Thursday, July 30, 2009


Midlands ambulance crews strain to help obese patients

Lincoln Fire & Rescue, for example, is considering putting a construction crane and a forklift on call for patients who are too big to get out a door or down steps. Firefighters had to use a tarp to haul an 800-pound patient a few years ago.

Lloyd Rupp, a battalion chief in the Omaha Fire Department, said his crews encounter a 400-pound-plus patient every several days. Five to 10 years ago, crews would run into such patients every couple of weeks.

Did we ever think it would come to this?

Monday, July 27, 2009

You Don't Say...

Argentina's first couple deliver prosperity – for themselves

They were elected on the promise of delivering prosperity to Argentina, but statistics showing a stunning economic turnaround have come with a catch.

New figures show that since Nestor and Cristina Kirchner came to power in 2003, they have presided over a remarkable sixfold increase in their own wealth.

We would expect this from a friend of Hugo Chavez, but we increasingly see this more and more in the United States, where our founding fathers envisioned public service as just that: serving the public.

Why is it that the net worth of most politicians increases exponentially whilst in office? They make less then $200,000 per annum.

Term limits, anyone?

Interesting article...


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hall of Famer Jim Rice

Congratulations Jim Rice-

Remember this?

The date was Aug. 7, 1982. Dave Stapleton was at the plate. The shortstop sent a screaming line drive into the stands.

"I saw the ball hit the bat and heard the crack, and thought it hit the side of the dugout," Tom Keane recently recalled to the Associated Press. "I turned, and there was my son [Jonathan] with blood gushing out of his head."

That's when Rice stepped into the picture.

"The next thing I remembered was Jim Rice picking him up," Keane said. "We ran through the dugout. I was kind of chasing Jim Rice; he was carrying Jonathan. There was an ambulance waiting. When we got to the hospital, they were set up for neurosurgery."

"In times like that, you really see the quality of the character of the people involved," Tom Keane said to the AP. "Jim Rice is a really humble guy. He doesn't want to take credit for doing anything out of the ordinary. He said he did anything anyone would have done.

"I think that's an understatement of what he did that day. He did something that nobody else did. He may very well have saved my son's life."

Our Elected Representatives Lying To Us Again?

From CNN Money, the fine print in the Congressional Health Plans--

In promoting his health-care agenda, President Obama has repeatedly reassured Americans that they can keep their existing health plans -- and that the benefits and access they prize will be enhanced through reform.

A close reading of the two main bills, one backed by Democrats in the House and the other issued by Sen. Edward Kennedy's Health committee, contradict the President's assurances. To be sure, it isn't easy to comb through their 2,000 pages of tortured legal language. But page by page, the bills reveal a web of restrictions, fines, and mandates that would radically change your health-care coverage.

Basically, it's fewer choices all the way around and no reward for a healthy lifestyle. And, keep in mind, our Congressional representatives have exempted themselves from these plans.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

John Stossel's Health Care Segment Postponed Again By ABC

Stossel writes:

My piece of British and Canadian healthcare has been postponed once again. Now it’s scheduled to run, not tonight, but next Friday, July 31 at 10pm ET.

His latest column about the arrogance of half-witted politicians:

It's crazy for a group of mere mortals to try to design 15 percent of the U.S. economy. It's even crazier to do it by August.

Yet that is what some members of Congress presume to do. They intend, as the New York Times puts it, "to reinvent the nation's health care system".

Let that sink in. A handful of people who probably never even ran a small business actually think they can reinvent the health care system.

He concludes:

Who will save us from these despots? What Adam Smith said about the economic planner applies here, too: The politician who tries to design the medical marketplace would "assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it."


Medicaid, Medicare, the VA, all government controlled and compromised by inefficiency, fraud and poor service. Now we want them controlling the rest of it?

Harry Patch, the last British army veteran of World War I, has died at 111

Britain's last World War I veteran has died.

Born in southwest England in 1898, Patch was called up for military service in 1916 when he was working as a teenage apprentice plumber. After training he was sent to the trenches as a machine-gunner in the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry.

A few weeks later, in one of the bloodiest battles of the war at Passchendaele, near the Belgian town of Ypres, he was badly wounded and three of his best friends were killed by a shell explosion.

I have visited the battlefield site referenced above. If you are ever in the area of Bruges, be certain to look up Quasimodo Tours. I always prefer to go on my own, avoiding bus tours whenever possible, but Quasimodo does a great job with World War I sites. The guide was outstanding; he was friendly with several WWI veterans at the time and extremely informative and interesting.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Pigs At The Trough

Corruption is cultivated at a young age in New Jersey.

Usually, it's guys like Sharpe James who are taken down by corruption charges after long years in public service bilking the taxpayers.

Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano learned early on what was neccessary to succeed in New Jersey politics. And, he's refusing to step down.

Of course, this is old hat for the Garden State. Fortunately for the rest of us, the Feds seem to be catching on.

Here's the next question: Why stop at New Jersey?


The French may have to work on Sunday.

Heaven forbid...

Efforts by President Nicolas Sarkozy to liberalize store hours on Sundays progressed with a narrow victory in the Senate on Thursday. The law would allow Sunday retail openings in about 500 tourist areas and in some large cities like Paris, Lille and Marseille, if the mayor of each city agrees. The opposition Socialist Party said it would challenge the effort.

What next? Optional overtime?

Mt. Washington Mascot Euthanized

Nin the cat is dead.

He lived a full life, from the streets of Vermont to the top of New England’s highest mountain to the colorful pages of a children’s picture book.

But old age and a liver tumor began taking their toll, and last week, Nin, the former mascot of New Hampshire’s Mount Washington Observatory, was laid to rest. He was believed to be 19 or 20 years old.

Tour de France

Scene from Stage 11 - Vatan to Saint-Fargeau

Lance is still looking to be on the podium in Paris. Tomorrow should be a great stage: a mountain top finish on Mont Ventoux then on to Paris.

Mark Buehrle

It's amazing that such a hittable pitcher can throw a no-hitter and a perfect game. He hovers around 90 MPH at the most. There is something to be said for hitting your spots.

Ramon Castro, a Mets early season cast-off, called the game. It was his first time catching Buehrle.

Congratulations Mark Buehrle.

Watch every out on YouTube.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Colonel Bogey March

The Bridge On The River Kwai is on TCM tonight. You can watch the complete film on YouTube.

Part 1

William Holden is great as the slacker POW and Alec Guinness plays the regimented collaborator Brit to perfection.

The mostly fiction film won seven Oscars in 1957.

Nice Work If You Can Get It...

Attention New Yorkers, here are more of your tax dollars at work:

Two state employees, accused of fashioning a secret "man cave" at the Capitol Building in Albany so they could watch TV, smoke dope and zone out on the taxpayer's dime, racked up nearly $30,000 in overtime, according to state records.

We not only have an incompetent, constitutionally ignorant Governor, a dictatorial Speaker of the Assembly and a cabal of nincompoops in the Senate, we also have an entitled workforce.

Anyone packing their bags yet?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Another Stench from Albany

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is causing a literal stink by promoting eco-friendly waterless urinals.

DEC has been getting complaints by state workers that waterless urinals at their building have created a fetid mess complete with "splash back," "puddles (of urine) on the floor," and "unpleasant odor."

Apparently, the use of waterless urinals are needed when qualifying a building as LEED, a designation by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Typical to most government entities, the NYSDEC is cumbersome and inefficient. This could be an issue for years.

Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong attacking today in the Tour de France reminded me of this stage win in 2004.

Absolutely amazing...

la Mediocre Latina

Richard Cohen writes on Sonia Sotomayor.

This is the sad state of both liberalism and American politics. First-class legal brains are not even nominated lest some senator break into hives at the prospect of encountering a genuinely new idea. The ceiling is further lowered by the need to season the court with diversity, a wonderful idea as long as brilliance is not compromised. The result has been the rout of sexism: The women are as mediocre as the men.

From all we know, Sotomayor is no Scalia. She is no Thurgood Marshall, either, or even a John Roberts, who is leading the court in his own direction. She will be confirmed. But if she is not, liberalism will not have lost much of a champion or a thinker. A million lawyers in America and something Jimmy Carter used to say comes to mind: Why not the best?

The diversity discussion shouldn't end with skin color. How about diversity of ideas and opinion?

The Sotomayor hearings were telling. Was anyone awed by this woman's intellect or legal acumen?

Barbara Boxer Starring on YouTube

I finally got around to see this. It is absolutely hysterical. Typical elitist attitude.

Why is the statement by the NAACP relevant?

Takeaway line-

"We are referring to the experts regardless of their color."

Disclaimer: I met Senator Boxer when I was an intern on Capitol Hill in the 1990's. As Joan Crawford says in The Women, "There is a name for you... but it isn't used in high society... outside of a kennel."

Truly... what she lacks in humility, she makes up for in condescension and arrogance.

Remember this?

Next Up, India

Abe Greenwald via Powerline:

If the Obama administration bossed around our enemies with half the energy it puts into bossing around our friends, perhaps the planet wouldn’t look like a rogue nations’ free-for-all right now.

This time it is long term ally India.

Reject Government Health Care

A Corning , NY psychologist makes a case for rejecting Obamacare.

The most recent attempt at "reform" was Medicare. They said seniors couldn't afford health care, so we needed a government program. At the time, most seniors had private insurance. Now they say this program is $38 trillion in debt.

Pretty much whatever the government seems to get involved in, turns into an inefficient, bloated mess. They tried Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans Administration Health Care. Look at the results.

What people seem not to understand is that covering an additional 50 million people will lead to rationing. Where will the new doctors come from? And, furthermore, who wants the government in on your health decisions and choices? We will have a government increasingly involved in our lives, telling us what can be treated, how it can be treated and when it can be treated.

Dr. Morrongiello concludes:

If this "reform" passes, bureaucrats will stand between you and your doctor. In fact, the components of rationing and government control of health care are already in law, thanks to Obama's "stimulus" bill. Hidden in the stimulus package was the mandatory computerization of our medical records, to be turned over to the government. The stimulus also created a government health-care rationing board.

A solution: Change the tax code to allow individuals and families to deduct the cost of insurance. Allow the purchase of insurance across state lines. Expand Health Savings Accounts. This will lead to savings and increased competition between the 1,300 insurance companies already vying for our business.

Government health care is the road to rationing and denial of care. Reject it. Instead, embrace expanding markets and, most importantly, patient choice.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Long Live Lady Day

The incomparable Mark Steyn writes about the more so incomparable Billie Holiday and her collaboration with songster Arthur Herzog Jr. on the song, "Don't Explain."

In 1941, she [Billie Holiday] married Jimmy Monroe, the brother of an old employer of hers, and they settled down, if you can call it that, in Los Angeles. One night, he came home, and she noticed he had lipstick on his collar.

"I saw the lipstick," she said. "He saw I saw it and he started explaining and explaining. I could stand anything but that. Lying to me was worse than anything he could have done with any bitch."

She cut him off in mid-flow. "Take a bath, man," she told him. "Don't explain." So Jimmy took her advice. But the words "Don't explain" somehow lodged in her head and declined to leave. "I had to get it out of my system some way," she recalled later. "The more I thought about it, it changed from an ugly scene to a sad song. Soon I was singing phrases to myself":

Hush now, Don't Explain
Just say you'll remain
I'm glad you're bad
Don't Explain...

A couple of days later, she hooked up with Arthur Herzog Jr round a piano and sang what she had. He played back the tune, made a few changes here and there, "softening it up just a little", as Holiday saw it. But not that much:

My love, Don't Explain
What is there to gain?
Skip that lipstick
Don't Explain...

I just finished Julia Blackburn's book, "With Billie: A New Look at the Unforgettable Lady Day." It is a compilation of interviews with Holiday's contemporaries; not a book to read if you're not familiar with Lady Day, but definitely one to pick up along the way.

Billie's Verve years have always been my favorite. Her voice is a bit stressed and cracks in some areas, but her phrasing and brutal emotion remains.

As Steyn writes:

Sometimes the voice is shot and the tone's unpleasant and the rasp is out of control, but I've never heard a Billie Holiday record where I disagreed with her phrasing. Even when everything else slides, her sense of where to breathe, what to inflect, how to tell the story, is absolutely superb.

Happy 40th Anniversary Buzz Aldrin

Here's what happens when a goofball conspiracy theorist talks smack to Buzz Aldrin-

Chuck Schumer Protecting your Second Amendment Rights

This will never happen.

Senator Schumer has a taxpayer funded detail traveling with and protecting him. As far as his're on your own.


$50,000 on a Sweet Sixteen party paid for by a cop and a transit worker? It brings a sort of clarity to New York City's public sector budget problems.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

No More Smoking on the Front Lines - Too Much Of A Health Risk

Our soldiers have made the decision to risk life and limb for their country and the cause of freedom. So what if they want to have a smoke every once and awhile? No problem, right?

Not so fast.

States Rights and Human Rights, Where Did They Go?

Walter Williams on the oft-trampled upon ninth and tenth amendments:

Alexander Hamilton expressed his reservation in Federalist Paper No. 84, "(B)ills of rights ... are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous." Hamilton asks, "For why declare that things shall not be done (by Congress) which there is no power to do?

Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given (to Congress) by which restrictions may be imposed?" Hamilton's argument was that Congress can only do what the Constitution specifically gave it authority to do. Powers not granted belong to the people and the states. Another way of examining Hamilton's concern: Why have an amendment prohibiting Congress from infringing on our right to picnic on our back porch when the Constitution gives Congress no authority to infringe upon that right in the first place?

To mollify Hamilton and James Madison, the ninth and tenth amendments were added. Of course, these are the same amendments that Congress has ignored for decades.

...the Ninth Amendment was added that reads: "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." In essence, the Ninth Amendment says it's impossible to list all of our God-given or natural rights. Just because a right is not listed doesn't mean it can be infringed upon or disparaged by the U.S. Congress. The Tenth Amendment is a reinforcement of the Ninth saying, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." That means if a power is not delegated to Congress, it belongs to the states of the people.

In a very recent action, Congress is attempting to expand the Clean Water Act to give the Army Corps of Engineers even more control over wetlands presently under the jurisdiction of states and local governments. Local governments are not happy. Property owners also... The new expansion of powers could even have the Feds controlling the water in your commode.

Is this the type of government Hamilton and Madison envisioned? An all powerful centralized federal government continually expanding its power at the expense of local governments?

Read the Federalist Papers.

KIWI vs. Marlin

The Kiwis are NUTS-