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    Thursday, March 30, 2006

    The Pledge of Allegiance

    "I pledge allegiance"
    (I promise to be true and loyal)

    "to the flag"
    (to the symbol of our country)

    "of the United States of America"
    (each state that has joined to make our country)

    "and to the Republic"
    (a republic is a country where the people choose others to make laws for them -- the government is for the people)

    "for which it stands,"
    (the flag means the country)

    "one Nation"
    (a single country)

    "under God,"
    (the people believe in a Supreme Being)

    (the country cannot be split into parts)

    "with liberty and justice"
    (with freedom and the upholding of the laws and principles of the land)

    "for all."
    (for every AMERICAN regardless of race, color, or creed)

    I remember assembling before school when in 1st grade with the entire school including teachers, staff, and students to recite the pledge, and sing the National Anthem every morning. I wonder how students today would react, especially in those protesting schools, if they also were required to do so. Why don't most schools do this anymore anyway? What's wrong with understanding your country's creeds?

    Wednesday, March 29, 2006

    Why is this not in the News?

    I think this picture speaks volumes about our current illegal immigration situation. Is anyone else disgusted? This took place in Pioneer, California during the walkouts this week. I am very curious as to how our government would have reacted to this in the 19th century. Personally, I find it be an act of aggression towards our country. The only time I have ever heard of such acts were when a country successfully invaded and conquered it's enemy, or when a coup d' etat took place. Imagine if Taiwanese did this in China, or Palestinians in Israel, Algerians in France, Albanians in Italy, Turkey in Germany, the list can go on forever. What would be the reaction by the governments and what would be the reaction by the people of these nations? Am I being intolerant? Pfffft.

    I got the pic and link from Michelle Malkin who is tracking this story and other such examples that continue to develop.

    Barry Goldwater once said...

    "I would remind you that extremeism in the defense of liberty is no vice!... And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!"

    -Barry Goldwater

    Monday, March 27, 2006

    Death by Powerpoint

    Where have I been? I have been sitting in a classroom for what is known as "Med Blocks" . Basically, we are learning a lot about diseases, and disorders, and how to diagnose and treat, or manage them. We sit in a small classroom all day in front of a projector screen and take notes from a powerpoint presentation for 8 hours a day. It is brutal. I think I am slowly going blind, I no longer respond to caffeine as I drink a pot of Joe a day, and my inner mouth is raw from chewing on sunflower seeds in order to stay awake. We, the students, commonly call our current learning environment, "Death by Powerpoint". Everyone has a different way of coping, I drink coffee and chew sunflower seeds, some drink "redline" or "monster" and most guys dip smokeless tobacco. Yes, in class. There is also a wide variety of snacks and protein-rich foods and supplements scattered about. This all makes for a very smelly learning environment to say the least. Whatever it takes to stay awake, so we can continue to learn as if we were drinking water from a firehose. Three more weeks of this and I'll move to surgery and anesthesia, clinical rotations, and then I will be freaking finito! Should be done in June. So long as I can continue to resist the slow painful death by powerpoint.

    Tuesday, March 07, 2006

    Death of an unsung heroine

    Dana Reeve died yesterday. There aren't many ladies like this around these days. I know because I am still looking. Character is the single most important quality to look for in another person (in my humble, unmarried opinion). It is always easy to find attractive people, but attractive people with character is a different story. She was certainly one of those rare few. I have always admired this woman's dedication to her husband, family, and philanthropy in spite of the unforgiving difficulty. May she rest in peace, and be reunited with her husband.

    Thursday, March 02, 2006

    Jump Day

    We jumped yesterday out at St. Mere Eglise dropzone earning our $150 extra bucks for the month. Other than the first 6 seconds where you're waiting for your chute to open I'm getting pretty used to doing it. I still don't particularly like it, as I am very much a keep-my-feet-on-the-ground guy; I prefer mountains, oceans, and vehicles. I really don't understnad why we still do static line jumping either as I can't imagine doing any World War II type invasion as an Operator. It would be too detectable for our type of mission. So I assume it's because it's is an old army tradition, and a reason to get some extra pay, and I imagine that many guys really do love "jumping out of perfectly good airplanes".

    One thing, however, that I have noticed (at least for me) and really appreciate is the fact that jumping always makes you think about loftier things in life. Above all, it forces one to overcome fear- to be brave. It's making your body do something that it naturally doesn't want to do. The "fight or flight" mode kicks in- adrenaline, bronchodilation, vasoconstriction, dilated pupils, and your body gets ready for either running like hell, or fighting. It's good to kill any fear and learn to control it in order to perform. There aren't many avenues available for the average guy in the average workplace to face this kind of stuff regularly to refine one's courage, so I am grateful. War is life and death, and there is no room for cowardice.