Steve G.

Posts Tagged ‘Health’

Legal or not, medical marijuana patients can still be fired

In Congress, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Health, Law, Medical Marijuana on January 26, 2008 at 4:41 am

From CNN:

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Workers who are legally prescribed marijuana to treat illness can still be fired from their jobs, following a ruling Thursday from the California Supreme Court.

art.marijuana.gi.jpg

Medical marijuana user Angel Raich, 41, had her pot confiscated while her case was appealed.

The 5-2 decision upheld the job termination of Gary Ross, who flunked a company drug test shortly after being hired at a telecommunications firm.

A state referendum that allows people to use medical marijuana with a physician’s recommendation are immune from some state criminal drug possession charges. But the state high court said such legal protection only goes so far.

“Nothing in the text or history of the Compassionate Use Act suggests the voters intended the measure to address the respective rights and duties of employers and employees,” wrote Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar. “Under California law, an employer may require pre-employment drug tests, and take illegal drug use into consideration in making employment decisions.”

The court agreed with RagingWire Telecommunications’ contention it had a right to fire Ross because any marijuana use is illegal under separate U.S. law. The company said its work across state borders could put it in legal jeopardy from federal labor standards involving the conduct and production of its work force.

The U.S. Supreme Court has said the Bush administration can prohibit the backyard cultivation of pot for personal use, because such use has broader social and financial implications.

A federal appeals court last March said medical marijuana users can be subject to arrest and confiscation of the material, under federal anti-drug laws.

The issue is being closely watched because of the obvious conflict between state and federal laws over the use of medical marijuana. Various courts have said the federal Controlled Substances Act does not violate state autonomy.

The latest case involves Ross’ back problems stemming from injuries sustained when he served in the U.S. Air Force. He received a physician’s recommendation to use pot in 1999 and presented a card certifying his use of the narcotic when he took the employment drug test in 2001.

Ross said his condition does “not affect his ability to do the essential functions of the job” his former employer hired him to do, according to his original complaint.

The Sacramento-based company said its no-tolerance policy applies to all workers, since potential “abuse of drugs and alcohol” could lead to “increased absenteeism, diminished productivity, greater health costs, increased safety problems, and potential liability to third parties,” according to the company’s lawyers.

Ross’ job performance was not at issue in the case.

The state supreme court said the law allowing use of marijuana for some patients is “modest” in scope, limiting the rights of some patients.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2005 for the Bush administration giving it broad authority to crack down on illegal drug use was criticized by patient rights groups and the movement to legalize marijuana.

“Congress’ power to regulate purely activities that are part of an economic ‘class of activities’ that have a substantial effect on interstate commerce is firmly established,” wrote Justice John Paul Stevens.

Under federal law, the Controlled Substances Act prevents the cultivation and possession of marijuana, even by people who claim personal “medicinal” use. The federal government has argued its overall anti-drug campaign would be undermined even by limited patient exceptions.

That high court case involved a separate lawsuit from a pot patient from Oakland, California, who has a variety of medical conditions, including a brain tumor. Angel Raich had her pot confiscated and was not allowed to use it while her case was appealed.

The Drug Enforcement Administration began raids in 2001 against patients using the drug and their caregivers in California.

Along with California, 11 other states have passed laws permitting marijuana use by patients with a doctor’s approval: Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. Arizona also has a similar law, but no formal program in place to administer prescription marijuana.

California’s Compassionate Use Act permits patients with a doctor’s approval to grow, smoke or acquire the drug for “medical needs.”

Users include television host Montel Williams, who has multiple sclerosis.

Posted in Courts & Justice System, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Law, STFU, War On Drugs, doctors, health, illness and disease, injured veterans, libertarianism, medical marijuana | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Marginalizing murder

In Children, Corruption, Courts and Justice System, Crime, Health, Law, Law Enforcement, Military, Obituaries, People in the news, US Government on January 11, 2008 at 11:41 pm

Maria LauterbachI have been watching the news reports about the young, extremely pregnant female Marine, Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, who disappeared almost a month ago.

What has been most prominent in this case is the systematic marginalization of a young woman who dared to accuse a man, a superior officer, of sexual assault. I expected that out of the Marine Corps. I did not expect that from her family and civilian authorities.

When she disappeared in December, the military did not report her missing, although certainly they were aware of it. Her stepmother was the person who filed the missing persons report. It now seems that her stepmother had advised her in a telephone conversation, shortly before her disappearance, to put her baby up for adoption because she couldn’t care for it. However, I’ve yet to see a Marine who can’t handle diaper duty. I suspect her stepmother really suggested adoption because of the identity of the father.

Apparently she had filed a rape charge against a superior officer, and a hearing was upcoming. The minute she filed a rape charge against a fellow Marine, she placed herself in danger, and the Marine Corps wasn’t about to do a thing to protect her.

As every female in the military is well aware (I used to be in the Air Force, many years ago) “don’t ask, don’t tell” applies to far more than sexual orientation. It also applies to females speaking out against the good ol’ boy system which is our military. They don’t want women there, and they especially don’t want mothers there. The latter is understandable to an extent, for many reasons; the former is not.

If a female is sexually assaulted by a fellow solder, and she reports that assault, she is assumed to be lying. Most females in the military will not report a crime committed by a male counterpart, and especially a superior officer, because they know how it will be viewed. The female, by filing such a charge, has bought their ticket out of the military, and with that goes all the benefits of being in the military, as well as the income. They will be forced out as a disgraced soldier.

Sure enough, it has been announced that she was facing involuntary discharge.

It has been said that she is suicidal and a chronic liar by her own family, by military authorities, and by the Onslow County Sheriff’s Department. Just yesterday, the Onslow County Sheriff made a plea for the missing woman to come back and face her problems.

Today, the Onslow County Sheriff announced that she is dead. Not only is she dead, she’s buried. It’s kind of hard to bury yourself when you’re dead. Obviously, she did not commit suicide. She was murdered. Obviously, the number one suspect is the superior officer.

Yet the Sheriff just said he is not terming this murder, because there are “a lot of twists and turns”. However, when you’re dealing with the military and they are covering something up, there are always going to be twists and turns. Sheriff Brown needs to get smart, and realize that he was being sent in other directions intentionally, to divert attention away from the Marine Corps.

Now, authorities are saying that the superior officer she accused is also missing. Apparently he’s been missing for a week, and was supposed to appear for duty at Fort Carson, Nevada.

Given the rape allegation, one would think he would have been noticed missing long before now. Undoubtedly the Marine Corps was aware that he had disappeared, and one would think they’d have made that information available. Had they done that, it would have been clear very early in the investigation that she had most likely been a victim of foul play, and the case would have been investigated as a possible murder rather than as a missing person. There is a huge difference between those two types of investigation, after all, since every adult has the right to disappear if they so desire.

But no. All this time, everyone – the Marine Corps, the Onslow County Sheriff’s Department, and even her own family – have worked on the assumption that she was lying about being raped by a superior officer. All this time, they have been protecting a murderer, a man who killed not only a fellow soldier, but an expectant mother and, quite obviously, her unborn child which could have survived outside the womb since she was eight months pregnant when she disappeared. As far as I’m concerned, that’s murder number two.

Today officials are saying that she was murdered because her unborn child would have been proof of her accusation of rape, which is undoubtedly a very big motive for murder on the part of the superior officer. So why wasn’t the Marine Corps ensuring this young woman’s safety from her attacker? Why didn’t they share that information with civilian authorities who were investigating her disappearance?

There are a lot of questions in this case which will probably never be answered. After all, the military is a law unto itself, and they don’t have to cooperate with local authorities.

However, this wouldn’t be the first time a Marine committed cold-blooded murder. The most famous case is undoubtedly that of Captain Jeffrey McDonald, who in the 70s murdered his pregnant wife and his two very young daughters, then tried to claim that drug-crazed hippies had committed the crime. It took decades to convict him of that heinous crime, due to the incompetence of the Marine Corps.

It looks like the Marines haven’t learn a thing since then. It’s all about protecting the reputation of the Corps. Semper Fi and all that, you know.

Originally posted by ElfNinosMom on Adventures in Frickintardistan

Scientists prove you really don’t need a brain to be a tax collector

In Health on July 24, 2007 at 2:42 pm

Tiny Brain No Problem for French Tax Official

Something that many people secretly believed has been confirmed: You don’t actually need a brain to work in a tax office. A French civil servant has been found to have a huge cavity filled with fluid in his head — yet lives a completely normal life.

The commonly spouted wisdom that people only use 10 percent of their brain power may have been dismissed as a myth, but one French man seems to be managing fine with just a small fraction of his actual brain.

In fact the man, who works as a civil servant in southern France, has succeeded in living an entirely normal life despite a huge fluid-filled cavity taking up most of the space where his brain should be.

Neurologists at the University of Marseille described the incredible case in the latest edition of the medical journal Lancet published Friday.They describe how the 44-year-old man went to the hospital in 2003 because he felt a mild weakness in his left leg. When the doctors went to look at his brain to see if the problem lay there, they found, well, pretty much nothing but a great black hole.

Scans of the man's brain show the huge fluid-filled chamber and the thin sheet of actual brain tissue.

Scans of the man’s brain show the huge fluid-filled chamber and the thin sheet of actual brain tissue.

The man told the hospital that as a child he had suffered from hydrocephalus (also known as “water on the brain”), a condition in which an abnormal ammount of cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain cavities, causing pressure inside the skull. To treat the condition, a valve known as a “shunt” had been inserted in his head to drain away the fluid when he was a six-month old baby. It was removed when he was 14.This information prompted the doctors to give him a computed tomography scan (CT) and a magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI). They then saw that there was what they — somewhat euphemistically — called a “massive enlargement” of the lateral ventricles, chambers that hold the fluid which cushions and protects the brain and which are usually tiny.

Dr. Lionel Fuillet, who headed the team that treated the man, told the Agence France Presse agency that a huge cavity had built up filled with fluid, while a thin sheet of functioning brain tissue, the proverbial grey matter, “was completely pushed back to the inner walls of the cranium.”

Tests showed that the man’s IQ is 75 — the average is 100 — but he was not considered physically or mentally disabled. Fuillet said that his condition had not impared his development or his socialization. He is married with two children and works in the tax office — which is perhaps not the most “taxing” of jobs.

“The case is extreme, but there are other cases of patients with incredibly little brain matter,” Florian Heinen, a brain development expert at the Dr. von Hauner’s Children’s Hospital at Munich University, explained to the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “Obviously these few nerve cells can achieve just as much as the millions more cells that other people have.”

I bet if they did an MRI on Dubya, they’d find a similar lack of brain matter. That sure would explain a lot, wouldn’t it? LOL

Lawsuit against US Department of Veterans Affairs alleges multiple abuses of injured war veterans

In Corruption, Department of Veterans Affairs, Fraud, Health, Iraq War, Military, War on July 23, 2007 at 2:41 pm

A class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Iraq War veterans against the US Department of Veterans Affairs. A copy of the lawsuit complaint may be seen at http://www.mofo.com/docs/pdf/PTSD070723.pdf

Along with a plethora of abuses alleged in that lawsuit, it is additionally alleged (as previously touched upon in this forum, when I noted that this is a longstanding action dating back to at least the early 1980s) that the VA has conspired with the Pentagon to falsely categorize veterans as suffering from preexisting personality disorders, as a way of denying them their veteran benefits.

According to the lawsuit, the Veterans Administration has a backlog of between 400,000 and 600,000 claims. It states that it takes 177 days to process an initial claim, and 657 days to process an appeal, and some benefit claims take up to ten years to decide while injured veterans suffer and, sometimes, die awaiting necessary care. The suit additionally compares this timeline to healthcare claims made in the private sector, which take on average less than 70 days to decide.

Additionally, according to the lawsuit, senior VA officials were given $3.8 million in bonuses during 2005, the same year in which the VA spent $1 billion over budget while timely and appropriate treatment of injured veterans continued to decline.

Most recently, there have been a rash of suicides by Iraq War veterans, which were attributed to the agency’s failure to provide sufficient and appropriate mental health care to war veterans.

The law firm representing the veterans, Morrison and Foerster, stated that the lawsuit does not seek to make a statement about the war, but instead is intended to force action on veterans’ benefit issues.

Recently, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in a sharply worded decision regarding the failure of the VA to pay retroactive benefits to Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and suffered from a form of leukemia, “The performance of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs has contributed substantially to our sense of national shame.”

According to the newest complaint, which seeks a court order directing the Veterans Administration to make drastic changes in order to properly and timely treat injured and ill veterans, “Unless systemic and drastic measures are instituted immediately, the costs to these veterans, their families and our nation will be incalculable, including broken families, a new generation of unemployed and homeless veterans, increases in drug abuse and alcoholism, and crushing burdens on the health care delivery system.”

How to be a successful drug dealer and get away with it

In Big Brother, Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights, Corruption, Drug War, Fraud, George Bush, Health, Human Rights Abuses, Law Enforcement, Nanny State, Personal Responsibility, Police State on July 6, 2007 at 10:49 am

Also posted at Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli

Law enforcement involvement in death of CA woman ignored by ER personnel

In Crime, Health, Law Enforcement, Media, Obituaries, Personal Responsibility on June 23, 2007 at 1:04 pm

We’ve probably all heard the story of Edith Isabel Rodriguez, who died in a Los Angeles emergency room after being refused treatment. Concerned people on the scene called 911, and were told there was nothing cops or paramedics can do, since she was already in a hospital. Hospital personnel stepped over her while she was on the floor, writhing in pain. A janitor mopped around her, to clean up the blood which came from her body. Concerned individuals who tried to bring the woman’s condition to the attention of hospital personnel were told that it was not blood coming from her mouth, but chocolate.

The woman, unfortunately, died.

The part of this story being left out of most news accounts, however, is that the hospital called the cops to have her removed from the premises.

When cops arrived, they picked her up off the floor, blood coming from her mouth, and arrested her for a probation violation.

What the hell?

Cops were transporting her to jail when her heart stopped. They returned her to the hospital, but by then it was too late, and she died. She had suffered a perforated bowel sometime within 24 hours after arriving at the hospital. Had she been seen when she had first arrived at the hospital hours before, she probably would have survived.

The problem here lies not just with the hospital, but with the cops. The cops should have demanded that she be seen before they transported her. After all, it’s not rocket science that somone is probably dying when they’re in that kind of condition.

A number of hospital employees have been fired and reported to licensing authorities, and the state has taken steps to close down the hospital since she’s not the only person who appeared there deathly ill and was refused treatment. A murder investigation has also been opened.

As far as I can tell, though, no action has been taken against the cops on the scene, despite their undeniable responsibility to intervene on the woman’s behalf.

Medical Marijuana Bill in Connecticut Vetoed by Governor

In Drug War, Health, Medical Marijuana on June 22, 2007 at 9:30 pm

From FOX News:

Connecticut’s governor, a cancer survivor, vetoed a bill that would have allowed people with certain serious illnesses to use marijuana, saying it was fraught with problems and sent a mixed message to children.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell said Tuesday that she struggled with the decision.

“I am not unfamiliar with the incredible pain and heartbreak associated with battling cancer,” the Republican said. Rell was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, a few months after taking office, and she underwent a mastectomy.

The bill she vetoed would have allowed people older than 18 with medical conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and AIDS to grow and use four marijuana plants after getting written permission from a doctor and registering with the state.

The issue pits broader patients’ rights against concerns of legalized access to an illicit drug. Twelve states let some patients use marijuana despite federal laws against it.

“I think this is a big step backward,” said Republican state Rep. Penny Bacchiochi, a widow who risked arrest more than 20 years ago to obtain marijuana for her husband while he struggled with bone cancer.

TV talk show host Montel Williams, diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999, lobbied at the state Capitol in support of the bill. He said he uses marijuana to help alleviate the pain and debilitating symptoms.

Energy Vortex II

In Civil Liberties, Economics, Environment, Global Warming, Health, History, Iran, Iraq War, Media, Middle East, Military, Police State, Terrorism, War on June 16, 2007 at 8:26 am

A while back I wrote about the Energy Vortex and others have commented on the same issue.

The most cited instance of this is the War in Iraq (and possibly Afghanistan; it may have had a lot to do with the proposed oil pipeline through Afghanistan).

This view of

Operation
Iraqi
Liberation

has worked its way into popular culture:

Many have denied the connection, but the new Iraqi Oil Law
makes it harder to give any credibility to such denials.

Nor is the regime’s energy fascism solely confined to grand projects abroad; sometimes, it can also be quite petty and domestic.
Francois Tremblay
reports:

Despite his good intentions, the state fined Teixeira $1,000 for not paying motor fuel taxes. North Carolina officials also told him that to legally use veggie oil here he’d have to first post a $2,500 bond.

Such penalties have also been levied against other North Carolina drivers whose vehicles were powered by alternative fuels.

It’s enough to make you do a Katrina Clap…

Ag Department protecting big business from superior product

In Big Brother, Health on June 1, 2007 at 7:33 am

I can’t believe this. A Kansas beef producer, Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, announced its plans to test all of its cows for mad cow disease – which sounds great to me. (The company does some other pretty cool stuff – its processing plant was designed by Dr. Temple Grandin, a specialist in animal welfare, for example.) The USDA, however, knew that

…if Creekstone should test its meat and advertised it as safe, [larger meatpacking companies] might have to perform the expensive tests on their larger herds as well.

Since the USDA regulates the mad cow test, it prevented Creekstone from testing its cows, using the blindingly lame argument that

…widespread testing could lead to a false positive that would harm the meat industry.

Naturally, they don’t care that widespread testing could lead to people not dying – it’s the big meatpacking companies that they’re around to protect.

On March 29th, Judge James Robertson of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that it was illegal for the USDA to prevent Creekstone from testing its own goddamn cows – but allowed the USDA to appeal until June 1st. On May 30th, they did. Creekstone’s CEO James Buhlke said that

We still hope to convince USDA to work with Creekstone on a voluntary BSE testing program. However, Creekstone Farms will continue to pursue our right to test even in the wake of this latest action by the USDA.

I don’t see how anybody who’s not a complete shill for Creekstone’s competitors could disagree. Creekstone owns the cows, Creekstone’s customers want safe beef, but the USDA thinks it owns all the cows in the country.

It appears his hypocrisy knows no bounds

In Health, Libertarian, Taxation on May 22, 2007 at 9:10 pm

John Edwards said that there are two Americas and he is right.

There are Americans who have access to ob/gyns in their towns and there are those who don’t. From a November news release from The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists:

Increasing medical liability insurance premiums and the fear of lawsuits continue to force ob-gyns to change how they practice medicine, according to the latest medical liability survey conducted by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). As a result, many women across the country are going without basic health care and treatment of serious health conditions, as more ob-gyns are providing fewer services, retiring from practice completely, or relocating to areas where there are less liability concerns.

According to the ACOG survey, 70% of ob-gyns have made changes to their practice because of the lack of available or affordable medical liability insurance, and 65% have made changes because of the risk or fear of liability claims or litigation. Between 7-8% have stopped practicing obstetrics altogether because of either insurance affordability or availability issues or the risk or fear of being sued.

Read the rest of this entry »

Outright Libertarians survey – Steve Kubby for President

In Children, Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights, Health, Immigration, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Military, Politics, Taxation on May 17, 2007 at 5:55 am

Since Stuart mentioned the Outright Libertarians interview with George Phillies, here is their interview with Steve Kubby, from their blog.

Unlike the problem with immigration that Stuart mentioned in George’s answers, Steve’s were traditionally libertarian down the line.

Read the interview after the jump.
Read the rest of this entry »

Nursing Home Greed + Alzheimer’s Patient + Dead Rat In Mouth = Lawsuit

In Corruption, Crime, Economics, Fraud, Health on April 7, 2007 at 9:53 am

By GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press Writer

SANTA ANA, Calif. – Staffing was so inadequate at a California senior center that a rat crawled into an Alzheimer’s patient’s mouth and died there before staff noticed, a lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday on behalf of 90-year-old Sigmund Bock, alleges that administrators at the Paragon Gardens Assisted Living and Memory Care Community in Mission Viejo overbooked their facility to receive corporate bonuses, but cut back on staff to increase profits.

“The facility so literally ignored the needs of their residents … as to allow vermin in the form of a rat to become lodged in the mouth of Sigmund Bock and die therein,” the lawsuit alleges.

Melody Chatelle, a spokeswoman for Sunwest Management Inc., the Oregon-based company that operates Paragon, denied the allegations.

“We take care of our residents, and find this negative publicity to be a disheartening affront to our professional caregivers and most especially to our residents and their loved ones,” she said.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Of course, the nursing home claims they did nothing wrong, but apparently a staff member observed that patient sharing candy with a rat earlier that day, but thought nothing of it and did nothing to stop it.

This is not the first time that particular nursing home has gotten into trouble, either. Apparently they almost got their ticket pulled when a 71-year-old dementia patient wandered off last year. Tragically, that patient has never been found.

This kind of stuff just majorly pisses me off. Nursing homes like that one must choose their staff by leaving them alone in a room with a small puppy, to make sure they’ll torture it.

Feeding Homeless A Criminal Offense In Orlando

In Big Brother, Censorship, Civil Liberties, Crime, Economics, Health, Law Enforcement, Nanny State, Personal Responsibility, Police State, Politics on April 5, 2007 at 3:58 pm

Orlando police have unbelievably arrested 21-year-old Eric Montanez, an activist with the charity “Food Not Bombs”, for feeding 30 homeless people in downtown Orlando.

A city ordinance, supported by businesses which claim the homeless frighten away customers, prevents feeding more than 25 homeless persons within two miles of Orlando City Hall. The law does allow charities to feed more than 25 people at a time with a special permit, but only allows two such special permits per year. Perhaps they feel charitable only on Christmas and Thanksgiving?

I’ve been in downtown Orlando. It’s no different from any other large city, insofar as the homeless population is concerned. It’s also nothing special, and chances are this ordinance has little to do with the homeless frightening customers, and everything to do with the people who work downtown not wanting to deal with them.

Police videotaped Montanez as he fed the needy some stew from a large kettle. They later arrested him and charged him with a misdemeanor for violating the ordinance, and took a sample of the stew as evidence. A police spokesperson said that Montanez is the first person to be arrested under the controversial law.

Frankly, I hope he prevails in court, and that the law is found to be unconstitutional. After all, it is a restriction on the First Amendment right to peaceably assemble. Besides, charities historically have done a much better job of caring for the needy, but that wouldn’t let the government have quite so much control, would it? The charities go where the needy are, and in most cases, they’re downtown. The government needs to butt out, and let the charities do what they do best.

I also have to wonder if there is any connection between this action and the name of the charity, “Food Not Bombs”. There may be more to this than meets the eye.

Four-Year-Old OD’d, Parents Charged With Murder

In Children, Crime, Health, Law Enforcement, Obituaries on March 23, 2007 at 3:22 pm

While the world watches and waits, and demands to know what killed Anna Nicole Smith (and where her son Daniel got the Methadone which killed him just five months prior – duh), a far more disturbing prescription drug-related death has occurred.

Four-year-old Rebecca Riley died of an overdose of Clonidine, a drug prescribed for bipolar disorder. This would normally be a tragic morality tale about the importance of keeping prescription drugs away from children, except for one undisputed fact.

A doctor had prescribed that drug, along with others, for the little girl starting when she was only two years old; and the little girl was intentionally given the overdose over a period of months in order to control her, prosecutors say.

Apparently what used to be known as the “terrible twos” is now being diagnosed as ADHD and bipolar disorder.

After Rebecca’s death, police found only seven Clonidine tablets in the family’s medicine tray; the pharmacist said there should have been 75.

All together, prosecutors say, Carolyn Riley got 200 more pills in one year than she should have.

The Rileys’ lawyers call them unsophisticated people who did not question their children’s doctors.

Both were unemployed; they collected welfare and disabilty benefits and lived in subsidized housing. Michael Riley, who is also awaiting trial on charges of molesting a stepdaughter in 2005, claimed to suffer from bipolar disorder and a rage disorder; his wife told police she suffered from depression and anxiety.

“They are not the sort of people who go on the Internet and look on WebMD. These are the sort of people who, when they go to a doctor, the doctor is God and they do what the doctor says,” said John Darrell, Michael’s lawyer.

Carolyn’s lawyer, Michael Bourbeau, said that because the Rileys’ three children were all taking Clonidine, Rebecca’s prescription may have come up short at times when her siblings were given some of her pills. And some of the pills may have been lost when they were split in half, he said. Read the rest of this entry »

Sherlock Holmes Connection To Houdini Murder Mystery?

In Celebrities, Crime, Health, Obituaries on March 23, 2007 at 6:36 am

Renowned magician Harry Houdini is rising from the grave, 81 years after his untimely death at age 52.

He’s not doing so voluntarily, though, despite his promise to contact his loved ones from The Great Beyoooooond.

It seems that members of his family now believe he died, not as the result of peritonitis resulting from a ruptured appendix as previously believed, but rather as the result of murder most foul carried out by Spiritualists who were angry that he had exposed their fraud.

A book about Houdini’s life published last year, which included a somewhat threatening letter written by Spiritualist proponent and Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, suggests that the magician was possibly poisoned with arsenic. No autopsy was ever performed but, if true, it is possible that arsenic may be detectable even now.

Read more here.

I can’t believe I’m reading this shit.

In Corruption, Democracy, Health, Nanny State, Police State, Politics, Science on March 16, 2007 at 1:45 pm

His Excellency Yahya Jammeh, President of the Gambia by right of tainted elections and really big guns, discovered a cure to AIDS in a dream and has begun administering it.

Why didn’t we think of that? All this time, President Bush could’ve just thrown some herbs together, guided by his ancestors, and cured AIDS forever. Dammit Bush, why didn’t you dream up a cure to AIDS? Why can’t you be as cool as His Excellency Yahya Jammeh, President of the Gambia by right of complete fucking stupidity?

Just think of all the money we’ve wasted on “science” and “medicine” when all it took to cure AIDS was some goddamn fucking herbs and testicles the size of minor asteroids. Well shucks, we sure are silly. Read the rest of this entry »

TN lawmaker proposes change to abortion law

In Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights, Health, Libertarian on February 14, 2007 at 3:09 pm

You may remember the ridiculous WA initiative that would require heterosexual couples to have children within three years of marriage or have their marriages anulled. The WA initiative was, in my opinion, a brilliant way for same sex couples to bring attention to their cause. It obviously has no chance of passing, but it seems to have inspired a TN representative to take the play for the pro-life camp. Recently proposed legislation in TN would require death certificates for aborted fetuses.

Rep. Stacey Campfield, a Republican, said his bill would provide a way to track how many abortions are performed. He predicted it would pass in the Republican-controlled Senate but would have a hard time making it through the Democratic House.

The number of abortions reported to the state Office of Vital Records is already publicly available. The office collects records _ but not death certificates _ on abortions and the deaths of fetuses after 22 weeks gestation or weighing about 1 pound.

The identities of the women who have abortions are not included in those records, but death certificates include identifying information such as Social Security numbers.

Campfield’s bill, introduced Monday, would give abortion providers 10 days following an “induced termination of a pregnancy” to file a death certificate.

Abortion is a subject matter that divides even libertarians but this should scare us enough to unite. I have always been decidedly pro-choice and believe this regulation, if passed, would do nothing to reduce abortion. It would be used to stigmatize the women who have had to make a painful decision. It would create a mountain of paperwork for the already few abortion providers and may prevent them from providing service. It would create another avenue for identity theft.

The WA initiative was obviously an attention grabber, but I worry that this abortion bill may actually have a chance to pass. We should watch very closely because if it does, TN women would be only the first to see their private medical decisions made public. Other states will follow quickly.

*blinks*

In Civil Liberties, Health, Libertarian on February 9, 2007 at 1:56 am

Well, this is just odd.

Presented for amusement, possible enlightenment, and for no direct polemical purpose, the first-person tale of Susan Smith, as told to the British Guardian, who wants to be legless, and has gone through a fair amount of personal difficulty to get halfway there. Is she:

a) a screwed-up nut who ought to be locked up to prevent her from hurting herself;

b) suffering from the identifiable medical disorder “body identity integrity disorder,” probably because of the chemical make-up of her brain, who doctors have an obligation to help achieve her stated “need” to lose her limbs;

c) a woman with an unusual preference who should be permitted to contract with a willing professional to achieve her desires about her body;

d) who cares what she is or how she gets her jollies as long as I don’t have to pay for her fun and games?

Staggeringly odd, that. I gotta say that I wouldn’t do it myself if I were a doctor, but if she wants it done and can find a willing doctor, by all means. I’d have to say that her own words, in the article Reason linked, convinced me: Read the rest of this entry »

State of the Empire

In Censorship, Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights, Corruption, Crime, Democracy, Drug War, Economics, Environment, Health, Immigration, Iran, Iraq War, Libertarian, Middle East, Personal Responsibility, Politics, War on January 31, 2007 at 7:59 pm

Another outreach piece from Susan Hogarth of
LP Radicals.

disunion2.jpg


Read the rest of this entry »

The Energy Vortex

In Drug War, Economics, Environment, Health, Libertarian, Middle East, Taxation, War on January 31, 2007 at 6:47 pm

An exchange provoked by the Libertarian Response to Bush’s State of the Union Speech

Andrew L Sullivan writes…

You have a choice of drilling for oil in your own damn country or fighting for it in the Persian Gulf. PICK AND CHOOSE!

http://www.terrorfreeoil.org/

Well, yeah, those are a couple of choices. But there are others such as biodiesel from hemp, biodiesel from other sources, hydrogen, elctric based on wind, wave, geothermal, solar, fusion etc.

Currently the market incentives for developing alternative energy are pretty badly distorted: one way of looking at half a trillion for Iraq, among other military expenditures, is as a subsidy for petroleum. There are also non-military subsidies like highway spending (actually, in a sense military spending as well, they are technically Defense Highways).

Then there is the prohibition related ban on industrial hemp, even though it can’t possibly get anybody high.

Also, corporate personhood and limited liability absolves corporations of the true costs and risks of petroleum drilling, refining and burning, thus throwing off the cost/benefit/risk of petrol against other types of energy.

Taxes and regulations fossilize the market, destroying the natural turbulence that keep new companies from forming and rising and artificially keeping the big players securely on top.

That, and the SS system, keeps potential venture capital locked up.

The linkage of health care to employment is another system that keeps people, on the margin, as corporate employees rather than starting up entrepreneurial ventures, and the government school system teaches regimentation and unthinking leader-following for the purpose of
docile corporate and government employment.

Those are just a few of the factors.

Steve Kubby’s Energy Policy:


http://www.kubby2008.com/node/9


Originally posted at pauliecannoli wordpress