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Two Percent of Detroit is Homeless

Friday, January 30, 2009
In an excellent essay published this past Wednesday in the Detroit News, Charlie LeDuff paints a a bleak picture of urban life, one in which human beings play ice hockey in the presence of a frozen corpse and one out of every fifty people in an industrial hub of a wealthy nation lives on the streets or, when lucky enough to find a chair, in one of the city's overcrowded and dehumanizing shelters. A taste:
Convinced that [a pair of legs sticking out of a frozen pool of water in a warehouse]  was indeed a body, this reporter made a discreet call to a police officer.
"Aw, just give 911 a call," the cop said. "We'll be called eventually."
A call was placed to 911. A woman answered. She was told it was a reporter calling. The operator tried to follow, but seemed confused. "Where is this building?"
She promised to contact the appropriate authorities.
Twenty minutes or so went by when 911 called the newsroom. This time it was a man.
"Where's this building?"
It was explained to him, as was the elevator shaft and the tomb of ice.
"Bring a jack-hammer," this reporter suggested.
"That's what we do," he said.
Nearly 24 hours went by. The elevator shaft was still a gaping wound. There was no crime scene tape. The homeless continued to burn their fires. City schoolchildren still do not have the necessary books to learn. The train station continues to crumble. Too many homicides still go unsolved.
After another two calls to 911 on Wednesday afternoon (one of which was disconnected), the Detroit Fire Department called and agreed to meet nearby.

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Freaky Nazi Eugenics Rears Its Ugly Head in Brazil

Thursday, January 22, 2009
From the Daily Mail:

"Baffled scientists had been struggling to come up with a reason for the high proportion twins in the tiny Brazilian town of Candido Godoi - most of them blond-haired and blue-eyed."

"A staggering one in five pregnancies there have resulted in the birth of twins - the usual rate is one in 80."

"There is testimony that [Dr. Josef "Angel of Death" Mengele] attended women, followed their pregnancies, treated them with new types of drugs and preparations, that he talked of artificial insemination in human beings, and that he continued working with animals, proclaiming that he was capable of getting cows to produce male twins."

"He attended women who had varicose veins and gave them a potion which he carried in a bottle, or tablets which he brought with him."

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Good Cop/Bad Cop - Good Cop = Dexter Yarbrough

According to the Rocky Mountain Collegian, after having been accused of "improprieties ranging from falsifying police documents, to mandating the special treatment of student athletes, to teaching students illegal police tactics," Colorado State University Police Chief Dexter Yarbrough has finally been suspended. Despite claims by several of Yarbrough's fellow officers that "the President's Office had plenty of alarming evidence to take action long ago," the school administration "turned a blind eye" to the man's gross abuses of power and, "[d]espite a consistent flow of complaints of harassment, fraud and threatening behavior to the school's Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (OEOD) and to former CSU President Larry Penley, Yarbrough was promoted last year to vice president of public safety in addition to being chief of police," a position "with a $156,000-a-year salary, easily making him the highest paid law enforcement officer in the state" of Colorado.

Bolstered by damning audio recordings of Yarbrough's lectures to aspiring law enforcement officers, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation alleges that the Chief supports such questionable tactics as paying police informants for their help with rocks of crack cocaine, lying, and "bending" the law to accommodate excessive force. After Yarbrough allegedly "condoned rape," a disgusted graduate student began recording lectures for a complaint he intended to lodge against an officer whose colleagues had long claimed "established a culture of oppression, fear and intimidation within his ranks."

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"Lazy, Bored and Stupid" Prison Guards Pit Inmates Against One Another at Rikers

The Daily News reports that "[t]hree correction officers created a sadistic secret society on a Rikers Island cellblock, ordering prisoners to extort and beat other inmates" for fun and profit. Those men selected to carry out the group's bidding "were allowed to extort commissary money, clothing and phone privileges from other city jail inmates" while those inmates "who didn't cooperate were beaten" by fellow prisoners acting out the sadistic orders of Correction Officers Michael McKie, Khalid Nelson, and Denise Albright. Following the death of 18-year-old inmate Christopher Robinson, the trio's scheme quickly came to light, leading up to their indictment Wednesday. Calling the group "[l]azy, stupid and bored," a police source claims that, rather than do their jobs, McKie, Nelson, and Albright left an inmate in charge of the cellblock overnight on October 17, essentially giving inmates free reign to murder the young man.

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Elder Abuse Frighteningly Common, Study Suggests

From The Daily Mail:

"Half of family members who look after someone with dementia admit they behave abusively towards them, say researchers.

And a third own up to 'significant' levels of abuse, according to the first study of its kind.

Those with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia are frequently the butt of swearing and shouting, and may even be hit by members of their own family, the study says."

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Al-Qaeda + The Plague = ?

A few days ago, the Sun reported that the plague (though which variant -- bubonic or pneumonic -- was not specified) had broken out among al-Qaeda recruits training in Algeria, killing more than forty people in the organization's remote enclave in the country's Tisi Ouzou province. Although the tabloid's story seems to make light of the situation ("ANTI-TERROR bosses last night hailed their latest ally in the war on terror — the BLACK DEATH"), a related article in the more reputable Telegraph suggests that the cell may have actually been developing biological weapons when the plague broke out. Given the fact that "[i]t was reported last year that up to 100 potential terrorists had attempted to become postgraduate students in Britain in an attempt to use laboratories" to hone their skills, such possibilities are indeed quite frightening.

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British Ambulance Crew Decide Against Saving Man

Saturday, January 3, 2009
From The Telegraph:

Ambulance controllers overheard a private conversation between the crew members in which they supposedly made disparaging remarks about the victim's untidy home, allegedly failed to attempt to resuscitate him, and then apparently decided to claim he was already dead when they arrived.
[Full story]

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