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The ISIS Attempt at Terror

Posted on February 3, 2015. Filed under: General | Tags: , |

ISIS, which has been terrorizing the Middle East region and doing its best to cause great discomfort to the West by beheading its prisoners; took it a step further this first week of February 2015 to burn to death a Jordanian Air Force Pilot Muath al-Kasasba alive and filmed it so it could be shown on the Internet. While their leadership seems to think that this will suddenly stop the bombing by the coalition forces; all it will serve to do is bring more anger and likely solidify the resolve of those involved to hunt down and execute every single member and soldier of ISIS. ISIS seems to try to bring forth threats with relish, while hiding as much as possible. “Jihad John”, the cowardly British fellow who loves taunting us and even President Obama likely knows the noose will close quickly once his location is found.

The leadership seems enthralled at the bloodlust they are causing; but it takes little trouble to find on YouTube the videos of US Armed Forces flying Apache Gunships killing ISIS soldiers by the dozens. Given that the videos are very disturbing; I decline to post links as I prefer to keep this blog PG, though if I hear of “Jihad John” taking a bullet to the head I will gladly provide a link so others can watch that coward and mass murderer die like a pig he is. (What is that “Jihad John”? Don’t like being called an unwashed pig?) Too bad, you are one but you would not be worth being skinned; instead a good dousing with gasoline and diesel will help send you slimy remains to hell in an unmarked grave.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State formally ISIS or ISIL though I still prefer to call them ISIS will likely have to be killed along with any relatives to put an end to his heinous reign of terror. There will be few places he can hide, and there will be literally no country that would even risk trying to shield him because of his horrific actions.

King Abdullah II of Jordan has already now signed a mutual understanding of aid with the United States and has vowed revenge for the killing of his country’s pilot by being burned alive. Jordan at the time of this writing is preparing for immediate execution of all terrorist prisoners in their custody including a woman, Sajida al-Rishawi an Iraqi woman facing the death penalty in Jordan for her role in a series of bombings in 2005 that killed dozens of people at hotels in the Arab kingdom. It is likely she will be executed by Tuesday or Wednesday of February 3 or 4, 2015 as the result of the pilot’s gruesome death by being burned alive.

What will have to be done in the short term? In Iraq, the pockets of ISIS will have to be located and exterminated with extreme prejudice; as there cannot be trials to determine the guilt or innocence of ISIS members. You joined ISIS, you are pretty much going to die and oddly as many are finding out the hard way that if you do join ISIS there is no leaving them so one will die one way or the other; be it by the bombs and bullets of coalition forces or the coward “Jihad John” or his fellow unwashed pigs and fellow cowards. Meanwhile we do have some ISIS cowards in Libya which unfortunately is a bit in turmoil with no real organized resistance to them in Tripoli or Benghazi and three other smaller cities.

This will have to be dealt with in sufficient force and the members of ISIS will have to be executed and terminated with extreme prejudice to send a clear message; that violence is not the way. Ruling peacefully will get your further than will being a terror to people who have no ability to fight or defend themselves.

As for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his fellow coward jihadists, their times will come and hopefully a nice 2,000 pounder will find his head and send him to join Osama bin Laden in his bath of fire too.

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The VA Syndrome

Posted on June 6, 2014. Filed under: Blogroll |

    In the past weeks and months, the stories of problems within the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System has made headlines. Congress waffled long enough until it became so bad in some areas of the United States, that veterans suffered and died as a result. In the past couple of days, Congress finally has decided to get off their combined asses to take action; however it is too little too late for those families whose veterans died.

You can peruse some of the US Senate Bills 2419, 2422, 2423, 2424 and look at what the US Senate is trying to fix, but as you look at the statuses of these bills all have already been sent to committee. Use this link http://beta.congress.gov/ and type in either the bill numbers or search under Veterans Affairs. As it is an election year for some they want to get onto the bandwagon and fix what is wrong; but will it really be fixed?

As a Navy Veteran, I am all too familiar with the delays in the VA Healthcare System and the problems getting specialized treatment. As I suffer from degraded disks in my lower back, I eventually had to be referred to an outside provider who would accept the payment for the treatment from the Veterans Affairs Medical System. People who have never served, I think do not understand when we volunteered to serve we in essence gave the government a blank check to what they would do to us in costs. Freedom has a price, it means for many families their loved ones never coming home again to those crippled from injuries and wounds received in their service to their country.

A big problem is the sheer number of veterans seeking treatment at various facilities, which are heavily overwhelmed in some areas while in others they have facilities that serve fewer veterans. As it has been discovered, one of the biggest problems is outlying clinics and testing centers such as X-Ray, MRI and CT Scanning equipment is that is in such short supply you are lucky to get an MRI appointment in the Atlanta VA Hospital 6-9 months out. With new funding the Atlanta area will get a new clinic in Cobb County, but one has to figure it will take a year to get into operation and even then a doctor there will still likely have to send their patient for any scanning procedure to the Atlanta VA Hospital in Decatur, Georgia to get their imaging done. If the VA is smart enough, and let’s hope they will be smart enough they will search and locate various centers around the Atlanta area that will be able to do the needed scans for a fee that is acceptable to the VA; since this would get more people in the clogged up pipeline out and into focused treatment that is needed.

I also had suffered from carpal tunnel, a situation aggravated by injuries to both my hands after an incident on Navy destroyer in which to prevent what would have been a rather bad event I cushioned a 75 pound High Explosive Round during a fall to a steel deck which occurred during a descent in a ladder well. The shell slammed into my hands which were the only things between it and the steel deck beneath my hands. Needless to say, there was considerable damage done and after that my hand writing was pretty crappy after that; unless I used a really big FAT ink pen and they were not around in those days when I served in the Navy. I finally had my FIRST carpal tunnel surgery on the day before Christmas in December of 2013, and pretty much most of January 2014 miserable not able to use my main hand. I also had what is called an OPEN carpal surgery and not a closed one. The open and closed surgeries are far different, and while the Charlotte, North Carolina VA Hospital can do closed, the Atlanta VA Hospital cannot because it does not have the equipment that Charlotte has. Of course in March of 2014 I had my left hand done and while I still have some phantom pain which is bearable, I at least have better use of both hands.

I reflect towards my back issues, which I had requested some disability from the VA, but it was denied. I did appeal that decision but the way my luck runs they will deny it again and throw it in the circular file; despite the fact I did have that ugly fall I still lived to tell about it but they claim there is no evidence but being in the Navy during the pre-electronic medical records age stuff did not get in or was never entered so as some would like to say, “Dude you’ve been screwed!” and that pretty much sums up the treatment of many veterans. While the do-nothing congress continues to waffle and worry about their election chances than really being concerned for the veterans who have served; it serves as a reminder for those who don’t like to vote because it’s a waste of time.

We veterans did not consider it a waste of time to serve our country, as we felt the need to serve and keep us free. Price of freedom is expensive, while such things like an unneeded M1A1 Abrahams tank that one of my congressional representatives here in Georgia seems to think we need despite the fact the US Army says they don’t need that piece of junk the $90 million will go to waste when it could go towards programs that DO work and not the shiny and no go crap that is target bait in an urban warfare environment. Sadly Congress which is full of members who have never served and fought battles on land, sea and in the air will be waffling more and more and be even more do-nothing.

Veterans gave you the people the right to vote, to carry arms though I have to admit carrying an assault rifle into a family diner is a bit much; we gave you the voice to speak your mind. Try spouting off to Dictator Putin in Russia and see where it will get you or to that dork in North Korea, Kim Jong-un who seems to love beating anyone who opposes him to a pulp and then off you go to the reeducation camp to suck on rocks that come in the rock soup flavor of the day. Veterans paid the prices, and while we remember the sacrifices this week that took place a Normandy and that would eventually bring freedom to France and the rest of Europe; we know that our current men and women who now serve will follow in our footsteps and do the same as well. It will be the Veterans Affairs giving them treatment long after they have served to take care of the long term wounds that have on the outside appear to have healed but within will still need care.

As I have the freedom to write I can still say this. “Congress get off your damn ASSES and work together and stop being so fracking STUPID!”

Everyone have a nice week.

Stephen E Sauls

Chamblee, Georgia USA

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Congress that is nothing but Trouble

Posted on September 20, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll | Tags: , , , , |

    Well it is that time of the year again where the members of the Senate and House of the United States Congress refuse to work together and aim for a government shutdown because of Obamacare. The new health care law is for many appears to be an unpopular option and for members of the do nothing congress it is a perfect target to forward their agendas.

While I am too affected by the upcoming changes of Obamacare; I believe that it will help with the spiraling costs of healthcare and even the medications that we all use. Congress of course is facing the fact they would have to drop the free healthcare they get and they don’t like it. They are even trying to get themselves exempt along with their staff members. One dummy Republican Phil Gingrey of Georgia while involved with discussions over the healthcare law bitched about his salary being too low as a member of Congress. He makes $172,000 a year as my representative; however he now wants to be elected to the Senate. No cookie for you, my vote will go towards someone more worthy and perhaps more reliable. Anyone who thinks THAT is not enough money does not need to be in Congress either as a representative or even as a senator.

I have been looking towards a newcomer named Michelle Nunn, who perhaps has some better sense and who father served in the Senate, Senator Sam Nunn –D-Georgia, who as a Democrat served with distinction and gave the citizens of Georgia and the United States a great service. Should we as the American people start looking at the new comers to replace those that are now in Congress that refuses to give us a budget that will make the United States stable so that the rest of the world is comfortable? I believe that is the case and I would hope that those that have incumbents will consider their removal from office by the power of the vote.

We can send the emails or even better put pen to paper and start writing letters and mailing them in droves; since this would benefit the US Postal Service send a letter to the Do-Nothing Senator or Representatives office in your home state and then send another to their office in Washington too. Drive them crazy (and make their staff work) by sending the letters certified mail, return receipt requested. We of course should send some boxes of tissues to that cry baby representative from Ohio, John Boehner a Republican from Ohio who as Speaker of the Do-Nothing House while passing Senator Harry Reid –R-NV, publicly told Senator Reid to “Go F**K himself”, and continued on his way past the startled Reid. Frankly, seeing this kind of behavior makes me wonder if Boehner needs to have a psychological examination by a doctor. Saying that, I am sure Phil Gingrey who is a doctor but one who practices medicine and not psychology would have someone in mind who can give him one; of course at no charge. The bill would be footed onto the American people.

There are other problems too with the threat of a government shutdown. There is a grim possibility that the men and women of the United States Armed Forces will not have a paycheck when this shutdown takes place. I ponder if Congress would change their mind if some dependents show up at their offices with bills that are due and that cannot be paid because of their actions? Would they the Do-Nothings open their checkbooks and pay the bills? Probably not, and they would send them off to agencies that are shut down because of their stupidity and lack of proper leadership. I ask others facing the probability of a shutdown; should we continue to have these childish actions shape our daily lives or plan on looking forward to electing someone who will respect the office and the people who have sent them there and do a job that has to be done no matter what their party affiliation? I would hope that many will decide to remove the Do-Nothings and those who seem to think that their $172,000 yearly salary is a mere pittance and send one who will work.

Of course besides our own idiots from Georgia in Washington being dumb and crying about their salary we have our Georgia Governor, Nathan Deal-R, who decide not to help the citizens of Georgia in getting healthcare. Instead of setting up a Healthcare Exchange in Georgia; the snake-eye governor now looking for a second term refused President Obama’s Healthcare Law and with the head of Georgia’s Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph T. Hudgens-R refused to put up any information on any Georgia website that can be easily found to help their citizens get the needed healthcare that many should get. Governor Deal who has faced a couple of ethics investigations and campaign violations by the skin of his teeth, is up for reelection in 2014 needs to be nudged none too gently out of office for his lack of leadership. I expect more ethics investigations to be carried out not by the appointed individuals but perhaps by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation as there have been reports that some incriminating reports were ordered removed by a woman named Holley LaBerge who is head of the Georgia Ethics Commission, and as she once exclaimed “I own the Governor”, Ms. LaBerge that is one agency that you cannot “OWN”.

Everyone have a great weekend and of course stock up for the government shut down/lockdown again. I am sure the childishness will continue.

Stephen E Sauls

Chamblee, GA.

    

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Observing and Reporting: Pieces of a Puzzle

Posted on June 27, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, General, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

    With Ed Snowden’s release of crucial information to the public, which has now setback the Intelligence gathering community for a number of months we have to look at the how and why this was done. Intelligence gathering consists of putting the pieces of a large puzzle together. Ed Snowden who as a contractor was able to get access to information and critical files was a brainless idiot for doing it. Perhaps he perceived himself as a hero; but in truth Snowden at the time of this writing who is holed up in a Moscow Airport is nothing more than a yellow coward and traitor whose 15 minutes of fame is soon to be expiring.

    The damage aside, what was being done was focusing on certain patterns. Clearly Snowden had no business in the Intelligence Community at all. The most importing thing to remember is that if you keep it out of the news, it never happened. How many attacks were prevented is an actual guess. That is why the United States has to do what it does; so that we do not have another “NINE-ELEVEN”. I ponder if Snowden is prepared to have the blood of the next terrorist attack victims on his hands? His mindset of being a hero falls far short and as for Mr. Julian Assange who is bird-in-feather with Snowden and whose organization seems bent on releasing more information that for the moment should never see the light of day; I wonder how Ecuador would react if there was a terrorist attack on their soil and that Snowden and Assange could be implicated for being responsible for crucial information not being linked together to stop it?

    Sometimes when observing and reporting, when it is done and how the information was obtained may outweigh the privacy of citizens. Now that the argument for stricter controls on intelligence gathering is made; we are risking putting restraints on the very group of organizations involved in solving a puzzle. It could be a phone number getting an abnormally high number of calls from cell phones belonging to or linked to terrorist cells operating in the Middle East. The person could be identified, watched and monitored. Are they going to areas that could be considered a high value target? Nothing worse than having a large gathering for the 4th of July and in the middle of the grand finally while the celebrants are distracted by the colorful explosions above and the music surrounding them; they are stuck from ground level by massive and well placed suicide bombers or other means of explosive placement that would be devastating.

    I would hope that the use of outside contractors be eliminated, even if it means it may cost more to do business; one could hope a more vetted and well trained individual would be a better fit than that twit Ed Snowden. I am concerned about the men and women in uniform who depend on intelligence to give them some sense on what to prepare for and yes look for out in the field. Intelligence is tedious and even with massive computer farms the size of a Nimitz Class Aircraft carrier; it still requires a human to discern and make that match that a computer program would overlook. As the old saying goes, “Stupid stuff in can mean stupid stuff out,” of a computer system. Snowden would have never even cut it as a Security Officer or even a Police Officer and I doubt he would have passed a psychological evaluation for a Police Officer in the first place; and that I think would and should have been conducted. A normal background check for work in the Intelligence field just does not cut it.

    Information gathering can take many forms, and while Ed Snowden is now the temporary guest of “NYET” Putin, (sorry but I just cannot give Putin his due so instead of President he gets the title of “NYET”) who has decided that Ecuador can prepare the paperwork for Snowden’s eventual travel to Ecuador via Cuba we have to depend on the more riskier “Boots on Ground” option of putting operatives into areas where there is a likelihood of getting crucial information that could stop terrorist attacks. While we have lost the element of surprise and efficiency of gathering certain data; we have to hope that any operatives that were deeply embedded in a cell of a terrorist group have not been compromised. I am sure “NYET” Putin would be keen to know if he has any leakers in his inner circle so while Snowden sits in no man land of the airport entry area I wonder how the copying of the computers are going? Snowden reportedly took three laptops with him and likely had other data holding devices such as DVD or even backup drives so there is no telling exactly how many intelligence gathering operations have been compromised.

    I would make this breach the equivalent of a major company who has employee’s use laptops for convenience. What if the employee’s leave the key to the laptop dock lock in place and an unscrupulous employee takes those laptops and does a bit of industrial espionage to get information for another company that helps an opposing company make a breakthrough. In the end it would be the word of one company over another when the challenge to a patent was being made. In this case of data loss and breach of security for the United States, it is like leaving the key to your house in the door or in the ignition to the car.

    Of course while Snowden was in Hong Kong, we can only guess how much data was “borrowed” there. While many countries in the world have a dim view of the United States at the moment and laughing too; we of course know that secrets can be fleeting. If you are planning on visiting Hong Kong and may be carrying sensitive company information one should likely consider Hong Kong a place for the Chinese to siphon any information they can lay their hands on in order to succeed at the next endeavor. So be wary and cautious; since it is likely little would be done there to help you.

    The next interesting point is how the United States would respond to a major incident in any country that has allowed Snowden to pass through. The mess with the Boston Marathon Bombing and the lack of communication screwed up the observation and reporting on the two suspects in the bombing, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev which had there been better communications and organized sharing it might not have happened. However now with the traitor, Snowden now ensconced in a Moscow Airport with the apparent approval of “NYET” Putin we have lost an important pathway for information sharing.

    Should there be a bombing in Russia with perhaps a suspect from the United States will we cooperate with any information that they will need? More than likely yes we will. Why, it is because we are Americans and will do what we can even if it is a sworn enemy. Remember to report anything out of place, or suspicious. It may result in the inconvenience of some; but in those few cases that it could be real someone’s observations can save a life.

Stephen E Sauls

Chamblee, GA USA




    

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The Back Check and Where’s that Murmur

Posted on February 13, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, General | Tags: , , , , , |

Well as I look forward to finding out about how the problem with my lower back issues goes, I have an appointment for the heart murmur found during my yearly health exam back in November of 2012. The results for the back issues when it comes to being determined if they were service related all comes down to hoping the ship’s medic recorded the incident after I had fallen and made the report to him. The examining doctor stated it would be about six months before I might even hear anything. Mind you, I applied back in April of 2012. My exam was the first part of February, and I had even more X-Rays too.

Up next on the list is the murmur, and that is for February 14th, of 2013 kind of ironic it being Valentine’s Day and what not. My own mother who is 82, she too has a heart murmur the cause of which is a heart valve closing too fast. As for mine, the Doc was not sure which part of the heart it was coming from and had ordered an ultrasound shortly after the discovery it was at that point I was given an appointment to see the cardiologist. Unlike those who have great health insurance or members of Congress who if they get the sniffles; which all the stops are pulled out to make sure they don’t keel over and croak while besmirching us lowly folks in their chambers, we have to take a number.

If you got great health insurance, very low deductibles you will get the great service and you can even set the day and time for your treatment date etc. all the while we lesser folk wait for our turn patiently. Veterans have to be patient, there are a lot of us out there and with the drawdown that Congress seems to be howling about there will be even more since a lot those troops who are likely not needed will be getting out of service to find jobs and will fall under the care of the Veterans Administration which is already overloaded. Congress wants to spend, spend and spend without raising taxes all because they want to have shiny toys made in their districts.

The drone program which has been successful is itself facing cuts, since it costs a lot to keep those things flying. Maybe we can repurpose those machines and turn them into air traffic control aircraft for cities, perhaps putting some over Washington D.C. so when a member of Congress gets the sniffles; we can have it help cover the breaking news of the sniffle outbreak. Even better, give that money to the Veterans Administration so they can treat more Veterans. You have to spend a day at the local Veterans Hospital in Atlanta to understand why there is such a backlog. There is not enough staff, equipment, and space to fit the current number of Veterans who need treatment on a daily basis.

One thing the Veterans Administration is doing and that is embracing technology. I use the MYHEALTH feature on their website; the link https://www.myhealth.va.gov will take you there where if you are a Veteran you can register for the site and once verified you can access your treatment records, prescription information, and upcoming appointments and even test results too. We take the appointments given when available; generally the folks are kind enough to note which days are the best for us so we don’t have to miss any work and get us into the system somehow. You got to respect the work that those men and women do, given what they have to work with. It would be nice if that wonky no action Congress would get off their ass’s and send more money to the Veterans Administration. Maybe if they had to take a number to get their sniffles looked at, say the second Tuesday in May of 2014 and their sniffles were found in February 13, 2013 they might do something. But then again Forty-Seven percent of Congress are multimillionaires, so taking away their quick service healthcare likely would not be a bother.

Another thought at helping the Veterans Administration would be to have civilian healthcare facilities help take up the slack when processing treatment needs for the Veterans. There are those that are already howling at that idea, but remember we have hospitals in many states that are several underused and who do need patients. X-Ray’s, CT SCAN’s, MRI’s could all be carried out at facilities that have the abilities to serve and yes help create jobs. Wonder how many Congresspersons would salivate over the word jobs? But then if you mention Veteran’s that drooling would stop pretty darn quick and they would walk away mumbling, “Maybe later.”

Veteran’s served the country, with no expectations of becoming famous. When you serve, you take the risks. Putting on the uniform, you expect that you can be on the receiving end of some lunatic who thinks they will get ninety-nine virgins for killing you. In reality, I think the lunatic gets one butt-ugly looking hag with the clap for his trouble. We take the bumps, bruises, scraps, broken bones, bullet wounds and concussions, and everything else that can happen with the military career and grin and bear it without thinking about a medal to show for it. One weird accident that happened to me while serving on a Navy Guided Missile Destroyer, the USS Richard E. Byrd (DDG-23) was while we were transferring ammunition from the aft magazine to the forward magazine.

I was carrying a 75 pound five inch shell, High Explosive, when I approached the ladder well to go below deck. Mind you that the ship IS underway and we are going through some troughs when I set foot on the top step. When I woke up, I was at the bottom still clutching the shell while fighting some guy who wanted to take it. The Weapons Officer, found me out cold and ripping the shell from my arms raced back up topside and chucked the shell overboard. My brand spanking new boondockers had “lost” their heels while I was standing on the top step and to say the least the rest was history. Embarrassing to say the least and that added to my back woes. I suspect that was the final culprit that eventually did my back in years later. It was a great ship to serve on, but damn falling down hatchways was not my favorite method of getting around ships. Shipmates on later ships wondered why I had a healthy aversion to certain types of ladders and ladder wells, and guy’s is why I hated certain ladders designs.

So yeah, Veterans no matter what branch they had served in could and did get banged up and years later we are paying for it as we age; but then there are moments that make all those things that happened to us worthwhile. A video taken at the Whitehouse before the Medal of Honor ceremony to award Clinton Romesha, a US ARMY Veteran the Medal of Honor showed his young son playing around the presidential podium. If you find it, you will understand my feelings and those of other Veterans when it comes to moments like that. Veterans have given their all, many made it back and many did not. We are still glad to have served, missing friends and family birthday’s, Christmas’s, weddings all because we chose to don the uniform knowing the dangers that are inherent with it.

Thanks for reading and have a great day.

Stephen E Sauls

Chamblee, Georgia USA


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The Long Road to Now

Posted on February 7, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, General, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

In late March of 2012, I had visited the Veterans Administration Hospital Clinic in Decatur, Georgia where my doctor after hearing my complaint about a lower back problem ordered a battery of tests and other exams at the main hospital. After X-Ray’s, MRI’s and additional X-Ray’s there was no doubt I had a mess of a problem in the lower back. My back end got mangled after a nasty and rather frightening fall aboard a US Navy Guided Missile Destroyer in 1980; that was estimated at about 22 feet. I as a young seaman had walked across the forecastle and had stepped into some liquid, which to my dismay as I later found out was diesel fuel. Some enginemen, while refueling the emergency diesel generator had spilled it but had not cleaned it up; and I stepped in it and as I entered the scuttle which is a small hatch on the top of a larger hatch ended up taking the express route to the bottom.

My butt, smacked to last two steps of the ladder at the very bottom before I slammed feet first into the deck and then bouncing into the anchor windless room of the Charles F. Adams class Guided Missile Destroyer, USS Richard E. Byrd (DDG-23) where I found myself face first on the steel deck pondering just what the hell had happened. A fellow shipmate found me, and helped me to sickbay where the ship’s medic gave me the once over and some aspirin and sent me back to work. So much for that treatment and I would over the years continue to endure the painful reminder of my crash landing on a steel deck that amazingly did not break any bones.

I decided after an additional visit to put in for limited disability compensation, as it was frankly becoming more and more difficult to deal with the pain. I have ended up seeing a pain doctor at the Veterans Hospital in Decatur where I am getting injections to help alleviate the pain. You have not had fun until, you get needles stuck in your spine though once the doctor who is doing the injecting gets done it will at least keep things back there down to a dull roar for the next three months. I put in for the disability in April of 2012, and finally got to see an independent examiner who in February of 2013 took more X-Ray’s, had me try to bend and flex every which way.

Bending and flexing is no longer much of an option nor is heavy lifting the order of the day either. If I have dropped something it is go to the knee’s and hopefully reach it if possible or if at home use the handy-dandy picker upper grabber which unfortunately I can’t carry around one at work so in short it can be a real pain in the back side if I drop something. Being limited now to what I can do, I have not been able to do what I love to do and that is gardening and general yard work. It is hire the local yard work folk and pay them to do it. My trusty John Deere, I have not run in nearly two years now because of the back problems as the pain from man-handling the mower which is self-propelled became too much.

As a Veteran, I am not alone with issues; as other veterans seeking to get disability payments to help with life’s general issues have to go through a long wait and see process. I was told to expect another six month wait for any decision, and there is no guarantee that I will be able to receive the payments. I will have to still endure the pain and get by as best as I can.

I am thankful I am not taking hardcore pain killers, the ones I am taking deal mainly with the nerve and joint pain that is associated with the back issues. Remember the impact that I wrote of? That same impact affected the hips too, and the right side is showing that too now that I am aging. Those that are young and get away with what they think are bruises at first; will be like me when they hit their 50’s. What was I thinking when I did something stupid like that.

    What is next for me? Well I am experiencing both numbness and locking finger joints in both hands, so there is a doctor appoint for a surgeon to examine my hands and arms. I have already had X-Rays too, so problems with my right hand that are growing I have been practicing writing with my left hand. I truly feel like I am back in kindergarten again; trying to write something legible. The results are awful to say the least. Of course as Veteran’s like me age, we face other issues too. Having a heart murmur discovered during a yearly health exam in November of 2012; I had to wait for an exam appoint in February of 2013 to see a specialist. Unlike those who may have insurance that is well off, Veteran’s like me who are now depending on the VA for help have to wait in line.

    As we go forward into the New Year, the government has to of course cut costs. Those that are in Congress are now bitching about those cuts, are the ones with pet projects in their districts. A lot of them seem to forget that Veterans are seeing less support, while the shiny and a lot of times wasteful projects that are being constructed or improved upon seem to be sucking a lot of money away from other issues that need to be addressed. I will hope to see that the wasteful projects are cancelled and the funds being wastefully spent be redirected to the Veterans Administration to help the millions of veterans that need the help. Frankly new and shiny does not always work too well and if the crap costs a Billion Dollars a copy and you want 500 of the stupid things that don’t really work too well at all, then we can send some real estate agents to the Hill and sell them boneheads some beach front property in Nevada. That is of course after we sell off California and break it off at the San Andreas Fault, and the buyer would be China of course since they likely own ninety percent of it already.

    I will keep you posted on my future adventures with the disability issues. The one thing I do want to point out is that surgery is my last option; since the area of the spine in question is the L3 and L4 with a large and nasty cist sitting in there between them. I would have to get full disability just for that option to even be considered. Not a fun thought at the moment.

Have a nice day folks and when you see a Vet, say thanks.

Stephen E Sauls

Chamblee, Georgia USA.


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2012 in review

Posted on December 30, 2012. Filed under: Blogroll, General |

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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The Aftermath and Moving Forward

Posted on November 9, 2012. Filed under: Blogroll | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

It is Friday afternoon, and I am enjoying my one of two days off before I head back to work on Sunday. I work a swing shift so my last shift is an overnight and when I get off in the morning; other people are headed to work. I get home, have breakfast and read the Atlanta Journal Constitution while watching the locale news. Heading to bed, I usually sleep around 6 hours then I get up and peruse the Internet news reports and make some coffee using the Keurig coffee maker. I like the Green Mountain coffee not only for its price but its flavor and when I buy it at Costco for example in the 80 count box it works out to about 34 cents per cup so and being that it is Fair Trade; Green Mountain it in turns benefits the folks in South America where the beans are obtained.

Of course the election cycle being over with, I watched the aftermath of those upset that President Barack Obama had won. Emory University Professor Drew Linzer had run a modeling program and had as early as July 2012 determined the President Barack Obama would win with 332 Electoral votes to Governor Mitt Romney’s 206. Professor Linzer results which he had posted to http://votamatic.org stood up to his forecasts and predictions remarkably well considering that Florida was still counting the votes after Romney’s concession speech. President Obama dismayed at what still is happening in Florida said “We really need to fix that!” and Mr. President, I whole heartedly agree. Here in Georgia, Fulton County which has had a history of screwing up elections did it again and looks like it is too trying to mimic Florida; leaving the Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, to send investigators find out what is wrong and fix it before the Georgia Legislator gets sick of the mess and ends up allowing the creation of 160 counties which would allow for the establishment of Milton County which was at one time part of the Atlanta area from 1857 to 1933. Milton was eventually absorbed and became what is now part of Fulton County. It was ironically for financial reasons this occurred and in recent years because of an unwieldy government (in other words rather bloated) calls for the recreation of Milton County has come forth. For those of you wanting more information about the weirdness can go to this link where there is much more detailed information. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milton_County,_Georgia

Of course one could not avoid Donald Trump and his obnoxious behavior. His cry “Charge Forward!” was clearly from a man unable to deal with the defeat of Governor Mitt Romney; and some reporters at NBC were frankly tired of his ranting and there was for a brief while a “Twitter” war at least until Trumpinator deleted some of the Twittered Twits he had made; but it was too late and they are out on the web so have some fun and spend the afternoon or weekend catching up on the nonsense that spewed forth. It is no secret that Donald Trump is the unofficial head of the so called Birther Movement which for the past four years waged various court battles over the legitimacy of President Barack Obama’s citizenship. Yes he was born in Hawaii and as far as I am concerned the president is a United States Citizen; which leads to why Mitt Romney’s citizenship was never challenged. Romney has some Mexican cousins, several of which lamented over his election loss. In my personal view, Black, White, Hispanic, Asian background and the other melting pots of cultures that makes up America if there is irrefutable proof that you were born in the United States or in a medical facility such as a United States Military Hospital then you have the right to choose your life’s goals and no one blinded by a color barrier should ever stand in the way of that goal.

Continuing into the next four years with a divided Congress will be challenging for the president. I got a good chuckle out of watching House Speaker John Boehner (R) of Ohio preening himself during election day confident that Governor Mitt Romney would win the election and they would proudly march forward and “fix” things that he and fellow Republican’s had seen President Obama supposedly screw up. Then there was Wednesday morning, and Boehner who is a rather emotional guy; I expect he kept the guy or gal with the mop bucket busy swabbing up the flood in his room. Boehner, since the election results has been busy holding news conferences which are covering numerous issues including the debt ceiling limit or fiscal cliff. He has little choice and so do the Democrats who are in my view just as guilty of not working together to come to a mutual conclusion. (Personally, if I had my druthers I would lock the lot of them up in one big room and keep them there until an agreement was reached.)

Congress, with the Senate expecting a record number of women this year to take seats twenty in all might prove useful in smacking some common sense into their male counterparts when it comes to reaching agreements. There is nothing easy about the decisions to be made, and it will be a matter of damned if you do and damned if you don’t; because either way some will have to give and something will have to take. It is a matter of perspective. The issues range from the budget, the pork barrels are sure to be loaded with a side helping of fat to immigration, jobs, military veterans seeking jobs, civilians seeking jobs, domestic and foreign policy issues to dealing with Taliban, Al Qaida, and Iran among others. The President and Congress both will have to deal with the ongoing issues involving both China and Japan with hopes of opening inroads into Vietnam to help take pressure off of Okinawa which is in an uproar over attacks by US Military Personnel on the citizens and to perhaps relocate troops (screened of course) to get China’s attention as this would put us on a different approach and view forcing their military to reallocate forces and rethink tactics too.

Well, have a great day and enjoy what you are drinking whether it is your favorite coffee brew or that cup of tea with a dash of honey you can go wrong. (I enjoy Earl Grey Tea in cup form by the way.)

Stephen E Sauls

Chamblee, Georgia USA

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Enterprising Young Men and Women Too

Posted on October 29, 2012. Filed under: Blogroll, General | Tags: , , , |

In J.J. Abrahams 2009 movie Star Trek, which rebooted the franchise it gave us some hope of new adventures and some even new music that has proven to be inspiring. The following link YouTube http://youtu.be/EMu5jP2-c5U is of what is undeniably has become the new music theme of Star Trek. If you go to YouTube and enter the search term “Enterprising Young Men” which was scored by Michael Giacchino; it will return a number of results that range from high school bands both stationary and of the marching (the marching performances are interesting) to semi-professional performances including competitions where its performance garnered the performers awards it has proven to be inspiring.

Can we the people inspire those in Washington D.C. to get their act together no matter who wins? Frankly, with divisiveness as Congress and the White House have been of late say the last four years I don’t see improvement no matter who wins, loses or gets tied. It may be that we have to start yanking the Senate and Congress members by the short hairs to get their attention. Of course, since it is an election year everyone who is running for reelection will say what we all want to hear and walk the walk; but come time to do it the winners and the sore losers will butt heads again and we just might be stuck yet again with stop gap budgets and finger pointing while the Super PACs, besides themselves will ramp up for the next election in 2016. So far the candidates have spent 2 Billion US Dollars in this election year so they can either win, lose or get into a very embarrassing tie could result in the election being settled by Congress which will leave a lot of angry voters. (Congress and Senate members should make sure their life and health insurance is paid up if that happens; because people will be angry.)

It may take some enterprising moves by people who are represented by the current incumbent’s to make them actually act accordingly. It should be all done legally and ethically with no threats of violence or harm though I am sure there will be some towing the tar trailer with a bag full of feathers to use on their respective representative if they don’t get off the soap box and do what needs to be done. Finger pointing is useless, hence I don’t want to point them at any one group or party but each party the Democratic and Republican along with the myriad of independents have not acted in the best wishes of the people they represent. An old saying comes to mind, “Divided We Fall, United We Stand” is well worth being said to those who represent us. I hope people will send an e-mail, hand written note or even a fax to say that to your representative; so that they do understand that we need to start working together because four more years of inaction will result in more failures.

There are numerous young men and women who are working to bring the divisiveness to an end, they are wanting get the communication across the aisles going again. That is what we are lacking at the moment; communication. It is for most to conceive then task at hand by both the President and Congress in getting on the same track and page. The gerrymandering, the accusations only work to divide and do nothing to solidify the goals at hand which is bringing back the jobs that is needed to help get the United States on track to prosperity that the politicians claim they can do. They claims are baseless if they fail to negotiate and come to a mutual agreement and this means not kowtowing to the numerous lobby groups that can be found on the capital grounds at one time or another.

Remember inspiration comes in many forms and no matter how it happens; one will hope that the enterprising men and women working behind the scenes will get things jumpstarted this election year. Please if you have not early voted, do so or go to the polls on Election Day and ignore the idiot talking heads on the news coverage that Election Day if they say a certain person has won. You can help decide the vote, and yank by the short hair any electoral college participant who wants to change their vote when they don’t agree with the voters.

Have a great day.

Stephen E Sauls

Chamblee, GA USA

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Politics and Fair Trade, Politicians could Learn

Posted on October 20, 2012. Filed under: Blogroll, General | Tags: , , |

Fair trade in the world today is unbalanced. It comes down to consumer to be the ones to support the companies that ensure the practice takes place without political agendas or even backstabbing. In the month of October, which is designated Fair Trade Month a favorite company of mine which makes some nice coffee’s; Green Mountain Coffee teamed up musicians Grace Potter and Michael Franti to take them to Fair Trade farming communities in Columbia and Sumatra. It is from these communities that produce the Green Mountain Coffee beans that eventually find their way into bags of coffee, and the K-Cups.

In the coffee world that I have experienced, there are the blah coffees, the coffee that should have never left the roaster factory, and then there are the enjoyable ones. I have tried the Starbuck’s and honestly it is overrated, expensive and still no matter how you purchase it; in the bag, K-Cup, Pod what have you. It still has that burnt taste and is too overpriced. As a comparison, I can usually get 18 K-Cups of Green Mountain Coffee which supports Fair Trade and returns benefits to the farmers that are their suppliers by giving them fair prices, ensure that the working conditions are adequate and if not works to improve them while protecting the environment and adding in getting new roads, schools, health clinics and of course much needed safe drinking water.

I have not seen that much in support from Starbucks for such projects and frankly which I can get only 15 K-Cup’s that cost as much as $3 more even with a rare coupons, I end up selecting the Green Mountain Coffees for their prices even without coupons and their broader availability is stores. You can get both coffees in the bags, ground or bean but storing them over the long term could be an issue unlike K-Cups; which you can store on the nifty storage racks and rotate to select the particular K-Cup you would want for that day. The worst place to store coffee is in fact in the refrigerator, as with any bagged or canned product long term storage inside can result in what I call the “cold brew” by the build-up of moister inside no matter what brand. I found the bitter and burned aftertaste even stronger in the Starbuck brand of coffee over the long even with beans ungrounded it resulted in significant increase of bitterness from the build-up of moister.

Going back to Green Mountain Coffee and its support of Fair Trade, politicians could use their program as a learning tool and a way to help others who could be encouraged by such a program to offer their wares and get the fair market prices that they deserve and not undercut by profiteering and greedy companies driven by the bottom line. Balancing out trade and removing harmful tariffs could help the overall world market no matter the product that a consumer uses. When the prices balance, the profit sharing utilized properly; people can enjoy life styles of their choosing.

I am of course a coffee guy who has had the chance the experience the various styles of coffee around the world and even how they are brewed; though honestly the one place I never got to was Japan which has some rather nifty coffee brewing systems like a siphon vacuum system that would take a rather lengthy period just to describe its operation, to a stoneware brewer which uses a simplified hot water system which instead of being automated, you become the one who pours the hot water from the tea kettle.

Remember those percolators? The ones on the stove tops and yes in the camp fires of old, I still have a pair. I used one in a camper that is now long gone and the other my late father used when he fixed the coffee. I still use it from time to time and yes even in a taste test I still find that the Green Mountain Coffee is still better that the Starbucks whether it is freshly ground or already ground. I like consistent tastes and flavors, that give satisfaction and easy on the wallet. As for the vacuum coffee system, I eye balled the price for one of those fancy machines and decided that unless it was street legal and could be driven; it was really out of the budget.

Now before I go, I wanted to pass on a coupon offer for Green Mountain Coffee that includes some nifty coupons that can be found on Face Book. https://www.facebook.com/GreenMountainCoffee/app_123707314444061

The link I provided also provides more back ground on the Fair Trade Practices supported by Green Mountain Coffee and features Grace Potter as she tours several villages’ involved in this wonderful program.

Have a great day.

Stephen E Sauls

Chamblee, GA USA

 

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