defenders of telepathy

Congress Is Forming A Bipartisan Alternative Medicine Caucus By Alex Berezow – “Open displays of bipartisanship are rare these days and, as such, should be applauded. Unfortunately, a recent example of bipartisanship promotes junk science and bogus health claims.” i.e. everybody can be bought by fake news.

“ If alternative medicine worked, it would just be called medicine. In other words, a patient has two choices: evidence-based medicine or witchcraft. Congress has decided that it would like to throw more support behind the latter.

Where did this pseudoscientific monstrosity come from? Former Democratic Senator Tom Harkin is mostly at fault, but there is plenty of blame to go around. Current Republican Senator Orrin Hatch also likes alternative medicine, specifically the supplements industry.

The influence of alternative medicine is widespread and pernicious. A study reported by RealClearScience compared the outcomes of cancer patients on conventional therapy with those using alternative medicine. It found that, after five years, 78% of the former were still alive, compared to only 55% of the latter. Alternative medicine kills people. Literally.

Knowing Their Harm, Politicians Still Push for Minimum Wages by Matthew Lau – “We have minimum wage hikes for the same reason we have rent control, protectionism, and thousands of other destructive policies.”

“Thankfully, the racist motivations of minimum wages are today gone. However, the negative consequences of minimum wages still are often not unintentional. Take the example of Ontario, Canada, where the minimum wage is set to rise from $11.60 today to $14 in 2018, and then to $15 in 2019. This policy will undoubtedly result in business closures and job losses – and as it turns out, these consequences are intended.

Which businesses will be unable to afford a minimum wage hike? The answer is primarily businesses that provide jobs to workers whose maximum productivity is too low to justify a $15 wage. Raising the wage floor to $15 makes untenable the employment of any workers whose skills do not allow them to contribute at least $15 of value hourly to employers.

With four studies produced by the Ontario government showing negative employment effects of raising the minimum wage without any reduction in poverty, why are politicians pushing forward with the policy?

The answer as to why we have minimum wage hikes is the same as to why we have rent control, and protectionism, and thousands of other destructive government policies – polls show raising the minimum wage is a political winner.

‘Fake News’: Half of all Americans believe the media make up anti-Trump stories by Bradford Richardson – “Nearly half of all Americans believe media outlets fabricate negative stories about President Trump, according to a new survey.” Can’t put much veracity in polls these days, either, but maybe, just maybe, evidence and reality might be in there somewhere? It is interesting with stories like this that actual measure of the phenomena is subservient to opinion polling data looking at perceptions. The political bias in perceptions does get some notice, though indirectly.

“At the inaugural Poynter Journalism Ethics Summit earlier this month, Brendan Nyhan, a political scientist at Dartmouth College, said increased trust in the media is a “double-edged sword” because it’s being driven mostly by partisan polarization.

“We’ve seen these dynamics occur on issues with scientists, and their perception is being affiliated with the Democratic Party, and that really harms scientific credibility in the public debate,” Mr. Nyhan said during a panel discussion.

“If journalists go down that the same road and become seen as part of the Democratic [Party] coalition, I think it’s very harmful to the ability of all you to do your jobs and to create this reasonably broad, shared consensus about the nature of reality that we’d like to hope is a mission of journalism,” he warned.

Looking for Mueller’s red meat main course By Wesley Pruden – “The conspiracy theorists are hungry, and Robert Mueller owes them dinner.”

“This lack of red meat is trying the stamina and patience of many who devoutly believe that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to inflict maximum pain on Miss Hillary.

Who needs proof, just indict someone again, this time for mopery. Mr. Schiff was quick to embrace the infamous Russia-Trump dossier about the Donald’s naughty deeds with an expensive hooker in Moscow, written by a onetime British spy and paid for by the Democratic Party desperate for something to rescue Hillary’s foundering presidential campaign. The erstwhile spy promised evidence of Trump campaign collusion with the Russian government, but delivered only “evidence” of collusion, widely discredited, with a hooker. The FBI swallowed the story, but no one else did.

Russophobes’ irrationality emulates that of creationists by Luboš Motl – “Russophobe Harding ended the interview abruptly when he apparently realized that he has proven his book and his brain to have no beef.”

“I am not sure whether you want to sacrifice 30 minutes: I was uncertain whether anything new could come out of it. But at the end, I did watch the whole interview. And I have no regrets because it was brutal. It has reinforced my impression that a majority of the contemporary political disagreements doesn’t follow the old-fashioned left-and-right political divides. These conflicts divide the people to the rational and irrational ones instead.

In other words, Harding, the Russophobe, spoke just like some fanatical believers in the supernatural phenomena or Young Earth creationism or loop quantum gravity or science-as-democracy or any stuff like that – which exposes the true believers’ muddy thinking, constant and often apparently deliberate distraction, inability or lack of will to distinguish the hard facts and rigorous proofs from a wishful thinking, group think, random accusations, and unsubstantiated hypotheses.

Trump’s tweet on the cold weather looks like it hit a nerve as it is cited everywhere from Watts Up With That to the trolls who just have no sense of humor and otherwise illustrate the behaviors described by Motl and others.

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