Last week I saw something I had not seen since the publication of the Covert Action Bulletin in the 1970s. The court has prohibited the government from censoring dissenting opinions. It concerned vaccine deniers and, in general, those unwilling to accept everything and the "trust the science" exception to free speech.
I try to give myself a reality check when discussing what is true. I remember asking what is true in Fords Jr. High and bringing up that, at one time, the earth was thought to be flat. What they said was true, damn it, and I was separated from the classroom rows to my area by the door.
Trust the science, or you were a social misfit, conspiracy theorist, and a racist or nazi. Although I am none of those mentioned above, I have a stamp collection from when I was a kid, and it had an impressive array of Hitler head stamps. If the thought police broke down my door and went to the basement storage room, my goose would be cooked.
Recently the scandal of all scandals has surfaced. On May the second, an announcement from the publisher Hindawi shut down four Journals they found were “heavily compromised” by articles from paper mills. It was revealed that increased scientific manuscripts from paper mills, the secretive netherworld that allows researchers to pad their publication records by paying for fake papers or undeserved authorship.
Neuropsychologist Bernhard Sabel developed a new fake-paper detector and was “shocked” by what it found. After screening some 5,000 papers, 34 percent of neuroscience papers published in 2020 were likely made up or plagiarized; in medicine, the figure was 24 percent. Another study put the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) on a public list because of suspicions they contained paper mill papers.
Twenty publishers, which includes the largest, such as Elsevier, Springer Nature, and Wiley, are helping develop the “Integrity Hub” algorithm, and ten publishers are expected to use a paper mill detector the group unveiled in April.
Paper Mills produce and sell fraudulent scientific manuscripts written by ghostwriters. Researchers who must publish to further their career or criteria for promotion buy manuscripts. The profit-oriented system sees researchers pay for authorships. Researchers look for ways to publish in international journals without engaging in research. Some paper mills have laboratories that perform experiments to gather data and images.
Think about this. This is truly troubling. Think of all the hocus pocus when the virus protocols were discussed. Think of the "Moms for Liberty" being labeled a hate group for questioning what was "trusted science." I remember in 1973 being called an A-hole in a bar in Little Rock by the director of the Sothern Poverty Law Center because I said I liked J. William Fulbright for his stance against the Viet Nam war. Still, because he was anti-union and I was a union-organizer, I was an ass. So, I do not put much stock in criticism of the "Moms," or what the Southern Poverty Law Center has become.
Because I am old, I remember when the sugar cube smallpox booster was dispensed at Fords Jr. High School, and we gobbled those boosters down like nobody's business. Kids are getting back in line to get more sugar cubes. The sugar cube was tasty and probably made taking the sugar cubes concocted by Owsley Stanley more acceptable to a generation seeking the truth.
Once some assertion reaches widespread acceptance, it has transitioned from an assertion to a fact. The transition is called canonization. A canonized fact can be taken for granted rather than treated as an “open hypothesis;” tests to confirm previously canonized facts are seldom considered.
What has happened to us is that facts have been canonized without proper vetting. We are told something, millions of “bots with an attitude” follow up by reporting you for some alleged crime of going against the narrative. The government gives direction, and we all must follow the narrative for our own good.
Any time there is a severe backlash against a statement, the statement must go against the prescribed narrative and be shut down. It is almost like you cannot believe anything said any longer. Each person needs to take a personal inventory and assess what is best for them individually and sometimes agree with the narrative and sometimes oppose it. Depending upon your belief system.
Recently I spoke out because I was outraged that drag queens were chanting that they were “coming for our children.” I was wondering if they were coming to the door or what? So I posted the pic from the newspaper without the story and asked people if they came to your door would you let them take your kids out for a ride? I got responses that it was offensive, and why would I think that? In response, I posted the article where that was said.
So, two or three days later, an NBC news story said it was only one person shouting that, and others were trying to shout him down. I saw the tape and have heard it said before at protests. NBC was saying what many of us saw with our own eyes was not real. That may not mean anything today as we know NBC is lying as it does not fit the narrative, but in two years, when it is read, there will be revisionist history and a canonized truth.
When you identify the elites that push the narrative, many are in administrative positions in the government hierarchy. They come with a bent, an opinion, a theory of truth that places the narrative above everything else. Although I am unsure how you resolve this issue, it is an issue and, in a month, or so I am going to try.
I am unsure if calling for new McCarthy style hearings is the answer. And by the same token, I don't think Budweiser should go out of business for using a silly trans person in an ad. Remember Barry Humphries, renowned for his stage persona Dame Edna Everage, a condescending snob… he made us laugh.
Laugh or cry… we don’t know who is telling the truth, and being unable to distinguish what is truth was the hallmark of Mao's cultural revolution. So please Trust the Science and follow the narrative.
Barry Cassidy is a freelance grant and economic development consultant. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.