Monday, December 29, 2008

17th Amendment History

There are a lot of links and sites about the 17th Amendment and quite a few call for the repeal of same. The above provides a short history.

Just Another Plague

Something from Forbes---

Some more historical reading for you---

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Another Link to Read

Thursday, December 25, 2008


I'd like to discuss the relationship of the pharmaceutical industry and comments made recently by Ray McDaniel, the CEO at Moody's. This introductory sentence may seem disparate but allow me to continue.

For almost 18 years as a medical provider, I have been "privy" to information and recommendations to numerous name brand medications and supporting studies documenting the efficacy of same by various pharmaceutical representatives through the years. A little over a year ago, I finally decided to divorce myself from what I would call a propaganda campaign by pharmaceutical companies and instead would base patient-centered therapy along non-biased decision making. Needless to say, I have dropped off the proverbial "radar" of the reps that frequent our office and I generally feel quite happy with my decision. The reality is that, from my perspective in most cases, cheaper generic medications are equal to the more expensive brand names touted by the pharmaceutical market.

Now, how does this relate to the CEO over at Moody's?

An online comment to a recent letter I wrote regarding the Nixon Doctrine was quite illuminating for me in terms of my desire for election to the US Senate in 2010. A reader recommended that I have a look at comments made by Ray McDaniel, Moody's CEO that was generically entitled "Rating Erosion by Persuasion" and alluded to on the Committee on Oversight and Govenment Reform website chaired by Henry Waxman. One of the comments that Mc Daniel made was “Analysts and MDs [managing directors] are continually ‘pitched’ by bankers, issuers, investors” and sometimes “we ‘drink the kool-aid.’”

As a medical provider and a US Senate candidate in 2010, the above comments represent a continuing pattern as to the influence of lobbyists/special needs groups
onto specific target audiences---not just onto medical providers generally but also to the higher realm of institutions that influence the greater common good of the United States.

Recently, I had read that the latest Rasmussen Report showed that only 9 percent of voters gave Congress a "good or excellent" rating and only 2 per cent thought Congress doing an excellent job. This is "single digits" territory here. And from my perspective, this represents an abysmal failure on the part of both the Senate and Congress to get their collective acts together. And does the Senate and House truly represent the needs of the American population? More importantly, can the needs of American banking and industry merge with the realpolitik of the average American family to produce a winning quid pro quo?

Based upon my experience with the pharmaceutical industry, I can understand how a busy "practitioner" in the finance community could become the proverbial victim to another supposed expert within this field in which information could then sway original decision making processes. In this particular case, I can theoretically understand how the whole mortgage and banking debacle evolved. I, myself, can reflect on similar tactics utilized by pharmaceutical reps peddling their own products through the years.

In either case, the expectations of both consumer groups were directly influenced by special interest needs of specific industries...amd usually for the benefit of the interest groups themselves. I am a strong proponent of both reviewing and implementing a process in which there is true oversight in the analysis and protection of the basic needs of our citizenry within all spheres of potential political influence.

If we as a society can not trust our own government and its intents, then we as a populace will end up losing any chance in both maintaining and assuring our mandated Constitutional rights and expectations of those we elect to represent us.

Santa Claus

I know that it's been awhile since my last posting but things have been a bit frenetic personally with several issues which have cropped up. Anyhow, it is now Christmas. At whatever point that a reader may stumble upon this blog, one of the more consistent issues that I will always remain firmly committed that Santa Claus (or cultural variations thereof) does exist. How this may relate to a US Senate position remains unclear. I ran across the following link that discusses the quantum physics of the phenomenon as to how Santa gets the job done. I distinctly recall reading a paper years ago that reviewed in depth the nature of how this being transcends our thought processes of physics in general. The notion of the time-space continuum is blurred when it comes to the essence of Santa Claus. In this particular case, I suppose that my interest in realpolitik can be swayed by a decent proposal of scientific evidence and theory.

In other words, Merry Christmas. And it really does not matter when you finally read this posting. I wish the magic and awe of a being such as Santa to be reinvigorated into your real world.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Two Different Articles

I decided to lump these two stories together on the same posting. Perhaps there is a relationship...perhaps not.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Blue Ocean/ Political Strategy

I want to discuss one of the main tenets of the book Blue Ocean Strategy. Go get a breakdown on the book over at Wikipedia if you have the time. Or better yet---grab a copy either at your local library or skim the various chapters at a local bookstore. I've mentioned this before that if you're a business owner, a look at this book's premise would be quite valuable.

One of the concepts advanced within the development of a strategic business plan is to 'make your opponents/competitors irrelevant" versus the standard business style of "beating the competition". Essentially the book looks at two oceans of business practice. The Red Ocean is the "bloody water" of intense rivalry and competition within any given arena of business endeavor in which competing interests go after a finite market for a larger share of the proverbial "pie". A Blue Ocean represents essentially a means of differentiation in which a business goes "outside the box" and cuts loose fom the competition for that same slice of the pie and in turn creates a strategy of developing more innovative leadership and product/service development...essentially leaving its competition irrelevant.

This is the focus I'm pursuing in my quest for a seat in the US Senate. I've had some people comment that I don't stand a snowball's chance in hell in winning the election given the backroom deals and the sheer amount of money and powerplays that usually go into a race for a US Senate seat. On the other hand, these same people think it's great that I'm making an effort at the same time.

As I've told them (and had mentioned previously in another posting)---I'm not running against anyone and refuse to allow that thought process to take away any of my energy. Whoever is my opponent is technically irrelevant in terms of my perspective and style and what I have to offer. I don't care how much money is being generated to advance the cause of any of my opponents; again, what my future opponents wish to do to advance their cause and totally irrelevant.

The issues we face are of much greater import and appreciating, understanding and advancing the generic good of our citizens are the drivers for me in pursuit of the US Senate---the energy I prefer to spend on these goals is more germaine to the development of my perspectives in the national political arena.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Letter to the Editor

I forgot to include a week or so ago that our primary newspaper here in Delaware published my posting "Nixon Doctrine". Here's the link to the letter:

I appreciate the courtesy and plan numerous additional letters/essays in the near future.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Blagojevich and Statistics,0,3288567.story

The above link deals with a Chicago Tribune article on that Illinois governor. I will get to that in a moment.

I have been working on an essay and posting regarding my recommendation to establish a national standard for determining true representative statistics of any politically based statistic that is produced by the federal government. That sentence has a lot of material to digest and so I will be working upon this thought over the near term and present further information. Suffice it to say, I really have trouble with the vagueries of generic statistics that are often thrown around and used (abused?) by whatever organization or lobbyist that seeks value and political/monetary gain in whatever interpretation can be made with a given statistic. There's an expression that " figures lie and liars figure". Just wait until we discuss the various definitions of unemployment as well as a correlation with the pharmaceutical industry in the manipulation of data.

Anyhow, back to the above link. I'm quite interested in how this whole story will unfold. I find it interesting in the article that Obama's aide Axelrod seemed to do a turn-about in terms as to whether Obama had any contact with this governor. And it's interesting to read about the relationships of other members of Obama's inner circle with this individual. But that's not my point to this posting.Well, actually there is a point. How does one trust or interpret conflicting news items?

I'm just so happy that I made the decision to be an Independent in going for the US Senate. Yes..I recognize that I'm up against "big money" that will want to get someone from one of the major parties to fill the Senate seat I'm looking at. Blagojevich did make a valid comment that "the Senate seat was 'a [expletive] valuable thing, you just don't give it away for nothing.'".

And he's right. There is a lot of power in being a US Senator. But the question the power going to be used as a means of advancing and protecting the values and general needs of the United States as a whole and without reservation--- or will this power be influenced by other interested parties who wish to subvert the person occupying that Senate seat for their own financial or political agendas?

It seems that our history has numerous footnotes as to the role of "agenda" in the formulation of our way of government

My energies in the evaluation and production of policy making will be based upon my personal analysis of the issues. I am not an expert in anything quite honestly as there will always be someone out there who will have more information that I will ever master. My preference is to always look at both sides of an argument. My particular judgement call on any one issue will be made with what is known as both a gut instinct as well as careful and reasoned interpretation of what would be beneficial for the country as a whole.

Yes. I do think that being in the Senate is "a [expletive] valuable thing".

It's more than just a "thing", Governor. And there are some people that aspire to do the right thing when they become Senator.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cancer Report Update

I received today an answer from the American Cancer Society regarding my questions on whether uninsured Americans were included in the recent media report that the rate of specific forms of cancer was indeed decreasing. Here's the "copy and paste" reply I received and I thank the ACS for taking the time to respond to my questions.

Dear James,

Thank you for your patience while we looked into your question concerning the recent Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer and uninsured cancer patients. The staff in our National Home Office to whom your question was referred notes that you make a great point that cancer incidence rates may not be decreasing among the uninsured segment of the US population. Our staff member advises that the answer to your question is complex ,and provides the following in response:

"Cancer diagnoses are reported to state registries regardless of the health insurance status of the patient, so the statistics include patients who are privately insured, Medicaid and Medicare insured, and the uninsured. (Uninsured patients who are diagnosed with cancer become eligible for Medicaid retroactively at the time of diagnosis.) So technically, yes, uninsured patients are included in cancer statistics. However, the extent to which they are included because they actually receive health care and a diagnosis is the deeper question. The report does not 'account ' for uninsured patients who have cancer, but aren't diagnosed (and therefore are not included in registry data) because they do not have access to health care. We do know that the outcomes for uninsured cancer patients are much worse than those patients who are privately insured, the data for which is included in the study found at the link below."


And so, here's a copy and paste of my response back to the American Cancer Society:


I appreciate greatly the response I received regarding my questions regarding the methodology behind the recent Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer.. Essentially, if I read your response correctly, I can assume that my original concern that uninsured individuals and their lack of making themselves available to the health care system were not necessarily included in this report and therefore the possibility of a potential higher rate of cancer in terms of diagnoses and treatment within this population could theoretically off set the established, already diagnosed cancer rate and reported decline in the study's actual population.

And so then..I could possibly interpret the recent report as being somewhat flawed in that it did not take into account a full representation of our population. Of course, the fact that there was a decline within the usual cohort of subjects is a cause for further analysis and celebration and so therefore your organization continues to do good work for our country.

My concern is how do we capture this other grouping of the population that unfortunately is sequestered away from appropriate medical evaluation and treatment?

I'm not sure quite honestly as to whether your organization needs to remain non partisan in terms of the vagueries of national domestic political agendas. But I am running for US Senate in 2010 and one of my key interests and foci is procuring an equitable health care system for all of us. And quite honestly, I'm not at all happy with the direction of any domestic health policy initiative that fails to include the full spectrum of all Americans. Obviously, I can play the proverbial "devil's advocate" and appreciate that perhaps the authors of the Report to the Nation inadvertently forgot about this particular subset of the uninsured. Likewise, as a scientist, I can appreciate that perhaps if the study did include this particular strata of subjects then maybe even in that grouping there may still be a decline in cancer rate and so therefore the study and report remains even more relevant. I can't make assumptions however. I have a serious aversion to statistics given the various manipulations of same when used to advance any political agenda.

What I want to know can the ACS help me in developing a logical and viable plan of action in the study, identification and treatment of cancers in ALL American subgroups and what can I do for you to advance your particular agendas? Yes...this is a quid pro quo and I would appreciate discussing both of our futures and initiatives.

-Jim Egnor

Friday, December 5, 2008

Another Look....

Another perspective.

This is a long speech but quite fitting if one happened to have won a Nobel Prize. If you have to just read one part, go to the last paragraph. Once you read'll probably want to look at the rest.

Economic Point of View

I came across this interesting piece. I will get back to this and while there may be a degree of bias from this author toward the Clinton administration, the topics discussed cover politics from both parties. Further examination and verification would be wise of course and I do not claim to be a follower and supporter of this author's writings. But it does raise some differing points of perspective.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Nuts and Bolts

I had a nice telephone conversation today with Paul Baldwin who is the supervisor (I believe that's his title) of the campaign financing office of Delaware's Commissioner of Elections.

Given the fact this is my first attempt in running for elected office, contact with his office is paramount to understanding the machinations of what one needs to do to run for a federal office here in Delaware. This blog of mine is also in blunt reality a running commentary of my efforts and perhaps can be used as a useful tool for anyone else who wishes to do what I'm doing.

I will be running as an unaffiliated candidate for the US Senate. This means that although I've actually been registered as a Democrat for Delawarean statistical purposes, I will need to officially end that association. I feel no hardship in doing so as the main reason I'm going for the US Senate is to function as a true Independent and not have to buckle under the desires and expectations of one specific party. I will go through the motions of re-registering myself sometime within the next month.

To be a candidate from a Delaware perspective, I will need to provide the Commissioner of Elections a petition which will be due by July 25, 2010 and I will need at least 5674 signatures of people who feel that I have the right to at least appear on the state ballot for the 2010 general elections. I would have between January 1, 2010 and that July date to have these signatures. I do believe that I will be able to see this number if not more. Signing a petition such as this does not mean that one has to vote for me. I look at this petition as an acknowledgment that I have the right to run for such an office. The 5674 signature figure is actually based upon a required percentage which in turn is based upon the number of registered voters from the prior year. Due to an uptick in voter registration for 2008, Mr Baldwin said the number will be somewhat higher but probably no more than 5700 when calculations are made for 2010 election purposes. Either way, while this does sound like a lot of people from my humble perspective, I feel I should be able to procur the required amount.

I also want to make a comment now about "running" for office. I recognize that my opponents will have much more experience and state party funding than I will. That interestingly enough is not an issue for me. I'm not looking at "running" against anyone. My platforms as advanced on this simple blog are what I am offering. It's highly probable that a reader will agree with portions of my interests and will disagree with others. As I had mentioned before, politics and real life are not simply black and white issues and my hope is to educate you on my particular perspectives of numerous issues and hope that we can find common ground for the further enrichment of our society as a whole.

I will freely admit that I may or may not change positions in midstream. This is not an issue of waffling or flip-flopping or whatever perjorative term other politicians choose to use when confronted with someone who is fully aware of the nature of realpolitik. Let me explain.

While I may have specifically strong feelings about any given issue, the reality exists that further information not available to me may or may not change my personal ideology on an issue. Just because I may feel strongly one way or another on a topic doesn't mean that I can't take a second look if further information that I was unaware of is presented to me. I will be upfront and honest with you that if a change of my platform were to suddenly change from previously stated beliefs, then you have to trust that my change of heart will be made on my careful analysis of the subject matter concerned.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

On a sound economy, hypnosis, beer....and a Blue Ocean

What a beginning for a post, eh?

First off, I do agree with President Bush's assessment that the economy is sound. But perhaps, not in the way that he either meant or in the way main stream media and public perception has interpreted his remark. While there are various definitions of the word "economy", I'm focusing upon the one definition that has demonstrated consistency throughout US history: one of Webster's variations is that an economy is "a system of producing, distributing, and consuming wealth".

Regardless of our present financial/economic situation....regardless if we're in a recession or facing deflation or a second depression---we as a country have not changed. Our total labor force has not decreased, our transportation systems are still in place, factories and office buildings have not been torn down, there is no sense of a pending revolution with rioting and blood in the streets, our people have not given up on the notion of wanting to make a living, our schools and universities are still open, the ability to utilize and mobilize our vast infrastructure of talent remains undeniably viable, etc. etc. This is why I believe we still have a sound economy; the very basic natural and human resources (that are in integral part of Webster's definition noted above) are still here. We have not gone anywhere. Do I believe that essential safeguards within the various financial institutions have failed us? Yes. Do I believe that self-serving desires of greed were a backdrop for our present situation? Yes. But sometimes, life's lessons can be hard and my hope is that we will all learn from this experience. A key focus on my road to DC is to recapture that "personal infrastructure" concept that I mentioned several postings ago (see Nixon Doctrine). This will be the key to our success. If not, we will only face harsher examples of loss of accountability in our domestic and foreign policy future.

It's time for re-tooling or re-booting perceptions as to what is truly important for us as a nation.

Possibly, the one key description of our economic system (if I had to encapsulate the idea into one word) would be "initiative". Our country was built on initiative which then directly translates into innovation. All of our companies and industrial giants were founded upon this premise. And again, this is our strength. It forms our core value system within the American psyche. Basically, this is just another example of the strength of our core economic base. We should be proud of this heritage and seek to understand that this concept is engrained within our communities and will continue to serve our nation in the rebuilding of our quite resilient market system. To the naysayers and prophets of doom that equate this present financial "meltdown" as a sign and proof of the moral and political degradation of American society, I would answer "Go to Hell". Now, more than ever, we need to appreciate and re-experience our sense of initiative, innovation and an evaluation of our own personal infrastructure values. Once we understand the interplay of these particular concepts, the US will regain its prominence and the ripple effect thereof into our communities.

My wife Beth Keil is a hypnotist and, along with her partner Anne Shuman Urban, is co-owner of Delaware Hypnosis Partners here in Wilmington, Delaware. A friend of ours, Theresa Piane Taylor recently ventured out as an entrepeneur and is establishing a business revolving around integrative nutrition counseling and I had recent contact or two with Christina Perozzi who has produced a blog called Beer 4 Chicks and is now in demand out in the Los Angeles area for her expertise but marketed primarily to women.

Why do I include these women in this particular posting? Because they represent the core values of American business initiative. Go back and re-read the first two paragraphs if you must but the take home message is--- these ladies made a decision to do something a bit different for themselves and, in having recognized either a niche market or underserved local market, have ended up producing for themselves a product and/or service that not only provides an income for themselves but added value to the community for which they serve plus the added value of ownership of a service that they believe in. This is an example of both initiative and innovation. While admittedly on a relatively small and local structure, these business owners are doing what they enjoy and are producing an income from the product of their desire. Their stories represent the resiliency and benefits of our system and I applaud these women for making the effort to succeed.

I realize that perhaps I'm running the risk of losing the reader of this posting secondary to the length of what I've written so far. I want to at least add one small detail in my evaluation of regaining economic success or for those people interested in developing a small business.

Read the book "Blue Ocean Strategy". Get it from a library, read the first couple of chapters at your favorite bookstore, whatever. Read the basic premise. The topics elaborated upon in this excellent business text is the answer to what I see is the rediscovery of business initiative.

[Yes, I know...I'm doing another "Egnor". An "Egnor", by the way, is the semi-forced request for you to do something that will hopefully educate and/or enlighten you. You may see this term periodically from here on out and definitely as the 2010 elections approach]

At the minimum, check out Wikipedia's entry for "Blue Ocean Strategy"---the generic premise and review of the book is sufficient from my perspective for you to further appreciate my personal realpolitik (I said this word will be seen again) on the future needs and goals of our American doing so will probably add extra value for you if you decide to strike out on your own as a small business owner.

And, I will support you all the way from a domestic policy initiative.

I stand firm with my own words that initiative leads to innovation which leads to personal success/ownership which leads to a solidification of a personal infrastructure which leads to a stronger US market.

What an amazing win-win situation for all of us.

Der Spiegel/India/Pakistan

Here's an interesting op-ed piece from Germany's Der Spiegel.,1518,593415,00.html

Monday, December 1, 2008

Cancer Report addendum

Continuing my previous posting regarding the drop in cancer rates, I did receive a response from the American Cancer Society and here is the copy and paste:
Dear James,

Thank you for your question concerning the recently released Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer. We forwarded your message to the appropriate staff member for further research, and you will be contacted shortly concerning your question.


I will add any further comments I receive.