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Reflections on Katrina

I was just reading the news, and happened to reflect on the liberties taken when certain journalists report the news. I immediately began to think back a couple of years, to my deployment into the Hurricane Katrina disaster area.

During my deployment, I didn’t see any of the violence or mayhem that was being reported on the news. Most of the people were thankful for our assistance, many even cooked us dinner with whatever meager supplies survived the damage. That damage was restricted to within a mile of the coast, and a 5 mile drive to the north got you completely away from the disaster area. Sure, this wasn’t New Orleans, but the damage in the Gulfport area was actually worse.

Of course, the reporters had a little to do with that. When we were there, a group of reporters were busy talking on camera about how it was four days since the storm, and no one had seen any assistance from the gubmint yet. They were breathlessly explaining how the people were starving, with no help on the horizon, all the while blaming the President, FEMA, and anyone else they could think of.

We were standing less than 300 feet away, giving out food, water, diapers, and vaccinations against diphtheria and tetanus. What was funny was that they had to shoot it twice, because one of the people that we had just given food to walked behind the on camera reporter with a sandwich in one hand, and a coke in the other.

I know how truthful the journalism is in this country, and that is why I am not a consumer of what passes for news nowadays.

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Firehouse Recipe

cooking time: 15 minutes

1 pound ground beef
1 packet taco meat seasoning
tortillas
medium salsa
8 oz half and half
8 oz mexican cheese blend
sour cream
1 small can sliced black olives, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degF
Brown meat, drain.
Push meat to one side of the pan, mix taco seasoning with half and half, stir to get rid of lumps, stir into meat. (add black olives if desired)
Line the bottom of an 8×8 baking pan with tortillas.
Spoon half of the meat mixture onto the tortillas, and top with a third of the cheese.
Repeat for a second layer, top with another layer of tortillas and the remaining cheese.
Place in oven, bake until cheese melts (about 10 minutes)
Serve with a topping of salsa and sour cream (if desired)

Serves 4 (or two firefighters)

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Government healthcare

Just yesterday, I had a discussion with a coworker about “free” health care. His position was that a .gov run health care system was needed, because some people could not afford to get the health care they wanted.

My position on this is threefold:

1 Practicality- the .gov is not going to make health care cheaper, it will simply spread the costs of the care, in addition to the government’s costs in administering the system, around. This means that health care will be more expensive, and the people who need less health care will subsidize those who need more. The only way for the government to keep costs affordable is to either tell doctors what they can charge, or ration out the care. (or both)

2 “Fairness” – The other argument for government health care is that the poor do not get the same care as those with more money, and only way to make this “fair” is for the government to run it. I guess the government NEVER shows favorites. Not only that, the rich will still get better care, they just will be paying higher taxes at the same time, because they are busy paying for the care of others.

3 The moral reason I oppose this plan, is that I have a hard time seeing how you can call a system “fair” when you are charging me a mandatory tax (read as taking my money by force) to pay for something that someone else wants. I EARN my money, and just because you work in a menial, unskilled job that pays poorly and offers no insurance because you smoked pot and slept instead of paying attention in school is not my problem.

/rant

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How did that get in there?

I once read that you can tell when you have worked too long in emergency medicine when you have ever had a patient look you in the eye and say, “I don’t know how that got in there.” The thing is, that sort of thing happens all the time.

We were lounging at the station one fine morning, when we were dispatched to an “unknown medical.” As we climbed into the trucks, I noticed that several crew members were reading the dispatch information on the computers and laughing. A lot. I was sure that something evil was waiting for us, and it turned out that I was not to be disappointed.

When we arrived on scene, the ensuing conversation was absolutely hysterical.

Lieutenant: “What is his problem?”

Female Medic: “He has a cock ring stuck on his penis.”

Rest of crew present: “Snicker.”

Patient: “It is NOT a cock ring, it is a key ring.”

Lieutenant: “I think she’s right, I don’t see any keys on it.”

Rest of crew present: “Bwahahahahahaha.”

Patient: “I don’t see what is so funny. Is someone gonna take a look at this?”

Female medic: “I’m not. I’d rather stare at the sun.”

Lieutenant: “I’m not, either. The new guy can do it.”

New guy (while thoughtfully looking at impaled key ring): “Oh, you definitely need to go to the hospital for that one.”

For nearly a year, that key ring occupied a place of honor, in a specimen jar in the office at the station. To this day, the patient doesn’t know how it got in there…