Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Exciting Progress Against Alzheimer's

Scientist's working in the U.K. have just completed a tremendously successful round of human trials on a new drug that halts the progression of Alzheimer's.

Needless to say, if this drug makes it to market it 4 or 5 years, it could save countless families from tremendous suffering. You can read a short article here that will tell you more about the drug and the evidence supporting its efficacy.

This breakthrough is tremendously important for at least one additional reason.

Alzheimer's is tremendously expensive due to the fact that while it is not fatal it is eventually completely incapacitating - requiring 24/7 care for its victims - oftentimes for several years.

Newt Gingrich's Center for Health Transformation published a white paper last year that estimated without breakthroughs like this, government funded care for Alzheimer's could reach $1 trillion a year in today's dollars by 2050. Today, before the baby-boomers have begun to really suffer from this disease, it is already costing the American taxpayer $100 billion a year.

It may not be a stretch to say that this breakthrough alone - if it can be successfully developed into an affordable product - could almost single-handedly save the long-term financial viability of Medicare!

Very exciting.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I'll Be Back

Sorry for the dry spell here - I just realized that I didn't mention that I wouldn't be writing much (if anything) in July.

I'm currently hanging out in Costa Rica in self imposed exile from politics/current events (and several other things). Please drop in again late this month or early in August!


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Why We Can Demand Energy Independence

Everyone has agreed for the last thirty years that energy independence is a worthwhile goal.

There is some debate over why we have not achieved it yet, but the most common or persuasive argument is perhaps that it is simply "not yet technologically feasible". Politicians and energy company executives call for "increased investment in R&D" but set no meaningful goals or benchmarks - and therefore, nothing changes.

The fact is, claims that substantial and affordable progress toward energy independence is not yet possible are completely false.

The Washington Post published a concise article today that outlines 4 countries' efforts and their dramatic progress towards this goal. It also gives some insight into why we have been unwilling (I say unwilling because we are NOT unable) to take the necessary steps.

We should demand an aggressive and specific energy independence plan from out next President. In my opinion, it should be the top priority of his first year. John McCain has already named his plan the "Lexington Project". Barack Obama will probably offer something of similar detail soon.

We can and should demand bold and meaningful action- but we need to know what to ask for from our leaders.

We should not accept McCain's plan of increasing our long-term dependence on oil by investing in more drilling, nor should we follow Obama's calls to produce economically and environmentally inferior versions of ethanol (specifically the politically appealing corn-based variety).

Read here (for 5-8 minutes) to see what other countries have done and are doing. It is an easy and effective way to quickly build some solid knowledge around this important issue.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

On Independence Day

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.

John Adams

I'm not sure that any other quote so aptly captures the American Dream. The progress of the United States been often been slow and occasionally stalled altogether - but it is impossible to seriously argue that we have not made tremendous advances towards Adams' goal since he and his contemporaries created this nation.

I feel fortunate to live here in the United States where I have both the physical safety and the intellectual freedom to pursue my potential and I am excited to see what the latest generation can do. What diseases might we cure? What new renewable and clean sources of energy will we tap? What improvements will we make to our public schools? Will we return to the Moon or finally send a human being to Mars?

I guess only time will tell. But I feel blessed to live in a country in which questions like these are not unwarranted...

Happy Independence Day!