On That Island Where Great Britain Used to Be – Being “Too English” is a Bad Thing

School was dinged for not being “multicultural enough” for the folks handing out school grades. Apparently, being 'too English' is now a crime – Telegraph.

Test scores are great. But in this rural enclave, the students are handicapped….

The Market Rasen pupils are doubly handicapped because each and every one of them has English as his or her first language.

This sounds like it should be in the Onion, and not the Telegraph.

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UK Crime Reporting – Not Exactly Cooking the Books, Just Ignoring the Facts

The UK likes to pretend it has crime under control, the problem is that the statistics they use are screwed up. ‘Inexcusably poor’ records omit 1 in 5 UK crimes, says watchdog – FT.com.

For sexual offences and rape, the situation was even worse with 26 per cent of crimes going unreported, the study by police watchdog Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary found. It said that more than a fifth of rape records were removed or cancelled last year for “no good reason”.

Some of the problem is just laziness, but cops said in an anonymous survey that they have received pressure from superiors to not record all crimes. So that is cooking the books.

See this link for a review of the current stats for the UK, US, Canada and Australia.

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What if You Called 911 and No One Came

Calling 911 is a strategy for dealing with violent crime. The problem with relying on “the system” is that it doesn’t always work. Relatives of slain woman sue over Denver 911 delay – The Denver Post.

It took more than an hour for dispatchers to send officers to the home of Loretta Barela, 44, after her neighbor called 911 on Nov. 18, 2012. The neighbor, who told dispatchers she saw a man hitting shirtless Barela and dragging her across the street, called a second time when police had not arrived 45 minutes later. Officers left when there was no response to a knock on her door.

Police finally entered the residence and found her body, after her killer called 911.

Calling 911 is a fine thing. But it doesn’t always work. So if it is the only thing you do, you may wait a long time – like the rest of your life.

This isn’t the first time a person died in Denver because of screwed up 911 service. In June, a woman died while on the phone with 911, in part because the 911 operator did not relay the seriousness of the incident. That call lasted 13 minutes. In reality, no matter what they do, the response time will never be zero. Of course 13 minutes and 1 hour are a bit of a problem.

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They Suffered a Breakdown of the Victim-selection Process

They picked the wrong guy. Hartford homeowner shoots would-be assailant in the face, police say | AL.com.

The homeowner got out of his vehicle Friday night to unlock his front gate when he was approached by a group of four to five men, Assistant Hartford Police Chief Ben Berry told the Dothan Eagle. At least two of the men were armed with guns.

According to the report, one member of the group told the homeowner, “we’re going to kill you,” and the homeowner fired his gun in the air as a warning.

He didn’t mean to, but he shot one of his would-be attackers anyway. The rest ran like rabbits.

Self-defense is a human-right.

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Just One Guy Having a Bad Day? Not Hardly – Or How Things Work for Chicago PD

I would like to say that it is surprising this guy is still a cop, but it isn’t surprising, not in Chicago. Fire Chicago cop with rap sheet, Supt. Garry McCarthy urges | Early & Often.

Forget about all of the times he has been suspended or investigated for violating department policy. Concentrate on the big stuff.

He’s been arrested four times — by his own department — on charges that include domestic battery, child endangerment and aggravated assault with a gun, with Cook County prosecutors dropping the charges each time.

Why were charges dropped? Did evidence go missing, or are the DAs in on the whole “thin-blue-line” thing as well?

He isn’t fired, and I doubt he will be fired. The unions will go to bat for him. After all, he hasn’t been convicted of a crime. But then maybe if someone would actually charge him…

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Winter Wonderland

View from the front porchWith apologies to Tam, this is the view from the porch, my front porch that is. (Click the image for a bigger/better look at things.)

If you are going to exile yourself to the land of snow and cold, you need to be able to look on the bright side from time to time

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Musical Interlude – Glitch Mob

“Animus Vox” by Glitch Mob

“We Can Make the World Stop” also by Glitch Mob

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150 Years Ago Today: The Burning of Atlanta and Sherman’s March to the Sea

1864 was a Presidential election year. The Democrats held their convention and nominated George McClellan, former Union Army commander, to run on a platform that “the war was unwinnable” and the Union should sue for peace with the Confederacy. Lincoln was not expected to win that election.

But things changed when Sherman’s forces, moving south from Chattanooga, Tennessee captured Atlanta on 2 September 1864. Ordered to hold Atlanta until after the election, Sherman made preparations for his March to the Sea. This included sending some troops to Tennessee, and destroying the rail-yards and railroads in and around Atlanta.

On 14 November 1864, the fires were set.

[Sherman's army] began its march for the sea on the morning of the 14th, when the entire city of Atlanta—excepting its courthouse, churches, and dwellings—was committed to the flames.

The buildings in the heart of the city, covering 200 acres of ground, formed a great conflagration; and, while the fire was raging, the bands played, and the soldiers chanted the stirring air and words, ” John Brown’s soul goes marching on!”

From November 14th until a few days before Christmas of 1864, Sherman’s force – totaling 60,000 infantry with associated artillery, and 5500 cavalry – cut a swath of destruction across Georgia. Sherman, had made his intentions clear. “I intend to make Georgia howl.” And he did. He removed from the Confederacy the support of the people. They were no longer willing to join the fight.

All confidence in President Davis and the Confederate government had disappeared in Georgia, and a great portion of the people were satisfied that it was, as they expressed it, “the rich man’s war, and the poor man’s fight,” and would no longer lend themselves to the authorities at Richmond. The National army moved steadily forward. At Griswoldsville there was a sharp engagement (Nov. 22, 1864) with a portion of Hardee’s troops sent up from Savannah, and several brigades of militia. The Confederates were repulsed with a loss of 2,500 men. Howard could have taken Macon after this blow upon its defenders, but such was not a part of Sherman’s plan.

The journals and letters of Mary Prescott, contain a first-hand report of the results of that campaign. If you haven’t seen Ken Burns’ “The Civil War” I can highly recommend it, and specifically that episode that deals with Sherman’s march across Georgia.

Sherman’s forces destroyed everything in their path. Houses, and barns. They built fires and twisted steel rails so they could never be used for railroads again. They slaughtered livestock, and burned provisions. They left a path of destruction and famine in their wake, but they accomplished their mission. They made it impossible for the South to continue to wage war.

And the political platform of the Democrats notwithstanding, Lee surrendered his Army of Virginia to U.S. Grant in April of 1865.

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Obamacare: Killing Rural Hospitals

Just because you have health insurance, doesn’t mean you will be able to get health care. Rural hospitals in critical condition. This is subtitled: ACA accelerates demise of rural hospitals that serve many of society’s most vulnerable.

Little things that make sense to the wonderkins in Washington, just don’t make sense for a hospital that has 25 beds.

But the $1 million or more it was going to cost to change over to electronic records was one of the last straws for Randy Stigleman, former owner of Stewart-Webster. Efforts to sell the hospital never panned out.

So when this hospital closed, the next closest hospital is about 40 miles away.

That’s roughly the same distance it takes to get from Times Square to Greenwich, Conn., or from the White House to Baltimore, or from downtown San Francisco to San Jose.

Now there won’t be as much traffic, but an ambulance now has to make that round trip for every emergency. The city has 2, for the “average 90-mile round trip.”

One size does not fit all. And what makes sense to the folks in Washington, D.C. or New York or any big city, probably doesn’t work in every corner of this country.

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Public WiFi and Identity Theft – Or Why You Should Care about Security

My previous post dealt with why cellphones and WiFi could be a bad thing with respect to privacy. WiFi has other problems as well – like being stupid enough to enable identity theft. Here’s Why Public Wifi is a Public Health Hazard.

We took a hacker to a café and, in 20 minutes, he knew where everyone else was born, what schools they attended, and the last five things they googled.

And that was just the start. You can get email id and password, or Facebook account name and password. Execute man-in-the-middle attacks.

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