Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for July 28th, 2015

Radley Balko quotes Lt. Chad Goeden

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In the Washington Post:

Add Lt. Chad Goeden, commander of the Alaska Department of Public Safety Training Academy, to the list of law enforcement leaders who get it.

The academy trains every Alaska State Trooper recruit and many municipal and borough police recruits before they can become certified sworn law enforcement officers.

During Lt. Goeden’s nearly 20-year tenure with the Alaska State Troopers he’s worked all over the state. When he became the academy commander he hung a sign over his office door:

“The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.”  – Sir Robert Peel, founder of modern policing

Lt. Goeden chose that quote because he’d observed some officers had lost a sense of connection to the community. He explained, “I thought it was important to remind myself, my staff and the recruits why it is we do what we do, who we serve, and who it is we are beholden to.”

Lt. Goeden rejects the notion of officers as warriors and has instructed his staff not to use the term. As he said, “If we’re warriors, who are we at war with?” Lt. Goeden prefers the guardian archetype, for which he credits a leadership training called Blue Courage. When I asked him if this was just semantics, he replied without hesitation, “Words matter.” And Lt. Goeden is making words, training and culture matter at the academy — as is his staff.

He takes the sign above his door into every ethics training with every academy class. As commander, he teaches ethics to impress upon the recruits its importance.

Make no mistake — officer safety is a high priority at the academy . . . But officer safety is not the top priority.

In training, Lt. Goeden instructs Alaska’s troopers and officers that they may hear a refrain when they leave the Academy — “The most important thing is you go home to your family at the end of your shift.” But it’s not true. If it was, they would never place themselves in harm’s way — as countless officers do every day. The most important thing — he and his staff train — is that they protect and serve the public, of which they are a part.

As Lt. Goeden explains to Alaska’s future troopers and officers, “We are Guardians — of our communities, our way of life, our democracy, the Constitution.”

Emphasis mine. We need more Chad Goedens, and fewer Jack Joneses.

Written by LeisureGuy

28 July 2015 at 7:35 pm

Dysfunctional government, cont’d.

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Franco Ordoñez reports in McClatchy:

A former social worker told members of Congress on Tuesday that she witnessed rampant abuse and neglect while working at a family detention center in Karnes City, Texas.

Olivia López was among a panel of witnesses that included former detained mothers and mental health experts who shared upsetting accounts of life and work inside the detention centers, the stress of being locked up with their children and the potential long-term psychological impacts.

López, 57, who received her doctorate in social work in 2006, told the lawmakers that staff at the Karnes County Residential Center used the medical observation rooms to isolate mothers and children. She said she was asked to lie to federal officials and withhold information from mothers about their rights.

“Not only are these conditions frightening, they are abusive,” López told the lawmakers. McClatchy first reported her observations Monday.

About 1,700 parents and children reside in three family detention centers in Karnes City and Dilley, Texas, and in Berks County, Pa.

While some Republicans defend the family detention centers as the best way to ensure those here illegally appear for their court dates, some Democrats in Congress have called for an end to the Obama administration policy.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus and House Judiciary Democrats invited Lopez to speak at a forum Tuesday afternoon to investigate the psychological, developmental and legal implications of current family detention policies. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

28 July 2015 at 5:15 pm

Posted in Daily life, Government

Halliburton subsidiary KBR suing veterans for legal bills of case KBR lost

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As I noted in post before last, corporations will do absolutely anything that increases profits.

Case in point.

Written by LeisureGuy

28 July 2015 at 4:44 pm

Posted in Business, Law

There’s been a marked change in police department ethos.

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Read this post. Watch the full video.

Written by LeisureGuy

28 July 2015 at 4:31 pm

Peanut executive facing unprecedented life sentence for selling contaminated food

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And a life sentence is well deserved.

Corporations will do absolutely anything to grow profits. I keep saying it because new instances constantly arise in which corporations do not hold back from flat-out illegal activity, not to mention showing a lack of ethics, morality, and common decency. This case is an example.

This man is literally a public enemy, and a rather aggressive enemy at that. In his defense, I suppose, there is the fact that he did not deliberately cultivate the salmonella, but he quite deliberately introduced it into the public’s food supply, certainly the action of an enemy. Indeed, it amounts to sabotage.

Written by LeisureGuy

28 July 2015 at 4:24 pm

“Do the walls match my eyes?”

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Photo of Calypso by TYD.

Written by LeisureGuy

28 July 2015 at 4:17 pm

Posted in Cats, Daily life

Evolution eventually will exploit every niche of the physical world.

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Kevin Hartnett reports in Quanta:

It used to be that to find new forms of life, all you had to do was take a walk in the woods. Now it’s not so simple. The most conspicuous organisms have long since been cataloged and fixed on the tree of life, and the ones that remain undiscovered don’t give themselves up easily. You could spend all day by the same watering hole with the best scientific instruments and come up with nothing.

Maybe it’s not surprising, then, that when discoveries do occur, they sometimes come in torrents. Find a different way of looking, and novel forms of life appear everywhere.

A team of microbiologists based at the University of California, Berkeley, recently figured out one such new way of detecting life. At a stroke, their work expanded the number of known types — or phyla — of bacteria by nearly 50 percent, a dramatic change that indicates just how many forms of life on earth have escaped our notice so far.

“Some of the branches in the tree of life had been noted before,” said Chris Brown, a student in the lab of Jill Banfield and lead author of the paper. “With this study we were able to fill in many gaps.”

Life’s Finest Net

As an organizational tool, the tree of life has been around for a long time. Lamarck had his version. Darwin had another. The basic structure of the current tree goes back 40 years to the microbiologist Carl Woese, who divided life into three domains: eukaryotes, which include all plants and animals; bacteria; and archaea, single-celled microorganisms with their own distinct features. After a point, discovery came to hinge on finding new ways of searching.

“We used to think there were just plants and animals,” said Edward Rubin, director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute. “Then we got microscopes, and got microbes. Then we got small levels of DNA sequencing.”

DNA sequencing is at the heart of this current study, though the researchers’ success also owes a debt to more basic technology. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

28 July 2015 at 4:07 pm

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