We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, February 26. 2013
Tuesday morning links
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Mediterranean Diet Cuts Heart Disease Risk, Study Finds
Is it the wine or the olive oil? My theory, it's the garlic! My approach is to only believe "studies show" when I like what they say.
Yahoo CEO bans telecommuting
Don't Be Afraid to Stereotype Strangers
Wind farms will create more carbon dioxide, say scientists
“The minimum wage for the self-employed is $0.00″
Why Unions Want a Higher Minimum Wage - Labor contracts are often tied to the law—and it reduces the competition for lower-paying jobs.
Chuckie Schumer Pushes Universal Gun Registration After Promising Background Checks Won’t Create Gun Registry
What Scares Sequester Opponents the Most? That Spending Reductions Won’t Hurt At All
Earth to New York Times: Please Show Us these “Deep Spending Cuts” You Keep Writing About
Try building a house in California
MSNBC 'All But a Bona Fide Organ of State Propaganda'
Chris Matthews Offers To Help Hillary’s 2016 Campaign: ‘We’ll Get You In There’
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 05:32 | Comments (33) | Trackback (1)
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I've been telecommuting from Ohio to work in NJ since 1987.
It's a pay-for-play job though, so motivation isn't a problem.
Incidental advantage: you get paid NJ wages living in low-cost Ohio.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer used to be in Google, and appeared on Armstrong and Getty (I recommend their podcasts, especially the first hour) to promote some Google search feature rather than just talking as she'd been promoted to A&G.
So A&G mentioned to her they were trying a new "Marissa Mayer nude" search, and she twisted off. A&G received an email of reprimand from Google.
Translation: uptight stiff feminist in charge.
Steve Milloy : Wind farms will create more carbon dioxide, say scientists
The study only concerns wind farms placed on sensitive peatlands. From the same authors,
Nayak et al, 2010: some of the carbon emission savings expected from electricity generation using wind power are indeed offset by increased greenhouse gas emissions when the wind farm is sited on peatland; but if the site is selected so that the extent of drainage is moderate, and if it is managed appropriately, the additional greenhouse gas losses may be as little as 9% of the total C emission savings. With poor management practices, the greenhouse gas losses can increase to 34% of the C emission savings; and with poor site selection, additional losses may almost or totally cancel out the C emission savings of the wind farm. Therefore, if a wind farm is to be sited on peatland, management practices designed to reduce emissions such as use of road designs that require neither excavation nor drainage of peat, site restoration and habitat improvement, are essential.
Smith et al. 2012 recommends avoiding peatlands entirely.
Were I to be in the business of building wind farms in the UK, peat bogs would be just about the last place I would consider.
- there is a near-religious devotion to saving the peat ecosystem, to the point where traditional users such as gardeners and villagers who burn peat for heat are demonised.
- it's kind of important that towers stand up. Yes, just about anything can be engineered, but how much is it worth really. From a commercial perspective, the point of wind energy in Scotland is subsidy-farming -- the most popular turbines are the ones artificlally restricted so that they are guaranteed to never exceed the output that gets the higher "small producer" tariff. There have to be less destructive ways than building towers in bogs.
Here's the guidance:
The Charlie Schumer link points to the sequester article. Can you please fix it, BD?
Just confirms that Schumer gives snakes in the grass a bad name.
From the Mediterranean Diet link:
Low-fat diets have not been shown in any rigorous way to be helpful, and they are also very hard for patients to maintain
“Now along comes this group and does a gigantic study in Spain that says you can eat a nicely balanced diet with fruits and vegetables and olive oil and lower heart disease by 30 percent,” he said. “And you can actually enjoy life.”
I think it is good practice to trust studies that confirm what we already think to be true. Leave the challenging of the results to those who think the opposite, they will see the holes and misplaced assumptions much more easily.
Saturated fat is good for you. Butter is good for you. Heavy Cream is good for you. Whole eggs are good for you. Olive oil is good for you. Animal fats are good for you.
All the crap engineered into our low fat, reduced sugar process foods are bad for you. Anything labeled 'diet' is bad for you. Polyensaturated fats are bad for you: Veg oil, margarine. Hydrogenated anything is bad for you. Too much wheat based carbs are bad for you.
Eating healthy is good eating.
The minimum wage isn't zero just for the self-employed. It's zero for everyone. The law just makes the curve discontinuous.
the minimum wage for the self employed is 0 only if you're lucky. if you're unlucky it's some negative number.
"Anthropology used to be a science just like any other." Anthropology has never been a science. Way back when, we had social studies, not social sciences, in high school. That said, long have I argued against the “noble savage” promulgated by white, educated Victorian middle-class meddlers and picked up by 20th and 21st century “We’re all equal, all ideas are equal” socialpersons. All the folderol of Indian/Native American oneness with the land is simply part of the noble savage Mary Shelly Frankenstein type.
Well, the idea of the "Noble Savage" had been kicking around since at least the 18th Century. Some blame Rousseau for really spreading the notion; though its been long time since I studied him seems I remember its not accurate to blame him; his idea of man in the raw state of nature was more of a category or type rather than something to admire or aspire to.
before march of PC which begat Social Studies, it used to be called Civics. Civics was the education of how our government worked with some geography and American history which provided some basic tools for becoming a good citizen.
Don't worry comrade, we will tell you how to be a good citizen. Now get back to work.
The Mediterranean Diet study had a significant flaw. It studied "people in Spain who were overweight, were smokers, or had diabetes or other risk factors for heart disease". All of these factors require dieting to improve the condition and alleviate the symptoms. All of these factors lead towards heart disease and stroke. So of course there would be some positive result. None of this would be significant or interesting without the headline "Mediterranean Diet Shown to Ward Off Heart Attack and Stroke". The implication is that a Mediterranean diet would ward off heart disease and stroke in the people without these risk factors and there is zero proof of that. This is like claiming that peanuts kill 5% of the population and a peanut free diet will prevent it. But the test only involves those with a peanut allergy. How does that help those without a peanut allergy. It is likely that if you aren't "overweight" or diabetic that this diet like most fad diets will do nothing for you except increase your monthly food budget. If you are "overweight" or diabetic any proper diet will help improve your health and alleviate some of your symptoms. This same study would probably produce positive results using any of the dozens of fad diets when only the people with these risk factors are studied. This press release is a classic example of bait and switch. It left you with the impression we could all live to be 100 if we ate the Mediterranean diet but all it does is moderately help those people with high risk factors.
Due to recent healthcare crises amongst my siblings, I became aware of the number of drugs these people are taking. Shocker! Their healthcare insurance is paid for by their employers, and they are still in the stage where "the doctor is always right" (something like "the teacher/principal is always right"), but ten or more prescription drugs and the potential for side effects? Treating the symptom vs. the cause?
GWTW, I am sure most of these studies have flaws, but The Mediterranean Diet, which -- like many diets our grandparents from various parts of the world thrived on -- stresses unprocessed foods and lots of fresh vegetables/fruits, herbs, local fish and free-range meats/poultry, nuts, seeds; i.e. products easily available and stored. Such diets make more sense to me than the multiple fads that have become so popular over the last century and the vast quantity of pills I see decorating the daily breakfast table.
Frankly, I don't see any danger in eating such a diet, growing your own window sill of herbs or backyard of fruits/vegetables, buying from local farms, questioning the source of meats and fish, appreciating Internet info and concerned medical providers who are trying to educate the public on a life with limited reliance on Big Phara's solutions.
The extra $100/month I spend on such a diet is WAY less than my siblings' providers spend on drugs.
Perhaps our biggest concern should be "the media" who consistently barrage those who read, listen or watch in hopes of gleaning information that would help their family's health and well-being. The headline writers and PR agents rule. Have you noticed that you can track those media relying on press releases by the same, same, same wording whether it's read or printed. Shame. Click from one medium to another; they don't even bother to change the lede.
I have been studying nutrition and health issues for decades. I have been twisted this way and pushed that way. Almost all of it boils down to personal bias and misinformation. The problem with this study and almost ev ery study I have seen is: A) Either the authors flat out lied and knew the data they got back was statistically significant but used the statistical anomoly anyway to back up their preconceived bias. OR B)Do not understand statistics and don't understand the results basically mean nothing and printed this out of ignorance.
I wish it were true. I wish with all my light that there was a diet that you could adopt and thus enjoy good health and longer life. It is pure BS. IF you have a pre existing illness, like diabetes, THEN a specific diet will help you control the symptoms and mitigate some of the worst long term outcomes. But if you do not have one of these diet specific disease the ONLY thing the Mediterranean diet (or one of the other fad diets) will do for you is make you think you are eating healthy. It won't save money on health care or prevent the need for some drug (except as already stated you have a diet specific disease).
If you already get your MDR from your diet it does not really matter what you eat. You can eat packaged foods or the expensive whole foods and it makes no difference. I wish it did. I wish this common fairy tale were true and I could just follow one of the fad diet books and live to 100. On the other hand I have like the Mediterranean diet, I would eat anything I have seen on the approved list, But I would also eat steak, beef fat, hotdogs, junk food and big macs. I prefer Mexican food and Italian food and good old American food and I like Chinese and some Japanese and...
You should read "The Roots of the Olive Tree", by Courtney Miller Santo. It was just loaned to me by my daughter-in-law who laughs about my research into my ancestry, fed by the fact that most of my relatives lived spirited lives way into their 90's and several into their 100's. We had six generations living at one time and all except one had waited until 20 years or so to marry.
I haven't finished the book yet as our weather has been too nice to spend huge amounts of time indoors. It's a novel covering six generations of one family living on a California olive farm and the researcher who wants to know why they age so gracefully. Frankly, my own studies suggest genetics (and epigenetics) have much to contribute, although stress and too many processed products might be components.
Mexican, Italian, Asian, Brazilian/Argentinian/Chilean from any of their regions, Cuban meats, platanos, bolitos...love all such and am sufficiently lucky to live in a family that includes a cook from such cultures. Garlic and olive oil seem to make any dish better, but lard can be critical to a refried bean. Perhaps we could seek employment as food tasters?
I enjoy your posts. Cheers! (Forgot the wine!)
A lot of those studies and given truths like the FDA food pyramid which is exactly upside down are mostly bunk. If you look close enough you'll find a lot of fingerprints from big food industry in those studies that, surprise, recommend manufactured polyunsaturated like margarine and industrial seed oils over natural saturated fats like butter.
The food industry influence also pushed diet recommendations towards, surprise, highly processed manufactured food like cereals, low fat prepared foods and diet drinks. All things that are high glycemic carbs and/or insulin stimulating which create a host of health issues.
I agree that your genetic make up determines a great deal of your health potential but diet can certainly exacerbate issues or help them. Many high blood sugar issues can be managed or worsened by diet. Heart disease risk can also be impacted positively or negatively by diet choices.
It is just common sense to me that low or no processed foods rich in nutrients and natural fats like olive oil or animal based fats are far better choices for optimizing healthy conditions than a diet based on processed carbohydrates and hydrogenated fats and high fructose corn syrup. And while not as convenient to consume, the low/no processed food choices are just better tasting and more satisfying on top of whatever health benefits...at least to me.
I wish it were that simple, I truely do. If only it were true that there was a clearly defined diet that was good for you vs the rest of them that are bad for you. It just is not true. While there are diseases that require a specific diet to alleviate symptoms and in some cases to reduce the progression of the disease the fact remains that if you don't have one of these diseases it makes no difference.
I also don't believe that the FDA is selling out to the food industry or at least not any more then they sell out to the fad diet industry. It probably is not possible to create a food pyramid or "myplate" as it is now called, that is correct for everyone. It is a suggestion not a commandment.
I am not afraid of white flour, rice or sugar and I'm not afraid of prepared foods or margarine and I am definitely not afraid of HFCS. On the other hand I'm not a believer that olive oil, unprocessed foods or natural foods will make me healthier or live longer. I think the best advice is to eat a varied diverse diet and avoid the fad diets and if you have a health problem that can be helped by a specific diet then by all means follow your doctor's advice. I don't have any problem with a choice that leans towards unprocessed foods or avoiding sugar etc. But by the same token I don't see a problem with eating a Big Mac or fried chicken.
#188.8.131.52.1 GoneWithTheWind on 2013-02-28 21:02 (Reply)
Telecommuting: Well, she's in charge, and fireable by the owners. I'm guessing she knows more about the situation than Lisa Belkin. And me, too. I know nozzink!
The stereotypical Frenchman is wrong--he's not smoking a cigarette (Gauloise).
Unions always want more pay for the workers so the bosses can get raises.
Sequester: Women, children, and minorities to be worst hit!!!!!
Any cut is "deep" by Demfinition.
Housing regs: Pull, and having a big in, do make a world of difference. Corruption/cronyism, anyone?
MSNBC: I think he means "all but contracted to" or "all but officially owned by". Why I call them the lap dog media.
My wife (disclaimer: a dietitian) for years has said to take anything in the New England Journal of Medicine with a big grain of salt.
I know many people who have worked from home successfully for many years and have saved the company a lot of $$ by not having to allocate space for them in the office. It also allows for you to keep really valuable employees who may have to move too far from the office due to family concerns. Why would you want to lose employees who have company knowledge and are doing their work?
I never understand the mindset of those who believe people are screwing around at home just because you can't see them in a cubicle! I have seen my fair share of wasted work time in an office environment...chatting, surfing the web, smoking outside for 30 minutes at a time, taking umpteen bathroom breaks, having office parties and potlucks, etc.
Just because you see a person sitting in a chair does not mean they are working or being productive. Why don't they just look at whether or not the office person or the home office person are actually doing their jobs, meeting deadlines? Is that so hard??
I despise people who think work only gets done when you are in a meeting (waste of time for most).
I feel sorry for the people at Yahoo who built their career and lifestyle around a telecommuting position. This woman is an idiot and will drive employees away from her company with this attitude.
I've worked from home for at least 1 day a week over the last 7 years (when working), mainly because so much of what I do is phone/email related, or geared toward me visiting clients.
The idea that 'everybody' has to be in the office all the time is outdated and foolish. Marissa is sadly mistaken thinking that just having people in the office promotes good idea formation or improved communication.
As my last CEO said when he planned on banning telecommuting "I know what goes on when you work from home - you pick up the dry cleaning, run errands, clean the house, play games, etc."
I replied "yes, that does occur to some extent, but people do that in the office too. If you walk down the hall, your Treasurer had his assistant pick up his dry cleaning. Your assistant is busy refinancing her home, and your president of sales is probably playing a video game. What you've failed to account for is that when I am waiting at an airport at 8pm, I'm online answering emails. When I'm at home on weekends, I'm responding to your queries. When I'm on vacation, I reply to your phone calls. We are a 24/7 office, now, fully connected, and I have no time off. I get calls from the West Coast at 9pm that I have to answer. Will you compensate me for taking my time to respond to these requests, if you make me come into the office?"
Marissa is completely missing the boat. There are definitely SOME people who should be in the office at all times - but define who they are, and make sure they show up.
I always figured, if they can't tell how hard I'm working by my measurable output, then what makes them think they can judge anything useful by staring at me all day?
In my line of work, people are constantly traveling anyway. How is it different judging what they're doing in a hotel room, courtroom, or office in another city, vs. what they're doing at home?
On FOX News this morning - City of Falmouth, Massachusetts is going to tank its two wind turbines. Cost the town millions to erect and now millions to tear them down again. Reason? Residents claim noise and down-draft pulses ruining their health. So now the turbines can only operate during daylight hours which means they lose money. Naturally the town's citizens will seek state aid from the rest of Massachusetts taxpayers to pay for their folly!
I just read the reports on the noise form the Falmouth wind turbines. As usual, they were measured with an A-weighting filter on the input of the measurement apparatus.
"Let's just filter out all the low frequencies from this measurement of a thing known to be really annoying because of its pulsing low frequency sound. Then our numbers will show it as no louder than other environmental noises not known to be annoying..."
I have a 15w solar panel out front that I've never gotten more than 7 watts out of even with MPPT, but it's quiet.
This is the reason I still haven't signed up for an alternative energy source (even with incentives). In terms of economic efficiency, in my region, you don't get what's promised and the payoff is still years in the future.
Comparing capital spent to return on investment versus current operating costs, it's better to stick with the electric company. Or oil/gas.
Too many people don't do their homework properly and just jump into the alternative energy morass because it's hip.
Exactly correct. If you look at a map of solar irradiation you find a sweet spot that includes Southern Nevada and some of California and Arizona in that perfect spot for solar power. And indeed the solar industry is putting up large PV farms there. But, they still will never produce enough power to pay for the sunk costs of the system. In fact studies have shown that when you include all of the components of a solar (PV) power generation facility that more energy goes into making the various components then the system can ever produce. And this is in the sweet spot, the geographic location with the most dierect sun and least cloudy days. If you live outside of this small sweet spot the power generation drops off considerably. The simple truth is that solar power is about the subsidy and not about the power. If the federal and state governments stopped funding solar power it would fade away. I have been interested in PV since the mid 50's when I got a couple of small PV cells to play with. I have followed it eagerly since. My experience is that every so often there is a big "breakthrough" promised and it will finally make PV practical. Either the efficiency of the panels will dramatically improve or the cost of the manufacture will dramatically decrease or both. And without exception nothing ever really comes of it. It's true there has been a modest increase in efficiency over the years and a modest decrease in costs but simply not enough. The comparison to traditional electrical generation is dramatic. Coal fired plants can produce a kWh for about $.02, gas fired is about $.035 and hydro varies but can be as low as $.018. Solar varies based on economies of scale and location from between $.26 to $.64 per kWh. Not even close. If the government subsidizes PV by 75% then it still costs 2 to 5 times as much as other readily available sources. There is no cost reduction breakthrough in the future simply empty promises. The simple fact is the purpose of PV is to garner billions of tax dollars from stupid governments. I could prove a similar case for wind power and an overwhelming case for ethanol. There are no "alternatives" that are practical or have any hope of ever being practical. There is just fraud, waste and abuse.
#184.108.40.206.1 GoneWithTheWind on 2013-02-27 10:20 (Reply)
Minimum wage for the self-employed is somewhat south of $0.00 per hour.
"Is it the wine or the olive oil? My theory, it's the garlic! My approach is to only believe "studies show" when I like what they say." -- - Maggie's Farm...
Tracked: Feb 26, 11:49
Tracked: Mar 09, 14:04