Later On

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

Archive for October 10th, 2006

Wonder if Bush ever thinks about this

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Or Cheney, or Rumsfeld, or Addington, or Rove, or Rice? 655,000 Iraqi deaths due to the US invasion of Iraq:

A team of American and Iraqi epidemiologists estimates that 655,000 more people have died in Iraq since coalition forces arrived in March 2003 than would have died if the invasion had not occurred.

The estimate, produced by interviewing residents during a random sampling of households throughout the country, is far higher than ones produced by other groups, including Iraq’s government.

It is more than 20 times the estimate of 30,000 civilian deaths that President Bush gave in a speech in December. It is more than 10 times the estimate of roughly 50,000 civilian deaths made by the British-based Iraq Body Count research group.

The surveyors said they found a steady increase in mortality since the invasion, with a steeper rise in the last year that appears to reflect a worsening of violence as reported by the U.S. military, the news media and civilian groups. In the year ending in June, the team calculated Iraq’s mortality rate to be roughly four times what it was the year before the war. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by LeisureGuy

10 October 2006 at 9:13 pm

Problem with alcohol/food

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A friend of mine had a problem with alcohol, and one thing that tipped me off was that he would get sort of angry if he went to a function and no drinks were served. It seemed, somehow, a little too needy of alcohol.

And I was thinking about my earlier post in this connection. I had told my acquaintance about the kid’s plate (link in the earlier post) and advised him to get a whole set when he ordered. Otherwise, when he had dinner guests, they would be wondering why they didn’t get a cool plate.

Then, thinking about serving people a meal that, if not on a kid’s plate, matched the portion sizes and distribution of macronutrients of the kid’s plate meal: half vegetables, one-fourth protein, one-fourth carb, and that was all.

I realized that a lot of people—probably including me—would be sort of angry at getting such a small amount of food. Which made me think: does that mean we have a problem with food, the way my friend had a problem with alcohol? When we eat out, do we expect—and want, if not demand—a quantity of food that’s larger than is healthy? And does that make one a foodoholic? Looking at the rising tide of obesity in this country, I would have to say yes.

So look at the kid’s plate and think of having a meal with portions that size. If you don’t like that, perhaps you have a food problem. I’m just saying…

Written by LeisureGuy

10 October 2006 at 7:19 pm

Posted in Daily life, Health

Steps toward transparency

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Good news, via TPMmuckraker:

It’s a transparency extravaganza! Three new databases just went live that provide some excellent tools for muckrakers.

Over at OMBWatch, they’ve just launched, a searchable database of federal grants and contracts. It’s similar to the website recently mandated by the Coburn-Obama law, though that website will only be available in 2008. Curious what contracts add up to Lockheed Martin’s $24,779,249,050 this year? You can find out there.

At the Center for Responsive Politics, you can get a rundown of the net worth of every member of Congress and the administration, as well as breakdowns from their financial disclosure statements.

The group also launched a new travel database, where you see the sponsored trips taken by each member of Congress in the past two years.

All databases were funded by grants from the Washington-based nonprofit the Sunshine Foundation. Happy raking!

Okay, databases are up. Investigate and rake that muck!

Written by LeisureGuy

10 October 2006 at 3:37 pm

Denny Hastert is playing with fire

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Denny Hastert is now blaming his staff (video at the link) for not telling him about the Foley situation. He’s saying that statements will be taken under oath, and if they covered up, they’ll lose their jobs.

Well, of course they are in a position to tell quite a bit on what went on—including what Denny Hastert knew and when he knew it. So making threats against them—saying that he will fire them (WaPo story)—is probably not a good idea, especially since they will indeed be making statements under oath and quite a few others are making statements that will corroborate or contradict statements by any Hastert staff members. They may decide that they are not going to be sacrificial lambs or scapegoats or whatever.

Interesting times. And Hastert is still downplaying the scandal and his role.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 October 2006 at 12:25 pm

Posted in Election, GOP, Government, Video

Sophie at rest

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Sophie at rest

Here’s an unusual photo: Sophie, baffed out. But she still manages to be cute—and large. I’m taking care of her while The Wife is in Boston, and I have to say that Sophie is an exceptionally affectionate kitty…

Written by LeisureGuy

10 October 2006 at 12:07 pm

Posted in Cats, Sophie

Visual music map

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This is sort of fun. It works from, so it’s nothing extra-special (it’s just using the Amazon recommendations), but it is fun.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 October 2006 at 11:55 am

Posted in Games, Music

For type 2 diabetics

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I just learned that an acquaintance has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, so I though I’d repeat some thoughts on this ailment. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about 5 years ago—was tired all the time. This was a couple of months after some minor surgery, which probably was what tipped me over, but I was ready: overweight, sedentary, and genetic predisposition. Here are some suggestions: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by LeisureGuy

10 October 2006 at 11:43 am

Letter home from Marine intelligence officer

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Via Steve Gilliard, this letter:

All: I haven’t written very much from Iraq. There’s really not much to write about. More exactly, there’s not much I can write about because practically everything I do, read or hear is classified military information or is depressing to the point that I’d rather just forget about it, never mind write about it. The gaps in between all of that are filled with the pure tedium of daily life in an armed camp. So it’s a bit of a struggle to think of anything to put into a letter that’s worth reading. Worse, this place just consumes you. I work 18-20-hour days, every day. The quest to draw a clear picture of what the insurgents are up to never ends. Problems and frictions crop up faster than solutions. Every challenge demands a response. It’s like this every day. Before I know it, I can’t see straight, because it’s 0400 and I’ve been at work for twenty hours straight, somehow missing dinner again in the process. And once again I haven’t written to anyone. It starts all over again four hours later. It’s not really like Groundhog Day, it’s more like a level from Dante’s Inferno.

Rather than attempting to sum up the last seven months, I figured I’d just hit the record setting highlights of 2006 in Iraq. These are among the events and experiences I’ll remember best. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by LeisureGuy

10 October 2006 at 10:22 am

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