Monday, February 23, 2015
An interesting email from Ezra Levant:
Last week, the Sun News Network went off the air -- and along with it, my TV show. I lost my job.
I'll be fine. But what about all the ideas we fought for? What about the important stories we reported, that the mainstream media deliberately ignores?
Over the years, Sun News covered stories that no other media would do. Three quick examples:
1. We showed you the real problems with the Attawapiskat Indian reserve. The politically correct media blamed Stephen Harper and called Chief Theresa Spence a saint. We showed you the truth about the band's corruption.
2. We went to "Occupy Toronto" -- both by day and by night. Again, the mainstream media pretended it was a legitimate, grassroots, spontaneous protest against capitalism. We showed you it was as fake as a puppet show.
3. And we did the same a dozen times with anti-oilsands and anti-pipeline protesters -- proving them to be know-nothings, foreign lobbyists or just plain hoodlums. Whether it was in Hamilton, Ontario or Vancouver, B.C.
That's what we did when the Sun shone. But what can we do now that we're off the air? How will we get the word out about important stories?
Well, I have an idea. With a handful of former staff from Sun News, I've started a new TV station -- called www.TheRebel.media. As you can see, it's direct to the Internet. But for so many of our viewers, that's how they watched Sun News anyways.
It's not on TV, that's true. But in some ways it's better. We have none of the limits of a regularly scheduled TV show. We can produce content anytime, from anywhere, of any length in any form. And you can watch it anywhere too -- your computer, even your cell phone.
We've only been doing it for a few days -- we literally taped the first show from my living room on Monday! But we're already doing important journalism, picking up the fight where Sun News left off. Check out our first week's efforts, by clicking around at www.TheRebel.media. We're signing up even more journalistic talent this week.
And unlike my TV show that was on at a particular time, and only in Canada, www.TheRebel.media is available on demand, anytime, to everyone in the world. Imagine what we can do in the weeks and months ahead. That's the power of the Internet -- it's unlimited.
Will you consider signing up for this new channel, at www.TheRebel.media? It's free to register and easy to use. If you can point and click, you can enjoy it.
I promise you I will continue to fight for the causes we believe in -- and to show the stories the other guys don't want you to see.
If you believe in that too, join me at www.TheRebel.media.
Democrats Are Wearing Blinders
Denying the radical Islamic nature of the terrorism perpetrated by al-Qaida and the Islamic State is at the heart of Barack Obama's foreign policy. But make no mistake: Obama's blinding Islamophilia is costing the U.S. big time.
Terrorism is "random," he says, and the Islamic State isn't Islamic. Twenty-one Christians beheaded by ISIL were merely "Egyptian citizens" -- as if religion had nothing to do with it -- but three Muslims killed by a leftist atheist in North Carolina were clearly targeted because of their faith. "No one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship," Obama said, despite early evidence that such targeting wasn't the case anyway.
The White House began a three-day summit Tuesday focused on combating "violent extremism." One official explained the stance on ISIL: "We are not treating these people as part of a religion. We're treating them as terrorists." But addressing that summit, Joe Biden warned of right-wing extremists committing violence in the name of the Bible.
After all, Obama says not to get on your "high horse" because Christians are still guilty of the Crusades.
Meanwhile, Marie Harf, spokesperson for the Obama State Department, continued this pattern when she explained that ISIL's terrorism isn't so much religious as economic plight, and that all these angry [Muslim] men need is a little "middle-class economics." She pontificated, "We need in the medium to longer term to go after the root causes that lead people to join these groups, [including the] lack of opportunity for jobs. ... We can work with countries around the world to help improve their governance. We can help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities for these people."
We suppose if the jihadis were employed and still committed acts of terror, Harf would explain that away as "workplace violence."
In a better world, the U.S. would be unequivocally fighting evil instead of excusing it, and people like Marie Harf would be looking for "job opportunities" in the private sector.
Never mind that Obama abandoned Iraq, leaving a vacuum for ISIL to fill. And forget that his entire strategy for dealing with ISIL consists of a few airstrikes, or that his Authorization for Use of Military Force severely handicaps the fight. Faced with pushback over her foolish comments, Harf insisted, "No one should doubt our commitment" to defeating ISIL.
Well, let's ask Attorney General Eric Holder about that commitment. "We're not at a time of war," he informed us Tuesday. Tell that to the American military personnel flying sorties over ISIL territory and the soldiers still stationed in the region. And does Holder's pronouncement mean Congress can disregard Obama's AUMF request?
Not exactly, since Holder's Justice Department has previously justified airstrikes -- even if they kill American citizens -- because we're at war.
As far as calling Islamic extremism what it is, Holder dismissed the idea: "Radical Islam, Islamic extremism -- I'm not sure an awful lot is gained by that." Though he did say, "If Fox [News] didn't talk about this, they would have nothing else to talk about, it seems to me." Radical Islam is far more than a right-wing talking point. It's reality, and Holder should check in some time.
Our nation is being led by men and women who are so Orwellian they insist up is down, hot is cold, and Islam is innocent but Christians are guilty. Such morally bankrupt lies and distortions are plainly dangerous to our future.
Greek Leftists shafted by financial reality
Europe agrees to extend the bail-out—after Greece drops nearly all its demands. Now Syriza must answer to its voters.
BY EURO-ZONE standards it seemed a blessedly straightforward affair. At the relatively civilised hour of 8.30pm Friday night the Eurogroup of euro-zone finance ministers agreed to extend Greece’s second bail-out, which was due to expire on February 28th, by four months. A deal had hardly been assured. Two previous Eurogroups had ended rancorously, and a spat between the Greek and German governments on February 19th had soured the mood further. Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the group’s chairman, began yesterday by downplaying expectations.
But by the evening, after having successfully brokered discussions between the Greeks, the Germans and the European Commission, he was able to describe the outcome as “very positive”. (A recent acceleration in deposit outflows from Greek banks appears, in part, to have forced Athens’s hand.) The extension should unlock the funding Greece needs to stay afloat over the coming months and, at least for now, quiet talk of its departure from the euro.
That is the good news. But euro-pessimists never have to look hard to bolster their case. The doubts begin with the terms of last night’s deal. By Monday the Greek government must present a list of reforms it intends to carry out under the terms of the bail-out extension. The European Commission, European Central Bank and the IMF—once known as the “troika”, now renamed the “institutions” in a gesture to Greek semantic sensitivities—must give their assent. If they do not, said Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s finance minister, “the deal is dead”. The arrangement does at least allow the Greeks to reclaim some authorship of their country’s policies, but in reality they are likely to have to make some painful concessions, over pension reform, for example. It will be a busy weekend in Athens.
But Mr Varoufakis’s government also has a rather different constituency to satisfy: opinion at home. Alexis Tsipras, the prime minister, was elected on a pledge to tear up Greece’s bail-outs and leave austerity behind. Mr Varoufakis has spent the last few weeks seeking a “bridging arrangement” as an explicit alternative to a bail-out extension.
It is difficult to square these promises with last night’s agreement. Greece has secured no change to the terms of its epic debt, which stands at over 175% of GDP. Its behaviour will continue to be supervised by the institutions formerly known as the troika. It is obliged to refrain from passing any measures that could undermine its fiscal targets; that appears to torpedo vast swathes of its election manifesto, which included all manner of spending pledges.
Hardline members of Mr Tsipras’s Syriza party will find all of this hard to swallow, as will Greeks who thought they had voted for rupture. “The Greeks certainly will have a difficult time explaining the deal to their voters,” was the ungracious verdict of Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s finance minister and Greece’s fiercest adversary in the talks of the last few weeks. Expect Mr Tsipras to make much of the few prizes Greece has been able to secure, including permission to run a slightly looser fiscal policy and, with luck, a decision from the European Central Bank to allow the use of Greek government debt as collateral.
Even assuming the wrinkles can be ironed out, Greece still faces an immediate funding squeeze. The bail-out funds can only be released after a “review” of the bail-out provisions; that, according to the agreement, will not happen before the end of April. And Greece was already under financial pressure. It must repay a maturing IMF bond worth €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion) in mid-March, and tax revenues have plummeted in recent weeks. The government has reached a €15 billion ceiling on T-bill issuance imposed by the troika, and there was no suggestion last night that it might be lifted. The next two months will be painful indeed.
The great statin hoax is slowly unwinding
The benefits of taking statins have been exaggerated, two leading experts claim. They say the cholesterol-lowering medicines – hailed as miracle drugs when they hit the market 20 years ago – are not as safe or effective at preventing heart attacks as patients have been led to believe.
Although they can dramatically cut cholesterol levels, they have ‘failed to substantially improve cardiovascular outcomes’, says an analysis of data in clinical trials.
It was carried out by Dr David Diamond, a professor of molecular pharmacology at the University of South Florida, and expert in cardiovascular disease Dr Uffe Ravnskov.
They say many studies touting statins’ efficacy have failed to note serious side effects. They also claim ‘statistical deception’ has been used to make inflated claims about their effectiveness, which has misled the public.
The two authors say in the analysis, published in the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology: ‘The adverse effects suffered by people taking statins are more common than reported in the media and at medical conferences.
‘Increased rates of cancer, cataracts, diabetes, cognitive impairments and musculoskeletal disorders more than offset the modest cardiovascular benefits of statin treatment.’
They conclude: ‘There is a great appeal to the public to take a pill that offers the promise of a longer life and to live heart attack free.
‘The reality, however, is that statins actually produce only small beneficial effects on cardiovascular outcomes, and their adverse effects are far more substantial than is generally known.’
In July, NHS rationing body Nice said statins should be given to 17million patients, almost 40 per cent of the adult population.
The US experts say those who champion the medication have often presented data in a way that exaggerates the benefits.
‘Statin advocates have used statistical deception to create the illusion that statins are “wonder drugs,” when the reality is that their modest benefits are more than offset by their adverse effects’, they claim.
The analysis takes a critical look at the Jupiter Trial and the Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcomes Trial Lipid Lowering Arm (ASCOT-LLA).
It claims that in the Jupiter trial, the public and doctors were told of a 54 per cent reduction in heart attacks, when the actual reduction was less than 1 percentage point.
In the ASCOT-LLA study, the improvement in patient outcomes with Lipitor treatment was 1.1 percentage points, said the analysis.
But when this study was presented to the public, US advertisements transformed this into a 36 per cent cut in the risk of having a heart attack.
The inflated claims and playing down of the adverse effects have helped to boost enthusiasm for the cholesterol-lowering drugs among health care providers and the public, say the authors.
The Faure Sanctus
I have been enjoying the marvellous Sanctus by Faure a fair bit lately so I thought I might put up a video link to it -- below -- in the hope that there might be a few of my readers who enjoy it as much as I do.
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. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog
List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)
Posted by JR at 1:34 AM