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October 27, 2007

Up to the minute with The Nation
Posted by Patrick at 09:37 PM * 47 comments

The Nation discovers “The New Right-Wing Smear Machine”: the shadowy world of pass-along emails breathlessly relating how Hillary Clinton snubbed the Gold Star Mothers, or how Barack Hussein! Obama is secretly a Moooooslim. As the Nation article notes,

Rumormongering and whisper campaigns are as old as politics itself (throughout Thomas Jefferson’s presidency opposition newspapers and pamphlets spread the word of his affair with Sally Hemings), but never has there been a medium as perfectly suited to the widespread anonymous diffusion of misinformation as e-mail. […] From the beginning, the vast majority of these Internet-disseminated rumors have come from the right. (Snopes lists about fifty e-mails about George W. Bush, split evenly between adulatory accounts of him saluting wounded soldiers or witnessing to a wayward teenager, and accounts of real and invented malapropisms. In contrast, every single one of the twenty-two e-mails about John Kerry is negative.) For conservatives, these e-mails neatly reinforce preconceptions, bending the facts of the world in line with their ideological framework: liberals, immigrants, hippies and celebrities are always the enemy; soldiers and conservatives, the besieged heroes. The stories of the former’s perfidy and the latter’s heroism are, of course, never told by the liberal media. So it’s left to the conservative underground to get the truth out.
Of course, Teresa, and Making Light’s commentariat, were on this story three and a half years ago. So was Buzzflash, but they missed Teresa’s main point: that someone who knew enough history to write that letter also knew that they were lying. Also, Making Light’s commenters researched the letter further: they didn’t just refute its claims, they also investigated the assertion that it was originally a letter-to-the-editor in a Durham newspaper, and proved that it wasn’t.

Will Teresa and/or Making Light’s commenters get funded by the vast left-wing media conspiracy to do more useful work of this sort? Ha bloody ha, I’ll believe that when Steve Gilliard rises from the dead.

UPDATE: As bellatrys points out in the comments, your one-stop shop for everything you ever wanted to know about right-wing email passalongs is My Right-Wing Dad.

Comments on Up to the minute with The Nation:
#1 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2007, 10:39 PM:

Barack Hussein! Obama

If Mike were here, he'd be doing a snippet of the Michael Crichton thriller that should exist.

Possibly as a musical.

(Don't mind me. Just nodding in.)

#2 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2007, 12:15 AM:

Y'know, some of us could get together and do pieces for current.com.

#3 ::: Brenda von Ahsen ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2007, 01:13 AM:

You mean you're not just another tentacle of the vast, George Soros funded liberal machine secretly working with the Islamofasicts to impose sharia? I'm so disappointed.

#4 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2007, 01:23 AM:

Heeee's Obama
but he goes by just Barack Hussein
and he's shaking hands
across the land
trading smiles for Presidential gains!

Or is this more of a Cats-style musical? Can we replace the primaries with a dance-off?

#5 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2007, 08:11 AM:

Diatryma @ 4

I think it's a little too much like a cat fight already.

#6 ::: chuckling ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2007, 09:19 AM:

Few appreciate, or even know about these virulent emails. They are widely distributed among what you might call "regular" people. They are forwarded to me by a member of the Moose Lodge and an auto parts dealer from small towns in the midwest. These are people who don't read the New York Times, listen to hate radio or watch Fox News. They get most of their information from their friends. And their friends forward them this crap.

I find you post from three and a half years ago interesting because I too appreciate the technical quality of the writing in these emails. My guess is that the same individual is responsible for all of the most effective ones. They all have that same sly style. I'm not, however, convinced that the person is a conservative. Typically, they are not capable of such creative nuance. I speculate that they are either paying a real writer or water boarding one, but can't really say for sure.

Anyway, if you want to see the latest virulent right wing email, this one whipping up hatred for immigrants, I have posted it here (just scroll down a bit, it's italicized).

#7 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2007, 09:41 AM:

chuckling #6: I saw that one a few years ago. It's hardly the latest.

#8 ::: bellatrys ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2007, 09:44 AM:

Via Pandagon, someone has set up a clearinghouse blog for such rightwing email fwds:

My Right-Wing Dad

It's amazing how strange a construct they become when you look at them as agitprop: the apparent sincerity, the carefully-crafted faux naivete and "folksiness," from the multiple exclamation points right down to the superbly tacky art - it reminds me of the several times that well-educated right-wing writers have been caught sockpuppetting on liberal blogs, affecting poor grammar and bad spelling as part of their Archetypal Authentic Middle-American persona.

It's like someone was making a "Team America World Police" parody, only doing it sincerely (more or less) for an O'Brien-like end of The Greater Good, rather than as an Ironic Hipster thing.

#10 ::: Martin Wisse ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2007, 09:56 AM:

The "vast leftwing conspiracy" doesn't need you, they do pretty well by providing a faux-opposition and a rising disgust of all Republicans.

#11 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2007, 09:57 AM:

Chuckling, I've been hearing about them from my relatives back in Arizona. I'm not sure they're all written by the same person, but they are all written to professional copywriting standards.

#12 ::: DonBoy ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2007, 10:33 AM:

I admire the one on rightwingdad.net that opens "This is true I looked it up on snopes..."

Email

Debunking on snopes

#13 ::: John Emerson ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2007, 10:35 AM:

I've been getting emails from one Robert Morrow with all kinds of bottom-of-the-barrel gossip.

Back in the day I managed to track one rumor to the source: in Vietnam Sen. Kerry was rude and ate part of a pizza which was being traced to someone else. It was a real rumor by a real person, but he highly regretted that one of his friends made it immortal on the internet.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Rude, Arrogant Kerry genre has some truth behind it, but the energy put behind those nothing stories was weird. Many of those people were sincerely crazy, I think.

#14 ::: Valuethinker ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2007, 11:43 AM:

13 John Emerson

They are not crazy. They want to win. They have an agenda.

Achieving your end goals is not crazy. They know what they are doing, and they will do it.

Modern right wing politics (see Hofstader: 'the paranoid style in American politics') thrives on a burning hate, a scream of betrayal.

Maybe there is an equivalent on the left, but I don't think we can equivocate Naomi Klein and her rhetoric with Anne Coluter.

If you think Kerry got the dirty, wait until the candidate is Barack Obama or Hilary Clinton.

#15 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2007, 12:25 PM:

Valuethinker, that essay by Hofstadter is something everyone should read to appreciate the deep roots of the pattern; I know it's valuable, because there are neocons of my aquaintence who can be driven to red-faced fury just by a mention of the author's name.

Antiintellectualism in American Life is a longer work by the same author which expands on the subject.

And, from Sadly, No, via Tesserae at LJ, this case of epic not getting it from our fellow hominoids on the right.

#16 ::: JHB ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2007, 02:23 PM:

chuckling #6: That "latest" anti-immigrant mail you recieved looks suspiciously like a passage from the book Dumbth, by the late Steve Allen. Allen was warning about the dumbing-down of America, but in some places he seemed to veer off into rants about hotel employees and how they suffer in comparison to thse back in the day.

At least he attributed some of this to inadequate training by the hotel itself.

#17 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2007, 02:33 PM:

Interesting article in today's NY Times Magazine section (last time I couldn't post a link, so I won't try now) about fissures in the right-wing evangelical movement. I have no idea whether or not it's *really* any kind of progress, but if some people now want to go back to "aid for the poor" rather than sheer hate-filled power grubbing, it might be a good sign.

#18 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2007, 03:09 PM:

17: The Evangelical Crackup

Interesting article. It looks like a drive to inspire people to vote for things which they think will make the world a better place, rather than to inspire people to vote against things which they think will make the world a worse place. Maybe it's a matter of people looking at the ramifications of their choices and resolving to make better ones.

However, should a member of the religious right compare his movement to a snake? I don't think that's the symbolism he wants.

#19 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2007, 03:42 PM:

Just FYI, regarding the article linked to in #18, Kevin Phillips's book American Theocracy has a very illuminating section about the rise of the evangelical movement and its displacement of mainline Protestantism as the face of religion in American life.

#20 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2007, 03:50 PM:

I believe there are several streams of these email campaigns, each targeted at a specific ethnic, religious, or political group. A year or so ago Eva got in contact with a distant cousin as part of tracing a part of her family that got disconnected from hers in the 1920s. They've stayed in contact largely because he put Eva on his mass email list, to which he sends nasty ethnic jokes, right wing hate mail, and such. But it's particularly tailored to right-wing Jewish, Zionist, anti-Arab sentiment. There's the usual anti-immigrant, anti-Clinton, anti-liberal hogwash, but most of it is specifically targeted at Arabs in particular, the Middle East in general, and includes accusations that liberals and Democrats and homosexuals (oh, my) are antisemitic. I think this is further evidence that these emails are part of a large-scale, carefully-planned propaganda campaign.

#21 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2007, 03:54 PM:

I have heard the conflict between Christianity and Communism described as two different approaches to the same goal: a community of better people living in a better world.

Christianity, classically, attempts to reform individual people in the expectation that they will create a better society - the Body of Christ, the Kingdom on Earth. Communism takes the other approach, attempting to create a just society in the hopes that it will produce better people within it.

I'm pleased to see the Evangelicals moving toward a more Christian approach. All the time spent on moral legislation instead of morality is making them seem like a bunch of Commies.

#22 ::: Rymenhild ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2007, 07:27 PM:

I used to get forwards of this sort from one of my uncles, until somehow he figured out that I was not interested. The one I found most perplexing was (as most of his forwards were) of the right-wing anti-Arab Zionist variety Bruce Cohen #20 just mentioned. It said something about how only Muslims would ever be terrorists, and no Jew would ever think of committing terrorism. This was particularly bizarre because I know that my uncle greatly admires a late distant cousin of ours who was involved in the leadership of the Irgun.

(Incidentally, a Google search for "Irgun" finds all sorts of ideologically slanted material. I opted for a Wikipedia link not by default, but because it was the only site I could find that wasn't ridiculously biased in one direction or the other.)

#23 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2007, 11:03 AM:

abi @ 21

I can't speak for a commonality or similarity of doctrine or dogma between Communism and Christianity; I don't know enough about Christianity. But I do know there's been a lot of interconversion: there are many famous Communists who've renounced their faith for Christianity. Conversions in the other direction are less public, but I've seen a lot of them in non-famous people, usually in their mid to late teens.

One classic convert that most of us have heard of is Paul Linebarger, aka Cordwainer Smith. Google him sometime to read his biography; it's a fascinating account of the first half of the 20th Century in many ways.

Charlie Stross has an interesting take on the rise of evangelical Singularitanism in the US; that it's the result of a rise of conversions from Christianity to a secular Millenialist belief with the same structure. Read some of the thread on his blog* in which a swarm of them were vectored from one of the high-traffic sites** onto an article he'd written pointing out the difficulties of real exploitation of space in the near (next century or two) time frame. You'll know that it's truly an evangelical faith, not a secular ambition, by the use of doctrine in argument rather than reason and rational discourse.

* Sorry, no link just now; I have to get out of the house and go to work. If anyone is interested and can't find the URL, post a comment, and I'll put it up here.

** Either slashdot or boingboing, I forget which.

#24 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2007, 11:08 AM:

Bruce, I think it's this one (archived):
http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2007/06/the_high_frontier_redux.html
825 comments!

#25 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2007, 11:56 AM:

abi @ 21... Would you say that the liberal approach is a combination of to bottom-to-the-top and of the top-to-the-bottom approaches?

#26 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2007, 02:11 PM:

P J

Thank you, that's the link all right. Reading that thread is amusing in a strange sort of way, there's less vituperation than I expected. Only one of the posters resorted to calling Charlie really nasty names, although some were considerably more vehement than called for. Telling a Hugo nominee with a long string of published novels and more under contract that he has no business being an sf writer strikes me as lèse majesté of a sort; certainly it shows a lack of appreciation of whom you are insulting.

#27 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2007, 02:46 PM:

Rymenhild @ 22

"Terrorism" is always what the other guy does. What "we" do is "resistance to aggression" or "defense of our rights and homeland". The "good guys" always get special dispensation to commit acts that would be denounced as crimes against humanity if done by the "bad guys".

#28 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2007, 04:19 PM:

re 17/18: Not to put to fine a point on it, but when the Republicans start worrying about Kansas, they either have a really bad candidate, or they're disconnected from reality. Kansas has gone for the Democrats six times. Ever. (for the record: Bryan, Wilson, Wilson, FDR, FDR, and Johnson)

#29 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2007, 03:20 AM:

Bruce, #27: Sounds like one of those satirical declensions: I'm a freedom fighter, you're a rabble-rouser, he's a terrorist.

#30 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2007, 08:29 AM:

Lee @ 29

Rambo, rambas, rambot

I question, you interrogate, he/she/it tortures


#31 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2007, 09:42 AM:

re 21: I sat on this for a while, but I think I really have to object. Christianity is not about "a community of better people living in a better world", though it often gets interpreted/implemented that way. The traditional view was that the world was hopelessly corrupt and the enternal enemy of the church ("that great city Babylon"); the contrary idea of building the city of God on earth has popped up from time to time, of course, but it is but one of a variety of competing themes. The notions that get attributed to the "fundagelical theocrats", they got from the liberal churches, who did it first.

#32 ::: Valuethinker ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2007, 07:04 AM:

24, 26

In fact none other than Robert Heinlein (Logic of Empire/ If this Goes On) predicted that human beings would retreat from space travel, at least once.

My rabid Republican/ Gulf War Veteran friend was a big fan of a manned space programme, even though it was government intervention on the massive scale (of course, so is nuclear power-- go figure). Since the Bush plan (which AFAIK has decimated near term space science, in place of a return to the Moon which no one can understand the justification for, and a trip to Mars which no one yet thinks is technically feasible) seems to be all about cutting space programmes now,, to fund future pipe dreams, he was still supportive because it had 'manned' in it.

Also the 'international' in space station seems to automatically mean conservatives don't like it, also that it was a Clinton baby. There are reasons not to like ISS (we could have been exploring the Oort Clouds with that money) and the international feature in the end is part of the huge cost overruns, but that, I don't think, is what is at issue.

The libertarian crowd also loves the idea of the private space travel. Colour me sceptical: I suspect we are 30 years from having the technology reliable enough, although private satellite launch might prove to be very economic.

And the Chinese have blown the lid on the final problem. If we misbehave in space, their satellite killers will fill it with rubble, a problem, AFAIK, to which we have no solution. Human beings might be driven out of space by their own tendency to fill near Earth orbits with junk. armscontrolwonk.com (the best of the best when it comes to questions like 'what were the Syrians building in the desert?') had the story on the Chinese satellite killer test.

#33 ::: Valuethinker ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2007, 07:05 AM:

24,32,36

I think Heinlein directly addresses the problem of space flight in a comment in Expanded Universe, about If This Goes On.

#34 ::: Valuethinker ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2007, 07:10 AM:

24, 26

The High Frontier crowd is a paid up member of the military-industrial complex: it was in Jerry Pournelle's living room that Star Wars/ missile defence was conceived.

Counting myself a recovering ex-member of that group of fans, I'm not surprised when someone who questions the rationale of manned space flight, gets dumped upon. It seems to be one big spending government project that libertarians and conservatives can agree upon, on a sort of 'scramble for Africa' model of 19th century Empires competing to dominate space (the Arctic, the sea bed, Antarctica). Of course, that ended with World War I, so maybe not such a great example?

We live in the golden age of space exploration. It's just our robots are getting better, faster, than our technology to lift and support humans in space. SF readers of all people should grasp that reality.

#35 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2007, 12:43 AM:

Valuethinker @ 34

The selling of Star Wars by (especially) Heinlein and Pournelle was a nasty blow to my admiration for both of them (Heinlein is one of the reasons I ended up an engineer). It shocked me that they would deliberately militarize the space they wanted to go to; making it much more dangerous to be in space than it would otherwise be.

It's just our robots are getting better, faster, than our technology to lift and support humans in space

This is deeply ironic. At the beginning of the space race the American space program concentrated on highly-miniaturized, highly-automated systems because it didn't have the large boosters needed to put anything big up there. So Americans were disparaging of the Russian program that used large boosters and so didn't have to spend so much energy making their equipment small. Now the US is reaping the benefits of all that experience in building reliable, low-mass systems: automated missions can get us a lot more science than manned missions can, so it requires political force majeure to get NASA to fund manned programs instead of unmanned ones.

#36 ::: Valuethinker ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2007, 02:37 AM:

35 Bruce Cohen

Yes Heinlein was an inspiration. I can still read some of his older stuff and recapture the magic. Pournelle hasn't aged as well, although I still think he wrote some good stuff (one might say David Drake does it better, but they are both fond of classical historical and political allegories).

Jerry's the kind of guy who can toss off an alleged 'factoid' about Pinatubo (that the explosion released more CO2 than all of human activity that year) and have it become 'fact' for libertarian bloggers denying global warming. His Byte column had that kind of power and reach, in the days before the net was widespread.

They backed 'Star Wars' because Pournelle was a long time Cold Warrior (his first job was at Boeing) who believed we were in a struggle to the death with Marxism. Also there is that strain in Science Fiction which believes that technical solutions are all. At 19, I found this all very persuasive.

He wrote a serious book with Dr. Stefan Poznoy (?) about using high technology to defend the US: you find some of the ideas in 'Footfall' for example dropping iron bars from orbit as a tank killer.

He was also a big fan of elaborate civil defence against nuclear attack (ironically more relevant now in an age of nuclear terrorism, than it was in the age of mutual assured destruction).

It may be that in person he is more persuasive than his written words-- the one time I met him at a book signing he was not at his best. Ironically libertarians seem to love him but he is actually more of a classical conservative (see Edmund Burke and Thucydides)-- unless I am confusing his political philosophy with David Drake's. His predominant tendency is to see human affairs as tending towards chaos, and that a limited Republic, along the lines of the Athenian one, the Roman one, or the original US one, is the best system of government. that's not a particularly libertarian view.

So in that sense, I could see Robert Heinlein endorsing Ron Paul (return to the Gold Standard, withdraw from foreign military commitments), but I am not so sure Jerry Pournelle would if he were being consistent (he probably has, I'm not going to run off and look).

I watched a BBC documentary once where JP was talking about having all the key members of the Star Wars coalition in his living room, and saying that one Rocket Propelled Grenade through the window could have finished off the military-industrial complex (his words not mine).

As I've become more interested in environmental and global warming issues, I've come to understand the limits of the 'techno optimism' approach to solving the world's problems. Technology is part of the solution, but by no means the whole solution.

On space flight I'm sure the day of manned space flight will come again, but for a long time to come unmanned probes do almost as well, and cheaper. Better to spend the money probing the asteroid belt, the Oort Clouds etc. than fruitlessly chasing a Mars mission.

No one I've read can explain in any credible fashion why the US is chasing another moon landing.

#37 ::: Valuethinker ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2007, 03:32 AM:

35. Bruce Cohen

Note in the selling of Star Wars, the key role of Dr. Edward Teller. Not only did he sell Oppenheimer down the river, and claim responsibility for the H Bomb (apparently of the 3 key innovations, Teller can only unambiguously be credited with 1, the other 2 for which he took (sole) credit, were joint), but he became the key supporter of SW with President Reagan.

Teller really was the mad Cold Warrior, and ruthless in achieving his goals. The scientific community thought Star Wars was nuts, and unachievable, but Teller made sure that the President and Congress didn't see it that way.

#38 ::: Valuethinker ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2007, 04:57 AM:

35 Bruce

Ironically it was Pournelle who pointed out that if you have the technological advantage, you ought to try to freeze that technology (the whole rationale of the CoDominium between the US and USSR).

No nation has a bigger dependency on space for national security than the USA. If a few satellite killers can cram Low Earth Orbit with junk, then the US has the most to lose from the militarisation of space.

I have the same view of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty which the Senate refused to sign. Why make it easier for other countries to catch up the US lead in expertise in designing and testing nuclear weapons?

#39 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2007, 03:53 PM:

Valuethinker @ 37

I've never seen Teller's actual statements on Star Wars, except in synopsis, but I've been told he outright lied about the experimental evidence backing the bomb-pumped X-ray laser proposals in order to make it look as if deployment was just a matter of off-the-shelf engineering.

Why is the US off after manned spaceflight hard enough to turn off everything else? It's clear that the proximate cause is Bush's wish to look like a foresightful President, moving the nation into the High Frontier. Of course his plans are all shams, and like many other programs he's proposed, the initial outlays are being diverted from the end goal, and all the real funding, and therefore the heavy political lifting, will fall on someone else. So he gets cheap historical perspective points, and can blame the failures on another President.

It may just be that he's got another agenda there too. For instance, his insistence on jamming energy funding into a colossally expensive and probably useless hydrogen distribution system is clearly intended to give the petroleum companies a continued hammerlock on the energy economy. It may be that one of the Oily Executives is afraid that Solar Power Satellites could be practical, and would detract from their scarcity economy plans, so he's out to kill the space program by jamming Mars down its throat.

#40 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2007, 04:26 PM:

What's the point of a hydrogen distribution system?* What you need are hydrogen generating stations, conveniently located, and run off of wind turbines and solar power, using the new germanium/aluminum technology.

Sort of like service stations that make their own fuel.

*Besides placating energy companies that are used to thinking in terms of pipelines and such.

#41 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2007, 01:30 AM:

Of course hydrogen distribution is useless, in fact counterproductive. But it concentrates (political) power in the hands of the existing power structure, and that's why it's the technology of choice for those who don't care about solving the problem, but only about making sure the solution doesn't profit anyone else.

The proper use of fuel cells is as storage batteries, not fuel-burning engines. But the rich only get richer if they can monopolize a scarce resource.

#42 ::: Valuethinker ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2007, 03:01 AM:

39 Bruce

Yes Teller lied in testimony about the feasibility of X Ray lasers. He had Ronald Reagan's ear. Reagan was horrified by the prospect of nuclear war, and had starred in a movie where nuclear missiles were stopped by science.

This led Reagan to Star Wars. Later, in a way that makes me think I underestimated Reagan, it led him to make personal friendship with Mikhail Gorbachev, and begin one of the greatest events of the 20th Century, the rapproachment between the US and USSR.

I agree with you re Bush's search for the 'Grand Idea' but not the execution. John Kennedy was willing to spend 1-2% of US GDP for 10 years on the Space Race (I am typing on the byproduct), but Bush issues these grand ideas but not the ways to fund it.

If you read Paul O'Neills (first Treasury Sec) book about the Bush Cabinet, there is a sense that Bush doesn't understand, he can't keep the facts straight in his head. That's one view. I've met politicians like that.

A more cynical view is as you describe. He knows it ain't gonna work, but someone else will be blamed for it-- see Iraq.

Hydrogen was very clearly a deflection by the energy industry from doing something real about conservation. Part of a general Bush policy, still ongoing, to stall on doing something about global warming. The irony is a need for hydrogen leads you to coal gasification, which is a technology the utility industry has resisted (it would allow carbon sequestration and reinjection underground) but which is ready to roll.

Such is the abysmal level of scientific education amongst our media and public that hydrogen is still described in many quarters as an 'alternative energy source' rather than as a transport mechanisn. Duhh...

#43 ::: Debbie sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2011, 12:17 PM:

Very odd.

#45 ::: Caroline sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2012, 12:21 PM:

@ 47 -- what in the world? Is that Italian?

#46 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2012, 12:19 AM:

Google seems to think it's Romanian.

#47 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2012, 06:00 AM:

Was Romanian.

Thank you, gnomes!

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