All posts by Gofishing

Military Spending

Military Spending

The general consensus is that when a Democrat is the president military spending will be reduced and the reverse will occur when a Republican is in office. Obviously, there are may other factors involved. Regardless, the following chart may be a surprise to many folks:

Below from:

It is interesting to note that during the last two years military spending has average almost the same as the eight-year average under President Obama.

Moussa Castle

Moussa Castle (The following is taken from Wikipedia)

This amazing castle’s construction (inside and out) was almost all the effort of just one person!!

Moussa Castle is a castle between Deir el Qamar and Beit ed-Dine in Lebanon.

The life work of a Lebanese visionary, requiring 60 years of dedicated hard-work to finish. 


Moussa’s castle was built on a hill between Deir El Kamar and Beiteddine – Lebanon, with the beliefs and ideas of its builder engraved on its stones. The castle was built by Moussa Abdel Karim Al Maamari who was born on July 27, 1931, in the village of Harat Al Saraya – Lebanon and died January 31, 2018, in the village Deir El Qamar. His idea of building a castle began when he was only 14 years old, inspired by the Middle Ages.

Ridiculed by his teacher “Anwar” and mocked by his classmates, he left school and travelled to Saida on foot where he worked with his uncle on restoring Saida’s fortress. He was later assigned by the Emir Maurice Chehab to renovate the castles and to excavate for archaeological discoveries to be exhibited in the National Museum of Beirut in 1947. He continued working in the same field gaining enough experience from his work in restoring castles. He was then transferred to Beiteddine palace, where he restored the museum of Emir Bashir Chehabi II; he supervised the work as well as the placing of the Emir’s weapons collection, clothes and jewelry, and the sword offered to him by Napoleon in the museum that was inaugurated under the rule of late president Beshara Khalil Al Khoury in September 1951. It was then that he began work on his own construction and bought a suitable piece of land. The foundation stone was laid in 1962, and completed with the help of his wife.

Life Expectancy vs HALE

Life Expectancy vs HALE

I recently read an ED OP in our local paper that was a reprint from a publication from a Minnesota paper. The writer was pointing out that while most EU countries were making positive progress to improve Life Expectancy, the US has been heading in the opposite direction for several years. The narrative stated that the CDC has placed part of the blame on drug overdoses and suicides. I did a bit of math on these areas and discovered that the increases in these areas has only had a minimal impact. The writer pointed out deficiencies in our health care system and noted increases in pregnancy mortality & heart disease, but again these numbers do not even come close to explaining away the problem.

My opinion is that the issue lies with our broken and extremely expensive healthcare system in combination with our inability (or unwillingness) to maintain our immune systems through regular exercise and moderation of caloric intake. Our healthcare system costs, on average, 2 ½ times that per capita average for EU countries. Yet, according to the World Health organization we only rank 31st in terms of quality of care. It is interesting that this is exactly the rank that the US has with respect to Life Expectancy, again 31st. You would think that since we spend so much on health care we should be getting the best?                                                                     I think it important to not be fooled by Life Expectancy as a true measure of quality. The better measure is one termed HALE (Health Adjusted Life Expectancy). Following is taken from Very Well Health: “How Is Healthy Life Expectancy Calculated? This is a bit complicated and uses lots of different data sources for each country. In a nutshell, the World Health Organization takes a country’s data like mortality rates and health status information and crunches them to look at things like how long people are expected to live with about 135 health conditions. The calculation looks at the mortality rate for different health conditions and adjusts it for the duration or severity of the illnesses.”

What this measures is your expectation of a healthy life span, not just how long we can keep you alive! Again, we fall far behind the EU and in fact we fall to 35th overall. The difference is significant. Currently our Life expectancy from birth stands at 79.3, but our HALE stands at only 69.1. Keeping us alive those additional 10 years is expensive and they are not our best years.

You might be surprised to learn that the following countries have a better HALE than the US: The United Arab Emirates, Slovenia, Malta, Maldives, Costa Rica, Chile & Cuba. Our HALE is equal to that of China.