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Armstrong embodied the human hunger to understand

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

You don’t succeed as an engineer or survive as a test pilot without being an intensely practical person. Yet the practical Neil Armstrong will forever be remembered for leading one of humanity’s most impractical adventures.

America had no pragmatic reason to go the moon in the 1960s. While the Apollo program spun off many inventions, the moon voyages were not about developing freeze-dried food or cordless tools. They were mainly about sending human beings up to the nearest heavenly body to have a look around.

Curiosity, pure and simple. It seems appropriate that when Armstrong died Saturday, the Martian rover Curiosity – NASA’s latest impractical adventure – had just begun exploring the bleak landscape of Mars.

In 1969, when Armstrong stepped out of the lunar lander, robots weren’t supposed to be the stars of the U.S. space program. Decades of science fiction had conditioned the world to expect humans to play the lead role in exploring Mars and deep space.

But after six trips to the moon, the United States lost interest and didn’t go back. That was 40 years ago; since then, our astronauts have been tooling around in near-Earth orbit.
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One of those shuttles belongs at Museum of Flight

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

NASA will be passing out space shuttles in a year or two. We want one.

By “we,” we mean the Pacific Northwest, a region whose fortunes have been tied to aerospace since William Boeing launched his Model 1 seaplane in 1916.

The Museum of Flight at Boeing Field – which displays more than 80 fascinating and historically significant aircraft – is one of the nation’s great showcases of aviation. As it phases out the shuttle program, NASA is looking for homes for the Atlantis, Enterprise and Endeavour. This is a marriage made

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Doomsday movie offers escape from tough times

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

“It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.”
– R.E.M. song

Unless you’ve been hiding in a fallout shelter for the past few weeks, you’ve seen the ads for “2012,” an apocalyptic movie about how the world ends. That is, if you believe Hollywood’s take on an ancient Mayan prediction that doomsday will come on Dec. 21, 2012 – a prediction that modern Mayans say is a bunch of hooey.

“2012” is the No. 1 movie in America (at least until the box office figures for “New Moon” come in), and it’s got people talking about the latest in a long and rich vein of end-times scenarios.

Most people will watch “2012” and just enjoy it for its vicarious thrills, such as the Los Angeles real estate market going upside down – literally. But some folks, unfortunately, are taking this 2012 doomsday stuff a tad too seriously.
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