Later On

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

Archive for October 11th, 2022

Republicans becoming more explicit about their outlook and plans

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Heather Cox Richardson:

Last Thursday, October 6, the Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee tweeted: “Kanye. Elon. Trump.”

On Sunday, October 10, after his Instagram account was restricted for antisemitism, rapper Kanye West, now known as “Ye,” returned to Twitter from a hiatus that had lasted since the 2020 elections to tweet that he was “going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE.” This was an apparent reference to the U.S. military’s “DEFCON 3,” an increase in force readiness.

Today, Ian Bremmer of the political consulting firm the Eurasia Group reported that billionaire Elon Musk spoke directly with Russian president Vladimir Putin before Musk last week proposed ending Russia’s attack on Ukraine by essentially starting from a point that gave Putin everything he wanted, including Crimea and Russian annexation of the four regions of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia, as well as Ukraine’s permanent neutrality. This afternoon, Musk denied the story; Bremmer stood by it.

On Sunday, at a rally in Arizona, Trump claimed that President George H.W. Bush had taken “millions and millions” of documents from his presidency “to a former bowling alley pieced together with what was then an old and broken Chinese restaurant…. There was no security.” (In fact, the National Archives and Records Administration put documents in secure temporary storage at a facility that had been rebuilt, according to NARA, with “strict archival and security standards, and…managed and staffed exclusively by NARA employees.”)

Then Trump went on to accuse NARA of planting documents—his lawyers have refused to make that accusation in court—and, considering his habit of frontloading confessions, made an interesting accusation: “[The Archives] lose documents, they plant documents. ‘Let’s see, is there a book on nuclear destruction or the building of a nuclear weapon cheaply? Let’s put that book in with Trump.’ No, they plant documents.”

Antisemitism, Putin’s demands in Ukraine, and stolen documents seem like an odd collection of things for the Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee, which oversees the administration of justice in the United States, to endorse before November’s midterm elections.

But in these last few weeks before the midterms, the Republican Party is demonstrating that it has fallen under the sway of its extremist wing, exemplified by those like Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who tweeted last week that “Biden is Hitler.”

Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) this weekend told an audience that Democrats are in favor of “reparation” because they are “pro-crime.” “They want crime,” Tuberville said. “They want crime because they want to take over what you got. They want to control what you have,” Tuberville told the cheering crowd in an echo of the argument of white supremacists during Reconstruction. “They want reparation because they think the people that do the crime are owed that. Bullsh*t. They are not owed that.”

On October 6, New Hampshire Senate nominee Don Bolduc defended the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the subsequent loss of recognition of the constitutional right to abortion. The issue of abortion “belongs to the state,” he said. “It belongs to these gentlemen right here, who are state legislators representing you. That is the best way I think, as a man, that women get the best voice.” Republican super PACs are pouring money behind Bolduc.

Even those party members still trying to govern rather than play to racism, sexism, and antisemitism are pushing their hard-right agenda.

Senate Republicans have introduced a bill to get rid of  . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2022 at 8:22 pm

Psychiatry wars: the lawsuit that put psychoanalysis on trial

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Rachel Aviv writes in the Guardian:

Before entering Chestnut Lodge, one of the most elite psychiatric hospitals in the US, Ray Osheroff was the kind of charismatic, overworked physician we have come to associate with the American dream. He had opened three dialysis centres in northern Virginia and felt within reach of something “very new for me, something that I never had before, and that was the clear and distinct prospects of success,” he wrote in an unpublished memoir. He loved the telephone, which signified new referrals, more business – a sense that he was vital and in demand. “Life was a skyrocket,” he wrote.

But when he was 41, after divorcing and marrying again quickly, he seemed to lose his momentum. When his ex-wife moved to Europe with their two sons, he felt as if he had ruined his chance for a deep relationship with his children. His thinking became circular. In order to have a conversation, his secretary said, “we would walk all the way around the block, over and over”. He couldn’t sit still long enough to eat. He was so repetitive that he started to bore people.

His new wife gave birth to a baby boy less than two years after their wedding, but Ray had become so detached that he behaved as if the child wasn’t his. He seemed to care only about the past. He felt increasingly overwhelmed by the stress caused by professional rivals, and he sold a portion of his business to a larger dialysis corporation. Then he became convinced he had made the wrong choice. After finalising the sale, he wrote: “I went outside and sat in my car and I realised that I had become a piece of wood.” The air felt heavy, like some sort of noxious gas.

Ray felt that he had carefully built a good life – the kind he had never imagined he could achieve but, on another level, felt secretly entitled to – and with a series of impulsive decisions, had thrown it away. “All I seemed to be able to do was to talk, talk, talk about my losses,” he wrote. He found that food tasted rotten, as if it had been soaked in seawater. Sex was no longer pleasurable either. He could only “participate mechanically”, he wrote.

When Ray began to threaten suicide, his new wife told him that if he didn’t check into a hospital, she would file for divorce. Ray reluctantly agreed. He decided on Chestnut Lodge, which he had read about in Joanne Greenberg’s bestselling 1964 autobiographical novelI Never Promised You a Rose Garden, which describes her recovery at the Lodge and serves as a kind of ode to the power of psychoanalytic insight. “These symptoms are built of many needs and serve many purposes,” she wrote, “and that is why getting them away makes so much suffering.”

During Ray’s first few weeks at the Lodge, in 1979, his psychiatrist, Manuel Ross, tried to reassure him that his life was not over, but Ray would only “pull back and become more distant, become more repetitive,” Ross said. Ross concluded that Ray’s obsessive regret was a way of staying close to a loss he was unable to name: the idea of a parallel life in which “he could have been a great man”.

Hoping to improve Ray’s insight, Ross interrupted Ray when he became self-pitying. “Cut the shit!” he told him. When Ray described his life as a tragedy, Ross said, “None of this is tragic. You are not heroic enough to be tragic.”

At a staff conference a few months after he arrived, a psychologist said that after spending time with Ray, she had a pounding headache. “He is like 10 patients in one,” a social worker agreed.

“He treats women as if they are the containers for his anxiety and are there to indulge him and pat his hand whenever he’s in pain,” Ross said. “And he does that with me, too, you know? ‘You don’t know what pain I’m in. How can you do this to me?’”

Ross said that he had already warned Ray: “With your history of destructiveness, sooner or later you are going to try to  . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2022 at 12:29 pm

Children whose mothers ate cured meats while pregnant have an increased risk of brain tumors

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Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2022 at 12:13 pm

Eating These Types of Grains Can Lower Your Heart Disease Risk

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I eat grain with every meal. In the morning, my chia pudding includes 1/4 rolled oats, and at the other two meals I normally eat, I include an intact whole grain. (Rolled oats is a whole grain — that is, including the bran — but it is not intact. Intact is better, IMO, since the grain is somewhat more slowly digested. Indeed, in my most recent batch of tempeh, I did use intact whole-grain oats (aka oat groats). 

Nowadays I in fact most commonly get my mealtime grain in the form of tempeh, which I make with equal measures of (intact whole) grain and beans/lentils (since I also want to have a legume with each meal). 

Nancy Schimelpfening, MS, writes at Healthline:

  • A new study has found that eating refined grains was linked with a greater risk for coronary artery disease.
  • It also found that eating more whole grains seemed to have the opposite effect.
  • Refined grains have a great deal of their nutritional content removed during the refining process.
  • Nutritionists say that the nutrients removed — especially fiber — help protect the heart.
  • They recommend starting slowly and making healthy swaps as you increase your intake of whole grains.

A new study that is being presented this week at the American College of Cardiology Middle East 2022 Together With the 13th Emirates Cardiac Society Congress, reports that eating more refined grains was linked with a greater risk for premature coronary artery disease (PCAD).

Additionally, consuming whole grains was associated with reduced risk.

Coronary artery diseaseTrusted Source (CAD) is characterized by reduced blood flow to the heart muscle due to a buildup of atherosclerotic plaques in the heart’s arteries. It is considered to be premature when it develops at an earlier age than generally expected. For this study, those ages were defined as 55 for women and 65 for men.

PCAD can lead to chest pain or heart attack as the coronary artery narrows or plaques rupture and block blood flow. Smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes put people at greater risk for developing this condition.

This study is significant because it is one of the first to look at . . .

Continue reading

I’ll point out that removing the bran (refining grain consists of removing both bran and germ, leaving only the endosperm, the starchy interior) does more than remove fiber. It also removes vitamins and minerals. As the Harvard School of Public Health points out:

All whole grain kernels contain three parts: the bran, germ, and endosperm. Each section houses health-promoting nutrients. The bran is the fiber-rich outer layer that supplies B vitaminsiron, copper, zincmagnesiumantioxidants, and phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are natural chemical compounds in plants that have been researched for their role in disease prevention. The germ is the core of the seed where growth occurs; it is rich in healthy fats, vitamin E, B vitamins, phytochemicals, and antioxidants. The endosperm is the interior layer that holds carbohydrates, protein, and small amounts of some B vitamins and minerals.

Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2022 at 12:01 pm

Can God Be Proved Mathematically?

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Spoiler alert: You already know…

Manon Bischoff writes in Scientific American:

Who would have thought about God as an apt topic for an essay about mathematics? Don’t worry, the following discussion is still solidly grounded within an intelligible scientific framework. But the question of whether God can be proved mathematically is intriguing. In fact, over the centuries, several mathematicians have repeatedly tried to prove the existence of a divine being. They range from Blaise Pascal and René Descartes (in the 17th century) to Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (in the 18th century) to Kurt Gödel (in the 20th century), whose writings on the subject were published as recently as 1987. And probably the most amazing thing: in a preprint study first posted in 2013 an algorithmic proof wizard checked Gödel’s logical chain of reasoning—and found it to be undoubtedly correct. Has mathematics now finally disproved the claims of all atheists?

As you probably already suspect, it has not. Gödel was indeed able to prove that the existence of something, which he defined as divine, necessarily follows from certain assumptions. But whether these assumptions are justified can be called into doubt. For example, if I assume that all cats are tricolored and know that tricolored cats are almost always female, then I can conclude: almost all cats are female. Even if the logical reasoning is correct, this of course does not hold. For the very assumption that all cats are tricolored is false. If one makes statements about observable things in our environment, such as cats, one can verify them by scientific investigations. But if it is about the proof of a divine existence, the matter becomes a little more complicated.

While Leibniz, Descartes and Gödel relied on an ontological proof of God in which they deduced the existence of a divine being from the mere possibility of it by logical inference, Pascal (1623–1662) chose a slightly different approach: he analyzed the problem from the point of view of what might be considered today as game theory and developed the so-called Pascal’s wager.

To do this, he considered two possibilities. First,  . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2022 at 10:53 am

Posted in Daily life, Math, Religion

Lilac & Lavender & lovely lather

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Mama Bear’s shaving soaps, high in glycerin content, make a luscious lather. This Lilac & Lavender shave stick really did a super job, and again I used it with Grooming Dept Moisturizing Pre-Shave. Phoenix Artisan’s Starcraft shaving brush has what is for me a large knot, but it was fully loaded from the soap scraped from the shave stick by my stubble. Indeed, it had enough soap that I had to add water to the brush a couple of times as I worked up the lather to get the soap:water ratio right.

Merkur’s Progress, the cost-engineered descendant of the Apollo Mikron, is a fine razor and quickly smoothed away the stubble. Three passes left my face perfectly smooth.

After a rinse, I spread a drop of Grooming Dept Rejuvenating Serum over the area I shaved, while my face was still wet, and let it dry. Used as an aftershave, this serum leaves my skin feeling very nice indeed.

A fine way to start a beautiful day.

The tea this morning is Murchie’s Queen Victoria: “one of Murchie’s oldest blends: rich Darjeeling and Ceylon, smoky Lapsang Souchong, and sweet Jasmine.”

Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2022 at 9:47 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

Quick daily take on the Chinese economy

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I have found a few YouTube channels that discuss the Chinese economy, but most are somewhat hysterical in tone, given to fear-mongering and unwarranted generalizations and jumping to conclusions. China Update is more thoughtful and reality-based, and it’s brief morning assessments (around 10 minutes) long are the way I now start my day. 

Take a look and see what you think. Here’s today’s episode as a sample.

Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2022 at 8:30 am

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