Christmas Cream

Here’s the recipe for the “Christmas Cream” adult beverage that I whipped up for my wife-  seems to be a big hit with her lady friends.


Single Serving:

1/4 c ‘natural’ coffee creamer

1/4 c milk

1 T Creme de Cacao

2 t Whipped Cream Vodka

2 t Peppermint Schnapps

Mix ingredients and serve over ice.


Party Sized Recipe

1 quart heavy cream

1/2 gallon skim milk

(makes 1 1/2 gallon half-and-half; use that if it’s less expensive)

2 1/4 cup sugar

2 T vanilla extract

1.5 c Creme De Cacao

1 c Whipped Cream Vodka

3/4 c Peppermint Schnapps

1.  Heat milk and cream to 180 degrees (bubbles around the edge).

2.  Add sugar and mix to dissolve.

3.  Add vanilla, mix in.

4.  Mix in alcohols.

5.  Bottle if making ahead and refrigerate before serving over ice.



Concealed Carry Control vs. Violent Crime Rates by State

Question: Does the control of concealed carrying (of handguns) have an impact on violent crime?

Hypothesis: Increased control of concealed carrying will cause an increase in violent crime.

Method: Values were assigned to the level of control in a State as follows: 0 for no control, 1 for shall-issue control; 2 for may-issue control; 3 for no-issue control.  Data was plotted on two axes: one for all violent crime, one for homicide.  Sources: control, homicide, violent crime.  Control level was coded by statute, to avoid bias in subjective interpretation of practice.  Linear regressions were run for both data series to determine the coefficient of correlation.  LibreOffice 3.5.7 was used for charting and calculations.

Results: Both data sets show a weak correlation between increased control and increased rates.  R2 for violent crime is .17, for homicide it’s .14.  In no case did the least violent State in a group have a lower crime rate in either series than the lowest State in the less restrictive groups.

Conclusion: Restrictions on concealed carry may cause an increase in crime, but other cultural factors are probably more significant in determining the overall difference in crime between States.  In no State has increased control lowered crime rates below that of all States with less control – adding control on concealed carry cannot be justified as a valid approach for improving crime rates.

On GMO Labeling

I don’t have a strong opinion as to whether GMO foods are dangerous or not.  In fact, I think the question is wrong – it seems most likely that some modifications could be harmful while others could be harmless.  I’m fairly certain that BT sprayed on an apple tree in the spring is not harmful to humans, but I’m not certain that BT-toxin expressed by the apple and present in the eaten food is harmless to humans.  For some modifications it might be that both ‘conventional’ pesticides and GMO-expressed pesticides are both harmful, one may be more harmful than the other, or that organic is the only safe way to go.  But not eating vegetables because of the price of organic may be worse.  Science should inform this, but it seems to be incomplete at this time.

The separate issue of labelling has important consequences.  In the US, a Natural Rights Republic, the issue of Free Speech is a very important one.  It’s incredibly dangerous to tread on it for some perceived short-term benefit.  For that reason I’m glad the California proposition to mandate labelling failed (whether it really did or not is a separate issue). Compelled speech is one of the worst kinds of free speech infringements.

But the root of the problem lies not in compelled speech, but restrictions on free speech imposed by the FDA.  It forbids companies from putting “GMO Free” on their products, so voluntary labelling can’t happen. They told Polaner (All Fruit maker) that they couldn’t put “GMO Free” on their strawberry spread because a strawberry is produce, “not an organism”. They told Spectrum (oils refiner) that their No-GMO label would imply that there is something wrong with GMO’s so they couldn’t use it.

I’d like to have more information on the foods I buy at the store.  It’s clear that ‘the market’ wants to provide it.  Freedom of speech isn’t just a good idea, it’s the Supreme Law.  It’s time the FDA stopped breaking it.