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John Tierney: The Real War on Science 

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The Left has done far more than the Right to set back progress.

John Tierney writes: My liberal friends sometimes ask me why I don’t devote more of my science journalism to the sins of the Right. It’s fine to expose pseudoscience on the left, they say, but why aren’t you an equal-opportunity debunker? Why not write about conservatives’ threat to science?

“Democrats outnumber Republicans at least 12 to 1 (perhaps 40 to 1) in social psychology.”

My friends don’t like my answer: because there isn’t much to write about. Conservatives just don’t have that much impact on science. I know that sounds strange to Democrats who decry Republican creationists and call themselves the “party of science.” But I’ve done my homework. I’ve read the Left’s indictments, including Chris Mooney’s bestseller, The Republican War on Science. I finished it with the same question about this war that I had at the outset: Where are the casualties?

“The narrative that Republicans are antiscience has been fed by well-publicized studies reporting that conservatives are more close-minded and dogmatic than liberals are. But these conclusions have been based on questions asking people how strongly they cling to traditional morality and religion—dogmas that matter a lot more to conservatives than to liberals.”

Where are the scientists who lost their jobs or their funding? What vital research has been corrupted or suppressed? What scientific debate has been silenced? Yes, the book reveals that Republican creationists exist, but they don’t affect the biologists or anthropologists studying evolution. Yes, George W. Bush refused federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, but that hardly put a stop to it (and not much changed after Barack Obama reversed the policy). Mooney rails at scientists and politicians who oppose government policies favored by progressives like himself, but if you’re looking for serious damage to the enterprise of science, he offers only three examples.

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“A few other studies—not well-publicized—have shown that liberals can be just as close-minded when their own beliefs, such as their feelings about the environment or Barack Obama, are challenged.”

All three are in his first chapter, during Mooney’s brief acknowledgment that leftists “here and there” have been guilty of “science abuse.” First, there’s the Left’s opposition to genetically modified foods, which stifled research into what could have been a second Green Revolution to feed Africa. Second, there’s the campaign by animal-rights activists against medical researchers, whose work has already been hampered and would be devastated if the activists succeeded in banning animal experimentation.

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Third, there’s the resistance in academia to studying the genetic underpinnings of human behavior, which has cut off many social scientists from the recent revolutions in genetics and neuroscience. Each of these abuses is far more significant than anything done by conservatives, and there are plenty of others. The only successful war on science is the one waged by the Left.

[Read the full story here at City Journal]

The danger from the Left does not arise from stupidity or dishonesty; those failings are bipartisan. Some surveys show that Republicans, particularly libertarians, are more scientifically literate than Democrats, but there’s plenty of ignorance all around. Both sides cherry-pick research and misrepresent evidence to support their agendas. Whoever’s in power, the White House plays politics in appointing advisory commissions and editing the executive summaries of their reports. Scientists of all ideologies exaggerate the importance of their own research and seek results that will bring them more attention and funding.

But two huge threats to science are peculiar to the Left—and they’re getting worse. Read the rest of this entry »

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[VIDEO] Fascism and Communism: Sister Ideologies

socialism-fascismmussolini-LIFE01 Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini during Hitler's 1938 state visit to Italymussolini-quote


College Encourages Lively Exchange Of Idea

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BOSTON—Saying that such a dialogue was essential to the college’s academic mission, Trescott University president Kevin Abrams confirmed Monday that the school encourages a lively exchange of one idea. “As an institution of higher learning, we recognize that it’s inevitable that certain contentious topics will come up from time to time, and when they do, we want to create an atmosphere where both students and faculty feel comfortable voicing a single homogeneous opinion,” said Abrams, adding that no matter the subject, anyone on campus is always welcome to add their support to the accepted consensus…(read more)

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[VIDEO] Muslim Religious Leader: ‘Saying Merry Christmas is Worse than Murder’


[VIDEO] ‘Never Forget’: Witness to Communism: The Story of Daniel Magay

In this compelling narrative, Daniel Magay serves as a witness to the ideology, history, and legacy of communism, speaking out for the more than 100 million people killed by communism.

[Also see – Never Forget: Communism Destroys Lives – The Federalist]


[VIDEO] Monty Python And The Holy Grail: ‘Help Help I’m Being Repressed’

Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.
Shut up!
Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! HELP! HELP! I’m being repressed!
Bloody peasant!


Charles Murray: The Trouble Isn’t Liberals. It’s Progressives.

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Not everyone on the left wants to quash dissent or indulge President Obama’s abuses of executive power

Charles Murray writes: Social conservatives. Libertarians. Country-club conservatives. Tea party conservatives. Everybody in politics knows that those sets of people who usually vote Republican cannot be arrayed in a continuum from moderately conservative to extremely conservative. They are on different political planes. They usually have just enough in common to vote for the same candidate.

 “To simplify, progressive intellectuals were passionate advocates of rule by disinterested experts led by a strong unifying leader. They were in favor of using the state to mold social institutions in the interests of the collective. They thought that individualism and the Constitution were both outmoded.”

Why then do we still talk about the left in terms of a continuum from moderately liberal to extremely liberal? Divisions have been occurring on the left that mirror the divisions on the right. Different segments of the left are now on different planes.

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 “That’s not a description that Woodrow Wilson or the other leading progressive intellectuals would have argued with. They openly said it themselves.”

A few weeks ago, I was thrown into a situation where I shared drinks and dinner with two men who have held high positions in Democratic administrations. Both men are lifelong liberals. There’s nothing “moderate” about their liberalism. But as the pleasant evening wore on (we knew that there was no pointliberal-fascism in trying to change anyone’s opinion on anything), I was struck by how little their politics have to do with other elements of the left.

[Jonah Goldberg‘s classic “Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change” is available at Amazon]

Their liberalism has nothing in common with the political mind-set that wants right-of-center speakers kept off college campuses, rationalizes the forced resignation of a CEO who opposes gay marriage, or thinks George F. Will should be fired for writing a column disagreeable to that mind-set. It has nothing to do with executive orders unilaterally disregarding large chunks of legislation signed into law or with using the IRS as a political weapon. My companions are on a different political plane from those on the left with that outlook—the progressive mind-set.

“It is that core philosophy extolling the urge to mold society that still animates progressives today—a mind-set that produces the shutdown of debate and growing intolerance that we are witnessing in today’s America. Such thinking on the left also is behind the rationales for indulging President Obama in his anti-Constitutional use of executive power.”

Wait, doesn’t “progressive” today reflect the spirit of the Progressive Era a century ago, when the country benefited from the righteous efforts of muckrakers and others who fought big-city political bosses, attacked business monopolies and promoted Good Government?

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“As a libertarian, I am reluctant to give up the word “liberal.” It used to refer to laissez-faire economics and limited government.”

The era was partly about that. But philosophically, the progressive movement at the turn of the 20th century had roots in German philosophy ( Hegel and Nietzsche were big favorites) and German public Obama-incandescentadministration ( Woodrow Wilson’s open reverence for Bismarck was typical among progressives).

“Making a clear distinction between liberals and progressives will help break down a Manichaean view of politics that afflicts the nation.”

To simplify, progressive intellectuals were passionate advocates of rule by disinterested experts led by a strong unifying leader. They were in favor of using the state to mold social institutions in the interests of the collective. They thought that individualism and the Constitution were both outmoded.

That’s not a description that Woodrow Wilson or the other leading progressive intellectuals would have argued with. They openly said it themselves.

[read the full text of Charles Murray‘s article here, at the Wall Street Journal]

[Speaking of abuses of executive power, read Charles C.W.Cooke‘s “Obama Defies the Will of the Senate” at National Review Online]

[Also see Fred Siegel’s book “The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class at Amazon]

[Jonah Goldberg‘s “Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change” at Amazon]

[And Jonah’s other popular book, The Tyranny of Cliches, also available at Amazon]

It is that core philosophy extolling the urge to mold society that still animates progressives today—a mind-set that produces the shutdown of debate and growing intolerance that we are witnessing in today’s America. Such thinking on the left also is behind the rationales for indulging President Obama in his anti-Constitutional use of executive power. If you want substantiation for what I’m saying, read Jonah Goldberg’s 2008 book “Liberal Fascism,” an erudite and closely argued exposition of American progressivism and its subsequent effects on liberalism. The title is all too accurate.

“Too many of us see those on the other side as not just misguided but evil. The solution is not a generalized ‘Can’t we all just get along’ non-judgmentalism. Some political differences are too great for that. But liberalism as I want to use the term encompasses a set of views that can be held by people who care as much about America’s exceptional heritage as I do.

Here, I want to make a simple point about millions of people—like my liberal-minded dinner companions—who regularly vote Democratic and who are caught between a rock and a hard place. Read the rest of this entry »


Mark Steyn: The Glamor of Evil


Ayaan Hirsi Ali

conquest


How to Advance Your Ideological Agenda Without Actually Having to Defend Your Ideology: Insist You Don’t Have an Ideology

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Obama’s Faux Pragmatism

Or “How to be a Force for Global Unity”

Some good Goldbergisms contained here. From the guy wrote a whole book full of, well …isms.

“I mean, who is against policies that work? Who doesn’t care about what’s best for the country? According to the president, the answer is always clear: Anyone who disagrees with him.”

Jonah Goldberg writes:

“…Now don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with being ideological. I do it every day. What sticks in my craw is lying about it to yourself or to the country. Insisting that you don’t have an ideology is a great way to advance your ideological agenda without actually having to defend your ideology. That’s why president Obama loves to say that he only cares about “what works” and what’s best for the country. I mean, who is against policies that work? Who doesn’t care about what’s best for the country? According to the president, the answer is always clear: Anyone who disagrees with tyranny-of-clicheshim.

[Jonah’s book, The Tyranny of Cliches, is available at Amazon]

Nearly six years since he took office, the shtick is getting old. But if you want to keep insisting that Obama’s policies on health care, immigration, taxes, and foreign policy have nothing to do with an ideological or political agenda, well, bless your little heart.

More to the point, what has this “non-ideological” foreign policy gotten us? Despite enjoying more global goodwill than any newly elected U.S. president in modern history, Obama has overseen a shocking decline in America’s standing in the world. Everyone is mad at, or disappointed in, the United States.

Indeed, it is in this regard alone that Obama has made good on his repeated vows to be a force for global unity…(read more)

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Jonah Goldberg Drops the F-Bomb: ‘Whiff of Fascism’ to Obama Questioning Companies’ ‘Economic Patriotism’

I had this on in the background when Charles Krauthammer and Jonah Goldberg were discussing this, and Jonah’s invocation of the F-word made me stop what I was doing and pay attention. Jonah’s scholarship on the history of fascism–history of political ideologies in general–makes his comments more interesting and relevant. It’s not a word he’d use casually. It’s an unsettling, and I think, accurate observation.

National Review Online


[VIDEO] Reason TV: Jason Brennan on Why Capitalism is Better than Socialism


President Opposite

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Whenever the president talks about himself, flip it so he’s saying the opposite

For Review OnlineJonah Goldberg writes: I think I’ve stumbled onto a handy heuristic — or, if that word makes you want to smash my guitar on the Delta House wall, rule of thumb — for listening to Obama. Whenever he talks about himself, immediately flip it around so he’s saying the opposite. Think about it. “I’m not interested in photo-ops.obama-twn” Boom. Translation: “I think photo-ops are really, really important. And that’s why I’m not going to have my picture taken with a bunch kids at the border.”

“When he says he doesn’t care about ‘politics,’ just problem-solving, what he’s really saying is he wants his political agenda to go unchallenged by other political agendas.”

Now, sometimes, a literal reversal of meaning doesn’t work. But the key is to look at any statement he offers about others as an insight into his own mental state.

When Obama denounces cynicism, he’s actually being cynical. What he’s doing is expressing his frustration with people who are justifiably cynical about him. Why can’t you people fall for what I am saying!?

“…whenever he says ideology and ideologues are a problem, what he’s actually saying is that competing ideologues and ideologies are the problem.”

And — as I wrote about at great length here — whenever he says ideology and ideologues are a problem, what he’s actually saying is that competing ideologues and ideologies are the problem. That is, unless, you’re the sort of person who actually thinks Obama isn’t an ideologue, which is just adorable. Read the rest of this entry »


The Left Is Eating Itself

Ouroboros

For Ricochet writes:  The Ouroboros is an ancient image showing a large serpent consuming its own tail. Venerated by Greeks, Egyptians and Norsemen of yore, it serves as an apt metaphor for modern American liberalism.

The Democratic coalition was largely built on grievance politics. For decades, progressive leaders divided Americans into subgroups based on race, gender, class, age and sexual orientation. Political leaders were the first to stoke this fire, but educators soon joined in, as did the media, NGOs, big business and popular culture.

This coordinated strategy finally bore fruit with the arrival of the Obama era. Democrats had finally convinced the majority of American voters that Republicans are rich, old, white males who couldn’t possibly care about the poor, the young, women or non-whites.

As President Obama assumed power, his Alinskyite past served as the template for a renewed politics of envy, personal grievance and payback. The One Percent must be punished for their wealth. Traditional marriage supporters are hateful bigots on the wrong side of history. Mitt Romney gave old women cancer and locked the younger ones in binders. “The Cambridge police acted stupidly” and “if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

As one blogger notes, “Barack Obama thinks his job is to lead the mob, not the country.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Why would Obama say he is not ideological?‎

President Obama (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

President Obama (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Ed Rogers writes: There are reports that President Obama has turned introspective lately and that he has been more reflective than usual. In this post I will attempt to reflect on his new reflectiveness. After all, readers will need to take naps after all the holiday feasting. I hope this helps.

The president said something recently that I believe was interesting and underreported.‎ At a Democratic campaign fundraiser, the president said he was “not a particularly ideological person.” Assuming he meant it, that was a remarkable thing to say, given that Republicans think of him as a classic liberal ideologue. How did so many get the wrong idea? The president doesn’t see an ideological bent in his actions; he sees himself doing what needs to be done without any ideological motivation. Interesting. ‎

During his brief time in the Senate, Obama was rated as the most liberal senator in the entire body in 2007. In the 2008 campaign, candidate Obama famously told Joe the plumber that he was going to raise taxes because “when you spread the wealth, it’s good for everybody.” What could be more ideological than wealth redistribution? What is Obamacare if not an ideological drive for government control and wealth redistribution?  And let’s not forget that the president pursues pointless – some say punitive – environmental policies meant to shape Americans’ lifestyles in furtherance of the ideological embrace of liberal global warming orthodoxy.

Read the rest of this entry »


Nearly Half of Meteorologists Reject Man-made Global Warming

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Not all scientists agree that global warming is man-made. Nearly half of meteorologists and atmospheric science experts don’t believe that human activities are the driving force behind global warming, according to a survey by the American Meteorological Society.

The survey of AMS members found that while 52 percent of American Meteorological Society members believe climate change is occurring and mostly human-induced, 48 percent of members do not believe in man-made global warming.

Furthermore, the survey found that scientists who professed “liberal political views” were much more likely to believe in the theory of man-made global warming than those who without liberal views.

Read the rest of this entry »


Obama the Pragmatic, Cliché-Gushing ‘Non-Ideologue’ Promotes NRO Author’s Book Again

“The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world that he did not exist.” ― Charles Baudelaire

tyranny-of-clichesThe most comforting of self-serving lies liberals tell themselves made a spectacular appearance last weekend as Obama lovingly invoked the ghost of progressive past by honoring its most enduring myth: “we’re pragmatic, non-ideological realists” (it’s the other guys who are blinded by ideology). When the president himself breathes stale air into the emptiest of clichés–“I’m not a particularly ideological person”–as he did at a fundraiser in Seattle, it makes news.

Author and NRO Editor-at-Large Jonah Goldberg‘s inbox and twitter feed must light up like a Christmas tree each time this happens. Mr. Goldberg should get a royalty check every time this fairy tale is circulated by prominent Democrats. And he should get a dozen roses, a keg of beer, and a bump in his Amazon rankings every time it’s spoken by the Commander-in-Chief.

This isn’t meant to be a micro-review of Tyranny of Clichés, but I figure if the president can promote NRO authors, so can I. It’s one of the more satisfying books I read this year. To anyone who might not normally read political history books, or hasn’t really read conservative authors, out of concern it might be too inflamed, pedantic, politically loaded, or dull, I’d recommend it this way: If Conservative Think Tanks had rec rooms with flat-screen TVs, margaritas, bowls of peanuts, pinball machines, electric guitars, and drum kits, then this book would be that Think Tank’s founding scripture. Okay, that’s my review. Now, here’s Jonah, from today’s edition of The Corner:

Every couple days someone jokes to me that Obama is proving the prescience of my first book. But I’ve got to say, I more often see him confirming my second (not that the two charges are mutually exclusive). From Reuters:

“I’m not a particularly ideological person,” he said, saying pragmatism was necessary to advance the values that were important to him.

Now if you read the Tyranny of Clichés, you could easily conclude that the president is simply trolling me. This lie — the lie liberals tell themselves — is the main target of the book and one of my biggest obsessions over the last decade. What’s interesting here is that Obama normally adds another phrase to his insistence that’s he’s a non-ideologue. He’s only concerned with “what works.” From TOC:

President Obama, for instance, is deeply, profoundly, habitually committed to the notion that he’s a pragmatist boldly standing athwart ideology. He’s interested in results, not mere labels. “My interest is finding something that works,” he told 60 Minutes at the beginning of his administration. “And whether it’s coming from FDR or it’s coming from Ronald Reagan, if the idea is right for the times then we’re gonna [sic] apply it. And things that don’t work, we’re gonna get rid of.” One finds in The Audacity of Hope numerous assaults on the evils of ideology—indeed “any tyrannical consistency”—that drives people away from the humility of pragmatism. And, of course, here he is in his inaugural address:

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them, that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply.

The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works.

This is Obama’s standard refrain, and his biggest defenders routinely repeat it back, almost as if they think it’s actually true. During the intense debt-ceiling negotiations in July and August 2011, Obama would claim incessantly that Republicans were “constantly being locked into ideologically rigid positions,” while he was a compromiser and a pragmatist. This dichotomy of ideology versus pragmatism in which he casts himself as the disciple of cool reason and common sense and his opponents as blinkered ideologues is a fiction. It is part lie he tells us and part lie he tells himself.

Saying he only cares about “what works” at this point in his presidency is more of a problem given that his signature achievement, you know, doesn’t.

Obama Big brother

National Review Online