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Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Old 07-08-2010, 03:07 PM   #46
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Originally Posted by SmootSmack View Post
Ok, that's an argument I can respect. I mean, look I've got relatives that work for NASA who have been told they will be let go in a couple of months because of the changes in NASA's overall philosophy. For their sake, I'm not thrilled about all this.

However, I think the first step to finding breakthroughs in order to achieve greater use of space is to engage the international community.
Do you not find that kind of intercontinental, Utopian sharing of idea's and concepts a bit.......naive?
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:07 PM   #47
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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I'm sure it won't be their primary focus, he's on Al-Jazeera and is pitching a sale. The White House backed off? I was under the impression that White House spokesman Nick Shapiro recently said:
It was NASA that issued the pull-back statement not the WH directly, my mistake:

A NASA spokesman on Tuesday claimed Bolden was referring to his outreach priorities, not his priorities overall, and that space exploration is still the No. 1 mission. It's unclear whether the White House or NASA will face pressure to say any more.

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As for your Bush bit I think we're already doing that aren't we? So if he did it would be stating the obvious. And that's fine, collaboration is fine.
I thought we were working with the nations that would be helpful for space exploration regardless of primary religion. Last I checked Japan is not a Christian or Jewish nation and Russia/Canada are primarily secular. I also don't think membership in the European Space Agency has anything to do with a country's primary religion.
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:11 PM   #48
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Do you not find that kind of intercontinental, Utopian sharing of idea's and concepts a bit.......naive?
Not really, I think you can take two paths at the same time. One that is a bit closely guarded, and one that is more open to collaboration
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:17 PM   #49
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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his job is to follow up on orders from his boss. and i guess you wouldn't take their money? space exploration is a very costly venture. that's what this is all about. that, and trying to improve the U.S. standing in the world. old W made a lot of enemies in 8 years
AND I could probably have my lawn guy re-paint my Ferrari (actually CRedskins Ferrari)....but perhaps his talents would be better spent in something more akin to his talents?
OR is logic no longer a part of the equation?
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:30 PM   #50
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

if your boss tells you to do something, do you do it? do you understand what happens if you don't? just ask the general what happens if you bad mouth your boss
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:33 PM   #51
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Originally Posted by Slingin Sammy 33 View Post
It was NASA that issued the pull-back statement not the WH directly, my mistake:

A NASA spokesman on Tuesday claimed Bolden was referring to his outreach priorities, not his priorities overall, and that space exploration is still the No. 1 mission. It's unclear whether the White House or NASA will face pressure to say any more.

I thought we were working with the nations that would be helpful for space exploration regardless of primary religion. Last I checked Japan is not a Christian or Jewish nation and Russia/Canada are primarily secular. I also don't think membership in the European Space Agency has anything to do with a country's primary religion.
To be honest I thought as much, it would be retarded to think that NASA all of a sudden is going to repurpose all it engineers for outreach mission.

I assume when we're talking about the Muslim World we're talking about countries whom we have strained relationship with or a large portion of its population have a negative view of America. When we deal with Japan and Canada and the EU we call these countries First World/Wester World countries. That is to say its usage is for semantic grouping of countries. I am sure if there was more than one Jewish country we'd here the term the Jewish World instead of talking about just Israel.
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:19 PM   #52
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Originally Posted by Slingin Sammy 33 View Post
I just see a bunch of arrows. J/K

From wiki:
The olive branch and arrows denote the powers of peace and war. The eagle faces towards the right to show a preference to peace over war.

However peace/war, middle east bombs, etc. isn't the point. The point is this type of outreach and diplomacy isn't and should never be NASA's primary function. Nothing wrong with attempting to work with friendly nations when possible, but Bolden stated this was a primary focus given to him directly by the POTUS. Even the WH backed off Bolden's statement because they know it looks bad under scrutiny.

That being said, what would the outrage have been on CNN, ABC, NBC, MSNBC etc. if the NASA Administrator under Bush had come out and said as one of his primary directives was "(Bush) wanted me to find a way to reach out to the (Christian/Jewish) world and engage much more with dominantly (Christian/Jewish) nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science ... and math and engineering."
Actually Reagan asked for NASA outreach to the Russians during the Cold War. The idea of mixing space exploration and diplomacy is not as weird as you make it sound.

In terms of a specific outreach to Muslims, Muslims invented the concept of zero in operative mathematics (that is, not just a placeholder). The Maya did too, independently, but Western mathematics got the concept of zero from Muslim mathematicians. Muslims also developed algebra. Given that a motivation for terrorism arises from a felt loss of heritage (read the books of Georgetown Univ.'s John Esposito if you don't believe me), helping Muslims feel good about their historical contributions to mathematics actually is a terror-fighting tool. Plus it helps us to recruit bright minds from places like Egypt, Jordan, etc., to contribute to space advancements.
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:49 PM   #53
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Given that a motivation for terrorism arises from a felt loss of heritage (read the books of Georgetown Univ.'s John Esposito if you don't believe me), helping Muslims feel good about their historical contributions to mathematics actually is a terror-fighting tool. Plus it helps us to recruit bright minds from places like Egypt, Jordan, etc., to contribute to space advancements.
Nice try at spin, but no cigar. Esposito is wrong. Muslims who are motivated to terrorism are motivated by religious zealotry and extremism, nothing more, nothing less. NASA reaching out to help make Muslims "feel good" as a tool to "fight terrorism" is a HUGE reach.

Any Muslim who doesn't have extremist views and is one of the "best and brightest" in that region certainly doesn't need NASA or anyone else in the U.S. to tell him/her about Muslim contributions to math/science.
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:57 PM   #54
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Originally Posted by Slingin Sammy 33 View Post
Nice try at spin, but no cigar. Esposito is wrong. Muslims who are motivated to terrorism are motivated by religious zealotry and extremism, nothing more, nothing less. NASA reaching out to help make Muslims "feel good" as a tool to "fight terrorism" is a HUGE reach.

Any Muslim who doesn't have extremist views and is one of the "best and brightest" in that region certainly doesn't need NASA or anyone else in the U.S. to tell him/her about Muslim contributions to math/science.
No spin. Esposito is a professor of Muslim studies who is recognized around the world as an expert on Islam. What makes you more of an expert on Islam than he is?

Your "spin" doesn't work. It begs the question of where that "religious zealotry" comes from. I've already provided one answer to that question.

Please try reading one of Esposito's books on Muslim extremism before you judge his books by their covers. Or try reading Rohan Gunaratna, who is considered perhaps the world's best scholar of al-Qaeda.
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:06 PM   #55
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Actually Reagan asked for NASA outreach to the Russians during the Cold War. The idea of mixing space exploration and diplomacy is not as weird as you make it sound.
Good article here on NASA history with the USSR.

NASA - United States-Soviet Space Cooperation during the Cold War

But outreach to the USSR was never deemed by the head of NASA to be one of his top three priorities under Reagan. Any outreach was very low key and was only done if there was a direct benefit to the U.S.

To be blunt, folks who have issue with Bolden's statement understand there's no major funding for any Muslim outreach initiatives in the NASA budget. This is a PR blunder by Bolden and many feel it illustrates where Obama's philosophical priorities lie.
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:21 PM   #56
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

SS33, you're toiling on top of the toilet bowl. You missed a spot.
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:29 PM   #57
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

Saudi Aramco World : A Prince in Space

Eight Muslims in Space and Counting - IslamOnline.net - Health & Science
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Old 07-08-2010, 06:01 PM   #58
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Originally Posted by dmek25 View Post
if your boss tells you to do something, do you do it? do you understand what happens if you don't? just ask the general what happens if you bad mouth your boss
Sooo, reading between the lines................it makes no sense to you either.....employer/employee hierarchy notwithstanding?
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Old 07-08-2010, 06:15 PM   #59
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Originally Posted by Lotus View Post
Actually Reagan asked for NASA outreach to the Russians during the Cold War. The idea of mixing space exploration and diplomacy is not as weird as you make it sound.

In terms of a specific outreach to Muslims, Muslims invented the concept of zero in operative mathematics (that is, not just a placeholder). The Maya did too, independently, but Western mathematics got the concept of zero from Muslim mathematicians. Muslims also developed algebra. Given that a motivation for terrorism arises from a felt loss of heritage (read the books of Georgetown Univ.'s John Esposito if you don't believe me), helping Muslims feel good about their historical contributions to mathematics actually is a terror-fighting tool. Plus it helps us to recruit bright minds from places like Egypt, Jordan, etc., to contribute to space advancements.
While I am not much of a proponent of feel good nonsense for the sake of it, where nobody keeps score so nobody loses and....feels bad and the whole juice boxes for evereybody mentality, that is not the issue.
The issue is....Why is a space agency doing diplomatic work?
BTW, John Esposito has an opinion. The truth can be more elusive...
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:44 PM   #60
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Please try reading one of Esposito's books on Muslim extremism before you judge his books by their covers. Or try reading Rohan Gunaratna, who is considered perhaps the world's best scholar of al-Qaeda.
I'm no expert on Muslim studies, but there are plenty of folks that are experts in this field that have an opinion similar to mine.

So without going down the whole Islamic extremist hole and completely hijacking the thread, maybe you should read the Koran itself, or books from Robert Spencer (Spencer is a weekly columnist for Human Events and FrontPage Magazine, and has led seminars on Islam and jihad for the United States Central Command, United States Army Command and General Staff College, the U.S. Army's Asymmetric Warfare Group, the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the U.S. intelligence community). I'd say if the folks that fight terrorism for a living are listening to him, his opinion carries a lot more weight than the opinion of an academic.

Maybe you could ask yourself why sharia law allows for stoning to death of women. People have killed over extreme religious views for thousands of years, I don't recall any evidence of people killing because they felt slighted over acknowledgment of their contirbutions to the world-wide math/science community.

I'm thankful that here we can have this debate, in countries ruled by sharia law I'd be executed. Or I could be just full of $hit and "toiling on top of the toilet bowl".
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