The recurrent Republican distortions about health care systems in other countries grow ever more tiresome as poll after poll, survey after survey, analysis after analysis indicates consumers abroad overall approve of universal government-run affordable health care. Those who would attempt to convince otherwise never cite polls or fact-based statistics, it's always about my uncle in Canada who had to wait, had to come to the US to get treatment--which it always turns out he could afford to do in the first place--he just didn't want to wait his turn.
Here are some simple facts. Facts that took about 20-minutes to collect and to post. Searching for truth takes time--something the nay-sayers never do. The next time Teabagging birther bloviators tell you about Uncle George in Canada direct him to the facts below.
A 2003 Gallup Poll:
A more recent poll published here by Angus Reid Strategies, found that 65 percent of
Canadians have a "very positive" or "moderately positive" impression of
single-payer health care in their country. A whopping 79 percent of
Canadians have a negative opinion of health care in "the States." By contrast, only 43 percent of Americans give thumbs-up to this country's health care system.
And here:65 percent of Canadians said they had access to all the health care services they needed at costs they could afford; 49 percent of Americans felt the same way.
They're not teaching rocket science at the police academy but maybe some simple chemistry would be a good idea. How dumb is it to Taser on a homeless man inhaling gas from an aerosol can?Homeless man catches fire after being Tasered by police
Animal lovers and foodies alike are invited to a sumptuous spaghetti dinner for
a good cause. Funds raised support Brother Wolf Animal Rescue’s low- and no-cost
spay-neuter assistance program, which works to reduce the number of homeless
cats and dogs in our community and to help low-income pet owners improve the
health and quality of life of their pets through spaying and neutering.
TheAmerican Medical Association has chimed in on the growing controvery over over use and misuse of Tasers. The report speaks for itself:
Concerns about the use of CEDs [Conducted Energy Devices, like
the TASER] fall into three general areas: (1) they are used too
frequently and at lower levels on the use-of-force continuum than
indicated; (2) appropriate training and supervision of CED use is
lacking in some jurisdictions; and (3) CEDs may contribute to the death
of suspects, either directly or indirectly.
CEDs have a
role to play in law enforcement and prudent use can save lives during
interventions that would otherwise involve the use of deadly force. If
deployed according to an appropriate use-of-force policy, and used in
conjunction with a medically driven quality assurance process, Taser
use by law enforcement officers appears to be a safe and effective tool
to place uncooperative or combative subjects into custody. Treating
CEDs as “only a substitute for deadly force, would endanger officers
and negate the benefit that has been demonstrated.”
protocols should emphasize that multiple activations and continuous
cycling of CEDs appear to increase the risk of death or serious injury.
Ongoing issues include:
(1) the need
for clear usage guidelines, including restrictions on the application
of multiple discharges
(2) an appreciation of the potential risks of
injury and death associated with CED use and the gaps in knowledge
about potential factors that affect the relative safety of deployment,
and the risks of sudden death after exposure and physical restraint
(3) the need for independent peer-reviewed research into the safety
(and usefulness) of CEDs in field applications
(4) the need to
establish a more comprehensive national database of in-custody deaths.
Watch this, then you be the judge. Did this woman present a danger to the sheriff who stopped her for, allegedly, driving while using a cell phone which is prohibited in New York?
When he realized he was wrong about the cell phone, he trumped up a charge of driving 50 mph in a 45 mph zone?
Was the officer in anyway justified in using an electrified stun gun on a woman driving home with two children in her car?
What possible rationale could be used to justify the physical violence perpetrated on this citizen by this obviously poorly trained, inappropriately unprofessional law enforcement officer?
None, apparently, because the district attorney dismissed the phony charges of disorderly conduct and speeding after viewing the tape.
Did the cop lose his job? No, that would be admitting he did something wrong. But he was taken off patrol duty and given other assignments pending an investigation.
The woman? She's filed a lawsuit.
She says she wants to teach police a lesson. She said the deputy fabricated the speeding charge once he
realized she didn't deserve a cell phone ticket. He had not
clocked her with a radar gun. Instead, he said in a report, he
calculated her speed by following her for "several seconds."
"I want the public to know these police officers apparently aren't
being trained well enough to know when it is justified to use a Taser."
Taser International, the Arizona company that manufactures electric stun guns has filed suit in Canada asking the court to quash large portions of the 19
recommendations made by the Braidwood Commission which called for reform of policies and practices on the use of Tasers in British Columbia.
Taser said it will also be asking for an
injunction that would bar Braidwood from using the findings in any
However, opponents say that the company is using the lawsuit to intimidate its critics and protect their balance sheets.
The Braidwood Commission which investigated the controversial police use of
Tasers in British Columbia concluded with a report July 23 outlining 19 recommendations
leading the province to immediately severely restrict the use of
inquiry was called following the high-profile death of Robert
Dziekanski, a Polish immigrant who died after being repeatedly
shocked with a Taser at the Vancouver International Airport in
October, 2007. The incident, which was captured on amateur video,
resulted in international public outcry.
commission also called for "the threshold for use" of the
weapons to be "significantly revised from ‘active resistance'
to the much higher standard of ‘causing bodily harm.' The
recommendations also call on police “to set the rules about
conducted energy weapon use and officer training. It is the duty of
law enforcement agencies to train their officers and deploy the
weapon in accordance with those policies."
The report also states
"Conducted energy weapons do have the capacity to cause serious
injury or death, the risk increases with multiple uses and when
aimed at the person's chest. Taser use on emotionally disturbed
people poses the greatest threat.
GREENWOOD, S.C. -- Ernest
Owen Ridlehuber III, a 53-year-old father and grandfather, whose
family said had been missing since Tuesday and they had searched for
him overnight, was killed by multiple taser shocks by police
The police said they had no choice
but to shock the man after he made threats against them.
Ridlehuber's family had been trying
to get him to a doctor so that he could get back on medication
When Ridlehuber was handcuffed,
deputies said they noticed he wasn't breathing. His sister was there
when he died.
Deputies said they had no choice but
to shock the man after he made threats against them.
Major John Murray with the Greenwood County Sheriff's Office said deputies use tasers to avoid using lethal force or to
avoid hand-to-hand combat.
Did the police call a doctor? A psychologist? A social worker? A clergyman? Did they consider using a tranquilizer dart? A net? Was any effort made to communicate with a emotionally or mentally disturbed citizen before applying lethal force?
This is as good a case to illustrate why tasers should not be used as we're likely ever to get. This incident could have been handled in a far more professional manner. The use of brute (lethal in this case) force to manage the mentally ill, intoxicated, disabled is unacceptable. Isn't it time to let your local leaders and police in your community to know that tasers are being misused. Tasers are not, should not, be a substitute for adequate training and staffing. Our police should be able to talk to mentally disturbed citizens, patiently and understandingly. If they can't handle incidents like this, with mentally disturbed citizens, they should not be on the police force to begin with.
"Police officers are no long required to have "people skills," because
they have weapons which are deemed perfectly acceptable to use in any
situation, at their sole discretion. Why should they need patience or
basic psychology or even any kind of rudimentary analytical skills when
they can, without threat of serious repercussion, shoot people with
50,000 volts, thus instantly crumpling them to the ground in horrible
pain they will do anything to not repeat? It's a very efficient way to
solve any situation and reinforce the All American belief that you must
obey police no matter what." (From Hullabaloo)
Teabaggers are part of a proto-fascist national populist segment
of America with classic markers of fascism–racist, religous (xian
only), anti-feminist, anti-gay, anti-immigrant. They arm themselves and
incite others to do the same while invoking ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’ and
To wit: (Associated Press Writer Eileen Sullivan,Wed Aug 12, 3:50 am ET)
WASHINGTON – AP-- Militia groups with gripes against the government are
regrouping across the country and could grow rapidly, according to an
organization that tracks such trends.
The stress of a poor economy and a liberal administration led by a
black president are among the causes for the recent rise, the report
from the Southern Poverty Law Center says. Conspiracy theories about a
secret Mexican plan to reclaim the Southwest are also growing amid the
public debate about illegal immigration.
Bart McEntire, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives, told SPLC researchers that this is the most
growth he’s seen in more than a decade.
“All it’s lacking is a spark,” McEntire said in the report.
It’s reminiscent of what was seen in the 1990s — right-wing
militias, people ideologically against paying taxes and so-called
“sovereign citizens” are popping up in large numbers, according to the
report to be released Wednesday.
(Associated Press Writer Eileen Sullivan,Wed Aug 12, 3:50 am ET)