Sunday, July 10, 2016

Those pesky genetics again

Genetics affects choice of academic subjects as well as achievement

Kaili Rimfeld et al.


We have previously shown that individual differences in educational achievement are highly heritable throughout compulsory education. After completing compulsory education at age 16, students in England can choose to continue to study for two years (A-levels) in preparation for applying to university and they can freely choose which subjects to study. Here, for the first time, we show that choosing to do A-levels and the choice of subjects show substantial genetic influence, as does performance after two years studying the chosen subjects. Using a UK-representative sample of 6584 twin pairs, heritability estimates were 44% for choosing to do A-levels and 52–80% for choice of subject. Achievement after two years was also highly heritable (35–76%). The findings that DNA differences substantially affect differences in appetites as well as aptitudes suggest a genetic way of thinking about education in which individuals actively create their own educational experiences in part based on their genetic propensities.

Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 26373 (2016) doi:10.1038/srep26373


Hillary was "Not Put Under Oath" and the Interview by the FBI was "Not Recorded"

By Capt Joseph R. John

Federal Prosecutor, Law Enforcement Officer, and most clear thinking law abiding citizens throughout the nation are concerned with the FBI Director’s decision to decision to summarily acquit Hillary Clinton.   FBI Director James Comey stated that Hillary Clinton sent and received Secret, Top Secret, and Compartmented messages on her unclassified private E-mail server, and went on to say “we believe that hostile actors gained access to the private commercial E-mail accounts of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account.”  The FBI Director also stated that Hillary Clinton was “extremely careless” (another way of saying “grossly negligent”) in handling and transmitting very sensitive classified information.

Hillary violated US Federal Laws, violated National Security Statues, and put the National Security of the United States at risk; some of her staff handling the server and the messages didn’t have proper security clearances  Many of the 24 million Americans who served in the US Armed Forces and handled classified messages, would have been prosecuted if they illegally destroyed 30,000 messages, and transmitted & received 110 messages containing clearly marked classified information, from an unclassified server.

Hillary’s actions demonstrated “gross negligence”; “gross negligence” is a “felony.” Over a 4 year period, Hillary Clinton repeatedly violated federal statues governing the handling of over 100 Secret, Top Secret, and compartmented messages. The FBI could have easily met the standard to prosecute Hillary for her “negligence” in handling Secret, Top Secret, and Compartmented messages

The central flaw in the acquittal of Hillary was “Intent”. Intent “does not” matter in US Federal Laws governing the handling of classified material.  Thousands of Americans have been prosecuted for “mishandling” classified material—never having had “Intent.”

The FBI Director’s findings revealed the Hillary Clinton misled the American people over and over again.  Director Comey contradicted Hillary repeated statements on national TV when she said, she never transmitted or received classified messages on the unclassified server in the basement of her home.

This final decision in the Case of Hillary Clinton, brings into question the manner in which this case was resolved, brings into questions the judgment of the FBI Director; and demonstrated to the American people that in the Obama administration there is “Not Equal Justice Under Law” because thousands of Americans have been convicted and sent to prison for doing much less than Hillary Clinton did.

A cautious FBI Director should have impaneled a Grand Jury, then he should have referred the findings of the investigation to the Grand Jury.   Violation of the Federal Statues should have been considered by the Grand Jury, and the FBI Director should have announced the Grand Jury’s decision to the American people.    

The decision by Director Comey to summarily acquit Hillary for her actions over a 4 year period in illegally destroying 30,000 messages, while transmitting and receiving over 110 messages containing clearly marked classified information, on an unclassified server in her home, was a miscarriage of justice that “Violated the Rule of Law.”  Director Comey’s summarily acquittal of Hillary Clinton damaged the fine reputation of the FBI.



Conservative critics Need To Suck It Up And Vote For Trump

Kurt Schlichter

I know why he’s terrible. I’ve written about it at length.

But the Hillary Clinton charade of July 5th – a date that shall live in infamy – and the subsequent rubbing of normal Americans’ noses in the heap of droppings progressives have piled upon the rule of law make plain that there is something much more important at stake here than fussy distaste over Trump’s aesthetic failings and his myriad misjudgments.

The short-sighted liberal elite, aided and abetted by its media catamites, are using our Constitution as toilet paper. One thing matters. One thing only. That is restoring the rule of law, because without it the coastal femboys and hectoring harridans of the left will keep pushing and prodding and provoking until they, to their shock, find normal Americans pushing back. They are worse than stupid – they are unwise, thinking they are simply playing fun games oppressing and abusing those they see as lessers when, in reality, they are playing with fire.

One thing matters. One thing only. That is restoring the rule of law, and only a Trump presidency can do that.

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and their cabal have demonstrated that there is no one they cannot corrupt, or at least whose integrity they can’t twist and deform. John Roberts, James Comey – all we heard about was their lofty integrity right up until the moment they shoved their shivs in our collective kidney. We can’t rely on the honor of individuals. We need to return to a paradigm where the interests of factions work to check and balance each other.

If elected, how will Hillary Clinton ever be held accountable? Can you conceive of a scenario where the Democrats, or their media, judicial and bureaucratic allies ever stand up in opposition to anything she does, no matter how venal, how corrupt, how fascist? Name the Democrat who stood up in the wake of Comey’s honor flush and said, “This is wrong!”

There will be no check or balance on Hillary Clinton. Not the Congress (D or R), not the courts, not the media, not the bureaucrats. None. This Alinksyite corruptocrat, her second-rate mind twisted with hatred toward normal Americans, will reign unchallenged. She has already sought the power to jail those who criticize her; reversing Citizens United would only be the first step in an unopposed quest to eliminate all legitimate means of dissent, to bar all legitimate means of opposition. Which, of course, would leave only illegitimate means – something she is too dense and ignorant of normal Americans to imagine is possible.

Which leaves Donald Trump as the only alternative, not merely because he is less awful than Hillary Clinton – leprosy is less awful than Hillary Clinton – but because the election of a tacky jerk like Donald Trump is the only thing that could ever motivate the elite to rediscover checks and balances upon executive power.

Think of it. A Congress that finally finds a spine in the face of the president. And that’s not just Democrats – even the posing goofs on the Republican side of the aisle would be falling over themselves to take a whack at the orange executive. What court would shrug and defer to El Presidente Little Digits? Even the mainstream media would rediscover the curiosity about West Wing wrongdoing that disappeared back in January 2009. Imagine their delight to once again be able to preen and strut while babbling about how they speak truth to power instead of groveling and bussing the rear of their White House master.

America will have never seen checking and balancing like President Trump would experience. And that is exactly, precisely what America must have right now.

Hillary Clinton will roll into office unhindered and unaccountable. We know what Clintons do when there is oversight; any sane person should shudder at the thought of them not merely unaccountable, but actively abetted by the entire elite. If you want to tear this country apart – not figuratively, not metaphorically, but with the real violence and bloodshed she will blunder into provoking – then hand that aspiring pants-suited Chavez wannabe the keys to the Oval Office.

That’s the choice. There’s no white knight riding in to snag the nomination away from the guy who won it fair and square. It’s Trump or Hillary. Sorry, that’s your choice, and making no choice is a choice for her.

I get that you detest Trump. So do I. But you can stop sending me tweets about the latest faux outrage. “Trump loves Saddam Hussein and has insulted all our vets and blah blah blah!” Get some damn perspective.

I know you’ve invested a lot of your personal credibility in refusing to support him, and you will absolutely have to endure a lot of graceless gloating by his jerkier acolytes if you walk it back. I endure plenty from Trump haters. Apparently I’m a fake conservative and hate America and blah blah blah. But walk it back you must.

This isn’t about how awful Trump is; it’s about how awful Hillary will be without any constraints whatsoever.

Only one thing matters. One thing only. That is restoring the rule of law. And only a Trump presidency has any hope of doing that.



There are no "correct" foods

Is popcorn good for you? What about pizza, orange juice or sushi? Or frozen yogurt, pork chops or quinoa?

Which foods are healthy? In principle, it’s a simple question, and a person who wishes to eat more healthily should reasonably expect to know which foods to choose at the supermarket and which to avoid. Unfortunately, the answer is anything but simple.

The Food and Drug Administration recently agreed to review its standards for what foods can be called “healthy,” a move that highlights how much of our nutritional knowledge has changed in recent years — and how much remains unknown.

With the Morning Consult, a media and polling firm, the New York Times surveyed hundreds of nutritionists — members of the American Society for Nutrition — asking them whether they thought certain food items (about 50) were healthy. The Morning Consult also surveyed a representative sample of the American electorate, asking the same thing.

The results suggest a surprising diversity of opinion, even among experts. Yes, some foods, like kale, apples and oatmeal, are considered “healthy” by nearly everyone. And some, like soda, french fries and chocolate chip cookies, are not. But in between, some foods appear to benefit from a positive public perception, while others befuddle the public and experts alike. (We’re looking at you, butter.)

“Twenty years ago, I think we knew about 10 percent of what we need to know” about nutrition, said Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, the dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. “And now we know about 40 or 50 percent.”

Of the 52 common foods that the Times asked experts and the public to rate, none had a wider gap than granola bars. More than 70 percent of ordinary Americans we surveyed described them as healthy, but fewer than a third of nutritional experts did. A similar gap existed for granola, which less than half of nutritionists we surveyed described as healthy.

Several of the foods considered more healthful by everyday Americans than by experts — including frozen yogurt, SlimFast shakes and granola bars — have something in common: They can contain a lot of added sugar. In May, the Food and Drug Administration announced a new template for nutrition labels, and one priority was to clearly distinguish between sugars that naturally occur in food and sugars that are added later to heighten flavors.

On the other end of the spectrum, several foods received a seal of approval from our expert panel but left nonexperts uncertain. Most surprising was the reaction to quinoa, a “superfood” grain so often praised as healthful that it has become the subject of satire.

In addition, tofu, sushi, hummus, wine, and shrimp were all rated as significantly more healthful by nutritionists than by the public. Why? One reason may be that many of them are new foods in the mainstream American diet.

Others may reflect mixed messages in news coverage of the healthfulness of foods. Shrimp was long maligned for its high rate of dietary cholesterol, though recent guidelines have changed. And public messages about the healthfulness of alcohol are conflicting: While moderate drinking appears to have some health benefits, more consumption can obviously have real health costs.

Several of the most controversial foods — including steak, cheddar, whole milk and pork chops — tend to have a lot of fat. And fat is a topic few experts can agree on. Years ago, the nutritional consensus was that fat, and particularly the saturated fat found in dairy and red meat was bad for the heart. Newer studies are less clear, and many of the fights among nutritionists tend to be about the right amount of protein and fat in a healthy diet.

The uncertainty about these foods, as expressed both by experts and ordinary Americans, reflects the haziness of the nutritional evidence about them.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both 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 and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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)


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