Friday, November 30, 2012

British girl faces deportation because her family came to the United States legally

Obama only wants to help the children of illegal Hispanic immigrants not the offspring of legal white ones.

Race and illegitimacy: There is a 78% illegitimacy rate among African-Americans

There is a 58% illegitimacy rate among Hispanic-Americans, while Asian-Americans have a 31% illegitimacy rate compared to 30% for white Americans.

The median net worth of American households has dropped to a 43-year low as the lower and middle classes appear poorer and less stable than they have been since 1969

According to a study by New York University economics professor Edward N. Wolff, median net worth is at the decades-low figure of $57,000 (in 2010 dollars). And as the numbers in his study reflect, the situation only appears worse when all the statistics are taken as a whole. According to Wolff, between 1983 and 2010, the percentage of households with less than $10,000 in assets (using constant 1995 dollars) rose from 29.7% to 37.1%. The “less than $10,000″ figure includes the numerous households that have no assets at all, or “negative assets,” which is otherwise known as “debt.” Fully 85% of self-described middle-class adults say that it is more difficult now than it was a decade ago for middle-class people to maintain their standard of living. “This downbeat take on their economic situation comes at the end of a decade in which, for the first time since the end of World War II, mean family incomes declined for Americans in all income tiers,” the Pew Report stated. “But the middle-income tier — defined in this Pew Research analysis as all adults whose annual household income is two-thirds to double the national median — is the only one that also shrunk in size, a trend that has continued over the past four decades.” Wolff’s focus on total wealth not only measures how much money a household brings in, but also the amount it accumulates. This latter number is very significant — economically secure households are generally more comfortable spending their disposable income, and are less likely to become a drag on the social safety net.

A black Democratic representative is calling for an amendment to the United States Constitution that would allow for some legislative restriction of freedom of speech

“We need a constitutional amendment that would allow the legislature to control the so-called free speech rights of corporations,” Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) was quoted as saying by CNS News. Of course, such an amendment would likely be used to outlaw any speech that the left considered racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and sexist.

A black man and woman are being indicted for distributing snuff films online in which puppies and other animals were tortured and killed, federal officials said

Federal authorities say that the African-American pair made eight videos — bearing titles like puppy 1, whitechick and crushblackluvsample — that depicted puppies, chickens, kittens and other animals being tortured and killed. The indictment of Brent Justice, 51, and Ashely Richards, 22, comes three months after they faced similar state allegations in Texas for producing and distributing the graphic movies, referred to as “crush” videos. The two remain in a Houston jail on the state charges and are set to appear in a Texas federal court in December 2012 to answer to the new charges. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said that it forwarded to the authorities footage that showed Richards “cutting the leg and slashing the neck and throat of a puppy before beheading the struggling animal with a meat cleaver.” Under federal law, a crush video is one in which any living non-human mammal, bird, reptile, or amphibian is “intentionally crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury.” The two face seven federal charges, each of which carries a maximum five-year prison term. The two were being charged in a local Houston court until the federal indictment was unsealed, the authorities said. In August 2012, a Harris County magistrate suspended reading of the allegations “because they were too gruesome.” The state court case accused them of using high-heeled shoes, knives, meat cleavers, pliers and screwdrivers to torture and kill animals, which included mice, lobsters and other animals. The federal indictment alleges that they produced the films “with the objective of earning a profit.”

A new Gallup poll shows that 54% of Americans think that it is not the federal government’s responsibility to ensure all citizens have health care coverage

This is the first time Gallup trends have shown a majority of Americans holding this opinion since 2000, according to Gallup’s Jeffrey Jones. From 2000 until around the time Barack Obama was elected, polls showed an easy majority of Americans supported government-ensured health care. In most years during that time frame, more than 60% of Americans thought the government should make sure everyone had health care. “The shift away from the view that the government should ensure health care coverage for all began shortly after President Barack Obama’s election and has continued the past several years during the discussions and ultimate passage of the Affordable Care Act in March 2010,” Jones wrote. “Republicans, including Republican-leaning independents, are mostly responsible for the drop since 2007 in Americans’ support for government ensuring universal health coverage,” Jones continued. “In 2007, 38% of Republicans thought the government should do so; now, 12% do. Among Democrats and Democratic leaners there has been a much smaller drop, from 81% saying the government should make sure all Americans are covered in 2007 to 71% now.” The White House and Obama administration remain set on implementing Obamacare and some House Republicans have said that they’re giving up the fight until a Republican is elected president in the future.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

In 2010, immigrants represented about 13% of the U.S. population while foreign-born mothers accounted for 23% of all births

Foreign-born mothers give birth to a disproportionate share of the country’s babies. Population projections indicate that immigrants who arrived since 2005 and their descendants will account for 82% of U.S. population growth by 2050.

Witchcraft and Islam in the African nation of Gambia

The story of Gambia's darker side begins on the other side of the sleepy capital, Banjul, where a few miles from the luxury beach resorts, there is the rather more spartan accommodation of the "Mile 2 Hotel". The nickname for the notorious Mile 2 prison, its mosquito-plagued cells are a likely destination for critics of Yahya Jammeh, Gambia's eccentric faith healer-turned-president. A modern-day version of Papa Doc Duvalier, the late voodoo-practicing dictator of Haiti, Jammeh has a reputation for jailing anyone who says things that he doesn't like. Such as questioning, for example, his declaration in 2011 that he would rule for "a billion years" if necessary, or his claim in 2007 to have invented a herbal HIV cure. Yet while some inmates of Mile 2 have languished for years without trial, others recently had their cases resolved with abrupt finality. In August 2012, with little warning or chance for legal appeal, the president suspended a 27-year moratorium on the death penalty and executed nine prisoners by firing squad, lashing out at foreign governments who begged him to show mercy. Amid international outcry he suspended future executions, and another 37 inmates remain on death row. But he remains unrepentant. "Allah entrusted this position to Yahya Jammeh, and anybody who is averse to the decree of Allah can bite their nose," snarled a spokesman for the president, whose worldview - as much as anyone can make out - is a bizarre fusion of traditional African beliefs and mainstream Gambian Islam. In 2009, more than 1,000 "sorcerers" were rounded up at gunpoint by the president's "Green Beret" special guards and forced to drink hallucinogenic potions to "exorcise" them. "They came with some mystics of their own, who sacrificed a goat and a chicken in our cemetery," said an elder in Jambur, a bush hamlet outside Banjul, where goats peck the red dirt and vultures soar above the mango trees. "They rounded up people up at random, saying 'you are ill', you must come with us'. At one point I issued a call through the mosque tower, saying: 'Allah, help repel us, because Satan is here,' but it did no good." Mixing a handful of weeds in a bowl of water, he demonstrated what happened next. "They took about 50 of us to a house and forced us drink a liquid with plants in it. It didn't affect me, but many reacted terribly, hallucinating, talking in tongues and wetting themselves. They let us go a day later, but some have not been the same to this day." Like the executions, the reasons for the witch hunt remain shrouded in mystery, although Amnesty International, which documented it in detail, cites claims that it was retribution for the death of one of the President's aunts, allegedly from witchcraft. Jammeh has acquired all the traits of an old-school African "Big Man". Vast posters of him stare out even on the tourist strip, and he lives in a heavily-guarded presidential palace, where he keeps a fleet of luxury cars including a customized Hummer stretch limousine. His official convoy, a 30-strong caravan of SUVs guarded by pick-up trucks with anti-aircraft guns, will run anyone off the road that gets in their way - foreign diplomats included. Several newspapers have been shut down for covering the row over the executions, while megaphones have been made illegal to stop them being used in anti-government protests.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The human genome has been busy over the past 5,000 years

A study now helps to clarify when many of rare genetic variants arose. Researchers used deep sequencing to locate and date more than one million single-nucleotide variants — locations where a single letter of the DNA sequence is different from other individuals — in the genomes of 6,500 African and European Americans. Their findings confirm earlier work suggesting that the majority of variants were picked up during the past 5,000 – 10,000 years. Researchers also saw the genetic stamp of the diverging migratory history of the two groups. The large sample size — 4,298 North Americans of European descent and 2,217 African Americans — has enabled the researchers to mine down into the human genome. The researchers were able to dig out genetic variants occurring in less than 0.1% of the sample population — a resolution that is a full order of magnitude finer than that achieved in previous studies. Of 1.15 million single-nucleotide variants found among more than 15,000 protein-encoding genes, 73% arose in the past 5,000 years.

Extramarital mating is common in some cultures - including in central Africa and South America - but not in the United States or other Western societies where infidelity is less common by comparison

Rates of infidelity can influence whether a man invests more in his wife's children or those of his sisters.

A 17-year-old girl has taken the stand in the sexual abuse trial of a respected ultra-Orthodox Jewish counselor, putting a spotlight on an insular Brooklyn community that has historically avoided such prosecutions by keeping members quiet

In a packed courtroom filled almost entirely with her supporters, the teen testified during the second day in the trial of Nechemya Weberman, an unlicensed religious counselor in the Satmar Hasidic community, an ultra-Orthodox sect of Judaism. Weberman sexually abused the girl dozens of times in his Williamsburg home and office over a three-year span beginning when she was 12 years old. The girl isn't being identified because she is a victim of sexual abuse.

A New York City Orthodox Jew has been sentenced to at least six years in prison for swindling unsuspecting individuals out of more than $31 million through a Ponzi scheme

Joseph Greenblatt, described by one of his victims as a “financial predator and a genetic sociopath," was sentenced to six to 18 years in state prison in exchange for submitting a guilty plea to the charge of defrauding dozens of investors in his Paramus, New Jersey-based real estate investment company, Maywood Capital Corp. Greenblatt was also ordered to pay in excess of $23 million in restitution to the victims of his scheme, an amount equivalent to the total funds that were invested through him, excluding money that has been recouped from asset sales in an ongoing bankruptcy court case.

The woman mayor who was kidnapped and murdered by a Mexican drug gang pleaded with her attackers for her young daughter’s life

Maria Santos Gorrostieta, who had already survived two assassination attempts, was driving the child to school when she was ambushed by a car in the city of Morelia. The 36-year-old was hauled from her vehicle and physically assaulted as horrified witnesses watched. They described how she begged for her child to be left alone and then appeared to get into her abductors’ car willingly. The little girl was left wailing as her mother was driven away. For the next week, her frantic family waited by the phone for a ransom call that never came. Gorrostieta’s body – stabbed, burned, battered and bound at wrist and ankle – would finally be found eight days on dumped by a roadside in San Juan Tararameo, Cuitzeo Township. She left behind her daughter and two sons as well as her second husband Nereo Delgado Patinoran. Hailed as a heroine of the 21st century, her death has prompted much soul-searching in a country ravaged by violence.

Seven Coptic Egyptians living abroad have been sentenced to death by a court in Cairo for their connection to a film that Muslims found offensive, the prosecutor's office said

The suspects are accused of being involved with the production of the film in California, said Adel Al Saeed, official spokesman for the prosecutor's office. Since the Egyptian citizens were tried in absentia, the sentence would be applied only if they returned to Egypt. Protests against the "Innocence of Muslims" film erupted in September 2012 in many Muslim countries, including Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Morocco, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Israel and the Palestinian territories. The film portrays the Islamic Prophet Mohammed as a womanizer, buffoon, ruthless killer and child molester. Islam categorically forbids any depictions of Mohammed, and blasphemy is an incendiary taboo in the Muslim world. The film sparked outrage after an Arabic translation of the film's trailer was released online a few weeks before the anniversary of September 11. In Cairo, some protesters scaled the wall of the U.S. Embassy and tore down its American flag, replacing it with a black flag adorned with an emblem used by Islamic radicals. Police and army personnel had to be deployed to prevent demonstrators from advancing on the compound. The film was also initially implicated in a violent demonstration in Libya that left the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans dead on September 11, 2012. Recently, the Egyptian-American man behind the film was sentenced in California to one year in federal prison after admitting to violating the terms of his probation from a 2010 bank fraud case. The amateur filmmaker, Mark Basseley Youssef, also was ordered to serve four years of supervised release after his prison term. He was identified in initial news accounts in September 2012 as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the name used in the bank fraud case.

A Mexican beauty queen killed in a shootout between suspected drug traffickers and soldiers likely was being used as a human shield, a federal official says

Maria Susana Flores Gamez, crowned 2012 Woman of Sinaloa in February 2012, came out of the car first with a gun in her hands during the confrontation, with the other gunmen hiding behind her, according to the official from the attorney general's office. Investigators are still trying to determine if the 20-year-old fired the gun that she was holding. A military report said that she went down in a hail of gunfire. She was found dead near an assault rifle along with two others; two members of the gang have been detained. Hers is at least the fourth documented case of a beauty queen or contestant becoming involved with Mexican drug traffickers, the theme of the critically acclaimed 2011 movie Miss Bala, or Miss Bullet, Mexico's official Best Foreign Language Film submission to the Academy Awards.

Almost two-thirds of the country’s million-pound earners disappeared from Britain after the introduction of the 50% top rate of tax

In the 2009-10 tax year, more than 16,000 people declared an annual income of more than £1 million to HM Revenue and Customs. This number fell to just 6,000 after Gordon Brown introduced the new 50% top rate of income tax shortly before the last general election. It is believed that rich Britons moved abroad or took steps to avoid paying the new levy by reducing their taxable income.

Demographics and the Chicago public school system: Only 8% of the more than 400,000 K-12 students are white while 41% are black and 44% are Hispanic

Demographics have made Chicago into a one-party (Democrat) city-state, where the dwindling percentages of white people are tasked with providing the tax revenue. Meanwhile, the city’s financial situation is so dire that it has been forced to borrow money to pay for a lawsuit over black residents’ inability to pass a firefighter exam. And a judge has ordered the Chicago Fire Department to hire 111 black firefighters in recompense for their inability to pass a firefighter test. Chicago offers a terrifying glimpse of the future — an increasingly multicultural America where white conservative voters are increasingly marginalized and preyed upon.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The number of new HIV cases in the United States has leveled off at about 50,000 a year, but one important group is defying the trend: those ages 13 to 24

The CDC says that about 1,000 new infections a month occur in the age group, and most of those infected (60%) have no idea. Young black men are driving the increase, accounting for 45% of the new cases. Most infections occur in men having sex with other men.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Genes specific to the X chromosome are among newly identified genes linked to rheumatoid arthritis and could help explain why women are more likely than men to develop the disease

Women have two X chromosomes while men have an X and a Y chromosome. The X-chromosome-specific genes were among 14 newly identified genes in both women and men that can lead to rheumatoid arthritis, adding to the 32 genes previously pinpointed by researchers. It is believed that these 46 genes account for the vast majority of genes associated with rheumatoid arthritis. The research could lead to new treatments for the disease.

A new study finds that female porn stars are more religious and have a higher self-esteem than other women

Porn actresses had higher levels of self-esteem, positive feelings, social support, sexual satisfaction, and spirituality compared to other women.

A report detailing the extent of child sexual exploitation in England is under fire for playing down the race of offenders

Despite making up only 6.9% of the population, Asian and South-East Asian men made up 27.4% of offenders, according to the report. Black men make up 2.3% of the population but 16.1% of offenders. By comparison, white men make up 91% of the population but only 35.9% of offenders. Asian offenders, many of whom are of Pakistani origin, seem much more likely to offend in groups than are white sex offenders.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Saturday, November 24, 2012

ObamaCare will keep unemployment high by forcing small companies to cut their workforce to fewer than 50 people

Under ObamaCare, employers with 50 or more full-time workers must provide health insurance for all their workers, paying at least 65% of the cost of a family policy or 85% of the cost of an individual plan. Moreover, the insurance must meet the federal government’s requirements in terms of what benefits are included, meaning that many businesses that offer insurance to their workers today will have to change to new, more expensive plans. ObamaCare’s rules make expansion expensive, particularly for the 500,000 US businesses that have fewer than 100 employees. Suppose that a firm with 49 employees does not provide health benefits. Hiring one more worker will trigger the mandate. The company would now have to provide insurance coverage to all 50 workers or pay a tax penalty. In New York, the average employer contribution for employer-provided insurance plans, runs from $4,567 for an individual to $12,748 for a family. Many companies will likely choose to pay the penalty instead, which is still expensive — $2,000 per worker multiplied by the entire workforce, after subtracting the statutory exemption for the first 30 workers. For a 50-person company, then, the tax would be $40,000, or $2,000 times 20. That might not seem like a lot, but for many small businesses that could be the difference between survival and failure.

A Hispanic police officer has been arrested for shoplifting on Black Friday

Jenny Mendez, 28, of the Midtown North Precinct has been charged with petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property after she shoplifted from a Midtown Manhattan store. The value of the stolen garments and location of the store was not released. Mendez has been suspended without pay.

The open borders Republicans are essentially saying that we can increase the number of Hispanic Republicans - by a fraction - by increasing the number of Democrats exponentially

Republicans unsuccessfully tried to trade amnesty (for at least 2 million illegals) for votes before, in 1986. The result was that Hispanic support for the GOP dropped from 37% in 1984 to 30% in the 1988 presidential election.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Swedish children are more likely than Americans to grow up with both parents in the household

Why the United States can't be like Sweden.

A black woman has been arrested after she attacked a man with a serving fork during Thanksgiving dinner

Several people were having dinner when an argument broke out. During the argument, 27-year-old African-American Shenika Allsup stabbed a man in the neck with a serving fork used to serve turkey. The man was transported to Anne Arundel Medical Center. Allsup was arrested and faces several assault charges.

An anti-poverty campaigner has become Kenya's first openly gay man to run for political office, but David Kuria Mbote faces a challenging path as he tries to dispel taboos in the black African nation in a race for a senate seat

If elected to the Kenyan senate, Mbote, 40, would be Africa's only openly homosexual black man to hold national office, according to the Kaleidoscope Trust, a non-profit organisation focusing on gay rights. But a cabinet minister warned of a revolt if Mbote were elected, a clear sign that attitudes towards the homosexual community in Kenya, reflected across much of Africa, remain vehemently anti-gay. "It's not a vote-getter," said Mbote, a prominent gay rights activist who is seeking a senate seat in Kiambu County, which neighbors the capital. "If anything, you say you hate gay people to get votes," he said. Homosexuality is illegal in most African countries and same-sex relationships are often seen as a Western fad and an affront to traditional African culture and moral values. Under Kenyan law, homosexual acts are punishable by up to 14 years in prison, but police say that they would have to catch someone in the act to prosecute successfully. When Uganda and Malawi tried to introduce tough anti-homosexuality laws, outraged Western donors threatened to cut aid, pitting them against fiery local politicians and African religious leaders. Neighboring Uganda is planning to pass an anti-gay law, criticized by gay rights groups for its draconian penalties, including life imprisonment in certain circumstances. But the threats have done little to influence mostly anti-gay attitudes in the highest levels of government. Kenyan Trade Minister Moses Wetangula has warned there would be a revolt if voters elected Mbote, saying that homosexuality "simply doesn't fly" in Kenya. An openly gay man should not "have an opportunity or privilege to lead a country that is founded on religious morality", Wetangula said in reference to Mbote, who is running as an independent candidate. A 2011 survey by the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) found that only 18% of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender Kenyans had revealed their sexual orientation to their families. Of these, 89% were subsequently disowned. Traders and shoppers at a food market filled with women in colorful aprons selling bananas, tomatoes and other goods in the town Kiambu just a short drive from the Kenyan capital of Nairobi said they were encouraged by Mbote's policies but that his lifestyle made him virtually unelectable. "We don't want a generation of gay people in our town," said 52-year old Anne Ngugi while shopping for spinach and peas. "His policies are okay but he has moral decay."

Hector "Macho" Camacho, the famed Puerto Rican boxer, is clinically brain dead

A gunman shot him in the face while he was seated in a black Ford Mustang in front of a bar in his hometown of Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Camacho, a former lightweight and junior lightweight champion, was in the passenger seat of the car, sitting next to a man who was shot twice and killed, police said. Camacho, 50, battled a series of legal issues stemming from drugs and other problems.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

African-American women have the highest risk of developing knee osteoarthritis (OA) and needing joint replacement surgery

The research, which looked at the lifetime risk of knee OA for different segments of society, also found that Hispanic women have higher rates than white women and than men of all races. Among people age 40 without existing arthritis, the highest lifetime risk of developing painful knee OA is in African-American women (17%) and the lowest was in whiten men (10%). By age 65, 11.3% of African-American women, 10.5% of Hispanic women and 10% of white women are expected to develop painful knee OA. Total knee replacement is expected to be needed in 6.8% of African-American women but in only 3.8% of Hispanic men. Much of the higher risk among African-American and Hispanic women is due to their higher rates being overweight or obese, a major risk factor for developing knee OA, particularly in women.

Research on babies suggests that racism is a natural part of humanity

Babies are biased against those who are unlike them.

Only 1 out of 6 whites has an IQ of 85 or less

In contrast, 1 out of 2 blacks has an IQ of 85 or less.

Are Hispanics really social conservatives?

Two-thirds of Hispanic voters said that abortion should be legal in most or all cases, compared with slightly more than half of white voters, according to exit poll results. Hispanics were also more liberal when it came to same-sex marriage, with 59% saying that it should be legal in their state, compared with 51% of blacks and 47% of white voters. Exit poll results also indicate that Hispanics are not necessarily racing to adopt the Republican platform of smaller government. Nearly 6 in 10 Hispanics said that Obama’s health care law should be expanded or left as is, compared to about a third of white voters. And 57% of Hispanics said that government should be doing more to solve the problems of individuals, compared to 36% of whites. Hispanics, like the rest of the electorate, were also in favor of raising income taxes in order to reduce the federal deficit. So for any Republicans crafting a strategy that focuses solely on Hispanic voters and immigration policy in order to win back the White House in 2016, they may want to re-examine the exit poll results from the 2012 election.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Scientists have found that the so called fat gene FTO is also a happy gene

FTO is the major genetic contributor to obesity. But it is also associated with an 8% reduction in the risk of depression. Researchers at McMaster University in Canada had been investigating whether there was a link between obesity and depression. But when they investigated the genetic and psychiatric status of patients enrolled in the EpiDREAM study, led by the Population Health Research Institute, they found that the opposite was true. The study analysed 17,200 DNA samples from participants in 21 countries. Results showed that those with the the previously identified FTO gene - the fat gene - showed significantly less signs of depression. The study finding was confirmed by analyzing the genetic status of patients in three additional international studies.

Central and Southern Africa have the worst adult mortality rates, with 377 in every 1,000 people who live to 15 years old dying before they reach 60

That compares with an average of 240 in every 1,000 across the tropics and 154 in every 1,000 for the rest of the world.

More Americans will use food stamps to buy their Thanksgiving dinner in 2012 than ever before

The Food Stamp Challenge, which challenges higher-income families to live as if they are on food stamps, estimates that a person on food stamps has a budget of about $1.25 per meal. In other words, a family on food stamps must buy an entire meal per person for less than the cost of an average cup of coffee. Usage of food stamps among low and no-income families has spiked since the collapse of the U.S. financial system four years ago. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, average participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamp program, has increased 70% since 2007. And economists have warned that usage of food stamps won't go down until unemployment improves. This Thanksgiving, 42.2 million Americans will be on food stamps, according to the Economic Policy Institute. This is roughly the size of the populations of California and Connecticut combined. Not surprisingly, feeding millions of Americans isn't cheap. The cost of the SNAP program last year reached $72 billion, the highest to date, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

One in four Hispanic-American men 25 to 55 is out of work

Half of all Hispanic households with children are headed by an unmarried woman, and 55% depend on welfare programs. These numbers do not improve with time, as was the case with other immigrants who poured into the United States between 1890 and 1920. Third-generation Hispanics, in fact, do worse than second-generation Hispanics.

African-American Kevin Clash has resigned as Elmo’s puppeteer, little more than a week following news of a sex scandal involving the longtime Sesame Street staple

Clash, 52, had been accused by a Pennsylvania man of having a sexual relationship when the man was 16. Later, he recanted, claiming that he was an adult at the time, and Sesame made plans for Clash to return to work. But now, a second man has accused Clash of initiating a relationship 20 years ago, when the man was 15, and has now sued him for $5 million, claiming that he had only recently become aware of “adverse psychological and emotional effects.” The coverage was too much for Sesame, which did not address the latest allegations in its statement. “Sesame Workshop’s mission is to harness the educational power of media to help all children the world over reach their highest potential,” the company said. “Kevin Clash has helped us achieve that mission for 28 years, and none of us, especially Kevin, want anything to divert our attention from our focus on serving as a leading educational organization. Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us want, and he has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned from Sesame Street. This is a sad day for Sesame Street.” In a statement, Clash said he had “a very heavy heart. I have loved every day of my 28 years working for this exceptional organization. Personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work Sesame Street is doing, and I cannot allow it to go on any longer. I am deeply sorry to be leaving and am looking forward to resolving these personal matters privately.” While the events threaten to tarnish the image of the children’s media company — and disrupt toy sales, analysts say — production of the preschool series has continued, and Elmo will be played by understudies trained by Clash.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Kenyan police force is consistently rated one of the most corrupt public institutions in East Africa

In Kenya, the police behave like violent criminals.

British-based Islamic radicals are preparing to announce a fatwa on Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old girl shot by the Pakistan Taliban, for her role in standing up to extremists

The story of Malala, who is recovering at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, has touched millions of people around the world since she was attacked by a gunman on her way home from school. She had dared to defy the Pakistan Taliban by promoting girls education and by documenting their abuses in a blog written in 2009. Hardliners plan to gather at the notorious Red Mosque in Islamabad to denounce her as an apostate, accusing her of turning her back on Islam. Anjem Choudary, who lives in East London and is one of the founders of al-Muhajiroun, which was banned in 2010, said that the conference would announce the fatwa. Apostasy carries the death sentence according to Islamic law.

According to a new census report, almost one-quarter, 23.5%, of all Californians are in poverty

One-third of all the nation's welfare recipients live in the state, despite the fact that California has only one-eighth of the country's population. That's four times as many as the next-highest welfare population, which is New York. Meanwhile, California eighth-graders finished ahead of only Mississippi and District of Columbia students on reading and math test scores in 2011. Middle-class families that want actual jobs, not welfare, are fleeing California in droves. According to IRS data compiled by the Manhattan Institute, since 2000, almost 2 million Americans have left California for other states. Their most popular destination: Texas. Not only does Texas (6.8%) have a far lower unemployment rate than California (10.2%), but, according to the Census Bureau, income inequality is worse in California than it is in Texas.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A black man shot the mother of his children, then tried to set her apartment on fire and kidnapped their two children

Fitz Edward, 29, stormed into his ex-girlfriend's apartment and fired a shot at her. He then started a fire and grabbed the children, five-year-old Nazie and two-year-old Mlyliah. Edward fled the scene with the kids, making his getaway in their mother's car. The car was later found abandoned in Harlem with the children still inside. The kids were barefoot and wearing only diapers when they were found. They are uninjured and their mother is recovering, police said.

Police have arrested a 60 year old unemployed Hispanic doctor, Roberto Rivera, after finding a large quantity of chemicals used in bomb making after they conducted a raid on his home in Ridgewood, New Jersey

The search of Rivera’s home also revealed a number of assault rifles and other weapons. Rivera was charged with second degree recklessly creating a risk of widespread injury or damage; fourth degree failure to mitigate against recklessly creating a risk of widespread injury or damage; third degree unlawful possession of a destructive device; fourth degree unlawful possession of a stun gun; fourth degree unlawful possession of a large capacity ammunition magazine; and second degree unlawful possession of an assault firearm. His bail has been set at $1 million dollars. Ridgewood police had initially responded to the home after receiving a report that potentially hazardous materials might be at the residence. The Bergen County Prosecutor, John Molinelli, called at least one of the chemicals “highly volatile,” but authorities did not disclose the names of the chemicals found in the house.

The United States' high unemployment rate captures the headlines with each monthly jobs report, yet many Americans may be surprised to learn that real earnings, when adjusted for inflation, have declined across most industries and sectors since the Great Recession

Since 2002, in fact, it's effectively been a lost decade for workers. Equally troubling, real wages are now about the same level as they were in December 2005. Put another way, wages have clawed back from the Great Recession only to the level of seven years ago. The problem makes recovering from the Great Recession harder because without wage growth, it's harder for Americans to pay down their debts. In fact, real wages have been on a mostly downward slope for more than 40 years. Researchers at the Hamilton Project, part of the center-left research center the Brookings Institution, recently calculated that the median working-age man with a job earns about 4% less, when adjusted for inflation, than he did in 1970. The numbers look better for women, but they tell a different story, since women historically numbered fewer in the work force and earned less the further back you go. From the end of the 2001-02 recession to the start of the Great Recession in late 2007, the United States witnessed the weakest business-cycle recovery record for job growth. For reasons that economists don't fully understand, the only occupational category that's shown a significant increase in wages since December 2005 is office and administrative workers. Virtually every other occupational group is below the 2005 level or is 1.5 percentage points or less above that 2005 level.

Gallup: A strong majority of Americans (62%) want illegal immigration stopped

But will the GOP act on this information or continue pretending that Hispanics are natural Republicans?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A level-three Hispanic sex offender less than a year out of prison was arrested when his parole officer recognized him as the pervert who molested two girls inside a laundry room

Mario Lopez, 52, asked the girls, ages 4 and 9, to follow him into the laundry room of their Jackson Heights building claiming that he wanted help with his wash. There, Lopez slapped the older girl’s buttocks and touched the younger girl under her clothes. He then offered the older child candy before fleeing the scene, according to the charges. Security cameras caught Lopez entering and exiting the building with ease. It is not clear why he chose that building or if he knew anyone who lived there. Parole officer Lisa Duquesnay saw the tape and tipped police off to the identity of the groper. Lopez, of Brooklyn, has been arrested and charged with burglary, sex abuse, luring a child to commit a crime and endangering the welfare of a child. He was released from prison in January 2012 after serving on sex abuse and kidnapping charges stemming from an attack on a 25-year-old woman in 2000. In that case, he approached a woman walking down a street and asked her for directions to Queens Center Mall. He convinced her to get into the car to help him get to the mall but instead drove to 36th St. and Vernon Blvd. where he sexually abused her. He pleaded guilty in December 2002 and was sentenced to prison in January 2003. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said that Lopez is a “threat to children and a clear and present danger to society in general.”

Jewish district attorney was a porn star in the 1970's

Prior to the election, Democrat Marc Suben denied appearing in 1970s skin flicks, telling reporters that he was the subject of a campaign by political rivals who wanted to sully his reputation. But a story has been published highlighting a YouTube video comparing Suben with porn actor Gus Thomas, whose IMDB film credits include “Deep Throat Part 2” and “Doctor’s Teenage Dilemma.” Suben swiftly called a press conference and “humbly” apologized to those he had deceived. He admitted to using “bad judgment” both by appearing in adult films in his youth and by lying about them as a public official. He was first elected in 2008. Suben is also the former president of a synagogue and has also served as a judge.

Black WNBA legend Chamique Holdsclaw - one of the greatest female basketball players ever - has been arrested after getting involved in a car chase with her ex-girfriend and then bashing her former lover's vehicle with a baseball bat before shooting it

Holdsclaw, 35, who won Olympic gold in 2000 has been charged with aggravated assault, criminal damage to property and reckless conduct for her aggressive attack on 29-year-old Jennifer Lacy's Range Rover after handing herself in to Atlanta police. The retired African-American basketball legend is currently being held on $10,000 bail for the assault and police have said that they believe Holdsclaw may have poured gasoline into the car before the attack and was trying to shoot into the car to start a bigger fire.

Real evolutionary change - the kind that shapes physical appearance - involves only a tiny fraction of the genome

The Ainu of Japan are genetically similar to other East Asians in spite of having a somewhat European physical appearance. While this might seem surprising it may be due to the possibility that ancient Asians looked a lot more like Europeans than do modern Asians.

Just under 60% of immigrants receive some form of welfare

More evidence that Republicans are fooling themselves when it comes to Hispanics.

Single women voted for Obama while married women preferred Romney

Nearly a quarter of the voters in the 2012 election were unmarried women – and Obama captured more than two-thirds of their votes, 67%, according to research by the Women's Voices Women Vote Action Fund. The most crucial component of the women's vote is no longer white, married middle class suburbanites but a broad coalition of unmarried women, people of color and those under the age of 30. The unmarried women of the 2012 make up almost 40% of the African American population, nearly 30% of the Latino population, and about a third of all young voters, or 32.7%, according to the research. They are divorced, separated, widowed, or have never married. Single women have traditionally been Democratic voters, largely for economic reasons. They tend to have less money than married women – because they don't have a husband's earnings to fall back on. They also tend to be less educated. More and more Americans are single. Singe people are now the majority in about 15 or 16 states – several of them the swing states that decide presidential elections. Among women, unmarried women made up about 20% of the electorate in the 2008 elections. By 2012, about 23% of voters were single women – and they opted overwhelmingly for Obama, giving him 67% of their votes. The challenge for Democrats, however, is that unmarried women have not always been reliable voters. Nearly 11 million of the single women who turned out for Obama in 2008 skipped the 2010 congressional elections, which led to the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives.

Kevin Clash, the black puppeteer who breathes life into Elmo, paid a young accuser $125,000 to recant his story about being under-aged when the two were lovers

Apparently there is an agreement in which Clash told the man, Sheldon Stevens, to call their relationship "adult" and "consensual" in return for the payoff. "Stephens agrees that immediately upon execution of this Agreement," Stephens' attorney will say that Stephens "wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship," the document states. Adding fuel to the fire, apparently Stephens was pressured into signing the agreement and cried during the last negotiations.

Republicans are engaging in panic, wishful thinking, and ethnic pandering when it comes to Hispanics

According to Census Bureau data, among native-born Hispanics, 50% of all households with children are headed by unmarried mothers. About 40% of all Hispanic households receive benefits from a major welfare program. Latinos tend to have liberal attitudes toward government. Take health care. An ImpreMedia/Latino Decisions poll of Latinos conducted on the eve of the election found that 61% of Latinos supported leaving Obamacare in place. Sixty-six percent believed that government should ensure access to health insurance. This might have something to do with the fact that 32% of non-elderly Latinos lack health insurance, about twice the national average. These are hardly natural Republicans and the GOP should stop fooling itself that an amnesty for illegal immigrants would lead to a massive increase in the number of Latinos voting Republican at the next election.

Detectives are looking for a Hispanic who botched a residential burglary, leaving behind his car, evidence and photos of himself

Police have identified Miguel Luna, 25, as the man who kicked in the front door of a home, Los Angeles police said. Luna chose the house despite several posted surveillance security signs. “He kicked in the door of the home near high noon, leaving his footprint below the door knob. He began ransacking a bedroom, not realizing the owner was asleep in another room,” Lt. Paul Vernon said. Luna was confronted by the homeowner and begged him not to call authorities, claiming that he was a friend of of the owner’s daughter. “The owner finally chased him out of the home, picked up a hoe from the yard, and hit Luna over the head,” said Vernon. Luna was knocked unconscious for a short time before he got up and walked away, leaving his 1989 Honda in the victim’s driveway, full of items stolen from the home. The attempted burglary was caught on the home’s surveillance system. “This crime scene was really a study in how to get caught,” Vernon explained. “Every manner of evidence was present: video surveillance, blood DNA from the hoe, pictures on the iPad, footprint on the door, a traffic citation with signature, a car, finger prints, and eyewitness identification.”

A new Census Bureau report, released after the election, finds that the number of poor people in America climbed 712,000 in 2011

The "official" report that came out in September 2012 had the number dropping by 96,000. So much for Obama's claim that things are getting better. Also the number of people getting food stamps has climbed more than 15 million — or 47% — under Obama. That's a bigger increase than in all of President Bush's eight years. Today, almost 15% of the population is collecting food stamps, up from 7% just a decade ago. Meanwhile, stocks are down about 5% since Obama's re-election. And according to an Ernst & Young study, Obama's tax hikes will kill 710,000 jobs.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Obama's 39% share of white voters was lower than the 42% of Mike Dukakis in 1988, when he lost 40 states

Obama got record lows of support for a winning Democrat in a two-way race among white Christians (less than 35%), white Catholics (40%), white Southerners (less than 30%!), rural voters (39%), and white “born-again” Christians (less than 20!). Not surprisingly, Romney set a record among Mormons (nearly 90%). Obama won almost 100% of the tallies in urban black precincts and over 70% of Hispanics and Asians and Native Americans. Obama’s support among gays went up by at least five points. In two elections in a row, Obama has received over 15 million black votes, compared to just nine million for Clinton 20 years ago. In 2012, Obama received nine million Hispanic votes, compared to just 3.5 million for Clinton 20 years ago. The nation’s two largest minorities gave Obama a lead of roughly 20 million votes. That was too big a hole for Romney to dig out of, but he almost did it by winning an 18 million vote plurality among white voters. Obama won about the same share of the black vote, and scored a 10-point gain with Asians and four points with Hispanics — but dropped three points nationally among whites.

Minority Christians – consisting of black, Asian, Hispanic and mixed-race Americans – made up 31% of Obama’s coalition

Among major religious demographics, Obama struggled most with white Christians, including Catholics, mainline Protestants and evangelical Protestants. When these three groups were added up, they accounted for just 35% of Obama’s religious coalition. In comparison, Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s coalition was overwhelmingly white and Christian, with 79% of Romney voters identifying as such. Ninety-five percent of black Protestants voted for Obama, according to the exit polls, while 75% of Hispanic Catholics supported him. Romney, according to the exit polls, overwhelmingly won white evangelical Christians (79% voted for him) and white Catholics (59% voted for him).

California has reached a poverty rate that is now twice as bad as West Virginia’s and substantially worse than the rates of poverty in Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Texas, according to a new measure of poverty developed by the federal Census Bureau

Roughly 8.8 million people in California were poor during between 2009 and 2011, when Democrats controlled the state legislature and governorship, as well as the White House. The least poor states tend to be the unglamorous, undiverse and sprawling communities close to Canada. Iowa, Vermont, Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming have poverty rates just below 10%. Iowa’s rate is the lowest in the nation, at 8.4%, roughly one-third California’s poverty rate.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

There are about 17.2 million adult children living in their parents’ homes in 2012, compared with around 15.3 million in 2007, the year the recession began

The numbers show that the greatest increases are accounted for by unemployed adult children who have moved in with parents. In 2007, 1.3 million unemployed adult children were living in their parents’ homes. In 2012, the total is about 2.5 million. Meanwhile, the employment situation for recent graduates remains grim — the unemployment rate for 20- to 24-year-olds was 13.2% in October 2012 (double the unemployment rate for workers aged 25 and older) according to the Labor Department.

The stronger the labor market recovery in any given metropolitan area the worse Obama did in 2012 relative to 2008

In addition, racial and ethnic composition issues impacted not only the level of support for Obama in a given place but also the rate of change. The whiter the place the worse Obama did not just in absolute terms but relative to his 2008 performance. Also, some of the biggest falls in unemployment have happened in very white places. Obama did worst in places that were white and had strong recoveries while he did best in places that were non-white and had weak recoveries.

The brain of Albert Einstein

Einstein's brain had an extraordinary prefrontal cortex, which may have contributed to some of his remarkable cognitive abilities. Although the overall size and asymmetrical shape of Einstein's brain were normal, the prefrontal, somatosensory, primary motor, parietal, temporal and occipital cortices were extraordinary.

If all 47 million food stamp recipients voted for Obama, it would account for 75.4% of his 62.3 million votes

Food stamps rolls have grown by nearly 50% - by more than 15 million recipients - under the Obama administration. During that same time, the unemployment rate has stayed the same. Either those outside of the workforce have been decimated by the Obama economy or this administration is making a conscious effort to get more Americans reliant on government. Or both. Welfare programs now cost taxpayers a record-high $750 billion. While government "charity" has grown, so has poverty - and so has the Democrats' poll numbers. If citizens vote in their own personal, short-term interests, with 49% of the population receiving some sort of federal aid, Republicans will never win another election.

While Latinos are gaining in political clout, they are also falling down the economic ladder, new Census numbers show

Latinos poverty rates climbed to 28% after the census reconfigured its algorithm to take into account medical costs and government programs. The Hispanic poverty level rose after the government took into account safety-net programs such as food stamps and housing, which have lower participation among immigrants and non-English speakers. Hispanics and Asians also saw much higher rates of poverty, 28% and 16.9%, respectively, compared with rates of 25.4% and 12.3% under the official formula. In contrast, African-Americans saw a modest decrease in poverty, from 27.8% under the official rate to 25.7% based on the revised numbers. Among non-Hispanic whites, poverty rose from 9.9% to 11%.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

An international team of researchers have discovered a new gene that helps explain how humans evolved from chimpanzees

Scientists say the gene - called miR-941 - appears to have played a crucial role in human brain development and may shed light on how we learned to use tools and language. Researchers say that it is the first time that a new gene - carried only by humans and not by apes - has been shown to have a specific function within the human body. A team of scientists compared the human genome to 11 other species of mammals, including chimpanzees, gorillas, mouse and rat, to find the differences between them. The results showed that the gene - miR-941 - is unique to humans. The researchers say that it emerged between six and one million years ago, after humans had evolved from apes. The gene is highly active in two areas of the brain that control our decision making and language abilities. The study suggests it could have a role in the advanced brain functions that make us human. It is known that most differences between species occur as a result of changes to existing genes, or the duplication and deletion of genes. But scientists say this gene emerged fully functional out of non-coding genetic material, previously termed "junk DNA," in a startlingly brief interval of evolutionary time. Until now, it has been remarkably difficult to see this process in action.

A gene so powerful it nearly triples the risk of Alzheimer's disease has been discovered

It is the most potent genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's identified in the past 20 years. The researchers used new sequencing techniques to home in on the TREM2 gene. Additional TREM2 sequencing was then performed. These studies led to identification of a set of rare variants in TREM2 that occurred more often in 1,092 Alzheimer's disease patients than in a control group of 1,107 healthy people. The most common variant, R47H, was then evaluated in follow-up studies of a large number of Alzheimer's disease patients and controls. The researchers showed unequivocally that the R47H variant of TREM2 substantially increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Crime and Indian reservations

The federal government has cut the size of its police force in Indian country, reduced financing for law enforcement and begun fewer investigations of violent felony crime, even as rates of murder and rape there have increased to more than 20 times the national average, according to data. The data, much of it contained in recently released Justice Department reports, underscores a reputation for chronic lawlessness on Indian reservations, where unchecked crime has for years perplexed federal agencies, which are largely responsible for public safety on Indian lands. As one illustration of the profound increase in violence in recent years — despite generally declining crime in much of the rest of the nation — F.B.I. crime data reports that the number of reported rapes on the Navajo reservation in the Southwest in the last several years has eclipsed those in nine of America’s 20 largest cities, even though there are only 180,000 people on the reservation. The reservation’s 374 reported rapes in 2009, for example, outpaced even the total for Detroit, for decades among the nation’s most violent cities, which had 335 rapes that year.

There were nearly 50 million Americans living in poverty in 2011, under an alternative measure released by the Census Bureau

That's 16.1% of the nation, higher than the official poverty rate of 15%. The official rate, released in September 2012, showed 46.6 million people living in poverty. Work, medical and federal tax expenses drove more people into poverty, the report showed. These costs outweighed the benefit of non-cash public assistance, such as food stamps, housing assistance and refundable tax credits, which lifted many Americans out of poverty. The alternative measure showed the importance of Social Security and the weight of medical care on the elderly. Without Social Security, some 54.1% of Americans age 65-plus would be in poverty, as opposed to 15.1%.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Shorter women have more children than women of an average height

Interesting research on how height affects the reproductive success of men and women.

White patients with the most common form of kidney cancer, called renal cell carcinoma, are slightly more likely to survive the disease than black patients, according to a large new study

It's been known that blacks have higher rates of renal cancer than whites, and smaller studies have also pointed to racial disparities in how patients make out after their diagnosis. But experts have disagreed on the reasons. About 64,000 people will be diagnosed with some type of kidney cancer this year in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute, making the disease the number 12 cause of cancer deaths for Americans. The researchers looked to a large national database to confirm whether African Americans fare worse with renal cell carcinoma and to look for any clues to why that might be the case. The researchers collected information on 39,350 patients - 4,359 of whom were black and 34,991 white - diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma from 1992 to 2007. They found that 72.6% of white patients survived at least five years out from their diagnosis, while 68% of blacks lived for at least five years. The researchers found that 66.7% of black patients and 61.9% of whites were diagnosed with tumors that had not yet spread. African Americans are more prone to hypertension, which, by the way, is a risk factor for renal cell cancer.

Monday, November 12, 2012

In the United States, black men who marry white women have higher education, income and occupational status than endogamous (marrying within their own group) black men, possibly indicating that black men have to pay their way into marriage with white women

White women seem to prefer men from their own group and expect some compensation when marrying minority men.

Rabbi says that the Islamization of Europe was better than a Christian Europe for ethical and theological reasons — as a punishment against Christians for persecuting the Jews and the fact that Christianity, as opposed to Islam, is considered “idolatry” from a halachic point of view

It is important that we white Christians never forget that the Jews will always be our enemies.

A black man has been taken into custody as a person of interest three days after his grandfather and aunt were found brutally beaten to death inside a blazing Houston. Texas house

Pastor Clements Vincent Dorsey Sr, 89, a beloved pillar of his east Houston community, and his daughter, Barbara Ann Dorsey Alexander, 61, who had been visiting from California, were discovered by firefighters alerted to a fire at the home. Cameron Dorsey, 20, was seen speeding away from the family property in his grandfather's Toyota 4-Runner that day but had not shown his face again until neighbors spotted him sneaking around the church where Dorsey Sr was pastor. Knowing that police wished to question the man in relation to the murders, a woman well-acquainted with Cameron Dorsey called 911. Also discovered in the house with the bludgeoned bodies was the pastor's wife, unharmed. Police say that she suffers from dementia and believe that she slept through the horrific ordeal. Detectives explained that Cameron Dorsey had been living with his grandfather since being released from jail where he served time for theft, while another family member confirmed that the pastor had raised the boy since he was 2 years old.

Hispanic, 24, charged with statutory rape after being found with missing 14-year-old girl

Raymundo Aranda-Parra has been charged with statutory rape and interference with custody for his role in the disappearance of a 14-year-old girl. According to police, Aranda-Parra met the teen on a website called MocoSpace.com. Aranda-Parra is being held at the Gwinnett County Detention Center without bond.

Immigrants have fuelled a mini-baby boom in Britain over the last decade, with one in four children now born to a record 200,000 foreign mothers a year

New figures show that the number of immigrants having babies has doubled since 2001, largely driven by an influx of Polish, Pakistani and Indian mothers. This has been the main reason behind an increase in the overall British birth rate to its highest level in decades, with 808,000 births in 2011, compared with 670,000 in 2001. The spike in the birth rate is biggest in London, where six in ten babies are now born to immigrants each year. Women from Poland, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Somalia, Germany, South Africa, Lithuania and China have the highest number of babies. The proportion of foreign-born women of child-bearing age living in Britain has increased from 14% to 18% since 2007, giving them a substantial impact on the overall number of births.

The black man who voices the puppet of Elmo on Sesame Street has taken leave amid allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy

Kevin Clash, 52, has taken a leave of absence from the popular children's show after the program's lawyers were contacted by a 23-year-old man who claims that he had a sexual relationship with the puppeteer seven years ago, when he was aged 16. Clash has apparently admitted that he had a relationship with the man, but only after the accuser was an adult. Clash joined Sesame Street in the mid-80s.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Identical twins may not be so identical after all - even though identical twins supposedly share all of their DNA, they acquire hundreds of genetic changes early in development that could set them on different paths, according to new research

The findings may partly explain why one twin gets cancer while another stays healthy. The study also suggests that these genetic changes are surprisingly common. While past studies have looked at genetic changes, or mutations, in sperm and eggs, which can be passed on to offspring, very few studies have looked at somatic mutations. These mutations, also called copy errors, can occur early in fetal development, but because they aren't in the sex cells (the X or Y chromosomes) of the fetus, they can't be passed on. Other studies have shown that chemical modifications, or epigenetic effects, can change which genes are expressed over the years, one factor that renders twins not completely identical. Still, other work has shown that identical twins can have different gene mutations, but this study didn't determine how often they occur. To find out how often these mutations occur in early development, the researchers studied the genomes of 92 pairs of identical twins and searched hundreds of thousands of sites in their genomes for differences between twins in base pairs, which are represented by letters that make up DNA. For instance, one twin may carry an A at one point while another carries a C. The researchers could only detect differences that would occur very early in fetal development and would show up in most cells in the body. They then calculated the frequency with which these mutations occurred. Only two sets of twins had such mutations, which translates to a DNA change occurring once for every 10 million to 10 billion bases that are copied every time a cell divides. While that may seem like a high accuracy rate, cells in the body divide trillions of times. So that would mean an average twin pair carries 359 genetic differences that occurred early in development. One limitation of the study is that they could only estimate the mutation rate based on blood cells, but some cells in the body divide much more frequently and so may rack up many more mutations. Other cells, like brain cells, don't regenerate much and would probably remain stable.

Nearly 47 million Americans rely on federal food assistance benefits, a 12-year high attributed to the weak U.S. economy and high rates of unemployment over the last five years

Lesser known is that college students are among the increasing numbers of people relying on food stamps. As tuition rates have risen and financial aid has fallen — and parents who were once a source of financial support have lost jobs or homes and become ineligible for college loans for their children — students have had to fend for themselves. Some college students now work two and three part-time jobs to cover living expenses and some of their tuition. They’re applying for more student loans and claiming financial independence on their tax forms to become eligible for financial aid that does not factor in parental contributions. They’re cutting corners by renting required textbooks instead of buying them or simply making due without some textbooks. They’re also bypassing expensive college meal plans and applying for food stamps, an option that once carried a social stigma on campus but no longer does now that food stamp usage is more commonplace at colleges around the country.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

American Jews and Muslims gave 70% or more of their votes to Obama

Why was Obama so popular with both of these groups? My own view is that both groups wanted to vote against the interests of white Christians.

A majority of Israeli Jews favor introducing discriminatory policies against the country's Arab population and would support an "apartheid" system in the West Bank if it were ever annexed, an opinion poll has shown

More than two-thirds of those questioned by Dialog, an opinion pollster, said that they would oppose suffrage for the 2.5 million Palestinians living in the West Bank were it to be annexed to Israel. Nearly three-quarters - 74% - say that they also support a system of segregated roads for Palestinians and Israelis in the West Bank, although the majority said that they would view such a policy as “necessary” rather than “good”. The survey found that a majority of the Jewish public - 59% - say that they want a system that gives preference to Jews applying for civil service jobs. Arabs, who constitute 20% of the Israeli population, complain that such a policy unofficially exists already.

The husband of an Iraqi immigrant fatally beaten in their family home has been arrested and charged in her death

The killing in March 2012 was a case of domestic violence, not a hate crime, as a note found near the body had suggested, El Cajon Police Chief Jim Redman said. Kassim Al-Himidi, 48, has been arrested on suspicion of murder after being asked to come to the police station. Al-Himidi's wife, Shaima Alawadi, 32, the mother of five children, was found bludgeoned and unconscious March 21, 2012 and died three days later. A note found by the couple's 17-year-old daughter expressed animosity toward Iraqi immigrants, including the phrase "go back to your country" and a reference to the family as "terrorists." Crime statistics showed no history of hate crimes or overt hostility toward Iraqi immigrants in El Cajon, even during the 1991 Persian Gulf War or the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. During an intense seven-month investigation, police refrained from calling the beating a hate crime, citing other unspecified evidence. Court records show Alawadi planned to divorce her husband and move to Texas to be with relatives.

Friday, November 9, 2012

America needs to add 9 million jobs just to get back to pre-recession unemployment levels

To eliminate the jobs deficit over the next three years, the economy would have to add 330,000 jobs a month - twice the rate it is today. At the current pace, it would take until mid-2020 to get back to an unemployment rate of 5%, which is where it was in December 2007. The question that I want answered is why are we allowing people to migrate to the United States when the jobs deficit is so high?

A record 70.4 million people were enrolled in the Medicaid health care program for the poor in fiscal year 2011

That figure equals about 22% of the population, which means that there was one person on Medicaid for every 5 Americans in 2011.

The Centre for Equality Policy Research think tank says that redheads suffer more discrimination per head of population than ethnic minorities

A job applicant with ginger hair is seven times more likely to be rejected than a dark-haired applicant, and eight times more likely than a fair-haired applicant.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Scientists have shown that a single protein plays an oversized role in intellectual and behavioral development

The scientists found that mutations in a single gene, which is known to cause intellectual disability and increase the risk of developing autism spectrum disorder, severely disrupts the organization of developing brain circuits during early childhood. This study helps explain how genetic mutations can cause profound cognitive and behavioral problems. The genetic mutations that cause developmental disorders, such as intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder, commonly affect synapses, the junctions between two nerve cells that are part of the brain's complex electro-chemical signaling system. A substantial percentage of children with severe intellectual and behavioral impairments are believed to harbor single mutations in critical neurodevelopmental genes. Until this study, however, it was unclear precisely how pathogenic genetic mutations and synapse function were related to the failure to develop normal intellect. The study focused on a critical synaptic protein known as SynGAP1. Mutations in the gene that encodes this protein cause disabilities in an estimated one million people worldwide. SynGAP1 is one of the most important genes in cognition - so far, every time a mutation that disrupts the function of SynGAP1 has been found, that individual's brain simply could not develop correctly. It regulates the development of synaptic function like no other gene.

A new study reveals that black Americans display lower levels of vitamin D and greater pain sensitivity compared to white Americans

Vitamin D deficiency may be one of many factors that account for increased pain in older black Americans with knee osteoarthritis (OA). One study estimates that 95% of black Americans compared to 70% of white Americans have low levels of vitamin D.

Hispanics supported Obama by a margin of nearly 75% to 25%

Hispanics tend to oppose the economic policies of the GOP more than they do Republican immigration policies. U.S.-born Hispanic households in California use welfare programs at twice the rate of native-born non-Hispanic households. And that is because nearly one-quarter of all Hispanics are poor in California, compared to a little over one-tenth of non-Hispanics. Nearly seven in ten poor children in the state are Hispanic, and one in three Hispanic children is poor, compared to less than one in six non-Hispanic children. The Hispanic out-of-wedlock birth rate is 53%, about twice that of whites.

Why did Romney lose the election?

A lot of people will argue that Romney lost because the GOP did not pander enough to Hispanics or because of its position on abortion but I think the main reason is that there was a drop in the white working class vote particularly in rural areas. Most white working class people don't like Obama or his policies but many view the Republicans as a party of and for the rich. If the GOP wants to win in 2016 they will have to convince white working class voters that the party will represent their interests and not just those of the rich. One way to do this would be to criticize companies that outsource their labor to places like China. Another would be to come out against immigration. Now many in the Democratic party and the media would condemn the Republicans as racists for doing this but they are going to condemn the GOP as racists anyway!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Poll: 70% of Jewish-American voters supported Obama

Will the GOP continue to waste its time going after the Jewish vote or will it realize that the only future it has is to win over the 39% or so of white voters who supported Obama?

Detroit: Among the new group of state lawmakers to emerge from Election Day is Brian Banks, a black man who has been convicted eight times for felonies involving bad checks and credit card fraud

Banks, a Democrat and lifelong Detroiter, won a seat in Lansing as a state representative for the 1st District, representing the east side of Detroit, Harper Woods, and the tony Grosse Pointes. He won 68% of the vote to Republican Dan Schulte’s 32%. Banks, 35, was convicted eight times between 1998 and 2004 of writing bad checks and credit card fraud. Michigan voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2010 that bans anyone convicted of a felony in the last 20 years from running for office — but the caveat is the conviction has to be “related to the person’s official capacity while holding any elective office.” This is Banks first run at elected office.

Obama's second term in the White House was largely secured by record numbers of votes from ethnic minorities, while his popularity among whites plummeted, exit polls have revealed

Hispanics, the fastest-growing demographic in the United States, accounted for 10% of all voters in the election, the polls suggested. Of these, 71% voted for Obama, up from 67% in 2008. In a sign Republicans are failing to win over this increasingly influential group, Romney won just 27%. A record number of Asian voters - 3% of the electorate - also turned out, with nearly three-quarters backing Obama. He also won a staggering 93% of African-American votes. Yet while his popularity among ethnic minorities swelled, he received just 39% of the white votes, down by 4% on the last election, a drop his campaign had anticipated. Romney secured 59% of the white vote - the largest majority achieved by any presidential candidate in U.S. history who then failed to win.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Poll: 95% of African Americans believe that the federal government should be the nation's jobs creator

Just one more reason why it is foolish for the GOP to waste time going after the black vote. The poll shows that blacks want the United States to be a socialist nation.

Black men and women are more likely to die of a heart attack or heart failure than whites in the United States, according to a new study

Researchers said those disparities could be explained by black adults' higher rates of smoking, diabetes and high blood pressure, and the finding that they tend to be heavier than whites. The study's lead author said that the result is distressingly similar to racial differences seen in data from the 1990s, despite public health efforts to address them. "The sad fact is, we really don't see an awful lot of movement in terms of that long-standing disparity. It's pretty much where we were the last time we looked at it," Dr. Monika Safford, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said. Every year during the study, 4 in 1,000 black men died from heart disease, on average, compared to 1.9 of 1,000 white men, the researchers found. Among women, 2 in 1,000 blacks died of heart disease each year, compared to 1 in 1,000 whites. Safford and her colleagues found that the extra deaths in blacks could be explained by their higher heart risks to begin with. For example, close to one in three black men and women had diabetes at the study's onset, versus one in six white participants. She said that genetics may put black adults at higher risk for uncontrolled high blood pressure. When it comes to high cholesterol, fewer of them are on statins. And blacks may not be accessing quit-smoking programs - or other preventive care - as often as whites.

A mother murdered her young son and set his body on fire when he struggled to learn the Koran off by heart

Sara Ege used a stick to beat seven-year-old Yaseen like a dog if he couldn't recite passages from the Islamic text. The beatings were so brutal that the boy died from his injuries, and his mother tried to burn the body to destroy the evidence, Cardiff Crown Court in Wales was told. Yaseen was originally thought to have died in the house fire. But a post-mortem examination showed that Ege had been beating and abusing her little boy in the months leading up to his murder. In a video recording of her interview with police, Ege told them: “I was trying to teach him the Koran. I was getting more and more frustrated. If he didn’t read it properly I would be very angry — I would hit him. We had a high target. I wanted him to learn 35 pages in three months. I promised him a new bike if he could do it. But Yaseen wasn't very good — after a year of practice he had only learnt a chapter.” The court heard that Ege, 32, a university graduate, and her husband, Yousuf, had enrolled Yaseen in advanced classes at their local mosque. They wanted him to become a hafiz — an Islamic term for someone who memorizes the Koran. Yaseen was coming to the end of a three-month trial period at the mosque, and Ege was keen for him to impress his Imam. Ege told officers: “I was getting all this bad stuff in my head, like I couldn't concentrate, I was getting angry too much, I would shout at Yaseen all the time.” She also hit him with a hammer, a rolling pin and a slipper, as well as repeatedly punching him, the court heard. She would lock him in the shed, tie him to a door, and force him to do press-ups. In the months after Yaseen’s death, Ege told a doctor that she been told to kill him by Shaitan — an Islamic name for the devil, the court was told.

White non-Hispanics are more likely than other groups to say that they didn’t vote because they didn’t like the candidates or issues

Instead of pandering to Hispanics, Jews and other non-whites, the GOP should be doing everything that they can to motivate whites to vote for Republican candidates.

Obama will watch voting returns with the pastor who prayed at his 2008 inauguration and recently said that all white people go to hell when they die

Rev. Joseph Lowery, one of Barack Obama’s frontier supporters in 2008, will be at the side of Obama and his wife in Chicago on election night. Lowery is a so-called "civil rights hero", but he made some inflammatory comments recently. Lowery said that when he was a young militant, he used to say that all white folks were going to hell. Then he mellowed and just said that most of them were. Now, he said, he is back to where he was. Lowery called for black voters to turn out in support of Obama. “I don’t know what kind of a n—– wouldn’t vote with a black man running,” he said at a rally.

A black man is accused of abusing his bedridden 400-pound wife and letting her rot in squalor until she died

Hazmat crews found Yolanda Reese-Brooks, 40, on the brink of death and covered in her own waste at her home in Warren, Michigan. Emergency workers in protective gear rushed her to a hospital, where she died six days later. Her husband, Michael Dewayne Brooks, 37, had been her primary caretaker since a 2011 car accident left her immobile, police said. She suffered from a crushed pelvis and ruptured bladder. Brooks was charged with second-degree abuse of a vulnerable adult. He told police that he had left his wife in the filthy bed for at least eight days. Reese-Brooks’ four children, who lived in the home where their mother was found, are now staying with a relative. The home was reportedly uninhabitable — no beds or mattresses for the children and a dirty refrigerator filled with only spoiled meat. Reese-Brooks died of morbid obesity and other unspecified injuries. Brooks was released on bond and will appear in court November 15, 2012.

Israel’s haredi Interior Minister Eli Yishai has ordered police and cities across the country to shut down businesses owned by African refugees

Yishai wants police and cities to close all unlicensed businesses owned by refugees, including unlicensed business owned by the few African refugees who have been granted official refugee status by the government. Under Yishai’s plan, the government would close the businesses, and the refugee owners could also be fined and even imprisoned. Israel does not provide African refugees with financial, housing or food assistance, and has refused to honestly process refugees’ applications for official refugee status, turning down almost every African refugee who has applied, even though many, if not most, absolutely qualify for official status under international treaties Israel signed. Without legal refugee status, refugees can’t legally work in Israel or own and operate businesses there. "The migrants are a danger to the future and identity of the state of Israel. I’m glad to see that the attorney general supports my decision,” Yishai said.

A Hispanic gang member has been sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for his involvement in the racially motivated stabbing death of a 27-year-old black man

Juan Rocha, 21, was convicted in August 2012 of second-degree murder in the March 25, 2011, death of Devin Allen. Police said that Rocha and a second man, identified as Pedro Avalos, confronted Allen and a friend as they walked to their car near Hensley's Flying Elephant Pub and Grill. Investigators said that the victim had no gang ties, but was targeted because he was black in a neighborhood claimed by a Latino street gang.

A Hispanic gang member who gunned down a black Los Angeles High School football standout near his Arlington Heights home because he was carrying a red Spider-Man backpack has been sentenced to death

Jurors recommended in May 2012 that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ronald H. Rose impose the death sentence on Pedro Espinoza, 23, who was convicted of first-degree murder for the March 2, 2008, shooting death of Jamiel Shaw Jr., 17. Jurors also found true the special circumstance allegation that the murder was carried out to further the activities of a criminal street gang. Prosecutors alleged that Espinoza shot Shaw to improve his status in the gang. In rejecting a defense request for a reduced sentence, Superior Court Judge Ronald Rose said that Espinoza murdered a defenseless victim in cold blood and bragged about it. Shaw, who was unarmed and had no gang ties, was executed as he lay "defenseless and incapacitated on the ground ... in front of the family home," Rose said. The judge described the victim as "a good, decent teenage boy." Shaw was shot once in the head and once in the abdomen. The teenager, who had a collection of Spider-Man items in his bedroom, had been walking home carrying a Spider-Man backpack that made Espinoza mistakenly perceive him as a gang rival, according to prosecutors. Like all death penalty proceedings, the Espinoza case is subject to automatic appeal to the California Supreme Court. During the trial, Deputy District Attorney Allyson Ostrowski told jurors that Espinoza, a Latino, "chose to execute a 17-year-old for the color of his skin and the color of his backpack," calling the slaying of Shaw, who was black, a "cold-blooded, calculated execution."

Nine Hispanics have been indicted for being part of an extortion conspiracy in which agents of a Latino prison gang levied taxes on street gang members in Orange County, California

Representatives from an unnamed Latino prison gang regularly collected money from street gang members - money raised by drug-dealing and other criminal enterprise - which was then funneled back to the prison gang, according to a joint statement from the Anaheim Police Department, federal Drug Enforcement Agency and the Orange County district attorney's office. Authorities said that the activity stretched from March 2010 until July 2011. Officials said that all nine will be arraigned: Alberto Vargas, 49; Gloria Aguilar, 55; Joe Lara, 40; Raul Gonzalez Hernandez, 36; Edward Barela, 49; Richard Aguilar, 43; Ismael Esquivel, 33; Marvin Robles, 47; and Annette Gomez, 33. The charges include conspiracy to commit a crime, extortion by force or threat, attempted extortion by threat and street terrorism. Officials said that two others arrested during the investigation face charges related to drug dealing. Alejandro Maldonado, 34, and Eugenio Salazar, 41, face charges including the sale and transportation of a controlled substance and transporting heroin from non-contiguous counties.

Heart disease risk factors are widespread among Hispanic/Latino adults in the United States, with 80% of men and 71% of women having at least one risk factor for heart disease, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health

The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS-SOL) is the largest study to date to examine the prevalence of heart disease risk factors — high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, and smoking—within a diverse Hispanic/Latino population. Findings from HCHS-SOL also showed that the prevalence of risk factors varies across and within Hispanic/Latino populations. For example, people of Puerto Rican background experienced higher rates of heart disease risk factors compared to other Hispanic/Latino groups. Participants who were more acculturated (born in the United States or lived in the United States for 10 years or longer or preferred using English rather than Spanish) were significantly more likely to have three or more risk factors as well as self-reported heart disease or stroke. And those with lower education or with annual incomes less than $20,000 were more likely to have multiple heart disease risk factors than those with higher education and incomes. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among Hispanic/Latino people in the United States. In related news, researchers from the NIH-supported Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study found that black men and women were about twice as likely to die from coronary heart disease (CHD) compared with their age-matched white counterparts. Black women had a higher incidence of fatal and nonfatal coronary disease than white women. The current analysis, spearheaded by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, also showed that the disparity in CHD deaths between blacks and whites is due largely to an excess burden of known cardiovascular risk factors among blacks. None of the participants had evidence of CHD at baseline and they were followed for four years. As shown in previous studies, death was far more likely to be the first indication of CHD in blacks than it was in whites.

Blacks are about 500% more likely to assault a fellow black than a Latino and about 650% more likely to murder a fellow black

For their part, Latino offenders are also much more likely to assault or murder another Latino than an African American.

A form of Alzheimer's disease has been found in some teenagers - more than 20 years before symptoms even develop, according to a new study

Research on a group of young adults found about 30% have a mutation of a gene called presenilin 1 (PSEN1), which makes them more likely to develop Alzheimer's at an unusually young age. Although the inherited form of the disease is rare, the researchers say it offers them a critical opportunity to look for early signs of the disease before clinical symptoms appear.

A black man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend and her male friend in a shotgun rampage has urged a jury to find him guilty so he could be back in prison in time to watch a football match

Nathan Burris, 49, who is representing himself in his trial in Martinez, California, snapped his fingers as he asked the jury to speed up so he could get back for the Monday night game. Burris, a truck and shuttle driver stands accused of shooting Deborah Ross, and her friend Ersie Everette III, at the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge toll plaza, in San Francisco Bay, California, in August 2009. Giggling and smiling, Burris, who has a speech impediment, cursed the people he killed as members of the victims' family looked on.

Cocaine is the perfect heart attack drug with users at much greater risk of suffering cardiac arrest than people who do not take it, a new study has revealed

Researchers found that recreational cocaine users have higher blood pressure, stiffer arteries and thicker heart muscle walls than non-users – all of which can cause a heart attack.

A black man with a black belt in karate beat his six-year-old nephew to death with both a large belt and his hands, which are themselves weapons

Paul Adams Jr, 38, of Wallingford, Delaware County, beat Tyreece Charlow for 45 minutes because he wouldn't get his school clothes ready for the next day. The child was pronounced dead of blunt force trauma. Adams has been charged with criminal homicide, first-and third-degree murder and possession of an instrument of crime. District Attorney Jack Whelan said that it was a heinous and savage beating and one which medical staff said was one of the worst cases of child abuse.

Obama's illegal immigrant half-uncle fears that he will be deported if Romney wins the election

In 2011, it was reported that Onyango "Omar" Obama, 68, had been a fugitive from deportation since 1992 after moving to the United States decades ago. His whereabouts had been unknown for years, but in August 2011 he was arrested for driving under the influence and other motoring offenses after swerving in front of a police cruiser and nearly causing an accident. Going through his files police found he had violated an order to go back to his native Kenya 20 years ago and, according to a police report, told officers: "I think I will call the White House". He was quietly released from jail in September 2011 and the immigration agency refused to discuss his case, which is still believed to be pending. After receiving a 45-day driving suspension, Obama was allowed to renew his diving license in May 2012, following a court hearing in March 2012.

Asian crime: A disgraced dean at St John's University in New York has committed suicide after she went on trial for embezzling $1 million and forcing students to work as her servants

Dr Cecilia Chang, 59, who was in charge of the university's Asian studies program, was found dead in her Jamaica Estates home in Queens one day after she testified at her own trial and denied taking money from the university. Dr Chang, who was nicknamed "the Dean of Mean", was also reportedly a suspect in the 1990 murder of her first husband, who was shot three times in the back by an unknown assassin.

A black man who made a deathbed confession that linked him to a cold case murder from 1995 now faces jail because of what he thought was a last-ditch effort for a clean conscience

James Washington was having a heart attack when he called a police officer over to his hospital bed in 2009. While he hoped for absolution, what he got instead was a medical miracle. And now, a murder charge. Washington had long been linked to the murder of Joyce Goodener, who was found stabbed in the neck, beaten to death with a cinder-block and set on fire in an abandoned Nashville, Tennessee house. A lack of sufficient evidence - most significantly there were no DNA samples - kept the police from arresting anyone over the past 17 years. At the time of his 2009 heart attack, Washington was in jail for a different crime. Even though he tried to talk back the confession in the wake of the hospital stay, he was found guilty in court and now faces up to 51 years behind bars.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A new study shows that African American women coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are less likely to die from liver disease than white or Hispanic women

The lower liver-related mortality in African American women was independent of other causes of death. Medical evidence reports that nearly five million Americans are infected with HCV, with 80% having active virus in their blood (viremia). Moreover, prior research found that one third of those with HIV are co-infected with HCV - the second leading cause of death among those with HIV. Studies also show that while HCV clearance (elimination of the virus spontaneously or with treatment) is lower among African Americans, once chronically infected this group seems to develop less fibrosis and liver inflammation compared to other racial groups.

A Pakistani couple accused of killing their 15-year-old daughter by pouring acid on her carried out the attack because she sullied the family's honor by looking at a boy

The girl's death underlines the problem of so-called "honor killings" in Pakistan where women are often killed for marrying or having relationships not approved by their families or because they are perceived to have somehow dishonored their family. The girl's parents, Mohammad Zafar and his wife Zaheen, are in jail. The father said the girl had turned to look at a boy who drove by on a motorcycle, and he told her it was wrong. "She said, 'I didn't do it on purpose. I won't look again.' By then I had already thrown the acid. It was her destiny to die this way," the girl's mother said.

Race, illegitimacy and education

Hispanics have a 53% illegitimacy rate, African-Americans a 73% rate and among the white poor and working class, the illegitimacy rate is now 40%. Blacks and Hispanics have high school dropout rates of up to 50% in many cities, and many who do graduate have math, reading and science scores at seventh-, eighth- and ninth-grade levels. Can the United States really survive as a major economic power when whites are being replaced by blacks and Hispanics?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

According to Gallup 90% of African Americans intend to back Obama and they plan to turn out at the same rate as white voters

African Americans, as a group, are far worse off now than they were when Obama came to power and the gap between whites and blacks in terms of wealth and income has increased under Obama's tenure. The overall rate of unemployment may be close to where it was when Obama took office, but black unemployment is up 11%. Meanwhile the wealth gap has doubled during this recession with the average white American now having 22 times more wealth than their black counterparts. So too has the educational achievement gap with the rate at which white Americans graduate from high school growing at a far faster clip than black students. The ascent of America's first black president has coincided with one of the steepest descents of the economic fortunes of black Americans since the second world war both in real terms and relative to whites. The group that has fared worse under Obama is not only the group most likely to support him but also the most likely to feel optimistic about the deteriorating situation in which they find themselves.

Researchers have found that religiously-affiliated youth are 40% more likely to graduate high school than their unaffiliated peers and 70% more likely to enroll in college

The researchers note that teens' fellow church-goers are an important factor, serving as mentors who help teens set their sights high. They found that Catholic teens, mainline Protestants and black Protestant congregations are twice as likely as unaffiliated teens to finish high school and about 80% more likely to enroll in college. They also found that Jewish and Mormon youths have the highest odds of graduating high school and college enrollment. Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have long emphasized to youth the importance of higher education as a means of seeking truth and becoming self-reliant. And according to data gathered by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, that message gets through to Latter-day Saint youth. The recent Pew data shows that about one-third of LDS adults reared in the faith have graduated from college and another third have completed at least some college. By comparison, national data shows that 28% of Americans age 25 and above hold college degrees and 21% have completed some college. And across all faiths, the study found that measures of religious participation and spirituality are positively associated with higher educational attainment. Church attendance, for example, was especially predictive of high school graduation, while prayer was more influential for college enrollment.

Researchers have found new support for their theory that cannabis use causes a temporary cognitive breakdown in non-psychotic individuals, leading to long-term psychosis

Researchers have found a different brain activity pattern in schizophrenia patients with previous cannabis use than in schizophrenic patients without prior cannabis use. The results reinforce the researchers' model where cannabis users suffering from schizophrenia actually may have higher cognitive abilities than non-cannabis using schizophrenics. This difference may indicate that the cannabis-user group did not have the same mental propensity for psychosis. While brain activity for both groups was similar, there are subtle differences between schizophrenia sufferers with a history of cannabis use and those who have never used cannabis. These differences lead us to believe that the cognitive weakness leading to schizophrenia is imitated by the effects of cannabis in otherwise non-psychotic people. The research implies that it is the cannabis use itself that leads otherwise non-psychotic individuals down the nightmarish path towards schizophrenia by imitating the cognitive weakness that is the main risk factor for developing the psychological condition.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

The racial divide in the Catholic vote

Among white Catholics, Romney has jumped to a 14-point lead (54-40) after being tied with Obama in September 2012 in the poll. In 2008, Obama won Catholics by 9% (54 to 45) and lost white Catholics by 5% (47 to 52). In 2004, the Catholic vote went narrowly to Bush overall (more widely among white Catholics), and in 2000 it went narrowly to Gore (and narrowly to Bush among white Catholics).

Throughout the Obama Administration, immigrant job growth has outpaced job growth among native-born Americans

In October 2012, immigrants gained jobs at twice the rate of native-born Americans. Overall, the Obama years have been disastrous for native-born workers. From January 2009 to October 2012, foreign-born employment rose 1.635 million, or by 7.6% while native-born employment fell by 0.472 million, or by 0.4%.

One of the less heralded, but more successful, projects that have been undertaken recently in Israel is the security fence on the country's southern border.

In October 2012, only 54 illegal African refugees entered Israel – one of the lowest numbers in many years, and a far cry from the 1,000 to 2,000 and more that entered the country each month over the past few years. In October 2011, for example, 2,100 illegals were estimated to have entered Israel. Only a few were caught as they crossed the then-wide open border. Since then, the security fence on the border with Sinai has rapidly been built, and currently some 80% of the border is protected. In areas where construction is going on, the IDF has sharply increased patrols. At this point, the vast majority of illegals are caught before they enter Israel, and are immediately taken into custody for deportation to their homelands. Word that Israel's gates are closing tight has apparently seeped back to Sudan, Eritrea, and other African countries, and now there are far fewer attempts to cross the border. In addition to the increased protection, the Interior Ministry, led by Eli Yishai, has conducted a strong campaign to deport illegals, or at least persuade them to go home voluntarily. Using a mixture of carrots and sticks, with payments to illegals who leave for good and months-long detention at camps in the Negev, the illegal alien population has been slowly but surely dwindling. Yishai has been quoted as saying that if the current pace of enforcement is kept up, Israel could be free of illegal African aliens within just a few years. However, that could take some time – as the Population Registry estimates that there are still over 10,000 illegal Africans in the country. Besides holding back the tide of illegals, the security fence has helped limit smuggling of drugs and other illegal items by Bedouin. In August 2012, a terror cell killed 16 Egyptian soldiers as they attempted to blow up a portion of the security fence and enter Israel. IDF forces destroyed a jeep that managed to get through, on its way to carry out a terror attack at a border area community.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the biggest change in employment over the last month affected black workers

In September 2012, the unemployment rate for blacks was 13.4%. In October 2012, that number jumped to 14.3%, almost a full percentage point change, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unemployment for whites remained steady at 7%. For Asians the rate ticked up, from 4.8% to 4.9%. Likewise for Hispanics, from 9.9% to 10%.