Obamacare or Branstad care?

When in Minnesota last summer, I was surprised to find out that my Minnesota cousins had no change in their health insurance costs or coverage last year.  Here in Iowa, my deductible and out of pocket expenses doubled, if I remember right.  In Minnesota, the state accepted the federal option for setting up the insurance exchange while here in Iowa, Branstad set up the exchange.  Is this a coincidence?

Veterans Administration Scandal

We have a Republican Senate candidate in our state attacking the Democratic candidate for missing many Veterans Affairs Committee meetings now that there is a scandal about restrictions in care at the Veteran Administration hospitals and clinics.  The Democratic candidate was on the Veteran Affairs Committee in the 112th Congress but is not in the current 113th Congress.  It seems to me if either party is to blame for the situation, it is the slash and cut Republicans, who have been underfunding government services for years now.

Telemedicine for abortions outlawed in Iowa

Recently the Iowa Board of Medicine outlawed using telemedicine for abortions using pills.  The coverage on television had statements from Planned Parenthood and a anti-abortion spokeswoman.  The anti-abortion woman ended with the statement that Iowa women are now safer.  I do not think this is true.

Abortion at the early stages of pregnancy is very minor with little risk.  As the pregnancy progresses, abortions are riskier.  I am not sure, but I suspect the risk increases until the riskiest event of all – birth.  I am quite certain that, with the ban on telemedicine abortions, women will be having abortions later in the pregnancy – therefore be at a greater health risk.  This is because, I suspect, it would usually take more time to arrange to get to a city with an abortion provider.

More Rotation Recipes

Turkey, Pepper, Corn Stir Fry

  • 1 T rice bran or corn oil
  • 3-4 dried hot chili peppers – to taste
  • 1 green sweet pepper (bell pepper)
  • ~ 1 lb raw turkey – not ground – any cut
  • chili powder – to taste – I use about 2 T’s
  • 1 can corn
  • salt – to taste

Use a moderately large frying pan.  Put the oil in the pan and crumble or snip (using scissors) the dried hot chili peppers into the pan.  Set the pan at medium heat on a burner.  It is okay if the peppers burn.  Chop the bell pepper into bite size pieces and add to the pan.  Sprinkle about a tablespoon of chili powder over the peppers and also sprinkle salt over the peppers.  Toss to get the peppers covered with the chili powder and salt (or stir with a fork or spoon).  Again, it is okay if the peppers burn some.

Cut the turkey into bite size pieces.  (Sometimes we get turkey breast on the bone and freeze the bone for soup – or drumsticks the same way.)  Using a spatula, clear an opening on the bottom of the frying pan and press the turkey bits onto the bottom of the pan.  Sprinkle with chili powder and salt to taste.  After about 20 seconds, use the spatula to turn the turkey pieces over and press the turkey down.  Let the pieces cook on the other side for about 20 seconds.  Drain about 1/4 cup of liquid from the corn and add the corn and remaining corn liquid to the frying pan.  Stir to mix all of the ingredients, turn down the heat to a simmer, cover and let cook for about 5 to 10 minutes.

We serve this dish over rice.  Usually, I start the rice first and cook the stir fry until the rice is done.  Tasty – tasty – tasty.

A Comment on a Froma Harrop op-ed

I usually enjoy and agree with what Froma Harrop writes in her op-ed’s, but the op-ed on May 23 – Grace in humiliation – bothered me.  I guess Monica Lewinsky has written a book and I guess ‘professional feminists’ are making fun of her.  I would not wish the horrors of what society does to women for having sex on anyone, I am experienced, so Lewinsky has my sympathy there – but I would not get involved with a married man whose wife had not left him either.

I read a biography of Hillary Clinton a number of years ago.  Apparently Bill Clinton is an inveterate philanderer.  According to the book, Clinton could not keep his hands off of many women.

There is an interesting astrological bit about the natal charts of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.  They have the Sun, Moon, and Ascendent in the same signs, respectively.  This occurs in about 1 out of 1728 charts.  My source is Astrodatabank.  They both have Libra rising, Sun in Leo, and Moon in Taurus.  (There is a big difference between the charts in that Clinton’s Sun is in the 11th and Moon is in the 8th while Lewinsky’s Sun is in the 10th and Moon is in the 7th.  Clinton is more association and power oriented while Lewinsky is more profession and partner oriented.)

Here is where my paranoid sniffer comes in.  The Republicans certainly knew that Clinton was a philanderer.  Also, the Republicans practically deify Reagan, who was known to take astrology seriously.  I am wondering if Lewinsky is a Republican operative chosen for her astrological placements as one who would interest and attract Clinton.  That she did not exploit the scandal six years ago when Hillary Clinton was running would suggest not, but that she is publishing a book now makes me suspicious.  So to Ms. Harrop, thank you for your column, but be a little suspicious.  Things are not always what they seem.

Some Comments on an op-ed by Mona Charen – May 14, 2014

Here we find ourselves in the political season again and I will put in my first 2 cents worth of the season and abandon astrology for a while.

I spent much of the winter writing a reference manual for the statistical language R, so, I am behind in my newspapers.  By today I have gotten caught up to one week and one day back.  A few days ago, I read Mona Charen’s May 14th op-ed on “bad science”.  In the op-ed, Ms. Charen spends most of the op-ed writing about the changes in the beliefs based on scientific research as to what kinds of foods are good for us and what kinds are not – particularly with regard to fat.  In the last paragraph of her op-ed, she suggests that if scientific consensus on nutrition can change over 50 years, that scientific consensus on climate change might too.  I am certain that the last paragraph was the reason for the op-ed.

I am quite certain the Ms. Charen is not a scientist.  I am a statistician with an undergraduate degree in physics.  In medical research, there is a tradition of using ‘risk factors’ to give people an idea of the risk of a behaviour on their health.  I think, although I am not a medical statistician, that a risk factor means that persons with a given medical condition have been observed to have commonly also had a certain behaviour or genetic marker.  This is where the statistician steps in.

Correlation does not imply cause!!!

It is unfortunate that so much of the medical community thinks the opposite.

Cause can sometimes be determined from controlled experiments, which use statistics.   Or, cause can be determined by figuring out physically what is going on, in which case statistical measurements can either support or not support the science.

When I first read Ms. Charen’s op-ed, my reaction was that the science behind climate change is over a century old.  Einstein received a Nobel Prize for his insight into this science.  On the scale of the earth, the science is old and known and straightforward.  (Nutrition is quite a young science and, also, has not had as many research dollars as medical or hard science over the years.)

The specific effects from global warming and how the warming affects the climate of the earth is a young science, like nutrition.   A lecturer I recently heard, when asked about how knowledge about climate change has changed over the years, said that the basics that led to the concern over 50 years ago have not changed, but that our knowledge continues to increase in depth and meaning (I am paraphrasing.)

I think that Ms. Charen, in her writing about nutrition, was actually writing about trans-fats versus animal fats.  In the 50’s, Adele Davis was writing about the dangers of hydrogenated fats.  It took until the 2010’s and a great deal of research for the medical community to come to the same conclusion.  I do not know how powerful the vegetable oil lobby was in the 50’s, but I do know that the petroleum, natural gas and coal lobbies are very powerful at this time.

The climate scientists are hard scientists, almost certainly not very well paid compared to industry scientists,  and know of what they speak.  As a disclaimer, I have been concerned about the green house effect since the early 1970’s.

 

That Completes the 144 Paths

That completes the 144 paths.  I just have a few comments.

The nodes have to do with timing and popularity.  The North Node has to do with good timing and popularity – being ahead of the curve.  The South Node tends toward poor timing and isolation – going against trends.  So you might feel in tune in the area of your life where the North Node is placed and out of tune in the area of the South Node.

The North Node tends to be what we like about a person, the South Node what we do not like so much.

We all have both the North Node and South Node.

If you are stuck in life, starting to do the North Node a little bit at a time should help.

People are often remembered for what is represented by the nodes.

If you do not do your North Node, life will force you into it.