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Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

Americans think 25% of them are gay

Offsetting Behaviour has a post about a curious phenomenon.

Americans surveyed in 2011 substantially overestimated the proportion of Americans identifying as homosexual. Where most estimates reckon about 3.5% of the population are homosexual, Americans surveyed thought that somewhere between 20-25% of the population are gay or lesbian.

The numbers are bizarrely high, for all groups.

It’s all very odd really. Given that the most common myth (well, that I’d ever heard) is that gays make up 10% of the population, and the truth is that they’re about a third of that, you’d think that the average would be somewhere in the middle. Certainly, I’d have not been surprised in the slightest to find figures approaching 15% – which while completely wrong is still at least explainable.

Instead, many groups are approaching an estimate that is ten times the actual figure. Interestingly, some of those are those who generally support the gay agenda. That makes sense if you consider that they seem to think marriage equality is an important issue – when the actual number of people who’s lives are changed by it is vanishingly small.

But given the widespread nature of the high estimation, I can’t think of anything that really explains this well. However, one thing is for sure – homosexuality is one very touchy political issue.

Quote

Quote of the day – protect what?

Witness the absurdity that is the liberal agenda.

We pediatricians are being inundated with permission slips all day long. My paperwork has doubled over the last ten years in no small part because of idiotic school rules requiring parents and docs to sign off on virtually every common sense OTC item. They range from Tylenol and ibuprofen to hand lotion, sunscreen, and bug spray. Each requires its own special form. This is in addition to the actual prescription meds we prescribe like antibiotics and inhalers. It’s absolutely ridiculous when you consider these kids can literally sign for their own abortions without their parents’ permission.

Via Instapundit.

Habits of the Rich

I find the terms “rich” and “poor” to be mostly political terms, but there’s no doubt there are some habits here we could all consider fostering.

1. 70% of wealthy eat less than 300 junk food calories per day. 97% of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories per day. 23% of wealthy gamble. 52% of poor people gamble.

Eat what you need, gamble only if you have money to waste.

2. 80% of wealthy are focused on accomplishing some single goal. Only 12% of the poor do this.

Single mindedness is undoubtedly needed if you want to achieve big things.

3. 76% of wealthy exercise aerobically 4 days a week. 23% of poor do this.

Paying attention to your health is important.

4. 63% of wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work vs. 5% for poor people.

A desire to keep learning is part of success.

Interestingly one of the first comments on the post was a grip about how the poor “could not afford” audio books. What nonsense, there’s plenty of good quality audio resources available on the internet these days for free – even if you can’t afford a few dollars for a book that might teach you something important.

5. 81% of wealthy maintain a to-do list vs. 19% for poor.

Focus on your priorities.

6. 63% of wealthy parents make their children read 2 or more non-fiction books a month vs. 3% for poor.

Encouraging your children to expand their horizons is as important as expanding your own.

7. 70% of wealthy parents make their children volunteer 10 hours or more a month vs. 3% for poor.

That’s an interesting one.

8. 80% of wealthy make hbd calls vs. 11% of poor

I have no idea what that is!

9. 67% of wealthy write down their goals vs. 17% for poor

Again, it’s a focus thing.

10. 88% of wealthy read 30 minutes or more each day for education or career reasons vs 2% for poor.

Self-improvement.

11. 6% of wealthy say what’s on their mind vs. 69% for poor.

Don’t just blurt out what you think if you want to get on with people who you might need in future.

12. 79% of wealthy network 5 hours or more each month vs. 16% for poor.

A fairly obvious one.

13. 67% of wealthy watch 1 hour or less of TV. every day vs. 23% for poor

TV is great for killing time, but there are better things to do if you want to succeed.

14. 6% of wealthy watch reality TV vs. 78% for poor.

I’m almost surprised it’s as high as 6%!

15. 44% of wealthy wake up 3 hours before work starts vs.3% for poor.

I’ll never be rich if that’s a requirement!

16. 74% of wealthy teach good daily success habits to their children vs. 1% for poor.

Another obvious one.

17. 84% of wealthy believe good habits create opportunity luck vs. 4% for poor.

18. 76% of wealthy believe bad habits create detrimental luck vs. 9% for poor.

Who was it that said, “the harder I work, the luckier I get”?

19. 86% of wealthy believe in life-long educational self-improvement vs. 5% for poor.

20. 86% of wealthy love to read vs. 26% for poor.

Knowledge is power.

Obesity Epidemic – In Animals

One of the great things about bloggins is that you get to circulate things that are just straight out of left-field, and screw up all sorts of pre-existing notions.

Like this one.

Consider, for example, this troublesome fact, reported in 2010 by the biostatistician David B Allison and his co-authors at the University of Alabama in Birmingham: over the past 20 years or more, as the American people were getting fatter, so were America’s marmosets. As were laboratory macaques, chimpanzees, vervet monkeys and mice, as well as domestic dogs, domestic cats, and domestic and feral rats from both rural and urban areas. In fact, the researchers examined records on those eight species and found that average weight for every one had increased. The marmosets gained an average of nine per cent per decade. Lab mice gained about 11 per cent per decade. Chimps, for some reason, are doing especially badly: their average body weight had risen 35 per cent per decade. Allison, who had been hearing about an unexplained rise in the average weight of lab animals, was nonetheless surprised by the consistency across so many species. ‘Virtually in every population of animals we looked at, that met our criteria, there was the same upward trend,’ he told me.

It isn’t hard to imagine that people who are eating more themselves are giving more to their spoiled pets, or leaving sweeter, fattier garbage for street cats and rodents. But such results don’t explain why the weight gain is also occurring in species that human beings don’t pamper, such as animals in labs, whose diets are strictly controlled. In fact, lab animals’ lives are so precisely watched and measured that the researchers can rule out accidental human influence: records show those creatures gained weight over decades without any significant change in their diet or activities. Obviously, if animals are getting heavier along with us, it can’t just be that they’re eating more Snickers bars and driving to work most days. On the contrary, the trend suggests some widely shared cause, beyond the control of individuals, which is contributing to obesity across many species.

Is it just me, or is that seriously weird?

US Doctors rejecting Bureaucracy

Back when I started work, I learned a valuable lesson from my boss.

My boss ran his department lean. He focused on the key deliverables, had minimal management, and kept a tight eye on costs.

From that I learned one thing: if you keep your overhead costs low, you’ve already won much of the battle.

That’s a lesson that some are learning in the US health system.

OUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Dr. Michael Ciampi took a step this spring that many of his fellow physicians would describe as radical.

The family physician stopped accepting all forms of health insurance. In early 2013, Ciampi sent a letter to his patients informing them that he would no longer accept any kind of health coverage, both private and government-sponsored. Given that he was now asking patients to pay for his services out of pocket, he posted his prices on the practice’s website.

The change took effect April 1.

“It’s been almost unanimous that patients have expressed understanding at why I’m doing what I’m doing, although I’ve had many people leave the practice because they want to be covered by insurance, which is understandable,” Ciampi said.

Before the switch, Ciampi had about 2,000 patients. He lost several hundred, he said. Some patients with health coverage, faced with having to seek reimbursement themselves rather than through his office, bristled at the paperwork burden.

But the decision to do away with insurance allows Ciampi to practice medicine the way he sees fit, he said. Insurance companies no longer dictate how much he charges. He can offer discounts to patients struggling with their medical bills. He can make house calls.

“I’m freed up to do what I think is right for the patients,” Ciampi said. “If I’m providing them a service that they value, they can pay me, and we cut the insurance out as the middleman and cut out a lot of the expense.”

He has lost a lot of business from people who want their insurance to pay the bill, but those who are prepared to pay for themselves are making significant savings.

Even with the loss of some patients, Ciampi expects his practice to perform just as well financially, if not better, than before he ditched insurance. The new approach will likely attract new patients who are self-employed, lack insurance or have high-deductible plans, he said, because Ciampi has slashed his prices.

“I’ve been able to cut my prices in half because my overhead will be so much less,” he said.

Before, Ciampi charged $160 for an office visit with an existing patient facing one or more complicated health problems. Now, he charges $75.

Patients with an earache or strep throat can spend $300 at their local hospital emergency room, or promptly get an appointment at his office and pay $50, he said.

It seems that the US insurance industry is paperwork heavy, which is leading to considerable paperwork – and processing paperwork cost money. By cutting out those overheads the practice is able to focus on it’s core business, and that means the patients are winning.

Contrast that with the previous government’s actions here – a massive increase in paperwork in order to deliver “cheaper” healthcare, which as we can see, really ends up costing more overall. Most of us would be better off had the government simply gotten rid of the cost overhead, let doctors charge the cost of medicine, and matched that with a tax cut.  And Obamacare is going down the exact same road.

There’s an interesting postscript here from Instapundit, who is married to a psychologist:

Some of Helen’s psychologist friends have gone all-cash. They thought they’d lose business, but wound up with more patients, more money, and (much) less hassle.

I wonder how many patient’s care has been compromised over the years because government (and insurance) paperwork has distracted them from doing their real job?

And you think you have trouble keep up with family occasions!

I ran across the name Yitta Schwarz the other day.

WHEN Yitta Schwartz died last month at 93, she left behind 15 children, more than 200 grandchildren and so many great- and great-great-grandchildren that, by her family’s count, she could claim perhaps 2,000 living descendants.

Mrs. Schwartz was a member of the Satmar Hasidic sect, whose couples have nine children on average and whose ranks of descendants can multiply exponentially. But even among Satmars, the size of Mrs. Schwartz’s family is astonishing. A round-faced woman with a high-voltage smile, she may have generated one of the largest clans of any survivor of the Holocaust — a thumb in the eye of the Nazis.

I bet the greenies hated her :D

Only at the Warehouse!

Seriously, why?

What’s what with US Gun Control

If you don’t understand US gun control, you should read this.

If you think you understand US gun control, and don’t understand why the senate voted down Obama’s bill, you should read this.

This is by far the best, most comprehensive post I have ever read on the topic.

And it’s written by a far-left activist.

Emphasis mine.

It’s been less than a week since national gun control in America died. No “assault weapons” ban. No “high-capacity” magazine ban. Not even the Manchin-Toomey background check compromise that,according to Senator Mark Kirk, was reached by getting drunk on a 54-foot mega-yacht named Black Tie, which is part-owned by Manchin.

Over the last several days, I’ve watched Democratic politicians, lobbyists and Facebook meme-sharers calling down shame on the senators who voted against every single gun control measure proposed in the Senate. Yes, it’s true that none of the measures would have passed the Republican-controlled House anyway, but to have lost in the Democrat-controlled senate was to truly be trounced. I have seen the Democratic pundits all over the nation looking across their podiums and well-lit television studio desks with stunned expressions. “How could this have happened,” they all ask? Only four months after Newtown?

I write this letter as someone who is politically far left of center. You and I have a lot in common, though you may not want to admit it by the end of this article. I think it’s time we had a talk.

I live in the state of Virginia, a place where it’s not easy to be a leftist. Just last week, our State Board of Health voted to approve TRAP(Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) regulations that would close most abortion clinics in the state. It was a devastating loss for myself and other organizers, and it will be even more devastating to the women of Virginia, most of whom will not have access to safe, legal abortions for years to come. I mention this not only so that you have context for the sort of political work I’m involved in, but because I want you to know that *I do know*, from very recent experience, what it’s like to feel powerless as you watch a group of people vote for social policy that you think is absolutely insane.

But I’ll be honest with you: I watched the Senate votes live on Wednesday, and when these gun-related bills were defeated, I literally celebrated. Obviously, you and I have a lot in common, but plenty to differ on. And that’s kind of what I want to talk to you about.

I’ve owned guns since childhood, and it’s an issue that I’ve thought and written a lot about. It’s very difficult for me to communicate with the mainstream Democratic establishment about guns. But because I know how painful it sometimes is to listen to Republican and other Right-leaning people talk about things that we on the Left care strongly about, I thought I would try to help you out.

There are are a few things that you can do to improve your game in the gun control debate, and I thought it would only be fair to point out what they are. So here’s my best shot. Here are the things that you MUST keep in mind if you wish to further the dialogue on gun policy in America.

One of the major points is that many of the people who are trying to regulate guns are, to put it bluntly, ignorant. For example, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg:

This is a man that has built a cornerstone of his career on gun control legislation. He has headed and commissioned panels on guns. He runs a whole group of pro-gun-control mayors. This is an issue he has supposedly been devoted to for a long time.

He doesn’t know how guns operate. He doesn’t understand basic terminology. He doesn’t know what an “assault weapon” is, even though he supposedly was involved in drafting legislation. How is this possible?And how is it possible that we who actually understand the topic are supposed to cede to his judgment on it?

He’s not alone in his utter baffledness about this. Obama recently told donors at a Democratic Congressional Campaign committee meeting that students at Sandy Hook were gunned down by a “fully automatic weapon”.

(In case readers don’t wish to read the whole post, and don’t grasp the significance of that last one, the Sandy Hook shootings did not involve a fully automatic weapon, because these have been effectively banned for years and their use in crimes of any sort in the US is almost unheard of.)

How can you lobby and legislate for years on a topic, and yet be so utterly ignorant of the topic?

I don’t have the answer to that.

But we all know how such appalling, wanton ignorance goes down in communities where even a school child knows the difference; communities regularly portrayed by certain sectors as ignorant hicks.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a quicker way to divide a country.

Like I say, it’s a very comprehensive post. Go have a read.

Quote of the Day – Crisis edition

Via Instapundit.

I’ll believe it’s a crisis when the people who tell me it’s a crisis start acting like it’s a crisis.

Quite. It’s interesting how those who claim that our demise is imminent never seem to actually do something about this supposed imminent demise.

Example: the people who tell us that fossil fuels are ruining the environment… while flying across the country.

Or this classic.

Helping Obama’s brother

I’m inclined to discount this story somewhat (it just smells a bit too convenient), but there’s no denying that Obama has some curious priorities when it comes to whom he chooses to help.

A few days ago I received a call from a man I recently met named George.  He was a bit flustered, and soon informed me that his young son was sick with a chest condition.  He pleaded with me to send him $1,000 to cover the medical bills.  Since George was at the hospital I asked him to let me speak to a nurse, and she confirmed that George’s son was indeed ill.  So I agreed to send George the money through Western Union.  He was profusely grateful.  But before I hung up I asked George, “Why are you coming to me?”  He said, “I have no one else to ask.”  Then he said something that astounded me, “Dinesh, you are like a brother to me.”

Actually, George has a real life brother who just happens to be the president of the United States.  (George Obama is the youngest of eight children sired by Barack Obama Sr.)  George’s brother is a multimillionaire and the most powerful man in the world.  Moreover, George’s brother has framed his re-election campaign around the “fair share” theme that we owe obligations to those who are less fortunate.

Then things get curious.

A couple of years ago, George teamed up with a British journalist Damien Lewis and the two of them published George’s story in a book called “Homeland.” Yet according to Lewis, shortly before the book’s publication in America, the publisher Simon & Schuster decided to shred the entire print run, more than 20,000 copies.  Lewis tried unsuccessfully to get an explanation from Simon & Schuster but to no avail.  He now suspects that the White House convinced Simon & Schuster that George’s story might prove embarrassing to the president.

In 2010, George also applied for a visa to come to the United States and was refused.   While George confesses that in his younger years he was a delinquent, he has never been convicted of any crime.  Moreover, he has a very good reason to visit the United States: his mother Jael Otieno lives in Atlanta.  So why would the U. S. embassy in Nairobi refuse a tourist visa to the brother of the president who just wants to spend time with his mother?

Draw your own conclusions.

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