Monday, February 28, 2011

Follow Up Report and Video of Dead Man Walking Dialogue

Hobby Center for the Performing Arts

In a RECENT ENTRY, I gave advance notice on a rather singular event taking place in Houston on the subject of the death penalty. I was somewhat skeptical of this "religious dialogue" for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that the city of Houston has condemned and executed more men than any other state in the entire country. Add to that my doubts about the power of religion to solve any issue of relevance to modern life, and you get some rather caustic comments from the peanut gallery. I did phrase these comments in the form of a challenge, though, in the hopes of being proven wrong. (Not that I am ever wrong. Cough.) I think I said something about an anemic attendance counts and the eating of crow, if I remember correctly. Sigh. Ok, here goes: Ahem:

Ok, ok, I was wrong. Wrong, I say! The religious community came out for this event and filled up the Hobby Center's Zilkha Hall to a tune of approximately 500 participants. I still assert that a secular ethical system is superior to any form of absolutist morality, but you guys did good and made me proud. Well done. I shall eat my humble pie with good cheer.

Hobby Center's Zilkha Hall

MB6 was well represented by three able and only slightly harassed reporters, namely my Pops, my stepmom, and my friend Dorothy. (Thanks guys!) With their help, my hope is that I can somewhat reproduce the event for those of you living out of state/country, so as to exponentially increase the attendance count.

First of all, HERE is a copy of the program from the event. And HERE is a news report on the evening written by the Houston Chronicle, which recently reversed itself on this issue and is now firmly in the corner of those calling for a moratorium on executions. (The comments are very informative, by the way.)

The crowd was mostly older. Getting an approximate mean age was difficult, but Dorothy guessed this figure would be somewhere in the mid-50's. There were small groups of younger people, though, including some teenagers. Socioeconomically, the crowd was mostly middle class. Most races were present, but the crowd was overwhelmingly Caucasian, probably due to the heavy tilting of the panel participants as members/leaders of mostly white congregations.

Everyone seemed to have a good time at the event. The Hobby Center has multiple Halls for events, and it just so happened that a major theatrical production was taking place at the same time as the DMW event. Both ended at roughly the same time, so there was much mixing by the crowds, and some interesting conversations took place while everyone waited for the valets to bring the cars around. Networking, old school style!

Rather than attempt to reproduce the event with wordplay, I will do one better: I will show it to you! ENJOY!

© Copyright 2011 by Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Besse Medical and the Hippocratic Oath

Click on picture for link to story

There are interesting developments afoot in the area of state sanctioned murder. As you have probably heard from many sources, the sole US manufacturer for sodium thiopental - the first drug in the 3-drug cocktail that states use to kill inmates - is no longer going to be producing it. You can read the details HERE. (Or, you can also read about it HERE and HERE and HERE.) You can also read an editorial about the legal mess the FDA created when it imported expired doses of sodium thiopental HERE. It is amusing even to someone in my position that the likely direction this little imbroglio is headed is that in the very near future we are going to have to import our killing drugs from China. I mean, we already get everything else from there, so it is a logical conclusion. And they certainly wont pass any pesky laws against exporting the drug, like those moralistic pansies in the EU. It's a sad day when America can't even do its own killing anymore, isn't it? John Wayne is rolling over in his grave.

At any rate, never fear, my conservative friends: ~ stalwart and omnipresent mouthpiece for the TDCJ empire, Michele Lyons, recently said that she was "optimistic" that the Lone Star State would find a manufacturer for their lethal chemicals. They actually have quite a few doses, but all of them are set to expire on 1 March, 2011, so who knows what they are going to do.

I can tell you, however, who the supplier' for all three drugs has been for the state of Texas, dating back many years.

Oh! If only they had a website! (Cough)

And a freeworld address!

Besse Medical
9075 Center Point Dr. Suite 140
West Chester, OH 45069

And people's names to put on the envelope!

Executive Vice President Mick Besse
Plant Manager Rob Besse

And a small army of well-meaning, intelligent, aesthetically pleasing minions to pester them with letters and emails! (That would be you.)

Also amusing is the company's "mission statement": We deliver responsive and innovative healthcare products and solutions to help our business partners positively impact patients' lives. Right. I am sure that the several hundred men murdered by these drugs over the past few years are all very thankful for the positive impact this company has had on them.

Besse Medical is a division of AmerisourceBergen Specialty Group, which sounds like a heartless multi-national corporation if there ever was one. You can also find them online at:

Their freeworld address is:

AmerisourceBergen Corporation
PO Box 959
Valley Forge, PA 19482

Address letters to:

CEO - R. David Yost

When you write, be sure to remind these people that they have been turning a blind eye to the fact that their products are used in a medical procedure that is anathema to the position of the AMA, and all other relevant medical ethics groups. Let them know that their secret is now known, and that you are not cool with this. This CAN work, people, but only if some of you take this seriously. I really appreciate it. And so will the guys on this LIST.

© Copyright 2011 by Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved