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Commentary on The Capital Markets- Category [Health Reform]

You like death, right?  You want to meet your maker earlier rather than later, and what's better is that you're very interested in following known conflicted advice -- right?

Then step right up and do what you're told, fool:

For decades, if you asked your doctor what your odds were of suffering a heart attack, the answer would turn on a number: your cholesterol level.


The end result: Twice as many Americans — one-third of all adults — would be told to consider taking statins, which lower cholesterol but also reduce heart risks in other ways.

There are several problems with this.

First, the lipid hypothesis has never been proved.  

The evidence, however, is that the alternative hypothesis, that systemic inflammation is what causes coronary artery disease (along with dramatically increasing the risk of strokes) is the true cause.

But there's no money in the alternative hypothesis and in fact there's plenty of disincentives to prove it up.  

Let's leave aside the conflicts for a minute, although I'll get back to them.  I'll simply focus instead on the lipid hypothesis itself.

See, it dates to 1850 or thereabouts.  This is not something new, and with roughly 150 years and billions of dollars to be made from it one would expect that by now there would be a multitude of hard scientific studies that could demonstrate by strict proof that this hypothesis was correct.

So where are they?

Now let's talk about conflicts:

"It is practically impossible to find a large group of outside experts in the field who have no relationships to industry," said Dr. George Mensah of the heart institute. He called the guidelines "a very important step forward" based on solid evidence, and said the public should trust them.

Uh huh.  Sure.  Just like I should trust those who argue that a person with a compromised insulin response should eat carbohydrates that require an insulin response to metabolize -- when there are other options available that fulfill the actual dietary needs of the body? 

Exactly how many attempts to kill people -- albeit slowly -- do you expect me to tolerate?

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. High cholesterol leads to hardened arteries that can cause a heart attack or stroke.

There's no proof of that.  In point of fact cholesterol is necessary for cellular metabolism and there is no evidence that the presence of high cholesterol levels causes hardened arteries.  There is, however, plenty of evidence that inflammation leads the body to respond by attempting to encapsulate the inflammed tissue -- this is the ordinary and normal response that heals injuries. 

That is, by the way, the alternative hypothesis -- that it is systemic inflammation that is in fact responsible for coronary artery disease and that while lowering cholesterol may blunt the body's inflammatory response it is neither safe or effective since the underlying condition remains.

Most cholesterol is made by the liver, so diet changes have a limited effect on it.

Right.  And that's the problem -- the evidence strongly suggests that drugging people targets the wrong thing.

It gets worse.  One of the claimed "new indications" for Statin use is this:

—People ages 40 to 75 with Type 2 diabetes.

Statins have listed as one of their side effects the potential to cause Type 2 diabetes!

So now we want to prescribe a drug for people with a given condition that has listed as one of its side effects causation of the condition itself?

Never mind that we're still peddling the crap diet advice:

—People should eat a "dietary pattern" focused on vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Include low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, beans and healthy oils and nuts. Limit sweets, sweet drinks, red meat, saturated fat and salt.

Really?  Really?

Obesity is without question a major factor in heart disease and stroke.  That's not a hypothesis, it's fact.  Obesity is also a major factor for high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.  In short if you're fat the odds are all tilted the wrong way when it comes to your health in both coronary and stroke-risk factors.

The simple answer to this is to quit trying to fight evolution.  That is, stop believing that man is smarter than God - because he isn't.  The processed food industry, along with many others (Nike anyone?) puts forward the premise that man is smarter than God and drills it into your head on a daily basis but what you'll note is the utter absence of anything approaching scientific proof of these assertions -- all you see instead is marketing slogans.

Why?  Strict scientific proof would be the gold standard if it existed.  Since it's absent in said messages and yet it would be the best marketing possible I am forced to conclude that it's absent because such evidence does not exist.

If you stop fighting evolution -- that is, if you stop fighting that which you were born with and that which has evolved over millions of years you come to the conclusion that if it didn't exist 5,000 years ago you probably shouldn't eat it -- and that when it comes to dietary balance you should pay attention to the balance available 5,000 years ago.

You didn't have a given fresh fruit, for example, all the time -- only for a few weeks out of the year when they were ripe and could be picked.  You had an assortment of vegetable material available to eat, but again, in variety through the year.  What you did have available to you nearly all of the time was meat and fish, including animal protein and fats, of various species and types.

Note that there were no transfats, no vegetable oils, no hydrogenated anything and no processed grains of any sort.  In other words all of the things that spike your insulin response today did not exist -- all of the so-called "fast carbohydrates" are modern inventions.

In other words the insulin spike caused by modern eating is biologically abnormal.

Want to fight God?  Go right ahead.  I will simply observe that you're betting against several million years of evolution (or "the guy upstairs", depending on what you believe.)  Either way this is a crappy bet and you're odds-on to lose.

This may be anecdotal, but it's also true.  A few years ago I was having happen to me what happens to most men and women as they get a bit older.  My waistline was expanding, my body mass was going up slowly but inexorably, my athletic performance was going down and while I didn't have anything serious going on medically the path I was on was quite clear, if I bothered to look.  

I ran cross-country when I was in High School -- as "recreation" (we had to take a sport every semester.)  I never was any good at it and in fact I hated it, but I did it.  I always had an issue with heel striking while running, and had various so-called "professionals" tell me that this orthotic or that "funky shoe" would fix whatever was going on.  They were all full of crap and none of it worked.  Through my 30s several times I tried to lose the "spare tire"; I bought exercise equipment and used it diligently, counted calories and similar.  Sure, it sort of worked -- if I kept at it with diligence I could lose 10lbs or so.  But as soon as I dropped the diligence -- even a bit -- the weight came right back on.

When I saw what was going to happen with Obamacare and came to the conclusion that our government was going to destroy any hope of my having access to reasonable health care and so-called "safety net" programs as I aged, mostly due to the fact that the people in our nation simply insist on being stupid, I came to the conclusion that my 210lb body was either going to have to become a 150lb body or I was going to end up weighing 300lbs by the time I was 70 and somewhere between here and there I would likely wind up with a serious chronic and debilitating disease or be dead outright.

Worse, none of the so-called "standard advice" like you have in that article had worked.  I had tried it all. You've probably tried it.  It doesn't work folks, and the reason it doesn't work is that your body actively fights what is being propounded because you're trying to fight how the human animal has evolved over millions of years.

It fights because that's how you are hard-wired by God.  When you take in fast carbohydrates which includes nearly all grains (e.g. breads, etc), sugars (especially "high-fructose corn syrup") and other items with a high glycemic index your body reacts by spiking its insulin production because it was never designed to process any of those things and you are insulting your body's systems.  If you consume enough carbohydrate to fill your glycogen stores before that energy can be consumed (which are quite limited) the rest is stored as fat -- it has to be otherwise it would wind up as excessively-high blood sugar.

The problem is that due to the spike in insulin when that processing is complete you feel hungry again even though you just packed on the remainder of your intake into fat cells.  The calories you just packed on and stored as excess are not burned up before you become hungry!  Your body is wired this way because absent processed foods it is nearly-impossible to trigger this response; it is simply an amplification of what would otherwise be the normal response to eating brought about by the engineering of foods we were never designed to consume.

Can you resist this?  I suppose you can try but if you're wondering why all these "diets" fail this is the reason -- you're fighting how your body is wired.

Likewise, I found that all the so-called "running shoes" were trying to prevent my body from being harmed by heel striking while I ran.  This is backwards as it was trying to prevent an injury rather than prevent the cause of the injury, which is the excessive shock loads placed on your joints.

Your body knows how to run such that you do not heel strike and instead use your calf muscles as shock absorbers but in order for it to do so you must not interrupt the signals that would be otherwise transmitted from your foot to your brain -- and you also probably ought not alter the natural mechanical relationships that exist between your foot and leg structures.

How did I figure this out?  I started thinking for myself and integrating what we all learn and in fact know to be true and when that conflicted with the so-called "conventional wisdom" I decided to err on the side of that which we had scientifically proved instead of what someone with a lot of letters after their name was pontificating on.

So I bought a pair of "Five Fingers" shoes and began the "Couch to 5k" program.  When I started I could not run a quarter mile without stopping to walk, my per-mile time was over 12 minutes, I couldn't do more than a mile and a half in total and my max heart rate exceeded 170bpm even with that very-moderate level of exertion.  I felt like I'd been hit by a damned truck while doing it too.

In short I was a fat, out-of-shape bastard -- like many of you.

At the same time I began moving my butt I got rid of all processed foods and began eating a high-fat, low-carbohydrate (vegetables and a few fruits only), moderate-protein diet.  No hydrogenated anything, no sugars, no processed grains.  The simple filter before it went down the pie hole was this: if it didn't exist 5,000 years ago don't eat it.

Results?  Five months later I ran 3.73 miles without stopping at a 9:04 pace with my heart rate in the 150s.  My body mass was down 30lbs.  I kept going and eight months later reached my goal body mass of 155.

A year later I was running 10ks at an 8 minute pace, 5ks sub-22 minutes and my body mass had been completely stable, never varying by more than 5lbs.

More importantly, there both remain.  I'm objectively in the best health I've ever enjoyed in my life, absent perhaps my adolescence.  I run 5 and 10ks for fun all the time, competing once in a while just to do it.  I'm contemplating entering a half-marathon next spring.  I'm not hungry all the time, I eat what I want when I want -- but what I want are things that existed 5,000 years ago.  I'm 50, my A1c is normal, resting heart rate is in the low 50s, BP is normal and most-importantly I feel good.

Here's before -- and today -- in pictures.

We're all going to die some day and I've come to grips with my own mortality.  But irrespective of what some guy with a bunch of letters after his name wants to try to tell me I'm not intentionally putting poisons in my body that have listed side effects including causing type 2 diabetes and serious, even fatal muscle tissue breakdown (such as rhabdomyolysis.)  Yeah, I know, that latter side effect is "rare", but if it happens to you then you're utterly screwed.  I'm certainly not going to take crap like that in pursuit of an unproved hypothesis related to cholesterol, when the evidence continues to pile up that cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease in the first place.  

I note that our own government and doctors have told us for years to prefer things like margarine over butter, for example -- and yet we are now warned about trans-fats. Was that a "mistake" or a lie driven by pecuniary interest?  It doesn't matter if you're dead, does it?

We are all issued exactly one meat sack in this life and if you pay attention every doctor and other so-called "professional" in the field flat-out admits that they are practicing medicine.

Well, absent damn good cause they're not going to practice on me.

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The FDA should be disbanded.

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday took a first step toward potentially eliminating most trans fat from the food supply, saying it has made a preliminary determination that a major source of trans fats -- partially hydrogenated oils -- is no longer "generally recognized as safe."

If the preliminary determination is finalized, according to the FDA, then partially hydrogenated oils will become food additives that could not be used in food without approval. Foods with unapproved additives cannot legally be sold.

How did they get "generally recognized as safe" status in the first place?  Was there science behind that determination?


There was lots of lobbying and, well, "just doing it" though.

And guess what -- the introduction of these "foods" is highly-correlated with the rise in incidence of coronary disease and obesity.

The replacement of saturated fat with these fats was claimed to be "healthy" -- that was the justification.  That was a lie.

The reason these engineered fats were introduced is that they are shelf-stable.  That is, because of the hydrogenation they are highly-resistant to oxidation, which means they do not spoil at room temperature even over extended periods of time.  This allows bulk manufacturers to make and ship things that can be sent over large distances without refrigeration and will sit for months or even years on a shelf without degrading.

Of course fully hydrogenated oils are not covered by this "revelation" -- yet.

But as I have said for quite some time, why would you eat something that has been designed to evade biological breakdown when that is exactly what is supposed to happen to food in your gut?

Between "cheap" carbs (such as high-fructose corn syrup, another Frankenstein creation) and hydrogenated oils you're committing slow suicide.  

Stop eating them.

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Then stop listening to your government and start listening to facts.

Among them are the fact that the so-called "food pyramid" was never created by scientific inquiry -- rather, it was a combination of agribusiness influence and outright government corruption.

The amount of brainwashing that goes on in our society today in this regard is hideous and infests virtually everyone.  We "learn" from an early age that fats, especially animal fats, are bad for us while all that is easy and cheap to make, especially cereals, breads and similar, are good.  That "margarine" and other "lighter" (but engineered) oils are good, what they displace (e.g. butter) is bad.  That the word "light" on a label means that it's better for you than the same product without the "light."

So what has following this advice gotten us?  Record obesity and Type II diabetes, along with heart attacks, strokes and massive and outrageous morbidity.

You government has been literally killing you.

The truth?  God knows better than man.  Man corrupts any time it's profitable, and boy is it profitable when it comes to this sort of thing.

What do you want to eat?  What you ate before your government was around -- or any government was around.  

That was not engineered food.

It was foods such as eggs, meats, fishes and unprocessed plants, subject only to being cooked.  

Fat in food does not make you fat.  Carbohydrates, especially easily-digested carbohydrates, make you fat because they are released quickly in the digestive system and when your body's glycogen reserves, which are modest in size, are filled the body must convert the remaining carbohydrate to fat and store it in order to avoid driving your blood sugar through the roof.

Worse, the insulin response that is necessary to this process (and to maintenance of your blood sugar level within the normal range) results in you feeling hungry when the process of carbohydrate-to-fat conversion nears completion.  The hunger response is not linked to your glycogen reserve level, something that anyone who eats low-carb (and thus has low glycogen reserves all the time) can tell you is a fact.

Unfortunately if you eat when your glycogen stores are high you will immediately store all of what you take in to fat rather than using it for energy.

Now add to this how one makes a particular thing (e.g. salad dressing, etc) "light" -- you remove fats and replace them with carbs.  The "light" version will actually make you hungrier and thus fatter, exactly the opposite of what you would expect!

The other problem is that everyone has claimed that saturated fats are "unhealthy" and the opposite are "good."  But there is no scientific basis for this; "observational" studies are worse than useless as they identify "things" that are simply not true because they fail to isolate the causative factors.  For example, you could say by observational study that water causes cancer because everyone who has cancer has consumed water.  This would obviously be nonsense, but it is exactly what observational "studies" offer up all the time!

What's worse is that the other half of the claim on fats in the diet, that polyunsaturated fats are "healthy" (while the other kind are bad) may be literally killing you.  Most of those oils are very high in Omega-6 fatty acids -- indeed, processed seed and vegetable oils are pretty-much where it all comes from in our diet, and none of that is natural; without industrial processing these "foods" would not exist.  The really bad news is that systemic inflammation is caused by too much Omega-6 in the body, and the body's response to inflammation is to try to "fix it" under the assumption that the reason for the inflammation is some sort of intruder that doesn't belong in the body at all.  That's great if the cause of the inflammation is a thorn you stepped on that is causing an infection.  It will kill you if the inflammation is in your coronary arteries because you're eating crap that was engineered by man and our body responds to it as if we were eating a poison!

Finally, cholesterol.  There are literal billions of dollars made every year prescribing statins to "lower" cholesterol.  The problem is that cholesterol is necessary for life, that it is synthesized by the body and that most forms of it in the body are either benign or helpful.  Worse is that the standard three-panel test for cholesterol (LDL, HDL and Triglycerides) is worthless because the triglyceride number is not directly measured and only one subtype of LDL is harmful in the body!  The only meaningful test is one that is much more expensive and thus rarely used.  At the same time statins have a litany of side effects that are in and of themselves dangerous, including cognitive impairment and muscle damage, some of which can be permanent.

As an aside counting calories is virtually guaranteed to fail.  The reason is that 3,000 calories are, more or less, one pound of body mass.  That is, 30,000 calories are 10lbs.  If you're off by as little as 100 calories a day you will gain or lose 10lbs a year.  In 10 years that's 100 lbs and that's enough excess to call anyone fat.  

100 calories is about the caloric content of one banana, less than one 12oz can of sugared soda (that's ~140 calories) or ten potato chips.  Can you possibly count your caloric intake in a day closely enough to be less than 100 calories "off"?  No.

But your body can do this on its own if you don't destroy its hunger/satiation balance.  Just as a normal human body has one teaspoon of sugar circulating in the blood stream at any given time (yes, just one teaspoon), an amount impossible to accurately regulate manually yet one that in a healthy person is automatically maintained the desire to eat or not is also automatically regulated and will maintain caloric balance on its own if you don't destroy it.

Stop listening to the crooks that have less interest in your health and more interest in selling you cheap engineered products that are very profitable for them even though they are in fact slow poisons.

The simple way of looking at this is that if whatever you're about to stick in the pie hole couldn't exist without modern chemistry you're at risk of consuming something manufactured without regard to your health and safety, but rather only with regard to someone's profit.

Am I talking out my ass?  Well, you tell me -- on the left is what I was eating the so-called "food pyramid."  On the right is what I have looked like for the last two years -- roughly 60lbs lighter.

I pay no particular concern to trying to "meter" calories yet my body mass has been +/- 5lbs for the last two years with zero excursions beyond that boundary.

That means that I have managed to maintain my caloric intake to within a tolerance of 50 calories a day (at the outside) and in fact it's probably closer to 20 calories -- or an amount that sums to roughly two potato chips or a couple of broccoli crowns on a daily basis.

That's obviously impossible by actually trying to count intake, as to be that accurate I'd have to have a scale with me at all times, eat only the prescribed amounts and have effectively zero error, no "snacks" or other impulse consumption and similar.  Outside of a laboratory where one is confined 24x7 that's impossible.

You can choose to not be a fat bastard, no matter where you are now.  

The way you choose isn't a function of how much you exercise, although you might find, as I have, that exercise is actually enjoyable, especially when you're not 50+ lbs overweight.

Your body mass is a function of what you eat and whether you listen to those who are effectively trying to slowly poison you for profit -- or not.

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Health care "reform" is the current hot-button, with the Obama administration now talking about a "public" health-insurance system to "keep the system honest."

Uh huh.

Look folks, you want to know why we have the health cost problems we have?  I'll lay it out for you - in a way you can't refute or argue with:

  1. There are no published prices.  In no other line of work is it legal to do this.  Nowhere.  You can't sell someone a hot dog and tell them after they eat it what it just cost them.  You can't hire a lawyer and have him tell you "I'll tell you what this will cost when we're done."  You can't hire an electrician and have him tell you "I'll make up a bill when I'm done."  In every line of work except health care, this is illegal.  There are even laws for "major" consumer work (e.g. contracting, auto repair, etc) where they must give you a binding written estimate before beginning work
  2. Robinson-Patman makes it illegal to discriminate against like kind purchasers of goods in pricing decisions when the effect of doing so is to lessen competition.  While it does not apply to services, it darn well should.  Whether you are paying privately, you have private insurance or you're a Medicare patient if you need to have a breast reconstructed due to cancer the complexity of the procedure does not change.  Yet it is a fact that the privately-billed amounts for uninsured ("rack rate") patients are often ten times or more that billed to insurers or Medicare.  Try charging a cash purchaser 10x more for a TV than someone who finances that TV on your in-house credit facility and you would be shut down and thrown in jail.

#1 and #2 exist because of explicit efforts by the "health care" industry to exempt themselves from the laws that every other merchant of every other good and service in the United States must adhere to.

To put this bluntly the medical industry has intentionally put forward a system by which it can screw you with impunity, obtaining exemptions from the laws that cover every other area of commerce, thereby effectively forcing you to buy overpriced services you do not want to purchase lest an unexpected life event literally wipe you out.

This is an extortion racket and absolutely none of the proposals being put forward have done a thing to address any of it.

If we want to fix the health care pricing problem we can do so.  It isn't very difficult.  Here's the prescription:

  1. All health care providers must publish a price list for the procedures and services they offer and the patient must be presented, when possible, with that information before services are performed or goods (e.g. medication) supplied, consenting to the charge in each case.  All normal anti-trust provisions with regards to collusion between providers apply.  If a physician doesn't like "flat-rate" billing they're free to publish a per-hour fee much like an attorney.
  2. No physician or group may discriminate based on the form of any external payment.  If they want to internally finance procedure(s), that's fine - they can charge interest or discount for that, or whatever.  But for anyone who pays via any other means (including the government) money is money - the price may not change based on the source of payment.
  3. No event caused by your presence in a medical facility or the actions of an employee there can come with cost to you.  It is absolutely common for people to be billed for treatment of MRSA infections acquired in the hospital!  That is equivalent to a mechanic that through incompetence or even malice cuts a wiring harness in your car while it is on the rack having the oil changed and then tries to charge you to fix what he broke!

Now clearly #1 doesn't work so well when you're unconscious due to a heart attack or just wrecking your car.  But setting your broken leg or performing a cardiac procedure is something that's done for people who aren't incapacitated too, so guess what - the price is already published and thus the charge known.

This prevents the common practice of hospitals gouging private payers, it exposes prices and brings competition to pricing, and allows the free market to work.  It ends the preference for "insurance" on routine procedures.

Next up, if you want to sell "insurance" in a market you must sell it to all persons in that market, defined as an area of at least one US State.  You may discriminate in your pricing only based on age and gender - nothing else.  If you sell that "insurance" product to any person you must sell to all persons within that state at the same price, and you must publish all your plans and offering prices.

"Insurance" products that are not true insurance products may not discriminate on reimbursement dependent on where the service is performed.  The practice of requiring "in network" doctors or even hospitals lest you get "rejected" must end.  In addition pre-qualification for any bona-fide non-elective procedure must be absolutely barred as a matter of law.

Finally, all providers of "insurance" must sell a true insurance product.  Common HMO/PPO plans are not insurance - they are pre-paid medical care.  Insurance is the purchase of a contract to cover damage caused by an unexpected event.  Everyone needs health care of some form.  Those who want to sell "pre-paid health plans" may do so, but they must also offer true insurance (e.g. covering ONLY hospitalization and related events, etc.)

These changes instantly destroy the connection between health "insurance" and employment.  If you leave your job you have the absolute right to keep your health plan by continuing to pay for it.  If you don't like your health plan or move out of the state you can buy any plan offered to anyone in your state, at your choice, for the same price they pay.

All mandates to provide specific services and products under "insurance" are federally preempted.  Women should be able to choose a health plan that does not include abortion (and/or pre-natal!) services, for example, if they would never use either.  Some women (e.g. those who have chosen to have a tubal ligation!) can't use these services, yet they often wind up paying for them in their premiums.  Men should be able to choose a plan that does not cover things like Viagra - or, if they choose, perhaps they do want "ED" coverage.

If the health lobby won't cut out the nonsense and work for this sort of change to the system then I am forced to advocate for full nationalization of the entire health system, effectively placing everyone under Medicare.  This will lead to forced rationing due to cost but that's happening already, and such a forced system will put a stop to the discriminatory practices of insurers, physicians, hospitals and others in the medical field who commonly bill private parties ten times what health "insurance" plans or Medicare pay for the very same procedure, while playing "let's deny coverage any time we think we can get away with it."

It is my opinion that we should be treating those in the health-insurance lobby, including hospitals, physicians and health-insurance providers, as co-conspirators in a racketeering scheme that effectively trades on the fear of disease and imminent bankruptcy to bamboozle and screw the population, while waving around their "hippocratic oath" - something better described as the "hypocritic oath."

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