Sunday, July 31, 2011

Naming a Bridge After a Degenerate


Just like Jim Morrison, his music just wasn't that good. And also like Jim Morrison, you had to be high or drunk to like it. And how did both of those guys end up? Hmmm...another similarity.

Suffering Again Enjoying the Decline

This is Harney's Peak in the background. I had hiked it earlier and then noticed some storm clouds off in the distance. Was very glad I decided to high tail it out of there as the storm engulfed the peak.

Google Giggles

Who'lda thunk anyone would find My Carb Sane-Asylum googling:

cute c57bl mouse

Set Point ~ Settling Point Part I: Just some thoughts

There's quite a bit of discussion going on over this topic in the comments HERE.

Archibald posted a link to Issues and Misconceptions About Obesity, the infamous Flatt paper.

Since this part was "hot" right now, I decided to blog on this, also because the issue has come up in other recent comments.

9. Conditions for body weight stability: “settling point” vs. “set point”
Although less obvious than the fact that energy intake must be equal to energy expenditure, weight stability also requires that the substrate mixture oxidized be equivalent, on average, to the composition of the nutrient mix consumed. When “substrate balance” is not achieved, changes in body composition occur, which in time are bound to elicit adjustments in food intake.  Weight maintenance thus tends to become established for a particular body composition in a given individual living under a particular set of circumstances. This corresponds to a “settling point”. Such a view accommodates the fact that circumstances cause weight stability to occur for various degrees of adiposity. Thus it seems to fit reality much better than the concept of a “set point” or “ponderostat” often invoked to explain weight stability. In fact, such a concept would seem to be utterly inconsistent with the rise in the preponderance of obesity, since set-points would have to be seen as preventing the impact of changing circumstances. It has sometimes been considered that “set-points” are reset for different conditions, but in effect this argument reduces the set-point phenomenon to a settling point.
Read more »

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Damaged Metabolism Part I

This post is a bit of a "rush to publish" w/o any scientific literature or blog linking, etc.  I'll hopefully get to put the finishing touches on further installments addressing some studies (some James Krieger has discussed in posts on his blog and in comments here, and some others) and such.  

But the discussion came up again in the comments HERE , and I figured this might be as good a time as any to put at least a few general comments together.
Read more »

Free Fatty Acids and Cytokines Induce Pancreatic ß-Cell Apoptosis by Different Mechanisms

Free Fatty Acids and Cytokines Induce Pancreatic ß-Cell Apoptosis by Different Mechanisms

(I've scrubbed the distracting reference numbers from some excerpts of the introduction and I'm also going to try to cite only the information pertinent to T2)
Hypercaloric diets containing large amounts of fat, also called the Western diet, contribute to a major extent to the increasing prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). T2DM is characterized by peripheral insulin resistance, pancreatic ß-cell dysfunction, and decreased ß-cell mass associated with increased rates of ß-cell apoptosis. Elevated levels of circulating free fatty acids (FFAs) contribute to the pathogenesis of T2DM. High concentrations of FFAs lead to both impairment of insulin action and ß-cell dysfunction.  Moreover, FFAs have been shown to cause ß -cell death, mainly by apoptosis. 
Of note, increased adiposity is associated not only with increased FFA release but also with adipocyte secretion of a variety of cytokines and cytokine-like adipokines, such as TNF -α, IL-6, leptin, resistin, and adiponectin. TNF-α has direct cytotoxic effects on pancreatic ß -cells, especially in combination with other cytokines.
Read more »

Friday, July 29, 2011

Jim Beam, Cusano Cigar and a 1940's Motel

I originally was going to take pictures, but then it dawned on me I don't want to ruin it with digital precision and am going to let you imagine it.

I am currently sitting outside in my fold-out chair at my dirt cheap motel in a very small town nestled within the Black Hills of South Dakota. A place none of you will find. It's 78 degrees, about 2130 and the red neon lights just came on casting a very nice hue over the dilapidated trucks in the parking lot. The old man who runs the joint just came out and lit up a cigarette himself.

I am currently puffing on an M1 Cusano Torpedo Cut cigar with a flask of Jim Beam. I have no cell phone reception. Nobody can get in contact with me. I no longer suffer from the jilt or jolt of my cell phone vibrating or ringing, thereby making it my master of a Pavlovian dog-like response to some request or another. My only concerns for tomorrow is to determine which mountain I'm going to climb OR, if it's particularly hot which swimming hole I shall visit OR if it's particularly cool, which portion of the Badlands I shall hike straight through.

Additionally I have not listened to talk radio for about the past 3 weeks and am blissfully unaware of the debt and deficit problems I have tacitly paid attention to when I do decide to visit the Drudge Report. Though I have noticed on my sidebar plug-ins my dollar-short positions against the NOrwegian Kroner and the Canadian dollar are doing quite well - thank you Barry.

I did download some Tom Leykis so I could listen to something while I was driving my motorcycle around the Black Hills today, but otherwise right now I hear nothing but crickets and the occasional motorcycle or car driving by on the only paved road in town. I think I will drink myself my flask of Jim Beam and retire watching the history channel or the military channel.

If there is a way to enjoy the decline. This is it. Not trying, not working, and living as cheaply as possible on the minimum amount of labor you forfeited to the labor market/government-taxing machine. In the meantime I authorize all junior, deputy, aspiring, official or otherwise economists to pour themselves a hefty pour of whatever they got and make a long-range toast (wherever you may be in the Capposphere).

Enjoy the decline!

I'm more than happy to discuss my weight ...

... but it really is besides the point.

I've finally fixed the picture issues over at my Who Is CarbSane page and it's been an interesting several weeks to read the musings about the internet about my weight, etc. based on my face shot.  I must be a cannonball, there's no way I can fit into the sizes I do, whatever ...
Read more »


1.4% RGDP and last quarter revised down to .4%.

You Keynesian morons.

Join the Discussion On: Obesity and energy balance: is the tail wagging the dog?

Ripe for the weekend ... Has Gary Taubes been right all along? Is the whole tautology of the First Law of Thermodynamics whacked? Do we have this direction wrong?  Well, apparently quite a few have seen the paper I'll be sharing with you through Google Docs, and thought just that!  First, I'd like to thank Matt Metzgar for the PDF.  

OK, so what's this all about?  

Obesity and energy balance: is the tail wagging the dog?
JCK Wells and M Siervo .   European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2011), 1–17.

But marilynb aka mhb here has decided to share my link over at the LLVLC discussion board attributing the sharing to Matt.  Yes, he provided me with the PDF, and it's not "my" (or his) PDF, but I was sharing it through my Google Docs account via a link for my readers for the purpose of discussion.  I do not appreciate that being linked about without even properly acknowledging the source.  If you want to share and discuss, do it on your own account folks.   Some people are rather ... pathetic.

Anyway, anyone wanting the full text can email me and I'll be glad to provide it.  I'm going to have to rethink how to share full texts apparently.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Generation

This woman is my age.

I have no children.

She has two generations.

Enjoy the decline!

Hippies Don't Help Economic Growth

I was at the post office the other day. In front of me was a younger-looking grandmother sending off what seemed to be a book and a National Geographic issue. It was a small post office, but it wouldn't have mattered because this woman was quite insistent on speaking loud enough for everybody to hear.

"Yes, I'm sending these to my grandchildren! That's me on the front of the National Geographic when I was in South America! I'm also in this book! It's the first book written by and about the Peace Corps."

Naturally my eyes rolled. Not because in front of me was an aged hippie who can only point to something she did 50 years ago as the pinnacle of the acheivements in her life, but because who else but Peace Corps hippies would think their grandchildren want a lame book written by hippies and a dated National Geographic from 1964?

Of course I couldn't pass this up, so I inquired,

"Where were you in the Peace Corps?"

"Ecuador. Have you been there?"

"No, no, haven't been there."

"Well how do you know about it?" (which I found to be a funny question because it's not like you had to have been to Ecuador to know it exists)

"I'm an economist, I follow the Correa administration."

And with that exchange, that's all I needed. I found the country she and the other hippies were at in 1964. So off the Captain went to the Cappy Cap Cave, fired up his ole Cappy Cap Computer and went to work looking up Ecuador's economic history.

And in a few short minutes of superawesome economic research, I found the presence of hippies do not help economic growth. Of course most people know that, I just wanted to confirm that it wasn't by some miracle they actually did make a difference this time.

Notice when hippies were introduced to the Ecuadorian environment, nothing happened for about a solid decade thereafter. It wasn't until EEEEVIIIILLLLLL oil was discovered in 1973/1974 did its economy actually start growing.

Ever since then Ecuador's economic performance can largely be explained by oil. When oil prices tanked in the late 80's, so too did its economy. And even with a largely leftist president implementing largely leftist policies, the economy is still booming today because of the price of EEEEEVILLLLL oil.

This behooves the question then;

"What the heck did the hippies go for there in the first place?"

And another follow up question;

"Why do we keep sending hippies overseas if they don't achieve anything?"

Oh, what innocently foolish questions.

You see young, aspiring, junior, deputy and otherwise economists, Peace Corp, Ameri-Corp, UN, UNICEF, IMF and whatever other aid/humanitarian types out there do not go to these countries to help these poor countries out. They go there simply for themselves. If you look at the statistics globalization and economics is what gets countries out of poverty just as oil got Ecuador out of absolute poverty. Not this lady and her ilk helping build a well in some remote village of the Ooki Booki tribe. They go there, first and foremost, so they can feel good about themselves. Whether they actually bring about tangible results is inconsequential, because deep down inside they really don't care.

Now, while you may think I'm being harsh, especially for criticizing an old woman for sending her grandchildren a book she helped write and a magazine with her and her hippie friends, think about that.

Would YOU as a grandparent send your GRANDCHILDREN a book you wrote, let alone articles about YOU and on topics they could not care less about? It tells you all you need to know about the woman's psychology.

Can you imagine what a fun Christmas that would be at the Captain's household?


Old Cappy Cap - "Well hello grandchildren!"

Grandchildren - "What did you get us for Christmas!?"

Old Cappy Cap - "Well, I brought you a copy of my book, Behind the Housing Crash and an article written about me from 2007!"

Grandchildren - "Awww poop. That's not a real present."

Old Cappy Cap - "Shut up, you ungrateful brats! You will read it and like it! Where's the Rumpleminze?"

And of course, that's the point. This woman, just as she did back in 1964, is doing the same thing today. She's sending these poor grandkids a boring book not for their sake, but for herself.

But perhaps I could explain a little better with a quote from a previous post.

"The fact that the "house" in figure 2 still looks like garbage 7 years later just goes to show that sociology majors just like in the first world can't fix anything in the third world either."

I say just never grant a hippie with enough credit or skill to actually fix anything.

"Brat Ban"

Something tells me this would not have been an issue in the 1950's.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Recession Medicine

Because the recession is over.

The True Damage of Crusaders

Here's a perfect example;

The audio is poor, so here is the quote;

“Nearly every day without fail…men stream to these [mining] operations looking for work in Walker County. They can’t pay their mortgage. They can’t pay their car note. They can’t feed their families. They don’t have health insurance. And as I stand here today, I just…you know…what’s the use? I got a permit to open up an underground coal mine that would employ probably 125 people. They’d be paid wages from $50,000 to $150,000 a year. We would consume probably $50 million to $60 million in consumables a year, putting more men to work. And my only idea today is to go home. What’s the use? I see these guys—I see them with tears in their eyes—looking for work. And if there’s so much opposition to these guys making a living, I feel like there’s no need in me putting out the effort to provide work for them. So…basically what I’ve decided is not to open the mine. I’m just quitting. Thank you.”

Remember, it's more important that the crusader at the Sierra Club or the soccer mom who is bored and wants to launch a safety campaign against pollution or the college kid protester who needs to protest something, it's more important THEY feel good about themselves than that the rest of us have jobs, careers, and a future.

Is LC Morphing to HAES? Part II.1: What it is About Laura

At the time of posting, my installment in this series about Laura Dolson didn't catch much flack.   Of course later it was picked up on a bit, but in general I believe the lack of "backlash" on this one was that it spoke of an obvious truth -- and about someone who doesn't seem to have an active "internet personality" presence.   By that I mean Dolson blogs semiregularly over there w/o mentioning much about her personal weight issues.  Said weight issues one would have pretty much no idea about looking at her (likely Photo-shopped) face shot.  And let's read her bio, shall we?
Laura has been developing health and education Web sites for over 10 years. She was a writer and cancer support provider at, and has taught health and nutrition classes at a junior high charter school in California. She has been focusing on low-carb and low-glycemic eating for over a decade -- investigating the emerging science related to low-carb eating, writing articles to help people change their diets, and developing healthy menus and recipes.
Read more »

Monday, July 25, 2011

$1.18 Trillion of Worthless Paper

Because what? A generation of Justin Beiber sociology majors is going to produce the wealth required to pay these guys back?

I'm just glad the debt crisis is finally starting to pay nice dividends on my foreign currency plays. Though I do feel sorry for the Chinese for investing so heavily into US assets.

How does one say, "Enjoy the Decline?" in Cantonese?

As Mayor of Scenic, South Dakota, I Promise

No property taxes. Only, one sole sales tax on every transaction within the city limits

People will be allowed to smoke in private establishments if that private establishment allows it.

All forms of commerce, both admirable and shameful would be allowed.

People will be allowed to carry any gun, any time, anywhere, knowing full well if they try any nazi-jerk Norwegian schtick that moron carried out, people will be shooting back.

Whiskey is served 24-7, bars and commercial ventures are allowed to do what they want, when they want, and frankly it's none of the local government's business what yours is.

I'd make a GREAT mayor of Scenic, SD.

Where Are the EPL Stars Now?

I love it. Wish Dalrock would inform me of these more regularly.

Is LC Morphing to HAES? Part VIII: Can you be? Are You?

HAES = Health At Every Size

It is the brainchild of Dr. Linda Bacon.

Let’s face facts. We’ve lost the war on obesity. Fighting fat hasn’t made the fat go away. And being thinner, even if we knew how to successfully accomplish it, will not necessarily make us healthier or happier. The war on obesity has taken its toll. Extensive “collateral damage” has resulted: Food and body preoccupation, self-hatred, eating disorders, discrimination, poor health... Few of us are at peace with our bodies, whether because we’re fat or because we fear becoming fat.
Health at Every Size is the new peace movement.Very simply, it acknowledges that good health can best be realized independent from considerations of size. It supports people—of all sizes—in addressing health directly by adopting healthy behaviors.
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Internet Impersonation Insanity

Someone named "Evelyn" was having a little fun with Jimmy Moore.  Not me!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

It's all good and fun and games telling other people what to do, until you have to deal with the ideology you espouse.

Regulatory Costs to Housing

Reminds me of how there is a progressively larger and larger group of contractors that will NOT do business in Minneapolis because of the over-burdensome regulation and fees. I'd be curious to see how much these costs vary based on the municipality they're in.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

And Yet Somehow...

the world continues to rotate.

What irks me is how this took the top spot on Drudge in light of the tragedy in Norway.

Purposely Log-Jamming the Economy

Along the same lines of my previous post about whether it was ignorance or evil on the part of the democrats to destroy the country, another report from "Ebo" (evil big oil!)

"Compared to historical trends, pending exploration plans are up by nearly 90%, approvals are down by 85% ,and the approval process has slowed from an average of 36 to 131 days."

But hey, at least we stuck it to Big Oil! Right!? And that's what our 9th grade school teacher told us was important. Fighting the system and sticking it to the man.

Enjoy the decline

Friday, July 22, 2011

"Don't Ever Hit Your Mother With a Shovel"

On a Butch Cassidy and Sundance related note;

For those of you interested, I was intending to visit the actual Hole in the Wall where Butch Cassidy and the Hole in the Wall Gang hung out. Just requires a 4x4 vehicle. Which is not at my disposal right now.

"Those Stupid Red Neck Hicks"

Nowhere near as intelligent or enlightened as us coastal and metropolitan folk!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Captain Capitalism's Great Hippie Hole Adventure

The Hippie Hole is a swimming hole in arguably the most remote region of the Black Hills. I ran out of time last year to find it and decided today that with a bum right leg I should manage to find it and do a little swimming.

According to teh interwebz I could just "drive right up to the parking area" and in a "short 15 minute hike" manage to get there.

They didn't tell me that the dirt road you have to travel is nearly impossible for compact cars, let alone normal ones. And they didn't tell me that the "short 15 minute hike" is more or less scaling a cliff down at about a 70 degree angle. Despite my right leg being shot, I was able to hike the 2 miles into the parking lot and hobble my way down the cliff and find the Hippie Hole

It's a really neat and REMOTE place. More or less a natural damn fed by a 30 foot waterfall. You can climb up a little higher and take about a 40 foot dive, but nothing like the 100 foot cliff jumping you can do in St. Croix, WI. If it weren't for all the poison Ivy I'd consider camping there. Below are a couple pictures and a video.

And on a related note; "Hell, the fall alone will probably kill ya!"

How Could This Happen in Norway?

Hey, liberals, one of you explain to me how this could happen in the most placating, pacifist, socialist utopia you all claim to be the pinnacle of socio-economics?

This is what happens when you no longer let men be men, try to feminize them and make them women, punish and criminalize male behavior, betray your own men for the pursuit of feminism and lofty marxist and pacifist goals and replacing men with the state, and then try to placate your enemies by embracing diversity at all costs

Oh, and on a side note, HOW COULD THERE BE SHOOTINGS IN NORWAY? Guns are banned!

Obviously a mistake the media made. Must have been a clubbing or a spearing. Because you know, guns are outlawed in Norway.

Enjoy the Norwegian decline!

POST POST - As, despite claims of various Islamic groups to take responsibility for this attack which prompted me to this post, evidence is showing it is a crazed-nut-job Norwegian national who is to blame for these attacks. I offer a full rescindication of this post and will leave this post up as intellectual honesty and evidence I am wrong every once in a while. Let me know when my leftist counterparts offer something similar or if the main stream media does such a thing.

See how simple that was MSM? You see, when you're wrong, you ADMIT IT. Unlike this.

β-Cell lipotoxicity in the pathogenesis of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus of obese rats: Impairment in adipocyte-β-cell relationships

Yes, this is a rat study, but it seems applicable in light of the recent Diabetes "Crash Diet" Cure and the reductions in pancreatic fat seen in the study.  The study and the pancreatic fat issue were discussed here.  Summary:  11 diabetics followed a 600 cal/day diet for 8 weeks and regained normal insulin secretion and glycemic control.  The restored glucose induced insulin secretion (GSIS) was attributed to reduction in pancreatic fat content.

The investigators in the current study had this to say in the introduction:
Read more »

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rollerskating Will Save the Housing Market

Ed over at The Deets sent this to me. It's an NPR MP3 of a woman out west who kept on building despite the housing crash. The story of the housing crash is behind us, but mercy, it is such a display of idiocy.

For 99 cents this lady could have saved her entire construction company.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Captain's Crusade for Snakeskin Boots

OK, Cappy Cappites. I need your help.

Here's the story.

As you know my exploits and adventures have me coming into contacts with rattlesnakes on a regular basis. They are actually cowardly creatures and unless provoked will scurry away from you, rarely biting you.

However, it dawned on me how cool would it be to own a pair of rattlesnake boots? And not just a pair of snakeskin boots, but made from snakes I actually captured myself.

So the ole Captain goes out on teh interwebz and searches for snake skin boot manufacturers. He can only find retailers. He goes to a local skin/hide store in Custer, SD and asks the guy there WITH SNAKE SKINS AND RATTLESNAKE BELTS and even he doesn't know where to send me. I call taxidermists, shoe repair people, all the way from Wisconsin to Wyoming.


It's like NOBODY makes snakeskin boots, even the retailers don't know who ultimately manufactures them.


Swear to the patron saint this would not have been a problem in the 1940's.

On an interesting side note. Not to go "Zuckerberg" on you guys or anything.

We Don't Need No Stinking Jobs!

From my evil handlers in the evil Big Oil industry.

This brings up a question I'm sure many of you are asking.

Is the current administration just blissfully ignorant of economics or are they purposely doing this because they hate capitalism and America?

I'm increasingly finding myself believing option #2, fully acknowledging the "conspiracy theory" stigma that would be attached to me.

The Gap Continues to Close

Official report from the Fed. Since I'm on vacation, anybody want to read it and tell me if they mention engineering degrees and the disproportionality of this recession on male-dominated industries?

Dr. Eades on Starvation Diets

When the recent news broke that a Crash Diet (600 cal/day) cured diabetes, discussed HERE,  HERE,  HERE, there was the inevitable invoking of the Minnesota Starvation Experiment in the low carb circles.   A while back, I addressed the MSE in a post entitled Starvation Diets shortly after I had blogged on a study in which one part involved putting three obese women on a 1500 cal/day liquid reducing diet.

The point of that last blog post was that  in the 1970's, the average intake of American women was 1550 cals.   Now folks, keep in mind that averages mean that some women ate less and some ate more.   Dr. Michael Dansinger -- he of the famous diet comparison study and consultant on The Biggest Loser -- told Jimmy during his interview with him that they generally cut the contestants' intake in half on that show.  I don't have time to go back and listen, and the exact numbers aren't really all that important, but the women generally start out eating around 3000 cal/day, so their reducing diet is 1500 cal/day.  Lots of low carbers sneer at TBL as, of course, being the wrong way to lose weight, they could just go low carb and achieve the same results by eating more.  
Read more »

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cicero Peak

This is from the top of Cicero Peak. The temperature drop was about10-15 degrees in the short 2,000 altitude climb so it was actually pleasant up top.

In one of the photos you can see South Dakota, Wyoming, and Nebraska. Some people claim you can see North Dakota, but I highly doubt that.

I strongly recommend hiking and mountain climbing in the Black Hills simply because you can actually climb a "mountain" within a day and not have to worry about altitude sickness or freezing temperatures.

Is LC Morphing to HAES? Part VII: It's Real HAES-pocrisy Jimmy!

*** WARNING ***
This turned out to be a long post.  There's no science in it, it's mostly about personalities and such. This is directed towards anyone looking towards anyone in the LLVLC and "friends" community and such for advice or even a bit of inspiration.  If that's not you, I suggest just moving on and waiting for me to return to more science based blogging. It's coming back, I promise.  But if it is you, this is a must read if you're interested in knowing the full story behind the real Jiiiiiiimyeeeee Mooooooooore!

Read more »

Cicero Peak

Today I will climb Cicero Peak which is either the 2nd or 3rd highest peak in the Southern Black Hills. It's supposed to be in the 100's today, but the benefit of mountain climbing is the higher you go, the cooler it gets, thus giving you incentive to hike really fast, nay, sprint up the mountain.

Oh, sure, some people, typically of the female persuasion, will lecture you about hiking in the heat or using Rumpleminze as a disinfectant, but these concerns about "heat stroke" or "exhaustion" or "heart attacks" or "mountain lions" are largely overstated and can easily be dismissed. If for any other reason if you keep yourself adequately hydrated with Phillips Vodka before the hike you should be perfectly fine.

I shall take photos and load them up here when I get back.

In the meantime, you crazy kids enjoy the decline!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Non-Traditional Economic Statistics

You can read all the headline statistics you want, and if you REALLY want to be told what you want to hear, you can always listen to Barack Obama talk about job growth and the economy. But there are some eccentric or "anecdotal" statistics that are unconventional in the world of economics, but have the ability to predict the economy nonetheless.

For example to accurately gauge economic growth in China and not the dubious "official GDP" statistics the Chinese government publishes, some economists look at electrical consumption. Alan Greenspan liked to look at railroad tie replacement rates. And there are others that escape my mind. But two come to mind here in the good ole USA that I've kind of unofficially kept track of;

Dance class enrollments and Harley ridership in the Black Hills.

I have been teaching ballroom dance for the past 14 years. This includes the booming 90's, the subsequent stock market crash, the booming housing bubble and the subsequent great recession. Enrollments followed correspondingly. I had standing room only (which all dance classes are HAR!!!!) at the peak of the Dotcom bubble. The 2000 recession hit, BLAMO! Enrollments dropped about 60%. The recovered and exceeded previously levels as attendees used home equity lines to finance SUV's, trips to Europe and ballroom dance classes. The housing market collapsed and BLAMO! Enrollments dropped 90% from their highs.

Of course with the economy in full recovery according to the left, you would think enrollments would have recovered. However, a full 3 years after the housing crisis, they keep going down. Below is a guestimate chart.

Then there is the ridership in the Black Hills. Sturgis is coming up and this is the third year I've placed myself in the Black Hills for the better part of 2 months in my effort to enjoy the decline. My hotel is in a small mountain town and there are three statistics I've anecdotally noticed.

1. The number of motorcycles on the road are about 1/2 of what they were last year around this time. I noticed this because I can actually drive the speed limit and not be burdened by some slow driving Harley noob who carted his motorcycle, let alone a traffic jam of them. YOu can actually make it through the "Needles" highway in under 1/2 hour. Usually takes an hour.

2. The caliber of clientele at the hotel I'm staying at is no longer out of state, middle to upper middle class folk. It's locals who are using the hotel as temporary living quarters as they've been kicked out of their homes or are returning from jail. I am now officially in the minority of boarders in that I have NEVER been to jail. The majority of boarders have. Drugs have been found on the premises. Deals are now made in the parking lot. And I find it a beneficial practice to clean my guns in front of my hotel room on the patio so everybody sees them.

3. Talking with the various proprietors of the three bars in town (which I have now established rapports with), I find out sales and foot traffic are down about 40%.

The whole point of this potpourri of economic statistics you'll not find in college textbooks?

The economy isn't recovering, and not only is it not recovering, I believe it's high time for a double dip.

Whatever the headline figures may read, other "down to Earth" measures of commerce and economic activity are down. Sure, ballroom dance classes are a luxury good which has a high elasticity with disposable income. And of course you could claim gas prices are hurting tourism, but if the economy was recovering, even stagnant, these statistics would remain consistent from 2010. For 2011, they're continuing their decline.

Naturally I would like to see a booming economy, alas my economic spidey senses and plain common sense know that just is not going to happen any time soon.

In the meantime, you all may as well enjoy the decline until 2012, at which point there MAY be a reason to work hard and try once again. But we shall see.

Forgotten Atkins Quotes

There are at least two bona fide dietary approaches for the overweight individual -- restricting calories and restricting carbohydrates.  Both approaches, in my opinion, are meritorious and generally beneficial to most persons who are overweight, and both represent a decided improvement over the use of amphetamines or other medications, useless gadgets or doing nothing at all.

Statement of Robert C. Atkins, MD to the
Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs
April 12, 1973

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Join the discussion on: LF Diet & CVD Risk in the WHI Trial

There were actually two different papers from the Women's Health Initiative low fat diet trial brought up in the comments of another post.  It seems this one engendered more discussion and I mixed up who cited which paper.  So I started this thread.  

Since this is a new concept, I'll briefly describe what I'm doing here and let y'all have at it!  I am embedding a discussion topic from the Meeting Rooms in this blog post (this time I'll shut off comments, if you want to give some input/feedback on this concept in general, add your thoughts to the comments on the inaugural post).   All are welcome to join and I hope you will!  I have some thoughts on this one, too, but will probably lurk and wait until hopefully a few folks have added their says.  I realize some made comments already on another thread regarding this.  If I haven't done so already by the time you read this, I will copy them to the discussion.   Hat tip to Lucas Tafur for bringing this topic up.

Let's discuss!

Howard BV, Van Horn L, Hsia J, Manson JE, Stefanick ML, Wassertheil-Smoller S, Kuller LH, LaCroix AZ, Langer RD, Lasser NL, Lewis CE, Limacher MC, Margolis KL, Mysiw WJ, Ockene JK, Parker LM, Perri MG, Phillips L, Prentice RL, Robbins J, Rossouw JE, Sarto GE, Schatz IJ, Snetselaar LG, Stevens VJ, Tinker LF, Trevisan M, Vitolins MZ, Anderson GL, Assaf AR, Bassford T, Beresford SA, Black HR, Brunner RL, Brzyski RG, Caan B, Chlebowski RT, Gass M, Granek I, Greenland P, Hays J, Heber D, Heiss G, Hendrix SL, Hubbell FA, Johnson KC, Kotchen JM.
JAMA. 2006 Feb 8;295(6):655-66.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Join the discussion on: Effects of LF Diet on glucose, insulin and IR in the WHI Trial

This seemed like a good paper to discuss in our next installment of the discussion of scientific literature.  Since this is a new concept, I'll briefly describe what I'm doing here and let y'all have at it!  I am embedding a discussion topic from the Meeting Rooms in this blog post (this time I'll shut off comments, if you want to give some input/feedback on this concept in general, add your thoughts to the comments on the inaugural post).  This time the PDF is being shared through Google docs so everyone can have access to the full text.  All are welcome to join and I hope you will!  I have some thoughts on this one, but will probably lurk and wait until hopefully a few folks have added their says.  I realize some made comments already on another thread regarding this.  If it's not too much trouble perhaps you can C&P them into the discussion here.   Hat tip to O'Primitivo for bringing this up.

Let's discuss!

Effects of LF Diet on glucose, insulin and IR in the WHI Trial
James M Shikany, Karen L Margolis, Mary Pettinger, Rebecca D Jackson, Marian C Limacher, Simin Liu, Lawrence S Phillips, and Lesley F Tinker.   Am J Clin Nutr 2011;94:75–85.
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Corporate Infidelity

Arguably the single largest threat to freedom in the world is the "harmonization" of tax rates. Of course politicians like to use euphemisms so the ignorant masses can continue on watching their Lady Gaga or the latest professional sports competition, but trust me it is a threat. The reason why is if tax rates are "harmonized" then there is no incentive for business, investment or labor to go to one country versus another. And if tax rates are moved in conjunction with one another, then the governments essentially form an OPEC-like cartel ensuring that labor and capital are more or less trapped at their home country. Since there is no advantage to moving investment and labor to one place or another, governments (if working together) and implement whatever policies they want on their people because "where you going to go? Every place is the same."

Of course this is very boring economics stuff that is no where near as exciting as watching "The View" or "Glee." So, as is a principle of mine in economics, I like to simplify things so people can understand.

Thank God for Canada.

The above comic strip was drawn by Chris Foleen, one of the respondents to my request for a political cartoonist. You WILL visit his site.

Hippie Economics

Damn hippies.

Effects of FFA and Ketone Levels on Basal Insulin Secretion

From Guenther Boden's group at Temple  

Acute Lowering of Plasma Fatty Acids Lowers Basal Insulin Secretion in Diabetic and Nondiabetic Subjects

In this study, these researchers used nicotinic acid (NA, aka niacin) to lower fasting/basal free fatty acid (FFA aka NEFA) levels and looked at basal/fasting insulin secretion rates (ISR's).   They also measured beta-hydroxybutyrate (they use β-OHB abbreviation in the manuscript), otherwise known as ketones.   The NA was administered orally every 30 min for the four hour duration of the test for subjects in the fasted state.   They essentially compared two groups of diabetics with non-diabetic controls.  Euglycemic clamps were used in one group of diabetics and controls -- blood glucose held constant at normal levels -- mean glucose 5.3 and 5.1 mmol/l  respectively.  They also tested a group of diabetics at elevated fasting glucose with an isoglycemic clamp -- again blood glucose held constant but this time at 10 mmol/l.  To rule out any direct effect of NA on insulin, a control was done with a lipid infusion to prevent FFA levels from changing and it was determined that NA did not alter insulin.  I've summarized the data in the table below:
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Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Nutrition and Metabolism Society's Ad Campaign Smear of Hope Warshaw

The web went ablaze this past week or so over the ADA's Hope Warshaw, who penned a piece for Diabetes Health.  Judging from the reaction some might think is was akin to Mein Kamf  or something.  I mean the hypocrisy of those in the extended LLVLC community is just too much to bear at times.  What did Hope Warshaw write that was so inflammatory?  It's a short piece, but it boils down to this:
  • Apparently Warshaw makes the claim that low carb is "old dogma" in diabetes circles, and
  • Warshaw advocates eating a slightly higher carb (45%-65%) diet that by virtue of macronutrient ratios will result in a lower fat intake compared to the current (45%) average carb consumption.  
  • Advocacy of earlier pharmaceutical intervention upon diagnosis.
  • Cognition that weight loss is most effective in the first months or years following diagnosis and basically that we should be proactive with "prediabetes" screenings and diagnoses.
Oh the horror!  String her up now!!
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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

More on the Ninja 250

I've received some questions and comments about my motorcycle and trip out here to South Dakota that it warranted a separate post unto itself so I shall be bullet-pointy to address some of the questions/comments;
  • The Ninja 250 is a small motorcycle. Matter of fact I think it's about the smallest motorcycle you can get and still drive on the interstate. It is the LAMEST motorcycle in all of Sturgis, but she got there (see picture below).
  • The mileage is GREAT, unless you are driving at speeds in excess of about 70 miles per hour. I usually get around 60-62MPG if I'm driving in the city, this includes interstate speeds in the city which are around 60-65MPH. However, once you go above 70 or 75 MPH, the fuel efficiency TANKS. This is noticeable when you go from Minnesota into South Dakota and the speed limit goes from 70MPH to 75MPH. In just that 5-10MPH difference my fuel efficiency drops from about 55-58MPG to 38MPG. I had to switch to the reserve tank as I approach Wall, SD and cut the speed down to maximize my fuel efficiency. YOu do NOT want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere South Dakota with no gas.
  • There are many routes to take for motorcycle rides, but "The Needles" is perhaps the best. It follows the spine of the Black Hills up to Sylvan Lake (you can look all these things up on image searches to see the beauty). In one day we hit The Needles, Sylvan Lake, Hill City, Deadwood, Sturgis and the Vanocker Canyon.
  • Repair of the Ninja 250 is easy, if not great. It's very simply designed and easy to access by taking off the fairings. I've been able to replace chains, change oil, replace water pumps, replace gas tanks, replace cables, change the fuel filter and clean the carbeurator, none of which takes more than an hour unless you run into a stubborn bolt. With the basic tools and parts you can pretty much do any kind of roadside maintenance and not break down. Most of which will fit into a smallish backpack (and wreak havoc on your back).
  • Yes your back will be in immense pain if you drive a crotch rocket 660 miles in one day.
  • Yes, girls do like motorcycles, even little puny ones like the one I have. I suggest spending the money on a fuel efficient motorcycle and accommodating safety gear instead of making your next 6 months worth of 401k contributions. Your return is higher and it's more fun than the "Mid-Cap Value Index Fund." No woman in the history of women said to a guy, "Oooo! You invested in the Mid-Cap Value Index Fund!" and conversely, "Ewwww! Yuck, gross! You have a motorcycle!"
  • If any of you Cappy Cappites are out this direction, please shoot the Ole Captain an e-mail. He's always up for motorcycle riding, fossil hunting, mountain climbing, agate hunting or gun shooting. All of which are still legal in South Dakota.


I remember teaching dance class one time. Couple walks in with their kids about 3 and 5. Kids are running around, talking, making noise, annoying the other students. I finally break down and say, "Dude, you gotta do something with your kids."

So what do the brilliant parents do?

They put the toddlers ON THEIR HEADS/SHOULDERS like a chicken fight in a pool and try to dance with each other. For those of you unfamiliar with the world of ballroom dancing you need the use of your hands to dance with your partner, so these kids are essentially unsecured holding on to the heads of their parents who try (and fail) to do basic turns because they are effectively too tall with their children on top of them.

The guy who I asked to get his kids under control of course filed a complaint, but apparently people are fighting back.

Join a discussion on: Saturated fatty acids and insulin resistance

Hi gang!  I'm going to try something a little different here with my blog.  Mirrorball had the idea to start a Scientific Discussion Group of sorts over at the Meeting Rooms, but we're not getting much in the way of takers.    So I thought I'd try a few things.

The first is this post per se, because I know far more people read feeds, etc., to see if we can't snag a few more interested takers for such a thing.

The second is that the really cool thing about my discussion board system is that I can embed a topic right here in this blog post for everyone to talk amongst themselves without going anywhere, yet this thread will be over in the Scientific Discussion sub-forum at the Meeting Rooms.  This should also give those who have trouble logging into blogger the ability to join in as well.  The default is a flat style display, but this should also allow for greater ease in following discussions that have, at times, become very difficult to follow in the comments here.  With the discussion you can view things in list and threaded form to navigate a reply thread and reply inline.  You can even reply by email if you select the "Email replies" option.  How cool is that!
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Monday, July 11, 2011

Escaped Just in Time

The government shutdown and the general encroachment of the public sector on the private sector in Minnesota is certainly one reason I advocate escaping Minnesota. However, it is things like this, which are increasing in frequency, that provide additional incentive to escape Minnesota or at least move out of Nuevo Detroit (aka Minneapolis).

In the meantime your Captain has just embarked on day #3 of his great South Dakotan adventure. Day #1 was a 10 mile hike through the Black Hills, Day #2 was a 300 mile motorcycle ride through the Black Hills. Day #3 will entail another 10 mile hike through the agate-rich prairies. 2 M1 Cusano cigars have been smoked and copious amounts of booze have been consumed. Watching the news from back "home" just makes this trip that much more enjoyable.

Enjoy the decline!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Diabetes ~ A Disease by any other Name?

A HUGE bit of prefacing here ... If you're anxious to skip that and get to the subject matter, use your browser's search function to find **** to blow right on by.  

In the coming days (perhaps weeks, hopefully not months but who knows ... life's busy these days),  I'll have more to say regarding Diabetes 101's Jenny Ruhl's interview with Jimmy Moore.  Cliff Notes version is that I'm glad I listened to the whole thing because although I found myself shaking my head at times in the  beginning, later in the interview I found myself nodding more in agreement.  A huge hats off to Jenny for her amazing composure and articulation.  Wow, you would think she did this sort of thing every day!
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Saturday, July 9, 2011

See? I Told You So!!

I've got to say, I about fell off my chair reading the following comment from Stephan Guyenet over at Whole Health Source blog as it flittered through my feed reader.  In response to a comment by Thomas, basically asking if insulin surges or calories ultimately govern weight loss/gain, Stephan had this to say:
Yes, the excess calorie consumption is the key. Insulin spikes do not increase food intake unless they cause hypoglycemia. In fact, insulin is kind of like leptin's kid brother: it acts in the brain to constrain fat mass.
Also, insulin is co-secreted with amylin, which also constrains fat mass by increasing satiation and possibly leptin sensitivity.

All this postprandial insulin spikes = fat gain stuff is nonsense as far as I can tell. I still haven't seen a shred of convincing evidence to support it, and in fact, the evidence I've seen mostly supports the opposite hypothesis, that insulin spikes oppose fat gain. The idea that postprandial insulin causes fat gain is contradicted by the most basic empirical facts in both human and animal studies. As I said before, I don't know a single person who studies metabolism/endocrinology professionally who takes that idea seriously-- it is confined to the popular press and internet blogs/forums.
Been saying this and backing it up with citations galore for over a year now.  I'm excited to see others finally setting the record straight publicly.  First Stephan comes out as a not-so-closet potato eater.  Now he's forthrightly rejected Taubes' insulin hypothesis.  What next?  Dancing with the Stars?   Or perhaps the next institution of higher learning inclined to invite Gary Taubes to lecture their medical students might be better served inviting someone else.


This is a philosophical post of sorts that's been knocking around in my head for a while.  I've briefly defined here before the type of intellectual bullying that goes on that I've always referred to in my real life as baffling with bullshit.  A more detailed example can be found in this blog post.  Today I want to talk about another tactic prevalent in the works and writings of pseudoscience journalists and bloggers.  It's the use of the concept of whether or not someone understands something, basically taking advantage of the general lack of knowledge in the population as a whole to make them feel stupid.  This, too, is a form of intellectual bullying folks, there's no doubt about it.  I'm sure there's some fancy Latin phrase for all of this, but I just want to point out how it is used against folks in debate and encourage would be victims to stick up for themselves and not fall for it!
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Friday, July 8, 2011

It's Called "Capital Flight"

Someday, you'll all learn the term.

Enjoy the decline!

250 to Sturgis

It is now time for the Captain to take his Ninja 250 and drive it the 600 odd miles to Sturgis. Stops along the way will include the metropolis of Windom, the city center known as Adrian and who can forget the cultural mecca of Murdo?!

Posting will be infrequent as it is hard to blog on a motorcycle.

Wish me luck and that I do not hit any deer or moose-raccoons.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

No Kiddin'. South Korea?

I could have sworn they kind of appreciated us for kind of making it so they kind of didn't have to kind of suffer under the worst communist regime to ever exist. Maybe we should just let Kim Jong Il unify the peninsula.
From Warrior (Letter 11)

Warrior - Serving 14 years for kidnapping and aggravated assault. Half Hispanic and Scottish-Irish with family still in Mexico. Brought up by a family steeped in drug commerce. He writes some of the best prison-fight stories on the Internet.

I apologize for the absence in writing. Geez, where should I begin? Well, after a few hospital emergency-room visits, a civil federal lawsuit, and a new prison yard later, here I am still fighting for my life, fighting the system in court.

They still have yet to figure out what is wrong with me i.e.) they still have yet to put forth serious effort to investigate what’s wrong.

There is something wrong with my stomach. I’m in pain daily and have dropped weight. When a lot of old faces saw me, they tripped out because I used to have some size on me. They thought I was strung out on dope. Hopefully, it is just ulcers and not tumours in the stomach. I’m pushing for a referral to a GI specialist.

After 11 months, they tested me for H. pylori, but when they finally decided to treat me, I was under-treated. Now my concern is that the H. pylori ran undiagnosed to such a degree that it has caused something more severe. I’m having stomach pains, nausea and vomiting.

In my head. I find it ironic that I have endured so much, that I am so close to going home, yet I may have developed something as serious as cancer.

Click here for Warrior's previous blog about an undiscovered dead body of a prisoner.

Links to more prison stories by Warrior:
Warrior v Big E.
Rapist on the Yard
Bucket of Blood
Central Unit 

Shaun Attwood

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The M1 Money Multiplier

Your Captain is a monetarist and (admittedly) has in his mental mind a simple model or "concept" of what role money plays in an economy. Ultimately money does not matter in that it is the amount of "stuff" we produce in a nation that determines its wealth. Sure, tinkering with the money supply can have an effect on the economy, largely a negative one, by distorting prices, triggering a misallocation of resources, and sending us into a recession. But if the government were to just keep the money supply in line with RGDP growth, inflation should be 0% (which brings up a question the Captain has had for a while "Why doesn't the Fed just aim for 0% inflation?").

But if you want to believe in Keynesianism and Santa Claus and the Boogeyman, you can study "multiplier effects."

I find the chart interesting on two accounts. One, the general decline in the M1 money multiplier (suggesting electronic payments are taking over physical cash transactions) and two the cliff during this last recession. It is here I believe is one of the reasons why the stimulus package has failed and is a vital flaw in Keynesian economics. When you mortgage the future of the country to the point of insolvency, people tend to close up their wallets. Therefore the more you "prime the pump" at the expense of mortgaging the future, the more people tighten their wallets in fear of worse economic times ahead, negating any effects of the stimulus.

Ultimately though what this teaches us is that Keynesian intervention (or any government intervention) into an economy is simply social engineering. As the US has aged, it's gone from a people telling the government what they want it to do (for better or worse) to a government telling the people what they are going to do (for worse). It won't be until the people who head up the government realize they do not control the $14 trillion beast that is the US economy.

The MBA Bubble Continues

I think we need to call MBA's "Norman Dyke Degrees."

All the education, none of the experience.

Enjoy the decline!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Clinical Data Unit Converter

Reading an American website in the UK?  Or reading a European study in the US?  It's a PITA!  If you're looking to put values into the system you're used to, here's about the best list I've ever come across.

Clinical Data Unit Converter

I found this looking to convert insulin from µU/mL to pmol/L.  The conversion factor is 6.945.  
So:  10 µU/mL = 10 * 6.945 = 69.45 pmol/L

Going the other way just divide.  
So 100 pmol/L = 100 / 6.945 = 14.4 µU/mL

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Happy 4th of July

It's a classic;

It's Not Personal Jimmy

I've received a number of back channel communications -- most from well meaning friends -- regarding my recent calling out of the low carb community in posts like the "Is LC Morphing into HAES" series.   I've also eavesdropped on several discussions about me (from before my interview with Jimmy on through after that blog post series unveiled) where folks really "don't get me".

At this point I want all of my readers to realize that, yes, there is a personal component to my relationship with, and opinion of, Jimmy Moore.  We had exchanged an email/PM or few regarding discussions on his forum as well as my commenting several times on his menus blog regarding his weight struggles over time since I joined up on his forum a little over two years ago.  This was all before the LC Chief of Police  (Fred Hahn) found my blog entry on glyceroneogenesis that violated the LC Profanity Code.  Where were my three seashells when I needed them?

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The Diabetes "Crash" Cure Revisited

I think there were some issues brought up in the comments of my original offering on this topic to warrant a followup post.

OnePointFive made the following remarks (excerpts) I'd like to address:
I thought that the trial was interesting and that'more research is needed' but with so few subjects and only a 12 week follow up (in the paper) didn't justify the 'cure' headlines.
I agree, I think the word *cure* subsequently splashed across headlines is a bit of an overstatement.  Even in the short follow-up period, 3/11 had their diabetes return.   So even though all were theoretically "cured" at 2 months, this was not permanent once they reverted to a normal diet.   Since the average gain was just over 3kg or almost 7 lbs, it would be interesting to see the individual data, and if the three who reverted back were the ones who gained the most due to returning more full bore to their former habits.  My gut says probably!  
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The Sheriff Joe Arpaio Jail Experience (by Will) 

I recently received this by email: 

I spent about two weeks in the Maricopa county jail back in 1985 long before Joe Arpaio was sheriff. I was in for drunk in public and they put me in the same holding cell downtown Shaun was in. This was before there were up to 60 men, there were "only" about 30 max in my time (but still too crowded).

There is a memory I'd like to forget, but I can't shake it, and I still wonder if it was real and this is the first I've ever told it. It was packed in there with nowhere to sit. I just stood as close to the door as I could, but there was this black guy sitting on the toilet with his pants down around his ankles, jerking off and singing "please release me let me go, I can't take in this jailhouse no-mo'" to the tune of Englebert Humperdinck's Release Me. When he came all over a bunch of guys sitting on the floor around him, they pummelled him good. As they beat him, he didn't put up any resistance, he just laughed and smiled and thanked them all like he had just put on the greatest show of his life. It still shocks me, thinking about it.

Send Off the Captain Right

Your Captain, as he does every year, is about to embark on his 2 month western vacation wherein he hops on his motorcycle and simply "ventures forth." This year's vacation will include the regular fossil hunting, mountain climbing, agate finding, buffalo dodging, camping, Texas Hold 'Em-ing, tornado-chasing and gun shooting. But he will also attempt to make it to Kemmerer, WY in an attempt to find a fish fossil (which is one of the few he does not have).

He will of course have a laptop with him and will be dispensing his super awesome economic genius, but if you want to help the Captain pay for the incredible amount o' gas he is going to consume (despite being on a motorcycle) as well as give him a thank you for the sage-advice on economics he's already given you may do so by clicking on any of the links in the side bar.

Of particular note is the now-nearly free Kindle version of his book and his online class, both of which you will get more than your money's worth. You can also donate to the Captain's Pay Pal account, in which case you will get nothing in return, but then you can lord over him about how he had to take charity from you and he will forever owe part of his future success to you.

All proceeds go to the Captain's "Gas and Rumpleminze Fund" which keeps him and his motorcycle fueled.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Failed at Tornado Chasing

But a buddy of mine got one heck of a photo of a sunset reflecting on the remnants of the storms that rolled through;

"Stocks Gain After "STRONG" Industrial Report"

So the PMI comes out higher than expected.

The Dow Jones shoots up 100 points.

"Hurray! The economy is finally recovering!"

That is until you do the job the media is supposed to be doing and put it in context. I circled the increase from 53.5 to the "strong" 55.3 between May and June.

I added the additional "POW!" to make it look like the old Batman TV show to give it more of an effect.

Filed under - "The Cancer is Spreading Less Slowly"

An Argument to Increase the Voting Age to 30