The Cult of Progressive Science


In the State of the Union Obama calls for an investment in science but history shows that politics and science don’t mix.

 

The problem is that when it comes to science the media does not do any critical analysis of science especially when it comes from the government.  The government is not only funding agenda driven science but they are funding the lobbying efforts that drive them. 

They also don’t report on the corruption and Scientific McCartyism within the scientific community when it comes to politicized science.  A glairing example is the repeated attacks on Dr James Enstrom.

 

(Washington, DC) – The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) has filed suit on behalf of Dr. James E. Enstrom, a UCLA research professor who was terminated after he blew the whistle on junk environmental science and scientific misconduct at the University of California (UC).

“The facts of this case are astounding,” said David French, Senior Counsel of the ACLJ. “UCLA terminated a professor after 35 years of service simply because he exposed the truth about an activist scientific agenda that was not only based in fraud but violated California law for the sake of imposing expensive new environmental regulations on California businesses.  UCLA’s actions were so extreme that its own Academic Freedom Committee unanimously expressed its concern about the case.”

 

This is not the first time that James Enstom was a victim of scientific McCartyism but more on that later.The government funded “Tobacco Control” model has become the defacto model for leftist activism and other leftist activist are in awe of it’s effectiveness and call on it to be used in the same manner for it’s other statist laws. The one time that a leftist openly admitted that these “brainwashing” techniques should be used was Eric Holder the  Attorney General of the United States.

And politically motivated science is already being used to marginalize gun owners. And they are going to use so called science to justify this.

OBJECTIVES: This study examined ownership patterns of automatic/ semiautomatic firearms in the United States. METHODS: Data were derived from a national random-digit-dialing telephone survey of 800 gun owners. RESULTS: Sixty percent of gun owners reported owning an automatic or semiautomatic firearm. In comparison with other gun owners, owners of automatics or semiautomatics were more likely to be male, live in the South, own a gun for protection, and have a gun for work. They were also more likely to report binge drinking. CONCLUSIONS: Owners of automatic or semiautomatic firearms differ from other gun owners in several respects, including frequency of binge drinking

 

So they are essentially trying to depict gun owners as a bunch of redneck drunks. Of course they are calling for the same type of tactics of denormalizaton and brainwashing techniques to be used on the so called war on Obesity. We have also seen an increase of politically motivated studies like the one done on Lesbians and obesity.  From a Washington Times article.

“[H]owever, one area that is only beginning to be recognized is the striking interplay of gender and sexual orientation in obesity disparities,” it continues. “It is now well-established that women of minority sexual orientation are disproportionately affected by the obesity epidemic, with it continues.

 

Of course the findings are almost predictably, the findings will most probably be that the policies against gay marriage has something to do with it.  Many of us liberty minded people don’t believe the government has any right to regulate any adult personal relationships but the policy changes advocated by the left would force their viewpoints on everyone including the religious and religious institutions just as they have tried with the contraceptive issue.

These government funded “studies” by activist have become pervasive amongst the leftist and borders on psudoscience more then science and has even been employed against the TEA Party by a long time anti-smoking activist Stanton Glantz.

Conclusions Rather than being a purely grassroots movement that spontaneously developed in 2009, the Tea Party has developed over time, in part through decades of work by the tobacco industry and other corporate interests. It is important for tobacco control advocates in the USA and internationally, to anticipate and counter Tea Party opposition to tobacco control policies and ensure that policymakers, the media and the public understand the longstanding connection between the tobacco industry, the Tea Party and its associated organisations.

 

To which I posted a response here.  When questioned about the government funding of such activism his response was,

“Which is worse? That you simply give taxpayer dollars to people and say, ‘hey study whatever you want … or (say) ‘Oh so you’re going to go after people who oppose the president’s agenda?’ … ‘That’s good.’”

 

Which brings us back to James Enstrom, this is not the first time that he became a whistle-blower.   James Enstrom was one of the scientist that worked on one of the biggest and longest studies on second hand smoke, this study was initially funded by California taxpayers and the American Cancer Society but when the numbers came in the numbers didn’t fit the agenda and both pulled funding before the final report was put together.  James Enstom was subject to a similar attack by the activist in scientific clothing Stanton Glantz. Enstrom’s defense was published at the National Intstitute of Health.

These criticisms may sound personally defensive, and indeed when one is so personally attacked, some personal defense is necessary. But this is also a defense against epidemiology becoming “Lysenko pseudoscience,” where the validity of methods and studies is based merely on those results that are preferred by influential advocates and researchers and contrary results are discredited using the tactics of Lysenko. Epidemiologic science is not inherently pseudoscience, of course, but the process that has led to many current claims about ETS is.

Hopefully, epidemiology can continue as a field in which all legitimate research findings can be published and objectively evaluated, including those findings considered to be controversial. However, this will happen only if advocacy organizations like the ACS and activists like Glantz refrain from unethically smearing honest scientists and putting out false and misleading statements. In addition, epidemiologists like Thun must honestly analyze all the epidemiologic evidence that they possess and fully report their results, and epidemiologists like Samet must not omit important and accurate research findings from a major document such as the Surgeon General’s Report. Such omissions and actions have seriously distorted the evidence on the health effects of ETS exposure, particularly within the US.

 

Like I said this initially was a study started by the American Cancer Society.

The study is based on the California (CA) portion of the original 25-state Cancer Prevention Study (CPS I) [1]. CA CPS I was begun by the American Cancer Society (ACS) in 1959 and has been conducted at UCLA by me since 1991. Kabat and I are both well qualified epidemiologists who have had long and successful careers dating back to the 1970s, as can be confirmed by examining our epidemiologic publications on PubMed.

 

Now the activist scientist like Glantz will say that this study was funded by big tobacco which is only partially true, during the actual study all of it was paid for by government funding and the American Cancer Society, when they saw the initial reports and that it didn’t suit their agenda they both pulled funding.

1) This was not a “Tobacco Industry Study,” but rather a UCLA study conducted by two qualified epidemiologists with ACS cooperation up until publication of the BMJ paper. This was not “Part of Organized Effort to Confuse Public About Secondhand Smoke”, but rather it was an accurate representation of the results of one study. The tobacco industry played no role in the conduct, writing, or publication of the paper, and did not even know it was being published until it appeared.

 

As far as the so called “Big Tobacco” funding of the study CIAR did give all of their money to UCLA when they were forced to disband as a result of the Master Settlement agreement Enstrom confirms this in his defense.

It is worth repeating the allegations in the Kessler decision, first to point out that they are the same false and misleading claims about the Enstrom/Kabat study by the ACS, Samet, Glantz, and others that are described above, and second to show how obviously incorrect they are. The Enstrom/Kabat study was not “CIAR-funded and managed” and was not “funded and managed by the tobacco industry through CIAR and Philip Morris.” Although the study was partially funded by CIAR, it was not managed by either CIAR or Philip Morris. Indeed, CIAR assigned its entire award for the study to UCLA in 1999 just before CIAR was dissolved as a condition of the Master Settlement Agreement [105]. CIAR did not even exist when my study was being completed. The study was conducted and published without any influence from the tobacco industry.

 

This Scientific McCartyism is pervasive within tobacco control and is described by Dr Michael Siegel (who was not only a member but one of their main trainers and worked for the CDC) Said,

 “In response to my questioning of the validity of these types of scientific claims being made by many anti-smoking groups, I have been personally attacked, publicly condemned, accused of being a traitor, accused of being funded by tobacco companies, called a fanatic, and have had my opinions censored by a prominent tobacco control policy discussion list-serve, from which I was expelled because advocates were apparently unhappy with my expressing dissent from the established dogma of the movement [76]. In my expulsion from the tobacco policy (tp-talk) discussion list-serve, I was informed told that the list-serve “made the dictatorial (but perhaps benevolent) decision to remove Mike Siegel from tp-talk today.

 

In another post Dr Siegel discusses the fact that such tactics are actually part of the Tobacco Control training.

Here is the rest of the story:

If you take part in secondhand smoke policy training in the tobacco control movement, chances are that you will be taught that all opposition to smoking bans is orchestrated by the tobacco industry, that anyone who challenges the science connecting secondhand smoke exposure and severe health effects is a paid lackey of Big Tobacco, and that any group which disseminates information challenging these health effects is a tobacco industry front group. Consequently, the a chief strategy of tobacco control is to smear the opposition by accusing them of being tobacco industry moles. And in no situation should one say anything positive about an opponent, even if true.

How do I know this?

Because for many years, I was one of the main trainers of tobacco control advocates in the United States. And this is what I taught, because this was what I was led to believe. I attended many conferences and trainings and this is precisely what I was taught. I accepted it for the truth, and passed it along to others.

However, in 1999, a sentinel event in my career occurred which woke me up to the fact that I had in fact been brainwashed to believe these errant ideas. I wrote an article summarizing some of these ideas. In the article, I suggested that if any group opposes a smoking ban, advocates should not discuss the substance of the opponents’ claims, but should instead try to discredit them by exposing their ties to Big Tobacco.

I woke up one morning to find that, without my permission, my article had been posted on the internet by Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights (ANR). Something about having my work published on the world wide web for everyone to see awoke me from my brainwashing and snapped me back to reality.

 

Now Stanton Glantz on the other hand has a long history of activism under the guise of science.  He participated in the 1992 EPA study that was slammed in federal court and the Congressional Research Service. Yet the 2006 Surgeon Generals Report used exactly the same methodology and admitted to it on page 21.

Judge William
L. Osteen, Sr., in the North Carolina Federal District
Court criticized the approach EPA had used to select
studies for its meta-analysis and criticized the use of 90
percent rather than 95 percent confidence intervals for
the summary estimates (Flue-Cured Tobacco Cooperative
Stabilization Corp. v. United States Environmental Protection
Agency, 857 F. Supp. 1137 [M.D.N.C. 1993]). In
December 2002, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
threw out the lawsuit on the basis that tobacco companies
cannot sue the EPA over its secondhand smoke
report because the report was not a final agency action
and therefore not subject to court review (Flue-Cured
Tobacco Cooperative Stabilization Corp. v. The United
States Environmental Protection Agency, No. 98-2407
[4th Cir., December 11, 2002], cited in 17.7 TPLR 2.472
[2003]).
Recognizing that there is still an active discussion
around the use of meta-analysis to pool data
from observational studies (versus clinical trials),
the authors of this Surgeon General’s report used
this methodology to summarize the available data
when deemed appropriate and useful, even while
recognizing that the uncertainty around the metaanalytic
estimates may exceed the uncertainty indicated
by conventional statistical indices, because of
biases either within the observational studies or produced
by the manner of their selection.

 

Yet like the global warming hoax the main stream media clamored that the science is conclusive.  Is it? where are all those winning cases for exposure?  But then the EPA has had a long history of activism and politics corrupting the scientific process. Just a few years ago Fox news reported on scientist complained of the politicization of science.

Hundreds of Environmental Protection Agency scientists say they have been pressured by superiors to skew their findings, according to a survey released Wednesday by an advocacy group.

The Union of Concerned Scientists said more than half of the nearly 1,600 EPA staff scientists who responded online to a detailed questionnaire reported they had experienced incidents of political interference in their work. . . .Nearly 400 scientists said they had witnessed EPA officials misrepresenting scientific findings, 284 said they had seen the “selective or incomplete use of data to justify a specific regulatory outcome” and 224 scientists said they had been directed to “inappropriately exclude or alter technical information” in an EPA document.

 

Now we hear the same arguments when it comes to the global warming hoax, The science is conclusive, the consensus is etc etc etc and we see the same bullying and McCartyistic tactics. Oh and on the Consensus not hardly.  Michael Crichton warned of the dangers of politicized science.

Once again, the measures being urged have little basis in fact or science. Once again, groups with other agendas are hiding behind a movement that appears high-minded. Once again, claims of moral superiority are used to justify extreme actions. Once again, the fact that some people are hurt is shrugged off because an abstract cause is said to be greater than any human consequences. Once again, vague terms like sustainability and generational justice — terms that have no agreed definition — are employed in the service of a new crisis.

I am not arguing that global warming is the same as eugenics. But the similarities are not superficial. And I do claim that open and frank discussion of the data, and of the issues, is being suppressed. Leading scientific journals have taken strong editorial positions of the side of global warming, which, I argue, they have no business doing. Under the circumstances, any scientist who has doubts understands clearly that they will be wise to mute their expression.

One proof of this suppression is the fact that so many of the outspoken critics of global warming are retired professors. These individuals are not longer seeking grants, and no longer have to face colleagues whose grant applications and career advancement may be jeopardized by their criticisms.

 

To illustrate just how gullible these leftist are all one has to do is watch this episode of Penn and Teller.

But then these lobbying efforts are actually funded by our tax dollars as part of the Recovery act a violation of federal law.

Communities Putting Prevention to Work will change systems and environments—for example, improving access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity—and putting into place policies, such as clean-indoor-air laws, that will promote the health of populations. Funded entities will have two years to complete their work. . . . Funded projects will emphasize high-impact, broad-reaching policy, environmental, and systems changes in schools (K-12) and communities

As we see petty tyrants like Michael Bloomberg advance statism based on populist science rather then real science we have to worry about loss of freedom that is warned of by both the right and the left.  Here is Colorado state Sen. Shawn Mitchell, R-Broomfield.

 

And another warning from the ACLU

Funny as I put the finishing touches on this I am listening to a Podcast of Vicki McKenna that dovetails right into this article.

http://downloads.iheartradio.com/media/station_content/1170/upfront_hr_3_04-30-13_1367363162_4826.mp3

Will we heed the warnings of the past?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Marshall Keith

Broadcast Engineer Scuba Diver Photographer Fisherman Hunter Libertarian
This entry was posted in Libertarian, Nanny State, Smoking Ban, Video and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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