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.
This new Thirty Years War has its origins in a demographic peak and an economic trough. There are nearly 30 million young men aged 15 to 24 in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran, a bulge generation produced by pre-modern fertility rates that prevailed a generation ago. But the region’s economies cannot support them. Syria does not have enough water to support an agricultural population, and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of farmers into tent cities preceded its civil war. The West mistook the death spasms of a civilization for an “Arab Spring,” and its blunders channeled the youth bulge into a regional war.
The way to win such a war is by attrition, that is, by feeding into the meat-grinder a quarter to a third of the enemy’s available manpower. Once a sufficient number of who wish to fight to the death have had the opportunity to do so, the war stops because there are insufficient recruits to fill the ranks. That is how Generals Grant and Sherman fought the American Civil War, and that is the indicated strategy in the Middle East today.
It is a horrible business. It was not inevitable. It came about because of the ideological rigidity of the Bush Administration compounded by the strategic withdrawal of the Obama administration. It could have been avoided by the cheap and simple expedient of bombing Iran’s nuclear program and Revolutionary Guards bases, followed by an intensive subversion effort aimed at regime change in Teheran. Former Vice President Dick Cheney advocated this course of action, but then Secretary of State Condileeza Rice persuaded Bush that the Muslim world would never forgive America for an attack on another Muslim state.
Low-Salt Diets May Pose Health Risks, Study Finds - WSJ
"The new study, which tracked more than 100,000 people from 17 countries over an average of more than three years, found that those who consumed fewer than 3,000 milligrams of sodium a day had a 27% higher risk of death or a serious event such as a heart attack or stroke in that period than those whose intake was estimated at 3,000 to 6,000 milligrams. Risk of death or other major events increased with intake above 6,000 milligrams.
The findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, are the latest to challenge the benefit of aggressively low sodium targets—especially for generally healthy people..."
"Current guidelines are largely derived from short-term studies that found that low-salt diets helped people already diagnosed with hypertension or with borderline high blood pressure to get their readings significantly lower.
But studies that show the resulting blood-pressure reduction in such patients reduces risk of death or serious cardiovascular problems are lacking.
"There is not a single study, not one, showing [such a] benefit for having a sodium intake of less than 2,300 milligrams," said Brian Strom, chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences in New Jersey who wasn't involved in the study but chaired the Institute of Medicine panel that reported on sodium last year.
Dr. Antman of the AHA said conducting a long-term randomized trial to prove such a benefit would be "very challenging." "
Re college costs: understand it's different south of the 49th, but here in Canada the emphasis has been on 'university' education and the trades - and the institutions serving them - have been starved as a result. Can't count the number of universities, colleges, etc., in my province; as far as I know, there are only two trade schools and they can't cope with the numbers.
Back in the day, our offsprings were told two things: 1) you will graduate from high school; and, 2) you will continue on to further education and pay for your tuition. Ended up all going the university route and on to decent jobs; I would have been happy had the local tech institute been their choice, given the career path led to employment. But we were fairly firm to each child: choose your training, but atat the end of same you will have to be able to support yourself.