We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Thursday, July 21. 2016
40 Percent of the Buildings in Manhattan Could Not Be Built Today
Case of Drone-Mounted Flame Thrower May Test FAA Authority
How Capicola Became Gabagool: The Italian New Jersey Accent, Explained
6 Top Sex Positions And How to Train For Them
The War on Sugar
A New Life for Urban Alleys - Once blighted and overlooked, these small streets are transforming into community and sustainability hotspots.
Do students actually need to know anything?
Fancypants College In Cleveland Offers SAFE SPACE For Students Traumatized By Republican Convention
Black Lives Matter lies force cops from policing to self protection
Liberal GQ Magazine Writer on Mother of Benghazi Victim: ‘I would like to beat her to death’
In a recent commencement speech, Michelle Obama complains she’s got it rough.
A true chronic malcontent
Trump Embarrasses the Old Guard - The Clintons haven't lost to a Republican in 36 years, so why should he listen to the losers?
Why even people who agree with him hate Ted Cruz
Mystery Surrounds Sources of Many Bill Clinton Speaking Fees
Media Ignore Clinton Sex Victims, Salivate Over Ailes Claims
Clinton to Resettle One Million Muslim Migrants During First Term Alone
EU Eyes Israeli Technologies for Spotting Militants Online
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"In a recent commencement speech, Michelle Obama complains she’s got it rough."
After the speech kerfuffle, a commenter elsewhere made an uncomplimentary comparison of Melania and Michelle based on looks.
I preferred the comparison of grace vs. grouchy
Re: Liberal GQ Magazine Writer on Mother of Benghazi Victim: ‘I would like to beat her to death’
Boy things have changed since Mo Dowd at the NYT declared that mothers who lost children in Iraq had 'Absolute Moral Authority' to protest against Bush and the war and to lie that Bush didn't offer any personal sympathy (he did) even though the war was approved by bipartisan majorities in the House & Senate.
But now after a war that had no congressional approval, the State Department refused to supply proper security for the ambassador to Libya and his staff - and soldiers who wanted to help defend them from an ongoing attack are told to stand down - are killed as a result, those parents don't need to just shut up, they should be killed.
Where is Mo Dowd lecturing about 'Absolute Moral Authority' now?
Tell me again about the compassion of the left.
"Do students actually need to know anything? "
If you don't have at least a secular knowledge of Christianity how can you comprehend European literature or history?
And consider how much more interesting a tome is when you have the basis to comprehend it. Not unlike walking through the woods and knowing something of the flora is a richer experience than being limited to "Oh, pretty.
Consider this sentence from a history on the conditions in America in 1800
The eorls and ceorls of Offa and Ecgbert could not read or write, and did not receive a weekly newspaper with such information as newspapers in that age could supply; yet neither their houses, their clothing, their food and drink, their agricultural tools and methods, their stock, nor their habits were so greatly altered or improved by time that they would have found much difficulty in accommodating their lives to that of their descendants in the eighteenth century.
"eorls and ceorls of Offa and Ecgbert" tell us so much if we can decipher that as nobles and freemen of powerful Anglo-Saxon kings of the 8th and early 9th century. For now we can see, the point to be made is little dramatic change had occurred in the intervening thousand years and America was a backward country at her start.
Re: The war on sugar.
It is confusing. We all remember when fruits and vegetables were good for you but now we must not give our children fruits and fruit juice because they contain too much sugar. It is a predicament for the sugar foes since your body is powered by sugar and if you don't eat it your body converts whatever you eat to sugar because it must or die. When you eat potatoes, pasta or carrots your intestines don't pass these carbs into your blood stream, they convert it all to sugar and that is passed into your blood stream. Could our bodies really be that stupid? After all if sugar is "bad" for you why would our bodies convert carbs to sugar? In fact your body cannot tell if the sugar it gets is from See's chocolates or organic carrots. Once it's digested it is all converted to glucose.
Not everything you eat is converted to glucose and while some organs (the brains and liver being the two largest ones) require glucose to create ATP, most tissues in the body can convert fats with proteins and ketones into ATP to fuel themselves.
The problem with eating foods that contain large amounts of glucose or are easily converted to glucose is how quickly your body can absorb the glucose. When your blood sugar spikes, the body must do something with it. The options are burn it, store it, or eliminate it. A healthy body will dump insulin into the blood stream which signals cells that can use either fats or sugar to create ATP to use sugars. It also signals adiposecytes and other tissues to convert sugars into fat for storage. (There are other storage types, such as glycogen, but there is a limit to how much your body can store in that form.) Excess glucose that is not converted to fats or ATP and reach the kidneys are filtered out. Hence, one sign of diabetes is excess glucose in urine.
The problem with spikes in blood sugar and insulin response is that once insulin has done its job, it takes time for the body to remove it from the blood stream. This causes cells that could revert back to using fats and proteins for ATP production from doing so and scouring the blood for every molecule of glucose available. This state is called hypoglycemia and causes people to feel lethargic, woozy, and hungry. In other words, they do less and eat more, specifically they will want to eat more foods that will raise their glucose levels. In other words, sugars or foods high in starch.
A moderate amount of sweetened foods or starch containing foods will not cause this cycle (or not cause it too often), especially if consumed with lots of fiber or other foods that slow down the absorption and metabolization of sugars and starches.
So sugar is not evil any more than alcohol is. Excess is bad for you; moderation is key.
(FYI, fruit juices are more harmful than fruit because it lacks all the fiber that slows sugar absorption. Potatoes do cause hyperglycemia because they are low in fiber [even when eating the skins] and potato starch is pure glucose chains.)
"The problem with eating foods that contain large amounts of glucose or are easily converted to glucose is how quickly your body can absorb the glucose."
That is one of the major claims by those who think sugar is bad for you. There is a percentage of the population that cannot easily assimilate a lot of sugar regardless of the source i.e. pure sugar, rice, bread, potatoes. etc. However if you aren't one of these individuals with a health problem that is aggravated by sugar it does not harm you. That is the normal function is that when you eat a meal the intestines convert carbs to sugar and the sugar is absorbed into your bloodstream and if it reaches an excessive level your body stores it in various ways. This is normal!! It is exactly what is supposed to happen. It isn't harmful, it isn't an indicator of a problem it is exactly what your normal healthy body is supposed to do.
Your description of the problem with spikes in blood sugar is less than accurate. You imply there is a sugar high and a subsequent sugar low. NOT TRUE in normal people. For a diabetic, probably true. For normal people it is simply old wives tales. You can eat massive amounts of sugar/carbs without any harm or high or subsequent lethargy, woozy or hungry feeling. If you experience these symptoms gey theyself to a doctor you are not normal!!!
"So sugar is not evil any more than alcohol is."
Not exactly. Alcohol is bad, period. You can consume it moderately with minimal problems but there will be problems. If you consume a lot of alcohol over time it will cause serious harm to your body. Sugar does none of these things.
"fruit juices are more harmful than fruit because it lacks all the fiber that slows sugar absorption."
Again, not if you are normal. This is a ploy by the anti-sugar cabal to find something-anything to claim sugar is harmful.
"Potatoes do cause hyperglycemia because they are low in fiber"
Again not if you are normal (Note: I am not saying potatoes or any starch/sugar doesn't increase your blood sugar level which technically is called hyperglycemia. What I am saying is that is exactly what your body was intended to do and it is normal. REAL hyperglycemia is diagnosed by taking a fasting blood glucose measurement.)
If you ever choose to run a marathon or half marathon you will need to consume a huge amount of carbs which will elevate your blood sugar and store a huge amount of glycogen readily available to burn as energy to run. You would be, if tested just before the race, severely hyperglycemic, which is exactly what you want. It won't hurt you, it won't shorten your life, make you fat, harm your liver or curb your sexual desire; it is 100% normal.
Typically an anti-carb/sugar advocate will glibly state "but humans didn't have high carb foods and sugar available to them for a million years it is only now that we consume these to excess." My only response is: so what! I consume pasta (love pasta, have some in the oven right now) and humans didn't eat pasta for all those 100's of thousands of years either. Do you think pasta will kill me or shorten my life? Ironically, some people do think that.
The bottom line is it is just food and unless you have a health problem that is affected by sugar or some particular food it is just food and your body does not care. You must get your daily minimum requirements of vitamins, minerals fats and protein but you MUST have sugar to live. Without it you will go into a coma and die.