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A Small Step for One Man

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".

Armstrong had proposed not only future investments, but along with other astronauts had sensibly proposed retaining the space shuttle program until they were ready, instead of scrapping the shuttle program and distributing viable shuttles to museums. Armstrong was critical of the Bolden regime at NASA that had stripped the space agency of its best people and its ability to conduct manned space exploration or even reach the International Space Station without begging passage on Soviet Soyuz tubs.

"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."

To be properly diverse and inclusive, NASA would have to launch some rockets that would work and some that wouldn't. Some of its personnel would have to be qualified and some completely illiterate. For total inclusion, it has to stop focusing on space and focus on other priorities, like convincing everyone to constantly advocate inclusiveness, while the space program goes to seed.

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."

We are no longer concerned with doing hard things and finding the men with the special qualities to do them. It is the easy things that concern us now. The political pandering of diversity and the search for "Green" solutions to problems that don't exist. We no longer look to the stars, instead we hang our heads in shame because our diverse green elites tell us that we should.

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.


  1. Exceptional piece, Daniel, thank you. That last paragraph is as Good as it gets.

  2. Great article. At the same time, I wonder if the venture into space has been something like the erecting of giant heads on Easter Island, or the building of the pyramids in Egypt. A great achievement, but also a way to exhaust a nation's resources.

  3. Just when I think your writing could not possibly get any better you surprise me.

    Excellent, Daniel.

    I wonder how we ever got to the point where making Muslims feel good about themselves is the driving force behind all of our actions as a country? They have nothing to feel good about. Their entire culture is based on the psychotic rantings of a murderous, serial rapist and pedophile.


    Better to exhaust our resources on ventures into space than on industrial strength lipstick for the pig called Islam.

  4. RIP Commander Armstrong, You are one of the few men in history that just saying your name out loud becomes a humbling experience.
    Thank you.

    And thank you Sultan, for another great and sobering piece.
    We're in deep doodoo.

  5. SoCal Observer26/8/12

    Neil Armstrong was an exceptional pilot, an exceptional person, and achieved greatness by doing what he loved and excelled at. It took effort, talent, and hard work. In addition, he faced danger in combat, danger in his profession, and danger in exploration. Unfortunately, his passing marks the passing of a culture that once valued hard work, sacrifice, and exceptional achievement. We are now bombarded with victims, pseudogreatness, and celebrity worship. We pay ball throwing illiterates millions, worship talentless tarts who rise to fame in their birthday suits, and gangster wannabees that can't carry a tune in a bucket are considered role models until they are capped by a real gangster. By the way, for most Americans, it was your grandparents that did the following with slide rules, log tables, brains, and hard work: designed and built rockets, piloted space vehicles and rocket propelled aircraft, and not only landed on the moon, but came back to tell us about it. We have allowed elected servants to dictate to us what is valued and what is not, instead of them carrying out our wishes. Ultimately, Americans can blame only ourselves for not valuing what made us great in the first place. However, we should not expect the Caliphate to send emissaries to their dhimmi subjects reminding us of all the great contributions our ancestors made to medicine, science, architecture, and engineering. We will get invited to the spectacles at the Juma Masjid whenever those of the LGBT crowd, blasphemers, or adulterers are discovered. Thank you Mr. G for recognizing a truly exceptional American and for contrasting our current state of affairs.

  6. "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 [have] decided that Neil Armstrong never really walked on the moon and that walking on the moon is an assault on the lunar ecology."

    And also an affront to Allah, the True Moon God. Allah never intended man to walk on moons. The whole story of men walking on the moon was a Zionist fabrication and a pack of lies meant to perpetuate the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Besides, men walking on the moon would insult Allah, the True Moon God, who does not tolerate mere mortals walking all over him.

    But, thank you, Daniel, for a moving tribute for Neil Armstrong.

  7. Anonymous26/8/12

    I must disagree with the focus of this piece. Space flight in the US began as the work of private tinkerers in sheds. Men such as Robert Goddard essentially created modern rocketry with the help of donations from wealthy capitalist investors. While the US government largely ignored such programs, the 1950s saw a complete alteration in policy, with the creation of the socialized government driven NASA. This led to an era of huge monopolistic government programs such as Mercury, Gemini and finally Apollo. Rather than private competition ultimately lowering prices, NASA owned and operated these titanic launch vehicles and flew them at an ever rising cost and lowering efficiency. The whole US space program with its cost plus style of operation simply became a gross unproductive way to get into space. The Shuttle, originally billed as being $20,000,000 per launch ballooned to $1.5,000,000,000 per launch by 2000. The state monopoly that was NASA could no longer effectively operate launch vehicles. This has led NASA to depart from the old way of doing things by setting up the COTS program. Effectively now, we are entering the end of socialized spaceflight and the start of the era of private spaceflight where NASA will purchase seats on privately owned, built and operated vehicles, rather than government owned systems. The government will become the customer.
    Several private companies such as SpaceX and Orbital, are now in competition with others which will eventually lower prices and lead to greater efficiency. Already SpaceX has delivered cargo to the ISS at a fraction of the cost of a Shuttle launch. The idea, therefore, that the end of government state monopoly spaceflight is a bad thing is questionable at best. No, NASA will not be able to EVER field a large government owned and operated launch vehicle again; however, the US WILL be able to launch a plethora of privately owned and operated vehicles, effectively the space equivalent of airlines which will drive costs down..Armstrong was a great individual, but his backing for the SLS (which is doomed) was a wrong move. As for NASA running a load of trendy outreach, this is yet another reason to ditch the government and go private...

  8. Great post about the decline of America, but I'm still having trouble understanding why NASA is the exception to conservative opposition to big expensive government projects. Shouldn't we be pushing for private space exploration instead?

  9. Anonymous26/8/12

    Too true fsy. While Obama is a douche, he has effectively got it right in trying to privatize the American launch industry...

  10. He's not privatizing it. Privatizing it would be a transition from government to private. Right now the transition is from government to Russian government.

    There are also things that are within the legitimate purview of government. Space exploration is one of them. Private companies are not going to be able to do much more than provide a basic means of getting to low earth orbit.

  11. Anonymous26/8/12

    He is privatizing it.

    You are out of touch sk

  12. My grandchildren will believe manned spaceflight is science fiction. And when my generation passes there will be no one left with a living memory of it. The US and mankind generally is done with it for perhaps a hundred years or more as part of a general decline into witchcraft and stupidity. "A Canticle for Liebowitz" will wind up being a documentary.

  13. If we do return to the moon, the landing party will consist of a black, a woman, an Hispanic and a Muslim, four American groupings that couldn't get to the moon on their own in a thousand years. But that's diversity: leeching onto others' achievements, then draining the host dry.

  14. It will be privatized when the private sector has actually taken over, that hasn't happened yet. And a privatization effort that involves Elon Musk stinks of crony capitalism to me.

    In any case the private sector has neither the resources nor the motive to do the kind of exploration necessary to open up the solar system.


  15. There are also things that are within the legitimate purview of government. Space exploration is one of them. Private companies are not going to be able to do much more than provide a basic means of getting to low earth orbit.

    Isn't this just "Only govt. is big enough to do X"? But X could just as well be "run the economy", "guarantee equality", "preserve the environment", etc. etc.

    There has to be some answer to why space exploration is special and why people who preferred to spend their hard-earned money on their own little dreams rather than on the big dream of that Irish playboy from Boston didn't have that choice.

    Don't get me wrong; I agree putting a footprint on the moon was really cool, and I watched it on TV at the age of 11, but now that I'm just a little bit more grownup, I wonder why that was OK to do through coercion, but other things aren't.

  16. There's a big difference between the legitimate national functions of government, e.g. national defense, territorial exploration, and social functions.

    If you believe that government has no legitimate function, then that's fine. But historically territorial exploration has been a legitimate function of the government since Jefferson.

    And securing new territory for the common benefit of all is how the United States operated under Manifest Destiny.


  17. And securing new territory for the common benefit of all is how the United States operated under Manifest Destiny.

    I thought of this, but as far as I know, the U.S. has never claimed ownership of the areas of the moon that were explored, and also this seems completely impractical.

  18. Anonymous26/8/12

    "In any case the private sector has neither the resources nor the motive to do the kind of exploration necessary to open up the solar system"

    What about these guys?


  19. It's not impractical, we're simply governed by UN collectivist politics when it comes to outer space or deep sea mining.

    Anon, sounds nice, if they get anywhere and make a going concern of it, but mining a few asteroids is not big picture stuff.

    And all this is still piggybacking on the technologies and pioneering work of the space program, which is my point about the work of the private sector and the role of the government in opening up new territories for it to exploit.

  20. Anonymous26/8/12

    Some more thoughts on the matter:


  21. As one whose first 'real' job was on the Skylab program in the late 60's, I had the honor to work with engineers who had designed the Gemini capsule. I remember their dedication and professionalism, similar to Neil Armstrong's. I have not worked with a more talented group of people since.

    Times have changed since the 60's, America no longer has dreamers and doers, it is a country of lazy and irresponsible do-nothings.

  22. Anonymous26/8/12

    Empress Trudy said "My grandchildren will believe manned spaceflight is science fiction."
    Why? Are they not very bright?

  23. Richard26/8/12

    Why did you have to turn his death into something political?
    You could not just make a simple tribute?

  24. Anonymous26/8/12

    No, anonymous;

    They'll believe it's fiction, because nobody will be doing it anymore. If current trends continue, space flight will fade away, and become a legend, like Prestor John, or Camelot.

    You could have figured this out yourself, you know; speaking of people not being real bright. . .

    Richard, the space program Neil Armstrong worked in, and the reasons for it's being cut off, and made into another "Let's Celebrate Islam!/Green power!" boondoggle, are extremely political. It's hard to remember Armstrong the man, without remembering the NASA he worked for, and what's become of it, and why this has happened.

    I suspect what disgusts you is that the Sultan had the temerity to point all this out. I guess we're just supposed to wipe away a few, politically correct tears at the news of his death, and, maybe, light a few candles, hug some teddy bears, mumble something about the cosmos in general, and not actually remember the man himself, or what he did, or his times.


  25. It is a beautiful tribute.

  26. This is a moving tribute - to a man who valued privacy, but went public to voice his opinion in a political world. We were married with three children when Armstrong set foot on the moon. I was proud of my cousin and his work with NASA. He did not set foot on the moon, but his work was instrumental in getting Armstrong there. To think of the 'diversity' requirements that will change the workforce is disquieting when we need the smartest workforce possible. Thank you for remembering Neil Armstrong and the dream he lived.

  27. Anonymous26/8/12

    Knish I'm a pretty smart guy myself a mensa member, your stuff is just great man I enjoy reading it daily, one day I'll send in a donation. Thanks oh and by the way whenever I repost or blog some thought or idea I got here, I always credit you.

  28. thank you, I appreciate that


  29. It's not impractical, we're simply governed by UN collectivist politics when it comes to outer space or deep sea mining.

    How do you go about defending claims on the moon when it costs billions to go there for a couple of days?

    Besides, only a few very small areas were actually explored. Is that enough to claim the whole moon or large portions for the U.S.? If so, I can do it from here by just pointing at it.

    Space "exploration" so far, beyond Earth orbit, has been only scientific research, and so my question remains, "Why is funding scientific research within the proper functions of govt.?" The question could apply to any area of research, but this is a big one and the one mentioned here.

    I don't think I have to tell you or your loyal commenters the downside of govt. funding of science. In fact I think you've written about it yourself more than once.

  30. Armstrong was an interesting man.

  31. A true American hero who believe in humility. One of the more stand-up heroes and legends that our country has. I was happy to see that he wasn't next to Buzz Aldrin in that Transformers movie...so tacky


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