I didn’t post anything Tuesday as I watched reports of the space shuttle Discovery being flown to and landing in Washington, D.C. I was too deeply saddened. Partly because all those people on the East Coast were getting to see it while once again the center of the country was left out. But mostly because it marked the end of an era, an era that began in 1957 with the launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik. There is more symbolism than I care to contemplate in the shelving of our space shuttles at the same time our government has reached a low point in its ability to function and in the respect of the American people. Where once we reached for the stars and no challenge was too great, we now sit flightless, locked in an internecine struggle for dominance in a system already broken. I grieve for the nation I once knew.