Wednesday, June 29, 2016

WOW!  Homosexuality is VERY unhealthy

The odds ratio (2.82) for severe psychological distress among males was particularly strong as such statistics go.  Ratios close to 1.00 are often reported with great excitement in the medical journals.

Leftists will no doubt want to rubbish the findings but this is just about as strong a piece of survey research as you can get.  I criticise survey research a lot -- in part because I have done a lot of it myself  -- but none of my usual criticisms apply here. 

So I imagine that the Left will blame the poor health of homosexuals on the way they are oppressed by the evil cis patriarchy (If you can have a cis patriarchy).  Since homosexuals are in fact privileged these days -- it's even compulsory to make cakes for them -- that would be a hard case to make, but reality never bothers Leftists for long

Comparison of Health and Health Risk Factors Between Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Adults and Heterosexual Adults in the United States

Results From the National Health Interview Survey

Gilbert Gonzales et al.


Importance:  Previous studies identified disparities in health and health risk factors among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adults, but prior investigations have been confined to samples not representative of the US adult population or have been limited in size or geographic scope. For the first time in its long history, the 2013 and 2014 National Health Interview Survey included a question on sexual orientation, providing health information on sexual minorities from one of the nation’s leading health surveys.

Objective:  To compare health and health risk factors between LGB adults and heterosexual adults in the United States.

Design, Setting, and Participants:  Data from the nationally representative 2013 and 2014 National Health Interview Survey were used to compare health outcomes among lesbian (n = 525), gay (n = 624), and bisexual (n = 515) adults who were 18 years or older and their heterosexual peers (n = 67 150) using logistic regression.

Main Outcomes and Measures:  Self-rated health, functional status, chronic conditions, psychological distress, alcohol consumption, and cigarette use.

Results:  The study cohort comprised 68 814 participants. Their mean (SD) age was 46.8 (11.8) years, and 51.8% (38 063 of 68 814) were female. After controlling for sociodemographic characteristics, gay men were more likely to report severe psychological distress (odds ratio [OR], 2.82; 95% CI, 1.55-5.14), heavy drinking (OR, 1.97; 95% CI, 1.08-3.58), and moderate smoking (OR, 1.98; 95% CI, 1.39-2.81) than heterosexual men; bisexual men were more likely to report severe psychological distress (OR, 4.70; 95% CI, 1.77-12.52), heavy drinking (OR, 3.15; 95% CI, 1.22-8.16), and heavy smoking (OR, 2.10; 95% CI, 1.08-4.10) than heterosexual men; lesbian women were more likely to report moderate psychological distress (OR, 1.34; 95% CI, 1.02-1.76), poor or fair health (OR, 1.91; 95% CI, 1.24-2.95), multiple chronic conditions (OR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.12-2.22), heavy drinking (OR, 2.63; 95% CI, 1.54-4.50), and heavy smoking (OR, 2.29; 95% CI, 1.36-3.88) than heterosexual women; and bisexual women were more likely to report multiple chronic conditions (OR, 2.07; 95% CI, 1.34-3.20), severe psychological distress (OR, 3.69; 95% CI, 2.19-6.22), heavy drinking (OR, 2.07; 95% CI, 1.20-3.59), and moderate smoking (OR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.05-2.44) than heterosexual women.

Conclusions and Relevance  This study supports prior research finding substantial health disparities for LGB adults in the United States, potentially due to the stressors that LGB people experience as a result of interpersonal and structural discrimination. In screening for health issues, clinicians should be sensitive to the needs of sexual minority patients.

JAMA Intern Med. Published online June 27, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.3432

The new bigotry in Britain

Not a single Leave campaigner ever said/suggested/hinted/implied that a vote to Leave was about racism. It was Remain who did that

I voted out, I’m 27 and I live in London. I don’t own anything with a Union Jack on it, even though I grew up in a council house and have working class parents. I studied politics and economics for 5 years at Queen Mary and the LSE, so I’m not ‘uneducated’. I don’t hold the same views as these institutions, I don’t belong to any ‘isms’, nor do I identify with left or right: I don’t watch mainstream news, so I don’t feel the need to put myself in any of these boxes. I am not a nihilist either; I’m a freethinking individual who wants peace and harmony for all human beings on this planet.

I do not regret my vote: mass hazing and melodrama do not easily sway me. Over the past couple of days, people have presumed that, because of my age and the fact that I’m a Londoner, I voted IN. Shockingly, I have many times been encouraged to verbally abuse people I do not know based on their class – those ‘scummy little-England, xenophobic OUT voters’. At work, the day after the referendum, emails were sent presenting some very troubling attitudes towards fellow human beings that happen to disagree with the REMAIN perspective, with a link ‘encouraging us’ to sign a petition asking for a second referendum. I’m sure a fair few OUT voters in London are dreading work on Monday. Admitting you wanted out makes you feel as exposed and ashamed as coming out in the 1950s must have done.

It is ironic that the vocal bulk of London’s IN voters (in reality, only 60% on average) seem so prone to prejudice, vulgarisation and over-simplification. Apparently, this referendum was won by “ignorant xenophobes” and “greasy fish n chip loving provincial menial workers”

This smug, self-righteous attitude has quickly spread to become the only ‘acceptable opinion’ on the streets of London. In the height of this hysteria, people are relinquishing their dignity in order to “stop this madness!” as one spoilt MP put it to parliament.

I couldn’t sleep on the night of the vote. As I don’t usually follow mainstream media, I was very sceptical. I didn’t expect victory against the monumental force of moneyed interests: one after the other, we had the entirety of the political establishment (Barrack Obama, Trade Unions, the Governor of the Bank of England, the IMF and a great many more) all speaking in unison: “If you don’t do what we want, there will be consequences”.

By 4am, I was elated. For the first time in my life, the people had actually delivered a resounding NO. More people turned out to vote than in the last 2 decades despite all the fear-mongering tactics, and the message to the establishment was clear: “We have no reason to trust you anymore. If you don’t want this, it must be the right thing for us. Things need to change and we are making our own decisions from now on.” This filled me with hope that we might be able to turn the tide on the horrendously corrupt political class that is swiftly turning our society into an Orwellian police state before our very eyes.

But living in London made celebrating difficult. I emerged from my home on that sunny Friday morning into a strange place. It seemed that absolutely everyone had been jolted awake and forced to confront something nasty they’d been ignoring for too long. I got the 55 bus into town and immediately saw that young, trendy London was not its usual distracted and giggly self. People were uncomfortable, morose and insecure. In front of me, two young women – of student age – were perusing twitter on their smartphones, making strange winey noises and sobbing without actual tears while intermittently glancing around, presumably hoping for engagement, attention, or comfort, in the mass hysteria. I’m sure they got it when they got to class in any case. “WHAT DO WE DO NOW!” one screamed, before the other said “I just don’t understand how people could be so DISGUSTING and RACIST”.

At work, a scene soon developed that made me feel like I was on the TV set of an AA meeting. A British colleague consoled an Italian colleague while everyone listened with an expression of shock or mourning: “So are you adversely affected by this then?” he asked “Well… no, but I’m sure some people are! I certainly DON’T agree with this!”, she fumed. “Yeah, I imagine you must know some people facing deportation.” “No, I don’t know anybody, but it is possible now.” The British colleague then faced the group and began explaining the mind-set of people who “lack empathy”. At this point I left the room, bewildered by the scale of ignorance and close to being physically sick at the virtue-signalling (“look at me, I’m so caring and progressive”). Later in the day, a Chinese colleague took me aside to confide that he’d voted OUT and was glad I “hadn’t drunk the cool aid”. I then approached another British Asian colleague who had looked uncomfortable during the ‘AA meeting’ and I summoned the courage to ask: “did you vote out?”. She looked defensive, but admitted she did. She was relieved when I immediately told her that I had too. I believe this experience of mass hazing and bullying is widespread across London.


A Named Person speaks out

A youth worker on why he’s opposed to the SNP’s Named Person scheme.

Up until a few weeks ago, my only interest in the Scottish government’s Named Person scheme was as the outraged parent of two young children. Last week, that all changed when I discovered that I am myself to become a Named Person.

The Named Person scheme is a compulsory provision within the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014. It means that every newborn child is allocated a ‘single point-of-contact’ state guardian until his or her 18th birthday. Drawn from health visitors and head teachers, Named Persons will be responsible for considering any concerns raised about a child’s wellbeing and whether or not to take action. And now, as a senior youth-work practitioner, I will soon be the Named Person responsible for the young people I work with who have left school but who are still under 18.

This scheme isn’t about protecting children at serious risk of harm. That’s already covered, albeit by a somewhat threadbare social-work service. The Named Person scheme establishes a much lower threshold at which the state can intervene in family life – that is, when there is ‘cause for concern’.

Now, I understand that normal family life represents a rich tapestry of interaction, and I certainly don’t fancy myself as a sinister meddler in others’ affairs. I know that I am trustworthy and proportionate. I understand that kids bump their heads, get upset when their pets die and sometimes even scream that that they hate their parents. But while I am comfortable with my own judgement of what constitutes acceptable parenting, there will be hundreds of other Named Persons, with their own prejudices, equally as certain of what constitutes acceptable parenting.

If deciding when to intervene in a child’s life is left to the Named Person’s professional judgement, I know I’ll be fine. Having managed a children’s home in the past, I know what to be concerned about and what not to be. If the issue being raised causes me concern, it will be a serious risk and will therefore precipitate a social-work response. But, of course, these delicate decisions will not be left to the professional judgement of individuals – there will be the inevitable set of protocols to be followed.

Combine this bureaucratised demand to intervene when there’s a ‘cause for concern’ with a broader culture of risk-aversion, and the Named Person scheme promises to be a recipe for expanded interference in family life. Think, for example, of how almost every call to Scotland’s NHS 24 medical helpline results in the call handler telling the patient to attend A&E. Family life, likewise, has infinite ‘what if’ scenarios that will no doubt lead many Named Persons to ask for the intervention of social workers. The dragnet of safety is undiscerning.

Today, we tend to think that there is no such thing as an accident. Anything bad that happens ‘could have been avoided’. Of course, it’s easy to be wise after the event, but the methodology of early intervention means that Named Persons will be tracking concerns forward and predicting future outcomes… for every child in Scotland. It is a trapdoor to the absurd.

Workloads will also inevitably increase. Add Named Person duties for a handful of kids to meetings, case conferences, follow-ups and consultations, and my day job will suffer, as will those of other Named Persons.

What’s more, because being a Named Person is a legal obligation, and because no one wants to get blamed if anything goes wrong, minor issues will be prioritised over other work. Those of us who work with children will lose our sense of where interventions are necessary. And the children who are at significant risk of harm will inevitably get lost amid all the clutter.

The Scottish government has been forced to recognise the pandemonium that it is about to unleash, and is looking for ways to water down the proposals. It was no accident that first minister Nicola Sturgeon used the term ‘entitlement’ instead of ‘obligation’ when she was setting out her plans recently. But that doesn’t change the fact that the whole scheme is rotten. Even if every practical problem with the Named Person scheme were resolved, the new threshold for state involvement in family life would still be unacceptably low.

The Named Person scheme is borne of a corrosive suspicion of ordinary people, led by politicians who desperately want our votes but don’t trust us to bring up our own children. It would be farcical if it wasn’t so pernicious.


Jewish Leader Blasts Guggenheim Museum for Accusing Israel of being racist

Longtime Jewish leader Abraham Foxman sharply rebuked the Guggenheim Museum on Friday for publishing an article on its website accusing Israel of a litany of serious crimes.

Foxman — who was tapped to head a new center on the study of antisemitism at New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage following his retirement as national director of the Anti-Defamation League — was commenting on an article by Israeli artist and curator Chen Tamir, titled “Censorship in Israel,” which accuses “racist and lopsided” Israel of failing to uphold freedom of speech, oppressing Palestinians and acting as an occupying power.

“The metanarrative in Israel is one of continuous existential fear and victimization, which leads to the increased justification of insularity and nationalism, and the silencing of opposition,” Tamir wrote. 

Foxman told The Algemeiner he was “surprised” that the Guggenheim “would permit itself to be used for such blatant anti-Israel propaganda. This article goes beyond the discussion of art, its political. It’s inappropriate and ill-advised. If the Guggenheim wants to make their website a place to discuss censorship, I can give them a list of 25 countries they should start with and not Israel.”

According to Tamir, Israeli officials and private citizens have “taken matters into their own hands and established paramilitary organizations to spy on human rights activists and organizations.” One of these “paramilitary organizations,” she says, is Im Tirtzu, an Israeli Zionist youth group that she claims works covertly and overtly to censor Israeli culture.

In yet another example of “censorship,” Tamir points to an exhibition at the Museum of Petach Tikva:

Artist-choreographer Arkadi Zaides was criticized for a video and dance work incorporating footage from B’Tselem’s Camera Project (through which cameras are given to Palestinians to document conflicts with the army and neighboring settlers). The Museum of Petach Tikva, which presented the work, was asked by the municipality to close the exhibition early following pressure from a “concerned citizen,” while the Ministry of Culture withdrew its funding from the show (although the exhibition remained open until its scheduled end date a few days after this incident).

Foxman said that if the Guggenheim “wants to become a platform to discuss art and censorship, this is legitimate. However, to the best of my knowledge, Tamir’s article seems to be the only one about Israel, which is a blatant distortion on what is happening in Israel.”

According to pro-Israel blogger Elder of Ziyon, since 2006 the Guggenheim has been attempting to build a museum in Abu Dhabi, UAE, which “routinely engages in real censorship of art. Not the false ‘withholding funds’ definition that idiot artists like Chen Tamir whine about where a government doesn’t want to support someone publicly defecating on their flag, but honest-to Allah censorship of art.”

“When an artist or a museum sees an opportunity for self advancement, suddenly censorship is not so big a deal,” he wrote. “The Guggenheim, by publishing an article about the horrors of nonexistent Israeli censorship, has no problem with partnering with a country where art censorship is normal and explicit. The double standards to which Israel is subject by these supposed defenders of art and freedom of expression is stunning, and their hypocrisy is blatant.”

In response to The Algemeiner’s request for clarification as to why the Guggenheim would promote on its website an article demonizing Israel, a spokesman for the museum said, “As an arts institution, the Guggenheim welcomes a multitude of voices and perspectives on topics of interest to the wider artistic and cultural community. The views expressed are those of the writer, a curator who lives and works in Israel, not necessarily those of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation.”



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


No comments: