Filed under: Domestic Policy, Health Care, Law, Liberalism | Tags: "Healthy Food Initiative", Junk Science, Liberal lies
Sam Kass, who was the Obama’s chef in Chicago, came to the White House with the Obamas. He was known as Mrs. Obama’s Food Initiative Coordinator, but about a month ago, his title was changed to Senior Policy Adviser for Healthy Food Initiatives. The new title more accurately reflects Kass’ broad range of duties, as internal and external expert on all things health, kids, and food. Or in the vernacular — he is the “Food Czar.”
So Sam Kass went from being a 20-something Chicago gourmet cook, privately paid to cook for the Obamas, to a big-time White House adviser. Michelle Obama’s healthy nutrition program is supposed to eliminate childhood obesity within a generation, especially in the country’s inner cities. Mrs. Obama claims that childhood obesity is a threat to national security, and a crisis that requires the administration to spend $400 million a year to bring “healthy foods” to low-income neighborhoods and $10 billion to make revisions to the old federal program that feeds tens of millions of poor children at school. Mrs Obama said when launching last month’s “Chefs Move to Schools” initiative — a program to get professional chefs to volunteer in America’s schools:
I think it’s just pretty powerful to see what started out as a few conversations in our kitchen on the South Side of Chicago turn into a major initiative that hopefully will change the way we think as a country, not just about the health of our kids but about our health as a nation,”
I think the ambitions may once again exceed what is possible or probable. Mrs. Obama is enamored of organic produce, local, regional and “sustainable” food. I assume that is not “sustainable” in the sense of the cans of food in the pantry, but in some larger, greener sense. “Sustainable” is very big in the green left, but I haven’t figured out yet just what it means, but is sure is a popular word.
Mr. Kass gave the keynote speech at the Food Marketing Institute’s trade show in Las Vegas, urging supermarket important people to take a leadership role in “Let’s Move.” He told the grocery retailers that it’s time to seize the opportunity to be leaders in creating a generation of healthier kids by being “architects of choice” on the micro and macro level. He gave, according the to blog “Obama Foodorama” “a mini dissertation on how to change the design of markets which ranged from where to position healthy foods, to changing food packaging labels is crucial for parents’ decision making, to why it’s important to build more supermarkets in places that don’t have them.”
There was also a conference with governors to urge them to establish food initiatives in their states and cities. Baltimore has a food czar named Holly Freishtat, and the City of Boston has recently joined in, creating a $75,000 a year position of “Food Policy Director” with an ambitious agenda.
I may not grasp the true meaning of “sustainable” but I do know a bit about “organic” food. “Organic” is a marketing ploy designed to sell smaller fruits and vegetables grown on larger acreages at higher prices. Organic produce has been tested over and over, and there is no benefit in nutrition or freshness. It usually costs about 30% more. Organic designates a method of growing which involves using only ‘natural’ fertilizers (manure) and only ‘natural’ pesticides (like pyrethrums–some of the most poisonous pesticides). No better for you. You can look up the process that farmers must follow to get the “organic” label, but it remains only a marketing ploy.
I would have loved to be a fly on the wall at that convention of supermarket CEOs being lectured by the Obama’s 20-something cook. But I’m not a foodie, I’m just an ordinary good cook.
Filed under: Economy, Energy, Science/Technology | Tags: Congress, Environment, Global Warming, Junk Science
A monopsony is a situation in which a product or service is only bought by one customer. Jo Nova has done a new study now available at The Science and Public Policy Institute that reveals that the U.S. Government has spent more than $79 billion of taxpayer money since 1989 on policies related to climate change, including science and technology research, administration, propaganda campaigns, foreign aid and tax breaks. Most of this spending was unnecessary and useless.
An informal movement of scientists around the world has sprung up to test the integrity of the “global warming” theory and to compete with this lavishly funded, very organized climate monopsony. Over and over, they have exposed major errors.
Worldwide, carbon trading reached $126 billion in 2008. Experts are predicting that the carbon market will reach $2-$10 trillion in the near future. The largest single commodity traded on global exchanges will be hot air.
Exxon-Mobil is continually attacked for funding climate skeptics for $23 million — less than one thousandth of what the U.S. Government spends on climate activists and alarmists.
This huge expenditure is designed to prove the non-existent connection between carbon dioxide and climate. Government bodies, big business rent-seekers and environmental NGOs recruit, control and reward their own scientists who use climate modeling to justify power, control, wealth and population reduction. Robert Ferguson, SPPIs president asks:
Are politicians paying out billions of our dollars for evidence-driven policy-making, or policy-driven evidence-making? The truth is more crucial than ever, because American lives, property and constitutional liberties are at risk.
If the Waxman-Markey climate bill passes, billions more will be expended to pay for environmentalists useless fantasies.
Filed under: Health Care, Progressivism, Science/Technology | Tags: Culture War, Junk Science, Liberalism is a Mental Disorder, Taxes
Remember all the fuss about stem cells? Candidate Obama was going to restore science to its rightful place in the wake of the dreadful Bush administration which was apparently completely unfamiliar with science or the scientific method. Embryonic stem cells, freed from the religious fundamentalism of the Bushies, would cure diseases, allow the lame to walk and provide scientific honors for those who engaged in federally funded embryonic stem cell research, as well as endless riches for those who developed the wondrous new treatments. President Obama quickly lifted the ban that limited federally funded research to existing lines of cells. (Please note, there was no ban on research).
Dr. Bernadine Healy, former director of the National Institutes of Health, was once an embryonic stem cell enthusiast. She now calls such research “obsolete.” Medical-research insiders know that embryonic stem cell technology is proving to be a dead end. Senator Arlen Specter, (D-PA) said the research “has the most remarkable potential of any scientific discovery ever made with respect to human health.” That statement gives an idea of the enthusiasm. Remarkable potential indeed. Real results were another thing.
First of all, there is the rejection problem. Your body naturally fights off foreign cells, even ones that might help. So cell recipients must permanently use imunosuppresive drugs, which are dangerous themselves. Then there is the unpleasant tendency of ES cells to become cancerous or to form teratomas — tumors that can grow larger than a football and contain hair or teeth.
The problem of rejection may someday be solved, but University of Wisconsin scientist James Thomson, who created the first human ES-cell line, says that treatments and cures could be decades away.
Adult stem cells do not have the problem of rejection, for they come from the patient’s own body. They have treated scores of illnesses including many cancers, autoimmune disease, cardiovascular disease, immunodeficiency disorders, neural degenerative diseases, anemia and other blood disorders. They have been used in over 2,000 clinical trials. No uncomfortable moral questions, just cautious, responsible science.
Although it was long thought that only embryonic cells could become pluripotent, researchers in 2006, led by Dr. Shinya Yamanaka of Japan’s Kyoto University, were able to reprogram human skin cells to behave like embryonic stem cells.
Several states now fund embryonic stem cell research. Dead broke California created a $3 billion research effort with their Proposition 7, and other states such as New York, New Jersey and Connecticut also fund the research, which may be a dead end. Federal funds are flowing.
We’re investing a remarkable amount of money in things that are supported by enthusiasm rather than science. Liberals have always been utopians, attached to a romantic view of policy: ending climate change, stopping the seas from rising, powering the world with the wind and the sun, curing disease and injury with embryonic stem cells. It’s not going to happen. But they always want the rest of us to support their flights of fancy with our taxpayer dollars.
And if their romantic policies don’t work? They cannot fail, it’s just that they did not appropriate enough money.
Filed under: Capitalism, Freedom, News of the Weird | Tags: Coffee, Food Police, Junk Science
For years, the Food Police have been trying desperately to find something wrong with coffee. If coffee gives many people pleasure, if they gather with friends to have a cup, if they open chain stores all over the world giving people a place to gather over coffee, and if they invent all sorts of special accouterments to help make a better cup, then there has to be something really, really wrong with it.
We’ve had the poor abused workers in coffee plantations, but it has turned out that they are better paid than their peers, and the coffee companies have even built schools for their children. They tackled the milk used in lattés for the growth hormone given to cows, but that turned out to be junk science, for it is a scientific impossibility for the hormone to pass through into the milk. They have tried to connect coffee to all sorts of diseases and unpleasant conditions and now, perhaps, they may be undone.
“Drinking five cups of coffee a day may reverse the memory problems seen in Alzheimers” reads the headline from the BBC. The research carried out in Florida on mice also suggested that caffeine hampered the production of protein plaques that are characteristic of the disease.
This is all preliminary, of course, but it’s nice to know that you can head out for a latté with a clear conscience.
(h/t Dan @ GayPatriot)
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Energy | Tags: Energy Independence, Homeland Security, Junk Science
Do you have storms in your area that damage power lines and cause a widespread loss of power? Then you are familiar with trying to stay warm, cooking on the barbecue, using candles for light, or perhaps you are one of the lucky ones who has a generator. Nevertheless, you appreciate your electricity. But do you know where it comes from?
Surprisingly, no one in congress or the administration does. At least they must not, for their math simply does not add up. If you cannot read this lovely pie chart, 48.9 % of our electricity comes from coal, 20% from natural gas, 19.3 % comes from nuclear, 7.1 % from hydroelectric plants, 1.6 % from petroleum and the little pinky-peach wedge represents wind, solar and geothermal.
The Waxman-Markey climate bill will punitively tax the energy sources that contribute 90 percent of our current American electricity in order to bet our future on the wedge that is able to produce only 2.4 percent of our electricity. But we can do it. The conventional phrase is “if we can send a man to the moon we can…..
We have eleven whole years in which to build, install, and connect to the grid at least 180,000 turbines. Each one of which requires a backup of conventional energy for the times when the wind does not blow, which is often.
And as for solar, not only is it far more expensive, suitable only in the Southwest, but perhaps you have noticed that the sun sinks beneath the horizon at night, just when we need lighting.
This energy policy is built on a lie, or more accurately a whole bunch of lies. The whole thing is conceived of as a way to stop the globe from warming, but it stopped warming in 2002.
It’s necessary to remove the CO2 that is causing global warming isn’t it? CO2 is not the cause of global warming or climate change. Reducing it is unnecessary and will cost trillions.
There are not, as yet, any large-scale, practical and cost-competitive replacements for fossil fuels. If you punish fossil fuel use with either taxes or by capping how much energy is allowed to be used, you punish the economy.
When a country institutes cap-and-trade legislation unilaterally, it makes that country less competitive in the global economy. Imports and trade deficits increase as prices at home rise, while companies or whole industries close and move abroad to countries where they can be more competitive.
And it is the citizen, the consumer, who pays for all of this, either in the form of higher prices or less availability, or less economic growth. This shouldn’t be rocket science, but consequences are not of much interest to Democrats. It’s still worth trying to figure out what the consequences will be.