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  • Mom Speaks Out After Son Defied Alleged Bible Ban and Stood Up for His Right to Read the Religious Text
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 8:14 am by Billy Hallowell

    Comments (102)

    The American Civil Liberties Union is claiming victory in the case of a young boy who was reportedly banned from reading his Bible during an after school program in Tennessee. And in the wake of the resolution, the child’s mother has said she’s proud that her son defended his religious rights.

    As TheBlaze previously reported, the civil rights group recently wrote a letter to Tennessee’s Cannon County REACH after-school program, defending the child and attempting to clarify First Amendment protections.

    Image source: Shutterstock.com

    Image source: Shutterstock.com

    According to the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, REACH, a publicly funded organization, subsequently educated staff members on students’ constitutional rights in public schools and circulated the letter with its staff.

    “We are pleased that the REACH program has trained their staff on their obligation under the law to safeguard their students’ religious liberties without imposing religion on them,” Thomas H. Castelli, American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee legal director, said in a statement. “We will continue monitoring the program to ensure that students’ religious freedom is protected.”

    The boy’s mother, Lisa Koepfgen, also spoke out in the same statement, noting that she is proud of her child for defending his right to read the Bible. She also said she was happy that REACH decided to educate its staff on rights afforded by the First Amendment.

    “I am so proud of my son for standing up for his right to read the Bible during free reading time at his after-school program, despite multiple staff members wrongly telling us it was against the law,” Koepfgen said. “Clearly the REACH program also realized that they needed to retrain their staff on the Constitution’s protection of students’ religious freedom.”

    The situation began after staff members at REACH reportedly not only told the elementary school boy he couldn’t read the Bible, but they also allegedly tried to take it from him, saying that the program could lose state funding if he continued reading it.

    The American Civil Liberties Union requested in its letter that REACH train employees in students’ rights and that the little boy be allowed to read his Bible during free reading periods.

    Image source: Shutterstock.com

    Image source: Shutterstock.com

    The letter claimed that “Tennessee public school students cannot be denied the right to engage in religious activities during student activity times, recess and other free time,” so long as these activities are not disruptive.

    According to the Alabama Baptist, REACH is a primarily government-funded after-school program that operates in Cannon County schools. It’s intent is to assist children in learning and growing from pre-kindergarten through high school by offering tutoring and academic assistance.

    Its name stands for “Reach: Enrichment, Afterschool and Community Health.”

    Featured image via Shutterstock.com

  • 29 Syrian Rebels Die After Reportedly Trying to Load a Vehicle With Explosives
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 7:48 am by Sharona Schwartz

    Comments (93)

    At least 29 Syrian rebels died in an explosion Sunday as they were preparing a vehicle for a bombing attack, a Syrian monitoring group says.

    The French News Agency AFP, quoting the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, reported that the car bomb detonated in the embattled city of Homs, killing the fighters, most or all of whom were believed to be rebels.

    “The death toll is likely to rise because there are dozens of people missing and body parts in the area of the blast,” the Observatory said.

    Israel National News compared the reported mishap to “a Gaza style ‘work accident.’”

    In a separate incident, Syrian residents run in the street after a government warplane dropped barrel bombs at al-Sakhour neighborhood in Aleppo, Syria, Saturday, April 5, 2014. The photo was provided by the anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center (AMC) and was authenticated by the Associated Press based on its contents and other AP reporting. (Photo: AP/Aleppo Media Center, AMC)

    In a separate incident, Syrian residents run in the street after a government warplane dropped barrel bombs at al-Sakhour neighborhood in Aleppo, Syria, Saturday, April 5, 2014. The photo was provided by the anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center (AMC) and was authenticated by the Associated Press based on its contents and other AP reporting. (Photo: AP/Aleppo Media Center, AMC)

    Syria’s official news agency SANA reported that the car exploded while it was being loaded with explosives.

    The Observatory noted that the explosion occurred in the Homs chicken market which is near a police base, but did not say which group was behind the blast.

    According to AFP, another group, the Syrian Revolution General Commission, attributed the blast to a rocket landing on an ammunition storage facility.

    TheBlaze is unable to independently verify either claim.

    In February, an instructor at a terrorist training camp near Baghdad mistakenly detonated the suicide bomb belt he was using for a demonstration, killing himself and 21 other militants with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

    After the incident was reported, a local merchant told the New York Times, “This is God showing justice…This is God sending a message to the bad people and the criminals in the world, to tell them to stop the injustice and to bring peace. Evil will not win in the end. It’s always life that wins over death.”

    In another focus of weekend fighting, the Observatory reported that an adult and a child were killed in the northern Aleppo province by explosives-packed barrels known as “barrel bombs” dropped by government forces loyal to President Bashar Assad.

  • Actor Mickey Rooney Dies at 93
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 7:44 am by Associated Press

    Comments (26)

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mickey Rooney’s approach to life was simple: “Let’s put on a show!” He spent nine decades doing it, on the big screen, on television, on stage and in his extravagant personal life.

    A superstar in his youth, Rooney was Hollywood’s top box-office draw in the late 1930s to early 1940s. He epitomized the “show” part of show business, even if the business end sometimes failed him amid money troubles and a seesaw of career tailspins and revivals.

    FILE – In this Monday, April 26, 2004, file photo, Jan, left, and Mickey Rooney pose for photographs after having unveiled their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. Mickey Rooney, a Hollywood legend whose career spanned more than 80 years, has died. He was 93. Los Angeles Police Commander Andrew Smith said that Rooney was with his family when he died Sunday, April 6, 2014, at his North Hollywood home. (AP Photo/Ann Johansson, File)

    Pint-sized, precocious, impish, irrepressible — perhaps hardy is the most-suitable adjective for Rooney, a perennial comeback artist whose early blockbuster success as the vexing but wholesome Andy Hardy and as Judy Garland’s musical comrade in arms was bookended 70 years later with roles in “Night at the Museum” and “The Muppets.”

    Rooney died Sunday at age 93 surrounded by family at his North Hollywood home, police said. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office said Rooney died a natural death.

    There were no further details immediately available on the cause of death, but Rooney did attend Vanity Fair’s Oscar party last month, where he posed for photos with other veteran stars and seemed fine. He was also shooting a movie at the time of his death, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde,” with Margaret O’Brien.

    He was nominated for four Academy Awards over a four-decade span and received two special Oscars for film achievements, won an Emmy for his TV movie “Bill” and had a Tony nomination for his Broadway smash “Sugar Babies.”

    “I loved working with Mickey on ‘Sugar Babies.’ He was very professional, his stories were priceless and I love them all … each and every one. We laughed all the time,” Carol Channing said.

    A small man physically, Rooney was prodigious in talent, scope, ambition and appetite. He sang and danced, played roles both serious and silly, wrote memoirs, a novel, movie scripts and plays and married eight times, siring 11 children.

    FILE – Actor Mickey Rooney portrays “Pinnochio,” in this September 1957, file photo. Rooney, a Hollywood legend whose career spanned more than 80 years, has died. He was 93. Los Angeles Police Commander Andrew Smith said that Rooney was with his family when he died Sunday, April 6, 2014, at his North Hollywood home. (AP Photo/File)

    His first marriage — to the glamorous, and taller, Ava Gardner — lasted only a year. But a fond recollection from Rooney years later — “I’m 5 feet 3, but I was 6 feet 4 when I married Ava” — summed up the man’s passion and capacity for life.

    Rooney began as a toddler in his parents’ vaudeville act in the 1920s. He was barely six when he first appeared on screen, playing a midget in the 1926 silent comedy short “Not to Be Trusted,” and he was still at it more than 80 years later, working incessantly as he racked up about 250 screen credits in a career unrivaled for length and variety.

    “I always say, ‘Don’t retire — inspire,’” Rooney said in an interview with The Associated Press in March 2008. “There’s a lot to be done.”

    This from a man who did more than just about anyone in Hollywood and outlasted pretty much everyone from old Hollywood.

    Rooney was among the last survivors of the studio era, which his career predated, most notably with the lead in a series of “Mickey McGuire” kid comedy shorts from the late 1920s to early ’30s that were meant to rival Hal Roach’s “Our Gang” flicks.

    After signing with MGM in 1934, Rooney landed his first big role playing Clark Gable’s character as a boy in “Manhattan Melodrama.” A year later, still only in his mid-teens, Rooney was doing Shakespeare, playing an exuberant Puck in Max Reinhardt’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” which also featured James Cagney and Olivia de Havilland.

    Rooney soon was earning $300 a week with featured roles in such films as “Riff Raff,” ”Little Lord Fauntleroy,” ”Captains Courageous” and “The Devil Is a Sissy.”

    FILE – In this Thursday, May 19, 2011, file photo, actor Mickey Rooney poses during a portrait session in Los Angeles. Rooney, a Hollywood legend whose career spanned more than 80 years, has died. He was 93. Los Angeles Police Commander Andrew Smith said that Rooney was with his family when he died Sunday, April 6, 2014, at his North Hollywood home. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

    Then came Andy Hardy in the 1937 comedy “A Family Affair,” a role he would reprise in 15 more feature films over the next two decades. Centered on a kindly small-town judge (Lionel Barrymore) who delivers character-building homilies to troublesome son Andy, it was pure corn, but it turned out to be golden corn for MGM, becoming a runaway success with audiences.

    “I knew ‘A Family Affair’ was a B picture, but that didn’t stop me from putting my all in it,” Rooney recalled.

    Studio boss Louis B. Mayer saw “A Family Affair” as a template for a series of movies about a model American home. Cast changes followed, most notably with Lewis Stone replacing Barrymore in the sequels, but Rooney stayed on, his role built up until he became the focus of the films, which included “The Courtship of Andy Hardy,” ”Andy Hardy’s Double Life” and “Love Finds Andy Hardy,” the latter featuring fellow child star Garland.

    He played a delinquent humbled by Spencer Tracy as Father Flanagan in 1938′s “Boys Town” and Mark Twain’s timeless scamp in 1939′s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

    Rooney’s peppy, all-American charm was never better matched than when he appeared opposite Garland in such films as “Babes on Broadway” and “Strike up the Band,” musicals built around that “Let’s put on a show” theme.

    One of them, 1939′s “Babes in Arms,” earned Rooney a best-actor Oscar nomination, a year after he received a special Oscar shared with Deanna Durbin for “bringing to the screen the spirit and personification of youth, and as juvenile players setting a high standard of ability and achievement.”

    He earned another best-actor nomination for 1943′s “The Human Comedy,” adapted from William Saroyan’s sentimental tale about small-town life during World War II. The performance was among Rooney’s finest.

    “Mickey Rooney, to me, is the closest thing to a genius I ever worked with,” ”Human Comedy” director Clarence Brown once said.

    Brown also directed Rooney and Elizabeth Taylor in 1944′s horse-racing hit “National Velvet,” but by then, Rooney was becoming a cautionary tale for early fame. He earned a reputation for drunken escapades and quickie romances and was unlucky in both money and love. In 1942 he married for the first time, to Gardner, the statuesque MGM beauty. He was 21, she was 19.

    They divorced a year later. Rooney joined the Army, spending most of his World War II service entertaining troops.

    When he returned to Hollywood, disillusionment awaited him. His savings had been stolen by a manager and his career was in a nose dive. He made two films at MGM, then his contract was dropped.

    “I began to realize how few friends everyone has,” he wrote in one of autobiographies. “All those Hollywood friends I had in 1938, 1939, 1940 and 1941, when I was the toast of the world, weren’t friends at all.”

    His movie career never regained its prewar eminence. “The Bold and the Brave,” 1956 World War II drama, brought him an Oscar nomination as best supporting actor. But mostly, he played second leads in such films as “Off Limits” with Bob Hope, “The Bridges at Toko-Ri” with William Holden, and “Requiem for a Heavyweight” with Anthony Quinn.

    In the early 1960s, he had a wild turn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” as Audrey Hepburn’s bucktoothed Japanese neighbor, and he was among the fortune seekers in the all-star comedy “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.”

    Rooney’s starring roles came in low-budget films such as “Drive a Crooked Road,” ”The Atomic Kid,” ”Platinum High School,” ”The Twinkle in God’s Eye” and “How to Stuff a Wild Bikini.”

    But no one ever could count Rooney out. He earned a fourth Oscar nomination, as supporting actor, for 1979′s “Black Stallion,” the same year he starred with Ann Miller in the Broadway revue “Sugar Babies,” which brought him a Tony nomination and millions of dollars during his years with the show.

    “I’ve been coming back like a rubber ball for years,” Rooney wisecracked at the time.

    In 1981 came his Emmy-winning performance as a disturbed man in “Bill.” He found success with voice roles for animated films such as “The Fox and the Hound,” ”The Care Bears Movie” and the blockbuster “Finding Nemo.”

    “He was undoubtedly the most talented actor that ever lived. There was nothing he couldn’t do. Singing, dancing, performing … all with great expertise,” Margaret O’Brien said. “I was currently doing a film with him, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr Hyde.” I simply can’t believe it. He seemed fine through the filming and was as great as ever.”

    Over the years, Rooney also made hundreds of appearances on TV talk and game shows, dramas and variety programs. He starred in three short-lived series: “The Mickey Rooney Show” (1954); “Mickey” (1964); and “One of the Boys” (1982). A co-star from “One of the Boys,” Dana Carvey, later parodied Rooney on “Saturday Night Live,” mocking him as a hopeless egomaniac who couldn’t stop boasting he once was “the number one star … IN THE WO-O-ORLD!”

    A lifelong storyteller, Rooney wrote two memoirs: “i.e., an Autobiography” published in 1965, and “Life Is Too Short,” 1991. He also produced a novel about a child movie star, “The Search for Sonny Skies,” in 1994.

    In the autobiographies, Rooney gave two versions of his debut in show business. First he told of being 1½ and climbing into the orchestra pit of the burlesque theater where his parents were appearing. He sat on a kettle drum and pretended to be playing his whistle, vastly amusing the audience.

    The second autobiography told a different story: He was hiding under the scenery when he sneezed. Dragged out by an actor, the toddler was ordered to play his harmonica. He did, and the crowd loved it.

    Whatever the introduction, Joe Yule Jr., born in 1920, was the star of his parents’ act by the age of 2, singing “Sweet Rosie O’Grady” in a tiny tuxedo. His father was a baggy-pants comic, Joe Yule, his mother a dancer, Nell Carter. Yule was a boozing Scotsman with a wandering eye, and the couple soon parted.

    While his mother danced in the chorus, young Joe was wowing audiences with his heartfelt rendition of “Pal o’ My Cradle Days.” During a tour to California, the boy made his film debut in 1926′s “Not to Be Trusted.”

    The Mickey McGuire short comedies that followed gave him a new stage name, later appended, at his mother’s suggestion, to the last name Rooney, after vaudeville dancer Pat Rooney.

    After splitting with Gardner, Rooney married Betty Jane Rase, Miss Birmingham of 1944, whom he had met during military training in Alabama. They had two sons and divorced after four years. (Their son Timothy died in September 2006 at age 59 after a battle with a muscle disease called dermatomyositis.)

    His third and fourth marriages were to actress Martha Vickers (one son) and model Elaine Mahnken.

    The fifth Mrs. Rooney, model Barbara Thomason, gave birth to four children. While the couple were estranged in 1966, she was found shot to death in her Brentwood home; beside her was the body of her alleged lover, a Yugoslavian actor. It was an apparent murder and suicide.

    A year later, Rooney began a three-month marriage to Margaret Lane. She was followed by a secretary, Caroline Hockett — another divorce after five years and one daughter.

    In 1978, Rooney, 57, married for the eighth — and apparently last — time. His bride was singer Janice Darlene Chamberlain, 39. Their marriage lasted longer than the first seven combined.

    After a lifetime of carrying on, he became a devoted Christian and member of the Church of Religious Science. He settled in suburban Thousand Oaks, about 40 miles west of Los Angeles. In 2011, Rooney was in the news again when he testified before Congress about abuse of the elderly, alleging that he was left powerless by a family member who took and misused his money.

    “I felt trapped, scared, used and frustrated,” Rooney told a special Senate committee considering legislation to curb abuses of senior citizens. “But above all, when a man feels helpless, it’s terrible.”

    That year Rooney took his stepson Christopher Aber and others to court on allegations that they tricked him into thinking he was on the brink of poverty while defrauding him out of millions and bullying him into continuing to work. At the time, Aber declined comment on the suit except to say, “this lawsuit is not from Mickey Rooney — it’s from his conservators who are stealing from him.” The New York Times reported that the suit was settled last year.

    ___

    Biographical material in this story was written by former AP reporter David Germain and the late AP reporter Bob Thomas. AP National Writer Hillel Italie in New York and writers Lynn Elber and Sue Manning in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

  • ‘Fight Church’ Documentary Featuring MMA-Battling Pastors to Premiere This Month
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 12:16 am by Dave Urbanski

    Comments (90)

    Fight Church,” a new documentary that examines the relationship between Christianity and mixed martial arts — and even follows a group of fighting church pastors — is set to open later this month.

    “Can you love your neighbor as yourself,” the movie’s trailer asks, “and at the same time knee him in the face as hard as you can?”

    Image source: "Fight Church" official trailer

    Image source: “Fight Church” official trailer

    TheBlaze reported about the film almost two years ago during its fledgling, Kickstarter stages; now “Fight Church” is set to premiere April 24 at the Independent Film Festival of Boston, then on April 25 at the Nashville Film Festival, according to the movie’s Facebook page.

    “We’ll just be a couple of God-fearing men punching each other in the face,” one fighting pastor explains in the trailer, which also depicts kids putting on the gloves and headgear and going at it.

    “Jesus never tapped out,” another pastor says. “He came to finish what he needed to do.”

    Image source: Facebook

    Image source: Facebook

    A priest interviewed in the film expresses his disapproval of the MMA fighting as ministry: “John says love one another. This is not love.”

    “Fight Church” features former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson and current UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, both of whom explain how their faith allows them to fight, Fox News noted.

    Oscar-winner Daniel Junge (“Saving Face”) is one of the film’s directors.

    The “Fight Church” website says the film “is made up of passionate, genuine people from all walks of the Christian faith who are trained and prepared to provide practical and spiritual care to fighters, coaches other members of the MMA community and their families.”

    MMA pastor Paul Burress, featured in the movie, defended his passion for pugilism in an interview with ABC News.

    “We don’t fight out of meanness,” Burress, of Trinity Church in Rochester, N.Y., said. “We have no hate or bitterness in our heart.”

    Here’s the trailer:

  • Residents Haven’t Seen Deadly Creature Yet — But Creepy Clue It May Have Shuffled Off Has Them Plenty Nervous
    Posted April 6, 2014 at 11:09 pm by Dave Urbanski

    Comments (101)

    So how should one react when learning that a very large, very poisonous snake may be shacking up just outside one’s front door?

    A live Gaboon Viper (Image source: YouTube raw clip)

    A look at a live Gaboon Viper — not the one that may be on the apartment grounds. ((Image source: YouTube raw clip)

    Residents of an apartment complex in South Carolina have already answered that question, now that they’ve been made aware that the deadly Gaboon Viper may be lurking in their midst.

    Folks found out after a maintenance worker at the Harbor Pointe Apartments in Mount Pleasant, just east of Charleston, found a shed snake skin on the complex’s grounds.

    Management made a few calls and learned from an exterminator familiar with snakes that the skin looked very much like that of the Gaboon Viper, according to WCBD-TV in Charleston, S.C.

    So management notified residents, warned them to take proper precautions, and tacked up the skin in the main office for good measure.

    WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

    Farrah Reid said reading the fliers around the complex has forced her to think twice when walking her dogs.

    “And I read it and I was like, ‘Oh my God!’” she told WCBD-TV. “I close bars and I get home like around 11 or 12-o’clock at night and I have to take them out.”

    Gaboon Vipers, native to Africa, can grow up to six feet in length and are recognized by the very distinct rectangular patterns down its back. This particular snake, experts said, looks between three and four feet long.

    “This is nothing to play with,” Raymond Covington told WCBD in a separate story. “They need to get a group out to look for this thing.”

    WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

    Covington, who runs a nuisance wildlife company that specializes in removing animals such as snakes and alligators, said he was shocked when he heard about the possible viper and figures someone kept it as a pet and let it go.

    “It could have got out from a ship [at the Port],” he told WCBD. “I am more thinking it was a homeowner that said it’s too big. They can’t handle it [any] more and released it.”

    The Gaboon Viper is known for ambushing its victims. A snake handler said it can simply sit for days in the same spot, waiting for its prey, often in warm places such as under leaves.

    “It doesn’t even have to move,” LeJohn Robeson told WCBD. “It will be totally still, and it will strike. Just like that.”

    Robeson added that the skin appears genuine and looks like a Gaboon Viper’s.

    Featured image via YouTube

    This story has been updated.

  • ‘It’s Called Freedom of Speech’: Blaze Readers React to ‘Marine and Soldier’ Who Responded to Protesters Holding U.S. Flag Upside Down
    Posted April 6, 2014 at 9:50 pm by Dave Urbanski

    Comments (91)
    Image source: YouTube

    Image source: YouTube

    TheBlaze posted a story earlier this week about two men wearing Marine and Army T-shirts who were upset with two people riding a moped and holding a U.S. flag upside down during a protest over police shooting a homeless man in New Mexico.

    The “soldiers” chased the protestors and took the flag from them. Some said the men were heroes while others said they violated the protestors’ freedom of speech.

    Here’s what some readers of TheBlaze had to say about the issue:

    From Virginia

    An upside-down American flag signifies a country in distress. I have been flying the colors upside down since the Kelo decision. Anyone looking at the current state of affairs in this country can’t help but notice we are a country in distress.

    Baron_Doom

    It’s pretty sad when Americans don’t understand what the symbolism behind an upside-down flag means.

    It means distress.

    If militarized police forces killing citizens for no apparent reason isn’t distressful, I’m not sure what is anymore.

    Kupo

    All of you who are applauding these two meatheads need to realize some things.

    First of all, flying the flag upside down is not disrespectful. It is a position to show that the nation is in distress. Do any of you here honestly believe that our nation isn’t in distress?

    Second, that guy was free to fly his flag any way he wants. It’s called freedom of speech, and it’s protected by law as well as a natural right. Assaulting people, however, is NOT protected by law and NOT a natural right. Nobody should be supporting the actions of these two thugs.

    D.A.Veteran

    With Freedom, comes Responsibility! The protesters had to know, that by treating the American flag like crap, is the same as treating every person who serves and every veteran like crap. It’s one of the most hateful things a person can do toward veterans and basically all Americans. For every action, there is an equal, opposite reaction. And they got a reaction. The U.S. flag is the symbol for America, even when there is a Marxist-Leninist in the White House (living the high life, mostly on vacation and golfing). It represents all Americans, including those bozos who decided to shame this wondrous flag. If they hate America and the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights and everything we stand for, then please move to North Korea, Saudi Arabia, or even Iran. Semper Fi.

    tedpettit

    They must NOT be active duty, or they would understand that flying the flag upside down is showing respect. It’s the international sign of distress and accurately describes our country. Also, theft is a dischargeable offense. Locate these “soldiers” and teach THEM respect.

    iris1987

    The flag being flown upside down is a sign of distress. When our president passes executive orders without batting an eye, school children are taught that the Constitution is an outdated document, and the country is near financial collapse, our country is most definitely wounded and freedom is dying. These soldiers should be mad, but not at the people who wave the flag the way they did; they should be mad at the people who gave the protesters reason to protest.

    He_Is_Risen

    It is disturbing — but not surprising — how many people here think the soldiers actions were patriotic and that they had the right to chase down, take the flag from the protesters, and possibly assault them. No one has the right to attack someone simply because of what someone is saying or how they are saying it. Nor do you have the right to attack someone simply because you are offended by what they are saying — there is no right to not be offended. What the soldiers did was not an act of patriotism — it was the antithesis of patriotism.

    Nor is the applauding of their actions an act of patriotism — the applause is too the antithesis of patriotism. Many here who would claim to be patriots and Constitutionalists are very quick to dismiss the rights of those they disagree with. You cannot call yourself a patriot when you are so quick to dismiss the rights of others, threaten or wish for violence upon them, just because you do not like them or what they are saying.

    SF18B40

    I am a former member of 3rd special forces out of Bragg. These guys are the new military, untrained and undisciplined. The flag is the symbol of our freedom — to invert it is to make a claim of country, base, command center, or even platoon is in distress. Is this country in distress? I think so. To protest is a right of every one of our countrymen when we see something wrong. If these guys are truly military, they would know what this meant. And they would remember their OATH. This is a sign of your new government taking away rights and using young and dumb to do their bidding. And before some numbskull asks, “So, you believe in burning the flag?” “NO, and if you need proof of that, do it in my presence.” Note: If I ever fly our flag inverted, you can bet there is gonna be trouble if someone grabs it from me. Arrogance is the absence of wisdom. Hang in there, my fellow Americans.

    Watchman444

    Disrespect the flag at your own risk! It’s “fighting actions” as sure as using “fighting words.” Active military or veterans who have lost friends defending it just might lose it and go off on offenders. No, they don’t have the right to assault you; but they will happily pay the consequences of kicking your butt! As a Vietnam veteran I do not see the correlation of dishonoring the flag protesting local police shootings. Use a police symbol, not one that represents soldiers sacrificing their lives for their country. I would not have a problem with the protesters disrespecting an effigy of the Chief of Police, Mayor, Governor or President. The flag has nothing to do with the actions of bad Americans. It has everything to do with our heroes who embody the flag.

    My2blueliners

    As soldiers we stand to uphold the Constitution. The whole Constitution. Not just bits and pieces. And because as soldiers we protect the American people. All of them. Even the dumb ones who fly the flag upside down. So let them do it. It sucks really, but we as soldiers gave them that right.

    PalmBeachPaul

    I truly honor those men for serving our great country and putting their lives on the line for us all. However, I find it at least mildly disturbing that two military men didn’t know that flying the flag upside down is a symbol of distress. We’re nothing, if not in distress, as a people right now.

    steelrain0811

    I served many years in the Marines, and I am proud of these two men for showing what courage and commitment to your country and your fellow Americans is all about…The flag does not represent the U.S. government; it represents the people who are free in this country, and it represents those who’ve died for the freedom that we all take for granted. What these men did was commendable. They didn’t use any violence; they weren’t ridiculously out of line. They simply protected the dignity of the sanctity of the U.S. colors — and when we service members swear an oath to support and defend the U.S. Constitution and all it represents, we take it seriously; it’s an oath, and an oath is for life — not just when you’re in uniform.

    cold_beer839

    I could understand the flag of Albuquerque, N.M being flown upside down, but what did the U.S. flag have to do with this situation?

    AcidicReverie1

    As a veteran I have to say that these guys are wrong. We’ve sworn to protect their right to wave the flag upside down. It is a sign of distress and IMO is justified. This is NOT the country that it should be and is supposed to be. The fact that the young brainwashed military youth ran and acted the way they did means they have forgotten the OATH they took at MEPS when they signed up: “To support and defend the Constitution from ALL enemies foreign and domestic.” These guys let their pride get in the way and have allowed themselves to be a “domestic” enemy of the Constitution. This bothers me beyond belief and has justified my belief that the brainwashing of my fellow troops has gotten over the edge. If they are ever unleashed on American citizens, especially those protesting their tyrannical government, I fear they will do as they are told rather then remember their oaths. May God have mercy on us and the monster we have created.

    Dave787

    This would be the type of Marine that I could not stand behind. He sounds like he claims to be so proud of his flag and such, but if you think about it,what is he doing? This man on the motorcycle is exercising his first amendment right to free speech. It doesn’t make a difference if you agree or not with the guy — he has every right to exercise free speech.

    But this Marine is, in fact, censoring that which he disagrees with by taking that flag from the protestor.

    Personally I do feel this country is in dire danger of being destroyed, so I can’t say I disagree with the flag being flown upside down, which is a symbol of distress not disrespect!

    So in my view this Marine is a threat to freedom if he feels he can silence opponents in such a manor!

    On top of that, in the process of taking this flag, he breaks one of the main rules of the flag. NEVER LET IT TOUCH THE GROUND. And not only does he let it fall to the ground, but also he runs over it, trampling it.

    Yankeethunder1

    I’m sticking with the Marine and Army soldiers on this, all the way. They may have bled for those colors!

    If protesters feel that they need to bring attention to their cause, why not carry the images of their congressman or senators instead?

    When they decide to trash and disrespect any national symbol, they are inviting every single one of us to react.

    EvlDrZork

    I haven’t had a chance to read all the previous but wanted to point out that the “protester” with his head wrapped insurgent style actually threw the flag on the ground before either of the servicemen got to him guess that shows his level of “respect” for the flag as well as his level of determination to stand by and defend his beliefs like the servicemen did. Duck and run never won anything but righteous scorn.

  • Comedian Who Played Hapless Carjacking Victim in ‘Seinfeld’ Finale Dies at 50
    Posted April 6, 2014 at 8:57 pm by Dave Urbanski

    Comments (80)

    Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — John Pinette, stand-up comedian and hapless carjacking victim from the final episode of “Seinfeld,” has died. He was 50.

    Image source: NBC via YouTube

    Image source: NBC via YouTube

    Pinette appeared in movies including “The Punisher” and had a trio of stand-up shows released on DVD, but he was perhaps best known as the carjacking victim whose plight the “Seinfeld” stars videotape and lampoon until they’re arrested for failing to help under a new “good Samaritan” law.

    The incident leads to an uproarious trial featuring past characters only too happy to help throw Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer behind bars.

    The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s office says Pinette died at a Pittsburgh hotel on Saturday; the medical examiner’s office says his death was from natural causes.

    Agent Nick Nuciforo says Pinette had been working on another stand-up project when he died.

    Here’s Pinette’s famous clip:

  • Armed Protesters Gather at Texas Open-Carry Rally After Tasing, Arrest of Man Walking with Loaded Rifle
    Posted April 6, 2014 at 8:01 pm by Dave Urbanski

    Comments (288)

    Dozens of armed protesters gathered outside a San Antonio police station Sunday to let authorities know they aren’t happy that a man was tased and arrested after openly carrying his rifle while on a walk near his home a week ago, according to KSAT-TV in San Antonio.

    Open Carry Texas also was protesting a city ordinance that outlaws carrying loaded weapons within city limits because, members said, state law prohibits municipalities from adopting any such ordinance.

    Image source: KSAT-TV

    Image source: KSAT-TV

    The incident in question was videotaped by the gun owner, Henry Vichique, 19, and began as a calm chat and then ended with cops tasing the Vichique before placing him in handcuffs.

    Vichique attended the rally, telling KSAT that he was within his rights at the time of his arrest and is now calling for an investigation.

    Image source:

    Image source: KSAT-TV

    video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

    TheBlaze reported on Vichique’s run-in with the police last week.

    “We are going to take that gun off your shoulder, do you understand that?” one officer is heard asking Vichique on his March 31 video. “Do you understand that?”

    Another officer then asks Vichique if he is going to “fight” if they grab his gun, to which he replies, “I’m not going to grab it, sir. I have not been arrested and the law says unless I’ve been arrested, you can’t take it from me.”

    Though he had already confirmed several times that his rifle was loaded, the officers asked him again.

    “It’s chambered,” Vichique replies, claiming again that he’s not breaking any laws.

    Then, suddenly, an officer pulls out his taser and uses it on Vichique, who mumbles that he’s being unlawfully arrested and that he doesn’t consent to any searches or seizures.

    Watch the full exchange of the police incident below:

  • Let’s Say You Just Found $11,000 in Untraceable Cash on the Side of the Road…
    Posted April 6, 2014 at 6:55 pm by Dave Urbanski

    Comments (107)

    Sherry Whitesides, a fourth-grade teacher, was doing nothing more spectacular last Sunday than simply driving with her 12-year-old son Alan.

    All of a sudden they saw something fall from the car in front of them.

    The driver didn’t turn around to retrieve the item, “so my son and I pulled over and we got out,” Whitesides told WBTV-TV in Charlotte, N.C.

    On the side of the road, Whitesides and her son made a startling discovery.

    Exactly 114 one hundred dollar bills.

    Image source:

    Image source: WBTV-TV

    “Eleven thousand dollars was a lot of money in 100 dollar bills,” she told WBTV, adding that a bank bag had flown from the top of the car in front of them.

    Alan understandably got some pretty big visions of what the cash could command:  “When he saw all this money he said, ‘Wow, I could get a four-wheeler with this,’” Whitesides recalled.

    But for the 20-year veteran teacher, there was only one plan for the cash.

    “It wasn’t mine, I didn’t deserve it, I didn’t do anything to get it.” she told the station.

    Sherry Whitesides (Image source: WBTV-TV)

    Sherry Whitesides (Image source: WBTV-TV)

    So the 20-year veteran teacher and her boy took the $11,000 to the police department in Clover, which is just under 30 miles southwest of Charlotte.

    “You still wonder, ‘Is this really happening? Is this true? Is it make believe?’” asked Police Chief Randy Grice, adding to WBTV that he’s still a little shocked that Whitesides turned it in — she didn’t have to.

    Grice said the money was nontraceable and the owner “probably would have never figured out where it went to.”

    But police managed to track down the owner of the cash because his driver’s license and other paperwork were in the bank bag as well.

    For Whitesides, she’ll always have a valuable lesson to share with students at Cotton Belt Elementary School in York, N.C.

    “I feel very richly blessed and it has nothing to do with my bank account.”

    CBS46 News

    Featured image via WBTV-TV

  • Their Gov’t Wants to Curb Spread of Christianity, Threatening to Demolish Their Church. How the Faithful Fight Back Should Come as No Surprise.
    Posted April 6, 2014 at 5:47 pm by Dave Urbanski

    Comments (166)

    In the face of an official campaign to curb the rapid spread of Christianity, thousands of Chinese Christians have camped in and around a church in the eastern part of the country in order to prevent its demolition, the Washington Post reported.

    Image source:

    Sanjiang Church (Image source: Pray for China CCL/Facebook)

    Local officials in the province of Zhejiang embarked on a campaign in February to demolish any church buildings that violated local regulations, according to a government Web site, given their concern that Christianity was growing too fast and in an “unsustainable” manner.

    When leaders of Sanjiang Church in Wenzhou refused to remove small spires on the rooftop, officials threatened to tear down the entire building, according to Zheng Leguo, an evangelical church leader from Wenzhou.

    A local Christian leader who requested anonymity for fear of retaliation told the Post he’s been staying in the church since Thursday with about 3,000 other Christians — some of whom are from neighboring churches and are helping to guard the building.

    “From what they discussed during negotiations, the point isn’t about the illegal construction, but about the cross,” the leader told the Post. “Some top officials believe that there are too many crosses, too many churches, and in every county, they asked for a few crosses to be destroyed, not all of them.”

    Image source:

    Sanjiang Church (Image source: Pray for China CCL/Facebook)

    Apparently crosses that can be seen in public are a big problem; the provincial Communist Party secretary reportedly bristled at being able to view many large, bright crosses during a recent trip along a major highway and ordered the removal of some of them. Churches have been told that they can instead hang smaller crosses inside.

    According to ChinaAid, a Texas-based Christian group, at least six crosses have been taken down so far.

    A local government official not authorized to speak by name to the media said authorities were trying to resolve the matter peacefully and had never threatened to demolish the structures by force. “We’ve asked them to leave out of concern for their own safety, but some local followers still slept inside the building,” he told the Post. “The government is still negotiating with the people to figure out how to handle this smoothly.”

    China’s constitution recognizes freedom of religion but the government limits religious practice to officially-approved places of worship.

    More than 23 million Christians are in China, according to a 2010 report by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences — but scholars believe the actual number is much higher, given that many belong to house churches, which the government views as illegal and often harasses and arrests.

    Although Sanjiang Church church is registered with the authorities, it’s not affiliated with the “Three-Self Patriotic Movement” of Protestant churches which critics contend is closely controlled by the Communist Party.

  • Gingrich Slams ‘New Fascism’ That Brought Down Mozilla CEO Over Gay Marriage Views
    Posted April 6, 2014 at 4:55 pm by Dave Urbanski

    Comments (118)

    Newt Gingrich ripped into what he called the growing “new fascism” that’s now forcing people out of jobs over their conservative beliefs — noting former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich, who stepped down last week after public outcry over his $1,000 donation in support of California’s Prop 8, which would have banned same-sex marriage.

    Image source: ABC News via Mediaite

    Image source: ABC News via Mediaite

    “If you’re a young faculty member, in a lot of places, if you’re a young member of a news department, and you have the wrong views, meaning conservative, you have no career,” Gingrich said on “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” Sunday morning.

    “This is just the most open, blatant example of the new fascism, which says if you don’t agree with us 100%, we have the right to punish you, unless you’re like Hillary [Clinton] and Barack Obama, and you recant.”

    The issue has been hot in the news cycle. “Real Time” host Bill Maher referenced on his most recent broadcast the power of what he called the “gay mafia“; TheBlaze reported on a store owner in Portland who’s facing backlash after her beliefs concerning same-sex marriage were discovered on Facebook.

    “Where would you draw the line?” ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked Gingrich. “What if he came out against interracial marriage?”

    “I think the question is do you want to live in an open and tolerant society, or do you want impose your views at the cost of people’s jobs?” Gingrich replied.

    Check out the ABC News clip via Mediaite/YouTube:

    (H/T: Mediaite)

  • Jeb Bush Says He’ll Make Decision on Presidential Bid by End of Year: ‘It’s Pretty Crazy Right Now’
    Posted April 6, 2014 at 3:34 pm by Dave Urbanski

    Comments (174)

    Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Jeb Bush said all the speculation about whether he’ll run for president in 2016 is actually getting him more attention than if he had already entered the race.

    The former Republican governor of Florida says that’s not by design, and that he’ll make his decision before year’s end.

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (Image source: AP/Wilfredo Lee)

    His description to Fox News of the state of politics: “It’s pretty crazy right now.”

    Bush says one factor in his decision will be whether he can deliver an optimistic message without getting drawn into a political “mud fight.”

    “In my case, that means, ‘can one do it joyfully?’” he said.

    Bush has antagonized many Republicans by supporting an immigration overhaul and educational standards for kindergarten through 12th grade known as Common Core.

    He says the other main factor in his decision to run will be whether it’s OK with his family.

    TheBlaze reported a week ago that many of the Republican party’s biggest movers and shakers and deep-pocketed insiders have been quietly courting Bush to enter the 2016 presidential race.

  • She Thought She Was Taking a Picture With an NFL Player…
    Posted April 6, 2014 at 2:47 pm by Oliver Darcy

    Comments (112)

    Jenni Bazard thought she was taking a picture with Houston Texans running back Arian Foster — turns out it wasn’t him.

    The fan initially tweeted that she “ran into” the NFL player at Houston bar Pub Fiction Saturday night.

    On Sunday afternoon, however, Foster had a surprise message for her:

    Bazard later said on Twitter that she is “so embarrassed,” but finds the “whole situation so hilarious.”

    This post has been updated to include Bazard’s reaction.

    Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

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    • The Cool New Way to Read TheBlaze’s Essential Faith and Culture News
      Posted April 6, 2014 at 2:35 pm by Billy Hallowell

      Comments (17)

      There’s a new and convenient way to consume the most fascinating and thought-provoking religion and culture news: Through TheBlaze Faith’s new Flipboard magazine.

      Flipboard, a tool that allows users to create a personal magazine by collecting and sharing news, released “TheBlaze on Faith” last week, a weekly resource that offers essential and inspirational faith and culture coverage.

      Updated throughout the week, the resource includes stories from TheBlaze.com as well as significant and uplifting articles from other trustworthy news sources.

      A screen shot from "TheBlaze on Faith," a new online magazine offering religion and culture news

      A screen shot from “TheBlaze on Faith,” a new online magazine offering religion and culture news

      From articles covering Hollywood’s embrace of Biblical themes to articles about religious freedom, the diverse coverage in “TheBlaze on Faith” crosses into social, political and entertainment realms.

      The most recent edition includes the claim from historians at Leon University in Spain claim that they have found the holy grail, the 2,000 year-old chalice that Jesus Christ drank from at the last supper. Additionally, it includes stories about Hollywood films “God’s Not Dead,” “Left Behind” and “Noah.”

      There’s also an analysis piece by TheBlaze’s Fred Lucas that focuses on why libertarians and people of faith are uniting over the birth control mandate — and plenty more.

      A screen shot from "TheBlaze on Faith"

      A screen shot from “TheBlaze on Faith”

      The magazine is available online and through Flipboard’s interactive app on the iPad, iPhone, Android, Kindle Fire or Nook.

      The below video shows you how to use Flipboard:

      Learn more about how to operate the app here and see the interview the tech company conducted with Glenn Beck about what continues to make him passionate about his work.

    • What the Founder of a Major Italian Restaurant Chain Allegedly Did to Get a Bottle of Wine Landed Him In Jail
      Posted April 6, 2014 at 2:24 pm by Oliver Darcy

      Comments (45)
      Damian Mandola. (Image source: Hays County Sheriff)

      Damian Mandola. (Image source: Hays County Sheriff)

      The co-founder of Italian chain restaurant Carrabba was arrested Thursday night and charged with burglary after police say he broke into a Texas winery and took a bottle of wine.

      According to the Statesman, the Hays County Sheriff’s said Damian Mandola, 61, was arrested on a burglary charge for broke into a Driftwood winery for a bottle of red wine.

      The 61-year-old was released from jail on a $5,000 bond the next day, according to the Houston Chronicle.

      Police initially responded to the scene after someone called authorities to report an individual driving erratically near the winery.

      Mandola opened the popular Italian chain with his nephew Johnny Carrabba in 1986.

      Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

    • ‘Astonishing’ Computer Rendering Shows What Would Happen If Giant Mirror Were Launched Into Orbit
      Posted April 6, 2014 at 1:46 pm by Oliver Darcy

      Comments (103)

      A computer rendering posted online Thursday shows what would happen if a giant moon-sized mirror were launched into orbit.

      The video, which has since gone viral and amassed nearly 1.5 million views on YouTube, has fascinated individuals online.

      “Astonishing.”
      Share:

      “I dont know why this video made me say woah,” one individual commented. “As if I was a child again amazed by this and wishing it would happen. Thanks for the video.”

      “Astonishing,” echoed another.

      “That is awesome,” wrote yet another.

      Watch the Viral Video:

      Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

      Other Must-Read Stories

         

      • TV Producers Trying to Reunite Teenage Boy with his Mom Likely Didn’t See this End Coming
        Posted April 6, 2014 at 1:20 pm by Sharona Schwartz

        Comments (223)

        A Lebanese television show dedicated to resolving family conflicts appears to have failed to make peace in one family. During a recent episode, a teenager leaped onto the television studio table, ran across it to his estranged mother and kicked her.

        Al Arabiya reported that producers of the program “Bil Akeed,” (“For Sure”) tried to bring together a mother and her 15-year-old son, Ahmed, who hadn’t seen each other for seven years.

        Ahmed, 15, initially did not want to meet his estranged mother (Screenshot: YouTube)

        Ahmed, 15, initially did not want to meet his estranged mother (Screenshot: YouTube)

        While the son had initially refused to meet his mother, he eventually caved to producers’ requests and sat down with his mother on live television. According to Al Arabiya’s report on the incident, Ahmed blamed his mother for separating from his father whom she accused of being physically abusive.

        The mother, whose name was not reported by Al Arabiya, told her son about the divorce proceedings.

        “In the court he [Ahmed’s father] attacked me in front the judges and the sheikhs,” she said.

        This apparently made Ahmed even angrier. When he tried to defend his father’s behavior, the mother responded by saying he sounded like a “drunk” teenager, Al Arabiya reported.

        The host of the Lebanese television program tried to restrain the teen when he stood (Screenshot: YouTube)

        The host of the Lebanese television program tried to restrain the teen when he stood (Screenshot: YouTube)

        Ahmed scrambled onto the table, but the host wasn't quick enough to stop him. (Screenshot: YouTube)

        Ahmed scrambled onto the table, but the host wasn’t quick enough to stop him. (Screenshot: YouTube)

        The teen aimed his kick at his mother's head. (Screenshot: YouTube)

        The teen aimed his kick at his mother’s head. (Screenshot: YouTube)

        That’s when the teenager leaped onto the table and kicked his mother. The television host tried to grab the boy and stop him from reaching his mother, but not before he got in a kick.

        The show’s crew scrambled over the table to try to subdue the son, while another man restrained the mother – who appeared to be unhurt – from getting near her son.

        Al Arabiya did not say when the show on Lebanon’s Future Television network was broadcast, but this clip was posted on YouTube on Wednesday:

      • It’s Not What He Said, It’s Where a U.S. Senate Candidate Spoke That Has Ignited Controversy
        Posted April 6, 2014 at 1:07 pm by Oliver Darcy

        Comments (195)

        U.S. Senate Republican candidate Matt Bevin is drawing some controversy for speaking at a pro-cockfighting rally last weekend, despite the Tea Party favorite denying he knew the event had anything to do with the brutal sport.

        While his campaign reportedly billed the Saturday event as a “states rights rally,” organizers said its sole purpose was to promote the legalization of the violent animal sport, according to the News Journal.

        U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin (R-Ky), speaks to a gathering at FreePAC Kentucky, Saturday, April 5, 2014, at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

        U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin (R-Ky), speaks to a gathering at FreePAC Kentucky, Saturday, April 5, 2014, at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

        “The movement is about changing the law, not breaking the law,” said Michael Devereaux, Director of the Gamefowl Defense Network, the organizer of the event.

        He added on Facebook that it was held “for the purpose of unifying and uniting gamefoul enthusiasts around the principle of using the democratic process to change the law, not break the law.”

        Cockfighting is currently illegal in all 50 states.

        Bevin, however, denies knowing the event was based around cockfighting.

        “I was the first person to speak and then I left,” Bevin told the Journal. “They knew I was here. They asked if I would be interested in speaking. I’m a politician running statewide, any chance I get to speak to a few hundred people I’m going to take it.”

        “I’m a politician running statewide, any chance I get to speak to a few hundred people I’m going to take it.”
        Share:

        But others aren’t buying that explanation. A spokeswoman for Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who Bevin is running to unseat, said the explanation doesn’t add up.

        “Only Matt Bevin would go to a cockfighting rally and claim he didn’t know what they were doing there,” Allison Moore told Fox News, adding that “at this point nothing surprises us with this guy.”

        His appearance has also drawn the ire of animal rights activists, with Michael Markarian, the president of the Humane Society legislative fund, telling Fox News that speaking at such a rally is “appalling.”

        “It shows terrible judgment for a politician to associate with an organized criminal network of cockfighters,” Markarian said.

        Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

      • Congressional Candidate Appears to Have One Harsh Message for the NRA & Its Supporters
        Posted April 6, 2014 at 12:21 pm by Oliver Darcy

        Comments (231)

        A Congressional candidate running for the nomination to unseat House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) ignited an Internet firestorm when he appeared to go on a tirade against conservatives and the National Rifle Association Saturday night.

        Mike Dickinson rejected support — on a Twitter account appearing to belong to him — from anyone who supports the NRA, is pro-life or participates in “Obama hating.”

        Anyone who supports Obama hating get off my train. Anyone who supports sucking the tit of the NRA get off my train.
        Congressional Candidate Appears to Have One Harsh Message for the NRA & Its Supporters
        @VoteMike2014
        DickinsonForCongress
        Rides at amusement parks say you must be this tall to ride this ride. My campaign says you must be this smart to vote for us.
        Congressional Candidate Appears to Have One Harsh Message for the NRA & Its Supporters
        @VoteMike2014
        DickinsonForCongress
        Anti choice, abortion haters are all basically mentally disabled. They cannot see or reason. It's all bible thumping
        Congressional Candidate Appears to Have One Harsh Message for the NRA & Its Supporters
        @VoteMike2014
        DickinsonForCongress
        @ @ @ that the NRA is a god awful fear mongering group and those who support the NRA are pure trash
        Congressional Candidate Appears to Have One Harsh Message for the NRA & Its Supporters
        @VoteMike2014
        DickinsonForCongress

        Immediately following the string of tweets, Dickinson received immediate backlash online, with individuals turning to Twitter to offer their thoughts.

        @ NRA member,Democrat, Tea Party I'll be helping Eric Cantor @ with his campaign on phone bank
        Congressional Candidate Appears to Have One Harsh Message for the NRA & Its Supporters
        @ua55oak
        David Fullerton
        Hey @ how'd that bashing the #NRA work for you?
        Congressional Candidate Appears to Have One Harsh Message for the NRA & Its Supporters
        @Mikespeegle
        Tomahawk
        You may not like the GOP but they are sure better than candidates like this-->@ He needs some special attention #tcot #RedNation
        Congressional Candidate Appears to Have One Harsh Message for the NRA & Its Supporters
        @redheadbomb
        Cherrybomb

        Despite the overwhelming reaction to the tweets, the self-described “liberal Democrat” did not appear to issue any apologies. In fact, on Sunday morning he appeared to respond to some criticism by continuing to mock the intelligence of those questioning him.

        “I went to engineering school and I support the NRA,” one person tweeted him.

        “Went or graduated? RW has large college dropout rate,” a tweet on the Dickinson account replied.

        Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

      • His Owner Thought Something Was Wrong With Him. Little Did She Know He Was About to Save Her Life.
        Posted April 6, 2014 at 11:27 am by Oliver Darcy

        Comments (134)

        Maureen Burns’ dog Max was usually full of life.

        That’s why when the 9-year-old collie cross started behaving strangely, she assumed the worst.

        “I thought at the time, Max was fading. He was nine-and-a-half and I was preparing myself for losing him,” she told BBC Earth.

        Little did Burns know, Max was perfectly healthy. She, however, wasn’t and Max knew why.

        “…he would come up and touch my breast with his nose, and back off so desperately unhappy…”
        Share:

        “(He) wouldn’t come with me, wouldn’t sit by me, wouldn’t sit on my lap,” Burns explained. ”The odd signs were when he would come up and touch my breast with his nose, and back off so desperately unhappy with such a sad look in his eyes.”

        Burns had a lump in her breast, but because her last mammogram had come back clear, she didn’t think anything of it.

        Image source: YouTube

        Image source: YouTube

        That’s until she connected the lump with Max’s behavior.

        Burns scheduled a follow-up mammogram and scan. Both came back negative. Still worried, she underwent a surgical biopsy. Cancer was detected.

        According to BBC Earth, dogs can smell chemicals from cancerous tumors. In fact, as TheBlaze previously reported, research continues to confirm the accuracy with which dogs can smell cancer.

        Burns said that when she went home after her tumor had been removed, things were quite different with Max.

        “He put his nose across my breast to check where the operation had been and was wagging his tail and his eyes were happy,” she told BBC Earth. “I love Max and I owe him so much.”

        The BBC Earth segment detailing the incredible story was uploaded back in January, but only went viral recently.

        Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

      • ‘Unsung Hero’: The Tear-Jerking Insurance Company Ad That’s Gone Viral In Two Days
        Posted April 6, 2014 at 10:30 am by Mike Opelka

        Comments (78)

        Grab a couple of tissues before you push the play button on the clip attached below.

        The video, titled “Unsung Hero,” was posted online just three days ago and is nearing the 1 million view mark. It was produced by the Thai Life Insurance company, a Bangkok-based group that has found success on the web with long form, emotionally driven messages like this one.

        The Thai text posted with the clip asks the viewer, “Why do some people have plenty of money … still no joy? This clip is not the answer. But it may be a starting point for you to do something …To find the answer yourself.”

        In the three-minute video, a young man is seen performing some random acts of kindness in his community. He helps an elderly street vendor get her cart over a high curb.

        Image: YouTube.com

        Image: YouTube.com

        A young girl begging for money “for education” is the recipient of his generosity (as others are shown shaking their heads in disapproval).

        Image:YouTube.com

        Image:YouTube.com

        The “unsung hero” is even seen feeding a hungry dog.

        Image: YouTube.com

        Image: YouTube.com

        The voiceover for the clip stresses that the young man does all of this anonymously, adding, “He won’t be richer. He won’t appear on TV. And not a bit more famous.”

        About two minutes into the clip, the “lessons” of the story begin to be revealed. We don’t want to spoil them for you. However, the announcer does stress that the man receives something quite special for living his life in a kind and generous manner.

        “He witnesses happiness. Reaches a deeper understanding. Feels the love. Receives what money can’t buy — a world made more beautiful,” the ad says.

        Watch the entire clip, but don’t forget the tissues…it’s a heart-tugger.

        Follow Mike Opelka on Twitter – @Stuntbrain

      • 10 Biggest and Most Inspiring Faith Stories of the Week: Noah, Jesus’ Chalice and Plenty More
        Posted April 6, 2014 at 10:20 am by Cori O'Connor

        Comments (19)

        It’s time for our weekly recap of the most popular and intriguing faith and culture stories.

        The rapture-themed movie “Left Behind” is headed back to the big screen. Producer Paul Lalonde recently told TheBlaze that Hollywood has largely ignored Bible prophecy — and he’s hoping the film reboot profoundly changes that dynamic.

        Then there’s author Nabeel Qureshi, who is revealing his journey from Islam to Christianity in a new book called “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus.” Qureshi claims that, before his conversion, God spoke to him through a dream that resembled the parable of the narrow door from Luke 13: 22-30.

        “In it I was standing at the threshold of a strikingly narrow door, watching people take their seats at a wedding feast. I desperately wanted to get in, but I was not able to enter, because I had yet to accept my friend David’s invitation to the wedding,” he wrote in a recent op-ed for Christianity Today. “God was showing me where I stood.”

        God's Not Dead movie poster. Photo Credit: IMDB

        God’s Not Dead movie poster. Photo Credit: IMDB

        Speaking of conversions, Martin Yip, a character in the recent box office success, “God’s Not Dead,” is based on the real-life story of eye surgeon, Dr. Ming Wang.

        In the film, Yip is an atheist who converts to Christianity after seeing protagonist Josh Wheaton battle Professor Radisson, an atheist, over God’s existence. Wang, an immigrant from China, became a believer in Jesus while studying at Harvard. Read his fascinating story here.

        Last month, a New York woman died of cancer after sacrificially delaying treatment in order to protect the life of her unborn baby girl. Only one month after finding out she was pregnant, she and her husband Max were told her cancer had returned.

        They had the choice to abort the baby and go through chemotherapy, start the treatment while pregnant, or delay the treatment to protect their baby. They chose the latter option, but the treatment came too late and Joice died March 9.

        On a more uplifting note, don’t forget to take a look at the inspiring video of what a 12-year-old boy who is blind and autistic did on a church stage.

        Image source: YouTube

        Image source: Max Joice/YouTube

        And, did you notice the two big Bible-related claims made by researchers this week?

        Masters-level students at the University of Leicesester in England conducted some intriguing research surrounding Noah’s ark.

        They examined the ark’s dimensions as described in Genesis 16: 13-22 and discovered that the vessel could have theoretically floated even under the weight of the estimated 70,000 creatures on board.

        And historians at Leon University in Spain claim that they have found the holy grail, the 2,000 year-old chalice that Jesus Christ drank from at the last supper.

        Image source: Shutterstock.com

        Image source: Shutterstock.com

        Margarita Torres, a Medieval history lecturer, and Jose Ortiz del Rio, an art historian have written a new book where they claim that the grail is somehow inside a goblet known as Infanta Dona Urraca that has been on display in the museum of the Basilica of San Isidoro in Leon for 1,000 years.

        Known for challenging people to live a “Purpose Driven Life,” Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., is now challenging churches to get educated and work together to confront mental health issues.

        Saddleback recently hosted “The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church” which focused on identifying faith-based strategies to address mental health as well as educating faith leaders on mental health.

        (Credit: Getty Images)

        Pastor Rick Warren (Image credit: Getty Images)

        Oh an don’t forget to take a look at the message about same sex couples and Mozilla that users were initially confronted with when they tried to access the dating website, OK Cupid.

        Plus, after weeks of public outcry over his support for traditional marriage, Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich is resigning from his position.

        And finally: Glenn Beck shared the remarkable story of what took place before his father passed away last weekend.

        “My father slipped in and out of consciousness for a while,” Beck recalled. “And then he sat up in bed, looked up at the ceiling corner as if someone was there, and he said, ‘Yes? OK. I understand. I’m ready. Take me with you.’ And he closed his eyes.”

      • ‘Look at This Catch’: Sports Announcers Couldn’t Help But Chuckle After Fan Catches a Foul Ball In a Rather Unusual Way
        Posted April 6, 2014 at 10:03 am by Oliver Darcy

        Comments (16)

        One baseball fan surely left PNC Park happy after he scored a foul ball in an unexpected fashion.

        During Friday night’s Pittsburgh Pirates game, a man caught a foul ball using a popcorn tub in lieu of a glove — and it worked.

        Footage shows the man position his popcorn tub in mid-air, preparing to make the catch. As the baseball lands in the tub, it forces popcorn out all over the individual.

        Nevertheless, it appears he was quite happy with his new souvenir.

        Video of the incident was later uploaded to YouTube by the MLB where it has amassed just over 6,000 views.

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        Other Must-Read Stories

        • Two Teens Arrested After New Details Emerge About Horrifying Mob Attack on Man Who Stopped to Help Boy He Hit With Car
          Posted April 6, 2014 at 9:31 am by Oliver Darcy

          Comments (355)

          Detroit police have arrested two teenagers in connection with the brutal attack on a man that stopped to render aid to a small child after hitting him with his vehicle Wednesday.

          The teens, ages 16 and 17, were arrested early Saturday morning, Detroit police spokesman Sgt. Michael Woody said, according to the Detroit Free Press. They are preparing warrant request for charges.

          The teens were part of a larger mob that beat Steve Utash, 54, after his truck hit David Harris, 10. When Utash stepped out of his vehicle to help the child, he was savagely beaten. Police say the 54-year-old, who is now in a coma after suffering multiple head injuries, was not at fault for the accident. Instead, they say the boy stepped out in front of the pickup as it was headed down the road.

          Woody called on the 10-12 others believed to have participated in the attack to surrender to authorities.

          “To drag this out any further is really futile,” Woody said, according to the Free Press. “We’re getting closer and closer. We need to put this thing to rest for the sake of the family and citizens.”

          Utash’s son, Joseph, thinks his father was intentionally targeted, but was torn on whether the attack could be classified as a “hate crime.” Utash is white and witnesses have reportedly described his attackers as black.

          “I’ve talked to one Detroit police officer and I think that, personally in my own heart, I think it was all a setup from the gate,” he told WWJ-TV, ”meaning that my dad’s been driving up and down Morang for 15, 16 years working for the same company and they know he has a job, they know he has money and they robbed him. You know, he had a bag with all his stuff in it. He showed me that he had all this money in his wallet that morning, telling me he just took the money out of the bank so he could pay his dentist.”

          “As far as a hate crime, it might be,” he added. “You know, it’s like you go in Detroit and you’re white, you don’t belong. Seriously. I’ve been pulled over by police before and they’re like ‘Get back across 8 Mile,’ like I’m not supposed to be over there, like I’m not allowed to go in Detroit.”

          Steve Utash and his family. (Image source: GoFundMe)

          Steve Utash and his family. (Image source: GoFundMe)

          The 54-year-old remains in a coma. His family says he was so severely beaten, he was nearly nearly unrecognizable.

          “If it went on any longer, my dad wouldn’t be in the hospital right now, he would be in the morgue. The way he looked, I am surprised that he is alive,” Joseph told WWJ-TV. “He has bruising over his face, his eyes are swollen, I believe it’s his left eye that is completely swollen shut. He also has a big, huge knot on his forehead like he got hit with an object, not a fist.”

          “If it went on any longer, my dad wouldn’t be in the hospital right now, he would be in the morgue.”
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          A nurse that stopped the beating and helped Utash recalled the moments of the attack.

          “He was already down, bleeding from the mouth and the nose – so there wasn’t nothing else they could do to him but kill him,” Debra Hughes told WWJ-TV.

          “Then EMS came and I kept him calm, I kept his hands down and everything so he could be comfortable,” she continued. “He had the biggest gash on his head I ever seen – he was bleeding from the mouth and he was unconscious when I first got there … being a registered nurse, I thought I could go out and help him.”

          If he wakes up from his coma, he will have a long journey ahead to recovery, Utash’s family says.

          “It will be months just for him to have therapy,” daughter Mandi Emerick told the Free Press. “We know the damage is in the frontal lobe. The doctors said he can either wake up and be fine or might need people to dress him. We’re glad he’s stable, but not knowing is still pretty nerve-racking.”

          At the time of publication, over $86,000 had been raised online to help fund Utash’s treatment.

          The young boy hit by Utash’s vehicle is expected to recover, according to his uncle, WWJ-TV reported.

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        • ‘Saturday Night Live’ Relentlessly Mocks ‘Fox & Friends’ for Obamacare Coverage
          Posted April 6, 2014 at 8:02 am by Oliver Darcy

          Comments (163)

          “Saturday Night Live” took a swing at “Fox & Friends” this weekend, relentlessly mocking the news program for its coverage of the Affordable Care Act and global warming.

          “And, now that the deadline has passed, the White House is ‘claiming’ that they met their goal,” the actor playing the show’s Steve Doocy said.

          “But, look at our Fox News chart,” SNL’s Elisabeth Hasselbeck said. “As you can see Obama needed to get 7 million new subscribers and he only got 7.1 million. Not even close.”

          Image source: Saturday Night Live

          Image source: Saturday Night Live

          The actor playing host Brian Kilmeade then showed off his version of a “pie chart.”

          Image source: Saturday Night Live

          Image source: Saturday Night Live

          Later in the segment, the “Fox & Friends” crew welcomed Neil DeGrasse Tyson as the “science guy,” who insisted to the hosts that science has unequivocally determined the globe is warming.

          “It is an indisputable fact that the earth is getting warmer,” he said.

          SNL’s Doocy quickly dismissed him, however, citing the polar vortex and Coca-Cola’s happy, soda-drinking mascot.

          Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter