My predictions about the reaction to President Trump’s State of the Union address tonight.

Here are my predictions about the reaction to President Trump’s State of the Union address tonight. No matter what is in the speech I predict that it will be portrayed as the following:

  • Xenophobic
  • Racist
  • Sexist
  • Nationalistic
  • Dark
  • Negative
  • Homophobic
  • Transgenderphobic
  • Mean spirited
  • Protectionist
  • Populist
  • Demagoguery

What did I miss?

Burger King should stick to making burgers rather than trying to explain the Net Neutrality debate.

Burger King should stick to making burgers rather than trying to explain the Net Neutrality debate. In the video below they use the wrong analogy for having different prices for different speeds of Internet access.

In the video they make you wait longer to get your Whopper or pay extra to get it fast. But the analogy is totally incorrect.

The proper analogy should be different prices for different size burgers. You can buy a regular cheeseburger for much less than buying a Double Whopper with Cheese. This way people of almost any income range have access to burgers.

Hyperloop technology should be for freight not people

By Camilo Sanchez – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Hyperloop technology should be for freight not people and the reason is that a hyperloop is really nothing more than an oversized enormous pneumatic tube kind of like the one you use at a bank to make your deposits at the drive through. It’s a point to point technology and once constructed not flexible. Think freight trains but underground and super super fast.

An article in the Wall Street Journal today talks about the increase in airfreight because of all the stuff that’s getting shipped world wide. The speed and flexibility of air cargo outweighs the added cost of the lack of capacity per shipment. Shipping things over the ocean is simply too slow and subject to many issues such as labor problems and weather. Shipping cargo by plane is also subject to the same issues that could slow shipments.

As online shoppers come to expect faster home delivery, passenger jets and dedicated cargo planes are picking up more kinds of cargo traditionally carried by container ships, trains and trucks. Global airfreight traffic climbed almost 9% year-over-year in November as a jump in e-commerce orders supercharged the holiday rush, according to cargo data provider WorldACD. Rates for airfreight were up 17% annually that month.

Strong global economic growth also is spurring demand for goods long ferried by air, such as automotive and manufacturing parts. The dual surge is creating some of the stiffest competition for air-cargo space in years, and prompting companies to search for older, idle jets to convert into freighters.

“You’re literally begging and pleading to get on airplanes, leveraging any contact you can,” said Neel Jones Shah, global head of airfreight for Flexport Inc., a San Francisco-based firm that helps customers arrange freight shipments online.

Just think if a hyperloop was constructed between major shipping ports. The cargo containers would be loaded on one end and at extremely high speeds get shot underground to their arrival point. No people even need to be inside the cargo vehicle underground. It wouldn’t take weeks or months as it does now to ship something overseas in fact it would be as quick or quicker as a cargo plane with the capacity of a freight train or several cargo ocean ships. There are no weather issues under ground and there are fewer labor issues as long as you can load and unload containers from either side.

This could also be installed between major cities in every country. This would remove trains and trucks from the nation’s highways and rails. This would serve to reduce traffic both on the ground and in the sky making life a little better for leisure travel.

Read more in the Wall Street Journal

Hyperloop technology on Wikipedia

Rifle or Assault Weapon? Tribune expose on gang use of these weapons seems to have missed the memo.

A tribune article dedicated to exposing the increasing use of AR-15 and AK-47 type rifles curiously didn’t call these weapons “assault rifles”. In fact the article uses the phrase exactly once while quoting a police officer.

The gunman hit the bike but not the driver. An officer found .223-caliber casings, the kind used in rifles modeled after the AR-15. The rounds leave large, jagged wounds. If used by someone trained to shoot, they can hit a target from 650 yards. A city block is 220 yards.

Two gangs — the Saints and La Razas — had been sporadically using rifles for six months. This was the fourth rifle shooting in seven days. It would get much worse in the months ahead, something an officer at the scene seemed to sense.

“We got a problem with the two gangs running around. Each one of ’em has a military assault weapon,” he radioed, asking for an evidence technician. “This is one of the rifles they used today. We need those rifles off the street for police safety and citizen safety.”

The rest of the article refers to these weapons merely as “rifles” 63 times as I counted. Why? Haven’t we been conditioned to think of AR-15s and AK-47s as “assault rifles”, “assault weapons”, or “military style weapons”?

I’m wondering why in a news story about the use of these guns by gangs in Chicago is different than the news stories about lone gunmen that use the same weapons in a different context or setting.

Read the article in the Chicago Tribune

North Korea and the United States have much in common when it comes to propaganda and conditioning the citizenry.

North Korea and the United States have much in common when it comes to propaganda and conditioning the citizenry. Almost everyone in the West thinks that North Korea is this backwards little communist nation. In watching this video of interviews with people from North Korea I find some of the tactics and policies of the North Korean government uncomfortably similar to tactics and policies administered in the United States.

Here they talk about their perceptions of Americans while they were young living in North Korea.  They are taught to hate Americans from Kindergarten and are taught to “smash American bastards”. There was a game in school during their physical education class where the fastest person to stab a mannequin dressed as a US solder and return would win.

How does that relate to education in the United States? When I was growing up the founders of the United States were revered. Take that in contrast to what’s happening today. The founders are being repainted as evil rich slave owners that only wanted to make themselves richer. Children from a very young age are being propagandized here to believe in the popular political ideology of the day. The difference here is that you have the freedom to go against what you’re taught and seek out other information. But, how much damage is already done when you’re taught in K – 12 education that the founders are evil?

In this part they talk about what North Koreans think about the possibility of war. What strikes me here is the way the North Korean government keeps the population scared that war could break out any minute by conducting drills. They manufacture fake crises in order to condition people that this is normal and inevitable. They keep the population in a heightened state of fear.

This directly translates to the United States and what our kids go through with “active shooter” drills that are conducted in schools. Forget the facts and statistics that show it’s so highly unlikely that any of this will ever happen in any school. The language and actions of “shelter in place” or the acronym ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) seem to me to be typical of conditioning and training kids to think they will be attacked at any moment.

Think also of anti-terrorist drills that are conducted in cities across the country. The TSA with the authority to prevent you from carrying breast milk in a bottle for you to feed your baby. The militarization of the police with their military weapons and gear. This conditions the population to be in constant fear of an attack and it conditions the police that the people are the enemy.

This is why we need to look at everything with a critical eye. Condition yourself to be a skeptic. Never just believe what you’re told. Always require the proof.

The full video is below.

Healthcare in Canada might be “free” but you have to wait 21.2 weeks on average to see a specialist

Healthcare in Canada might be “free” but you have to wait 21.2 weeks on average to see a specialist. If you have to wait that long is your healthcare really free? Nope.

Waiting for treatment has become a defining characteristic of Canadian health care. In order to document
the lengthy queues for visits to specialists and for diagnostic and surgical procedures in the country, the
Fraser Institute has—for over two decades—surveyed specialist physicians across 12 specialties and 10
provinces. This edition of Waiting Your Turn indicates that, overall, waiting times for medically necessary
treatment have increased since last year. Specialist physicians surveyed report a median waiting time of
21.2 weeks between referral from a general practitioner and receipt of treatment—longer than the wait of
20.0 weeks reported in 2016. This year’s wait time—the longest ever recorded in this survey’s history—is
128% longer than in 1993, when it was just 9.3 weeks.

Here’s a link to the study by The Frasier Institute, a research and educational organization based in Canada.

When there is a scarcity of a good or service two things happen. You either increase the price or increase the time it takes to get that good or service.

Uber is a good example that almost everyone understands now. They call it “surge pricing”. What this does is ensures they can provide a ride for anyone that wants it during times of high demand. Let’s say a ride that is priced at $20.00 under normal circumstances suddenly increases because some event just ended and there are thousands of people wanting an Uber. The price will continue to rise while demand increases.

But what happens on the supply side? People who drive for Uber but are not actively driving for the company see that the prices are going up because so many people are requesting rides. So they enter the supply chain to make some extra cash. As more drivers enter the supply chain the price of that ride starts to fall until the price eventually goes back to normal while the high demand for rides subsides. This process ensures that people who want a ride and are willing to pay for it get one.

What would happen if the government stepped in to put in price controls on Uber like they do with regular cabs? You would have to wait longer and longer because the price would be out of balance with the demand. That’s why before Uber existed people found it difficult to find a cab during times of high demand.

Back to the Canadian healthcare system. Because they are under a single payer system and individuals don’t have to pay for service themselves the costs of healthcare services are tightly controlled. If there are a lot of people that need to have a particular procedure and there are only a finite number of doctors that can perform that procedure there is no choice but for a patient to wait until a doctor comes free. There is no way for doctors to start charging more to slow the demand and there is no incentive for other doctors to enter that supply chain to perform that service.

It may be nice to say that they get their healthcare for free but is it really free if the price is your quality of life or the length of your life? Economics is blind to politics.

The Frasier Institute’s Executive Summary

The Frasier Institute’s complete report

Former top Facebook executive explains how Facebook and social networks are bad for society.

Former top Facebook executive explains how Facebook and social networks are bad for society. I’m not using Facebook ironically either to help spread this message.

What I’ve learned about diet, exercise, and their effects on me.

Here’s what I’ve learned over the years about diet and exercise. My opinions are from personal experience and self experimentation. Who knows what will happen to you. The ten points below summarize the rest of this blog post so you can stop there if you can even get that far. Otherwise I fully explain (or at least try to explain) how I arrived at these conclusions.

  1. The human animal is meant to eat, at most, once per day.
  2. Calories in / Calories out is all bullshit. Read chapter 4 of Gary Taubes’ book, “Why We Get Fat, and What to do About it“.
  3. Insulin is largely in control of weight equilibrium. If you’re body is resistant to insulin you gain weight and if your body is sensitive to insulin you maintain or lose weight. Read “The Obesity Code Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss” by Jason Fung
  4. Sugar (even sugar in fruit) and highly processed carbohydrates are most likely edible poison. Only it kills you over decades. Read “The Case Against Sugar” by Gary Taubes
  5. Drink when you’re thirsty. Water is best most of the time.
  6. Meat and animal fat should not be feared. Read “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat & Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet” by Nina Teicholz.
  7. Muscle building is only loosely related to diet in that food fuels muscles (but so does fat). You can’t exercise your way out of obesity. It never lasts.
  8. Exercise is necessary to keep muscle mass from fading and to keep joints from getting stiff.
  9. In the modern age, hunger is more psychological than physical.
  10. People think way too much about food.

When taking the ten points above into consideration know that I’m not a fitness nut, I’m not a diet nut, and I’m not super fit.

I’ve come to my conclusions through years of experimentation on myself just to see how my body reacts. All of this started a couple decades ago. I don’t remember exactly when, but, I decided one day to only eat when I’m hungry and it turns out I’m mainly hungry near a traditional dinner time and just before I go to bed. So that’s what I did. Over a period of 20 years I was able to maintain roughly the same weight. I would hover anywhere between 185 to 195 lbs. It didn’t matter what I ate and it didn’t matter how much I moved. I did not exercise on a regular basis but sporadically when ever I felt like it.

Then around age 45 I decided to see what would happen if I went through the P90X program, minus the diet and supplements (because I know I won’t be able to stick to that kind of lifestyle). I was able to move my base weight for the first time in 20 years. I dropped about 17 lbs. from the day I started and for the last 5 years kept the weight off. My new equilibrium got set to between 175 to 185 lbs.

I remember what it was like to be about 170 lbs. and I’ve always felt that it’s where I was most comfortable. So, I decided to give the entire P90X regimen another try. I figured if it bumped me down a steady 10 lbs. then maybe it would happen again. It didn’t. I did drop some weight but not enough to reset my base weight to be in the 165 to 175 lb. range. So, I just continued on with my life. If it doesn’t work then it doesn’t work.

Over the years I’ve read different books that surround diet and exercise. It’s just a curiosity to me. Most books I’ve come across don’t seem to make much sense to me. Eating bunches of small meals a day instead of eating regular meals. Drinking eight 8 oz. glasses of water per day. Eating mostly carbohydrates. Juicing. Eating only fruits and vegetables. Running is the best exercise. Weightlifting is the best exercise. Interval training. Crossfit. None of this stuff seems natural and requires a person to change who they are quite drastically. I’m just not that hard core.

It never made sense to me that simply exercising more and eating less is the secret to either weight loss or maintaining weight. You see people every day that no matter how much they move or how little they eat they just can’t seem to lose weight. It just seems logical that there is more to weight loss and maintenance than calories in calories out. There is no way that people who maintain a stable weight eat exactly the same number of calories they burn. It’s just not practical or possible. The measurement of calories in food and the measurement of calories burned during exercise is also not an exact science. They are estimations.

In the book, “Why We Get Fat and What to do About It”, author Gary Taubes easily illustrates the fallacy of calories in/calories out.

This is where the twenty calories come in. A pound of fat contains about thirty-five hundred calories’ worth of energy. This is why nutritionists tell us that losing a pound a week requires that we create an average energy deficit of five hundred calories a day–five hundred calories times seven days equals thirty-five hundred calories a week.

Now let’s look at the math from the perspective of weight gain rather than weight loss. How many calories do we have to overeat daily to accumulate two new pounds of fat every year–fifty pounds in a quarter-century? How many calories do we have to consume but not expend, stashing them away in our fat tissue, to transform ourselves, as many of us do, from lean twenty-five-year-olds to obese fifty-year-olds?

Twenty calories a day.

Twenty calories a day times the 365 days in a year comes to a little more than seven thousand calories stored as fat every year–two pounds of excess fat.

Think about how ludicrous that is. And, who counts their calories that precisely over their lifetimes to make sure that they don’t gain or lose weight? No one.

In the book, “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Buter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet”, author Nina Teicholz explains in Chapter 2 the flawed studies and politics behind why we now believe that saturated fats are unhealthy. All the science behind the assumption that saturated fats are unhealthy is flawed. The studies are based on small samples of mostly men. How can that possibly apply to the population at large?

Perusing the web one day I ran into a new fad called intermittent fasting and how people are using this technique to lose weight. I investigated what this was and discovered it was just a fancy way of saying how I’ve been living my life for decades. Every day I “intermittently fast” for about 16 to 18 hours. This simply means that I usually eat something for the last time each day around 11 pm and don’t have anything else to eat until the next day around 4 to 6 pm. While reading about this new fad I ran across this doctor’s name, Jason Fung, who promotes this style of living to his obese type 2 diabetic patients. He claims to be able to cure their diabetes in very short order as well. Watch this video for a good primer on his theories. This lead me to research Dr. Fung a little more and discovered a book he recently authored.

In the book, “The Obesity Code, Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss“,  Jason Fung, covers his study of insulin sensitivity in the body. When your body is less sensitive to insulin you gain weight and have a pretty good chance of developing type 2 diabetes. If your body is more sensitive to insulin then you tend to maintain weight and are less likely to become diabetic. All of this is explained in chapter 7 of this book.

After reading this Dr. Fung’s book I experimented with a three day fast. I didn’t eat anything from 11pm on a Friday to 4pm the following Monday. I admit it was a little difficult but, as I found out later, it was only difficult because I did it on a weekend. You don’t realize how much of your life revolves around eating until you stop and the weekend seemed a little boring without having dinner.

The next step was to fast for 5 days and this time I did it on the weekdays. I stopped eating on a Sunday at 11pm and didn’t eat anything until 8am the following Saturday. After the first two days it became very easy to just not eat anything. And to top it all off I wasn’t even hungry. What did I eat that following Saturday for breakfast? A simple omelette. Then I went about eating how I normally eat, which consists of eating dinner sometime between 4pm and 6pm and having another meal/snack around 10pm.

The results from fasting was that my weight dropped down to 163.5 lbs from 176 lbs at the start. It seemed to work to reset my base weight for where I want it to be. Now my weight is in that 165 to 175 lb range and it has held firm in that range for months now regardless of what I eat or how much I exercise (I hate workouts by the way).

Everyone reacts to diet and exercise in different ways. I experimented on myself and found what works for me. Take a shot at it and it may work for you. If not, tweak it and change it to suit how your body reacts.

Enjoy and good luck!