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
Thursday, September 17. 2015
Photo: Yesterday's Beauty Pageant.
Winner gets that big beautiful airplane
Remembering Oliver Sachs, 1933-2015:
The amazing significance of what a mother-to-be eats
Digital pedometers and Swiss health insurance, a match made in heaven
pedometers and Swiss health insurance, a match made in heaven - See
‘U. of California’s Proposed Statement on Intolerance Is Widely Found Intolerable’
Speech Code of the Month: University of California, Santa Barbara
An Obamacare Change to Medicare Is Backfiring
Hospitals with the sickest patients are punished
Turns Out Police Body Cameras Weren’t a Great Idea After All - Proponents believed cameras to be a quick fix, but didn't think it through.
Haidt: It’s finally out–The big review paper on the lack of political diversity in social psychology
The unwashed are on the march. Trump speaks not for the silent majority; he is the champion of the silenced majority. This is truly terrifying for today’s establishment gatekeepers.
Europe’s Nervous Breakdown — Part 142
Why Bill Whittle likes Trump. Amusing - I promise:
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What we eat affects our health? "Dr." Bliss has tried to convince us otherwise many times on this very blog!
The article tells us it seems to matter to us what our mothers ate while they were pregnant with us. It doesn't say it matters to us, personally, what we eat. On the other hand, if one is about to become a mother, one should potentially pay careful attention to what on eats.
Easy to say. Hard to do. Imagine having constant hunger and nothing to reel you in. When you have a hunger pang or craving as a non-pregnant person, it is easier to say 'no' because you are thinking about your waistline or what have you. When you are pregnant, especially once you are into those later weeks, everything about food gets connected to your baby..."I'm hungry. I must eat NOW." It is much, much harder to say no to something in that state.
Also, you do weird things when you are pregnant. I remember waiting in line at Wendy's after work because the only thing that sounded good to me was a baked potato with sour cream. I didn't want to eat anything else. In fact, most foods at that point were turning me off (first 12 weeks is crummy for nausea).
With my son, I remember only wanting to eat egg salad sandwiches and drink fresh-squeezed lemonade. In fact, one night I ran out to the store and bought 12 lemons and made a pitcher from scratch because nothing else would do.
How in the heck do you combat that type of primal instinct? Very, very hard. Especially when you are 8 months pregnant, you have NO waistline anymore, and you feel as big as a house.
Have some pity on us pregnant women!
As a husband who has made 3AM runs to the 24 hour grocery to get Swedish Fish and Gummy Bears, I have some vague understanding of your point.
I had broken each arm and leg twice as well as shredding tendons by the time I reached 9th grade. Nobody would then, or now, refer to me as some high-end athletic adrenaline junkie.
While it may be true that people who engage in recreational physical activity might need more things like hip and knee replacements than the average bear, I doubt it is "driving healthcare costs through the roof". People who work on their feet all day (nurses being one example) are having their fair share of the same. Not to mention that the sets do have some level of intersection.
People who engage in extreme versions of the activities mentioned, and other activities, probably break a lot of bones and need a lot of stitches, almost certainly far more than the average bear, but I doubt they cost society any more for their healthcare than the population of obese diabetics. And the extreme sports people, I'd guess, pay their own health insurance fees more often than obese diabetics do.
And as for injuries that cost a fortune to repair, automobile accidents are tearing people apart, literally, at a much higher rate than any extreme sports. Texting while driving may well be the single largest cause of serious injury in the nation right now. I have a close family member who deals with trauma as a career. Auto accidents are the biggest source of cases. Cyclists and skiers and the like do get carted in but they are unusual, even rare, compared to auto accident victims. Probably second to auto accidents are those caused but sheer, sometimes alcohol aided, stupidity. Like getting pulled along behind a car while sitting on a sled until such time as one gets one skull opened, literally, by a guardrail.
Chronic diseases such as cancer, COPD, etc, may often be caused by environment or behavior, such as cigarette smoke and surely cost more in terms of healthcare than injuries due to recreational physical activity.
And last (in terms of this reply), but certainly not least, if you know some people who work in pharmacies you might want to chat with them about the huge account of money our governments are spending on psychotic and pain management for people on welfare (a category which has a substantial intersection with obese diabetics).
It is not, by any means, runners, cyclists, golfers, tennis players, kayackers, and on and on who are "driving healthcare costs through the roof".
I should also have mentioned that people doing extreme sports, as well as those engaged in serious vehicular accidents, may well be among the highest groups contributing to organ harvests that help a whole lot of very sick people.
In the real world its the health conscious..the joggers, the bikers, the kayaker's skiers, etc.etc, who drive the cost of healthcare thru the roof.
Please enlighten us. How do those who engage in recreational forms of physical activity "drive the cost of healthcare through the roof"?
Guess who needs knee replacements and hip replacements at an early age? Fat people and exercise nuts.
Guess who tears muscles, rips tendons from the joints, breaks bones, etc.? Not the guy taking his morning walk around the block.
Just a few thoughts. I'm no exercise junkie, but I'm in decent shape. I'm the anti-adrenaline type who hates heights, too much speed, etc. I've never broken a bone or needed surgery after an activity. I'm in my mid-40s. In fact, the only surgery I've ever had was elective (not plastic surgery! different kind of elective).
Guess who tears muscles, rips tendons from the joints, breaks, etc.? Not to mention getting hit by busses, milk trucks and the like. Been a lot of these over the years if the newspaper reports are right.
Indeed some exercise nuts tear tendons. I worked with a man who bent over to pick up a coin and slipped a disc, he was not an exercise nut. My cousin has had two knees replaced, heart surgery and she is ten years younger then me. I am 72 and have always been an exercise nut. I remember a lady, in her mid 40's I think, commenting that when I was 60 I would need knees from all that running I was doing. I exercise faithfully, I will be hiking for the next two weeks at Zion and the Grand canyon. The goal is a few 10 mile hikes sprinkled in with our 5 mile hikes. Not too vigorous to be sure but there is altitude and obstacles involved. I can tell you this with no intent to offend; in your mid 40's you have no idea what old age hold in store for you. I am lucky enough to be physically fit but unlucky enough to be on a first name basis with my oncologist and surgeon. I wish it were my knees or a tendon...
Another one of those carrot-and-stick invasions of privacy, not unlike the driving monitors that some auto insurers are pushing on us. "Here have a piece of candy (discount), you'll like it.."
Fortunately neither my car (89 Jeep) or my wife's car (88 Mercedes) even has the OBD plug for one of those things. I do wonder, however, what kind of a profile I would generate off road. Navigating down a rock strewn ravine can create some interesting vehicle dynamics.
Whittle on Trump...
Vote for the hat! Thank you Bill, I feel better now.
... permission granted to fire at any target
Whittle is spot on; yep, Obama has LOWERED our standards for who occupies the White House. So, of course, Trump looks pretty good.
The smoke has cleared: Trump is now seen as the same guy who comes around selling aluminum siding.
The proposed statement on intolerance by the University of California Regents is a mish-mosh that accomplishes little, at best, and is poorly thought out or expressed. What is worse is that it is an effort by U of C bureaucrats to avoid what brought about the effort. Namely, the Chancellor of U of C expressed support for the US State Department's definition of anti-semitism, after a Regents-chartered report -- led by an official of the NAACP and of ADL -- found widespread anti-semitism on U of C campuses and justified fears by Jewish students for their safety and ability to get an education, followed by years of increasing acts of anti-semitism at U of C campuses causing dismay and concerns among many responsible academics, politicians, and public. A cooperative effort by all of the leading responsible Jewish organizations and many others proposed that the U of C Regents simply adopt the US State Department definition of anti-semitism in order to understand what is and what isn't anti-semitism on campuses. Instead, the bureaucrats sought to avoid this simple legitimate statement by engaging in a word-salad on "intolerance" that everyone dislikes. Below is the entire text of the US State Department definition of anti-semitism:
SPECIAL ENVOY TO MONITOR AND COMBAT ANTI-SEMITISM
June 8, 2010
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"Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities." --Working Definition of Anti-Semitism by the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia
Contemporary Examples of Anti-Semitism
Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews (often in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion).
Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as a collective—especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, the state of Israel, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interest of their own nations.
What is Anti-Semitism Relative to Israel?
EXAMPLES of the ways in which anti-Semitism manifests itself with regard to the state of Israel, taking into account the overall context could include:
Using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism to characterize Israel or Israelis
Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis
Blaming Israel for all inter-religious or political tensions
DOUBLE STANDARD FOR ISRAEL:
Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation
Multilateral organizations focusing on Israel only for peace or human rights investigations
Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist
However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.
"[D]enying Israel the right to exist"
That one is always a dead giveaway.
Put it another way: I don't much like anything about the regime in Iran at the moment but that doesn't mean I deny Iran's right to exist as a sovereign state.
I can't take a 19 year old's anti-Semitism seriously. There's nothing he can do that would harm me in the least, and in real life he'll learn the hard way what kind of shit that attitude brings down.
You, an adult, may not. However, other 19-year olds certainly do who are physically and verbally attacked and whose ability to engage in campus activities is circumscribed. And, many others will have their attitudes toward Israel and toward Jews permanently turned negative by the inculcation of the hostile environment created by anti-semites. It is the build-up of such a culture which can lead to very bigoted or even horrific acts later, and not just at Jews. Saying it doesn't affect you is myopic or that you are not worried is inadequate.
you possibly mean self-centered..
kollege kids are profoundly naive but less malleable that you think. they go through phases where its chic to believe whatever bullshit political philosophy is current. eventually they grow up and out of it.
as for Jewish kids in college, I remember anti-Semitic asshats, but I was never a "victim" in any way. a kid's got to learn how to stand up for himself -- verbally or physically -- or he or she will be run over in life when it really counts and College U, which is basically high school with ash trays isn't that place.
re The unwashed are on the march. Trump speaks not for the silent majority; he is the champion of the silenced majority. This is truly terrifying for today’s establishment gatekeepers.
I think this is spot on. The 'establishment gatekeepers' have bought into The Narrative. I believe the RNC would rather lose the election than have Trump win and explode their Holy Narrative.
If the status quo is upset it jeopardizes everything they have.
The silent majority; old meme
The silenced majority; new meme
Illegal immigrants ; old meme
Illegal colonization ; new meme
ISIS junior varsity; old meme
ISIS triumphant; new meme
Sheech! Hand out a translation guide already!
Those who hate Trump are the very ones responsible for him......