Silly me. I thought America's unparalleled space program (before the present administration began dismantling it) was a triumph of American ingenuity, technology, vision and boldness.
Instead, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden says its "foremost mission" is not returning to the moon, or completing a mission to Mars; rather it is improving relations with the Muslim world. Bolden says President Obama told him he also wants NASA to encourage children to study science and math, but isn't that best done by applying science and math to a robust space program?
Obama is boldly going where no president has gone before. It is a continuation of the president's subjugation of himself (bowing to foreign leaders) and the country he is charged with leading by obsequiously kowtowing to a people for whom advancement to the Middle Ages would be a step up.
The president and Bolden think it will improve relations with the Muslim world if we praise it for its work in math and science many centuries ago, but what has the Muslim world done for humanity lately?
Female genital mutilation? Beheadings? Stoning of alleged adulterers? Honor killings? Terrorism? Death sentences to religious converts?
Yes, Benito Mussolini was said to have made the trains run on time, so maybe previous presidents should have praised his timetable and overlooked the torture, the censorship, the holding of women and children hostage, and the police state.
I'm sure if we searched long enough, we might discover a good character quality or two in Mao Zedong, a world-class mass murderer. But let's not forget China invented the compass and woodblock printing. What are a few human rights violations compared to these positive contributions?
Perhaps if President Roosevelt had looked for some good in Adolf Hitler, World War II might have been avoided. Maybe it was our fault that Pearl Harbor was bombed. We should have appreciated the Japanese contribution to America. (The cherry tree? Sushi?)
What is it about this president of ours? He doesn't seem to love America, at least not the America we knew before his coming to office. He pledged to change the country, but growing numbers think what we have is better than what he wants.
Despite its past and current problems, most Americans are justifiably proud of their country and what it has stood for over the last 234 years. Regrets? Sure, we've had a few, but then again too few to mention compared to the blessings we have received and the blessing we have been to much of the world.
On April 3, 2009, Obama addressed an adoring crowd in Strasbourg, France. He told them the United States "has failed to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world" and that America had "shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive" toward its allies.
Actually, it has been the other way around. America bailed out Europe twice in the last century because it elevated evil men to leadership and they started wars that engulfed the world. And America protected European economies by paying for a nuclear umbrella that protected the continent from the Soviet Union, thus allowing those who refused to pay a price or bear a burden to concentrate on their economies and self-indulgent pleasures.
If America is all that Obama makes it out to be, why do we have such an illegal-immigration problem? You'd think these people would prefer Europe, or Iraq, which have contributed so much to our space program.
If NASA's "foremost mission" is no longer space, but a group hug to Muslim nations, perhaps Congress should be asked to authorize such a change in purpose and reduce NASA's budget.
Do most taxpayers want NASA to focus on inner space, rather than outer space? I doubt it. They can render their verdict on this and many other Obama policies come the November election.
Examiner columnist Cal Thomas is nationally syndicated by Tribune Media