In 2008, the best year that my wife and I have ever had financially, broke down like this:

We made a combined $106,743. To make this money, we both had jobs AND we ran our business.
We paid $6,932 in Social Security
We paid $1,621 in Medicare
We paid $12,506 in income tax
We paid $2,639 in property taxes
We paid $2,884 in Sales Taxes
The total of the above is  $26,582, and doesn’t include hidden taxes like 46 cents in taxes on each gallon of gasoline, and other taxes like cell phone taxes, fees, the matching half of our Social Security and Medicare taxes that are paid by our employer on our behalf, and other hidden costs. These direct taxes comprise 25% of our labor for the year.

Someone explain to me how forcing me to spend a quarter of my year working for others differs from forcing me to work as a slave for 10 of my 40 productive years.

Scene safety and psychotics

Last night, there was a patient who called 911 and told dispatch that he thought someone had poisoned his drink. Now we get people who are mildly paranoid pretty frequently, but this one was different. The transport medic on this run thinks he has ten years experience. He has been on the job for two and a half years, but actually has one year of experience that he repeats over and over, because he learns nothing. Paramedic George has been precepted three times.

There was a couple on scene who told us that our 20 year old patient had a history of psychosis, had not taken his meds in weeks, and was on this night convinced that his parents were working with a demon to try and poison him. When I joined paramedic George in the back of the rig, the patient was already showing signs of aggression: he was trying to stare each of us down. Domination games. His thoughts are rambling between asking where his parents are, to making statements about how we are all doomed because Satan is coming.

By the time we get to the hospital, his statements have evolved to saying things like, “You are going to beat me up, aren’t you? You know you want to. WE both know where this is headed, so lets just get it over with.”

By then, there are 8 of us there, including the hospital staff. I look over at George, and he is standing in front of the patient, within arms reach, and is stretching and yawning with a full on, open mouthed, eyes closed yawn. The patient bowed up to fight, and an ER medic and myself jumped him before he could move. We wound up holding the patient down for some Haldol and some leather restraints.

Some people just never learn.

Twenty Broken Promises

Here we are, 18 months into the Obama Presidency. With one third of his term behind us, lets take a look at the progress he has made on his campaign promises:

1 Close Guantanamo Bay within one year. Status: Broken.
2 Create or save 1 million jobs using $25 billion in Federal Funds. Status: FAIL. He spent a trillion dollars, yet the unemployment rate has risen from 7.7% to 9.5% over the last 18 months.
3 All troops out of Iraq within 16 months. Status: Broken. There are still 133,000 troops in Iraq. (85,000 more than are in Iraq)
4. Create secure borders. Status: Broken. He is actually suing people who are trying to secure the borders. Sure, he promised to send 1200 guardsmen, but that is another broken promise.
5. Reform government spending. Status: FAIL. 18 months into his presidency, he spent as much as all presidents prior to George W Bush combined. GW Bush himself was the former record holder, having run a $4.9 trillion deficit during his 8 years in office. Obama has borrowed $2.6 trillion in 18 months.
6. End torture: Status: Misleading. Using the process of extraordinary rendition, where terrorists are taken to countries where torture is legal, and letting THEM do the torturing on your behalf is dishonest.
7. Require new hires to deny cronyism. Status: DO I REALLY have to point this one out?
8. Deliver weekly fireside chats online Status: Broken. Not a single one has been released in the last 16 months.
9. Toughen hate crime laws Status: Broken, also see the next one:
10. Remove discriminatory obstacles to voting. Status: a twofer with the Black Panther case
11. Lift ban on gays serving openly in the military Status: Broken.
12. Penalize vote fraud. Status: Broken, but the voter fraud was all in his favor, so why should he?
13. End American dependence on foreign oil in ten years Status: with his ban on Gulf oil drilling, I don’t see this happening. We are more dependent on foreign oil than we were 18 months ago.
14 Ban executive employees from taking gifts from lobbyists. BROKEN.
15 But I can promise you this: I will always tell you what I think and where I stand. Need I say more?
16 Post bills online 72 hours before signing them Status: Congress doesn’t even read bills before Obama signs them
17 Increase minimum wage every year Status: Broken
18 Ensure taxes don’t go up for families with incomes lower than $250,000 Status: Broken
19 Cut taxes on the middle class Status: Broken
20 Defend Israel Status: Broken

So for those of you out there who voted for Obama, did you get what you voted for? Are any of the above promises the reason why you voted for him? You can’t blame the Republicans, they don’t have control over Congress.

If not, did you vote for him because of his race? Or because his name wasn’t George Bush? What is different? Are you any better off than you were 18 months ago? If not, think about this: We are being betrayed by BOTH parties. They are willing to cheat us to get more power. It is time for this practice to end. This isn’t about right versus left, or Democrat versus Republican. This is about being left alone to live our lives.

Why is racial profiling bad?

If you were robbed at gunpoint, and told the police that the man was 6’2″, 250 pounds, and black, would it be reasonable for the police to stop all the black men in the area who were close to that description? Or would racial profiling be wrong? Should they also stop tall white and Hispanic men, so that they were not profiling? How about women? After all, we don’t want to be sexual profiling.

Of course not. That would be ridiculous. So why is it wrong for a cop in Arizona to ask a Hispanic man driving a Ford Lobo (which is a truck sold in Mexico) who has already been stopped for a traffic violation for proof that he is here legally?

Deputy Bob Dalton and volunteer Heath Kowacz spotted a driver with a cracked windshield in a poor Phoenix neighborhood near a busy freeway. Dalton triggered the red and blue police lights and pulled over 28-year-old Alfredo Salas, who was born in Mexico but has lived in Phoenix with a resident alien card since 1993.
Dalton gave him a warning after Salas produced his license and registration and told him to get the windshield fixed.
Salas, a married father of two who installs granite, told The Associated Press that he was treated well but he wondered whether he was pulled over because his truck is a Ford Lobo.
“It’s a Mexican truck so I don’t know if they saw that and said, ‘I wonder if he has papers or not,'” Salas said. “If that’s the case, it kind of gets me upset.”

The article says that 600 illegal aliens have been arrested during sweeps in Maricopa County, AZ since 2008. A drop in the bucket.

In the wake of the Federal court ruling that state and local authorities cannot enforce Federal immigration laws, I think that the states should refuse to enforce ALL Federal Laws: Immigration, Tax, Firearms, Drugs, and any other Federal Law that states currently enforce. States should no longer house Federal prisoners in State prisons. They have made their ruling, now let’s see them enforce it.

My Blog Name

I get a whole lot of hits from folks who Google the term “pharmacist blog” and I want to take a minute and explain where the name of this blog came from.

The term “street pharmacist” is a play on words meaning a drug dealer, sort of like “undocumented immigrant” is a euphemism for illegal immigrants. Those of you who work in EMS know that a substantial portion of EMS runs are generated by people who are seeking free pharmaceuticals, in other words, drug seekers.

A few years ago, my partner and I were sitting around awaiting our next opportunity to save lives and snatch a baby from the mouth of an alligator, and during this lull in the action, my partner was doing his taxes. By the time he got to the end of the absurdly long process, he was pretty annoyed. There is a line at the end of the form which asks for your profession, and it was at this point that I told him that when I was in the military, a buddy of mine had entered “paid professional killer” in that particular part of the form.

Thinking that the above comment was pretty funny (comments like that are always funnier at 2 a.m.) he entered “street pharmacist” as his occupation and we dropped it in the mail. We laughed for the rest of the shift.

and so it became the name of this blog.

Symbolism, no substance

The Chevy Volt, it was announced today, will cost $41,000 a copy. It gets 40 miles per 8.8KWh charge. At 12 cents per KWh, that means that fueling this vehicle with coal generated electricity will cost about 2.6 cents per mile. That sounds impressive, until you consider that the car costs $20,000 more than a comparable gasoline powered car such as the Honda Civic. Even taking the government subsidy of $7,500 into account, buying the Volt will cost 71.6 cents per mile for the first 50,000 miles. On the other hand, buying a Honda Civic will only cost 53.5 cents per mile over the same 50,000 mile period. The best part? I can buy a Lincoln MKZ Hybrid for only 75 cents a mile for the first 50,000 miles.

For those who believe in the fairy tale of man made global warming, consider this: generating enough electricity for the Volt’s 40 mile range will produce about 9.5 kg of CO2. A gasoline burning car, like the Civic Hybrid or Lincoln MKZ, also generates 8.8kg of CO2 to go the same distance.

I predict product fail.

Communist College Professors

I am taking a class on ethics. The professors at this college are so left wing, it makes me ill. They are constantly quoting Karl Marx, and are teaching from a left wing position. The assignment last week was to review this question:

“You are a reporter who is in a war zone during a war between two fictional countries, North Monrovia, and South Monrovia. The United States is providing support to South Monrovia. The North Monrovian forces offer to take you to a location where there is evidence of atrocities performed by the southern forces. While en route to the scene of the massacre, the Northern force finds itself in a position to ambush an American unit. This brings us to the dilemma: Do you warn the AMerican force, or do you keep quiet and get the story?”

I stated that the reporter is an American first, and that in order to be a member of this society, he needs to participate in that society. How can he expect the members of this society to defend him, if he is not willing to defend others? This is what the professor had to say:

On the other hand, a reporter has an important job, a job that keeps our democracy working (such as it does) by keeping the citizenry informed. Would reporters be able to be embedded to do that job if it is known that they will warn American troops? I am reminded of a report on a Gulf War video we were not allowed to see (the first President Bush knew how to keep the press under control during war): It showed Iraqi soldiers in the desert being literally cut in half by machine gun fire. A U.S. general commented that if the American public were allowed to see this footage, they would never go to war again. There is another difference that a fellow student points out: “If you knew a murder was going to take place, would you let the person know, or the Authorities know?” I believe this analogy works, yet not entirely. The victim generally does not have the potential of killing the prospective killer. American soldiers would. The American soldiers are not “innocent victims”; they are armed combatants in enemy territory, are trained to deal with surprise enemy attacks—and are there to kill the enemy in a war situation. Maybe an American reporter has to decide not to be embedded with enemy troops in the first place. Of course, that would sacrifice the role of the press.

First, in every assignment so far in this class, this professor has found a way to slam someone from the Bush family. Second,  what does this say about the education that your children are receiving while away at college?

Untitled Post

There are many who bemoan the 12,000 homicides that are committed by citizens with firearms in the United States each year. These citizens ignore the fact that the private ownership of firearms cause far fewer deaths than governments with firearms.

The megamurdering states of the 20th century have been: 
U.S.S.R. (1917-1987), 61,911,000; 
Communist China (1949-1987), 35,236,000; 
Nazi Germany (1933-1945), 20,946,000;
Nationalist (or Kuomintang) China (1928-1949), 10,076,000 

These are followed by the “lesser” megamurdering states: 
Japan (1936-1945), 5,964,000; 
Cambodia (1975-1979), 2,035,000; 
Turkey (1909-1918), 1,883,000; 
Vietnam (1945-1987), 1,678,000; 
North Korea (1948-1987), 1,663,000; 
Poland (1945-1948), 1,585,000; 
Pakistan (1958-1987), 1,503,000; 
Mexico (1900-1920), 1,417,000; 
Yugoslavia (1944-1987), 1,072,000; 
Czarist Russia (1900-1917), 1,066,000.

For the 20th century, 169 million civilians were killed by government action. If you include combat deaths, that number rises to 203 million.

The world population in 1991 is estimated to have been approximately 5,423,000,000. In 1991, Europe’s population was about 502,000,000. The United States in 1990 had a population of about 249,000,000. This means that governments killed about 3.7 percent of the human race in this century, or an equivalent of over 40 percent of all the people in Europe, or a number equal to over 80 percent of all the people in the U.S.

So European governments killed 87 million citizens in the 20th century, largely because the citizens couldn’t fight back. The armed citizens in the US, where large scale government massacres were almost unheard of, killed fewer than 600,000 during the same time period. Which system works better?

I have heard “What if they gave a war, and no one showed up?’ When the real question should be “What if the government gives a war, and they are the only ones with weapons?”