Everyday Erinyes #101

 Posted by at 8:16 am  Politics
Nov 182017
 

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.”

Less than two months ago, I included a story about a church leader who was fleecing the state by telling members to file fraudulent unemployment claims in order to keep their “contributions” up.  Well, this lovely church leader is back in the news again.  This time it’s for kidnapping.

North Carolina’s social services laws cite “family preservation,” so as to prevent “unnecessary placement of children away from their families.” Yet, many children have been taken from their families and put into the custody of church members. Thus far, three single mothers have come forward to allege a county court clerk bypassed the foster system so that church members were able to obtain custody of their children, despite a judge calling the conduct inappropriate.

A child advocate who visited the church to ensure that two foster children were safe was surrounded by members after “Pastor” Jane Whaley shouted from the pulpit, “You are here to cause strife!” and called her “wicked.”

“One thing that is confusing for people in the community is how these children can be so well-behaved and so well-dressed if things are so bad,” said John Huddle, who lost his children after be severed ties with the church. “But the clothing can cover the bruises and the smiles can hide the hurt.”

Hanky alert.

Alecto, you’ve been on this case – better get reinforcements.

I’ve addressed this issue before, but it isn’t going away.

A photo of several deported veterans went viral over the weekend as the U.S. celebrated Veterans Day on Saturday. The photo was taken by photojournalist Herika Martinez for the Agence France-Presse news agency.

The photo depicts a group of several Mexican men who served in the U.S. military in order to become citizens, but were denied and deported. The soldiers protested on Memorial day this year in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

Apparently, there are about 230 people who served in the U.S. military and expected to gain citizenship, but didn’t.

The article also states, “Serving in the military does not automatically confer citizenship….”  Well, dammit, it should!  Just think about this phrase:

Tisiphone, what kind of person can make sense of that?

This next story may need a hanky alert too – it did for me -you may be a little tougher.

MS-13 is, according to Wikipedia, “an international criminal gang,” which originated in the 1980’s in Los Angeles and spread.  Though El Salvadorean origin predominates among its members, a guy named Donald Trump has been leaning on them as a boogey-man to tout his wall.  Ed Gillespie also made use of the name in his campaign, fortunately to somewhat less effect.

There is a prison in Massachusetts, the Plymouth County Correctional Facility, which is owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and operated by the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department, yet is somehow also being used by ICE.  Currently there is an activist incarcerated there named Martin Gottesfeld, who is awaiting federal trial on hacking charges related to Justina Pelletier and her treatment by Boston Children’s Hospital.  (Martin was with Anonymous.  It made quite a splash at the time.  I don’t know why he is still awaiting trial on charges from 2014, but he is.)  Martin has been interviewed by and is still in touch with Ryan Grim, who is now with The Intercept (he was previously with the Huffington Post), and provided Ryan with this story.

A few months ago, some members of MS-13 were moved into Martin’s unit.

“When they first came in the unit, all of us were like, ‘Oh shit, MS-13, there goes the neighborhood,’ but they turned out to be model inmates,” he said. Beyond their so-far-unsuccessful attempts to attend church, he said, they’ve been unfailingly kind and rule-abiding. Many of them, he said, seem to have been swept up in broad conspiracy charges. “Contrary to the public impression that’s been painted by the Tucker Carlsons of the world, these guys are ideal inmates, they wanna go to church, don’t cause trouble,” he said. “I don’t think these are bad guys, not the killer rapists they’re being portrayed as.”

The incident which prompted Martin to bring this up to Ryan happened at breakfast.

Breakfast starts early in the BS-1 unit, Gottesfeld told The Intercept in a phone interview, and the elderly man was “head food-runner,” responsible for handing out trays. Each inmate is entitled to a single tray of food, but one young, white inmate and his friend grabbed a second.

The elderly man chased after the younger fellow and his friend, demanding the tray back; if any prisoner takes a second tray, that means somebody else won’t get breakfast. “The white kid dropped the tray and went to swing at the old guy, and that’s when the MS-13 guys just descended,” Gottesfeld said.

They rushed to the defense of the 72-year-old food-runner, and, granted they were not gentle with the young punk, when he was led out in handcuffs, he was in good enough condition to yell at them about how Trump is going to close the border and kick the Mexicans out.

The final irony, Gottesfeld added, is that the elderly man is a Republican and a Trump supporter, “but the nicest guy you could meet.”

Megaera, please make sure that neither the 72-year-old nor his defenders, nor Martin, are hurt, physically or with any loss of privilege, as a result of this incident.  Thank you.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 HERE.

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Everyday Erinyes #100

 Posted by at 8:54 am  Politics
Nov 112017
 

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.”

This was a week when my attention was drawn to two subjects – water, and eminent domain.  Probably everyone here knows who Chase Iron Eyes is, but just in case there are any senior moments, let me say “Standing Rock.”

Well, Chase Iron Eyes is now awaiting trial for inciting a riot, the riot being all the protests at Standing Rock over months and involving hundreds of people.  He has asked that this video be shared.  It goes through many of the events leading up to this charge.

There has been one recent victory, and I will quote Chase’s email (emphasis mine):

A North Dakota judge has ruled that my legal team is entitled to substantially more evidence from the North Dakota State Prosecutor’s office than has been forthcoming in other water protector cases. We will be able to take sworn testimony and demand documents from Energy Transfer Partners and their private, militarized security firm, TigerSwan.

The timing on this ruling is important for all environmental protectors. 84 members of Congress—nearly all Republicans—recently sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions encouraging him to invoke the domestic terrorism statute to prosecute fossil fuel protesters. These attacks on our fundamental constitutional rights, spearheaded by Donald Trump and parroted by congressional shills of Big Oil, should deeply concern all citizens who value our right to speak freely and demonstrate.

The email provided the link to the petition to sign.  Or you can text as described in the video to get the petition link.

Related, because fracking threatens people’s water (as well as the climate) is this case which Bold Alliance and landowners are fighting in Virginia, against the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines.

From the email, written by one of the landowners –

In an extraordinary move, more than 300 Virginia landowners have been sued in federal court by Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC, which is seeking authority for a “blanket taking” of all of these Virginia families’ land via eminet domain for this private company’s for-profit fracked gas pipeline.

And on Monday evening, it happened.

At my family’s farm, we were officially served with this lawsuit that seeks to take our land through eminent domain for the proposed Mountain Valley fracked gas pipeline.

The emotions are raw and real; jumping from anger to sadness to fear. Landowners across the region are wrestling with feelings of disempowerment.

We’re furious that a *private*, *for-profit* company has been handed over the power of eminent domain to drag our family to court seeking to seize a section of our land permanently for a risky, unnecessary pipeline that threatens our water and our climate — and later on, even sell that piece of our land to another private company!

I think everyone here knows what I think of eminent domain, so I see no need to stumble around looking for exotic insults and imprecations now.

Instead I’ll move on to another eminent domain case – this one in downtown Atlanta, Georgia.  Now, gentrification is not new to Atlanta.  In fact, the point of this story is that the neighborhood now facing it is the last working class black neighborhood in the city.

The article in the Atlanta Black Star includes a roughly 15-minute documentary clarifying the history of black residential areas in Atlanta.  I won’t embed it due to its length, but I’ll recommend it.

The Reader’s Digest version of the current situation is this:

The process the city is attempting to use to take ownership of the house is known as “eminent domain”— the power for governmental entities to take private property for public use. The city claims it needs the house, along with others on the same block in the Peoplestown neighborhood, in order to build a park and pond that will help with street flooding. 

Meanwhile, community members suspect the flooding is being used as a pretext to facilitate private development in the neighborhood.

This process is replicated throughout the US. If successful, eminent domain could become the newest tool that local and state governments could use to accelerate the gentrification and displacement that is already impacting low-income Black and Brown communities.  QQ

Doesn’t it all sound familiar?

A 20th century author of detective stories featuring running casts of detectives in three Southern California Police Departments had one of her characters say that all crime was rooted in one or both of two failings – stupidity and cupidity.  These crimes (and they are crimes – the fact that they are being done using the courts does not change that) are clearly due to the latter.  Dear Furies, the Greeks did not assign one or more of you to pursue criminals and crimes of greed, so you will need to divide up the assignments yourselves.  I have confidence in you.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 HERE.

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Everyday Erinyes #99

 Posted by at 10:40 am  Politics
Nov 042017
 

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.”

I think I may be close to breaking the code as to how people who are obviously racist can say things like “I’m absolutely not racist in the very least,” and appear to believe it.

It’s kind of like the Dunning-Kruger effect.  They don’t really understand what “racist” means, but they know it’s something bad.  So they think, “I’m a good person, so I can’t possibly be racist, because then I’d be a bad person.”

Case in point:  Joe Briggs, candidate for City Council in Suwanee, Georgia.  Technically his tweets have been “anti-semitic” rather that “racist,” but that doesn’t differentiate the sentiments, only the target group.  Most people who are the one are also the other.  Probably misogynist, too.  Here are some:

[A]t least the Nazis assimilated and contributed to US society.

Zionists in Israel far worse than anything described in Mein Kampf. Get over it.

[G]et the Jews out of the White House and out of POTUS’ ear.

I particularly note the statement that Nazis have “assimilated and contributed to US society” and its implication that Jews have not.  Mr. Briggs, Jews have assimilated so well into US society that you probably have no idea how mant contributions they have made because you don’t recognize the contributrs as Jews.  Nazis, on the other hand, have mostly contributed bigotry and hate.  Well, of course, no one is useless.  They can always serve as horrible examples.  But I’m sure that’s not what Mr. Briggs had in mind.

Mr. Briggs thinks that his political opponents are “digging up dirt on him to distract from their own failures.”  Well, distractions are not unknown in politics.  But in this case, the “dirt” that they are “digging up” is absolutely real.

Megaera, maybe you can do some explaining to him.

Meanwhile, in Connecticut – oh, by the way, if you are eating right now, or just finished eating, or about to eat, you may want to skip this section until later.  Seriously.  Now, where was I?  Oh, yes, in Connecticut.  At the University of Hartford.  Where there was a – well, let’s say a failure to communicate.  Between roommates.

One of the young ladies (need I say the white one?) complained of her roommate “posting Snapchat videos of [her] sleeping and making fun of [her]snoring.”  Oh, yeah, that’s TOTALLY a reason to stick her toothbrush up your – ahem.

She also “spit … in her coconut oil, put … moldy clam dip in her lotions, rubb[ed] used tampons on her backpack, … and so much more….”  all in order to get the woman she called “Jamaican Barbie” to move out of the room.

The victim. whose name BTW is Jasmine, was really only aware of the perp turning off the lights when she left and Jasmine was still in the room.  This did make her feel unwelcome.  She had no idea the perp was doing all this until it got bragged about on Instagram.  She had had “extreme throat pain” but did not, and does not, know what might have caused it.  (Personally I think it might have been the spit, which clearly must have contained snake venom.)

The perp has been arraigned on charges of breach of peace and criminal mischief, and, if the West Hartford police get their way, a charge of intimidation based on bigotry or bias.  She was also ordered to stay away from the college campus (reasonable, since she’s been expelled.)

Tisiphone, this does sound like one for you.

Now, from the “bad news is good news” department, a seasoned legal journalist who also happens to be a personal friend of James Comey has posted a thread on Twitter explaining why Trump’s delusional demands for the DOJ to investigate Hillary Clinton actually represent a tribute to the independence and integrity of our justice system.  This journalist is named Benjamin Wittes, and here are a couple of excerpts from his Twitter feed:

It’s strong enough that he can fulminate all he wants about investigating Clinton and still Mueller does his job, and the FBI does its job, and the men and women of the DOJ do their jobs, and none of their jobs, as our democratic polity has determined them, is to fulfill his undemocratic ambitions to loose investigators on people he doesn’t like….

And

It’s a stunning statement of presidential constraint: A president actually saying that he aspires to corrupt interference with law enforcement and can’t pull it off.  Let it warm your heart.  It certainly warms mine.

Alecto, it’s been so since the Constitution was adopted.  Keep it so.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 HERE.

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Everyday Erinyes #98

 Posted by at 10:51 am  Politics
Oct 282017
 

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.”

Well.  I promised to keep everyone posted as the Sherin Mathews case developed, and it has.  Yes, her body was found.  Yes, it was confirmed to be hers through dental records.  Yes, her father changed his story.  He now says she choked on the milk he was giving her, and that she died, or he thought she died.  He has been formally chsrged with “injury to a child.”

The Indian people and the Indian government is very interested in this case, but they are less interested in the death than in the adoption process, which makes sense.  The orphanage from which she was adopted is no longer functioning, but the former owner says “The child had no problem when she was here, neither in drinking milk nor in eating.”  Also, “We loved her laughter.  She was a smart child.”  The adoption was handled through an agency, Holt International, under the supervision of the government’s Central Adoption Resource Authority, which says that due procedures were followed, including background checks.  India’s External Affairs minister has formally requested the Women and Child Development Minister to investigate the adoption.

And, already, people with similar names are being harassed on social media.  Sigh.  Well, Tisiphone, it’s still yours.

In a week in which we are still discussing Harvey Weinstein, in a week in which bill O’Reilly has again raised his ugly head (the upper one), this time to complain to God, and of course Donald Trump’s proclivities are being discussed, this story is still going to cause facepalms.

In Chicago, at a massage parlor called Therapy for Everybody, the operations director and lead therapist, Anthony Winters, raped a client.  The client reacted in shock, which caused the therapist to nopologize.  Why did he do it?

“because he thought she was physically attractive.”

You can fill in the acronyms.  Go ahead.  As many as you like.

Well, he is being charged with criminal sexual assault, but is apparently not locked up, because the prosecution has asked the judge to ban him from working as a masseur while awaiting trial.  This will probably be another one to follow up.  Let’s see – Alecto, since rape culture appears to be unceasing, how about you look into it more deeply.

And then, there’s this.

Montanans are debating the motives of two candidates allegedly running for the United States Senate seat currently held by Democrat Jon Tester.

“James Dean” says he is running for the Republican nomination.

“Sarah Dean” says she is running for the Democratic Party nomination.

I am not making this up.

William James Dean, who currently refers to himself as James Dean, “filed to run for president in California under a different name, Daniel Lane Dean, the name that appeared on his Air Force Academy diploma, and his Hawaiian state bar exam, and a divorce record that shows him being served dissolution papers while working for the Judge Advocate General Corps at Guantanamo Bay.”

And not only that, but

“Sarah Dean has used no fewer than four names, each affiliated with an online business, or a Christian ministry, a collection of children’s books, or a crowd-funded charity.”  ….  “Several of the answers offered by the Deans are like coins in the deep end of a swimming pool, vaguely recognizable but not reachable,” [Billings Gazette reporter Tom] Lutey explained of the encounter.

They also would not confirm that they were married.  Questioned, they were apparently unable to provide a wedding date or location.  But they have filed the forms to run, and they are not backing down.  Both are still running.

Megaera, I don’t see a grudge here (yet), though I do see an awful lot of grift.  Maybe you can clarify this – story (for want of a better word.  Oh, myth you say?)

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 HERE.

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Everyday Erinyes #97

 Posted by at 9:00 am  Politics
Oct 212017
 

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.”

In a followup to the murder of Philando Castile, the “Mr. Phil” who, as the nutrition services supervisor at J.J. Hill Montessori School, was known for using his own funds to pay for students’ lunches when someone had to, there is now a fund in his memory.

The Philando Feeds The Children Fund was started by Pam Fergus, a local community college professor who was inspired by stories of Castile having helped pay for student’s lunches with his own money.

“We just had this little idea that we were going to help do Mr. Phil’s job and make sure you guys have good lunch to eat every day,” Fergus told students, according to a WCCO report.

In total, more than 2000 donors helped the fund raise over $72,000 — well above the initial $5,000 goal — which was presented to officials at [J.J. Hill Montessori School where Castile worked] on Friday by Castile’s mother Valerie.

That’s enough money to cover student lunch debt thoughout all of St. Paul for an entire year.

Click through for information on a couple of other memorials for Mr. Phil.  And here’s an unrelated but similar project –

When Sunshine emptied her piggy bank on the floor, her grandmother wasn’t surprised, but she was when Sunshine started putting baggies of the coins into her school backpack.

“I’m going to take it for milk money. I’m taking it for my friend Layla,” she explained. “She doesn’t get milk — her mom doesn’t have milk money and I do.”

Grandma Jackie Oelfke later helped Sunshine start a GoFundMe page, hoping to raise maybe $700 towards needed milk money.  It turned into almost $8500 at last report.  Click through to this story for a Daily Kos petition on school lunches.

Alecto, maybe you could help these folks to keep all of their good efforts unceasing.

Now, if only we could find out what happened to Sherin Mathews.

The three-year-old disappeared around 3:00 a.m. on October 7 from her home in Richardson, TX.  Maybe.  Her father says, as punishment for not drinking milk, he sent her outside to stand by a tree.  Fifteen minutes later, he noticed she was missing.  He says.  (Did I mention there are coyotes in the area?)

After sunrise, he reported the disappearance. He was arrested on child abandonment and endangerment charges the same day Sherin went missing but has since been released on bond.  Apparently the adults have stopped cooperating with the investigation.

But at some point during the first week after her disappearance, the police learned that the family’s SUV had been driven out around 4:00 a.m. that morning and returned within an hour.  Her father had said he was doing laundry.

Sherin is adopted.  The couple also have a biological child, who was immediately placed into foster care.  She is Indian – not Native American, Indian – and the Consul General of India in Houston is following the case closely.  So is the Times of India.

A number of items have been removed from the home by investigators, one being the GPS from the SUV.  Even if directions were not plugged in, the investigators believe they will be able to determine where the vehicle went, and, in particular where it may have stopped.

However, as I am typing this, she has not been found.

Tisiphone, could you help?  She is said to weigh only 22 pounds (10 kg), and to have an eating disorder and a communication disorder.  But none of that makes her disposable.

And now, as I type, I have the radio on to a show about movie scores, and the score currently being played is the one to “Get Out.”  How ironic.

I have a first to share – although not first enough for my taste.

A white police officer was found guilty, having been tried on a first degree murder charge, of killing a black man.

Only he is no longer a police officer.  Even at the time he was off duty, and he retired shortly after the incident.  And although the charge was first degree murder, he was not convicted of that, but of first degree manslaughter.  And to get that much took four trials – there were three prior mistrials.  And did I mention the young black man was his daughter’s boy friend?

The jury recommended fifteen years in prison for Shannnon Kepler.  We will see.  This was in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Well, an Oklahoma City jury convicted Daniel Holtzclaw, and the judge imposed the recommended sentence, but he is appealing vigorously.  A Tulsa judge may do the same, although 15 years to me seems like a bad joke after what appears to have been a stalking.

The daughter, Lisa, had been living in a homeless shelter “on and off” since her parents “kicked her out.”  A circumstance which leads me to doubt whether “concern for his daughter’s safety” was even a miniscule factor in his actions.  They sound more like control to me.  He had stalked his daughter through Facebook to learn she was dating the victim, Jeremey Lake.  He had stalked Lake through the police department files and found an old (juvenile) incident.  He stalked the couple by driving near Lake’s address.  When the two walked nearby, and Kepler asked what she was doing there, she walked away.  Lake then attempted to introduce himself and, per his aunt, to extend a hand in friendship, when Kepler shot him.

Kepler then shot Lake, he later admitted, claiming that he thought he saw him reach for a gun.

“He’s bringing it, I’m bringing it,” Kepler told the courtroom on Wednesday, according to the AP. “It was either him or me. I’m not going to stand there and get shot.”

I am not the only person who sees stalking here.  The prosecutors alleged in their closing arguments that Kepler “hunted” Lake down.  And there is no argument

that Kepler left the scene without calling 911 or attempting to giving medical attention to Lake, the Tulsa World reported. Kepler turned himself in about 2½ hours after the shooting, and retired from the force after being charged.

Megaera, I hope you will follow up on this to ensure that the penalty, small as it is, gets imposed.  And I feel for Lisa Kepler, who may have problems, but I don’t see from the story as given where she did anything a normal person wouldn’t do.  But, normal or not, I believe she needs help.  Your Eumenides hat?

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 HERE.

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Everyday Erinyes #96

 Posted by at 7:59 am  Politics
Oct 142017
 

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.

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