Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Big Dig is complete

Begun in 1982, the Big Dig, a highway project in Boston, is now complete. At a cost of $14.8 Billion dollars, it cost over $25,000 for each citizen of the city. The Big Dig is the costliest construction project in the history of our nation. It was once vetoed as too expensive by President Reagan, before Congress overrode his veto.

In comparison, the famous "bridge to nowhere" in Ketchikan, Alaska, has been touted as a famous example of government waste and pork. Serving a county of 13,000 people, the $310 million project would cost the taxpayers less than $24,000 for each citizen of the county. That makes THIS pork barrel project actually more cost effective than the "Big Dig."

The amount of spending that we are doing as a nation is staggering. Thousands of projects costing billions of dollars a year, each adding to the debt of the Nation. When the bill comes due, the citizens of Boston can stand in bread lines knowing that they have a cool tunnel under their feet.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Illegal Immigration

A whole lot of press is out there attempting to portray the people who oppose immigration as racists. They accuse the people who oppose illegals as being anti-hispanic. The Southern Poverty Law Center, a left wing activist center, maintains a website that lists supposed "hate groups" They recently have added groups to this list because of their opposition to illegal immigration.

One of the reasons that they cite for this, is that many groups are sticking to the "Aztlan Conspiracy Theory." They claim that anyone who believes this "theory" is a right wing racist.

Yet it can be easily demonstrated that a large movement among Mexican people in the United States is dedicated to returning "Aztlan" to the "rightful owners"- the descendants of the people who owned it before the people of the United States "stole" the land.

They claim that the land of the Southwestern United States was stolen from them, and they aim to take it back.

One of these groups- La MEChA, even has this in their constitution:
Chicano and Chicana students of Aztlan must take upon themselves the responsibilities to promote Chicanismo within the community, politicizing our Raza with an emphasis on indigenous consciousness to continue the struggle for the self-determination of the Chicano people for the purpose of liberating Aztlan.
Yet, a group that in its own constitution claims to favor one race, and the overthrow of legitimate government is not a hate group, according to the SPLC. Furthermore, anyone who speaks out against such a group is accusedd of being a hate group. Gotta love hypocrisy.

This MEChA group has a chapter on many College Campuses in this country. For example, click here to read this trash:

In the spirit of a new people that is conscious not only of its proud historical heritage but also of the brutal "gringo" invasion of our territories
then they go on to threaten armed rebellion.

This illegal immigration thing is going to explode.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Concealed weapons save lives

A gunman enters a school and begins shooting. He kills six students before turning the gun on himself.

A gunman enters a college, kills 32 and wounds 17 before killing himself. There were no weapons permitted on campus.

A gunman enters a school campus and kills three before being subdued by armed students.

A man enters a shopping mall, which does not allow weapons on property, and kills 6 people during a 3 hour standoff.

A man enters a shopping mall, which does not allow weapons on property, and kills 9 people before turning the gun on himself.

A man enters a church containing 7,000 worshipers. He has 2 pistols, a rifle and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition. He shoots 3 people in the parking lot before he is confronted by a woman with a concealed weapons permit. She shoots him, and he then takes his own life.

Note that when armed defenders are present, the criminal is stopped after only a few shots. When the policies of the facility ensure a safe environment for the criminal to carry out his crime, the death toll is higher.

Just as I have said all along, defenseless victim zones do not work. Armed resistance does.

Monday, December 10, 2007

People are scared of what?

A woman is arrested for illegally carrying a concealed weapon. She was caught by a routine bag check at the front gate of Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. Some of the people at this site point out that perhaps she had a permit, and was carrying legally.

Others begin to ask ask penetrating questions, like:
I also agree, a person has a right to keep and bear arms, as long as they do it legally. Seeing that she is from Pa., if she has a permit in Pa., it does not give her the right to cross state lines with the weapon.
Of course, if this person had the slightest idea what they were talking about, they would know that it is legal to transport firearms across state lines, and that Florida and Pennsylvania have reciprocity, which means they honor each other's permits.

Whether this woman had a permit or not is beside the point of this discussion:

How about this one:
No matter where you think it is permissible or acceptable to have a gun, Disney World is not one of those places.
Or, the question I consider to be the winner:
thing is, i dont understand why anyone needs a gun. anti trust and paranoia is ripe. never ever in my life felt the need to carry or hide any weapon.
I will give you a few reasons why:

This man is robbed in his own garage, in Disney's Celebration community
This couple was robbed at gunpoint at Downtown Disney on November first
A man robs a store at gun point just this morning in Orlando
This liquor store was robbed just a little bit later

Of course, Disney is known for keeping pedophiles on the payroll. So we know that we don't have to worry about anyone molesting our kids.

Here is the real news of the day:

Criminals operate on Disney property. The mix of large amounts of money, mixed with distracted tourists, easy get aways, and lax security make it relatively easy for the criminal element to operate there. Sure, security gets lucky and catches one woman with a weapon. I can tell you that on any given day, there are numerous weapons in that park. not all of them belong to the good guys. At least when I am there, I know that the one I have is going to be used for good, not evil.

Criminals break the law. That is why they are called criminals. Making a law prohibiting a criminal from possessing a gun will not be any more effective than the one that prohibits that same criminal from shooting up a mall, or robbing you at gunpoint. What it will do, however, is remove the ability for law abiding citizens to defend themselves.

I had a woman tell me today that she did not want to be standing in line with her two year old, and have to worry that the person behind her has a gun. I asked her why she would assume that a law would fix that. I then pointed out that she doesn't have to worry about my gun.

Her "But I hate guns! They are evil!"
Me "Guns are metal, inanimate objects. They don't do anything that their owner doesn't use them for."

People who jump through hoops and get a permit are not the ones you should be worried about.

end of rant

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

War on Poverty

A few years ago, I wrote a paper for an American Government class. The liberal teacher and I saw things differently when it came to Government giveaway programs. Because of a post that Tamara put up, I give you the conclusion from that paper:

The poverty level has remained near 12% ever since the United States abolished the gold standard in 1973, with the current level being 12.7%. It is important to note that the method the Government is using to calculate the poverty line only takes inflation into account, instead of the more accurate model which compares the percentage of the cost of living to household income. Using this method, the current cost of living has risen from 30% of individual income in 1965 to 50% of household income in 2003. Where it used to take one income to support a family, it now takes two.

This means that the effective poverty rate has more than doubled since the “War on Poverty” began, when expressed as a real percentage of household income. Despite spending trillions of dollars fighting the “war”, the “war” has been lost.

These programs, which are intended to pay low income families at the expense of the taxpayer, are only a part of the redistribution of wealth in this country. The figures for the 2003 tax year (the latest year for which I could find figures) tell the story.

According to the IRS, anyone who earns more than $57,343 a year is in the top 25% of all wage earners. Out of 128 million returns filed, over 32 million people fell into that category. Those top 25% paid $627 billion (83.88%) of the $748 billion paid in Federal income tax. The average tax bill for them was $19,512. The lowest 50% of wage earners (those making less than $29,019) only paid 3.4% of the income tax bill, or an average of $402 per taxpayer. The system of progressive taxation and government giveaway programs has gone beyond helping the needy and has progressed to a communist redistribution of wealth.

Maybe that is why the Cleavers can't make it on one income any longer.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Gun of the month: November 07



As a part of my presidential firearms purchasing campaign, the firearm I selected for purchase this month is an AR-15 variant from Spike's Tactical. This particular weapon has an EOTech 511 sight, as well as a flip up rear sight as a backup.

The weapon came as a package- the rifle with a mag and a bag for $850. Add the EOTech sight for another $325, and there you have it. What I like most about this one is the etching on the lower:

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Credit Report Conspiracy

Seventy percent of all credit reports contain at least one error.

Nine million people a year are victims of identity theft. It is the fastest growing crime in America.

Credit inaccuracies, and the failure of the Credit Reporting Agencies to correct them, are the number one complaint received by the Federal Trade Commission.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that Credit Reporting Agencies conduct a "reasonable investigation" when a consumer disputes an entry in their credit file. What is tricky is how those investigations are conducted.

When you dispute an item on your credit report, the Credit Reporting Agency sends an electronic message to the entity that reported the item, and the entity responds back that the item is verified or not. Frequently, the "investigation" is automated at both ends, and no person actually checks anything. That is it- investigation complete. Once completed, any future requests for investigation of that disputed item can be declared "frivolous" and ignored by the Credit Reporting Agency. At least one, Experian, does so as a matter of policy.

The reason it is done this way is simple: money. Your credit record directly affects your credit score. Your credit score determines how much you will pay for almost everything. Your car insurance, the amount of the deposit on your utilities, credit card rates and fees, and whether or not you get that job you were hoping for is all dependent on your score.

With all of that money available, creditors are going to use reports from the credit reporting agency that lets them charge the highest rates, that is the one that has the most "dirt" on you. So, the creditors, being the customer, are shopping for the best product- your bad credit- and will patronize the agency that delivers the goods. Therefore, it is in the best interests of the Credit Reporting Agency to NOT investigate, thus keeping your score negative.

Spurring most of this is the rapidly expanding sub prime market, and the lucrative debt purchasing market. Every major bank in the United States has a "sub prime" credit division. It is extremely profitable.

I can tell you from my own experience, and others I have spoken to, that there is another component to this- if you raise a fuss and dispute negative items, positive credit items mysteriously disappear from your credit in what appears to be retaliation.

Complaining to the FTC does little- they rarely go after lenders and collection agencies, and almost never go after Credit Reporting Agencies. Despite losing lawsuits in the million dollar range, the policies of these companies do not change- there is just too much money to be made.

It is time that congress does something. Perhaps they could take a look at this.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Second Amendment

If you read the websites of the gun control crowd, you read claims about how the Second Amendment applies only to militias, and that since we have the National Guard, that is all the militia we need, so there is no need for citizens to have guns. They often claim that there has only been one court case that has ruled on the second amendment.

That is why so many got so excited about the Supreme court getting ready to hear the Parker case. Of course, the Supremes have so far deftly dodged hearing this case. There are other cases which we can use to see how our founders intended the right to bear arms to be read. For example, we can read the Dred Scott decision for some guidance:

[If black people were] entitled to the privileges and immunities of citizens, it would exempt them from the operation of the special laws and from the police regulations which [Southern states] considered to be necessary for their own safety. It would give the persons of the negro race, who were recognized as citizens in any one State of the Union ... the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went. And all of this would be done in the face of the subject race of the same color, both free and slaves, inevitably producing discontent and insubordination among them, and endangering the peace and safety of the State. (emphasis added)
Reading the passage from that case shows that the Supreme court felt that one of the rights that citizens possessed was the right to be armed wherever they went. The truth is, gun control laws were used then like gun control laws are used now: As a way to control people, not guns. The fact is, when you remove ANY of the basic rights and freedoms that humans possess, you remove their freedom, and you enslave your population. Gun control in America began as a means of controlling the negroes.

If your right to weapons is removed, how will you guard the right to speak? how will you guard your right to vote? How can you ensure your freedom? While it may be inconceivable now, the day may come when we are no longer citizens, but slaves to the very government we created.

If we allow the government of the people, for the people, and by the people to begin removing the rights of the people whenever it seems expedient to do so, it will not be long before the government is our master instead of our employee. Don't let them enslave you.

Monday, November 12, 2007

That pesky constitution again

The Constitution of the United States. If we the people only understood that the Government has a job to do, and would stop complaining about that 200 year old piece of paper written by a bunch of dead guys, our leaders could get something done.

Congress is debating a bill that would shield businesses from lawsuits that were filed because they allowed government officials to snoop into our emails and telephone calls without a warrant. One official said:

"It is time that people in the United States changed their definition of privacy.

Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguard people's private communications and financial information."
Notice that I said without a warrant. That is right, the government is fighting for the power to snoop into your personal information and conduct warrantless searches into your personal effects. All in the name of fighting terrorism.

He goes on to say:

Millions of people in this country — particularly young people — already have surrendered anonymity to social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook, and to Internet commerce. These sites reveal to the public, government and corporations what was once closely guarded information, like personal statistics and credit card numbers.
So, in other words, since I choose to blog, I have given up my right to be free from searches and seizures. Government assholes like this guy are free to peer into my private life whenever they choose?

Warrantless searches of your home are not far away, under this guy's thinking. After all, I once had a party at my house, where I invited people into my home. Why not let the FBI in as well?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The ACLU

Positions of the ACLU:

NAMBLA (The North American Man-Boy Love Association) has a constitutional right to publish pamphlets that instruct members on how to break the law and molest young boys.

That 18 year old men have a constitutional right to have sex with 14 year old boys.

While at the same time, law abiding citizens do not have a constitutional right to own a gun

What I do not understand is how the ACLU can read the first amendment to mean that NAMBLA has an unlimited constitutional right to instruct men on how to rape and kill young boys, while at the same time, taking the following position with regards to the Second Amendment:

The national ACLU is neutral on the issue of gun control. We believe that the Constitution contains no barriers to reasonable regulations of gun ownership. If we can license and register cars, we can license and register guns.

1 Where in the constitution does it say you have a right to own a car? The two are not equivalent.

2 What part of "the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" do you not understand?

3 I know all about the disingenuous statements regarding the militia clause. Do we really have to discuss this again?

Since the Supreme court is poised to take a case that will decide whether or not the Second Amendment is an individual right or a collective one, I ask the ACLU this question:

If the Supreme Court rules that the right to bear arms is an individual one, will you then defend the NRA as voraciously as you do NAMBLA, or you rather support those who want to fuck young boys, instead of simply take them hunting?

I am a (ahem) Genius

cash advance

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Get healthy, or else

In Arkansas, the Benton county government disciplines workers with "unhealthy" traits. High blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, smoking, high cholesterol, all reasons to discipline employees.

In Los Angeles, the city government is refusing to allow any new fast food restaurants to open. they claim that they will only allow "health food" eateries and grocery stores.

In Florida, one company is FIRING employees who smoke, are overweight, or who drink. This applies even to employees who smoke or drink outside of working hours.

That's right- if you are overweight, drink, smoke, or have any number of other unhealthy problems or lifestyle, you can be disciplined or fired.

Now don't get me wrong- if the employer wants to prohibit activities like drinking, eating, and smoking while employees are on the clock, that is certainly his prerogative. However, telling employees that they must be healthy, abstain from certain activities, and work out places tehm employee back on the clock, in my opinion. Are these employers going to pay their employees to work out? Or is this a scheme to get rid of older employees, thus legitimizing age discrimination?

After all, younger, less experienced workers are paid less, but are healthier. It is illegal to age discriminate, but "health" discrimination is totally legal.

Or is this a side effect of the planned "Hillarycare" mandatory employer insurance that is soon to be forced upon us?

DISCLAIMER: I am not a user of tobacco products, I do not drink, I am perhaps 30 pounds overweight, and I have high blood pressure (a hereditary condition that is being controlled by medication).

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Those "cushy" jobs again

I checked the old site meter and found that a person had found my blog by way of a Google search for "cushy firefighter jobs." Looking at the results of the search, I was lead to this page, over at free republic.

Even though I have done this before, there are a few misconceptions over there that I will address right now.

1 "Firefighters make $150,000 to $175,000 a year." This is not true (I wish it were). In my area, firefighters make anywhere from $21,000 a year, up to $90,000. This varies by where you work. Obviously, a firefighter in Bug Holler will make less than a firefighter in Miami Beach. Then again, the same is true for waiters and hairdressers.

2 "Firefighting isn't hazardous anymore, because the combination of flame resistant materials and breathing apparatus has reduced the risks." This is not true either. The rate of firefighter deaths per fire has remained constant, and has even begun rising in recent years. Although the equipment is better, manpower cuts and other factors (such as building construction) have conspired to make firefighting a hazardous occupation. We are still killing 100 firefighters a year, even though there are fewer fires. Nearly every firefighter I know that has more than five years on the job has been injured.

3 "Several times during a wildfire I have seen a row of half a dozen engine crews standing around collecting overtime at a staging area." Of course. Crews get rotated in and out of fire areas while they are working at a fire. These staging areas are valuable manpower pools, ensuring that the incident commander has available personnel to handle any emergencies that come up, and also serve to give tired crews a break.

4 "Firefighter/paramedics aren't real firefighters" This is also untrue. A firefighter/paramedic is a firefighter who is also certified as a paramedic. This means that he has completed college to become a paramedic, and has also graduated from the fire academy. This allows the fire department to offer fire AND EMS service, thus making the fire department more cost efficient.

5 "The pay is too high because firefighters don't have much training for what they get paid." A starting firefighter has graduated from the fire academy AND is at least an EMT. This takes about a year. As you progress, you attend more and more school, and as your education advances, so does your pay. That is pretty much how ALL jobs work. Most firefighters (at least in my area) have at least one college degree. I have degrees in Emergency medicine and Fire Science, and technical certificates in rescue diving, Incident Safety, and Company officer. I am also an instructor in numerous EMS related disciplines. There are guys in the fire service who specialize in trench rescue, machinery and vehicle extrication, chemistry, psychology, and hazardous materials rescue. The more you learn, the more you earn. Just like any other job.

6 Another person complains about overtime. Most workers get overtime at 40 hours.
Under the LAW (FSLA), firefighters get overtime when we work more than 53 hours a week. Since we work a 56 hour week, there is a small amount of overtime built in to our schedule.

The problem here is that people like to complain about our pay and benefits, without really knowing what we do, or even what it takes to be a firefighter. Sure, there are guys in my area that make good money, and I think I am one of them, because I make about $19 an hour. Then again, I have 18 years of experience, I am well educated and qualified. I supervise others. Like most jobs, you earn what you are worth, and your pay is set by the market. I have earned degrees and attended school in order to become more valuable.

When you are having that heart attack, or you are trapped in your car, a collapsed building, or a burning warehouse, who do you want to come rescue you? The lowest paid, least trained person? Or will you want the educated, experienced, motivated professional with 15 to 20 years of experience?

You will get what you pay for. If you think our job pays so well, and is so easy, why aren't you doing it? Look at other jobs with similar experience, education, and working hours, and you will see that firefighting is right in line with them.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Sucks to get old/ be clumsy

I was unloading some heavy supplies from my pickup yesterday, and I fell from it and hit the ground. Hard. From four feet up. I landed on my right foot, and I hard a loud crack, at the same time feeling my knee let go. Let me tell you, that is a special kind of pain.

I had one of the guys that was over drive me to the local emergency room. Four hours later, I left the ER in the knowledge that my leg was not broken, and a referral for an ortho. Having just gotten home from my ortho appointment, I can now tell you that I strained my patellar ligament.

I will be out of work for 4 to 6 weeks. Good thing I never take sick time, so I have plenty to spare.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Roberta, the SCHIP, and Kelo

Seeing RobertaX's Blog and her comments about "the village" paying for "free" healthcare are in keeping with my earlier comments on the subject. The feeling that Uncle Sugar should be paying for whatever it is you want this week, be it healthcare, welfare, your retirement, food stamps, whatever, has been going on for years.

Hearing people complain that the Kelo decision and how wrong it is that the court allowed the government to take private property and give it to others makes me laugh. Whether it is New London using eminent domain to take my house and give it to a business, or it is the IRS taking my money to hand out healthcare, welfare, or whatever the cause is this week, my property has been getting taken for the profit of others for my entire adult life.

Monday, October 29, 2007

I's a Gansta, yo!

Last night, I ran a call on a woman who was, to use the medical term, "coo coo for Cocoa Puffs." She, along with her 19 year old son, came in third in a physical altercation involving themselves, some random citizens, and the police.

During the altercation, a gun was produced by one of the actors, which caused the police to show the others all of the cool guns they possess, and some bumps and bruises were administered. That is where I come in. We arrived to find mom and son lying on the ground, with police everywhere.

The son yells things like "I's a gangsta, yo!"
"I'm cool, like 69 degrees, yo!"

Complete with baggy pants, blue gang bandanna, underwear hanging out, and his toy gun.

I pointed out to him that flashing toy guns at people with REAL guns is not a very smart thing to do, unless one WANTS to be like, 69 degrees, yo. As in assuming room temperature.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Reporter arrested in Miami

A Miami reporter was arrested this week, for carrying a weapon on school grounds. He had a concealed weapons permit. There are a couple of problems with this arrest.

1 The law he was undoubtedly arrested for violating was 790.06(12), which states (in relevant part):

No license issued pursuant to this section shall authorize any person to carry a concealed weapon or firearm into...any elementary or secondary school facility...
Which would seem to make this a valid arrest, until you look at the statute like an attorney, At that point, you see that the legislature treats school facilities and school grounds as two different animals. See 790.115(1) (relevant parts):

(1) A person who exhibits any sword, sword cane, firearm, electric weapon or device, destructive device, or other weapon... at a school-sponsored event or on the grounds or facilities of any school...
The legislature could easily have said grounds, had it meant grounds. Instead, it chose to use the word facility. In fact, looking at the definition of "Educational facility" in 159.29(22), we see that facility DOES mean buildings:

(22) "Educational facility" means:

(a) Property, limited to a structure suitable for use as a dormitory or other housing facility or a dining facility, that is operated in the public sector and used for or useful in connection with the operation of an institution for higher education...(snip irrelevant language)

(b) Property that comprises the buildings and equipment, structures, and special education use areas that are built, installed, or established to serve primarily the educational purposes of operating any nonprofit private preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, or high school...

Even if the court decides that this reading is incorrect, it is only a Class 2 Misdemeanor. I don't even think it will get that far, however. Because he was arrested on the sidewalk in front of the school, this would not in any way constitute the "facility."

The second problem I have, is that since the weapon was concealed, and the reporter safely on the sidewalk, the police officer in this case had absolutely no probable cause to search him to FIND the weapon in the first place. This entire arrest smells. Perhaps this reporter was reporting on things the local gendarmes found offensive.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Cheapness

I teach classes. I teach CPR, ACLS, PALS, PHTLS, EMT, and Paramedic. I also teach the instructor courses. I had a woman call me today (from a daycare center) who wanted an adult and child CPR, AED, and first aid class for 10 of her staff. This class takes all day, and requires 2 instructors, as well as books and training materials. I quoted her a price of $400. That works out to $40 per student.

The books and materials cost me $20 per student. That leaves me with $200 to pay myself and another instructor, as well as all of my other overhead. She was angry over that, and says I am too expensive. She says my competition is less than half of what I charge. I pointed out that they charge extra for books and materials, so the end price is the same.

She wanted to pay $15 per student. I told her that I can't do that, so she hung up in a huff.

Whatever, I can't afford to GIVE my time away.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Gun of the month: October 07


As a part of my presidential firearms purchasing campaign, the firearm I selected for purchase this month is a Colt Combat Commander in .45ACP. Although I own a few pistols, I have never owned a 1911 style pistol, so this month's selection remedied that oversight. So today, I went to the local store and brought this beauty home. I can't wait to see what I buy next month.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sex with Robots

A major news outlet, and they are reporting National Enquirer style news.

"My forecast is that around 2050, the state of Massachusetts will be the first jurisdiction to legalize marriages with robots,"

Wow, think about it- I can get all of the tax breaks of marriage, the robot won't cheat on you, and will never steal the remote. the article goes on to say this:

"If you have pedophiles and you let them use a robotic child, will that reduce the incidence of them abusing real children, or will it increase it?" Arkin asked. "I don't think anyone has the answers for that yet — that's where future research needs to be done."

Keeping a robot for sex could reduce human prostitution and the problems that come with it.

However, "in a marriage or other relationship, one partner could be jealous or consider it infidelity if the other used a robot," Levy said. "But who knows, maybe some other relationships could welcome a robot. Instead of a woman saying, 'Darling, not tonight, I have a headache,' you could get 'Darling, I have a headache, why not use your robot?'"

Then the article goes on to talk about how the scientist is writing a paper on the ethical treatment of robots. You have got to be kidding me- the robot equal rights movement is born.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Early resolution for the new year

Since it has become apparent that we are about to get us a shiny new president, and all of the front runners for both parties seem to be anti-gun, I am going to see if I can buy one gun a month from now until inauguration of the president.

So, that is 15 guns to buy between now and January of 2009. Anyone else wanna try this with me?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A lesson in cardiology

This post arises from a call I ran yesterday with a relatively new medic. Those of you in EMS know that new medics are pretty timid, and tend to have problems with calls that require them to think outside of the box we call protocol. This was one of those times that it is obvious that we need to do so. I hope any new medics that read this will learn an important lesson.

Our patient was a 58 year old man who was working at some light gardening when he began having pain between his shoulder blades, and began loudly burping, which relieved the pain. He went inside and took some gas medicine. His obviously intelligent wife called 911 and got him to take 2 baby aspirin.

When we arrived, we found him seated on his couch, he was cool and covered in sweat. He states he has a history of hypertension, for which he takes no medicine. He states that his doctor feels like his blood sugar is too high, and wanted him tested for diabetes, but that was 6 months ago, and he hasn't been back since. When we stand him up to plpace him on the stretcher, his pulse becomes irregular. His vitals are: P- 88, BP 138/86, RR 20. In the truck, we start an IV, and find him to be in a normal sinus rhythm, his SaO2 is 99% on room air, blood sugar is 170. His 12 lead EKG is as follows:


(Click for a larger picture)

There are a few things that jump out at you here.
  1. The 12mm height of the QRS in lead aVL indicates "voltage criteria" for left ventricular hypertrophy. This is likely caused by his history of uncontrolled high blood pressure.
  2. The length of his QRS (0.122 sec) could be considered a left bundle branch block, but I think this is probably due to the QRS widening caused by the LVH, since the EKG doesn't have that "LBBB look" to it.
  3. The poor R wave progression in leads V1 through V6
  4. The ST segment depression in Leads V3 and V4
I pointed out to New Medic Partner (NMP) that nitroglycerin was probably a good idea here. NMP didn't want to give it because the patient "didn't have chest pain."

Sigh. This is one of my pet peeves. This man has risk factors- possible untreated diabetes AND high blood pressure. He is complaining of anginal equivalents- indigestion, and back pain. His irregular pulse on standing MAY be PVC's, and his 12 lead confirms a cardiac event.

I finally prevailed, and we alerted the hospital. The doctor sent him to the cath lab, and it turns out that he had a complete blockage of the distal end of the left anterior descending coronary artery. He was having a hearta ttack, but we caught it early, and he is now recovering.

Please, medics. Learn how to read the signs your patient is giving you, and learn to read and interpret the 12 lead EKG. Cardiology, diabetes, and drug overdoses are the three areas where medics save the most lives. Be the best you can be at this, lives depend on it.

The Ambulance Driver and Vivian DuFrance

I met the Ambulance Driver on Friday. He introduced me to a lovely young lady who asked me to call her Vivian. A smart young woman who wishes to be a Doctor. She is lovely, and AD is a lucky man to be so blessed. You should be proud, as I know you are.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Billing errors and documentation

I recently moved. When I moved, I shut off all services at the old house, and opened them at the new one. I had my mail forwarded, and I gave my new address to all of the people who needed it. All of my final bills came to me and were paid. Except one.

Bell South sent my bill to the new street address, but the old city, like so:

123 New House Street
Old Town, Florida

So as a result, I never got the bill. Three months later, I am contacted by a collection agency. I call Bell South and ask them why I was sent to collections, and the problem is quickly identified. I point out that since the error was theirs and not mine, that I will pay what I owe, but that I will not pay late fees, nor will I pay this unless I get a letter that states that the collection will not be placed on my credit.

The lady tells me that they don't do that, and that I should just pay. She goes on to say that since the letter was not returned, the fact that I did not get the letter is not their problem.

The problem is that I will not pay a late fee that was not my fault, and if I pay at all without such a letter, nothing prevents them from placing a black mark upon my credit record.

I send a dispute letter to the collector AND to Bell South. Bell South sends me a copy of my last three bills, and these copies clearly show that they had the address wrong.

Funny thing is that the collection agency manages to get the address right. Since my dispute, they have both ignored my letters, and continue to call. They call me, they call my girlfriend. They send letters. Soon, I am sure they will place this on my credit record. When they do, they are going to force me into suing them for violating the law.

Why can't businesses just do business in an ethical manner? I want to pay this, but I also am not going to ruin my credit for the next seven years because of an error on their part.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

More vote buying

This election is going force me to choose between a douche and a turd. There is no other way to put it.

What brings on this latest diatribe? Now Hillary has decided that giving $5,000 to each parent won't work to buy enough votes, so she plans to tax every person worth over $7 million to pay $1,000 to each person who makes less than $60K.

Read on:

Her campaign said that for every $7 million estate that gets taxed, at least 5,000 families would receive the matching funds.
That means that each person worth more than $7 million is gonna pay an average of $5 million in new taxes. How is she going to pay for this in year two, when all of those people are now worth only $2 million?

If you were worth $7 million, would you and your money stay in the country?

If you win $10million in the lottery, by the time taxes are paid, you might be able to buy another lottery ticket with what is left.

Socialist crap. Between the frontrunners and a turd sandwich, I would rather have the turd sandwich.

aaaaannnnnnd we're back, and Rudy sucks

I thought I was gonna die, or at least it felt like it.

on with the posting:

Rudy Giuliani, the RINO. He will not be getting my vote, due mostly to the following quotes, from his speech on crime:

What we don't see is that freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.
Or even that he favors handgun registration, and that a person needs to demonstrate a NEED to own a gun. He wants to make owning a gun like owning a car. I say GREAT!! Let's do it. He overlooks the fact that one does not need to pass a test to OWN a car, or even to drive one. One must pass a test to operate that car on public roads. I can get behind that. I can have a gun, and the only permit I need is to operate it in public. We already have that, it is called a concealed weapons permit.

A person can own any car he or she wants and can afford. From a military truck to a corvette. Let's do that with guns. I can have anything I want, from a machine gun to a cannon.

Of course we know what he REALLY wants. Why is that? Do you think that the gangbangers will suddenly stop buying and selling drugs and lay down their guns? Or could you be trying to say that it is easier to get people to cede authority if they are unarmed?

Watch the video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emeu2KRt2Vg


As for me, I will spend the election year buying guns and ammo. Lots and lots of guns and ammo.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I beat the big dogs to it!!!

When I made this post two weeks ago, I didn't realize that I was gonna beat the big dogs to a story. SayUncle, Tam, and practically the entire Blogosphere are now onto the lies spewing from CBS. It seems like there is an overwhelming effort by the MSM to get ready for the upcoming elections.

If a Dem wins the White House, be ready for more asinine and useless gun laws that will do little to effect crime, but much to reduce liberty.

Light posting

I have not been feeling well these last few days. It turns out that I have Bronchitis. I think there may be some light posting for the next few days.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Can you believe this shit?

Read this story.

Lets sum up the story.
Man sneaks into country illegally.
Man works illegally for 11 years, living in Florida, using the social infrastructure for 11 years, all the while earning over $100,000.
Man fails to file or pay taxes for 11 years.
Man saves money- $59,000 over 11 years.
Man tries to illegally smuggle the money out of the US.
He gets caught, and the money is confiscated. Between the immigration violations, smuggling, and tax fraud, he will get none of his money back.
He has the nerve to say. "They are treating me like a criminal when all I am is a working man."

Uh, you ARE a criminal. The Government offers him a deal:

Robert Gershman, one of Zapeta's attorneys, said federal prosecutors later offered his client a deal: He could take $10,000 of the original cash seized, plus $9,000 in donations as long as he didn't talk publicly and left the country immediately.


He turned it down, saying he wanted ALL of the money. I got news for ya dude- I was born here, and I don't get to keep all of my money. Welcome to America- now go home.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Half Assed Medic

WARNING: Medical terminology to follow, but I will try and keep it to a minimum.

I was the first medic on scene to a 54 year old male, whose chief complaint was that he nearly passed out while he was lifting a heavy object from the back of his minivan. He had a History of insulin dependent diabetes, a heart bypass, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. His vitals were as follows: HR 72, RR 20, BP 136/72. He takes lopressor, insulin, lipitor, and aspirin. His 12 lead showed nothing acute, except LVH. I was in the middle of finishing my assessment when the transport unit arrived.

The medic on that truck told the patient that the near syncope was probably due to stimulation of the vagus nerve that lifting the box caused. I pointed out to the patient that while the other medic was probably correct, due to his extensive history, it would probably be best to take him in, just to be sure. You see, diabetics frequently do not have the classic symptoms of a heart attack, and often the first sign that a diabetic has of a serious heart attack is fainting, nausea, or shortness of breath, and not chest pain. The patient agreed with me, and decided to go to the hospital.

Apparently, that angered the other medic, who had been hoping to talk the patient out of going to the hospital. After he dropped the patient off at the hospital, he decided to come talk to me about "taking over his patient." I pointed out to him that he is a new medic (less than a year on the street) and that patient refusals are not there for his personal comfort- paramedic inconvenience is not a reason to avoid transport.

If there is any piece of advice I can give you new medics out there, it is this:

If you are ever undecided as to the proper course of action, whichever option it is that causes you the most work is usually the correct one. Don't ever forget that we are the patient's advocate, and all of our decisions need to be in the best interests of the patient, not ourselves.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The happiest place on Earth

The Wonderful World of Pedophiles disarmed victims Disney has seen another employee of theirs arrested for possession of child pornography. This has been a growing trend.

Matthew Wendland was arrested in February of this year.
Tony Guerra was arrested August 31.
Darren Roberts was arrested September 21.
All of them were suspended without pay, pending the outcome of charges. Disney is worried about due process, which is all well and good. We wouldn't want to accuse someone of breaking the law, only to find that they didn't, right?

Then explain why a married couple who has an unloaded firearm in their car in the employee parking lot (completely legal in the state of Florida) both get terminated without question. To compound the error, Disney then lobbies the state legislature to strengthen laws allowing employers to search employee cars for weapons, stating that employers need the ability to search cars, so they can stop child pornography.

I think we all know that the real target here is law abiding gun owners- not child pornographers.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Musings on self defense

video

I ask one question: What do you do if this guy attacks you by pulling you out of your car at the next stoplight?

If you are against gun ownership, what is going to happen when you try to call the cops? Will this guy let you? Or will you have to hope a good Samaritan in a nearby car will call for you? Then, I ask what happens during the 10 to 30 minutes it takes the police to arrive?

To those who are FOR gun ownership, do you carry a weapon with you at all times, or do you refer to the previous paragraph? Does your local government recognize your right to self defense, or must you attempt to retreat? Does this meet the threshold for deadly force? Are you willing and ready to take a life to defend your own?

Think about that. I know I am, and I will, if I must.

Snort



From Dilbert.com

Monday, September 24, 2007

Healthcare plans again

I got my nap, so here we go. We take the trip to Gubmint health care again. Reading this article, I noticed it made a few good points.

Imagine if your car insurance covered oil changes and gasoline. You wouldn't care how much gas you used, and you wouldn't care what it cost. Mechanics would sell you $100 oil changes. Prices would skyrocket.


That is exactly what has happened here with health care. It is even more pronounced on those who have no copay. I see it all of the time with people carrying those little gold Medicaid cards. They don't care what it costs, so they go to the emergency room for everything, to the point where ambulances must wait in line to drop off patients, because ER beds are full. 30 to 45 minute waits are not uncommon, and I have seen more than a few patients die on an ambulance stretcher while waiting. In fact, the chief deterrent to this is that long wait for service, not the cost.

Things will only get worse, and more expensive, if we establish any sort of government sponsored health plan. This will mean that expenses will spiral out of control. When that happens, the government will have to find a way to pay for it. There are only a few options:

1 Increase revenue (iin other words, raise taxes)
2 Control costs (through rationing or price controls)
3 More deficit spending

Any of those three would be a disaster for our health system AND the economy. More on that in future posts...

Sorry

I was on duty for 48 hours, and then I had to teach an EMT class today, so there will be no postings today.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

More problems for St George, MO PD

In this post, I discussed the problem of bad cops. There are more problems coming to light in the St George Police Department, the department that employed the Sergeant that was caught on tape in this incident threatening to frame a motorist because he didn't show enough deference. It seems as if the motorist has good cause to film the local cops.

On a local website, a site that describes itself as a site "for the use of law enforcement officers employed by the St. Louis Police Department and their supporters in the St. Louis Metropolitan area," a self described police officer had this to say:

I hope this little POS punk bastard tries his little video stunt with me when I pull him over alone- and I WILL pull him over - because I will see "his gun" and place a hunk of hot lead right where it belongs.

Of course, the videotape from Kuehnlein's police cruiser is currently missing. St. George Police Chief Scott Uhrig is also being investigated by city officials who say he may have failed to inform them that the State of Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission concluded that, "Uhrig's unwelcome sexual advances to a teenager, while on duty and under the guise of enforcing the laws, indicate an especially egregious mental state, show that he cannot enforce the law, and are cause for discipline."

Friday, September 21, 2007

Public Schools

From the Heartless Libertarian comes a story about the Public Indoctrination Education System, and a Themed High School called the "Social Justice Academy." A little research shows this to be an actual school.

That is right- now we are indoctrinating our students in political agendas, and we aren't even hiding it any more. Click here and scroll down to "Social Justice Academy," and you will find this:

Social Justice Academy (SJA), also one of Boston's small schools, prepares students to be social activists who can identify problems and have the skills and confidence to solve them. Their approach to education is based on creating a more just and equitable world. To achieve that goal, the rigorous curriculum was designed to require students to engage in debates, research, analysis, reading, and writing that address issues including Race, Class, Gender, Sexual Orientation, and Identity. Not only must all seniors complete a community service project which demonstrates their mastery of skills in research, writing, data analysis, critical thinking and public speaking, but they must all apply to and be accepted to a college in order to graduate, whether they plan to attend or not.

Why are my tax dollars going to pay for this obviously political crap?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The debate rages on

The LawDog is talking about the film that is the subject of my previous post. The center of the argument seems to be that the University, being owned by the State, must allow students to exercise free speech wherever and whenever they choose, or face the wrath of the Constitution.

So, let me get this straight. You think that the students of a government run school should be allowed to disrupt lectures and classes, and that the teachers and administrators do not have the power to control or direct the students at any time, if said student is being disruptive?

So, if a student, say, stands up in the middle of class and begins a long diatribe that is disruptive to the learning process, the professor has no right to tell the student to sit down and be quiet? If the student refuses, the professor cannot ask the student to leave? If the student refuses to leave, the campus police cannot arrest him? If he resists arrest, the police must do what? Leave?

What if the person making the speech isn't a student? Does the person give up these rights to speech just because he isn't a student? If so, can a person go to the local kindergarten class and give an impromptu sex education class?

Or could it be that you are mistaken? Like it or not, the school has a responsibility to its students, the students are paying for an education, and they have a right to receive what they are paying for without loud mouthed trouble makers interfering.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

First Amendment

This video is all over the net. I am sure you have seen it by now. There are many comments that the kid was treated badly, or somehow the cops were wrong. Most of this criticism centers around one of two points:

1 That the kid was having his First Amendment rights violated. : This is incorrect. If anything, this kid was violating the rights of the others who wanted to speak by monopolizing the session. He was not asking questions, he was making a speech. If he wants to make speeches, he is allowed to do so, just not on someone else's dime or during someone else's meeting. I am sure the school will let him reserve a space and make speeches. Remember that the right to free speech is not a guarantee that people will listen, nor does it confer the right to disrupt the peace.

2 That the kid did not need to be tazed. This guy was given the lawful order to leave. He refused. The cops then tried to escort him out. He wiggled free. They tried to escort more forcibly. He resisted. They tazed him. I thought that was an appropriate escalation of force.

Too many people in this country think that the cops are not allowed to "boss them around," or that free speech means being able to disrupt or annoy others. They also think that the cops are not allowed to touch them unless they have a weapon.

The police are there to do a job, its called keeping the peace. If you breach that peace, they are going to order you to leave. If you refuse, you are going to be arrested. Resist, and you will be forced to go.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

An agenda?

This article attempts to use statistics in a misleading manner to support a preconcieved notion that “assault weapons” are killing our police officers. A look at the truth shows this to be a lie. To date, there have been 127 police officers killed in the line of duty, according to the “Officer Down Memorial.”

Of those 127 officers, 58 (46%) were killed in vehicle accidents, 2 fell due to a bomb, 3 drowned, 5 through medical causes, one was killed by a tornado, one by a toxic exposure, one from a yellow jacket sting, and one when a pine tree fell on his car after the tree was struck by lightning.

Of the 55 (43%) officers killed by gunfire, 9 (7%) were killed by rifles, 33 (26%) by handguns or shotguns, and in 13 (9%) of the shootings, the type of weapon was not identified in the report, only being listed as “gun, unknown.”

Two of those killed by rifles were mistakenly shot by other police officers, three were shot by “hunting rifles,” one by an M1 Garand (which was not listed as an assault weapon by the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban), and the others were listed as simply “Rifle.” Not one mention of an “Assault weapon” as a single cause of death.

Three officers were shot with their own or another officer’s weapon that had been taken from the officer by the suspect. The only cop killed by an assault weapon was the one last weekend. That is right, as tragic as it is, this was the only case of a cop being killed with an "assault weapon" this year.

In short, more cops were killed by (take your pick) cars, bombs, water, tornados, lightning, pine trees, other cops, or yellow jackets, than were killed by “Assault Weapons.” But then, none of those causes fit the press’ leftist, antigun agenda, do they?

A hat tip to Kim, for alerting me to this article.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Smoke and mirrors?

Several years ago, I ran across this article, and I have always taken offense by the assertions there. In it, he makes some claims that I would like to refute:

1 He claims we have cushy jobs, inpart because of our "easy" 24 on and 48 off schedule. If you add those hours up, you will find out that those hours equal a 56 hour workweek, and we don't get overtime at 40 hours like most jobs. We work every day of the year, including holidays. Unlike most jobs, we don't get weekends, Christmas, New Years, Easter, or any other holiday off.

He also claims that most firefighters run less than 5 calls per day. He is dead wrong, unless he is including rural, volunteer departments in that calculations. I have run as many as 26 calls in a shift before. Sure, there are slow days, but don't we all have slow days at work? In my last two work days, I ran 3 structure fires (a total of 10 hours), one car fire, one fatal auto accident (we were there for 6 hours- assisting with the investigation), two heart attacks, one dead child (who collapsed playing basketball), one child with meningitis, 2 women experiencing a cardiac event, one diabetic emergency, one man in CHF, and 4 more medical emergencies. Plus, vehicle and equipment maintenance, and a minimum of 3 hours of training per day. Busy enough for you? Sure, we run fewer than 4 fires a day, but fires are less than 20% of our call load. EMS is getting us more and more calls every year.

2 He claims that firefighting isn't dangerous, because the number of deaths has fallen. I can tell you this- I have had to attend the funerals of 8 firefighters that I know, killed in the line of duty. 2 in a fire, 2 struck by cars, 3 heart attacks, and one by cancer (caused by an on the job exposure). Nearly every firefighter that I know with more than 10 years on the job has been injured in the line of duty. It will happen if you work long enough. The only reason the number of deaths has fallen, is because we have worked hard to make it happen, and we are finally getting the safer building codes we have asked for. We still deal with hepatitis, HIV, and other communicable diseases every day.

3 He claims Firefighters are adrenaline junkies. I will give him that one. So what? All that means is that we like our jobs. Does that take anything away from what we do?

4 Then he goes on to complain that we have large funerals when firefighters are killed in the line of duty. "It's just the firefighters doing their thing," he complains. Can you believe that anyone would be so callous? I have never read or heard about a firefighter funeral that will shut a city down for a few days, it is more like a few hours. Big turnouts, pageantry and long processions are a tradition in the fire service. The funeral ceremony is not a propaganda scheme, it is a close knit community saying goodbye to one of their own.

He then continues his tirade by complaining that we as a profession are a selfish interest group.

A search of this author's work finds him slamming realtors as well. He appears to have a hard on for firefighters. Maybe one slept with his wife, or could it be that left wing journalists hate men in male-type jobs. Not metrosexual enough for them. Everything they write is tied into the Agenda.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Monday Morning Quarterbacking

Have you ever seen this video? These guys really screwed up. This was a dangerous and amateurish effort on the part of these firefighters. There are numerous problems that I saw there. Lets review the worst of them.

1 The incident commander apparently failed to recognize that the building was lost. He still had crews operating inside the building during most of the film. Why expose crews to this potential collapse hazard to try and save a building that is already a goner?

2 The building had already self ventilated through the roof, and these guys are still breaking windows. Why?

3 The exposure building on side D (the right) was burning for quite awhile before anyone did anything about it. Have these guys ever heard of exposure control?

4 The ladder that was lying against the building, being exposed to direct flame, was later used as a roof access on the second building. Then the firefighters (and I use the term loosely) compound it by being on the roof without a roof ladder.

The list goes on. In the comments section for the incident, firefighters accuse critics of being "monday morning quarterbacks" and say that if we weren't there, we cannot criticize. Ridiculous. We kill 100 firefighters a year, and it is time we stop. Lets stop making excuses, and fix this.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Bad Cops

I saw this on Tam's website yesterday. There is a discussion going on over there about bad cops.

Then today, from the Orlando Sentinel, comes this story. This cop was caught planning to rob a man he thought was a drug dealer. It turns out the intended victim was an undercover officer. The bad cop was a school resource officer. You know, trusted not only as a cop, but trusted to watch over our kids.

Whenever I see someone caught committing a felony, I have to wonder what they have done in the past that they HAVEN'T been caught doing. After all, I most felons don't start as felons. Besides, odds are the criminal doesn't get caught the first time.

Working in the fire department, I know quite a few police officers professionally. On a personal level, the street I live on is almost all cops and firemen. Heck, I went to school with a fair number of my brothers in blue.

Even with "professional courtesy" I have been shaken down twice in the last 10 years by bad cops. I have seen cops do it to others. I can only guess at how often it happens to those without a badge.

There are a lot of good cops out there. There is a minority that is bad. I cannot prove it, but I think that the number of bad cops runs at least 10%. Now that is certainly a minority, but it is enough to give citizens a bad taste for the law. All of us in public safety need to remember that the next time we want voters to approve more tax money for our departments.

To the good guys: Don't let the dirtbags give you a black eye. Turn them in.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The 343

On this very day 6 years ago, 343 firefighters died. I have wondered how many of them entered those buildings, knowing that they would not exit. They went in anyway, in the hope that they could save some lives.

I have an envelope in my locker, as many firefighters do. Contained in that envelope is a series of letters, written to various friends and family. There are messages in there for each person. Instructions, goodbyes, all of the things we would like our family to hear or to know, should the unthinkable happen. Those letters were VERY difficult to write. When my locker gets cleaned out and the contents given to my family, those letters keep my family from feeling guilty or ashamed if they forgot to say how they felt.

I was at work myself that morning, going about my daily routine. If the time comes that I am forced to make that decision, I hope that I have the courage to make the right decision, and no matter how things turn out, that my decision is the right one.

Right for me, for my family, and for the people I have sworn to protect.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Respiratory madness

I have been working for 30 straight hours. I am on the second half of a 48 hour shift. Today, my EMT partner also happens to be one of my paramedic students. Since the class just had their midterms, I tell him that he can run the calls today, and I will only step in if he needs help.

Our first call of the morning goes rather smoothly, it is a woman complaining of vertigo. She has a history of it, and it is a pretty easy call. Our second call of the day did not go quite the same way.

It came in as a non-emergency call for a man who has not eaten in three days. When we arrive, I let my partner enter first. I hear him talking to the patient as I get the stretcher ready. As soon as I finish that task, I enter the room. The patient is cyanotic, he is tripoding, and he has one word dyspnea. He is covered in sweat. I have seen this look before, and a patient that has it never does well. My partner is busy asking about his eating habits and is oblivious to the state his patient is in.

I tell him we need to be moving to the truck. When we get there, the patient has no lung sounds at the bases, and almost no lung sounds at the apexes. He is begging us to sit him up. His SaO2 is 88%. He has COPD is normally on home oxygen, but he says he took it off so he could smoke a cigarette.

He is struggling to breathe, and I cannot believe that he will be conscious for long. I call for backup as we hook him up to the CPAP machine. My partner secures an IV, and as the backup arrives, I tell one of them to get in front and drive us to the closest hospital. The patient balks. He says that he doesn't want to go THERE, he wants to go to another one almost 10 minutes further. I tell him that I am not going to bypass a perfectly good hospital with a patient who is about to die. He tries to argue, but not being able to breathe cuts him off from too much protesting.

When we get to the hospital 3 minutes later, he is barely responsive. I am trying to keep his airway open, as he breathes 40 times a minute. At least his SaO2 is now 99%. I tell the nurse what is going on, and she tries to tell me that because I put a COPD patient on CPAP I knocked out his respiratory drive. I gave her a stupid look. Right about the time I was warming up to my answer,the charge nurse (who was a street medic himself) saved me from the disciplinary action that was soon to follow my remarks by taking over for nurse clueless.

CPAP is indicated in the treatment of pulmonary edema, especially in the presence of COPD or CHF. In the short amount of time that EMS has contact with COPD patients, oxygen is not going to knock out the respiratory drive of the patient. This was indicated by his respiratory rate of 40.

and the next time my partner sees "the look" he won't get tunnel vision, and he will know what is coming. That is how we learn, folks.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

More on the Searches

It appears as if I am not alone in my disdain for searches by stores.

Monday, September 3, 2007

The Best Buy searches

I went to Best Buy and bought a new HDTV. I got a 50" Plasma, a table to put it on, and a surround sound system for it. I was replacing my 6 year old rear projection HDTV. The new set looks great, but that is not the point.

The Best Buy in south Orlando is set up so that when you leave the registers, you approach the exit from a direction that is completely different from people who are exiting the store that haven't bought anything. That is, if you are leaving the store from that direction, you had to have passed through the check out.

After leaving the check out, there is a guy that stands there and always wants to look at your receipt. Now, this isn't just Best Buy. Most stores around here now do this, and it annoys me. It is like the store is saying "We think you are a criminal."

So, about a year ago, I stopped doing it. When they ask for my receipt, I ignore them and just keep walking. I do not steal, and my stuff is in a bag that has your store's name on it. You have no reason to search me, so I am not going to allow it. If they don't like it, I don't care. I am not breaking the law, you have no reasonable suspicion that I am, and you are not going to search me. The simple fact that I am leaving your store with merchandise does not mean that I stole it. After all, the whole point of you even having a store, is having people leave it with merchandise. I bet hundreds of people leave that store every day with merchandise.

The guard at the store, and the woman next to him, yelled at my back as I left the store. The guy telling me to stop, and the woman calling me a rude jerk. Funny thing is, no one considers it rude to accuse you of stealing and demand that you be searched.

What is wrong with this country that we think this behavior is acceptable and necessary?

Empty nest

On Friday, my son announced that he was ready to leave the nest. He moved out on Sunday. I am torn about this for a number of reasons.

I am glad that he is now ready to face the world. He finished his AS, he has a good job as a Firefighter/EMT, and he makes decent money for a 20 year old (he turns 20 in November) He started Paramedic school last month, and I am flattered that he is following in my footsteps. It makes me proud that he is doing so well. I know he can't stay forever, and he must live his own life.

I am going to miss him terribly. We do so much together. We go places, we hang out, we play video games. My life and my home are going to be a little emptier without him around.

I hope he remembers to visit his old man. Next step is being a grandfather. Man, I am getting old.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Doc in the Box

Wal Mart. You can do everything there. The Wal Mart in our response area sells the normal Wal Mart stuff, plus groceries, and automotive repair services. Inside, there is a pharmacy, an eyeglass store, two restaurants, a bank, a photo studio and a Walk in Medical Clinic.

How poorly do you have to do in medical school to be the Wal Mart doctor? We responded to this "Doctor's" office three times yesterday. One of these visits was telling.

A man here was on vacation, and sitting near the pool eating is vegetarian submarine sandwich. Less than thirty minutes later, he developed shortness of breath, a tickle in his throat, and a rash known as urticaria. He complained that he "felt bad." What does the family do? Call 911? Rush him to the hospital? No... They took him to Wal Mart, in the process driving past two fire stations and a hospital.

When he arrived, the Doctor gave him 50mg Benedryl, 1mg Epinephrine, and 125mg of solumedrol. When all of this failed to work, she called 911. When our heroes arrived, we noted that she had given everything except tagamet, so we talked about starting a tagamet infusion (300mg over 10 minutes). The Doctor told us that she would rather we did not, because the patient had been seen a month ago by his doctor back home for chest pain, and that he would need cardiac monitoring before we gave any drugs.

Uhhh- she doesn't even have a cardiac monitor (we do) and she gave him epinephrine, which was the correct thing to do. However, epi has far more cardiac effect than tagamet does. Yes, there are rare instances of arrhythmias and hypotension with tagamet, but then again epi is to be used with caution in patients with a history of hear disease due to the increased myocardial oxygen demand that epi is sure to cause. The fact that the patient was orthostatically hypotensive was more of a concern to me than an anginal episode of unknown origin a month ago.

We got him in the truck, did a 12 lead, IV, oxygen, tagamet, and went down the road. He had no known allergies, so eating a sandwich will be an adventure for him in the future. Heck, it may not have even been the sandwich. We DO have a lot of biting insects here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I can't believe you are an instructor

A Para-fetus came to me yesterday with a question. It seems that the young one was in paramedic class yesterday, and the instructor asked them if they knew when it was appropriate to use a Kendrick Extrication Device. The student replied, "To move patients while stabilizing the spine, for example, to remove a patient from a car after the roof has been cut off."

To which the Instructor replied, "If you have to cut the roof off, the patient is probably too critical to bother using a KED."

Ummm, it is called the Kendrick Extrication Device. You know, to extricate patients with. This is plainly an instructor trying to impress his class with his encyclopedic knowledge. If you want to get into the discussion of hemodynamic instability, and the decision to perform rapid extrication, fine. What I don't understand is why you would make a blanket statement like that.

Some people who instruct need to think carefully about what you are teaching students before you speak. For reference, here is how I make the decision:

All patients die from the same cause: hypoperfusion. Every death is caused by a failure of the body to perfuse the brain. Therefore, anything that threatens that is a serious concern. A good rule of thumb is to perform a rapid extrication on a patient who is critically unstable and in danger of hypoperfusion.

These patients are easily spotted:

Altered level of consciousness
Systolic BP <90mm Hg (in other words, lack of a radial pulse)
Breathing rate less than 10 or more than 30
Serious, uncontrolled hemorrhaging

Most other patients can wait the extra 3 minutes or so to stabilize the Cspine, especially if the patient's mechanism of injury or clinical signs suggest Cspine injury.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

DirecTV

A couple of years ago, I got DirecTV. I wanted to get the high definition, and I wanted to have digital recording capability. When I originally got the service, the operator told me that the HD DVR's were too expensive for them to lease, and if I wanted it, I would have to buy it. I did, for $425. I leased two other receivers, for which I had to sign a one year contract. All was well.

20 months later, I bought a new house and decided to move. In order to transfer the DirecTV, they told me that I would have to pay for the installation. Since my house was wired for CATV and not satellite, this was going to be expensive. My year was up, so I canceled and got CATV instead.

My final bill comes, and lo and behold, they charged me $187 in cancellation fees. They tried to say that the DVR was a lease. I pointed out that I was only billed for two leased receivers. The reason I wasn't charged the $5 a month for the lease was that the first leased receiver is not billed, according to them. Think about this- $425 plus a $4.99 a month for 20 months, plus a $187 cancellation fee= total cost for the leased receiver of $711.80, AND they wanted me to return the DVR.

The paperwork they gave, the hidden service agreements, referenced in fine print, and the confusing terms made my head spin. Large amounts of double talk and half truths made me feel like I was buying a used car. When you deal with these guys, look for the asterisks and the escape clauses.

When I produced the receipt for the DVR, along with the credit card statement, instead of doing what was right, they sent me to a collection agency. I threatened to sue. Three months later, they finally send me a letter, canceling the fees. I now have a DVR that I can sell, along with a resolve to never try DirecTV again, and I will urge others to do the same.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Constitutional Confusion

While my coworkers and I were discussing the previous post, one of them remarked that no one should be allowed to own any gun that the police do not own. I told him I was fine with that, because the police own machine guns, tanks, and rocket launchers. He said no, he meant what the average officer on the street has. He then gave the standard line about the constitution being out of date.

When I pointed out that his opinion would apply to the other amendments as well, and asked him to tell me how he felt about that, he told me that the Constitution was unneeded in this day and age, and he felt that too many people "hid" behind the constitution. He thinks that society is falling apart because we let people have too much freedom, and they abuse it.

He used Child pornography as an example. He said that under the First Amendment, child porn would be legal. I told him that if I want to write stories about children in those situations, that would be protected speech, however repugnant it may be. When a child porn FILM is made, you would be prosecuted. Not for a speech crime, but for having sex with minors. The speech is protected, the act is not. That is like saying a book about bank robberies is legal, but robbing one isn't.

He ranted on about how it should be illegal to slander the President (citing the TV show "Lil Bush") and how we should eliminate the separation of church and state, so that we can declare Christianity the national religion, thus preventing Muslims from taking over the world.

People scare and amaze me at the same time.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Complete waste of time

From Orlando, this is a story about a "guns for sneakers" program. In this program, the police offer sneakers, or $50 for anyone who brings them a gun- no questions asked. Read some quotes from the article:

An unblemished 1903 .32-caliber Colt pistol caught the eye of a knowledgeable deputy who checked the Internet and found it was worth about $1,400.

or this one:

Despite being more than 100 years old, it and dozens of other old handguns in various calibers still worked and would be deadly, deputies and officers said. Few of the exchanged weapons were late-model 9 mm and .45-caliber pistols, the sort used in many of the more than 100 murders last year in Orlando and Orange County.

one man brought in three valuable rifles.

Worth more than $3,000, the three military-style target rifles will be destroyed just like the rusted guns worth less than $50 that were turned in, organizers said. Before going under cutting torches, guns that work will be test-fired so the bullets and cartridges can be compared to evidence in unsolved murder cases, they said.

"Somebody took really good care of this," said Williams, holding a .308-caliber M1-A Springfield rifle worth about $1,500. "I'd bet a body part this was never used in a crime."

One man even turned in a fiberglass tube that he claimed was a missile launcher.

- Wasted, valuable guns that have never been used in a crime will be destroyed. Criminals don't use M1A's to commit crimes.

- Junk guns that probably don't work, the owners paid $50. Probably more than twice what they are worth.

- The guns being used in crimes? Nowhere to be found.

This program cost us over $32,000. It will have exactly ZERO effect on crime. Those are our tax dollars at work.

Yet the cities in Florida, when faced with tax cuts, loudly complain that there is no fat in the budget.

Pharmaceutically Gifted

We get a call to assist law enforcement with a subject that had been tazed. These calls are usually interesting. When we arrive, we find 2 injured Deputies, an uninjured Sergeant, and one handcuffed female, who is writhing on the ground and squealing about various medical complaints.

On further inspection, the female has at least 4 darts stuck in her legs and torso. She is telling us about her chest pain, about the fact that she cannot feel the left side of her body, and repeatedly telling us that she NEEDS to go to the hospital, or she is going to die.

The police are telling me that she has been tazed 5 times. She pulled the darts out twice, and managed to injure the two cops. She can't weigh more than 150 pounds, and is certainly NOT as large as the three deputies that she was roughing up. She is now wearing TWO pairs of handcuffs. It makes it hard to get to her radial pulses.

One of my fellow medics reminds her that she is going to jail whether she goes to the hospital or not. I move to take her pulse, and it is humming along at a healthy clip- 174 beats per minute. My first assessment question:

DM: "What drugs did you take tonight?"
PT: "I didn't take nuthin'."
DM "Then how did that crack pipe get on your living room floor over there?"
PT: "Sumdood musta left it there."
DM: "Oh. Him again."

You hear about people dying in police custody after being tazed multiple times. After my own admittedly narrow experiences, I have a theory. These people are dying because of a combination of things. The massive exertion of fighting the cops, positional asphyxia (from being handcuffed in restrictive positions), combined with the tazing and the drug use, all combine to place stresses on the heart that it is not designed to take. I believe that the tazer use is the least important of these factors.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Nightmare

Bureaucratic nightmare. That is what I am in. You see, I want to till some of my lawn, to prep it for the laying of new sod. The amount of paperwork that is required is crazy. I am required to call the number and then wait for no less than 2 power companies, a water company, the city, and 4 telecommunications companies to inspect the property. I already know what they will say.

When they mark utilities, they get within a 24 inch margin of error in the horizontal. They cannot tell you the depth of the service. They are going to make me hand dig this. Guess what? I am tilling. Total depth is less than 4 inches.

Ridiculous. I think that if they put utilities that shallow, it is their own fault if it gets damaged.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Axis deviation

The 12 lead EKG. It is a useful tool that is largely misunderstood by the street medic. Today, a former student of mine was involved in a call where he had a patient with signs and symptoms that seemed cardiac in nature, and when he ran the 12 lead, there was no visible ST segment elevation or depression. One of the things that WAS noticeable, was that the QRS axis was deviated to the left. (-36 deg) and when the patient was given NTG .4mg SL, the axis shifted a little to the right (-21 deg).

The paramedic in this case notified the receiving hospital that his patient was experiencing an acute MI. He was chastised by the other paramedics he was on the call with, and told he over treated the patient.

It turned out that the patient WAS having a cardiac event, and the patient was admitted to the hospital. At this writing, the exact nature of the event is unknown.

QRS axis can be used to spot the following cardiac anomalies:

Conduction defects---for example, left anterior hemiblock, or electrically dead areas

  • Ventricular enlargement---for example, ventricular hypertrophy
  • Broad complex tachycardia---for example, extreme axis suggestive of ventricular origin (like VT) This can help the clinician distinguish between VT, and SVT with an aberrancy.
  • Congenital heart disease---for example, atrial septal defects
  • Pre-excited conduction---for example, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome
  • Pulmonary emboli

Since the QRS in this symptomatic patient experienced a shift of the QRS axis in response to NTG administration, one has to wonder why this shift occurred. Chronic conditions like hypertrophy, atrial septal defects, WPW, and tissue that is already infarcted will not see EKG changes as a result of the vasodilation effects of NTG. This leaves the clinician with the impression that the event is acute and cardiac in nature. Be suspicious any time you have a patient showing EKG changes with NTG. If vasodilation causes changes in the EKG, it is a good idea to ask why.