Real life has been kicking my rear end and I have been busier than a one legged man at an ass kicking contest. That has limited my participation here as of recent. There has been a lot going on these days and I figure that I should drag up an oldie but goody that explains all the “bad luck” the last 6 years of “Progressive Libertopia” have been causing us. One of my favorite reality checks is the interview Yuri Bezmenov, as Soviet Defector, gave back in 1984 to G. Edward Griffin. Listen carefully to what he talks about and note the parallel with the shit we have been going through for the last 6 or so years.
Now contrast that with all the crap in the news today. The left, in these last 6 years, most of it with them controlling the levers of power exclusively, has gone beyond my wildest fantasies and predictions of idiotic crap and destructiveness, and it shows. When the idiotic shit they believe in and practice fails miserably, it’s everyone else’s fault. They are pissed people are focusing and pointing out that the facts don’t back up their narrative, and it shows. That’s why we had the kangaroo court proceedings and scandal after scandal – all ignored by a complicit and compliant media – exposed as such, be explained away as nothing important, or even more baffling, as falsehoods perpetrated by people with the facts.
They don’t even realize the parody of their own making. You can’t make up this level of stupid. And no, it isn’t incompetence – even though there is so much of that going around by default when credentialed leftist elite morons are involved – but all by design as that interview with Yuri, over 30 years ago, clearly illustrates. The old Soviets must kick themselves daily when they see that hanging on just another 2 or 3 decades would have given them complete victory due to all the useful idiots looking for free shit that permeate our crumbling society today.
Harry Reid announced his retirement from the Senate last week. You may think this is a step in the right direction. The problem is that the guy likely to replace him is one of my least favorite Senators: Chuck E. Schumer, one of the biggest nannies this side of Michael Bloomberg:
Here’s a list of quickly ginned-up headlines of what our next illustrious Senate leader has been up to over his time in Washington. Add your own in the comments.
All kidding aside, as a country we have a lot to be thankful for, a lot to be proud of, and a lot to be ashamed of.
And we have even more to be embarrassed by. Which brings us back to Chuck Schumer, our next Senate Minority Leader and a demonstrated foe of just about every possible innovation or reality that for whatever furshlugginer reason drives a bug up his ass. Including that time he called a flight attendant “a bitch” because she was enforcing a cell phone ban that I’m sure he’s totally in favor of for everyone else.
If we have become an increasingly trivial country incapable of dealing with serious issues at all, much less in a rational and deliberate way, then we’ve really found our guy.
I would add something else. Chuck Schumer fights for average Americans … unless they happen to be religious nuts. During the Senate hearings on the Waco disaster, his behavior was appalling, constantly saying that the government did nothing wrong and delving into the behavior of the Davidians instead of the disastrous tactics authorized by Janet Reno. If you watch video of him during the hearings and know anything about what happened at Waco, it’s infuriating.
I’ve never liked Harry Reid. But I wouldn’t vote for Chuck Schumer for prom queen.
Whenever the governments give you money, it comes with government control. To wit:
FROM urban ghettos to declining inner-ring suburbs to destitute rural areas, Americans with little money live in “food deserts” where it is hard to find fresh fruits and vegetables
Stop right there. We’re one sentence in and we’ve already got a problem. Food deserts are a myth. They’ve long been known to be a myth. The writers try to revive this myth with two bizarre measures. One is the number of grocery stores per zip code, which basically means nothing. The population per zip code varies wildly in the United States. My zip code has 40,000 people in it. My uncle’s, living a major city, has 9000. The population of New York City’s zip codes vary by tens of thousands, which is to say nothing of how business zoning varies. This smells like a metric picked for the conclusion. You can contrast it against the study in the link above, which actually looked at 8000 poor children to see how many grocery stores they had in their neighborhoods.
The second number is the amount of shelf space devoted to junk food vs. fresh food. But junk food has more shelf space because 1) they’re including convenience stores, which are supposed to be for a quick grab of something, not grocery shopping; 2) junk food keeps in a way that fresh food doesn’t; and 3) there are four million varieties of soda and chips; most stores carry maybe one or two brands of apples. Moreover, location is important: fresh food shelf space tends to be the first thing you encounter in a store.
Justified by these distortions, they then go on to argue that the food stamp program should be used as a cudgel to force poor people to eat good food:
Food stamps can’t be used to buy cigarettes or alcohol — why not simply add junk food to that ban? In 2011, the Agriculture Department turned down a proposal to restrict the use of food stamps in New York City to buy sugary drinks. Officials said the proposal was too complicated for retailers. But in the background was fierce resistance to the proposal from the beverage industry and its friends in the grocery industry.
The department should give financial incentives to food stamp users to buy healthy food, and should also reconsider its hesitation about restricting the use of food stamps to buy junk food.
They also recommend coercing the stores:
To participate in SNAP, stores must meet certain federal standards. Under the current standards, a store can qualify by stocking a small number of offerings of bread, canned vegetables, meat, milk and cheese, even if they are hidden away in a dusty corner.
The Agriculture Department should simply require that stores that accept food stamps use more of their shelf space — say, a minimum of 20 feet — for healthy foods. And it should set a limit on the use of shelf space for displaying junk food, perhaps with a simple rule of no more space for junk than for fruits and vegetables. This plan would put nutritious food within sight and reach.
They point to some studies that claim this would increase consumption of health foods. Given the junk stats they use on food deserts and their failure to link the aforementioned studies, I will assume that they have misinterpreted these studies. I also say that because the one study they do link to, they misquote. They claim that people consumed more healthy food after WIC implemented a similar requirement for participation. But that study only looks at store inventory, not consumption. It comes to the unsurprising conclusion that when you force stores to stock more healthy food, they stock more healthy food. If you are a behaviorist Nanny Stater who thinks people are empty vessels whose dining habits are controlled by the amount of shelf space devoted to fresh food, the difference between those concept might evade you.
Keep in mind also: there’s a history here. LA tried to ban new fast food stores from low income areas. Obesity actually increased after this. So people in poor areas were denied jobs working in fast food joints to no discernible benefit. Now these clowns want to hit convenience stores and bodegas — often stores run by working poor and operating on the margin — to stock food that no one is going to eat.
And we wonder why poverty remains entrenched.
I always keep in mind what Ta-Nehisi Coates had to say about this (the Atlantic is timing out on me; I’ll update with a link when I can find it). If you’re poor and especially if you are working poor, junk food is one of the few vices you can afford. It’s one of the few that won’t wreck your life in the process (at least not right away). For a couple of well-off liberals to swan in and try to take that away with an ill-advised and ill-informed effort at “public health” is … well … you know the Left talks about privilege? That’s what this is.
And it’s a picnic compared to what’s coming when our government will be giving you “free” healthcare.
The Federal Government, namely the US Department of Health and Human Services and the US Department of Agriculture, recently released their new dietary guidelines that we, as Americans, are supposed to follow. These guidelines are put together by something called the “Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee,” and they put out new guidelines every five years.
I’d like to break down why ignoring the US Government in regards to these latest health guidelines may be a prudent thing to do.
For forty years, the “Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee” has told us that eating cholesterol is bad, very bad. Eggs – particularly egg yokes were the devil, and if you ate one you would die within 10 minutes of a heart attack. I may exaggerate a little bit here. But apparently Eggs are no longer the devil.
The group’s finding that cholesterol in the diet need no longer be considered a “nutrient of concern” stands in contrast to the committee’s findings five years ago, the last time it convened. During those proceedings, as in previous years, the panel deemed the issue of excess cholesterol in the American diet a public health concern.
Great, we get to eat eggs again without worry that our arteries will spontaneously seize up as a result. But look at what such advice appears to have done to the average US citizen’s egg consumption:
Shouldn’t somebody answer for that? Forty years of misinformed and incorrect guidelines put out for the “public good”, and all it did was damage one particular industry, and do nothing in regards to heart and artery health for Americans as a whole. I think egg producers may have cause to sue the government here. How about at least an “I’m sorry” from the US Government?
According to the government, salt is terrible for you. It causes hypertension, and increased blood pressure, and ups your risk for heart disease and stroke according to the CDC and other government agencies. They say we should eat less than 2.3 grams per day to avoid these risks. Unfortunately for them, study after study over the last several years are contradicting them, some saying up to as much as 6 grams per day has zero impact on health, and even benefits us. There was even a study actually commissioned by the CDC that contradicted their caution against salt. Despite these studies, they still included this erroneous caution against salt in their 2015 guidelines, and on the CDC’s website.
I love fat. I love red meat. Both are cautioned against by current and past government guidelines. You see, Fat in and of itself increases risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, etc. Except that it doesn’t. A 2010 study in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at 22 different studies, and showed that significant evidence doesn’t exist in regards to dietary saturated fat intake and increased risk of heart disease, stroke, or cardiovascular disease. A 2014 analysis of 72 different studies on cardiovascular disease and fat intake found nothing that backs up the current guidelines put out by the Government. Yet still they tell us that consuming fat is the enemy.
2) Lobbyists in Washington. When in doubt, follow the money. But that can be tied to pretty much anything Washington funds, or regulates.
Does this mean you can go out and eat whatever you want? Of course not. There are plenty of studies out there pointing to moderation in our diets being the key. Lots of Sugar by and large appears to be bad, no matter who you are. Eat too much of anything, and chances are you are going to get fat. Just take the government’s guidelines with a large grain of salt.
On a personal note – I did Cross Fit for about a year, and loved it. The pain, the sweat, the blood, it was awesome. The best part about it was the community and friends I gained from the gym I went to. Unfortunately I never managed to get my eating fully under control, and that is 80% of getting healthy (at least according to me). I try to steer clear of processed foods. The owner of my gym told me once that if it looks like it did when it came off the tree/bush or out of the ground, or it had a mother, then you can eat it. Seems pretty straightforward to me, and I most definitely feel better, and notice my body responding well when I eat this way consistently.
So – What do you do to get healthy, or maintain health? What dietary guideline do you follow? What type of exercises do you like to do? Any particular exercise regiment you stick to? Share in the comments.
One of the fantasies being pushed around in progressive circles is the idea of “national food policy”. I’ve been mulling this article for a few months and have finally decided on a response. Here is their case:
The food system and the diet it’s created have caused incalculable damage to the health of our people and our land, water and air. If a foreign power were to do such harm, we’d regard it as a threat to national security, if not an act of war, and the government would formulate a comprehensive plan and marshal resources to combat it. (The administration even named an Ebola czar to respond to a disease that threatens few Americans.) So when hundreds of thousands of annual deaths are preventable — as the deaths from the chronic diseases linked to the modern American way of eating surely are — preventing those needless deaths is a national priority.
The national food policy could be developed and implemented by a new White House council, which would coordinate among, say, the Department of Health and Human Services and the USDA to align agricultural policies with public health objectives, and the EPA and the USDA to make sure food production doesn’t undermine environmental goals. A national food policy would lay the foundation for a food system in which healthful choices are accessible to all and in which it becomes possible to nourish ourselves without exploiting other people or nature
They then go on to list a smorgasbord of Nanny State desires: restrictions on advertising, farm policies guided by environmental concerns (because starvation is a good cure for obesity), a “fair wage” for people in the food industry (because food made at minimum wage makes you fatter), humane animal treatment, sequestering farmland for global warming purposes and making sure “all Americans have access to health food”. The last one is particularly odd because all Americans do have access to healthy food. The so-called “food deserts” are a myth. The problem is that too many people choose to eat junk.
Reading it again, I’m struck by the ignorance and panic-mongering. To give one example: farming has become much more environmentally friendly over the last couple of decades thanks to improved methods, technological advances and genetic engineering. We are feeding more people on less land than we used to.
As a practical matter, this plan is utter nonsense and transparently authoritarian. In the past I have used the term “food system” as shorthand for the industrial paradigm of food production, but for Bittman et al. to talk about the “food system” in such a way exposes it for the ridiculous concept it really is. There is no “food system,” not in the sense of a truly unified body of fully interdependent constituent parts: the “food system” is actually composed of millions of individuals acting privately and voluntarily, in different cities, counties, and states, as part of different companies and corporations and individual businesses, in elective concert with each other and with the rest of the world. To speak if it as a single “system” is deeply misguided, at least insofar as it is not a single entity but an endlessly complex patchwork of fully autonomous beings.
Here’s the thing. We don’t have to speculate whether government food policy would be a good thing or a bad thing. We know. We already have a raft of government food policies and they have been a disaster. Our government has spent decades pushing food policies that helped create the very problems these authors lament. And it was based on special interests, nannyism and junk science.
Our government spent years telling us how bad salt was for us. The health nuts wanted dietary salt restricted by law. They have now been forced to admit that the salt guideline they pushed on us for decades was unhealthily low and that salt intake is only important to high-risk individuals.
After years of telling us that cholesterol was evil, they’ve had to admit it’s not that harmful. After years of pushing us away from animal fats toward trans fats, they had to reverse course when it turned out trans fats were worse than animal fats. Ron Bailey today summed up just how wrong the nannies were.
Most of the government’s recommendations were derived from “consensus statements” based largely on the results of observational epidemiological studies. The new revisions tend to be based on prospective epidemiological studies and random controlled trials. Observational studies may be good at developing hypotheses, but they are mostly not a good basis for making behavioral recommendations and imposing regulations.
(I would add that the low-fat fad had its origin in the seriously flawed and possibly fraudulent Seven Countries study.)
The thing is that all these supposed menaces were presented with absolute certainty. Salt was evil. Animal fats were killing us. Cholesterol was destroying America. Organizations like the Center for Pseudoscience in the Private Interest would label foods as lethal and scream for restrictions and bans. People who dared to question them were branded as tools of “industry”.
We’re still not done. Our government spends billions of dollars subsidizing food production and targets subsidies toward the foods that are the least healthy. It is spending enormous amount of money and destroying our freedom to get us to burn ethanol. That is, it wants us to burn food in an engine-destroying, atmosphere-polluting, greenhouse-gas belching special interest orgy.
Under Obama, school lunches have been made almost inedible and high schoolers are going hungry. Day care centers will soon be forced to limit juice and ban fried foods. The condescending privilege is so thick you can taste it. The Obama people think every school and daycare in the country can run down to Whole Foods and pick up some low-fat, low-sugar organic produce that never casts a shadow. And then they wonder why daycare is so expensive.
Yet somehow, these decades of failure, decades of misguided policy, decades of junk science, decades of lunacy are seen not as a reason to hesitate but as justification to exert more control over America’s diet. Because with the progressives it never really is about facts; it’s about control.
The latest demon du jour is sugar. Progressives are calling for restrictions on sugar based on the rantings of crackpots like Robert Lustig, who claims sugar is a “dangerous drug” and “poison”. With more junk science in tow and such insane abuse of the English language, the nannies are now advocating for a sugar tax, specifically on the most vile of concoctions — sugary drinks — to … well, it’s not clear what.
The stupidity of that is simply mind-boggling because our government already spends billions of dollars driving down the cost of sugary drinks through farm subsidies. So they want to tax us once to make sure we have enough high fructose corn syrup to keep us fat and happy. And then they want to tax us again to keep us from drinking our subsidized drinks.
(Lustig, in a moment of sanity, at least acknowledges that we eat lots of sugary stuff because the government subsidizes it and advocates for eliminating those subsidies.)
That’s to say nothing of progressive opposition to genetic engineering, free trade and other innovations that have made our food safer, healthier, cheaper, more plentiful and more environmentally friendly than ever before.
I’m with Penn. Fuck these busybodies. Let’s put aside the arguments about freedom and personal responsibility — even though those are the most important ones. Let’s concentrate on this: they have been wrong, over and over again. If the had the power twenty years ago that they want now we’d have less food, less money, more obesity, worse health and a dirtier environment.
Knowing full well what the repercussions at the polls will be once Americans figure out how fucked they are by Obamacare and the taxes hidden as fines and penalties that are part and parcel of this government takeover of the healthcare system, democrats likely impacted during the next election cycle are asking for rule breaks. It looks like the law that had to be passed so people could find out what was in it, has a few seriously frightening hiccups in it that worry these collectivists that passed it:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The official sign-up season for President Barack Obama’s health care law may be over, but leading congressional Democrats say millions of Americans facing new tax penalties deserve a second chance.
Three senior House members told The Associated Press that they plan to strongly urge the administration to grant a special sign-up opportunity for uninsured taxpayers who will be facing fines under the law for the first time this year.
The three are Michigan’s Sander Levin, the ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, and Democratic Reps. Jim McDermott of Washington, and Lloyd Doggett of Texas. All worked to help steer Obama’s law through rancorous congressional debates from 2009-2010.
The lawmakers say they are concerned that many of their constituents will find out about the penalties after it’s already too late for them to sign up for coverage, since open enrollment ended Sunday.
That means they could wind up uninsured for another year, only to owe substantially higher fines in 2016. The fines are collected through the income tax system.
Mind you, that I am quite sure that only an idiot should believe these scoundrels are concerned about the impact this government sponsored Leviathan has on the serfs. This faux concern is fueled solely by their self-preservation instincts. If they really were worried about how Obamacare was going to squeeze people, they would never have passed that steaming pile of shit in the first place. People are going to freak out when they realize how hard this law will screw them over come tax time. Of course, most of them will deserve the painful discovery that they are now slammed with new taxes, hiding as fees and penalties, since they were stupid enough to think other people would be paying for this “free shit”. The taxman cometh!
This year is the first time ordinary Americans will experience the complicated interactions between the health care law and taxes. Based on congressional analysis, tax preparation giant H&R Block says roughly 4 million uninsured people will pay penalties.
The IRS has warned that health-care related issues will make its job harder this filing season and taxpayers should be prepared for long call-center hold times, particularly since the GOP-led Congress has been loath to approve more money for the agency.
If we ever needed another reason to scrap the current tax system and institute a flat tax, this crap from the politically motivated IRS should make due.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government ran a bigger deficit in January, pushing the imbalance so far this budget year up 6.2 percent from the same period a year ago.
The Treasury Department said Wednesday the deficit for January stood at $17.5 billion compared to $10.3 billion a year ago. For the first four months of the budget year that began in October, the deficit widened to $194.2 billion from $182.8 billion during the same period last year.
The budget deficit has gradually narrowed since 2012, which was the fourth straight year in which it topped the $1 trillion mark. The improvement reflects the country’s economic recovery from recession. The government is seeing higher tax revenues as people go back to work and smaller payments for safety-net programs such as unemployment assistance. It also represents efforts by Congress to control deficits through higher taxes and across-the-board spending cuts.
First off, the AP political hacks are full of shit when they pretend there has been an economic recovery of any kind. These assholes have been playing fast and loose with the numbers for 6 years now to convince people that the idiotic tax and spend, big government nanny-state, central planned practices favored by the collectivists in charge, actually work. But the facts are that the only people doing well are the super-rich and the freeloaders. And of course the political class has really raked in the dough and drastically expanded their ability to lord it over us serfs. The middle class however, is getting hammered. The number of employed people in this country is at an all-time low, and the trending shows that it will go lower despite all the efforts to pretend otherwise. The number of freeloaders has also hit a new record, and the trending shows that it will continue to go up. The really rich, the people the left loves to pretend to hate, are raking in the cash. The country is being invaded, by design, and with help from the nanny-state entities in our government that want to fundamentally change the balance of power by making the freeloader class undefeatable at the polls. That’s “social justice” and the signs of an economic recovery for the left I guess.
Recovery my fucking ass. And the government is raking in a ton of cash in taxes despite their actions and efforts, mostly by fucking over businesses and the upper middle class. The point that should never be lost is that the left will never lower spending. These excuse makers responsible for this propaganda piece masquerading as news all but admit that they are cool with the insane jump in spending, because the tax revenue is up! The label “Tax and spend” is absolutely accurate. I bet they saw a projected 3% jump in revenue, so they did a 6.2% jump in spending. That’s what leviathan does.
We need to get rid of the collectivists and dismantle the “vote for a living” state they have created before the whole house of cards comes tumbling down.
The authors note that many of the regulations implemented pursuant to Dodd-Frank are not linked to the size of the institution, thus there are economies of scale in regulatory compliance. Thus, regulatory costs tend to fall proportionally heavier on smaller banks, which, in turn, tends to promote consolidation of the industry (as I noted several years ago when I predicted that Dodd-Frank would promote industry consolidation).
The study has lots of interesting data on the industry patterns of lending by various types of banks as well, most notably that large banks tend to make fewer agricultural loans than community banks.
This result was to be expected and is only news to people that believe doing the same old dumb pseudo-marxist shit will suddenly produce a different result. If anything, history, replete with examples of how this stuff fails, stagnates, and breeds inefficiency and trouble, shows us that the statists on the left believe in an unholy alliance between state and big business. In their minds it provides them with the ability to micro manage and centrally plan. That it only serves to create a monopolistic environment where innovation and cost reduction are destroyed by ever growing protectionist regulation and that the people forced to deal with these entities lose out, seems to escape these moron’s ability to cogitate.
The demcorats created the “too big to fail” entities they then successfully managed to convince an ill informed and low information based public was Boosh’s fault. Dodd-Frank upped the ante here. Those of us that pointed that out were told that it was needed to curtail evil people in the financial industry, as if the problem wasn’t with the system, the rules, and implementation of contradictory and bad regulations that encouraged the bad behavior in the first place. People should not be surprised that what we end up with will be giant unresponsive, bloated, inefficient, and costly financial conglomerates, in bed with our own government, and a system that remains fragile and prone to costly and painful implosions.
But don’t worry. The democrats responsible for the problem in the first place will be more than happy to throw oodles of tax payer dollars, syphoned from the productive, at the problem. Then they will blame the rich, the financial sector, republicans, and anyone they can conveniently scapegoat instead of themselves and their wealth redistribution schemes and scams. They will demand the right to fix the problem they conveniently blame on others, like they did when they created Dodd-Frank. And when their regulation results in even more of the same, but just on steroids, they will rub their grubby hands together and laugh at the envy and jealousy driven idiots that will go along with them yet again.
My state, “The People’s Republic of Connecticut”, overrun with moochers and other blue staters that have been living large on the work of the few productive, is in dire economic straits now that its government has done what the left always does: mismanage their tax & spend agenda. So now, with skyrocketing taxes and an orchestrated class warfare campaign backfiring on them they are worried about the super rich moving:
“There are probably a handful of people, five to seven people, who if they just picked up and went, you would see that in the revenue stream,” said Kevin Sullivan, the state’s commissioner of the Department of Revenue Services.
I hope these people move. Even if the collectivists that are running the place into the ground would then just solve the problem by jacking up taxes on the middle class, yet again. It would be worth watching their anguish. How dare people do what is in their best interest when collectivists with their own idiotic agenda want things from them? And I bet that everyone of these super rich are democrat donors and voters. Fucking idiots.
Town Hall has a post up dealing with Obama’s failed presidency. Those of us that no longer remain in the dark know better. Obama has achieved a lot of what he set out to do, as he promised he would when he made the claim he would fundamentally transform America, but the problem is with the people that think he meant to improve things. To the left and Obama the only failure on their part was to not straddle us with even more destructive marxist bullshit. More fast growing debt, millions of illegals sucking at the government’s teat, millions of people unable to find work and forced to suck at the government’s tit, millions of people that have made sucking at the government’s teat their way of life, and the middle class under assault and driven to collapse by the government tax and regulatory burden, have all been bonuses to these fucking crooks. That’s the plan they had from the start, because they think we are all too stupid and in need of micro management.
Oh yeah, the LSM must be doing battlespace preparations for the coming elections as well, considering the number of articles telling us that lying is not a bad thing. Sure this is not really about politics, but this belief that lying is a good thing is part and parcel of the left’s modus operandi. Remember Obamacare? Shit, might as well say “remember the Obama presidency?”, because it has all been lies and criminal acts.