Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Forget glycemic index

The glycemic index of foods has been much promoted as important in diet.  A recent study (excerpt below) has however debunked most of the claims concerned

Effects of High vs Low Glycemic Index of Dietary Carbohydrate on Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors and Insulin Sensitivity

Frank M. Sacks et al.



Foods that have similar carbohydrate content can differ in the amount they raise blood glucose. The effects of this property, called the glycemic index, on risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes are not well understood.

Conclusions and Relevance

In this 5-week controlled feeding study, diets with low glycemic index of dietary carbohydrate, compared with high glycemic index of dietary carbohydrate, did not result in improvements in insulin sensitivity, lipid levels, or systolic blood pressure. In the context of an overall DASH-type diet, using glycemic index to select specific foods may not improve cardiovascular risk factors or insulin resistance.



New York police tell their mayor: You have blood on your hands

As I suggested yesterday

Angry New York police officers turned their backs on the city’s mayor yesterday when he arrived to pay respects to the two patrolmen shot dead by a gunman apparently inspired by recent anti-police protests.

In a snub captured on video, a line of uniformed officers and union leaders turned silently to face the corridor walls of a Brooklyn hospital rather than look at Bill de Blasio, the Democrat mayor who some claim has betrayed them.

Rafael Ramos, 40, and Wenjian Liu, 32, were shot at point-blank range as they sat in their patrol car, by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, an African-American criminal, on Saturday night.

He had promised on social media to avenge the deaths of two unarmed black men killed in encounters with police.

Many officers are furious that Mr de Blasio has backed protesters who have staged anti-police rallies, some chanting “death to cops”, following decisions by grand juries in New York and Missouri not to prosecute white officers for the killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.

“There’s blood on many hands tonight,” said Patrick Lynch, the leader of the largest police union, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA), after helping to organise the back-turning snub. “That blood starts on the steps of City Hall, in the office of the mayor.”

Ed Mullins, the president of the sergeants’ association, went even further. “Mayor de Blasio, the blood of these two officers is clearly on your hands,” he said. “I only hope and pray that more of these ambushes and executions do not happen again.”

Even before the killings, the unions had urged the mayor to stay away from funerals of police officers killed in the line of duty, issuing members with a waiver to sign entitled “Don’t Insult My Sacrifice”.

In a Facebook posting yesterday, Officer Ramos’s 13-year-old son Jaden captured the mood of many in the police department. “This is the worst day of my life,” he wrote. “He was the best father I could ask for. It’s horrible that someone gets shot dead just for being a police officer. Everyone says they hate cops but they are the people that they call for help.”



Millennials Hit Hard By Government Intrusion

For decades, the quality of life of the incoming generation of Americans has built on and improved on that of the previous generation. According to new data released by the United States Census Bureau, however, that is not the case for the current incoming generation, the Millennials. They have government to blame for their rotten economic conditions.

According to a new Census Bureau report based on its American Community Survey five-year statistics, young adults today are faring worse than those of the 1980s, who are now entering middle age.

“One in five young adults lives in poverty,” the Census Bureau release explains, “up from one in seven in 1980.”

Census data show the U.S. young-adult poverty rate remained relatively unchanged for two decades but began climbing sharply in 2009. In 1980, 14.1 percent of individuals ages 18 to 34 lived on incomes meeting the federal government’s definition of poverty. In 2009, 19.7 percent of that demographic group lived in poverty.

Meanwhile, the age group’s employment rate has fallen from a high of 70.6 percent in 1990 to 65 percent in 2009. And median wages for those two out of three employed Millennials have declined. Fewer young adults are able to find employment, and those who are do are earning less money for their work.

Recent data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics paint a similarly bleak picture for young adults beginning their careers. In November, the effective unemployment rate for young adults, including the 1.91 million people who have entirely given up on job searching, was 14.7 percent.

Each and every new rule and regulation issued by Washington regulators is accompanied by seen and unseen costs that discourage business owners from hiring new workers. Thousands of new planned industry rules were released just before Thanksgiving, including rules allowing the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate small puddles on farms or businesses’ private property.

Surveys by regional Federal Reserve Banks show businesses are responding to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by cutting workers’ hours, from full-time to part-time, in response to ACA’s impact on labor costs. Other businesses are deliberately understaffing in order to avoid triggering ACA requirements.

As President John F. Kennedy noted, “a rising tide lifts all boats.” Removing the millstone the national government places around job creators’ necks would allow economic prosperity to flourish and benefit all Americans, including the current generation of young adults who are currently among the hardest-hit.



Forget 'evil' Putin - we are the bloodthirsty warmongers

I agree with Peter Hitchens below.  I think Mr Putin has been very moderate in the circumstances and is more sinned against than sinning.  There is every possibility that the cold war the West is waging against him will push him into a hot war in the Baltic states, where there are many Russians.  Is that clever diplomacy?  Or is it unscrululous politicians trying to divert attention from the problems in their own countries?

This is a time of year for memories, and the ones that keep bothering me are from my childhood, which seemed at the time to be wholly happy and untroubled.

Yet all the adults in my life still dwelt in the shadow of recent war. This was not the glamorous, exciting side of war, but the miserable, fearful and hungry aspect.

My mother, even in middle-class suburban prosperity, couldn’t throw away an eggshell without running her finger round it to get out the last of the white. No butcher dared twice to try to cheat her on the weights.

Haunted all her life by rationing, she would habitually break a chocolate bar into its smallest pieces. She had also been bombed from the air in Liverpool, and had developed a fatalism to cope with the nightly danger of being blown to pieces, shocking to me then and since.

I am now beset by these ingrained memories of shortage and danger because I seem surrounded by people who think that war might be fun. This seems to happen when wartime generations are pushed aside by their children, who need to learn the truth all over again.

It seemed fairly clear to me from her experiences that war had in fact been a miserable affair of fear, hunger, threadbare darned clothes, broken windows and insolent officials. And that was a victory, more or less, though my father (who fought in it) was never sure of that.

Now I seem surrounded by people who actively want a war with Russia, a war we all might lose. They seem to believe that we are living in a real life Lord Of The Rings, in which Moscow is Mordor and Vladimir Putin is Sauron. Some humorous artists in Moscow, who have noticed this, have actually tried to set up a giant Eye of Sauron on a Moscow tower.

We think we are the heroes, setting out with brave hearts to confront the Dark Lord, and free the saintly Ukrainians from his wicked grasp.

This is all the most utter garbage. Since 1989, Moscow, the supposed aggressor, has – without fighting or losing a war – peacefully ceded control over roughly 180 million people, and roughly 700,000 square miles of valuable territory.

The EU (and its military wing, Nato) have in the same period gained control over more than 120 million of those people, and almost 400,000 of those square miles.

Until a year ago, Ukraine remained non-aligned between the two great European powers. But the EU wanted its land, its 48 million people (such a reservoir of cheap labour!) its Black Sea coast, its coal and its wheat.

So first, it spent £300 million (some of it yours) on anti-Russian ‘civil society’ groups in Ukraine.

Then EU and Nato politicians broke all the rules of diplomacy and descended on Kiev to take sides with demonstrators who demanded that Ukraine align itself with the EU.

Imagine how you’d feel if Russian politicians had appeared in Edinburgh in September urging the Scots to vote for independence, or if Russian money had been used to fund pro-independence organisations.

Then a violent crowd (20 police officers died at its hands, according to the UN) drove the elected president from office, in violation of the Ukrainian constitution.

During all this process, Ukraine remained what it had been from the start – horrendously corrupt and dominated by shady oligarchs, pretty much like Russia.

If you didn’t want to take sides in this mess, I wouldn’t at all blame you. But most people seem to be doing so. There seems to be a genuine appetite for confrontation in Washington, Brussels, London… and Saudi Arabia.

There is a complacent joy abroad about the collapse of the rouble, brought about by the mysterious fall in the world’s oil price.

It’s odd to gloat about this strange development, which is also destroying jobs and business in this country. Why are the Gulf oil states not acting – as they easily could and normally would – to prop up the price of the product that makes them rich?

I do not know, but there’s no doubt that Mr Putin’s Russia has been a major obstacle to the Gulf states’ desire to destroy the Assad government in Syria, and that the USA and Britain have (for reasons I long to know) taken the Gulf’s side in this.

But do we have any idea what we are doing? Ordinary Russians are pretty stoical and have endured horrors unimaginable to most of us, including a currency collapse in 1998 that ruined millions. But until this week they had some hope.

If anyone really is trying to punish the Russian people for being patriotic, by debauching the rouble, I cannot imagine anything more irresponsible. It was the destruction of the German mark in 1922, and the wipeout of the middle class that resulted, which led directly to Hitler.

Stupid, ill-informed people nowadays like to compare Mr Putin with Hitler. I warn them and you that, if we succeed in overthrowing Mr Putin by unleashing hyper-inflation in Russia, we may find out what a Russian Hitler is really like. And that a war in Europe is anything but fun.

So, as it’s almost Christmas, let us sing with some attention that bleakest and yet loveliest of carols, It Came Upon The Midnight Clear, stressing the lines that run ‘Man at war with man hears not the love song which they bring. Oh, hush the noise, ye men of strife, and hear the angels sing’.

Or gloat at your peril over the scenes of panic in Moscow.



Meet the Right-Winger Who Made Barbara Walters’ ‘Most Fascinating People’ List

Barbara Walters’ annual “10 Most Fascinating People” list included the expected mix of celebrity and media types–and one unusual person.

David Koch, a political activist on the right and billionaire business leader whose donations have earned him repeated mentions from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, made the list this year.

In an interview with Walters on ABC’s “This Week,” the normally reclusive Koch described a conservative fiscal policy as the “most important” determinant in his political donation decisions.

“What I want these candidates to do is to support a balanced budget,” Koch said. “I’m very worried that if the budget is not balanced that inflation could occur and the economy of our country could suffer terribly.”

Koch said he is “intensely” focused on economic matters above all because “if those go bad, the country as a whole suffers.” He also described himself as a “social liberal.”

Walters dubbed Koch “a hero to the right, a villain to the left,” but pointed to his extensive charitable donations as a key reason for her fascination.

“It seems like all David Koch does is give, give, give,” Walters said before highlighting a slew of Koch’s philanthropic donations.


There is a  new  lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.

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