Sunday, January 14, 2018

Let's look inside a Leftist emptyhead

Alon Ben-Meir is Senior Fellow, Center for Global Affairs, NYU.  He is an elderly Jewish "expert" on peace in the Middle East.  It must be hard to be an expert on something that does not exist and shows no signs of coming to be but Ben-meir has allegedly attained it.  On his deathbed he will perhaps be wondering why he spent so much of his life on something so ephemeral.  But he has been heaped with honours and recognition from Leftists so  he might reflect that he has actually done rather well. Seeking praise and recognition is a major Leftist aim, after all.  Too bad if you accomplish nothing good.

He has recently put up an article under the heading: "A Party That Has Lost Its Soul".  And that heading typifies the article.  "Soul" is not defined nor is there any discussion of when and where and how the loss occurred.  The party concerned is of course the Republican party. So we have a meaningless but emotional outpouring.

We also learn that the GOP has failed to "safeguard America’s national interest".  How?  He does not say.

We also hear that the GOP has "no scruples and no moral compass".  So it must be the GOP that says "there is no such thing as right and wrong"?  I would have sworn that was a Leftist docrtine.

And Trump is a "president who has nothing to offer the country but disgrace".  Again no elaboration on that. I thought he offered America renewed greatness. What have I missed?

I have so far referred to his first paragraph only but the rest of his article  is similar so I think I have said enough to show that this Leftist eminence seems to have managed the remarkable feat of having emotions but no brains.  Sadly, a lot of the Left seem like that.

I note that proud RINO, Rick Moran, also accuses the GOP of having lost its soul.  But at least he says why.  It is because judge Moore was "credibly accused" of something.  No presumption of innocence?  Souls seem to fly out the window very readily these days.  As an atheist, I don't have one so I'm OK.


More statin propaganda

The New York Times has just published an article supposedly examining the pros and cons of the elderly taking statins. On the face of it the article appears to be balanced however, there are a great number of errors and omissions in this article and as a result the article creates completely the wrong impression about statins.

The New Times Article can be found here, it might be worth comparing the article with the information below.

The first problem with the New York Times article is found in the second paragraph where the author incorrectly states “[statins] get much of the credit for the nation’s plummeting rates of heart attacks and strokes”.

In fact, heart disease death rates have been declining rapidly in the United States (and the UK) since the 1970s. Statins were introduced in the mid to late 1990s - around 20-25 years after the sharp decline was already well under way.

The reduction in heart disease deaths in the United States (and the UK) is mostly due to the reduction in the number of people who smoke cigarettes. Improvements in hospital treatments has also contributed.

In addition, retrospective studies have also failed to find any benefit associated with statins. Although statin clinical trials have predicted a slight reduction in heart attacks in some patient groups, studies that have looked retrospectively have found that these predicted benefits have not actually materialized.

Clinical trials are perceived as the gold standard of clinical research but in recent decades there has been a greater understanding of how the clinical trial process can be manipulated by commercial interests in order to get the result that is favorable to the company sponsoring the trial. Therefore, it is also important to look retrospectively at the risks and benefits as the drug is used widely in the general population.

For example, researchers collected data from all but one of the municipalities of Sweden and they found that statins had not provided any benefit despite a huge increase in usage.

In 2012 the British Heart Foundation published a report detailing a wide range of heart disease statistics. One of the highlights of this report was the decline in heart disease death rates that had been seen in the UK between the years 2002 and 2010. The report listed the improvements that had led to this decline in deaths - statins were not mentioned at all.

Doctors in the pockets of drugs companies and lazy reporters often repeat the myth that statins have contributed to the decline in heart disease deaths, but there is not any to data to support this.

There are many other problems with the New York Times article, such as quoting relative percentages instead of absolute percentages (relative percentages hugely misrepresent the data), and also a failure to mention the other common adverse effects of statins that the elderly are more vulnerable to. However, I want to take particular issue with the fact that the New York Times article also fails to inform people of the strong connection between low cholesterol levels and shorter life expectancy and increased cancer rates - a correlation particularly strong in the elderly. People with High Cholesterol Live Longer!



Leftist Socialism: The Toothfish of Modern Politics

Patagonian Toothfish, the rejected ugly, oily, bottom dwelling toothy fish was rebranded Chilean Sea Bass and became an expensive delicacy for gullible millennials.

So it is with Socialism, a rejected, ugly, oily, bottom dwelling ideology that enriched the elite and enslaved the masses was rebranded Social Democracy and became a rallying cry for naive 21st century millennials.

It is often useful to look backward to move forward so let's review. Karl Marx, author of The Communist Manifesto, stated unequivocally, "Democracy is the road to socialism." Vladimir Lenin, founder of the Russian Communist Party, affirmed, "The goal of socialism is communism." Social democracy began in the late 19th early 20th century as a political ideology advocating an evolutionary and peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism using established political processes to effect the transition rather than the revolutionary processes of Marxism.

The Socialist Party of America had been unable to field a successful presidential candidate for decades so in 1972 the Socialist Party of America officially rebranded itself and changed its name to Social Democrats, USA. "The name 'Socialist' was replaced by 'Social Democrats' because many Americans associated the word 'socialism' with Soviet Communism." Anyone familiar with Marx and Lenin correctly associated the two which is why rebranding was necessary to eliminate its negative image and conceal its identity.

The thing about rebranding is that it does not change the product itself - only the name changes and its psychological associations.

Rebranding Toothfish as Chilean Sea Bass was a successful marketing strategy designed to sell a rejected fish in the food industry. Similarly, rebranding the Socialist Party of America as Social Democrats was a successful marketing strategy designed to sell a rejected ideology in the political sphere. Both were highly successful.

The democratic socialism currently embraced by the left-wing radicals that dominate the Democrat Party in America has embraced identity politics to increase its membership with inclusive promises of "social justice and income equality." These slogan promises disguise the reality of socialism because, like the Patagonian Toothfish, changing its name does not change what socialism is.

Millennials would be well advised to ignore the rebranded marketing campaigns of political elites like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, DeBlasio, Obama and actually investigate real life socialism in real life countries like Cuba and Venezuela. Instead of accepting the fake news provided by the colluding mainstream media, millennials should be listening to real people who have escaped the tyranny of socialism/communism instead of watching the paid political pundits on television.

Millennials forget that people are not drowning on freedom rafts sailing from Miami to Cuba - they are risking their lives to sail from Cuba to Miami.

The Socialist Party of America's dream to transition America from a capitalist country to a socialist/communist country was always a long-term project and did not collapse with the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989.

On Jan. 10, 1963, Congressman Albert S. Herlong Jr. of Florida read a list of 45 Communist goals into the Congressional Record. The list was derived from researcher Cleon Skousen's book The Naked Communist. The goals that articulate and expose the thinking and strategies of the political elite 55 years ago are the same goals and policies of today's Leftist Democrat leaders Sanders, Warren, DeBlasio, and Obama.



Trump Can Take Credit for Black Unemployment Drop
There’s plenty to celebrate in the December Bureau of Labor Statistics report showing black unemployment at 6.8 percent, the lowest ever since they started reporting the data in 1972.

President Trump tweeted out his excitement and, of course, took credit for the good news. Has there ever been a politician who didn’t take credit for good news on his watch (or rationalize away responsibility for bad news)?

The president’s detractors, of course, wasted no time in challenging him, pointing out that unemployment rates have been dropping since the economic recovery started, well before Trump took office. Trump, they say, is as responsible for this latest monthly drop as he is for the morning sunrise.

It seems to me quite reasonable for Trump to take credit for this. There are, indeed, positive things happening as result of his leadership — deregulation, a new tax bill, overall business-friendly policies and rhetoric. These things create a business environment of optimism and confidence, which drives investment and increases demand for labor.

However, rather than obsessing about what particular politician to praise or excoriate for certain economic results, our discussion should be about policies and not about personalities. Let’s savor this news but not lose our sobriety regarding the great task before us in this community.

The latest 6.8 percent black unemployment figure sounds great for blacks. But not for whites. The white rate for December was 3.7 percent. Why should there be celebrations that the black rate is “only” 3.1 percentage points higher than the white rate? Why should there be a different economic standard for blacks?

Black unemployment rates have averaged twice the white rate since 1972.

Black poverty rates are around twice the national average.

Black income and household wealth have hardly changed, remaining a fraction of that of whites.

This is the conversation we should be having. When do all American citizens participate equally in our national economic cornucopia?

Donald Trump was onto something when he asked blacks, during the presidential campaign, “What do you have to lose?”

Trump is offering a mindset that blacks should relish. A completely new and different reality. The cultural and political reality that blacks have turned to for years — big government — is the reason these gaps persist. It’s time for something new.

Black unemployment peaked at 16.8 percent in March 2010 during President Obama’s efforts to recover from the 2007-2008 economic collapse.

But the irony is that the collapse was driven by government policies put in place to help low-income Americans to make housing purchases. Contrary to what Barack Obama pitched to the country — blaming business and claiming the problem was insufficient government and regulation — American Enterprise Institute scholar Peter Wallison has shown the opposite.

Government policies mandating higher quotas of mortgages for low- to moderate-income borrowers put an increasing percentage of subprime mortgages on the market. By 2008, according to Wallison, 56 percent of the mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — the two massive government-backed mortgage companies — were in this category.

Then everything collapsed.

An ocean of new regulations on financial services, enacted as part of the Dodd-Frank Act, was the Democratic Congress’ answer to their own misdiagnosed analysis of what caused the collapse. As a result, we had a slower-than-normal economic recovery.

These are the discussions we need today. How do we get out of the big government mindset that has been a drag on our economy and has perpetuated economic underperformance in low-income communities?

In this context, Trump is right to boast. He is bringing badly needed new thinking on issues concerning low-income America. It’s already making a difference.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL 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 THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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