Bullet Points

There are a number of items in the news today. The top story is the rebellion in the GOP House ranks against John Boehner. The MSM, including FOX, poo-poos the idea that Boehner can be turned out. Other commentators, however, believe there is a significant chance to oust Boehner.


Reps, Ted Yoho, R-Fla., Louie Gohmert, R-Texas., and House Speaker John Boehner. (Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Landov; Alan Youngblood/Ocala Starbanner/landov; Shawn-Thew/epa/landov)

Two GOP candidates have stepped forward to run against Boehner. The strongest is Louis Gohmert (R-TX). But there is a second candidate, too, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL). Gohmert is a strong conservative track-record. I don’t know much about Yoho other than he’s running against Boehner.

In the end, it matters not, who of these candidates receives the votes. The important thrust is that at least twenty-nine GOP Representatives—DON’T VOTE FOR BOEHNER! If Boehner loses the first vote, then the GOP can consolidate with another candidate, Gohmert I would hope, to choose another Speaker and put Boehner out on the curb.

I’ve already heard some RINOs say that a vote against Boehner is a vote for Pelosi. Not true, it’s another lie by the GOP establishment. The only way a ‘Pub can vote for Pelosi is to actually vote for her, or, to vote, “Present,” to reduce the number of votes cast. Boehner needs the majority of the votes, not just the highest number of votes. If he doesn’t get a majority, he loses.

A number of Representatives have already announced they won’t vote for Boehner. Many more have quietly let it be known they probably won’t. There are fifty new representative coming to Congress. Many of them ran on a ticket of opposing John Boehner. At first look, getting twenty-nine ‘Pubs to vote against John Boehner seemed impossible. When you look more closely, that impossibility fades.

A number of talk show hosts, Glenn Beck for one, are telling their audience to call the Capitol switchboard,1-877-762-8762, to speak to their representatives and to tell them to not vote for Boehner. The switchboard is being flooded and was shutdown once already this morning.

Go make that call!


Sarah Palin is back in the news against. Not for something she did but for something her son did. He used the family dog as a foot-stool.

PETA is outraged. Ho-hum.

The real thing that has the left outraged is not the photo of her son stepping on the family dog (it was a big dog. PETA looked the other way when Ellen Degenerate posted one like it,) but her 2014 award of being the top American Achiever.

The left rejects achievement. It is their antithesis. Achieving, in their minds, means someone loses, therefore achievement must be limited to be ‘fair.’

American Achiever of 2014: Sarah Palin

By M. Joseph Sheppard, December 27, 2014

It would be the height of churlishness for even the most inveterate leftist to deny the import of someone who made Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” list, and then the Smithsonian Institution‘s “100 Most Significant Americans Of All Time” list.  Both affirmations were earned by former Alaska governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

To then accept Governor Palin as “American Achiever of the Year 2014” would be for most, if not all on the left (and to be fair, many in the GOP) no doubt a bridge too far.  However, such partisanship should not stand in the way of a general acknowledgement of what was a remarkable year for Palin.

Palin achieved what such luminaries as President Obama did not: a place in the Smithsonian’s prestigious “Most Significant” list.  After being written off by many in the media, and especially the left, as “irrelevant” and predicted by MSNBC’s Krystal Ball as “not going to have an effect on the [2014] midterms,” Palin’s record of success of her endorsed candidates was nothing short of phenomenal. (The article continues on the American Thinker website.)

Sarah Palin is never far from conservative’s minds. She is the epitome of conservatism. Maligned and slandered by the left, she continues on, unrepentant, and speaks her mind. The left hates her with a passion because she is the standard the left hates and cannot beat.

The Many Memes of Sarah Palin

By M. Joseph Sheppard, January 5, 2015

Defining a politician’s personality, whether positively to build them up, or negatively to tear them down, is a basic rule of politics. Themes can define an image e.g. “Roosevelt’s categorization of Al Smith as “The Happy Warrior” or Democrat folklore depicting William Jennings Bryan as “the Great Commoner” are two classic positive examples. On the negative side, Mitt Romney never recovered from being defined as “Mr. 1 percent”, nor did John Kerry from being “Mr. Flip Flop.”

Once a politician is defined (fairly or unfairly doesn’t enter into the picture) as say, Rick Perry was as a forgetful ditherer, it becomes extremely difficult to shake off the perception — even though in his case it was based on a single, admittedly important, debate moment. Such is the power of media defining that an entire career as a successful governor of a major state can have that whole positive history shrouded in the fog of a slip of the tongue or a moments’ forgetfulness.

This eternal and unshakable truism seems to have one, and perhaps the only one exception to the rule, and that is Governor Palin. Once the media got over their initial shock at her 2008 convention address, the entire subsequent campaign was involved in a liberal media/blog attempt to stick a permanent, negative label on her. That a flow of constant new Palin memes continues to this day shows that for all their efforts nothing has stuck irrevocably and fatally detrimentally.

Before Palin’s convention address there was some flailing about by a confused media and a number of memes were tried out. “Palin’s a bad parent neglecting her children, especially the special needs one, for a campaign”. That such nonsense has never been used against a man, and the anger of many women at such a ridiculous concept put paid to that quickly. Next was “Palin’s a hypocrite because her daughter is pregnant” which quickly died after Palin describe her family as “having the same ups and downs as all families” which, rightly received an understanding and warm reception. There was even a despicable campaign from the likes of Daily Kos and the even wilder “progressive” fringes, which suggested Trig might not even be Sarah’s child.

After the Gibson interview the left crowed “Palin doesn’t even know what the Bush doctrine is”. As it turned out neither did 90% of the population either — it being unlikely that if the question was put to those crowing they could have answered it, so that quickly died the death. What did have legs, and is only 6 years later fading from the arsenal of even the lowest information voters, was the “I can see Russia from my house” statement. This line, of course, was not even spoken by Palin but had a life of its own, which is a sad reflection on some segments of the population.

No matter the lies, no matter the numerous slanders, no matter the accusations, Sarah Palin continues on, a stalwart pillar of American Conservatism.

Twenty-Fifteen is starting off with a bang!

I am a Heretic!

You read the post title. I am not a believer in, nor a practitioner of…The One True Way!

That’s right. I refuse to use a CPAP. I “supposedly” have sleep apnea. I was tested back in the early 1990s at a local hospital. They declared I had sleep apnea. It was the first time I’d heard of the condition.

I’d gone to my family doc for something. During the session, he asked how I slept.  At that time, I was in a high stress job, worked long hours and, yes, I didn’t sleep well. I’d go to bed at 10pm and still be awake at midnight. When I did sleep, I’d wake frequently. I also had a lot of back pain. When the Doc asked if how I slept, I naturally said not well.

I do admit that on occasion, not frequent at all, I’d wake coughing and once gasping. When the hospital tech said I had obstructive sleep apnea and described the cause, I accepted it.

Then he tried to sell me a CPAP…a very expensive CPAP. I said I’d talk it over with my doc.  He, too, tried to sell me on the idea of a CPAP. In fact I tried one out.

It was pure torture.

For me, it didn’t work. I could not sleep with that infernal device strapped to my face.

I’m an engineer. Engineers have a peculiar mindset. When confronted with a problem, they tend devise solutions. I found one that works for me.

Sleep apnea, according to wiki, is…a condition when breathing is interrupted by a physical block to airflow despite respiratory effort, and snoring is common.

The CPAP is supposed to force air through the nasal passages forcing the palate aside and allowing air to reach the lungs. I’m sure there are more technical definitions but basically that is what is done. It’s one engineering solution to a physical condition. And, it works. It works for tens of thousands of people, maybe more.

It doesn’t work for me.

When I examined the problem with my engineer’s eye, I found an alternative. The blockage of air by the collapse of the palate in the back of the throat is caused by gravity. If there was no gravity the palate wouldn’t collapse.

For me, that condition occurred only when I slept, tried to sleep, flat on my back. Given the conditions necessary to cause sleep apnea, what could I do to change those conditions?

1. Don’t sleep flat on my back. Sleep on one side or the other.

2. Change the angle of the pull of gravity, Elevate my upper body. That would change the direction of the pull of gravity. I don’t have any blockage when I’m vertical, standing that is. What angle is required that does not block my breathing when my palate relaxes? For me that was 15°. A surgical wedge available at medical supply stores would, when slept  upon, raise my upper body and fulfill that requirement.

Alternately, sleep in a recliner…one that raises the upper body, not one that lays flat when extended. That would defeat the purpose of preventing blockages.

3. All of the above.

My engineered solution works—for me. I do not endorse it for anyone else. It is a customized solution only for me.

You would think my doc and others would appreciate my design. It’s cheap, not like a CPAP. It doesn’t require frequent cleaning nor filters as do some CPAPs. It doesn’t require battery nor a electrical power outlet. It works. Most of all, it doesn’t require a CPAP.

Instead of having my solution accepted I have been called by some CPAP proponents ignorant, stupid for defying orders to use a CPAP, a murderer for proposing there was a solution that didn’t require a CPAP, and then the responses got personal.

My doc was more polite. He just didn’t believe my solution worked. He still asks if I want to be retested.

It seems that I endangered some rice bowls. There is an entire industry in manufacturing CPAPs, selling and marketing CPAPs and sleep testing. They have their lobbyists and supporters. They have sold the medical community on the CPAP as the ONLY solution to sleep apnea. Naysayers beware!

It didn’t occur to me until later that the organizations that conducted the sleep testing were also the same ones selling CPAPs. Most people would see that as a conflict of interest.

I have, over the years, asked people if they had ever had sleep testing. Many, many have. Not one ever passed the test. Most use CPAPs. Those who don’t are being constantly badgered to buy and use CPAPs. I’ve yet to encounter anyone who has been tested and didn’t have sleep apnea!

I was first tested over twenty years ago. I bowed to my doc’s insistence a number of years ago and was tested again. I knew more about the condition when I was tested the second time.

I arrived, was conducted to the test room and hooked up with all the expected sensors and told to lay flat on the bed. There wasn’t a pillow. I have bone spurs in my neck. I need some head support.

I asked for a pillow. One, a small flat pillow, barely a cushion, was provided. I asked for another because the single pillow didn’t provide enough support. At first the technician refused saying there wasn’t any more. At my insistence he found another.

Then he left.

I wasn’t sleepy. I’d had a full day working a problem for my employer. Like many, I continued to work the problem in my head. It’s one reason why I have difficulty sleeping.

I glanced at my watch from time to time. Thirty minutes passed. An hour. The tech looked in at one time. My back began to hurt. I couldn’t get comfortable. I tried to shift my position to relieve the pain. I rolled on one side. The tech rushed in. He said I had to lay flat for the test. My suspicions rose. The pain continued, growing. I still couldn’t get comfortable.

By now, over two hours had passed. I still hadn’t slept. The tech was supposed to be video taping the session. He came into the room every fifteen minutes or so. I made a game of waving at him whenever he entered.

At the three hour mark, the tech entered again and said the reading proved I had sleep apnea and that I’d stopped breathing, one time for over a minute.

What! How could that happen when I’d never been asleep?

He proceeded then to fix me up with a CPAP. They had a new model, he said. This one covered both my nose, like the old style CPAPs and my mouth. He tightened the straps—TIGHT!. The CPAP sealed my mouth and nose. I could get no air. That was the purpose of the design. Then the tech turned on the regulator and left.

My lungs blew up like two balloons! The tech must have put the regulator on high. The pressure was so great I had extreme difficulty exhaling. It was work to exhale every breath. At the slightest relaxation my lungs expanded again under the pressure of the CPAP.

I fought trying to breath for several minutes and was getting desperate. I was finally able to get the CPAP off. The tech was enraged. I’d ended his experiment. Now he would have to start it all over. He refused to listen to me.

I had had enough. I gathered my clothes put on my shirt and pants and walked out the door. When I looked in the mirror the next morning I had bruises around by nose, mouth and chin. I had large blue patches under both eyes like I’d had both blackened.

I called the testing company and spoke with the manager. He offered to test me again using another tech. I’d have to take a day off work to do so. I refused. I never went back. I wrote a letter to the testing company, copying my doc, and described by ordeal. I stated that I would not pay for the testing. They had run my credit card when I had arrived because my insurance wouldn’t pay. I was never billed.

I now have a note in my medical records. “Subject diagnosed with sleep apnea and has refused to use a CPAP.”

Every time I see my doc, he asks how I sleep. Much better now that I have a solution. I still wake frequently and like many my age, I have difficulty getting to sleep. Those conditions aside, I sleep reasonably well. The doc also asks if I wake with headaches? No. Do I wake gasping or dreaming of suffocating? No to both.

Will I use a CPAP? No. I don’t need one. I don’t have high-blood pressure, another symptom of sleep apnea. It was 121/72 at my last visit. I have no symptoms nor, according to my wife, do I snore when I sleep. I don’t gasp, nor stop breathing. She’s listened as instructed by my doc.

But that one statement is still in my medical records. My wife and I applied for some extended care health insurance recently. The insurance company had a nurse visit us. She weighed us. Had us fill out a medical questionnaire. Checked our blood pressure noting that mine was very good and gave us several tests to check our mental acuity. We both passed those tests with ease.

We received a note from the insurance company last week. My wife was accepted. I was not. Why? I was overweight and refused to use a CPAP. They would reconsider if I lost some weight and would use a CPAP.

I’m still a Heretic and the Powers that Be have not forgotten. I won’t bend nor bow to The One True Way.