2010 July 05 Monday
NASA For Raising Muslim Self Esteem

Once upon a time in a now lost civilization the likes of Werner Von Braun graced NASA hallways. NASA's mission today? In an interview with al Jazeera, Barack Obama's NASA administrator Charles Bolden reveals what Obama tasked him to do with NASA: Inspire children, improve US foreign relationships, and boost Muslim self esteem. No mention of studying the planets, finding large dangerous asteroids on collision courses with Earth, launching satellites that can collect better data on climate trends, development of space telescopes, or development of better space launch vehicles.

"When I became the NASA administrator, [Obama] charged me with three things," NASA head Charles Bolden said in a recent interview with the Middle Eastern news network al-Jazeera. "One, he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math; he wanted me to expand our international relationships; and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering."

Obama is such a lightweight. But he continues to surprise. I obviously haven't lowered my estimation of the man far enough. Time to adjust downward.

Charles Bolden comes off looking like a lightweight as well. He's in charge of NASA (which, um, is supposed to put people into space, do space science, and also study Earth from space) and he managed to seriously say that raising Muslim self esteem about their scientific abilities is his chief priority. This shouldn't be on his priority list at all. A NASA administrator ought to have enough gravitas to avoid saying something so obviously silly.

The Muslim nations are a great untapped resource for space exploration?

"It is a matter of trying to reach out and get the best of all worlds, if you will, and there is much to be gained by drawing in the contributions that are possible from the Muslim (nations)," he said. He held up the International Space Station as a model, praising the contributions there from the Russians and the Chinese.

Can't we get some serious supervision in the US government? These people sound like grade school teachers indoctrinated in self esteem teaching ideology. Is this the result of the feminization of politics? Charles Bolden should be interviewed by Oprah or Dr. Phil about how science should be done in massive joint undertakings that enable everyone to feel they are scientists equal to the greatest minds in history.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2010 July 05 09:15 PM  Civilizations Decay

MarkyMark said at July 5, 2010 10:20 PM:

I see two separate things going on here:

1. this is yet more evidence that when Governments cut back because they don't have the money they cut back on all the wrong things (in this case NASA).

2. the truly bizarre notion of turning NASA into a muslim outreach organisation. Slash the budget if you must but don't turn NASA into something it can never be. NASA is science. NASA is the promise of exploration of new worlds. NASA is the hope that humans can somehow transcend our little earth and look outwards. Depressing.

Mthson said at July 5, 2010 11:14 PM:

Western liberals will never forgive Western nations for funding the bulk of human scientific advancement. They'd rather we all live in caves, because at least then we'd all be equal.

On the other hand, though... maybe this is for the best in some perverse naked ape type way... Muslim nations can be encouraged to produce science as best they can by praising their historical contributions... honey is better than vinegar.

Black Death said at July 6, 2010 6:46 AM:

"Obama is such a lightweight. But he continues to surprise. I obviously haven't lowered my estimation of the man far enough. Time to adjust downward."


Randall, I think you nailed it. Is this parody or what? Really, you can't make this stuff up. Muslims have made great contributions to science, mathematics and engineering - many of the stars have Arabic names, and terms such as algebra, alkali and, interestingly, alcohol, are derived from the Arabic. But these contributions ended about five centuries ago, when Europe went through, progressively, Reformation, Enlightenment, and Industrial Revolution. The Muslims are still stuck intellectually in the Dark Ages. I looked through the list of Nobel Prize winners in physics going all the way back to the beginning and couldn't find a single Muslim name. Hmmm, what does that tell us? Maybe, just maybe, that Muslims haven't made any significant recent contributions to science, math or engineering? Not that this will matter to our Community-Organizer-in-Chief, who would never let the facts get in the way of a little outreach and Kumbaiya.

Happy said at July 6, 2010 3:10 PM:

Everyone settle down. Plenty of muslim nations working on rocket technology. Some are even getting North Korean assistance. What could be wrong with that?

Randall Parker said at July 6, 2010 5:32 PM:

Black Death,

If I'd just come out and said a year ago that Obama was going set boosting Muslim self esteem as NASA's highest goal the liberals would have said I was up there with the conspiracy theorists who claim he wasn't born in America.


What a great observation. We should be celebrating Iranian missile tests. Obama could ask Congress for foreign aid for Iran to develop missiles. Why? Because it'll help them feel good about themselves and then they'll feel better about us.

no i don't said at July 7, 2010 4:46 PM:

I have to agree Randall. NASA's business is Science -Astronomy, Physics...- not politics or religion.

Somebody should tell Obama that there IS huge historic contribution to science, math, and engineering from the Arabs, but there's NO historic contribution to science, math, and engineering from the muslims. Just as there's no historic contribution to science, math and engineering from christians or any other major religious group.

Isn't it amazing how even presidents confuse nationalities, with religions, with races...

Among the cows in Iowa said at July 8, 2010 3:30 PM:

Muslim nations are a great source of rocket fuel. Maybe Obama is thinking about kerosene.

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