Monday, June 11, 2007

I Never Meta Blogger...




Just for the record, as I'm about ready once again to take up the gauntlet, let me describe the thought process, as I understand it, that led me temporarily up to dry:

I was raised among political junkies, and have always been one. My dad was on the Portland school board for three terms, was on the Oregon Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, and headed a quite important commission to address race and education during the sixties, another to revise the Oregon constitution. In retirement, he was mayor of Cannon Beach. My aunt was on the Portland City Council, the planning commission, and the port commission. My brother was a US Senate page, rubs shoulders now with a number of politicos. Table-talk was always about Big Issues when I was growing up. Governors, Senators, Congressmen and Congresswomen came to dinner (and, I assure you, it decidedly wasn't about money!) (Phone call when I was a kid: "Is Herb there?" "Who shall I say is calling?" "It's the Gov!") So "junkie" is perhaps too pejorative: it's important to me. Which of course means that the current state of affairs in the US and the world at best drives me crazy, and at worst depresses me to the point of immobility. Maybe the recent round of presidential "debates" was the last straw. Between the people who would be president, and the journalists who would cover them, I really don't see how anyone can but think we're well and truly doomed. "Raise your hand if you...." demands Wolf Blitzer. The only thing more pathetic than a "journalist" who thinks asking ANY question of that sort in that format, is the fact that none of the people called him on it. And that is, of course, the very least of it. So few candidates (I'm certain the root word is not "candid") are afraid to speak the truth; so many are unabashed at pandering. AND IT WORKS!!!

It's not that I'm out of surgeon-blogging ideas. I've started typing a few. But of late there's a why bother? reflex. Can I ignore the things I think are cataclysmically important, and write instead about adhesions? And then, to some extent anyway, I figured it out.

First of all, getting 1200 page views a day is a cosmically, monumentally, minuscule slice of the populace. More than that, any political rants of mine will (I know this because I spend lots of time reading and occasionally commenting on political blogs) NOT change a single mind or alter the trajectory on which we find ourselves, despite the fact that there are some things I consider so obvious that it baffles, befuddles, and be-depresses me that anyone could disagree. Some that are so important I can't imagine why people aren't out in the streets with pitchforks and torches; or at least -- like me -- constantly frothing at the mouth.

On the other hand, small as my readership may be, I have heard from people. I've heard from some who've been sick, or family of the sick; they've told me that something I wrote helped them to understand, calmed a fear, gave them hope. I've heard from high school and college students, from med students that said they read something here which inspired them to consider medicine, or surgery (or not to, which, I suppose, is equally as useful). And I've heard from people who got a good laugh; what can be better than that? So I concluded: whereas spouting off on politics might be cathartic, it won't do a damn thing except change the whole point of this blog and piss off and/or turn away a bunch of readers -- many of whom are from all over the world. To hold my tongue in this venue is not to abdicate my political beliefs; I have other avenues. Nevertheless, as deeply as I feel about our current political world -- as angry and frustrated as I am about where we seem to be headed and as pessimistic as I am about prospects for recovery, it's damn hard to think about anything else....

There's a certain self-absorption in all blogging, it seems to me. I don't spend a lot of time thinking about why I do it. But it's interesting that while I stopped doing anything but posting a couple of rebuses (rebi?; reberi?; rebusim?), page views continued approximately apace. Lots of people end up here because they've searched a topic; the blog pops up in the top ten -- sometimes numero uno -- of a million hits on some google searches for a few fairly common surgical topics. It's not outlandish, in other words, to think that microscopic as it may be, there's a purpose here; there's usefulness. Were I blogging in the political sphere, that would absolutely, unarguably be untrue. I have at least some claim to credibility medically, and none politically. Alas.

So I think I'm again ready. And whereas I'm certain no one was out there nubbing their fingertips awaiting it, I've allowed myself this small indulgence of an explanation before climbing back on. The world is driving me nuts. But, not unlike picking up a knife and laying it to human flesh, I can shut everything else out when I have to.

P.S: It delights me when I get suggestions for future posts.

P.P.S: OK. I can't resist this one political comment: couple of days ago (well after writing the above), I heard an interview with Rufus Wainwright. Asked about his often politically-charged music, he commented in a way I'd not heard it put: people are in mourning; he wants to help them grieve. That struck a chord. Speaking out in these times is not about hating any leaders, nor is it -- contrary to some of the more popular sloganeering -- about misunderstanding the conflict we're in. It's about grieving loss. Of respect, of the rule of law, of the moral high ground. Of reason, of discourse. Of people who disagree with one another being able to seek common ground for the common good. It's about remembering a time when a plurality of people didn't argue that only those with certain religious beliefs had a claim on rectitude; and that having those beliefs absolved one of the need to face facts. You don't grieve from hate. It comes from love lost. That's something, I'd like to think, on which most people could agree.

And with that, I pledge to return to first principles: this is a surgery blog, and so it will remain.

22 comments:

Enrico said...

Good to see new words on the page. :) I disagree that airing some political views would alienate/piss off readers. I think frothing diatribes would definitely detract from the main point of the site and serve only to distract, but if something bothers you and can be written in a brief, well-thought-out-way, I doubt it would be negative. I have quite a number of medical bloggers that make no bones about being in Far Right Blogsylvania, but while I might shake my head at their political views, I still enjoy their posts. (precisely because, I suppose, they are still *primarily* medical) Maybe I just contradicted myself. :P Oh well. Do what you must. Regardless, I venture to say that the vast, vast majority will be here no matter what.

Sherpa said...

I like that quote from Rufus. Good point

girl_in_greenwood said...

Oh, I so sympathize. I have coped by keeping my head down and focusing on the small things right in front of me: preparing to move out of this house, finishing up the quarter at nursing school, finding a summer job. I know none of those things are helping the political situation in the slightest, but they are helping me to keep my BP under 140/90.

I saw Rufus Wainwright perform "Going To a Town" on the Henry Rollings show on IFC recently and wanted to cry. Here, go read the lyrics.
http://www.completealbumlyrics.com/lyric/131350/Rufus+Wainwright+-+Going+To+A+Town.html
I guess he really is helping us grieve.

tomp said...

Welcome back!
I share your observation that the increasing ratio of apathy/active interest in all things important to our future is shocking-but then again who cares right?
John Kennedy had it right,"ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country". What ever happened to that perspective anyway/

How would you see us returning to a society where are thoughts on an issue would supercede our feelings on an issue?

On the matter of the debates, have you ever experienced so many long, none-answers to a question-here's a thought, ask a common qustion and ask each candidate to press a button answering yes or no. With no responses shown until all have answered.
Then ask each to explain the rationale for their answer.

jmb said...

Have you considered starting a separate political blog?

Anonymous said...

What is the best way to leave suggestions for future blog topics?

Do you prefer a direct contact in private or suggestions via the public comment portion of your blog?

I have a couple but I am not sure how to communicate my ideas to you; it seems public suggestions may lead to tangents (?)

Sid Schwab said...

my email is in the "about" section. It's sid dot schwab at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Hey, Sid. Please do keep blogging about surgery. There's plenty of political blogs about, and the problem is, your common person doesn't care, so they'll keep voting for the pretty guy.

Here's one I'd like to have you address: many many years ago, my appendix burst early in the morning. The resident in the emergency room sent me home with a bottle of Maalox. Fortunately, the surgeon on call, when I went back, kept me overnight, as his rule was, "if you're in the emergency room twice in one day, I'm keeping you."

8 days and a gallon of penicillin later, all was well...

Anyways, I've heard that appendicitis is one of the hardest things to diagnose, and I'm more pain-tolerant than most, so if you could talk about how you diagnose appendicitis, I for one would be totally grateful.

Thanks!

Tom

Sid Schwab said...

Tom: I did a series of four posts on appendicitis about ten months ago: the first one is here. Scroll north for the rest. If what you have in mind isn't among them, let me know and I'd be happy to enlarge/clarify/edify.

Tom said...

Dr. Schwab:
Glad to see you got that off your chest. I'll bet you have an interesting take on Gore's new 'Reason' book. And I'd like to read it!
Grieving is a good way to put it. I find myself lately thirsting for justice. I want to the world to demonstrate that it is not completely insane. But I'm not going to get that. So I, like the rest of us, distract myself. With movies and TV and surgery blogs.
Welcome back!
- Tom

Greg P said...

One thing I notice in general, though it's not as bad as it used to be. Some people only seem to want doctors to talk about medicine. We're not supposed to know anything else or have an opinion about anything else.
There are actually plenty of medical issues I have little or no interest in, but many things outside of medicine I am very interested in; some I even know something about.
I have to say that in my own blog I tend to talk about "safe" stuff -- some might say esoteric, some might say uninteresting, but it all interests me.
Where I step outside this is in comments on others' blogs, where I may spout out something about religion or politics or the state of the world.

Celeste said...

I'd be interested in reading what you have to say about politics. You could always keep those posts filed under Politics so that they can be easily searched by people who want more of that, too.

You could also see about getting some of the political blogs you admire to link to yours in exchange for their links.

If there's one thing that the internet makes clear, it's that no matter where you are on any topic, you are not alone. LOL!!!

Lynn Price said...

I'm not a fan of talking politics because I've seen how it divides friendships. And that's why I liked this post, Sid. It spoke to both sides of the aisle, and I loved it. How exciting your youth must have been!

But, sure, I'm ready for more of your slicing and dicing. After all, I have two characters in need of being kept on the medical straight and narrow.

DisappearingJohn said...

Any post is a welcome post here, Dr. Schwab!

I enjoy that everything you write (even your rebuses/rebi) read as well-thought. So many of us in the blogging world type and post what flows from our fingertips, and it reads like the stream of consciousness that it is, not as organized, thought out posts...

Your posts are different; well spoken, well thought out. I love the surgery posts, don't get me wrong. But similar to the praise given to an excellent speaker, you could post the phone book listings, and it would be a thought provoking read

Buttercup said...

One of the wonderful aspects of your medical posts is how you let us see your own particular perspective, your person-hood behind the surgeon's mask, which is a great gift. So I'd like to add my voice to those saying that we're interested in what you have to say on whatever topic.

And not to contradict myself, but I meant to thank you for the Operation:Deconstructed posts -- riveting!

Donna said...

Seeing "Rufus Wainwright" sent me on a Google search. I love, love, LOVE Loudon Wainwright III, and figured they must be related. I'd never heard of Rufus.

SeaSpray said...

I love this surgeonsblog! I would also love to hear every detail of what it was like to be surrounded by politics like that. WOW! Lucky you!

I am curious to know your political beliefs. I am a bleeding heart conservative in that I am all for strong defense lower taxes, pro life except when life of mother is in jeopardy, etc. but I also believe we need some of the social programs that some of my conservative friends would like to see abolished. I initially registered as an independent because I didn't want to be a partisan voter as I would vote for whoever has the best ideas and promise of accomplishing them but then I did cross over to the republican side. That said - I seriously would vote for who I believed was the best candidate regardless of party affiliation.

I do wish politicians would just run on what they really believe instead of waiting to see which way the wind blows.

Say what you want about Bush - he has always seemed to do what he believed was right even if not popular. Some would say to the point of being obtuse I suppose but at least he stands for what he believes.

Right now no one appeals to me as a 2008 presidential candidate but as it narrows down maybe some one will stand out.

Was your father involved with the Brown vs the board of education III?

You know I AM definitely one of the people who have been helped by what you write here- even if seemingly absent - I'm not.

You have a gift for writing and I am sure you have given insight and comfort to more people than you realize.

Sid Schwab said...

OK, I'll give you a clue, since it's in a comment in a post that's old enough that not many will see it.

George Bush stands for what he belives? So did Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Hitler, Stalin. It's hardly a strong suit, if what he does is wrong. He got us into a war that was the worst mistake any president has ever made. What, exactly, would his belief have been that got us there, that he stood for? Did he believe that we could do it only by planning for the best case? That there was no need to consider the possible bad outcomes and to plan for them? Is it OK to sign legislation and then to ignore it? To appoint people to positions of great importance, based only on being a crony, a Republican loyalist? Is it OK to demand that scientists in government employ not mention global warming, melting icecaps, polar bears? To redact well-documented science when its findings are inconvenient? If he believes that the president has unlimited power to ignore the constitution of the US, it's ok because he believes it? In my opinion he's been the worst, the most dangerous, the least American-values oriented president ever. And it's absolutely incomprehensible to me that a Republican who believes in limited government, who believes in the Constitution, in democracy, in the value of a two party system, who ought naturally to be suspicious of the aggrandizement of power in an executive and the ignoring of all checks and balances -- that conservatives of all people could in any way rationalize the damage that George Bush has done to this country. I haven't the slightest doubt that if Bill Clinton had run his presidency the way GWB is, talk radio and every republican in the country would be calling for his head. Ironically, the republicans insulated bush from impeachment by impeaching Clinton. If the incompetence and the unconstitutional behavior, the secrecy, the lying to Congress, the refusal of oversight, the appointment time and again of inferior people to positions of importance, the ignoring of the Middle East for six years, the entry into Iraq at the expense of stabilizing Afganistan, the turning of the entire world (except Armenia) against us when they were once with us, the devastation of our military and the ignoring of meaningful home security -- if all that hasn't got republicans upset, then the state of politics in this country is so partisan that all reason is gone and all hope of solving the real problems that face us -- most of which have been made immeasurably worse by bush -- is gone. Which is why I said it depresses me. I'm ok with conservatives. I'm ok with limited government, with policy that allows business to flourish. I'm not ok with theocracy, with runaway deficits, with blatant disregard for the law. I'm not ok with painting everyone who disagrees with bush and who mourns the country as it once was as unamerican, a hater, as with the terrorists. And the fact that so-called conservatives can't find it in themselves to say that bush is ruining everything no matter in what side of the political spectrum one resides -- that truly makes me feel that America is on its way to self-destruction. Really. I couldn't be more serious. Other than that, I guess we're on the same page.

Sorry if I'm so wishy washy as not to make it clear where I stand.

SeaSpray said...

Dr S. - I laughed out loud when I got to Pol Pot! Sorry. ***Your point is well taken.*** I didn't say he was right. I am saying that unlike some other politicians - right or wrong he stands by his convictions even against the tide. Most of them care about votes over the countries well being - on BOTH sides of the aisle.

As far as getting us into the war - didn't Hillary, Kerry and almost everyone else vote right along with him because they all believed what was told to them regarding weapons of mass destruction? Wasn't Tony Blair right along with him and Spain? Didn't Colon Powell stand before everyone at the UN and convincingly sell the war? Weren't there other countries initially except for France (I still love the French and they ARE French fries)and Germany?

The reports said there were weapons. Believing that were true - what do you think they should have done?

And with all the delays - is it possible that the weapons were moved into Syria between October and March? Is it possible? Just wondering.

I DON'T think that people that disagree with republicans are un-American.

I also don't appreciate being categorized as a right wing extremist by Hillary or anyone else. I don't believe in blowing up abortion clinics. I recognize that democrats believe in God too. Conservatives don't have a corner on God. I don't say hateful things like Ann Coulter does. I do care about social programs for the poor and I think churches and organizations should help. I would never be an obnoxious American while visiting overseas.

I do love America and respect our flag and all it stands for and I don't believe under God should be taken out of the pledge of allegiance.

We need BOTH wings to fly the eagle.

I understand wrong is wrong but what is it when a politician puts his finger in the wind before he gives you an opinion? Or a politician who watches the polls before he makes a decision if doing so is that politician's way of staying in office vs doing what he believes is right?

I have an 18 year old son. I don't want him to have to go to war. I get nervous knowing they keep recalling the same troops. I don't see how we can stay without a draft yet I don't believe we can withdraw now.

By cronies do you mean from his father's administration? Regarding conservative supreme court appointments - I am happy about them although I did not get that whole Meyers debacle.

Regarding global warming there are scientists coming out and disputing that theory. Admittedly, I am not informed enough to make a comment on that other than to point out that there are scientists with other views than that of Al Gore. Regardless we still need to save the rain forests and protect the ozone.

***Republicans aren't happy with him and that was demonstrated in the November elections last year when so many republicans lost their seats. I suspect I feel about Nancy Pelosi becoming Speaker of the House as you do Bush being president. I shudder to think that she is next in line for the presidency after the vice president.

The Mexican border issue is one that both sides have failed to have a good solution. BTW what gets me mad on that topic is that politicians on both sides aren't doing what is best for this country because they are more concerned with the Latino vote with it's ever increasing population. And how about the terrorists that can easily cross our borders to join their sleeper cells never mind illegal immigrants?

Why can things STILL be smuggled into airplanes? What do you mean by the ignoring of meaningful home security? What would you do differently? We can never be too safe as far as I am concerned.

I feel like no one says what they REALLY believe and then when they get into office they do what they want or they succumb to the lobbyists.

Maybe I am not understanding the deficit but didn't 911 have a profound negative effect on our deficit? Is it fair to blame him for that? And then whether you agree with military policies or not - war is expensive and so isn't that adding to the deficit? Yes - I know - if we didn't get INTO the war the deficit wouldn't be so large.

*** I seriously question why some of our troops don't have the safest trucks and best armor they should be wearing and driving in and don't understand why regular people have had to run fund raisers to help pay for such equipment.

And WHY didn't the government act more quickly with Katrina?

Also - the middle east had been the hot spot for years and I believe will be again but we don't hear about it. The war has replaced all that but are they having less terrorist incidences over there? or are the terrorists over in Iraq now?

This is a sincere question. Why was Clinton's National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, apparently allowed to steal highly classified terrorism documents containing info about the Clinton administration's role leading up to 911 that the 911 commission would have reviewed? More specifically why did he shove the documents in his jacket, pants and socks? Why was that ok? Why did he get away with that? And what was he hiding that they obviously did not want known? His only punishment for stealing classified information from a government facility - disbarred. Would having that info affect opinions regarding the handling of the war in any way? I guess we will never know.

Do you think Gore would have been the better choice?

I guess I know how to push your button now.

"Other than that, I guess we're on the same page.

Sorry if I'm so wishy washy as not to make it clear where I stand."

Are you mad at me now? Your last to sentences have me wondering?

You know what they say..Sometimes great minds have to agree to disagree.

Sorry - I digressed a bit from what you said.

Sid Schwab said...

I don't want to get into a political polemical here. So this will be my last comment on the subject:

Giving the authority is not the same as invading. There were inspectors, they were finding nothing. Sanctions, no fly zones were in place and working. There were plenty of voices in the intelligence community raising flags. And even if it was a good idea -- which it clearly wasn't -- rejecting the advice of the army chief of staff that they send in several hundred thousand troops was dereliction of duty in the first degree. Had bush allowed the inspectors to keep at it (the trope that Saddam kicked them out is revision of fact), we'd have known for sure there were no WMD. It was ill-conceived, poorly planned, and when there was a time during which changing course might have saved the situation, bush refused to face fact. Believing there were WMD he should have kept the inspections going. Considering for the first time ever pre-emptively invading another country, he should have planned for the very worst, should have looked hard and long at the nature of the country he was invading. Had he done any of that, we'd not be where we are now, which is cataclysmically screwed.

Deficit? Sure 9/11 had an impact. Which is why it's folly to have cut taxes the way he did, and when, and in what way. We'll be paying for it for generations. The true costs have been fudged and hidden. It's a disaster on the way.

Why can things stil be sneaked on planes? EXACTLY! We're spending all our resources in Iraq. We're creating terrorists over there while we underfund real security here. Ports, dams, power plants, chemical plants. We need more CIA, FBI. We need more people in the world who respect us enough to cooperate in uncovering terrorists. We need, in other words, the exact opposite of what bush is giving us. By making us appear to the world as arrogant, as willing to torture, to ignore all our laws we have undermined our position on the high ground, which is the worst thing we could have done when we need helpers around the world.

Of course Al Gore would have been better. He'd not have had dick cheney to tell him what to do and if he did, he'd have been smart enough to reject the advice.

Sandy Berger? He was found out. It's known what he took, which were copies. Nothing was destroyed. Allowed? By whom?

There are "scientists" coming out and insisting the universe is 6000 years old. There are "scientists" who say HIV doesn't cause AIDS. As to global warming, I'm going with the 95%. And why is it that such things are political at all? Why is it only republicans who deny global warming? Why is it only they who disbelieve evolution? I don't mean all republicans, of course. But of those that reject evidence, who are they, and why is that?

I think a much stronger case can be made that bush has no values than that he has some he sticks to. I admire his sticking to his guns on immigration. But his professed love of democracy? That it's a gift from God? Pure BS. He ignores everything about it in this country while claiming to want to establish it around the world.

By cronies I mean his old pals from Texas, like meyers and gonzales, clearly in over their heads. I mean friends of friends. Loyal republicans instead of experienced people. Brownie. That guy who redacted the science info. The head of NASA. That woman who's been using the GSA to prop up republicans. They're everywhere. Ought not a good republican consider the department of justice, of all agencies, one that ought to be above partisanship? Consider the stuff that congress ignored before the last election, and ask what you'd think if it had been Hillary doing it? It's simply astounding.

I know I can't change minds, and yet I feel the above is indisputably true. Which is why continuing is folly; frustrating, and fruitless. So I won't. End of my comments on this subject.

SeaSpray said...

I am listening Dr Schwab and processing. I appreciate hearing your opinions. You make some valid points. Your words did not fall on deaf ears.

I just want to address some of what you said - I added a little and I wanted to clarify my position a bit. I don't expect any answers - we all can google stuff if we want to.

Your Surgeonsblog is one of my favorite blogs and I have learned so much through it and had a lot of wow moments along with some hearty laughter as well. "Put it back! Put it back!" Need I say more? :)

Please feel free to delete all of this political stuff if you prefer to not have it in your blog.

I believe it was Colin Powell who regarding the war didn't want them to increase the troops. I think their decisions probably set the tone for his resigning. I think Powell later regretted his speech at the UN, calling it a blot on his record.

The war is a mess although good things have and are being accomplished.

The reduced taxes were helping to turn the economy around although I don't know the status now (gas prices YIKES)as I have pretty much disengaged from politics since I had gotten sick because I started to think that this stuff is s-o-o frustrating that it cannot be good for me to follow it as heavily as I had been. Ha! For all I know maybe my wanting to gnash my teeth (and I am easy going)over certain issues for so long day in and day out (didn't even listen to music)added to my constricting ureter. You know - if there is a strong mind body connection.

So, I love watching the talking heads or listening but I pulled back. We rarely watch Fox but usually have MSNBC on and Chris Matthews is one of out favorites. Yes - I do listen to talk radio when I am following things too. I'll get back into it as the candidates narrow down.

Is it only republicans denying global warming? Younger son has a conservative slant yet he is OFTEN mentions it as a concern. He also challenges me on evolution. I know republicans that embrace evolution. I do not.

I know democrats who DON'T believe in evolution.

For some people that don't believe in evolution it is a faith issue and that's why the disbelief crosses both sides of the aisle.

If you take the Biblical account of the origins of man I believe it started 6000 years ago with Adam and Eve. However, science has PROVEN that man lived thousands - millions (don't remember) of years before that. I did hear a theory that made sense to me regarding that and that was that they were soul creatures but not spiritual. Like animals have the soul but not spirit. (Believe me I want to believe they have a spirit) Then God decided to change things up a bit and breathed his spirit into man and from that point on we became mind (soul) body and spirit - therefore eternal beings.

Is there any reason why creationism can't be taught side by side and then let the students pursue accordingly if they care to?

Separation of church and state - huge issue - not going there.

I know republicans who are pro-choice. I am pro-life. I know pro-lifers that believe no abortion under ANY circumstances. I do not agree. I believe there are exceptions that only the mother can decide on and no one should take that right away. But I believe everything that can be done to save the baby's life should be - if at all possible. There are people that would say I have compromised and would say I can't possibly be pro-life if I think that.

Sometimes you have to sacrifice some beliefs for what you perceive to be the greater good - what ever that is for each individual.

I am digressing sorry - but one more thing on this life thing. I used to totally believe in capital punishment and we can all go on about the overloaded prison systems etc, but with forensics I am rethinking that position anyway. However, I remember one evening at dinner up at the hospital, a male co-worker said I couldn't possibly believe in pro-life and the death penalty. He was adamant about it. I justified it with the fact that the unborn are powerless to protect themselves and need advocates but the murderer (in most cases) made a reasoned choice. Is the death penalty a deterrent? Back then I thought so if enough people got the message. Now I honestly don't know. I don't know the stats on that and as I stated with forensic you hear about the innocent people cleared. I would hate to be a juror deciding the death penalty.

I am ashamed to say that I am not familiar with what congress has ignored because as I have stated I have intentionally put politics aside for the time being.

I am not savvy with financial stats etc, but I thought Bush's Social Security reform plan sounded like a good idea. My understanding is that he wanted to give people the option to invest in secure investment options that would yield more interest and it would help save the program while at the same time pay more to the recipients. Maybe I am totally wrong with this but it is a moot point because it dropped like a lead balloon.

People complain ad nauseam about issues but they don't have solutions either.

I saw "Sicko" Monday night. That prompted me to post about it and go to other blogs and surf the web for info. I want to understand more about it. Of course he presents a biased version and I never took him seriously BUT he has got me thinking about this one. I want to hear what our friends across the border and the pond have to say about it in the blogosphere. I want to know what our doctors think. If his documentary jump starts a good discussion on this for the presidential race then good for him.

President Clinton signed off on Berger and another man who's name was redacted for the 911 commission report to review the highly classified info.

Sandy berger stole those papers and once he left the building with them he could potentially have compromised national security.

There is no way in God's creation or any other that I will ever believe he "accidentally" mixed them in with his papers and "accidentally" put them in his brief case and jacket. An intelligent governmental policy/security savvy/professional like him. And my understanding is that 2 - 3 of those papers were never found and he may have thrown them out? There are all kinds of problems with what he did. And isn't it odd it involved the taking of top secret documents from the National Archives pertaining to the Clinton administration's info on terrorist threats preceding 911. Sandy Berger admitted to taking the classified info and destroying some of it in his office and he pleaded guilty in federal court. He was disbarred for 2 years, fined 50,000 and had to do community service.

Is there any chance that if someone in the Bush administration were to do that very same thing that the opposing parties would basically look the other way except for what amounts to a hand slap in the grand scheme of things?

I am not excusing Bush for any wrongs that people may or may not be justified of accusing him for but rather I am pointing out that he is not the only one to have made mistakes or bad decisions. I realize he is our acting president now but it isn't black and white and both parties have their share of cronies and at the very least gray areas.

Sorry I again digressed - I am just making the point that I am not partisan in my thinking. I didn't blow you off. I take issue with some things and admit that perhaps I should re-look at some other issues.

I really do believe every president has their good and bad points and for any president - you have heard them say it - sending our boys off to war is the hardest thing. The Vietnam war caused Johnson not to run again. (I AM real opinionated on the Vietnam war - influenced by my uncle who worked (lived in Saigon and traveled throughout the area and made some good friends there.)over there prior to our involvement in the war and by my husband who is a Vietnam vet that saw a lot. It ripped my heart out when I saw all those people running to the planes and choppers when we were pulling the last of our people out and thinking about what was probably (and did) going to happen to them. And then Cambodia.)

I might be a republican but I am an abstract thinker that refuses to be confined in a box of generalizations.

I do not appreciate when the left lumps all conservatives as part of a right wing conspiracy and insinuates that every one of us would be supportive of abortion clinic bombings, etc. I suspect that most people are not the lunatic left or right in politics.

I hope that both parties will work together for the good of the country. It SHOULD ALWAYS be that way!

Perhaps, since the 2008 presidential elections are underway BOTH parties will be motivated to do their best for the good of the country so they can ride on their accomplishments all the way to the White House. In a perfect world - it could happen!

We need the checks and balances in our political system - we need both wings to fly the eagle.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for NOT digressing to politics! I am quite literally sickened by the current administration. I read your blog to share in your expertise, knowledge and experience in the operating room. This is my zen. I can be experiencing a gamut of high intensity emotions before I scrub in, but once I am in the beginning, middle, or end of a procedure, all of that falls away. I am calm and "in the zone." I share your persistent awe and appreciation of what they "allow" you to do in surgery. Although I am not a surgeon, I am a first assistant, I still, after seven years, feel the same exhilleration to be allowed to do what I do. So, thank you for deciding to remain a surgery blog and giving me a source of inspiration and the chance to share a camaraderie no matter how cyber-iffic it may be.