Friday, July 17, 2009

Rattling around in me head

I just remembered, not that I’d ever forget, that while I was at Parris Island the drill instructors called a recruit’s head the “brain housing group.” (This comes from the part of a rifle where the trigger is, the “trigger housing group.) But I digress. That has nothing to do with the things running through the Dew’s old noggin today.

In no particular order:

The military is being urged by the Institute of Medicine to ban smoking. I’d heard about this and even seen an executive summary of the IOM report. Today, the Raleigh News&Observer (or, as we used to call it, The Noise&Disturber) wrote this article today if you’re more interested.

What I’m wondering is this: What alternatives do the fine doctors of the IOM offer? Seriously, I’ve been there, tobacco and nicotine have their uses in a war zone. Most appreciably helping to keep you wired. Being healthy and tobacco-free don’t help you stay awake while you’re sitting on a Ma Deuce at 2:43 a.m. keeping watch for the bad guys. (Notwithstanding the fact you shouldn’t be smoking while on guard duty since it gives you position away. You’d be amazed how far the light of a cigarette ember carries on a dark desert night.)

Marine Lance Cpl. James Blake Miller became known as the “Marlboro Marine” after he was photographed smoking in 2004 in Fallujah, Iraq. Seriously, would you deny this Marine a smoke after urban combat? I wouldn't. - Los Angeles Times Photo by Luis Sinco
I agree the military should offer quitting assistance…when they Marines, soldiers and sailors get out. Not so much the zoomies, they shouldn’t be smoking anyway since their “combat stress” is considerably less. (Kidding). Also, we’re talking about a group of people who are, generally, in much better shape than your average American. A little bit of smoking between 18 and 25 can be overcome.

Spending money to save money? Seems the president and Congress’s plans to spend more than a TRILLION DOLLARS over the next 10 years on health care reform
don’t meet Congressional Budget Office muster.

You know what? Instead of raising my taxes to pay for health care for the 47 million American’s who don’t have it, how about cutting $200 billion a year out of the current and future budgets to cover the country’s cost share? You really can tell me the government isn’t already wasting that kind of coin on worthless shit. Give me a weekend with the budget and the line-item veto and I’ll git ‘er don.

In his wonderful book Parliament of Whores, P.J. O’Rourke wrote, “Giving money and power to politicians is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”

What Congress really needs to do is learn how to control itself. No more earmarks and a balanced budget amendment would be a fantastic place to start. Check out this
article and this list of Oinker Award winners from Citizens Against Government Waste. While I’m a huge fan of biking and bike trails, I’m thinking $9.4 million spent on bike trails could be used to provide good, decent preventive (not “preventative” as I actually heard on pharmacy chain commercial this morning) health care for a couple thousand people.

The concept of “spending money on health care to save money” is ridiculous. Congress and the president need to stop spending money to save money as any average moron knows. Although, as we all know, the morons in Congress are above average in many ways. Instead of coming up with new taxes to fund their new program, how about cutting out the wasteful spending instead and apply those savings to health care?

Or is that too simple a concept?

Occumbo! And, finally, news from Italy has Pope Benedict XVI slipping and falling in the bath and breaking his right wrist. How do you say “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” in Latin?

Two things I’m wondering about this incident: With his right hand and wrist in a cast, will worshippers have to worry about the Pontiff bonking them on the head with his fiberglass club when he gives his blessing? And, two, did the Vicar of Christ maybe, perhaps, even just a little, swear a little as his 82-year-old bones snapped? Or was he a stoic Aryan and took the pain like his Teutonic ancestors?

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