Monday, March 12, 2012

Numeracy

Those who know numeracy, know where this comes from when I speak of it.  Hey, it's not a curse word, ok?

So, England's Department of Health has stated that 1 out of 10 early deaths can now be linked to eating red meat.

"The Department of Health was last night urged to review its guidance on red meat after a study found that eating almost half the daily recommended amount can significantly increase the risk of dying early from cancer and heart disease...These results indicate that replacement of red meat with alternative healthy dietary components may lower the mortality risk...Scientists added that people who eat a diet high in red meat were also likely to be generally unhealthier because they were more likely to smoke, be overweight and not exercise.

In an accompanying editorial Dr Dean Ornish, of the University of California, San Francisco, said that eating less red meat could also help tackle climate change...He said: 'In addition to their health benefits, the food choices we make each day affect other important areas as well. What is personally sustainable is globally sustainable. What is good for you is good for our planet.'"

Ah, yes, might as well throw in climate change, whatever the topic.  Cow farts and the such.

So, red meat kills 1 in 10! The horror!

Let's look at this another way...the way the article did not.

Out of all the ways to die early, red meat can cause cancer or heart disease (because red meat doesn't kill you) 10% of the time.

Yup, the horrors of red meat only have a 10% chance of killing you...early.  There are other things which add up to 90% which have a chance of killing you...early.  If you die early, there is a 90% chance that it was NOT red meat.  If you die early (and what is considered early?), the chances of red meat being the cause are the same as the chances of being killed in a road accident.

So, by the UK's Department of Health guidance, you should completely stay away from cars and roads.  They have a 1 in 10 chance of killing you too.

Good luck with that.

As for me, I'm off to eat a greasy, fat, big ol' piece of red meat while driving my motorcycle weaving in and out of traffic with lots of cars on big roads, heavily distracted (I'm talented).  If I don't blog again tomorrow, there's a 10% chance that I died early due to the heart disease caused by the meat.

There's a 90% chance that I don't blog because I didn't feel like it.  Or something else.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Wee Willie Winky

Ok, so let's just get this out of the way before I go any further...

...all is well in the bedroom.  I have no problems being a man.  I am a great and powerful man.

Fine.  Ok then.

Anyway, a state senator from Ohio believes that government should regulate men's reproductive health, aka Viagra.  If it were up to Senator Nina Turner (hmm, would "Nina" be a woman's name?), men in Ohio who want Viagra would have to:

1. See a sex therapist.  (By the way, what a profession!  How would you like your first conversation of the day to begin with "How is your sex life?  Gettin' any lately?")

2.  Receive a cardiac stress test.  (So, even if you did die during sex, wouldn't that be the way to go anyway?)

3.  Receive a NOTORIZED AFFIDAVIT SIGNED BY A SEX PARTNER AFFIRMING IMPOTENCY.  (Oh my.)

Ohio Senate Bill 307 is not really a serious bill...of course, until it actually makes it through the state congress and is signed.  Then, of course, it's serious.

This bill is a counter-argument to regulating women's health.  I'll let the Senator speak for herself:

"Turner said if state policymakers want to legislate women’s health choices through measures such as House Bill 125, known as the 'Heartbeat bill,' they should also be able to legislate men’s reproductive health."

House Bill 125 attempts to limit abortion when a heartbeat is detected in an unborn child.  So, according to Senator Turner, regulating abortion is the same as regulating Viagra.

Hmm.

"A critic of efforts to restrict abortion and contraception for women, Turner says she is concerned about men’s reproductive health. Turner’s bill joins a trend of female lawmakers submitting bills regulating men’s health."

Tit for tat I guess. How very noble.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Breathtaking

Senator Sessions definitely hits the nail on the head with the description of "breathtaking".

Seven minute video worth watching...every minute.  But if you have a short patience, skip to 3:30.  The breathtaking part occurs from 3:30 to 4:15.



Both sides of the political aisle have played this game...that is, the Congress has not declared war since WWII.  Congress has "authorized" war, to include Vietnam, the first Gulf War, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.

Congress did not authorize the recent war in Libya.  Rather, it was "authorized" by UN Security Council.  Of note, the Korean War and Bosnia were also "authorized" by the UN.

I find this very troubling.  The authority for war rests with Congress, as clearly described in the Constitution.  If Congress finds it easier to "authorize" military action rather than call it "war", then I really don't have a problem with that.  In my opinion, it's a matter of semantics at that point.

But when Congress has no role, and we rely on the "authority" of a foreign body to authorize U.S. military action, well...

...it's breathtaking.

A Loss For Words

All I can say is that I'm at a loss for words.  A truly great Naval Officer has passed away.

"As the sun’s rays broke over the top of the eastern hills this morning, the military blogging community was coming to grips with the loss of a truly remarkable man. Retired Navy Captain Carroll LeFon, who was known to thousands by his “nom de blog” of Neptunus Lex, died when his Israeli-built F-21 Kfir single-seat fighter aircraft crashed at NAS Fallon at around 0915 yesterday morning."

I've followed Neptunus Lex for almost 7 years now, relying on his information and point of view to form my own.  His loss is a loss for not just the milblogger community, but for the blogger community as a whole.

I don't have the words to describe the loss felt.  Passing e-mails back and forth on various topics, Lex helped me start my blog with a link on his.  When I thought I was going to be sent to San Diego to live, he graciously sent me information on locations that I would like.  He was always there for a helping hand when I needed it, even though we never met in person.  When someone is willing to help a perfect stranger, you know you've met a quality individual.

Over at CDR Salamander, the eloquent CDR S sums it up well.

"A gentleman, officer, good stick, good writer, and just plain good man. Over the years, we would comment on each others blog now and then - and exchange emails much more to share ideas, pass off tips .... or now and then return to our original conversation. That was Lex; part blog buddie, part mentor, part philosopher, but a gentle professional always...

...the path that took him back to the aircraft. In a fashion, he died serving his nation as he knew best - in the cockpit. In life, on-line and off, he built a strong network of acquaintances and friends - that too speaks a lot for the man - and most of us are in the same place right now."

After retirement from active duty, Captain Carroll LeFon tried a couple different jobs, but the draw to aviation was immense.  After a short stint in private business, Lex put the flight suit back on to train the Fleet's aviators at NAS Fallon.  He flew aggressor aircraft as a contractor, training the new guys in the art and science of aerial combat.  He taught so that we would always hold the edge in naval aviation.

Prayers for his family...a wife, 2 daughters, and a son who followed in his father's footsteps as a naval aviator.

Fair Winds, Captain.  This world is less now.

"Going home, going home, I'm a going home
Quiet like, some still day, I'm just going home
It's not far, just close by, through an open door
Work all done, care laid by
Going to fear no more
Mother's there, expecting me
Father's waiting too
Lots of folks gathered there
All the friends I knew
Nothings lost alls gained
No more fear or pain
No more stubbling by the way
No more longing for the day
Going to roam no more

Morning star lights the way
Restless dream all done
Shadows gone, break of day
Real life just begun
There's no break, there's no end
Just a living on
Wide awake with a smile, going on and on
Going home, going home, I'm just going home
It's not far, just close by, I'm just going home

Nothing's lost, all is gain, no longing for the day
No more stumbling on the way
No more fret nor pain
Goin' home, goin' home, I'm a goin' home
Quiet like, still some day, I'm a goin' home

I'm just goin' home
I'm a goin' home"

Sunday, March 4, 2012

You Don't Say?

Early last year, the Navy lifted the ban on women serving on submarines.  This, of course, was not a popular move by the Navy.  Many saw this as a move to promote diversity more than a move to increase national security.  Secretary of the Navy Ray Maybus believed it a "great idea and the right thing to do."

Curious how all those Secretary's of the Navy before did exactly the opposite.  But, I digress.

Well, the Navy had to identify a group of women who would do well, as there was no room for error in such a historic move.  The women were chosen and training began.

Then...oops.

"Three female supply officers were pulled from submarine crews within months of joining the force for allegedly committing fraud prior to checking in at their boats, a Submarine Forces spokeswoman confirmed Friday. These three were among the eight Supply Corps lieutenants that reported to the submarine force, a cadre chosen to be role models for the younger female submariners reporting straight from training to the previously all-male force.


The alleged actions under investigation involve financial misconduct and in no way involved their performance while assigned to their current operational units,” said Submarine Forces spokeswoman Cmdr. Monica Rousselow, who explained the allegations concerned fraudulent travel claims while on temporary assigned duty."

Well, that's interesting.  Almost 40% of the hand-selected individuals are already being investigated for fraud before they even report to submarine duty.  That large of a group is bound to have a huge implication on the integration of women on submarines, right?

“The three reliefs are a setback for the ongoing integration of the undersea force. But officials characterized the disruption as 'minimal' — pointing out this is not the first time supply lieutenants had been removed from subs — and that the larger effort is still on track. 'Overall, the integration of women onboard submarines continues to progress smoothly and the reassignment of the three Supply Corps officers will have a minimal impact on the integration process,' Rousselow said."

Smoothly?  Wow, not exactly the word I would have chosen.

I understand that things happen, and that women will eventually serve honorably in the submarine force. Yet, when a spokeswoman, especially one with the rank of Commander, says that things are going smoothly when, in fact, 40% of your hand-selected recruits are being investigated for fraud, well...

...it makes it so very hard to have confidence in anything further they say.  The military is one of the few organizations people still have faith in.  Please, let's don't ruin that by trying to whitewash a bad situation.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

In Memory of Andrew Breitbart



As some of you may know, the "national discussion" has lost a voice.

Andrew Breitbart was, if anything, an idea warrior and loved political combat.  You many either agree or disagree with him, but in the end, he offered what we need more of...ideas.

At the age of 43, it's hard to say death was by "natural causes"...there's nothing natural about dying so young.  But it is a heavy reminder that no one is guaranteed tomorrow.  Carpe Diem, hug your kids, enjoy life, and all that jazz.

Breitbart had a lot of admirers, on both sides of the aisle.  Here is a link to some heavy hitters who will miss his public voice.

I'll honor him by giving you a little quip that I find humorous.  He would like it because it is sure to prick the left the wrong way, and it may (delight!) even start a lively discussion.

Irony

The food stamp program, part of the Department of Agriculture, is pleased to be distributing the greatest amount of food stamps ever.

Meanwhile, the Park Service, part of the Department of Interior, instructs us "Please Do Not Feed the Animals" because the animals may grow dependent and not learn to take care of themselves.