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Archive for November, 2007

A Timely Gift

Posted by Rob Longenecker on 30th November 2007

You have read or heard of the teacher in the Sudan who allowed her class to name a Teddy bear Muhammed and will now spend 15 days in jail before being deported.

Now, just in time for Christmas comes a timely gift item.

Posted in Controversial, News You Can Use, Personal Interest, Uncategorized | No Comments »

A good way to start your day…

Posted by Rob Longenecker on 15th November 2007

HOW TO START EACH DAY ON A POSITIVE NOTE

1. Create a new file folder on your computer.

2. Name it  ‘Hillary Rodham Clinton.’

3. Drag it to the recycle bin.

4. Empty the recycle bin.

5. Your PC will ask you,

   “Do you really want to get rid of ‘Hillary Rodham Clinton’?”

6.  Firmly Click ‘Yes.’

7.  Feel better instantly.

Next week we’ll do Nancy Pelosi.

Posted in Fun, Opinion, Personal Interest | 2 Comments »

Hell at Low Altitude

Posted by Rob Longenecker on 13th November 2007

My late father-in-law was a pilot in the Army Air Corp in WWII. He flew B-24’s and was one of the pilots on the famous Ploesti raid. Now I know why he didn’t want to talk about it.

 Ploesti.jpg

See this story, “Hell at Low Altitude“ from the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page.

Posted in Good To Know, News You Can Use | No Comments »

Supreme Court to Hear Gun Case

Posted by Rob Longenecker on 12th November 2007

The city of Washington D.C. is not happy that their 31-year-old ban on guns in the District has been overturned by an appellate court and are taking the case to the Supreme Court. The case is District of Columbia v. Heller, 07-290.

The case has far-reaching consequences and no one is confidently predicting the outcome.

Pay attention to this one.

Posted in Good To Know, News You Can Use, Personal Interest | No Comments »

Happy Birthday, Marines!

Posted by Rob Longenecker on 10th November 2007

Today, November 10th is the 232nd birthday of the United States Marine Corps.

USMC_14.jpg

Best wishes to all former Marines, those currently serving and those who will do so in the future. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!

Posted in News You Can Use, Personal Interest | No Comments »

Bill Clinton Memorial?

Posted by Rob Longenecker on 8th November 2007

The Bill Clinton Memorial Fund Solicitation Letter

Dear Friends and and Acquaintences:
We have the distinguished honor of being on the
committee to raise $5,000,000.00 for a monument of
Bill Clinton .  We originally wanted to put him on
Mt. Rushmore until we discovered there was not
enough room for two additional faces.
 
We then decided to erect a statue of Bill Clinton in
the Washington D.C. Hall Of Fame.  We are having a
bit of difficulty as to where the statue should be
placed..  A committee felt it would not be proper to
place it beside the statue of George Washington,
who never told a lie, or beside Jesse Jackson, who
 never told the truth, since Bill Clinton could never
tell the difference.
 
We finally decided to place it beside Christopher Columbus, the
greatest Democrat of them all.  He left not knowing
where he was going, and when he got there he did not
know where he was.  He returned not knowing where he
had been,  and did it all on someone else’s money.
 
If you are one of the fortunate people who have
anything left after taxes, we expect a generous
contribution to this worthwhile project.
 
Thank you.
Bill Clinton Monument Committee
 
P.S. The Committee has raised $1.35 so far.

P.P.S And another thing…..Now let me get this straight. 
Bill Clinton is getting $12 Million for his memoirs.
His wife Hillary got $8 million for hers.
That’s $20 million for memories from two people, who for eight
years repeatedly testified, under oath, that they
couldn’t remember anything.
 
God Bless America !

Posted in Fun, Opinion | No Comments »

Positive Questions

Posted by Rob Longenecker on 7th November 2007

In a recent workshop we discussed people’s frustration with using affirmations to cause change or improvement in their lives. In most people’s experience the positive impact of affirmations was pretty weak and inconsistent.

Affirmations such as, “It’s always easy for me to get what I want” sometimes result in the little voice in the back of your head saying, “Yeah, right?”

The suggestion now is to ask yourself positive questions instead. I’ve tried it and am making it part of my daily routine.

Ask yourself, “Why is it so easy for me to get what I want?” You may not hear an answer but your subconscious will look within for the answer, and you’ll end up re-wiring your brain.

“Why do I love my life?”

“Why do I take such good care of my health?”

“Why do I so enjoy what I do for a living?”

My experience with postive questions has been very good. 

Sure beats the heck out of, “Why am I so screwed up?”

Ask that question and your subconscious will answer that one, too.

Posted in Inspiration, Personal Interest | 3 Comments »

64 Slices?

Posted by Rob Longenecker on 5th November 2007

Someone out there may find this to be a life-saver. The 64-slice CT scan is not the CT scan we’re familiar with. If you find this interesting and look to find a hospital with one of these new machines in your area, be sure to confirm it’s this new type. See the image below. It’s like the doctor has your heart in his hand and can turn it in any direction for viewing. More info.

Caution:

The new techmology offers higher definition and faster scans, but inherent to all scans to date is the problem of differentiating calcium deposits from the two main types of plaque. As good as they are, they’re not perfect (and neither are all of those who interpret them).

CT Scan Effectively Diagnoses Heart Blockages

msct_anim.gif

A study by an international team of cardiac imaging specialists, led by researchers at Johns Hopkins, concludes that sophisticated computed tomography (CT) scans of the heart and its surrounding arteries are almost as reliable and accurate as more invasive procedures to check for blockages.

Researchers say the newer, 64-slice CT scans, first introduced in the United States in 2005 and initially tested at Hopkins, won’t replace the need for inspecting arteries by cardiac catheterization, also known as coronary angiography, but the scans will help cardiologists more quickly rule out those who can skip the more invasive procedures. Studies suggest that as much as 25 percent of the 1.3 million cardiac catheterizations performed each year in the United States may be unnecessary.

The latest study also showed that early detection with 64-CT is a good predictor of who will need angioplasty or coronary bypass surgery to open up new blood supply routes to the heart.

Results showed that on average 91 percent of patients with blockages were detected by 64-CT and that the scans were able to diagnose 83 percent of patients without blockages. This reliability, researchers say, allows them to accurately identify patients who need angioplasty or bypass surgery. More than a quarter million Americans undergo coronary bypass surgery each year.

In the study, investigators selected 291 men and women over the age of 40 who were already scheduled to have cardiac catheterization to check for blocked arteries. Each underwent a 64-CT scan prior to catheterization. Participants were then monitored through regular check-ups to identify who developed or did not develop coronary artery disease and who required subsequent bypass surgery or did not need surgery.

After the first year of monitoring, to continue annually until 2009, researchers found that results from 64-CT scans matched up 90 percent of the time with results from invasive catheterization in detecting patients with blockages.

In other measures, researchers found that 64-CT scans were 83 percent to 90 percent accurate, while tests using older, 16-CT scans were in some instances only 20 percent to 30 percent as precise.

“This study is the first step to realizing the full potential of CT imaging in predicting coronary artery disease, and these scans complement the arsenal of diagnostic tests available to physicians to prevent heart attacks,” says cardiologist Julie Miller, M.D., who led the study at Hopkins.

The new study also suggests that the new scanners, four times quicker than the more widely used 16-CT, may be a good alternative to cardiac stress testing, which evaluates heart function by measuring the effects of hard exercising. Exercise stress testing generally cannot safely be performed on the weak and elderly.

Miller, an assistant professor at Hopkins, says the advanced scanners are so good that physicians can for the first time measure blockages in blood vessels as small as 1.5 millimeters in diameter. Older 16-CT scanners, she says, are best suited for looking inside bigger arteries, those ranging in diameter from 2 millimeters to 4.5 millimeters, and to calculate the amount of calcium buildup in the arteries, also a predictor of the degree of blockage, “but now we have a more-advanced test that actually measures the amount and volume of blockage present.”

She says older scanners were not as powerful, either, unable to image as much as 25 percent of the smaller blood vessels that branch out from the heart’s main arteries. However, the 64-CT scanner picks up as much as 98 percent of the heart’s arterial network (and lacks good images for only 2 percent.)

Miller points out that early detection of blockages is critical to pre-empting a heart attack, allowing time for drug therapy, angioplasty or heart bypass surgery to be used to keep arteries open. In coronary artery disease, hardened bits of fat and dead tissue, called plaque, build up along the inside wall of the blood vessels, impeding the body’s natural blood flow and leaving the narrowed opening more vulnerable to formation of blood clots.

The advanced CT scanners, she says, produce pictures within five to 10 seconds, while cardiac catheterization, which also checks the function of heart valves and muscle, takes between 30 minutes and 45 minutes to perform, and requires almost an hour for recovery. Potential complications from the invasive procedure include infection, heart attack and stroke, but they are rare.

“And we no longer need to wait until a patient is stabilized before performing this diagnostic test, as no anesthetic is needed for CT scanning,” says Miller.

In CT imaging, each X-ray measurement lasts just a fraction of a second and represents a “slice” of an organ or tissue. The greater the number of detectors — the device being used in this study has a total of 64 – the better the picture resolution. A computer then uses these slices to reconstruct highly detailed, 3-D images of the heart and surrounding arteries. In cardiac imaging, a patient is injected with a contrast solution to increase the visual detail.

Posted in Good To Know, Personal Interest | 1 Comment »

The Ant and the Grasshopper

Posted by Rob Longenecker on 3rd November 2007

Two Different Versions!

OLD VERSION:

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed.

The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself!

————————————————————————-
MODERN VERSION:

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. America is stunned by the sharp contrast.

How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing, ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green.’

Jesse Jackson stages a demonstration in front of the ant’s house where the news stations film the group singing, ”We shall overcome.’ Jesse then has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper’s sake.

Nancy Pelosi & John Kerry exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity for Grasshoppers Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.

Hillary gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal judges that Bill Clinton appointed from a list of single-parent welfare recipients.

The ant loses the case.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant’s food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant’s old house, crumbles around him because he doesn’t maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow.

The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood.

MORAL OF THE STORY:  Be careful how you vote.

Posted in Fun, News You Can Use, Opinion, Personal Interest | No Comments »

Is it constitutional?

Posted by Rob Longenecker on 1st November 2007

GOVERNMENT

In each new Congress since 1995, Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ) has introduced the Enumerated Powers Act (HR 1359).

Simply put, if enacted, the Enumerated Powers Act would require Congress to specify the basis of authority in the U.S. Constitution for the enactment of laws and other congressional actions. No specific authority – no law.

The 10th Amendment to the Constitution says: ‘The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved for the States respectively, or to the people.’

Congressional power actually is limited by the Constitution but no one’s been holding them to account. Rep. Shadegg’s bill would change that.

Somebody really is “looking out for you” on this one. Support him, if you can.

 

Posted in Good To Know, News You Can Use, Opinion, Personal Interest | No Comments »