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Member since: Sat Jun 4, 2005, 09:56 AM
Number of posts: 15,786

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Seriously?? H1-B visas for fashion models?? (from Melania Trump story)

One version of the Melania story has that she initially came here on an H1-B visa. You know, the visa that is supposed to be for "highly skilled workers" so that America can create scientific and technical innovations, or something?

Sorry, I don't see fashion modeling as in that category. Although I detest the way I see the H-1B visa program currently being abused, I'm actually not totally opposed to it on a much more limited level, for truly accomplished and unique talents in STEM fields. I just don't see fashion modeling as being relevant in that way.


Most models use H1-B3 visas. Models seeking H1-B3s must be 'of distinguished merit or ability' - they do not have to be graduates, unlike most other H1-B applicants.

I would REALLY like to hear Clinton say that she wants to seriously look at the use and abuse of the H1-B visa program.

Who were the five police officers assassinated in Dallas?

I posted a thread for each in LBN. Because there was a thread about the shooter, and I felt that if the shooter got a thread, each of the people he killed should get one too.

While all the LBN threads I posted use WaPo eulogies as a source, I'm not going to claim that each of these was a "hero" or any perfect model of what a police officer should be. On the other hand, we don't know that they weren't. We do know that they left families and other loved ones behind. We know that they were assassinated without trial, just like Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.


Thread for each deceased victim:

Lorne Ahrens: Slain Dallas Officer Lorne Ahrens was out of surgery when something went wrong
Michael Krol: ‘It doesn’t seem real’: Family of slain Dallas officer mourns ‘big guy’ with ‘big heart’
Michael Smith: ‘One of the good guys’: Michael Smith had been a Dallas police officer for 25 years
Brent Thompson: Brent Thompson married fellow transit officer weeks before dying in Dallas shooting
Patrick Zamarripa: Officer Patrick Zamarripa survived three tours in Iraq before being killed in Dallas

Slain Dallas Officer Lorne Ahrens was out of surgery when something went wrong

Source: Washington Post

It was hard to miss Lorne Ahrens, in uniform or out.

The 6-foot-5, 300-pound former semi-pro football player could turn heads just by showing up, according to his father-in-law, Charlie Buckingham.

“He was a big ol’ boy,” Buckingham said Friday, the day after Ahrens was killed in the sniper attack on Dallas police officers. “Big as he is, just walking down the street he cut a real figure. I’m sure it helped him in his work.”

Buckingham had been watching the events in downtown Dallas unfold from his home in Burleson, Tex., a few miles from where Ahrens lived with Buckingham’s daughter Katrina and the couples’ children, a 10-year-old girl and 8-year-old boy.


“We got there just a few minutes after the…police knocked on her door,” Buckingham. “They told her she should come down to the hospital with them.”

Katrina Ahrens dressed quickly and left with the officers, Buckingham said. He and his wife stayed with the children, who were still asleep. According to Buckingham, Ahrens was already out of surgery when Katrina Ahrens got there. But then something went wrong.

“They had to take him back in,” Buckingham said with an exhausted voice. “She said he didn’t make it.”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/07/08/slain-dallas-officer-lorne-ahrens-was-a-big-ol-boy-with-a-soft-touch/?utm_term=.05a707a5f57f

Two more kids left without their father. For no good reason.

‘It doesn’t seem real’: Family of slain Dallas officer mourns ‘big guy’ with ‘big heart’

Source: Washington Post

He’d worked difficult jobs, waited for years and moved more than 1,000 miles, but finally the day had come: Michael Krol was officially a cop. He stood there before the cameras, goofy grin and all, as his Michigan family crowded around to watch him hoist a certificate saying he had graduated from the Dallas Police Academy. It was April 25, 2008. Krol, then 32, still had a cherub face. And he seemed to have a long career ahead of him.

It came to a tragic halt Thursday night, when a sniper took aim at Dallas officers at a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest, killing five of them, including Krol, 40. The news of his death reached his mother’s doorstep in Redford, Mich., outside Detroit, early Friday. Ever since, the family has been struggling to reconcile the gentle manner that they say defined Krol’s life and the violence of his death. He never wanted to hurt anyone. He wanted to protect people. How could this happen?

“He was a big guy and had a big heart, and he was a really caring person and wanted to help people,” said brother-in-law Brian Schoenbaechler, 44, a management consultant in Atlanta. “It doesn’t seem real. His mom’s had a difficult time.”


When Krol’s sister, Amie Schoenbaechler, had surgery a few years ago, he came and stayed with her family for two weeks in Atlanta and took care of the kids, her husband said. When they got together, Schoenbaechler would tip a few beers and listen to Krol tell “crazy” stories of life as a Dallas cop. But Krol himself, his sister remembered, never drank.

He was always in control. Always the calm one. Always the one to defuse chaotic situations.

Until he became the victim of one.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/07/08/it-doesnt-seem-real-family-of-slain-dallas-officer-mourn-big-guy-with-big-heart/?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.d824acb80bd4

‘One of the good guys’: Michael Smith had been a Dallas police officer for 25 years

Source: Washington Post

Michael Smith was the one always standing guard by the tree fort in the vast lobby of Watermark Community Church in Dallas, where he worked as a uniformed security officer in recent years, greeting parents and kids and ushering them on to their Sunday programs. On the church’s Facebook page Friday, members recalled him handing out Dallas police department stickers to their kids, or running after them down the hallway, or showing them his police cruiser.

“He was outgoing but also very tender and unassuming,” said Wes Butler, the director of family and children’s ministries at Watermark. “He was just there, you know? People naturally engaged with him. He was one of the good guys, the one you’d hope your kids would go to if they ran into trouble.”


Smith, 55, was a former Army Ranger who joined the police force in 1989, according to Texas television station KDFM, which spoke with his sister. He had two daughters, ages 14 and 10, with his wife of 17 years, Heidi.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/one-of-the-good-guys-michael-smith-had-been-a-dallas-police-officer-for-25-years/2016/07/08/0c51604e-4562-11e6-8856-f26de2537a9d_story.html

Two young girls will never see their father again.

Brent Thompson married fellow transit officer weeks before dying in Dallas shooting

Source: Washington Post

When Brent Thompson saw you in church, said Sandra Hughes, he’d wrap you in a hug.

When his children were in Hughes’s classroom, he’d ask how he could help, and what he could do.

And when he became a grandfather, Hughes said, he “just lived for those little kids.”

“He’s just was an incredible guy,” said Hughes, a retired teacher in Texas. “And I know those are words that describe everybody. I wish I could just think of a word to describe Brent because he was just, I don’t know how to tell you this, he was just wonderful.”

Thompson, a 43-year-old Dallas Area Rapid Transit police officer, was killed in Thursday’s mass shooting in Dallas, the agency confirmed on its website and Twitter feed. He was one of at least five officers killed by sniper gunfire after a peaceful protest against police shootings in the downtown streets.


Military records indicate that Thompson served in the Marines during the early 1990s. He graduated from the Navarro College Police Academy in 1997, according to a spokeswoman for the school, which is located in Corsicana, Tex.

“Navarro College is deeply saddened by the loss of Brent Thompson and the additional police officers who were killed and injured in the Dallas shooting,” she wrote. “Brent was a great guy, excellent police officer and was always eager to participate in additional training to best serve his community and country.”

Thompson had married just a few weeks ago, according to Spiller.

“I’d like to point out, Brent was recently married to another transit officer in the last two weeks,” Spiller said during an appearance on the “Today” show. “So this is very heartbreaking for us.”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/07/08/newly-married-transit-officer-brent-thompson-mourned-after-shooting-in-dallas/?utm_term=.c05022423d59

Officer Patrick Zamarripa survived three tours in Iraq before being killed in Dallas

Source: Washington Post

Dallas police officer Patrick Zamarripa, 32, had survived three tours in Iraq, one of the world’s most dangerous places, his father, Rick Zamarripa, said Friday. And then this.

“He comes to the United States to protect people here,” his dad said. “And they take his life.”

Rick was watching television Thursday night when news broke that someone had opened fire in downtown Dallas around 9 p.m. at the end of a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in the city. He knew that his son had recently begun working as a bike officer in the downtown area, an assignment he enjoyed.

“Hey Patrick,” his father texted. “Are you okay?”

Rick had asked his son that question before, because he knew Zamarripa’s job was perilous. The response usually came quickly: “Yes, dad. I’ll call you back.”

Not this time.

“I didn’t hear nothing,” Rick said.


Greg Wise, 48, knew him a decade ago when they worked together at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida. Zamarripa was focused and professional, Wise said, even as he talked about leaving the military before serving 20 years.

Wise would often counsel young sailors who considered walking away before reaching retirement age. Many wanted to quit for the wrong reasons. But not Zamarripa.

“For him, he was just tired of being away from the people he loved,” Wise recalled. “He wanted to go back and serve his community.”

Zamarripa, he said, had long known he would do that as a police officer in Texas.

“I’ve been around the military for 30 years. I’ve seen a lot people come and go. A few stand out as being some of the good ones,” Wise said. “And he did.”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/07/08/in-shock-officer-patrick-zamarripa-survived-tours-in-iraq-before-being-killed-in-dallas

We don't really know what kind of police officer this young man was. Maybe he really was one of the good guys. Maybe he wasn't so great. But he didn't deserve to be shot down like that, and his child did not deserve to be left without a father.

Would it be helpful to call radical, violent anti-homosexuality what it is,

rather than blaming a religion?

This is meant as an "honest question", meaning it's an idea that occurred to me but I'm not sure how valid it is. I'm hoping for a rational, civil discussion.

This is motivated by the discussion of last night's nightclub shooting, but of course we don't actually know the shooter's motivation yet. But a speculation on another thread that he might have had "radical Islamic ties" got me to thinking, does it really matter what religion is driving the hate and the belief that murder is an appropriate action? Doesn't it hinder the ability for the core adherents of the religion to progress away from these harmful root beliefs, if their religion is constantly being tied to it based on the actions of extremists? No one thought Timothy McVeigh represented Christianity. He wasn't described as a "radical Christian terrorist". He was described as being "radical anti-government" or something like that.

We know that Islam isn't the only religion that includes subgroups who interpret their holy texts as saying that homosexuality is "against God's law". We know that Islam isn't the only religion that includes subgroups who believe they have a right to impose their beliefs on other people, including by violence. Islam may be the one that's most in the news for Americans at this time. But doesn't it perpetuate a vicious cycle to continue to link being anti-gay with Islam?

What if we (and the media) dropped the reference to religion and just called out the hateful belief?

What do you all think?

Christie vetoes N.J. domestic violence gun bill – again

Of course. Shorter Christie: "More GUNZ will solve everything!!!!"


Gov. Chris Christie on Monday again vetoed an effort by Democrats in the state Legislature to further restrict access to firearms by convicted domestic abusers and those subject to domestic violence restraining order in New Jersey.

Calling the measure "identical to legislation I conditionally vetoed last session," the Republican governor proposed a rewrite to the bill that would expedite the permit process for domestic abuse victims seeking access to guns for their own protection.

Christie also said the vetoed bill "contains redundant restrictions on firearms ownership while ignoring the larger problem of domestic violence, which in most cases does not involve a firearm."

Howard Moskowitz, an attorney for the advocacy group Ceasefire NJ, said the measure was "intended to close important but discrete loopholes in existing law."

The bill would require accused domestic abusers to surrender their guns while a restraining order is in effect, and would suspend their firearms purchaser identification card and handgun permits during that same period.

It would also require more robust investigation to determine whether someone accused of domestic abuse already owns a gun, in order to make sure it is confiscated.

Yeah, because just arming the abused party will solve everything.

How the HELL has OBAMA

"contributed to the culture of divisiveness"?

By being black and getting elected President?

(apparently Rubio said something to that effect and MSNBC just reported it)
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