Because only Truth has rights

Scientists’ “Letter To President Obama: Investigate Deniers Under RICO” is exactly what it sounds like [Greg Laden, ScienceBlogs] We earlier noted, as a step toward attaching legal consequences to unwanted advocacy, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s (D-R.I.) op-ed “urg[ing] the U.S. Department of Justice to consider filing a racketeering suit against the oil and coal industries for having promoted wrongful thinking on climate change, with the activities of ‘conservative policy’ groups an apparent target of the investigation as well,” as well as Gawker’s call to “arrest climate change deniers.”

P.S. For more on the widely publicized book Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, which condemns various scientists said to be too skeptical of the factual basis for regulation, see links gathered by Judith Curry, including this Reiner Grundmann review. Yet more: “I have no idea how it affects the First Amendment” says Vermont scientist who backs probe of wrongful advocacy [Bruce Parker/Watchdog, quotes me]


  • “promoting wrongful thinking” sounds ominously Stalinist in its implications.

  • That quote is from my own previous post, so it’s my paraphrase of the offense at issue.

  • The very first comment on the blog was a Nazi reference. Since just about every Internet poster has heard of Godwin’s law, it may well have been a provocation intended to end discussion on the progressives’ terms. If so, it didn’t work.

  • Where are the presidents of the universities where these “educators” teach? Tenure rules are what they are, but these people should be remorselessly and pitilessly criticized for this appalling display.

    • “Where are the presidents of the universities where these “educators” teach?”

      Behind them, egging them on.

  • Three of these knuckleheads are from Columbia, my alma mater.
    Go Light Blue!

  • We must not offend anyone. In addition to criminally prosecuting those whose opinions my jeopardize the grant applications of client scientists (no pun intended), we must also ban, and then criminalize Oktoberfest:

    Muslim demands Munich end ‘anti-Islamic’ Oktoberfest
    SEPTEMBER 15, 2015
    Dear City council of Munich,

    I am writing this letter to bring to your attention something that I and many Muslims believe is unfair and requires attention.

    I would like to inform you that the Oktoberfest is an Intolerant and Anti-Islamic event. We tried to ignore the event, but there too many Un-Islamic acts done at the Oktoberfest. Such as alcohol consumption, public nudity etc.

    We understand that the Oktoberfest is a yearly German tradition, but we, Muslims, can not tolerate this Un-Islamic event, because it offends us and all Muslims on the earth.

    We are requesting the immediate cancellation of the upcoming Oktoberfest event.

    We also believe that the Oktoberfest might also offend all the Muslim refugees coming from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan. The cancellation of the Oktoberfest event will help refugees not to forget their Islamic history. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

    Morad Almuradi

    (there’s a link on the site to the petition to ban Oktoberfest).

  • @wfjag–
    The Oktoberfest petition is almost certainly a hoax. The only question is by whom — anti-immigration activists trying to rile up Germans, or pro-immigration activists trying to make anti-immigration activists look like knaves.

  • The Senate should censure Sen. Whitehouse for violating his oath to support the Constitution, including the First Amendment. If Democrats or others stall and evade (and Sen. Whitehouse is not willing to recant his call for censorship), then this should be made a leading issue in the 2016 elections. (“A republic, if you can keep it”)

    Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, and Roger Taney thought they could shut down agitation over slavery with the Dred Scott decision. Instead they blew up the Union. Can today’s progressives be sure that trying to shut down debate today is any wiser?

  • […] friends, including Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and, more recently, twenty scientists who recently signed a letter calling for such a probe. “I have no idea how it affects the First Amendment” says one […]