Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Extra hour of TV a day can kill, say medical shamans

Lord love us! More epidemiological "wisdom". They found, unsuprisingly, that people in poor health watched slightly more TV but in their wisdom from on high they interpreted it the other way around! It must be wonderful to have God-given insight that dispenses with the need for evidence! I personally watch TV about once a year but have no time for fraudulent scares. Scares that simply lead to needlessly upset children are particularly obnoxious

VIDEO killed the radio star, according to the famous Buggles song, but new research suggests television is killing the rest of us too. An additional hour in front of the box each day increases the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 18 per cent, according to Australian research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Each extra hour increases by 11 per cent the overall likelihood of dying from all causes, including cancer.

"The human body was designed to move, not sit for extended periods of time," the study's lead author, David Dunstan, said. "But technological, social and economic changes mean that people don't move their muscles as much as they used to. "For many people, on a daily basis they simply shift from one chair to another."

Prof Dunstan, from the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, said sitting for long periods was bad for blood sugar and fats - even if you were healthy. The link between television viewing and increased mortality held true regardless of other risk factors such as smoking, poor diet, high cholesterol and obesity.

The average Australian watched three hours of television every day. The researchers monitored the viewing habits of 8800 adults over six years before publishing the alarming results. They found someone who watched four hours of TV each day had an 80 per cent higher risk of death from heart disease compared to someone who watched less than two hours.

They were 46 per cent more likely to die from all causes. Prof Dunstan said the findings suggested any prolonged sedentary behaviour, such as sitting at a desk or computer for work, could be risky. The answer? "Move more, more often." "In addition to doing regular exercise, avoid sitting for prolonged periods," he said. "Too much sitting is bad for health."


In Australia too, the media hate fundamentalist Christians

Lots of private religious schools get government subsidies. It is the Australian system -- going back to the days of Bob Menzies. But just one small set of private schools is singled out for criticism below -- the Brethren schools. And Rudd hates the Brethren because they supported his opposition. All the major churches supported Rudd

THE Rudd Government is handing more than $70 million to schools run by the Exclusive Brethren, a religious sect Kevin Rudd described as an "extremist cult" that breaks up families. The sect's schools have secured more than $8.4m under the Government's school building stimulus package and they will share in $62m in recurrent taxpayer funding.

Documents show a Brethren-run school at Swan Hill in northern Victoria was granted $1.2m for a library and $800,000 for a hall when its most recent annual report shows it had just 16 pupils and already had a library. [Many such bureaucratic bungles have happened with government schools too] Grants data released by the commonwealth shows that Brethren schools in every state received funding under the $12.4 billion schools stimulus package, The Australian reports.

Despite the Brethren's past disdain for computers, figures show its schools have received more than 300 under the commonwealth computers-in-school initiative.

Brethren schools have also secured grants under the Schools Pride program. All up, the 2400 children in Brethren schools will each receive the equivalent of $26,127 in recurrent funding and $11,200 in stimulus funding.

Australian Education Union federal president Angelo Gavrielatos said these sums were outrageous and the funding system had to be urgently replaced. "How can the Government justify handing tens of millions of dollars to an organisation it believes is a cult while public schools which educate the vast majority of our children are struggling for funds?" Mr Gavrielatos said. "The Government has said it will review schools funding this year. That review needs to be begin as a matter of urgency to allow for a proper public debate on where school funding should be directed and for what purpose."

The Brethren is a fundamentalist Christian sect that lives by the doctrine of separation from mainstream society. Brethren schools must teach the normal curriculum, although reports say some novels are banned and chapters on sex and reproduction are excised from science textbooks. Brethren members are taught to shun broader society. They do not use TV, radios and do not watch movies or eat in restaurants. They do not vote, are opposed to unions and other forms of association, except their own church. [There have always been Protestants with similar views -- e.g. Scotland's "Wee Frees" and the historic Puritans of Britain and America. And some famous Catholic monastic orders were doing it even before the Protestants came along. It is a perfectly defensible version of Christianity, even if it is not fashionable these days. Check John 15:19; James 4:4; John 18:36, for instance]

The Brethren has been accused by former members, and the Prime Minister in his 2007 comments, of denying those who leave access to their children, a claim the organisation denies.

Doug Burgess, the head of the Brethren's Victorian schools, said its schools were growing rapidly and the funding reflected that. He defended the sect's right to school funding, saying the children would otherwise be enrolled in state schools at full taxpayers' expense.



Four current articles below

Whales not worth risking Japanese relations for, says Abbott

If Australia continues its antagonism to Japan and support for terrorists, Japan could cut off all imports of Australian farm products in response -- which would cause great woe in Australia -- possibly enough woe to unseat Rudd. There have been great battles to get access to the Japanese primary-products market so a Japanese cutoff of that would be an obvious response to continued hostility from Australia's Green/Left government

OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott has declared Australia's relationship with Japan is too important to risk over whaling. Mr Abbott yesterday said it was not Coalition policy to take Japan to the International Court to stop its annual whale hunt in the Southern Ocean, according to a report in the Courier-Mail.

"We don't like whaling. We would like the Japanese to stop," he told Macquarie Radio yesterday. "On the other hand, we don't want to needlessly antagonise our most important trading partner, a fellow democracy, an ally."

Relations with Japan have reportedly been strained in the wake of last week's dramatic clash between whalers and protesters. The Government yesterday said there had been robust discussions between the two countries but the issue had not harmed the relationship with Tokyo

The Opposition also has accused the Rudd Government of failing to follow through on numerous pre-election promises to end whaling in the Southern Ocean. Acting Environment Minister Penny Wong said if the Government could not resolve the matter diplomatically, it would take legal action.

SOURCE. There is a good commentary on the terrorist mentality and tactics involved here

Record heat -- just like a century ago

A very bad fit to the Warmist narrative

Melbourne has notched its equal hottest-ever night, with a sweltering minimum matching the city's other warmest evening, recorded more than 100 years ago. The overnight temperature did not drop below 30.6 degrees, and this dip was only reached at 8.49am, the Bureau of Meteorology said this morning.

This was warm enough to equal Melbourne's highest recorded daily minimum temperature, set on February 1, 1902, Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Terry Ryan said. ‘‘The overnight minimum temperature was 30.6 and that was recorded at 8.49am,’’ Mr Ryan said. ‘‘The previous record for the warmest night was also 30.6 degrees recorded on February 1, 1902, and we equalled that this morning," he said.

Mr Ryan said at 8am, the overnight heat was so intense it seemed the 1902 mark would be smashed. ‘‘It was going up to 34 degrees at 8am but then a weak cool change moved through the city and temperatures started falling again,’’ he said. The change threatened to cost the record, but 30.6 was as cool as it got.

Duty forecaster Stuart Coombs said a cool change this morning made a lasting impact to temperatures. ‘‘It appears we’ve dodged a bit of a bullet ... that cool air was deep enough to stop the temperature from rising further,’’ he said. By 12.45pm, the temperature had dropped to 30 degrees celsius, with isolated showers and cooler weather predicted for the evening.


Conservative leader defends Aboriginal rights against Green/Left laws

OPPOSITION leader Tony Abbott has come out swinging in his campaign against the Bligh government's controversial Wild Rivers legislation, labelling Bligh's regime as "outrageous" and the Rudd government "cowardly" for not stepping in.

In Cairns this morning, Mr Abbott formally announced his intention to introduce a Private Member’s Bill to override the Wild Rivers legislation on Cape York, after his move was revealed by The Australian today.

Mr Abbott, flanked by Cape York traditional owners, said the Wild Rivers legislation - which declared the Archer, Lockhart and Stewart river systems on Cape York as wild rivers - was an "attack on the rights of Aboriginal people". "(It will) suffocate at birth all proposals for economic development on Cape York," Mr Abbott said.

He said he will introduce the Private Member’s Bill when parliament resumes in February, but without the support of the Rudd government, it would die. Mr Abbott said he would be appealing to Mr Rudd and Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin to step in and let the bill live.

SOURCE. More commentary on the Leftist hypocrisy involved here

Ecology and compulsion: The Divine Right of Environmentalists

The problem facing the Commonwealth government in Peter Spencer’s case is that on the one hand it’s embarrassing to have him dying of starvation up a pole because they denied him justice after forcibly taking billions of dollars worth of property in violation of the Constitution; and embarrassing to be caught out ignoring him, and lying to the population that it was all the States’ fault. But on the other hand, the Commonwealth has stolen too much property to be able to pay for it; and is too greedy to give it back. It is no defence of this injustice to say that other environmental and planning laws also restrict people’s private property use-rights. That only begs the question whether they also represent unjust acquisitions.

It does not answer to assert that government acts in the national interest. That is precisely what is in issue. If it’s in the national interest for the government to take people’s property without their consent in breach of the law by threatening them with force, then presumably armed robbery and extortion might be in the national interest too.

It is no answer to say that the laws are to protect native vegetation. Native vegetation is not an ecological category: it is an historical and aesthetic category. It means species that were here before 1788, that is all. The issue is not native vegetation itself: it is whether some people should be able to indulge their fancy of having a ‘pre-1788’ botanical museum imposed on other people’s property, paid for by the subject property-holders, or by the productive portion of the population under compulsion.

No doubt many environmentalists are genuinely well-intentioned, and shocked to be considered abusive and unjust, and will say that was not their intention. However the abusiveness and injustice of these laws does not come from the laws’ intent, but from their effect.

Nor is it any answer to say that the native vegetation acts were done to protect biodiversity. The mere fact that biodiversity is a value does not automatically justify the violation of property rights. It may be said that biodiversity is the necessary basis of life on earth, and therefore the need to conserve it is a precondition to any discussion of subsequent human utility. However it is hyperbole to suggest that we’re all going to die unless the environmentalists can steal other people’s land, which is what the argument amounts to.

Even assuming that ecological viability itself were in issue, it is still entirely unjustified and unjustifiable to jump to a conclusion that government is able to centrally plan the ecology and the economy, by bureaucratic command-and-control. This destructive belief, or rather delusion, has no basis in reason. Those wishing to run that argument must first refute Ludwig von Mises’ arguments which definitively prove that public ownership of the means of production is not only impossible in practice, but is not even possible in theory.

As to ecological sustainability, this attractive-sounding catch-phrase is meaningless. Ecology is the distribution and abundance of species. Species are made up of their individual members. The distribution and abundance of these are permanently and constantly changing forever, every second of every day, always have been, always will be. The ideal of sustainability is a dream of stasis; a utopian fantasy of paradise in which the economic problems of natural scarcity have been solved forever by the omnipotence, omniscience and benevolence of big government.

And if ecological sustainability is not meaningless, then how could or would a power to achieve it ever be limited, even only conceptually? Since all human action affects the environment, a power to manage the environment must necessarily be able to control any and every human action, and therefore it must be an unlimited power. In other words, the well-intentioned advocates of such a system are incapable of saying how they could prevent, or even identify, abuses of arbitrary power, as Spencer’s case is proving. It is completely incompatible with constitutional government.

It is said that the native vegetation laws were desirable because of the problem of land clearing. But just because something is desirable does not mean we are justified in using force to obtain satisfaction of our desire. The desire for money does not, of itself, justify robbery; the desire for sex does not, of itself, justify rape; and the desire to use land to grow native vegetation does not, of itself, justify confiscating other people’s property.

Either biodiversity is a higher social value than food or other produce, or it’s not. If it’s not, then there is no justification for using force to pay for it. But if it is, then there is no need for compulsion to pay for it. If society - people in general - really do attach a higher value to biodiversity as the environmentalists assert, then those same people are perfectly capable of representing their own values and protecting biodiversity directly by buying the land on which to grow native vegetation. Many people do it voluntarily. But so far as the rest don’t do it voluntarily, this proves that it is not a higher social value as the environmentalists claim.

Therefore environmentalists have not got to square one in establishing a justification for the native vegetation laws. If they genuinely believe the issue is ecology, this shows their confusion. For the issue is not ecology – it is power.

In truth, all that the advocates of the native vegetation laws have established is that they should have to buy the land that they would like to use to grow native vegetation; an idea they receive with shock and indignation. Yet why not? There are many who agree, the cost of contributions would be divided between millions of people, and in the end would amount to a monthly payment by each to finance it. But they don’t want to do that. Why not? Because they know that in order to do it, they would have to sacrifice other values they consider more important – like consuming internet bandwidth.

Why would they have to sacrifice such other values if they were to buy the land? To pay the price of the land. And what gives rise to the price of land? It comes from the values of all those in the market who buy and sell, or abstain from buying or selling the land and what it can produce.

In other words, the reason the environmentalists don’t want to have to pay for the land is because of the height of the price of land, and the reason the price of farm land is what it is, and the reason farmers were clearing land, is because six billion people, through the price mechanism, are telling farmers that they want that land used to produce food.

How disgraceful, and how disgusting, that rich Australians are forcibly shutting down food production on a massive scale at a time when millions of the poorest people are facing food shortages. The ecologists have morphed into social Darwinians, advocating the stronger using force and threats to arbitrarily violate and steal from the weaker. They think it goes without saying that they should not suffer the shortage they are imposing on others.

Of course the ordinary peasants must pay if they want land to be used to satisfy their want for food, but the intellectuals shouldn’t have to pay if they want land to be used to satisfy their own less urgent want for ‘biodiversity’, for which they refuse to pay voluntarily. So Peter Spencer, and thousands of Aussie farmers, have been expropriated of their livelihoods, in breach of the Constitution, to stop their land from producing food, causing people in the poorest countries to sacrifice their lives so Australia’s spoilt environmentalists will not have to sacrifice the slightest luxury!

All of a sudden all their protestations about equality and social justice go out the window, and we are back to the age of feudal privilege, and a pampered and self-absorbed elite of parasites feeding on the productive class, with a political philosophy dangerously close to divine right of kings.


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