URLs du Jour

2021-07-22

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  • Fraud is Too Nice a Word, But… James Bovard uncovers The “Honest History” Fraud at AIER:

    American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten recently proclaimed that her union members have a right to teach “honest history” in government classrooms. But putting politicians, bureaucrats, and union zealots in charge of a curriculum is the worst recipe for candor. Rather than truth, the likely result will be vaccinating young Americans from recognizing how Leviathan imperils their liberty. 

    Weingarten’s protests were spurred by the backlash in some states against Critical Race Theory (CRT), the latest politically correct fad from activist educators. CRT received a steroid boost from the New York Times’ 1619 series, which ludicrously claimed that the American Revolution was fought to preserve slavery (AIER’s Phil Magness debunked that charade in many articles and in this book). According to Weingarten and other CRT proponents, American schools criminally ignore the racial abuses in American history. However, the vast majority of state curriculums already teach that slavery was an abomination and a national disgrace.

    I'll quote the final paragraph too:

    Trusting politicians to teach children honest history is like relying on plantation owners to teach slaves how to read. The best lesson young Americans could receive from studying history is a radical skepticism of officialdom and all its hokum. Virtue signaling is no substitute for learning how to defend one’s rights and liberties.

    Eggs Ackly.


  • Old Man Scapegoats Young Whippersnappers. Robby Soave notes Our Demented President looking to blame someone else: Biden Wants To Punish Facebook for the Government’s Own Vaccine Failures.

    The federal government is stepping up its war on Facebook: President Joe Biden has accused Mark Zuckerberg's social media platform of failing to purge anti-vaccine content, thus contributing to vaccine hesitancy and "killing people," said the president.

    Now the White House is considering methods of tinkering with Section 230, the federal statute that immunizes internet platforms from legal liability, in order to punish Facebook for failing to do everything the government wants.

    And it's just not President Wheezy…


  • Can She Get Her Money Back for That Defective Law Degree? Mike Masnick is a pretty left-wing guy who runs the Techdirt site. But even he can't justify this: Senator Amy Klobuchar Says She Has A Bill To Hold Facebook Responsible For Vaccine Disinfo; But What Would The Cause Of Action Be?.

    Earlier this week, appearing on The View, Senator Amy Klobuchar was asked about COVID disinformation, and gave a pretty bizarre answer. Responding to a question about how fighting COVID has been politicized by Fox News, Klobuchar said we should make Facebook responsible. It's really quite an incredible disconnect. The question specifically highlighted how Fox News was the main vector of COVID misinformation, and Klobuchar said this:

    And at the same time, the misinformation on the internet, which is something I'm personally taking on is outrageous. These are the biggest richest companies in the world that control these platforms, and they've got to take this crap off. We're in a public health crisis -- we still are -- we've seen major improvement thanks to the vaccines, the ingenuity of people, Biden administration getting this out, but this is holding us back. Two thirds of the people that are not vaccinated believe something that they read on the internet. That's all the facts I need. That's from a Kaiser Foundation Report.

    So I'm going to introduce a bill to limit the misinformation on vaccines by saying you guys are liable if you don't take it off your platforms.

    […]

    But, the larger point here is make Facebook liable for what exactly? Whether we like it or not, vaccine misinformation is still protected speech under the 1st Amendment. And no bill that Klobuchar can introduce can change the 1st Amendment. So, if you make them "liable," there still is no cause of action because the misinformation itself does not (and cannot) violate any law in the US.

    Senator Amy allegedly attended the University of Chicago Law School but she must have nodded off when they taught that bit of Constitutional law.


  • Hey, Me Too! Scott Sumner gently lampoons those folks who dislaim: I believe the TRUE science!.

    In the blogosphere and on twitter I see lots of people wrestling with the question of whether we should “believe the science”. It’s clear that they are searching for some sort of Reliable Epistemological Principle, and struggle to articulate exactly what that principle is. Clearly the “science” is not always correct. So how do we know when to believe the science? And which scientists do we believe?

    Richard Rorty made a career arguing that there is no Reliable Epistemological Principle. We need to look at each claim being made, and try to the best of our ability to figure out if it is true. The fact that lots of experts believe something is true is certainly one piece of evidence that deserves serious consideration. But that’s all it is.

    I’m rather bemused by the anguish that some people clearly feel when they find out that science is wrong on some point, especially when the anti-science crazies took the opposite side of that particular issue. They seem to think this is some sort of threat to the Reliable Epistemological Principle, the final arbiter of Objective Truth.

    People need to lighten up. We’ll be debating scientific questions from now until the end of time. Take comfort in the fact that science often has practical value. If you believe in the efficacy of vaccines, then you are likely to live longer than if you don’t.

    Extensive Rorty quote at the link. Worth pondering, science fans.


  • Talking in Different Universes Eric Weinstein has an interesting Tweet Thread where he tries to interpret how the viewpoints of Senator Rand Paul and Dr. Anthony Fauci lead to (um) an unproductive session. Here's the start:

    GoFR == "Gain of Function Research". I think I know whose side I fall on, but that may be a function of my premises and values. See what you think after going down the thread.


Last Modified 2021-07-23 4:41 AM EST