Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Another Menacing American Girl & Chris Christie Veers Away From Science

Jean Guirand's 11 year-old "traumatized" daughter had a gun pointed at her
It was only a week ago that I blogged about a Longview, Texas police officer who "felt threatened" enough by 17 year-old Kristiana Coignard having walked into the lobby of the police station with a knife that he fatally shot her four times.

Florida news station WFTV reported that last week, two Groveland, Florida police officers, James Festa and John Rigdon, entered the residential home of Jean Guirand in response to a burglar alarm that had been accidentally tripped.

The two three-year police vets discovered Guirand's eleven year-old daughter laying in her bed in her own bedroom watching TV and then proceeded to push her down onto the floor and pin her down with their knees while one of the officers pointed a loaded handgun at her.

Now I almost thought the story was fake when I first read about it on DailyKos, but the two officers in question are in fact being investigated for using excessive force.

According to the girl's father Jean Guirand, the eleven year-old is "traumatized" from the incident and his complaints to the chief of police triggered an internal investigation.

What ever happened to a simple knock on the door and a courteous, "Hello? Police officers."?

Speaking of massive overreaction, in his ongoing effort to prove his conservative "cred" to the far right-wing voters the GOP has devoted itself to pandering to, NJ Governor Chris Christie pounced on the opportunity to publicly disagree with the President.

Unfortunately, it made Christie seem as if he's siding with the faction of the Republican party that has divorced itself from proven science.

In response to a troubling rise in cases of measles that some experts suspect originated with un-vaccinated foreign visitors to Disney theme parks, during a visit to London, Christie made the absurd comment that parents getting vaccines for their children should be a matter of choice.

In a klutzy effort to stoke the conservative right's affection for abstract "freedoms" Christie suggested "parents should weigh their options" when deciding whether to vaccinate their children against life-threatening diseases that affect public health.

Ironically, Christie made these comments outside of an American bio-tech firm based in England.

Christie's decision to dumb his message down to the lowest common denominator of the Republican party by aligning himself with US Senators who don't believe in climate change, or take the arcane view that local state and municipal government mandates to vaccinate children is a form of "government infringing on freedom" quickly backfired.

Kaci Hickox, the Ebola nurse who was famously quarantined in a Newark hospital by a hastily enforced reactionary policy by Christie after she returned from treating West African Ebola patients with Doctors Without Borders, lambasted the governor's comments on vaccines.

"One of the things I keep seeing is it seems he really doesn't use his resources well. He's not a doctor or a public health expert, yet he feels entitled to spout off about things he doesn't know about," she said. "I want my public official to use science when making policy."


Christie's office was quick to try and backtrack his comments, but the media damage was already done; especially as dozens of cases of measles (which was largely vanquished in the US not so long ago) are popping up - including in New York.

What is it with Republicans and scientific fact? Why is it so hard for them to accept that getting your kids vaccinated has proven to be good for public health, even if the government says (or suggests) you have to do it?

Whats next for the GOP? Calling for flat-Earth theory to be taught in schools?

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