West virginia public employees grievance board

Huntington, West Virginia

2013.04.05 02:25 Quantumechanic Huntington, West Virginia

A subreddit for residents of Huntington, the Huntington metro, and surrounding areas.
[link]


2023.06.02 22:55 model-avery B244 Workers’ Participation Bill Second Reading

Workers’ Participation Bill

A
BILL
TO
make provision for the establishment and functions of workers' councils in certain undertakings; and for connected purposes.
BE IT ENACTED by being passed by the Northern Ireland Assembly and assented to by His Majesty as follows:

Part 1: Establishment of Workers’ Councils

Section 1: Definitions
In this Act–
(1) “employee" refers to any person who works under a contract of employment or any other contract whereby he undertakes to do or perform personally any work or services for another party to the contract who is not a professional client of his;
(2) “undertaking" means any public or private entity engaged in economic activity, regardless of its legal form, ownership or size.
Section 2: Workers’ councils
(1) Every undertaking which has at least a hundred employees shall establish a workers' council consisting of representatives elected by the employees of the undertaking.
(2) The workers' council shall have the right to be informed and consulted by the management of the undertaking on matters affecting the interests of the employees, such as–
(a) the economic and financial situation of the undertaking;
(b) the structure, organisation and likely development of employment within the undertaking;
(c) decisions likely to lead to substantial changes in work organisation or contractual relations, including redundancies and transfers;
(d) health and safety issues;
(e) environmental issues; and
(f) any other matters agreed between the management and the workers' council.
(3) The workers' council shall also have the right to veto any decision by the shareholders or board of directors of the undertaking that is contrary to the interests of the employees or the public interest, as determined by the workers' council in accordance with its rules of procedure.
(4) The workers' council shall be entitled to elect or appoint one or more experts to assist it in the performance of its functions, and to request information from the management or external sources as necessary.
(5) The workers' council shall be entitled to meet at least once every three months, or more frequently if requested by at least one-third of its members or by the management, and to receive adequate time and facilities for its activities.
(6) The members of the workers' council shall enjoy protection against dismissal, discrimination, harassment or any other detriment on account of their membership or activities in the workers' council.
Section 3: Regulations
(1) The Department for Employment and Learning, or other relevant department, may make regulations for the purpose of giving effect to this Act, including regulations prescribing:
(a) the method and frequency of electing or appointing members of workers' councils and boards of directors;
(b) the rules of procedure and operation of workers' councils and boards of directors;
(c) the criteria for determining the interests of the employees and the public interest;
(d) the procedures for resolving disputes between workers' councils and managements or shareholders;
(e) the sanctions for non-compliance with this Act or regulations made under it; and
(f) any other matters necessary for carrying out this Act.

Part 2: Miscellaneous

Section 4: Short title and commencement
(1) This Act may be cited as the Workers' Participation (Northern Ireland) Act 2023.
(2) This Act shall come into force on the passing of this Act.
Section 5: Extent
(1) This Act extends to Northern Ireland only.
This Bill was written by eKyogre, on behalf of the People’s Party of Northern Ireland.

Opening Speech

Ceann Comhairle,
The objective of our decision to introduce the worker's participation bill is to pass a landmark legislation that will empower the working class and strengthen our democracy. This bill aims to give workers a voice and a stake in the decisions that affect their lives, their livelihoods, and their communities. It will require large corporations to reserve at least half of their board seats for worker representatives, elected by their peers. It will also mandate that workers have a say in key issues such as wages, benefits, health and safety, environmental impact, and social responsibility. By doing so, this bill will create a more balanced and inclusive economy, where workers share in the profits and risks of their enterprises, where they have more dignity and autonomy at work, and where they can contribute to the common good of our society.
This bill is a direct continuation of the benefits that the Worker Representation (Northern Ireland) Act 2023 have brought to the Northern Irish working people. I commend this bill to this House.
This reading ends on the 5th of June at 10pm BST
submitted by model-avery to MHOCStormont [link] [comments]


2023.06.02 22:36 Last_Canary_6622 Travels Throughout the US: Breakdown of Notable Places Part 1

















submitted by Last_Canary_6622 to usa [link] [comments]


2023.06.02 21:06 a7bxrpwr Treasury Board is denying leave for DND employees during the strike and clawing back pay.

Ship Repair West employees at CFB Esquimalt we’re not part of the PSAC strike, but there was a strike line blocking access to the base. So no one crossed the line despite not being on strike. We were told we would have to use our own leave for those days we didn’t cross. Fine, majority of people used leave, a few used LWOP. I won’t speak for everyone, by the majority of people here put a grievance in for having to use our own leave. We were just informed that the Treasury Board is denying all types of leave used to cover the strike. Seeing as we’ve already been paid for that time, treasury board is going to clawback pay for everyone here. There’s an email coming out later explaining more details.
Fuck you Treasury Board, and fuck you Mona.
submitted by a7bxrpwr to CanadaPublicServants [link] [comments]


2023.06.02 20:48 mariahc_leonard Comfort Zone Camp: Free Children's Grief Camp-Volunteer Opportunity

Hello!
I am a volunteer coordinator for a non-profit that organizes free, grief/bereavement camps for children, age 7 - 17, who lost a parent, sibling, or other loved one/family member.
It's called Comfort Zone Camp (based in Virginia, but we have camps in other states).
https://comfortzonecamp.org/calendar
We offer camps in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Utah, and West Virginia.
There are two camps in Utah:
August 11-13 (SLC)
August 18-20 (Wanship)
The camps usually are Friday afternoon (arrive around 2:30-3:00pm) until Sunday afternoon (about 3:00-3:30pm.)
Want to see what camp is about? Check out the video!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ufh9kJCDvkk
Think of it like a summer camp where school children go and stay in cabins...so we usually use established/developed venues. Cabins with bunk beds, restrooms with flush toilets, sinks with running water, showers, a dining room where the kitchen staff prepares meals, etc.
Volunteers typically bring their own hygiene items, sleeping bag, pillow, blanket, etc. and that's it! We provide lodging and meals.
If anyone is new and interested in helping, we require attending an orientation and passing a criminal background check. Children's safety is important, and multiple adult volunteers and staff will be present (in other words, no child is ever alone with an adult).
You can contact me at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) to get started and on board with a training!
Many people are busy, and committing an entire weekend is challenging, but maybe someone out there is good with kids, can be a positive role model (like a big brothebig sister), and is interested in helping some kids deal with grief and loss.
It's a life-changing experience for both kids and adults!
If anyone knows a parent with a child(ren) who has experienced loss, please feel free to share with them about this camp (again, it's free to attend), and it can be very beneficial for kids to not feel alone in coping with their sadness, pain, grief, etc.
https://comfortzonecamp.org/about-us/
submitted by mariahc_leonard to SLCUnedited [link] [comments]


2023.06.02 20:22 mariahc_leonard Comfort Zone Camp: Free Children's Grief Camp-Volunteer Opportunity

Hello!
I am a volunteer coordinator for a non-profit that organizes free, grief/bereavement camps for children, age 7 - 17, who lost a parent, sibling, or other loved one/family member.
It's called Comfort Zone Camp (based in Virginia, but we have camps in other states).
https://comfortzonecamp.org/calendar
We offer camps in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Utah, and West Virginia.
There are two camps in Utah:
August 11-13 (SLC)
August 18-20 (Wanship)
The camps usually are Friday afternoon (arrive around 2:30-3:00pm) until Sunday afternoon (about 3:00-3:30pm.)
Want to see what camp is about? Check out the video!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ufh9kJCDvkk
Think of it like a summer camp where school children go and stay in cabins...so we usually use established/developed venues. Cabins with bunk beds, restrooms with flush toilets, sinks with running water, showers, a dining room where the kitchen staff prepares meals, etc.
Volunteers typically bring their own hygiene items, sleeping bag, pillow, blanket, etc. and that's it! We provide lodging and meals.
If anyone is new and interested in helping, we require attending an orientation and passing a criminal background check. Children's safety is important, and multiple adult volunteers and staff will be present (in other words, no child is ever alone with an adult).
You can contact me at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) to get started and on board with a training!
Many people are busy, and committing an entire weekend is challenging, but maybe someone out there is good with kids, can be a positive role model (like a big brothebig sister), and is interested in helping some kids deal with grief and loss.
It's a life-changing experience for both kids and adults!
If anyone knows a parent with a child(ren) who has experienced loss, please feel free to share with them about this camp (again, it's free to attend), and it can be very beneficial for kids to not feel alone in coping with their sadness, pain, grief, etc.
https://comfortzonecamp.org/about-us/
submitted by mariahc_leonard to RivertonUtah [link] [comments]


2023.06.02 19:59 Teid Looking for players for a tabletop RPG

Hey all! New to the scene but I grew up in Vancouver and have been running games for friends for 5 years. Looking to fire up a 2nd in person group since my main group only gets to meet once a month. Here's the details:
Game: Forbidden Lands (Swedish 80s dark/grim fantasy). System is Old School Adjacent with a slant towards wilderness survival and travel.
For who: New players and experienced players welcome!
How long: We'll start with a short adventure (Shadows over Long Harbour) and then see where we feel like going from there.
When: Ideally once every two weeks on a weekend for 3 hour sessions.
Where: Unsure as of now but sessions will be at public spaces such as rented out private rooms at a local library or a table at a game store.
What to bring: character sheet and pencils, we're going old school with this bad boy. I have the books and can provide PDFs and dice.
Slots: 3 open slots for players (1 filled)
Hook: Forbidden Lands is a hexcrawl sandbox game from Free League and is billed as "Rogues and Raiders in a Cursed World". The dice system is solely d6 except for special cases and it's rules light-ish (crunchier than narrative games, not nearly as crunchy as 5e, Pathfinder 1e, etc). Classic fantasy with orcs, goblins, elves, dwaves and classic RPG classes like fighter, wizard, bard, rogue, etc. Being a game based on old school RPGs it's decently high lethality and rolling up a new character mid session is absolutely a possibility.
Shadows over Long Harbour:
"A shadow has been cast over the town of Long Harbour, an esteemed fishing city on the coast of the forbidden lands. Over the past few months, people have gone missing, and bodies found mutilated in the hunting grounds a quarter days travel to the west. Yet no one seems to remember what caused it. A strange darkness is growing in the forest near Long Harbour."
A little about me:
I'm a local animator working at an indie game studio and have technically been playing TTRPGs since i was 16 (I'm 25 now) but I didn't properly start playing often until 5ish years ago when I ran a Monster of the Week game with some friends. Since then I've run a Lancer game and a Heart: The City Beneath game. I've never ran OSR or OSR adjacent before but I've pretty much put all my TTRPG energy into reading OSR blogs and the osr subreddit in the last few months. I've been noodling with the Forbidden Lands system as well and I made an addon for the game in the form of a tactile tiled inventory system akin to Mausritter which we can play with if we want (functionally the exact same as the base game inventory system, just represented as a slot inventory instead of a list of things). Interest wise outside of TTRPGs I'm your standard anime/manga/board games/games guy. Currently watching Gundam: Witch from Mercury, reading Chainsaw Man, Dandadan, and a few other manga, playing Tears of the Kingdom (like everyone), and dipping more into board games with my friends. I'm aiming to run an inclusive table that sticks to the tenants of OSR with creativity and engaged play rewarded. Tonally, FbL is dark (which doesn't mean it can't be funny) but I'll be trying to weave more of a spooky/dangerous air than your usual D&D 5e type tone. Basically have fun, roll dice, and respect each other is my goals. also in terms of location right now i'm floating between the New West Rain City Games store, Strategies games and hobbies, or a table at a library of group's choice.
If you're interest please DM me with any questions and provide some personal history you have with RPGs (systems played, experience) as well as your availability. I'll run some interviews to nail down a group.
submitted by Teid to Vancouver4Friends [link] [comments]


2023.06.02 19:15 GroundbreakingBoss58 School List Help (3.5 GPA, 512 MCAT)

Hi everyone,
As the title entails, I'm requestion help finalizing my school list for this upcoming cycle. I am a reapplicant after having been waitlisted at one school this past cycle.
Background:
25 y/o white male
Year in school: Graduated in 2020
· Country/state of residence: MA/CT
· Cumulative GPA: 3.5 (strong upward trend)
· Science GPA: 3.4 (strong upward trend)
· MCAT Scores: 512
· Research – include any abstracts/posters/publications and how you were credited (eg. First author, senior author, etc):
3000+ hours as a CRA at an Ivy League school (paid)
600 hours between two neuroscience/neurology internships at a large hospital
450 hours continuing working with doctor from internship on research projects
350 hours in a neuropsychology lab in school
2 (soon to be 3) posters at national conferences
· Volunteering (clinical) – include hours/sites:
60 hours working with the Red Cross (disaster response)
· Physician shadowing – include hours/specialties:
30 hours neurology, 20 hours cardiology, 20 hours gastroenterology (70 total hours)
· Leadership
150 hours as a personal trainer
· Non-clinical volunteering:
100 hours working in a community garden
· Employment history:
1200 hours as an EMT (in major city)
600 hours an ER Tech (large L1 trauma center)
280 hours as an Orgo lab TA
· Immediate family members in medicine? (y/n): Y (both parents are physicians)
· Specialty of interest: Y - ortho, neuro
· Graduate degrees: N/A
· Interest in rural health (y/n): N
· Schools to which you are applying:
MD:
California University of Science and Medicine
Michigan State University College of Human Medicine*
Tulane University School of Medicine
Central Michigan University College of Medicine*
Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine*
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute*
Eastern Virginia Medical School*
New York Medical College
Rush Medical College of Rush University
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health*
The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences*
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Medical College of Wisconsin
Seton Hall University Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine
Quinnipiac University Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine
Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine*
Drexel University College of Medicine
Albany Medical College
The University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine*
Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine*
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Georgetown University School of Medicine
Nova Southeastern University Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University
Wayne State University School of Medicine*
Tufts University School of Medicine
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine*
University of Massachusetts Medical School*
Indiana University School of Medicine*
University of Connecticut
West Virginia University School of Medicine
Oakland Beaumont
East Tennessee State University James H. Quillen College of Medicine

DO:
MSU
PCOM
Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine
NYITCOM
UNECOM

Are there any additional MD schools I should add? Any that would likely be a waste of money to apply to?
submitted by GroundbreakingBoss58 to premed [link] [comments]


2023.06.02 19:06 Raiden720 Where does 261 stand on “ShotSpotter surveillance” gunshot detection systems in high crime areas?

On the one hand, yes, we have to admit that these are being installed in minority areas pretty much 100% of the time. On the other hand, that is where a lot of the crime takes place and a lot of the gunfire, so it makes sense to install these systems in these areas where these happen the most? This article is clearly critical of the system, and it says that there are only arrests made in 1% of the times when it “spots” gunfire. But wouldn’t removing these systems hurt the communities that these are in? Someone help me understand the counter-argument here, thank you!
https://www.minnpost.com/other-nonprofit-media/2023/05/minneapolis-schools-secretly-partnered-with-shotspotter-surveillance-company-cyber-attack-reveals/
Minneapolis schools secretly partnered with ShotSpotter surveillance company, cyber attack reveals
Data breach unmasks locations of gunshot detection sensors on rooftops of schools that predominantly serve Black youth
By Mark Keierleber, The 74
Shortly after a dozen gunshots erupted from a stolen red SUV on the northside of Minneapolis this month, emergency dispatchers were notified of the drive-by shooting that shattered a window at the school district’s administrative headquarters.
District officials promptly reported the shooting to the cops, who briefly halted their chase when they encountered a school bus dropping off students. A second police report, this one from a California-based surveillance company, had also alerted authorities to the ear-piercing pops.
The incident resulted in the arrest of three teenagers, who were ultimately chased down by cops on foot and a state police helicopter in the air. Shootings and car thefts have surged in Minneapolis over the last several years and, in a press release, Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O’Hara said that out-of-control youth had become “a danger to themselves and to anyone who happens to be around them.”
Yet in some ways, the teenage arrests were an anomaly: The controversial ShotSpotter surveillance sensors that notified police to the blasts, multiple reports have found, rarely direct police to the scenes of firearm crimes. Concerns about ShotSpotter false alarms and their disproportionate effects on Black residents didn’t stop the city’s school district from secretly partnering with the company, an investigation by The 74 has revealed.
For nearly a decade, Minneapolis Public Schools has made northside campus buildings available to bolster a massive surveillance network that peppers neighborhoods with microphones designed to detect, analyze and geolocate gunfire.
Since at least 2014, the school district has agreed to host nondescript ShotSpotter sensors on the rooftops of campus buildings, according to contracts that were leaked as part of a massive cyber attack on Minneapolis Public Schools earlier this year. Six agreements, signed in 2014 and 2019, authorize the sensors to be mounted atop school buildings “in an ‘out of sight’ fashion. The city maintains the primary contract to station ShotSpotter sensors throughout Minneapolis; the school district simply agreed to host the devices on their property. Last year, the city’s latest contract for the sensors totaled $168,000, according to GovSpend, a database that tracks government procurement.
Subjected to a relentless stream of mass school shootings, school districts nationwide spend billions of dollars each year on campus security, including on gun-detection hardware. Yet ShotSpotter’s footprint in education remains largely unknown. The locations of the gun-detection sensors in Minneapolis and urban communities nationwide have for years been intentionally hidden.
In the leaked contracts, Minneapolis school officials agreed to withhold from the public information about its participation in the surveillance program. Details about the sensor locations, officials agreed, “cannot be disclosed under any circumstances.”
In Minneapolis, campus ShotSpotter locations were uncovered during The 74’s investigation into the fallout from the February cyber attack. Highly sensitive information about students and educators, as well as confidential campus security information, were published online in March after the district failed to pay the Medusa cyber gang’s $1 million ransom demand.
ShotSpotter’s efforts to thwart bloodshed from gun violence is commendable, said Teresa Nelson, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota. But, she said, privacy and racial disparities in ShotSpotter locations, as well as reports calling into question the sensors’ effectiveness, outweigh their potential benefits. And efforts to withhold the school district’s ShotSpotter agreement from the public, stifle resident’s ability to engage in conversations about how to keep their communities safe, Nelson said.
Ultimately, “it adds a layer to the idea of policing in our schools” that could be problematic, she said. ShotSpotter coverage of schools, she worried, could send police who are “ready for an extremely dangerous confrontation” to campuses “for no reason” due to false alarms from fireworks, backfiring cars and other loud noises.
“That changes the tenor of policing in that area,” she said. “Police have tremendous power and so the community is entitled to know how they’re using that power and how they’re using new technologies that allow them to effectively conduct general mass surveillance.”
The Minneapolis school district didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment. The district has been criticized for not sharing more information with the public about the nature and extent of the breach — its most recent statement on its website is from April 11. It declined interview requests from The 74 for a May 15 investigation about the breach of closely guarded campus security information and didn’t respond to questions for a May 5 article on the leak of highly sensitive information about students and staff.
In an email, Minneapolis Police Department spokesperson Garrett Parten declined to disclose the number of ShotSpotter sensors deployed across Minneapolis, adding that the company selects installation locations. The technology, he said, “has been an excellent tool in aiding the quick location of shooting victims” so they can receive medical attention “when seconds count.”
“In general, ShotSpotter pinpoints the location of gunfire,” Parten said. “This allows officers to respond directly to a location rather than doing a grid search looking for evidence. As such, Officers are able to quickly locate and secure evidence that might otherwise be removed, compromised, or missed altogether.”
Thomas Chittum, the senior vice president of analytics and forensic services at ShotSpotter owner SoundThinking, said the data breach in Minneapolis is a rare occurrence but the publicly traded company is taking the incident seriously. Though the sensors are regularly placed on municipal buildings like police departments and schools, he declined to specify how many are stationed on campuses in Minneapolis or nationwide. Sensor locations are confidential, he said, to prevent vandalism, retaliation against businesses and agencies that agree to host the devices, and efforts by gunmen to get around the system.
“Now that these things are known publicly, we have to assess whether or not we think it poses a risk to the efficacy of the system,” said Chittum, who retired last year as acting deputy director of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. “The sensors are not hard to relocate but we’ll have to assess whether or not that’s feasible and necessary.”
Few arrests, little evidence of gun-related crimes
Researchers and civil rights groups have warned for years that the technology, which is disproportionately deployed in communities of color, could do more harm than good by routinely sending militarized police into high alert over false alarms. SoundThinking maintains that its ShotSpotter sensors are 97% accurate.
The most comprehensive study on ShotSpotter’s efficacy, published in 2021 in the peer-reviewed Journal of Urban Health, reported dismal findings. The analysis of ShotSpotter in 68 metropolitan counties from 1999 to 2016 found the sensors had no significant impact on firearm-related homicide rates or arrest outcomes.
ShotSpotter deployments have been especially contentious in Chicago, where the sensors are disproportionately installed in neighborhoods with large percentages of Black residents. In more than 31,000 incidents each year, ShotSpotter alerts send Chicago police to locations where they failed to find evidence of gun crimes, according to research by the MacArthur Justice Center at Northwestern University’s law school. Between April 2021 and April 2022, researchers found, 90% of ShotSpotter dispatches failed to find evidence of guns. In a 2022 lawsuit, the group accused the city of relying on a surveillance tool that enables discriminatory policing without a clear public safety benefit.
A separate report from the city’s Office of Inspector General, published in 2021, reached similar results, concluding that the alerts rarely produced evidence of gun-related crimes, investigatory stops or recovered firearms. Yet the sensors led police to make more aggressive stops in certain neighborhoods, the office found, offering fodder for advocates who argue the devices lead to the over-policing of Black residents.
In a company-funded report by Edgeworth Analytics, researchers called the MacArthur analysis “misleading” and concluded that, “based on client reports,” ShotSpotter sensors were 97% effective in detecting gunfire.
Chittum said the sensor locations are selected based on historical crime data and rejected advocates’ concerns over racial disparities.
“The people that balk at the idea that you would deploy public safety infrastructure in the place where it could do the greatest good boggles my mind,” he said. “Of course you’re going to deploy it in the place where it’s most likely to help the people that have had the greatest impact from gun violence. I just don’t understand why you wouldn’t want law enforcement to know about shootings that occur in those neighborhoods.”
While the City of Chicago has long been a key ShotSpotter customer and former Democratic mayor Lori Lightfoot called the tool “a lifesaver,” that could soon change. New progressive Mayor Brandon Johnson campaigned on a promise to end the city’s $33 million ShotSpotter contract, vowing to instead “invest in new resources that go after illegal guns without physically stopping and frisking Chicagoans on the street.” After Johnson’s election, the company’s stock prices tumbled more than 25%.
After weighing the costs against their benefits, officials in several cities — including San Antonio, Texas, and Charlotte, North Carolina — have ended their ShotSpotter subscriptions. In San Antonio, officials spent more than $500,000 for the sensors, an expenditure that led to four arrests and seven weapons seizures in a two-year period.
Similarly in Minneapolis, ShotSpotter alerts have rarely led to arrests or evidence of gun-related crimes, according to a local television news investigation. An analysis found that Minneapolis police responded to about 8,500 ShotSpotter activations from January 2020 to September 2021. About 80% of the time, police didn’t locate evidence of a gun-related crime and only 32 activations — less than 1% of the total — led to an arrest.
On one occasion, in 2012, the city temporarily disabled the sensors on New Year’s Eve because the system became overwhelmed by alerts from the blasts of fireworks.
‘Still losing our young people’
The six Minneapolis campus ShotSpotter locations disclosed in the breach are clustered in the city’s northside. Districtwide, about a third of Minneapolis students are Black. At the campuses where ShotSpotter sensors were disclosed, nearly two-thirds of students are Black.
The roughly 33,000-student district operates just shy of 100 schools. It’s unclear whether the devices were placed at a limited number of district locations or whether information about other campuses that serve as ShotSpotter hosts were spared in the data leak. Though police said ShotSpotter alerted them to the recent drive-by shooting — along with calls from educators — the leaked contracts don’t outline a sensor location at the district’s administrative offices.
While the specific locations of ShotSpotter sensors citywide haven’t been publicly disclosed, residents are well aware of their presence in certain neighborhoods, said Marika Pfefferkorn, a Twin Cities-based student privacy advocate and executive director of the Midwest Center for School Transformation. Yet the devices, she said, haven’t done enough to keep people safe.
“It’s not preventing the shots (from being) fired,” Pfefferkorn said. “We’re still losing our young people.”
In Minneapolis, homicides have surged by 166% since 2019 and the number of gunshot victims has more than doubled, according to city data. More than four-fifths of shooting victims in the city are Black, according to the data, as are 89% of suspects.
Outside Minneapolis, three school districts — one in Texas and two in Massachusetts — have purchased ShotSpotter services, according to GovSpend.
In 2021, the Newark, New Jersey, school district agreed to install the sensors on 30 school buildings in predominantly Black neighborhoods, according to a Chalkbeat investigation. Information about the agreement was removed from the school system’s website after the school board received an email inquiry from the education news outlet.
In a 2022 email also exposed in the Minneapolis data breach, a ShotSpotter employee declined to disclose to a school district facilities official the on-campus locations of its sensors, arguing that could allow the information to “fall into the wrong hands.”
“If the location of all sensors became known to the public,” the employee wrote, “criminals would have the capability to disable the gunshot location and detection functionality of the system, or otherwise seriously compromise the law enforcement utility of the system.”
As communities nationwide debate efforts to bolster security in school buildings, parents are demanding a seat at the table, said Kenneth Trump, president of the Cleveland-based National School Safety and Security Services.
“Parents expect authentic, transparent communication from school officials,” he said. When schools and cities equip communities with emerging security technology, officials “had better be transparent about expectations and limitations, and I’m not sure that’s occurring.”
Ultimately, it’s up to the City of Minneapolis to assess whether the sensors work as intended, said Nelson of the ACLU’s Minnesota chapter.
“Without strict limitations and auditing, we can never really be certain that it’s not being abused,” she said. “There needs to be more transparency and more assurances that it’s not going to be abused.”
submitted by Raiden720 to gamefaqs261 [link] [comments]


2023.06.02 17:50 Tarrius88 Summary of SB 747- Elections Law Changes (Filed 6/1/2023)

https://www.ncleg.gov/BillLookUp/2023/S747
Primary Sponsors- Senators Hise, P. Newton, and Daniel
Part 1: ELECTION DAY INTEGRITY ACT
GS 163-231 (b) is altered to extend the time to receive ballots by mail/courier to county board from 5PM to 7:30PM the day of the primary or general election. If received after that time they will not be counted unless that county has extended all hours of their polling locations or federal law requires them to be counted. It also removes the rule to allow for ballots post marked on or before election day to be received within the following 3 days of election day to be counted.
GS 163-227.10 amended with new subsection: Each county board of elections and the State Board shall publish on its website and on any materials sent to voters the date by which absentee ballots are available for voting.
GS 163-230.1 amended with new subsection. Each county board of elections and the State Board shall publish on its website and on any materials sent to voters the date by which a completed request form as described in subsection (a) of this section must be received by a county board of elections.
Article 20 of Chapter 163 of GS is amended with new subsection.
During the one-stop early voting period, each county board must report:
  1. The number of absentee ballots that have been spoiled due to the voter voting in person at a one-stop voting site.
  2. The number of outstanding absentee ballots.
From the day after the election through the day after the absentee ballots receipt deadline, each county board must report by 5:00 PM each day:
  1. The number of absentee ballots that have been counted.
  2. The number of outstanding absentee ballots.
  3. The number of voted provisional ballots.
Lastly, the State Board is required to publish all reports received from a county board of elections on its website daily. The published information must be publicly accessible and presented in a readable and usable format.
Part 2: PROHIBIT PRIVATE MONEY IN ELECTIONS ADMINISTRATION
GS 163-22 amended with new subsection. Nothing in this Chapter shall grant authority to the State Board of Elections to accept private monetary donations, directly or indirectly, for conducting elections or employing individuals on a temporary basis.
GS 163-33 amended with new subsection. Nothing in this Chapter shall grant authority to county boards of elections to accept private monetary donations, directly or indirectly, for conducting elections or employing individuals on a temporary basis.
GS 163-37 amended. Nothing in this Chapter shall grant authority to county boards of commissioners to accept private monetary donations, directly or indirectly, for conducting elections or employing individuals on a temporary basis.
Part 3: REMOVE FOREIGN CITIZENS FROM VOTING ROLLS
GS 9-6 amended. All applications for excuses from jury duty, including applications based on disqualification under G.S. 9-3, shall be made on a form developed and furnished by the Administrative Office of the Courts. Applications shall allow prospective jurors to specify the reason for excusal based on disqualification, including lack of United States citizenship.
Article 1 of Chapter 9 of GS adds new subsection.
This section describes the handling of data for individuals who request to be excused from jury duty.
  1. The details (name, address, and reason for the request) of anyone who applies to be excused from jury duty due to ineligibility should be retained by the clerk of superior court for the duration of the biennium as per G.S. 9-2. These records are not considered public records under G.S. 132-1, and the clerk can destroy them at the end of each biennium.
  2. If a person is disqualified from jury duty because they are not a U.S. citizen, the clerk must report this information to the State Board of Elections quarterly. This report includes personal data from the master jury list, reasons and date of disqualification. The Board uses this information to remove names from its list of registered voters according to G.S. 163-82.14. These records are public under G.S. 132-1, with exceptions as prohibited by federal statute, and they can be destroyed after four years.
  3. Nothing in this section restricts the authority of a local or State Board of Elections to determine a person's voting eligibility.
GS 163-82.14 amended.
This section pertains to the disqualification of noncitizens from jury duty and their removal from voter registration lists.
  1. The clerk of the superior court must send an electronic file every quarter to the State Board of Elections for every person disqualified from jury duty because they are not a U.S. citizen.
  2. Within 30 days of receiving this report, the State Board of Elections must: a. Review the voter registration and citizenship status of each person identified, using state and federal databases. b. Distribute to each county board of elections a report of the individuals registered to vote in that county, including their voter registration number, and the results of the review. If the review determines that the individual became a U.S. citizen after being disqualified from jury duty and did not vote prior to becoming a citizen, their name will not be included in the report.
  3. Within 30 days of receiving the report, the county board of elections must: a. Give 30 days' written notice to the voter. If the voter does not object, the board removes their name from registration records and notifies them of the removal. b. If the voter objects to the removal within 30 days, the chair of the county board of elections initiates a challenge under G.S. 163-85(c)(7). The report from the State Board of Elections serves as primary evidence in the preliminary hearing that the person is not a U.S. citizen. This presumption can be rebutted by evidence of citizenship naturalization or other federal documentation of citizenship.
  4. The records kept under this subsection are public records under G.S. 132-1, unless prohibited by federal law. The State Board of Elections and county board of elections must retain these electronic records for four years and can destroy them when they are no longer public records.
Part 4: INSPECTABLE ABSENTEE BALLOT ENVELOPES
GS 163-230.1(f) is amended to allow for absentee ballot applications to be available to the public for inspection during the 5 week period before an election. There will will be 1 or more of these meetings during this period every Tuesday at 5pm.
Part 5: BAR CODING BY BOARDS OF ELECTIONS ONLY
GS 163-237 is amended to state "any person other than the State Board or a county board of elections, or any employee of the State Board or a county board of elections, who affixes or prints a barcode on an absentee ballot, an absentee container-return envelope, or an absentee ballot request form shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor."
Part 6: RETENTION OF VOTING RECORDS/ARCHIVE OF PAST ELECTIONS RESULTS
GS 163-22 and GS 163-33 add new subsections. State Board of Elections shall ensure election records are retained and preserved for a period of 22 months after an election or as otherwise specified in federal law, whichever is greater.
GS 163-166.12(c)- Elections officials shall list on on voter rolls what type of identification was provided by voter to be available to public.
Part 7: VOTER ASSISTANCE LOG
GS 163-166.8(b) updated to state that Precinct officials shall maintain a log of any person rendering assistance to a voter pursuant to this section. The log shall include the printed name and address of any person rendering assistance to the voter and a space for that individual's signature.
Part 8: REQUIRE PROVISIONAL BALLOT FOR SAME-DAY REGISTRATION
Article 7A of Chapter 163 of GS adds subsection.
The new text details the procedure for same-day registration and voting at one-stop voting sites.
As per § 163-82.6B, an individual who is eligible to register to vote can register in person and vote at a one-stop voting site in their county of residence during the specified one-stop voting period. However, the individual must vote using a provisional ballot, and the ballot is only counted under one of the following circumstances:
  1. Upon verification of the individual's address in accordance with procedures outlined in G.S. 163-82.7. This verification should be done by first-class mail.
  2. If the voter provides a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or any other government document displaying their name and address to the county board of elections where they reside before the polls close on election day.
Part 9: REPORT/REVISIONS TO ELECTIONS RECORDS AFTER CERTIFICATION
GS 163-182.15 amended by adding a new subsection. The State Board of Elections shall submit an annual report on any revisions made to elections records after certification of elections, including the rationale for and timing of the revisions, to the Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee and the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on General Government.
Part 10: ALLOW ANY ELIGIBLE VOTER IN A COUNTY TO FILE A CHALLENGE 5 OF A VOTER'S ABSENTEE BALLOT
GS 163-89(b) updated. Allows for any registered voted of the same county to challenge a voter's absentee ballot.
Part 11: ABSENTEE BALLOTS/REQUIRE PRINTED NAMES FOR WITNESS SIGNATURES
GS 163-229(b)(3) and GS 163-231(a) updated to required printed names of any witness for absentee ballots.
Part 12: REQUIRE SIGNATURE VERIFICATION SOFTWARE FOR ABSENTEE 28 BALLOTS
G.S. 163-231 adds new subsection. The State Board of Elections shall require county boards of elections to use verification software to check the signatures of voters noted on executed absentee ballots before those ballots are accepted by the county boards.
Part 13: ENSURE PRECINCT OFFICIALS ONE-STOP VOTING PLACES ARE 35 ALLOCATED THE SAME AS THOSE SERVING ON ELECTION DAY
GS 163-227.6(a) updated. This law explains that a county board of elections can unanimously decide to establish one or more sites for absentee ballots to be applied for and cast, notwithstanding other provisions of G.S. 163-227.2, 163-227.5, and this section.
Staff members at these sites should either be members or full-time employees of the county board of elections or have received equivalent training. Precinct officials should be allocated similarly to election day voting sites.
These sites need to be approved by the State Board as part of a Plan for Implementation, which must also be approved by both the county and State boards. This plan should include sufficient security measures for ballots and should prevent individuals from voting more than once. It should also contain a provision for the presence of political party observers, similar to those at voting places on election day.
A county board of elections can propose not to offer one-stop voting at its office. The State Board may approve this only if there is an alternative site reasonably near the county board office and if the sites provide adequate coverage of the county's electorate.
If the county board of elections can't unanimously agree on a plan, any member(s) can petition the State Board to adopt a plan. The State Board can also consider alternative petitions from other board members. The adopted plan should not disproportionately favor any party, racial or ethnic group, or candidate.
Part 14: CHALLENGE APPEALS OF STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS HEARD IN 11 COUNTY WHERE CHALLENGE ORIGINATED
GS 163-90.2(c) updated. This passage explains the procedure for appealing decisions made by a county board of elections in relation to challenges under this Article.
A decision made by a county board of elections regarding any challenge can be appealed to the Superior Court of the county where the board's offices are located within 10 days. If the appeal is made by the State Board of Elections, the appeal would go to the Superior Court of the county where the challenge originated.
Only those individuals against whom a challenge is upheld, or those who have made a challenge that has been overruled, have the standing to file such an appeal.
Part 15: IMPERSONATING AN ELECTIONS OFFICIAL/CLASS 1 MISDEMEANOR
GS 163-274(b) updated. Any person to impersonate a chief judge, judge of election, or other election officer while in the discharge of duties in the registration of voters or in conducting any primary or election shall be guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor.
Part 16: EXTENSION BY JUDICIAL ORDECLOSING OF POLLS
GS 163-166.01 is updated. If the statutory poll closing time of 7:30 P.M. on election day is extended by court order in one county, the poll closing time shall be extended on election day in all counties by an equal amount of time.
Part 17: REQUIRE SBI INVESTIGATION/ELECTION-RELATED FELONY OFFENSES
GS 163-275 updated to mandate State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) to get involved on any felony level crimes relating to elections.
Part 18: POLL OBSERVERS/SHIFT SERVICE AND RELIEF
GS 163-45(a) is updated to allow an observer relieved after serving no less than the four hours provided in this subsection may serve an additional four hours during the same primary or election day at any voting place in that same county upon designation by the party chair.
Part 19: PRECINCT ELECTION OFFICIALS/REVISE SERVICE DUTIES ON DAY 51 OF PRIMARY, GENERAL, OR SPECIAL ELECTION
GS 163-47(a) is updated to remove requirement for Chief Judge and Judges to remain at the polling place all day for any election.
Part 20: REQUIRE TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION PROCESS/MAIL-IN ABSENTEE BALLOTS
Article 20 of Chapter 163 of the GS adds new subsection. The State Board of Elections shall establish and implement a two-factor authentication process for executed absentee ballots transmitted by mail to a county board of elections. A county board of elections shall use the process established by this section before an executed absentee ballot is opened and counted by elections officials.
Part 21: REQUIRE KNOWING VIOLATION/VOTING WITHOUT RIGHTS OF CITIZENSHIP RESTORED
GS 163-275(5) updated to state that it is only a crime when someone knowingly voted when their voting rights were stripped away due to a crime.
Part 22: STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS RECOMMENDED REVISIONS
Has a bunch of small changes to procedures or clears up some procedural questions. Nothing of merit.
submitted by Tarrius88 to ncpolitics [link] [comments]


2023.06.02 17:23 RedditRocks2021 Free Cedar Point, Michigan Adventure, Kings Island Ticket with Red Cross Blood Drive Donation - IN, MI, OH - 2023 Season

Free Cedar Point, Michigan Adventure, Kings Island Ticket with Red Cross Blood Drive Donation - IN, MI, OH - 2023 Season
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*** PAGE UPDATED JUNE 01, 2023 - 06:29 AM **\*
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https://preview.redd.it/lrxn4d3bhm3b1.png?width=544&format=png&auto=webp&s=4f8c3defc1c5164a9d88572bb483916732c78ca0
The American Red Cross and Cedar Fair theme parks are joining together to encourage blood donations this summer, All those who come to donate at select blood drives will receive one free ticket, valid for entry to participating U.S. Cedar Fair parks as listed below, while supplies last. Ends August 01, 2023, Parking not included.
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The summer months are a crucial time for blood and platelet donations as donations tend to decline due to summer vacations and travel among regular donors,, The Red Cross is grateful to blood and platelet donors for coming together to support patients during this challenging time..
Register thru website listed below, Find the blood drive you want to attend, click link and enter the sponsor code: "cedarpoint" in MI or OH, Special code below for Indiana, For that blood drive and register online for an appointment. Blood Donor or person attempting to Donate Blood will receive One (1) Free Cedar Fair ticket available at any one of these Amusement Parks & Blood Drives (below) only. Free Ticket Voucher may be mailed, Due to limited tickets available at each location below. Advance Registration Required. Check back bi-weekly as we add more blood drives. You can donate blood once every 52 days. Did you know when you donate blood, you can save 3 lives. Be the difference, Donate blood and save 3 lives today! Thanks so much for your blood donation..
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RedditRocks2021's Story - I personally cannot give blood due to epilepsy, So I want to encourage others to donate blood at blood drives throughout the USA, As each person who donates a pint of blood will save 3 lives, Do a good deed and Feel good about yourself, Become someone's hero by donating blood and at the same time receive a free incentive such as: Free theme park ticket(s), Free Meals, Concert Tickets, Movie Tickets,T-Shirts, Free Gift Cards, Free Pint of Beer, Free Ice Cream, Free Pound of Coffee, Win Trips, Win 2 Year Car Lease, Win Sports Memoryibla and much more! One website I posted on received over 600,000 hits in one year and if each of those people donated blood then 1,800,000 lives have been saved. Be the difference, donate blood and save 3 lives today!
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Free Admission Voucher good at any of these Cedar Fair Parks:
Cedar Point – 1 Cedar Point Dr., Sandusky, Ohio
Cedar Point Shores – 1 Cedar Point Dr., Sandusky, Ohio
Carowinds – 14523 Carowinds Blvd., Charlotte, North Carolina
California’ s Great America – 4701 Great America Pkwy, Santa Clara, California
Dorney Park – 4000 Dorney Park Rd., Allentown, Pennsylvania
Kings Dominion – 16000 Theme Park Way, Doswell, Virginia
Kings Island – 6300 Kings Island Drive, Kings Island, Ohio
Knott’s Berry Farm – 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, California
Knott’s Soak City – 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, California
Michigan’s Adventure -4750 Whitehall Rd., Muskegon, Michigan
Schlitterbahn Galveston – 2109 Gene Lucas Blvd, Galveston, Texas
Schlitterbahn New Braunfels – 400 N. Liberty Avenue, New Braunfels, Texas
Valleyfair – 1 Valleyfair Drive, Shakopee, Minnesota
Worlds of Fun – 4545 Worlds of Fun Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri
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STATE OF INDIANA - 2023 Season - "SponsorCode" or Zipcode
05/26 - 12:30 PM - 06:00 PM - Church of the Nazarene, 1555 Flaxmill Road, Huntington - "hnaz"
05/27 - 09:00 AM - 02:00 PM - YMCA, 5736 Lee Rd., Indianapolis - "bhymca"
05/30 - 02:00 PM - 06:00 PM - DaySpring Church, 2305 N Indiana, Auburn - "daysprich"
06/01 - 10:00 AM - 03:00 PM - IU Health Tipton, 1000 S. Main St., Tipton, "iuhtipton"
06/01 - 08:00 AM - 01:00 PM - Culvert High School, 701 School St., Culver, "culverhs"
06/02 - 07:00 AM - 01:00 PM - Faith Family Church, 508 West Green St., Frankfort. "faithfamily"
06/04 - 11:00 AM - 04:00 PM - YMCA, 7900 Shelby St., Indianapolis. "baxterymca"
06/06 - 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM - Marion Public Library, 600 S. Washington, Marion. "marpublib"
06/06 - 01:00 PM - 06:00 PM - JCC Indianapolis, 6701 Hoover Rd., Indianapolis. "jccindy"
06/08 - 01:00 PM - 06:00 PM - First Church, 5387 W. State Rd. 10, Wheatfield,"firstwheat"
06/09 - 09:00 AM - 01:00 PM - Woodlawn Hospital 1400 E 9th St, Rochester "woodh"
06/09 - 12:00 PM - 05:00 PM - Columbus East High School, 230 S. Marr Rd., Columbus, 47201
06/14 - 12:00 PM - 05:00 PM - Manch[email protected] W State Road 114, North Manchester, "thecorner"
06/14 - 12:00 PM - 06:00 PM - Community Center 401 East Diamond St. Kendallville "46755"
06/14 - 01:00 PM - 06:00 PM - United Methodist Church 13527 Leo Rd. Leo "46765"
06/15 - 12:00 PM - 06:00 PM - Chapel Hill Church, 2600 W. Alto Rd., Kokomo - "chaphill"
06/15 - 09:00 AM - 02:00 PM - Palko Services, 4991 West US Hwy 20, Michigan City, "palko"
06/16 - 09:00 AM - 02:00 PM - Skyline YMCA 838 South Harrison St, Fort Wayne " ymcafw "
06/21 - 12:00 PM - 06:00 PM - Fairhaven Baptist, 86 E. Oak Hill Rd., Chesterton, "fairbapch"
06/22 - 11:45 AM - 04:00 PM - Abundant Life Church, 105 S. Benton St., Peru, "abundant"
06/22 - 12:00 PM - 05:00 PM - Woodbridge Health, 602 Woodbridge Ave., Logansport, "woodlong"
06/22 - 11:00 AM - 04:00 PM - National Guard, 791 83rd Ave., Merrillville, "nationalguard"
06/26 - 01:00 PM - 06:00 PM - First Baptist Church of Ossian 1001 Dehner Dr, Ossian " 46777"
06/27 - 12:00 PM - 06:00 PM - Zion Church 101 East North St. Columbia City "46725"
06/27 - 11:00 PM - 04:00 PM - YMCA, 2809 W. Purdue Ave., Muncie "ymcamuncie"
06/28 - 08:00 AM - 02:00 PM - Digger Specialties, 3965 E. Countyline Rd., Nappanee, "46506"
06/28 - 12:00 PM - 06:00 PM - YMCA 5680 YMCA Park Dr West, Fort Wayne "46835"
06/29 - 01:00 PM - 06:00 PM - College Park Church 1936 College Ave, Huntington "46750"
06/29 - 12:00 PM - 06:00 PM - Plymouth Fire Dept. 111 N. Center St., Plymouth "plymouthfire"
06/30 - 12:30 PM - 05:30 PM - YMCA 10313 Aboite Center Rd, Fort Wayne "46804"
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STATE OF MICHIGAN - 2023 Season - Sponsor Code: CEDARPOINT or Zip code
05/31 - 11:30 AM - 04:15 PM....United Methodist Church 203 Concord Rd, Jonesville
06/02 - 08:00 AM - 04:00 PM....Serra Whelan Chevrolet 40445 Van Dyke. Sterling Heights, 48313
06/02 - 09:00 AM - 03:00 PM....Pleasant Ridge Center 4 Ridge Rd. Pleasant Ridge, 48069
06/09 - 11:00 AM - 04:45 PM....Columbia Central High School 11775 Hewitt Rd, Brooklyn
06/21 - 12:00 PM - 05:45 PM....Chilson Hills Church 4440 Brighton Road Howell, 48843
06/22 - 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM....Oakland Church 5100 Adams Rd Rochester, 48306
06/26 - 11:00 AM - 03:45 PM....Napoleon Township 6755 Brooklyn Rd, Napoleon
06/27 - 10:00 AM - 03:45 PM.....West Rome Baptist Church 11984 Rome Rd, Manitou Beach
06/29 - 11:00 AM - 04:45 PM.....Goodwill Headquarters 1357 Division Street Adrian
07/05 - 01:00 PM - 07:00 PM.....St. Joseph Church 715 North Lapeer Rd. Orion, 48362
07/06 - 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM.....St. Joseph Church 715 North Lapeer Rd. Orion, 48362
07/06 - 01:00 PM - 05:45 PM.....First Baptist Church 131 E Main street North Adams
07/06 - 12:00 PM - 05:45 PM.....Free Methodist Church 2829 Park Drive, Jackson
07/07 - 12:00 PM - 06:00 PM.....St. Hubert Church 38775 Prentiss, Harrison Twnshp, 48045
07/11 - 11:00 AM - 05:00 PM....Redeemer Fellowship Church 5305 Evergreen Dr, Monroe
07/12 - 07:00 AM - 06:30 PM....Merriman Rd Church 2055 Merriman Rd, Garden City, 48135
07/13 - 07:00 AM - 06:30 PM....Merriman Rd Church 2055 Merriman Rd, Garden City, 48135
07/24 - 01:00 PM - 07:00 PM.....Oxford Meth. Church 790 South Lapeer Oxford, 48371
07/25 - 11:00 AM - 05:00 PM.....St. Andrews Church 1234 Inglewood Rochester, 48307
07/27 - 10:00 AM - 03:30 PM....Dundee Veterans Memorial 418 Dunham Dundee.
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STATE OF OHIO - 2023 Season - Sponsor Code: CEDARPOINT or Zip code
05/26 - 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM.....Rocky River Civic Center 21016 Hilliard Blvd. Rocky River
05/30 - 12:00 PM - 06:00 PM.....Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) 847 W. Maple St. Clyde
05/30 - 09:00 AM - 03:00 PM.....Cleveland Heights High 13263 Cedar Road, Cleveland Heights
05/31 - 12:00 PM - 06:00 PM.....Christ Community Chapel 750 West Streetsboro St. Hudson
06/01 - 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM....Youngstown Saxon Club 710 S Meridian Rd, Youngstown
06/06 - 08:00 AM - 03:00 PM.....Massillon Recreation Center 505 Erie Street North Massillon
06/07 - 11:00 AM - 06:00 PM......Avon Isle Park 37080 Detroit Road, Avon
06/07 - 08:00 AM - 02:00 PM......All American Drive at The Venues, 540 S. St Clair Street, Toledo
06/07 - 07:30 AM - 01:30 PM......Bryan High School 1000 W Fountain Grove Dr, Bryan
06/07 - 12:00 PM - 06:00 PM......Celina High School, 715 E. Wayne St., Celina, "celinahs"
06/08 - 12:00 PM - 06:00 PM......All American Drive at The Venues, 540 S. St Clair St, Toledo
06/08 - 12:00 PM - 06:00 PM......Ashtabula Towne Square, 3315 N Ridge Rd E, Ashtabula
06/09 - 12:00 PM - 05:00 PM......Alida High School, 401 E. North St., Alida, "alidahs"
06/10 - 09:00 AM - 03:00 PM......Grace Church 7393 Pearl Rd Middleburg Heights
06/12 - 11:00 AM - 05:00 PM......Wickliffe Community Center 900 Worden Road Wickliffe
06/13 - 12:00 PM - 06:00 PM......Stonebridge Church 2111 Stonehedge Dr. Findlay
06/14 - 11:00 AM - 05:00 PM......St Paul's Lutheran Church 2860 East Market St. Warren
06/15 - 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM......Sandusky Mall Rt. 250 Milan Rd. Sandusky
06/15 - 01:00 PM - 07:00 PM.......Wooster Community Hospital 1761 Beall Ave. Wooster
06/16 - 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM......Zenobia Shrine 8048 Broadstone Blvd. Perrysburg
06/20 - 12:00 PM - 06:00 PM......Moose Lodge, 1146 N SR 53, Tiffin
06/21 - 11:00 AM - 05:00 PM......Sawmill Creek Resort 400 Sawmill Creek Dr., Huron
06/22 - 09:00 AM - 02:00 PM......North Ridgeville Library, 35700 Bainbridge Rd, North Ridgeville
06/23 - 09:00 AM - 06:00 PM......Mentor Civic Arena 8600 Munson Rd. Mentor
06/23 - 12:00 PM - 06:00 PM......American Legion 500 Glenwood Napoleon
06/23 - 11:00 AM - 05:00 PM......Hilltop High School 1401 West Jackson Street West, Unity
06/28 - 07:00 AM - 07:00 PM......ABC6/FOX28 @ Makoy Center 5462 Center St, Hilliard
06/29 - 07:00 AM - 07:00 PM......ABC6/FOX28 @ Makoy Center 5462 Center St, Hilliard
06/29 - 01:00 PM - 07:00 PM......Medina Performing Center, 851 Weymouth Rd, Medina
06/30 - 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM.....Montpelier High School 1015 E. Brown Rd. Montpelier
07/03 - 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM.....Fairview/Gemini Center 21225 Lorain Road Fairview Park
07/05 - 12:00 PM - 06:00 PM.....Packard Music Hall 1703 Mahoning Ave. Warren
07/05 - 01:00 PM - 07:00 PM......Wooster Community Hospital 1761 Beall Ave. Wooster
07/07 - 08:30 AM - 02:30 PM.......Hilton Garden Inn 6165 Levis Commons Blvd. Perrysburg
07/11 - 01:00 PM - 07:00 PM.......Hilton Garden Inn 700 Beta Drive Mayfield Village
07/13 - 12:00 PM - 06:00 PM......United Methodist Church, 130 W. Johnson St., Upper Sandusky
07/13 - 01:00 PM - 06:00 PM......United Methodist Church 170 Seminary St. Berea
07/13 - 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM......Teamsters Local 20 435 S. Hawley St Toledo
07/18 - 10:00 AM - 05:00 PM......Crocker Park 239 Market Street Westlake
07/26 - 09:30 AM - 07:00 PM......Cleveland Marriott East 26300 Harvard Rd. Warrensville Heights
07/27 -12:00 PM - 06:00 PM.......Elks 231 Buckeye Blvd. Port Clinton
07/31 - 09:00 AM - 03:00 PM......Community Center 6363 Selig Dr, Independence
08/01 -12:00 PM - 06:00 PM .......Cuyahoga County Library 5071 Wallings Rd, North Royalton
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Additional blood drives added every week - Click here for updates
Red Cross First Time Donors Video
What happens to donated blood?
American Red Cross - Donate Blood Eligibility Requirements
submitted by RedditRocks2021 to FreeCedarPointTickets [link] [comments]


2023.06.02 17:10 r3dsca Obscure subreddit posting - The Branding Issue of Democrats from the 90s to Now

This was posted in the AngryObservation subreddit (that I stumbled on two seconds ago)
Essay posted by u/dcmetro7
https://www.reddit.com/usedcmetro7/
Democrats have a branding problem : AngryObservation (reddit.com)

Democrats have a branding problem

😴 Long Observation 😴
I was inspired by u/Randomuser1520 's post about the Democratic Party's seemingly weak bench of future potential presidential nominees.
A lot of the problems trace back to 2016, but I'd argue the Democrats' branding woes go back even further. Think all the way back to the last time the Democrats had a consistently strong electoral record as a party -- the 90s, where the only truly bad year for Ds was 1994. Bill Clinton had successfully rebranded the party under the 'Third Way' label that Dems at any level could embrace and benefit from, and he had a clear successor in Al Gore. But Gore loses narrowly in 2000, and the problems for the Dems' brand begin.
'Yes We Can'
After 9/11, the electorate supports Bush and they support war. Dems' brand takes a hit and they lose the 2002 midterms. In 2004, John Kerry is successfully painted as an out-of-touch Ivy League liberal, disengaged from 'real America.' Dems lose and their brand suffers further.
But by the end of Bush's term, most Americans are disillusioned with Dubyaism. They wanted change, and one man promises to lead them to it with posters that proclaim 'HOPE' and cries of 'Yes We Can,' heralding in a new age of politics. Barack Obama and the Democrats are swept into a trifecta in Washington.
And we certainly got a new age of politics. When Obama was inaugurated, pundits speculated about the 'emerging Democratic majority', and how the GOP may literally go extinct in ten years. By the end of Obama's second term, those same pundits are surveying the absolutely decimated state of the Democratic party at all levels of power. Dems had lost the Senate, the House, most governorships, and most state legislatures. Control of the state legislatures makes the GOP's hold on the House even stronger. Control of the Senate effectively leads to control of the Supreme Court.
While Obama certainly can't be blamed for everything the GOP threw at him, I feel like it's safe to say his rebranding of the Democratic party failed in the long run. The 'Party of Hope' was sunk into the quagmire of a slow economic recovery, some of the most cynical politicking ever, and some of the most dysfunctional White House-Congress relationships in the history of the country. Obama's signature healthcare legislation would languish in the 30s approval-wise until after he left office. By 2015, no one was talking about the Democrats as the Party of Hope anymore. Even the guy who designed the original 'Hope' poster said he was frustrated by the lack of progress under the Obama admin. I'd argue that the Republicans were responsible for the clear majority of this dysfunction, but if their goal was to muddy the waters between the parties, they succeeded. And with the Tea Party, they were better at rebranding themselves even when they were in the opposition.
And none of this was helped by the face that Obama seemed extremely reluctant, even uninterested, in stepping into the role of party leader. Congressional Democrats were frustrated at the way he kept his distance from them, making it hard to solidify the policy goals they'd implemented in his first term. This article (https://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/19/us/aloof-obama-is-frustrating-his-own-party.html) sums it up well, with this prescient quote sticking out:
In interviews, nearly two dozen Democratic lawmakers and senior congressional aides suggested that Mr. Obama’s approach has left him with few loyalists to effectively manage the issues erupting abroad and at home and could imperil his efforts to leave a legacy in his final stretch in office.
And sure enough, Obama's legacy was in peril before he even left office.
'Stronger Together'
In 2016, Democrats didn't plan for a primary, they planned for a coronation. Hillary Clinton had been locking up all the support she could get from the Democratic establishment while Obama was serving his second term. Biden would seem like the clear establishment successor, but by the time he was able to turn his attention from VP duties to the primary he realized Hillary had completely boxed him out. She had already corralled all the big donors, operatives, and endorsements into her corner, and Joe was checkmated before he even sat down to the board. Thus, he turned down the opportunity, likely burying his long-nurtured presidential ambitions.
But then the coronation gets bumpy. Sanders challenges her from the outside, and immediately begins putting her on the spot as to why she's running. In other words, what does she envision for the Democratic brand? Hillary herself doesn't know. Is it a third term of Bill (whose star was starting to fade among everyone whose name doesn't rhyme with Shames Scarville), a third term of Obama (whose Hope posters have since become landfill), or an all-new thing?
To Hillary's credit, she couldn't portray herself as a total break from the past, both because she had been was strongly anchored to the national political landscape for the last thirty years, and because she could hardly attack Obama's record too harshly. In the end, she also struggled to brand both herself and the party. Consider the slogans most associated with her campaign; 'Forward Together' and 'Stronger Together' sound like the slogans of a centrist third party with no concrete policy ideas. They just attempted to project a feeling of unity onto a people who were united only, if the candidacies of Sanders and Trump meant anything, in the feeling that 'establishment' politicians like HRC had failed. And, of course, 'I'm with Her' was barely a rebrand at all, simply associating the party with its uncharismatic yet seemingly unstoppable frontrunner.
In the meantime, Trump had done the opposite, rebranding himself and the GOP as the party of 'America First populism.' What that meant exactly in terms of policy seemed to change from day to day But as a brand, as a forceful statement of intent, it worked, especially when contrasted with a seemingly rudderless HRC campaign that failed to answer the age-old question: 'Why are you running for president?'
'For the People'
After the 2016 fiasco, the Democrats were decimated and leaderless. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had passed his leadership position to Chuck Schumer and passed on soon after Trump took office. Tim Ryan led a mutiny against Nancy Pelosi, blaming her in part for the party's plunge from ascendance to irrelevance in the House. Hillary Clinton disappeared into the woods of Chappaqua. Obama started making a docu-series for Netflix. Joe Biden entered semi-retirement and wrote a book.
But in all of this, they found something they had been lacking. A brand.
Not the one they would have preferred, but one that would work nonetheless for winning elections. House Dems would embrace the (once-again) vague slogan of 'For the People' ahead of the 2018 midterms, but the aim was clear. The Democrats were now the Opposition; the Anti-Trump party.
Trump's approval rating was not just low, but incredibly sticky. People tended to have very firm opinions on him, and so his approval rating barely escaped the 35-45% range, with him almost hitting 50% before the pandemic hit. Thus, running on opposition to Trump would be fine electorally. In 2018, the Democrats had a blue wave year based mostly on opposition to Trump, retaking the house. Ironically, a big policy motivator for voters was backlash against the GOP's effort to repeal and replace Obamacare -- a promise that had driven Republican electoral gains since the bill was passed into law. Republican branding and messaging had been so successful that, for the better part of the decade, people trusted them to 'fix' the ACA until the very last minute before the replacement was signed.
'Battle for the Soul of the Nation'
But the problem remained for 2020 -- who would lead them? This was a difficult decision even before the pandemic. And Democratic primary voters were treated to a veritable buffet on angles on how to rebrand the party to beat Trump.
Should the party embrace democratic socialism under Sanders, or heavy consumer advocacy under Warren? Should it embrace a young, charismatic up-and-comer like Harris, Buttigieg, or O'Rourke or someone just as 'establishment' as Hillary, like Michael Bloomberg? Old-school liberalism with the Klob? Whatever Andrew Yang was doing?
But as the polls drew near, the Democrats seemed to conclude that beating Trump was simply more important than charting a new course for the party. If they could get elected or rebrand, they'd choose the former. And so all the other more moderate candidates dropped out to consolidate the vote around Biden, as the safe, expected pick who could stay the course. Biden and his surrogates began adopting the slogan 'Battle for the Soul of the Nation,' an epic and apocalyptic phrase that is still fundamentally reactive in tone, implying that the biggest motivator to vote for Democrats that fall was not to pass any specific agenda, but to put a stop to the GOP's plans.
Biden wouldn't govern in this way, but he would campaign this way -- as the normal, capable candidate who could lead the country's post-covid recovery in opposition to Trump's perceived incompetence. Biden won, but Democrats didn't get nearly the boost they wanted from covid, and House candidates underperformed Biden nationally, leading to a surprising loss of seats in the House. And after the effort to throw out the election failed, Trump left office with severely damaged standing with independents. The anti-Trump brand had delivered Dems a trifecta; now it was time to use it; hopefully to establish a new brand for a new decade.
'Building Back Better'
Upon taking office, Biden and the Dems lay out their agenda; the 'Build Back Better' plan, which centers on a three-pronged approach; a pandemic relief bill, an infrastructure bill, and a social policy bill. Passing such plans will involve all 50 Senate D's on board in some cases, and a bipartisan filibuster-proof majority of 60 senators in other cases.
People laugh, think back to 2010, and begin arguing whether a prediction that the GOP will control 55 Senate seats by 2023 is too conservative. Nancy Pelosi is trying to manage a mere five-seat majority in the house. Mitch McConnell, who once feasted on the Democrats' lost hopes the way a hungry turtle devours a plate of juicy strawberries, still held enough sway in the Senate to hold up any significant policy not related to budget reconciliation. Even then, Schumer must wrangle mavericks like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. Dramatic divisions still rip across the fabric of American society. But then, something truly strange happens.
The 117th Congress ends up being one of the most productive sessions ever.
Whether or not you think any or all of the 117th's acts were good policy, it's undeniable that this was an unusually politically efficient session, especially considering the last decade of hardball politics. Bipartisan majorities drive the infrastructure act, a gun control act, a tech-manufacturing promotion act, and even a somewhat-legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide. Plus, Schumer and Pelosi navigate their tiny majorities toward passing partisan priorities, like the pandemic relief act and the scaled-down Build Back Better social policy bill, rebranded as the Inflation Reduction Act or IRA. McConnell drops his trademark stonewalling and collaborates with Biden on the bipartisan bills, and 'Yea' votes roll in even from deep red states -- Republican senators from Mississippi, West Virginia, and North Dakota get these bills over the line. Bipartisanship returns to Congress in fleeting glances -- something that I feel confident in arguing absolutely no one expected Biden or the Dem leaders to be able to do.
Of course, no one has forgotten 2010, and 2022 looks to be another rough year. Inflation soars, and Biden's approval rating drops. Dems brace for impact. The Dobbs ruling happens, but polls repeatedly suggest that the economy is the top issue on voters' minds, and they don't like Biden's handling of it.
But while these things are true, they ignore a crucial factor -- the GOP is embroiled in an identity crisis of its own. The leader of the party is claiming to be the legitimate president of the United States, which is a bit of a hard issue to ignore. Trump loyalists beat out 'establishment' Republicans in the primaries, and bring their hard promotion of the MAGA brand to the general elections. And they lose.
I think it's fair to say that the GOP lost most of the key races of the 2022 midterms, rather than Democrats winning them. Swing state Republican parties chose candidates who adhered so closely to a brand so toxic that independents still chose the Democrats, even in some cases where they were dissatisfied with the party. Republicans who have managed to establish a brand for themselves -- DeSantis, Kemp, and DeWine among them -- soar, while the Trumpiest candidates fall flat. McConnell remains in the minority, and McCarthy becomes the head of a very, very dysfunctional family.
Will Brandon's Rebrand Stand?
So, coming off an unusually strong midterm, where does the party go in 2024? Probably, as u/Randomuser1520 said, back to Biden. When your party wins one of the most fiercely contested elections in American history, has a productive legislative session, and then massively overperforms in the midterm, you don't usually change horses regardless of what approval polling says. If Biden were just 10 years younger and the health concerns were off the table, there would be no question in anyone's mind who to nominate.
The establishment and progressive wings of the party seem to be behind him if he runs, meaning challenges will only come from real outsiders like Marianne Williamson and Robert Kennedy Jr. The DNC will probably work to make those challenges as unviable as possible.
2024 is tricky to predict. Trump is favored on the Republican side, and as said before, his brand is so toxic that Biden can probably glide to reelection barring any massive economic downturns or serious health problems. I won't get too much into 2024, because it seems pretty clearly on the path to becoming another referendum on the GOP's brand, not the Democrats'. Biden's second term (and the rest of his first term) may be defined as much by implementation of the legislation they passed during the 117th as much as by new legislation, if not more.
So the question becomes this -- where does the party go in 2028? Or, in other words, what will Democrats take away from the Biden presidency, and how will Biden shape the party's brand going forward? Who they choose to lead the party next will tell, and Biden's presidency may already be laying out a blueprint.
In his 1996 State of the Union address, Bill Clinton declared 'the era of big government is over,' essentially conceding that Reagan and his vision of a small role for the federal government in domestic affairs had won out for the time, and that Democrats would need to work within that political reality in order to win elections. Obama's efforts to change that status quo resulted in an avalanche of backlash from Tea Partiers, self-proclaimed champions of fiscal conservatism. Hillary Clinton's failed campaign strategy arguably rested more on that understanding of the political climate than anything else, causing her to miss a series of growing frustrations with Reaganism at times channelled by Sanders and, at times, Trump -- at decimation of the manufacturing sector, at the growing gap between rich and poor, at China's seemingly unstoppable three-decade rise at the expense of the U.S.
Biden's approach to American industry and government is a strong repudiation of Reaganism, based around the idea that it is the government's job to fortify and guide the economy in ways that are necessary where the free market has little incentive to. It argues that the issues of infrastructural decay, manufacturing decline, and the growing need for green energy in the face of climate change will only be solved if the government directs the power of the private sector towards those goals at great upfront cost. And free trade, long held as the unassailable source of America's prosperity, must now only be employed in moderation -- if the U.S. has to arguably break international law to lure foreign investment into the U.S. through generous subsidies, it will be worth it, even if it earns the fury of our economic partners. This may be the groundwork of Bidenism.
These plans may fail. The money may be wasted by incompetent or corrupt administrators and the American people may become even more jaded at the thought of big government. But movement within the GOP may suggest a broader shift in the American mind towards this kind of economic interventionism is already in progress. Promising to reverse the decline of manufacturing through tariffs and other measures would have been political anathema twenty years ago, but it has become a core Republican plank. Florida Republicans' punitive measures towards Disney and the GOP's growing support for government action against Big Tech companies suggests openness towards not just using state power to guide the economy, but also to reshape the social landscape by manipulating the private sector. It may well be that the era of small government is over.
I've sorted some potential 'brands' and some of the people who might be nominated in 2028 / become party standard-bearers should the Democrats go in that direction. These lists aren't exhaustive; I'm just trying to establish a general vibe.
The 'Biden Blueprint': Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Gina Raimondo
These are members of the Biden admin who have been given great power (and great piles of money) to enact the legislation of the 117th. If American sentiment towards big government changes as quickly as I think it could, a Cabinet secretary could have a decent shot in 2028. Harris would be the natural successor as the VP, but Transportation Sec Buttigieg and Commerce Sec Raimondo, who were empowered to implement much of the Infrastructure Act and the CHIPS Act respectively, could become standard-bearers for this new vision of technocratic governance if they administer these programs well (and in a way that makes headlines). If Energy Sec Granholm were a natural-born citizen, she would definitely fit here as well, considering how much power the IRA gave her department.
The 'New New Deal': Amy Klobuchar, Catherine Cortez Masto, Mark Kelly, Tammy Duckworth, Raphael Warnock
Liberal senators who are capable of working across the aisle to achieve compromise could be a strong bet if Democrats want to recreate the success of the 117th Congress in the future. There's always an argument that effective legislators won't necessarily make for effective executives, but these choices would help with Democrats' goal of rebranding the Democratic party as the party you vote for if you want Washington to function properly and anticipate constituents' needs. Such a ticket could brand itself as the path to bipartisan yet assertive solutions on familiar and emerging issues like immigration reform, federal protection for abortion, the housing shortage, and the drug crisis.
The 'Bulwark': Roy Cooper, Laura Kelly, Andy Beshear
I'll admit that when I began writing this post, I had a more favorable opinion of the above three governors and politicians like them as presidential nominees and the potential 'future of the party.' I no longer feel as strongly about them, however, because I don't believe they do enough to change the brand of the Democrats and the political environment as a whole. These governors are best known for winning races in red states; for holding the line against the most conservative policies while finding areas of compromise, especially on kitchen-table issues.
But this brand of Democrat is fundamentally reactive, even defensive -- it assumes that most of the job will be obstructing right-wing legislation from a red legislature. In other words, it is a kind of strategy you use when you're trying to hold ground, not gain it. It works well when your opponent's brand is toxic (as the GOP's has been since 2016), but this I suspect this brand of 'competent normality' will struggle if the opposition ceases to actively repel voters. If Trump and his acolytes continue to hold a strong grip on the party through 2024 and beyond, this brand may not be a bad bet short-term, but long-term Democrats want to be the ones establishing the rules of the game, not just beating your opponent at theirs. That's what a successful political brand does. While Dems in similar situation should definitely look to these governors for guidance in running their campaigns (and hopefully, their administrations), I would caution at this point against basing the national party's brand on their model.
I think somewhere between these three groups lies a successful path forward for the Democrats that towards becoming the dominant party in U.S. politics at the federal level. There are some other interesting currents in the party; like how Democratic governors like Whitmer, Evers, and Walz have rebuilt D strength the Midwest after a rough 2010s, and how Western Dems like Jared Polis, Mary Peltola, and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez have found unexpected electoral stength by embracing a form of libertarianism. However, these currents may be regional, and Democrats shouldn't necessarily try to nationalize every idea that works in one part of the country. Creating different regional 'flavors' of Democrat would be necessary to keep the party relevant in all parts of the country.
Regarding the 2020 primary runners-up, I don't think most of the visions laid out then work post-2024, and for this reason I tend not to give too much weight to current Democratic primary polling, because it assumes these same people would be running again.
Assuming Biden ends his term without catastrophe, I don't think the party needs to place all their faith in a young, charismatic Obama wannabe like O'Rourke or Swalwell, nor does it need to drastically pivot to the center, nor does it need to proclaim itself the party of 'outsiders,' nor does it need to give the reins to the progressive wing. If everything goes right, they can remain ideologically where they are now (roughly) and establish a solid brand for the first time in a generation.
The Democrats been losing the branding war since the days of Nixon. They may currently have all the tools they need right now to change that, and set the expectations for the next fifty years of politics. Let's see how they do.
This is my first big write-up, so I almost certainly missed some stuff and made some assumptions. Let me know what you think.
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2023.06.02 17:02 MistyMountainGaming D&D Fun Fact #7 After its publication of D&D and similar games, TSR experienced “meteoric growth,” ...

D&D Fun Fact #7 After its publication of D&D and similar games, TSR experienced “meteoric growth,” ...


After its publication of D&D and similar games, TSR experienced “meteoric growth,” Riggs says. The operation went from game assembly on top of plywood and sawhorse tables to offices with hundreds of employees. TSR expanded out of Lake Geneva to the United Kingdom and the East Coast of the United States. Business was booming to the point that the company rented a house on the Isle of Man.
D&D made Gygax into a millionaire. According to Riggs, he started “raising horses on the side.” By the early 1980s, he’d separated from his wife and moved out west. “At the zenith of his success,” wrote Ed Power for the Telegraph in 2017, “this devout Jehovah’s Witness lived a life of boozy, womanizing excess in a mansion in Hollywood.”
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2023.06.02 13:09 rusticgorilla Supreme Court ruling makes it even riskier for unions to strike

Housekeeping:
Eight Supreme Court justices issued a ruling yesterday that will allow companies to more easily sue unions for damages during a strike.

Background

The case, Glacier Northwest v. Teamsters, centers on a cement truck driver strike in Washington state. Glacier alleges that Teamsters Local Union No. 174 intentionally ordered a work stoppage after the trucks had been loaded with wet concrete, potentially wasting the product and risking damaging the rotating drums of the trucks.
According to Glacier, the goal was to “sabotage” the company:
In August 2017, the Union, which represents Glacier’s truck drivers, was engaged in collective bargaining negotiations with Glacier. Unhappy with the company’s response to its bargaining demands, the Union devised and executed a scheme to “intentionally sabotage” Glacier’s business operations and destroy its property. On the morning of August 11, Glacier had numerous concrete deliveries scheduled, with drivers starting work between 2 AM and 7 AM. Knowing this, the Union “coordinated with truck drivers to purposely time [a] strike when concrete was being batched and delivered” with the specific purpose “to cause destruction of the concrete.” At 7 AM, once “Union representatives knew there was a substantial volume of batched concrete in Glaciers barrels, hoppers, and ready-mix trucks, they called for a work stoppage.” A Union agent made a throat-slashing gesture to signal a “sudden cessation of work.”
Non-union employees were dispatched to clean the trucks, preventing damage. However, the mixed concrete had to be destroyed.
The Teamsters contended that the strike could only be called once all drivers had arrived for work. With staggered start times, this resulted in a 7 am strike time, after some concrete loads were already mixed and in trucks from earlier shifts.
On the day the strike began, 43 drivers were scheduled to work. The drivers arrived at staggered start times running from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m. Local 174 called the strike at 7 a.m., when all of the scheduled drivers had arrived for work…When the strike began, some trucks were at Glacier’s yard waiting to be loaded, some were returning to the yard to be reflled and some were out with loads of concrete to be delivered. Sixteen of the striking drivers returned trucks containing undelivered concrete to Glacier’s yard. These drivers left their trucks running so that Glacier could dispose of the concrete as the Company saw fit.
Glacier sued the Teamsters in Washington state court for intentionally destroying its property. In doing so, the company indirectly challenged existing Supreme Court precedent set in 1959’s
San Diego Building Trades Council v. Garmon, which held that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has jurisdiction over whether a labor union’s activity is protected by law.
It is not for us to decide whether the National Labor Relations Board would have, or should have, decided these questions in the same manner. When an activity is arguably subject to § 7 [which includes strikes] or § 8 [unfair labor practice] of the Act, the States as well as the federal courts must defer to the exclusive competence of the National Labor Relations Board if the danger of state interference with national policy is to be averted…If the Board decides, subject to appropriate federal judicial review, that conduct is protected by § 7, or prohibited by § 8, then the matter is at an end, and the States are ousted of all jurisdiction. Or, the Board may decide that an activity is neither protected nor prohibited, and thereby raise the question whether such activity may be regulated by the States.
Glacier should have brought its complaint to the NLRB, which would have decided whether this particular strike violated the law. Instead, Glacier brought the case to the Washington state courts, lost, and ultimately appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The ruling

Justice Amy Coney Barrett, writing for the eight-justice majority, ruled against the Teamsters union in finding that an employer may pursue a lawsuit against its workers’ union before the NLRB determines whether a particular strike is protected by federal law.
Barrett reaches this conclusion by determining that the truck drivers’ failure to strike before the mixing of concrete violated the National Labor Relations Act’s (NLRA) “reasonable precautions” clause — a strike is not a protected activity if workers fail to take reasonable precautions to avoid foreseeable, imminent damage to the employer's property, such as the building, equipment or products.
The Board has long taken the position—which both the Union and Glacier accept—that the NLRA does not shield strikers who fail to take “reasonable precautions” to protect their employer’s property from foreseeable, aggravated, and imminent danger due to the sudden cessation of work. Given this undisputed limitation on the right to strike, we proceed to consider whether the Union has demonstrated that the statute arguably protects the drivers’ conduct. Davis, 476 U. S., at 395. We conclude that it has not. The drivers engaged in a sudden cessation of work that put Glacier’s property in foreseeable and imminent danger…The Union failed to “take reasonable precautions to protect” against this foreseeable and imminent danger.
With this ruling, the Supreme Court partly reverses Garmon. Employers will now be allowed to sue unions in state court before the NLRB completes its review of the case. As Ian Millhiser explains in Vox, the outcome (1) is costly for unions and (2) creates a more uncertain atmosphere for strikes:
Glacier Northwest is still a significant loss for unions, in large part because it does not draw clear lines indicating when Garmon still applies and when it does not. Suppose, for example, that a single angry worker picks up a piece of their employer’s equipment and smashes it at the beginning of a work stoppage. Does this one worker’s wildcat action render the entire union vulnerable to litigation?
Similarly, imagine a company much like Glacier Northwest, except that this company is so busy that it always has at least one truck full of wet concrete being delivered to a client. At what point are this union’s workers allowed to strike? And, if they do strike, what are the precise precautions the union must take in order to protect the employer’s trucks?
Questions like these will need to be decided in future litigation — and the mere existence of this litigation will only undermine Garmon even more. Striking unions will now potentially have to litigate one case in the NLRB while simultaneously litigating a second case whose purpose is to determine whether their employer is allowed to sue them in state court.
That will make it much easier for well-moneyed employers to grind down unions with legal fees.
Justices Roberts, Sotomayor, Kagan, and Kavanaugh joined Barrett’s opinion. Justices Thomas, Gorsuch, and Alito concurred in judgment, but wrote or joined separate opinions advocating for the Supreme Court to overturn Garmon altogether. Justice Thomas wrote:
The parties here have not asked us to reconsider Garmon, nor is it necessary to do so to resolve this case. Nonetheless, in an appropriate case, we should carefully reexamine whether the law supports Garmon’s “unusual” preemption regime. In doing so, I would bear in mind that any proper pre-emption inquiry must focus on the NLRA’s text and ask whether federal law and state law “are in logical contradiction,” such that it is impossible to comply with both.

The dissent

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the lone dissenting justice, wrote in defense of Supreme Court precedent, the National Labor Relations Act, and the right to strike:
The right to strike is fundamental to American labor law. Congress enshrined that right in the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and simultaneously established the National Labor Relations Board to adjudicate disputes that arise between workers and management. That decision reflected Congress’s judgment that an agency with specialized expertise should develop and enforce national labor law in a uniform manner, through case-by-case adjudication. For its part, this Court has scrupulously guarded the Board’s authority for more than half a century. See San Diego Building Trades Council v. Garmon, 359 U. S. 236 (1959). Under Garmon, and as relevant here, a court presented with a tort suit based on strike conduct generally must pause proceedings and permit the Board to determine in the first instance whether the union’s conduct is lawful if the conduct at issue is even “arguably” protected by the NLRA.
Today, the Court falters. As the majority acknowledges, the Board’s General Counsel has filed a complaint with the Board after a thorough factual investigation, and that complaint alleges that the NLRA protects the strike conduct at the center of this state-court tort suit. The logical implication of a General Counsel complaint under Garmon is that the union’s conduct is at least arguably protected by the NLRA. Consequently, where (as here) there is a General Counsel complaint pending before the Board, courts—including this Court—should suspend their examination. Garmon makes clear that we have no business delving into this particular labor dispute at this time.
But instead of modestly standing down, the majority eagerly inserts itself into this conflict, proceeding to opine on the propriety of the union’s strike activity based on the facts alleged in the employer’s state-court complaint. As part of this mistaken expedition, the majority tries its own hand at applying the Board’s decisions to a relatively novel scenario that poses difficult line-drawing questions—fact-sensitive issues that Congress plainly intended for the Board to address after an investigation.
The court incorrectly placed the onus of protecting Glacier’s property on the workers and the union, Jackson continued:
To the extent that the majority’s conclusion rests on the alleged fact that “by reporting for duty and pretending as if they would deliver the concrete, the drivers prompted the creation of the perishable product” that “put Glacier’s trucks in harm’s way,” I see nothing aggravated or even untoward about that conduct. Glacier is a concrete delivery company whose drivers are responsible for delivering wet concrete, so it is unremarkable that the drivers struck at a time when there was concrete in the trucks. While selling perishable products may be risky business, the perishable nature of Glacier’s concrete did not impose some obligation on the drivers to strike in the middle of the night or before the next day’s jobs had started. To the contrary, it was entirely lawful for the drivers to start their workday per usual, and for the Union to time the strike to put “maximum pressure on the employer at minimum economic cost to the union.”
Nor was the onus of protecting Glacier’s economic interests if a strike was called in the middle of the day on the drivers—it was, instead, on Glacier, which could have taken any number of prophylactic, mitigating measures. What Glacier seeks to do here is to shift the duty of protecting an employer’s property from damage or loss incident to a strike onto the striking workers, beyond what the Board has already permitted via the reasonable-precautions principle. In my view, doing that places a significant burden on the employees’ exercise of their statutory right to strike, unjustifiably undermining Congress’s intent. Workers are not indentured servants, bound to continue laboring until anyplanned work stoppage would be as painless as possible for their master. They are employees whose collective and peaceful decision to withhold their labor is protected by the NLRA even if economic injury results.
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2023.06.02 12:16 sfaer A selected collection of Dr. Jacques Vallée's conclusions from 1969 to 1988. Emphasis mine.

1969 - Passport to Magonia: from Folklore to Flying Saucers


What does it all mean? Is it reasonable to draw a parallel between religious apparitions, the fairy-faith, the reports of dwarf-like beings with supernatural powers, the airship tales in the United States in the last century, and the present stories of UFO landings?
I would strongly argue that it is—for one simple reason: the mechanisms that have generated these various beliefs are identical. Their human context and their effect on humans are constant. And it is my conclusion that the observation of this very deep mechanism is a crucial one. It has little to do with the problem of knowing whether UFO's are physical objects or not. Attempting to understand the meaning, the purpose of the so-called flying saucers, as many people are doing today, is just as futile as was the pursuit of the fairies, if one makes the mistake of confusing appearance and reality. The phenomenon has stable, invariant features, some of which we have tried to identify and label clearly. But we have also had to note carefully the chameleon-like character of the secondary attributes of the sightings: the shapes of the objects, the appearances of their occupants, their reported statements, vary as a function of the cultural environment into which they arc projected.

Human actions are based on imagination, belief, and faith, not on objective observation—as military and political experts know well. Even science, which claims its methods and theories are rationally developed, is really shaped by emotion and fancy, or by fear. And to control human imagination is to shape mankind's collective destiny, provided the source of this control is not identifiable by the public. And indeed it is one of the objectives of any government's policies to prepare the public for unavoidable changes or to stimulate its activity in some desirable direction.

For the time being the only positive statement we can make, without fear of contradiction, is that: it is possible to make large sections of any population believe in the existence of supernatural races, in the possibility of flying machines, in the plurality of inhabited worlds, by exposing them to a few carefully engineered scenes the details of which are adapted to the culture and superstitions of a particular time and place.
Could the meetings with UFO entities be such artificial constructions? Consider their changing character. In the United States, they appear as science fiction monsters. In South America, they are sanguinary and quick to get into a fight. In France, they behave like rational, Cartesian, peace-loving tourists. The Irish Gentry, if we believe its spokesmen, was an "aristocratic race" organized somewhat like a religious-military order. The airship pilots were strongly individualistic characters with all the features of the American farmer.

1977 - Cosmic Trigger 1 (by Robert Anton Wilson)


He started to explain that, analyzing the reports chronologically, it appeared that They (whoever or whatever they are) always strive to give the impression that they are something the society they are visiting can understand. In medieval sightings, he said, they called themselves angels; in the great 1902 flap in several states, one of the craft spoke to a West Virginia farmer and said they were an airship invented and flown from Kansas; in 1940s-1950s sightings, they often said they were from Venus; since Venus has been examined and seems incapable of supporting life, they now say they are from another star-system in this galaxy.
Where do you think they come from?” I asked.
Doctor Vallee gave the Gallic form of the classic scientific Not-Speculating-Beyond-The-Data head-shake.
I can theorize, and theorize, endlessly,” he said, “but is it not better to just study the data more deeply and look for clues?
You must have some personal hunch,” I insisted.
He gave in gracefully.
They relate to space-time in ways for which we have, at present, no concepts,” he said. “They cannot explain to us because we are not ready to understand.

1979 - Messengers of Deception: UFO Contacts and Cults


Control-System Hypothesis
I believe there is a system around us that transcends time as it transcends space. I remain confident that human knowledge is capable of understanding this larger reality. I suspect that some humans have already understood it, and are showing their hand in several aspects of the UFO encounters.
The system I am speaking of may well be able to locate itself in outer space, as some of my readers will be quick in pointing out. Indeed it may, but its manifestations are not spacecraft in the ordinary “nuts and bolts” sense. The UFOs are physical manifestations that cannot be understood apart from their psychic and symbolic reality. What we see in effect here is not an alien invasion. It is a control system which acts on humans and uses humans. However, we still need to discover the source of this manifestation.

If the world around us is a world of informational events, the symbolic manifestations that surround UFO reports should be viewed as a fact of the greatest magnitude. If we consider the physical world to be an associative universe of such informational events, consciousness is no longer simply a function which is local to the human brain. Instead, consciousness should be defined as the process by which informational associations are retrieved and traversed. The illusion of time and space would be merely a side effect of consciousness as it traverses associations. In such a theory, apparently “paranormal’' phenomena like remote viewing and precognition would be expected, even common, and UFOs would lose much of their alien quality. These phenomena would be natural aspects of the reality of human consciousness, and would be subject to manipulation by the human will, both consciously and unconsciously.
In any case, these phenomena serve as a support for human ambition, a framework for human tragedy, a fabric of human dreams. We react to them in our movies, our poetry, our music, our science fiction. And they react to us. They are part of the control system for human evolution, like the nuclear process inside the Sun and the long-term changes in the Earth’s weather. But their effects, instead of being just physical, are also felt in our belief systems. They influence what we call our spiritual life. They affect our political institutions, our history, our culture.

If there is no time dimension as we usually assume there is, we may be traversing events by association. Modern computers retrieve information associatively. You “evoke” the desired records by using keywords, words of power: you request the intersection of “microwave” and “headache,” and you find twenty articles you never suspected existed. Perhaps I had unconsciously posted such a request on some psychic bulletin board with the keyword “Melchizedek.” If we live in the associative universe of the software scientist rather than the sequential universe of the spacetime physicist, then miracles are no longer irrational events. The philosophy we could derive would be closer to Islamic “Occasionalism” than to the Cartesian or Newtonian universe. And a new theory of information would have to be built. Such a theory might have interesting things to say about communication with the denizens of other physical realities.

Consider science from the outside: it is a machine for turning out knowledge. It has worked extremely well for a while. It has given us aircraft, television, and trips to the Moon. On the other hand, there are situations in which it is useless, because it assumes that the phenomena that are fed into it are natural and spontaneous. If something bigger or smarter than the ordinary human mind is around, if some clever deceivers use it to feed us phenomena that have been designed to fool us by Machiavellian spies or benevolent masters, then a “scientific” investigation will be useless. How can we find out whether or not anomalous phenomena can be dealt with in scientific terms?

The public has two usual positions on UFOs, either “It’s all nonsense,” or “We are visited by creatures from another planet.” Until today, the first position has been the stronger one. A majority of the public and practically every scientist has long thought that UFOs were nonsense – and that is why there are no UFO detectives. Now things are changing. So many people have seen strange phenomena that a new belief has been born. Scientific opinion cannot stop this shifting of power. Unfortunately, once disturbed from its comfortable position of rest, the public will shift to the other extreme and start believing in space visitations. This is unavoidable. It is so reassuring to have other forms of life come here! They may be horrible to behold, but at least “they” know about us, “they” care about us, and “they” have gone to the trouble of coming here to see what we look like! In the naive words of a New York Times science editor, “We are not Alone!”
There is another system. It is sending us messengers of deception. They are not necessarily coming from nearby stars. In terms of the effect on us, it doesn’t matter where they come from. I even suspect that “where” and “when” have no meaning here. How could we be alone? The black box of science has stopped ticking. People look up toward the stars in eager expectation.
Receiving a visit from outer space sounds almost as comfortable as having a God. Yet we shouldn’t rejoice too soon. Perhaps we will get the visitors we deserve.

1988 - Dimensions: A Casebook of Alien Contact


If they are not spacecraft, what else could UFOs be? What research framework can account for the physical effects, for the impact on society, for the appearance of the occupants, and for the seemingly absurd, dreamlike elements of their behavior? How can we explain that the phenomenon makes itself obvious to rural populations but avoids overt contact, choosing instead to deliver its message in bizarre abductions, in highly strange incidents? The theory that suggests itself, as we analyze and reanalyze the forces at play, goes beyond the notion that these are simply technological vehicles produced by advanced races on another planet.
Instead I believe that the UFO phenomenon represents evidence for other dimensions beyond spacetime; the UFOs may not come from ordinary space, but from a multiverse which is all around us, and of which we have stubbornly refused to consider the disturbing reality in spite of the evidence available to us for centuries. Such a theory is required in order to explain both the modern cases and the chronicles of Magonia – the abductions and the psychic component I believe there is a system around us that transcends time as it transcends space. Other researchers have reached the same conclusion. Some have come away deeply discouraged by the realization best summed up early in this century by Charles Fort, the author of The Book of the Damned: "We are property." Scholars of this phenomenon, [..] feel that we may be powerless before the complex and absurd capabilities of an alien intelligence that can masquerade as a Martian invader, as a primitive god, as the Blessed Virgin, as a fleet of airships.
The system I am speaking of, a system with mastery of space and time dimensions, may well be able to locate itself in outer space. Nonetheless, its manifestations cannot be spacecraft in the ordinary nuts-and-bolts sense. The UFOs are physical manifestations that simply cannot be understood apart from their psychic and symbolic reality. What we see here is not an alien invasion.
It is a spiritual system that acts on humans and uses humans.

The synchronicity and coincidences that abound in our lives suggest that the world may be organized like a randomized data base (the multiverse) rather than a sequential library (the four-dimensional universe of conventional physics).

Should we believe the witnesses who describe their experiences aboard UFOs? As I have pointed out throughout this book, there is no reason to doubt their personal integrity, their sincerity, and their honesty. The words of Dr. Simon about Betty and Barney Hill are still clear after twenty years: "The experience, undoubtedly, was real to them."
Does this mean we should take their recollections literally? I do not think so. These events took place in a reality we simply do not understand yet; they had an impact on a part of the human mind we have not discovered. I believe that the UFO phenomenon is one of the ways through which an alien form of intelligence of incredible complexity is communicating with us symbolically. There is no indication that it is extraterrestrial. Instead, there is mounting evidence that it has access to psychic processes we have not yet mastered or even researched. In the face of such interaction at the symbolic or mythical level, all the hypnosis sessions and the searches for implants may well be as futile as the questions of the inquisitors to the witches returning from the sabbath and the frantic search for the devil's mark on their bodies.

For many years, UFO phenomena have served as a support for human imagination, a framework for human tragedy, a fabric of human dreams. We react to them in our movies, our poetry, our music, our science fiction. And they react to us. They are not trying to communicate with a few individuals, with any group, with any government. Why should they? The phenomena function like an operational system of symbolic communication at a global level. There is something about the human race with which they interact, and we do not yet know what it is. They are part of the environment, part of the control system for human evolution. But their effects, instead of being just physical, are also felt in our beliefs. They influence what we call our spiritual life. They affect our politics, our history, our culture. They are a feature of our past. Undoubtedly, they are part of our future.
submitted by sfaer to UFObelievers [link] [comments]


2023.06.02 08:36 swatimehra2019 The Step-by-Step Guide to Open A Preschool Franchise in Jaipur

The Step-by-Step Guide to Open A Preschool Franchise in Jaipur

Make a future for your special one
The Indian education sector is going through a period of evolution. It is recognised as one of the most respected education systems on the global stage. And nationally, education policies are evolving to address the changing needs of the learners. There was a time when children were sent to school only after five years of age. However, in current times, preschools have become an inseparable part of the system. Since it is the first introduction of independence and an external learning experience for kids, opening a preschool franchise in Jaipur is essential.
So, if you’re passionate about giving children a smart education right from the beginning, this article can guide you.
A step-by-step guide to opening a play school franchise in Jaipur
  1. Develop a business plan - A business plan is the first step toward establishing any business in any sector. It includes your objective for the said business, your aims, a comprehensive financial plan including an estimated budget, risk analysis, target audience and more. A business plan can help your franchisor to distinguish you from the other applicants. It also helps in raising funds from investors.
  2. Acquire funding - The leading schools in India require a capital investment of at least 12 lakhs and above. Acquiring the location, setting up policies, developing a marketing plan and investing in the facilities and resources require a substantial financial investment.
  3. Location scouting - Location scouting is a vital step toward opening a play school franchise in Jaipur. Depending on your franchisor, location and real estate requirements may vary. For example, some of the leading preschools in India requires 180-250 square meter of area to approve a franchise request.
  4. Gather the facilities - Pre-schoolers require extra attention, support, care and love. Therefore, setting up a preschool requires the highest amount of facilities. In addition to adding child-lock safety, kid-sized furniture is also compulsory. Furthermore, you can stock up on toys, puzzles, fun blocks, props for their play etc. If your location has a ground, you can transform it into a playground by adding small slides, swings, sandbox etc.
  5. Structured marketing plan - In the current industry, the marketing plan includes traditional and social media planning, media buying, advertisement and public relations activities. A comprehensive marketing plan can help the franchise leverage the existing brand value and redefine the brand identity.
  6. Investing in resources - A play school franchise in Jaipur requires diverse resources, from automation to human capital. Updated technologies can help you to develop smart classrooms such as digital boards, audio and video devices etc. Automation can also help in the seamless operation of the franchise, for example, better employee management, resource allocation and management etc.
Conclusion
If you want to start an educational institution, opening a playschool franchise is the easiest and least complicated way. The franchisor usually has a well-established brand, staffing policies, organisational policies and a curriculum. Therefore, you can get extensive guidance and quick solutions from the franchisor. Furthermore, the chances of success are also higher with the leading educational institutes in India.
Bring quality education to your locality and open a preschool franchise in Jaipur today!
submitted by swatimehra2019 to u/swatimehra2019 [link] [comments]


2023.06.02 05:31 Taxi_Dancer ***excerpt*** TALES OF THE DEAD IN SPACE UNIVERSE: THE MARCHING DEAD CORPS ***excerpt*** (The first part of the follow up to the Dead In Space Series)

*** excerpt***
TALES OF THE DEAD IN SPACE UNIVERSE:
THE MARCHING DEAD CORPS
The Terran Space Marines...
They are, hands down, the most elite fighting force that has ever been sent into space to protect, defend, and conquer in the name of mankind. Highly trained in surface, subsurface, and space combat, they are almost unbeatable in a fight. In the nearly two-hundred and forty years of the existence of the Terran Space Marines, there is a near zero record of them ever being defeated in incursions, rebellions, insurrections, wars, and even encounters with hostile extraterrestrial entities.
They are, hands down, the best equipped of all branches of the Terran armed forces, each Terran Space Marine packing the most advanced arms, armor, and equipment that the intergalactic military defense industry can supply. Employed only for the toughest missions, the Terran Space Marines are only called upon when the Terran government needs the very best, most elite fighting force in the galaxy, to accomplish the most impossible jobs. Their exploits have been legendary, from a regiment of Space Marines recapturing Norfolk Orbital Station from a plague which turned the quarter million inhabitants into crazed demonic horrors, to a platoon of Space Marines who killed a literal giant skeletal death god on a planet named Willow’s World.
The elite Space Marines are the few, they are the proud, and they are the exact opposite of the person who I am. I am definitely not Space Marine material. Hell, I’m not even Terran Space Regular Army material. Naturally, there are more regular Army Joes than there are elite Space Marines, the Army being easily ten times the size as the Space Marines.
I’m a trooper in the most non-elite, non-glamorous, and most expendable of all the branches. I’m part of the FODERR (fodder), or the Federal Optional Deployment Enlisted Reserve Regiments, and ‘yes’, we are all painfully aware that we are literally ‘fodder’ both in name and in mission. Probably the only thing that the FODERR has going for it is that we are the largest branch of the Terran military, far larger than even the Army. To give you an idea of how numerically massive our numbers are, for every one Space Marine there are about ten regular Army GI Joes. And for every one regular Army soldier, there are about fifteen to twenty of us reservist troopers. Our numbers need to be far greater than the other branches of the service due to the genus doctrine which our genus political masters came up with which states that if the enemy has twenty high impact rounds for their weapon, we will send twenty-one reserve troopers to take the enemy down. Such is the gallows humor which the average trooper such as myself has grown used to. The fact is, the only thing that outnumbers us on the battlefield are usually the enemy and the number of rubber body bags which the Terran government sends with us.
Artillery prep? Never heard of it. Flanking maneuvers? Don’t make me laugh. Armor support? Sure, if you’re the enemy. Not for us, though. In the FODERR, we have just one combat doctrine which is, ‘Hey, diddle-diddle, straight up the middle.’ Have you ever seen a full on FODRR frontal assault? It’s pretty impressive for the first few minutes. After that, however, it usually turns into a slaughter. That’s why the FODERR Corps are known throughout the galaxy simply as The Marching Dead.
Okay, okay, okay... maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit about us not having artillery and armor support. After about a month of basic infantry training, those of us basic trainees who have shown the aptitude for it, basically those of us who can’t find their asses with both hands, are sent to artillery and armor school. And those few of us with the ability to find their asses with just one hand may even be selected to go to aerospace flight school as a gunship pilot. For the rest of us, however, after basic infantry training we were sent to advanced infantry training for an additional three weeks where we were taught to operate mortars, anti-armor and anti-aircraft weapons, correctly breaking those heavy weapons down, putting those heavy weapons on our backs, then marching that heavy shit from one end of the galaxy to the other.
Oh, and by the way, don’t think you are going to get out of the Marching Dead Corps by simply falling out of the training. Once you sign the contract to be in the Corps, you are in until your three years is up or until you become the creamy filled center of a rubber body bag. If you fall out of training, all you end up doing is earning a front row seat to the spearhead of the assault, and that tends to be detrimental to your 25% chance of surviving to the end of your three year contract.
So, you might ask, why would otherwise mentally stable young people sign on to become a FODERR Trooper? Well, to tell you the truth, most of us didn’t. Most of those who signed the contract, the ‘Federal Option’ of the Federal Optional Deployment Enlisted Reserve Regiment, are convicted criminals who are facing long jail sentences. And in this day and age, criminal offenses such as saying or thinking something which might be a threat to the Party is enough to land you a date in court standing in front of a judge and a recruitment officer with a Federal Option military contract in hand.
For me, I was working at the main city library as a lowly librarian assistant, trying to scratch out a living while also trying to pay my way through college indoctrination. Our local Party officials voted themselves a 40% annual raise so, naturally, the loyal citizens’ taxes increased. I had been saving to pay my loyal citizen tax from last year when the Party officials voted themselves a raise, and finally had enough to pay. I took a day off to drive to the Department of Taxation, a twelve story complex that took up a full three city blocks downtown. Parking was scarce, so I had to drive around the block for almost an hour before I landed a parking space. After waiting for another three hours, I finally paid the taxes that I owed which, I found out, went directly into a fund that paid for the annual vacation of the Party City Council to the tropical paradise of the Vega X System.
As I returned to my car, I was greeted by an enforcement officer writing me ticket for a parking violation. It seems that the back bumper of my old lemon-mobile extended 2.2 centimeters into the parking space behind me, meaning that I was obligated to pay for two parking spaces instead of one. I was charged on the spot for attempting to defraud the local party government and, two hours later, I was hauled to the twenty-two story tall Department of Justice building across the street which took up six city blocks and, after a thirty minute wait, was standing in front of a judge. I was faced with multiple criminal charges including illegally occupying more than my fair share of public spaces, attempting to defraud local party government, disrespect of party mandates, illegal storage of a personal vehicle on public property, and because of my race, I was also charged with sympathizing with white supremacy.
Unfortunately, because I had just paid my yearly tax increases, I did not have the money to pay for these additional penalties and fees, which added the additional charge against me of illegally not having enough money in my bank account to pay for additional government mandated taxes, penalties, and fees, the recommended amount being at least 45% of your total bank account.
The judge sentenced me to sixty-five years of hard labor on a mining asteroid in orbit around Saturn or, if I so chose, I could take the three year Federal Option. As my car was being impounded, I signed the contract placed in front of me by a military recruiting officer who told me that the storage fees for my piece of shit vehicle will be taken from my first year of federal service. Along with about another five hundred people between the ages of 18 to 40 who became instant convicted criminals that afternoon, I was led to the west wing of the Department of Justice building where we waited for three more days, sleeping on cots without blankets in large, freezing, open bays, subsisting on toast and potato soup twice a day while under constant armed guard. There were no separate spaces for males, females, and those who identified as part of the LGBTQXRWYVF779+++ community. Fights were rarely broken up by the guards, but the three dozen or so people who tried to escape were quickly rounded up and handcuffed to braces on the walls for their entire stay, not being released even when it was feeding time or if they had to relieve themselves in the filthy restrooms which could barely service one hundred people. After three days, the two thousand people who were there before us were taken away and finally it was our turn to board the cattle trucks which would take us directly to our FODERR infantry basic training sites.
Since the Terran government declared a war on terrorism against the Alpha Centauri Colonies, over seventy FODERR infantry basic training camps were opened throughout the country, mostly abandoned or underused military bases which had been reopened and expanded, together adding nearly a quarter million troopers annually to send into the wars in space beside the regular Army and the Space Marines.
So, almost exactly two months after I was declared a hardened parking violation criminal, I found myself stuffed into a rusty space freighter along with two hundred other troopers on our way to war in the Alpha Centauri system...
submitted by Taxi_Dancer to DrCreepensVault [link] [comments]


2023.06.02 03:25 abstutz Ally here with a question?

Hi everybody! I am the parent of a non binary sixteen y.o. And we proudly fly our pride flag on their behalf.
My question here is that I am a straight cis male, but consider myself an ally as I have a few trans employees who are awesome, and have some leaders working for me that are all in on DEI across the board. They have all taught me so much.
Oh, so the question, sorry. Is it appropriate for me to post anything to social that displays the ally flag image during pride month? Or is it better to not? I am hesitant because I don’t want to make it about me, but I want to show strong public support for the LGBTQ community.
Thanks for any and all feedback. I was raised in a very conservative family and shook off a lot of nonsense (to put it mildly) in my late teen years, and have learned a ton over the past 1.5 years since our child ‘came out’ to us.
I hope this question fits the group. It was one of the first I saw when I searched for pride. Maybe Reddit could be a good space for me to continue to educate myself
submitted by abstutz to Pride_and_Positivity [link] [comments]


2023.06.02 02:15 Zurxor 3rd cycle school list?

3rd round for applying because I am an absolute buffoon of a human being. Last cycle I got 4 interviews, currently on 2 waitlists (definitely not getting in at this point). Anyone have some recs what schools to apply to for an extremely mid application? I have nothing besides the most generic ECs and I have no clue how to make myself unique besides the generic emergency surgery essay in my primary.
Yes, I have worked on my writing. Apparently advisors and the writing center were not the place to go, Reddit said I should just trust Reddit's criticisms for my essays only. I have to work on interviews too but it obviously isn't the only reason I am not getting in.
ORM, city slicker
MCAT: 514 (one time) sGPA: 3.91 GPA: 3.91
Clinical (paid) - Patient Care Tech: 400 hours 2 EMT jobs: 450 hours total
Shadowing - Cardiologist: 80 hours cardiology Anesthesiology: 12 hours
Research - 1000+ hours + Poster presentation + 1 paper submitted, 1 in the works
Pre-pharmacy secretary 0 (did some volunteering in here too): 150 hours
Clinical lab (useless for med-school besides being a leadership experience): 1650 hours
Triage Clinic Volunteer: 15 hours + 120 hours anticipated
Peer Leader (tutor): 100 hours
Phi Beta Kappa (useless!), sales associate (kinda whatever)
If I don't get in round 3 I'd have to retake the MCAT which is absolutely not happening so I'm planning on doing a masters in health informatics as a plan B.
Bolded are places I got interviews from
2021-2022 List
Albany Medical College, Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science, Florida State University College of Medicine, Howard University College of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, New York Medical College, New York University Long Island School of Medicine, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Northwestern University The Feinberg School of Medicine, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, Rush Medical College of Rush University Medical Center, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, TCU and UNTHSC SOM, The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Illinois College of Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, and Saint Louis University School of Medicine
2022-2023 List
Albany Medical College, Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University, Emory University School of Medicine, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Loyola University Chicago, Medical College of Wisconsin, New York Medical College, New York University Long Island School of Medicine, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, Robert Larner, M.D., College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, Rush Medical College of Rush, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Tufts University School of Medicine, Tulane University School of Medicine, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School
submitted by Zurxor to premed [link] [comments]


2023.06.01 21:45 fidelityportland TriMet's problems are exponentially worse than anyone is talking about

Public opinion of TriMet's decisions have been pretty mixed, mostly because TriMet's decisions are so convoluted that they can be a real challenge to understand. In reality, Metro and Portlanders need to have a bigger civic conversation about the future of TriMet, looking at the big picture. We have 3 looming existential crises of TriMet to be concerned about that are bigger than revenue dips, crime, or homeless people.
Civic leaders and the public are focused on a quick "fix" for TriMet revenue drops - even though we've seen this coming for a long time, it's very predictable that TriMet's Board of Directors acts at the last minute. Also, very predictably, TriMet's Board opted for a fare increase because over the previous 20 years that's been a go-to answer to every problem (except for that one time they killed Fareless Square). The politically appointed boards of TriMet and Metro lack the unique specialized knowledge of the issues I'll bring up here. If TriMet knows about these larger issues, they're obviously burring it from public view. In the short term, increasing fares is like putting fresh paint on a house that's on fire; in this situation, that paint is HIGHLY flammable.
First - fare hikes as a tactic is a brain-dead move. Just the most utterly stupid and self-sabotaging response to a looming budget shortfall. I'm dwelling on this because it illustrates their terrible decision-making, which is functional proof they have no idea what they're doing. Some of the core reasons for this:
Reading comments about the fare hikes, most of the public thinks TriMet is dealing with a safety or utilization issue. Both of these are 100% true: soft-on-crime progressives have wholly obliterated the working class perception of TriMet safety - there are so many different ways this has happened, but we should thank so many people in the media and political class: Ana del Rocio's crying wolf about racism in fare inspections (and the media entertaining it), or Mike Schmidt deinstitutionalizing of the justice system, or Legislature's inability to act on the massive mental health crisis and drug addiction crisis in Oregon. No matter the underlying cause, we have a system where deranged violent mentally ill tweakers can be disruptive on the train, but working-class people face a $250 fine if they can't afford a $2.50 ($2.80) ticket. TriMet is less safe, especially the light rail and bus lines. We could hypothetically talk about various policy and infrastructure changes, such as turnstiles and security guards - but pragmatically, this won't do shit when our society has adopted a philosophy of transforming the urban core into an open-air insane asylum and opened the doors to the prisons. This safety issue is well beyond TriMet's scope, and even if there was consensus among TriMet and Metro to solve this, the entire justice system and Legislature is still broken.

Fare Hikes and Utilization is the Red Herring - Let's talk about TriMet's future

In reality, multiple design choices made decades ago set us up for failure. But we also have to thank brain-dead progressive lunatics and corrupt politicos who have steered our transit decision-making into the ground.
There are three specific issues I'm going to talk about, with each becoming more consequential and disastrous for TriMet:

The strategic design of TriMet's system is broken, and it's been broken before.

If you looked at a map of TriMet's bus and rail system, you'd see a design pattern often referred to as a "Radial Design" or sometimes a "Hub And Spoke" design. The Hub and Spoke strategy is building our transit system around centralized locations to connect to other routes. For Portland the idea is to go downtown (or sometimes a Park and Ride) where you can connect to your next destination. This is why the majority of bus routes and all the max routes go downtown, to our Transit Mall and Pioneer Square.
Downtown planning was a smart idea in the 1960s when it was coupled with Main Street economic theory and prototype urban development zones - all of this wrapped up in the 1972 Downtown Plan policy. During these decades, the primary economic idea of urban revitalization was that downtown cores could provide better business climates and shopping districts that amplify economic activity synergistically. In other words, packing all the office jobs and luxury shopping in one area is good for workers, business, and civic planning.
All very smart ideas in yester-year, so TriMet became focused on serving the downtown business community myopically. This myopia became so paramount that it was considered illegitimate (actually taboo, borderline illegal) if you used a Park & Ride facility to park and NOT ride downtown. Amanda Fritz once explained that we couldn't expand Barbur Transit Center because that would result in students parking at Barbur Transit Center and riding the bus to PCC Sylvania. This view implies that TriMet exists only to service downtown workers, not the students, not the impoverished mom needing to go to a grocery store.
How does TriMet's hub and spoke design represent its purpose?
Portland's unspoken rule of transit philosophy is that jobs pay for the system (remember, business payroll taxes pay for most of it), so TriMet should be focused on serving people utilizing it for their job - employers pay for it, and they get value out of it. But this is both unspoken (never said aloud) and largely unobserved. The whole idea of TriMet as a social service to serve low-income people, to help impoverished people - well, those ideas were just lukewarm political rhetoric that is tossed out as soon as some Undesirable with tattered clothing reeking of cigarettes gets aboard - then Portlanders jump right back "this is for workers only!" Sadly, there hasn't ever been a public consensus of why TriMet exists because I could equally argue that TriMet's purpose isn't serving the working class; it's actually vehicle emissions reductions - but here, too, reality contradicts that this is the purpose for why we operate TriMet. TriMet's real purpose seems to be "Spend money on lofty capital projects" and if we want to be cynical about it, we can elaborate "…because large capital projects enable grift, embezzlement, and inflating property values for developers."
We haven't always depended upon a hub and spoke design. A great article from Jarrett Walker written in 2010 on his Human Transit blog explains in "The Power and Pleasure of Grids"
Why aren't all frequent networks grids? The competing impulse is the radial network impulse, which says: "We have one downtown. Everyone is going there, so just run everything to there." Most networks start out radial, but some later transition to more of a grid form, often with compromises in which a grid pattern of routes is distorted around downtown so that many parallel routes converge there. You can see this pattern in many cities, Portland for example. Many of the lines extending north and east out of the city center form elements of a grid, but converge on the downtown. Many other major routes (numbered in the 70s in Portland's system) do not go downtown, but instead complete the grid pattern. This balance between grid and radial patterns was carefully constructed in 1982, replacing an old network in which almost all routes went downtown.
Over the years the grid pattern was neglected in favor of a downtown-focused investment strategy. To a real degree it made practical sense: that's where the jobs were. But again, this is the presumption that TriMet and Mass Transit ought to service workers first, and there's not much consensus on that. But while we can't decide on TriMet's purpose, we can absolutely agree on one important thing: Downtown is dead.
No 5-star hotel is going to fix it. (As of writing, I'm not even convinced that this mafia-connected bamboozle of public fraud will open.) No "tough-on-crime" DA to replace Mike Schmidt, like Nathan Vasquez, will fix downtown. It's not JUST a crime problem: most of the problems we deal with today mirror the problems facing Portland in the 1960s, especially our inability to invest in good infrastructure people actually want to use. That's on top of crime, vandalism, and an unhealthy business ecosystem.
IF we want to maintain TriMet (and that's a big IF, for reasons I'll explain below), then it will be focused on something other than downtown. We need to move back to a grid-design transit system, as this is a much easier way to use transit to get around the city, no matter your destination. If TriMet continues to exist and operate fleets in 20-30 years, this is the only way it exists - because it will just be too inconvenient to ride downtown as a side quest to your destination, especially as we look at 10, 20, 30, 40 years from now.
Of course, we can only transform some parts of the transit infrastructure this way, and there are no uplifting and moving train tracks here. So light rail doesn't have a future in the grid system - but even without the grid system, light rail is doomed.

The fatal flaws of light rail in Portland.

I want to preface this by saying I like light rail as a strategy, it's not a bad system or bad civic investment. I could write another 5,000-word essay on why Seattle did an excellent job with light rail and the specific decisions Portland made wildly incorrectly. In transit advocacy the wacktavists inappropriately categorized skeptics of Portland's light rail as some soft bigotry - as if you're racist if you don't like Portland's light rail - even though, ironically, most light rail systems tend to be built for the preference of white culture and white workers, precisely what happened here in Portland and most cities (but this is all a story for another time).
Portland's light rail system has a capacity problem and has dealt with this capacity problem quietly for the last 20+ years. When you see the capacity problem, you can quickly understand this light rail system won't work in the future. All the other smart cities in the world that designed light rail realized they needed big long trains to move many people. Portland decided to limit the train car length to the size of our city blocks to save construction costs - and this has always been a fatal flaw.
Portland's highest capacity train car is our Type 5, according to Wikipedia it has a seating capacity of 72 and an overall capacity of 186 per train car, meaning each train can accommodate up to 372, but even these numbers seem unreliable (*edit). Let's compare:
Portland's light rail lines have roughly the same people moving capacity as a single lane of a highway, maybe marginally more, maybe marginally less. These other cities have a light rail system that can move the same amount of people as an entire 3-lane highway.
You might suspect that Portland could simply run trains more frequently - but nah, that's impossible because the trains run through the central core of downtown Portland, and they're blocked by the real interfaces with road traffic and bottlenecks. TriMet/PBOT/Metro has offered rosy ideas that we could hypothetically run cars every 90 seconds, 2 minutes, 4 minutes, or 6 minutes (depending upon who you ask) - but these are garbage numbers invented out of thin air. For example, you could stand at Pioneer Courthouse Square at 4:50pm on a Wednesday in 2016 - there was a train opening doors to load passengers, and you could visibly see the next train at Pioneer Place Mall pulling into the station behind. Trains were running at approximately a 3 to 4 minute at peak - but on paper, TriMet will claim anything, as they don't give a shit about lying to the public. But the bigger problem is that trains were full. You might have to wait 90 minutes to find a train that offers a seat. And god forbid you had a bike.
I'm not making this very real capacity problem, Metro even acknowledges:
At the busiest hours of the day, 40 light rail trains must cross the river and traverse downtown – one train every 90 seconds. As the region grows and the demand for light rail increases, the region will need at least 64 MAX trains through downtown every hour, more than one train each minute. Our current system can't support that change.
Suppose you're silly enough to trust government propaganda. In that case, you can read the details of Metro study on this in 2019. If we assumed their numbers added up, it's just fucking impossible to run 62 trains per hour, because passenger loading and unloading can take a full minute (sometimes longer). So unless we want to apply substantial g-forces onto the passengers, the train isn't accelerating out of the stops fast enough. Not to mention how unreliable this whole system would be if a sole tweaker, bike rider, or person with a stroller held up the system for 2 minutes.
This is why the bottom line needs to be upfront about capacity - quoting Metro's study here:
Today MAX is limited to 2-car trains because of the length of downtown city blocks. A tunnel could allow for longer trains if the stations outside the downtown core are retrofitted. In the long-term, this could greatly increase MAX capacity.
Do you see that trick? Build a tunnel, yes - but the entire system has to be retrofitted. Literally every light rail station would need to be redesigned, the lines themselves recalculated for larger heavier trains - and extending platforms at Willow Creek might be simple enough, but how in the living fuck is Metro going to afford to expand the Zoo stop? Doubling the size of that platform would cost $500 million alone.
If the city weren't full of cheap dipshits, we would have elevated or buried our light rail lines in the 1980s or 90s, enabling longer train cars to run. Yes, we all knew back then that it was the best practice not to have light rail running on the street - it's less safe, less reliable, runs slower, and limits train car size. Oops.
Just to keep TriMet's own bullshit inflated utopian vision, it would mean spending another billion dollars just to unfuck downtown, bypass an aging bridge, and potentially allow a marginally higher volume of trains - which again is a band-aid on a mortal wound.
The real buried lede is that to add extra train cars means retrofitting all the stops in the system - that's tens of billions of dollars. You can argue costs, but Metro knows we need to do this. It means shutting down the system for a year or years while construction and retrofits happen. It's fucking outrageous. Is this system worth of people per line worth 20, 30, or 40 billion dollars? Fuck no, it ain't. Again, if we had a raging metropolis of industry and commerce downtown, we could reasonably entertain the idea for a moment - but we don't and never will again.
Some folks might argue that if we kill off the light rail system we'd lose out on all those lucrative Transit Oriented Developments. Originally the public was told that Transit Oriented Development strategy would cause a massive infusion of private investment because the light rail was so damn lucrative and desirable for Richard Florida's Creative Class. Turns out the Creative Class is now called today the Laptop Class, and they don't give a flying fuck about street cars, light rail, or walking scores - because most can't be bothered to put pants on during their "commute" from bed to desk. TOD was all a fantasy illusion from the beginning, as multiple studies about Portland commuters showed that college-educated white folks riding Max were equally comfortable riding their bike as a substitute for the same commute. All of these billions of dollars was to accommodate white fare-weather bikers. So here's my hot take on transit: pave over the rail lines and put in bike lanes, and boy, then you'd have a bike system to give folks like Maus a hardon. But of course, Bike Portland would complain because their focus isn't biking; they exist only to favor all poorly thought utopian transit ideas.
Another group of Max/TOD advocates would claim that TOD is better for disabled and impoverished people. And yeah, there's truth there, but see my entire argument above about the Hub & Spoke design of TriMet being the antithesis of transit as a social service. If you believe that TriMet should serve low-income people, you must advocate for a bus-centric grid design.
But even if you're a die-hard believer in light rail - there's another inevitable reality coming that is the nail in the coffin.

Autonomous vehicles will replace mass transit faster than the automobile replaced the horse.

I work in advanced technology, and the thing about tech is that the public and politicians deny that it's going to be there until the majority of the public finally experiences it. You could say this about personal computers, internet, cloud compute, electric cars, smartphones, distributed ledger (cryptocurrency), AI, and driverless vehicles.
Schrodinger's technology doesn't exist until it's measured in an Apple store or your mother asks you for tech support.
No one thought AI was really real until ChatGPT did their kid's homework, and today most people are coming to terms with the fact that ChatGPT 3.5 could do most people's jobs. And that's not even the most advanced AI, that's the freeware put out by Microsoft, they have paywalls to access the real deal.
In 2018 I rode in my colleague's Tesla in self-driving mode from downtown Portland to Top Golf in Hillsboro. We started our journey at the surface parking lot on the west side of the Morrison Bridge. He used his phone to tell the car to pull out of the parking spot and to pick us up. Then he gave the car the address, and it drove us the entire way without any human input necessary. The only time he provided feedback was to touch the turn signal to pass a slow car on the highway. People think self-driving isn't here - but it is - and it's gotten exponentially better and will continue to do so. People will complain and moan about idealized, utopian, pedantic "level 5" full self-driving, how none of it exists or could exist, as a Tesla passes them on the road and the driver is half asleep.
Of course, Portland and every major city have also thought deeply about self-driving technology, and a few places have implemented self-driving solutions - but so far, none of these are really at scale. Though it will be a short time before cost-conscious cities go all-in.
TriMet kicked around the idea of using an autonomous bus for a leg of the trip of the Southwest Corridor project, connecting a segment of the light rail route to the community college. It was bafflingly stupid and short-sighted to think they could use it in this niche application but that it wouldn't open the floodgates for a hundred different applications that eviscerate TriMet's labor model. The simplest example of autonomous operation would be to operate the light rail systems - because they don't make turns, all we need is an AI vision service to slam on the breaks if necessary - that technology has existed for 20+ years. We could retrofit the entire train system in about 3 to 6 months - replace every Max operator with a security guard, and maybe people would ride the Max again? But I digress.
Let's speculate about the far-future, some 5, 10, or 20 years from now: your transit options will expand significantly. The cost will decrease considerably for services using automated vehicles.
You'll look at your options as:
Just a few years into this future we'll see a brand new trend, one that already exists: a shared autonomous vehicle like a privately operated bus. For example, Uber Bus - it already exists as a commuter option in some cities, it's just not autonomous yet. The significant benefit of an autonomous bus is that these shared vehicles will utilize HOV lanes very commonly, and commuting in an autonomous vehicle will be as fast as driving to work in your manually operated car while also being less expensive.
Simultaneously automobile accidents in autonomous vehicles will be virtually non-existent, and insurance companies will start to increase prices on vehicles that lack AI/smart assisted safety driving features. Public leaders will see the value of creating lanes of traffic on highways dedicated explicitly to autonomous vehicles so that they can drive at much higher speeds than manually operated traffic. Oregon won't lead the way here, but wait until Texas or one of the Crazy States greenlights a speed limit differential, and self-driving vehicles have a speed limit of 90, 120, or 150 miles per hour. You might think "accidents would be terrible and deadly" but there will be fewer accidents in the autonomous lane than in manual lanes. At this point, it will be WAY faster to take an autonomous vehicle to your work.
Purchasing power of consumers will decrease while the cost of vehicles will increase (especially autonomous vehicles), making ownership of any vehicle less likely. Frankly, the great majority of people won't know how to drive and will never learn to - just like how young people today don't know how to use manual transmission. However, fleets of autonomous vehicles owned by companies like Tesla, Uber, and Lyft will benefit from scale and keep their autonomous bus fleets operating at low cost. This will lead to a trend where fewer and fewer people will own an automobile, and fewer people even bother learning how to drive or paying the enormous insurance cost.... while also depending upon automobiles more than we do today.
Eventually, in the distant future, manually driven vehicles will be prohibited in urban areas as some reckless relic from a bygone era.
Cities and public bodies don't have to be cut out of this system if they act responsibly. For example, cities could start a data brokering exchange where commuters provide their commuting data (i.e., pick-up point, destination, arrival time). The government uses either a privatized fleet or a publicly owned fleet of autonomous vehicles to move as many people as possible as often as possible. Sort of a publicly run car-pool list - or a hyper-responsive bus fleet that runs for the exact passengers going to exact locations. A big problem companies like Uber, Lyft, and Tesla will have is that they'll lack market saturation to optimize commuting routes - they'll be able to win unique rides, but the best way they can achieve the lowest cost service model is these super predictable and timely commuter riders. The more data points and riders, the more optimization they can achieve. These companies can look at the data for as many people as possible and bid for as many routes as possible - optimizing for convenience, time, energy usage, emissions, etc. The public will voluntarily participate if this is optimized to get the cheapest ride possible. If the government doesn't do this, the private sector will eventually.
As a parallel, no one today even considers how Metro runs garbage collection. No one cares. And if you didn't like Metro's trash service, if you needed a better service for unique needs, you go procure that on your own. Likewise, you wouldn't care about the quality of the commuting trip as long as it's up to some minimal standards of your class expectations, it's reliable, nearly as quick as driving your own vehicle, and it seems reasonably affordable.
If the public ran this data exchange, fees could subsidize lower-income riders. This is a theory on what a TriMet like system or mass transit system could look like in a primarily autonomous world where most people don't own their own or drive an automobile.
This system would be far from perfect, opening up all sorts of problems around mobility. However, it's hard to see how autonomous vehicles will not obliterate the value proposition of mass transit.

Another narrative on the same story.

As the working class moves to autonomous vehicles, transit agencies will collect fewer and fewer fares - prices and taxes will rise, creating a cycle of failure. As a result, some cities will make buses self-driving to cut costs. It could start with Tokyo, Shanghai, Oslo, et al. Again, it's unlikely that Portland or Oregon will be the first movers on this, but when cities start laying off hundreds of mass transit operators and cutting fares to practically nothing, there will be substantial public pressure to mimic locally. It will be inhumane, it will be illiberal, to make those impoverished bus-riding single mothers pay premiums. As most of the fleet becomes autonomous, responsive, and disconnected from labor costs, the next question arises: why do we still operate bus routes? Why big buses instead of smaller and nimble vehicles?
This alternative story/perspective leads to the same outcome: we figure out where people are going and when they need to get there - then dispatch the appropriate amount of vehicles to move that exact number of people as efficiently as possible.
But our local government getting its act together on all this is outside the world of possibility.
In a practical sense, we're going to see history repeat itself. Portland's mass transit history is about private and public entities over-extending themselves, getting too deep in debt on a flawed and outdated idea. As a result, the system collapses into consolidation or liquidation. Following this historical pattern, TriMet/Metro won't respond to changing conditions fast enough, and laughably stupid ideas like cranking up taxes or increasing ridership fares will continue to be the only option until the media finally acknowledges these groups are insolvent. I just hope we don't spend tens of billions of dollars propping up this zombie system before we can soberly realize that we made some mistakes and these vanity-laden projects 20 and 30 years ago need to die.
You see, the biggest flaw with TriMet isn't the design, it needs to be outpaced by technology, it's that the people making decisions at TriMet and Metro are going to make the politically expedient decisions, not the right decisions. They won't redesign, and they won't leverage technology for cost savings, so this charade will just get going along until the media simply declares they're insolvent.
Back to fares for a second - the media happily reprints TriMet's horseshit take about "The higher fares will bring in an estimated $4.9 million in annual revenue starting next year, the report says." Just sort of amazing to me there's no skepticism about this number - but most spectacular is no media considerations about alternative solutions. For example, I could tell TriMet how to save $9,548,091 next year - a useless program primarily utilized by white middle-class folks who own alternative methods of transport - and this would inconvenience way less transit-dependent people than raising fares. But, that's off the table - we're not even developing a decision matrix for when we kill the blackhole of money known as WES.
submitted by fidelityportland to PortlandOR [link] [comments]


2023.06.01 21:00 DiscoverDurham Things to Do in Durham this Weekend (Jun 1-4)

Check out our full Durham events calendar.
If you'd like to add an event to our calendar, submit an event here. Please check with the event organizers to see if events change due to weather. Have a great weekend!

June Featured Events

53rd Annual Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival at Rock Quarry Park
1776 at DPAC
PLAYlist Concert Series: Raíces, Rutas, y Ritmos at Durham Central Park

Venue Weekend Schedules

Events at The Carolina Theatre
Events at The Pinhook
Events at Motorco Music hall
Events at The Fruit
Live Music at Blue Note Grill
Events at Moon Dog Meadery
Live Music at Sharp 9 Gallery
Events at Arcana
Events at Rubies on Five Points
Events at Durty Bull Brewing Company
Live Comedy at Mettlesome
Events at Boxyard RTP
Events at Glass Jug Beer Lab in RTP
Events at Glass Jug Beer Lab in Downtown Durham

Local Sports

Durham Bulls Home Stand at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park
Running of the Bulls 8K at Historic Durham Athletic Park

Thursday, Jun 1

Thirsty Thursdays at Dashi
Vinyl Night with DJ Deckades at Gizmo Brew Works
Boulders & Brews Meetup at Triangle Rock Club - Durham
Trivia Night w/Big Slow Tom at Clouds Brewing Brightleaf Square

Friday, Jun 2

Tasting at Ten at Counter Culture Coffee
Garden Printing: Cyanotypes and Hammered Flower Prints on Fabric at Duke Campus Farm

Saturday, Jun 3

Durham Farmers’ Market at Durham Central Park
South Durham Farmers' Market at Greenwood Commons Shopping Center
parkrun Durham at Southern Boundaries Park
Hayti Walking History Tour at Hayti Heritage Center
Nasher Community Celebration at the Nasher Museum of Art
MAKRS Pop-up at Durham Central Park
Crafternoons at Gizmo Brew Works
Beaver Queen Pageant — Once Upon a Wetland... at Duke Park

Sunday, Jun 4

Al Strong Presents Jazz Brunch at Alley Twenty Six
Art-n-Soul Market at Mystic Farm & Distillery
Public Tour at Duke Chapel
Trivia at Navigator Beverage Co.

Running Art Exhibits

upstART Gallery: A Jim Lee Project at Pop Box Gallery
Exhibit at 21c Museum Hotel
“Extra-Spectral” at the Durham Art Guild Truist Gallery
Donna Stubbs, Featured Artist at 5 Points Gallery
Chieko Murasugi & Renzo Ortega at Craven Allen Gallery
Spirit in the Land at the Nasher
Andy Warhol: You Look Good in Pictures at the Nasher
Art of Peru at the Nasher
submitted by DiscoverDurham to bullcity [link] [comments]


2023.06.01 21:00 Spartawolf Galactic High (Chapter 72)

First/Previous
Okay everyone. Chiyo began, as all members of the household settled down and sat cross legged in a circle in the living room. We're going to try out a guided meditation. It should help with stress and anxiety, and it's really relaxing! Start by gently breathing deeply through your nose, and then keep repeating this until the guide tells you what to do next…
It was getting late in the evening, and Jack had only returned about an hour ago, having very much lost track of time before he finally made his way back. He had a little trouble finding a path back through the districts despite being able to use a marker on his commlink to pinpoint the location of home. The hot tub, which was slightly larger than Jack had expected, had been mostly finished by the time he arrived. However, due to several employee absences the team leader apologised and promised to finish the last of the plumbing the following afternoon after the group got back from school, which Alora quickly planned out with them. Sephy had swept the area for any possible bugs or electronic tags an undercover enemy could plant, but had fortunately found nothing.
A few of them looked sceptical as Chiyo put on a guided meditation program with some relaxing music in the background, which to Jack sounded like the most bizarre series of timbres and pitches unlike anything he had heard. It had the peaceful, slow quality of meditative music from earth, but it still jarred him somewhat due to its unnatural nature.
Still, he tried to follow Chiyo’s instructions as the Ilithii floated back to the circle to sit next to Sephy, who already looked like she was having trouble concentrating, though she made the effort for Chiyo’s sake. Next to him, Nika was already controlling and slowing down her breathing along with him, both of them semi-used to the concept of meditation already, and it looked like Alora was doing something more akin to prayer. The twins and Vanya seemed to be able to cope enough as well, all having some kind of magical ability that required some basic kind of mental concentration.
“Now, bring your attention to your physical form…” The soothing voice of the instructor gently called out over the background music. “Feel your body pressing into the surface beneath you, and take note of any areas of tension or discomfort…”
“I’m well aware of my injuries you dumb bit-” Nika grumbled before Chiyo psychically reminded her to be quiet during the meditation.
“Do not try to change anything with these sensations, merely observe them…”
Relax Sephy… Chiyo quietly told the Skritta, who was slightly fidgeting. Try not to overthink it!
“Now return your attention to your breathing, noticing all the sensations as you inhale, then gently exhale…” The voice continued. They did so, though by the sounds some of them were making they were overdoing it.
“As you continue to breath, bring yourself mentally to your peaceful place. This could be any location that brings you a sense of tranquillity and relaxation. Now imagine yourself in this place, surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells that make it special to you…”
Jack’s mind brought forth an image of home. His mother, his father, his brothers, his sister, his grandparents all surrounding him. He was safe, he was with his family. He had his whole life ahead of him…
And it had all been taken away from him.
Jack squirmed involuntarily as his mind was dragged back to a dark place, his grief threatening to overwhelm him again…
“As you bask in this tranquil scene, allow yourself to let go of your worries and concerns that may be weighing on your mind. Imagine them fading away, leaving you at ease…”
All the faces of the people he would never see again stared at him coldly, judgingly. He had committed acts of horror he never thought he would ever have to commit. Even if there was a chance he could return to Earth, could his family even recognise the shell of a person he had become? What would they say?
“When you are ready, take a deep breath, and as you exhale, slowly open your eyes, and reorient yourself with your surroundings. Carry this sense of calm and relaxation with you into the rest of your day…”
As the guided meditation came to an end Jack quickly got to his feet to get a drink.
“Jack, is everything alright?” Alora asked him in alarm.
“All good.” He lied. “My legs are just a bit stiff, and the meditation was a bit hard.”
“Yeah I get what you mean.” Sephy used her wings to help her kick up. “I don’t really understand the whole ‘sit-and-do-nothing’ thing to be honest, it’s like I need to be actually doing something. But hell, I still gave it a go…”
Thanks for trying it anyway Sephy! Chiyo smiled.
“So what do we do now?” Nika asked everyone, as Jack returned with some canned drinks for all of them. “Still got a few hours before we probably need to go to bed."
“Nothing exhausting, please. Let’s just watch a movie?” Alora suggested after a few seconds of nobody contributing anything.
Perhaps some of our new housemates have a suggestion? Chiyo asked, looking to Vanya and the two Squa’Kaar, who hadn’t been confident enough to suggest anything as the newest additions to the household.
“I’m only a temporary housemate, I still have my own place.” Vanya smiled softly. But maybe WageMage?”
“That’s a good classic to start with!” Sephy grinned. “Have you seen it before Jack?”
“Can’t say I have, the Temple of Hope didn’t really have movie nights.” Jack reminded her with a smile. “What’s it about?”
“It’s basically a comedy film about an office worker that uses magic to get ahead and prank her bosses!” Vanya told him. “But you really need to watch it!”
“I’ll get some snacks.” Alora called, quickly grabbing a few bags of sweets out of one of the cupboards while the others tried to get comfortable on the sofa. It was large enough for all of them…just about.
“We should probably go furniture shopping at some point.” Sephy pointed out the obvious problem. “Especially if you’re gonna offer refuge for those that need it, Alora.”
“Damn, well, we are gonna hit a few of the rubbish heaps and scrapyards for materials we can use to fix up the shuttle, and anything else that we could use for home improvements.” Nika reasoned. “We even got this sofa from one of them though it was a bitch to drag all the way back here!”
At least we have more people that could help now. Maybe even more depending on who joins us. Chiyo added. Because I remember helping you spend half the day dragging that here, and I swore never to do manual labour ever again!
“Well, perhaps we can find a better way this time.” Alora concluded as she came back with the sweets while everyone sat down, and took a few blankets to warm themselves up with. Jack took one of the ends of the sofa so he wouldn’t be squished between two people this time, and Vanya was quick to sit next to him, even putting an arm around him, which he wasn’t opposed to. The thick, warm brown fur of the Chuna made him feel comfortable, and he subconsciously leaned in and relaxed.
“Ooof!” He grunted, as Sephy sat on his lap, pulling the blanket over them and cuddling up to him. Jack reflexively put his other arm around her to keep her in place, lamenting that he could no longer reach for the bag of sweets until Chiyo telepathically sent one his way.
“Hey Chiyo, could I have one as well?” Sephy cheekily asked the Ilithii.
Sure! Chiyo agreed, sending another sweet floating towards Sephy, before pinging it off her forehead,
“Ow!” Sephy grunted as they started the movie.
Jack appreciated the humour and plot of the movie, with the hapless office worker using magic to explode her boss’s tea, and accidently making her manager believe his wife was cheating on him, only to later discover that she actually was. He could see why this movie was a favourite with the girls, though he didn’t know if it would be well received on earth. Though this film was well written and amusing (despite him not understanding much of the humour), he could imagine it being received as too woke back on Earth. When the plot eventually evolved into the protagonist trying desperately to avoid the investigations of the alien equivalent of ‘HR’, it really ramped up the humour, which had even him chuckling on occasion.
However he was more subdued as the others laughed freely at the shenanigans, his mind going back to the horrible experiences he'd had, and his grief from being separated from his family. Yet all around him, like a beacon of hope was a home full of friends having a good time with him.
Could he get used to this?
Yeah. He thought he could.
*****
Svaartal snarled as his arms ever so slowly pushed the weighted bar up, feeling the burn in his chest and arms as he repeated the motion, over and over, his heart pounding as he pushed himself to lift more weight than he had ever lifted before with his natural strength. Forcing himself beyond his limits, he felt his muscles straining as his breaths became more and more laboured. He knew he was overdoing it, but he didn’t care. He was determined to become stronger, more focused, more powerful. He had Carrow watching over Svaarti, so this gave him the opportunity to really cut loose.
Devil’s Daughter would come for him and Svaarti again. He barely won their previous encounter and it took all he had to stand a chance against the raw power of her spells. Next time he would be better. He had heard the words she spoke to his sister, calling Svaarti a thief, though as far as he was concerned, if his mother looted the Golden Staff during the Demonfire War from the Stygians, it was hers by right of conquest. Not that the Devilspawn would care. If Devil’s Daughter was going to target him, Svaartal had no doubt she would attempt to do so through his sister, so he needed to be ready.
He had been pushing himself harder and harder ever since he first faced Frost to a standstill in that ambush, fully expecting to face him again soon, especially after the Drow of House Mal’Kar recruited him. He had been thoroughly changed by that experience, and he suspected the Outsider was changed by it too. From open hostility towards one another in their first week to caution in the next, it was a strange dance the two of them did.
But now?
Something about the Klown attack had changed him even more. For just a moment the two of them had fought side by side for a common cause, and though he did strongly consider it, he didn’t stick with the human. Despite that however, the words Frost told him certainly stuck with him.
Help me stop them.
And he did, didn’t he? He stopped to rescue several of the trapped partygoers and had cut them a path to safety, only to then decimate the Klown numbers with his most powerful spells. He had been considered a hero of the battle, alongside Frost himself and the dragon-bitch that officially kicked him out of the Red Legion. In a strange way, it felt…gratifying?
‘Though the greatest hero that night may not recover from her sacrifice…’ Svaartal thought to himself sadly. Why, Svaarti?’
He got up from the bench and slowly slunk over to the tension cable, cranking up the weight as high as he dared. Taking a deep breath he grabbed the handle with both hands and pulled, yanking the cable over his shoulder before releasing, then doing the same exercise over his other shoulder.
His memories of his fight with Devil’s Daughter came back to him, though he cursed not having a recording so he could better recall. Many of his actions had been instinctual, so much so that he could barely remember what he even did in several instants. He was fortunate that he kept a versatile array of spells prepared and ready for use in any situation, though it was his blade and quick thinking with his illusion and spacial magic that allowed him to slip through the Stygian’s defences.
But though he focused on the fight, her words still rang out in his mind.
‘Why the hell do you hate my people so much?!’
Dumb question. The Devilspawn killed his mother, and even after the Demonfire War many of their kind went rabid, committing horrific acts on innocent people, just the same as they did when Azazel, Lord of Torment was still alive.
But something about the sheer hurt in Devil’s Daughter’s expression tugged away at the back of his mind, like an itch that wouldn’t go away. Perhaps it was…
He was interrupted by the noise of someone approaching. Letting go of the handle, the cable he was pulling quickly snapped back to ping against the weights as he collapsed to the floor, his body dangerously overheated and his breath coming in ragged gasps. He quickly activated the enchantment of his Riverspray Ring, sending out a cloud of cooling mist that instantly made him feel slightly better.
“Good evening, Dextra.” Svaartal greeted the drow politely as he slinked over to where he had left a towel.
“Hey.” She replied, before something caught her eye and she pointed to his bare back. “What happened there?”
“What do you mean?” Svaartal stiffened at the sensitive question, having an idea what Dextra was referring to.
“By the gods…” She muttered. “Your scales are cracked and fucked up, and you’ve got a lot of scars, how?”
“I am aware that my scales need grooming.” Svaartal replied tersely, trying to be patient with the inquisitive drow despite the sensitive subject. “However I did not have anyone to teach me how to do it growing up. If it displeases you I will attempt to rectify the issue…”
“I’m not my sister, so you can shut up.” Dextra snorted. “You’ve got a fuckton of scars too, that can’t be good for you…”
“It is not.” Svaartal growled in anger before he quickly steadied himself, realising he was talking to a Drow Noble. “My apologies Lady Mal’Kar, what did you wish from me?”
Dextra snorted at the sudden formality, but she paid it no mind as she showed him her commlink. Displayed was a NetTube video from a channel by the name of ‘DevilLover69’.
“What is this?” Svaartal asked, confused.
“You might find this kinda funny!” She grinned, and played the video, the thumbnail of which displayed a medium sized, overweight looking being with pinkish-brown fur, a long cone-like trunk, huge grey bulbous eyes and thin, spindly arms.
“Ahem, attention everyone! Listen up, for I have a message for all of you! Recently, I have heard rumours that somebody out there has apparently defeated my beloved waifu, Devil’s Daughter, in combat! Let me tell you, that is something that will not go unpunished! I have spent countless hours defending her honour online, but now I have heard the call, and The Supreme Gentleman will step up and avenge her!”
“I’ve been training hard all this time, inspired by the queen herself! I’ve watched all of her fights, and I’ve practised martial arts on my Devil’s Daughter body pillow! So I hope the killer is watching, because I’m ready, and I’m coming for you! And I promise you, when I defeat you, you will wish you had never been born! I’ll see you on the streets, punk!”
“Pretty funny right?” Dextra asked, as Svaartal gave a slight grin.
“I really hope that’s not a troll!” he chuckled.
“Well if The Supreme Gentleman is legit and if he comes for you, it’ll give the others a good laugh.” Dextra giggled. “And…um…I could try and help you with the scales if you want? The datanet should have some videos and I could do your back if you want?”
Svaartal considered it for a moment, knowing where this would likely end up. He had not been requested by Izadora tonight, who seemed to be particularly busy with House Mal’Kar business, and they had never been anything more than casual so he had the freedom to do as he wished.
“I don’t see why not.” The Nirah shrugged, as he followed the bubbly drow to her chambers.
*****
“He’s her son.” Grandmaster Ilvella told her with a sad look on closing the door to his quarters. “I knew it the moment I saw him, though I couldn’t believe it.”
“What?” Nya exclaimed, having broken protocol and immediately followed her master to talk, with Rena trying to stop her. “Not a chance! There’s no way! They’re nothing alike! He’s evil, he can’t be!”
“I knew Svaarvali for a long time.” the Grandmaster sighed, drained from sharing his painful memory. “Even if he didn’t resemble her physically, there were subtle things I saw in just those few moments meeting him that could only have been from one of her line.”
“Are you certain he is not a different relation to the Saviour, Master?” Rena asked stoically.
“I am certain.” The Grandmaster nodded, closing his eyes. “But irrespective of how I may feel on the matter I will not sacrifice everything we have built for sentiment. Our plans do not change.”
“What are your orders, Master?” Nya tentatively asked.
“Do not engage this…Svaartal under any circumstances, unless in self-defence, and maintain your civilian cover.” He strictly told them both. “He will no doubt expect Devil’s Daughter to retaliate soon if she is able, so we will be patient and wait. I have not seen this Svaarti you are familiar with, but it seems like she may be more receptive than her brother if she is able to recover. If she does, continue to be her friend and get closer to her.”
His gaze then returned to the steely look Nya was used to from her master.
“However, Devil’s Daughter must be sighted soon, unharmed and doing something good to restore the people’s faith. A few days of inactivity will be expected before you must return, and with luck we can completely obscure the truth of your defeat as mere rumours.”
“I don’t think Head Whisperer Ratai has anything recent, save for the possible signs of the latest Killer Klown attack.” Nya reasoned. “And Scholar Volus is still deciphering what was discovered at the Pallid Pit, though Jack and his group have not relinquished the Gloom Cauldron they discovered as far as I am aware, which had ties to the ritual room, and which they’re theorising might have worked as some kind of beacon, though for what I have no idea.”
“I am sure we will find something.” Ilvella concluded. “Perhaps you and Rena can discover something in your civilian lives? The Outsider for one certainly seems to be a good source of trouble. Regardless, you two are dismissed. Heal up and rest early. You have school tomorrow.”
With that, Nya and Rena took their leave.
“This is…” Rena began.
“Impossible.” Nya snapped. “I refuse to believe it.”
“Nya…” Rena gently called to her, understanding the Stygian’s pain.
No, Rena.” Nya snarled, causing the usually stoic Vulsta to take a step back in shock. This wasn’t like her friend at all. “I should have killed him when I had the chance during our fight, and now I learn he’s related to the Saviour? Her son?!”
“You have another chance in the future.” Rena pointed out. “And you can lay the groundwork for that by preparing and training. Taking a loss like that is difficult, but it can be a blessing if you learn from it.”
Nya looked at her friend conflicted, and Rena was glad that the stone corridor of the monastery was deserted.
“Yes.” Nya sighed as she let go of her anger and returned to her normal self. “You’re right. I’ve taken losses before and I’ve come out stronger. I even faced the Killer Klown himself and sent him fleeing, so the problem isn’t necessarily my abilities, but my mind.”
Rena nodded calmly, seeing that Nya was pulling herself up. “And what is your next move?”
“The Grandmaster is right that I need to make a quick reappearance as Devil’s Daughter.” Nya began, sounding more like her usual self. “The Cult of the Destroyer would be an obvious target but the ones at the Pallid Pit were wiped out when my friends decided to go there for some reason, though at least we were able to kill the Stygian masquerading as me and tarnishing our people’s reputation."
“As a civilian I am already friends with Svaarti.” Nya then reasoned. “And unlike her brother, I can actually believe her being related to the Saviour. I can only hope that she wakes and recovers from her arcane backlash. I did talk to her in astral form, so I have faith.”
“So what will you do now?” Rena prompted. The coolly composed Vulsta still expected an answer to her previous question as Nya closed her eyes to think.
“The Whisperers might have something for me.” She decided. “Though there was clearly nothing worthy of Grandmaster Ilvella’s attention, maybe they have something smaller or less reliable I can use to at least been seen by the public.”
“That would be wise.” Rena agreed. “You still need to heal.”
The Chamber of Whispers was set on the ground floor of the monastery, hidden away and far from the entrance or anything else. Following the subtly different pattern of dim lights, the two quickly made their way to the hidden underground bunker that served as their resident spy headquarters.
“BWAH! I knew you’d be up and ready for more work in no time!” A jovial voice called out before they had a chance to knock on the doors. “Hello to you too, Rena!”
“My footsteps were silent…” Rena muttered as they entered the room.
Upon entering, the first thing that struck Nya’s attention was the sheer number of lights illuminating the chamber, bathing the entire room in powerful brightness, and allowing for no shadows to form in heavy contrast to the route they took to get here. Then she focused on the huge table in the middle, with a large map projection of Naganai City, complete with many extensive annotations on several notable districts, and with one of the Whisperers compiling a report on the Pallid Pit.
The walls of the room were lined with the blue glow of several monitors, either displaying popular all-day news outlets or with investigation boards on notable personages. In one of the side rooms Nya could see one of the monks at a console talking away on a headset, likely tapping into the community’s small network of contacts in the city from the safety of their remote system.
“Nya!” Head Whisperer Ratai grinned as the chubby Stygian waltzed over and gave her a gentle bear hug that still lifted her off her feet. “I’m glad you’re back! We’ve got news but it’s not urgent, so you should probably rest…”
Ratai gave her a knowing wink.
“What’s new Ratai?” Nya smiled, used to acting familiar around the man despite his high position.
“HAH!” The Stygian chuckled. “We mostly have reports of the post-klown cleanup, but a few players have already made their moves. Nothing too big but interestingly I’ve received a reliable rumour that our Outsider friend decided that massacring the klowns wasn’t enough for him and was involved in liberating a thinly populated swamp district."
“He’s claiming it as territory?” Rena asked, suddenly alert. “He may be more of a threat than I had initially warned…”
“No, no.” Ratai’s grin got wider. “Nobody seems to have claimed the land, but interestingly enough Clan Ashtail seems to have rehomed the vast majority of the population, and they seem to be sincere in allowing them to rebuild and recover in their newly annexed territory.”
“Do you consider Clan Ashtail a threat?” Nya asked.
“Of course!” Ratai snorted in amusement. “Vetch Ashtail was the one who all but hinted at the damnable rumour in his last correspondence to me, the smug bastard! His clan plays the game well, but there are many other more nefarious groups that will attempt to take advantage of the chaos. I'm particularly concerned about what Corvin Enterprises will try to do, but if they are planning on making a play, which I am almost positive that they are, then they are being very subtle about it.”
“Anything immediate?” Nya asked.
“That admirer of yours was quick to post a new video!” Ratai teased, causing Nya to bury her face in her hands in embarrassment.
“Don’t remind me.” She groaned. “That guy is pure cringe and you need to stop mentioning him to me!”
“Hah! Well I haven’t gotten much within the city itself, but we’ve found a series of accounts online about gangs trying to run protection rackets and establish themselves as local powers. Maybe you can crush a few of the weaker ones to make an appearance as you recover to full strength?”
“Nya will still need some time to recover.” Rena cautioned. “But if we approach this like any other mission and I act from the shadows, it will be fine.”
“Excellent, I shall begin my delving and let you know.” Ratai smiled. “In the meantime, you kids should go to bed!”
“I wish I didn’t have to.” Nya sighed.
“I didn’t exactly have much of a weekend.”
*****
First/Previous
And with that, the weekend is over for our....heroes?
If you're impatient for the next chapter, why not check out my previous series?
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2023.06.01 18:50 Necrolancer96 Summoning Kobolds At Midnight: A Tale of Suburbia & Sorcery. 84

Chapter LXXXIV

Somewhere, West Virginia, USA.

"Oaf! You couldn't have stated it in a less vulgar manner?!" The head butler snapped up at the Colonel.

"If you had just gotten to the point I wouldn't have!" The Colonel snapped back. The two goblinoids glared at one another as Morty choked on his drink.

"Wha *cough\* what was it you *wheeze\* wanted again?!" Morty tried to speak as he coughed up burning liquor from his lungs.

The Colonel turned away from the head butler with a snarl before looked at Morty.
"As I said. I desire to mate."

Morty caught a breath and spoke.
"Yeah I got that much! Look, I know it's a common trope to be a little curious and experiment when you go to college or uni. But I wasn't one of those types... Though Archie from Chem DID brush up against me once and I wasn't ENTIRELY against it-"

The Colonel looked red and aghast.
"N-n-n-no General! I didn't mean with you!"

The head butler snickered.
"Maybe if you had pointed that out before-"

"And maybe if you hadn't wasted so many words-"

"SHUT UP!!!" Morty snapped.

The two goblinoids ceased speaking, though they continued to glare at one another. Morty sighed as he collected his thoughts. The sisters trying, and failing, to hold in their laughter didn't help.
"So... YOU desire to HAVE A mate?"

The Colonel nodded. Morty pointed to the head butler.
"And you want the same I presume?"

The head butler just shrugged his shoulders.
"Not me personally no, Master. However, many of the staff, as well as other intellectually minded goblins, have been feeling new needs and wants. I have no doubt that those same feelings are what have affected the Colonel here as well as the Red Caps."

"So you both have been getting the itch? If so then what does that mean for our future workforce?" Morty asked.

Both goblinoids shuffled uncomfortably. It was the Colonel that spoke first though.
"The training of new Red Caps has had... decreasing results as of late General."

"As has the serving staff, and those that have higher intellectual capacity. The number of us able to become as advanced as we are is decreasing with every spawn. Where the number of us that have grown certain organs has risen. I'm sure you can link the two."

"You'll no longer be able to just spawn and train others anymore. You're going to have to do it the old fashioned way." Morty stated. He assumed as much when he first saw the female goblin maid. But now this just confirms it. But something was still worrying him.

"What about the other goblins? Or the dragues?"

"They remain the same. They haven't the mental capacity nor proper conditioning to advance biologically as we. They are still the same goblins they were many weeks ago." The head butler stated, with the Colonel agreeing with an affirmative grunt.

That's one problem he didn't have to deal with, Morty thought. His Goblin Wave tactic could still work then. Though his already limited number of Red Caps just got more limited. Though they've been fortunate that their deaths were pretty rare, only a handful have died since they first "ascended".

Same could be said for the smart goblins/house goblins. He should really come up with a proper name for them one of these days. Fatalities were practically non-existent among them!

Though that probably also has to do with their new "tools" and mental conditioning rewiring their brain chemistry. Can't be so quick to death and violence when you can't just pop out of a mint green puddle.
"Then it's not a complete change of plans, we'll just have to be extra careful when it comes to your assignments. But first, what was this about wanting a mate?"

The Colonel's tannish colored skin turned a reddish hue as the topic returned to his personal request turned faux pas.
"Yes, uhm. As I mentioned-"

"Poorly." The head butler pointed out.

"AS I MENTIONED, I desire a mate and am currently courting a young woman in town, and I desire that should the time come. That I may be allowed to engage in..." The Colonel paused as his face turned redder.

"Coitus? Sexual Intercourse? Baby Making? Fucking?" Morty asked with a creeping smile, each word turning the Colonel redder and redder until his face was more red than tan.

"Y-y-y-yes General."

Morty stared at the Colonel for an uncomfortably long moment. After feeling he embarrassed him enough, Morty spoke.
"Sure have at it."

The Colonel looked both relieved and shocked.
"Truly, General?!"

"Sure! Who am I to get in-between true love! Go have fun you crazy kids! And don't do anything I wouldn't!" Morty replied glibly.

The Colonel eagerly saluted Morty and fumbled a few more words of thanks before turning away and leaving Morty alone with the head butler, and the two sisters who still waited outside the room.
"So now what Jeeves?" Morty asked.

"Well Master. That was all that was both of note and pressing to inform you about." The goblin head butler, now dubbed Jeeves, stated.

"If that's all then, get back to work." Morty dismissed Jeeves with a wave of his hand as he turned to focus on paperwork.

Jeeves bowed and left. Leaving Morty alone to go over finances and logistics for when his mining, foresting, and masonry gets up and running. He was debating on if he should send the resources into town and get them worked on, thus giving the town a boost in greatly needed income. Or to keep it in-house.

Sure the former would be great for the town that he wished to control. BUT the latter was ALREADY in his control. Not only that but the current population of Somewhere weren't exactly loyal to him. The goblins on the other hand were.

The Noble Goblins, that could work, were actually pretty good tinkerers. He could get them to work the iron, lead and stone themselves. With the confirmation that they can now breed like normal creatures, he could start having them making babies with the locals! The Red Caps seem to already be doing that. But he could also send some pretty little maid goblins to start intermingling with the local population!

It would tie the locals closer to him by blood, sorta, and the future generations would be loyal to him! Then again this is all assuming that a goblin and a human can have kids. If not, then he could just outright repopulate the town with Noble Goblins and Red Caps. With their eagerness for violence lessened they would make a decent general population to rule over. Hell, he does it already.

Well, he had time. All he had to do was wait for nature, and biology, to take its course and he'll have confirmation in a few weeks, or months. Then he can go from there.

Though that thought process got him thinking about something else.
"Orga. Urga. Can you get pregnant from me?"

The two sisters looked at one another then back at Morty and shrugged their thick shoulders.
"We don't know. We never mated with a human before."

"What about other ogre tribes?"

"We haven't heard anything from anywhere else either."

"Well, if you can. How, or when, will you know?"

"We'll know." Was the infuriatingly simple answer.

"What do you mean you'll know?"

"We'll know if we are or if we aren't." Orga stated to which her sister nodded.

"That's not helpful."

"Like we said. We never mated with a human before. We don't know if or when any more than you do."

That actually made him nervous. He had kinda been shoving it to the back of his mind for some time now. But now the idea was front and center. There was a possibility that he'll be a father now. He was careful before with other women he brought home. Probably for the same reason that his father probably resented him for.

Morty got bits and pieces over the years. He assumed that the reason his father hated him was because when his mother, and soon himself, came along. His grandfather forced him to "man up" and become a family man. No more parties and boozy evenings, no more string of ladies of the night following him along to his bed to take his money, among other things.

That all, mostly, stopped when he married. His grandfather put the boot down. Either he would settle down and become a proper family man befitting the Duval name, or he wouldn't see a penny ever again.

So that's what his father did. He married and Morty came into the world soon after, and hated and resented him, his mother, and grandfather since. The anger and resentment bled into the staff. They held their tongues when in the presence of his grandfather, but when his mother passed and he got sick they made no secret how little they thought of both him and his mother. She was an opportunistic whore that snagged a higher class family scion, and he was the offspring that just barely avoided being born out of wedlock.

Now the idea that he was possibly in the same situation as his father was years ago came to his mind. Only this time, he didn't have HIS father around to browbeat him into being a decent dad.

Morty might be a lot of things, but there was one thing he would be hellbent on being. A better father than his own. He smiled at the thought of seeing his kids running and screaming through the halls. Then that smile faded. If they were even half as big as their mothers they were going to need some heavy-duty diapers!
-----
As night neared, the Colonel marched briskly towards the pawnshop. His uniform was freshly pressed and his boots were shined. They were always shined but he made sure they sparkled a little more for tonight.

He slowed as he neared the door to the shop. He took a moment to calm himself and make sure he looked presentable for the evening. Once done, he went to enter the shop. Only to find it locked up and closed. Being informed by one of the guards nearby, he ascended the stairs to Molly's apartment above her shop.

Once there, he knocked on the sturdy metal door. He heard a muffled call from inside answer. A moment later it opened to reveal the pawnbroker. She wasn't wearing the prom dress from the night before. Instead, she wore some comfortable jeans and a thick coat and hat to ward off the chill of the night.
"Sorry! I forgot the time!"

"I-i-i-it's quite alright! I would've waited longer if I had to." The Colonel said with a pinch of nerves in his voice.

Her face blushed a little.
"Well, aren't you a gentlemen! Would you have waited all night, even if it meant that you might've been stood up?"

He nodded.
"Even if it meant waiting here for days or even weeks, I would have done so without a second thought!"

"Aw! It's words like that that'll make a girl swoon! But that's for later when we're not near a set of stairs." She said and the Colonel led her down said stairs. Getting to the bottom and holding out a hand to help her off the last steps, as is proper.

Her smile reached her eyes at how far he was going to be a proper gentleman. A great improvement over her usual suiters. The two walked slowly along the lit streets. Just looking around at the town as it had changed over the few weeks. Some places were boarded up and vacated. Some looked more than a little run down because of the economic collapse the town was in.

The only decent part of town was closer to City Hall and the parts under Morty's control. Though Morty's part of town had more to do that they were well protected from the ferals that seemed to infest the town worse than rats or cockroaches!

Molly's heard that City Council put a freeze on bills for the time being. Can't be ruling a town that didn't exist anymore. So they decided and the Mayor, grudgingly, agreed to put a hold on bills until they could come up with a solution to the economic problems.

While they walked the Colonel was making an effort to distract her from the nearby signs of his men at work. He didn't think that her seeing a feral goblin getting its brains bashed in would be very romantic, nor proper for a woman like her to witness.

Though it was hard as even though he tried to talk a bit louder, the cries and sickening crunches still bled out into the night air. If she noticed, she didn't say anything.

The Colonel could only hope that it didn't put a damper on the mood. Though from her smile he didn't think it did. But he still led her to the less active parts. They would greet goblins on patrol, and they even spotted a couple of other Red Caps that had similar ideas and were either on walks of their own with their chosen dates or were dining with them in one of the local establishments.

Eventually their walk came to an end though. It was getting late and the Colonel didn't want to keep the young woman out too late. She turned around and faced him with a bright smile.
"I had a lovely evenin'! Thank you for the nightly stroll!"

"It was my pleasure to do so!"

"How about next time you come over and stay for dinner? My treat?" She asked a little nervously.

"I would enjoy that. Though it would be more proper for I to treat you."

"It may be more proper, but just wait until you try my tuna casserole!"

The Colonel chuckled and assented. She bit her lip a little before kissing the Colonel. It was a long, romantic kiss. One that he returned with eagerness and that ended with the two parting a little out of breath. Both more than a little red from the exchange. She smiled and went into her apartment while the Colonel marched back to the manor with a smile of his own on his face.

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