The latest potentially deadly challenge sweeping social media is the “Vacuum” or “Trash Bag” Challenge.
In this feat, one climbs into a garbage bag, while a friend or parent sucks air out of the plastic bag until the inmate topples over.
Bringing people to the point of falling (or if putting the bag over their face) of asphyxiation can cause a plethora of health issues including fractures, respiratory failure, stroke and death.
And even if parents appear to be supervising or performing the challenge and the child comes out unscathed, dangers lurk as the child could try to reproduce the challenge with their friends, this time putting the bag over one’s head.
This Spring another stupid challenge swept social media called the “Shell On” challenge in which teens Snapchat videos of themselves eating through fruit skin, cardboard boxes and plastic bags containing their food.
Although this appears to not be as dangerous as the Tide Pod or Boiling Water Challenge, it can cause choking and asphyxiation.
Last year we learned of the “Boiling Water Challenge” in which kids drink boiling water from a straw or have it poured all over their body. Then they topped it off with a more dangerous challenge, the “Fire Challenge.”
The Fire Challenge is executed by pouring rubbing alcohol on one’s body and then setting oneself on fire. A video records the victim running into a tub or shower to wash it off, and this trend has gone viral.
Unfortunately it’s one of the most dangerous. A 12 year-old girl from Detroit who participated in this challenge is undergoing multiple surgeries to repair burns afflicting close to 50% of her body.
Multiple cases of the “Fire Challenge” have been reported over the years, including a 12 year-old boy from Georgia.
One would think children, especially teens, innately know that fire is dangerous but maybe the younger generation has been so protected that they haven’t experienced the basic concepts of danger and inadvertently underestimate its force.
Challenges that involve dangerous stunts have been around for some time. The Choking Challenge induced children to suffocate themselves for the high of feeling asphyxiated. The Tide Pod Challenge tempted kids to put colorful cleaning packets in their mouths, hoping they wouldn’t burst.
The Cinnamon Challenge sparked thousands to inhale the common kitchen spice and cough till they puked. Then the Condom Challenge offered two options where one dropped a condom filled with water on a friends face, or snorted one through the nose.
We adults can’t for the life of us figure out what the reward is in performing these challenges, but presume its fame and awe among friends and social media followers. But these challenges prove dangerous and in some cases deadly. Unfortunately the YouTube Clips never show the after effects of these pranks…maybe they should.
We are facing a constitutional crisis. Through the use of nationwide injunctions, a group of liberal federal district judges are fighting to maintain Obama era policies until President Donald Trump leaves office.
And now, President Donald Trump is fighting back as his administration seeks a case to be brought in federal court against the practice.
These judges’ actions are an attack on our system of government undermining the value of voting and the public’s trust in the impartiality of the judicial branch. These injunctions must be halted, either by the Supreme Court or by legislation.
Nationwide injunctions, which are also called universal or national injunctions, are issued by federal district judges and prohibit the federal government from enforcing laws or policies against anyone, not just the plaintiffs in the case.
There have now been 37 nationwide injunctions issued against the Trump Administration, which is significantly more than were issued in the entire 20th century. In contrast, there were only two nationwide injunctions during the first two years of the Obama Administration; and there were no nationwide injunctions issued during the first 175 years of our Republic.
Recently, U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr gave a speech attacking nationwide injunctions, saying that the bar for getting one from a district judge is too low: “When Congress passes a statute or the President implements a policy that is challenged in multiple courts, the Government has to run the table — we must win every case. The challengers, however, must find only one district judge — out of an available 600 — willing to enter a nationwide injunction. One judge can, in effect, cancel the policy with the stroke of the pen.”
And this is bad for democracy, Barr said, “Nationwide injunctions undermine the democratic process, depart from history and tradition, violate constitutional principles, and impede sound judicial administration, all at the cost of public confidence in our institutions and particularly in our courts as apolitical decision-makers dispassionately applying objective law.”
Barr is not the first prominent conservative to take aim at these injunctions. Barr’s predecessor, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has also denounced the injunctions. Sessions stated, “Increasingly, we are seeing individual federal district judges go beyond the parties before the court to give injunctions or orders that block the entire federal government from enforcing a law or policy throughout the country…. This trend must stop. We have a government to run. The Constitution does not grant to a single district judge the power to veto executive branch actions with respect to parties not before the court. Nor does it provide the judiciary with authority to conduct oversight of or review policy of the executive branch. These abuses of judicial power are contrary to law…”
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has indicated his skepticism of the legitimacy of the injunctions. Thomas wrote, “These [universal] injunctions are beginning to take a toll on the federal court system—preventing legal questions from percolating through the federal courts, encouraging forum shopping, and making every case a national emergency for the courts and for the Executive Branch. I am skeptical that district courts have the authority to enter universal injunctions… They appear to be inconsistent with longstanding limits on … the power of Article III courts.”
Elections must have consequences. Members of Congress and Presidents are elected to set and implement federal laws and policies; and unelected, unaccountable lower court judges must not be allowed to obstruct the policies of the elected branches of the government indefinitely. The Supreme Court will soon weigh in on nationwide injunctions and make it clear to district court judges that they have no authority to issue these injunctions.
If the Court fails to do so, then it will fall to Congress to enact legislation to end these acts of judicial tyranny once and for all.
Richard McCarty is the Director of Research at Americans for Limited Government Foundation and a contributor to the pennypress.com, the conservative weekly voice of Nevada. His views are his own.
I hope everyone enjoyed their recent Memorial Day weekend. Many Louisianans were vacationing over the long holiday or enjoying a cookout with family and friends. Many stores held sales advertising for us to have a “Happy Memorial Day.” All well and good, but what about the real purpose of this special day?
Many of us don’t even know the difference between Memorial Day (honoring those who died defending our country) and Veterans Day (honoring all service men and women). Only 5% of Americans attended local military events or parades. I joined a sparsely attended gathering Memorial Day at the USS Kidd in Baton Rouge. Is it enough to holler USA at sporting events, or to say “Thank you for your service” when you see a service man or women in uniform? Should Americans be required to do more?
In 1967, I was 27 years old and newly married with my first child on the way. So I was draft exempt, with no legal requirement to join the service. Maybe I did not have a legal obligation, but what about a moral responsibility to serve my country in the time of war?
I come from a long line of distinguished military officers who never hesitated to serve their country. They did not try to find ways to sidestep such service like so many others, including most of our politicians today as well as several recent presidents.
Relatives on both sides of my family served their country with honor and distinction. My first father-in-law Dick Campbell who was an ace fighter pilot, rose to the rank of full colonel in the Army, and twice escaped from German prison camps. My Dad stayed stateside coordinating military transportation coast to coast for the Army. Second father-in-law Teddy Solomon was sent by the Army to the South Pacific. My younger brother Jack volunteered and joined the National Guard for a six-year hitch.
My mother’s brother had quite a navel military career. In the final months of World War II, Commander Jack Gentry was flying a reconnaissance mission over the Pacific when his flight cameras captured photos of the Japanese flotilla. He made the cover of Life Magazine as his pictures allowed a direct attack on the enemy fleet that sped up the ending of the war with Japan. He went on to command the battleship USS Enterprise until his retirement from the Navy in the 1960s.
With this strong family military background, I felt an obligation to continue the service to my country. I make no bones about the fact that I feel every American should either serve in the military or perform voluntary service in the city or state where they live. The American flag flies outside my home 365 days a year. I wear my military dog tags while I broadcast my syndicated radio program each week (NG25520050).
This is not an effort to pat myself on my back. Like so many other young men and women who love their country, it was something I felt a strong obligation to do. So despite the fact that I was draft exempt, I signed up for service in the Army, then stayed for ten additional years in the Louisiana National Guard.
Our nation has been at war in Iraq and Afghanistan going on two decades. Yet many Americans look on war as a spectator sport. So few have any real skin in the game.
I recently read a book by military scholar George Wilson called “The Mud Soldiers,” where he laments over the problems with an all-volunteer army. He quotes Vietnam veteran Col. Steve Siegfried who states: “Armies don’t fight wars. Countries fight wars….. Yes a country fights a war. If it doesn’t, then we shouldn’t send an army.
War should be every citizen’s business. We should all perform some volunteer service, military or otherwise. This should be an easy decision if we love our country and care about our freedom.
“The problem with lying and deceiving is that their efficiency depends entirely upon a clear notion of the truth that the liar and deceiver wishes to hide.”
My son recently was looking for a company to work with concerning content that was needed for the videos that he would soon create. As he was doing so, I told him to find a package deal so it will be all-inclusive with music, images, fonts, etc.
A short while later, and in his excitement, he said that he found a company with which to work. I asked him how much the package was and if it was all-inclusive?
He said, "Dad, it is only $29.95 a month."
I said, "For everything?"
He then went on to say that you could even cancel at any given time.
I said, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
I then told him to call the company and ask if there are any hidden costs and, again, does everything come with that $29.95?
Well, he called and the first mistake that the company made was that they didn’t have a real person answering the phones. When you see when companies that use computers to do their selling for them you can rest assured that they are on their way out. If a business wants to slap a customer in the face, this is usually the first thing that they do.
When he received his call back, he found that the deal of the century was a year contract! Otherwise, the cost would be $69.95 and you can cancel at any time.
Friends, this is not what their page stated, at least not in big print.
The sad fact of the matter is that this country no longer operates under the banner of “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you: do ye even so to them" (Matthew 7:17).
I have found that a good number of the companies in America today are not serving the customers, but rather the almighty dollar and themselves (1 John 5:2).
I ask, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36)
Let me share some of my experiences with you.
About 15 years ago, I was in a health foods GNC store where they sold a large selection of vitamins. When I grabbed some ginseng and was going to check out, a man that was at the cash register was ready to pay for his items when the lady behind the counter said to him that he owed 2 times more than what it said on the price tag. The man told her that the price was right on the sticker while pointing at the items. She replied that those prices were for members only. Right next to the big price numbers were little tiny numbers to the right of it where it said that these prices apply to members only. How deceptive. The man was rightfully angry and he walked out, leaving the products on the counter. I followed in close pursuit.
No one likes to be sold with deceptive and deceitful tactics.
The Bible says, “making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?” (Amos 8:5)
Another time, we walked into a local Midwest favorite called “Old Country Buffet.” It was one of those restaurants in which you could eat and when you were done, felt like you got yourself a good deal. You were treated like a favored customer and left feeling satisfied. About 5 years ago, we went in as usual, and right when we were going to pay for our food, the lady behind the register asked if we wanted something to drink, which by the way was always a part of the price when paying for the buffet.
I responded, "What about if we want something to drink? Of course, we want something to drink. That is why we just entered into your eatery."
She said that would be a separate charge and I responded, "Well, it is not going to be long before your place of business will be shut down. You are gouging, and people are going to catch on and that will be it for your restaurant."
Sure enough, 6 months later, they were done.
How prevalent this has become today: charge your customers more by separating the meal from the drinks. This applies to "business as usual" today in America across the boards.
The airlines have now been found guilty of this every step of the way, literally. You now pay a surcharge for handling on the phone when you purchase your ticket, and when you check in, you then have to pay for your bags. Before boarding, you now have to pay for your seating, and when you get into the plane, you have to pay for your drink and your food. Treating customers like they are now doing them a favor.
Another experience that I had was another place called “Timberlodge” restaurant in Minnesota. They started out right by giving bigger portions at a fair price. However, soon after their food chain became big enough, they started to charge more with smaller portions. I told my wife that they needed to quit this or they are going to be a thing of the past. In this particular situation, I called the management and told them people are seeing what they were doing in their restaurants and it wasn't good.
"I know that you are really doing very well with your food chain, but it is coming across as you only care about the money here," I told him.
I added that they needed to either get back to customer service first or they would be gone within a year.
A week later, they put up a sign at one of their stores that read “We're not going anywhere.” I'm not kidding.
I told my wife that they were done. Two weeks later, the restaurant was shut down.
Deceptive business owners can only take advantage of people for so long before people catch on. People are not stupid. If people do not feel like service is being done on their behalf and that they are getting their money's worth and feel like they are being taken granted for, again, you can mark my words, that’s it for your business.
I can also tell you that when I and my family detect this with a business, we are done with that company in whatever capacity it may be. It usually is a good sign that a company's efforts to get a little more out of you means that it is no more about the customer, but about what they are getting from their customers.
Furthermore, if their product and service is everything that they claim it to be, then do they have to lie or deceive (Hidden costs) in the process of selling it (Proverbs 19:9)?
The 92 annual Scripps National Spelling Bee wrapped up Memorial Day weekend. In the previous 92 spelling bees, there have been eight six winners and six two-way ties. This year was something else. After a Thursday evening round that went 5 ½ hours Bee organizers began to feel that there would be a large number of competitors at the top, which led pronouncer Jacques Bailly telling them, "We do have plenty of words remaining on our list. But we will soon run out of words that will possibly challenge you, the most phenomenal collection of super-spellers in the history of this competition."
He was not wrong. After another three rounds the eight kids at the top never missed a beat and went 24-24. Often times the parents of the competitors seemed rattled and seriously stressed out but for the most part the kids handled the pressure well.
For the first time ever, it was an eight way tie. Normally, the spelling bee champion wins $50 thousand dollars and the trophy. In the past, when there were two way ties, the money was split. This year, instead of splitting the prize money eight ways, bee organizers decided that each of the kids would receive $50 thousand and each will take home a trophy of their own.
As usual at the National Spelling Bee, the kids were largely supporting each other with high fives and hugs when their competitors friends got words correct. Sportsmanship at its very best, it’s actually really lovely to watch. The video linked to the front page is the very final round where they were told, if you get this final word correct - you’ll tie for the top spot as Bee Champion. Their were eight competitors left. All eight of them got their word correct.
One by the one the kids, in this order and the word they had to spell.
Rishik Gandhasri, 13, of San Jose, Calif.: auslaut.
Erin Howard, 14, of Huntsville, Ala.: erysipelas.
Saketh Sundar, 13, of Clarksville, Md.: bougainvillea.
Shruthika Padhy, 13, of Cherry Hill, N.J.: aiguillette.
Sohum Sukhatankar, 13, of Dallas: pendeloque.
Abhijay Kodali, 12, of Flower Mound, Tex.: palama.
Christopher Serrao, 13, of Whitehouse Station, N.J.: cernuous
Rohan Raja, 13, of Irving, Tex: odylic.
I don’t get to watch the National Spelling Bee every year but ever since the fantastic 2002 Academy Award nominated documentary Spellbound hit the theaters, I would certainly say the Bee is always on my radar. You should check the documentary out. I believe you can watch it free on YouTube.
And to the 2019 winners, all eight of you - well done!
Since when did murder become a “political” issue?
Liberals tell us that in their phony baloney bleating about “climate change” they believe in “science”. Many of those same libs want to deny that a fetus—a baby—with a heartbeat which can now—through real science—be detected, is somehow NOT a person and can be killed at the whim of the mother.
They still call this crap “reproductive rights.”
Roe v. Wade happened while I was still in college. Every young male in college back then could probably tell you exactly what Planned Parenthood charged for an abortion.
Most of us have grown up since then.
Roe was a classic example of a Supreme Court which read the opinion pages of the Washington Post.
One of the differences between 1973 and today is that we have much more science—real science as opposed to the junk science “consensus” the climate folks believe in—which tells us exactly the development of a baby.
Once a baby has a heart and it is beating, how can you not call it a person?
And if you kill it, how can that not be murder?
OK, like the President, I get the health of the mother. Maybe, under some circumstances, rape or incest.
Murder is against the law in all 50 states. Following the twisted logic of Roe does a woman have a right of “privacy” to kill her three year old? Her husband?
And to politicize this is simply moronic.
If you are a Democrat and you follow their political orthodoxy, you are, in my humble opinion, condoning, on the campaign trail, murder.
One of the problems in this debate is that there is simply no debating most supporters of legalized abortion. Their position is that it is a “right” and that’s that.
So to break that down, killing a baby is a right?
We don’t treat puppies like that.
We have plenty of ways to stop conception. If you are not responsible enough to prevent conception, then you should have to carry the baby to term. If you don’t want the baby, then there are plenty of people who are willing to adopt and raise the baby.
If the pregnancy takes nine months out of your life, then be more responsible.
But you do NOT have a “right” to kill a baby for your convenience. What you do have a right to do is to be responsible in your sex life. Which is why, in some circumstances, I’m sympathetic to rape and incest exceptions, since there was no choice in those situations.
Somewhere along the way, abortion proponents began branding themselves as “pro choice.”
What’s the choice?
Between felony murder and a baby?
Here’s a choice:
Don’t want a baby? Have your tubes tied. Then, you won’t be in a position to murder a baby.
This week the CDC reported their findings of thousands of children being enrolled in school without any waiver for vaccine exemption.
As states aim to limit parental choice to limit vaccination based on religious objections, the country is fighting multiple outbreaks, including Measles, Mumps and Hepatitis A, which are potentially preventable with vaccination.
When the CDC looked at data submitted by 27 states, the majority of unvaccinated or under-vaccinated children in 10 states lacked waivers.
Which brings to question, are other reasons at play when a child is not vaccinated rather than religious or medical objections?
When a family adheres to the vaccination regimen, office visits are need at 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 12 months, sometimes 15 months of age, and 4 years old – 6 years old, in addition to any other follow ups deemed necessary by the medical provider.
Most medical offices that provide vaccines are only open during the weekday, hence a parent who cannot take off work to bring their child in the doctor may have difficulty adhering to the vaccination schedule.
And then when asked why their child wasn’t vaccinated, it may be less embarrassing to cite “religious reasons” rather than fear of losing income or one’s job when taking off for the doctor’s visit.
I suggest weekend or night “vaccination clinics” at schools to make parents aware of alternative times to vaccinate and increase access to those who may not be able to leave their job during the weekday.
Robert Mueller made his first (and probably only) public statement about his special investigation into the Russian interference of the 16’ election. He reiterated that his report does not exonerate President Trump but also, and very clearly says, charging the President with a crime was not an option due to the constitutional restriction against charging an active President.
His full statement:
Two years ago, the Acting Attorney General asked me to serve as Special Counsel, and he created the Special Counsel's Office.
The appointment order directed the office to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. This included investigating any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign.
I have not spoken publicly during our investigation. I am speaking today because our investigation is complete. The Attorney General has made the report on our investigation largely public. And we are formally closing the Special Counsel's Office. As well, I am resigning from the Department of Justice and returning to private life.
I'll make a few remarks about the results of our work. But beyond these few remarks, it is important that the office's written work speak for itself.
Let me begin where the appointment order begins: and that is interference in the 2016 presidential election.
As alleged by the grand jury in an indictment, Russian intelligence officers who were part of the Russian military launched a concerted attack on our political system.
The indictment alleges that they used sophisticated cyber techniques to hack into computers and networks used by the Clinton campaign. They stole private information, and then released that information through fake online identities and through the organization WikiLeaks. The releases were designed and timed to interfere with our election and to damage a presidential candidate.
And at the same time, as the grand jury alleged in a separate indictment, a private Russian entity engaged in a social media operation where Russian citizens posed as Americans in order to interfere in the election.
These indictments contain allegations. And we are not commenting on the guilt or innocence of any specific defendant. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.
The indictments allege, and the other activities in our report describe, efforts to interfere in our political system. They needed to be investigated and understood. That is among the reasons why the Department of Justice established our office.
That is also a reason we investigated efforts to obstruct the investigation. The matters we investigated were of paramount importance. It was critical for us to obtain full and accurate information from every person we questioned. When a subject of an investigation obstructs that investigation or lies to investigators, it strikes at the core of the government's effort to find the truth and hold wrongdoers accountable.
Let me say a word about the report. The report has two parts addressing the two main issues we were asked to investigate.
The first volume of the report details numerous efforts emanating from Russia to influence the election. This volume includes a discussion of the Trump campaign's response to this activity, as well as our conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to charge a broader conspiracy.
And in the second volume, the report describes the results and analysis of our obstruction of justice investigation involving the President.
The order appointing me Special Counsel authorized us to investigate actions that could obstruct the investigation. We conducted that investigation and we kept the office of the Acting Attorney General apprised of the progress of our work.
As set forth in our report, after that investigation, if we had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that.
We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the President did commit a crime. The introduction to volume two of our report explains that decision.
It explains that under long-standing Department policy, a President cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view—that too is prohibited.
The Special Counsel's Office is part of the Department of Justice and, by regulation, it was bound by that Department policy. Charging the President with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider.
The Department's written opinion explaining the policy against charging a President makes several important points that further informed our handling of the obstruction investigation. Those points are summarized in our report. And I will describe two of them:
First, the opinion explicitly permits the investigation of a sitting President because it is important to preserve evidence while memories are fresh and documents are available. Among other things, that evidence could be used if there were co-conspirators who could now be charged.
And second, the opinion says that the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting President of wrongdoing.
And beyond Department policy, we were guided by principles of fairness. It would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of an actual charge.
So that was the Justice Department policy and those were the principles under which we operated. From them we concluded that we would not reach a determination -- one way or the other -- about whether the President committed a crime. That is the office's final position and we will not comment on any other conclusions or hypotheticals about the President.
We conducted an independent criminal investigation and reported the results to the Attorney General—as required by Department regulations.
The Attorney General then concluded that it was appropriate to provide our report to Congress and the American people.
At one point in time I requested that certain portions of the report be released. The Attorney General preferred to make the entire report public all at once. We appreciate that the Attorney General made the report largely public. I do not question the Attorney General's good faith in that decision.
I hope and expect this to be the only time that I will speak about this matter. I am making that decision myself—no one has told me whether I can or should testify or speak further about this matter.
There has been discussion about an appearance before Congress. Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report. It contains our findings and analysis, and the reasons for the decisions we made. We chose those words carefully, and the work speaks for itself.
The report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress.
In addition, access to our underlying work product is being decided in a process that does not involve our office.
So beyond what I have said here today and what is contained in our written work, I do not believe it is appropriate for me to speak further about the investigation or to comment on the actions of the Justice Department or Congress.
It is for that reason that I will not take questions here today.
Before I step away, I want to thank the attorneys, the FBI agents, the analysts, and the professional staff who helped us conduct this investigation in a fair and independent manner. These individuals, who spent nearly two years with the Special Counsel's Office, were of the highest integrity.
I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments—that there were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election.
That allegation deserves the attention of every American.
Ah, internet. How I love you, and hate you at the same time. You have done so much right and so much wrong. And this Chipotle disaster is another case of wrong. Let’s set the scene: A few months ago at a Chipotle in St. Paul, MN, five young, black men in their early twenties come into the restaurant and order food. The manager, a twenty three year old woman named Dominique Moran, tells the five black men, “...you gotta pay (up front) because you never have any money when you come in here, boys.” Well, the boys were recording the interaction and, in the following two minute video (linked on the front), you see the boys claim they are being profiled and ask white customers “do you have to pay up front before you get your food?”
This is a fair question. If Moran is only asking black men to pay up front, but not asking white customers the same thing - she’s probably doing something wrong.
Well, the boys left the restaurant and posted their various videos to social medial. At least one video went viral, one shot by Masud Ali, 21 (again, the one linked to the front page). There was an immediate and huge backlash against Moran with many rage comments calling her the “racist white manager,” and at targeting Chipotle itself for being racist and for racial profiling black men. Within 24 hours Chipotle issued an apology, stating: “This is not how we treat our customers and as a result, the manager has been terminated and the restaurant is being retrained to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again.”
Masud Ali, the young man who shot the viral video, hit back on Twitter calling out Chipotle for firing the manager on duty (Moran) but not her “side kick,” saying to them, “Just because you retrain someone doesn’t make them less racist.” Masud, clearly, was trying to get a second employee fired. For being racist. Well, get back to that in a second.
Anyway, as you can imagine - Moran was publicly shamed, lost her job, received thousands of hate messages and her picture & name became synonymous for hate. SJW (social justice warriors) everywhere patted themselves on the back for rooting out another racist.
Now, keep in mind this general story is nothing new. We see weekly videos of white people calling the cops on black folks for literally just eating their dinner, or walking down the street, or playing with their kids on the playground. This is textbook racial profiling and it happens. Basically, what the white folks are saying is “I see a black person - he/she must be doing something illegal!” Or how about the Starbucks incident(s) last year in Philly and L.A. Or, how about this video where a black man is picking up trash on his own property and a white cop doesn’t believe he lives there and pulls his gun on him. So, sadly, the story of “white person racially profiles person of color,” happens. Like, a lot. And it’s a huge problem.
But in this specific instance, well - let’s get back to Moran. Very quickly after her firing, for being a “white racist profiler,” a few internet sleuths saw holes in the official story. First of all, Moran isn’t white. And it’s painfully obvious to anyone watching the video that she’s of some kind of Latino heritage. Not that her racial background is a huge deal, but still. Second, it took internet sleuths all of like, ten minutes to jump onto the social media page of Masud Ali and see post after post from him, bragging on social media how he and his buddies love to dine and dash and have been doing it for years.
Um. Uh-oh. So, what you’re saying is that after the barest minimum of investigation it was super, super easy to figure out that Masud was a lying, serial “dine and dasher” and that Moran was actually protecting her employer from theft. But instead of doing the barest minimum of investigation into the event, Chipotle bent to the will of online hysteria and fired their employee for … protecting the store and doing the right thing.
It’s too bad because this kind of disengenous idiocy pushed by Ali and his A-hole buddy's - do actual harm to legitimate cases of racial profiling. Not that Ali cared about that. I mean, he might care about it now that he was outed for being a douchebag, but had he not been caught, do you really think Ali would have ever felt a moment of regret for getting an innocent woman fired?
I’m going to go out on a limb and say - he would not have cared at all. Not one bit.
Well, it’s all come full circle now. The internet sleuths pushed evidence back towards Chipotle. Chipotle publicly apologized to Dominique Moran for getting it wrong and offered her job back but … I haven’t been able to find out if she took the job or not. To be honest, I hope she didn’t. I hope she moves on to better things.
Memorial Day is this weekend and the country honors those who have sacrificed for our freedom. Many of us will travel and enjoy the outdoors. However, according to a study by the National Coalition for Safer Roads, Memorial Day Weekend is the most dangerous holiday for road and highway accidents. Additionally, water injuries, including drownings may rise this weekend. Grill injuries can occur, and throughout the US we are seeing record high temperatures. We need to stay safe out in the sun, by the grill, in the water and on the roads.
Record heat and extended time outdoors can increase the risk of heat illness. Hydrate, stay in the shade and protect your skin from damaging UV rays.
Sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater should be applied 15-30 minutes prior to going outside and reapplied every two hours or more often if swimming.
Avoid excessive alcohol as it could accelerate dehydration and put one at greater risk of injuries and heat exhaustion.
For more on heat exhaustion and heat stroke read here.
In 2012, a man caught on fire after spraying sunscreen prior to heading over to the grill. He sustained multiple second degree burns.
Sunscreen may be flammable, so make sure it is dry prior to grilling or use a lotion instead of spray on.
Keep the grill outdoors but away from low roofing, branches, and trees. Watch the little kids and keep them and the pets away from the barbecue.
Assign someone to watch the grill if you need to step a way during grilling.
Do not add lighter fluid to already ignited coals.
If someone does catch on fire, remember to have them stop, drop and roll on the ground until the flames expire. Call 9-1-1 and remove any jewelry or tight clothes around the area..
If a minor burn injury does occur, run it under cool (not cold) water for 10-20 minutes. Avoid applying ice to the burn as it can damage the skin. Also remove nearby jewelry.
Bandage and see a medical provider if concerned with your injury.
Avoid drinking alcohol when swimming or engaging in water sports.
Make sure you are in arm’s reach of your kids in the water.
Use life vests while boating and make sure the kids are wearing appropriate sized vests.
Never swim alone. Always have a buddy.
Know your route to avoid you checking your GPS app while you drive.
Allow extra travel time and don’t rush. Expect travel delays coming home as well.
Consider leaving a day or two early or a day or two late to avoid congested traffic.
Drive the speed limit and avoid tailgating, leaving at least 2 seconds between you and the car ahead of you.
Make sure you have plenty of water, supplies and a first aid kit in the car in case you get stuck on the highway.
Have a happy and safe Memorial Day Weekend!
Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise says he is still struggling over whether to forgive the man who shot him two years ago. “I’ve never, internally, formally forgiven the shooter from the baseball shooting,” he said. “It’s something I’ve struggled with as a Catholic.”
It would be hard for many, including me, to forgive such a transgression. I’m still personally quite bitter over wrongs that happened to me some years back. So I understand the reluctance to forgive.
But what about turning the other cheek, and forgiving one’s enemies as we read in scripture throughout the New Testament? Can we suffocate our bitterness and a feeling that some form of retribution is unnecessary? Does continuing anger and hostility become tantamount to suffocating oneself emotionally? “The effects on one’s health from bottled up anger and resentment can range from anxiety and depression to blood pressure and increased risk of heart attacks,” says professor of medicine Amit Sood at the Mayo Clinic. “Forgiveness, by contrast, allows one to focus on more positive thoughts and relationships. It allows you to free up the real estate in your brain taken up by negative thinking.”
Forgive and forget, so goes much of the conventional wisdom. Move on with your life and just chalk it all up to tough lessons learned. But isn’t it possible to continue with the positive aspects in one’s life, learn from past mistakes, and continue to grow, putting aside the bitter feeling that you suffered a terrible wrong? Simply put, don’t maintain continuing anger, but don’t forget.
In the fall of 2015, Pope Francis sent the body of St. Maria Goretti on a limited U.S. tour. The youngest canonized Saint has a compelling story of suffering and forgiveness. St. Maria was born into poverty and raised in Corinaldo, a beautiful medieval village in central Italy. Maria, whose father died when she was nine, raised her five siblings when she was only eleven while her mother worked in the fields. One day, a twenty-year-old neighbor accosted her and, as she fought him, he brutally stabbed her repeatedly.
Maria died the next day, but her last words were, “I forgive Alessandro Serenelli (her attacker) and I want him with me in heaven forever.” Alessandro was so overcome that he lived the converted life of holiness in prison and eventually became a Franciscan lay brother.
One of the stops on St. Maria’s U.S. pilgrimage was Baton Rouge, where the coffin with her remains was to be displayed in veneration at Lady of Mercy Catholic Church for three days. Crowds of worshipers were expected to visit the Saint from a number of states. The pastor there, Father Cleo Milano, has been a good friend and I called him to see if there was a possibility of any quiet time with St. Maria. He suggested I come by the church close to midnight after the doors were locked down for the night.
As the sanctuary was about to be bolted and the lights were dimmed, I made my way down the center aisle of the church and sat beside the remains of St. Maria. I touched her coffin and prayed for my family. And then, I thought to myself, this beautiful child, now a Saint, was brave and open-hearted enough to forgive the cruel demon that took her life. Although I too was wronged in ways that I felt were so unjust, should I not be empathetic and compassionate enough to forgive those who so aggrieved me?
I thought about it for good while. I guess I even prayed over the decision. After much contemplation, I quietly got up from my pew and walked out of the church. So what was my decision? Could I forgive those transgressions?
Often, your adversaries, by their impertinence, bring themselves down and destroy their own reputations. In my case, nemeses that caused me harm have themselves been damaged and suffered humiliation. So what to do? Forgive them? In my case, I decided just to wait them out. They ended up destroying themselves. What’s the old saying: If you stand by the river long enough, your enemies will come floating by.
I’d urge the Congressman to take his time and be sure that forgiveness is something he really wants to give. If not, just bide his time. After all, revenge is a dish best served cold.
One of the leading causes of death in hospitalized patients is much more complex than once thought.
Septicemia is an infection that enters one’s blood stream. This can result in Sepsis, a life threatening condition that occurs in response to the blood infection. Its definition has been fluid over the years as more research reveals it’s a disease process.
IMAGE FROM TRISTATEHOSPITAL.ORG
Now researchers in a study published in JAMA describe 4 separate subtypes of Sepsis. These include:
α phenotype had fewer abnormal laboratory values and less organ dysfunction;
those with the β phenotype were older, had greater chronic illness, and were more likely to present with renal dysfunction;
those with the γ phenotype were more likely to have elevated measures of inflammation (eg, white blood cell count, premature neutrophil count [bands], erythrocyte sedimentation rate, or C-reactive protein), lower albumin level, and higher temperature; and those with the δ phenotype had elevated serum lactate levels, elevated levels of transaminases, and hypotension
Dr. Christopher Seymour of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, states in Medical Express, “Right now, our treatment approach to sepsis is basically ‘one size fits all,’ whether you are a 40-year-old with influenza complicated by [a] staff infection or an 80-year-old with multiple comorbidities and biliary sepsis,” he said, adding that international sepsis practice guidelines recommend the same bundle of care for everyone.”
Current goals in medicine aim to treat the patient rather than the disease, and as we need to individualize treatment for those with high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes, we need to as well with acute, deadly diseases such as sepsis.
U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) on May 18 called for the impeachment of President Donald Trump in a Twitter thread, accusing him of committing obstruction of justice and “conduct that violates the public trust,” citing the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as justification.
Nowhere in the Twitter thread did Amash make a specific allegation of which conduct by President Trump he was referring to that obstructed justice or violated the public trust — although he said there were “multiple examples”. In May 2017, Amash did indicate that President Trump firing former FBI Director James Comey could be a basis for impeachment, a topic the Mueller report does consider, so let’s assume for the purposes of this discussion that in part that is what he’s talking about.
Critically, nowhere in the Twitter thread did Amash mention Russia or the fact that the Mueller report had found no coordination or conspiracy with Russia by President Trump, his campaign or any American for that matter to interfere in the 2016 elections.
Mueller stated in the report, “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” It also stated, “the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference.”
That is important because the only reason President Trump was under investigation in the first place were false allegations made by former British spy Christopher Steele, beginning in the summer of 2016, paid for by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign, that Trump was a Russian agent and his campaign had coordinated the hack of the DNC and posting the emails on Wikileaks with Russia. Those allegations were given to the FBI and eventually formed the basis of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant application against the Trump campaign in Oct. 2016.
Amash has always been a hawk on reining in FISA abuse. In July 2013, Americans for Limited Government supported his efforts to rein in mass surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA). In Jan. 2018, when the USA Rights Act came up as an amendment by Amash, Americans for Limited Government again supported it, specifically because we believed if it had been law, the FISA abuse that occurred in 2016 would not have been possible, and that it might be a means of preventing it.
When more information about the Steele dossier’s role in the FISA warrant began to be known in Feb. 2018 with the release of the House Select Committee on Intelligence memorandum, Amash responded on Twitter calling for Congress to enact the USA Rights Act if members of Congress were concerned about FISA abuse.
Of the memo, Amash said, “The central allegation is that a warrant was obtained fraudulently or without sufficient cause. If true, it shows the dangers of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, something @libertycaucus and @freedomcaucus members have been saying for a long time.”
Amash noted, “the section of FISA discussed in the memo requires probable cause and a warrant.” Here, Amash is referring to 50 U.S. Code Sec. 1805(a)(2), which would have required probable cause that Carter Page, then a Trump campaign official, was acting as a foreign agent for the warrant to be issued.
But there was no probable cause. Steele, we now know in the Oct. 2016 FISA warrant application obtained by Judicial Watch in July 2018 in a Freedom of Information Act request, used “sub-source(s),” and the court was fully aware that Steele was not an eye-witness to the allegations. It stated Steele “tasked his sub-source(s) to collect the requisite information.” And then, after Steele “received information from the sub-source(s),” it was passed along to the FBI. So, the court knew it was second-hand or third-hand information, or hearsay.
These were rumors that were given to the FISA Court. The information was unverified, something Steele would later admit in testimony, saying that the allegations needed to be “further corroborated and verified.” Steele said his sources were Kremlin officals close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, but so far no evidence has been presented publicly he actually spoke to those sources directly.
In fact, Steele never went to Russia. Instead, according to testimony by Fusion GPS’ Glenn Simpson before the Senate Intelligence Committee in Nov. 2017, Steele hired “a network of sources who live in or came from the place that you’re interested in… who can travel and talk to people and find out what’s going on” to get the dirt. But we don’t know who, since, per Simpson, “I didn’t ask for the specific identities of specific people.”
On why didn’t Steele go to Russia himself, Simpson said “[H]e really would not be safe if he went to Russia. He’s been exposed as a former undercover British Intelligence officer who worked in Moscow. So it wouldn’t be wise for him to go to Russia.”
A March 2017 Vanity Fair piece about Steele by Howard Blum similarly stated, “[Steele] could count on an army of sources whose loyalty and information he had bought and paid for over the years. There was no safe way he could return to Russia to do the actual digging; the vengeful F.S.B. would be watching him closely. But no doubt he had a working relationship with knowledgeable contacts in London and elsewhere in the West, from angry émigrés to wheeling-and-dealing oligarchs always eager to curry favor with a man with ties to the Secret Service, to political dissidents with well-honed axes to grind. And, perhaps most promising of all, he had access to the networks of well-placed Joes — to use the jargon of his former profession — he’d directed from his desk at London Station, assets who had their eyes and ears on the ground in Russia.”
McCain Institute Senior Director for Human Rights and Human Freedoms David Kramer, testified in federal court about when he met Steele to get the dossier after the 2016 election, with the purpose of giving it to the late Sen. John McCain. Kramer said Steele told him, in Kramer’s words, “what was produced … needed to be corroborated and verified, he himself did not feel that he was in a position to vouch for everything that was produced…”
In May 2017, former FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the dossier was “salacious and unverified.”
By the time President Trump was being inaugurated in Jan. 2017, the dossier had been published by Buzzfeed. It was known as early as April 2017 that the dossier had been used in the FISA warrant application. That was a month before Comey was fired by President Donald Trump for lying to him about the extent of the investigation.
In his order firing Comey, Trump wrote, “While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.”
Steele had alleged in July 2016 that not only had Russia hacked the Democrats and put the emails on Wikileaks, which was already public knowledge since June 2016, but that Trump and his campaign helped with “full knowledge and support” of the operation. Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, as well as campaign advisor Carter Page when he traveled to Moscow in July 2016, were both named by Steele as the key intermediaries to the Kremlin. Steele said then-Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen had traveled to Prague in the summer of 2016 to meet with Russian agents to mop up the fallout of the supposed operation.
The Mueller report debunked those claims, stating, “In particular, the Office did not find evidence likely to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Campaign officials such as Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, and Carter Page acted as agents of the Russian government — or at its direction, control or request — during the relevant time period.”
Manafort was brought up on unrelated tax and bank fraud charges. Papadopoulos pled guilty of lying to investigators about his start date with the Trump campaign. Page was not charged with anything. As for Cohen, per the Mueller report, “Cohen had never traveled to Prague…” And so, he very well could not have been there meeting with Russian intelligence officials.
Trump knew all along and was well aware there was no basis for the investigation. For example, it was known as early as Jan. 2017 that Cohen had never traveled to Prague. Trump himself was also in a position to know that Steele’s allegations that he was Russian agent were false. So, when it became public that the FBI relied on false allegations to get electronic surveillance on the Trump campaign, and that the investigation into Trump had been carried over into his administration, which Comey lied about to Trump, the President had more than ample basis for firing Comey.
The only reason Mueller was appointed was because Trump fired Comey, who was leading the investigation — which turned out to be into a crime that was not committed by Trump or his team. At the time, Amash was already on the record in May 2017 saying that the firing could be the basis for impeaching Trump.
But Comey should have been fired. The FISA warrant, which Comey signed, and the ensuing investigation that carried over into the Trump administration in 2017 was all based on false information.
The FBI had reason to doubt Steele and his sources, and yet kept going back to renew the FISA warrant. A New York Times report Scott Shane, Adam Goldman and Matthew Rosenberg on April 20 that in Jan. 2017 reported the FBI interviewed one of the main sources for the dossier and came away with “misgivings about its reliability [that] arose not long after the document became public” in Jan. 2017.
Per the Times report: “By January 2017, F.B.I. agents had tracked down and interviewed one of Mr. Steele’s main sources, a Russian speaker from a former Soviet republic who had spent time in the West, according to a Justice Department document and three people familiar with the events, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. After questioning him about where he’d gotten his information, they suspected he might have added his own interpretations to reports passed on by his sources, one of the people said. For the F.B.I., that made it harder to decide what to trust.”
What is disappointing about Amash is he has previously championed FISA reform in 2013 after the NSA mass surveillance program was exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden. What does Amash imagine should happen to government officials who abuse the federal government’s spying powers? Should they get promotions or something?
By defending Comey’s actions, which permitted the FISA court to be defrauded by Steele, the DNC and the Clinton campaign even after the FBI knew it was a fiction, and condemning Trump’s actions to fire Comey, Amash is condoning the use of FISA to spy on a presidential campaign, the opposition party, in an election year, for crimes, conspiracy with Russia to interfere with the election, that were not committed by Trump, his campaign or any American.
In short, Amash is buying the Justice Department’s official rationale for the Russian collusion investigation that there was “probable cause” that Trump was a Russian agent when we know for a fact that was a lie today. The court was given false information. The call for impeachment comes despite the fact that in Feb. 2018, Amash said that “a warrant… obtained fraudulently or without sufficient cause… shows the dangers of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.”
I suppose now Amash no longer believes that fraudulent FISA warrants are dangerous if they’re taken out against his political opponents, like President Trump.
Ironically, Amash now warns that “America’s institutions depend on officials to uphold both the rules and spirit of our constitutional system even when to do so is personally inconvenient or yields a politically unfavorable outcome.” He added, “When loyalty to a political party or to an individual trumps loyalty to the Constitution, the Rule of Law — the foundation of liberty — crumbles.”
I agree, and in this case, Amash might want to take his own advice. In July 2013, when the House debated his amendment barring suspicionless surveillance, Amash asked, “When you had the chance to stand up for Americans’ privacy, did you?” Today, Amash is failing his own test. So blinded by his apparent political hatred of President Trump is he, Amash is ignoring the flagrant abuse of spying authorities that occurred in 2016 against a political campaign that most certainly endangers the liberty of all Americans. For shame.
If you ever want to see what a bunch of worthless pukes who inhabit the lamestream media produce, put the “news” app on your iPad and read it every morning.
It is SUPPOSED to be a compendium of reporting.
It IS a compendium of anti-Trump horse crap.
Fox News and the Wall Street Journal are the token sort-of-conservative news providers. The rest are mostly designed to bring to mind the words “enemies of the people.”
The reason I read this crap is that one should always read what the other side is saying. Even if it makes your head want to explode.
Washington is full of people—many in the media—who no matter where they come from lose their affinity with the average American—you and me—as soon as they arrive.
Back in the days we owned KTRT in Tulsa, we had a regular caller named Jack Jackson. He used to tell our on-air hosts that once someone got elected to the School Board, the County Commission or the City Council, they arrived at the Courthouse, City Hall or the School headquarters, saw the receptionist with the 10 button phone, took a breath of that pink gas and they were never the same.
He was right.
And it applies even more to wannabes like “journalists” and staffers. Those folks are even more dangerous because we can get rid of bad elected public officials at an election. People who spread fake news and the faceless staffers who work in government seem to have lifetime appointments.
The cure for this is not more government regulation.
I’m a big believer in the First Amendment.
The cure for this is eternal vigilance. We need to vote with our channel changer and our subscription dollars. We need to question everything.
As an example, the other day Fox News Channel did a poll that they said showed that Joe Biden had widened his “lead” over the Democrat 2020 field. And that he would beat the President in a general election.
Here is what they didn’t tell you on TV. In fact, you have to do a pretty thorough web search of their site to get:
“Interviews were conducted May 11-14, 2019 among a random national sample of 1,008 registered voters (RV). Landline (231) and cellphone (777) telephone numbers were randomly selected for inclusion in the survey using a probability proportionate to size method, which means phone numbers for each state are proportional to the number of voters in each state.”
In other words, this is the same crap that said Hillary was going to win by seven points the day of the 2016 election. And, worse, it’s from FOX!
Did they exit poll 10,000 people leaving a big event? No. They look you in the eye and talk about this stuff like it is true. They don’t even tell you the methodology on screen—just what they think is the “margin of error”.
Now one thing you need to know. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Occasionally, these guys get lucky. But the science behind what they do has been rendered useless by the new digital landscape which makes it very difficult to find a real sample.
So thinking Americans—you and I—do our research at coffee shops, neighborhood gatherings, on Southwest Airlines and places where real people gather.
My best guess, from those sources, is that we are pretty happy with the President. He should win handily in 2020.
That’s NOT an excuse for complacency.