Saturday, February 04, 2006

NASA's very own Brownie

The NYTimes has more on the hijinks that have been afoot at NASA lo these many years of Bushocracy.

Seems there's a young presidential appointee named George on the loose in the space agency, telling scientists what they can and cannot say. And it seems that he's got a bee in his bonnet for, and this will be a surprise to no one, yes, it's intelligent design folks! Making its way into the workings of the key scientific research agencies in the United States thanks to the well-placed presidential appointees.

Do these Brownies not know their limits? Do they have no shame? Do they not sense that they are in over their heads?

Check out the gumption of this Brownie, just 24 precious years old:
The Big Bang memo came from Mr. Deutsch, a 24-year-old presidential appointee in the press office at NASA headquarters whose résumé 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.

(emphasis added)
Isn't that precious? Intelligent design being forced upon the NASA scientists by a 24-year-old neophyte.

And once again, two of the most disconcerting aspects of the Bush attitude toward government are on full display: the incompetent appointments of crony after crony and the utter contempt for the integrity of the workings of vitally important government agencies.

But they'll be doing their best to scare the bejeezus out of voters come November time with their terror refrains, to make you forget all about such damning episodes...