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The argument in short: Tobacco funding = discredited findings. Richard Smith, editor of the British Medical Journal, a publication not exactly known for slavish adherence to the Tobacco Industry line, disagrees: “Of course the paper has flaws — all papers do — but it also has considerable strengths — long follow up, large sample size, and more complete follow up than many such studies. … We judged this paper to be a useful contribution to an important debate. We may be wrong, as we are with many papers. That’s science. But I remain convinced that it would have been wrong to reject the study simply because it was funded by the tobacco industry.”
Smith says this as a man who resigned his professorship at Nottingham University because it accepted brass from British American Tobacco. He has no particular love for the Tobacco Industry, just valuable research, which he and others at BMJ considered this study to be. It was peer reviewed and passed muster.
What is ironic is that no one seems to raise eyebrows when studies funded by anti-tobacco interests come back with results — surprise! — against tobacco; there’s little hand-wringing about bias there. With any subject suffused with politics, the method and results of the argument matter more than the truth of it. Genuine debate is not something valued by many regarding this issue, and Kirk provides the best proof. For Kirk to say that “anyone who disagrees will be called names” just poisons the well. It is a way of casting aspersions while looking honest and innocent — a tactic that wouldn’t withstand scrutiny even in a high-school public speaking course.p> TOUGH SELL
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?