Bush memoir, laws of nature, quotes and statistics

Friday, March 18, 2011


In my column below, I re-printed data from an email "forwarded to me from a Cape Girardeau medical friend." The email cited "a recent Investor's Business Daily article", which alleged to point out statistics from an organization called the "United Nations International Health Organization." The end of the email finished with this message, "The above stats (if true) show how badly we need ObamaCare, right?"

Thanks to a letter from a Southeast Missourian reader, I've come to question the data reprinted in my column. I have not been able to confirm that UNIHO exists. And, a search of the Investor's Business Daily web site does not turn up such an article. Moreover, the data itself, when compared to information put out by the World Health Organization, does not square.

Some of the data does appear in the form of an editorial on the Investor's Business Daily web site in a column by conservative Phyllis Schlafly, but it looks like she fell victim to the same bad information that I did.

I wanted to draw this to your attention. It is another reminder that information forwarded by email is often untrue.

Original column

I've just finished the book "Decision Points" by George W. Bush. It's been on The Wall Street Journal best-selling list for over three months. I'm sure favorable word-of-mouth is the reason.

I was slow to get to it but highly recommend that you read it. Whether you agree or disagree with the decisions Bush made as president, you'll find fascinating and informative the presentation of the background and discussions that shaped his presidency and life.

The last chapter discusses the explosive potential of the Middle East and steps the Bush administration was taking (prior to the uprising this year).

Also, Bush gets little credit (because it was of his nature not to seek it) for the successful efforts to help reduce the HIV/AIDS virus in Africa.

You Can't Fix Stupid

In the book "The Official Rules" (Delacorte Press), by Paul Dickson, there is the distinct feeling that peace, order and luck are rare commodities indeed. Here are some of Dickson's "laws" that ring pretty true and often hit pretty close to home.

* Comin's Law. People will accept your idea much more readily if you tell them Benjamin Franklin said it first.

* Marshall Smith's Principal of Displaced Hassle. To beat the bureaucracy, make your problem their problem.

* Albert Einstein's Other Formula. (He really said this.) If A equals success, then the formula is A= X+Y+Z. X is work, Y is play, Z is keep your mouth shut.

* Lord Falkland's Rule. When it is not necessary to make a decision, it is necessary not to make a decision.

* The First Law of Expert Advice. Don't ask the barber whether you need a haircut.

* Gilmer's Law of Political Leadership. There's something wrong if you're always right.

* Halberstam's Law of Survival. Always stay in with the outs.

* Hartig's How is Good Old Bill? We're Divorced Law. If there is a wrong thing to say, one will.

* Hartig's Sleeve in the Cup, Thumb in the Butter Law. When one is trying to be elegant and sophisticated, one won't.

* Harvard Law. Under the most vigorously controlled conditions of pressure, temperature, volume, humidity and other variables, the organism will do as it damn well pleases.

* Knoll's Law of Media Accuracy. Everything you read in the newspapers is absolutely true except for that rare story of which you happen to have firsthand knowledge.

* La Rochefoucauld's Law. It is more shameful to distrust one's friends than to be deceived by them.

* Man's Law. No matter what happens, there is always somebody who knew that it would.

* Powell's Law. Never tell them what you wouldn't do.

* Chatfield's Law. You can't fix dumb.

* Stanley Walker's Law. Associate with well-mannered persons, and your manners will improve. Run with decent folk, and your own decent instincts will be strengthened. Keep the company of bums, and you will become a bum. Hang around with rich people, and you will end up picking up the check and dying broke.

-- Mark Vittert, St. Louis Business Journal

Defund United Nation's failures now

An agency spent $517 million to promote industrial development in impoverished areas, but an official review "could not find any evidence" it had "a significant impact" on poverty, so the government will cut its funding. Another agency blew $369 million to "promote socially and environmentally sustainable cities," but no evidence could be found that it was working "coherently" to "tackle urban challenges." A billion dollars was poured down the rat hole of an agency that oversees labor standards. A $28 million disaster relief program is a disaster that won't receive another dime.

Are these triumphs of congressional Republicans, fighting to bring fiscal sanity to an out-of-control federal government? No, these are the findings of the British government, as it moves to defund four agencies at the United Nations. Prime Minister David Cameron has put three other agencies on notice that further funding will be contingent on improvements in performance.

-- From Human Events editorial

"The energy problem is a crisis now. But it can be an historic opportunity to free America forever of dependence on unstable foreign oil that can be turned on and off at will, by those who would use world commerce for economic blackmail and coercion."

-- President Ronald Reagan

"Our true choice is not between tax reduction, on the one hand, and the avoidance of large federal deficits on the other. It is increasingly clear that no matter what party is in power, so long as our national security needs keep rising, an economy hampered by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough revenues to balance our budget just as it will never produce enough jobs or enough profits. ... In short, it is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now."

-- President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Statistics ...

A recent Investor's Business Daily article provided very interesting statistics from a survey by the United Nations International Health Organization.

Percentage of men and women who survived a cancer five years after diagnosis:

* U.S.: 65 percent

* England: 46 percent

* Canada: 42 percent

Percentage of patients diagnosed with diabetes who received treatment within six months:

* U.S.: 93 percent

* England: 15 percent

* Canada: 43 percent

Percentage of seniors needing hip replacement who received it within six months:

* U.S.: 90 percent

* England: 15 percent

* Canada: 43 percent

Percentage referred to a medical specialist who see one within one month:

* U.S.: 77 percent

* England: 40 percent

* Canada: 43 percent

Number of MRI scanners (a prime diagnostic tool) per million people:

* U.S.: 71

* England: 14

* Canada: 18

Percentage of seniors (65+), with low income, who say they are in "excellent health":

* U.S.: 12 percent

* England: 2 percent

* Canada: 6 percent

The above stats (if true) show how badly we need ObamaCare, right?

-- Forwarded to me from a Cape Girardeau medical friend

Gary Rust is chairman of Rust Communications.

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