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Sunday, October 30, 2022

Peter Thiel's CPAC for racists - the tight-knit circle of Koch employees, Thiel flunkies and race pseudoscience promoters

Last week I did a quick survey of some of the speakers who will be in the upcoming Peter Thiel-led CPAC for racists, otherwise known as the Stanford Academic Freedom conference

The conference so dedicated to Academic Freedom that the keynote speaker will be Peter Thiel, who is not involved in academia except, I assume, to donate to it in order to garner influence for his right-wing democracy-hating political agenda.

So for the first round I looked at mostly people I recognized as promoters of race pseudoscience, and/or are on the plutocrat payroll, and I had written about many of them on this blog.

This survey of the remaining speakers, like the first survey, demonstrates what a shameless lie the "College Fix" promoted in its claim that the conference is a bipartisan endeavor. It is overwhelmingly slanted to the right.

Well let's have a look at the others:

Luana Maroja is a sociobiologist and a Koch-funded promoter of Koch's favorite claim, that there's not enough free speech for right-wingers on American campuses. Which probably explains why Breitbart loved her enough to spread what Reza Aslan said was a lie about a panel he did with Jamelle Bouie. Naturally Jerry Coyne and professional racist Steve Sailer are fans of hers.

Mimi St. Johns has a very close tie to Peter Thiel - she is currently the editor-in-chief of the far-right newspaper the Stanford Review, which Thiel founded in 1987. Thiel is still very involved with the Review: "While Thiel also makes financial contributions, he has hosted staff reunions at his home, and meets with the editors quarterly as a way to stay current with campus activities in general."

Dorian Abbot is an author for racist Quillette, funded by Thiel and also wrote an op-ed in Newsweek comparing affirmative action to Nazi Germany. His co-author was Iván Marinovic, one of the three Stanford Graduate School of Business Faculty Organizers

Fun fact - two of the speakers, Anna Krylov and Richard Lowery are also members of the conference Organizing Committee. The CPAC for racists is an extremely tight-knit group.

John Hasnas is a far-right winger on the Koch payroll via CATO and a contributor at the far-right Federalist Society.

I haven't found direct connections between  Peter Arcidiacono and race pseudoscience and/or right-wing plutocrats, although he seems to be popular with those types of people, probably because they feel his work can be used to oppose affirmative action. 

Solveig Gold is Joshua Katz's wife and predictably a right-winger. The New York Times ran a Better Homes and Gardens style profile about her last summer

Joseph H. Manson is a fan of some of the biggest crackpots and racists from the Intellectual Dark Web and Quillette including Jordan Peterson, Peter Boghossian, Jonathan Katz (another speaker at the conference) and racist extremist neo-Nazi Bo Winegard.

John Schendal Rose is an instructor at Duke University with a Master of Theological Studies. He was scheduled to teach a gender-segregated seminar in June 2020, The Moral Life and the Classical Tradition Seminar, "a week-long program for rising high school juniors and seniors as well as rising college freshmen interested in the ancient philosophical tradition and its influence in the Christian moral life." I hope he gets a chance to witness for Christ to Jerry Coyne, a militant atheist.

Speaker John H. Cochrane one of the three Faculty Organizers of the conference, is a Hoover man, like speaker Niall Ferguson and a member of the Koch network via CATO. He's written for National Review about his loathing of government funded healthcare, like a good right-wing libertarian would.

John M. Ellis works for right-wing plutocrats via the Sarah Scaife Foundation-funded National Association of Scholars, whining about political correctness ruining higher education. Rand-roids love him.

Erik Kaufmann is a Koch man via the Manhattan Institute.

Steven Koonin can be seen giving an interview to Ayn Rand fanatics in order to promote climate change denial.

Bjorn Lomborg is another climate change denier.

Jay Bhattacharya is identified as "a scholar connected to right-wing dark money" at Exposed by CMD and the article also mentions Bhattacharya's Great Barrington Declaration which "recommended governments allow younger, healthier people to become infected with Covid-19 while reserving “focused protection” for the vulnerable, in order to reach herd immunity. Suggestions included having nursing homes limit staff rotations and businesses rely on workers with “acquired immunity.”

John Ioannidis is another Covid genius who "tried to convince President Donald Trump that locking down the country would be the real danger."


Hollis Robbins can be seen on Linked In promoting Koch man Tyler Cowen (also a speaker at the CPAC for racists) and she gave him an interview in 2019 here. She says something interesting in that interview:
"I don’t understand why founders don’t have more operas about them, why we don’t see operas and movies about Steve Jobs, about Peter Thiel, about Jeff Bezos. There’s the David Fincher film of the founding of Facebook, but that’s pretty much it. The founders, entrepreneurs today are titans."
So you can see why Thiel would like her. And she sounds pretty clueless since there have been several movies and documentaries about Steve Jobs. As far as Thiel, well, she may be interested to know that I have written a play which features a Thiel-like character (called Toby Peel) and it will receive its first public reading in a couple of weeks. But I don't think Thiel would like it. 

So what this looks like to me is that the Koch people have been cultivating Robbins, best known for working with Henry Louis Gates, for a few years, and her appearance at this conference is part of sealing the deal. But that's just my best guess.

Scott W. Atlas is a long-time Republican and Trump advisor best-known for spreading Covid-19 misinformation.

Michael W. McConnell is a Bush nominee, a Hoover Institute man and a contributor to the Federalist Society online site.

Eugene Volokh is a conservative/libertarian Koch man via Reason Magazine.

Frances Widdowson is an author at racist Quillette, who also happens to hate Black Lives Matter.

So there you have it. The whole political spectrum from libertarian to Republican to conservative to right-wing to Trump supporter to race pseudoscience supporter to full-on racist. 

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