s skippy the bush kangaroo

skippy the bush kangaroo

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

wednesday again

is amazon too big to tax?

california court blocks state from spraying pesticide

wells fargo hit with another law suit for closing fraud victims' accounts to avoid costs

united airlines is cutting employee bonuses for a lottery chance to win $100,000
posted by skippy at 2:00 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

tuesday night

how the us failed to rebuild afghanistan

punishment, favortism and a bag of gummy penises: how the dem party resists change

how lenders are turning low-level courts into "collection mills"

how steve bannon is obsessed with the fall of the patriarchy

posted by skippy at 2:00 AM | 0 comments

Monday, March 19, 2018

monday night at steve's

scott walker refusing to hold elections the gop might lose

trump epa rolls back more clean air and water rules

it's time to remember that fast-food companies are the worst

87 crypto currencies far crazier than bitcoin

posted by skippy at 2:00 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, March 18, 2018

naked sunday

amazon warehouses create no new net jobs

massachusettes trooper involved in shooting has history of racists posts online

half the dna found in ny subways match no known organism

trump's disdain for science


posted by skippy at 2:00 AM | 2 comments

Saturday, March 17, 2018

crazy on a saturday night

so many people are tired of getting screwed

the gop's tax cut narrative is unraveling

housing official was demoted after questioning ben carson's $31,000 redecorating

surveillance valley

posted by skippy at 2:00 AM | 1 comments

Friday, March 16, 2018

friday night (going down in flames)

blue cross employees pressured to donate to anti-single-payer candidate

you can live the american dream in denmark

100's lose drivers licenses in new zealand bribery scandal

world's first plastic-free supermarket aisle debuts in europe
posted by skippy at 2:00 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, March 15, 2018

perpetually thursday

study: white men stockpile guns because they're scared of black people

the school walkout: what have adults done since parkland?

how democrats can offer real solutions to america's problems

giant crater in siberia uncovers ancient forests
posted by skippy at 2:00 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Just Wondering...

I was working a 5 PM to 5 AM shift the 2016 election day. I was watching the TV at work around 3 AM when Donald Trump made his acceptance speech. I was not a happy mockingbird Jim, believe me -- but I thought the Donald did win fair and square, so screw me if I didn't like it.

Now, as for all this Russiagate stuff, yeah, I think a fair amount of it is real. But I give no credence to any claims that the Russians screwed up our processes and sealed the win for Trump. For one thing, come on, folks. Today they call themselves the alt-right, seven or eight years ago, they called themselves Tea Partiers, and before that, who the Christ remembers. Bottom line, they're troglodytes. They voted for Nixon twice, they voted for Reagan twice, they voted for aWol twice, and I'll bet you dollars to donuts they'll go for Trumphole twice. They're troglodytes -- it's what they do.

That's not what bothers me, though. What bothers me is, looking at those anti-Trump protests in places like California and New York after Trump's victory and wondering... how many of these folks didn't vote and wish they had?

For the record, I'm a registered Democrat. It ain't because I love Democrats, it's because given the choice between bad and worse, I will choose bad every single friggin' time. Hillary was bad, Trump was worse. Naturally, I voted for Hillary.

But at least I voted. How many of those protesters can say the same?

posted by Jim Yeager at 6:28 PM | 4 comments

wednesday and proud

hud officials spend $31,000 on ben carson's new office while slashing funds for the poor

ice spokesman resigns stated he could no longer spread falsehoods for trump

global warming threatens penguins species

the body trade

and rip physicist supernova (bigger than a superstar) stephen hawking
posted by skippy at 2:00 AM | 2 comments

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

In Like a Lion...

Old Man Winter is usually such a dick this time of year...

This is downtown Nashua, NH, right about now. The Old Man's none too happy, since spring is only a couple weeks away. Fine, let it snow. I'm off until Friday...
posted by Jim Yeager at 1:55 PM | 2 comments

tuesday mourning

democrats paid a huge price for letting unions die

8 states where voters could push democracy forward

bering sea loses half its ice over 2 weeks

the alt-right is killing people

posted by skippy at 2:30 AM | 0 comments

Monday, March 12, 2018

monday night at steve's

how colorado gun-control advocates beat the nra

today in the new gilded age

the flu has now reached pandemic levels

how dental inequality hurts americans
posted by skippy at 2:00 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, March 11, 2018

lucky sunday

is ted cruz losing his mojo?

everything wrong with the democrats in one bill

scientists are shocked - shocked! - that anti-vaxxers believe other conspiracy theories

yes i'm sure i want single payer
posted by skippy at 3:30 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, March 10, 2018

the big lebowski is 20
posted by skippy at 2:00 AM | 1 comments

come saturday morning

make america toxic again

democrats should run on gun control all over the country

however pelosi reverses herself on daca and gun control

the tech 'regrets' industry
posted by skippy at 2:00 AM | 0 comments

Friday, March 09, 2018

friday night

trump's budget cuts to snap and social security will hit rust belt voters hard

power corrupts in more ways than one: actual brain damage

the criminalization of private debt

the peace symbol at 60
posted by skippy at 2:00 AM | 1 comments

Thursday, March 08, 2018

perfect by thursday

state level gop is pouring taxpayer money into fake clinics 

ballot box battle over green energy brewing in 3 states

no cash signs everywhere in sweden

the science of why cats like boxes

posted by skippy at 2:00 AM | 1 comments

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

waiting for wednesday

powerful winter storms show what damage high tides + rising sea levels can do

california women target legislature seats held by sexual harrassers

best buy to stop selling cd's

4 pro-gun arguments we're sick of hearing
posted by skippy at 2:00 AM | 1 comments

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

tuesday morning love

the north pole is having a heat wave in the middle of winter for the third year in a row

diabetes is actually 5 different diseases, study suggests 

green science's white people problem

antibiotics are failing in 1 out of 5 post-op infections
posted by skippy at 2:00 AM | 1 comments

Monday, March 05, 2018

posted by skippy at 2:30 AM | 0 comments

monday night at grandpa's

did flint water crisis damage kids' brains?

prominent republican donor says no more money w/o assault weapons ban

chemicals used to make mcdonalds fries may cure baldness

man uses $1M lottery winnings to finally visit doctor, gets cancer diagnosis, dies a week later

posted by skippy at 2:00 AM | 1 comments

Sunday, March 04, 2018

love you sunday morning

people obsessed with wellness can't accept we're all going to die

vote to outlaw child marriage in kentucky delayed by conservative group

a federal judge put 100's of immigrants behind bars while her husband invested in private prisons

viruses and bacteria travel along a high-altitude super highway
posted by skippy at 1:30 AM | 4 comments

Saturday, March 03, 2018

How I became a bad American

I admit it.  I was not happy when Donald Trump managed to get the most electoral votes and somehow wound up as president of the United States.  I had friends who depaired when that happened.  They would rant and rave to me.  Their voices would get higher and louder as they got more and more agitated, talking about this or that predicted disaster.  And make no mistake about it, disaster has followed his every move.

I dealt with it differently.  I told everyone friends, repeatedly because they couldn't help themselves, not to talk to me about it, that I had decided to act as if it hadn't happened and to focus on the little things that fill up a person's day.  I stuck to my guns and, after a while, my friends stopped talking to me about Trumphole.

Excuse me.  I'll be back in a minute.  I have to go take a Trump.

I'm back.  Anyway, I did that and it really did work for about eight months.  Even my wife, who would read the news on her iPhone in the morning before going to work and was anxious  to tell me the what was happening wouldn't talk to me about it.  I advised her to do the same.  When asked to justify this position, I predicted, "It will be bad early.  Early on, we'll see disaster after disaster, just as you expect, but the day will come when the mess this man leaves everywhere he goes will destroy him.  It may destroy the entire country with him, but it will destroy him, because he is such a mess that it is inevitable, and when that happens I will start paying attention again and I will laugh and laugh and laugh."

The day has come.  The US ambassador to Mexico is retiring.  Other US ambassadors are retiring. The stock market took a big tumble as a direct consequence of an announcement from the Trumphole.  Mueller is getting closer and closer.  Trumphole's son-in-law is getting closer to a stretch in Club Fed.  Another White House communications director has not only quit, but told Congress and the American people that she lied on Trumphole's behalf.  Trumphole has humiliated his Attorney General publicly, a humiliation that is richly deserved, but that won't end well for Trumphole either.  McMaster is on the way out.  Kelly despises his boss and his job. And Mueller is getting closer and closer while Trumphole continues to alienate more and more people, and someone in the group he is alienating knows something about Russia and collusion and it will bring the whole house of cards crashing down.  And all these events are news from this week alone.

Every day I laugh and laugh.  It is hilarious in exactly the way I expected it to be.  It's a slow motion glacier, capable of grinding boulders to dust, and it's going to grind the Trumphole to dust and he even knows it.  He doesn't believe it, but he can see it coming.  He's trying to get out of the way.  He can't.

I'm a bad American.  As bad as this is for the country, it is just too funny to me.  And meanwhile I need to change the water in Clarabelle's bowl and finish that vegan chicken broth for tonight's vegan jambalaya and to keep doing all those tiny things that take up a day spent doing tiny, normal things.  Life does go on.

BTW, I hope you'll all begin to refer to it as "taking a Trump"  It would be nice if that became a common expression.  Remember where you heard it.

UPDATE:  Two things:  first this article in the Washington Post.  And I laugh and laugh.  Second, I checked after I wrote this and I cannot claim to be the originator of "taking a Trump".  I have been using it for some time, but I don't know that I can claim to have been the first.
posted by DBK at 1:25 PM | 5 comments

come saturday

who owns congress? a campaign cash seating chart

icm, a major talent agency, has agreed to cut ties with fedex

co-owner of coachella concerts contributes to anti-lgbtq groups

the town so toxic they wanted to wipe it off the map

posted by skippy at 2:00 AM | 0 comments

Friday, March 02, 2018

friday mourning

february melting near pole is 'really extreme'

ending the amazon hunger games

is tech dividing america?

kangaroo breaks hunter's jaw

posted by skippy at 2:00 AM | 1 comments

Thursday, March 01, 2018

pay days thursday

dems flip 2 more state legislative seats

noble committee investigating fake trump nomination

wildfires will only get worse

lions kill and eat big cat poacher, leaving only his head
posted by skippy at 2:30 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Please help

I guess this is just another lost cause Mr. Paine. All you people don't know about lost causes. Mr. Paine does. He said once they were the only causes worth fighting for and he fought for them once. For the only reason any man ever fights for them. Because of just one plain simple rule. Love thy neighbor. And in this world today of great hatred a man who knows that rule has a great trust. You know that rule Mr. Paine and I loved you for it just as my father did. And you know that you fight harder for the lost causes than for any others. Yes you'd even die for them. Like a man we both knew Mr. Paine. You think I'm licked. You all think I'm licked. Well I'm not licked. And I'm gonna stay right here and fight for this lost cause. Even if this room gets filled with lies like these. And the Taylors and all their armies come marching into this place. Somebody will listen to me.
-James Stewart, Mr Smith Goes to Washington

There's a young woman I know.  I've known her for over 30 years.  The first time I met her was the day she was born.  She has a genetic disease named Niemann Pick Disease Type C.  Niemann Pick Disease Type C is progressive, incurable, and fatal.  There is no treatment of any note for it.  There is little research being done to find a treatment.  It is an "orphan disease" and probably fewer than 400 adults in North America have it.  The majority of people who have it die before they are toddlers.  There are a few people, mainly people who know people with the disease, who are trying to help.

ESPN runs an annual charity event, sponsored by Infiniti, in which the winner gets a large donation to a charity.  Matt Painter,  head men's basketball coach at Purdue, represents the Smith Family Foundation, one of the few charities associated with NPC.  Every year for several years now I and others have been voting for Matt.  The others are wonderful charities doing wonderful things, but this one is personal.  NPC, as rare as it is, always has a good showing because the people who are dedicated to finding a cure are REALLY dedicated to finding a cure.  This year, I am asking you to click this link and give Matt Painter your vote.  You can vote every single day to the end of the competition.  Please bookmark the page and take a few seconds to cast a vote for Matt and give some hope to people who need it more than you can imagine.  Please take a few seconds to vote every day. You can even vote multiple times from multiple types of browser and even by using the same browser from a different machine, like your mobile or your home laptop and your work computer (but don't get in trouble).

Thank you!

posted by DBK at 9:44 AM | 5 comments

How to Save a Cheerleader

This story illustrates, not perfectly but quite well nevertheless, one of the things that is wrong with our broken government.  It also illustrates, to CNN's credit, one of the things the press should be doing, albeit not all of the things it should be doing.

Georgia State Senator Michael Williams went on CNN and complained that Delta Airlines is giving discounts to "liberal groups" (a claim debunked on the spot by CNN) while taking the discounts away from the NRA.  And there's the problem.  Maybe there is not one single liberal in Georgia State Senator Michael Williams' district.  He did receive over 70% of the vote in 2016, but that still leaves over 20% of his district that voted for someone else.  Michael Williams is supposed to represent his entire district, not just the people who voted for him, not just conservatives, not just gun-lovers.  Maybe some of his district is getting discounts from Delta Airlines for being members of a liberal organization.  Rather than provide Delta with a compelling reason to continue to give discounts to the NRA members in his district, he wants to take them away from other people elsewhere, and perhaps from people in his own district.

The "us against them" mentality is part of what is destroying America and part of what has destroyed the discourse.  No elected official should have that mentality because we are all "us".  There is no them.  Every member of his district, regardless of their ideology, is his constituent, including the ones who want him out of office, and he was elected by some of his constituents to serve all of his constituents.  Perhaps he had a bad education in government, but he is a part of the government now, so he should know better.

As for CNN, good for them for fact checking Williams on the air, but he deserves a lecture as well on his duties to all of his constituents, as I've done here.  Somewhere along the way we lost the thread in America and now we are being served by the most partisan and, in many ways, heinous group of elected officials in history.  These people don't know the first thing about government.  They only know politics.

Hang your head in shame, State Senator Michael Williams, not just because you "googled" a false story and believed it when you found a site that confirmed it, but because you are failing your district, because you don't represent your district properly, and because you don't know what an elected official is supposed to do.
posted by DBK at 7:39 AM | 1 comments

today was wednesday

list of companies that have eliminated discounts for nra members

media ignoring puerto rico's shock doctrine make over

get ready for more voter suppression

denver approves first social marijuana business license
posted by skippy at 2:00 AM | 1 comments

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

tuesday morning blues

u.s. not planning to contribute to iraq reconstruction

trump's paid family leave plan would punish those who choose to have kids

inequality and despair driving life expectancy down

the 11 cities most likely to run out of water
posted by skippy at 2:00 AM | 4 comments

Monday, February 26, 2018

Vegan Taco Blogging with Carabelle

Clarabelle wants a taco.  This is what a vegan taco, made with Tofurkey's tofu chorizo and cashew cheddar cheese, looks like.

This is how I promote veganism.  I show you how freaking awesomely delicious and beautiful what I eat is.

Cruelty-free dining tastes good.

posted by DBK at 9:13 PM | 6 comments

Donald le Cœur de Poulet

The current inhabitant of the White House has declared how brave and heroic he is, stating that he would have run into the Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School School in Parkland, Florida, armed or unarmed, and stopped the shooter.  Because running is his thing, you know.  He runs the golf course at Mar-a-Lago, you know, with his golf equipment on his back.  And everyone knows that nobody has more empathy for the suffering of others than he does.

Then again...

Okay, it's too easy, I know.  He lies constantly and he has such a long history in the press that you can find previous statements of his that demonstrate he is a liar as easily as you can find manure in a stable.  Just saw that one and had to post it.
posted by DBK at 11:33 AM | 1 comments

monday night at fluid

will truckers be automated?

trump's terror campaign against immigrants

california police worked with neo-nazis

arizona considers allowing taxes paid in bitcoin 
posted by skippy at 2:30 AM | 1 comments

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Seven kinds of idiot can be twenty kinds of right

I've been working on it, I swear, but it is very time-consuming working through a lengthy piece of legislation like HR 1628, with it's numerous terms, each of which must be understood in context, in order to get to the end with an understanding of what it means and what is right and wrong about it.  I ask your patience, since I am also trying to study for yet another professional certification and working at my job...and shoveling the mass of snow that was dumped around here in the past four days.  Thank goodness my wife and I are vegans or we wouldn't be in the kind of shape we are at our advanced ages and would have to hire someone to clear it, or buy a snow thrower, and that just adds to the carbon footprint.

But that's not what I wanted to talk about.  What I want to talk about is one of the ways the discourse has been, not so much cheapened, but diverted from reaching real answers.  I have done it too, and I am not proud of it. I get angry, you see, and that accounts for my failure.  That is still no excuse.  Still, I am not guilty of argumentum ad hominem when I say Wayne LaPierre is a worthless meatpuppet.  See, I say he is a worthless meatpuppet because of what he argues; I don't say what he argues is wrong because he is a worthless meatpuppet.  I say Rick Santorum is a fecal deposit on the porcelain of our political discourse because of what he says (which is generally a display of idiocy) not the other way around.

But the attacks on the young people at Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School, the ones who lived at least, are pure ad hominem.  The story, rapidly discredited, was that they were "crisis actors" who travel to the sites of tragedies in order to peddle an ideology and, therefore, we shouldn't pay attention to what they say.  That is a very fine example of argumentum ad hominem.  I don't care if they are "crisis actors", which, again, was debunked quickly, because their arguments stand and fall on their own merits.

After all, Donald Trump is seven kinds of idiot, but it is his positions that are killing Americans and destroying the poor and middle class, not his personal repulsiveness.
posted by DBK at 11:48 AM | 0 comments

like a sunday morning

behold the reckoning of a gun culture in collapse

delta and united join list of companies cutting ties with the nra 

cancelling $1.4 trillion in student debt could have tremendous benefits for the economy

how indian poultry farming is creating global superbugs

posted by skippy at 2:30 AM | 1 comments

Saturday, February 24, 2018

burru saturday

people with lower cognitive ability still believe fake news even after evidence to the contrary

kids perform boring tasks better when dressed as batman

trump admin's watchlist data overstates terror threat

the high-tech poor house

posted by skippy at 4:12 PM | 1 comments


Sarah Chadwick, one of the kids who didn't die at Marjory Stoneham High School, tweeted this the other day:
We should change the names of AR-15s to 'Marco Rubio' because they are so easy to buy.
I no longer despair of the younger generation.
posted by DBK at 12:57 PM | 2 comments

Friday, February 23, 2018

Armed Teachers: An Idea from the Privileged Elite

Tom Sullivan, over at Digby's place, presents just one of the numerous reasons arming teachers is a bad idea.

I have a little insight into Sullivan's article.  Not much, but a little.  I did a little skydiving when I was young and reckless.  When you take the training, they tell you that "brainlock" is a common occurrence on your first jump, and for some people for the first several jumps.  Brainlock is a short period when you first exit the plane where your brain stops working.  You get no sensory input.  You freeze up.  You can't remember anything from the brainlock period.

My first jump was a static line jump from 9500 feet out of a Cessna 182.  I won't bore you with all of the details about skydiving and so on except to sat that I and my fellow first timers took five hours of training for that first jump.  They train you in every aspect of the jump and then you do mock jumps at ground level over and over again.  When you are done with training, you and the other students tend to keep practicing over and over because you want to enjoy the jump but you don't want to make a mistake and maybe, you know, die.  So you practice over and over.

I'm a pretty nervy guy, but, without going into details, as soon as I let go of the strut and began to fall through the sky, I brainlocked.  Those five seconds of brainlock are eery.  I can still see the jumpmaster signal to let go., still see my fingers on the strut, and can still see the canopy, filled out, over my head when I came out of the brainlock and looked up to check my lines and make sure the riser was okay and I had a full canopy, but I cannot remember those five seconds.  I wasn't panicked.  I don't think I was scared because the only emotions I have ever felt about that jump, at the time or afterwards, have been exhiliration, joy, and pride.

Once I unlocked I performed as trained, but all that training didn't stop me from locking up.

I've never been in combat.  I've fired guns; this is America, after all.  I've been to the practice range and fired an S&W .357 and been to the skeet range and fired shotguns at clay pigeons, but nobody ever fired back. My dad liked guns and liked to shoot (he was a WWII vet), so they're not some weird, terrifying, peculiar thing to me.  I even have a .25 my father-in-law gave me years ago somewhere in the house, though I'm damned if I know where it is.  I never fired it because it's a mid-1960s Czech knockoff of a German Erma Werke .25 pocket gun and it would probably blow up in my hand.  I've tried to break it down for cleaning and it won't come apart.  But I don't pretend to know how I would react if the chips were down and I really had to fire a weapon at someone who  was shooting at me. Five seconds of brainlock under fire could be the last five seconds of your life.

There's a better solution to the problem of mass murder than arming all the citizens.  Arming teachers, well, that's something a thoughtless person who has never been in a genuinely urgent situation might suggest.
posted by DBK at 2:41 PM | 0 comments

friday morning

the world has never seen an oil spill like this

why companies fear disclosing ceo-to-worker pay

twilight of the kurds

other countries have high speed trains. we have accidents and crumbling infrastructure

posted by skippy at 2:00 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, February 22, 2018

outlook for thursday

facebook only cares about facebook

cleaner shipping fuel could reduce childhood asthma by 3.6% globally

a dying town

the mass extinction of scientists who study species 
posted by skippy at 10:20 PM | 1 comments

Wayne LaPierre: World's Most Worthless Meatpuppet

Wayne LaPierre made a speech and accused the Democrats of exploiting the Parkland massacre.

Because that's how you show leadership in ending mass murder.

If you look closely, you can see the hand up his ass.
posted by DBK at 9:07 AM | 0 comments

Hey NRA, I ain't sayin' you treated me unkind

You could have done better but I don't mind
You just kinda wasted my precious time *
The NRA has, since the Columbine Massacre nearly twenty years ago, dug in its heels and gone from denying responsibility for contributing to a culture of mass murder to attacking those who want to put an end to mass murder.  They have been, in fact, a textbook example of how not to solve a problem, but, instead, add to the problem.  Wayne LaPierre has been a fine non-leader.  The NRA not only could have, but should have taken the lead in reducing gun violence in our schools and in general. Guns are their thing, and they have, for years, claimed that teaching gun safety is one of the most important services they provide.

I don't know where the kid who murdered all those other kids in Florida the other day got his lessons on gun safety, but it seems they didn't take.  Probably studied gun safety in the same place the Ohio seventh grader who shot himself in the school bathroom the other day learned it.  The Ohio kid died.

I used to like the NRA when they really did care about gun safety.  Now they seem to care about increasing gun sales and protecting the rights of the dangerously mentally ill to own guns.

They could have led this issue.  Instead they failed their members and contributed to mass murder.  They could have led the charge in reducing gun violence and mass murder.  Instead, they fed the paranoid social fringe in believing the Second Amendment was all that stood between them and an oppressive government.  The Civil War put paid to Madison's 18th century math in Federalist 46.  The tank and the F-15E, F-16, F-22A, and F-35A put paid to the notion that sheer numbers would protect you from a government that wanted to impose its will on an unwilling state and citizenry.

The NRA has gone from an organization that supported deer hunters and helped teach best practices to an organization that considers dead eight year olds "the price you pay for freedom" and calls the survivors of mass murder people "who hate America".

The NRA did not lead the issue and failure has given us nothing but dead school children.

The leaders on this issue are seventeen years old, and this old man stands with them.

Go vegan and nobody gets hurt.

*Don't Think Twice Twice, It's All Right, Bob Dylan
posted by DBK at 8:16 AM | 0 comments

A Word on Veganism and Weight Loss: and quick because i have a meeting in fifteen minutes

Diets do work, but they only work for as long as you are dieting.  After that, you regain the weight.  When you lose weight as a result of a complete dietary change to veganism, the weight stays off or you can lose it easily if you put it on.  I've kept the weight off for over two years following the initial loss and I have done so without trying.  My weight simply stabilized at 165.

In November, following a disappointing number of Trick or Treaters, we were left with a lot of candy, and Mrs DBK didn't eat it.  Nope, that fell to yours truly.  I hadn't eaten added sugar in quite some time, but manfully I dug in and began consuming that candy.  Okay, so it was maybe a pound of leftover candy and I took a week to nibble it down, piece by piece, to a flacid plastic bag and a vague sense of guilt.  My weight, on the other hand, went up to about 175.  Clearly there is some biochemical thing going on that goes well beyond the mere weight of the item consumed.

When I stopped eating sugary things, the weight came right off.

My wife bought me a bit of candy for my birthday and I ate it.  My weight went back up again and this time I was a few pounds heavier for a good two weeks until...

...beans.  I hadn't been eating my beans.  You have to eat your beans/lentils.  In other words, legumes.  Earlier this week I made Julie Jordan's Cashew Chili recipe (I've been using that recipe for nearly forty years).  The weight dropped right off.  This isn't scientific analysis, just anecdotal, but I suspect that the role of fiber in promoting weight loss is under-reported.  I've done a lot of research on the microbiome in the past year and I, again, suspect that this is where the rubber meets the bacteria when it comes to weight loss.  When you feed your microbiome a healthy diet, a higher proportion of fat bypasses digestion and goes out in the stool.  I can't recall offhand where I saw that, so I can't give you a reference, and my call is now in five minutes so I won't be looking it up, but that happens.  If you watch Dr Robert Lustig's YouTube lectures on sugar you'll learn that half of every molecule of white refined sugar is metabolized in the liver directly into a lipid (fat) and stored.

Okay, gotta run.  Eat your beans.

Last night was BBQ Pulled Not Pork (jackfruit) for dinner.  This is what it looks like:

Go vegan and nobody gets hurt.
posted by DBK at 6:56 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Have I mentioned Clarabelle?

It's the internet, so I need to post a cat picture.

That's Clarabelle playing cat and mouse games.  She's a rescue cat and her former, bad, owners had her four-paw declawed, so we chaperone her outdoor time.  We were told she would be difficult and have emotional problems because she had not been treated well by her former, wicked, owners.  She isn't and doesn't.  She's over ten years old now (got her at around 8 months) and, as it turns out, after we rescued her, she went ahead and rescued us right back.

I love that the internet loves cats.

Do not declaw your cats.  Don't believe for a second that they get over it and that it isn't so bad.  They don't and it is.

Go vegan and nobody gets hurt.
posted by DBK at 3:34 PM | 2 comments

H.R.1628 - American Health Care Act of 2017

No suggestions on where to start the discourse, so we'll start here. We haven't studied it carefully and haven't spoken to any decision-makers, but this is where we want to start because it is a topic we worked on in 2009 and because the "I have the solution to your healthcare crisis right here, pal" posting below touched on it.  H.R. 1628 is the bill for replacing the Affordable Care Act.

Get busy chilluns.  Study it, because it is coming back up for a vote in the Senate and having the right kind of discussion will save the cheerleader.  You might want this bill to pass if it improves upon the ACA or is better than the ACA.  That's the key.  If we can get the bill amended so that it works and provides increased coverage, then everyone benefits.  The Republicans are not entirely wrong, but you have to engage in real discourse on the facts and the figures to find out what is right and wrong.  An ideological stance won't do it...unless it is the ideology of Utilitarianism.

Learning the material won't be easy.  The language is dense and every clause must be understood.  If we want good healthcare policy, we have to become as expert as the people we are trying to convince.  They got this bill from lobbyists and we doubt more than a very few members of the House and Senate, or their staffs, read it through or understood it.  They trust the lobbyists because the lobbyists seem to have the knowledge, payoffs notwithstanding.  But if we go into the discussion armed with real knowledge and demonstrate what works, we will either prevail or will know the degree to which this or that representative has been corrupted, and that is very useful.

Go vegan and nobody gets hurt.
posted by DBK at 2:00 PM | 1 comments

I have the solution to your healthcare crisis right here, pal

Once, a long time ago in a far away land where kittens frolicked in the sunshine and sausages grew on trees like a vegan porn film, I would believe seven ridiculous things before breakfast.

One of them was that Universal Single Payer healthcare would go a long way to solving the healthcare crisis.  Fortunately, I continued to think.  I enjoy thinking.  Sometimes I even think outside of office hours.

What I hadn't understood was that we already have USP, we just don't pay it the way other countries do.  Healthcare gets paid for by all of us and if you go to the emergency room you will receive treatment even without insurance.  Yes, that is a more expensive way to approach getting your healthcare, but it was the way many did it and they did get treated.

No matter who gets sick, if they go to the hospital, the visit is paid for, generally in the form of higher premiums for insurance.  We're all paying for it already.  So that's USP.  Switching the money from our left pockets (all of us paying through our insurance premiums) to our right pockets (all of us paying for it through our taxes) isn't the answer.  Yes, I know insurance companies make a profit far in excess of the cost of the government administering the program.  I used to use that argument all the time.  That's my argument.  Don't throw my own arguments in my face.  That's just bad manners.  The profit margin isn't so much higher that it would make a big enough dent in the massive cost of healthcare.  The same is true of emergency room visits for the uninsured versus doctor's office visits for the insured.  The cost hasn't been lowered nearly enough by the advent of the Afforable Care Act.

So what is the answer?

In short:  go vegan and nobody gets hurt.

In long :  get healthier.

In 1958, 0.93% of the United States population had diabetes.  In 2015, 7.40% of the population was diabetic.  The CDC estimates that as many as 100 million Americans are diabetic or pre-diabetic.

That's America.

The diabetes trend is continuing upwards and it is a direct result of the obesity epidemic and dietary choice.    Is there an element we should cut out of our diets?  I don't care.  If you care, stop caring.  There are plenty of highly trained professionals arguing about it and it winds up being one of those asinine intramural things where Dr Lustig says, "It's the refined sugar, especially fructose, and I have a meta analysis that proves it" and Dr Barnard says, "It's the fat and I have solid research that proves it."

It's a floor wax AND a dessert topping.  And I don't want to eat dessert or was my floors.  I just want the obese to lose weight and end their diabetes so there will be Medicare left when I, after paying for it all of my working life, am ready to receive Medicare.  Pure self-interest.

In 1995, no state had an average obesity prevalence above 20% of the population.  Currently, only Colorado is below 25%, and it is still above 20%.  Obesity and diabetes go together like donuts and coffee.  Put down that donut when I'm talking to you!  You think this is a joke?

From the American Diabetes Association:  "People with diagnosed diabetes incur average medical expenditures of about $13,700 per year, of which about $7,900 is attributed to diabetes. People with diagnosed diabetes, on average, have medical expenditures approximately 2.3 times higher than what expenditures would be in the absence of diabetes."

You get that?  They estimate that, in 2012, when there were fewer diabetics, the cost of diabetes was $245 billion dollars.  We could pay the cost of everyone's total healthcare for that.

There is a treatment for diabetes that can result in a cure.  The American Diabetes Association says there isn't a cure and a lot of doctors go along with that and say you can only manage your disease, but that's simply not true.  The cure is eliminating the animal products from your diet.

Now let's turn our attention from one of the top five killers of Americans, diabetes, to the number one killer, Coronary Artery Disease.  Did you know that 62% of people have no idea they have CAD until they have their heart attack?  Did you know that the majority of Americans have CAD by the time they are 18 years old?  Do you know that, when the doctor says you are doing fine because your cholesterol is at 192 what he is really saying is that you have an average chance of a heart attack?  The average chance of a heart attack is high, though I couldn't find the number for the entire population, but for African-Americans it is about 1 out of 2.

1 out of 2.

610,000 Americans die of heart disease every year.  So when your cholesterol is at 192 and you think you're doing just fine, you're actually a prime candidate for a heart attack.  Are those the odds you like when it comes to dying?  If every time you got on an airplane you stood a one in four chance of dying, would you fly much?

Fortunately, there is an effective and safe way to reverse heart disease without drugs or surgery.  Yes, just like with diabetes.  Go vegan.  Go vegan and nobody gets hurt.  You could go low-fat, which is the way Dean Ornish and Caldwell Esselstyn recommend (look 'em up) but when you go vegan, it becomes much easier to get the fat out of the diet and out of your coronary arteries.  Besides, fats aren't the only issues with meat. 

Rather than turn this into a lengthy description of the meat industry, the various arguments supporting my position, and so on (in the past three years I have spent about a thousand hours a year researching the topic of health and nutrition) please just watch this video:  What the Health.  You can look at what the debunkers have said about it too.  I have.  I have also seen the response to the debunkers and it pretty much puts paid to the debunker arguments.

Also, please watch videos (I love YouTube) from Dr Neal Barnard (e.g., The Cheese Trap).  Yes, Dr Robert Lustig's Sugar:  The Bitter Truth is very interesting and yes, you should get rid of the added sugars in your diet, but What the Health is more important for your health.

That's my opinion after those thousands of hours of research.

Full disclosure.  After becoming a vegetarian and, eventually a vegan, starting in January of 2015, my weight went from 215 pounds to 165 in fifteen months, my cholesterol went from 192 to 147 (statins can't lower it that much), triglycerides went from 164 to 94, and all the other numbers stack up like that across the board.  I run up the stairs.  I sleep better.  I crap better.  I feel better.  And I feel happier just knowing that no animals are suffering for my sake.  Nothing gets tortured because of me.

Go vegan and nobody gets hurt.
posted by DBK at 11:41 AM | 9 comments

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posted by skippy at 2:00 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Return of the Dead

Hi, boys and girls.  We turned 60 last month and got all nostalgic and shit for the days when we used to blog a lot.  Blogging is dead and Huffington Post killed it.

We have returned from the Land of the Dead to revive blogging and we are going to do it here, on Skippy's site, and in so doing, we will save the cheerleader, because if you save the cheerleader...you know how that goes.

That's not a joke.  We're going to save the cheerleader.

The revival of blogging is about discourse.  This is the place that CNN, the world leader in trying-to-hold-a-discussion-but-failing, turns to for news, so we figured they could turn here for discourse.  And so can everyone else.  But first, review these four considerations:
And now, two questions:

posted by DBK at 1:25 PM | 12 comments

tuesday morning again

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posted by skippy at 2:00 AM | 2 comments