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NASA: Mission to Mecca?

The latest flap in the blogosphere is about NASA administrator Charles Bolden Jr.’s observation, in an interview with Al Jazeera, that President Obama wants his agency to conduct more outreach with what Bolden called “dominantly Muslim nations.”

“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,” Bolden said.

“Fatuousness,” Charles Krauthammer grumbled.

“The space program is being transformed into a tool of Obama foreign policy, which views American national greatness as an anachronism,” Elliott Abrams objected.

Others complained that Bolden had said that Muslim outreach was perhaps his “foremost” purpose, ahead even of space exploration itself.

In a written statement, the White House pointed out that Bolden was just talking about engaging “the world's best scientists and engineers as we work together to push the boundaries of exploration. Meeting that mandate requires NASA to partner with countries around the world like Russia and Japan, as well as collaboration with Israel and with many Muslim-majority countries. The space race began as a global competition, but, today, it is a global collaboration."

Fair enough. But I still found Bolden’s comment troubling, for a reason of my own: since when is it U.S. government policy to offer or refuse cooperation with various nations based on the religion their people practice?

Last time I checked, the Constitution expressly forbid the establishment of religion. How can it be consistent with that mandate and the deeply held political and cultural values that it expresses for the U.S. government to “reach out” to another government because the people it rules are mostly of a particular faith?

To be sure, the U.S. government has an interest in good relations with all the people of the world, regardless of their religion. We have, perhaps, a particular interest in combating hostility toward our country and its people among the Muslim faithful, because much terrorism is rooted in extreme Islamist ideology.

But does it follow that the U.S. government should seek cooperation on space projects with the government of a particular country explicitly because its people are mostly Muslim?
Doesn’t this put us in the position of categorizing nations by religion as opposed to other characteristics, such as whether they are democratic? We did not pursue space partnerships with Europe because it was “Christian” or Israel because it was Jewish, did we?

There are two risks here. The first is to encourage Islamic identity politics in states that already consider themselves Islamic -- Pakistan comes to mind. The second is to discourage those prospective space partners that do not accept the label of “Muslim” or “Muslim-majority” that the administration seems so eager to pin on them.

Take Indonesia. Back on Feb. 16, Bolden observed that “we really like Indonesia because the State Department, the Department of Education [and] other agencies in the U.S. are reaching out to Indonesia as the largest Muslim nation in the world. We would love to establish partners there.”

Note that, according to Bolden, it’s not just NASA that’s reaching out to Indonesia because it is a big “Muslim nation.” State and Education are, too. Indonesia does not, however, define itself as a Muslim country. Ninety percent of its people are, indeed, of that faith. Yet the country’s official flag and coat of arms do not include any Muslim symbols (in contrast to Turkey or Saudi Arabia). Its official ideology, Pancasila, is studiously nonsectarian. The national motto is “unity in diversity.”

Article I of the Indonesian Constitution establishes a republican form of government that recognizes the sovereignty of the people.” Article XI of that document declares, ecumenically, “The State shall be based upon the belief in the One and Only God. The State guarantees all persons the freedom of worship, each according to
his/her own religion or belief.”

Compare and contrast with the preamble of Pakistan’s Constitution: Whereas sovereignty over the entire Universe belongs to Almighty Allah alone, and the authority to be exercised by the people of Pakistan within the limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust; And whereas it is the will of the people of Pakistan to establish an order . . . Wherein the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, shall be fully observed; Wherein the Muslims shall be enabled to order their lives in the individual and collective spheres in accordance with the teachings and requirements of Islam as set out in the Holy Quran and Sunnah," etc.

To be sure, Islamism enjoyed a bit of a surge in Indonesian politics following the ouster of the Suharto regime in 1998. But Islamic parties have been on the wane more recently. The ones that espouse an Islamic state garnered only 17 percent of the vote in this year’s legislative elections. More pluralistic Muslim-based parties got about 12 percent.

It makes as much sense to define this vast, diverse, rapidly modernizing archipelago as “Muslim” as it would to define Brazil as Roman Catholic.

Better for NASA to say that we seek partnerships with all countries that respect the rights of their people, that share our pluralistic values and that seek, as we do, to understand the mysteries of space -- and leave it at that.

By  | July 7, 2010; 4:57 PM ET
Categories:  Lane  
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Comments

Hilarious: and where are you going to find world class rocket scientists in Muslim countries ? Most of these countries cannot make their electricity work.
Mr Obama is destroying the space program and eliminating the physical infrastructure for manned space flight that took 60 years to build. Trillions for his friends like the unions, but the US space program ? get rid of it, we do not have the 4-5 billion to keep it.
Not the only part of America Mr Obama will destroy.

Posted by: devluddite | July 7, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

As a younger person would write, OMFG, WTF is this?

Fatuousness doesn't even begin to cover it.

Posted by: bbface21 | July 7, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Hussein, we have a problem.

Posted by: adamnescot1 | July 7, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Has there been a news story about this, or are Bolden's observations not newsworthy?

Posted by: salinas57 | July 7, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

This whole story is the poster child for the saying "You just can't make this up!"

One substantive comment -- for the Director of NASA to be spending even a single moment worrying about how to do outreach to Muslim countries is beyond stupifying, when that agency has so much going on these days winding down the Constellation program and trying to figure out what's next and how to operate on a whole lot less money. Absolutely stunning incompetence from yet another Obama appointee.

Posted by: CREEBOLD | July 7, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

This whole story is the poster child for the saying "You just can't make this up!"

One substantive comment -- for the Director of NASA to be spending even a single moment worrying about how to do outreach to Muslim countries is beyond stupifying, when that agency has so much going on these days winding down the Constellation program and trying to figure out what's next and how to operate on a whole lot less money. Absolutely stunning incompetence from yet another Obama appointee.

Posted by: CREEBOLD | July 7, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

This whole story is the poster child for the saying "You just can't make this up!"

One substantive comment -- for the Director of NASA to be spending even a single moment worrying about how to do outreach to Muslim countries is beyond stupifying, when that agency has so much going on these days winding down the Constellation program and trying to figure out what's next and how to operate on a whole lot less money. Absolutely stunning incompetence from yet another Obama appointee.

Posted by: CREEBOLD | July 7, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

It is extremely curious, even bizarre, that few major news outlets have yet reported this. This is just further evidence, if you needed it, that President Obama's values do not align very well with those of many Americans.

Fatuous doesn't begin to describe this.

Posted by: publius29 | July 7, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Why do I only see fatuous comments here.

Posted by: oemar001 | July 8, 2010 2:07 AM | Report abuse

We can't get this communist regime out of office fast enough! Obama requires the cross of Christ to be covered before he will give a speach in its presence. He returns the bust of Churchill that was given as a gift to our nation by England and the reason he did this is because England was partially responsible for the establishment of Israel as a nation. He bows to the Saudi King. He frequently refers to the "HOLY" Koran. He tells the world we are not a Christian nation. He sides with the terrorists against Israel. He sides with the terrorists against our soldiers and war heroes. He sends our hard earned tax dollars to the terrorists. He will not "allow" his administration to say "Islamic Terrorist". In defiance of the US Constitution, he appoints a guy to spend our tax dollars to make a religious group feel good about themselves. Muslims are a religios group, not a nation. This administration is at war with its citizens who are white, Christian and law abiding and it is at war with one of its own states (AZ) and they are confident they can impose a dictatorship over us as we are too stupid to understand what is happening, too reliant on government handouts to vote against them, and too lazy and self absorbed to bother becoming so politically active that we throw their sorry butts out of office without further ado!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: ronniewalton | July 8, 2010 2:25 AM | Report abuse

Why do I only see fatuous comments here.
Posted by: oemar001
=======================================
Maybe because you can't read?

Posted by: nahumkorda | July 8, 2010 2:36 AM | Report abuse

So Lane is worried about dealing with certain countries on constitutional grounds? How is this, in effect, establishing a religion?

I'm left wondering if Lane does not think that we are in the middle of major culture clash (in which case, I wouldn't know what to say...). It strikes me as only too obvious that the reason for targeting predominantly muslim countries for outreach programs is because we are having some, well, "issues" with many of them lately. I have yet to see how this could be viewed as propping up Islam as the One True Faith. So far, this accusation seems rather weak.

Posted by: jyhume | July 8, 2010 4:11 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps ,in the present circumstances it would be rather difficult to find a word which is more misunderstood than the word 'Islam' both in the East and West!
Hence l too found the article quite interesting and may be even quite hard not to let a smile escape me!
May be my brief background helps matters;having lived in Kenya for the first two decades of my life ,and as non-practising Muslim l studied mostly Physics and Maths till high school and also studied electronics at Liverpool University in the U.K in the early seventies.Therafter,l studied a variety of other subjects and in my search for the truth l am now a praticing Muslim and author of hitherto unpublised booklet that traces my journey towards my change of lifestyle from that of a non-practising to a practising Muslim-----nad l have no regrets or confusion.
One thing that l would like to mention is that there is no compulsion in Islam to be a Muslim and an individual becomes a Muslim of his/her own free will---persoanlly in my case too and indeed the reason for the survival of Islam for the past several centuries.
And secondly,l am convinced that Islam is very expansive terminolgy that permits an individual or a community to be secular if so desires but is yet more comprehensive and illuminating.
And lastly Islamic concepts and practice are thoroughly scientific------no kidding!

Posted by: mafzalrajputLahore | July 8, 2010 4:26 AM | Report abuse

Muslims need to be made feel good about their religion? We should be just the opposite because Muslims are involved in daily terror attacks/plots targeting civilians.

Posted by: rajimali | July 8, 2010 4:45 AM | Report abuse

NASA mission is reaching out to Martians not Muslims.

Posted by: sam51 | July 8, 2010 4:50 AM | Report abuse

It's a "flap in the blogosphere" because the Post refuses to actually cover the story.

Posted by: Jmacaco4 | July 8, 2010 5:46 AM | Report abuse

The problem isn't Muslims with low self esteem. The problem is Muslim supremacists.

And good luck on engaging scientists and engineers in Muslim countries in our space program. The highest intellectual respect in Muslim countries is given to those who have memorized the Koran. Scientists and engineers pray for a job in Europe or America or at least a job with a western company.

Posted by: corco02az | July 8, 2010 6:25 AM | Report abuse

I'm offended. Why isn't NASA reaching out to Baptists?

Posted by: edmondsonpr | July 8, 2010 6:54 AM | Report abuse

Why do we treat the Muslims like infants?

They are like babies crying because they are victims of the world, so lets make it better by reminding them they once knew math and science---before the exportation of terrorism and techniques of beheading.

Posted by: edmondsonpr | July 8, 2010 6:59 AM | Report abuse

We live in a world where money rules. This is not about religion.

The budget deficit continues to skyrocket - so the government is simply looking to rich Muslim governments who are looking for international prestige to diversify the cost of the expensive space programs.

Posted by: cmecyclist | July 8, 2010 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Wow, the Post blogs are infested with people who first and foremost, hate.

Posted by: rbe1 | July 8, 2010 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Obama just cannot wait to give the Muslims our technology secrets and other vital information. He is a naiive " child of the world " who wants to be loved by all. He ignores evil, he has failed at most attempts to engage the world and the American people have lost faith in him. Like the "new Coke" from years ago..the advertising was great but the finished product was a huge disappointment. Obama is just another defective product from the Axelrod assemblyline, backed by the mainstream media but no longer popular with the American people. Thats why the ratings are going down for MSNBC, CNN, the New York Times etc all the outlets that shoved the incompetent Obama down our throats.

Posted by: JUNGLEJIM123 | July 8, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Where is the supprise here? Mecca is the most importent place for a Muslim.

Posted by: jdonner2 | July 8, 2010 7:27 AM | Report abuse

obama admin has officially jumped the shark

Posted by: dummypants | July 8, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Indonesia is a very important country: Kenyan president Hussein spent his childhood there. Therefore NASA business should be conducted under Sharia rules.

Posted by: Conrad_Hechter | July 8, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

This column is beyond fatuousness, all right - only it's the column and the absurdly overblown interpretation that Mr. Lane puts on Charlie Bolden's comments.

When I was Director of International Relations for NASA, we were routinely asked if there was something we could do with country X that both made scientific sense and could be used to "decorate" a VIP visit or otherwise complement US foreign policy initiatives.

There *were* exceptions, of course - like the flight of a Saudi prince on the Shuttle, during the Reagan years - but the overwhelming majority of NASA's international cooperative activities accomplished significant scientific purposes *and* advanced broader US interests.

I'm sure that is as true today as it was then. The fact that Mr. Bolden used the term "predominantly Muslim" to describe the area of interest in this case, during an interview with Al Jazeera, strikes me as no more than a recognition of the fact that NASA's scientific relationship with Israeli scientists and institutions is already solidly in place, while there is much more that could be done with others in the region.

Peter G. Smith
NASA International Relations
1979-96, Director 1991-94

Posted by: Pete11 | July 8, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

What good is reaching out to anyone when President Obama has scrapped our new manned launching system? NASA needs a mission. After that if people from other nations are qualified they should be promoted to come on. However their religious affiliations are not a qualification.

Posted by: bobbo2 | July 8, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I'd reach out to them alright. And the last thing they'd see would be a mushroom cloud.

Posted by: rcubedkc | July 8, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure that is as true today as it was then. The fact that Mr. Bolden used the term "predominantly Muslim" to describe the area of interest in this case, during an interview with Al Jazeera, strikes me as no more than a recognition of the fact that NASA's scientific relationship with Israeli scientists and institutions is already solidly in place, while there is much more that could be done with others in the region.

Peter G. Smith
NASA International Relations
1979-96, Director 1991-94

Posted by: Pete11

========================================

Outreach to the scientific community around the world is one thing, but that's not what he said. “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,” Bolden said.

Since when did self-esteem had anything to do with NASA's mission?

Posted by: bbface21 | July 8, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

This President is determined to level the playing field. He considers himself a President of the world. He thinks that because he occupies the office and won the election, he can do whatever he wants. Space is unimportant to him. Staying in power, votes are. His interests, his party's and supporters interests are number one. Not the interests of the American people as a whole. He who controls space will control this planet. Obama appears to have conceded this to Japan, China and Russia. I assume manned missions will resume when the Muslim countries have caught up with the US. I question whether the American people realize the damage this Marxist is doing to this country in every area.

Posted by: Wes69 | July 8, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Maybe we can lure Osama out of his cave to lecture and consult with NASA............

Well Obama has managed to emasculate NASA and its sole mission of sending Americans into space.

NASA's budget was cut because we didn't have enough money to keep the shuttle program going. But we do have enough tax dollars for NASA to see that the muslims start to feel good about themselves? Since when did they go into psychiatry?

I don't think this ridiculous aspiration should be any part of our US American space program.

Now the White House is walking back the original suggestions for the MAIN mission of NASA. Don't believe the back track. Read the original comments.

Obama stepped way over the line with his racist comments. It shows his stupidity, bias and smallmindedness. He is an embarassment as a president. And his concept of NASA's misssion is bizarre.

Posted by: mlemac | July 8, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

This is yet another example of how this campus President is simply out of touch with reality.

What's next?

"Mullahs in Space"?

Posted by: AlongTheWatchTowers | July 8, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

First I will post the text from the First Amendment. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

So establishing relations with a nation based on their religion has nothing to do with the first amendment because there is no law being passed by Congress for it to happen. If you disagree with me please, by all means form a rational argument that doesn't resort to name calling.

Second, what the heck is NASA doing meddling in international diplomacy. NASA's priorities are screwed up as it is without this kind of nonsence. NASA's job is to do the best job they can to develope technology related to space, if that means going to a "Muslim" Nation so be it. But, they should be going there for the right reasons and not to try to make another nation "feel good."

Posted by: phntsm | July 8, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

obama admin has officially jumped the shark

Posted by: dummypants | July 8, 2010 7:42 AM |

Wrong analogy. Jumping the shark would indicate they were trying to improve ratings. The correct analogy would be "sinking the ship".

Posted by: Glock23 | July 8, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

NASA bent over backwards to put the "first Muslim in space", and what was his central contribution? Obtaining a fatwa as to how he should go about praying to Mecca, seeing as he would be passing overhead at 60,000 mph and it's a little hard to keep pointed in the right direction the whole time.

Seriously.

When you are dealing with a mashed-up religious/political system like Islam, which actually claims that the sun touches the Earth where it sets, and that every scientific outcome only happens because Allah wants it that way (i.e. water could stop freezing at 0 degrees one day if Allah gets tired of it), it's not too surprising to discover you don't really need them to pitch in on the scientific stuff.

Posted by: zippyspeed | July 8, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Another Obama idiot. And the lefties are still trying to convince us that Obama is not a Muslim.

Posted by: shewholives | July 8, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I wonder what happened in some of your lives to have made you so angry, miserable, small-minded, xenophobic, and short-sighted. You live in a small, miserable world.

Posted by: jckdoors | July 8, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

He's a Muslim. All this effort to court Muslims. When we SHOULD be sending this GARBAGE to their Virgin Goats, this THING in the White House, wants to give them HUGS.
He was BORN a Muslim. His Father was Muslim. His Step Father was Muslim. His Mother converted to Islam. He grew up in Muslim Kenya and Muslim Indonesia. He attended Muslim Schools. He learned about the GREAT SATAN and the LITTLE SATAN. He knelt on his Prayer rug, facing Mecca, and Prayed to ALLAH, 5 times a day. He went to MOSQUE.
These are FACTS. Cold, hard, indisputable FACTS.
Everything he does, confirms this.
Ladies and Gentlemen. We have a FOX in the HEN HOUSE.
WAKE UP!

Posted by: GoomyGommy | July 8, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

disregarding the lunacy of the NASA Chief being concerned with Isalmic relations:

Posted by: mafzalrajputLahore wrote***


One thing that l would like to mention is that there is no compulsion in Islam to be a Muslim and an individual becomes a Muslim of his/her own free will---persoanlly in my case too and indeed the reason for the survival of Islam for the past several centuries.
And secondly,l am convinced that Islam is very expansive terminolgy that permits an individual or a community to be secular if so desires but is yet more comprehensive and illuminating.
And lastly Islamic concepts and practice are thoroughly scientific------no kidding!
*****************************************
I agree NO KIDDING!!! More like ARE YOU KIDDING?

Isalm allows you to be secular? Becomes a muslim of their own free will? unless you want to be a second class citizen , beheaded or relegated to a slave...(it's in the Koran) Might want to tell that to christian relief workers. OH WAIT, you can't. THEY WERE MURDERED.

Posted by: theduck6 | July 8, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure that if Muslims issue a fatwa against space exploration Obama's NASA would give it up.
The anti-intellectualism of Islam is no place where a science-based organization should seek co-operation.

Posted by: sperrico | July 8, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Your comment on the Constitution and establishment of religion is factually incorrect.

Madison's original wording of what is now the First Amendment was changed with the express intent of making sure that state governments could endorse religion as they saw fit. Indeed, Massachusetts had state supported clergy up until the early 1830s.

Yes, I know you are focused here on the federal government. But a federal government bureaucrat speaking about outreach to Muslims doesn't constitute an establishment of religion.

By the way, what is the constitutional justification for the existence of NASA?

Posted by: gkissel1 | July 8, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Could Harvard please recruit Obama to be its president? Obama's Muslim "outreach" fits right in with the ivory tower, elitist mentality, not with the real world. Please, Harvard, take him before he inflicts sharia law on America.

Posted by: judithod | July 8, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

OMG! A leftist President surrounds himself with other clueless leftist ideologues who play identity politics by pandering to Islamists. Who could've possibly predicted this?! I like nothing better than Obama's cohorts going "on the record" and hope they never stop talking. They're walking, talking campaign commericials for Republicans.

Posted by: pjwg1 | July 8, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Its another perfect example of Obama's world view. The Muslim nations have been victimized by the west for far too long. We (the West) are at fault for any terrorism, they are rightly justified in lahing out at the US and Europe. We need to make it up to them.

Our President hates his own country and thinks we are the cause of most of the worlds problems. He is a buffoon.

Posted by: dmattea | July 8, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

When the Apollo project became a 'moondoggle' 'waste of money' in the late 60s and early 70s, it was the conservatives who led the move to shut the program down. We were planning a Mars mission for 1982, a real 'wheel' type space station, etc.... all canceled.

When The Space Shuttle was starved for development money between 1972 and 1981, it was conservatives who starved it. Look up the original plans for it, compare it to the finished product, then look up the votes on it. Please!

President George H. W. Bush proposed a space program in 1989, calling for flights to the Moon and Mars; it was completely ignored.

George W. Bush proposed Constellation in 2004, then underfunded it by 35% for five years. It took those five years to get one - ONE! - test flight - of just the first stage. (The same five years between 1961 and 1966 got the Saturn V booster built, the LM 75% completed, five more Mercury flights and ten Gemini missions.) His term was also when the Shuttle retirement plan was finalized, and there was going to be a minimum five-year hiatus in US manned space flight anyway. Just like between 1975 and 1981.

Everyone wants a space program, all of a sudden, after thirty years of ignoring it? We can have one any time - any time we're actually willing to pay for one. Robert Heinlein stated, "The Solar System is yours, any time - C. O. D."

Mr. Obama has stated that private companies need to get into the commercial space flight business, exactly what every conservative would normally say. Correct? Business should be doing what it can, and government only does what is left? I will say we should be helping business get started - helping with design, testing, setting safety rules and inspecting, lending of launch facilities - then getting out of their way. And hoping business does a better job at launching spacecraft safely than they've done drilling into the seafloor in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Shuttle was a money-losing failure as a commercial freight lifter, and any one who's kept even half an eye on it since 1981 knows that.

The Shuttle is still an experimental aircraft during liftoff and landing - it's got only fourteen or so hours of flight time in liftoff mode and less than 200 hours landing. It's killed a crew on takeoff and another one landing.

Me? I've been a manned space flight fan all this time, and it's been a lonely business. The single biggest mistake was throwing away all the Apollo technology.

NOW everyone starts nattering about how we should be doing something. Where were y'all in 1975, or 1985, or 1995, or 2005? Welcome to the party, folks; it's about time everyone showed up.

Posted by: tanzerguy | July 8, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

It shouldn't be surprising that the Obamamessiah wants Muslims in Muslim majority countries to feel better about their historical contributions to science. The notion of spending massive amounts of resources trying to improve the self-esteem of lackwits is an article of faith for America's left. Why should Obama not extend the principle to the rest of the world.

The real question that Muslims ought to be asking themselves is why their contributions to science ended about seven hundred years ago? What is it about how their societies organise themselves that strangled science after the 14th century and have yet to bring them anything resembling a renaissance?

Facing up to that, however, and more especially making the changes to get back on track requires committment and a willingness to confront those who extol the civic behaviours that have kept them in the middle ages. That's not improving self esteem. That's tough love. If Obama wasn't such an affirmative action idiot and really did care about Muslims, that's what he'd be trying to do. Instead...

Posted by: plaasjaapie | July 8, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Islamic Countries have lots of brilliant minds, just check out any top graduate school in the USA. In their own countries, they are limited to theoretical research due to the lack of resources, but that doesn't mean they are unable to help NASA. I willing to bet, that if you scan the names of the current contributors to the Space Effort the name Mohammad will come up multiple times.
In any case, NASA was created to be a propaganda tool in the Cold War, and will serve that purpose again to impress and hopefully include the Islamic World in the march of progress. In any case, the countries with the most disposable income available are the Islamic Gulf States. If we can get a few billion for the space effort from them by treating them with respect its a double bonus. Its never helpful to treat other countries with disrespect, its always childish and costs the USA lives and treasure.
This is yet another example of Right Wing Childish Behavior masked as some form of wisdom. You can not wish the world into the form you want, but you can create a space for those willing to change to occupy. Its true that many times they will be unwilling or unable to take the opportunity, but the one time out of one hundred makes it worth while. If you do it with mutual respect for the other cultures and your own, then it costs nothing, and improves the world.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | July 8, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm surprised no one questions the authority of Obama to repurpose a federal agency in this way.

As broad as the chief executive's descretion is in deciding how to pursue the stated goals of the agency, there must be some limits on that descretion. After all, NASA was established and funded by Congress for a purpose. It's hard to see how any reasonable person can get from NASA's charter and purpose to 'making Muslims 'feel good' about themselves.

I recognize that the last three presidents have exceeded thier authority on a regular basis; but this seems to be an extreme example. Can the resourses of any agency of the governemnt be used by the president in any way he chooses? Can he decide that the primary focus of HHS needs to be providing habitat for seals? Can he decide that the NOAA needs to focus on fighting AIDS in Africa?

If it's ok for the President to decide that the job of NASA is muslim outreach then it's a fair question if there is any check on his power.

Posted by: sjm591 | July 8, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Unless it helps in calculating how much semtex one needs to strap on to effectively kill women and children at a Chuck E Cheese, I don't think a majority of Mohammedens have much use for mathematics and science.

Posted by: luca_20009 | July 8, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

The chief American value is to relate to countries without regard to their religion. It was one of the two unique advances of the USA from its origin, the other was that crimes of the father could paid for by his children.
While its not normal to reach out to a group of countries because of their religion, the current case is that the USA has problems with these same countries due to reasons related to their religion.
BY the way, I saw the interview, and its completely clear that the Head of NASA meant that reaching out to the Islamic countries was his top public relations priority. There was no hint, and there is no plan to spend significant resources on the effort, and every commentator knows that. Its so sad that Flaux is so eager to twist anything to hurt the left or the Democratic Party that they lie so eagerly.
News You should look up the Daily Show on the Subject.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | July 8, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Pete 11 - well said but frankly a waste of your obviously valuable time.

The anti Muslim Obamaphobes who write on this paper and their supporters commenting in these columns would stone Ronald Reagan if he came back and said anything good about the current President.

They are a little bit scary I agree - but hey, so was the KKK and it is a laughing stock now.


Posted by: PeterBTaylor | July 8, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

"The chief American value is to relate to countries without regard to their religion."


The idiocy of this statement in a previous comment is astonishing. (And then the commenter contradicts himself in his third sentence.)

I guess we are looking at different interviews. We all heard Bolden substituting an unauthorized mission for NASA's real mission.

Posted by: gkissel1 | July 8, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Forget the Muslim comment, forget whether Constellation should be canceled, the fact is that this administration, through every action it has taken, has sent a clear message that it doesn't support human space exploration. The President may give a 20 minute speech at KSC and say a lot or pretty words about asteroids and going to Mars (even invoking the Kennedy phrase "return them safely to Earth") but the fact is his Feb. budget is still the principle governing document for the direction the Agency has to follow. Until the Administration, through the budget process or direction from OMB, tells NASA to develop a strategic plan and road map to conduct a unified human space exploration program (whatever the target, whatever architecture is appropriate), and then supports that plan with budget and Presidential direction to make sure it is carried out, the Agency remains on a path to nowhere regarding human space flight beyond low Earth orbit. The emphases stated by Bolden just shows what Obama's true priorities are for NASA. Having NASA conduct educational programs is fine, it always has, but is NASA the Dept of Education? Promoting international relations is good when it advances the space goals of the US, but is NASA the State Department? The reality is this Administration doesn't want to conduct a human space exploration program beyond low Earth orbit, but like everything else it does, it will blow as much smoke and tell whatever lies it has to try and placate its detractors, while really advancing their true agenda.

Posted by: 5215 | July 8, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

NASA's outreach efforts to Muslims could have unintended consequences.

The Muppet Show's "Pigs In Space?"

Not Halal....

Ms. Piggy would probably also be stoned to death for not wearing a burka.

Posted by: RaiderDan | July 8, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Not surprisingly, the above article leaves out that Mr. Bolden stated that his "foremost" mission was Muslim outreach. Wouldn't want to validate the criticisms of conservatives by noting that Mr. Bolden said NASA's top priority is not US space exploration, rather it is making Muslims feel good about themselves. So naturally the above "author" left that part out. Also not mentioned is how this outreach is intended to make Muslims feel good about their past scientific achievements. Since when did it become the job of the US space program to make Muslims feel good about millenia old achievements?
Perhaps we should be goading majority-Muslim countries into accepting a different ideology, instead of one that has prevented any serious advancement for the past thousand yeras.

Posted by: Bob65 | July 8, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Maybe it would be a good way to start a dialogue with Muslims and make them "feel good" about their contributions to science and math. Flown on that airliner built in Mecca? Driven that automobile built in Riyadh? Used that software program developed in Beirut? Watched that good, entertaining movie filmed in Tehran? Used that leading edge phone or computer invented in Damascus lately. Ya, there is a discussion to be had out there on what the Muslim culture is focused on and what it doesn't seem to understand.

Posted by: Husker78 | July 8, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Islamic Countries have lots of brilliant minds, just check out any top graduate school in the USA. In their own countries, they are limited to theoretical research due to the lack of resources, but that doesn't mean they are unable to help NASA.

========================================

I'm all for NASA going on campus and recruiting such students. That's the kind of outreach it should be doing, not worrying that Muslims don't feel good about themselves.

Posted by: bbface21 | July 8, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Please keep in mind to whom the NASA fellow was speaking. This appears to be a case of the gentleman buttering up his audience. It should also be noted that exaggeration is assumed in Arabic political speech.

The question that should be asked is which country is likely to win admiration and respect for their space program, a NASA bureaucracy administering grants to private firms or a Chinese space program actually trying to get to the moon.

Posted by: ecs1 | July 8, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Anyone can make a gaffe. Fair enough. Sometimes you can apologize, and the other side is merciless in reminding you about it nonetheless. What would be amazing in this case is if someone didn't realize how idiotic this comment was, about making Muslim countries feel good about what they've done. NASA?? That's a goofy enough assignment for the State Dept., but for NASA it's just weirder than weird.

Posted by: yourstruly1991 | July 8, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: oemar001
Why do I only see fatuous comments here.
=======================================
Posted by: nahumkorda
Maybe because you can't read?
***************************************

No, it is because he can't comprehend.

Posted by: MikeJ9116 | July 8, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I have to give props to the "Hussein we have a problem" post.

REALLY CLEVER. Hehehehe. good stuff.

Posted by: gconrads | July 8, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: rbe1
Wow, the Post blogs are infested with people who first and foremost, hate.
******************************************

Hate? Are you serious? What is your next card to play? The race card? You Obamabots are really having a rough time of it. Obama's, and his appointees', incompetence is shining for all to see so you have to the all purpose "hate card" since you can't defend this most recent stupidity from the Obama regime.

Posted by: MikeJ9116 | July 8, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Clearly, this article is Islamaphobic and anti-Islamic - everybody whose reading it is also too - in fact, if you ever questioned the sanity of a religion/death cult which preaches hate, glorifies martyrs, pushes for jihad, sharia law, and fatwas, produces upstanding citizens like Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Hezbollah, Hamas, and a 100 hundred other terrorist groups plus model nations like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya, just to name a few, then clearly you are anti-Islamic too. Don't call it medieval, or a 'bit undeveloped.' Listen to our liberal friends, they got it right, we're the bad ones, the ones openly claiming to be dedicated to killing you, are the good ones.

Thanks lefties, we appreciate it that.

Posted by: vmitchell49 | July 8, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

"Mullahs in space"...five times a day the space vehicle will have to point exactly towards mecca.
Obama was a muslim for more than half of his life, specially the first half, the experience of which stays with u for rest of ur life. His room mate at harward were muslims from pakistan. Just because he found jesus before lauching his political career does not mean he does not have sympathy for what he was before.

Posted by: iluvWP | July 8, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Some one (muslim) also made comments that the top students at US science & engineering school are muslims. Really? Its all chinese,indians and some russians besides ofcoure, americans.
Get real! NASA is on mission to find rocket scienctist in islamic republic? They better chance of finding intelligent life on Mars!

Posted by: iluvWP | July 8, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Obama and Kennedy on The Last Frontier

Kennedy Speech on Sending men to the Moon.

The conclusion:

Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it.

He said, "Because it is there."

Well, space is there, and we're going to climb it, and the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. And, therefore, as we set sail we ask God's blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked.

Thank you.

John F. Kennedy - September 12, 1962

Obama’s “Feel Good Speech” to the NASA Administrator

"When I became the NASA administrator -- or before I became the NASA administrator -- he charged me with three things.

One was 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 ... and math and engineering," Bolden said in the interview. (Foxnews.com)

Kennedy started us on the way to the stars; Obama drags us back down to Third World appeasement.

And, non-Muslim countries? …. Fuggeddaboudit!

Posted by: jgfox39 | July 8, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately Mr. Smith despite your "impeccable" pedigree it speaks for itself. Joined the agency during the Carter years! Director during Bush Sr. and Clinton era! You must forgive I and the rest of the unwashed masses for feeling the way we do. NASA's primary mission is not international relations despite the fact that the nature of its operations makes it a secondary or tertiary responsibility. When people or without jobs or struggling to make ends meet the last thing we want to hear is a government agency overstepping its boundaries. There are plenty of other government and non-government agencies that can "reach out" to Islamic nations without overstepping their boundaries (i.e. UN, USAID, IMF, etc). It is precisely your mindset and "expertise" that has helped enable the decline of this great Nation. I dont recall JFK reaching out to the Communist nations when seeking to make lunar travel a reality or am I incorrect? Do us a favor enjoy your retirement sir.

Posted by: sstrengari | July 8, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Wow, the Post blogs are infested with people who first and foremost, hate.

Posted by: rbe1 | July 8, 2010 7:16 AM
*******************************************

We should be like the Obamazombies. Only thing they hate is the truth. Nominated a canidate that didn't meet constitutional requirements. Allowed him to buy his way into the white house, not that I was excited about democrat McCain. It was evident over two years ago he was a muslim marxist. Where were the media when you needed them. Now it's taken the Globe magazine to break the story.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll1ihGd3lCo

.

Posted by: Canopus | July 8, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Smith,

You are obviously an educated man but it's unfortunate that you choose to carry the water for an administration led by a President that clearly stated in his presidential campaign that "Words Matter". President Obama is a trained attorney whose main gift is manipulation of words in order to make a case. The fact that Obama’s point man at NASA was giving an interview on Aljazeera broadcast to the Arab world magnifies the point “words matter” even more.

Now we have the spin doctors offering code words like "observed", or postulating that “what he was simply “trying” to say was we need to reach out to all countries…”

Bolden is representing the US space program and stated his three core objectives as dictated by the President – period. The second objective he sated was “expand international relationships” - that should have been all that needed to be said. The fact that the President specifically ordered reaching out to Arab/Muslim countries was not necessary and to make matters worse to do so to help “them feel better about themselves in science and math”? - Ridiculous in the extreme!

Why can't you call a spade a spade - are you a paid PR consultant or just another Obama voter who can’t remove the rose colored glasses? You do yourself a disservice by trying to spin something that can't be spun. We may not you’re your education or chops but we are definitely not knuckle draggers as your posit suggests. Bolden and the President owe NASA and the tax payers who fund NASA an immediate apology for their gross lack of judgment.

Posted by: bolt55 | July 8, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Hypothesis: Somewhere along the line, Charles Bolden and George W. Bush had the same English teacher. That teacher should be placed inside the next probe sent to explore the Kuiper belt.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | July 8, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

GoomyGommy, are you the hen AKA Chicken Little? This outreach to the Muslim world could have the positive effect of tempering the influence of radicals who want to keep Islam buried in the middle ages. There doesn't seem to be a downside to having such a policy and I don't believe it will drastically change the way NASA performs its mission.

Posted by: CMAN27 | July 8, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

NASA's new motto: "One small step for man, a giant leap for ALLAH!"

I wonder if the next Christian President can direct NASA to perform outreach to the Christian world and highlight Christian achievements?

Or would THAT violate the separation of church and state?

Posted by: MikesAmerica | July 8, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Muddy_Buddy_2000 wrote: In any case, NASA was created to be a propaganda tool in the Cold War, and will serve that purpose again to impress and hopefully include the Islamic World in the march of progress.

------------

You're entitled to your opinion, but not your facts. NASA was created to replace the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) in 1958 because NACA was limited to the atmosphere. The US space program and the X-15 space plane began to explore extra-atmospheric about that time, and a new agency with a new mission was needed.

NACA was very important -- it led research in airfoils (wings to most of you) and other aspects of flight, and so it was a natural extension of its mission to go to space.

When you have a false premise, you have a false conclusion.

Your other false premise is that mutual respect and kumbaya-thought will lead to peace, harmony and kittens in world affairs.

We respect the nations of Islam -- and have pulled their chestnuts out of the fire countless times (e.g., Bosnia, Aceh in Indonesia, Kuwait, the Saudis, etc.) -- but they have been at war with the West since the 7th century. Islam has a world-view that rejects any other religion or secular vision. Under Islam, Christians, Jews, Buddhists and others face a choice of converting to Islam, slavery or 2nd class citizenship. I'm not prejudiced, I'm simply quoting their tenets.

I, for one, don't like the choices. I want to remain free to follow my conscience.

Posted by: spamagnet987 | July 8, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I am an adult. I have a brain, I think with my brain and I do not automatically assign blame because someone is a Republican. So I remember back when the cold war was hot, when Europe and our military were positive Russia was going to attack via Germany and start WWIII our then REPUBLICAN President (Ronnie) kept giving speeches about using NASA and colleges and hospitals to find common ground with RUSSIAN COMMUNISTS. Not the head of Nasa but the President. Well basically I thought gee good idea, Republican (curse, curse) but not bad. Try to make the government of an "enemy" understand there is common ground, some progress can be shared - and gee whiz we now have an international space station and once the shuttle program ends we will be using other countries for rides into space and we are pretty friendly with this communist country.

Fast forward to now and Russia is not the enemy we once feared but the militant arm of the Muslim world is all for creating division. So when going to different venues - the head of NASA (not the President or Vice President) tailors his talking points to get across the fact that when you separate religion from the mix there are many ways their countries and ours can co-exist or even cooperate. This interview was with Arab TV so the remarks were made with this as a possibility for common ground.

However suddently most uneduated people and many Republicans now refuse to consider that perhaps building a bridge to foster peace is never a bad thing but simply an avenue of possibility. Because this is a Democrat President they pretend any and all ideas, thoughts, words and deeds are evil and destined to destroy our country. Their thinking is unAmerican and will destroy us far quicker. We saw in the last administration that the unquestioned march to war was the wrong thing. We've learned we are not any safer by locking up bad people and torturing them because that just encourages more people to become bad and hate us. We know our health care needs to improve and that insurance companies do not have our best interests at heart. We know that big oil companies are looking for any way to avoid paying for their spills, that Wall Street does not want you or I to prosper but they want their bonuses and parties. So who let all that happen? Could it be GWB - our first and only President with a degree in BUSINESS didn't do so hot so why not in the interest of being an American try to work together - try to find middle ground, give each other and our President the benefit of the doubt before saying no. Oh I forgot Republicans are the only ones who know all the answers even if they have refused to tell anyone the answers for the last 8 years before this POTUS started. Grow up and be an American - out of many we are one. I don't have all the right answers, neither do you but together we can find the right answers. I've been playing the game right for 60+ years - can you say the same?

Posted by: Lemon7221 | July 8, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Another case of let's bend over backwards to them, what BS

Posted by: greenstheman | July 8, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Another case of let's bend over backwards to them, what BS

Posted by: greenstheman | July 8, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Between suing Americans and bowing down to Jihadis, turning NASA into a Muslim feel good session, ignoring the problems in the gulf, unemployment, destruction to the environment, ........... hello Obama, anyone home?

Posted by: shewholives | July 8, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

GoomyGommy, are you the hen AKA Chicken Little? This outreach to the Muslim world could have the positive effect of tempering the influence of radicals who want to keep Islam buried in the middle ages. There doesn't seem to be a downside to having such a policy and I don't believe it will drastically change the way NASA performs its mission.

Posted by: CMAN27 | July 8, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse
----------------------
Incredibily naive.

Posted by: shewholives | July 8, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Although a 9'th century muslim scholar had a big role in consolidating works on what is now high school algebra, the muslim contribution to modern science is usually overestimated by the masses and our science illiterate leaders. The physics behind space flight and orbital mechanics was developed by Galileo, Newton, Lagrange, Laplace, and some other European's. The ex goose steppers from nazi Germany's V2 program created the technology that made it happen. Obama may have a good academic bachground in law, but he is clueless on science. Big problem today, our elected leaders have very limited education; ie lawyers.
The only thing the muslims might assist on would be blowing up a space capsule if something went very wrong.

Posted by: jm125 | July 8, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I feel like I am living in the old Soviet Union. In the midst of famine there are record harvests! Shortages and breadlines yet the people rejoice because the live in a worker's paradise! Instead of blaming the real culprits they continue to blame the bourgeoisie and kulaks (Bush and conservatives or the liberal boogeymen du jour). Lemon and the Mr. Smiths figure by blaming a mediocre president and opposing views they excuse themselves for their side's shortcomings. Were you the dumb child who touched the hot stove more than once? Bush may have failed but not at the extreme and persistent levels this current administration is. Why are we arguing over this anyhow? How long does your great Leader need to get this alleged mess in order? 4 years? 8 years? Or possibly doing away with the term limits entirely? You have no grasp on reality or common sense. You are also ideologically blinded like the mindless students who carried Chairman Mao's little Red Book. Your lack of independent thought only attests to your level of stupidity. But go ahead use the charges of "Racists!!", "Bush's fault!", etc. you are so pathetic.

Posted by: sstrengari | July 8, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

As a Canadian I watched the moon landing with awe and a great deal of envy. It was a symbol of man's progress and the achievement was shared generously by the United States. That event was watched and listened to everywhere that is was possible to do so. The entire world was united in fascination. I see the last few years and especially the recent turn of events with the abandonment of manned space flight as a giant leap backward and bitterly disappointing. I can't help but believe that this is a symbol of the diminishment of American power in the world. We will all be less safe and much less inspired as a result.

Posted by: mocare | July 8, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

As a Canadian I watched the moon landing with awe and a great deal of envy. It was a symbol of man's progress and the achievement was shared generously by the United States. That event was watched and listened to everywhere that is was possible to do so. The entire world was united in fascination. I see the last few years and especially the recent turn of events with the abandonment of manned space flight as a giant leap backward and bitterly disappointing. I can't help but believe that this is a symbol of the diminishment of American power in the world. We will all be less safe and much less inspired as a result.

Posted by: mocare | July 8, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Whats the big deal ?

Young devout Muslim men flying the Space Shuttle ?

What could go wrong ?

Posted by: Petras123 | July 8, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Obama and Kennedy on The Last Frontier

Kennedy Speech on Sending men to the Moon.

The conclusion:

Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it.

He said, "Because it is there."

Well, space is there, and we're going to climb it, and the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. And, therefore, as we set sail we ask God's blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked.

Thank you.

John F. Kennedy - September 12, 1962

Obama’s “Feel Good Speech” to the NASA Administrator

"When I became the NASA administrator -- or before I became the NASA administrator -- he charged me with three things.

One was 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 ... and math and engineering," Bolden said in the interview. (Foxnews.com)

Kennedy started us on the way to the stars; Obama drags us back down to Third World appeasement.

And, non-Muslim countries? …. Fuggeddaboudit!

Posted by: jgfox39 | July 8, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh I forgot Republicans are the only ones who know all the answers even if they have refused to tell anyone the answers for the last 8 years before this POTUS started. Grow up and be an American - out of many we are one. I don't have all the right answers, neither do you but together we can find the right answers. I've been playing the game right for 60+ years - can you say the same?
Posted by: Lemon7221 | July 8, 2010 2:01 PM
*******************************************

Your old enough to know this admin. isn't looking for the right answers as far as our constitution is concerned. What happened to the oath swarn to uphold the law of the land and the constitution? If we need more friends we can invite more illegals.*%&!@?$

Posted by: Canopus | July 8, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Self esteem is a problem for Muslim countries?? People that want to rule the world, and kill those that disagree, but still live in caves and urinate in the same water source they drink from? They have an extraordinary, unjustified, off the chart amount of self esteem.

Thanks Barry for using your power to take the space program into the 14th century.

Posted by: bgoff1 | July 8, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Muslims want to be included in our next trip to the moon so they can either convert moon people or kill them if they refuse.

Posted by: groovercg | July 8, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Female astronauts take note--Coming soon to a galzxy near you: "Sharia in Space"!

Posted by: AdamSmith2 | July 8, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Former NASA international PR-guy Peter Smith's CYA letter defending Charlie Bolden (as Obama's yes man) was laudable but unconvincing. Charles Krauthammer (a trained psychiatrist) nailed this lunacy perfectly yesterday:
"This idea of 'to feel good about your past scientific achievements' is the worst kind of group therapy, psycho-babble, imperial condescension and adolescent diplomacy. If I didn't know that Obama had told him this, I'd demand the firing of Charles Bolden."

Posted by: AdamSmith2 | July 8, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

National
Ancient
Science
Association

Barry: not much happened in the past 1000 years, but thanks for asking. It sure helps 16M Americans find jobs; and I bet it must be cleaning the Gulf too.

It's time to insist on weekly drug tests for the president

Posted by: fbanta | July 8, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Obama has destroyed NASA. We will soon be paying the Russians for taxi-rides into space. Along with the destruction of NASA Obama has destroyed the American lead in Space Exploration and technology. There will be no starship Enterprise in our future. Unless another President in the near future undoes Obama's damage there may be a Starship in the worlds future, but its name won't be Enterprise. It might be the Mao, or the Ghandi, or something Russian or Brazilian, but American space exploration will have been put into the ash-heap of history by Obama. Who would have believed a nation founded by, and committed to exploration would have a President so abruptly destroy that tradition!!!!

Posted by: valwayne | July 8, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Can you imagine the outcry from MSNBC had Obama wanted to reach out to Jews or Christians via NASA? but not a peep from what I can tell.

Let's see - Contributions to Science...
I guess the Jews can claim Einstein,
The Muslims? well - there's the guy that created the "garage door opener bomb" - so, that's a start!

Arrogance
Ignorance
Malevolence
the Obama Legacy

Posted by: LivininCin | July 9, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Unbelievable!

Posted by: felixmanlunas | July 9, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

I've read this and the linked articles and viewed the video tapes of the interview with Al Jazeera. I am stumped as to all the fuss. Another classic case of taking one or a few interviews out of context of the balance os someone's interviews and actions. Anyone that doesn't realize that our country cannot spend the kind of money it used to for whatever program conservatives or liberals may desire, is unaware of our nation's economic health (which as been on the decline for decades - see I.O. USA, the movie). My grandfather was the Supreme Court judge (McComb) that swore in Ron Reagan as governor, I worked for Cong. Bob Dornan and some of my closest friends were speech writers for Ron during his NCPAC days from '76-80. That said, it seems that much of the Republican Party today only desires to criticize versus find common ground. They seek to blame a party rather than look at ourselves as a citizenry and realize that we as a country and a world need to find common ground if we wish to live safely in the years to come, and have a reasonably similar standard of living in the U.S.. People from both political spectrums seldom live within their economic means, want much.... but are seldom willing to pay for what they desire and are very seldom willing to make hard decisions to reduce individual or societal costs (read The Culture of Spending - in short the electorate routinely asks for more expenditures and seldom cites specific areas to reduce cost or simplify law). There is nothing wrong with reaching out to the Arab world. The bigger issue readers should have focused on, in my view, is the change from public funding to private - of the launch capacity of the NASA program. Some day I hope readers and writers will aspire to find solutions to our nation's ills rather than take comments from either political party ouf context.

Posted by: smullin1 | July 10, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Hey WAPO,

it's time to pull the plug on these postings. 90% of the stuff is just Obama hate mongering over and over and over. What's the point in reading this stuff

Posted by: crudblue | July 11, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

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