The Left’s Problem With Facts Concerns Me Greatly

tumblr_me89wvDDp21ql2wy7o1_500From time to time, people will be puzzled when I write articles on science. Trust me, all I have to do is mention GMOs, Monsanto, conspiracy nuts or Food Babe, and I will suddenly be inundated with angry comments wherever my article is posted.

Take for example a story I wrote a little while back exposing the Facebook page “The Mind Unleashed,” which now has over 5.5 million followers. It had hundreds of comments (A LOT from angry conspiracy nuts) and has been read nearly 144,000 times. One of the recurring themes from the detractors was that criticizing pseudoscience and science denialists wasn’t political and certainly not progressive. Over and over again I heard that I should stick to only calling out conservatives, because calling out people on the left for believing in stuff that was just as ridiculous as conservatives denying climate change was somehow wrong.

Perhaps the greatest honor was being featured by one of the wackiest of all conspiracy pages I’ve seen so far; one called “Disinformation Directory,” which is devoted to believing that airplane contrails are actually chemicals being purposefully sprayed by the government. They posted this one on August 11th and made a point to track me down and let me know I was “on their list.” Ooooooo, scary.

Manny Schewitz (@MannySchewitz) is the one who is acting like a stark-raving, foaming-at-the-mouth lunatic here with his piece on the “chemtrails conspiracy” (not to mention he throws in ALL other conspiracies in an attempt to discredit the anti-geoengineering movement). His story is based on emotion, not facts.

This guy is considered a journalist? Does he do ANY research? He clearly didn’t do any here. His opinion, 100%. No research. No facts. Just his opinion and lumping EVERYTHING together so that he can try to fool people into believing he knows what he’s talking about. He doesn’t.

There is NOTHING either Forward or Progressive about this piece. Can’t you just feel the saliva being spewed forth from his mouth? Get a grip, pal.

Finally, a “well-meaning liberal”? Does that mean that the outcome, reality, and consequences DO NOT MATTER and only “their” intentions? (Source)

Contrary to their opinion I actually proved a point, and all you have to do is look at many of the angry comments to see that. What is that point? It is that scientific illiteracy and denialism are problems that are not confined to just one side of the aisle – crazy and ignorant don’t know political boundaries.

Sure, how many times have we pointed and laughed at conservatives who angrily claim that 97% of scientists are wrong and that climate change is just a liberal plot to take away freedoms? Or how about those who believe that any moment now, President Obama is going to send in UN troops to seize their guns and put their kids in reeducation camps?

The problem is that on the left, despite all the proclamations of being better and smarter, there’s a tremendous amount of ignorance that we need to address. Just yesterday in one Rachel Maddow fan club Facebook group I belong to, at least a couple of people called for Allen West to be charged with sedition, never mind the fact that the Sedition Act was repealed in 1920. I’m sure if Rachel saw the conversation, she’d facepalm so hard she’d knock herself out. Others didn’t know that no declaration of war was issued by Congress for the current military action against ISIS, or that one guy who posted a link to Allen West’s Facebook page with this comment:

LET’S TAKE THIS SUCKER OUT. FLOOD HIS SITE AND CHARGE HIM WITH TREASON. DEMAND HE GIVE HIMSELF UP TO THE DOJ FOR PROSECUTION!

If we’re going to win elections, we on the left are going to have to stop with false comparisons and responding to every call to be outraged about things that aren’t as important as keeping the Senate out of Republican hands in November. Let’s start practicing some critical thinking, stop signing useless Moveon.org petitions, and for the love of god, learn to stop typing in all caps.


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  • Jim Bean

    I would submit that if the Left-wing were to apply critical thinking across the board, it would cease to exist. Nevertheless, I find this article to be the most sensible I’ve read on this site. I would only question the wisdom of the desire to keep the Senate out of Republican hands this November. If it stays in the Dem’s hands, we’re destined to two more years like the last six. There is nothing ‘progressive’ about that.

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    • Jennifer Elisabeth

      Run along now, the adults are talking here.

      • Jim Bean

        A positive self image is an attribute. A superior self image – not so much.

    • John

      It’s obvious that Hilary will be the next president unless the GOP can find someone within a year. While I consider myself right leaning, I would prefer we not have an obstructionist Congress who just tries to make life hard for the President, like we have now.

      • Jim Bean

        I know of few, if any, right leaning people who tremble at the thought of Hillary as President. She an old, white, hawkish, beltway-establishment politician who had no grievance with the way the nation was before Obama came along to ‘fix’ it. Its the Left-leaning people who would be trembling – if their commitment to their left-wing agenda were sincere.

      • Mrs_oatmeal

        Did you forget she worked hard to get healthcare on the front burner? Did you also not Know that Colin Powell says she is the most qualified person in the country to be President? There are many items she has issues with ie. women’s issues. Head out of the sand and look around.

      • Jim Bean

        She has issues with women’s issues just like Obama had issues with Gitmo and was focused like a laser on jobs. No matter how often you folks fall in the hole, you refuse to look at where you’re about to place your next step.

      • William Carr

        Obama ordered Gitmo shut down; Congress blocked it.

        Obama put forward dozens of Jobs Bills.

        The GOP Filibustered them.

        INCLUDING the Veteran’s Jobs Bill !

      • Jim Bean

        All the Presidents jobs bills were geared towards creating revenue consuming (taxpayer funded) jobs. We need the type of jobs that CREAT revenue and grow GDP so we can improve overall prosperity. Robbing Peter to pay Paul is a zero sum adventure.

    • Cathy Herman

      There’s nothing Progressive about it because you’ll get their agenda crammed down our throats instead of just blocking everything. It’s regressive at least 100 yrs socially. Thanks for drilling home the point of this article!

    • crabjack

      You keep saying left, jimbo, when you obviously mean right.

    • FuzzyBunnyFeet

      Heck yeah I want to keep the Senate in Democratic hands. I also want to see the House returned to Democratic control. The first 2 years (give or take) of the Obama administration was a period of real accomplishment before the No-Nothing GOTP took control of the House and ground all substantive progress to a halt.

      • Jim Bean

        Besides ACA, what was accomplished?

      • FuzzyBunnyFeet

        While the ACA was the most signigicant, there was also the bail out of two automobile companies, thus saving 1 million auto worker jobs. Note: that bail out cost far less than Obama’s critics said it would.

        There was the economic stimulus package that arrested the economic free fall left behind by W.

        There were smaller accomplishments like the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act, and the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act. The point is, that things were accomplished until the GOTP got control of the House and ushered in two of the least productive congresses in U.S. history.

  • Ray Young

    In re: the person shouting that Allen West should be “taken out,” charged with treason, etc. – I would not be surprised if that was a right-wing troll attempting to drag the conversation down to his own level.

    • John

      Perhaps, but we shouldn’t lower ourselves to their level. It’s common for right-wingers to claim that any instances of right-wing lunacy are simply “dem libruls pretendin’ 2 be us.” I know an individual in my hometown who believes that Fred Phelps was actually a liberal attempting to make conservatives look bad.

      • Dosbilliam

        There was a Fox News story that said the same thing. It’s Poe’s Law. 😛

    • FuzzyBunnyFeet

      Thank you for repeating a favorite right-wing conspiracy trope.

      • Brian

        Are you implying paid shills and internet trolls don’t exist?

      • FuzzyBunnyFeet

        No, I’m saying that a favorite trope of the right is to speculate that liberals post radical right-wing comments as a way to discredit the right. 10 months ago, Ray Young reused the trope but speculates that right-wing trolls may be posting similar false flags.

        These speculations that the other side is acting like us (but more so) to discredit us is worthless speculation that can only engender distrust and cynicism.

  • Ronald Burr

    There are unhinged nut jobs all across the political spectrum. The big difference is that the ones on the left are usually called out by the sane who otherwise share their viewpoint while the ones on the right are elected.

    That being said I agree with you completely that we need to rein in these wackos.

    • dstatton

      The other big reason: the nuts on the left do not hold public office. OK, maybe one on the Berkeley city council, but none in congress.

    • Pez Dispenser

      Werd

  • James Worcester

    Sir, you stand corrected: 18 U.S. Code § 2384 – Seditious conspiracy

    Current through Pub. L. 113-163. (See Public Laws for the current Congress.)

    US Code

    Notes

    prev | nextIf two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both. (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 808; July 24, 1956, ch. 678, § 1,70 Stat. 623; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(N),Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2148.)

    Historical and Revision Notes

    Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., § 6 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, § 6,35 Stat. 1089).

    Amendments

    1994—Pub. L. 103–322substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $20,000”.

    1956—Act July 24, 1956, substituted “$20,000” for “$5,000”, and “twenty years” for “six years”.

    Effective Date of 1956 Amendment

    Act July 24, 1956, ch. 678, § 3,70 Stat. 624, provided that: “The foregoing amendments [amending this section and section 2385 of this title] shall apply only with respect to offenses committed on and after the date of the enactment of this Act [July 24, 1956].”

  • poppaDavid

    I for one, have been wondering if much of the rhetoric coming from the Democratic Party is geared to fund raising rather than real corrective action. Back in 2008, a simple rule change could have removed the filibuster weapon from the Republican arsenal and allowed the Senate to fill the empty judicial seats. Instead, they complained about the filibuster in their funding literature and left the seats empty. And there are so many other examples where they don’t fix problems so that they have something to use to raise campaign money.

    • William Carr

      The problem being that the Filibuster was a Congressional Tradition.

      The Republicans had threatened to Nuke the Filibuster in 2006, and Democrats agreed to a cease-fire.

      Republicans of course, broke their agreement to use the Filibuster sparingly.

      By 2008, Dems were still considered bound by the agreement.

      And the technicality is, the Senate Rules can only be changed on the “first day”… technically the first Session which might be two weeks long.

      So Harry Reid accepted MORE Republican promises, and then it was too late when they resumed Filibustering.

      Yes, Harry Reid should have ditched the Filibuster entirely at the beginning of the next Congress.

      But it’s a move that once made can’t be reversed.

      Certainly, the Republicans wouldn’t reinstate the Filibuster if they took control.

      I suspect they’d ditch it the first HOUR.

      As for “other problems”… you’d need to be more specific.

      What some Liberals don’t realize is that merely winning an Election doesn’t give you complete power.

      The Government is supposed to work by co-operation.

      It’s just the GOP has thrown all that out the window.

      Don’t blame the Democrats for being hesitant to do the same.

      • poppaDavid

        Thank you for your reasoned response. I would point out that the agreement in 2006 may have reasonably been applied to 2008. After the events of that Congress, it should have been strongly reviewed in 2010. There is no reason for it to be in place in 2012.

        If my code fails, my boss wants the base reason. Having a reason doesn’t relieve me of the requirement to FIX IT. You have given the reason, but it still needs to be fixed. Otherwise there is no reason to elect Democrats to a majority if they cannot do something as simple as getting a floor vote on significant legislation.

        BTW, the filibuster had such a long history because the Southern Democrats needed to keep Civil Rights legislation bottled up. That isn’t much of a reason to consider it a “hallowed tradition”.

        If the Democrats want to keep something, at the very least, go back to the “Mr. Smith goes to Washington” tradition and require the Senator take the floor and talk. Texas has a filibuster but they don’t even allow bathroom breaks.

    • Pez Dispenser

      Majority of the politicians aren’t geared to corrective action. Thats what I think! If I’m wrong please post some info for me.

  • Darrian

    Well I look at it this way, leftie conspiracy nuts are worried about mostly silly conspiracies, genetically modified corn and and chemtrails . Now anti vax is a bit more serious a subject ,but thankfully it’s a minority. The real difference is the right wingnuts well, their conspiracies have Koch brother type backing and are actually hindering legislation that could have an impact on a real danger to everyone on a planetary scale.

    So I’m of the opinion the problem with the left is a bit overstated ,while we should concentrate more on being united on the rights “war on the world”. I know a bit dramatic, but I feel called for.

  • Leaning Blue

    Manny, every sane person knows that there are crazy people on the far left and on the far right and you can call out the ignorant all you want but it will still be there. The reason liberals (well I speak mainly for myself) call out the crazies on the right more than the crazies on the left is because the crazies on the right get out and vote and they are actually voting crazies into office and I think that is extremely dangerous. The left is too damn lazy to get out and vote in every election. I call out my own, not for being crazy but for being apathetic, which is just as crazy. And you’re right, we on the left need to stop signing petitions and actually get OFF our lazy ass and VOTE! Sorry, but I like CAPS.

  • BURNTFUR

    Sorry but I have no reason to buy into the BS shoveled by this article. All I see day in and day out is the GOP and conservatives lock step on issues they have no business bringing to the table but highly affect lives such as opposing equal rights or increasing minimum wage. While the left does have some crazies they are not getting anywhere within their party, democrat or green. The left doesn’t call out the left because crazies will always exist. As long as they don’t start banding together to vote lock step on issues and push themselves to the forefront of the party agenda there’s no reason to address them. They’ll be wrong and others will notice, with zero effect. This happens becuase the democrats will actually look at information and utilize it, not just throw out any idea in their head that will maintain supremacy like the GOP does.
    Before you start going “but but but but but not EVERYONE mew mew mew mew…” can you stop and realize that goes without saying? I’m talking about in general what I see happening in both major parties every day, and what I see is definitely not what this article claims is out there.