Say No More

Now this is what I call Good News:

“High cholesterol, particularly LDL cholesterol, has been demonized for allegedly bringing on heart attack deaths. But an intriguing analysis of data published at Medium.com seems to show that total mortality risk is reduced by high cholesterol levels, even LDL cholesterol.”
The point Medium.com’s P.D. Mangan makes is that even if lower cholesterol is associated with reduced heart-disease incidence, this is more than offset by an increase in low-cholesterol-associated health risks.
As Mangan puts it, from “a public health standpoint, it seems a mistake to focus on changing something that lowers the risk of death from one cause only to raise that risk from another.”

Now as we all know, next week will see the publication of yet another  study which completely contradicts this wonderful news.

In the meantime (via C.W., thankee):

In Texas, that combination of the four major meat groups (ribs, pulled pork, sausage and brisket) is known as the “Four Riders Of The Apocalypse”.

Actually, that’s not true.  In Texas, that’s either regarded as a well-balanced meal, or else as “Git outta mah way, Elmer!”

See y’all later.

Still No Need To Panic

OMG the Second Amendment is in danger!!!!!!!!!!!!

According to Rasmussen, 24 percent of survey respondents “favor repealing the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment which guarantees the right of most citizens to own a gun.”

In other words, about one in four of the respondents don’t want the Second anymore.  Why is this statistic a load of fear-mongering bullshit?

  1. We don’t know the composition of the survey sample — who was surveyed, where they lived, age groups, and so on.  So we don’t actually know how representative that sample of people is of the population as a whole.
  2. Popular sentiment means diddly-squat when it comes to amending the Constitution (for all those who were too busy wanking or sleeping during Civics lessons, or who never saw Schoolhouse Rock).  51% of the people might want to ditch the Second, but that’s still irrelevant.

Wake me up when the percentage of support for eliminating the Second grows to a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate — like that’s ever going to happen — or even if it does, let’s see if 38 of the 50 state legislatures agree to ratify the amendment.

Note to the Left:  there’s no magic wand and pixie-dust here;  if you want to make guns disappear, you’ll have to do it through the normal legal process, or (as Beta-Boy suggests), by forcible (and illegal) confiscation of all guns in private hands.  Good luck with that, too.  You may get just a little pushback, as the modern idiom goes:

Of Course It Does

For all those fools people who have been eating white meat instead of red meat because Studies Show That Red Meat Will Kill You Dead, here’s the latest study:

Eating chicken puts consumers at a higher risk of a rare form of blood cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, as well as prostate cancer in men, according to researchers from Oxford University.

Of course, my skepticism about all these “studies” has been well-documented, and no doubt the next study will say that in fact, eating chicken will cure  cancer, not cause it.

Red meat stops your heart, poultry gives you cancer, cannibalism seems to be illegal, and no  meat causes your brain to shrink.  So basically, we’re fucked.  To quote a well-known sage (Joe Jackson):  everything  gives you cancer.

Next thing they’ll be telling us that it’s not the full English breakfast that will kill you, it’s the pint of gin you wash it down with.

Like that’s going to stop me.

Chinks In The Armor

As much as the ChiComs claim to be a global economic powerhouse, we should always be aware that much of the economic numbers that come out of China are either flat-out lies or at best, exaggerations.  Hence:

The most important thing to understand about Chinese statistics is not that they are necessarily manipulated from the top. Certainly that happens too, as it does in every country in the world. Look no further than Wang’s example for that. But much of the manipulation of Chinese data actually comes from the lower levels. China is a country of over a billion people, but it has no unified or centralized statistical reporting system. Data is gathered at the local level and passed up the chain until it reaches the central government. The bureaucrats in charge of that system enjoy professional success and advancement when their numbers conform to the expectations and directives of the party. As a result, the numbers can be inflated to give the impression of success or moderated in order to avoid attention.

An example of how this can lead to catastrophe comes out of China itself, in the not-so-distant past:

In the 1958-1961 Great Leap Forward, Chairman Mao’s disastrous attempt to shift a backward agrarian economy to a modern industrial powerhouse, the failure of the statistical system contributed to catastrophe on a grand scale. Mao’s plan, such as it was, required producing an agricultural surplus that could be sold to fund investment in a modern industrial base. Whipped into a patriotic frenzy, and knowing that their future depended on meeting unrealistic targets for the production of grain, local officials engaged in rampant exaggeration of output.
But reality was distorted at a cost. The higher the production figures, the greater the tax owed to the central government. In some areas, the exaggerated claims were so great that the entire harvest had to be handed over as tax, used to fund investments and extravagances that China could ill afford. In some parts of the country, the only crops left behind were grown by villagers in secret locations, away from the acquisitive eye of the local production teams. But such success stories were few and far between. Tens of millions died in history’s greatest man-made famine.

Communists are renowned, of course, for perverting the facts to suit their own ends.  Remember this over the coming political election season here in the U.S., as our own home-grown Marxists fabricate lies and misquote or otherwise falsify data, simply to advance their political agenda.

Like That

From Reader Paul W. comes this gem:

I see that the failure of the suicide watch is being blamed on (duh) a staff shortage in the federal prison system, and we’re supposed to believe that a guy with a 6″-thick black book containing several tons of dirt on famous people (like the Clintons) simply offed himself?

No Shit

What would we do without science?  From Italy:

A raft of new research shows that watching junky cable and other lowbrow TV is actually making people dumber — literally lowering their IQs.

Of course, some may say that this finding only applies to Italians — who were the ones studied — but somehow I’m pretty sure that it’s a universal phenomenon.  (Of course, I’m no scientist, so feel free to disagree with me.)

But as always, there’s an agenda:

“The language codes that were popularized by TV also made people much more susceptible to the populist party because they used very simple language,” Ruben Durante, one of the paper’s coauthors, said. “They used accessible language. And that can potentially be very powerful.”

I love that term:  “accessible language”.  In other words, people are more likely to be influenced by language they can actually understand, instead of by the circumlocution and orotundity found in, say, academic writing.  So those bloody ignorant peasants are going to respond more positively to “Build a wall!” than to “Multiculturalism can be fraught with a multiplicity of challenges”.

Quelle surprise.

I am reminded of the wonderful zinger (and I paraphrase):  “That argument is so indisputably, miserably wrong that it could only have been made by an intellectual.”  In this case, the statement is so blindingly obvious that it could only have been made by a scientist.