They lost me at the word, “tax.”
Up until then, I was with them all the way.
I gave up refined sugar 20 years ago. And in the past 2 years, I’ve gone through a health and fitness renewal that has plunged me into new research and changes to my own diet and workout routines.
So, I often watch videos, made by obscure professors, reading really boring research documents, about things like fructose molecules and AMPK and mTOR and the glycemic index and…well…you’re probably already bored.
The video I was watching, on this particular day, was of a seminar in California, at Stanford University, where several doctors came to the podium and shared their individual cases for how sugar and the proliferation of sugar over the past one hundred years, has been at the root of the obesity epidemic, also affecting everything from type 2 diabetes to heart disease to cancer and a half dozen other serious things.
The science is incredibly strong. We can now pretty well trace the majority of metabolic dysfunction to some sugar connection. There have just been so many conclusive studies, it’s hard defend that substance anymore.
In the health and fitness space, this is one of the few things everybody agrees on. Carnivores and Vegans go at it. Calorie counters and keto people square off in endless debates. But one thing they ALL share common ground on is the fact that a cookie has no nutritional value whatsoever.
And they’re right.
Even if you don’t know the science, you can feel your body change when you give up sugar. We all know this is true. We ALL know, instinctively, that we shouldn’t let the kids sit down and eat all the contents of the bag IN ONE SITTING, after Halloween.
We’d let them eat as much broccoli as they might want. We’d allow them to consume any amount of salad. Because we know that’s feeding hunger. But the sweets? We know THAT’S feeding something else…a craving. And we know it’s not healthy. Yes, deep down we know.
These doctors all made strong, air-tight cases. But then, they all ended up in the worst place you can end up.
When they got around to offering solutions, they all (to a person) pounded the podium in favor of taxing sugar at a higher rate and placing punitive taxes on sugar-based substances like soft drinks and candy.
In short, they defaulted to the position of population and behavior control, by the government, over the position of persuasion and dialog. This is where statists always end up…if you won’t do it for your own good, we’ll MAKE you do it…for everybody’s good.
My wife, daughter and I don’t eat sugar in our house. But my son does. Still, we have always talked to him about the dangers of sugar and how bad it is for him. And as a result, he has never been into sugary sodas. He eats sugar, but mostly sparingly, and he never over-eats anything.
He’s now 15. I’ve taught him about sugar since he was old enough to listen. Now, what he puts in his mouth is his decision. I know he won’t always make good decisions. I didn’t when I was 15. But if I ban him from eating sugar in the house, it will become an obsession and he will simply binge on it when he’s not in the house.
The point is this…
I can make a really strong case for eliminating sugar from every store shelf in America. I could testify before congress and quote to them chapter and verse why they should pass a law forbidding the refining, packaging and sale of this substance. But I would never do that in a million years. Because if you want that cupcake today, it should be your choice.
It is killing you. It is spiking your insulin and causing you to store fat, also placing stress on your liver and kidneys. It is affecting your eyesight and skin. It is changing your taste buds and re-wiring your brain function. It is having a significant effect on your depression, or bi-polar disorder or ADHD. And it is the thing clogging your arteries…the cholesterol is just showing up to mitigate the problem.
But have your cupcake if you want. You’re on your own journey. And when you’re ready to give up cupcakes, you will. OR you won’t and you’ll just get sicker. Either way, it’s up to you. And it’s up to people like me to talk to you about it and share whatever information I have with you.
The United States is re-drawing our battle lines over the abortion debate yet again. And this always seems to be just a mic drop war.
On one side, there are those who will never back down from the idea that nobody should be able to tell them what to do with what they’re carrying inside them. On the other side, there are those who believe what those women are carrying inside them is a human life, and therefore that life must have all the protections of any other life.
Here’s the deal…the science is on the side of life. Roe V Wade happened before ultra sounds and prenatal research and all of the new technologies we have now that basically prove that whatever you want to believe about what’s growing inside you is definitely alive.
But here’s where it gets complicated …
I have a 19-year-old daughter with a severe disability. She is non-verbal and operates at about a 2-year-old level. At the moment, my wife and I can monitor every single person she comes in contact with. But there is a 60% (yes, I said SIXTY PERCENT) molestation rate among people with special needs.
Predators migrate to that community because the victims very often cannot defend themselves or even speak. My daughter is in both categories.
My daughter’s condition prevents her from ever taking a baby to term. It would kill her and most likely the child as well. Simply put – that cannot happen.
You cannot believe the nightmares I have had, where my wife and I are both dead and gone and she’s being cared for in a facility, somewhere, and someone rapes her and impregnates her. It makes my stomach hurt and throws me into a rage…and it hasn’t even happened.
For a person like my daughter, there would be no good options. But I’m going to be very transparent, here. As much as I abhor the idea of abortion, having it on the table as a safe and legal option for someone like my daughter, is something I hesitantly prefer.
For those who say they’re proud to have had an abortion, you need professional help…and Jesus. There’s nothing about that act that should make anybody proud.
For those who want every baby brought to term with no questions asked, you are basically supporting the idea of imprisoning women who have an abortion. And is that what you really want.
I say put your money where your mouth is and adopt. That’s what I did.
But until we have the real conversation about this, it’s all going to be grandstanding and platitude slinging on both sides.
A couple of points of order, however …
A reversal of Roe V Wade doesn’t make abortion illegal. Abortion was never made legal or illegal. There was a court ruling on it that established precedent. And those can be overturned. That’s why you need to make laws through the law making process.
We need Schoolhouse Rock again. Or at least look up “I’m Just a Bill” on YouTube.
Nobody should have leaked this decision. And nobody should be protesting at a judges house. Also …
Women need to be made to feel like nobody is trying to put them in The Handmaid’s Tale. But then everybody also needs to recognize that scraping away living tissue from a uterus is more than just a casual decision that isn’t a big deal.
The dynamics of this issue are complicated and nuanced. And they involve getting males who help make these children involved, too. They involve the government underwriting businesses that rely on abortions for their income streams. They involve the very idea that life is sacred and not some nihilistic exercise that has no meaning whatsoever.
I’m not trying to compare abortion to a cupcake. But both involve life and death. Both seem like the answer, in the moment. And both involve crusaders who want the law to reflect what they believe to be true.
I find myself simply trying to be a good example of what I believe by adopting unwanted children and staying away from cake.
Believe it or not, those two things might be the best first steps we can take.
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