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Cheney’s Heart Examined (again) November 27, 2007

Posted by chuckwh in Al Gore, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Gore Years, News and politics.
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Doctors made a stunning discovery while administering an electrical shock to former Vice Presidential candidate Dick Cheney’s heart during a 2 1/2 hour hospital visit Monday.

Although the procedure was described as a low-risk, standard practice, Cheney, 66, was discovered by George Washington University Hospital doctors as having a heart about 1/10th the size of normal, and full of mysterious anatomical anomalies.

Dick Cheney's heartCheney, who has a history of heart problems, was discovered to have an irregular heartbeat around 7 a.m. when he was seen by doctors at an NRA round robin animal hunt. He remained in the field throughout the day, joining MLB baseball commissioner George W. Bush in a round of squirrel shooting.

The irregular heartbeat was determined to be the result of atrial fibrillation, an abnormal rhythm involving the upper chambers of the heart, said spokeswoman Megan Mitchell. But it was later found Cheney had a bizarre and previously unknown physical condition that followed patterns resembling those within the human brain, according to doctors.

“Atrial fibrillation is extremely common,” said Dr. Zayd Eldadah, an electrophysiologist and director of cardiac arrhythmia research at Washington Hospital Center. “But what we found was not common, and will require further study. Apparently, Mr. Cheney takes in information via the brain somehow, and emits gunfire from what we are now referring to as Primary and Secondary Output aortal tubes. We think this may explain some of his violent tendencies.” Cheney has long been a thorn in the Gore Administration’s side, and has often called for the invasion of several countries.

Eldadah said Cheney’s underlying heart problems were probably a factor in his atrial fibrillation. Aging is a common factor, too.

“He’ll probably have other episodes,” said Eldadah, who is not involved in Cheney’s care. “Atrial fibrillation in and of itself is not threatening. The problem is the strange gunpowder coming out of what we used to call the Superior vena cava and the left pulminary arteries. In Mr. Cheney’s case, they appear to be more like mortars, such as what you might find on a battlefield. As best as we have been able to determine so far, information comes in to his heart (see graphic), and ballistics go out.”

About 2.8 million Americans have atrial fibrillation, the most common type of irregular heartbeat, and cases are increasing as the population ages. But to date, no one is known to have grown any kind of artillery-related matter within the complex heart structure.

In 2005, Cheney had six hours of surgery on his legs to repair a kind of aneurysm, a ballooning weak spot in an artery that can burst if left untreated. In March, doctors discovered that he had a deep venous thrombosis in his left lower leg. After an ultrasound in late April, doctors said the clot was slowly getting smaller.

“It could be that all of that is related to the gunpowder in his heart,” said Eldadah.

When Eco Tourism Becomes the Enemy November 24, 2007

Posted by chuckwh in Environment, global warming.
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This picture, from the New York Times (see the article on the NY Times site by clicking here), just makes me wonder if all the eco-tourists now trampling through the rain forests and taking their cruise ships down to the antarctic aren’t helping to create the havoc many of them claim to be fighting. Maybe, instead of feeding the oceans more pools of oil as the result of a sinking ship, they should spend their money on the causes of global warming.

Those of us living in the Bay Area already know too well about how an accident from one ship can cause catastrophic damage to the environment.

This doesn’t look like eco-tourism to me. It looks like eco-pollution.

Image Source: New York Times (http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2007/11/23/world/23ship5.600.jpg)

Story URL: http://preview.tinyurl.com/36s7m3

You know your demographics are getting a little iffy when … November 21, 2007

Posted by chuckwh in News and politics.
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Your WordPress search referrals are showing stuff like this:

http:// …./katalogus?q=16%20year%20old%20girls%20in%20ass%20sex&mode=2&hol=1&ocr=no

I’d love to get his read on his likely destination point:

https://thegoreyears.wordpress.com/2006/10/21/is-rupert-murdoch-a-terrorist/

Mr. 16 year old lover, if you could respond, that would be great.

Wishing They’d Play Nice November 21, 2007

Posted by chuckwh in Barack Obama, Barak Obama, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Obama.
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Today I find myself hoping that Hillary and Obama start to play a little nicer with each other. The reason is based on pure strategy. If Hillary wins the nomination, it seems to me that a Hillary/Obama ticket could very possibly lead to 16 years of non-Republican governance.

If you want to see the full effects of what can happen when a country changes its political pendulum check out the video here:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/mlasalle/detail?blogid=38&entry_id=22097

When Ronald Reagan was elected, it signaled a massive political tsunami that has had America reeling for more than a quarter century.

Imagine an American president doing what Richard Nixon, a Republican, did, and imposing wage and price controls. The right wing would probably scramble to Texas and declare it a sovereign state, just to get away from the horrors of federal economic controls.

If progressives want to return to liberalism, it will require more than the obvious necessity of capturing hearts and minds. It will require that Democrats (sadly, the closest thing we have to liberalism) don’t shoot themselves in the foot when it is so clear that the government is theirs for the taking for a very long time.

If Obama wins, I’m sure Hillary won’t be the Vice Presidential candidate, but if Hillary wins, Obama seems like a perfect fit. Right now, the attacks are really fairly soft. Candidates have taken bigger shots at each other and found themselves as running mates. But I hope both sides keep a close eye on their gun happy artillery men.

A Lot Can Happen During Seven Years of a Good Presidency November 19, 2007

Posted by chuckwh in News and politics.
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President Gore will keynote the Bali Protocol meetings set for two weeks from today, and word is trickling in that he will attempt to bring the expanding Asian powers into fuller compliance with the environmental standards set in Kyoto. To accomplish this, Gore is said to be keen on promoting heavy incentives for India and China to participate more fully in the process.

In the complicated world of the Kyoto Protocol, China and India are largely absolved from making major attempts to promote a green industrial policy (all of this stuff is regulated by an almost impossible to understand “protocol” involving things like Annex I and Annex II nations and a complicated set of bizarre stock market-like brokerages on environmental policy — google it if you’re doing a thesis on international law).

Greenhouse trendsIt’s unclear what Gore has in mind with regards to these incentives, but with the American dollar at an all time high it’s expected that he’ll offer some U.S. assistance on R&D.

At the same time, Gore has long answered his Republican critics, who correctly point out that China has probably overtaken the U.S. as the world’s epicenter of greenhouse gases and should bear some responsibility, by emphasizing that the U.S. needs to, if necessary, “go it alone”.

As he famously said during his inaugural address, “the earth is not waiting for nations to agree on a protocol. It may be that she’ll wheeze her last breath before all of us decide on a unifying strategy for defeating global warming. With that in mind, my colleagues here in Congress all know my record and my opinion on the environment. I will make the environment the number one issue we discuss in these hallways, because it is.”

So, as we all know now, the U.S. went alone and breezed past even the most ambitious hopes of the most strident European greens. This happened in spite of, or maybe because of, the events of 9/11 (there’s no debate that the environment was NOT the number one issue discussed in congressional hallways in the days immediately after 9/11).

Since then, the U.S. economy has boomed as thousands of start ups, supported in no small part by an expanded S.B.A. (Small Business Administration), have capitalized on Green Fervor.

One estimate by the National Association of Realtors claims that 15% of all American homes are now equipped with solar panels, thanks partly to the continued housing boom and the green home equity incentives passed by the Democratic Congress.

A lot can happen during seven years of a good presidency.

The American auto industry, once on the verge of collapse, has been strengthened by the Gore Administration’s industrial policy, which provided insane incentives for the research and development of greener cars. Detroit has undergone a renaissance under Al GoreToday, 87% of all new cars sold in the American market are either hybrid (electric and combustion engine), hydrogen, or all-electric. That figure is 93% in California. Remember, this was an industrial policy criticized fervently by progressives as corporate welfare. That same corporate welfare has given new meaning to the term “renaissance”, especially in Detroit.

A lot can happen during seven years of a good presidency.

There are no fewer than 37 solar power farms in Arizona and California that have sprouted up in just the last six years or so. Each generate at least 500 megawatts of electricity, with the massive Stirling Energy complex south of Phoenix, expected to go online early next year, expected to generate 1500 megawatts. This range, 500 to 1500 megawatts, is the general range for the coal and gas fired power plants that dot the Chinese landscape, and it is here where maybe American companies, with a little help from correct industrial policy, can help tip the trade imbalance between the U.S. and China more towards the U.S. This new energy infrastructure has happened without any effort from the Gore Administration other than Gore’s use of the bully pulpit.

A lot can happen during seven years of a good presidency.

Even the price of oil is under control, despite the voracious appetites of the biggest carbon eaters, India and China. Iraq has resumed its role as a huge exporter, even though it is still a nation in conflict after the fall of Saddam. Venezuelan President Chavez and American President Al Gore are huge friends, despite the fact that Chavez has nationalized almost half of his nation’s industry and professes a fondness for Fidel Castro (yet, ironically, he is said to have such a strong bond with Al Gore that he is reported to have told Gore personally he would never let America “go dry” with oil, to which Gore is said to have said, “we need to go dry.”).

A Lot Can Happen During Seven Years of a Good Presidency.

Most amazingly, the attacks of September 11 are becoming a footnote to history. It was an awful day for Americans. It was an awful day for the world, too, as the outpouring of support showed. Many people, from many countries, died on that day. But the American president didn’t panic or fall into the trap of jingoism. Instead, he showed the way in a sane, rational way.

A lot of bad can happen, too, during seven years of a presidency. We who live in America are fortunate, on this Thanksgiving eve, that things did, under Al Gore, turn out okay, not only after 9/11, but, more importantly, on a much more important day, December 28, 2000, when Al Gore officially was named the winner of the November elections.

Nobody can know what terrible things might have happened to our country if December 28th had not happened.

Maybe George W. Bush would have been the moderate Republican he claimed to be, and everything would have been fine.

I suspect, though, if we were allowed a quantum leap into a different, Harry Turtledove-like scenario, that things would have turned out much differently than they did.

I suspect that seven years of a good presidency could have gone horribly bad. And so, this Thanksgiving eve, I am thankful for a world in peace, a world that seems to be collectivizing into a broad hope, under the knowledge it all could be a very different world.

Image Sources: Wired (http://www.wired.com/news/images/full/solardish1_f.jpg), see http://www.wired.com/science/planetearth/news/2005/11/69528

Michigan Business Directory (http://image.pegs.com/images/MC/DTWDT/dtwdt_b1.jpg), see http://www.michiganbusiness.us

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: Is the NFL Any Good Any More? November 13, 2007

Posted by chuckwh in Chicago Bears, Chicago Sports, Rex Grossman, sports, sports injuries.
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I am a Bears fan. So you’d expect that I’d be glad to see Adrian Peterson go down with a torn lateral collateral ligament. In fact, after the way the rookie ripped through the Bears’ defensive line a few weeks ago, I should have doffed my cap at Al Harris for planting himself into Peterson’s knee.

But I’m not happy. Not at all. I love football, and I love NFL-style football the most. It’s just amazing to watch people play at that level. And when someone special comes along, I want to see him play for a long time. After all, it’s hard for a guy like me not to appreciate a player achieving pro status. My most memorable high school football moment is a game when I felt all giddy after some guy leveled me, and then reached out his hand out to my unconscious, dazed self to help me get up. So it’s hard not to appreciate when players just, simply, become pro players.

George HalasAnd when they make their peers look like giraffes dancing at a DanceJam, well, that takes watching them to a new level.

I don’t like it being taken away.

My first thought was that Harris launched himself like a rocket and aimed at Peterson’s knee, but the replay showed a different scenario. Harris simply dove down (in a way that would throw my back out for weeks) and Peterson’s knees ran into him. In other words, a clean play.

Good football players get taken out all the time by clean plays like this. I don’t recall how Chicago’s favorite QB, Rex Grossman, got hurt early in his career, but I assume it was through a clean hit.

I found that frustrating, too. Here was my team, the Bears, with potentially their first really great quarterback in a very long time, and he’s taken out of the action so early in the season that I don’t even have time for my first bowl of popcorn. Of course, as it turns out, Rex is not a great quarterback but I had no way of knowing that when he got hurt.

That injury ruined the season for me as a Bears fan.

This year, the Bears, again, have been hit hard by injuries. I guess it’s fair to say all teams do (except the Patriots, for some reason). The Colts lost this year’s Super Bowl against the Pats not in small part to the fact that Marvin Harrison was out. In fact, significant injuries are taking down so many players that even the online injury charts are having a hard time keeping track of them.

If you have any question about the effect of injuries on team play, just have a gander at this site: http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/injuries.

Pay special attention to the IRs (Injured Reserve, which means they’re out for the season). That’s a lot of people gone for the season.

The problem with this whole situation is that there are no real bad guys. The speed of the game has increased significantly since the days of George Halas. Now, the game is more like Rollerball.

Rollerball!

Imagine trying to run around a field while random projectiles the size of large couches are being fired at your knees the entire time, and you can start imagining the life of a pro football player. Imagine that those couches weigh between 230 and 340 pounds.

Remember when William Perry was a freak of nature? A 300+ pound lineman with vault? Today, you can’t find an NFL offensive line with an average weight under 300 pounds.

I don’t know what the answer is. Change the game? How? Mike Ditka, the former Bears coach, has been on an offensive geared towards helping retired players with debilitating injuries find help, but that doesn’t help me. I just want to be able to watch the next great football star without wondering when he’ll get destroyed.

A Tom Brady fan, or a Peyton Manning fan, or Brett Favre fan will tell you that the greats escape injury. I think, with quarterbacks, I do agree with that. Even though I’m a Bears fan, I love Favre, because he’s a football player first, and a quarterback second, even though he is about to eclipse Dan Marino’s all time yardage record. No real Bears fan will tell you they hate Favre. They might, if you get them drunk enough, tell you they wish he had been a Bear. But they will never, ever trash a guy like that.

But QBs have always been targets, and those that survive have always earned their accolades.

What’s happening today is different. So many of the really good players, at all positions, are getting hurt that it’s not so much fun to watch the NFL anymore.

How long do you think it will take, for example, for Devin Hester to get his injury? If I was a Vegas bookie, I’d create odds for it. If he’s around three years from now, it will be a complete shock to me.

I find myself turning away from football because as soon as I get excited about a guy, even if he’s on another team, he gets hurt. Maybe I’m getting old, but I’m not into blood sport. And that’s what the NFL is turning into.

Image credits: Rollerball: http://www.cinemablend.com/reviews/Rollerball-209.html

George Halas: http://www.nndb.com/people/032/000115684/

Javed Hashmi wins Pakistani Presidential Election November 4, 2007

Posted by chuckwh in News and politics, Pakistan, World News, World Politics.
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Pakistan’s Javed Hashmi (Urdu: جاوید ) was officially named President of Pakistan in an electoral college vote by Pakistan’s parliament, which is controlled by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (پاکستان مسلم لیگ ن). Sharif’s party gained control in recent parliamentary elections two years after the Gore Administration helped broker an end to the rule of General Pervez Musharraf, who took over in a 1999 coup d’état.

The election is generally seen as another blow against radical fundamentalists in the Muslim world, particularly in the wake of popular elections that saw various factions of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, also known as the United Council of Action, routed in the special parliamentary elections that followed the end of Musharraf’s rule. How Musharraf, who is now Army Chief of Staff, will get along with the new government is anybody’s guess. The army still wields considerable influence in Pakistan, and most observers say that if the government displays tendencies that appear too extreme, the army could step in at any time.

However, the Gore Administration has made it known that another military coup would have serious repercussions within the Gore administration. “We’d have to look at our relationship, top to bottom, were that to happen,” said U.S. Secretary of State Joseph Biden recently when asked what the U.S. reaction might be to another Musharref coup. The various factions of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, many of whom favor an extreme form of Sharia (Islamic law), including the Hudood Ordinance , were expected to fare better than they did in the parliamentary elections. “We have to recognize that Pakistan is a Muslim state,” said Biden in an interview with the Washington Post on the eve of the parliamentary elections. “It’s in the constitution of that country. So getting our panties in a bunch when some Muslim groups get elected isn’t really the way to go. Our policy, and part of the Gore Doctrine, is that democracy, in order to flourish, must be authentic.”

The Gore Doctrine, which was instituted shortly after 9/11, is centered around the promotion of democracy “without intervention,” a novel concept in American politics.

Republicans have criticized the doctrine as Muslims have gained considerable influence in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, and other nations, but Gore has consistently pointed out that all of these nations are responsible members of the “family of nations.” All the Muslims political parties that have gained power, including Turkey and Pakistan, have created moderate governments. In fact, Turkey, which is on the verge of joining the EU, is undergoing an economic renaissance, partly as a result of the economic boom spreading throughout the Middle East since Gore’s Bill of Hope, which was passed shortly after 9/11.

And now Pakistan is hoping to ride the wave of prosperity that has engulfed the Middle East and is transforming India and China into economic powers.