Now, this is a good idea

One of the big problems with today’s Congress is that they pass bills without ever reading them. Thousand-page bills are introduced and passed in one day, without most of the voters even seeing a page. Our Congresscritters and Solons are not doing their jobs. Who knows how things would change if these people actually looked at what they voted on?

Enter a bright idea by DownsizeDC, the “Read the Bills Act” (RTBA)

The proposed bill requires:

  • Each bill, and every amendment, must be read in its entirety before a quorum in both the House and Senate.
  • Every member of the House and Senate must sign a sworn affidavit, under penalty of perjury, that he or she has attentively either personally read, or heard read, the complete bill to be voted on.
  • Every old law coming up for renewal under the sunset provisions must also be read according to the same rules that apply to new bills.
  • Every bill to be voted on must be published on the Internet at least 7 days before a vote, and Congress must give public notice of the date when a vote will be held on that bill.
  • Passage of a bill that does not abide by these provisions will render the measure null and void, and establish grounds for the law to be challenged in court.
  • Congress cannot waive these requirements.

What a great idea. Write your Congrescritter today. Hat tip Shadowscope.

The Lynching of Charlie Siebert, Part 5 — On the Martin Anderson verdict

UPDATE: Read my disclaimer. Don’t run crying to my employer. They have nothing to do with this.

This is the fifth in my series on the politically motivated witch hunt against Dr. Charles Siebert for making a politically incorrect, but medically correct, diagnosis.
The first installment is here.
The second installment is here.
The third installment is here.
The fourth installment is here.
The sixth installment is here.

As reported widely, the jury in Bay County took only 90 minutes to find the guards not guilty in this case. It was the appropriate verdict, for a number of reasons, two of which are the most important.

First, of course, as I have noted in the medical discussion, the young man did *not* die of asphyxia. Once the lynch mob surrounding this case can get that into their heads, then it might be possible to get to a reasoned answer. Perhaps the NAACP and the racial ambulance chasers should put down their nooses, torches and pitchforks and deal with the facts of the case. If they did, they would find that there were a number of mistakes made, all of which should be corrected. But as long as they keep clinging to their cartoonish caricature of “civil rights,” the truth will suffer.

Second, the guards did what they were *trained* to do. It was obviously the *wrong* thing, but they were not negligent in the sense of doing anything they were not trained for. The failure was not at the level of the guards but at the level of the system, and it is wrong to punish the guards for a failure of the system.

What went wrong? A number of things.

First, the fact that this young man had sickle cell trait and was thus at risk for exertional sickle cell death was never communicated. The sad thing about this, of course, is that the NAACP and racial ambulance chasers now *refuse* to recognize this risk, since it hurts their narrative. It’s sad because ignorance of this important threat to young black athletes means that *more* young black people will die. But a few more dead African-Americans is a small price to pay for good headline-grabbing outrage. The so-called “civil-rights leaders” who are happy to see more young black athletes die so they can get a short-term gain from playing demagogue should be ashamed of themselves. The bottom line, however is that the family did not communicate the decedent’s status as having sickle cell trait to the authorities. I have read multiple accounts of how and why the family failed at this, but the bottom line is that this is not the fault of the guards.

The second is that even were it communicated, the threat would not have been recognized. The guards were not made aware of the danger of exertional sickle cell death. This is not surprising since the NAACP has now taken the position that anybody who recognizes it is a racist. Nonetheless, saving the lives of young African-Americans is more important than kneeling at the altar of racial political correctness, and the State has a responsibility to train people even if the NAACP prefers African-Americans to be ignorant and dead.

Third, of course, is that the guards were not trained and policies were not in place to deal with exertional sickle cell threat. Once again, it’s not surprising that they were not, since training for it would mean acknowledging it, and in Florida that is “racist.” It is not the *guards’* fault that the they were not trained in the danger of exertional sickle cell death. And it is wrong to lynch them for not recognizing something that the NAACP itself refuses to recognize and exerts its considerable political influence in order to keep African-Americans ignorant and at risk.

This is *exactly* the situation that the US military was in when they first recognized the lethality of this condition in the 80s and 90s. Happily, Al Sharpton and the NAACP were not around to claim that every Drill Instructor of a platoon where this happened was a racist murderer. Instead, the military quietly and competently changed the way they ran boot camps to minimize this threat.

It’s not that boot camps are bad — or if they are, *this* is not the reason. Boot camps may not be the right way to deal with wayward young men, but that’s an issue for criminology, not forensic pathology. Using this case to indict boot camps, per se, is disingenuous.

It’s not that the guards are sadistic or evil or racist. It’s both sad and amusing to see the NAACP and Al Sharpton accusing black guards of being “racist” because of this. The control techniques they used are generally accepted. The bottom line is that you either control people or you don’t. If the people of Florida want to set up a system where prisoners don’t have to obey orders, then they can just open all the doors. It will certainly save the state money, not having to have prisons anymore, but I don’t think it will be as good a solution as the folk here seem to think.

Had the guards been trained to recognize the threat of exertional sickle cell death, how to respond to it, and had they known this young man was at risk, there would have been a different story.

Fourth, the problem is that Governor Crist and the Medical Examiner Commission have decided that accepting the narrative of the NAACP is more important than medical truth. They are willing to destroy a competent and honest Medical Examiner for making a correct diagnosis, and sacrifice innocent guards for political expediency. The desperation and political basis for this case was made obvious in that the prosecution couldn’t even make up its mind as to what they were accusing the guards of — first it was of beating the man, then suffocating him, then not recognizing the sickle cell collapse — the truth didn’t matter. In the end, the prosecution told the jury to ignore the medical evidence altogether:

Prosecutor Michael Sinacore told jurors to disregard the medical testimony in the trial and look at the 30-minute video of the guard’s interaction with Anderson to make their own findings.

“I don’t care what they say,” Sinacore said. “You look at that (video) and make a decision that makes sense to you..

This is a cancer in the Florida political and medicolegal systems that must be corrected. Crist and the MEC have decided that medical diagnoses must be determined by political needs rather than medical science.

This is even more corrupt than the old Soviet Union. I remember back when I was a Fellow in the days of the Soviet Union, when a Soviet Forensic Pathologist came to visit my facility. One of the folk in my program asked him if he was ever pressured to change his findings for political purposes. He laughed and said “No.” He said that the Kremlin wanted to know the truth, and he was never pressured to change his findings. He just wasn’t allowed to *tell* anybody outside of his superiors the truth. The Kremlin controlled the press and told the people whatever narrative they wanted the people to hear — but *they* at least wanted to know the truth. Crist, the MEC, the NAACP, and the racial ambulance chasers don’t even want that much. They just want the lie.

And a better society is never built on this kind of self-serving, race-baiting lie. I’m glad this jury, at least, did not give it to them.

Technorati Tags: Martin Anderson, Charles Siebert, boot camp, Florida, forensic medicine, forensic pathology, medical examiner