I can’t breathe: Barbara Dawson should be alive today

December 27, 2015

Barbara Dawson, 57, collapsed and died while handcuffed in the street on the Monday before Christmas outside Liberty Calhoun Hospital in Blountstown, FL after she was arrested by police and forcibly removed from ER where she sought medical assistance to help her breathe. She died of a massive pulmonary embolism that could have been diagnosed within a few minutes and successfully treated by the medical staff upon admission to the hospital.

NBC News reports,

Police were called to the emergency room when Dawson, who had been discharged by physicians, refused to leave. She was charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing and was escorted out of the hospital in handcuffs.

Dawson then collapsed as she arrived at the officer’s car.

“Our officer asked for help once he realized the patient did indeed appear to be unresponsive and had medical staff respond to Ms. Dawson,” Blountstown Police Chief Mark Mallory said in a statement on Wednesday.

Dawson was readmitted to the emergency room — where she was pronounced dead an hour later. The Florida state medical examiner ruled on Wednesday that she died from natural causes due to a blood clot in her lung. The blood clot was due to Dawson being excessively overweight, officials said.


Dawson’s aunt Angela Donar witnessed the incident, according to NBC station WJHG. Donar said her niece didn’t leave the hospital because she was still in pain, even though she was deemed medically stable to leave.

“When he got her to the car, he opened the door and tried to put her in the car and after then she collapsed,” Donar told the station. “They got the doctor to come out there and get a pulse of her and they couldn’t get no pulse. They bought a stretcher out there and took her back in the hospital.”

According to Chief Mallory, she was arrested for disorderly conduct and trespassing when she refused multiple requests to leave the ER.

According to CEO Ruth Attaway of the Calhoun Liberty Hospital, pulmonary embolisms are “difficult to detect and can be impossible to treat.”


No reasonably competent medical professional in a hospital ER would refuse to treat, discharge and call the cops on a patient who came into the ER complaining that she was experiencing chest pain and having difficulty breathing. The staff would have been able to visualize the PE with a Chest Spiral CT.

Wikipedia explains what a pulmonary embolism is and this is what it looks like.

Saddle Pulmonary Embolism (PE) Dr. Nir Hus MD., PhD. Image #3
Photo courtesy of Dr. Nir Hus, MD, PhD at Flickr

Wikipedia does not list obesity as a risk factor for pulmonary embolisms.

Daryl Parks is representing Ms. Dawson’s family. He works with Benjamin Crump. I do not believe he is going to have any trouble piercing the victim-blaming smokescreen spewed out by CEO Attaway.

Victim blaming is disgusting. Blaming a patient for dying after you kick her out of your ER is unconscionable.

I can’t breathe.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

December 24, 2015

Hallelujah Flash Mob

Fred & Rachel


December 23, 2015

Forget about political correctness.

Focus on respecting the other’s right to dignity, whether present or not.

That includes your enemy.

Never backstab and never fear speaking up for the defenseless, the absent or yourself.

See yourself in the struggles of the other and extend your hand when it is needed.

Be of service.

Separate what you want from what you need.

Respect your dignity.

Focus on these things and you will see the emptiness and ugliness in Donald Trump.

Character matters.

Unfortunately, he is lost in his money. As the teacher said long ago,

Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.

Matthew 19:24 [New International Version (NIV)]

Since we have free will, which includes the right to choose unwisely, entering the kingdom of God isn’t a relevant consideration.

Dignified behavior matters for its own sake.

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!

Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord.

Hamlet Act 1, scene 3, 78–82

Donald Trump is a supremely selfish, insecure, and immature psychological mess

December 22, 2015

Donald Trump is an immature bully who acts like an eighth grader run amuck on a school playground during recess. Last night he attacked Hillary Clinton. The Hill has the story.

GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump sparked criticism late Monday, saying that Hillary Clinton “got schlonged” by then-Sen. Barack Obama (R-Ill.) during the 2008 presidential race.

“She was favored to win and she got schlonged,” he said during a rally in Grand Rapids, Mich.

“She lost, I mean she lost,” Trump told supporters. “Everything that’s been involved with Hillary has been losses. Even a race with Obama – she was going to beat Obama.

“I don’t know who’d be worse,” he added of the choice between Clinton and now President Obama. “I don’t know.”

Trump also argued that Clinton did not look like the nation’s leader during last weekend’s Democratic presidential debate in New Hampshire.

“I watched her the other night and I said, ‘this is not a president,’” he said of the former secretary of State.

“I watched her the other night, and it was hard, it was really hard. There were a lot of better things on, including reading books and reading financial papers, which I actually enjoy reading.”

The former first lady apologized after returning late after a commercial break and walking across the stage while moderator David Muir questioned Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Trump mocked the incident as a “disgusting” bathroom break during his rally Monday night. The taunt drew applause and cheers from his supporters.

Mr. Self-Absorbed Billionaire, who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, regularly mocks and denigrates others while bragging about how wonderful he is.

Anyone who cannot see this fool for the supremely selfish, insecure, and immature psychological mess that he is needs professional help.

If his juvenile antics were not enough to disqualify him for the position of President of the United States, Politifact, the Pulitzer-prize winning fact-checking service, overseen by the editors of the Tampa Bay Times, awarded him their Lie-of-the Year award without bothering to select one of his lies. The Washington Post reports,

“In considering our annual Lie of the Year, we found our only real contenders were Trump’s — his various statements also led our Readers’ Poll,” the publication wrote. “But it was hard to single one out from the others. So we have rolled them into one big trophy.”

Among Trump’s misstatements, as Politifact noted: His insistence that “thousands” cheered the destruction of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11; that Mexico sends its “bad” citizens over the U.S. border; and that “Whites killed by blacks — 81%” when, in fact, most people are killed by someone of the same race.

“PolitiFact has been documenting Trump’s statements on our Truth-O-Meter, where we’ve rated 76 percent of them Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire, out of 77 statements checked,” the publication wrote. “No other politician has as many statements rated so far down on the dial.”

As if that were no enough, he also likes to joke about hating and killing journalists. Here’s NBC News,

Days after pushing back on allegations that Russian President Vladmir Putin has killed journalists, Donald Trump assured a rally here that despite his hatred of the press, he would “never kill them.”

Trump assured that he “would never kill” journalists. He then sarcastically added: “Uhh, let’s see,” pausing as if to think if there would be circumstances under which his unequivocal “never” would change.

As the crowd laughed and turned their eyes to the media, Trump became serious once more: “No I wouldn’t. I would never kill them, but I do hate them. And some of them are such lying, disgusting people, it’s true.”

Trump is not funny. He is an embarrassment.

Why I hate capitalism

December 21, 2015

The Los Angeles Times reports,

he hunt for a deadly superbug that sickened 22 patients at a Dutch hospital began just before noon on a spring day in 2012.

Inside a lab in the tiny hamlet of Zoeterwoude, a technician carefully peeled back the tip of a state-of-the art medical scope. Watching him intently was a small group of hospital officials and executives from Olympus Corp., the maker of the device.
A 2012 inspection by Olympus and Dutch hospital officials revealed a brown film inside a duodenoscope. (Arjo Loeve / Delft University of Technology)

The Olympus technician found trouble right away. He spotted a brown, grimy film inside parts of the flexible, snake-like scope — parts that were supposed to be sealed. A rubber ring designed to keep bacteria out was cracked and worn. The same bacteria that had sickened the patients were found on the scope.

An investigator hired by Olympus and the hospital concluded that the scope’s design could allow blood and tissue to become trapped, spreading bacteria from one patient to another. In his report, he called on Olympus to conduct a worldwide investigation and recall all its scopes if similar problems turned up.

Over the next three years, 21 people died and at least two dozen more became ill from infections related to scopes in Pittsburgh, Seattle and Los Angeles. An unknown number of other patients have been infected. The Food and Drug Administration has identified 10 outbreaks, seven of which involve Olympus scopes.

Instead of acting responsibly, Olympus concealed the truth and killed people.

War Against the Poor must end now

December 19, 2015

This article is directed to those who call themselves Christians and anyone else who is interested.

In Matthew 25:31-46 [New International Version (NIV)] Jesus said to his disciples what has come to be known as the parable of the sheep and the goats.

Note that Jesus is not referring to himself when he mentions the ‘Son of Man.’ Instead, he is referring to someone else whom God would send to preside over the coming Kingdom of God on Earth. Jesus was a Jewish rabbi who believed the apocalypse was at hand. In this parable he is explaining what a person must do to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

This parable almost certainly goes back to the historical Jesus because he is telling his disciples that salvation comes to those who perform good acts. He does not mention religion, belief or faith. Indeed, they did not matter to Jesus.

Paul and the early Christians, however, believed acts had nothing to do with salvation. They believed salvation will come to those who believe Jesus died for their sins and was resurrected to eternal life. Therefore, they are unlikely to have made up the parable of the sheep and the goats.

Present day Christians, and others who despise and shun the poor, who believe their acts do not matter because they are saved by their belief in Jesus as their lord and savior who died for their sins are in for a rude awakening. Their reward will be eternal damnation.

And no amount of wishing it were otherwise matters a whit.

If they want a shot at the eternal life they so dearly hope for, they need to stop hating and demonizing the poor and start following the Golden Rule.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (positive version) or do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you.

In Mark 12: 30-31 [New International Version (NIV)], the historical Jesus also said in response to a question about which of the commandments was most important,

30 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’. There is no commandment greater than these.”

Additional Reading: Ehrman, Bart D. The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth (2013)

The Prince of Peace is disgusted by many who claim to worship him

December 18, 2015

Due to a wave of hostile criticism, the Augusta County School District in Virginia has cancelled classes today.

The Huffington Post is reporting today,

A Virginia school district closed all of its schools and offices after an outcry over a high school geography lesson that included an example of Arabic religious calligraphy.

The lesson, which was part of a world geography class at Riverheads High School, asked the students to copy the Arabic letters that translate to: “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”

The school said the lesson wasn’t to promote Islam but to study “the artistic complexity of the calligraphy,” superintendent Eric Bond said in a news release cited by the News Leader newspaper.

In addition, the Virginia Department of Education confirmed to the Daily Progress that the lesson met state geography standards, which require learning the language and religion of each region under study.

But some parents were outraged.

“I will not have my children sit under a woman who indoctrinates them with the Islam religion when I am a Christian, and I’m going to stand behind Christ,” Kimberly Herndon, an Augusta County parent, told CBS 6.

Meanwhile, Salon is reporting,

An Evangelical Christian college suspended a tenured professor for insisting that Christians and Muslims “worship the same God,” echoing the pope.

Dr. Larycia Alaine Hawkins is an associate professor of political science at Wheaton College, an Evangelical private liberal arts school in Wheaton, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. She has taught at the school for seven years.

Last week, in the midst of a wave of anti-Muslim attacks and hate crimes, Hawkins announced that she would publicly wear a hijab, a traditional Islamic headscarf, in solidarity with Muslims during the Christian season of Advent.

Hawkins said she asked the leading Muslim civil rights organization the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) “whether a non-Muslim wearing the hijab was haram (forbidden), patronizing, or otherwise offensive to Muslims,” and noted she “was assured by my friends at CAIR-Chicago that they welcomed the gesture.”

“I don’t love my Muslim neighbor because s/he is American. I love my Muslim neighbor because s/he deserves love by virtue of her/his human dignity,” Hawkins wrote in a Dec. 10 Facebook post explaining her decision.

“I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book,” she added. “And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.”

“As I tell my students, theoretical solidarity is not solidarity at all,” Hawkins explained. “Thus, beginning tonight, my solidarity has become embodied solidarity.”

Hawkins’ act of inter-religious solidarity went viral, and was covered in a variety of news outlets.

Her school, on the other hand, was not enthused by Hawkins’ finding common cause with Muslims.

I am speechless.

What do you think?

I was surprised by the hung jury in the William Porter trial

December 17, 2015

William Porter was charged with manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment based on his failure to get medical help for a critically wounded Freddie Gray. The jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict, so the judge declared a mistrial.

I was surprised by the hung jury because it seemed to me that Porter admitted that (1) he did not restrain a hand-cuffed Freddie Gray with a seat belt and (2) he ignored Gray’s request for medical assistance in violation of departmental rules. Those rules were specifically designed to prevent the type of harm that Gray suffered. Therefore, he was culpably negligent, if not reckless, for Gray’s injuries and death.

Consider, for example, what might happen to a parent whose infant child was killed in an auto accident because he failed to secure the child in a safety seat. That’s culpably negligent manslaughter.

What happens next?

The prosecution has the option of retrying Porter or dismissing the case against him. They also could offer him a plea bargain in which he pleads guilty to a lesser offense or they might immunize him from further prosecution in exchange for his testimony against some or all of the other five defendants.

The decision depends on the nature of the jury split and why they split. The prosecution is far more likely to retry the case, for example, if the majority of the jurors voted to convict Porter, than if the majority voted to acquit him. Also, they are likely to retry the case, if the jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict because they were confused about the evidence or a jury instruction. Confusion can be eliminated with a retrial.

We will not know the nature of or reason for the split because the judge has imposed a gag order to protect the right of each of the other five defendants to a fair trial.

What do you think?

Jury convicts Philip Chism of first degree premeditated murder and aggravated rape

December 16, 2015

I expected this verdict because the evidence of premeditation was overwhelming. For example, Chism brought a ski mask, gloves, and box cutter to school the day he assaulted her in the women’s bathroom and slashed her throat with the box cutter.

The evidence of premeditation overwhelmed the defense effort to present an insanity defense. The evidence of premeditation established that he knew what he was doing and the evidence of his effort to conceal his identity and conceal her body in the nearby woods established that he knew that he had violated the law.

The jury properly acquitted him of a second count of aggravated rape based on what he did to her in the woods because she was dead. The proper charge would have been abuse of a corpse.

Chism will return to court on December 22nd to schedule a sentencing date.

Meanwhile, Chism faces a second trial in nearby Suffolk County where he is accused of attacking a female Department of Youth Services worker in June 2014. That case is scheduled to begin next Wednesday.

The Colleen Ritzer rape murder is an extremely disturbing case and Philip Chism is an extremely disturbed young man.

All schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District are closed today

December 15, 2015

Due to a threat contained in an email sent to a member of the school board, the Superintendent of Schools has closed all schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District today. This involves more than 640,000 students at more than 900 schools. The schools will remain closed until police have searched every school.

More information will be available at a press conference in about an hour.

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