Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year ... and going on vacation

... one and all!  Wishing everyone who reads this blog a very Happy and HEALTHY New Year.

I'm also going on vacation Sunday through the 12th.  Needing some computer access for work and puttering on the net being my morning "veg" ritual, I'll probably pop in from time to time, but posting will be limited if at all. I plan to get me plenty of that natural Vitamin D, indulge my inner water child and eat moderately of all different sorts of food.   Looking forward to this big time.  

Hope to see y'all back here when I return.  




Sheriff Joe Arpaio Tortures Inmates with Endless Xmas Elvis Tunes (by Long Island)

Long Island - Promising young cellmate I taught to trade the financial markets. Released on the 11th of December '05 and rearrested February ’08. Alleged to have committed forgery and hit an officer with a car. He’s writing from Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Lower Buckeye jail.

Guess what Arpaio is doing to us now and has been doing throughout the month of December? He shut off every TV in every pod and pumped in Elvis Presley’s Christmas music over and over, starting at 6am and ending at 10pm. It’s the same songs over and over and at top volume all day long. It’s absolutely maddening. I feel like I’m at Gitmo getting interrogated by the C.I.A.

Arpaio often claims to have personally arrested Elvis: “My best arrest was Elvis Presley, but I let him go. I took him down to the police station. I guess he conned me out of giving him a ticket. That was in 1957.” Asked if Elvis gave him tickets to his Las Vegas show, Arpaio said, "No, but he gave ten Cadillacs to narcotics detectives around the country, but I never got one."

The website Overthrow Arpaio states that such claims by Arpaio “suggest a serious mental problem.”

Happy New Year Everyone! 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Finger Pricking Diet?

Dr. William Davis is touting the success of one of his patients on a No BG Rise After Eating diet.  The post is HERE.

So Jack was overweight and:
Try as he might, Jack could simply not stick to the diet I urged him to follow. Three days, for instance, of avoiding wheat was promptly interrupted by his wife's tempting him with a nice BLT sandwich. This triggered his appetite, with diet spiraling downward in short order. 
Presumably the diet he urged was low carb.  But just going LC and trying to cut wheat lasted only three days.  So the good Dr. Davis told Jack to get a BG meter and strive for 1 hour postprandial glucose levels to be no higher than before eating.  So:
If any food or combination of foods increase blood glucose more than the pre-meal value, then eliminate the culprit food or reduce the portion size. For example, if dinner consists of baked salmon, asparagus, and mashed potatoes, and pre-meal blood glucose is 115 mg/dl, post-meal 155 mg/dl, reduce or eliminate the mashed potatoes. If slow-cooked, stone ground oatmeal causes blood glucose to increase from 115 mg/dl to 185 mg/dl (a typical response to oatmeal), then eliminate it.
Now, I've seen the BG levels in like a gazillion studies and even healthy glucose-tolerant individuals will not see their blood glucose return to what it was before eating any meal containing carbs of any significance.  A person with any degree of insulin resistance or impaired glucose tolerance would have to eat basically zero carb to attain this goal.  Looking at the example dinner, we remove the potatoes and where does that get us?  Pretty much biologically zero carb as Dr. A would have called it in 1972.  

Ironically, isn't it the postprandial hypoglycemia from the hyperinsulinemia that is supposed to trigger the voracious appetite??  But Davis blames the sugar spike and insulin.  But I digress ...

The result?
Having immediate feedback on the effects of various foods finally did it for Jack: It identified foods that were triggering excessive blood sugar rises (and thereby insulin) and foods that did not.... Six months later, Jack came back 37 lbs lighter.
OK, I'm all for the immediate feedback thing and I think it is highly instructive to get a BG meter and know how your body reacts to various foods.  But really, now.  We know what does and doesn't spike BG (except for some of the questionably LC foods like Julian breads IMO.   Still, was not the list of issues Jack faced not scary feedback enough to scare him straight?   So, if several BG readings/day is going to keep you motivated on the VLC straight and narrow I encourage you to go for it!**  Still, I find it hard to believe that someone only lasts 3 days trying to eliminate wheat before a BLT sends him spiraling out of control, but using a BG meter is basically able to cut out all carbs for 6 months.  But then Davis really loses me with his closing words of "wisdom":
...What Jack did not do is limit or restrict calories. In fact, I asked him to eat portion sizes that left him comfortable. There was no need to reduce calories, push the plate away, etc. Just don't allow blood sugars to rise. ...  And he got there without calorie-counting, without regulating portion sizes, without hunger. 
I'm all for ad libitum diets that reduce intake spontaneously, but as my regular readers know well, I can't stand the misrepresentation of such diets as not restricting calories or intake.  If Jack lost 37 pounds it had nothing to do with his insulin and blood glucose levels, it was because he was eating a VLC diet known for rather significant reductions in intake w/o deliberate restriction.  Gosh folks!  This IS the BEAUTY of low carbing!  I long for the day that the "gurus" embrace this rather than trying to convince people that they really do lose weight without eating less.   There are literally thousands of folks out there diligently following a low carb plan and wondering why they aren't losing weight ... or worse, gaining.  

I also have to pipe up a bit about hunger.  It's a NATURAL sensation.  If you are eating a diet that has your body signalling properly, etc., being hungry should not be an issue that sends you face down into a pile of insert-fave-food-here.  Sure, starving yourself so that you get so hungry that you lose control is not the answer, but to expect that your body will be in energy deficit to get you all the way down to an ideal weight without ever experiencing a hunger pang is unrealistic.  I'm sure there's someone out there who can claim that to be the case, but let's talk reasonable expectations for the rest of us.  

** I can see where monitoring ones blood glucose can get as obsessive as counting calories, carbs, weighing daily or even more often, etc.   BG meters just aren't all that accurate down to a few points from what I understand, and although the strips I used were well within expiration date, I noticed distinct differences even for strips within the same lot, and one time a small lot that routinely gave me BG's around 10 pts higher than the other lots.  It's also common knowledge that very low carbing can make you more intolerant to a glucose challenge which is why low carbers are encouraged to "carb up" eating 150g/day for several days prior to an oral glucose tolerance test.  Something about the term "carb cripple" used by Dr. Michael Dansinger in a recent JM interview struck a chord with me.  If you get to a point where your body can't tolerate even 10g carb in a mixed meal this could drive you low omega 6 content nuts!  

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Metabolism v. Fat Burning

I was reading Alcohol Revisited on Low Carb by Dana Carpender and something she said jumped out at me:
No doubt, however, that alcohol can be fattening, not only because of the calories it contains, but because it slows metabolism - to quote a medical journal article I read, "Alcohol profoundly inhibits lipolysis." In English this means that alcohol slows fat-burning to a crawl. Like carbs, your body burns alcohol preferentially. Don't expect to burn any fat until you've burned through all your alcohol calories. 
First of all, Carpender makes the all-to-common mistake of equating lipolysis with actual fat-burning.  As I summarized in Lip-ocabulary , lipolysis is the breaking apart of triglycerides to glycerol and free fatty acids.   This occurs constantly in our bodies, inside the fat cells by hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) to release FFA's continually as part of the triglyceride/free fatty acid cycle, and in the capillary beds by lipoprotein lipase (LPL).  To further complicate the matter, lipolysis is not stimulated systemically in the same manner.  LPL can be activated in fat tissue so as to release FFA's temporarily so that they can be taken up into the adipose tissue, while it is reduced in muscles that don't need the fuel at the moment.  In any case, we continually recycle up to 60% of FFA back into triglycerides (storage form) both in fat cells and peripheral tissues.   Bottom line, lipolysis rates are not necessarily predictive of ß-oxidation - e.g. "fat burning".
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Who Villanized "Woman's Work?"

Part, if not, a majority of my super awesome economic/political insight comes from the fact my profession requires many miles and many hours on the road. It gives you time to think when you get outside the range of talk radio and are too tired to sift through the country and Jesus stations out in the boonies to pick it up again. Of course my contemporaries and competitors do not have this advantage. Matter of fact they're disadvantaged being couped up in cubicles and offices, forced to study what their employers or grad school uberkommandants tell them to study and not what their brains might genuinely be curious about and things that might actually be interesting. And thus their brains decompose into automotonic (albeit highly mathematically inclined) mush.

So once again time for something that will be more interesting (and much more brief, pointed and useful) than anything you'll read out of the Journal of American Politcal Economy.

I was driving with Natasha during the Christmas season and of the many things she was saying, one piqued my interest - the amount of money she saved using coupons. I'm not talking about 30 cents here or there, but she managed to find sushi for two for $15. And it was good sushi.

This rekindled an observation I had in the never-to-be-solved arena of courting, marriage and men and women. And that observation is despite being villianized, degraded and shamed, activities that were traditionally considered "woman's work" were and still are vitally important to the family and society. Ergo, why were they villianized in the first place? Why were women "shamed" for being "housewives" or "stay at home moms?" And more importantly, WHO DETERMINED THEY WERE TO BE SHAMED IN THE FIRST PLACE?

First, look at what "traditional woman's work" entailed. For the most part it boiled down to three things;

1. Child rearing.
2. House keeping
3. (and this is where Natasha really made it interesting) increasing standards of living by becoming the procurer of consumables for the family.

These things are "trivial" compared to "man's work?" These things are "inferior" compared to "man's work?"

Second, if you look at them they are VITAL, just as vital as brining home the bacon. Rearing children is what prepares them for the real world and makes them productive functioning members of society. Not criminals. Just look at broken families and the correlation with crime, divorce, and other societal ailments.

Housekeeping is what supports the children, the wife and the husband (though men could do with just a cave and a hammock).

And clipping coupons, finding great deals, and making the most of the money increases the standards of living for the whole family. It's economically just as important to spend the money wisely as it was to earn it (making "woman's work" just as important as "men's work" as it is two sides of the same economic earning/consumption coin).

And third, it is arguably the simplest and most important example of the division of labor. If you want to be a DINK (double income, no kids), fine, then both people can work, enjoy life, drink martini's and go to town at Fredericks of Hollywood, but once you bring children into the equation,it behooves SOMEBODY (husband or wife) stay at home and do the "womanly duties." Not because the person who stays home is the lesser of the spouses, but because it just plain makes economic sense to.

Of course today we simply outsource the upbrining of children so that both spouses needn't be bothered with that nasty childrearing. You can kennel the kid at day care or school and afterschool activities and never have to suffer the inconvenience of spending any time with them. And (in an ironic sense) many women seem to pursue careers in industries where they simply seem to be taking care of other people's children, while ironically they have to work in the first place so they can pay the taxes and private sector child-caring services where essentially they're paying other women to take care of their kids (instead of just staying home to take care of their own children in the first place - which I plan on writing about in the future once I refine the thought a bit and pull some economic data).

Regardless, the larger point (and my sarcasm and cynicism aside), why did something so important and vital to society such as "traditional woman's work," regardless of who does it, get disregarded and villianized by society in the first place? And it leads me to a theory that is a bit black-helicopterish, but I am permitted one of those every once in a while.

Ergo, it's time to play Guess the Captain's Helicopter Conspiracy Theory!

I shall give you a couple clues and see if your line of reasoning doesn't come up with the same (thereby showing you I'm not completely insane).

1. The main drive to criminalize and minimize the vital importance of "woman's work" occurred during the 1960's, the peak of the cold war.

2. It mainly came from feminists quartered in the academian world.

3. Unless, I'm way off, I'm going to assume the importance of "woman's work" was so obvious to people at the time, conventional wisdom would never question the value of it.

Any guesses young intrepid junior, deputy, official and otherwise economists?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Gold Silver Ratio


This is one of those things that when I'm driving in the middle of nowhere Minnesota I think of calculating, but then forget to do by the time I get home. You hear a lot about gold, but nothing of silver. And (more or less) it seems silver is not as bubbly as gold is (certainly no doubt to the advertising and press it gets).

A Review (not mine) of Why We Get Fat



A Diet Manifesto: Drop the Apple and Walk Away

.....A few things to understand at the outset: First, despite the happy fact that unlike many in this field, Mr. Taubes is not out to sell you anything (other than his book), it is still a manifesto. Thus, though it is bursting with data, a reader has no way of knowing whether other data has been overlooked or minimized to support the author’s points.
Second, the new book is not really a new book at all; it is a sort of CliffsNotes version of “Good Calories, Bad Calories,” a long, dense tome Mr. Taubes published in 2007. With the new, smaller and more focused version, Mr. Taubes openly admits he is aiming for a broader audience and bigger impact. Fair enough, although one does begin to wonder if a line of protein bars is not far behind.....
The highlighted statement kinda caught my eye ;-)

Some links about Gut Microflora

This is mostly a bookmarking post to put some links out there.

Same poop, different gut - this one deals mostly with fecal transplants to treat bacterial infections

The gut flora as a forgotten organ - mostly dealing with diseases though touts the promise of obesity relationship

The environment within: how gut microbiota may influence metabolism and body composition - An excellent review of the current understanding of the role of gut flora in inflammation, disease, obesity, etc.  The lead author is the researcher who did the fecal transplant study on obese men that demonstrated improvements in insulin sensitivity (see next link).  I recommend reading this one.  IMO, at this point, finding a bacterial solution to obesity seems to be a long-shot and lots of wishful thinking.  

Fecal Transplant Flushes Insulin Resistance  I really look forward to their upcoming publication of this work.  It will be interesting to see the magnitude of the improvements, if it persisted past 6 weeks (e.g. was there a change in the IR as triglycerides returned to "normal"?), and the long term analysis of the microflora pre & post-transplant.  

I wonder how much of this has less to do with the bacteria and more to do with flushing the gut.  We recycle proteins and lipids in our intestines, and perhaps removing cholesterol and other phospholipids tricks the body into thinking it's in a totally different state of nutrition?  If this is so, one would expect things to return basically to "normal" down the line.  


Of Mice, Men & Microflora II: Microflora & Energy Balance

Mostly based on studies like THIS (abstract only), there's a new whiff in the air around obesity researchers.  Some go so far as to call gut microflora an "unsung organ".  Some have picked up this ball and run with it to the point of making wild claims that microflora control how much energy we extract from our food and we have no control over "energy in".   
Our results indicate that the obese microbiome has an increased capacity to harvest energy from the diet.
Firstly, we have correlation here, not causation.
Furthermore, this trait is transmissible: colonization of germ-free mice with an 'obese microbiota' results in a significantly greater increase in total body fat than colonization with a 'lean microbiota'.
Many have read this and jumped all over it to say this indicates the arrow of causation goes from microflora to obesity.   That seems reasonable until one considers what actually happened here.  Germ-free mice are smaller because they lack a major component in extraction of energy from their diet.  I discussed this in Of Mice, Men & Microflora I.  Basically, rodents are hindgut fermenters who rely on fermentation for a significant amount of energy extracted from food.  Their digestive systems are clearly different from the human digestive system.  If you colonize their guts with more bacteria that are efficient energy extractors, is it any surprise the animal gains more weight?  But this does not indicate causality because we do not know the microflora composition of the obese mice before they became obese.  My gut { pun alert } reaction on all this is that a nutrient dense intestine favors the growth of certain bacteria over others, and the direction of causality goes from hypercaloric diet to microflora + obesity.

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

What Will Happen When Social Security Runs Out

This.

Except it will be a whole lot larger and bigger.

But don't worry. You keep watching American Idol and reusing bags when you go grocery shopping. I'm sure that will save us.

Gastric Bypass Surgery & Diabetes

If you've read at all on the LC web you'll see that there's an almost grudging hatred (well that might be too strong a word, but ...) towards those who take "the easy way out" getting gastric bypass surgery.  If not aimed at the person who has undergone surgery, a palpable feeling of animosity towards the WLS "industry" and the "pusher" doctors is in the air.  At some point someone will chime in to remind everyone that "you know what kind of diet they eat don't you?", because it is low carb.  The implications of which are that the weight loss is due to going LC so why not forego the surgery.  

I tend to agree with this sentiment, somewhat, especially since most WLS candidates must follow a diet and lose a bit of weight before the surgery.  Which begs the question of if one can do this before the surgery, why can't they just keep it going and lose weight w/o the surgery?  It's a fair enough question, but one with no easy answer.  But leaving aside this issue, the LC community seems to jump quickly to attribute the improvements in diabetes markers seen with GBP to the diet.  Seems like a reasonable assumption, but wait .....

I came across this paper looking into the whole gut flora obesity thing which led me to GLP-1 and eventually to this paper popped up in a search.


Bariatric surgery is the most effective available treatment for obesity. The most frequently performed operation, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), causes profound weight loss and ameliorates obesity-related comorbid conditions, especially type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Approximately 84% of diabetic patients experience complete remission of T2DM after undergoing RYGB, often before significantweight reduction. The rapid time course and disproportional degree of T2DM improvement after RYGB compared with equivalent weight loss from other interventions suggest surgery-specific, weight-independent effects on glucose homeostasis.  Potential mechanisms underlying the direct antidiabetic impact of RYGB include enhanced nutrient stimulation of lower intestinal hormones (e.g. glucagon-like peptide-1), altered physiology from excluding ingested nutrients from the upper intestine, compromised ghrelin secretion, modulations of intestinal nutrient sensing and regulation of insulin sensitivity, and other changes yet to be fully characterized. Research aimed at determining the relative importance of these effects and identifying additional mechanisms promises not only to improve surgical design but also to identify novel targets for diabetes medications. 

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

 

Holiday Post (by Polish Avenger)

Polish Avenger – A software-engineering undergraduate sentenced to 25 years because his friend was shot dead during a burglary they were both committing. Author of the classic "Shit Slinger" series.

I must extend an apology to everyone for the length of time it’s taken since the last post. I was called away on company business – ha! My day job here is that of secretary at our onsite construction school. Our warden strolled in one day and informed us that we had exactly three weeks to construct a float for the big Veteran’s Day parade in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. A float huge enough to hold ten people. From scratch.
What’s more, this couldn’t be just some token slap-together junk wagon, no, they expected quality.
Ulp! No pressure, eh? Not to mention that our collective parade-float-building experience was precisely zilch. Well, time to learn, yes?

A local credit union sponsored the raw materials: great 12 foot (4m) blocks of Styrofoam and assorted carving tools. Being a fine art painter by trade, I figured sculpture would be easy. Just channel your inner Greek marble mason and away you go!
I was wrong. So very, very wrong. Ten hours later, I was stood in a small mountain of Styrofoam particles. The stuff gets everywhere – it’s horrible! My masterpiece WWII soldier resembled…a crippled chicken. It was madness! The more I carved, the worse it got. The other fellows were having great success, so I finally had to acknowledge the inevitable, inescapable, irremediable conclusion: I suck at this.

Thankfully there were plenty of things to paint. Leaving that godforsaken uncooperative Styrofoam to more capable hands, I unpacked the lovely little paint gun they sent us. I caressed its stainless-steel curves as if it were a naked woman. I really love to paint! Before long, I was engaged in the fine ballet of air hose and spray gun, clothes splattered, hands dripping primer, at one with the universe and never happier.

We were cleared to work 14-hour shifts until the deadline. The instant coffee and hand-rolled cigarettes and sugary pastries came out, and we put the convict machinery into top gear.

Seventeen of us put in 196 hours each, for a total of some 3,300 man-hours. The float was spectacular. The Director of the Arizona Department of Corrections himself rode on it, and remarked to news cameras that it was a work of art.
I had to agree.
And so did the judges, as we won best in category.
The warden brought the trophy down, so we could all take a group photo with it. I for one felt privileged that time and circumstances had allowed me to participate in such an excellent tribute.

Now we’re converting it into a Christmas float by adding a Styrofoam Santa and 4000 colored lights to be used in the 2010 Fiesta of Lights Electric Light Parade.

And so that’s why there haven’t been many posts from me recently. But never fear, good readers, our float orgy is nearly complete and I have many more tales of Magnum and other demented misfits to share in 2011.

Happy holidays to all!

Previous Xmas Posts:
2009 in Germany
2008 Xmas Holidays in a Women’s Prison
2007 in England shortly after my release
My release December 2007 part 1
My release December 2007 part 2
2006 Xmas with Two Tonys
2006 Xmas Day Blog
2005 Xmas visits from my parents

A Christmas Eve poem from an anonymous inmate

Merry Xmas Everyone! Thanks for supporting Jon's Jail Journal and our friends inside!
Battle of the Waterstone's

Mum and I arrived at Wigan hoping to beat the sales record set in Warrington. It didn’t look likely at first as we were told that the store would be so busy, there was no room for a table to sell our books from, that no flyers had been printed up, and the store no longer had a copy of the email containing our flyer. Some copies of Hard Time had been placed at the end of the checkout counter, completely out of view of the incoming shoppers, and we were told to operate from there. After 20 minutes of not selling a single book, my agitation rose to the point where I began lobbying for a table. The manager was eventually summoned, and a large table near the door laden with Xmas offers was cleared. As soon the display of jail outfits was set up, shoppers besieged the table.

Throughout the day, the managers of the Warrington and Wigan branches were taunting each other by email: the Wigan manager boasting that we were on target to sell 100 books and smash the record in Warrington; the Warrington manager pooh-poohing all such claims, insisting that the Warrington record was unassailable.

When Mum left at 3pm, we were still over 20 books short of the record. At 4pm, I usually leave the store, but my competitive juices had been sufficiently stirred by the manager to motivate me to stay. I left before 5pm with 97 books sold, versus 87 in Warrington.

We returned to Warrington on Christmas Eve, but the store was scheduled to close early. The manager jokingly offered to give me the keys, so I could keep the store open in order to sell enough books to beat Wigan, but I declined. We sold over 70 books. The regional manager shook our hands, and congratulated us.

500 books were sold during these recent northern book signings. They left me so exhausted I slept for 11 hours last night.

Click here for the previous Waterstone's signing blogs

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

... to all my readers who celebrate.

Tonight is a big food night in my household and I'll be cooking all day.  Gotta run to the store (ugh) for a few ingredients I forgot :(   But I may pop in here and there while stuff is simmering and baking.  It won't be low carb, but it will be near "Perfect".

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Recession Medicine

Oooo, you'll get in trouble for that!

Random thought on sugar, carb & wheat "junkies"

We've all heard the stories of the alcoholic downing cough medicine, vanilla extract, mouthwashes or even other alcohols in desperation when a palatable/usual source of the ethanol they are addicted to is not around.

So I've often wondered why the "carbaholic", sugar addict, wheat addict, etc. doesn't do the same.  Addiction is often blamed for binge behavior and overeating certain foods.  They're addictive and worse yet, we have to eat. The addict must abstain completely, you would't offer alcohol to an alcoholic after all.  Etc. etc.

But I've been in desperate situations in my binge disordered life where there's been nothing binge-worthy in the house but lots of raw materials.  If it's just the carbs I so desired or were addicted to, or wheat proteins, why did I get in the car and drive however far to find a "fix" rather than eating flour from the bag?  Or mixing it with diet soda or something.  Sounds gross?  Sure, but so would some of the conconctions I once binged on in a pinch.  My point being, if one is addicted, wouldn't you want the most concentrated quick fix?  Why eat all the "fillers"?  Most hard core alcoholics I've known don't drink beer, they tend towards hard liquor with small amounts of mixer.   Same would go for sugar.  If it is the drug, why not just eat it as straight as possible rather than mix it with other stuff?

This is what leads me to seriously question the whole addiction angle of foods and the obesity epidemic.  If it were just the starch or the sugar or the bioactive veggie protein, an addict would seek out the most concentrated source.  After all, any study I've ever seen implicating foods in addiction involve large doses.  Surely if it is purely physical, our bodies would crave the concentrated source, palatability be damned.  Straight booze, especially cheap stuff, tastes pretty horrible, but if someone is jonesing for a drink and they can afford the "nip", they're not mixing it with something first.  So, if carbs and sugar etc. are as addictive as heroine (as I've seen many describe them), why don't addicts just get their fix from the plain stuff, at least in a pinch?

What Should I Major In?

I'll make this short and sweet for you young kids out there kicking around what kind of major you should choose.

Don't listen to your "guidance counselors." They don't know jack.

Don't even listen to your parents, especially if they're the type of parents who "are your best friend."

This isn't some light-hearted decision that you can just make willy nilly and just assume you'll have a job at the end of 4 years of your youth and $60,000 in tuition bills later.

Just spend the $5 bleeping dollars on this book and the whopping 3 hours it might take to read it, and you'll have all your questions answered, not to mention a future void of poverty and debt.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Aaron Clarey and the Great Wyoming Hike

The Difference Between Statutory and Effective Corporate Tax Rates

If you get ever so slightly into a debate with one of our lefter leaning brothers and sisters a very common (and economically) important disagreement will be the issue of corporate taxes.

The bumper sticker line from the right is "we have the second-highest corporate tax rate in the world." (which is true).

The bumper sticker counter argument from the left will be "that's the statutory rate (if they even know that official word) and corporations pay much less than that because they get tax deductions and shield their money using loopholes and offshore subsidiaries" (which is also true).

The stated tax rate in the US is about 40% (depending on state taxes).

The estimates of the "effective tax rate" is anywhere from 17% to 32% and the difference is largely due to corporations moving their money overseas or through various accounting methods recognizing the majority of their income in lower taxes countries (Google for example setting up shop in Ireland).

NOW LISTEN TO ME AND FOLLOW ME VERY CAREFULLY for this economic lesson is vital to both people on the right and the left to understand.

99% of the time this argument comes up is because the two individuals are talking about how to create jobs and get the economy going again. The person on the right points out the high STATUTORY tax rate as a reason corporations don't invest here and are loth to create new jobs.

The person on the left will say the statutory rate doesn't matter, because corporations don't effectively pay that rate. They pay a much lower rate ergo why lower corporate taxes period?

However, here is the flaw in that thinking.

The person on the left thinks that the statutory rates don't matter. When in reality they DO matter because they are what drove corporations to shield their money offshore in the first place. In other words it is the statutory rate that drives the effective rate. Not the other way around.

Let us assume for instance that the very low estimate of 17% is the real effective tax rate.

The left is complaining about how corporations are "getting away" with such a low rate.

How do they get away with it though?

By shipping, sending, and investing their money offshore.

NOT HERE.

The obvious solution then would be to lower taxes to the point that corporations would not ship/invest/shield/deposit/etc., their money offshore, but rather HERE. You would have the same corporate tax revenue (actually more, because they'd be repatriating their funds back to the US) because there would be no change in the effective tax rate. It's just that in lowering the statutory tax rate to the same level of the effective tax rate corporations would redirect their money flows. One might think about giving them an extra percent or two just to make it worth their while to repatriate the funds here, so a statutory rate of say 15% would be in order.

However, the "obvious" solution if you ask the person on the left would be to "close the loopholes" and raise the effective tax rate to the statutory tax rate. Well that is what triggered the corporations to ship their money overseas in the first place. They didn't WANT to pay those taxes. And while simpleton logic and thinking would say, "ah ha! We have those corporations now! They'll finally be FORCED to pay the statutory tax rate!" all it will do is drive corporations further into the arms of lower taxed countries as they not just move and shield money overseas, but move entire corporate headquarters since the loopholes are closed.

Which now brings us full circle and you see where the people on the left have an argument that contradicts itself.

The whole POINT of the original argument was to assess the merits of lowering taxes to spur economic growth and job creation. The left's logical flaw in this stream of debate is that they fail to address whether such a lowering would help. They instead see red and go to the tidbit little bumper sticker and regurgitate, "Well corporations don't pay that rate!" which has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE QUESTION. They also fail to see that it is the high statutory rate that drives the low effective tax rate and thus capital and investment out of the US.

Since they don't understand that relationship, their solution is to make matter worse;

CLOSE THE LOOPHOLES

RAISE THE RATE

MAKE THOSE CORPORATE BASTARDS PAY

THAT'S going to woo corporations to reinvest in America??? A 5 year old could even see the flaw in the logic. Not that I wish to use such a violent analogy (but I can think of none other that would really do this justice as well as point out the absurdity of the left's solution), but it's literally like hitting your wife and when she runs away you conclude that you didn't hit her hard enough.

Of course, spousal abuse and leftist perceptions on corporations I believe share a common flaw - they are possessive and controlling.

They don't realize these corporations are NOT THEIRS.

They don't realize they have NO OWNERSHIP in the corporation and therefore logically (and morally) the corporation doesn't owe them squat!

But their behavior belies their true belief and that is they think corporations are here NOT to produce goods and services for their customers, but to generate revenue for the government so it can be spent on themselves. The corporation is there to serve the freeloader, not the customer.

Another common flaw (and one I use to win this argument when I invariably run into the Impenetrable Wall of Ignorance) is to ask them if they would like their 401k or 403b plans to go up in value. Or if they would like their pensions to be fully funded. NOT ONCE have I heard them say, "no."

Yet they fail to realize that it is corporate profits that drive the value of their retirement plans. Again eluding to The Impenetrable Wall of Ignorance.

Of course I don't expect to convince anybody on the left by this simple lesson in economics and logic. I'm simply putting there here for posterity's sake and for those of you who run into the "statutory vs. effective tax rate" debate you'll at least NOT be ignorant when you speak about it.

In the meantime, enjoy they decline.

Insulin Wars VIII: Adam Kosloff of Low Carb Survivor's Guide

Let me start by saying I never heard of this guy.  But wonder, if LC is so great, why would one need a "Survivor's Guide"?  But I digress.

This is my latest installment in response to Jimmy's roundtable of "experts" on James Kreiger's series on insulin;  “Insulin…an Undeserved Bad Reputation”, Part 2,Part 3, Part 4Part 5.

Kosloff starts out with a long "preamble" directed to James as if he were corresponding with him.  I am not privy to their interactions and will defer to James to discuss this part when he has the time to draft his own rebuttals.  I will comment on my observation that Kosloff seems to come at this from the viewpoint of having bought into the carbohydrate hypothesis hook line and sinker, and basically he disagrees with "calories count".

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Waterstone’s Warrington

Mum and I just got back from today’s book signing. It started out with 12 books sold from 11am until noon, so we figured it would be an average day. I was keeping count by writing the number down.

During the next hour, things went bonkers. For 40 minutes, Christmas shoppers mobbed my table, some demanding three or four books to be signed – “Can’t have the grandchildren fighting over one book now can we?” – so I completely lost count.

“You’ve sold 75,” a staff member said a few hours later. “More than Kerry Katona!”
"Who's she?" I asked.
The lady looked at me as if to say, What planet are you from? This is what happens when you don't watch TV.

Those of you worried about me overworking my mum will be pleased to know that while I was so busy I didn't even get to open my bag of salted cashews, Mum took a full lunch hour to eat at Debenhams.

By the end of the signing, Mum and I were delirious from exhaustion. I actually left the store to bin some trash, and when I re-entered Mum thrust a leaflet at me, and tried to sell me a copy of Hard Time. I really should have bought one off her before she noticed I was her son.

By the time we left, the computer system hadn’t registered all of the book sales, but the manager estimated it be almost 90. He invited us back for Xmas Eve, a hard-to-get spot coveted by authors.

Tomorrow, we’re returning to the Wigan Waterstone’s, but the store only has 50 books in stock. Fortunately, I carry 100 in the trunk of my car at all times.

It's great to get out and meet so many friendly people who are interested in my story.

Click here for the previous Waterstone's book signing blog

Of Thermodynamics, Complexity, Closed Systems & Equilibrium

In light of this recent post, I've been thinking more and more again on this topic.  And when Adam Kossloff liberally quoted from Entropy Production's author Robert McCleod's rebuttal to rebuttal or whatever in the Taubes/Bray dust-up, I just had to weigh in on this.  

Let me preface this by saying that I have a bit of a unique perspective on this issue having learned and applied thermodynamics in the context of several disciplines,  from both a scientific and engineering perspective.  I've worked in a number of fields and interacted with many who have only been exposed to these concepts in one context or the other.  Now what I'm about to say is obviously a generalization,  so keep in mind I'm not saying "all", just in general.  But one thing I've noticed is that engineers and physicists tend to not really "get" chemistry, or worse, biology, because they are used to things being cut and dry.  I've heard some certifiable geniuses in engineering disciplines make some extremely ... well ... stupid comments about something biological.  For the physicist, drop a ball off a cliff and pretty much we can figure the time it will take to reach the bottom, its velocity at impact and all that.  But one can mix A & B in a test tube, and almost inevitably the resulting amount of C that might be produced differs from predictions.  It is almost a given that one will be asked to provide possible explanations for the differences between predicted and observed values when writing up a lab report.  Throw in something living, like bacteria in a petri dish, and it only gets worse.  So the physicists and engineers tend to resort to the "it's all too complicated to explain" refrain because there are just so many other factors at play that we can't possibly seek to understand or explain.

The same happens to biologists and chemists looking the other direction.  Truth is, in most undergraduate programs, the bio majors (or softer life science related fields) and many chem majors take a different physics class, one that is not calculus based, and may not even be required to take a course in differential equations or even calculus.  The equation at the top of McLeod's blog looks daunting, as do many of the discussions of Hall & Chow.  So one can feasibly be a bio/chem/biochem whiz and still that thermo equation might as well be written in Chinese.  So that equation looks foreign so geez ... how can we ever seek to understand something so complicated?   It's a form of intellectual bullying IMO.  Make something so complicated that it can't possibly be understood and you can baffle with bullshit all day long.
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Fossils!

20,000 FOSSILS FOUND IN CHINA!

But no, they just couldn't let it be a great happy warm fuzzy feeling story.

No, they have to go and lecture us about how these fossils will help us understand how species will recover from "the damage humans have done to the Earth."

Honest to Pete.

I guarantee you the Chinese paleontologists that found it are not flagellating themselves over their find.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sociology Degrees Are Worthless

Yes, sorry to say, kids, sociology degrees are worthless.

But you don't have to listen to me.

How to Pick a Major

Kiddies, there's the easy way and the hard way.

The hard way is doing a ton of research, sitting with your guidance counselor who will ask you about puppies and flowers and "what does your heart tell you" bullshit.

Then there's the easy way where you'll get the straight dope.

Or the $5 Kindle version which is cheaper.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Insulin Wars VII: Tom "Fat Head Movie" Naughton

I thought I would share some thoughts on some of the responses of LC "experts" to James Krieger's excellent series on insulin.  For any who missed them, here are the links  “Insulin…an Undeserved Bad Reputation”, Part 2,Part 3, Part 4Part 5.

Jimmy Moore asked an array of people in LC circles for their thoughts HERE

This installment is in regards to Tom Naughton of Fat Head film documentary fame.

I feel a bit bad "picking" on this guy.  He seems nice enough and all that.  But I guess first of all I question Jimmy's judgement in asking a comedian's opinion on James' rather thoroughly steeped in science series on insulin.  I would have given Naughton a pass had he simply taken his own pass here with an "I'm not qualified to discuss such".    But since he didn't, I won't ;-)

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The Crowding Out Effect

So I decided for my own curiosity to test whether or not there is a crowding out effect. And take note young aspiring male economists, it's stuff like this that makes picking up chicks easy. So when you go to the clubs or the bars or dance halls and you approach a girl and she says,

"So, what did you do today?"

You can say with confidence and a smug smile,

"Well, baby, I tested whether or not there is indeed a crowding out effect."

Anyway, for those of you who are not familiar with the crowding out effect it is the theory that when the government borrows all this money to finance federal deficits (like the ones we have now) that means it takes away these loanable dollars from private citizens and business and thereby increases the interest rate.

To test this I compared the government budget balance (as a percent of GDP) against the real interest rate of 10 year constantly maturing US Treasuries (ie- took out inflation).

Resulting in this;And these correlations/trendlines (10 year interest adjusted for core and nominal inflation);

Notice with the polynomal trendline there is an uptick in the correlation with budget surpluses and interest rates. It suggests to me that the economy in those periods was growing so fast the natural private sector demand increased interest rates, while at the same time a booming economy resulted in an enlarged tax base increase budget balances into the black.

Insulin Wars VI: Dr. William Davis of Heart Scan Blog

I thought I would share some thoughts on some of the responses of LC "experts" to James Krieger's excellent series on insulin.  For any who missed them, here are the links  “Insulin…an Undeserved Bad Reputation”, Part 2,Part 3, Part 4Part 5.

Jimmy Moore asked an array of people in LC circles for their thoughts HERE

The subject of this installment is Dr. William Davis of Heart Scan Blog.


The focus cannot be only on insulin. Glucose itself is harmful via the process of endogenous glycation, i.e., glucose-driven modification of proteins. The higher the blood glucose, the greater the glycation, with the process beginning at blood glucose levels of 100 mg/dl or more.  Blood glucose after a 3-egg omelet is typically 95 mg/dl. Blood glucose after a bowl of slow-cooked, stone-ground oatmeal is typically 150-200 mg/dl in non-diabetics.

Firstly, kudos to Dr. Davis for saying the focus cannot be only on insulin ... but ... then what does the rest of this have to do with James' series on the demonization of insulin??
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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dawn of a New Adventure (Part 9)

“We’ve got a local author signing books today,” my mum said to a harmless-looking old lady entering the store. “It’s a true story. Bit like The Shawshank Redemption – ”
“I’m not interested!” The old lady’s face animated, her eyes becoming wide and wild. “I’m a poet! I'm a published poet! Do you know Lord Byron?” Her voice changed as if she were channelling messages from the spirit world as she started reciting Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, a lengthy poem by Byron. On and on she went, attracting queer looks from the passers-by that I was trying to attract to my table, who were now swerving away from us. When she started waving her arms around and putting her face so close that we could smell her cat-food breath, we backed away.
A woman weighed down with shopping bags whose passage was blocked by the old lady yelled, “Can you get out of my bloody way!”
The old lady drifted further into the store, showering random praise on Byron with statements such as “Lord Byron got that one right!”
I had the urge to ask her “Did Lord Byron get it right when he slept with his half sister or drank from human skulls?” but I managed to suppress it.

And thus began last Friday’s book signing at Waterstone’s in Altrincham, where we – me and my top salesperson: my mum – smashed our previous record by selling 47 copies. According to the Waterstone’s staff in Warrington, local authors sell an average of 5 copies per signing.

On Saturday, Mum – after seeing news reports about the traffic chaos and worried that we might perish on our 39 minute journey to Waterstone’s in Stockport – packed an emergency preparedness kit, consisting of blankets (including the cat’s for some reason), a litre of apple juice, tangerines, bananas and nuts. Despite being barely able to see through a windshield caked in salt from the freshly gritted roads, we arrived unharmed.

A group of schoolchildren, mistaking me for someone famous, the kind of mistake I really appreciate, approached my table with the following demand: “Sorry we don’t have enough money to buy your book, but will you sign some of your leaflets and stamp them with cockroaches for us.” After I’d accommodated their wishes, they ran outside, giggling, chatting, and flaunting my signature to their friends.
Luckily, they left just in time so as not to overhear a woman say to her husband, “Shaun Attwood. Who is he? I’ve never heard of him.” Approaching my mum, the woman said, “Are you his mum or his manager?”
“Both,” Mum said. “But I don’t get paid.”

The next bookstore eccentric was in the same league as the Byronic Woman. I’d managed to coax a number of shoppers to my table. They were happily reading the book jacket to the accompaniment of mum’s words of encouragement to buy Hard Time when a man who appeared to be wearing a lunch heavy on tomato ketchup all over his sweater and jacket lapels barged through them, and greeted me in an incomprehensible way that involved drooling on the table. The cluster of potential book buyers scattered – never to be seen again. Eyeing droplets of drool landing worryingly close to my pile of unsold books, I had to do something about the situation. I managed to steer him to one side of the table. He droned on, his drool landing safely on the floor. But he was acting like mosquito repellent on the fresh batch of customers coming up the stairs, clutching my leaflet, interest sparkling in their eyes – until they saw him. At one point he started waving his chequebook at me, but I was mystified as to what he was trying to communicate about it. All I could fathom was that he didn’t have the money on him to buy Hard Time, that he was going begging in an attempt to raise it and that he’d be back in two hours.

A middle-aged man approached my table. "Are you Shaun Attwood?"
"Yes. I'm signing my book today – ”
"You're under arrest! We're extraditing you back to America, to Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jail."
He remained deadpan, and I played along.

By the end of the signing, Mum had almost lost her voice. The people she was pitching to were either walking past, unable to hear her, or looking at her in a kindly way as if she had some illness. She was no doubt a victim of my work ethic: I'd only allowed us to have a bag of crisps each for lunch so as not to lose any sales.
Discussing the bookstore eccentrics on the drive home, Mum said, “That’s how local authors end up in their old age.” She added that I’ll end up like the Byronic Woman, only quoting Nietzsche.

We sold 55 books in Stockport, giving the proactive staff – two of whom donned the striped jail outfits (see the pics in the previous blog) – bragging rights over the other branches. Thank you to all of the staff at Waterstone’s who have been helping us!

The next Waterstone’s book signings are in Warrington on December 22nd, and Wigan on December 23rd.

Click here for the previous Waterstone's book signing blog

Click here for Dawn of a New Adventure (Part 8)

The ASP pathway and regulation of postprandial metabolism ~ Part I

The acylation-stimulating protein pathway and regulation of postprandial metabolism

By regulating the rate of adipocyte triacylglycerol synthesis, the acylation-stimulating protein (ASP) pathway plays a critical role in postprandial triacylglycerol clearance (Baldo et al. 1993)

I came across this one following the trail of, who else?, Keith Frayn.  Thank you Gary Taubes for inadvertently introducing me to this fountain of truth of the science of fat metabolism.  I was going to make this the lastest install in Frayn v. Taubes series, but I think that does an injustice to Frayn, not to mention Allan Sniderman, Katherine Cianflone, Lucinda Summers, and Barbara Fielding (the first four authors of this article).

I'll do my best at a bullet point summary of the research cited in this review and the conclusions of the authors.  Indented italics will be direct quotes from the article.  Note:  triacylglycerol = triglyceride
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Xmas Waterstone's Book Signings

Amelia "Affirmative Action" Earhart

The primary reason I disagree with affirmative action is not that it gives an unfair advantage to a group of people on worthless grounds (though that itself is enough to be against it), but rather that it disenfranchises people who happen to be a member of a minority or "victim class" of a very important thing;

Pride.

For example my Kuwaiti supplier of cigars IS the best tobacconist in the Twin Cities.

But, does he know that for a fact?

A friend of mine whose pigmentation HAPPENS to make him black IS the first person I would hire in a heart beat for a CEO position of a corporation I am kicking around starting.

But, does he know that for a fact?

Natasha is arguably one of the best corporate accountants in the state.

But does she know that for a fact?

And another black friend of mine IS the best banker in the Twin Cities because he (like me) refused to go along with the corruption laden real estate scams in the state. He is fortunate to have found work after quitting on moral grounds at our previous employer.

But does he know he got hired at another bank because he was the best banker in the Twin Cities for a fact? Or because PR-sensitive HR departments were anxious to parade him in-front the politically correct castratti of Minnesota?

It is this that I find to be the biggest cost to affirmative action because it deprives those people (who through birthing or conceiving circumstances beyond their control) were fated to be "black" or a "woman" or a member of some "victim" group of the confirmation and knowledge that they are indeed the "best" or "damn good" at their job or profession.

Which leads us to Amelia Earhart (whose potential bones have put her back in the news).

A compelling piece was put together that deserves more attention about Amelia and how unlike Charles Lindbergh and other male aviation pioneers she had a ton of help which was essentially a 1930's prototype version of affirmative action. Male pilots and navigators piloting for her. Lack of radio skills. Acknowledging she basically just took orders. And let's not forget the fact she (regrettably) FAILED in one particular flight resulting in her death and unknown whereabouts.

I was brought up believing she was this great aviator. Notice I said "aviator." Not "female aviator." There was no discernment between male or female. She was just this kick ass chick who could do what the boys could do. Matter of fact, until I read more about Amelia I thought she was side by side with Charles Lindbergh in terms of feat-accomplishment in terms of a time line. She was like the hot IT geek chick of her time and like hot IT geek chicks of our time, we absolutely adore, worship and honor them. And this of course is what everybody else my age, as well as younger and older viewed her as.

What is so upsetting about this article is not that we were misled, but rather that if even half of it is to be believed, then the spirits and admiration women (and certainly men) had for Amelia were all in vain. Women who went onto pursue and "be like Amelia" or made Amelia their hero were putting their faith not in a truly independent woman, but one who needed a serious dosage of helping from men. Which behooves the question -

WHY DID THEY NEED TO FABRICATE (or at least) EMBELLISH THE STORY OF AMELIA EARHART?

Is not history full of genuinely powerful and legitimately independent women?

Joan of Arc comes to mind.

Catherine the Great.

Or (my favorite because she was a lower class prostitute-turned empress) Theodora who grew a spine when her pansy beta husband Justinian wanted to retreat from the Nika revolt.

Margret Thatcher is another.

Not to mention I'm sure all of you know women in your lives personally who are heroes within their own rights (and forget something "strong" or "heroic," how about just great women who did simple things like making life enjoyable and being a great mom or a great wife?)

But no, we need to create a media sensation as well as make it look like we're doing something for society so we can get re-elected.

Of course the cost is nowhere near worth the benefit.

In implementing things such as affirmative action (or predecessor gimmicks such as Amelia Earhart) we truly undermine current and future generations of minorities and women by making it impossible to have pride as well as to know for a fact they are the best.

And I don't say this as some kind of "appeasing, oh look ,the Captain really does have a heart or is extending a palm branch to the left" kind of way. I mean this as in "Damnit, I know people who are the best at what they do, and they are PEOPLE who are the BEST at what they do."

Not some "black guy" who is really good at managing a business "for a black guy."

Or "some chick" who is really good at accounting "for a chick."

Or some "muslim guy" who is really good at negotiating tobacco prices "for a muslim guy."

It is THE ONE guy who is the BEST at managing a business.

It is THE ONE guy who is the BEST banker in the ENTIRE Twin Cities.

It is THE ONE girl who is the BEST assistant controller in the state.

And it is THE ONE guy who is the best tobacconist in the Twin Cities.

They may just happen to be inconsequentially black, hispanic, female or muslim, but that is NOT them and does not define them. Their brains and personalities and persons are who they are, regardless of skin color, gender or religion.

But no, you lefties have to make these excellent professionals question their achievements because you've now given society an incentive to hire people for reasons other than performance. And not only that, you've now seeded doubt into any intellectually honest minority group member as to whether they'll be judged on merit and performance and ultimately THEMSELVES or the color of their skin and gender.

MLK and Susan B. Anthony would (and probably are) rolling in their graves and having a heart to heart with Amelia as well as her modern day compatriot Kara Hultgreen.

Post Post

I just wanted to add an addendum to this post to show you a concrete example of what I'm talking about. I've highlighted this before, but this really is the epitome of what I've been talking about above. The Nicholas Brothers were, are, have been and (frankly) will forever be the best tap dancers in the world. Oh, mock "tap dancing" as you might, I will bet my fortune there isn't and never will be another brotherly duo on the face of this planet that will ever achieve what they did (see below).




Both of them have unfortunately passed away, but they damn well knew they were the best. And you want to know why THEY knew they were the best?

It's not because there was some lefty female 40 something philosophy doctorate placating them about "institutionalized racism" and how "they had to overcome such hurdles" "explained" why their performance was great "given their handicap."

It's not because their elementary school teacher told them they were all "special" and were "bound for greatness by their mere existence."

And it's CERTAINLY NOT because Barack Obama is the president of the United States.

It's because they WERE, ARE and FOREVER SHALL BE the best.

Do you think for a second they ever thought about their RACE when it came to them pulling off this feat of brilliance?

When they were done with this dance I guarantee you they knew they were the best. And to have some pansy ass goatee wearing lefty schmub from the suburbs dare to insult them posthumously by daring to apply a lesser standard to them because of their skin color. They would rise from their grave and pummel them.

The reason why?

It's because the performance of the Nicholas Brothers has nothing to do with the color of their skin. They were just the best damn tap dancers in the world. They dedicated themselves to the study, training and physical demands of such a performance.

And in the end, nobody is looking at the color of their skin. They're simply looking at the real core and soul of the men who gifted society with such a brilliant and unapproachable piece of American culture.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Recession Medicine

Wait for the 1 minute mark or so.

And if that is too violent, perhaps this is more appropriate;

Oh Nevermind ..... (Taubes and G3P)

Poor Gary Taubes is embarrassed by his whole glycerol phosphate debacle, and since that was just too difficult a subject for dummy laypersons to understand anyway, he just left it out of his upcoming book.  So let's just forget about that one folks and move on.  He takes the opportunity to set the record straight in an interview, had time to post two long blog posts rehashing his latest spin on carbs and such, but hasn't addressed this issue in print despite at least one commenter asking about it.  He "hopes" to be able to get to such heady topics at some future point.  I'm not holding my breath!

But I think Mr. Taubes should have his feet held to the fire on this issue and not be allowed to get away with a simple "oh nevermind" on a key aspect of his theories.

One can listen to his latest (James Kreiger bashing **more on this at the end of this post) interview HERE.  It's a bit of a tough listen with audio difficulties and such, but the issue I want to address comes around the 51:30 mark where he addresses his "bone headed" mistakes in GCBC.  

Listen to that and now go back and listen to his mea culpa at around the 41:30 mark in his interview with Jimmy Moore HERE.

Some inconsistencies jumped out at me right away:
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Friday, December 17, 2010

The First Law of Thermodynamics

I've been fighting off a cold so begging off housework in favor of goofing off at my blog today.  Lots on my mind so I've been rather prolific!

I get tired of hearing this misstated time and again by both people who should know better and those ill equipped to comment on such matters, but who do anyway.  I'll abbreviate The First Law of Thermo as TFLOT.

Calories In = Calories Out + Energy Stored is a fact.  This boils down to simple conservation of mass in the end as I discussed in a bit of a rambling post HERE.    From hereon out I'll use CI and CO for calories in and out respectively.
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Random thought re grassfed meats ...

... I'm listening to Jimmy's podcast with Zoe Harcombe and she's discussing Lierre Keith and feeding grain to animals vs. humans, etc.  I don't have a beef (pun?) on this topic, but it reminded me of something I read a while back regarding grassfed meats and grain consumption in general.  

It went something like this:  The current population of the world could not be sustained if every human on the planet were to consume grassfed livestock and tried to eliminate grains entirely as a carbohydrate energy source.    What this says to me is that were we to try to transition to such a diet for "everyone", it could not be sustained.  Then the question becomes which humans get access to the good stuff, and which are relegated to consuming what's left, and what are the ethical implications?

Anyone else here ever read or consider this?

Insulin Wars IV: Todd Becker of Getting Stronger blog

Okey Dokey, I made a big boo boo and edited the original of this post to create another post in this series by changing the title.  Result?  The original disappeared.  Won't be doing that again!  Live and learn some more :-)  Anyway, luckily I had the post open in another browser window so I didn't lose it.  Phew!!  C&P'd the existing comments too.  Hope I didn't lose any!  Sorry if I did :-(



Friday, December 17, 2010


Insulin Wars IV: Todd Becker of Getting Stronger blog

I thought I would share some thoughts on some of the responses of LC "experts" to James Krieger's excellent series on insulin.  For any who missed them, here are the links  “Insulin…an Undeserved Bad Reputation”, Part 2,Part 3, Part 4Part 5.

Jimmy Moore asked an array of people in LC circles for their thoughts HERE

The subject of this installment is Todd Becker of Getting Stronger blog.
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Insulin Wars V: Dr. Richard Feinman

I thought I would share some thoughts on some of the responses of LC "experts" to James Krieger's excellent series on insulin.  For any who missed them, here are the links  “Insulin…an Undeserved Bad Reputation”, Part 2,Part 3, Part 4Part 5.

Jimmy Moore asked an array of people in LC circles for their thoughts HERE

The subject of this installment is Dr. Richard Feinman, infamous to me for his mangling of thermodynamics. 


In any case, Feinman focuses on the relationship between insulin its suppression of hormone sensitive lipase, HSL, the enzyme responsible for lipolysis in our fat cells and release of free fatty acids (NEFA/FFA).  This one really caught my eye because he evokes the following study by Hernandez et.al. that I have previously come across, demonstrating a similar effect of low-carb diets releasing NEFA that I blogged on HERE discussing the following study:  Acute exposure to long-chain fatty acids impairs α2-adrenergic receptor-mediated antilipolysis in human adipose tissue.
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