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NEWS YOU CAN USE: How To Raise A Pig That Tastes Like Whiskey. “Whiskey-flavored bacon? Look, it was only a matter of time before someone tried this.”

Result, unsurprisingly: “It was hands down the best-tasting pig I’ve ever eaten.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Now VSU Is in Trouble. “Enrollment at Virginia State University in Petersburg is down by 550 students this year, and the historically black university is facing a $5.3 million shortfall, including a $2.4 million reduction in state support. . . . Norfolk State University, Virginia’s other public, historically black university , is facing difficulties as well, while St. Paul’s College, a private college, closed last year.” The HBCUs, founded when most schools didn’t admit blacks, have been in trouble for a couple of decades. Now, however, they’re also facing a secular decline in higher education as a whole on top of that.

HOME COOKING and the Left’s resentment of effort. If you’re poor, you should be preparing most or all of your food. It’s much cheaper. Plus:

I am a man who does most of the everyday cooking for my family. I don’t mean that I share the cooking; I do virtually all of it. Nor do I mean that I’m a stay-at-home dad. I work full-time, and then some. I bring home the bacon and cook it up in a pan. (And I look just like the guy in the stock image above. Really.) So I can say a little something about this supposed “tyranny.”

Which is, obviously, no big deal. Everyone does it and has been doing it since man first tamed fire. It’s not a hardship any more than any other aspect of life. You might as well write an essay on how difficult it is to get out of bed in the morning, or do the laundry, or mow the lawn, or keep track of the bills, or do a thousand other things that people do every day. Cleaning toilets is a real bummer, you know, so maybe that’s tyranny, too.

Well, you’ve just outlined the next month of Amanda Marcotte columns.

IT’S COME TO THIS: The War On Bacon Is Real.

HORRIFYING NEWS: Bacon is about to get really expensive.

You can always stock up. There’s even Tactical Bacon, if you prefer that.

I LOVE BENTON’S BACON from Madisonville, Tennessee. Here’s a short film about them.

THE HUFFINGTON POST HAS SEEN THE FACE OF EVIL: The Bacon Cheeseburger.

WANT YOUR RELIGION PROTECTED FROM DESECRATION? ACQUIRE A REPUTATION FOR VIOLENCE. Teenage girl sentenced to a year in jail for throwing bacon on a Scotland mosque. Hey, I don’t create the incentive structures, I just point ‘em out.

IS THERE ONE FOR BEER, TOO? 17 Genes For Food Preferences Identified By Italian Researchers. There’s one for bacon, so. . . .

THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED: Grilling Over Charcoal Is Objectively, Scientifically Better Than Grilling Over Gas. I anticipate a lack of consensus. Though the bacon argument is pretty potent.

But see, Grilling Over Gas Is Objectively, Scientifically Better Than Grilling Over Charcoal.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: How To Make An American Flag Out Of Bacon.

I THOUGHT THEY JUST GAVE YOU $200 AND A NEW SUIT: Hacker “weev” demands bacon following prison release.

THE OBAMA ERA JUST GETS WORSE: Brace yourself: The bacon shortage is coming.

Just in case, I’m stocking up!

MY BACON DEFICIENCY IS BAD ENOUGH, NOW THIS: Five a day is not enough fruit and veg for best health.

HOW CAN YOU REALLY MOCK SOMEONE WHO SAYS THIS? “I’m not sure how healthy bacon is in general, but I know it’s incredibly delicious.”

SO WHEN I SAW THIS “SQUEEZ-BACON” ON FACEBOOK, I IMMEDIATELY WENT TO AMAZON, but came up dry. The closest they had was this, which wasn’t all that close. I’d try it, though. I already tried the Baconnaise.

squeezbacon

UPDATE: In the comments, several readers note that this is a hoax. But you say “hoax,” I say “missed market opportunity!”

HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): CBS News: Food Prices Soar As Incomes Stand Still.

ConvergEx market strategist, Nick Colas, said that mothers could tell the government a lot about inflation.

“Food inflation is far greater than the government thinks it is,” he said.

But the big problem for families: Wages are not budging.

“If my income isn’t going up, how am I going to keep up with inflation?” Singer asked. Median income is up only 1 percent a year. For Singer, that makes it hard to save for college tuition – which has been rising 6 percent to 8 percent every year for five decades.

“The price of college is terrifying and so we’re looking at cheaper schools or scholarships, I hope,” she said. “You know, ‘Run faster in track.’ That will really help me out a lot.”

Many are concerned that while economists paint a benign picture, middle-class families are quietly struggling.

You know who’s not concerned? President Obama, who cranks the thermostat, eats Wagyu beef, and golfs on private courses while moms like Jen Singer turn the heat down and only buy bacon when it’s on sale.

CULTURAL INSENSITIVITY: Cringeworthy French McDonald’s Ads Try, Fail to Poke Fun at Americans.

IN THE MAIL: From Wesley Morrison, I Would Like My Bailout in Bacon.

FOOD: Bacon Explosion: The BBQ Sausage Recipe Of All Recipes. “Now that your pork is well seasoned, it’s time to add more pork.”

COMING SOON, NEWS ABOUT HOW FISH ACTUALLY KINDA WANT BICYCLES? Why women still need husbands.

That women prefer part-time work is simply irrefutable. It was true back in 2007, and it’s even true among Ivy League graduates! Study after study, both here and abroad (the majority of women in the UK, Spain and other countries seek some combination of paid work and family work) shows women as a whole (the Sheryl Sandbergs notwithstanding) want multifaceted lives. They want balance.

And there’s only one way to get it: rely on a man’s more linear career goals. Unlike women, a man’s identity is inextricably linked to his paycheck. That’s how most men feel a sense of purpose. Indeed, research shows men see it as their duty to support their families even when their wives make as much money (or more) as they do!

Perhaps that’s because men can’t produce life the way women can—let’s face it: those are some serious shoes to fill—but they can produce the means to make a child’s life secure. As a nation, we dismiss this integral part of masculinity. But that doesn’t make it any less true.

So why not let husbands bring home the bulk of the bacon so women can have the balanced lives they seek?

Because women with husbands vote Republican. Single women dependent on the government vote Democrat. Thus, a plethora of policies and media tropes aimed at producing the latter.

EVERYTHING SEEMINGLY IS SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL: Milwaukee Aldi stores pull grapes after shopper finds black widow spider in container.

Plus: Potentially Deadly Spiders Found in Supermarket Banana. You never hear about this happening with bacon.

L.A. TIMES: Is It Time To End The War On Saturated Fat?

The British Medical Journal has issued a clarion call to all who want to ward off heart disease: Forget the statins and bring back the bacon (or at least the full-fat yogurt). Saturated fat is not the widow-maker it’s been made out to be, writes British cardiologist Aseem Malhotra in a stinging “Observations” column in the BMJ: The more likely culprits are empty carbs and added sugar.

Virtually all the truths about preventing heart attacks that physicians and patients have held dear for more than a generation are wrong and need to be abandoned, Malhotra writes. He musters a passel of recent research that suggests that the “obsession” with lowering a patients’ total cholesterol with statins, and a public health message that has made all sources of saturated fat verboten to the health-conscious, have failed to reduce heart disease.

Indeed, he writes, they have set off market forces that have put people at greater risk.

This will all be familiar to readers of Gary Taubes, of course.

I HAD FAITH THIS DAY WOULD COME: Math Proves Bacon Is A Miracle Food.

SCIENCE: Math Proves Bacon Is A Miracle Food.

SEE, THE REAL STORY HERE IS bacon as key to the elusive birth-control-for-men. Is there anything it can’t do?

IT HAS ME THINKING ABOUT DINNER: Invasive Asian Tiger Shrimp Species, Now in the U.S., Has Scientists Worried About Ecosystem.

Adult tiger shrimp, whose native habitat stretches from southern Japan through Southeast Asia to South Africa, are known for distinctive black stripes, can grow to the length of a man’s arm and weigh as much as a pound. While the monster shrimp are just as edible as U.S. shrimp, marine scientists are trying to figure out whether they will upset local ecosystems and possibly supplant smaller brown and white shrimp, mainstays of the U.S. shrimping industry.

I have a solution. And some people seem to be catching on already:

Tiger shrimp sightings reported by U.S. commercial shrimpers increased in 2011, and then dropped in 2012 and 2013. But scientists and shrimpers agree the decline isn’t because the tiger shrimp aren’t there.

“We don’t turn them in anymore,” said Brian Schjott, 36-year-old captain of the Mr. Fic, a Bayou La Batre-based shrimp boat. “We just eat ‘em.”

Shrimping last year off the East Coast, his crew pulled in tiger shrimp that were 14 inches long, he said. “We wrapped them in bacon and grilled them with sweet-and-sour sauce,” he said.

If only all our problems were this simple. . . .

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Better With Bacon: 10 Products for the Bacon Lover.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: 10 Products For The Bacon Lover.

IS THERE ANYTHING IT CAN’T DO? Bacon Therapy. “During her hospital stay, a total of 142 larvae were manually extracted, aided by the application of raw bacon which served as an attractant and petroleum jelly occlusion.”

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Homemade Bacon Tastes Amazing.

One of the great joys in life is good bacon. I have purchased great bacon from time to time. A lot of people avoid bacon. They are missing something. It’s part of a healthy diet! I eat bacon all the time, and my weight is down, along with my cholesterol. I never understood things like Turkey bacon.

When I wanted really good bacon, I went to The Butcher and Larder. He makes his own. Online at Instapundit, I read that you could make bacon at home. . . . It tastes amazing. I threw some photos up on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @pointsnfigures. It might be some of the best bacon I have ever had. There is no way it lasts a week in my home. My next move is to go to Butcher and Larder and buy some more fresh belly. You have got to try making bacon at home. You won’t buy chain grocery store bacon again.

So there you are.

I CAN DIE HAPPY NOW: Bacon Jam.

IS THERE ANYTHING IT CAN’T DO? 105-year-old woman says eating bacon every day is her key to long life. On Facebook, Tom Bell comments: “When looking for the causes of unrest in Mideast, do not overlook bacon deficiency among the principals. No bacon, no peace.”

AT AMAZON, bestsellers in military history.

UPDATE: Reader Anne Korin emails: “I just saw the military history books link and thought I’d plug a GREAT military history book by my colleague Gal Luft, titled Beer, Bacon, and Bullets: Culture in Coalition Warfare from Gallipoli to Iraq.”

Here’s a review.

PROGRESS: There Are Now Bacon Condoms To Go With Your Bacon Lube.

COMPANY RELEASES NEW BACON-FLAVORED CONDOMS: “I don’t think this what Bill Gates had in mind when he offered $100,000 to someone to invent the next generation condom.”

IN THE MAIL: From Ken Wheaton, Bacon and Egg Man. Life in a Bloombergian dystopia.

WELL, THERE’S AN ADMISSION IN HERE SOMEWHERE: Mike Seidman: Let’s Give Up On The Constitution. “Imagine that after careful study a government official — say, the president or one of the party leaders in Congress — reaches a considered judgment that a particular course of action is best for the country. Suddenly, someone bursts into the room with new information: a group of white propertied men who have been dead for two centuries, knew nothing of our present situation, acted illegally under existing law and thought it was fine to own slaves might have disagreed with this course of action. Is it even remotely rational that the official should change his or her mind because of this divination?”

I dunno. Does this mean we should ignore Roe? Or Miranda? And Baker v. Carr? And if the Constitution is this obsolete and “evil,” then maybe secession isn’t off the table after all? . . . .

UPDATE: I have some more concrete suggestions for constitutional improvement here. You can see me talk about them in this keynote speech from last year’s Harvard Law conference on constitutional reform here.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Paul Berger writes: “The reason a politician or any public official shouldn’t just act in opposition to the Constitution whenever they feel like it? How about because they took an oath not to! If you don’t want to play by the long established rules – find a different game. But I’m just a regular guy in the real world and he’s a Georgetown professor writing in the NY Times, which I suppose speaks volumes about both of us.”

It’s beyond even that. Their entire authority comes from the Constitution, and is the only reason we aren’t entitled simply to ignore them, or hang them from a tree for their insolence. Take away that source of authority because you don’t like the constraints it involves, and you’re a lot closer to the tree. Those who think themselves above the law are not in a position to hide behind it.

MORE: On Facebook, Randy Barnett snarks: “I suppose this means the income tax could now be unconstitutional if we can just get 5 votes.”

MORE STILL: Reader Bill Bacon writes: “If, after all, the Constitution isn’t to be followed then doesn’t that mean we default to the Articles of Confederation? Don’t know about you, but I personally like the idea of having to get unanimous consent of the states to raise taxes….” Heh.

Related: New York Sun: The Times Gives Up. “It will be illuminating to see how far the Times takes its latest lament, particularly because these days the Left generally seems to see the Constitution as a threat more to the liberal than the conservative cause.” As I say, that’s an admission of sorts.

STILL MORE: Inevitably.

P.J. O’ROURKE: Dear Mr. President, Zero-Sum Doesn’t Add Up.

The worst thing that you’ve done internationally is what you’ve done domestically. You sent a message to America in your re-election campaign. Therefore you sent a message to the world. The message is that we live in a zero-sum universe.

There is a fixed amount of good things. Life is a pizza. If some people have too many slices, other people have to eat the pizza box. You had no answer to Mitt Romney’s argument for more pizza parlors baking more pizzas. The solution to our problems, you said, is redistribution of the pizzas we’ve got—with low-cost, government-subsidized pepperoni somehow materializing as the result of higher taxes on pizza-parlor owners.

In this zero-sum universe there is only so much happiness. The idea is that if we wipe the smile off the faces of people with prosperous businesses and successful careers, that will make the rest of us grin.

There is only so much money. The people who have money are hogging it. The way for the rest of us to get money is to turn the hogs into bacon.

Mr. President, your entire campaign platform was redistribution. Take from the rich and give to the . . . Well, actually, you didn’t mention the poor. What you talked and talked about was the middle class, something most well-off Americans consider themselves to be members of. So your plan is to take from the more rich and the more or less rich and give to the less rich, more or less. It is as if Robin Hood stole treasure from the Sheriff of Nottingham and bestowed it on the Deputy Sheriff.

But never mind. The evil of zero-sum thinking and redistributive politics has nothing to do with which things are taken or to whom those things are given or what the sum of zero things is supposed to be. The evil lies in denying people the right, the means, and, indeed, the duty to make more things.

Read the whole thing. Just remember: In a zero-sum society, the redistributors are a lot more important. . . .

UPDATE: Related: Playing the long game on the Fiscal Cliff.

GIRL TALK: I’m Paid Less Because I’m A Woman, But It’s Mostly My Fault:

A man is going to come home with the real bacon. Anything I did was just like extra credit.

I didn’t realize I unconsciously thought these things until I was a 28-year-old woman.

“You haven’t played your career out to its full potential because you didn’t have the stress of making as much money as possible,” my friend told me.

I rolled my eyes, but I realized he was right. First of all, it’s true that being a man who feels wholly responsible for providing for a family is as stressful as it is liberating. My father was fortunate, yet not. I’m sure he fought for raises twice as hard as I have because he really fucking had to. But I don’t have a wife and daughter, so all these years, when I have gone into work it has been with the understanding that I am so grateful to have a job at all, so excited to be in a workplace. I am less concerned with where my career is going or what my paycheck is.

The need to support a family focuses the mind wonderfully.

REMEMBER, JUST BECAUSE THE APOCALYPSE STRIKES there’s no reason to be without bacon!

WHAT EVERYONE NEEDS: Bacon Shaving Cream.

PROGRESS: Scientists Working On Very Important Project To Make Bacon Even Tastier.

JONAH GOLDBERG ON THE DEMOCRATS’ BOGUS CRIES OF RACISM:

One of the points of racial slander is to signal that only liberal policies are guaranteed to be non-racist (even when such policies were forged with racist intent, like the Davis-Bacon Act). This is why the Congressional Black Caucus insists on calling itself the “conscience of the Congress.”

That’s why policies like school choice are routinely denounced as racist, even though they’re largely aimed at improving the lives of inner-city blacks trapped in bad schools. Teachers unions don’t like school choice, ergo, it’s racist.

Any serious attempt by the GOP to win black votes won’t involve Republicans copycatting liberal policies. It will require going over the heads of black and white liberal slanderers to offer a sincere alternative to failed liberal policies on schools, poverty, crime, etc. The more effective that effort, the more the GOP will be called racist.

When Romney, whose father marched with Martin Luther King Jr., spoke to the NAACP, Michael Tomasky of the Daily Beast dubbed him a “race-mongering pyromaniac,” primarily for using the term “ObamaCare” — a term Barack Obama used himself.

Just imagine the attacks in store for a more effective Republican.

Indeed.

WELL, I guess my secret’s out.

UPDATE: Reader Joe Jackson writes: “I was less surprised by the turkey wrapped bacon than by the assertion that the Reynold’s household had ‘kitchen staff’.”

Kitchen staff? That would be, er, me. Though my daughter made potato salad and deviled eggs, and my niece made magnificent guacamole.

WHAT EVERYONE NEEDS: Bacon Band-Aids.

GOT A NICE LETTER from reader Tobias Truman who runs an online disaster-prep store. He sent me some Lifestraws and a bug-out bag — always nice to have another — and observes: “I’ve found our sales to be decent indicators of how the populace is feeling. While our Red-state sales have been steady after the election, our Blue-state sales have almost doubled. (Though folks in Puerto Rico still buy more supplies than any other as disaster-prep is a big part of church outreach there.) There’s no denying right-leaning folks are battening down the hatches in O-land.” Well, on the one hand, “do not take counsel of your fears,” but on the other hand, “be prepared.”

And I love this P.S.: “My wife and I are another Gary Taubes success story; thank you for your posts pointing us to him. My wife and I have lost 70lbs since summer . . . and we really do eat a LOT of bacon.” He’s worth a read.

THE PROBLEM IS NOT ENOUGH BACON: Q: Why don’t apes have bigger brains? A: They can’t eat enough to afford them. “Their argument is simple: brains demand exceptional amounts of energy. Each gram of brain uses up more energy than each gram of body. And bigger brains, which have more neurons, consume more fuel. On their typical diets of raw foods, great apes can’t afford to fuel more neurons than they already have. To do so, they would need to spend an implausible amount of time on foraging and feeding. An ape can’t evolve a brain as big as a human’s, while still eating like an ape. Their energy budget simply wouldn’t balance.”

MARY KATHARINE HAM AND KELLY MAHER: The War On Bacon.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Another Reason Not To Fear Bacon.

UPDATE ON THE INSTACHICKEN RECIPE: ‘Tried your roast chicken. It was a hit with everyone. One suggestion: lay a couple of strips of bacon over the chicken before putting it in the oven (skip the butter if you do this). Bacon improves everything dontchaknow.”

ANIMAL FARM:  A farmer in Oregon was found dead inside his hog pen, and his body had been substantially eaten by the swine. Investigators don’t yet know if he died of natural causes and was then eaten by the large hungry beasts, or if the hungry beasts harbored malicious intent, a la George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Makes you kind of rethink eating bacon, doesn’t it?  Nah– eat or be eaten!

GLOBAL DIAPER SHORTAGE: At least according to the Telegraph.  Rare metals, medicines, bacon… now diapers?  It’s the end of civilization.

 

JUST NBC THE SCHIZOPHRENIA: Note these dueling items at Newsbusters:

● “Economic growth grew at an incredibly sluggish 1.3 percent in the second quarter, revised down from 1.7 percent. According to business writer Jim Pethokoukis, this is ‘dangerously slow.’ However, NBC skipped the bad news for Barack Obama entirely. ABC allowed it a mere 21 seconds. CBS was the only network to allow the story a full report.”

● “Leno: ‘We Wasted Four Years Waiting For Obama To Do Something About The Economy.’”

Glenn already linked to Rand Simberg’s take on Leno goofing on Obama, which assumes that the general public is well aware of the basic underlying news story, even though the news department has completely ignored it.

I’m not sure how it will play out again this year, but I’ve seen this story before.

RELATED: Speaking of just NBCing the network’s schizophrenia, the corporatist network “debunks bacon shortage myth by citing … free-market economics,” Ed Morrissey notes at Hot Air.

OUR BRIEF NATIONAL BACON NIGHTMARE IS APPARENTLY OVER: “Hogwash! ‘Bacon shortage’ is a load of bull,” NBC reports — and while NBC certainly slings plenty of bull, this is one time I hope they’re right.

MORE ON THE IMPENDING BACON SHORTAGE.

I’d say it’s time to stockpile your tactical bacon. Or, if you prefer, Yoder’s canned bacon. Because you certainly don’t want to run out of bacon!

THE COMING BACON APOCALYPSE:  Yes, it’s true.  Brace yourself for the coming world bacon shortage.  Apparently pigs aren’t like rabbits, and they just ain’t havin’ enough babies no more.  But hey, there’s always Bac-O’-Bits, right?  Mmmmmm…. a nice filet, wrapped in Bac-O-Bits.  :)

 

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  Not the Bacon!  Take the electricity, take the oil, but NOT the bacon!

MARY KATHARINE HAM: The War On Bacon.

STRONGER THAN THE DOLLAR: Oscar Mayer Proposes a New Bacon as a New Currency.

BASED ON QUESTIONABLE SCIENCE, Paul Quinn College bans pork in dining halls. Including bacon. Bacon!

WELL, ANYONE COULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING: “Veggie” diet blamed for poor performance of China’s women volleyball team. Bacon is the breakfast of champions.

DOES THINKING HARD BURN CALORIES? I’m going to ponder this, but first perhaps I’ll have some bacon, just in case.

WILL AMAZON’S PUSH FOR SAME-DAY DELIVERY destroy local retail? “Physical retailers have long argued that once Amazon plays fairly on taxes, the company wouldn’t look like such a great deal to most consumers. If prices were equal, you’d always go with the ‘instant gratification’ of shopping in the real world. The trouble with that argument is that shopping offline isn’t really ‘instant’—it takes time to get in the car, go to the store, find what you want, stand in line, and drive back home. Getting something shipped to your house offers gratification that’s even more instant: Order something in the morning and get it later in the day, without doing anything else. Why would you ever shop anywhere else?”

Avoiding stores is mostly a plus, not a minus. Maybe if physical retailers had better staff. . . .

UPDATE: Reader Hunt Brown writes:

Hypocrite.

I like your page, and I enjoy your perspective, but when you start slamming bricks and mortar retailers about the time involved… without mentioning that absent the cost of gas looking on line for an item can be as infuriating as Burdines on December 24… well, that’s not entirely transparent, especially when you are taking a percentage of all online sales that slip through your site. You rail about Obama’s double standards and duplicity, perhaps it’s time you considered your own.

Tough love sucks.

Hey, Farhad Manjoo wrote that passage, not me. (And my Amazon Affiliate status is hardly any secret). But I’ve seldom had to spend much time finding things online — and nothing like the experience of looking in a crowded brick and mortar store. (And I just bought a new skillet at Williams-Sonoma, ending my boycott over their maltreatment of the Insta-Daughter.)

There are some things (shoes, nicer clothing) that I prefer to buy at brick-and-mortar stores; for everything else, I’d personally rather shop online. I do feel, though, that brick-and-mortar stores ought to be trying harder to make the shopping experience pleasant. Instead, I often get the feeling that the staff views me as a disturbance to their texting-their-friends time. I wrote a column nearly eight years ago about how brick and mortar stores could compete with online selling, but most of them seem not to have listened. Oddly, places that compete most directly with online — like Best Buy — seem to try the least.

Meanwhile, reader Grace Kittie has another complaint:

You have touched on a subject near and dear to my heart! I agree that dealing with what passes for “staff” these days is a fine reason all on its own for avoiding local shops, however the feature that has driven me to my laptop and comfy chair is the music that assaults the shopper the instant one steps through the door. It is not uncommon to have two or three different “tunes” floating through the air at once if the shop is large enough. Whatever happened to the concept of quiet contemplation? My first push to the online approach was a few years ago when a locally owned book store, where for many years I had enjoyed wonderfully peaceful browsing, started sponsoring live music events. I complained but was clearly in the minority. I was gone shortly thereafter. (So was the bookstore, come to think of it.)

On the other hand, when you shop online sometimes music starts up in another browser tab and it’s hard to find it and shut it down. At least when you have as many tabs open as I do.

And reader Marc Bacon writes to tell me where I should be shopping: “At Publix. Where shopping really is a pleasure…really.”

Well, we’re getting a couple of new Publix stores later this month. Happy to have someone challenge Kroger’s near-monopoly anyway, but on that recommendation I’ll definitely check them out.

And reader Clay Register gets the last word:

Funny this came up today. Last night I ordered a new $30 weather station from Amazon at about 8 P.M. (tree ants got my remote for the old one). It arrived this afternoon from Kentucky (I’m in FL). I told the UPS guy that, even if I had to pay taxes, this kind of service would be better than driving to the store and possibly not finding what I wanted

You know, I’ve never really considered moving to Florida, but if you’ve got ants that can carry away a remote, I’m pretty sure I never will. But yeah, that’s pretty good. Meanwhile, some related thoughts from Megan McArdle.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Tina Parker emails: “My son, an Economics doctoral student, just came in from the local games & graphic novel store. He browsed, bought a card game, and a couple of books. He said he realized he could have bought the game for less at Amazon but decided he wanted to reward the store for their customer service and game selection. Service will be the only way brick and mortar stores will survive online buying.” That’s what I keep trying to tell them.

MORE: Reader Mike Reynolds (no relation) writes:

First, Thank you for the site, love it, I will keep visiting. Second, in response to your reader Hunt Brown who called you a hypocrite, I must call foul. Having visited your page on a regular basis over the years I know you are affiliated with Amazon. You have told us so and have indicated our patronage of the Amazon link puts a little money in your pocket. I get that. It’s called capitalism. I actually appreciate your recommendations. I shop Amazon weekly and will continue to do so because I get what I need at a great price and with Prime, I get it quick.

If you want to use my name, you may. It’s Reynolds, and even though we are not related, I will continue to visit your site throughout the day.and click through to Amazon. Then I might hit The Corner, or Wired.

And reader Michelle Dulak Thomson emails:

Unless I’m listening to music for work (I’m a classical CD reviewer) at my computer, or watching online video/podcasts/whatever, I just turn the speakers off. There is too much loud and obnoxious music tied into websites these days (or, more often than not, to the pop-up ads associated with them, which Firefox isn’t catching as often as it used to).

Re: Amazon, the sales tax business doesn’t affect me at all, as I’m in Oregon. But if they can leverage their capitulation on the tax thing into even quicker shipping, good on them. I’ve noticed, as Manjoo did, that my Amazon orders are frequently coming ahead of schedule.

Indeed.

HAPPY 75TH BIRTHDAY TO SPAM: America’s favorite canned meat!

I think it may be dethroned by Tactical Bacon, though. It’s not just canned meat. It’s canned bacon.

A BURGER REVIEW FROM BRYAN PRESTON. Sorry, I have to say that In-N-Out beats Five Guys. But I suspect that this burger beats both.

And so does the Brasserie Burger from the Northshore Brasserie, if you insist on bought-burgers.

As for the 100% Bacon Burger, all I can say is, be still, my beating heart! Which is probably what would happen if I ate one. . .

UPDATE: Will Collier says the best burger in America is in Atlanta.

WEIGHT LOSS UPDATE: Reader Michael Wallace writes:

I have been trying to lose about 20 pounds the last couple of years and failing. I have seen your comments on weight loss and mostly looked past them. Then April 20th you recommended the LiveStrong app and pointed out that “dieting” may be a permanent condition for many. For some reason it clicked: there is so much food around us it is very very very difficult to lose weight if you don’t count the calories.

So I bought LiveStrong for my iPhone and began using it on April 21. Since then I have dropped 21 pounds and am measuring everything I consume. Doing so is a fascinating exercise…who knew how small a portion an ounce of ham is? Or how many calories there were in a piece of cornbread The first couple weeks were “different”, but not painful. And I have continued to consume high quality Colorado craft beer, California red wine and Kentucky’s own Broadbent bacon along the way.

Thanks.

P.S. There are probably better apps. There are several things I dislike about LiveStrong, but using it worked.

P.P.S. My daughter, the oil field engineer, is a second generation Instapundit reader. Her news sites didn’t cover the “Obama ate the dog” stuff and she wanted to know where I got news like that. Pepperoni, not pupperoni Barack! Still slays me.

Yes, I didn’t put a lot of research into the Livestrong app — it worked for a friend’s wife so I got it. There may be better ones, but it works. I use it for maintenance; I dropped a few vanity pounds last year, but I’m basically where I want to be. But as I said a while back, in today’s society, most of us have to make a conscious effort not to be fat. It’s a good way to keep track of what you’re eating. I also favor the Gary Taubes approach, seasoned heavily with Mark Rippetoe.

FINALLY! Bacon On A Stick.

THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED! Food activists proved wrong about fat are now setting their sights on sugar. Yeah, but how can you trust an article written by a guy named Bacon?

SCIENCE: Being a man is much more dangerous than eating bacon, it would seem.. Plus this: “What is really striking is that the eat-meat-die-young panic keeps rearing its ugly head so regularly, based on study after study with equally feeble risk ratios and numerous confounding factors. This suggests that the constant desire to scare those of a carnivorous bent has little to do with the evidence – which is shakier than a cow with BSE – and more to do with the prejudices of those who want us all to live a less red-blooded lifestyle.”

Yep.

ANOTHER HAPPY READER: Michael Kauzlarich writes:

I just wanted to write to thank you for tuning me into Gary Taubes. As someone who has struggled most of his adult life with weight, I have been thrilled to see how effortlessly I have been able to lose weight by incorporating the concepts he highlights (15 pounds in 5 weeks and counting – and I can eat bacon!) As a physician, I intend to purchase a bulk order of his books and begin handing them out to the patients in my family practice when I get that inevitable question: “I’ve tried everything doc, but I can’t seem to keep the weight off. What can I do?”

I started a private practice about a year and a half ago, but in the previous 10 years I was a full-time professor in a family medicine training program, and as far as I’m concerned “Good Calories, Bad Calories” should be required reading for every single medical student. Very, very eye opening! Keep up the good work, sir. Your blog is essential daily reading for me!

Glad to help. I recommend both Why We Get Fat and Good Calories, Bad Calories.

And reader Cindy Follick writes: “I’ve been meaning to thank you for your repeated references to Gary Taubes. I have been pre-diabetic for over five years. I didn’t take it seriously for a long time, as I was only a couple of points over the limit (99) for fasting glucose. Last summer, though, it hit 113, and it began to sink in that it was a real problem. I eventually clicked on a Taubes link – I had been skipping over them – and in January my husband and I changed the way we eat. After five weeks, my fasting glucose is 92 and I’ve lost five pounds without trying. Many thanks!” Glad to be of help.

THE NON-PROCREATIVE FUNCTIONS OF SEX: “If you’re interested in the stability of families, then you should also be a fan of non-procreative sex (which, let’s face it, is going to be a majority of sex any couple engages in, even if they’re choosing to forgo birth control). Women who have more sex are happier in their relationships. Sexual satisfaction outstrips even good communication in ratings of a couple’s happiness. Whether you have an active sex life is a strong predictor of your mental health and a lesser, but still significant, predictor of physical health. None of that has anything to do with babies. And it doesn’t really have anything to do with mere pleasure, which is what Santorum said sex is reduced to once the potential for kids has been stricken from the equation. Sexual satisfaction increases relationship satisfaction and couples who are more satisfied in their relationships are less likely to divorce.”

Not that there’s anything wrong with mere pleasure, as far as I’m concerned. Related thoughts here.

But note how the narrative in the press has shifted. The Obama Administration says that churches who oppose contraception still have to pay for it. And then, when people object, suddenly the talk shifts from who pays for contraception to whether someone wants to ban it.

It’s as if we passed a law requiring mosques to sell bacon and then, when people objected, responded by saying “What’s wrong with bacon? You’re trying to ban bacon!!!!”

I’m not much of a Santorum fan — to me, he seems like Mike Huckabee without the charm or political talent — but it’s hard not to notice the narrative jiu-jitsu here. Expect more effort to gin up social-issue hysteria in order to distract people from the real story, which is this:

Obama spent us into bankruptcy, most of the money went to cronies, and the job situation got worse. That’s the real story, not a question of who pays for birth control, which doesn’t cost that much anyway.

UPDATE: Clayton Cramer points out that Santorum has made the distinction clear:

“I was asked if I believed in it, and I said, ‘No, I’m a Catholic, and I don’t.’ I don’t want the government to fund it through Planned Parenthood, but that’s different than wanting to ban it; the idea I’m coming after your birth control is absurd. I was making a statement about my moral beliefs, but I won’t impose them on anyone else in this case. I don’t think the government should be involved in that. People are free to make their own decisions.’’

More thoughts from Clayton here. And if you’re interested, here’s my defense of the Griswold case against Robert Bork’s criticisms.

HOW TYPE 2 DIABETES became an accepted lifestyle.

Hey you know, the surge in diabetes accompanied the government’s switch to the politically-inspired Food Pyramid. Just sayin’ . . . .

UPDATE: Reader John Larson writes:

Long-time reader, first-time writer.

Instapundit is my daily newspaper. I check it several times a day, and learn more from Instapundit than I do from newspapers and TV news combined. I am in Utah, and have learned about David Kirkham and Mia Love from Instapundit. My family lives in Saratoga Springs, where Mia is currently mayor, and we learned about her congressional candidacy from Instapundit.

Your link to the article on Type II Diabetes could not have been better timed. I went to the doctor this morning, and he informed me that I had successfuly cured myself of diabetes. After a year without medication, my blood sugar is normal.

Of course, I did not do this on my own. It was Gary Taube’s book “Good Calorie/Bad Calorie” that showed me the way. And although I did not learn about Gary Taubes from Instapundit, I have seen you link to his work several times. Now would be a good time to plug his books. “Why We Get Fat” and “Good Calories/Bad Calories” should be required reading for everyone, especially doctors.

I could go on and on, and talk about the dietitian that explained the Food Pyramid to me and told me I should be eating carbohydrates and not fat. I followed her plan for a while to no avail. A year of following Gary Taube’s advice, and I’m 60 pounds lighter, my blood pressure is normal, my cholesterol levels are good, and I am no longer diabetic.

Oh, yeah, and BACON!

I keep hearing stories like that.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Sarah Hoyt writes:

My husband has now been two years without medication. His blood sugar is normal. He can even have a small piece of candy, now and then. He lost 135 lbs. I’d say we followed Taubes, too, only he figured it out on his own, before we read him. Oh, yeah, and our always-overweight, very active, not overeating 19 year old FINALLY dropped 100 pounds. If anything he’s eating more and exercising less than he did before we cut the carbs. Yes, it really was “that easy.”

Okay, I ONLY lost 45 lbs, but I’m a woman of a certain age.

Impressive.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Dr. Stanley Tillinghast writes:

I am a cardiologist, and my “specialty” within cardiology for almost 30 years has been preventive cardiology.
I fervently preached the gospel of 30% fat diet (no matter how many calories or how much sugar) as promulgated by the AHA, NHLBI and the heart disease experts.

I knew that no large-scale randomized controlled trial had been done to prove that this low-fat diet actually reduced heart disease events; but at the time (early 90′s) it still was not clear that lipid-lowering drugs would reduce events and improve morbidity and mortality.

Since then I’ve been convinced by the evidence that statins, specifically, have a dramatic benefit in reducing heart attacks and related events, and without any major drawbacks for most people. Is that because they reduce LDL cholesterol? That’s not clear. It may be that the more potent the statin (atorvastatin and rosuvastatin for example), the greater the reduction in events. We have no direct proof. I used to promote primarily (low-fat) diet, niacin, and earlier bile acid resins such as cholestyramine. But it wasn’t until the evidence of statin benefits piled up that it was clear they were superior not only to niacin, but to diet alone.

During the same period that we cardiologists and the health care community were promoting the low-fat/don’t count calories or sugar diet, the nation experienced its epidemic of obesity and diabetes. Cause and effect? We don’t know. But it’s starting to look as if the public health establishment may be responsible for the greatest episode of epidemiological malpractice ever committed.

My personal experience with low-carb diets (I don’t follow Atkins, more the South Beach diet with attention to fat) has been very positive, resulting in a 16 pound weight loss, saying good-bye to my paunch, and with higher HDL, lower LDL, and lower blood pressure. Yes, while eating (Canadian) bacon and eggs every morning.

However, when I protested in an e-mail to the group I work with in prevention guideline development that it’s a pity we don’t have the strength of evidence of benefit of diet for treatment of high cholesterol and high blood pressure that we have with drugs, I was met by a chorus of protests from those who want to regulate salt intake for the public at large.

It will take a major trial with total mortality as an endpoint to prove whether any diet can reduce heart disease events in primary prevention. Will that ever happen? It doesn’t look like it.

If these experts were held liable for unfounded advice the way drug companies are for bad drugs, they’d all be broke and in jail. And what about the dermatologists?

DANIEL HENNINGER: A LESSON FOR THE CATHOLIC BISHOPS:

The American Catholic Church, from left to right, is now being handed a lesson in the hierarchy of raw political authority. One hopes they and their supporters will recognize that they have not been singled out. The federal government’s forcings routinely touch other groups in this country—schools, doctors, farmers, businesses. The church’s fight is not the whole or the end of it.

Since he appeared, no other word has been invoked more often to describe Barack Obama’s purposes than “transformative.” Last year, Mr. Obama began to be criticized by some of his supporters for being insufficiently transformative while holding the powers of the presidency—this despite passing the biggest social entitlement since 1965, an $800 billion stimulus bill, raising federal spending to 24% of GDP and passing the Dodd-Frank restructuring of the U.S. financial industry. Naturally an interviewer this week asked Mr. Obama why he hadn’t been more “transformative.” The president replied that he deserved a second term, because “we’re not done.” In term two, it will be Uncle Sam, Transformer.

Transformed into a place where what Washington wants matters more than what you believe.

Related: Eleanor Clift: Did Obama Pick The Contraception Fight To Fire Up His Base?

UPDATE: The Anchoress: You Bet It’s War.

Next: A requirement that mosques sell bacon.

MORE: Hispanics jumping Obama ship over contraception flap.

MORE STILL: A steaming pile of sexism from Hillary Rosen: “This public debate on whether or not the Obama administration’s sensible policy on covering birth control has turned into a boys against the girls fight. And the boys are out of touch and out of line.”

Shut up, boys. This issue is owned by women.

Related: Senate Democratic Women Are Boycotting Morning Joe. Join the club, ladies. Although for most of us, it’s not so much boycotting as forgetting it exists.

FINALLY: Another Rube Self-Identifies:

Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan says President Barack Obama hasn’t kept his promise, when it comes to the new White House policy on contraception.

Sources told CBS 2′s Marcia Kramer that Archbishop Dolan feels betrayed after his meeting with the president on the issue late last year.

“All statements from Barack Obama come with an expiration date. All of them.”

IS THERE ANYTHING IT CAN’T DO? Stopping Nosebleeds With Bacon. “A new medical study recommends a method called ‘nasal packing with strips of cured pork’ as an effective way to treat uncontrollable nosebleeds.”

I don’t know why I didn’t see this sooner.

IF YOU THREW BACON AT MUSLIMS YOU’D BE A RACIST: Occupy Providence Throws Condoms At Catholic School Girls.

More here.

USING BOOK-MENTIONS OF BACON TO PREDICT WARS: Two observations: (1) Is there anything it can’t do? (2) Uh oh.

UPDATE: A reader emails: “Historically, there may well be a co-relation to the phrase ‘to save one’s bacon.’ That, and traditionally bacon as a preserved food was a common military ration. Curiously, the Cold War, Korea and Vietnam do not register on the bacon-o-meter, possibly because ‘bacon’ in the modern era has largely been replaced by the word ‘ass.’ And because the Cold War otherwise lacked sizzle. The current spike in bacon references is probably a confluence both of the religious particulars of our current conflict, and this happy time of culinary liberation in which we dwell, when bacon is being embraced and celebrated in new and exciting ways.”

Meanwhile, reader John Scanlon writes: “Google Ngram on ‘liberty’ is pretty depressing.”

True, although “freedom” is somewhat better. Still dropping off, though.

HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Under Obama, Price of Gas Has Jumped 83 Percent, Ground Beef 24 Percent, Bacon 22 Percent. Not the bacon!

JERRY POURNELLE ON PISSGATE: “The Marines acted without thinking of the consequences and must be made to realize that; but I have always believed that far more serious acts take place in every combat action. War is Hell. A rational army would run away. Those men did not run away, and I’d far rather have troops who urinate on the enemy than troops who surrender to get their throats cut while in captivity. And I hope they had bacon for breakfast that morning. I’m told they did. I don’t appall as easily as many, I suppose.”

There’s a moral-poseur bubble going on at the moment. It’ll be interesting when it pops.

TAKE THAT, FRANCE: Fancy Cheeses From East Tennessee. Plus, a brilliant idea: “During the winter when our sheep stop producing, we get local Jersey cow’s milk and we’re going to make Cheddar. Traditionally, that means bandaging the wheels with cheese cloth and wrapping it with lard to flavor. But I’ve been speaking with Allen Benton [of Benton's Artisan Bacon fame] and he’s going to sell us 30 pounds of bacon scraps to render down and use in place of the lard.”

And we’re not just talking pimento. Not that there’s anything wrong with that — especially, as you’ll see, when it, too, is improved with bacon! Bacon. Is there anything it can’t do?

FROM THE EVERYTHING’S-BETTER-WITH-BACON DEPT.: Bacon-Flavored Lube. From the makers of Baconnaise.

RECIPE: Nutella and banana wontons. Michael S. Malone, who sends the link, comments: “If you added bacon, you’d probably have something you could call an ‘Asian Elvis.’”

MATT WELCH: Why The $16 Muffin Is No Joke.

The lesson of government waste, whether on $16 muffins or $535 million loan guarantees to solar power companies or $48 billion in “improper” Medicare payments, is one worth relearning every day.

Managers whose budgets do not depend on customer satisfaction and who do not face competitive pressure in the marketplace, will not, on balance, spend their money wisely. Vendors selling to those managers know that price matters much less than it does to, say, Wal-Mart. And anywhere there is political urgency and official involvement high up the command chain, conditions will begin resembling a gold rush.

Read the whole thing.

Related: Unemployment Cheats Raked in $16.5 Billion Last Year.

UPDATE: Gallup: Americans Say Federal Government Wastes Over Half Of Every Dollar. (Via Kaus on Twitter, who comments: “Davis-Bacon, civ. service, unionism, unfireability–it all adds up 2 kill liberalism.”)

HAPPY International Bacon Day!

THE “FOOD PRICE SPIKE” is still with us.

UPDATE: For first time, more corn used for ethanol than livestock. Reader Drew Kelley writes: “Pretty soon, $5/lb bacon will be ‘the good old days’.”

EXCITING KNOXVILLE NEWS: Southern food evangelist Sean Brock is guest chef at Baconfest.

That’s right. Baconfest.

BLOWING THE STRATEGIC PORK RESERVE IN ONE GRAND GESTURE, at Knoxville’s BaconFest!

“YOU WERE WAY AHEAD OF THE CURVE,” a reader emails, along with a link to this story: China to Release Pork Reserves as Prices Soar.

As I noted in my earlier post, the idea of a Strategic Pork Reserve is quite appealing. I do, at least, have a strategic bacon reserve, though now I wish it were bigger. . . . .

OKAY, WE’RE CLEARLY IN AN ECONOMIC CRISIS, NOW: Bacon Prices About To Skyrocket!

If it gets bad enough, I might have to dip into my emergency supply.

UPDATE: Prof. Stephen Clark writes: ‘No, it’s not your emergency supply; it’s your strategic reserve. ” Ooh, I like that. A strategic bacon reserve. For use in case of a deliciousness crisis.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Hey, don’t mock me. China has a Strategic Pork Reserve. You know, I’ve always mocked Tom Friedman’s wide-eyed admiration for all things Chinese, but now . . . .

I AGREE THAT THE LOW-SODIUM BACON is actually better than the regular stuff. That’s the only low-sodium product I can think of where that’s true. (Whatever you do, don’t drink the low-sodium V8, unless you’ve got a strong stomach.)

GAS PRICES FALLING, but food keeps going up. “While gasoline is off more than 5 percent over the last month, prices for coffee, fruit, bacon, pasta and a slew of other food items have registered gains over the past year as high as 40 percent.”

MEET THE “Bacon Overlord.”

INDISPUTABLE TRUTH FROM BRYAN PRESTON: “Every sane person who eats bacon knows that bacon makes everything better.”

IMPORTANT HEALTH TIP: Eat Bacon And Eggs For Breakfast. I’m down with that. Thanks to reader Larry Tomasson for the link.

I PREFER THE BACON KIND, but now there’s Cupcake Flavored Vodka.

HOW TO improve on bacon. I know, it sounds like sacrilege, but keep an open mind.

UPDATE: Moe Lane rises to the challenge and blogs the result.

MICKEY KAUS: Is the Davis-Bacon Act unconstitutional?

THE DAVIS-BACON ACT’S Jim Crow roots.