White astronauts are interested in space travel, Hispanic astronaut is interested in…

Ray G. writes:

This guy isn’t exactly Gordo Cooper or Alan Shepard, eh? Hispanic NASA astronaut just back from a two week space mission and he’s obsessed with … you got it, legalization of illegal Latinos!! What a surpise!

US astronaut says legalize undocumented Mexicans
By JULIE WATSON (AP)—1 day ago

MEXICO CITY—Spaceman Jose Hernandez said Monday the United States needs to legalize its undocumented immigrants—a rare, public stand for a U.S. astronaut on a political, hot-button issue.

Mexicans have hung on every word of NASA’s first astronaut to tweet in Spanish—as Astro_Jose—since the son of migrants embarked on his two week, 5.7-million-mile mission to the international space station that ended Friday.

And they’re still listening to him now that he is back on Earth.

During a telephone interview with Mexico’s Televisa network, Hernandez pushed for U.S. immigration reform—a key issue for Mexico that has been stalled in Washington amid fierce debate.

“The American economy needs them,” said Hernandez, 47, a California native who toiled in the cucumber, sugar beet and tomato fields alongside his Mexican-born parents. “I believe it’s only fair to find a way to legalize them and give them an opportunity to work openly, so they can also retire in a traditional U.S. system.”

NASA spokesman James Hartsfield told The Associated Press that Hernandez was expressing his personal views, “not representing NASA, the astronaut office or any NASA organization in his responses.”

Hernandez said he wished all world leaders and politicians could see the Earth as he has, “so they could see our world, that really we are one, that we should work together.”

“What surprised me is when I saw the world as one. There were no borders. You couldn’t distinguish between the United States and Mexico,” he told Televisa.

Hernandez’s success shows why Mexican migrants have risked their lives to cross the U.S. border illegally to work their way out of poverty.

Millions in Mexico watched Hernandez’s mission daily on Televisa, as well as following it on Twitter, where his dispatches appeared in English and Spanish. Hernandez also danced salsa, munched burritos and discussed Mexico’s World Cup aspirations while floating in space aboard the shuttle Discovery.

Past NASA space missions barely got a mention on Mexican newscasts.

Hernandez’s trip into orbit came at a time when the American dream for Mexicans and their families is fading. Deportations of illegal immigrants are at record levels, while tightened border security and the recession have caused a historic drop in the number of migrants heading north.

The rookie astronaut was one of two Mexican-Americans aboard, marking the first time two Hispanics have flown in space together. Astronaut Danny Olivas was making his second space flight. Rodolfo Neri Vela, a scientist, was the first Mexican citizen to make it to space, flying aboard the shuttle Atlantis in 1985.

Hernandez learned English at age 12, and applied for 12 straight years to become an astronaut before getting picked in 2004.

President Felipe Calderon has invited him to dinner at the presidential residence to talk about a future Mexican space agency. Hernandez’s parents are from Calderon’s home state of Michoacan, which has one of Mexico’s largest populations of migrants in the United States.

The Michoacan town of Ticuitaco, meanwhile, wants to build a science museum in his name to inspire others to follow in Hernandez’s footsteps.

“Jose Hernandez sets an example for our youth,” said the town’s mayor, Ricardo Guzman.

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Michael S. writes:

“What surprised me is when I saw the world as one. There were no borders. You couldn’t distinguish between the United States and Mexico.”

Really. It’s been decades since the Mercury and Apollo missions, and this guy has never seen photographs of the Earth from space? And he was surprised? Really? Come on.

LA replies:

If a liberal or a professional ethnic minority goes to outer space, what else can he see but that the world is one and has no borders and therefore the distinction between the U.S. and other countries is artificial? It doesn’t matter how hackneyed the thought is. He can only see what his liberal or anti-American concepts allow him to see.

Kathlene M. writes:

Thus spoke Spaceman Jose Hernandez:

“What surprised me is when I saw the world as one. There were no borders. You couldn’t distinguish between the United States and Mexico,” he told Televisa.”

Don’t be surprised if this appears in a future Obama infomercial for comprehensive immigration reform. The infomercial will show Planet Earth hovering above the head of a misty-eyed Hernandez, who says the above in Spanish and English, while the soft piano tinklings of “Imagine” are detected in the background.

JP writes:

I’m sorry, but while reading this post all I could think of was Bill Dana doing his Mexican Astronaut routine, “Jose Jimenez.”

LA replies:

Jose Jimenez!

Howard Sutherland writes:

Your post about Mexican-“American” astronaut Jose M. Hernandez (I note that NASA oh-so-carefully includes the accent marks in his name in its on-line bio of the intrepid muchacho) highlights something—one of the oh-so-many things—that is annoying about the recent waves of immigration to America, especially of the uninvited variety from our hostile southern neighbor.

Speedy Hernandez, a U.S. citizen thanks to the federal government’s malicious misinterpretation of the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment, flies in space as a member of the American space agency aboard an American-designed and American-built spacecraft on an American mission planned and supervised by American controllers in the company of an American crew (and one Canadian lady whom they dropped off at the space station) led by an American mission commander. A mission that launches him safely from America and lands him safely in America.

But does it occur to Hernandez to be grateful to America and Americans for giving him this opportunity? Claro que no! Instead Speedy Hernandez is going to use his 15 minutes to demand that more Mexicans like him and his relatives be given free run of what is left of the United States, at the expense of Americans. The Obamassiah’s NASA will, of course, abet this crass undermining of the country that has given Hernandez so much. I say that despite Jim Hartsfield’s tepid distancing statement. (To be fair, though, Hartsfield, a real American and a real astronaut selected according to real selection criteria, is probably thoroughly PO’d about it, unless he has drunk the tequila-flavored Kool-Aid all the way to the bottom.)

Since devotion to America and the pursuit of our country’s legitimate interest in space exploration is clearly not why Senor Hernandez is an astronaut, it’s only fair to ask just why he is one. After reading his NASA bio, the answer is pretty clear to me. Hernandez is an American astronaut precisely and solely because he is a Mexican.

Study astronaut bios, as I have from time to time, and you will find plenty of highly distinguished test pilot records, combat service (especially in the Mercury/Gemini/Apollo cadre, but they were white American men to a man, so probably don’t count anymore) and engineering and hard science doctorates from schools such as Caltech, Rice, MIT, Purdue and the like. The standards historically were high, and only those with the right combination of aptitude and science/engineering need apply. For example, although I was a capable fighter pilot with a lot of experience, it never occurred to me that I could be an astronaut: I was a history major without much aptitude for math and science.

Hernandez’s bio shows that he graduated from the University of the Pacific and UCSB, not exactly the leading edge of American science and engineering schools, and does not have a doctorate at all. If he has any military service or flying experience of any kind prior to joining NASA, his bio does not reveal it. While the bio lists some honors, they are mostly minority or Hispanic special-category awards. Hernandez seems to have spent his career before NASA as a line engineer in government labs. That may be a worthy career, but is it what astronauts are made of? For any white American, I submit, the answer would be no.

But I suppose that’s no surprise. Since our government is determined to turn our country into a larger, temperate-zone Mexico, I guess we should expect have a space program run to Mexican standards. But how long is a space program run to Mexican standards going to keep flying?

Stephen T. writes:

Just in, still more news re Hispanic astronaut Jose Hernandez” discovery that international borders are not visible from space:

Astronaut Hernandez is reportedly also amazed by the apparent roundness of the earth—a feature not evident on maps distributed to Mexican schoolchildren depicting Aztlan, the ancient spiritual homeland of what was, as Hernandez insisted to NASA controllers, “my people.” Located near present-day Newport Beach, California, Aztlan appears on modern maps produced by the Mexican government as the geographic center of a tortilla-flat planet, and depicts all land from Newfoundland to Cape Horn as Mexican territory.

Howard Sutherland writes:

Thank you for posting my comments on Jose “Speedy” Hernandez, astronauta extraordinario. One thing jumped out at me as I read Hernandez’s comments about what he saw in space: “What surprised me is when I saw the world as one. There were no borders. You couldn’t distinguish between the United States and Mexico.” About that, Hernandez is flat wrong. I have seen the obvious difference between the state of the land on our side of the border and on the Mexican side hundreds of times—it is clearly visible from the air, and it’s certainly visible from space.

Maybe, as a mission specialist, Hernandez just didn’t look out the window very much. Or perhaps, since he isn’t a pilot, he just isn’t a very good observer of what he does see. As it happens, and there are photos to prove it, it is very easy to see from the Space Shuttle where the border between the United States and Mexico runs in several places. In arable areas, north of the border there is green, cultivated land, thanks to American agricultural techniques. South of the border is much more barren, with patchy bean fields, thanks to Mexican agricultural techniques. Here is a Space Shuttle photo of California’s Imperial Valley that shows what I mean—where the border runs is plainly visible, even without NASA’s helpful arrows pointing it out.

Maybe there is a crude visual analogy here. The green, productive farmland of California is like the space program before affirmative action, and the scruffy brown bean fields of Baja California are like the space program after affirmative action.

(I couldn’t remember if I sent you this picture—the landscape contrast really is striking, and utterly contradicts Speedy Hernandez’s “no borders” assertion.)

LA replies:

It’s the same in Israel: one side of the border green; the other, Arab side, barren.

Philip M. writes from England:

Hernandez said he wished all world leaders and politicians could see the Earth as he has, “so they could see our world, that really we are one, that we should work together…. What surprised me is when I saw the world as one. There were no borders. You couldn’t distinguish between the United States and Mexico.”

You also can’t see time zones, the international date line, a line depicting the equator, the tropics—so scrap the lot.

This is one of the dumbest comments I have ever heard. Is he an affirmative-action astronaut or something?

At least he is honest enough to admit that when he says he wants to legalise illegals he really means that he wants to get rid of borders. But then, what was the point of running away from Mexicans and then trying to get them all to follow you?

Funny how illegals risk their lives to get across the border and then deny borders exist. So why bother crossing it then? They must be amongst the few people who risk their lives for something they don’t even believe in.

My advice—drive Hose back across to Mexico and dump him there. When he complains he has been taken over the border, tell him, “There are no borders. You are just on another part of this beautiful planet—one where all the Mexicans are legal—imagine how much that must benefit the economy. Enjoy!”

He says: “You couldn’t distinguish between the United States and Mexico.” Yeah…I imagine there’s a lot of Californians who feel the same way.

“.. that we should work together.” Does he mean white people should all work together to give Mexicans a better life? I think so.

Philip M

PS—I just googled “international date line” out of curiosity and discovered the concept was first mentioned in a 12th century Talmud. So Jews went from inventing the IDL to inventing the ADL. Quite a fall from grace. Do you think Pat Buchanan will refuse to recognise the change in date when travelling if he finds this out?

“Time is money,” says the Jew. Turns out he invented the former so he could accumulate the latter. Cunning.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 16, 2009 12:49 AM | Send

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