Michelle Malkin has a collection of new NASA logos.
[Update a while later]
More thoughts from Jay Nordlinger:
say that, back in the 2008 campaign, you had remarked, “If Obama becomes president, he will demand that NASA devote itself to making Muslims feel good about their contributions to science.” You would have been called the worst and wildest kind of right-winger.
This administration is simply beyond parody. Apologizing to Communist China for Arizona’s immigration laws; directing NASA to address itself to Muslim self-esteem . . . Unbelievable.
I wish it were.
[Update a few minutes later]
One giant leap backward:
According to contemporary liberalism, the government is the control room of society, where problems get solved, where institutions get their marching orders, where the oceans are commanded to stop rising. Each institution must subscribe to the progressive vision: All oars must pull as one. We are all in it together. We can do it all, if we all work together. Yes, we can.
In my book, Liberal Fascism, I called this phenomenon the “liberal Gleichschaltung.” Gleichschaltung is a German word (in case you couldn’t have guessed) borrowed from electrical engineering. It means “coordination.” The German National Socialists (Nazis) used the concept to get every institution to sing from the same hymnal. If a fraternity or business embraced Nazism, it could stay “independent.” If it rejected Nazism, it was crushed or bent to the state’s ideology. Meanwhile, every branch of government was charged with not merely doing its job but advancing the official state ideology.
Now, contemporary liberalism is not an evil ideology. Its intentions aren’t evil or even fruitfully comparable to Hitlerism. But there is a liberal Gleichschaltung all the same. Every institution must be on the same page. Every agency must advance the liberal agenda.
And unfortunately, it’s true in both Republican and Democrat administrations. The federal bureaucracy is eternal, and intrinsically incented to promote itself, growing like a cancer on the body civitas. It’s one of the reasons that NASA’s problems are so intractable. In the sixties, it had an essential mission, with an essentially unlimited budget, and it was a young agency that hadn’t had time to accrue the barnacles. It’s not really fixable four decades later. We need a fresh start.
[Update a while later]
More thoughts on the flawed thought processes of “liberals” (which occurred to me yesterday as well):
Of course, it’s entirely possible (pace Bernard Lewis) that the Muslim world does not lack for self-esteem on the matter of science or anything else. Certainly scientific know-how has not been lacking in nuclear-armed Pakistan, or (would-be) nuclear Iran. Besides, hasn’t Mr. Obama heard? The whole self-esteem myth has been exploded. Though millions of tax dollars and God only knows how many wasted instructional hours have gone toward making American kids think they are really, really special, it turns out that there is zero correlation between such drilled self-esteem and academic performance.
I never noticed that bullies had low self esteem. It seemed pretty clear to me that their self esteem was far too high.
To treat the Muslim world as a vast ocean of African Americans in need of respect and encouragement from us is both arrogant and incredibly solipsistic. In fact, large swaths of the Muslim world feel inexpressibly superior to us — particularly morally and spiritually. Until cold terror forced them to accept American servicemen on their soil, the Saudis kept “infidel” pollution to the barest minimum in the home of the prophet. That wasn’t an expression of inferiority. Osama bin Laden boasted in 2000 that he had defeated the Soviet Empire and that it would be a small matter to defeat the American one. Again, he may have been deluded, but he was not a candidate for assertiveness training. Nearly every Muslim child is instructed that his is the true faith, superior in every way to the errors that came before — Judaism and Christianity — and infinitely above paganism or atheism. Jihadis are taught that their shining pure religion requires no less than the mass murder of infidels and unbelievers.
It might just be that Muslim self-confidence is more dangerous to us than imagined Muslim feelings of inadequacy.
Yup. Even if NASA were capable of making Muslims feel better about themselves, it might be worse than useless to do so — it could be quite counterproductive, particularly if it causes them to hold us all the more in contempt. As I said in comments at PJM yesterday:
If even one young hot-head thinks America isn’t so bad after hearing this interview, and then chooses not to enlist in al-Qaeda, then American lives will have been saved.
Not if for each one hot-head who thinks that, ten think that we’re displaying weakness and cultural flaccidity. Recall what bin Laden said about the weak horse and the strong horse. The administration may think that it’s pursuing smart diplomacy, but all it’s really doing is sowing contempt for us among many in that culture. They don’t lack self esteem. They lack esteem for non-Muslims. And with this kind of nonsense, we give them good reason to.
This is of a piece with other myths about terrorism — that it is caused by poverty, or hopelessness. But many are poor in many countries, and don’t murder others in the name of their god. And what drives the terrorism of the “Palestinians” isn’t hopelessness, but hopefullness — the hope that with terror, they can force the Israelis to a settlement (and eventually out of the Middle East altogether).
This is what happens when you let academics run foreign policy.
[Update a while later]
Greg Gutfeld weighs in:
According to a piece by Byron York, Obama ordered NASA administrator Charles Bolden to focus on three goals – inspire brats to study science and math, expand international relations (which only works when hookers are involved), and help Muslims “feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering”. These goals, as Hot Air notes – have nothing to do with space.
But they are spacey.
And so our President has put feelings before frontiers. Which is a mistake, because you can’t inspire anyone – kids or Muslims – without actually doing something. And if space exploration is no longer about space exploration, what exactly is it?
But you know what it should be about?
Blowing up crap. Fact is, we love movies like Star Wars, Star Trek and Star Jones – not for their emotion, but for their annihilation. In short: we need to weaponize space. Personally, I can’t think of a better way to excite a kid than giving him the chance to obliterate Pandora.
I hate those people.
And if you disagree with him, you’re a homophobic giant smurf.
You know what isn’t a Muslim problem? A lack of space technology. Or self esteem.
This is stupid on multiple levels.