Jim Comey–my Favorite Homey–& other Bizarre Executive Branchers of the Past

If you’ve lived long enough, and paid some attention to government, you’ve seen more than a few bizarre members serving our Executive Branch. Whew, Comey really hit it out of the park today in terms of overall weirdness. Some of the stuff he seemed actually proud of….like leaking private details about a POTUS meeting to a friend after a Trump tweet which caused him concern in the middle of the night. You’re a man-baby, Jimmy. And seeming shocked that Trump invited him to dinner and ‘surely there will be others there’..golly it was just me and HIM. As if this has never happened before (not that it should, but you know it has occurred in other Administrations surely.).

For those of you so shocked and dismayed over what you feel is so terrible about our current Administration—-get a grip on reality by taking a trip down memory lane. Before I start, let me state that what we have now is an imperfect man, yet the greatest POTUS of my lifetime. A true man, strong, loving America and working for the American people. But here is a short list of some truly dismal past Exec. Branch public servants:

  1. Dick Nixon…….need I say more…..so I won’t
  2. Al Haig: Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan. Who remembers…I do! I do!…..nutty ole Al Haig running into the White House briefing room after poor POTUS Reagan was shot, all huffy and puffy, grabbing the mic (no wireless in those days) , and re-assuring us that HE was in charge here! Oh yes, the famous chain of command yelled out by Haig: it’s the President, then the Vice President, then the Secretary of State…………………………………..whaaaaa?  Did he say ‘Speaker of the House’? No honey.
  3. W.  Yes, that W. You know, the son of George Herbert Walker. The big government spender and signer of No Child Left Behind and other disasters. The one who authorized Operation Iraqi Freedom largely based on a lie (no weapons of mass destruction ever found), motivated by ‘Saddam Hussein threatened to kill my daddy’, and justified by the ridiculous idea that we could achieve Democracy in Iraq and magically–it would spread into other countries of the Middle East. At least 4K American deaths,  over 30K wounded, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths…..The big thing I disagree with Trump on is HRC being the creator of ISIS: maybe W really is. No plan for how to handle things in Iraq after toppling the government. Chaos, instability, nothing good came from this. Our dear soldiers are not to blame.
  4. George Tenet: CIA Director under Bill and W: the guy responsible for knowingly submitting a false report to Colin Powell on Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction, presented to the United Nations. Shame.
  5. Rummy: Sec of Defense under W, totally mismanaged the use of military in the Iraq war, and ideologue of having US Elite/Small military. Cool idea, but it didn’t work. But he does love dachshunds at least.
  6. Paul Bremer: I’m not sure of his official title, but directly involved or in charge of Iraqi strategy under W: somehow found a way to de-BAATH the remaining Iraqi government and authorize withdrawal of too many troops way too, etc. A total screw-up causing mass destabilization and paving the way for radical ideologist terrorism to move in. I don’t know how he managed to do this without others like Condi Rice, Rumsfeld or others knowing about it beforehand, but check the history books. It happened. Don’t know how this guy sleeps at night.

This list could be longer, but you get the idea. Kind of makes what is going on now pale in comparison. What came out in the hearing today is bizarre, and rather pale. Good night.

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The Opioid Mess: Who’s to Blame for the Pain?

Yeah, I know. It’s been four months since American Waypoints got off the chair to write a post. Did you think it was because my candidate won the Presidency, so I just didn’t care anymore? Heck no. Here’s the thing: my alter-ego has been busy writing and publishing a second book. In my other life I’m a physical therapist for animals. But before that, I was a physical therapist for people, times 30 years. I know a little something about it. And I have something to say about the huge opioid mess we are in as a country.

Way back in the 1960s, 70s and 1980s, we in the medical profession did not focus on our patient’s pain. In the war years of the 1920-1950 era, pain meds were used with heavy doses for injured military. It was a necessity. But, back to the 1960-mid 1980s, less focus was put on pain and use of chemical treatment for pain symptoms. There were exceptions such as immediate post-op pain, intractable pain, incurable pain, terminal illness management, etc. Otherwise, prescribing Morphine, Codeine, Percoset, Vicodin was discouraged and ‘pain management’ consisted of healthy things like Physical Therapy modalities (TENS), Exercise therapy, Deep breathing, Acupuncture, Biofeedback, nerve blocks, etc.

Why? Because pain is subjective, you cannot easily quantify it. And because prescription  pain meds were known to be highly addictive. A slippery slope on both ends. That doesn’t mean a medical professional disbelieves a patient complaining of pain. But it does mean that the professional cannot afford to take only the patient’s word regarding the amount of pain and simply prescribe meds to solve a problem which cannot be verified as to degree of severity. This was how we protected patients. We believed them but offered many solutions other than, or in addition to modest dosages of pain meds. But this meant patients had to work through their pain and learn alternative ways of pain management. It also took more time. It also took dollars away from medication-prescribing doctors and toward allied health professionals such as physical therapists, acupuncturists, biofeedback technicians, etc. It also took money away from the pharmaceutical industry.

By the 1990s, someone found a way to shift dollars back to the prescribing doctors and the drug companies. That someone WAS the doctors and the drug companies.  A particular drug/PHARMA company found a way to formulate opium in a ‘synthetic’ way which was heralded as safe, having no serious side effects, yet a strong pain medication> Oxycontin. Wonderful. In 1996, a letter was circulated and published, giving doctors the all-clear to prescribe this drug. Did any of the doctors know the ‘if it is a snake before it bites you it’s still a snake’ story? Sure they did, but if PHARMA says it’s okay–I guess ‘we’re off the hook’. Money starts flowing into the drug company.

Now the doctors want some of the action. Many doctors sit on hospital boards and accreditation commissions and somehow, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, hospitals start having a change in thought on pain. Addressing a patient’s pain has now become a priority. Almost like a vital sign–though one which cannot be measured objectively. Other vital signs, like respiratory rate and pulse, are easily quantified. But pain is measured on a pain scale, rated by the patient. Wow, that was easy. You need surgery, go to the pre-admission testing center, and there is a nurse assuring you that your LEVEL OF PAIN will be a high concern to all of the staff. Yes, you will be asked to RATE YOUR PAIN at multiple intervals throughout your stay. So comforting!

A few years later, a new specialty of medicine appears: Algiatry. WHHAAATTT? Oh, that means Pain Management Specialist. But that doesn’t mean you will be taught alternative ways to deal with pain–well you might, but it will be less emphasized than using drugs.

Combine this with the “Mindfulness” movement and “be in the NOW’ idiocy of the last few years. Let’s all never get over ourselves, and focus on how we feel and how much we hurt. Hey it’s all about me, and I’m in a hurry. And I deserve to feel good all of the time in the easiest way possible.

By 2012, PHARMA makes prescribing new generation pain meds even more appealing by changing the formula of Oxycontin to contain ‘abuse deterrents’. Seriously, how has that worked out? Oxycontin is still opium. Heroin is opium. Opium is a seriously addictive and harmful substance. Our country now has a huge crisis on our hands and people are dying.

Who is to blame? Why try and find someone or something to blame? Because I believe it is part of the process of fixing it. Are the drug dealers to blame?

No. They are opportunity-seeking bottom feeders but I don’t issue blame to them.

Are the patients to blame? Yes- a bit. People are responsible for knowing about drugs they are prescribed and not simply leaving their common sense at the door to the doctor’s office. And sadly, many folks simply prefer taking the easier path to easing their pain. Pain should not be crippling, but we need to learn to adjust our threshold and take the time to work through it responsibly.

Are doctors and drug companies to blame. You’re darn tootin they are. Easy path to more revenue.  I’m praying that the paradigm shifts back to the days of working through pain by minimal use of chemistry and maximum use of physics.

Hopelessness and Negativity, The Liberal Aim

The current First Lady of the United States of America, Michelle Obama, stated 2 days ago that “America is entering a period of hopelessness”. What a wonderful statement by a First Lady who rendered Frito-loving, soda drinking school children hopeless during lunch period.

This is the way liberals act when they lose: sore and without hope. This is the way liberals act when they win: negative and throwing shade at anyone who dares to disagree. Ungracious, demoralizing, bullying types these liberals are.

Liberals fail to see that America remains right of center, despite what they want you to believe. They got me. I was convinced that America had shifted left, way to the left. The cable news media, newspapers, celebrity posts and rants (i.e. Beyonce, Jon Stewart, Springsteen and so many others) , nearly fooled me into believing America had lost its core beliefs. Then I stopped listening to it. I started praying and believing that God would help America if we were willing to help ourselves and elect a new President who could turn our country back on course. I started paying attention to the tens of thousands who turned up for #MakeAmericaGreatAgain rallies, consistently, day after day, all over the USA. People like me got on their knees and asked God to help, campaigned, want to the voting booth, and elected Donald J. Trump.

So, Mrs. Obama, you are just wrong. America is entering a period of extraordinary hope and pride.

Speaking of pride, here’s where the negativity comes in. When liberals win on areas such as Same Sex Marriage, Gay Pride and similar issues, they start by openly criticizing those who disagree. In particular, they love to throw shade at Evangelical Christians. It’s not enough to celebrate their win, it has to be “how about those hateful——–(you fill in the blanks, with any person or organization who disagrees with them). If such an Evangelical Christian attempts to enter the conversation civilly, it doesn’t work out very well. Liberals have exactly zero tolerance for those who do not see the world their way. They try to bully you out of a conversation. The tolerance crowd is intolerant.

I’ve ‘lost’ in the POTUS elections the prior 4 cycles, not having voted for GWB nor Barry O. Now I’ve spouted off a bit about Barry, but in general, have sucked it up for 16 years and tolerated my liberal friends and other pals and family members loyal to all-things- Bush, with patience and politeness.

I’d like the losers to suck it up, be civil, and stick it out. I’d like liberals to show tolerance to those with conservative values. After all, there are more of us, and we’re nice.