Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for December 3rd, 2007

Compact calendar

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Extremely helpful if you use Excel. Via Lifehacker.

Written by LeisureGuy

3 December 2007 at 6:52 pm

Posted in Daily life, Software

Cat food: dry? or wet?

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Makes no difference:

Although society is accustomed to seeing Garfield-sized cats, obese, middle-aged cats can have a variety of problems including diabetes mellitus, which can be fatal. The causes of diabetes mellitus in cats remain unknown although there has been a strong debate about whether a dry food diet puts cats at greater risk for diabetes. A new study from a University of Missouri-Columbia veterinarian suggests that weight gain, not the type of diet, is more important when trying to prevent diabetes in cats.

Because dry cat food contains more starch and more carbohydrates than canned cat food, some have argued that a diet containing large amounts of carbohydrates is unnatural for a cat that is anatomically and physiologically designed to be a carnivore. Carbohydrates constitute between 30 percent and 40 percent of dry cat food. Some have been concerned that this unnatural diet is harmful to cats and leads to increased incidence of diabetes. Wet cat food, on the other hand, is high in protein and more similar to a natural carnivore diet.

In the study, Robert Backus, assistant professor and director of the Nestle Purina Endowed Small Animal Nutrition Program at MU, and his team of researchers compared a colony of cats in California raised on dry food with a colony of cats in New Zealand raised on canned food. After comparing glucose-tolerance tests, which measures blood samples and indicates how fast glucose is being cleared from the blood after eating, researchers found…

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Written by LeisureGuy

3 December 2007 at 4:30 pm

Posted in Cats, Food, Health

More on the non-crisis of Social Security

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Thanks to Sean for pointing out this article:

Presidential candidate Barack Obama got himself into hot water with some in his own party when he recently said that Social Security faces a “crisis.”

Senator Obama’s problem is that the nation’s most popular social safety net program is actually in pretty good shape.

“The whole problem is exaggerated,” says Mark Weisbrot, codirector of the left-leaning Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) in Washington. “Nobody needs to talk about it.”

The Trustees of the Social Security system, in their report last spring, calculated that the system’s income would be inadequate to pay the full benefits promised to seniors in 2042. By then, 35 years hence, many baby boomers will be gone. For those still living, the payroll revenues that provide the basic income for the system will be sufficient to pay 75 percent of promised benefits. The next generation of retirees will also get 75 percent – not zero, as so many of them believe because of the false talk about the system being “bankrupt.” And unless the nation’s productivity stalls for decades (Social Security benefits are linked to wage levels), that 75 percent will have a buying power perhaps 30 percent greater than the Social Security benefits received by seniors today.

An analysis of the Congressional Budget Office puts the shortfall – not bankruptcy – at 2046, a few years later, when the Social Security Trust Fund runs out of the Treasury bonds it has been stockpiling because current payroll revenues each year exceed benefits paid.

A professional actuary, David Langer in New York, sees a brighter picture. He figures Social Security’s finances are actuarially sound and able to pay full benefits for the next 75 years.

Mr. Langer reaches his conclusion after examining a decade’s worth of 75-year projections made by the trustees. He found that the most optimistic of the three annual projections has been most accurate. Those more cheerful predictions show Social Security completely sound, with even a small surplus at the end of 75 years. “There is no problem, actuarially,” Langer says.

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Written by LeisureGuy

3 December 2007 at 4:15 pm

Posted in Daily life, Government

Tagged with

Gone and decisions reversed

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What a sleazy person: Julie MacDonald:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday reversed seven rulings that denied endangered species increased protection, after an investigation found the actions were tainted by political pressure from a former senior Interior Department official.

In a letter to Rep. Nick Rahall, D-West Virginia., the agency acknowledged that the actions had been “inappropriately influenced” and that “revising the seven identified decisions is supported by scientific evidence and the proper legal standards.” The reversal affects the protection for species including the white-tailed prairie dog, the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse and the Canada lynx.

The rulings came under scrutiny last spring after an Interior Department inspector general concluded that agency scientists were being pressured to alter their findings on endangered species by Julie MacDonald, then a deputy assistant secretary overseeing the Fish and Wildlife Service.

MacDonald resigned her position last May.

Rahall in a statement said that MacDonald, who was a civil engineer, “should never have been allowed near the endangered species program.” He called MacDonald’s involvement in species protection cases over her three-year tenure as an example of “this administration’s penchant for torpedoing science.”

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Written by LeisureGuy

3 December 2007 at 2:33 pm

Fox won’t run this ad

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Written by LeisureGuy

3 December 2007 at 2:24 pm

Robert Reich expresses some reservations about HRC

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Worth reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

3 December 2007 at 2:03 pm

Posted in Democrats, Election

GOP favors forced labor

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Good article:

Forced labor

If ever there was a single newspaper story that showed just how much today’s Republican Party hates working people, this Rocky Mountain News story is it. The headline reads “Right to Strike in Colorado Paid With Blood,” and documents how after National Guardsmen mowed down striking mine workers in the early 20th century’s Ludlow Massacre, the Colorado state legislature solidified workers’ right to strike – that is, workers’ right to withhold their labor as a way to protest the way they are treated. It was the least the legislature could do following one of the ugliest displays of worker oppression in American history.

This would seem like a basic right in an industrialized countries because, really, what’s the opposite? Right – forcing workers to work, whether they like it or not. However, as this article shows, even with the right to strike in Colorado “paid with blood,” the Colorado Republican Party is gearing up to eliminate that right for workers.

The article includes the above picture of troops heading toward the Ludlow workers to execute them back in 1914 – and in the paper, the picture is, rather appropriately, juxtaposed next to the legislature’s Republican leaders who are leading today’s assault on workers.

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Written by LeisureGuy

3 December 2007 at 1:46 pm

Posted in GOP, Government

Tagged with , ,

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