Friday, April 1, 2011

Beware: ‘thought police’ at work


The pattern is the best proof. Science and academia are under attack by a determined right-wing movement to discredit them.

Think of this as "thought police" at work, attempting to discredit reliable sources of indisputable fact by either silencing them or mocking them as hoaxes.

The latest episode involves Wisconsin Republicans demanding all the e-mails of University of Wisconsin history professor William Cronin, who wrote critically of the American Legislative Exchange Council's attempt to dictate conservative legislation to Republican lawmakers. By rummaging through Cronin's e-mails, the Wisconsin GOP is discouraging scholarly critiques of right-wing political activities.

Evolution, accepted as scientific truth, is under vigorous attack by conservative religious "creationists." To dispute evolution, creationists labor to elect their own to school boards, from where they order teaching of evolution eliminated or watered down and force textbook publishers to minimize the subject.

Mounting evidence that warming is damaging the planet is no barrier to right-wing attacks on climate change,

During President George W. Bush's time, conservative appointees edited speeches of science officials or prohibited highly regarded science professionals from even mentioning climate change.

Oklahoma's U.S. Sen. James Inhofe leads the movement to stigmatize climate change as a "hoax," using faux "facts" cooked up by political "experts."

In other places and other times, books of science simply were burned. The GOP's new methods are more stealthy, but more threatening. Tampering or destroying perfectly sound scientific information for political reasons is the work of politicians-turned-thought-police who are terrified by truth.




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