“But It’s SO Much Healthier!”

Uh huh.  And then we have this:

Global Meat-Eating Is On the Rise, Bringing Surprising Benefits
Sub-Saharan Africans currently have tiny carbon footprints because they use so little energy — excluding South Africa, the entire continent produces about as much electricity as France. The armies of cattle, goats and sheep will raise Africans’ collective contribution to global climate change, though not to near Western or Chinese levels. People will probably become healthier, though. Many African children are stunted (notably small for their age) partly because they do not get enough micro-nutrients such as Vitamin A. Iron deficiency is startlingly common. In Senegal a health survey in 2017 found that 42% of young children and 14% of women are moderately or severely anaemic. Poor nutrition stunts brains as well as bodies. Animal products are excellent sources of essential vitamins and minerals. Studies in several developing countries have shown that giving milk to schoolchildren makes them taller. Recent research in rural western Kenya found that children who regularly ate eggs grew 5% faster than children who did not; cow’s milk had a smaller effect.

In the reign of Emperor Kim, all those of the vegan persuasion will be exiled to sub-Saharan Africa, so they can never again be tempted into betraying their religion.

In the meantime, I’m going to help the New Wife in the kitchen:

Can’t run the risk of becoming malnourished now, can we?

Unhealthy Religion

The waspish Sarah Vine tried becoming a vegan, and did not have a good time:

Evangelical vegans will tell you that following a purely ‘plant-based’ diet is not only morally commendable, it’s also much better for your health. But if my experience is anything to go by, the opposite is true.
I felt absolutely fine for the first few days. I didn’t miss meat at all, certainly not in terms of taste or flavour. The only thing I really felt an absence of was eggs. Since I embarked on my mammoth weight-loss project, eggs have become a dietary staple for me: nothing fills me up as well or gives me quite as much long-lasting energy as an egg.
I also found I had to eat larger portions to feel full — and I felt hungry again after a shorter period of time. But even that didn’t bother me, since what I was eating was so wholesome.
No, the real issue became apparent after the third or fourth day. Not to put too fine a point on it: wind.

One of the key arguments of vegans against livestock farming is the harm animals cause to the planet through the amount of methane they produce; if my experience was anything to go by, a vegan human is capable of producing just as much, if not more. I was a one-woman global warming hazard.

I don’t doubt that for some people veganism is a wonderful and fulfilling way of life. But the idea — widely promoted by its proponents — that veganism is something we can all embrace is, I’m afraid, at best baloney, at worst downright dangerous.

Read it all for the details, but all it did was make me want to attack a plate of ribs, just to be on the safe side.

Back To Butter

So now butter and lard are good for you again, and vegetable oils (except olive) are bad:

The World Health Organization has faced fierce backlash after telling people to replace butter and lard with ‘healthier’ oils in the New Year.
A leading cardiologist today said he was ‘shocked and disturbed’ by the advice, which the UN agency listed as a tip to prolong people’s lives.
Butter has been demonised for decades over its saturated fat content – but an array of evidence is beginning to prove it can be healthy.

Plus ça change, plus la même chose.

This announcement could have had some impact on my life, except that I never stopped using butter and I’ve always looked suspiciously at all cooking oils anyway.

Never mind:  next week some other cardiologist will warn us that butter causes (or, more likely, “may” cause) aggravated syphilis or something.

In the meantime, any report from a large government- or international agency (CDC, WHO, etc.) should be treated with the utmost skepticism if not outright rejection.  In fact, if Agency A warns that X is bad for you, a rule of thumb would be to increase the intake of X.

I don’t see that the above advice can be any worse than the bullshit we’ve been fed for the past fifty-odd years.

Involuntary Reaction

I read this story with both amazement and sympathy:

Kira Laconetti, 19, a self-taught musician, began experiencing difficulty when singing or listening to music, having two-minute ‘glitches’ and stuttering her words.
An MRI scan on the performer from Lynden, Washington, revealed a marble-sized mass in the right temporal lobe of her brain. The benign tumour was confirmed to be triggering a rare disorder called musicogenic epilepsy.
The condition, which is estimated to affect one in ten million people, according to Epilepsy Society, triggers seizures caused by certain types of music or frequencies of pitch for which the person’s brain has a low tolerance for. It is unclear what specific notes or music prompted Miss Laconetti’s seizures.

I should disclose at this point that I too suffer from musicogenic epilepsy.  In my case, it’s brought on not by any individual notes but by certain types of music, notably rap music, bebop jazz and the voice of Taylor Swift.

And I don’t suffer seizures either, just spasms of Tourette’s Syndrome.

Fortunately, I don’t need surgery because the remedy is simple:  a little Harry Nilsson, Peter Skellern or even something by the Beatles, and I’m right as rain.

Feel free to share the types of music which trigger your episodes of musicogenic epilepsy, in Comments.

Never A Truer Word Spoken

In his Devil’s Dictionary, the late and very-much-lamented Ambrose Pierce once wrote the following:

“When politicians speak, no matter the topic, they’re talking about money.”

…and boy, was he ever right.  Here’s an example.

For the past couple of years, governments have been talking about the “obesity epidemic” (as though getting fat can spread from one person to another over the air, instead of being the result of a conscious decision by individuals).  And of course, along with such alarums and panic from the Usual Suspects — those who Know What’s Best For You — have come clamors that Something Must Be Done.  And when people use the dreaded passive voice, of course, that means one, and only one thing:  government intervention.

So, of course, in steps Nanny Government to the rescue.  Of course, instead of pointing out that people get fat because they eat too much, or that their children get fat because their parents give them too much of the wrong foods, Big Nanny sets about punishing people for ingesting said wrong foods — and the easiest thing to target, because of its ubiquity, is sugar.

We all know that too much sugar is A Bad Thing, and if you eat too much of it, you get not only overweight but various health problems.  Let me repeat:  we all know that.

But how to punish excessive sugar consumption?  Do we (i.e. Nanny Government) ration the stuff?  No, too difficult and costly to implement, manage and police (although I would bet against it in the future — such difficulties have seldom stopped government in the past, e.g.  ObamaCare coff coff )  But sugar is not only bought and sold per se , it’s also a ubiquitous ingredient, and most egregiously so in the case of carbonated soft drinks (to normal mortals, that would be Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew etc.) wherein can be found the equivalent of a dozen or so teaspoons of sugar per can.  Not that this is always A Bad Thing:

So, goes Nanny’s thinking, if we punish people for drinking Cokes and reduce consumption thereof by making it more expensive to do so, the very best way to implement such policy is… to tax it.

Which brings us back to Ambrose Bierce.  And lo, there we have proof of the man’s sagacity:

The UK’s sugar tax has raised almost £154 million in its first six months, Government figures have revealed.
From April, companies selling drinks with added sugar have been taxed between 18p and 24p per litre for certain drinks containing high levels of added sugar.
The new levy was introduced in an effort to fight childhood obesity, as more than a third of 11-year-olds in the UK are now overweight and soft drinks are one of their main sources of sugar.

With that degree of success, replication must surely follow:

Raising so much money from the tax was ‘encouraging’, one expert said, but they urged the Government to extend the levy to calories in sweets [candy] as well.

And there you have it:  Nanny Government at its absolute finest.  It’s even more nasty in that with the above policy, the BritGov didn’t increase the sales tax on carbonated soft drinks — too difficult to implement, police and collect, see above — so instead they levied the tax at its source:

 There are 457 companies registered to pay the tax, and more than 90 per cent of the money came from charges on drinks with higher levels of sugar.

Much easier.  And needless to say, most of said companies simply raised the price of their product and passed it on to consumers — that would be us — to whom rising prices are a fact of modern life, and therefore the added cost went pretty much unnoticed.

Which actually makes it a perfect government tax policy:  it’s barely noticed by the public, it’s easier to collect / enforce (457 companies vs. many thousands of retail outlets), and best of all, if it fails to have the desired effect (making people drink less of the stuff), Nanny Government can simply increase the tax rate until it does — or until the supplier companies either quit or go out of business, which won’t happen because Coca-Cola / PepsiCo / Dr. Pepper / Cadbury-Schweppes etc. are collectively richer than Great Britain.  So there is theoretically no limit as to how much tax revenue the BritGov could collect from this policy.

And all because you, you fat bastards, insist on buying your kids Big Gulps and pouring  Dr. Pepper over their sugary breakfast cereals (a rant for another time, coming very soon to these pages).

And at the bottom of all this, of course is the reason why Gummint — in this case the Brit manifestation thereof — should care about fat children at all.   It’s not because they’re concerned for the chillins’ health (although that’s the figleaf), but because when obesity causes health issues, then said issues have to be covered by the foul (but government-funded) National Health Service.

Which brings us back — AGAIN — to Ambrose Bierce’s dictum.  It’s all about the fucking money.

At the beginning of this post, I said that Bierce’s death was much lamented but as I think about it, I’m glad that my favorite cynic of all time isn’t around to see all this.  He’d probably commit suicide.


And as a footnote, allow me to recommend unreservedly The Devil’s Dictionary, which under the reign of World-Emperor Kim would be a required textbook in all high-school curricula.

About That Single-Payer Health Service

Not that I need to belabor the point, but any “free” government health service is going to cost you.  In almost every such case, it’s when Gummint decides that you’ve had enough.  Here’s one from Britain’s NHS:

A hero RAF rear gunner who evaded capture by the Nazis in 1942 after being shot down over Belgium has been told to sell his house to pay medical bills as he has ‘survived too long’.

(I have to warn you that if you read that whole story, you ought to remove all throwable objects and guns out of reach — and even more so for the next one.)

Over in oh-so caring Europe comes this horrifying story:

Dutch authorities are prosecuting a doctor for euthanising an elderly woman with dementia in the first case of its kind since the practice was legalised in 2002.
The doctor, who was not named, has been charged with secretly drugging the woman’s coffee with Dormicum to make her drowsy and asking her family to hold her down as she was lethally injected in a care home in The Hague in 2016.
Whilst the 74-year-old patient was receiving the lethal injection she woke up and began fighting the doctor.

(I should also point out that the Dutch doctor was a woman, which somehow just makes it worse.)

I know, I know:  “Oh, that could never happen over here in the U.S.” — until it does.  When to comes to money, every government will eventually resort to violence;  try to find someone who has ever dealt with the I.R.S. over an unpaid tax liability, and not felt threatened by the experience.  You won’t.