CEI Daily - The Tucson Shooting, Wyoming Poker, and Autism


Tuscon Shooting


In the wake of last week's tragic shooting of Congresswomen Gabrielle Giffords, some on the left have blamed right-wing political rhetoric for inspiring the shooter.


Senior Counsel Hans Bader  explain why accusations of blame are patently irrational.


"My French relatives regularly denounce their country’s leaders in far more heated and pungent terms than Americans like Sarah Palin do.  Founding fathers like Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were attacked far more vitriolically in the media than recent presidents like Obama and Bush were, as Reason Magazine points out here and here.  Recent attempts to blame the shootings in Arizona on the political climate are ignorant of both America’s own history and the world beyond America’s borders." 





Wyoming Poker


Wyoming state legislators want to amend outdated laws which prevent poker games in bars.


Policy Analyst Michelle Minton points out that legislators shouldn't have a problem with amending the laws, since both bar owners and customers will benefit from the change.


"The whole point of a business establishment is to make a profit, and if customers willingly sit down at the bar or the poker table, who is to say that it is not a legitimate way to make that profit?  Besides, it seems like a better idea to have bar patrons engaging in games rather than simply pounding back shots of liquor or getting into a fight with their barstool-neighbor. Gambling and, in particular poker, has been shown to have a number of positive benefits for players, including improved strategic thinking, math ability, and simply improving social skills. Some studies even show that playing poker wards of Alzheimer’s disease."




The British Medical Journal has called the work of doctor Andrew Wakefield--who famously "found" a link between vaccines and autism---a "deliberate fraud."


Adjunct Scholar Michael Fumento says that Wakefield exemplifies a larger problem. 


"Why does fraudulent science thrive? Better to ask, 'Why not?' It pays. Even when the fraudsters get caught they often laugh all the way to the bank. Wakefield in salary alone receives over $300,000 a year from an anti-vaccine group. And he satisfies his loyal minions by simply saying of the BMJ editorial that his findings have been 'replicated in five studies around the world.' In fact none of them show an MMR-autism link.) Meanwhile, society pays the price in fear, suffering, and death. In other words, all that’s different here is that fraudster was exposed. Otherwise, it’s business as usual."