Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Buying the National Post newspaper is a "tragic waste of time and money"

And what about the editorial board of the National Post? One word, disgusting.

- National Post: The Post editorial board: Offering aid to Burma is a tragic waste of time and money
- Wikipedia: Burma | Cyclone Nargis
- Wikipedia: Cyclone Nargis

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Taser now linked to sudden cardiac arrest; taser victims have died for years but Taser International doesn't seem to care

Today was a fascinating day. For the first time we were able to hear the expert knowledge of two heart specialists, information I've NEVER heard from any of Canada's nominated taser-Nazis. Here's what the heart specialists had to say:

VANCOUVER — Two heart specialists told an inquiry into the use of Tasers on Tuesday that a jolt from the weapons can "almost certainly" cause heart problems and possibly even sudden cardiac arrest.

Gee wiz, possible sudden cardiac arrest, that sounds kind of serious, doesn't it? Wikipedia thinks so:

The term sudden cardiac death refers to natural death from cardiac causes, heralded by abrupt loss of consciousness within one hour of the onset of acute symptoms.

But fortunately all police officers were aware of the possibilty of “sudden cardiac arrest”, right?

And a senior police officer who trains others on how to use the Taser said his training from the company that manufactures the device suggests the Taser does not lead to cardiac arrest.

I suppose that's a NO.

More medical experts had more troubling news for police officers trainees:

Dr. Michael Janusz, a heart surgeon and professor of surgery at the University of British Columbia, told the inquiry that based on his study of available literature on Taser use, "almost all physicians would conclude that Tasers can induce ventricular fibrillation."

Ventricular fibrillation? What the heck is that? Wikipedia!!!

Ventricular fibrillation (V-fib or VF) is a condition in which there is uncoordinated contraction of the cardiac muscle of the ventricles in the heart, making them tremble rather than contract properly. Ventricular fibrillation is a medical emergency. If the arrhythmia continues for more than a few seconds, blood circulation will cease, and death will occur in a matter of minutes.

That's serious stuff. Not that Taser seems to care:

Staff Sgt. Joe Spindor, of the New Westminster Police Department, told the inquiry Tuesday his Taser training is based on what he was taught by Taser International. "The information we receive is that it's safe to use on subjects," Spindor said. He said he hadn't heard of Janusz's opinion on possible cardiac arrest. "No. I've actually heard the opposite from Taser in my instruction."

Thank you, Taser, for all of your helpful “education”; leaving out essential warnings about possible cardiac arrest has likely led to several taser deaths, deaths that could have been prevented if proper education would have been in place.

- The Canadian Press: Cardiologist, heart surgeon tell Taser inquiry weapon can cause cardiac arrest
- Wikipedia: Sudden Cardiac Arrest
- Wikipedia: Ventricular Fibrillation

Monday, May 19, 2008

U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms brings special visit to Getting it Right

I would like to welcome the US Senate Sergeant at Arms to Getting it Right! (see image)

What was he searching on Google for? This.

And what did he find on Getting it Right? Bush compares those who talk with Iran to Nazi Appeasers

- US Senate Sergeant at Arms

Sunday, May 18, 2008

TN! of the Week: Sgt. Mark Tonner of the Vancouver Police

You'd think that any Police Sergeant who headlines his latest biweekly column “Use of Taser has saved lives” would support it with proper proof of some lives saved, right?

Not so with Vancouver Police Officer Sgt. Mark Tonner; he'll write anything to back-up his flawed argument, and have it published too.

Mark Tonner's personal downtown story
Through Mark Tonner's personal “downtown Vancouver story” we are led to believe that tasers save lives. Read along:

A man standing in the middle of a side street stepped into a shooter's stance in front of my police car, aiming a pistol at my face. It should have occurred to me to run him over, but I backed away, rolling behind a concrete pillar.

Out on foot and taking a peek, I saw the man still standing on the street, pistol in hand but pointing downwards. A small group of us crept up in uniform, shouting at the man to drop the weapon. He didn't. We all knew that if he raised it we'd have to shoot. A uniformed friend deployed a beanbag round -- an energy-absorbent projectile from a shotgun. It's supposed to drop someone to the ground, but it relies on the ability to feel pain. No luck. The recipient turned and ran, hiding behind a concrete pillar.

Engaging the man then meant stepping into a line of fire at close range, with no way to see where his pistol was directed. Another uniformed friend reached out with a Taser. The suspect went rigid from the electrical charge and was taken into custody.

What appeared to me like a pistol was actually a piece of metal from a bicycle held out in a shooter's stance. Imagine the tragedy if the man had been shot for posing with a piece of a bike.
Does this read like a sound argument that supports the title “Use of Taser has saved lives” to you? Well, it doesn't to me, and here's why.

1. If I understand his “downtown story” correctly, then the "suspect" never actually carried a pistol, but a “piece of metal from a bicycle”, most probably a bike lock: no lives were at danger to begin with. Mark had been fooled by perhaps some kind of lunatic, but nothing more than that. There were no lives to save.

2. Sgt. Tonner explains that he wasn't alone. "A small group of [police officers]" was at the “downtown” fool-some-police-officers scene. Were all Vancouver police officers unable to see the difference between a gun and a bike lock? It's hard to imagine. And would a single police officer shoot a “suspect” without knowing 100% sure that what was aimed at them was an actual gun? I sincerely hope not.

3. Even in the worst case, if the faulty assessment of the police would have actually resulted in the firing of real bullets onto the “the suspect”, we cannot conclude that this would automatically result in the death of the lock-carrying-police-fooler. This instance comes to mind.

No proof of even a single life saved
So there you have it; no proof of even a single life saved. But there's something else that bothers me here.

Isn't Mark Tonner lying here?
Mark opens his downtown story this way:
“A man standing in the middle of a side street stepped into a shooter's stance in front of my police car, aiming a pistol at my face”
Isn't that a flat-out lie? Shouldn't it have read “what appeared to me to be a pistol”. Why lie?

Only fearful and poorly performing officers need the taser
Although Mark's column does in no way proof that tasers save lives, his “downtown story” is the perfect example why Canadian police forces should not be using the electroshock weapon. because fearful police officers will use it far too soon, and far to easily. Taser-carrying police officers seem to see ghosts in every downtown corner: lunatics become instantly criminals (“it should have occurred to me to run him over”), bike-locks become instantly weapons, and there's only one instant solution: the taser.

Does the Vancouver really need the taser to make up for poorly performing peace officers? Of course not. If a whole group of officers can't see the difference between a bike-lock or a gun (but for some strange reason are able to see precisely at what direction this “gun” is pointed: see story), then isn't there something seriously wrong with our Vancouver's PD? Do they not learn what good policing entails?

Taser-Nazi of the Week
Sgt. Mark Tonner, I've got news for you. Repeating corporate mantras (tasers save lives) without backing them up with solid evidence, and spinning a personal story of poor policing into a justification for the use of the torturous electroshock gun a.k.a. the taser has gotten you nominated for taser-Nazi of the week. Congratulations!

Official 2008 Taser-Nazi nominees:
- Sergeant Mark Tonner - Vancouver Police Department (May 18, 2008)
- Cpl. Scott Willson - Kamloops RCMP (May 9, 2008)
- Sergeant Willie Merenick - Greater Vancouver Transit Authority Police Service (April 18, 2008)

- Vancouver Province - "Use of Tasers has saved lives"
- Getting it Right: Taser Nazis
- Taser Stock is down again

Friday, May 16, 2008

Bush compares those who would talk with Iran to Nazi appeasers: Democrats are not amused (video)


VOICE OF CARLO BASILONE: US President George W. Bush launched what many say was a political attack against Democratic front-runner Barack Obama on Thursday when he addressed the Israeli Parliament. Though he didn't name names, the statement seemed to be directed at Senator Obama's willingness to meet with leaders of Iran and Syria, among others.


GEORGE W. BUSH, US PRESIDENT: Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they had been wrong all along. We've heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared, "Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided." We have an obligation to call this what it is: the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.


White house spokespersons denied that the Knesset remark was aimed in any way at Obama, but leading Democrats were furious and struck back at Bush.


JOSEPH BIDEN, US SENATOR (D-DE): This is bullshit. This is malarkey. This is outrageous, outrageous for the president of the United States to go to a foreign country, sit in the Knesset, and make this kind of ridiculous statement. He's the guy that's weakened us. He's the guy that's increased the number of terrorists in the world. His policies have produced this vulnerability the United States have—his intelligence community has pointed that out, not me. The NIE has pointed that out. And what are you talking about? You know, is he going to fire Condi Rice? Condi Rice has talked about the need to sit down.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: You know, we have a protocol, sort of a custom informally around here that we don't criticize the president when he is on foreign soil. One would think that that would apply to the president, that he would not criticize Americans when he is on foreign soil. I think what the president did in that regard is beneath the dignity of the office of president and unworthy of our representation at that observance in Israel.

REPORTER: Mrs. Speaker, you referred to refocusing—.

PELOSI: And I would hope that any serious person would disassociate himself from the president's remarks.


PEPE ESCOBAR: A sitting US president addresses a parliament in foreign soil and compares a candidate of the opposing party to appeasers of Nazi Germany. What's significant is that this president, referring to Iran, was contradicted by his own secretary of defense. Robert Gates is saying the US should, and I quote, "develop some leverage, and then sit and talk to Iran, and not bomb Iran."


Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ramses Rules

Voor degene in een schuilhoek achter glas
Voor degene met de dichtbeslagen ramen
Voor degene die dacht dat-ie alleen was
Moet nu weten, we zijn allemaal samen

Voor degene met 't dichtgeslagen boek
Voor degene met de snelvergeten namen
Voor degene die 't vruchteloze zoeken
Moet nu weten, we zijn allemaal samen

Zing, vecht, huil, bid, lach, werk en bewonder
Zing, vecht, huil, bid, lach, werk en bewonder
Zing, vecht, huil, bid, lach, werk en bewonder
Zing, vecht, huil, bid, lach, werk en bewonder
Niet zonder ons

Voor degene met de slapeloze nacht
Voor degene die 't geluk niet kan beamen
Voor degene die niets doet, die alleen maar wacht
Moet nu weten, we zijn allemaal samen

Voor degene met z'n mateloze trots
In z'n risicoloze hoge toren
Op z'n risicoloze hoge rots
Moet nu weten, zo zijn we niet geboren


Voor degene met 't open gezicht
Voor degene met 't naakte lichaam
Voor degene in 't witte licht
Voor degene die weet, we komen samen


Niet zonder ons (15x)

Mensch, durf te leven
Dirk Witte

Je leeft maar heel kort, maar 'n enkele keer
En als je straks anders wilt, kun je niet meer!
Mensch, durf te leven!

Vraag niet elken dag van je korte bestaan:
Hoe hebben m'n pa en m'n grootpa gadaan?
Hoe doet er m'n neef en hoe doet er m'n vrind?
En wie weet, hoe of dat nou m'n buurman weer vindt,
En - wat heeft 'Het Fatsoen" voorgeschreven?
Mensch, durf te leven!

De menschen bepalen de kleur van je das,
De vorm van je hoed, en de snit van je jas
En - van je leven!
Ze wijzen de paadjes, waar langs je mag gaan,
En roepen 'o foei!' als je even blijft staan, -
Ze kiezen je toekomst en kiezen je werk,
Ze zoeken een kroeg voor je uit en een kerk,
En wat j' aan de armen moet geven.
Mensch, is dat te leven?

De menschen - ze schrijven je leefregels voor,
Ze geven je raad, en roepen in koor:
Zoo moet je leven!
Met die mag je omgaan, maar die is te min.
Met die moet je trouwen, - al heb je geen zin.
En daar moet je wonen, dat eischt je fatsoen -
En je wordt genegeerd als je 't anders zou doen,
Alsof je iets ergs had misdreven,
Mensch, is dat leven?

Het leven is heerlijk, het leven is mooi.
Maar - vlieg uit in de lucht, en kruip niet in een kooi!
Mensch! durf te leven!
Je kop in de hoogte, je neus in de wind,
En lap aan je laars hoe een ander het vindt!
Hou een hart vol warmte en van liefde in je borst,
Maar wees op je vierkante meter een Vorst!
Wat je zoekt kan geen ander je geven!
Mensch, durf te leven!

- Wikipedia: Ramses Shaffy (english) | (dutch)
- Google Translate (Dutch>>English) is altijd lachen

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tasers kill, and Taser International's Tom Smith agrees!

Yeb, that's what Taser Tom's statement in Vancouver's taser death inquiry boils down to. It happened yesterday and it went like this:

[Tom Smith] said Tasers save 70 lives for every life lost.
It's easy for me to proof that he got the numbers wrong (because apart from this "fortunate guy" I can't find another single life saved on the whole www), but that's not the point. Tasers kill, and Tom agrees.

Thanks for clearing that up, mate.

PS1: Leftdog says that Taser stocks are down. No wonder.
PS2: After extensive research I found another life saved (wink, wink). 2 saved, 344 taser related deaths; you do the math.
PS3: For more information on protecting life with TASER technology, please visit: http://www.TASER.com.

- Times Colonist: taser [kills] : see for all of it below
- Wikipedia: Taser
- Truth not Tasers

Taser boss says weapon saves lives
Neal Hall, Vancouver Sun
Published: Monday, May 12, 2008

VANCOUVER - The chair of the company that makes Taser electrical shock weapons says the device is not risk-free but has been proven to save lives.

"Are Tasers risk free? No, they cause people to fall down," Tom Smith of Taser Inetrnational told a Taser inquiry in Vancouver today.

He compared the use of Tasers to that of air bags, which inflate during car crashes.

He said air bags cause some deaths but save many lives.

He said Tasers save 70 lives for every life lost.

Smith said it is a common myth that there has been no independent reseach of Taser use.

One of those attending the inquiry is Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh, who said outside the hearing that he remains unconvinced that Tasers won't cause death.

"I believe the science is incomplete," he told reporters.

Dosanjh, who will testify later today at the inquiry, approved use of Tasers in B.C. in 2000.

He said he was misled at the time, saying he was told during a briefing that Tasers were totally safe.

He now believes the weapons need further study and national standards should be set for police about when they can be used.

Smith said there are about 300 documented deaths that occurred after Taser use in North America, including 20 in Canada, of which seven were in B.C.

He pointed out only 30 of those deaths listed the Taser as a contributing factor.

"I think it's extremely low," Smith said of the risk factor of using Tasers.

Smith said after his presentation to the inquiry that it is a myth that there have been no independent studies of Taser use.

There have 129 medical and field studies, he said, with less than 20 per cent funded by Taser International.

"I certainly encourage more studies," Smith said. "This is the most studied non-lethal force option in the world."

He pointed out that Amnesty International is one of Taser's biggest critics but has not funded any scientific research to support its allegations.

Smith said studies show that Taser use reduces the number of injuries to officers and suspects being arrested.

Smith said one study looked at a continuous Taser shock of 45 seconds, which found no evidence of increased risk.

"You show me the science that says risk increases with multiple exposures," he told reporters.

He said the death of a Polish immigrant at Vancouver International Airport was a tragic event that prompted the cuurent inquiry, but it remains unclear what killed the man.

Some police forces such as Cincinnati since bringing in Tasers, reported officer injuries are down 75 per cent, suspect injuries have dropped 40 per cent and use of force complaints against police are down 50 per cent, Smith told the inquiry.

Monday, May 12, 2008

RCMP on Dziekanski taser killing: LIES LIES LIES

I've had it with the RCMP. When they're not fabricating lies, then they're censoring important Access to Information requests data:

The RCMP released an incident report about Robert Dziekanski who died at Vancouver International Airport last October, but much of the information routinely released in other cases was censored.

The name and rank of the officer who fired the Taser weapon, his supervisor's name, details about the duration of the firing and the number of times the weapon was used in stun mode were omitted from the report obtained under the Access to Information Act by CBC News and the Canadian Press. [...]

A written summary of the incident was blanked out along with assessments as to whether use of the Taser helped the RCMP either "avoid use of lethal force" or "avoid injuries to subject or police."

A passage about whether Dziekanski was armed or not has also been excised. One witness said he was waving a stapler at police.

Well, lying by omission is still lying! And their reasoning for not releasing this information is just as crooked:
In a letter accompanying the report, the RCMP said it invoked exemptions under the Access to Information Act to protect the privacy of the person stunned [...].
The guy is dead, for God's sake! And there wasn't a privacy concern when these RCMP Press Releases were published (see second and third post).

Incompetent bastards.

- AOL: RCMP Release Censored Taser Report
- Wikipedia: LIES LIES LIES
- Getting It Right: Sergeant Pierre Lemaitre (RCMP) caught lying; who will fire him?

Friday, May 09, 2008

TN! of the Week: Kamloops RCMP Cpl. Scott Wilson

Let's all congratulate RCMP Cpl. Scott Wilson for his nomination of taser-nazi of the week.

What got him nominated? His response to this "event" that happened at a Kamloops hospital yesterday:

An elderly man in Kamloops, B.C., was zapped three times on the torso by a police stun gun while lying on his hospital bed, CBC News has learned.

Frank Lasser, 82, appeared fragile Thursday when he showed the Taser marks on his body and talked about the ordeal he went through Saturday.

Kamloops RCMP said Thursday that officers had no other option but to deploy the [electroshock weapon] when Lasser refused to drop his knife.

What? A 82 years old man recovering from a pneumonia carrying an oxygen apparatus, and no other option than to deploy the torturous taser? Then what did (3) police officers (yes, there were three at the glorious event) do in the age before Taser's wonderful invention? Cry and run? Or shoot and kill?

But at least the police apologized and said they would never do it again, right?
Not Scotty, our nominee:
"Whether the person is 80 or 20, we are dealing with a person who had a deadly weapon in their hand," Cpl. Scott Wilson told CBC News.
With this kind of reasoning Scotty can walk into any restaurant and start tasering anybody; lots of people with knives in their hands (note to self: avoid Vancouver Transit, Vancouver's YVR Airport and all hospitals and restaurants in the Kamloops area).

Congratulations Cpl. Scott Wilson, defending the tasering of an 82 year old hospitalized man has gotten you nominated for The Taser-Nazi of the Week award!

- CBC : RCMP subdue hospitalized man, 82, with Taser

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Dissent is the mother of diversity

Just contributing my unique thought to the internet:

Dissent is the mother of diversity
That's all.