Sunday, October 31, 2010

Police States Implode

Gary North writes:
The police State is doomed. It cannot possibly keep up with the constant innovation of society. It cannot gain access to enough resources to maintain control. It wastes the resources it commandeers.

The free market is winning. The attempts of the Federal Reserve and Congress to delay the readjustment of capital pricing goes on, but these attempts are not bringing the promised recovery.

The voters are growing restless. They have been promised miracles by the politicians. These promises are visibly disintegrating. We are seeing a loss of faith.

 The key to government control is voluntary compliance. Without self-government, the civil government cannot exercise control. Self-government relies on widespread trust far more than widespread fear.

Widespread trust is fading. Widespread fear will fade with it.

Friday, October 8, 2010

All about sugar

I read an article in Reader's Digest many years ago titled Killer Sugar.  It's probably outdated in many respects but not in its conclusion, as expressed in the article's title.  But sugar takes many forms and not all are equally bad, and its effects on our health can be moderated by other foods we eat.  Raw honey, for example, has a glycemic index (GI) of about 30, which is considered low and relatively safe, whereas baked potatoes, watermelon, corn flakes, and white bread are in the high GI range of 70 and above.  From Wikipedia:
The glycemic index, glycaemic index, or GI is a measure of the effects of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates that break down quickly during digestion and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream have a high GI; carbohydrates that break down more slowly, releasing glucose more gradually into the bloodstream, have a low GI.

A low-GI food will release glucose more slowly and steadily. A high-GI food causes a more rapid rise in blood glucose levels and is suitable for energy recovery after endurance exercise or for a person experiencing hypoglycemia.

The glycemic effect of foods depends on a number of factors such as the type of starch (amylose versus amylopectin), physical entrapment of the starch molecules within the food, fat and protein content of the food and organic acids or their salts in the meal — adding vinegar, for example, will lower the GI. The presence of fat or soluble dietary fiber can slow the gastric emptying rate, thus lowering the GI. In general, unrefined breads with higher amounts of fiber have a lower GI value than white breads. Many brown breads, however, are treated with enzymes to soften the crust, which makes the starch more accessible (high GI).

While adding butter or oil will lower the GI of a meal, the GI ranking does not change. That is, with or without additions, there is still a higher blood glucose curve after white bread than after a low-GI bread such as pumpernickel.
Mark Sisson of Mark's Daily Apple has published what he calls The Definitive Guide to Sugar.  Here is his list of warnings about sugar:
  • Sugar stimulates a physiological stressor-reaction cascade that provokes adrenaline and cortisol release and thickens the blood.
  • Sugar effectively disables your immune system by impairing white blood cells’ functioning.
  • Sugar decreases your body’s production of leptin, a hormone critical for appetite regulation.
  • Sugar induces significant oxidative stress in the body.
  • Sugar appears to fuel cancer cells. **[See below] (Check out Free the Animal for much more on the cancer connection.) [In particular, see this article.]
  • Sugar promotes fat storage and weight gain.
  • Sugar disrupts the effective transfer of amino acids to muscle tissue.
  • Sugar intake over time spurs insulin resistance, subsequent Type II diabetes and the entire host of related health issues like nerve damage and cardiovascular disease.
And sugar is also addictive. Sisson writes:
A common theory says that we evolved to crave sweet tastes in order to seek out healthy fruits to diversify our diets. The problem comes in the current age when our inclination is bombarded with the likes of Coco Puffs, Snickers and pudding packs. . . .
Sugar raises serotonin levels, and that boost can easily figure into [your sugar] cravings. But guess what? Exercise raises serotonin as well. If you can, plan your workouts around the time of day when cravings tend to hit.
Read his post.

** "The quest is not to eliminate sugars or carbohydrates from the diet but rather to control blood glucose within a narrow range to help starve the cancer and bolster immune function.  The glycemic index is a measure of how a given food affects blood-glucose levels, with each food assigned a numbered rating. The lower the rating, the slower the digestion and absorption process, which provides a healthier, more gradual infusion of sugars into the bloodstream."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Teaching your kids about the state

Lew Rockwell published an outstanding satire from the late Joseph Sobran today. How do you educate your kids on the true nature of the modern state?  Sobran tells how he did it:
When your child is a little older, you can teach him about our tax system in a way that is easy to grasp. Offer him, say, $10 to mow the lawn. When he has mowed it and asks to be paid, withhold $5 and explain that this is income tax. Give $1 to his younger brother, and tell him that this is "fair." Also, explain that you need the other $4 yourself to cover the administrative costs of dividing the money. When he cries, tell him he is being "selfish" and "greedy." Later in life he will thank you.
Make as many rules as possible. Leave the reasons for them obscure. Enforce them arbitrarily. Accuse your child of breaking rules you have never told him about. Keep him anxious that he may be violating commands you haven't yet issued. Instill in him the feeling that rules are utterly irrational. This will prepare him for living under democratic government.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Tea Party won't save us

To many, the Tea Party looks like the ideal weapon to extinguish the ruinous policies of the establishment.  But as Lew Rockwell explains, this won't happen.  First, many Tea Party members hold inconsistent views on liberty. 
Its activists tend to be good on specific economic issues like taxes, spending, stimulus, and healthcare. They worry about government intervention in these areas and can talk a good game.

But just as with old-time conservatives, there are many issues on which the Tea Party tends toward inconsistency. The military and the issue of war is a major one. Many have bought into the line that the greatest threat this country faces domestically is the influx of adherents of Islam; in international politics, they tend to favor belligerence toward any regime that is not a captive of US political control.

On immigration, the Tea Party ethos favors national IDs and draconian impositions on businesses rather than market solutions like cutting welfare. On social and cultural issues, they can be as confused as the Christian Right, believing that it is the job of government to right all wrongs and punish sin.
Then there is the problem of what happens to defenders of liberty when they win an election:
They are leaned on by their new colleagues, the party elites, related financial interests, the press, and the entire system of which they are now part. Are they going to make themselves enemies of that system, or are they going to work within the system in order to achieve reform, and not just for one term but more terms down the line? Doing a good job means being part of the structure; doing a bad job means being an enemy of the very system that they now serve.

Which choice do they make? The same choice that everyone else in office makes (Ron Paul being the lone exception in all of human history). It is for this reason that newly seated "revolutionary" politicians will betray those who put them in power. It happens like clockwork, same as day turns to night.
Rockwell concludes: "We can state with confidence, all else being equal, that even the best electoral outcome will not lead to actual cuts in the power of government over our lives."