an unhappy anniversary


Date: 15 Mar 1995 11:12:36 GMT From: "Sarah R. Yoffa" Subject: an unhappy anniversary Henry Spencer (henry@zoo.toronto.edu) wrote: : Today is the first anniversary of one of the less happy events in the : history of sci.space.shuttle: the gag order on Ken Hollis. [snip] : For the newcomers, Ken was a sci.space.shuttle reader who worked at KSC : -- : There is a difference between | Henry Spencer : cynicism and skepticism. | henry@zoo.toronto.edu

For posterity's sake, I saved your original post, Henry. Actually, it was Ken's *LAST* post. I've appended it below. For those who haven't read it yet, granted he sounds bitter, but now, a year later, with as Henry points out, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAVING CHANGED, he sure had a right.

Can you imagine reading this (or other) groups and not being allowed to correct those who clearly don't know what they're talking about--and I don't mean opinion. I mean facts. Ken used to post so many cold, hard FACTS, about shuttle particularly, but generally about NASA and space exploration in the USA. The whole tenor of the group changed. By June of 1994, just about the only people posting to s.s.s. were those asking questions--there was no one with answers still willing to risk his job to post them.

Whether NASA or contractor, the whole thing just left a bitter taste in our collective mouths. The whole tenor of the group changed when Ken was silenced. We used to have more colorful discussions here on s.s.s., where even the ignorant and naive were invited to participate so they could learn, and they were taken in hand and educated with patience. Ken Hollis led that effort as one of the most active posters to sci.space.shuttle. With his words gone, the group CANNOT ever be the same.

The thread about this gag order went on, pretty steadily, until about June, 1994. The letters and email sent to Hugh Harris (Head of NASA/PAO at KSC and teh individual "handling the matter" officially) stacked over an inch thick. It helped Ken's feelings a lot that so many supported him so ferverently because he'd done nothing wrong even though NASA/PAO and LSOC/PAO told him he had. Your continued interest and support a year later just goes to show how a good thing cannot be killed--no matter how many PAO's pool together. I'm glad that *some* NASA/PAO's have banded together to try to participate in our forum here on sci.space, but they are the minority (that's why I defend them--they stood by Ken a year ago, or at least did not stand by KSC/PAO's decision). The people who made teh decisions don't post to USENET. If only they would, would we ever have a flame war then ! 8-) ;->


Sarah R. Yoffa | Email: yoffa@ddi.digital.net PHOENIX RISING ENTERPRISES | "Stupid rules are meant to be P.O.Box 542403 | changed, not broken." Merritt Island, FL 32954-2403 | (SRY on sci.space.shuttle, c. 1993)