Total Pageviews

Saturday, November 18, 2017


My Chapter 1 of SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity was entitled, CRIME AND WARS.  Even though the Kindle version only costs $3.99, you don't need to buy the book, for this blog site began serializing that chapter with Ending Crime and War Forever.  However, there was very little about sexual predation in this publication, a depravity that until Harvey Weinstein and religious clerics, was generally shrouded by society.

Two years ago, it was reported that just for U.S. Catholic churches, priest sex abuse had cost them MORE THAN $2.3 BILLION ANNUALLY FOR THE PAST THREE DECADES.  Multiplying those numbers, you get a figure of $69 billion.

Then again, maybe it's not so bad, for USA Today in 2013 reported that there have been 6,905 accused priests since 1950, 16,463 victims and "only" $2.5 billion in settlements.  As the USA has 5% of the world population, you'd need to multiply those above figures by, maybe not 20, but a significant number.

And you know this exploitation has been occurring all throughout history by clerics of every religion.  In some Muslim countries, for example, this could well be accepted practice.  Further, sexual predation is hardly the monopoly of the religious sector.
However, this notoriety somehow never affected predators in other professions, until Harvey Weinstein, who is now up to 80 accusers.  What he did was to remove the shame of victims in the U.S., and, perhaps world, too.  Woody Allen's escapade might have been history, but he does have a new film coming out, and who knows...  Arnold  Schwarzenegger says he is just a naturally rowdy guy.  You couldn't have missed Roman Polanski, Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly, but new in the spotlight:

  • Director James Toback (right), almost 300 women--said they're pathetic liars
  • Author and TV analyst Mark Halperin, 8 accusers--promises to make amends
  • Chef John Besh, more than two dozen--he said everything was consensual
  • Director Oliver Stone (right), whose victims were a Playboy Bunny and actress Patricia Arquette--has not said much in response
  • Former New Republic literary editor Leon Wieseltier--has apologized to his victims
  • Actor/Director Ben Afleck, groped women on the red carpet, including a reporter--has apologized
  • Former editor of Artforum Knight Landesman, nine--not sure if he, or his victims, wrote an open letter
  • Actor James Woods, tried to pick up on actress Elizabeth Perkins when she was 16 and he was in his 50's--no comment
  • Creator of Nickelodeon Chris Savino, about a dozen--I am deeply sorry and ashamed
  • BOB WEINSTEIN, Harvey's brother, with only one accuser--denied through lawyer
  • Director Lars von Trier, who was accused by actress Bjork
  • Comedian Andy Dick, known to have indecently exposed himself, groped and licked women--said he might have licked, but never groped anybody
  • Actor/Producer Jeremy Piven, accused by actress Ariane Bellman of groping her breasts--unequivocally denied anything
  • Actor Louis C.K. (right), masturbated in front of at least five women, plus--yes, I'm guilty, so his I Love You, Daddy film scheduled to be released yesterday was shelved--only got a 38% Rotten Tomatoes reviewers rating, anyway
  • Actor Kevin Spacey, accused by actor Anthony Rapp of sexual advances when he was 14 and Spacey 26--he not only apologized but "came out"
  • Produced Brett Ratner, six women, mostly actresses--denied everything
    • Actor Dustin Hoffman, sexually harassed a production assistant--no reported response
    • Actor and musician Ed Westwick, three women of serious sex assault--no response
    • former President George H.W. (the father) Bush, groped at least seven women--has sincerely apologized
    So we now come to those political headlines:
    • Senator Al Franken:  wrong, dumb, he apologized, she accepted, a non issue, but perhaps the Democratic Party might want kick him out of the Senate so that they can look good next November, as the Minnesota governor is a Democrat and will name another Democrat as replacement.
    • Former judge Roy Moore:  will lose his sure-shot seat for U.S. Senator because he made inappropriate sexual advances on a 14-year old girl almost forty years ago.  This issue will seriously damage Republican efforts to retain control of Congress and the White House.
    • President Donald Trump: truly serious allegations, with the payoffs and judicial compromises now re-surfacing.  He has been accused of rape three times, with one victim only 13 years old.  Sixteen women have been victims of our President.  That underage rape incident could well be why he gets impeached.  The prospects of Robert Mueller nailing Trump also cannot be discounted.  In any case, the odds are high now that he will not finish his term.  Betting.Betfair now has Trump's early exit more likelier than not.  Kathy Griffin got fired for showing Donald Trump's head.  Shame she won't be on CNN with Anderson Cooper for their New Year's Eve telecast.  Looks like her replacement will be Andy Cohen, his "best" friend.
    Where are the female sexual predators, anyway?  You know they exist, for it is reported that more than half of male college students in one study reported at least one sexual victimization experience since age 16.  Half of the perpetrators were female.  One reason is that 86% of victims of female sexual predators aren't believed, so most crimes go unreported.  Then there, is that hmm, it wasn't so bad, after all, attitude of men everywhere.  

    The Guardian has written that up to 64,000 women in the UK are child-sex offenders.  So as that country is slightly less that 1% the world population, make that 6.4 million female child-sex offenders the world over.  Unless the UK is unique.  When was the last major scandal you read about one of them?

    Ah, in desperation, I finally found one.  In the list of 35 famous people charged with sex crimes, Britney Spears was the sole female.  A former bodyguard claimed the pop star flashed him and invited him into her bedroom when she was nude.  Check on that list.  Interesting.

    The bottom line is that social standards change and acceptable practice in the past, as immoral as they may be, might not be so today.  But there remain a few universal lines that you just cannot cross. What will leave Spears and Franken legally untouched does not apply to Moore and Trump, the former because he was 32 and she was 14, but for Trump, rape is rape, especially if this was a virgin of 13.  What could once be shunted aside will return to haunt, as these passive victims will now become piranhas with seasoned lawyers.


    Friday, November 17, 2017


    Literally, there are thousands of diets.  MedicalNewsToday lists the nine most popular:
    • #2  The Zone:  balance of 40% carbs, 30% fats and 30% protein--loves olive oil, avocado and nuts
    • #3  Ketogenic:  reduce carbs, increase fat (lot of fat in coconuts, avocados, nuts and oily fish...but they are all good)
    • #4  Vegetarian:  vegetables and no animal-based, except for eggs, dairy and honey
    • #5  Vegan:  only consume plants (in the USA, 70% of those who tried, gave up)
    • #6  Weight Watchers:  diet, exercise and support network (but the company is struggling because most diets are free...but don't work)
    • #7  South Beach:  unrefined carbohydrates, plus some fat
    • #8  Raw food:  no processed foods, with 75% uncooked (including, as one specific diet, raw carnivores)
    • #9  Mediterranean:  plants, fruits, beans, olive oil, some fish and poetry, (my computer stuck that in--should be poultry) and 4 eggs/week, plus wine (click on the right graphic to actually read it)
    U.S. News and World Report provided the following:

    1. DASH diet
    1. Mayo Clinic Diet
    1. Weight Watchers      
    2. Mediterranean diet
    1. Weight Watchers
    2. Jenny Craig 
    3. MIND diet
    3. Jenny Craig
    2. Volumetrics

    1. HMR Program
    1. DASH diet
    1. Fertility diet
    1. Weight Watchers
    2. Mediterranean diet
    1. Mediterranean diet
    3. Biggest Loser
    3. MIND diet
    1. MIND diet

    1. Weight Watchers

    1. DASH diet
    1. DASH diet
    1. Mediterranean diet
    2. Mediterranean diet
    1. Ornish diet
    2. Flexitarian diet
    2. Vegan diet
    3. TLC diet
    3. Ornish diet

    3. Vegetarian diet

    Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) matches well with my posting yesterday on hypertension.  There are numerous variations of this concept.

    I digested some of the above, crystallized the melange into an ideal essence for me, and arrived at My Optimal Diet, where I emphasize the MY.  You don't need to be old, and it would help if you are un-poor, but My Optimal Diet is, essentially, my lifestyle :
    • Contrary to many experts, I believe that your weight can be controlled by neutralizing any energy (food) input with sufficient exercise.  There are also collateral benefits to moving about.  My biochemical engineering PhD knowledge is at the base of this fact.  You need to be able to control your mind, too.  Sitting too much will kill you over time.
    • While I'm at this, sleep is really important:
    • Minimize white foods:  rice, bread, salt and sugar, while avoiding substitutes like aspartame.
    • Abstain from trans fats (some margarines, shortening--naturally occurs in diary products, but minimally)
    • Balance your input.  Not too much of anything, but eat what you like, within reason, even bacon.
      • For example, I splurge on foie gras, Japanese wagyu beef, caviar and the like, but only in small (now and then, one-eight of a pound of foie gras, quarter pound of wagyu, half a teaspoon of caviar, for example) amounts.
      • And, incidentally, I do ingest white rice, but not as much as before.  I blame Rainbow Drive-In and Zippy's for their bentos, but some minor bingeing makes life wonderful and worthwhile.  Sure, bread, even white, with sandwiches, but drastically reduce cured meats with nitrites and other bad stuff.
    • I love seafood of all types, and the more fat the better, great for Omega-3 fatty acids.  I need to reduce the sodium added to sashimi and poke.  Someday.
    • I drink two alcoholic drinks/day, and sometimes more.
    • I once never drank coffee, but have upped that to one cup/day.  In combination with tea, I might have two cups combined/day, and hope to attain a total of 4 cups/day in the future.  While caffeine in them might actually increase your blood pressure, something about these potions prolongs your life.
    • I don't drink the equivalent of 8 glasses of water/day, but on days when I walk on a golf course, I easily exceed that amount.
    • I now consume a lot more salads, nuts (macadamias are my favorite) and fruits (but minimize fructose as much as possible), especially berries.
    • I eat too many forms of chips, and will someday soon need to reduce this amount.  But this is part of the social structure at 15 Craigside dinner tables.
    • I consume chocolates, dark and in moderation.  A slight worry is that most of the news you read about the healthfulness of chocolates are studies paid for by chocolate companies.
    The best part about my diet is that it is not a diet but a lifestyle.  I don't measure or calculate anything.  I merely eat what I want (one reason I go through the ordeal of walking on a golf course) and enjoy life by maximizing pleasure, being aware that there are certain limits:
    • body requirements
    • finances
    • whatever else
    My dining articles tend to be among my most popular, so you can get a flavor of My Optimal Diet just by referring to them.


    Thursday, November 16, 2017



    I have had more than half a dozen postings on blood pressure.  Here was my latest, four months ago.  Then, of course, if you keep up with these things, the medical profession has again changed it's mind.  What was once okay for 140/90 has now been reduced to 130/80, adding 30 million more Americans to those in possible jeopardy.  Oh, that also means an additional 600 million endangered souls worldwide.

    My initial reaction was, Big Pharma has struck again.  But, then I learn that this is one of those ailments where almost all the prescribed drugs are now generic, meaning relatively cheap.  Thus, perhaps this adjustment was made mostly to extend longevity, for there is little doubt now that hypertension does increase the risk of coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure, peripheral disease, vision loss and kidney disease.

    An important consideration, however, is that someone just added to the unsafe category does not necessarily need to go on pills.  Lifestyle changes can make a big difference:
    • reduce salt intake
    • sensible physical exercise
    • healthy diet
    • weight control--don't be morbidly obese, although, interestingly enough, a controversial posting I had last year suggested that OVERWEIGHT PEOPLE LIVE LONGER THAN NORMAL PEOPLE
      • I should indicate, though, that my personal doctor, and another physician, my neighbor, don't accept my contention
      • however, the latest evidence suggests a Body Mass Index at the high side of normal, even into the low side of overweight (around 25), could well increase your life expectancy
      • read this Journal of American Medical Association article
    The above comes from the Mayo Clinic.  However, contradictory to their ten ways to reduce blood pressure, it is more and more appearing that caffeine from tea and coffee--four cups/day appears to be ideal--lowers blood pressure.  I, however, think Mayo is stuck on moral principles, for studies seem to also indicate that two drinks/day for men (only one for women) also lowers blood pressure.  I've personally made various tests (I carefully do experiments with my body, which I refer to as Pat the White Rat, as you'll see in the next paragraph) with wine and scotch to verify this assertion.

    My problem is that my blood pressures have been mostly too high at home, but also, too low on a golf course:
    • 150-160 / 85/95 when I first awoke, with a pulse rate of 49-54
    • 160-180 / 90-105 when I missed a meal and got really hungry
    • 135-145 / 80-90 as my normal rang
    • 80-85 / 50-55 around the sixth hole when I quickly walked
    So how can one both lower and raise your blood pressure?  I've largely succeeded:
    • Don't miss lunch, or any meal.  I fail a couple of times annually, but at least I know what to do about quickly dropping my pressure:  just eat something.
    • The waking up in the morning lows were long worrisome.  Here you have a worst case situation:
      • I'm hungry.
      • There is the shock of awakening.
      • My blood pressure increases when my pulse rate is low, and this is when it is the lowest (50 beats/minute).
    • However, I'm taking two blood pressure pills, Irbesartan-Hydrochhlorothiazide (12.5 mg) and Amplodipine Besylate (2.5 mg), which are at minimal prescription size.  The solution: 
      • While I'm not supposed to do this because the temporal adjustment is affected, I cut the larger AB in half, take one piece in the morning and the second at dinnertime.  Yes, my cutting technique is faulty, but they add up to one pill/day.
      • I wake up once or twice/night, so at some point around 3AM I take the IH, with three gulps of cranberry (there are more effective berries, but the cranberry at 15 Craigside is free) juice.  Apple juice and milk are not as effective.
      • When I wake up, my blood pressure is now around 135/80, which is 20 points lower on the systolic and 10 lower on the diastolic.
    • The golf course problem is something that was affecting me for long time without my understanding why.  When I walked on a golf course, I got dizzy picking up my ball in the hole around the 6th hole.  
      • I bought one of those wrist devices, and this is what I found on average:
        • before the first hole:  145/85
        • after second hole:  125/80
        • after sixth hole:  90/60 (and as low as 80/50)
        • after ninth hole:  100/65
        • after 18th hole:  135/80
        • at home after a bath:  110/65
        • after dinner:  130/80
      • What I was doing was to eat a large lunch, typically, a Rainbow Drive-In or Zippy's bento, then immediately went to play.  So I instead had a large breakfast, waited a couple of hours, then only had an apple for lunch around the 8th hole.  The results:
        • before the first hole:  140/80
        • after sixth hole:  110/70
        • after 18th hole:  130/75
        • at home after a bath:  110/65
        • after dinner:  125/75
    I'm getting hungry, so I'd better listen to my body.


    Wednesday, November 15, 2017


    Let me reverse the standard quote by saying that:

         You will fail, and maybe die, if you keep shooting yourself in your foot, and other body parts.

    All those recent mass shootings and the continued support of Republicans for the National Rifle Association just add to the dismay.

    Last year I posted on:

    I went back and read it.  You should, too.

    What I said then has been compounded by current events, for Republicans all over the country, figuratively, keep shooting themselves in the foot.  So much so that other body parts seem now almost inevitable.

    Let me start with key congressional legislation floundering today.  The standard process which has worked since the founding of our country was to: 
    • introduce a bill--which must be offered by a member (although a tax measure has to start in the House)
    • have the bill heard through the appropriate sub-committees and committees so that the concept is perfected through bipartisan involvement
    • these versions must pass through both the House and Senate
    • as the products will be different, there will be a conference committee of the two houses to agree on a single bill
    • which needs to again be passed by both bodies
    • then, up to the White House for final signature or veto
    So what has this Republican-control of the House, Senate and White House chosen to do?  They leave Democrats out of creation process, with what seems like almost unconstitutional coaching from the White House, prepare a Republican-only package for vote in each body, and with a scant majority of two votes in the Senate, expect to have the death of Obamacare and Tax Reform to help the rich immediately become laws.

    Is that stupid or what?  Well, actually, Republicans thought this all made sense, for they had total control and there was not supposed to be any demurrals in the Senate.  After all, Obamacare got through only because the Democrats then had the majorities on both sides of Congress and Barack Obama as president.

    Okay, but there was supposed to be some bipartisan interest in the tax bill, and Republicans really need this bit of success for the upcoming congressional elections next year.  So what do they do?  They re-insert a repeal of the Affordable Care Act pill into the tax reform package.  DUMB!  DUMB! DUMB!  Then, again, this could well be a ploy, the obvious bone, to later discard.  

    What further has happened, of course, is that President Donald Trump has pissed off too many people and organizations.  Then, former judge Roy Moore (wearing the hat) of Alabama is implicated in a pervert scandal that appears now to jeopardize coverage of the Senate seat once held by Jeff Sessions.  Should Democrat Doug Jones beat Moore (a Sunday poll shows him ahead, 46-42), Republicans will still have a Senate advantage:  51 Republicans, 47 Democrats and two Independents, Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.  

    Those above developments alone should not shake the Republican Party much.  What could decimate the order, however, is becoming pretty clear:
    • Moore actually beats Jones in Alabama, and this election will occur on December 12.  What will the Republicans do?
    • President Trump is indicted for his role in affecting the Presidential election.  Plus, we are now living in different times, known as the post-Weinstein sexual era, for there remains those sexual misconduct allegations:
    Donald Trump, an American businessman and current President of the United States, has been accused of sexual assault and sexual harassment, including non-consensual kissing or groping, by at least fifteen women since the 1980s.

    There will be many more accusations unfolding, and might add that a couple of years before being elected U.S. Senator, Al Franken was accused of similar "manly" actions by a radio anchor.  He apologized, but the talk is that he could well be kicked out of the U.S. Senate.  President Trump?  He is still considering suing those 15 those possible liars.  He certainly won't be booted from the White House, but this is a minor matter compared to cooperating with the Russians last year.