May 19th, 2007


Patriotic Pates and Hybrid Hysteria

So, bethje watched both last week's and this week's Bullshit! last night. Last week's was about Mount Rushmore, which is kind of an odd subject. They made some points about how the sculptor was involved with the Ku Klux Klan, and purposely chose presidents who supported expansionism. These were the better arguments, with the ones about how it's essentially worshipping former presidents and the United States government in general being somewhat weaker. I mean, couldn't these arguments apply to pretty much all monuments to government officials? And maybe Penn and Teller are opposed to those as well, but they're the ones who chose to focus on Mount Rushmore in particular.

The latest episode is about the Energy Crisis, focusing on nuclear power and hybrid cars. As with the other one, it had both good and bad arguments. I think their points in favor of nuclear power were pretty good, although I don't really know enough of the science to be totally sure. On the other hand, the arguments for hybrid cars not being that great were specious, based on comparisons that made no sense. They said that they don't have very good pickup (but who would have expected them to?), don't hold that much stuff (again, they were looking at a compact, not a station wagon, so how is this news?), and get worse gas mileage than some other small cars (the only argument of the three that had any merit, but even then the test wasn't very scientific). I kind of suspect that Penn only addressed hybrid cars so he could go on a rant about the tax credits you can get from buying one. Unfortunately, that kind of thing seems to be a common trend in more recent episodes.
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