Bonus QOTW: Why NASA belongs on the FAIL blog

Consider this a bonus Quote of the Week, but since it’s not climate/science/weather related I didn’t give it top billing for QOTW this week. That honor went to a study from the Max Planck Institute.

No, it's not about this or the crashed Mars probe English-Metric FAIL either

You are probably thinking though that I’m going to write about something related to satellite sensing or NASA GISS. Maybe with Jim Hansen or Gavin Schmidt as topics? No, there’s even more FAIL than those two can muster. It’s about their boss.

h/t to a zillion people who wrote in, but borrowing a bit from Russ Steele at NCWatch:

Charles Bolden, head of NASA, tells Al Jazeera in a video that:

…the “foremost” task President Obama has given him is “to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with predominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering.”

Thus, NASA’s primary mission is no longer to enhance American science and engineering or to explore space, but to boost the self-esteem of “predominantly Muslim nations.”

I can think of a few satirical images I could create to illustrate this folly, but they’d probably start a Jyllands-Posten style jihad.

Exploring space didn’t even make the top three things Obama wants Bolden to accomplish. The other two are:

…”re-inspire children to want to get into science and math” and “expand our international relationships,”

See the video below if you find this quote unbelievable.


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This has passed beyond a question of left and right to one of absolute incompetence and idiocy. I always felt Ayn Rand’s antagonists were somewhat over the top, I guess I was wrong (shudder.

I may write on this later, it’s so moronic it hurts. There is just too much wrongthink in this world.


So, WUWT? Is Hansen going to Koran-school now?


Well, you can’t say that he’s not honest about what his marching orders are.
How well that fits with what NASA’s actual capabilities are or with what the public expects is the question.
Maybe that task would be more appropriately placed in the Education Department as opposed to a research agency.

And what is the White House complaining about wrt coverage of this buffoonery? That people are paying attention, and have the audacity to pipe up and say “Excuse me, but. . .” over the incident.

Evan Jones

As the entire administration has been giving a new emphasis to Not Ready for Prime Time, maybe that’s all that NASA is good for, these days. We mustn’t put too much of a strain on the poor dears.


You wanted a change – you’ve got it.

John Peter

I can’t believe he was serious. This must surely be pure propaganda or NASA might as well close down and save the USA a lot of Dollars. As a European, spending the first five years of my life under German occupation, I have always held USA in high regard regardless and saw Uncle Sam as my ultimate garantor of my freedom during the Cold War. I deplore the downward slide of this great country and do hope that at some stage The United States will regain its former strengths in science, engineering, business and entrepreneurship. The World needs a strong USA.


Beyond belief that once proud NASA is now just a political water boy for Obama. It seems like every effort is used to destroy the fabric of the United States of America. Every day yet another insult.

CPT. Charles

I’m with Jeff.
If I launched into a full-bore rant right now…I’d wind up getting banned.
There’s a bunch of folks in the Federal government that need to lose their jobs.
A whole bunch.

David, UK

Hey, those guys gave us the abacus, so don’t knock ’em. I wouldn’t be without mine.


It is so sad to see an organization so totally lose its direction. I’m old enough to remember Skylab, the Viking probes and the promise of the space shuttle. I wanted to become an American so I could work at NASA!
What a tragically pathetic end to an organization that once inspired the world.


Name the next rocket Al Pollo. Ooops, forgot, they’re not in the rocket business anymore.

Greg Cavanagh

Without the video, I never would have believed it.


We’ll end loving Hansen and their funny trains.☺


Ahh, yes. Let’s have a rocket scientist exchange program. Give them even better technology than they can get from N. Korea or Pakistan. That’s the ticket. If I were Bolden, I’d know exactly where to send my next rocket.

I can’t wait to hear what Neil Armstrong has to say. Once he gets his head glued back together after the explosion, of course.

Henry chance

It is my understanding Iran wants a rocket with which they can reach Israel.
I take the space program has too much science in it for comfort.
Are Hansen and Schmidt not very busy these days?

AC of Adelaide

How sad. Seems the whole West is on a race to the bottom. No doubt the experience they have gained in fabricating global warming science will stand them in good stead for fabricating Islamic history as well.


Unreal. I would not believe it had I not seen it. Amazing. Please vote in November and in the mean time write your elected officials. I am stunned.


NASA’s original mission was to push the limits and put a man on the moon. This was what they were and they did the job well. Next they were given the mission to be bus drivers to low orbit. They did it but not as well. Now they are given the mission to be diplomats. Want to bet on how well they will do this mission?


You commentators have it wrong. Obama et al are not just incompetent and idiotic. It is worse. Every thing done by them in policy formation and legislatively is intentional, maliciously so. E.G. see Paul Driessen’s (10/5) essay on todays, “Obama’s Deliberate Katrina”.
Obama is in the process of creating and substituting a socialist tyranny for our constitutional government. He cannot be more clear about his motives and objectives. He repeats the regularly. Wake up everyone before it is too late.


America: 1776-2010 It was a good run.

The way you inspire children is by doing fun and exciting things like going to the moon. The space program inspired me as a child
In the rankings of what inspires children, presidential speeches come right near the very bottom. Suicide bombers, shoe bombers, underwear bombers, bus bombers, plane bombers, school attackers and hotel attackers rank even lower.

Henry chance

Congress ordered and funded the Yucca waste repository. Now several judges say Obama doesn’t have the authority to close it. Congress will have to rule on it. The President doesn’t negate legislation.
I am not sure Congress is ready to dismantle NASA.

I was 9 years old when Apollo landed on the Moon. I remember staring with big, blue eyes at the black&white TV. I am now 50.
NASA has lost it completely. How sad. Should we perhaps look to Russia or China?

Ian E

Till I saw the video, I wondered if Bolden was deliberately exposing the mental shortcomings and muslim-credentials of the first possibly non-American leader of the ‘free’ world (wouldn’t you be frustrated to be given such tasks as Head of NASA – seems like the sort of tasks given to the Newbie because noone else would want to do them!). However, Bolden seems to relish the task (he looks pretty muslim/egyptian in appearance or at least African-American) so maybe he is an Obama-clone!

jack morrow

Either the US voters come to their senses and get rid of these fools or we will be subjected to much worse scenarios than this stupidity. I have no confidence that they will. (Snip.)

Obama is the very bestest little friend Israel ever had. Even more than Bush.
Bush wouldn’t attack Iran, Obama will.
Yes we can.


The bottom just figuratively fell out of my jaw. I can’t see how any sane president would abuse his power this way (along with our taxes). Talk about an embarrassment!


[i]John Peter says:
July 6, 2010 at 2:30 pm
I can’t believe he was serious. [/i]
Change you can(‘t) believe in?

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

Yes, we will reach out to the Iranians and make them feel good about their historic contributions to science, math, and engineering, which lead to their recent contributions which may soon be completing their trajectories near or even on each of us. I am certain the Israelis will likewise join us in this, as they are exceedingly grateful for the contributions of predominantly-Muslim nations that regularly fall on their country. The contributions of Iraq under Saddam Hussein, especially the testing of them, was indeed of great historical significance. We should indeed make them feel good about all their hard work.

There’s actually some kind of logic to this, all be it tenuous. The Wahabi Islamist Jihadi movement is profoundly anti-knowledge, anti-enlightenment, anti-progress, anti everything that an education brings. Because, if those people spending ten years in a Madrassa learning nothing but the theology that makes it seem sensible for them to become suicide bombers had spent ten years learning maths and particle physics instead, they almost certainly would have had nothing to do with anybody trying to recruit them to blow themselves up in a crowded train station. Of course, such secular subjects as maths and science are derided by the Islamists as un-Islamic. Much like they brand pretty much everything else useful or constructive in the world as un-Islamic.
Therefore, there is long game value in pointing out very clearly that when we in the european judeo-christian part of the world were doing the Dark Ages, the Islamic world was doing the cutting edge scientific thought, the astronomy, the literature, the architecture, music and all sorts of great works, and that a lot of the science we in the first world are doing today stands on the shoulders of work done by the great Islamic scholars and of the middle ages.


Henry chance says:
July 6, 2010 at 2:46 pm
It is my understanding Iran wants a rocket with which they can reach Israel.
I take the space program has too much science in it for comfort.
Actually, they already have rockets that will reach Israel, the SE part of Europe in fact. They just can’t do the plutonium payload just yet. Iran’s rocket program is the most explosive one in the world though!


Do not be surprised. This is symptomatic of a larger pattern.
America’s world dominance started after WWI and certainly after WWII when the British empire was finally killed off. It’s greatness peaked when they landed a man on the moon. It’s been on the slide ever since. The US is a great country in terminal decline. Like all empires it grew out of a vision of a society of free men ready to work and tame the wild west. It then got fat, lazy and stupid. The vision is dead. NASA makes this crystal clear.
Eventually the same will happen to China and each big country will have its day. That’s how it goes.

mike sphar

It is far worse than we ever thought….

George E. Smith

So just who is this dingbat anyway; and what is it that qualifies him to be the NASA administrator; lemme guess; he isn’t Moslem himself is he; he seems to say the word with some air of authority; like he has used it before; sort of like out President and his visit to all 57 States (Moslem States that must be).
And just where in the Koran does it say that humans are supposed to go flying around the world; I thought we were all supposed to go and hide our faces in old wells and other holes underground; along the lines of where Saddam Hussein was finally found.

John Q Public

The longer Obama is at the controls, the more I wonder how he got elected. This guy really hasn’t ever had a real job, has he?


He is a moron.

George E. Smith

“”” David, UK says:
July 6, 2010 at 2:34 pm
Hey, those guys gave us the abacus, so don’t knock ‘em. I wouldn’t be without mine. “””
And who was the inventor; Foo ibn Manchu ?
Like the Arabic numerals; that were invented by the Hindus; long before there even was any moslem philosophy.


…the “foremost” task President Obama has given him is “to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with predominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering.”
Sorry but, not being an American, despite the “foremost” word, I can’t find anything wrong with this phrase…
Once, when we westerns were “barbarians”, trying to enforce christianism by the power of the sword, muslims were worried with maths (you forget that 1, 2, 3, 4… 0 are the arabic numerical notation), were looking at the stars, giving great contributions to astronomy and had a incredible advanced architecture. Somehow, nowadays, they seem to be backwards in history and became a new sort of “barbarians”. Despite this, it’s possible to see great scientists that come from the muslim world. Maybe possible ties between we westerns and peaceful muslims, based on science and scientific cooperation, can build something more interesting that brainless invasions from brainless US administrations don’t you think? If you study a little bit of history you can find daily science procedures, some of them universal and transversal to scientific areas, that are contributions of ancient arabian scientists. Some of them well ahead of their time, well before european renaissance. Sorry Anthony but, besides the “foremost” task thing, I don’t agree with your emphasise in this statement as a negative thing (or did i made a wrong interpretation?)


Ken Haylock says:
July 6, 2010 at 3:16 pm
“There’s actually some kind of logic to this, all be it tenuous. ”
Yes, well, but think about it. Why NASA? Why not the IPCC instead?
Then they could try something even more impossible than reduce the planets temperature?


I would be happy to celebrate the many fine scientific accomplishments of the modern Muslim world, just as soon as I can decipher what they are.
I count two (2) scientists from Muslim majority countries who have won Nobels:
1. Claude Cohen-Tannoudji*, Physics, 1997
2. Ahmed Zewail, Chemistry, 1999
* Born to French-Jewish parents in Algeria when it was still a French territory.


To paraphrase Mozart in the movie Amadeus – when one hears such sounds what can one say but ‘Obama?’ When I read this yesterday the kid in me was stunned. Nothing would get kids more interested in math and science than American feet on the Moon and Mars. America needs to be first in space period. Its a mattter of pride.

Charles Dolci

What a bunch of crap.
What this means is that Obama and his ilk believe that it takes the US to make the Muslim world “feel good” about their historical contributions. What an insult to the Muslim world (not that I care a whole heck of a lot) that Obama believes they are incapable of recognizing and celebrating their own history without us.
They are all stoopid. God save us.


Your Obama is an ass. Nero fiddled while Rome burned and Obama played golf while Oil gushed into the gulf. Although I do not believe he is a muslim, (though I am unable to dismiss it as totally implausible) is pretty subservient to the Muslim world.
[ ]

Alan Simpson

Oh good grief! Well I expect the Americans are “Dancing in the streets” I mean reaching for their guns at this good news.
Not sure if I got the strike bit right, be nice MODS. 🙂

Mike Ford

Somewhere locked away in some NASA back rooms and labs I pray there is a key under some glass with a sign that says – “In case of normalcy, please break glass and let us engineers out!”
Absolutely stunning.

Larry Sheldon

Dr. Feynman pretty much documented what is wrong with NASA in 1986. It has deteriorated since then and for a long time has pretty much been a financial black hole.
The problem truly is not, much as it pains me to say it, Obama’s but rather a continuing progressive problem (the Protect the Moslem ego’s thing is a unique stroke of brilliance).