Shared posts

04 May 16:20

IT GETS WORSE: Asians Harassed in D.C. for Wearing MAGA Hats Were North Korean Defectors. Attacke…

by Ed Driscoll

IT GETS WORSE: Asians Harassed in D.C. for Wearing MAGA Hats Were North Korean Defectors.

Attacked by people who view North Korea as a how-to guide for good government.

28 Apr 22:50

10 Natural Sleep Aids: What Works and Why

by Mark Sisson

By now, the average person grasps just how important sleep is for our overall health. It seems like every month there’s a new popular science book extolling the virtues of sleep. Parents remember the zombified newborn days and can see (and hear), firsthand, what happens when a toddler doesn’t get enough sleep. And on a visceral level, we feel the need for slumber. Even if we’re unaware of or refuse to accept the health dangers of long-term sleep restriction, there’s no getting around the abject misery of a bad night’s sleep.

We all want better sleep. We all need better sleep. But how?

Sleeping pills are not the answer for most people.

(But please note: Don’t discontinue or alter a prescribed treatment or medication regimen without consulting your doctor…and, likewise, don’t begin a new regimen—like those below—without running it by your physician.)

In one recent “positive” study on the effects of sleeping pills, almost every single subject suffered one or more side effects, ranging from headaches to nausea to irritability to dizziness to dysgeusia (a condition where your sense of taste is altered).

In another, taking Ambien the night before decreased cognitive performance and increased subjective sleepiness the next morning.

Studies aside, there are thousands of horror stories about people ruining their lives (or behaving in a way that had the potential to do so) after taking sleeping pills. Twitter rants that get you fired, sleep driving, tooth grinding, furniture rearranging, sleep eating. And those are just the ones that people live to tell.

That’s not to say sleeping pills are useless. They’re legitimate drugs to be used for specific medical conditions, in specific patient circumstances. They aren’t to be trifled with. But if you’re just trying to “get better sleep,” you’ve got options. And I’m not even mentioning the lifestyle and behavioral modifications you can make to improve your sleep.

Here are my favorite natural sleep aids….

1. GABA

GABA is the inhibitory neurotransmitter. It calms the brain. It soothes the brain. It de-stresses the brain. And it’s a major factor in the creation of melatonin, the hormone our brain uses to trigger sleep onset. Insomniacs have reduced brain GABA levels compared to non-insomniacs; the same goes for people with sleep apnea. Restoring physiological levels of GABA, then, is a first line of defense against poor sleep.

Oral GABA has a blood-brain barrier problem—it doesn’t cross it particularly well. Children have more permissive BBBs, but most of my readers aren’t children. Nitric oxide tends to increase GABA diffusion across the blood brain barrier, and there are a couple of ways to increase nitric oxide in conjunction with taking GABA to make the latter more effective for sleep.

You could sunbathe. That increases nitric oxide release. The only problem is that most sunbathing occurs during the midday hours, not at night. It’s unclear how long the boost from sunlight lasts, though it certainly can’t hurt.

You could take apocynum venetum, an herb used in traditional Chinese medicine that increases nitric oxide release. In fact, one study showed that taking GABA with apcynum ventum improves sleep quality.

Before you start sedating yourself, see if GABA has an effect.

2. Melatonin

When it’s bedtime for your brain, your pineal gland starts pumping out a hormone called melatonin. This initiates the onset of sleep and triggers subjective feelings of sleepiness; it also sets your circadian rhythm.

Supplemental melatonin crosses the blood brain barrier and acts very similarly to endogenous melatonin.

Don’t use melatonin every night. Not because you’ll get “addicted” (you won’t) or “your natural production will stop” (it won’t), but because you should focus on producing your own. If I get a big dose of late night blue light, I might nibble on a little melatonin. If I have more than a single glass of wine at night, I’ll have some melatonin before bed as alcohol depresses its production. And when I travel, I always take a few milligrams an hour before my desired bedtime in the new time zone.

The main reason you shouldn’t rely on melatonin for everyday use is that supplemental melatonin pharmacology doesn’t quite emulate endogenous melatonin pharmacology. The way most people take it is in a single dose before bed. The way the brain produces it is consistently through the night. If you want to emulate physiological levels of melatonin, you’re better off taking a single dose of instant release melatonin followed by a dose of slow release melatonin, or a supplement that includes both forms. Even then, it’s not the same.

3. Collagen

I still remember the first time I drank a big mug of bone broth at night. It was one of the not-as-rare-as-you’d-think cold “winter” nights in Malibu. I was sitting on the couch, reading a book, and got about 3/4 of the way through a mug of chicken foot broth before, apparently, falling asleep right then and there. A bit of research the next day revealed that glycine, the primary amino acid in collagen/gelatin/broth, can have a powerful effect on sleep quality. Not only that, glycine also lowers body temperature (an important part of the sleep process) and improves wakefulness the next day. And if you’ve got REM sleep behavior disorder, glycine may be the solution.

In fact, the glycine-sleep effect was another consideration in creating Collagen Fuel and Peptides. Everyone talks about the benefits to joint health, performance, skin, nails, hair, and general inflammation, but I want folks to also discover the benefit of glycine-enhanced sleep, too.

If you take collagen, aim for at least 10 grams at night. If you’re taking straight glycine, 3 grams is the minimum dose. Those are threshold doses; more may help even more.

4. Magnesium

We talk a lot about “age-related” declines in health, vitality, performance, and basic physiological functions. We also talk about how much of what we call “age-related” isn’t inevitable. It’s not so much that the passage of time degrades our bodies and how they work, but that we become more susceptible to poor lifestyle, dietary, and exercise choices because of compounding negative interest. We’re born with robust health and if we fail to maintain it, our health worsens as time progresses. If we never stop moving, lifting weights, and eating right, aging doesn’t happen to the same degree.

One thing that changes with age is how we sleep. In older people, sleep architecture is different: More time is spent awake and there’s less slow wave sleep. Sleep spindles, those oscillating bursts of brain wave activity, begin disappearing. Sounds inevitable, right? Except that research shows that taking magnesium reverses these age-related changes to sleep architecture.

Taking some Natural Calm (a great magnesium supplement) after your CrossFit workout and falling asleep faster is one thing. But to actually restore youthful sleep architecture? Amazing.

5. CBD Oil

As I wrote a couple weeks ago, CBD is the non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis.

And to me, the most interesting aspect of CBD lies in its potential to improve sleep. A 2017 review provides a nice summary of the effects of CBD on sleep:

In insomnia patients, 160 mg/day of CBD increased sleep time and reduced the number of arousals (not that kind) during the night.

Lower doses are linked to increased arousals and greater wakefulness. Higher dose CBD improved sleep.

In preliminary research with Parkinson’s patients, CBD reduced REM-related behavioral disorder—which is when you basically act out your dreams as they’re happening.

More recently, a large case series (big bunch of case studies done at once) was performed giving CBD to anxiety patients who had trouble sleeping. Almost 80% had improvements in anxiety and 66% had improvements in sleep (although the sleep improvements fluctuated over time).

Here’s how to find a good CBD oil.

6. Theanine

Theanine is a chemical found in tea, especially tea grown in shady conditions. Because it is structurally similar to glutamate and easily passes the blood brain barrier, theanine binds to various glutamate receptors in the brain, inhibiting the action of some and promoting the action of others. It also increases serotonin, GABA, and glycine in the brain—all chemicals that can pave the way for better sleep.

Theanine is another of those sleep aids that isn’t expressly about sleep. It’s about relaxation, about letting you get out of your own way. If in the course of relaxation and stress reduction you end up taking care of the thing that’s messing up your sleep, theanine can be said to be a big sleep aid.

This is a good theanine. I also make a supplement (Adaptogenic Calm) that contains theanine and other stress-reducing compounds.

7. Lutein and Zeaxanthin

One of the most powerful sleep aids is wearing a pair of orange safety goggles that blocks blue light after dark. Viewed after dark, blue (and green) light suppresses melatonin secretion, pushes back sleep onset, and throws off your entire circadian rhythm. Blocking the light with goggles allows normal melatonin production to proceed and promotes earlier bedtimes and better, deeper sleeps.

What if you could take a supplement that simulated the blue-blocking effect of a pair of orange safety goggles? Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids, plant-based pigments found in colorful produce and pasture-raised eggs that are actually incorporated into the eye where they offer protection from sunlight and inhibit the melatonin-reducing effect of nighttime light exposure. Human studies show that taking lutein and zeaxanthin on a regular basis improves sleep quality, reduces sleep disturbances, and lowers dependence on supplemental or pharmaceutical sleep aids.

Here’s a good one. Trader Joe’s also has a good supplement called Super Vision.

The best natural sleep aids restore the ancestral sleep baseline. At baseline, humans should be walking around with good GABA levels. They should be getting enough magnesium, collagen/glycine, and carotenoids from their diet. It’s normal to produce melatonin after dark. And even though humans haven’t been dosing themselves with CBD or theanine for very long, it also isn’t normal to be inundated with chronic, low level stress and persistent anxiety—the type of stress that ruins our sleep, the type of anxiety that CBD and theanine can regulate.

What else?

8. Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is an herb in the mint family. The fragrance is intoxicating (I’ve even used lemon balm in a roasted chicken), but not the effects. It doesn’t directly induce sleep—it’s not a sedative or a hypnotic—but if stress and anxiety are getting in the way of your sleep, lemon balm will help clear them out.

9. Valerian

Valerian root has a long history as an anti-insomnia herb. The ancient Greeks used it and traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medical traditions continue to use to it to treat bad sleep. Valerian contains a compound that slows down the brain’s metabolism of GABA, thereby increasing GABA levels and letting what the brain already produces hang around even longer.

I’ll admit I’m more ambivalent about these last two options. While they’re certainly gentler than pharmaceutical sleep pills, and lemon balm in particular is a legit way to deal with stress and anxiety, their efficacy for sleep is questionable. The evidence just isn’t there, though I grant that many people report good results.

10. Combinations

Many of these individual compounds become more powerful and more effective combined with each other. Since these aren’t pharmaceutical drugs with very narrow safety profiles rife with contraindications, taking them together usually isn’t an issue, but check in with your doctor anyway (especially if you’re taking other medications or have known health conditions).

And today’s list isn’t exhaustive. There are other compounds, herbs, and supplements that can probably help people improve their sleep.

Most of the adaptogens, like ashwagandha or rhodiola rosea, have been shown in one study or another to improve sleep in humans. Anything that helps get you back to baseline, back to homeostasis, back to normal—will restore your sleep if it’s suffering. And if you’re suffering, your sleep is likely suffering because sleep is such a fundamental aspect of the human experience. Anything that improves your health will also probably improve your sleep.

This goes without saying, but don’t limit yourself to natural sleep supplements. Don’t forget about the importance of lifestyle, of exercise, of diet, of morning light exposure and nighttime light avoidance. Supplements can help, but they can’t be the foundation for good sleep hygiene. You’re just asking for trouble—or subpar results.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Now, let’s hear from you. What natural sleep aids have you found most useful? Is there anything I overlooked or forgot? Let me know down below.

calm_640x80

References:

Pinto LR, Bittencourt LR, Treptow EC, Braga LR, Tufik S. Eszopiclone versus zopiclone in the treatment of insomnia. Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2016;71(1):5-9.

Dinges DF, Basner M, Ecker AJ, Baskin P, Johnston S. Effects of Zolpidem and Zaleplon on Cognitive Performance After Emergent Tmax and Morning Awakenings: a Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. Sleep. 2018;

Yamatsu A, Yamashita Y, Maru I, Yang J, Tatsuzaki J, Kim M. The Improvement of Sleep by Oral Intake of GABA and Apocynum venetum Leaf Extract. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol. 2015;61(2):182-7.

Held K, Antonijevic IA, Künzel H, et al. Oral Mg(2+) supplementation reverses age-related neuroendocrine and sleep EEG changes in humans. Pharmacopsychiatry. 2002;35(4):135-43.

Kim S, Jo K, Hong KB, Han SH, Suh HJ. GABA and l-theanine mixture decreases sleep latency and improves NREM sleep. Pharm Biol. 2019;57(1):65-73.

Rondanelli M, Opizzi A, Monteferrario F, Antoniello N, Manni R, Klersy C. The effect of melatonin, magnesium, and zinc on primary insomnia in long-term care facility residents in Italy: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2011;59(1):82-90.

The post 10 Natural Sleep Aids: What Works and Why appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

27 Apr 00:23

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

by Patrick
Jts5665

good books


You can now download Dan Simmons' Hugo award-winning classic, Hyperion, for only 1.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

On the world called Hyperion, beyond the law of the Hegemony of Man, there waits the creature called the Shrike. There are those who worship it. There are those who fear it. And there are those who have vowed to destroy it. In the Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backward through time, the Shrike waits for them all. On the eve of Armageddon, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set forth on a final voyage to Hyperion seeking the answers to the unsolved riddles of their lives. Each carries a desperate hope--and a terrible secret. And one may hold the fate of humanity in his hands.


You can also download Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys for only 1.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

God is dead. Meet the kids.

When Fat Charlie's dad named something, it stuck. Like calling Fat Charlie "Fat Charlie." Even now, twenty years later, Charlie Nancy can't shake that name, one of the many embarrassing "gifts" his father bestowed -- before he dropped dead on a karaoke stage and ruined Fat Charlie's life.

Mr. Nancy left Fat Charlie things. Things like the tall, good-looking stranger who appears on Charlie's doorstep, who appears to be the brother he never knew. A brother as different from Charlie as night is from day, a brother who's going to show Charlie how to lighten up and have a little fun ... just like Dear Old Dad. And all of a sudden, life starts getting very interesting for Fat Charlie.

Because, you see, Charlie's dad wasn't just any dad. He was Anansi, a trickster god, the spider-god. Anansi is the spirit of rebellion, able to overturn the social order, create wealth out of thin air, and baffle the devil. Some said he could cheat even Death himself.

Returning to the territory he so brilliantly explored in his masterful New York Times bestseller, American Gods, the incomparable Neil Gaiman offers up a work of dazzling ingenuity, a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth that is at once startling, terrifying, exhilarating, and fiercely funny -- a true wonder of a novel that confirms Stephen King's glowing assessment of the author as "a treasure-house of story, and we are lucky to have him."

26 Apr 21:40

THOUGHTS FROM a hipster coffee shop. Our unappreciation is evident as the popularity of socialist…

by Glenn Reynolds

THOUGHTS FROM a hipster coffee shop.

Our unappreciation is evident as the popularity of socialist policies among my generation continues to grow. Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently said to Newsweek talking about the millennial generation, “An entire generation, which is now becoming one of the largest electorates in America, came of age and never saw American prosperity.”

Never saw American prosperity. Let that sink in. When I first read that statement, I thought to myself, that was quite literally the most entitled and factually illiterate thing I’ve ever heard in my 26 years on this earth. Now, I’m not attributing Miss Ocasio-Cortez’s words to outright dishonesty. I do think she whole-heartedly believes the words she said to be true. Many young people agree with her, which is entirely misguided. My generation is being indoctrinated by a mainstream narrative to actually believe we have never seen prosperity. I know this first hand.

Indeed. It is essential for Democrats’ objectives that things be awful. Or, failing that, that people think that things are awful.

25 Apr 13:52

#WALKAWAY: I Used to Work for Google. I Am a Conscientious Objector. Jack Poulson: “We can f…

by Stephen Green

#WALKAWAY: I Used to Work for Google. I Am a Conscientious Objector.

Jack Poulson:

“We can forgive your politics and focus on your technical contributions as long as you don’t do something unforgivable, like speaking to the press.”

This was the parting advice given to me during my exit interview from Google after spending a month internally arguing, resignation letter in hand, for the company to clarify its ethical red lines around Project Dragonfly, the effort to modify Search to meet the censorship and surveillance demands of the Chinese Communist Party.

When a prototype circulated internally of a system that would ostensibly allow the Chinese government to surveil Chinese users’ queries by their phone numbers, Google executives argued that it was within existing norms. Governments, after all, make law enforcement demands of the company all the time. Where, they asked their employees, was the demonstrable harm?

But the time has passed when tech companies can simply build tools, write algorithms and amass data without regard to who uses the technology and for what purpose.

Complaints from a single rank-and-file engineer aren’t going to lead a company to act against its significant financial interests. But history shows that dissenters — aided by courts or the court of public opinion — can sometimes make a difference. Even if that difference is just alerting the public to what these companies are up to.

Read the whole thing.

24 Apr 16:08

A Mother Spends a Week in Jail, Is Fired From Her Job, and Temporarily Loses Her Kids After a Police Mix-Up

by Zuri Davis

A case of mistaken identity left a Brown County, Ohio, mother without her job or her children.

Aberdeen, Ohio, police are searching for two people accused of trafficking heroin and fentanyl and possessing drug paraphernalia. They identified two suspects a Facebook post on the department's page, including a woman named Ashley Foster. About a week after making the post, a deputy in Hamilton County found an Ashley Foster outside of a Target.

It was the wrong woman.

FOX 19 reports that the warrant used to arrest the wrong Foster contained the correct picture, birthday, and Social Security number, but had the wrong address. Though Foster insisted that the officers were mistaken, she was still handcuffed. Her two sons were in the vehicle and Foster said that she was not allowed to feed or change her 8-week-old as he cried. Child protective services took her children after the arrest.

Police booked Foster into jail, where she remained for a week. County rules allowed Hamilton County, to hold Foster for up to three business days until she could be transferred to Aberdeen police custody in Brown County. Because she was arrested on a Thursday, she remained in jail for an additional two days over the weekend. She sat in the Hamilton County cell for five days. While she was jailed, officers were unable to provide Foster with information since the charges were issued outside of their jurisdiction.

Foster struggled to find an explanation even after she was transferred to Brown County. The officers in charge of her transfer were not over the drug case.

When Aberdeen Police Chief David Benjamin finally interviewed Foster in the jail, he concluded that his officers had made a mistake. She was released and all of the charges were dropped.

Brown said that the ordeal caused her to lose her job.

Foster has since been reunited with her children, but not before Clermont County Job & Family Services interviewed her to determine her competency as a mother and inspected her home.

The department is conducting an investigation into the events and Foster is planning to meet with a lawyer.

24 Apr 01:30

BEER IS THE GLUE THAT HOLDS CIVILIZATION TOGETHER: Ancent Peruvian microbrewery, sour ale helps exp…

by Glenn Reynolds

BEER IS THE GLUE THAT HOLDS CIVILIZATION TOGETHER: Ancent Peruvian microbrewery, sour ale helps explain longevity of the Wari empire. “We think these institutions of brewing and then serving the beer really formed a unity among these populations, it kept people together.”

23 Apr 02:09

WHO DOES HE THINK HE IS, THE MAYOR OF BALTIMORE? …

by Glenn Reynolds

WHO DOES HE THINK HE IS, THE MAYOR OF BALTIMORE?

22 Apr 13:51

CHANGE: Microsoft staff are openly questioning the value of diversity. Some Microsoft employees a…

by Stephen Green

CHANGE: Microsoft staff are openly questioning the value of diversity.

Some Microsoft employees are openly questioning whether diversity is important, in a lengthy discussion on an internal online messaging board meant for communicating with CEO Satya Nadella.

Two posts on the board criticizing Microsoft diversity initiatives as “discriminatory hiring” and suggesting that women are less suited for engineering roles have elicited more than 800 comments, both affirming and criticizing the viewpoints, multiple Microsoft employees have told Quartz. The posts were written by a female Microsoft program manager. Quartz reached out to her directly for comment, and isn’t making her name public at this point, pending her response.

“Does Microsoft have any plans to end the current policy that financially incentivizes discriminatory hiring practices? To be clear, I am referring to the fact that senior leadership is awarded more money if they discriminate against Asians and white men,” read the original post by the Microsoft program manager on Yammer, a corporate messaging platform owned by Microsoft. The employee commented consistently throughout the thread, making similar arguments. Quartz reviewed lengthy sections of the internal discussion provided by Microsoft employees.

“I have an ever-increasing file of white male Microsoft employees who have faced outright and overt discrimination because they had the misfortune of being born both white and male. This is unacceptable,” the program manager wrote in a comment later. The Microsoft employees who spoke to Quartz said they weren’t aware of any action by the company in response, despite the comments being reported to Microsoft’s human resources department.

Wow.

19 Apr 18:53

First 'seasteaders' in hiding after Thai navy swoops in...

Jts5665

Too bad. No matter where they build a seastead some government is going to tear it down. The risk of success is too high.


First 'seasteaders' in hiding after Thai navy swoops in...


(Second column, 12th story, link)


19 Apr 13:27

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Snopes Rates Babylon Bee World’s Most Accurate News Source….

by Glenn Reynolds
12 Apr 03:31

SPACE: After delays, SpaceX’s powerful Falcon Heavy lifts off in Florida. “Two side booster rocket…

by Glenn Reynolds

SPACE: After delays, SpaceX’s powerful Falcon Heavy lifts off in Florida. “Two side booster rockets flew back and landed at Cape Canaveral, creating sonic booms heard as far as Orlando. A third booster landed on a barge in the ocean, something SpaceX hadn’t accomplished with the previous Falcon Heavy launch. The boosters will be refueled and reused.”

12 Apr 03:29

THIS IS THE VERY BEST TIMELINE: They Started a Ned Flanders Metal Band. Then ‘The Simpsons’ Cal…

by Glenn Reynolds

THIS IS THE VERY BEST TIMELINE: They Started a Ned Flanders Metal Band. Then ‘The Simpsons’ Called.

What started as a joke between friends four years ago has now become official Simpsons lore (and maybe even canon, a la Armin Tamzarian). Just hours after the episode aired, Okilly Dokilly shared the news with a sold out crowd at their Chicago show, and the morning after, the band’s frontman, who goes by the stage name Head Ned, says he’s still in shock.

“I’m very much in disbelief. It’s like this is just a strange alternate universe and I’m gonna wake up the next day and it’s just like, ‘No, you didn’t start the Ned Flanders band, you still work in accounting,’” Head Ned tells Rolling Stone. “And I’ll be like, ‘Well alright, at least my imagination knows how to have a good time.’”

The idea for Okilly Dokilly came from a conversation between Head Ned and the group’s original drummer, Bled Ned, who were trying to imagine the most ill-fitting name for a death metal band. After hitting upon Okilly Dokilly, the duo continued to spin the joke out: What if the frontman was dressed like Ned Flanders, what if everyone dressed like Ned Flanders, what if it was a “Nedal band” not a “metal band,” what if all the lyrics were Flanders quotes. The dream began to materialize when Head Ned realized they not only had access to a pink Flying V guitar, but his job at a clothing company allowed him to buy green sweaters in bulk.

Video (not bad) at the link.

10 Apr 22:56

Scientists unearth 430 million-year-old sea monster...


Scientists unearth 430 million-year-old sea monster...


(First column, 25th story, link)


10 Apr 22:46

FIRST-EVER PHOTO OF BLACK HOLE...


FIRST-EVER PHOTO OF BLACK HOLE...


(Third column, 15th story, link)

Related stories:
SPACE BREAKTHROUGH...

29 Mar 03:25

NOT ACTUALLY A BABYLON BEE HEADLINE: Scientists horrified that Trump wants to require universities …

by Glenn Reynolds

NOT ACTUALLY A BABYLON BEE HEADLINE: Scientists horrified that Trump wants to require universities to honor free speech. “This is not a Babylon Bee story. An article today in the science journal Nature actually expressed outrage and concern about President Trump’s executive order last week tying the grants a university gets to its willingness to protect the free speech of all its students and teachers. O the horror! The universities will have to show that they support free speech! What a travesty!”

Leftist ideas can’t withstand debate. Leftists know that, which is why they’re always trying to silence their opponents, generally in the name of some sort of decency or compassion that they themselves spectacularly lack.

28 Mar 04:14

The "Shrinking Middle Class" In One Chart

by admin

It's shrinking, but only because folks are getting wealthier.

via the always terrific Mark Perry

23 Mar 18:22

FINALLY! Scientists Have Cured Alcoholic Rats by Shooting Lasers at Their Brains….

by Glenn Reynolds
03 Mar 17:47

The Stupidest Eight Words That I’ve Ever Read

by Don Boudreaux
(Don Boudreaux)

Tweet

I recently re-read my dear friend George Selgin’s thorough smackdown of Stephanie Kelton and so-called “modern monetary theory.” In doing so I was struck even more by how completely whackadoodle is this statement from a November 2018 op-ed by Prof. Kelton and her co-authors:

Anything that is technically feasible is financially affordable.

This statement is as anti-economics as any statement can possibly be. Over the years I have read and heard countless moronic statements, some of them offered by credentialed economists. But never have I encountered any statement more stupid, mistaken, and indefensible than this one – and it is one found in an op-ed co-authored by a credentialed economist.

I do not support licensing requirements for economists, but were such requirements in place, any economist who wrote such a thing as this specimen would not only be stripped of his or her license but would also be sued for gross professional incompetence.

George exposed the KY Cygni-sized idiocy of this statement in this way:

Nor does Professor Kelton’s observation that “Anything that is technically feasible is financially affordable” — with its suggestion that we might fund any “feasible” project without running into resource constraints — hold water. That something is technologically feasible means, not that it’s “affordable,” but only that it might be done at some finite cost. Perhaps Professor Kelton does not recognize, or does not want her readers to recognize, the difference. But a difference exists nonetheless, and it’s a lu-lu. For all I know, we might populate the moon, equip every U.S. citizen with a Ferrari, or fill Lake Meade with champagne, technically speaking. But I’m quite certain we can’t afford to.

Alas, I suspect that it’s not even technically feasible to arrange for Prof. Kelton actually to learn anything about economics.

The fact that modern monetary theory (I’ll not glorify it with capitalization) has as one of its chief advocates this Prof. Kelton is much more than sufficient to discredit this ‘theory.’

It literally hurts my brain and deeply distresses my soul to know that someone credentialed as an economist could write such a thing as Prof. Kelton has written above. Truly, it’s… well, I have no further words.

03 Mar 17:38

IMPLEMENTED WITH HELP FROM WESTERN COMPANIES AND ACADEMICS WHO CONSTANTLY TELL US HOW MORAL THEY ARE…

by Glenn Reynolds

IMPLEMENTED WITH HELP FROM WESTERN COMPANIES AND ACADEMICS WHO CONSTANTLY TELL US HOW MORAL THEY ARE: China bans 23m from buying travel tickets as part of ‘social credit’ system: People accused of social offences blocked from booking flights and train journeys.

A friend on Facebook comments: “I’m a futurist and I will cut to the chase and tell you what this will become: a precision starvation system that in case of food shortfalls allows the Chinese Communist Party to determine who eats and who does not.” Well, that’s just a high-tech improvement on the standard socialist playbook. See, e.g., Maduro’s Venezuela. So yeah, probably.

Of course, a system like this also offers a splendid opportunity for opponents to sow social discord via hacking.

02 Mar 03:40

SUNSHINE IS THE BEST DISINFECTANT: California keeps a secret list of criminal cops, but says you can…

by Stephen Green

SUNSHINE IS THE BEST DISINFECTANT: California keeps a secret list of criminal cops, but says you can’t have it.

Their crimes ranged from shoplifting to embezzlement to murder. Some of them molested kids and downloaded child pornography. Others beat their wives, girlfriends or children.

The one thing they had in common: a badge.

Thousands of California law enforcement officers have been convicted of a crime in the past decade, according to records released by a public agency that sets standards for officers in the Golden State.

The revelations are alarming, but the state’s top cop says Californians don’t have a right to see them. In fact, Attorney General Xavier Becerra warned two Berkeley-based reporters that simply possessing this never-before-publicly-released list of convicted cops is a violation of the law.

The State looks after its own.

02 Mar 03:09

EZRA LEVANT EXPLAINS Canada’s Constitutional Crisis. Key bit: “Trudeau was detonated today by his …

by Glenn Reynolds

EZRA LEVANT EXPLAINS Canada’s Constitutional Crisis. Key bit: “Trudeau was detonated today by his former Attorney General, Jody Wilson-Raybould, Canada’s first Aboriginal A-G. She just testified in Parliament, in meticulous detail, how Trudeau and his staff tried to get her to drop criminal charges against a corrupt company that he liked. She refused to bend the law for Trudeau’s cronies. But they didn’t stop. Trudeau; his chief of staff; his principal secretary; even the finance minister. They met her ten times, phoned her ten more. trying to get the charges dropped. She wouldn’t. So Trudeau fired her as A-G.”

Compare this to the nothingburger that was Cohen’s testimony.

02 Mar 03:08

BUT OF COURSE: European Parliament Mandates Speed Limiters on All New Cars. UK based Evo.co.uk is…

by Stephen Green

BUT OF COURSE: European Parliament Mandates Speed Limiters on All New Cars.

UK based Evo.co.uk is reporting that, after approval by key members of the European Parliament of regulations proposed by the European Transport Safety Council, speed limiters and data loggers will now be mandatory equipment on all new cars. The European Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection voted in favor of mandatory vehicle safety standards that could be in force within three years. Negotiations between the Parliament, Member States and the European Commission will determine how the new regulations are implemented.

The speed limiters, which go by the euphemism Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), use GPS data and possibly traffic sign recognition to determine a road’s speed limit and then limit engine power to match that speed. While it’s possible to just press harder on the accelerator and go faster, if the car exceeds the speed limit for several seconds, an audible warning signal will sound, along with a visual warning displayed until speed is reduced to the legal limit.

The new regulations also mandate data loggers, plus driver assist features like lane warnings and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection. It’s not clear if the data loggers would have any privacy protections.

The soft fascists continue their march through Europe.

17 Feb 21:50

HOW DEEP IT GOES: Study confirms Cuvier’s beaked whale is world’s deepest-diving mammal. Because…

by Glenn Reynolds

HOW DEEP IT GOES: Study confirms Cuvier’s beaked whale is world’s deepest-diving mammal.

Because the elusive whales spend so little time at the surface and rarely venture close to shore, studying their behavior is difficult. Researchers were able to tag several Cuvier’s beaked whale off the coast of Cape Hatteras, N.C. The satellite tags recorded 3,242 hours of behavioral data from 5,926 dives.

“They typically only spend about two minutes at the surface between dives,” Jeanne Shearer, a doctoral student in ecology at Duke University, said in a news release. “It’s amazing that they can dive to such depths, withstand the pressure, and be down there that long, with such brief recovery times.”

Scientists have previously tracked the dives of Cuvier’s beaked whales in the Pacific, Mediterranean and Caribbean, but studies suggest beaked whale populations exhibit distinct diving patterns.

The new data showed the whales’ deepest dives extend more than 4,500 feet beneath the ocean surface. Deep dives can last two to three hours. The whales dive continuously, with deep dives followed by a few shorter dives, averaging 1,000 feet.

“Cuvier’s beaked whales are only half the size of the sperm whale,” Shearer said. “Their dives push the limits of mammalian physiology, but we still don’t know how they’re able to behave this way.”

By contrast, the deepest breath-hold dive by a human is around 700 feet — only about 1/6 as deep, but still pretty impressive considering, you know, that we’re not whales.

15 Feb 21:39

MOLON LABE: Pelosi threat: Democrats could declare national emergency to enact gun control. UPDAT…

by Stephen Green

MOLON LABE: Pelosi threat: Democrats could declare national emergency to enact gun control.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): I guess the problem with this is that we know they’ll do this anyway if they think they can get away with it, and the press would support them regardless of what the GOP has done in the past.

15 Feb 02:27

REMEMBER WHEN THEY TOLD US THE DEEP STATE WAS A MYTH? This was an effort to overturn a legiti…

by Glenn Reynolds

REMEMBER WHEN THEY TOLD US THE DEEP STATE WAS A MYTH?

This was an effort to overturn a legitimate election by undemocratic means, for selfish reasons. People should be fired, and quite possibly prosecuted, for this.

Instead:

Just a reminder that anyone who lied to the President as part of this is subject to prosecution under the False Statements Act.

UPDATE:

13 Feb 04:16

CONFIRMED: Washington Post ranking editors quashed VA Lt. Governor Fairfax sexual assault story. …

by Stephen Green

CONFIRMED: Washington Post ranking editors quashed VA Lt. Governor Fairfax sexual assault story.

Democracy dies in darkness, but Democrats die in sunlight, apparently.

13 Feb 03:58

FASTER, PLEASE: This New ‘Trojan Horse’ Drug Successfully Treated 6 Types of Cancer Tumor….

by Glenn Reynolds
02 Feb 03:53

WHY POLITICIANS HATE HOMESCHOOLING. Well, it gets people out from under their thumbs….

by Glenn Reynolds

WHY POLITICIANS HATE HOMESCHOOLING. Well, it gets people out from under their thumbs.

29 Jan 04:18

My right to be forgotten is your right to die 

by Stewart Baker

If the surgeon about to operate on you has been disciplined for neglecting patients, wouldn't you like to know? Well, the mandarins of European Union privacy law beg to differ. Google has been told by a Dutch court not to tell anyone about the disciplined doctor, and there seems to have been a six-month lag in disclosing even the court ruling. Gus Hurwitz and I are appalled. I repeat my long-standing view that in the end, privacy law just protects the privileged. Gus agrees.

This week's interview is with John Carlin, author of Dawn of the Code War. It's a great inside story of how we came to indict China's hacker-spies for attacking US companies.

In other news, the Illinois Supreme Court has demonstrated just how bad Illinois' biometric privacy law is – by the simple expedient of applying it the way it's written.

Dr. Megan Reiss and I air our ambivalence about the latest site hosting collections of doxed messages. We lack enthusiasm for indiscriminate doxing of the kind highlighted on Distributed Denial of Secrets, but if it's got to happen, it couldn't happen to a nicer Russian dictator.

Nick Weaver explains the DHS emergency order telling civilian agencies to protect themselves against DNS hijacking, and why the shutdown may have made those agencies more vulnerable.

Nick and I debate YouTube's latest algorithmic tweak to avoid recommending "borderline" material. He notes that the tweak is to correct an algorithm that used to push people toward extremes. I counter that this tweak turns out to be a suspiciously good way for YouTube Social Justice Warriors to suppress videos they don't like but can't actually show to be violating YouTube's terms of service.

Speaking of which, maybe the real singularity will be when Silicon Valley SJWs join forces with Beijing to produce technology to suppress WrongThink once and for all. If so, the singularity is nigh, in the form of a Chinese app that allows you to identify all the people around you who deserve to be shamed. Of course, when it comes from Twitter, instead of identifying those who haven't paid their debts, the app will identify anyone who ever wore a MAGA hat. And it will have a cooler name. Maybe #Punchable.

Download the 248th Episode (mp3).

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