Later On

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

Archive for December 18th, 2006

Fiber intake for Health

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The American Gastroenterological Association recommends ~35g fiber daily for adults:

Therefore, it is reasonable to recommend total fiber intake of at least 30-35 g/day. Dietary fiber should be from all sources of fiber, including 5-7 servings of vegetables and fruits per day and generous portions of whole-grain cereals.

The Harvard School of Public Health has some tips on how to get adequate fiber in your diet:

  • Eat whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juices.

  • Replace white rice, bread, and pasta with brown rice and whole-grain products.

  • Choose whole-grain cereals for breakfast.

  • Snack on raw vegetables instead of chips, crackers, or chocolate bars.

  • Substitute legumes for meat two to three times per week in chili and soups.

  • Experiment with international dishes (such as Indian or Middle Eastern) that use whole grains and legumes as part of the main meal (as in Indian dahls) or in salads (for example, tabbouleh).

The Journal of the American College of Nutrition published a paper Carbohydrate and Fiber Recommendations for Individuals with Diabetes: A Quantitative Assessment and Meta-Analysis of the Evidence. Here is the abstract:

To review international nutrition recommendations with a special emphasis on carbohydrate and fiber, analyze clinical trial information, and provide an evidence-based recommendation for medical nutrition therapy for individuals with diabetes. Relevant articles were identified by a thorough review of the literature and the data tabulated. Fixed-effects meta-analyses techniques were used to obtain mean estimates of changes in outcome measures in response to diet interventions.

Most international organizations recommend that diabetic individuals achieve and maintain a desirable body weight with a body mass index of <=25 kg/m2.

For diabetic subjects moderate carbohydrate, high fiber diets compared to moderate carbohydrate, low fiber diets are associated with significantly lower values for: postprandial plasma glucose, total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides. High carbohydrate, high fiber diets compared to moderate carbohydrate, low fiber diets are associated with lower values for: fasting, postprandial and average plasma glucose; hemoglobin A1c; total, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and triglycerides. Low glycemic index diets compared to high glycemic index diets are associated with lower fasting plasma glucose values and lower glycated protein values.

Based on these analyses we recommend that the diabetic individual should be encouraged to achieve and maintain a desirable body weight and that the diet should provide these percentages of nutrients: carbohydrate, >=55%; protein, 12–16%; fat, <30%; and monounsaturated fat, 12–15%. The diet should provide 25–50 g/day of dietary fiber (15–25 g/1000 kcal). Glycemic index information should be incorporated into exchanges and teaching material.

Key teaching points:

• Medical nutrition therapy is the cornerstone to diabetes management.

• For obese type 2 diabetic persons, weight management is the most important task with a goal of achieving a body mass index of <=25 kg/m2.

• The most effective diabetes diet, based on a detailed review and meta-analysis of the literature, is a higher carbohydrate, higher fiber diet.

• Because of the high risk for atherosclerotic disease, optimal management of lipoproteins, blood pressure and oxidative stress is important.

• Health-promoting diabetes diets emphasize whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and low glycemic index foods, and soy protein.

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Written by Leisureguy

18 December 2006 at 7:58 pm

Posted in Food, Health

How to deal correctly with insurgencies

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I wish George Bush would read this article:

In 1993, a young captain in the Australian Army named David Kilcullen was living among villagers in West Java, as part of an immersion program in the Indonesian language. One day, he visited a local military museum that contained a display about Indonesia’s war, during the nineteen-fifties and sixties, against a separatist Muslim insurgency movement called Darul Islam. “I had never heard of this conflict,” Kilcullen told me recently. “It’s hardly known in the West. The Indonesian government won, hands down. And I was fascinated by how it managed to pull off such a successful counterinsurgency campaign.”

Kilcullen, the son of two left-leaning academics, had studied counterinsurgency as a cadet at Duntroon, the Australian West Point, and he decided to pursue a doctorate in political anthropology at the University of New South Wales. He chose as his dissertation subject the Darul Islam conflict, conducting research over tea with former guerrillas while continuing to serve in the Australian Army. The rebel movement, he said, was bigger than the Malayan Emergency—the twelve-year Communist revolt against British rule, which was finally put down in 1960, and which has become a major point of reference in the military doctrine of counterinsurgency. During the years that Kilcullen worked on his dissertation, two events in Indonesia deeply affected his thinking. The first was the rise—in the same region that had given birth to Darul Islam, and among some of the same families—of a more extreme Islamist movement called Jemaah Islamiya, which became a Southeast Asian affiliate of Al Qaeda. The second was East Timor’s successful struggle for independence from Indonesia. Kilcullen witnessed the former as he was carrying out his field work; he participated in the latter as an infantry-company commander in a United Nations intervention force. The experiences shaped the conclusions about counter-insurgency in his dissertation, which he finished in 2001, just as a new war was about to begin.

“I saw extremely similar behavior and extremely similar problems in an Islamic insurgency in West Java and a Christian-separatist insurgency in East Timor,” he said. “After 9/11, when a lot of people were saying, ‘The problem is Islam,’ I was thinking, It’s something deeper than that. It’s about human social networks and the way that they operate.” In West Java, elements of the failed Darul Islam insurgency—a local separatist movement with mystical leanings—had resumed fighting as Jemaah Islamiya, whose outlook was Salafist and global. Kilcullen said, “What that told me about Jemaah Islamiya is that it’s not about theology.” He went on, “There are elements in human psychological and social makeup that drive what’s happening. The Islamic bit is secondary. This is human behavior in an Islamic setting. This is not ‘Islamic behavior.’ ” Paraphrasing the American political scientist Roger D. Petersen, he said, “People don’t get pushed into rebellion by their ideology. They get pulled in by their social networks.” He noted that all fifteen Saudi hijackers in the September 11th plot had trouble with their fathers. Although radical ideas prepare the way for disaffected young men to become violent jihadists, the reasons they convert, Kilcullen said, are more mundane and familiar: family, friends, associates.

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Written by Leisureguy

18 December 2006 at 3:36 pm

Posted in Iraq War, Military

So this guy goes to the doctor…

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Doctor had me bend this way and that to check freedom of movement, took lots of notes, renewed the pain meds in case I needed them, schedule a physical for January, and decided to hold off until then on any invasive procedure (e.g., cortisone shots) to see what the new mattress will do. He endorsed the back exercises, and told me to cut it back to 1500 calories/day. I think I might try 1600 and see how that goes first. Blood pressure was fine: 112/75, I think. He also said that with the calcium supplements, don’t take more than 600 mg at a meal. I take 3 pills with my supplement, 333 mg each, so I guess I’ll take one at each meal.

Written by Leisureguy

18 December 2006 at 3:22 pm

Posted in Daily life, Health, Medical

Questions couples should discuss

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Good point:

Relationship experts report that too many couples fail to ask each other critical questions before marrying. Here are a few key ones that couples should consider asking:

1) Have we discussed whether or not to have children, and if the answer is yes, who is going to be the primary care giver?

2) Do we have a clear idea of each other’s financial obligations and goals, and do our ideas about spending and saving mesh?

3) Have we discussed our expectations for how the household will be maintained, and are we in agreement on who will manage the chores?

4) Have we fully disclosed our health histories, both physical and mental?

5) Is my partner affectionate to the degree that I expect?

6) Can we comfortably and openly discuss our sexual needs, preferences and fears?

7) Will there be a television in the bedroom?

8 ) Do we truly listen to each other and fairly consider one another’s ideas and complaints?

9) Have we reached a clear understanding of each other’s spiritual beliefs and needs, and have we discussed when and how our children will be exposed to religious/moral education?

10) Do we like and respect each other’s friends?

11) Do we value and respect each other’s parents, and is either of us concerned about whether the parents will interfere with the relationship?

12) What does my family do that annoys you?

13) Are there some things that you and I are NOT prepared to give up in the marriage?

14) If one of us were to be offered a career opportunity in a location far from the other’s family, are we prepared to move?

15) Do each of us feel fully confident in the other’s commitment to the marriage and believe that the bond can survive whatever challenges we may face?

Written by Leisureguy

18 December 2006 at 11:29 am

Posted in Daily life

Cute penguin story

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Written by Leisureguy

18 December 2006 at 11:22 am

Posted in Daily life, Video

The Future of the Neocons

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Glenn Greenwald points out this article:

Republicans may have gotten “a thumpin’,” but the neocons appear to be suffering a full-fledged rout. The intellectual faction that had its origins in City College’s storied Alcove No.1 during the 1930s (home of the “anti-Stalinist” socialists) has become a household word, and not in a good way. Apolitical grandmothers write their children e-mails deriding “the neocons and their war.” Intellectuals who have logged years on the payroll of well-funded neoconservative institutions forward little ditties through cyberspace: (to the tune of “Thanks for the Memories”)

But thanks to the neocons,
For every war a shill,
We’re driven from the Hill
But their mission was accomplished
Since our troops are dying still.
A cakewalk it was.

Thanks for the neocons
Those late-night shows on Fox
We watched while drinking shots
Sure Cheney lied and soldiers died
But ain’t Ann Coulter hot?
A kegger, it was.

If disrespecting the neoconservatives is emerging as a minor national sport, it should be enjoyed, and tempered, with realism. The last few years have been difficult for the faction, the years to come perhaps more challenging still. But they are as aware of their own vulnerabilities as anyone—much more so than the Bush-Rove Republicans with whom they have been allied. Neoconservatives have faced the political wilderness before and survived. They have other political options.

Moreover, whatever one might feel about “the neocons and their war” it is difficult not to experience some twinges of remorse over the movement’s decline. For decades, The Public Interest was a penetrating and groundbreaking journal. Commentary in the 1970s—when it turned hard against the countercultural ’60s—was brave and forceful. Nathan Glazer may never have written anything void of wisdom. To see the movement that spawned this grow into something bloated, stupid, and ultimately dangerous to America is to see the terminus of a vital part of our intellectual history.

The neoconservative lines were first broken two years ago when Iraq War architects Douglas Feith and Paul Wolfowitz were ushered out of the Pentagon—a virtual decapitation of the cadre that planned the war. Scooter Libby’s indictment and subsequent departure from Dick Cheney’s side was a further blow. By last summer, George Will, the dean of establishment conservative journalism in Washington, had turned openly against the group. Noting Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol’s call for the U.S. to use the Lebanon war as a pretext to bomb Iran, Will remarked, “The most magnificently misnamed neoconservatives are the most radical people in this town.” Kristol received more of the same medicine when he appeared on National Public Radio with Gen. William Odom, director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan: “Mr. Kristol certainly wants to make [Lebanon] our war. He’s the man with remarkable moral clarity. He tends to forget the clarity he had on getting us into the mess in Mesopotamia. I think if you look at his record, you’d wonder why anybody would allow him to speak publicly anymore.” Thus moral clarity—that robust quality the neoconservatives had long ascribed to themselves—is returned as mockery.

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Written by Leisureguy

18 December 2006 at 9:55 am

Posted in GOP

Another bad sign about Democrats in Congress

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Via TPMmuckraker:

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who has pledged to stop “dead-of-night legislating,” did a little of his own in the final hours of this year’s congressional session.

Reid slipped two home state projects into the last major bill Congress passed last week: a transfer of federal land in Nevada to state and private control that’s almost two-thirds the size of Rhode Island; and a $4 million grant for a hospice. Neither had been approved by any congressional committee.

Reid said the land measure will help Las Vegas and other cities in his state grow and the hospice money rights a flawed Medicare ruling. One senator and some government watchdog groups criticized the actions, pointing to promises by Reid and the new Democratic majority in Congress to change a lawmaking process known for targeted funding and secretive deals.

“Doing anything last minute shoved into an irrelevant measure — that’s exactly what Harry Reid said he was going to stop,” said Steve Ellis, vice president of programs at Taxpayers for Common Sense, a Washington-based nonprofit that monitors government spending. “It goes against the grain of transparency and openness.”

Not all of Reid’s Nevada constituents are happy with the results. Approval of the land measure surprised a major purported beneficiary, the government of White Pine County.

County Drops Support

The county commission voted late last month to drop support for the measure because it didn’t contain federal funding for a study of water supplies in the region that might help prevent Las Vegas, the state’s biggest city, from taking the area’s water via a pipeline.

“We were told it was dead if we included water in there and that it wasn’t going anywhere,” said Gary Perea, one of the commissioners. “I think Reid backstabbed us. It was not on the up-and-up to attach this legislation to a bill he knew had a good chance of passing as they neared the end of Congress.”

Reid spokesman Jim Manley said Reid’s actions didn’t constitute “dead-of-night” legislating because his request was the subject of extensive negotiations earlier in the week among congressional leaders over what to include in the measure.

Reid called House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas on Dec. 7 to remind him of an earlier agreement to include the land legislation when a draft released that day didn’t include it, Manley said. The House Rules Committee added Reid’s measure at about 10:30 p.m. at Thomas’s request. Thomas, who is retiring, is a California Republican.

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Written by Leisureguy

18 December 2006 at 9:19 am

Silvestre Reyes is not alone in his ignorance

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Unfortunately. (See earlier post.)

Poor Silvestre Reyes.

The proud Texas Democrat spent most of last week under a media heat lamp that turned him into a poster boy for Washington’s ineptness in the Middle East.

That was unfair, in one sense: He’s not special.

Reyes’ evident ignorance about Islamic terrorists is common among members of the intelligence oversight committees and rampant in the ranks of new recruits to the spy agencies themselves, according to sources well-acquainted with both.

Reyes, however, had the misfortune to be the ascendant Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s awkward choice to head the House Intelligence Committee.

As the fresh new face of the Democrats’ shaky grasp of national security issues, he’s fresh meat for a Washington press corps whose hands hurt from beating up on Republicans for their handling of the Iraq war and the elusive Osama bin Laden.

And give Reyes credit for this: After his inability to answer elementary questions about Islam turned him into a global laughingstock, he declined to resort to the cornered politician’s usual dirty tricks.

Reyes might have claimed, for example, that I misquoted him, or took his words out of context, or—a common dodge—mouse-trapped him with a “gotcha” question.

Instead, the five-term congressman, Vietnam vet and former Border Patrol officer turned out to be a stand-up guy, in contrast with the usual Washington standards.

“The CQ interview covered a wide range of topics,” said Reyes in an official statement hounded out of him by the television networks, “other than the selected points published in the story.”

That’s true. And indeed, I had planned to devote another column to my interview with Reyes, who says he’s going to run a far more muscular oversight committee than the Republicans.

But his widely televised remarks prompted intelligence insiders to come forward with additional — and depressing — tales that only served to remind that Reyes is hardly the only intelligence official here who can’t tell the difference between Sunnis and Shiites more than five years after the Sept. 11 attacks on U.S. soil.

Former Army intelligence Col. Rich Reynolds, who spent over two decades in the Middle East, told me he was startled recently to hear about several young CIA intelligence analysts at the CIA headquarters who were completely unfamiliar with Israel’s disastrous 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

The analysts’ current area of responsibility? Lebanon.

Likewise, a young intelligence analyst specializing in terrorist finances at the Department of Homeland Security was baffled a few weeks back by a question about hawalas, the ubiquitous Arab shops that work like an informal Western Union network to transfer money around the Middle East.

Experts think hawalas are one of al Qaeda’s prime channels for moving cash.

“What’s a hawala?” she asked.

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Written by Leisureguy

18 December 2006 at 9:11 am

Monday shave, always good

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Always good because I don’t shave on Sunday: the extra stubble makes for a smoother shave. The Merkur Heavy Classic (aka HD) razor, Feather blade, a QED shaving stick, and the wonderful little Simpson Harvard 2 (H2) Best Badger brush. That’s one terrific brush. On the small size, perfect for lathering on the face, and holds plenty of lather for four passes. It’s definitely in the “favorites” list. Finished with Pashana aftershave.

Written by Leisureguy

18 December 2006 at 7:47 am

Posted in Shaving

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