Thursday, December 27, 2012

And A Follow-Up

A couple of posts back, I went off on the small-penis-compensatin' National Fecking Rifle Association asswipes for their obsessive lust for killing devices.

Badtux left a comment saying "The only argument the right wing has that actually has any validity is the 2nd Amendment argument, where the 2nd Amendment by any reasonable reading protects both an individual and collective right to keep and bear arms."

But, alas, Badtux -- along with many other Americans, most of whom are small-penis-compensatin whackjobs -- forgot the first clause of the Second Amendment:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. [emphasis added]

And by "militia," the Framers were not thinking about the small-penis-compensatin', gun-totin' whackjobs like the Michigan Militia and the rest of the Militia/Patriot/Redemptionist genre, they were talking about what is today's National Guard.

The current crop of small-penis-compensatin', gun-totin' whackjobs wouldn't know "well regulated" if it bit them in their doughy asses.

It is astonishing how many people manage to miss the reference to a "well regulated militia," in their mad dash to justify keeping murderous devices in their homes.

Not that Badtux is in that crowd, mind you; I have a feeling he's pretty much on the side of common sense.

Actually, Like, You Know, Whatever...

Just saw this on Yapfui...

"You know," "whatever" is a really annoying term -- "like" "you know." We're "just sayin'."

When it comes to the most annoying words or phrases used in conversation, those four top the list in 2012, according to the annual Marist Poll.

But, actually, you know, like, they actually missed like the most annoying word yet...

Today's society seems to use "actually" the way kids use "like," which is starting to make me cranky.

I had to call the auto insurance folks the other day. The agent said "I'm actually looking at your account now." "Wow, you're ACTUALLY LOOKING AT IT?!? Wow, how cool is that?!?"

Where I used to work, I had to sit through a PowerPoint on a new software application... "Here, you can see I'm actually signed in..." No, you're NOT actually signed in, it's actually a screen capture of when you were actually signed in. I actually wanted to actually puke all over the presenter.

Or, to put it another way:

Although actually means “in an actual manner,” “really,” or “truly,” it has come to mean “in point of fact,” as well. I don't see this one abused too much in the written word, but some people (is it only MBAs, or does it just seem that way?) preface nearly every sentence with the word, and toss a few more into the middle of the occasional sentence, just in case we think they might be talking about something fictitious. Like hopefully and basically, actually is just an (unsuccessful) distraction from what the rest of the sentence says.

And, no, it's not only MBAs.

Just sayin'.

BushMaster... America's 21st Century Murder, Inc.

As you know, the whacko nutjob who killed 20 school children and six adults -- plus apparently his own gun nut whackjob mother -- used a BushMaster .223, as did this charming citizen:


who used his BushMaster to murder two volunteer firefighters and seriously wound two other volunteer firefighters in upstate New York.

Another BushMaster .223 was being schelpped around beautiful downtown Portland, ME, by some small-penis-compensatin', gun-totin, Second Amendment Libertarian whackjob. Douchebag's explanation? "I wanted to go for walk because I haven't exercised in ages." During the confrontation, the rifle-totin' jerkwad declined to identify himself.

And just what is a BushMaster 223? It is, appraently, a popular rifle for hunters:


I mean, isn't it obvious that you need a sniper-style bipod to kill Bambi?

And, of course, only highly-trained and thoroughly-experienced personnel carry them:



Some of the firefighting blogs that I have visited have been parroting the NRA line about how "this isn't the time to discuss gun control" followed by deleting pro-control comments, while allowing the small-penis-compensatin' crowd full reign to shriek hysterically about arming firefighters and first-graders, and by having the bigger kids -- in the case of Newtown, fourth-graders -- gang-tackle the shooter.

Now, many small-penis-compensatin', gun-totin' wingnut whackjobs will say folks should keep weapons at home for self-defense... how did that work out for you, Mrs Lanza?

Meanwhile, in DC -- which has some of the toughest gun laws -- David Gregory is being investigated for holding up an empty magazine. Read that again, an empty magazine.

God forbid anyone should say anything to someone wandering around with a LOADED one.

Friday, December 14, 2012

NSFW: Sandy Hook/Newtown, CT


UPDATE: The lovely yet talented Mrs618 convinced me to tone it down.

But you know damn well what I mean...

THIS POST IS FOR ADULTS ONLY. IF YOU ARE UNDER 21, GO AWAY.

IF YOU ARE A RIGHT-WING NRA GUN NUT, LEAVE NOW. I DON'T GIVE A FLYING FECK* FOR YOU, YOUR OPINION, OR YOUR "RIGHTS."

Once again, the fecking right-wing whackjob gun nuts at the National Fecking Rifle Association have let loose the hounds of disaster, this time killing 20 children. 20 elementary school children.

TWENTY CHILDREN.

Because some fecking whackjob got his mother to buy and register four weapons, cause he couldn't, cause he was a fecking psychotic nutcase.

Twenty children are DEAD, because the National Fecking Rifle Association will not, under any circumstances whatsoever, consider any kind of reasonable gun control.

All right. So be it.

Here's what we need to do to prevent this from happening again.

BAN ALL PRIVATE GUN OWNERSHIP, WITH TWO EXCEPTIONS.

Only ACTIVE-DUTY military and active law enforcement officers should be allowed to possess handguns.

Hunters can hunt with a .22 rifle, or a shotgun that can hold no more than one shell at a time.

NO ASSAULT RIFLES, NO AR-15S, NO LARGE-CAPACITY CLIPS FOR ANY WEAPON.

THE NATIONAL FECKING RIFLE ASSOCIATION, WITH THEIR BULL-HEADED INTRANSIGENCE, OWNS THIS.

THEY OWN THIS.

THEY SUPPORT THE MURDER OF HELPLESS KINDERGARTNERS, INNOCENT THIRD-GRADERS, AND TEACHERS.

And if you're one of the whining, mewling, sycophants for the National Fecking Rifle Association, and you want to make your point, DO IT SOMEWHERE ELSE. You have NO fecking rights HERE, you murderous scum-burping asshole.

I don't fecking want to hear it, murderer.

Go the feck away, and take your deathtoys with you.

Don't talk to me about your "rights"... I don't give a feck. Our nation's right to protect OUR CHILDREN outweighs your "right" to go squirrel hunting with a 50 calibre machine gun.

I no longer give a shirt for your Second Amendment "rights," since you National Fecking Rifle Association MURDERERS use it as a perverted excuse to go on your damnable killing sprees.

Columbine, San Ysidro, Aurora, Virginia Tech, Oregon, now Newtown. You National Fecking Rifle Association DOUCHEBAGS don't deserve to call yourselves "Americans." You should call yourselves BRAIN-DEAD, SLACK-JAWED, DROOLING, MORONIC GUN-TOTING ASSWIPES FROM HELL.

And don't try to say "If the teachers had been armed, yadda yadda...," cause that shirt ain't gonna fly.

You bottom-feeding, inbred hillbilly yokels, YOU SOCKSUCKERS from the National Fecking Rifle Association, have forfeited any claim to consideration or even adult discussion.

THERE'S NO SENSE IN TRYING TO HOLD A RATIONAL DISCUSSION WITH A CRAZY-ASS MUTHERFECKING PSYCHOTIC NUTJOB.

YOU MURDEROUS FECKING ASSHOLES OWN THIS, YOU CHILD-KILLING SOCKSUCKING MOTHERFECKERS.

* "Feck" is a very useful word I picked up from one of the British paramedic blogs, either Trauma Queen or Medic999 (Mark Glencourse). It gets the point across rather well.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Finally: A Cop Who Gets It.

For the past few years, I've been bitching mightily about my former fellow police officers, the Oath Keepers (the ones who claim that they and only they understand the intent of the Framers), the ones who drive like demons in city-owned cars because they can, the ones who kick handcuffed women because they feel "threatened," the ones who choke out paramedics on emergency calls, the thugs with badges who disgrace a once-honorable profession, the ones who pervert their oaths, the ones who oppress those they are supposed to protect.

Well, I am proud to say there are still cops like the ones who inspired me, who led me to think as a kid that there was nothing more important than helping others.

And, simply to make things even better, after all the negative publicity for years, after Amadou Diallo, after pepper-spraying moron Anthony "Tony Baloney" Bologna, after Abner Louima, of course it had to be...

... an NYPD officer who...

... bought a pair of boots for a barefoot homeless man.



NYPD OFFICER LARRY DePRIMO, YOU ARE A GOOD MAN AND A GOOD COP.

Monday, November 05, 2012

PD versus FD... One to Watch

Dave Statter has a post up at STATter911.com, involving a situation in which a Wisconsin police officer engaged in a high-speed (and high-risk) pursuit trying to stop a vehicle that turned out to be a volunteer firefighter/EMT. The FireLaw blog, written by chief officer and attorney Curt Varone, also weighs in on the issue.

The jackass involved is suing the police department, for excessive force (apparently due to the fact the cop approached with his gun in his hand).

Statter has a good portion of the officers dash-cam video posted; here is what *I* got from it:
  • the cop was already watching for a person allegedly impersonating a police officer; the suspect was allegedly driving a black Challenger;
  • the officer saw a black Charger with a spotlight and push bar go past his location at high speed, running red lights and siren;
  • the officer initiated a pursuit of this vehicle, based on the impersonation complaint;
  • the officer ran between 85 and 105 mph for roughly the first minute and a half, attempting to catch up to the Charger;
  • the Charger, when the cop caught up, was driving between 70 and 80 on a basically-deserted open-country secondary road, with virtually no other traffic;
  • both vehicles reduced speed to 45-55 in a more developed area, and 15-30 mph in an obvious residential zone;
  • both vehicles pulled into the "Brooklyn EMS building," at which time the officer was able to see a Wisconsin EMS marker plate, but he still handled the situation -- at this point -- as a felony stop (bearing in mind the earlier impersonation complaint and the fact that a chase had occurred);
  • the officer approached the Charger with his gun drawn, as is standard for felony stops;
  • as soon as the driver of the Charger identified himself, the officer holstered his weapon, and explained his view of the situation to the driver of the Charger, in a polite professional manner.
Statter links to a Wisconsin State Journal article, which picks up the story:

By the time the two vehicles pulled into the station, a bay door was open and other firefighters were arriving, so the situation should have been clear to the officer, Dean said. Also, according to an in-squad video of the incident, the officer learned prior to drawing his gun that Dean's vehicle had a state-issued Emergency Medical Services plate.
The dashboard video, made available to the State Journal by the Oregon Police Department, shows Dean getting out of his car, then ordered by Gilbertson to "Get back in the car" and "Get your hands out the door, right now, both of them."
Gilbertson then approaches the car with both hands on his pistol and appears to hold the gun close to Dean's head. Dean can be heard apologizing and explaining he's a Brooklyn firefighter.


Unfortunately, possessing an EMS marker plate is not a guarantee that the driver isn't a bad guy: there have been many EMS personnel arrested for various offenses, plus of course, there's the possibility the Charger was stolen.

One thing that is not mentioned in the fire blog reports is this:

Clark's written report faults the firefighter for acting without "due regard" for public safety. The call went out as an "Alpha-level" page for an "odor investigation."

According to Dane County policy, Alpha-level calls are non-emergencies and should be answered with "no lights, no siren (and) normal driving conditions," Clark wrote. [emphasis added]


I have no idea what the laws are like in Wisconsin, and every state's laws differ, but...

Here in Maine, when I am responding to a fire, the use of a red light requests the right of way, it does not demand it (the way a police car can; even fire apparatus cannot demand right-of-way). I am not allowed to exceed the speed limit, nor am I allowed to violate any other traffic regulation (stop signs, one-way, etc). Our local department restricts the use of lights to in-town only... if I am in the next town over, I cannot use the light till I cross into my town. The only volunteer FF who can use a siren is the chief, and he/she can only use it on a fully-equipped emergency vehicle (which has to be registered and insured as such, which, for an individual, would be astronomical).

As far as I know, every state requires "due regard for the safety of others" -- even police officers cannot drive like complete lunatics (though some certainly do; see, for example, Fausto Lopez, formerly of Miami PD).

Unfortunately, there are a few circumstances that make things look bad for this particular FF/EMT and the fire service in general:

  • The FF/EMT was a driving a POV (privately-owned vehicle) that is a black Dodge Charger, which is about the only police package sedan available right now.
  • The vehicle had a pillar-mounted spotlight (which firefighters could find useful) and a push bar... sounds a little too much like he was trying to make people think he's a cop.

It's like all the volunteer FFs over the years who brought Crown Victorias (here, here, here, herehere, here). Some of these yahoos go so far as making traffic stops (here, here, here [and I love the gold badge that says 'concealed weapon permit' and 'second amendment, my freedom']). The more firefighters -- especially volunteers -- try to look or act like police officers, the more it'll piss off the "real" cops. There was a similar case just a few months back... a volunteer FF in a Crown Vic with a spotlight and LED light heads all over the place, who got into a dispute with a guy in a Corvette... who happened to be a real cop who called for uniformed backup.


This jamoke will hopefully be convicted, thrown off the FD, and -- if we're really lucky -- the state will seize his car as an instrumentality of the crime.


Thursday, November 01, 2012

Where Is The Dark Wraith?

The Dark Wraith was one of the first big-name bloggers to link to my humble offering a number of years back. I had grown spoiled (and, yes, inspired) by reading his rants. But he has posted nothing at his Forums since February. And it looks like nothing at Big Brass blog since 2006.

Dark Wraith, we miss you.

PTS Sandy

Now that PTS (Post-Tropical Storm) Sandy has come and gone, let's see what's going on. Here in Mid Coast Maine, we came through it fairly well. Lot of power outages due to trees taking down wires, some coastal and low-lying flooding, but we were quite lucky.

Further south, both Jurassic Pork and Michael Morse seem to have come through it okay. Heading down into NYC, things aren't so good.

NBC Nightly news had a story from Staten Island, where the Borough President James Molinaro lit into the American Red Cross. Molinaro is incensed at the fact that three days after Sandy, there still has been no Red Cross presence on the Island (I am assuming there are some local volunteers there who have been trying, but I'm sure they're totally overwhelmed and shell-shocked).

Flooded subway tunnels, PATH tunnels, road tunnels, underground electrical networks, all sorts of problems in southern Manhattan (which is all built on 400 years of landfill activity).

New Jersey got hit even worse. But Governor Christie seems to have realized that we DO need a Federal government to handle disaster relief. When it was states like Florida and Texas and Montana, Christie seemed to agree with Romney about abolishing -- or at least gutting -- FEMA and leaving it to the states:



But now Christie appears to be moving toward the reality-based community:



After seeing his response to the storm, and to Romney's attempts to politicize the disaster, and Obama's attempts to mitigate the disaster, I might almost have to start respecting they guy.

Then, of course, there was Romney's campaign rally relief supply collection drive, which collected the $5000 worth of stuff his staff bought at Wally World, and the three cans of Spam donated by his followers, which the Red Cross now has to deal with, instead of sending folks to Staten Island...



And Mitt feels our pain, from when he had to clean the football field after the big game.

Monday, October 29, 2012

NO Blogging Till Sandy Passes

Between the town and county Emergency Management Agencies, the Red Cross and other emergency commitments, there won't be anything till after Sandy passes.

Stay safe.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Spending a Saturday with Things That COULD Go BOOM!

I  had the opportunity to attend a training session on tanker truck roll-overs today, and it reinforced what had already been my own personal SOP (standard operating procedure): if I see a hazardous material placard, I'm beating feet and letting the younger guys -- who have hazmat Operations or Technician training deal with it. I don't want to step in a puddle of methyl ethyl badstuff.

And if you see any of these on the back of a wrecked truck, or if you see smoke or anything else dripping/leaking/oozing/seeping out of a truck with one of these, don't get near it. Go call 9-1-1.

 

Any truck bearing any of these is NOT somewhere you want to be if you haven't been through a ton of training. I've been doing this kind of thing for 30+ years, and never had the desire to play with stuff that could kill me.

Not that the absence of a placard is any guarantee of safety. Depending on which year it is, the largest transporter of hazardous materials is WalMart, UPS or FedEx... and those are in quantities below the threshold for placarding.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Too Good To Pass Up

Okay, I've been trying to be a good boy and cut back on the political diatribes, but this one was just too good. I think even if you're a Republican, if you're honest, you'll have to admit this is pretty funny. Plus, it shows that Obama's been listening to Jeff Foxworthy.



"Romnesia"

As Foxworthy's buddy Larry the Cable Guy would say, "I don't care who you are, that's funny right there."

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Love It!

This past weekend, Knox and Waldo Counties in Maine held a joint exercise, simulating a plane crash into Penobscot Bay.

Best part of the whole story?

Ray O. Sisk of the Knox County EMA was the director of the event, and assisted in organizing the various agencies and the volunteers to ensure the exercise was as effective as possible for everyone involved.


According to Sisk, the volunteers were mostly people that they had worked with in the past, and included members of the Ragged Mountain ski patrol as well as some members of the Waldo county government.


“We call them 'red shirts,'” said Sisk, as an homage to the Star Trek actors who were known for being victims in every episode.


You can't make this stuff up.


I hope Gary doesn't mind if I link to him.
 

Oh, Christ, Not Another One...

Just saw on STATter911.com that an off-duty police officer for Prince George's County, MD, was killed in a car crash.

Prince George’s County Police have confirmed the death of PGPD Officer Kevin Bowden who was killed this afternoon in his take-home cruiser in an off-duty crash on Route 5 in Clinton, Maryland. Officer Bowden was 28-years-old and had been on the police department for six-years. He leaves behind two young children.


Obviously, our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Officer Bowden, as well as the occupant of the other vehicle and his/her family.

I am hoping desperately that the cause of the crash will be something "legitimate" instead of a tragic outcome of an on-going problem of cops driving like lunatics in take-home cruisers.

The Miami Police Department recently fired one Fausto Lopez, after Lopez was chased by a Florida Highway Patrol officer and removed from his vehicle at gunpoint. Lopez had been driving at speeds of about 120 MPH during the 7 minute pursuit. Bear in mind, 7 minutes at 120 MPH yields a 14 mile chase. Lopez had been clocked operating in excess of 90 MPH over 80 times. In three months. Or about once a day.

Apparently, Lopez's excuse for the last trip was that he was late for an off-duty job. Uh-huh, right.

When I was a cop, if any of us had been caught driving over 90 MPH while off-duty, even once, we would have been fired, arrested, and charged. I don't even want to try to imagine what would have happened if we had been caught doing 90+ every day for three months.

Anyway, I sincerely hope that Officer Bowden didn't pay the ultimate price because he was a speed demon. I hope to Christ it was a sudden mechanical failure, or a kid darting in front of his car, or the driver of the minivan swerving to avoid a pothole or something. ANYTHING other than another cop being a fool, simply because he could.

We won't know the cause of the accident until the investigation is complete. Until then, I'm giving Officer Bowden the benefit of the doubt.

R.I.P., Officer Bowden.

Apropros of Nothing...

Michelle Malkin (nee Maglalang) was born to Phillipine parents residing (illegally?) in the United States. This makes her an "anchor baby" (one who can facilitate immigration for relatives), which is something the conservative movement abhors.

Dinesh D'Souza was born in India, which makes him a dusky-skinned furriner, something the conservative movement abhors.

Why are the conservatives listening to either of them?

... After A Word From Our Sponsors...

Up here in Maine (and across New England, I'm sure), we've been treated to a new commercial from Dish Network, featuring a bunch of Bostonian-Americans discussing something called -- apparently -- the "hoppah." I haven't heard such thick Boston accents since Jack Kennedy.




This led me to wonder... does Dish do variations of this commercial for different regional accents? I tried calling Dish to find out, but the not-so-nice young lady at their call center called me an "@sshole" before she hung up on me.

Next up, we have a commercial from Little Tikes, for some new flying toy, with a typical Little Tikes theme song (couldn't find the exact commercial, but this one gives you the general idea):



Then, we were treated to the new Toyota Prius commercial: 



Am I the only one discouraged by the fact that Little Tikes sounds more grown up than the freakin' Prius?

Are you telling me the only way to sell a car is to sing like a 5-year-old?

Quickie Medical Call

We had a call a while back, at the local upholstery shop, for a guy caught in an automatic slipcover machine.

We called the hospital the next day, to follow up.

We were told he was fully recovered.


Musical Drum Hit Rim Shot Joke Cymbal Choke

I'm Not The Only One

Chris Kaiser has a guest post at Life Under The Lights.

Chance Gearhart, a paramedic in Tennessee, wraps up his article thusly:

As EMS we need to always remember that we are Patient Advocates. Our patients deserve us to always stand up for what is best for them. Apathy should never stand in the way of proper patient care. [original emphasis]

The quote below is not from the guest post, but it does an excellent job of summing up what all of us owe the public:

One of my EMS truths is that while there may be boring calls and calls that are less than exciting, there are no “routine” calls. There is no EMS patient that doesn’t deserve the absolute best that we have to give them. Every single patient we take into our care, be it a scheduled dialysis transport or a simple discharge from a hospital to a nursing home deserves to have professional, competent, and caring EMS providers taking care of them. They all deserve our best care, our best assessments, our best comfort, our best compassion, and most of all, our simple act of caring about them as a person and a patient. Never forget that, you may just save a life during one of your “routine” calls.


Go read the entire thing.

Kaiser, by the way, is one of the more influential EMS bloggers around. He, along with the other medical bloggers I've mentioned (and, I'm sure, virtually all medical bloggers) seems to be as disgusted with those few of our brethren who screw us all. Not that I'm putting myself in his class, of course, but it's nice to know we're all on the same page.

[This has nothing to do with this post, but I just noticed that Blogger's spell-check function -- BLOGGER's, mind you -- does not recognize the word "blogger." < sigh > ]

FEAR and Loathing In The Military

First we had the "Oath Keepers," a bunch of military and law enforcement types who claimed for themselves sole jurisdiction over interpretation of the Constitution of the United States. These guys -- and gals -- felt that they and only they understood the intent of the Framers, and that they and only they had the right to decide what orders to obey and what orders to disregard. The Southern Poverty Law Center lists the Oath Keepers as an organization active in the "Patriot" movement. According to the SPLC, "Patriot groups define themselves as opposed to the “New World Order,” engage in groundless conspiracy theorizing, or advocate or adhere to extreme anti-government doctrines." As such, they are loosely affiliated with other anti-government movements, such as Sovereign Citizens, Christian Identity, Redemptionists, various militia groups, Tax Deniers, the Neo-Nazi movement, and racist groups. The Patriot movement is also closely connected to the Tea Party movement, which was confirmed by Mark Potok, of SPLC:

[T]there's a lot of cross-pollination between the movements. Richard Mack, for instance, is a former Arizona sheriff and Patriot hero who has given dozens of major talks to Tea Party groups. We've also seen Patriot conspiracy theories -- like the idea that FEMA is building concentration camps for American Patriots -- get into the Tea Parties." [personal correspondence from Potok to the author, May 25, 2012]



Now we have a group of "brave" military types calling themselves FEAR -- "Forever Enduring, Always Ready" -- who decided to overthrow the United States government through a campaign of terror and political assassinations (they funded this noble movement the way most of these yahoos do, by committing petty crimes like burglary, although at least this bunch didn't sell meth, another favorite fund-raiser for the anti-government crowd). FEAR is "an anti-government militia largely made up of active-duty and recently discharged American soldiers," according to SPLC, part of the lunatic fringe that believes in the "New World Order," the "Zionist Occupation Government," and black FEMA helicopters hauling all the God-fearing, patriotic white American citizens off to concentration camps in Arizona.

Ten of the group, in an effort to maintain security, whacked a young couple in Georgia, fearing the male, 19-year-old Michael Roark, a military veteran and erstwhile FEAR member, had betrayed the group. Roark's girlfriend, 17-year-old Tiffany York, was also murdered, apparently just for being with the "traitor."

As is usually the case with these "brave warriors," as soon as they were arrested, they started singing like canaries, betraying their "brothers," their "comrades in arms," in an attempt to save their own worthless skins. "Forever Enduring," my ass.

Once again, we have people to whom we have entrusted the national security of the United States betraying that trust in the interest of their perverted views of what constitutes a "normal" society. Unfortunately, we are the ones who paid for the training they will use to subjugate all of us, we are the ones who furnished their weapons, and -- worst of all -- we are the ones who tacitly encouraged their lunacy by not stepping on them as soon as their true nature started to show.

Losers in Lauderdale

In his series of Travis McGee thrillers, author John D MacDonald referred to Ft. Lauderdale, FL, as "Fort Lauder-damn-dale."  It appears four Ft Lauderdale firefighters have been arrested in a sordid little scam involving -- surprise! -- fraudulent recertification training records (see my previous rants here and here). These four losers decided sitting through a recertification class in Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (I've also seen it listed as Advanced Cardiac Life Support) was less important than whatever they wanted to do instead.

And what exactly is ACLS? Here is the course content from the American Heart Association website:

• Key changes in advanced cardiovascular life support, reflecting the 2010 American  Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care
• Basic life support skills, including effective chest compressions, use of a bag-mask device and use of an (AED)
• Recognition and early management of respiratory and cardiac arrest
• Recognition and early management of peri-arrest conditions such as symptomatic bradycardia
• Airway management
• Related pharmacology
• Management of acute coronary syndromes (ACS) and stroke
• Effective communication as a member and leader of a resuscitation team
• Effective Resuscitation Team Dynamics
 
This is a paramedic-level training program, what with the pharmacology aspects (there is also a scaled-down version, "ACLS for EMT Basics" that I took, which was fascinating).

As a prospective patient, I would say that this skill set would be kinda critical for, oh, I don't know, maybe, SAVING MY LIFE?

Yet these four firefighter/medics, these MORONS couldn't be bothered.

This is what I had to say two years ago:


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.


It is even more true today.

Do today's civil servants have ANY understanding of the trust placed in us? Do they not understand that we have the citizens' very lives in our hands?

I don't know if this is a carry-over from the "me generation" or what, but it seems that too many folks in emergency services are in it just for what society can do for them, and their eventual career prospects, rather than what they can do for society. (Gee, where have I heard that concept before?)

And yet, it's not just an American problem, for in Australia, we see that medics have been stealing fentanyl -- a powerful painkiller 100 times more potent than morphine -- from ambulance drug stocks... and apparently have been doing so for years.

Is this why we are losing so many of the more dedicated medics (and cops and firefighters) around the world? Are the "good guys" looking around and seeing themselves surrounded by maggots who aren't fit to shine our boots? Are they seeing these scum becoming more and more prevalent, and even advancing into command positions?

I can tell you that the decent folks in these fields are getting more and more worried about being contaminated by the arrogant putzes in the field. And yes, the lying, thieving losers are a very small minority (I hope), but they are the ones getting noticed, the ones getting the press coverage, the ones tarring us with their feces-encrusted brushes.

I'm not a paramedic, I'm an EMT-Basic (mostly because I never had the roughly $10,000 for the medic course, nor did I have the 2000 hours free time), so I cannot do all the "Johnny and Roy magic" that Justin Schorr, Kelly Grayson, Michael Morse, Mark Glencourse, Chris Kaiser or the other paramedics can do. I can "only" do BLS skills... like CPR and giving you aspirin when you're having a heart attack and stopping your bleeding, and stuff. BUT... the instructors in both my ACLS for Basics class and the "Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support" (PHTLS) course said, "BLS skills save more lives than ALS skills."

Of course, all of this is moot if the patient cannot survive until we get there. Take a CPR/first aid class. They're available through the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, Emergency Care and Safety Institute, American Safety and Health Institute, and a host of others. If nothing else, call your local YMCA, YWCA, or fire department... they can tell you who's running courses in your area.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Eleven Simple Words

A couple of days ago, I did a post about a prostitution case going on here in Maine. A local businessman and a Zumba instructor were charged with promotion of prostitution and engaging in prostitution, respectively (along with dozens of other misdemeanor charges). Some of the alleged johns objected to having their names released to the media. My comment then was, "[...] if you don't want your name in the papers, don't break the law."

This case -- especially the refusal to release the client list -- has made this a national news story. Brian Williams spoke about it last night on the NBC Nightly News (probably the best-known prostitution case since the Secret Service yahoos down in South America).

The judge in the case originally allowed the names to be released, but no addresses, to protect the privacy of those involved (some of the charges against the alleged callgirl and... manager[?]... include invasion of privacy, for recording the encounters).

Today, the judge announced that middle initials and addresses could be released, with the concurrence of John Does 1 and 2:

Kennebunk police Lt. Anthony Bean Burpee said he had been inundated with calls from people with names similar to those on the list released Monday. Police re-released the list Tuesday morning with the addition of middle initials.


It certainly makes sense, especially since we have a lot of folks here in Maine with very similar names.

One of those names, by the way, happens to belong to a former mayor of the City of South Portland, James A. Soule, now residing in Fort Myers, FL. (The position of Mayor in South Portland is largely ceremonial). Another is Donald Hill, the now-former hockey coach at Kennebunk High School. Hill joined the coaching staff in 1993. Here in Maine, high school hockey holds the same status as high school football in Texas: it's damn near a religion.

It's a shame that so many reputations are being destroyed as a result of this case: the businessman, who was a well-respected insurance agent, the Zumba instructor, the Mayor, the coach, but they all learned one simple lesson the hard way. If you don't want to see it on the front page of the newspaper, don't do whatever you were thinking of doing.

This kinda goes back to another recent post, about public employees screwing up. Maybe I'm old-fashioned (hell, I know I am; the lovely yet talented Mrs618 tells me so often enough), but it seems to me that if you are going to be a public employee, whether fire chief, cop, medic, mayor, high school coach, whatever, you need to hold yourself to a higher standard of behavior.

Public employees should be role models. We should be the ones the youth of today aspire to be tomorrow. Face it, the heroes of our generation -- Mickey Mantle, Andy Granatelli, Scooter Rizzuto, Whitey Ford -- they're all gone, replaced by useless scum like Michael Vick and Mike Tyson, who are basically athletically-gifted thugs. But what of the other heroes of our time? When I was a kid, we all wanted to be cops or firemen. Very few aspired to be President (as Dennis Smith pointed out in Report From Engine Co. 82, being President was a birthright). None wanted to be an investment banker. Hell, that profession didn't even exist!

There are still kids today who want to be cops, or firefighters, or medics, or members of the military. These are time-honored professions, and have historically been a stepping stone for social advancement over the last couple of centuries. If we want to keep these traditions alive, we must act accordingly.

Am I saying a cop cannot accept a cup of coffee, a donut, or the ubiquitous free apple? No, I see nothing wrong with a little "thank you" to those who risk their lives for us. What I do object to, however, is the current trend of civil servants (who are neither civil nor servile) taking it upon themselves to be the arbiters of what is proper and just. And by civil servants, I mean all who (at least theoretically) serve the public, whether paid or volunteer.

Cops who view free meals at luxury restaurants as their due, firefighters who raid department treasuries, mayors who patronize prostitutes, football coaches at state universities who molest their young players... these are the people we expect our children to emulate? Good God, no.

Groups like the Minutemen and the Oath Keepers should have no place in American society, yet in some parts of the country, they are a major player -- if not the major player -- in local law enforcement and the military. Should our youth grow up to be like these cretins? Hell, no.

Do I have all the solutions? Of course not, I don't claim to. Hell, I don't know if I have any of the solutions, other than one that should be blindingly, glaringly obvious to everybody: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Eleven simple words.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Leroy Jethro Gibbs Head Slap To My Fellow Professionals

FireGeezer has been running a series of articles on "promotional opportunities," openings in the upper ranks caused by various malefactions perpetrated by the incumbents. Usually -- but not always -- the offenses are various forms of embezzlement, theft, misappropriation, and other naughty uses of the department's resources.

As a volunteer firefighter/EMT whose department enjoys magnificent support from the taxpayers in town, I have to say something to the officers betraying the public trust:

KNOCK OFF THE FRICKIN BULL, GUYS!

With the economy the way it is these days, fire departments are favorite target for budget cutters: "they jes' sit there in th' fire house, snappin' they suspenduhs, takin' them trucks to go shoppin', an' why we need so many a them, ennyways?"

We need the public to trust us, to believe that when we ask for things, it's because we need them, not because it's cool to have these toys.

The economy is, as John McCain once said, "cratering." As a taxpayer, I want my money to be used effectively, for my benefit, and for the community's benefit, not the private benefit of some thieving officer. I want to know that my local fire department has the personnel, the training, the tools and equipment, and the ability to save MY life. I want to know the local ambulance has the fentanyl or morphine I need after a car crash, instead of finding out some junkie medic drew it out and refilled the ampule with water.

But this is reflective of an even greater problem in emergency services.

We think we're entitled to whatever we want, or want to do.

We're not.

Over the past year, there have been stories of firefighters flipping off photographers during a parade, firefighters having prostitutes in the fire station, medics stealing drugs, cops kicking handcuffed females because they felt "threatened" and a pile of other assorted crap.

WE HAVE TO SMARTEN UP.

Those of us in public service -- no, let's call it by it's correct name, CIVIL service -- have a responsibility to the public. Yeah, when I was a cop, I hated it when some citizen said "I pay your salary." Yeah, maybe the guy was an ass, but. BUT HE WAS RIGHT.

We get (hopefully) better-than-average pay, better-than-average insurance benefits (face it, how many burger flippers, investment bankers, or politicians get killed in the line of duty?), and worse-than-average working conditions, schedules, and uniforms.

In return, we owe the community that pays us. We need to do the best job we can; they deserve our best efforts. But what happens? We lie, we cheat, we steal. And then we wonder why the public doesn't love us anymore?

Back on June 13, 2011, Justin Schorr, the Happy Medic, posted a video of the funeral procession for SFFD Lt. Vincent Perez and FF/PM Anthony Valerio. In the video, a young boy, dressed in  kid's bunker gear, salutes the fallen as the trucks go by. Go. Read the post, watch the video, and come back. And don't try to tell me your eyes were dry at the end. The kid gets it. He really gets it. And not because his dad is a firefighter and his mom's a cop, he gets it because he was raised right, to respect those who sacrifice for others. (And, yeah, I was proud to see the Red Cross ERV [Emergency Response Vehicle] at 2:44).

If we want to be worthy of this child's respect, we have to EARN it. Not be being greedy, or cheap, or crooked, or slimy, but by being the best cops, firefighters, and medics we can be.

That child deserves no less, society deserves no less, and, you know what? WE deserve no less.

4.5 Earthquake, Southern Maine

The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting a 4.5 magnitude earthquake struck southern Maine about 7:12 this evening. According to the local NBC affiliate, people called reporting the quake from as far away as New York City.

Now, we're hearing that the quake went from 4.5 to 4.6 (and remember, each full digit is an increase of 10 times the previous digit; i.e., a 5.0 is ten times as powerful as a 4.0) and is now at 4.0.

Either way, I didn't feel it. Guess this means I gotta lose some weight.

Oh, and there are no reports of injuries, fortunately.

What Happened in Vegas Didn't Stay in Vegas...

Back on September 14, FireGeezer ran a post about a traffic crash in Vegas that killed 4 and injured 8. The driver of the car was identified as 23-year-old Gary Lee Hosey, who apparently has a long history with Clark County law enforcement agencies. He also apparently has no drivers license.

Reports indicate Hosey was travelling about 100 miles per hour (as estimated by a cop gassing up his cruiser moments before the accident occured). The car hit a pole and went airborne before crashing into a bus stop shelter, where the four vitims were waiting for their bus. Three pedestrians were also critically injured, as were the five occupants in Hosey's vehicle (well, his girlfriend's vehicle, to be precise).

Blood and breath tests indicated Hosey had been drinking (his BAC was well above the 0.08 limit) and also showed marijuana in his system. Unlike every other drunk driver with JACOB Syndrome (Just A Couple Of Beers), Hosey claimed to have only had one.

In just the last two years, Hosey had racked up charges of marijuana possession, obstructing a public officer, lewd conduct, and larceny. Now he can add four counts of felony DUI causing death.

Now, what makes this sorry case blogworthy, other than the death of four innocents?

It seems to me that the system in Clark County failed. It failed the dead, it failed the injured, it even fail Hosey.

I suspect we'll find that Hosey came from a broken home, might very well have been abused as a child, and just generally had a crappy life. Don't get me wrong, that doesn't excuse what Hosey did, and it certainly doesn't justify it, but -- assuming that's the case -- the poor kid didn't have a chance in life. But, that said, once it became obvious that Hosey was a lost cause, somebody should have locked him up. Even a few months might have been able to get him help. If nothing else, if his little butt had been in the slammer in mid-September, four folks would still be alive, eight others wouldn't be injured.

And there wouldn't be two little girls asking, "when's Gramma coming back home?"

It was his choice to smoke a blunt, pop "a" Bud (yeah, one, sure...) and get behind the wheel, especially without a license.

On the other hand, now maybe we can lock his ass up.

"Missippi" Madness, and Teabaggin Looney Toons

First, when I lived down in Memphis, everybody ( or "evurbodda") referred to the state directly south as "Missippi." So there.

A friend sent me a link to an article in the Jackson (MS) Free Press, in which a reporter interviews three Teabaggers down there. One in particular is quite enlightening (if one can use that term about Missippi). Janis Lane (a female-Murrican) says:

Our country might have been better off if it was still just men voting. There is nothing worse than a bunch of mean, hateful women. They are diabolical in how than can skewer a person. I do not see that in men. The whole time I worked, I'd much rather have a male boss than a female boss. Double-minded, you never can trust them.

Because women have the right to vote, I am active, because I want to make sure there is some sanity for women in the political world. It is up to the Christian rednecks and patriots to stand up for our country. Everyone has the right to vote now that's 18 or over (who is) a legal citizen, and every person that's 18 and over and a legal citizen should be active in local politics so they can make a change locally, make a change on the state level and make a change in Washington, D.C. [emphasis added]

 
That's right, folks, a female -- you know, with the magical ladyparts that have "ways to try to shut that whole thing down" -- says that women should not be allowed to vote. And she's gonna vote for people who will revoke her right to vote.

Which brings me to a somewhat fuller discussion of an update to an earlier post. Bryan Fischer, neanderthal leader of the equally neanderthal American Family Association, says that women should never be in any position of authority, leadership, or any position of power whatsoever. One commenter had this to say:

Ok, Jesus was the biggest sexist and bigot of them all. I have no problem saying it. At least Jesus has the fact that he's not real to hid behind. A pity that Fischer can't have the same fact... [snip] All I can say is, now that we women have our freedom, we are NOT going back to second class citizens. I will get in the kitchen only when I have this man's dick in the oven, and I would gladly and happily server it to him on a hotdog bun.


And good ole Bubba's response:

And you're a perfect example why women should be kept illiterate and barefoot in the kitchen, preferably chained to the stove.


Lessee, vote for the revocation of my own rights and go back to being worse off than a slave? Makes sense to Maybelle Bubba-ette.

Oh, sweet baby Jeebus, would ya PLEASE friggin secede, already???

Jurassic Pork Strikes Again

UPDATE: from JP: Dude, I didn't write that article. I made it quite plain that Gary Cohn wrote it and I merely crossposted it for Barb O'Brien at Mahablog at her request. My apologies to all involved.

My old buddy Jurassic Pork has an article at Welcome Back To Pottersville that you just simply have to read. It concern the "compassionate conservatism" of one Willard "Mitt" Romney. And how ole Mitt screwed over a guy who worked for one of the many companies the BainBorg assimilated.

Go read it.

And ask yourself why anyone with a net worth of less than a million bucks would vote for this heartless scumbubble.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Religious "Freedom"

Update: see below.

I came across an interesting piece in The World this morning (I stuck in the link, but you'll need a subscription to view it). The October 19 issue refers to a column in Canada's The Globe and Mail. In that column, Doug Saunders writes:

In country after country, whenever people assert their self-proclaimed religious freedoms, “terrible things tend to happen.” The concept has been invoked by Indian Hindus to justify killing Muslims, by Sri Lankan Buddhists to imprison Hindus, by Israeli Jews to deny Muslims’ citizenship, and by Egyptian Islamists to oppress Coptic Christians. In many places, religious freedom refers to the right to restrict women’s freedom. [emphasis added]


Hmmm, what are the far-right evangelicals demanding here? "Religious freedom." And how do they want to utilize this freedom? By banning all abortions (except those under the "sodomized virgin" rule), even for rape victims (“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. [. . .] I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”). By making it legal to pay women less than men. By eliminating access to birth control and cancer screenings.

Saunders uses examples from places like India and Sri Lanka. It's scary to realize that those same third-world situations apply here.

So, in effect, what they're asking for is the freedom to deny us our freedoms. In the name of religion, of course.

Update, 10-16-12, via Tengrain at Dependable Renegade: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6PjAYNl24E&feature=player_embedded; Bryan Fischer explaining how the Bible says women cannot be put in a position of authority over men.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

To Print Or Not To Print...

... that is the question...

Here in Maine, we're currently dealing with a small prostitution ring, allegedly run by an insurance agent and a Zumba instructor. The cops say they have "The List" of more than 150 johns, including "several prominent community figures." A bunch of lawyers are trying (desperately) to keep "The List" under wraps, to protect the guilty.

"We think there's a really important principle at stake here: These people are presumed innocent. Once these names are released, they're all going to have the mark of a scarlet letter, if you will," Schwartz told reporters outside Biddeford District Court after filing the notice.


But it is apparently okay to identify the alleged prostitute and the alleged pimp/business manager/mastermind.
One of Schwartz's clients, John Doe 1, described himself in an affidavit as a disabled person who has children and is a productive member of society. He said the nature of the charge against him is so "notorious" that it would severely harm his reputation and his family and professional relationships.

"I am deeply concerned that a public spectacle will be made of the allegations as they pertain to me. I am also concerned that I will be prejudiced by reading the 'list' if it is published by local media," John Doe 1 said in the document.
 
In other words, "don't identify me cause everybody will think I'm an immoral crook for going to a hooker."


I look at it this way. If promoting prostitution is a crime, and engaging in prostitution is a crime, and soliciting prostitution is a crime, then, if you're going to publish the names of the pimps and hookers, you ought to publish the names of the johns. "But they haven't been convicted of anything," I hear you say. Hey, guess what? Neither have the other two. "But we can't expose them to public ridicule," you say. Whoopie, the other two have already been exposed.

What all the noise boils down to is this: "I'm rich and powerful, and I go to hookers, but I don't want to be held responsible for my actions."

Got news for ya, Jackson... if you don't want your name in the papers, don't break the law.

Data Breaches

We've all heard horror stories about commercial entities not taking sufficient steps to safeguard their customers' information. TJX (parent company of TJ Maxx), Hannaford Brothers Supermarkets, TD Bank, all sorts of people have been experiencing data breaches (even the Social Security Administration and -- not surprisingly -- the TSA). Many folks in the security field are trying to figure out better ways to protect this information. Believe it or not, this may be one place where the private sector really might be the solution.

Think about this:

Your company, XYZ Bank and Trust, holds confidential information on hundreds of thousands of customers. We're talking names, addresses, bank account numbers and Social Security numbers. You keep all this information on unencrypted tapes because (a) you're lazy, and (b) you don't want to spend a couple of thousand bucks on encryption software. Then, one day, you discover that the tape has vanished between Office A and Office B. Investigation indicates that the manager at Office A asked her teen-age son to drop the tape at Office B en route to pick up his girlfriend. Your customers have their information at risk.

As Karl Malden used to ask, "What will you do? What will you do?"

Here's a nice, easy solution. Fine the business a mere $100.00 for each customer potentially affected. This fine, by law, must come out of owner's or shareholder's equity, not general operating expense (which promptly gets passed right back to the consumers affected by your laziness). The cost of any credit monitoring comes out of owner's or shareholder's equity. Prohibit the bank from raising interest rates charged and from reducing interest paid, for a period of two years. For particularly egregious offenses, double the fines.

Not all that bad, right?

TD Bank managed to expose the information of 267,000 customers. That would be a fine of $26,700,000. Out of the shareholders' pockets. You think the shareholders would make sure that never happened again?  Damn straight they would.

You want to really drive the point home? Fines and costs come out of executive compensation. Start with the highest paid official of the corporation, deduct all but $50,000*, and put the withheld funds towards the fines. Do that until all fines and costs have been covered. Maybe hold an extra 50% in escrow, just in case. The execs will make goddamned sure those tapes are constantly monitored.

One more twist, if you're feeling REALLY evil: if any customer's information is misused, post the same information from the executives, including Social Security, and prohibit them from changing Social Security or bank account numbers for six months.

Hit the lazy thieving bastards in the pocketbook, and they'll start paying attention.

* Some of the executives may complain that they can't live on $50,000. Point out that that's a LOT more than many of us make, and welcome them to the 99%. They'll have to sell the BMW, the Rolls, the yacht, and the Montana ranch? Cry me an effin' river, dude.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Something New. Well, Sorta...

I've mentioned once or twice in the past that I've been in emergency services for a number of years. When the lovely yet talented Mrs618 and I returned to Maine, I finally had a chance to get on the local VFD (most of the last thirty years, I've lived in areas with career FDs) and retake the EMT training.

The EMT was due, in large part, to Randy Cassingham, whom I've cited here a number of times, but also to a number of the medical bloggers out there, the guys (and gals) like Kelly Grayson, aka Ambulance Driver; Chris Kaiser (Life Under the Lights); Mark Glencourse (formerly of 999Medic, who has moved on to greener pastures); Justin Schorr, the Happy Medic; Hydrant Girl (all the times I've been banged up, I never had a medic as cute as she is); Epijunky at Pink, Warm, and Dry; and TS, aka the Urban Paramedic (who has also retired, and whom I have mentioned in the past).

But perhaps the blogger most responsible -- however you want to take that -- is Captain Michael Morse, of Providence Rescue 5. His blog, Rescuing Providence, reminded me that there still are good people out there, people who care, who give a damn. He also showed me that one can have bad stretches, where one doesn't seem to care... until "the one call"... the one that makes you whole again, that gives you the energy to get your ass back in the fight.

I've been reading Rescuing Providence daily for several years now, and leaving occasional comments on his posts, and the other day, he said I should have a blog, because my "heart is ... in the right place." I don't know if I would go quite that far, Cap, but I learned many years ago on the PD that the senior officer, like a wife, is always right.

Oh, and why haven't I blogrolled any of these excellent sites? Because when I first started this blog, way back in 2005(!) and later when we moved to Maine, I wanted to try to keep the two parts of my life separate, the political beliefs (which, if you've ever read me, you know tend to lean to the left) and the public service (where many of my brethren tend to lean to the right... sometimes, the very far right).

But, you know, looking back over the years, I can see where bits and pieces managed to sneak in between the diatribes and rants. I can see where the frustration has come in (especially when writing about cops), but I can also see where some little bits of hope have filtered in too.

If I post on any calls -- fire or EMS -- I will tell you a few things right now:
  • ALL names, details, locations, etc, have been changed (I live in a very small community, where it would be too easy to ID a victim, and I don't want to run afoul of HIPAA); most will be based on things I dealt with years ago, in other states.
  • Any police calls involving me will, by definition, have occurred prior to 1989, when I left the field.
  • Most of the time, I'll be discussing other peoples' calls, or the administrative/political impact of decisions affecting the emergency services world.
  • Who knows, I might even go back to some of my excruciatingly long posts on terrorism, the TSA, response, public safety, preparedness, or the legal system.
Anyway, if the new posts are popular, thank Captain Morse. If they suck, blame me.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Lyin' In Bed In The Hospital

Been a while since the last post. No excuses, really, other than disgust with the political system, lack of time, and even a certain amount of lost interest. Now, however, I seem to have some time.

Friday morning, about 1:30, I woke up with chest pains, and after a few minutes, had the lovely yet talented Mrs618 drive me to the hospital (I didn't call 911 because [a] I am 911 and know my fellow EMTs could do nothing except ask if I had taken some aspirins, which I had, and [b] I live closer to the hospital than the ambulance barn in the adjacent town).

Another reason I didn't call 911 was that I was only experiencing the chest tightness or pressure, not the other significant symptoms: shortness of breath, sweating, radiating pain, etc.

No heart attack, thankfully. Apparently, one has to have a heart to have a heart attack, and I've been told I'm a heartless bahstid. The doctors did, however, notice some "blips" in the ST portion of the EKG, and so here I am, enjoying another day of hospital cuisine.

Take a CPR class, learn the signals of a heart attack and learn how to do something about it.

Monday, August 13, 2012

GREAT Quote!

I normally look at The Great Orange Satan about once a year these days (being sick and tired of their incessant "we rule, you drool" yapping), and today was the day for 2012.

Bill in Portland, Maine -- the ONLY reason I even remember TGOS's web address -- has this wonderful quote:
If you take away the military hardware from a Republican campaign event, what you're left with is basically an Amway convention with slightly less polyester.


Damn straight.

Although Bill might be a little mixed up. Yes, Mittens hails from Michigan, Amway's home, but it was former Governor-wannabe and neocon extraordinaire Dick De Vos who started the multi-level marketing, pyramid Ponzi scheme known as Amway.

But he's absolutely right about the polyester.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Bacon Sundae

So, okay, Burger King has announced they will be selling a bacon sundae, and now everybody's all a-twitter.

Denny's did the same thing last year.

It was pretty damned good, too... vanilla ice cream, maple syrup, and bacon.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Proactive Plagiarism (or Someone Beat Me to ANOTHER Great Idea)

A combination Medic Alert tag and thumb drive, called MD Alert...

"Looks like a stylish, adjustable bracelet for men and women, but it's really a personal lifesaving flashdrive that goes everywhere with you. Saves medical history and gives a snapshot of your files, in case of emergency. Features sections for living will, power of attorney, test and lab results, too."



"MD Alert" available in gold or silver finishes, for $19.99 from BryLane Home. Item # 1547-95062-492

If you or someone in your family has chronic or severe medical issues, this looks like it would be even better than the standard Medic Alert.

Doesn't indicate the storage capacity, but I bet there would be room left for a few pics of the grandkids, etc.

The lovely yet talented Mrs618 and I were talking just the other day about developing something like this, but some wise acre beat me to it. Just like various schmucks beat me to starting Mailboxes, Etc; a couple of different specialty security firms; and a few other Wile E. Coyote Super Genius ideas.



But don't worry, I am in the midst of writing the ultimate rock song. Gonna call it "Blue Suede Shoes."

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with BryLane, other than the lovely yet talented Mrs618 getting their catalog. I hope they don't mind me plugging one of their items for them.

RIP: Herb Reed, Last Surviving Member of The Platters

This sucks.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Fat-Ass Paul LePage Chronicles, Part Ten or So

Ol Fat-Ass Paul LePage, he of more chins than a Chinatown phonebook, was quoted as saying the unemployed need to "get off the couch and get yourself a job."

Umm, Fat-Ass, I would LOVE to have a job. Any job. But I've been unemployed for almost four frickin' years, including the last two years under your fat-ass regime.

I have news for you, Jackson. Ain't no one hiring in this state. You've shut down all the state hiring, and the private sector has all the people they need. And all your tax cuts that were supposed to create jobs? Yeah, right. You give the 1% a tax cut, they either stick it in the bank or invest in some crooked politician.

Fat-Ass's equally fat-ass daughter, Fat-Ass Lauren LePage, who has a degree in eating from the University of the Fat, has a job, but that's only because Daddy hired her (in complete violation of state law, but we all know state laws don't apply to anyone with an "R" after his or her name).

I just wish I thought Fat-Ass would be unemployed himself after the next election, but Maine's answer to Sanford and Son will probably take him back in a flash.

Fat-Ass Paul LePage... the wet spot on the toilet seat of life.

Oh, and Fat-Ass's erstwhile employer, the aforementioned answer to Sanford and Son, is now selling used -- very used -- fire department bunker gear. Judging by the condition, it isn't safe for use any longer. God only knows who would want to buy dirty, smelly, unsafe bunker gear.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Fat-Ass Rethuglicans: Always SOOO Classy

This time, it's New Joisey's fat-ass rethuglican governor, Chris Christie, talking to a law student:


And let me tell you something; after you graduate from law school, you conduct yourself like that in a courtroom, your rear end's going to get thrown in jail, idiot."


...and:


I mean, damn man, I'm governor, could you shut up for a second?


Yeah, these rethuglicans certainly have restored common decency in politics.

Fat-Ass Christie's almost as reliable as Fat-Ass Paul LePage when it comes to being a venal, lying, incompetent, idiotic, hypocritical boor.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Schticks of One....

Senator Snowe Retiring

Maine Senator Olympia Snowe announced she was not going to seek re-election, citing the "atmosphere of polarization and 'my way or the highway' ideologies..." Of course, Snowe does not mention it is her party, beholden to Teabagging lunatics like Frothy, Lizardboy, and Mittens, that has been displaying those tendencies.

It will be interesting to see who fills the void.  Maine has a Teabagger governor, Fat Ass Paul LePage, a Rethuglican/Teabagger majority in both state houses, two Rethuglican Senators (Snowe and Susan Collins) and two Democratic Representatives (Mike Michaud in northern Maine and Chellie Pingree in the southern part of the state). I don't think a Democrat stands a snowflake's chance in hell, in that our illustrious voters -- at the behest of the Teabaggin', Bible-thumpin', hooker-humpin', sister-marryin', rifle-rack-in-the-pickmup, neocon wingnut idjits -- supported a "people's veto" of marriage equality... a veto funded by a bunch of out-of-state ultra-conservative whackjobs who are suing to maintain their anonymity, since they, like the rest of their ilk, are violently allergic to the light of day.

I fear that Fat Ass will prevail upon Snowe to resign early, so that Fat Ass can, in turn, resign as governor (like his Teabaggin idol, Caribou Barbie), so that his successor can appoint Fat Ass  to Snowe's seat, giving him a foot up in the next campaign.

Breitbart Dead

Right-wing blogger, famous for playing fast and loose with facts, Andrew Breitbart has died of natural causes, according to authorities. The far-right-wing whackjobs have decided that President Obama had Breitbart whacked, due to Breitbart's possession of a video of Obama that "proves" our duly-elected President is the devil incarnate, or a Muslim, or a Martian, or something.

Why don't you kids go away somewhere and let the grown-ups run things, 'kay?

Sauce for the Goose, Sauce for the Gander

The Maine Tea Party Patriot party -- better known as Maine's Teabaggin lunatic fringe -- claims unswerving loyalty to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Maine.

One small problem: Maine's state treasurer, Bruce Poliquin.

The state Constitution states the treasurer "shall not, during the treasurer's continuance in office, engage in any business of trade or commerce, or as a broker, nor as an agent or factor for any merchant or trader."

Poliquin, who was appointed treasurer by Fat Ass Paul LePage, has continued to operate at least two separate business during his tenure.

State Rep Mark Dion, an attorney and former sheriff, asked the state's Attorney General if Poliquin's activities were within the constraints of the Constitution.  The AG, William Schneider -- also appointed by Fat Ass -- said that Poliquin should  "disassociate himself from active management" of his businesses and "not appear before any governmental bodies on behalf of entities that he owns."

Since Poliquin decided to ignore the AG's recommendations, Dion is now asking the Maine Supreme Judicial Court for a ruling.

It'll be interesting to see if the Teabaggin lunatics support the Constitution or their Teabaggin buddy. I know where my wager is going.

Girl Scouts: Cookie Monsters or Gay-Agenda, Pro-Abortion Terrorists?

Some useless little state rep in Indiana, Bob Morris, is terrified of the green-clad harbingers of doom known as the Girl Scouts, claiming they are the “tactical arm” of Planned Parenthood, a “radicalized” group with a homosexual agenda that promotes abortion while seeking “the destruction of traditional American values.”

Hey, dude, go back home and don't bother the grown-ups anymore, okay?

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/02/28/2666042/have-a-cookie-support-a-girl-scout.html#storylink=cpy

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Truly Disgusting Headline:

"For Romney, a new strategy after a Santorum surge"

Please pass the brain bleach.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Here We Go Again...

Once again, who you know is more important than what you did...
Manhattan prosecutors have decided not to file rape charges against a son of Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly after a two-week investigation of a woman’s accusation that he had attacked her in October inside the Lower Manhattan law office where she worked, prosecutors said in a letter on Tuesday.
The Manhattan District Attorney declined to press charges, saying:

 “the facts established during our investigation do not fit the definition of sexual assault crimes,” according to the brief letter, which was written to Mr. Kelly’s lawyer, Andrew M. Lankler. “Therefore, no criminal charges are appropriate.”

Of course, had this been someone other than a police commissioner's son, you know damed well there would have been at least a grand jury investigation.

Oh, and what does Greggy do for work?


After the allegations became public, Mr. Kelly took a leave from his position as an anchor of “Good Day New York” on the Fox station WNYW (Channel 5).


But of course.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Gingrich: "Romney is a liberal"

Lizardboy has declared that Mittens is a "pro-abortion, pro-gun control, pro-tax increase liberal."

This from the guy who asked his wife for an "open marriage."

Sweet baby Jebus.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

TSA Strikes Again... With Credit Where Credit is Due?

I don't really know if this should be filed under "TSA Strikes Again" or "Credit Where Credit is Due."  Senator Rand Paul (Teabaggin Independent Lunatic Fringe) was denied boarding at Nashville, after he refused a pat-down search (he had allegedly "triggered a routine alarm").


"When an irregularity is found during the TSA screening process, it must be resolved prior to allowing a passenger to proceed to the secure area of the airport," TSA spokesman Greg Soule said in a statement. "Passengers who refuse to complete the screening process cannot be granted access to the secure area in order to ensure the safety of others traveling."


At least the TSA goons treated a teabaggin "moran" the same way they treat us.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Correction Time

I just completed a post complimenting a business exec on the opinions expressed in a letter to her customers. Since I had a few minutes, I did a little background research on the company. Not good. The family strongly supports both Wisconsin Teabaggin Governor Scott Walker and the John Birch Society. Googling the company name revealed several forums full of disgruntled ex-employees, among other things.

When I saw that, I realized I had been had.

I deleted the post.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Oh, Puh-Leeeeeze...

[Update: corrected an error - should have been manly, not many.]

Just saw a commercial for Dr Pepper Ten... Pair of overly-macho adventurers talking about their shoot-em-up and the fact that Dr Pepper Ten has "only ten manly calories." They go on to disparage "girly" drinks and chick flicks.

Yeah, like guys like that are gonna worry about calories.  Remember Gablinger's Beer?

Professional-Strength Time Waster

I've been doing some cleaning around the house today, and I left the TV on for some noise. Turns out Spike TV is running a marathon of one of the most bizarre programs I've ever seen: 1000 Ways to Die. It's a series of mini-clips of really unusual deaths... swallowing an M-80 with a lit fuse, dumping a smoke into a toilet filled with gasoline.. all those good things.

I haven't gotten much done the last couple of hours...

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year. Whatever.

Today's Maine Telegram has an interesting article on some of the new laws taking effect in Maine. One law requires the state's business ombudsman to establish a "central permitting program for retail businesses." This is in keeping with Fat Ass Paul LePage's promise to make Maine big-mega-business friendly. 


The idea is to make it easier to apply for and receive annual permits required for eating and lodging establishments, and for businesses that sell liquor, wine and beer, tobacco, food, beverages, lottery tickets and gas.


Individuals applying for public assistance will also face new procedures: they will have to provide notarized affidavits from all eight great-grandparents, a celebrity chef, a Heisman Trophy winner, and a draft pick to be named later.