September 23, 2012, - 9:50 pm

Black People v. Science . . . Or Legit Property Rts Gripe? 400 Trees Chopped for Space Shuttle (VIDEO)

By Debbie Schlussel

On Friday, the Space Shuttle Endeavor made its final landing in Los Angeles, and on October 12th, it will be transported on a a two-day journey across the boulevards of Inglewood and Los Angeles to its new home at the California Science Center. But since the boulevards and streets of those cities are tree-lined and the Space Shuttle has a long wingspan, 400 trees will be cut down to make way for the shuttle. And the people of those cities–predominantly Black–are angry. I can understand their frustration.

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Space Shuttle Endeavor Lands in L.A. as Trees Are Marked for Death to Make Way

If I were one of the people whose trees were cut down so that the Space Shuttle Endeavor could travel–wingspan intact–to its final destination at a museum, I’d be pretty angry. To me, that’s a government “taking” no different than the government seizing a woman’s home in Connecticut to make way for a development in Kelo v. City of New London. Yes, it’s a tree, not a house, but still, it’s big government taking from private individuals. You can bet that if the Space Shuttle went down the streets of Bel-Air or Beverly Hills, this would never happen. And maybe that’s why the Shuttle didn’t go that way. On the other hand, the elected Los Angeles and Ingleside officials are statist liberals who were put into power to do this stuff by the very people losing these trees.

While it looks as though most of the trees cut down are in commercial and other non-residential areas, some of the trees are in front of homes. And the museum’s pledge to plant two new, young trees in place of very old, mature trees is little comfort to homes that relied on the trees and their shade. Plus removing the trees lowers property values. The remuneration also seems like overkill that doesn’t redress the problem in the least: $400,000 toward tree trimming, up to five years of tree maintenance, at least 10 scholarships to area students, $100,000 to an education fund, and training for local teachers in science, according to the Los Angeles Times. Also, half of the tree trimmers hired were to be from the affected communities. But if I lived in one of the affected homes, I’d just want my damn tree, as is.

It points to another issue. Is this really about science? The space shuttles–Endeavor and others–didn’t really do anything. They flew around and were an incredible waste of money. They didn’t land on the moon, go to Mars or do anything else of consequence or worth. So, I’m not even sure this was a worthy science exhibit in its own right, let alone one which deserved such a major re-landscaping of Los Angeles and a neighboring city.

But some commentators say the complaints are reflective of Blacks and their disinterest in science. There is some truth to that. In contemporary times, Black Americans just aren’t interested in science and math. The statistics back that up. And some people say that this might bear some relationship to the complaints they’ve made over the Space Shuttle. Perhaps that’s a little of it, but if they chopped down my trees for the Space Shuttle, I’d be pretty angry. And I like science. Whether or not they are interested in science has no bearing on whether or not their trees should be chopped down. It’s their property to do with as they see fit.

So, what do you think? Is this a case of Black people versus science? Or is it, as I’ve opined, an illegit government taking of trees for a pop culture undertaking that ain’t so worthy?

To me, this is yet another example of why Blacks should be anti-big-government conservatives.

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54 Responses

They should have put the shuttle in the Reagan Library alongside Air Force One since the whole “shuttle” boondoggle started under Reagan’s watch. Then I could ignore both of them from 10 minutes away. And if they cut down the trees on my street, ni one could have done anything, either. Maybe in a more tony neighborhood, but not here in the slums of Simi.

Ben Franklin said, “a city is a place where they cut down all the trees and then name streets after them.”

DS_ROCKS! on September 23, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    To be fair, it started before Reagan. It just began to fly during his Administration.

    Worry01 on September 23, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    The “boondoggle” started with Nixon who approved major NASA funding, NOT Reagan. Learn history before trying to rewrite it.

    FrenchKiss on September 24, 2012 at 1:04 pm

I don’t know what race has to do with this event. I also don’t understand why they couldn’t have picked other routes so that they wouldn’t have to cut as many trees. I saw an article about this that showed a detailed winding route through the city so that they could show the shuttle off in different areas, sort of like a parade. Not worth cutting trees for, in my opinion. And, you can bet they didn’t put this up for a vote to the people of the city. Where were the “tree huggers”? How did they get this done without all hell breaking loose from all the hippies?

RT on September 23, 2012 at 10:23 pm

I agree w/ DS Rocks. In Simi Valley, and Ventura county – at least that side, there ain’t all that many trees for them to knock down. Even if not in the library itself, they could buy land nearby to set up a space museum built around it.

I agree w/ the opposition to the Eminent Domain aspect of this. Incidentally, shouldn’t the tree huggers be out in numbers alongside the Blacks protesting this massive tree slaughter?

As for interest in science, looks like neither Blacks nor Whites nor Hispanics have much interest in it. The overwhelming number of University students taking graduate level courses are Asians. And as more manufacturing moves not only to China but other Asian countries, the reason for the lack of interest is not really unjustified. Also, all the gales raised over global warming has probably left a whole bunch of people about scientists in particular, and by extention, science.

Infidel on September 23, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Don’t need a Space Shuttle in Simi Valley or Ventura County bringing in more traffic congestion, more scumbags, and more pollution. Keep it out of our nice bastion of civilization.

    FrenchKiss on September 24, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      1. Ventura is not going to overrun by polluting, vandelizing hordes if the Reagan Library would have gotten the space shuttle. But it didn’t, so the whole point is moot. The Reagan Library is great, by the way.

      2. I totally agree with Debbie on this one. Try lopping off trees in some upper class neighborhood so the space shuttle could pass by. The politicians don’t care: what are the blacks going to do? Not vote for them? That’s what happens when you whore out your political power: the john will always want a little more, while paying a little less. What are you going to do? Complain?

      3. I cannot wait for Debbie’s review of “The Master.” I just saw it and after my wife and I burned each other’s ears off about it, and after she got into an argument with my son about it, I thought, “I need to read what Debbie thinks about the movie.”

      gmartinz on September 24, 2012 at 10:56 pm

If they had awarded that space shuttle to Dayton, Ohio and the Air Force Museum we could have saved them alot of money and headaches. Just land on the runway at the museum…DONE

Gman213 on September 23, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    I agree that there should be SOMEWHERE else in the United States that would be an appropriate museum spot for the shuttle without disrupting a community. The fact that people are up in arms because it’s a BLACK community being disrupted also makes me wonder if anyone will actually visit this museum if it’s not in a safe area. Don’t know the L.A. area well so I don’t know where this all is exactly. I know there are a couple of museums here in Atlanta where nobody goes because they’re in unsafe locations.

    And, like other comments, where the heck are the tree huggers? I would think in California they’d be out in force, chaining themselves to those trees and screaming, picketing, etc. You know they could scrounge up some old hippies to do tree hugging duty.

    DG in GA on September 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm

People can get attached to trees just like to pets. Just like if the Government killed someone’s dog, and then replaced it with a new dog, it wouldn’t be the same. The situation is the same with trees.

And I guess Blacks are an easy target here. Accusing them of being uninterested in science seems to have about as much validity to me as accusing people of being anti-science if they are suspicious of the global warming hype. But anyone who opposes government campaigns these days gets accused of being stupid, bigoted, or whatever other adjectives the sycophants can think of.

Woodman spare that tree…

Little Al on September 23, 2012 at 10:51 pm

Some of the neighborhood Black people might also be wondering why so much money over the years has been spent on the Endeavor rather than on helping them get jobs. Granted the reasons for Back unemployment are complex, but an incident like this seems to cut through all of it, and really simplify the lack of concern and sensitivity the Government has.

Little Al on September 23, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Sure seems to me that breaking down the shuttle into sections would have been more appropriate. Possibly less time consuming, less labor intensive, and certainly better for the landscape and environment.

JRay on September 23, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    JRay, my thought exactly.

    skzion on September 23, 2012 at 11:59 pm

      Mine, too.

      Miranda Rose Smith on September 24, 2012 at 5:28 am


You have only touched on part of the issue.

The Shuttle was such a high priority, and the defense contractors and the crooks at NASA were so intent on moving forward with the Shuttle, that NASA made sure that all of the design, architectural, and engineering plans for Saturn 5 (the rocket that launched the Apollo missions to the moon) were DESTROYED. Why? So that there could not be a reversion to the tried and true booster rocket system that worked so well.

My father had worked at Goddard. He warned about design flaws. He was ignored. When the first Shuttle blew up, he immediately told me on the day of the disaster that they used the wrong materials for the O-rings. He was dead on right.

The Shuttle was designed to make the Morton Thiokol and a host of other defense contractors richer. It was a bad design, from the rubber o-rings which would freeze and crack in the presence of liquid oxygen to the individual heat resistant tiles which would fall off due to the intense vibrations of lift-off.

Mature trees add value to a neighborhood, moderate climate, and it has been shown that there is lower crime in neighborhoods with trees. There is no excuse for the cutting down of trees in this or any other neighborhood for a device that had a high failure rate of 28% (two out of seven Shuttles blew or burnt up). The wings of the shuttle could have been removed and reattached, albeit at some expense. Even if the wings could not have been reattached, there is always an alternative route.

Another expensive boondoggle is the International Space Station, which the US paid for. It serves no useful purpose.

Most of the manned flights could have been accomplished better and cheaper by the use of satellites and unmanned flights. So we got to a dead moon, big deal. That could have been accomplished by satellites, at a much lower cost. And once we reached the moon we learned what G-d told us, that life is here on earth.

Jonathan E. Grant on September 23, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    Well, Barack Obama agrees with you.

    Worry01 on September 24, 2012 at 12:13 am

    No. It had a 1.5% failure rate (135 missions, 2 failed).

    FrenchKiss on September 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      Two out of the seven shuttles blew up. Hence two out of the seven were defective giving a machine failure rate of 28 percent and 14 dead astronauts.

      Jonathan e Grant on September 24, 2012 at 3:50 pm

        Wow, that’s messed up.

        So if an airline had two planes and each had 1000 TOs and landings, but one crashed, that’s a 50% failure rate?

        Math is not your forte.

        FrenchKiss on September 24, 2012 at 4:01 pm

I think Schlussel is missing the forest for the trees here – I know, sorry.

The site in University Park was undoubtedly chosen as a pander to the large black population there, as testament to their “interest in science.” Did you know that this city also hosts the California African-American Museum? They put these “treasures” downtown and then hype yuppie migration back into these hellholes (the “new American dream) as a benevolent form of gentrification. Basically, the hope is that this hype will increase the property values of the black slum residents. Seems you can’t get ahead with some people no matter WHAT you do.

Pretty hard to believe that this administration would use the shuttle program for political pandering, right? Didn’t they also say that their #1 goal for NASA would be to use it to make Muslims feel good about themselves?

Statusm0nkey on September 23, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    What’s housed in an African-American Museum? All the items used to murder and cause mayhem during the 1992 riots? Or the ’65 riots? And how much white taxpayer money subsidizes the guaranteed anti-white man propaganda there?

    FrenchKiss on September 24, 2012 at 3:56 pm

The Space Shuttle Endeavor is a depressing thing to see. It represents the end of manned space flight for the United States. This stripped down carcass is more like a coffin than a museum piece. I will never go see it, since it is just a monument of decline.

Worry01 on September 23, 2012 at 11:52 pm

I was asked to post a more complete response:

The problem with the Space Shuttle program was that it became an end in itself. It was never intended to be the “Manned Space Program”, but just a part of it. By Skylab crash and burn up in our atmosphere and never pursuing any further manned activity on the Moon, the Space Shuttle by default was turned into a white elephant. It gave us the illusion that NASA was still pursuing manned space flight when in fact those activities ceased by the mid 70’s.

I find the fascination with the Space Shuttle Endeavor morbid. It is like having a parent or loved one embalmed and put on a shelf to be gawked at. Endeavor represents not just a point in our space program’s development, but its demise.

Worry01 on September 24, 2012 at 12:20 am

Don’t worry too much about the space program. I have a hunch that the US has some real high speed shit they have been working on in secret over the last few years.

RT on September 24, 2012 at 12:46 am

I say good riddance to the trees in California. I couldn’t care less whether the neighborhoods were black, white, yellow, or red. They get what they all deserve. This is the state that proclaims to be all about the environment and foists that crap onto the rest of the states but then goes right ahead and destroys their own environment. Bunch of hypocrites, black, white yellow, or red.

Its too bad the trees can’t do what a lot of Californians are doing… leaving that rotten state and moving elsewhere. I am sure if they could, Texas would welcome those trees in with open arms! The people, not so much… ;^)

James D. from the Republic of Texas on September 24, 2012 at 1:02 am

    This is why I love Texans!

    FrenchKiss on September 24, 2012 at 7:10 pm

It’s always about race eh?

Titanic fan on September 24, 2012 at 1:15 am

When you’re talking about the administration of Jeremiah Wright Obama, um, yes, it IS always about race. And that’s just the way he wants it.

Statusmonkey on September 24, 2012 at 1:43 am

It really is a shame and a disgrace to cut down perfectly good trees for anything as temporary as transporting an airplane. Bad enough when you cut them down to put up a building. Barf!!!Fooey!!!

Miranda Rose Smith on September 24, 2012 at 2:51 am

For those of you who are fasting on Yom Kippur, I wish you an easy one. May you be inscribed for a good and sweet year.

Miranda Rose Smith on September 24, 2012 at 6:56 am

What’s the purpose of preserving the shuttle when NASA itself wasn’t worth saving. This is just another “token” monument to the days when Americans could be proud of their country. We were great…once. Now we’re just like everybody else.

Penn Hudson on September 24, 2012 at 8:02 am

The wings should have been cut off for transportation purposes, then re-attached at the exhibit. It’s not as if it was going to fly again.

Lilida on September 24, 2012 at 8:04 am

Just another example of how the Constitution—in this case the 5th amendment—has become completely perverted.

Takings, baby. Madison is spinning in his grave.

And, Deb…right on. Kelo is one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in the last 100 years. But then, ever since the Madalyn Murray cases (removing all religion), the Supreme Court is really a Supreme Joke (or travesty).

Red Ryder on September 24, 2012 at 8:33 am

Private property rights? This government worrying about them?? Look at what this administration did to the bond holders of General Motors? What happen to them when this admin denied their rights and took over the company? This doesn’t surprise me that this has happened. People are becoming more and more complacent with government’s encroachment on our rights/lives.

Pats on September 24, 2012 at 9:13 am


You’ve heard about turning up the heat of the water with the frog in it, one degree at a time. Right?

It’s called incrementalism, and it goes back to Woodrow Wilson, or maybe Lincoln.

Red Ryder on September 24, 2012 at 9:30 am

Whether you agree with the value of our space program or not the program was killed by Obama. Now if we want to send astronauts into space we have to rent seats on Russian space crafts. Which is another indication of Obama’s surrender to the Russians and practically all other foreign enemies.

Jerry G on September 24, 2012 at 9:52 am

Trees are valuable for reducing air pollution and can live many years to provide better air and beauty. They destroyed 400 living things for a few minutes that a hunk of useless metal needed to pass in to oblivion. It’s a JEWISH value to believe that all living things have a soul and are part of the Cosmic whole that ultimately unites with Hashem. Sound too “Eastern” for you? Too bad! Judaism is an EASTERN religion, except that part that was converted into pseudo-christian monasticism in the yeshivas. This is an abomination, just one more good reason for me to hate NASA. I have a pomegranate tree in my garden, it flowered late but flower it did. I love sitting there and observing the new, living, blossoms that appear daily and the beautiful ruby red fruit that glows in the sunlight which those flowers produce. If you don’t appreciate the superiority of such a gift from the Creator, I truly pity you.

Italkit on September 24, 2012 at 10:14 am

    They are killing living beauties for the sake of a machine, a thing, a THING that never was alive. This is a disgrace.

    I saw a picture of some the older trees. Giving shade and showing their beauty to people. They were giving the people oxygen, the breathe of life if you will. Those trees were also taking away that carbon dioxide that people do NOT need. But the trees they do need the carbon dioxide in order to live. We shared a cycle of life with the trees.

    Yes, we should pity those who do not see the serious error in MURDERING, yes murdering these living beings, those wonderful trees.

    Alabama Pride on September 24, 2012 at 1:48 pm

I wish we had an edit feature. MY syntax was off. I meant “…beautiful ruby red fruit, which those flowers produce, glowing in the sunlight.” Also I just felt the need to comment before I read the comments. In my last phrase “you” is generic and really would be better served by using “one” I was not criticizing anyone who posted so positively here although if anyone does post negatively, apply as needed.

Italkit on September 24, 2012 at 10:18 am

Listen to a tree

Tommy on September 24, 2012 at 10:24 am

I can’t see why they would cut down the trees just for this. The shuttle is just going to a useless museum that no one will probably ever visit. It’s not really anti-science. It’s not like it’s ever going to be used again or fly anywhere.

jerry doegen on September 24, 2012 at 12:34 pm

I’ve always believed that one of the cornerstones of science is keeping an open mind. The notion that somehow there is but ONE route, and one route only, strikes me as an absolutist, anti-science position. Surely, better alternatives are available (the govt need not destroy these trees)!

J.S. on September 24, 2012 at 12:36 pm

This government action requires an environmental impact statement. Someone should get a court order on this. As part of the at process there would need to be public hearings, etc.
these should be televised, etc. then in about two years the rusted piece of shuttle could be dismantled and taken to the museum in parts and reassembled inside the museum.

Also, someone should check if the shuttle needs to have its wings removed to get it inside the museum. If so then take them off and ship separate from the fuselage.

I am not a tree hugger, but it would save some trees.

Panhandle on September 24, 2012 at 12:52 pm

The real question is, “What’s a tree worth in EBT”…

Marc on September 24, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Great article Deb! Have an easy fast and L’ Shana Tova!

Aryeh on September 24, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Goes to show how important the environment really is to liberals.

FrenchKiss on September 24, 2012 at 1:15 pm


In all likelihood,this is a case of NIMBYism,in which affluent (white)areas with money and political clout were able to escape,and as usual,lower income and usually non-white areas get chosen for something undesirable.This is possibly an example of environmental racism.

Conservatives don’t like big government?Are you kidding Debbie?

Most conservatives love big government and regulations.

Look at the strong conservative lobbying to keep corporate welfare boondoggles such as farm subsidies,price supports, and rent-seeking government regulations that make it difficult or impossible to start a business.

Scott on September 24, 2012 at 2:36 pm

NASA is a good example of what happens when the government runs science.

It did poorly with no obvious return. The Space Shuttle was a prestige project. It did nothing to further our space program and the dollars and lives spent on it were wasted.

I’m not sure it worth celebrating – as we’re no longer going to space and the country has little to no drive in scientific exploration. Those days are gone.

And the Space Shuttle is an expensive form of nostalgia to the nation’s glory days.

NormanF on September 24, 2012 at 3:18 pm

I can only agree in part with DS’s assertion that, “The space shuttles–Endeavor and others–didn’t really do anything. They flew around and were an incredible waste of money.”

As with many space programs before, innovative products and advancements seem to have resulted, not necessarily from the flights themselves, but from the many layers of research and development throughout the course of each project.

While it is certainly possible that resulting innovations may well have occurred from the work of other industries and at a cheaper cost, it appears as though the space shuttle program has made its mark if the story at this link is truthful,

Full descriptions can be found this link regarding asserted advances in the following categories:

3-D Biotechnology, Artificial Heart, Blood Serum Research, Artificial Limbs, Lifesaving Light, Taking Temperatures, Better Balance, Faster Diagnostics, Tracking Vehicles on Earth, Rescue 911, Byte Out of Crime, Gas Gauges, Product Labeling, Keep Cool Under Fire, Fire Resistant Foam, Fire Sighting, Jeweler’s Gem, Jet Stripping, Quick Fit Fasteners, Computer Joysticks, Toys for Tots, Slick Products

I particularly laud the medical advances.

Assuming this article is the truth, perhaps it can be a source of some relief to DS’s angst; however, it is ironic that the NASA teams on one hand could be so brilliant in these regards, but could not resolve how to get the shuttle to its final resting place without marring the landscape and making such a detrimental environmental impact.

To disassemble and reassemble would seemingly would have been a much better option. Maybe NASA did not play a part in the transport of this machine, but if so, they had to know there was a better way.

JRay on September 24, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Debbie I agree that this is more to deal with property rights than black people not interested in science. As some one has already written, people get attached to a tree or trees especially if they grew up around those trees. Its funny how the residents in these areas are all angry about it but like Debbie mentioned again, the residents elected those city officials that allowed to occur. Not to go off at a tangent but look at the Rep. Maxine Waters that represents the urban area next to Inglewood, she was found not guilty but some staffer was the one that got the brunt of the sentencing. I therefore say to these residents and anywhere else liberals are in charge, You get the politics for the politician you voted for!

Mario on September 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Maybe if the folks behind this scheme had used a little imagination, they could have figured a way to transport the shuttle *elevated* 20-30 feet. It’s after all repeatedly been carried on the back of a modified 747, which puts it some 40 feet off the ground. In that way only a few tree tops would have had to be trimmed a tad. (Except for Palm trees, most southern California trees aren’t *that* tall.)

Growing up in Florida, I recall coming home to find my parents had cut down the two Ficus trees from the front lawn. (The trees look good for a while, but their roots can seriously damage a house’s foundations, so one by one they were cut down in the neighborhood.) Years later, it hurt when my apartment house cut down a tree just by my balcony. To do this *deliberately* to hundreds of trees to “clear a path” for the Shuttle is just wrong.

Raymond in DC on September 24, 2012 at 5:23 pm

A country that can kill/murder 1.5 million unborn babies can kill trees. Pray tell me, which is worse????

All unborn baby butcherers will stand before God in the great judgment day someday and their SENTENCE will be “an Eternity in hell to burn forever…” unless you repent and ASK the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive you of your sins and ASK Jesus to save you from hellfire. Amem

Last word on September 24, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Typical California LIB hypocrisy! This is the land of the “tree huggers” but when it comes to cutting down trees in Black neighborhoods, not-to-worry. When will African-Americans wake up and realize that their vote is being taken for granted!

I’m not saying they should vote Republican, but I’d highly recommend splitting their ballot. This notion that Democrats are the only ones who will represent their aspirations defies logic. Certainly, Republicans aren’t the total answer, but there are a few Republicans who are very sensitive to the aspirations of African-Americans.

Deb has it exactly right: ” You can bet that if the Space Shuttle went down the streets of Bel-Air or Beverly Hills, this would never happen.” LIBS are great at being socialist and “green” with other people’s money. When they have to pony up, they suddenly become very “Republican”.

California is noted for stringent building codes, vehicle emissions codes and all that. Yet the state is littered with “minority communities” where all these mandates are ignored because enforcing them would be seen as “racist”.

And they scratch their heads wondering why the state is going broke.

There is NO Santa Claus on September 25, 2012 at 12:30 am

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