#1 cause of death for police officers? Covid

Being a police officer is a dangerous job, we’re constantly told. While that’s true, on the list of dangerous jobs, it’s #22. You’re much more likely to die from a work-related incident if you’re a farmer.

But last year, the main cause of death for officers was covid. And that’s not too surprising, given how many police unions and officers believe the Trump conspiracy theories and are protesting having to wear masks or get vaccines.

You know, masks and vaccines. Used to protect the public. The public. The people the officers swear to protect. Those people.

But apparently, laws and rules should only apply to us lesser people and not the police themselves. The New York subway system has a rule that everyone must wear a mask while on the subway and on the platforms, so when one person asked why officers there weren’t masked, he was kicked off the subway and harassed by the cops. (Good thing someone was filming it, because now the officers have to answer for this.)

“You wouldn’t be in trouble if you’d just comply,” these same officers had probably said to people they were arresting in the past.

Some officers have resigned rather than get the vaccine, so we should all be thankful for that — someone who refuses to care about others and refuses to obey laws, rules, and regulations should never be someone who has power over others in their job to enforce laws, rules, and regulations.

I am saddened whenever someone dies from covid, but less so when they could have prevented it by taking basic precautions that doctors and experts recommend.

A twitter page where you can upload pictures of cops not wearing their masks as required

No pity for the ignorant anti-vaxxers

I don’t have any more pity for these people.

If they had just gotten the vaccine and worn a mask, we’d be pretty much over this by now. Their selfishness and ignorance is why we’re still dealing with it.

And a lot of it is willful ignorance. They’re listening to Trump and people who are lying to them, and they are believing the lies without taking the slightest bit of impartial investigation for themselves to learn the truth.

The cult of ignorance is literally killing us.

And it’s especially frustrating when you get health care workers objecting to the vaccine. I don’t remember them objecting to getting a flu vaccine in order to work, do you?

Look, a health care worker should lose their job if they don’t believe in science and health. An astronaut should lose their job if they think the earth is flat. A biologist should lose their job if they don’t believe in evolution. A lawyer should lose their job if they refuse to pledge to follow the law. A cop should lose their job if they belong to the klan and therefore don’t believe in protecting the citizens.It’s a job requirement.

Don’t like it? Get another job. Stop putting the rest of us at risk because of your delusions.

A cartoon from 100 years ago that is still relevant

Not a smart man

No, it’s the perfect time to fire anyone who refuses to get vaccinated and who could thus infect vulnerable patients. You want this to end? You need to get the people transferring the virus away from those who can get infected.

The hospitals know this. The doctors know this. The lawyers for the hospitals know this.

But I guess the meme is right: He’s not a smart man.

Do your own research!

While it’s a waste to debate with idiots who deny Fauci and tell me I “need to do my research,” it’s still fun to taunt them, as I did to one idiot on someone else’s page. Here’s what I wrote:

I am not qualified to do my own research. Dammit, Jim, I’m a lawyer, not a doctor. I’m going to assume experts who have spent their entire career after graduating at the top of their class probably know more about medicine than I do. For some reason, I trust them over random people who spout conspiracy theories without any evidence whatsoever.

If I have a plumbing problem and the plumber tells me that I need new pipes, I don’t claim that he is involved in some vast conspiracy and therefore I must do my own research to prove that he’s wrong. I’m going to assume he knows his job. And this is especially true if he is the world’s leading plumber and all the other leading plumbers in the world agree with him.

When people start with their conclusion that something they disagree with politically therefore must be wrong, it’s easy to find things that you consider facts to deny them. That’s an absolutely backwards way of thinking.

I’m using the word “thinking” sarcastically here.

Viruses and who to blame

Viruses evolve, which is why we get new ones all the time.

But they can only spread if people spread them. They can’t travel by themselves. Had everyone worn masks, gotten vaccinated, and stayed apart, the virus would have died on its own. Instead, the refusal of people to take even the simplest precautions only helped it grow and mutate.

It’s very easy to see who to blame for this. And my sympathy for those who are stubborn and refuse to take care of themselves and others is waning daily.

The mask is only about “freedom” if you’re a selfish bastard

After pointing out how Montana Governor Greg Gianforte got covid after telling everyone in his state they don’t have to wear a mask, the anti-maskers suddenly realized how stupid and selfish they had been and have begun wearing their masks everywhere for everyone’s benefit.

I’m kidding, of course.

They buckled down, screamed about freedom, and looked like the selfish bastards they are.

“But I know people who wore masks and still got it!” some reply.

Well, sure. Nothing is 100%. Sometimes a seat belt doesn’t save you. Not every parachute always works. There are risks in everything.

But mostly, this ignores the main point: It’s not always about you.

I’ve blogged before about how conservativism is all about finding excuses for your selfishness, and this is just another very clear example.

It’s not about you, it’s about whether you are a carrier (which you could be completely unaware of) and about you infecting others.

This is why when you see pictures of crowded spaces in Tokyo, you’ll often see a few people wearing masks. It’s because they are fighting the flu or otherwise feel a bit sick and want to protect others from their sickness. You know, that whole “caring for other people” thing that too many Americans think is a sign of weakness or a violation of their freedom to be assholes to their fellow human beings.

As my friend writer Michael Strauss said, “You wear a mask for the same reason you wear a condom. It doesn’t prevent you from getting pregnant. It prevents her from getting pregnant. It isn’t 100% effective, but it is a hell of lot more effective than spray and pray.’

Why we need to push Medicare for All

Here’s how law and politics work:

You ask for X, knowing that your chance of getting it is slim. The other side asks for Z. You argue back and forth, make deals, and eventually get Y, somewhere between the two extremes.

So when people say “Medicare for All will never pass” please understand: We have to aim high. We fight for that and if we have to settle for something less, we do because it’s got to be better than what we have now.

If we start off with something weak as a proposal, all that’s going to happen is that the something weak will get whittled down to something even weaker.

You always negotiate by asking for more than what you are willing to settle for.

For a good example, look at Obamacare. Democrats gave in to Republicans over and over again and instead of a good national health care plan, we ended up with the plan originally proposed by Romney and the Republicans themselves.

So stop yelling at Democrats who want “Medicare for All” or forcing them to weaken their own plans before Republicans can even make a counter offer. Stop doing their job for them!

I was wrong about medical marijuana

I’ve always been a skeptic and a cynic, so when I saw all the people saying marijuana was a miracle drug, I didn’t believe them — especially when they’d make outrageous claims like it cures cancer. (It doesn’t.)

I just assumed it helped with pain in the same way drinking enough wine kills the pain, and that people who wanted medical marijuana were just looking for excuses to use it legally.

Mind you, I always thought (and still do think) that marijuana should be legal for recreational use anyway. I just didn’t believe all the hype.

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Now let me tell you about my wife, award-winning artist Heidi Hooper. Heidi studied metalsmithing for her Master’s Degree and taught courses at the Massachusetts College of Art. Her work was shown in galleries all over the country.

Then she got a cancerous tumor that ate away her right arm muscle. After years of operations and radiation treatments, they saved her arm but the muscle was removed completely and in order to keep the bone from being exposed, they took a muscle out of her back and laid it over her arm, just for protection. She doesn’t feel a thing on that flap of skin, but for a dozen years or so now, she has been in constant pain overall and has to get into a lymphedema machine every once in a while or her arm swells up and we have to rush her to the hospital.

Since the operation, they’ve had her on gabapentin which deadens the nerves. It still doesn’t help when the weather is bad or when she uses her arm too much. She’d often have to drink wine or rum on top of it just to kill it enough to get some sleep at night.

However, she refused to give up her artwork and eventually found her niche with dryer lint art. She’s won awards for it, sells it for thousands of dollars, has it in galleries, and is in Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museums (and their books). She’ll be a guest on ABC TV’s “To Tell the Truth” soon (“Which one is the real dryer lint artist?”).

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Here she is with Mel Brooks on the “To Tell The Truth” set

But here’s the thing: Medical marijuana is now legal in Pennsylvania, and if anyone is eligible for it, it’s someone like her. The doctor put her on marinol pills and then she has a vape that she uses when the pain is really bad. They weaned her off the gabapentin and there were a few weeks of withdrawal where she did little but lie in bed because she said she felt like she had the constant flu.

The withdrawal symptoms have subsided but not left completely, but the amazing thing is how well the marijuana is working without making her feel high. As someone explained to me, when you’re at -5, it raises you to zero so you feel normal. And that’s what she says — she hasn’t felt this “normal” in years.

Even better, she’s thinking clearer, as if a cloud has lifted. “I used to lose my train of thought in the middle of a sentence, or walk into a room and not remember why I did so. It’s so great to be able to be aware and clear.”

I know, I know, that goes against the pot cliche, but it’s true — and compared to the other medication she was on, it’s practically a miracle.

So I’m a convert. I was wrong. It doesn’t just make you high to the point where it kills the pain. It really works.

Now let’s hope the Governor can convince the legislature to legalize it. Although her marinol pills are covered by insurance, the vape is not and it’s expensive!

(Plug:  If you want to support Heidi and encourage her after all she’s been through, why not become a patron of her art? Even a dollar a month means a lot to her!)

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This is 3 feet by 4 feet and made entirely out of dryer lint

Top Four Reasons why we should have “Medicare for all”

1.  It will cut bureaucracy.  Right now we have a gigantic book full of regulations concerning Obamacare, and the Republicans want to destroy most of them and insert their own, and you know what? We already have all the regulations and bureaucracy in place for Medicare that has been tested for over fifty years. It’s not perfect (nothing in government or business or education or anything is perfect) but it sure is easier to deal with.

2.  It will get rid of mandatory insurance. Right now, insurance companies provide no health care. They’re a middle man standing between you and health care. Oh sure, if you want to buy extra health care to cover elective surgery or other things, you can do that now with medicare. But if we get rid of the need for health insurance companies, we can cut our health care costs tremendously, like every other industrialized country has done.

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3. It will lower costs. That’s how health care works, after all. If we spread the costs out among 350 million people or so (as opposed to the way we spread them out among much smaller insurance groups today), then we’ll reduce the average expenditure per person.

4. It will save everyone money. Right now, you’re either paying for insurance on your own (which is expensive) or your employer is paying for it. If it is government-provided, those costs will go away. Your employer should increase your salary accordingly (and you should demand as such — after all, they think that’s what you’re worth). Even if your taxes increase (and they don’t have to — we have the money, we’re just wasting it on things we don’t need like tax breaks for billionaires), they won’t increase as much as your insurance premiums are.

The fact is that this is the easiest, cheapest, and best way to provide health insurance to Americans.

(Note: Unlike Donald Trump, I know that health care is a complicated issue. This article is a very stripped down simple summary and does not cover every nuance, nor is it trying to.)

Who Supports the GOP Health Care Bill?

GROUPS THAT OPPOSE THE GOP HEALTH CARE PLAN:

  • AARP
  • America’s Essential Hospitals
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Cancer Society
  • American College of Physicians
  • American Health Care Association
  • American Hospital Association
  • American Medical Association
  • American Nurses Association
  • Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
  • Families USA
  • Federation of American Hospitals
  • National Nurses United
  • National Physicians Allianceclose-male-doctor-stethoscope-footage-011965185_prevstill

GROUPS THAT SUPPORT IT:

  • Insurance Companies

Always remember that the current GOP in the House does not care about you. They don’t care about your health, they don’t care about what experts, doctors and specialists think is the best thing for your health, they don’t care about anything except who is giving them huge campaign contributions.

Fight back. Call your Congress member. Thank them if they voted against this, and shame them if they voted for it. They listen, and more importantly, Senators will be waiting to see how this plays out before voting on it. Make them scared. Kill it in the Senate by making the consequences dire for the House members that voted for it.

And remind them that we are their bosses. They work for us, not the insurance companies.