Friday, August 23, 2013

Years ago I had a shipmate that had a scar

 on his torso that looked like it came from a Chain saw. He was an old salt and had sailed deep sea during the 50s and early 60s as an Ordinary seaman.

The scar was a product of an emergency operation performed at sea by the chief mate and an engine room guy that had taken a 12 week course in emergency medical proceedures in the army a decade or  more earlier.

In truth it was a desperate hack job performed on a galley table in heavy seas. He survived and without the operation he would have died.

A few years ago I listened to a newsman on a satellite television station triumphantly state that "The storm has blown safely out to sea!"

Guess who got the daylights kicked out of him by the so-called safe storm? Safely out to sea, my ass. I was right in the middle of it. It was brutal, I had to hit the deck in the middle of it to secure a few things and got knocked cleat to the end of the tether I had tying me to the boat a couple times.

One night when I was on the road sleeping in a camper I had to load a shotgun to run an intruder off.  There were no police departments to call because it was long before the days of cell phones.

Back in the army I learned that when push came to shove we only had ourselves and each other. Government was not too likely to help us. More likely we would have been in a rotten position because of government.

Many moons ago when I had a pump fire on a barge containing 30,000 barrels of gasoline. I closed the pump drain, slowed the pump down to idle, fought the fire and loosened the packing to cool the shaft before shutting down.

There was no fire department standing by. I had myself and only myself to take care of things.

I learned early along that when you go to sea or take the road less traveled that the only things you have out there are yourselves and each other. It holds true on shore, too.

I learned at an early age that when push comes to shove we only have ourselves. Anyone that thinks that having the government take care of them is a good deal ought to take a long, hard look at the American Indian.

Truth is that when you get down to it if you want to have any kind of life you have to look to yourself.

I took an entry level job a quarter century ago and instead of staying there I educated myself and got promoted into a gig that's been very good to me and for me. Nobody did it for me, I did it myself.

President Obama can't say that I didn't do it myself because I did. I was the guy sitting at the kitchen table boning up for Coast Guard tests.

I have listened to more than one self employed person griping about the cost of private health insurance and what it costs them. Some guys gripe about what a rip-off it is, some are grateful for the coverage.

Some are out there praising Obamacare because it will lower their rates. They are somewhat mistaken in their thought process because the truth is that the quality of medical care is simply based price. The top dogs in the medical business don't generally work for cheap insurance companies.Why should they?

You pay a little, you get a little. You pay a lot, you get a lot. When you look to government for medical care, you get government medical care. 

Bet you don't find a whole lot of top medical people working for what the government decides to pay. They'll stay in private practice. I sure would if I were in their shoes.

I've said this before and I will say it again. Before you are fooish enough to trust the government with such an important part of your life take a long, hard look at the American Indian.

Incidentally, over the past few years some groups of the American Indian have started to get things together and start getting things off the ground. While a lot of people may sneer at the casinos, smokeshops or whatever, one thing remains true.

The Indians that have gotten involved in free enterprise seem to have a lot better lives than their counterparts that are content to sit there taking the government handouts.

Bet you another thing, too. Bet the Indians that are managing these various enterprises are using private health insurance, too. Likely they're pretty tired of government handouts.

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