Thursday, June 24, 2010

Elsewhere in (Medical) Blogtopia*

Two disheartening things from the world of EMS blogging... first, Mark Glencourse, a British paramedic and a leader of the EMS 2.0 movement, announced that he was closing his blog, Mark took this action in response to the usual political BS that sometimes arises with blogging about the emergency services community (which is why I don't do it). Mark and San Francisco Firefighter/Paramedic Justin Schorr (who blogs at are also the driving force behind an upcoming reality show, The Chronicles of EMS. He will be sorely missed.

On a less pleasant note, one of the medical bloggers I read on a regular basis, who lives in Massachusetts, admitted today that he was one of 207 MA EMTs who falsified re-certification training records.

Thanks, dude.

Glencourse, Schorr, and countless others are trying to make EMS a profession, not a trade. They're trying to re-educate the public, and convince the masses that EMS personnel are entitled to the respect that 2000+ hours of advanced trauma and medical training should bring.

These guys are trying to make the job better, get us some respect, maybe even livable wages. But you and your lazy-ass buddies down there had to screw around cause you didn't want to sit through continuing education classes.

Now the public looks at all EMS personnel and wonders, "Did he really do his continuing education? Or is he lying, like those Massachusetts losers? Is he gonna save my life or will his rusty skills and outdated knowledge KILL me?"

You may wonder what the big deal is. It's this: we're talking skills and knowledge needed to save lives. We're not talking about missing the latest changes to the Tax Code, or a fast-breaking tech bulletin on Toyota's acceleration issues here. We're talking life or death. How to calculate the appropriate dosage of the appropriate medication for your infant based on size and weight, or remembering how to correctly interpret an ECG strip or perform an endotracheal intubation successfully. You know, the stuff that will keep you alive so you can walk your daughter down the aisle at her wedding and bounce your grand kids on your knee.

The thing is, I don't know if he is truly a lazy bastard, or if he got in with the wrong crowd (as our parents used to say), or what. Whatever the reason, he has made our jobs harder, by violating the trust the public had in us.

What IS it with folks in emergency services these days?!? Have we all lost our friggin' self-respect, our professionalism, our very minds? We have Oath-Keeper cops claiming the right to kill you for disagreeing with them, we have medics lying about training. We have firefighters confessing to arson.

WTF, people?

If we want to be respected, if we want to inspire today's kids to become tomorrow's protectors, hell, if we want a decent paycheck, ...


And we don't earn it by putting on the funky clothes. We earn it by being the very best cop/firefighter/medic we can be, by delivering the level of service and knowledge and skills we would demand for our spouses or our children.

People in my generation went into emergency services inspired -- in part -- by shows like Emergency or Adam-12. What inspired the current crop, The Simpsons? Beavis and Butthead?

* y!sctp (Yes, Skippy coined the phrase).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

OMFG. Again. Still.

Via Watertiger...

Instead of placing blame on BP for the massive environmental and economic disaster that it has caused in the Gulf of Mexico, Brogdon claimed that government is “the problem” and that the spill is a “perfect example of why government should never be involved in the private sector”.
As she said, "The stupid, it really does burn."

Retired Justices to Continue to Sit?

There's a movement afoot to create legislation allowing a retired Supreme Court Justice to sit in a case where a current justice has recused himself or herself. The rationale behind the proposal by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is to lessen the likelihood of an evenly-divided court.

"I talked with Justice Stevens, and he raised the question, 'Could we not have a provision in the law for some mechanism that retired Supreme Court justices could be asked to sit on the Court when there is a recusal?' " Leahy said in an interview with The National Law Journal.

This might be a good idea, except for one small problem: the Justices most in favor of this proposal are Rethuglicans, like Scalia and the late William Rehnquist.

In 2000, Chief Justice William Rehnquist decided to hear an antitrust case involving Microsoft Corp., despite his son's work for the company in a separate case. In explaining his decision not to recuse, Rehnquist noted "the negative impact that the unnecessary disqualification of even one Justice" might have.

"Not only is the Court deprived of the participation of one of its nine Members, but the even number of those remaining creates a risk of affirmance of a lower court decision by an equally divided court," Rehnquist wrote.

God forbid anyone shuld ever rule against Microsoft, right?

Justice Antonin Scalia expressed a similar concern in 2004, when he declined to recuse from a case involving Vice President Dick Cheney. The two went on a hunting trip in Louisiana while the case -- related to records from Cheney's energy task force -- was pending.

Scalia simply said, "Darth Cheney must be obeyed. Secrecy must be maintained. Resistance is futile. All must be assimilated."

The unspoken concern, of course, was that the Supreme Court would be unable to support Big Business over the interests of the common man, if the neocons were not allowed to have a majority of the Court.

Face it, if Rehnquist and Scalia support something, you just have to know it's a bad idea. Plus, of course, you didn't hear any concerns about this when the Court was missing one of its liberal Justices.

Surprisingly, Orrin Hatch (R/Neanderthal - Utah) opposed the idea.

Stevens was appointed to the Court by Gerald Ford in 1975, and has generally been one of the more liberal Justices (especially when compared to the likes of Rehnquist, Scalia, and Roberts). So if this idea comes to pass, you can expect the Reich-wing Justices to support the idea, but demand some way to ensure only their guys get called back after retirement.

Interesting Problem Brewing...

... for the South Carolina Rethuglicans...

Retiring US Rep Henry "Bubba" Brown decided he was going to try for the position of County Supervisor in Bubba Berkley County, but lost to Dan "Bubba" Davis.

Meanwhile (with the emphasis on "mean"), Tim "Bubba" Scott won the Rethuglican run-off (run-out?) to replace Brown in Washinton.

One small problem: if Brown wins, he would become the state's first black Rethuglican congresscritter since Reconstruction.

Poor South Carolina Rethuglicans now have to choose between "wunnathem nigras" or "wunnathem demmycrats."

What's a good Bible-thumpin', hooker-humpin', sister-marryin', rifle-rack-in-the-pickmup God-fearin cracker redneck Rethuglican to do?

OOOH, Stop the Press!!!

From the Humongously Big Surprise Department...

US District Martin Feldman, who struck down the six-month ban on deep-water drilling, has investments in:
  • Transocean Ltd, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded and sank;
  • Ocean Energy
  • Prospect Energy
  • Peabody Energy
  • Parker Drilling, and.... wait for it...
  • yup, Halliburton!

This is according to a story listing some of the details in Feldman's financial disclosure statement.

Another big surprise: Feldman was named to the bench by Reagan.

Yet another surprise: he ruled in favor of the oil industry.

Oh, and he hangs with his BFF, Nino Scalia.

The Cereal State Strikes Again

Yes, the land of nuts and flakes has come up with yet another amazing way to showcase their ultimate lack of common sense.

California "is considering a bill that would allow the state to begin researching the use of electronic license plates for vehicles." Yup, those electronic billboards aren't distracting enough, now we'll have to worry about license plates that would switch to digital ads or other messages when it is stopped for more than four seconds, whether in traffic or at a red light.

Your average California driver (I am specifically excluding BadTux) has the attention span of a hyperactive gnat to begin with. Can you imagine the back-ups that will ensue as thousands of California drivers get mesmerized by the pretty, flashing messages on the plates ahead of them at traffic lights?

And just think about the ads you'll see:
  • granola-bar-dispensers for your Prius
  • Birkenstock tires
  • tourism ads from Arizona ("offer void if dark-skinned")

This has to be one of the worst ideas ev--

Ooooh, look, a bunny!

OK, I've Given Up

On my former fellow police officers, that is. I spent 14 years as a cop before leaving the field over 20 years ago. Since then, I continued to believe that American police officers were thinking, feeling, humans.

No more.

Off and on, I've been following some of the law enforcement blogs out there. I have come to the conclusion that today's police officer is a racist, bigoted, birther, creationist, talibangelical, neocon, wingnut, Glen Beck-fellating Oath Keeper, who feels perfectly entitled to "support" the Constitution of the United States by claiming for himself the exclusive right to determine guilt or innocence and the appropriate sentence. This amazing ability to be judge, jury and executioner -- in direct contravention of the Constitution -- scares the hell out of me.

We have cops -- police officers who have allegedly sworn "to protect and serve" -- claiming that they and they alone understand the intent of the Framers of the Constitution; that orders originating with our duly-elected President should not be followed, that they are "unconstitutional" because Obama is a "muslim;" that police officers and military members have an obligation to kill anyone with whom they do not agree; that non-fundamentalist-Christianists have no rights whatsoever; that anyone darker than Edgar Winter is some sort of sub-humanoid.

Can we trust these fruitcakes to protect us?

Or do we have to worry that these armed morans who have fallen under the spell of rootin-tootin-make-believe-cowboy bush and little-miss-you-betcha-wasilla-hillbilly will allow their atrophied sense of right and wrong to run hog-wild, killing those from whom they differ?

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Please. I'm Beggin' Ya. Secede.

Surprising news from the southern states. Not.

Part I: The Right to Bear Arms

As we all know, the South views the right to bear arms as THE most important aspect of life, bar none. Right behind that is the Southerner's hatred for any law and order that doesn't feature the Stars and Bars. Two "sovereign citizen" types, Jerry Kane and his 16-year-old son (probably named Bubba) shot and killed two police officers. Jerry and his equally dain-bread son tried to hide at a Wal-Mart (of course) and got cornered. They tried to shoot their way out again, but this time, the cops had some advance warning. Jerry and Bubba, dead in the lot at Wally World. At least they won't be locked up with "them niggras."

Part II: "Ah Hates Me Some Feds... Hey, Warshington, Ah needs Me Some He'p"

New Mexico and the "People's Republic of Arizona" -- two states that hate them some Feds cuz we got us a "niggra" President -- are all of a sudden asking for help from... the Feds. Obama (who seems intent on remaining bush-Dark) is sending some National Guard troops -- those who aren't in Iraq or Afghanistan, which means they're scraping the bottom of the barrel -- to help curb illegal immigration. Be interesting to see how many of the Guardsmen get jacked up by Joe Arpiao's "deppities" for being brown without a permit. The two states also want UAVs.

Part III: Family Values, Part Who Knows?

Family Values Rethuglican state rep Nikki Haley in South Carolina wants to be Governor. She should do an excellent job. Even without being elected, she's already displaying those "family values" so beloved by the rethugs. Yup, she was boffing some dude other than the one to whom she is married. And the dude she was screwing around with? A former aid to Governor Mark "Ah'm hikin' the Apple-lickin' trial with mah Brazilian twist" Sanford. Sanford's ex-wife and Sarah "Ah'm all for morality, which is why my daughter got knocked up without a husband" Palin both endorsed Haley.

Part IV: Westboro Baptist, Dallas Division

Forget "who shot JR", now the big question is "who ordained them gays and lesbians?" The Royal Lane Baptist Church ordained gay and lesbian deacons. The church had also been one of the first to accept blacks and ordain women. Of course, to the rest of the Baptist community (which obviously supports Westboro, since they haven't drummed them out) freaked out and have cast Royal Lane into the hellfire and brimstone for allowin' "them people" equal access to the church.

Part V: "What's Wrong With the KKK?"

A Georgia high school teacher was suspended after having four of her students (the entire student body, in other words) dress in KKK robes, allegedly for a "class project" (yeah, buddy, that's some classy project). The project, needless to say, was on racism... how to keep it alive, no doubt. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in its coverage of the case, asks two questions: "Who has allowed students to dress as Klan members, Nazis or Salem witch burners?" and second, "Who cares?" The AJC is certainly standing firm in their support for the Stars and Bars. The reporter(?) writes: "I would argue that costumes are appropriate if dramatizations of real-life events enrich instruction and if the point is to show the true nature of these hateful acts. I understand how the sight of hooded students would upset classmates, but once the project was explained, I would think that their concerns would be allayed." Of course she'd blow a gasket if the students were dressed in Union blue.

Yessirree, these good ole boys sure are good Americans, aren't they?