European Mathematical Society Issues Letter
Critical of U.S. President Donald Trump
and His Administration

P for Paul

On 10 February 2017 the European Mathematical Society [EMS], of which I am a member of the governing Council, published a letter along with 55 other societies entitled, “European science organizations: maintain transparency, open communication and mobility of scholars and scientists.” The letter was not addressed to anyone, and thus rather was rather a statement of policy. A copy of the letter appears here: Letter Critical of Donald Trump. I suggest you read it before continuing.

First, I issue a disclosure. I am an American. I am grateful for my election to the Council by my peers, believing I am the first and only American so to serve. With this confidence placed in me by my peers I strive to serve their interests always ahead of my own.

Please be aware now that no one consulted me about the decision to publish this letter, to which I would have objected. I know not whether other members of the Council were consulted, but the authorization for the letter must have come either from President Pavel Exner of the EMS or its Executive Committee. The normative issue here is that confirmation by the Council to publish this letter should have been sought, if for no other reason than to protect the President and the Executive Committee from repercussions. Now they are coming.

The letter pure and simple is a diatribe against the President of the United States Donald Trump and his administration. It is a thinly veiled attempt to force the United States government to genuflect to the European scientific community, adhere to its concepts of worthy research projects, and to fund them to the full extent of the wishes of this community. Donald Trump is President of the United States, not of the world, nor even the European community of states, however described. As such, he and his administration have no duties to this community other that those specified by American law. These would include treaties as ratified by the Senate, including membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and membership in the United Nations. Nowhere included is a duty to send money to European scientists.

In particular, none of these signatories to the letter has any financial claim for research funding on any American institution, such as the National Science Foundation or the National Institutes of Health. The implication that they do devolves from this arrogant European stance that somehow American taxpayer money must fund their research projects under the guise of academic freedom. Further supercilious posturing includes ad hominem attacks on the United States President for his assumed positions on such subjects as climate change, and on his approach to the related concepts of state security and immigration policy.

I, along with almost all Americans support freedom of speech, and the right of these 56 institutions, including the EMS, to make the statement of their letter. However, let us not forget that to preserve this right, and others we hold dear in our Western democracies, over 117,000 American military personnel sacrificed their lives in Europe in the First World War, and over 185,000 sacrificed their lives in Europe and the Atlantic Theater in the Second World War. Many of these casualties are buried in cemeteries all over Europe.

So, back to the letter. It’s all about the money, isn’t it? How crass, how coarse, how base. But, what more does one expect from this bunch of elite snobs?

8 thoughts on “European Mathematical Society Issues Letter
Critical of U.S. President Donald Trump
and His Administration

  1. Lord Whitehaven

    Right-ho, Kettler! I have waited a long while for someone to take down these arrogant left wing academics. As an Englishman, however, I sense in your remarks almost an almost British reserve, a reluctance to fire with both barrels (a Purdy or H&H, of course.) Here is what you could have added. I will do it for you, so you may save decorum.

    These pansy Europeans are concerned with political interference in the scientific enterprise. Where were they when the Soviets were lauding Lysenko? or when the Nazis were conducting medical experiments on unwilling patients? (sparing your audience the gruesome details) or when those Nazis were condemning “Jewish physics,” an idea which collected Einstein, Bohr, and Oppenheimer, and even ultimately their showpiece Jew Heisenberg? I will tell you where they were: in open or tacit collusion with the politicos.

    Now this impotent hide-in-the-laboratory class thinks it can influence American politics, thereby interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation, a concept they would abhor if worked the other way. They seem to be concerned with the scientific inclinations of President Trump. Does anybody in the “paying for all this” class give a rats rooty tooty whether he thinks the moon is made of green cheese? This one thinks not.

    Now, as a retired Royal Navy flag officer let me wave the Jack and say, “Thank God for Brexit!” Maybe the President’s call to “Make America Great Again” should include the subtext, “Goodbye Europe.” It’s working for us, and it will for you.

    Most sincerely,
    Lord Whitehaven, Adm, RN (ret.)
    Cambs, UK

    1. Harry, Caernarfon, Wales Post author

      Dear Professor Kettler,

      You are absolutely correct in your assessment of the whining European scientific establishment. Just to reinforce your thought, I see things this way. These dependencies speak of “funding,” never “earnings.” Funding is their monetary allowance, dispensed by their proxy parents, mainly government institutions, either directly or indirectly. As children in adult clothing they have tantrums when their allowances are cut. That’s all this letter is, a tantrum in front of the paternal USA, disgracefully exposed to the whole world.

      Caernarfon, Wales

    2. Wordsworth  Shelley–Keats  Byron–Coleridge Post author

      The Dutch professor Van Zant
      Was having a terrible rant.
      “They’ll say I’m a fool
      When the world starts to cool
      ‘Cause The Donald won’t give me a grant.”

      A famous professor of maths
      Was not known for taking his baths.
      He emitted a smell,
      But always could tell
      How to integrate circular paths.

      A professor of physics from Lenz
      Was driving to work in his Benz.
      When he arrived to his class
      He confronted a lass.
      “So you think you’re an A. That depends.”

      A medical frosh from Oshkosh
      Was noshing a bagel, by gosh.
      When along came a grant
      To study an ant.
      “It’s so posh that it must be a josh.”

      A VCU biochem guy
      Was aligning his crystals to pi.
      When came diagnosis
      Of orthorhombosis
      He threw up his hands with a sigh.

  2. Hennessy Post author

    Nice post, Kettler, right to the point. First, I would like to
    say that I know Whitehaven. I recognized the name and the place
    (Cambs.) I served as his Executive Officer for two years on a
    destroyer. He is a fine man, one of the last of the gentleman
    scholar officers. It was an honor to serve with him. Of course,
    Whitehaven is a pseudonym. When off duty I would refer to him
    thusly (as a reference to his family origins,) and he would call me
    Hennessy (because I was his XO.)

    Now to my point. While your reference to the pecuniary
    dependence of the intellectual class on the taxpayer providers is
    quite apt, there is more. These people have a vested interest in
    preserving the medieval apprentice system to which they have become
    accustomed. I speak of the system of servitude preceding a
    permanent position (tenure in the United States.) In almost all
    other modes of endeavor, excepting lifetime appointments of judges,
    people must perform in order to keep their jobs. In sports, for
    example, one performs or gets cut. It’s that simple.

    There was a time when academics persuaded the authorities above
    that they needed lots of free time to contemplate nature (or their
    navels) in order to achieve results. “Lots of time” in this context
    could easily mean ten years or more, thus the concept of the
    permanent position.

    Well, nowadays in the real world marketplace the time from a
    product’s conception through delivery to final purchasers is
    considerably shorter than it was just a few years ago, owing to
    technological developments like computer assisted design (CAD) and
    logistical innovations like “just in time” inventory
    management. The same innovations are available to academics. A
    computer sits on almost every desk automating processes like
    symbolic and numerical integration for mathematicians and engineers.
    The time from hypothesis to result is therefore much shorter than it
    was in pencil and paper days.

    The forces of the market work in the academy just as they do
    everywhere else, though the left-wing anti-capitalist academy denies
    that they do. For example, only one of five Ph.D. graduates in the
    sciences obtains a tenure track academic position. This situation
    is not only because there are fewer academic positions available
    than Ph.D. graduates; it is also true because industry, even with
    its absence of a permanent position equivalent, is the more
    attractive choice. People don’t mind forgoing the lifetime
    employment guarantee as long as an alternative available job is more

    So, if the taxpayer class is fed up with the academy, and all
    indications are that this is so, at least in the USA, then guess
    what will happen to the medieval tenure system. Right, you are:
    gone, gone, and gone again.

  3. Ghost of Feynman Post author

    When I was living I once said, “Mathematics is to physics as masturbation is to real sex.” Maybe the EMS should change its name. It already has the initials.

  4. Prætorian Guard Post author

    It seems to the EMS that the protection of innocent American lives takes a back seat to the unrestricted travel of persons to the United States from countries known to harbor Islamic terrorists. That is easy for them to say. They are Europeans (except, as noted, for Kettler.)

    Well, one may ask, just how good are the Europeans at protecting themselves from Islamic terrorists? I shall just mention a few cities, and you will get the idea: London, Manchester, Paris, Nice, Berlin, Stockholm, Madrid, Barcelona.

    What the Europeans need, once again, is for the Americans to clean up their mess. Here is hoping that when the red phone rings at the Pentagon nobody answers.

  5. HIRAM Post author

    The European Mathematical Society is obviously part of the European political Left which generally despises the United States, except for those dependencies like military defense and scientific leadership. Well, here comes Hiram, a straight, white, Christian, male, four categories hated and ridiculed by the Left. I am led to believe that I am

    • a Homophobe, because I am straight,
    • an Islamophobe, because I am a Christian,
    • a RAcist, because I am white,
    • a Misogynist, because I am a male.

    Well, these descriptions fit me like a glove. I am HIRAM, and proud.


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