military

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It was not political correctness, but rather a deep and visceral thirst that has driven me to reach out to people who are different — very different from myself. Being brought up Jewish (traditional eastern-European Jewish Ashkenaze) is not all of who I am, not even close to that, but it is the raw clay out of which I have been sculpted in America. Canada is different.  A pharmacist I worked with in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada was well-traveled and told me how it was different from America. “America is a melting-pot — Canada is a salad.”

Americans really seem (or at least seemed) to want to be Americans.  I remember the emigrants to America joking about learning about baseball, the bat being likened to a chicken drumstick, a “pulkeh.” To understand and love baseball was a very important part of being American. Part of the lore of the time was that it was possible to unmask a foreign spy who spoke perfect English if you asked him who had won the last world series and he did not know. Very different from Canadians who kept their own traditions and their own languages in tiny equivalents of their native lands around Edmonton where ethnic traditions were publicly exalted, in places called “little Germany” or “little Italy.”

Read more on Cross-Cultural ‘R’ Us…

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I have been in screaming and crying mode since this morning.  When I got started, I wanted to look up more info about veterans to help out my beloved veterans who have told me that they are having hard times getting enough benefits to survive.  I’m sure you read or have heard of by now about the story from the LA Times. Trying to figure out what happened is tough.  But it seems that about a decade ago, someone offered the California National Guard monetary rewards of ten thousand dollars and up for re-enlisting, which they took. I don’t think anyone can blame them for that. Read more on Can being a veteran (or soldier) get any worse?…

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Why people can’t accept let alone search for the truth, even if it would save their lives.
You Can't Handle Truth
If this is not the most famous movie quote of all time, it is darn close.

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 כג  אֱמֶת קְנֵה, וְאַל-תִּמְכֹּר;    חָכְמָה וּמוּסָר וּבִינָה. 23  “Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.” Proverbs 23 is a quote I’ve been hanging around with for a really long time.  It even somehow showed up in my high school yearbook, I said it so much.
Believe me, this has a lot to do with why Jack Nicholson is who he is, and why I am the Renegade Doctor.  That is why I can do a course adjustment and know that I have learned that an enormous amount of what I have learned in my medical education is just plain not so.
How does a bad politician differ from a good scientist? When politicians change their course, they Flip-Flop. When scientists change their course, it means they have new data.
 People just don’t act as if they are looking for the truth.  The first thing I learned in high school debating seemed paradoxical and weird” at first, but now I know it is totally spot on. I was told I could never debate an assertion rationally if I could not admit the assertion could be wrong. Amazing how high school stays with you for life.

Read more on Why People Can’t Accept the Truth…

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My preceptor in child psychiatry at the University of Kansas (Wichita) was easily the most respected psychiatrist in the region. Former chief of the residency training program, he was not at all the fanatically-publishing academic type I would find in psychiatric departments elsewhere.

He was eminently practical. Nearing retirement and clearly at the top of his game, he was known to be someone who really did straighten out troubled kids.

Me, there were times he gently chided me because of my theoretical and academic concerns which were not always of practical use. Read more on Responsibility for Veterans…

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I had my struggles with the military about weight requirements.  Many have.  I remember an especially clever nurse-officer who had given a lot more years of her existence to the Army than I had, and was both a cracker jack clinician and a cracker jack administrator, and left with a wimp because she was too heavy.

I also remember one whom I then considered a mediocre physician’s assistant who told me he got a commission as a warrant officer where the physical consisted mainly of measuring the circumference of both his neck and his waist. He did it by pumping up his muscles in his neck so that his neck was so damned fat that the rest of him seemed “proportional.”  Yes, this really worked.  Waist not — want not.

In case anybody is curious about my military commission physical, I had starved myself to some pretty small proportions.  The physician told me I was built like a fashion model, so as much as he would surely enjoy it, he was not going to insult me by giving me a physical. Read more on Plastic Surgery To Pass The Army Physical…

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We don’t learn from history.  America sounds like it is starving with several stories on food bank cuts that have just started.  A lot of people seem to skimp and save to be able to eat.  Some of my marijuana patients tell me it is the only medical care they can afford.  One asked me where the nearest food bank was, and if I knew any good ones.

Vintage Veterans PostMy Grandmother-Of-Blessed-Memory had a couple of raspberry bushes in the back yard, and some very aggressive strawberries that sent runners under the sidewalk to the garbage can, pushing up the already fragile cracked concrete. This infuriated my Mother-Of-Blessed-Memory who always had to do such repairs, as my father of blessed memory had “such delicate hands.” At least that is what his mother would lament as she stroked them.  He had an honored place in our household for being a composer and choir director and music teacher and supporting the lot of us. Read more on Is This How We Thank Our Veterans?…

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I used to really enjoy going to the kind of tiny circuses that tour the small towns in rural areas.  Much of my adult life has been as a wandering gypsy doctor through such areas and it seems that many of the little towns had little to offer and went wild when the circus came to town – no matter how modest the offerings were.

Of course I had experience with the really big shows.  When I was a kid my folks took me once to the Greatest Show On Earth — Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey — where I think now the plethora of amusements in three rings is probably best suited for those who really enjoy their attention deficit disorder.
But it was in a tiny field in France by a beach on the English Channel that I saw a lovely one ring circus. I was most impressed with the lion tamer — a person of African descent, large and muscled and handsome — but I was close enough to see each time he put his head in the lion’s mouth, and he did it multiple times.

The old, indifferent lion had no teeth, but the effect was still thrilling.

The image was vivid, and I have not thought of it for many years.

I think of it when I hear talk about the Food and Drug administration (FDA).

The FDA has no teeth, and as you can tell from the interview below, is simply

Read more on FDA: A Toothless Old Lion…

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I worked in prison situations, where inmates complained about everything and sometimes I even agreed with them.  Invariably, some older world-weary inmate would say:  “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.” When spoken by a muscled, or at least strong and/or angry looking inmate, I have seen that shut people up.  Let’s try this one when it’s time for troops to deploy:  “Don’t appear, if they ain’t got the gear.” Read more on Look Mom, No Gear…

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“Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.”  “It is sweet and right to die for your country.”  The line, in Latin, is from Horace’s Odes, 3.2.13.  It is a memory from Miss Lovering’s 8th grade Latin class at the Beaver Country Day School.  Everyone said Miss Lovering was a truly great Latin teacher, mostly because she was old enough that she was surely there in Rome when it happened.  She was one of the older living Radcliffe College alumnae and had, it was said, found marriage a pale alternative to the glories that were Rome.  I remember the above quote as the moment I started thinking Romans were simply not very nice guys. The “lie,” apparently often quoted to soldiers at the beginning of World War I — ostensibly to give them courage — was nicely incorporated into a poem by Wilfred Owen that expresses what yucky stuff war really is.  People die of a lot of horrible things, and anyone who has seen combat veterans or lost family has probably figured out that death is just as ugly, if not more so, when it is for your country.

In the poem, he cites, “vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues.”  Our friends at the Center for Disease Control show — avoid this page if you are faint of heart — a syphilis sore on a tongue, which is what this sounds like.  An attempt to get sexy prior to combat is my guess.  Soldiers have tried to use the “I could be in combat and die tomorrow” line on me; it never worked, obviously.  Opening combat to women might be good in some ways.  Good for military rank climbing or professional climbing.  If a woman feels compelled to do this, I guess she should be allowed to. Read more on Women in Combat…

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Thank Veterans WWII Poster AviatorsTurns out, while most veterans appreciate a stranger saying “thank you” for their service, it can also be a bit uncomfortable. I wonder how these same guys feel about the “Have you thanked a veteran today?” bumper stickers.

I’ve been thanking veterans for a long time.  Sometimes, not as consistently as I’d like to because this doctor gig really means that I have to remember a large number of things.  Since I began working in the medical marijuana field, where the veterans I meet are paying for a

Read more on Thanking Veterans…

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