The Superbus's Thoughtpad

Archive for June, 2012

Richard Dawson, 1932 – 2012

Posted by Chris Bowen on June 3, 2012

Richard Dawson, most famous for his work as the host of the game show Family Feud, has passed away at 79.

“It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that my father passed away this evening from complications due to esophageal cancer,” Gary Dawson said in a post on his Facebook page. “He was surrounded by his family. He was an amazing talent, a loving husband, a great dad, and a doting grandfather. He will be missed but always remembered.”

Dawson died Saturday night at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, his son said.

Dawson was the show’s host from its premiere in 1976 until 1985. He also hosted the show’s 1994-1995 season.

Dawson was known and often mocked for his propensity to kiss female contestants, one of which ended up being his second wife Gretchen. He was also known for sometimes losing his composure; the video embedded above is of Dawson’s famous “September” incident from ’81.

Along with Family Feud, Dawson was a favourite guest on the Match Game. He was also Cpl. Peter Newkirk on Hogan’s Heroes, and played evil game show host Damon Killian on the movie adaptation of The Running Man.

Dawson has always been one of my favourite entertainers. Naturally, it’s easy to mock the kissing bandit thing, but what struck me was his sincerity in dealing with people. He explained that his kissing was just him being personal with people, and it was easy to see because he treated his family the same way. Richard Dawson might have been hard to work with, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more natural entertainer, someone so quick with the wit and yet who could toe the line so well of what was proper, especially in the more conservative 70s. If you want to see Dawson at his absolute raunchiest, watch his old Match Game clips on youTube.

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Oklahoma Doctor Refuses To Provide Rape Kit Or Exam

Posted by Chris Bowen on June 3, 2012

According to a report by Oklahoma’s News 9, a 24 year old woman who went to the hospital after being raped was refused a rape kit or an examination by the doctor in the emergency room (a female) who went to treat the victim.

The mother said she and her daughter did file a police report about the rape. She’s angry that she brought her 24-year-old daughter to the Integris Canadian Valley Hospital emergency room on Sunday, and that the doctor who came in and saw them refused to do any sort of exam or to provide them with any emergency contraceptives.

Not only that, she says the doctor was less than sympathetic when dealing with her daughter, even though she was told she was a victim of a rape.

According to the video, the doctor refused to treat the woman because of her beliefs, and said that upfront. She reportedly received better treatment at Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, which is a 20 minute drive from Canadian Valley Hospital.

Am I the only one who thinks her getting the proper treatment at the hospital with “Baptist” right in the name is a bit ironic?

But more importantly, it’s obviously this woman’s word1 against the doctor’s. But assuming every word she said is true, the doctor is most likely protected; Oklahoma has what’s called the Freedom of Conscience Act, and looking at the language of the bill (available in a .rtf format document), not giving emergency contraception would seem to be under the language of the bill, even if it’s meant to protect against abortion.

However, legal protections mean nothing in a case like this. Any doctor who would willingly not treat the victim of a violent crime because of her conscience does not need to be in health care, full stop. This is health care and science you’re dealing with. Someone’s precious religious beliefs should never determine the kind of treatment they give. This, to me, is as cruel as the parents of a sick child refusing treatment because of their own religious beliefs; either way, the affected person has had their rights taken from them by someone in power. It’s humourous how conservatives yammer on about reducing the government imprint in our lives, and yet they’re perfectly accepting of that same, smaller government taking away the rights of women when they see fit.

But hey, it’s OK, she was probably just wearing a short skirt, right? Bitch probably deserved it. I’m sure some conservatives – who believe in Jesus very strongly, apparently – would make that very point. The people behind the conscience laws are sick people who hide behind the cross.

The hippocratic oath that all doctors take says that “there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.” (CAUTION: sourced from Wikipedia) This woman violated her oath, and her and other doctors who would do the same should be removed from practising medicine.

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Ernie Newton Destroys Intention of Public Financing Law

Posted by Chris Bowen on June 3, 2012

Ernie Newton II, who was sentenced to five years in prison in 2006 for accepting bribes and misusing campaign funds, is close to being able to use public financing in his attempt to return to the seat he had to give up due to his malfeasance.

After Republican Gov. John G. Rowland left office amid a corruption scandal, Connecticut lawmakers in 2005 passed a voluntary public campaign financing program to remove special interest money from elections.

Now a former legislator sentenced to prison for taking a bribe and misusing campaign money wants to take advantage of public financing to fund his return to the General Assembly.

“We’re close. We’re very close,” Ernest Newton II said last week when asked about collecting the $15,000 in small $5 to $100 contributions necessary to qualify for public financing.

A 17-year veteran of the Legislature, Newton was sentenced in February 2006 to five years in federal prison and three years probation for taking a $5,000 bribe to push through a state grant, diverting $40,682 in campaign contributions to himself and others and failing to report the money on his income tax return.

Somehow, Newton received Democratic endorsement for the election, though there was enough support for incumbent Edwin Gomes and state representative Andres Ayala to force a primary on August 14.

What’s been most interesting for me is watching people tap-dance around the issue.

Arthur Paulson, a political science professor at Southern Connecticut State University, said any effort by the General Assembly to restrict felons from participating in public campaign financing would likely run up against the 14th Amendment providing equal protection of the laws.

“I can’t see a scenario … where you can allow a felon to run for public office but can’t allow them public campaign funds,” Paulson said.


Cheri Quickmire, executive director of Common Cause, a good government group that has backed campaign finance and ethics reform, said she understands how some individuals might question Newton’s eligibility.

“It’s difficult for me to imagine voters want to send him or anybody else (who) abused their office for their own purpose back,” she said.

But Quickmire added, “If you do your time you should get your rights restored. Not just some of your rights … And then the decision beyond that is up to the voters of that community.”

I don’t see what’s so hard about this. It’s one thing to say that felons who have had their voting rights restored, and who are allowed to run for public office, being able to use public money. But when that felony we’re talking about is misusing the same type of money you’re trying to get, no, that’s not going to fly. It’s easy: if you were convicted of either accepting bribes, or misusing campaign funds for your personal expenses, you can never, ever use public funds again.

Of course, people like Ernie Newton are exactly what’s wrong with politics in the major cities in Connecticut, particularly in Bridgeport (where he’s from) and New Haven. These cities – largely either union or poor – vote Democrat to the point where one has to wonder if some form of coercion is going on. 80% of Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport voted for Governor Dannel Malloy, and that is literally the only reason he squeaked out a victory against Tom Foley. The graft and corruption in Bridgeport in particular is so widespread and so ingrained that it’s become almost a sort of banana republic in its own right. It should be noted, of course, that Bridgeport’s schools are so poor that the state had to come in and take them over.

Ernie Newton getting the Democratic nod for his old senate seat that he literally sold away should be a cause of concern for everyone, and if he wins his primary, it should come as a shock.

Posted in Local Politics | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »