This may be one of the most controversial selections for Upstanding Citizen: former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld.  Look, wherever you fall on the political spectrum, I'm not interested in re-hashing old politics.  I'm interested in speaking truth on health, and Rumsfeld is tough and brilliant in his recent interview with a doughy and flaky Piers Morgan, the Pillsbury Dough Boy of CNN.

Piers Morgan's questions are just absurd: "You're 78 years old, shouldn't it be time to take a rest?"  Rumsfeld reacts with appropriate astonishment.  Time to take a rest?  That sounds a lot like dying.  If you're 78 years old, you need to do everything in your power NOT to take a rest.

Morgan insists that Rumsfeld's standing is odd, weird, or not normal, but ends up sounding like an insecure high school kid: "It's just weird!"  True to form, Rumsfeld flips the script on Morgan and goes on the offensive, saying that sitting is what's weird.  Listen to how Morgan's voice goes up a few octaves when Rumsfeld shoots him down.  What a clown.

Donald Rumsfeld, for your active defense of standing (i.e., your attack on sitting), and your pursuit of the religious extremists in the Cult of the Normal, you are an Upstanding Citizen.

You can find earlier installments of Upstanding Citizen here.


28 Responses to “Upstanding Citizen #4: Donald Rumsfeld”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Rumslfeld is one of the people responsible for putting ASPERTAME in food, that’s not politics, that’s fact. In 1985 Montanto purchased G.D. Searle, the chemical company that held the patent to apsertame. Donald Rumsfeld was Searle’s chairman. So I guess he stays healthy while he kills everyone else.

  2. Kerri says:

    Not surprisingly, people can’t set politics aside. Great article, John. Thank you!

    • Anonymous says:

      Totally agree, it’s not about politics it’s about living a healthy life-style. The man is on it regardless of what you think of him.

    • Anonymous says:

       In most of the pictures I have seen of Adolf Hitler, he was standing as well….looking forward to Upstanding Citizen#5.

    • Anonymous says:

       In most of the pictures I have seen of Adolf Hitler, he was standing as well….looking forward to Upstanding Citizen#5.

    • Anonymous says:

       In most of the pictures I have seen of Adolf Hitler, he was standing as well….looking forward to Upstanding Citizen#5.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wow. You are a traitor to Humanity and just lost a few daily readers of your blog. The only thing Rumsfeld should be selected for is the death penalty.  Aspartame is a BIO-TOXIC WEAPON and 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Fucking nutjob. Go prance around in a tinfoil hat preferable out of the US. You’re a bio-toxic weapon. You missed the point and went off the rails. Please, for the sake of America don’t breed.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Wow. You are a traitor to Humanity and just lost a few daily readers of your blog. The only thing Rumsfeld should be selected for is the death penalty.  Aspartame is a BIO-TOXIC WEAPON and 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB. 

  5. tim_lebsack says:

    This small clip is the only exposure I’ve ever had to PM but I’m not seeing insecurity or clownishness.  He doesn’t argue with DR but approaches him vivily and even friendly, asking not about political issues but personal questions about DR’s work habits.  DR doesn’t respond harshly but pleasantly explains his views.

    I’m guessing that 99.9% of Americans (and perhaps Brits?) hold the idea expressed by PM that most 78 year old people want to rest and even a smaller number use a stand-up desk. Probably everyone at this web site wants that to change.

    I don’t agree with much of DR’s politics but I’ll accept your naming him Upstanding Citizen #4.  I’m curious why you are so unfavorable towards PM.

  6. Ira says:

    Good for Rumsfeld, good for Jefferson, and good for you for bringing this all to our attention, especially for bringing out that disciplined and diverse approaches to life, to politics, to public as well as to private welfare, are to be found on both the political right as well as the political left, and that real, thinking leaders are not afraid to hold views which the central, mediocre, flabby "belly" of the body politic might look upon as "extreme." What we need in this country and world is discipline, I believe, disciplined thought as well as action, and the ability to stand firmly for our ideas of what we believe. A lot of that discipline can come from the right, as well as the left.The disciplined leaders of each have much more in common than most of us our led to believe, and there is much more respect for the opposing extreme than you might think. As I often point out, not all yogis are vegetarians, and some of the greatest of them have a great respect for meat-eating, provided that it’s done in the right spirit. Actually, John, when it comes to things like diet, exercise, and many other areas of life, like philosophy or religion, I really believe that the key element me be not so much which diet you follow, but rather that there should be some kind of diet at all, some system which instills some kind of discipline and respect for what you put in your body, that teaches that the body is special (for the religious among us, I’d use the term "sacred"), that food is special (or sacred). Of course, blind followers of ideologies can also be flabby and lazy, but rigorous, thinking leaders on opposing sides can stimulate vigorous, healthy debate. Those of us who have come to know you really appreciate the vigor of your points of view, and your willingness to cross idealogical  lines in favor of the best ideas from both, such as your willingness to promote hunting deer today from an ecological perspective.

    • John says:

      Thanks, Ira — trying to bring together the Ted Nugents and the Michael Pollans of the world. I agree with you that some system – any form of respect paid to what you eat – is better than nothing at all.

  7. DC says:

    <p>You’re aware that Rumsfeld was directly responsible for making artificial sweeteners like aspartame, legal, right?</p>

     

    Does he stand up? Sure. Is he an upstanding citizen? Are you kidding?

    • John says:

      As I understand it, as CEO of Searle, Rumsfeld pushed for the approval aspartame, specifically, but I’m not sure that he’s directly responsible for making artificial sweeteners legal. I’m not a fan of many drugs, including ones that fairly pass FDA inspection, but from what I can tell, aspartame isn’t unique. The EU allows it, as do many other countries.

      • DC says:

        I recommend that anyone else who is curious, see the documentary ‘Sweet Misery’ : http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6551291488524526735#

        Aspartame, as far as I know, is toxic, and was legalized under Reagan with help from Rumsfeld, to the benefit of Rumsfeld. The EU does allow it. I don’t expect the EU to allow it forever. And the fact that it passes FDA inspection is, to me, an indication of FDA corruption. But that’s my opinion.

        Whether it’s harmless or toxic, it’s not paleo. :) And it’s the first think I think of when I think of Rumsfeld. The second thing being ‘Taxi to the Darkside’. Which then makes any stand he might make against religious extremism a little strange and completely hypocritical given the company he’s kept. But that’s a completely different topic.

         

         

      • DC says:

        I recommend you, or anyone else who is curious, see the documentary ‘Sweet Misery’ : http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6551291488524526735#

        Aspartame, as far as I know, is toxic, and was legalized under Reagan with help from Rumsfeld, to the benefit of Rumsfeld. The EU does allow it. I don’t expect the EU to allow it forever. And the fact that it passes FDA inspection is, to me, an indication of FDA corruption. But that’s my opinion.

        Whether it’s harmless or toxic, it’s not paleo. :)

         

         

  8. Lester Hunt says:

    Wow, Morgan comes off as a narrow-minded ignoramus. 

    • Dave says:

      Morgan comes off as a narrow-minded ignoramus pretty much *every* night. He wasn’t putting on an act just for Rummy.

  9. Anivair says:

     Politically, I think he’s got some monstrously bad ideas and should be run out of any and all public office forever. 

    Personally, he seems like an okay guy.  He interviews well. 

    How does this stand up desk thing pan out for those of you who do it?  Do you stand all day?  I’d think that would get to be a bother?  What about if you’re at home watching Top Chef?  You crash on the couch, or stand up?  How much standing are we talking about here?  Is my whole 8 hour work day going to be spent on my feet, ideally?

     

    disclaimer:  I really only work for about 7 hours tops. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I think it depends on what your job is. Rumsfeld probably spends most of his time talking to other people in meetings and uses his desk for short periods of time.

      I recently reverted to using a regular desk after 6 months at a standing desk. The major problem for me is the nature of my work: I’m a computer programmer. When I’m deep in the flow of programming, everything else needs to melt away so I can focus on what I’m doing. This needs to happen for hours at a time, or as long as I can maintain focus. Standing in the same spot for hours on end does as much damage as sitting in the same place for hours on end, in my personal experience, except it’s more distracting because it manifests as pain in the joints. It forces me to either sit for a spell or take a walk, both of which forces me away from the computer and my work. Most people would see that a as a good thing, but the disruptions mean I have to stay later to get done what needs to get done on time.

      I’m looking into getting a steelcase airtouch desk so I can easily shift from sitting to standing without distracting myself from the problem at hand.

  10. Bill says:

     My father and I got the idea for stand up desks from Secretary Rumsfeld back in the early ’70′s!

  11. Jim says:

     We could all take a page from Rumsfeld’s play book, and his assertive defense.  The next time you’re questioned for passing on some wierd food choice, just say "No, eating real food is not weird, eating Twinkies is weird!!"  Next, you have to track down some info on Thomas Jefferson’s standing desk in the State dept., which Rummy alluded to.    

  12. Chris says:

    Well, I’d say you probably just alienated most  of your readership.  But you are in good company as Alan Walker starts the introductory chapter of "Evolution of the Human Diet" (Ed., Peter Ungar) with a quote from Rummy.  Remember the days when he was a sex symbol?

    • Mike Stonebreaker says:

      I don’t John alienated nearly as many readers as you might think.  If this was a vegan blog I might agree.

      • Ted says:

        Why do people always resort to generalized statments.  Not all Vegans are hippies.  Not all Vegans are yogis or pasty little weaklings.  Just like not all paleos are guys who act tough even though they have never actually seen and or participated in the killing/ gutting of an animal.  There is a lot of common ground.  We all hate the S.A.D. and realize it along with inactivity is a plague on the human animal.  So enough with the generalities. Eat in a way that makes you feel good about yourself and just plain feel good.  I am Vegan and I love this blog.  There is a lot of great information here.  It is not all black and white folks.

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