Qualia Soup does an excellent job here debunking some of the most widespread misconceptions about evolution, especially those common falsehoods propagated by creationists of all stripes. Its a few years old, but I hadn’t seen it before.
Buzzfeed’s John Stanton today managed to get Republican lawmakers on record admitting that the movement to stop immigration report is at least party driven by racial animosity. One Southern Republican member of Congress, who requested anonymity, told Stanton outright that “part of it…it’s racial.” South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham put it a little more delicately, referring to “ugliness around the issue of immigration.”
While it’s unusual to have Republican members of Congress saying it aloud, it’s hardly a secret that today’s anti-immigrant movement was built by xenophobia and remains in a large part driven by it.
Overtly racist remarks by members of Congress like Steve King and Don Young or by fringe nativists like William Gheen or Judson Phillips could be written off as distractions if they were not part and parcel of this larger movement.
Anyone here still have any respect for Rush Limbaugh? This is kind of extreme even for him, mocking women who get raped. He is truly a sick person. Looking back on things now, I can’t believe I ever admired this guy. Man I was young and stupid.
Rush Limbaugh took material for his radio program from “satire” blog Diversity Chronicles, a website with strong undertones of white supremacy and misogyny which Rush described as “a website that does satire on how white men are blamed for everything.”
On the November 25 edition of his show, Limbaugh highlighted a story about a controversial professor who allegedly advised his white, male students to commit suicide. After returning from a commercial break, Rush clarified that the story was a satire piece from the website Diversity Chronicle, a satirical blog which, according to Limbaugh, is “actually pretty funny.” He then began to read from another Diversity Chronicle post mocking the notion of marital rape:
LIMBAUGH: That’s why this outfit called Diversity Chronicle — which is a satire website. They’re actually very funny — That’s why they created the satire about the guy. Because there’s a basis — you know all good comedy has truth in it. That’s what makes great comedy funny, is that there’re elements of truth in it.
For example, this Diversity Chronicle website right now is running a piece, ‘Brave Woman Comes Forward To Denounce Former Husband’s Repeated Rapes.’ ‘After several years of silence a brave and heroic thirty eight year old woman has come forward to denounce her former husband’s repeated rapes over the course of their marriage. Despite her numerous appeals, local law enforcement however refuses to treat her allegations seriously. These sexist, male-chauvinist, largely white male officers actually state that by her own account she was not ‘legally raped.’”
Update 11/26/13 9:00 PM
You know I just forgot, to say this, but I’m wondering if Rush actually doesn’t know that that’s a white supremacist site, or if he knows and just doesn’t care. Wouldn’t be surprised if it was the latter at this point.
Did Rand Paul plagiarize his speech from Wikipedia? It sure seems that way, as Rachel Maddow pointed out on Monday.
In a speech given in support of Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, Paul referenced the 90s science fiction movie Gattaca. The Kentucky senator used the plot of Gattaca—a dystopian world in which eugenics is widely practiced— to attack pro-choice advocates. Even more bizarre than his choice of metaphor are the similarities between Paul’s speech and the Wikipedia page for Gattaca.
As Maddow points out, Paul said:
“In the movie Gattaca, in the not-too-distant future, eugenics is common and DNA plays a primary role in determining your social class.”
From the Wikipedia entry:
From Paul’s speech:
“Due to frequent screenings, Vincent faces genetic discrimination and prejudice. The only way to achieve his dream of being an astronaut is he has to become what’s called a “borrowed ladder.”
So did he rip his speech from the internet? Or was this just all a weird coincidence? Watch more of the striking similarities in the video above and watch Paul’s speech below and let us know what you think.
LYNCHBERG, Va. — Tea party hero Rand Paul warned scientific advancements could lead to eugenics during a Monday visit at Liberty University, looking to boost the political fortunes of fellow Republican Ken Cuccinelli’s bid for governor.
During a visit to the Christian school founded by Jerry Falwell, Paul looked to energize conservative supporters by warning that people who are short, overweight or less intelligent could be eliminated through abortion. With one week remaining, Cuccinelli is hoping the joint appearance with the U.S. senator from Kentucky will encourage the far-right flank of his party to abandon third-party libertarian spoiler Robert Sarvis.
In October 2012, Jean-Philippe Rushton, a Canadian psychology professor and probably the most important race scientist in North America, died of cancer. At the time of his death, Rushton was running the Pioneer Fund, a grant-making entity founded in the 1930s by Americans with Nazi sympathies. In recent decades, Pioneer has been the only major foundation devoted to subsidizing race science and eugenics research, areas of science that are now fully discredited.
Under Rushton, the Pioneer Fund gave out very few grants, concentrating its disbursements on prominent race scientists such as Jared Taylor of the white nationalist group, American Renaissance. Rushton also headed the Charles Darwin Research Institute, located in Port Huron, Mich., an online outfit that distributed his racist research. Rushton’s most infamous study concluded that brain and genital size were inversely related, suggesting that black people are less intelligent than whites and more highly sexualized. Sometime in the last year, the website for the Charles Darwin Research Institute went offline.
For most of the last year, the Pioneer Fund’s website provided no indication that Rushton had passed away nor did it register any information about who was in change of the group. Messages left by Hatewatch at the fund’s phone number over the last year have not been returned.
But some time in mid-2013, a notice was posted on the website about what was happening at Pioneer. It said that in August 2012, Rushton transferred half the assets of the Pioneer Fund to his Charles Darwin Research Institute. The website also said that Rushton had resigned before his death as president of the fund and nominated Richard Lynn as his successor.
In the 1930s, a group of psychologists and physical anthropologists at Harvard chose 268 students whose medical, amatory, and career experiences they wished to document over the remaining decades of their lives. Department-store mogul W. T. Grant, who bankrolled the study, was curious about what made a good commanding officer or retail manager—more generally, a good leader of men. The Grant study is now ending, as its youngest subjects pass 90. George Vaillant, the psychiatrist who has directed the study since the 1960s and published periodic updates on its findings, offers a final report in Triumphs of Experience. Turns out the main thing the study has discovered is the corruption of the various worldviews in the name of which it was conducted.
Even at the height of the egalitarian New Deal, professors were certain that the place to find leadership material was in the high-achieving segment of the upper classes. Since this was to be a study of optimal, not average, development, it was screened even further. Future Washington Post editor Benjamin Bradlee ‘42, scion of the Crowninshield family of Massachusetts, was among those whose features piqued the interest of investigators. Neither Leonard Bernstein ‘39 nor Norman Mailer ‘43 made the cut.
Not to beat around the bush, the Grant study was a study in eugenics, as that term was understood in the 1930s. This was just a decade after Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote the Supreme Court’s 8-1 decision in Buck v. Bell, upholding Virginia’s sterilization policy on the grounds that “three generations of imbeciles are enough.” One of the study’s early leaders, the anthropologist Earnest Hooton, hoped it would lead to “effective control of individual quality through genetics, or breeding.”
“The ultimate ideal sought,” wrote Harvey Ernest Jordan in 1912, “is a perfect society constituted of perfect individuals.” Jordan, who would later be dean of medicine at the University of Virginia, was speaking to the importance of eugenics in medicine—a subject that might seem tasteless and obsolete today. Yet nearly a century later, in 2008, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the biomedical research institute on Long Island’s north shore, published a book titled Davenport’s Dream, which shows that eugenic visions persist. Charles Davenport, a colleague and friend of Jordan’s, had directed Cold Spring Harbor for the first third of the 20th century, turning it from a sleepy, summertime marine-biology laboratory into a center for genetics research—and the epicenter of American eugenics.
Davenport’s Dream is a facsimile of Davenport’s major work, Heredity in Relation to Eugenics (1911), prefaced by nearly 200 pages of commentary by scientists, historians, and legal experts celebrating Davenport and expanding on questions of genetics and eugenics in biomedicine. In the volume, the genome guru Maynard V. Olson writes that dbSNP, the database of small genetic variations, makes possible the fulfillment of Davenport’s dream. “Here,” he writes, “is the raw material for a real science of human genetic perfection.”
Davenport thought he had the raw material for a real science of human perfection. The original conception of eugenics, described by the British polymath Sir Francis Galton in the late 19th century, was based on the breeder’s subjective, holistic understanding of heredity. The rediscovery of Mendel’s rules of heredity in 1900 seemed to place eugenics on an empirical, quantitative, scientific footing. And so it did, relative to Sir Francis.
Davenport and his cronies used genetic arguments to promote the betterment of the human race through marriage, immigration, and sterilization laws, as well as through propaganda and research. But eventually, Progressive-era human genetics and eugenics came to seem out of date. Through the second half of the 20th century, Davenport was geneticist non grata, an embarrassing black mark on the pedigree of human genetics, like a Nazi grandfather you’d rather not bring up in conversation. Since the 1970s “eugenics” has been a dirty word. But in Davenport’s Dream, the geneticist and historian Elof Carlson insists that eugenics still has a role in our time, and Matt Ridley wrote that “Charles Davenport had the best of intentions”; it’s just that his idealism got ahead of his knowledge and of the available technology. What changed? And what didn’t?
Davenport dreamed of biologically engineering society. But the mechanisms available to him were primitive and heavy handed. Progressive-era eugenics sought to eliminate undesirable traits (negative eugenics) and cultivate desirable ones (positive eugenics) by population control, mostly through regulating immigration and sex. Eugenicists were interested in the genetics of disease, personality, intelligence, and race—just as we are today. Birth control, marriage restrictions, and sexual sterilization of “defectives” (a medical term still in use as late as the 1970s) were among their means of effecting genetic change. They hoped people would voluntarily do the right thing for the greater good—but if they didn’t, the state had a responsibility to do it for (i.e., to) them.
According to the loonies at Natural News, Bill Gates plans on eugenically culling 90% of the world’s population through the use of deadly vaccines and birth control. Sometimes the birth control is a vaccine *shudder*.
It is not clear to me if anyone smart enough to read the article actually believes it, but the site is chock full of more stupidity. Enjoy!
An article published in the Trouw Dutch Daily essentially subtly equates Israel’s birth and infant care system to Nazi eugenics…
Last week the Dutch Christian daily ‘Trouw’ reached a new low when it published a vicious article about prenatal care in Israel entitled: ‘The chosen people have to be perfect’.
The writer, Ilse van Heusden, gave birth to a healthy baby boy while temporarily living in Israel.
She succeeded in portraying the prenatal care in Israel as a government instigated ‘military operation’ aimed at the production of babies as perfect as possible.
Apart from distortions and lies the article contained many accusations and insinuations which are reminiscent of classic anti-Semitic rants….
After the publication of the article we contacted ‘Trouw’ with a request to allow the publication of an op-ed in which we could debunk the false claims and lies in Van Heusdens article.
‘Trouw’ did not even bother to respond, nor did the editors respond to a similar request by the Dutch branch of the Likud party.
Here is a prime example of the anti-Semitic content of the article:
‘To be pregnant in Israel is comparable to a military operation. Countless echos and blood tests should produce the perfect baby, nothing can be left to the luck of the draw. The state demands healthy babies and a lot of them too’.
This was later followed by an outrageous lie about child allowances in Israel.
‘What makes things even more emotionally charged is the Israeli demand to produce many children. The state promotes the birth of children by supplying, among other things, a considerable child allowance’.
To support these outrageous claims, she misused a quote made by former Minister of the Interior Shlomo Benizri in 2002. At the time Benizri declared: ‘the fear of losing Israel’s unique character obligates us to take action so as not to become a minority in our own country’.
Of course Van Heusden knew very well that Benizri was not talking about more Jewish babies, but about the influx of illegal immigrants and foreign workers.
She then suggested that the way Israel promotes having children is comparable to Arafat’s policy of using the womb of Palestinian women as a weapon.
It is of course a lie that Israel ‘demands’ many or ‘perfect’ babies. The state does not interfere in the decision to have children; that is something Israelis decide for themselves.
It is also a lie that the state promotes child birth with considerable child allowances.
In fact, since 2002, the Israeli government has considerably reduced the level of child allowances. This reduction rose to as high as 70% for a family with 8 children.
An average child now receives 35 Euros per month.
That is of course far below the Netherlands where child allowance is an average of 120 Euro per month for children born before 1995, and roughly 75 Euro for children born since then.
Furthermore, this summer thousands of Israelis demonstrated against the fact that parents themselves had to pay for daycare of their children up till the age of five years (The Israeli government recently reduced the age to three years).
After writing that she was diagnosed with the Cytomegalovirus (CMV) virus and as a result was requested to conduct an additional test, Van Heusden exclaimed:
‘I was surprised about the spasmodic attitude about this test and the previous one. After all children are loved and honored here and Israel is a paradise when it comes to having children… But the flipside of the story is that having children is a demand and a discussion about that demand is not possible.’
In actual fact, the prenatal program in Israel consists of recommendations only; a woman can refuse to conduct any test at all stages of pregnancy.
Van Heusden then compared the Israeli prenatal care to the Dutch system which she holds in high esteem:
‘Every time I had to undergo such a test (diabetes blood test) it caused distress. In the Netherlands my first pregnancy was without problems and it was dealt with by the obstetrician accordingly. I was boring but ‘boring was good’, explained the obstetrician.’
I am healthy and not in the category of the Ashkenazi Jews… yet I had to experience twelve echo tests and four blood tests’.
Writing about the birth of her son Van Heusden said;
‘finally we held this little baby boy in our arms that went through all those tests. When we admired his little fingers and toes we saw that one of his toes was too small. His personal revenge on the Israeli health system’.
It is obvious that Van Heusden twisted everything that was done to safeguard her health and that of her child into an attempt to prove that Israel is a racist state which has a system to produce perfect babies.
Her claims are so outrageous that rebuttal seems beyond the pale.
However to understand the viciousness of the claims in her article it seems nevertheless useful to provide some basic facts about Israeli prenatal care and the health system in general.
First of all, prenatal care in Israel is organized according to World Health Organisation recommendations and is now on a higher level than that in the Netherlands.
Furthermore, Van Leusden was diagnosed with the CMV virus, which is the sole explanation for the many tests she had to undergo. In her article she admits that CMV can cause severe damage to the fetus.
Several Israeli women wrote us that on an average, 4 to 5 echo (ultrasound) tests are usual and not 12 as in the case of Van Leusden. Another woman from northern Israel claimed that her twins owed their lives to these echo tests.
Van Leusden’s criticism about the diabetes blood test is completely unjustified. This test – standard procedure in all modern medical systems – is designed to detect gestational diabetes; a disorder which can have serious and even fatal consequences for mother and child.
Through this type of advanced prenatal care, Israel has managed over the last 35 years to reduce the infant mortality rate by almost 70% (24.6 per 1000 infants in 1973 compared to 3.8 per 1000 in 2008).
A similar figure was reached among the Arab population in Gaza and the West Bank (now the lowest in the entire Middle East: 11 per 1000 compared to 58 in 1968 and 61 in Iraq nowadays).
It is also the reason Israel now has a lower infant mortality rate than the Netherlands, which has one of the worst rates in Western Europe.
High quality care
The high quality of Israeli health care is in part due to prevention programs such as prenatal care. There are nationwide population examinations for breast and colon cancer. Blood tests are almost standard during visits to a doctor.
As a result people are living longer (81.6 years in Israel compared with an average of 79.5 in the OECD). Israel has one of the highest cancer survival rates in the world (84% breast cancer survival rate in 2009). The same applies to the survival rate after a stroke (CVA) and Myocardial Infarction.
All this was achieved with a health budget which is approximately 60% lower than in the Netherlands ($ 2,165 per person per year compared with $ 5144 in the Netherlands) and a number of hospital beds that is far below the OECD average (2 per 1000 compared with 3.5 in OECD countries).
Of course all of this data was also at Van Heusden’s disposal.
However, she chose to write a libelous article where care for an unborn child in Israel was deliberately presented as a military operation and as a political weapon born out racist motives.
When an Israeli caretaker finally had enough of her complaints about the excellent prenatal care in Israel and made a sarcastic joke about the need for ‘the chosen people to be perfect’, she used it to make her point.
One ‘Trouw’ reader summarized the article as follows:
‘Subtle article by the way, it even manages to bring good infant care in Israel in the vicinity of ‘eugenics’ and thus comparing it to Nazism.’
Indeed such articles can normally be found on the websites of white supremacists such as David Duke or on anti-Semitic sites such as Jew watch
The fact that a Dutch Christian mainstream paper published it should sound alarms in The Netherlands.
The paper should issue an apology and dissociate itself from writers like IIse van Heusden.