When I heard some specifics about Columbia on the radio yesterday -- specifically, the nationality of one crew member and the name of one of the towns where debris from the ship was found -- I said to my wife that the combination of these two facts would be seized upon as deeply meaningful ... by schizophrenics. Well, I was close. Here's Peggy Noonan:
"These are the days of miracle and wonder," sang Paul Simon in the 1980s. It ran through my head all morning, from out of nowhere, and I think I know why. It has to do with the impossibility, the sheer implausibility, of the facts. We are on the verge of war in the Mideast, a war springing in its modern origins from the tensions of the Arab-Israeli conflict; our president, a Texan, believes we must move on Iraq. The space shuttle that broke up today carried, for the first time ever, a Mideastern astronaut, an Israeli who won fame when he led a daring raid on a nuclear reactor in Iraq, 20 years ago. The shuttle broke up over the president's home state, Texas. The center of the debris field appears to be a little town called Palestine.
Yup. And Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy.