Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lies the Harper Haters Tell, Part 1

Considering the raw hatred frequently being expressed for Stephen Harper over social networking sites like Twitter this election season, it shouldn't be shocking to see a website like ShitHarperDid.ca attract such a quick following.

What is remarkable is the steady stream of half-truths, innuendo, and outright lies that the website offers up.

Frankly, the ShitHarperDid website has proven to be so dishonest that one could fact-check its claims for days. Here at the Nexus, we'll be doing precisely that.

We start off with a familiar fib:
The CBC story in question about the "evolution scandal" (it wasn't a scandal) does a splendid job of telling about half of the story.

The other half of the story is that Goodyear later affirmed his belief in evolution, explaining that evolution is on ongoing process. Thinking themselves clever, the far-left responded by trying to excise the function of adaptation from the theory of natural selection.

In other words, they actually attempted to butcher scientific theory in order to pose as the defenders of it. Amazing.

As for the cuts the website complains of, the Harper government did, indeed, cut $148 million in 2009... from three specific agencies. While increasing bulk spending on science (including establishing 40 new Canada Research Chairs, and investing extensively in scientific infrastructure) by $3.5 billion.

In other words, Canadian science gave up $148 million in funding to receive $3.5 billion in new funding. But who's counting? Not the people behind ShitHarperDid.

As for the Environment Canada scientists, no organization in the world allows its employees to speak as if acting as official spokespersons without first obtaining the proper authorization. Moreover, plenty of climate alarmists have tried to muzzle any scientists who don't agree with them, but again: who's counting? Really?


10 comments:

  1. And how or why pray tell are the "half-truths, innuendo, and outright lies" on that site any different from the "half-truths, innuendo, and outright lies" on any partisan blog, or campaign website, or political party website, or contained in any attack ad on TV or radio today?

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  2. That's not an unfair question at all.

    My immediate impression is that we expect partisans to embellish the truth to make it look favourable to them.

    I have also found that a lot of these anti-Harper groups are describing themselves as "non-partisan". They do this to ascribe to a higher standard of credibility, so my view on this is that they'd better deliver.

    ShitHarperDid simply declines to deliver on that, so in my view they deserve to be called out.

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  3. Ah ... you mean like the good folks at the National Citizens Coalition who claim on their Facebook page:
    "We are Canada's largest non-partisan organization for the defence and promotion of free enterprise, free speech and government that is accountable to its taxpayers".

    Have you seen their three stooges gig?

    Are they worth calling out?

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  4. I clearly did see the NCC Three Stooges vid, as I posted it here.

    Did I miss something? Did it actually make any factual claims?

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  5. did you read his example of what he thought "evolution" means?

    by evolution, scientists are referring to "evolution by natural selection". if he is in charge of science, he should know at least this much. it is clear that he is either ignorant, or thinks that we are ignorant. neither is professional.

    also, science funding aside, the canadian government, under the conservatives, have restructured how funds are allocated. professional scientists are keeping their mouths shut in public, but they are hopping mad. A collection of prestigious science professionals wrote an open letter to the government. http://dontleavecanadabehind.wordpress.com/open-letter-to-the-prime-minister-and-leader-of-the-opposition/

    the letter is kind of technical, but to summarize it says: "you've politicized science funding, and you should know that funding finance students doesn't count as funding science. "

    So. Please reassess your claims

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  6. Apparently, you didn't read your Darwin very closely. Adaptation is a central mechanism of natural selection.

    As for a few scientists complaining about cuts to specific agencies, I'm unconvinced. The $148 million cut to three specific agencies is dwarfed not only by the gross increase in science funding in that budget, but also by the net increase.

    Check it out. The $148 million cut is actually only 4% of the $3.5 billion increase to scientific funding. Increase.

    Not to mention the productivity-multiplying benefits the capital investments in question will render. It's almost like youre complaining about a mosquito bite while not bothering to appreciate the bigger biceps the Harper government has helped provide for Canadian scientists.

    A few malcontents grumbling about what they deem insufficient support for the specific projects of their choice do not justify the kinds of half-truths the ShitHarperDid website is spewing.

    I'm not the one who should reevaluate anything. ShitHarperDid should be honest with the Canadian public.

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  7. I'm not sure if you know how evolution works. there's this thing called genetics. you have some genes, and you pass those genes to your kids. and if you're not lucky, or if your genes are ill suited to your environment, you don't have kids. so future generations don't inherit your genes, and your characteristics will disappear from future generations.

    so maybe you could tell me what walking down the cement? or chiropractors? has to do with this process.

    and as for money. money is good. It's like how fertilizer helps plants grow. but you can't grow a garden using fertilizer alone. what they've done amounts to pulling up all the trees, planing them upside down, and then throwing fertilizer on the dog next door.

    right now there is a scientific community in canada, and the community has figured on a tradition that allows for good research, and also trains the next generation of scientists. It isn't productive to break up what works, you know?

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  8. @Patrick Ros: My point is that the video (indeed their website) is clearly a partisan offering from a group claiming to be non-partisan - see your earlier comment re "... anti-Harper groups are describing themselves as "non-partisan". They do this to ascribe to a higher standard of credibility...".

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  9. @bnbn - No, it's clear that you don't understand how evolution works. Adaptations that are advantageous to survival are (under natural conditions) accepted, those that are not are eventually bred out.

    If you really think that walking on concrete has had no effect on human evolution, you should consider the effects that the adoption of footwear has had on human evolution.

    There are some very interesting studies into the genetic inheritability of these kinds of adaptations.

    Prior et al (2007) is just one study to consider. Just for starters.

    Moreover, your interpetation of how genetics works is sub-elementary. Having genes poorly suited to the environment does not guarantee an individual will not reproduce. It increases the likelihood that individual will not survive to reproduce, but does not guarantee that individual will not reproduce.

    Now, this actually overlooks the fact that modern medical science has actually preempted natural selection in many regards.

    So that's just how you're wrong about evolution.

    Moreover, there are really very few scientists in Canada who are objecting to the investments the Tories have made. Find me a scientist who actually objects to improvements in scientific infrastructure & capital. Go ahead.

    Reassessing anything yet?


    @Stageleft - The NCC is, indeed, non-partisan. It has in many cases criticized the Harper government for many things, including the current budget deficit.

    Even this aside, I think you have a worthy point if you interpret the video as spreading innuendo that Ignatieff, Layton and Duceppe are planning to form another coalition if they lose the election.

    But the video doesn't make any factual claims. ShitHarperDid is making factual claims out the wazoo, and it seems like the vast majority of them are either simply incorrect by virtue of omitting the factual details, or outright flagrant lies.

    In this particular case, we have an example of a claim rendered incorrect by deliberately omitting the details. Trust me, I've built up a decent batting order of a dozen or more, and I'll be blasting those over the fence at a rate of about one a day until I've emptied the barrel.

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  10. @bnbn I'm going to take an opportunity to clarify: I'm referring to skeletal/muscular adaptations resulting from wearing footwear and walking on concrete.

    But I find it interesting that you chose not to comment on Goodyear's reference to adaptation to the intensity of the sun, as that's a much more obvious example.

    (Interestingly enough, science suggests that the darker skin is not necessarily an adaptation that prevents burning, but actually one that prevents over-saturation of Vitamin D.)

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