Something Odd Has Happened – Part 2

A month ago I wrote about how something odd (and by ‘odd’, I meant ‘good’) happened to my morning blood sugar measurements and I now have more data to share.

Normal fasting blood sugar measurements of a non-diabetic are traditionally in the 70 – 100 mg/dL range and as a Type 2 Diabetic who is controlling his blood sugar levels with the Paleo diet, I saw my morning blood sugar measurements average in the high-normal range (90 – 100) from September 2013 until May 2014. But something strange happened in June that caused my morning blood sugar measurements to plunge into the low to mid range (70-85).

At that time I didn’t know what caused this unexpected improvement but this phenomenon coincided with me stopping my daily multivitamins so I decided to perform an experiment.

For approximately 3 weeks (when I stopped taking my multivitamins) I experienced these lower than expected blood sugar measurements so I decided to restart the daily multivitamins for that same time period and compare the measurements to see if the multivitamins were the cause of this drastic change.

In case you didn’t read the earlier post, here is a graph of my morning blood sugar measurements over the past 10 months and you can see the significant step down in measurements over the past 6 weeks.

morning blood sugar measurements

Here is a zoomed in graph with lines showing where I stopped taking the multivitamins (between the left and middle red lines) and when I restarted the multivitamins (between the middle and right red lines).

vitamin trial

Here a graph of just the last 6 weeks when I was performing this trial without the lines delineating the time periods.

vitamin trial 2

For the statistically inclined – When I wasn’t taking the multivitamins, my average morning blood sugar measurement was 81.25 with a standard deviation of 7.24 and when I was taking the multivitamins my average was 85.70 with a standard deviation of 9.11.

So you might say there was a slight improvement when I didn’t take the multivitamin but this experiment wasn’t controlled enough for me to make that claim. My eating and exercise habits were roughly the same but not identical and that might explain the small deltas I saw over this time period.

And both sets of data during this 6 weeks were far better than the prior 7.5 months and the fact that my morning blood sugar measurements didn’t return to the high normal range leads me to believe that something else happened.

I still don’t know what happened but the next phase of my experiment will commence!

Posted in Diabetes | 4 Comments

Obama Owns This Immigration Disaster

This latest immigration catastrophe is Obama’s fault.

But don’t take my word for it, read the following excerpt from a news segment on NPR’s Morning Edition today when reporter Steve Inskeep interviewed Eric Olsen of the Woodrow Wilson Center and Alfredo Corchado of the Dallas Morning News who is in Honduras (emphasis mine):

CORCHADO: Smugglers and other allies started spreading the whole idea of amnesty in the United States and saying this is the time – the time is now. And people started using social media to get the word out to say this was a window. You had to leave.

INSKEEP: Eric Olson is here in our studios. He’s been a number of times to Central America in recent weeks and months. What were you hearing in those trips?

ERIC OLSON: Well, a lot of the same things, frankly. I was in poor communities outside of the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa. And they said that several months ago some of the coyotes, the traffickers, started coming around and sort of making this pitch to people. .. You can be with your parents. Parents in the U.S. are actually sending money and saying come now. This is the opportunity. So there’s a lot of confusion.

INSKEEP: But, of course, a lot of those factors have been around for a while. Somehow, this sales pitch seems to be working in a different way. So let me get a little more specific about what it is. I would imagine that if I’m in San Pedro Sula in Honduras and someone says, go to the United States. You can get amnesty now. I might then ask, why? What is the why that people are being told?

CORCHADO: The why, at this moment, is saying if you have relatives in the U.S. or if you’re a victim of violence in Honduras, there is leniency. There’s a new attitude on the part of the government that once you get there, you’re handed over to the Border Patrol. You will go into detention. You will get a permit, a document that will allow you to roam in the United States. And they see that as the best thing to the situation they live now.

INSKEEP: Is President Obama’s deferred enforcement, for some people who are in the United States without documentation, a part of this – the so-called equivalent of the Dream Act?

CORCHADO: It’s kind of a convoluted message. I mean, we asked people specifically that question. And they don’t really know the details. But they will tell you, we know something is new. Something has happened that children are allowed to stay. That children who haven’t seen their parents in years, can now be reunited. We press them on specifics and they really don’t know the specifics.

INSKEEP: What about just the fact that there has been talk of immigration reform in the United States for several year? Has that penetrated? Is that in any way part of this rumor?

CORCHADO: Absolutely, I mean, I’ve heard from several people who said at night you watch the news and, you know, newscast will lead with, you know, the talk about the immigration reform. But they don’t really know details. I mean, they just know that it’s the faintest little sign of hope that you cling to. Even if you hear that 9 out of 10 people didn’t make it, you have to believe that you will be that one exception.

Who has been pushing for a swift path to citizenship for illegal immigrants?

Who refuses to address the brutal fact that our southern border isn’t secure?

Who has been the President of the United States for the past 5+ years and presided over countless foreign policy disasters?

The word has gone out in Mexico and Central America – The US has a blundering President who refuses to secure the border, defers enforcement and wants to grant amnesty to illegal aliens.

Are we surprised by this exodus?

Posted in Immigration, npr, politics | Leave a comment

Seal The Southern Border Now

We have a serious moral dilemma going on right now at our southern border and if we don’t do something to fix the problem, the conundrums we will face in the near future will get much worse.

We already had a serious moral dilemma with regard to illegal immigrants – What do we do with those families who have been living in the US for years, earning a living, paying taxes and sending their children to our schools? But now we have a bigger problem – Children, who have been smuggled over the border from Central America (without their parents) are sitting in a holding area in the US and we don’t know what to do with them.

And the frustration with the situation is not just coming from Conservatives this time. NPR reporter Steve Inskeep (hardly an Obama foe) interviewed White House advisor Cecilia Munoz and you can see from a few of the questions below, Mr. Inskeep is upset.

INSKEEP: If we assume Congress gives the president what he asks – which is a large assumption, as you know. If I’m not mistaken, the Administration is asking for dozens of additional judges to hear cases. But we’re talking about an increase of tens of thousands of young people. Are dozens of judges really going to make that much difference?

INSKEEP: So what is an acceptable amount of time for a young person to be held before they get a deportation hearing and a judgment? Right now, if I’m not mistaken, it’s commonly two years?

INSKEEP: There’s no guarantee of status at the end of the day. And you’re correct about the rumors being spread by smugglers. We’ve heard that from reporters we’ve talked with in Central America. But there’s also an underlying fact of U.S. immigration policy and practices right now that seems to be coming to bear. Young people come into the United States. They are captured or even turn themselves into the border patrol. There’s going to be some kind of period while they wait for a hearing. And during that time, they may be released into the United States, released into the custody of a relative. Essentially, they get what they want for a period of years. Are you going to stop doing that?

INSKEEP: Of course there’s a flipside to speeding up the deportation hearings and that is that some kids or their advocates may be able to make a case for them to stay because they have relatives here, because they’d like to seek political asylum, any number of other reasons. Are you prepared for the possibility that a very large percentage of the children that you’re dealing with may actually end up staying permanently in the United States?

There are smugglers in Central America who are tugging at the heart strings of parents who want a better life for their children and they’re promising to get the children across the border in the US where they’ll be granted asylum and live in paradise. Unknown to the parents, the children are raped and abused along the way and there is no guarantee they’ll stay in the US but the ignorance of the Obama administration is enabling these evil smugglers to traumatize more children.

The dithering of the Obama administration to provide more security at our southern border is encouraging more and more immigrants to come across and we have to confront the brutal fact now that we need to seal our southern border. And we need to do it yesterday!

Before I go too far, do not confuse my desire to seal the border with a desire to deport all illegal immigrants that are living in the US today. I wrote in 2011 that I was in favor of a path to citizenship for those illegal immigrants in the country today. It’s unrealistic and, in my opinion, immoral to think we can deport millions of people who are predominately living upstanding lives (working, paying taxes, sending their kids to school, etc.) and are for all intents and purposes, living up to the standards of traditional US society. Why would we not grant citizenship to a family who is law abiding, contributing to the economy, starting businesses and educating their children in our schools? I think that many Latino families have a stronger moral foundation and Faith than many natural born citizens in the US so why not let them become citizens?

The path to citizenship for these current illegal immigrants I envision would be a multi-year approach where the US would employ a ‘trust but verify’ method where we’d monitor the illegal immigrants over a period of time and if they remain law abiding citizens for say 3 years, then they can be granted citizenship. Anyone who didn’t voluntarily register for this program or anyone who committed a felony during that 3 year period would be deported.

But that plan (or any immigration reform/path to citizenship plan) will only work if the border is sealed first!

Cecilia Munoz and the Obama administration think we don’t have to seal the border but instead just provide a path to citizenship to the people in the US and the problem will be solved. From the NPR interview (emphasis mine):

MUNOZ: Look, we are not going to be able to make this process an immediate process. And we shouldn’t because, again, we have to adjudicate humanitarian claims. But the fact of the matter is we’ve been trying to fix a very badly back-logged system for a very long time. That’s part of the reason we’re pushing for an immigration reform bill.

The reason we have a back-logged system is because we haven’t addressed border security!

We can’t begin to confront the moral dilemma of the illegal immigrants currently in this country until the border is sealed. When you have a leaking pipe in your home, you don’t solve the problem by buying more buckets to catch the water! You have to stop the leak first!

Expect even more difficult predicaments on the immigration front until we confront the brutal fact that our southern border must be sealed.

Posted in Immigration, politics | 4 Comments

The Moon And Mars

On July 5th, 2014 the Moon and Mars presented a great pairing in the night sky and I took this opportunity to get the telescope out and take a look.

I have a 10” Newtonian Reflector telescope on a manual Dobsonian mount (pictured below) so taking good quality pictures with this telescope is difficult because the scope doesn’t have a mount that tracks with the rotation of the Earth.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But tonight I got lucky and snapped this picture of the Moon and Mars.

moon and Mars

I also took advantage of some good atmospheric seeing to view Saturn and I could not only see the Cassini division in its rings but also a slight shadow of the planet on the rings.

It was a great observation session but tonight proved once again how important it is for amateur astronomers to view the cosmos from their front yard vs. their back yard. One of the many pleasures I get from being an amateur astronomer is sharing my knowledge of the cosmos with others and when I have my telescope set up in the front yard I invariably get questions by people out walking.

This happened tonight and a gentleman, who was walking his dog, jokingly asked me if my telescope was some sort of apparatus for shooting fireworks!

I invited him into my yard and pointed out that I was looking at planets tonight. He asked me what that star was next to the moon and I happily told him it was no star but Mars. I also pointed out that the bright ‘star’ far to the left of Mars was actually Saturn. He pointed to the star immediately to the left of Mars and asked if that was it but I told him no, that was the star Spica and he had to look a little more left to find Saturn.

We had a nice conversation, introduced ourselves and I gave him the opportunity to peer into a telescope for the first time to see, with his own eyes, the rings of Saturn.

For those who are amateur astronomers do not be monk-like with the knowledge you have but instead be evangelists to help your neighbors discover the beauty of the cosmos!

Addendum – For those interested, I used a Televue Nagler 11mm eyepiece with a Televue 2X Big Barlow and an iPhone 5 held with my steady hand to capture the above image of the Moon and Mars.

Posted in astronomy | Leave a comment

Obama Flushes More Money Down The AGW Cult Toilet

Settled Science still requires millions of dollars to keep the lie going.

From NPR, NASA is set to launch a new satellite that will monitor CO2 emissions from Space:

“NASA is preparing to launch a satellite capable of monitoring carbon dioxide emissions from space. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) will be the first spacecraft dedicated to seeing the greenhouse gas from orbit, and could pave the way for new technology to enforce future global warming treaties.”

“But first OCO-2 needs to make it off the ground. An earlier version of the satellite (known simply as OCO) crashed into the ocean near Antarctica shortly after launch.”

The irony of this should not be lost on anyone who is paying attention. The similarity between the absolute failure of the first launch of OCO to the failure of the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) cult to convince people to believe their lies is priceless.

The AGW cult thought their pet project was dead after the crash in 2009 but they forget they had an AGW cult member in the White House and Obama quickly authorized another $468 million to try this again.

To make this story even more frustrating, the OCO-2 satellite won’t give definitive measurements of CO2 concentrations and it appears the only goal of this project is to generate justification for more sophisticated (i.e. more expensive) satellites in the future.

“OCO-2 is only an experiment. The picture it makes will be very fuzzy, and it won’t be able to look at every city on the planet. The air sampling method currently used will likely remain the gold standard for some time to come.”

The story totally falls apart when NPR reporter Goeff Brumfiel makes this statement (which is in the middle of the story on the NPR webpage but was the opening statement of the radio broadcast):

“Carbon dioxide coming from power plants and tailpipes is the main reason our planet is warming.”

Really? Well that theory is easily disproven by graphing two data sets – The Earth’s atmospheric CO2 concentration and Earth’s global temperature anomalies measured by the Remote Sensing System satellites.

It’s true that atmospheric CO2 concentrations have been increasing.

co2

But look what happens when we plot Earth’s global temperature anomalies versus CO2 concentration.

rss vs co2

If Goeff Brumfiel’s statement was correct then the temperature anomalies would be rising as CO2 concentrations increased. But that didn’t happen and in fact the temperature anomalies have been flat during this period when CO2 concentrations have most certainly increased. To most people who understand math and statistics, that means CO2 has no direct correlation with global temperatures.

But hey, what’s another $468 million when we’ve got a meme to keep going?

Posted in Climate Change, npr | Leave a comment

Life Is Great In Socialist Cuba

There was a time when proclaiming to be a Socialist was like carrying a sign that said “Nobody should take me seriously” and people who did this were rightfully shamed. But now with the popularity of people like Elizabeth Warren who are opening advocating for Socialistic policies in the US, the Left has new found courage in publically calling themselves Socialists.

These people are afraid to study countries that have embraced Socialism because if they did, they’d have to admit what a miserable failure that economic system is. But don’t take my word for it – NPR had a great story last week about Cuba and I dare any self avowed Socialist to read this story and come away unchanged in their opinion.

Here are a few pertinent quotes (emphasis mine):

“Later, the waitress tells us proudly that the mansion was nationalized shortly after the revolution. She tells us she’s thrilled to work here. At Xanadu Mansion, she can make as much as $15 a day in tips. Compare that to the $30 or so some Cuban doctors make on average in a month.”

“Yuyo Nandes, our horse cart driver, breaks down the Cardenas economy for us. People who work in nearby resorts at Varadero are bringing in some good cash, he says. According to him, that $15 in tips our waitress at Xanadu Mansion makes on a good night will get you “breakfast, lunch, dinner, pay the electricity, and buy a pair of shoes.”

“You know I’m going to tell you one thing. We live off tourism. If there’s no tourism, there’s no life,” he says. “Just look at the grocery stores here: They’re empty because people have gone to other provinces.”

“Juanito Cruz tells us he’s worked at the sugar mill for 31 years. In fact, the house was given to him by the mill. He’s on a break now, since the mill doesn’t operate this time of year. But he’ll be back grinding the sugar in November, a job that lasts six or seven months, and requires about twelve hours of intensive labor every day.

Cruz makes about $40 a month. He shows us his government rations booklet, and tells us his sugar mill income, combined with his monthly rations of rice, beans, coffee and other staple foods, let him live comfortably in this three-bedroom house with his wife and five children.

“It’s not an easy living, though: He points to his new fridge and says he’d been saving for a very long time to buy it, since appliances are incredibly expensive in Cuba.”

From this NPR story we see the Cuban society in abject poverty.

Waitresses who are fortunate enough to get tips from vacationers make, in two days, what a doctor makes in a month.

A person is considered to be bringing in “some good cash” when they make $15 per day.

The grocery store shelves are empty.

Working 12 hours per day will earn you $40 per month in the sugar mills.

People have ration booklets where they can get rice, beans, coffee and other staple foods.

Basic appliances (that we in the US take for granted) are incredibly expensive.

This sounds like paradise to me! Bring on Socialism!

Posted in economics, npr, politics | Leave a comment

Something Odd Has Happened

For the past 9 months I’ve controlled my Type 2 Diabetes through exercise and diet consisting of high protein, high fat and extremely low carbs (obtained only from vegetables) but something odd has happened to my morning blood sugar measurements over the past 2 weeks. And by ‘odd’, I mean in a good way!

Since September 2013 my fasting blood sugar measurements have been in the high normal range (90-100 mg/dL) every morning and at least one or two readings per week were in the 100-110 range but for the last 2 weeks my morning blood sugar measurements have been between 70 and 90 which is the low to mid point of a normal range for someone without Diabetes.

The graph below shows my morning blood sugar measurements for the past 9 months (It should be noted that the measurements in the 130’s occurred when I was sick):

morning blood sugar 9 months

You will notice that the beginning of this graph also showed my blood sugar measurements in the 70-90 range but that was when I was on the 800 calorie/day diet that kick started my diabetes reversal journey and the low readings were understandable with such a low calorie diet.

But since going off the 800 calorie/day diet and switching to a Paleo style diet, I routinely eat 2,500 calories a day and you can see that over these past 9 months, my blood sugar measurements averaged in the high 90’s with occasional excursions in the low 100’s. Until about 2 weeks ago.

This stepwise drop in my morning blood sugar measurements that has occurred over the last 2 weeks can be shown in more dramatic fashion by looking at this same data zoomed in for the last few months.

morning blood sugar 3 months

Even my evening blood sugar measurements (that are taken 2 hours after dinner) also showed a dramatic shift down during the past 2 weeks.

evening blood sugar 3 months

For those of you who follow my blog and know how meticulous I am about data and experimenting with various variables in determining what impact they have out outputs, here is where you are expecting me to explain this. But I’m sorry to disappoint because I can’t determine why this sudden drop in blood sugar measurements occurred!

I didn’t alter my diet or exercise regime in any way during this period. Nothing changed. No new foods. No elimination of foods. No extra exercising.

I was so mystified by this that on two occasions I tried to spike my morning blood sugar measurements by eating foods for dinner that historically have caused evening blood sugar measurements over 150 and morning blood sugar measurements in the 110 – 130 range.

On 17-JUN-14 I ate 10 hot wings for dinner that were dipped in a sugary barbeque sauce. My evening blood sugar measurement 2 hours after that meal was 126 (which is still under the normal limit of 130 for a non-diabetic) and the next morning my blood sugar measurement was 100 (‘high’ for this 2 week period but still within the normal range of a non-diabetic).

On 22-JUN-14 I ate a salad with large bread croutons (that I normally pick out). My evening blood sugar measurement 2 hours after the meal was 99 and the next morning my blood sugar measurement was 84 – which both were right in the middle of the normal range for a non-diabetic).

I have said many times over the past 9 months that I feel so good after embracing the Paleo diet and eliminating carbs that even if my Type 2 Diabetes magically disappeared I’d still never go back. That statement is still true but now I’m curious if my body has ‘magically’ reset itself and I no longer have the low insulin sensitivity problem that caused Type 2 Diabetes.

I’m not abandoning Paleo, even if this is true, but over the coming days I am going to start adding high carb foods for dinner to see if my blood sugar measurements increase.

Another theory of mine is related to multivitamins. A little over 2 weeks ago I ran out of my normal multivitamin (2 per day from Life Extension) and because I’ve been busy I didn’t re-order them. This is the only change that occurred during this time period but surely the elimination of a multivitamin can’t lower ones blood sugar, right? There are studies where extremely high doses of Vitamin C and Niacin cause elevated blood sugar levels but my Multivitamin didn’t have near these quantities mentioned in those links. But still, I will restart the Multivitamin while maintaining my current diet/exercise regime to see if this has an effect.

Stay tuned.

Posted in Diabetes | 4 Comments

What Happens When The Minimum Wage Is Raised?

Economic theory tells us that when the fair market price for wages is artificially raised then businesses will raise the price of their good/services, cut back on expansion, reduce their work force and suffer with reduced profits.

But we don’t need to rely on economic theory to tell us it’s a bad idea to tinker with the Free Market, we have cities in the US who have already done this and we can see what happened.

NPR had a story about how raising the minimum wage by $2/hour in San Jose, California affected two different businesses.

Here are the money quotes from the owners of these two businesses (emphasis mine):

Like many business owners in downtown, Chuck Hammers fought the ballot initiative and braced for the worst when the law took effect last March.

“There’s that little bit of a panic from a business owner, you know, ‘Is the sky going to fall?’ ” Hammers says. “And you’re nervous. It’s a 20 percent increase in what’s really one of your biggest costs” — labor.

So he did. Slices went up by 25 cents, pies by $1. Sales held steady, and Hammers says customers didn’t seem to notice.

In a strip mall on San Jose’s southern city limits, Charlie’s Cheesecake Works is a lot smaller than Pizza My Heart. It has only four employees, including owner Charlie Major. Major pays one employee minimum wage and the others slightly more.

Around the time that the wage increase took effect, his sous chef got another job and moved on.

“I did not replace her,” Major says. “I decided that, in light of what was going on with the change and stuff, just until we saw how it really played out, I can do the job that she did, so that’s what I’ve done.”

Major, like Hammers at Pizza My Heart, also raised his prices, by about 5 percent.

Since the law took effect, profits in the store have dropped by 7 percent, Major says — a big enough hit that he has actually shelved plans to expand the space. Now, he’s actively thinking about selling or retiring if things don’t get better in the next year.

It hits small business right where it hurts,” Major says of the wage increase. “And if you want to encourage small business, it’s tough.

So after the minimum wage was increased in San Jose, local business raised their prices, curtailed expansion and experienced lower profits. Exactly. What. Was. Predicted.

It was clear that the point of the NPR piece was to let everyone know that although there will be adjustments made at the business level, things settle down and the city moves on. Well that’s true but NPR failed to dive into the economic details a little more.

Take this quote from the NPR story:

“After looking at it, I kind of stepped back and realized, well, it’s gonna happen to everyone,” Hammers says. “It’s going to be a fair playing field. We just need to increase prices a little bit.”

When a local law is passed to increase the minimum wage, all the local businesses in that region that rely on minimum wage labor will increase their prices. But what does that eventually do to the price of everything in the city? It raises all prices and the cost of living goes up and after some time, that increase to the minimum wage is negated and we’re back to where we started!

The buying power of someone who makes minimum wage increases a little immediately after the minimum wage law kicks in but once prices of everything catches up, these people are no better off than before the increase to the minimum wage.

That’s what happened in San Jose after they ignored the Free Market and artificially raised the minimum wage. In some respects the effects are muted when the minimum wage is raised in a small region like a city and especially when it’s done in a booming economic area like Silicon Valley. Other companies (think Wal-Mart, Home Depot and other national chains) that are big enough to operate in other regions not affected by the minimum wage increase can absorb the higher labor costs of one or two stores they have in that area.

Now imagine what would happen if we raised the minimum wage across the entire United States like Leftists want to do. The cost of living would go up proportionally across the entire US, companies would curtail expansion and the stock market would tank as company after company reports lower than expected profits.

God help us if we are ever this stupid.

Posted in economics, politics | Leave a comment

Chevy Volt Sales Still Suck

It’s been a rotten year for Government Motors and I’m pretty sure it’s now not just conservatives that are questioning the bailing out of this failure of a company. Especially since a new report shows a “history of failures” at GM and lawyers are starting to smell blood in the water.

At the risk of pouring salt in this gaping wound, let’s see how sales are doing for the Chevy Volt – the car that was heavily promoted by the Obama administration after the Federal Government bailed GM out.

Not so good when you compare Volt sales with its chief Electric Vehicle (EV) rival the Nissan Leaf.

leaf vs volt

And these poor sales numbers for the Volt can’t be blamed on an overall downtrend in US auto sales. US Auto sales have been on a steady increase since early 2013 but Chevy Volt sales have been going in the opposite direction during that same time period.

us sales vs volt

We can also see that the plummeting sales numbers for the Chevy Volt aren’t because people are moving away from EV’s. Nissan Leaf sales have followed the trend of overall US Auto sales and increased at a similar rate.

us sales vs leaf

The recent GM recalls and the pitiful sales numbers for the Chevy Volt provide yet another example how the Federal Government does a lousy job of picking winners and losers.

There is only one entity that has the power to pick winners/losers and dictate what products and services companies provide and that is the Free Market. Any attempt to usurp that all powerful force is always met with complete failure.

Posted in economics, politics | 8 Comments

A Typical Day In A Liberal Utopia

From NPR:

“During a conversation between a reporter and community activists on Chicago’s South Side, gunshots not more than 100 feet away shattered an otherwise quiet afternoon. After the initial shock wore off, the neighborhood leaders expressed their frustration over their community’s connection with gun violence and engaged in a deep conversation about its underlying causes — and what can be done to solve them.”

Listen to the whole story but here’s basically what happened – A reporter was talking to a neighborhood leader on her front porch when a person gets out of a car, stands in the middle of the street with a semiautomatic rifle, shoots about a dozen rounds at a van then calmly gets back in the car and chases after the van.

This happened during the day in a residential area where kids were playing nearby.

Starting at the 3:45 mark the NPR reporter states that the neighborhood leaders say that one of the main problems is that the residents are caught in a cycle of a dependency on drugs/alcohol and a reliance on government programs.

In Chicago they call this “Tuesday”

Posted in politics | 5 Comments

An Obamanomics Recovery Compared To Other Recoveries

Throughout the 20th Century the US experienced larger than normal GDP growth following the end of a recession and the magnitude of the recovery was roughly proportional to the magnitude of the recession but something has happened under Obama to break that trend.

Here is what the US economy did following the August 1957 – April 1958 and April 1960 – February 1961 recessions.

1958 and 1961 recession

Notice how GDP growth was in the 7% to 10% range for the 4 quarters following these two recessions.

The recoveries from the recessions during the early 1970’s had GDP growth rates in the 5% to 9% range.

1970s recessions

Let’s see what happened to the US economy under Reagan following the July 1981 – November 1982 recession.

reagan recovery

You can see that the economic recovery surged for 5 quarters with GDP growth over 6% (and 4 quarters over 8% GDP growth) and then settled into a normal growth period.

Now let’s see how the US economy responded following the December 2007 – June 2009 recession under Obama.

obama recovery

Notice that the ‘recovery’ following this latest recession was no different than a normal economic growth period prior to the recession. The GDP growth rate occasionally sniffed 4% but that was it!

Something happened in the US during the past 5 years that caused its economy to buck the trend of higher than normal GDP growth following a recession. Of course those on the Left say it has nothing to do with Obama or his policies, it must be the weather or the fact that the last recession was so severe. Wrong!

This is the inconvenient truth that Leftists must now come to grips with – The pitiful economic ‘recovery’ following the last recession is exactly what we can expect from Keynesian and Anti-Business policies. If we as a nation fail to recognize this brutal fact then we can expect more sub 2% and many sub 0% GDP growth quarters to follow in our near and long term future.

Welcome to Obamanomics!

Note – All the GDP data in the graphs above was obtained from the BEA website.

Posted in economics, politics | 3 Comments

It’s Never Obama’s Fault

The US Q1 GDP growth was – 1.0% and this marked the first time the GDP has hit negative territory since Q1 of 2011.

But as NPR reports, we mustn’t blame Obama for this.

It’s The Weather

“The first-quarter downturn reflected the “unusually severe winter weather, including record cold temperatures and snowstorms,” Jason Furman, chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, said in a statement.”

Well this is exactly what the Anthropogenic Global Warming cult predicted all along – An increased concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere would heat the atmosphere and cause terribly cold, snowy winters. That’s exactly what the AGW cult predicted, right? Nope. Oh the irony….

But it’s not just the weather that caused the pitiful GDP growth – Remember that awful, horrible Bush Recession?

It’s The Great Recession’s Shadow

“Still, the GDP report cannot be entirely ignored. If nothing else, it is further evidence that the Great Recession has cast a very long shadow. Economists for the government consider the recovery to have begun in summer of 2009. But growth has never been robust for long, with constant dips interrupting momentum.”

So we’re still dealing with a recession that happened 6 years ago?

I thought the 2009 Stimulus was supposed to get us out of the recession and stimulate growth.

What about the Recovery Summer of 2010?

The NPR story never even hinted that maybe, JUST MAYBE, the Left’s policy failures over the past 5 years may have had a hand in this latest GDP growth report. There was nothing in the NPR article about record government spending, a Healthcare law that destroys jobs and stymies innovation/entrepreneurship, the Medical Device Tax, an overreaching NLRB, failure to build the Keystone XL pipeline, increased tax rates and the shameless crony capitalism that funneled money to failed companies headed by Obama donors.

But these items listed above can’t be the reason the economy never fully realized the recovery that a Free Market should have produced.

It can’t be Obama’s fault. It has to be something unconnected with The One.

Not to be a downer, but remember the classical definition of a Recession is 2 consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. We’ll see in another 3 months if we are in another Recession and if that is the case, I’m sure we’ll find someone or something to blame for this other than the guy who has been POTUS for the last 5-1/2 years.

Posted in economics, npr, Over Regulation, politics | 1 Comment

Reversing Type 2 Diabetes Without Medication – 8 month Update

It was 8 months ago when I decided to reverse my Type 2 Diabetes through diet/exercise and eliminate my diabetes medication. Based on the last 14 months of my life battling Type 2 Diabetes, I am confident that someone who has been recently diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes can control their blood sugar levels not through medication but through a combination of the Paleo Diet and moderate exercise.

For those new to this blog, let me recount my journey over the past 14 months.

During my annual physical in March 2013 I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and a month later I was brought under the care of an endocrinologist. Through medicine, slight diet modification and added exercise I was able to bring my blood sugar measurements under control in 4 short months.

But I wanted to get off the diabetes medicine (Janument) because the side effects of that medication were causing my quality of life to suffer and for the simple reason that I didn’t like taking medication if I didn’t have to. Since I made such improvement in 4 months, I felt I could follow further diet modification as well as increase my exercise to get my blood sugar measurements to a normal range without medication.

When I told my endocrinologist this in July he quickly rebuffed me and said that I should get used to taking these 2 pills everyday because my genetic predisposition to Diabetes was too strong. I’m sure most of the endocrinologist’s patients follow his advice without challenging it and are comfortable taking more medication so they don’t have to make hard sacrifices. But that’s not me – I’m not wired that way and I follow the ‘trust but verify’ motto when dealing with ‘experts’ dishing out advice.

So in September 2013 I decided to follow a diet as outline in a research study from Newcastle University that showed people could reverse their Type 2 Diabetes through an intense period of dieting that removes the fat from their pancreas and liver and thereby allowing better insulin production and causing the body to be more receptive to the insulin.

That diet worked in only 1 week for me and I followed that up with a high protein/high fat/low carbohydrate diet to maintain normal blood sugar levels.

Over the past 8 months I have slowly migrated to a diet that follows the Paleo diet very closely – High protein, High fat and very low Carbs – and that has continued to allow me to eat satisfying meals and maintain blood sugar levels that are considered normal for a non-diabetic.

I eat about 125g of protein and 125g of fat every day but limit my carbs to around 30g per day and all of these carbs come entirely from vegetables, nuts and fruit. I don’t eat bread, rice, grits, pasta or anything that is derived from a grain and I also eliminated starchy vegetables like potatoes.

That brings you up to the point where I had my annual physical last week with my primary care physician and I’ll discuss a couple of the test results I received from that visit.

A1c

The gold standard of blood sugar measurements is called the A1c. A normal person who does not have Diabetes will measure between 4% and 6%, a Diabetic who is controlling their blood sugar with medication will measure between 6% and 8% and anything above 8% represents extremely high blood sugar levels.

Here are the last 4 A1c measurements I have had in the past 14 months.

March 2013 (11.5%) – This measurement happened when I was initially diagnosed and shows how serious my Type 2 Diabetes was (rarely are measurements of greater than 12% published on A1c tables so I was close to the max). I was destroying my body with every meal I ate and in reality I had probably been walking around with these severely high blood sugar levels for a couple of years.

July 2013 (5.6%) – This measurement happened after 4 months on medication and altering my diet some and adding in a little bit of exercise. As I stated above, my endocrinologist declared ‘victory’ with this test result and said I should continue with the meds for the rest of my life.

January 2014 (5.1%) – This measurement happened 4 months after I had stopped taking my Diabetes medication and the results spoke for themselves. A combination of the Paleo diet and moderate exercise caused my blood sugar measurements to be in the middle of the normal range for someone without Diabetes! And by ‘moderate exercise’ I mean I ran or rode my bike 3 times a week and mixed in a few days of weight lifting. The endocrinologist dismissed me from his care at that point since my blood sugar measurements were normal and I didn’t need him to write prescriptions for me.

May 2014 (5.7%) – This measurement happened during my annual physical with my primary care physician last week. It was higher than in January but during the 2 weeks prior to the blood test I had been fighting a chest cold and blood sugar measurements are elevated during illness so this could have attributed to the slight increase. But the measurement is still in the normal range for someone without Diabetes.

Cholesterol

During my recent annual physical I was of course interested in my A1c but there was another test that I was curious about and that was my cholesterol. I’ve been eating a high amount of fat every day for the past 8 months (easily twice the amount recommended by the Health and Human Services) and my cholesterol reading was at the high range of normal in 2013 (198) so I was anxious to see if the Paleo diet had an adverse effect on that. For those interested, my daily fat intake comes from meat (including bacon almost every day!), eggs (I eat about 18 per week), avocados and nuts.

To my surprise, my cholesterol reading was lower this year (181) and my ratio of bad cholesterol (LDL) to good cholesterol (HDL) was within the normal range – I measured 2.9 and the normal range is 0.0 to 3.5.

I am still learning about how to live with Type 2 Diabetes and also about the benefits of a Paleo style diet/lifestyle so I’m by no means declaring my expertise on the topic but I am starting to believe that we in the Western World have been fed lies regarding the dangers of saturated fat.

I am becoming convinced that the combination of a Paleo style diet paired with moderate exercise can reverse the symptoms of a recently diagnosed Type 2 Diabetic and my belief in that goes beyond my research into the scientific literature – I’m living proof!

Posted in Diabetes | 9 Comments

The Obama Generation

From an NPR story about reparations (starting at the 4:30 mark):

NPR Reporter Audie Cornish – “MTV had this survey on Millennials and their attitude toward racial inequality. One of the things they found that Millennials overwhelming see racism as a problem for older people, right? And that they aspire to color blindness. Are you essentially trying to introduce this idea which has like come and gone in many iterations or the decades to the Obama Generation?”

What exactly is meant when people say the “Obama Generation” and when did we agree that this generation of children should be called that?

Is it just me or is the Left looking more and more like a cult?

Posted in politics | 2 Comments

Obamacare Fails To Limit ER Visits

When the Left was trying to sell us on Obamacare they said this (emphasis mine):

“As far back as 2010, President Obama cited decreasing emergency room visits as one of the main cost-saving goals of the health-care reform. “What happens is, you don’t have health insurance, you go to the emergency room,” he said. “You weren’t getting a checkup; something that might have been curable with some antibiotics isn’t caught. By the time you get to the hospital, it’s much more expensive…We’re a lot better off if we are making sure that everybody is getting preventive care.

“And earlier this year on the Senate floor, Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, accused Republicans seeking to repeal the health-care law of trying to “force millions of American families to once again rely on expensive emergency room care—or go without care at all.”

In a previous post I highlighted where the producer of the Rachel Maddow show claimed that Obamacare (which has added hundreds of thousands to Medicaid) will drive healthcare costs down by reducing ER visits.

But then I produced this graph which totally destroyed that argument because this shows healthcare costs rising as Medicare/Medicaid spending increases.

Medicare spending

Now we have another study that further proves the Obamacare lie that ER visits will decrease once more people have insurance. From the Wall-Street Journal:

“Early evidence suggests that emergency rooms have become busier since the Affordable Care Act expanded insurance coverage this year, despite the law’s goal of reducing unnecessary care in ERs.”

“Almost half of ER doctors say they are seeing more patients since key provisions of the health law took effect Jan. 1, while more than a quarter say their patient volume has remained the same, according to a survey to be released Wednesday by the American College of Emergency Physicians.”

Obamacare is turning out like most of the Left’s policies – The theory sounds good but reality never quite lives up to expectations.

Idealistic Leftists thought that that people who lack the motivation to obtain an education level that would afford them a good job and allow them to buy health insurance would, after obtaining free healthcare, suddenly become very proactive and seek preventative care instead of waiting until it is too late and having to make a trip to the costly ER.

But that didn’t happen. And now we will all pay the price for the mistaken utopian policies of the Left.

Posted in healthcare, politics | 3 Comments

No Climate Change Link To California Drought

On my commute home last Friday I was listening to a story on NPR about the California drought/fires and because I listen to NPR every day, I knew what the story would morph into.

Starting at the 1:54 point of the audio, the NPR reporter setup John Laird, the secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency :

“NPR REPORTER – Is it clear to you that climate change is to blame for the drought and the heat and ultimately for these fires?”

“LAIRD – I think Climate Change is a major factor.”

I LOL’d in the car once my prediction came true but if you listen to NPR as much as I do, you know how in the tank NPR is for the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) cult.

And when NPR uses the term ‘climate change’, they’re not talking about the natural climate change that has happened on Earth for the past 4 billion years.  When NPR uses this phrase they mean the kind of climate change that is supposedly happening because of all the SUV’s we’re driving.

Unlike what happened in this NPR interview, I’d like to take a look at what the data actually tells us regarding the recent drought in California.

Here is a graph of annual rainfall in San Francisco from the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and you can see that 2013 was indeed very low but 1 year does not make a trend and the overall trend line for the last 165 years is fairly flat (not a steadily decreasing trend that the AGW cult wants you to believe).

san francisco rainfall

But that’s just one city in California, so here is a graph of annual rainfall in Los Angeles:

la rainfall

The trend line is basically flat for the past 130 years with the line having a negative slope of negative 6 thousandths of an inch. I call that flat and that means the annual rainfall in Los Angeles hasn’t changed in the past 130 years!

The wildfires seem to be confined to the San Diego area so let’s look at a graph of the annual rainfall for San Diego Lindbergh field:

san diego rainfall

You can see that over the past 48 years the trend line has a slope of negative 30 thousandths of an inch and for those who have trouble relating to such small measurements, that number approximately equates to width of 10 human hairs. Just like what we saw from the San Francisco and Los Angeles data, a flat trend line that means we haven’t seen significant rainfall decreases in San Diego.

Let’s not forget what happened in 1948 in California long before SUV’s were pumping CO2 into the atmosphere (h/t Steven Goddard):

cali 1948

And remember this New York Times article from 1994 (emphasis mine):

“BEGINNING about 1,100 years ago, what is now California baked in two droughts, the first lasting 220 years and the second 140 years. Each was much more intense than the mere six-year dry spells that afflict modern California from time to time, new studies of past climates show. The findings suggest, in fact, that relatively wet periods like the 20th century have been the exception rather than the rule in California for at least the last 3,500 years, and that mega-droughts are likely to recur.

The data above paint a clear picture that there is no evidence that ‘climate change’ has had any impact to California precipitation and therefore there is no reason to make that claim.

It took me less than an hour to find the links and generate these graphs from readily available data on the internet but apparently the NPR reporter didn’t have that kind of time to fact check and challenge the claims of Mr. Laird. Or what was more likely the reason, the NPR reporter didn’t want to challenge these claims because the AGW lies support their Leftist agenda.

NPR is not the only MSM outlet that is in the tank for the AGW cult and remember this as we hear more ‘news’ reports that use any and every weather anomaly to push this AGW cult political agenda.

Don’t fall for it.

Go back to the data and find the answers for yourself.

You can’t rely on ‘journalists’ to do this for you.

Posted in Climate Change, npr | 1 Comment

Random Acts Of Journalism At NPR

For the past few days NPR has run 3 separate stories on Obamacare and all of them have clearly shown the wake of destruction that this massive takeover of healthcare has left.

The first story was about a Cleveland, Ohio bar owner who is frustrated with his hike in insurance costs.

headline 1

“They just seemed to keep going up every year,” he says. “One year we got a 38 percent increase; another year we got 11. One year we got 3.”

“This year, under the Affordable Care Act, he saw another hike — this one about 20 percent.”

“It just seems odd that we get such a drastic price increase when nothing has really changed with us as far as our employees and health issues,” he says.

“I always thought that health reform was needed of some type,” he says. “It just seems like … they botched it.”

The next day NPR ran this story about a company who is contemplating eliminating health care benefits for its workforce due to rising insurance costs.

headline 2

“AmeriMark, like most businesses, has been coping with rising health insurance premiums for years. This year, the company’s initial estimate from a broker was a 30 percent increase in the price of premiums if they stayed with the same insurance provider. Lyons says they shopped around, chose a new company and changed some of the policy’s benefits — such as increasing the deductibles and copays that employees pay as their contribution to their own health coverage. Such changes in plans have become increasingly common nationally in recent years as annual increases in health care premiums have become normal.”

“Giesler says the company debated dropping health insurance for its employees — a step that, beginning in 2015, would result in an expensive penalty.”

Then today NPR ran this story highlighting how there is a troubling inconsistency how doctors charge for Medicare claims.

headline 3

“By exposing such massive variations in how doctors bill the nation’s health program for seniors and the disabled, experts said, ProPublica’s analysis shows Medicare could—and should—be doing far more to use its own data to sniff out cost-inflating errors and fraud.”

“I think this is a smoking gun,” said Dr. Robert Berenson, a former senior Medicare official who is now a fellow at the Urban Institute, a Washington, D.C., think tank. “Who’s asleep at the switch here?”

“A May 2012 report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general found that doctors are choosing higher codes more often for evaluation and management services, the broad category that includes office visits.”

And remember that Leftists often claim their goal is to move everyone in the US to a single payer/public health care plan like Medicare.  Imagine the billing errors, fraud and waste if everybody was on Medicare!

For me, it was shocking to see 3 stories in as many days published by Left leaning NPR that point to serious problems with Obamacare.  Has NPR rediscovered their journalistic roots?  Is Obamacare such a failure that the lapdogs have no choice but to report the devastation this law has caused?

Something tells me that Team Obama will summon the NPR leadership to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for a recalibration of their talking points.

Posted in healthcare, npr, politics | 2 Comments

Is Alec Baldwin Joining The Tea Party?

I have to wonder based on this tweet he sent out today after he was arrested for riding his bike the wrong way and then arguing with the police about it.

It sounds like Alec Baldwin is fed up with an over reaching government hell bent on taking its citizens’ money and passing laws that criminalize people’s once legal choices.  It pains me to say this but for once I’m in complete agreement with him.

Welcome to the party Alec (and by party I mean Tea Party)!  You’re only a few years late!

Posted in Over Regulation, politics | 2 Comments

Is Manufacturing Making A Comeback?

Here is a graph contrasting the civilian unemployment rate and the unemployment rate for the manufacturing industry that may show signs of a small resurgence of manufacturing in the US.

manufacturing making a comeback

Prior to the last Great Recession, unemployment in the manufacturing sector tracked the overall civilian unemployment fairly equally but after 2008 the manufacturing industry saw a much worse unemployment rate (peaking at 13.0%) than the civilian unemployment rate (peaking at 10.0%).

As you can see from the graph above, the unemployment rate for the manufacturing sector has not only caught up with the civilian rate but has overtaken it (5.2% vs 6.3%).

Why did this happen?

I think a lot of the explanation for the much higher unemployment rate for the manufacturing sector after the Great Recession was due to companies drastically scaling back production and cutting costs as quickly as possible to survive. Manufacturing can be cut quickly by idling plants to reduce costs and with consumer demand dropping this was a very predictable move.

And this drastic cost cutting appears to have been an overcorrection because in early 2010 we saw that the manufacturing sector unemployment dropped 3 percentage points (13.0% to 10.0%) while the civilian unemployment rate only dropped 0.2 percentage points (9.7% to 9.5%). Once companies realized they had cut too deep they started to hire back employees as consumer demand started to creep back up.

But what explains the lower manufacturing unemployment rate now?

I’m sure some of it is “on-shoring” (bringing back products manufactured off shore now that labor rates in places like China are starting to increase) but it may just be due to the gradual (and I do mean gradual) improvement of the economy. I don’t really have the answer here but the data do show some glimmer of hope for the manufacturing sector.

And make no mistake about it; we need a thriving manufacturing sector in the US. Not only for the quality jobs that manufacturing provides but for the single fact that once we lose the ability to manufacture ‘things’ then we’ll quickly lose the ability to innovate and design.

It should be noted that this improvement of the manufacturing sector happened in spite of (not because of) the disastrous policies of Obamanomics. Think what this resurgence in the manufacturing sector could’ve looked like if the US economy had not been handcuffed by Keynesian economics and other ‘stimulus’ fiascos. What a wasted opportunity these past 5 years have been for millions of hard working Americans.

My fear is this slight resurgence in manufacturing will be squelched next year when the Obamacare employer mandate kicks in and companies return to cost cutting measures to pay for this albatross.

But then again, maybe there is hope in the midterm elections….

Posted in economics, politics | Leave a comment

Not A Cult…..

While browsing for Mother’s Day cards at my local supermarket I came across this one in the “Support” section:

obama card

Are you kidding me?

I’m fond of calling the radical elements of the Democratic Party “cult members” (like the Anthropogenic Global Warming zealots) but the cult like behavior appears to be creeping into the mainstream of Democratic members.

Yet the Left claims they are not a cult.

Posted in politics | 1 Comment