the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Shoot yourself — or not (Poll)

Posted by Jeff Id on July 6, 2010

The true colors of the progressive movement have come out yet again.  I’m an Aero engineer as most here know. As a young boy I loved the idea of space travel.  As a middle age man, not much has changed.  Why travel to space when we have problems here, you ask?  The reasons are endless but there isn’t space to make all of the points today.  First, it is absolutely and unequivocally our end goal as a race to travel to the stars.  Travel over interstellar scale distance is fundamental to our survival, the cosmos is cold and flatly doesn’t care if a quasar in the soon to collide Andromeda galaxy gets upset by our own galaxy’s influence and projects massive life sterilizing X-ray beams at an entire 1000 X 1000 light year section of our galactic disk for half a million years. —Yes that does happen.  Imagine spinning on a disk, telescopes trained to the sky as we pass through hell.

Stars end, planetary bodies race between them undetected in the pinball game which is our galaxy to randomly collide with whatever.  This is absolutely real.

Imagine being hit by an earth size planetary core hurled from a star system which exploded eight billion years ago.  Fortunately statistics, gravity, space and time have conspired to form the illusion of a relatively safe environment…while some of the most extreme events imaginable happen every day.

It’s real, and we must travel, and we will.  Maybe too late.

Today, we learned of a slight and unnecessary 20 year delay in those plans.  Of course, had I chosen to work toward government space flight, my life ambition would be basically ruined today.  Because today, our leader has determined that the primary goal of NASA, the world leading, human race leading, spacefaring hope of humanity, has the primary goal of reaching out to the Muslim nations.  Of course, after the media noticed, the administration lackey’s have been assigned backtracking duty from the top dog’s extensive comments, but we have heard the truth.  It’s like ‘hide the decline’,  the reality has escaped Pandora’s box and sophistry cannot shove it back in.

Never mind that Muslims don’t have any new technology because they are ruled by immeasurably oppressive governments.  We need them! We cannot continue without.

Bolden created a firestorm after telling Al Jazeera last month that President Obama told him before he took the job that he wanted him to do three things: inspire children to learn math and science, expand international relationships 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.”

Now Bolden is a great man, if you look up his history,  he has done more with his life than most we will ever meet.  Still, he’s the messenger of this drivel, he repeated the nonsense, and he’s lost a ton of respect from me.

In my opinion, his only option should be resignation.  This is not SPACE policy, this is appease the Muslim extremist…… IT IS politics.  And it’s the extremists they’re trying to appease.  Nobody’s worried about appeasement of the reasonable Muslims, they don’t fly planes into buildings, chop childrens hands off, or wish to wipe Israel off the map. Bolden (wrong name for him) feels we should appease the evil, then it will heal.  Didn’t Churchill (who’s bust used to reside in the oval office – pre Obama) make some speech about signing for peace with Hitler, just before…..

Why do we want to appease Muslims with the space program when we should be using our few dwindling dollars toward traveling to ….UM…. space.  Do we want Iran or Turkey or Egypt or Packistan or Saudi Arabia or Kuwait or or or .. to have access to the most sophisticated technology in the world?   Is this really a good idea.

Perhaps we should send our minuteman missile plans to Iran or Syria, that’s a good idea right?  The plans are probably 40 years old after all, and Muslims are good governments too.

People, we are in big trouble with this guy.  We are in trouble and you had better admit your error.  I didn’t like bush (little b) either but  that’s no reason to shoot ourselves in the head – I wish it were a foot.

People must, on moral ground and without exception be assumed equal, governments must, for the same moral grounds…..NOT.  I’m sure you get the idea.

66 Responses to “Shoot yourself — or not (Poll)”

  1. Jeff Id said

    Ok, we have one ‘brilliant’ and one in the middle. Everyone knows that this pole won’t be unanimous. Give us your rationale.

  2. Matt Y. said

    This quote is equally disturbing:

    He also said the United States is not going to travel beyond low-Earth orbit on its own and that no country is going to make it to Mars without international help.

    Now there is the can-do spirit that forged this country! This administration makes me want to barf with their all their feel good, PC, multi-cultural garbage. At least we have our daily affirmations with stuart smalley to help us forget we were once a nation of innovators and entrepreneurs.

  3. Jeff Id said

    #2, You’re absolutely right. Consider that Space X is going to try that exact thing by itself.

  4. Jeff Id said

    Obama is fully aware of what our response will be. Is there anyone who suspects otherwise? I wonder if anyone can interpret this in a good light? Where could the positive possibly be in dismantling Nasa for a Muslim feel good session.

    I wonder if we’re missing the real goal.

  5. GregO said

    If it is important for America to reach out to the Muslim world, I’m sure there is a better agency than NASA.

    Some years back my wife (somehow) convinced me to attend a concert arranged by some local Jewish musicians that involved bringing over some Palestinian musicians. I was absolutely blown away by the awesomeness of the performance – these Palestinian musicians were just amazing. And they were civilized, excellent people to talk to and it just broke your heart to think that these Jewish guys from Israel and these Palestinian guys from Palestine were actually great life-long friends and jammed together in the old country – forget about all the wars and hatred that gets broadcast on the news – the story is a lot different on the ground.

    Oh, incidentally, this concert was all arranged and financed privately; there was one performance to a small audience.

    Music, dance, literature and cultural exchange; I’m all for it. Where is the federal government support of this? Maybe there is support and I don’t know about it. But NASA and rocket technology?

    This administration is beyond redemption. Vote them out. Now.

  6. Pat Frank said

    There’s nothing more subversive than education, Jeff.

    Secularism comes with science; that’s the recent history of the West and there’s every reason to spread the light into the Muslim middle east. Israel already has it.

  7. TGSG said

    Pat Frank said
    July 6, 2010 at 9:36 pm
    There’s nothing more subversive than education, Jeff.

    Good point.

    My take on this.. Wasn’t the whole point of the “race to the moon” to show the Soviets how much we respected them, and to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science?

  8. C Monster said

    It’s the progressive mindset.

    Clinton gave our most prized rocketry secrets to the Chinese, and now they can hit us instead of seeing all their ballistic missiles crash into the sea.

    Obamandius has to outdo him, of course, so he’s picked an enemy with absolutely no thoughts of restraint.

  9. TA said

    Jeff Id said “I wonder if we’re missing the real goal.”

    I take everything coming out of the Middle East with a large helping of salt. However, evidently Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit claims that in a one-on-one meeting, President Obama told him that he (Obama) was still a Muslim, and that he was sympathetic towards the Muslim agenda. Of course, not all Muslims have the same agenda. Still, it makes one wonder. So many of Obama’s actions are consistent with Gheit’s claim, whether or not it’s true. Israel believes Obama represents a major shift away from supporting the only true democracy in the Middle East (Israel).

    Just to be clear, I do not believe all Muslims are bad people. Quite the contrary. However, I do not think it would have made sense to have a Japanese president during WWII, even though I’m sure that many Japanese-Americans were unsympathetic toward their ancestral country during that conflict. When Islamic factions have declared war on us, it is a bad time to have a president that seems more sympathetic to the Muslim agenda than to ours.

    I am sorry if this comment goes too far away from a discussion of science. However, NASA itself seems to be going quite far from a pursuit of science, and that is what I am responding to.

  10. Brian H said

    Between SpaceX and the unlimited power soon to be available from ‘s project, I think we’ll be out and about long before 20 years. Consider that nudging one 1-mile diameter nickle-iron asteroid into near-Earth orbit would make available readily accessible, almost pre-sorted, more precious metals than have been mined from Earth’s crust in all history. About $1,000,000 value per capita, for the planet.

    Think that’s not going to look worth doing when it’s relatively easy? And check out VASIMR.

  11. Sorry, Jeff, about the bitterness of reality. I too was once an idealist – one that voted for Al Gore in 2000 and Barack Obama in 2008.

    But the international alliance of politicians and national science academies revealed by the Climategate scandal seem to have other objectives than the advancement of any one nation.

    Nationalism and competing national interests are in fact a threat to the security of the entire world.

    But an invisible, tyrannical world government would, in my opinion, be a greater threat to the basic freedoms we all cherish.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  12. Frank K. said

    “Why do we want to appease Muslims with the space program when we should be using our few dwindling dollars toward traveling to ….UM…. space.”

    Dwindling dollars??! Why NASA had its snout firmly planted in the stimulus trough last year (while my friends and colleagues were being laid off in the private sector). I’m sure there’s even more stimulus money to pay for these new “outreach” programs. And besides, space travel is so…old school.

  13. Kevin Cave said

    Can’t all of us with a libertarian and/or objectivist bent, team up and just get the space exploration ball up and running once and for all?

    Then when we’ve perfected the technology, we can all get the heck away from Earth, leaving all these “progressive” nutcases back on the planet for them to do with it as they desire.

    Well I can dream, can’t I?


    A very frustrated-with-the-human-race Kev.

  14. intrepid_wanders said

    I see the problem as a “sexy”, “not so sexy” problem. The shuttle is just an “old pickup truck”. Things need to advance to capture the imagination (Single stage to Orbit, that is a new start) and Constellation does not do it. The smart car-spacecraft of Altair and the like needs to remain in public domain. If a national interest is to occur, it is going to have to do something that has not been done before.

    Until a push for “Space-Manufacturing” starts and the civilians can venture a gain on something, then would be the time to resume (ie the many thousands of terrestrial satellites). Constellation was the wrong path…

    maybe the “Mule” from Space Shuttle Simulator so we could do payload whether Moon or Mars…

    (I haven’t tried the 2010…)

  15. According to this PhysOrg news story, NASA has created a video game for would-be lunar explorers:

  16. pseudonym said

    I usually post under my full, real name. Not this time.

    The problem with doing anything to “appease Muslim extremists” is that there is in actual fact no such thing as a “reasonable” or “moderate” Muslim. Ignorant (of their religion’s true teachings) perhaps, but not “reasonable” or “moderate”. I know that seems like a harsh statement, but most Westerners really don’t understand Islam. We have a tendency to project our thought processes and belief systems on others, assuming that they are just like us, but just a little different. That is demonstrably not the case with Islam. To assume otherwise is to risk our children’s and grandchildren’s future liberty. If you’re offended by this, I suggest that you go read the following articles, then come back and tell me if you still think I’m being too harsh.

    If any of that whets your appetite, I suggest that you find and read a copy of Robert Spencer’s book “The Truth About Mohammed” and Mark Steyn’s book “America Alone”.

  17. stumpy said

    Am all for nations working together to pool money and resources in space exploration, but using NASA to make Muslins feel nice seems a little odd! However, the other goals are not moronic. Either the Muslim world join an international agency or develop their own rockets, its seems odd the america should help.

  18. Amabo said

    I like Obama’s approach. It gives private programs more time to get to mars before a government sponsored program. In this way, people may come to realize that we won’t need government in space, and probably won’t need as much government on-planet either.

  19. TerryS said

    Didn’t Churchill (who’s bust used to reside in the oval office – pre Obama) make some speech about signing for peace with Hitler, just before…..

    Not to my knowledge. I think you are referring to the Munich agreement in 1938 and the speech given by the then British prime minister Neville Chamberlain in which he made the infamous quote “Peace for our time”

  20. Geoff Sherrington said


    Some past major civilisations have made important contributions to philosophy, mathematics, science, engineering. The pattern of history is that the output of civilisations waxes and wanes. The fact of the USA being on a current ascendancy is not a reason to belittle the past achievements of others. What is confusing is the impact of religion, which in many ways is more profound than the oft-quoted Galileo affair. Indeed, religion had often been anti-science. The % of belief in a God in the USA is rather high just now, so I’m not surprised at the defensive stance readily adopted now.

    People can be as religious as they wish, so long as their enthusiasm does not harm others and does not rule the advance of science. I have no quarrel with the advanced non-religious skills of past generations from Islam.

  21. BarryW said

    I’ve come to the conclusion that all large organizations eventually become corrupted and lose their original vision (typically after the founders leave/die and bureaucrats take over). Wall Street and the automobile industry have also become afflicted with the same rot.

    NASA lost it’s way once the moon race was over. NASA had begun to show the signs of incompetence with the creation of the Shuttle (look at the elephantine kludge that was built versus the original intent). Find out about how many things their involved in that are only peripheral to their original charter (Aeronautics and Space). NASA should be dismantled and it’s actual missions given to new organizations with defined goals.

  22. BarryW said


    People keep talking about Muslim this or Muslim that. How would people react to someone in the administration talking about Christian science or Christian math? Christianity has supported science at times and suppressed it at times. So has Islam, and other religions. I’m tired of this cult of self=esteem. You are what you do not how you feel about yourself or your ancestors. Do you really want to have surgery performed on you by someone who has high self esteem or would you rather have a damn good surgeon?

  23. Frank K. said

    Oliver K. Manuel said
    July 7, 2010 at 1:00 am

    According to this PhysOrg news story, NASA has created a video game for would-be lunar explorers:

    From the link:

    NASA said the game is designed to “engage and educate students about agency technologies, job opportunities and the future of space exploration.”

    Moonbase Alpha can be played by one or up to six players. NASA said it is a precursor to a planned NASA-based “multiplayer online game project.

    Such a wise use of “dwindling dollars”…

    Hey, maybe NASA can create a climate research-based first person video game…they could call it “Moonbat GISS”. The story line – Someone has discovered a fatal theoretical flaw in your last paper, and threatens to expose you. Millions of stimulus dollars are on the line! Can you save the research from the evil deniers? In this thrill-packed game, you get to search for deniers on your “science” blog (on government time, of course), collaborate with climate hero Jim Hansen on scary global warming news articles, all while trying to use up excess federal research dollars before the end of the fiscal year! Can you do it? Do you have the “Right Stuff”?

  24. M. Simon said

    You left off my favorite.


  25. Jeff Id said

    #18, I’m not sure that’s the right speech either but close enough, thanks.


    I really wonder about the decisions on how NASA has been handled. What can the goal be when the only systems for lifting humans to space are canceled and not replaced?? Sure the new NASA program was a boondoggle of wasted money, all government programs are, but who is going to do it? I would love to see changes in NASA’s operations but eliminating the goal eliminates a lot of technology. The people who build these systems have a legacy of knowledge which is difficult to extract from a book and the stuff that isn’t written down is even more difficult to recreate.

    Once we fire these people and stop practicing the art which is space science, we need to begin again from theory instead of practice.

    What could be the purpose of canceling these efforts completely?

    Why cancel them and then send technology to some of the most obviously defective and evil governments in the world?

    This government is doing absolutely everything wrong. Not one solid decision for our future. Not one good choice. Instead we get no drilling, no help for the oil mess, no efforts on education, continued destruction of the worlds best health care system, increased taxation, takeover of private companies, welfare for unions and corrupt leftist organizations, moronic policy on borders, destruction of the space program on and on…

    It doesn’t seem like a simple leftist view in any way. Clinton was a leftist, he knew when to try and get stuff for the US though and where to draw some lines. Obama must hate the United States. I can’t believe that there is a single (non-Chinese) person left who thinks this guy (and congress) are doing a good job.

  26. Jeff Id said

    Another example of Obama’s destructive intent is the appointment of Dr. Berwick, an admitted socialist who supports health care rationing. He will now head the massive and endless task of setting up the structure of our future health care in the united states. Seeing that sane people in congress were going to seek a different appointment, our dictator in chief has found some method to go around the Senate.

    Welcome to Zimbabwe, United States.

  27. M. Simon said

    Frank K.,

    Remember the Space Shuttle simulations on the Commodore 64? And remember how some kids figured out extra capabilities from the simulation? A “game” can be quite useful if done right.

  28. M. Simon said

    A game link for stuff on the C64 and space simulations:

    C64 Space Nostalgia

  29. Jeff Id said

    I’ve got a C64 in a box. Mom chucked the V20, but the C64 will be as valuable as a model T someday, maybe more so. Not that I expect to profit from it but say in 500 years you have a piece of the computer revolution sitting in a box.

    And mine was well used.

  30. M. Simon said

    Oil mess: Bioremediation.

    Stalled naturally.

  31. M. Simon said

    About as stupid as religious science gets.

    The Muslims took a turn about 1130s IIRC where they placed faith over experiment. i.e. anything is possible if Allah wills it. Insallah. I’ll have to look up a link. here it is.

  32. BarryW said


    The Constellation program “reused” shuttle components. Great, launch astronauts on a solid fuel booster that destroyed the Challenger in a souped up Apollo capsule, and even that was over cost and late. Maybe Obama is right and Muslim outreach is the best use for NASA. The only reason NASA still exists is the pork involved not what they’ve accomplished lately, congress will resist killing it because of the jobs.

    Lately the only group that seems to be really making progress is DARPA

  33. Scott B said

    I hate Obama’s plans for NASA overall. We should be far more ambitious with our space program. That said, I’m not near as negative about this quote yesterday. NASA is a government agency and politics is part of its mission. This wouldn’t be close to the first time they’ve been involved in politics. My only problem with the quote was the part Jeff bolded. “….to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science … and math and engineering.”” How can we make them feel good about it? Muslim nations have give us no contribution to science, math, or engineering. Any contributions I can think of either occurred before the nations were Muslim or by Muslims that have moved out of those nations. This goes to a root cause of our the problems between them and the West. Their religion, especially when integrated into the laws of governance, has led to centuries of oppression and decades of totalitarian regimes that have kept Muslims from dedicating themselves to these areas.

    I think Obama’s real idea is to use NASA to inspire Muslims to get involved in science. This overall is a good idea. At least it can’t hurt. The problem is, you don’t do this by scrapping any of the poor plans that were already in place and turning most NASA responsibilities over to private enterprise. The market is not there yet for business to do anything other than leech off of government subsidies. NASA should have focused on developing the technology to give us a permanent presence on the Moon.

  34. Carrick said

    The world of religious Jihad has almost nothing in common with secular Arab culture.

    Increasing the impact of the secular world probably would be seen as undercutting the Jihadist movement. This counts as much for peaceful scientific studies as it does for popularizing American culture over there. (You want to efficiently undercut the Jihadists? Import more American culture by funding secular television and other media. The CIA knows this of course.)

    In fact, suppose somebody in greater Arabia decided to launch a peaceful manned rocket into space… most likely response by the jihadists would be to try and sabotage it.

    I’m pretty sure Anonusheh Anasari is an enemy of Jihadists. A successful woman who doesn’t wear a veil and has the temerity to make herself a multi-millionaire and who has had such a positive impact on private spaceflight. Can you imagine?

    I didn’t enter a response in your poll because “none of the above” qualify. I think a policy of non-engagement has its risks (it definitely strengthens the hand of the jihadists), but a policy of engagement has its risks too. Jeff has recognized those without really considering the risks of the alternatives.

    I’ll leave you guys to your favorite squeeze toy, BHO.

  35. Scott B said

    @Jeff Id 26:

    “dictator in chief”? A little over the top are we? I’ll agree that Congress have given the executive branch too much power, but that hardly makes him a dictator. The people voted him in and the Congresscritters we’ve voted in have given his position this power.

    Also, I love in that linked article how they state:

    “The fight over Berwick is thus not just about partisan politics. Rather, it is the fight to create a health care system where a patient and doctor decide what is best for the patient, rather than a system where bureaucrats determine what treatment will give them the most bang for their buck.”

    Right…. Insurance companies always have what is best for the patient at heart. They are in no way bureacrats who determine what treatment you will get….

  36. M. Simon said

    Right…. Insurance companies always have what is best for the patient at heart

    True. But in a for profit company it is a balancing act. Piss off too many people and your customer base disappears. Now when you can get your customers at the point of a government gun…..

  37. M. Simon said

    Here is what Churchill said:

    Britain and France had to choose between war and dishonor. They chose dishonor. They will have war.” Winston Churchill

  38. M. Simon said

    Between SpaceX and the unlimited power soon to be available from ‘s project, I think we’ll be out and about long before 20 years.

    Focus fusion come in 5 to 20 MW chunks. So let me see 6 GW/20MW = 300 power plants.

    I think Polywell is a better option.

  39. Kenneth Fritsch said

    There are a couple of things wrong with this picture. Government involvement in anything, no matter how legitimate it might seem to some, will eventually become politicized into something that seems really bizarre to those thinking in more idealistic and rationale terms. Our only true influence on other nations is by setting an example and being willing to point to our past and current weaknesses and letting the opinion chips fall where they may. Once you set up agencies in attempts to “change” nations and/or religious groups minds about your nation, the less sincere you must appear to those you are attempting to influence – as they can recognize a marketing effort when they see it.

    Our government space program has shown very little progress in past years and has languished with the space shuttle. Does a government bureaucracy stifle innovation – you bet it does.

    And for those conservatives who think that governments suddenly change stripes when it comes to government action that they favor, I say open your eyes a little wider.

  40. Jeff Id said

    #34 Carrik, because I didn’t write the risks of non engagement doesn’t mean they weren’t considered. I simply think engagement and appeasement have been attempted for too long in Europe and a bit more of an aggressive posture toward the treatment of women and criminals is in order. Also flat rejection of shira law as a substitute for modern government is critical. It is up to them to meet the civilized world, we can step closer when they are ready. In the meantime giving our technical advantage freely to these countries is a very bad idea – and that is what will happen.

    There are plenty of other ways to engage with the Arabic Muslim world which will do more to make them ‘feel good’ than giving away the secrets to ballistic missiles.

  41. Scott B said

    @M. Simon

    True. But in a for profit company it is a balancing act. Piss off too many people and your customer base disappears. Now when you can get your customers at the point of a government gun…..

    Absolutely correct. Though I’m not really sure how much competition there is between insurance companies. They seem to all have similar policies. Also, not sure how much choice people really have. I work for a mega-corporation and get the option between 3 different providers once a year. I would guess people that work for smaller companies would have less choice. An even worse problem I have is this same government has the power to reduce costs through sin taxes or simply making unhealthy things illegal, significantly reducing freedom. Not that health care reform was needed for the federal and state governments to start down that road….

    I’m honestly torn on health care. This is one of the few areas where I think, given a properly structured bill (which the current one is far from), the government could actually do a better job than private business because they do not have to run on a for profit basis. It is an area rife with potential abuse though and people have far less opportunity to fight back against government decisions.

  42. David S said

    Surely this is a natural progression for NASA, now that they have lost their main space mandate. Perhaps they have been secretly renamed Not Astronauts, Social Activists. It seems your country can afford endless “progressive” advocacy over climate change and international relations, but there is no money left in the kitty for real stuff. On our side of the pond, we are just starting to drag ourselves away from some of the more absurd ideologically-driven ways of wasting money, but our new government hasn’t yet got the plot on climate science.

  43. stan said


    Govt is zero for infinity at efforts to be more efficient than the private sector. How many more trials do you need?

    Govt decisions are made for political reasons. Always. Efficiency is never even a consideration. Here’s a great column on the problem.

    Extremely well done. It should be must reading for anyone who ever contemplated the idea that govt might be efficient.

  44. Frank K. said

    “Remember the Space Shuttle simulations on the Commodore 64? And remember how some kids figured out extra capabilities from the simulation? A “game” can be quite useful if done right.”

    I have nothing against games, but, in this era of massive government debt, I don’t believe creating an internet-based computer game is what NASA should be doing with it “limited” budget.

    Of course, I suppose “software” like GISTEMP and MODEL E would fall into the category of computer games too…

  45. Carrick said

    Jeff, I have problems with appeasement (tip-toeing around not showing Mohammed images for example) too.

    But, if you leave them third-world, they will remain third world in their attitudes. Progress is as a much or more a threat to extremists as to us.

    What you seem to be advocating is the muslim equivalent of gun control. The jihadists have money, lots of it… it comes from the oil we purchase from them flowing into their hands. They have access to the best technology money can buy already. A technology embargo only benefits the terrorists because it keeps the rest of the populace poor, making for a fertile field in which to reap as many new terrorist recruits as they desire. (Not all or even most terrorists are ideologues, terrorism, inc is a means by which they can make money and feel empowered.)

    Undercut the totalitarian governments and provide the common people with an alternative to sheep herding, and you will create a new dynamic. Is it without risks? Of course not. But it is short sighted to assume withholding technology is going to have any chance of benefiting us. It won’t.

    I agree that ballistic missiles is something we have to tread pretty lightly with, but it’s not like those who have violent intentions (North Korea and Iran for example) don’t already have access to Russian and Chinese ballistic missile technology. It is purchased for fair price using the fossil fuel income from the west.

  46. Jason Calley said

    Hey Jeff Id, I empathize with you, really; the only real future we humans have is in space. Time to leave the nest. Having said that, the fact is, NASA has done very little for the last couple of decades to promote actual manned space flight. You can place the blame on politicians, on administrators or even on We The People, but still — NASA gave up on manned flight a long time ago. There is probably no one who visits your site with any regularity that has not realized how rotten the climate scientists have become as they suck on the funding teat. Do you think that the NASA engineers are immune? You want to see the face of NASA? Here you go:

  47. PhilJourdan said

    Well……if they are now defining space as the empty part between 2 ears…..I would be very insulted if I was a Muslim.

  48. timetochooseagain said

    I say moronic because:

    They shouldn’t need us to help them. We don’t need to do technological handouts to all the people of the world.

    But even aside from that, suppose the question were what is more relevant to this incident: Is this NASA’s job? Heck no! Create some technological foreign aid program if you want to “help” so bad, don’t hijack NASA. This is a point that many commenters here miss, saying they think it is desirable to spread technology and knowledge abroad, to the Muslim Nations. Maybe, although I think that if anyone wants to do that, they should personally get on a boat and offer to sell the knowledge and materials to these countries themselves. Don’t do it at taxpayer’s expense. Certainly don’t have NASA do it.

  49. David S said

    Well said TTCA – I think that was what I meant to say underneath the snark.

  50. Kan said


    1) I love how we have gotten to the point of equating Muslims with Arabs. Not. The majority of Muslims are Asian. And they to are trying to kill every non-believer as well.

    2) Iran is Persian, and they scare the hell out of almost all the Arab countries (just as Saddam did).

    3) The Palestinian Muslims are only a slight majority (many are Christian and Jewish), and they are hated by ALL other middle eastern countries. Do not let the talk fool you. Read their actions (Egypt also has an embargo on the Gaza strip). Syria wants em out. Saddam killed them in Kuwait (they were the labor before the invasion).

    So to say that we need a rocket technology outreach program to Muslims – exactly what does that mean? Malaysia (worlds tallest twin buildings) needs engineering help?

  51. Kan said

    Point number 3 above needs to be amended to be “historically a slight majority”. Over the course of the 20th century, the Christian and Judaic followers dwindled dramatically.

  52. M. Simon said

    A technology embargo only benefits the terrorists because it keeps the rest of the populace poor, making for a fertile field in which to reap as many new terrorist recruits as they desire.

    OK. They can have, electricity, computers. and the internal combustion engine. But rocketry? Why?

  53. Amabo said

    My suggestion for government policy on health care is one new law:
    If someone is denied coverage, their insurance provider must reimbuse them every last cent they’ve ever paid on their policy.

  54. Amabo said

    Why not? Rockets are fun. And useful.

  55. kim said

    So Islam is a galactic cosmic ray accelerated by a local supernova of fossil fuel income?

  56. dean said

    As someone intimately familiar with the plight of NASA, I’m not at all surprised they’re once again changing directions. Back before Obama was elected, he was quoted as saying he wanted to take 1/3rd of the NASA budget and ship it to the Dept. of Education (roughly $5B at that time). He was quickly brought into a meeting with some key democrats that knew that such a plan would mean he would lose the Florida vote and his “commitment” to space was restated.

    He now says that one of NASA’s main goals has to be encouraging kids to be engineers, which is the same result as his original plan, but without transferring the money out of NASA. The problem is that what motivates kids is missions, not technologies. When going on a trip, how many kids ask whether the car has a V6 or V8? Not many. Instead they ask “where are we going?” and “are we there yet?”

    Apollo inspired not only kids, but adults. The space shuttle, as flawed as it is, inspires. ISS does, but to a much lesser extent. Hubble and the Martian robots inspire us all.

    What Obama fails to understand is that without grand goals kids won’t pay attention. How do you “inspire” a kid when the most dramatic thing you do is put a probe into space to look at something that we’ve looked at a hundred different ways but this time the probe has a new engine…

  57. cohenite said

    34; “secular Arab culture.” That is an oxymoron, I believe.

    The list of Obama appointees overlooked this golden boy: John P. Holdren.

  58. Carrick said

    Cohenite, I enjoy the wit in that, but if you ever get to Dubai, check out the night club scene. It rivals Paris on a night after a runway show.

  59. kdk33 said

    “Consider that nudging one 1-mile diameter nickle-iron asteroid into near-Earth orbit”

    Egads! Hopefully not a BP project.

  60. Gary said

    Didn’t you hear? The State Department has been tasked with the Mission to Mars…

  61. mike said


  62. joe said

    Scott B
    ” insurance companies. They seem to all have similar policies.”
    Why do you think that is? Here in MA there are mandates. Insurance companies must cover certain things the politicians think should be covered, whether the consumer wants that coverage or not. As you can imagine this drives up the cost a bit, paying for psych care when you won’t ever need it, maternity when you’re infertile and infertility when you have 10 kids. Oh don’t forget autism, and a bunch of other stuff we have no say in.
    sorry got off track there…so if all the policies look the same it’s because the jackasses we keep electing say they have to be.

  63. pseudonym said

    The links in my comment (#16) were totally hoarked up. On the off chance that anyone cares, I’ll try again using “standard” html instead of the “XHTML” as shown by the examples when you post a comment. I’ll call these links collectively, “Islam for Dummies”.

    Islam 101

    Why Islam Will Never Accept the State of Israel

    Understanding Muslims’ Mindset

  64. cohenite said

    63; Islam is the sleeping giant of real issues facing humanity not like the green wetdream of AGW. The initial issue is to define that apparently mythical beast, a moderate moslem; to my understanding it is a contradiction in terms.

  65. kim said

    I expect someday for public spirituality to be Confucian in form, private spirituality Buddhist-like, religious festivals and holidays to mimick the Hindu and the cults of Abraham to be marginalized as overly violent.

  66. Chuckles said


    ‘if you ever get to Dubai, check out the night club scene. It rivals Paris on a night after a runway show.’

    Indeed, just best not to enjoy it too much –

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