The Number One Hazard For US Soldiers In Iraq Now: High Blood Pressure, Bad Backs and Bum Knees

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Oct 312007

Does anybody remember when Harry Reid said the war in Iraq “is lost” and the US troop surge is failing? Well where is your defeatism now Harry?

Things are so bad in Iraq now that the number one hazard for US soldiers is high blood pressure, bad backs, knee pain and other mundane health problems. Here is more proof that the surge is working.

Non-combat injuries, illnesses are No. 1 hazard in Iraq

High blood pressure, bad backs, bum knees and other mundane health problems put three and a half times more troops on planes to hospitals in Germany or the United States than do snipers and roadside bombs, say front-line experts in Iraq .

“There’s nothing about being deployed or being in an austere environment that protects you from the normal maladies that people encounter in the United States ,” said Lt. Col. Ron Ross , a preventive medicine officer with the U.S. Army’s 62nd Medical Brigade in Iraq .

From the invasion in March 2003 through Oct. 1, 2007 , more than 36,000 U.S. troops were evacuated from Iraq . More than 77 percent of those were for illnesses or non-combat injuries, according to data from the Department of Defense , Deployment Health Support Directorate.

Most eventually return, said Ross, but the illnesses and accidents still cut into troop strength.

This is nothing new. Traditionally, such problems— which the military lumps together as Disease and Non-Battlefield Injuries (DNBI)— take more troops from the battlefield than combat injuries do, though modern medical care and public health techniques have cut the rate suffered by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to 10 percent of what it was in World War II and Korea.

An example of that success is the U.S. fight against leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease spread by sandflies that causes festering wounds and can attack the organs.

When the British army came to Iraq in the 1930s, leishmaniasis incapacitated up to 30 percent of the troops, said Lt. Col. Ray Dunton , a trained entomologist who’s in Iraq serving as chief of preventive medicine for the 62nd Medical Brigade.

In 2004, hundreds of U.S. soldiers also were infected. Preventive medicine teams went into action, spraying insecticide and urging troops to use insect repellant. Infestations dropped from an average of 140 a month to nearly zero. Only 10 people have been diagnosed with leishmaniasis this year.

Still, the proportion of troops hospitalized for illness and non-combat injuries compared with combat injuries hasn’t changed much since the wars in Korea and Vietnam . In part, that’s because of a more aggressive philosophy about treatment, Ross said.

“Our evacuation statistics and our medical care statistics reflect that we have ratcheted up the standard of care,” he said,

Evacuations also are spurred by the military’s rule that anyone who won’t recuperate within seven days of being hospitalized must be flown out of the country. That keeps beds open in case of a major casualty incident.

No illness or injury dominates the list of non-combat evacuations, Ross said. Injuries from vehicle accidents are a big cause of evacuations, as are hypertension-related illness, respiratory problems, kidney stones and back and joint problems.

In some cases, troops are clearly glad to get out. For many, though, the notion of leaving their unit and buddies over a problem unrelated to combat is frustrating.

“People work hard to get back. That’s one of the big reasons we get so many people back,” he said.

Cemetery Workers In Iraq May Go Hungry Thanks To The Surge

The Führer Who Smelt It, Dealt It

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Oct 302007

Hitler may have had a farting problem. This gives new meaning to the term gas chamber.

Scent of a Führer

Guests at the Berghof, Hitler’s private chalet in the Bavarian Alps, must have endured some unpleasant odors in the otherwise healthful mountain air.

It may sound like a Woody Allen scenario, but medical historians are unanimous that Adolf was the victim of uncontrollable flatulence. Spasmodic stomach cramps, constipation and diarrhea, possibly the result of nervous tension, had been Hitler’s curse since childhood and only grew more severe as he aged. As a stressed-out dictator, the agonizing digestive attacks would occur after most meals: Albert Speer recalled that the Führer, ashen-faced, would leap up from the dinner table and disappear to his room.

More Smokers Needed to Fund S-CHIP

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Oct 302007

Well folks…. these Democrats in control of Congress prove their stupidity once again.

Big Tobacco to the rescue.

Hamas Militants Launch New Weapon Against Israel: A Boy Band

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Oct 302007

Ladies and Gentlemen allow me to introduce the newest sensation in Gaza City… Boyz to Terrorists.

Hamas boy band to bring harmony to Gaza

Hamas militants have launched a new weapon in their struggle with Israel: a troupe of honey-voiced singers known as Protectors of the Homeland.

Wearing crisply pressed fatigues in urban camouflage blue, the six band members gather each day to practise in an old office within the Gaza City police headquarters.

The small room throbbed with energy as their dusty 12-track amplifier screeched with feedback before being tamed by an engineer.

To the accompaniment of a backing track from a laptop computer, the men then started polishing their routine of songs, almost all of which have strong Islamic and militaristic content and titles like Change and Reform. Such uplifting lyrics as “By the shrouds of the dead we are inspired” are typical.

“It is our job to inspire the foot soldiers,” said Maj Hosam Abu Abdu, a 40-year-old former police officer who now fronts the band. “We want to urge the soldiers and officers to push on, to make the effort needed in the struggle to end the occupation [of Palestinian land by Israel].”

Formed in the summer as part of the arts department of Hamas’s domestic security service, the Executive Force, the group has performed for police units around Gaza City.

But Maj Abu Abdu, who also uses his fine voice to call the faithful to prayer at a mosque, outlined ambitious plans for Protectors of the Homeland — to produce their first recordings for distribution, to build a theatre in Gaza City and even to start public dancing.

Being an Islamic group, the plans do not involve women and the band leader looked slightly shocked when asked if any of the activities might be unisex. “Not possible,” he said.

All the band members said the work beat the regular duties that included, back in June, helping Hamas in its bloody and ultimately successful battle with the Fatah faction for control of the Gaza Strip.

Music has always played a large role in the culture of Hamas, with songs praising the group and its leaders, including the wheelchair-bound Sheikh Ahmed Yassin who was killed by the Israelis in 2004.

As well as motivating serving Hamas members, the group also performs in prisons to try to re-educate criminals. “There is a strong psychological effect in music and we use it to try to improve the spirit of those who have committed crimes,” Maj Abu Abdu said.

Do Nothing Democrats Plan a Shorter Workweek

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Oct 282007

This may be good news. The fewer hours these idiots spend determining the future of our country the better. The Democrats can take the rest of their lives off, for all I care.

Democrats Plan a Shorter Workweek

Shortly after winning a majority last year, Democrats triumphantly declared that they would put Congress back to work, promising an “end to the two-day workweek.” And indeed, the House has clocked more time in Washington this year than in any other session since 1995, when Republicans, newly in control, sought to make a similar point.

But 10 months into the session, with their legislative agenda often in gridlock with the Bush administration and a big election year looming, the Democrats are now planning a lighter schedule when the 110th Congress begins its second year in mid-January.

The House majority leader, Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, told fellow Democrats this week that the House would not be in session next year on Fridays, except in June for work on appropriations bills.

Explaining that decision to reporters, Mr. Hoyer said, “I do intend to have more time for members to work in their districts and to be close to their families.”

His comments drew snickers from Republicans, who are quite happy to share their view that the American people did not get much value for all the extra time lawmakers spent in Washington.

“Is this a reward for our accomplishments in 2007?” asked Representative Roy Blunt of Missouri, the Republican whip.

And on Friday, President Bush once again hammered Congressional Democrats, accusing them of failing to meet basic responsibilities like approving annual budget bills and confirming his nominee for attorney general, Michael B. Mukasey.

“This is not what Congressional leaders promised when they took control of Congress earlier this year,” Mr. Bush said. “Congress needs to keep their promise, to stop wasting time, and get essential work done on behalf of the American people.”

The Democrats, by contrast, say that after 10 months of putting in longer days and weeks, they have made significant gains. They cited legislation, including an increase in the minimum wage and new ethics and lobbying rules, as well as in the nitty-gritty work of House committees, which they say has provided much-needed oversight of the Bush administration and will also set the stage for an ambitious agenda next year.

And they blame Mr. Bush and Republicans for Congress’s low approval ratings, which they say will only help the Democrats expand their majority in 2008.

“Certainly, it has been a sprint and a marathon at the same time this year,” said Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “We have accomplished a lot, especially on the domestic front.”

Mr. Van Hollen said he was not worried about Congress’s low approval ratings. “Every one of those polls also shows much stronger support for Democratic leadership than Republican leadership,” he said. “The president is lashing out because he recognizes that people see the White House as an obstacle to change.”

Still, Democrats conceded that the hectic pace had taken a toll, especially on lawmakers who must travel long distances home and who have small children. And members of Congress have not gotten a raise or cost-of-living increase this year.

On Wednesday, the House cast its one-thousandth roll-call vote of the year, the first time that it reached that mark since the Constitution was ratified. Democrats hailed the occasion, while Republicans sniped that only 106 of the votes were on bills ultimately signed into law, and that 45 of those bestowed names on post offices or other property.

“Unlike Congress, the American people do not mistake motion for progress,” said Representative Thaddeus G. McCotter, Republican of Michigan. “They want results. And given the approval ratings, they are certainly convinced they aren’t getting them.”

Mr. McCotter said changing the schedule was an example of Democrats’ breaking promises. “They said ‘five-day weeks,’ ” he said. And he scoffed at the notion that Mr. Hoyer was also responding to Republicans who wanted more time in their home districts.

“I wish he had that much concern and was as responsive to Republicans’ calls for input on major legislation,” Mr. McCotter said.

Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democrat of Florida, said the Democrats had to put in the hours to make up for Republican failings last year. “There was so much left undone by the 12 years of Republican control of the Congress, it was absolutely essential that we put our nose to the grindstone,” she said.

Ms. Wasserman Schultz has three children, 8-year-old twins and a 4-year-old. “It’s tough,” she said in a telephone interview from Orlando, where she had taken the children while she attended the Florida Democratic Convention there this weekend.

Mr. Blunt said he thought Democrats would regret this year’s schedule, which he said had distanced lawmakers from constituents.

Still, he said he and his colleagues would appreciate the Fridays out of session next year. “I would welcome, as I am sure all of our members would, a schedule that is more reflective of how the Congress should work,” Mr. Blunt said. “Rather than how it has worked in the last year.”

Fiddrel on the Loof

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Oct 282007

The entertainment for this weekend….Japanese Fiddler on the Roof!

Joke Of The Day

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Oct 272007

A Mexican, an Iraqi, and a redneck girl are in the same bar.
When the Mexican finishes his beer, he throws his glass in the air,
pulls out his pistol, and shoots the glass to pieces. He says, “In
Mexico our glasses are so cheap we don’t need to drink with the same one twice.”

The Iraqi, obviously impressed by this, drinks his beer, throws his
glass into the air, pulls out his AK-47, and shoots the glass to
pieces. He says, “In Iraq we have so much sand to make glasses that
we don’t need to drink with the same one twice either.”

The redneck girl, cool as a cucumber, picks up her beer, downs it
in one draft, throws the glass into the air, whips out her .45, and
shoots the Mexican and the Iraqi. Catching her glass, setting it on
the bar, and calling for a refill, she says, “In America we have so
many illegal Mexicans and Arabs that we don’t have to drink with the
same ones twice.”

Jay Leno Email Is An Urban Legend

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Oct 272007

There is an email circulating that supposedly was written by Jay Leno. Now when I read it, I knew Jay Leno could never have written it. He is too politically correct to ever sound that patriotic. So after a little research, I found out that that email is actually an urban legend.

The actual essay was written by Craig R. Smith on November 20, 2006. The original is still worth a read because it does hit the nail on the head.

The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true given the source, right? The same magazine that employs Michael (Qurans in the toilets at Gitmo) Isikoff. Here I promised myself this week I would be nice and I start off in this way. Oh what a mean man I am.

The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the president. In essence 2/3s of the citizenry just ain’t happy and want a change.

So being the knuckle dragger I am, I starting thinking, ”What we are so unhappy about?”

Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter? Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job? Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?

Maybe it is the ability to drive from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state? Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter? I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all involved. Whether you are rich or poor they treat your wounds and even, if necessary, send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.

Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home, you may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of having a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames thus saving you, your family and your belongings. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes; an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90 percent of teenagers own cell phones and computers.

How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world? Maybe that is what has 67 percent of you folks unhappy.

Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don’t have and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.

I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled brats safe from terrorist attacks? The commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me?

Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn’t have to go. They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ”general” discharge, an ”other than honorable” discharge or, worst case scenario, a ”dishonorable” discharge after a few days in the brig.

So why then the flat out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans? Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells. Just ask why they are going to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book and do a TV special about how he didn’t kill his wife but if he did … insane!

Stop buying the negative venom you are fed everyday by the media. Shut off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as a country. There is exponentially more good than bad.

I close with one of my favorite quotes from B.C. Forbes in 1953:

”What have Americans to be thankful for? More than any other people on the earth, we enjoy complete religious freedom, political freedom, social freedom. Our liberties are sacredly safeguarded by the Constitution of the United States, ‘the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.’ Yes, we Americans of today have been bequeathed a noble heritage. Let us pray that we may hand it down unsullied to our children and theirs.”

I suggest this Thanksgiving we sit back and count our blessings for all we have. If we don’t, what we have will be taken away. Then we will have to explain to future generations why we squandered such blessing and abundance. If we are not careful this generation will be known as the ”greediest and most ungrateful generation.” A far cry from the proud Americans of the ”greatest generation” who left us an untarnished legacy.

Satellite Images Of An Industrial-Sized Building In Syria Wiped Off The Face Of The Planet

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Oct 262007

And they say you don’t tug on Superman’s cape
You don’t spit into the wind
You don’t pull the mask off an ‘ole Lone Ranger
And you don’t mess around with Israel

Syria air strike target ‘removed’

On Wednesday the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), an independent organisation, released satellite images pre-dating the attack, of a facility in northern Syria that it believes was the target.

They showed both a large industrial building and a pumping station near the Euphrates river.

The ISIS said the building bore a resemblance to the Yongbyon nuclear facility in North Korea.

“The length of the outer walls of the structures are approximately the same,” the institute said in its analysis.

“From the image, the Syrian building is similar in shape to the North Korean reactor building, but the Syrian building is not far enough along in its construction to make a definitive comparison,” it said.

The ISIS has now produced a more recent image of the same site taken on 24 October, more than six weeks after the alleged air attack.

The image appears to show that the building has been completely removed and the ground scraped clean.

It was either a Syrian nuclear facility or a Webkinz® factory.

Before and after satellite images of the presumed site of an Israeli air raid on Syria.

The 22 Ways To Be A Good Democrat

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Oct 252007

1. You have to be against capital punishment, but support abortion on demand.

2. You have to believe that businesses create oppression and governments create prosperity.

3. You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are more of a threat than U.S. Nuclear weapons technology in the hands of Chinese and North Korean communists.

4. You have to believe that there was no art before Federal funding.

5. You have to believe that global temperatures are less affected by cyclical documented changes in the earth’s climate and more affected by soccer moms driving SUV’s.

6. You have to believe that gender roles are artificial but being homosexual is natural.

7. You have to believe that the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of federal funding.

8. You have to believe that the same teacher who can’t teach fourth graders
how to read is somehow qualified to teach those same kids about sex.

9. You have to believe that hunters don’t care about nature, but loony
activists who have never been outside of San Francisco do.

10. You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it.

11. You have to believe that Mel Gibson spent $25 million of his own money to make “The Passion of the Christ” for financial gain only.

12. You have to believe the NRA is bad because it supports certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is good because it supports certain parts of the Constitution.

13. You have to believe that taxes are too low, but ATM fees are too high.

14. You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Edison, and Alexander Graham. Bell.

15. You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas and set-asides are not.

16. You have to believe that Hillary Clinton is normal and is a very nice person.

17. You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn’t worked anywhere it’s been tried is because the right people haven’t been in charge.

18. You have to believe conservatives telling the truth belong in jail, but a liar and a sex offender belonged in the White House.

19. You have to believe that homosexual parades displaying drag, transvestites, and bestiality should be constitutionally protected, and manger scenes at Christmas should be illegal.

20. You have to believe that illegal Democrat Party funding by the Chinese
Government is somehow in the best interest to the United States.

21. You have to believe that this message is a part of a vast, right wing conspiracy.

22. You have to believe that it’s okay to give Federal workers the day off on Christmas Day ………. but it’s not okay to say “Merry Christmas.”

Mmmm…. Bacon

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Oct 202007

Weekend entertainment:
Jim Gaffigan’s bacon bit.