Saturday, February 28, 2009


I made it up to Stations of the Cross at St. Francis by the second station. I came out of work to a flat tire. It keeps going low, probably a leaking valve. I'll get it fixed soon. Meanwhile there is some compressor thing in the warehouse that I can easily use and I just lose a few minutes.

I have attended Stations at other churches once or twice in my life. But I'm not good with change. I always come back to Father Mahoney. This is not to say that things don't change there as well. There is a part at the beginning of each station where the priest says "We adore you Oh Christ and we praise You." and the reply used to be "Because by Your Cross & Resurrection you have Redeemed the world" This was was changed to "Because by Your Cross & Resurrection you have saved the world". It was changed about 10 years ago, maybe more. I've just about got the hang of it. LOL

There have been other changes. When I was in grade school, the upper Church would be packed during the 3 pm service with all my fellow students and others who preferred an afternoon service. When I was an adult I went to the 7 pm service. As you can imagine attendance has declined over the years. In some ways I am sorry and in others I am not. Many of those who are not there didn't want to be in the first place. They didn't really participate and in some cases distracted.

During Stations you are supposed to contemplate the suffering Christ endured for our sins. It's easier to do so with less ambient noise.

A few years ago Stations was moved down to the smaller Chapel under the Church. It's much harder to sneak in late, lol. But I am beyond getting in trouble for being late. Father knows I travel a good distance to be there and after being close to me for over forty years....he is no longer surprised by my occasional tardiness. I hope he knows that I make more of an effort for him that for nearly anyone else.

Normally Stations is a very pleasant contemplative time for me. I cherish the rituals of my Church. I love looking up and seeing Father Mahoney, just as I did in 1969, 1979, 1989, 1999 and tonight. As he has aged and I see how he suffers from painful arthritis, sometimes my heart simply aches for him. There he is, carrying on for us, when at his age and in his condition, no one would blame him for taking an easier path.

So there I was in the front pew, taking a moment to settle in for the third station. To feel the familiar surroundings envelope me. I am home again in a safe, secure place. I always feel good, no matter what problem weighs on my mind outside those doors. I let go and I go with the words and the genuflecting and the standing and the kneeling. I hear and speak about Christ's suffering. I am encouraged to think of His suffering when I have problems of my own.

Stations is easily my favorite thing in the Catholic Church. Not Christmas. Not Easter.

And then I start to cry. Just a little. Nothing embarrassing. Although I am completely horrified by my lack of control. My crying is not noticeable to others. But I am crying steadily and I can not stop. I keep my head down, When Father Mahoney passes in front of me I pretend to read the booklet. I don't need to, I know the responses. Normally I would look up and meet his eyes and smile. Normally I am happy and grateful and warm.

But the words are getting to me. The words to bear my suffering and hardships like Christ. To remember His suffering in light of our own minor problems.

The words are making me face it. I haven't been good. I haven't been kind. I haven't tried to model my behaviour after His.

I can't turn away. I can't ignore it. I have not been good or kind or understanding. I certainly haven't been patient.

Father Mahoney has always been able to look at me and see everything. If I raise my head and he sees my eyes, I will be lost.

Then Stations ended and the Benediction began. Father moves up onto the Altar. The Altar server is holding the thurible. The fragrant cloud is settling over us. I have to concentrate on my Latin and this gives some other part of my brain the chance to pull itself together.

I don't hang to say "Hi" to Joan or other people I know. I get to my car as quickly as possible and let the sound of the rain on the roof calm me.

I certainly didn't pop down to see my parents.

Friday, February 27, 2009

From The GOP Soapbox

Edward Agner points out this Wall Street Journal article.

The 2% Illusion

Take everything they earn, and it still won't be enough

President Obama has laid out the most ambitious and expensive domestic agenda since LBJ, and now all he has to do is figure out how to pay for it. On Tuesday, he left the impression that we need merely end "tax breaks for the wealthiest 2% of Americans," and he promised that households earning less than $250,000 won't see their taxes increased by "one single dime."

This is going to be some trick. Even the most basic inspection of the IRS income tax statistics shows that raising taxes on the salaries, dividends and capital gains of those making more than $250,000 can't possibly raise enough revenue to fund Mr. Obama's new spending ambitions.

Consider the IRS data for 2006, the most recent year that such tax data are available and a good year for the economy and "the wealthiest 2%." Roughly 3.8 million filers had adjusted gross incomes above $200,000 in 2006. (That's about 7% of all returns; the data aren't broken down at the $250,000 point.) These people paid about $522 billion in income taxes, or roughly 62% of all federal individual income receipts. The richest 1% -- about 1.65 million filers making above $388,806 -- paid some $408 billion, or 39.9% of all income tax revenues, while earning about 22% of all reported U.S. income.

Note that federal income taxes are already "progressive" with a 35% top marginal rate, and that Mr. Obama is (so far) proposing to raise it only to 39.6%, plus another two percentage points in hidden deduction phase-outs. He'd also raise capital gains and dividend rates, but those both yield far less revenue than the income tax. These combined increases won't come close to raising the hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue that Mr. Obama is going to need.

But let's not stop at a 42% top rate; as a thought experiment, let's go all the way. A tax policy that confiscated 100% of the taxable income of everyone in America earning over $500,000 in 2006 would only have given Congress an extra $1.3 trillion in revenue. That's less than half the 2006 federal budget of $2.7 trillion and looks tiny compared to the more than $4 trillion Congress will spend in fiscal 2010. Even taking every taxable "dime" of everyone earning more than $75,000 in 2006 would have barely yielded enough to cover that $4 trillion.

Fast forward to this year (and 2010) when the Wall Street meltdown and recession are going to mean far few taxpayers earning more than $500,000. Profits are plunging, businesses are cutting or eliminating dividends, hedge funds are rolling up, and, most of all, capital nationwide is on strike. Raising taxes now will thus yield far less revenue than it would have in 2006.

Mr. Obama is of course counting on an economic recovery. And he's also assuming along with the new liberal economic consensus that taxes don't matter to growth or job creation. The truth, though, is that they do. Small- and medium-sized businesses are the nation's primary employers, and lower individual tax rates have induced thousands of them to shift from filing under the corporate tax system to the individual system, often as limited liability companies or Subchapter S corporations. The Tax Foundation calculates that merely restoring the higher, Clinton-era tax rates on the top two brackets would hit 45% to 55% of small-business income, depending on how inclusively "small business" is defined. These owners will find a way to declare less taxable income.

The bottom line is that Mr. Obama is selling the country on a 2% illusion. Unwinding the U.S. commitment in Iraq and allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire can't possibly pay for his agenda. Taxes on the not-so-rich will need to rise as well.

On that point, by the way, it's unclear why Mr. Obama thinks his climate-change scheme won't hit all Americans with higher taxes. Selling the right to emit greenhouse gases amounts to a steep new tax on most types of energy and, therefore, on all Americans who use energy. There's a reason that Charlie Rangel's Ways and Means panel, which writes tax law, is holding hearings this week on cap-and-trade regulation.

Mr. Obama is very good at portraying his agenda as nothing more than center-left pragmatism. But pragmatists don't ignore the data. And the reality is that the only way to pay for Mr. Obama's ambitions is to reach ever deeper into the pockets of the American middle class.
Interesting reading - Thanks Edward!

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Officials: Pentagon OKs media photos of war dead

Words can not convey my disappointment with SECDEF Gates.

Of course, that asshat Kerry, my junior Senator was one of the two assclowns asking for the ban to be lifted.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Everyone is screaming that Corporate CEOs make too much in compensation. People are appalled that companies are paying executive huge salaries while laying off workers.

Obama's answer?

Obama Spending Plan Would Cap Military, Federal Pay Raises

Yeah, 'cause everyone knows that our military leaders are overcompensated and that's the problem with the economy.

Yeah, thank God "The One" is here to save us.

*sigh* YGTBFKM

"Pay for men and women in uniform is to be increased by 2.9 percent, an amount described in the budget summary as reflecting "the priorities of an administration that is committed to caring for the service members who protect our security and the families who support them."

Last year, military personnel received a 3.9 percent pay increase, half a percentage point more than President George W. Bush recommended."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mr. Wilders

Thank you Ahavath Torah Congregation for affording us the opportunity to hear Mr. Wilders.

Jen and I went together. We sat with Miss Kelly of MissKelly's Typad and her very nice spouse. We met with Fran, who does something with Republicans on Cape Cod. I got to see Jill of "Business of Life".

Originally Jen hesitated about going. Mr. Wilders had been on Bill O'Reilly and Jen assumed we would get no where near the place. I assured her that I had a connection. Although in the end, we were early enough to have scored seats on our own.

Jen informed me that people were pointing at us. It was after all a conservative Synagogue in Stoughton. The two Irish girls from Charlestown with dark smudges (you know Father Mahoney makes us look like chimney sweeps!) kinda stood out.

After the lecture was over a woman in the congregation came up to Jen, tapped her arm and thanked her for coming out to this presentation considering it was a Holy Day for us. You know I really can't think of a better way to celebrate Ash Wednesday than reinforcing our support of Israel and our stand against religious intolerance.

The Rabbi stood up and made some opening remarks in which he pointed out that this was not a new thing....America fighting Islamic extremism. He brought up the Barbary pirates and the USN Navy and President Adams......everywhere I go there is a Navy connection! He mangled the Marine hymn, but we forgive him (Psst - it's "to the shores of Tripoli"). After all, he was the reason Mr. Wilders was there.

Then they screened Fitna. I leaned toward Jen, "Have you seen this before?" She hadn't. "Well get ready, it's tough to take." The film received a standing ovation.

Geert Wilders came out on stage (together with his security - which sadly he does indeed need). He was also the recipient of a standing ovation.

He spoke of Europe's dangerous complacent slide into submission to an Islamist state. It is so chilling. He implored us to fight for Freedom of Speech. To fight for out ally, Europe. He reminded us that we had saved them from Nazism and Communism. He wrapped up his speech with the story of General McAuliffe......he wants us all to stand up to those who would push the multi-culti nonsense down our throats. To stand up to those who would say we are xenophobes and racists and to reply in the spirit of McAuliffe and say "Nuts!"

On our way a out a woman tapped Jen's arm. "You have something on your forehead." I laughed thinking she was joking. Jen answered "Yeah, it belongs there." The woman looked confused and repeated again that really, she had something on her head. Jen said "We're Catholic." She was quizzical and more perplexed when she saw my forehead. "It's Ash Wednesday." I said, trying to help.....but still I was laughing. I know I lived a sheltered life. I have just never had to explain Ash Wednesday to a stranger. I have non-Catholic friends who have asked some particular questions, but they have not found the concept completely foreign for Heaven's sake!

Anyway, it was lots of fun and Sol of Solomonia and Michael Graham of WTKK are sorry they weren't with us!

What should you take away from this? Don't be complacent. Exercise and protect you freedoms. Mr. Wilders will appear at the the US Capitol and propose a world wide 1st Amendment.

If you have never seen Fitna, you must watch it.

OK Class....We Have A Project.

Honor Their Service is a having a fundraiser. It's a cookbook. We're going to talk it up and gather recipes and raise funds for a good cause.

Carrie wrote to several of us -

"I'm writing this as the President of Honor Their Service, Inc., We are just starting out as an organization but we've been around for several years now doing projects like Operation Santa at the Hospitals and Operation Fresh Air.

Our events have always been modest proposals. They do not require lots of money to execute.
We are budgeting about $500 to put on one Operation Fresh Air (that's a day of fishing, food and fellowship at Leesylvania State Park for wounded/injured servicemembers and their families at Walter Reed and Bethesda).

What we did in the past was ask cooperating milbloggers to help us raise funds on the internet..
As a pending 501c3 (we are just waiting for the damned exemption letter), we are licensed to fundraise in the states of Maryland and Virginia and have decided to go a slightly different route.

The reason why I'm writing to you all is that we have a fundraising idea that we could use your help with:
A milbloggers' cookbook. Recipes could come from the bloggers themselves, their families or commenters.
Honor Their Service, inc, will compile and sell the cookbooks. Pricing is going to depend on how many recipes we receive and the format (soft cover, hard cover, 3 ring binder)

We can include pictures of bloggers and commenters alike.. (Please Lord, no speedos, okay? I have a phobia).

This cookbook could be a very nice keepsake as well as making a donation to supporting wounded/injured servicemembers and their families.

Would you all please consider asking your readership to submit recipes (as well as your own favorites) to be included in the cookbook? Details to follow (deadlines, etc.,) but I wanted to throw out the request first to see if there is any interest.

Thanks in advance.
Carrie Costantini
President, Honor Their Service, Inc
So, think of some good recipes, come up with a pic......details will follow.

Which brings us to the Milbloggers Conference. Last weekend in April in DC. I am hoping to be there. I know, you're excited. You want to pinch yourself at the thought that maybe you could actually meet me......get a grip.

Can't I Do Anything.... everyone else???

I have heard and read lots of stories about Ambien giving people nightmares. I took it Saturday, Sunday and Monday....worked like a charm. I was happy as a clam (never knew what that one meant). But anyway....

Last night I was home before 9. I was going to watch something or read something, take an Ambien and go to sleep early. Then get up early for Mass (today is Ash Wednesday).

I fell asleep on the couch and woke up too late to take the Ambien (you need to sleep 8 hours). So i just went to bed...........

And couldn't sleep all night and when I did, I had nightmares.

Great! Other people have nightmares on Ambien.

i have them when I don't take it.

Of course.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Wait! This Is Even Better!

I have tracked my final order. The supplier has responded to my firm declarations that they will give me what I want or...... I...... Will...... Come....... Out....... There......
And no one wants that.
I called my patient's house "Is it too late to call your house?" He laughs, we have a good relationship. I tell him that FedEx picked up his part from the supplier at 1934 and I should have it by 1500 tomorrow.

I am wrapping up my last bits and pieces, getting ready to head home.

Then YouTube decides I need to hear "Put Your Body In It". Good call!

Way better than what the Phibian is subjecting me to. Good God man! What did we ever do to you? You're going to make me drink the Corporate Water.

I am headed home. No, I am not headed home to watch Obama. I have stuff in the DVR to watch. I have books to read. I have laundry to do. If none of that appeals, I have Ambien.

Working Late & Disco

How Can I Resist?

Help fund the corruption of youth!

Murray knows I can not resist corruption of any sort.

Go. Read. Help.

Dr. McCoy Reporting On The State Of My Diet

That's's dead! And the murder weapon?
Happy Shrove Tuesday! I will try again tomorrow. Maybe Father Mahoney will say something tomorrow that will help me. LOL Of course, he will be trying to save my soul.....

EPIIC Wrapped Up Sunday

Here's an article from "The Tufts Daily". Tuft's student newspaper.

Symposium tackles global cities
Michael Del Moro and Alexandra Bogus
Published: Monday, February 23, 2009
Updated: Monday, February 23, 2009

The annual Norris and Margery Bendetson Education for Public Inquiry and International Citizenship (EPIIC) symposium concluded yesterday after five days of panels on topics ranging from finance to terrorism.

Entitled “Cities: Forging an Urban Future,” the symposium brought together experts from around the globe.

Institute for Global Leadership (IGL) Director Sherman Teichman called the programming a “slam-dunk victory.”

“The content has been just galvanizing,” he told the Daily. “The interactions have been extraordinary.”

In the symposium’s first lecture, Columbia University Professor of Sociology Saskia Sassen spoke about the state of the world’s cities in a time of financial crisis and evolving power structures.
Read the rest here........still bumming I didn't make it.

Monday, February 23, 2009

So My Dad Says To Me......

...."You know the USS Mason is named for a previous destroyer that was built down the street in the Navy Yard."

We were discussing pirates in the Gulf of Aden and the Navy's involvement. The current USS Mason DDG 87 assisted the MV Faina after she was released by the Somali pirates. The Mason is part of the Theodore Roosevelt Strike Group.
If you go to the history page at their official Navy website, you can read about it.
The second Mason (DE-529) was laid down by the Boston Navy Yard, Boston, Massachusetts, in October 1943 and launched 17 November 1942. The ship was commissioned 20 March 1944. Lieutenant William Blackford was the Commanding Officer. Mason served as convoy escort in the Atlantic through the remainder of World War II.

MASON (DE-529) has the distinction of being the only U.S. Navy destroyer to be manned with a predominantly black enlisted crew. This was the first time black Americans were permitted to be trained and serve in ratings other than cooks and stewards. In late 1943, the Navy announced its plan to place an all-black crew with white officers aboard MASON. One hundred and sixty black Sailors were enrolled in all fields of operational and technical training and manned the ship at commissioning. Although known as “Eleanor’s Folly” for Eleanor Roosevelt’s introduction of the idea for an all-black crew, the MASON served with distinction during World War II. During the worst North Atlantic storm of the Century, MASON was serving as an escort to a convoy of merchant ships bound for England. During the storm, the convoy was forced the break up and MASON was chosen to escort a section of ships to their destiny. With land in sight, MASON’s deck split under the strain of heavy sea, threatening the structural integrity of the ship. Emergency repairs were conducted and MASON returned immediately to assist the remainder of the convoy.

The MASON crew was recommended for commendation from their Captain, Lieutenant Commander Bill Blackford, and the Convoy Commander, Commander Alfred Lind. The commendations were never rewarded. At the end of the war MASON was assigned as a training ship operating from Miami, Florida until being decommissioned and sold for scrap in 1947. On July 26, 1947 President Truman signed Executive Order 9981, officially desegregating the Armed Forces.

Through the efforts of the Mason veterans and the author Mary Pat Kelly, the MASON story has been chronicled in the book “Proudly We Served.” Their persistence in telling the MASON story paid off in 1994 when President Clinton awarded the long-overdue commendation to sixty-seven surviving crewmembers. In 1998, the Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton made official his decision to name an Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer the USS MASON (DDG-87) in order to mark the contributions of USS MASON DE 529 Sailors equality and desegregation in today’s Navy.

Of course, Princess Crabby would correct them on one small's the Charlestown Navy Yard.

BZ to the officers and crew if the USS Mason DDG 87!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

"Dover Is Ours"

I am posting this from Blackfive because it should be read far and here it is for those who pop in here who might not otherwise see it. You should read it and you should remember it whenever someone tells you that the current administration should lift the ban on media at Dover - the last line of the post says it all "Dover Is Ours"

It Is About Family
I have a good friend, a retired general officer, who served in the Pentagon during the invasion of Iraq and a year or so afterward. When I saw him at a reunion a year ago, he told me about duty at Dover in the course of our conversation. By that he meant that he and other generals at the Pentagon volunteered to go to Dover when aircraft carrying our dead warriors arrived and render them the honor they deserved. They did it on a rotating basis and in his opinion, it was the single highest honor they were afforded – the opportunity to pay their respects and render proper honors to those who had fallen.

I remember him having to pause a few times in his retelling, to sort of gather himself emotionally, and even then there was a bit of a crack in his voice or a glint of tear in his eye. An old Vietnam veteran, he knew personally how important this was to the military community. He also remembered how different it was in that distant war of his youth. That's why it was so vitally important to him that it be done right this time.

What struck me in his telling of his role in honoring our military dead was how intimate the act seemed. Everyone, without prompting, without complaining, without even the slightest hesitation, did all they could to ensure the proper respect, solemnity and care was given the remains of their brothers and sisters who had fallen in combat. Out of sight of anyone other than those on the ramp with them, they rendered the proper honors in a heartfelt way and with a precision meant to signify that this was a military hero for whom they were caring. It was the act of a loving and caring community, a family going through the grieving rituals which are particular to them.

What the military does at Dover isn't something just prescribed by some regulation or manual. It is something done because it is the right and honorable thing to do. It's is the last private and intimate act the military community as a whole renders its lost family member before it turns them over to the public at large. It is, in reality, the final goodbye, a ceremonial relinquishment of their fallen comrade to the nation at large. From that point onward, the affair is public - as public as the family and news media wants to make it.

And that's what has me puzzled about this media demand to intrude on these intense and intimately private moments at Dover. The argument is that filming and photographing the flag covered transfer cases as they arrive in Dover will drive home the real cost of war, and Americans have a right to know that. Of course there are plenty of pictures which are now in the public domain, shot and smuggled out of Dover which will make that point, if necessary. There's really not any necessity to have more of what will look precisely like the photos already in existence. They make the point about the cost of war as well as any new pictures might.

The cost of war can be made in many other ways as well. Pretending that photographs of arriving flag-draped transfer cases is the only real way to do so is simply laughable and demonstrates a dearth of imagination.

Instead, this seems this is more about the media than the cost of war. "The public's right to know" is thrown around like an amendment to the Constitution which should open all doors to their intrusive snooping, when in fact, such a "right" is one made up by the media for the media. The public knows the cost of war – many families have been touched by it throughout the history of our country. It doesn't require the media breaking in on private ceremonies to understand that. It is the public that bears the cost of war and always has.

No, this is about nothing more than media arrogance. It's a demand to be where they want to be whether wanted or not. It's a voyeuristic need to intrude upon and see what they been denied simply because it has been denied. Recording arriving dead at Dover won't illustrate the cost of war any better than it's been illustrated to date. But it will destroy the intimacy and privacy of our final goodbye.

For that reason, I pray that Secretary Gates and President Obama will continue the ban on the media at Dover. All families, to include the military family, need the room and time to grieve and say goodbye in their own special way to those they've lost.

Dover is ours.
Make you voice heard. Call your Senator, your representative in Congress. Go to this Facebook page. Email your friends. You know everyone is always saying "I support the troops." Yeah? Well show them how to prove it! Right now this issue is between a powerful media with an agenda and the small percentage of the American people who are in the military or love someone in the military (or actually have a "Navy Coterie" but I digress).

Bring the rest of America into this. All those people who stand on the side of the road with a little flag when the parade passes by. All those people who if you give them half a chance can show you a depth of love of their Country that will take your breath away. It's just that no one asks. Trust me, they are out there. "Saving Private Ryan" grossed 480 million.....that wasn't just those of us connected to the military.

SecDef Gates - Just Say No!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

As If My Head Weren't Swelled Enough

Today, at the super secret Navy place where they let me lurk, I saw something that tickled me.

Someone started a thread of favorite blogs/daily reads.

It contained the usual me! LOL

I was delighted, to say the least.
Two other things made me smile.

First, someone I like an awful lot was telling me that he is "not aging well". I asked what he was doing about it. After all he is someone who is on my case to fight, fight, fight! I wrote that if I had to should he.

His reply -
"Oh, pish-tosh. I can pontificate at you all I want and be totally hypocritical in my own behavior.

There's a democrat in the White House for god's sake.

It's like, allowed now."

The other emailer asked how I was doing with my current dissatisfaction with the medical profession -
"Hope you are getting along with your new treatment plan and not going to war with your doctors. Do they know you have your own Navy?"

Ha! He's right! Dr. D should watch his step......they should all watch their step!

Taking Chance

Tonight on HBO at 2000 hours (8 pm EST)

Don't miss it.

I tried several times to embed the trailer without success.
*****UPDATE - I gave up on HBO and went to YouTube*****

So here's a link.

I would also suggest reading this Blackfive post about Marine Lieutenant Colonel Strobl from April 27, 2004, and this one from yesterday.
Major Pain from One Marine's View also recommends you watch.

I Missed This Message From The Princess of Positive

I missed it when she posted it a couple of weeks ago....but I'm paying attention now!

Godspeed Bob Cerasoli
Posted on January 30th, 2009 by Greta
It was sad, but not surprising, to read the headlines this morning about the sudden retirement of New Orleans Inspector General Bob Cerasoli. I spoke with Bob on Tuesday after his interview with Eric Asher on WIST. He sounded tired, defeated and I felt the need to reach out to him. I told him that my family was here for him if he needed anything and that we supported whatever decision he made because life is too short! I was really feeling that on that particular day as the previous day I attended the funeral of a young hero laid to rest prematurely. He told me he appreciated my call but he could not discuss much right now and would call me at a later date when he could. I assured him he owed me no explanations but he insisted he would call me at a later date. We talked about my friend and fellow blogger Boston Maggie (he had read and commented on her blog before) and I explained how she was struggling with cancer but that her positive attitude will keep her going. I knew then, that his tenure would soon be over.
Greta ends the post with -
".....he’s coming home now. Your turn to watch out for him. Godspeed my friend!"

Roger that!

Sometimes the patients come to you.....

.....Sometimes you go to the patients
U.S. Navy Microbiologist Dr. Rockabrand(LCDR USN)
Learn more at

Friday, February 20, 2009

Who Says You Can't Go Home Again?

Sometimes when life kicks's good to go home and regroup.

A True Champion of Clean Government Bids Farewell
Jeff Crouere
January 30, 2009
On Friday, we learned the sad news that Inspector General Robert Cerasoli is leaving New Orleans to return to his home in Massachusetts. Upon his departure Cerasoli cited health concerns and disclosed that several growths were surgically removed from his neck over the Christmas holidays and that he faced the need for more surgical procedures. In conversations with his doctor, Cerasoli realized that he could not devote the necessary time to his health challenge while still undertaking the duties of his very demanding job.

Bob, if you see this, please know that I wish you the best of luck. New Orleans is better for your having been there. Soon it will be spring here and things will look a lot brighter.

One Of The Most Fabulous Things

I have ever done was Dubai. I tell you that all the time.

This is one of the things available at the Ayurvedic Spa on the top floor of The Taj Palace.

What I Am Missing

You know I am torturing myself over what I'm missing at EPIIC.

Today is four different panels starting at noon.

Someday I am going to win the lottery and after I pay all my debts, fork over to my family, St Francis, Soldier's Angels and some other charities.......I am going to use the rest to just travel around to different lectures and forums and author appearances, etc.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Movie Night!

Frankie, Billy and I watched "The Great Raid". Great movie and lots of fun hanging with two of my boys. Popcorn, M&Ms, Coke - the whole family-movie-night package. The movie was so long that we started with dinner - tortellinis and rolls - I'm not completely irresponsible!

There were a few times we needed to pause so I could answer questions. Of course I am not so good with the Army questions. I have to work on that. I do much better with the Navy movies!

First off there is the amazing feat of rescuing the POWs from Cabanatuan even though it served no strategic purpose in fighting the war. I emphasized that to the boys. That the raid was about the character of our nation.

Then another amazing story is just touched upon. Margart Utinsky who won the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In the movie, while she is portrayed as very brave, it seems incidental. She's just rolling along and helps POWs while she waits for the man she loves to be liberated from Cabanatuan. Of course, as with anything else....there is more to the story. Mrs. Utinsky wrote a book, I should add it to the list.

Greyhawk Sends

Bring us your dead!

Go. Read it.

"I've Told You What I Think.....

....I'm not going to go back and forth about it."

From the latest medical professional (and I use the word "professional" loosely.) Princess Crabby is seeing.

I could almost hear it in a comical German accent - "Don't questions zee dok-tor!"

Yeah, fuck you buddy.

We will call him Dr. D - not because his last name started with "D", but because he was a dick as in "Bigus Dickus" from Monty Python.

I thought I was lucky to grab that neurology cancellation yesterday, huh?

I thought it was cool that because I was "Maggie from X-Company" they put me at the top of the cancellation list, huh?

Well yesterday's appointment ended up split into two. First where he hit me rapid fire with 3 different reasons for my numbness, tingling, achiness, pain and jabs in my hands/arms and feet/legs. None were related to chemo. When I pointed out that I had none of these problems before chemo; that the causes he sited had been present for dozens of years - he got snippy.

No one loathes logic more than Princess Crabby - but come on!

The statement at the top is more or less how he ended the first session and I was scheduled to come back for a test where he would administer electrical shocks to prove his point about one of the diagnoses, carpal tunnel syndrome. He said my right hand was very bad, probably to the surgical level. I was confused, working in the medical equipment field I have talked to people who are to the level of surgery they are in much more pain? Yes he answered but I have been on dex which lessens the inflammation, so it was masked. So dex masked the pain I didn't have before I took the dex?

"I've told you what I think, I'm not going to go back and forth about it." Whisky Tango Foxtrot?

Followed by -

"Wash with soap before you come back." Excuse me? I didn't need to say it out loud, I have no poker face. So he added "I notice you have nice hand cream on, it interferes with conduction."

Possibly at charm school they would have advised him to reverse those two statements.

I'll get to the second visit later. All you really need to know is that I spent last evening self-medicates with copious amounts of Cold River vodka and cranberry juice with lime wedges....commonly know as Cape Codders.

The CO of USS Gonzalez (DDG 66) Sends

"As Commanding Officer of USS GONZALEZ (DDG 66), I authorized creation of this blog as an easy access web portal for the family and friends of the best Sailors in the Navy."

It's a good idea and it's a good read.

BZ to the CO of the "Fighting Freddy"!

H/T USNI blog.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Some Ups and Some Downs

The neurologists office called and they have a cancellation. So I get in much sooner than March 12th. LOL I didn't actually say "Do you know who I am?" but I did manage to work who I was into the conversation. And viola! March 12th turns into February 18th. Works for me.

Tonight is the first night of EPIIC and I really, really wanted to go. But it isn't realistic. I can't justify the $75 fee and the two days off of work. I really wanted to go, it sounds so interesting.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What Makes You Think They're Mine?


Jen spent yesterday cleaning out her bookcase. She had a pile of books that were mine. She had cleaned out and dusted all the books."Yeah, I found an M&M wrapper from you."

"What makes you think it's mine?" I am laughing. I am notorious for leaving things in books. Notes. Money. Receipts. An M&M wrapper is not out of the realm.

"It was in Shutter Island."

"So?" Sure, I read Shutter Island. It was one of two books I brought with me to Dubai. It's a very dark book. I was very moved. Nevermind the fact that it is overall part of a very happy memory. August of 2003 in Dubai was the best vacation ever. I can close my eyes and immediately be back on my lounge chair on the roof of the Taj Palace at the pool, my pool guys at the ready.

"The label is written in Arabic.""Oh."

Monday, February 16, 2009

Dear Anonymous

You are why there is "comment moderation".

LOL! You popped out here just after midnight, your IP address was 98.219.64.# (Unknown Organization) and you came from Information Dissemination. I wonder if you were rude there - or just seethed over all the people that were smarter than you. And you were in earlier, before midnight because you Googled "Galrahn".

Anyway, you read my post on ADM Keating "So.....My Question for ADM Keating" and you had some kind of mental breakdown, lol.

Somehow the fact that I ask a question makes me like a "diploma-mill 'docs' of the early 20th Century who looked, acted and sounded just like the real, AMA credentialed doctors"


And it's a shame that someone like me"gets to have any contact with someone like ADM Keating".

Wow! I must admit I really like and admire ADM Keating....but what's the deal buddy? You have a little shrine in your room or what?

Anyway you went on to label me a "fake".

What? What am I faking? (LOL! Everyone knows Princess Crabby is too demanding to fake anything!) I said I was a civilian. Am I faking that? I thanked the Admiral for his time - was I insincere? LOL

But here's the best part - you are such a mental midget that you attempted to post your nasty little comment three times before you either realized that there was comments moderation turned on (Comment moderation has been enabled. All comments must be approved by the blog author.) or you gave up and crawled back under your rock.

Hey buddy - here's your bottle of colored water! All us fakes and quacks have colored water - you said so yourself!

I Thought This Was Hilarious

Lie To Me

It's a new show on Fox that Jen & I have been following. During commercials we review what we are learning so we won't be caught lying.

Jen and I are always getting ready to commit the perfect murder. We are always stunned by people who confess on crime shows when the yellow legal pad is put in front of them. After all, if you are going to get worked up enough to get into a homicidal rage and you are going to go to all the effort of killing up!

Anyway, in the previews for the upcoming episode, they show someone with a furrowed brow. The lead character points to his expression and announces that's someone who is about to attack.

We both scream and laugh. Jen grabs the remote and rewinds.

That's our normal expression.....all the time.

That can't be good.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Funny From the MM Listserv

We're all out there with our ups & downs. Once in a while there is a real laugh.

One of the women writes

I really hate mornings, I used to love them but nowI can't stand them. I wake up every morning like a zombie, so out of it and my whole body feels like a 100 year old body. I don't get it.

The last time I did dex was May '08, and Velcade July '08. Yes monthly I do Zometa but that never gave me a problem. Could it be the 100mg of thalomid Ihave been taken for the last year?

Yes I am on 40mg oxy twice a day for bone pain, maybe that is wearingoff some.Is it just me or do others feel the same way? I am so confused because I was hoping by now I would feel great in the morning in hopes even to go back to work part time. It takes me a good hour and half to get out of this state after I take the morning pills.

She received several replies. There is some question as to whether it's the meds or the MM

But the funniest reply was -

Sorry, Judy. You and the other ladies must be just plain lazy! Personally, I am always (usually) up, armed and dangerous not later than the crack of noon almost every day.

I seldom go down for a "combat nap" before 2:00, so that is proof, iron-clad proof, of absolutely nothing!

OK, now you wore me down with all this typing, so I am going to watch the snooze, uh News on TV. Hope I make it through that grueling 30 minutes!

Actually, from talking with my docs, and with other cancer patients (not just MM), I think what you are experiencing is normal for us. Our bodies have taken quite a blow. Not too many years ago, we wouldn't still be around to complain about fatigue. Take the retirement, relax, and concentrate on whipping this beast.

Good luck, clear skies, and smooth landings,

Washington Times Editorial

Obama's outrageous oversight
Thursday, February 12, 2009

President Obama clearly didn't do his homework before ordering the suspension of military tribunals to try terrorist suspects. We have learned that even his own legal counsel admitted that Mr. Obama erred in discussing details about terrorism with families of victims last week, and that the administration was ignorant of a key point that terrorists exploit to their advantage. In his rush to fulfill a campaign promise to his more fervid anti-war supporters, the president's legal oversights risk the disclosure of some highly classified information to terrorists.

Debra Burlingame, sister of Charles Burlingame III, the pilot of American Airlines Flight 77 that was flown into the Pentagon on 9/11, was present at last Friday's White House meeting of families of terrorism victims. Her impression was that President Obama was saying the right words in general, but when it came to specifics he was uncertain, uninformed, and sometimes just plain mistaken. Ms. Burlingame is an attorney who has followed closely the legal aspects of the terrorism cases, and her detailed, probing questions were met with stammers, stares, and statements that betrayed an understanding of the law that was, she said, "flat out wrong."

Case in point: the president's knowledge of the role of the Classified Information Procedures Act or CIPA. This law governs the way in which classified information is used in trials. The Sixth Amendment guarantees defendants the right to confront their accusers and the evidence against them, but the government has an important interest in cases such as these in keeping sources and methods secret. Under CIPA rules, in cases where classified information is used, the government has the option of sharing the information with the defendant, or not using it.

The Bush administration sought to avoid this potential national security threat by resorting to other procedures in which 6th Amendment issues did not arise. But President Obama believes that the model for terrorism cases is the prosecution of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers. Of course a number of those plotters escaped justice (some were found later hiding in Saddam's Iraq, but that's another story). More important, because of the openness of that process, al Qaeda learned a great deal about how to do a much better job next time - and even the classified information from that trial was in Osama bin Laden's hands within weeks.

The terrorists have learned a great deal about conducting legal guerrilla war, using rules like CIPA to their advantage. Notice that more and more terrorists are dismissing their appointed lawyers and representing themselves. This gives them direct access to the classified documents that will be used in evidence against them. In this way they can learn about U.S. intelligence sources and methods - how they were targeted, what information was collected, and who may have been the traitors in their midst. Even if the names of sources are omitted, for example someone who was present at a key planning meeting, the terrorist defendant will know enough about the circumstances to be able to narrow it down. After all, the terrorist is familiar with every aspect of the events; he knows much more about them than the intelligence community.

The alternative to handing over the secrets is for the government to not use the evidence in question. That creates the incongruous situation in which the defense wants to maximize the amount of evidence that implicates them, and the prosecution wants to minimize it. (Our legal system was not designed to accommodate defendants who welcome being put to death.) According to Ms. Burlingame, Obama's answer to this conundrum was "there is no reason we have to give [the terrorists] everything." Evidently the former editor of the Harvard Law Review seems to think that one of his powers as president is personally to pick and choose which constitutional rights apply to terror defendants and which do not. That's the very thing they were criticizing President Bush for.

White House Counsel Greg Craig, often seen whispering in the president's ear during question periods, admitted later to Ms. Burlingame that the chief executive was getting the facts of the law wrong during the discussion with the families. Craig asked her if CIPA covers a case in which terrorists defend themselves, noting that "this is something we hadn't contemplated." If nothing else, this admission of ignorance is more evidence that the decision to rush ahead with closing Guantanamo and shutting down the military tribunals was ill-conceived, poorly planned, and may ultimately be injurious to our national security. The president may talk a good game about "swift, certain justice," but it is becoming clear that justice will not be swift, is highly uncertain, and in the end may not even be just.
I highlighted the line above in red. I read that and thought - "What?"???????

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Joe & Huggy and Valentine's Day

Joe & Huggy are discussing romantic movie lines.

My offering?

Sean Connery to Michelle Pfieffer in Russia House
"I love you. All my failings were preparation for me to you. It's like nothing I have ever known: it's unselfish love, grown up love. You know it is. It's mature, absolute, thrilling love."

Dermot Mulroney to Debra Messing in The Wedding Date (forgetable movie)
"I think I'd miss you even if we'd never met."

Not a line but a scene, Lana Turner flinging herself at John Wayne in The Sea Chase.
MAD SEXY!!!!!!

What Did I Say?

What did I say!

I am overwhelmed. For pity's sake, cut it out!

War Plan Orange? Galrahn mentioned it.....then last night SB drops that he's reading it.

Plus Sean at Thomas Barnett's website is teasing me over not reading *every word* there.

I told him.....
You are right, I don't read *every* word here, lol. If I read every word of all the blogs I like, I'd have to quit my job and devote my day to this.
I made it. I was late, but I was there by 1830. I loved it!!!
But I was terribly upset by one thing - the assertion that no one loved John Adams. That's ridiculous! This is Boston, Mr. Adams is more than loved. We were in the BPL which, with the exception of the MHS up the street, is the largest repository of Adams material.
I do agree, Adams was a "fixer". However, I use that term with reverence. You can not put a price on a good fixer.
The new book has cut the line of all other reading material and as soon as I finish "Sea of Thunder" it's on to "Great Powers".

Hmmmmm, quit my job and do nothing but read all day.......that sounds awesome!

Did You Read The Stimulus Bill?

I didn't.

My Congressman, Mr. Delahunt didn't.

My Senators, Messieurs Kennedy & Kerry didn't.

GOP Leader Boehner Floor Speech Opposing Democrats' Trillion-Dollar Spending Bill

Friday, February 13, 2009

Next - Let Me Say

Who do you people think you are fucking with?


The local oncologist is starting to peeve me. I think it's a little blowback because I am such a difficult patient. It's been manifesting itself in small ways. Believe me, I have no problem admitting I am difficult.

What can I say to be you.

As some of you may know I stopped taking everything January 22nd. I am seriously worried about the side effects from the Revlimid and the dexamethasone. I have been very upfront about needing more answers before I consider going back on chemo.

Peripheral neuropathy is a serious diagnosis. Maybe I have it. Maybe I don't. Maybe it's reversible. Maybe it's not. I need to know before I let you give me Velcade.

So I've been waiting to see how it goes. Will the numbness and tingling subside? Well, now it's painful. Like getting jabbed with a hypodermic needle or zapped with electricity.

So I pick a neurologist, local guy, I call for an appointment. I get March 12th, but thanks to being "Maggie from X-company" I also get the top spot on the cancellation list. I also get some helpful advice - get some MRIs ahead of time.

I call the local onc. I explain what I want. I can't imagine there will be a problem.....after all, the sooner these questions on peripheral neuropathy get settled, the sooner I am open to continuing treatment.



His nurse calls, he won't order them. No explanation. Just no.

I fax my PCP. She calls me a few hours later. She's happy to help, can I come in? They can fit me in this week.

Today I call the local onc. Normally my blood work is followed by an appointment and I get the blood work results handed to me. Now that I am not treating and only being watched, there will be four days (every other Wednesday) of blood work with no face to face. I keep track of all the results on the Myeloma Manager.

The nurse calls and says "No". She tries to explain that she can't just fax them to any random number - mind you, my PCP and the specialist, Dr. Miller, they fax me at random numbers. The nurse further explains that I need to sign a release and no she can't fax em the release, I have to come down in person.

Well, you know I was doing 75 miles and hour down Route 3 toward the Jordan. Then, just shy of the hospital, I thought - why am I going to make myself crazy? These test results are at the drawing station too.

So I pop into the drawing station.....where I just was Wednesday with cookies....and they print out my stuff.

I don need no steenkin' release!

First - Let Me Say

Mini Eggs!!!!!!!!!!

Update - I have just looked over the blood test results from Wednesday - glucose is up.....what could that be related to????????

Reading Material

I'm drowning again!

I am reading "Sea of Thunder"

I am falling behind here.

I now have, in my possession, the brand new Barnett.

Now the Naval War College gets into the act with Antonio Giustozzi's "Koran, Kalashnikov, and Laptop". A review is here.

Not to mention, my house is full of books, SB has a list for me, Sid at CDR Salamander has a list for me and I'm sure next weekend EPIIC will make the list longer.

Thank You Senator Gregg

Gregg Ends Bid for Commerce Job
Published: February 12, 2009
WASHINGTON — Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire abruptly withdrew Thursday as the nominee for commerce secretary, saying he had “irresolvable conflicts” with President Obama over his economic stimulus plan and a concern over what many fellow Republicans believe is the politicization of the 2010 census.

You have to admire a person who does what's best for us all, instead of himself.

You can drop a note and thank Sen. Gregg here.

So.....My Question for ADM Keating

I wrote about the Bloggers Roundtable a little bit. But I didn't get to post my question.

Q Hi, Admiral. This is Maggie. I write at BostonMaggie, and I am tolerated around the naval blogosphere.

ADM. KEATING: Hi, Maggie.

Q And my question -- I'm a civilian, and my question is, what is it that you want the American people to know about the buildup of the Chinese navy?

ADM. KEATING: I'd like the American people to know that we're watching the buildup of the Chinese navy very carefully. We have been for a long time, and we're going to continue watching for a long time.

We want the Chinese to understand that there's lots of -- we say there's lots of room in the Pacific, in the Asia-Pacific region, Maggie. When I talk to Chinese military and diplomatic leaders about their -- the growth of their military, they come back and say to me all they want to do is protect that which is theirs. That's fair enough; we certainly understand that as a strategic goal. We share that as a strategic goal.

We are encouraging the Chinese to operate with us with increasing frequency and with increasing intensity, and we want them to understand that there is plenty of area for us to cooperate so as to develop better understanding between their military forces and ours.

And we would encourage them to help us achieve our goals of prosperity and stability throughout the Asia-Pacific region. I think we're making progress, albeit gradual.

Q Thank you, sir.
So, last night I was talking to SB and he says "Caught a few minutes of the interview. Second question. Good job." Then I proceeded to taunt him about ADM Keating addressing me by name, puffing myself up to comical levels to get a laugh out of him. He replies the he didn't hear the whole interview - I told him he didn't need to, I just told him the most important part!

Anyway, the Navy Coterie always tells me to go with my strong take as a civilian. Nevermind trying to ask the cool Navy question.....ask the civilian question. So I did. How'd I do?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

America's Beautiful National Parks Quarter

America's Beautiful National Parks Quarter
In a successor to the 50 States Quarters Program, the U.S. Mint, in a nationwide program, has asked Governor Patrick to select one preferred and three alternate Massachusetts national sites to be featured on the reverse of a quarter. Beginning in 2010, the Mint will release five new quarter designs annually based on the order in which the selected sites gained federal designation.

Governor Patrick is calling on the people of Massachusetts to help with this decision.
“Our Commonwealth has many great parks and historically significant sites,” said Governor Patrick. “It will be fun to let everybody help choose the one to submit.”
What Sites are Included?

The sites for Massachusetts can include federally-recognized national parks or other national sites in the Commonwealth, including those appearing on the National Register of Historic Places, National Wildlife Refuges, and National Forests. We have taken the liberty of reducing the list of thousands of potential sites down to the possibilities below based on their local and national significance.

How to Vote
The voting is now open. Please note that you can only submit one site at a time, but you can vote as often as you would like until 5:00 p.m. February 26, 2009. If your preferred site does not appear on this list, you can still vote for it by calling 1-800-227-MASS [6277]. is my request..........please vote for Old Ironsides. Scroll down to Suffolk County and vote for USS Constitution. Vote over and over please.


What's the big idea!

Galrahn gets a free book and I can't even get notice that he's coming to Boston??????

Thursday, February 12, 2009 at 6pm (doors open at 5:30p)
Rabb Lecture Hall (seats 342)Boston Public Library

In Great Powers: America and the World After Bush, Thomas Barnett delivers a tour de force analysis of the grand realignments that are both already here and coming up fast in the spheres of economics, diplomacy, defense, technology, security, the environment, and much more. The author of the groundbreaking New York Times bestseller The Pentagon’s New Map brings a remarkable analysis of the post-Bush world, and America ’s leadership role in it.Thomas P.M. Barnett regularly advises the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Special Operations Command, and Central Command, and routinely offers briefings to senior members of the four military services, the intelligence community, and Congress. For more information, click here.

So, I am on Twitter and this morning I see an update from Barnett "Land Beantown, car to hotel. WSJ radio ay 1130 by phone." Hello! He's in Boston and no one told me???????

I Google "Barnett and Boston" which brings me to Critt Jarvis whose blog post supplies the details above.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Shhhh! My Take On Timbo's Future

OK, so Princess Crabby's knows something that may or may not be true.

The gouge is that ADM Stavridis will take over PACOM. If this is correct, where will ADM Keating go?

Perhaps Fleet Forces Command.

Which, of course, causes one to observe.......that was Gary's path.

Now be quiet and let's see what happens.

Teasing SB

Last night I called SB as he was wrapping up another of those 12 plus hour days.

"Anything you want me to ask ADM Keating tomorrow?"

"He doesn't know who I am."

I laughed......"Well, he knows who I am."

Sure enough, as we were ending the call, several of the participants thanked the Admiral for his time.

But when I said it...the reply was "Thanks, Maggie"

LOL I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I was the only woman.........I'm sure it was because he knew I was the Goddess of the Naval Blogospere.

Jack Jumps In.....

....with emailed questions and comments.

People are encouraged by PACOM reaching out to the civilian world.

They are on Facebook, go become a fan!

Another great way they are reaching out to us is YouTube and Flickr.

You can keep up with the latest on Cobra Gold at their blog.

ADM Keating replied that he was a teradactyl and had recently celebrated his 60th birthday. He credited those in his command with reaching out to the public.

That may well be sir......but it takes a good leader to let the junior officers run with the good ideas.

Now The Topic Is

ASW vis-a-vis Chinese submarines.

Axe Is So Hard To Take

He's lecturing ADM Keating. David, ADM Keating knows what Global Fleet Station operation is.

Keating is taking it well. He is so gracious.

I console myself by picturing David green and nauseous on the Kearsarge.

Live Blogging ADM Keating

You know I am a HUGE fan!

It's a good crowd on the DefenseLink Blogger's Roundtable.

ADM Keating is talking to us from Hawaii. Right now I am listening to his opening statement.

Jim Dolbow was the first question - Jim blogs at "An Unofficial Coast Gurd Blog" and the "USNI Blog"

February 11, 1858

Mary, the Virgin Mother first appears to Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes, February 11, 1858.

I was always in awe of this story. I marvel at the great faith that was required for St. Bernadette to face down all the doubters.
When Jennifer was being baptized, Father Murphy hesitated over the name.
"Is Jennifer a saint's name?"
My father replied "Of course, Jennifer Jones played Bernadette in "Song of Bernadette"!"
Father Murphy laughed and proceeded. You can't argue with my father's logic.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

So Now What Do You Do?

You read this post.

Or you read the CliffNotes.

So what to do?

Let your Senators and Reps know how you feel.

Stop this nonsense.

Are You Lazy? Busy?

Maybe you don't have time to read the whole article below.

Here's some highlights -

The bill’s health rules will affect “every individual in the United States” (445, 454, 479). Your medical treatments will be tracked electronically by a federal system.
But the bill goes further. One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective.

Who will decide what treatment is appropriate & cost effective?

Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research.
The Federal Council is modeled after a U.K. board discussed in Daschle’s book.

What's the formula?

This board (in the UK) approves or rejects treatments using a formula that divides the cost of the treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit.

Ahhhh, and why is it that Tom Daschle thinks we need this?

Daschle says health-care reform “will not be pain free.” Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them.
He praises Europeans for being more willing to accept “hopeless diagnoses” and “forgo experimental treatments,” and he chastises Americans for expecting too much from the health-care system.

And how did Daschle proposed ramming this radical new philosophy on healthcare down our throats?

Hiding health legislation in a stimulus bill is intentional. Daschle supported the Clinton administration’s health-care overhaul in 1994, and attributed its failure to debate and delay. A year ago, Daschle wrote that the next president should act quickly before critics mount an opposition. “If that means attaching a health-care plan to the federal budget, so be it,” he said. “The issue is too important to be stalled by Senate protocol.”

Daschle Might Be Gone......

...but he is still wreaking havoc.

Ruin Your Health With the Obama Stimulus Plan: Betsy McCaughey
Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Republican Senators are questioning whether President Barack Obama’s stimulus bill contains the right mix of tax breaks and cash infusions to jump-start the economy.

Tragically, no one from either party is objecting to the health provisions slipped in without discussion. These provisions reflect the handiwork of Tom Daschle, until recently the nominee to head the Health and Human Services Department.

Senators should read these provisions and vote against them because they are dangerous to your health. (Page numbers refer to H.R. 1 EH, pdf version).

The bill’s health rules will affect “every individual in the United States” (445, 454, 479). Your medical treatments will be tracked electronically by a federal system. Having electronic medical records at your fingertips, easily transferred to a hospital, is beneficial. It will help avoid duplicate tests and errors.

But the bill goes further. One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and “guide” your doctor’s decisions (442, 446). These provisions in the stimulus bill are virtually identical to what Daschle prescribed in his 2008 book, “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.” According to Daschle, doctors have to give up autonomy and “learn to operate less like solo practitioners.”

Keeping doctors informed of the newest medical findings is important, but enforcing uniformity goes too far.

New Penalties
Hospitals and doctors that are not “meaningful users” of the new system will face penalties. “Meaningful user” isn’t defined in the bill. That will be left to the HHS secretary, who will be empowered to impose “more stringent measures of meaningful use over time” (511, 518, 540-541)

What penalties will deter your doctor from going beyond the electronically delivered protocols when your condition is atypical or you need an experimental treatment? The vagueness is intentional. In his book, Daschle proposed an appointed body with vast powers to make the “tough” decisions elected politicians won’t make.

The stimulus bill does that, and calls it the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (190-192). The goal, Daschle’s book explained, is to slow the development and use of new medications and technologies because they are driving up costs. He praises Europeans for being more willing to accept “hopeless diagnoses” and “forgo experimental treatments,” and he chastises Americans for expecting too much from the health-care system.

Elderly Hardest Hit
Daschle says health-care reform “will not be pain free.” Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them. That means the elderly will bear the brunt.
Medicare now pays for treatments deemed safe and effective. The stimulus bill would change that and apply a cost- effectiveness standard set by the Federal Council (464).

The Federal Council is modeled after a U.K. board discussed in Daschle’s book. This board approves or rejects treatments using a formula that divides the cost of the treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit. Treatments for younger patients are more often approved than treatments for diseases that affect the elderly, such as osteoporosis.

In 2006, a U.K. health board decreed that elderly patients with macular degeneration had to wait until they went blind in one eye before they could get a costly new drug to save the other eye. It took almost three years of public protests before the board reversed its decision.

Hidden Provisions
If the Obama administration’s economic stimulus bill passes the Senate in its current form, seniors in the U.S. will face similar rationing. Defenders of the system say that individuals benefit in younger years and sacrifice later.

The stimulus bill will affect every part of health care, from medical and nursing education, to how patients are treated and how much hospitals get paid. The bill allocates more funding for this bureaucracy than for the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force combined (90-92, 174-177, 181).

Hiding health legislation in a stimulus bill is intentional. Daschle supported the Clinton administration’s health-care overhaul in 1994, and attributed its failure to debate and delay. A year ago, Daschle wrote that the next president should act quickly before critics mount an opposition. “If that means attaching a health-care plan to the federal budget, so be it,” he said. “The issue is too important to be stalled by Senate protocol.”

More Scrutiny Needed
On Friday, President Obama called it “inexcusable and irresponsible” for senators to delay passing the stimulus bill. In truth, this bill needs more scrutiny.

The health-care industry is the largest employer in the U.S. It produces almost 17 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. Yet the bill treats health care the way European governments do: as a cost problem instead of a growth industry. Imagine limiting growth and innovation in the electronics or auto industry during this downturn. This stimulus is dangerous to your health and the economy.

(Betsy McCaughey is former lieutenant governor of New York and is an adjunct senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. The opinions expressed are her own.)

To contact the writer of this column: Betsy McCaughey at

H/T Bigg Bill

Sherri Sends

Sherri emailed this. If anyone knows who the cartoonist is, please let me know so I can properly credit them. I will be poking around trying to figure it out myself.

Monday, February 09, 2009

EPIIC Symposium or Punishing Myself

LOL, it's time for the 2009 EPIIC Symposium......also known as Maggie pays good money to have people aggravate her.

This is the polar opposite of the Milblog.

At EPIIC I am *the* most conservative person in the room. Period.

At the Milblog, I am moderate.

At EPIIC I am constantly aggravated by the whole pie in the sky, Kumbaya, love is the answer feel.

At the Milblog I get the sense that I am among people who see the world as it truly is.

But learning is not about sitting in the echo chamber. I learn plenty of things at the Milblog, but EPIIC will take me places I wouldn't ordinarily go.

Plus I think it's good for them to have a real conservative in their presence.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Jesus Wept

First, read this.

Now, this -

Obama to order charges withdrawn against USS Cole bombing mastermind

When I first read about Pohl saying no, I thought that was the end of it. Well, no, I hoped that was the end of it. But when I watched Robert Gibbs on the 29th explain to reporters the "we are consulting with the Pentagon and the Department of Justice to explore our options in that case.", I was a little unnerved.

Then yesterday.....well, I have no words.

How does this help the cause of justice?

Is it so important to get your way?

Was Col. Pohl standing up for what was right such a problem for "The One" that he had to do this?

Does this Administration need to be reminded that SEVENTEEN U.S. Sailors died on Oct. 12, 2000, when Al Qaeda suicide bombers steered an explosives-laden boat into the Cole, while it was in a Yemeni port???

Oh and let's not forget Judge Susan Crawford - Oh no, I don't want to leave you out - Princess Crabby wants to personally send you a big "Effffff you!"

Navy Commander JD Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman, said: "It was [Judge Susan Crawford's] decision, and it reflects the fact that the president [US president Barack Obama] has issued an executive order which mandates that the military commissions be halted, pending the outcome of several comprehensive reviews of our detention operations at Guantanamo."

I hope whatever you are angling to get from the new Administration of Hope&Change turns out to be worth your backbone. I hope it's the best unicorn in the stable.