Greece: No denouement, just more misery on the way

Don Hank

The news of Greece’s poll results, widely construed as a decision not to immediately exit the euro, is all over the foreign cable news programs, and Brussels is shouting for joy. They fail to see what’s coming! The markets responded favorably for a little over an hour, than plunged again when people woke up to reality: Endless bailouts for Greece until Germany and the others go bust.

To give you some perspective, here are some figures on the contributions of the various member countries to the EU, and hence to the bailouts:

http://www.redicecreations.com/article.php?id=7925

Briefly, at the time of that report, Belgium’s Flanders paid top euro per capita, 282.6 euros per Flemish person, for a total of 1 billion 780 thousand euros.

But it is widely believed that Belgium will soon need a bailout of its own. That’s a double whammy for the EU. Not only would it lose the net contribution from Belgium but it would also have to take more from the remaining countries that are just barely above water to pay the Belgians. A net loss instead of the current net contribution.

Italy contributed 2 billion 938 million at the time of that writing, or about 49.7 euros per capita.

But Italy will eventually need a bailout, despite the phony optimism of Super Mario Monti.

That is another loss of a contributor, which becomes a net liability for the EU.

Spain will also need another bailout, and so will Greece.

And the more needy countries line up at the trough and stop being net contributors, the harder it will be for those few economically sound nations to pull their weight. Further, Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the German powerhouse, is demanding — and will eventually get — full-scale “green” energy to replace all of the traditional cheap nuclear and fossil fuel plants that have so far made Germany the no. 2 exporter in the world. Once this transformation is complete, Germany too will line up at the trough, but the trough will be empty by then.

It may seem as if the EU has spun out of control. But the founders of the EU were men imbued with the socialist vision. Their idea from the start was that the rich nations should pull the weight of the poor, ignoring the vast difference in work ethic between them that drives some to work while others consume the fruits of their labor. This is socialism in drag, since in traditional socialism, there is roughly a wealth transfer of rich individuals to poor individuals, while in the more sophisticated version, the transfer is from rich nations to poor nations. You’d think Europe would have noticed, after all these years of being duped, that the EU is just a sophisticated version of the Soviet Union, but it is as if someone had taped their eyes shut. As time goes on it becomes increasingly clear that this transfer was never intended to be temporary. It has been a de facto systemic state of wealth transfer, always propped up with a new crisis and hence a new pretext to prolong the outright daylight robbery.

Thus, as long as the EU’s power masters can continue to strike fear in the hearts of the serfs who do their bidding, they will continue to steal the wealth of the rich nations, whose workers work longer hours with less pay, and send it to the “poor” nations, whose workers work less, retire earlier and demand — and get — more of everything. Meanwhile, the only win-win group is the bankers. Italy, for example, recently paid a handsome 7% for its credit. Good money for folks who sit like vultures at a carrion feast.

Socialism hasn’t changed one iota in its gross unfairness to the productive. But it has changed its guise and has trained its propaganda machines full tilt against the working men and women of nations unfortunate enough to be “rich,” warning that if their plan is not followed, there will be chaos, tanks in the streets, starvation, rioting, war, etc. So keep your noses to the grindstone. Arbeit macht frei.

Yet, these dread social phenomena are precisely what the EU and its policies are leading to. But they are the unintended consequences, and as stealthy and crafty as the EU power masters are, they have no good moves left for this end game, because the final outcome belongs to God, not to them.

Just as the populace didn’t see their machinations, the power masters didn’t see Him at work.

Don Hank

Breakthrough study suggests not smoking pot or drinking alcohol correlated with better college grades

by Don Hank

 No, actually no such study has made headlines lately. But there is a new study on pot that mediocre students will love.

According to UAB News, Associate professor Stefan Kertesz of the University of Alabama has discovered, in a longitudinal study of over 5000 marijuana smokers aged 18-30 years, that “marijuana smoke is not as damaging to lungs as cigarette smoke.” In fact, the research also supposedly showed that occasionally inhaling small amounts of the combustion products of this dried weed can even enhance lung capacity.

That will be good news for our sons and daughters struggling against the ignorance and superstition of our benighted generation in their efforts to supplement their alcohol intake this semester and do so without guilt.

But for me, after reading through the hype and comparing it with the actual abstract of the study, it looks like just another example of research methodology on campus used to achieve a desired result. I am not necessarily impugning the researcher as much as those who seized upon the report with enthusiasm and an uncanny display of uncritical thought. As I have shown here and here, the scientific method (that is, actually looking at data objectively for the sole purpose of finding out the truth, no matter what that may be) has long been out of favor with the media. But as evidenced by the “Climategate” scandal at the University of East Anglia, it is none too popular even among a surprising percentage of scientists.

With this realization in mind, and also having read, translated and published (here, for example) a report by Portuguese doctors debunking that government’s study fueling a Cato report “demonstrating” that drug decriminalization “works,” and further, having had a pot-smoking friend – who did not use tobacco – die of lung cancer, I immediately smelled a rat.

Now, let me tell you a little about the profession of foreign language translation, which I have plied successfully full-time for over 40 years. In that time, I have translated medical and scientific texts for about 200 clients, including the American Cancer Society (translating reports from various countries in Europe on smoking and its effects in the induction of cancer, emphysema, “smoker’s leg” and other maladies) and a fair number of drug companies (series of reports on assorted drugs). One of my clients was also the NIH (National Institutes of Health). If you guessed that that agency’s assignments were predominantly medical in nature, you are correct. For a few years of my career, reports on medical studies were the main topic. Caution: I cannot operate on your brain or prescribe liver pills for you. But I will tell you with full confidence: I know the methodology of medical studies. And I know when a research report is pulling my leg.

I can tell you with all sincerity that the media reports on Stefan Kertesz’ studies on marijuana are misleading, and that is being overly generous. Sadly, the report on these studies in UAB News, a publication generally touting successes of persons affiliated with the University of Alabama, is also misleading to say the least. (Which is not necessarily to say that the researcher himself is at fault in this regard).

The headline proclaims: “Marijuana Smoke not as Damaging to Lungs as Cigarette Smoke.” Now, did you immediately assume that the study shows equal amounts of marijuana smoke to be less damaging than equal amounts of tobacco smoke?

I did. Well, I didn’t, but I would have if I had trusted such studies on illegal drugs since I read the Cato report and its thorough rebuttal by the Portuguese MDs who have studied the issue hands-on and met the actual patients (drug users). I have yet to see such a pro-drug study that is not a wide-eyed attempt to justify a bad habit generally endorsed by libertarians and political leftists – who righteously declare drug use of any kind to be a human right that is trampled by most governments generally recognized as legitimate (they think banning anything they like to do is unconstitutional).

So I decided to get a scientific report on the study. Not being a member of AMA, I am not privileged to download articles from JAMA.

However, I was able to obtain for free an abstract of the study from their site.

And lo and behold, what did I find that did not surprise me in the least?

It seems the author has come up with a creative new concept for measuring marijuana smoke exposure. He calls it the “joint year,” and he defines a joint year as 365 joints or filled pipe bowls. He calls this a “moderately high use level.”

Now, of course, in the course of his study, Kertesz no doubt encountered a few subjects who smoked more than these 365 joints per year. But you can see from this definition of a “joint year” that the assumption was for many subjects to have smoked about one joint a day, give or take a few.

One media report quoted the Associated Press as saying that the study:

“…has concluded that smoking cannabis once a week or even more does not harm the lungs.”

The term “even more” is not defined and is therefore meaningless, except as propaganda. But aside from that, if only smoking cannabis once a week is to be compared with what smokers ordinarily do, then the conclusion trumpeted in UAB News (“marijuana smoke is not as damaging to lungs as cigarette smoke”) does not fly. (Most cigarette smokers smoke more than one cigarette a day. You probably knew that).

Of course, there is an outside chance that Kertesz actually did compare the results of smoking 1 joint a day for year-long periods with the results of smoking 1 cigarette a day for year-long periods, but I found no evidence of that. And I can’t imagine where he would have gotten those one-a-day smokers as test subjects.

But here is the most serious flaw in the report that cannabis is less harmful than cigarette smoke: What do we fear most about smoking? Why, cancer, right? Now, the most convincing studies done by cancer researchers are longitudinal studies done on people over a period long enough to induce cancer. Most are seniors when they are stricken–not in the range of 18-30 as used in the Alabama study. In the papers I translated from the Cancer Society, the most feared carcinogen (cancer causing agent) in cigarette smoke was always said to be benzo(a)pyrene.  Mice whose shaved backs were painted with the stuff got cancer. So if marijuana smoke contains benzo(a)pyrene, then it is carcinogenic, right? Well, to find out, I did a search. One of the sites I brought up was run by people who liked to experiment with drugs. It showed a study by the Institute of Medicine and Health.

It showed results of a chemical analysis of cigarette and marijuana smokes. You’ll never guess which smoke contained the most benzo(a)pyrene.

No, not cigarette smoke, which prompted the government to sue the cigarette industry for billions. It was the smoke that Bill Clinton said he never inhaled. Here are the results:

benzo(a)pyrene

marijuana: 31 ng

tobacco: 22 ng

Gee, marijuana contains about a third more of the chief carcinogen than cigarettes and our University of Alabama news letter declares marijuana smoke to the “less damaging.”

I predict that sometime in the not-too-distant future, after all this hype about the harmlessness of marijuana has taken its toll, persuading legions of gullible young people to indulge in this “safe” habit, someone in medical science with high powers of observation and the courage to swim upstream will do a study on marijuana smokers and cancer and discover that the older heavier users are getting lung cancer right and left. 

At any rate, I will not be advising either of my kids to smoke a joint a day while in college. However, I may tell them to study as hard as they can in a down economy when an alarmingly high percentage of graduates are failing to find jobs in their professions and are saddled for years with college loan payments.

You’d think some researcher somewhere would find the time to study the correlation between not smoking anything at all and not drinking alcohol on student grade levels and chances of graduating from college, as contrasted with a control group of students who indulge in these practices.

I won’t hold my breath for such a breakthrough study. Nor will I expect much improvement in the academic performance of US students over the next few years. At least not judging by their role models on campus.

You can contact Dr. Stefan Kertesz, the author of the Alabama pot report and encourage him to do a study among elderly persons who have smoked pot most of their lives. Tell him you would expect to see a strong correlation between lung cancer and heavy pot use:

skertesz@uab.edu

And you can contact the writer of the above mentioned article on marijuana at U. of Alabama and let her know your thoughts (or send her a link to this article):

jpark@uab.edu

 

If you like my stuff on here, you may want to be added to my regular list receiving my unpublished commentary and reader responses thereto, which goes out once or several times a day. If so, just email me at: zoilandon@msn.com

 

I told you so, again

Obama’s Libya:

I don’t mind one bit saying “I told you so” to all those — particularly journalists — who ignored my objective, fact-supported arguments against Western military and foreign policy in the Middle East and wound up with egg on their face as a result. (I have been trying to revive the nearly-lost scientific method and apply it to journalism, which has become nothing but a series of propaganda mills. So far, there seem to be no takers).

Obama and NATO must bear the responsibility for the fall of Kaddafi, and I have warned that this fall of a stable secular Middle Eastern leader will come back to bite the West hard in the butt.

Now Fox News and others are finally cautiously discussing the fact that the rebels are an unknown quantity and may not be as benign as they were portrayed back when they seemed to have much less chance of winning. Last night it was pointed out by Sean Hannity and Oliver North that they are a mix of tribal representatives and terrorists and their new proposed constitution already calls for sharia law, in stark contrast to Kadaffi’s secular constitution (miss him yet?).

Most telling was the remark: “Obama owns Libya.”

In case you have forgotten our direct military involvement in Libya, in addition to Obama’s repeated calls for Kadaffi (sp Gadhaffi in the linked article) to step down, here is the report on the joint French-American Operation Odyssey Dawn the day after it happened:

http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x617854948/France-U-S-bomb-Libyan-positions

 Back in March, I found no mainstream commentators on the left or right criticizing the West’s role in this operation or in Egypt. In fact, there has been a steady stream of “conservative” criticism against Obama for not going after Kadaffi more resolutely. (The clueless candidates — most recently Bachmann — mostly followed their clueless lead, bleating similar statements). Generally, there is a dearth of substantive criticism of any Western military involvement by left or right, no doubt for political or career reasons (many fear appearing unpatriotic, even though honest and objective commentary would ultimately save Western lives and Western embarrassment), but also due to a serious shortage of brain power. Now that a Marxist is in the White House, mainstream conservatives are finally criticizing our involvement in a Middle East conflict, but mainly because they can pin the fallout on the Left. But none of them mentioned that the regimes in post-Carter Iran, post-Clinton Kosovo, post-Bush Iraq, post-rebellion Egypt and the Ivory Coast, once ruled by secularists, are now in the hands of democratically elected Islamist leaders or mobs who openly persecute and murder Christians wholesale  (see, for example, the 4th link below on the Ivory Coast massacre of Christians presided over by the UN) and do not believe in Israel’s right to exist. (A nation that allows Muslims to live within its boundaries, whereas Muslim nations typically forbid Israelis — or often any Jews — even to visit. How fair and democratic is that?).

By contrast, I (who have nothing to lose, am not being paid for this and answer to no one) was warning repeatedly about the error in our involvement in the Middle East, not just by Democrat presidents, notably Obama, but also by Republicans (BTW, Reagan, who pulled us out of Lebanon, was an exception), and pointing out then-unheeded facts to state my case, reminding, for example, that the local Christian populations were always the ones who paid the biggest price when a stable secular leader was replaced by a mob, which eventually, inevitably, turned into an Islamic-led government with significantly less freedom for the people than under the “cruel dictators” we replaced — as well as vastly less diversity, which, oddly, Western powers prize in their countries. Israel, of course, came closer to the brink of war with each successive “win” and Iran was given a permanent pass by the West, as though these merciless enforcers of brutal Sharia law, who execute countless people for sexual misdeeds and inappropriate clothing, were lily-white defenders of human rights (as we speak, there are 2 Americans jailed in Iran for “spying,” on flimsy evidence). I sent links to each of my articles on this subject to thousands of potential readers, including major news outlets, inclucing to all Fox News personalities. News people typically do not respond, but judging by last night’s commentary by Sean, perhaps they had read some of what I said here:

http://laiglesforum.com/my-government-is-killing-me/2159.htm

here

http://laiglesforum.com/spare-me-the-crocodile-tears-when-northern-africa-explodes/2215.htm

here

http://laiglesforum.com/how-western-powers-abet-christian-persecution/2513.htm

here

http://laiglesforum.com/us-media-cover-up-ivory-coast-massacre-details/2398.htm

here

http://laiglesforum.com/why-i-am-not-on-our-side-any-more/2174.htm

here

http://laiglesforum.com/the-far-left-connection-to-the-near-east-rebellion/2224.htm

and here

http://laiglesforum.com/2286/2286.htm

 

Olavo de Carvalho also warned you here:

http://laiglesforum.com/strengthening-the-enemies/2126.htm

Look, I don’t mind people calling me crazy. But you journalists who lead the Western world by providing information to decision makers, should know by now that, in the long run, ignoring warnings about the West’s disastrous involvement in the Middle East is going to hurt you a whole lot more than it does the warning party.

Don Hank

 

Is the fake birth certificate REALLY my fault?

It’s all my fault the birth certificate is fake. At least that’s what my critics apparently think.

by Don Hank

Yesterday I told my friends to hold off on sending me emails because I have a big project to deal with. But as usual, something gigantic happened in the news: Obama revealed his “birth certificate,” which was quickly debunked as a fake by computer graphics experts. I sent out alerts to my usual list to a very short piece I wrote showing incontrovertible evidence that the new “birth certificate” touted by Obama on the White House site is fake. The article included a video made and narrated by an expert on computer graphics who showed why it is fake. It was disarmingly easy to understand. Nothing very technical.

Then for those die-hards who don’t believe anything unless it has the Mainstream Media or White House seal of approval on it, I included a simple test that people can use to convince themselves.

I actually did hear from some of the brighter stars on my correspondence list how they too suspected the doc was a fake and they agreed with me.

But I got a surprisingly large number of complaints that this whole thing had gone too far and it was obvious I was to blame for dragging America away from the implementation of Obama’s utopian agenda. In addition, many complained it was simply too technical for them to grasp. They could hear the words but they couldn’t comprehend them.

The message was clear: people were tired of this game and they wanted to talk about more substantive issues.

But wait. Wasn’t that the Democrat argument?

If you had just perpetrated a gigantic hoax on the US public, wouldn’t you want to divert attention away from it by telling them it was not important and that America has better things to do than to worry about whether the president of the United States is actually qualified to hold that office and whether he was perpetrating childish hoaxes by photo-shopping an obviously fake birth certificate?

Let me point out the obvious, again.

Obama’s latest caper is so childish, so sophomoric, so lacking in brains and so obviously a hoax that even a child can see through it, and if that isn’t some of the biggest news of the century, then I can’t imagine what is.

In political terms, this means that if the same people who put so much energy into the “where’s the birth certificate” campaign were to hold out just a little longer, the usurper would be so discredited only a tiny handful would vote for him in 2012. After all, who wants a president who is obviously misleading them, and bankrupting their country to boot?

But America blinked, and that blink was tantamount to Washington giving up at the signing of the peace treaty with England.

Imagine if George Washington had gone to the signing, pen in hand, ready to accept England’s capitulation, and after drinking a glass of champagne with his troops, tossed his official copy of the Treaty of Paris into the waste can and said, “ah, ya know what? It’s time to put this whole thing behind us and start a new chapter. Tell King George he can keep ruling us. I just need to rest.”

“But Sir, many of us sacrificed our lives and fortunes to defeat this tyrant…”

“My good man, we have more important things to do than to insult the King.”

“But we thought you agreed that he was a tyr…”

“Enough! There are much more important things to do than to accuse poor King George of ruling us unfairly. Why, there’s new taxes to be levied and a government to be set up.”

“Taxes to be levied? But by whom, Sir?”

“By the King, who else would be qualified to levy them? Someone must pay for the costs of this dreadful war and raising taxes is the best way.”

“But Sir, with all due respect, we don’t think the King has any authority over Americans any more now that we have won the war.”

“Well, I will soon be the King’s governor and I will decide whether he has authority over us.”

Some ending, huh?

Yet Obama, who has declared war on the American way of life, on our freedoms and our values in so many ways, has just handed us a clear unmitigated victory — by uploaing an obviously fake photo-shopped birth certificate onto the White House site — and we are doing precisely what my fictitious Washington did, ceding victory to the enemy, pretending that he is worthy to lead us. For the first time, in a long and arduous battle, we have just glimpsed victory — an obvious hoax perpetrated by the putative president of the US — and instead of seizing the day and declaring it for what it is, we have absurdly thrown in the towel to the obvious loser!  And the theoretical George Washington in my story is the GOP and the RINO lineup we face in 2012, all of whom have aided and abetted him in this sordid affair.

But you know, winners don’t behave like these fair-weather patriots. My kids tell me that accomplished musicians put in sometimes 10 hours a day practicing.

Can you imagine a talented singing star practicing for years and dreaming of making the big time, and then a week before the big stage appearance in the already sold-out concert guaranteed to make his career, suddenly saying, “ya know, I need a week off. I’m tired of all this practice, practice, practice. The h— with it! Let someone else take my place.”

That is America today.

After all the lies about the birth certificate, the fake document foisted on a gullible public, the insults to our intelligence, instead of blaming the architect of all this misery, gullible ADD suffering Americans turn on the ones who see the emperor is naked. These tag-alongs don’t really care who rules them or whether we have a Republic or not. They just wanted to keep up the appearance of being patriots who care about their country — when it’s convenient.

I know I am addressing a dwindling audience of the faithful here, and you are the precious few who won’t give up because you know what is at stake and how important the truth is — not the contrived, fabricated truth of the media and Ruling Class, but the absolute, objective truth, the truth we get at by using the only known method for accessing truth: the scientific method of inquiry and unbiased examination of the data, which we scrapped a while back in favor of consensus (post-modernism) — the uninformed public now decides, based on what they’ve been told by the Ruling Class. We traded our birthright for a facile truth, which is synonymous with lie, and we’re ok with that.

But be forewarned: if America can’t earn her birthright — her right to freedom — then she most certainly doesn’t deserve it.

As for the rest, I don’t know about you, but I see victory dead ahead, and if you don’t want to pick yourself up and claim it, well, tell ya what: Uncork yourself another brew and sit yourself down to another exciting episode of American Idol (woopie!). You may not have a job tomorrow, but who cares? We working stiffs will carry you.

Meanwhile, my friends and I – diehards who just can’t seem to say goodbye to the American experiment and hello to the USSA — will carry you to the goal post and we will still win this war.

Because real Americans don’t give up.

PS: I have had this theory since first seeing the new botched BC construct. What if a person who has been screwed by Obama offered as a “friend” to make a perfect birth certificate using a BC from Hawaii dating to around that same time. He starts with a doc signed by a doc of that hospital and uses just the signature and a few other little items. But this guy is not a true friend of Obama’s, just a prankster who likes mischief (all leftists do), and he decides to stick it to his “friend” and design it so that the doc downloaded from the internet comes apart in layers. I am sorry, but I have trouble believing this was not on purpose, and I also can’t believe Obama made it look this suspicious just to stick his finger in our eye.

There is something else going on here! Watch for it.

PPSS: One of the commenters said that “the pattern is too seamless.” I finally understand what they meant. If you look at the left hand part of the document that seems to be bent inward, as though cut away but yet somehow maintaining continuity with the text field (as if this were possible! — looks like a trompe l’oeuil painting), you see that the green print pattern does not follow the contour of the bent-away portion. Absurdly, it just goes straight across. Apparently the WH made some sort of lame excuse for all this tampering and the layering, and the apparent use of character recognition software, but that is all the more evidence that it is not a true copy. BTW, an old doc on good paper in a book does not fade appreciably because the pages are not exposed to the air and hence do not oxidize or chemically degrade appreciably. And if the characters were hard to recognize, the character recognition s/w would not recognized them better than the human eye, so there would seem to be no sensible reason for using it.

ANOTHER SITE ANALYZING THE BC:

http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?singlepost=2527481

JUST IN. THIS IS THE MOST COMPLETE DEBUNKING OF THE “BC” THAT I HAVE SEEN:

http://tomkovach.us/CB-4v1/2011/04/709/