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kubera

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PostSubject: The time people have   Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:31 am

The conservative government in Graphic novel form

http://compellingcomics.justsomeguy.com/CanadaVotes2011/Canada.html
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SteveL
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PostSubject: Re: The time people have   Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:51 pm

How can the gov't muzzle scientists?

(I skimmed the first part, skipped the rest.
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kubera

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PostSubject: Re: The time people have   Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:53 pm

They muzzle government scientist by having Conservative staffers decide which studies can or cannot be released. In one case the Science minister who does not believe in evolution and is a "young earther" refused to release a weather study on 50,000 year old ice cores. no rational given but the most likely scenario is because he doesn't believe the world is 50,000 years old he refused to release the data.

Its got to the point that no one can release the science they were hired to do without PMO permission.

Civil servants including scientists and experts have been told by the PMO not to attend and answer questions at committee meetings.

I have no problem with people arguing the validity of a data set or even expressing their ideological resistance to a theory but outright suppression of science or data goes too far.
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kubera

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PostSubject: Re: The time people have   Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:10 pm

here's the link to an open letter from government scientists just released in the last couple of days.

http://350orbust.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/science-writers-call-for-an-end-to-muzzling-of-scientists-by-canadian-government/
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Wilhelm

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PostSubject: Re: The time people have   Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:52 pm

I remember the specific instances Kubera is refering to.

They can also control funding to pet projects and control the release of info through a denial of future funding. I don't recall this activity being specifically identified.

My favourite one on the list was the rebranding of the Government of Canada to The Harper Government.

There is a link at the bottom of the document that takes you to relevant news sources supporting the claims they are making. I really enjoyed the reading...
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SteveL
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PostSubject: Re: The time people have   Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:10 pm

kubera wrote:
They muzzle government scientist by having Conservative staffers decide which studies can or cannot be released
If I am a scientist, how can I be muzzled? I have the data, don't I?


Last edited by SteveL on Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The time people have   Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:12 pm

Wilhelm wrote:
[...]

They can also control funding [...]
I think you're being sloppy here. A refusal to fund is not the same as controlling funding.

Wilhelm wrote:
[...] control the release of info through a denial of future funding. [...]
This doesn't equate to muzzling.
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kubera

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PostSubject: Re: The time people have   Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:57 pm

They are gov employees, the gov tells them they cannot release their studies that we indirectly paid for , that is muzzling.. If they release said study after being told not to they get fired or arrested under secrecy laws.
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SteveL
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PostSubject: Re: The time people have   Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:40 pm

kubera wrote:
They are gov employees, the gov tells them they cannot release their studies that we indirectly paid for , that is muzzling.. If they release said study after being told not to they get fired or arrested under secrecy laws.
I figure they signed a NDA. This means that they have freely chosen to be silent. They have decided that their careers (or whatever) are more important than the study results. This undermines the importance of what they claim to be true.

We don't need the study per se; we need the data and the conclusions. One can't be prosecuted for divulging the truth unless society is awry, and even then, these scientists shouldn't be regarded as heroes for being parties to such an arrangement.
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Wilhelm

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PostSubject: Re: The time people have   Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:38 pm

Quote :
I think you're being sloppy here. A refusal to fund is not the same as controlling funding.

I see A refusal to fund as the ultimate exercise of control.

If the government likes theory "A" (for whatever reason) - they could ensure it is funded until it is proven in line with the desired outcome. If the scientists do not conclude in line with what is desired, their funding could be eliminated or face the threat of funding elimination - That is control.

Although a government body, the auditor general's office is probably one of the few government funded things that operates independently due to it's mandate. Unfortunately it's too small and underfunded given the level impropriety we have seen over the last 5 years of conservative tyranny (ok I'm being a severe calling Harper a tyrant - he's more of an egomaniac).
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PostSubject: Re: The time people have   Thu May 05, 2011 5:08 pm

Wilhelm wrote:
Quote :
I think you're being sloppy here. A refusal to fund is not the same as controlling funding.

I see A refusal to fund as the ultimate exercise of control.

If the government likes theory "A" (for whatever reason) - they could ensure it is funded until it is proven in line with the desired outcome. If the scientists do not conclude in line with what is desired, their funding could be eliminated or face the threat of funding elimination - That is control.

Although a government body, the auditor general's office is probably one of the few government funded things that operates independently due to it's mandate. Unfortunately it's too small and underfunded given the level impropriety we have seen over the last 5 years of conservative tyranny (ok I'm being a severe calling Harper a tyrant - he's more of an egomaniac).
So by not funding activity X, I am controlling the funding of activity X? If that were true, I would be in control of an awful lot of funding.
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Wilhelm

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PostSubject: Re: The time people have   Thu May 05, 2011 11:03 pm

Quote :
So by not funding activity X, I am controlling
the funding of activity X? If that were true, I would be in control of
an awful lot of funding.

Semantics. If you threaten to revoke funding you have never provided or do not control your argument is meaningless.

If you had meaningful funding or control over meaningful funding that would be absolutely true. You do not or you have chosen not to exercise that control. The government does have that level of control and does exercise the power (under Harper anyway). In the case of a government they have provided the funding and can eliminate it at a whim. The scientists are not relying on you - They are relying on the government.
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PostSubject: Re: The time people have   Fri May 06, 2011 4:44 pm

Wilhelm, I'm sure you'll agree that one dried-up money source doesn't prevent a scientist from finding another. Funding for a given project isn't in the hands of any one potential funder.

(I originally--mistakenly?--took your point about "control of funding" to mean that research was impossible without gov't. As the kids say, my bad.)
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Wilhelm

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PostSubject: Re: The time people have   Sun May 08, 2011 8:39 am

I must concur that other sources of funding may be available to a research team. The problem is finding them. Finding someone willing to drop X many $$$ could disrupt, delay and potentially stop the research. The more obscure, or without clear path to profit, the research, the more dificult it could be to replace.

It's like being an employee. Yes you can find other work but you are controlled by whoever you work for until that relationship disolves. If we assume for just a moment that finding research funding is way more difficult than finding a job (I believe this to be true) then by inference the level of control may also be greater.
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