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10351  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Going on record on: December 10, 2010, 07:40:37 PM
Housing prices will be down at least 10% lower than they are today, at a minimum. 12/10/10

10352  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Shanghai test scores on: December 10, 2010, 07:36:52 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20101209/wl_csm/348667

Shanghai test scores have everyone asking: How did students do it?
The Christian Science Monitor

   
By Ariel Zirulnick Ariel Zirulnick – Thu Dec 9, 5:14 pm ET

When the results of an international education assessment put Shanghai and several other Asian participants ahead of the US and much of Western Europe, many Americans were shocked. “Top test scores from Shanghai stun educators” read the headline in The New York Times.

Meanwhile, many education and Asia experts felt vindicated. After years of saying that China was rapidly catching up or surpassing the US and the rest of the West in education, here was hard proof.

The assessment, released Tuesday and conducted by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), measures academic capabilities in math, science, and reading among OECD member nations and a few dozen other countries and what it calls economic partners, such as Shanghai. The scores come from the results of a test taken by 15-year-olds in these countries. There was no evaluation of China as a whole. Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Macao were all assessed separately.

RELATED: US students halt academic 'free-fall,' but still lag in global testing

Shanghai trounced the OECD average: in reading, it got a 556, versus a 493 OECD average; in science, the score was 575 versus 501; and in math, there was a difference of more than 100 points – a 600 in Shanghai versus a 496 average. For a country that emerged only 30-plus years ago from the Cultural Revolution – when education was saturated with politics and many children lost years of schooling – the results left many observers with one question: How did they do it?

Experts ascribe Shanghai’s success to China's assessment that academic achievement is foremost the result of hard work rather than a good teacher or innate talent.

“Students not only work harder, but they attribute their academic success to their own work,” says James Stigler, a professor of psychology at UCLA who has conducted research on the Chinese educational system. “Chinese students say the most important factor is studying hard. They really believe that’s the root of success in learning.”

That emphasis on hard work is complemented by several other key practices: active engagement by parents, early efforts to build up attention spans, and families' emphasis on spending long hours in school and on homework while doing little else. Parents and students alike believe that buying in has a payoff – future success.
10353  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Internet and related technology on: December 10, 2010, 02:01:37 PM
Keep in mind those same cameras could be used to monitor you and verify when you are away from home.
10354  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: December 10, 2010, 12:49:39 PM

Private employees too can be and often are sued in civil court (and probably will have to pay out of their own pocket versus public funds)

**Private employees do NOT face federal and civil liability in addition to state criminal and civil liability for a single act. In addition, any monetary penalty for a civil rights violation lawsuit CANNOT avoided through bankruptcy. Any lawsuit against an officer as an individual is not covered by one's employer. An officer only has protection if the act was in good faith and within the scope of his/her employment. If you step outside laws, policies and ethical behavior, there is no protection against personal liability. Most litigation is focused on the employing agency, as that's where the deep pockets are.**

as well as being exposed to criminal charges for their actions.  And private citizens do not have the protection of Garrity.  Also, private citizen/employees
are subject to both State and Federal charges and penalties.

**Where would a private citizen face both civil and criminal charges at the state and federal levels for a single act? Example please.**


GM, that being said, it is not my intent to second guess or criticize after the fact police officer's decisions in the field.  I and I think everyone
agrees it is a very stressful and difficult job.


The two leading Supreme Court decisions that apply to IA interviews of public
employees are Garrity v. New Jersey (1967) and NLRB v. Weingarten (1975).

Police officers who are interviewed in a disciplinary setting should be warned that they
are under investigation for violation of departmental rules, that they are obligated to give
statements for internal purposes, and their answers may not be used against them in a
criminal proceeding. (added by me; private employees do NOT have this protection.)

**Do you think that a private employer could interview an employee with a LEO present and have any statement made by the suspect under the duress presented by the employer admitted into a criminal trial? I'd tend to think not. Can you cite a case where that was allowed?**


Absent a statute on point, a warning is technically unnecessary unless the employee
declines to answer a question. However, state Bill of Rights laws, where applicable,
might require a written warning. For example, 50 Illinois Compiled Statutes 725/3.8(a)
reads:
“No officer shall be interrogated without first being advised in writing that
admissions made in the course of the interrogation may be used as evidence of
misconduct or as the basis for charges seeking suspension, removal, or discharge;
and without first being advised in writing that he or she has the right to counsel of
his or her choosing who may be present to advise him or her at any stage of any
interrogation.”


Constitutionally, the warning is essential before any disciplinary action can be taken for a
refusal to cooperate in the interview. Lybarger v. Los Angeles (1985).


Reciting a disciplinary warning is also a good practice, because it clarifies the purpose of
the interview and delineates rights and responsibilities. A typical “Garrity Warning”
follows:
Employee Disciplinary Interview – Advice of Rights
“You are being questioned as part of an administrative investigation of the Police
Department. You will be asked questions that are specifically directed and
narrowly related to the performance of your official duties or fitness for office.
You are entitled to all the rights and privileges guaranteed by the laws and the
constitution of this state and the Constitution of the United States, including the
right not to be compelled to incriminate yourself. You also have the have right to
an attorney of your choice, to be present during questioning.

“If you refuse to answer questions relating to the performance of your official
duties or fitness for duty, you will be subject to disciplinary charges which would
result in your dismissal from the Police Department. (note added by me; again it
is the same as private industry; the employee may be terminated for non compliance.)

“If you do answer, neither your statements nor any information or evidence which
is gained by reason of such statements can be used against you in any subsequent
criminal proceeding. (note added by me; in the case of a private employee to his disadvantage, 
such statements and information or evidence which is gained can and probably will be used against you
in any subsequent criminal proceeding
.) However, these statements may be used against you in
relation to subsequent departmental charges.” 
10355  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: December 10, 2010, 11:18:07 AM
http://www.policeone.com/patrol-issues/articles/1747434-P1-Exclusive-Infamous-killer-cops-case-has-lessons-for-the-street-today/

Things people at IBM don't have to worry about.
10356  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Military Science on: December 10, 2010, 11:07:03 AM
Well, we better ask China for more money so we can buy more F-22 fighters.....
10357  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: December 10, 2010, 10:24:34 AM
Garrity and other caselaw says there has to be a wall between an IA (administrative investigation) and a criminal investigation. The administrative investigation does not allow for you to seek legal council or refuse to answer questions, unless there is a prior agreement between the employing entity and a union, which does not apply in most law enforcement jobs across the country. In my neck of the woods, the unions have no legal standing, you have no right to a lawyer or union rep in any investigative questioning for an IA.

As I said before, the "wall" between the IA and any criminal investigation can be breached if in going to trial, the accused officer wishes to testify in her/her defense.

How is this different from the IBM scenario? The bosses at IBM don't have powers of arrest.  As I'm sure you know, JDN, companies sometimes eat losses from internal theft rather than have bad press from a criminal trial.

Not only does an officer face jeopardy from an IA, state level criminal charges and potential state level civil litigation, but federal actions, both civil and criminal

The LAPD officers in the Rodney King case were cleared internally, then aquitted on the state charges, then after the riots, convicted on the federal civil rights violation charges. Nobody at IBM faces anything like that.
10358  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: December 09, 2010, 11:58:12 PM
http://apbweb.com/featured-articles/202-police-force-in-living-color.html

Use of force by police in this country for the past 17 years has been judged by Graham v. Connor [490 U.S. 386, 109 S.Ct. 1865 (1989)]. Very few citizens have had the opportunity to sit in judgment, whether criminal or civil, in police use of force cases. There aren't that many criminal cases brought (cops, after all, are the only ones that society gives authority to use force proactively), and the civil suits are most often settled or dismissed before trial.

When there is a trial, what jurors wrestle with are the requirements set forth by the Graham case. When police must use force, the Court says, the force must be "objectively reasonable" with respect to the facts and circumstances the officer is facing, and without 20/20 hindsight.

The court decided that, "The ‘reasonableness' of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, and its calculus must embody an allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second decisions about the amount of force necessary in a particular situation." Also what must be considered are the severity of the crime, the immediate threat to the safety of the officers or others, whether the suspect is resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest by flight.

The list of facts to be considered is lengthy, but its highlights include: the number of suspects and officers involved; the size, age and condition of the suspect; the known or perceived fighting ability of the suspect; the duration of the action; the experience level of the officers; the distance from the officers to the suspect; and the weapons (including the officers weapons) in the immediate vicinity of the suspect.

Law enforcement officers are unique in society because they are permitted by law to use physical force to compel others to do their bidding. Officers intervene in a variety of urgent, unpredictable situations, and their mission is to keep the peace or to restore it. This awesome power must be wielded sparingly in a democratic society. The public rightly holds public administrators, including police officials, responsive to public preferences and demands. When officers use force they must do so to control a situation, not to punish an offender.

Use of force by police naturally upsets onlookers across the street as well as viewers of the six o'clock news. Conditioned by fictional media depictions of sanitized violence on one hand and fantastic "megaviolence" on the other, most people have no frame of reference other than personal emotions to evaluate an incident. The average viewer has little or no experience with real violence and the chaos that typically surrounds it.

People tend not to understand even legitimate use-of-force incident dynamics; people are repulsed when they see force applied to a fellow human being. But force is used in relatively small percentages of police confrontations, and people should not be surprised or offended that police must occasionally use force.
10359  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: December 09, 2010, 11:30:40 PM
http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/law-enforcement-bulletin/2002-pdfs/june02leb.pdf

The Supreme Court has subsequently
held that a police officer
can be threatened with job loss for
failure to answer questions or otherwise
cooperate with investigators.
However, any answers given under
such circumstances cannot be used
against the officer in a criminal
trial.4 This ruling has led to the creation
of the so-called “Garrity
warning” used in internal investigations.
This warning, in various
forms, advises law enforcement
employees that they must answer
questions posed by investigators or
face the possibility of administrative
sanction, including job loss.
The warning also advises that answers
provided by the employees
cannot be used against them in a
criminal proceeding. In cases where
criminal prosecution against law
enforcement employees is contemplated,
the employees are advised
that they do not have to answer
questions but that any answers can
be used against the employee in a
criminal proceeding.
10360  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: December 09, 2010, 11:10:35 PM
http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/law-enforcement-bulletin/2008-pdfs/may08leb.pdf

Double
Exposure
Civil Liability
and Criminal
Prosecution
in Federal
Court for
Police
Misconduct
By RICHARD G. SCHOTT, J.D.
The law enforcement
profession comes with
many risks, most of
which are knowingly accepted
by its members. As in many
other occupations, lesser known,
more subtle risks also
are inherent in law enforcement.
When officers are involved in a
physical struggle or violent confrontation,
they run the risk of
sustaining injury or even death
to accomplish their law enforcement
mission. They may be
called upon to meet force with
force, sometimes having to use
deadly force. All uses of force
by law enforcement are subject
to review; none subject to more
scrutiny than the use of deadly
force. Officers can quickly
become familiar with internal
review boards, citizen review
boards, presentations of cases to
local grand juries to determine
whether state criminal charges
are appropriate,1 and civil lawsuits
brought in state courts by
alleged victims against individual
officers (or their employing
agency) that allege wrongdoing
on the part of the officer
(or entity).2 Under federal law,
there are two additional and
distinct causes of action that
officers may find themselves
encountering —a civil civil
rights lawsuit3 and a criminal
civil rights prosecution.4 Familiarity
with these federal actions
will help officers navigate
the potential minefield of
consequences that may result
from one single action.
10361  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: December 09, 2010, 10:13:38 PM
You may call your union, however there is no requirement that an internal affairs investigator allow representation to be present for the interview related to an internal investigation. In an internal investigation (Unless there is an agreement between the employer and the union). In my state. unions have no legal standing. In an internal investigation, there is no right to remain silent and no right to an attorney.
10362  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: December 09, 2010, 09:10:49 PM
Garrity and additional caselaw have clarified that a law enforcement agency investigating an officer for misconduct that may be criminal in nature can interview that officer without legal representation and the officer must answer all questions truthfully or face departmental discipline, up to and including termination. A criminal investigation of the same incident cannot use the compelled statements, UNLESS the officer chooses to testify on his or her behalf in the criminal trial, then the internal investigation, including the compelled statements can be admitted into trial. There isn't much like that for those not employed by a law enforcement agency.
10363  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Second Amendment Protects Gun Possession by the Housemates of Felons on: December 09, 2010, 08:49:59 PM
http://volokh.com/2010/11/24/second-amendment-protects-gun-possession-by-the-housemates-of-felons/



"The First Amendment contains the freedom-of-speech guarantee that the people ratified, which included exceptions for obscenity, libel, and disclosure of state secrets, but not for the expression of extremely unpopular and wrong-headed views. The Second Amendment is no different. Like the First, it is the very product of an interest-balancing by the people... And whatever else it leaves to future evaluation, it surely elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home."
10364  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: December 09, 2010, 05:55:11 PM
The oath is to the constitution, not to never talk on a cell phone. Still, I will agree that if it isn't official business, it shouldn't happen. I'll be willing to bet that were an officer to be involved in an accident, IA would subpoena the cell records and if the officer was on a call that wasn't official, it would potentially result in internal discipline and/or charges.

BTW, if IA interviews a cop, the officer does NOT have the right to remain silent or have legal council present.
10365  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: December 09, 2010, 05:29:36 PM
LAPD is hiring. After 3 years on patrol, you can put in for Internal Affairs.
10366  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: December 09, 2010, 04:50:03 PM
Forgive me. I'm tired of seeing a very large, diverse group of people, the vast majority of whom do a very difficult job ethically and honorably, getting smeared by those who couldn't and wouldn't do the job, and are ignorant of it's realities.
10367  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: December 09, 2010, 03:58:05 PM
Get a court order and see.
10368  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: December 09, 2010, 03:57:10 PM
Let's start with why police officers have carte Blanche when it comes to breaking the laws. They are after all, the ones that took an oath.

**Ok, as I've already explained to you, sworn officers are empowered to do things, like high speed pursuits that others cannot. If an officer does something criminal, then that's a different issue.

Who I know is none of your business and certainly not for public knowledge. You're avoiding the question.

**Gee, you assert you "know things". I call BS. You accuse me of not answering a question.

Your assertion that it is only the actions of a few is false and I will respond with a list of which that proves it in a couple of hours.

**Oh wow. A list of bad cops. Name a profession, I'll show you members that did criminal acts.

You think that I'm anti-police, when in fact, I'm anti-police that think that they're above the law. Your writings here demonstrate that it is indeed a systemic problem.

The systemic problem is scumbags such you. Tell us how the bad ol' police were mean to you and got sand in your vagina.
10369  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: December 09, 2010, 03:50:10 PM
http://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc23123.htm

V C Section 23123 Hand Held Wireless Telephone Prohibited Use
Hand-Held Wireless Telephone: Prohibited Use

23123.  (a) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving.

(b) A violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a base fine of twenty dollars ($20) for a first offense and fifty dollars ($50) for each subsequent offense.

(c) This section does not apply to a person using a wireless telephone for emergency purposes, including, but not limited to, an emergency call to a law enforcement agency, health care provider, fire department, or other emergency services agency or entity.

(d) This section does not apply to an emergency services professional using a wireless telephone while operating an authorized emergency vehicle, as defined in Section 165, in the course and scope of his or her duties.

(e) This section does not apply to a person when using a digital two-way radio that utilizes a wireless telephone that operates by depressing a push-to-talk feature and does not require immediate proximity to the ear of the user, and the person is driving one of the following vehicles:
10370  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: December 09, 2010, 03:41:48 PM
Gosh, i'm sorry Mr. "Should society forgive criminal convictions?" What question don't you have answered?

You know the police there? Really? Tell us how you know the police.
10371  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: December 09, 2010, 03:36:56 PM
So, you bash cops in general because of the actions of a few? I don't know if CA's cell phone law exempts the use of cell phones for official purposes, do you?
10372  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: December 09, 2010, 03:28:32 PM
Do you understand the difference between policy and law? It appears not.
10373  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: December 09, 2010, 03:26:04 PM
Your whole premise is bogus. Law enforcement officers have more liability, both civil and criminal than anyone else in society. Law enforcement officers are also empowered to do things like ""running code 3" than others are not. Why are you an ignorant cop-hater?
10374  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: December 09, 2010, 03:17:24 PM
It says code 2 response. Do you know what code 2 means? Code 3?

You are denying a criminal history? Yes or no?

Hint: The criminal personality tends to project criminal conduct on everyone as a mechanism to justify their own misconduct.
10375  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: December 09, 2010, 02:59:48 PM
I didn't see anything about 15 MPH as a limit for pursuits or emergency response in the PDF.

I noticed you're a cop-basher, and thus most likely a criminal. So what have you been arrested for?
10376  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: December 09, 2010, 02:20:05 PM
No, it depends on the state laws and departmental policy covering pursuits and emergency response. I've never seen anything that says 15 MPH over the posted limit for LE. Care to cite your source?
10377  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / OPSEC-smartphones on: December 09, 2010, 12:04:47 PM
http://www.michaelyon-online.com/images/pdf/1012-geotags.pdf

Very good stuff here.
10378  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: December 09, 2010, 11:30:53 AM
Wow. That is so horrifically bad, it's hard to imagine.
10379  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: December 09, 2010, 11:25:40 AM
Many dems are abandoning Obama. She certainly could, and may well challenge him in 2012.
10380  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico-US matters on: December 09, 2010, 11:22:31 AM
Yes, that is what happens when the rule of law breaks down. When the gov't does not provide justice, people make their own.
10381  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: December 09, 2010, 10:58:59 AM
The Times struggles to deal with anyone or anything foreign to their Manhattan cocktail party circles.
10382  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: December 09, 2010, 10:45:46 AM
I was being sarcastic. Whenever in doubt, it's pretty safe to assume that's what I'm doing.  grin
10383  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: December 09, 2010, 08:07:37 AM
Anyone see that opinion piece by Aaron Sorkin attacking Palin? Perhaps he can get together with Obama, an eight-ball of coke and show what democrats do rather than shoot caribou.
10384  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: December 08, 2010, 11:18:23 PM
I am and always have been strongly in favor of LEGAL immigration. I am angered at those that encourage illegal immigration.
10385  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Intelligence on: December 08, 2010, 10:15:41 PM
Definition of JACKDAW
1
: a common black and gray bird (Corvus monedula) of Eurasia and northern Africa that is related to but smaller than the carrion crow
2
: grackle 1
10386  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Intelligence on: December 08, 2010, 06:24:51 PM
I did too. It reminded me of backpacking in an isolated part of the southwest and having curious ravens surveilling me. They'd circle and study. They'd land behind trees and then stealthily hop on the ground to get a closer look. There was a definite sense of some sentient thought from them, and I'm not one for sentimental anthropomorphism.
10387  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: December 08, 2010, 03:40:58 PM

[/quote]

(I am a bit surprised you posted this comment)

[/quote]

Why?
10388  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: December 08, 2010, 03:39:30 PM
Notice how the omnipresent stories on casualties in the MSM stopped after Jan 2009? I guess we didn't have any troops wounded or killed after that....   rolleyes
10389  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: December 08, 2010, 12:49:54 PM
Anyone doubt what Putin would do if Wikileaks were leaking Russian documents?
10390  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Monetary Policy, & the US Dollar on: December 08, 2010, 11:49:52 AM
No idea if this is accurate or not, but I heard a figure that we could go back to the gold standard if gold hits 49,000USD an oz. shocked

I hope we don't see anything like that.
10391  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: December 08, 2010, 08:37:58 AM
If we were smart, we'd try to get these students to become Americans. Alas, we only care about those who break the law to get here.
10392  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 24 Signs That All Of America Is Turning Into Detroit on: December 07, 2010, 09:53:34 PM
http://www.businessinsider.com/america-becoming-wasteland-2010-12#

24 Signs That All Of America Is Turning Into Detroit
Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse | Dec. 7, 2010, 10:37 AM

For years, people have been laughing at the horrific economic decline of Detroit.  Well, guess what?  The same thing that happened to Detroit is now happening to dozens of other communities across the United States.


From coast to coast there are formerly great manufacturing cities that have turned into rotting, post-industrial war zones.  In particular, in America's "rust belt" you can drive through town after town after town that resemble little more than post-apocalyptic wastelands.

In many U.S. cities, the "real" rate of unemployment is over 30 percent.  There are some communities that will start depressing you almost the moment you drive into them.  It is almost as if all of the hope has been sucked right out of those communities.

Meanwhile, the economic downturn has been incredibly hard on the finances of state and local governments across the United States.  Unlike the federal government, state and local governments cannot use the Federal Reserve to play games with their exploding debt burdens.  Facing horrific budget deficits, many communities have begun adopting "austerity measures" in an attempt to slow the flow of red ink.  All over the nation, deep budget cuts are slashing police departments, fire departments and other basic social services, but it seems like no matter what many of these communities try the debt just keeps growing.

So when you combine economic hopelessness with drastic budget cuts, what you get are hordes of communities from coast to coast that are becoming just like Detroit.  In the city of Detroit today, there are over 33,000 abandoned houses, 44 schools have been permanently closed down, the mayor wants to bulldoze one-fourth of the city and you can literally buy a house for one dollar in the worst areas.  Many Americans thought that it was funny to make fun of Detroit, but little did they know that what happened there would soon start happening everywhere.

The following are 24 signs that all of America is becoming a rotting, post-industrial, post-apocalyptic wasteland just like Detroit....
10393  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Top Test Scores From Shanghai Stun Educators on: December 07, 2010, 07:42:12 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/07/education/07education.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

Top Test Scores From Shanghai Stun Educators
By SAM DILLON
Published: December 7, 2010


American officials and Europeans involved in administering the test in about 65 countries acknowledged that the scores from Shanghai — an industrial powerhouse with some 20 million residents and scores of modern universities that is a magnet for the best students in the country — are by no means representative of all of China.

About 5,100 15-year-olds in Shanghai were chosen as a representative cross-section of students in that city. In the United States, a similar number of students from across the country were selected as a representative sample for the test.

Experts noted the obvious difficulty of using a standardized test to compare countries and cities of vastly different sizes. Even so, they said the stellar academic performance of students in Shanghai was noteworthy, and another sign of China’s rapid modernization.

The results also appeared to reflect the culture of education there, including greater emphasis on teacher training and more time spent on studying rather than extracurricular activities like sports.

“Wow, I’m kind of stunned, I’m thinking Sputnik,” said Chester E. Finn Jr., who served in President Ronald Reagan’s Department of Education, referring to the groundbreaking Soviet satellite launching. Mr. Finn, who has visited schools all across China, said, “I’ve seen how relentless the Chinese are at accomplishing goals, and if they can do this in Shanghai in 2009, they can do it in 10 cities in 2019, and in 50 cities by 2029.”
10394  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Knife Law on: December 06, 2010, 05:12:09 PM
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Notice it says "Arms", not "Guns".


10395  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The "Primary Obama" meme seems to be ctaching on on: December 06, 2010, 03:02:29 PM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/clarence-b-jones/time-to-think-to-unthinka_b_792237.html

**Yes, please do!**
10396  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: December 06, 2010, 02:59:05 PM
I think the biggest factor is the nature and number of the offense(s). Depending on the jurisdiction, expungement is possible in some cases.
10397  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: December 06, 2010, 02:03:07 PM
Bolton, Pence, Pawlenty. Time for them to get serious attention. Enough of the media constructs like Palin sucking the oxygen from the room.
10398  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: December 06, 2010, 11:26:56 AM
It's not. If Palin were the nominee, I assume that CCP would hold his nose and vote for Palin, but that won't win the election. We have to win over a large chunk of independents who will look at Barry and say "Well, at least he's the devil you know" if we don't provide someone who will impress them with intellect and proven ability.
10399  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: December 06, 2010, 10:36:31 AM
The thing the swing voters want/need is someone actually able to do the job, someone with a real resume that doesn't have the embedded negatives of a Gingrich or Palin.
10400  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: December 06, 2010, 10:07:43 AM
**Rather than admit what happened, the Chinese gov't suppressed information about the HIV spread through the plasma collection, allowing HIV to gain a foothold in China and many more people to become infected. No government official has ever been held to account for this.**

http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/china_21607.html

China's children affected by HIV/AIDS

HENAN PROVINCE, China, 11 June 2004—"Daddy died three years ago because of the disease called AIDS." Taohua (not her real name) is a skinny 11-year-old girl with a ponytail. She is shy but well spoken. "First he had headaches. Then he got very sick and went to see a doctor, but he just got sicker. My mom wanted to buy some medicine, but our family was too poor. My daddy didn’t want my mom to spend the money."

Remembering this difficult time, her eyes began to fill with tears. "He was sick at home for more than a year. After the funeral, one of my aunts bought some clothes for me. Other relatives and some of our neighbors gave us money and food, so we would have enough to eat."

Taohua’s family grows wheat, peanuts and fruit trees. They can’t afford any chickens or pigs. They live in a sleepy village in the middle of the vast flatland of Henan Province. The massive wave of urbanization in coastal China has not yet reached here.

But HIV/AIDS did.

In the early 1990s, several blood collection centers were set up near Taohua’s village. Many villagers sold blood to supplement their incomes, happy to earn money for each visit. In order to help them recover from blood loss so that they can sell blood again quickly, other plasma was pooled together from various blood sellers and pumped back into all the sellers' veins. The plasma was not tested for HIV viruses. As a result, HIV spread quickly in this conservative rural area where drug use and extramarital sex are rare. According to official statistics, more than 10,000 HIV/AIDS cases were reported in Henan Province in 2003.

"What I’m most worried about is my mommy. She hasn’t been feeling well lately," Taohua says in a small voice. She then adds: "Daddy sold blood twice, but mom has never done it." According to a local official, Taohua does not yet know that her mother is HIV-positive, most likely as a result of secondary transmission from her late husband.

Like Taohua, some 130 children in her village have already lost one or both parents to AIDS. In Henan Province, more than 2,000 children have been orphaned by AIDS, most of them between the ages of six and 15 years. Some of the children are HIV-positive also. If the surviving parent is too sick to take care of his or her children, the youngsters generally live with their grandparents or in a local welfare centre.
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