Tuesday, February 26, 2008

There goes my chance to be President

Originally uploaded by luxomni
When in a foreign country I donned the local garb.

There are a lot of reasons not to want Barak Obama to be the President of the United States*. This isn't one of them.

* He is the most socialist-liberal member of the Senate.
He and his wife do not actually like the country they wish to be the first family of.
He is running on a platform of change, without ever being pinned down on what he wishes to change.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

On Oxygen -- A Simple Prediction

An hour ago, the AP wire carried a story of a death on an American Airlines flight from Haiti to New York. Every attempt is made in that article to imply that the death was because "Desir said she was having trouble breathing and asked for oxygen, but a flight attendant twice refused her request" [for oxygen]. After all, we all know that all jets carry oxygen for when those little masks fall from the ceiling "in the unlikely event of loss of cabin pressure". Right? You know that. Of course.
But where does that oxygen come from? Oxygen generators which make oxygen by burning a chemical that releases oxygen as a byproduct -- enough for an entire planeload of passengers for enough minutes to descend to below 14,000 feet. That's it kids, it is an all or nothing deal.

Then writer goes on to say that they found two portable oxygen tanks, but both were empty. "Nothing works on this plane" Desir's cousin Antonio Oliver is quoted as saying. There are oxygen bottles carried in an airplane - for the pilot and co-pilot. FAA regulations require the pilot or co-pilot to be on oxygen whenever one of the officers leaves the flight deck. Let's see? Haiti to New York is a flight back, not a flight out, so they would be returning for refilling at point of origin? The writer doesn't even consider the possibility of any reason why if you can find an oxygen bottle in the closet behind the cockpit it shouldn't be filled and waiting for use by anyone.

"Desir was put on the floor, and a nurse tried CPR, to no avail, Oliver said. A "box," possibly a defibrillator, also was applied but didn't function effectively, he said" . Neither he observer and the writer knew what the box was, but they both knew it didn't work. Why? Because it did not raise the dead. I think the world has seen far too many TV doctor shows.

But you know what is missing in the whole article? Any thought that a patient with any special medical needs should be prepared for her own condition. Of course not, your every need is the responsibility of the airline. Does this mean that if next time I fly to Denver again and forget my Levothyroxine, I need to demand the airline provide me some? Of course not. Then, where is the cross-over point?

Since I seem so without sympathy and cruel about this, let me state that my mother has been on oxygen for some years now and I have moved her about the country quite a bit. Before you travel, you determine how much oxygen you are going to need and you make allowances for contingencies. You make arrangements for replacement oxygen at the other end of the trip. And maybe, just maybe you make sure the trip is worth the risk. Ms. Desir's failure to plan adequately cost her her life. Remember that over the next few days as you hear how American Airlines failure to prepare for that incompetency is reason to declare her next of kin the winners of the lottery.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Future of Medicine

The Future of Medicine
Originally uploaded by luxomni
I know I WILL piss people off with this one. But get used to it. It will be. It is what the people want and the politicians are desperate to give it to them. I just want to know, when I am sitting there waiting for my number to be called for my treatment, will I see Hillary, Barrack, or even my own Congressman sitting there waiting too?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Sense of Proportion

Thinking of Henry Waxman's television posturing reminded me of something that drives me crazy every time I see an example of it, something endemic to our culture. That is dealing with any problem at the highest level possible rather than at the lowest level we can. You have a problem with your neighbor's lawn needing to be cut? You call the Zoning enforcement at your county commission. What you should have done is call him and see if his lawnmower might have died, or as in my case if he was massively ill with cancer and was unable to deal with the lawn right now. Hell, you might even help him.

The teacher sent home a note that your child was not behaving in school? Obviously start with a complaint to the Principal or maybe the School Board.

Things that should be dealt with at the city level are attacked at the state level; and those items that are legitimately the state's authority and responsibility routinely end up, at the United States Supreme Court.

There are things that are routinely the province of the Federal Government. But how are you going to usurp that authority? Is that why the whiny want us under the authority of the United Nations and theWorld Court?

Waxman wake up.

Henry, why is your committee wasting its time investigating cheating in baseball? By that I mean steroid use. What next? Cheating in little league? That kid on the Orioles is really thirteen when the kids are supposed to be 12 or younger. Call a congressional investigation.

Henry, you are a member of the United States House of Representatives. You are supposed to be deliberating the finances and security of our country. If you have some trouble with that, see if you can't find a copy of the United States Constitution and read it. This is at best a local police issue -- except that it would be past the statute of limitations there.

What should he be looking at? The invasion of this country from Mexico? The war against the Western world from the Muslim extremists? What our response should be when (not if) we are attacked with NBC weapons? The gangs that have formed alternative governments in our cities and towns? The abuse of our welfare system by career recipients? Violence in schools?

What is he looking at? Six year old charges of steroid abuse? Yes. Use of human growth hormone which wasn't even illegal at that time? Yep. And the press is his accomplice in providing bread and circuses to a population that cares more about the baseball record book than their future way of life.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

We have met the enemy and he is us.

When did the Governments and the people of the United States become bitter enemies?
The government is us, or at least it is supposed to be. And, who attacked whom?

I went to a lecture on septic tanks at the water department of my local county. But not without first being given the airport security treatment. Now I might understand the necessity of preventing weapons being smuggled into a courtroom, but a lecture on septic tanks? I think that not all the shit is in the tanks.
Yes, I have heard the headlines, and the carefully crafted news stories. But they are careful to gloss over the underlying causes. They don't mention that the citizen acts they fear are generally those of desperation. They never mention that employees and officers of the government routinely abuse the system for self-aggrandizement or self-enrichment. They don't mention that anyone paying attention could have seen most of these events coming. (The press also never even acknowledges that there might be a copy-cat facet to this behavior - that might be seen as partly their fault).
Nothing is ever done to improve the relationship of those who work for us the people with those of us who pay them. Nothing is ever done on the part of our governments to restore our faith in our employees. If indeed they even know that by working for the government they ARE our employees.
So they withdraw from us, avoid contact with us mere voters, become impossible to contact, become aloof, disregard our wishes and act against our interests, and build themselves fortresses behind armed guards and metal detectors and X-ray machines. If the truly acted in our interest, they would have nothing to fear.

And still the majority of our population will vote for them because they recognize the name, or because they want to vote for the winner; or because they think they are stealing for them, not stealing from them. And thinking about our relationship with our employees takes time away from American Idol.

Racial Knowledge Test

Quick, which political party is which? ....... Republican? or Democrat
Which party ...
1) ... was formed to free slaves? (R) or (D)
2) ... had the most black elected officials prior to welfare? (R) or (D)
3) ... had its first black U.S Representative in 1870? (R) or (D)
4) ... had its first black U.S Representative in 1944? (R) or (D)
5) ... was badgered by the media about the flag flying over the South Carolina state capitol even though he opposed it? (R) or (D)
6) ... had not had a Governor nor Representative in
South Carolina in over 100 years? (R) or (D)
7) ... barred blacks from integrating schools? (R) or (D)
8) ... barred blacks from integrating colleges? (R) or (D)
9) ... had a President send the National Guard to
protect those first black students? (R) or (D)
10) ... had the President with the most people of color in
his cabinet and staff? (R) or (D)
11) ... has a sitting Senator who was a KKK leader? (R) or (D)

1) R, 2) R, 3) R (Hiram Rhodes Reveal), 4) D (Adam Clayton Powell), 5) R (McCain), 6) R, 7) D (Orville Faubus), 8) D (George Wallace), 9) R (Eisenhower),10) R (G W Bush), 11) D (Byrd)

So, how did you do? And why do you suppose you didn't know the answers?

Boil the frog slowly

A friend of mine signs all her missives with "The Second Amendment is in place in case the politicians ignore the others." But we have two generations who believe that the right to bear arms is about hunting;

And we have Senators McCain and Feingold who have passed a law that so twisted Freedom of Speech that it is only to protect "art" and not the very politics it was intended to protect;

And we have a Tenth Amendment that is never mentioned in public schools, that most people can not name, and which is routinely ignored by elected officials and employees of the government;

And we have an American populace who know more about Brittany Spears than what either of the Democratic candidates plan to do to them;

And citizen, we have a recipe for future slavery.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

It ain't over till the dumpy lady sings

Get your photographs while you can. we have not bottomed out in our quest to give up our freedom for a Dumbo's feather of imagined security.

[Dr. Ferris:] . . . "We've waited a long time to get something on you. You honest men are such a problem and such a headache. But we knew you'd slip sooner or later -- and this is just what we wanted."

[Hank Rearden:] "You seem to be pleased about it."

"Don't I have good reason to be?"

"But, after all, I did break one of your laws."

"Well, what do you think they're for?"

Dr. Ferris did not notice the sudden look on Rearden's face, the look of a man hit by the first vision of that which he had sought to see. Dr. Ferris was past the stage of seeing; he was intent upon delivering the last blows to an animal caught in a trap.

"Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against -- then you'll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We're after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you'd better get wise to it. There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted -- and you create a nation of law-breakers -- and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with."

from Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

(Damn! Was she prescient! * That's why Liberal/Socialists revile her so.)

Four the last six years, I have heard complaint after complaint about George Bush and the loss of our rights under the Homeland Security Act. George Bush is a naive piker, who used those laws as they were intended and really did use them only on foreign nationals at war with us. But he will not be President much longer and the law will go on. Our new President has a history of using the IRS and the FBI to accomplish personal political goals and she was only the First Lady at the time. Just wait until she is the President and has the Homeland Security Act. Then you can curse George Bush for giving that accursed law to us.
And while you are cursing Imperial Federal laws, throw a curse in for Senators McCain and Feingold who have so twisted Freedom of Speech that it is only to protect "art" and not the very politics it was intended to protect.

*If you need it: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/prescience