Saturday, September 01, 2007

Muslim Hate Speech OK (Again)

We read:

"The editor of an Arabic daily newspaper published in London said in an interview on Lebanese television that he would dance in Trafalgar Square if Iranian missiles hit Israel.

Talking about Iran's nuclear capability on ANB Lebanese television on June 27, Abd Al-Bari Atwan, editor-in-chief of Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper, said, "If the Iranian missiles strike Israel, by Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square and dance with delight."

Bari Atwan founded the pan-Arab daily in London in 1989, and today the paper has a circulation of around 50,000. He is also a regular commentator on Sky News and BBC News 24.

A BBC spokesman told The Jerusalem Post that editors make decisions based on the following BBC guidelines.

"We should not automatically assume that academics and journalists from other organizations are impartial and make it clear to our audience when contributors are associated with a particular viewpoint."

"The BBC is required to explore a range of views, so that no significant strand of thought is knowingly unreflected or underrepresented."

"The BBC will sometimes need to report on or interview people whose views may cause serious offense to many in our audiences. We must be convinced, after appropriate referral, that a clear public interest outweighs the possible offense."


The BBC and the rest of the Left are ALWAYS ready to excuse Muslim hate speech on free speech grounds. Just say something adverse about homosexuals (for instance) though and see what happens.

Note this, "The BBC is required to explore a range of views, so that no significant strand of thought is knowingly unreflected or underrepresented" and ask when the BBC has aired a program condemning homosexuality as psychopathological? Yet only a few decades ago homosexuality was listed as a pathology in psychiatry handbooks such as DSM II.

Cancer survival rates in Britain versus the USA

Sure, I know that just one mention of why I dislike nationalized health care sends some of my left-of-center readers into a frenzy. It seems that the cause d'jour on the Left is the implementation of a state run system of health care in America. It is the public policy version of the Holy Grail.

Questioning nationalized health care is, to them, a similar sort of heresy as questioning the necessity of baptism by immersion at a Baptist tent revival. Alas, I'm used to the role of village atheist so I don't mind.

Of the various state systems of health care the National Health Service in England holds a special place in the pantheon of state system -- mainly because it one of the first and one of the most pervasive. It has gone through a process of beatification in some circles. And I think it qualifies. And like anyone who is beatified that means it is declared holy on insufficient grounds and it is dead. Maybe it's not clinically dead but it certainly is on life support with the struggle more and more difficult each year.

Ask any member of the nationalize health sects where they would rather be sick, America or the U.K., and they will dutifully tell you how the British system is more fair and gives more health care to more people. That is the argument I generally hear. Giving out lots of care is easy and can be done cheaply. But the real issue is not what you give out but what are the results of the actual care given?

So ask yourself what you want to do if you had cancer. Would you prefer to get "equal" care or more effective care? Would you rather have a system that equalizes the treatment rate or one that maximizes survival rates?

A research team for The Lancet Oncology has looked at the survival rates for individuals diagnosed with cancer. This rate is determined by the number of patients who are still alive five years after being diagnosed with cancer. They ranked the various nations of Europe and then compared the survival rate to that of cancer patients in the United States -- the Great Satan of Health Care.

National Health Care covers England, Scotland and Northern Ireland and Wales.

If you are a female in Scotland, your chances of surviving five years after a cancer diagnosis is 48%. In Northern Ireland it is slightly better at 51% and even better in England at 52.7%. Wales comes out tops there with 54.1%. The percentage of American women who survive more than five years after a cancer diagnosis was 62.9%. This, by the way, is a higher survival rate than any of the European countries that were surveyed. And the survey included all the major European health system except France, where the statistics were not made available.

Male cancer survival rates show that 40.2% of Scottish men live five or more years after diagnosis. In Northern Ireland it is 42%, England is 44.8% and and Wales is 47.9%. The United States has a male survival rate of 66.3%.

If 100 English women are diagnosed this month with cancer, then 47 will, on average, die in the next five years. In the United States, with all the problems the health systems does have, an extra 16 women per 100, will live. Sure, its just statistics, unless you happen to be one of those 16 women. And for every 100 English men diagnosed this month 55 will die in the next five years. If the same 100 men lived in the United States an extra 21 of them would live.

One of the researchers from Scotland, Prof. Ian Kunkler saays that one reason for the low survival rate in the U.K is partially due to the long waiting periods before treatment. He says that there is "good evidence that survival for lung cancer has been compromised by long waiting lists for radiotherapy treatment."

Oddly the BBC managed to report this story without once mentioning the higher survival rate in the United States. But they do publish the European mean survival rate for men and women. They have a graph showing the survival rates but it is not calibrated too finely. My best estimate from the chart is that mean average survival rate for women appears to be around 51% about 11 points behind the U.S. And for men it appears to be 47% or about 19 points behind the U.S.

Lung cancer survival rates in England and Wales are very depressing. Only 6% of either sex survive. The U.S. survival rate is between two to three times higher, or up to about 16%. However, one relatively new regimen of care developed in the U.S. has shown survival rates of up to 29%.

Perhaps there are arguments as to why one might prefer to live in England versus the US (I spend more time in the UK than I do the US myself) but certainly if survival rates count for something -- and they do to those who are trying to survive -- I know which I would pick.


Cal Thomas: Vanishing England

Perhaps there will not always be an England. An exodus unprecedented in modern times, coupled with a record influx of foreigners, is threatening to erode the character of the land of William Shakespeare and overpowering monarchs, a land that served as the cradle for much of American thought, law and culture. The figures, making headlines in London newspapers, tell only part of the story. Between June 2005 and June 2006 nearly 200,000 British citizens chose to leave the country for a new life elsewhere. During the same period, at least 574,000 immigrants came to Britain. This number does not include the people who broke the law to get there, or the thousands unknown to the government.

Britain's Office of National Statistics reports that middle-class Britons are beginning to move out of towns in southern England that have become home to large numbers of immigrants, thereby altering the character of neighborhoods that have remained unchanged for generations.

Britons give many reasons for leaving, but their stories share one commonality: Life in Britain has become unbearable for them. They fear lawlessness and the threat of more terrorism from a growing Muslim population and the loss of a sense of Britishness, exacerbated by the growing refusal of public schools to teach the history and culture of the nation to the next generation. What it means to be British has been watered down in a plague of political correctness that has swept the country. Officials say they do not wish to "offend" others.

Hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers are about to be granted "amnesty" to stay in Britain. The government's approach is similar to that pursued by President Bush, who failed to win congressional approval for his amnesty plan. In Britain it appears likely to succeed. Migrants will be granted immediate access to many benefits, including top priority for council housing. Taxpayers will foot the bill.

The Shadow Home Secretary, David Davis, called the policy a "stealth amnesty." Again, in a comment reminiscent of the debate in America, Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch UK, said: "This is yet another example of the Alice in Wonderland world of human rights. If you break British law for long enough, you acquire rights, not penalties."

British media have carried stories about an Italian immigrant who murdered a schoolteacher and was sentenced to life in prison. He is about to be released after serving just 12 years. The government wants to deport him to Italy, but a combination of British human rights legislation and European Union law are making it impossible to do so. This does not bode well for deporting Islamic terrorists who call for the overthrow of the government and incite young people to acts of violence.

Abraham Lincoln said no nation can exist half slave and half free. Neither can a nation be sustained if it allows conditions that result in mass emigration, while importing huge numbers of foreigners who come from backgrounds that do not practice assimilation or tolerance of other beliefs.

When one factors in the high number of abortions (one in five pregnancies are aborted in England and Wales), the high birth rates of immigrants (15 times those of white Britons), it doesn't take a population expert to predict that the days of the England we have known may be numbered.

The problem for Britain and the United States isn't just the change in demographics. It is the reluctance of both countries to inculcate the beliefs, history and, yes, religious ideals, which made our nations so successful that others wanted to come and be a part of them. The difference between many of the current immigrants and those of the past is that the previous ones wanted to become fully American or fully British. The current ones, in too many cases, would destroy what makes our countries unique. And the "leaders" of Britain and America refuse to stop it. The greater tragedy is that the people of Britain have little say in any of this, so they are taking the road of last resort. They are leaving.


New booster vaccine for TB

One of the most feared diseases in the world is making an alarming comeback in the UK. Cases of tuberculosis increased by 10 per cent in 2005, with 8,494 cases, and are set to continue rising, as the bug becomes increasingly resistant to drugs, and international travel extends its global reach. TB kills about 1.6 million people a year, largely in developing countries, and experts believe that its global resurgence goes hand in hand with the Aids pandemic. However, Helen McShane, a British scientist, announced today that a groundbreaking new vaccine - the first in 80 years, which has taken ten years to develop - is being tested in human clinical trials for the first time.

The areas most affected by the disease in Britain are cities such as London, Birmingham and Leicester, with immigrant communities from areas where the disease is still common: Pakistan, Bangladesh and parts of Africa. One in five cases of TB is found in new arrivals into the country. However, the disease is not something you could simply catch on a train; only frequent or prolonged contact with someone with TB puts a person at risk (hence why it's passed within families), and it can be treated with antibiotics if diagnosed quickly. Nevertheless, the Government is so concerned at the growing number of people with TB that it is considering screening visitors to the UK from countries such as China and India, it was revealed this week.

If the new TB vaccine passes its trials, as it is expected to do, it could be available in your GP's practice by 2015, when it would work as a booster for the childhood BCG injection (now given only to children in high-risk groups), conferring long-lasting immunity on all adults and thus preventing the spread of this disease.

Symptoms include a persistent cough, weight loss and fever. Before the First World War there were more than 100,000 UK cases a year, but numbers have fallen steadily since the BCG vaccination was introduced in 1953.

Dr McShane, the scientist behind this latest booster vaccine, is a 40-year-old medical doctor-turned-vaccinologist. It's impossible not to share her excitement, particularly when she describes the day in her Oxford University laboratory when she realised she was on to something. "It was a little tense," says Dr McShane, who was then 35 and five years into a project that she had started as a PhD student in 1997. "I went into the lab to check blood tests taken the day before, looked at the plates and couldn't believe my eyes. The results were excellent. We knew the vaccine would stimulate the production of some antibodies but there were ten times the number we had predicted. I ran down the corridor to show my professor immediately." Dr McShane knew she had created a vaccine that could potentially save two million lives a year worldwide. The Wellcome Trust will today announce her project as the first new vaccine for TB in 80 years.

There are two main reasons why a new vaccine has taken so long to develop. The first is that it's a difficult bug to vaccinate against as it disguises itself efficiently in the body. There are different strains of the bug, but Dr McShane believes that they are similar enough for the vaccine to be effective against them all. The other reason for the delay, according to the charity TB Alert, is that there wasn't any funding. Until recently TB was prevalent only in the developing world and so drug companies were reluctant to plough money into a vaccine.

A potential vaccine is an achievement that Dr McShane would not have dared to imagine when she first joined Professor Adrian Hill at the Nuffield Department of Medicine in Oxford to begin a PhD. "Most students were working on a malaria project; no one was looking at a TB vaccine, so I thought it would be a good idea," she says. Dr McShane had first started to study the tuberculosis bacterium when, as a young doctor, she was working in an HIV clinic in London. The two diseases often present hand-in-hand because TB is an opportunistic infection and finds the weakened immune system of an HIV-infected person an easy way in. Dr McShane says she found it frustrating that she could offer the latest antiretrovirals for the HIV infection but she had nothing to prescribe except traditional antibiotics for the TB. She could see that as different strains of TB bacteria became resistant to these drugs, her armoury was looking more and more depleted. Surely something could be done?

She decided to take her curiosity into the laboratory. Most contagious diseases can be vaccinated against by priming the immune system to recognise the pathogen and building armies of immune cells to attack it if it invades the body. A vaccine against measles, for example, introduces a highly weakened strain of the disease into the body. This allows the immune system to target the responsible bacteria, deal with them, and prepare defences for attacks in the future.

But TB is more complicated as it is able to hide inside cells and avoid normal antibodies. Instead it requires a subgroup of white blood cells, called T cells, to be activated, which are better at seeking out the bug to destroy it. Immunologists have begun to use recombinant viruses to teach the body how to recognise TB bacteria and prepare its T cells correspondingly. These are modified viruses that carry cloned genes containing a simple protein, harvested from the disease to be fought. The "tweaked" virus is harmless to human beings. It arrives in the body, unloads the cloned protein, and dies. The protein, however, is spotted by the immune system, which prepares T cells for attack. Afterwards, the patient's body is left ready for further invasion.

Dr McShane found that her vaccine worked particularly well at boosting the weak immune response primed by the traditional BCG. "It would be fantastic if this vaccine was proven to work and became available," she says. "It's been a huge team effort with units in The Gambia and South Africa and Oxford working to a common end. The real challenges now are to see if it really does stop people getting TB, and if it does, to make sure that it gets to the people who need it."


More unprotected British Soldiers die: "Eureferendum has the horrifying story of more British Soldiers dying in exposed "dune buggies" being destroyed by IEDs in Afghanistan. These vehicles aren't called dune buggies (they are thin-skinned Land Rovers), but they offer no real protection against completely predictable threats. It's desperately sad. The British Ministry of Defense continues to deny its front-line people adequate protection. They continue to pretend that the enemy is stupid, and that the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the Iranians in Basra, will not single out the most exposed and vulnerable of the Coalition forces. Americans, Canadians and Aussies now have a large number of properly protected vehicles. The politicians and upper brass in Whitehall continue to exhibit an inexplicable lack of common sense in the face of the enemy."

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