After we wrote yesterday’s piece, we had a moment of pause. We never want to personally attack PZ Myers on these pages – we strive to limit our criticism to his ideas – and we thought we might have blurred that line yesterday when we accused him of advocating “violence against journalists who report things he doesn’t like.”
We feel better about it today.
PZ Myers crossed a line yesterday, going from a scientist simply discussing ideas to a revolutionary advocating violence against people he hates. Today, he continues in that vein with a post titled, “Who are antifa?” PZ pasted long excerpts from a Haaretz piece by Stanislav Vysotsky, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (a school, unlike the University of Minnesota Morris, we had heard of before, and not in a good way) and at the end of the post, Myers says this:
Stanislav Vysotsky doesn’t make excuses for the fascists, unlike far too many people who are promoting the “never punch fascists under any circumstances” approach.https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/02/who-are-antifa/
He tries to pull the same trick here as he did yesterday – equating punching a fascist with beating a journalist so hard his skull cracks – except he doesn’t specifically name Andy Ngo so we can’t call this another lie.
In other news, we were so wrapped up with PZ’s fascist lies yesterday that we missed a lie about higher education in Alaska. We’ll get into that below as well as a lie about gay rights from today. PZ Myers is back in top form!
PZ Myers Lie:
How could this happen? Easy. Elect a Republican governor who sees his role as taking punitive fiscal action against anything he doesn’t like. Like most Republicans, he despises higher education, so he takes a knife to it.https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/01/the-alaskan-nightmare/
Once again, there are multiple lies in this excerpt, but we’re scoring it as a solo home run. PZ is talking here about Governor Mike Dunleavy of Alaska, who cut $444 million from the state’s $8.3 Billion dollar budget using his line-item veto power. Except PZ doesn’t care about most of that money, he’s only worried about $130 million that was earmarked for the University of Alaska. That’s a big cut, to be sure, but the Governor of Alaska doesn’t need PZ Myers to tell him that:
Dunleavy said UA cannot “be all things to all people,” and he believed the university system could work through the reduction. “I do believe the University of Alaska is resilient. I do believe they have good leadership, and I’d say give them a chance,” Dunleavy said. “ I believe that they can turn the university into a smaller, leaner, but still very, very positive and productive university here in the northern hemisphere.”https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/education/2019/06/28/dunleavy-veto-is-devastating-says-university-of-alaska-president/
The lies here are easy to spot once you understand the state government was faced with a number of tough decisions, none of which were motivated by hate or malice. Most Republicans don’t “despise higher education” and there is no evidence Dunleavy does, either. The governor doesn’t see his role at “taking punitive fiscal action against anything he doesn’t like.” Rather, the Anchorage Daily News reports:
The governor has consistently said his goal is to craft a state budget that pays a traditional dividend and provides state services without higher state taxes or spending from savings.https://www.adn.com/politics/alaska-legislature/2019/06/28/gov-mike-dunleavy-vetoes-444-million-from-alaska-state-operating-budget/
PZ Myers is angry about the budget cuts in Alaska, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But we believe there is something wrong with lying about it.
Analysis: Higher education is just one of many areas PZ lies about regularly. He argues in this post that:
Universities make major returns in the cost of investment. If nothing else, high-tech industries want a pool of educated workers, and they aren’t going to find them in Alaska.https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/01/the-alaskan-nightmare/
If we assume that’s true, it still leaves the following questions unanswered: why should the State of Alaska pay for it? Why shouldn’t high-tech industries pay for it? And since when is PZ Myers on the side of high-tech industries? He hates capitalism!
PZ Myers Lie #2:
For example, [The Atlantic] just published The Struggle for Gay Rights is Over. Seriously, dude. It’s just a switch, gay rights are either on or off? Nuts to that.https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/02/the-struggle-for-equality-never-ends-dont-let-anyone-tell-you-otherwise/
James Kirchick, himself a gay man and a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, writes this in the 6th and 7th paragraphs of the article PZ cites:
In many places it’s still dangerous to be gay. Homosexuals continue to face higher rates of depression than heterosexuals, and gay teenagers attempt suicide more frequently than their straight peers.https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/06/battle-gay-rights-over/592645/
But trends are undeniably moving in the right direction. Since gays began organizing politically in the 1950s—meeting in secret, using pseudonyms, and under constant surveillance by the FBI—their movement for legal equality and societal acceptance has arguably advanced faster than any other in American history.
Kirchick never equates gay rights to a switch, and makes a nuanced, balanced argument, one that PZ turns into yet another lie.
This is twice in two days where a PZ Myers lie has been exposed by the very source material he cites. But it’s worse that that. We don’t think PZ even read Kirchick’s piece, because Kirchick describes the exact tactic PZ uses:
…left-wing activists are also exploiting the gay-rights movement to push agendas utterly extraneous to gay equality.https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/06/battle-gay-rights-over/592645/
Here’s PZ, later on in the post:
I guess everyone has equal civil rights now, women have nothing left to complain about, black people can quit being uppity, the American Indian reservations have transformed into paradises, the poor are no longer slaves to capitalism?https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/02/the-struggle-for-equality-never-ends-dont-let-anyone-tell-you-otherwise/
If PZ Myers were an undergraduate in a political science course, he’d get a failing grade. To engage with an idea you have to understand that idea, and he has a unique ability to misunderstand and misrepresent ideas he doesn’t like.
It’s the reason PZWatch exists.
Today: 0 science-related posts, 4 posts on other stuff
Since 30 May 19: 41 science-related posts, 93 non-science posts.
30% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science.
Today: 2 PZ Myers Lies
Since 30 May 19: 41 PZ Myers Lies
Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.