Friday, September 26, 2008

T Boone Pickens' censored chat ...

I'm on the email list for the PickensPlan, an energy plan which makes a lot of sense on many levels. One of the reasons I'm on the list is that I agree with much of the plan and was impressed when I saw T Boone Pickens on television. I believe in having as many domestic energy resources as possible. I also believe that we shouldn't be exporting our oil production. I have come to agree with the position that we should have liquified natural gas available for our cars. Also, I agree that wind and solar power are a major part of the equation and there should be a national movement to implement these options now.
Earlier this week, people on the PickensPlan email list were invited to join an online chat to talk about the debate. The invitation stated:
After the debate is over, I want us to have an online chat about what we heard and what we DIDN'T hear the two candidates say about the foreign policy aspects of sending 700 billion US Dollars to foreign counties [sic] every year to pay for the oil we are buying from them.
So, I decided to watch a bit of the debate and check out what people were chatting about in the PickensPlan chat room.
It was quiet at first but livened up later, including a lot of praise for Pickens and his plan.
During the debate, when John McCain started going off about nuclear power and how the country could create 700,000 jobs building a slew of new nuclear power plants over the next few decades, I found something to speak about. I think this is a major mistake. So I chimed in about it in the chat room.
I wrote that I didn't nuclear power was a good idea, since there was no way to dispose of the waste. Nuclear power plants also make good strategic targets for terrorists. I waited for my comment to come up in the chat room but it never did. After a few minutes, I typed up the comment again and hit send. Still, it didn't appear. So I tried one more time. But the comment didn't come up.
I figured maybe there was a problem on my end so I signed out and resigned in again, figuring I would try it again. I wrote the same message up and sent it in. Again, it didn't come up. I then sent an email to the moderator asking why my comments about McCain's support of nuclear energy being a mistake were not being posted. No response. I continued to enter the same response and they continued to censor it.
There were a ton of interesting comments allowed into the conversation with some positive and negative comments about the candidates. But it was clear that censorship was going on: There were no comments about nuclear energy being dangerous or being something that the country should avoid. I was a bit surprised that of the thousands of potential people participating not one would say nuclear power was a problem.
What is interesting is that Pickens is the guy who complained about his commercial being censored by NBC. This is also the guy who invited people to join his chat to comment on what the candidates "did and didn't say" about energy policy. Not saying nuclear power is dangerous was be something worthy of stating, something the candidates clearly did not say. So, why censor someone who comments on something one of the candidates didn't said after inviting people to participate?
Pickens has been painting himself as a man with a plan, one who wants to have a discussion about this extremely important issue. But how can you have a discussion if you don't allow dissenting voices into the conversation? You can't. And the fact that anything bad said about nuclear power was censored out of this chat is a worrisome.

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