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 | 7 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

An Inconvenient Truth For Obamanomics

Liberals are cheering the latest drop in Unemployment numbers but they never seem to add the following graph of Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) in their news stories and blog posts.

labor force participation rate last 10 years

The LFPR is defined as the percentage of working age persons (16-64 years old) who are employed or unemployed and looking for a job. Students, retirees, homemakers and other people who have willingly made the choice to remain unemployed are not included in this population so the LFPR is a measurement of how many working age people are active in the job market.

The inconvenient truth that Leftists don’t want to acknowledge is that the LFPR is now the lowest it has been since the late 1970’s:

labor force participation rate

Leftists will still spin this decline in the LFPR as a wonderful thing because many people have been freed from working unfulfilling jobs that they required in order to pay for health insurance. Now these people can quit their jobs, pick up cheap subsidized health insurance plans and pursue their ambitions as an artist, author or dog whisperer. Leftists call this phenomenon ‘job lock’ and they’re really excited about what Obamacare has meant to these people.

But here’s the problem – What does ‘subsidized’ mean when we talk about all these fantastic subsidized health insurance plans? It means people can purchase a health care plan on the Obamacare exchange and receive a tax credit to help offset the cost of these new plans.

But where does this tax credit come from? Do we hire more pickers for the money tree growing in the back of the Capital? No, it comes from the rest of us suckers who still have to work and purchase health care plans at higher prices. Our higher insurance premiums and ever increasing tax dollars are now being used to free people to pursue their dreams. How wonderful! Just like the Founders envisioned!

From NRO:

“I know I’m not alone in thinking that it was totally worth seizing a seventh of the U.S. economy, polarizing Washington, throwing millions of Americans’ lives into turmoil, and forcing millions of others to pay more in premiums and deductibles while spending $1.2 trillion just so we could liberate the Job-Locked Poets!”

Here’s the sad truth that the Left can’t explain away with Jay Carney spin – The promises of ‘shovel ready jobs’ and ‘recovery summers’ haven’t materialized and Obamanomics has caused the US to have fewer people in the workforce.

This is the new normal under Obamanomics and unless we reverse course soon, we may not be able to avert disaster. Fewer people working (and paying taxes) will leave the Left with but one source to fund their ever expanding entitlement spending and that is you, the hard working, middle class tax payer. Stay healthy my friend, for the Government needs you to help fund the growing entitlement society.

I leave you with a final quote from Margaret Thatcher, The Iron Lady, who said it best:

“Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money.”

“Socialism started by saying it was going to tax the rich, very rapidly it was taxing the middle income groups. Now, it’s taxing people quite highly with incomes way below average and pensioners with incomes way below average. You look at the figure on the beginning of a pay slip, sometimes it can look quite high, look along the slip to the other end, and see how many deductions you’ve had off, those deductions have increased enormously under Socialism.”

“Public expenditure, which they always boast about, is financed out of the pay packet in our pockets. People are saying that they really think too much is being taken out of the pay packet for someone to spend on their behalf, and they’d rather be left with more, and it’s now well-known that Socialist Governments put up taxes and Conservative Governments take them down. It’s part of our fundamental belief giving the people more choice to spend their own money in their own way.”

Posted in economics, Entitlement Programs, politics | 1 Comment

Standardized Tests Have Gone Too Far

Much has changed in the our education system since I attended high school in the mid 80’s and one of the biggest is the number of standardized tests students are required to take.

From NPR:

“High school students in the U.S. take lots of standardized tests. There are state tests, new Common Core-aligned field tests, and an alphabet soup of others like the PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) and NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) exams, the SAT, ACT, AP and IB.”

Before I get to my point of this post, don’t misunderstand me. Our educators need to be held accountable and we need to improve how we educate our children (parents are included in this too….) and if you want to improve something then you have to have a metric that you can use to measure your success or failure.

Lord Kelvin put it best:

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”

So using standardized tests or some other method to measure how well our schools are educating our children is a good thing. But I think we’ve gone too far.

I am a parent of a 7th grader and a 3rd grader and already I’m seeing the stress and strain these batteries of standardized tests are taking on the students. The funding that schools receive is dependent in part on how well the students do on these tests so I get it that this is a stressful time for the teachers. But I can see the stress on my kids also during the week they take these tests so it’s obvious the teachers are transferring their stress to the kids. The kids are having it beat into them that they NEED to do well on these tests.

Parents share in the stress too. We receive memos the week prior to the standardized testing making sure the parents get their kids to bed early, feed them a good breakfast and other tips to ensure the kids are performing at the top of their game. Homework is reduced or suspended the weeks prior to the testing and it’s apparent that the teachers use this time ‘coaching’ the kids so they perform well on the tests.

The stress that high school kids feel when they take the ACT, SAT and other college entrance exams is normal and we all had to go through that. I’m not really bothered by that but in my high school days I didn’t have other standardized tests throughout the year to make the college entrance exams even more stressful.

I can’t help but wonder if we’re missing something here.

Back in the 1940’s we had a generation of American high school kids who were educated without having to take a series of state and federal standardized tests but yet those kids grew up and did something pretty amazing in the 1960’s.

090715-moon-flag-02

These kids managed to put men on the moon and the computing power they had at their disposal was less than what we have on our smart phones and the calculations they were performing were done using a slide rule.

But you might say – Come on Cosmoscon, the world has changed in the past 70 years and it is more technologically advanced so we require a more robust education system now. The technological challenges our kids face today are orders of magnitude greater than what the kids faced when they graduated from high school in the 1940’s. The task of educating our kids is harder today than it was in the past and we need these standardized tests to measure our performance.

Nonsense!

The laws of physics are not tougher now than they were in the 1960’s. Gravity still works the same way. Escape velocity equations are still the same. The distance from the Earth to the Moon is basically the same. Orbital mechanics still work the same today as they did back then. Calculus hasn’t changed in the last 70 years. Maxwell’s equations are as valid today as they were in the 1960’s.

All the sophisticated tools that modern society has provided us with should have made the task of educating our kids easier. Kids of the 1940’s didn’t have the internet and they couldn’t use Google to do their research. There were things called a “card catalog” and “Dewey Decimal System” at the public library that took forever to find what you were looking for. Classrooms didn’t have fancy Promethean boards that could broadcast fancy PowerPoint presentations. Remember the messy chalk boards?

How was it that a generation of adults received such a stellar childhood education without taking state standardized tests?

Why were we able to educate our children 70 years ago without having standardized tests but today we can’t?

I don’t know the answer but I think it’s a question worth exploring.

Posted in education | 10 Comments

Kids Ask The Best Questions

When I put my 9 year old son to bed tonight he asked me two very thought provoking questions.

Here is the first one:

“Are there people on other planets?”

I was very happy with this question because that means my son has been listening to me over the years as I have bloviated about astronomy and the mysteries of the cosmos.

I’m an amateur astronomer and I’ve taken my kids out to look at the night sky with my telescope and they’ve not only seen other planets in our solar system but distant planetary nebulae and other galaxies. They know the cosmos is vast and my son is now starting to realize that we inhabit this little blue dot that circles an average star in the suburbs of the Milky Way.

There are around 200 billion galaxies in the known universe and each one of these galaxies has around 200 billion stars so it’s only natural to think that we are not the only star out of 40,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 that has a planet with life on it.

And we know that there are other stars only a few hundred light years away (basically your next door neighbor in cosmological distances) that have planets orbiting in the so called habitable zone which means the planet orbits a safe distance from its star to have temperatures similar to Earth’s and therefore conducive to life as we know it.

If you don’t believe me, you can browse the Exoplanet database to find other planets, like Kepler-69-C, that are located in the habitable zone and have the possibility of sustaining life.

It’s true the Bible is silent about life on other planets but keep in mind when the Word of God was given to us in the Old and New Testaments. During that time the scientific consensus was that the Earth was the center of the universe and every light in the night sky revolved around us so it’d be a little difficult to explain the Big Bang to Moses or John, much less the basics of Kepler’s laws and habitable zones!

With no clear direction from the Bible we are free to conjecture. Did the all powerful Creator of the universe limit the number of places where life exists to just one tiny blue planet in this vast cosmos? No! I don’t put limits on God’s power so I have no problem believing that there are other places in the Universe that contains life.

So I answered YES to that question and I do believe that there is life in other locations in the cosmos. And by ‘life’, I’m not limiting it to our carbon based form. Even on our own planet, we’ve found life in some of the most inhospitable places and I would not be surprised to find life arising in a planet that is outside the habitable zone. I don’t limit God’s power in that regard.

Now his second question.

“Do the people on other planets go to heaven?”

I was happy with his first question but I was extremely proud of his second one.

This showed he has been listening in church and is starting to come to terms with our sinful nature and our need of a perfect sacrifice to pay for our sins. He knows that Jesus came to Earth to die for our sins but he’s wondering about the poor souls who may be living on planets like Kepler-69-C or a planet in the Andromeda galaxy.

I have wrestled with this very question myself and I’ve come to believe that Jesus came to those other planets in the same way he came to ours. He took the form of their ‘people’, lived among them, died and was raised from the dead.

Remember that the Gospel of John tells us that Jesus was there during creation:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. John 1:1-3

If Jesus was everywhere during the creation (Big Bang, formation of galaxies/stars/planets and the creation of life) then I don’t limit Him in the fact that He can only become flesh in one of these planets that harbors life.

So that was my answer to my son’s second question – Jesus will come to those other planets, He will take the form of the ‘people’ of those planets and He die for their sins too. Yes, ET can go to heaven too!

Kids ask the best questions.

Posted in astronomy, christianity, cosmology | 2 Comments

Global Temperature Update – March 2014

Even though the United States was suffering through one of the coldest winters in recent memory, the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) cult wants to remind you that Earth, as a whole, is still warming up.

“The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Tuesday that it was the fourth hottest March in 135 years of records. The overall global temperature was 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit (0.7 degree Celsius) warmer than the 20th century average.”

Really!?!?

I’ll give the AGW cult points for audacity but the actual temperature measurements from 2 different data sets refute the latest claim of NOAA.

The following graphs show the March global temperature anomalies over the past 17 years for 2 well respected temperature data sets. (NOTE – I’d normally include a 3rd, the Hadley Climate Research Unit (HADCRUT3) data but as usual they are very late and March 2014 has not been updated on their website).

From the University of Alabama Huntsville data:

uah march

From the Remote Sensing System (satellite) data:

rss march

Just over the timeframe of the past 17 years, March 2014 was the 9th hottest March using the RSS data and the 8th hottest using the UAH data.

Then how can the NOAA make this claim? Easy answer – They use different temperature data.

NOAA uses the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) and that data has some ‘tricks’ associated with it – here, here, here and here. So only through tampered temperature data can the NOAA make this absurd claim about March 2014 being the 4th hottest March in the past 135 years.

But even conceding this latest claim by the NOAA, things are still getting worse for the AGW cult.

We’re still going on 17 years of flat global temperature anomalies and this is easily shown from these same three data sets mentioned above.

cru

uah

rss

And it gets much, much worse for the AGW cult when you plot the three temperature data sets against atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Remember, the AGW cult says this magical gas controls the thermostat of the Earth’s temperature.

Atmospheric CO2 concentrations do continue to steadily increase:

co2

But the correlation of global temperatures with that CO2 increase is severly lacking:

cru vs co2

uah vs co2

rss vs co2

The AGW cult is getting more desperate as each passing year shows flat global temperature anomalies and they’ll need more sensational news stories like the one at the intro of this post to sway the easily fooled. Do not be deceived, keep calm and follow the data to find the truth.

Posted in Climate Change | Leave a comment

The Left Has A New Strategy

Last year Debbie Wasserman Schultz said that Democrats would have a winnable strategy for the 2014 mid-term elections:

“So, I think, .. that Democratic candidates will be able to run on Obamacare as an advantage leading into the 2014 election.”

Well, that doesn’t appear to be a winning strategy:

obamacare poll 1

obamacare poll 2

But Democrats need not worry; there is a new strategy that will surely energize their base.

race card

“Top Democratic party officials have either directly or indirectly blamed race for some of the hostility to Obama, his policies, or both.”

“Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader from California, and New York Rep. Steve Israel, who heads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, both cited racism, pure and simple, among some Republicans as explanations for the House GOP’s resistance to legislation that would comprehensively overhaul the nation’s immigration laws.”

“Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Holder took a slightly subtler approach. Speaking to the National Action Network, the largely African-American civil rights group founded by the Rev. Al Sharpton, Holder suggested some Republicans had a racial animus toward the president and himself.”

“The last five years have been defined by significant strides and by lasting reforms even in the face, even in the face of unprecedented, unwarranted, ugly and divisive adversity,” Holder said.

“If you don’t believe that, you look at the way — forget about me, forget about me — you look at the way the attorney general of the United States was treated yesterday by a House committee. It had nothing to do with me, forget about that. What attorney general has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment? What president has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?”

Pelosi, Holder and others are claiming that this is level of disrespect to Team Obama is unprecedented and must be because of racism. Really? Just scan this link that shows some of the ‘respect’ the Left showed for our latest white, male President George W. Bush.

And who said we have to respect our political leaders regardless of their actions? Matt Walsh said it best here:

“I know what it means to honor and respect your parents just because they’re your parents. I know what it means for a child to respect his teacher just because she’s his teacher. I know, and have written about, what it means for a woman to respect her husband because he is her husband, and a man to respect his wife because she is his wife. But, as far as I can tell, the responsibility to respect the ‘office’ of a politician falls squarely on the shoulders of the politician who holds it. And, even in that case, his job isn’t to respect the office, so much as to live up to the expectations of the voters who awarded him the position — and, far more important than the feelings of the voters, to uphold the law.”

Obamacare is the albatross that the Dems willingly hung around their necks and now that they realize just how bad it will be for them in November, they are forced with the only method they know of to energize their base – Call Republicans racists.

And what does that say about the Democratic base? Is playing the race card the only thing that can energize them? If this truly is the Democrat’s strategy then they are conceding the fact that their base can’t be motivated by the work done by Team Obama over the past 5 years nor the promise of future works in the next 3 years.

The Democratic base apparently can’t be motivated by the Leftist policies so the party leadership has to gin up faux outrage at nonexistent racism of their opponents.

In a sense, the Democratic leadership is saying that either their policies have been total failures or their base is too stupid to understand them. Or both.

If this really is the strategy of the Left for the mid terms then keep an eye on the lapdogs at Vox, Media Matters for America and MSNBC to see if they follow their marching orders and accuse Republicans of racism. If we start to see stories like that at these sites then we can be sure the directive has been issued.

Posted in politics | 1 Comment

Why Are EEOC Charges So High?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) publishes data showing how many charges were filed annually and I’ve noticed something peculiar with this data.

For those not familiar, these charges constitute the total number of claims filed with the EEOC for various harassment and discrimination cases (Race, Sex, National Origin, Religion, Color, Age and Disability) as well as claims of retaliation and violations of the Equal Pay Act of 1963.

You’ll notice on the graph below that something happened around 2008 that caused a larger number of charges to be filed and that number has been pegged high at about 98,000 per year for the past 6 years.

EEOC charges filed

And this increase wasn’t confined to a particular type of discrimination/harassment area because all of the case types increased in magnitude at the same time (you can follow the link above to verify this fact for yourself).

Why has there been an unusually high number of EEOC charges over the past 6 years?

You’ll notice from the graph above that there was a smaller uptick in EEOC charges around the 2001 time frame so it may be correlated with the US economic situation (we had recessions in 2001 and 2008).

I grabbed the US GDP growth rate for these years and added this data to the graph and you can see that as the economy takes a dip, EEOC charges increase.

EEOC vs US GDP

I guess this makes sense. As the US enters an economic downturn there are more layoffs, terminations and closings and people might be inclined to think they were singled out due to discrimination or retaliation. People may also be faced with a loss of income and looking for a way to get a quick infusion of cash by bringing and EEOC claim against their former employer in hopes of a quick settlement.

It also makes sense that the EEOC charge increases in 2008/2009 would be more than in 2001 since the latter recession was much more severe than the former – The 2001 recession only lasted about 8 months but the 2008/2009 recession lasted almost twice that long at about 15 months (Q4 2008 through Q4 2009).

But why has the number of EEOC charges remained high well after the 2008/2009 Great Recession ended?

To help answer that question let’s first look at a graph showing how well EEOC charges are correlated to US GDP Growth rate for this period.

EEOC vs GDP correlation

The Correlation Coefficient (R2) is only 34% and that isn’t a very good correlation but keep in mind that while the US GDP has been growing for the past 4 years, the EEOC charges are still high (which is in stark contrast to the recovery after the 2001 recession when EEOC charges dropped).

What happens if I look at the correlation with the last 4 years removed?

EEOC vs GDP correlation recovery removed

Now the Correlation Coefficient is 79% so this graph provides a much stronger case that EEOC charges are correlated with US GDP Growth.

So something special has happened over the past 4 years during the Obamanomics ‘recovery’ that has still kept these EEOC charges high and contradicted the historical trend that states EEOC charges should’ve come down during a recovery from a recession.

Is the US not really in a true recovery like we’ve seen in the past and the slow growth has still left many people looking for work or suffering from layoffs? Probably, since the Obamanomics recovery has not measured up to other recoveries from a deep recession.

Or has there been a cultural shift in the US where more people have an entitlement mentality and are looking to get a quick buck at their employers’ expense?

Probably a little of both but this data should not be ignored. Something has changed in the US over the past 5 years and this EEOC data is trying to tell us something. We’d be wise to listen to it.

Posted in economics, politics | 1 Comment

You Can’t Earn Your Way To Heaven

Ex NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks he has earned his ticket to Heaven:

“But if he (Bloomberg) senses that he may not have as much time left as he would like, he has little doubt about what would await him at a Judgment Day. Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”

This lack of ignorance of the Gospel is bad enough for an individual but the reality is the majority of the world’s population thinks like this – The eternal afterlife is something that must be earned.

If that is the way God set up this Universe then you’d think there would be a book defining exactly how much ‘good’ needs to be performed to outweigh the ‘bad’ so we can frequently tally up our scorecard so that we stay on the passing side.

Most people believe the Bible is that book and believe that they must follow the general guidelines like those listed in Luke 6:31 (commonly referred to as “The Golden Rule”):

“Do unto others as you would have them do to you.”

If that was all we had of the Bible then I’d have to agree with them but again I have to ask – How much is enough?

If this was the system that God setup then it’s only fair to request a rulebook showing how our life will be scored. Do I just have to have more good deeds than bad? Is it more like 70/30? How much is enough?

Unfortunately for the ‘good works’ crowd, God did provide some guidance on this topic.

Rom 3:23 – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Mat 5:48 – “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

If you are counting on your good works to get your golden ticket to the afterlife then the Bible has some very bad news for you – You have been dealt a losing hand. A passing grade on your life’s deeds requires that you lead a perfect life (i.e ZERO sins). That revelation is bad enough but it gets worse when you realize that humans were created with a bent toward sinning so we are therefore all imperfect and fall woefully short of a passing grade.

Fortunately God provided a way out for us. He sent his Son to die for our sins on the cross and all we have to do is realize that we are indeed sinful and can do nothing to justify ourselves to the Creator and instead rely on the perfect sacrifice of the only true sinless person, Jesus, to pay for our sins (past, present and future).

The last words of Jesus on the Cross were “It is finished” and the Greek word used here was “tetelestai” and someone much wiser than I once told me we derive our English word “Total” from this word. What a fitting ending to the sacrifice Jesus paid on the cross – Our debt has been totaled up and paid in full!

So there is truly Good News for us! Our losing hand that we were dealt at birth is not our only hope at obtaining salvation:

Rom 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Eph 2:8-9 – “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”

What a miraculous gift! Heaven can’t be earned and we all deserve death and hell but though the sacrifice of Jesus and our acceptance of that free gift, we may obtain eternal life!

Any attempt to boast of your good deeds and equate those as justification for you getting into heaven is equivalent to saying that the death and resurrection of Jesus was a meaningless event.  We obtain salvation ONLY because of the sacrifice of Jesus and nothing (NOTHING) we can do can add to that.  It was sufficient.  Tetelestai!

Share this Good News this week with someone who desperately needs it.

Posted in christianity | 2 Comments

Babies Cry At Night But Not For The Reason You Think

cutest-crying-baby-01(Alternate Headline – “All The Big Problems Have Been Solved”)

As a parent of two children (12 year old daughter and 9 year old son) I can still remember the sleep deprived months after they were born when my wife and I would be up with the 3:00am feedings, diaper changes, etc. And yes, it wasn’t just my wife who did this, I did my fair share!

We were fortunate with our daughter in that she found her thumb after about 2 months and started sleeping through the night from that point on. But our son never figured out the thumb sucking thing and we couldn’t keep enough milk in him so it was many months before he eventually started sleeping through the night (The cereal mixed with his last night time milk feeding had enough substance to get him through the night).

So we thought our kids were crying in the middle of the night because they either needed settling down with a sucking thumb or was hungry and needed a quick top off.

There is a new paper from the journal Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health that states there is a more sinister reason our newborns wake us up in the middle of the night.

“All these observations are consistent with a hypothesis that waking at night to suckle is an adaptation of infants to extend their mothers’ lactational amenorrhea, thus delaying the birth of a younger sib and enhancing infant survival.”

“Blurton Jones and da Costa proposed that night waking to suckle is an adaptation of infants to suppress ovarian function in their mothers, thereby delaying the conception of a younger sib with whom an infant must compete for parental care and attention.”

A baby is genetically imprinted to wake up its parents so they can’t have sex and make more babies that will eventually compete with their future playing time on the X-Box and share of college tuition money.

The science is settled.

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Embrace Holy Week

Christians attended Palm Sunday worship service yesterday but unfortunately any make the mistake to move quickly to Easter and forget about the week’s events that led up to the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday.

Do not make that mistake. Jesus had an incredibly emotional week that involved Him being forsaken by EVERYONE from His closest followers, the political leaders, the religious leaders and most importantly by His Father.

Do not gloss over this. When Jesus was forsaken, nobody (not even God), came to His defense.

At some point in time we will feel forsaken but unlike what Jesus encountered during Holy Week, we have someone who will always come to our defense. We can always count on the Man who was nailed to a tree on a Friday over 2,000 years ago.

Posted in christianity, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Effects Of High Intensity Exercise On Blood Sugar Levels

Does exercise help reduce blood sugar levels in Type 2 Diabetics? Of course!

“When you do moderate exercise, like walking, that makes your heart beat a little faster and breathe a little harder. Your muscles use more glucose, the sugar in your blood stream. Over time, this can lower your blood sugar levels. It also makes the insulin in your body work better. You’ll get these benefits for hours after your walk or workout.”

But notice that most of the links you’ll find on this topic stress ‘moderate’ exercise – walking, cycling, swimming, etc. What about higher intensity exercise like lifting weights?

That is good too!

“In scientific studies, strength training has been found to improve insulin sensitivity in those individuals with diabetes to the same extent that aerobic exercise does. Extended periods of strength training improve blood sugar control as well as taking a diabetes drug. In fact, in those people with diabetes, strength training in combination with aerobic exercise may be even more beneficial.”

I am a type 2 diabetic who is controlling my blood sugar levels without medication by staying on a low carb, high protein/fat diet similar to the Paleo diet and employing a moderate exercise routine. I’ve been successful at this but about a month ago I tore my left calf muscle so I decided to perform an experiment to determine how exercise (and specifically high intensity exercise) affects my blood sugar levels.

Prior to my injury I ran and rode my bike for cardio/endurance exercise but I would not call those workouts high intensity. A few times a week I ran 3-5 miles at about an 11 minute/mile pace and once a week I rode a bike for 1-2 hours at about a 14 mph pace so I’m not threatening any world records here! I occasionally lifted weights but this was extremely low key, lasted only about 15 minutes and never happened to the point of strain (high reps of light weights).

So here is how I designed my experiment. For about 2 weeks after my calf injury I quit exercising entirely – no cardio/endurance and no light weight lifting. Then for a week after that 2 week layoff from exercising I lifted high intensity weights every day. My definition of “high intensity” – I lifted weights for about 45 minutes and instead of high reps/light weight, I employed low reps/heavy weights to the point where my heart rate was elevated and I definitely broke a sweat. I focused mainly on upper body lifting due to the calf injury but I included some fairly intense abdominal workouts as well.

The following graph compares my morning blood sugar measurements for the three time periods – Red is when I was exercising moderately, Blue is when I eliminated exercise and Green is when I incorporated high intensity exercise. And it should be noted that my diet never changed during these 3 periods and the only variable I manipulated was exercise.

high intensity exercise

To be honest, I was very surprised by these results. I knew that exercise lowers blood sugar but I had no idea how much of a benefit I would see from just doing high intensity weight lifting.

My experiment not only confirmed that even moderate exercise lowers blood sugar levels but also that high intensity exercise drastically reduces blood sugar levels.

Posted in Diabetes | 3 Comments

Is The Paleo Diet Becoming Mainstream?

I’ve written at length about how a low carb, high protein, high fat diet has allowed me, as a Type 2 Diabetic, to control my blood sugar levels without medication.

Controlling my Diabetes through this lifestyle change shouldn’t be revolutionary but it is. The medical community as a whole defaults to medicine to fix the symptoms instead of driving down to the cause of the problem and recommending lifestyle changes.

The Paleo diet, which is basically what I’m on, has been around a while and you can go here to read all about it and read many of the peer reviewed journal articles that have been written about it. The more I learn about how our modern diet filled with processed foods and carbohydrates leads to weight gain, joint inflammation and heart problems, the more I’m amazed how silent the medical community is on this topic and why we aren’t all talking more about it.

My frustration turned to excitement this week when I heard an NPR story that revealed how the fat free meme of the 1990’s was actually bad for us.

“Remember the fat-free boom that swept the country in the 1990s?”

“I definitely remember eating fat-free cookies, fat–free pudding, fat-free cheese, which was awful,” Elizabeth Stafford, an attorney from North Carolina, told us in the survey.”

“Back then, she avoided all kinds of foods with fat: cheese, eggs, meat, even nuts and avocados. Most of the experts were recommending a low-fat diet to prevent heart disease.”

“And, as a result, her diet was full of sugar (lots of fat-free, sugary yogurt) and carbohydrates, like bagels.”

“[Carbs] were the base of the pyramid,” says Mozaffarian. The message was “eat all carbohydrates you want.”

“Americans took this as a green light to eat more refined grains such as breads, processed snack foods and white pasta.”

And Ms. Stafford wasn’t alone. Most of America switched to high sugar foods and carbs as a substitute for fat and we patted ourselves on the back for making this healthy choice. As a runner, I had it beaten in my head that I had to carbo-load before a big workout or I would risk hitting the wall. Glycogen was the main fuel our muscles needed to burn and Carbs (that would be converted to sugars and then glycogen) were the primary source of this fuel.

But was that the right thing to do?

There were attempts of some in the scientific community to question this low fat, high carb diet but they were silenced.

From the NPR article:

“But, by the mid-1990s, Willett says, there were already signs that the high-carb, low-fat approach might not lead to fewer heart attacks and strokes. He had a long-term study underway that was aimed at evaluating the effects of diet and lifestyle on health.”

“We were finding that if people seemed to replace saturated fat — the kind of fat found in cheese, eggs, meat, butter — with carbohydrate, there was no reduction in heart disease,” Willett says.”

“Willett submitted his data to a top medical journal, but he says the editors would not publish his findings. His paper was turned down.”

“There was a lot of resistance to anything that would question the low-fat guidelines,” Willett says, especially the guidelines on saturated fat.”

The pharmaceutical industry had a steady cash flow that that was threatened by this lifestyle/diet solution so they didn’t want this type of information published. Even the American Diabetes Association (ADA) says that a person with Diabetes can consume up to 270 grams of carbs per day and that is like telling an alcoholic he can drink wine with breakfast. The ADA is obviously more concerned will selling medication than helping people live long, healthy lives.

The ADA makes this statement about eating 270 grams of carbs per day because: 1) their guidelines for what is considered high blood sugar (130 mg/dL fasting and 180 mg/dL after a meal) are still above the level of a non-diabetic person (100 mg/dL fasting and 140 mg/dL after a meal) and 2) they count on the medication to keep the sugar spikes from occurring.

But that is not the solution! Even slightly elevated levels of blood sugar, over a long time, will do damage to your body’s organs and following the advice of the ADA is just ensuring the slow, painful death that most diabetics eventually succumb to (amputating limbs, heart failure, etc.).

Thankfully, we are now starting to realize that fat (the good kind) is not the evil food we once thought it was.

From the NPR article:

“Now, nearly two decades later, a more complicated picture has emerged of how fats and carbohydrates contribute to heart disease.”

“For instance, it’s clearer that some fats, namely plant-based fats found in nuts and olive oil, as well as those found in fatty fish, are beneficial. Willett says there’s strong evidence that they help reduce the risk of heart disease.”

“There’s now evidence that — compared with carbs — saturated fat can raise HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) and lower trigylcerides in the blood, which are both countering effects to heart disease, he says.”

“So, the message here seems to be: Cut back on all those refined carbs, and remember that some fat is good.”

Amen!

My daily diet consists of around 125 grams of protein, 125 grams of fat and less than 50 grams of carbs (obtained from vegetables, fruit and nuts). My fat comes from avocados, nuts, eggs, meat (yes, even bacon!), cheese, mayonnaise (not the lite kind, the full leaded version) and oils such as coconut oil. Food tastes great, I’m building muscle, my blood sugar measurements are still in the normal range of a non-diabetic and I not only have lost weight but I’m keeping it off.

I still lift weights, run and ride a bike for exercise and I can do all this because my body has switched from burning glycogen to burning fat. Full disclosure, it took a couple of months for my body to make that adjustment but once it did, I am now a fat burning machine and even though I don’t carbo-load anymore, I still can ride a bike for 1 -2 hours and not hit the wall.

This is the message that should be pushed all across America right now from the office water coolers to the physician examining rooms – Carbs are bad. Protein is good. Fat is good.

 

Posted in Diabetes, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Media Matters Says Homosexual Is Offensive Term

Really, they did:

Referring to gay people as “homosexual” is a practice that’s quickly falling out of favor with major news outlets due the term’s often pejorative connotation and frequent use by opponents of LGBT equality. But Fox News has yet to update its language when referring to gay and lesbian people.
Fox employees from Megyn Kelly to Sarah Palin continue to use the word “homosexual” to describe gays and lesbians.

Well, I had no idea calling a homosexual a “homosexual” had a “pejorative connotation” and that this term was only used by “opponents of the LGBT equality” but I guess that’s the new rules as outlined by Media Matters.
I’m not the only one to be late getting this memo because today I heard that “offensive” word used by Boy George. Remember him? He actually has a new album being released this week and NPR’s David Greene sat down to talk to him about it and check out this exchange about a track on the new album (emphasis mine).

GREENE: OK, Boy George, sort this out for me: You say, in a way, it sort of speaks to what we were talking about, and in a way, it doesn’t.
GEORGE: Well, it’s a man singing to his wife. He’s talking about his kid crying. So that wouldn’t be about me, because I’m a homosexual. I don’t have any kids. So, it’s not a literal song. So, it’s a kind of filmic song. You know, I wrote it like a film script. And it’s a song about messing up, and yes, I’ve done that, but it’s not literally about me. You know, if it was about me, I’d call it “Queen of Everything.”

By Media Matters’ new rules, Boy George is now considered an opponent of LGBT equality.

Posted in politics | 5 Comments