Tag Archives: Salon

How the far right co-opted science — and why scientists need to come out to counter them | Salon.com

The intellectual dark web is sophistically tying together biology and social behavior to justify discrimination

By Christopher T. Conner, Published May 8, 2022 7:30PM (EDT)

Green liquid spilled from test tube (Getty Images/mrdoggs)

Over the course of the pandemic, conservatives and far right representatives have mobilized in a widespread assault on science as an institution. While this was an ongoing phenomenon well before COVID, over the pandemic it has expanded into a variety of issues relevant that concern the LGBTQ+ community — especially in light of recent schools’ decision to remove safe space stickers or anything related to Pride, and the expected overturning of Roe v. Wade.

At the center of the maelstrom are a group of individuals who call themselves the Intellectual Dark Web (IDW)—so named by New York Times reporter Barry Weiss, and a label they have also used to describe themselves. While to most people this conjures up images of websites where people can buy illicit substances, the Intellectual Dark Web is merely a loosely affiliated group of celebrity academics and pseudo-intellectuals.

These include people like internet talk show hosts like Ben Shapiro and Joe Rogan; but also discredited academics like Jordan Peterson, Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying, who use their scientific credentials to justify conservative positions on hot button “culture war” topics like the legislation targeting the existence of LGBTQ+ people, prohibitions on critical race theory, and anti-abortion legislation — creating a rift between some individuals aligned with the IDW. Although the Intellectual Dark Web is not a formal organization, their mutual support has allowed their collective impact to be felt far and wide.

Source: How the far right co-opted science — and why scientists need to come out to counter them | Salon.com

New research on Trump voters: They’re not the sharpest tools in the box | Salon.com

Now there’s proof: Trump’s voters lack “cognitive sophistication,” often believe Bible is literal word of God

By Chauncey DeVega, Published March 23, 2022 6:00AM (EDT)

Supporters gather at a rally by former President Donald Trump at the Canyon Moon Ranch festival grounds on January 15, 2022 in Florence, Arizona. The rally marks Trump’s first of the midterm election year with races for both the U.S. Senate and governor in Arizona this year. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The United States is experiencing an existential democracy crisis, with leading Republicans and millions of their voters and supporters either tacitly or explicitly embracing authoritarianism or fascism.

Democrats, for the most part, have not responded with the urgency required to save America’s democracy from the rising neofascist tide.

American society was founded on white settler colonialism, genocide and slavery. This unresolved birth defect at the foundation of the American democratic experiment meant that the country was racially exclusionary by design, from the founding well into the 20th century.

At present, American politics is contoured by asymmetrical political polarization, in which Republicans have moved so far to the right that the party’s most “moderate” members are far more extreme than the most “conservative” Democrats.

–From article…

This makes substantive compromise and bipartisanship in the interests of the common good and the American people almost impossible.

Source: New research on Trump voters: They’re not the sharpest tools in the box | Salon.com

Donald Trump and his family fleeced America: Why aren’t they being held accountable? | Salon.com

By Dean Obeidallah, Published December 31, 2021 6:00AM (EST)

Donald Trump (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston is not giving up on exposing how Donald Trump and his family fleeced America while he was in the White House.

Trump Image…

To that end, the bestselling author is back with a meticulously researched new book, “The Big Cheat: How Donald Trump Fleeced America and Enriched Himself and His Family.”

I recently spoke to Johnston about his new book for “Salon Talks” and one thing is clear: His enthusiasm to see Trump held accountable has not waned just because the Trump presidency is over.

In “The Big Cheat,” he uncovers details on Trump’s scams that began with his inaugural committee and ran straight through his “Stop the Steal” fundraising grift.

In between, Johnston notes a range of corruption by Trump, such as stopping in front of his Washington hotel during the inaugural parade in 2017 to send a clear message: “If you want something from the Trump administration, you will first pay tribute to Donald.” As Johnston writes, spending money at Trump’s hotel was one way to do just that.

-From article…

Source: Donald Trump and his family fleeced America: Why aren’t they being held accountable? | Salon.com

The war on culture: How conservatives and progressives joined forces to crush art | Salon.com

In battling “high art” and promoting pop culture, progressive academics became apostles of free-market capitalism

By Doug Neiss, Published December 25, 2021 12:44PM (EST)

James Joyce and Stan Lee (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

Reciting what was even by 1990 a familiar litany, a Princeton professor, in a book called “The Death of Literature,” accused advanced writers of the past 200 years of wanting nothing to do with bourgeois industrialized society except to attack it: Generations of authors have lived out the poet’s role that Wordsworth created, in life and poem, withdrawing from industrialized society and rejecting its materialist values.

Sometimes they took up their stance on the left, like Blake and Shelley, sometimes on the right like Yeats and Pound, but always, like Joyce’s Stephen Dedalus, they refused to bow — non serviam — to the bourgeois family, religion, nation, and language that they felt cast nets over their souls.

To the writer of those words, the apparent triumph of bourgeois (capitalist) democracy over fascist and communist rivals signaled what was soon to be called “the end of history.” By opting out, advanced writers had succeeded only in marginalizing themselves. Their marginalization had little to do with rejecting bourgeois democracy, however. Rather, bourgeois democracy had marginalized them for failing to measure up economically.

The same fate has befallen classical music, absent any explicit rejection of bourgeois democracy, though other face-saving excuses have been invented. On the other hand, marginalization has not befallen the most successful visual artists (whatever their politics), whose work can garner exorbitant prices and therefore respect for the vocation.

Source: The war on culture: How conservatives and progressives joined forces to crush art | Salon.com