The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Monday, July 05, 2010


President Obama, who is as American as apple pie and was definitely born here and is 100% true blue American, recently expressed his American-ness by giving NASA several new missions, none of which have anything to do with space or aeronautics:

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

From moon landings to promoting self-esteem: It would be difficult to imagine a more dramatic shift in focus for an agency famous for reaching the heavens.
Because when a red-blooded American boy reads a book about rockets and astronauts, the first thing that comes into his head is "Gee! I wish I could become a NASA administrator so I could expand international relationships!"

It would be helpful if this reaching out to the Muslim world could distract the relatives of the actress who played Padma Patil in the Harry Potter movies -- her father and brother have threatened her with death because she is dating a Hindu. But India does not have a manned space program, so perhaps Bolden's outreach would not be sufficiently persuasive. The devil, as always, is in the details.



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