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June 04, 2008

Liberty City Police Face Allegations Of Incompetence, Brutality

Liberty City Police Face Allegations Of Incompetence, Brutality | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

LIBERTY CITY—With the city in the midst of a record crime wave, concerned citizens claim the Liberty City Police Department has done little to prevent the constant car chases, ongoing gun battles, and overall atmosphere of violence that pervade the area.

"I used to feel safe in Liberty City, but lately, it's been total mayhem," said night-shift worker Lola Del Rio, who spoke to reporters while sucking nervously on a red lollipop. "In the past week alone, I've been carjacked twice, run over 10 times, and witness to a half-dozen gunfights that ended with automobiles exploding. What are the police doing to stop all this?"

Since the surge in crime, which began on April 28 at midnight, more than 830,000 civilians have been murdered—nearly one-tenth of Liberty City's total population. In addition, 35,000 vehicles have been reported stolen, many of which were then driven illegally over sidewalks and pedestrian walkways before plunging into the nearby Humboldt River. And according to startling figures released by local community action group Citizens for a Safer City, drug trafficking has become rampant and prostitution has increased by 800 percent.

"I was shot 14 times on my way to work today, including twice by police," said one Algonquin-area resident. "That is unacceptable."

Sandra Day O'Connor, Supreme Court Justice and Game Designer

Sandra Day O'Connor: Game Designer | Game | Life from Wired.com

O'Connor said that the No Child Left Behind act of 2001 has "effectively squeezed out civics education" from public schools. "We can't forget that the primary purpose of public schools in America is to produce citizens who have the skills and knowledge to sustain our form of government," she said. "Public education is the only longterm solution to preserving an independent judiciary and constitutional democracy."

That's why, O'Connor said, she wanted to work alongside University of Wisconsin-Madison professor James Paul Gee to create Our Courts, which will begin rolling out in September 2009.

The game "lets students engage in real issues and real problems," O'Connor said. It will allow them to "step into the shoes of a judge, a legislator, an executive -- teach them how to think through and analyze problems, take action and voice opinions to their elected representatives."

An early exercise in the game will likely deal with educating students about their First Amendment rights, using examples like Tinker v. Des Moines and the "Bong Hits For Jesus" case.

O'Connor said that she is "encouraged" to see young people becoming involved in political campaigns through the net. "E-mailing, blogging, networking on Facebook -- they can take leadership, make their voices heard through tools that belong to their generation. We need to give them ownership to allow them to interact with the material," she said.

Weapons manufacturers ordered to pay a billion dollars in damages for irradiating Colorado towns and lying about it

Former Colo. nuke plant contractors ordered to pay $925M

Two companies that were contractors at the now-defunct Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant have been ordered to pay $925 million to residents who claimed contamination blown from the facility endangered people's health and devalued their property.

Dow Chemical Co. on Tuesday denied wrongdoing and said it will appeal. The other contractor, Rockwell International Corp., has in part been purchased by Boeing Co., which said it had no liability for the site.

A federal judge on Monday ordered Dow to pay $653 million and Rockwell $508 million in compensatory damages, but capped the amount to be collected at $725 million. Dow and Rockwell also were ordered to pay exemplary damages of $111 million and $89 million, respectively.

The lawsuit, filed by a group of homeowners, affects up to 13,000 people who owned land near the former plant when it shut down in 1989 because of safety violations. The lawsuit claimed the companies intentionally mishandled radioactive waste and then tried to cover it up.

June 03, 2008

Too soon?

Warren Ellis twittered: Well, I guess the countdown to Obama's assassination starts now.

Twitter / Warren Ellis: Well, I guess the countdown...

June 02, 2008

Never run spell-check on yearbook names

Spell-check run amok changes names in Pa. yearbook - Yahoo! News

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. - A computer spell-checker run amok christened several Pennsylvania high school students with new — and in some cases unflattering — last names.

Middletown Area High School's yearbook listed Max Zupanovic as "Max Supernova," Kathy Carbaugh as "Kathy Airbag" and Alessandra Ippolito as "Alexandria Impolite," just to name a few.

"It was kind of funny, but kind of rude at the same time," Ippolito said.

The mistakes were found on four of the yearbook's 176 pages, co-editor Amanda Gummo said.

Ed Patrick of Taylor Publishing, which printed the book, said his company is responsible for the errors and will provide free stickers printed with the correct names.

"It happens all the time, every year," Patrick said. "Look at any yearbook in the country."