Friday, March 27, 2009

You Know Police Relations are Bad When...

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...the local community has a candlelight vigil for a cop killer!

Vigil Held For Oakland Cop Killer Suspect

With the Oakland Police Department mourning the violent deaths of four of its own, a group Wednesday staged a vigil for the man authorities say gunned down the fallen officers.

Dozens of loved ones and supporters gathered for the evening march, organized by International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement, that took participants near a police substation within sight of the two locations where Lovelle Mixon allegedly shot the veteran officers. Mixon, 26, also was killed in the confrontation.

"I don't condone what he did, but it's bringing to light the frustrations between the community and the police," said Uhuru Movement member Kihad Deen. "This gives people a chance to speak their minds."

As mourners walked through the streets, they chanted, "OPD you can't hide, we charge you with genocide!" There were no officers patrolling the march route.

Mixon's cousin, Dolores Darnell, 26, addressed the small crowd, calling him "a true hero, a soldier."

"This is the real Lovelle," she said, holding a picture of a smiling Mixon with his wife. "We do apologize for what he did to the officers' families. But he's not a monster."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Government Creates Fake Homeless People

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This is no joke. The government of Toronto is paying people to pretend to be homeless for the sake of a survey. What I want to know is where else this is going on?

When volunteers venture into Toronto’s streets to survey the homeless next month, some of those approached to answer questions will be planted decoys carrying $100 prepaid Visa cards.

The city admitted yesterday that about 50 fake homeless people will be planted among the real homeless in order to bolster the statistical validity of the results.

Your Travel Guide, The Nanny State

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And I thought things in the US were bad! Apparently, the UK government is going to track the travel plans of all of its vacationing citizens, and they will levy fines in the thousands of pounds for failure to properly report said travel plans:

Anyone departing the UK by land, sea or air will have their trip recorded and stored on a database for a decade.

Passengers leaving every international sea port, station or airport will have to supply detailed personal information as well as their travel plans. So-called "booze crusiers" who cross the Channel for a couple of hours to stock up on wine, beer and cigarettes will be subject to the rules.

In addition, weekend sailors and sea fishermen will be caught by the system if they plan to travel to another country - or face the possibility of criminal prosecution.

The owners of light aircraft will also be brought under the system, known as e-borders, which will eventually track 250 million journeys annually.

Even swimmers attempting to cross the Channel and their support teams will be subject to the rules which will require the provision of travellers' personal information such as passport and credit card details, home and email addresses and exact travel plans.

The full extent of the impact of the government's "e-borders" scheme emerged amid warnings that passengers face increased congestion as air, rail and ferry companies introduce some of the changes over the Easter holidays.

The new checks are being introduced piecemeal by the UK Border Agency. By the end of the year 60 per cent of journeys made out of Britain will be affected with 95 per cent of people leaving the country being subject to the plans by the end 2010.

Yachtsmen, leisure boaters, trawlermen and private pilots will be given until 2014 to comply with the programme.

They will be expected to use the internet to send their details each time they leave the country and would face a fine of up to £5,000 should they fail to do so.

Similar penalties will be enforced on airlines, train and ship operators if they fail to provide details of every passenger to the UK Border Agency.

In most cases the information will be expected to be provided 24 hours ahead of travel and will then be stored on a Government database for around ten years.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

NHS Prevents, Does Not Provide, Health Care

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The only thing that shocks me about this is that everyone else is so shocked over the report:

The "shocking" state of affairs at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust meant patients admitted as emergencies suffered due to serious lapses in care.

Between 400 and 1,200 more people died than would have been expected in a three-year period, the head of the investigation for the Healthcare Commission said.

Families have described "Third World" conditions at the trust, with some patients drinking water from vases because they were so thirsty and others screaming in pain.

The Commission launched an inquiry after concerns were raised about higher than normal death rates in emergency care, in particular at Stafford Hospital.

The trust argued the anomalies were due to "problems with its recording of data and not problems with the quality of care for patients", the report said.

Not satisfied with this reponse, the Commission launched a formal investigation last year, sifting through more than 1,000 documents and interviewing some 300 people.

It found deficiencies at "virtually every stage", including inadequately trained staff who were too few in number, junior doctors left alone in charge at night and dirty wards and bathrooms.

Some patients were left in pain or needing the toilet, sat in soiled bedding for several hours at a time and were not given their regular medication, the investigation found.

Receptionists with no medical training were also left to assess patients coming in to A&E.

The investigation found heart monitors were turned off on wards because nurses did not know how to use them and some patients were left dehydrated because nurses did not know how to work intravenous fluid systems properly.

The report also found that the Government's target for patients to be seen within four hours at A&E meant patients could be taken to "dumping grounds" to avoid breaching the target.

Some patients had their operations cancelled for up to four days running and were "nil by mouth" for most of those days, leaving them hungry and thirsty.

In one ward, 55% of patients were found to have pressure sores when only 10% had sores on arrival.

The trust was also found to be 120 nurses short in 2007/08, of which about 17 were needed in A&E, 30 in surgery and 77 on medical wards.

The Commission said the trust's board was more focused on finance, targets and achieving foundation trust status, as well as its desire to save £10 million.

Despite the fact concerns had been raised about the trust, it was awarded foundation trust status - designed to mark out outstanding hospitals - just weeks before the investigation was launched.

Earlier this month the trust's chief executive, Martin Yeates, stepped down and has now been formally suspended on full pay, while chairman, Toni Brisby, resigned.

Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of the NHS, said today there had been a "gross and terrible breach of trust" of patients, adding the report showed there had been a "complete failure of leadership".

He added: "I'm proud of the NHS but actually I'm really saddened by this report."

Dr Heather Wood, who led the Commission's investigation, said the number of excess deaths between April 2005 and March 2008 was between 400 and 1,200, although it was expected the figure of 400 would be closer to the mark.

It is not clear how many of these deaths could have been avoided.

Chairman Sir Ian Kennedy said the report detailed "a shocking story".

"Our report tells a story of appalling standards of care and chaotic systems for looking after patients," he said.

"These are words I have not previously used in any report.

"There were inadequacies in almost every stage of caring for patients.

"There was no doubt that patients will have suffered and some of them will have died as a result."

Local MP, David Kidney, said: "The exhaustive Healthcare Commission report is both definitive and damning.

"In A&E, emergency admissions and medical wards 10, 11 and 12, care standards were unacceptable during the three-year period investigated.

"As a result, some patients experienced intolerable conditions and lessons were not learned by the hospital trust from those experiences.

"So more patients suffered.

"It is galling for patients and patients' relatives and carers that their complaints were not believed or were fobbed off with excuses and promises that the report shows were worthless."

Julie Bailey, 47, has spent 14 months campaigning for an inquiry into Stafford Hospital following the death of her mother in November 2007.

Ms Bailey, from Stafford, was so concerned about the care being given to her 86-year-old mother Bella that she and her relatives slept in a chair at her hospital bedside for eight weeks.

"What we saw in those eight weeks will haunt us for the rest of our lives," she said.

"We saw patients drinking out of flower vases they were so thirsty.

"There were patients wandering around the hospital and patients fighting. It was continuous through the night.

"Patients were screaming out in pain because you just could not get pain relief.

"Patients would fall out of bed and we would have to go hunting for staff. There was such a lack of staff.

"It was like a Third-World country hospital. It was an absolute disgrace."

Eric Morton, chief executive of the trust, apologised to patients but said "significant changes" had been made within a very short period of time, including new management, more staff and new systems in A&E.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson also apologised to families and patients, and announced a review of current A&E services at the hospital as well as one to establish how long problems had been going on for.

He said: "There was a complete failure of management to address serious problems and monitor performance.

"This led to a totally unacceptable failure to treat emergency patients safely and with dignity."

Shadow health secretary, Andrew Lansley, said: "The public will be rightly shocked by the poor standards of care exposed at this hospital.

"It is unacceptable that the pursuit of targets - not the safety of patients - was repeatedly prioritised, alongside endless managerial change and a 'closed' culture, which failed to admit and deal with things going wrong."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Thank Democracy for Kim Jong Il

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Democracy triumphs again! Kim Jong Il has been re-elected as leader of North Korea with an overwhelming 100% of the vote. This is a giant win for Kim, and a giant win for democracy. Hooray!

Admittedly, Kim was the only one on the ballot. But those who voted for him had the option of leaving their ballots blank, which they did not. No, they happily punched the "Kim Jong Il" option with visions of Juche circling their heads.

Other great leaders who were elected democratically:

Adolf Hitler
Joseph Stalin
Pol Pot
Fidel Castro
Hugo Chavez
George W. Bush

Monday, March 2, 2009

Protecting Us From 15 Year Old Girls

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A juvenile criminal mastermind disrespected the police officer and indeed the people of the Glorious State of Washington. She received the swift application of moral justice in the form of a knuckle sandwich to her 15 year old face. Hoo-rah!

The officer deserves a shiny gold medal. Unfortunately, this brave guardian of the public interest is being investigated for improper behavior. Oh, the injustice!