Links From the Show

Linkfest: Forest Service Over The Rainbow Family

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Repost: Click to watch. For years, the U.S. Forest Service has documented problems with the Rainbow Family. hide caption

itoggle caption For years, the U.S. Forest Service has documented problems with the Rainbow Family.

From the Casper, Wyo., Star Tribune: "U.S. Forest Service officers pointed weapons at children and fired rubber bullets and pepper spray balls at Rainbow Family members while making arrests Thursday evening, according to witnesses.

" 'They were so violent, like dogs,' Robert Parker told reporter Deborah Stevens of the libertarian-oriented, Round Rock, Texas-based We the People Radio Network after the incident."

The story got me thinking about our talk last week with a Forest Service person who wasn't exactly looking forward to another Rainbow Family confab.

It's the BPP's Ramble.

Arrest leads to Rainbow riot/ It pays to go in a public toilet/ FBI files on sports stars/ Calif. group proposes George W. Bush Sewage Plant

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Off topic post about today's piece on suicide.

I want Mike Pesca and the guest to write 100 times on the white board "Correlation does not imply causation." When the guest mentioned that the suicide rate in England dropped 30% when they changed from coal gas to the less lethal natural gas he was stating a fact. When he said that one caused the other he was stating a theory-- an untested theory at that. Later when he used this is "proof" for his larger thesis he compounded the error. I could state with equal accuracy that the suicide rate in England dropped 30% after Abba released _Waterloo_. To claim that one caused the other is ridiculous, but no less valid scientifically than the coal gas theory. Until you have causation nailed down, which is always extremely difficult in the social sciences, all you have is an interesting correlation. Suggesting public policy based on an untested theory is irresponsible. The guest's other pieces of evidence and logic were equally flimsy.

The mainstream media makes this mistake all the time, but I expect better from NPR. I don't expect the BPP to hold everyone's feet to the fire, but when they are being especially silly couldn't you at least singe their toe hair a bit? C'mon Mike, "Correlation does not imply causation, Correlation does not imply causation, ..."

Sent by Dave Wiley | 1:30 PM | 7-8-2008

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