Ghosts of the USDA

I’m wondering when the WoePost will stop haunting readers with stories of the US Dept. of Agriculture’s brutal forced migration from Washington to the primitive hellscape of Kansas City.

Rick McKee Augusta Chronicle

This week it’s low moans from former researcher Andrew Crane–Droesch who tries to convince us moving his department was a loss to research that rivaled the burning of the library in Alexandria.

Egypt, not Virginia.

If I’m reading Andrew correctly, humanity managing to feed itself over the centuries, without the help of scientists at the USDA, was just a lucky fluke. “Humanity’s dependence on the environment is made explicit through our food systems; without the right combination of weather, soil and labor, nobody eats.”

When bureaucrat uses the word “systems” it means the topic is too complicated for mere farmers or other laymen to understand. “…they need experts to make sure that food systems work efficiently and public funds are spent effectively.”

I’m going to interrupt here before Andrew tells us how many times to chew each bite of the “food system” before swallowing. Instead, let’s look at what USDA scientific “experts” and their research brought us in the past.

In a mere 40 years USDA “expert” researchers helped the USA waddle away with the prize for the fattest nation on earth. Then we ate the trophy. USDA research quacks and food fanatics are single–handedly responsible for the obesity crisis that has made type 2 diabetes the trademark affliction of the U.S. welfare state.

Their fraudulent “food pyramid” upended the food industry, bloated millions, cost billions and it was all based on “settled science” that was dangerously wrong.

Reduce saturated fat intake to 10 percent? Wrong. Cut back on salt until corned beef is only a memory? Wrong. Increase carbohydrate intake until you look like a stuffed shell? Wrong.

According to the Daily Mail: “A new review says evidence from [medical research] trials did not support the advice. It says it is ‘incomprehensible’ that such advice was introduced for …220 million Americans . . . ‘given the contrary results from a small number of unhealthy men.’”

Two generations now have no idea what a decent steak tastes like due to our current “food system.” A vile cabal of granola–heads and the USDA ruined beef. Instead of corn–fed beef that produced tender, marbled steaks — USDA anti–fat crusaders gulled beef producers into going back to “natural” grass–fed beef.

Now we can enjoy the same type of tough, stringy beef Augustus McRae and Captain Call ate in Lonesome Dove. The agency’s motto should be: The USDA – Making It Easy to Go Vegan!

Andrew also has the strange belief that taxpayers are penalized when duplication and empire–building are eliminated. “The team that studies patent law and innovation is gone. Experts on trade and international development, farm finance and taxes all left. The publishing staff all left, delaying dozens of reports on subjects from veterans’ diets to organic foods.”

Where to begin? Patent law and innovation belong in the lethargic hands of the USTPO. Trade and international development belong to Commerce and the State Dept. Publishing is handled by the Government Printing Office. The only entry in that laundry list of waste and duplication that really belongs to the USDA is “farm finance and taxes” and I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt there.

As for the reports on “veteran’s diets and organic foods [sic]”, if the research is of the same quality that produced the food pyramid, I guarantee vets are better off without it.

The truth is his USDA research department was a nerd’s playpen, “We loved ERS because it offered a rare degree of intellectual freedom, combined with the chance to make a real impact. We got to spend a great deal of our time pursuing research questions that we defined.”

And all at taxpayer expense!

Andrew and his merry band of Resistors were another group of self–aggrandizing Truth Tellers to Power! “The Agriculture Department wanted to restrict access to food stamps, for example. According to our models …food assistance programs were often a positive multiplier for local economies.” As if any agency report in the history of bureaucracies ever found that a program comprising a large part of the agency budget was ineffective and counter–productive.

An estimated 141 of the 180 bureaucrats ordered on the march refused to budge. That’s not a tragedy. That’s a good start.

The USDA is a self–licking ice-cream cone that essentially pays one group of dependents to grow food and pays another group to eat it, all at incredible taxpayer expense. If an order to move west produced an 80 percent attrition rate in the rest of the agency it wouldn’t occur a moment too soon.

Sanctuary Maternity Wards a Leftist Success Story

Some readers may have thought my recent column on anchor babies was more alarmist than the situation warranted. After all, many pregnant women complain when they have to get up from the TV to go to the bathroom. So how many illegals are realistically going to waddle across the border to give birth on the Sammy side of the street?

Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com

The Center for Immigration Studies provides timely context regarding the issue. According to Breitbart’s analysis of the report, “There are an estimated 28,000 births to illegal aliens every year in the Los Angeles metro area, exceeding the total number of U.S. births in 14 states and the District of Columbia.”

Illegals don’t have to be in labor when they sneak across the border, they can begin the anchor baby manufacturing process when they are already in the States. Since Los Angeles is a sanctuary city there’s little danger of being deported if the illegal confines herself to identity theft and an EBT card or two.

Once the baby’s due, the senorita calls the sanctuary ambulance for a ride to the sanctuary maternity ward where a crack sanctuary medical staff delivers a brand new anchor baby. This bebé ancla is not only the key that unlocks city, state and federal welfare programs for our new madre, the nino is also future deportation prevention, since sending mom back would mean “breaking up the family.”

(Isn’t it strange no one ever asks what kind of mother would abandon her baby rather than take it home with her?)

California’s total for anchor babies is 65,000 a year, followed by Texas’ 51,000 and Florida’s 16,000. Birthright citizenship in the US is a government–endorsed scam that allows Latin American mothers to sign their children up for the best welfare programs, much like wealthy New Yorkers put their infants on the waiting list for the best schools.

The entire grift could be ended tomorrow if either President Trump issued an executive order ending citizenship for illegals born on our side of the border or if our so–called Republican Congress passed a law mandating the same. The fact nothing has been done gives you an idea of how important discouraging illegals is to Congress.

Today’s other follow–up involves food. If food bureaucrats had any honor they would acknowledge the war on hunger has been won, put current programs on auto–pilot and then go make the millions in the private sector we’re assured they could make, if the ‘pubic servants’ weren’t so dedicated.

You can judge the size of the victory over hunger by going to the nearest shopping mall and counting the people who aren’t fat. Bonus points if you can find someone who’s not chewing.

Instead of celebrating their victory the calorie–pushers instead went looking for more enemies. Instead of hunger, they now fight “food anxiety.” This is a slippery term that covers essentially everyone that has ever wondered if the drive through at McDonalds will still be open when he gets there. The term can’t be quantified so there is no danger of the bureaucrats winning this war and seeing a consequent reduction in jobs and funding.

The second enemy was the “food desert” and it’s also part of the mission creep cavalcade. Food deserts don’t describe an actual desert where there’s no food. Instead it’s a geographic area devoid of grocery stores where government elites would feel comfortable shopping. It’s a snob’s wasteland where the man–on–the–street can’t pronounce “quinoa.”

The Washington Post was on this crisis like green on cilantro. Beverley Wheeler, director of DC Hunger Solutions, warned readers, “Grocery-store access is a racial equity issue that must be dealt with, and it’s a health issue. We can no longer pretend we don’t see what we see.”

What that means is that food deserts caused obesity. This never made sense to me. It would stand to reason inhabitants be thinner since the hungry had to walk farther to find food, just as one doesn’t find fat camels in the Sahara. Government jumped on this scam, too.

Crony capitalists used it to subsidize grocery store companies to build in favored areas. The non–profit parasite crowd started advocacy groups that would cause food deserts to bloom after being given only a few million tax dollars.

And then guess what happened? As Tamar Haspel, WaPost food columnist, recently wrote, “No, food deserts don’t cause obesity.” Tamara Dubowitz, admitted “because access was a social justice issue. [The belief] wasn’t based on evidence because there wasn’t any evidence.”

The War on Food Deserts began because it would produce more government spending and the term generated sympathy. That’s all that was needed to commence hostilities, because for the left emotion always trumps evidence.

If you don’t believe me, ask Justice Kananaugh.

Constipation Is an Advantage When Flying American Airlines

Members of any airline frequent flyer club have seen the benefits of membership gradually erode under the relentless assault of airline bean–counters. The yearly mileage necessary to qualify for even the lowest membership level has increased dramatically over the years.

At the same time the member’s accumulated miles have been devalued as the mileage cost of free tickets has been increased to a minimum of 25,000 miles. Other perks, like upgrades and airport lounge passes, associated with climbing up the frequent flyer status ladder, have also been reduced or eliminated.

Milt Priggee, Oak Harbor, WA

The only airline club where the benefits have remained largely intact is the Mile–High Club and now American Airlines has declared war on that collection of randy flyers.

On AA’s new 737–MAX aircraft one would have to be Tyrion Lannister to have even the remotest hope of conducting an induction ceremony, and even then it would be very close. Passengers flying on the remodeled 737 would do well to gate–check their claustrophobia.

The new bathrooms on that aircraft are so small the usage experience more closely resembles that of a human cannonball than it does of relieving oneself. At the circus the human cannonball knows, given the dimensions of the gun tube, once inside he’s not going to have the luxury of repositioning himself.

The same is true for the cruelly–named 737–MAX.

The ‘MAX’ bathroom is 25 percent smaller than the telephone booths flyers have grown accustomed to using in the past. The new comfort coffins are so tight it is impossible to turn around once inside with the door closed. This presents no problem for women or men who want to keep their options open, but for the rest of us, we’re going to have to commit before we close the door.

Plus–sized passengers may require the assistance of Crisco or their fellow passengers to get in and get out.

And that’s not where the similarity to Ringling Brothers ends.

Just as the human cannonball is expelled by the expansion of hot gases trapped behind him in the tube, passengers following an exiting flyer too closely into the aircraft lavatory may find themselves wishing they could eject when encountering a large hot aroma trapped in a small confined space.

These indignities are only confined to healthy passengers. Nervous flyers or those with sensitive stomachs would do well to start practicing hurling while standing erect, because it is impossible to bend over in those bathrooms. This will be no problem for drunks and three–year–olds, but for rest of us abandon all hope of privacy as you are forced to leave the door open to bend over and be sick.

I always assumed when it came to mobile evacuation nothing could top the combination of indignity and excitement one experienced using a bus bathroom while the vehicle was in motion. It would have made perfect sense for Greyhound to install timers in those ‘restrooms’ so passengers could try and remain seated as long as the average bull rider.

Yet even in the worst bus bathroom I never got the impression the company had it in for me. Not so with American Airlines. Only a corporation that’s part of a lock–step oligopoly could exhibit such utter contempt for the comfort and dignity of its customers. To say nothing of its own reputation.

Starbucks shut the entire company down to atone for its sin after offending two black guys that weren’t even customers. American Airlines insults its entire customer base while laughing all the way to the bank.

The indignity doesn’t stop after you’ve finished your business. The sink in this washcoffin is so tiny passengers can only wash one hand at a time. It would have made more sense to dispense with the sink altogether in favor of waterless hand cleaner and devote the added room to the preservation of male kneecaps.

Flight attendants are on the passenger’s side in this dispute. The two shoebox bathrooms are located across from each other in the rear. Attendants have discovered that if doors open simultaneously, the two frequently snag, forming an impromptu wall that traps them in the galley.

Our loss in comfort and privacy is naturally American’s gain. Smaller bathrooms, thinner seats and less distance between seats allow more passengers. AA has increased the load from 160 passengers to 172 with the letterbox–sized bathrooms.

Flyers like me who avoid AA aren’t safe either. Airlines are in figurative race to the bottom and I fear my United will soon adopt AA’s malign one–holer design. The only bright spot I can see — and limited to longer flights — is the reduction in bathroom size might force American to institute a corresponding reduction is flight attendant size. In the interest of safety, of course.

Flyers Progress from Passengers to Freight

More foreigners are complaining about discrimination and Donald Trump hasn’t even taken the oath of office. This time it’s Samoans, which I always thought were New Zealand’s problem, but evidently are ours.

The Telegraph reports two businessmen “filed complaints to the US Transportation Department after they were weighed before boarding a flight from Honolulu – and assigned specific seats to keep the aircraft’s load evenly distributed.”

passenger-sizing-boxOne of the weighees, claims the rule is “discriminatory because it only applies to those flying to or from American Samoa,” which pretty much proves his claim false, since a rule that applies to everyone by definition can’t be discrimination.

Hawaiian Airlines is fighting obesity — or at least poking it in the side — in two ways. First passengers flying to or from Pago Pago, the capital of American Samoa, are barred from selecting seats online and must endure the instrumental version of “Fat–Bottomed Girls” while completing their purchase. Later at the airport everyone is weighed before boarding.

This fact alone creates a mental picture of American Samoa that’s not appealing and pretty much flies in the face of all Pacific tourism advertising. If you’re getting the feeling it would require a tarpaulin rather than a sarong to cover the women of Samoa, you’re correct.

The CIA has done research into the topic — why fight hard–to–find ISIS when it’s so much easier to locate the obese — and its World Factbook informs us American Samoa has the highest rate of obesity in the world.

And this is without a single Old Country Buffet location on the entire island.

The spooks found 74.6 percent of the population comes in the large economy size. But since Samoans haven’t stopped eating since 2008 when the research was done, more current estimates “claim the obesity rate could now be as high as 94 percent.”

Since Jenny Craig’s nation–building effort has evidently failed, the airline was forced to weigh all passengers in the balance. “Our aircraft cabin weight was heavier than projected. This requires us to manage the distribution of weight across each row in our cabin and we have elected to do so by making sure that one seat in each row is either empty or occupied by a traveller under the age of 13,” a spokesman explained.

Samoa Air, which competes on the same route, came up with a solution in 2013 that’s completely neutral. It determines all passenger fares based on weight. Wikipedia ran the numbers and the program works like this: “The fare is calculated by multiplying a base fare (depending on the route flown) by the total weight of the passenger plus their luggage. So a passenger flying from Apia to Asau weighing 176 lbs. and carrying 45 lbs. of luggage would pay $132 for the flight (220 lbs. x $1.32 base fare), while another passenger weighing 132 lbs. and traveling without luggage would pay $79.20 for the same flight. Children are charged in the same way at a 75 percent rate.”

That’s a much more equitable fare structure. I think the bodybuilder that weighs 300 lbs. should pay a premium just like the couch potato who weighs 300 lbs. Right now flying in the US is airborne Obamacare only in this instance smaller people’s ticket prices are subsidizing larger people.

On second thought, here on the ground a lot of the pre–existing condition class is made up of people who annex your armrest when you share a row. And to add insult to injury they often claim a disability and board early, getting your overhead space, too.

Weighing passengers is certainly less punitive than the baggage–sizing boxes at the gate. Sadistic gate agents know any bag larger than an Altoids box won’t fix in those Iron Maidens, which are designed solely to force passengers to check bags.

A slight modification to Samoa’s idea would make the fares more palatable for US flyers. Airlines could publish height and weight ranges for passengers. I was 6 feet tall before I got married and my wife crushed my spirit. That height and my 186 lbs. puts me squarely in the 160 — 196 lb. range for males, so no extra charge for me, but if I was over then it’s only fair to add to the fare.

If a passenger is below their weight range and able to get down the Jetway unassisted then I think a rebate is in order.

The only downside to a weight–based fare structure is it would encourage parents to ship their kids more frequently. I can’t decide which is worse: A dormant obese person passively invading my space, or a juvenile kicking the back of my seat.

The Typo that Bloated a Nation

stupid-fat-people_o_689465For decades Americans have been laboring under a misconception that has fueled the growth of Jenny Craig, stretched spandex to the limit and turned people–watching at the mall into a vaguely unsettling experience.

Mothers, teachers and motorcycle cops have been lecturing us for years that “haste makes waste.” Meaning rushing through a project, test or municipal speed trap can result in sloppy work, wrong answers or hefty fines.

Yet the advice is completely wrong. Haste has almost no correlation to waste. A slap–dash effort directed toward your chores or homework enables you get back to updating your Facebook page that much sooner. And speeding tickets are just a tax on velocity and no indication of a lack of attention to detail.

What these authority figures should have been telling us was “haste makes WAIST.

Japanese researchers with a strange mastication fetish have been studying how people eat. They’ve discovered a direct relationship between how fast you consume and your time in the 40–yard dash. Wait, that can’t be correct. Foot speed is an indirect result. After analyzing 23 other studies, the New York Post tells us, researchers determined diners that wolfed down their food “were more than twice as likely to be obese than those who said they ate more slowly.”

The weight disparity could have been because the fast eaters asked, “are you going to finish that?” and cleaned the slow eater’s plates before they had a chance to respond.

Since a significant portion of the social science community makes a living performing tests that merely serve to confirm conventional wisdom and/or common sense, none of the researchers admitted mom was right when she told you to “chew each bite 40 times.”

It’s possible this judgment is a bit harsh. Maybe the scientists are unfamiliar with the digestive dictum. Judging by the number of people I see in restaurants chewing with their mouths open or talking with their mouths full it could be that mom has completely given up on chewing frequency and is content if the kids avoid becoming cannibals.

Evidently a satiation race begins each time we sit down in front a full plate and begin to eat. According to the science, which I have questions regarding, the longer food stays in your mouth “the more it triggers sensors in your tongue and oral cavity to send satiety signals to your brain.”

This clears up one question I’ve had. In the past I merely assumed it was the cancer keeping tobacco chewers so slim and trim, but evidently it was because their tongue was confused and told the brain they weren’t hungry. Or they were simply nauseous from swallowing the juice.

One would think with the head start an impulse from the tongue has over one from the stomach, keeping the brain up–to–date on digestive progress wouldn’t be hard, but that’s not the case. Like Ben Carson answering a foreign policy question, the full impulses are always a bit behind the curve. Gravity and peristalsis — combined with a Henry Ford, assembly–line style of eating that always has another bite ready as soon the previous morsel disappears down the hatch — appear to give incoming demands the advantage. Before you know it, it’s standing room only in the stomach.

Had America taken mom’s 40–chews–per–bite advice and ruminated more over dinner the nation might be less bovine in appearance now.

If you’re going to haste regardless of your waist, another nutritionist has a suggestion. This time drink 16 ounces of water at whatever breakneck pace you choose, only do it just before you eat. The water will take up space and reduce the size of your meal regardless of how lethargic your tongue receptors are.

I’ve tried this technique in restaurants and it works like a charm. Midway through the meal I have to excuse myself and use the bathroom. At my age by the time I return the waiter has frequently cleared the table, eliminating any temptation for additional eating.

Whether or not you decide to pre–soak your stomach before dinner, please keep in mind “haste makes waste” eating doesn’t mean you get another stain on your pants. It means you get another pound on your hips.

The Only Fat the Federal Government Recognizes Is on Your Behind

The National Institute of Heath functions as sort of a Job Corps for academic researchers that specialize in the trivial. Since the public continually fails to live up to the expectations of our betters in Washington, DC more research is needed on how to improve us. Willingly or not.

While one arm of Big Government is busy fighting ‘hunger,’ the NIH has opened a second front on obesity. Most conservatives would think both problems can’t exist simultaneously, but we don’t have tax dollars burning a hole in our pocket.

Complete details in this week’s Newsmax.com column: http://tinyurl.com/l2kuufx