Friday, September 26, 2014

The resveratrol myth is slowly unwinding

That anti-oxidants in food are good for you has by now been extensively debunked.  There is some evidence that they are bad for you. See here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here, for instance.   And a favorite anti-oxidant is resveratrol.  The latest report:

Pregnant women who have the odd drink should avoid red wine, researchers suggest.  They say that an ingredient in the wine that is normally viewed as healthy could harm their unborn child's pancreas.

Resveratrol has been credited with having protective effects against heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease and a number of other conditions.

Naturally present in red wine, red grapes and some berries, it is also available as a supplement.

However, a study now suggests it can lead to developmental abnormalities in the foetal pancreas. The study was carried out by the Division of Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism and the Division of Reproductive and Development Science at Oregon Health and Science University in the United States.

Lead researcher on the study Dr Kevin Gove said: 'This study has direct relevance to human health. 'Resveratrol is widely used for its recognised health benefits, and is readily available over the counter.

'The important message in this study is that women should be very careful about what they consume while pregnant, and they should not take supplements, like Resveratrol, without consulting with their doctors.  'What might be good for the mother may not be good for the baby.'

As part of the study, Dr Grove and colleagues gave resveratrol supplements every day throughout pregnancy to obese macaque monkeys eating a Western diet.

A second group of obese monkeys was not given the supplement, and both were compared with lean monkeys fed a healthy diet.

The animals were closely monitored for health complications, and blood flow through the placenta was determined by ultrasound.

The foetuses were analysed for developmental abnormalities, and findings showed definitive evidence of pancreatic abnormalities.

The study was published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal.



A Potentially Deadly Denial of Reality

The ideologically-inspired bankruptcy of the Obama administration and the Democratic Party remains unrelenting.

Last Thursday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced a bill in the Senate that would revoke citizenship for Americans who join ISIS. Believing time is of the essence, Cruz sought to fast track the Expatriate Terrorist Act, meaning he bypassed the normal Senate committee process. He did so because the Senate is nearing the end of its current session and having the bill go through committee “would mean that it could not pass in time to prevent Americans fighting right now with ISIS from coming back and murdering other Americans,” he said. "There is an urgency and an exigency to this situation,“ Cruz added.

Unfortunately, fast tracking the bill left it vulnerable to defeat if a single Senator objected. Enter freshman Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) who blocked the bill because "legislation that grants the government the ability to strip citizenship from Americans is a serious matter raising significant constitutional issues.” And as surely as night follows day, White House press secretary Josh Earnest confirmed Monday that reports citing an unnamed senior administration official claiming that some of those Americans had in fact returned home were accurate.

There are no exact numbers, but the National Counterterrorism Center estimates more than 100 Americans have gone overseas to join the battle against their own country. “It includes those who’ve gone, those who’ve tried to go, some who’ve come back," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity at a briefing. He sought to reassure the public, insisting "the FBI is looking at them.”

Such reassurances ring exceedingly hollow. The same FBI spent considerable time "looking" at Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan, and did nothing. They also looked at Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, before they ultimately decided there was no merit to the Russian warning that Tsarnaev was associating with Islamic terrorists.

The common denominator? The same stifling political correctness likely to render the FBI equally impotent in their effort to keep track of American born traitors.

Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) epitomizes the logic-numbing contradictions that arise when one seeks to reconcile such political correctness with daunting reality. “One of the concerns is the number of U.S. citizens who have left our country to go join up with ISIS,” he noted during a speech last week. “It is believed there have been some number up to 100 that have done that.” He then shocked the crowd. “It is also believed that some 40 of those who left this country to join up with ISIS have now returned to our country,” he revealed, also adding the ostensible the reassurance about the FBI “looking” at them.

After that Bishop proceeded to go over the politically correct cliff, insisting that “at the present time, the intelligence is ISIS does not present a threat to the homeland,” even as he hedged, noting that such a reality is “not something that will remain static going out into the future.”

One is left to wonder about the quality of that intelligence. In an interview last week, Director of Intelligence James Clapper, who once told the nation that the Muslim Brotherhood was a “largely secular” group that had “eschewed violence," admitted his agency had "underestimated” ISIS’s capacity even as he further noted that he couldn’t provide a timeline about how soon the terrorist group would have the capacity to attack the United States.

Clapper is not anomalous. Last Wednesday, Francis Taylor, under secretary for intelligence and analysis at DHS, testified at a Senate hearing that ISIS terrorists are known to be plotting ways to infiltrate our porous Southern border, even as he laughingly insisted that he was “satisfied we have the intelligence and the capability on our border that would prevent that activity.” When Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) pointed out the absurdity of that claim, noting that activist James O'Keefe had videotaped himself crossing the border – wearing a Bin Laden mask in one attempt – Taylor had no response.

Taylor’s cluelessness is apparently shared by DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson. During a House Homeland Security hearing last Wednesday, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) asked Johnson if he was aware of any “apprehensions of suspected or known terrorists” attempting to illegally enter the United States. “Sitting here right now, no specific case comes to mind,” Johnson responded. “That doesn’t mean there is none.” Chaffetz asked Johnson if he knew four suspected terrorists with “ties to known terrorist organizations in the Middle East” were detained at two different locations on the Southwest border Sept. 10. "I’ve heard reports to that effect. I don’t know the accuracy of the reports or how much credence to give them, but I’ve heard reports to that effect,“ Johnson responded.

Johnson does get credit for opposing a plan by the Obama administration to lift an 1983 ban on Libyans coming to America – to study aviation or nuclear sciences. Remarkably, both the State and Defense Departments claim the ban is outdated because such training would help Libyans reconstitute their military. They further insist the screening process preventing potential terrorists from obtaining the necessary visas is much improved, and that the ban in unnecessary because Libya has "evolved” since it was imposed.

Libya has indeed “evolved.” Courtesy of the president’s “leading from behind” campaign that toppled Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has evolved into “a chaotic failed state that exists in name only,” in which “radical jihadist groups have free rein," explains former House Intelligence Committee chairman Pete Hoestra. Despite Johnson’s assurances, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte (R-VA), along with Reps. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), have said they will continue moving forward with a bill to lock in the ban. "Libya’s government remains unstable today and the country is becoming more dangerous as rival rebel groups battle each other for control of Libya’s cities,” they said in a joint statement. “It’s necessary that we keep this ban on Libyans in place so that we protect Americans and our national security from threats in Libya.”

And from the Obama administration as well.

In a National Review column aptly titled “A Confederacy of Dunces?” historian Victor Davis Hanson chronicles the track record of Obama administration officials who remain in “resolute denial” regarding radical Islam. They include Clapper and his aforementioned admissions, as well as CIA Director John Brennan, who once dismissed the notion of an Islamic caliphate as “absurd,” and has referred to jihad on a number of occasions as “a holy struggle,” and “a legitimate tenet of Islam.” Hanson also reminds us that former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano gave us the term “man caused disasters” as a substitute for terrorist attacks, even as she claimed “the system worked” when Omar Farouk Abdulmutallab was able to board a jetliner with a bomb that failed to detonate. Secretary of State John Kerry once assured us that Bashar Assad was a “man of his word” and “generous,” before he himself evolved and threatened Assad with strikes that would be “unbelievably small” for crossing a chemical “red line” that both he and Obama subsequently disavowed.

As for President Obama himself, perhaps nothing illuminates a resolute denial of reality better than his contention that the self-identified Islamic State in Iraq and Syria “is not Islamic.” Such utterly pernicious nonsense is dismissed by examples from the Koran itself:

“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them” (8:12).

“When the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way. God is forgiving and merciful” (9:5).

“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth” (9:29).

And while Islam’s defenders point out there ware verses such as “In matters of faith there shall be no compulsion” (2:256), they conveniently omit to mention the concept of "abrogation,“ which posits that later revelations supersede earlier ones.

The verses advocating violence against unbelievers come after the ones urging peace and conciliation.

Yesterday, the Obama administration embarked an a bombing campaign against ISIS in Syria. Why the sudden urgency? A previously unidentified terrorist offshoot of Al Qaeda, the Khorasan Group, "was in the final stages of plans to execute major attacks against Western targets and potentially the U.S. homeland," said Lt. Gen. William Mayville, the director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

That would be the same U.S. homeland that suddenly seems far more vulnerable to attack than we’ve been led to believe by perhaps the worst assemblage of security experts this nation has ever endured. An assemblage that must be dragged kicking and screaming towards the most important reality they continue to deny: time is of the essence.

Every day we pretend that "non-Islamic” ISIS and other terror organizations can be “managed” by airstrikes alone is a day when more Americans recruits can be drawn to a jihad whose attractiveness increases in direct proportion to the Obama administration’s increasingly feckless denial of reality. Make no mistake: we are in the midst of a civilizational struggle. If we fail to meet it with the necessary force and clarity, America will indeed be “fundamentally transformed” – one domestic attack after another.



Should the UN be shut down?

Philanthropist Kenneth S. Abramowitz has issued a call to "save western civilization from itself" by shutting down the United Nations, among other measures.

As part of a general effort to fight the false narratives and terminology propagated by the left wing, Abramowitz says that the UN should no longer be portrayed as an important advance for world peace. In fact, he states, it has been taken over by dictatorships and should be closed.

Abramowitz says that the rational citizens of the West must cease using the enemy's terms - like "Second Intifada" for the terror war unleashed against Israel in the wake of the Oslo Accords, or "occupation" and "West Bank" for the Jewish liberation of the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria.

Among the most noxious false narratives in the world today, Abramowitz identifies the description of Islam as "a religion of peace" when in fact its terror arms an only be defeated by military means; the belief that a "peace process" will placate Israel's Arab enemies when in fact, appeasement guarantees war - and the claim that the West suffers from irrational, racist "Islamophobia," when in fact it simply exhibits "a normal, rational fear of Islamists - not Muslims."

Abramowitz depicts the global struggle as one in which "rational centrists" in Western civilization are under attack from within - by leftists, as well as naïve isolationists - and from without - by Islamists and the United Nations.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.

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