Experts in autocracies have pointed out that it is, unfortunately, easy to slip into normalizing the tyrant, hence it is important to hang on to outrage. These incidents which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them will, I hope, help with that. Even though there are many more which I can’t include. As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as “unceasing,” “grudging,” and “vengeful destruction.”
What a week. Trump signs executive order to eliminate insurance rules, undermine marketplaces. The United States withdraws from UNESCO, … citing anti-Israel bias. And don’t even get me started on Puerto Rico. The war on the planet just got so bad that my alternative energy company sent me an email about it – well, at least that wasn’t in itself bad news; they’re not going out of business.
It kind of makes me wonder how many people in 1930’s Germany did in fact speak out, but their voices were drowned by the juggernaut of Hitler’s regime. In eighty years, will they know how we spoke out? Those of us who weren’t able to attend protests in person? And even those who were? Or will the juggernaut of Trump’s regime hide that from view? Now, that’s depressing.
This is depressing too. Did you know that among other Congressional perks, they had an on-site pharmacist? It was news to me. And he (of course it’s a he) has even worse news for us.
Mike Kim, the reserved pharmacist-turned-owner of the [Grubb’s] pharmacy, said he has gotten used to knowing the most sensitive details about some of the most famous people in Washington.
“At first it’s cool, and then you realize, I’m filling some drugs that are for some pretty serious health problems as well. And these are the people that are running the country,” Kim said, listing treatments for conditions like diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
“It makes you kind of sit back and say, ‘Wow, they’re making the highest laws of the land and they might not even remember what happened yesterday.'”
OK, it’s not quite true that the pharmacy is on-site. What it does is deliver pretty fast to the Office of the Attending Physycian, which is on-site. And is really, really secretive. More so than HIPAA requires. Which probably has something to do with the fact that the fees for members are relatively low – always a hot topic when health care is discussed.
The Office of the Attending Physician itself was formed in 1928, after three members of Congress died in their offices within months of one another – more than 50 years after Grubb’s first opened its doors.
But the pharmacy services at the Capitol may go back even further – a 1911 text on senatorial privileges describes an “assortment of drugs and viands, tonics and recuperatives” on hand and “readily accessible” for lawmakers. Back then, reportedly, senators took tablet after tablet and vial after vial of quinine, pepsin, and calomel, “endless supplies of cough drops,” and something described as “dandruff cure.”
I do realize that some drugs used to treat Alzkeimer’s are also used to treat conditions other than Alzheimer’s, so this pharmacist’s revelation that Alzheimer’s drugs have been filled does not necessarily out anyone in congress as having Alzheimer’s; he was just speculationg, and the fact that it certainly would explain a lot is just coincidence. But it certainly would explain a lot, wouldn’t it?
Megaera, really the only way to make the costs and delivery of prescriptions fair is Single Payer Health Care – which just took another kick in the groin. Good luck.
Now, this story, from Philadelphia, shows pretty well why I am essentially no longer asking police departments to fire murderers: they just don’t stay fired.
Philadelphia police officer Cyrus Mann stood on a rain-slicked road, pointed his gun at a moving car and pulled the trigger five times, hitting the driver.
The next year, he chased an unarmed man down an alley and shot him in the back.
Two years later, he fired his gun four times at a man he had stopped for a suspected traffic violation.
Most officers will never fire their weapons while on duty. Mann, a nine-year member of the Philadelphia Police Department, shot three people in just over three years. The shooting in the alley, on Aug. 9, 2012, would prove fatal and prompt the police commissioner to try to fire Mann.
Like many police chiefs across the nation, he would fail.
The “Reader’s Digest version” of this is that the Union fought for Mann, it went to arbitration, and the arbitrator reinstated him. Well, at least the arbitrator wasn’t racist. I guess.
But many who are not reinstated to their own jobs still return to law enforcement after “geographic therapy.” Police forces just do not have enough qualified candidates, or enough HR to weed out the others. Unless charges are pressed, and successfully pressed, there is no certain way to keep a known murderer out of law enforcement permanently. And that isn’t the call of the chief or the commissioner, but of the district (or whatever) attorney. Who has to work with police on every case in order to get a conviction. So how is that going to work out?
We desperately need law enforcement reform, and wherever we turn, we are hampered in getting it. Tisiphone, would you look into this and see if you can come up with anything?
Now – I promised to try for follow-up information on cases referred to the Furies where there has been at least mild success. On September ninth, I asked Alecto to look into the case of a rogue cop, and to help in making her findings widely public. Well, she did. She did that so well (making it public, at least) that Jim beat me to it, in a comment on Thursday’s Open Thread.
In view of the Washington Post story above, however, I’m not terribly impressed. So Payne has been fired. Well, that takes the heat off his (now former) department, which was going to come under FBI investigation – no more Payne, no more problem. And also no guarantee Payne will not get hired elsewhere as a law enforcement officer. He was also fired from his second job as an EMT – but I didn’t see anything about stripping him of his qualifications for that, so that also is likely not a closed door.
Don’t give up on this one yet, Alecto.
The Furies and I will be back.
Cross posted to Care2 HERE.