November 1

One of the dumbest headlines ever


Photo used under Creative Commons from Mr TGT

A few days ago the Washington Post published an article with what has to be one of the dumbest headlines I’ve ever read.

New Guidelines Make It Easy to Get Fit

The article goes on to discuss how new US government guidelines cutting the previously recommended amount of exercise required for some minimal level of fitness even more.  Which, of course, makes it easier to get fit.  Right?
Only the government could come up with such idiocy.  It fair takes one’s breath away.  Could anyone else in his/her right mind imagine such stupidity? Or is it just the people we give our tax money to that think this way?  Changing the guidelines helps us get fitter easier? Jesus wept.
This article (and the guideline changes behind it) reminds me of an old joke that I heard as a kid and thought pretty funny at the time.  And still do, I guess, since it points out the brainlessness of these kinds of statements.  Here goes.
Late in the afternoon, a man comes into his house panting, puffing and sweating profusely.  His wife looks at him and says ‘What happened to you?’
The man croaks out between gasps for air, ‘I ran home behind the bus and saved two dollars.’
His wife looks at him scornfully and says, ‘What an idiot.  Why didn’t you run home behind a taxi and save $20?’
That’s a joke, but it’s the same logic behind the “new guidelines mak[ing] it easy to get fit.”  One wonders why, if these new guidelines make it so easy, that the government doesn’t decrease the recommendations even more?  That would make it even easier.  In fact, why not recommend 3 minutes of exercise per day, then virtually everyone could become fit. Even the guy in the photo at the top of this post.
As the old miner said to Butch and Sundance:

Morons.  I’ve got morons on my team.

And indeed we do have morons on our team, and we pay them each April 15.

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  1. Or just another journalist with the common mindset that government should be trusted and relied upon to regulate everything properly and solve all our problems.

  2. Mr. Eades,
    I like your “3 minutes of exercise a day” idea. I’m currently writing my senator this very moment to convince him to put forward legislation that would implement such a recommendation. With such an easy exercise regimen, perhaps even Oprah could finally be eternally slim an healthy.
    Jesus cried himself a river and then walked on it… for 3 minutes. 😛
    Thanks for the chuckle.

  3. Makes perfect sense to me. They’re already making it easier to get rich by changing the guidelines, and bless them for doing it. Think how much better off we’ll be as a nation when we define anyone earning 200k per year as “rich,” thus making millions of Americans instantly wealthy.
    (But of course, a truly compassionate government would lower the definition of rich to 100K per year, which would really spread the wealth around. Soon as they adopt that definition, I’m running out to buy a bigger house and a Lexus with my new wealth.)
    And while they’re at it, they can define “genius” as having an IQ above 110. That’ll fix our education system overnight. Every graduating class will have at least a dozen geniuses.
    Don’t know why they didn’t think of this sooner.
    I guess they’re well on their way. I heard on the news last night that according to Bill Richardson (in a Freudian slip that I’m sure got him into big trouble), Team Obama has now redefined wealthy as a family in income of $120,000 or greater per year. Who knows, it could be $70,000 within a year or two, then the government can really tax those rich folks.
    They’ve already done the same thing with SAT scores, and just look at how smart all the students now are.

  4. I can remember when I started school that the scale for grades was 95-100% A, 88-94% B, 80-87% C, etc. Then it changed so that you could be a A student if you got 90% or higher, etc. Same thing with adjusting women’s clothing sizes so that heavier women now wear a smaller size than they used to. But these are beneficial adjustments: they all help more of us feel good about ourselves, and feeling good about ourselves is what really counts, right? Right?

  5. hehe, the best steady-state activity is death :), or at the very least/most(?) complete bed rest; heheheheh.
    these idiots!!

  6. Why work so hard for anything? Lowering the bar is an American tradition.
    I know. Look at our candidates for president.

  7. Why doesn’t the government take it to the limit, and do away with recommending exercise at all. Thus, anyone who does no exercise could call themselves fit (even the guy in the photo). Their self esteem will soar, they will feel good about themselves. So, the program will be a resounding success – large raises for all the bureaucrats.
    BTW, I am looking forward to the new book; but, five months does seem like a long time.
    I used to think I had the standard 10 to 15 pounds to lose. But, using the formula from the previous posts, I realize that, to get to 15% BF, I have to lose more like 20 to 25 pounds – mostly belly fat and love handles, and a very “thin” coating on other parts of my male body.
    Thanks for getting back to the blogg; you do inspire me to keep at it. In the next few days, I will remove more carbs from my diet, and get back to some Slow Burn exercise.

  8. Please be sure to discern between the morons that are appointed who head the agencies and the geniuses who have to do their bidding (yours truly). A little insight into the executive branch of your federal government, and how it really works.
    You have a president. He and his party select his cabinet. The cabinet members are essentially rubber stamped to become the effective CEOs of their departments, which range in size from about 5K employees (Education) to about 800K (Defense) (most are in the 15-50K range). This secretary gets a bunch of party faithful to be their undersecretaries, deputy secretaries and most importantly, Assistant Secretaries. These people define the policies that come out of a Department’s legislative mandate (which comes from Congress, the morons you elect along with a President). Now, you look at an agency like Labor (my best experience) Secretary Chao doesn’t have that much to do with the day to day goings on. Her Deputy secretaries, like Howard Radzley do a lot of the macro policy that comes out of labor (like how they mess with Job Corps). Their assistant secretaries (like Pat Pizzella, the AS for Admin and Management… My boss’s boss’s boss’s boss, maybe even one more level in there), make the big calls on stuff like reorganizing the finance operation or issuing new regulations around the Older Americans Act. They also determine priorities for enforcement, research, study, grants, etc. They hand down the policy, and the regular civil servants (not appointed, hired based on skills and generally not confirmed by congress or a subcommittee) go about making it so.
    So, if you’re going to denigrate the “morons on our team,” please be sure that you are denigrating the correct morons, in this case (and most), the appointees.
    On the upside, 1/20/2009 will be the end of an error. There’s nothing in the Hatch Act about denigrating a lame duck and I cannot imagine many ducks lamer than the current one.
    Max, I’m truly impressed. You’re either working on the weekend or you’re taking time out of your off time to surf the net instead of doing it on the job. Well done!
    I heartily agree that it is largely the appointees, who are, for the most part, morons. And are likely to stay that way in the foreseeable future. And I more than heartily agree that we’re coming upon the end of an error. A major error in oh so many ways. An error that we’ll likely feel the percussions of for at least another four years.

  9. Well, look at one of them…fourth from the bottom of his West Point class, only graduated because Daddy & Granddaddy were Admirals.
    The other guy edited the law review at Harvard.
    And then look at them once they got out of college… I didn’t realize we elected presidents based upon their college transcripts. As the old saying goes, all your college transcript gets you is your first job. From there on everything depends on the job before. So, let’s tally up careers, shall we? And while we’re at it, let’s think back to West Point in the early 1800s. Who graduated higher in the class, Robert E. Lee or Ulysses S. Grant? And while we’re still at it, let’s look at how each of the candidates, given their backgrounds, got into the colleges they got into.
    And don’t think by my response that I’m a McCain fan because I’m not. I’m simply agitated that in a country the size of the United States we can’t come up with better than the two choices we’re presented with. One whose only claim to fame is that he gave one good speech, spent about a hundred days in the Senate and ran a successful campaign, driven largely by loathing (well deserved, in my opinion) of the man in office now. The other, who has at least accomplished something in life, but who is a total loose canon, apt to do God knows what at a whim. What we don’t need in the White House (in my humble opinion, of course) is a maverick. Nor do we need an untested twit who is still wet behind the ears who has a resonant voice and a nice smile. (Look up Warren G. Harding for a cautionary tale about presidents who are picked thusly.) We don’t have dumb and dumber, we have worse and worser. And I don’t know which is which. Where are the statesmen?

  10. Reminds me of that scene in ‘Something About Mary’ where the crazy serial killer is trying to persuade Ben Stiller that he has come up with an un-shakeable business plan: replacing the popular ‘8-Minute Abs’ Videos with ‘7-Minutes Abs’ .. there always are some suckers out there who will go for this sort of stuff and not only that but most likely wisely tell all their friends how to get fit based on the new government guidelines!

  11. Mr. Eades, what are your thoughts on hcg (human chorionic gonadotropin) & weightloss ? Yes, a magic substance doesn’t replace healthy food choices, but it might give a nudge toward health to someone who has neglected that subject & has experienced the consequences. I know the FDA’s position but many other drugs/substances are also taken off-label.
    There are several groups on Yahoo dedicated to the use of hcg for weighloss, many people on Youtube have been vlogging their experiences (I can give you the usernames of the most relevant) and there’s Dr. ATW Simeon’s “Pounds & Inches” manuscript all over the net, which gives instructions (forget K. Trudeau).
    The recommended way of eating to maintain the weight is a low carb one. Simeons states :
    “It takes about 3 weeks before the weight reached at the end of the treatment becomes stable, i.e. does not show violent fluctuations after an occasional excess. During this period patients must realize that the so-called carbohydrates, that is sugar, rice, bread, potatoes, pastries etc, are by far the most dangerous. If no carbohydrates whatsoever are eaten, fats can be indulged in somewhat more liberally and even small quantities of alcohol, such as a glass of wine with meals, does no harm, but as soon as fats and starch are combined things are very liable to get out of hand. This has to be observed very carefully during the first 3 weeks after the treatment is ended otherwise disappointments are almost sure to occur.”
    I’ve had no hands-on experience with HCG. I’ve read some about it, and it probably works, but it seems a little drastic to me. My patients do fine on just plain ol low-carb diets without the expense, inconvenience and discomfort of HCG injections. I’m always amazed at the lengths to which people will go to avoid simply following a diet.

  12. Hey Dr Eades – I have a question not related to this post. I know this is not a free consultation site, so feel free to tell me to get advice elsewhere – but in case you do find my question interesting enough to answer, here it is:
    For a few years now I have been seeing haemotology specialists in relation to supposed aplastic anemia. My counts are hovering at the very low end of normal and no treatment has been recommended. I have no symptoms associated with the condition other than the counts themselves. I’ve had a bone marrow biopsy (ouch!) and a battery of tests which reveal nothing more sinister. I have not been ill for years and mostly gave up grains and dairy about five years ago then 18 months ago gave them up totally .
    My question: given the immune response associated with grain lectins, might my low counts actually be a reflection of my strict diet rather than any genuine problem? I am thinking that what is regarded as ‘normal’ counts might be based on a population that is largely hooked on grains. I have tried to read around the subject but it’s hard to have any faith in the information out there given the levels of ignorance on other topics.
    I have broached the subject of diet with my specialist but nothing he has said makes me think he would be receptive to this theory. Interestingly, I did read a study that found a connection between incidence of the condition in Thailand and consumption of rice, which at least implies dietary cause is possible the vagueness with which its other possible causes are described also makes me feel a dietary cause is conceivable. Trouble is, it’s a rare condition so I can’t see much more research being done any time soon.
    I am tempted to spend the month prior to my next check up gorging on bread to see whether it makes a difference. I know that any ‘improvements’ could be attributed to nutrients in the bread, but when you consider the quality and variety of my current ‘Purist’ diet, I think that would be a stretch!
    As I say, feel free not to publish this comment, or to do so with a curt response!
    I really don’t know. You may be one of those people who are walking proof of the idea of biologic variability. Most people have blood counts within a certain range (considered normal). You may be one who has low-counts that, while abnormal for others, may be fine for you. Especially since the bone marrow (Ouch! indeed) and the other battery of tests was negative. And you may well be correct about the grains. Since ‘normal’ people consume a ton of grains, and since the ‘normal’ ranges were set by looking at zillions of blood counts from ‘normal’ people, it may be that those on no-grain diets have different counts.
    I don’t want to recommend that you load up on bread before your next test because it’s against my religion, but I would be really interested in learning the results of your tests if you do. I’m not sure because I don’t eat much bread and we don’t keep it around the house so I don’t have a loaf to look at, but I think most bread is fortified with folic acid, which could affect blood counts. You could always bake your own to avoid this variable.

  13. Who would you like to see as President? As a Brit, I have no idea who would be a good choice. Also how much power does the President him or herself actually have, or are they more of a figurehead for a larger group?
    The President has a fair amount of power over here, witness our involvement in Iraq. Of course, Congress was complicit in that as well. The Democrats, who are now ALL pretty much anti-war, abdicated their responsibilities as the opposing party, put their moistened fingers in the air, sensed the American public was for the war, and voted for it. Now, of course, Obama is strutting around saying that he was against it, but the truth is that he wasn’t around to vote for it. And since his voting has ALWAYS been along party lines, one has to assume he would have voted for it if he had been in the Senate at the time because all the rest of the Democrats did. It’s easy to say after the fact that you were against it. Not so easy when you’re there under the gun and the rest of the team is voting the other way.
    If I had to pick a candidate from the current four running, I think I would pick Sarah Palin. Why? Because she is the only one of the bunch who has had any 8-5 reality therapy. The other three have all been on the public teat for so long that not a one of them knows about making a payroll or dealing with all the bureaucracy and havoc that they are more than willing to inflict on the rest of us. She does. I find many of her beliefs hard to swallow and she is a little too chirpy for my tastes, but she at least has run a business and knows what life is like for an average American family. I base a lot of my opinions on what would be required to run a successful business, and, of the four, only Palin has done that. No one in his/her right mind would hire any of these people (including Palin) to be CEO of even a middle-sized corporation, but if one had to be picked, I suspect it would be Palin because she has at least run a business and a state. Carly Fiorina (the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard) was ditched from the McCain campaign for saying when asked that she didn’t think either McCain or Obama could run Hewlett-Packard, and here we are about to elect one of them to run this country. I think it’s appalling.
    If I had to pick a candidate from all those running in the primaries I would be in a hard spot. My beliefs (except for the religious fundamentalism) are most closely aligned with Ron Paul’s. But I don’t think he has the skill set required to govern effectively, so his libertarian beliefs wouldn’t get much traction. Looking at people who could get the job done, I would have to say there were only two running. Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney. Giuliani did a pretty good job cleaning up NYC despite having the deck stacked against him politically. I find him as a person distasteful, but I think he has what it takes to get the job done. Mitt Romney (with whom I have many problems) has proven by his success with the Olympic fiasco in Salt Lake City and his business success that he too can get the job done. I don’t look as much at the politics of an individual as I do a track record of success in accomplishments other than promising a lot and getting elected over and over again. Palin, whatever else you want to say about her, did indeed buck up against a corrupt Republican political establishment in Alaska and came out on top. Sure, she’s made some stupid statements, and sure she didn’t come off as a genius when grilled by Katie Couric, but neither did Biden, he of the idiotic ‘at the start of the big depression Franklin Roosevelt went on TV to assure the American people…’ bit (for those who weren’t keeping track, Franklin Roosevelt wasn’t president at the start of the big depression and TV hadn’t yet been been invented). At least Palin is a novice on the scene whereas Biden has been around the big leagues for 30 plus years. She can be excused – he can’t. He is a total moron. A walking gaffe machine, as they say. If you think Bush is fumble mouthed (and he is), just wait til you get a big taste of Biden. And he could become President, God help us.

  14. Good Young Dr Eades I need your opinion. Its totally unrelated to politics or fitness. I gained few pounds back instead of loosing by lets say getting off the low carb wagon for lets say few days. I jumped back on a wagon and now have a constipation problem to point where I experience orgasmic reaction after going to the bathroom. Its really pathetic. Any recommendation on how to make my constipation go away without eating tons of vegetables. I am eating mostly sardines, eggs, scallops, nuts and chicken this week to induce fast weight loss. By the way I cant agree with you more about two canditates for President. I have respect for Mccain and his service for this country, but he scares me with his maverick tacktics. He called President Putin of Russia nothing but apprartchik and saw nothing in his eyes but KGB. I know Russia is not exactly Soviuet Union, but they are still rahter mighty powerful and quite dangerous. Russia is not exactly on their best behavior lately, but they are not Iron or North Korea either. They are not fanatical, you can get things done with them by give and take. Putin seems to be very calculated and intelligent guy, foxy, yes , but fanatical, no. Mccain seems to alleniate many people by his over the top comments. The worl is dangerous as is, I dont have a feeling Mccain will make it any safer with his cowboy kind of attitude. Ok, I had my two cents. All I need right now to make me happy is nice trip to the bathroom. Small things make me happy!
    I have some friends who live in Russia, and they tell me a completely different story about Putin than I get from the press here. According to them, he is working hard to stamp out the corruption that is rampant in Russia. These friends are sophisticated people who are in the political know, and since I trust their instincts, I suspect Putin isn’t as bad as we’re led to believe here.
    You can increase the fat intake of your diet and add magnesium. Both of those should do the trick. Take 300-500 mg of magnesium at bedtime and add some fatty cuts of meat. Eggs, scallops, and chicken don’t have a lot of fat.

  15. In the “Let’s get facts right” category… McCain went to Annapolis. Not West Point. Admirals don’t come out of there, “generally”. 😉
    You are correct. I went back and looked. I read it as Annapolis when I read it. I can’t think of an Admiral who has come from West Point nor a General from Annapolis. Robert E. Lee and US Grant, however, did both come from West Point.

  16. What a fun comment section! Since you replied to the aplastic anemia question, which was long and interesting, I thought perhaps you might respond to my short uninteresting question, also unrelated to the current blog.
    In a previous comments section you stated that Armour Thyroid was preferable to levothyroxine. Why? I would like to change over but need a short pithy one-sentence answer. I have googled and found that I agree, but I become inarticulate when speaking with doctors.
    That’s the problem with answering comments with questions about individual health issues, it opens a floodgate. Maybe this will be the only one.
    There are basically two types of thyroid hormone characterized by the number of iodine molecules attached. There is T4, which is basically an inactive reservoir for the active hormone, T3. T3 is T4 with an iodine removed and is the active hormone. Levothyroxine is artificially manufactured T4. It is identical to the T4 produced by the thyroid gland, it’s just made in a factory. It acts as a precursor for T3. But many people have problems preventing efficient conversion from T4 to T3. Even dieting can affect the conversion in some cases. Armour Thyroid is a combination of T3 and T4, so it immediately provides the active hormone along with the inactive hormone that the body can activate when needed.

  17. I think your comments are spot-on about the candidates. Palin’s little idiosyncratic sayings may be annoying (you betcha! :)), but she’s far more qualified than the Harvard educated socialist authoritarian Obama.
    I hear that Moose is becoming more popular. A restaurant opened up nearby us that serves gourmet wild game.

  18. In the reply to Katya, did you mean potassium or did you mean to say magnesium at bedtime?
    Thanks for the catch. I did mean magnesium and corrected my answer.

  19. I will take both magnesium and potassium. Dr Eades, how do i get rid of subconscious fear of fats? Consciously i know that saturated fat isnt an enemy, but subconsciously all those years of brainwash by main stream medical establishment left its toll. i was never a big fan of fatty meats anyway, and being a woman i dont think i am alone. However i love to broila nice steak for my hubby and watch him devour it. It makes me jitter fo9r some reason. i love men who love steaks! It totally brings a beast in them , and it totally makes you guys super attractive, given the fact you did your chores! But when it comes to myself, i always grab a leaner version of meat, be it grilled chicken breast or veal. i do eat lots of sardines though, which is loaded with omega 3 fatty acid but may be its not enouph. I am stiil an old fashioned girl in a lot of areas. the other day I was eating dinner with my hubby and felt like passing gas, pardon my english, and instead of doing it freely, after all I know this guy quite well, i had to run hard to the other room. Same goes to big, juicy steak. I dont know if it is fat i am afraid of may be I associate steaks with men too much. Lol, but i wil take a first step and try it, wish me luck!
    Good luck!

  20. Interesting question about whether any of the candidates could’ve run Hewlett Packard. Living on the Left Coast (as you do) I’m surrounded by people who automatically assume that anyone who has run a major corporation is evil, or at least hopelessly greedy. If a candidate had run a company the size of HP, he or she would’ve been disqualified as being in the pocket of big business.
    Congress deals with huge issues relating to business and the economy, yet there are few senators or representatives who’ve ever run a business, and even fewer economists. (Dick Armey and Phil Gramm were professors of economics, but I can’t think of any others.) Thus they believe economic nonsense, such as the idea that federal spending programs can “create” jobs. No, they can’t. They can, at best, transfer jobs from the private sector to the public sector.
    What we have in congress is an overabundance of lawyers. Just look at how many of this year’s crop of candidates started out as lawyers. Lawyers, of course, think all problems can be solved through more laws. Or as the saying goes, When you’re holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
    I know I’ve veered way off the original topic here, but since our interviews in your library clued me in to your interest in economics, I thought you might enjoy this little gem from Henry Hazlitt’s “Economics In One Lesson,” first written in 1946 and last updated in 1979:
    “Government-guaranteed home mortgages, especially when a neglible down payment or no down payment whatever is required, inevitably mean more bad loans than otherwise. They force the taxpayer to subsidize the bad risks and to defray the losses. They encourage people to ‘buy’ houses they cannot really afford. They tend to eventually bring about an oversupply of houses, temporarily overstimulate building, raise the costs of building for everybody — including the buyers of homes with the guaranteed mortgages — and may mislead the building industry into a costly overexpansion. In the long run, they do not increase national production but encourage malinvestment.”
    Sound familiar? And that’s why we need more people in congress who’ve actually read a book on economics at some point in their lives.
    Hey Tom–
    I performed well in all my economics classes in college, but I didn’t really understand economics until I read Hazlitt’s llttle book “Economics in One Lesson.” It is a true classic. And highly recommended.

  21. “I think most bread is fortified with folic acid, which could affect blood counts. You could always bake your own to avoid this variable.”
    Most flour in bread and sold in stores is bleached and enriched with iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid. White rice is similarly enriched and has 2-3 times more iron than brown rice, as a result. Hodgson Mills is the only commonly sold white flour that is unbleached and unenriched. Most good groceries have it. I believe these additives are a part of the problem. Nobody isolates their variables. 99.999% of the population is consuming bleached & enriched flour filled with toxic chemicals and fractionated nutrients. Most breads are also filled with preservatives. To get preservative-free bread, it would have to be refrigerated or frozen. In most stores, the bread is sitting at room temperature, filled with preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil, canola oil, yeast, and other garbage.
    Traditional bread was made with only 3 ingredients – flour, water, and salt. They fermented this bread overnight. When quick-rise breads were introduced, the chronic diseases started to develop. Large factories bought up all the small bakeries that made their bread the old fashioned way (long fermentation without yeast or sugars). The question is whether breads would be toxic if they weren’t filled with additives, rancid fats, and fractionated nutrients. I present the following article suggesting that they would be.
    Thanks for the interesting link. You wrote that “traditional bread was made with only 3 ingredients – flour, water, and salt.” I’m not so sure there wasn’t something else there, as in a little yeast or sour dough starter or something to get it to ferment. I don’t think that taking flour and adding a little salt and water to it will give you bread dough no matter how long you let it sit. I could be wrong on this since I’ve never made bread in my life, but it doesn’t sound right. I’m glad to see the plug for Hodgson’s Mill. As I wrote in an earlier post, my grandfather used to take corn there by horseback to get it milled. It’s a place I’ve sort of grown up with.

  22. I feel sorry for that poor fella, wandering about in his drawers and ending up on the internet.
    Of all the CEOs of all the companies I’ve worked for, John Chambers is the only one I’d vote for in a presidential race. I always felt he was interested in running the business effectively and ethically every day, rather than following the short-sighted, please-the-street-at-the-quarterly-call style of management our system preferentially rewards. I learned a lot about what good management looked like (down at my level as well as at the top) during my time at Cisco. I haven’t worked at HP personally but the people I know who have don’t say the same about Fiorina.
    Early on in this election cycle I liked Richardson, but I figured he was doomed due to being neither photogenic nor the first choice of the Clinton machine. The entire Republican field was pretty depressing…I guess their sharp policy wonk types are staying far away from any need to pander to the base.
    Don’t get me started on Carly. I thought she was a disaster. But I would still rather have her as the CEO of a corporation I had money invested in than any of the people we have running for President.
    I, too, liked Richardson. He has done some good things in New Mexico. NM has a terrible tax situation for business, which means there are very few businesses there that employ a lot of people. To give you an example, we had a small business there that involved shipping product all over the country. Our UPS rep told us that we were the largest customer UPS had in the state of New Mexico. No businesses of any size means few jobs which means a lot of poverty, which abounds in NM. Richardson has worked on changing the tax structure to make NM more hospitable for business, but he’s had a real fight against his own party to do it.

  23. Thanks for your reply re the Presidential candidates Mike, the prospects for a good Presidency look slim.
    Unless Mccain wins and then Palin offs him with her rifle. Seriously though, its important for the rest of the world that America has a good President, so we non Americans should be concerned too.
    It’s been said that America gets the President she deserves. I’ll guess we’ll soon see how deserving we are.

  24. Following the “thinking” in the Washington Post story you mentioned, this article about diabetes shows you can move to another state and lower your risk of diabetes!
    Hazlitt’s book is great! You might also check out Andrew Bernstein’s “Capitalist Manifesto”. It’s more on the philosophy of capitalism and its morality.
    I have Bernstein’s book, I just haven’t read it yet. Right now I’m reading Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, which is a phenomenal book. I was in a conversation a few days ago about pre WWII Germany, and I realized that although I new a fair amount about WWII history, I didn’t know squat about Hitler’s rise to power and the lead up to WWII. In reading about Hitler’s beginnings I learned that he – despite being basically a high school dropout – began to read voraciously and seriously study politics in his early 20s. He had a number of insights into how to get ahead politically that he learned from his observation of the many different political factions battling for power in post WWI Germany. He determined that the two keys to political success were a) the ability to speak in a charismatic, inspirational way without really saying anything, and b) to aim all talks at working-class people. He set out to develop himself as a speaker and always spoke to the working class. Interesting parallels.

  25. These recommendations truly boggle the mind. As you said, so do our presidential candidates. Here are two excellent articles on that matter:
    On the comment above, it is partly true. The yeast spores from a kitchen that frequently baked bread would colonize the dough… this takes longer, though, which is why people usually add yeast. So I believe Dr. Mike is right in suggesting that yeast is necessary, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be actively added, it will passively colonize. (See Nourishing Traditions for a sourdough recipe calling for colonization.) I have made sourdough in the past but I add a small portion of yeast so the fermentation takes only a few days instead of a week. Still, both of these are much longer fermentation times than what are used by most people making bread today – whether that is a bakery or at home. I have read that some people with gluten intolerance can handle real sourdough breads. Practically no one makes breads this way anymore so they think the problem is just “bread.” But no native culture eating grains ate them without first preparing them by soaking or sprouting to inactivate the enzyme inhibitors.
    I don’t make any bread anymore, though. At least until I’ve lost all my weight and then it will be very infrequent as a treat.
    Great articles, especially the first one. Both pretty much capture my precise sentiments about our choices. I loved the last sentence in the first one:

    This November, I will abstain from voting in the presidential race and, instead, engage in intellectual activism. I hope you will join me.

    I may just do it. Perhaps I’ll sit down tomorrow and write the Queen Mother of all Blog Posts instead of heading to the polls.
    On the bread issue…I guess the wheat/salt/water mixture would ultimately colonize and ferment from the yeast spores in the air, but I don’t see how that is much different than simply adding yeast at the start and allowing the same thing to happen. I would assume that it was the fermentation that did the trick and not the particular type of yeast used to bring said fermentation about.
    I do know that the colonists in early America drank tons of hard cider, which they made by putting raw apple juice in a barrel and letting it ferment naturally. But is that a different product from that made today in which the yeast is added? I don’t know.

  26. As someone who has spent most of his carerr programming HP3000 and HP9000 minicomputers I’m of the opinion that Carly Fiorina (the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard) wasn’t qualified to run HP either. To be fair to her, the company’s decline actually started when the founders left, which was before her arrival, but I wasn’t impressed that McCain had her as an adviser. Too many appointments these days seem to be based on the positions you have held, not how you performed in the position.
    Agreed on all counts!

  27. “edited the law review at Harvard”? haha, that’s a joke… called Affirmative Action. Just as Obama’s admission to Harvard, and every step of his along the way including this candidacy. So we now have reached the point where getting some position because of reverse discrimination is put forth as if it were an accomplishment. Add to that the fact that the grip of reverse discrimination is so powerful that almost no one dares to speak publicly about it – lest they themselves be falsely branded as being the “racist” and destroyed.
    Diogenes might weep and drown out the flame in his lamp, but probably since our generation he has put his lamp away anyway.

  28. Given the calendar, I guess I can forgive all the political posturing. But I don’t come here to read about politics, there are plenty of places I can do that. I hope this will be the end of it.
    I didn’t realize my post was political.

  29. Dr. Mike wrote: “I do know that the colonists in early America drank tons of hard cider”
    Especially just before elections, I’m sure!
    Always wanted a bumper stick that reads: “Don’t blame me, I voted for Thomas Jefferson.”

  30. Dr. Eades,
    I just wanted to say that bread can be made by using the yeast that are in the air around us. This is where the yeast came from originially for sourdough bread. Of course, after you make one batch, you save a piece of the dough (which is full of yeast) and add it to the next batch to ensure fermentation.
    Of course, bread can be made without yeast, as well. The unleavened bread used for Passover in the Bible, by rule, could not have any leaven in it.

  31. Please don’t listen to Brian. I always enjoy it when you express your personal views, although I disagree with some of them. In fact, I always thought it was a pity when you agreed in response to much whining to keep your posting to largely medical topics. Write what you want (especially in the comments, for crying out loud). After all, this is *your* blog!
    Thanks. It is my blog. And it’s well worth the subscription price.

  32. Thanks for the reference to “Economics in One Lesson.” I will add it to my Amazon wish list along with a certain tome about 6-Week Cure for the Middle-Aged Middle that is rumored to be coming out next spring. Have you heard of it? Are you will willing to speculate at all about its contents??? Hmmm?
    Can’t speculate yet, but will soon. Got to do the last editing go round (which arrives this Friday) first.

  33. Obama may or may not have been selected as an editor of the Harvard Law Review based on affirmative action, we do not know that although it’s a possibility. However, the fact that he was selected as president of the Review out of a field of 19 candidates by the 80 editors is an acomplishment that cannot be wished away by claiming reverse discrimination. At what point can a smart non-white achieve a position through his or her intelligence without affirmative action being thrown out as the sole cause of the said achievement?
    That being said, my personal picks for this election slate would have been Richardson v. Romney.
    I seriously doubt that he was selected as the editor-in-chief of the Harvard Law Review. That title comes by vote of the law students after campaigning by those seeking the position. I know how all this works because of eldest son was the EIC of the SMU Law Review, and I’m assuming the process is the same everywhere.
    The accusations of his being helped by affirmative action involve his acceptance at Harvard. And his wife’s acceptance at Princeton. If there is any truth to the accusation that either of then didn’t deserve their respective admissions, I would have to say that it applies more to his wife. Why? Go on Google and find her thesis from Princeton. Forget about the content, which, in my opinion, is pure twaddle, and look instead at her ability to put thoughts on paper and the writing itself. Again, it’s only my opinion, but it is far below the standards of such an institution as Princeton.
    The whole affirmative action deal, again, in my opinion, was not necessarily a good thing for the very people it was supposed to help. I grew up in an era before affirmative action, and I heard countless times in reference to someone who was black (or even female) who had achieved a position of status, that he/she must really be good (implying much better/smarter than a white person in a similar position) to have gotten there despite the deck’s being stacked against them. Now, people say – as they do about Obama – that they got their courtesy of affirmative action. I think it’s a case of the law of unforeseen consequences in action.

  34. Hello Gary,
    Here’s what happened in our family after reading (with great fascination and admiration – it was a tremendous eye-opener) Good Calories, Bad Calories when it came out a little over a year ago: the three of us – husband, 59, me, 58, and our son, 23 – quit overnight all our frustrating conventional diet attempts and switched to very low-carb eating, and kept at it ever since.
    Results: great improvement in blood lipid profiles (much lower triglycerides etc.) for us old geezers, but very little change in our respective weights – and we do need to lose. The son, on the other hand, lost an astonishing 65 lb. in just three months – it was like watching the kid melt in front of our eyes – and has kept the weight off, effortlessly. From a fat, shy youth he turned into a confident, lithe and handsome young man, which is of course very gratifying to see, and we always remember that this miracle occurred thanks to GCBC. So this is an opportunity to let you know how deeply grateful we are for your great work.
    OK, the question: do you know of any science that would explain the different effects a low-carb diet might have on people of different ages? (We’re all pretty sedentary, live together and eat more or less the same low-carb foods, so I guess the crucial variable is age.) Does a body fed a high carb diet for many decades accumulate some irreversible damages that would prevent significant weight loss later in life? Or is there any truth to the “gradually slowing metabolism” theory of fat accumulation? What’s your take on this?
    Many thanks, again.
    Hey Rosie–
    You put this question in the wrong post, and I don’t have any way to change it to the correct one. Why don’t you copy it and stick it in the post about Gary answering questions so it will get considered.

  35. Totally agree. I also found this article last week in the NY times ( which I thought was equally dumb. Because they keep lowering the standards. Just ten minutes a day and that is better than nothing and gardening counts! If the standards keep getting Lower- than people will do nothing.

  36. Hi Dr Eades,
    Following your thoughts on my comment way up there on chain, I wanted to let you know that I went ahead with eating wheat 2 weeks before my blood test, with some results that I documented here:
    The Wheat Experiment – Blood Test Update
    It’s hard to know whether the changes were significant, but to me they appear so. If you get a chance to look at the Excel charts I created of my results, your perspectives would be of great interest to my readers!
    It’s really difficult to say. The changes (after adding wheat) are trending in a direction, but we don’t know if the trend is significant or not. It would be nice to have done the same labs on one who doesn’t have a problem and was following the same dietary regimen.

  37. this is unrelated i think but its an exercise question: i am overweight but losing and getting in much better shape with low carb/ITing. i have started some cardio interval training that is making me feel out of sight. huge whale breaths, hot sweaty energy release, lactic acid anaerobic threshold upping, the works. nothing major, just using a tabata timer. walking, yoga never helped me so much, however, today right after exercise i got a lump in my thoat right under the addams apple. just annoying , not painful. any idea why? the exercise is very calming so i dont think its anxiety. mucus? athsma? and i a hypochondriac?

  38. Or a moron blogger who thinks it is always acceptable to trash our government. The headline was obviously written by a Washington Post editor and probably not the author of the article, Steven Reinberg. It certainly was not written by any government worker and if you read the article it is not in a quote or attribution to any govt employee quoted.
    In fact, the context of the article would indicate that the intended meaning of the headline would be something like “New exercise guidelines make it easier (to understand what is required) to get fit. It explained to the reader (obviously not you) that these were the first guidelines published in 10 years.
    This is a bad faith smear on the doctor’s part and I really don’t like such knee-jerk whining. We have a government – get over it.
    And we all have the right to bitch about its manifest incompetency. Get over it.

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