Sunday, January 08, 2017
Another brainless study about living near a highway being bad for you
The Left hate major roads and motor vehicles generally but make heavy weather of condemning them. So they are always keen to show that roads are bad for your health. And living near a busy road may indeed be bad for you. There are some theoretical reasons which could lead to that conclusion. And there seem to be an unending stream of studies "confirming" the connection. But they are all rubbish, as is the one below.
Why? Because they all fail to account well or at all for an obvious confounding factor: Poverty. As has been shown many times, the poor have worse health all-round and are more likely to live near a busy road. "Noise affected" real estate often trades at a one-third discount. Living near a busy road is a lot cheaper and often it is the only place where the poor can afford to live. So to show any association of traffic on health, you have to control for income. If you do not, you could be looking at an effect of poverty, not an effect of traffic.
Statistical control would have been possible but the study reported below did not control for ANYTHING. I would never have passed it for publication were I the journal editor concerned. Marie Pedersen is a dimwit
Expectant mothers living close to busy roads are at greater risk of serious complications in pregnancy, experts have found.
Pre-eclampsia – a condition suffered by 42,000 pregnant women in Britain each year – is made more likely by noise and pollution from roads, according to a large study.
Researchers believe the toxins from vehicles and sound of traffic from nearby roads may increase stress levels and cause inflammation that leads to rising blood pressure associated with the condition.
The Danish study of 73,000 women - the first to establish a link between traffic and pre-eclampsia - adds to growing concerns about the health impact of air and noise pollution.
Pre-eclampsia affects around 6 per cent of pregnancies in the UK - and in severe cases can lead to stillbirth or maternal death.
Researchers found that for every 10-decibel increase in noise from traffic – roughly a doubling in audible volume - there was a 10 per cent increase in the risk of pre-eclampsia and high blood pressure problems in pregnant women.
Similarly, for every 0.01 micrograms of nitric dioxide from car exhausts in a litre of air - a tiny increase - the risk of the condition rose by 7 per cent.
Study leader Professor Marie Pedersen, of the University of Copenhagen, said: ‘The rise in risk we saw is significant in terms of impact on a population level, as a 10-unit increase in pollution and noise is very small.’
Professor Pedersen said her study shines new light on the root causes of the condition, which has been poorly understand in the past. She said: ‘Air pollution causes inflammation and oxidative stress, which has been linked to damage to blood vessels, immune system changes and elevated blood pressure.
She and her colleagues, whose work is published in the journal Epidemiology, studied data collected from 72,745 pregnancies in Denmark and modelled the noise and air pollution at their addresses.
The journal article is "Impact of Road Traffic Pollution on Pre-eclampsia and Pregnancy-induced Hypertensive Disorders"
And they call Trump supporters "deplorables"! What are these Trump haters?
Black teens are charged with a HATE CRIME after live-streaming torture of white disabled man who they held prisoner for days before he escaped - as cops reveal they have shown NO remorse
The four black friends believed to be behind the disturbing torture of a white special needs man in a Facebook live video have been identified and charged with committing a hate crime.
Jordan Hill, 18; Tesfaye Cooper, 18; and sisters Birttany, 18, and Tanisha Covington, 24, were charged Thursday morning with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated battery and a hate crime, according to the Cook County State's Attorney's Office. Hill was also charged with robbery and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. He, Cooper and Brittany Covington face additional charges of residential burglary.
The four are set to face a judge for the first time Friday afternoon at 1pm Central Time for a bond hearing.
Chicago authorities revealed more about the disturbing incident at a Thursday afternoon press conference.
At the press conference, it was revealed that the unidentified victim and Hill were 'acquaintances' who had hung out a few times before. The two knew each other from attending a school together in Aurora, Illinois at one point.
The victim's parents dropped him off at a McDonald's in Streamwood on Saturday so that he could spend the night with Hill. He was reported missing on Monday when they could not get into contact with their son.
When Hill picked the victim up, he was driving a stolen van - something the victim apparently did not know. For the first two days, the two hung out visiting friends and the victim reportedly slept in the van at nights.
Things took a turn on Tuesday, when they visited the West Chicago residence of the Covington sisters. A few hours after they arrived at the house, where Cooper was as well, Hill and the victim got into a play fight that then escalated.
That's when the sisters tied him up and the group started torturing him for about six hours. Half an hour of this torture was live-streamed on Facebook, showing the group beating the young man, cutting off a piece of his scalp, forcing him to drink toilet water. At one point in the video, one of the four yells 'f*** Donald Trump. F*** white people' at the victim.
Police says the young man made so much noise as he was being tortured that the downstairs neighbors eventually called police to report the noise.
The group became angered with the downstairs neighbors, and three of them went downstairs to kick the neighbor's door in. It was at this moment that the victim was able to make a break for it.
Outside of the residence, a police officer saw the victim 'bloodied and bruised', wearing a tank top and shorts in the dead of winter, so he decided to walk up and see what was wrong.
The officer was then able to ascertain that the victim was the missing man from Streamwood.
Police were not able to elaborate at the Thursday press conference on previous reports that stated the group texted the victim's parents while they were holding him hostage.
The victim, who was friends with Jordan Hill from school, has been returned to his parents
At the Tuesday afternoon press conference, a police spokesman said that the four suspects copped to the torture in their police interviews and none expressed remorse.
'The actions in that video are reprehensible. That along with racism have absolutely no place in the city of Chicago or anywhere else for that matter, against anyone regardless of their race, gender, state of mental health or any other identifying factor,' Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Thursday.
The footage shows the four black people allegedly holding the white man hostage in an apartment on the 3400 block of West Lexington on Chicago's West Side on Tuesday.
It was originally posted on Facebook Live by Brittany Covington (who goes by the last name Herring on Facebook) but has since been deleted from her social media page.
In the first video, the victim was seen cowering in a corner with his arms tied and mouth taped shut.
He was filmed being kicked and punched before he had his hair cut until his scalp bled.
The victim also had his clothes cut and had cigarette ash flicked over the wound on his head.
Someone can be heard in the footage yelling 'f*** Donald Trump. F*** white people' while the two men express their hopes that the video will go viral.
Two more clips of the alleged abuse surfaced overnight as well, one of which shows the group forcing the man to drink water out of a toilet.
'It's sickening,' Supt. Johnson said Wednesday night. 'It makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that. I've been a cop for 28 years, and I've seen things that you shouldn't see in a lifetime, but it still amazes me how you still see things that you just shouldn't.' He added: 'I'm not going to say it shocked me, but it was sickening.'
Police said the victim was treated and released from hospital into the care of his parents, who live in the suburb of Crystal Lake.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest says the beating demonstrates 'a level of depravity that is an outrage to a lot of Americans.'
Earnest says he has not yet spoken to President Barack Obama about the incident in the president's hometown of Chicago but says he's confident Obama 'would be angered by the images that are depicted on that video.
Why the Anti-Israeli Sentiment?
Victor Davis Hanson
Secretary of State John Kerry, echoing other policymakers in the Obama administration, blasted Israel last week in a 70-minute rant about its supposedly self-destructive policies.
Why does the world — including now the U.S. — single out liberal and lawful Israel but refrain from chastising truly illiberal countries?
Kerry has never sermonized for so long about his plan to solve the Syrian crisis that has led to some 500,000 deaths or the vast migrant crisis that has nearly wrecked the European Union.
No one in this administration has shown as much anger about the many thousands who have been killed and jailed in the Castro brothers' Cuba, much less about the current Stone Age conditions in Venezuela or the nightmarish government of President Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, an ally nation.
President Obama did not champion the cause of the oppressed during the Green Revolution of 2009 in Iran. Did Kerry and Obama become so outraged after Russia occupied South Ossetia, Crimea and eastern Ukraine?
Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power was never so impassioned over the borders of Chinese-occupied Tibet, or over Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus.
In terms of harkening back to the Palestinian “refugee” crisis that started in the late 1940s, no one talks today in similar fashion about the Jews who survived the Holocaust and walked home, only to find that their houses in Eastern Europe were gone or occupied by others. Much less do we recall the 11 million German civilians who were ethnically cleansed from Eastern Europe in 1945 by the Soviets and their imposed Communist governments. Certainly, there are not still “refugee” camps outside Dresden for those persons displaced from East Prussia 70 years ago.
More recently, few nations at the U.N. faulted the Kuwaiti government for the expulsion of 200,000 Palestinians after the liberation of Kuwait by coalition forces in 1991.
Yet on nearly every issue — from “settlements” to human rights to the status of women — U.N. members that routinely violate human rights target a liberal Israel.
When President Obama entered office, among his first acts were to give an interview with the Saudi-owned news outlet Al Arabiya championing his outreach to the mostly non-democratic Islamic world and to blast democratic Israel on “settlements.”
Partly, the reason for such inordinate criticism of Israel is sheer cowardice. If Israel had 100 million people and was geographically large, the world would not so readily play the bully.
Instead, the United Nations and Europe would likely leave it alone — just as they give a pass to human rights offenders such as Pakistan and Indonesia. If Israel were as big as Iran, and Iran as small as Israel, then the Obama administration would have not reached out to Iran, and would have left Israel alone.
Israel’s supposed Western friends sort out Israel’s enemies by their relative natural resources, geography and population — and conclude that supporting Israel is a bad deal in cost/benefit terms.
Partly, the criticism of Israel is explained by oil — an issue that is changing daily as both the U.S. and Israel cease to be oil importers.
Still, about 40 percent of the world’s oil is sold by Persian Gulf nations. Influential nations in Europe and China continue to count on oil imports from the Middle East — and make political adjustments accordingly.
Partly, anti-Israel rhetoric is due to herd politics.
The Palestinians — illiberal and reactionary on cherished Western issues like gender equality, homosexuality, religious tolerance and diversity — have grafted their cause to the popular campus agendas of race/class/gender victimization.
Western nations in general do not worry much about assorted non-Western crimes such as genocides, mass cleansings or politically induced famines. Instead, they prefer sermons to other Westerners as a sort of virtue-signaling, without any worries over offending politically correct groups.
Partly, the piling on Israel is due to American leverage over Israel as a recipient of U.S. aid. As a benefactor, the Obama administration expects that Israel must match U.S. generosity with obeisance. Yet the U.S. rarely gives similar “how dare you” lectures to less liberal recipients of American aid, such as the Palestinians for their lack of free elections.
Partly, the cause of global hostility toward Israel is jealousy. If Israel were mired in Venezuela-like chaos, few nations would care. Instead, the image of a proud, successful, Westernized nation as an atoll in a sea of self-inflicted misery is grating to many. And the astounding success of Israel bothers so many failed states that the entire world takes notice.
But partly, the source of anti-Israelism is ancient anti-Semitism.
If Israelis were Egyptians administering Gaza or Jordanians running the West Bank (as during the 1960s), no one would care. The world’s problem is that Israelis are Jews. Thus, Israel earns negative scrutiny that is never extended commensurately to others.
Obama and his diplomatic team should have known all this. Perhaps they do, but they simply do not care.
A Grand Canyon-Sized Divide Between Democrats and Christians
Of course — Democrats worship at the altar of the state
Eight weeks after progressive Democrats' world was rocked by the Earth-shattering, this-can-NOT-be-happening realization that tens of millions of “deplorable” Americans had turned out to vote for Donald Trump, thereby depriving Her Royal Lie-ness, Hillary Clinton, of the presidency, they are still dredging the depths of the political ocean for answers as to why they lost.
They blame FBI Director James Comey’s re-opening of the Hillary email investigation in the final days of the campaign. They also blame Russian hacking, though there is scant evidence for this (besides, had Hillary not illegally used a private server to conduct official government business out of the reach of congressional oversight, the Russians would have nothing to hack). Still others blame sexism, “fake news,” voter fraud, talk radio, or even Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her pervert husband, former Democrat Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-Creepystan).
A relative handful of introspective Democrat operatives have touched on a major reason for their loss, but it’s one which the progressive Democrat leadership and their uber-leftist foot soldiers don’t even see as a problem — the massive disconnect between the Democrat Party and America’s evangelical Christians, which make up approximately one-fifth of the American electorate. To put that into context, Evangelicals (which are just one subset of professed Christians) are a larger bloc of voters in the U.S. than black voters and Jewish voters combined.
Yet rather than court this critical demographic, Democrats and their “tolerant” base openly and defiantly mock and attack Christians as being the worst elements of humanity. Is it any wonder that Donald Trump, who openly admitted to serial adultery but promised to defend Christians, won a staggering 81% of the Evangelical vote?
In a recent interview with The Atlantic, Michael Wear, former 2012 Obama campaign director of faith-outreach efforts, got to the root of the Democrats' problem with Christians. “Liberals have been trying to convince Americans, and evangelicals in particular, that America is not a Christian nation,” Wear explained. “The 2016 election was evangelicals saying, ‘Yeah, you’re right! We can’t expect to have someone who is Christian like us. We can’t expect to have someone with a perfect family life. What we can expect is someone who can look out for us, just like every other group in this country is looking for a candidate who will look out for them.’”
The Democrat Party has become a bastion of leftist radicals, including those who are rabidly anti-Christian. Other than popping up in black churches just before elections to remind parishioners that if Republicans are elected, they will take away Social Security and Medicare, try to implement school choice (gasp!), or reinstate slavery (conveniently forgetting it was Democrats who defended the abhorrent practice), Democrats have little good to say about Christians in general, and Evangelicals in particular. What else would you expect of people who booed God at their 2012 national convention?
Obama famously described salt-of-the-Earth Midwesterners as “bitter” people who “cling to guns or religion.”
Lest one think these are isolated incidents taken out of context, consider the following:
In a speech at the 2015 National Prayer Breakfast, the blood having barely dried from the murderous attacks by Islamist terrorists in Paris, Obama lectured us about how Christianity is no better than Islam, trotting out the brutality of the thousand-year old Crusades as proof. Obama haughtily declared, “Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”
Obama conveniently forgot that the Crusades were a reaction of European Christians to Muslim hordes invading their lands, and also that it was Christian ministers who led the fight to end slavery in America.
It was likewise the Obama administration that used the power of the federal government to force The Little Sisters of the Poor, a charitable order of Catholic nuns, to provide as part of its employee health insurance contraception drugs, including abortifacients which trigger abortions in early pregnancies. The use of contraception, and especially abortion, are grave sins in the Catholic faith.
Obama also aided in the effort to force Christian bakers, florists, photographers and bed-and-breakfast owners, among others, to violate their faith by providing services for same-sex “weddings.” He has routinely implied that holding true to the biblical definition of man/woman marriage is driven by bigotry and homophobia.
His administration argued before the Supreme Court that religious organizations should be forced to hire employees not of their faith, and should be prevented from firing employees who violate their code of moral conduct. In a similar vein, the Obama administration instituted health care regulations under the ObamaCare monstrosity that stripped health care workers of conscience protections, effectively forcing them, for example, to participate in abortions or be fired, and possibly prosecuted.
He pressured Evangelical pastor Louie Giglio to withdraw from offering the inaugural benediction because of his biblical views on marriage.
Though anecdotal, to be sure, it’s interesting that in eight years, not one of the White House “holiday” cards sent out by Obama — who claims to be a Christian, even as he denigrates Christians — has ever included the word “Christmas.”
These are just a few of the dozens and dozens of examples of Obama’s hostility toward Christians (we won’t even here address Obama’s contemptible treatment of Israel, our staunchest ally in the Middle East).
In the present political atmosphere, it’s nearly impossible for the far-left Democrat Party to find common ground with Middle America, much less devout Evangelical Christians. The Democrats openly loathe and mock Christians, are rabidly pro-abortion, reject any respect for or compromise on moral issues so important to religious people, and in short, they find us “deplorable.”
That creates quite a problem for Democrats who find themselves unexpectedly in the political wilderness, having lost control of the House, the Senate, the White House, and two-thirds of state legislatures. They are vehemently opposed to the beliefs and principles of the very people they need in their camp to regain political power.
Democrats worship at the altar of the state, and as far as anyone can tell, they have no inclination to stop
Texas moves to limit transgender bathroom access
One of the most powerful Republican officials in Texas put the state on the front lines of the nation's culture wars Thursday, announcing the filing of a bill that would require people in government buildings and in public schools to use the bathroom that corresponds with their "biological sex."
The bill, announced by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, is similar to one that caused a political uproar in North Carolina and led to widespread boycotts there by companies, entertainers, sports events, and gay rights groups, which said the bill discriminated against transgender people who use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. Patrick played down the potential economic fallout for Texas and denied that the bill, which has been in the works for months, was discriminatory.
"We know it's going to be a tough fight," Patrick said at the Texas Capitol in Austin. "The forces of fear and misinformation will pull out all the stops, both in Texas and nationally. But we know we're on the right side of the issue, and we're on the right side of history."
Democratic lawmakers, civil rights groups, gay, and transgender rights activists, and the state's most influential business lobby, the Texas Association of Business, swiftly condemned the legislation and predicted an economic blow to Texas if it passed.
"If it's like HB2 in North Carolina, it's discriminatory, and it's bad for business," said Chris Wallace, the president of the Texas Association of Business, adding that the bill was likely to discourage corporate relocations to Texas and stop potential workers, particularly millennials, from coming. "We do not want our state to have an unwelcoming brand to future workers," he said.
Wallace said his organization would "fully engage" in an effort to block the measure in the Texas Legislature, which starts its 140-day session Tuesday. A study commissioned by the business group found that North Carolina-style bills on bathroom access and other similar measures could result in an economic loss in Texas ranging from $964 million to $8.5 billion, including the loss of up to 185,000 jobs.
The ACLU of Texas called the bill an antitransgender measure. The Texas Democratic Party described it as an "$8.5 billion bathroom bill," for the high-end estimated decline in gross domestic product predicted by the Texas Association of Business. Freedom for All Americans, a group that promotes the rights of transgender people, said defeating the bill would be one of its top national priorities. And as Patrick and state Senator Lois W. Kolkhorst, a Republican who filed the bill, spoke with reporters at the Senate, protesters outside the chamber could be heard loudly booing and later shouting: "Shame! Shame!"
Both chambers of the Texas Legislature are controlled by Republicans. Patrick presides over the Senate as lieutenant governor, but the passage of the bill is by no means assured, particularly given the involvement of the Texas Association of Business, which is typically aligned with the Republican leadership. The speaker of the House, Representative Joe Straus of San Antonio, who is one of the state's most prominent moderate Republicans, gave it a cool reception.
"Bathroom legislation is not an urgent concern for Speaker Straus," Jason Embry, his spokesman, said in a statement.
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.