Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Like Waking Up From A Long, Dark Dream To A Sun-Filled Day

Image credit: BabyPictures.org

I recently shared a moment with my readers in which I recounted the trouble I’d been having breathing.

After visiting a lung specialist at the behest of two urgent care doctors I had seen in December, I underwent a battery of breathing tests and x-rays.  The lung specialist informed me that the breathing tests revealed that my lung capacity was a meager 54%.  The x-rays he ordered were inconclusive so he ordered a high resolution CT scan of my lungs.
The CT scan was done on February 4th and I have waited and waited and waited for this day to find out the results.

Meanwhile, Adrienne of Adrienne’s Corner, read the post about my health scare and called for prayers.  As the word spread, good friend and blogger Bob Belvedere of The Camp of the Saints did the same.

This site was visited by so many wonderful folks who wished me well and promised prayers for a good outcome that I was overwhelmed.

So here’s what happened yesterday.  My appointment was at 11:15AM.  All the doctors were running late.  I was finally called into the examination room at 11:55AM.  At 12:29 PM my doctor entered the room.

I sat there frozen—too scared to ask THE question.

I know my eyes were as big as saucers when he said, “Well, it’s not bad, but it’s not 100% either.”  The CT scan is showing me that you do not have interstitial lung disease.  What it does show is that you have chronic bronchitis and possibly occupational asthma.”

He said that my shortness of breath on exertion, cough, fatigue, and chest congestion were most likely from chronic bronchitis.

Here, I will admit that I thought bronchitis was no big deal, but now I know differently.  Chronic bronchitis is a long-term, often irreversible respiratory illness.  To be categorized as having chronic bronchitis you must have a daily mucus-producing cough (check) that persists for at least three months a year (check), at least two years in a row (check).  This is not to be confused with acute bronchitis which is a mild inflammation of the air passages of the lungs that clears up in a few days.

So, what the doctor thought initially, that I had restrictive lung disease turned out to be wrong based on the CT scan.  But, I’m not out of the woods either.  Turns out I do have COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) that can lead to gradual deterioration of the lungs.  It’s the fourth-leading cause of death in this country.

My doctor prescribed an inhaler called Dulera®.  It’s specifically for asthma.  He wants to see me again in 30 days to see if this medication helps.

I want to thank all the folks who stopped by here to leave their thoughts and prayers.  If ever there is a time that you feel prayers don’t work.  Kick yourself in the pants.  It does.  Perfect strangers were stopping by telling me they were joining the prayer brigade.

I guess the best way to say how much you guys mean to me is to quote Anne Frank, “Crying can bring relief, as long as you don’t cry alone.”

God bless you all.  Thank you.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Follow Me: We Can Be Like Greece

“If we’re going to be serious about deficit reduction and debt reduction, then it’s going to have to be a matter of shared sacrifice—at least as long as I’m president. And I’m going to be president for the next four years…”

While appearing on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Home Depot Founder Ken Langone gave his dire prediction:

"…we don't know when the storm is going to hit.  It has to happen. If you look at our debt to GDP, eventually you reach a point where there's no turning back."

He used an analogy to make his point. "If you had one meal left, and you had your grandchild with you, would you eat it or give it to your grandchild?"

He said all people would say "give it to my grandchild."

But pursuing the president's vision, he argued, "[Is] eating the grandchildren's breakfast, lunch and dinner right now. And the [grandchildren] haven't been born yet."

Photoshop™ Of The Day: The Crisismonger-In-Chief

As the “Whores Of Babble On” celebrate themselves with the usual back-slapping and lavish party to present a few gilded eunuch statuettes to their most favored members, viewers of the 85th Academy Awards will be subjected to names being read from a series of dramatically opened envelopes during a long-winded 4-hour marathon designed to rid the glitterati of their ego-poverty.

It’s much ado about nothing, of course, but let’s not forget that Democratic activists in Hollywood are solidly behind ‘Ol Jug Ears having given at least $30 million to his 2012 campaign.

Its sequestration now, sequestration tomorrow, sequestration forever and the current occupant of the Oval Office deserves to win an Oscar for Worst Actor In A Miniseries.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Fractured Fairy Tales: The Scarequester

When our perfumed potentate makes the claim that the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012 he signed into law on August 7, 2012 will cause anal leakage and 24 hour erections, maybe I’ll start taking him seriously.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Inspiring Generational Failure

If you haven’t ever any read posts by Mychal S. Massie you really should.  Mr. Massie is the former National Chairman of the conservative black think tank Project 21.

The following excerpt from his most recent piece, America Elected A Color Not A Leader, is especially salient.
“Under Obama people are not motivated to be better; they are motivated to follow the path of generational failure.” 
“I submit that America’s mistake was electing a color in the guise of a would-be, hoped-for leader. Had America dismissed color and opted instead for a leader with proven ability to unite the people we would be better off today. But America elected a color who practices class warfare and the denunciation of those who are successful.”

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

If Idiots Could Fly, The Sky Would Be Like An Airport

Democrat Colorado state representative Joe Salazar stepped in a pile of cow patties on February 15, 2013 during a debate to outlaw concealed-carry permit holders from carrying guns in university buildings.

Poor baby thought a woman who felt like she was being followed and felt like she was going to be raped could shoot an innocent bystander.

The chunky, bowtie-wearing idiot said on the floor of the House, "Because you just don’t know who you’re gonna be shooting at. And you don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone’s been following you around or if you feel like you’re in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop…pop a round at somebody. It’s why we have call boxes, it’s why we have safe zones, that's why we have the whistles.”

After thoroughly beclowning himself Salazar issued a statement to Fox affiliate KDVR-TV in Denver:
“I’m sorry if I offended anyone. That was absolutely not my intention. We were having a public policy debate on whether or not guns makes people safer on campus. I don’t believe they do. That was the point I was trying to make. If anyone thinks I’m not sensitive to the dangers women face, they’re wrong.”
The gun grabbers and fraidy cats' definition of  gun control: The theory that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her own pantyhose, is somehow "morally superior" to a woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound.

My retort:  A woman who demands further gun control legislation is like a chicken that roots for Colonel Sanders.  

State Representative – District 31
Office Location: 200 East Colfax
Denver, CO 80203
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2918
E-Mail: joseph.salazar.house@state.co.us

Americans Are Starved For Leadership

The video of Dr. Benjamin Carson speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast has, as of this posting, garnered 2,031,215 views on YouTube™.

Dr. Carson’s speech reduced to ashes the policies of the current administration.  Not one word was uttered that was critical of this president, but persuasively centered on individual responsibility, the corollary effects of moral decay, an exploded national debt, the destructive effects of political correctness and class warfare.

As you watch the 27-minute video, it becomes obvious to the viewer that it was infuriating for our perfumed potentate to have his policies contested by a black man of such incomparable character and overwhelming accomplishments.

Dr. Carson believes that doctors who have "learned how to make decisions based on facts, empirical data, rather than on ideology should be involved more in politics.”

That speech created a firestorm on the Left.  Flyover country fell in love with him and many are calling on him to run for president.  Asked if he would consider running, Carson said he’d run only "if God grabs me by the collar and sticks me in that arena."

"I have so many emails from people saying that, I could probably finance my campaign if each one gave me a nickel."

Jack Kelly, a columnist for The Pittsburg Post-Gazette wrote, “Dr. Carson has never held public office—a yellow light, if not a red flag, for many. But you can learn what a president needs to know without holding office, and we've ample evidence that holding office is no guarantee you ever will.”

The juxtaposition of a famed pediatric neurosurgeon on the dais at the National Prayer Breakfast standing just feet away from the community-organizer-turned-emperor-with-no-clothes vividly declares that Dr. Carson is everything Obama is not.  This phenomenon strongly suggests that Americans are starved for leadership.

Just imagine, as I have in the Photoshop™ I created for this post that Dr. Carson would run.

The strong reaction to Carson’s speech tells us a lot about how abysmal this regime has been and will continue to be over the next four years.  The Left sees Carson as the GOP’s “Great Black Hope.”

The 2008 Presidential Medal of Freedom winner is a threat to the destructive ideology of progressives and as one crackpot blogger wrote, “The problem of course is that the Republicans are not really looking for a black candidate; they’re looking for a shill for bad policies. They’re looking for a puppet that will stand at the podium with a Koch brother hand up his ass. So on goes the search for someone to stand up there and look black (Herman Cain) or brown (Mario Rubio) but espouse the policies of old, white men.”

Mark my words, liberals will attempt to muzzle Dr. Carson, but he appears to be prepared to be “Palinized”.

“There are a group of people who would like to silence everybody and have everyone go along to get along,” Dr. Carson said, “but that’s not going to be very helpful for us in the long run in terms of solving our problems, and someone has to be courageous enough to actually stand up to the bullies.”

Monday, February 18, 2013

Our Bat-Eared, Abysmal, Perfumed Potentate

Everyone knows how comedically droll Mark Steyn is.  He’s one of my favorite writers on the Intertoobs.

In his piece entitled, “Achieve Ye This Goal”, Steyn eviscerates the current occupant of the Oval Office.

It started off as a response to Peter Kirsanow’s two-paragraph post at National Review in which Kirsanow wrote:
“As if to dispel recent assertions that his ego has grown even larger since the November election, during yesterday’s Google fireside chat the president answered a question about his administration’s deportation of illegal immigrants as follows: ‘This is something I’ve struggled with throughout my presidency. I’m the president of the United States. I’m not the emperor of the United States.’” 
“Jay Carney denies that at the time the president made that statement someone was standing just behind his left shoulder, holding a crown and whispering, ‘All glory is fleeting…’”
Is it just me or was that a Grade A Prime Zinger?  Yes. It. Was.

Of course, when I heard that our bat-eared, abysmal, perfumed potentate had made that ridiculous statement I laughed my ass off and got to work creating a banner for this blog that was in keeping with the Black Narcissus’ impression of himself.

This guy just doesn’t grasp the roles and responsibilities of the office of the presidency.

During the War for Independence, George Washington was granted unlimited authority to prosecute the war against the British.  After the war ended, many advocated his becoming America’s first king.  He declined the notion believing it would be inappropriate and dishonorable.

One of his greatest legacies lies in his resisting the allure of political power in favor of a Republic.  Obama would jump at the chance.

Steyn writes:
“But the president’s sonorous, gaseous banalities did serve notice that the Republicans don’t want to get too far behind on his “goals.” He’s right that Washington “moves forward” like a pantomime horse lurching awkwardly across the stage and with the Republicans always playing the rear end. A “bipartisan” agreement means that the Democrats get what they want now and Republicans at some distant far-off date. Try it: New taxes and government programs now, alleged deficit reduction of $2.5 trillion a decade hence. Illegal-immigrant amnesty now, alleged rigorous border enforcement the day after tomorrow. Washington has settled into a comfortable pattern: instant gratification for spending binges that do nothing for any of the problems they purport to be solving assuaged by meaningless commitments to start the twelve-step program next year, or next decade, or next century. No other big spender among the advanced democracies lies to itself about the gulf between its appetites and its self-discipline.” 
“’Tonight, let’s declare,’ declared the president, ‘that in the wealthiest nation on earth…‘ Whoa, hold it right there. The ‘wealthiest nation on earth’ is actually the Brokest Nation in History. But don’t worry: ‘Nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime.’” 
“’Should’? Consciously or not, the president is telling us his State of the Union show is a crock, and he knows it. Under Magical Fairyland budgeting, Obama-sized government ‘shouldn’t’ increase our debt. Yet mysteriously it does. Every time. Because, in a political culture institutionally incapable of course correction, that’s just the way it is.”
The money quote from Steyn’s piece:
“So, in public, the modern ruler issues goals, orders dreams, commands unicorns. People seem to like this sort of thing. 

Right Jabs For February 18, 2013

Politics is not a playground, it’s a battlefield.  Here are a few links from conservative bloggers who are waging a war of words against the misanthropy, priggishness, prejudice, luddism, illiberalism and irrationalism of the mainstream media bobble-head dolls and groupthink poodles of the press corps.

It is us, watching the death rattle of a network, checking our watches because your relevance to the world can be marked in minutes now.

Bad week for U.S. Secretary of State Lurch.

The least educated, experienced and skilled will be priced out of the market.

I don't blame insurance companies for trying to deflect the blame

No guns for you, New York, California, and Illinois.

Assault scissors are regulated, so don’t use those.

The never-ending Marxist strategy the cunning Obama uses against the military should be called his two-step tango. It’s a toss-and-duck operation played out from the convenient safety of afar.

He’s already had 57 days of vacation since he said he wouldn’t rest until everyone found a good job.

Dorner is dead, and thus will not spend the rest of his life recording college commencement speeches from his jail cell like fellow cop-killing lowlife and liberal hero Mumia Abu-Jamal.

The president gives a performance, extremely animatedly, head swiveling from left-side prompter to right-side prompter

Not too many would be able to watch the wonderful presentation by Dr. Ben Carson during the recent National Prayer Breakfast, and miss the smoke coming from the president's ears.

Despite the millions of dollars they have spent attempting to rewrite the facts, the truth cannot be altered.

“Big government needs cheap voters. Big business needs cheap labor. Big government wants big business to pick up the tab for their cheap votes through higher taxes. Big business wants cheap labor without having to pay for their social welfare benefits. After the obligatory tug of war wraps up, the tab for all those cheap votes and cheap labor will be dumped on the middle class which is being forced to fund its own destruction.”

Sunday, February 17, 2013

When Life Becomes More About Waiting

I am keenly aware that this little blog is read by a fairly small number of visitors who come here because they know me or became aware of this site because of the great honor it received recently for its Photoshops™.

Because Political Clown Parade is a mostly unknown site, I doubt that the sparse postings of late have been noticed.  For those who are regular visitors here, the question may have arisen as to why there have been so few posts.

Allow me to bring you into the fold.

On December 11, 2012 I left work early to visit a local urgent care center because I was feeling like death warmed over.  The doctor who saw me immediately diagnosed me with acute bronchitis.  He ordered me to take not one but two breathing treatments to reduce the wheezing and allow me to breathe a little better.  I was given prescriptions to ease the coughing, antibiotics to clear up the infection and an inhaler of albuterol.

After about two weeks, I thought I was on the mend only to suffer a relapse and a return to the urgent care center I had visited before.

The doctor who saw me then prescribed a stronger inhaler, Combivent®, a bronchodilator indicated for use in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), another round of antibiotics, a cough suppressant and a stern recommendation to seek the help of a lung specialist.

I called a pulmonologist whose practice is located at a hospital in my town and was set up immediately for chest x-rays and a battery of breathing tests on January 17th.  After the x-rays and the breathing tests I went upstairs to see the lung specialist.

We discussed my long history of bouts with pneumonia, bronchitis and sinusitis.  He explored with me the various problems I’ve had breathing and the environment in which I work.  He decided to have me return to radiology after my appointment to have several cranial x-rays taken to determine whether I had marked problems with my sinuses and ordered a dozen or so blood tests:  mycoplasma pneumoniae, a complete blood count with differential (measures the levels of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelet levels, hemoglobin and hematocrit), immunoglobulins, Westergren Sedimentation Rate (measures inflammation and risk of heart attack) and an alpha-1 antitrypsin blood test which can help determine if there is the presence of lung tissue degradation characteristic of pulmonary emphysema.

I returned to the lung specialist on January 28th to learn the results of all these tests and x-rays.

Here’s what he said:  the breathing tests showed that I have a lung capacity of 54 percent.  You read that right:  54%.

He said my chest x-rays looked good.  No evidence of pneumonia, emphysema or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).  Though there is no sign of obstructive lung disease I do have restrictive lung disease.  The bad news is he doesn’t know what’s causing this.

On February 4th, he ordered me to get a high resolution CT scan of my lungs.  I have been waiting until my next appointment, which is on the 25th, to learn what the CT scan shows all the while struggling to breathe like a healthy person would and trying not to freak out.

There’s just not enough information out there about restrictive lung disease, but what does exist sounds pretty dire to me:  If the likely diagnosis is idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), early treatment may slow the disease.  If the patient responds poorly, they usually die within two to three years.

Treatment includes effective coughing techniques, use of steroids for chronic inflammation, use of supplemental oxygen and energy conservation and relaxation techniques.

So, I wait and wonder.  While I wait, I will appreciate every little beautiful moment in every day.  

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Faithful, Funny Pal

President Bush and Barney at Texas State Technical College (TSTC) Airport in Waco, Texas en route Prairie Chapel Ranch. Photo by Paul Morse, Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum  (INSET:  Oil painting of Barney by President Bush) 
“The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man's.”—Mark Twain, letter to W.D. Howells, 2 April 1899

Known for chasing golf balls and taking America on video tours of the White House, Barney Bush, the black Scottish terrier belonging to former President George W. Bush has gone to play fetch with God.

The Dallas News reported that Barney, who was 12, passed away after a battle with lymphoma.

The former president sent out a statement:
"Laura and I are sad to announce that our Scottish terrier, Barney, has passed away. The little fellow had been suffering from lymphoma and after twelve and a half years of life, his body could not fight off the illness.” 
"Barney and I enjoyed the outdoors. He loved to accompany me when I fished for bass at the ranch. He was a fierce armadillo hunter. At Camp David, his favorite activity was chasing golf balls on the chipping green.” 
"Barney guarded the South Lawn entrance of the White House as if he were a Secret Service agent. He wandered the halls of the West Wing looking for treats from his many friends. He starred in Barney Cam and gave the American people Christmas tours of the White House. Barney greeted Queens, Heads of State, and Prime Ministers. He was always polite and never jumped in their laps.” 
"Barney was by my side during our eight years in the White House. He never discussed politics and was always a faithful friend. Laura and I will miss our pal."

Friday, February 1, 2013

Irrepressible Icon: NYC Mayor Ed Koch Dead At 88

The larger-than-life Koch, who breezed through the streets of New York flashing his signature thumbs-up sign, won a national reputation with his feisty style. "How'm I doing?" was his trademark question to constituents.

Edward I. Koch, the master showman of City Hall, who parlayed shrewd political instincts and plenty of chutzpah into three tumultuous terms as mayor of New York with all the tenacity, zest and combativeness that personified his city of golden dreams, died Friday morning at age 88.

Mr. Koch’s spokesman, George Arzt, said the former mayor died at 2 a.m. from congestive heart failure.
You will be missed.  Rest in peace and Godspeed.

Hagel Confirmation Hearing: The Day Was Committed To Error And Floundering

There were plenty of fireworks at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing of former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel.  The Obama pick for Secretary of Defense went through three “murder boards,” or mock hearings, in preparation for the real one.

One spark came from Jim Inhofe who asked:
“Given that Iran, the people—I’m quoting right now from Iran—people of the Middle East, the Muslim region and North Africa, people of these regions hate America from the bottom of their heart. It further said Israel is a cancerous tumor in the heart of the Islamic world. They further said Iran’s warriors are ready and willing to wipe Israel off the map. The question I’d like to ask you, and you can answer for the record if you’d like, why do you think the Iranian foreign ministry so strongly supports your nomination to be the Secretary of Defense?”
“I have a difficult enough time with American politics, Senator. I have no idea, but thank you. And I’ll be glad to respond further for the record,” Hagel said.
Apparently that’s not the only thing Hagel has difficulty with.  In his closing statement Hagel admitted:
"A number of questions were asked of me today about specific programs, submarine programs, different areas of technology and acquisitions, and our superior technology. I've said I do not know enough about it. I don't. There are a lot of things I don't know about." 
"If confirmed, I intend to know a lot more than I do. I will have to. But at the same time, I would never think that this, as I said earlier, is about me or I will be running anything." 
"I will be the leader. I'll be responsible. I will be accountable, but I've got to rely on the right teams, the right people to bring those people together. And again, it's accountability and responsibility. I would stop there, if that gives you some sense of how I would intend to do this business."
Why bother Chucky? In a cringe-worthy moment that left many shaking their heads, Hagel said, “It doesn’t matter what I think.”

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) begged to differ: “It matters what you think,” she found herself saying in response.

Members of the Senate's Armed Services Committee confessed they were "shocked at how ill-prepared" Hagel was for his hearing to be confirmed as defense secretary.  Well, if CNN spent time on his stupidity you know it was bad.  Here’s Dana Bash from CNN: