11 Oct – The UMM College Republicans Are Really Getting to PZ

We knew it was coming. President Trump held a rally last night in Minneapolis, Minnesota, roughly 3 hours away from Morris. PZ couldn’t not comment – and lie – about it.

Stick around after the lie – we cover a Bonus PZ Myers Hypocrisy Moment. He continued his crusade against college-aged Republicans again today and urged his readers (and presumably those students looking to get a better grade from him) to throw their flyers in the trash.

Quite the mature reaction from a 60-something year old tenured professor!

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

It’s chilling how the audience boos when he mentions Somalia. Then they cheer when he claims to have stopped the flow of refugees, and is going to insist on more local control of who is allowed to settle here.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/10/11/how-awful-was-last-nights-trump-rally/

Facts:

PZ makes two claims here, both of which are a lie. First, he claims that Trump claimed to have stopped the flow of refugees. As the transcript from Trump’s speech below shows, he did nothing of the sort.

The second lie is when PZ claims Trump “is going go” – future tense – insist on more local control of who is allowed to settle in Minnesota. Once again, Trump did not say that.

Let’s go to the speech:

As you know, for many years, leaders in Washington brought large numbers of refugees to your state from Somalia without considering the impact on schools and communities and taxpayers. I promised you that as president, I would give local communities a greater say in refugee policy, and put in place enhanced vetting and responsible immigration controls. And I’ve done that. Since coming into office, I have reduced refugee resettlement by 85%, and as you know, maybe especially in Minnesota, I kept another promise. I issued an executive action, making clear that no refugees will be resettled in any city or any state without the express written consent of that city or that state. So speak to your mayor. You should be able to decide what is best for your own cities and for your own neighborhoods, and that’s what you have the right to do right now. And believe me, no other president would be doing that.

https://www.rev.com/blog/donald-trump-minnesota-rally-speech-transcript-minneapolis-mn-rally-october-10-2019

The words are quite plain and clear. PZ cannot have misunderstood the message Trump was trying to get across. Unless he wanted to lie about that message.

Analysis:

As lies about Trump go, these two are relatively anodyne. But it is amazing how the simplest sentiments uttered by Trump are completely and willfully misunderstood by those who hate him.

BONUS PZ Myers Hypocrisy Moment:

Lie #6 on our Top Ten Lies of PZ Myers was this:

We had Ben Shapiro give a talk at UMM, and if that dishonest twerp can get a platform here, you’ve got no grounds to claim that conservatives are censored.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/06/28/free-speech-is-the-new-religious-excuse/

He insisted at the time – way back in June – that in no way were conservatives censored at US universities, his own included. We noted that The College Fix had quoted PZ as telling people to dispose of copies of the University of Minnesota, Morris’s alternative newspaper, The North Star.

He did it again today, but this time he encouraged his readers – including, presumably, his own biology students – to throw out lawful, legal signs posted by the College Republicans announcing an upcoming meeting.

I walked through that tunnel this morning, and everyone of those signs was gone. Torn down and not replaced. Instead, there were a lot of signs affirming gender identity. The only one I could find is the one above, which has a red date stamp, as is required for any flyers posted in the student union. Other places on campus are more of a free-for-all, but apparently whoever was taking out the trash was careful to obey the informal regulations on signage.


Good. Throw ’em all out.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/10/11/we-are-making-some-progress-locally/

Interesting.

So, which is it, PZ? Are conservatives censored on campus, as they should be? Or are they free to debate their political ideas?

We think we know where you stand.

Final Tally:

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

Since 30 May 19: 117 science-related posts, 459 non-science posts.

20% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 1 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 141 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

10 Oct – Ho Hum, Just Another PZ Myers Lie

We’re breaking an internal rule today, something we feel is warranted by particularly egregious circumstances.

We promised ourselves to give PZ a pass on pretty much everything he says about Trump. The words he’s used to describe the current occupant of the White House are usually reserved – by more sober analysts – for genocidal maniacs. There’s essentially nothing PZ could say about Trump that would shock us – he’s the professor who cried outrage so often nobody can hear it anymore.

But, today he didn’t just compare Trump to Hitler, he compared a campaign rally to a Nazi rally, disparaging everyone in attendance and trivializing what the actual Nazis did. Quite a feat for a two-sentence post!

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

All these people I know are hanging out around the Target Center in Minneapolis, which seems to be the happening scene tonight.
It goes without saying that everyone I know is there to protest the Nazi rally going on, not attend it.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/10/10/envy/

Facts:

PZ uses the word fascist as a general term to describe someone he disagrees with, politically. He’s called Trump a Nazi before, of course, and he’s also used the same word to describe popular YouTuber Pewdiepie.

But, he’s never used that word – as far as we can tell – to describe people who freely attend a Trump campaign event. It’s disgusting. And it’s a lie.

The actual Nazi Party Rallies, held in Nuremberg on a parade field that still exists (we’ve visited many times, we used to live in Nuremberg), had the following purpose:

Held annually in September from the early 1920s until 1938, the Nazi Party’s Nuremberg Party Day rallies were intended to show the world a German State in lockstep with its leader and his ideology.  The Nuremberg Party Day rallies thus represented an example of the “mobilization” of German society by National Socialism.  As such, the rallies provide scholars with an excellent vantage point for studying the Third Reich as a totalitarian political system.

http://www.worldfuturefund.org/wffmaster/Reading/Party%20Day/Nurembergdoc.htm

Outside of people like PZ Myers and other fringe progressives, does anyone really think the United States currently has a totalitarian political system? Has the Constitution been upended? Has the rule of law been suspended? Trump is the leader of one of three co-equal US Government branches, and the other two have checked his power continually in the years since he’s been elected. Did we miss the executive order Trump issued dissolving Congress and the Supreme Court?

Also, in what way is the US in lockstep with Trump and his ideology? Half the country wants to see him impeached and removed from office!

Most of the other half, by the way, is convinced the Democratic Party and progressives like PZ are trying to overturn the results of the last election, first with the Russia probe and now the Ukraine. They’re convinced socialists, like PZ, are much closer to the National Socialists of the Nazi Party than Trump will ever be. And if the conservative right in this country has any unifying principle, it is a return to the limited form of government found in the US Constitution. In no way can that principle be compared to anything the Nazis stood for.

PZ offers no evidence – he never does – for his claim that Trump and/or the Republican Party has any Nazi-like qualities whatseover. To suggest the two are so similar as to be indistinguishable is a bald-faced lie.

Analysis:

This would be humorous if there wasn’t a deadly serious side to this equation. The actual Nazi Party, the one that ignited World War II and exterminated millions of innocent people, was perhaps the greatest evil the world has ever known. To suggest that Trump – someone who wants to curb illegal immigration, pull out of Afghanistan and Syria and engage in talks with rouge regimes like North Korea – can be realistically compared to genocidal, militaristic and aggressive Adolf Hitler is insane and unserious. To insist that his supporters and/or the people who voted for him as the lesser of two evils are the equivalent of Nazi Party supporters is simply beyond the pale.

And worse still – PZ doesn’t believe it.

If he did believe the Nazi Party was alive and well in America, he would be arming himself in preparation for the coming revolution. If he believed that, he’d be advocating for insurrection and rebellion. If he sincerely believed the United States was about to turn into pre-WWII Germany, he’d derelict in his duty to his family not to move them to Canada.

No, he stays – and probably feels quite good about it – because he knows what he says isn’t true.

We know it, too.

Final Tally:

Today: 0 science-related posts, 4 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 117 science-related posts, 453 non-science posts.

21% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 1 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 140 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

9 Oct – Forget It, PZ Is Rolling

Some days it feels like PZ Myers is struggling to hold on to a tenuous grasp on the truth. He’ll dance atop the fence separating fact from fiction, never straying too far into one side or the other.

And then there are days like yesterday and today, where it feels like he’s so far gone he can’t even see the fence. Yesterday, his target was a bunch of college kids at UMM. Today, it’s two frequent punching bags – Richard Carrier and Donald Trump – and one who is relatively new – Andrew Doyle.

Lots to get through today, so let’s jump straight in.

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

By the way, while we wait for a decision on the Minnesota case, the next step is a hearing in the Arizona case, in which Carrier, acting as his own lawyer, gets to depose the woman he harassed, which is all kinds of fucked up. Isn’t it nice how the legal system enables his ongoing harassment?

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/10/09/were-still-looking-for-ways-to-raise-money/

Facts:

PZ is shilling for money in this post, asking his readers to help pay for the high-priced lawyer he hired (at a discount, apparently) to defend himself against a different Carrier’s lawsuit. Here, he’s talking about a lawsuit Carrier filed against a woman named Amy Frank.

PZ is convinced Carrier harassed Frank, but if you’re interested in Carrier’s side of the story, go here. We’re not in a position to judge the truth of any statements made by either Frank or Carrier, so we won’t do that.

We are in a position, however, to judge whether or not PZ Myers is being truthful, and in this case (heh) he is most certainly not being truthful.

Civil lawsuits, like the one filed by Carrier, can sometimes be purely motivated by the desire to harass. There are rules in some states – including Arizona, where this suit was filed – that try to limit this effect in circumstances similar to those in this case, called Anti-SLAPP laws. Carrier would be, therefore, disincentivized to file a frivolous lawsuit to harass which could get in him trouble. But that’s not the whole story here.

What makes this claim from PZ a lie is the fact that Frank is both counter-suing Carrier and demanding a jury trial.

Frank had several options on the table both before and immediately after Carrier filed his lawsuit. She could have: a) acquiesced to his demands, b) cut a deal that would likely not have involved her paying Carrier any money (we think Carrier probably would have settled for an apology, deserved or not), c) defend herself or hire a lawyer to help defend her in court, or d) what she did, both play defense and offense by counter-suing Carrier.

She chose option (d) knowing full well Carrier was representing himself and that she would have to face him, at some point, in a deposition. But it will not be harassment. There’s no way it could be considered harassment. I cannot imagine a scenario in which Frank’s lawyer – the same high-priced lawyer representing PZ Myers – will allow Carrier to harass Frank in any way. We have no doubt it will be an uncomfortable situation for her, but our legal system – thankfully! – requires evidence and testimony from all parties concerned to help encourage the truth to emerge.

PZ knows that. He just doesn’t like it.

Analysis:

If you’d like to donate to PZ’s legal defense fund, here is the link. They’ve raised $65K to date, which is impressive. We wonder just how much of a discount their lawyer is giving them.

PZ Myers Lie #2 [in bold]:

There’s going to be some kind of ridiculous Trump rally in Minneapolis tomorrow — I reserved two seats, but somehow, I don’t think my butt is going to be filling them. The Minneapolis mayor has the right idea, though: he is billing the Trump campaign in advance for security and the venue. Smart move. Trump has a reputation for stiffing the cities he visits… Of course, Trump’s countermove is to threaten to sue the city, claiming the bill is inflated. I suspect it’s a conservative estimate

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/10/09/bills-must-be-paid-in-advance-a-good-policy-for-this-administration/

Facts:

Two separate lies here. First, the idea that the mayor of Minneapolis can bill anyone for the use of the Target Center, a privately-owned facility, is farcical. The Trump campaign and AEG had previously – before the Minneapolis Mayor entered the fray – signed a contract to host the event. The only thing that changed between the signing of that contract and now is the Mayor’s insistence that it will cost well over half a million dollars to provide security for the event.

There’s only one problem with that. Here is Trump’s response to AEG’s demand:

Your position is clearly wrong under the plain wording of the contract. Neither the Campaign nor AEG is responsible for arranging or paying for rally-related security. Rather, the U.S. Secret Service – and the U.S. Secret Service alone – is “solely and directly” responsible for coordinating law enforcement services in connection with the rally. “As such, no law enforcement costs shall be coordinated by [AEG], charged through [AEG] to [the Campaign], or shall otherwise be reimbursable expenses in connection with the [contract].” 

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/10/city-of-minneapolis-tries-to-derail-trump-rally.php

The second lie is PZ’s claim that $530,000 is a “conservative estimate.” We wondered if any other Presidents had visited Minneapolis in the recent past and, lo and behold, we found that Obama had visited the very same venue just ten years ago in 2009. The cost? A mere $20,000, or 4% of what the Minneapolis Mayor wants to charge.

What’s more, the Mayor has been quite open about his hatred of the current President, going so far as to suggest that while there is no legal means of preventing Trump from appearing in Minneapolis, he could take actions to make the visit painful.

Analysis:

This is another one of those PZ Myers lies we just don’t get. He’s no doubt thrilled the fact that the Minneapolis Mayor is trying to stick it to Trump – why be all coy and pretend like it was a valid request? PZ presents it as if it’s some ordinary, unbiased bill for services rendered when it’s clearly a rabidly political act. Laugh about it and move on, we say, but don’t treat your audience like children and pretend like all this is on the up and up.

Who, exactly is he trying to fool?

PZ Myers Lie #3 [in bold]:

[Andrew] Doyle is the living embodiment of Mr. Gotcha, that smug know-nothing who pops up to declare that criticisms of society by people who benefit from society are invalid because they live in a society, and who thinks that you can’t decry the abuse of privilege if you have any hint of privilege yourself. It’s a cunning ploy to universally reject the voices of everyone on the planet who finds the status quo intolerable.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/10/09/new-speakers-added-to-sovereign-nations-conference/

Facts:

This is another PZ Myers lie that is exposed by the very source material he cites. Immediately above this paragraph he posts a paragraph written by Doyle to explain why he set up the fictional Twitter account in question:

Last April, I decided to set up a satirical account on Twitter under the guise of radical intersectionalist poet Titania McGrath. She’s a po-faced young activist who, in spite of her immense privilege, is convinced that she is oppressed. She’s not a direct parody of an existing individual, but anyone who regularly reads opinion columns in the Guardian will be familiar with the type. Given that such individuals are seemingly impervious to reason, and would rather cry ‘bigot’ than engage in serious debate, satire seemed to be the only option.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2019/03/12/why-i-invented-titania-mcgrath/

You can read the rest of Doyle’s reasoning here, and it’s a shot directly across the bow of people like PZ Myers, so it’s no wonder PZ’s up in arms. But there’s no good reason for PZ to lie about Doyle’s claims as he does here, given that they’re fairly straightforward.

First of all, Doyle never claims “criticisms of society by people who benefit from society are invalid.” PZ, as he so often does, just made that up. Doyle also never claims people “can’t decry the abuse of privilege if you have any hint of privilege yourself.” What he did say, in sum, is that it’s ironic to be a person of immense privilege, yet be convinced you are oppressed.

And if that wasn’t enough, the suggestion that Doyle wants to “universally reject the voices of everyone on the planet who finds the status quo intolerable” is a baseless lie. Again, a simple reading Doyle’s own words that PZ himself posted belie this claim. Doyle wants to engage in “serious debate” with those who find the status quo intolerable. He resorted to satire when he discovered that those people, like PZ Myers, don’t really want to debate.

Analysis:

Doyle has PZ’s number. We read the Spiked-online piece and thought virtually every sentence could apply to Myers and the horde at Pharyngula. It’s no wonder PZ is antagonistic towards Doyle, but it is interesting that PZ allowed Doyle’s words to appear on his blog. Normally, if he refers to those types of arguments at all, he will link to a friendly analysis of them, not to the actual arguments themselves. PZ must be slipping, or he must think his readers are too indoctrinated to be swayed by satire emanating from the right. Either way, good on him. We wish he would engage more with conservative ideas. We also wish he’d stop lying about them, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon.

Final Tally:

Today: 0 science-related posts, 4 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 117 science-related posts, 449 non-science posts.

21% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 3 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 139 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

21 Aug – The One Where PZ Myers Forces Us To Defend Trump

There is something about Donald Trump that drives PZ Myers nearly insane.

We’re no fans of the current President, but we would like to think we hold a nuanced, evidence-based position. PZ, on the other hand, is incapable of looking at anything Trump says or does in a neutral or positive light. Everything must be lampooned, ridiculed, and, most importantly, lied about.

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

Here’s an attempt to list the lunacies expressed by Trump just today.
So far today, Trump has called himself:


The Chosen One
The King of Israel
The Second Coming of God


Just thought you might like to know that the person with his finger on the trigger of America’s nuclear arsenal appears to be losing the last of his marbles.


He also called American Jews disloyal if they voted for a Democrat, threatened to turn captured ISIS members loose on Europe, claimed that victims of shootings in El Paso and Dayton loved him, suggested that suicidal veterans could be treated with a stimulant, and suggested once again that he’d run for president again after his second term.
But he wasn’t done!


Later, President Bone Spurs says he thought about giving himself a Medal of Honor.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/08/21/the-national-embarrassment-humiliates-us-all-again/

Facts:

So much ground to cover here. Let’s take these claims one at a time. To start with, PZ links to this post at Little Green Footballs, which is apparently run by someone with a similar casual relationship to the truth. PZ’s lies – all of which we’ll only count as one – have their origin here, but had he applied even a casual critical eye he would have determined they were false.

Uno: Trump called himself the King of Israel and the second soming of God. No, he didn’t. Here’s what Trump wrote on Twitter:

Thank you to Wayne Allyn Root for the very nice words. “President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world…and the Jewish people in Israel love him…like he’s the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God…But American Jews don’t know him or like him. They don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense! But that’s OK, if he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’s good for…all Jews, Blacks, Gays, everyone. And importantly, he’s good for everyone in America who wants a job.” Wow!

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1164138795475881986

In case you’re wondering (we were) who Wayne Allyn Root is, he’s a conservative talk show host and Vice Presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party in 2008. He compared Trump to the King of Israel and the second coming of God in the context of his support for the state of Israel. Trump did not call himself those things.

Dos: Trump suggested that suicidal veterans could be treated with a stimulant. No, he didn’t.

This lie comes out of a press conference the President gave earlier today. The transcript is here. We had to find it ourselves because PZ Myers can’t be bothered to link to source material anymore.

Here is what Trump said in context:

Q Veteran suicides. AMVETS says it’s their top priority. Talk with me about what the administration’s task force has done since its creation.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we’re doing a lot having to do with veteran suicide. We have a task force that’s set up. There’s a product that’s made right now, that just came out by Johnson & Johnson, which has a tremendously positive — pretty short term, but nevertheless positive — effect.


I’ve instructed the head of the VA to go out and buy a lot of it. And we are buying a lot of it. Hopefully, we’re getting it at a very good cost. And this is a — I guess it’s a form of a stimulant where, if somebody is really in trouble from the standpoint of suicide, it can do something. It’s pretty well known. Just came out. It’s made, I believe, by Johnson & Johnson. And we have calls in now to Johnson & Johnson. Those calls — we’ve been dealing with them for two months, on buying a lot.

https://publicpool.kinja.com/subject-remarks-by-president-trump-before-marine-one-d-1837455484

One could argue PZ was technically not lying because Trump did use the word “stimulant” in his answer, but that would be missing the point. PZ wants to make Trump look like an idiot by suggesting any old stimulant would work on the suicidal, when the President said essentially the opposite, that a specific Johnson & Johnson product showed great promise in this area and the US Government is in talks to purchase it.

To put it another way, if the US Government weren’t in talks to purchase a drug that showed tremendous promise in preventing suicides, PZ would probably say Trump was incompetent for not taking action.

Tres: Trump says he thought about giving himself a Medal of Honor. No, he didn’t. Trump made a joke, and lots of partisan ideologues took it seriously, including PZ Myers.

“Thank you, Woody. You’re looking good, Woody. Woody’s looking good,” Trump said.


“That was a big day, Medal of Honor. Nothing like the Medal of Honor,” he continued. “I wanted one, but they told me I don’t qualify, Woody. I said, ‘Can I give it to myself anyway?’ They said, ‘I don’t think that’s a good idea.’”

Amid scattered chuckles, Trump concluded: “Great, great people. These are great, great men and women that get congressional Medal of Honor. Thank you, Woody.”

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/08/21/donald-trump-give-himself-medal-of-honor-1470950

This reminds us of the time during the campaign when Trump joked that the Russians probably had the 30,000 missing Clinton emails, and the entire press corps took that as evidence of him either asking a foreign nation to hack a political rival or colluding Putin to rig the election. To suggest, with a straight face, that Trump wanted to give himself a Medal of Honor is the height of partisan stupidity.

And a lie.

Analysis:

Other assertions above – we couldn’t call them lies – were mostly taken out of context or not well explained. It sounds silly to think Trump would release ISIS fighters in Europe until you look into the matter:

U.S. officials have been urging allies—largely unsuccessfully—to take back and try their own citizens. But European governments, concerned that the kind of battlefield evidence they have about the fighters won’t prove admissible in domestic courts, have so far resisted calls to repatriate either the men or their wives and children. The situation is straining the SDF’s capacity, and the U.S. has already been forced to call in surveillance support to help put down a jailbreak from a detention facility in Derik, in northeastern Syria. 

https://www.defenseone.com/politics/2019/08/trump-threatens-release-isis-fighters-france-germany/159361/

Trump did suggest Jews would be disloyal to vote Democrat because of the Party’s apparent acceptance of Antisemitism in the form of Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib and others. PZ Myers likes to suggest Trump is a white supremacist, but refuses to acknowledge the troubling positions of politicians on his side of the aisle. Another blog we regularly read has a running gag where they call Trump the Worst. Nazi. Ever. every time positive stories about him and Israel come up in the press. It’s a subject about which PZ Myers will never have anything to say, because it is evidence that cuts against his theory of this President.

Final Tally:

Today: 0 science-related posts, 5 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 88 science-related posts, 267 non-science posts.

25% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 1 PZ Myers Lie

Since 30 May 19: 94 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

5 Aug – A Lie PZ Myers Will Never Correct

About a month ago, we noted two lies PZ Myers told about the US National Women’s Soccer team. We noted at the time he and the people at Skepchick used some dodgy numbers and articles that predated the current collective bargaining agreement.

Following up on those stories, US Soccer recently released an open letter addressing the charges of unequal pay made by the members of the World Champion women’s team. They were right, they are definitively not being paid the same as the men.

They’re being paid more.

At my request, U.S. Soccer staff conducted an extensive analysis of the past 10 years of U.S. Soccer’s financials.  Based on this analysis, we’ve produced the following fact sheet, which has been reviewed by an independent accounting firm…

Over the past decade, U.S. Soccer has paid our Women’s National Team more than our Men’s National Team.  From 2010 through 2018, U.S. Soccer paid our women $34.1 million in salaries and game bonuses and we paid our men $26.4 million—not counting the significant additional value of various benefits that our women’s players receive but which our men do not.

https://www.ussoccer.com/governance/board-of-directors/us-soccer-president-carlos-cordeiro/open-letter-july-29-2019-finding-common-ground

Were PZ Myers intellectually honest, he would cover this astonishing news, explain his error and apologize. Except he’s not, so he won’t. This news will sail past, unnoticed, like everything else that doesn’t conform to his evangelical progressive ideology.

Just one lie to cover today. Ho, hum, PZ Myers claimed the President of the United States is a white nationalist based on no evidence whatsover.

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

We are in an intolerable situation. The president is a white nationalist bigot, and the senate is controlled by another greedy bigot. The Democrats are in denial and are avoiding doing anything about the putrid, rotting elephant in the room — impeachment proceedings are vital at this point.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/08/05/here-be-monsters-and-were-lacking-in-heroes/

Facts:

We’ve mentioned before that we’re not going to count PZ calling Trump a racist as a lie anymore, but this is different. PZ isn’t just claiming Trump holds racist views or tolerates those who do. He’s not claiming Trump takes it easy on white supremacists because he’s pandering for votes. No, he claims Trump is a white nationalist based on, well, nothing. This is an extraordinary claim and those usually require extraordinary evidence, but not in this case. Never with Trump. Any claim about Trump, no matter how extraordinary, apparently requires no evidence because PZ provides none.

Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, is just collateral damage here. We have no idea why PZ think’s he’s a bigot, and once again no evidence is offered in support of his claim.

Two lies, but given our longstanding practice to give PZ the benefit of the doubt, we’re counting it as one.

Analysis:

We note that PZ was on a rant here about the mass murder in El Paso, TX, but failed to mention – as we predicted he wouldn’t – the mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. That murderer was a progressive antifa leftist and as such will remain forever invisible to PZ Myers.

For the record, we don’t think that progressive political ideas had anything to do with the mass murders he committed, just as we don’t think conservative political ideas have anything to do with the murders in El Paso. But PZ Myers thinks one side of the political spectrum is guilty in that regard and the other is completely innocent.

And it’s a lie.

Final Tally:

Today: 1 science-related post, 4 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 81 science-related posts, 205 non-science posts.

28% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 1 PZ Myers Lie

Since 30 May 19: 80 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

29-30 July – PZ Myers Goes On a Science Spree! And Two More Lies!

We took yesterday off due to other commitments and we came back to a stunning development: a scientist actually blogging about science! PZ Myers has been talking more about science these past two days than he has about politics, which is a first since we started keeping tabs here at PZWatch. We’re excited about this development and hope it continues, but we’re also realists who know every time we’ve praised PZ, he’s immediately gone back to his old ways. So there’ll probably be no science for the next week, given our track record and his.

But there will be lies. We have two to cover today.

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

Child murderer was a white nationalist

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/29/child-murderer-was-a-white-nationalist/

Facts:

The lie this time is in the title of the post, which goes on to discuss the recent murders at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. PZ linked to a Heavy.com article about the murders as substantiation of his claim, but there is a problem. Santiago William Legan, the 19-year-old who killed three people at the festival before being killed by police, does not appear to be a white nationalist.

Heavy.com does not make the claim that Legan was a white nationalist, PZ Myers does. And he bases it off a single post on Instagram that reads, in its entirety: “Read Might Is Right by Ragnar Redbeard. Why overcrowd towns and pave more open space to make room for hordes of mestizos and Silicon Valley white twats?”

We’re not sure what to make of the second sentence, but it doesn’t seem to be typical of white nationalist talk. And we haven’t read Might is Right, but Leo Tolstoy apparently did and describes it as follows:

The substance of this book, as it is expressed in the editor’s preface, is that to measure “right” by the false philosophy of the Hebrew prophets and “weepful” Messiahs is madness. Right is not the offspring of doctrine, but of power. All laws, commandments, or doctrines as to not doing to another what you do not wish done to you, have no inherent authority whatever, but receive it only from the club, the gallows, and the sword. A man truly free is under no obligation to obey any injunction, human or divine. Obedience is the sign of the degenerate. Disobedience is the stamp of the hero.

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

Others have described it as containing “open sexism and racism” or as a “proto-fascist white power manifesto.”

PZ apparently relies on this last description to base his claim, however he leaves something out. Legan self-identified as half Italian and half Iranian. Another of Legan’s Instagram posts contain a picture of his maternal grandfather, Ali Ashgar Vahabzadeh.

Additionally, this LA Times story contains the following tidbit:

Amid the screams, flying bullets and bloodshed that erupted on a warm summer evening at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on Sunday, someone shouted a pivotal question at the gunman: “Why are you doing this?”


Because I’m really angry,” the gunman replied, according to Jack Van Breen, who spoke with reporters after performing at the festival with his band, TinMan.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-07-29/gilroy-garlic-festival-shooting-suspect

All of which leads us to classify this as a lie. There is not enough information about Legan’s views for PZ to claim that he was a white nationalist.

Analysis:

This is a classic case of confirmation bias. PZ wants to see a connection – any connection – with white nationalism/fascism so he can claim once again that antifa are the good guys simply fighting for right. Except its unclear how antifa would have ever known about half Italian, half Iranian Legan, as there does not appear to be much of a digital/social media record of him.

But PZ doesn’t really care about these kinds of nuances. He has a point to make and he won’t let facts get in the way of that.

PZ Myers Lie #2 [in bold]:

Whoa. When my kids were starting college, I was making $40K/year, and we didn’t even own a home — we were renting. Yet we managed to scrimp and save and get all three kids through four years of college. So that family is bringing in a quarter million per year, and they haven’t managed to set aside any money for their kids’ education? What have they been spending their money on? 

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/30/the-rich-are-weird/

Facts:

PZ is discussing a Wall Street Journal article about wealthy parents transferring guardianship of their children in order to get legal aid. And the bolded questions above seem perfectly legitimate, except the article answers them in the exact snippet PZ posts in the blog.

One Chicago-area woman told The Wall Street Journal that she transferred guardianship of her then 17-year-old daughter to her business partner last year. While her household income is greater than $250,000 a year, she said, she and her husband have spent about $600,000 putting several older children through college and have no equity in their home, which is valued at about $1.2 million, according to the property website Zillow. She said she has little cash on hand and little saved for her daughter’s education.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/college-financial-aid-loophole-wealthy-parents-transfer-guardianship-of-their-teens-to-get-aid-11564450828

According to the article they had set over a half-million dollars aside for their kids education, but spent it on their older children. Note: we are in no way condoning what these parents did, we’re just saying PZ Myers lied about it.

Analysis:

PZ started off the post on another rant about Trump, and these people were just caught in the crossfire. And speaking of his Trump rant, it serves as a great example of the pettiness of PZ Myers. He tries to suggest Trump doesn’t understand that he has to hit the “heart” next to a tweet in order to “like” it. Instead, PZ quotes from a NY Mag column that says:

The president has even been known to sends printouts of tweets he likes. After he liked one Gaetz tweet, he had it printed by a staffer, signed it and requested that it be sent to Gaetz’s congressional office, where the now-framed tweet hangs.

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/07/trumps-method-of-liking-tweets-is-needlessly-complicated.html

Except, there’s a perfect normal reason for Trump to not hit the “heart” button – everyone else will see it. He may not wish to advertise what Tweets he likes, simple as that.

Trump uses Twitter more than any other President and we find it unbelievable to suggest he doesn’t understand a key feature of the platform. But not for PZ.

Final Tally:

Today: 7 science-related posts, 4 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 76 science-related posts, 178 non-science posts.

30% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 2 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 75 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

18 July – Everyone Who Doesn’t Agree With PZ Myers is a Racist!

Also, the sky is falling.

Casablanca is one of our favorite movies of all time. Made in 1942, it no-so-subtly urged a reluctant America to enter the war against the Nazis in Germany. At one point Rick, the protagonist, references the bombing of Pearl Harbor and asks, “If it is December 1941 in Casablanca, what time is it in New York?”

PZ asks a similar question today, “It’s 1932. What are you doing?”

We’ll tell you at the end what we’re doing. First, the lies.

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

If you are a Republican, you’re racist. If you vote Republican, you are a racist. If you live in a county that voted for Trump, you live in a racist county. Trump himself is an unabashed racist.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/18/r-stands-for-racist/

Facts:

Just a week ago we mentioned that we weren’t going to call PZ’s assertions that Trump is racist a lie anymore because PZ has defined the word racism to mean whatever he wants it to mean. But, here he just goes overboard and smears half the country with a lie. We don’t see the need to spend too much time rebutting this obvious falsehood – we’ve talked about it before – but if you need further proof it’s a lie, try Scherie Murray on for size. She’s challenging Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – one of PZ’s favorite members of congress – for her seat next year. We wonder if Scherie thinks the Republican Party is racist.

Analysis:

This sort of thing is what keeps us fascinated in PZ Myers. As a scientist, he would never issue blanket declarations like this about half of the spider research community, for instance. But, he has no problem branding half the country with the racist label simply for having ideas different to his. This hatred has nothing to do with Trump. It pre-dated Trump and will go on long after Trump is gone. His first two sentences above don’t mention Trump at all.

No, this is all about people who think differently, and PZ wants to smear them all.

That, in another context, would be easily identified as bigotry. On Pharyngula, it counts as reasoned thought, we suppose.

PZ Myers Lie #2 [in bold]:

We’ve got a demagogue holding rallies (Why is he still doing that? Doesn’t he have work to do?) and leading mobs in racist chants, threatening to deport or jail people, journalists and opposition politicians, for being brown. 

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/18/r-stands-for-racist/

Facts:

Leaving aside for a moment the question of whether or not “Send her back” is a racist chant, the fact is that the President didn’t “lead” the chant, he didn’t instruct the people present at the rally to say those words, and later on disavowed the chant altogether.

Additionally, the President has never threatened to deport or jail anyone for being brown, but especially not an opposition politician. PZ just makes it up whole cloth, turning this into yet another patented lie.

Analysis:

In our open, we noted the fact that PZ Myers thinks 2019 resembles 1932 and wonders what all right (left) thinking progressives are going to do about it. The situation sounds bleak, ominous, even “edgy,” perhaps, but it occurs to us we’ve heard all this before.

Steven Heyward, over at the conservative Powerline blog, gives a great rundown of examples in US history where people seemed to be at least as divided as they are today.

Here is a smattering of thoughts from 1964:

San Francisco Mayor John Shelley said Republicans “had Mein Kampf as their political bible.” Columnist Drew Pearson, for example, wrote that “the smell of fascism has been in the air at this convention.” The Chicago Defender ran the headline: “GOP Convention, 1964 Recalls Germany, 1933.”

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/07/democrats-cant-take-their-own-medicine.php

So it appears nothing much has changed in the last 55 years. We note, with a small degree of curiosity, how the United States turned out not to have descended into fascism after the Republican Party made Barry Goldwater their nominee in 1964. In fact, the years since have seen the demise of totalitarian regimes around the world while the United States has increased representation and the rights of its citizens on almost every front since then.

Is there any reason to think that, since the sky didn’t fall in 1964, it’s going to fall today? No.

That’s why, to answer PZ’s question, it might be 1932, but we’re not doing much.

Except exposing his lies.

Final Tally:

Today: 0 science-related posts, 3 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 52 science-related posts, 143 non-science posts.

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

Today: 2 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 61 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

15 July – PZ Myers and Terrorism

It’s been an interesting couple months for PZ Myers. On May 26th, he was touting the peaceful nature of progressive activists. On July 15th, he’s writing fondly about a progressive terrorist.

There’s plenty to get into today, so let’s dig right in.

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

There’s an argument to be made that he was committing acts of violence and that he was a terrorist. I’d disagree; a terrorist is trying to intimidate civilians with fear, while Willem Van Spronsen was targeting the tools of institutional oppression to stop terror. 

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/15/if-you-dont-like-punching-nazis-youre-going-to-hate-this/

Facts:

Correctly defining terrorism is, as the Wikipedia page makes clear, fraught with challenges. Like “concentration camp,” “Nazi,” or “fascist,” it only means what the writer wants it to mean. So while we disagree with PZ’s definition here, we won’t call it a lie. The bold portion of his claim, however, is a different story.

PZ is commenting here on a Washington Post article about an attack on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center in Tacoma, Washington. As the E in the acronym makes clear, ICE is an organization charged with the mission of enforcing United States immigration law. These laws were passed by a constitutionally elected body of representatives, signed into law by an elected chief executive, and upheld as lawful by the third branch of the United States government, the judiciary. Additionally, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution…

…granted citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the United States—including former slaves—and guaranteed all citizens “equal protection of the laws.”

https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/fourteenth-amendment

Institutional oppression, according to Wikipedia:

occurs when established laws, customs, and practices systemically reflect and produce inequities based on one’s membership in targeted social identity groups.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oppression#Institutionalized_oppression

Does a nation enforcing its lawfully passed and enacted immigration laws constitute an act of institutional oppression? If it does, then the words institutional oppression have no meaning. People living outside of the United States cannot be oppressed by its institutions. Those who make the choice to enter the United States without following the law as it pertains to immigration cannot then truthfully claim to be oppressed when the institutions of the United States government enforce those laws.

Analysis:

We have emigrated, on two different occasions, to countries outside the US, so we have some first-hand experience in this area. We also roughly agree with PZ Myers’s open-borders stance, to a point. But lying about what ICE does is no way to bring about immigration reform that benefits the families of those escaping brutal leftist regimes in Central and Southern America.

We also want to touch on PZ’s embrace of violence, but we’ll go more in depth after the next lie.

PZ Myers Lie #2:

There is the truly criminal act, the state terrorism we stand by and watch: private companies paid by the government to imprison innocents for being born in the ‘wrong’ place.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/15/if-you-dont-like-punching-nazis-youre-going-to-hate-this/

Facts:

ICE does not imprison innocent people for being born in the wrong place. ICE temporarily imprisons people born in a country other than the US who make a conscious decision to enter the country in violation of immigration law.

Analysis:

At the outset of this post we said PZ has had an interesting couple of months. In late May, he was trying to persuade us that progressives were:

…still not doing real physical harm against opponents who have shot people, murdered them with cars, or dispatched roving gangs to assault people on the street. They are throwing dairy products or eggs.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/05/26/comrades-to-the-barricadeserrm-the-dairy-queen/

Today, he borderline celebrates a man armed with a gun and incendiary devices, whose actions could have…

…resulted in the mass murder of staff and detainees housed at the facility had he been successful at setting the tank ablaze,” Shawn Fallah, who heads the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility, said in a statement. “These are the kinds of incidents that keep you up at night.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/07/14/armed-man-throwing-incendiary-devices-ice-detention-center-killed-officer-involved-shooting-police-say/

PZ says this about him:

Will Van Spronsen is a human being who acted against evil.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/15/if-you-dont-like-punching-nazis-youre-going-to-hate-this/

We’re mostly stunned. Normally, when an unstable individual commits some act of madness armed with a gun that either could have or did result in massive loss of life, PZ is beside himself with righteous indignation, yelling at the NRA and stupid Republicans for enabling them. Today, he seems to have turned over a new leaf, welcoming this kind of violence as long as it’s directed against “evil.”

And once again, that “evil” is an entirely lawful organization enforcing the entirely lawful immigration laws of the United States.

We got a little too heated in our analysis of PZ’s post excusing the antifa violence against Andy Ngo, so we’ll stop here. But something has happened over the last two months, and we’re not sure where it will lead.

AN ALMOST PZ Myers Lie:

This is not the first time Trump has gone on a racist tirade.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/15/asked-answered/

Analysis:

“Racist” is another word without a meaning in today’s political climate. The four-tweet “tirade” PZ refers to from Trump today says not one word about race, but people all over the country are calling it racist, up to and including NY Times columnists. So, it would be unfair for us to call this a PZ Myers lie.

We do reserve the right to investigate any claims PZ makes that other people are racist, but for now we’ll let him get away with calling Trump a racist not because it’s true, but because the word has been redefined to mean exactly anything the speaker intends it to mean.

Final Tally:

Today: 2 science-related posts, 3 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 49 science-related posts, 133 non-science posts.

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

Today: 2 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 57 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

10 July – 50 Lies! And a Glimpse Into How PZ Myers Distorts Reality

We began chronicling the lies of PZ Myers 43 days ago. At the time, we wondered how long it would take to reach arbitrary milestones like 50, or 100, or 500 lies. We figured a lie a day is about what we could expect, and would result in regular content for the website.

We weren’t too far off. With six weeks of data in the can, we can confirm PZ Myers tells an average of 1.16 lies a day on Pharyngula (we love the overly specific number). Assuming he can maintain that rate, he will reach lie #100 on or about August 23rd, and lie #500 sometime in September next year, assuming we still have the courage to read PZ every day for that long.

These lies are not meaningless, either. They have an effect, both individually and cumulatively. We experienced it first hand today, and it led us to uncovering PZ’s lie.

We’ll explain in the Analysis section below. Lies are powerful, even if you’re someone who actively seeks them out.

PZ Myers Lie:

You don’t want to follow that clown. I looked, and it’s all flag-waving MAGA racist garbage, as you might expect.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/10/a-glimpse-into-the-darkness/

Facts:

“That clown,” is a reference to Twitter user Ck (@lavindir75) who, it’s safe to say, is a flag-waving Trump supporter. But are they racist? We scrolled through several weeks of their timeline and couldn’t find a single racist tweet or sentiment. To the contrary, Ck retweeted statistics showing lower minority unemployment under Trump than under Obama. In short, the charge that Ck is a racist appears to be false, meaning this is another PZ Myers lie.

Analysis:

Just yesterday, we mentioned the fact that PZ has a habit of lying about the very source material he posts to Pharyngula, and here is yet another example. Ck self-identifies as a Mexican American Trump supporter, which PZ probably thinks is a lie (and we’re not assuming its gospel truth, either) but having lived in San Antonio, Texas for a time it doesn’t seem that out of place to us at all.

For us, Ck isn’t the interesting part of this lie. What is interesting is that we missed it the first time around. As we made our initial pass through the post we saw the words MAGA and racist and our brain responded by thinking “that’s just how PZ talks.” We tacitly accepted that formulation until we came back for a closer look. That’s when we said, “wait a minute, let’s check this out.”

We experienced first hand the effects of PZ Myers’ non-stop lying about his political opponents. For years he’s equated support for Trump with racism – which is a lie – and even we, who are highly attuned to sniffing out his lies, fell for it.

It’s probably apropos for this lie to fall on an arbitrary and meaningless number like 50, because it validates the reasons we embarked on this journey in the first place.

Two people can’t have a real conversation if one of them consistently lies about the other. And if all you can do is lie, then you shouldn’t expect to be a serious part of any conversation.

Final Tally:

Today: 1 science-related post, 5 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 43 science-related posts, 116 non-science posts.

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

Today: 1 PZ Myers Lie

Since 30 May 19: 50 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

4 June 2019 – Trump and Fox News! Two Topics Right in PZ’s Wheelhouse

We haven’t seen PZ talk about Trump in the short time we’ve had this site active, and that’s surprising because Trump’s been living rent-free in PZ’s head for years. But a Presidential visit to the UK and a couple tweets about Fake News and PZ’s so apoplectic he can’t tell the truth!

PZ Myers Lie:

“First thing he does on his trip to the UK is look for Fox News, and get distressed when he can’t find it..”

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/06/04/boorish-buffoon-baffled-by-british-boobtube/

 Facts:

PZ links to a Raw Story piece breathlessly reporting on a couple Trump tweets. The only problem for PZ is that Trump never mentions Fox News – he calls out CNN specifically in the tweets cited by the piece. PZ simply makes this up.

Analysis:

We actually see a lot of commonalities between PZ Myers and Donald Trump. Both use lies in the furtherance of their own agenda, only we think Trump is doing it at a much higher level. We didn’t quite understand the game of 3D chess Trump plays until we read Scott Adams’ analysis prior to the 2016 election, and we’ve not looked at Trump the same way ever since.

PZ is a less successful version of Trump, obviously, but he’s also not really playing the same game. Trump uses lies in the service of persuasion – to try to get himself a favorable deal or press coverage or the like. PZ doesn’t want a deal. He wants everyone to view the world through the lens of his lies and act in a way that pleases him.

He can’t compromise. There are no deals for PZ Myers.

But there are lies. Lots of them

 PZ Myers Lie #2:

Old man, there’s a reason Fox News died in the UK: it’s the Republican Party Propaganda Channel.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/06/04/boorish-buffoon-baffled-by-british-boobtube/

Facts:

This is clearly a lie for two reasons. Fox News went off the air in the UK both because of its ratings and a pending 21st Century Fox deal to buy Sky, not because it is a “propaganda channel.” Secondly, while it undoubtedly tilts farther to the right than most other major media outlets, Fox News is not a “propaganda channel” for the Republican Party. Many liberal Democrats work for Fox News and anyone who has spent any amount of time watching the channel will tell you, at least two sides of a political debate are usually represented on the network.

Analysis:

We here at PZWatch have a personal connection to the network. We sat down with Roger Ailes some years ago while he was still running the network and he explained to us their philosophy. The very first anecdote he cited was the network’s decision to report on George W. Bush’s arrest for DWI just before Election Day in 2000, a move that could have cost him the election with Al Gore. The “propaganda channel” of the Republican Party wouldn’t have done that, and while we will agree that Fox is more friendly than, say, MSNBC to conservative guests and ideas, to accuse them of propaganda is a blatant lie.

PZ Myers Lie #3:

“It’s a narrow niche, and people outside the USA and outside of your partisan worldview find it repellent and ugly.”

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/06/04/boorish-buffoon-baffled-by-british-boobtube/

Facts:

PZ is still talking about Fox News in this quote. We’ve lived outside the US for many years now and can confirm the people do not find the cable channel repellent or ugly. We also find it a bit strange to have to write that sentence, but then again we are in the business of documenting PZ Myers’s lies so we’re going to have to write a lot of strange sentences.

Analysis:

There is something about Fox News that winds PZ up almost as much as Trump does. We’re not quite sure what it is, but we’d love to bottle it and sell it to University of Minnesota Morris biology students. They could torment him for years.

We think it might have something to do with Fox News’ popularity. For decades it’s been the most watched cable news channel, and PZ can’t abide a news organization not hewing closely to the progressive party line. Balance is most definitely not something he’s interested in.

And neither is truth, which is why we end today with three PZ Myers lies.

Final Tally:

Today: 0 science, 4 MORE posts on politics.

Since 30 May 19: 3 science-related posts, 21 non-science posts

Today: 3 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 11 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.