Satellite’s Down

Well, the satellite itself is still in space, just my uplink to it is dead. Kaput. 3 hours on tech support, metering things, taking things apart, didn’t work. I’m now waiting for a “third level” person to contact me, to schedule a site visit to replace things (probably the feed horn).

This is being sent from a borrowed connection; I’ll let you know here when the service is back up.

Anti-Idiotarian Manifesto

Those who don’t read a lot of blogs probably haven’t seen the above phrase before, but it’s very descriptive of the ‘thought’ being out forward by the Blame America First crowd.

The Introduction:

WHEREAS, the year since the terrible events of 9/11 has exposed the vacuity and moral confusion of all too many of the thinkers, politicians, and activists operating within conventional political categories;

WHEREAS, the Left has failed us by succumbing to reflexive anti-Americanism; by apologizing for terrorist acts; by propounding squalid theories of moral equivalence; and by blaming the victims of evil for the act of evil;

WHEREAS, the Right has failed us by pushing `anti-terrorist’ measures which bid fair to be both ineffective and prejudicial to the central liberties of a free society; and in some cases by rhetorically descending to almost the same level of religious jihad as our enemies;

WHEREAS, even many of the Libertarians from whom we expected more intelligence have retreated into a petulant isolationism, refusing to recognize that, at this time, using the state to carry the war to the enemy is our only practical instrument of self-defense;

Enjoyable reading.

from Armed and Dangerous via InstaPundit

LCPL Anthony Sledd, USMC

Lance Corporal Tony Sledd (ap)Lance Corporal (LCPL) Anthony J. Sledd, 20, of Hillsborough, FL was killed in the service of his country in Kuwait. He was one of a company (about 130) of Marines and Sailors training in urban warfare, the correct technical term for which is MOUT (Marine Operations in Urban Terrain). Although LCPL Sledd had a weapon, he did not have live ammunition. His murderers were killed by MP’s, who do have live ammunition. No doubt much will be made of the ‘no live ammo’ issue, but it is correct for those inside, training. I leave it to your imagination what casualties this sort of training could produce were anyone to accidentally load live rounds when blanks are the order of the day. Good security on the edges of the training is a different matter, and usually US units have an agreement that the ‘host’ country will provide adequate security. The host country, Kuwait, has much to answer for.

LCPL Sledd was murdered and LCPL George R. Simpson, 21, of Dayton, OH, was wounded training for a job nobody wants to do, building to building warfare in a part of the world no American wants to live in. They did it because it was the job and it was important. I have never met LCPLs Sledd or Simpson, but it was my privilege to be a doc for many Marines just like them a few years ago, and if their peers are any indication I can tell you that these two Marines were hard working, dedicated young men with a bright future. They gave up a”regular” life for the Corps, asking only to be counted a Marine in return. I do not idealize them, but thank them and their families for their sacrifices to my country. I really do sleep better knowing they’re out there.

The End of Comments

I have had comments enabled on my blog for several months, and it hasn’t worked out like I envisioned. I do not have the kind of blog which invites comment, really it’s just vanity writ on the internet. I thank those who commented, but frankly the comments engine loads slowly and isn’t necessary.

Your input is indeed welcome, and I’ll answer any I get (within reason); just e-mail me by clicking the ‘write me’ button in the header. And thanks for reading.

The Rash

Tonight, I had a patient with The Rash. At least, that was my first impression, then it took me a bit to recover. I was face to pustular face with a young man, and all the training pictures I’ve had screamed “Smallpox!” at me. After a thorough physical exam and history, I decided this wasn’t the case, that he probably just has the absolutely worst viral exanthem I’ve ever seen, but for a brief period of time I was really concerned. (For the reading docs: on steroids for “strep throat” along with cephalexin; rash started 5 days before, hands first then centripetal spread, has had chicken pox, has had the college immunizations, no mucosal or conjunctival lesions, lesions not painful, fever but no vomiting or diarrhea; reticular infiltrate on cxr, more on one side than another; admitted to ID in isolation).
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As an Emergency Physician, we’re constantly being told that we’re the first ones who will see a Biologic(al) Warfare attack (and then only half-jokingly told that Infectious Disease will figure it out three days later). This has brought up to me my personal shortcomings in this area, most notably in the ‘who are my immediate diagnostic resources’ and ‘who ‘ya gonna call’. I now have the 24 hour pager number for Public Health for my county, and am working on the other.
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Smallpox was an ages-old, horrendous infection, eradicated by man through far-sighted public health, and is now considered to be a major BW potential agent, as we’re now all non-immune (the smallpox immunization you got a long time ago was a weak antibody, and probably only lasted about 5 years). There is serious and significant debate about vaccinating US citizens against the virus, which I have been following, wondering if I wanted the immunization; tonight I made up my mind: I’m getting the immunizations, potential side effects and all. When they’re offered; you see, we have the vaccine but cannot decide who gets it, so for now nobody gets it.

Update: The Washington Post reports a change of heart in the administration; I may get immunized, if I can wait 2 years.

Laws and Elections

I haven’t really been too interested in the recent Torricelli withdrawal from the Senate race, as it seemed a loser who wanted to avoid getting creamed bowing out as gracefully as possible.
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Now comes the NJ Supreme Court, which seems math impaired at best. They have ruled that the NJ Statutory time limits (51 days) are, well, meaningless, and, as long as the Democrats are willing to pony up the $800,000+ bucks to reprint the ballots everything is just fine.
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To which I say, BS. I’m trying to teach my daughter that rules are there for a reason, that the rule of law (at least US law, don’t get me started on the ‘International (Conservative) Criminal Court’) must be followed or there is no guarantee of freedom and equality in the US, and this happens.
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Here’s hoping the US Supreme Court overturns this (my legally uneducated prediction is that they will overturn, but there was no predicting this, either). And I don’t care about Frank Lautenburg, either, except to say that if your candidate cannot count perhaps he’s not a good choice, either.