Potlitical Snapshot


I think it is somewhat usefull to spell out, as plainly as possible, one's political beliefs. So as 2007 gets started lets have at it.

Here is the link that started this by the way. It is a short commentary by a man who was a Regan conservative but has now rethought his possition.

I have a hearty mistrust of authority. This might come from growing up politically under G.W.B. but I like to think that I have always had it. In fact, I think it is the main reason I didn't vote for Bush the first time, I just couldn't trust someone who seemed to ACT authoritative. Regardless I believe now that we need to handicap the federal government as much as possible. Give power back to the states! It might seem kind of obvious but what is good for Alabama is not good for Maine. Over the past 40 years the federal government has slowely raised taxes and used that money to bribe states into following federal mandates. As a result the federal government effectively controles much more then it constitutionally has a right to.

My brother told me a month ago or so that he wanted to see an evolutionary form of government. I think that the driving force of evolution, competition, is desperatly needed. Let states compete for skilled workers and citizens. But they can't do that without the freedom they deserve. Yes, there will be mistakes *cough* Kansas *caugh* but what better way to end a contraversy then to show what happens to a state that embraces the teaching of intellegent design. Likewise let each state figure out how to run welfare, social security, and education. The gambit from a state indistiguishable from an EU country all the way to dang near pure capitalism will be represented. The federal government can then step back and act as a second insurance policy should a state fail and become insolvent.

I also believe that such a large military is dangerous to us as americans. I find it difficult to remember a US military operation (not war, although the last couple of those count too) that hasn't has disasterous unintended consiquences. Most of Africa is still realing from our influences and only now has central and south america begun to recover from our medeling in the 60's, 70's and 80's. No, we are not directly suffering but since when is an unstable world a good thing? Some would argue that by constraining these countries to third world status we have been able to obtain the cheap raw materials that feed our factories. The factories which still far outproduce every other country on the planet by the way, including china. Still, one has to wonder how much richer the world would be as a whole, us included, had their advancement not been hindered.

Which leads me to my economic view point which is staunchly conservative. I have seen enough evidence to convince me that all that stuff we learned in macro and micro economics is true. *Gasp* People are better off overall the less economic constraints they have on them. This includes tarrifs, taxes, price ceilings and floors, subsidies, bans, and the miriad of other ways our government keeps a finger on our economy.

That isn't to say that I am completely lasie fare. The goverments first and formost responsibility is to protect its people and that includes from corporite interest. Regulate environmental interests as well as those things which strictly benifit from government intervention such as utilities. Farming subsidies are an interesting case because it is difficult to ignore the argument that we would need all that farming during war time. With this and other "war time vital resources" I would just have to argue that rarely does war come upon us unanouced. Given sufficient time, like durring WWII, our economy could swiftly change gears.

I am however a social libral. While removing constraints on the economy will lead to a more dangerous situation I believe that the government should be there to provide a safety net. This makes good economic sense overall because the more people are willing to take risks the more the country will benifit from increased buisiness creation and competition. Like I mentioned before, if states are allowed more freedom, then I think this would happen naturally.

Thats about it for right now. There are alot of details that I find interesting like if we cut our military spending by 1/2 what could we do with that 400 billion dollars? But those are besides the point.

I am looking forward to the political debates as we near the 2008 election. My goal is to create a summery, akin to this, of every serious political candidate. A sort of political value system of each person. I don't anticipate it being easy but the juxitposition between what they write, what they say, what they have done, and what people say about them should be very interesting.


High Fructose Corn Syrup

Kind of out of character for this place but I spend some time looking into the whole high fructose corn syrup craze. For some reason in the last year or two fructose has become the "evil food de jouier" (pardon my french!) and high fructose corn syrup has been dragged along with it. In anycase, I hope it is helpful.

I looked into the fructose thing and it seems that it is both good and bad. It is good in the sense that unlike glucose it takes a significant amount of time to be metabolized so that it doesn't stress your pancreas as much. In this sense it may help prevent diabetes but is has the very real benefit of providing a more even energy source then glucose alone. You may have heard of the Glycemic Index of food, it rates the rise in blood sugar immediately after eating that food. Low GI food is supposedly less of a shock to ones system since it is metabolized more slowly. The real benefit of a low GI diet is supposedly in balancing ones energy and mood throughout the day although I have never had the patience to test this out.

Whats funny is that Sucrose (table sugar or cane sugar) is broken down in the intestine into one molecule of glucose and one molecule of fructose and most commercially available sources of high fructose corn syrup also have roughly a 50/50 ratio of fructose to glucose. The higher concentrations require greater processing so are more expensive and since the chief reason for using HFCS is price... your probably not going to get the 90% pure stuff. The end result is most high fructose corn syrup that you eat is no more dangerous then table sugar.

Since fructose is over twice as sweet as glucose HFCS ends up taking less calories to make something as sweet then if you just poured table sugar into it. Where you do find the 90% fructose corn syrup is in "light" foods where sweetness is needed and the extra cost of HFCS-90 is worth the reduction in calories (probably reduces calories due to sweetener by 1/3).

Interestingly, it is difficult to find fruit with a fructose content greater then 50%, the highest being apples and pears. You are better off eating apples and pears a while before a run and say a banana, grapes, or cherries right after as a quick replenishment. The difference between the two is fairly significant with apples coming in at nearly 70 % fructose and the others in the low 40's. Dates are a spectacular 38% ! This explains why I eat them like candy, instant sugar rush...

The evil aspects of fructose are harder to pin down but ultimately it doesn't matter. I think most of the bad rap has come from the fact that HFCS is cheaper, easier to process, and goes bad more slowly then table sugar so it has allowed so many things to become sweeter more cheaply. In the end the moral of the story is eat less sugar, which we already knew. Doesn't matter what you eat, half of it is likely to be fructose so just eat less of it.