Tag: experts

Grattan on Friday: Morrison wrong to try to influence advice from expert immunisation group

Scott Morrison this week more or less trashed Australia’s top advisory body on immunisation, in remarks that were at best ill-judged and at worst alarming. On Wednesday Morrison told a news conference he (or the government) made a “constant appeal” to the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) to review its advice on AstraZeneca according to the balance of risk. On Thursday he said on radio: “I’ve just simply said balance of risk is changing, guys, so how is that impacting on your advice, and it’s time to think about that”. The “guys” (and girls) on ATAGI are obviously as aware as anyone of the changing risk profile as cases increase.

Source: Grattan on Friday: Morrison wrong to try to influence advice from expert immunisation group

Listen to the experts – » The Australian Independent Media Network

We have noted too the disastrous consequences of leaders ignoring expert advice, and substituting their own inexpert, stupid and dangerous solutions. Donald Trump leads the field, and we can see where that has taken the US: almost 2 million cases and over 112,000 deaths so far!

Even Labor supporters acknowledge the success of our government’s program at both federal and local levels, and support it strongly. They too know that most of the success has been listening to the experts and following their advice, based as it is on science and experience.

What a pity it is that politicians ignore expert advice from scientists working in other fields, notably the study of climate change and environmental protection because it conflicts with their ideological position.

If only they would listen to the experts and use their advice!

via Listen to the experts – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Shut Up, Greta, We Want To Hear From The Experts! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Whatever, the CO2 Coalition have a nifty website and several of them have degrees in Physics, so that makes them an expert in climate science. Similarly, my degree makes me and expert in brain surgery, so if you need a tumour removed…

via Shut Up, Greta, We Want To Hear From The Experts! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

News Corp attacks scientists assessing Adani coalmine – and ignores science | Opinion | The Guardian

A black-throated finch in Australia

The most notable recent evidence of this anti-Science drive is Scott Moorison’s and News Corp’s attack on doctors who are not to be trusted because they have sworn to abide universaly to the Hippocratic Oath in their application and practice of the science of Medicine to patients in their care. According the Scott Morrison those universal ar far too dangerous left in the hands of doctors and Peter Dutton is in better  position to be trusted with intelligent decisions. Wasn’t he voted Australia’s worst ever Health Minister?(ODT)

Those who question whether scientists are the appropriate people to review the scientific evidence underpinning contested policy decisions may do well to consider who would be better placed to do it and what their motivations for doing it are.
Calls for inquiry as Adani confirms it released contaminated water
Read more

While the treatment of the scientists involved in the Adani review may seem shocking, it is one of many examples of people with vested interests undermining the role of experts in our discourse and decision making. We are seeing a clear erosion of trust in science around the world, driven by those entities who do not want evidence to be assessed, and do not want the frank and fearless advice that scientists will provide given to the people who ultimately make the decision.

via News Corp attacks scientists assessing Adani coalmine – and ignores science | Opinion | The Guardian

Not just one, or two: How many lies a politician can tell before Australians distrust them

Isn’t this the “business model” of Murdoch Media the opportunity to influence rather than inform the social construction of our reality from just individual opinions to behavioural and institutionalised trends that guarantee the patterns of our behaviours. Ask Indigenous Australians, women and the disadvantaged they know only too well. It’s why critical thought is always necessary. (ODT)

“In reality, some people may not encounter any fact-checks at all,” the paper reads.

And both the paper and Mr Farrer warned people might eventually forget about being corrected and fall back on their default position.

The future of liberal democracy depended on overcoming our “epistemological crisis”, he said.

“Politics is in danger of breaking down if people aren’t able to or willing to make determinations based on factual information,” Mr Farrer said.

“We don’t know what is true anymore and it is going to get harder and harder.”

via Not just one, or two: How many lies a politician can tell before Australians distrust them

The Iranian Nuclear Deal: What the Experts Are Saying:Ignore the right-wing politicians and pundits. Here’s what nonproliferation wonks think about the accord.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and world representatives discuss the nuclear agreements.

Shortly after the participants in the Iranian nuclear talks announced that a double-overtime framework had been crafted, I was on television with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who is something of a celebrity rabbi, a failed congressional candidate, and an arch-neoconservative hawk who has been howling about a potential deal with Iran for months. Not surprisingly, he was not pleased by the news of the day. He declared that under these parameters, Iran would give up nothing and would “maintain their entire nuclear apparatus.” Elsewhere, a more serious critic, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who last month had organized the letter to Iran’s leaders signed by 47 GOP senators opposed to a deal, groused that the framework was “only a list of dangerous US concessions that will put Iran on the path to nuclear weapons.”

These criticisms were rhetorical bombs, not statements of fact. Under the framework, Iran would give up two-thirds of its centrifuges used to enrich uranium and would reduce its stockpile of low-enriched uranium (which is the raw material used to develop bomb-quality highly-enriched uranium) from 10,000 kilograms to 300 kilograms. These two developments alone—and the framework has many other provisions—would diminish Tehran’s ability to produce a nuclear weapon. Its nuclear apparatus would be smaller, and under these guidelines, Iran’s pathway to nuclear weapons, while certainly not impossible, would be much more difficult. Yet because politics dominates the debate over this deal—as it does so often with important policy matters—foes of the framework could hurl fact-free charges with impunity.

It is perhaps easier to do so when the subject is a highly technical matter. Nuclear nonproliferation is a subject that depends upon science. (Do you know how many centrifuges it takes to spin enough material for a bomb?) And it is difficult for nonexperts to assess any nonproliferation agreement. But it is rather easy to decry Tehran’s leaders as evil tyrants who support terrorism, despise Israel, and cannot be trusted. Little of that sort of attack has any bearing on evaluating this framework, which may or may not lead to a concrete accord. Trust is not at issue, for example. What counts is whether the technical means of inspection agreed upon are deemed sufficient to monitor the nuclear program, materials, supply chain, and facilities that remain. Yet who can tell?

Well, there are nonproliferation experts. A fair number, in fact. These are scientists and policy mavens who are trained to study and answer the questions posed by this framework. They are not infallible. They may disagree among themselves. But if there ever were a policy debate that should be shaped by scientific expertise, this is it. The politicians, pundits, and, yes, rabbis (or, at least, one rabbi) ought to give due deference to the guys and gals who know this stuff. So I’ve collected a few initial takes from arms control policy experts who are mostly keen on the possible deal, and here they are:

Anthony Cordesman, the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a former national security aide to Sen. John McCain, and a former director of intelligence assessment in the Office of the Secretary of Defense: “[T]he proposed parameters and framework in the Proposed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action has the potential to meet every test in creating a valid agreement over time…It can block both an Iranian nuclear threat and a nuclear arms race in the region, and it is a powerful beginning to creating a full agreement, and creating the prospect for broader stability in other areas. Verification will take at least several years, but some form of trust may come with time. This proposal should not be a subject for partisan wrangling or outside political exploitation. It should be the subject of objective analysis of the agreement, our intelligence and future capabilities to detect Iran’s actions, the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) capabilities to verify, and enforcement provisions if Iran should cheat. No perfect agreement was ever possible and it is hard to believe a better option was negotiable. In fact, it may be a real victory for all sides: A better future for Iran, and greater security for the United States, its Arab partners, Israel, and all its other allies.”

William Burns, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, former deputy secretary of state, and former career ambassador in the Foreign Service: “In a perfect world, there would be no nuclear enrichment in Iran, and its existing enrichment facilities would be dismantled. But we don’t live in a perfect world. We can’t wish or bomb away the basic know-how and enrichment capability that Iran has developed. What we can do is sharply constrain it over a long duration, monitor it with unprecedented intrusiveness, and prevent the Iranian leadership from enriching material to weapons grade and building a bomb…The history of the Iranian nuclear issue is littered with missed opportunities. It is a history in which fixation on the perfect crowded out the good, and in whose rearview mirror we can see deals that look a lot better now than they seemed then. With all its inevitable imperfections, we can’t afford to miss this one.”

Matthew Bunn, professor at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and coprincipal investigator at the Project on Managing the Atom: In a PowerPoint presentation he notes, “The proposed deal is the best chance to stop an Iranian Bomb. Deal would impose technical barriers that would take overt breakout off the table as a plausible option, and make sneakout more difficult. Political effects of the deal would undermine Iranian bomb advocates, reduce the chance of an Iranian decision to build the bomb. The credible alternatives—a return to sanctions or military strikes—pose significantly higher risks to US and world security. The deal is highly imperfect—but better [than] the other options realistically available.”

Dan Joyner, University of Alabama School of Law professor, author of International Law and the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, and contributor to ArmsControlLaw.com: “Overall I think the framework of agreement is a very good one. Iran definitely made some very significant concessions. In fact, one might be forgiven for thinking that, with all of the specificity placed on Iranian concessions, and really only fairly vague wording on the lifting of unilateral and multilateral sanctions (i.e., regarding timing) in the joint statement, Iran showed the most diplomatic courage in agreeing to this framework. I’m sure there is much that was agreed to that we don’t know about, and I have no doubt that [Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad] Zarif and his team reached a satisfactory understanding with their negotiating partners on the sanctions question from their perspective. But I suppose I just wanted to highlight that Iran is the party that made the most obvious significant concessions in this framework agreement.”

Gary Samore and Olli Heinonen of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and members of a group called United Against Nuclear Iran: The New York Times reports, “Mr. Samore…said in an email that the deal was a ‘very satisfactory resolution of Fordo [enrichment facility] and Arak [plutonium reactor] issues for the 15-year term’ of the accord. He had more questions about operations at Natanz [enrichment facility] and said there was ‘much detail to be negotiated, but I think it’s enough to be called a political framework.’ Mr. Heinonen, the former chief inspector of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said, ‘It appears to be a fairly comprehensive deal with most important parameters.’ But he cautioned that ‘Iran maintains enrichment capacity which will be beyond its near-term needs.'”

Joseph Cirincione, president of of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation, and former director for nonproliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: “The agreement does three things. It blocks all of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear bomb. It imposes tough inspections to catch Iran should it try to break out, sneak out, or creep out of the deal. And it keeps our coalition united to enforce the deal. Under this deal, Iran has agreed to rip out two-thirds of its centrifuges and cut its stockpile of uranium gas by 97 percent. It will not be able to make any uranium or plutonium for a bomb. Many of the restrictions in the agreement continue for 25 years and some—like the inspections and the ban on building nuclear weapons—last forever.”

Frank von Hippel, an expert with Princeton’s Science and International Security Program: According to the McClatchy Washington Bureau, “Frank von Hippel said he was surprised that Iran had accepted an enrichment level of 3.67 percent and hadn’t insisted on 5 percent. ‘There are still details to be filled in, but I like it a lot,’ von Hippel said on the framework…’On transparency, it looks like they really are doing a lot.'”

As many have noted in the past day, a framework is only a framework. There are plenty of tough and complicated details to sort out. The deal may fall apart, especially with conservatives in both Washington and Tehran—and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his crew—sniping away and looking to subvert any agreement. But as the heated debate continues, it will be important that nonproliferation experts play a critical role in the discourse. Science-based statements, not snarky sound bites, should be the weapons of choice.

WE Decieve to make you Believe…..Murdoch Media. Fox News

Cassius Methyl
January 20, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) A series of Fox News segments were recently deemed to be inaccurate, and they were widely mocked in French media for being far from the truth, and for inciting hatred towards Muslims.

The news segments suggested that there were parts of Paris and other cities in Europe where ‘Islamic law was practiced’ and police and non-Islamic citizens were ‘fearful’ to go into these areas. Surprising to no one who is aware, Fox News was torn apart for making false claims about these alleged dangerous Muslim neighborhoods.

In response to this genuinely dangerous propaganda, the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, seeks to sue Fox News.

According to CNN, a rival propaganda outlet, “One Fox show, for example, displayed an inaccurate map of the alleged “no-go zones” in and around Paris. On another show, a guest who was identified as a security expert claimed that Birmingham, England is a “totally Muslim city where non-Muslims don’t go in.”


This was such a blatant lie that British Prime Minister David Cameron had to admit it was false. He said “When I heard this, frankly, I choked on my porridge and I thought it must be April Fools Day.” 

Here’s another example of “experts” on Fox News playing no objective role, but the role of an agitator. They have assumed the role of seeking to justify war, homophobia, and Islamophobia.

A generic response was given by Fox News, saying it’s unlikely they would face consequences for lying.

“We empathize with the citizens of France as they go through a healing process and return to everyday life,” said Fox executive vice president Michael Clemente. “However, we find the mayor’s comments regarding a lawsuit misplaced.” 

Fox has since publicly apologized for this “mistake” on various shows including Justice with Judge Jeanine. The repulsive clip, for sake of reference, can be viewed here.

Please share this with as many people as possible, especially those remaining few who still believe what Fox News or any other corporate media outlet says.