Thursday, February 02, 2012

The great diabetes fraud

In their constant struggle to get control of what we eat, the food Fascists are always warning us that "obesity" will give us diabetes, which is a very nasty ailment indeed. But, as far as I can see, this is deliberate dishonesty. A well-known symptom of diabetes is insatiable eating ("polyphagia" in medical jargon). So it seems to me that it is diabetes that makes you "obese", not Obesity that gives you diabetes. There IS a correlation between the two things but the interpretation of that correlation uniformly gets it ass backwards. I set the argument out much more fully here.

Note also that the term "obesity" has now lost all meaning. It is little more than a swear word. The boy below was recently described by Britain's National Health Service as "obese"



Duke University is at it again

Leftist uproar over a finding that black students at Duke disproportionately migrate away from more difficult (science and engineering) to easier (liberal arts) majors

When we last left Duke University and its home of Durham, North Carolina, the bogus story fueled by the leftwing politics that governs Duke and Durham that three lacrosse players from Duke had beaten and raped Crystal Mangum was being put to rest. True, there were lawsuits filed against both entities by former lacrosse players, but the fires that burned at Duke seemed to have been doused.

For a year while the false criminal case went on, Duke University truly was the Bonfire of the Vanities as students and representatives of the Ruling Party of Durham competed with each other to see who could make the most outrageous and untrue statements. Almost six years ago, I likened it to the Reichstag Fire, but since that time, I have concluded that in the make-believe world that is Duke and Durham (or Dukham, for short), the fires always are burning and there always is a new reason for the Right Kind of People of Dukham to be offended.

Six years ago, the lacrosse incident set Dukham ablaze (or, to be more accurate, the refusal of Dukham’s finest to do any independent thinking set Dukhanm ablaze). Today, it is the appearance of an unpublished paper that takes a hard look at some of the unforeseen consequences of Duke’s aggressive affirmative action policies.

Granted, the end of the criminal portion of the lacrosse case was disappointing to a large number of Dukham folks. The charges, after being investigated for the first time (disgraced DA Mike Nifong never did take the time to do an actual investigation even though he had three indictments), were dismissed by North Carolina’s Attorney General Roy Cooper, who said openly that the players were "innocent." Such a thing did not sit well with the leftist and racialist faculty members that had pontificated on the case, as well as the Usual Suspects of the local activist groups.

Much has happened since then. Mangum is in jail awaiting trial for allegedly murdering her boyfriend, Nifong remains disbarred and disgraced, and his sidekick Tracey Cline, who has served as Durham County’s DA since Nifong disappeared (Cline was to be second chair in the prosecution if it had gone to trial), has been suspended from her duties while she is investigated for alleged misconduct.

While the lawsuits creep along, an email from Duke’s dean of students, Sue Wasiolek, that surfaced during discovery, pointed out that right from the start, the lacrosse players "cooperated" with the police. Unfortunately, when Nifong used the local and national media to insist that the players were "putting up a wall of silence," no one from Duke University’s administration, including Wasiolek, tried to set the record straight. It is clear that the leadership at Duke knew the truth, but the fiction was so much more satisfactory to the locals, a significant portion of the university’s faculty and student body, and, of course, the New York Times, which fell headlong into the Nifong pit. The players were guilty and Dukham’s leaders were not going to let a little thing like the truth spoil a party put on by self-righteous activists.

As I said earlier, the bonfires might have simmered temporarily, but today, they are in full blaze as Duke University is enmeshed in another self-inflicted crisis. Once again we see many of the same people from the faculty and the administration beating their chests to atone for the university’s supposed racism and to point out to others that there are dastardly racists in their midst.

When word that an unpublished paper written by an economics professor, a sociology professor, and a graduate student might not paint the happiest picture of academic life at Duke, the Usual Suspects rose up to protest. The paper itself looked at what happens after students with lower SAT scores (including both those admitted via affirmative action and the "legacy" students) actually settle into academic life at the university.

While many of these students might start out majoring in natural sciences, economics, or engineering, they often change majors and migrate to the "softer" majors in liberal arts. The significant part of that migration, the paper noted, was that the "legacy admissions" and affirmative action students migrate in statistically-significant larger numbers than do the students that did not need any special dispensation to enter Duke.

The paper’s findings matched what other researchers already have noted regarding affirmative action and legacy students attending other highly-select universities such as Harvard, Yale, and Stanford. Many of these students arrive unprepared for the level of work they must do in the difficult majors in order to keep up with those students who can do the work, and this leads either to students dropping out or changing majors.

Not surprisingly, the faculty members in those areas of study such as Cultural Anthropology went ballistic over the paper, decrying it as "scholarly racism" (according to English and Law professor Karla Holloway, the same Karla Holloway who declared the lacrosse players to be rapists because "guilt is a social construct"). In fact, many of the same professors that rushed to judgment in the lacrosse case and created an atmosphere of hate and hysteria at Duke also are the out-front people here.

One of the worst offenders in the lacrosse crisis was professor Tim Tyson, who openly called for dismissal of all of the lacrosse players and repeated the lie that they were refusing to cooperate with the police. Tyson also led on-campus protests against them, rushing to judgment and then refusing to acknowledge after the players were exonerated that they actually were innocent. In other words, Tyson is one of those Duke faculty members who absolutely hates a large portion of the Duke student body along with most of the Adults who are on the faculty.

Tyson, as is his wont, openly attacked one of the authors, economics professor Peter Arcidiacono, in an article, alleging that Arcidiacono was a racist and worse. (Of course, Tyson’s article is filled with ad hominems and he refuses to address the real issues of the paper, preferring to wrap himself in the righteousness of his own worldview.)

Once again: Tyson does not challenge in any way the data that Arcidiacono, et al., presented, that black students at Duke disproportionately migrate away from more difficult (science and engineering) to easier (liberal arts) majors.

As in the lacrosse case, a large portion of Duke’s professors are permitted to launch baseless and public attacks on other students and faculty, all the while drawing large salaries and having to do little productive work while denouncing their employer and anyone else who pays for them to stomp about campus. In fact, it seems that their "work" is to claim that they are mistreated by Duke, which requires little out of them but spending a few hours a week on campus protesting that they should even be there at all.



No freedom to exercise your religion where Obama is concerned

A typical Leftist reaction to the First Amendment: Ignore it whenever convenient

At the end of Sunday mass at the church this writer attends in Washington, D.C., the pastor asked the congregation to remain for a few minutes. Then, on the instructions of Cardinal Archbishop Donald Wuerl, the pastor proceeded to read a letter.

In the letter, the Church denounced the Obama administration for ordering all Catholic schools, hospitals, and social services to provide, in their health insurance coverage for employes, free contraceptives, free sterilizations, and free “morning-after” pills.

Parishioners were urged to contact their representatives in Congress to bring about a reversal of President Obama’s new policy.

Now, not only is this a battle the Church must fight, it is a battle the Church can win if it has the moral stamina to say the course.

In forcing the Church to violate its own principles, Obama has committed an act of federal aggression, crossing the line between church and state to appease his ACLU and feminist allies, while humiliating the Catholic bishops. Should the Church submit, its moral authority in America would disappear.

Now, undeniably, the church milquetoast of past decades that refused to discipline pro-abortion Catholics allowed the impression to form that while the hierarchy may protest, eventually it will go along to get along with a Democratic Party that was once home to most Catholics.

Obama’s problem today is that not only is he forcing the Church to violate her conscience, he dissed the highest prelate in America.

In November, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, held what he describes as an “extraordinarily friendly” meeting with Obama at the White House. The president assured the archbishop of his respect for the Church, and the archbishop came away persuaded Obama would never force the Church to adopt any policy that would violate her principles.

Ten days ago, Obama sandbagged the archbishop. He informed Cardinal-designate Dolan by phone that, with the sole concession of the Church being given an extra year, to August 2013, to comply, the new policy, as set down by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, will be imposed. All social and educational institutions of the Catholic church will offer health insurance covering birth control, or face fines.

“In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences,” said Archbishop Dolan, who went on: “To force American citizens to choose between violating their consciences and forgoing their health care is literally unconscionable. … This represents a challenge and a compromise of our religious liberty.”

Where do Obama and Sebelius get the power to do this? The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law on March 23, 2010, the colloquial name for which is “Obamacare.”

NARAL Pro-Choice America is celebrating the new policy. Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards, calls it a “health care issue … based on what’s best for women’s health.” Others have argued that many Catholic women practice birth control.

But that Catholics choose to ignore doctrine does not justify the U.S. government imposing on Catholic institutions a policy that violates Catholic teaching.

Even Washington Post liberal E.J. Dionne, in a Jan. 30 column titled “Obama’s Breach of Faith,” charges that the president “threw his progressive Catholic allies under the bus. … “Speaking as an American liberal who believes that religious pluralism imposes certain obligations on government … the Church’s leaders had a right to ask for broader relief from a contraception mandate that would require it to act against its own teachings.”

Why did Obama do it? Facing a close race for a second term, Obama chose not to antagonize his left. Yet he must have known that siding with them meant leaving Archbishop Dolan with egg all over his face. Obama, calculatedly, came down on the side of those he believes to be more crucial to his re-election.

This affront should tell the Catholic hierarchy, if they did not already know, where they stand in the party of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Kathleen Sebilius. And where they sit — in the back of the bus.

Yet if the bishops will look upon this crisis of conscience, this insult, as an opportunity, they can effect its reversal and recapture a measure of the moral authority they have lately lost. Not only should the bishops file suit in federal court against the president and Sebelius for violation of the constitutional principle of separation of church and state, they should inform the White House that no bishop will give an invocation at the Democratic Convention.

Then, they should inform the White House that in the last two weeks of the 2012 campaign, priests in every parish will read from the pulpit at Sunday mass a letter denouncing Obama as anti-Catholic for denying the Church its right to live according to its beliefs. If Obama loses the Catholic vote, he loses the election. The White House will come around, fast. Rely upon it.



Obama's Flawed Case for Insourcing

American workers are losing jobs to machines, not to Chinese workers

President Barack Obama declared in his State of the Union address that the U.S. has a major opportunity to bring manufacturing back and fight unemployment. “Tonight, my message to business leaders is simple: Ask yourselves what you can do to bring jobs back to your country, and your country will do everything we can to help you succeed,” he thundered.

But all one can say to that is, “Good luck.” If that works, maybe he can spin gold from hay and pay off the national debt, too.

The president’s call wasn’t new. He has even invented a name for it: “insourcing.” And he’s been hectoring CEOs to make “Made In America” their prime goal, “not just because it’s increasingly the right thing to do for their bottom line, but also because it’s the right thing to do for their workers and for our communities and our country.”

But neither the president’s appeal to patriotism nor his economic case adds up.

The patriotic approach is not “the right thing to do,” because universalizing it would eviscerate its benefit. If American CEOs should make business decisions based on their nationality, then shouldn’t foreign CEOs as well?

If they did, it wouldn’t work out too well for America. Foreign-owned companies employ close to 5.5 million Americans and generate about $3.1 trillion in economic value. Does Obama want their CEOs to fold their businesses up and return home to do their patriotic duty?

Moreover, forcing American companies to produce goods more expensively at home rather than wherever it is most cost-effective will mean higher prices for American consumers. Where is the patriotism in sacrificing the interests of 300 million American consumers to protect the jobs of a few American workers?

But suppose that America’s great manufacturing rival, China, were to disappear tomorrow. Would that mean American workers would regain lost factory jobs? Not really.

The fact of the matter is that even though manufacturing employment has declined—America has lost roughly 6 million manufacturing jobs since the sector’s peak in the 1970s—manufacturing output has been going up. Indeed, total output today is 2.5 times its 1972 level in adjusted dollars. In 2010, America produced $1.8 trillion in goods (in 2005 dollars) — about $100 billion more than China, but with only about a tenth as many workers, thanks to automation and technological advances that have vastly increased American productivity. Goods that took 1,000 American workers to produce in 1950 now take 177.

The choice for American companies, then, is not between American workers and Chinese workers, but between American machines and Chinese workers. Given how much more American workers cost in wages and benefits, U.S. companies that relocate to America would have to develop even more labor-saving technologies or watch the market for their products simply disappear.




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