Friday, June 02, 2017

After Memorial Day, stop lying

No, I don’t mean stop honoring those we’ve lost. Keep doing that. Keep remembering those who served and fell in past wars, those who fell during the last sixteen years of the War on Terror, and especially those who fell during attacks here at home. When I say stop lying, I mean stop lying about why we’ve lost them, and to what enemy.
Memorial Day isn’t just about honoring the lost, it’s also about maintaining what they gave their lives for. The thing is, far too many Americans aren’t willing to admit what they died for, or who killed them. And they’re not just refusing to admit it, they’re outright lying about the threat we’re facing.

About that War On Science,
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?

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?
But two huge threats to science are peculiar to the Left—and they’re getting worse.
The first threat is confirmation bias, the well-documented tendency of people to seek out and accept information that confirms their beliefs and prejudices.
... The lopsided ratio has led to another well-documented phenomenon: people’s beliefs become more extreme when they’re surrounded by like-minded colleagues. They come to assume that their opinions are not only the norm but also the truth.

Groupthink has become so routine that many scientists aren’t even aware of it. Social psychologists, who have extensively studied conscious and unconscious biases against out-groups, are quick to blame these biases for the underrepresentation of women or minorities in the business world and other institutions. But they’ve been mostly oblivious to their own diversity problem, which is vastly larger. Democrats outnumber Republicans at least 12 to 1 (perhaps 40 to 1) in social psychology, creating what Jonathan Haidt calls a “tribal-moral community” with its own “sacred values” about what’s worth studying and what’s taboo.

Judicial Watch today released 2,078 pages of documents revealing more instances of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sending and receiving classified information via an unsecured email server. They also show Clinton’s daughter Chelsea and others involved with the Clinton Foundation receiving special favors from Huma Abedin, the former secretary’s deputy chief of staff.
The new documents included 115 Clinton email exchanges not previously turned over to the State Department, bringing the known total to date to at least 432 emails that were not part of the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over to the State Department. These records further appear to contradict statements by Clinton that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails were turned over to the State Department.

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