The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Rigging the Game

The adjective "McCarthyism" is often used to condemn any thuggish attempt by a political entity to use the federal government to attack an opposing ideology. Here's a brief description from Wikipedia:
Joseph Raymond "Joe" McCarthy (November 14, 1908 – May 2, 1957) was an American politician who served as a Republican U.S. Senator from the state of Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in 1957. Beginning in 1950, McCarthy became the most visible public face of a period in which Cold War tensions fueled fears of widespread Communist subversion.[1] He was noted for making claims that there were large numbers of Communists and Soviet spies and sympathizers inside the United States federal government and elsewhere. Ultimately, his tactics and inability to substantiate his claims led him to be censured by the United States Senate.

The term McCarthyism, coined in 1950 in reference to McCarthy's practices, was soon applied to similar anti-communist activities. Today the term is used more generally in reference to demagogic, reckless, and unsubstantiated accusations, as well as public attacks on the character or patriotism of political opponents.[
McCarthy was an ideological thug, a man who saw conspiracies everywhere and terrorized many decent Americans using the government as a weapon. Many less thuggish members of the Republican party followed his lead and did little to stop his inquisition.

Fast forward to 2015. Today, many in the Democratic party and virtually everybody who self-identifies with the Left has adopted "climate change" as a ideological equivalent of a religion. Rather than considering the scientific evidence in full, noting that some data that causes alarm has been cherry picked and doctored, and even solid scientific measurements conflict with other solid scientific measurements, members of the climate change religion attack those who ask questions with the fervor of ... well .. Joseph McCarthy.

Richard Lindzen comments:
The latest example [of climate change McCarthyism] began with an article published in the New York Times on Feb. 22 about Willie Soon, a scientist at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Mr. Soon has, for over 25 years, argued for a primary role of solar variability on climate. But as Greenpeace noted in 2011, Mr. Soon was, in small measure, supported by fossil-fuel companies over a period of 10 years.

The Times reintroduced this old material as news, arguing that Mr. Soon had failed to list this support in a recent paper in Science Bulletin of which he was one of four authors. Two days later Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, the ranking Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee, used the Times article as the basis for a hunting expedition into anything said, written and communicated by seven individuals—David Legates,John Christy, Judith Curry, Robert Balling, Roger Pielke Jr., Steven Hayward and me—about testimony we gave to Congress or other governmental bodies. We were selected solely on the basis of our objections to alarmist claims about the climate.
Hmmm. It is truly ironic that Rep. Raul Grijalva (D) is doing exactly the same thing that was done by Rep. Joseph McCarthy (R)—using the power of the government to intimidate those who he disagrees with. Grijalva is an ideological thug. Many less thuggish members of the Democratic party have followed his lead and have done little to stop his inquisition.

Now, Kim Strassel reports:
A trio of Senate Democrats is working to muzzle more than 100 nonprofits and companies that have questioned the climate agenda, with a fishing expedition into their correspondence.

Largely unnoticed is that the congressional climate crusaders didn’t come up with this idea on their own. For several years a coalition of liberal organizations have been using “disclosure” to sully the names of conservative professors and try to shut down their programs. Their particular targets are academics who benefit from funding from the Koch Foundation, which has for decades funded free-market professors and groups on U.S. campuses.

Giving money to universities, and earmarking it for certain purposes, is common, though the left has largely cornered the market. Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer and his wife several years ago pledged $40 million to Stanford to start the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy ...

Apparently the only kind of thought not allowed is that which might “undermine,” according to UnKochMyCampus, “environmental protection, worker’s rights, health care expansion, and quality public education.” Stopping such research is the mission of this organization, which is spearheaded by Greenpeace, Forecast the Facts (a green outfit focused on climate change), and the American Federation of Teachers.
Leftist groups have every right to argue their positions publicly and test those arguments in the area of opposing ideas. But those same Leftist groups want to rig the game—to remove and or demonize any opposing ideas and any research that might question the veracity of their positions—particularly at Universities, where a new generation forms its view of the world.