Funding PC nonsense and other commentary

Science watch: Funding PC Nonsense

A $700,000 climate-change musical, Turkey’s veiling-fashion industry and animal depictions in National Geographic: The National Science Foundation, “whose mission is to ensure the United States’ leadership in areas of science and technology that are essential to economic growth and national security, frequently funds politically correct but low-value research projects,” reports Henry Miller at the Washington Examiner. “Basic science that elucidates the fundamental processes in fields such as aging, cancer biology, immunology and virology is” worth the $44 billion taxpayers annually spend on research through the NSF and the National Institutes of Health. But “the definition of what constitutes ‘science’ has gradually expanded to include sociology, economics and ‘woo-woo’ alternative medicine.” With China set to overtake us in R&D funding, we must “demand that politicians forgo political correctness . . . and prioritize funding for research that advances” the national interest.

Energy beat: The Fracking Decade

Here’s an unheralded revolution: In 2006, then-President George W. Bush warned of America’ addiction to oil from foreign petro-tyrannies. But by then, US-invented fracking was already “coming of age,” notes Commentary’s Noah Rothman. The technology would soon scramble assumptions about “how the world would organize itself in the 2010s and beyond.” By the end of 2018, America “produced nearly 18 million barrels of petroleum products” per day, and the nation is “forecast to become a net energy exporter” in 2022. This has freed Washington to push “a harder line against Iran” and move closer to Israel. The larger lesson in this: It’s “never wise to underestimate Americans’ ability to engineer a better future for themselves.”

Culture critic: The Woke War on J.K. Rowling

Progressives are “denouncing J.K. Rowling” and “insisting that she has ­ruined Harry Potter in a single tweet,” sighs Chad Pecknold in The Catholic Herald. Yet the British novelist is “hardly a conservative opponent of all things liberal.” So what’s the issue? Rowling came to the defense of “Maya Forstater, a tax expert who was fired from her job at the Centre for Global Development” for stating that the sex binary — man and woman — is an immutable biological reality. The campaign against Forstater and now Rowling shows how “gender ideologues . . . have learned how to use liberal institutions as a weapon to achieve their gnostic-political aims. They are not satisfied that they have the power to get people fired for holding science against them. They want total conformity.” Which is why the ideologues “will continue to look for witches — and books — to burn.”

Foreign desk: The Anti-Putin

“To many Americans, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is merely a character” in our domestic impeachment drama, observes Bloomberg Opinion’s Leonid Bershidsky. But in Eastern Europe, he represents “the only kind of threat Russian President Vladimir Putin has any reason to fear.” To win power, Zelensky, a former comedian with “no political experience,” ran a “lean, masterful, social-media-savvy campaign,” apt for a country “ready for radical change.” Since he took office, Ukraine has experienced an “unexpected economic-growth surge,” and forecasters predict the country will keep beating “high expectations.” That growth is Ukraine’s “not-so-secret weapon against the leviathan to the northeast” — and evidence that “a former Soviet country doesn’t have to tolerate a fusty authoritarian regime.”

Conservative: The Depth of Dems’ Impeach Folly

The impeachment process “is going terribly for the Democrats,” argues The Federalist’s Christopher Bedford, notwithstanding last week’s “long-expected vote and the media cheer group accompanying it.” Fact is, after the Mueller report, “it takes willful stupidity to think that a solid majority of Americans ever wanted to see this impeachment go through” — and over Ukraine, no less. “From the nature of the impeachment to the lionization of its leader,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “media elites and their Democratic allies have misread this political situation more seriously than any since” the eve of the 2016 election. Even on the supposedly glorious night of the impeachment vote, Democrats “failed to win the national argument and likely strengthened the president’s re-election prospects.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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