Operation FALCON nets 35,190 fugitives in annual thug sweep

More than 35,000 fugitives across the United States were arrested in June as part of an annual sweep that teams the U.S. Marshals Service with local law enforcement in a summer push to clean up the streets.

Among the 35,190 fugitives apprehended during Operation FALCON (Federal and Local Cops Operating Nationally) were 2,356 fugitive sex offenders, the service said.

“This might be considered the cream of the crop for the most violent felons that are out there. For example, we arrested 433 murder suspects,” said U.S. Marshals director John F. Clark at a Chicago news conference…

One operation involved a Cleveland, Ohio, Police SWAT team and the U.S. Marshals, who were following a lead on Jeremiah Jackson, 29, who was wanted for murder, accused of shooting a woman in the back during a robbery.

On June 9, the team surrounded a house where an intelligence surveillance team said Jackson might be. Jackson was reported to be armed and dangerous. But Deputy U.S. Marshal Brian Koerbel said once Jackson saw the team, it had its man.

“When he saw he really had nowhere to go, he gave himself up,” said Koerbel. “He made the statement, ‘I’m the guy you’re looking for and I’ll come right down.’ ”

I happened to catch local coverage of the operation here in New Mexico – and went looking for national numbers.

Some of this stuff is so obvious you have to wonder about the people normally leading investigations. Like, the number one tactic utilized by the marshals was door-knocking in the neighborhood to ask if anyone knew where such-and-such a fugitive may have moved on to?

That was one of the positives in the Albuquerque area. The marshals said they received more cooperation than ever before – because people were getting fed up with gangsters being left alone to run the streets.

Webcast your brain surgery for the hospital marketing department?

The point of Shila Renee Mullins’s brain surgery was to remove a malignant tumor threatening to paralyze her left side.

But Methodist University Hospital in Memphis also saw an opportunity to promote the hospital to prospective patients.

So, a video Webcast of Ms. Mullins’s awake craniotomy, in which the patient remains conscious and talking while surgeons prod and cut inside her brain, was promoted with infomercials and newspaper advertisements featuring a photograph of a beautiful model, not Ms. Mullins.

This time, Methodist did not use billboards as it has with other operations, deeming this procedure too sensitive. But its marketing department monitors how many people have watched the Webcast (2,212), seen a preview on YouTube (21,555) and requested appointments (3)…

Some ethicists and physicians say the practices raise questions about patient privacy and could paint overly-rosy medical pictures, leaving the hospitals and patients vulnerable if things go awry.

Jeffrey P. Kahn, a University of Minnesota bioethicist, sees “value in demystifying medical care,” but said this “creates an aura of sophistication and high-tech ability” that may not represent “quality of care at a hospital.”

Do we really want to treat health care like other consumer goods?” he asked.

RTFA. If you’re affronted by all the jive commercials selling you wonder drugs every hour on television – you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.

Modern medicine in America is depicted in the article as just another commodity. It’s been a long spell since I worked in a hospital – and the HMO and individual physicians I deal with for personal care aren’t guilty of this kind of crass greed. But, then, that would be part of the quotient that determines for me whether or not I continue to use a particular physician or medical service.

But – the doctor who is Twittering to his followers during surgery on a particularly difficult malignant kidney tumor? I don’t think my life is worth paying his membership at whichever country club he belongs to.