Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I Think Therefore I Am

Has anyone ever told you that you think too much? I never know how to respond to this profound statement. I’ve tried, “Yeah maybe you’re right. How often do you think? I’ll try to cut back to your level”, but for some reason that answer seems to offend. Seriously though, exactly how much thinking is too much? How do you stop thinking and why is it that every time someone says this to me, it always seems to come from someone who I wish would think more? Am I over thinking this?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


There is a common expression in our society, which goes something like, “with age comes wisdom”. As I rapidly approach middle age I’ve begun to realize just how true the adage is and perhaps more importantly how ironic the truth of it is. When I was young, say a teenager or even a twenty something, I realized to a certain degree that I had a lot to learn, but I didn’t guess, nor could I even have conceived of the truth which I now suspect.

That truth is a simple one and yet somehow all encompassing, it is this; the wisdom which comes with age is the slowly dawning realization of just how little you know. You think, you in fact believe when you’re young that some things are certain knowledge, things like, ‘you have a fairly firm grip on who you are and what you believe’, or subconsciously at least ‘you can have and keep a sense of security in this world’. Most of us, I believe, in our youth see this world and our own personal worlds as solid and stable. It never occurs to us that seismic shifts can and will happen in our lives that will leave us quaking in bewilderment, unable to comprehend not only what happened, but how it was even possible. These life altering experiences take our senses, our realities, our supposed knowledge and shake them as if we’d been living in a giant snow globe of which we were completely unaware. It is then I believe that we begin to comprehend the truth, lose our innocent illusions and thus gain wisdom. The price for our new found knowledge is often times high, and our old, yet freshly opened eyes do not find much comfort in what we now perceive, but once seen we can not unsee, we can only move forward in the ironic certainty that we do not know much of anything.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

What Can We Trust In?

This cartoon sums up my feelings on the Minnesota bridge collapse. It's a sad world, when we can't trust our governments; local, state, nor federal to show even the most basic sense of responsibility in keeping us safe. Put simply, the people who died in the bridge collapse, were killed because their lives weren't valued a priority when it came time to crunch out a budget. Our elected officials choose to gamble every day with all of our lives, betting time and again that, our bridges, roads etc. will hold up fine for another year or two or twenty. We hear on a weekly basis how scared and worried we should be about the threat of terrorism, but personally I think we have a lot more to fear from the very people we put in charge of keeping us safe.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Puddycat of Death

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island (AP) -- Oscar the cat seems to have an uncanny knack for predicting when nursing home patients are going to die, by curling up next to them during their final hours.

His accuracy, observed in 25 cases, has led the staff to call family members once he has chosen someone. It usually means the patient has less than four hours to live.
"He doesn't make too many mistakes. He seems to understand when patients are about to die," Dr. David Dosa said in an interview. He describes the phenomenon in a poignant essay in Thursday's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

"Many family members take some solace from it. They appreciate the companionship that the cat provides for their dying loved one," said Dosa, a geriatrician and assistant professor of medicine at Brown University.

The 2-year-old feline was adopted as a kitten and grew up in a third-floor dementia unit at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The facility treats people with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and other illnesses.
After about six months, the staff noticed Oscar would make his own rounds, just like the doctors and nurses. He'd sniff and observe patients, then sit beside people who would wind up dying in a few hours.

Dosa said Oscar seems to take his work seriously and is generally aloof. "This is not a cat that's friendly to people," he said.
Oscar is better at predicting death than the people who work there, said Dr. Joan Teno of Brown University, who treats patients at the nursing home and is an expert on care for the terminally ill.

She was convinced of Oscar's talent when he made his 13th correct call. While observing one patient, Teno said she noticed the woman wasn't eating, was breathing with difficulty and that her legs had a bluish tinge, signs that often mean death is near.
Oscar wouldn't stay inside the room, though, so Teno thought his streak was broken. Instead, it turned out the doctor's prediction was roughly 10 hours too early. Sure enough, during the patient's final two hours, nurses told Teno that Oscar joined the woman at her bedside.

Doctors say most of the people who get a visit from the sweet-faced, gray-and-white cat are so ill they probably don't know he's there, so patients aren't aware he's a harbinger of death. Most families are grateful for the advance warning, although one wanted Oscar out of the room while a family member died. When Oscar is put outside, he paces and meows his displeasure.

No one's certain if Oscar's behavior is scientifically significant or points to a cause. Teno wonders if the cat notices telltale scents or reads something into the behavior of the nurses who raised him.

Nicholas Dodman, who directs an animal behavioral clinic at the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and has read Dosa's article, said the only way to know is to carefully document how Oscar divides his time between the living and dying.
If Oscar really is a furry grim reaper, it's also possible his behavior could be driven by self-centered pleasures like a heated blanket placed on a dying person, Dodman said.
Nursing home staffers aren't concerned with explaining Oscar, so long as he gives families a better chance at saying goodbye to the dying.

Oscar recently received a wall plaque publicly commending his "compassionate hospice care."

Oscar the cat sounds like a sweetie, but if I see him coming I'm running the other way!-lol

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Iraqi's Vacation

Hi people! I probably won't be posting for the next couple of days as I have tons of stuff to do, including painting my dining and living rooms. I'll get back to blogging asap, until then I hope all of you have a great week.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Injured Iraq War Vets Sue VA

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Frustrated by delays in health care, a coalition of injured Iraq war veterans is accusing VA Secretary Jim Nicholson of breaking the law by denying them disability pay and mental health treatment.The class-action lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, filed Monday in federal court in San Francisco, seeks broad change in the agency as it struggles to meet growing demands from veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Suing on behalf of hundreds of thousands of veterans, it charges that the VA has failed warriors on several fronts -- from providing prompt disability benefits, to adding staff to reduce wait times for medical care to boosting services for post-traumatic stress disorder.

The lawsuit also accuses the VA of deliberately cheating some veterans by allegedly working with the Pentagon to misclassify PTSD claims as pre-existing personality disorders to avoid paying out benefits. The VA and Pentagon have generally denied such charges.

VA spokesman Matt Smith said Monday he could not comment on a pending lawsuit. But he said the agency is committed to meeting the special needs of Iraq war veterans.

I'm glad to see that some veterans are feed up with waiting for this country to fix the problems that have plagued the VA for years. What type of country doesn't take proper care of its' military veterans? I'd say a piss poor one with some seriously confused priorities.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

A Taste of His Own Medicine

I am completely disgusted by the cruel actions of NFL quarterback Michael Vick. People like him are enough to make you ashamed to be a human being. How anyone can treat dogs with such callousness and cruelty is beyond me. If you're equally appalled, sign this petition to urge the NFL commissioner to suspend Vick: Suspend Vick

Friday, July 20, 2007

GOP Hopefuls Outspending Democrats So Far

The top Republican presidential candidates spent more than their Democratic counterparts in the first six months of the year, even though the Republican contenders raised less money, the latest campaign-finance reports show.

Republicans Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and John McCain outspent Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards by more than $20 million, a USA TODAY analysis found. The three Republicans lag the top Democrats in total receipts by $40 million and have $61 million less in the bank.

The Republicans "are running Cadillac campaigns," said Michael McDonald, a political scientist at George Mason University in Virginia. He cautioned that they will "have to re-engineer their campaigns and downsize to a more efficient vehicle" if they are to compete effectively when more than 20 states hold primaries or caucuses Feb. 5.

It looks like the GOP's latest batch of wannabee leaders, is just as "fiscally" conservative as good ole' George W.!! I'm thinking that if their campaigns have to sign up for some sort of government assistance (welfare) down the road, they may be in trouble-lmao.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

President Bush & Republicans Attempt to Screw Our Troops Again!

Talk about lousy timing. With President Bush's popularity scraping bottom in opinion polls, with U.S. casualties rising in Iraq in a force surge that has stretched tours to 15 months, the Bush administration has said it "strongly opposes" key military pay and benefit gains tossed into the fiscal 2008 defense bill.

Initiatives the administration opposes include:
· A military pay raise for next January of 3.5 percent versus 3 percent endorsed by the White House.

· Lowering the age-60 start of reserve retirement annuities for reserve component members by the length of their future mobilizations.

· Expanding eligibility for Combat-Related Special Compensation to service members forced by combat disabilities to retire short of 20 years.

· Directing pharmaceutical manufacturers to provide the Department of Defense with same-price discounts for Tricare retail pharmacy network that are provided on medicines dispensed from base pharmacies.

The administration also grumbled that the Senate intends to block for another year Tricare fee increases for under-65 retirees and dependents.

The objections appear in a "Statement of Administration Policy" from the White House's Office of Management and Budget delivered to Senate leaders as they opened floor debate on the defense authorization bill.

A day later, Senate Republicans, at White House urging, blocked amendments that would have shortened Iraq tours for U.S. ground forces and slowed the frequency of war deployments.

Bush and his sycophant followers in Congress love having their pictures taken with our men and women in uniform. They love to pretend that they care and truly support our military personnel, but when it gets right down to it, when they have chances to actually show that “support and caring”, to prove that their words aren’t just hollow, political rhetoric designed to further their own careers, this is how they act. They vote and push constantly and consistently to screw the very people they trumpet as heroes. If you apply the old adage, “actions speak louder than words” to the republican’s treatment of our troops, the truth of how much they really care is obvious, very little, if at all.
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