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Slippery Slope of Taxation January 29, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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The problem with government spending is that it almost always increases, eventually exhausting normal revenue sources and credit. Then you have to start looking elsewhere for money

Gov. Ned Lamont wants to end Connecticut’s cycle of budget deficits, deliver property-tax relief and amass a fiscal bulwark against the next recession. But to do it, he may push wary legislators to extend the sales tax for the first time to groceries, medications and other long-exempt items.

As with the income tax, which grew from modest beginnings to today’s behemoth, government will always seek more revenue. Even if they have to sacrifice their facade of distaste for regressive taxes.

And if Elizabeth Warren ever succeeds in taxing the wealth of the top 1%, you can guarantee that in a few decades they’ll be digging into the wealth of the top 10% or top 25%.

A Veteran Laid to Rest January 28, 2019

Posted by daveintexas in Honor, News.
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They could not find his family members. So the Central Texas Veteran’s Cemetery asked that members of the community attend his service this morning.


They hoped he would not be buried alone. He wasn’t. Hundreds of people gathered to pay their respects to a man they did not know. Overwhelming support and honor.

Killeen is very much a military town. There are lots of retired veterans here. I expected people would show up this morning. I did not expect the hundreds that I saw. When I crested the hill on 195 this is what I saw. I have no idea how long the line was behind me but I saw something today that was fine and good.






State Tax Burden, 2019 January 27, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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The Tax Foundation has their annual assessment of the state & local tax burden for these United States. This includes sales tax, property tax, Here’s their map:

Your mileage may vary depending on your personal circumstances, but here are the 5 lowest-taxed states:

  1. Alabama
  2. Tennessee
  3. South Carolina
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Florida

If you live in Alabama, you pay ~$5800/year less than in New York. For a family of 4, that’s $1900/month extra income.

They note that this simple analysis (total taxes collected divided by population of state) distorts the situations of states where much of their tax revenue is collected from out-of-state payers, such as Florida, with its huge tourist revenue, or North Dakota, with its oil revenues (levied on consumers across the country).

Brushing Your Teeth Is Not Going to Be a Magic Alzheimer’s Remedy January 25, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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There’s a story making the rounds that could use some context:

The Cause of Alzheimer’s Could Be Coming From Inside Your Mouth, Study Claims

…scientists are saying they’ve got one of the most definitive leads yet for a bacterial culprit behind Alzheimer’s, and it comes from a somewhat unexpected quarter: gum disease.

In a new paper led by senior author Jan Potempa, a microbiologist from the University of Louisville, researchers report the discovery of Porphyromonas gingivalis – the pathogen behind chronic periodontitis (aka gum disease) – in the brains of deceased Alzheimer’s patients.

There are a lot of factors that have been implicated in Alzheimer’s:

  • Metals: iron, copper, aluminum, mercury
  • Viruses (Herpes), Bacteria (the one above and Borrelia Burgdorferi (Lyme disease)), Fungi
  • Air pollution
  • Insulin resistance (“Type 3 Diabetes”)
  • Leaky blood-brain barrier
  • Genetics (of course)

Those are just the ones off the top of my head. But the emerging picture is that all of these may be true. It’s starting to look like:

  1. Some chronic insult to the brain occurs (as in one or more of the causes listed above).
  2. Amyloid beta accumulates as an immune response to the invasive species, as the brain clearance mechanisms become exhausted.
  3. Somehow amyloid beta encourages tau proteins to get an extra phosphate group, which causes them to leave their normal stations, mess with the nucleus, and tangle up in the neuron.
  4. Corrupted (hyperphosphorylated) tau propagates from cell to cell, and it is the infiltration of bad tau in various brain regions that correlates with impaired function in those regions.
  5. Eventually inflammation occurs, accelerating the decline of neurons and brain function.

So, sadly, just brushing your teeth and seeing a dentist regularly are unlikely to protect you from Alzheimer’s – you’ll have just dodged one of the easier bullets to dodge.

Still, that’s plenty worth the small effort it takes to steer clear of that particular bullet.

[Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor or medical researcher, but I read a lot of Alzheimer’s literature. The summary above is my own best guess as to what’s going on, but incorporates the Massachusetts General Hospital theory of the amyloid beta function and disease states as well as the results of recent tau PET scan studies.]

Heading Briefly to Parts Southeast January 22, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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Vacationing in Florida tomorrow through Monday, so posting from me will be light to nonexistent.

But I’m sure all the other authors, almost all of whom have seniority over me, will be deluging the site with wit and pith.

Pretty sure.

When the Moon is Hit in the Eye Like a Big Pizza Pie January 22, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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Apparently the lunar eclipse Sunday night was more eventful that I’d thought:

I’ll admit that I only watched the eclipse action briefly, opting to stay inside and watch movies/drink beer instead.

Hey! It was cold outside.

And the beer was cold inside.

Finally Some Hope in Earlier Pancreatic Cancer Detection January 20, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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Pancreatic cancer took my dad a little over 9 years ago. He had some mystery ailments for months, but when they finally figured it out, it was far too late. He died 3 weeks after diagnosis.

So I’m heartened to hear this news (via Instapundit):

A new pancreatic cancer test could detect the disease before it progresses to later, deadly stages, new research says.

Scientists have developed tests that pinpoints close to 70 percent of pancreatic cancer with less than 5 percent false-positive rate, according to a study published this month in Clinical Cancer Research.

The article says that pancreatic cancer accounts for 7% of cancer deaths in the US. It’d be nice if early detection and intervention could save some of those 42,000 people (per year).

Don’t Forget to Look Up Tonight January 20, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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As you can see from the comment bar at the right, Bunk Strutts has a link at his site talking about tonight’s Soopah Banzai Moony Thing, a rare astronomical event.

It actually sounds like it’ll be really cool. Starts at 7:38 in Denver: follows Bunk’s link to find out when it’ll happen in your town.

Pondering Parsley and Points South January 17, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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Ace linked to this alarming article:

Doctors ask that you please not put parsley in your vagina

Wellness warriors seem to be obsessed with telling women to stick random things into their vaginas.

And the latest piece of bizarre advice suggests sticking parsley up there can help induce your period.

But what the mag fails to mention is that putting parsley into vaginas can be extremely dangerous and in some cases, fatal.

But what if there was another good reason for placing parsley in one’s nether regions? Like, say, if one was playing Penn & Teller’s Parsley Game?

You all may not recall that game, which is described in their book How to Play With Your Food:

The parsley game is very simple: when Parsley, that useless biennial bastard nephew of the carrot family, is served on your plate as a garnish, you sneak it onto the plate of one of your dinner partners without being seen by the recipient. It’s as easy as that, but, like chess, the possibilities are endless… The first few times you play the game, you’ll win, but then your pals will catch on that you’re playing and it will get harder… After a while, no one will turn around for anything.

Sounds kind of pedestrian, until they describe the intensity of the game. Apparently when they were on the road, all of the crew would be hunkered over their plates, defending their turf without blinking. It got to the point where at one session, a car crashed through the front window of the restaurant, and nobody looked up from their plate.

I think in that scenario, it’s an obvious choice to risk death by using the hoohah as a staging platform for the eventual offensive toward victory.

I myself played many times against my wife, losing every time because I’m so absent-minded. At the end of one meal she started her victory jig, because I’d been parsleyed for pretty much the entire meal. But looking at my plate, there was no evidence of her win.

Apparently, not thinking there was parsley on my plate at the outset, I just ate everything and didn’t notice it.

I’m not sure if that was a tie or what, but after that we stopped playing because she thought I was so pitiful.

Put Some Heebie in Your Jeebies January 15, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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What to do for fun in Taiwan?

Well, you could maybe try raising a pet:

Yeah, that’s just terrifying. Just a hunch, but I’m guessing he’s single.

“I’m Saving You From Depression!!” he ejaculated. January 14, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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Via Instapundit, we have good news for guys and gals:

New Research: Semen May Actually Cure Depression in Women

A study led by University of Albany Psychology Professor Gordon Gallup found that among females having sex, those women who did not use condoms showed fewer signs of depression, leading to speculation that when semen is absorbed through the vagina, it may have an effect on women’s moods.

Now the scientist in me says that this is a complete crock.

But the man in me (phrasing!?!) says that the scientist should shut the hell up.

Because now we fellas can claim that sex is therapy, and that lack of sex is psychologically dangerous.

Which means it’s time for some good old preventive medicine.

You Can Take My Chair From My Cold Dying Posterior January 14, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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Bad news to someone who’s sitting here writing this:

Sitting For Too Long Could Increase Your Risk of Dying – Even if You Exercise

Are you sitting down? Then you may want to stand up to read this, as research from the US has found that sitting for too long could increase your risk of dying – even if you exercise.

The study found that both total sedentary time and sedentary duration were associated with a higher risk of death. The greatest risk was found in those who spent more than 12.5 hours a day being sedentary and when bouts persisted for longer than ten minutes at a time.

Can’t sit for more than 10 minutes at a time? Are the internet end times coming?

Well, while I can see that being sedentary isn’t doing anybody any good, health-wise, there’s a major caveat to the study:

…activity data was only collected for one week…


I think I’ll remain seated for the moment.