Sunday, August 30, 2009

Jim Hall's Book "Through the Eyes of a Tiger, An Army Flight Surgeon's Vietnam Journal"

I just finished reading a book "Through the Eyes of a Tiger, An Army Flight Surgeon's Vietnam Journal" written by Laguna Beach's own Jim Hall. Heck, I have never addressed Jim as Doctor.

The book is a captivating story of a brand new medical doctor sent to Vietnam for a year 1962-63. This is early in the US’s involvement in the Vietnam War, however, there is plenty of fighting and injuries to attend to. Captain Jay Hoyland (pen name for Laguna Beach's own Jim Hall) is not assigned to a hospital where he can confer and learn from other more experienced doctors, but he is assigned to a base being the only doctor south of Saigon in the Mekong Delta.. As the commanding officer of the lab at the Soc Trang airfield, he has to care for the military at the base including the helicopter pilots who become his best buddies. In addition, he provides the Vietnamese town medical care, inspecting restaurants and the house of prostitution, and assisting the leprosarium and the nuns at the local orphanage.

What a busy year, learning as he tends to the medical needs, from stitching up soldiers getting too close to the base's mascot Taffy the tiger to putting helicopter buddies and a subordinate into body bags, and at the same time, being the chief fundraiser for projects like the officers’ club expansion, a washing machine for the orphanage and more.

I did not have any particular interest in learning about 1962 Vietnam or the adventures of a brand new Army flight surgeon, but what a most remarkable story. That story is written so each page reveals interesting and exciting details with the author sharing his emotions as the ups and downs warrant. Also, the personal narrative is intertwined with official Vietnam progress communiqués which are quite illuminating and particularly so since by the end of 1963 a US acquiesced coup involves the killing of South Vietnam’s President Diem.

I have always known Jim Hall to be a complete gentleman, and now know much more about him and his early accomplishments. A fun and enthralling read.


Zogby: Obama Hits Record Low in Poll

Zogby: Obama Hits Record Low in Poll


Released: August 21, 2009

Zogby Interactive Poll: Obama's Job Approval Sinks to Record Low 45%

UTICA, New York
"President Barack Obama's job approval rating has sunk to a record low of just 45%, the latest Zogby Interactive poll shows. Fifty-one percent of likely voters now say they disapprove of the President's job performance."


Let’s Bet on Humans Existing in 2018

Letter writer wrote “The present level of population density and carbon-based industrialization is producing an exponential increase in the average world wide temperature, which, if not dramatically reduced over the next decade will lead to an environmental disaster that human-kind is unlikely to survive.” LB Independent November 23, 2007 see

“exponential” means rapidly becoming greater & has already proven false

Send Money to


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Obama Un-teleprompted Comments Reveal a Basic Misunderstanding of Capitalist Principles

Some great points by Caroline Baum in her article Obama Goes Postal, Lands in Dead-Letter Office: Caroline Baum Aug. 18, 2009 (Bloomberg)

■ “UPS and FedEx are doing just fine. It’s the Post Office that’s always having problems.” -- Barack Obama, Aug. 11, 2009

■ "Impromptu Obamanomics is getting scarier by the day. For all the president’s touted intelligence, his un-teleprompted comments reveal a basic misunderstanding of capitalist principles."

■ "For example, asked at the Portsmouth town hall how private insurance companies can compete with the government, the president said the following: 'If the private insurance companies are providing a good bargain, and if the public option has to be self-sustaining -- meaning taxpayers aren’t subsidizing it, but it has to run on charging premiums and providing good services and a good network of doctors, just like any other private insurer would do -- then I think private insurers should be able to compete'.”

■ "The proliferation of Obama’s gaffes and non sequiturs on health care has exceeded the allowable limit. He has failed repeatedly to explain how the government will provide more (health care) for less (money). He has failed to explain why increased demand for medical services without a concomitant increase in supply won’t lead to rationing by government bureaucrats as opposed to the market. And he has failed to explain why a Medicare-like model is desirable when Medicare itself is going broke."

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Germany & France's Economy Up While US Declines

"solid performances in France and Germany, each of whose economies grew slightly in the second quarter [2009]" while the US economy "decreased at an annual rate of 1.0 percent in the second quarter of 2009".

From Best of the Web Monday, August 17, 2009
• "There's a problem: conservative politicians, clinging to an out-of-date ideology--and, perhaps, betting (wrongly) that their constituents are relatively well positioned to ride out the storm--are standing in the way of action. No, I'm not talking about Bob Corker, the Senator from Nissan--I mean Tennessee--and his fellow Republicans. . . . I am, instead, talking about Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and her economic officials, who have become the biggest obstacles to a much-needed European rescue plan."--former Enron adviser Paul Krugman, New York Times, Dec. 15, 2008 • "Why is Europe falling short? Poor leadership is part of the story. European banking officials, who completely missed the depth of the crisis, still seem weirdly complacent. And to hear anything in America comparable to the know-nothing diatribes of Germany's finance minister you have to listen to, well, Republicans."--Krugman, New York Times, March 16, 2009 • "The European economy bounced back with unexpected strength in the second quarter, buoying hopes that a worldwide recession was drawing to a close. The sharp improvement from the first quarter underscored just how far Europe and indeed the global economy had come since a harrowing free fall in late 2008. Underlying the strong reading were solid performances in France and Germany, each of whose economies grew slightly in the second quarter, according to government data released Thursday."--news story, New York Times, Aug. 14, 2009

See which includes " The government of Chancellor Angela Merkel, skeptical of greater spending and inclined to blame the United States for the crisis, approved two small stimulus packages, worth about 73 billion euros, late last year and in early 2009. France also carried out several modest spending plans."

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Repeal the Ill Conceived Obama Stimulus - Stop the Madness

See August 17 2009 article
"Poll: 57% don't see stimulus working"

Increased government spending from increased government borrowing is stupid economics, even if good political pandering to voters.

From the article by Brad Heath in USA TODAY "Six months after President Obama launched a $787 billion plan to right the nation's economy, a majority of Americans think the avalanche of new federal aid has cost too much and done too little to end the recession."

See USA TODAY and Gallup Poll at

Seventy-eight percent of Americans are very or somewhat "worried, that money from the economic stimulus plan is being wasted?"

"Since the [Obama Stimulus] plan began, however, the recession has left an additional 2.2 million Americans without jobs, according to Labor Department surveys."

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

President Barack Obama on Health Care Public Option

President Barack Obama pushed Congress to pass Health Care reform legislation before taking its August recess. Instead of passing legislation, the Congress pressured by the public are examining what is proposed and forcing the elimination of the most onerous provisions.

See "White House backs away from public health care option" by Carrie Budoff Brown at

June 2009: "Obama said in a letter to Senate Democrats that 'I strongly believe that Americans should have the choice of a public health insurance option operating alongside private plans. This will give them a better range of choices, make the health care market more competitive, and keep insurance companies honest'.”

July 2009: "Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address that 'any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange: a one-stop shopping marketplace where you can compare the benefits, cost and track records of a variety of plans – including a public option to increase competition and keep insurance companies honest – and choose what’s best for your family'.”

August 15, 2009: "Obama downplayed the public option during a Colorado town hall meeting, saying it was 'just one sliver' of the debate."

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Sunday, August 09, 2009

US and Iraq Allies Win War in Iraq - Bush's Surge Proven Right

How the war in Iraq going? See

Perhaps an interesting metric is US military deaths in Iraq:
In 2008, 313 US military died in Iraq; in a bit over seven months so far in 2009, US deaths have totaled 110.

More importantly Iraqi Security Forces and Civilian Deaths
2009 1,914
2008 5,929
2007 18,938
2006 18,655

Since there will be no surrender signing ceremony, that's good enough for me to declare that President George W. Bush won the War in Iraq.

By contrast while campaign for President Barack Obama said:
■ "I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence. In fact, I think it will do the reverse."
■ "Had those political factors not occurred, I think that my assessment would have been correct."
Senator Barack Obama II (D-IL)

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