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THE WEEKLY TIRADE

By Scotty Kowall

There is a parallel theme running through the country. Consider the recent news events:

  • A man armed with a knife jumped the White House fence and made it past the front door all the way into the White House East Room before being tackled by an off duty Secret Service agent.
  • An armed man with three prior convictions for assault and battery was allowed on an elevator with President Obama.
  • In 2011 a man with a rifle shoots at the White House and a housekeeper makes the discovery. Secret Service claimed it was non-related gang violence even though an agent thought bullets hit the White House but was afraid to report it to superiors.
  • Secret Service agents drunk with prostitutes when doing advance trips for the president.
  • A state trooper shoots an unarmed man during a traffic stop for getting his license after being asked to do get it by the trooper.
  • Eighteen-year-old unarmed Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer for walking in the middle of the street, basically jaywalking.
  • New York City police used a banned choke hold during an arrest that killed the unarmed suspect.
  • A policeman shoots and kills a Walmart customer looking at an air rifle in the store.
  • Almost three dozen of Florida state prison guards fired for alleged misconduct and abuse after inmates die at various Florida prisons.
  • Serious safety and security issues plague the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's high-containment labs that work with live anthrax and other potential bioterror agents.
  • After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent out a warning for hospitals to ask people with flu like symptoms if they had recently travelled from West Africa and then to look for Ebola symptoms, a Dallas hospital asks a man with flu like symptoms if had recently travelled from West Africa. He answered he had recently visited Liberia. They sent the man home.

The common theme that no one seems to mention is the ineptitude of people in professions that have no justification for having the job they have. It is not due to one's sex, ethnicity, racial or religious make-up. It is due to professions lowering their standards when they should be raising them. Obviously most Secret Service agents, police, nurses and doctors are excellent at what they do but some are not and they make all the others look bad while putting us all in jeopardy...
Omar Jose Gonzalez, the guy that ran into the White House East Room was stopped in front of the White House weeks earlier with a hatchet but was let go even though he previously had been arrested in Virginia with a sniper rifle and a map of the White House. This time he ran armed with a knife across the lawn. No Secret Service agent even near him. The door is not locked and an agent is either not stationed inside the entrance or is either asleep on the job or just outright not qualified to be at the front door if a man can run right past all the way into the East Room. Hop a fence, run across the front lawn, through the White House entrance and into the East Room where by chance an off duty Secret Service agent was about to leave. It is only an accident that the president, his family or White House staff were not injured or killed by the ongoing in competence of the Secret Service. This is just one of what seems to be many mistakes by the Secrets Service, letting an armed man with three prior convictions into an elevator with the president. Not even checking to see if he was armed. Shots fired at the White House were easily dismissed as unrelated gang violence until a housekeeper showed the broken glass. The Duck Dynasty Robertson boys could do a better job of protecting the White House than the current secret service agents. Si Robertson in a duck blind in a tree in front of the White House would do more than the Secret Service. We are used to poor performances in Washington but of the elected officials; the Secret Service we hold to a higher standard or at least we did...
These people are obviously not up to the job but they are not alone.
The police officer that shot Michael Brown might have felt threatened and justified but only because he probably wasn't qualified to be on the job in that situation and panicked. If you are a Barney Fife type of personality an unarmed jay walker with his hands up can be misconstrued. Same for the state trooper that shot a man who went for his driverís license or the policeman who shot a Walmart customer looking at an air rifle in the store. Unqualified people act rashly; all three of these officers acted rashly. Are they unqualified? Maybe...
There is an epidemic of unqualified people in jobs in which they are not qualified for and in which people's lives depend on. We could live with the department of motor vehicles having morons among them but the police and the secret service we can't. They need higher standards. I remember former first lady Nancy Reagan once said she slept with a handgun in her bedside night table. Everyone thought that was silly, doesn't seem so silly now. Maybe Michelle Obama should consider doing the same; she certainly can't depend on the Secret Service...
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had several incidents where dangerous disease bacteria was not stored or transferred in a proper manner. This is the CDC not your CVS pharmacy. They have various dangerous bioterror agents and people there are not following proper protocol. It is bad when a policeman makes a mistake and someone dies but a CDC person can make a mistake and thousands could die. This is not a minor problem. Nor is it minor when the CDC warns hospitals to ask if people coming in with flu like symptoms had recently travelled from West Africa and the hospital does and ignores it. That is the case at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. A man comes in sick tells a nurse at a Dallas emergency room he recently visited Liberia and they send him home with antibiotics. He comes back two days later in an ambulance. Turns out he has Ebola and was in contact with 100 people. The Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said "the information was not widely enough shared with the medical team." This is another example of ineptitude. They ask the right question but someone who should know better, a nurse no less, doesn't inform the doctors and the doctors didn't apparently ask the nurse if the man was in West Africa. Great the CDC issues a warning to hospitals but their staff is too dumb to actually use the information at hand. The potential for a major Ebola outbreak is high when incompetence is the norm. It is not the fault of President Obama, Governor Perry, the Senate or the House of Representatives, they can issue all the warnings possible but if the emergency room staff bungles it, there is just nothing anyone can do. We are all at the mercy of the ineptitude of people in important jobs, whether nurses and doctors on the frontline of Ebola or police officers with guns in their holsters...
So what is the cause of the ineptitude we see almost daily in the news from the Secret Service, police, CDC and hospitals? It seems stupidity has reached epidemic proportions and no one not the president or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned us that this imminent danger of stupidity would spread from the DMV to every corner of the country. There is not much we can do. It does bring to mind the advice of Howard Beale from the classic movie Network when he just got so fed up with news events and said, "All I know is that first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, 'I'm a HUMAN BEING, God damn it! My life has VALUE!' So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, 'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!' I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell - 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!'" That is about all we can do is scream because the one thing we can be sure of is more ineptitude and stupidity by the people we need to trust is coming soon to your favorite newscast...

Click here for the full Howard Beale quote.

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