The Garden City, Kansas School District, CPS, and Police Department are More Stupid Than a Box of Hair

I guess all violent and property crimes have been solved In Garden City.  Taxpayers there can rejoice.

This boy was defending his mother’s use of a drug that helps her deal with an awful condition. Because he stuck up for his mother, the state arrested her and ripped him away from her. Even if he is eventually returned to his mother (as he ought to be), the school, the town, and the state of Kansas have already done a lot more damage to this kid than Banda’s use of pot to treat her Crohn’s disease ever could.

Banda’s supporters have now set up a legal defense fund page for her at Go Fund Me.

If the extract was pure CBD oil, then this is no crime and not against the law.

via State seizes 11-year-old, arrests his mother after he defends medical marijuana during a school presentation – The Washington Post.

Carbon Footprint (Gilbert Grape Edition, con’d)

UpdateLeo flew on a private jet from NY to LA SIX times in SIX weeks

He’s a high profile advocate of environmental causes, believes the world must act now to combat the effects of global climate change and is producing documentaries about endangered species.
But accusations of hypocrisy have also dogged Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio, 40, with detractors accusing him of not practicing what he preaches.
Now with RadarOnline reporting Friday that he took six private jet flights in just six weeks last year, it may prove hard for the actor to justify the need to avail himself of more than $200,000 worth of private travel between LA and New York in such a short period of time.

Leo deplaning private jet

Remember, No matter what you drive, how you travel, or where you live

gas guzzlers     -house

your carbon footprint is a metric fuck-ton less than Leonardo Dicaprio’s:

Look! It is sort of like a Chinese Aircraft Carrier, except it does not move.

IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly said March 23 images from Airbus Defence and Space showed work on the runway on reclaimed parts of Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly archipelago, which China contests with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.
It said images from earlier in March showed reclamation work on Subu Reef in the Spratlys creating landmasses that, if joined together, could create space for another 3,000-meter airstrip.
The report said other images suggested China was working to extend another airstrip to that length in the Paracel Islands further north in the potentially energy-rich South China Sea, a vital shipping route through which $5 trillion of trade passes every year.

In the event of hostilities, this will be viable for… oh …. 15 minutes.

12000 feet of target points. Take your pick.

via Images show rapid Chinese progress on new South China Sea airstrip | Reuters.

Extrajudicial Taxes: Douglas County, Nebraska

With legal reasoning reminiscent of Catch-22, the court ruled that Brewer “failed to make a prima facie showing of gross disproportionality,” since he “presented no evidence regarding the amount of the fine in relation to the crime it is designed to punish,” even though Brewer had not been charged with any crime that he could be punished with. (Adding to the absurdity, Brewer was not even the defendant in the forfeiture case. His cash was. In civil forfeiture cases, the government sues the property, not its owner.)
Moreover, the seizure appears to have circumvented Nebraska law. Even though a Nebraska deputy seized the cash, after the seizure, the Sheriff’s Office turned the case over to the Drug Enforcement Administration to begin federal forfeiture proceedings. Under a program called equitable sharing, police can transfer seized property to a federal agency and take property under federal law. This allows law enforcement to bypass tougher restrictions set by state law.
A 2010 report by the Institute for Justice found that Nebraska is one of just three states that impose the same high evidentiary standard (beyond a reasonable doubt) on the government in both criminal prosecutions and civil forfeiture proceedings. But for federal forfeiture cases, prosecutors need only show that the property was more likely than not used in connection with a crime—a much easier burden to meet. Moreover, equitable sharing lets local and state law enforcement to keep up to 80 percent of the proceeds of forfeited property; Nebraska state law allows 75 percent.
Douglas County, Neb. is particularly aggressive in pursuing forfeiture. According to The Washington Post, without obtaining warrants or indictments, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office seized and kept $11.5 million in equitable sharing funds since 9/11, one of the highest totals in the nation.

via Veteran Loses Over $60,000 to Police, Despite Lack of Criminal Charges – Forbes.

The Turks are no longer reliable allies (con’d) XX

Update: Armenian genocide was also a jihad

Turkey reacted angrily, recalling its ambassador to the Vatican and accusing Francis of distorting history and spreading prejudice. On Twitter, the Turkish foreign minister denounced the pope for fueling “hatred and animosity” with his “unfounded allegations.” That was no surprise, given the government’s vehement history of denialism on the subject. To this day, the use of the word “genocide” to describe the killing of the Armenians is a criminal offense in Turkey, and Turkish diplomats labor mightily to defeat genocide-recognition efforts worldwide.


Talaat Pasha, the powerful Ottoman interior minister during World War I, certainly didn’t disguise his objective. “The Government . . . has decided to destroy completely all the indicated [Armenians] persons living in Turkey,” he brusquely reminded officials in Aleppo in a September 1915 dispatch. “An end must be put to their existence . . . and no regard must be paid to either age or sex, or to conscientious scruples.”

Update XIX: Turkish ambassador: ISIS has nothing in common with Islam 

Turkey’s ambassador to Iraq, Farouq Qaimagja, said in a meeting with Sayyid Ammar al-Hakim, head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has nothing in common with Islamic doctrine.

During Wednesday’s meeting in Baghdad, Qaimagja reaffirmed his country’s support for Iraq in its war against terrorism, pointing out that terrorism is a danger that threatens all people.

Update XVIII:Daesh suspect: Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT)  helped us smuggle arms to Syria

Mehmet Aşkar, one of the 11 suspected members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) currently being tried by the Niğde High Criminal Court, has said that Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) helped them smuggle arms to opposition groups in Syria during the early stages of the country’s civil war, a Turkish daily has reported.
According to a story published in the Cumhuriyet daily on Monday, Turkish authorities are trying to divert public attention from the case because the prosecutor’s dossier has details which reveal the involvement of MİT in arms smuggling.
The 11 suspects in the case include a Syrian Turkmen who is allegedly linked with the anti-regime Free Syrian Army (FSA) and radical groups such as ISIL and al-Qaeda affiliates. Haisam Toubaljeh, also known as Heysem Topalca and who is also a suspect in the Reyhanlı attack case, according to Hürriyet, is believed to have been involved in numerous cases of smuggling as well as a transfer of rocket warheads to Syria that was intercepted in November 2013 by security forces in the southern city of Adana.

Update XVII: Congressmen: Turkey Must Do More To Stop ISIS Fighters Moving Into Europe

For months, ISIS leaders have been sending the group’s fighters across the Syrian border to Turkish port cities where, posing as refugees, they use boats to enter into Europe. Once there, these fighters have been tasked with establishing covert cells to conduct attacks on targets in Europe.

In interviews with BuzzFeed News, leading members of the House and Senate slammed the Turkish government’s handling of its borders, insisting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government must begin taking the threat from the terrorist group more seriously.

“I think the Turks have a lot of work to do, in terms of the level of their cooperation. This is a war. And they certainly aren’t treating it that way,” Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr told BuzzFeed News.

Update XVI: Turkey and the West Part Ways on ‘Charlie Hebdo’

Even more ominously, pro-government Twitter accounts, which are believed to have links to officials, used the Charlie Hebdo attack to threaten their Turkish counterparts. One tweeted that Leman, a satirical magazine that opposes the government, “doesn’t recognize any limits in its impertinence to President Erdogan” and “should draw a lesson from the Charlie Hebdo attack.” Unidentified people rented billboards in the city Bitlis that they used to salute the Kouachi brothers for having “avenged the prophet of Allah.”

Update XV: Turkish president accuses ‘the West’ of being behind Charlie Hebdo attacks and deliberately ‘blaming Muslims’

The President of Turkey has suggested French security forces are to blame for the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris last week, since the culprits had recently served prison sentences.  Erdoğan accused the West of ‘playing games with the Islamic world’, warning fellow Muslims to be ‘aware’.  Erdogan said Muslims are ‘paying the price’ for the attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish kosher supermarket in Paris last week.

The money shot:

‘The West’s hypocrisy is obvious. As Muslims, we’ve never taken part in terrorist massacres. Behind these lie racism, hatespeech and Islamophobia,’ Erdogan added.

Update XIV: Turkey: Hamas chief is free to come 

Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, says that a senior Hamas official who was reportedly expelled from Qatar [Khaled Mashaal] is free to come to Turkey.

Update XIII: Pentagon chooses Italy, Turkey for European maintenance of F-35

Update XII: UK’s Cameron to fly to Turkey to discuss IS foreign fighter problem

Many of the around 500 Britons who the authorities believe have traveled to the region have used Turkey as a transit destination. Around half that number are already believed to have returned to Britain.

Update XI: Erdogan slams US on Syria again, days after Biden visit

Is Turkey really a member of the anti-Islamic State coalition?

Update X: U.S. close to deal with Turkey over Islamic State Daeshi mission

Update IX: Islamic State group attacks Kobani from Turkey 

“It is now clear that Turkey is openly cooperating with Daesh,” Bali said, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State.

Update VIII: Turkey, U.S. ease strains on Islamic State but differences remain

Update VII: US, Turkey still not in sync on Syria 

Update VI: Turkey’s role in Libya adds to pro-Islamist perception

Update V: Turkey and U.S., at odds over Syria

Update IV: Turkey to Let Iraqi Kurds Cross to Syria to Fight ISIS

Update III: Turkey: No new deal with US on using air base

Update II: Turkey Allows US to Strike Islamic State From Its Bases

Washington has been pushing Turkey to play a more active role in the broad anti-IS coalition it assembled in Paris last month with little success. However, officials told the Associated Press that Ankara had agreed to allow coalition aircraft to operate from its bases, including Incirlik, around 100 miles from the Syrian border.

The Turkish parliament has passed legislation allowing military operations against IS in neighbouring Syria and Iraq, but so far it has not taken action itself.


Turkey’s absence is conspicuous. It’s the only NATO ally among these Muslim world partners. To be clear, the fight against the Islamic State is not a NATO mission, but it serves as a reminder of how little Erdogan’s regime has done to help preserve order in the Middle East.

In many ways, Turkey has made the fight against the Islamic State more difficult. Apart from permitting some unarmed American drones to fly out of its territory, Ankara has refused to allow the West to operate from Turkish airbases. This has forced strike aircraft to fly their sorties from the Al Udeid airbase in Qatar, Shaheed Mwaffaq in Jordan or Al Dhafra in the UAE. As for the Incirlik air base that NATO operates in Eastern Turkey, Ankara has made it clear that for the time being, it is currently off limits for armed operations.

Politico is just now figuring this out?

Time to Kick Turkey Out of NATO?

Graphene device makes ultrafast light to energy conversion

Converting light to electricity is one of the pillars of modern electronics, with the process essential for the operation of everything from solar cells and TV remote control receivers through to laser communications and astronomical telescopes. These devices rely on the swift and effective operation of this technology, especially in scientific equipment, to ensure the most efficient conversion rates possible. In this vein, researchers from the Institute of Photonic Sciences (Institut de Ciències Fotòniques/ICFO) in Barcelona have demonstrated a graphene-based photodetector they claim converts light into electricity in less than 50 quadrillionths of a second.
Graphene has already been identified as a superior substance for the transformation of photons to electrical current, even in the infrared part of the spectrum. However, prior to the ICFO research, it was unclear exactly how fast graphene would react when subjected to ultra-rapid bursts of light energy.
To test the speed of conversion, the ICFO team – in collaboration with scientists from MIT and the University of California, Riverside – utilized an arrangement consisting of graphene film layers set up as a p-n (positive-negative) junction semiconductor, a sub-50 femtosecond, titanium-sapphire, pulse-shaped laser to provide the ultrafast flashes of light, along with an ultra-sensitive pulse detector to capture the speed of conversion to electrical energy.

via Graphene device makes ultrafast light to energy conversion possible.

VA Sec. “I ran a large company, sir, what have you done?” McDonald; Whistle-blower Reprisals

Update: Philly VA office altered wait times, doctored reviews, hid mail, ignored warnings

Philadelphia’s Department of Veterans Affairs office “cooked the books” to understate the amount of time veterans waited for pensions and other benefits, according to a massive inspector general’s report released Wednesday.
Delays were not because of a lack of funds or personnel but because of “inefficient workload practices” and “disorganized storage,” the inspector general said in the 100-page report.
More than 31,000 benefits claims were pending an average of 312 days instead of five, which is the standard, because they were “mismanaged” at “various levels.” That meant that questions from homeless veterans and widows were met with silence, and notices that a veteran had died went unheeded.
Numerous times, management ordered staff to change the dates on old claims to be the current date.

Update: VA Officials Retaliate Against Whistleblowers by Illegally Accessing Their Medical Records

An official at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel said Monday that Department of Veterans Affairs officials are known to be retaliating against VA whistleblowers by illegally going through their medical records, in an apparent attempt to harass and discredit these whistleblowers.
This surprising testimony from Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner was delivered at a House Veterans Affairs subcommittee hearing, which was called to discuss the problems whistleblowers face when they try to expose the ongoing failure of the VA to provide medical care to veterans.
In Lerner’s prepared testimony, she explained that many VA officials who try to reveal these problems are veterans themselves who are also seeking care at the VA. She said in some cases, VA officials try to retaliate by examining the medical records of these officials, and said this still happens — she called it an “ongoing concern.”
“In several cases, the medical records of whistleblowers have been accessed and information in those records has apparently been used to attempt to discredit the whistleblowers,” she said.

Update:At VA health facilities, whistleblowers still fear retaliation

After five suicidal veterans walked out of the emergency room without getting help during a single week in January, Brandon Coleman brought his concerns to his supervisor at the VA Hospital in Phoenix. Coleman, a therapist and decorated veteran, urgently warned that there was a broader problem with how suicidal patients were being handled.

Six days after he spoke with his boss, Coleman recalled, he was suspended from his job. He believes it was in retaliation.

VA Secretary Robert McDonald came to office in July in the midst of the largest scandal in the agency’s history. He announced that he wanted to make “every employee a whistleblower” and create a fresh culture that “celebrates them.”


Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald got defensive during a hearing on the agency’s budget Wednesday, snapping at one congressman who suggested he’d accomplished little in his first six months on the job. “I ran a large company, sir, what have you done?” McDonald said to Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) in a heated exchange.

Was that company, Comcast Customer Service?  ‘Cause you can’t even get Christmas cards delivered to “Any soldier or Sailor”  in the VA hospital.

So what I’m about to post has me terribly upset…actually pretty pissed off. Back in November and December my students (6and 7 yr olds with autism) made over 50 Christmas cards for our vets at Walter Reed Medical Center. We called them for the proper address, etc. we told them what we were sending and who was sending. I just got the package returned to me…OPENED but rubber banded shut. I called to see why. They said: ” the deadline for Christmas cards is Nov. 29th!” It was postmarked Dec.16th. Too late. Too late! Too late! I want this shared everywhere! THIS IS A DISGRACE! Our men and women heroes laying in that hospital were good enough to fight for our freedom. And they can’t give them a Christmas card!

Mobile Uploads – Lisa LaRe Richter.

TSA Reminder: This is all to prevent terrorism…. or something

A CBS4 investigation has learned that two Transportation Security Administration screeners at Denver International Airport have been fired after they were discovered manipulating passenger screening systems to allow a male TSA employee to fondle the genital areas of attractive male passengers.
It happened roughly a dozen times, according to information gathered by CBS4.
According to law enforcement reports obtained during the CBS4 investigation, a male TSA screener told a female colleague in 2014 that he “gropes” male passengers who come through the screening area at DIA.
“He related that when a male he finds attractive comes to be screened by the scanning machine he will alert another TSA screener to indicate to the scanning computer that the party being screened is a female. When the screener does this, the scanning machine will indicate an anomaly in the genital area and this allows (the male TSA screener) to conduct a pat-down search of that area.”
Although the TSA learned of the accusation on Nov. 18, 2014 via an anonymous tip from one of the agency’s own employees, reports show that it would be nearly three months before anything was done.

Ummm… am I a homophobe for pointing this out?

via CBS4 Investigation: TSA Screeners At DIA Manipulated System To Grope Men’s Genitals « CBS Denver.

Phil LeClerc: Things that normally go unnoticed

When Phil LeClerc, of Weymouth, Massachusetts found this unbelievable Governor Winthrop desk at an auction similar in nature to a yard sale, he was shocked and thrilled that it only cost him $40.

What he found inside was a collection of U.S. savings bonds worth $127,000 in denominations of $500, $1,000 and $10,000. LeClerc immediately did the right thing and returned the desk to the family who had auctioned it off.

It turns out the fortune belonged to a 94-year-old man, who was in need of an assisted living program but could not previously afford it. The man says he lost the bonds many years ago and has been searching for them ever since.

Thank you, Phil LeClerc

via VIDEO: Never In His Wildest Dreams Did He Expect To Find THIS Inside The Desk He Got At A Yard Sale | American Overlook.

Just a coincidence?

Or is Free Market Competition good for the consumer?

It doesn’t matter if you subscribe to the Google service or not; the mere fact that there’s now competition in this market is enough to bring down prices for everybody.

TWC, without incoming treat of competition, would have left their ‘package’  just the way it was.  If you wanted something else–tough.  If you wanted faster internet speed-tough.

What are the internet packages/pricing in cities that have (city/stated) granted monopolies?  I would be willing to bet that TWC, Comcast, and FIOS do not change or offer better pricing where they are entrenched.

Locally, in the Tidewater area, when Verizon FIOS was beginning to to lay fiber for FIOS, the dominate cable provider, Cox Cable, started running these self-serving ads, praising themselves:  “Cable Competes”

Ummm, no.  The speed/bandwidth was not even close.  It still is not close today.  Cox offers: 150Mb Down / 20Mb UP.  FIOS offers: 500/500 Mbps. (very pricey)

I would like to see what would happen if Google Fiber were to come to Hampton Roads.

via TWC boosts its internet speeds to counter Google Fiber.

Tales of the Perpetually Butthurt (con’d)

The tweet, which Clorox (CLX) since deleted, showed a Clorox bottle made up of the new emojis released by Apple (AAPL, Tech30) as part of this week’s iOS 8.3 update. Clorox tweeted, “New emojis are alright but where’s the bleach.”

Apple’s new iOS 8.3 release consists of 300 new emojis, including kissing lips, googly eyes and a smiling poop (we wish we were making that up). But they also include racially diverse emojis, including cartoon faces with brown and black skin.

Nothing better to do today SJWs?  Too many loses lately?  Let’s pick on corporations, they’re fish in a barrel.


via Clorox’s misunderstood tweet sparks racial outrage – Apr. 9, 2015.

UNC Tarheels, This Song is For You

UpdateCheated turns over a rock, fully exposing UNC’s “student-athlete” scandal

Enrolling star players and keeping them eligible was far more important than their educational needs. Mary Willingham came face to face with that on many occasions. She writes about students who told her that they had never had to write anything before, and students could barely read being taken out of a Basic Writing class and placed instead into one of the classes known to yield easy A grades.
She’s also angry at the deceptive game the coaches play with the athletes they want. “Recruits are told that they will receive ‘world-class’ educations and that these educations, for all their world-classness, will be easily acquired.” That pitch is irresistible to many of the minority students who grow up playing football or basketball, idolizing sports stars, and who think that education is just a matter of occasionally going to class.
One thing Willingham discovered is that many of UNC’s star recruits got through high school without acquiring even fundamental skills because schools allow them to substitute “portfolios” for actual tests. The coddling of sports stars with low expectations starts early and continues on through college.
Athletes are familiar with the saying, “No pain, no gain.” That applies every bit as much to learning as to sports, but the people running Eligibility Uber Alles at UNC did all they could to keep their stars from experiencing any stress over coursework. By minimizing the academic work players had to do, the people involved helped to cheat the players out of educations they otherwise could have had.

Update: Judge hears media lawsuit over fired UNC staffers

The two sides are battling because the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill hasn’t disclosed the nine campus employees fired or disciplined for their roles in a scheme allowing fake classes and generous grades over nearly two decades.

The Associated Press and nine other companies filed the lawsuit last month.

North Carolina’s public records law requires state agencies, including public universities, to make employee records available. That includes records regarding their dismissal, suspension, or demotion for disciplinary reasons. Campus officials have said the disclosure isn’t required until after an employee has finished appealing the decision.

Update: UNC students blame heteropatriarchal capitalism, white supremacy for academic scandal

Gathering Wednesday afternoon, members of the Real Silent Sam coalition gathered to share their response to the recently released “Investigation of Irregular Classes in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,” which found that certain classes in the former African and Afro-American Department were created simply to keep athletes grade-eligible.

On Wednesday, however, the coalition’s mission was more about the structure of the university as it rallied to “reveal ways in which our university participates in the ‘American’ system of white supremacist, heteropatriarchal capitalism and brings our understanding of what it means to be a Tar Heel into question,” according to the group’s Facebook page.

Only on a college campus can such dreck be said, Very Earnest, with a straight face.

Update: If UNC Doesn’t Deserve The Death Penalty, Who Does?

Congratulations to Roy Williams.

He has been able to keep a straight face while saying that he had no idea that many of his basketball players at North Carolina were taking sham courses


I am Shocked!  SHOCKED!!

More than 3,000 students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received credit for fake classes over an 18-year period as part of a program that allowed many of them to remain eligible to play sports, according to a report released on Wednesday.

via Probe: Athletes took fake classes at University of North Carolina | Reuters.

China’s Three Missile Submarines a ‘Concern’ (NOT)

Blah, blah, blah.

The Chinese Navy has deployed three ballistic missile submarines at sea capable of striking the United States with nuclear missiles, the commander of the U.S. Northern Command said Tuesday.
Adm. William Gortney, the commander, said the submarines are a “concern” and will be able to strike the United States when fully deployed with missiles and warheads.


Gortney said any time a nation has nuclear weapons and delivery systems that can reach the U.S. homeland, “it’s a concern of mine.”
It was the first time a senior U.S. military official voiced worries about Chinese nuclear missile submarines.
The four-star admiral in charge of the Colorado-based Northern Command in charge of homeland military defense said Chinese missile submarines are watched very closely.

The only concern about these Chinese subs is; which US fast attack Captains get to send them a Mk48 enema if they even so much as twitch their missile tube hatches.

via Northcom: China’s Three Missile Submarines a ‘Concern’ | Washington Free Beacon.

US jobs and crops to increase with drone use

In the report, The Economic Impact of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the United States, the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International estimates that integrating drones into U.S. airspace could, by the year 2025, create 100,000 new jobs for the U.S. economy. Most of those jobs, they estimate, will be in the agricultural market.


Although U.S. farms are mechanized and extremely productive, they still rely heavily on an age-old practice known as “crop scouting.” In its basic form, crop scouting, or field scouting, is simply observing conditions by traveling around and through a field. This is done so farmers can see how well crops are growing and, when necessary, take corrective action to prevent or mitigate crop damage. The process begins by observing fields before seeding. At this point, farmers are looking for weeds that might impact the growth of crops once their fields have been planted. After planting, ongoing scouting can reveal damage from moisture issues, pest infestations and the effect of fertilizers and pesticide applications.

Scouting is critical to farming because it improves crop yield. It’s also the single most compelling reason that drones will transform the agricultural industry. Viewing crops at 200 feet from a drone has many advantages over walking a field with a note pad. Not only can UAVs provide a comprehensive picture of field conditions, but crop development can also be documented with images and videos from an onboard camera and compared over time.

via US jobs — and crops — to increase with drone use.

Cancer Is Not Contagious But Stupidity Is, at Alaska Airlines

“I’m being removed as if I’m a criminal or contagious because I have cancer,” she can be heard saying. “No note to fly. Does anybody wonder how I got to Hawaii? My family is being forcibly removed from the airplane because I have cancer.”

In the video, Sedway repeatedly apologizes to her fellow passengers for delaying their flight.

“God bless you,” one passenger can be heard saying.

“I am scheduled for chemo, at home, on Tuesday and Wednesday,” Sedway wrote on Facebook after the incident. “Because of this, I will miss my chemotherapy, my children will miss school, and my husband will miss important meetings.”

via Alaska Airlines apologizes after kicking woman off flight for having cancer – The Washington Post.

M. Walsh: Time to Rein in the Cops

How? Simple. Give the police near-total immunity for their behavior as “public servants,” instruct them to bring in money by just about any means necessary, rely on the conservatives to support almost any excess, enjoy the blessing of the state and federal courts, and provide them with enough weapons — not just guns, but tasers, nightsticks, huge flashlights, etc. — to take down and out anyone who resists. We can sort out guilt or innocence later, possibly posthumously. Joseph K. had a better chance at justice in Frank Kafka’s The Trial.

Click forth and read all:

via Time to Rein in the Cops: Walter Scott Didn’t Have to Die | Unexamined Premises.

Extrajudicial (Racial) Taxes: Police, Courts, City Admin (Missouri) con’d

St. Ann is one of the more notorious cities in the county when it comes to traffic violations and, in my mother’s case, the city’s finest, quite simply, fucked up. As it was, my mother had no warrant; the police confused her with another woman who shared her name — sans the middle initial.

She would go on to spend two nights in jail, pay $1,000 in fines that she did not owe, and plead guilty to the crimes of the other woman. She paid a devastating price, financially and emotionally, for the racist and classist policing described in last month’s Justice Department report on the tumult in Missouri. The 102-page document details the physical and economic terror inflicted upon the poor and black residents of Ferguson, Missouri. The report echoed the torrent of criticism that residents have long lodged at the city’s overseers. But, as my mother’s experience helps illustrate, the injustices cataloged by the investigation are not confined to one tiny Midwestern suburb. Ferguson is emblematic of how municipalities in the St. Louis region, and across the country, operate as carceral, mob-like states that view and treat poor black people as cash cows.

Click forth and read all:

via How St. Louis Police Robbed My Family of $1000 (and How I’m Trying To Get It Back) – The Intercept.

NYT Hit Piece: Success Academy Charter Schools (high scores but it’s not AFT)

In New York City last year, 29 percent of public school students passed the state reading tests, and 35 percent passed the math tests. At Success schools, the corresponding percentages were 64 and 94 percent.

Success Academy scores are >100% better than the NYC Public Schools.  The wringing of worried hands of the NYT is deafening.


Two documentaries, “Waiting for Superman” and “The Lottery,” have captured the desperation of parents trying to get their children into Success through the annual lotteries it holds; this year, the network said, it received more than 22,000 applications for 2,688 seats.


Rules are explicit and expectations precise. Students must sit with hands clasped and eyes following the speaker; reading passages must be neatly annotated with a main idea.


One consequence of the competitive environment is a high rate of teacher turnover. Some teachers who left said that the job was too stressful. Others said they left because they disagreed with the network’s approach, particularly when they believed it was taken to extremes.


“We believe that structure and consistency leads to better outcomes,” Ms. Moskowitz said. The network’s rules, she said, were consistent with expectations of students throughout most of the history of American education.

“Maybe some people prefer chaos,” she added. “We don’t.”

Indeed, watching the students at Success Academy Harlem 4 walk to lunch, the scene was anything but chaotic. In their blue and orange uniforms — the girls wear jumpers, and the boys shirts and ties — they walked silently in two lines, starting and stopping at the teacher’s command. If so many children walking in formation was reminiscent of the von Trapp children at the beginning of “The Sound of Music,” the orderliness also meant that no time was wasted.

Likewise, inside Ms. Jones’s classroom, the atmosphere was calm, and she was demanding.


via At Success Academy Charter Schools, High Scores and Polarizing Tactics –