Scientific Institutions Engage in Leftist Advocacy

first_imgFor an enterprise supposedly as unpolitical and bias-free as science classically is supposed to be, conservatism is surprisingly rare.Since we last reported the leftist bias in scientific institutions (Jan 19, 2012), has there been any shift to the right?  any penitence for embracing and promoting one political party?  No; it has gotten worse.   Here are just a few of the most egregious examples in recent days.  These not only state leftist positions, but openly advocate them.Anti-Israel:  The only redeeming feature of this example is that at least Science magazine published a protest letter by John R. Cohn of Thomas Jefferson University.  The Science May 18 cover story was a special feature on “Human Conflict.”  Out of all the possible pictures of human conflict imaginable, what did the editors of Science choose?  It was a photo of a bombed-out building attributed to the Israeli Defense forces.  Cohn’s letter, published two months later, accused the editors of politicizing science:I am writing in reaction to the cover photo and accompanying caption selected for the 18 May special issue on Human Conflict. It seems disingenuous to claim that of all the world’s conflicts, a building identified as destroyed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) was “not [chosen] for any political message or endorsement.” Nobody eschews war more than Israelis, who, unfortunately, also know the consequences.If the editors wanted striking visual impact and gruesome evidence of inhumanity, there were better choices: the killing fields of Cambodia, the destruction of the World Trade Center, Rwanda, Dresden, Hiroshima, Bataan, Darfur, Armenia, Normandy, Auschwitz… unfortunately, the list of greater carnage is nearly endless.By identifying the IDF as perpetrators, the caption undermined the photo’s role as a generic illustration of the consequences of conflict. Indeed, there was no need to identify the details. They were a distraction. The photo no longer represented abstract human violence, but rather one more illustration of Israel, taken out of context. Portraying Israel as the aggressor obscures the fact that the country is trying to defend itself against decades of assaults provoked by ethnic hostility—attacks still taking place. That is politicized science, which serves to encourage—not discourage—conflict.Scientists advising Obama:  What should a science news site have to do with presidential politics?  Nothing, really.  But PhysOrg published the views of two UK scientists taking it upon themselves to act as his campaign advisors: “Obama needs to show Americans he’s still ‘one of them’,” the headline reads, followed by PhysOrg’s summary, “To win a second term in office, President Obama needs to persuade voters that he is still one of them – and recapture some of the charisma that help [sic] propel him to the top four years ago.”  No such advice was found anywhere on PhysOrg advising Romney how to win.Scientists advocating for leftist NGO’s:  It is common knowledge that environmental groups, particularly non-governmental agencies (NGOs) such as the Sierra Club, are predominantly (though not exclusively) leftist in ideology – particularly those lobbying for government intervention in private property rights and action against global warming.  Another PhysOrg article advocated this in its headline: “Environmental groups should pool efforts to reach the public.”  One would think a science news site would stick to the facts about the environment, not provide advice on how to sway public opinion.Unhealthy theists:  Another prominent science news site promulgated a highly questionable psychological study that materialists are healthier – questionable because such studies are loaded with untestable variables.  In “Mind Vs. Body? Dualist Beliefs Linked With Less Concern for Healthy Behaviors,” Science Daily uncritically promoted the idea that those who believe the mind is separate from the brain are likely to engage in unhealthy behavior, calling the research “findings” instead of suggestions or opinions.  Without doubt, hard-core secular Darwinists are likely to be materialists, not attributing the mind to a soul or spirit.Same-sex marriage and the church:  A particularly egregious example of leftist ideology masquerading as “science” is found in a PhysOrg story entitled, “College students likely to disagree with religious teachings that homosexuality is a sin.”  Saturating this report about University of Michigan Michael Woodford’s views on how to overcome student’s parental and church teachings about marriage are biased words intended to show conservatives as backward and liberal churches as open-minded.  PhysOrg joined left foot in to the leftist professor’s advocacy of same-sex marriage: “College students’ beliefs about same-sex relationships can be shaped by their church’s teachings, but some are willing to oppose their religion’s position on the issue, a new University of Michigan study indicated.  And this can influence students’ views about same-sex marriage.”  Topics like sin and marriage have no place in a science news site, but PhysOrg’s complicity in Woodford’s anti-conservative advocacy that seeks to undo what parents and churches have taught their children echoes intolerant rhetoric this week from certain politicians attacking the Chick Fil-A food chain for its president’s vocal stand for traditional marriage (see Family Research Council article).Burn the heretics:  What happens when a scientist goes rogue and steps outside the leftist consensus?  He or she had better wear armor and combat boots, if not a flame-proof fireman’s suit.  Look at the case of Mark Regnerus (U of Texas), whose politically-incorrect research (reported here 6/10/2012) indicated that traditional families are better for children than same-sex parent homes.  All fury broke loose against him from the sociological science community, according to Christian Smith at the Chronicle of Higher Education, who likened their response to an “academic auto-da-fé” (a reference to Spanish Inquisition celebrations of burning heretics at the stake).  Regnerus’ attempt to state his findings in the gentlest, fairest, most tolerant manner possible were no protection.  See also “Science Lies Bleeding: A Ballad for Honesty” by Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Review.Wait a minute, the reader hesitates … I’m confused.  Aren’t liberals supposed to be the champions of tolerance?  Aren’t these the ones promoting diversity?  Isn’t their favorite word inclusion?Now you understand the mindset of the Darwin Party.  With few exceptions, they are cut of the same cloth.  Leftists whimper for academic freedom when in the minority.  But once they get power, they become  intellectual bigots and bullies, with no tolerance for the inclusion of diverse views outside of those that are progressive, leftist, liberal, and even radical.If you find any politically conservative Darwinists who support traditional marriage, the US Constitution, private property rights, the free market, individual liberty, limited government, free speech and scientific integrity, send him to the embassy for protection from the next academic auto-da-fé. 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Irish flair comes to South Africa

first_imgThe Riverdance show has toured all overthe world and now graces local stagesfor the first time ever. Members of the show’s Moy companyoutside Montecasino in Johannesburg. (Image: Riverdance) The Erincale hotel and spa is surrounded by vast wine estates. (Image: Erinvale) MEDIA CONTACTS • Yolanda Filmater or Angela SwartErinvale+27 21 847 1160• Debra de SouzaRiverdance SA+27 82 822 9478 RELATED ARTICLES • SA looks back 100 years • Arts Alive ushers in a feeling of spring • Jock to grace SA screens again • New wine label protexts trees • SA olive oil a hit in ItalyChris ThurmanRiverdance, that quintessentially Irish phenomenon, is onstage in South Africa for the first time.Sure, we’ve had plenty of Irish dancing over the years – multiple visits from spin-off shows like Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance and David King’s Spirit of the Dance.But Riverdance is the original and is still held to be the more authentic production. The show runs until 20 February in Johannesburg and then moves to Cape Town for the rest of its six-week tour.What started off as a seven-minute interval piece at the Eurovision Song Contest, held in 1994 in Dublin, rapidly grew into a full-length music and dancing extravaganza: an exhibition of traditional Irish dancing such as had never been seen before, and which became the Emerald Isle’s major cultural export of the 1990s.In Riverdance the improbable foot and leg movements of the distinctive Irish dancing style, multiplied by twenty dancers and performed perfectly synchronised, are accompanied by Bill Whelan’s music that’s both joyous and full of pathos, by turns invigorating and haunting.As the show evolved, it began to incorporate other dance forms that complement, and perhaps even influence, the modern Irish style, notably jazzy American tap and sultry Spanish flamenco. Indeed, while the first half of Riverdance celebrates the “primitive and powerful world” of ancestral Ireland, the second act hinges around the notion of diaspora.As the programme notes explain: “War, famine and slavery shattered the ancient bonds between people and place. Forced dislocations marked and altered our histories … we learned to guard what we valued, to accommodate ourselves to others. Cast out and momentarily orphaned, we learned to belong to the world.”Irish settlers drawn to South AfricaMillions of Irish left their homeland out of hunger – the potato famine of the mid-nineteenth century was the most famous but certainly not the only period in which food shortages caused great suffering – or out of a desire for political and economic freedom. Ireland gained, lost and regained independence from Britain in the 1920s and 1930s, after being an occupied territory for about 700 years.South Africa may not have drawn as many Irish as America or Australia, but it was the destination chosen by thousands of immigrants in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They came to mine gold, to farm, to trade; and, in their search for a new home, they spread far and wide across the country.There are two South African towns called Belfast – in Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces, although the former town is now officially known as eMakhazeni – and numerous other places bear evidence of Irish influence.The Eastern Cape’s Cradock was named after John Cradock, an Anglophile Irishman who was once governor of the Cape colony. Upington in the Northern Cape took its name from Irishman Thomas Upington, former premier of the Cape Colony.One of the most famous South Africans of Irish heritage was Percy Fitzpatrick, author of Jock of the Bushveld. But while Fitzpatrick was an advocate of British intervention and expansion, most Irish sympathies lay with those who, like themselves, were victims of British oppression.At the end of the 19th century, that list included the Boers of the then-Transvaal; even James Joyce, in his mock-epic novel Ulysses, took up the cause of the Boer War as a war of independence. The Irish fought on both sides of the conflict, as volunteers with the Boer guerillas and as conscripts in the British army.A little bit of Ireland in AfricaGiven all these connections between Ireland and South Africa, it’s hardly surprising that when one Edward Strangman bought a tract of fertile soil near Somerset West in 1868, he named it after the country of his birth: Erin Vale, or Irish Valley.Little is known about the owners in subsequent decades, although there are a few stories in circulation about a redoubtable pair of sisters who ran the farm in proto-feminist fashion a few generations after Mr Strangman.What can be more readily verified is the history of the surrounding farmland, which was part of the 30 000ha Vergelegen estate founded in 1700 by conman, autocrat and horticulturist extraordinaire Willem Adriaan van der Stel. It was later sub-divided after Van der Stel was sent back to the Netherlands for extortion and mistreatment of his fellow Dutch farmers – thus it was that, along with Vergelegen, Lourensford and Morgenster were turned into wine farms.Today they remain major attractions on the Helderberg wine route, offering tastings, not only of wine but also of olives and chocolate, and tours in exquisite settings: Cape Dutch architecture, perfectly manicured grounds and terraced vineyards all around.Erinvale, however, did not end up as a winery. David Gant of Lourensford saw its potential as a residential golf estate and commissioned Gary Player to design the course layout. Erinvale presents a challenging 18 holes with spectacular views that do offer some comfort to those golfers – such as the author of this article – who frequently find themselves in the rough, the sand or the water … And the golfers, in turn, offer some entertainment for occupants of the houses looking onto the fairways.In 1995, Peter Baragwanath opened the Erinvale Estate Hotel and Spa, a complex of buildings developed around the original 300-year-old manor house of the farm; where once there were stables and barns, there are now elegantly furnished thatched rooms.In 1999 Erinvale returned to Irish hands when County Kerry-born tycoon Xavier McAuliffe purchased the hotel. It was acquired by the Louis Group in 2007, but a few Irish touches remain: Skelligs Pub and the Shannon room, for instance, hark back to the days of Mr Strangman.Erinvale is thus able to offer the highly appealing combination of a top quality golf course and decadent spa treatments, along with good food and wine, in a luxurious setting. It’s all a far cry from the deprivation that forced so many people to leave Ireland over the centuries – but that change in fortune can be attributed, you might say, to the luck of the Irish.last_img read more

Lessons learned

first_imgPanelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid The Elasto Painters left the stadium on an 85-74 loss via a fourth-quarter meltdown and a handful of concerns they have to troubleshoot within the five-day break.“We have to learn from this loss,” he told reporters. “Especially [with our performance] the fourth quarter. We only scored 11 … We were no longer hitting our shots and we couldn’t go to the line.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsRain or Shine kept the aggressiveness and physicality that netted it the first two victories of the series—but only for three quarters.Magnolia’s Ian Sangalang sensed the sudden meekness in the payoff period and pounded the low blocks hard, unloading 10 crucial points under the final six minutes of the match to put the Hotshots back in contention. Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Ejercito encourages SEAG ‘bayanihan’ Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netRain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia looked to deny Magnolia all sorts of comfort going into the Holy Week break.Magnolia, it turned out, ended up doing that and more in Game 3 of their PBA Philippine Cup semifinals duel on Tuesday night at the Big Dome.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue MOST READcenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew “We’re still up in the series, 2-1. We may not have made our shots but we remain confident we’re going to bounce back,” he said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments LATEST STORIES 2 gov’t execs wary of having separate dep’t for disaster risk reduction PLAY LIST 03:102 gov’t execs wary of having separate dep’t for disaster risk reduction04:58BuCor officer admits texting ‘GCTA-for-sale’ witness00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Sangalang, scoreless in the first half, poured all his 16 points in the last two periods.“They became more physical than us,” Garcia added. “They went to [Ian] in the end and we had no answer to him. He scored 12 points in the fourth. I think that was the game. We couldn’t contain him.”Initially hoping to send Magnolia to the break buried under a 0-3 series deficit, Garcia now looks to utilize the vacation to make necessary tweaks in his team’s approach.“It’s going to be about us stepping up and being a little bit stronger,” he said. “We have to be more aggressive in attacking the basket.”Game 4 is on April 22.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games hosting troubles anger Dutertelast_img read more