The great great great great,etc, grand nephew of Vincenzo Maculani, Vincenzo Maculani XVI, Girolamo Savonarola professor of climate science at George Wallace University appeared before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology yesterday. He explained to the committee why the RICO statutes should be used to prosecute those who argue against the settled science of climate change as well to prosecute those who belong to the Flat Earth Society and/or the Anti-Henny Penny Society.
Professor Maculani’s testimony was a follow-up to the letter sent to the president and attorney general also urging the prosecution of scientific unbelievers under the RICO law. Though, I suppose, that if the climate change story goes against the writers of the the letter and Professor Maculani the RICO statutes could go against them. Live by the RICO, die by the RICO. I’m referring to the law, not the Edward G Robinson character in Little Caesar with its famous last line: “Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico?” The other RICO will likely last until the end of the republic. (The letter was taken down by it’s authors, but nothing on the web disappears.)
In case you haven’t the details of RICO on the tip of your tongue, here’s a brief description of what it entails:
To achieve its objective of preventing the infiltration of legitimate businesses by organized crime, RICO gave the government sweeping new powers, including the power to freeze a defendant’s assets at the time of indictment and confiscate them after conviction. Traditionally, criminal defendants are presumed to be innocent and face punishment only after conviction. RICO, by allowing the government to seize entire businesses connected even indirectly with a defendant at the time of indictment, before any proof of guilt, is a major exception to this general principle. The government is authorized, in effect, to act as prosecutor, judge, and jury in the same case. The government under RICO is also able to make it more difficult for the accused to wage a defense by, for example, seizing the funds that a defendant would have used to hire an attorney. And if a defendant is convicted, RICO provides for onerous criminal penalties…RICO represents the worst the criminal justice system has to offer any citizen: the arbitrary wielding of the government’s awesome power to impose criminal sanctions. This outrageous law should be repealed at once.
While it’s supposed to be directed at racketeers, prosecutors seem ready to use it against Girl Scouts selling cookies from door to door, if they knock on the wrong door and on people with withdraw more than 10 two dollar bills from their bank account. It also appears to apply to those whose thinking is deemed non-conformist or not right thinking by those who have the answers to what ails us.
So now it should be obvious to you how RICO would apply to the refuseniks who fail to adhere to the commands of science. It also tells you you a lot about academics who want to use it to silence those who disagree with them. But it’s not just climate science, with its attendant catastrophes soon to dwarf those that extinguished the dinosaurs, that should employ the RICO statutes; science denied, of any persuasion, should avail itself of the support of the Department of Justice.
To those of you unconscious to the process of scientific method, here’s how it works. First you get an idea. If you can’t think of one, ask Google for help. Then make a few computer models. If this is beyond your programming skills get your 10 year old son to help you. Actually, any 10 year old will do. Then go to the CIA’s website. It is so full of information, all of which is in the public domain, that it will have any data you need to construct any computer model you, or Google, can think of.
Next, send your model, filled in with the data you’ve downloaded from the CIA, to a few of your friends. Ask them for their opinion about the scientific merit of your model and its predictions. If you pick them carefully, they will be positive. Now post your theory on Facebook. When you get 100 likes it’s time to cash in.
Be sure that you have picked a model that predicts global collapse. But, and this is essential, said collapse should be far enough in the future so that if it fails to occur you will have shuffled off this mortal coil by then and thus be immune to the consequences of error. Also be sure to make your predictions of Armageddon so dire that the Defense Department and/or the EPA will compulsively throw money at you and your 10 year old collaborator. These pillars of progress will likely support you without the embarrassment of peer review. If, for some odd happenstance, they do require peer review suggest several of your likes from Facebook as reviewers. DOD and EPA won’t know anything about your new idea and computer model and will therefore turn to you for assistance in identifying experts in your new field of study who would serve as peer reviewers. Before you can say 20 trillion you’ll have some government money.
After you had government money for so long that even the Feds ask for something tangible, it’s time to publish. Pick on online journal that’s edited by one of your friends. If you have no friends make a donation to the journal and you’ll have friends. This procedure you will ensure that your work is fairly and impartially reviewed. Republish the article on your blog. If you don’t have a blog get your 10 year old collaborator to set one up for you. In addition to your research findings, post as many obscure excerpts from other blogs as you have time to copy and paste, just link them to their source. The bloggers will love the notice you give them and won’t object to your borrowing from them. Also write as many unintelligible articles as you can – be sure to mangle syntax, mix metaphors, and make Mrs Malaprop proud. The less understood you are, the more scholarly you will appear.
Poll your friends, the ones referred to above, and your Facebook likes to determine how many experts in your field believe that your work has solved whatever epochal problem you’ve defined. You’ll doubtless find that at least 95% of them believe you have solved the problem and that further research is unnecessary. The next step is implementation. You’ve reached the point where you definitely don’t want anyone nosing around your research asking potentially embarrassing questions. So you must declare the issue settled and equate anybody who asks troubling questions to a Holocaust denier. This is where RICO can be so useful. Not only can you get the Feds to ice any opposition, you can also get them to take the denier’s money away – and without a trial!
Of course, all scientists and fellow travellers are fiercely devoted to freedom of speech. To show your allegiance to this essential right, put two Free Speech Centers into your budget. I suggest Nome and Tierra Del Fuego as good locations for them. Conversely, too much of a good thing can be bad, so don’t go beyond two. Put trigger and micro aggression warnings on the websites of every college or university that accepts federal money. This will allow right thinking students who are sensitive to the denial of settled science plenty of time to avoid Nome and Tierra Del Fuego, while keeping the shade of John Peter Zenger quiet in his underworld repose.