And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Linkee-poo, hello world, I'm your wild girl, I'm your ch ch ch ch ch cherry bomb

So, those fitness trackers, good at some things, not so good at others. I'm reminded of Random Michelle K's comparative study of pedometers and how far off they were from each other. But, yes, if you're using your pedometer to count calories, you may want to change your methodology.

"Police investigating the Manchester Arena bomb attack have stopped sharing information with the US after leaks to the media." That'll go over well. Score one for the "leakers aren't patriotic" crowd. The same people who cheered the DNC wikileaks release.

You know that homeless guy in Manchester who rushed in to help victims of the bombing (actually it was a number of the homeless in the area who helped, but they weren't all interviewed on camera)? Well, apparently a lot of people now want to help him so they've offered to pay rent, give him money, find him a job. Ah, what a warming human story… except what it shows is that many people (the ones who can help the most, at least) mostly see the poor and "down and out" as deserving their lot in life. And they were shown, graphically, how these people are just like everyone else. So now they want to help. And I applaud that. But my question is, what held them back before this? And what does that say about us?

"A Mississippi lawmaker apologized Monday for saying the Louisiana leaders who supported the recent removal of four Confederate monuments 'should be LYNCHED!' Karl Oliver, a GOP state representative, had made the comment in a Facebook post this weekend." Dear Rep. Oliver, I think you need to check your ignorance and lingering racism at the door.

Think I'm being a little hyperbolic here? "During an interview with Sirius XM radio on Tuesday, Mr Carson suggested people are poor because they learned the 'wrong mindset' from their parents." For many people, they think being poor is a choice. If only you worked a little harder, paid more attention in school, ignored the "bad parenting," whatever. This is how bad the mind fuckery of the right has gone. Here is someone raised in poverty, got his way out (with a lot of help from government programs I might add) and he still has no clue. The unexamined privilege is contagious. Dear Dr. Carson, so if your Mom had this great mindset, why was she poor? Oh, and please fuck off.

"'If you're on food stamps and you're able-bodied, we need you to go to work. If you're on disability insurance and you're not supposed to be — if you're not truly disabled, we need you to go back to work,' Mulvaney said Tuesday… But the reality is, many people (44 percent) who rely on SNAP — the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, as food stamps is now known — have at least one person in the family working, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture." Treasury Secretary Mulvaney then then went on to state that there's plenty of money to help those who "deserve it," but not enough for those who don't. This is classic divide and conquer. Because, of course, we all know there are people getting benefits who don't really need them or "deserve" them. Those welfare queens for instance… Sec. Mulvaney, you too, sir, can fuck right off. Anybody who has had direct experience with trying to get these benefits knows just how far gone you have to be to qualify and how tough it is to actually qualify. But there are plenty of people, who will find themselves on the fuzzy end of this lollipop, believe that their struggle to qualify was so hard because of all the people freeloading off the system who have some advantage on qualifying that they don't have. Like being black (no, seriously, I have heard that said to my face). In the same way people finally woke up to what Obamacare actually was (and that they were benefitting form it) as the conservatives were writing their AHCA, many people won't realize their benefits are going to go away until the checks stop coming.

"One in eight Americans — 42 million people — still struggles to get enough to eat. And while that number has been going down recently, hunger appears to be getting worse in some economically distressed areas, especially in rural communities." So much for that "charities can pick up the slack" line of reasoning.

Think if you have employer sponsor health care you don't have to worry about the new Republican plan (AHCA)? Think again. Besides the economic benefits you receive from having fewer uninsured people that your payments cover their costs (because providers increase their fees to cover their loses), yes, Virginia, the GOP doesn't think you need to be all that healthy anyway.

The Office of Government Ethics tells the White House to get bent. "The Office of Government Ethics has rejected a White House attempt to block the agency's compilation of federal ethics rules waivers granted to officials hired into the Trump administration from corporations and lobbying firms."

Yes, Education Secretary DeVos is a wretched human who still hasn't learned about the programs she is supposedly "managing." Yes, they're coming to take your education away. Especially if you're poor or disadvantaged. Because we know that's what our economy needs, and our business leaders are demanding. We need even more lower skilled employees and consumers who don't make enough money to buy anything but the basics, and we need to direct money to all the "better" people who will, I don't know, somehow miraculously be able to do all the jobs… which in my experience they don't want to do anyway.

Milwaukee's voucher program. At best, a mixed bag of results.

In Montana, the Republican candidate to replace the vacated House seat, body slams a reporter asking about his reaction to the CBO score. Yeah, I'm sure that'll go well. (At the time of writing this, I don't know the outcome of the race which was Thursday)

"One in eight Americans — 42 million people — still struggles to get enough to eat. And while that number has been going down recently, hunger appears to be getting worse in some economically distressed areas, especially in rural communities… Food banks that serve these areas are also feeling the squeeze, as surplus food supplies dwindle but the lines of people seeking help remain long." To which the conservatives in government and our President's budget plan basically says, "Sounds like an excellent time to cut SNAP benefits."


Random Michelle K said...

My husband were just talking about that!

Long story short, my take has always been to take note of how active you are, and if you've been extra active (say, climbing 100 flights of stairs) then you're allowed extra dessert.

I think that counting calories to a significant digit isn't as helpful as simply being aware of how many calories an item has. ie, my husband would always order fettuccine alfredo whenever we went out to dinner. So I showed him that he was taking an entire day's calories in a single dish. Now he reserves it for special occasions. Neither of us were comparing it to how many calories he burned over the course of the day, we just made him aware of the calorie content.

The other thing about counting calories is that I feel like it encourages you to eat pre-made foods. (This frozen dinner has X calories. I don't know how many calories this risotto primavera I want to make for dinner has.)

Knowing the calorie content of things is useful, but I think it can also lead to unhealthy options for the sake of counting correctly.

Steve Buchheit said...

My fitbit is kinda interesting, because I can look at the "calories burned" and see the number BEFORE it updates my steps, so I can see the difference it calculates what my "activity" contributes over basic metabolic rate. It ain't much.