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Sunday, September 30, 2018

Lawyer Suicides

     Lawyers are killing themselves [according to] the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention….Lawyers ranked fourth when the proportion of suicides in that profession is compared to suicides in all other occupations in the study population….They come right behind dentists, pharmacists, and physicians.

     Lawyers are also prone to depression, which the American Psychological Association identified as the most likely trigger for suicide. Lawyers are 3.6 times more likely to suffer from depression than non-lawyers.

     Prominent lawyers keep turning up dead….Kentucky has seen 15 known lawyer suicides since 2010….There was no clear explanation for the rash of suicides in Kentucky, two of which came days apart. "It's been primarily men," said Kentucky Bar Association Executive Director John Meyers. "To a large degree it's been trial attorneys. The men are primarily middle-aged."

Rosa Fores and Rose Marie Arce, "Why Are Lawyers Killing Themselves?" CNN, January 20, 2014

Friday, September 28, 2018

The Get-A-Way Kayak

     A fast-paddling Good Samaritan in a kayak helped sheriff's deputies in Washington state nab a suspected Christmas mail thief…Deputies received multiple calls on Wednesday morning December 24, 2014 that a man and a woman were going through mailboxes around the town of Sammamish. While deputies were on their way, residents spotted a car filled with mail and used their cars to block it in.

     The suspected mail thieves ran off, and one was caught immediately. The other fled into a nearby pond with a kayak he stole out of a yard. A resident grabbed his own kayak, caught up with the suspect and convinced him to return to shore where he was arrested.

     The sheriff's office said the suspect didn't get very far because he was using his hands to paddle.

"Good Samaritan in a Kayak Helps Nab Suspected Christmas Mail Thieves in Washington State," Associated Press, December 25, 2014 

Friday, September 21, 2018

Thornton P. Knowles On The Harsh Reality Of Life

Growing up, the toughest pill to swallow is the realization that life is not fair and that nothing is on the level. The quality of one's life depends on how one deals with this harsh reality. To various degrees, this reality eventually destroys all of us.

Thornton P. Knowles

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Silence is Golden

We are a nation of talkers. Everyone is talking--nonstop. We talk about everything, and about nothing, and we don't listen because we're too busy talking. Often the talking turns into shouting. Turn on your television and you get talking heads going on and on about sports, politics, the weather, entertainment celebrities, and, of course, themselves. And there's talk radio with more of the same. We're in the Golden Age of Talk. The air is filled with words. There's nowhere to go to get away from it. Some day scientists my find that all of this media gabbing caused climate change. What ever happened to the old adage: "Silence is Golden."

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Cases For Home Schooling

The Criminal Compliment

     An elementary school principal in North Carolina recently suspended a fourth grader for sexual harassment after the 9-year-old called one of his teachers "cute." (One can only imagine what would have happened to the kid if he had called her "ugly.") The reason behind the school suspension caused such an uproar the school board forced the principal, after a 44-year career in education (I'm thinking of the Peter Principle here), to retire. While admitting that he may have been a little quick on the sexual harassment trigger, the public school administrator blamed his fall from grace on media overreaction to his overreaction. The principal wanted people to believe that because he lost his job, he, not the sexually abused teacher, was the victim.

No Holding or Biting

     A fifth grade teacher near Albany, New York, during an arm wrestling contest with several students yanking on his arm, bit one of his opponents. The girl on the receiving end of the bite, suffered a deep bruise on her forearm. The principal placed the biting educator on administrative leave, and the local prosecutor charged him with endangering the welfare of a child. If the defendant pleaded not guilty and denied inflicting the wound, one could imagine a battery of prosecution bite mark identification and DNA analysts testifying at his trial. While this case did not reflect the best in American elementary education, it had the potential of  becoming a triumph in forensic science.

All Students in Illinois Are Above Average

     An investigation by the Chicago Tribune in 2008 revealed that elementary school teachers in Illinois, to produce better state required test results, helped their students cheat. The cheating involved excessive coaching to providing kids with answers to the tests. While the state legislature, since 2009, had given the Illinois State Board of Education $1.3 million to investigate educator misconduct, teachers throughout the state caught in the test cheating scandal were not disciplined. They were still teaching, and I presume, still cheating with their students. (When I was a kid we learned to cheat on our own.)

Left Hanging

     A special education student at an elementary school in Baltimore complained to his teacher that he was being bullied. The teacher, apparently busy with another student, ignored the kid. To get her attention, this student threatened to hurt himself. When the distracted teacher didn't respond, the boy stood on a chair, tied his coat around his neck, attached the other end to a hook, then kicked the chair over. As the boy dangled in the air, the teacher grabbed her cellphone, and instead of calling 911, photographed the boy as he gasped for air. "Now that's the picture I want," she reportedly said before placing the chair back under the kid's twitching feet.

     When summoned to the school, the student's grandmother was shown the photograph of her dangling grandson. The boy survived his swing, but spent a week in the hospital. Grandma, claiming gross negligence, sued the school for $10 million. The school district settled out of court.  

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Thornton P. Knowles On Living And Dying Without a Trace

I've pretty much have lived alone my entire life. After my father hanged himself when I was fifteen, my mother, although present in the house, went somewhere else. I didn't have roommates in college, didn't join a fraternity, never married, and do not have children. I haven't bothered to meet my neighbors, and have never joined a club. I am not a member of a union or a church. I have lived alone and will die alone. I will have no gravestone, my ashes will be dumped into the trash, and because I have no will, what I leave behind will go to the state. I've destroyed all my papers. My books will comprise the only evidence that I have ever lived, and they will soon follow me into oblivion. Like a good burglar, I've covered my tracks and will slip quietly into the night.

Thornton P. Knowles

Monday, September 10, 2018

Thornton P. Knowles On The Love Of His Life

In high school, I hitch-hiked to a burlesque house in Steubenville, Ohio. It was there I saw a young stripper who performed under the name Salty Buttons. She stole my heart. I returned to the place several times but she was gone. Since then I have made up hundreds of stories of her life, including myself in many of them. As hard as I've tried, I've never been able to attach a happy ending to any of these stories. As pathetic as this sounds, my brief, one-time encounter with Salty Buttons turned out to be the romantic highlight of my life. Maybe that's why I never married.

Thornton P. Knowles