Via Atrios we see that George Deutsch, the 24 year-old wunderkind of NASA, is straightening out those NASA scientists with all of their fancy-schmancy book learnin’ and theories and computer modeling and stuff.
In October, for example, George Deutsch, a presidential appointee in NASA headquarters, told a Web designer working for the agency to add the word “theory” after every mention of the Big Bang, according to an e-mail message from Mr. Deutsch that another NASA employee forwarded to The Times.
And in December 2004, a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory complained to the agency that he had been pressured to say in a news release that his oceanic research would help advance the administration’s goal of space exploration.
The Big Bang memo came from Mr. Deutsch, a 24-year-old presidential appointee in the press office at NASA headquarters whose rÃ©sumÃ© says he was an intern in the “war room” of the 2004 Bush-Cheney re-election campaign. A 2003 journalism graduate of Texas A&M, he was also the public-affairs officer who sought more control over Dr. Hansen’s public statements.
In October 2005, Mr. Deutsch sent an e-mail message to Flint Wild, a NASA contractor working on a set of Web presentations about Einstein for middle-school students. The message said the word “theory” needed to be added after every mention of the Big Bang.
The Big Bang is “not proven fact; it is opinion,” Mr. Deutsch wrote, adding, “It is not NASA’s place, nor should it be to make a declaration such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator.”
It continued: “This is more than a science issue, it is a religious issue. And I would hate to think that young people would only be getting one-half of this debate from NASA. That would mean we had failed to properly educate the very people who rely on us for factual information the most.”
The memo also noted that The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual specified the phrasing “Big Bang theory.” Mr. Acosta, Mr. Deutsch’s boss, said in an interview yesterday that for that reason, it should be used in all NASA documents.
The Deutsch memo was provided by an official at NASA headquarters who said he was upset with the effort to justify changes to descriptions of science by referring to politically charged issues like intelligent design. Senior NASA officials did not dispute the message’s authenticity.
You may ask (and indeed you probably are asking, but only in your head) who is this George Deutsch and how does he know so much about the creator and how exactly did he arrive at such a position of power? And for that we need to delve into his history at Texas A&M to see how he has grown into such a fine young man with interesting ideas in his head.
It is 2003 and George, the budding Republican who has resisted the siren call of Iraq and enlistment and saving America, is writing for The Batallion, the delightfully named school publication of Texas A&M…
Okay. We have to stop here for the obligatory Aggie joke:
An Aggie was down on his luck so he decided to go out and kidnap a child to get the ransom. He went to the park and snuck up on one of the kids. He grabbed him and took him behind a tree. He told the kid that he was kidnapped and pinned a note on the kid’s shirt that read, “I have kidnapped your child. If you want to see him again, put $20,000 in a sack and leave it in front of the tree at the park. – An Aggie.” He told the child to make sure his parents saw the note and sent the child home.
The next day the Aggie went to the tree to find the sack. He looked inside and found the money he had asked for and a note that read, “How could one Aggie do this to another Aggie”?
Anyway, as I was saying, George was writing for the Batallion and came to the attention of the world at large by defending marijuana:
Here are the facts. The Marijuana Policy Project’s Web site — http://www.mpp.org — lists that 11 of our 50 states consider marijuana to be a medicine and have decriminalized it. Of these states, California alone saves $100 million each year in reduced arrests, according to the group’s Web site. Imagine what the extra money could do for California and how much might be saved if marijuana was legalized outright.
In fact, the Web site states that the government has been supplying American citizens with medicinal marijuana for more than 20 years. There is even a pill form of the drug, called Marinol, available only by prescription. So is marijuana the scourge of society and the corruptor of youth? The U.S. government doesn’t seem to think so.
When dealing with tough issues such as drug use, one must take the good with the bad. Marijuana can arguably be said to cure more than it causes, and its medicinal qualities cannot be ignored. Could there be negative effects of using marijuana? Sure, but to think that smoking pot will almost certainly lead to accidental death, rape, or murder, you would have to be, well, high.
Now you would think (in your head again) that being an advocate for marijuana legalization would automatically disqualify you for the Bush White House (unless, of course, you’re George Bush) but Master Deutsch made the smart move and shifted rightward with another article at Texas A&M…Oh oh, Aggie joke:
An Aggie decides to raise chickens. So, he goes to the feed store and buys some chicks. He takes the chicks home, and plants them with their heads sticking up. He waters them, but they die. He goes back to the feed store and tells the proprietor that he bought defective chicks, and gets another set. This time he plants them with their heads sticking down. He waters them, but they die. He then sends a letter to his Alma Mater, describing the problem. They send a letter back asking for a soil sample
I’m sorry, another opinion piece that obviously caught someone’s eye:
A great lie has permeated the international media – including news agencies here in the United States – and it is a lie that, if left unchecked, threatens to destroy the seeds of democracy America is dilligently planting in Iraq. This lie asserts that at the core of the prison abuse scandal in Abu Ghraib lies a structural mandate reaching as high up as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to conduct interrogations through psychological torture, humiliation and sexual perversion.
In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
By now, the world has been saturated with pictures of prisoner abuse from the Iraqi prison and, yes, these images are troubling and inexcusable. But these pictures represent the actions of a few soldiers and not the wishes of high-ranking military personnel or the secretary of defense. There is simply no proof to support claims that Rumsfeld orchestrated an elaborate plan to interrogate prisoners through torture and humiliation – such an assertion is laughable.
But laughable assertions and liberal politics often go hand in hand and, not surprisingly, this has become a partisan issue, with Democrats doing everything they can to demonize the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq war. Reports issued by the politically-left magazines Newsweek and The New Yorker first accused Rumsfeld of not only knowing about the misconduct, but encouraging it, according to MSNBC. However, these magazines offer up as proof nothing more than hearsay, anonymous sources and the sworn testimony of prisoners of war. In all fairness, the world deserves more justification for these accusations than untraceable sources and the words of alleged terrorists and murderers sworn to fight against the United States. No such justification exists.
And, when we speak of “untraceable sources” we arrive once again at intelligent design and the kid from Texas A&M who…Oh crap. Aggie joke:
A student from Texas A&M, a student from The University of Texas, and a pig were in the hospital waiting room, each awaiting the birth of his firstborn. Suddenly, the lights went out. Fortunately, power was restored shortly thereafter and the head nurse made her way to the waiting room.
“Good news and bad news, gentlemen and pig,” she announced. “Despite the electrical outage, two healthy young boys and one healthy piglet have been delivered. “However, since the lights went out at the most inopportune time, we aren’t sure which firstborn belongs to whom. The only way we know to resolve the problem is to draw straws and have the winner choose first.”
The three proud papas agreed, and the Longhorn won the drawing. He was escorted into the delivery room and looked at the three newborns for a painstakingly long time. Finally, with head bowed, he scooped up the piglet and headed for the door.
“Sir, are you quite certain that you’ve made the right choice?” the nurse asked.
“No, I’m not,” replied the Longhorn. “But I just couldn’t take the chance of choosing the Aggie.”
Sorry…The kid from A&M who is calling the shots at NASA. Which reminds me
A guy walks into a bar and says to the bartender, “Hey bartender, I know a great Aggie joke. You want to hear it?” The bartender says, “Well, before you tell it I should probably tell you that I went to A&M. And you see those two big guys sitting next to you — they were linebackers for the A&M football team. And those two guys on your other side — they’re Marines, and they used to be in the Corps of Cadets at A&M. Now, are you sure you really want to tell that Aggie joke?”
The guy thinks for a second. “I guess not,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to have to explain it five times.”