Another bite into global warming denialism: Calling denialists that operate in the pay of special fossil fuel interests (any Repug, but esp. any Repug from Texas) ‘contrarian’ is grossly unfair and gives contrarians a bad name (many are real skeptics and not shills for the Kochs). So the [dis]Honorable Joe L. Barton (Idiot – Texas) lies and claims CO2 is the consequence not the cause of global warming (a plausible hypothesis if made by a scientist, but also falsifiable as any real science is). Of course he’s wrong and now more scientific study proves this. I wonder what spin Barton will use now, the easiest being simply to denounce the science and continue saying the same tired old lies to the gullible.
Too bad Mark Bittman joined the food nuts crowd: Mark Bittman writes fine cookbooks and has great ideas on food, but when it comes to nutrition he falls just a tad short, like off a cliff. First he raves about the Mediterranean diet because it’s going to be so tasty – fine, no problem, despite lots of indications there are serious problems with the Mediterranean diet. But now he’s off on a scold about sugar, completely misinterpreting a study, as this article more complete details his errors. Now if I have to choose between science articles and foodie articles I’ll go with science, but the points that are made totally debunk Bittman’s misreading of the PLOS published study. And, given the authority Bittman carries, this is downright criminal, because by falsely accusing sugar (any high calorie density nutrient is “bad” when it comes to diabetes) he misleads. For instance, Bittman has been a big supporter of Jim Lahey’s bread recipes, which, btw, are entirely from white flour, which is entirely carbohydrates that in the body get converted to glucose. You don’t have to eat a bowl of white sugar to get sugar in your blood. In all the reading I’ve done of Bittman I see little evidence he knows diddly about biochemistry or especially metabolic pathways in the body. So he is just off on a rant, his pet whipping boy. Probably he figures he can cook great tasting food and dump the sugar so let’s just blame sugar. He makes the foolish mistake “all calories are not created equal. By definition, all calories give off the same amount of energy when burned, but your body treats sugar calories differently, and that difference is damaging.” First, all calories are the same (once they’re digested) in terms of weight loss. The only distinction, again irrelevant to obesity or diabetes, is that easier to absorb calories spike blood glucose levels quicker (but not over time) and that can be hazardous to people whose obesity triggered insulin resistance. But you see Bittman has it backwards – once you have diabetes sugar may be bad because it’s the mostly quickly absorbed, but any calories, any way you get glucose or FFAs into the body, thus contributing to obesity which contributes to adipose tissue acting with endocrine functions which is the connection to insulin resistance. Sorry Mark, you are 100% wrong on your biochemistry and by being an alarmist, plus assuming the evil sugar producers are like cigarette companies you’re just exposing your biases and you’re causing real harm to real people due to your misinformation. It’s good someone took him to task.
Yet another fact debunks a pet Repug scheme: Our governor here, anxious to be the next senator with the blessings of the ultra right (after watching Deb Fischer) is trying to join the crowd of eliminating income taxes. Now I’ve always paid Nebraska’s highest rate, but I oppose this because the money has to come from somewhere and that means increased sales taxes which are the most regressive. But it’s especially stupid since the majority of the population in Nebraska lives close to states with lower sales taxes and already shopping in Iowa is common. So who’s going to buy big ticket items in Nebraska and pay that higher tax? So it’s just stupid and won’t work. But, even worse, it’s a dumb idea, just pandering to the local rich, as this article demonstrates. Why cut income taxes – oh so the rich will be happy and maybe move here and/or the imaginary “job creators” will add more jobs. Why then are incomes in California or Massachusetts or New Jersey so much higher than Nebraska if low taxes is what creates jobs. This is just another smoke-and-mirrors scam to cut taxes for the rich, pure and simple.
Oh yuck, bible propaganda on History Channel: It’s bad enough History Channel already does shows implying biblical “history” is true, esp. all their bogus searching for noah’s ark junk. Now they’re putting on pure proselytizing in a ten hour series (you know it’s got to be awful if Rick Warren was an advisor). Now if they’d label the show fantasy magical fiction maybe it’s ok. Or if they’d show all the bible, all the stonings and genocides and sacrifices and silly truth-defying mysticism, just to get the “literal” version all on the screen (and thus show how silly “literal” really is) maybe it’s ok. But otherwise they’re just pandering to the religinuts hoping to sell some ads. The only vaguely good thing about this propaganda is at least they didn’t put it on Discovery or Science channels, but who knows, maybe that is next. I think religion masquerading as history needs a warning label, like cigarettes.
Oh no, believing life sucks means you’ll have more of it: That’s right, according to this article/study, pessimists live longer. What a terrible irony – you’re pessimistic about life and therefore you’re rewarded by more of it. Of course, that shows the typical pessimistic statement, that more life is a bad thing. But if life sucks best to get it over with as quickly as possible. I love the Woody Allen quote though, “life is divided between the horrible and the miserable”. – the pessimist’s creed.