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Should politics ever trump science, and if so, under what circumstances?

No, science is science--it's replicable and factual
Yes, there are times when science must take the back seat for important political priorities
I have a different viewpoint altogether

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1. Patricia Pomerleau CEOExpressSelect Member
     Forum Moderator
     (9/10/2019 5:02:03 AM)
     Message ID #343797

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Last week, "Sharpie Gate" took over the airways. President Trump mistakenly said that some states, including Alabama, were going to be hit "much harder than expected" by hurricane Dorian. This set off a bit of a panic in Alabama which was quickly extinguished by the National Weather Service (NWS) in Birmingham that tweeted that Alabama was not going to be affected by the storm. This entire episode would have gone away had the president and Wilbur Ross not spend countless hours defending the inaccurate tweet and the press spend endless hours talking about it.

Meanwhile, NOAA sent out an unsigned notice that no one was supposed to contradict the president (couched, but that was the message) and Wilbur Ross threatened to fire those under his command that did not tow the party line. On the other side, NWS scientists are up in arms and gave a standing ovation to the Birmingham NWS staff after Louis Uccellini, the head of NWS, praised the office for taking quick action to deliver correct information about Hurricane Dorian after Trump’s false warning.

Trump's gaff in stating that Alabama was in the path of Dorian was wrong--no more, no less, just wrong. Had he just admitted it was a mistake, one like everyone makes, it would have been a non-story. But he doubled and tripled down, pulling in Wilbur Ross and NOAA employees into a bizarre "Sharpie-gate" odyssey that kept on going and going. People were threatened, bizarre non-signed directives not to contradict the president went out from NOAA along with threats of firings.

"Oh what a tangled web we weave...."

Add to all this the press and it's need to jump on Trump misstatements and gaffs and you've got a bad tasting soup. It's not just Trump. Fox News makes huge news over any gaff that Biden makes and talks about it ad nauseam.

What do you think of what happened last week?

  • Much ado about nothing?
  • An instance of Trump staff jumping to his tune in spite of facts?
  • The press run amok with a non-story?
  • Science being ignored for ego?
  • Same old, same old?
  • Can you name an instance where it was correct for politics to trump/overrule science?

This is a bizarre example of Trump staff and appointees willing to do anything to support the president no matter how wrong he might be. However, if this somewhat silly incident is indicative of the way that government officials face critical needs of the country, it's a problem. The difference between science and magic and religion, is that science is replicable and magic and religion are not. A "magic" marker does not trump science. .

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2. T Cavanagh CEOExpressSelect Member
     (9/10/2019 6:41:33 AM)
     Message ID #343798

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This entire story is fake

Watch the CNN video, on the Don Lemon Show where the forecaster predicts the Hurricane crossing Florida and into the Gulf coming ashore in AL August 29th CNN, "straight across the Florida peninsula into the Gulf, heading Northward"

Watch it for yourself, don’t trust the hype

Weather forecasters are like Economists, they can only guess.

It’s not science, it’s probability, closer related to gaming than science which is the process of proving a hypothesis based upon testing.

Meteorology is Science, cause and effect, barometric pressure, temperature inversions, cloud formations, the measurement of atmospheric conditions and their effect

Weather "forecasting" is simply gaming, and is very unpredictable, don't get the two confused

How do I know? One semester in College, an easy A, closely related to Statistics and probability.

Yet weather effects all our lives daily, and is therefore a reason to watch the “news”

A 90 to 95% weather forecast is 6 hours out, at 12 hours the probability drops to 50%
There are simply too many variables that cannot be measured, and no, it has nothing to do with global warming

CNN is now in the business of disinformation

The Central Intelligence Agency on Monday evening slammed what it called CNN's "misguided" and "simply false" reporting, after the cable channel's chief national security correspondent authored a hole-filled piece claiming that the CIA had pulled a high-level spy out of Russia because President Trump had "repeatedly mishandled classified intelligence and could contribute to exposing the covert source as a spy."

The extraordinary CIA rebuke came as The New York Times published a bombshell piece late in the evening, which largely contradicted CNN's reporting. According to the Times, CIA officials "made the arduous decision in late 2016 to offer to extract the source from Russia" -- weeks before Trump even took office.

Sharpies, Bedbugs, Jet Fuel in Scotland, and now CIA spies

Message edited by user at 9/10/2019 7:10:23 AM

3. Michael O'Neill
     (9/10/2019 7:02:13 AM)
     Message ID #343799

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Trump is a pathological liar, so even if the storm was going to hit Alabama, no one would have believed him. So it is a problem in that if there were another hurricane, other natural disaster imminent, even a missile heading towards us from Trump's BFF Kim and Trump was warning us, we'd shrug and ask for a second opinion. His credibility is zero. Zip. Nada.

So to answer your question, if it's Trumps word vs. anything, take anything.

4. T Cavanagh CEOExpressSelect Member
     (9/10/2019 7:17:28 AM)
     Message ID #343800

This message is in response to Michael O'Neill ( message id #343799 )  View All Related Messages

Hey Mike, remember the time Obama directly ordered the DEA off of the Hamas drug running operation in order to appease Iran?

Now that was some kind of deceit! Right? Too bad we don't have a President that is honest and transparent, right?

Wait, how did Obama get caught that time? Whistleblower? Can't remember, it certainly wasn't WAPO/CNN/NYT

Now redacted Obama State Department memos have been released under FOIA lawsuit, wow! Getting a little sporty down there in DC! Doesn't look good, corruption abounds

5. D Robb
     (9/10/2019 7:27:19 AM)
     Message ID #343801

This message is in response to T Cavanagh ( message id #343798 )  View All Related Messages

The story is not about whether or not Dorian initially could threaten Alabama, missing link.
The story is about the fact that trump made a mistake and erroneously said Dorian threatened Alabama. NONE, that is not a one, zero, nada weather predictions had it threatening Alabama.
All trump had to do is say is someone mistakenly told him it was, and the story would have been over. Unfortunately, trump is totally incapable of admitting a mistake. THAT is the story, missing link.

6. D Robb
     (9/10/2019 7:28:41 AM)
     Message ID #343802

This message is in response to T Cavanagh ( message id #343800 )  View All Related Messages

Please provide a credible link supporting your totally fabricated story about President Obama, missing link.

7. Michael O'Neill
     (9/10/2019 7:31:14 AM)
     Message ID #343803

This message is in response to T Cavanagh ( message id #343800 )  View All Related Messages

I was wondering who would be the first "Whatabout. "

But your false equivalency is noted.


8. D Robb
     (9/10/2019 7:40:56 AM)
     Message ID #343804

This message is in response to Patricia Pomerleau ( message id #343797 )  View All Related Messages

IMO the biggest problem in the seeming daily conflict between science and politics occurs in the area of religion. Religions are based on faith. It is impossible to prove the existence of God. You have to believe. There is no problem with that EXCEPT when believers attempt to inflict their beliefs on others who may believe in another definition of God or not believe in God at all.

Of course there are lots of other examples. Some people, including trump, seem totally unable to separate weather from climate, and thus do not understand climate change.

Some people believe their gut over the science behind vaccinations despite the reality that vaccinations work and prevent disease.

Some bigots want to believe that there are differences between the races, and that some races are less intelligent and more criminal than other races despite the reality that there is no evidence to support that along with your genes you inherit behaviors.

The problem is not with science. The problem is with people who are ignorant of science and have a specific agenda they want to pursue.

9. D Robb
     (9/10/2019 8:02:56 AM)
     Message ID #343805

This message is in response to T Cavanagh ( message id #343798 )  View All Related Messages

Back in 2014, soon after acquiring a golf resort in Scotland, trump entered a partnership with a struggling local airport there to increase air traffic and boost tourism in the region.
The next year, as trump began running for president, the Pentagon decided to ramp up its use of that same airport to refuel Air Force flights and gave the local airport authority the job of helping to find accommodations for flight crews who had to remain overnight.
Those two separate arrangements have now intersected in ways that provide the latest evidence of how trump’s continued ownership of his business produces regular ethical questions.

10. D Robb
     (9/10/2019 8:07:21 AM)
     Message ID #343806

This message is in response to Michael O'Neill ( message id #343799 )  View All Related Messages

The problem is even worse than you state, Michael. trump has actively worked to undermine US intelligence agencies because he doesn't like the conclusions they draw, and he doesn't like their continued reluctance to support trump's ignorant beliefs on N Korea, Russia, and Iran.
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