Friday, January 27, 2012

Picture for the Day: January 27

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chart for the Day: January 26

Timeline of the National Debt

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Newt Gingrich – Liar and Hypocrite

“The Presidency is about character.” How many aspiring politicians and television talking-heads have uttered that phrase or a variant thereof? I’m sure former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has said it. But does he understand it?

Now that Gingrich is running for President, a spotlight has been shone upon his life. They say sunlight is the best disinfectant, but like the neural parasites of Deneva, some things are allergic to light.

Let’s take moment and review Newt Gingrich’s character. And since Newt is so obsessed with protecting marriage and peeking into other people’s bedrooms, let us concentrate on that aspect of his character.

Gingrich met his first wife when he was in high school – Jackie Battley was his geometry teacher, to be precise. They married when he was 19 and she 26. Newt ran around on his first wife, and belittled her as “not young enough or pretty enough” to be a politician’s wife. He told Jackie he wanted a divorce while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery. (Newt’s campaign has tried to dispute this, but court documents back up Jackie’s account.) Newt’s mistress at the time, Marianne Ginther, became Wife No. 2 a mere six months later.

While Gingrich was leading the House Republicans’ crusade to impeach President Clinton, he was having an affair himself, with Callista Bisek. Newt had already told Marianne that he wanted an “open marriage”. As any right-thinking person would, Marianne was not welcome to that idea. When Marianne was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, Newt jumped ship, paving the way to install Callista as Wife No. 3.

Callista Gingrich has had the good fortune to maintain her looks – if that’s your cup of tea – and, so far as we know, her health. So, Newt has sought fit to lavish her with six-figures in goodies from Tiffany’s. Callista is 23 years younger than Newt. But one wonders what Newt, now 68, will do when Callista begins to sag. The best predictor of future behavior is past performance.

Newt’s wives have a tendency to become sick while married to him, and he discards them as if they were used condoms. Apparently, the phrase “in sickness and in health” means nothing to him. This is the very definition of a toxic person. Yet the whole time, Newt preaches the “family values” agenda - which has long been nothing more than an attempt to outlaw abortion, served up with a side of thinly veiled gay bashing.

In my experience, those who crow the most about family values are the least likely to live them.

For contrast, consider President Obama. He has consistently supported reproductive rights. He has been consistently for LGBT rights with the exception of full marriage for same-sex couples – to the extent that he’s done more for LGBT people than any President in history. He’s even stated repeatedly that he’s “evolving” on the marriage issue – coded-language to all but the completely tone deaf that his position will evolve to full marriage rights on November 7, 2012. By all reliable accounts, Barack Obama has led a morally upright life, and has been a model father and husband. He doesn’t spend his time telling others how to run their private lives, content to manage his own.

There is a great divide between “having character” and “being a character”, and Newt Gingrich is on the wrong side of that divide.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chart for the Day: January 18

Click to enlarge. Right-click to open in a separate window.

Those who state that President Obama has done nothing to further the cause of LGBT rights are telling what Winston Churchill called a "terminological inexactitude." Anyone who calls him the worst President ever for LGBT Americans needs to have his head examined.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012

Chart for the Day: January 16

There are certain things in our nation and in the world which I am proud to be maladjusted...I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Response to a chain e-mail

An email chain has been going around, purporting to be a response to a comment by a “young cashier” about the environment.

The use of certain terminology (e.g., “nappies” for diapers, “petrol” for gasoline) indicates that the writer was British, so I can’t vouch for the timing of some events such as switching from bottled to store bought milk. But I'm sure there's an American version of this going around. So, I’d like to make a point by point response:

Bottled milk hasn’t been delivered in the United States for decades. In fact, I’ve never seen it in my 44 years – although the 70 year old house I live in has a miniature door for milk delivery. Frankly, drinking milk after childhood is not healthy, and is also hard on the environment. Besides, didn’t the delivery of bottled milk to each home result in the burning of more fossil fuel?

I can’t speak for the cashier, but I certainly recycle my pop cans and beer bottles! Our generation had to fight your generation to get city hall to make recycling available.

Speaking of generations, is this writer 90 years old? Escalators have been around for at least a century. Are you really blaming 20-somethings like the cashier for escalators?

More and more young people, and even those not so young, bike or walk whenever we can. That’s why some of us are so passionate about walkable cities and suburbs – and why I supported rezoning at Oakwood. We’re trying to reverse the growth of the exhurbs brought about by Eisenhower’s Folly. As for gas guzzling cars: that was the product of earlier generations - my car is certainly not 300-horsepower – more like 123.

So, you washed your babies’ diapers rather than getting disposables? Good for you. And how many kids did you have? Probably too many. Generations such as yours that
popped out five and more kids per couple are responsible for our huge overpopulation problem. Thanks for breeding like rabbits in heat! (Not that that’s just a problem for an earlier era.)

Sure, we use more appliances. We have larger TV screens, since thanks to the
economic collapse caused by the older generation we can’t afford a night out at the movies – with the expensive tickets, food, and gasoline it takes to get there. Walk to the movies, you say? No, we can’t walk to the movie theater – thanks to the suburban sprawl you invented, it’s out of reach.

We make do with compact fluorescent lightbulbs, even though they make us look pasty and don't work with dimmer switches.

Ordinary people, by and large, do not make use of styrofoam and bubble wrap – it’s corporations, the large behemoths that run out of control thanks to deregulation by your generation.

You may have used a push mower to cut the lawn, then you doused the grass with toxic fertilizers - which entered the runoff and damaged our water supply. See the next paragraph.

You drank from a water fountain? Oh, yes, you did – and it was segregated! Some of us need to drink bottled water because your generation demanded tax cuts and neglected the infrastructure, which made the water undrinkable.

I’d love to take the bus, but your generation created the car-worshiping America that made bus service the transportation of last resort – where one often can’t even feel safe.

And yes, I DO take reusable bags to the grocery store!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Fitness quest: January 5, 2012

A new year has begun. Instead of reviewing the details of my latest workout or changes in my body, I’d like to review the most important factor in fitness: proper diet. Most fitness instructors will tell you that eating the right foods in the right amounts is 75% of the battle in becoming and staying healthy. Think of all the athletes who may be sidelined by injuries and unable to workout – the proper diet is the critical factor between staying in shape and dissolving into a puddle of jelly. There is also the fact that what we eat has as much impact on the environment as what we drive. With that in mind, I’ve put together:

Hank’s non-Mammalian, ecologically responsible, yet very tasty diet.

Foods to avoid:
Any food derived directly or indirectly from mammals. This includes:
Red Meat & Pork (replace with Poultry & Fish)
Dairy products, including Milk, Cheese, and Butter (replace with Soy milk, Vegan cheese and margarine)

Other foods to avoid:
Potatoes (including baked, fried , chips and sweet potatoes), white bread, white rice – replace with wheat bread and brown rice
Sugared or Diet soda – replace with Diet Snapple or Green Tea. These will give you the energy and provide superior hydration.
Salt – use a salt substitute instead

Tips for Healthy Food Preparation:
Poultry or fish can be baked or cooked in a pan.
When cooking food in oil, avoid products like Wesson oil or Crisco – use Olive or Sunflower Oil. Check the labels to avoid hydrogenated fats.
Vegetables can be stir fried or steamed – avoid overcooking as this removes nutritional value and taste.

Food Allocation
40% of your calories should come from Breakfast & a mid-morning snack
35% of your calories should come from Lunch & a mid-afternoon snack
25% of your calories should come from Dinner – no snacks after dinner, which should take place no less than four hours before bedtime.

Healthy Meal examples:
Breakfast: Egg beaters (can be made omelet style with onions, peppers, vegan cheese, etc); oatmeal; fruit juice (a tall glass mixed ½ & ½ with water)
Lunch: Chicken breast with two servings of vegetables.
Dinner: Salmon burger on wheat bun with a large side of vegetables

You should get at least 30 minutes of Cardio exercise at least 3 times per week
You should get at least 30 minutes of Strength training at least 2 times per week

Control your portions: stop eating when you’re no longer hungry, don’t wait until you’re full! Avoid all-you-can-eat buffets. Remember, there is always room for exceptions such as special occasions – but the important thing is to practice restraint and moderation.

My weight varied over the holidays, and by January 1, my weight had ballooned to 216#. But reapplying myself at the gym and in the kitchen has worked out and my weight is back down.

1/5/2012 212 1/2#