Thursday, August 04, 2016
More on the obesity "war"
The latest folly about this: JAMA has an article recently up called Weight Gain Not an Issue With Mediterranean Diet by Anita Slomski (M.A.). One would have hoped that a Humanities degree would have made Anita more knowledgeable about people than the average laboratory researcher but it seems not to be the case.
Her conclusion has already been widely quoted so a corrective to it is obviously needed. The population she studied consisted of overweight diabetics so does a creeping doubt arise from that? Is that a good population to generalize from? Is what is true of them likely to be true of all of us? I suggest not. But it is actually worse than that. Here is a fuller description of the study population:
It is difficult to see how you can draw any generalizations from that set of contrasts. Even the two "Mediterranean" populations were not regular eaters of a Mediterranean diet but eaters of an "enriched" diet. Clearly, the study population was not suitable for drawing ANY inferences about the Mediterranean diet.
It is of course all very well to be negative but can I offer better data bearing on the issue? I can. And it's real life data. It's not quantified, sadly, but it is so obvious as to be in little need of that.
I grew up in a Mediterranean village. It was also an Australian country town, but an exceedingly multicultural one. About half of the population of Innisfail was of Mediterranean origin, mostly Italians but with Greeks and Spaniards too. They were basically impoverished peasant farmers who had fled the hard soils of their homelands for the rich and very well-watered soils of the Australian tropics. So I think they offer far more in the way of generalizability than most medical studies that I have seen
And what was there about these Mediterranean folk that was extremely obvious? After their first flush of youth, they were, to put it politely, very "pyknic" in build. "Stout" would be another word for it. Weight gain they had in spades on their Mediterranean diets. Anita Slomski has got it exactly backwards.
Blockbuster Immigration Poll Demonstrates Americans Want Total Revolution Against Mass Immigration
New polling data shows that it would be virtually impossible for Hillary Clinton to win the general election if the Republican nominee were able to frame the immigration issue in populist terms that emphasize reducing the overall amount of immigration into the country and protecting jobs, incomes, and benefits for the domestic population.
The poll was conducted by Gravis Marketing, a nonpartisan research firm, in conjunction with Breitbart News Network, and surveyed a random selection of 2,010 registered voters throughout the nation.
“The poll shows that instead of dividing Americans, immigration is an issue where Americans have reached the consensus that it is a problem, maybe the problem,” said Doug Kaplan, the managing partner of Gravis Marketing.
The polling data suggests that the Republican Party could see overwhelming electoral success if it were able to portray Clinton’s immigration policy as a corporatist attempt to flood the labor supply with foreign workers in order to drive down wages and incomes for American workers.
As the polling data confirms, the most potent framing of the immigration issue is to focus on the numbers and scale of total immigration into the country, and to present the American people with the choice between more immigration and less immigration.
Whereas the media and Democrats try to frame the immigration issue as pitting native-born Americans against foreign-born Americans, the polling reveals that Republicans should offer a completely different framing of the issue– one which focuses on the interests of the domestic American population– and all of its members (i.e. foreign-born, native-born, etc.)–versus the interests of the world’s seven billion people that live outside the United States.
In other words, the media understands the words “pro-immigrant” not in the context of helping actual immigrants (i.e. people living inside the United States, who were born elsewhere). Rather the media and Democrat politicians uses the term “pro-immigrant” in a completely alien way– i.e. in a way which focuses on trying to help foreign nationals who do not live in America. The new polling information underscores the importance for Republicans to reclaim the historically correct understanding of “pro-immigrant”– as meaning defending U.S. residents who have already immigrated to the country against competition for jobs and resources from foreign nationals residing outside of the country.
Below are some of the poll’s findings:
– By a nearly 6 to 1 margin, U.S. voters believe immigration should be decreased rather than increased.
Every three years, the U.S. admits a population of new immigrants the size of Los Angeles. Sixty three percent of voters said that this figure is too high, whereas only a minuscule 11 percent of voters said that number is not high enough. Only 13 percent of Democrats and Independents— and only 7 percent of Republicans— said immigration should be increased.
– By a 25-to-1 margin, voters believe that unemployed American workers should get preference for a U.S. job rather than a foreign worker brought in from another country.
Seventy five percent of voters believe American workers should get U.S. jobs, whereas only 3 percent of voters believe foreign workers should be imported to fill U.S. jobs.
Democrats agreed with this sentiment by a margin of roughly 30-to-1 (69.8 percent who think jobs should go to unemployed Americans whereas only 2.3 percent think foreign labor should be imported). African Americans agree with this sentiment by a margin of 65-to-1 (78.5 percent who think unemployed Americans should get the jobs versus 1.2 percent who think foreign workers should be brought in). Hispanics agree with this sentiment by a margin of 30-to-1 (59.1 percent versus 2.0 percent).
There are roughly 94 million Americans operating outside the labor market today. Yet every year the U.S. admits one million plus foreign nationals on green cards, one million guest workers, dependents, and refugees, and half a million foreign students.
– Sixty one percent of voters believe that any politician, “who would rather import foreign workers to take jobs rather than give them to current U.S. residents, is unfit to hold office.”
Yet politicians on both sides of the aisle, such as Hillary Clinton and House Speaker Paul Ryan, have pushed policies that would do just that. Clinton supported a 2013 immigration expansion bill, which would have doubled the number of foreign workers admitted to the country at a time when millions of Americans are not working. Speaker Ryan has a two decade long history of pushing for open borders. Ryan has called for enacting an immigration system that would allow foreign nationals from all over the globe to freely and legally enter the country and take any U.S. job. Speaker Ryan has explained that he believes foreign labor is necessary to help corporations keep wages low.
– Three out of four voters believe the nation needs “an immigration system that puts American workers first, not an immigration system that serves the demands of donors seeking to reduce labor costs.”
More than seven out of ten African Americans agreed with the sentiment that the nation’s immigration system should prioritize needs of American workers above donors who want to reduce labor costs.
– A majority of U.S. voters (53%) believe “record amounts of immigration into the U.S. have strained school resources and disadvantaged U.S. children.”
– A majority of voters (55%) disagree with Hillary Clinton’s call to release illegal immigrants arriving at the border into the United States and give them a chance to apply for asylum.
A majority of women (51.6 percent) opposed Clinton’s proposal to release illegal immigrants into the interior and allow them to apply for asylum.
– Roughly three out of four voters— including nearly three out of four Democrat voters— believe that “instead of giving jobs and healthcare to millions of refugees from around the world, we should rebuild our inner cities and put Americans back to work.”
African Americans agreed with this sentiment by a 10 to 1 margin (86.3 percent agree versus 8.5 percent disagree). Hispanics agreed by a margin of 5 to 1 (68.9 percent agreed versus 12.6 percent disagreed).
The number of immigrants in the U.S. is currently at a record high of 42.4 million. In 1970, fewer than one in 21 Americans were foreign-born. Today, as a result of the federal government’s four-decade-long green card gusher championed by Ted Kennedy, nearly one in seven U.S. residents was born in a foreign country. If immigration levels remain at the same rapid pace— without any expansions— within seven years, the foreign-born share of the U.S. population will reach an all-time high.
In the 1920s, the last time the foreign-born share of the population reached a record high, then-President Calvin Coolidge hit the pause button for roughly fifty years, producing an era of explosive wage growth and allowing immigrants already in the country to assimilate.
As the polling data suggests, a majority of U.S. voters would be supportive of similar measures to reduce immigration and improve jobs, wages and benefits for the domestic population.
Obama Administration Expands ‘Resettlement’ For Unaccompanied Alien Children
The U.S. State Department and the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday announced the "resettlement" of children and adults from several Central America countries in the United States, after a “pre-screen” interview in Costa Rica and “processing” by the United Nations’ refugee agency, UNHCR.
The announcement said Costa Rica agreed to enter into a protection transfer arrangement (PTA) with the U.N. and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and that the U.S. is expanding its already existing Central American Minors program to accommodate more children and some adults from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
“Through the Central American Minors [CAM] program, the U.S. government offers an alternative, safe, and legal path to the United States for children seeking protection from harm or persecution in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras,” DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement. “Today, we are expanding these resettlement opportunities to additional vulnerable individuals within the region.”
“This will increase the number of individuals to whom we are able to provide humanitarian protection while combating human smuggling operations,” Johnson said.
The announcement also said some minors could come directly to the United States after being screened and interviewed in their home country by DHS officials.
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) issued his own statement on Tuesday, criticizing the announcement as a “bad idea” that will not solve the ongoing influx of illegal alien children across the U.S. border and could even allow terrorists to enter the United States.
“We absolutely need to be doing everything we can to control the unaccompanied alien children crisis, but the CAM program is a band-aid for a much-deeper wound,” said Vitter, who is chairman of the Senate Border Security Caucus. “Allowing even more otherwise ineligible immigrants into the United States is not a way to protect these children or American citizens.”
“It’s a known fact that Under the CAM program, illegal immigrants benefitting from President Obama’s executive amnesty are eligible for the program, allowing them to put down even more roots in the U.S.,” Vitter said, noting that in fiscal year 2014 some 68,500 unaccompanied alien children were apprehended crossing the U.S. border.
Vitter said at least one of the radical Islamic terrorists involved in the November 2015 attack in Paris, France entered that country as a Syrian refugee and that the same thing could happen here.
“The U.S. government does not have the capacity to properly vet every incoming refugee, and terrorist organizations can take advantage of the major shortfalls in the refugee process,” the press release accompanying Vitter’s statement said.
In addition, DHS and the State Department announced that new categories of people – not only children -- eligible for “resettlement” are now in place.
“The United States is also pleased to announce an expansion of our existing Central American Minors program, which currently provides children in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras with a safe and orderly alternative to the dangerous, irregular journey that some children are currently undertaking to reach the United States,” the announcement states.
“As of today, the United States has received more than 9,500 applications for this program, which allows a lawfully-present parent within the United States to request refugee status for their children located in one of these three countries,” said the two departments. “When accompanied by a qualified child, the following additional categories of applicants may also be considered under this program:
* sons and daughters of a U.S.-based lawfully-present parent who are over 21 years old;
* the in-country biological parent of the qualified children;
* caregivers of qualified children who are also related to the U.S.-based lawfully present parents.
The announcement also said some children who are transferred to Costa Rica could be resettled in a third country, if not in the United States.
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Posted by JR at 12:37 AM