Oh, Butter Bad. Haven’t We Heard That Before?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Tom Philpott of Mother Jones has written a good article on the demonization of saturated fat, though it falls short of calling out James McWilliams for what he is: a hysterical and discreditable shill for the Industrial Food Machine. Here’s a quote from the Philpott article:

“Simultaneously, as Bittman correctly noted, trans fats—cheap vegetable oils treated with hydrogen so that they remain solid at room temperature—emerged as the food industry’s butter substitute of choice for decades, providing the main substance for margarine. Based on relentless food industry marketing, generations of people grew up thinking trans-fat-laden margarine was healthier than butter—even after science definitively showed that it was much, much worse (a sorry tale I laid out here).

These fat-related marketing triumphs, quite profitable for the food industry, coincided with a surge in diet-related health troubles, including heightened obesity, diabetes, and metabolic-syndrome rates. Bittman is correct to discuss highly processed food in the context of the controversy over fat; and in trying to force it out of the conversation, McWilliams is playing his usual role: reasonable-sounding defender of a highly profitable but dysfunctional industry.”

Philpott’s article takes on another article published by McWilliams in Pacific Standard that makes the claim that butter is back (becoming acceptable again) only because disingenuous food writers are misinterpreting studies in order to push their “eating like grandma” agenda. And this comes from a guy who has long hustled the political agenda of the food conglomerates and pseudo-scientific special interest groups.

McWilliams is a consistent force in banging the drum for GMO foods and seeds, anti-meatism, and industrial-chemical products that are barely laced with food while he carries on a campaign against locavores and self-sufficent types who pursue the traditional/real food lifestyle. Additionally, he has carried on his own private war against saturated fat while supporting his personal preferences – and hatred for all things fat – by promoting a consistent stream of political ploys and junk scientific studies.

The McWilliams article cannot possible be taken seriously at the point that McWilliams refers to the defense of meat eating as “prescribing a heart attack on a plate.” His argument loses all traction – if he ever had any – with that statement. In fact, meat eaters, or any other category of peaceful foodies, are not promoting any political agenda – they are merely forced to defend their choices from their politicized attackers who have continually used coercive tactics to ban or stigmatize traditional foods in favor promoting the wonders of chemical-industrial replacements.

What really has McWilliams all pissy is the fact that New York Times food writer Mark Bittman wrote some kind words about a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine that challenged the conventional wisdom on the saturated fat question. Bittman was called out as a zealot who believes we can “egg-and-bacon our way to heart health” when in fact Bittman is a promoter of the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle and the author of a book on that topic.

Killers on Psychiatric Drugs in Gun-Free Zones

Monday, April 7, 2014
Posted in category guns, Medical Establishment

The Fort Hood shooting is yet another reminder of the two things all or most of these mass murders have in common: they occur in clearly-marked and reinforced gun-free zones. Second, most or maybe all of the mass murdering gunmen were on cocktails of psychiatric drugs as captive patients of the psychiatric-pharmaceutical-medical complex. Still, everyday folks – and not just crazy people – willingly consume these psychotropic drugs like candy, become dependent upon them, swear by their effectiveness, and become tireless, robotic propagandists for the “everything is a disorder” society. They enslave themselves to their Masters and relinquish all autonomy.  This acquiescence is a consequence of the modern state peddling its medical serfdom. The Therapeutic State, as Thomas Szasz referred to it.

Libertarian Follies, Part 1

Sunday, March 30, 2014
Posted in category Libertarianism

I’ve been quietly watching the follies of the libertarian movement. When certain libertarian folks undertake a drastic shift of alliances from ABC to XYZ, this should set off a red light for anyone with half a brain, or at least you would think so. Especially when the shifting-alliance types are now snuggling up to the Kochtopus and Cato, as well as many of the other non-libertarian Beltway adherents and fanboys. It actually becomes kinda fun to watch all of the back-biting and shifting alliances as these folks try to get themselves into a position for garnering a following and an occasional paycheck. And nearly all of these folks don’t have a real job.

Also, when these folks have writing archives full of ABC, and they are now writing XYZ, should that set off a 2nd set of wildly blinking red lights? It appears not. Very few people seem to question their sudden turnaround in ideology and presentation and alliances. I find it bizarre when these folks revel in their self-imposed, libertarian “fame” as they draw in their latest band of cult-ish followers by switching their philosophy to writing (or speaking about) politically correct, left-wing hit pieces decrying the so-called racism(?) and sexism(?) and any other “ism” in the libertarian movement, and without even naming names or rationally taking to task a particular incident. The new obsession with this stuff, while bizarre, is not a shocker. For those with a history in this movement, we know the folks for whom these hit pieces are intended.

It is becoming a hobby for some of these left-wing rhetoricians to constantly preach to their cult about other libertarians who are “assholes,” yet these “asshole” libertarians have never so much as bothered, or mingled with, the rhetoricians who roam from place to place talking about others. But this is how the rhetoricians bring attention to themselves as they plaster their yappity mugs all over YouTube with their boring interviews and long-winded dialogues.

Oh, and yeah, the Ron Paul newsletters are *still* getting mention from this crowd, as if the irrelevance of that topic can someday be made relevant. Even The Atlantic couldn’t make that issue relevant.

People call this “in-fighting,” but actually, it is not that at all. It’s just a band of underemployed/unemployed attention seekers with far too much time on their hands, looking for a band of brothers to love and accept them (and invite them to speak somewhere, anywhere).

This still remains the bastion of liberty and scholarship: The Mises Institute.

Graphic: Is the US Becoming a Police State?

Monday, March 24, 2014
Posted in category police state

A reader, Jasmine Henriques, put together a graphic on the US as a police state, and so I thought I’d give this nice visual a plug. It’s smartly done, and if you have any suggestions for additions, I suggest you contact the authors via the website.

 

police

No Meatless Mondays in This Revolution

Monday, March 24, 2014
Posted in category Food & Nutrition

Petersen’s Hunting has published an interesting piece on meat as a staple of a hunter-gatherer, heart-healthy, culinary-loving society: “The Meat Eater Revolution.” The gist of the article is that hunting is on the rise after years of participation decline.

As the world has evolved and consumption of food has become less about the why and more about the how fast, droves of previously disinterested Americans are suddenly willing to consider killing, cutting, and cooking their own meat. This isn’t your granddaddy’s old redneck stereotype. We’re talking about a new breed.

Hunting for meat is becoming a passion whereby individuals are mounting a backlash against the industrial food system and celebrating traditional culinary standards. Even the paleo food movement is given credit for the revival of the hunting tradition. Thanks to Cory Voller for the article tip.

(Neo-Victorian?) Fools For Big Pharma

Monday, March 24, 2014
Posted in category Big Pharma

I don’t know who this loon is, but in spite of his lack of a wide platform, it is worth posting this piece here because, once again, it shows how intellectually feeble the vaccination nation drum beaters are as they continue to hate on and verbally bully individuals who make their own choices about what to put (or not put) into their own bodies. Even the article title is dumb-ass: “When It Comes to Vaccines, Michigan is Jenny McCarthy Stupid.”

The aggression – always – is on the part of the agents of coercion who will pull any and all statistics out of their behinds in order to make the case for aggression in order to force mass subservience to the notion of what is “best” for the collective masses based on their own personal perceptions of the science fiction spread by the beneficiaries of propaganda. Alas, all those who deny the conventional wisdom in terms of vaccination fundamentalism must therefore be right-wing and/or left-wing “nuts.” The writer, Mr. Wattrick, reels off this statement this absurd statement about the absurdity of personal choice:

Let’s hope Michigan becomes one of those states that drops the absurd “personal beliefs” exemption to vaccine rules before we become a neo-Victorian hot bed of childhood deaths from easily preventable diseases.

Only a neo-totalitarian asshat could advocate force against the bodies of other peaceful people while so shoddily applying a word such as neo-Victorian. He is using the term to denote anti-progressive, anti-science beliefs, or a Luddite mentality, when in fact neo-Victorian means no such thing. Neo-Victorian refers to conservative values and morals, and the appreciation of aesthetics in terms of everyday living – it is not an ideology opposing the progression of mankind by way of science.

 

I Am Not Dead!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Posted in category Uncategorized

Funny, but I got lots of emails and comments asking if I am okay, etc. I am! A combination of my very busiest time of year (January and February) followed by a trip to Europe (Netherlands, Belgium, and France) has kept me tied up and away from things a bit. Normal activity due to start up this weekend.

This Is Your Police Department

Sunday, February 9, 2014
Posted in category political correctness

This is an amazing piece of Detroit police propaganda from 1951 titled “This is Your Police Department.” The intro talks about ”the men of the Detroit Police Department.” The Detroit police are described as providing “the protection of the lives and property of the people of Detroit.” Meanwhile, the narration is host to a backdrop of introductory music that sounds like something out of a Charlton Heston epic. Some really fun snippets ensue throughout this piece, including at 3:00 mark where commando practice is introduced, and at the 6:40 mark that shows Joe making his first arrest, and afterwards it is said that “somehow his uniform seemed to fit better.”

I like the part where it is said that Joe sometimes did unpleasant things that were a part of his job, like “giving someone a parking ticket.” Oh, and count how many times the word “hero” is used. Still, this is representative of a police mentality that is far different from what has emerged today, and for that I offer you the following.

Joe

This is Joe, the 1951 police candidate for patrol officer.

 

new joe

The New Joe has plenty of military training and equipment paid for by taxpayers who keep approving millages because they still believe that the police “protect them.”

 

cops

Joe has a new role, and it ain’t handing out parking tickets.

 

 

The New Aggression: Emotional Pain

Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Posted in category Victimology State

Thane Rosenbaum, a law professor at Fordham Law School, has published a commentary for the Daily Beast that has Nazis painted all over it, yet it actually has nothing whatsoever to do with, well, Nazis. This emotionally digressive piece is Rosenbaum’s personal proclamation that a democratic and civil United States should rethink the First Amendment and instead of protecting free speech, government should try to measure “social costs” that are deemed to be injurious to others. He champions the cause that government should assume the role of regulating, or making criminal, the use of speech that invades the emotional space of others.

So therefore, emotional harms – one person’s subjectively-based perceptions – should be equated with physical injury, which requires force, or an act of aggression. He writes:

And recent studies in universities such as Purdue, UCLA, Michigan, Toronto, Arizona, Maryland, and Macquarie University in New South Wales, show, among other things, through brain scans and controlled studies with participants who were subjected to both physical and emotional pain, that emotional harm is equal in intensity to that experienced by the body, and is even more long-lasting and traumatic. Physical pain subsides; emotional pain, when recalled, is relived.

Pain has a shared circuitry in the human brain, and it makes no distinction between being hit in the face and losing face (or having a broken heart) as a result of bereavement, betrayal, social exclusion and grave insult. Emotional distress can, in fact, make the body sick. Indeed, research has shown that pain relief medication can work equally well for both physical and emotional injury.

Professor Rosenbaum goes on to say that a civil society should protect individuals from emotional harm caused by the actions or speech of others wherein the perceived victim is “made to feel less free, their private space and peace invaded, their sensitivities cruelly trampled upon.”

Mr. Rosenbaum, a law professor, manages to write this entire article while escaping the use of the words “private property,” but then again, when the pedagogues of academia precipitate discussion of the First Amendment, the question of property as a basis of free speech is rarely mentioned. Of course, when private property is trespassed upon, there has been an act of aggression, or a crime. However, the ‘violation’ of a person’s peace and sensitivities are not ascertainable and therefore one cannot dispassionately measure that person’s sense of being violated (meaning offended). Yet Rosenbaum seeks to right the wrongs of bad behavior by viewing such behavior through a criminal lens.

Most libertarians are acutely aware of Murray Rothbard’s explication of free speech from “The Ethics of Liberty.” His most basic passage is the following:

Take, for example, the “human right” of free speech. Freedom of speech is supposed to mean the right of everyone to say whatever he likes. But the neglected question is: Where? Where does a man have this right? He certainly does not have it on property on which he is trespassing. In short, he has this right only either on his own property or on the property of someone who has agreed, as a gift or in a rental contract, to allow him on the premises. In fact, then, there is no such thing as a separate “right to free speech”; there is only a man’s property right: the right to do as he wills with his own or to make voluntary agreements with other property owners.

I find it disturbing that Mr. Rosenbaum takes to portraying highly subjective emotional sensitivities as being not only analogous to physical aggression, but he also points to the notion that Congress, courts, and cunning lawyers can somehow measure “emotional harm” and criminalize speech or non-aggressive and non-invasive actions that superficially put others in a state of emotional strain.

The overbearing Nazi art gracing the article’s header is, by itself, an emotive maneuver designed to associate all crude and unpopular speech and actions with something that is so easy to abhor: a gaggle of flag-bearing hate Nazis pouncing on our beloved central government’s turf to show support for an egregious dead guy who has become the symbol for all things that demand government action in order to stamp out individually-held hostility by punishing bad behavior as hate crimes.

In truth, an outrageous notion such as criminalizing the triggering of emotional discomfort and couching it as a “public welfare concern” that needs to be regulated and punished is more “Nazi” than the picture the author has attempted to paint for the reader. Just think of the Nazi Special Courts wherein the Reich bypassed conventional legal channels in the existing courts by creating special jurisdiction for declared “war crimes” that allowed the Reich regime to be free of judicial constraints so that it could arbitrarily silence speech that dissented against Reich totalitarian policy; questioned the fascist economy and takeover of private interests; or engaged in unregulated, unapproved radio broadcasting.

So consequently, Mr. Rosenbaum advocates for a United States Special Court to mimic the courts created by the Nazi regime as an antidote for all the horrible stuff that a few Nazi types, anti-gay loonies, and racist protestors project upon a peaceful populace that can simply choose to walk away and not listen.

Detroit’s Got Soul

Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Posted in category Detroit

Here’s a nifty video that starts out with the usual stuff about Detroit’s good, bad, and the ugly.

Then the filmmaker showcases the Brightmoor Youth Entrepreneurship Project, a training program that teaches youths various skills and entrepreneurial savvy. It’s referred to here as “curb-side economics,” and the people are known as road-side entrepreneurs. City youths in this program learn woodworking, bike repair, community gardening, and how to make t-shirts. Brightmoor’s principal Bart Eddy makes the point that “we have to awaken young people to a larger dream.” He also notes that while “old institutions are crumbling apart,” Detroit’s entrepreneurial spirit is kicking up. Detroit is a place of many small and spontaneous changes, while the bigger changes take planning and investment. Indeed, with this resurgence kicking up at a steady gallop, private investors and developers are circling the city like vultures looking for prime properties and entrepreneurial opportunity. The big changes, as Eddy notes, are coming to our town.

One gal from Detroit Soup, who is a transplant to Detroit, accurately portrays (at 7:45 of the video) Detroit’s very special environment where human relationships are unique, and in fact, conversations that take place here don’t seem to take place north of 8 Mile.

My city-folk friends and I call this “the village of Detroit.” There is indeed a very smalltown feel here – everyone who gets out a lot knows everyone, and wherever you go in the city you run into friends and acquaintances as if you were moving about in a small town. I’ve made friends in the city by bumping into a total stranger and having a conversation about a commonality, or by finding out that we have a mutual friend. Time alone in a coffee shop or a bar ends up with one joining a spontaneous conversation with people who you get to know quickly, and who you end up bumping into over and over again. Everywhere I go in the city I know someone or see the friendly face of an acquaintance. And still, I have little familiarity with the folks in my own suburban neighborhood. People who love Detroit and understand its magic make friends of strangers who pay the friendliness forward, making life here seem intimately sociable. I’ve never experienced such a thing in my life as I have in the village of Detroit.

Lastly, I want to note the Shinola representative, Bridget Russo, who makes the comment that “Detroit has swagger.” Shinola is a maker of rustic goods, beautiful bikes, and made-in-Detroit watches. In fact, they manufacture the first watches made in America in almost fifty years. The narrator notes that Shinola is “successfully marketing that indefinable Detroit feel.”

shinola1

Shinola store
Photo by Karen DeCoster

 

shinola2

Shinola store
Photo by Karen DeCoster

 

With two friends and our trio of Shinola watches

With two friends and our trio of Shinola watches

 

And that feel is unique, and those of us here know it exists even if we can’t define it. And yes, while New York has lost its swagger, we are the new gritty city.