Oxford University

Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?

There are a great many conspiracy theories out there, the latest one being that I have something over John Key and Judith Collins.

It is being pushed hard by various nutters on the left-wing. It is hilarious to read the comments at places like The Daily blog, where special kinds of political retards reside and comment, same with The Standard.

But why do people believe these conspiracy theories?

Do people really believe such conspiracy theories? They do, and in disturbingly high numbers, according to recent empirical research collected by University of Miami political scientists Joseph E. Uscinski and Joseph M. Parent and presented in their 2014 book American Conspiracy Theories (Oxford University Press). About a third of Americans, for example, believe the “birther” conspiracy theory that Obama is a foreigner. About as many believe that 9/11 was an “inside job” by the Bush administration.

The idea that such beliefs are held only by a bunch of nerdy white guys living in their parents’ basements is a myth. Surveys by Uscinski and Parent show that believers in conspiracies “cut across gender, age, race, income, political affiliation, educational level, and occupational status.” People on both the political left and right, for example, believe in conspiracies roughly equally, although each finds different cabals. Liberals are more likely to suspect that media sources and political parties are pawns of rich capitalists and corporations, whereas conservatives tend to believe that academics and liberal elites control these same institutions. GMO conspiracy theories are embraced primarily by those on the left (who accuse, for example, Monsanto of conspiring to destroy small farmers), whereas climate change conspiracy theories are endorsed primarily by those on the right (who inculpate, for example, academic climate scientists for manipulating data to destroy the American economy).

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Climate Change Crooks inventing new frauds

Will these climate change crooks never give up robbing the taxpayers, what about a research grant for doing something useful for a change not something that is fashionable.

Environmental scientists want to introduce a new system to prove that adverse weather events are directly linked to climate change to counter global warming sceptics.

Under the new plan, a heatwave or major storm will be linked scientifically to man made climate change immediately after the event to prevent critics from blaming it on natural variations in the weather.

Scientists want to be able to provide proof of whether an event was caused by climate change within three day rather than the current system which can take up to a year.    Read more »

British MP George Galloway storms out of Oxford University debate

The Respect Party MP for Bradford West, who is a longstanding supporter of Hezbollah and Hamas, had spoken in favor of the motion “Israel should withdraw immediately from the West Bank” when Eylon Aslan-Levy stood up to speak against the motion.

Two minutes into his speech, Galloway interrupted the third-year Politics, Philosophy and Economics student and asked if he was Israeli.   Read more »

The first nail in the coffin of the EFA

The first nail in the coffin of the Electoral Finance Act was driven in today by Simon Power.

Government disbands EFA Expert Panel

Justice Minister Simon Power today announced that the Government has disestablished the Expert Panel on Electoral Administration which was established by the Labour Government two months ago.

The panel was to have reviewed the administration of the electoral system under the Electoral Finance Act and whether or not political parties should be state funded.

Its terms of reference included convening a Citizens’ Forum of 70 people to consider the findings of the panel. The cost of the Expert Panel and the forums had been budgeted at $4.57 million.

The three members appointed to the panel were Associate Professor Andrew Geddis (Chair) of Otago University, Dr Jean Drage of Canterbury University/Victoria University, and Professor Stephen Levine of Victoria University.

Mr Power says he has written to the panellists advising them of the decision to disestablish the committee and thanking them for their willingness to contribute their “considerable expertise”.

“The Electoral Finance Act 2007 was passed without a broad base of support across parties represented in Parliament. Similarly, the Expert Panel was established without wider political consultation. National opposed both of these measures.

“So we are disbanding the panel and will start this whole process afresh.

“The next phase in the Government’s plan is to repeal the EFA as an interim measure, as promised during the election campaign.

“We want to return to the spirit of bipartisanship on this issue which till recently had shaped electoral reform in New Zealand.

“The Government has been sufficiently encouraged by statements made by the Leader of the Opposition since the election which suggest there is now a willingness to participate in a constructive approach toward the reform of electoral administration.

“Following the repeal of the EFA, we will start work on a new law that will seek as broad a range of parliamentary and public support as possible, to provide an enduring framework for the administration of elections.”

Ends

Nice, and note how National refers to the repeal of the Act, completely ignoring Phil Goff’s rather lame attempt to admit failure by calling for the EFA to be amended.

Best student protest award

[Imported from Whale Oil Beef Hooked on Blogger]

Victoria University students give Christine Turner the “eye” when told of fee rises of hundreds of dollars for next year.

Students are furious that Victoria University voted yesterday to seek an exemption from the Tertiary Education Commission to lift fees by up to 10 per cent for most humanities and education courses.

Best they seek out Jordan and his apologists to ask why after voting enmasse for Liar-bour they cop this lot.

I say good job, serves you right you sooky academic socialists.