Several days ago, I made a series of phone calls in regards to various issues. Here are the results (in no particular order):
First, I called the Mount Laurel Police Department regarding the Brian Aitken. For those of you who don’t know who Brian Aitken is, he was arrested for possession of firearms (even though he had legally purchased them in Colorado before moving to New Jersey). He had been distraught over not being able to see his son in the aftermath of a divorce, and his mother (a social worker) called the police because she was concerned about him. Even though he responded to a police summons and answered their questions, they decided to search his car, and arrested him for finding the guns. After hearing about this case, I wanted to know why the police felt it was necessary to search his car. So I called up the Mount Laurel Police Department to find out. I was told that such information could not be given over the phone, and that I would have to email them.
Next, I called the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding the issue of physicians inquiring about gun ownership (and refusing to treat patients or their children if they refuse to answer). My questions were what does gun ownership have to do with the field of medicine and if these organizations are encouraging physicians not to treat uncooperative patients regarding this matter. I left a voice message with the American Medical Association (so far they haven’t called back) so I filled out a webform and sent it to them.
As for the American Academy of Pediatrics, I spoke to a Susan Martin and asked these questions. I even went so far as to ask what would happen if someone lied by saying they didn’t own any guns (especially since the government has done away with doctor-patient confidentiality- hence a gun registry via the medical field). She referred me to a section of the AAP’s website, which is as follows:http://pediatricsaappublications.org/content/130/5/e1416.full
I also inquired about the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) being replaced by a playoff system due to pressure from the Obama Administration. After several phone calls to the NCAA, I was told to call the BCS committee. I then talked to a spokesperson, and was told Obama had nothing to do with a playoff system replacing the BCS. I remain skeptical on this matter, although it’s possible that since he announced he wanted to replaced the BCS with a playoff system, those in charge of the college football postseason were willing to oblige to his wishes.
Here is a video of Obama’s thoughts on a playoff system: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WDuQe89kJM
Throwing his weight around a little bit? That’s putting it mildly. And why is Obama concerned about the college football postseason when there are more important issues to deal with. Also, I don’t recall the BCS or NCAA being government agencies.
I should add that I once saw an episode of Ancients Behaving Badly on Caligula, and how the Romans were not happy when he decided to change the rules for the gladiator fights. In fact, one historian said it was like changing the rules of the NFL — they’ll hate your guts.
Finally, some time back, I called the EPA and told them they should lift the ban on DDT, on the grounds that it was not harmful to the environment (contrary to popular belief). I also pointed out that DDT would be effective in eradicating the bedbug outbreak at the time. I was told by a Claire Gesalman that it was not only harmful to the environment, but to humans, as well. Of course, I was skeptical of this argument.
Here are a couple of links she sent me: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/chemicals/ddt-brief-history-status.htm
So, I encourage you all out there to do what I did, call up these people to speak your mind and to inquire. It doesn’t matter if it’s a government agency or an entity within the private sector. And of course, let everyone know of the outcome.
Image: Courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/davedugdale/5104920233/