9 July – If You Have Money, You’ve Stolen It: Deep Thoughts and Three Lies From PZ Myers

Back when we used to watch Saturday Night Live, one of our favorite segments was Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey (who, we didn’t know until just now, is a real person). Here are some of Jack’s best lines. We think of him often when reading PZ Myers because they both write surrealistic sentences that are often funny. The only difference is, one intends to be funny, and the other doesn’t.

We had a Jack Handey moment today that we’ll go into in much more detail below.

We’ve discussed our prediction before (on the 3rd of July) that PZ would call Antifa “patriotic” the next day. He didn’t, but he’s been inching ever closer to that declaration. Today, he wants us all to “Support your local antifa” and posted a link to some pre-WWII articles about Nazis, all in an effort to analogize current events to the 1930s and compare his ideological enemies with fascists and Nazis. We stand by our prediction – sooner or later he’ll be saying it’s patriotic to beat up those people who disagree with him, because otherwise Hitler will rise again in the US.

Or something.

PZ Myers Lie:

I know, it’s early in the morning, my fellow Americans, and you’re still working on your coffee and cornflakes, but if I have to be exposed to this talking emetic, you get it too. He’s now calling people who demand greater diversity in congress “racists”.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/09/sorry-its-tucker-carlson/

Facts:

PZ references an 80-second video of Tucker Carlson’s show posted to Twitter. In that clip, Carlson did not call those who demand greater diversity in congress “racists.” He was responding to a quote from Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, who in turn was talking about giving more power to those people already in congress. Neither Carlson nor Tlaib were talking about increasing diversity in congress, they were talking about the balance of power for those minorities already in congress.

Analysis:

One day we might go back and tally all the PZ Myers’s lies we’ve found that have been exposed by the very source material he cites. This is another example. We were also surprised that PZ posted the entire clip, which was enough time to allow Carlson to state his point relatively well (here is the whole segment). PZ almost never allows actual conservative arguments to appear on the pages of Pharyngula, preferring instead to post only his caricatured, dishonest version.

One of our favorite Supreme Court quotes of all time came from Chief Justice Roberts in the 2007 Parents Involved decision, where he wrote, “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” The issues in that case were not unlike the issues Carlson and Tlaib and even PZ are talking about, and while we can see the arguments on both sides, it remains nonetheless true that if X action is taken – whatever that action is – solely because Y person is of a certain race, X action is racist by definition.

PZ Myers Lie #2:

That’s perverse. So congress can go on for hundreds of years as a body consisting almost exclusively of white men, and that’s not racist, but anyone suggesting that there be a more balanced representation that includes more women of color is racist.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/09/sorry-its-tucker-carlson/

Facts:

This is PZ’s first paragraph after the Carlson video and he’s responding directly to the video, calling it perverse in the first sentence. The second half of the second sentence is essentially repeating lie #1 above, and we won’t go into that in any more detail. What concerns us is the first half. Carlson makes no claim about congress consisting of white men for hundreds of years, and makes no claim that was not racist. Carlson does not even imply this claim in the extended transcript we link to above. PZ simply makes it up.

Analysis:

See lie #1. We’re growing weary, after only two months, of pointing out the number of times PZ lies about the very evidence he uses to reach some of his conclusions. We would find it amazing that the commenters on his site don’t call him out about it, had we not been banned on numerous occasions for doing exactly that. No one dare call PZ out on his lies, because if they start doing that their days are numbered.

PZ Myers Lie #3:

If you a [sic] filthy rich billionaire who has some liberal goals (you’re not going to be promoting leftist/progressive goals, because you’ve already demonstrated a life-long commitment to stealing from workers), I have a different suggestion: run for president on the Republican side. 

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/09/another-billionaire-leaps-into-the-presidential-race/

Facts:

The claim that no billionaire could promote leftist/progressive goals is a novel one we’ve not encountered before, but we’ll admit to not having read everything PZ Myers has ever written. We considered this a candidate for a Great Big Lie, but the second half of this parenthetical claim is a more concrete lie that deserves to be counted. Tom Steyer, the billionaire PZ references, is a known person with known business career and known philanthropic endeavors we can examine. So let’s do it.

Steyer made most of his money because he founded an investment firm called Farallon Capital Management. Part of Farallon’s portfolio involved:

…finding distressed international companies and helping the businesses restructure. In 1999, Farallon bought a direct stake in an Argentine shoe company, which it helped stabilize to profitability as Argentina recovered from an economic crisis. And in 2002, Farallon bought control of Bank Central Asia (BCA), an Indonesian financial institution, for $531 million. At the time, many of Indonesia’s banks were on the verge of collapse because of bad loans made during President Suharto’s leadership and the country was seen as dangerous for foreign investment. Over the next four years, Farallon installed a new chairman and made necessary reforms. After Farallon sold its stake for a profit in 2006, many other institutional investors began to look to Indonesia for returns. In the year before Farallon’s investment in Indonesia, $286 million flowed into the country as foreign direct investment. After Farallon exited, that number grew to $1 billion in 2007 and $4 billion in 2008. According to Council on Foreign Relations economics fellow Sebastian Mallaby, “Farallon’s investment was a blessing for Indonesia.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farallon_Capital

In sum, Farallon invested in companies that might otherwise have gone bankrupt, destroying the jobs of all their workers in the process. Far from “stealing from workers,” Steyer blessed his most vulnerable workers with good work and a steady income. PZ’s not only lying, he’s inverting the truth. Tom Steyer has helped more workers than PZ Myers could ever dream of doing.

But wait, there’s more. Steyer has also been involved in many charities throughout his business career and he and his wife have pledged to “give at least half their wealth to charitable causes during their lifetime.” So not only is he not “stealing” from workers, he will ultimately give back half of what he’s earned to people less fortunate than he.

Analysis:

This was our Jack Handey moment. If an economist had written this sentence, it would definitely be for laughs, but PZ is dead serious.

PZ Myers + Economics = Lie. Like the Einstein field equations, this appears to be a fundamental law of sorts in the Pharyngula universe. It’s always been amazing to contemplate the number of things a flat-earther or a creationist must believe in order to conclude their theory is correct. Likewise, the number of things PZ has to lie about to believe capitalism (or just making money, especially in the way Tom Steyer did) is somehow an evil endeavor is astounding. It’s one of the reasons we find it constantly fascinating to read PZ, and why we’ll be back tomorrow with more.

Final Tally:

Today: 0 science-related posts, 6 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 42 science-related posts, 111 non-science posts.

27% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 3 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 49 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

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