Archive for March, 2012

Extreme Sailing

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

This should be a welcome change from the political news.

That looks like great fun except that I would want my hot shower.

Those guys are going about 30 knots. Day after day.

The Race Card

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

There was a shooting in Florida this week that has now accumulated all the “usual suspects” for a racial extravaganza. The bare details are that a Florida neighborhood had had a high number of burglaries in the previous year. The neighbors had instituted a “neighborhood watch.” The watch member on duty saw a black tennager in a “hoodie” sweatshirt acting in a way that was suspicious in his opinion. He called 911. The 911 call was recorded but the record may not be clear. A new eyewitness has said that the shooting victim was attacking the shooter and was on top of him as the shooter called for help.

The usual suspects have all appeared, including Barack Obama, who seems to insert himself into every racial incident. Of course, Al Sharpton (MSNBC commentator) is heavily involved. Hopefully, the body count will not reach previous levels in Sharpton’s activities. Sharpton did manage to convince some suckers to pay his debts in the Tawana Brawley hoax I guess that means he can go back to New York for his MSNBC gig.

This may be the substitute for the failed contraception ploy the Democrats attempted. Maybe there really was a crime committed by an excited neighborhood watch member. If so, the magnitude would be voluntary manslaughter, hardly a reason for the attempted lynching now going on in Florida and Washington. It is ironic that the group, which suffered 100 years ago from lynching, now seems to promote it. I think the Republicans would do well to stay away from this case with the exception of the usual sympathy for the victim. It is getting ugly and the facts are far from established.

Dick Boggs

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

When I was a medical school junior, we had a rotation on the Neurology service at LA County Hospital. One of my classmates was planning a career in neurology but the reason it was so popular with the students like me who were interested in surgery was that we got to do tracheostomies. A number of patients with severe neurological lesions would require respirators or had trouble with airway secretions requiring a tracheostomy. This was our one chance to do surgery, even a minor procedure as things go. It was good practice and I later did a lot of tracheostomies, some quite difficult and rushed.

Our resident was a very interesting guy named Dick Boggs. He was tall and looked a lot like Orson Welles did when he was young and making “The Third Man.”Boggs was quiet and aloof but let us do trachs and work up any patient we wanted to. I had some very interesting cases. One was a woman who showed all the signs of alcoholic neuropathy, which is very similar to diabetic neuropathey. It was a popular rotation for juniors. Boggs was popular among the residents and was elected the president of the Interns and Residents Association, which under his leadership took on some of the characteristics of a union.

At the time, intern and resident pay was very low and, aside from a new dormitory that was built for single house staff, we were on our own. I was married with one child, born in March 1965, so I was really on my own. My wife quit her job as a teacher in January 1965 and I was working after hours doing histories and physicals at private hospitals for $7 per hour. Fortunately, my tuition was covered by scholarship but living expenses were tight. We lived on $200/month contributed by our parents, $100 from my father and the same from Irene’s parents. Half of that went for the rent of our two bedroom house in Eagle Rock, near Pasadena. I’m spending some time on details to emphasize what Boggs accomplished for us all.


Republicans as suckers

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

The show orchestrated by Nancy Pelosi last week accomplished its purpose. The woman who testified was participating in a morality play, or immorality if you will. She was turned down by the Republican majority committee to testify. Nancy Pelosi, although she holds no official role in Congress, other than as a member, managed to arrange a televised “hearing” at which a 30 year old feminist activist was able to pass herself off a a 23 year old law student. Her testimony was not credible but she managed to create a public relations disaster for Republicans. Some of this, I blame on Rick Santorum. He has not learned, or is unwilling to learn, that social “conservatism” is not a winning strategy for Republicans. The issue on which Obama can be defeated is the economy. He has botched every attempted intervention, mostly because he does not understand economics. His ideology is incompatible with a modern economy in 2012. The Democrats are desperate to change the subject. Why do Republicans feel obliged to help them ? I can understand Santorum who is unable to understand the political world right now. But Rush Limbaugh? He is supposed to be smart.

Romney came out of this looking pretty good but why do his party associates seem so eager to help the Democrats ? We can lose this next election. The consequences would be catastrophic. Why are so many Republicans willing to lose it to ride their own little hobby horses ?

Andrew Breitbart

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

When a giant tree falls in the forest, everyone within a large distance is affected.

Andrew Breitbart

Andrew Breitbart died early this morning from a probable cardiac condition. He was only 43 and had a wife and four children. He was a happy warrior for conservative causes and the leftist blogosphere has erupted in abuse and vile vituperation. Even David Frum, who I once thought of as a conservative, has participated in the hatefest.

He was an early participant in the Drudge Report and basically designed the Huffington Post, which turned sharply left after his contribution. I met him briefly at an event for Cathy Seipp, another conservative warrior we could ill afford to lose. His loss will be very serious and his place hard to fill. We just don’t have the reservoirs of logic and common sense that we should have. Now that 47% of the population pays no income tax, we are very close to the tipping point that Alexis de Tocqueville predicted. “In other words, a democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.”

More here

Ace of Spades reminded to quote Teddy Roosevelt on Andrew;

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.