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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Virginia
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2011, 07:34 PM
Number of posts: 6,730

About Me

Navy brat-->University fac brat. All over-->Wisconsin-->TN-->VA. RN (ret), married, grandmother of 11. Progressive since birth. My mouth may be foul but my heart is wide open.

Journal Archives

Four killed after car crashes into homeless encampment in Salem, Oregon

A driver crashed a car into a homeless encampment in Salem, Oregon, early on Sunday morning, killing four people and injuring three including the driver, authorities said.

Police arrested Enrique Rodriguez Jr, 24, on Sunday evening. He was charged with four counts of first-degree manslaughter, second- and third-degree assault and six counts of reckless endangerment.

In a statement, authorities said Salem police believe “alcohol may have been a contributing factor”. It was not immediately clear if Rodriguez had an attorney.

A witness, Nathan Rose, told the Salem Statesman Journal he and his girlfriend were in their tent when they heard two loud thuds. The car just missed their tent, Rose said.

Rose said he saw friends pinned under the car and called 911. He said he helped pull one person from under the car but witnesses were unable to help the others.


Community college enrollment is down, but skilled-trades programs are booming

It's a typical school day for Lisa Alaniz — she and her classmates stand in a warehouse-like room, cutting wood and piecing together the rafters of a shed. They're students at Texas State Technical College working toward an associate's degree in construction.

"I did [high school] online because that's when the pandemic hit," says Alaniz, 21. "And I just realized online school is not for me. Like, I'm very, very bad at computer work." Alaniz didn't want to spend her days trapped in an office, either. She wanted to pursue something more hands-on, which is what led her to the program here in Waco, about 100 miles south of Dallas.

Since the pandemic began, more than a million students have held off from going to college, opting to work instead. Two-year public schools have been among the hardest hit — they're down about three-quarters of a million students. Skilled-trades programs are the exception. Across the country, associate's degree programs in fields like HVAC and automotive repair have seen enrollment numbers swell.

Alaniz's program is preparing her for work in a field where details matter. She learns key on-the-job skills each day, and that comes with plenty of mistakes. Today, in framing class, her group has already made a measurement error on the shed they're building. They'll have to fix it before they can proceed.

Even pre-pandemic---one grandson's college plans were derailed and he ended up at the local tech school learning robotics

A police chief is hiring female officers to fix 'toxic' policing

Research generally supports the idea that female police officers are better than male officers at finding resolutions without using violence. A 2021 study found that female officers made 7 percent fewer arrests than their male counterparts while using force 28 percent less often. The researchers found the largest disparity centered on the treatment of Black civilians.

Female officers are, on average, more educated than male officers, more likely to engender the perception of fairness in the communities they police, more efficient in carrying out traffic stops that result in drug seizures and more effective in sex assault and domestic violence investigations, other studies show. Experts say female officers are less likely to fire their guns in the line of duty, use excessive force or become the target of successful civil suits.

Still, there are a few studies that found only minor differences in use-of-force incidents among male and female officers. And some research indicates that diversity cannot be a cure-all for departments, especially when traditional training and police culture remain in place. A 2003 look into police killings found that overall department diversity had little impact on outcomes, for example. A 2005 study of a suburban Maryland police department determined the difference between men and women in use of force to be statistically insignificant.

Samantha Simon, an assistant professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri at St. Louis, says she is “pessimistic about the usefulness of demographic diversity in police forces.” She has found that success or failure at combat is still valued above all other fields of study at most police academies, regardless of an officer’s gender. Police recruits who struggled in violent confrontations were more likely to be hazed than mentored, she concluded when researching an article and an upcoming book.

“The people who end up being hired and make it to graduation fit a blueprint of who the institution thinks will be a good police officer,” Simon said. “And a lot of that really revolves around the use of violence.”

Bellevue police leadership believes it’s too early to use data to understand what effect the influx of women is having, with the majority of the female officers having been hired in the last year and a half, and several still in training.


Texas Mom Charged Over 'Malnourished and Filthy' Kids

A Texas mother abandoned her two young kids in a squalid motel room for weeks on end, leaving them with little food and pulling her 12-year-old daughter from school to care for her 1-year-old brother full-time, according to court filings reviewed by The Daily Beast.

Ashli Rene Lock, 37, is charged with felony child abandonment by authorities after police discovered the children living alone in their own filth at a Quality Inn in Houston.

“Officers noted that both of the children appeared malnourished and filthy,” states a charging document filed Thursday by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. “The one year old was sleeping in a soiled diaper.”

The 12-year-old girl told cops that she had “not left this hotel room in about a month,” the court filing says. She also claimed Lock, who works as a bartender, “has not provided her with adequate food for her baby brother, so she feeds him mac and cheese.”

Officials described the living space as “something resembling a Marvin Zindler inspired nightmare of unsanitary living conditions, with broken bottles on the floor, drugs in plain view, slime in the refrigerator and moldy food haphazardly strewn throughout. To quote the late Mr. Zindler, ‘it's hell to be poor.’ It is even worse to be a poor and neglected child.”

Tell us again how "pro-life" you are, Gov. Hot Wheels

'Ricky Bobby' Causes Ruckus at Trucker Convoy, Watches His Buddy Get Arrested

One man was arrested Thursday night as infighting continues to plague the trucker convoy protest, which has been annoying drivers in and around Washington, D.C., for weeks.

Maryland State Police told VICE News they arrested Brandon Jackson, 28, “on handgun violations” and he was charged with “illegal possession of a loaded handgun on person.”

“At about 9 p.m. last night, troopers from the Hagerstown Barrack received a call from a citizen with the report of a vehicle blocking the roadway in front of the Hagerstown Speedway,” an MSP spokesperson said. “A trooper on the scene recognized that one of the individuals, later identified as Jackson, was carrying an object in his front pocket which resembled the shape of a firearm.”

Jackson was arrested without incident. Video of the scene shows an officer removing a firearm from Jackson’s pants while he is handcuffed.

Did the cops say "Let's go, Brandon" as they were hauling him away?

Man and 2 teens planned ISIS-inspired killings at Chicago mosque during spring break, FBI says

A man from Maine and two teenagers planned an ISIS-inspired attack on a Shia Muslim mosque near Chicago, newly unsealed court documents revealed on Friday.

The FBI said Xavier Pelkey of Waterville, Maine, and the two teens — one from the Chicago area and one from Kentucky — communicated through Instagram and other chat platforms with plans to meet in Chicago during “spring break." The teens were not named due to their age.

The teenager in Chicago allegedly told the FBI that the plan was to “enter the Shia mosque and separate the adults from the children, then murder the adults” all in the name of ISIS, according to a court filing.

“If they had not encountered law enforcement at that point, they would continue on to another Shia mosque or Jewish synagogue and execute the same plan. They did not have a plan to escape but rather their plan ended with them being shot by law enforcement,” the FBI said in its filing.

The FBI conducted search warrants in February at the teenagers' houses in Chicago and in Kentucky.


From libraries to police training: Controversial Ohio education bill goes beyond classroom

The Columbus library system started holding monthly events in 2021 where community leaders discussed books, articles and movies about race, racism and social justice.

The documentary "I Am Not Your Negro" kicked off the Speak Up, Speak Out series, and a panel on "So You Want to Talk About Race" is scheduled for April 5.

"It's a good way for the community to get insight into issues," said Anthony Wilson, the library's chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. And the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

But the library's June discussion of the memoir "White Like Me" could be rejected if House Bill 327 becomes law.

"I’ve read through it a couple of times, and I can see a lot of challenges for library systems," Wilson said. "It could impact what materials we carry and for sure what programs we do."


King Richard

I watched this movie last night. Now I am not a huge tennis fan, considering watching tennis only slightly less boring than watching golf, but there are reasons beyond that for me not caring for the game, which I won't go into here. However, I do seriously admire Venus and Serena Williams, and I remember vividly when they came on the scene, and a "60 Minutes" segment about them and their dad just as they did. Besides which I think Hollywood should seriously consider Serena as the next "Black Panther".

But this is not about that. When I judge an acting job, it's about whether the actor makes me forget who they are, and Will Smith seriously made me forget he was Will Smith in this movie. He absolutely deserves the Best Actor award for his portrayal of Richard Williams.

Defiant Ukrainian troops tell Russians: 'Go home while you're still alive'

The tale of Kharkiv is the story of the army that didn't fail, and an army that failed to win.

While Russia stumbles, Ukraine stands firm. Defying widespread expectations that it would collapse in short order, Russian forces have been unable to breach the Ukrainian army's lines around Kharkiv and have not managed to encircle the city.

Russia invaded at 05:00 on 24 February. The night before, 22-year-old Vlad and his brother-in-arms Mark, also 22, were at a fellow private's wedding. Columns of Russian tanks, howitzers, armoured vehicles and troop transports rolled across the border, just 40km (25 miles) away. Despite the long build up of Russian forces, the move came as a shock to the inhabitants of Kharkiv. Troops scrambled to defend the city.

When they learned of the attack, Vlad and Mark joined their battalion - the 22nd Motorised Infantry - and headed straight to the front lines. They have been there ever since. I have visited them there twice on the city's northern edge - a once pleasant suburban neighbourhood, which has now become a muddy battlefield strewn with corpses and burned-out Russian tanks and vehicles.

But it is sound, not sight, that is so jarring here. All manner of Russian artillery and missiles are fired at these positions almost continuously. When there is a respite in the shelling, or the roar of Russian Grad rockets, the silence itself comes as a shock. Ukrainian forces have lived under this terror for weeks now.

At a nearby command post, its windows all gone, broken furniture is strewn around. In an outbuilding, a belt-fed machine gun sits incongruously by a baby's pram. Children's climbing frames are surrounded by impact craters, and on one nearby abandoned house, a For Sale sign flaps in the freezing wind. Against the regular beat of Russian artillery outside, I ask Mark and Vlad what they are fighting for.

Long but worthwhile read, very insightful. Don't miss the description of the MREs!

US charges four Russians over hacking campaign on energy sector

The US has charged four Russians government employees with cyber-attacks on the global energy sector.

They are accused of targeting hundreds of companies and organisations in around 135 countries between 2012-2018.

Their activities are said to have caused two separate emergency shutdowns at one facility in Saudi Arabia.

The conspiracy then allegedly attempted to hack the computers of a company that managed similar critical infrastructure entities in the US.

Some of the individuals are linked by the US indictment to the FSB, Russia's security service.

The UK has also sanctioned a Russian defence organisation said to be linked to the attack.

US President Joe Biden this week warned of possible cyber-attacks linked to the Ukraine conflict but these indictments involve activity dating back before it began.

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