Friday, October 31, 2014

Violence genes may be responsible for one in 10 serious crimes

Leftists assure us that poverty is the cause of crime.  Could they be wrong?

The genes for extremely violent behaviour have been discovered by scientists who fear they may be responsible for one in 10 serious crimes.

Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden analysed the genetic make-up of 895 criminals from Finland to see if violence was in their DNA.

The majority of violent crime is committed by a small group of antisocial, repeat offenders, who seem incapable of rehabilitation.

Now scientists believe they have found which genes are responsible for high levels of rage and violence. They believe that they could be responsible for up to 10 per cent of serious crime in Finland.

The criminals who had committed the most serious crimes, such as murder, were found to have variants of two genes; monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) and cadherin 13 (CDH13).

MAOA is linked to dopamine levels in the brain, a chemical which makes people feel happy and fulfilled. CDH13 is linked to impulse control.

“When compared to the control population, non-violent offenders were not observed to exhibit either variant to a greater degree, indicating that these genetic variants may be specific to extremely violent behaviour,” said lead researcher Professor Jari Tiihonen.

The researchers, whose findings were published online in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, also suggest that the low dopamine levels associated with the MAOA gene may make carriers more aggressive when drunk or on drugs, increasing the risk of violent behaviour.

British scientists said the study could help identify potential criminals early when it was still possible to treat their violent tendencies.

However some British researchers criticised claims that the genes could be responsible for such large amounts of crime in Finland.

Prof John Stein, Emeritus Professor of Physiology, University of Oxford, said "This is a very interesting study with plausible aspects.

“But please do not accept the claims that these alleles are 'responsible for 5-10 per cent of violent offences in Finland'. All they show is that they may contribute 5-10 per cent to the chance of an individual being very violent.

“These alleles are quite common and so environmental factors are probably much more important. For instance simply improving prisoners diets can reduce their violent offending by 37 per cent."

Prof Jan Schnupp, Professor of Neuroscience, University of Oxford, added: "Half the people in your office will carry these genes. Odds are 50/50 that you do. How violent has your day been? To call these alleles "genes for violence" would therefore be a massive exaggeration.

“In combination with many other factors these genes may make it a little harder for you to control violent urges, but they most emphatically do not predetermine you for a life of crime.”



Curbing Obama power grabs

The courts and Senate provide no checks and balances. Could a Republican Senate help?

Paul Driessen

You’ve got to admire the sheer audacity: Democratic Senator Mark Begich telling Alaska voters that he stood up to President Obama and fought for oil drilling and jobs in his state. Maybe he had a few chats.

But he certainly knew his concerns and opinions meant nothing, changed nothing, accomplished nothing. And then he voted 97% of the time with Mr. Obama and Senate Majority Dictator Harry Reid

Reid has kept over 300 bills bottled up, squelched almost all proffered Republican amendments on anything that did move, and used the “nuclear option” to end the longstanding 60-vote rule and wipe out any chance that Republicans could block Obama nominees or prevent the President from packing the vital DC Circuit Court of Appeals. The three new liberal judges on that court can now be counted on to defer to Mr. Obama’s policies and “agency discretion” on future arrogations of power.

Ditto for Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu. She bellyached from time to time about offshore drilling and the Keystone XL pipeline. But she also voted with Obama, Reid and their agenda 97% of the time, on everything from ObamaCare to Dodd-Frank to packing the DC Court.

The tally for other Democratic Senators running for reelection is revealing: Hagan (NC) 96% for the Obama agenda, policies and fiats … Merkley (OR) 96% … Pryor (AR) 90% … Shaheen (NH) 99% … Udall (CO) 99% … Warner (VA) 97%

Now they’re telling their constituents, next year will be different. Send me back to Washington, and next year I will stand up to Obama and support letting people keep their doctors and insurance, allowing more domestic drilling and pipelines, promoting economic recovery and fiscal responsibility, curbing the fraud and abuses at the Environmental Protection Agency, tackling Ebola and going after Islamic terrorists.

The IRS, Benghazi, Ebola and Middle East screw-ups and cover-ups seem to have set the tone. These Senators seem willing to say almost anything to get them past the elections. However, their votes have had real consequences for millions of Americans, especially the poor, minority, elderly and working classes they profess to care so much about. They should not escape accountability so easily.

A recent political ad by black Democrat-turned-Republican Louisiana State Senator Elbert Guillory lays it on the line. “While you dig through the couch looking for gas money,” Guillory says, Mary Landrieu “flies around in private jets funded by taxpayer dollars.” To her, “you are just a vote,” every six years.

Nor do liberal stereotypes fit. The four Democratic House and Senate candidates in Northern Virginia are all well-off, middle-age white guys. Republican candidates include one middle-age white dude, plus two working moms and a black man – who’s also Jewish and an 8-year Marine Corps veteran.

Few of us have any personal animosity toward any of these Democrat Senators. They’re all amiable people. But as President Obama himself says, “my policies are on the ballot, every single one of them.” Those policies have been dragging this country down, and as long as Harry Reid maintains his iron grip on the Senate, there can be no checks and balances or budgetary constraints on the Obama policies.

Messrs. Reid and Obama have made it clear that they have no interest in working with Republicans. Indeed, the President prefers Saul Alinsky tactics of community agitation and interest group divide-and-conquer. He disdains democratic processes and bipartisan compromises, and much prefers to simply legislate, regulate and dictate from the White House and Executive Branch – ignoring or rewriting the clear language of laws and our Constitution whenever and however necessary.

The Train of Abuses and Usurpations gets longer by the week. Environmental Protection Agency actions alone could place virtually all our land, air, water, energy and economy under the control of regulatory ideologues, working closely with radical Big Green activists, billionaires and “charitable” foundations.

Climate. As the planet refuses to cooperate with computer models and White House fear mongering, the EPA simply ignores all contradictory studies and evidence – and continues to operate under assumptions that: carbon dioxide levels dictate climate change; natural forces are irrelevant’ America can easily replace the fossil fuels that provide 82% of its energy; skyrocketing energy prices will have no effect on the economy, jobs or human health and welfare; and slashing America’s CO2 emissions will make a difference, even though China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Poland and other nations refuse to do likewise.

Of course, the real goal was never to stop climate change. It was always to control and “fundamentally transform” our nation’s energy, economic, social and legal structure and institutions, regardless of costs.

Water. Proposed rules are so broadly written that they would cover nearly all “waters of the United States” (WOTUS), based on assertions that they would eventually end up in “navigable” waters: rivers, rivulets, lakes, groundwater, stock ponds, occasional puddles and dry creek beds. In the process, they would also control land use activities on farms, forests and other private property. Friendly, collusive lawsuits by radical environmentalists would further expand this EPA jurisdiction.

Ozone. Almost every US county meets current 2008 ozone standards. Proposed regulations would render the vast majority of them “nonattainment” areas, subject to severe restrictions on economic growth. Even EPA says the rules would cost $100 billion a year. The National Association of Manufacturers puts the cost at $270 billion annually. The impact on people’s jobs, incomes, health and welfare would be huge.

Even bigger ambitions. Clearly not satisfied with these unprecedented usurpations of power, EPA has also launched major “sustainable development,” “environmental justice” and “clean power” initiatives. These deliberately vague and infinitely malleable terms would further expand the agency’s mission far beyond anything previously imaginable or contemplated by EPA’s authorizing legislation.

Other agencies are busily writing new regulations governing Christmas lights, automobile and refrigerator coolants, endangered species guidelines that would block ranching, drilling and pipeline projects, while giving bird and bat-killing wind and solar projects carte blanche – and other activities.

Collusion. A recent Senate Minority Staff Report explains in frightening detail how far-left billionaires, foundations and environmentalist groups actively collude with EPA managers and regulators. EPA in turn happily recruits high-level eco-activists, who then help lobby, guide and control agency policies – and channel millions of taxpayer dollars to pressure groups that promote those policies. The agency also engages in frequent friendly lawsuits with activists, to make policies even more extreme.

A Republican Senate will not guarantee the kind of change needed to end these excesses and get the nation’s economy and employment back on track, especially if certain GOP members remain timid or recalcitrant. (Perhaps DePuy or Stryker could donate some spinal implants?) Presidential vetoes could also pose problems, although strong leadership could often craft bipartisan veto-proof majorities.

House and Senate hearings could grill agency heads under oath – and investigate potential fraud in developing regulations, unethical collusion between agencies and activists, improper agency funding of activist groups, sweetheart lawsuits and other activities. These investigations could form the basis for budget reductions and restrictions, legislation to end mission creep or block specific regulations, and laws requiring congressional approval of “major” regulatory actions costing billions of dollars.

Such actions would also help restore our tripartite system of government. Right now, the Executive Branch is riding roughshod over businesses and citizens alike, and the courts merely rubberstamp agency decisions. Meanwhile, the Legislative Branch is little more than an appendix that writes overly broad laws giving unaccountable bureaucrats unfettered discretion to impose an increasingly intrusive, expensive leftist, centralized government agenda. No wonder our nation is foundering on the rocks.

The upcoming elections could help get the USS United States back on course. Let’s hope they do.



Janet Napolitano Says DACA Balances 'Doing What Is Right' and 'Doing What Is Lawful'

Former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told law students Monday that she balanced "doing what is right" and "doing what is lawful," as she pushed through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

The controversial policy defers deportation for hundreds of thousands of people who came to the United States illegally as children, allowing them to get work permits and driver's licenses.

"This was an initiative that required a careful navigation between the potentially conflicting dictates of doing what is right, of doing what is lawful, of doing
what is doable, and of doing what is defensible, both in the court of law and, to a lesser degree, the court of public opinion," Napolitano told students at the University of Georgia Law School on Monday.

Napolitano confined her remarks to the past. She said she would not anticipate what President Obama plans to do next. But in his own words, Obama has said he intends to "fix as much of our immigration system" as he can, on his own.

He's widely expected to expand Napolitano's deferred deportation program to millions more illegal immigrants after the midterm election.

Napolitano on Monday explained how she helped "more than 675,000 young people, who were already in this country...come out from the shadows."

Categorically applying "deferred action" to that entire group of young people would have "raised serious questions," she admitted.

"It would run the risk of appearing to make law, and usurping Congress. Thus, it would be crucial, both legally and politically, to underscore that each case would be assessed individually, on its own merits -- similar, but not identical, to how a prosecutor decides to charge a case."

Napolitano said her solution was to require the so-called Dreamers to "step forward individually and apply for deferred status."

"At this point, I could not say with any degree of certainty that we would be able to pull off this approach," Napolitano told the students. "Individualized review of potentially hundreds of thousands of cases would require building complex new systems and processes within the existing bureaucracy – a daunting challenge.

"Who knew how it all would turn out? What I did know was that this was the right thing to do. What I believed was that it was lawful. And, while it would be a heavy lift, I expected it would be doable and, in the end, defensible."

Napolitano said she anticipated legal challenges to the new policy, and she got one from "a handful of immigration agents" who objected to DHS's policy of prosecutorial discretion, which prioritizes the removal of illegal aliens with criminal convictions.



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