Saturday, October 24, 2009

Peter Schweizer at Big Government: Obama vs. the American businessman.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Obama to tax ICDs, pacemakers

I just read this story over at The Hill:

The more the fiscal details of the healthcare bills emerge, the more appalling they seem. The Senate Finance Committee bill includes a broad provision taxing all manner of medical devices. This tax includes such frivolous luxuries as pacemakers, stents, artificial heart valves, defibrillators, automated wheelchairs, mechanized artificial limbs, replacement hips and knees, surgical gurneys, laparoscopic equipment and the like.

Funny, I just now finished reading physician David Gratzer's new book,Why Obama's Government Takeover of Health Care Will Be a Disaster which states that if Barack Obama has his way, the American health care system is headed for a train wreck. The train wreck is here, folks, and if we don't continue to fight back, those of us with severe medical problems will pay the price.

Labels: ,

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Is shouting the new spanking?

The New York Times has an article about shouting being the new spanking (via Instapundit):

One study that did take a look at the topic — a paper on the “psychological aggression by American parents” published in the Journal of Marriage and Family in 2003 — found that parental yelling was a near-universal occurrence. Of 991 families interviewed, in 88 percent of them a parent acknowledged shouting, screaming or yelling at the kids at least once (though it didn’t specify how many did it more often) in the previous year.

“We are so accustomed to this that we just think parents get carried away and that it’s not harmful,” said one of the study’s lead authors, Murray A. Straus, a sociologist who is a director of the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire. “But it affects a child. If someone yelled at you at work, you’d find that pretty jarring. We don’t apply that standard to children.”

Call in the troops, 88% of parents in a study dared to shout or yell at a kid at least once in a previous year. Does anyone out there find the extreme concern over this behavior by parents concerning itself? While yelling or shouting in an inconsistent manner is not a good way to discipline, yelling to show displeasure once in a while is hardly a sin. Screaming just to scream is not helpful but asking in an angry tone why a child did something wrong seems, well...normal. A parent's displeasure can sometimes teach little Jane or Johnnie how to act--and sometimes, gasp! that might call for a displeased tone.

Spanking is considered child abuse, now shouting is frowned upon. Is there anything parents can do to correct their child that places like the New York Times don't despise, besides timeout which merely teaches a child that hitting his or her sibling gets the same lame punishment as making a mess on the floor?

Update: The Last Psychiatrist has more on Shouting vs. Spanking.

Some good news...

Trudy Schuett: Shreveport Times recognizes domestic violence is not a gender issue.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

David Harsanyi: "...if this administration can't handle one cable station's opposition, what does that tell the American people about its mettle on issues that matter?"

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Is modern man a wimp?

That's a resounding "yes" according to Australian anthropologist Peter McAllister:

LONDON (Reuters) - Many prehistoric Australian aboriginals could have outrun world 100 and 200 meters record holder Usain Bolt in modern conditions.

Some Tutsi men in Rwanda exceeded the current world high jump record of 2.45 meters during initiation ceremonies in which they had to jump at least their own height to progress to manhood.

Any Neanderthal woman could have beaten former bodybuilder and current California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in an arm wrestle.

These and other eye-catching claims are detailed in a book by Australian anthropologist Peter McAllister entitled "Manthropology" and provocatively sub-titled "The Science of the Inadequate Modern Male."

It seems to me that living longer and developing the technology to lead a better life than a Neanderthal means that modern humans are hardly wimps. It depends how one defines the term.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Would you show up to support prostate cancer?

Jeff Jarvis talks about what it is like to have prostate cancer (via Althouse):

You may not want to read this post. It defines TMI. But in the interest of continuing to chronicle the saga of my prostate cancer – for the benefit, I hope, of those who follow – the time has come to write about my penis. Specifically, what it doesn’t do.

Incontinence and impotence are two frightening words for a grown man but they are the side-effects of removing the prostate and its cancer with it. Worth the price, or at least that’s the calculation one makes beforehand: Cancer or erections? Cancer or dry underwear? Cancer loses.

Honestly, I don't think it's too much information (TMI). I think men don't talk about these health issues and they get overlooked. The squeaky wheel gets the grease and all that.

I recently was in a local spa and they were raving about doing services for breast cancer awareness week that were donated to that cause. I applauded them but asked if they would be doing anything for prostate cancer. "Sure!" said the owner. Just let us know when." The problem is that no one takes up much of a cause for prostate cancer but I think it is partly because men wouldn't show up. Women all over had organized the spa event and made it a success. I realize that men would need something more than a spa event.

What would it take to get you to show up and help support the cause?


Sunday, October 18, 2009

How important is charisma?

This morning, I started reading a new book, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience after noticing the title. The book is written by Carmine Gallow, a columnist at I like reading anything that improves my communication skills, so I thought I would give it a try.

But rather than sifting through the book to learn how to give a better presentation, I focused on one paragraph describing "charisma" and I decided to share my thoughts (more like free associations) with you. The paragraph is as follows:

What you'll learn is that Jobs is a magnetic pitchman who sells his ideas with a flair that turns prospects into customers and customers into evangelists. He has charisma, defined by the German sociologist, Max Weber as "a certain quality of an individual personality, by virtue of which he is set apart from ordinary people and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities." Jobs has become superhuman among his most loyal fans. But Weber got one thing wrong. Weber believed that charisma was not "accessible to the ordinary person." Once you learn exactly how Jobs crafts and delivers one of his famous presentations, you will realize that these exceptional powers are available to you as well....

I have been thinking about the quality of "charisma" lately and I really have more questions than answers. What sets some people apart from others? What is it about some people that commands better treatment, more people listening to them and a higher level of social status? Is it charisma or some other trait or appearance?

But more importantly, why do some people attribute others with charisma with supernatural or superhuman powers when they are only....human? I believe it is dangerous to attribute human beings with exceptional powers, for none are deserving of this. It's great that Jobs develops so many great products that help the world but that only makes him a human being who makes good products, not a god.

My husband says that perhaps this trait, to see people as superhuman and charismatic is genetic and like all things genetic, there are variations. But then how do we break those people who see political leaders and others as godlike when they are anything but? Sure, charisma can sometimes be a positive force, but it can also be a very dangerous one, getting people to go along with a con artist, a narcissist, or a psychopath. What if some people can't tell the difference?

Labels: ,