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As we increase our advocacy of body and dash cameras for police, I think it's important that we call out those police departments that are already moving in that direction. This would seem particularly important where larger/urban police departments are concerned.

In that vein, we should take note of recent actions by Lexington-Fayette County (KY) government and the Lexington-Fayette County Police Department.

Details below the fold...


Where does your local PD stand on cameras?

10%1 votes
50%5 votes
20%2 votes
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| 10 votes | Vote | Results

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There was a (briefly) Rec-Liisted diary Saturday afternoon that you should read before diving into this one.

Basically, there's a controversy in Wichita, Kansas around a special needs student and a varsity letter jacket. The student doesn't play on the varsity basketball team; instead, he plays on the school's special needs basketball team. The school doesn't award letters to non-varsity teams, but the student's mother bought a varsity letter jacket for her son; when he showed up wearing it, another parent complained and the school forced the kid to remove his jacket (they gave him a sweatshirt to wear instead, which was a heinous way of dealing with the situation).

The discussion in that diary has covered everything from lambasting the school and criticizing the very existence of varsity letters to comments about how we recognize student success and what role parents play in the process. After writing a dozen or so comments to various points in that diary, I decided to put my thoughts into a separate diary.

Follow me below the Great Curlicue (of DOOM!) for my thoughts on varsity letters, recognition of success, and the importance of setting standards. WARNING: RANT FOLLOWS.

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Unless you've been living under the proverbial rock for the last few months, you know that America's police have been the subject of contentious discussion, debate and protest across the country. In the course of those actions, many folks tend to toss "all cops"--790,000 sworn officers in state and local agencies--into a single rhetorical bucket and blast away. Others suggest that their local police "isn't like that," while still others draw distinctions among urban, suburban and rural law enforcement.

I've found what I believe to be the most recent and most comprehensive set of data on the distribution and organization of the nation's law enforcement officers (LEOs), and I thought some of you might find the "hard data" interesting. (I certainly found a few surprises...)

Follow me below le Colophon d'Orange for some number crunching.


How large is your local police department?

20%18 votes
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42%38 votes

| 89 votes | Vote | Results

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The Metro Nashville (TN) Police Department (MNPD) is one of the 40 largest local police departments in the US, according to the 2008 Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies; in that year, the MNPD employed 1,315 sworn officers.

In recent months, Nashville has seen several protests in the wake of the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Interstate highways were blocked, and hundreds of protestors took to the streets of the city. No significant violence was reported, and (as far as I can tell) both protestors and police conducted themselves honorably.

That wasn't enough for some folks, who clearly expected the police to "crack down" on protestors. Several of them made their concerns known to the Chief of Police, and his response to the worst of the complaints was absolutely brilliant.

Follow me beyond the Great Orange Colophon to read more about an absolutely correct police response to public protests - and to the idiot fringe.

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Thu Dec 25, 2014 at 04:21 PM PST

My Wish for You, Gentle Reader

by wesmorgan1

Whatever your beliefs or traditions, may this season bring you a sense of renewal.


OK, so any number of right-wing voices are letting fly with True Patriot RhetoricTM describing the President's Executive Orders on immigration as "tyrannical", "a Constitutional crisis", and "dictatorship." Well, it is a day ending in "y", so this is to be expected to some degree; in this particular case, however, I found a rebuttal that is almost guaranteed to tie such folks in knots.

Follow me below the Great Orange Colophon to arm yourself (and your Facebook wall)...

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Much of the discussion of police militarization has centered on the Department of Defense's 1033 program, through which it "donates" military equipment, including combat vehicles and weaponry, to various law enforcement agencies. National Public Radio provided a dump of all donations between 2006 through April 2014, and many folks have been counting up the M16s, MRAPs, and HMMWVs in their respective areas.

I found something in my county's data that, in some ways, may be of greater concern...

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I just read a diary that named public libraries the "best socialized good in America."  Of course, the general public's impression of "socialism" is not exactly...attuned to the public good (or the Constitution's 'general welfare', for that matter); it occurs to me that many folks simply don't realize what "socialist" means in the context of governmental actions.

So, I think it would be instructive, for both this community and those who come across this discussion via Facebook, Twitter, Google et al., for us to give our own examples of "socialism" and/or 'general welfare'. To that end, I have a single, simple question for you.

Follow me below the Great Orange Colophon...

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Hot off the presses (well, straight from Twitter, anyway):

No additional information is available at this time; I'll update the diary if anything else comes to light.

It will be interesting to see what team (if any) signs Rice after his suspension for domestic violence and the resulting public outcry. Let us know what you think in the poll below.


How soon will another NFL team sign Rice?

4%6 votes
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| 132 votes | Vote | Results

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It isn't often that one hears a song and experiences that delayed "Wait....what?" reaction to the lyrics. I recently had that very experience with a beautifully written piece that carried very strong implications for those of us concerned about the ever-growing surveillance state; follow me below the Great Orange Colophon for more...

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Hoo, boy, students of political science will be talking about this one for years...

According to multiple media sources, Mississippi State Senator Chris McDaniel will file a legal challenge to the GOP Senate primary runoff election in which he narrowly lost to incumbent US Senator Thad Cochran.

Details beyond the Great Orange Colophon...

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