A defeat for the obesity warriors: Heart disease risk inherited through genes, not due to diet
Amazing: They have just shown that lifestyle is irrelevant but still cannot help themseves from preaching the lifestyle gospel. There's a lot of religion in all the "sciences" as far as I can see. These guys are just as much men of faith as any Christian
Parents increase their child's risk of coronary heart disease through their genes and not through the family's diet or lifestyle, a new study shows.
Children born to parents with CHD are 40 to 60 per cent more likely to develop the condition themselves, but growing up in an unhealthy household is of little importance.
Although children of people who suffer from the condition were already known to be at increased risk, it was not previously clear whether this was due to genetics or because children of unhealthy parents adopt similar lifestyles.
But a study of more than 80,000 men and women who were adopted as children showed that susceptibility to the disease is transmitted in the womb and not in the home.
Smoking, eating unhealthy food and avoiding exercise still play a major role in an individual's chance of developing CHD, doctors said, but the risk that is passed down through families is based on DNA rather than behaviour.
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden, where nearly all residents are registered on a national health care database, compared the medical records of adoptees to both their biological and adoptive parents.
They found that adoptees who had at least one biological parent with CHD had up to 60 per cent more chance of suffering the disease themselves, compared with a control group.
In contrast, growing up in a home with adoptive parents who suffered from CHD resulted in no additional risk for the child, even if both parents had the disease.
Prof Kristina Sundquist, who led the study, said it showed that inherited risk of CHD is genetic and parents' lifestyles are not to blame for passing it on to their children.
She said: "Of course it is always important to think about your own lifestyle but this study shows you cannot blame families for passing on poor lifestyles to their children."
Prof Peter Weissberg, medical director of the BHF, said: "This study tells us that genes are very important but no matter what genes you have, you still need to pay attention to your lifestyle."
"Progressive" folly over gun control
I've always been curious how American progressives got on the wrong -- anti-civil liberties -- side of gun control. In my mind this has been a grave strategic error. I have written elsewhere about the extreme difficulty liberals and progressives face in engaging the working class. I have also been highly critical of their tendency to get sucked into "lifestyle" campaigns (anti-smoking, anti-obesity, vegetarianism, etc.) etc., owing to the deep seated class antagonism this engenders in blue collar voters. Contrary to the stereotypes portrayed in the corporate media, class differences -- and class hatred -- are very real in the US. From a working class perspective, the progressive movement is the middle class. They're the teachers, social workers, psychologists, doctors, lawyers and religious leaders who play a fundamental role in setting behavioral standards for the rest of us. Thus when they tell us not to smoke, eat big Macs, or buy guns, we don't see this as political reform. We see it as an extension of their (privileged) class role.
For a progressive to take a stand against gun control is a pretty lonely place. There's a 1979 book edited by Don Kates entitled Restricting Handguns: The Liberal Skeptics Speak Out. There's also an organization called the Liberal Gun Club whose mission is to "provide a voice for gun-owing liberals and moderates in the national conversation on gun rights, gun legalization, firearms safety, and shooting sports."
Then there's Sam Smith's excellent article in the Progressive Review: Why "Progressives Should Stop Pushing for More Gun Control Laws." Among Smith's numerous arguments, three leap out at me: the exacerbation of "cultural conflict" between rural and urban and wealthy and not so well off, the tendency for gun restrictions and prohibition to be interwoven with the drive to restrict other civil liberties, and the need for progressives to stop treating average Americans as though they were "alien creatures." Smith also makes the point that progressives lose elections as much because of their attitudes as their issues.
In January (following Representative Gifford's shooting and renewed calls for gun control), Dan Baum wrote in the Huffington Post that progressives have wasted a generation of progress on health care, women's rights, immigration reform, income fairness and climate change because "we keep messing with people's guns." He feels it's helpful to think of gun control as akin to marijuana prohibition -- all it does is turn otherwise law-abiding people into criminals and create divisiveness and resentment.
Hate drives the Israeli Left too
The point where we reach the limits of civil debate about policy is, like Justice Potter Stewart’s famous description of pornography, hard to define but you generally know it when you see it. That’s the only possible reaction to a blog post by Jerusalem Post columnist Larry Derfner who wrote on Sunday to say the actions of the terrorists who murdered eight Israelis near Eilat last week were justified. Yes, you read that right. Derfner, a veteran journalist who has enjoyed playing the enfant terrible house leftist at the centrist Post for years, wrote on his personal blog to say Palestinian terrorism against Israelis is “justified.”
In doing so, Derfner has exposed the fundamental flaw in the left’s position on terror. His obscene post will, as he predicted, lead some of his fellow countrymen to call him a traitor, and Israel’s enemies will cite it in defense of their policy of murder. But the significant aspect of this piece is it shows how pious liberals who believe the blame for the conflict falls upon the Jews are inevitably led to the justification of murder.
Derfner claims, despite all the evidence of the past 18 years of peace processing, the blame for the continuation of the conflict falls squarely on Israel and no one else. He says the Palestinian terrorists are merely fighting for their “independence” against an evil Israeli “occupation.” But, as even Shimon Peres has said, if the conflict were just about the Palestinian desire for an independent state, it would have been over more than a decade ago when Yasir Arafat chose to reject Ehud Barak’s offer at Camp David in July 2000. Since then, that offer has been repeated and rejected. But that is meaningless to Derfner, because he and those who think like him have never been really been interested in the Palestinians or what they do or want. His focus is hatred of the Israeli right and the settlement movement, and to discuss anything else, even if that means ignoring the truth about Palestinian nationalism and its implacable desire to destroy Israel no matter where its borders are drawn, is a distraction.
Perry offends Leftist snobs
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination now, at least in the national polls. Undoubtedly that's the main reason so many East Coast pundits and Beltway wags are making fun of him. He likes guns! He's from Texas! He talks funny! He's a -- gird yourself now -- Christian!
New York magazine and others mock his harmless, Bush-like pronunciation of nuclear ("nuke-ular"). They're scandalized that he doesn't go to a golf course to relax, but a shooting range. It's already a cliche among liberals to describe him as the sort of cartoonish, ignorant cowboy they thought George W. Bush was (though to date, nobody feels the need to apologize to Bush for misinterpreting him).
And before we bust out the world's smallest violin -- or, I guess, the world's smallest fiddle -- to play the world's softest sob song for poor Rick Perry, keep in mind that he plays this game too. When asked to explain the difference between himself and Bush, Perry responded that Bush went to Yale, while he went to Texas A&M.
"In other words," joked Conan O'Brien, "Rick Perry's idea of instilling confidence is to say, 'Don't worry, I'm not as smart as George W. Bush.'"
Rick Perry's overt Christianity horrifies many of his liberal critics. Bill Keller, the outgoing editor of the New York Times, agonized recently that "Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum are all affiliated with fervid subsets of evangelical Christianity." Actually, Santorum is a fairly famous Catholic, but that's tomaytoh, tomahto for Keller, apparently.
"Every faith," Keller writes, "has its baggage, and every faith holds beliefs that will seem bizarre to outsiders. I grew up believing that a priest could turn a bread wafer into the actual flesh of Christ."
I hope his current priest doesn't mind when he calls Holy Communion "baggage."
Perry's twang offends liberals who think everyone should talk like Barack Obama, a man of cosmopolitan and learned diction. Of course, Obama pronounces "corpsman," "corpse-man" -- as if our Navy were staffed with heroic zombies. One would think he'd have picked up the right punctuation during his travels to all 57 U.S. states.
Obama's gaffes earn no traction the way, say, the last president's "Bushisms" did. Nor do they cause bowel-stewing panic at MSNBC the way Sarah Palin's flavorful patois does.
And don't even get me started on Joe Biden. He could show up at a Russian state funeral in a Speedo and pith helmet, singing the Alvin and the Chipmunks B-sides, and NBC's Andrea Mitchell would lead with the disturbing reports that Sarah Palin quoted Biden inaccurately on her Twitter account.
Let's cut through the clutter: A lot of people on the East and West coasts are bigots and snobs about "flyover types." They equate funny accents with stupidity, and they automatically assume someone who went to Texas A&M must be dumber than someone who went to Yale. Overt displays of religion trigger their fight-or-flight instincts, causing them to lash out irrationally.
My favorite example? When John McCain picked Palin as his running mate, University of Chicago professor Wendy Doniger wrote that Palin's "greatest hypocrisy is in her pretense that she is a woman."
When I read such idiocy, it's impossible for me not to love Bush, Perry, Palin, et al. for their enemies.
What if Obama isn't so smart?
Eek! Another Republican moron is running for president, and the blogs on the Left are aghast. Another village in Texas is missing its idiot! Another s--t-kicking cowboy has messed with their heads.
The question this time is not just whether Texas Gov. Rick Perry is dumb -- the Left claims the obvious answer is yes -- but also whether he is as dumb as George W. Bush, or even much dumber, moronic where Bush was simply "incurious," and also much less gently bred.
Either way, few on the Left doubt that neither is, as Steve Benen says, "an intellectually curious, creative thinker, capable to examining [sic] complex issues in a sophisticated way."
Fortunately we have such a thinker, "capable to examining" things to perfection, and that is the problem: President Obama is their ideal of a thinker. He is president, and he has been -- how to put it? -- a bomb.
Based on results, Perry has been more successful as governor of Texas than Obama has been as president, or as anything else he has ever tried being, in the entire whole course of his life.
In 2008, Obama was hailed as a genius, a "first rate intellect," the smartest man to ever be president, and we know now the first part is true. He is the political genius who shed 30 points in his first years in office.
He's the political genius who blew up his coalition in his first months in office, who led his party to annihilation in the 2010 midterms (while showing utter indifference to the fate of congressional Democrats), and gave the Republicans -- who were on the floor, in a coma -- more than they needed to come roaring back from the dead.
He is the policy genius who "leads from behind," whose engagement ideas have gone nowhere, whose stimulus stimulated only the deficit, whose health care "success" helped kill off his recovery, and whose efforts to create jobs all fell flat.
Almost 40 percent of the new jobs that were created happened under Perry in Texas. Liberals who fault that state for its low levels of taxes and spending might ask themselves why, if it is a hellhole, so many people go there and stay there.
Many of them are fleeing states ruled by Democrats, which have high taxes, a strong union presence and a rich array of the programs that Democrats love.
If this is idiocy, we may want some more idiots, as Lincoln once asked for more drunks in his army, rather like Gen. Grant.
The bloggers fear that he may win a second term anyhow, as there may be a difference between being "too dumb to govern," (look at Bush, for example), and being "too dumb to win."
Kevin Drum at Mother Jones thinks Perry may be too dim for even the doltish American public, while Paul Waldman thinks otherwise. "The doltish candidates seem mostly on the Republican side," he writes in the American Prospect, while only Democrats have and/or treasure intelligence.
"So while there are many things to dislike about Perry, his tiny brain" might do him no harm. But the real examples of those who campaigned well and bombed afterward are Democrats, such as Obama and Carter, whose careers peaked on the day they took office and went steadily downhill from then on.
And if Obama is brilliant, and Bush is an imbecile, how come the genius kept most of the things the dolt set in motion: the protocols for fighting the war against terror, the surge strategy, the timetables, and even, in Robert Gates and David Petraeus, some of his main appointees? Why couldn't the genius improve on the idiot's handiwork? Maybe he isn't that bright.
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)