Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Bush faces GOP shift on stem cells: "Rep. Randy 'Duke' Cunningham, 63, a conservative representing the San Diego area, says he wants to have a heart-to-heart talk with President Bush soon about embryonic stem cell research. He wants to change the president's mind."

"A Pew Research Center poll in 2002 indicated that Americans, by a 43-38 margin, favored performing research on stem cells over protecting embryos. In a poll at the end of 2004, that margin was 56-32."

"While Bush firmly rejects the bill on the grounds it would allow the use of federal dollars for the destruction of embryos, using the issue to fire up the Republican base in 2006 congressional elections may have limited impact. The GOP base includes many social conservatives opposed to stem cell research, but the vote last week showed a growing number of GOP congressional supporters."

"'Bush must be acting out of conviction [in threatening a veto] because the politics just don't add up,' said Thomas Mann, a Brookings Institution scholar. The vote 'reflects the broad support for stem cell research, even among those who consider themselves pro-life.'

"Opponents call expanded financed stem cell research unethical and immoral, and that is essentially Bush's position. Considering that support for the bill is strong in the Senate, Bush would be faced with vetoing a bill that has strong congressional and public backing.

"'The problem is that opposing the bill that passed the House is akin to opposing abortion in the case of rape,' said Republican political consultant Whit Ayres. At the very least, the House vote suggests the embryonic stem cell research issue may have limited utility for Republican candidates in future elections, unless public opinion turns around on the issue."

"Cunningham said when he speaks to anti-abortion groups about his position on stem cell research, 90 percent to 95 percent of the people understand. The congressman said he changed his position on the issue two years ago when a prominent San Diego medical scientist, Lawrence Goldstein, convinced him that many of the embryos in question would otherwise be discarded. He said he would convey that message to Bush."


This argument, "that many of the embryos in question would otherwise be discarded," to most on the Left seems obvious, and to a weakening majority on the Right is a "tough issue."

However, this argument is problematic for several reasons: For one, the embryos—tiny children—do not have to be discarded, but can be cryogenically frozen, and later adopted by couples who want (more) children to love.


Second, this "otherwise discarded" argument says nothing about what would happen to these tiny children, if we did turn the scientists loose on them. They may be embryos now, but no scientist that wants to study them and experiment with them intends to keep them as embryos. They want the tiny child they study to grow from an embryo into a fetus.

They want to study how it grows. They want to make sure that tiny child grows organs and tissues. They would then take those organs and tissues from that child and experiment with them in children and adults with "debilitating diseases" whose own organs are no longer functional.

They would take those organs because that is what the law requires. Taking those organs would kill that child. Thus, this law would require the killing of those tiny human beings. This would be the first law in the history of the United States to require the killing of human beings.

But as so many want us to say, if we put aside the killing part for a minute; would embryonic stem cell research produce prolonged life, less suffering, and cure diseases in adults? Would fetal tissue work as a replacement for adult tissue?


One of the cruel ironies in this debate is that so far in every case researchers have already tried the answer has been it will not. It is very likely that the reason they do not work is they are dissimilar. In every other area of medicine, doctors and researchers try to find the closest match to a patient. For some reason things are different here, and the researchers and politicians are trying to tell us that immature organs and tissues will miraculously work in mature adults.

That, in fact, is why adult stem cells have worked so well. Mature adult stem cells from healthy adult tissue grow into tissue that will be similar to the once-healthy, diseased tissue they're intended to replace in mature adults. That's why there have literally be hundreds of successful therapies developed from adult stem cells. Adult stems cells are the ripe area of research; embryonic stem cells do not even make a good alternative.


The astute observer of the biotechnology industry will remember that only recently did the Human Genome Project complete a map of the human genome. This project took 13 years to complete. This is just for a map; that doesn't mean we understand any of it.

Embryonic stem cell research is where they study how the human genome turns an embryo into a fetus, infant, young child, adolescent, and then finally adults that eventually get diseases and die. To suggest, as many in favor of this research have, that we will understand all this in a few decades is highly presumptuous.


But let's say in three hundred years or so, once Google has completed its mission, we do finally understand what each part of the human genome means and how embryonic stem cells work. What will we do with that information? Will the sure death of many tiny children in the process mean our ability to cure diseases is sure? Would we actually cure those diseases if we could? What if in some cases we can only predict diseases?

It is then that we begin to cross into unknown territory such as genetic discrimination. Even Senator Hillary Clinton recently spoke about our genetics being "the mother of all pre-existing conditions."


The other cruel irony here is this debate has nothing to do with whether or not we're going to study embryonic stem cells. This debate is over whether or not federal funds from the people of the United States will fund this research. Most people forget, and few remind them, that there is currently nothing illegal about embryonic stem cell research.

The private sector has all the freedom in the world right now to take embryos, let them grow, study them, and take their organs and tissues for use in all the experimentation the imagination can muster. Yet, despite all the promises of "enormous promise for addressing debilitating diseases," we have not seen the private sector invest its resources in this research. This is not because it has moral objections, but because there have been no successful therapies generated by this research. No therapies mean no return on investment.

The biotechnology industry also has the freedom to lobby the federal government to fund its embryonic stem cell research. The "enormous promise" is the federal funding. Once begun, the flow of federal funding is difficult to stop. What would be there then to stop the "harvesting" of embryos even now some supporters say they oppose? This is territory where even the most optimistic showings of restraint disintegrate into irrelevance. Federal funding of this research turns what had no return on investment into an endless return on investment.


But at what price? Put aside the money for a minute and think about what will we have lost as a nation? What will we have lost when we kill many tiny people while bringing false hope to a few people who are going to die anyway?

We have the freedom to speak up and say we don't want to fund the killing. We have the freedom to speak up and say we want to stop the killing. We have the freedom to speak up and say, "Let someone adopt these precious children."

Saturday, May 28, 2005

'I am my beloved's': "Every true Christian Love Story that is worth telling has a unique history that goes far back beyond the time when two people first meet and fall in love. An infinite number of circumstances, some big, some small, and most, only known to an all-knowing God, must fall into place before they fall in love."

Friday, May 27, 2005

The Senator's Guide To Safe Sex: "It's not every day that a U.S. senator gives a lecture and slide show about risky sexual activities—complete with gross pictures of the naughty bits."
Experts: Orlando storm risk is up: "The southern half of Florida, including the Orlando area, is more likely than normal to feel hurricane winds this season, based on predictions to be released today by a University of Central Florida professor and a Georgia colleague."

"The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting at least seven hurricanes during the 2005 season, which starts Wednesday, with at least three of those becoming major storms. NOAA's expectation of a six-month period more active than normal roughly matches the latest forecast by William Gray, the Colorado State University meteorologist who popularized hurricane-season prognostication."

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Hamming It Up at Radio Meets: "If you think you know what a nerd is, try visiting a swap meet or convention where amateur radio operators like to hang out.

"You will not see many people wearing fitted Gap shirts and fancy eye wear at the MIT Swapfest here or at the Dayton Hamvention in Ohio. Both are occasions for amateur, or ham, radio buffs to buy gear and trade tips for improving their transmissions to places that phones and computers often can't reach, particularly during emergencies.

"Despite threats to ham radio bands from RF interference caused by technologies such as broadband over power lines, or BPL, the number of Federal Communications Commission amateur radio licenses last year topped more than 683,000, an all-time high. But unless you visit events like the MIT Swapfest or the Dayton Hamvention, you may never encounter these übernerds directly."
Google hits the business world: "That many of Google's services are free—including the search engine, Google Maps and Gmail—may have some Internet users wondering how the Mountain View, Calif.-based company is as profitable as it is. At market closing time on yesterday, the company's stocks were $255 a share, nearly three times as much as they were when the company went public last August. The answer is simple: advertising."

"For now, Google executives said that they would focus on continuing on in their core mission, 'organizing all of the world's information and making it universally accessible,' according to Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt.

"And there are many miles to go. Schmidt joked that the task would take 300 years. 'And we've got 294 years to go.'"

A Successful Failure

"Defying President Bush's threat to impose his first veto, a broad swath of House Republicans voted with an overwhelming number of Democrats yesterday to repeal his restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research and plunge the government deeper into the controversial science that supporters say could lead to cures for debilitating diseases.

"The 238 to 194 vote, unusual because 50 Republicans broke with Bush and top House leaders, followed a highly personalized, occasionally tearful debate in which a parade of lawmakers recounted medical tragedies that had afflicted their families, while opponents contended that the science is built on destroying human lives.

"The legislation, which has strong support in the Senate, would make federal money available for research on embryonic stem cells extracted from frozen embryos donated by couples who no longer need them for fertility treatments. It would lift a restriction imposed by Bush nearly four years ago that limits federally funded research to fewer than two dozen embryonic stem cell colonies, or lines."

"Bush said last week that he would veto the bill. With the debate underway at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, he underscored his opposition by holding an East Room ceremony surrounded by children whose families had adopted them as embryos. The same families had appeared several hours earlier on Capitol Hill, with parents and children alike sporting stickers that said 'Former Embryo.'"

"Opposing the bill, House International Relations Committee Chairman Henry J. Hyde (R-Ill.) drew scattered applause when he compared the legislation to the failure of a former generation to recognize the humanity of Dred Scott, the slave whose suit for his freedom led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling.

"'For the first time in our national history, taxpayers' dollars are going to be spent for the killing of innocent human life,' Hyde said. 'We're going to pay a terrible price for not recognizing the humanity of these little embryos.'

"The small, vigorous group of opponents lobbied instead for more research on stem cells that are harvested from bone marrow and other organs, such as the pancreas or liver, and perhaps the umbilical cords of newborns.

"House leaders paired the Castle-DeGette bill with legislation promoting research on stem cells derived from discarded umbilical cord blood. Cord blood cells have cured dozens of diseases, but those achievements have been limited to diseases of the blood. That bill passed 431 to 1." ...

George W. Bush: "The children here today remind us that there is no such thing as a spare embryo. Every embryo is unique and genetically complete, like every other human being. And each of us started out our life this way. These lives are not raw material to be exploited, but gifts. And I commend each of the families here today for accepting the gift of these children and offering them the gift of your love."

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Rep. Harold Ford Jr. Files for Senate Bid: "Democratic Rep. Harold Ford Jr. filed the federal paperwork Wednesday to run for the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Majority Leader Bill Frist.

"The five-term congressman from Memphis is the second Democrat to enter the 2006 race. Frist has said he does not plan to seek a third term.

"'I'm excited. I'm ready to go,' Ford said in telephone interview from Washington. He said his top issues will be energy reform, national security and education."

"State Sen. Rosalind Kurita is the only other declared candidate for the Democratic nomination. Republicans running for Frist's seat include former Reps. Ed Bryant and Van Hilleary and former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker."
Priscilla Owen Confirmed As Federal Judge: "Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen won Senate confirmation as a federal appeals judge Wednesday after a ferocious four-year battle, a personal triumph that also marked a victory for President Bush in his drive to install conservatives on the nation's highest courts.

"The 55-43 vote was largely along party lines, and made the 50-year-old jurist the first of Bush's long-blocked nominees to win approval under a newly minted agreement by Senate centrists meant to end years of partisan gridlock."

"The final debate over Owen's nomination was utterly without suspense following Monday's 81-18 vote to advance her nomination to the brink of confirmation."

"Republicans said that over the years the Senate spent parts or all of 22 days debating her nomination—a total that Frist said exceeded the time devoted to all of the nine sitting members of the Supreme Court.

"On the final vote Owen drew support from 53 of the Senate's Republicans, as well as Democratic Sens. Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. Opposed were 41 Democrats, Republican Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and James Jeffords of Vermont, an independent. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, a supporter of Owen, voted present. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, did not vote."

Democratic Senators not part of the compromise, voting in favor of cloture: Senator Inouye (D-HI) who was part of the original agreement to vote for cloture did not vote on cloture either way.

Particularly disappointing votes in favor of continuing the filibuster were Senators Biden (D-DE), Dodd (D-CT) and Feingold (D-WI).

Monday, May 23, 2005

Senators Reach Compromise on Filibusters: "Centrists Republicans and Democrats reached a compromise Monday night to avoid a showdown on President Bush's stalled judicial nominees and the Senate's own filibuster rules, officials from both parties said."

"Under the agreement, Democrats would pledge not to filibuster any of Bush's future appeals court or Supreme Court nominees except in 'extraordinary circumstances.' For their part, Republicans agreed not to support an attempt to strip Democrats of their right to block votes."

C-SPAN: Judicial Confirmation Compromise Agreement:"In addition to the twelve senators who spoke, Senators Lincoln Chaffee (R-RI) and Daniel Inouye (D-HI) also signed onto the agreement."

Freshman Sen. Salazar in Thick of Talks: "Freshman senators typically are seen but not heard. They devote their first few months in office to figuring out how the Senate operates and finding their way around the Capitol. Rarely do these first-termers participate in negotiations on an issue as important as the future of the judicial filibuster with all its implications for Congress and the courts.

"Yet, among the self-appointed group of 12 Republicans and Democrats determined to work out a compromise on President Bush's stalled judicial picks is Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., on the job a mere five months."

"The explanation for Salazar's involvement encompasses his politics, the 2004 election results in his home state and a campaign pledge that Republicans and conservative groups won't let him forget.

"In the closing days of his race against Republican beer magnate Peter Coors, Salazar, then the state attorney general, said he supported an up-or-down Senate vote on judicial nominations. He also joined several other state attorney generals in backing William G. Myers III, a former solicitor of the Interior Department nominated to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals."

Sunday, May 22, 2005

At magnet school, computers are key: "Four years after opening its doors, Crooms Academy of Information Technology is graduating its first class of seniors.

"Year by year, the school has built toward Thursday afternoon, when 99 graduates will pick up their diplomas during ceremonies at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre in Orlando."

"Already, 62 are going to college, with several others still making plans. Most will pursue additional education in computer technology."

"Every student is given a laptop to use at school and home, and classrooms are jammed with desktop computers, electronic chalkboards and other technical gizmos.

"Classes are small, often with only about 20 students."

"The old Crooms Academy, which was Seminole's high school for black students during segregation, seemed to some an unlikely place for the county's new magnet school for computer technology when it opened in August 2001.

"But by the following spring, a $15 million renovation of the aged campus was completed. Each fall, an additional grade level was added, finally bringing four grades and an enrollment of 540."
'Buy American' legislation draws fire: "Adding fuel to the debate over U.S.-international trade, a tech industry group is blasting 'Buy American' legislation passed by the House of Representatives this week.

"On Friday, the Information Technology Association of America called the measure bad security policy and bad economic policy. The legislation, an amendment to the Homeland Security Authorization Act, would force the Department of Homeland Security to buy products mostly made in America.

"The legislation was authored by Rep. Don Manzullo, an Illinois Republican, and passed by the House on Wednesday. It would require more than 50 percent of the components in any end product procured by the department to be mined, produced or manufactured inside the United States.

"'With this purchasing prohibition, I guess (the department) will have to learn to do without computers and cell phones,' ITAA President Harris Miller said in a statement. 'I cannot think of a single U.S. manufacturer that could meet this 50 percent threshold for these devices, and I doubt that those charged with protecting our safety here at home can either.'

"Manzullo said the measure is in the tradition of the Buy American Act, passed during the Great Depression. 'When U.S. taxpayers' dollars are spent, we must make sure the federal government is buying as much of their goods and services possible from U.S. manufacturers,' Manzullo said in a statement Wednesday. 'This legislation preserves the intent of the Buy American Act while helping to restore the U.S. industrial base and creating jobs for Americans.'"

Buy American provision likely to die in Senate, critics say: "A House Armed Services Committee-passed provision that could ban European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company subsidiary Airbus from competing with Boeing for the Air Force's lucrative tanker contract is not likely to survive the Senate.

"House Armed Services Chairman Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., offered the amendment during the final hours of marking up the fiscal 2006 defense authorization bill.

"It would prohibit the Defense Department from contracting with foreign firms that receive government subsidies, as Airbus does from European countries."

Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) has introduced the Buy American Improvement Act of 2005
to increase the requirement for American-made content and to tighten the waiver provisions.

In a speech about an earlier version of his legislation, Sen. Feingold called the current waiver provisions a "gaping loophole," and also called for increasing "the minimum American-made content standard for qualification under the Act from the current 50 percent to 75 percent.

"The definition of what qualifies as an American-made product has been a source of much debate. To me, it seems clear that American-made means manufactured in this country. This classification is a source of pride for manufacturing workers around our country. The current 50 percent standard should be raised to a 75 percent minimum."
Star Wars, George W. Bush, and Jesus

Matthew 12: "He who is not with Me is against Me."

Mark 9: "He who is not against us is on our side."

Luke 9: "He who is not against us is on our side."

Luke 11: "He who is not with Me is against Me."

George W. Bush: "Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."

Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader: "If you're not with me, you're my enemy."

LucasFilm spokesperson Lynn Fox: "Those lines were written a very long time ago, well before George Bush took office."

Lucas moves on after Star Wars: "George lucas is going straight back to work after wrapping the last installment of sci-fi franchise Star Wars, to make a movie about World War II fighter pilots."

John 3: "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

Saturday, May 21, 2005

66 degrees in Alexandria,Scattered Clouds..
Winds out of the North at 12mph. Thank you for flying Chevy Cavalier. Please take all your carryons.

Ending mileage: 85,298. 12 hours, 10 minutes later. 830 miles, driving time 11:39.

Beginning mileage: 84,462

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Adrian Strengthens Into Hurricane: "The Atlantic hurricane season is still two weeks away, but the first hurricane of the season in the Pacific is taking an unusual path toward the Caribbean.

"The Atlantic season officially begins on June 1, but this sneak peak of storm season is a reminder that Florida may be in for another busy year, WESH 2 News reported.

"Adrian strengthened into a hurricane Thursday and moved closer to Central America. Outer rainbands are already reaching the coasts of El Salvador and Guatemala."

Related Links: Weather
Camping isn't always roughing it: "Businessmen give PowerPoint presentations in a rustic setting where black bears roam. A couple share a romantic dinner after a grueling day of paddling the Wekiva River. In the morning, after a good night's sleep on a cushy bed, the guests are treated to a breakfast of souffle and fresh fruit.

"Welcome to the planned Hammock House, a three-bedroom bed-and-breakfast at Rock Springs Run State Reserve. While luxury lodges and cabins have existed at state parks for years, officials say this is the park system's first B&B.

"It's additional evidence that people increasingly want to enjoy the outdoors—without having to endure the outdoors."
Congress Pursuing Repeal of D.C. Gun Laws: "A fresh move is afoot on Capitol Hill to overturn local gun laws in the nation's capital."

"'Many people live in the district during the week who are members of Congress and they would like to be able to protect themselves in their homes,' said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, who wrote the District of Columbia Personal Protection Act of 2005. Hutchison said if the measure passes, she will resume her longtime practice of keeping a handgun in her bedroom."

Second Amendment: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
A Call for Boldness: "The things urged on the president were scaled back to the slightest, simplest things that could be requested, and yet it was made clear that even the slightest things were too much to ask. Such as what? What about simply informing hospitals and clinics that there was such a thing as the Born-Alive Infants' Protection Act—that it was against the law now to withhold medical care from a child who survived an abortion? Even this year, administrators at hospitals professed not to know of this law. In the spring of 2003, we thought we had an agreement at the White House that the secretary of Health and Human Services would issue such a circular. Why did it take nearly three years? And why did the press to make this move have to come from the Congress, or from people outside the administration? Why not from the White House?"

"After the Born-Alive Act was passed, I suggested, in memos to the White House, that he consider moves as simple and costless as this: He could note that the Born-Alive Infants' Protection Act provides no penalties, criminal or civil. The bill was meant as a 'teaching bill,' you might say, mainly to plant premises in the law. But now the president could simply ask one of the committees on the judiciary, in either house, to consider the question of what an appropriate penalty might be for withholding medical care from a child born alive. And yet—I would have had the president say—let us make the question even gentler. Instead of threatening people with jail, or with knock-out fines, why don't we simply remove federal funds from hospitals and clinics who withhold medical care, or who perform the hideous partial-birth abortions? The only further exertion for the President was merely to pose one more question, either to Congress or his attorney general: What counted as a recipient of 'federal funds'? Did the formulas of the Civil Rights Restoration Act apply? In other words, if anyone entering a clinic was receiving a Social Security check or being covered by Medicare, was the whole place now a 'recipient of federal funds'?

"It was just the posing of questions. No executive orders, no major arguments. Entirely costless. But Ronald Reagan showed that he could set off weeks of discussion on late-night television, and stir hearings in Congress, simply by observing that fetuses feel pain. With the placing of those simple but pointed questions, the president could have set off deep tremors among the Democrats—the kinds of tremors that could indeed amplify into grave tensions, unsettling his adversaries, and yet setting the ground for other, serious measures. Was that really too much of a burden for a president to bear?"

"The Dred Scott decision on slavery was not undone by appointments to the courts. It was undone by a national, political movement led by Lincoln, and the resistance was felt in legislation long before it was felt in the courts. That political movement shaped the climate of opinion in which judges would work. We've had now 25 years of appointments to the courts by Reagan, and two Bushes, and we know the sorry record. We would also be engaging in a remarkable act of collective illusion if we imagined that even a Supreme Court, suitably altered, would move soon toward the overruling of Roe v. Wade. The courts are more likely to make their way to that end if the climate of opinion has been noticeably altered."

"Even Hillary Clinton makes sounds of reaching out to that pro-life constituency so massively lost to the Democrats. But she and her friends are evidently incapable of doing anything but making the most cosmetic of changes. This new move of the administration—this move to begin enforcing the Born-Alive Infants' Protection Act—is the gentlest of moves, and yet it is a momentous breakthrough."

"If the Congress moves with these further steps, I myself believe that nothing will hold the Democrats together. They could be pushed here into a crisis that could be terminal for them on this matter. We never expected to see the Soviet empire collapse in our lifetime; and here, I actually believe that we could be at the edge of the endgame on abortion. The administration has now produced, as I say, a breakthrough quite striking. This is not the time to hold back in doubt. If there was ever a time to push on, with measures gentle but pointed, this is surely that time. And to take a line from Lincoln, may the vast future not lament our failure to act right now, with measures so moderate, so focused, so readily within our grasp."

A Picture Share!

Return trip prep!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Yesterday, 10am, beginning mileage: 82,650; arrival in Shelbyville, Kentucky: 7pm.

83,241 miles leaving Shelbyville, Kentucky.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

What If They Filibustered American Idol?: "I had a nightmare. I may be the only person on the planet who's never watched American Idol, which is why this is so weird.

"Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson, the regular judges on Fox's hit TV show, were replaced for one night by none other than Sens. Ted Kennedy (D-Massachusetts), Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and the Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada). If you think Simon is cold, you should have seen these guys.

"Only one contestant performed on the show. Even though he was a smash hit, millions in the audience were denied the right to vote on the Italian-American singer named Francis Albert Sinatra."
Making work exciting, rewarding and enjoyable: "Bakke says selecting a mission, or purpose, is crucial because it becomes an organization's definition of success. He told the audience that he was often asked about the differences between AES and competitor Enron. With that in mind, he asked them to ponder, 'Would Enron have been a different place if it had had a different purpose?'

"Bakke explained that while Enron hired the best and brightest employees, their mission was to conquer the world. He said AES hired bright people too but had a much different goal, focusing on serving the world. 'And that made all the difference,' he said.

"Bakke said most people hate their jobs, mainly because they lack freedom. 'We have political freedom. We have market freedom. But when it comes to jobs, almost always people are told what to do, when to do it and how to do it,' he said. 'It doesn't have to be that way.'"

"'It isn't about winning,' he said. 'Winning is not the key to a joyous workplace. It's having a chance to use your skills to make a difference in your organization.'"

"In his struggle to give up power, Bakke looked to his Harvard days for a system to 'give others the ball.' He realized only one thing would work. 'As the boss and leader, I had to change.' Bosses have fun because they have the ball all the time, but me having the ball at all the important times kept everyone else from having a chance.'

"Bakke even went so far as to limit himself to one significant decision a year. He doesn't believe in management of people, but management of systems.

"His grassroots effort to start a revolution 'may even start here at Ross,' he said. His goal is to not only create joy in organizations, but humility in the top executives who run them.

It's that humility, along with love, that Bakke says are the two most significant characteristics of leaders. 'Bosses need to love the people they lead so much that they're willing to give up their own joy and power in order to see other people act as human beings,' he said.

"'Every person is a thinking, creative person who wants to make a difference in the world. As leaders, if we find a place where we can think, reason, take action, make decisions that affect the outcome and hold ourselves responsible for that outcome, it's absolute joy. That's the revolution I'd like to start.'"

"Bakke also said that people are people, and people need to be led. 'I hope you aspire to be a leader, not a manager,' he said."

Bakke "is currently president and CEO of Imagine Schools, a company that operates elementary and secondary charter schools in 10 states."
Federal Pilots to Cessna: 'You will land that aircraft': "Two lost aviators flying with outdated maps from a rural Pennsylvania airstrip triggered a red alert at the White House yesterday, along with the frantic evacuation of the Capitol and the Supreme Court, before they were intercepted by Air Force jets lobbing warning flares.

"The 15-minute aerial encounter, watched by rapt workers in downtown Washington office buildings, turned out to be a blunder by confused fliers in a small plane, but it illustrated how easily potential danger can trip the capital's tightly wired alert systems."

"Capitol Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer said: 'This guy probably came as close as he could come without getting shot out of the air.'"

"In Pennsylvania, relatives and neighbors expressed shock that Martin and Sheaffer had wound up in so much trouble while on a flight to an air show in Lumberton, N.C."
Wikipedia Is The Second Most Popular Reference Site: "Wikipedia, the Open-Source Encyclopedia Web site that allows its users to create and edit its entries freely, is now the second most-visited reference Web site—up from number 13 at the beginning of last year, and number three in January, according to data released Monday by research firm Hitwise.

"Dictionary.com remains the most popular reference site on the Internet."

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

What do you consider when applying for a job? Dennis Bakke recommends that you look beyond the 401K, payroll and other benefits, and see if the employees are happy—can they make decisions; do they smile?

Think beyond pay and benefits as you shop for a job: "Bakke, a Harvard MBA graduate, proposes that the primary reason employees are unhappy is that they are not given the ability to make decisions about what they do in their work place—they give up control about much of their lives as soon as they show up for the job.

"He suggests that employers should be less involved in managing people and more involved in actually being leaders.

"The hard part in making this a viable approach is not with the employees; it is with management letting go of their control, according to Bakke."
Dennis Bakke and the general management club: "We often feel that the purpose of business is to maximize shareholder value, and that work need not necessarily be that much fun.

"Well, Mr. Bakke boldly stated that business was never meant to maximize shareholder value. As shock and awe reverberated throughout Huntsman, one could hear a pin drop in the room full of 80 MBAs. He went on to say, 'Business was meant to serve the world, not conquer it,' as old AES rival Enron attempted to do, and that 'one of the most difficult things to do as a leader is to balance these competing priorities.'

"A central theme of Mr. Bakke's philosophy is that as a leader, the best way to implement a 'serve the world' mentality is to make work fun for people. How do you make work fun? As Mr. Bakke explained that people do not want to work for the money, investment bankers started to shift uncomfortably in their seats.

"On the contrary, insisted Mr. Bakke, people want to work to make a difference in their surroundings. Mr. Bakke then introduced his concept of 'Bakke Ball' which is the idea that people want to have the opportunity to take the last shot in a basketball game in order to win. Just as basketball players want to control the outcome of the game, employees need opportunities to influence decision making in companies.

"Now, this sounds like a rosy idea that we have all heard (or did we?) in Management of People at Work, but how would one implement this idea in a company? According to Mr. Bakke, the key is to create accountability for people (in basketball terms, this means keeping score). The key steps to creating 'joy at work' are allowing people to reason, to think, and to take action.

"The only way to accomplish this as a senior executive is to give your people chances to 'shoot the ball.' This is a real challenge for leaders as it requires them to suppress the desire to have control and to allow other people to have their own opportunities. The two essential traits for leaders in order to create 'joy at work' are humility and love—namely, caring for the human element and understanding that you do not have to make all the decisions."

Bakke's Top Ten
  1. When given the opportunity to use our ability to reason, make decisions, and take responsibility for our actions, we experience joy at work.
  2. The purpose of business is not to maximize profits for shareholders but to steward our resources to serve the world in an economically sustainable way.
  3. Attempt to create the most fun workplace in the history of the world.
  4. Eliminate management, organization charts, job descriptions, and hourly wages.
  5. Fairness means treating everybody differently.
  6. Principles and values must guide all decisions.
  7. Put other stakeholders (shareholders, customers, suppliers, etc.) equal to or above yourself.
  8. Everyone must get advice before making a decision. If you don't seek advice, "you're fired."
  9. A "good" decision should make all the stakeholders unhappy because no individual or group got all they wanted.
  10. Lead with passion, humility, and love.
Virginia Republican Candidates:

Governor: Jerry Kilgore
Lt. Governor: Sean Connaughton
Attorney General: Bob McDonnell

These are for a Virginia Republican primary June 14th. There may be others, but they haven't sent me anything in the mail, so no mention for them.
DC Festival with Luis Palau: "Envision the biggest party you've ever attended. Multiply attendance by 100 or even 1,000. Now add two full days of fun, awesome Christian bands, an exciting children's area, world-class Livin It Action sports demos, and opportunities to see your friends and family come to Jesus Christ. That, my friend, is a Luis Palau Festival."

October 8-9, 2005
The National Mall

Great Music! Good News! Free Admission

Artists: Steven Curtis Chapman, Third Day, Israel & New Breed, CeCe Winans, tobyMac, Kutless, Jaci Velasquez, Jump5, Yuri

"More than four decades after arriving in America from his native Argentina, Luis Palau has followed his calling: to spread the powerful word of God. Whether on stage speaking to a crowd of 300,000, counseling with pastors, or in a White House prayer meeting, Palau consistently remains one of America’s most effective and compelling spiritual communicators."

"His festival evangelism ministry, traveling to numerous cities and countries each year, has all the best elements of today’s most popular music festivals (everything from hot contemporary music acts and exotic food stands to a full-blown, stand-alone extreme sports skate park).

"Though these elements help draw the masses and provide a constant source of entertainment, Palau never loses sight of his ministry’s ultimate goal: to show people how the word of Jesus Christ can bring peace and fulfillment.

"'A nation will not be moved by timid methods,' says Palau, explaining why his free festivals have attracted millions of young people and families of all races and denominations. Today’s generation understands music and culturally relevant communication, but they don’t understand the church. They don’t understand the concept of the traditional Christian.

"Fifty-five percent of the USA is now considered the seedless generation; they don’t have the seeds of knowledge or the fundamentals."
Marshrutka Diaries: "Georgian tradition demands that guests be treated as 'gifts from God,' and today the government is making sure President George Bush will feel his divine status. He certainly ranks among the elite of Georgia's visitors, not only is the man doing wonders for Georgia's image, even before arriving he has lit a fire under the bureaucratic posteriors in Tbilisi and set off an unprecedented rebuilding campaign. Unfortunately in the history of Georgia, not all guests have been such talismans."

"AES: You don't really feel welcomed when your chief financial officer is murdered and other executives are arrested. It has doesn't help that you run Tbilisi's electric system, Telasi, and customers prefer not to pay for electricity. From the time the company arrived in Georgia in 1999 to the point it sold its stake to Russia's RAO UES in 2003, the trouble never stopped. The company's trials and tribulations in Georgia have now been immortalized in the excellent documentary by Paul Devlin, Power Trip."

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

A Picture Share!

This is a test of Mobile Blogger. As of tomorrow, I will be on vacation from this place for 12 whole days!

Monday, May 9, 2005

How To Build a Stone Oven: "Though some ministers abroad now enjoy modern facilities and equipment, the 'do it yourself' tradition is still—necessarily—very much alive at New Tribes Mission."

Friday, May 6, 2005

Washingtonians will gather on the National Mall to kick off the 7th Annual "Screen on the Green" film festival on July 18th when HBO and Citibank present the romantic favorite, "THE WAY WE WERE." The free outdoor festival will continue with screenings each Monday evening at sunset through August 15th.

Each film will be shown on a giant 20' x 40' outdoor screen on The National Mall between 4th and 7th Streets. Everyone is invited. Screen on the Green is free and open to the public.

Film Schedule:

JULY 18—THE WAY WE WERE (Sony/Columbia) Opposites can and do attract. Radical political activist Barbra Streisand meets the guy of her dreams, Robert Redford, in this Grade A Hollywood romance. Some serious melodrama (McCarthy era blacklisting) is discernible amidst the gloss, but it's mostly about star power, star power, star power. Marvin Hamlisch's score and the title tune won Oscars. "Memories..." (1973)

JULY 25—THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (Warner Bros.) John Huston's direction of this corrosive tale of gold lust in the Mexican mountains won an Oscar. Ditto his screenplay. Yet another award went to the director's father, Walter, for his performance as a crusty old prospector. Humphrey Bogart is a fellow treasure hunter. The drama achieves Shakespearean dimension in conveying the tragic effect of greed on ordinary mortals. (1948)

AUG. 1—SUSPICION (Warner Bros.) Dashing playboy Cary Grant sweeps rich wallflower Joan Fontaine off her feet. Does he marry her for the money? Will death do them part? Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense, is working in a subtle mode this time. Watch how he can make even a harmless glass of milk take on sinister overtones. Fontaine scored a Best Actress Oscar for her effort as the lady with suspicions. (1941)

AUG. 8—WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINA WOOLF? (Warner Bros.) You're invited to George and Martha's for an evening of bitterness, backbiting and booze. Let the games begin! Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton are explosive as the bickering couple acting out scenes from a miserable marriage. Sandy Dennis and George Segal co-star in Mike Nichols' perceptive take on Edward Albee's prize-winning play. (1966) 129 Min.

AUG. 15—THE BIG SLEEP (Warner Bros.) Never a model of narrative coherence, this legendary film noir sports a dazzling abundance of talent. Humphrey Bogart (as private eye Philip Marlowe) and Lauren Bacall star, Howard Hawks directs and the screenplay (based on a Raymond Chandler novel) is co-written by William Faulkner. It all has something to do with blackmail, homicide and two slinky sisters named Sternwood. Don't fret about clarity. Even Mr. Chandler wasn't always sure whodunit. (1946) 114 Min.
Wikipedia: See 'Information,' 'Amazing,' 'Anarchy': "As Wikipedia says about itself, the point is not that it's hard to make mistakes but that it's easy to correct them. Because thousands of people—ordinary, unpaid, outside participants—monitor and edit Wikipedia, errors and vandalism are often corrected in seconds."

"Open architecture is in some sense the only possible way to do what an encyclopedia purports to do: represent the state of human knowledge in real time. Such a project is by its nature so huge that it requires what Wikipedia has: thousands of experts, editors, checkers and so on with expertise in different fields working over a period of years.

"Also, Wikipedia, unlike the World Book, for example, or even Encarta, is updated continuously. When we use the term 'public property,' we usually mean state property, but Wikipedia compromises the concept of ownership without dispossessing anyone: It is truly public property."

"If the vandals are successful, they'll more or less confirm the common wisdom that people are too evil and miserable to be allowed to govern themselves.

"But if Wikipedia grows into the greatest reference work ever made, it will suggest that great things are possible when you merely let people go and see what happens."

And yet, what the Founders knew was that it was because people were evil that they should govern themselves with checks and balances on that power.

Thursday, May 5, 2005

University of Michigan Graduation: Larry Page (MP3)

Advice:
  • have confidence
  • fail often
  • have a healthy disregard for the impossible
  • you have a huge opportunity to use engineering, technology and business skill to improve the world
  • do things that matter
  • have fun because otherwise you won't succeed
  • travel—China, Africa, and India
Our mission at Google: build the ultimate search engine

You are now Michigan engineers: save the world by building your dreams!

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Rescued teen: 'Well, if we don't make it, we know where we're going': "Teenagers Josh Long and Troy Driscoll survived six days on a 14-foot sailboat in shark-infested waters off the Atlantic Ocean without food or fresh water.

"The pair traveled more than 100 miles from where they began their journey off Sullivans Island, South Carolina, on April 24."
Sprint Launches Enhanced Roadside Rescue and Directory Assistance Services: Sprint "introduced a pair of location-based services that will enable its customers to access driving directions and roadside assistance through a simple wireless voice call. The new services are available upon request to most Sprint customers subscribing to Roadside Rescue, which provides assistance for motorists, or to customers who use their Sprint PCS Phone to dial 411 to reach Sprint PCS Directory Assistance."

"In the future, Sprint anticipates additional opt-in location-based voice services and location-based data services as well. Possible applications include mapping services to provide detailed maps, traffic information and points of interest such as nearby ATMs, gas stations and restaurants; and weather applications to supply current information and forecasts even when users are uncertain of area ZIP codes.

"Sprint is also exploring location-enabled applications for business needs, such as workforce management and field force automation."

Monday, May 2, 2005

The online ad attack: "Online advertising is becoming a serious rival to the traditional sort. Google's new advertising service could make the internet an even more valuable marketing medium.

"This year the combined advertising revenues of Google and Yahoo! will rival the combined prime-time ad revenues of America's three big television networks, ABC, CBS and NBC, predicts Advertising Age. It will, says the trade magazine, represent a 'watershed moment' in the evolution of the internet as an advertising medium."
Police to Learn Spanish in Fairfax County: "Communicating with the public is a big part of community policing, but Fairfax County police face a challenge when people speak a different language.

"The department is sending 10 of its police officers to a 22-week Spanish emersion course. The course includes training in different dialects, Spanish culture, and basic language skills."
Seventh Grader Takes Best in Show with Ham Radio Science Project: "When James McDowell, KI4FZY, suggested that his science fair project be about Amateur Radio his science teacher was reluctant. It seems that his teachers were not aware of Amateur Radio and how it related to his studies. James was persistent and finally convinced them that his experiment, demonstrating the relationship between peak envelope power and effective communications, would be a relevant project."

Sunday, May 1, 2005

NASA Delays Shuttle Launch Until July: "The U.S. space agency on Friday moved back the launch of the first shuttle since the Columbia disaster from May to July over concerns that ice might chip off and damage it on liftoff.

"The administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Michael Griffin, announced the delay of the shuttle Discovery's liftoff to a launch window of July 13 to 31."

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You don't launch a popular blog,
you build one.
Seth Godin