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Ferguson disgrace: Violent rioting and looting erupts for second night

Despite ample warnings of violence, the authorities clearly used a softly-softly approach where a firm hand was needed.  The violence and looting should have been promptly suppressed using any means necessary -- water cannon, tear gas, rubber bullets etc -- even live fire if all else failed.  Instead political correctness meant that blacks had to be allowed to do what no white group would ever be permitted to do.

Protecting citizens from gratuitous violence and property destruction is one of the most basic functions of government.  Clearly, that function is often very poorly discharged in the USA where blacks are concerned.  There is no "right" to destroy other people's property in a civilized society so the fact that such a right seems to be conceded to blacks in the USA earmarks the USA as a civilization in decline

And irrepressible ad-man Gavin McInnes had a germane comment on Twitter:  "I'm guessing about 300 black kids were murdered by black kids in NYC so far this year. Can they get a riot too?"  The political correctness is anti-white, not pro-black




Protests in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson have erupted for a second night after charges were not laid against a white police officer over the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager.

It comes after Missouri's governor ordered National Guard reinforcements into the area following violent scenes on Monday night (local time) in which protesters fired guns at police, lit patrol cars on fire and hurled bricks into their lines.

Several shops in Ferguson were looted and about a dozen buildings burned in the immediate unrest that followed the grand jury's decision not to lay charges against officer Darren Wilson.

More than 60 people, mostly from the St Louis area, were arrested for crimes including burglary, illegal weapons possession and unlawful assembly, police said.

President Barack Obama called for calm.  "Burning buildings, torching cars, destroying property, putting people at risk - that is destructive and there's no excuse for it, there's no excuse for it," Mr Obama said.

Missouri governor Jay Nixon said he was meeting with law enforcement and bolstering the National Guard deployment to ensure that people and property are protected in the days ahead.

"Violence like we saw last night cannot be repeated," Mr Nixon said on his Twitter feed.

While news channels aired president Barack Obama's live remarks calling for restraint from the White House on one side of the screen, they showed violent scenes from Ferguson on the other.

Although no serious injuries were reported, St Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said the rioting on Monday night and early Tuesday morning was "much worse" than the disturbances that erupted in the immediate aftermath of the August shooting.

SOURCE

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A brief analysis of politics

Leftists are the "we know best" people, meaning that they are intrinsically arrogant. Matthew chapter 6 would not be for them. And arrogance leads directly into authoritarianism

Leftism is fundamentally authoritarian. Whether by revolution or by legislation, Leftists aim to change what people can and must do. When in 2008 Obama said that he wanted to "fundamentally transform" America, he was not talking about America's geography or topography but rather about American people. He wanted them to stop doing things that they wanted to do and make them do things that they did not want to do. Can you get a better definition of authoritarianism than that?

And note that an American President is elected to administer the law, not make it. That seems to have escaped Mr Obama

That Leftism is intrinsically authoritarian is not a new insight. It was well understood by none other than Friedrich Engels (Yes. THAT Engels). His excellent short essay On Authority was written as a reproof to the dreamy Anarchist Left of his day. It concludes: "A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon — authoritarian means"

Conservatives adapt to the world they live in. Leftists want to change the world to suit themselves

Given their dislike of the world they live in, it would be a surprise if Leftists were patriotic and loved their own people. Prominent English Leftist politician Jack Straw probably said it best: "The English as a race are not worth saving"

Why do conservatives respect tradition and rely on the past in many ways? Because they want to know what works and the past is the chief source of evidence on that. Leftists are more faith-based. They cling to their theories (e.g. global warming) with religious fervour, even though theories are often wrong

Thinking that you "know best" is an intrinsically precarious and foolish stance -- because nobody does. Reality is so complex and unpredictable that it can rarely be predicted far ahead. Conservatives can see that and that is why conservatives always want change to be done gradually, in a step by step way. So the Leftist often finds the things he "knows" to be out of step with reality, which challenges him and his ego. Sadly, rather than abandoning the things he "knows", he usually resorts to psychological defence mechanisms such as denial and projection. He is largely impervious to argument because he has to be. He can't afford to let reality in

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World locked into 'alarming' global warming, says World Bank

On their own figures the warming is trivial  -- certainly not 'alarming'.  A temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius in the last 200 years is less than a one degree (i.e. .75 of a degree) rise per century. Are these guys serious?   At that rate no-one will notice anything about the climate.  One hopes that they understand more about money than they do about climate

The world is locked into 1.5°C global warming, posing severe risks to lives and livelihoods around the world, according to a new climate report commissioned by the World Bank.

The report, which called on a large body of scientific evidence, found that global warming of close to 1.5°C above pre-industrial times – up from 0.8°C today – is already locked into Earth's atmospheric system by past and predicted greenhouse gas emissions.

Such an increase could have potentially catastrophic consequences for mankind, causing the global sea level to rise more than 30 centimeters by 2100, droughts to become more severe and placing almost 90 percent of coral reefs at risk of extinction.

The World Bank called on scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics and asked them to look at the likely impacts of present day (0.8°C), 2°C and 4°C warming on agricultural production, water resources, cities and ecosystems across the world.

Their findings, collated in the Bank's third report on climate change published on Monday, specifically looked at the risks climate change poses to lives and livelihoods across Latin America and the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa.

In the report entitled "Turndown the heat – Confronting the new climate normal," scientists warned that even a seemingly slight rise in global warming could have dramatic effects on us all.

"A world even 1.5°C [warmer] will mean more severe droughts and global sea level rise, increasing the risk of damage from storm surges and crop loss and raising the cost of adaptation for millions of people," the report with multiple authors said. "These changes are already underway, with global temperatures 0.8 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times, and the impact on food security, water supplies and livelihoods is just beginning."

As temperatures rise, heat extremes on a par with the heat waves in the U.S. in 2012 and Russia in 2010 will also become more common, scientists believed. "Everyone will feel the impact, particularly the poor, as weather extremes become more common and risks to food, water, and energy security increase."

Without concerted action to reduce emissions, the report warns that the planet is on pace for 2°C warming by mid-century and 4°C or more by the time today's teenagers are in their 80s.

A temperature rise of this magnitude would create "a frightening world of increased risks and global instability," the World Bank Group's President Jim Yong Kim said, calling the scientists' findings "alarming."

"Today's report confirms what scientists have been saying – past emissions have set an unavoidable course of warming over the next two decades, which will affect the world's poorest and most vulnerable people the most," Kim said. "Climate change impacts such as extreme heat events may now be unavoidable," he added.

The effects of climate change are already starting to impact on mankind, the president noted, with record-breaking temperatures occurring more frequently, rainfall increasing in intensity in some places, while drought-prone regions like the Mediterranean are getting dryer. A significant increase in tropical North Atlantic cyclone activity is affecting the Caribbean and Central America.

The new report comes on the heels of strong new warnings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) about the pace of climate change and the energy transformations necessary to stay within 2°C warming.

Earlier in November, China and the U.S. signed a landmark agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 but there are fears those curbs don't go far enough to slow the onslaught of global warming. There are still many prominent and influential climate change skeptics to convince too.

Global governments are gathering in Lima, Peru at the start of December for the next round of climate negotiations. The World Bank said its latest report provides "direction and evidence of the risks and the need for ambitious goals to decarbonize economies now."

SOURCE

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In case you were wondering ...

Taking low-dose aspirin to prevent heart disease does not help  -- even if you are in an "at risk" category.  A short excerpt from the latest research report below.  The results could not have been more negative:

Low-Dose Aspirin for Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Events in Japanese Patients 60 Years or Older With Atherosclerotic Risk Factors: A Randomized Clinical Trial

The study was terminated early by the data monitoring committee after a median follow-up of 5.02 years (interquartile range, 4.55-5.33) based on likely futility. In both the aspirin and no aspirin groups, 56 fatal events occurred.

Conclusions

Once-daily, low-dose aspirin did not significantly reduce the risk of the composite outcome of cardiovascular death, nonfatal stroke, and nonfatal myocardial infarction among Japanese patients 60 years or older with atherosclerotic risk factors.

JAMA, Nov. 17



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Why left feminists don't like kids

"Biffo" (Former ALP leader Mark Latham) has a go below. There have been shrieks of protest from feminists over this article  but I think he is pretty right.  I am impressed by and agree with his child-orientation --  and his past as a Leftist leader should earn his words serious consideration among Leftists.  He is a perpetually angry man but I think that, at the end of the day, he does have a heart.  I think he is a man I would like to meet.  I am sure his wife never has a dull moment with Mark around

I love a social experiment, so last Saturday, I broke the habit of a lifetime and read the agony-aunt pages of The Sydney Morning Herald. I should have done so years ago, as an exercise in political awareness.

It nearly knocked me off my chair, as I confronted the core arguments of left-feminism. The inner-Sydney writer Lisa Pryor said the only way in which she can cope with "raising two small children while studying medicine full-time" is through "caffeine and anti-depressants".

Apparently, this is her standard answer whenever anyone asks: "How do you do it all?"

I felt depressed myself, at the thought of a Fairfax columnist describing one of life's great responsibilities, the raising of infant children, as requiring "neurochemical assistance".

Why do people like this have children in the first place? How will the children feel when they grow up and learn that they pushed their mother onto anti-depressants?

The sadness of these circumstances is aggravated by a broader political point. A major part of left feminist campaigning has involved the demonisation of children.

You know the refrain: men have rigged the rules of society by dominating the workforce, while women are left with the agony of domestic duties, the nightmare of raising kids.

Women in western Sydney with no neuroses

It's widely assumed that home-based life is pathetically menial. So much so, in Pryor's case, that only a cocktail of little red pills and caffeine-overload can ease the burden.

Yet, in truth, this is a political hoax. Women I speak to in western Sydney, who have no neuroses or ideological agenda to push, regard child-rearing as a joy. Financially, if they can avoid work, that's their preference.

Home life gives them the freedom to pursue their recreational interests and bond with the most important people in their lives, their children.

Other than for money, why would anyone want to commute and toil long hours for businesspeople?

With only 2 per cent of Australian men serving as the primary carers of their children, the left-feminist orthodoxy has been allowed to dominate the political debate. Men have been sucked into thinking that work life is inherently superior to a life raising children. From a male perspective, alternative views have not been aired.

So let me explain another experiment. What happens when an opposition leader quits politics, decides that he hates the prospect of working for other people and becomes the primary carer of his three children?

In my case, the results, for nearly a decade now, have been splendid. Sure, there's the odd hiccup and flash of frustration in full-on parenting, but the rewards are immense.

Left feminism is akin to a psychoneurotic disorder

My lifestyle has never been more satisfying. Whether it's my daughter's smile, my eldest son's Aussie irreverence or the belly laughter of my youngest son - these are my anti-depressants, every hour, every day. What is Pryor going on about?

I'm sure I'm just as busy as her: looking after a huge native garden at home, cooking gourmet meals for my family, pursuing a few business interests, writing books and The Australian Financial Review columns and, most crucially, preserving time for my children's homework, conversation and love. When I explain this reality to my male friends, they are incredibly envious. Each of them wants to swap places.

But the inner-city feminists know little of this. They spend a lot of time complaining, ostensibly on behalf of other women, yet their real priority is themselves. More often than not, they don't like children and don't want to be with them. They use political feminism as a release valve, trying to free themselves from nature's way.

Thus left feminism is akin to a psychoneurotic disorder: externalising personal feelings of distress and deficiency into the demonisation of children.

This is why people in the suburbs, especially women, distrust the likes of Pryor. Their political agenda is seen as unrepresentative and self-serving. At a personal level, it's also cowardly: popping pills as an easy way out, instead of facing up to the responsibilities of adulthood.

SOURCE


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Good news: Leftist newspaper says the Australian government's climate change credential have been battered

And see below that it includes some surprising claims, such as:  "The size of the Reef has halved in the past 30 years".  I have been following the barrier reef scares for around 60 years (long before global warming was invented) but that was a newie on me.

But I have traced the claim, and one amusing thing that we read there is:  "The exhaustive AIMS investigation reveals coral loss is uneven along the 2300km-long reef, with the far north still relatively healthy." So the WARMEST parts of the reef are doing best! How pesky can you get?

And what the research showed is NOT that the reef has shrunk by 50% but that the CORAL has shrunk by 50%.  The reef is of course an ancient and relatively permanent structure of dead coral skeletons.

 We also read:  "Storm damage accounted for 48 per cent of the coral loss in the past 27 years, crown-of-thorns starfish were responsible for 42 per cent, and bleaching caused 10 per cent of the coral to die".  No mention of global warming! Though no doubt they would claim that the storms were caused by global warming.  Since severe weather events worldwide  have been FEWER in recent years that however would be a rubbish claim, having no regard to the actual statistics.

Warmists have also been known to link starfish plagues with warming but again we read: "The study says the causes of the plagues were still not fully known".

And I won't mention that the period covered by the research was 27 years, not 30.

And I won't mention that the source paper for the research is no longer where it was. Has it been taken down due to inaccuracy?

I could go on but the lesson is clear: As soon as we get into the details of the research findings, the sweeping claims made of the research by Warmists are extensively falsified.  So the appeals to authority below are junk.  It is the facts that matter, not authorities, and the facts are very pesky indeed for Warmists.

My habit of going back to the detailed research findings behind Green/Left claims once again shows what crooks they are


Prime Minister Tony Abbott's apparent, if modest, conversion to the idea that climate change was an "important subject"  following talks with French president Francois Hollande on Wednesday was greeted with no small measure of cynicism.

This was, after all, a politician who had built a political career on climate scepticism, with his famous remark in 2010 that it was "absolute crap" to assert the science was settled.

It took only two days, but the doubters can claim vindication after revelations that the government sent a briefing note to Barack Obama to dissuade him that the Great Barrier Reef was under threat by climate change.

In an interview with Fairfax Media's Latika Bourke in New York, Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop said the Reef was "not under threat from climate change because its biggest threat is the nutrient runoffs agricultural land, the second biggest threat is natural disasters, but this has been for 200 years".

This is disingenuous, and factually wrong.

To be sure, the government believes the world is warming, and that human factors play a part.

But when it comes to acknowledging the urgency of the problem, how climate change will impact on the world, and what must be done to avert a catastrophic four-degree rise in global temperature, the Abbott government offers obfuscation and excuses.

So it was with the response to Obama's speech in Brisbane last week, when the US leader called on Australia's youth to rise up and demand more action to combat climate change, remarking that "incredible natural glory of the Great Barrier Reef is threatened".

The US leader's speech might have been undiplomatic and rude to his hosts - but his analysis of the impact of climate change on the Reef was spot on.

Just ask the federal government agencies charged with monitoring and protecting the Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority said in its 2014: "Climate change remains the most serious threat to the Great Barrier Reef. It is already affecting the reef and is likely to have far-reaching consequences in the decades to come."

Averting further degradation of the Reef can "only be successful if climatic conditions are stabilised" reported the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), another government body.

The size of the Reef has halved in the past 30 years. Outbreaks of crown of thorn starfish which consume soft corals -  along with cyclones -  have contributed to about 90 per cent of that decline, says AIMS.

Coral bleaching is responsible for the remaining 10 per cent.

Coral bleaching is the direct result of rising sea temperatures caused by global warming. The acceleration of crown of thorn starfish infestations - which spawn in warmer months - is also driven, at least in part, by hotter weather.

And, warns the government's marine scientists, cyclone activity will only increase as the planet heats up.  

Bishop's personal political stocks have soared in recent months due to some forceful international diplomacy on the MH17 disaster and the rise of the Islamic State terrorist group.

Her intervention on the Reef is unlikely to faze Obama, or harm relations. But some of the gloss has come of Bishop's credentials as a moderate alternative to Abbott.

And, the government's climate change credentials, once again, have been battered.

SOURCE

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Labour MP Emily Thornberry apologises for white Transit van and England flags tweet



A little background is needed here: In England, "White van man" is a contemptuous term for a delivery driver, who is seen as representative of the working class. Class hatreds are ferocious in England but are usually denied. The other thing you need to know is that the St George flag has become a common emblem for English patriotism and opposition to immigration. And the party expected to win the by-election (UKIP) is an anti-immigration pary, so the picture in effect said: "Only the despised working class vote for UKIP". And for a Labour Party MP to show contempt for the workers is fatal. In only a matter of hours she had to resign from her front-bench job. She is a former barrister (Trial Lawyer), who sent her children to private schools -- so it is highly probable that her tweet did indeed reflect snobbish views

A Labour front bench MP has apologised after she tweeted a photo of a house in Rochester adorned with three England flags, which saw her accused of holding working class voters in “contempt”.

Emily Thornberry, Labour shadow attorney general and MP for Islington South and Finsbury in north London, was on the campaign train in Rochester today.

At around 3pm, she tweeted a photo of a two-storey house with a white Transit van parked outside and three St George flags hanging from its window, alongside the caption “image from #Rochester”.

Thornberry, who lives in a £3million home in London, later told The Telegraph she posted the photo because she thought it was "remarkable" as she had never seen a house "completely covered in flags before".

Users of the social media website were quick to point out that the image may have been ill-judged, and made her appear out-of-touch with voters at a time when Labour is attempting to battle against Ukip in the town. Others defended the MP, and said her post may have been misconstrued

SOURCE

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Of mice and men

It has long been known that results from mouse research often do not generalize to humans so it is good to see an explanation for that below.

Food freaks often use the results of mouse experiments to claim that following their latest food fad will lengthen your life.  I have always argued that mice are particularly inappropriate in that application as mouse lifespans differ so markedly from human lifespans.  Making generalizations about lifespan from a short-lived species to a long-lived species is particularly absurd.

The finding below of large intrinsic differences between mouse and man should strengthen that criticism.  Food and health claims based on mouse research should be routinely disregarded.  The only occasion when mouse research could be of interest is when mouse research, human epidemiology and theory all point to the same conclusion


Mice and men are genetically far further apart than was previously thought, calling into question the important role the rodents play in medical research.

A new study has found that while mice and humans share many protein-coding genes, the way their genes are regulated is often very different.

US scientists were surprised to find that gene activity diverged wildly between the two species in some key biological pathways.

The finding may help explain why more than 90% of new medicines that pass animal tests then fail in human trials.

Laboratory mice have been a pillar of medical research for more than a century, being used by scientists investigating everything from social behaviour to obesity.

Only half of human and mouse DNA match compared with 96% of human and chimpanzee DNA.

Co-author Dr Michael Beer, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said: "Most of the differences between mice and humans come from regulation of gene activity, not from genes themselves. Because mice are an important model for human biology, we have to understand these differences to better interpret our results."

More HERE

(Yes.  My allusion in the heading to John Steinbeck and Robert Burns was deliberate)


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Another blast on the trans-fat trumpet

For many years, the received wisdom in the medical literature was that eating saturated fat was bad for you and likely to give you heart attacks.  That was always nonsense and, in one of those 180 degree turns so common in the medical literature, has recently been abandoned.  Such fats are good for you these days.

Greenies and food freaks (largely overlapping categories, it would seem) hopped on the bandwagon a decade or so ago and began their usual coercive strategies.  They pressured food manufacturers to stop using such fats.  Vegetable oils were the thing.  And, like a lot of their products, the food manufacturers crumbled.

But vegetable oils were not really very suitable for making cakes and cookies.  But if you added some extra hydrogen atoms to the vegetable oils, you could get a suitable result.  The hydrogenated oils became known as trans fats.

But just as there is no such thing as a happy Greenie so there is no such thing as a happy food freak.  Various claims supported by problematical research appeared which said that trans fats were bad for you too.  They also could damage your heart.

So the food manufacturers again mostly crumbled and now use a lot of palm oil instead of saturated fats and trans fats. The cake you buy has had an adventurous past.

So now palm oils are under attack.  To produce enough palm oil, lots of new trees have to be planted and to plant those trees you have to chop down lots of other trees that were already there --  and that will not do at all!  So the limited supply of palm oil drives up its price and makes it too expensive for some food manufacturers -- who have therefore stuck with their good ol' trans fats.  So the shriekers still have a satisfying campaign to wage.  And below (below the chevrons) is the latest shot in the war.

It features work by the hyperactive and normally skeptical Beatrice Golomb but does her no credit.  The research has not yet been published in the journals so I have not been able to look closely at it but it clearly has one large problem:  It is based on self-reports, which are very susceptible to biases of various sorts.  In particular, self-reporters tend to tell you either what they think you want to hear or what they think will make themselves look good.

And that is a very obvious contaminant in the research below.  Because people are always being told how evil cakes and cookies are, consumption of them is unprestigious so many of those answering a self-report questionnaire will under-report how many of such evil products that they consume -- while people less influenced by popular fads will be little bothered by admitting to their actual diets.  So who are the cake and biscuit gourmands?  Fatties and the poor most likely.  And what do we know about the poor?  As Charles Murray showed long ago, they have lower IQs.  Shocking of me to mention it, I know, but facts are chiels that winna ding, as the Scots say.  

And the memory task used by the gorgeous Dr Golomb (pic below) is IQ-related.  So the wicked eaters probably had lower IQs.   So it seems likely that Dr Golomb's finding is entirely artifactual  -- a product of her research methodology rather than information about the world.


I note that she did control for education but education and income are only weakly correlated, as many recent college graduates have found to their dismay.

Other research:  For one summary of the weak science behind the "trans-fat" hysteria, see here. Trans fats have only a temporary effect on blood chemistry and the evidence of lasting harm from them is dubious. By taking extreme groups in trans fats intake, some weak association with coronary heart disease has at times been shown in some sub-populations but extreme group studies are inherently at risk of confounding with other factors and are intrinsically of little interest to the average person.

Food manufacturers should of course revert to using saturated fats, now that medical opinion is in their favour -- JR

UPDATE

I was pleased to receive a prompt and scholarly reply from Dr Golomb about my post.  Some scientists can get very defensive and snarky if their work is criticized but she did not. It says much for her character. I reproduce the reply below:

Dear John Ray,

 It is true that the findings are based on a food frequency questionnaire, and observational data are *always* subject to potential unmeasured confounding. That is why we never use(d) the word "cause" but only describe higher trans fat consumption as "associated" with worse memory. (I can't exactly say higher "reported" trans fat consumption because it wasn't actually trans fat consumption they reported.)

On the plus side, though, the data from which the analysis was done were collected in 1999-2004, a privileged time window vis a vis trans fat assessment --  after trans fat abstraction from foods was added to analysis of the Fred Hutchinson Food Frequency Questionnaire, but before the FDA trans fat labeling requirement that made it easy for people who were health conscious to more readily limit trans fats. 

{Of note, this was also before most of the positive press about chocolate, when chocolate consumption was still widely viewed as a vice (hard to imagine that time was so recent). Yet, despite this, more frequent chocolate consumption was linked favorably to memory, and to body mass index. (We presented the former finding a couple years ago -- someone else's findings connecting the two got a lot of attention in the NY Times, I understand, last week; the latter finding has been replicated, e.g.,  in a study of European adolescents, and according to a Principal Investigator who contacted us, was also found in a randomized study, supporting causality; and a study in rodents found that cocoa-derived epicatechin led to reduced fat mass with calorie consumption unchanged). Meanwhile, trans fats emerged as adversely associated with both outcomes. This makes sense given that chocolate is rich in antioxidants and has compounds that support cell energy (e.g. via mitochondrial biogenesis and vascularity), while trans fats are prooxidant (and proinflammatory), and adverse to cell energy.  (The hippocampus, a brain area important in memory, is especially vulnerable to cell death in settings of inadequate energy.)

We are encouraged by the fact that, so far, our findings based on the dietary data have almost to a one been replicated, and/or have experimental support from animal research (adding the element of causality). For instance we previously found that, even adjusted for calories and exercise, trans fat consumption was linked to higher BMI and waist circumference. (By the way, I will mention since we have discovered that some scientists -- i.e. peer reviewers! -- are confused on this point, there is no violation of the second law of thermodynamics in that statement. Calories are disposed of in a range of ways -- heat generation, fat deposition, creating blood vessels and mitochondria -- and just what is done with them is subject to modulation by signaling pathways, in turn influenced by dietary factors.) Consistent with this, primate data show that incorporating trans fats, without changing calories, leads to increased deposition of abdominal/visceral fat. 

Anyhow, thanks for sending, and thanks for your interest!

Cheers,

Beatrice

I replied:

Beatrice

Thank you for that interesting reply

I think you should have a closer look at the recent literature on anti-oxidants.  I think we are midway through an 180 degree turn there.  The latest thinking is that antioxidants are actually bad for us.  The body needs plenty of oxidants. So pro-oxidants could be a GOOD thing!

Cheers
JR

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Eating cookies and cakes could damage your memory -  regardless of your age



Fats found in some biscuits, cakes and processed foods could have a harmful effect on memory, researchers have warned.

The fats, known as trans fats, are used both in processed food and in restaurants, often to improve the texture, shelf life or flavour.

They are created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil to make it more solid, which is why they are often called partially hydrogenated oils.

Now, a study of 1,000 healthy men aged under 45 found those who ate the most trans fat had worse scores in a word memory test.

The link remained after taking account of age, education and depression.

Study leader Dr Beatrice Golomb, of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, said: ‘Trans fats were most strongly linked to worse memory, in young and middle-aged men, during their working and career building years.

‘From a health standpoint, trans fat consumption has been linked to higher body weight, more aggression and heart disease.

‘As I tell my patients, while trans fats increase the shelf life of foods, they reduce the shelf life of people.’

The research team studied adults who had not been diagnosed with heart disease.  They were asked to complete a dietary questionnaire, from which the researchers estimated participants' trans fat consumption.

To assess memory, researchers presented participants with a series of 104 cards showing words.  Each person had to state whether each word was new or a word duplicated from a previously seen card.

Each additional gram a day of trans fats consumed was associated with an estimated 0.76 fewer words correctly recalled.

For those eating the highest amounts of trans fats, this translated to an estimated 11 fewer words – a reduction of 10 per cent in words recalled compared to adults who ate the least trans fat.

The average number of words correctly recalled was 86, according to research presented at the American heart Association’s Scientific sessions 2014 in Chicago.

Trans fat is widely considered the worst kind for your heart, even worse than saturated fat, which can also contribute to heart disease.

The UK food industry in recent years has reduced or eliminated industrially produced trans fat in foods.

Current dietary surveys suggest consumption levels provide less than one per cent of food energy, below the recommended two per cent maximum – about 5g a day.

The Food and Drug Administration is taking further steps to reduce the amount of artificial trans fats in the US food supply. 


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McClosky revisited

I recently received the following query from a reader:

I am working on a book on liberal/conservative differences from a conservative’s point of view.  In this process I came across a very old study (McClosky, Herbert (1958) "Conservatism and Personality".  The American Political Science Review 52 (1)  This was the wildest set of findings about Conservatives that I have ever seen--Adorno et al. included.  Here are a few of his statements.

“By every measure available to us, conservative beliefs are found mos frequently among the uninformed, the poorly educated and so far as we can determine, the less intelligent”

And “Far from being the elite or the masters or the prime movers, conservatives tend on the whole to come from the more backward and frightened elements of the population, including the classes that are socially and psychologically depressed.”

And: “ ..the extreme conservatives are easily the most hostile and suspicious, the most rigid and compulsive, the quickest to condemn others for their imperfections or weaknesses, the most intolerant, the most easily moved to  scorn and disappointment in others…”

This study actually had a few years of popularity (and criticism) and then seemed to just fade away. 

In reply, I wrote

His scale was invalid.  It did not predict vote.  Like most (all?) conservatism scales constructed by Leftists, it was a caricature of what conservatives believe

Some further comments:

I commented on the McClosky work in my 1973 paper: "CONSERVATISM, AUTHORITARIANISM AND RELATED VARIABLES: A Review and Empirical Study" but a few more words here might not go astray.

McClosky's work was one of a long line of Leftist attempts to demonstrate psychological inadequacy in conservatives.  His work is distinguished however by the care he took to define conservatism adequately, unlike the ludicrous Altemeyer, who gave that no thought at all. McClosky was basically a political scientist so was aware of an array of conservative thinkers such as Kirk, Burke, Rossiter etc.  He quoted from them to define what conservatism is.

He was not exactly a searching thinker, however, so largely missed the wood for the trees.  The issues that concern conservatives vary with the times.  It is only recently, for instance, that homosexual marriage has become an issue of concern for conservatives.  So he failed to go beneath the day to day issues that have energized conservatives over the years and figure out what the root causes of conservative thinking are.  He failed to see that simple cautiuousness is the most basic level of conservatism and that a concern for individual liberty is one of the most basic deductions from a cautious attitude.  So he failed to trace any of the day to day concerns back to the basics.  He failed to see that a conservative respect for tradition and history stems from a very basic cautious desire to find out what works.  If someone wants to know whether a proposed policy will work as intended, history may in fact be the only guide to that.

So the list of conservative attitude statements that he compiled and used in his surveys sounded very old fashioned and did not address basic conservative concerns.  And, probably unintentionally, he expressed conservative attitudes in an implausible way.  He wrote down what Leftists think conservatives believe rather than using statements uttered by actual contemporaneous conservatives.  And the result was to vitiate his work.  He failed to find out anything about actual conservatives because he misidentified who conservatives were.  His allegedly conservative statements were agreed to just as much by Leftist voters as by conservative voters.  Hilarious! So the characteristics he observed in his surveys were not the characteristics of conservatives at all.  They were probably the characteristics of old-fashioned people, if anything.  

And other Leftist reseachers both before and after him (Adorno, Altemeyer) have fallen into the same trap.  They clearly have a horror of actually talking to conservatives so rely for their impression of conservatives on the caricature of conservatism  that exists in their little Leftist mental bubble-world.  They see opposition to homosexual marriage, for instance, as an expression of "homophobia" rather than acknowledging that caution may cause it to be seen as a dangerous departure from what we know works in human family arrangements.

But Leftists do bad research in general. The global warming nonsense alone should tell us that.  It is theory totally divorced from the data. Leftist researchers leap to conclusions and lack basic caution about inferences.  It is no wonder that something like 99% of academic journal articles are only ever read by the author and his mother.  And as I think most published academic journal article authors will tell you, even the referees who evaluate the article for publication clearly only skim-read it at best.  So we have to be very thankful indeed for the occasional real advance in our understanding of the world that comes out of academic research.


OTHER RESEARCH OF INTEREST:

The McClosky conservatism scale reappraised

By Walter H. Owens Jr

Abstract:

This study examines the validity of one of the most influential measures of political ideology, Herbert McClosky's Conservatism Scale. Using a respondent-oriented validation technique and employing data from a random sample survey of adults in one city, the scale was found unrelated (positively) to three variables popularly associated with conservatism: ideological self-identification, opposition to social welfare legislation, and presidential preference. These findings were supported by a replicating, random sample survey conducted in a separate locale 10 years later, by analyses of ICPR data from a national survey, and by other data from a separate regional investigation. These findings, along with other evidence that has emerged in separate investigations, indicate that McClosky's Conservatism Scale is invalid. They, therefore, undermine McClosky's famous study and repudiate his widely published theory of conservatism and personality.

Page 129 of Political Methodology, Vol. 6, No. 2, 1979

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University of Qld preaches Warmism

They think that you learn critical thinking by absorbing warmist dogma, not by criticizing it.  Course outline below.  It's clear that climate skepticism has got them rattled.  It's an EDx (online) course -- which makes it difficult to ask questions and answer back.  The University of Qld is one of the homes of "Mr. 97%" -- psychologist John Cook.

In my years doing psychological research I grew accustomed to finding conclusions in the work of my colleagues that were  at variance with what they actually found.  And Mr Cook's work does not disappoint.  As you see below, the take-home message of his study was that "97% of climate scientists conclude humans are causing global warming".  What he actually found however was that two thirds of the academic publications he surveyed "expressed no position" on warming, probably suggesting that many of the writers disagreed with it.  Disagreeing with it explicitly is perilous for a scientist these days

There are also other serious problems with the Cook study and its conclusions

The fact that UQ students are being taught the sort of deceptive nonsense below goes a long way towards explaining why Obama got a rapturous response from some UQ students when he gave a Warmist speech there



Making Sense of Climate Science Denial

Climate change is real, so why the controversy and debate? Learn to make sense of the science and to respond to climate change denial.

About this Course

In public discussions, climate change is a highly controversial topic. However, in the scientific community, there is little controversy with 97% of climate scientists concluding humans are causing global warming.

Why the gap between the public and scientists?

What are the psychological and social drivers of the rejection of the scientific consensus?

How has climate denial influenced public perceptions and attitudes towards climate change?

This course examines the science of climate science denial.

We will look at the most common climate myths from “global warming stopped in 1998” to “global warming is caused by the sun” to “climate impacts are nothing to worry about.”

We’ll find out what lessons are to be learnt from past climate change as well as better understand how climate models predict future climate impacts. You’ll learn both the science of climate change and the techniques used to distort the science.

With every myth we debunk, you’ll learn the critical thinking needed to identify the fallacies associated with the myth. Finally, armed with all this knowledge, you’ll learn the psychology of misinformation. This will equip you to effectively respond to climate misinformation and debunk myths.

SOURCE


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The internet hates men, and no one's a winner

The more the online anti-men trend gains traction, the more women will be deprived of decent male allies in the battle against abuse, says Jake Wallis Simons

There has been a lot of comment over the harassment Shoshana Roberts (who might reasonably be described as a busty babe.  A beanpole or a fatty would undoubtedly have got different results)  got as she walked through NYC streets.  It should be noted however that most of the harassment came from blacks.  When the experiment was repeated by a model in Auckland, New Zealand, there was zero harassment.  There are negligible blacks in New Zealand and both major New Zealander groups (Maori and Pakeha) are polite.  Blacks, however,  are well known for their very pushy approaches to white women, being very reluctant to take No for an answer -- JR





Sigh. A new current has developed in the polluted ocean of online videos. If you're a Facebook user, you'll have noticed it: it involves women, and men, and the former being incessantly harassed by the latter.

I'm talking about those hidden-camera clips in which a female actor records the appalling level of harassment that she was subjected to by men in the street.

The best known was made by Shoshana Roberts, who was filmed walking the streets of New York amid catcalls and sexual comments. Thus far, it has attracted a staggering 36 million views, and has been hailed as a much-needed exposure of the plight of a woman in 21st Century society.

This was followed by a clip made by the “social media entrepreneur” Stephen Zhang, in which a young woman dons a skimpy dress in the middle of the day and pretends to be drunk. An apparently shocking number of men attempted to take advantage of her, some almost forcing her back to their houses before she revealed the trick and escaped.

The trend got a bit silly when a British “dating expert” filmed herself pretending to be lost while wearing different outfits, from a hoodie-and-jeans combination to a leather skirt and boots. How would male Londoners respond? We waited with bated breath.

Funnily enough, although men tended to speak to the woman for longer when she was dressed provocatively, not one of the men even offered his telephone number, let alone sought to take advantage of a damsel in distress. In fact, every man Jack acted like a gentleman. What point was she trying to make, exactly?

(Perhaps she didn't really have a point. Perhaps she was mainly courting clicks. After all, a viral video can make you big money. And, as the old Silicon Valley adage has it, “first ubiquity, then revenue”.)

Predictably enough, it didn't take long for commercial companies to jump on the bandwagon. One video produced by NestlĂ© revealed (no pun intended) that people look at a woman’s breasts a lot when she is wearing a low-cut top. Again, the point was what? The video was promoting breast cancer awareness, but a cynic might argue that this was merely a fig-leaf for moneymaking.

Of course, there is a variety of examples here. On the surface, the more serious videos are attempting a form of social campaigning, drawing attention to – as the hashtag has it – #everydaysexism. This has to be a good thing. But the closer you look, the less straightforward the matter becomes.

Take the video that kicked it all off. For one thing, it was recorded in a rather deprived part of New York, where such harassment is more likely to occur. For another, the perpetrators were exclusively black or Latino. This a) raises questions about the prejudices that underpinned the film-maker’s editorial decisions, and b) highlights the general subjectivity of the editing.

(Rob Bliss, who shot the film, later claimed that white men had harassed Shoshana Roberts too, but by some odd coincidence the sound quality had been compromised on these occasions.)

It goes without saying that the abuse of women in the street is a serious problem. Some may argue that in order to draw attention to it, an element of contrivance, exaggeration and even sensationalism is justified.

If it makes young men think twice before they bully a woman, this has to be a good thing. But at what price? When a one-off becomes a trend, and sensationalist video follows sensationalist video, this constitutes a form of negative campaigning. And negative campaigning has a habit of creating negative consequences.

Depictions of decent men have now become strikingly absent online. The overall suggestion is that men are guilty until proven innocent; this only reinforces gender stereotyping.

Indeed, we have reached a stage where feminist sites like Jezebel run stories like “How to kick men in the balls: an illustrated guide”, confirming the impression that the internet hates men. Misogynist trolling by horrid little men is a huge concern, but the answer is not to alienate the rest of us.

It must be acknowledged – and strongly so – that most of the men watching these videos would never dream of treating women in this way. Call me optimistic, but in my experience, there are at least 10 gentlemen for every abuser. And that's a conservative estimate.

What message are upstanding men, particularly the younger ones, supposed to take from this cataract of negative campaigning? In the current climate of febrile abusiveness, both online and in "meatspace", this is something that should concern everyone. The more the anti-men trend gains traction, the more women will be deprived of decent male allies in the battle against abuse.

SOURCE
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Navy Chaplain Lt. Gordon J. Klingenschmitt mocked by atheist site

What the atheist Left find incredible is in fact normal fundamentalist Christianity, basically the thinking that created America and ruled America until about 100 years ago.  The Left are so out of touch with people outside their own little self-constructed mental bubble that they find as utterly incredible beliefs that are still held by many millions of Americans.  To take the most obvious example, the rejection of homosexuality as an abomination to God is extremely well-founded in the Bible -- See Romans chapter 1 for starters.   And if I were a Christian I think I would see Obama as devil-possessed, given his attacks on America's treasured religious liberty.

And even the apparently hilarious  "sell your clothes and buy a gun" is thoroughly scriptural.  There were no guns in Christ's day but few Christians will be unaware of  what Jesus said about the matter at the Last Supper (Luke 22:36).  Christ wanted his teachings defended and many Christians to this day do so



By one count, there are over 7,000 Americans serving as state legislators nationwide, and with a group that big, there are going to be some strange, fringe figures that most of the American mainstream would find cringe-worthy. It's hardly worth the effort to point out every nut who somehow gets elected to help write a state's laws.

That said, Gordon Klingenschmitt - a.k.a. "Dr. Chaps" - is a very special case.  Gordon "Dr. Chaps" Klingenschmitt, a radical anti-gay Religious Right activist who brags of having once tried to rid of woman of the "foul spirit of lesbianism" through an exorcism and who openly proclaims that "American law needs to reflect God's law" and that our foreign policy must be based on the Bible, won election to the Colorado House of Representatives last night.

Klingenschmitt, who wrote a book about how President Obama is possessed by demons and once performed an exorcism of Obama, ran an utterly embarrassing campaign yet nonetheless managed to defeat his Democratic opponent by nearly 40 points.

It's probably worth emphasizing, in case anyone isn't sure, that this is entirely serious. Klingenschmitt really believes in exorcisms for gay people and that the president is demon-possessed. And 17,000 voters in Colorado really did choose, on purpose, to make Klingenschmitt a state lawmaker.

That said, one might be forgiven for thinking Right Wing Watch's profile of the newly elected legislator is some kind of joke. Klingenschmitt believes "only people who are going to heaven are entitled to equal treatment by the government." He's said "teaching kids about gay marriage is mental rape." He's argued that the Affordable Care Act "causes cancer." He's described Islamic State militants as a sign of the Biblical End Times.

But again, this is not a joke.

Perhaps my personal favorite was the time that Klingenschmitt declared, "You know what, citizens, if you don't have a gun, I'm telling you - as a Christian chaplain - sell your clothes and buy a gun. It's time." (Really, that's what he said. It's on video.)

It's also worth emphasizing that while Klingenschmitt ran and won as a Republican, Zack Ford noted that Colorado GOP officials have not been eager to embrace the fringe figure and his bizarre worldview. After Klingenschmitt won his primary, state Republican Party Chairman Ryan Call said, "Gordon does not speak on behalf of the Republican Party. To suggest otherwise is inaccurate and dishonest."

SOURCE

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Western diets must be abandoned for vegetarianism or greenhouse gases will rise by 80%, experts warn

The medical journals are full of findings that red meat is bad for you.  Yet never before have Americans eaten more of it and never before have Americans lived so long.  So what gives?

Before I answer that, let me mention another fact:  Australians  are big meat eaters too and yet the life expectancy of Australians is up there along with Japan and the Scandinavian countries.  In some reckonings, the Australian life expectancy is the longest of any national population.  And what is behind that statistic?  Nonagenarians.  There are an incredible number of people aged over 90 tottering around in Australia.  Most families include or have recently included one among their close relatives.

So what food did those nonagenerians grow up on?  They grew up on a traditional British diet and still mostly eat that to this day.  It sounds (and was) unbelievably boring but every night they would sit down to fried meat of some sort, often steak.  And it would be fried in dripping -- i.e. beef fat --  and accompanied by boiled vegetables.  Lifespan is the ultimate test of any diet so plenty of beef and fat therefore stands thoroughly vindicated as a healthy diet.

So what are the medical journals blathering about?  The studies they rely on are epidemiological.  They report correlations of uncertain meaning  -- so the authors simply leap on the interpretation  that they like -- without proof.  I know of no double blind controlled study which shows significant ill-effects on lifespan from eating red meat.  Ancel Keys was the first to claim ill effects and his studies were very broadly epidemiological indeed.

So why do many medical researchers want to find that red meat is bad for you?  Elitism, Hubris.  They know they are smart and are sufficiently weak in character that they want to announce that far and wide. The humility preached by Jesus in Matthew chapter 6 is not for them.  And one way they can announce their superiority is by mocking and scorning anything that is popular.  And red meat is VERY popular.

And the Green/Left too are elitists.  They think they are so superior that they can and should tell the rest of us what to do and are prepared to use force to bring that about wherever they can.

So the article below is just another superiority claim

One notes that they have also slipped into their story one of the scarcity warnings that they so love.  According to the Green/Left, there is always something that we are in danger of running out of. Their claim that in future we may not have enough food for  everyone is as old as Thomas Malthus and Adolf Hitler's
Lebensraum

The fact of course is that the whole trend in agricultural and other primary production has been towards greater abundance, even  food surpluses, which is why food has never been as cheap as it is now.  The Green/Left prefer theory to facts



A love of meat and sugary treats could be damaging the planet, as well as your health.

By 2050, experts predict that these so-called western diets, which are typically high in fats and oils, will cause greenhouse gas emissions to increase by 80 per cent.

If left unchecked, this could also lead to an extra billion hectares of habitat being destroyed to make way for the extra land needed for food production and agriculture.

‘Rising incomes and urbanisation are driving a global dietary transition in which traditional diets are replaced by diets higher in refined sugars, refined fats, oils and meats,’ explained ecologists Professor David Tilman and graduate student Matthew Clark from the University of Minnesota.

‘By 2050, these dietary trends will be a major contributor to an estimated 80 per cent increase in global agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from food production and to global land clearing.’

The researchers said these dietary shifts are also greatly increasing the number of cases of Type II diabetes, coronary heart disease and other chronic diseases that lower global life expectancies.

Their study, published in the journal Nature, analysed data on environmental costs of food production, diet trends, relationships between diet and health and population growth.

Between 1961 and 2009, the pair discovered that consumption of meat and calories per person rose in tandem with income.

Combining this with forecasts of population and income growth for the coming decades, the researchers showed diets in 2050 would contain fewer servings of fruits and vegetables, but 25 to 50 percent more pork, poultry, beef, dairy and eggs.

The study also used a computer model to see how changing from an omnivore diet to a typical Mediterranean, pescatarian or vegetarian alternative could make a difference.

Their {model] results show that these alternatives have the potential to reduce incidences of Type II diabetes by, on average, 27 per cent, cancer by about 10 per cent and heart disease deaths by about 20 per cent.

‘Alternative diets that offer substantial health benefits could, if widely adopted, reduce global agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, reduce land clearing and resultant species extinctions, and help prevent such diet-related chronic non-communicable diseases.

‘In particular, if the world were to adopt variations on three common diets health would be greatly increased at the same time global greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by an amount equal to the current greenhouse gas emissions of all cars, trucks, plans trains and ships.

‘This dietary shift would prevent the destruction of an area of tropical forests and savannas as large as half of the United States.’

The results back up the findings of a previous study from the University of Cambridge and University of Aberdeen that said eating less meat is 'essential' to ensure future demand for food can be met and 'dangerous' climate change avoided.

The study found food production alone could exceed targets for greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 if current trends continue.

Population growth and the global shift towards 'meat-heavy Western diets' has meant increasing agricultural yields will not meet projected food demands for an expected 9.6 billion world population in 30 years, according to the researchers

SOURCE

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Why Liberals Read More Books Than Conservatives  

Wayne Allyn Root has some good points below but perhaps I can add something too.  I also rarely read books these days -- though I used to read 2 or 3 books a week when I was a kid.  I just don't have the time to read books because there is so much to keep up with online.  I spend around 12 hours a day reading but I read stuff off a screen, not from books.

Another probable factor behind book reading is that liberals have a greater need to "tailor" what they see and hear.  The content of a book is fairly predictable so the book can be chosen to tell you stuff you like to hear.  You can stay comfortably inside your little Leftist mental bubble by reading mainly books.  If instead you listen to radio and TV you might occasionally hear something that threatens your little fantasy world.  You might for instance hear what those wonderful peace-loving Muslims of ISIS are doing these days.  Horror!  We don't want to hear that!

And you might even hear fleetingly that Israel invaded Gaza only after Gazans had rained thousands of rockets down upon Israel.  Could those powerless but wise and heroic Palestinians do that?  Much nicer to read a book by Jimmah Carter or his ilk telling us that Israel is an "Apartheid state".  Never mind that Israeli Arabs have exactly the same rights as Israeli Jews and are found at all levels of Israeli society



A new study came out last week that proves that liberals (Democrats and Progressives) read more books than Conservatives (Republicans or Libertarians). Leading publishing executives even commented on it, saying that more books should be aimed at liberals because Conservatives just don't read. The inference, of course, is that Conservatives are ignorant, lazy, or just not intellectually curious. Meanwhile liberals will undoubtedly use these new "facts" to prove that they are intellectual heavyweights- the very kind of highly informed intellectuals who should be running our country.

What a crock! The truth is that facts are many times misleading- and this is a perfect example. The fact is that liberals have the time to read books simply because they are rarely in positions of authority or leadership- they do not own businesses, run companies, or serve in positions of great responsibility. It's easy to find the time to read a book on a couch or lazy-boy when you get off work at 3 PM daily- and have no responsibilities once you walk out the office door. Unfortunately for the rest of us in positions of ownership and leadership, our days never end. We are making business calls, participating in conference calls, and answering emails at all hours of the day and night. For the people defined as "conservative" our responsibilities never end- leaving us little, if any, time to even fantasize about reading books.

Who are "conservatives?" Conservatives are simply defined as the "producers" of our economy- Americans with important jobs; in leadership positions; with great responsibility; the type of people that are "on the go" 24/7- who make our economy go and grow.

No, conservatives don't have the time to read books. But they are busy creating, funding and shaping the businesses, industries, and jobs that make a difference in our world (and our economy). Reading books is not something they have time for in their busy schedules. They have mortgages, property taxes, income taxes, private schools and college educations (for their kids) to pay for. When you're bright and ambitious and want to provide a better life for your family, there are a lot of bills to pay- big bills. No, reading books is just not high up on the "priority list" for conservatives.

Equally misleading is the fact that, while busy entrepreneurs and executives (like me) don't have time to read books, we actually read far more than any liberal. We simply choose to read publications important to our careers, our success, and our understanding of the business world. For instance I rarely read a book- but I read 5 to 7 newspapers a day. My daily "must read" is the Wall Street Journal. I read it from front to back every morning. I also read the NY Times, LA Times, USA Today and my local Las Vegas Review Journal. But that's just the start. I read Forbes, Fortune, Robb Report and a multitude of other important business and political magazines.

By the way, I do "read" several books a month- but I do not have the time to sit and read them in traditional fashion. I read them by listening to books on tape. So while liberals are fancying themselves as "gifted intellectuals" because they read 2 or 3 books a month, I'm busy reading 50 to 100 business publications a month, while also listening to 20 books on tape. So who's really doing the most reading? I'd argue that reading the Wall Street Journal daily is far more intellectual and crucial to success, than reading 2 or 3 books (perhaps romance novels or psycho-babble by Dr. Phil) at the beach. Reading books is a good thing- but not nearly as good for society (or the economy) as working 24/7 to create and build businesses. Not even close. Liberals don't read more books than conservatives because they are smarter- they just have more leisure time.

The reason that Conservatives don't read books is the exact same reason that liberals fail miserably on talk radio. Just in the past few months, high-profile liberal talk radio networks Air America and Jane Fonda's GreenStone Media (feminist radio) both declared bankruptcy and went off the air. Why? Because radio is not something most people listen to at home. Talk radio is the perfect form of entertainment while driving in your car. And who drives in their cars (particularly during morning and evening rush hour)? People with jobs, businesses, careers- otherwise known as conservatives (at least fiscal conservatives). Talk radio is dominated by conservative hosts- they literally scream all day long about high taxes and wasteful government spending. You know why? Because the drivers listening to these shows are the ones who pay all the taxes!

Conservatives drive in the morning to work (sometimes an hour or longer commute), they drive back home at night, they drive in-between to business lunches, client meetings and sales calls. Then they drive on Saturday and Sunday mornings to their children's ballgames, karate classes, Lacrosse matches, and swimming lessons. These are people with families, big mortgages, careers. No wonder they are fiscally conservative.

SOURCE




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Living in cities makes you look older: Polluted urban air will make you age 10 per cent faster than in the country (?)

This claim is full of holes.  For a start it appears to have been done in China, where the pollution is apocalyptic in many places and includes all sorts of industrial chemicals.  So its generalizability to other countries cannot be accepted.  Secondly, the interpretation of the results is guesswork anyway.  There are many differences between city and country living other than pollution.  A more straightforward interpretation of the results would be to say that city living is more stressful and that produces the differences observed

Women who live in the countryside look younger for longer, a study suggests.  City living makes the skin age 10 per cent faster than a rural existence.

Costmetics firm Procter & Gamble claims that polluted air contains 224 chemicals which damage the skin.  The airborne particles each damage proteins in the skin called keratins, which stop cells drying out.

A study of 200 women aged between 30 and 45, funded by P&G, compared the skin quality of inner-city dwellers with that of women living in the country.

Both groups had similar lifestyles and were exposed to comparable amounts of ultraviolet radiation.

But while those from the country showed higher rates of sunlight-related ageing, overall damage was worse among those living in the inner city.

The research was carried out by Professor Wei Liu, a dermatologist at the China Air Force general hospital in Beijing.

Pollution causes inflammation, disrupts the skin’s barrier, damages the collagen that maintains skin elasticity and accelerates wrinkling and ageing.

Frauke Neuser, scientific spokesman for P&G, which makes Olay and other skincare products, said: ‘In the past it was believed toxic particles in urban dust may stick to the face, but are too large to penetrate skin.  ‘We now know particles as small as 0.1 of a micrometre, many times smaller than a grain of sand, carry a variety of these toxins and can get below the skin.’

Professor Mark Birch-Machin, a molecular dermatologist at Newcastle University, told the Sunday Times there was no dispute that air pollution can damage skin, but added: ‘There are no concrete figures as to how much of a problem this is.’

SOURCE


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Conservatives are more disgusted by animal mutilation than are liberals

That is the finding of the article below.  See particularly their Table 4.  Seeing a ripped apart animal didn't disturb American liberals much at all.  Given the mass-murdering ways of socialists when they get untrammelled power (Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Castro etc) that should not be much a of a surprise -- to say nothing of the Leftist indifference to abortion.  They have the psychopath's emotional shallowness and indifference to suffering in others. They are basically very nasty people.  Despite Leftist pretensions, it is conservatives who really feel for others.

The findings below are really quite striking.  The brain activity observed across a lot of brain regions in response to an image of a mutilated animal was quite a strong predictor of political orientation.  Conservatives were really stirred up by the image whereas liberals were not.  You can tell pretty reliably where a person is politically by how much suffering disgusts him

Rather vaguely, the authors of the article interpret their results as showing that conservatives have a general negativity bias. But their own results refute that. There was NOTHING general in the responses of conservatives.  The authors used a number of different stimuli but it was only the mutilated animal that evoked a strongly differentiated response. It could be argued that the results show conservatives to have a weak stomach but if a strong stomach goes with being relaxed about mass-murder and killing babies,a weak stomach would seem highly desirable.  The monstrous description of killing the unborn as "choice" showed Leftist hard-heartedness long before the research below did


Nonpolitical Images Evoke Neural Predictors of Political Ideology

By Woo-Young Ahn et al.

Summary

Political ideologies summarize dimensions of life that define how a person organizes their public and private behavior, including their attitudes associated with sex, family, education, and personal autonomy [ 1, 2 ]. Despite the abstract nature of such sensibilities, fundamental features of political ideology have been found to be deeply connected to basic biological mechanisms [ 3–7 ] that may serve to defend against environmental challenges like contamination and physical threat [ 8–12 ].

These results invite the provocative claim that neural responses to nonpolitical stimuli (like contaminated food or physical threats) should be highly predictive of abstract political opinions (like attitudes toward gun control and abortion) [ 13 ].

We applied a machine-learning method to fMRI data to test the hypotheses that brain responses to emotionally evocative images predict individual scores on a standard political ideology assay.

Disgusting images, especially those related to animal-reminder disgust (e.g., mutilated body), generate neural responses that are highly predictive of political orientation even though these neural predictors do not agree with participants’ conscious rating of the stimuli.

Images from other affective categories do not support such predictions. Remarkably, brain responses to a single disgusting stimulus were sufficient to make accurate predictions about an individual subject’s political ideology.

These results provide strong support for the idea that fundamental neural processing differences that emerge under the challenge of emotionally evocative stimuli may serve to structure political beliefs in ways formerly unappreciated.

SOURCE


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A great myth



That looks like defeated Australian Leftist leader Julia Gillard in the toon -- but I don't think she ever did ask that question


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UK: Family energy bills to be £70 HIGHER than ministers claimed... despite millions lavished of green energy schemes

Chimerical "savings" from government-encouraged use of home insulation and lower-powered electrical appliances are supposed to more than  offset green levies on British power bills -- so you can have your cake and eat it too!  Reality is beginning to intrude however. I wonder if they have yet factored in the fact that lower powered electrical appliances tend to be run longer.  If, for instance, a low-powered dishwasher doesn't get the dishes very clean, people tend to re-run the cycle  -- thus using MORE power than if the government hadn't meddled

Family energy bills in five years’ time will be £70 a year higher than previously thought, the Government admitted today.

In 2020, the average energy bill will be £1,319 – around £50 cheaper than today – the Department of Energy and Climate Change has estimated in a report published today. This is £92 cheaper than without Government measure, the report claims.

But in March last year, ministers promised that the raft of green policies it has introduced to reduce Britain’s dependence on coal would drive down prices down to £1,245 a year on average – or £166 cheaper than if the Government did nothing.

It means bills will be some £74 higher than the Government claimed last year.

Despite the setback the Government insists its green policies mean household fuel bills are £90 cheaper this year than they would be without the raft of policies to cut emissions and save energy.

Families will also be saving £92 a year on their electricity and gas bills by 2020, the Department of Energy and Climate Change estimates.

But the figure for the end of the decade is significantly lower than savings of £166 predicted last March.

The assessment shows that while measures to support clean power – like subsidies for wind farms – push up bills, other policies to save energy, including insulation programmes and regulations on more efficient appliances, bring them down.

This year the average household energy bill is £1,369, compared with an estimated figure of £1,459 if there were no Government energy policies.

The £90 saving includes a £50 reduction as a result of moves brought in by the Government last December.

The majority of the £50 savings came from the Energy Company Obligation scheme which helps poorer families with energy efficiency measures to provide them with warmer homes and cheaper bills.

Subsidies for low carbon power makes up around 5 per cent of the average bill and energy efficiency measures make up around 2-3 per cent, the assessment shows.

But gas use is down 10 per cent and electricity use is 17 per cent less as a result of policies that save energy, Decc said.

By 2030, bills are predicted to rise to £1,524 with policies on emissions and energy savings, compared with £1,586 without any measures - though the estimates do not include extra policies that could be needed to cut carbon further.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said: ‘We have the best energy security in Europe - and to stay that way we need to deal with a legacy of under investment and build a clean, secure energy system based on home-grown supplies.

‘I’m determined that while we tackle these challenges, consumers don’t pay a penny more than they have to for the energy they use.

‘We’re making homes warmer and cheaper to run, giving particular help to the most vulnerable people and avoiding the predicted energy crunch, meaning we can drive down bills and support investment in the economy with more secure energy supplies and more stable bills.’

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Could ADHD be triggered by mothers being exposed to air pollution while pregnant?

It is saddening that I have to say so but the study described below is typical epidemiological crap. They concluded what they wanted to conclude and damn the data. The focus of the study was Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in the atmosphere and in food. So what did the results show? "Maternal and cord adducts were not significantly correlated with prenatally air monitored PAH, ETS, or dietary PAH." In other words those villainous PAHs had no effects that could be detected in the blood of the mother or the blood of the placenta. So the whole theory fails at the first hurdle. All other associations observable in the data were not due to anything in the atmosphere or in the diet. A few molecules of PAH in people must have come from somewhere but it would appear that they were so few that the research could not detect their origin. The women examined were all black NYC residents from the ghettoes so perhaps they got the stuff from something to do with their lifestyle. Drugs perhaps?

Children exposed to high levels of pollution in the womb are at greater risk of suffering attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a new study has found.

Scientists at Columbia University studied 233 non-smoking pregnant women living in New York.  They found children exposed to high levels of air pollution during pregnancy were five times more likely to have ADHD by the time they were nine years old.

The nine-year study looked at levels of common pollutants polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH).  Researchers measured the levels of PAH in maternal and umbilical cord blood shortly after delivery.  And they repeated tests when each of the children were three and five, measuring levels of PAH in their urine.

Thirty-three children who had high levels of exposure to PAHs, as measured at birth.  Of those, 13 were diagnosed with ADHD hyperactive-impulsive subtype, seven the inattentive subtype, and 13 had both.

Professor Frederica Perera, first author of the study, said: 'Those children born to moms who were exposed to high levels of PAH during pregnancy had five times the odds of having an increased number of symptoms.'

PAHs are created when products like coal, oil, gas and rubbish are burned but not completely.  They don't burn easily, and as a result remain in the environment for long periods of time.  Most are used to conduct research though some are used to make dyes, plastics and pesticides.

One of the most common ways they enter the body is through breathing in contaminated air.

To establish children's exposure to PAHs in the womb, the scientists measured levels of fragments of the mothers' DNA bonded to PAH molecules, also known as DNA adducts, in umbilical cord blood.

Previous studies carried out by Professor Perera and her team identified links between higher levels of prenatal PAH exposure and developmental delays in children by the age of three.

They also noted lower IQ scores at five, and increased risk a child will suffer anxiety, depression and attention problems at six and seven.

The new study, published in the journal PLoS One, looked at the children's ADHD symptoms using the Child Behavior Checklist and the Conners' Parent Rating Scale - two screening tests used to diagnose the condition.

Professor Perera said this is the first time a link has been established between prenatal PAH exposure and ADHD symptoms.  She told LiveScience: 'If replicated, then these findings could lead to new ways or stronger ways, better ways, to prevent ADHD.

'By nature, environmental exposures are preventable, this we consider one possible contributor to ADHD and one that's preventable, and the findings should be followed up so that necessary preventive strategies could be taken.'

She said pregnant women concerned about the effect of pollution levels on their unborn babies, can eat plenty of fresh produce which helps offset the effects of pollutants.

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Early-Life Exposure to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and ADHD Behavior Problems

Frederica P. Perera et al.

Abstract

Importance

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are widespread urban air pollutants from combustion of fossil fuel and other organic material shown previously to be neurotoxic.

Objective

In a prospective cohort study, we evaluated the relationship between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder behavior problems and prenatal polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon exposure, adjusting for postnatal exposure.

Materials and Methods

Children of nonsmoking African-American and Dominican women in New York City were followed from in utero to 9 years. Prenatal polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon exposure was estimated by levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon- DNA adducts in maternal and cord blood collected at delivery. Postnatal exposure was estimated by the concentration of urinary polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon metabolites at ages 3 or 5. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder behavior problems were assessed using the Child Behavior Checklist and the Conners Parent Rating Scale- Revised.

Results

High prenatal adduct exposure, measured by elevated maternal adducts was significantly associated with all Conners Parent Rating Scale-Revised subscales when the raw scores were analyzed continuously (N = 233). After dichotomizing at the threshold for moderately to markedly atypical symptoms, high maternal adducts were significantly associated with the Conners Parent Rating Scale-Revised DSM-IV Inattentive (OR = 5.06, 95% CI [1.43, 17.93]) and DSM-IV Total (OR = 3.37, 95% CI [1.10, 10.34]) subscales. High maternal adducts were positivity associated with the DSM-oriented Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Problems scale on the Child Behavior Checklist, albeit not significant. In the smaller sample with cord adducts, the associations between outcomes and high cord adduct exposure were not statistically significant (N = 162).

Conclusion

The results suggest that exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons encountered in New York City air may play a role in childhood Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder behavior problems.

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