The death of Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, takes place in the shadow of the death of the space program. Last year Armstrong had called the dismantling of the space program under Obama, leaving behind a shadow space agency: "embarrassing and unacceptable".
"The reality that there is no flight requirement for a NASA pilot-astronaut for the foreseeable future is obvious and painful to all who have, justifiably, taken great pride in NASA’s wondrous space flight achievements during the past half century," Armstrong concluded his testimony. "In space fight, we are in the process of exhausting alternatives. I am hopeful that, in the near future, we will be doing the right thing."
If we ever do get around to doing the right thing, in space or on the ground, Neil Armstrong will not be around to see it. The famously reclusive astronaut passed away after being drawn out to make a final bid at reviving the space program. His final contribution may be that he joined the many voices warning of the decline of America. His final legacy may be determined by whether the American people choose to listen to some of his final words.
Neil Armstrong was born in 1930, the year that a young researcher watching the sky over Flagstaff, Arizona, discovered Pluto. By 2006, it was decided that Pluto was no longer a planet. By 2016 we may decided that Neil Armstrong never really walked on the moon and that walking on the moon is an assault on the lunar ecology.
Two years ago, Charles Bolden, the incompetent Obama appointee who has implemented his mission of killing America's space program, declared that the agency's chief goal was outreach to the Muslim world. This was not his original idea.
While visiting Egypt, Bolden told Al-Jazeera that Obama had given him three missions. "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,"
Space exploration was not on the list for a reason. Michael Griffin, Bolden's predecessor, who had done much to rebuild NASA, only to have his work ruined by Obama's affirmative action appointees, Charles Bolden and Lori Garver, said of those comments, "NASA ... represents the best of America. Its purpose is not to inspire Muslims or any other cultural entity. If by doing great things, people are inspired, well then that's wonderful. If you get it in the wrong order ... it becomes an empty shell... That is exactly what is in danger of happening."
NASA, like the rest of American exceptionalism, has become that empty shell in the throes of Obama's Post-American national order. It exists to make Muslim boys feel good about imaginary Muslim inventions and to provide jobs to Russian engineers. In the last week NASA premiered a new song from one of Obama's favorite musicians, will.i.am and demonstrated a new "green" alternative to existing rocket fuels.
In a memo for NASA's OEOD, Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, Charles Bolden declared that, "Diversity and inclusion are integral to mission success at NASA". Because how can we possibly reach the stars unless there are mandated diversity targets among the launch crews and the conflict management specialists?
"As NASA's Diversity and Inclusion Champion," Bolden wrote,"I belicve it is incumbent on every member of the NASA community to advocate for promote, and most importantly, practice the principles of diversity and inclusion in everything that we do."
Neil Armstrong would probably never have made it into NASA. But then he would have had little place in Obama's NASA, where the goal isn't to reach the sky, but to score diversity credits. To that end, OEOD's Endeavor magazine announced an eLearning institute to provide the NASA family with "real-time education and awareness opportunities on various aspects of EO (equal opportunity), diversity and inclusion... that will allow all NASA employees to add to their SATERN learning history with valuable credits in diversity and EO."
Forget the stars, the new frontier is right here in the latest regulation on transgender rights in the workplace, located on Page 4 of the newest issue of Endeavor. But that's not all. Don't speak English? NASA may not have a space program anymore, but under Obama Executive Order 13166, “Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency,” it has developed a "Language Access Plan" for people who don't speak English.
As guided by Executive Order 13166, "Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency," NASA's commitment to equal opportunity includes the Agency's efforts to ensure that all members of the public who wish to participate in Agency-conducted programs and activities have an equal opportunity to do so," Charles Bolden writes. "Whether patrons of our Visitors' Centers, participants in guided tours of our Centers, or students being inspired by our Astronaut corps to become a part of the next generation of explorers, we welcome all."
Not speaking English doesn't mean that you shouldn't be able to become part of the next generation of explorers boarding broken-down Soviet capsules to travel to a conference on inclusive workplace policies on a space station built by transgender Muslims who immediately honor-killed themselves after its completion.
The mission to create a NASA that is "reflective of the nation that it represents" really means creating a NASA that is as useless and dysfunctional as every government agency and exists only to promote politically correct programs and make diverse people feel equally good about themselves in exactly equal amounts of diversity.
"A lead, however earnestly and expensively won, once lost, is nearly impossible to regain," Neil Armstrong warned Congress. That is true in all areas, not just in space exploration.Leading requires achievement and achievement is exceptional, not diverse. It is based on the achievements of individuals who pull others forward with them. It is driven by the restless, the innovative and the perfectionists who are not willing to accept the diverse standard of the lowest common denominator.
"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard," JFK said in his famous speech. After the safe return of Apollo 13, Nixon said, "From the beginning, man's ventures into space have been accompanied by danger. Apollo 13 reminds us how real those dangers are. It reminds us of the special qualities of the men who dare to brave the perils of space."
The American lead has not been lost so much as thrown away by an ideology that does not believe in leading, except in the number of foreign language Muslim transgender engineers bundling up a Space Shuttle that could still fly as a relic to a well-connected museum that will use the money from the spurt of admissions to add on a program about the influence of Islamic art on the space program. We can still do the great and difficult things, but we are being barred from doing them by a system that is threatened by greatness and exceptionalism that is not framed in terms of group collectivism.
"I believe that every human has a finite number of heartbeats and I don't intend to waste any of mine," Neil Armstrong has been quoted as saying. Now Armstrong has died at 82 of complications after heart surgery. Nations, like men, also have finite numbers of heartbeats. It is best that we remember not to waste ours.