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Scientific American doubles down on all politics, all the time

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Scientific American is doubling down its recent break with a 175-year-old tradition of not getting into the political dogfight, endorsing candidate Joe Biden for US Prez. Now, they’re mourning the late U.S. Supreme Court justice Ruth Ginsberg as follows:

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a champion of women’s rights and one of the Supreme Court’s most liberal justices, died on Friday. Her absence from the bench could accelerate a trend underway to get cases to the Supreme Court toward invalidating the Affordable Care Act and rolling back reproductive rights for women. It also could affect how the court comes down on pending challenges to the Trump administration’s environmental agenda. For more on her legacy, read our lead story and a few other pieces featured in today’s roundup.

Sunya Bhutta, Senior Editor, Audience Engagement, “Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s death is one more terrible blow in a year of loss” at Scientific American

Huh? First, Mme Justice Ginsberg was eighty-seven years of age and suffered with pancreatic cancer. It is remarkable and commendable that she lived as long as she did; not at all a surprise that she died. Why is her death a “terrible blow” as opposed to a foreseen near-term event?

Are these people at Scientific American still in contact with the natural world?

Also, today “reproductive rights for women” usually means ramping up live baby dismemberment. Is any interruption in the live dismemberments the main reason that Mme Justice Ginsberg’s death was a “terrible blow” to some?

Another article in the same news download promises to tell us “How Ginsburg’s Death Threatens the Affordable Care Act and Reproductive Rights” (by Julie Rover for Kaiser Health News). One wonders, can these not find younger champions who are eager to support the death by dismemberment of children? One hopes they can’t!

But in the meantime, remember this:

No matter what else happens, any time anyone anywhere at Scientific American starts banging the drum for “science,” just remind them: You lost that distinction when you signed on to these campaigns. You are now mere partisan hacks, using science in the pursuit of your goals — some are worthy but many are unspeakable.

Say it loud. They may bite and sting but they’ll never live it down.


See also: Scientific American breaks with 175-year tradition, endorses Joe Biden for US President. They can break with tradition in this way if they want, of course. But then they will no longer be able to say that their science is not tainted with (drenched in?) politics. Which is why, no matter what the crisis, no one did it in the past. The outcome, no matter who wins the U.S. election, will be reduced public trust in science. Scientific American could well find itself down there with “media” generally, in terms of public trust.

and

The irony! Scientific American is holding forth on an algorithm that might solve “political paralysis” Why should we now believe that SciAm’s account of Brett Hennig’s “alternative democracy” ideas is presented to us for any reason other than to sell SciAm’s chosen political candidate for US prez? The thing about sudden partisanship is that you can buy it but you can’t sell it. It’s almost like the folk at Scientific American don’t really get that.

19 Replies to “Scientific American doubles down on all politics, all the time

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    Scientific American is doubling down its recent break with a 175-year-old tradition of not getting into the political dogfight, endorsing candidate Joe Biden for US Prez. Now, they’re mourning the late U.S. Supreme Court justice Ruth Ginsberg as follows:

    Why shouldn’t they? She was, as they wrote, a champion of women’s rights, which pro-life activists rarely are. For some of them, the life of the fetus comes above all other considerations, as in this case from Brazil

    Anger in Brazil as 10-year-old rape victim’s name put online

    There has been outrage in Brazil after the personal details of a 10-year-old rape victim were published online.

    The girl’s name was posted by an anti-abortion activist seeking to stop her from having a termination.
    Following the online post, abortion opponents gathered outside the hospital where the girl was due to have the procedure.

    The girl had become pregnant after being raped. Police arrested a man suspected of raping her on Wednesday.
    The case has caused widespread anger in Brazil and a judge has ordered Google, Facebook and Twitter to remove the personal details of the 10-year-old from their sites

    Even though the girl had been given legal permission to have her pregnancy terminated, anti-abortion activists tried to stop it from being carried out by holding a noisy protest outside the hospital.

    They shouted at hospital staff, calling them “killers”, and at one point tried to force their way into the building, but were dispersed by military police.

    The girl was smuggled onto the hospital’s premises in the boot of a car and entered the building by a side door, pro-choice activists said.

    As further evidence of Christianity’s attitude towards women I give you the scandalous case of the Magdalene Laundries in Ireland:

    How Ireland Turned ‘Fallen Women’ Into Slaves

    When the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity decided to sell some land they owned in Dublin, Ireland, to pay their debts in 1992, the nuns followed the proper procedures. They petitioned officials for permission to move the bodies of women buried in the cemetery at their Donnybrook laundry, which between 1837 and 1992 served as a workhouse and home for “fallen women.”

    But the cemetery at Donnybrook was no ordinary resting place: It was a mass grave. Inside were the bodies of scores of unknown women: the undocumented, uncared-about inmates of one of Ireland’s notorious Magdalene laundries. Their lives—and later their deaths—had been shrouded in secrecy.

    For more than two centuries, women in Ireland were sent to institutions like Donnybrook as a punishment for having sex outside of marriage. Unwed mothers, flirtatious women and others deemed unfit for society were forced to labor under the strict supervision of nuns for months or years, sometimes even for life.

    When the mass grave at Donnybrook was discovered, the 155 unmarked tombs touched off a scandal that exposed the extent and horrors of the Magdalene laundries. As women came forward to share their experiences of being held against their will in restrictive workhouses, the Irish public reacted with outrage.

    In one of the most notorious homes, the Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, scores of babies died. In 2014, remains of at least 796 babies were found in a septic tank in the home’s yard; the facility is still being investigated to reconstruct the story of what happened there.

    I need hardly point out the similarities between these “maternity homes” and the “boarding schools” to which Native American children were confined in both the US and Canada.

    As I have written before, I believe the right to life should be extended to the earliest detectable stage of an individual’s development. But that does not mean that the rights of the mother can be just brushed aside, which means the censorious moral outrage of Christians about abortion, given these stains on their history, is less than impressive.

    It is in this context that we should be most concerned about one of the leading candidates for the vacant seat on the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett,

    Barrett, who once clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia, was appointed to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017. In that time, to quote Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, she’s written or supported decisions that “harm unpopular and powerless individuals who rely on the judiciary to safeguard their rights.”

    More to the point: She’s almost certain to overturn Roe v. Wade given the opportunity, someone who said Notre Dame shouldn’t cover contraception for students, and was already pre-approved by the Federalist Society as a justice who would side with conservatives for decades to come.

    Another reason she’s a perfectly Trumpian pick is that she’s almost guaranteed to bait liberals who dare to question her faith. Barrett is a self-described Roman Catholic, though she belongs to a specific group called People of Praise that’s unaffiliated with the Church. (Her involvement with that group was unknown when she was confirmed to the appellate court.)

    Some of the group’s practices would surprise many faithful Catholics. Members of the group swear a lifelong oath of loyalty, called a covenant, to one another, and are assigned and are accountable to a personal adviser, called a “head” for men and a “handmaid” for women. The group teaches that husbands are the heads of their wives and should take authority over the family.

    They also believe in “prophecy, speaking in tongues and divine healings.” Is it weird? Hell yes. Is it any more weird than believing a wafer turns into the body of Christ, that Jesus died then came back to life, or that a literal Devil exists? Not at all.

    She may fit well into the tradition which produced the Irish maternity homes or North American boarding schools but I doubt women in the 21st century would find their rights advanced in the way that they were by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, most of whose work she would no doubt like to undo.

  2. 2
    aarceng says:

    in an interim report published on Wednesday (2019), the Commission of Investigation of the Mother and Baby Homes said “in the light of a great deal of inaccurate commentary about the Tuam site, the commission considers it important to emphasise what it has established and what it has not established,” the report says. It goes on to point out that the “human remains found by the Commission are not in a sewage tank”.

    But really, it’s just too good a piece of propaganda to let facts get in the way.

  3. 3
    Belfast says:

    Just as Scientific American outed itself, so did you, Seversky.

  4. 4
    Truthfreedom says:

    1 Seversky

    which means the censorious moral outrage of Christians about abortion, given these stains on their history,

    This coming from a self proclaimed meat-puppet whose worldview (evo/ mat) has zero moral basis and then has to steal his moral code from Christian theists.
    Impressive.

  5. 5
    David P says:

    I’ve been enjoying this site for almost 10 years. There either weren’t any political posts or I missed them. That is until president Trump came along. Concern getting political would “taint” Scientific American’s reputation is kinda rich considering all the political posts here lately.

    Endorsing a candidate who said he would listen to the scientists about COVID-19 doesn’t seem so radical. What’s radical is tossing out a pandemic response playbook put together by experts simply because it was done during the Obama administration.
    With all the crazy things coming out of this administration: Contradicting or ignoring experts, suggesting they look into dangerous applications of bleach, and the crazy demon Dr to name a few. I would think anyone aligning themselves with Trump is going to be the ones with tainted reputations.

    Judging by the political posts on umcommondescent, I have to wonder if Scientific American broke tradition to endorse Trump if this site would even mention it.

    One doesn’t break a 175 year tradition lightly. Maybe the same reason the Arizona Republic broke a 126 year tradition and The San Diego Union-Tribune broke a 148 year tradition and the Dallas Morning News broke a 76 year tradition. They all endorsed Republicans, that is until Trump. What does it take to get conservatives to realize voting for Trump is bad for them?

  6. 6
    vividbleau says:

    “What does it take to get conservatives to realize voting for Trump is bad for them?”

    When Trump allows abortion up to the moment of birth,
    When Trump authorizes the use of our tax money to pay for abortions and gender reassignment surgery,
    When Trump imposes on our economy ever-increasing government control and taxes,
    When Trump agrees with expensive Green New Deal energy regulations,
    When Trump weakens our military in the face of increased aggressiveness by China
    When Trump promotes a Jimmy Carter-like foreign policy of appeasement,
    When Trump abandonsIsrael to fend for itself,

    When Trump supports the rising influence of judges who are not constrained by the original meaning of the words of the Constitution or of the laws, perhaps even adding six additional seats to the Supreme Court in order to be able to give the court a new 10-5 majority of such justices (this could be done with control of both the House, the Senate, and the presidency)
    When Trump. grants statehood to both Washington DC and Puerto Rico, thus adding four more Democrats to the U.S. Senate (I have heard three US senators already predict that the Democrats would do this if they had the votes)

    When Trump reinstates the Obama-era guidelines that required schools to allow biological males who claim to be transgender females to use girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers (the guidelines were canceled by Trump),
    When Trump advocates the allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports, setting new statewide records in women’s track events and other sports
    When Trump tries to pass multiple new, extremely strict green energy laws that will massively increase energy costs and therefore will also increase the cost of everything that is made or transported with the use of energy,
    When Trump seeks to defund the police (to be precise, Biden has said he favors “redirecting” some police funding to other programs, which is a partial “defunding” of police, which will lead predictably to a substantial increase in crime),
    When Trump supports open borders and sanctuary cities in defiance of the law.
    When Trump promotes a complete federal government takeover of our healthcare system.
    When Trump embraces Critical Race and Social Justice Theory

    Does this answer your question?

    PS “the Arizona Republic broke a 126 year tradition”

    I live in Az and the Republic is IMO a mouthpiece for the Dems. When I say Dems I also include the Republican\Dems like Mcain and Flake. Mcain is why I left the Republican Party in 2011 and became a registered independent

    Vivid

  7. 7
    BobRyan says:

    Ginsburg could have resigned a decade ago and been guaranteed her replacement was a younger version of herself. She chose to cling on to power until the day she died. She was a champion for socialist women, not women in general. Socialism, not the Constitution of the United States, was her driving force.

  8. 8
    BobRyan says:

    David P

    Trump is not a conservative, but he’s a lot closer than Biden. Biden had trouble remembering which state he was in when he was Vice President. He was showing signs of confusion, which have gotten worse over time. He shows signs of dementia and refuses to be tested. If Biden’s team believed he was of sound mind, they would have no problem having a cognitive test done.

  9. 9
    polistra says:

    The “left” has been ready for this meaningless event for a long time. Their troll armies and “protest” armies swung into perfectly orchestrated action. The troll armies on the “right” have also been ready.

    It’s just another meaningless ENTITY to create chaos, another pointless differenceless distinction between brand labels. Everyone who pays attention knows that all “judges” are identical. The Supremes ALWAYS serve corporate interests, ALWAYS enforce the demonic values of the aristocrats. This has been universally precisely true since 1803.

    Frankly, the trolls on the “right” are the stupid ones in this case, since all of their so-called “conservative” judges instantly and permanently break all of their implied (but never actually stated) promises. The trolls on the “left” always get what they really want, no matter which brand label is attached to the “judge”.

  10. 10
    Belfast says:

    @ polistra,
    “ the demonic values of the aristocrats.“
    Always wondered at the difference between myself and the aristocracy.
    Now I think see; they have ‘demonic’ values – as distinct from heavenly values.
    I’m no wiser, but I believe I am better informed.

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    DavidP,

    UD has endorsed and will endorse no political candidate.

    (Indeed, I had to pull back from a double dis-endorsement if anything 4 years ago. I have not changed my basic concerns regarding a certain NY Contractor in Chief, and to my astonishment the dead issue of marxism has re-emerged, in cultural Frankfurt School form expressed through CRITICAL X-THEORIES and now attempted cultural revolution with direct import for intellectual and general liberty. Dirty partisan politics games and linked agitprop and lawfare etc are to be distinguished from issues of interest to the cultural and political climate in which polarised issues of scientific or similarly inductively warranted character are discussed. Especially, with freedom of thought, expression and intellectual opinion manifestly on the table.)

    That said, the rise of a 4th Generation Civil War driven by radical secularist ideologies anchored to evolutionary materialism dressed up in a lab coat in the state that is the geostrategic centre of our civilisation . . . of which Science is a key institution . . . is obviously highly relevant to the progress or otherwise of civilisation.

    That is of general interest to advocates of a paradigm that has been similarly targetted for 20 years; especially as, what was done to us is now being done on bigger stages, with results that are far more directly evident . . . the domino theory strikes again. And we have no intent to be in Niemoller’s position of failing to speak up until there was no one left to stand with him in solidarity.

    Recall, false accusations of nazism are routinely being tossed around and used to censor and harass, which opens up ugly dynamics for discussion in defence of intellectual and civil liberty.

    In that context, the sorry saga of the blatantly politicised scientific, media and lawfare hit job on reasonably credible potential treatments in a pandemic is of interest to understanding the dynamics of claimed scientific “consensus” in such a toxically polarised age. Where, the rise of ideologically manipulative gold standard fallacies connected to breakdown of recognition of epistemological warrant and ethical factors are also directly, highly relevant to science and its progress.

    Those factors are directly relevant to understanding why, after 20 years of advances in molecular biology and genetics from the 50’s – 70’s, the manifest import of the cumulative discoveries has been sidelined. We have identified, in the heart of the cell, alphanumeric, algorithmic — linguistic, goal-directed — code with complex, integrated execution machinery using molecular nanotech. Those are actually decisive signs that the cell is a designed entity, we have found our SETI signal in our own bodies.

    What then becomes interesting is how that is suppressed, including in leading Scientific Magazines.

    Such as Sci Am, Nat Geog and co.

    As for the sad story of journals, peer review and scientific publishers . . . not to mention uni faculties and the expelled/slaughter of dissidents factor . . .

    KF

    PS: Niemoller’s mea culpa lament (longer form),

    FIRST THEY CAME

    First they came for the Communists
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Communist

    Then they came for the Socialists
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Socialist

    Then they came for the trade unionists
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a trade unionist

    Then they came for the Jews
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Jew

    Then they came for me
    And there was no one left
    To speak out for me

  12. 12
    ET says:

    If “women’s rights” means we get to slaughter the unborn at will then those rights need to be taken away. No one has the right to murder. And abortion is murder- premeditated murder.

    Why don’t men warrant reproductive rights?

    The rights of the mother, as an individual, end when she becomes pregnant. Once that happens there is a shared body and both have the same rights.

  13. 13
    News says:

    In fact, SciAm’s foray into electoral politics is a watershed. They are no longer objective arbiters of fact. If they think this election is so important, so be it. But it can’t be forgotten or overlooked.

  14. 14
    AaronS1978 says:

    @ Sev @ScAm
    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=647204172599697&id=69813760388

    Remember Scalia
    Yeah yeah bunch of hypocrites here’s some verbiage from Obama your precious precious Obama your democratic Obama

    They are doing this specifically because of the fact that they don’t want Planned Parenthood being hurt and that troll of a human being Ruth Bader was the only thing standing in the way of the other side from ransacking Planned Parenthood parenthood

    Science wants to tell us how to live then they need to not be biased because we can’t trust their science

    @Sev I am so tired of your hate for Christians and religion and all that other crap go move somewhere else stay away, go away it doesn’t matter where, go be with your precious enlightened atheists and reminisce about the utopia you think you’ll be able to create without religion. And anybody else with the hippocampus is going to remember Russia, China, North Korea and point what they did when an atheist regime did holding your perspective destroyed millions of Christians and Jews and killed millions more than ANY of the things YOU ever complained about. In the name of science baby! The new religion. Lead by your Patron saint Charles Darwin a.k.a. captain eugenics

  15. 15
    Seversky says:

    Aarceng/2

    in an interim report published on Wednesday (2019), the Commission of Investigation of the Mother and Baby Homes said “in the light of a great deal of inaccurate commentary about the Tuam site, the commission considers it important to emphasise what it has established and what it has not established,” the report says. It goes on to point out that the “human remains found by the Commission are not in a sewage tank”

    From the Irish Examiner article about the interim Commission report,

    Galway County Council has said it was not aware that babies were informally and inappropriately buried at the Tuam Home which it owned and maintained, yet there is ample evidence to the contrary. It has not explained why it would have no burial register for the children when it was legally obliged to keep such records.

    It was asked for a response to the detailed archaeological and technical documents sent to it 21 months ago showing the likelihood that the underground structure in which copious babies’ remains have been found was designed for wastewater and sewage but it did not respond. It was sent the first draft of this report last November. It did not respond.

  16. 16
    BobRyan says:

    There are only 2 requirements in the Constitution regarding filling the seat of any federal judge, which includes the Supreme Court. The President must nominate a candidate and send it to the Senate The Senate, and only the Senate, has the power to confirm, which then results in the new judge or justice taking office. There is no requirement that the Senate fill a single vacancy. If they chose, they could refuse every candidate. The final year of Obama, the Senate used its Constitutional power to not fill the vacancy. There is nothing that guarantees any President’s selection.

  17. 17
    Bob O'H says:

    aarceng & Seversky – the report is here: pp9-10 are the relevant ones. This is what they wrote about this precise point:

    The human remains found by the Commission are not in a sewage tank but in a second structure with 20 chambers which was built within the decommissioned large sewage tank.

  18. 18
    ET says:

    Does anyone (else) have any issues understanding the following:

    The rights of the mother, as an individual, end when she becomes pregnant. Once that happens there is a shared body and both have the same rights.

    There is a quote-mining coward who seems to be unable to understand it.

  19. 19

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