Injury Classifications for Turtle Bites & Burning Water Skis? Here’s Rand Paul’s Hilarious Obamacare RantPosted May 28, 2013 at 9:25 am by Becket Adams
With the implementation of Obamacare, doctors will soon be required to use roughly 122,000 new medical diagnostic codes to inform the federal government of injuries sustained by Americans, so says Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.
The new codes, Sen. Paul explained, include classifications for “injuries sustained from a turtle,” “walking into a lamppost” and “injuries sustained from burning water skis.”
“Your government just wants to take care of you,” he added, criticizing the new law’s 9,000-plus pages of new regulations. “They don’t think you’re smart enough to make these decisions.”
Physicians currently have about 18,000 medical diagnostic codes, called ICD-9, to choose from to help them inform insurers of their patients’ ailments. But according to Paul (himself a physician), Obamacare will require physicians to adopt roughly 122,000 new codes — and some of them sound downright ridiculous.
“Included among these codes,” the senator continued, “will be 312 new codes for injuries from animals; 72 new codes for injuries just from birds; 9 new codes for ‘injuries from the macaw.”‘
“The macaw?” he asked. “I’ve asked physicians all over the country, ‘Have you ever seen an injury from a macaw?”‘
He continued, adding that he had found “two new injury codes under Obamacare for ‘injuries sustained from a turtle.”‘
“Now, you might say, ‘Well, turtles are dangerous’ — but why do you have to have two codes?” he asked. “Your doctor has to inform the government whether you’ve been struck by a turtle or bitten by a turtle.”
He added: “There is a new code for … walking into a lamppost. There’s also a code for ‘walking into a lamppost, subsequent encounter.’”
“I guess that’s if you don’t learn,” he added. “[T]here is [also] a code … for ‘injuries sustained from burning water skis.”‘
Though the Republican senator delivered his speech earlier this month to the Iowa Republican Party, his Obamacare remarks have only recently gained traction online:
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Featured image Getty Images. This post and its headline have been updated for clarity.
Officials: Gunman in Texas Rampage Was Marine, May Be Linked to North Carolina HomicidePosted May 28, 2013 at 9:02 am by Becket Adams
EDEN, Texas (TheBlaze/AP) — A man suspected in a West Texas shooting rampage that left one woman dead and five others wounded was a United States Marine, according to law enforcement officials.
And his rampage in Texas may not be the only time that he has used deadly force on American civilians. He is also wanted for questioning in a slaying in North Carolina.
The rampage Sunday morning ended when Esteban J. Smith, 23, of the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base, N.C., died in a gunfight with an agency trooper and a state game warden, said Tom Vinger, spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Six others were shot, one fatally, in the pre-dawn rampage across West Texas’ rolling plains, Vinger said in a statement issued Monday.
Three people were treated for their wounds in hospitals and discharged. Two others, including Concho County Sheriff Richard Doane, remained hospitalized with non-life-threatening wounds. Texas authorities said the gunman seemed to choose his targets at random.
Camp Lejeune officials would not confirm the suspect’s name. However, spokesman Master Sgt. J.D. Cress said in an emailed statement that authorities were investigating a possible connection between the Texas shooting and a homicide in Jacksonville, N.C., near the Marine base. He also confirmed that the Texas shooting suspect was an active duty Marine.
The Texas shootings began about 4:30 a.m. Sunday, when the gunman shot a motorist in the Eden area of Concho County, about 40 miles southeast of San Angelo and 210 miles southwest of Dallas. She was hospitalized in San Angelo with non-life-threatening wounds, Vinger said.
Over the next 90 minutes, two more people were shot while sitting in a car at a convenience store in adjacent McCulloch County. Both were treated for their wounds and discharged from a hospital, Vinger said.
Shortly after 6 a.m., Alicia Torres, 41, was found dead in her car in Eola, just east of San Angelo, Vinger said.
The suspect fired on the vehicle of Concho County Sheriff Richard Doane when the sheriff came upon him north of Eden, according to DPS. Doane was wounded in the gunfire and hospitalized with non-life-threatening wounds, Vinger said.
A state trooper and game warden came upon the scene and exchanged gunfire with the suspect, who was killed.
A so-called “assault rifle,” handgun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition were recovered from his vehicle, Vinger said.
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Featured image screen grab.
Monday Morning Market Roundup: How’s This Week Shaping up?Posted May 28, 2013 at 8:34 am by Becket Adams
Here’s what’s shaking:
Investors seeking bargains helped push world stocks higher on Tuesday, particularly in Japan, where trading has been hugely volatile since last week amid concerns over the success of the country’s stimulus program.
The Nikkei has been dictating market sentiment since Thursday, when it plummeted more than 7 percent after interest rates on the country’s benchmark 10-year bond spiked to above 1 percent for the first time in a year. The swing in Japanese bonds unnerved investors at a time when Japan’s already overburdened government finances are vulnerable to rises in interest rates.
The Nikkei 225 index rose 1.2 percent to close at 14,311.98 as the yen slipped against the dollar; the benchmark fell 3 percent on Tuesday. Overall, however, the index has soared 37 percent this year, a show of investor support for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his aggressive policies aimed at reversing years of economic malaise and deflation.
The recovery helped European stocks rise, with Britain’s FTSE 100, which was closed for a public holiday Monday, jumping 1.6 percent to 6,763.55. Germany’s DAX advanced 1.1 percent to 8,474.39, while France’s CAC-40 rose 1.5 percent to 4,055.88.
Wall Street looked set for gains following a three-day holiday weekend. Dow Jones industrial futures were up 0.7 percent to 15,409. S&P 500 futures were likewise 0.7 percent higher, at 1,662.50.
The price of oil rose to above $95 a barrel Tuesday, supported by gains on global stock markets as traders awaited U.S. economic indicators following a long holiday weekend.
By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for July delivery was up 90 cents to $95.05 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 10 cents on Friday. Monday was a public holiday in the U.S. and Britain.
Tuesday’s rise was set to break a four-day streak of losses for oil prices on the Nymex.
Brent crude, a benchmark for many international oil varieties, was up $1.47 to $104.11 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
U.K. Doctor’s Surprising Comment to Mother on How Having More Kids Is ‘Irresponsible’: ‘This Country Should Be Like China’Posted May 28, 2013 at 8:23 am by Liz Klimas
Charlotte Comer, a British mother of two, was reduced to tears after a doctor visit where she claims she was criticized by her physician for wanting to have more than two children.
Comer, a 21-year-old travel agent, told SWNS earlier this month that she visited Hill Barton Surgery for an antibiotics prescription for tonsillitis, taking her two boys — a 2-year-old and an 11-week-old — with her.
She said Dr. Justin Landen on the May 13 appointment asked she and the 28-year-old father of her children planned to have more children, to which she responded “yes” as they both come from large families. She included that they wished to wait for more until they were married though.
“He then started talking about how the country is overpopulated and anyone who has more than two children is irresponsible,” Comer said, according the U.K.’s Parent Dish.
“He started going on about how this country should be like China where people are allowed only one child. I was shocked to be having this conversation. I went in for some antibiotics and came out with a lecture. He started saying that in a few years’ time the Government wouldn’t be giving out benefits as much.”
Comer said the doctor added that her partner already worked so many hours per week that he didn’t have enough time to spend with the children they already had.
“He used that as a reason for us not to have more children. All the way through he kept saying ‘I’m a doctor, I have to give advice on things like this, it’s my job.’”
Watch Comer share her experience with SWNS:
The Daily Telegraph noted that Comer, who is currently on maternity leave, does not have benefits associated with her job.
National Health Services issued a statement regarding Comer’s formal complaint against the doctor. The Daily Telegraph reported a spokesperson saying the doctor’s advice was not intended to cause “offense or distress” and that Landen apologizes if what he said upset Comer.
Parent Dish reported Comer saying the medical center called her later to apologize as well.
These comments came earlier this month, but more recently a video has surfaced of a baby boy in China being cut out of a sewer pipe after being flushed down the toilet. In China, a one-child policy is strictly enforced.
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‘Everything I love About Teaching Is Extinct’: Teacher Resigns in Scathing YouTube Video Targeting Standardized EducationPosted May 28, 2013 at 8:03 am by Jonathon M. Seidl
As parents in several states have stood up against standardized education such as Common Core and CSCOPE, one teacher in the Chicago area (Highland Park) has taken a similar (although not necessarily directly related) stand that is now going viral.
Last week, 15-year teaching veteran Ellie Rubenstein posted a 10-minute YouTube video where she decried the state of test-centric eduction after the district she was working in said it was going to be transferring her and several other teachers– a move she says came because those teachers were vocal about their issues and one she says the district has attributed to concerns over the school’s “poor climate.”
“This is a total kangaroo court, a retaliation against four teachers who are quite vocal in advocating for their children,” Rubenstein said in an interview last week. “We are at the forefront of speaking our minds and at the forefront of advocating for our students. We are all being falsely accused by the administration and some colleagues of doing things we have never done, and saying things we have never said.”
Frustrated and out of options, Rubenstein decided to resign instead of face the transfer — and she did it in a way that has garnered over 350,000 views.
Among her concerns that have now gone viral:
- “I have experienced the depressing, gradual downfall and misdirection of education that has slowly eaten away at my love of teaching.”
- “The emphasis in eduction has shifted from fostering academic and personal growth in both students and teachers, to demanding uniformity and conformity.”
- “Raising students’ test scores on standardized tests is now the only goal, and in order to achieve it the creativity, flexibility and spontaneity … have been eliminated.”
- “Everything I loved about teaching is extinct.”
- “Curriculum is mandated. … The classroom teacher is no longer trusted or in control of what, when, or how she teaches.”
- She says complaint forms and write-ups are being used as tools to target teachers and keep them as “yes men,” instead of being used to get rid of poor educators — and she even takes a shot at the union.
Watch the entire resignation — which includes plenty of more examples and quotes and even mentions “tracking” of students — below:
“I thought I would be a teacher for the rest of my life,” Rubenstein says as her voice begins to crack.
“I have to get out before my sense of self and self-worth is completely obliterated,” she adds later.
At a local school board meeting last Thursday, the issue came up and district Superintendent David Behlow denied Rubenstein’s claims while trying to answer to angry parents who say the “poor climate” reason is bogus:
Behlow said many of Rubenstein’s comments in the video “were inaccurate, misleading and, in many cases, factually wrong.”
“Our teachers are encouraged to be creative and innovative and to exercise their own craft and magic in classrooms every day,” Behlow said.
For more background, you can read the Chicago Sun-Times article here.
Boat Explosion Injures at Eight People, Mostly ChildrenPosted May 28, 2013 at 7:36 am by Liz Klimas
EDGEWATER, Md. (TheBlaze/AP) — Fire officials say eight people have been hospitalized after an explosion and fire on a boat in the South River near Edgewater, Maryland.
It happened about noon Monday at the Oak Grove Marina. Anne Arundel County Fire Department Division Chief Keith Swindle says the 32-foot pleasure boat had just refueled when the engine stalled. He said while the owner was trying to restart the engine, an explosion and flash fire occurred.
Natural Resources Police say three children, ages 9 and 13, were taken to the burn unit at Johns Hopkins Bayview in Baltimore. Five other children and adults were taken to area hospitals. They suffered from burns. Authorities said their injuries were not considered to be life-threatening.
WJZ reported witness Care Corradin saying a man, who appeared to be the dad on the boat, was “actually picking kids up and throwing them into the water” to help them escape.
Corradin went on to describe the scene as having “a ton of smoke just billowing out the back” and noting that the man went back in toward the fire to retrieve life vests for the children he had just thrown from the wreck.
Anne Arundel County fire investigators told WJZ that the children might have been sitting on the engine compartment when it exploded after the boat refueled.
Here’s WJZ’s report, which includes a demonstration of how the use of blowers might prevent such an accident (this boat’s blowers were in use before the engine was started though, according to officials):
“Everyone on board should count their blessings. It was very fortunate that we were close to the dock and we were able to get here so quickly,” Capt. Charles Vernon of Maryland Natural Resources Police said, according to WJZ.
Natural Resources Police are investigating the explosion.
Caught on Camera: Toppling Crane Cuts Through Side of Russian Apartment BuildingPosted May 28, 2013 at 7:21 am by Liz Klimas
A construction crane in Russia toppled over onto an apartment building Sunday, tearing down a line of balconies and destroying some cars parked below. Amazingly, no one was injured in the incident.
Video of the event was taken by Olga Bykova in Kirov. Russian Emergencies Ministry said none of the 250 residents inside the building suffered injuries but seven vehicles were impacted. You can here security alarms going off in the video.
Watch the footage:
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Grandfather Shoots Own Daughter Dead in Front of Grandchildren Before Turning Gun on HimselfPosted May 28, 2013 at 7:12 am by Jonathon M. Seidl
OROSI, Calif. (AP) — A man shot and killed his adult daughter in a Central California home with her three young children inside, also shooting and wounding another daughter before apparently turning the gun on himself, authorities said.
Jennifer Kimble, 37, was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds by deputies responding to a call from her 8-year-old daughter, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement. Kimble’s two sons, ages 13 and 11, were also in the house, but all three kids were unharmed.
Deputies also found Kimble’s father Anthony Alvarez, 63, dead from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, sheriff’s officials said.
Another daughter, Valerie Alvarez, 33, had at least one gunshot wound and was flown to a Fresno hospital in critical condition. She was stabilized and having surgery, sheriff’s spokeswoman Sgt. Chris Douglass said.
The investigation was continuing and autopsies were planned later in the week.
Douglass said investigators did not doubt that Anthony Alvarez had shot his daughters and turned the gun on himself.
“It’s a very cut-and-dried case,” she said.
No information was released on a possible motive.
The children were reunited with their father, who was at work during the shootings, authorities said.
The shootings occurred on a residential street of small stucco homes in Orosi, a town of about 9,000 people in California’s Central Valley about 20 miles southeast of Fresno.
Kimble worked in the cafeteria of an elementary school one street over from the house and was a dedicated, caring employee, according to her supervisor there.
“I’m just as surprised as anyone else right now,” Brenda Lightfoot-Handy, director of food services at Palm Elementary, told the Fresno Bee. “I’m just trying to process this.
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This Is Certainly Not How the Bride and Groom Imagined Their Wedding Photos Turning OutPosted May 27, 2013 at 11:49 pm by Jason Howerton
It probably wasn’t the fairytale ending that newlyweds Frank Fearon and Patricia Andrews imagined — but they will certainly never forget their wedding day.
As the bride and groom posed for photos with their large wedding party on May 18, the wooden dock they were standing on collapsed and sent them plunging into the water of Lake Lanier near Gainesville, Ga. The wedding party consisted of 13 bridesmaids and 14 groomsmen.
Of course, there are now a plethora of photos and video that captured the incident.
“We heard a little ‘pop’ when the bolt came out and then it started falling,” the bride’s brother Chase Andrews told MailOnline. “There were just too many of us standing there.”
Rather than letting the unfortunate accident ruin their wedding, he said the newlyweds immediately saw the humor in the incident.
“They were shocked, but they were really laughing…Trish is such a good sport and she was just feeling so happy to be married,” Chase Andrews added.
But it wasn’t all laughs. One bridesmaid fell and hit the concrete, fracturing her humorous and spending the night in the emergency room.
The bride and groom made out alright though. According to the Daily Mail: “Only the bottom of her dress got wet, while her groom escaped without a splash. The bridesmaids threw their dresses in the driers, while many of the groomsmen just ignored it and hit the dance floor.”
Watch the video below:
All screengrabs via Daily Mail
Unattended Pressure Cooker Leads to Evacuation at Mich. Hotel Hosting Muslim ConferencePosted May 27, 2013 at 10:24 pm by Christopher Santarelli
Less than two months removed from the terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon where pressure cooker bombs killed three people and injured over 200, several floors of a Michigan hotel were evacuated early Monday after a female guest discovered a pressure cooker in a second-floor bathroom.
The Detroit Free Press reports that the pressure cooker was found around midnight at The Adoba Hotel in Dearborn, and had not been converted into an explosive device. Police tell the Freep that the evacuation was a precaution and no injuries were reported.
Sources to Local 4 say that the pressure cooker did not belong to the hotel.
The Universal Muslim Association of America(UMAA) was hosting a three day conference at the hotel this Memorial Day weekend, and Arab-American News reports that the event titled, Conference of Ali, attracted attendees from different states and countries including several from Toronto, Canada.
Dearborn, which has been dubbed “America’s Muslim Capital” for its high population of Muslim and Arab-Americans, is hosting the annual conference for the first time.
Attendees at the event tell CBS Detroit that they are trying to understand why someone would leave the pressure cooker there.
“I don’t want to jump to any conclusions…pointing fingers at anybody, but I hate extremists just as much as everyone else hates extremists. It doesn’t matter what faith you are… ” Kasin Hasn told CBS.
Police have no suspects or motive at this time.
Local 4 Detroit reports on the evacuation and investigation in Dearborn:
Reporter Apologizes for Identifying London Stabber as Having ‘Muslim Appearance’Posted May 27, 2013 at 10:03 pm by Jason Howerton
BBC News political editor Nick Robinson is sorry for initially identifying the London stabbing suspect as having “Muslim appearance.” He was quoting directly from information given to him by law enforcement.
On the day of the grisly Woolwich attack, Robinson explained that his law enforcement sources told him that the suspect in the stabbing was of “Muslim appearance” and had reportedly been screaming “Allahu Akbar,” the Arabic phrase for “God is great.”
After some supposed outrage expressed by the United Kingdom’s Muslim community, Robinson felt compelled to apologize for the potential “racist generalization.”
Robinson posted his lengthy apology on the BBC website:
That phrase “of Muslim appearance” clearly offended some who demanded to know what it could possibly mean. Others were concerned that it was a racist generalisation.
I’m sorry for using a phrase that, on reflection, was both liable to be misinterpreted and to cause offence. Many Muslims were quick to condemn the attack and to distance themselves and their religion from the brutal savagery seen on the streets of Woolwich.
Watch Robinson’s original interview via Mediaite below:
Do you think an apology was necessary?
This Major League Baseball Postgame Interview Is Being Called One of the Greatest ‘Ever’Posted May 27, 2013 at 9:27 pm by Jonathon M. Seidl
If you don’t know who Munenori Kawasaki is, you might want to learn. That’s because the Japanese baseball player who is now playing with the Toronto Blue Jays after a mid-season call-up is taking the team, the city, and now the Internet by storm after a postgame interview on Sunday that one outlet is calling “one of the greatest postgame interviews ever.”
Here’s how Yahoo sets it up:
With Toronto down 5-2 to start the bottom of the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles, Kawasaki eventually found himself at the plate with the score 5-4 with two outs and runners on first and third. The veteran of two title-winning World Baseball Classic squads then sliced a Jim Johnson pitch to left-center that proved to be the game-winner. Following his walk-off double that gave the Jays a 6-5 victory over the O’s, Kawasaki then gave one of the greatest postgame interviews ever.
Sportsnet reporter Arash Madani tried to interview Blue Jays player Mark DeRosa, who was the runner to score on Kawasaki’s hit. But DeRosa quickly called Kawasaki over. That’s when the magic started:
He first grabs the mic from Madani:
Then he declares he is “Japaneeeeeese!”
DeRosa admits he “can’t follow that and leaves,” while Kawasaki takes out a small notebook — apparently with either some translations or prepared remarks — and then delivers a small speech:
He’s then quickly hit with a shaving cream pie and a Gatorade shower:
Watch it all unfold below:
ACLU Fights School District Plan to Teach ‘Controversial Issues’ (Like Agenda 21) – Left Freaks Over ‘Right-Wing Conspiracies Advanced by Glenn Beck’Posted May 27, 2013 at 8:47 pm by Dave Urbanski
We will be discussing this story and all the day’s news on our live BlazeCast beginning at 2 pm ET:
The American Civil Liberties Union is battling an Ohio school district’s “controversial issues policy” that would mandate classroom discussions about creationism and other conservative issues.
Think Progress, however, describes the proposed curriculum additions more bluntly:
“Right-wing conspiracies advanced by Glenn Beck.”
That’s how the site’s recent piece on the issue characterizes push-back against U.N. Agenda 21 and other matters important to conservatives.
Springboro Community City School District’s new curriculum requires that “[a]ll sides of the issue should be given to the students in a dispassionate manner” to help them think critically and learn to “identify important issues.” The “controversial issues” include:
religion when not used in a historical or factual context, sex education, legalization of drugs, evolution/creation, pro-life/abortion, contraception/abstinence, conservatism/liberalism, politics, gun rights, global warming and climate change, UN Agenda 21 and sustainable development, and any other topic on which opposing points of view have been promulgated by responsible opinion and/or likely to arouse both support and opposition in the community.
Beck is the author of Agenda 21: A Thriller with Harriet Parke, a New York Times bestselling work of fiction that nevertheless pulls its premises from what’s happening in the world right now. From the review of Agenda 21 at TheBlaze Books:
Woken up to the harsh reality of her life and her family’s future inside the Republic, Emmeline begins to search for the truth: Why are all citizens confined to ubiquitous concrete living spaces? Why are Compounds guarded by Gatekeepers who track all movements? Why are food, water and energy rationed so strictly? And, most important, why are babies taken from their mothers at birth?
As Emmeline begins to understand the true objectives of Agenda 21 she realizes that she’s up against far more than she ever imagined. With the Authorities closing in, and nowhere to run, Emmeline embarks on an audacious plan to save her family and expose the Republic—but is she already too late?
Under the policy, students could not learn about sustainable development without also assessing the impact of U.N. Agenda 21, a series of non-binding U.N. recommendations for ensuring that economic growth does not undermine the environment, which conservatives believe will destroy American sovereignty and freedom. The Agenda was developed at a summit in Brazil in 1992 with support from President George H.W. Bush.
The ACLU criticized the district for adding evolution to the “controversial issues” list, noting that the policy “appears to explicitly permit the teaching of creationism.” “It has been firmly established that this practice is unconstitutional, in violation of the Establishment Clause,” ACLU legal director James L. Hardiman explained in a letter.
In 2011, the school board “backed away from plans to teach creationism under public pressure” from the ACLU. It plans to vote on this proposal in early June and is facing similar criticism from parents and students.
“It’s the job of families, not public schools to educate children on spiritual values,” said ACLU of Ohio staff attorney Drew Dennis. to The Raw Story. “It is irresponsible for schools to repeatedly waste resources designing these types of unconstitutional policies.”
Kelly Kohls, Springboro Community City Schools board president, said the policy change was only meant to encourage discussion and educate students, The Raw Story noted.
“There’s a lot of controversy over other issues, but these are kind of the big ones that we want to allow people to talk about it in the classroom,” she told WLWT.
But some parents are skeptical, according to The Raw Story.
“I think this school board likes to play politics and likes to play games,” David Bowman told 2 News. “This is merely a means for them to introduce their specific ideology. I don’t think they’re at all interested in teaching our kids critical thinking”
Here’s a news report from WDTN-TV:
(H/T: Think Progress)
Native-American Veterans Push for RecognitionPosted May 27, 2013 at 8:15 pm by Christopher Santarelli
(AP) — The Navajo Code Talkers are legendary. Then there was Cpl. Ira Hamilton Hayes, the Pima Indian who became a symbol of courage and patriotism when he and his fellow Marines raised the flag over Iwo Jima in 1945.
Before World War II and in the decades since, tens of thousands of American Indians have enlisted in the Armed Forces to serve their country at a rate much greater than any other ethnicity.
Yet, among all the monuments and statues along the National Mall in Washington, D.C., not one stands in recognition.
A grassroots effort is brewing among tribes across the country to change that, while Democratic Sen.Brian Schatz of Hawaii has introduced legislation that would clear the way for the National Museum of the American Indian to begin raising private funds for a memorial.
“This is not a political gamble for anyone, and it’s not politically threatening for anyone,” said Jefferson Keel, a retired Army officer and president of the National Congress of American Indians. “This is something that both sides of the aisle can get behind and support, because it’s not going to cost a lot of money for the country. It’s just something that needs to be done.”
The push for a memorial can be traced back to the 1980s when the well-known Three Soldiers sculpture was unveiled near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Depicted are three American soldiers: one white, one black and a Hispanic.
During the Vietnam era, the federal government says more than 42,000 Native Americans served in the military and 90 percent of those service members were volunteers.
“I’ve come across veterans from throughout the whole country, from the East Coast all the way to California, and a lot of Indian who people believe that there should be something on the National Mall. We’re not there, we haven’t been recognized,” said Steven Bowers, a Vietnam veteran and member of the Seminole tribe in Florida.
Bowers is spearheading an effort to gain support from the nation’s tribes to erect a soldier statue on the National Mall in recognition of American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians who have served over the years.
His proposal calls for placing it prominently at the entrance of a planned education center at the Vietnam memorial — where millions of people visit each year — rather than at the Museum of theAmerican Indian.
Numerous tribal organizations, including the National Congress of American Indians, have signed on in support of the grassroots effort, and Bowers is hopeful the legislation introduced this week by Schatz doesn’t complicate matters.
Jeff Begay, a Navajo and Vietnam veteran whose grandfather also served as a scout for the U.S. Army, said he prefers a memorial close to the heart of the National Mall.
“We feel that we don’t want to be represented on the museum property because we’re not relics anymore,” he said. “We’re not artifacts to be observed. We are real soldiers, we contributed to defense of this country, and we need to be honored in the Mall area.”
John Garcia, deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, said he’s been meeting with Native American leaders and believes that a memorial “is a real possibility” if land is located and private funds are raised.
Garcia estimated there are about 200,000 Native American veterans, and a memorial dedicated to them would be appropriate since they have been involved in every American war from the American Revolution to recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Supporters of the two efforts agree that a memorial in the capital city would help to raise awareness of the role Native veterans have played in the country’s history.
“We’re trying to instill pride in our heritage as original inhabitants of this land,” Begay said. “We don’t want our children to grow up with that concept that we’re insignificant. We want to instill in them that they’re important members of the American community, and they should be proud of that.”
Incredible Video Captures Moment Rescuers Free Baby From Sewage Pipe After It Was Flushed Down a ToiletPosted May 27, 2013 at 7:52 pm by Christopher Santarelli
Graphic yet stunning video has emerged showing firefighters in the Chinese city of Jinhua rescuing an infant from a toilet sewage pipe.
CNN reports that local firefighters responded to calls from tenants of a residential building who said they heard a baby crying in a toilet on the fourth floor.
As seen in video from the rescue, firefighters detached the portion of the sewage pipe where the infant was lodged, then proceeded to pry out the still crying baby after using pliers, a saw and other tools to break the pipe wall.(WARNING: Video of the rescue below may disturb some)
CNN reports that the rescue operation took almost an hour and the infant is in stable condition. No one has come forward to claim the child, and CNN reports that police are looking for the parents.
Jinhua is in China’s eastern Zhejiang province and has a population close to 5 million. The rescued infant was a boy, and some commentators have speculated that the terrible actions committed by whoever put him in the sewage pipe could have been connected to China’s one-child policy.
LifeNews reports that pro-life advocate Patty Garza commented on the story “How cruel and evil can people be. Of course this is China where forced abortions are common and families are limited to two children each unless given permission to have another.”
“This was a little boy, which are considered wanted in China where gendercide is common among female infants, but not if you already have two children,” Garza added. “How sad that anyone could do something like this to hide their pregnancy/newborn and leave them for dead.”
China’s one-child policy has been in effect since 1979 and stipulates that urban couples be limited to have only one child unless one or both parents are from an ethnic minority, or both are only children. There are signs though that China’s economic planning body is reconsidering the population control policy.
Official Start of Summer? It Looked Like Mother Nature Got Her Signals Crossed in Some Parts of U.S.Posted May 27, 2013 at 6:30 pm by Dave Urbanski
Welcome to summer!
Although for some areas of the country, like upstate New York, this weekend looked like the dead of winter. Take for example the 34 inches of snow that fell on the state’s Whiteface Mountain:
Most famous of all cold and snowy late season events would have to be the infamous 1816 ‘Year without Summer’ and the snowfall in June that occurred in the eastern U.S. and Canada. Between June 6th and June 8th accumulating snow was observed as far south as the Catskills in New York (where one inch was reported) and highlands of central and northwest Pennsylvania. Snowflakes were seen at sea level as far south as ten miles north of tidewater on the Hudson River just above New York City.
Check out this clip from Whiteface Mountain:
(H/T: The Atlantic Wire)
‘Not a Drill’: After Royal Carribean Fire, Passenger Describes Scary Night in the Middle of the OceanPosted May 27, 2013 at 5:13 pm by Dave Urbanski
(TheBlaze/AP) — An announcement from the Royal Caribbean cruise ship that passengers needed to go to their muster stations roused Mark J. Ormesher from his stateroom on the Grandeur of the Seas early Monday.
A fire had broken out.
Ormesher said in an email to The Associated Press that immediately after the captain’s announcement, his room attendant knocked on the door and told him and his girlfriend to grab their flotation devices, saying: “This was not a drill.”
The native of England, who lives in Manassas, Va., Ormesher said he and his girlfriend smelled acrid smoke as they went to their muster station, the ship’s casino. He said the crew quickly provided instruction.
“This encouraged calm amongst the passengers,” he said. Passengers were required to remain at their stations for four hours, he said, and the captain “provided us as much information as we needed to stay safe.”
Royal Caribbean said that the fire that began at 2:50 a.m. was extinguished about two hours later with no injuries reported. According to WPTV, the ship’s medical staff said two guests were treated after fainting, there was one report of high blood pressure, and one report of cramps by passengers.
Ormesher, 25, and on his first cruise, said the air conditioner had been shut off, and as the hours passed and the ship got hot, bottled water was passed around. The crew and passengers remained calm and helped those who needed it. Crying babies were given formula and held while their parents used the bathrooms.
The ship had sailed from Baltimore on Friday and arrived in Freeport, Bahamas, Monday afternoon.
In Freeport, passenger Andrea Sanders of Washington, D.C., said she slept on the deck with hundreds of other passengers as smoke billowed out of the stern of the ship. “I was terrified with it being my first cruise,” Sanders told The Freeport News as she ate lunch in port.
A Royal Caribbean statement reads:
“In an abundance of caution, the Captain deemed it necessary to muster all guests at their assembly stations. All 2,224 guests and 796 crew have been accounted for, and there have been no injuries of guests or crew reported. The safety of our guests and crew is our top priority, and we will continue to focus on their needs and concerns.
Grandeur of the Seas was enroute to CocoCay, Bahamas, but is currently heading to Freeport, Bahamas, for further evaluation. The ship is in calm seas, and has full power.”
The National Transportation Safety Board said in a tweet that it will join the U.S. Coast Guard in investigating the fire.
Here’s a report from WPTV:
NBC’s news piece on the fire and aftermath:
Vandals Deface Revered British War Memorials, Allegedly Write ‘Islam’ in Red PaintPosted May 27, 2013 at 4:12 pm by Billy Hallowell
Vandals defaced two war memorials in London, covering over revered descriptions and allegedly posting the word “Islam” on at least one of the monuments. These attacks were waged against the London-based Royal Air Force Bomber Command War Memorial and the Animals in War Memorial — two of the country’s most important remembrances.
The messages were discovered Monday morning and have since been covered up with plastic sheets, the Telegraph reports. So far, the motivation for the attack is unclear and no arrests have been made.
“At 5am this morning police discovered graffiti on both the RAF Bomber Command War Memorial in Green Park and the Animals in War Memorial on Park Lane,” a spokesman for Scotland Yard said earlier today. “Royal Parks’ officers and Westminster police are investigating.”
The Telegraph notes that tensions have been running strong since the violent Islamist machete attack last week that left Drummer Lee Rigby dead.
The memorials are relatively close to one another. The Bomber Command Memorial honors the lives of the 55,573 Royal Air Force crew members who died during World War II; it was dedicated last year by the Queen. The Animals in War Memorial, instead, honors the animals that died in battle during the 20th century.
Which Middle Eastern Country Did Sen. McCain Just Secretly Visit — and Why?Posted May 27, 2013 at 3:33 pm by Billy Hallowell
(TheBlaze/AP) — Republican Sen. John McCain has quietly slipped into Syria for a meeting with Syrian rebels. Rachael Dean, a spokeswoman for the politician, confirmed that the Arizona Republican made the visit. That said, she has declined to give additional details.
The visit took place amid meetings in Paris involving efforts to secure participation of Syria’s fractured opposition in an international peace conference in Geneva. The Daily Beast has more about the alleged details surrounding the trip, including information about meetings that purportedly unfolded between McCain and rebel forces:
McCain, one of the fiercest critics of the Obama administration’s Syria policy, made the unannounced visit across the Turkey-Syria border with Gen. Salem Idris, the leader of the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army. He stayed in the country for several hours before returning to Turkey. Both in Syria and Turkey, McCain and Idris met with assembled leaders of Free Syrian Army units that traveled from around the country to see the U.S. senator. Inside those meetings, rebel leaders called on the United States to step up its support to the Syrian armed opposition and provide them with heavy weapons, a no-fly zone, and airstrikes on the Syrian regime and the forces of Hezbollah, which is increasingly active in Syria.
“The visit of Senator McCain to Syria is very important and very useful especially at this time,” Idris said of the politician’s visit. “We need American help to have change on the ground; we are now in a very critical situation.”
Two years of violence in Syria has killed more than 70,000 people. President Barack Obama has demanded that Syrian President Bashar Assad leave power, while Russia has stood by Syria, its closest ally in the Arab world.
McCain has been a leading proponent of arming the rebels and other aggressive military steps against the Assad regime. Read more about McCain’s alleged visit to Syria.
Sports Reporter Struck With Baseball During On-Air Report — But Check Out How Fast She RecoversPosted May 27, 2013 at 3:24 pm by Billy Hallowell
Television news reporters and anchors have to be ready to cope with unpredictable on-air events and happenings — and the same rule applies for most sports journalists, specifically those doing live shots. This is a lesson that Fox Sports Wisconsin’s Sophia Minnaert learned on Saturday night.
While in the middle of a television report during the Pittsburgh Pirates vs. the Milwaukee Brewers (the Pirates won 5 to 2) game, a stray baseball struck the reporter. The startling event led Minnaert to drop her microphone — and a few seconds of awkward silence ensued.
The surprised sports journalist sported a look of bewilderment, scrambled and then got back on track with her report.
Yahoo! Sports’ Mark Townsend has more about the debacle:
Having reviewed the broadcast, I can tell you it was not a foul ball as it’s described in the MLB video. The inning had not started yet, so it was likely an errant throw from a Brewers player looking to give away a souvenir. Still, as you can tell by the sound and impact, it had a little mustard on it, and could have done some damage had she been struck in the head or face.
Thankfully, that wasn’t the case, so Minnaert was able to quickly recover her microphone and collect herself. She then continued on with the report as if nothing had happened, which was impressive. If you watch the video all the way through, you’ll also see she took her ribbing from the Brewers broadcast crew in stride, so she passes both the ‘professional under fire’ and ‘good sport’ portions of her test with flying colors.
In reality, it’s lucky for Minnaert that the ball didn’t hit her in the head or face, as she would have potentially sustained some serious injuries. Plus, considering how fast she reacted and proceeded with her news report, she must be given some major credit. Work well done, Minnaert.
Watch the incident, below:
(H/T: Yahoo! Sports)
Fox News Panel Clashes After Alan Colmes Says IRS Went After ‘Only a Handful’ of Tea Party GroupsPosted May 27, 2013 at 2:36 pm by Billy Hallowell
In an appearance on Fox News today, conservative writer Jim Pinkerton and liberal radio host Alan Colmes clashed over the media’s perceived ideological attachment to the Obama administration and coverage of the ongoing Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal.
The center of their discussion? Whether the media are being complicit in covering up potential political motivation for the government’s targeting of the Tea Party and conservative groups.
Pinkerton argued that the media are more in bed with the Obama administration than any other preceding Democratic presidency. Colmes, naturally, disagreed.
“To say that never before has the media been so in line with the party in power is to me just patently absurd,” Colmes said, highlighting his view that the media seemingly pressed for and supported the War in Iraq under President George W. Bush.
“I don’t see the marriage between the media and what the administration is doing on the left as much as Jim does,” he added.
While the liberal commentator attempted to downplay the number of conservative organizations being targeted by the IRS (he said it was “only a handful”), Pinkerton shot back, noting that nearly one quarter of the groups were ideologically right-of-center. The conservative writer and pundit also charged that groups funded by billionaire George Soros seemed to be defending the IRS’s actions.
Here’s how Mediaite frames the rest of the discussion:
Colmes noted that editorial writers and columnists with the New York Times and The Washington Post have criticized the IRS unequivocally. “This isn’t a liberal consortium supporting what’s going on,” Colmes said.
Pinkerton noted that it is not all left-leaning media outlets, but there has been a nearly uniform defense of the IRS by organizations funded by Soros. Colmes and Pinkerton battled over the connection that was being drawn between Soros and liberal outlets defending the IRS. [...]
Pinkerton and Colmes then exploded over the assertion that the IRS evenly targeted liberal and conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.
“Every show on MSNBC, except for Morning Joe, is saying that the IRS did the right thing,” Pinkerton asserted. “That’s where the bias comes in.”
Watch the clip, below:
NYC’s First Openly-Gay — and Female — Mayor? Here’s the Candidate Who Might Replace Bloomberg — and Make HistoryPosted May 27, 2013 at 2:03 pm by Billy Hallowell
NEW YORK (AP) — It was an unscripted moment made for Christine Quinn.
One of her Democratic rivals in the New York City mayor’s race had tried a bit of wry gallantry after both started answering a candidate-forum question at the same time.
“Ladies first,” John Liu said. It was a National Organization for Women event, after all, and Quinn was the only woman on the stage.
“Who are you calling a lady?” she wisecracked back, to laughs from the crowd. “But I’ll take the opportunity.”
Take opportunity? It could be said that Quinn stands to redefine it. Currently the front-running Democrat in the race, she would be both the first woman and the first openly gay person to lead the nation’s biggest city.
Ebullient and seemingly inexhaustible, with an intensity tempered by a ready laugh that can be heard from down the hall, the red-headed Quinn is the kind of person who can describe herself as a “pushy broad” and not make you wince.
At the same time, Quinn is a veteran, work-through-the-system city council chief who champions consensus and compromise. When she faces criticism, the knock is she’s too pragmatic as often as too pushy.
“To get things done, you have to get people together,” Quinn said in an interview Friday. But “consensus doesn’t happen by magic. …You have to drive to it.”
“And to get those kinds of results in this town, you need to be tough.”
The speaker of the 51-member City Council, Quinn has some significant advantages in an up-for-grabs mayor’s race.
She’s polling ahead of other Democratic contenders in a heavily Democratic city, though the gap has narrowed in recent months. The dynamic became even more fluid when Democratic former Rep. Anthony Weiner got into the race last week.
Quinn leads in fundraising with more than $7.1 million, and her job enables her to point to diverse accomplishments including compelling repairs to dilapidated apartment buildings, negotiating in budget talks and preserving teachers’ jobs.
Political observers have long seen Quinn as a centrist, at least for left-leaning New York: a leader with liberal roots who’s open to business viewpoints and understands when governing means finding common ground. She’s “able to find the median voter and represent the median voter,” whether in her Manhattan district or among council members, retired Hunter College political scientist Kenneth Sherrill said.
And for better or worse, she has worked closely with current Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
It’s long been thought Bloomberg is likely to back Quinn. Powerful business interests that like Bloomberg also respect Quinn for working with him.
But Bloomberg may also be Quinn’s biggest liability. Her foes strive to paint her as too tight with a billionaire mayor who presided over a growing gulf between the city’s rich and poor and got term limits changed, with Quinn’s backing, so he could run again.
Partly because of her ties to Bloomberg, a well-financed PAC has sprouted up to oppose Quinn. The group, with backers including a city government workers’ union, has amassed more than $1 million and aired ads attacking Quinn on term limits and other matters.
“What we see is a sellout,” says Arthur Cheliotes, the president of the union, Communication Workers of America Local 1180, which has endorsed Liu.
Quinn says she’s not afraid to oppose the mayor – or not.
“Our job isn’t to stand at loggerheads with each other and think compromise is a bad word,” she said earlier this year as the council prepared to override a Bloomberg veto.
It’s perhaps a commentary on a changing society or Quinn herself that the groundbreaking aspects of her candidacy aren’t front and center.
Not that Quinn, 46, strives to separate her personal and political life. She used to run a gay and lesbian advocacy group, she was a visible player in the push to legalize gay marriage in the state, and her 2012 wedding to her longtime partner, attorney Kim Catullo, was one of the biggest political parties of the year.
“I come as one package deal,” Quinn said Friday. “An Irish lesbian who wakes up every day and goes to work. And I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about being the first this or the first that because it would take up space in my brain.”
But, she added, “it would be thrilling, obviously, to be able to have a woman and an openly LGBT person as the mayor of New York City.”
She opened another window on her private life this month, revealing that she grappled with bulimia and alcoholism in her younger years, when her mother was dying of cancer.
While some observers saw the revelation as a political ploy, Quinn said her aim was to help people facing similar problems.
“It was not an easy thing to do,” she said Friday, but “I’m very proud of what I’ve been able to come through.”
Quinn grew up on Long Island, a daughter of an electrical engineer father and a social-worker mother who encouraged her interest in politics as a way to help others.
After graduating from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., Quinn moved to New York and worked as a tenants’ rights advocate. She then worked for Tom Duane, one of the first openly gay City Council members and later a state senator.
She later ran the NYC Anti-Violence Project, an organization that works to combat attacks on gay people and others, before winning her council seat in 1999. Her colleagues chose her as speaker in 2006.
Colleagues say she’s a hands-on negotiator, and some give her plaudits for being willing to listen.
But others have said she wields her power with a retaliatory edge.
Democratic Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. notes that a city-funded scholarship program named for his father – a former council speaker – was cut in 2011 after the younger Vallone opposed Quinn on renaming the Queensboro Bridge for former Mayor Ed Koch. Quinn points to budget limitations, but Vallone says: “If you believe that all of that was a coincidence, then I have another bridge to rename.”
Quinn has come under pressure on some high-profile issues this year.
Facing calls from civil rights and minority advocates to rein in the police practice known as stop and frisk, she agreed to back creating an inspector general for police, an idea Bloomberg and the city’s popular police commissioner vigorously oppose.
She was also buffeted by political crosswinds over whether to require many employers to provide paid sick days, an idea blasted by business groups and Bloomberg but championed by unions and others including feminist standard-bearer Gloria Steinem. Steinem said she’d withdraw her support for Quinn’s mayoral bid if she didn’t allow a vote.
After three years of saying the time wasn’t economically right, Quinn brokered some changes and got behind the measure.
Quinn says she has no qualms about balancing the competing interests and push-or-compromise tactics of her job.
“The answer to whether you hit the right the balance,” she said, “is whether you get the right result.”
Horror in the Skies: Man Tries to Open Emergency Door During Alaska Airlines FlightPosted May 27, 2013 at 1:27 pm by Billy Hallowell
Many people are petrified to fly. But take the typical angst and add on the additional horror one would experience if a fellow passenger attempted to open an airplane door 10,000 feet in the air. This was a reality earlier today for a multitude of Alaska Airlines customers when 23-year-old Alexander Herrera reportedly attempted to do just that.
The bizarre incident unfolded earlier today when the man, who was in row 17 of the aircraft, tried to open the emergency row exit door. Wasting no time, crew and passengers worked together to restrain Herrera, KIRO-TV reports.
The incident occurred just 10 minutes before Flight 132 landed on its voyage from Anchorage to Portland. Luckily, the seal was never broken and the cabin wasn’t depressurized — but the event likely left some on board uneasy.
Herrera sat calmly in his seat following the furor, a spokesperson told KIRO-TV. But when the plane landed, he was arrested and is now in police custody.
The man, according to fellow passengers, made some odd statements before his attempted door-opening, however the FBI did not elaborate or share the contents of his comments.
While the incident certainly gave many on board a scare, emergency airplane doors come with special locks that only allow them to be opened with the approval of the flight crew. So, despite Herrera’s efforts, those on board were not in any legitimate danger.
British Police Arrest 10th Suspect in Horrific Woolwich Terror AttackPosted May 27, 2013 at 1:15 pm by Erica Ritz
LONDON (TheBlaze/AP) — Police on Monday arrested a 10th suspect in connection with the vicious killing of an off-duty British soldier on a London street in an apparent terrorist attack by Islamic extremists.
The 50-year-old man was detained in Welling, east of London, on suspicion of conspiring to murder 25-year-old soldier Lee Rigby, Scotland Yard said. Police didn’t provide further details about the suspect’s identity.
The latest arrest came as around 1,000 supporters of a far-right group marched through central London protesting the killing, clashing with a smaller group of anti-fascist demonstrators.
Police have already taken nine other suspects into custody, including the two main ones who were shot and wounded by officers at the scene of Wednesday’s killing. Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, remain under armed guard in separate London hospitals. Four other men remain in custody at a London police station.
Witnesses say Rigby, who had served in Afghanistan, was walking near his barracks in southeast London’s Woolwich area when he was run over by a vehicle and repeatedly stabbed with knives and meat cleavers.
The gruesome scene was recorded on witnesses’ cellphones, and a video picked up by British media showed one of the two main suspects, holding a bloody knife and cleaver, making political statements and warning of more violence. Hard-line Muslim leaders have identified the man in the video as Adebolajo.
Kenyan officials have confirmed that Adebolajo was arrested in Kenya in 2010 with five others near the country’s border with Somalia. Police believed Adebolajo was going to work with Somali militant group al-Shabab.
The killing in London has fed a spike in anti-Muslim sentiment in Britain, with police and activists reporting a surge in hate crimes, including violence and vandalism.
A mosque in the northern England town of Grimsby was firebombed Sunday night, according to the mosque’s chairman, Diler Gharib, who told a local newspaper he was discussing how to thank his neighbors for the support they had shown his community in the past days when the building was hit with gasoline bombs.
Police said they arrested two people in connection with the incident. The fire was extinguished, and no one was injured, they said.
Other Must-Read Stories:
Photos: Americans Gather Nationwide to Honor Fallen Service MembersPosted May 27, 2013 at 12:30 pm by Erica Ritz
(TheBlaze/AP) — Americans today will gather at cemeteries, memorials and monuments nationwide to honor fallen military service members on Memorial Day, at a time when combat in Afghanistan approaches 12 years and the ranks of World War II veterans dwindles.
In one of many ceremonies honoring Americans killed in Afghanistan, the city of South Sioux City, Neb., plans to unveil a statue honoring Navy Petty Officer 1st Class John Douangdara, a dog handler for the SEALs killed in a 2011 helicopter crash.
In Atlanta, a dedication of the History Center’s redone Veterans Park is scheduled for early evening. Soil from major battlefields will be scattered by veterans around the park’s flagpole.
In suburban Boston, veterans gathered in a park to mark Memorial Day this year rather than hold a parade because of failing health and dwindling numbers. The city of Beverly called off its parade because so few veterans would be able to march. The parade has been a fixture in the town since the Civil War.
Here are some photos commemorating Memorial Day so far (we’ll update the post as the day unfolds):
Other Must-Read Stories:
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