Saturday, June 23, 2007

Part 11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts


The Bush Administration as well as other documented fascist regimes have not held back their disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts. Evidence can be found in their rhetoric: Left-wing elitists, intelligentsia, artists, liberal colleges, liberal arts, liberal colleges. It is usual for academics and other intellectuals to be censored, slandered, prosecuted or even arrested. Freedom of _expression of the arts is shamelessly and openly attacked, and many governments refuse to fund the arts. The Bush Administration is no exception. Because of the Administration's fiscal irresponsibility, and tax cuts for the wealthy, he has been forced to slash funding for many programs and departments. Although many departments have received cuts, no department has been hit harder than the National Endowment for the arts. For fiscal year 2004, he has once again recommended flat funding, while zeroing out any funding toward arts in education. In the previous fiscal year President Bush cut 30 million dollars in art funding. As a result, it leaves NEA chairman Dana Gioia with little ability to create new programs without under funding new programs or existing projects.  

However, the NEA is just the tip of the iceberg. Many renowned world artists have been denied entrance into the United States. According to many respectable institutions connected to film, the theatre, and arts, new immigration and visa policies are making it more difficult for artist to enter the country and sometimes even impossible for foreign artists to exhibit their art. In the spring of 2003, Iranian born film maker Jafar Panahi, a winner of the Golden Bear award, had to make an unexpected stop on his way to Hong Kong at JFK airport. Panahi has visited the US many times with out any trouble. However, that spring he was detained because his finger prints were not on file. He was held for several hours. In the previous year, the case of Abbas Kiarostami, could have well served as a precursor to the Panahi case. Kiarostami, could not enter the United States to show his work at the NYFF (New York Film Festival). Director of NYFF, Richard Pena stated: "Someone like Kiarostami is not just anyone; not letting him in is going to have a negative reverberation for America's image around the world." Another case that attributes to the theme of denying artists entrance to the United States was Cuban musician, Ibrahim Ferrer. Ferrer, 76, was to receive a reward, but he never showed and he was cited as a security risk. It has been rather difficult for Arab and Cuban born artists to enter the country. Recently they have been fingerprinted. Such paranoia has prompted many other film-makers to cancel their visits to the United States to save themselves the hassle. After 9/11 the documentation and fingerprinting of Iranian visitors or workers has been strictly enforced under "State 7" ("State 7" denotes people of interest).  

The Bush Administration's contempt for the intelligentsia is not restricted to airports and consulates but, college campuses, where apparently liberals have dominated for too long. David Horowitz, once a pioneer of the new left movement, was called a "freedom fighter" by Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Horowitz helped lobby for the passage sponsored by Representative Dennis Baxley. The legislation is modeled after Horowitz's pro-delusional, anti-liberal, anti-public education Students for Academic Freedom. One of the bill's main goals is to ameliorate the suppression of conservative thought (if there is such a thing). 'Conservative Students must have their voices heard' is the consensus here. Many student at the time in Florida have voiced their concerns of prejudice who said "they fell victim to liberal professors." The bill also provides that students, as well as their ideologies not be "infringed upon by instructors who persistently introduce controversial matter into the classroom that has no relation to the subject of study and serves no [teaching] purpose." Baxley continues to say that "conservative students have to go underground or face retribution." This false sense of academic persecution is indicative of a far deeper problem: distortion of facts.  

The Bush Administration and their "professionals" have no regard for science in the modern times. One of the issues that the Bush Administration constantly denies is the global warming. Global warming (greenhouse emissions) is a growing problem. Their have been numerous and irrefutable reports updated constantly that show the presence of global warming. Just as the Bush Administration ignores or makes excuses for every global threat, global warming is no exception. Just recently, amidst the buzz about global warming, Oklahoma Republican Senator, Inhofe refuted claims of global warming by brandishing Michael Chricton, State of Fear, a fictional book. This begs notice that the Bush Administration and their colleagues will go to great and embarrassing lengths to discredit professionals. Global warming is just a smaller part of the bigger picture. The Bush Administration is also guilty of distorting scientific facts just in general. Sixty scientists, including 20 Nobel Laureates, have charged them with this damning allegation. It is not an allegation it is the truth. Many prominent scientists signed a letter stating pertaining to scientific distortion: avid Baltimore, winner of Nobel Prize for medicine, president of the California Institute of Technology; Lewis Branscomb, former director of the National Bureau of Standards under President Nixon, current professor of science and public policy at Harvard University; Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University population biologist; Gerald Fischbach, former director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, dean of Columbia University's faculty of medicine and Leon Lederman, Nobel Prize-winning physicist, former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and former director of the Fermi National Lab. The effort organized by The Union of Concerned Scientists, a liberal advocacy group based in Mass. In the 46 letter the scientists accused the Administration of "suppressing, distorting or manipulating the work done by scientists at federal agencies" in several cases. The report charges that administration officials have:  

• Ordered massive changes to a section on global warming in the U.S Environmental Protection Agency's 2003

• Report on the Environment. Eventually, the entire section was dropped.

• Replaced a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fact sheet on proper condom use with a warning emphasizing condom failure rates.

• Ignored advice from top Department of Energy nuclear materials experts who cautioned that aluminum tubes being imported by Iraq weren't suitable for use to make nuclear weapons.

• Established political litmus tests for scientific advisory boards. In one case, public health experts were removed from a CDC lead paint advisory panel and replaced with researchers who had financial ties to the lead industry.  

• Suppressed a U.S. Department of Agriculture microbiologist's finding that potentially harmful bacteria float in the air surrounding large hog farms
• Excluded scientists who've received federal grants from regulatory advisory panels while permitting the appointment of scientists from regulated industries.  

The scientists playing the role as protesters for the day were supported by former EPA Administrator, Russel Train, who served under the Administrations of Nixon and Ford described the Bush Administration's attitude toward science and scientists as so "dictatorial" that it was causing good scientists to leave the federal government. One case to support this would be the case of former Agricultural Department microbiologist "said he discovered accidentally that pig farms in Southwestern Minnesota, northern Missouri and Iowa were emitting airborne bacteria. Because pigs are often fed antibiotics, Zahn speculated that airborne bacteria from farms could include drug-resistant bacteria, which, if breathed by humans, would make them harder to treat when ill. Zahn presented his findings at a scientific conference in 2000, but the Bush administration stopped him from publishing his data 11 times between September 2001 and April 2002, he said. When Danish researchers sought to learn more about his work, Zahn wasn't allowed to share his techniques." This puts the American public and the citizens who inhabit the land near the farms at a great risk. The Bush Administration and their politics are interfering with science that will help save lives, this country and this Earth. The Bush Administration's utter lack of respect for science is something that needs to be covered more since it is vital to the nation's health.  

It is quite apparent that the Bush Administration as well as their colleagues have no respect for intellectuals and the arts. From banning artists, and making their entrance to this country more difficult, the Bush Administration and their lobbyists in Washington have made it harder for foreigners to express themselves and for its citizens to enjoy the beauty that is art. The Administration has cut funding for the National Endowment of the arts, limiting freedom of _expression. Also, "freedom fighter" David Horowitz has taken academic paranoia to a whole new level, by passing legislation claiming that conservative students will face retribution if they voice their "thoughts." More significantly, the Administration is tampering with scientific evidence and playing politics with our health and our well-being. The few incidents are just the beginning of a pattern of a politicization and quashing of our freedoms that sees no end.  

Sources: (Include within post)

Bush's New Economic Plan Cuts Funding for arts, Education
By Aaron Kraft
February 6, 2003
Fro  ORBIS, A unifying Voice

'Mr Ferrer can't be with us tonight'
From the Guardian
Feruary 18, 2004,11710,1150285,00.html

Jeb Bush: Horowitz a 'Fighter for Freedom'
April 6, 2005

Bush Administration Accused of Suppressing, Distorting Science
Bby Seth Borenstein
From Common Dreams News Center
Februay 19, 2004

By Brandon and Enlightenment

"The result of Nazification was catastrophic for German Education and for German learning. History was so falsified in the new text books and by teachers in their lectures that it became ludicrous. The teaching of "racial sciences" exalting the Germans as the master race and the Jews as breeders of almost all evil there was in the world was even more so. In the University of Berlin alone, where so many great scholars had taught in the past, the new rector, a storm trooper and by profession a veterinarian, installed twenty-five new courses in Rassen Kunde--social science--and by the time he had really taken the university apart, he had eighty-six courses connected with his own profession.  

"The teaching of the natural sciences, in which Germany had so pre-eminent for generations, deteriorated rapidly. Great teachers such as Einstein and Frank in physics, Haber Willstraetter and Warburg in chemistry, were fired or retired. Those who remained, many of them, were bitten by the Nazi aberrations and attempted to apply them to pure science. They began to teach what they called German physics, German chemistry, German mathematics. Indeed, in 1937 there appeared a journal called Duetsche Mathematik, and its first editorial solemnly proclaimed that any idea that mathematics could be judged nonracially carried "within itself the germs of destruction of German science.  

"The hallucinations of these Nazi scientists became unbelievable, even to a layman. "German physics?" asked Professor Phillip Lenard of Heidelberg University, who was one of the more learned and internationally respected scientists of the the Third Reich. "'But,' it will be replied, 'science is and remains international.' It is false. In reality, science, like every other human project, is racial and conditioned by blood." Professor Rudolphe Tomaschek, director of the Institute of Physics at Dresden, went further. "Modern Physics," he wrote, "is an instrument of [world] Jewry for the destruction of Nordic science...True physics is the creation of the German spirit...In fact, all European science is the fruit of the Aryan, or, better, German thought." Professor Johannes Stark, head of the German National Institute of Physical Science, thought so too. It would found, he said, that the "founders of research in physics, and the great discoverers from Galileo to Newton to the physical pioneers of our time, were almost exclusively Aryan, predominantly of the Nordic race."  

"There was also Professor Wilhelm Mueller of the Technical College of Aachen, who in a book entitled Jewry and Science saw a world wide Jewish plot to pollute science and thereby destroy civilization. To him Einstein, with his theory of relativity, was the archvillain. The Einstein theory, on which so much of modern physics is based, was to this singular Nazi professor "directed from beginning to end toward the goal of transforming the living--that is the non-Jewish--world of living essence, born from a mother earth and bound up with blood, and bewitching it into special abstraction in which all individual differences of peoples and nations, and all inner limits of the races, are lost in unreality, and in which only an unsubstantial diversity of geometric dimensions survives which produces all events out of the compulsion of its godless subjection to laws." The world-wide acclaim given to Einstein on the publication of his theory of relativity, Professor Mueller proclaimed, was really only a rejoicing over the approach of Jewish world rule which was to force down German manhood irrevocably ad eternally to the level of the lifeless slave."  

To Professor Ludwig Bieberback, of the University of Berlin, Einstein was "an alien mountebank." Even to Professor Lenard, "the Jew conspicuously lacks understanding of the truth...being in this respect in contrast to the Aryan research scientist with his careful and serious will to truth. Jewish physics is thus a phantom and a phenomenon of degeneration of fundamental German Physics."  

And yet from 1905 to 1931 ten German Jews had been awarded Nobel Prizes for their contributions to science"

pages 249-251
Published 1959, 1960
Simon and Schuster

That was in the early 1930s. Shall we fast forward to the year 2006 when George W. Bush, Corporate America, and the Radical Christian Right seem to be telling us that there is a new phenomenon called "Republican Science?" Or if you will, "Christian Science?"  

Like the Nazis of the last century, modern day fascists are either too dense or too dishonest to recognize the international nature of modern day science. Or should I say the nature of science period? Determined to rewrite science to fit a religious or corporate viewpoint, they disregard serious research--even when the evidence is overwhelmingly against them. They construct their pseudo-scientific view points out of whole cloth; and treat modern day research as if it were the equivalent of alchemy and black magic.  

Consider the following examples.

When the Republican Dominated FDA was unable to ban Plan B, the controversial form of contraception that would prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours after sexual intercourse, the FDA, which is only supposed to consider the scientific merit and the medical safety of the medication they are debating, decided not to approve Plan B on the grounds that it would promote promiscuity, or if you will, "teenage sex cults." Not only did this fly in the face of the scientific evidence, which suggested that the drug is medically safe, the language employed by the FDA suggested a religious view or prejudice. The word "cult" was not used by accident. Rather it revealed a religious bias on the part of the pseudo-scientists who have come to dominate the FDA and who view any morality as their own--even when that morality may be held by a majority of the American people--as somehow alien, inferior, or ant-Christian. Of course you also have to remember that this is the same administration which placed a gag on order on Administration scientists who might choose to support the idea of human-induced climate change, and which routinely flaunts so called research from the fossil fuel industry as genuine fact. Which brings us to our next topic.

The same thing has happened with the debate over global warming. Despite the fact that a vast majority of the most qualified experts in the field have stated that global warming is a real phenomenon, the Christian/Republican-dominated government simply cannot accept the fact that human activity has a direct and detrimental effect upon our environment, upon the earth's climate.  Instead, the Administration uses pseudo science as propagandized by the fossil fuel lobby which erroneously maintains that carbon dioxide is good for us, and that global warming is either not taking place or is a good thing. Well, let's put that to a test. If carbon dioxide is such a good thing I would humbly invite the CEOs of the top three or four oil companies to securely tie plastic bags over their heads, making certain that the seal around their necks as is possibly secure as it can be without choking them to death, and let them breathe their own exhalations for a few hours. Then either they, or their survivors can come back and tell us just how good carbon dioxide was for them.  

In a similar vein we see yet another attempt to force Intelligent design down the throats of public school systems, this despite the fact that a majority of the scientific community views intelligent design as pseudo science. Not surprisingly, the intelligent design campaign is nothing more than the Creationism design in a new bottle. After the idea of Creationism was struck down in the late 1980s and early 1990s the Christian Right decided that it would reframe the argument in a broader format, essentially dropping any mention of The Bible, the Lord God, and the Book of Genesis, in favor of a generic god, or creating intelligence. The only problem with this campaign is that you still have the same old cultural warriors and would be Inquisitors who are--for the most part--in full support of the new campaign. In other words, Intelligent Design is merely creationism in a restated form, old wine in new bottles. indeed, the Intelligent Design crowd, routinely claims that Darwinism is only a theory. This argument in and of itself is a deception, because what they fail to mention is that a scientific theory is about as certain as you can get in the scientific community. You wouldn't hear the Intelligent design people challenging the germ theory of disease or the theory of gravity, and yet for reasons which serve the far right agenda, they take use an anti-scientific definition of the word theory when they want to shove Creationism in the guise of intelligent design down the throats of powerless school children. When seen in that light you realize very quickly that Intelligent Design is just another piece of the overall theocracy that the Radical Christian Right wants to impose on every single human being in the entire United States.

Like the Hitler regime of the 1930s, the Bush Regime has, for all intents and purposes, declared a war on science and the intellectual community in general. Viscerally opposed to anything which might have an effect upon oil company profits or which accurately challenge the authenticity of the creation myth in the Judeo-Christian Bible, this administration and its theo-sociopathic band of corporate cronies and religious fanatics will do anything and everything--both ethical and unethical to undermine logic, truth, and reason.  

Hitler and Goebbels would have been proud.


The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich:  A History of Nazi Germany
by William L. Shirer
1959, 1960 Simopn and Schuster

American Theocracy
by Kevin Phillips
2006 Viking Press

Specific Resources

Staff Scientists Reject FDA's Plan B Reasoning
By Marc Kaufman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 18, 2004; Page A02

Bush Administration Accused of Suppressing, Distorting Science  
by Seth Borenstein
Common Dreams News Center
February 19, 2004

Debunking Intelligent Design
From A Concerned Scientist
October 25m 2005

Global Warming: Fact Verse Myth
Circa September 2003

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