The best of rbutr… 2 June 2014

Welcome to our second issue of “The best of rbutr”. See the first issue in our blog here, with a bit of an explanation of what it is all about and the inspiration behind this idea. Subscribe to receive The best of rbutr via email.

“One of the basic premises which lies behind the rbutr project is the belief that if you are accessing information, then you have the right to know if someone has critiqued that information”
-Shane Greenup, The Right to Know, May 27th 2014
Source Articles Response Articles
Health
Is there any connection between autism and milk? PETA thinks that cutting dairy will help alleviate autism symptoms. Others disagree…
AutismHealthPETA
Got Autism? Learn About the Link Between Dairy Products and the Disorder – peta.org PETA: Milk Linked To Scary Autism And Vegan Is Your Only Hope – Forbes.com
Research has shown that autistic kids improve when put onto a dairy free diet. PETA has overstepped their use of fear by trying to use autism as a way of getting people to give up dairy products, and the studies they refer to are unspecified in the article, so we can’t even check to see if they are valid studies or not!
Eating your placenta – Does it help with post-partum health issues? What is the evidence?
HealthPlacentaCannibalism
Placenta in a pill – abc.net.au Eating Placentas: Cannibalism, Recycling, or Health Food? – sciencebasedmedicine.org
A couple from Australia’s Sunshine Coast are in business taking people’s placentas and encapsulating them so that they can be taken like medication over the following several months to help with a range of health issues, particularly depression, milk production, and energy levels. Science does not offer sufficient evidence to either support or reject placentophagia as a health practice. Nonscientific considerations will continue to determine women’s choices in this matter.
Politics
Federal employees owe back taxes…just like everyone else.
PolitcsMediaTaxes
Federal employees owe $3.3B in back taxes – usatoday.com Federal Workers Good at Paying Taxes, USA Today Expose Conceals – fair.org
Federal employees owe back taxes, not quite as badly as non-federal employees, but nonetheless, here is how the federal agencies break down in how much tax they owe. For an article which admits that federal employees owe less tax than non-federal employees, the title and flavour of the article is clearly designed to make people think federal employees are somehow worse at paying taxes than everyone else.
Obama is pulling the troops out of Afghanistan, but are the media ignoring the fact that he put many of the troops in there?
PoliticsAfghanistanMilitary
Obama Wants At Least A Small Troop Presence In Afghanistan – npr.org Crediting Obama for Bringing Troops Home–Without Noting He Sent Them Abroad – Fair.org
Obama recently went on a surprise trip to Afghanistan to meet servicemen himself. He is hoping to wind the war down by the end of the year. Several media outlets have started talking about how Obama is winding the war down and how he is pulling troops out, but no one is acknowledging that it was Obama’s policy of escalation that put most of those troops there.
Environment
What is the deal with the 97% number on climate change? Where did that consensus claim come from?
Climate ChangeEnvironmentScience
The Myth of the Climate Change ‘97%’ – wsj.com The Wall Street Journal denies the 97% scientific consensus on human-caused global warming – theguardian.com
What is the origin of the false belief—constantly repeated—that almost all scientists agree about global warming? The study by Cook et al designates many papers as supportive of the man made global warming position even though they don’t explicitly endorse that position. The arguments made by Joseph Bast in his WSJ article could also be applied to other fields to show that there is no consensus on evolution or the heliocentric model of our solar system as virtually zero academic papers bother to explicitly state “the sun is the center of the solar system”.
Religion
Triggered by the release of Russell Crowe’s movie Noah, here is a four part discussion on the morality of the story of Noah’s ark.
ReligionNoah’s ArkChristianity
Noah: One of the Most Moral Stories Ever Told – dennisprager.com The Way of the Mister: In Defense of Killing Babies – youtube.com +2
Once people reach a certain level of widespread evil, life is pointless. Starting over again was necessary for mankind to take their place at the center of God’s creation. The story of Noah shows us that God made numerous mistakes and chose to deal with those mistakes by killing all of his victims.
The Media
How do men and women go about winning back ex lovers?
GenderMedia
British men use flowers to win back an ex – but women prefer to use SEX – dailymail.co.uk “Men: A nice gift will win her heart! (Girls: You should use sex!)” says gift website – badpr.co.uk
More than half of people in the UK have attempted to win back a former partner by buying them a gift of some sort. Three-quarters of women have ditched the idea of a gift and instead used sex in an attempt to get back with their ex partner. Ignoring the terrible gender stereotype present in this article, the piece is clearly paid for by an online gift store, and it seems like the Dailymail is even taking a percentage of sales generated through a link in the article.
Is this car really banned for being “too efficient”?
volkswagen's new efficient car
rbutr
Our first best of rbutr email!

Thanks for reading our first ‘best of rbutr’ email – we hope you like it! Feel free to forward it on to friends and family who might also be interested in it, and share the blog post associated on social media! If you are not yet subscribed to receive this email, you can subscribe below!

Many thanks to BTR (x2), Tscanlon, RobertJ, Iva Na, Jo Alabaster, and Kelson Ball for submitting the rebuttals which made up today’s best of rbutr. We will be tracking these stats!

And of course, many thanks also to all of the authors of the articles involved!

Website plugin, pitching, plugin updates, winning SXSW competition category

We have been working on our website plugin a bit lately, trying to improve it and make it easily accessible for people to add to their websites. We have a couple of friends helping us out right now by adding it to their websites. After a little testing we will invite you all to install it on your own websites if you are interested in doing so.

We’ve been working on our ‘pitchdeck’ in order to try to raise funding for rbutr so that we can afford to do this full time and with more resources. Craig and I have worked on rbutr for over two years now with zero compensation and virtually zero capital (personal funds covering all of our expenses). Finding an investor has become a priority, and in the near future we will be looking at organising some crowd funding. We’d love to hear your thoughts on these issues – please tweet or message us on facebook if you want to show your support.

We’ll be updating the Chrome version of the plugin very shortly too. Nothing too exciting, just bringing it up to date with some of the newer features found on the Firefox version.

And finally….yeah, we won our division in that SXSW win in 30 seconds pitching competition. So thank you to all of our supporters who helped us do that by tweeting and sharing our entry! Unfortunately the whole thing was really weird, and poorly communicated, and the prize is…probably going to be a design consultation…? But we’re not sure yet. Still. So I dunno. All very weird.

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