[Marxism] A young ignoramus
lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Feb 8 10:45:41 MST 2006
Bukharin, "Philosophical Arabesques":
Today's working-class hero is totally unlike the young ignoramus in
Fonvizin, who asked, "Why do I need to know geography, when carriage
drivers exist?" It is the workers' enemies who are playing the role of
ignoramus. It is they who are increasingly turning their backs on the
intellect, which refuses to serve their ends. It is they who snatch up
stone axes, the swastika, the horoscope. It is they who are starting to
read haltingly from the book of history, sounding it out syllable by
syllable. It is they who pray to stone goddesses and idols. It is they who
have turned their backs on the future, and like Heine's dog, to which they
have fitted a historical muzzle, they now bark with their backsides, while
history in turn shows them only its a posteriori. Fine battles are now
breaking out amid the grandiose festivities, and conflict envelops all areas.
NY Times, February 8, 2006
A Young Bush Appointee Resigns His Post at NASA
By ANDREW C. REVKIN
George C. Deutsch, the young presidential appointee at NASA who told public
affairs workers to limit reporters' access to a top climate scientist and
told a Web designer to add the word "theory" at every mention of the Big
Bang, resigned yesterday, agency officials said.
Mr. Deutsch's resignation came on the same day that officials at Texas A&M
University confirmed that he did not graduate from there, as his résumé on
file at the agency asserted.
Officials at NASA headquarters declined to discuss the reason for the
"Under NASA policy, it is inappropriate to discuss personnel matters," said
Dean Acosta, the deputy assistant administrator for public affairs and Mr.
The resignation came as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
was preparing to review its policies for communicating science to the
public. The review was ordered Friday by Michael D. Griffin, the NASA
administrator, after a week in which many agency scientists and midlevel
public affairs officials described to The New York Times instances in which
they said political pressure was applied to limit or flavor discussions of
topics uncomfortable to the Bush administration, particularly global warming.
"As we have stated in the past, NASA is in the process of revising our
public affairs policies across the agency to ensure our commitment to open
and full communications," the statement from Mr. Acosta said.
The statement said the resignation of Mr. Deutsch was "a separate matter."
Mr. Deutsch, 24, was offered a job as a writer and editor in NASA's public
affairs office in Washington last year after working on President Bush's
re-election campaign and inaugural committee, according to his résumé. No
one has disputed those parts of the document.
According to his résumé, Mr. Deutsch received a "Bachelor of Arts in
journalism, Class of 2003."
Yesterday, officials at Texas A&M said that was not the case.
"George Carlton Deutsch III did attend Texas A&M University but has not
completed the requirements for a degree," said an e-mail message from Rita
Presley, assistant to the registrar at the university, responding to a
query from The Times.
Repeated calls and e-mail messages to Mr. Deutsch on Tuesday were not answered.
Mr. Deutsch's educational record was first challenged on Monday by Nick
Anthis, who graduated from Texas A&M last year with a biochemistry degree
and has been writing a Web log on science policy,
After Mr. Anthis read about the problems at NASA, he said in an interview:
"It seemed like political figures had really overstepped the line. I was
just going to write some commentary on this when somebody tipped me off
that George Deutsch might not have graduated."
He posted a blog entry asserting this after he checked with the
university's association of former students. He reported that the
association said Mr. Deutsch received no degree.
A copy of Mr. Deutsch's résumé was provided to The Times by someone working
in NASA headquarters who, along with many other NASA employees, said Mr.
Deutsch played a small but significant role in an intensifying effort at
the agency to exert political control over the flow of information to the
Such complaints came to the fore starting in late January, when James E.
Hansen, the climate scientist, and several midlevel public affairs officers
told The Times that political appointees, including Mr. Deutsch, were
pressing to limit Dr. Hansen's speaking and interviews on the threats posed
by global warming.
Yesterday, Dr. Hansen said that the questions about Mr. Deutsch's
credentials were important, but were a distraction from the broader issue
of political control of scientific information.
"He's only a bit player," Dr. Hansen said of Mr. Deutsch. " The problem is
much broader and much deeper and it goes across agencies. That's what I'm
really concerned about."
"On climate, the public has been misinformed and not informed," he said.
"The foundation of a democracy is an informed public, which obviously means
an honestly informed public. That's the big issue here."
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