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Hometown: SC
Member since: Tue Oct 7, 2008, 07:35 PM
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Journal Archives

Authorities: one of five students shot in Ohio has died

Four others are still being treated at area hospitals for injuries.  All of the injured are students.

Three of the victims were taken to MetroHealth Medical Center by Metro LifeFlight.  Two of the victims were taken to Hillcrest Hospital.

According to Hillcrest, the victims being treated there are a 17-year-old boy who is listed in serious condition and an 18-year-old girl listed in stable condition. The victims were found in three locations inside the school.

The gunman -- now confirmed as a male student -- is in custody.  The sheriff says the teen turned himself in to bystanders off site from the school in In Chardon Township.

Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Mon Feb 27, 2012, 01:01 PM (4 replies)

Life in a Box (the use of solitary confinement in American prisons)

In a groundbreaking work by journalist Susan Greene titled "The Gray Box," it is revealed that tens of thousands of American prisoners are being held in prolonged states of solitary confinement in prisons across the country.
She writes, "Among the misperceptions about solitary confinement is that it's used only on the most violent inmates, and only for a few weeks or months. In fact, an estimated 80,000 Americans — many with no record of violence either inside or outside prison — are living in seclusion. They stay there for years, even decades."

Trying to escape, fighting or being affiliated with a gang can get an inmate tossed into solitary. So can cussing at a guard, filing a lawsuit against prison conditions or simply being a juvenile who's safety might be at risk in the general population.

Make no mistake, I believe prison guards should feel safe at work and that prisons are for punishment. If an inmate breaks the rules, then a few days in the box is standard operation procedure. But aren't prisons also supposed to try to rehabilitate inmates who will someday be released? What good does it do keep a convict secluded for so long that he either emerges in a state of vengeful rage or as a broken, unfixable person?

We are a morally bankrupt country. This is beyond cruel and unusual punishment!

Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Mon Feb 27, 2012, 11:15 AM (5 replies)

Bradley Manning among those nominated for Nobel Peace Prize 

Bradley Manning, U.S. soldier accused of leaking material to WikiLeaks, among those nominated for Nobel Peace Prize 

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, charged in the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Patrick Semans, has been nominated for a Nobel Prize.

OSLO, Norway -- A spokesman for the Nobel Peace Prize jury says 231 nominations have been submitted for this year's award, with publicly disclosed candidates including a former Ukrainian prime minister and the U.S. soldier accused of leaking classified material to WikiLeaks.

The secretive committee doesn't reveal who has been nominated, but those with nomination rights sometimes announce their picks. They include Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army private charged with the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history, Russian human rights activist Svetlana Gannushkina and former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Norwegian Nobel Committee secretary Geir Lundestad told the AP on Monday that "The list of nominees is a mixture of repeated nominations and some new names."
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/bradley-manning-u-s-soldier-accused-leaking-material-wikileaks-nominated-nobel-peace-prize-article-1.1029156#


Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Mon Feb 27, 2012, 11:08 AM (6 replies)

Why Do Innocent People Confess?

Once the police had badgered a rough murder confession from Felix, they taped it. Yet the confession lacked a critical detail — one that officers neglected to feed to him. Felix learned it three days later in court when he was handed the charge sheet and saw the date of the crime. He stared at the document and realized that he had the perfect alibi: On the day that Antonio Ramirez was gunned down, Felix had been locked up in a juvenile detention facility for violating probation in a case of theft.

The murder charge was dropped, of course, and Mr. Foxall was greatly relieved. “I would have hated to have had to try the case,” he said. “It would have been very scary. Juries don’t want to believe that somebody will confess to a crime he didn’t commit.” Judges don’t want to believe this either. In fact, according to Mr. Foxall, the juvenile commissioner in Felix’s case said, “Well, I don’t understand — why would he confess?”
Officers are taught to use all the tricks and lies that courts permit within the scope of the Fifth Amendment’s shield against self-incrimination. John E. Reid & Associates, which has trained thousands of interrogators, suggests that a suspect be induced to waive his constitutional rights to silence and counsel by giving him the famous Miranda warning “casually” and not immediately after arrest, when he is “defensive and guarded” and “more likely to invoke his rights.” When a skilled questioner splices it nonchalantly into conversation, the warning’s empowering message of choice can be lost on a suspect. Many false confessors have been routinely Mirandized in this perfunctory manner.

To get people talking, the Reid training also recommends questions that imply leniency without making explicit promises, and that reduce moral responsibility by blaming peer pressure: “Was this your idea or did your buddies talk you into it?” Interrogators are advised to pretend to have evidence but not to fabricate it. A suspect can be shown a card bearing a latent fingerprint and be told: “This is your fingerprint. We found it inside that stolen car.” That’s been allowed by courts if the police officer puts his or her own print on the card but not if the officer fakes it with the suspect’s print. Admissions produced by these tactics may be true or untrue.
In experiments and in interrogation rooms, adults who are told convincing fictions have become susceptible to memories of things that never happened. Rejecting their own recollections through what psychologists call “memory distrust syndrome,” they are tricked by phony evidence into accepting their own fabrications of guilt — an “internalized false confession.”

This is a long and scary article. This is one reason you NEVER talk to the police without a lawyer.

The information in this article and the findings about eyewitness testimony and its accuracy needs to
be more widely known. Too many things are written in stone.
Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Mon Feb 27, 2012, 10:40 AM (12 replies)

There are no 'safe school zones.'

The parents at Chardon are saying the typical things. 'This is the last place I thought this would happen." "We moved here because it was safe."

There are areas that are in safer areas as far as crime rates. Some schools have horrible problems with violence in and around their schools.

However, any school in any area can become a victim of gun violence. It doesn't take gangs or other things to create this horrible situation.

All it takes is a someone with some terrifying plan because of some reason that may only make sense to them.

This is the world we are in now. Closer monitoring of kids, paying attention to what goes on between students and checking for guns may help. It will not stop it.

Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Mon Feb 27, 2012, 10:11 AM (2 replies)

The Worst Teachers

First I'd like to clear up what I believe is a widepread misconception. Teachers do not want 'bad teachers' to keep their jobs no matter what they do. The point of disputation has always been what is a bad teacher and how shoud it be measured.

I have known some teachers who I thought needed help. A lot of teachers never get any assessment and real instruction in how to improve early in their careers. They develop habits that aren't helpful in reaching students. Some of them would never be good teachers, but some could be effective with some assistance.

I KNOW they have college degrees and X amount of hours in classrooms to prepare them. However, once you stand alone in front of your first classes, it can be a whole new ball game. I think 6 months of substitute teaching would give them invaluable lessons in classroom management. That is always a crucial factor in teaching. I don't care how well you know your subjects, if you can't control the students, you are GONE.

Students try everything when there are substitutes. Even the better students can be horrible. The real troublemakers can be downright lethal. Trying to control students is hard work, and it can damage psyches and dreams. I substituted many times and I learned some invaluable lessons.

One lesson I learned was that I needed to memorize the students' names as fast as possible. I eventually was able to learn them after one look. This trick helps for 2 reasons. One is the fact that if you can call a student by their name, it pins them. They know they have been made. It beats saying, "You in the blue shirt." In addition, if you know their names in a nanosecond they think you possess supernatural powers.

Another problem in getting rid of some teachers is the failure to document what they did that was unacceptable. Administrators can be too lazy to do this. When it then reaches a certain level, they have only innuendo and gossip to rely on about prior problems. When I was disciplining a student, I better keep a record of the steps I took to ameliorate the problem. If not, I had no leg to stand on when asking for further help from others.

Yes there are times when teachers keep ther jobs even with execrable records of their performance. They should have a true hearing about their jobs. However, there as to be a point at which others quit excusing their behavior.

A lot of people think they can teach. Everybody will be in classrooms for years. It may appear to be easy. Compare this to other professions. A lot of jobs are in fields that people never really understand. They rarely claim to be able to easily step into these positions.

I myself have never figured out a truly fair way to evaluate teachers. I do know it is more complicated than test scores. Unfortunately, the relationships between teachers, administrators and others have become very adversarial. Nothing will improve unless this situation does.

I learned another invaluable lesson when I taught. I had to call parents at times to talk about their kids. Starting off with a litany of what they had done wrong wasn't productive. I began each conversation by saying, " I need your help." I really did, and many times they needed mine.
Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Sun Feb 26, 2012, 06:04 AM (15 replies)

5th Graders Accused Of Plot To Kill Teacher

HAMPTON, VIRGINIA — Four 5th graders face felony charges for trying to do what most youngsters only joke about: kill their teacher.

The teacher was not hurt, but police said that may have been only because another pupil overheard the group and turned them in. When they were questioned, one of them was found to be carrying a vial of potentially deadly homemade poison, police said. It was to have been placed in the teacher's food, police said.

And that vial is why they are in serious trouble.

When I was teaching, I was asked one time what would happen if a student tried to hurt me. I gave my best evil smile and told them 3 things would happen.
1-Whatever was going on, whoever tried would only get one chance if that. After that, they were mine.
2-If something did happen, my extended family would pursue them legally and otherwise to the ends of the earth.
I believe #3 was the scariest one to them.
3-If I passed, I would haunt them for the rest of their lives. The thought of Ms.Grits lurking from beyond was enough to give them pause.
I never was attacked in any way. Go figure?

Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Sun Feb 26, 2012, 04:49 AM (21 replies)

I KNOW this is a code, but what does it mean?

"The trees are the right height."

I am an expert at decoding dog whistling to evangelicals.
I am at a loss when it comes to this phrase. Tree cullers can't be a huge group.
Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Sat Feb 25, 2012, 06:19 AM (57 replies)

The SCGOP Gubernatorial Primary: Five For 2014 To Oppose Haley (GAH!)

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley will have a credible, well-funded Republican primary opponent in 2014 … that much you can count on. And if things continue as they are, we’ll be honest – it’s unlikely that she will survive the challenge.

1-CURTIS LOFTIS || State Treasurer (hates Haley & won big policy battle with her. Bitter feud.)

2-MICK MULVANEY || U.S. Representative (Way right nut. Mean!)

3-TOM DAVIS || State Senator (Tea Party leader. Old Sanford ally.)

4-TIM SCOTT || U.S. Representative (1st modern African-American Rethugs elected to high office)

5-ALAN WILSON || S.C. Attorney General (son of Rep. Joe 'You Lie' Wilson)

Much more here about them: http://www.fitsnews.com/2012/02/24/the-gop-gubernatorial-primary-five-for-2014/
(this is a conservative site with libertarian leanings. Info always interesting)

This bunch looks like they were hatched from eggs laid by the current GOPeas presidential candidates. What maroons!
This is going to be interesting. Another GOPeas intraparty snake pit! Politics is a contact sport here.
Hang On!

Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Fri Feb 24, 2012, 01:40 PM (4 replies)

We gots tornado watches and warnings everywhere in SC.

My dream is that one will hit South Of The Border and spread that tacky crap they sell all over the world. Get it in the upper wind currents. (I don't want anybody hurt)
Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Fri Feb 24, 2012, 12:52 PM (18 replies)
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