NASA: An $18.9 Billion Self-Esteem Program

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I will leave it to other staffers to denounce NASA as a wasteful boondoggle, a budget-chewing vestige of the Cold War (I trust this is the case, though admit to having little interest in the celestial). What limited knowledge of space exploration I possess, sadly, comes from David Bowie and The Only Ones. But I do know this: the United States space program now exists to assuage the hurt feelings of nations and cultures that have lagged behind the United States in scientific development. This, according to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, is the organization's "foremost" mission.

"When I became the NASA administrator—or before I became the NASA administrator—[President Obama] 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."

Poor dears, feeling bad about their underappreciated contributions to science, math, and engineering. Seems to me an entirely reasonable way to fritter away tax dollars, on the mental health of Yemeni undergraduates. 

You can watch the whole interview here. But I don't know why you would.

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210 responses to “NASA: An $18.9 Billion Self-Esteem Program

  1. It seems to me that beating the missus in a zero-G environment might prove problematical. I trust Muslim engineers are busy resolving that burning issue.

    1. What a perfect way to learn about inertia.

    2. The burning issue is easily solvable with the billions of stars floating around. Hell, I hear there’s one relatively close by.

    3. Oh come on it isn’t that hard. You just tie all your rocks to rubber bands and then super glue the rubber bands to her head.

      And I’m not even Muslim.

      Is that racist?

      1. Excellant:)

      2. Who says American know-how is dead?

  2. Time for Bolden to fire off the emergency retro-rockets on his hyperbole and step back from that ludicrous statement.

  3. It seems like it should be common knowledge in both hemispheres that Islamic peoples preserved, refined, and practiced science and math (not to mention a good bit of classical philosophy) while Europeans were busy dashing one anothers’ brains out over political and religious squabbles.

    If people in Muslim countries don’t know that today, it’s because the people guiding their educations don’t want them to know.

    1. The thing that makes it so strange is that the Muslim world reminds anyone who will listen of those very facts to such a degree that it’s hard to believe that ANYONE anywhere doesn’t know about it.

      On the other hand, if you get too far into the “regular” people of society in those countries, there sure is a lot of that enforced ignorance via the education system.

      It’s almost like modern Islamic scholars are actively kept from educating much of modern Islamic society, but are encouraged to educate the hell out of Westerners.

      1. I once met a Pakistani girl who started lecturing me about how much Western civilization owed Islam. I put up with it for a while, because (as Timon points out) there is a factual basis for that.

        Once she claimed that Islamic society today was superior than Western society, I (admittedly) got a little tribal. I wound up asking why she was talking to a man without a male relative around, and if she was a prostitute. I’m not sure whether it was my point, or my insult, that shut her up.

        1. That shut-down has been duly noted for future use.

        2. Arabs (I’m not too sure about the rest of the Islamic world) and especially Persians will tell you that that they invented everything up to and including The United States and Corvettes.

          1. Everything but Windex. The Greeks came up with that one.

            1. And every word ever.

          2. I keep forgetting what the name of that Pakistani moon probe was called. The Mars one too. Maybe they were Persian?

            OH YEA THERE AREN’T ANY!

            1. Did you mean this to be a response to my post? Because it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense where it is.

        3. I put up with it for a while, because (as Timon points out) there is a factual basis for that.

          And because she was hot?

        4. They put all that accumulated knowledge into demolition projects now.

          Where would you rather live, Gaza or not-Gaza?

        5. They made a lot of advances, sure. We acknowledge that, but we don’t owe them shit.

          1. This. And, … What have you done for me lately?

      2. If you remember the Cold War, then perhaps you remember all the old stereotypes of Soviet citizens and officials, claiming that Russia actually invented this or that cool Western technology. Maybe you don’t even have to remember the Cold War. I seem to recall that Ensign Chekov perpetuated that shtick in episodes of the original Star Trek. I am reminded of it, now that the Muslims have stolen his act.

    2. Isn’t it true that nearly all civilizations were far ahead of Europe in math and astronomy and medicine well into second mmillenium? The Arabs, the Persions, the Chinese, the Inca, Maya, Aztec, etc.? Yes, there were the Greeks and the Romans, but they were seemingly forgotten or ignored.

      1. Yeah Europe was kind of stagnant pool of stupid at that time. Arguably still is.

      2. The Byzantine Empire was still an intellectual powerhouse into the 1000s. And while it’s currently fashionable to minimize the contribution of the Roman Catholic monasteries to keeping the flame of learning alive, they played a significant part as well.

        Of course, some would argue that the fact that Europeans were constantly striving to find new and better methods for bashing each other’s brains out for so long, rather than stagnating under an all-powerful ruler as India and China (and eventually Islam) did, was the biggest advantage they had as a civilization.

        1. And thus they invented Materials Science.

          1. And a lot of chemistry/chemical engineering.

            1. Do you have any links for articles about this? I don’t recall anything in my math and science courses about the debt to early muslim societies, other than the below cited thing about inventing “zero”. Cure me of my ignorance.

    3. It seems like it should be common knowledge in both hemispheres that Islamic peoples preserved, refined, and practiced science and math (not to mention a good bit of classical philosophy) while Europeans were busy dashing one anothers’ brains out over political and religious squabbles.

      What a criss-cross topsy-turvy world we live in…

      1. SHUT UP! Norf Kawea infented awl tings you stupid americans.

    4. Yeah, but that was very early in the history of Islam. What contributions to science and math has the Islamic world made in, say, the last 500 years?

      And then there’s the Muslims burning the library at Alexandria (though others also did it), and this famous incident when they conquered Iran:

      Ibn Khaldun, in the chapter “On the Rational Sciences and their Kinds” of his Muqaddimah, says: “At the time of the conquest of Iran many books of that country fell into the hands of the Arabs. Sa’d ibn Abi al-Waqqas wrote to `Umar ibn al-Khattab asking his permission to have them translated for Muslims. ‘Umar wrote to him in reply that he should cast them into water, “for if what is written in those books is guidance, God has given us a better guide; and if that which is in those books is misleading, God has saved us from their evil.” Accordingly those books were cast into water or fire, and the sciences of the Iranians that were contained in them were destroyed and did not reach us.

      1. The Christians burned the library at Alexandria.

        1. True, but the Arabs pissed on the ashes.

        2. So did the romans and the muslms.

        3. You’re all wrong – the Romans most likely burned it, most likely accidentally. (And before they were Christian). Wikipedia is good on this. Christians, Muslims, and more exotic religions sacked Alexandria from time to time, but the historical consensus is that the Library was long gone by then.

          1. psht!…consensus…

      2. I wonder how much the Mongols had to do with unsmartifying Islam.

      3. European colonialism burned down or robbed hundreds of libraries all over the world. Post-mortem historical analysis sure is fun!

        1. [citation needed]

    5. It was my understanding that the advancements made by Arabic scientists, astronomers, and philosophers predated Islam and the science has fallen off largely to it’s factual nature interfering with Sky Daddyism. I could be mistaken, but that’s how I heard it when it became the common knowledge to me.

    6. “Islamic peoples preserved, refined, and practiced science and math…”

      I like your phrasing. This is in contrast to the many erroneous claims that the “arabic number system” was responsible for “zero.” Of course, the arabs got that number system, and zero, from India, and then brought it to the West. Do you thank AT&T for your iPhone? Then don’t thank muslims for the “arab” number system. Thank hindus.

  4. I saw that on CNN.com earlier.

    “WTF???” is pretty much the only proper response.

  5. Jeebus H. Inspiring children, international relationships, Muslim outreach. . . . What do those priorities have in common?

    They don’t have anything to do with, you know, aeronautics and space exploration. Are we sure Obama didn’t think Bolden was going to be working for State, or maybe Education?

    1. The other idiocy about this is to think the Muslim world’s problems have to do with “low self-esteem.” On the contrary, it’s having vastly-inflated self-esteem. They seem to think their cultures are wonderful, and all their problems come from Jews or America or conspiracies or whatever.

  6. And I thought that “it’s for the children” could not be trumped by anything else.

  7. I didn’t think there was anything else to learn from Lagari Hasan Celebi.

  8. The Arab world made wonderful contributions to math and engineering. The Muhammad showed up and fucked everything up for them.

    1. The Arab world contributed Zero to math and science.

      1. Ting!

      2. Actually, the concept of zero as a number was first exploited by Indian mathematicians. It is true that European mathematicians borrowed the concept from the Arabs, who lifted it from the Indians when they conquered them.

        1. Tulpa beat me to it, but he’s right. All India. Those numerals you’re using are Indian, too.

          1. Which are commonly called “Arabic numerals”. And Arabs use whatever it was that replaced the previous “Hindu-Arabic numerals”.

            1. Sounds like the Indians got screwed, if you ask me.

              1. Yeah, kinda. But then they came up with a script even less intelligible than Arabic, so they have that going for them.

    2. Dude, your timeline is more screwed up than Star Trek’s.

  9. What limited knowledge of space exploration I possess, sadly, comes from David Bowie and The Only Ones.

    What? No love for Peter Schilling?

  10. Bolden has truly inspired Muslim children the world over to impact international relations. You saw what we did with commercial airliners. Imagine what we can do with a space shuttle.

  11. Further proof that Obama is a secret Muslim.

  12. We should all heed the warnings from the works of Kim Stanley Robinson and make sure we don’t allow any Arabs on Mars.

    1. We’re not going to Mars. NASA is now in a mideast quagmire.

    2. Ultimately, the world government of Earth was the biggest, baddest, space-missle launching, murdering bunch of bastards in the whole mars trilogy. And, if memory serves, there were a couple of positive Arab characters despite some of the noted insanity. Ultimately, it’s a story about a future that will never happen because the world ends in 2012 according to that movie about…2012.

  13. 23 minutes to semifinal #1!

    1. Five days until we can go back to ignoring soccer for another four years!

      1. You know you’re loving it.

      2. If only baseball would go away.

        1. +?

          damn filter.

        2. Baseball is necessary for those of us for whom Soccer is too fast paced and exciting.

          1. Baseball is necessary for those of us for whom Soccer and Golf are too fast paced and exciting.

  14. Yo bro, you messed up the link to the rediculous quote:

    https://reason.com/admin/pages/I will leave it to other staffers to denounce NASA as a wasteful boondoggle, a budget-chewing vestige of the Cold War (I trust this is the case, though I admit that I having little interest in the celestial). What limited knowledge of space exploration I possess, sadly, comes from David Bowie and The Only Ones. But I do know this: the United States space program now exists to assuage the hurt feelings of nations and cultures that have lagged behind in scientific development. This according to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden is his “foremost” mission. “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.” Poor dears, feeling bad about their underappreciated contributions to science, math, and engineering. Seems to me an entirely reasonable way to fritter away tax dollars, on the mental health of Yemeni undergraduates.

  15. WTF is about the only thing i can think of also.

    So self esteem amongst muslims is the #3 priority but actually achieving something in space is not a priority at all??

    1. LOLworthy and nauseating all in one. Well done.

      1. Space exploration causes global climate change. Therefore, we should stop all industrial production, just to be sure.

        1. You are doing God’s work, Chad.

        2. Squatting in the dark and drinking stagnant water are the only safe options left.

  16. I’d be all for this if the campaign specifically praised Muslim culture for its scientific contributions back when it was the pinnicle of Modernity. Since they found oil in the basement they’ve only been assholes.

  17. Many of the great scholars of the early “Muslim world” were not actually Muslims, but dhimmi living under their rule. It’s a rather striking coincidence that the Muslim world started falling behind the West at about the same time that the native populations became overwhelmingly Muslim. Iran, for example, was likely still majority Zoroastrian until about the 10th Century.

    While Christianity is a similar intellectual void, it has the advantage of inherently recognizing a secular realm beyond the religious one (“render unto Caesar” and all that). Islam does no such thing, and as a result has placed an intellectual straitjacket on regions of the world that were the most advanced parts of the world during Antiquity. Essentially, they are stuck living in the mindset of a bunch of backwater 7th Century nomads.

    1. While Christianity is a similar intellectual void, it has the advantage of inherently recognizing a secular realm beyond the religious one

      They may recognize it, but they sure as hell (is this a hipster’s irony?) don’t like it.

      1. They didn’t like it, but they didn’t stop it.

        The Islamic powers-that-be shut down secular intellectual activity in places like Egypt and the Levant 800 years ago.

        1. They didn’t like it, but they didn’t stop it.

          Oh really?

          1. You are reading and writing this on a device that was made possible by intellectual activity occurring over centuries in the Christian world that had nothing to do with theology, so yeah, I’d say they didn’t stop it.

            1. Throughout history the secular realm has made the Catholic Church a lot of money.

    2. On the other hand, whether a significant portion of “Islamic scholars” were actually dhimmi or not, Islam has a long history of encouraging scientific inquest in its lands. Unfortunately, the modern Islamic world has largely forgotten that past, even as they use its fruits as a point of pride to bash everyone over the head with.

      1. Not that long a history, actually. Islamic intellectual history essentially ceased after about the 12th Century. The first several centuries of the “Muslim world” consisted of little more than a thin class of Bedouin conquerors ruling over far more advanced dhimmi populations. So there was only a period of about 300 years or so when actual Muslim nations preserved the cultural and intellectual heritage of their non-Muslim ancestors. Since then, they’ve been an intellectual backwater.

        Most “scholarly” activity in that part of the world during the last millennium has focused on religious studies. Al-Azhar University produces a lot of religious crap, but seemingly not much else.

      2. Persian or Persian-controlled would seem to be better adjectives here than “Islamic.” And, of course, even that went away after a while. There’s also the influence of Byzantium on all of this to keep in mind.

  18. 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.”

    NASA is doomed. This can’t be real.

    1. NASA has been doomed for years because no significant project has replaced the space shuttle.

      Although NASA offends my libertarian sensibilities, I’d say the taxpayers got more of their money’s worth with space exploration than with transfer payments to various forms of moochers.

  19. 7 minutes.

  20. Math to ancient muslims is like highschool football touchdowns are to Al Bundy.
    Yeah we get it, but it really doesn’t matter nowadays. Did you want a plaque or something?

  21. If I was a Muslim I would find that statement very condescending and insulting. “Oh, the great United States is going to make us feel better abut our history. Oh, thank you Great Satan you have saved our self esteem.”

  22. 2 minutes!

  23. And here we go!

    1. What’s the over/under on elapsed game time until:

      (1) A soccer player bursts into tears.

      (2) A referee throws a call.

      1. What does “throws a call” mean?

        1. Yeah, they’re not crooked – just incompetent.

          1. I’m still not sure about the Malian dude who fucked us over against Slovenia.

  24. Big scramble in front of Uruguay’s net. A couple of saves and a miss by the Dutch.

    1. Dude, I appreciate the zeal but ESPN does what you’re doing in real time, and with cool little maps, icons, and descriptions.

      1. Bah. Can’t someone who’s bored at work and listening in the radio give a little PBP?

        1. Keep it up bro, I for one enjoy your comments.

      2. Plus there are probably whole blogs devoted the soccer where people roll their eyes at trolls who only post about NASA budgets. Go find one.

    2. I’m DVRing this. STFU.

  25. Dutch are conceding all sorts of possession.

  26. Mr. Moynihan, please point to a specific example of a program designed to increase Muslim self-esteem that costs $18.9 billion. If you can’t do this, your title is grossly misleading.

    Yes, the quote is cheesy, but little if any of NASA’s budget is devoted to “self-esteem”. Your journalistic honesty standards again shine bright.

    1. Allahu ackbar!

  27. NASA at least has a history of using its budget to create decent paying tech field jobs that are currently employing tens of thousands of people.

    And if you’ve flown in a commercial airplane recently, you experienced just a small part of what NASA has contributed towards technological advancement.

    Mr. Bolden has a significant history with NASA including four space shuttle flights, so he’s not unqualified. But his remarks are troubling for those of us who wish to see NASA become more efficient and productive with NASA’s budget. NASA is the one government program that has delivered when given a goal that was clearly something private industry could not or would not deliver. Without clearly defined goals NASA becomes another giant government boondoggle, and it will waste away taxpayer money.

    Holden is not giving anyone confidence that NASA is going in the right direction.

    1. NASA is the one government program that has delivered when given a goal that was clearly something private industry could not or would not deliver.

      Without ever once wondering if the goal was worthwhile.

      1. Back during the Cold War, the goal of preventing the Soviets from obtaining space superiority was most certainly a worthwhile goal.

        1. Because otherwise we’d all be working on collectivized farms while our Soviet masters look down on us from the moon-Kremlin?

          1. In more practical terms, the Soviet Union didn’t have an Air Force that could compete with the US. The only way they could show military superiority was through ICBM’s, and they initially used captured German rocket scientists to assist with the engineering of their rocket program. (Ironically, the USSR did not allow the German scientists to do anything other than to be used as problem-solving consultants to the Soviet engineers, whereas von Braun was the brains behind the US’s rocket program.)

            When Sputnik was launched, it was hailed by the USSR as a vindication of Soviet communism over US capitalism. The resulting response from Eisenhower administration was to double down on our own space program to maintain military superiority.

    2. And if you’ve flown in a commercial airplane recently, you experienced just a small part of what NASA has contributed towards technological advancement.

      Please tell me what in commercial air travel today owes its existence to NASA.
      Jet propulsion? No.
      Pressurized containers? No.
      Radio? No.
      RF Transponders? No.
      Tarmac? No.

      Because I’m really coming up blank here.

        1. From a NASA website. It must be true. Can you point me to a DEA website that shows all the good the War on Drugs Liberty has achieved next?

          Deserved skeptical snark aside, is your view that none of these things would hve been developed without NASA? I find that more than difficult to believe.

          1. Can you point me to a DEA website that shows all the good the War on Drugs Liberty has achieved next?

            No. Notice I said above “NASA is the one government program that has delivered when given a goal that was clearly something private industry could not or would not deliver.” The War on Drugs certainly isn’t one of them.

            is your view that none of these things would hve been developed without NASA?

            Not necessarily, but the list of NASA’s contribution to technological innovation is quite extensive. I mean, satellite technology and what it provides humanity today alone is a significant contribution. But I suppose that yes, these things may well have been developed eventually on their own, but certainly not 50 years ago.

      1. I got some Tang on a commercial flight once.

        1. I got some on Air Force One! Top THAT!

          1. He didn’t say pootie-tang, Bill!

      2. Like DARPA, NASA has funnelled significant R&D dollars to partners in commercial and military aviation to stimulate development of products which do not always have a clear business case to drive private investment.

        The world could survive without NASA and their dollars (since they are our dollars spun through the washing machine), but that does not erase the contributions that they have made to commercial aviation.

        1. And there is alwasys the entertainment provided by ongoing bickering between NASA and the FAA.

  28. For a man who declares himself a Muslim, this President of yours shows little familiarity with my teachings. All the heavens cloven from this earth, and all living creatures scattered therein by Allah, exist to declare His glory, and to serve man, as I’ve said, and my Word repeats eternally.

    Does Obama think he is me? That he can usurp me? That he is the Mahdi? Sometimes, I think so. Then I go see what’s new in the “small tits” section at pornhub.

    1. Paul Atreides is the Mahdi, fool.

    2. Holy shit he represented he who must not be visualized in text! I’d start practicing dodging grenades.

  29. Holy crap! Giovanni Van Bronckhorst with the goal from 35 yards!

  30. They’ve already tackled the poblem of facing Mecca from space:
    http://www.wired.com/science/s…..a_in_orbit

    1. The larger fear would a run in with pigs in space.

  31. If you’re against using NASA to smooth over relations with Muslims, you’re a racist.

  32. Forlan has tied it for Uruguay!

    41st minute.

    1. Crap. I’m for the Dutch.

      1. After the bicycle kick to the face, so am I. However, it’s hard to root against that dude with the dreamy hair.

    2. It’s halftime.

      I’m almost always for the Dutch, but Uruguay has been a hell of a story, and if they managed to regain supremacy after 60 years in the wilderness, it would be excellent and most unexpected.

      Plus, their keeper is one confident motherfucker, as evidenced by the penalty shootout vs. Ghana. Abreu has balls the size of watermelons for his winning penalty. Suarez made the most incredible of sacrifices to give his team a chance. They’re almost a Team of Destiny.

      1. “Suarez made the most incredible of sacrifices to give his team a chance.”

        A sacrifice for what? So he could shut down a legitimate goal by violating the one guiding tenet of soccer/football? If that Ghana v. Uruguay game happened on the street, somebody would have been shanked for pulling that shit. Awarding someone for “strategically” cheating is no different from awarding assholes who buy government favors with the sluttiest of prostitutes. New rule for handballs for obvious goals: The shooter gets a shot at an empty net from 2 yards away (And he gets three chances to make the goal).

        1. The laws were applied correctly. He did not try to deceive anyone (and, in fact, he raised his hand afterward to ensure that he was the one to get sent off, as there was a second player on the line as well). His handling of the ball is no different than the Ghana player’s dive to get the free kick in the first place, and is, in fact MORE honest, as Ghana was actively trying to deceive the referee on that play and several others.

          Suarez knew the consequences, accepted them and saved his team, who were beaten today without him. But now they get to play for 3rd and we got to see Forlan score another beauty.

          There was no cheating here. A Law of the Game was broken, as happens dozens of times each game. It was done openly and unambiguously. The proper sanctions were meted out. Gyan fucked up the 90% goal that would have seen Ghana through. Suarez didn’t make him miss the penalty.

          1. The point stands that this type of strategy is not something that should be promoted. Suarez should have vainly reached for the ball with his head, and the goal should have been made, Uruguay should have cried their balls off, and Ghana should have been destroyed by the Netherlands today. The only justice is that Suarez’s “sacrifice” (you know he is going to get laid by the sluttiest of sluts that ever slutted back home, no sacrifice should result in copious amounts of hardcore South American butt sex)-induced absence possibly resulted in his team’s loss today. If the morons over at FIFA don’t find a way to curb this, it will happen again and again and again. This has nothing to do with Suarez’s acceptance of his actions. There should be no incentive in dire situations to pull this shit in the first place.

            I’ve spoken to 20+ multinational/ethnic (Israeli, Indian, Canadian, etc.) fans of soccer about this and not one of them think this type of crap qualifies as anything other then cheating (and dumbass refereeing). You know, I feel for Uruguay. I really do. I understand the plight of the poor underdog. But if Uruguay deserved victory because they are poor, why didn’t Ghana deserve the same? This type of emotional rationalization justifies everything from this garbage to suicide bombing. Soccer is a game of skill, and in the crucial moment when Uruguay didn’t have the skill to prevent their defeat, they did the one thing most unskilled players could do with a beer in one hand. They returned a volleyball serve.

            1. Your anecdotal evidence does not agree with mine. For example, there’s a larger faction on BigSoccer.com that doesn’t regard it as “cheating” as one that does.

              My emotional rationalization has nothing to do with Uruguay’s affluence or lack thereof. It has to do with them being a tiny country (many, many times smaller than Ghana) who used to rule the soccer world. It also has to do with the brilliance of Forlan.

              And the same fucking thing can be said of Ghana regarding “game of skill”. When Ghana couldn’t overcome Uruguay by skillful play, they resorted to diving and time-wasting (like against the US and everyone else they play), ultimately resulting in the non-foul that set up the Suarez handball. THERE WAS NO FOUL. It was a blatant dive.

  33. Q: Why are there no Arabs on Star Trek?

    A: Because it’s in the future.

    1. Most of the Arabs were wipes out in The Clone Wars, stupid.

      1. They went to the same place as the French-speaking French. Khan (Indian) killed them all off.

    2. What about Dr. Bashir on DS9?

      1. He’s a British Pakistani

          1. Dr. Bashir, not Alexander Siddig, you horrible, leering cretin.

            1. From Memory Alpha:

              Ronald D. Moore commented “In my mind, Julian was of Sudanese (like Sid), Indian, or Pakistani extraction, but that the family’s roots were probably in England, hence the accents.”

              I don’t see any firm Pakistani origination.

              Aside…Ronald D. Moore should be forced to eat his own fecal matter for the rest of his days (still bitter about BSG finale)

              1. Well, the parents were played by actors who looked very much like Brit south asian, but future space people and all that.

              2. I thought the BSG finale was awesome.

                “Peace in our time”.

                Unfortunately,tyrol couldn’t keep his shit together,so…

    3. Juvenile, and ill-informed.

      Aside…I never knew his full name until now. Yowza!

      1. DS9, the Days of Our Lives of Star Trek. God I hated that show.

        1. I dunno, I liked it well enough. Beats the crap out of Voyager.

          1. Colm Meany = good
            Dominion War stuff = good
            Klingons = good

            There was some crap though, and early seasons were pretty shitty. They should’ve killed O’Brien’s wife and kid off straight away, and never had that horrible Dax character.

            1. Hey, Hawk was good.

              1. Hey, Hawk was good.

                Sisko?

                1. Yes, Hawk. A spiritual, yet ass-kicking, brother.

            2. I’d bitch about Jake, too, but one of my favorite episodes (“The Visitor”) was centered on him.

            3. “and never had that horrible Dax character.”

              And who exactly would we have masturbated to then? Kira was an instant boner killer.

          2. Voyager had Jeri Ryan in tight uniforms. That alone would make it a better show than DS9.

        2. A.k.a. “Deep Sleep 9.”

      2. His uncle is Malcolm McDowell? Whoa.

  34. 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.”

    With all due respect, Mr. President, children are inspired by the actions of NASA, not through well coordinated PR campaigns. Send us to Mars, hell, send another robot to mars, and kids will become inspired. Sending me on Junkets around the country ‘inspiring kids’ isn’t the job of the director. Give us the nod on a Mars mission, and you’re going to see an entirely new generation of inspired kids.

    As for the second two, I respectfully decline. Those are for the Department of State. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration doesn’t handle international diplomacy with perennially ‘dissed’ cultures.

    1. Sending Obama to Mars will inspire millions!!

      1. To the moon, Barack!

  35. 2nd half has started.

    1. Isn’t there some BBC thread you can be polluting?

      1. No.

        From the radio guys’ call, the Dutch seem very, very tired.

    2. I’d keep it to one thread dude.

      1. I dunno. I tried that before and thought it was a pain to keep up with, even though it was all in one place.

      2. We need a Dave Weigel tie-in to that thread, too.

    3. One thing seems clear: whoever wins this match will be cannon fodder for (most likely) Germany.

      1. The Netherlands all the way, baby!

        1. It’s actually hard to dislike Germany because they’re playing so well and so free.

          That’s hard to get your head around: actually liking the Germans.

          1. Screw the Germans. And I say that as someone with a lot of German blood.

            1. They’ve been excellent and fun to watch.

              1. I’m hoping Germany win so that NZ are the only undefeated team in the tournament. 🙂

                1. I was hoping that New Zealand would advance.

      2. Well, the Dutch should at least be familiar with that role.

    4. Stecklenberg saves from a Forlan free kick yet again.

    5. Ohhh! Van der Vaart forces a rebound and Robben puts it over incredibly!

    6. 69th minute and Sneijder strikes again! Off the post and in!

      Radio guy says it may have been offside, but it was not given.

      2-1!

      1. You are very slow. 3-1.

        1. Bite me. 🙂

          1. Sloooooooooow.

    7. Arjen Robben scores on an cross from Kuyt!

      Wow.

      3-1! 75th minute.

    8. Uruguay has put in big old Abreu at center forward of a 3 man frontline.

    9. Uruguay may have conceded. Forlan has been subbed out.

      Holland looks like they’re well on their way.

      1. 3-2!

    10. 1st minute of stoppage, Pereia has scored!

      3-2!

      3 more minutes at least.

      1. And it’s over! Soon, the Dutch will rule the world!

        1. You must be a conflicted dude. German blood, Dutch blood…

          1. I don’t know about any Dutch blood. Just German, Scottish, and some English. I guess I’ve got Danish mixed in, too, given where my Scottish ancestors lived.

    11. It’s over!

      Uruguay nearly clawed it back at the death, but Holland is through.

      Van Bommel gets a post-mortem yellow card.

      1. Or is it? 94.5 minutes.

    12. NOW it’s over.

      And there’s some argy-bargy going on, evidently.

      1. “Argy-bargy”, dude? Get the fuck out with that limey shit.

        1. Should I have said “set-to” instead?

        2. “Argy-bargy” is awesome, it’s up there with a “bit of biffo,” a “donnybrook,” and a “bit of how’s your father.”

    13. This will be the first European winner on a continent other than Europe.

      1. Great – another week of “crushed African dreams” and “dashed South American hopes” flapdoodle.

  36. The only way to prevent another 9/11 is to demonize all Muslims and bomb as many of their children as possible.

    1. You can hear the echo of that SNAP! all the way back to 2008.

    2. Admittedly, if you bomb enough Muslim children, the problem of Muslim cultures’ self-esteem does go away.

  37. As if a lack of self esteem and a tendency towards introspection were substantial cultural impediments in the Middle East, the way they can be in Japan or here in the US.

    Has there ever been a ‘malaise ayatollah?’

    Like BPengy noted up thread he had a conversation with a lady of Arab descent, I had a similar one years ago with an Iranian lady. The conversation had nothing to do with culture or religion, but out of the blue she blurted a defense of her grandmother’s wearing of the burqa as being ‘liberating’ (as she cannot be judged by her physique). I shook my head, and told her, ‘please don’t make any assumptions about what I am thinking. In truth, I don’t care what your grandmother chooses to wear or not to wear.’

    1. Muslims were, and continue to be, light years ahead of the rest of the world in clitoral mutilation. And fucking camels and goats. I think NASA should help Muslims feel good about that. As JFK said, “We do these things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

  38. Arabs are not a significant ethnic group in Pakistan.

    Punjabis (44.15%)
    Pashtuns (15.42%)
    Sindhis (14.1%)
    Seraikis (10.53%)
    Muhajirs (7.57%)
    Balochis (3.57%)
    Others (4.66%)

    1. This in response to Alan @ 4:18 who referred to BP’s Pakistani acquaintance as “Arab”.

      1. I had read dozens of comments between his and the one I wrote. I simply misremembered that she was Pakastani. If it wasn’t for his charismatic presence, I would assuredly referred to BP as ‘someone made the comment . . .’, as I would not have even retained that much.

      2. But interesting fact sheet, I had thought Pashtuns were much more close to a plurality than that indicates.

  39. I think we need to take the 18.9 Billion from NASA and put it back into the Economy. People need money. NASA doesn’t.

    1. Tell SpaceX that they can have the money if they get us to Mars. With the beginnings of a permanent settlement.

  40. I’ve got a plan. We need one more moon mission. The mission will be to recreate the landscape of Israeli cities on the moon. The Muslim world will launch so many rockets that direction that sooner or later they will feel good about their contribution to space exploration.

  41. NASA was politicized from its inception.

    Werner von Braun wanted only one facility, in Huntsville Alabama, that would do everything for the program. What we got are a bunch sites spread across the country that are named after Senators.

    NASA is a popular destination for job applicants. About twenty years ago government officials took advantage of that fact to limit hiring to Nerds, Women, and Minorities.

    By Pareto’s Rule 20% of NASA emplyees do 80% of the work and at least 80% of NASA’s budget is allocated to political fluff like propagandizing kids to want to work as Scientists.

    Someone must have done a study and noticed that Muslims are underrepresented at NASA.

  42. Remember back in the days when NASA was falsifying temperature data to prop Al Gore up?

    http://www.frugal-cafe.com/pub…..-research/

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