American Elephants

Nanny Government Prepares to Strike Again! by The Elephant's Child
April 20, 2010, 8:39 pm
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Freedom, Health Care, Law | Tags: , ,

How do you sell government regulation to the ignorant masses?  First warn of a “crisis” and suggest that without immediate changes terrible consequences will follow.  Social pressure, advertising, warnings.  Then you declare those efforts insufficient, and propose government intervention to save you and “the children.”

Nanny Government The Food and Drug Administration is planning an all out effort to reduce the amount of salt consumed each day by Americans, claiming that less sodium in everything would prevent thousands of deaths from heart disease and high blood pressure. This would lead to legal limits on the amount of salt allowed in food products.

This is the FDA inserting itself into determining the recipes of prepared foods.  The FDA intends to work with the food industry and “health experts” to reduce sodium gradually over a period of years to adjust the American palate to a less salty diet, according to FDA sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the initiative had not been formally announced.

Officials have not determined salt limits.  The FDA would analyze the salt in spaghetti sauces, breads and thousands of products, and then set limits for salt, designed to gradually ratchet down sodium consumption. The changes would be calibrated so that consumers hardly notice.  This sounds harmless, and probably helpful, because “everyone knows that salt is bad.”

Except the best science for nearly half a century — including the government’s own findings on examinations reflecting 99 million Americans’; more than 17,000 studies published since 1966; and even a recent Cochrane systematic review of the clinical trial evidence — fails to support the hypotheses that salt reductions offer health benefits for the general public.  Cochrane’s reviewers specifically concluded that such interventions are inappropriate for population prevention programs. …

The latest vital statistics data from the CDC National Center for Health Statistics was just released and reported that age-related deaths from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, liver disease and hypertension — all of the causes some want us to believe are due to unhealthy lifestyles, rather than mostly aging — have continued to drop significantly for more than 50 years. The latest Health US report from the CDC found our life expectancy has reached another record high and age-adjusted mortality for the leading causes of death have been cut nearly in half since 1950, including heart disease.

There is no crisis of hypertension, no crisis of  high salt intake, not even an association between salt and heart disease or premature death.  Oddly enough the Japanese have one of the highest salt-intakes in the world, as well as the highest life expectancy.  Sodium is essential to human survival.  Given free access to salt, humans consume similar ranges of salt across a wide variety of diets, cultures, environments and heredities, according to Dr. Michael Alderman MD in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Behind many food alarms and false panics, you will find the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the leader of the food police.  This crackpot organization has appointed itself to control what people eat, and how their food is to be regulated.  You really need to learn what they are up to.  It will give you a healthy dose of skepticism and common sense.

We’re Only Late by 26 Years! by The Elephant's Child
April 20, 2010, 7:00 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Freedom, Law, Statism | Tags: , ,


The Ministry of Truth Environmental Protection Agency is promoting a contest.

The contest, which ends May 17, will award $2,500 to the makers of the video that best explains why federal regulations are good and how ordinary citizens can become more involved in making regulations.  The videos must be posted on YouTube and can be no more than 60-90 seconds in length.

In the current contest, each video must include the slogan “Let your voice be heard,” and it must direct viewers to the government’s regulatory website  The winning video will then be used by the entire federal government to promote the regulatory process and enhance the public’s participation in it.

The EPA is managing the contest, part of the government”s eRulemaking program, on behalf of the entire government.

Did I mention that it is my belief that the Environmental Protection Agency has done little to nothing for the environment, a great deal of damage to our country, and should be abolished?

Don’t Feel Bad, Icelanders Can’t Pronounce Their Volcano Either by American Elephant
April 20, 2010, 4:21 am
Filed under: Europe, Humor, News | Tags: , ,

With world attention focused like a volcano lancing laser on Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland is finally answering the age-old question, “what if your country got blowed-up and nobody could talk about it cus your language is batshit crazy?” Suddenly Björk’s swan dress makes complete sense — the entire country has gone funny from trying to pronounce gobbledygook.

Language Log helpfully offers up audio of five native speakers pronouncing the name of the volcano, and, equally helpfully, they’re all over the map! I count at least four different pronunciations.  So quit worrying, even the Icelanders can’t pronounce the name of their own mountain. I am beginning to think it was named by a cat walking on a keyboard. Perhaps the world will come to speak of it in Potteresque terms — “the Mountain which must not be be named.”

Meanwhile, there’s some gorgeous photography of the eruption. And a lot of people stranded waiting to fly home. (40,000 Americans are supposedly currently stranded in Britain alone.) We wish them all safe journeys.

(Remember the good old days when volcano’s had real names, like Mount St. Helens? …that will be 30 years ago next month. )

(Image: AP/Brynjar Gauti)

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