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A Trio of Weekend Headdesks

Three stories that aren’t big enough for blog posts of their own … well, they are actually, but I don’t have time to tear into them.

First, you may have heard that the FDA is taking the unprecedented step of banning trans-fats. Actually, they’ve removed them from the list of foods that are GRAS (generally regarded as safe), a first step toward a ban. This despite the fact that trans fats are not dangerous per se. They raise LDL levels and lower HDL levels which may contribute to heart disease. I have no problem with encouraging people not to use them (always keeping in mind that it was the food snatchers who put it there in the first place). But banning?

The trans-fat ban is not the worst thing about the trans-fat ban, though. The worst is the precedent it is setting for banning a substance that does not make people sick and the inspiration this is giving to various Nanny State dunderheads, who are now hoping the FDA will heavily regulate (or ban) genetically modified food — technically speaking, all food is genetically modified. THey also want to regulate sugar. Yes, sugar:

The most outspoken enemies of sugar, like Robert Lustig, are trying to take it off the GRAS list–something that CSPI petitioned the FDA to do last February, asking it to study and determine safe levels of high-fructose corn syrup. The chance of an FDA announcement of that in six years seems pretty unlikely now. But soda makers already have more than dozens of low-sugar and sugar-free drinks: they have scores and scores of them. They’ve quietly been working to solve the problem, while spending (often literally) untold sums not to risk their core products. The advocates against trans fats who seemed so crazy even six years ago, when the New York trans fat ban went into effect, are seeming a lot less crazy today.

No, the advocates against trans fats still seem crazy. They’ve just found an Administration that listens to crazies. Needless to say, the idea of the FDA removing sugar from the GRAS list is insanely stupid. Sugar is natural substance that occurs in many foods and refining it has been around for millennia. Sugar is not dangerous. I repeat, sugar is not dangerous. Eating too much of it can make you fat but that is true of every food in existence. In fact, there is some evidence that the artificial sweeteners he touts are actually worse because they fool the palate and thus interfere with the body’s ability to regulate its sugar intake.

This is a perfect illustration of why you can never given the Nanny Staters an inch; they will demand ten miles and demand that you jog all of them. And without any bottled water.

Our second story comes from my home state of Georgia where Circle K has thrown their lot in for dumbest business of the year:

Johnny Jarriel Jr. has a state permit to carry a concealed weapon. He said that he often carried his pistol in his three years of working at the Circle K on West Stewart’s Mill Road in Douglasville.

Jarriel said he was in the office at the Circle K on West Stewart’s Mill Road on Saturday morning when armed suspect attempted to rob him. He said the man used pepper spray, demanded money and threatened to kill everyone in the store.

“Pointed it directly at my head and said, ‘Give me the money or I’m going to kill you,’” Jarriel said.

Instead of panicking, Jarriel convinced the attempted robber to follow him to the front for the money. When the gunman turned away, Jarriel reached for his pistol.

“He was turning around towards me, but before he got fully…I aimed at him this way and fired three shots,” Jarriel said.

The gunman fled, apparently wounded by one of the shots.

Authorities cleared Jarriel of wrongdoing and gave him back his .45, but the assistant manager was given the pink slip from his employer.

Circle K says this is corporate policy. Circle K is also an idiot. Forbidding employees for carrying guns is corporate policy, not holy writ. They’re acting like waving the rule violation is setting a Supreme Court precedent. In fact, a clerk was killed at that store four years ago. If I ran a store and one of my clerks was murdered, I’d be asking my employees to carry weapons, preferably in open holsters so everyone knows that the store is protected.

The final entry in our Trilogy of Error is that Seattle has elected a socialist to its City Council. Granted, the difference between an admitted socialist and everyone else on the city council is probably minor. But she hilariously calls for rent control, which even liberals admit destroys the supply of housing. She also supports a $15 minimum wage. That may sound swell to you, but if you look at Europe, you’ll find that countries without minimum wages have lower unemployment rates than those with them. Germany, for example, abolished its minimum wage and has 5.2% unemployment.

(Germany and other non-minimum wage countries like Sweden (!!) balance this with stronger unions and social safety nets. There’s a debate to be had whether a no-minimum-wage+safety net system is preferable to a minimum-wage system (although a system with neither might be best). Personally, I think we need people working. The strength of any economy is the total productivity of its citizens. If we’re going to give money away, we might as well give it away to people working for a living. Say what you want about Germany’s system, but if we had 5.2% unemployment in this country, we’d be dancing in the streets.)

So there you have it. Three stories that show our society at its dumbest. Work hard this week, my friends. Someone has to support these cretins.

10 comments

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  1. Seattle Outcast says:

    I was watching our resident commie on the news a couple nights ago. Socialist is being too easy on her, and she makes the resident nutjobs over at MSNBC seem sane/intelligent in comparison. She’s quite popular on the section of Capitol Hill (local neighborhood that was named in the hopes that Seattle would be the state capitol) I refer to as “freak street” – the mile long stretch of Broadway filled with alternative lifestyle businesses and the city’s more colorful residents. Where I have personally witnessed a young woman loudly prostitute herself for a meal at Taco Bell in 1994 (easily less than $5) at two in the afternoon. Suffice to say, you might catch Hep C just by walking down the street and stepping in something.

    She’s even to the left of the rest of the city clowncil and mayor – I predict she’ll be gone within a year when she gets marginalized, leaving under some sort of protest about the “conspiracies” that she claims are currently in place against her. Usually her sort of crazy just runs for Port Commissioner.

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  2. Hal_10000 says:

    City clowncil

    I literally LOL’d at that.

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  3. Miguelito says:

    Just what we need, more gov’t intervention in the food supply. There are more studies coming out that show the push to remove fats (which end up being replaced with salts and sugars) has been a big part of the increase in obesity, but so many moves to control foods in the past have been based on “studies” done then that resulted in more damage then good, I don’t know what to believe anymore. Not to mention the push to eat less and less meat has led to far more carb intake. The gov’t really shouldn’t be doing any of the crap they do trying to ban foods.

    Gov’t intervention in crops is a driving reason for why there’s HFCS in everything these days too, and now people are freaking over that.. then asking gov’t to “do something.”

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  4. Seattle Outcast says:

    They qualify as studies in the same way the “studies” on vaccines/autism, smoking not related to cancer, and the hockey stick graph are….

    Results determined in advance, all you need is your check to clear….

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  5. Dave D says:

    One that really gets me is the war on “refined” sugar. Natural (i.e FROM NATURE) sugar comes mostlly from sugar beet syrup, which is recrystalized to enhance the lightness and purity of the glucose present, leaving other sugars and byproducts in the liquor that is then put in other foods. It is simply MORE PURE than raw sugar. That is the ONLY “refining” done to the stuff before it is sold for consumption. Cane sugar takes a bit more processing to get to while table sugar, but the only chemical steps are a mild bleaching with SO2 (which removes color bodies and leaves the sugar behind) and recyrstalization The SO2 does not end up in the food. Despite these facts, whackjobs I frequently meet state they don’t eat “refined” sugar. Unbelievable what propaganda does to the weak-minded.

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  6. Hal_10000 says:

    Dave, fun thing I used to do back in grad school: ask hippy types who rambled about refined sugar exactly what refined meant. Enjoy igorant five minute ramble about chemical and the man and the poisoning of our precious bodily fluids.

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  7. Seattle Outcast says:

    Somehow, I doubt I’d enjoy their idiocy any more than any other flavor. I might eye-roll myself into a coma though….

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  8. ScottE says:

    Other refined carbohydrates jack your blood sugar up just as much as sugar does.

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  9. AlexInCT says:

    If your really want to jack up your sugar eat a bagel. It’s the most densely packed carbs you can have. You would have to eat a couple of mouthfuls full of sugar for the same effect.

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  10. Mississippi Yankee says:

    Dave D
    Ironically when spun up into cotton candy beet sugar’s quality and quantity are a bit less that pure cane sugar. I can remember back in my apprentice daze all the old time circus men told us these wisdoms.

    I think The Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) is an American global food-processing and commodities-trading corporation “owns” all of the real cane sugar now.

    And the difference between Coke® made with sugar and Coke® made with corn fructose like day and night.

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