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How The Right-Wing Koch And DeVos Families Are Funding Hate Speech On Campus

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How The Right-Wing Koch And DeVos Families Are Funding Hate Speech On Campus

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Betsy DeVos, Flint

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

 

On March 2, eugenicist Charles Murray attempted to give a lecture at Middlebury College in Vermont, with little success. Protesters shouted him down and he was sequestered in another room to answer questions over a livestream. Afterwards, Murray left the campus, but not before protesters blocked his car and injured a professor.

Labeled a white nationalist by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Murray is the author of the 1994 book The Bell Curve, in which he argues that inequalities of race, gender and income exist because white men are smarter and genetically superior to black people, Latinos, women and the poor. Numerous academics have panned the book for its faulty reasoning and unprovable points.

So why is someone with such fringe ideas invited to speak on college campuses, and who pays for it? It’s unlikely that many university departments would invite such an obviously racist and discredited figure. While co-presenting the Murray talk, the political science department did not invite Murray, nor did it contribute any funding for the event. The Middlebury student chapter of a far-right libertarian think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, asked him to speak, and AEI picked up the tab.

Murray is not the only controversial guest making the college circuit on a think tank’s dime. Another conservative nonprofit, Young America’s Foundation, also establishes student chapters at numerous universities and sends bigoted scholars and lecturers including Ann Coulter, David Horowitz and Ted Nugent to speak at their campus events free of charge. Bankrolling these nonprofits are conservative mega-donors including Charles and David Koch and the DeVos family, who by funding the organizations enable hate speech at institutions of higher education.

In addition, a production company connected to the right-wing billionaire Mercer family facilitated at least one college speaking gig of Milo Yiannopoulos, the former Breitbart News editor known for his racist, sexist, Islamophobic and anti-transgender vitriol.

 

Murray has been a scholar at AEI since 1990, four years before The Bell Curve was published. In 2013, AEI founded its college chapter program, and now there are “executive councils” at more than 80 colleges and universities. At a leadership training program available to executive council members this summer, Murray is teaching a course called “The Building Blocks of Human Flourishing.”

Murray is a frequent invitee of AEI campus groups. He’s now touring the country to talk about his 2012 book on the “state of white America” and gave talks at Duke University, Columbia, NYU, the University of Notre Dame and Villanova University in late March.

Regarding the recent Murray talk at Middlebury, AEI Executive Council member Alexander Khan told the Washington Post, “Our goal was not to create a controversy, but to start a discussion and a dialogue.” Khan did not return requests for comment.

Dissenters see things differently. Nearly 500 Middlebury alumni wrote a letter to the college preceding Murray’s attempted talk, saying that traditional free speech arguments fall flat in justifying his appearance. Murray’s shoddy theories are “the same thinking that motivates eugenics and the genocidal white supremacist ideologies which are enjoying a popular resurgence under the new presidential administration.”

AEI declined to comment for this story, but other reports claim that in sponsoring Murray’s talk, the nonprofit is paying Murray’s speaker fee directly.

AEI gets most of its funding from the foundations of wealthy conservatives and a pass-through group meant to shield the identity of these very donors. Donors Capital Fund, to which conservative mega-donors such as the Koch, DeVos and Bradley families donate, is AEI’s biggest funder at nearly $23 million through 2014, according to ConservativeTransparency.org. The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, a major funder of many conservative groups, is close behind, and foundations run by Charles Koch and Richard and Helen DeVos, the parents of Education Sec. Betsy DeVos, have given more than $1 million each to AEI.

 

A similarly funded and probably even more conservative nonprofit, Young America’s Foundation, works to direct “public education on the ideas of individual freedom, a strong national defense, free enterprise [and] traditional values and leadership,” according to its most recent publicly available tax form. YAF spent roughly half of its 2015 budget of $17.7 million on conference and lecture programs including “lectures on college campuses” and student chapters.

Just like AEI, YAF has student chapters at colleges and universities around the nation. These “Young Americans for Freedom” chapters, which now exist at numerous institutions of higher learning as well as at high schools, can seek “logistical and financial assistance [from YAF] to host a big-name conservative speaker.”

“Radical feminists, big government bureaucrats, fringe environmentalists, race-baiters, Islamo-fascists, and run of the mill leftists are distraught that [YAF chapters] would even think about promoting conservative ideas,” the website states.

YAF’s roster of more than 90 speakers features several notable bigots including Coulter, Horowitz and Nugent. YAF farms out its speakers at a quick pace, with roughly one event per day during the final three weeks of April.

Some campuses are having quite the year. For example, after a Yiannopoulos event that was canceled because a protest got out of hand, UCBerkeley had noted Islamophobe Horowitz speak on April 12 and will host Coulter on April 27.

“We know who the homicidal maniacs are. They are the ones cheering and dancing right now. We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity,” wrote Coulter in the National Review shortly after the 9/11 attacks, referring to allies of the 9/11 terrorists. An alumna of the YAF National Journalism Center’s internship program, she often makes headlines for her outrageous racist and anti-Muslim statements and regularly writes for the white nationalist website VDARE.

YAF is providing “a large portion of the funding to bring Coulter to Berkeley” as well as “logistical support before the event as well as on-the-ground support from experienced staff.”

Horowitz is a former leftist who took a hard-right turn decades ago and has now earned the titles of “anti-immigrant” and “anti-Muslim extremist” from the Southern Poverty Law Center. He runs the David Horowitz Freedom Center, which the SPLC calls “the premier financier of anti-Muslim voices and radical ideologies.”

“Somewhere between 150 million and 750 million Muslims support a holy war against Christians, Jews, and other Muslims who don’t happen to believe in the Quran according to Bin Laden,” Horowitz erroneously claimed in 2007.

Among the particularly bigoted YAF speakers is anti-Muslim extremist Robert Spencer, who runs the hate site Jihad Watch, a project of the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He has said, “[T]raditional Islam itself is not moderate or peaceful. It is the only major world religion with a developed doctrine and tradition of warfare against unbelievers.”

YAF speaker Matt Walsh, an anti-LGBTQ “Christian columnist and political incendiary” for Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, has called transgender people mentally ill and perverted and written that “‘transgender’ propaganda is wrong…demented…evil…dangerous [and] abusive.”

Also on the YAF roster is musician and activist Ted Nugent, whose racist comments know no bounds. In 2014, he called the 44th president “a Chicago communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel [and] ACORN community organizer gangster.”

It’s not just the YAF speakers who have racist and white nationalist leanings. Current YAF president Ron Robinson and board member James B. Taylor ran a now-inactive political action committee called America’s PAC, which donated to the white nationalist Martel Society and consistently contributed to the campaigns of Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King, a white nationalist who has recently cheered far-right European nationalists. Taylor is also former president of the National Policy Institute, which is now run by noted neo-Nazi and “alt-right” leader Richard Spencer.

YAF founded the Conservative Political Action Conference, a major right-wing event that occurs every year. CPAC rescinded its invitation to 2017 keynote speaker Yiannopoulos after videos in which he defends pedophilia surfaced, although his long record of racist, sexist and xenophobic rants was apparently not a problem.

The Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation is by far the biggest donor to YAF, and the Donors Capital Fund and its affiliate, Donors Trust, are also big contributors. The Bradley Foundation, three Koch family foundations and a foundation of the wealthy Mercer family have also given large donations.

YAF did not return a request for comment.

 

When Yiannopoulos, known for his wide-ranging hate speech, spoke at the University of Washington, the College Republicans group that had invited him had to raise money to cover increased security, as Yiannopoulos’ events often attract large protests. The student group raised over $12,000 from a GoFundMe campaign organized by its president, and the event got the green light.

Yiannopoulos charged no speaking fee. A performance agreement obtained by MuckRock shows that Glittering Steel, the production company owned by white nationalist Trump adviser Steve Bannon and connected to the conservative Mercer family, wrote the contract. Yiannopoulos told TNR his speaking fee was $0 “on every stop of the Dangerous Faggot Tour.” He did not directly answer questions about whether a private citizen or company paid his speaking fees behind the scenes and how exactly Glittering Steel was involved.

“Make America Number 1,” the super PAC of billionaire investor Robert Mercer, paid Glittering Steel nearly $1 million last year. Mercer is a part owner of Breitbart News, which Bannon ran for four years before joining the Trump campaign last August. The hedge fund magnate was a big part of Trump’s victory, and his daughter Rebekah was on the Trump transition team.

Yiannopoulos’ Berkeley event was sponsored by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, according to Horowitz’s online magazine, and was set to launch a joint campaign against sanctuary campuses. The Berkeley College Republicans had to provide more than $6,000 for increased security. An “anonymous donor” took care of part of that fee “with two conditions: that he remain anonymous and that the event occur.”

The Freedom Center did not respond to a request for comment.

 

In response to fringe, far-right speakers often facing student protests, conservative legislators in many states are pushing “campus free speech” legislation. Two think tanks funded in part by the Koch brothers and Robert Mercer created a model bill, on which many of the state bills are based, that calls for harsh penalties, including expulsion, for students who disrupt guest speaking events.

While enabling hate speech at colleges and universities, billionaire mega-donors are cracking down on students who publicly object to such speech. Meanwhile, the same wealthy conservatives’ family foundations fund ideological higher ed programs that serve their business interests. The Charles Koch Foundation, for example, gave $142 million to hundreds of colleges and universities from 2005 to 2015, largely toward free-market centers, professorships and courses. From these programs, Koch-funded think tanks and political groups recruit their favorite students to join the Kochs’ mass libertarian sociopolitical movement.

 

While harder to find, there are liberal organizations with campus affiliates that sponsor guest speakers and other events. The Roosevelt Institute, a progressive, nonpartisan think tank based in Washington, D.C., works to “rethink and reshape everything from local policy to federal legislation, orienting toward a new economic and political system: one built by many for the good of all.” The nonprofit has 130 college and university chapters, which often meet regularly to develop campus, local and sometimes state-level policy proposals.

The institute provides grants and advice to student chapters. Senior program associate Aman Banerji told TNR that “95 percent of the time, students come to us with a thought for an event and then ask for recommendations.” But Banerji couldn’t recall the last time the institute funded a campus speaker, and he wasn’t aware of a chapter inviting anyone particularly controversial to speak.

As the Trump administration advances discriminatory policy, bigoted authors and activists are giving speeches along the college circuit, facilitated by right-wing nonprofits. It’s important for members of the university community to know which organizations are making this possible, and who funds them. It may prove effective for student dissenters to address AEI, YAF and Glittering Steel in their campaigns against racist speakers.

Alex Kotch is an independent investigative journalist based in Brooklyn, NY. Follow him on Twitter at @alexkotch.

 
This article was made possible by the readers and supporters of AlterNet.

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49 Comments

  1. Just A Citizen April 19, 2017

    Translation: Science only matters if it supports your viewpoint.

    Reply
    1. dtgraham April 19, 2017

      Yes, but that’s for conservatives only. Good description for them although for them, the word science can have a very fuzzy meaning.

      For liberals, science only matters if it’s shown to be demonstrably true in real world experience and it’s backed up by a sufficient amount of qualified scientific peer reviewed data. Only if it’s a verified indisputable fact or principle that conforms with reality. In other words, only if it’s the true or actual state of a matter. That’s the difference between liberals and conservatives on science.

      1. Just A Citizen April 19, 2017

        Actual science does not support your claim.

        Those on the left love to use statistics, confusing correlation with causation. Unless of course the correlation doesn’t fit their ideology. Then even that does not matter.

        1. Independent1 April 19, 2017

          And the lies just keep rolling off your demented lowlife tongue!!

          Science proves uncategorically that global warming is man made.

          And even nature proves it.

          Come on LOWLIFE, let’s see you explain why 120 out of 150 glaciers in Glacier National Park, melted away in the past 107 years when they hadn”t melted in at least several millenniums!!

          When Taft created Glacier National Park, there were 150 glaciers, today there are less than 30, and at least 2/3rds of those 30 has melted ever since MAN discovered fossil fuels and started using them for energy.

          So come on Low Life, what’s the explanation?? Did a fleet of UFOs go by Earth and use their ray guns to melt these glaciers??

          If it isn’t man made global warming THEN WHAT DID IT???

          Let us read more of YOUR PATHOLOGICAL LIES!!!!!!

          The Big Thaw

          “Things that normally happen in geologic time are happening during the span of a human lifetime,” says Fagre. “It’s like watching the Statue of Liberty melt.”

          ww.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/big-thaw/

          1. FireBaron April 20, 2017

            Forget it, Indy. JAC doesn’t care about any “proofs” regarding climate science that aren’t issued by Exxon-Mobil.

          2. Independent1 April 20, 2017

            Yeah! I find it hard to understand how these mental midgets can deliberately deny something that is clearly putting at great risk, not only their own lives, but also the lives of their families and future descendants; all for the love of money.

          3. Just A Citizen April 20, 2017

            Indep.

            Your claim of absoluteness is actually FALSE. Science provides us with information which has led to a theory of how man’s actions could affect climate via changes in temperature. However, there is no science which proves that all the changes in climate over the past 500 years is due to human activity.

            There is in fact legitimate scientific disagreement as to the extent of man’s impact on temperatures and the climate.

            Glaciers come and go, and those that have dwindled away have been melting for almost 10,000 years. In that span they have grown sometimes and even stabilized for periods. But the general trend has been “melting”.

            The fact they existed in the past is not proof they should or would exist in the future. In fact, science infers that the ice sheets should be returning sooner than later.

            But to be clear, ice melts when it gets warm enough for long enough for the ice to melt. Scientifically speaking the question is not what causes ice to melt. It is to what extent has mankind contributed to that warming trend. There is not scientific answer to that question. There is only a wide range of estimates based on applying scientific knowledge to the question. Each such application, however, includes a variety of assumptions and missing information.

          4. Independent1 April 20, 2017

            And more pathological lies!!! And you do this knowing full well that if your wrong, you’re jeopardizing not only your own life long-term but that of your family and future descendants???

            What a lowlife you really are!!

            The climate does not by nature take any kind of swings within 500 years like your suggesting MORON!! AND YOU KNOW IT!!!

            THERE HAS BEEN NO CATASTROPHIC EVENT IN THE PAST 500 YEARS TO CREATE SUCH A THING. AND CERTAINLY NOT IN THE LAST 125!!!

            YOU ARE THE POSTER BOY OF A TOTAL FOOL!!! AND ARE ONE REASON YOU AND YOUR ILK CONTINUE TO BE SUB-HUMAN EXCREMENTS!!!

            LIES AND LIES AND LIES AND LIES!!!!!!

          5. Just A Citizen April 20, 2017

            Indep

            Perfect example; “The climate does not by nature take any kind of swings within 500 years like your suggesting MORON!! AND YOU KNOW IT!!!”

            In order to know whether your statement is absolutely true you first have to define “by nature”. Because you see there was that little “extinction event”, several actually, that occurred when the climate changed radically in a very short time, probably less than ten years total.

          6. Independent1 April 21, 2017

            You have as much intelligence as this six-year old. You’re walking around in arrested mental development – dumber than a rock!!!!!!!

            IT’S YOUR FUNERAL TOO!!!!!

            Non Sequitor

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7660ebfb07fbbea62213d62f51a5ed85b0c1010e3e2d5891c263c80f79adc77c.gif

          7. dtgraham April 21, 2017

            Great cartoon. Funny and illustrative. That’s genius. Thanks for that.

          8. Independent1 April 20, 2017

            And here LOWLIFE, the sharp rise in earth’s temperature did not start 500 years ago, as didn’t the carbon level in the atmosphere- both of which coincided.

            Earth’s latent temperature has been rising since around 1880 which is about the same time that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere started to skyrocket (AS MAN started burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas that had previously been burred in the ground)!!!!!

            THIS IS SCIENCE MORON!!!!!!!

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d836963044b82046eaeb2df8b040c3a6a82518fed5a633540112891568ed5c51.jpg

          9. Just A Citizen April 20, 2017

            This is scientifically based “estimates”. Be careful claiming absoluteness when it does not exist.

            At this point I will remind you that my claim was that people ignore actual science when it does not fit their ideology. You are proving my point in that you are wasting a lot of time arguing with me over whether mankind has influenced global temperatures and thus climate. Yet I never claimed there was zero correlation.

            I point out that the science is not as absolute as you think and your response is the knee jerk name calling and insults, along with posting information unrelated to my comment. That Sir is a very ideological response.

            You presume I disagree with the whole notion of AGW just because I point out that the science is not all science nor the answers absolute. Your response to me is driven by your belief system and bigotry towards those you call “conservatives”.

          10. Independent1 April 20, 2017

            MORE SCIENCE MORON!!!!!!

            Note that earth’s latent temperature started rising as the man-made industrial revolution really started taking hold around the world!!!

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2347612a9e9de1949c38c9967a999dcea3e577e8bd8b41a36c7a3421e2343602.jpg

          11. Just A Citizen April 20, 2017

            Indep.

            Again, apparent correlation is not causation. And “anomalies” are not a scientifically accurate way to measure changes over time. Not at the “global” scale. Claiming a singular “earth’s latent temperature” is simply a claim. A mathematical answer with little meaning.

            You forget, that the onset of industrialization coincides with development of scientific inquiry into things like, weather and climate. And of course there is the issue of the time scale you selected.

            This does not mean the correlation is wrong or that there is or is not some causation. It means that claims of absolute truth are in fact false.

          12. Independent1 April 20, 2017

            You really need to check yourself into an asylum. You’re mental retarded to the point of potential disaster for yourself and your family. Only someone totally stupid would continue to make up one excuse after another to deny reality. You are certifiably insane. Better get checked out before you end up being the cause of your own demise. Pathological denial of reality is not a way to live.

          13. 788eddie April 20, 2017

            You are a beautiful “creature of obfuscation,” JAC.

            Are you saying that “the science on global warming is still fuzzy in my mind, so we really don’t have to do anything about it?”

            Is that your position, JAC?

          14. Independent1 April 20, 2017

            From 788eddie:

            You are a beautiful “creature of obfuscation,” JAC.

            Are you saying that “the science on global warming is still fuzzy in my mind, so we really don’t have to do anything about it?”

            Is that your position, JAC?

          15. Just A Citizen April 20, 2017

            Indep.

            I have no idea what is fuzzy in your mind. What I am sure of is that statements about values of global warming being precise or absolute are FALSE.

            And I never said anything about taking action. Only that the various numbers being used are not absolute truth. And that is what science seeks.

            I am also saying that there is not the great agreement on AGW as you and others present. The actual scientists involved in the field, and qualified, have various disagreements over the magnitude of human influence and especially on the predicted rises in temps. And if those predictions are false we could very easily wind up cutting off our nose to spite our face.

            I am also going to say that Peer Review means nothing in terms of validating the accuracy or absolute nature of the findings published. Accuracy can be a part if obvious errors are found in the published documentation. Peer Review has been used as a Political tool, not a scientific support.

          16. Independent1 April 20, 2017

            More of your insanity and pathological lies!!

            “I am also saying that there is not the great agreement on AGW as you and others present.”

            97% of scientists involved in global warming research agree that Global Warming is man made: to say that there is not ‘great agreement’ is just one more of your insane pathological lies!!

            But then again, continuing to deny global warming and to refuse to work at mitigating the effects of GW is just one more way for you insane fools to work at accelerating your own funerals and those of your families, friends and descendants!!

            Like I may have told you before LOWLIFE – IT’S YOUR FUNERAL AND THOSE OF YOUR LOVED ONES THAT YOUR STUPIDITY IS GOING TO BRING SOONER!!!!

          17. Just A Citizen April 21, 2017

            Indep

            The 97% figure is not true as presented. Do some research on that number to see what it actually means.

            I have never said that there is no global warming. Nor have I ever said man has had zero affect on the trend. Yet you keep calling me stupid. You can’t even understand English. Is your Russian getting in the way of your understanding??

        2. dtgraham April 20, 2017

          Wrong. Both liberals and science understand that when two or more things occur at the same time, that doesn’t mean there’s proof that a change in one variable would cause a change in the other variable.

          Causation is when two things occur at the same time, yet there is proof that a change in one would cause a change in the other. Scientists testing a hypothesis about the relationship between two variables therefore seek to measure or examine whether causation exists.

          Liberals accept the scientific peer reviewed conclusions on that relationship. Conservatives don’t even accept the correlation.

          Any Republican in front of a microphone when it comes to an issue against their ideology:

          “I’m not a scientist.” “I’m not qualified to talk about this.”

          1. Just A Citizen April 20, 2017

            Sorry dt, but you cannot link all liberals to adherence to scientific principles. Just as you cannot say all conservatives ignore science.

            Most recent example is the left running around quoting some study that sanctuary cities have been “shown” to be more safe. The study in question has its own issues but the conclusion is not supportive of the causation principle.

            It is unfortunate but many people ignore reality, which science seeks to discover, in favor of their own bias or ideological ideals.

          2. dtgraham April 20, 2017

            If they’re saying that, it may be because illegals are more likely to report things to police in sanctuary cities. I haven’t seen this study but I wouldn’t necessarily leap to the conclusion that sanctuary cities are safer just because they’re sanctuary cities. If there’s data suggesting that they’re safer than non-sanctuary cities, I would just leave it at that for now until I saw solid research proving the connection. There are a lot of variables. That’s a long way though from Fox News touting their story of the day as being, some illegal committed some crime somewhere in America.

            Maybe you can’t say that ALL conservatives ignore science, but science denial has been copyrighted by the Republican party. It’s far more prevalent on the right than on the left.

            All Republicans on this site, for example, buy into the truly crazy climate change conspiracy theory which asserts that 97-98% of scientists all around the world are on the take, with not one of them willing to break the code of silence. They also ignore that multiple investigations into charges of intellectual malpractice on the part of climate scientists have ended up exonerating the accused researchers of all accusations

            According to Public Policy Polling, only 21 percent of Republican voters in Iowa believe in global warming at all and only 35 percent believe in evolution. Within the G.O.P., wilful ignorance has become a litmus test for candidates. The moderator at debates will often get candidates to raise their hands if they believe in climate change or evolution. Shunning scientific conclusions with claims of, “I’m not a scientist” is the norm now.

            Don’t think that the anti-intellectualism of the modern political right doesn’t extend beyond the issues of climate change or evolution.

            Even a publication like the Wall Street Journal once ran an editorial warning readers not to pay attention to “fancy theories” that conflict with “common sense.” After all, why should anyone imagine that you might need more than gut feelings to analyze things like financial crises and recessions?

          3. The lucky one April 20, 2017

            Well said.

          4. dtgraham April 20, 2017

            Thanks, lucky. Sometimes I get it right. Sometimes.

          5. Independent1 April 21, 2017

            Sanctuary cities are safer than other cities because they generally have higher concentrations of immigrants, including illegals; and illegals commit 1/8th to 1/10th the crimes of the native-born. The sanctuary cities of San Diego and El Paso are in the 10 large cities that have seen the sharpest drop in crime over the past 20 years as the percent of illegals in those cities went up.

          6. dtgraham April 22, 2017

            If you say it, Independent1, it automatically lends some credibility to the theory. I’ll look into it.

          7. Independent1 April 22, 2017

            In case you need some references to review to substantiate that illegals commit less crime than the native-born, here are some links (note that in studies early on, it was projected that native-borns committed 8-10 crimes committed by an immigrant (illegal), and that even when an illegal committed a crime, the crime they committed was 2-3 times less likely to be a crime that required incarceration. However, in more recent studies, they’re now saying that illegals commit about 1/5th the crimes of a native born.

            See these links:

            Recent Immigrants Less Likely to go to Prison than Natives
            http://www.nber.org/digest/jan98/w6067.html

            Trump’s speech highlighted victims of crimes by immigrants — but a look at the data shows it’s incredibly rare
            http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-voice-office-for-victims-of-immigrant-crime-numbers-not-necessary-2017-3

            Contrary to Trump’s Claims, Immigrants Are Less Likely to Commit Crimes
            https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/26/us/trump-illegal-immigrants-crime.html?_r=1

            Cato: Immigrants Commit Less Crime Than US-Born Citizens
            http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/cato-immigrants-do-not-commit/2017/03/19/id/779533/

            Criminal Immigrants: Their Numbers, Demographics, and Countries of Origin
            https://www.cato.org/publications/immigration-reform-bulletin/criminal-immigrants-their-numbers-demographics-countries

        3. FireBaron April 20, 2017

          Tell you what, JAC. Why don’t you open a door of an airplane cruising at 12,000 feet and show us that Gravity is only a theory and can be disproven.

          1. Just A Citizen April 20, 2017

            Fire

            Gravity is not a theory. It has been proven many times. That is real science.

            It is also science which has discovered that we may not have the precise understanding when it comes to gravity.

        4. 788eddie April 20, 2017

          Statistics are not necessarily science.

          1. Just A Citizen April 20, 2017

            788

            Statistics is not science at all. It is part of math. It is used in science, would be the better way to describe it, I think.

            Which was one of my points with others. A “statistical” claim is often used as “scientific proof”. The latter can be supported by the former but they are not interchangeable. A scientific proof does not require statistical analysis, although one could be used to help prove the null hypothesis for any claimed “truth”.

            At this point it would be good to point out that the regression coefficient for most theories of “natural or environmental” sciences are around 50%. An R2 of 50% is not a “proof” of an “absolute” claim. Far to many people do not realize this.

            It does not mean that certain causations are false, only that the accuracy of the predictions can be legitimately questioned. Without being called insane, of course. Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

          2. 788eddie April 20, 2017

            Thank you, JAC.

            If I cross a street, and get hit by cars, or come close to being hit by cars, statistically, there is a danger in continuing to do so. I can continue my dangerous action, or I can “adjust” my actions to lower the risk of being hit. Looking both ways before crossing might be a good adjustment.

            I think that’s what everyone is pointing out; if the preponderance of evidence indicates a danger in continuing a risky course of action, it would be prudent to consider changing direction.

          3. Just A Citizen April 20, 2017

            788

            I can agree with that. The issue comes with “what” is needed to adjust. This is where common sense goes out the window. It becomes the victim to politically motivated distortions of the science or statistical analysis.

            In your example, crossing only on the green light and looking both ways is a low cost yet very effective means of mitigating the risk. Staying in your house or having others carry you around to avoid the risk, not so much.

            Oh, and I disagree with you on what “others are saying”. There is probably a large cohort that thinks as you claim. But there is also a large cohort that buys all the “claims” as defacto absolute truth. Truth here meaning absolute and precise measures of reality.

            I remind you, however, that my original comment was not about the accuracy of climate science, ie. AGW, but that those howling and rioting at the speaker about his findings were rejecting science because it does not fit their belief system.

            And for the record, I have previously stated this kind of behavior happens on both sides of the political spectrum.

    2. ♚ King Leo ♚ April 19, 2017

      OK. You don’t have any science on your side, although I note that the passionate defender of Nazis, dtgraham, has leapt to your defense.

      1. dtgraham April 20, 2017

        Well, if you’re going to just randomly assign Nazism to everyone that you don’t like for no reason, don’t forget just exactly how much Hitler loved tomatoes.

        Anyway, I hear that you’re socially liberal but fiscally Nazi.

        1. ♚ King Leo ♚ April 20, 2017

          Yes, I get that you can’t read – it’s because you’re a moron, as well as a Nazi-defending fake liberal who helped Trump win.

        2. ♚ King Leo ♚ April 20, 2017

          It’s also hilarious that you’re calling a Jewish dude a Nazi, but I would expect NOTHING LESS from the racist who decided I was black based on nothing except their own incredible bigotry.

          1. dtgraham April 20, 2017

            So now you’re Jewish too. That’s fine.
            You strongly indicated to me that you were Black, you freak. If you want to be both Black and Jewish today, not a problem. That’s a fine combination.

            Not that it matters, but can you just pick something and go with it?

          2. ♚ King Leo ♚ April 20, 2017

            “So now you’re Jewish too”.

            OK, racist guy who decided I was black based on an imaginary post I never made. You sure are good at racism.

            Jesus Christ you cultists are gross garbage.

          3. dtgraham April 20, 2017

            No, no. It was based on real posts that you really made.

            You’re one sweet liar, King Tomato Brain. You’ve always been the best.

          4. ♚ King Leo ♚ April 20, 2017

            Yes, I definitely claimed to be black somewhere, that REALLY happened and it TOTALLY excuses your gross racism.

            You vile sack of crap.

          5. dtgraham April 20, 2017

            Well, I sure bought into it. If you’re not Black now, that’s okay too. I’m good with whatever you want to claim to be. Just pick something.

        3. The lucky one April 20, 2017

          Congratulations. Leo Helpy has been blaming me for Trump’s election but I see he’s spreading it around now. I think you’re wrong though. Leo is not a liberal. He’s a hard core, my party or else, establishment democrat who will never get over the defeat of his queen. I wouldn’t call him a Nazi (The term is thrown around much too loosely) but he is a pompous ass and a moron.

          1. dtgraham April 20, 2017

            Oh he spreads it around enough. He certainly does that.

            King Tomato Hitler is a hard core, blue dog, conservative Democrat who hates the left more than he does Republicans. There’s a place for him in the GOP but he chooses the Democrats for his own reasons.

            Besides hating half of his party, the other problem with the guy is that he’s no help here. Even when the RW posters are literally asking him to prove them wrong, he still can’t. He just gives them some flippant one or two sentence nonsense reply and he’s done. He’s incapable of debating anyone and he brings down the image of Democrats, in the eyes of the right, on this website. They have no respect for him. They call him the village idiot, the little septic filler, etc…

  2. ps0rjl April 20, 2017

    These people may be crackpots and hate-mongers, but nothing makes them and their ideas more ridiculous than letting them speak. When liberals and especially liberal college students protest and don’t allow these people to speak, then they are trampling on the 1st Amendment and also not allowing everyone else the right to hear the speakers. Nothing makes a crackpot more ridiculous than allowing them to speak and nothing gives them more credence than a group of people not allowing them to speak. Don’t protest them to the point that the police are afraid if they speak riots will break out, as you are just showing your ignorance and intolerance.

    Reply
    1. johninPCFL April 20, 2017

      The best response to these crackpots and hate-mongers would be to laugh uproariously at their idiotic rantings during their “symposia”.

    2. Dapper Dan April 20, 2017

      By now you’ll know Berkeley changed their minds and decided to let the dragon lady herself Ann Coulter speak their next month. No one should be censored but even the First Amendment puts limits on certain speech. Case in point you don’t have the right to yell fire if there is no threat. Just like lying outright has consequences now that we have the biggest liar ever to occupy the WhiteHouse. Without a doubt there will be tight security at Berkeley when Coulter speaks but there will be a very real threat of violence if people don’t behave properly.

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