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GeorgiaDon last won the day on February 24

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  1. I suspect people who object to "Black Lives Matter" are subconsciously (or intentionally) adding in a word that isn't there, they think it means "Only Black Lives Matter". Of course that isn't what the expression says, or means. It does not mean "white lives don't matter", or "blue lives don't matter", or any other group of people anyone might care to reference. It isn't necessary to state "white lives matter" or "blue lives matter" because they have always mattered, at least in the US. It is necessary to proclaim that Black Lives Matter, because so much US history has emphatically stated that black lives don't matter.
  2. In the interests of accuracy, the teachers found the drawing and called the parents to the school. Although the parents were told to get counseling for their child within 48 hours, they refused to take their child home and he was returned to the classroom. When the parents met with school guidance counselors they did not mention that they had already purchased a gun as a gift for their son (which he knew about), and neither they nor the guidance counselors searched him or his backpack for weapons. The shooting happened a couple of hours later that same day, so Ethan Crumbley already had the gun in his possession at the school. Allegedly, the son had previously told and texted his parents on multiple occasions about seeing demons in the house, having urges to harm animals or people, and so on, yet they did not seek help for him and instead they bought a gun as an early birthday present, and took him to a firing range to try it out. The parents claim the gun and ammo were locked up, but clearly it wasn't (at least not properly). Obviously no-one wants to suspect their child of planning something like this, but this particular case seems to be especially egregious in that the parents seemingly willfully ignored many significant warning signs, and instead obstructed efforts to prevent the tragedy. There are also questions (and lawsuits) concerning the way school officials deferred to the parents. Personally I am not sure what they could have done considering the parents flatly refused to take their son home. Could they lawfully lock him alone in a classroom for the rest of the day? At some point they would have had to let him out, even just to go home, and he could have carried out his rampage then. Also he had a somewhat plausible explanation for the drawing, he said he was designing a video game. The guidance counselors were not aware of his history of delusions and urges, nor were they aware that he had access to a gun and ammunition. They were aware that he did not have any previous history of disciplinary actions, and his parents were extremely dismissive of any notion that he could be a threat. Only the parents knew of all the elements that pointed to the high potential for harm, it seems to me.
  3. It must be quite the burden for you, being wise beyond the comprehension of everybody else, and yet so deeply cynical. At least you are eloquent! BTW there is no compelling evidence to support the idea that Covid-19 is a bioengineered weapon. On the other hand there is very strong evidence that it is a naturally occurring virus, spilled over from a zoonotic reservoir (probably bats), likely through a secondary zoonotic host, and into humans. There are many related coronaviruses that cause occasional spillover infections in people, and it is only a matter of time before it occurs again in circumstances that support higher transmission to people, selection for adaptive mutations, and yet another pandemic. A spillover infection in a small farming community almost always burns itself out, but the same virus brought to a "wet market" in a densely populated city presents a vastly greater risk. A problem with the "bioengineered" mythology is that it discounts the role of spillover of natural viruses, encourages politicians to dismiss that threat, and discourages efforts to find and track these spillover events and prepare for future pandemics. Of course, it is politically expedient, in that it allows politicians of a certain inclination to blame China (or any other entity it is convenient to direct the base's hate towards) while slashing funding for efforts to deal with present and future pandemics.
  4. I believe this is a flat out lie. The documents were discovered by Biden's staff and were then voluntarily reported to the national archives and the FBI. Also, the secret service detail is assigned to guard Trump. They do not guard his properties (e.g.. they are not security for his clubhouse), and they certainly cannot be expected to provide security for documents they do not know are present, and that they would have no reason to expect to be illegally on the property.
  5. I'm sure this is beating a dead horse (or driver), but I was curious about the comparison between becoming a licensed barber vs police officer in Georgia, the state I live in. Barber: 1. Graduate from a 1500 hour Georgia Barber Training Program 2. Pass National Theory and Georgia State Practical Licensing Exam 3. Submit a Georgia Master Barber license application to the board 4. Explore your career options and keep your license current Police officer (basic): Basic Police Officer training program highlights: Length of Program: 11 weeks Non-refundable tuition: $3,093 Note that 1500 hours is 37 weeks (assuming 40 hrs/wk). So 37 hrs of training plus a national and a state exam to cut hair. 11 weeks of training to carry a firearm and make split second life and death decisions. WTF???? What about becoming a licensed farrier in Georgia? (For those who don't know, a farrier trims horses hoofs, puts on horseshoes, basically anything around foot care for horses.) he only way to become a licensed farrier in Georgia is to complete a 4 year apprenticeship with an Approved Training Farrier. 4 years vs 11 weeks!!! Policing is (or should be) a profession, and it should be treated as one. Police officers need to know a myriad of subjects, not the least of which is the law (including constitutional law), psychology (especially how to deal with people with psychiatric issues, but also normal but angry or frightened people), sociology, self defense, marksmanship (hopefully rarely used), and on and on. Plenty of material for a 4 year degree, or at a minimum 2 years of community college. Of course then you have to pay them as professionals, but you can also demand a professional standard of performance.
  6. It's likely relevant that police in the US require an average of only 21 weeks of training before they are put out on the street or in a squad car. This is significantly less than every other developed country. Many countries require applicants to have a college degree, but in the US you're fine with high school or equivalent. It's curious to me that you can't count out pills in a pharmacy without a 4 year degree (and not an easy degree either), or work as a bank teller without a business degree, but you can be empowered to use lethal force with just 21 weeks of "training".
  7. So you think your doctor, for example, was trained by people too stupid to actually practice medicine themselves? I'm surprised, I thought you were smarter than that. Or not so trollish. Anyway it is true that at university you will encounter a wide range of teaching ability. Undergraduates as a rule are quite ignorant of the way the system works, and naturally assume they are the center of the universe. Not so! My responsibilities, for example, are 75% research (which means running a research lab, maintaining grant funding, training MSc, PhD, and postdoctoral students [paid off of the grants I have to get, not University funds], and publishing), 20% undergraduate and graduate teaching, and 5% service to committees etc. That means that teaching ranks lower on the list of things I have to excel at when it comes to annual evaluations, promotion, and pay increases. A former postdoctoral advisor of mine told me that if the undergrad students were not marching to the dean's office to demand that I be replaced as an instructor, I was doing that job well enough and any effort above that level was misdirected. I do not share that perspective, and I consistently get good teaching evaluations, but that is because I am determined to not follow the footsteps of the bad teachers I suffered through. I have probably been penalized for that though, because time spent polishing lectures or labs is time not spent writing grants, and grants = promotion whereas glowing teaching evaluations = pat on the back. Not completely of course, but only research productivity will earn you promotion to full professor. Good research will always trump bad teaching, but good teaching will never rescue you from poor research productivity. Also we hire faculty based on their research record, not teaching. Then we put them in front of a classroom, assuming they will just naturally be good at that if they are good at research. When I was hired I was given no training in how to teach, and that is true of new hires even today. So, when you encounter a bad teacher at university, it probably isn't because they are stupid or incompetent in general. It is because they were hired as researchers, they are rewarded for research more than teaching, and they likely have no formal training as teachers. Also, they are likely to be someone who did well in a traditional classroom setting (teacher lectures, students take notes) and they are predisposed to that sort of teaching environment, to the detriment of the large number of students who struggle with that teaching "style". To some extent that is changing as universities try to encourage more interaction/experience based learning.
  8. If anything university faculty are underpaid in comparison to the private sector. I hope you do realize universities have to compete with the private sector to hire the most competent people. Or perhaps you think it's preferable to have the next generation of doctors, engineers, etc trained by losers who have to settle for a low paying job because they can't compete for private sector jobs? In addition to that, in the sciences (the real sciences, I can't speak for economics or political "science") you have to complete an undergraduate degree, often a Master's, always a PhD (a research PhD with a dissertation, not a coursework-only non-thesis degree), and at least a couple of postdoctoral fellowships. The path is similar to, but a little longer than the path to specialization for a MD. I was almost 40 before I was considered competitive for an entry level faculty position, and whenever we have a search to fill positions these days the candidates we interview are at least that old. You do get paid as a postdoc, but that's in the $40-50,000 range and you are expected to put in 60-80+ hrs/week. So no, I cannot agree that faculty should be ashamed of what they earn. The biggest issue with college costs/student debt is that states used to cover a large fraction of the cost of running universities (and community colleges) but over the last few decades they have cut most of that, so more and more of the cost has to be shifted to tuition. Also tuition is only a part of the cost of going to college, there is also rent, food, books, computers, and so on, and all of that has escalated sharply in cost. When I was an undergrad I was able to earn enough working weekends and a couple of evening a week to cover my costs, so I graduated without significant debt. That really is not possible these days.
  9. When I was in late high school I lived on a Canadian military base (CFB Borden). It was almost impossible to date girls the same age because all the military guys were after them. They seemed a lot older to me, but in reality they were probably in their early to mid 20s so not that much older than 17-18 year old high school girls. Lots of girls got pregnant even at 15 or 16. Lots of shotgun marriages too.
  10. A while ago when I visited family in Canada I noticed that most of the couples shown on commercials on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) TV shows were same sex. I really don't care, and certainly I wasn't offended, but it just kind of stood out that you hardly ever saw a straight couple. The CBC is funded by the federal government and I suppose that had something to do with it. If my extended family in Canada is anything to go by, an estimate of ~20% LGBTQ is fairly reasonable. I think there is less of a stigma associated with non-straight sexual orientations in Canada (although I'm sure there is still some) and it seems (at least as far as my family is concerned) that people don't feel a need to stay in the closet.
  11. Agreed, except Loving v Virginia was decided in 1967, only 55 years ago. Griswold v Connecticut, the case that struck down laws banning using, selling, or providing information about contraception, was decided in 1965, only 57 years ago. That was another case that was opposed by the religious right wing. However there was also a racist element: the decision was supported by some in the southern states due to their fear of blacks having large families and "replacing" whites. Justice Thomas et al want to turn back the clock, but they don't necessarily have to turn it back too far to achieve their dream of imposing their moral choices on everybody in the USA.
  12. It's almost as if he was relieved he didn't win.
  13. It's almost as if some people aren't able to recognize accomplishments unless they are accompanied by an overwhelming barrage of self-promoting tweets and hyperbolic statements along the lines of "nobody knows more than me..." and "only I can fix it...".
  14. It's difficult for me to believe that someone who is such a coward that they would advocate for complete capitulation and grovelling, even accepting rape, slavery, and the murder of his own family just to protect his own skin (which is what he is saying Ukrainians should do), could ever have the cajones to skydive. If preserving one's own life is so important that they would surrender everything and anything to preserve it, would they really risk that life just to have fun? I think a troll happened to wander in here and park himself under the SC bridge, so that he could amuse himself badgering the passers-by and consuming their time.