Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I knew it was coming

I've always said that this war will not be known for the people we help, the lives we changed and the good we have accomplished.... it will be known for the videos, good, bad, US military at action or the bad guys posting. I found this article posted on an Australian IT web site.

Military blocks MySpace, YouTube

The US military said it will block worldwide access to 13 Web sites because they strain network capabilities and present operational risks..

The US Department of Defense has banned use of YouTube and MySpace, just weeks after restricting soldiers' blogs.

A military general issued a memo Friday stating that use of social networking and recreational Web sites strains network capabilities and presents operational risks. The military said it will block worldwide access to the two sites as well as 11 others.

The memo states that soldiers cannot access the sites through military networks, the only lines of communication open to many on active duty in foreign countries. They can still access the sites from their home computers.

"However, if you access such sites using your personal home computer, you should exercise caution in forwarding any links or files from these sites to DoD computers or networks," US Gen. B.B. Bell explained in his widely-distributed memo from Korea.

"To do so could compromise OPSEC [operational security] and create an opportunity for hacking and virus intrusion." Bell said soldiers must always be cautious, protect sensitive unclassified information, and help preserve military communications networks.

He also urged them to keep in mind that the sites pose identity theft risks. As well as the blocked sites are: Pandora, 1.fm, Live365 Internet Radio, Photobucket, hi5, Metacafe, MTV, ifilm, BlackPlanet, StupidVideos, and FileCabi.

Bell cited bandwidth as the primary reason, but no gaming sites are on the list. All of the sites do allow members to share personal information with family and friends, which, if done carelessly, can endanger soldiers and their families.

The military has always urged soldiers not to share information that can endanger them, other soldiers, or the success of military plans and activities.

Last year, press reports surfaced claiming that the military was trying to restrict the content of blogs and video postings out of fear it could be perceived as anti-Arab.

Defense Department representatives in the United States and spokespeople for military operations in Iraq said then that there was no new code of conduct or orders pertaining to blogs, Web sites, and videos. Commanders in war zones did warn soldiers to make sure that the images they sent over the Internet did not provide insurgents with information about tactics, techniques or procedures.

The "Multi-National Corps Iraq's Policy #9" also states that soldier owned and maintained Web sites must be registered with the unit chain-of command.

Military personnel owning Web pages, portals, or sites must provide their unit, location, the Webmaster's name, and telephone number. Commanders in Iraq said that pertains to both military and non-military sites.

The military also requires soldiers posting editorial content on others' pages or sites to register the URL and make sure that prohibited information is not posted on the sites. The Defense Department also has always maintained the right to monitor all information sent or received through its networks.

Last year's Department of Defense directives stated that employees "including active duty military members" were required gain clearance for public release of information that pertains to military matters and national security, but sharing information in a private capacity was permitted as long as laws and ethical standards are upheld.

Soldiers and insurgents have posted photos and videos of war and death for at least a year on sites like YouTube and Ogrish. Ogrish owner Hayden Hewitt has said the soldiers' footage was more popular than the insurgents'. The military allowed footage of bombs and firefights, as long as they did not provide insurgents with strategic information, bring shame upon the US military, or violate the Geneva Conventions.

It's no secret that the military meant business about prohibiting some content. Last fall, the Army News Service published a feature article about the Army Web Risk Assessment Cell. Some blogging soldiers claim they were demoted after posting information and opinions their superiors deemed inappropriate.

Advocacy groups began to question exactly how the monitoring works, what data is collected, and what privacy protections were in place. Some have sued for more information, claiming the military is withholding information that could show soldiers' free speech rights are being violated. The Pentagon does not comment on pending litigation.

Just last month, the military strengthened the rules by requiring official operational reviews, instead of less formal supervisory clearance for blogs. The new directives apply to all electronically published materials all materials that could contain sensitive information. Not surprisingly, the increased restrictions are under fire with some accusing the military of censorship.

In the meantime, military officials have also been using sites like YouTube and MySpace to get their message out.

Copyright (c) 2007 CMP Media LLC
All rights reserved.

The story can be found here

Doc Out

Monday, May 14, 2007

Words of Wisdom from my Bro Mills

I got this off of my bro in arms's myspace blog. He's pretty freakin deep for a young guy and a Marine. But I guess you get that way from being out here in the desert, in the middle of the shit, shoulder to shoulder with your fellow American soldiers!

Mills, thanks for the "steal"!

"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, who strives valiantly, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

-Theodore Roosevelt

"There is only one tactical principal which is not subject to change; that is to inflict the maximum about of damage, death and destruction on the enemy, in the minimum amount of time."

- Gen. George S. Patton

"Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for I am the meanest mother fucker in the gaddamn valley."

- Gen. George S. Patton

Doc Out!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

While I'm at it.....

Just wanted you to update you on some things with the blog......

1. If you myspace, please visit me at Doc Salty.

2. I have the new storefront open, click here.

3. Looking to the future...... I'll be adding more companies like Brigade Quartermasters, US Cavalary, T-Mobile, Rosetta Stone, BodyBuilding.com and others. These are things you guys are getting already, now you have one place to order from. Yep, I make a little money on this, but you need it and I have it, so start using it!

Doc out!

Those Wacky Iraqis

These are the guys that protect the site I am at right now. They belong to a part of the Muslim Religion called "Sufi". They kept insisting that this wasn't magic.... it was the will of Allah that allows them to do this and be protected. OK. I'm not going to bash anyone's beliefs. If that is what they think and they are not pushing it on me and it's not hurting me, GO FOR IT!.

The most danger during the "show" was all of the expats scrambling around trying to get the best pic. So anyone have a copy of the video, let me know and I'll post it here or link to it for all to see.

Just another day in the desert.......

Doc out!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Reach out and call the one you love?

Doc Here!

Been a little busy the last couple of days with a MWR run, weekly reports and my turn on night shift. So I figured I better get off my ass and send this post out.
One of the most useful things in my medical ammo is the reference material. I use the Special Forces Medical Handbook, a Family Practice Medical Handbook, a real good Derm book (with pictures) and the stuff I have accumulated on my laptop. This gives me a whole bunch of backup and refresher info.
In researching ways to minimize my "load" of info, I have used in the past a PDA. Every one should know what that is and about how it works, so I won't bore you with those details. One "version" of the PDA is the Smartphone. This is a combo unit with cell, PDA, mp3 and other options, depending on what you want to pay for.
The best one for me..... and I will recommend it to you..... is the Treo 680 from Palm. This is a Smartphone with quad-band capabilites, PDA, mp3 player and bunch of other stuff on there. The phone part is very important....... it is a GSM Quad-band cell phone. That means you can use it pretty much anywhere in the world that has cell service. All you have to do is buy the SIM card for whatever area you are in (Iraqna or Asia Cell over here) and with a pre-paid calling card, you have phone service.
Back in the states, we don't play that pre-paid stuff as much as they do in the rest of the world. We love our 2 year service contracts! That means that you can get one of these Smartphones through Verizon or Cingular pretty much for nothing WITH A CONTRACT. That's OK if you don't leave the country. Yes, they have international plans, but I don't know what they are. Anyway, I don't like the contract thing. I'm hardly in the states and when I am it isn't for very long. So I found out the T-MOBILE sells the SIM card and the pre-paid service cards that works on the TREO 680.
There, problem solved. Now there is a place to buy an "opened" GSM Smartphone, get a SIM card for it and use pre-paid service in the states. Take that gadget with you and get another SIM card (pre-paid) at the other location(s) you'll be working or partying at and you have service there.
The PDA part of the TREO 680 is pretty cool too. Besides being able to be expanded to over 2 gigs of info with and expansion card, the unit does a mean mp3 thing. Options galore come with this and more to get later.
I'll talk about some of the good PDA files to use on this machine at a later date. That could take awhile!

So if you want a discount on a brand new TREO 680 click on the link at the top of the left side bar or the one further down.

Doc out!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Prez vetos withdrawal bill

I got this off of Yahoo News. The Democrats want to post a timetable to withdraw and that is stupid. Yeah, it sucks being here. Yeah, they're fighting against each other. But don't you think that we have a responsiblity to kinda straighten stuff up here (as much as possible)before we leave. Hell, the brain drain sucked most of the leadership away (political, community, spiritual) and until these people are willing to stand up for themselves and are capable, then we need to hang around to advise. Take out the 4th dimension putting their two cents and a bunch of bombs worth of input and there is relative peace. It's getting stirred up, and not from the Coalition being here. It's from the imported persons being here and starting crap all over the place to keep things in chaos.

Here's the article........
Bush vetoes troop withdrawal bill By ANNE FLAHERTY and JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writers

President Bush vetoed legislation to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq Tuesday night in a historic showdown with Congress over whether the unpopular and costly war should end or escalate.

It was a day of high political drama, falling on the fourth anniversary of Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech declaring that major combat operations had ended in Iraq.

In only the second veto of his presidency, Bush rejected legislation pushed by Democratic leaders that would require the first U.S. combat troops to be withdrawn by Oct. 1 with a goal of a complete pullout six months later.

"This is a prescription for chaos and confusion and we must not impose it on our troops," Bush said in a nationally broadcast statement from the White House. He said the bill would "mandate a rigid and artificial deadline" for troop pullouts, and "it makes no sense to tell the enemy when you plan to start withdrawing."

Democrats accused Bush of ignoring Americans' desire to stop the war, which has claimed the lives of more than 3,350 members of the military.

"The president wants a blank check," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., moments after Bush's appearance. "The Congress is not going to give it to him." She said lawmakers would work with him to find common ground but added that there was "great distance" between them on Iraq.

The legislation amounted to a rare rebuke of a wartime president and an assertion by Democrats that Congress must play a major role in Iraq and the extent of U.S. involvement.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (news, bio, voting record) said Bush has an obligation to explain his plan for responsibly ending the war.

"If the president thinks by vetoing this bill, he'll stop us from working to change the direction of the war in Iraq, he is mistaken," Reid said.

Lacking the votes to override the president, Democrats have already signaled they intend to approve a replacement bill stripped of the troop withdrawal timetable. Determined to challenge Bush's policy, they are turning their attention to setting goals for the Iraqi government to meet as it struggles to establish a more secure, democratic society.

The White House and congressional Republicans have also called for so-called benchmarks, but only if they don't mandate a troop withdrawal or some other major change in war policy.

Bush will meet with congressional leaders — Democrats and Republicans alike — on Wednesday to discuss new legislation.

He said Democrats had made a political statement by passing anti-war legislation. "They've sent their message, and now it's time to put politics behind us and support our troops with the funds," the president said.

He said the need to act was urgent because without a war-funding bill, the armed forces will have to consider cutting back on buying or repairing equipment.

"Our troops and their families deserve better, and their elected leaders can do better," Bush said.

"Whatever our differences, surely we can agree that our troops are worthy of this funding and that we have a responsibility to get it to them without further delay," the president said.

Bush signed the veto with a pen given to him by Robert Derga, the father of Marine Corps Reserve Cpl. Dustin Derga, who was killed in Iraq on May 8, 2005. The elder Derga spoke with Bush two weeks ago at a meeting the president had with military families at the White House.

Derga asked Bush to promise to use the pen in his veto. On Tuesday, Derga contacted the White House to remind Bush to use the pen, and so he did. The 24-year-old Dustin Derga served with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion 25th Marines from Columbus, Ohio. The five-year Marine reservist and fire team leader was killed by an armor-piercing round in Anbar province.

Minutes after Bush vetoed the bill, an anti-war demonstrator stood outside the White House with a bullhorn: "How many more must die? How many more must die?"

Earlier at the Capitol, Democrats held an unusual signing ceremony of the $124.2 billion bill before sending it to the White House.

"The president has put our troops in the middle of a civil war," said Reid. "Reality on the ground proves what we all know: A change of course is needed."

For his part, Bush flew to Florida to meet with military commanders and said the Democratic proposal would turn Iraq into a "cauldron of chaos." With sleeves rolled up, Bush shook hands with troops at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, the headquarters of U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, including Iraq. Then Bush returned to the White House to announce his veto just before network news shows.

Democratic leaders refused to discuss their approach to Wednesday's meeting with Bush. Past meetings have not led to any compromises, although members said this time they hoped Bush would signal a willingness to negotiate.

"I don't want to get into a negotiation with myself," Reid said when asked about conversations with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (news, bio, voting record) of Kentucky.

McConnell and other Republicans have said they would agree to provisions that lay out standards for the Iraqi government to meet in creating a more stable and democratic society.

"A number of Republicans think that some kind of benchmarks properly crafted would be helpful," McConnell said. Bush and GOP allies have said they will oppose legislation that ties progress on such standards to a withdrawal of U.S. combat forces.

"House Republicans will oppose any bill that includes provisions that undermine our troops and their mission, whether it's benchmarks for failure, arbitrary readiness standards or a timetable for American surrender," said Minority Leader John Boehner (news, bio, voting record), R-Ohio.

Some Republicans say they would support tying goals for Iraqi self-defense and democracy to the more than $5 billion provided to Iraq in foreign aid. But such an idea hasn't piqued the interest of Democrats.

When Bush announced a U.S. troop increase in January, he said Iraq's government must crack down on both Shiites and Sunnis, equitably distribute oil wealth, refine its constitution and expand democratic participation. He attached no consequences if these benchmarks were not met.

Tuesday's developments came exactly four years after Bush's speech on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln decorated with a huge "Mission Accomplished" banner. At the time, Bush's approval rating was 63 percent, with the public's disapproval at 34 percent.

Four years later, only 35 percent of the public approves of the job the president is doing, while 62 percent disapprove, according to an April 2-4 poll from AP-Ipsos.

Bush has used his veto power only once before, when he rejected a measure last summer to lift restrictions on federal money for embryonic stem cell research.

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

OK, watch your six.....

Doc out!

Monday, April 30, 2007

The Contractor Biz

Today I am going to talk about the medical contracting business.

High speed, low drag, excitement around every corner it's not...... but the potential is there. Personally, I've had enough of that in my life so I'll leave it to the younger dudes. Most of the time you are at a remote site taking care of anywhere from 50 to 150 people with either you or you and another guy. You need to be good at primary care, shit hot on trauma and can handle admin and inventories. This is your clinic, you can either run it into the ground or make something of it.

The most important decision you need to make is to determine if all the hassles are worth the money you're getting paid. Isolation, lack of facilities, lack of "fun things to do", long days and the boredom (between the mortar rounds) are topics of discussion, complaint, bitching, whatever you want to call it, at most sites.

The bases have it a little better with the military MWR programs, gyms, px, coffee shops (Green Beans) and all the hadji shops wanting your money and time. The remote sites usually has a TV with AFN on it, internet tent and a gym.

With the gym, you should know that there are alot of "team" guys who would work out 24/7 if they could. Be up on your sports medicine. Know your primary medicine, antibiotic therapy, tricks of the trade and be able to teach everyone to the first responder level. The more helpful hands, the better!

Boredom is the biggest complaint around the tents. Now is a good time to do that continuing education, college classes, or learn a language. You can't sleep your life away!

Most days you're guarding dirt. Occasionally, things happen. Just like war. Be prepared!
Doc out