France Is Waking Up, The US Is Going To Sleep

It took a while but after years of socialistic economic policies, many political and business leaders in France are having a change of heart based on this NPR report:

“ELEANOR BEARDSLEY: The major players of the French economy gathered this week outside Paris for the annual meeting of the country’s principal business lobby – the MEDEF. From corporate CEOs to entrepreneurs, this crowd thinks it knows what’s ailing the French economy – too many regulations and taxes. But the main barrier to job creation, they say, is the rigid French labor code. Sixty-five-year-old Armand Carlier is the CEO of an aeronautical equipment maker.”

“ARMAND CARLIER: You just can’t get rid of anybody in the company nowadays without being sued in court and paying lots of indemnities. So you are very reluctant to contract and to hire new guys, which is totally absurd, you know.”

And French President Francois Holland is making changes in his cabinet too:

“BEARDSLEY: Hollande confirmed his tact to the right this week when he fired his left-leaning economy minister, Arnaud Montebourg, for criticizing the government’s economic policies. Hollande replaced him with Emmanuel Macron, a young former investment banker and confirmed free-market capitalist.”

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls appears to resonate with this tact to the Right.

“BEARDSLEY: Speaking at the business forum, Prime Minister Manuel Valls says France has to break with old attitudes that are killing the country’s competitiveness and sapping its moral.”

“VALLS: (Through translator) Who says the left has to be against the corporate world? No, the employer does not have to be against the worker, and unions and bosses don’t have to be systematically opposed to each other.”

“BEARDSLEY: Valls called on France to support its businesses and make the economy stronger for everyone. He got a standing ovation. Jacque Chanut is head of the French Builders Association.”

“JACQUE CHANUT: (Through translator) To hear a Socialist leader to make such a pro-business speech is incredible. I think mentalities are finally changing. At last, there’s the possibility of real reform.”

Wow! I’m excited to hear a Western government making a shift to Free Market economic policies and I hope this rubs off on other Western countries like the United States.

It’s sad to say but I think the leaders of France are more pro business than the leaders of the US.

Before Obama took office, nobody, including me, would’ve ever said this. But the latest Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate for the next decade shows what 5-1/2 years of Team Obama has brought on the US. From the Wall-Street Journal:

“The CBO revised downward its economic growth projections for 2014 to 1.5% from 3.1%, which was hardly a bombshell given that real gross domestic product has increased by only 1.05% so far this year.”

The US economy has typically rebounded in magnitudes equivalent to the previous recession (large recessions are followed by big recoveries) but that has not happened yet.

We’re still waiting for this and meanwhile taxes are being raised on the job creators.

Here’s the reason corporations are shipping jobs overseas.

“Tax receipts will rise smartly this year, climbing 8% over 2013 to $3.01 trillion, led by a 15% increase in corporate income tax revenue and 6% among individuals.”

Entitlement spending is going through the roof.

“The major budget driver now is Medicaid, which will surge by 15% on ObamaCare’s expansion of that program. The figure would be still higher had not 23 states opted out to protect the integrity of their own budgets.”

“Some 85 cents of every increased dollar of spending over the next 10 years will flow to entitlements, mainly health care. Medicare, Medicaid and ObamaCare will rise to 5.9% of GDP from 4.9% today. All other spending except for these programs, Social Security and interest on the debt will grow by 20% but fall to the lowest share of GDP since 1940. So everything else the government is supposed to do—defend the country, fund basic research, build roads and bridges, and even the basic social safety net like unemployment insurance—is being crowded out by these income transfers.”

Our national debt is growing at a faster pace.

“…the debt problem hasn’t gone away. The Obama spending binge and slow growth have brought debt held by the public to 74.4% of the economy this year, up from 72% last year and 35% as recently as 2007. The debt-to-GDP ratio will rise to 77.2% a decade out”

Pitiful GDP growth, higher taxes, rising entitlement spending and ballooning debts – These are the results of 5-1/2 years of Obama.

God help us because we have 2-1/2 more years of this.

If only our leaders were as economically intelligent as the French.

Man, I can’t believe I just typed that.

Posted in economics, Entitlement Programs, politics | Leave a comment

Improving Insulin Sensitivity

Type 2 diabetics suffer from reduced insulin sensitivity which prevents the glucose in the bloodstream from being absorbed by the cells and converted to glycogen (energy). Insulin is the ‘key’ to unlock the cells and let the glucose in but when that doesn’t happen the person’s blood sugar levels become dangerously high.

I’ve written about in the past how I’ve adopted a Paleo lifestyle/diet to control my blood sugar levels (without medicine or insulin injections) to the point where my daily blood sugar measurements are indistinguishable from someone without Type 2 Diabetes. But over the past couple of months I’ve noticed that something odd had happened and now my blood sugar levels are at the low end of the normal range.

That had me to wondering if my insulin resistance had somehow reversed so I decided to try an experiment where I’d eat foods that should cause my blood sugar levels to increase beyond a normal range and determine (through blood sugar measurements) if my body had magically reset itself.

As a point of reference – During Thanksgiving of 2013 I decided to ‘cheat’ so I ate dressing and sweet potato casserole for both lunch and dinner and when I took my blood sugar measurement before bed it read 207 mg/dL which was way above the normal upper limit for someone without Diabetes (around 140 mg/dL).

But that example was only a couple of months after I began this journey and as I stated above, I think my insulin resistance has improved so I felt it was time to perform this experiment again.

On 08-AUG-14 my wife fixed chili with turkey meat and beans. Beans are a legume and a no-no for the Paleo diet but this seemed like a good time to start this experiment so I gobbled it up. My blood sugar measurement was 137 mg/dL two hours after eating a nice large bowl of that wonderful chili. That measurement was below the 140 mg/dL ‘normal’ upper limit but much higher than I normally see after a typical Paleo meal.

On 15-AUG-14 my wife and I had a date night at Tupelo Honey (a most excellent restaurant chain) and I had a mint julep (lots of sugar), one fried green tomato, pulled pork, greens, brussels sprouts and about 2 cups of fried okra. And let me tell you about that fried okra – It was like a little taste of heaven and definitely the best fried okra I’ve ever put in my mouth (all apologies to my mom and grandmother) but it was breaded (Paleo no-no) and no doubt fried in some soybean oil that is also a Paleo no-no. Even with all that ‘bad’ food I ate, two hours after eating that meal my blood sugar measurement was 128 mg/dL. Not too bad!

So far, so good and I decided to increase the ante on this little experiment!

On 22-AUG-14 I decided to frequent one of my long time favorite Japanese food hole-in-the-walls that I haven’t been to since I started this healthy lifestyle change. For lunch that day I had hibachi scallops, onions, zucchini, mushrooms and carrots. That doesn’t sound bad but those carrots (about 2 cups worth!) were cooked in butter and sugar. And to ‘top’ it off, I drizzled (more like poured) this pink looking stuff they call shrimp sauce (which is probably a mix between thousand island dressing, sugar and mayonnaise) all over everything. I swear, you can put that shrimp sauce on a dirty sock and it’d taste divine! Anyway, two hours after devouring that meal my blood sugar measurement was 196 mg/dL.

Not so good but there was an interesting side note to this phase of the experiment. I took my blood sugar measurement 4 hours after that meal and it was 76 mg/dL. Before I went on the Paleo diet, I’d see elevated blood sugar levels for up to 24 hours after a high carb/sugar meal but now my blood sugar levels came down to the low end of the normal range in just 4 hours after the meal.

OK, just one more phase of this experiment to go.

On 23-AUG-14 we had sweet potato fries baked in the oven as a side dish. Although sweet potatoes are considered acceptable on the Paleo diet, they were a food that definitely took my blood sugar over the top in the past so this was another good test of my insulin sensitivity. For the record, in addition to the sweet potato fries, I had sea bass, green beans and caramelized onions. Two hours after that meal my blood sugar measurement was 116 mg/dL. It looks like sweet potatoes are back on my food rotation!

To provide a graphical representation of the dramatic improvement I’ve seen over the past few months, here is a graph of my evening blood sugar measurements that are taken 2 hours after dinner.

evening blood sugar measurements

So what does all this mean?

If it weren’t for the high measurement after the Japanese meal, I’d say my insulin sensitivity has been fully reversed but I can’t discount that high reading. There is no mistaking the fact that my body’s insulin sensitivity is much better than it was before I started the Paleo diet but based on that high reading after a sugar-heavy meal, I still consider myself a Type 2 Diabetic.

You might be wondering something – If my insulin sensitivity issue eventually totally reverses (and based on what I’ve seen over the past year, I expect this to happen), will I go back to eating bread, grains, biscuits, grits, legumes and rice?

Hell no! Eating those foods for 40+ years is what got me into this mess so even if my insulin sensitivity does miraculously reset, I’ll never go back to eating those foods on a regular basis. It’s nice to know that my body’s insulin sensitivity has improved enough to eat high glycemic foods on rare occasions and this will help when I’m at a party where they serve foods that are normally not on my list of things to eat. But this will be the exception, not the rule.

I embraced this Paleo diet to control my Type 2 Diabetes but after almost a year of gradually adopting the Paleo lifestyle, I now see the benefits outside of blood sugar levels. I have more energy, I’m back down to the lowest weight I’ve ever been as an adult, my performance in sports has improved and I no longer have blood pressure or cholesterol problems.

The Paleo diet doesn’t just help Type 2 Diabetics reverse their insulin sensitivity, it can benefit anyone. Try it for 30 days and prove me wrong.


There is scientific evidence that the Paleo diet improves insulin sensitivity and you can read about some of them here and here.

A quote from one journal paper:

“In conclusion, we found marked improvement of glucose tolerance in IHD (Ischaemic heart disease) patients with increased blood glucose or diabetes after advice to follow a Palaeolithic diet compared with a healthy Western diet. The larger improvement of glucose tolerance in the Palaeolithic group was independent of energy intake and macronutrient composition, which suggest that avoiding Western foods is more important than counting calories, fat, carbohydrate or protein.”

Posted in Diabetes | 3 Comments

Tornado Intensity Index


Remember when teh AGW cult told us that increasing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere would cause stronger tornadoes in the US? Add this to the large heap of failed Global Warming predictions….

Originally posted on NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT:

By Paul Homewood

Is the intensity of tornadoes increasing in the United States, (or, for that matter, falling)? It’s a perennial question.

NOAA gives us some clues, with their charts of EF-1+ and EF-3 to EF-5 tornadoes since 1954. (NOAA ignore EF-0’s, because many more of these weak tornadoes get to be reported nowadays than in the past because of Doppler radar, better reporting practices, increasing population etc – for the background on this, see here.)



[ The original Fujita grading system, using “F” numbers, was replaced in 2007 by the Enhanced Fujita scale, hence “EF” numbers. The new system was designed to ensure compatibility with the original Fujita scale- see here. All references to either Fujita or Enhanced Fujita should be regarded as interchangeable]

But these graphs tell us little about the distribution within the totals. For instance, could there be more EF-4’s relative to EF-3’s?

View original 359 more words

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Interval Training Works For Type 2 Diabetics

Interval Training is not just for professional athletes but is useful for the rest of us who are just interested in living a healthier lifestyle.

From NPR:

“Now, a study published in the journal Diabetologia finds that interval training may help the millions of people with Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes who are trying to control their blood sugar.”

For those not familiar, Interval Training (IT) consists of shorter periods of exercise where you vary the intensity during the workout. Instead of running/walking at a steady pace for an hour, you alternate running fast, running/walking slow and even mix in some other periods of weight training (pushups, squats, etc.).

For the study referenced in the NPR article, the IT group exercised for an hour by repeating this interval set 10 times – walking slowly for 3 minutes then walking fast for 3 minutes. The other test group walked at a continuous pace for an hour and the control group didn’t exercise at all.

The study found that only the IT group lowered their blood sugar levels and the results were dramatic – 20% lower than the other test group and the control group!

I’ve been a runner for the past 16 years and I’ve always understood the benefits of cross training to improve my running performance but it wasn’t until I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes did I start monitoring the effects of IT exercise on my blood sugar levels.

I wrote a post in April 2014 where I performed a similar experiment with a sample size of 1 (me!) and found almost identical results to the study referenced above.

I introduced weight training to my normal running/cycling workouts and found that I decreased my blood sugar levels about 10% when compared to my normal exercise routine and I saw a decrease of 20% when compared to a time period when I didn’t exercise at all.

high intensity exercise

Since that time I have modified my workouts and follow this routine for about 45 minutes – Run/walk for about 2 miles, then alternate sets of weight training (bench press, curls, shoulders, triceps) and leg work (lunges and squats). I do this exercise about 3 times per week and mix in pushups, lunges and squats at home when I don’t have time to get to a gym or go for a run.

I also still ride my road bike for about 1-2 hours 1 day a week but even though this is not normally considered an IT workout, I live in an area that is very hilly so even a 2 hour bike ride simulates IT because of the higher intensity effort used to ride up hills followed by lower intensity periods coast down a hill or peddling in a rhythm on a stretch of flat roads.

For me, the IT type workout is mentally better for me as well. I’ve run a marathon and while I enjoyed the feeling I got after a nice long run, the act of plodding along for hours doing the same thing was taxing on my psyche and mixing things up during a shorter workout is much more enjoyable for me.

It makes sense, scientifically, why IT reduces blood sugar levels. The main fuel for our muscles is glycogen which comes from glucose so when we exert extra muscle effort the glycogen is depleted and the body seeks to replenish those fuel stores by converting glucose to glycogen. Make those muscles sore and you’ll see your blood sugar levels drop!

Start mixing in IT type workouts in your routine and you’ll not only feel better, you’ll start to like what you see in the mirror every morning too!

Posted in Diabetes | Leave a comment

Math Is Hard For Leftists – Part 1 Million

There is a post on the Leftist blog Crooks and Liars that gives new meaning to the website’s title.

The post provides charts that will supposedly show your “Right-Wing brother” just how wrong he is about his claims that Obama increased government spending and the deficit.

Here are the two charts I’d like to debunk:

crooks and liars 1

crooks and liars 2

Wow, it looks like Obama is a very austere POTUS and all these claims about increased government spending and deficits are just hogwash.

But the author performs a simple trick to make his case – He takes all the government spending in 2009 and attributes it to Bush.

It’s true, the Federal government spending in 2009 was set in 2008 but the author forgets about a little item in early 2009 that didn’t have anything to do with Bush – The 2009 Stimulus.

The 2009 Stimulus added $787 billion to the government outlays and that cannot be attributed to Bush but instead to Obama and the Democrat controlled Congress who passed it. (And as a sidebar, you can go here to see how the 2009 Stimulus was a colossal failure.)

I used the link provided in the Crooks and Liars post (here) to obtain the data for myself and here are the two graphs with the correct assignment for the 2009 spending.

us spending

us budget deficit

And these graphs look even worse when you take government spending and budget deficit and normalize them to GDP (from the link here):

us spending percent of gdp

budget deficit percent of gdp

So Obama and the Dems increased Federal Government spending from 20% of GDP to 24% of GDP and we’re supposed to be happy that it’s come down to 21% in 2013. This fact apparently makes Obama a very austere POTUS in the math challenged minds of the Left!

Crooks and Liars….Yep, that is a great name for that website.

Posted in economics, politics | 3 Comments

Why Do We Have A Skilled Labor Shortage?

college costs

There is a serious job skills crisis in America right now.

From NPR:

“It’s a problem of supply and demand: There is a massive construction boom right now but construction workers are few and far between.”

“Largely fueled by the energy industry, tens of billions of dollars of development is in the works along the Gulf Coast and in the Midwest. This year there is almost as much construction work in energy boom states like Wyoming as there was in 2008.”

“But back then, there were about 6 million Americans working in commercial construction. Now, there are only about 4.5 million.”

“With roughly 20 percent fewer skilled workers in the construction industry, trade apprenticeships for young people are helping to ease the shortage. But it may be too little, too late.”

“Ron Kaiser, the vice president of Mike’s Electric, says he sees this play out on a daily basis.”

“Usually there’s people waiting and willing to come to work,” Kaiser says. “I’ve been with the business since ’99, and it’s the worst I’ve seen.”

“Mike Glavin, a senior manager with the Associated Builders and Contractors, an industry trade association, says that after construction took a nosedive six years ago a lot of skilled workers left the business, and they haven’t come back. Many of the workers that did stay were older, and now they’re starting to think about retirement.”

“If you’re a very highly skilled welder you can pretty much write your own ticket,” Glavin says.”

“But he says this has contractors concerned about the future. “Five to 10 years from now … the folks that they have are going to be leaving the industry, and they don’t necessarily see a replacement for those folks.”

Mike Rowe (host of the show “Dirty Jobs”) weighs in on this crisis:

“There is a real disconnect in the way that we educate vis-a-vis the opportunities that are available. You have – right now – about 3 million jobs that can’t be filled,” he says, talking about openings in traditional trades ranging from construction to welding to plumbing. “Jobs that typically parents’ don’t sit down with their kids and say, ‘Look, if all goes well, this is what you are going to do.”

After I tweeted out the cartoon above I found out that I’m not the only one concerned about this after skilled labor crisis.

So how did this happen?

For sure, the push for a college education on too many people contributed to this.

As the Market is now showing us, there will always be a demand for skilled labor; be it electricians, welders, carpenters, crane operators or air conditioning repairmen. Over the past couple of decades we’ve seen college tuition rates skyrocket as the demand increased (more people wanted to go to college). Colleges had to raise costs to accommodate the increased student load but they could also raise prices because people were willing to pay for it. And now we see a whole generation of college graduates realize their bachelor’s degrees aren’t providing them the golden tickets that they were promised.

Many Millennials would’ve been better served with a 2-year technical degree or apprenticeship but they followed the herd to college and all they have to show for it is a six figure debt.

Don’t’ get me wrong. I’m a big fan of higher education and I had it drilled into my head that I was going to college and sure enough I did and the degrees I earned have contributed to my success. But college isn’t for everyone.

Those who were smart and decided to get the education that better suited their skill sets are now making huge salaries and can pretty much go wherever they want.

The Market rewards engineers, doctors and lawyers with high salaries because the training required to learn those skill sets is difficult and the pool of people who successfully make it through those education/training requirements is small. Likewise, learning how to be a welder, a plumber or a construction worker is also difficult and now that people have decided not to attempt training in these skilled labor fields, the pool of people qualified to do those jobs is very small and those jobs are delivering very high salaries.

The young people who were willing to put forth the effort to get trained in these skilled labor fields are reaping the benefits with higher than normal salaries and my hat goes off to them.

But there may be another element that is leading to this jobs skills crisis and that is Liberalism.

Leftists for the past 5 years have been preaching about income inequality, the need of the rich to pay their fair share and how wealthy people should share their wealth with the rest of us poor unfortunate souls. Government assistance is at an all time high level and the left is more interested in enabling people to stay on Government handouts than providing a business climate that incentivizes individuals to learn a skill and make a living in a rewarding profession.

Without the Government influence over the past 5 years, I feel that the Market would’ve corrected and provided the skilled labor that we need today. People would’ve been busy looking for work, going to a trade school and starting as an apprentice in a labor related job instead of sitting at home and waiting for their Unemployment benefits to be extended, their Obama phones and ‘free’ healthcare.

Liberalism creates an environment of victimhood with zero personal accountability and we are now seeing that play out in a very dangerous manner. A country that loses the ability to build things loses the ability to create, innovate and expand.

Posted in economics | Leave a comment

Proof That US Warming Is Mann-Made (Part 2)


The AGW cult has tampered data to the point that it is criminal. There is a reason why only their data sets show warming but untampered satellite data show no warming for the past 17 years.

Originally posted on Real Science:

Yesterday I published this graph, showing almost perfect correlation between USHCN adjustments and NOAA atmospheric CO2 numbers.

ScreenHunter_1618 Aug. 03 09.45


I have long wondered why USHCN adjustments are increasing exponentially. They are now nearly 1.5F total.

ScreenHunter_1604 Aug. 03 06.00

According to USHCN V1 documentation, the adjustments were supposed to level off after 1990 at 0.5F. Instead of leveling off, they have sharply increased and are now almost three times as large as the USHCN V1 adjustments.

ScreenHunter_1605 Aug. 03 06.11ts.ushcn_anom25_diffs_urb-raw_pg.gif (650×502)

The USHCN V2 docs say that they use the same TOBS algorithm as V1, yet TOBS was supposed to go flat after 1990. How can the same algorithm produce dramatically different results in V2?

ScreenHunter_1607 Aug. 03 06.23ts.ushcn_anom25_diffs_pg.gif (650×502)

Up until now the adjustments have made no sense, because they didn’t appear to correlate to anything in the real world. But now we can see that correlate almost perfectly with the amount of CO2 in atmosphere. Red below is…

View original 46 more words

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Obama Has Owned the Economy For the Past Two Years

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released the Q2 GDP results and the US economy grew by 4%.

And of course Obama took the opportunity to claim ownership of this economy and state that this increase was because of his economic policies.

“So the decisions that we made — to rescue our economy, to rescue the auto industry, to rebuild the economy on a new foundation, to invest in research and infrastructure, education — all those things are starting to pay off.”

DO not be deceived, this isn’t the first time that Team Obama has claimed ‘ownership’ of the economy. Remember that back in February 2012 his chief economic advisor took credit for the January jobs numbers:

“Further evidence that the economy is continuing to heal from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression,” said a statement from Alan B. Krueger, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

“It is critical that we continue the economic policies that are helping us to dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the recession that began at the end of 2007,” Krueger wrote on the White House blog.

Team Obama drew the correlation between the good jobs data in January 2012 to their own economic policies so, by their own admission, Team Obama has been responsible for the economy since the start of 2012. Let’s look at the BEA data to see exactly what Obama has owned for the past 2 years.

The following graphs show the economy that Obama owns (shown by the red ovals):




Pretty dismal stuff. Obama owns the worst economic ‘recovery’ in US history.

But wait, Leftists like to claim that we came out of a horrible recession so we should give The One some credit!

Unfortunately for the Leftists who parrot this talking point, the GDP data of US recoveries from recessions during the 20th century debunk that argument.

Look what happened in the early 80’s when we came out of a similar deep recession:


Pro-business policies from Reagan produced a huge rebound from that deep recession. And this recovery was similar to other rebounds from recessions – the deeper the recession, the larger the rebound.

We have not seen the dramatic recovery for the past 2 years that 100+ years of economic data predicted would happen. Instead we have a pitiful 2% average GDP growth rate over the past two years.

Thanks Obamanomics!

Posted in economics, politics | 3 Comments

Why Are Companies Hoarding Cash?

US companies are flush with cash reserves right now and some people are mystified as to why that is happening.

“I think most CFOs would not admit they’ve hoarded too much cash,” says John Graham, finance professor at Duke University.”

“He estimates that companies have about 50 percent more cash on their balance sheets than they did 10 or 15 years ago.”

“Non-financial companies — like Microsoft and Merck — had a total of $1.6 trillion in cash at the end of 2013, according to Moody’s.”

“What you’re not seeing them do with this cash is invest in new factories and research operations, which would create jobs and fundamentally grow the business,” Johnston says.”

Why would companies be sitting on unprecedented amounts of cash instead of investing it or growing their business?

The Marketplace article hinted at one of the reasons here:

“It’s locked up overseas, mostly to avoid U.S. taxes.”

Yes, the US still has the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world and it doesn’t take a graduate degree in economics to realize that companies, who have a duty to maximize their profits, are incentivized to move their money offshore thanks to the Federal Government’s tax code.

But high corporate taxes are not just the only motivating factor that is causing US companies to hoard cash.

With the Obamacare employer mandate set to kick in at the end of this year, we still have a ton of uncertainty with regard to how this regulatory behemoth will affect companies’ bottom lines. Just this week we saw two different Federal courts reach different rulings on the legality of subsidies for people buying insurance on the Federal exchange in states that haven’t set up their own exchange. The ultimate decision on this will most likely have to wait for the Supreme Court and who knows when that will happen? And who knows how they will rule?

And of course the past 5 years have brought us 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.

Is it any wonder that companies are doing the prudent thing of hoarding cash in response to the massive government overreach under Obama?

And you can throw in, recently, Obama’s failures at foreign policy that has left the US living in a world that is much less safe and a southern border that is crumbling.

Don’t blame the companies for being frightened about what is coming around the corner. There is nothing in the past 5 years that would lead a company to think that we have leaders in Washington, DC that are interested in moving the country forward and creating a climate that is business friendly.

The Free Market incentivizes companies to spend their cash, invest in new opportunities, grow their business and create jobs. We don’t need a bunch of DC bureaucrats or phony “Jobs Bills” to tell companies what to do. Companies just naturally do this – That’s the beauty of the Free Market.

Until we get the Federal Government out of the way, we should become accustomed to companies hoarding more cash.

Posted in economics, Over Regulation, politics | 1 Comment

O-Bot Thinks Obama’s Executive Orders Are Great For America

I saw a tweet in the #UniteBlue hashtag over the weekend and I decided to engage for clarification.

Yes, the O-bot love for The One is so strong that they’ll ignore Obama’s complete failures and instead praise him for the Executive Orders (EO’s) he has signed.

This was Twitter so I’ll forgive the grammatical error – ‘then’ vs ‘than’ – but let me debunk the ‘successes’ of these Obama EO’s one at a time.

1 – “Establishing the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force”

I hate to be the one to break it to you but it was the House and Senate that approved a bill to spend $50 billion to help rebuild after Hurricane Sandy. Obama’s EO didn’t do this; it was Congress who made this happen.

2 – “Improving access to mental health services for veterans, service members and military families”

Obama is helping Veterans? Really? Do these vets have to get this mental health care from a VA hospital? You know, the hospitals that are so backlogged that vets are dying?

3 – “Preventing and responding to violence against women and girls globally”

Do Leftists really think Obama is the only person who finds violence against women disgusting? Just because you issue a proclamation to decry an act doesn’t mean evil people aren’t going to continue to commit said act. Why doesn’t Obama issue an executive order preventing murder in his hometown of Chicago?

4 – “White House initiative on educational excellence for African Americans”

I definitely support improving the education of not only African Americans but all of our children. The inconvenient truth for the Left is that this EO, like all of Obama’s EO’s, will do absolutely nothing to help its stated objective. Do you really want to improve the education and lives of our children? Then encourage two-parent families.

5 –“Improving American Indian and Alaska native educational opportunities and strengthening tribal colleges and universities”

Executive order 13592 was signed to help improve the education of Native Americans and like I said above, I’m all for that. My question though – Why do we need an EO to help people get a better education?

And the executive order calls for the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, to carry out this noble task. Good luck with that!

6 – “Removing barriers to responsible scientific research involving human stem cells.”

I’m actually in favor of stem cell research but Obama’s EO lifting the barriers for government funded stem cell research went too far. Many people in the US are against this type of research because human embryos must be destroyed to carry out this research so we shouldn’t use their tax dollars to fund this. This EO wasn’t even needed because there are many private research labs already doing ground breaking research in this area. This is just another attempt of the Left to create wedge issues and expand the role of government.

7 – “Employment of veterans in the Federal Government”

Since 1944 the US has had a law on the books that gives preferential treatment to vets when seeking to fill federal job openings. I don’t really know what Obama’s EO will do to help vets find jobs but with regard to this executive order, I hope it helps because the men and women who sacrificed to keep us free deserve a good job when their service is over.

8 – “Raising the pay of federal workers”

Obama raised the minimum wage of Federal government employees to $10.10/hour and the Left cheered! This EO will only affect new employees and the vast majority of federal employees make much more than $10.10/hour. Like the rest of them, this EO was signed to benefit political talking points and it won’t actually help that many people.

9 – “Banning workplace discrimination”

So Obama signed an EO banning federal contractors from discriminating based on sexual orientation. I don’t know where you work but the private sector has been operating like that for quite some time and to make the claim that this EO will ‘help more Americans than republicans have done for decades’ is ridiculous.

So there you have it – The Obama-bots’ adoration of The One is based on a handful of executive orders that are basically meaningless.

Carry on Leftists.

Posted in politics | 2 Comments

Global Temperature Update – July 2014

With most of the US enjoying unseasonably cool summer temperatures, I thought it’d be a good time to update the global temperature and atmospheric CO2 graphs.

The Earth’s atmospheric CO2 concentration is still increasing at the same rate since 1958 (about 0.125 ppm per month).


The Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) cult tells us that this steady increase in CO2 should be driving our global temperature anomalies higher.

Keep in mind that we shouldn’t confuse ‘weather’ with ‘climate’ and a peer reviewed journal clearly states that we need 17 years of temperature data to assess whether humans are affecting global temperatures.

“Our results show that temperature records of at least 17 years in length are required for identifying human effects on global-mean tropospheric temperature.”

So let’s see if that has happened.

According to the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) temperature data, the global temperature anomalies have been flat for the last 17 years (0.0007° C increase per month or 0.0084° C per year).


The Hadley Climate Research Unit (HADCRUT3) temperature data shows the same flat temperatures over this same time period (0.0002° C increase per month or 0.0024° C per year).


The Remote Sensing System (RSS) satellite temperature data shows even flatter temperatures over this same time period (0.00008° C increase per month or 0.00096° C per year).


All three of these ‘increases’ are within the margin of error for the measuring instruments so there is clearly no warming trend over the past 17 years even though atmospheric CO2 concentrations have continued their steady march upwards.

Now let’s look at these same three temperature data sets plotted against atmospheric CO2 concentration.

uah vs co2

cru vs co2

rss vs co2

It’s almost like CO2 has no effect on global temperatures but that can’t be because Al Gore tells us that the science is settled!

Remember that in 2007 the AGW cult predicted that the Earth would warm 0.02 C per year if the current rate of atmospheric CO2 concentrations continued. At best, these predications are off by a factor of 2.4 (from UAH data) but at worst they are off by a factor of 20.8 (from RSS data).

The science is definitely NOT settled.

Posted in Climate Change | 11 Comments

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 | 5 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.


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.


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