Tuesday, June 29, 2010

An Apology

I was just informed that the terms "naked" and "Mayor Daley" should never occur in the same sentence.

Please allow me to make amends.

Monday, June 28, 2010


From Justice Alito's conclusion in the majority opinion:
"The 14th Amendment incorporates the 2nd Amendment right… to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense."
Words to make Naked Emperor Mayor Daley cry.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Risks And Rewards

This started out as a comment and ended up growing into a post of its own.

When I elaborated on exactly why I mistrust and avoid conventional medicine, I never said all medical intervention was inadvisable. Symptoms we cannot identify on our own have to be identified somehow, but we absolutely must retain control over what treatments are pursued. Once we have a diagnosis, our lives may depend on whether we choose to follow the doctors' regimens or look elsewhere.

Taking greater responsibility for our personal health is no different than taking greater responsibility for our personal safety. It involves a lot of education and work. It's easier to abdicate responsibility for both of these things to the "only ones" we're told are qualified to handle them, but doing so is equally dangerous for both.

There is an awful lot of conventional medical "wisdom" that's based on seriously flawed models. Nobody goes to their doctor to be deliberately inoculated with cancer so it can grow and then be be treated, but most animal-based cancer studies do exactly that. Many treatments work more toward suppressing symptoms rather than addressing root causes. If I personally was diagnosed with sleep apnea, my first reaction would be to research the condition's probable causes and eliminate those from my life. Correcting causes rather than palliating symptoms improves overall health and frequently resolves other, less troublesome problems at the same time.

Where does a lot of conventional medical methodology come from? To find out, follow the money. Drug and other medical product companies fund research. Do they want people buying less of their products? No, they want us buying more.

It's no different than pet food companies pouring money into vet schools so that vets will tell their clients to feed their pets kibble instead of fresh raw diets. The low state of health created by commercial foods is then considered "normal." I feed my dogs a raw, natural diet, and when I sent my mortality figures in to a worldwide Greyhound age and cause of death survey, I skewed the figures: "One of the replies was from a lady who had had greyhounds for more than ten years, and her reply mentioned more than twenty dogs. When these figures were entered, the average age of death went up by a year!" When I brought my morbidity and mortality stats to a national Greyhound adoption conference and showed them to Greyhound vets from all over the country, they agreed my dogs had less than a third of the cancer they saw in the overall pet population and less than a fourth of what they saw in retired racing Greyhounds.

"Doggy breath" and "doggy odor" are not normal. They are indications of preventable disease. My raw fed dogs smell pleasant, and their breath smells fresh and clean. Their teeth stay free of tartar, they have no gum disease. I have a 14 year old dog right now who still runs around like a puppy, and she's been fed raw nearly all her life.

It's a lot easier to abdicate responsibility for our health to our doctors, our animals' health to our vets, and our personal safety to the police. To do otherwise can be difficult and painful (trust me, a week-long, high-speed-low-drag class at gun school is painful). For those who choose the path of least resistance, their experiences may be good enough for them. For those who aren't satisfied with the lowest common denominator, there are associated risks but far, far greater rewards.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Running The Numbers

Here are my most recent calculations for the comparative risks of physicians and firearms:
I deliberately used the WISQARS "all intents" number to ensure the results were as biased as possible "against" guns.

So on a purely mathematical basis, any given doctor is 696 times more likely to be responsible for a death than any given gun owner, and 2,176 times more likely to be responsible for a death than any given gun. Obviously we need a lot more common-sense doctor control in this country. If it saves one life. Think of the chiiiilllllldrennnn . . .

ETA -- So how come the same people who would be outraged at the suggestion all doctors should be vilified because some of them are dangerously incompetent have no problem demonizing all gun owners because less than one half of one percent of a typical urban population consists of violent criminals?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Is This Working?

I mentioned my aversion to doctors and the medical industry here. Perhaps a little background will explain why I avoid them so assiduously.

A former co-worker and her husband illustrate perfectly my problems with allopathic medicine. The co-worker periodically had to take a day or two off work when she had her arthritic knees injected with cortisone. The injections were very painful, but she swore her knees were so much better after the pain wore off.

I explained to her how cortisone injected into a joint actually works, how it's a total short-term-gain-long-term-loss situation, and how horses who are injected this way end up getting put down. Oh no, she insisted, these were absolutely safe. Guess what? Next thing you know she's having both knees replaced.

Then there's her husband. When they got married, he was active and to all appearances healthy. He hunted and fished, built and fixed things, and never had a cardiac symptom in his life. His new wife insisted he go in for a full physical as she did twice a year, and he agreed.

During that physical, the doctors found what they described as a serious heart murmur. Despite the total absence of any cardiac distress whatsoever for his entire life, they insisted the husband have his mitral valve replaced at once.

The husband had the surgery, and then while still in the hospital had a massive stroke -- a post-operative complication that's more common than you might think. Recovery from the stroke was lengthy and difficult, and the husband had sufficient permanent impairment that his formerly favorite activities were nearly impossible.

The he started passing out. The doctors had him wear a Holter monitor for a week and concluded he now needed a pacemaker. As the co-worker was describing her husband's painful recovery from that surgery, she gushed, "And I'm so glad we caught all these problems so early."

Say what? Odds are if her husband had listened to his own body instead of his wife's doctors, he would still be an active outdoorsman today instead of a near-invalid.

My best friend for many years died because while she knew exactly what was wrong with her, the doctors wouldn't listen. How dare she think she knows more than they do? She had been a medical professional herself before quitting in disgust, her husband was a doctor, and still they wouldn't listen. The last time I visited her in the hospital, she knew she was dying. The doctors kept saying as soon as she could start walking again she could be released, but she knew better. It was painfully obvious to me as well what the outcome would be, but the doctors refused to believe her. As she said during that last visit, "Well, they finally killed me."

And the sickest I ever was in my entire life was from a respiratory infection I picked up while visiting her in the hospital.

My aunt is the only person on either side of my family who ever developed Alzheimer's disease. She is also the only person on either side of my family who was (and still is, gotta love those doctors) on one of a certain class of extremely popular and lucrative prescription drugs. A doctor friend confided that he and other medical professionals are wondering about a possible causative relationship between these drugs and the increasing incidence of Alzheimer's, but to speak of it is to commit career suicide.

I'm sure if I went in for a full physical, some doctor would see a number or a squiggly line on a piece of paper and tell me I need to be on prescription drugs. And if I took those drugs, I would no doubt end up on the downward spiral of ever-increasing dependency on the pharmaceutical industry. My aunt is on a whole laundry list of drugs, half of which are to counteract the side effects of the other half. None of them are increasing her quality of life one bit. She's just this side of a chronic vegetative state, and who's to say if this condition was truly inevitable?

If the current medical industry was really making people healthier, wouldn't they need it less instead of more? Kinda like if gun control was really effective, wouldn't the cities with the strictest laws have less crime instead of more?

Oddly enough, I find it much easier to find a competent and trustworthy veterinarian than a practitioner of human medicine. Maybe that's because, as one vet told me, "We don't take that God 101 class in vet school."

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sheriff West: "Arm Yourselves."

Hudspeth County, Texas, Sheriff Arvin West understands the Mexican border situation much better than any of the fools in Washington DC.

He also understands the true importance of the Second Amendment.

This mess has nothing to do with American gun shows. It has everything to do with an utterly corrupt and hypocritical Mexican government, and a cowardly and ineffective American government. Arizona passes a law that does nothing but enforce what the Feds won't, and the Obama administration plans to file suit against it.

November can't come soon enough.

Friday, June 18, 2010

"Does This Hurt?"

"DeletedDeletedDeleted!!! What do YOU DeletedDeleted think??!?"

When a doctor who's cranking your blown knee in exquisitely painful directions asks that question, what does he expect you to say?

It's not so much blown as re-blown. My first encounter with the "unhappy triad" was over twenty years ago, and no surgery was done then. This is the same knee that has since been hit with a bo in training leaving a permanent dent in the muscle, and kicked by Milton The EvilPony™ since we all know Murphy's Law loves a weak spot.

The doctor wanted to refer me for an MRI and probable surgery, but I refused. I stay healthy by avoiding doctors wherever possible. That's why when I absolutely can't avoid having an acute problem evaluated, I go to a doc-in-the-box. Pay cash, no obligations. Now that I know how to identify what structures are affected and how severely, I won't have to go back the next time. Following a conservative course of action won't take any longer for recovery, and will spare me the risks of surgical invasion of a major joint and its associated costs and inconvenience. With any luck, I should be fully functional again by the Machine Gun Shoot and my Massad Ayoob class in August.

The ankle on that same leg has been stepped on twice by horses, once medially by Sailord and once laterally by Margo. Margo also had a difference of opinion once with the vet, yanking me off the ground and slinging me off to the side, where she stepped squarely on the middle of my tibia. I had a perfect round hoofprint on my leg for weeks that went through many interesting color changes. I figure if that didn't break my leg, I don't need to worry about osteoporosis.

I also figure if I can get back up and finish what needs to be done after getting run over by a 1,200-pound horse, I can take a hit in a self-defense situation, get back up and finish what needs to be done.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

This Is What Disarmament Gets You

As if the recent spree-killings in gun-control-paradise England weren't bad enough on their own, it appears their police had actually cornered the killer fairly early in the event. Their unarmed police. All it took for him to escape and continue killing was pointing his gun at them.

As AztecRed points out here, why even have police when all they have to stop a sociopathic killer is strong language?

An American who'd been a police officer in Texas before moving to the UK was appalled at what he was told by his instructors while training to be a British police officer:
"If you ever see somebody carrying a gun, turn and run away as quickly as possible."
That's what they call police training? Gee, here in the barbaric Colonies, the good guys run toward the gunfire, not away. In any American jurisdiction, point a gun at police officers, especially multiple police officers, after you have already murdered people and they will shoot you to the ground. Even just one person with the tools, skills, and will can end a public killing spree.

I hope the panty-wetters in power accept responsibility for the blood on their hands resulting from their creation and enforcement of an utterly depraved public policy of defenselessness. They won't, though. They will undoubtedly use it as an excuse to clamp down even more on inanimate objects instead of their dystopian society that promotes violence by rewarding the violent with job safety and security. Ban weapons for the law-abiding, criminalize defending yourself in any way at all, then train the police to run away from danger? And they wonder why violent crime increases rather than decreases?

Insanity is doing the same unsuccessful thing over and over, expecting a different outcome. And welcome to the blogroll, Barack's Gun Lies.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Jury Duty!

Just got a letter informing me I am summoned for federal court jury duty for the entire month of August. Fortunately, they don't make jurors sit in a room twiddling their thumbs every single day any more, but have them be on call. Still, they say I need to inform them of any prior committments so they can adjust my availability schedule accordingly.

I do, in fact, have two prior committments on my calendar for August: the annual Machhine Gun Shoot in Kearney, and a four-day training class taught by Massad Ayoob.

If I have to tell them why I need exemptions for those dates, it could be amusing . . .

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Here We Go Again

Yesterday, I was expecting an order from ThinkGeek, so I checked their online package tracking link to see if it had been delivered on time. No such luck. Seems the UPS driver decided the address just had to be incorrect and took it back to the depot.

Quelle surprise.

So I call UPS's 800 number and get to talk to a Real English Speaking Person after repeating "operator" four or five times to their voice response system (hint: GetHuman has a whole bunch of neat ways out of customer-non-service IVR hell).

Real English Speaking Person apologizes profusely, once again agreeing that a box marked "Parcels" is an absolutely acceptable delivery option, and my landscaping is none of their driver's business. He assures me someone will call me back within the hour.

I get a return call from some woman who tells me drivers are not allowed to leave a parcel in a box marked "Parcels" outside a locked gate. Oh really? Then how come every single time I've called UPS to complain about non-delivery, the 800-number folks assure me it is allowed and the problem will never happen again?

Yeah, right.

Not So Bright Woman refuses to just tell the driver to leave the parcel in the box on Monday and says I have to pick the thing up in person or it will be returned to the sender. Resisting the urge to use vocabulary learned from the racetrack backstretch and my military/LE friends, I ask if I can pick it up after work that day. Oh sure, she says, it will be here waiting.

The local Big UPS Terminal is in a crappy part of town, so of course it has "No Guns" signs posted about every twenty feet. I lock up Mr. Wilson and go in to pick up my shipment. Guess what? It's not there.

I inform Obnoxious UPS Clerk that's not what Not So Bright Woman told me earlier today. Doesn't matter, he says. The driver's not back yet and probably won't be until after 9:00 pm. So will they deliver the damn thing on Monday and leave it in the box? No, if Not So Bright Woman said they can't leave a package in a box It Must Be So, but I can come back on Monday and pick it up in person.

I am this close to refusing to do business with anyone who ships by UPS, and telling both UPS and the vendors exactly why.