Source: Norman Rogers
There are many shady methods for making money. There are frauds like Ponzi schemes or pump and dump stock schemes. A more subtle scheme is convincing naïve students to take out large loans to pay inflated tuition so that colleges can milk the taxpayer. The consequences of the student loan fraud are far-reaching, such as delaying family formation and childbearing.
Another academic scheme is to posit a future catastrophe based on “scientific” research. What follows is a vast flow of taxpayer money to the very academic specialty behind the fraud. After all, more research is needed to study the looming catastrophe. Rather than prevent the catastrophe that is imaginary anyway, real catastrophes are created. For example, a consequence of the global warming catastrophe scheme is spending billions on impactable and unaffordable wind and solar electricity.
The enemy of truth is bureaucracy and centralization. President Eisenhower in his farewell address pointed out a great danger to transparency and truth in science is the financing of scientific research by the federal government. I remember attending a scientific conference where one of the attendees that formerly worked at the National Science Foundation severely criticized that bureaucracy as rife with favoritism and politics. No one objected. You could hear a pin drop. None of the other scientists dared say anything, much less criticize the National Science Foundation. Centralization of authority and financing is the deadly enemy of free speech and freedom of thought.
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The increasing centralization of the medical industry has resulted in certain drugs being blacklisted for the treatment of COVID. The drugs ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, and certain other drugs are widely recognized as being effective therapeutics for the prevention and treatment of COVID. These drugs have been used with great results in many countries. A case can be made that hundreds of thousands of Americans died unnecessarily as a consequence of the blacklist.
Increasingly, doctors are employed by large organizations effectively controlled by the federal bureaucracy. They risk being fired or having their licenses revoked if they try to save the lives of patients by prescribing the blacklisted drugs. The federal bureaucracy is motivated by a desire to enlarge its authority and budget as well as to promote the political interests of the administration. Those interests take priority over saving lives. Science is subordinated to politics.
H.L. Mencken hardly exaggerates the current situation:
“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable…”
An established principle of the judiciary is that even an appearance of impropriety is unacceptable. In federally financed science the impropriety is real, not just an appearance. Various devices prevent the public from knowing what is going on. For example, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, a hotbed of global-warming promotion, is financed by the federal government but managed under contract by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), a collection of big-name universities that obviously run the place for their own benefit. As a consequence, the laws giving the public the right to know what is going on (freedom of information) don’t apply.
Individual scientists are often well-meaning and honest. But they are caught up in a system where conformity is enforced. The system is not as oppressive as, for example, communist China. This is America, after all. There are a small number of open dissenters from global warming that manage to hang on to their jobs. Those who survive as dissenters have to be talented politically. They must have an impregnable record of accomplishment and it helps if they are independently wealthy. Many dissenters are retired and thus less vulnerable to intimidation. Canceling pensions in order to shut people up has not yet caught on. Without the oppression of dissenters, global warming would never have caught on.
If a climate scientist were to announce to a class that global warming is a fraud it is likely that he would be denounced and investigated. Perhaps lefty students would throw eggs at him or dump buckets of water on his head. He might be denounced as a racist. This is the state of academic freedom at our taxpayer-financed universities. They are nearly all, in reality, taxpayer-financed, even the supposedly private universities.
The paradox is that our scientific institutions are both cesspools of corruption and national assets. The solution is not to close them down and force the army of equity officers and administrators to get real jobs, as appealing as that idea might be. Reform is needed and I have some suggestions.
The colleges have become bloated bureaucracies that exist for their own sake. Most of the students are wasting their time. The obvious solution is a massive downsizing. Downsizing should start in the hate America parts of the course catalog. This is easily accomplished by cutting back on government support and providing government support for alternatives to a college education.
Universities that practice systematic racism with taxpayer money, be it racial preferences, the Jewish quota, or the exclusion of Asians from fair treatment, from Harvard on down, should be held strictly accountable. The administrators who enable racism should not be allowed to hide behind a shield of university-financed attorneys. In other words, turn the racism meme against the academic racists. The use of federal funds, directly or indirectly, to promote racism should be an individual crime, not a corporate crime. The new law could be called the Martin Luther King Prevention of Racism Act.
Loyalty oaths should be revived for the recipients of federal largesse. What’s wrong with swearing an oath to the U.S. Constitution? Federal employees and soldiers are required to take an oath of loyalty to the Constitution. Why are academics paid directly or indirectly by the federal government not required to do the same? Is America required to finance its own destruction?
No degree or diploma should be granted by federally supported schools unless the student has received positive education in American institutions and history. That was a requirement, since eliminated, when I was a student at the University of California years ago.
Scientific research money could be allocated by state-based committees that would not include scientists living off federal research money. Yes, that might result in political favoritism as does the current system, but at least intellectual diversity and freedom of thought would be promoted.
It is ludicrous to think that these suggestions are an infringement on academic freedom. Academic freedom was replaced years ago by demands that the faculty subscribe to anti-American ideologies. None of these suggestions prevent anti-American intellectuals from forming hate-America universities. They just have to do it without rivers of federal and state money, including student loans and tax exemptions.
I am not proposing an American version of the Chinese cultural revolution, but simple reform aimed at restoring the better parts of the status quo that existed 50 or 100 years ago before neo-Marxism became a dominant ideology in academic institutions.