Thursday, November 15, 2018

Quoting "liberal commentator" Bill Maher, my brother Phil Heimlich says his fellow Evangelical Christians' support for President Trump "exposes us as the shameless hypocrites we've always been." [UPDATED]

Here's the run up...

Via Heimlich maneuvers to 'radical middle' by Jason Williams, Cincinnati Enquirer, January 14, 2017: 
Phil Heimlich was the politician he's come to despise.

"I regret not showing more courage," he told Politics Extra.

It's a harsh reality Heimlich has come to grips with since he left public office 10 years ago this month.

...Heimlich, 64, has never come back to politics since that bruising and brutally expensive 2006 loss to Democrat David Pepper in the commissioner's race. Heimlich has no plans to come back, but the Republican still loves to talk politics.
Heimlich: Come on fellow Republicans, do something about Trump, Cincinnati Enquirer, June 28, 2017.

Heimlich: Republicans are sabotaging Obamacare, Cincinnati Enquirer, July 27, 2017.

Republican Heimlich: Why I am voting for Democrats this year, Cincinnati Enquirer, June 14, 2018.

Former Republican county commissioner (Phil Heimlich) blasts (Republican Congressman Steve) Chabot as he endorses Democrat (Aftab) Pureval by Chris Wetterich, Cincinnati Business Courier, October 11, 2018.

...and here's the coup de grĂ¢ce.

Clip from 'He can stop everything': Hundreds rally against Trump's new AG, fear Russia probe in jeopardy by Max Londberg, Cincinnati Enquirer, November 8, 2018:

Phil: Just to fully give you my kind of priorities. I'm also what you'd call an Evangelical. I'm a Christ follower. But...and I got something to say to my fellow Evangelicals. And I'll quote the words of a commentator, a liberal commentator. But I'll quote him but it's true. What he said was, and I agree, "Our support for Donald Trump exposes us as the shameless hypocrites we've always been."


11/16/18 UPDATE: Hat tip to an attentive reader who informed me that in 2009 Maher was the recipient of the Atheist Alliance of America's Richard Dawkins Award.


Sunday, November 11, 2018

Western NY schools superintendent blocks employees, board members from communicating with me re: purchase of controversial anti-choking device, so I've asked the state education commissioner for guidance


A couple weeks ago I blogged, Olean, NY-area* school principal arranged purchase, installation, staff training of controversial anti-choking plunger device -- has he also received sales commissions?

In response to my subsequent reporting, a few days ago Tony Giannicchi, the district's superintendent of schools sent me a two-page letter that included:
Please be advised that District employees and Board members will not respond to any further communication from you, with the exception of requests for (public records)... 

That put me in a bind.

Here's why.

Via Dechokers at A-L expected to keep kids safe by staff reporter Kate Day Sager, Olean Times Herald, October 5, 2018:
(Tim) Hite, a professional firefighter, now promotes the Dechoker life-saving medical device which is used to suction objects from the airways of toddlers, children and adults.

Recently, Hite sold several sets of the Dechokers to the Allegany-Limestone Central School District, the first school district in the state to purchase the items.
Per a letter I received about three years ago, it's unclear if the Dechoker is approved by the New York State Department of Education.

From the same Times Herald article:
(Allegany-Limestone) Middle-High School Principal Cory Pecorella said the school district purchased two packages of the suction devices for each of the campuses.

...Pecorella said he learned of the device from Hite, whom he serves with in the Allegany Volunteer Fire Department.

“(Hite) contacted me and wanted to demonstrate the product for us,” Pecorella said. “We bought right into it.
Per my blog, it's unclear if Mr. Pecorella and Mr. Hite have a business relationship.

Finally, according to this recent interview conducted by reporter Amanda Gilbert (KWWL-TV, the Waterloo, IA NBC affiliate) with David Stilley MD, Medical Director at Iowa Department of Public Health Bureau of Emergency and Trauma Services, the Dechoker is of unproven benefit and safety.

(The interview was conducted for her May 31, 2018 report, Heimlich alternative? KWWL investigates new medical device offered to Iowa school.)

Those concerns seemed like reasonable grounds on which to request an investigation in order to determine if the Allegany-Limestone school's purchase and implementation of the devices was in compliance with applicable guidelines.

My problem? I don't know the appropriate office where to file that and per Superintendent Giannicchi's letter, if I ask him or another district employee or the school board how to proceed, they're prohibited from responding.

The only option I could think of was to request guidance from New York State Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia -- see below. (Click here to download a copy.)

If/when I receive a reply, I'll report the results.

* My original headline began "Olean, NY school principal..." H/T to a knowledgeable reader who informed me "Allegany-Limestone Central Schools are not Olean schools. The two districts abut each other, but are separate," so I changed to "Olean, NY-area."

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Chronological compilation of mainstream media reports about the Dechoker anti-choking device

 Dechoker promo video featuring internist Randall L. Snook MD of Lone Tree, CO

If I've missed any, please e-mail links to

Game-changer: Dechoker medical device could end deaths by choking by Melissa Chipman, Insider Louisville October 22, 2015.

FDA approves new lifesaving device based out of Louisville by Ann Bowdan, WLKY-TV, October 30, 2015.

Space age to beat baldness: Health gadgets just got madder than ever... but do any actually work? by Jinan Harb, Daily Mail (UK), February 22, 2016.

Can New Devices Match Heimlich to Stop Choking? LifeVac and Dechoker pose alternative to abdominal thrusts by Laura Johannes, Wall Street Journal, July 11, 2016.

Anti-choking devices give piece of mind but don't replace Heimlich Maneuver by Liz Harrison, ABC30 News (Fresno, CA), September 27, 2016.

Brackley man advocates ‘de-choking’ device for all nurseries and schools as alternative to back slaps by Tim Redigolo, Northampton Chronicle & Echo, March 24, 2017.

Anti-choking device business raided, accused of investment scheme by investigative reporter Matthew Grant, FOX46-TV News, Charlotte, NC, March 12, 2018.

'Dechoker' anti-choking device claims to save lives but has never been tested on humans by investigative reporter Jackie Callaway, WFTS-TV News, Tampa, FL, May 21, 2018.

Heimlich alternative? KWWL investigates new medical device offered to Iowa school by Amanda Gilbert, KWWL-TV News, Waterloo, IA, May 31, 2018; click here for the video.

Northampton care home staff save residents' life after he started choking by Carly Roberts, Northampton Chronicle & Echo, June 15, 2018.

Dechokers at A-L expected to keep kids safe by Kate Day Sager, Olean Times Herald, October 5, 2018.

Heimlich’s son questions Dechoker products in A-L schools by Kate Day Sager, Olean (NY) Times Herald, November 1, 2018.