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
Wednesday, February 27. 2013
Why Do So Many People Think They Need Gluten-Free Foods?
Sultan: Hollywood is Dead
Bike helmet laws fail
Bike Helmet Laws Fail
Bike Helmet Laws Fail
The shale revolution is creating thousands of new millionaires from the billions being paid in royalties to private landowners
Lucky farmers and ranchers. It is like the Beverly Hillbillies
America's Red State Growth Corridors - Low-tax, energy-rich regions in the heartland charge ahead as economies on both coasts sing the blues.
To Fix Healthcare, Let 100 Solutions Bloom
Would they deport this family if they were from Mexico?
It's not easy to be a legal immigrant. They should have waded across the Rio Grande instead.
Trying to terrify the population with the sequester: TSA Doomsday, Detained immigrants released; officials cite sequester cuts
So why not let the German family go free?
Related: Apocalypse Fatigue
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It is like the Beverly Hillbillies
Gee, THANKS, Mr. Drysdale!
"Coffee May Decrease Your Risk of Dying"
Do I really have to parse that one out?
No. Just find better headline writers, perhaps? Or better editors?
I have reached the conclusion that this country will, and should, break up. The Civil War postpoined the inevitable. The RedState/BlueState paradigm is just another way to express the essential fact that we have two cultures here, who hate each other. It's like warring spouses. Sooner or later, either one will die, or there will be a divorce.
I am no longer patriotic for that reason. My loyalty is to Red State America, though I live in Blue State. Ihonestly feel sorry for all the young Southern rural kids, who are the most likely to enlist in the Army and be killed in Afghanistan. They are loyal to America, but the powers that be in DC couldn't care less about them.
I think that The United States of Red States (whatever we call it) will be a beautiful thing.
I agree with you some of the time. Okay, a LOT of the time. But the rest of the time, i reflect on how artificial the hatred is, and how much it has been deliberately induced by people to whom we ought to be ashamed of ourselves for having ceded so much power over our own well-being.
What you said about patriotism, you probably haven't lost it, but just put it away for safe-keeping --else why would you lament the estrangement?
Related, this is really worthwhile:
It's an excellent, formal but tuned to every emotion, film essay titled Lee and Grant --IOW, it's about the coming true of the 'house divided' prophecy --and the promise Lincoln made in using that story from the Bible.
Key passage from Lincoln's 'house divided' speech, with three 'editor' updates: 'half slave and half free' changed (arguably unnecessarily) to 'half socialist and half free market' and 'opponents of slavery' changed to 'opponents of socialism' (tho 'tyranny' for 'socialism' would be a better choice of term).
A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half socialist and half free-market. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of socialism will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.
End of the snip, which bowdlerized isn't actually a snip.
Lincoln made that summer of 1858 speech in campaigning for the US senate --a race he lost (see 'the Lincoln Douglas Debates').
Two years later, February 1860, running for president, he made the 'Cooper Union Speech' --which (it is said) got him elected, and sent the south seceding. The big leap to solve the 'house divided' is the speech at Cooper Union (both speeches have excellent wikis, BtW). In the light of your comment, here's two particular paragraphs from Cooper Union:
(addressing the south)
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events."
(addressing the audience but particularly his party)
"Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the Government nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it."
God bless America, and Long Live the Republic!
(that was me, not Abe)
It seemed like that is more a result of the other benefits versus another benefit category itself.
Text from the article under the heading you quoted: "This effect is particularly profound in type II diabetics, one study showing that coffee drinkers had a 30% lower risk of death during a 20 year period (29)."
It's the risk of dying within a finite length of time, but everyone's risk of dying (eventually) is 100%. Good catch. LOL.
Over the course of the last couple of years of recession I've learned first hand in running my company that the lesson my old man used to tell me is oh-so-true,
"Anyone can take 10% of cost out of their business without sweating. The second 10% hurts to the extant that any future revenue growth will probably now take longer, as you'll have to ramp your business back up and train new people or acquire more capacity on order to make it happen. But it can be done without hurting the business as it is. The third 10% is muscle, and it really hurts to take that out".
Watching the Washington mandarins screeching about reducing spending 2% is one of the most amazing spectacles I've ever witnessed.
Unlike Rush or Ace, I'm not personally "ashamed" to watch it happening, but the scum of the earth running things down there ought by rights to themselves be ashamed: the rest of the country can reduce spending pretty damn easily, and even have done it down to the third 10% level in their businesses and/or their personal lives.
The hand-wringing and terrorizing of the citizenry that comes out of these fools over 2% makes me wonder, for the very first time, whether or not we (as a united people) have lost the straightforward ability to govern ourselves. That is a very disturbing thought.
"Unlike Rush or Ace, I'm not personally "ashamed" to watch it happening, but the scum of the earth running things down there ought by rights to themselves be ashamed:..."
They had shame surgically removed, and their memories wiped.
A sane government would have stopped growth in government employment some time ago at a minimum, particularly in the mostly useless various agencies. The entire sequester could/should be taken out of these various regulatory agencies and it would only improve the conditions for economic growth.
The shale revolution is making a lot of landowners in Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale region and Ohio's Utica Shale region turn their lives upside down with unexpected wealth.
A friend advises clients in the Marcellus about how to deal with the money they have received, too late to help them structure their lease agreements that they had eagerly signed. It's not pretty, quite a few of his clients act impulsively and have not handled their windfall well at all, although a few have done very well and continue to live conservatively, but maybe housed a little more elaborately.
One fellow had signing fees and later royalties in excess of two million, which he proceeded to pay highest tax rates on due to poor tax planning, and the rest was invested in foolish business ventures with his circle of friends. It's all gone, after only three years.
I grew up in that section of PA.
There's a reason most of that region is poor. I know I'm stereotyping, but the fact remains it's stories like yours which are the norm rather than the exception.
I know someone out there who won quite a bit of money in a lottery, it was all gone in short order.
People generally aren't wealthy because they hit the jackpot, in fact I'd argue that's what makes many of them poor very quickly. They are wealthy because they worked hard for their money and managed what they made effectively. When most people hit the jackpot, in whatever form, they think the money train will go on forever and fail to think about the future.
It's very sad, but it's true among professional sports players, too. Most major leagues now work hard to help players, who make it to the pros, have something for the rest of their lives. Too many have gone broke.
I will add a political note here - that those who feel they are entitled to money from political largesse are the worst of all. Not only did they not hit the lottery, but they do keep the money train moving for many years because the politicians have purchased their vote. Most will be poor forever, for exactly the same reason those who got rich fast lose those riches quickly. They've never learned to think ahead.
BD, why this focus on gluten-free diets? I thought you did this topic a few weeks ago?
Food allergies can devastate families, both in care-taking and financially. Our own internist's child exhibited a life-threatening reaction to goats on a trip to our local zoo where a temporary exhibit left some goat hair on the corral. Quite interesting as his father's ethnic heritage relied on goat products. Thankfully, he's outgrown it and serves as a physician who is more aware of dietary mishaps in our genetics.
Re: Bike Helmets
I've never understood this tendency to circumvent common sense with the need to save every person from themselves. That's not what any government is supposed to be doing, at the micro level.
When I was a kid living in Vermont, I never wore a helmet when on my bike. Of course I spent most of the time cycling within a 5 mile radius of my house on back roads....now, in a dense city with heavy traffic and potholes, I wear a helmet. It's just common sense. However, if I'm on my bike within a block or two of my house - say, down to the beach and back - I might not. It depends on the situation.
And I have yet to see a skateboarder zoom by my house wearing a helmet. San Francisco is filled with them and they are quite traffic-savvy. (pedestrian friendly, not so much.) I attribute that, ironically enough, to the lack of a helmet.
The gluten article completely ignores the real problem with modern wheat for most consumers, that being a protein that operates like an opioid and causes much trouble and damage. Concentrating on the relatively few celiac cases in the population either indicates prevarication or ignorance.
Easy to research.
Yes. Just wait until you spend 20 - 25 years watching a friend, spouse or family member needlessly become enabled by a disfunction that merely requires avoiding gluten. So simple, but most physicians are unaware of the ramifications.
"modern wheat"! What does that mean? Is old fashioned wheat OK?
If wheat is bad and yet 98% of the population eats it and we have the longest life expectancies in our history and every year life expectancies go up how do you calculate the supposed harm that wheat is doing? Or maybe it's just "white" foods that are bad. Or maybe it's meats. many think dairy is bad for you. Some people fear high fructose but that is what's in fruits. Where do we stop? what's left to eat after all the pundits and experts have their say? All the experts disagree and point in different directions and yet we still want to believe the "experts". What we need is a good dose of skepticism and common sense.
I don't really have a problem with gluten, but since I started eliminating "white stuff" [potatoes, rice, bread, pasta] from my diet I have easily lost weight without feeling hungry, and I've kept it off.
When I do occasionally eat one of the above [maybe 2-3 times a month] I tend to feel a little bloated and gassy later, plus I get hunger pangs [which I ignore and they go away quickly] about a half to an hour later. I attribute that to the glycemic glucose surge each provides.
I can understand why such experiences would lead people to mistakenly think they had an allergy. It's just the body's reaction to insulin/glucose and if you eat such things everyday you have probably grown accustomed to it.
OTOH, I have a sister-in-law who was properly diagnosed with celiac disease after suffering for nearly 50 years. [And after a great many other diagnoses including psychiatric ones.] Elimination of gluten from her diet has been a god-send and she is practically a different person. She did it right and got the actual full-blown exam and diagnosis though.
You make a great point. Even if you don't suffer from gluten sensitivity, reducing high glycemic carbs like bread, cereal, potatoes, rice, sugar, including fruits and juices, and diet soft drinks is the most effective way to lose weight and manage blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.
Just cutting out the gratuitous bread servings at most meals will make a difference. Once you retrain your body to primarily utilize fat for energy versus glucose by reducing high glycemic carbohydrate foods you'll experience more consistent energy levels, be more alert and will be less hungry.
Re: Would they deport this family if they were from Mexico?
the government doesn't believe the family can claim a right of asylum, its probably right.
truly, the better solution would have been to get here legally, overstay the visa, then go under the radar. they are ze german, no one would ever notice.