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I have started this Low-carb diet and am using a food journal to keep track of my daily intake. My goal is to stay under 40 net carbs a day; under 2000 calories per day. That give me about 1800 calories to be made up with fat and protein (and alcohol but I am avoiding the temptation). So far so good.

One of the other nutrients I am interested in tracking is my potassium intake. But it is very hard to find the nutrient data for potassium, starting with the actual amount of potassium an adult is supposed to ingest each day. 4700 mg seems to be the recommended amount, but I also see references to 3500 mg as a recommended level on food labeling so I am a bit confused. I know there is a lot of potassium floating around in meats and vegetables, so I should be getting lots, but how much? Either way, I have a hard time finding the potassium level in the food I am eating since it is not a required nutrient on the US food labels.

I have been taking a potassium supplement because I sometimes get cramps from exertion. At the time I started this I didn’t realize the recommended daily allowance is 3500 mg and the recommended daily intake is 4700 mg  – wait, the recommended daily intake hasn’t been established for potassium. The supplement is 99 mg – 3% of RDA – what sort of supplement is that? And then I found out that high potassium levels contribute to lowering high blood pressure! which I have! I definitely want a better handle on potassium in my diet.  From what I have been able to extrapolate so far, I seem to be consuming between 1000 and 2000 mg of potassium daily. No wonder I get muscle spasms.

Open Request to Food Providers: Even if you are not required to put the Potassium level on the food label itself, could you, at least, put it on your website? Along with all the other micro-nutrients that are needed in a complete diet, e.g. magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus…

It would be greatly appreciated. Also on the web page, put in the numbers for the entire container, not just for per serving. If I am using a 1 lb package of Italian Sausage in a recipe, I don’t need a breakdown of the individual servings, especially if they are “about 2.5 per package”. I am using the entire package, give me the package totals.

Well, back to burrowing into nutrition details. Maybe I shall uncover some more Potassium sources.


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I have, in the past year or so, been using Facebook as my main commenting tool. As the recent takedown of Jim Wright’s 9-11 posting demonstrated, Facebook is not a reliable place to post and share information, especially if some trolls get upset. So I will try to use my blog site < exemplia gratia > to originate my commentary and cross-post it to Facebook and Live Journal. Oh, I have a Google+ page as well.  I will make replies to the Facebook comments in Facebook, but it makes sense that if I want to make a comment that I should originate it in a place where I have some control.

Also, in my never-ending quest  to find a way to make the strike-through character a ‘/’ instead of ‘-‘, I have found an answer. Libre Office lets you change the strike-through character! Now to see if it can be copied out –




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I got my first note from Donald Trump today, asking for money. Actually it was a joint effort from the DJTP (Donald J Trump for President) campaign and the RNC.

He wants to make America Great Again. I already thought it was Great – could be better, but still Great.

Among the bullet items he highlights as Democratic goals are:

  • They won’t be satisfied with Obamacare until health care is 100% government-run.
    • You’re right. A single-payer healthcare system is the best one for the American public.
  • They won’t rest until every illegal immigrant is given complete amnesty and the right to vote as hardened, life-long Democrat.
    • I don’t see any problems with giving taxpayers amnesty. Of course, the right to vote is restricted to citizens so the rest of the statement is a blatant lie and fear-mongering.
  • They won’t stop demonizing their opponents until political correctness replaces free speech.
    • If we replace the term ‘political correctness’ with ‘treating others with respect’ then where’s the problem? Trump, for one, and others, don’t seem to know the meaning of respect and thus wonder why they are demonized.

From Day 1, DT is going to build a wall on the Mexican Border, and Mexico will pay for it to keep US happy. Some property rules Donald, you can build what you want on your property but you pay for it. Unless you are the Donald Trump who contracts for jobs that are done and then not paid for.

On Day 1, DT will end the executive orders that attacked the Second Amendment. I checked and see that Obama has called for improving the background check process, enforcement of existing gun laws, and improving the communications between federal, state, and local law enforcement.  I don’t know why he wants to repeal these.

He’s going to create GREAT jobs. He doesn’t say what those jobs are. Possibly he expects several hundred million Americans will become Corporate Executives? So who’s going to cook our food, serve our food, and empty the trash? You know, if you paid the cooks, the servers, and the janitors a proper wage, they could have great jobs.

“We’re going to make America Great Again by making our military so big, so strong and so powerful, nobody will mess with us.”  We already have the biggest, strongest, most powerful military in the history of the world. Nation states don’t mess with us. Guerrilla groups do mess with us. And being the biggest, baddest bully on the block doesn’t historically work against guerrillas. Generally, you have to you have to sucker them with kindness to make them go away.

Veterans have been treated badly under the Obama regime. No, I think they have been treated badly by a Republican Congress. I don’t see that changing under any president.

The liberals hate him and are about to unleash a vicious, brutal, and expensive campaign. (Nothing but the best for the Donald.)  I don’t think the campaign needs to be vicious and brutal, all they need to do is replay Trump’s past statements and make fun of him.   Oh, I forgot, the truth is vicious and brutal.

Then he goes on to solicit money.

In the postscript there was a bit “politics is a team sport”. Politics is NOT a sport. Maybe too many Americans are forgetting that. It annoyed me verily that the networks were covering the debates and the primaries as sport. Who’s up, who’s down, who slipped, who hit a home run. they are treating it like a horse race with many other sports thrown in. Politics is NOT a sport.



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I should note that while I am interested in what is going on with the Hugos and would like for the Final Ballot to represent the best of SF for the previous year, I do not participate in the nominating process myself. My backlog of reading material is several decades long and I actually use the final ballot, or short list, to provide me some guidance for reading material for the current year. If I am able to get to a number of items on the list then I will participate in the voting in the appropriate categories.

Looking at the Hugo winners and runners-up over the years will give you good guidance to selecting a reading list. (My problem is not getting to them until the voting is well over.) It will also give you an idea of which authors were consistently honored by the community. (I am really surprised to see that Iain M. Banks only had one nomination in his career. Be sure to put Iain M. Banks on your reading list. To be confused with Iain Banks.)

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There is also discussion in the community about who can nominate for the Hugos. Currently, members of the past, current and future Worldcon can nominate for final Hugo ballot, although only members of the current Worldcon can vote on the Hugos. I understand that the inclusion of the non-current Worldcons was intended to make the nominations more inclusive. As it stands now, the voters who joined Sasquan (current Worldcon) to nominate their slate will also be able to nominate a slate in 2016 (Kansas City), at no extra cost.

Some have suggested that nominating be limited to current members and attending members of previous  Worldcons or fans who have at least attended a recent Worldcon. This is wrong on so many levels. Traditionally, fans interested in the Hugos supported a Worldcon even if they didn’t have the wherewithal to attend. And sometimes it may be a number of years before a fan can attend in person. One of the nice features of site selection is that if you vote to select the site of the next Worldcon you are a supporting member of the winning bid, whether your site won or not.

I don’t know if the expansion of the nominator pool to include past and future Worldcon members has increased the number of Hugo nominations or the number of attending Worldcon members. If it hasn’t I would recommend limiting nominations to members of the current Worldcon.


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Making Light has been discussing ways to resolve the DoS attack on the Hugos by the Rabid Puppies. This discussion is focused on the nominating process.

I am leaning towards allowing the nominator to nominate up to 4 works in a category, throw away the nominating ballot once 2 of the 4 have made the Final Ballot and putting the top 5 works on the voting ballot.  In Schneier’s formula, x=4, y=2, z=5.

There are a number of weighting methods described in Option 3 and discussed in detail in the comments.  I am still open to which method is best but I am starting with Option 3d.  I don’t think there actually is a “best”, but there may be a preferred method for administration and management.




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We have set up Trust Funds to help cover growth and costs. There is Social Security, Highway, Post Office, Military Retirement, etc. These funds collect money from use taxes and the like, with the expectation that it will be spent sometime in the future. It is setting aside money collected today to pay for a rainy day.

But Congress, in its infinite wisdom, has made the revenues collected and distributions part of the federal budget. So the money collected on the sunny days is counted as Federal Income and the money spent on rainy days  is subject to political debates, every time.  The Highway Trust Fund is a good example. We have gasoline taxes that go into the fund and should go to pay for highway repairs ten or twenty years down the road. If the Fund is On Budget, then some or all the monies go into the General Fund controlled by Congress and when it comes time to actually repair the bridges and roads Congress won’t provide the funds because it is not politically expedient to spend the money and increase the deficit.

Take the trust funds off-budget and the money in-out flows don’t count towards the federal budget. If the Fund actually needs an infusion of cash, then  Congress can debate if it is deserved instead of debating whether to payout monies that should already be in the fund or not.

Infrastructure support. If we build infrastructure we need to expect and plan to maintain that infrastructure for the ongoing future. Highways, airports, pensions, these are all part of the infrastructure we need to maintain the society we are building.  If we don’t want the building to collapse, with us in it, we need to keep it repaired and growing. Congress is not doing that.

Even cities and states should be setting up trust funds to maintain the public infrastructure of roads, sewers, water mains and public buildings. These shouldn’t be subject to debate every time a bridge collapses or water treatment plant fails.

Saving for a rainy day is an axiom that is based on common sense. It isn’t always easy to see a large nest egg being built up and not used when you have so many ‘better’ things to spend it on, but it needs to be done.

Take the Trust Funds off budget.



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I really do wish that they (the powers that be) would take social security income and outgo off the budget books.  In my earlier post I was talking about a $3.8 trillion budget, but 880 million of that is Social Security which is already covered by the Trust Fund and should be ignored for our calculations.

So let us use a budget figure of $2.9 Trillion

$13.1 Trillion in total personal income.

$6.1 Trillion in deductions.

$7 Trillion available income to cover the budget.

Then a 41% tax on all income over $53,000 will cover the budget.

Alternatively, looking at the 2013 budget broken out, if we take the income tax income – $1.36 Trillion ($1,359 Billion) and add the deficit – $0.9 Trillion – Then we need to cover $2.26 Trillion and the remainder to $2.9 Trillion is covered by the estate, corp, etc. taxes.  Oops, they are including $959 Billion of SSA trust income which is $76 Billion greater than the SSA outgo and we want to keep the SSA out of the calculation so lets add the $.076 Trillion to our total and we need to cover  $2.34 Trillion to meet the budget.

So a 33% tax on all personal income over $53,000 should be able to meet the 2013 budget.

I am using high level swags here. The $6.1 Trillion in deductions is really a worst case where everyone in the low median half is counted with a $53K income. A more realistic total deduction is probably less than $5 Trillion since the total income of the lower median group is less than $2 Trillion and the total deduction would be the $3.1 Trillion from the higher median group and the actual total income of the lower median group.

My google-fu is weak. I am trying to find out what percentage of the total annual personal income is for the folks in the  lower median group, and I can’t find an exact number. It appears to be in the 20-25% range, or lower. I saw one graph that might have been 15%.  So if the Total income is $13.1 Trillion the Lower Median total income is somewhere in the $2 Trillion-$3 Trillion range









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I have some numbers (rounded) to put in the pot.

$13.1 Trillion is the total personal income in the US.
116 Million Households in the US.
$53,000 Median household income. (half of the households make $53K or more, half make less.)
$3.8 Trillion 2013 Budget

Pay for the Budget –
Give all households a $53K deduction. – $6.1 Trillion
Total Income after the deduction – $7 Trillion

Tax Rate on post deduction income to cover the budget – 54%

So, put a 54% tax on all income over $53,000 and there is no more deficit. There are no other deductions. Simplified tax code.

And we can use the corporate taxes to pay down the debt.


(I hate it when I make stupid math errors in public)

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I am curious as to what the powers that be are thinking in regard to net neutrality.

To use an analogy to the transportation system, the current internet is like a railroad network. Freight trains are loaded with containers destined for delivery to end users. When the train pulls into a railyard, the containers are picked up from one train and moved onto another train heading towards the ultimate destination. Eventually the containers get to the proper destination but they don’t necessarily follow the quickest, most direct path. The tracks are owned by various companies and those companies probably own the railyards their tracks lead to. (But they can’t own the content that is carried by the railroad, which is where the analogy breaks down.)

The railyard protocols determine which containers get handled and in which order they are handled. The new net neutrality rules seem to be allowing the railyards to revise their protocols to let some container shippers to pay for priority handling. They may even establish separate railroads just for the priority traffic and let the existing infrastructure muddle along, just like AT&T did with the telecommunications network in the post-war period.

This is a hard one to address. On one hand, the networks cost money to build, the routers that can handle the traffic cost money to install, the features cost money as well. If a service provider requires lots of bandwidth capacity and router ports, the user should be paying an appropriate cost. The service provider also needs to increase the bandwidth capacity interior to the network to handle the increased usage. So they should be charging the source provider enough to cover the bandwidth and equipment costs generated.

Most of the new internet services seem to be streaming video related. and with streaming video speed and order of the incoming info containers is important. If you could let your computer collect the entire stream of video before displaying it then it wouldn’t be an issue. But a lot of those video providers don’t want to let you have the entire video at one time. Why, you may pirate the video; shame on you. So they need to have your videos delivered piecemeal but in an evenly streamed manner. To get this requires using the prioritization flags in the Internet Protocol. And who should get those flags? The ones that pay for them.

What should not be allowed to happen is getting someone’s container dropped completely, based on either originating address or destination address. The ISPs have already been guilty of this (e.g. the early VOIP services) and will probably bend any new FCC rules to continue being guilty of this in the future.

The internet is a network of networks. The backbone networks connect to edge networks or other backbone networks to facilitate the movement of those information containers.  An intranet may be considered a single network managed and operated by a single entity.  As an example, the Verizon backbone network connects to the European backbone, to the Canadian backbone, to the AT&T backbone, to the Comcast edge network, to the Time Warner edge network, to the Verizon edge network, etc. (I am using edge network to describe the networks that connect to the users, both senders and receivers. Unless you are going right around the corner you will probably traverse a backbone network to connect with someone on the web.)

In my example I used the Verizon backbone network and noted that it is connected to the Verizon edge network. And in reality the two networks may not be distinguishable as far as routers or links are concerned. For Verizon it may all be one intranet. The edge network delivers content to the end users and receives content from content sources. Will Verizon provide better packet handling for its customers than it will for content coming from the internet?

Internet Protocols are developed and managed by the IETF.  It seems to me that government internet regulators should be ensuring that ISPs are following the internet protocols fairly, especially on the backbone portions of the internet. And I think the backbone portion should be regulated as common carriers.  The edge networks I reserve judgement on.




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