Saturday, January 24, 2009
"In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress." - John Adams
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed." - Mark Twain
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress . . . But then I repeat myself." - Mark Twain
"I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle." - Winston Churchill
"A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul." - George Bernard Shaw
"A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money." - Gordon Liddy
"Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner." - James Bovard, Civil Libertarian (1994)
"Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries." - Douglas Casey, Classmate of Bill Clinton at Georgetown University
"Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys." - P.J. O'Rourke, Civil Libertarian
"Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else." - Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)
"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases. If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it." - Ronald Reagan (1986)
"I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts." - Will Rogers
"If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free!" - P.J. O'Rourke
"In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other." - Voltaire (1764)
"Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you!" - Pericles (430 B.C.)
"No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session." - Mark Twain (1866)
"Talk is cheap...except when Congress does it." - Anon
"The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other." - Ronald Reagan
"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery." - Winston Churchill
"The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin." - Mark Twain
"The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools." - Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)
"There is no distinctly Native American criminal class...save Congress." - Mark Twain
"What this country needs are more unemployed politicians." - Edward Langley, Artist (1928 - 1995)
"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have." - Thomas Jefferson
Monday, January 19, 2009
Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
Keep skunks and bankers and lawyers at a distance.
Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
Words that soak into your ears are whispered... not yelled.
Meanness don't jes' happen overnight.
Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.
Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
It doesn't take a very big person to carry a grudge.
You cannot unsay a cruel or unkind word.
Every path has a few puddles.
When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
The best sermons are lived, not preached.
Most of the stuff people worry about ain't never gonna happen anyway.
Don't judge folks by their relatives.
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.
Don't interfere with somethin' that ain't botherin' you none.
Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.
If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.
Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin'.
Always drink upstream from the herd.
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back in.
If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest up to God.
God Bless You and Yours
Hope you have a Great 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
"Each year more than a million people needlessly die because of their own personal decisions," says Keeney, whose work gives new meaning to the cliché we're our "own worst enemies." That means more than half the population will make a decision leading to an early grave, he reports, including a full 55 percent of people who die between the ages of 15 and 64. Most alarming, that figure has jumped fourfold since 1900, despite the world becoming a safer place overall thanks to seat belts, smoking laws, health food and a host of other tools to help people stay inside the lines.
Keeney's work raises a philosophical quandary: If we continue to kill ourselves with poor decisions, are we consciously opting for short, zestful lives over long, abstemious ones? Or is it that we simply need a stronger hand prodding us to make better choices? Keeney and a number of public-health advocates say the answer may be more governmental guidance in everything from what kind of food we buy to whether we contribute to our retirement savings. And if Keeney is right, and much of our health and life expectancy is a reflection of our own decisions, are these things we can change or choices shaped by genes and other forces outside our control?
To generate his numbers, Keeney took national death statistics from 2000 and tried to trace the official cause of each death (ranging from cancers, diabetes and AIDS to fatal accidents, suicides and homicides) back to some personal call, such as the decision to smoke, drink, drive without a seat belt or have unprotected sex. Because the numbers can't show for sure that a person's smoking, for instance, caused their lung cancer, he used risk data to make reliable guesses—smoking is known to triple the risk of cancer, for example, which lead Keeney to conclude that roughly two thirds of all smokers who got lung cancer brought it upon themselves.
That's not so controversial when identifying three packs a day as the cause of cancer or the choice to speed as the cause of a fatal crash, but Keeney is on thinner ice when counting all suicides as examples of death by personal decision. His reasoning: the decision to kill oneself may not be rational, or even clearheaded, but it's definitely personal. But with evidence accumulating that many mental illnesses have genetic or physiological origins, labeling the suicidal impulses of someone suffering from major depression or bipolar disorder a "choice" may not be exactly fair.. The same goes for certain addictions to drinking, smoking and overeating, which all have significant genetic triggers—yet Keeney holds firm. "Prior to having these habits," he writes, "the individuals made decisions that lead to [them] and these are the personal decisions that are of concern in this paper.
"Another of the study's limitations: it ignores the environmental baggage that constrains people's choices. Keeney says he appreciates the importance of peer pressure, poverty and education as well as the fact that fatal decisions aren't necessarily "bad" ones. (Yes, you end up dead but perhaps you had no real choice and were speeding to escape a murderer. Or perhaps you made a conscious choice to live an interesting life, burning out early like Elvis rather keeping to a rigid fitness routine like Jack LaLanne.) It's just that in most cases, he says, people could have reasonably saved their own lives if they had taken a different path. "If it's under a person's control," he tells NEWSWEEK, "I say it's up to them."
Why do so many of us make lousy personal decisions, even ones that kill us? Keeney, for one, chalks it up to short-term thinking and it-can't-happen-to-me exceptionalism. Other scholars, such as Harvard's Cass Sunstein, University of Chicago's Richard Thaler and MIT's Dan Ariely—all loosely organized, like Keeney, under the suddenly hip banner of behavioral economics—have in recent years come up with different reasons for why we sometimes act a fool. Topping their lists are apathy, peer pressure, and the tendency to misperceive in predictable ways—such as judging a mountain of food a molehill if it's served on a massive plate.
However the experts explain our tendencies to self-destruct, they all agree that we could use some help negotiating these choices better—and that government can provide it. For Keeney, it's by adding "decision making" to the standard curriculum in public schools so that more children grow up empowered to recognize and mine all their options, rather than accept those presented by others. "Imagine if they taught World War II as decision making," he says. "That'd be fabulous."
For Sunstein and Thaler, authors of the recent book "Nudge" (Yale, 2008), it's through gently pushing people to make the right move. "Putting the fruit at eye level counts as a nudge," they write. "Banning junk food does not." Ariely cottons to a middle ground between authoritarianism and "complete freedom to fail." In the realm of preventive medicine, for instance, that means encouraging people to go for regular screenings and checkups by establishing a deposit system: the only way to get your $100 back is by making your appointment.
Will any of this actually happen? Brian Wansink thinks so, although he's short on specifics. In "Mindless Eating," his 2007 book about how the brain decides what the stomach gets, the Cornell University marketing professor imagines a tomorrow where regulators promote healthier habits by borrowing the seductions of junk food and leveraging insights into portion control. In one of his more famous experiments, he gives people bowls of soup that were secretly refilled by a tube beneath the restaurant table and discovers that those people with bottomless bowls ate almost 75 percent more than people with normal bowls. "How could I feel full? I've still got half a bowl left," the overeaters wondered. The lesson: tinkering with perception is the key to changing long-term behaviors and, according to Wansink, adding years and quality to our lives. The 19th century was the century of hygiene, he writes, and the 20th was the century of medicine. The 21st? The century of behavior change—with Uncle Sam perhaps leading the charge.
If playing with our perception doesn't work, perhaps manipulating our wallets might. Or at least that's what some cash-strapped state governments are banking on. Last week New York Health Commissioner Richard Daines created a five-minute YouTube video to promote a proposed 18 percent sales tax on sugary drinks in the Empire State. Daines justified the move saying that some taxes can be good for your health.
Still, a more interventionist government isn't up everyone's alley. Not to mention the fact that we learn by making mistakes. If there's always a guardrail in place, we may never remember to watch the ledge.
www.Newsweek.com © 2009
© Copyright by HealthNewsDigest.com
Sunday, January 4, 2009
According to a study done at the University of North Carolina, if you watch what you're drinking, you could cut at least 450 calories a day from your diet. This same study found out that Americans drink 192 gallons of liquid a year - about two liters a day.
How do we deal with this problem? Some individuals have chosen to drink because it contains five or fewer calories per serving as compared to sweetened beverages. Yet, even by drinking a diet soda, you're still not solving your diet problems:
A diet soda low in calories can still lead to weight gain.
With a diet soda, you are still consuming a sugary-tasting beverage - even if they're artificially sweetened. The more you drink sweetened beverages, the more you want to consume sweeter foods - cereal, bread, dessert, etc.
A diet soda becomes a substitute for all the healthy beverages you need.
Diet soda is 100 percent nutrition-free. Perhaps one can of diet soda a day won't do too much damage, but we usually don't stop at one. Someare guzzling five to six cans a day. This large amount of diet soda takes the place of healthy drinks like water or tea.
A diet soda can contain aspartame, a chemical used to give diet sodas flavor.
Aspartame is 180 times sweeter than sugar. Some research using rodents has linked consumption of high amounts of the sweetening chemical to brain tumors and lymphoma. Side effects among humans include dizziness, headaches, diarrhea, memory loss and mood changes.
A diet soda can interfere with your body's intake of calories. Recent research has shown in soda may confuse your body's ability to estimate how many calories you've ingested. So you end up drinking more than you need. The University of Texas Health Science Center has concluded that a person's risk of becoming overweight from drinking diet soda can rise 37 percent.
You are much better off drinking low-calorie, high-nutrient beverages. Check out your local grocery store and try some great tasting vitamin water (50 calories a bottle). However, be sure these drinks don't contain any harmful chemical sweeteners.
Besides the fact soda contains zero nutrients, it is one beverage we can do without - diet or sweetened. Next time you get the urge for a
SOURCE: email, John Tesh Blog!