Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

NOTE The views I express on this site are mine and mine alone. Nothing I say should be construed as being "official" or the views of any group, whether I've been a member of that group or not. The advertisings on this page are from Google, and do not constitute an endorsement on my part.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Kerry/Edwards are outright frauds.

I'm a disabled veteran. I make no secret of it, and I don't expect any sympathy for it. My problems are here because I did my duty - to the fullest extent I could - during 26 years in the military, and a few unlucky accidents both during my career (on and off duty) and a handful of similar events after my retirement. For the most part, what happened to me were simply unfortunate incidents that were all but impossible to prevent, or the result of stretching the human body as far as possible to ensure the mission was successful, or to prevent others from being injured. There was no single event that led to where I am today, but about 30, spread over 35 years - part of the "accumulated mileage" - the everyday accumulated wear and tear on the human body caused by living life to the fullest - that my dad used to joke about as being the single greatest cause of death.

My problems are complex because they ARE the result of multiple insults to my body over time. I've got a two-level cervical fusion - the disks removed at two levels and the vertebrae all fused together, done in 1990 - that has its origins in a 1964 boxing accident. Today, there are some problems arising because of the original fusion - bony spurs, osteoarthritic changes, some nerve root pinching, and so forth. There's another problem developing below that, and I can't remember anything else that could have caused it - maybe the same boxing accident, maybe something else. There are similar problems, plus a few new ones, at something like twelve other places in my spine, including a few disk problems in the lower back that are causing me a lot of trouble right now. I can't pinpoint the case - there are just too many candidates, from slipping on icy pavement in Nebraska, going home from a swing shift, to being hit in the back by a piece of runaway equipment, to trying to keep a 1000-lb safe from toppling over on a friend's foot.

There's one thing that IS sure - there are no "miracle cures" for the problems I have. In fact, I've been assured by a dozen different specialists that the best I can hope for is that the degenerative process that goes along with these injuries works slowly. The best the medical profession can do is to treat the resulting pain, and to keep track of what's going on. If things get sufficiently worse, they can use some surgical procedures to "stabilize" things - for awhile.

Of course I'm curious about my problems, and I keep up with as much of the latest research on possible treatments, new pain therapies, and so forth. I've developed at least a dozen coping techniques - biofeedback, "positive thinking", stretching and flexing exercises, and whatever else I read about and verify, through my doctor, won't do more harm than good. One of my favorite medical bloggers is Sydney Smith, MedPundit. I've read so much about my condition, I find I frequently know as much as any layman possibly can about what's happening with my body. Unfortunately, doctors prefer patients who know little or nothing about what's going on, so they won't seem so inadequate when they find a problem they can't deal with. It makes for some tense examinations at times...

There's one thing that I've learned that doesn't make me happy, but at least doesn't raise false hopes. I know that there is no current study - involving stem cells or anything else - that's going to offer me a miracle cure. Charles Krauthammer's article in the Washington Post pretty much says the same thing for HIS condition, and for that of many others. He also takes the Kerry/Edwards team to the woodshed for raising false hope, and for blatant, outright pandering to people in my (and his) situation. Stem cell research is not going to lead to techniques to repair damaged vertebrae and make them "like new" again. It's not going to cause disks to regenerate, or for complex damage suffered over many years to be reversed. Stem cell research won't lead to a cure for my wife's parents' Alzheimers. I doubt seriously that it will help my friends and family that suffer from Crohns disease, or undo my son-in-law's nerve damage from Gulf War I.

That's the Kerry/Edwards line, however - that THEY will change the laws about stem-cell research, and that will make all these wonderful things happen. Saying it will, and that we'll be able to do it in four years, is the worst kind of lie. Repeating the lie over and over is fraud - criminal fraud. It sets people up for even greater pain and agony when they find out that it was all political pandering, and their pain and agony was used cynically by a pair of unscrupulous frauds for personal political gain.

Unscrupulous fraud for personal political gain seems to be about the only constant of the entire Kerry/Edwards campaign. As more and more comes out - about John Kerry, about John Edwards, about Democratic voter fraud, about political intimidation, about breaking every possible rule - it also seems to have become the soul of the Democratic Party, and those members not so sickened by it they haven't left yet.


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