Monday, April 30, 2007

The Secret

I make it a habit to (almost) never start a book without finishing it. That habit is the only thing this book had going for it after a couple chapters.

If you are looking for a book to justify your "if it feels good do it" lifestyle, then you can have my copy. If you are looking for a book to tell you that if you just "imagine checks coming in the mail" then they will or that its okay to be overweight as long as you learn to love yourself then go for the hardcover.

This isn't just a book, its a religion, and a dangerous one at that.

"Follow your bliss" and "if someone is overweight, it came from thinking 'fat thoughts'...food cannot cause you to put on weight unless you think it can" and other random wishes and out of context quotes dominate its pages.

I understand and believe in goal setting, visualization, self talk, positive thinking and the law of attraction but "God can't steer a parked car" as the saying goes.

You lose weight by ditching bad habits and replacing them with good habits. You improve yourself by thinking, planning and acting. The harder you work the luckier you get.

"Ultimately we are the source of the Universe, and when we understand that power directly by experience, we can start to exercise our authority and begin to achieve more and more."

Huh? Say again?

"This is really fun. It's like having the Universe as your catalogue. You flip through it and say "I'd like to have this experience and I'd like to have that product and I'd like to have a person like that." It is you placing you order with the Universe. Its really that easy."

I'd just like to be able to order a pizza with my thoughts.

It's not that the book is without merit in fact there is a lot of good practical or motivational information but its not the start of a revolutionary new movement sweeping the Earth like its promoters would have you believe. There is no new ground uncovered here.

"The Secret" lists Plato, Galileo, Beethoven, Edison, Carnegie, Aristotle, Isaac Newton, Martin Luther King, Winston Churchill, Alexander Graham Bell, Henry Ford and Albert Einstein as unwitting subscribers on the dust cover and in the DVD but neglects to mention how the author attributes their success to "The Secret".

"The Secret" however will apparently remain such because the book leaves you where you started, but feeling better about it for a minute or two.

Stick with The Power of Positive Thinking, Think and Grow Rich, How to Win Friends and Influence People and What to Say When You Talk to Yourself. You can't go wrong with the classics.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Good Shepherd


I love CIA/spy movies and Matt Damon was very effective in his role as an emotionless early-CIA operative who ultimately becomes "the heart and soul" of the modern CIA and earns the nickname "Mother" among his Russian counterparts.

There are brief appearances by Alec Baldwid and Robert De Niro who also directed.

A fascinating picture apparently based somewhat on fact, it depicts the beginnings of the modern CIA during World War II. Ultimately Damon's character sacrifices everything in his personal life in service of his county which is escalated at the end, which I won't spoil.

This is a well made and engrossing film with a powerful cast. If you liked A Beautiful Mind, Thirteen Days and JFK you will like this movie.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Insomnia

Al Pacino, a favorite of mine, is a classic in his role as an old detective with a sordid past. Robin Williams shows once again that he can do drama and moreover, play the twisted villain not unlike his role also in 2002 in One Hour Photo. As for Hilary Swank, she was made for the role of an eager young detective who is smart and attractive but also has to be tough to work in a small town and otherwise male police force.

Insomnia has a great storyline, and is almost never slow. It was particularly captivating to see Al Pacino and Robin Williams in their respective roles playing off of each other.

I put this in my Netflix cue a long time ago, and when we watched it we didn't realize it was released in 2002 until we read the sleeve. If you liked Al Pacino in The Recruit, you'll like this one.

Liberals give comfort to Al Qaeda

“I think it is wrong, and I don’t think it is doing anything other than
giving great comfort and encouragement to Al-Qaeda and the insurgency in Iraq,”
Howard said.

“They are looking at all this, they read newspapers, they
see it on television and they say, ‘The American domestic resolve is weakening,
therefore we should maintain our resolve.’

“If there is a perception of
an America defeat in Iraq, that will leave the whole of the Middle East in
great turmoil and will be an enormous victory for terrorism.”

Read the whole post here

HT Doug Miller @ Truth vs. The Machine

Arbor day at the Roosh's

What a difference...

I have been doing more and more biking these days which of course means spending more and more money but this purchase was well worth the money.

To my friends popping over from Smithers MINNEAPOLIS this is a no-brainer but it hadn't occurred to me to buy clip-in shoes and peddles until my brother D. Roosh suggested them the other day.

Last night on my ride I was able to cover probably twice the distance with the same amount of energy.

John Edwards is Pretty and Dangerous


John Edwards thinks there is no Global War on Terror. Here are a few dates he should be aware of then.

9/11/01
10/12/00
8/7/98
6/25/96
2/26/93


These are a few major attacks on the US and don't include Madrid for example or any of the foiled attempts that have been thwarted.

"I believe -- and this goes to the question you asked earlier, just a few
minutes ago -- global war on terror. I think there are dangerous people and
dangerous leaders in the world that America must deal with and deal with
strongly, but we have more tools available to us than bombs. And America needs
to use the tools that are available to them so that these people who are sitting
on the fence, who terrorists are trying to recruit, the next generation, get
pushed to our side, not to the other side. We've had no long-term strategy, and
we need one, and I will provide one."

He has no plan. Like most liberal politicians, he is not for anything, only against anything the the conservatives thought of first. You can argue that Iraq didn't turn out to be the attack on terrorism that almost everyone thought it would be before we went there militarily but the only thing worse than the Iraq debacle is treating terrorism with pacifism.

What would Edwards do? Negotiate? Send counselors overseas to visit with these "on-the-fencers"?

He would probably wait until we are attacked again. At least Hillary took a tough stance on terrorism in the "debate".

Is War with Iran inevitable?

...and if so, and if our troops are stretched thin as it is, does it quickly escalate to a nuclear war?


Iran has been provoking the West and will soon be a nuclear power.

How long will the US tolerate Iran's involvement in the deaths of our soldiers?

US forces on Friday detained four members of a gang suspected of smuggling armour-piercing bombs from Iran to Iraq and sending back militants for terrorist training the military said

or would it be this kind of war:

"Iran's nuclear program can be thrown back by years in a ten day attack using thousands of Tomahawk cruise missiles," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was quoted as saying in an interview published online by the German magazine Focus on Saturday.

Global Warming as a moral issue

Read this over at John Adams Blog

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Smokeout

It would appear my support for recent local smoking bans is not in alignment with some of my fellow conservative bloggers and I am sincerely interested to know what the argument is.
  • Smoking is a proven health risk to those who smoke

  • Smoking is a likely health risk to those nearby

  • There is no effective way that I know of to prevent smoke from someone across the room reaching me and my children in the non-smoking section

I for one would not frequent bars and restaurants that were smoky. In fact, on a family road trip last year, we stopped for breakfast in Ohio and realized how good we have it in Minnesota when someone in the smoking section on the other side of the restaurant lit up after their meal and we could smell it as our food was just arriving.

It was annoying and we almost got up and left.

Is the argument that I have no right to tell someone they can't smoke? Even in a public place?

...or that smokers should be able to congregate anywhere they want?

...is it a "slippery slope" argument?

I don't believe someone that smokes has the right to subject me to their choice to smoke.

It is hard enough having to walk through the smoky gauntlet that exists in many bars, restaurants and many office buildings as you enter or exit.

...let alone having to breathe in someones smoke while I am having a beer or enjoying a meal.

I am amazed at how many people I see smoking in their cars or wasting their employers' time hanging out with their smoke buddies in my office building. I don't begrudge them their choice to smoke in their home or in their car as long as they aren't exposing their children....and its their employer's problem not mine.

But I don't think it's too much to ask that I not be subjected to their smoke in an enclosed public place.

Then again, beyond the occasional recreational puff, I don't understand why people smoke at all.

Here comes the sun


Carleton University science professor Tim Patterson said global warming will not bring about the downfall of life on the planet. Patterson said much of the up-to-date research indicates that "changes in the brightness of the sun" are almost certainly the primary cause of the warming trend since the end of the "Little Ice Age" in the late 19th century.

Human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the gas of concern in most plans to curb climate change, appear to have little effect on global climate, he said.

"...CO2 is not a pollutant, but an essential plant food."

"Billions of taxpayers' dollars are spent to control the emissions of this benign gas, in the mistaken belief that they can stop climate change"

"All the money wasted on Kyoto in a year could provide clean drinking water for Africa"

"They continually say we only have 10 years left, and they've been saying it for 20 years, and it's ridiculous"

More here.

Out to lunch?

"The Senate voted, 51-46, to OK the conference report’s goal of withdrawing most U.S. troops from Iraq by April 2008. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) missed the vote while on a presidential campaign swing, and Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) were also absent."

Where were these guys? Is there a more important vote right now? Obviously the outcome would not have changed, and President Bush will no doubt veto the bill.

It sends a signal however, especially for McCain, that it wasn't a priority, and in McCain's case, that his personal political aspirations supersede his responsibilities as a Senator.

More here.

Coming to a theater near you..


Ghostbusters III!

Offset this...

"Companies and individuals rushing to go green have been spending millions on “carbon credit” projects that yield few if any environmental benefits.

A Financial Times investigation has uncovered widespread failings in the new markets for greenhouse gases, suggesting some organisations are paying for emissions reductions that do not take place.

Others are meanwhile making big profits from carbon trading for very small expenditure and in some cases for clean-ups that they would have made anyway."

Read it here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

13,000

The Dow hit 13K today, a new all-time high. Capitalism is doing what it always does. Persisting and overcoming.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Pursuing his dream


Citing distress in light of recent SEC investigations of the company he runs and founded, Steve Jobs, CEO and Apple resigns and joins Blue Man Group.

Funny Money

In a fundraising e-mail sent out this week, Coleman, R-Minn., asked for contributions to help beat back the support that Franken is receiving from "Hollywood's liberal elite."

The e-mail cites an episode of ABC's "The View" last week, in which comedian Bill Maher said, "I love Al Franken. I hope he wins."

Bill Maher: well, there's a guy who can really help Al Franken. Don't worry about him too much Senator.

"Me too," said co-host Rosie O'Donnell. "I'm maxing out to him. I'm maxing out my contribution."

(I am pretty sure Rosie maxes out everything everywhere she goes, but I digress.)

Wow, watch out Senator. He's got Rosie! Her opinion carries a lot of weight with Minnesotans. Yesterday we saw her holding up her hands mimicking her rear end making light of Sheryl Crowe's contention that we should all wipe with one square to save Mother Earth.

Buh Bye Al. Norm, where do I send my check?

Today's Strib

Don't read this...

...don't click here.

Unbelievably cringing and grossed out?

I told you not to read it.

Too much of a good thing

...I prefer Diet Mountain Dew, but this logo is more attention-getting!


Monday, April 23, 2007

5 Million


As a family affected by Juvenile Diabetes, we are pretty focussed these days on Diabetes care and fundraising and have great hope for a cure.

This weekend however, our company sponsored a table at the annual Gala for the Minnesota-North Dakota Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association and Mrs. Roosh and I were able to attend as guests. It was a great time but we also learned a great deal about a disease that affects many more people than I realized and in some cases at a much younger age than you'd imagine.

Currently more than 5 Million Americans suffer from Alzheimers, 4.9 Million of which are over the age of 65. A key speaker at the event was 46 years old and suffers from Alzheimers. He spoke candidly of his fears of leaving his young family behind and ultimately dying alone as his consciousness fades.

But there is hope also for a cure and we learned of exciting trials and treatments on the horizon for sufferers of what will no doubt become a significant issue facing retiring baby boomers and our healthcare system.

Learn more here.

What dreams may come

Finally...


no more treadmill for a while...

Sunday, April 22, 2007

1,239,000 pounds loaded, 555 Passengers

Together

...I have no comment...just wanted you to see these two together...embracing. You can draw your own (political) conclusions.

A florist goes to a barber for a haircut

One day a florist goes to a barber for a haircut. After the cut he asked about his bill and the barber replies: "I'm sorry, I cannot accept money from you; I'm doing community service this week".

The florist is pleased and leaves the shop. Next morning when the barber goes to open there is a thank you card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.

Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he goes to pay his bill the barber again replies: "I'm sorry, I cannot accept money from you; I'm doing community service this week." The cop is happy and leaves the shop. Next morning when the barber goes to open up there is a thank you card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.

Later a Republican comes in for a haircut, and when he goes to pay his bill the barber again replies: "I'm sorry, I cannot accept money from you; I'm doing community service this week." The Republican is very happy and leaves the shop. Next morning when the barber goes to open, there is a thank you card and a dozen different books such as "How to Improve Your Business" and "Becoming More Successful."

Then a Democrat comes in for a haircut, and when he goes to pay his bill the barber again replies: "I'm sorry, I cannot accept money from you; I'm doing community service this week." The Democrat is very happy and leaves the shop. The next morning when the barber goes to open up, there are a dozen Democrats lined up waiting for a free haircut.

H/T Heavy-Handed Politics

Saturday, April 21, 2007

You go girl

Ex-Miss America shoots thief's tires

Tough isn't a word necessarily associated with Miss America, but three thieves arrested after their truck tires were shot out by 82-year-old Venus Ramey might beg to differ.

...thieves for some time have been breaking into a building on her property

"They've been stealing from me for years. Those good-for-nothing slobs,"

Ramey performed in vaudeville, and her picture adorned a B-17 bomber that flew 68 missions over Germany in World War II.

Ramey, who won the elite beauty crown in 1944, confronted one of the three robbers on her farm in Waynesburg, Ky., about 140 miles south of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

"He was probably wetting his pants," said Ramey, who balanced on her walking stick as she pulled out a snub-nosed .38-caliber handgun.

"I'm trying to live a quiet, peaceful life and stay out of trouble, and all it is, is one thing after another," she said.

H/T John H.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Bad Hair Day

In light of the discussion of John Edward's $400 hairdo, I made an observation:
Michael Savage: Bad Hair...career over.

Imus: Bad Hair...career over.

Howard Stern: Bad hair...time will tell...

Tom Barnard?...forget about his hair! How's the See Food diet working?

Making it up as we go


Breaking News

Vatican: Unbaptized infants who die no longer in limbo

Whew! There must a zillion babies that just went to heaven!

"A church decision to abolish limbo has long been expected. Benedict and his predecessor, the late Pope John Paul II, expressed misgivings about the concept. Never part of formal doctrine because it does not appear in Scripture, limbo was removed from the Catholic Catechism 15 years ago.

"In the 5th century, St. Augustine declared that all unbaptized babies went to hell upon death."

He must have been in a bad mood?

"By the Middle Ages, the idea was softened to suggest a less severe fate, limbo."

Sort of like a Near-Hell experience or Hell Lite? Great Fate, Less Gnashing?

"Especially in Africa and other parts of the world where Catholicism is growing but has competition from other faiths such as Islam, high infant mortality rates mean many families live with a church teaching them that their babies could not go to heaven."

...but, with a contribution of only $25, your little loved one can be released from Limbo. Call now!

"Catholic conservatives criticized any effort to relegate limbo to oblivion."

...and when asked to reference scripture on this issue?

"We'll get back to you on that one."

Thanks for clearing up the whole "Limbo" thing your holiness. It was never in the bible in the first place, so we appreciate the retraction.

Any other Catholic constructs not found in scripture you care to comment on your royal papalness?

Say what?

Edwards 'embarrassed' by $400 haircut but not his comments on Partial Birth Abortion where a baby is killed by smashing it's head in.

"Campaign finance records show that Edwards’ campaign paid a Beverly Hills stylist $400 for his haircuts. Those pricey snips have undercut Edwards’ image as a populist crusading for the little guy.“It’s a ridiculous amount of money for a haircut,” Edwards told reporters after a campaign stop on Adel’s town square. “I’m actually embarrassed by it.""

...and...his campaign paid for it.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Streaker

Have you ever noticed that when a streaker runs onto the field in a major sporting event that they won't show him on camera...

Every time it happens, the commentators tell you why they aren't showing you what's going on down on the field.

...so as to not encourage people from getting naked and streaking across the field at sporting events.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, everywhere you look you see excerpts from a video sicko psycho mass murder Cho Seung-Hui sent in to NBC on the cover of every major newspaper.

NBC gives murderer just what he wanted

The media shows discretion in the case of a streaker but not a murderer who knew fully well that he would soon be infamous. He knew that if he mailed his package in a few hours the media would distribute his fecal monologue worldwide.

So, if there is catharsis in placing blame in a tragedy of this magnitude, blame the media.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tom, do you want your money back now?


Tom Hanks gives the maximum $4600 to Al Franken's misguided campaign.

and then...uh oh...a serious, viable candidate for the Democrats.

"Franken doesn't have a clear path to the Democratic nomination. On Wednesday, wealthy trial lawyer Mike Ciresi, best known for securing a multibillion dollar settlement against the tobacco industry on behalf of the Minnesota government, formally announced his campaign."

Buh Bye, Al.

watch this...

A Convenient Fiction

Check it out.

Part One

Part Two

H/T Powerline

we just don’t know

See? It's not just me that thinks Man Made Global Warming is far from proven.

Anti-Strib: Further Proof that we just don’t know!

Take a pill



This article drew my attention today.

Maybe I'm being closed minded or even insensitive but it just seems to me that common sense dictates there are many "illnesses" for which a pill is the treatment or cure that aren't illnesses at all, just a reason to sell the pill.

There are pills for anxiety, attention deficit disorder, unruly behavior, depression, etc. and it seems every few months some new syndrome or disorder is invented.

"Do you get nervous in group settings?" goes a commercial I saw recently which showed business people preparing for public speaking engagements and presentations.

"Yes, I do. Can I have a pill please?"

Who doesn't get nervous before speaking! Guess what: normal.

When my cholesterol was slightly elevated a year and a half ago, my doctor prescribed a pill without pause. Presumably I would take Lipitor for the rest of my life.

Oddly, I had to ask him for a chance to lower my number with diet and exercise. Six months later I reached my goal and never filled the prescription

Why didn't he prescribe diet and exercise in the first place? Are there other cases where there is a common sense approach versus yet another pill?

Here are some proposed prescriptions for various illnesses or disorders:

  • Eat less

  • Talk to your kids

  • Exercise

  • Teach discipline to your children

  • Watch less TV

  • Stop smoking

  • Read a book

  • Go for a walk
H/T to Brian Christie Design for the graphic

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hug your kids...


Hug your kids..., originally uploaded by jroosh.

Monday, April 16, 2007

What can we do?

...regarding the Virginia Tech shootings?

...nothing.

You can't make sense of something like this. You can't ban guns. You can't promote guns. We'll hear both sides the second it's politically acceptable - probably sooner.

In the context of an isolated tragedy like this neither side will be right.

You can't lock down public educational institutions. You can't arm the teachers and students, even if they wanted to be, and a gun law won't stop a person that had two with the serial numbers removed.

You can't prevent everything.

We want to try to make sense of it. We want to try to mitigate the pain by somehow surmising that there is an upside. Something to be learned. An opportunity to capitalize. A way to prevent someone intent on harming others.

But there won't be.

All we can do is pray for the families...and for the shooter's family...and for the victims of similar past tragedies for whom this will be an excruciating reminder.

Hug our kids. That's what we can do.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

re Taxpayer's Rally this weekend...

“We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.” —Sir Winston Churchill

H/T Heavy-Handed Politics: On Taxes

'65 Chevy









more Thompson clarity

Go here to read a great piece on Thompson at Captains Quarters by Ed Morrissey.

Caption this...


She: "Global Warming is real...and it's not going away...the UN and all that!!! We are killing our planet!!! We're all going to die!!!! ...so you better start...er...loving taxes!!!!!"

He: "Oh, well now that I see the depth of your convictions manifested in the convincing way you shake your finger out of concern for my ignorance on this issue...you know...maybe I should give Global Warming some more thought.

Thank you for "pointing" this out to me. You've enlightened me. I am now informed. I appreciate your concern for my welfare. May I help you hand out some of your "End of the World" brochures? Have a wonderful day and enjoy the rally."


As if...

PS did you notice the headline? The conservative attendees were "haters" and the liberals were "lovers"

Planet lovers and tax haters mix it up at State Capitol

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Classic

Remember Me

five two-out hits in a row


The Twins seem to be picking up where they left off last season...at least tonight!

...he's been playing himself ever since"

via Scott Johnson /Powerline

When I first became aware of Fred Thomspson, it was as a favorite supporting actor. It was some time later that I learned he was also a Senator, which made sense given the strong authoritarian roles he has played in Days of Thunder, The Hunt for Red October and In the Line of Fire .

I thought of him as a presidential candidate back then. Recent press on his potential candidacy is starting to manifest what was for me just a gut feeling. Thanks to the guys at Powerline for posting the article from The Weekly Standard. Here are excerpts I found interesting:

A strange thing happened a few weeks back when I went to the Café Promenade at the Mayflower Hotel for an off-the-record interview with an unpaid adviser to the non-campaign of unannounced presidential candidate Fred Thompson.
Fred Thompson showed up.

One well-dressed man with thick white hair approached him for an autograph. The same man returned to the table twice more. Each time Thompson put his conversation on hold and graciously tolerated the interruption.

There is some discontent among Republicans with the current choices for the party's nominee in 2008. The complaints are well known: Senator John McCain, the maverick Republican, is too much maverick and not enough Republican. Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani is thought to be too willful and too liberal: He recently suggested he would allow his new wife to attend cabinet meetings and reaffirmed his support for federal funding of abortion. Mitt Romney seems pleasant and competent, but pleasant and competent doesn't beat Hillary Clinton. Senator Sam Brownback is unknown and uncharismatic. And former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is from Arkansas.

In recent Republican presidential preference polls, Thompson tends to run third, behind Giuliani and McCain but ahead of Romney and the rest of the field. In a Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll released last week, Thompson came in second, just ahead of McCain, with support from 15 percent of those surveyed. In late March, Thompson won a straw poll of Republicans in conservative Gwinnett County, Georgia, earning more votes than all of the other candidates combined. And Iowa Republican party executive director Chuck Laudner told the Washington Times, "He's the biggest buzz in the state."

All of this, for a candidate who has not yet announced for anything.

If he joins the race for the Republican nomination, and if he campaigns the same way he spoke to me last week, Fred Thompson, a mild-mannered, slow-talking southern gentleman, will run as the politically aggressive conservative that George W. Bush hasn't been for four years. And the actor in the race could well be the most authentic personality in the field.

Thompson seems to recognize that he wins the guy-I'd-want-to-get-a-beer-with primary the moment he announces. He comes across as a regular guy--"folksy" will be the political cliché that attaches to his candidacy--and punctuates explanations of his positions with the kind of off-the-cuff homespun witticisms that Dan Rather spent a career trying to come up with.

Thompson was born in Alabama and lived for most of his young life in Middle Tennessee. His father sold used cars and his mother took care of the house. Neither one graduated from high school, although Thompson's father earned his high school equivalency certificate later in life. His family ate dinner every night at 6:00 P.M. "It was like clockwork," he says. Thompson was not a great student in high school. At one point, he says, several of his teachers worked together to strip him of the title given to him by a vote of his peers--Most Athletic--because his grades were substandard. His father was something of a jokester, but also when necessary a disciplinarian.

"I grew up not having anything to live up to from an economic or professional standpoint, but having a lot to live up to from a growing-up and becoming-a-man standpoint," says Thompson.


That example would be important at a young age. Thompson married his high school sweetheart at 17, and together they enrolled at Memphis State University, where he studied philosophy and political science. Thompson worked several jobs to put himself through college and support a growing family.

"I sold clothing," he says. "I sold shoes. I sold baby shoes. I sold ladies shoes. I worked in a factory."

His wife's uncle and grandfather were both lawyers, and Thompson says he wanted to live up to the professional standards of her family. The law school at Vanderbilt University had seemed an unattainable goal for an underachieving high school student from a family without means. But it was a goal nonetheless. Thompson got serious academically as an undergraduate, and won admission.

Thompson would appear in dozens of films and television shows as a character actor, often one who personifies government strength. It is a role that seems to fit. "Literally, I don't think Fred ever acts," says Tom Ingram, a longtime friend from Tennessee who now serves as chief of staff to Senator Lamar Alexander. "He played himself in Marie, and he's been playing himself ever since."

In eight years in the Senate, Thompson developed a reputation for an independent streak, yet he compiled a voting record more conservative than one might expect of one who had described himself as a moderate in his first campaign. Over the course of his time in Congress he earned a lifetime rating by the American Conservative Union of 86 percent.

His voting record suggests a strong belief in federalism. Thompson was frequently a lonely voice opposing the federalization of what in his view were state issues. His unwillingness to compromise on that principle even put him on the losing end of a 99-to-1 vote on the so-called Good Samaritan law, legislation that protected individuals from being sued if their good faith efforts to help someone in distress were unsuccessful. He thought it should have been left to the states.

As we spoke, I was struck by the fact that Thompson didn't seem to be calibrating his answers for a presidential run. On issue after contentious issue, I got the sense from both his manner and the answers he gave me that he was just speaking extemporaneously. Many of his answers would drive a poll-watching political consultant nuts.

My suspicions were confirmed when Thompson asked at one point if he could have a transcript of our interview. "I found myself talking on some subjects that I haven't really thought that much about," he explained. "Oh, so this is what I think, huh?"

In the days since Thompson allowed that he was thinking about running for president, his views on abortion have come under scrutiny. Thompson finds the news reports from his first run for Senate perplexing.

"I have read these accounts and tried to think back 13 years ago as to what may have given rise to them. Although I don't remember it, I must have said something to someone as I was getting my campaign started that led to a story. Apparently, another story was based upon that story, and then another was based upon that, concluding I was pro-choice."
But, he adds: "I was interviewed and rated pro-life by the National Right to Life folks in 1994, and I had a 100 percent voting record on abortion issues while in the Senate."

There is considerable talk among the other Republican campaigns that the Thompson boomlet is driven by little more than celebrity. Maybe. But history suggests that Thompson may actually be underpolling right now. As was the case when he ran for office in Tennessee, he has a very recognizable face but his national name identity is actually quite low.

Gallup conducted a survey in late March asking respondents an open-ended question: "What comes to your mind when you think about former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson?" Sixty-seven percent of Republicans responded that they had no opinion of Thompson or were not familiar with him. And yet he shows up in the top three choices of potential Republican nominees in most of the polling that includes his name. As voters come to associate that name with a familiar and well-liked face, and if they get to see the personable Thompson on TV, Thompson strategists assume those polling numbers can only go up.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Green Belt


Green Belt, originally uploaded by jroosh.

Islet cell transplants

Dr. Bernhard Hering of the University of Minnesota is recognized the world over as the premier expert on pancreatic islet transplants. He sees islet transplantation as the best hope for the cure of type 1 diabetes, and his optimism is supported by his research.

“A few days ago one of our patients celebrated her sixth year of insulin independence after a single-donor islet transplantation.”

“we have 50 percent of our patients, if not more, enjoying long-term success. That is more than two years, and the longest now is six years with fairly stable function.”

“Dr. Hering is looking to specially bred pigs as a source of cross-species transplants. In recent ground-breaking research, he cultured islets from pigs and transplanted them into 12 diabetic monkeys. Armed with immuno-suppressants, the monkeys began producing their own insulin, and some of them regained blood glucose control for more than 100 days.”

Diabetes Health April 11, 2007

Next!

When I was in college, I drove school bus and used to be able to listen to KQRS' morning show with the kids on the bus.

Back then the buzz was the "Happy Music" and the prediction all year that the Twins would win the World Series, which of course they did.

Since then the show has become so crude that I can't listen to it myself.

Are shock jocks out of fashion now?

Is Tom Barnard and his crew next?

Tax Cuts for the Wealthy

I know you have probably seen this before...

A brief lesson in economics: Let's put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand.

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until on day, the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20."Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 wind-fall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?'

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20,"declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man," but he got $10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!"

"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics University of Georgia

For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

H/T Lynn S.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Twins Reveal Stadium Design

This is the view looking out to right field as it would have appeared yesterday.

Twins-County ballpark design unveiled here.

Letter from Algore

Fellow MOBster Kevin Ecker wrote Algore a letter wondering how snow on the 11th of April fits into the whole Global Warming crisis, and lo and behold, Algore wrote back!

Dear Mr. Ecker,

Thank you for your inquiry.

You see, the earth…has a fever… and like when you and I have a fever, your body actually feels cooler - you see? Have you noticed that when you have a fever you actually get the chills? So what I am saying is that Global Warming causes temperatures to be unpredictable! Sometimes global warming causes the earth to be warmer, sometimes it causes the earth to be cooler. Sometimes it causes the earth to be in-betweener. It’s very unpredictable that way you see.

But don’t misunderstand me…we are all still going to die from the Global Warming/Cooling. You first though, because I will be able to evacuate in my private jet. Sorry.

You should see that baby. She’s got like a million horepressure or something like that.

Kevin…I was wondering…can we have breakfast…or lunch…or any sort of substantial meal sometime soon?

Best wishes,

Al Gore

Immune System 'Reset' vs. Diabetes

For the first time, a study reports that a small group of patients with type 1, or juvenile, diabetes were able to quit daily insulin treatments after being transplanted with stem cells from their own bodies.

USA Today

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Camille Paglia on Global Warming

No science here, just opinion and perspective...

Some excerpts from Salon.com

“I have been highly suspicious for years about the political agenda that has slowly accrued around this issue.”

“Too many of my fellow Democrats seem peculiarly credulous at the moment, as if, having ground down organized religion into nonjudgmental, feel-good therapy, they are hungry for visions of apocalypse. From my perspective, virtually all of the major claims about global warming and its causes still remain to be proved.”

“Climate change, keyed to solar cycles, is built into Earth's system. Cooling and warming will go on forever. Slowly rising sea levels will at some point doubtless flood lower Manhattan and seaside houses everywhere from Cape Cod to Florida -- as happened to Native American encampments on those very shores. Human habitation is always fragile and provisional. People will migrate for the hills, as they have always done.”

“Man is too weak to permanently affect nature”

“when I tried to watch Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" on cable TV recently, I wasn't able to get past the first 10 minutes. I was snorting with disgust at its manipulations and distortions and laughing at Gore's lugubrious sentimentality, which was painfully revelatory of his indecisive, self-thwarting character. When Gore told a congressional hearing last month that there is a universal consensus among scientists about global warming -- which is blatantly untrue -- he forfeited his own credibility.”

“Environmentalism is a noble cause. It is damaged by propaganda and half-truths. Every industrialized society needs heightened consciousness about its past, present and future effects on the biosphere.”

“But there must be a balance with the equally vital need for economic development, especially in the Third World.”

What of the Roof?


Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal - 4:47 PM CDT Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What about the Roof? The Roof? Look outside. It has to have a Roof.
If we build this stadium without a roof and once the novelty of a new stadium wears off, we will hear the national media discussing (even lampooning) why Minnesota build a stadium for a baseball team without a roof.

Please look outside today and see my previous post here.

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Stem cell transplant

Stem cell transplant promising for type 1 diabetes

Apr 10, 2007 — NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - In a small study, a treatment that included stem cell transplantation induced prolonged insulin independence in patients with newly diagnosed type 1, or insulin-dependent, diabetes.

In a statement, lead author Dr. Julio C. Voltarelli, from the Regional Blood Center in Ribeiro Preto, Brazil, called the results "very encouraging."

While the same approach has been used in other autoimmune disorders, the current study, to the author's knowledge, represents the first time the approach has been used in human type 1 diabetes.

In type 1 diabetes, a person's immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Preserving beta cells is a key concept in the management of type 1 diabetes and in the prevention of its related complications.

Voltarelli's team tested the ability of high-dose immune suppression and stem cell transplantation to preserve beta cell function in 15 patients who were diagnosed with type I diabetes in the previous 6 weeks. All of them required insulin.

Stem cell transplantation involves the harvesting and treatment of a patient's own stem cells and then returning them to the patient via intravenous injection.

During follow up, 14 patients became insulin-free — 1 for 35 months, 4 for at least 12 months, and 7 patients for at least 6 months. Two "late responders" were insulin-free for 1 and 5 months, respectively.

The therapy was well tolerated; the only severe side effects were pneumonia in one patient and endocrine dysfunction in two others.

While further study is needed, Dr. Jay S. Skyler, from the University of Miami, comments in a related editorial, "the time may indeed be coming for starting to reverse and prevent type I diabetes."

SOURCE: Journal of the American Medical Association, April 11, 2007.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

coldest April in 113 years

THIS WEEK (8-14 APR): Last year was record warm, this year record cold! April is currently tracking as the coldest April in 113 years - a dramatic change from last years #1 warmest ever. Even after some late month moderation, April 2007 will likely keep the month in the top 7 coldest in history.

lamborghini murcielatte


You have to be a motor-geek like me to know why that title is funny...then again maybe it's not.

But then neither is this:


$1750

I'm not interested if it doesn't have satellite radio.