Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Enhancing Self-Esteem, at a Stiff Price

NASA's website states its "…mission is to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautic research."

It used to be anyway. I think that its website should be updated a bit following revelations revealed in Charles Bolden's June, 2010 speech in Egypt. Mr. Bolden is NASA's Administrator and he was being interviewed by Al Jazeera TV on the one year anniversary of President Obama's Cairo speech. Mr. Bolden had some very interesting things to say about NASA's new mission. Bolden stated that he had been called in by Obama and told that "…NASA's foremost duty is to make Muslims feel good about themselves." He was told to help them boost their self-esteem. He was told to reach out to the Muslim world and honor their historic contributions in science, math and engineering. Bolden went on to state that "NASA is not only a space exploration agency. It's also an earth improvement agency." Well isn't that special.

It's good that NASA has this new task on its plate, because the Obama Administration has drastically cut its budget, which has resulted in the cancellation of virtually all manned space flights. That includes the development of the next rocket which was supposed to take mankind back to the moon. And now with the end of the Space Shuttle program in view, it seems NASA will now morph into a Muslim outreach program. I wonder how that makes the engineers and scientists working for NASA feel? I wonder how it negatively impacts the hundreds of thousands of jobs dependent on space exploration, many of them in California. I wonder if NASA now stands for National Arab Sensitivity Association.

And considering that the International Space Station was built using mostly American money and manufacturing, one has to wonder how we're going to send our astronauts back and forth? Fear not, good friends, we have the answer. Russia, that paragon of virtue, has offered to help. At a price, of course.

We have a contract with the Russians to rocket our folks to the ISS for only $56,000,000.00 per chair. And starting in 2014, the price goes to $63,000,000.00 per ride. I guess when you have a monopoly you can charge whatever you want. And we have a Government which, in a short-sighted decision, has given them that monopoly. I guess it costs less to improve Muslim self-esteem than it does to fire rockets into space. I don't know about you, but I'd prefer our continued investment in space exploration, even if it means that our Muslim friends have a little less self-esteem.

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