Saturday, 1 June 2013

Simply Observations

There were a number of oddball health news that I saw this week.

First, our government is taking up the idea of making all alcohol, beer and wine folks....to put a nutritional label on the side.  You can imagine this....something that you never thought would occur, and it's going to make you pause now.  What if you knew this bottle of beer had 214 calories....would it stop you?  Would you forget about consuming a six-pack....if you knew the total calorie count was 1,000 calories?  Or the sugar count of one bottle of wine, for two people....was way more than you ought to consume for one day?  Or how about a bottle of Jacky D's being examined more closely?  Sadly, it just might make you sip less.

Some smart guys have discovered that diet sodas are about as bad for your teeth.....as meth or crack.  It's not much of a way to get around this study, and it might scare a few folks.

Some guys down in Jacksonville, Florida sat there and looked at military guys and their PTSD.  And they came to this unusual idea....farming.  So they've brought some ex-Army guys out to rural areas, and started teaching the 'art' of farming.  The funny thing to this....is that the former GI's with issues....are reacting in a positive sense to the farms.  Now, a bunch of folks from Bama would look at this and tell you that farming sucks the stress right out of guy....toss in eight hours of hay work, an hour or two chasing up cows, an hour working on a fence line, and you just simply forget about any stress that you had.  You just want to sip some buttermilk, and lay down to sleep eight hours.

This nut who tried to open up the plane door this past week?  Well....the news guys kinda hid the discovery later....but the guy admits up now that he's bi-polar.  His meds?  Well....apparently, they didn't work well enough.

When the medical community published the new disorder book last week....they had added caffeine withdrawal.....as a disorder.  Course, most folks would shake their head....but this likely means that Obama Care will cover you.....as you try to quit Mountain Dew, Pepsi, or Starbucks XXL coffee.

Finally, the smart guys now say.....that one in five American kids under the age of seventeen.....has a mental disorder.  Luckily, teachers are now proven correctly when they kept saying their kids in the class were nuts.

Ten Things About the Last Three Years

In four weeks, I will transition from the US.....back to Germany.  It'll be roughly 180 weeks that I've spent back in the US.  It was a unique experience.  So there's around ten things that I've come to realize in this period.

First, news is entertainment.  At some point, news was news, and that was simply all that it could be.  Maybe 60 Minutes changed into some entertainment value.  But I've come to realize people watch the news mostly for some entertaining need in their life.  It doesn't matter if it's the Today Show, Good Morning America, local news, MSNBC, CBS evening news, Fox News, or even Governor Huck's Sunday night show.

Last night, I sat there for two hours watching live TV from Oklahoma....with the tornado in full view.  It was like watching the sinking of some ship....all carried live from the source.  I'm guessing that forty million Americans were watching it last night.  Most of them don't even live in Oklahoma.  Some have never even heard a siren for the storm watch.

The best part of news entertainment....is that you could watch eight channels telling the same story, with eight different variations on the story.  Some are liberal, some conservative, and some just for thrill value.

Every evening, there must be a dozen shows telling Hollywood's gossip story of the day, and it eats up thirty minutes of your time....to find out some dopey gal was on drugs last night and shaved her head.

Second?  Corruption.  Being in DC....you get to witness corruption day by day.  Everyone is shaking down someone else.

Last year, I witness some DC council guy who had this fake foundation which almost half-a-million from the city....to sponsor up a baseball league for kids.  None of the money ever got to the kids.  Why didn't the city run the league itself?  No one ever explains that.  The guy?  Well....in the beginning, he's say in public that the truth would be explained one day.  And the truth came....took his SUV, his motorcycle, and judged him for a couple of years in prison.  He still owes money to the city, but no one ever expects the money to come back into the city's pocket.

You can open the paper and find corruption every day.  US Senators, governors, city mayors, police chiefs, and even military folks.

The best corruption story I saw in three years was the DC city council guy who had spent out every penny he had....needed more to buy an expensive boat....and remortgaged his house but told the bank he was making thirty percent more than he actually was making.  The bank allowed him the new house loan....saving him money....and he bought the boat.  Months later, the whole mess was discovered.  Naturally, this was bank and wire fraud....so you do federal prison time.  All for a boat.

Third, if you drew a circle of 100 miles around the White House.....there's five hundred murders in an average year.  Count in DC, Montgomery county, Prince George's county, Baltimore, and the edge of Virginia (Arlington, Alexandria, & Fairfax), and you get a rough average of 500 dead folks a year.  Thankfully, they are all separate and thus the numbers never count against one guy or one political party.

The killings?  The bulk occur at night, and generally have a robbery or drug-angle to them.  The media reports them....one at a time.  Sometimes....the stories have an interesting angle....some wife shooting the husband over a jealous rage.  Or you have some employee who kills the boss of the store.  Or you could have some nutcase who gets hyped over dogs defecating on his yard.

Fourth, TV viewing is pretty lousy.  Over a three year period, from the big three networks.....there's only four shows that I ever had much interest in watching.  CBS probably has the worst options of any network.  I actually watch the History Channel and feel more entertainment value than any of the big three.

Dancing with the Stars?  Probably the most worthless show on TV today.  Course, there's also five or six comedy shows from NBC which fit into that category to some degree.

The reason for a hundred channel option on cable?  You need it badly....because there's such a vast wasteland.

Fifth, religion has become fairly commercialized.  The mega-church game is likely spoiling the system, and creating mammoth creatures which can't stay on a straight and narrow path.  There's this small circle of regular churches....surviving with ethical standards.....but fairly challenged.  Generally, if you catch the news enough....you come to realize on a weekly basis of some televangelist who is under investigation or some church declaring bankruptcy because of a unfit financial plan.

Sixth, on an average day.....I probably bumped into two hundred Latino guys and gals.  Ten percent of them?  Probably illegal.  All around the DC area....you've got thousands of them.  Guys hire a couple of illegals to do a Saturday of landscaping work and pay half of what a regular service company would charge.

The nation is surviving off the Latinos.  They basically need them.  Without the illegals....we'd be in a huge mess and facing another recession because of increased costs.  As much as everyone is moving toward immigration reform?  There's another group waiting to bring the new fresh illegals into the nation.

Seventh, I had to visit a doctor in my first year....to freeze off some skin 'tags'.  It was a simple procedure.  I doubt if he took more than thirty minutes.  The charge?  For me, $18.  For the insurance company?  $740.   For thirty minutes of work....$758?  Other than a stupid form at the front desk, and some nurse leading me to the exam room.....there wasn't much else attached to this episode.  He probably lined up two other patients for the rest of the hour, and cleared $1300.

The funny thing was that the lobby of this small two-doctor clinic was something out of the 1960s....dining room chairs to sit on, and pictures that you'd buy at a flea market.

I've had dozens of stories told me....over various medical costs and the silly nature of what they charge the insurance companies.  It doesn't make much sense....except a lot of cash is moving around the nation.....that probably relates to health woes.

Eighth, South Park is probably the nearest thing to Socrates today.  After watching a thirty-minute episode....you sit and pause over the implications discussed.  There are always five or six story-lines, which take you to pondering over what we've done to ourselves, or allowed to happen in society.  These two guys who run the show?  They've learned the craft of telling a story and making you think.

Ninth?  Lady Gaga.  The singer without any real talent, and is more of a gimmick.  I'm wondering how the public ever got attached to her.

Tenth, I've watched this odd public perception of how the government is there to solve your problems.  It's hard to adjust myself to this belief.  In three years....I haven't really moved much in this direction.  It seems like the media tries to tell a positive story and keep people focused on the government's great and fantastic help situation.  I guess I grew up in a different generation, and I just can't buy off on this concept.