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11 Aug 15:52

Cartoon of the day on self-esteem - Publications – AEI

by Mark Perry
11 Aug 15:51

The time is past due to end the outdated, protectionist relic known as the Jones Act - Publications – AEI

by Mark Perry

AEI
The time is past due to end the outdated, protectionist relic known as the Jones Act

Tim Taylor has a good primer on the protectionist, regulatory relic known as the Jones Act on his Conversable Economist blog (“A Primer on the Jones Act and American Shipping“) based on the Cato Institute‘s policy analysis “The Jones Act: A Burden America Can No Longer Bear” by Colin Grabow, Inu Manak, and Daniel Ikenson. Here are a few of Tim’s “money quotes” (my emphasis):

When thinking about the costs of the Jones Act, it’s worth remembering that shipbuilding and shipping are examples of US industries that have been dramatically protected from foreign competition for nearly a century. If sustained protection from foreign competition was a useful path to the highest levels of efficiency and cost-effectiveness, then US ship-building and shipping should be elite industries. But in fact, US ship-building and shipping–safely protected from competition– have fallen far behind foreign competition, with negative costs and consequences that echo through the rest of the US economy–and probably diminish US national security, too.

……

The argument a century ago, and since, has been that a domestic ship-building industry is essential for national defense. Maybe so! But if that is the goal, the Jones Act is sorely failing to accomplish it. Instead, the Navy can’t afford the extra ships it wants, the number of available US civilian ships and the knowledgeable workers to run them is shrinking, and military operations have had to find ways to make use of foreign ships.

……

As a general rule, it is unlikely that the solution for a problem is identical to the cause of the problem. But after nearly a century of protection from international competition sheltered US ship-building and shipping to compete with foreign competition and thus led it into near-obsolescence, the reason for keeping the Jones Act in place seems to be that, without it, the US shipping and ship-building industry would have a hard time competing. It’s a little like arguing that the cure for a drug addiction is a continuing supply of the drug to which you are addicted.

I’m willing to have a discussion about what policy steps might be useful in creating a US ship-building and shipping industry that is internationally competitive. The necessary steps might be dramatic and costly. But the first step in that discussion is the acknowledgement that the long-run effects of the Jones Act have been terrible and counterproductive policy for the US shipbuilding and shipping industries. It has rendered those industries essentially unable to compete on the world stage, while creating costs throughout the rest of the US economy and reducing US military security. Any plan for US shipbuilding and shipping which doesn’t focus on how to bring the Jones Act to an end is not serious.

Here’s part of the conclusion from the Cato Institute paper:

By any measure, the Jones Act has been a failure. Under its watch the U.S. shipbuilding industry has atrophied, its shipping fleet has withered, and any contribution to the military’s sealift capability has been trivial at best. The failure of the Jones Act to meet its intended objectives, meanwhile, has inflicted considerable economic harm through a variety of direct and indirect channels. Rather than serving to bolster national security, the Jones Act has stultified domestic shipbuilding, diminished the size of America’s merchant marine reserve, and hamstrung our ability to respond expeditiously and effectively to natural and manmade disasters.

Among the world’s cabotage laws, the Jones Act stands out for its extreme protectionism. Only a handful of countries require ships participating in their domestic maritime services to be built domestically and none have more onerous restrictions. Moreover, there are no comparably stringent regulations of other means of transportation in the United States.

….

That such a burdensome law has evaded meaningful reform for nearly 100 years speaks to the determination of a small, well-organized, well-connected class of producers and unions that have succeeded over the years in portraying any effort to reform or repeal the Jones Act as an affront to national security. The time has come to finally turn the tables and for Congress to repeal this onerous law.

MP: The Jones Act, like all protectionist measures, have the same predictable and inevitable economic outcomes: a) higher prices for businesses and consumers, b) reduced competition and fewer choices for consumers, c) concentrated, visible benefits for the protected industry and widespread costs on consumers throughout the entire economy, d) economic stagnation in the long-run, and e) overall reduced economic prosperity, growth, and jobs.

The Jones Act is also another example, along with the 25% tariffs on imported trucks and trade restrictions on sugar that drive up the US price to 2X the world price, that contradicts the popular, but somewhat false narrative that America’s markets are wide open to the entire world while bad foreigners restrict their markets for US exports.

The time is past due to end the outdated, protectionist relic known as the Jones Act
Mark Perry

11 Aug 15:09

SHOCKER: 170 Registered Voters in Ohio’s 12th District Listed as Over 116 Years Old….

by Glenn Reynolds
28 Jul 13:25

HUH: Cannabis Oil Helped 80 Percent of Autistic Children, Israeli Study Finds. “It improved both beh…

by Stephen Green

HUH: Cannabis Oil Helped 80 Percent of Autistic Children, Israeli Study Finds. “It improved both behavior and communications in the children enrolled in the study.”

28 Jul 13:17

KIMBERLEY STRASSEL: Devin Nunes, Washington’s Public Enemy No. 1: What did the FBI do in the 201…

by Glenn Reynolds

KIMBERLEY STRASSEL: Devin Nunes, Washington’s Public Enemy No. 1: What did the FBI do in the 2016 campaign? The head of the House inquiry on what he has found—and questions still unanswered.

It’s 105 degrees as I stand with Rep. Devin Nunes on his family’s dairy farm. Mr. Nunes has been feeling even more heat in Washington, where as chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence he has labored to unearth the truth about the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s activities during and after the 2016 presidential campaign. Thanks in large part to his work, we now know that the FBI used informants against Donald Trump’s campaign, that it obtained surveillance warrants based on opposition research conducted for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and that after the election Obama administration officials “unmasked” and monitored the incoming team.

Mr. Nunes’s efforts have provoked extraordinary partisan and institutional fury in Washington—across the aisle, in the FBI and other law-enforcement and intelligence agencies, in the media. “On any given day there are dozens of attacks, each one wilder in its claims,” he says. Why does he keep at it? “First of all, because it’s my job. This is a basic congressional investigation, and we follow the facts,” he says. The “bigger picture,” he adds, is that in “a lot of the bad and problematic countries” that Intelligence Committee members investigate, “this is what they do there. There is a political party that controls the intelligence agencies, controls the media, all to ensure that party stays in power. If we get to that here, we no longer have a functioning republic. We can’t let that happen.” . . .

It got worse. This spring Mr. Nunes obtained information showing the FBI had used informants to gather intelligence on the Trump camp. The Justice Department is still playing hide-and-seek with documents. “We still don’t know how many informants were run before July 31, 2016”—the official open of the counterintelligence investigation—“and how much they were paid. That’s the big outstanding question,” he says. Mr. Nunes adds that the department and the FBI haven’t done anything about the unmaskings or taken action against the Flynn leakers—because, in his view, “they are too busy working with Democrats to cover all this up.”

He and his committee colleagues in June sent a letter asking Mr. Trump to declassify at least 20 pages of the FISA application. Mr. Nunes says they are critical: “If people think using the Clinton dirt to get a FISA is bad, what else that’s in that application is even worse.”

Mr. Nunes has harsh words for his adversaries. How, he asks, can his committee’s Democrats, who spent years “worrying about privacy and civil liberties,” be so blasé about unmaskings, surveillance of U.S. citizens, and intelligence leaks? On the FBI: “I’m not the one that used an unverified dossier to get a FISA warrant,” Mr. Nunes says. “I’m not the one who obstructed a congressional investigation. I’m not the one who lied and said Republicans paid for the dossier. I’m just one of a few people in a position to get to the bottom of it.” And on the press: “Today’s media is corrupt. It’s chosen a side. But it’s also making itself irrelevant. The sooner Republicans understand that, the better.”

His big worry is that Republicans are running out of time before the midterm elections, yet there are dozens of witnesses still to interview. “But this was always the DOJ/FBI plan,” he says. “They are slow-rolling, because they are wishing and betting the Republicans lose the House.”

I wonder what else they’re doing besides “wishing and betting?”

28 Jul 13:15

DAMN LITTLE, AND MUCH OF IT WRONG: Plus: …

by Glenn Reynolds

DAMN LITTLE, AND MUCH OF IT WRONG:

Plus:

26 Jul 23:03

THIS ISN’T THE REGTECH I WAS PROMISED: Anti-smoking activists *hate* vaping, despite the demonstrabl…

by Iain Murray

THIS ISN’T THE REGTECH I WAS PROMISED: Anti-smoking activists *hate* vaping, despite the demonstrable reduction in harm thanks to the technology (my wife gave up smoking cigarettes thanks to vaping). There has been an aggressive astroturf campaign aimed at the FDA in favor of anti-vaping regulations – and by astroturf I mean “submitting 255,000 fake comments from a single Internet bot.”

My colleague Michelle Minton has written a bunch on vaping and its role in harm reduction.

25 Jul 22:43

WHO SAYS LOCAL JOURNALISM IS DEAD? Chance the Rapper Buys Chicagoist, Promises to Investigate Rahm …

by Glenn Reynolds
25 Jul 22:41

NOW THAT’S REAL SOCIALISM: Venezuela Inflation Could Reach One Million Percent by Year’s End. E…

by Stephen Green

NOW THAT’S REAL SOCIALISM: Venezuela Inflation Could Reach One Million Percent by Year’s End.

Everyone knows you never go Full Zimbabwe.

Plus, this friendly reminder that the only thing socialist states never run short of is zeros.

25 Jul 22:36

I THOUGHT WE WERE TO ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE: Europa Lander may not have to dig deep to find signs…

by Stephen Green

I THOUGHT WE WERE TO ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE: Europa Lander may not have to dig deep to find signs of life.

The 1,900-mile-wide Europa harbors a huge ocean beneath its icy shell. What’s more, astronomers think this water is in contact with the moon’s rocky core, making a variety of complex and intriguing chemical reactions possible.

Researchers therefore regard Europa as one of the solar system’s best bets to harbor alien life. Europa is also a geologically active world, so samples of the buried ocean may routinely make it to the surface — via localized upwelling of the ocean itself, for example, and/or through geyser-like outgassing, evidence of which has been spotted multiple times by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.

NASA aims to hunt for such samples in the not-too-distant future. The agency is developing a flyby mission called Europa Clipper, which is scheduled to launch in the early 2020s. Clipper will study Europa up close during dozens of flybys, some of which might be able to zoom through the moon’s suspected water-vapor plumes. And NASA is also working on a possible post-Clipper lander mission that would search for evidence of life at or near the Europan surface.

I’ve been waiting for this mission since reading 2010: Odyssey Two when it was first published in 1982. But since the post-Clipper lander mission isn’t even scheduled yet, I’ll have to wait a good while longer.

Faster, please.

24 Jul 12:58

BRAD SMITH: The IRS gives up power for once, and the Left goes nuts. Finally, we might ask why, …

by Glenn Reynolds

BRAD SMITH: The IRS gives up power for once, and the Left goes nuts.

Finally, we might ask why, absent a very good reason, the federal government should ever be collecting data on our memberships and donations in the first place. What business of the government is it if you belong to a fishing club or the National Association of Realtors, or want to support Everytown for Gun Safety or the NRA?

Nonetheless, government agencies can be remarkably unwilling to surrender power or information. So praise is in order for Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter for doing away with the requirement. . . .

Even more interesting, however, is the response of the progressive Left and the press. Because some of the organizations now exempt from filing donor information speak out about issues, or make some political expenditures (legally limited by tax law), this modest regulatory rescission is being portrayed as a victory for “dark money” in politics. Now, the Institute for Free Speech has pointed out repeatedly that “dark money” is the political bogeyman of our times — it amounts to a tiny percentage of political spending in the U.S., and attempts to completely end it intrude on the freedom of law-abiding people without providing any useful information to the public.

But let’s assume, for argument’s sake, that stopping “dark money” is an important goal. Here’s the thing: The information the IRS had been collecting was required by law to be kept private! So not reporting the information to the IRS has no legal effect at all on “dark money.” Think about that.

In short, what the progressive and media criticism of the IRS’s decision boils down to is some combination of the following:

They want to whip up hysteria about “dark money,” even when it is irrelevant to the policy at issue.
They want the IRS to illegally leak the data collected.
They hope that a database of donor memberships might be used by a future progressive administration for some unspecified purpose.
They simply don’t want to give up any potential power over Americans and perhaps hope, if the government is already collecting this information, it will be easier to pass more laws intruding on privacy in the future.

Yeah, I don’t trust them.

24 Jul 03:53

YES, THE FISA PROCESS WAS ABUSED AND WEAPONIZED, BUT IT’S ALSO CLEAR THAT THE FISA COURT IS IN FACT …

by Glenn Reynolds
17 Jul 03:04

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: The American Nobility Pays No Price For Its Failures: Accountability shouldn’…

by Glenn Reynolds
16 Jul 13:49

#FAKENEWS: Mystery as IDENTICAL letters appear in 21 newspapers across 12 states slamming Trump’s S…

by Glenn Reynolds
11 Jul 15:39

I THINK YOU JUST DID:  Caught on Camera: Tedra Cobb Tells Supporters She Wants ‘Assault Rifle’ …

by Sarah Hoyt
10 Jul 13:16

ANALYSIS: TRUE. #PermitPatty Showcases the Dangers of Overregulation. The real face of overregula…

by Stephen Green

ANALYSIS: TRUE. #PermitPatty Showcases the Dangers of Overregulation.

The real face of overregulation has been in the news in recent weeks, after bystanders called the police on three young people in different states for peaceful behavior. The incidents serve as a reminder that an overly broad “rule,” even if rarely enforced, can be weaponized at any time. Such rules can serve to empower pettiness and bigotry that otherwise might have been limited to rude speech.

The three incidents all went viral, from the pathetic marijuana-corporation executive who called the police on an eight-year-old girl for the “crime” of “illegally selling water without a permit” on a hot summer day, to the neighbor who called the police on a 12-year-old for his summer lawn-mowing business, to the 16-year-old boy who was cuffed and arrested in Charleston, S.C., for selling palmetto roses (a longstanding Charleston tradition). Luckily, the police did not act on the complaints in the first two cases — but the very fact that people feel empowered to call the police over harmless behavior shows the pernicious reach of the regulatory regime. In each of these cases, the regulations in question were the sort justified on health-and-safety grounds.

And in all three cases, the children were black. These regulations may not have been written with race in mind, like those of the hallowed Progressive Era were, but the fact remains that this all-encompassing regulatory regime allows racists to act on their prejudice with force. Those who oppose bigotry, and yet support high levels of regulation with good intentions, ought to bear in mind that enforcement often falls upon those who are already marginalized, as we have also seen with drug and gun laws.

Never agitate for a government power you wouldn’t trust your political opponents to wield — because someday they will.

08 Jul 03:52

SO DON’T EXPECT AN EARTH-SHATTERING KABOOM: NASA Reveals Experimental Quiet Supersonic Plane….

by Glenn Reynolds

SO DON’T EXPECT AN EARTH-SHATTERING KABOOM: NASA Reveals Experimental Quiet Supersonic Plane.

03 Jul 04:27

LUKE ROSIAK IS ON TOP OF THIS STORY, BUT ALMOST EVERYONE ELSE IS IGNORING IT FOR SOME REASON: In Ne…

by Glenn Reynolds

LUKE ROSIAK IS ON TOP OF THIS STORY, BUT ALMOST EVERYONE ELSE IS IGNORING IT FOR SOME REASON: In Newly Obtained Memo, Congress’ Top Cop Said House Democratic Caucus Server VANISHED.

A secret memo marked “URGENT” detailed how the House Democratic Caucus’s server went “missing” soon after it became evidence in a cybersecurity probe. The secret memo also said more than “40 House offices may have been victims of IT security violations.”

In the memo, Congress’s top law enforcement official, Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving, along with Chief Administrative Officer Phil Kiko, wrote, “We have concluded that the employees [Democratic systems administrator Imran Awan and his family] are an ongoing and serious risk to the House of Representatives, possibly threatening the integrity of our information systems and thereby members’ capacity to serve constituents.”

The memo, addressed to the Committee on House Administration (CHA) and dated Feb. 3, 2017, was recently reviewed and transcribed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. The letter bolsters TheDCNF’s previous reporting about the missing server and evidence of fraud on Capitol Hill.

It details how the caucus server, run by then-caucus Chairman Rep. Xavier Becerra, was secretly copied by authorities after the House Inspector General (IG) identified suspicious activity on it, but the Awans’ physical access was not blocked.

And by “for some reason,” I mean:

23 Jun 01:35

Neil Gorsuch Joins Sonia Sotomayor in Questioning the Third-Party Doctrine

by Jacob Sullum

As Damon Root noted earlier today, Justice Neil Gorsuch's dissent from Carpenter v. United States reads more like a concurrence, agreeing with the majority's conclusion that police generally need a warrant to obtain cellphone location data but disagreeing with its reasoning. In fact, Gorsuch is bolder than the majority, recommending a broader reconsideration of the doctrine that says the Fourth Amendment imposes no limits on the government's access to information that people entrust to third parties. At the same time, Gorsuch agrees with Clarence Thomas, who also filed a dissent in Carpenter, that it makes little sense to draw the boundaries of Fourth Amendment rights based on expectations of privacy that judges deem reasonable.

The Supreme Court developed the third-party doctrine in United States v. Miller, a 1976 case dealing with bank records, and Smith v. Maryland, a 1979 case involving "pen registers" that record the phone numbers called from a particular location. As the Court explained the principle in Miller, "the Fourth Amendment does not prohibit the obtaining of information revealed to a third party and conveyed by him to Government authorities, even if the information is revealed on the assumption that it will be used only for a limited purpose and the confidence placed in the third party will not be betrayed." Gorsuch recognizes the sweeping implications of that principle in an age when sensitive information is routinely stored on remote servers:

What's left of the Fourth Amendment? Today we use the Internet to do most everything. Smartphones make it easy to keep a calendar, correspond with friends, make calls, conduct banking, and even watch the game. Countless Internet companies maintain records about us and, increasingly, for us. Even our most private documents—those that, in other eras, we would have locked safely in a desk drawer or destroyed—now reside on third party servers. Smith and Miller teach that the police can review all of this material, on the theory that no one reasonably expects any of it will be kept private. But no one believes that, if they ever did....

Can the government demand a copy of all your e-mails from Google or Microsoft without implicating your Fourth Amendment rights? Can it secure your DNA from 23andMe without a warrant or probable cause? Smith and Miller say yes it can...But that result strikes most lawyers and judges today—me included—as pretty unlikely.

Sonia Sotomayor, who joined the majority opinion in Carpenter, expressed similar concerns in United States v. Jones, the 2012 decision that said monitoring a suspect's movements by attaching a GPS tracker to his car counts as a "search" under the Fourth Amendment. In that case, Sotomayor observed that the third-party doctrine is "ill suited to the digital age, in which people reveal a great deal of information about themselves to third parties in the course of carrying out mundane tasks."

Gorsuch notes that "the Court has never offered a persuasive justification" for the third-party doctrine. A person's willingness to share information with someone else for a particular purpose does not imply that he is willing to share it with the world, and his awareness of the risk that it will nevertheless be divulged to others does not give those people permission to peruse it. Gorsuch draws an analogy to paper mail, which the Supreme Court since the 19th century has recognized as protected by the Fourth Amendment because the sender entrusts it to the postal service for delivery. The content of letters is protected even though people surrender possession of them and understand that they may be vulnerable to snooping.

Gorsuch is equally leery of linking Fourth Amendment rights to a "reasonable expectation of privacy," as the majority does in Carpenter. That standard, which was invented in the 1967 eavesdropping case Katz v. United States, is hard to apply in a principled way, since everything depends on which expectations count as reasonable, a question judges may not answer the same way most people would. "Katz has yielded an often unpredictable—and sometimes unbelievable—jurisprudence," Gorsuch writes, citing a couple of examples (citations omitted):

Take Florida v. Riley, which says that a police helicopter hovering 400 feet above a person's property invades no reasonable expectation of privacy. Try that one out on your neighbors. Or California v. Greenwood, which holds that a person has no reasonable expectation of privacy in the garbage he puts out for collection. In that case, the Court said that the homeowners forfeited their privacy interests because "[i]t is common knowledge that plastic garbage bags left on or at the side of a public street are readily accessible to animals, children, scavengers, snoops, and other members of the public." But the habits of raccoons don't prove much about the habits of the country. I doubt, too, that most people spotting a neighbor rummaging through their garbage would think they lacked reasonable grounds to confront the rummager.

Gorsuch also notes that the Katz test has little to do with the text of the Fourth Amendment, which makes no mention of expectations or of privacy per se. Rather, the amendment protects "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures." That guarantee, as Thomas shows in his dissent, is intimately related to property rights. "This case should not turn on 'whether' a search occurred," he writes. "It should turn, instead, on whose property was searched."

For Thomas, the answer is clear: The property belonged not to Timothy Carpenter, whose location records were used to implicate him in a series of armed robberies, but to MetroPCS and Sprint, the companies that provided his cellphone service. Gorsuch, by contrast, thinks it's "entirely possible a person's cell-site data could qualify as his papers or effects under existing law." He notes that federal law treats those records as "customer proprietary network information," which people generally cannot obtain without the customer's permission.

Gorsuch sees advantages to "a Fourth Amendment model based on positive legal rights," as advocated by a brief the Institute for Justice filed in Carpenter, which draws on the work of law professors William Baude (University of Chicago) and James Stern (William & Mary). Under that model, the Fourth Amendment is implicated whenever the government seeks special access to information that ordinary people cannot legally see without the subject's consent. That approach offers a promising alternative to the infinitely malleable Katz test, which invites judges to constitutionalize their own privacy preferences, and a Fourth Amendment that covers your data only as long as you retain physical possession of it.

22 Jun 21:22

GOOD LORD: 13-Year-Old Charged with Felony for Recording Conversation with School Principal. “If I …

by Stephen Green

GOOD LORD: 13-Year-Old Charged with Felony for Recording Conversation with School Principal. “If I do go to court and get wrongfully convicted, my whole life is ruined.”

The incident took place last February at Manteno Middle School, which is about an hour outside of Chicago. Young Paul Boron was arguing with Principal David Conrad and Assistant Principal Nathan Short.

About ten minutes into the meeting, which was held with the door open, Boron told the men he was recording it. At that point, the principal told Boron he was committing a felony and ended the conversation. But then, according to the Illinois Policy Center:

Two months later, in April, Boron was charged with one count of eavesdropping – a class 4 felony in Illinois.

“If I do go to court and get wrongfully convicted, my whole life is ruined,” said Boron, who lives with his mother and four siblings…”I think they’re going too far.”

…. Members of the Manteno Community Unit School District No. 5 board, Conrad and Short have not responded to requests for comment on the incident.

Unfortunately for Boron, there is a law against recording people without their consent in Illinois. There’s even a rule against it in the student handbook. But the handbook also says that it is fine for the school to have video cameras monitoring the public areas of the building. In other words, it’s fine to keep the kids under constant surveillance, just not the administrators.

You don’t ruin a kid’s life over anything so trivial. You erase the recording and send him back for extra detention.

Unless of course you’re less interested in educating children and more interested in establishing authority over them.

21 Jun 21:07

BUT WHAT WILL THEY TASTE LIKE? Scientists Expect to Genetically Engineer Chickens into Dinosaurs Wit…

by Stephen Green
07 Jun 03:34

The Older Brother Looks Forward to The End of Alzheimer’s

by The Older Brother

Hey, Fat Heads!

Long time. My bad for not getting this out there last week while Tom was on the Low Carb Cruise. I had kind of a week.

My annual Abe’s Army started up again last week, so I spent that Monday night running and trying to remember why I thought that’s a good idea.  It’ll come to me.

Then I had to make a 50 mile trip north for non-GMO chicken feed Tuesday (we’ve got a new batch of meat birds on the farm), which turned into two days because I had to beat it back to town to head out of town 50 miles west for an unexpected visitation (childhood friend of The Wife’s), dropped the chick feed the next day (15 miles east), and spent a couple of days making trips to move stuff from The Younger Sister’s house that just sold to her new place, which is, oddly enough, about 50 miles south. The closing on her house went a month ahead of schedule, which was good. Unless you had a few other things you’d planned on.

Guesting in The Big Chair, for example.

Speaking of which, someone (ahem) moved all of the knobs around on The Big Chair during the whole Nautilus website remodel adventure, so I was a little disoriented. I couldn’t ftp to save my life. Not that I’m complaining.

This post is something of a callback. Tom had a post (here) about two years ago about a treatment protocol developed for Alzheimer’s patients that incorporated several lifestyle modifications without involving some new $5,000 a month pharmaceutical miracle pill. Nine out of the ten patients participating in the study improved, and six who’d stopped working returned to their vocations. I don’t know if I pointed it out to him, or if we both heard about it at the same time, but we were both naturally intrigued after Dad spent the last few years of his life as an Alzheimer’s zombie.

The protocol, developed by Dr. Dale Bredesen, focused on what is essentially a keto-centric diet, regular physical activity including weight-bearing lifting, stress and sleep management, hormone and nutrient balance, and genetic testing.

I kept kind of following up occasionally, and Dr. Bredesen has a book now laying out the whole protocol. For something as relentlessly hope-shattering as Alzheimer’s has been, Dr. Bredesen makes some bold statements.

Consider that over the last few decades tens (hundreds?) of billions of dollars have been spent, nearly 250 drugs have been tested (fail), hundreds (thousands?) of research organizations, universities, and pharmaceutical companies have focused on Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Where are we?

Nowhere.

Patients : 0, Alzheimer’s : WINNING!

[Aricept, the one you’re going to be given if diagnosed, supposedly moderates onset for up to two years, at which point you’ll be in the same place cognitively as if you’d never taken it. I suspect kind of like statins supposedly prevent heart attacks.]

If you’re in a treatment program, you’ll be given Aricept, maybe one or two others that have been proven not to kill anyone too quickly yet, and encouraged to participate in more trials as a guinea pig for whatever new molecule has been cooked up to eliminate the dreaded amyloid plaques.

I’m pretty sure that at some point, “amyloid plaques” will be in the same wing with “arterycloggingsaturatedfats” in The Museum of Things We Got Conned Into Thinking Were Trying to Kill Us (The MOTWGCITWTTKU, for short).

But here is Dr. Bredesen:

“Let me say this as clearly as I can: Alzheimer’s disease can be prevented, and in many cases its associated cognitive decline can be reversed.”

“What the research from my laboratory colleagues and me adds up to is this: No one should die from Alzheimer’s disease.”

Whoa. What did he say?!?

“Let me say that again: No one should die from Alzheimer’s disease.”

So, what’s Dr. Bredesen know that everyone else is missing?

There’s several points he brings out (some of these are already out there in the wild, but of course diligently ignored by the pharmaceutical-driven research establishment):

  • Alzheimer’s is not a result of the brain doing something it’s not supposed to — it’s an effort by the body to mitigate damage.
  • Ditto for the dread amyloid plaques.
  • There are three different types of Alzheimer’s, and it’s important to identify the type involved to effectively address it.
  • There are over thirty molecular mechanisms that contribute to Alzheimer’s.
  • Most of those mechanisms have to be addressed to reverse Alzheimer’s — fixing one or two won’t get results if several others are out of range.
  • Treatment — whether hormone supplements, vitamin levels, physical activity, sleep management — must be to optimal levels, not minimum or “recommended” levels.

As Fat Heads, I’m pretty sure none of those thirty-plus factors will come as a shock to you. In chapter 4, facetiously titled “How to Give Yourself Alzheimer’s: A Primer,” Bredesen goes over everything you can do in modern life to pull the trigger on whatever cognitive gun your genes have loaded — high carb/gluten-laden diet, continuous stress, statins, proton-inhibitors, terrible sleep habits, environmental factors, etc., etc.

His protocol, formerly called MEND and now re-branded to ReCODE (Reverse Cognitive Decline), consists of a battery of tests to determine levels for all of those (currently 36) markers, and then designing an individualized program to move everything into the optimal range, accompanied by regular evaluations and feedback.

Of course, once they had completed the initial study, fine-tuned the protocol, and worked with several dozens more patients with similar levels of unheard-of success, they got a backer and applied for a clinical study. They proposed a “four arm” test of a new drug (already in use in 48 other countries, but not the US) both alone and in combination with the ReCODE protocol, and a placebo with and without ReCODE.

Of course, they were granted “a perfect storm of rejection.”

Surprised?

Anyone?

Anyone?

Bit of quick math. Let’s assume Dr. Bredesen is on to something and there are (as currently defined) thirty-six different variables that have to be in balance to reverse cognitive decline. To test each of the possible combinations using the “scientific” approach that the single-bullet research industry insists on, that would be 2 (true or false) to the 36th (number of variables) power. So you’d only have to run between 68 and 69 billion separate studies.

I’m thinking it would be worth a shot to allocate a few million of the billions of dollars the Anointed of the Alzheimer’s industry have been pounding down the amyloid plaque rat hole for the last couple of decades. You know, just to see what happens.

Or how about we have a vote? We can have a vote between all of the people who have demonstrated long-term clinically measured improvements in cognition from the several hundred that Bredesen has treated vs. all of the people who have demonstrated long-term clinically measured improvements in cognition from the several million that the existing Alzheimer’s industry has treated. Pretty sure the Bredesen group would win by a landslide.

The book lays out all of the tests in the protocol, along with how to assemble an action plan based on the results. The easiest way to implement the protocol is to go to Bredesen’s website and send an email via the “participant” tab. It’ll cost you $75 a month (one year minimum), plus probably several hundred to a thousand dollars for a local practitioner (they have a list) over the year, and whatever supplements or additional tests you need. All in, probably about what most people spend on their cable and cell phone plans for a year.

Besides being an interesting, well-written read on a topic that’s going to affect many of us personally and certainly all of us as a society, I also got a new favorite term out of the book — “hanging crepe.” The origin is in the old practice of hanging black crepe in the doorway and windows of a home where someone has died to notify everyone of the bad news. It’s evolved to mean being incredibly pessimistic generally, and in medicine it means painting the bleakest possible picture to prepare concerned parties for the worst possible (inevitable) outcome. So now when I hear “Alzheimer’s specialist,” I think “million dollar crepe hanger.” It works.

So, we’ve kind of got primers for each stage of the HFLC/Paleo/Primal/Fat Head life. Of course, “Fat Head Kids” for the younger crowd. If you’re under 35 or 40, read (and live) “Primal Blueprint.” Up to 60 or so, if you’re a little late to the party, you should probably check out “Undoctored.” Sixty-plus or have someone you care about who’s getting a bit (or very) fuzzy, buy “The End of Alzheimers.”

Today would be good. Have a great weekend!

Cheers,

The Older Brother

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01 Jun 02:28

A SEARCH ENGINE’S CURRENCY IS TRUST: Google listed “Nazism” as the ideology of the California R…

by Glenn Reynolds
17 May 00:58

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, CRAZY YEARS EDITION: Professor notes men are taller than women on a…

by Glenn Reynolds

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, CRAZY YEARS EDITION: Professor notes men are taller than women on average, SJWs storm out angrily.

The speaker you’ll see here is biology professor Heather Heying, wife of professor Bret Weinstein. Both Heying and Weinstein left Evergreen State College as part of a settlement deal last year. Heying was making a point about physiological differences between men and women. “Are men taller than women on average?” Heying asked rhetorically. She added, “Does anyone take offense at that fact?”

It seems someone in the audience did because Dr. Peter Boghossian (seated on the right) turned toward the back of the room and Professor Heying chuckled.

“So I would say you could be irritated by it,” Heying said. She continued, “You could be irritated by the fact that women have to be the ones that gestate and lactate. You could be irritated by a lot of truths but taking offense is a response that is a rejection of reality.”

But before she had even finished her statement, a group of students got up and walked out of the room. As Heying continued to talk about physiological differences between men and women, there was a loud commotion in the back of the room. One of the protesters apparently damaged the sound system on the way out.

At this point, a camera out in the lobby area shows a small group of protesters, one of whom (the girl with purple hair) is led to a seat by a police officer. There are some cuts in the video but she is clearly agitated and says at one point, “Even the women in there have been brainwashed.” She shouts “F**k the police” as she exits a few moments later.

Another protester in the lobby says, “You should not listen to fascism. It should not be tolerated in civil society. Nazis are not welcome in civil society.” I guess that explains the urge to wreck the sound system.

I predict that it will be harder and harder to argue that higher education adds value, either for individuals or for society.

15 May 21:41

DAN SANCHEZ: Mises Never Gave In To Evil. “Put yourself in Mises’s shoes on the front line. You, be…

by Glenn Reynolds

DAN SANCHEZ: Mises Never Gave In To Evil. “Put yourself in Mises’s shoes on the front line. You, better than anyone else in history, understand the workings of the peaceful market society. You understand the fatal flaws of socialism and interventionism and the futility of war. You have the answers! You know the societal code that would unlock and unleash humanity’s potential. But nobody will listen to you, and you are surrounded by destruction and madness.”

Well, to be fair, I am on Twitter almost every day, so . . .

01 May 18:12

JUSTICE: Microsoft Persuades Court to Imprison Man for ‘Counterfeiting’ Software They Give Away for …

by Stephen Green

JUSTICE: Microsoft Persuades Court to Imprison Man for ‘Counterfeiting’ Software They Give Away for Free. “The electronics recycling innovator faces 15 months in prison and a $50,000 fine.”

01 May 16:00

REMEMBER THIS WHEN THEY TELL YOU THE SCIENCE IS INFALLIBLE: DNA Blunder Creates Phantom Serial Kill…

by Glenn Reynolds

REMEMBER THIS WHEN THEY TELL YOU THE SCIENCE IS INFALLIBLE: DNA Blunder Creates Phantom Serial Killer. “The only clues that ‘The Woman Without a Face’ left behind at 40 different crime scenes were DNA traces. These were collected on cotton swabs, supplied to the police in a number of European countries. Now police investigators have established that in all probability the DNA had not been left by their quarry but by a woman working for the German medical company supplying the swabs, who had inadvertently contaminated them.”

That’s right: Her DNA was on the cotton swabs they used to check for DNA, because she worked at the cotton swab factory.

01 May 14:48

THE LAST SLAVE: Zora Neale Hurston’s Interview Found. The book is based on three months of perio…

by Glenn Reynolds

THE LAST SLAVE: Zora Neale Hurston’s Interview Found.

The book is based on three months of periodic interviews with a man named Cudjo Lewis — or Kossula, his original name — the last survivor of the last slave ship to land on American shores. Plying him with peaches and Virginia hams, watermelon and Bee Brand insect powder, Hurston drew out his story. Kossula had been captured at age 19 in an area now known as the country Benin by warriors from the neighboring Dahomian tribe, then marched to a stockade, or barracoon, on the West African coast. There, he and some 120 others were purchased and herded onto the Clotilda, captained by William Foster and commissioned by three Alabama brothers to make the 1860 voyage.

After surviving the Middle Passage, the captives were smuggled into Mobile under cover of darkness. By this time, the international slave trade had been illegal in the United States for 50 years, and the venture was rumored to have been inspired when one of the brothers, Timothy Meaher, bet he could pull it off without being “hanged.” (Indeed, no one was ever punished.) Cudjo worked as a slave on the docks of the Alabama River before being freed in 1865 and living for another 70 years: through Reconstruction, the resurgent oppression of Jim Crow rule, the beginning of the Depression.

When Hurston tried to get Barracoon published in 1931, she couldn’t find a taker. There was concern among “black intellectuals and political leaders” that the book laid uncomfortably bare Africans’ involvement in the slave trade, according to novelist Alice Walker’s foreword to the book, which is finally being published in May.

Fascinating. I hadn’t read before about the famed woman soldiers of Dahomey being used to capture slaves en masse.

The book is Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo.” (Bumped).

23 Apr 02:41

THEY’RE ALWAYS IN THE LAST PLACE YOU LOOK: Astronomers Discovered another Earth. “While it has bee…

by Glenn Reynolds

THEY’RE ALWAYS IN THE LAST PLACE YOU LOOK: Astronomers Discovered another Earth. “While it has been projected that there are at least 40 billion Earth-sized planets circling in our Milky Way Galaxy, this specific finding is labelled the first Earth-sized planet to be discovered in the habitable zone of another star.”

18 Apr 18:33

PRECIOUS GEMS: These diamonds are tiny, flawed, and may come from a long-lost planet. A new study…

by Stephen Green

PRECIOUS GEMS: These diamonds are tiny, flawed, and may come from a long-lost planet.

A new study published in Nature Communications today offers a dramatic origin story for the meteorite. Based on materials found inside the diamonds nestled within, researchers think this may be the remnant of a long-lost planet or planetary embryo; one that was still in its infancy when the chaos of the early solar system obliterated it.

In this case, the diamonds aren’t the most important part of this story. They’re just the heavy-duty packaging for much more precious cargo held inside. While a jeweler might see a bit of rock trapped inside a diamond as a flaw, to a geologist it is precious. Because of their strong crystal structure, diamonds can preserve minuscule bits of material that would otherwise disappear under the relentless changeability of the universe over time.

Researcher Farhang Nabiei—of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland—was looking at the relationship between the diamonds and the layers of graphite surrounding them when he started wondering about the small pockets of substances trapped within.

Upon closer inspection, he found that the material inside the diamonds could only have been formed at incredibly high pressures—much higher than anything the meteorite would have been subject to as it crashed toward Earth. These diamonds must have held the weight of an entire world — literally.

Read the whole thing — this is an amazing find.