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  • ‘Thor’ Disarmed This Man After He Allegedly Assaulted a Woman
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 4:45 pm by Oliver Darcy

    Comments (72)

    It’s likely that this criminal never expected to be taken down by Thor — but it happened over the weekend.

    Police in Stockton, Calif. say that on Sunday K-9 officer “Thor” disarmed Juan Hernandez after the 34-year-old reached in his pocket for a gun when confronted by authorities, KOVR-TV reported.

    A Real Life Thor Disarmed This Man After He Allegedly Assaulted a Woman

    Juan Hernandez, 34, was disarmed by “Thor” on Sunday. (Image source: Screen grab via KOVR-TV)


    Hernandez had allegedly just violated his restraining order and assaulted a 38-year-old woman while brandishing a firearm.

    That’s when police responded and confronted him. According to police, Hernandez reached for a gun when Thor sprung into action and bit down on his arm, sending the firearm flying out of his grip.

    A Real Life Thor Disarmed This Man After He Allegedly Assaulted a Woman

    K-9 officer “Thor” disarmed a suspect on in Stockton, Calif. on Sunday. (Image source: Screen grab via KOVR-TV)

    “They are trained to alert on certain things, and when they see a suspect reaching into their pocket they know something is going to be coming out,” Stockton police officer Joe Silva told KOVR-TV.

    “They are trained to alert on certain things…”
    Share:

    Hernandez was then quickly arrested and taken into custody for a litany of charges, including resisting arrest and burglary — all thanks to Thor.

    “They are trained to actually seek out the threat, and Thor did that tonight which obviously saved either someone living at that house, a neighbor and our officer from dealing with someone that was armed with a firearm,” Silva said.

    Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

  • Far-Left Website Contributor Finally Comes Out and Says It: ‘Why You’re Wrong About Communism’
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 4:30 pm by Jason Howerton

    Comments (512)

    Far-left website Salon published a stunning defense of communism on Sunday, revealing what it claims are seven “huge misconceptions” about communism and capitalism.

    Author Jesse Myerson pushed back at the claim that communism has killed as many as 110 million people. Using “The Five” host Greg Gutfeld as an example, Myerson sought to clarify details about the slaughter that occurred under Stalin and Mao:

    In declaring this, Gutfeld and his ilk insult the suffering of the millions of people who died under Stalin, Mao, and other 20th Century Communist dictators. Making up a big-sounding number of people and chalking their deaths up to some abstract “communism” is no way to enact a humanistic commitment to victims of human rights atrocities.

    For one thing, a large number of the people killed under Soviet communism weren’t the kulaks everyone pretends to care about but themselves communists. Stalin, in his paranoid cruelty, not only had Russian revolutionary leaders assassinated and executed, but indeed exterminated entire communist parties. These people weren’t resisting having their property collectivized; they were committed to collectivizing property. It is also worth remembering that the Soviets had to fight a revolutionary war – against, among others, the US – which, as the American Revolution is enough to show, doesn’t mainly consist of group hugs. They also faced (and heroically defeated) the Nazis, who were not an ocean away, but right on their doorstep.

    Far Left Website Contributor Finally Comes Out and Says It: ‘Why You’re Wrong About Communism’

    Karl Marx, Gordon Gecko (Credit: Salon)

    Additionally, Myerson said that the Great Chinese Famine was the most “horrifying episode in 20th century official communism.” However, the main reason for the deaths of tens of millions of people was Mao’s “Great Leap Forward.” It was a “disastrous combination of applied pseudoscience, stat-juking, and political persecution designed to transform China into an industrial superpower in the blink of an eye.”

    So why are the deaths under the Great Chinese Famine not fully the fault of policies implemented under communism?

    “Famine is not a uniquely ‘left-wing’ problem,” Myerson wrote.

    Another popular “misconception” many people have is the assumption that “21st century American communism would resemble 20th century Soviet and Chinese horrors,” the article stated.

    Far Left Website Contributor Finally Comes Out and Says It: ‘Why You’re Wrong About Communism’

    AP

    Communism is more of an “aspiration, not an immediately achievable state,” Myerson wrote. “It, like democracy and libertarianism, is utopian in that it constantly strives toward an ideal, in its case the non-ownership of everything and the treatment of everything – including culture, people’s time, the very act of caring, and so forth – as dignified and inherently valuable rather than as commodities that can be priced for exchange.”

    Because of the various technological and social advances made in the last century, “we could expect an approach to communism beginning here and now to be far more open, humane, democratic, participatory and egalitarian than the Russian and Chinese attempts managed.”

    Here’s to wishful thinking that communism in America wouldn’t end as bloody and tragically as it has in every single instance throughout history?

    If you aren’t too frustrated already, read the rest of Myerson’s defense of communism and criticism of capitalism here.

    Editor’s note: The headline of this story has been updated to clarify that Myerson is not a full-time Salon employee.

  • Hot List: Super Bowl Commercials Everyone Is Talking About
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 4:29 pm by Amy Holmes

    Comments (8)

    Amy Holmes takes a look at the most popular ads from Sunday’s big game:

    Read this top story: Light humor, emotional ads rule Super Bowl commercial breaks

  • How Jay Carney Defended Obama’s ‘Not Even a Smidgen’ Claim on IRS Scandal
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 4:13 pm by Fred Lucas

    Comments (62)

    The White House on Monday doubled down on President Barack Obama’s assertion Sunday that there was “not even a smidgen of corruption” behind the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups.

    How Jay Carney Defended Obamas Not Even a Smidgen Claim on IRS Scandal

    AP

    ABC News’ Jonathan Karl asked, referring to Obama’s pre-Super Bowl interview with Bill O’Reilly, asked, “Did the president misspeak?

    “No he didn’t,” Carney said promptly.

    “I can cite about 20 different news organizations that cite the variety ways that was established, including by an independent [inspector general], who testified in May and as his report said, he found no evidence that anyone outside the IRS had any involvement in targeting conservative or progressive groups in their application for tax exempt status,” Carney said.

    The Justice Department is still conducting an investigation into the matter run by department attorney Barbara Bosserman, who contributed almost $7,000 to Obama’s presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012.

    The report Carney referred to, by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, was released last year after an admission from the agency that conservative groups were targeted. The inspector general report found the IRS exempt organizations unit flagged organizations with the terms “Tea Party,” “patriot” or “9/12” that applied for tax-exempt status on its “Be On the Lookout” or BOLO list.

    Karl asked, “Isn’t there an active Justice Department investigation in this matter?”

    Carney avoided the question, referring him to the Justice Department.

    “I think every look at this, every investigation into this an every thing we’ve learned about this, this is not something that in anyway reached outside of the IRS. There’s been a concerted attempt,” Carney said.

    Karl followed: “He said there is ‘not a smidgen of corruption.’ He didn’t qualify inside or outside the IRS. There is an active Justice Department investigation. Unless it has been concluded without anyone telling the news media. Does the president pre-judge that investigation?

    Carney responded: “What we’ve learned from an independent inspector general and through the testimony we’ve seen, completely backs up what the president said. A lot of that has been reported on by what you and your colleagues and your news organizations over the course of the last several months. Some people must have missed those reports.”

    Karl asked whether the Justice Department should “pull the plug,” after which Carney replied that the White House does “not interfere with Justice Department investigations.”

  • ‘Saturday Night Live’ Exec Explains Why the Show Prefers to Lampoon Republicans
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 3:43 pm by Becket Adams

    Comments (73)

    “Saturday Night Live” head honcho Lorne Michaels revealed in a recent interview that the comedy sketch show prefers to lampoon Republicans because Democrats tend to take things “personally.”

    Saturday Night Live Producer Explains Why the Show Prefers to Lampoon Republicans

    Tina Fey’s infamous impersonation of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin became instantly recognizable during the 2008 presidential campaign. (Image source: YouTube)

    “Republicans are easier for us than Democrats,” Michaels told entertainment site Vulture. “Democrats tend to take it personally; Republicans think it’s funny.”

    He explained how the show’s writers approach political humor.

    “(W)e’re not sitting here every week going, ‘We’ve really got to do the first family.’ This week, our cold open is about three big stories. We have Piers Morgan interviewing A-Rod, Chris Christie, and Justin Bieber,” Michaels said. “We’re doing more of that kind of thing than stuff about Benghazi or the new budget agreement.”

    “The country has lost interest in it. I can’t tell you why. It’s no less important, but in some way you can’t do health care more than twice, at which point there’s just nothing left. But Jay Pharoah does a really good Obama,” he added.

    He added that it’s difficult to gauge beforehand whether an episode will be any good.

    “You don’t. If it goes well at the Monday meeting, where the writers and cast are meeting the host and telling their ideas, then it may dip when we actually read the pieces. Sometimes we have a very bad read-through, but that just means people are made more alert that new stuff has to be generated,” he said.

    “Just before Christmas, we didn’t have a cold open when Kristen Wiig made the mistake of coming by to say hello on Friday night. I went downstairs, got a haircut, and by the time I came back 15 minutes later they had the ‘Sound of Music’ sketch. And that was the opening of that week’s show,” he said.

    (H/T: Weekly Standard)

    Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

  • Frustrated by Bill O’Reilly’s Obama Interview? Beck Explains What May Have Been Happening Behind the Scenes
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 2:52 pm by Erica Ritz

    Comments (308)

    Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has received some criticism on social media over his exclusive interview with President Barack Obama on Super Bowl Sunday, with some saying they wished he had been harder on the president over the scandals that have rocked his administration.

    Even Glenn Beck’s radio co-host Pat Gray said Monday that he wishes O’Reilly would have come out and said to the president: “What you’re saying is just not true. It’s not Fox News’ fault. Maybe take responsibilities for your own actions, for once.”

    Glenn Beck Speaks About Bill OReillys Superbowl Interview With Obama

    Photo: Fox News

    But Beck said he thinks O’Reilly did an “amazing” job with the interview, and explained what may have been taking place behind the scenes for those who are more critical.

    “I bet you there was anywhere from 10 to 20 people on the other side of the camera, all the president’s people, staring at Bill O’Reilly,” Beck said. “And just like the Seahawks came out and within the first five minutes [and] spooked the Broncos … they were doing that to Bill O’Reilly the whole time. Guarantee you.”

    Beck said that O’Reilly is a strong man and it likely “didn’t bother him at all,” but that the president’s people were probably trying to “throw him off his game” in any way they could.

    Beck’s analysis even included the wardrobe choice of both men. He guessed that O’Reilly had “no choice” but to wear a suit and tie to meet the president, but that someone likely told the president to take off his own tie to look more like “the common man.”

    Glenn Beck Speaks About Bill OReillys Superbowl Interview With Obama

    Photo: Fox News

    “O’Reilly has absolutely no chance, especially with a guy who has no problem looking the American people in the eye and lying to them,” Beck said, referring to Benghazi, the IRS scandal and the president’s oft-repeated line that “if you like your health care, you can keep it.”

    “Lie. Lie…” Beck asserted. “Everybody knows it. It’s already been admitted. It’s a total and complete [lie.] … [But] nobody cares. So what does he have to sweat for?”

    But the most important aspect to remember, Beck said, is that “you are not going to get the president on the ropes” in a 10-minute interview.

    “Look, the entire White House was built to be a stage for the president to intimidate global leaders,” Beck said. “There’s no chance of Bill O’Reilly winning this. None. Bill O’Reilly did an amazing job on this.”

    Complimentary Clip from TheBlaze TV

    The full episode of The Glenn Beck Program, along with many other live streaming shows and thousands of hours of on-demand content, is available on just about any digital device. Get it all with a FREE TRIAL.

  • Why Obama’s Meeting With Harry Reid Could Be Tense
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 2:24 pm by Fred Lucas

    Comments (67)

    President Barack Obama is meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) Monday afternoon, just after two of the president’s top cabinet secretaries publicly brushed off the Senate leader’s concern about trade authority.

    Why Obamas Meeting With Harry Reid Could Be Tense

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and President Barack Obama are set to meet Monday. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    The meeting was scheduled to be in the Oval Office at 2:30 p.m., one of several meetings Obama plans to have with congressional Democrats this week.

    On Saturday, Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, both former U.S. senators who previously served with Reid, spoke at the Munich Security Conference where they were dismissive of Reid’s opposition to renewing fast-track trade authority, CNN reported.

    “I respect Harry Reid, worked with him for a long time,” Kerry said. “I think all of us have learned to interpret a comment on one day in the United States Senate as not necessarily what might be the situation in a matter of months.”

    Speaking to a pro-fast-track audience of allies, Hagel agreed.

    “Let’s be smart and let’s be wise and let’s be collaborative and use all of the opportunities and mechanisms that we have to enhance each other – culturally, trade, commerce, exchanges,” Hagel said.

    Obama, like most previous presidents, is seeking fast-track trade authority to allow him to work out the details of a trade treaty, then submit to the Senate for an up-or-down vote. This would prohibit various amendments too from being tacked onto a trade agreement by Congress.

    As majority leader, Reid decides which legislation comes up for a vote in the Senate, which ratifies treaties. Reid said Wednesday he is “against fast track. I think everyone would be well advised not to push this right now.”

    During the White House press briefing Monday, press secretary Jay Carney said the president expects to have a productive conversation with Reid. He stressed that pending trade deals with Europe and Asia would expand the economy and better paying jobs.

    “Trade is an important issue on the president’s agenda,” Carney told reporters. “The agreements the president is pursuing protect American workers and protect the environment.”

    Ahead of the meeting, Carney added that the president and Reid “talk all the time,” but did not know for certain they would discuss trade at Monday’s meeting.

  • WATCH: The Super Bowl Stadium Flyover From Inside the Helicopters
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 1:58 pm by Elizabeth Kreft

    Comments (32)

    For many viewers, the Super Bowl doesn’t really start until they see the flyover. This year, the National Football League had the 101st Airborne Division buzz over the 2014 game with a multi-ship formation of helicopters.

    The pilots and crew from CH-47 Chinooks and UH-60 Blackhawks timed their flyover perfectly, passing over the open stadium just after the last note of National Anthem. YouTube user TheNolanK told The Blaze he published the unique view of the event for his friend Army Specialist David Wilf, who shot the video out the side door of one of the Chinooks.

    WATCH: The Super Bowl Stadium Flyover From Inside the Helicopters

    The video captures roughly a minute of the flyover footage, including the moments just before they flew over MetLife stadium. (Image source: YouTube)

    If you watch closely at the top left of the screen you can see the lights flicker against the helicopter blades, and at 34 seconds you can hear – presumably – the camera operator give an excited “wahoo” after completing the flyover on time.

    The helicopters flew in formation with “one disc” – the size of the rotating blades, about 40 feet – of the other aircraft while traveling in formation at 80 knots, according to the Leaf Chronicle.

    WATCH: The Super Bowl Stadium Flyover From Inside the Helicopters

    The video is slightly grainy, but the camera operator turned around to shoot out the back of the helicopter and capture the fireworks that blasted just after they passed over the stadium. (Image source: YouTube)

    The Army said their “time-on-target” over the goalpost was 1805 hours, 6:05 p.m. Flyover timing is coordinated days in advance with NFL pre-game show producers and staff. The pilots and crew take every second into account, including how long the performer will take to belt out all the National Anthem words.

    According to the Leaf Chronicle, Col. Thomas Drew, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade commander, said the mission was assigned through normal channels via FORSCOM (United States Army Forces Command), which received the NFL flyover request.

    “There was a lot of coordination with the FAA, all the airspace and all the people involved to make it happen … [o]n the aviation side, it’s fairly simple. It’s a normal training event for us, and it’s good training for us,” Drew said.

    Check out the video below!

    Follow Elizabeth Kreft (@elizabethakreft) on Twitter.

  • ‘Full House’ Actress Details How She Became a Christian and Just How Much Her Faith Impacts Her Career
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 1:40 pm by Billy Hallowell

    Comments (103)

    Since taking the role of D.J. Tanner on the mega hit “Full House” television series in 1987, Candace Cameron Bure has enjoyed a successful acting and writing career.

    Bure, now 37 and the author of the new “Balancing It All: My Story of Juggling Priorities and Purpose,” told TheBlaze that her Christian faith defines who she is, guiding her actions both on and off screen.

    “My faith is my basis of who I am. Not only does it affect the choices I make career-wise, but it also effects the things that I want to do,” said Bure, who has three children and is married to retired NHL player Valeri Bure.

    How Her Christian Faith Has Impacted Her Career

    Bure said her faith has had both positive and negative effects on her career in Hollywood.

    “I have a really wonderful core audience that has followed me since I was a little girl. They are rooting me on,” she said, noting that her fans know they can trust her work to be family-friendly. “In that way my faith really helps me.”

    Actress Candace Cameron Bure Details How She Became a Christian and the Impact Her Faith Has Had on Her Career

    Actress Candace Cameron Bure, right, and her daughter Natasha Bure attend the premiere of Disney’s “Saving Mr. Banks” at Walt Disney Studios on Dec. 9, 2013 in Burbank, Calif. (Getty Images/Frederick M. Brown)

    But Bure said she thinks she’s been overlooked for roles that she’d be comfortable with based on how people in the industry perceive her. In that way, her faith, to a degree, hinders her career.

    Bure also made it clear that there’s a distinction to be made between being a Christian actress and an actress who is a Christian.

    “I’m a Christian through and through. I’m not a Christian actress,” she said. “I’m an actress who is a Christian. I’ve actually done very few Christian films … I don’t need a Christian label slapped on what I do so that it complements my faith that way.”

    How Bure Became a Christian

    Bure said that she first started attending church with her family when she was 12 years old. Before that, though, the family had never really discussed religion.

    “I would say I became a Christian or at least I asked Jesus to be the lord of my life at 12 years old.” Bure said. “Honestly that didn’t mean much to me. That certainly carried with me. I didn’t really understand all of it.”

    It wasn’t until she was in her 20s that her faith really began to resonate. Her brother, “Growing Pains” actor Kirk Cameron, gave her a book — Ray Comfort’s “The Way of the Master” — and it was then, she said, that Christianity truly began to make sense to her.

    “My whole thing was that I always thought I was such a good person … [I would think] I’m such a good person compared to other child stars,” Bure said. “I was a people pleaser. … I never really understood my need for Jesus, because I never really saw myself as a sinner.”

    Actress Candace Cameron Bure Details How She Became a Christian and the Impact Her Faith Has Had on Her Career

    Actress Candace Cameron Bure on the set of Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family Holiday Special.” (Getty Images/Paul Redmond)

    But Comfort’s book changed all that for her.

    “I recognized for the first time, ‘Oh, I guess I’m not as good as I thought I was. I am good by worldly status … but God has a different standard,’” Bure said.

    Even though her faith didn’t take root until her 20s, Bure said her parents always kept a close watch over her and Kirk.

    The Cameron family ensured that their famous kids avoided parties and really only went to events that were sanctioned by the television network or related to important charities.

    And since Bure has been acting since she was just 5 years old, that watchful eye was helpful in keeping her on track as a child star.

    “For me, I can always just go back to my parents and my faith,” she said. “They did a great job of being very involved. Our lives were never really about the industry.”

    She added, “It was like a broken record with my parents in a good way. That’s why I didn’t get into drugs.”

    Balancing It All

    After taking a hiatus from acting to raise her children, Bure is once again acting and in her new book, she discusses how she has juggled “roles, responsibilities, and opportunities” over the years.

    In every interview, Bure said she’s been asked one simple question: “How do you juggle life with family and keep doing the things that are important to you — keeping them first like your faith and friends?”

    It’s this question that Bure said inspired her to write “Balancing It All.”

    “Everybody’s life is unique … so I wasn’t about to write a ‘how to’ kind of book. There’s not a one size fits all,” she told TheBlaze. “It brings you through my life growing up through the industry. All those pivotal moments in my life — getting married, having children.”

    Bure said that her life is quite the balancing act. She said she’s not perfect, and that it takes effort to keep her priorities in check.

    “I don’t want anyone to think I’m this perfect person who does it all and that I do it perfectly every day,” she said. “There’s times and seasons where I get out of whack — and the first thing I can always go back to is my faith.”

    Actress Candace Cameron Bure Details How She Became a Christian and the Impact Her Faith Has Had on Her Career

    Candace Cameron Bure with former “Full House” co-stars John Stamos, center, and Bob Saget at the Starlight Awards at the Skirball Cultural Center on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Invision for Starlight Children’s Foundation)

    One of the litmus tests Bure uses to be sure she’s keeping her priorities in order is questioning when she last read her Bible. It’s when she goes too long without reading scripture that she generally feels something isn’t quite right.

    “It’s also with the help of my husband that we keep each other in check,” she said. “You can feel when its not going right [and we say] ‘Let’s get back to the word of God.’”

    Bure said she absolutely loves acting, calling it her “passion” and telling TheBlaze that, aside from her family, she has “no greater joy than being on a set and working.”

    As for the “Full House” cast, the actress said that they all remain extremely close and that they have been like family since the show concluded.

    “We’re all really close,” she said. “We hang out individually. We hang out together.”

  • What Issue Do Dana Loesch and a Host of ‘The View’ Actually Agree On?
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 1:31 pm by Erica Ritz

    Comments (120)

    What happens when fiery Blaze TV host Dana Loesch co-hosts “The View” on ABC for a day? Many may have expected a “clash of the titans” scenario, but when the group of women actually spoke, they were unfailingly tolerant of one another’s opinions.

    Co-host Whoopi Goldberg acknowledged at the beginning of the show that her Twitter feed has “blown up” since it was announced that Loesch was co-hosting, saying “people were really pissed off” that she would be coming on. But Goldberg still questioned Loesch about her opinions, and gave TheBlaze TV host plenty of time to respond.

    More than that, there was actually one uniting issue for Loesch and co-host Jenny McCarthy: homeschooling.

    Dana Loesch guest-hosts “The View” on ABC Feb. 3, 2014. She is joined by, left to right, Whoopi Goldberg, Jenny McCarthy, Sherri Shepherd and Barbara Walters. (Photo: ABC via YouTube)

    “One thing I want to say … that we do agree on is homeschooling,” McCarthy said. “I’m about to start homeschooling [my son] here in New York City, and I know that you are homeschooling. What was the decision to homeschool?”

    Loesch explained how there was a lack of options for her family in St. Louis, where they had been living until roughly two months ago, saying it was either a “very expensive private school” or “hope for the best” in a dicey public school.

    “We have tutors come in, but I do handle all the curriculum,” Loesch said.

    “God bless you, girl, cause I get my break when Jeffrey goes to school!” co-host Sherri Shepherd chimed in with a laugh. “God bless you.”

    Dana Loesch guest-hosts “The View” on ABC Feb. 3, 2014. She is joined by, left to right, Whoopi Goldberg, Jenny McCarthy, Sherri Shepherd and Barbara Walters. (Photo: ABC via YouTube)

    But Loesch was also questioned about why she went from a staunch liberal to a conservative. As she has discussed before, Loesch explained that motherhood completely changed her perspective on the world.

    “It sort of helped me open up my mind a little more. Because when I was a liberal … I wasn’t just a liberal,” Loesch said. “I campaigned for the Clintons … I kept thinking, ‘I’m progressive first, and everything else is second.’”

    When pressed on what she specifically changed her perspective on, Loesch cited big government, fiscal responsibility and the importance of people being “good stewards to their fellow man.”

    Loesch also said she is pro-life and strongly believes in the Second Amendment, but that people often try to silence you in politics when you speak of such matters.

    Often, she said, people can’t just disagree — “they don’t want other people to have a voice.”

    Watch video from the show, below:

    Other Must-Read Stories:

  • Good Samaritan Shot While Helping Save a Family ‘on Their Knees Execution-Style’ From Four Attackers
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 12:55 pm by Liz Klimas

    Comments (121)

    A 28-year-old from Texas was shot Sunday morning while helping a desperate family under attack by four masked men, but he says he’s more disturbed by what he saw happening to the family than by what happened to him.

    “I glanced inside and these guys had, they had his wife and they had I’m guessing his daughters and they had them on their knees execution-style,” the unnamed man told KHOU-TV, appearing to choke up at the thought. ”And two of the guys had guns at their heads.”

    good samaritan

    The man who helped save a Texas family is not being identified because the suspects have not been caught. (Image source: KHOU-TV)

    Jose Espinosa’s Houston home was stormed by the men, who ended up stealing several items around 4:30 a.m. while his family slept.

    William Espinoza, 17, told KRIV-TV he woke up to gunshots and thought he was dreaming at first.

    “As I woke up, I saw two men in my room. They told me to face down on the pillow and not say anything and if I look, they will shoot me,” the teen recalled, telling the news station he didn’t know if his parents were dead or alive at the time.

    Jose and William Espinosa

    William (left) and Jose (right) Espinosa describe the armed invasion. (Image source: KHOU-TV)

    William said he could hear his mother crying and talking between his father and the men. Then he heard glass; his father had jumped out the window.

    “I heard screaming and I thought someone died. I was just scared. At that moment I was just praying,” William told KRIV.

    But Jose Espinoza wasn’t shot. Outside the home, he ran to the street to flag down a driver for help.

    “He’s screaming, ‘Help me! Help me! They’re inside my house. They’ve got my family,’” the man who stopped told KHOU.

    The man went into the residence and fought with the intruders. That’s when William heard a gunshot.

    “I heard a gunshot, that’s the moment I started to think, is it my dad? Is it my mom? So I started to pray. I heard three gunshots,” he said.

    The masked men fled, taking cellphones and computers.

    The good Samaritan, who was shot in the leg and is expected to survive, told KHOU he thinks his actions are something “anybody else would do it, not just me.”

    The Espinoza family is thankful for this man.

    “He said he’s very grateful to him and he’s sorry he had to go through that shock,” William translated for his father, who spoke in Spanish, to KHOU.

    Watch KHOU-TV’s report:

    The suspects are still at large, according to reports.

  • Only in Florida: A Woman Actually Stole a Local Reporter’s Car While On Camera
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 11:58 am by Oliver Darcy

    Comments (113)

    A Florida woman was captured on camera stealing a reporter’s car Friday afternoon after the journalist visited her home with the aim of exposing an alleged rental property scam.

    Only in Florida: A Woman Actually Stole a Local Reporters Car While On Camera

    A Florida woman stole a reporter’s car Friday afternoon on camera. (Image source: WWSB-TV)

    According to WWSB-TV, reporter Josh Taylor visited a home that had allegedly been marketed to renters as an 11-bedroom home, but only had five rooms and several code violations.

    Upon arriving at the home, Taylor set up a tripod on the street in front of the home. That’s when he was confronted by a woman named Jean Price.

    Price demanded that Taylor leave, and when he refused, she folded up his tripod, placed it inside the news van and proceeded to drive away.

    Police told WWSB-TV that Price is being charged with grand theft auto.

    Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

  • Did You Know There Are Certain Days of the Week Where You Lose More Weight?
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 11:52 am by Liz Klimas

    Comments (14)

    Weigh yourself on a Friday and chances are you’re going to weigh less than you will the following Monday, a new study found.

    calendar

    Photo credit: Shutterstock

    According to research by Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab in conjunction with Finnish institutions, participants in a study almost always lost weight during the work week and gained it during the weekend.

    Though not yet published in a scientific journal, something which the university says is forthcoming, the study had 80 adults weigh themselves in the morning before breakfast. Only weight reports of at least seven consecutive days were included in the study, which evaluated some participants up to 330 days.

    In addition to finding a weight fluctuation pattern between the five work days and two weekend days the researchers identified a difference between people in the study who were considered weight losers and weight gainers. Weight losers would begin to lose weight again immediately after the weekend continuing through Friday, while weight gainers didn’t show any clear decrease during the weekdays.

    The lowest weights of individuals were recorded on Fridays.

    In light of these results, the researchers think that this fluctuation should be considered normal and noted that more indulgent weekends every once in a while are not necessarily harmful to successful weight loss efforts.

    “Successful weight control is more likely to happen and for the long run if one is not too strict with one’s diet but allows for short-term splurges,” the study’s researchers wrote on Cornell’s website.

    (H/T: EurekAlert)

  • ‘Horribly Dumb Racist Nutjobs’: This Is the Coca-Cola Super Bowl Ad That Sparked a Major American Culture Battle
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 11:12 am by Billy Hallowell

    Comments (732)

    Beverage giant Coca-Cola’s Super Bowl commercial featuring a multilingual presentation of “America the Beautiful” sparked major online controversy Sunday night, including accusations that the TV spot was “un-American.”

    Horribly Dumb Racist Nutjobs: Coca Cola Super Bowl Commercial Sparks Major Debate About American Culture

    Image source: YouTube

    The ad, titled “It’s Beautiful,” featured different scenes from American life, including people sharing a meal, swimming in the ocean, horseback riding, taking a road trip and more, all to the sounds of “America the Beautiful.”

    The song, however, was sung in a variety of languages, generating an angry response from some on Twitter who said Coca-Cola should have presented it in English only, and causing users to jump on the hashtag “speakAmerican.”

    “Really #coke come on we live in the USA so sing the song in English,” Twitter user @jaredl83 wrote.

    “That is the most un-American commercial I have ever seen,” said @B_Wett4.

    Here’s a sample of some of the tweets, as curated by BizPac Review:

    Horribly Dumb Racist Nutjobs: Coca Cola Super Bowl Commercial Sparks Major Debate About American Culture

    Former Florida Rep. Allen West also jumped into the debate, penning a blog post on his website in which he called the commercial “truly disturbing.”

    “I am quite sure there may some who appreciated the commercial, but Coca Cola missed the mark in my opinion [sic],” West wrote. “If we cannot be proud enough as a country to sing ‘American the Beautiful’ in English in a commercial during the Super Bowl, by a company as American as they come — doggone we are on the road to perdition.”

    West concluded, “This was a truly disturbing commercial for me, what say you?”

    At the same time, others on Twitter sprang up to denounce the “racist” response to the ad.

    People so ignorant. It doesn't take an educated man to know that America is & always will be multicultural #SpeakAmerican #Cokecommercial
    Horribly Dumb Racist Nutjobs: Coca Cola Super Bowl Commercial Sparks Major Debate About American Culture
    @BlackGuyBen
    BenJamin ✌️
    If you ever think that people aren't horribly dumb racist nutjobs, there's always a hashtag like #speakamerican to remind you.
    Horribly Dumb Racist Nutjobs: Coca Cola Super Bowl Commercial Sparks Major Debate About American Culture
    @gideunz
    Ted Gideonse
    Theory that you have to be deeply stupid to be a racist still holding up strong. #SpeakAmerican
    Horribly Dumb Racist Nutjobs: Coca Cola Super Bowl Commercial Sparks Major Debate About American Culture
    @DCPlod
    Danielle Candy Saga
    There have been a lot of dumb arguments on Twitter, but the #SpeakAmerican one surrounding the Coke commercial easily wins Olympic gold.
    Horribly Dumb Racist Nutjobs: Coca Cola Super Bowl Commercial Sparks Major Debate About American Culture
    @jrsalzman
    J.R. Salzman

    Coca-Cola did not initially address the controversy in a statement to TheBlaze. But later in the afternoon Monday, a representative for the company issued the following comments surrounding furor over the commercial:

    “‘It’s Beautiful’ was created to celebrate Coke moments among all Americans who together enjoy ice cold, refreshing Coke. For centuries America has opened its arms to people of many countries who have helped to build this great nation. ‘It’s Beautiful’ provides a snapshot of the real lives of Americans representing diverse ethnicities, religions, races and families, all found in the United States. All those featured in the ad are Americans and “America The Beautiful” was sung by bilingual American young women.

    We believe ‘It’s Beautiful’ is a great example of the magic that makes our country so special, and a powerful message that spreads optimism, promotes inclusion and celebrates humanity – values that are core to Coca-Cola.”

    Meanwhile, in a lesser-noticed aspect of the ad, gay rights organization GLAAD praised Coke for being “gay-inclusive” for featuring “two gay dads roller-skating with their daughter.” GLAAD said it was the first time a same-sex family was depicted in a Super Bowl commercial.

    Coke took heat last month for removing images of two grooms from an ad it was running in Ireland.

    Featured image via Coca-Cola/YouTube

  • Machete-Wielding Suspect Gets a 2nd Amendment Lesson When He Targets the Wrong Woman
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 11:08 am by Becket Adams

    Comments (110)
    Machete Wielding Suspect Gets a 2nd Amendment Lesson When He Targets the Wrong Woman

    A Mich. woman whose husband is currently serving overseas in Afghanistan was forced to exercise her Second Amendment rights after she was confronted by a heavily-armed would-be home invader (image source: WOOD-TV)

    A Michigan woman was confronted last week by a machete-wielding, ski mask-wearing would-be home invader, forcing her to exercise her Second Amendment rights. As if that’s not scary enough, what alerted her to the intruder is downright terrifying.

    The suspect, a 15-year-old teen who was also armed with a shotgun, woke up the Michigan woman at around 1:00 a.m. Friday as he repeatedly tried to break into her home.

    The woman, who asked not to be identified, told WOOD-TV she heard a mysterious tapping noise from the floor below her.

    “I kept hearing, ‘Tap, tap, tap. Tap, tap, tap,’” she said.

    As it turns out, the tapping noise was the sound of a machete being scrapped against the front door.

    Her children asleep in the next room, the woman grabbed her gun, rushed to the top of the stairs and drew a bead on the teenage suspect.

    “And I pointed my gun right at him, and he took a couple of steps back,” she said.

    It was all her at that moment. With her husband still serving overseas in Afghanistan, it was up to her to defend her children from the “relentless” suspect.

    “I felt like I was playing a game with him that he would step up closer to the door. I would raise the gun and he would step back,” she said.

    The teen prowled around the house, looking for a way into her home.

    “My biggest fear was if he shot me and killed me, or if I shot him and he shot back – and I have two kids,” she said.

    County Sheriff Dale Miller told WOOD-TV the woman would have been justified had she opened fire on the suspect.

    “I believe so,” Miller said. “If he had gone to the point of trying to get into the house.”

    The woman was able to call the police and they responded promptly to the call. Amazingly enough, the suspect didn’t surrender immediately and led authorities on a short foot chase before being apprehended and taken into custody.

    “At first he hid behind a car, then there was a short foot chase where he finally threw down the weapon and we were able to take him into custody,” Miller said.

    It wasn’t until police had arrested the suspect and removed his ski mask that they discovered he was only 15-years-old.

    Law enforcement officials said they’re confused by the entire situation, explaining that they’re not sure what the adolescent hoped to achieve with the potentially deadly act.

    Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

  • ‘The Arms Just Crawl Away’: Mysterious Illness Killing Starfish En Masse
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 10:25 am by Liz Klimas

    Comments (79)

    Thousands of starfish along the North American Pacific Coast are dying a gory death, and scientists don’t know why.

    What’s disturbing beyond the mass die-off is how scientists witnessed the creatures actually going: The end result is twisted, dismembered piles of mush that were once toughened starfish. But when scientists began conducting experiments with sick and healthy starfish, they saw the starfish ripping their appendages off.

    starfish death

    Scientists witnessed starfish appendages “walking” away from the rest of the starfish bodies. (Image source: YouTube)

    starfish death

    Usually starfish can regenerate such an appendage, but in these cases, they couldn’t. Instead, they spilled out their insides and died. (Image source: YouTube)

    Scientists began noticing the deaths last summer, calling it “sea star wasting syndrome” for now, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting’s show Earthfix.

    Diver Laura James started documenting the unusual starfish deaths in the ocean off the coast of Washington.

    “There were just splats. It looked like somebody had taken a laser gun and just zapped them and they just vaporized,” James told the news station of the starfish she began seeing near her home in Puget Sound.

    starfish death

    Image source: YouTube

    Whatever the cause, it impacts up to a dozen species of starfish up and down the coast. Some reports from the East Coast have come in as well, according to Earthfix.

    “The other individuals just started ripping themselves apart,” Ben Miner, a biology professor at the Western Washington University, said of once-healthy starfish studied in the same tank with a sick one. “The arms just crawl away from the particular body.”

    It’s after the arms “crawled away” that the guts of the starfish spilled out. Miner said that even healthy starfish placed in tanks without sick individuals still developed symptoms of the mysterious disease at the same rate, showing that an ill starfish isn’t necessarily speeding up the process.

    Scientists don’t know if a pathogen or ocean acidification is causing the illness. The scientific world considers getting to the bottom of this mass death important because of the ecological effect it could have. Starfish prey upon various organisms, which if go unchecked could populate out of control.

    “These are ecologically important species,” marine epidemiologist Drew Harvell with Cornell University told the news station. “When you lose this many sea stars it will certainly change the seascape.”

    Watch Earthfix’s report on the starfish situation:

    What’s more, in a seemingly unrelated event, thousands of starfish off the coast of south Texas were beached last week due to rough weather.

    “Dr. [David] Hicks is the one who really figured it out,” Tony Reisinger with Texas Sea Grant at Texas A&M University told the Valley Morning Star. “He thinks it was rough seas and high winds and strong currents that made for the right conditions, along with the probability that the starfish were close to shore feeding. All of those forces tossed them up on the shore.”

    (H/T: PBS via io9)

  • In The Marketplace: Your Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for Small Businesses
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 9:35 am by Ted Tuttle

    Comments (22)

    At The Marketplace by TheBlaze, you’ll find powerful stories from small business owners who have a passion for creating products of value. Whether it’s a husband-and-wife team or a third-generation family business, you’ll feel the love from entrepreneurs who treat their customers like family. Valentine’s Day is another day for these extraordinary men and women to showcase their products while sharing their stories of overcoming adversity, hope and self-reliance.

    When you read each of our shops’ stories (just click on a shop name and the “our story” link), you’ll see that these owners aren’t driven by profits; they’re driven by passion, integrity, hard work and their families.  Here are just a few great Valentine’s Day gift ideas from some of our amazing American small businesses at The Marketplace by TheBlaze.

    Chocolates

    In The Marketplace: Your Valentines Day Gift Guide for Small Businesses

    What would Valentine’s Day be without chocolate? Mrs. Cavanaugh’s Most Famous Boxes of fine assorted chocolates are sure to please even the most discerning chocolate connoisseur.

    In The Marketplace: Your Valentines Day Gift Guide for Small Businesses

    Put a smile on her face with fresh handmade chocolate and much more with this 21-piece gift basket filled with everything to make this Valentine’s Day extra special. Express your love with the ultimate gift – CHOCOLATE – and save 45% today!

    Jewelry

    In The Marketplace: Your Valentines Day Gift Guide for Small Businesses

    Give her something she’ll absolutely adore, a handmade Howlite jewelry set! Now on sale, this set comes complete with an 18” Howlite Heart necklace, 7 ½ Howlite bead and silver heart bracelet and matching silver heart earrings – all at 31% off!

    In The Marketplace: Your Valentines Day Gift Guide for Small Businesses

    Amethyst is the birthstone of February and, when carved into the shape of a heart, makes the perfect Valentine’s Day surprise for her. These hand-carved necklace gems are in very limited supply, so get yours while you can!

    Love Story

    In The Marketplace: Your Valentines Day Gift Guide for Small Businesses

    Enjoy some great reading this Valentine’s Day. Beloved romance writer Carla Kelly’s treasured collection of wonderfully written stories of regency romances will warm your heart with every page.

    Special For Him

    In The Marketplace: Your Valentines Day Gift Guide for Small Businesses

    Looking for a unique gift for those hard-to-buy-for guys in your life? Chocolate Stout Beer Soap is perfect for both beer and soap enthusiasts alike.

    Special For Her

    In The Marketplace: Your Valentines Day Gift Guide for Small Businesses

    Trying to find something extra special for your darling? Try surprising her with this delightfully delicious Charleston Sweetgrass Sugah Scrub. It’s sure to win you some points!

    Sign up for The Marketplace Email Newsletter

    In The Marketplace: Your Valentines Day Gift Guide for Small Businesses

    Our shop owners aren’t here to tell you what you should and shouldn’t buy. They’re just here to pursue their own version of the American Dream. Learn their struggles, celebrate their triumphs and share in their dream of rebuilding America by signing up for The Marketplace email newsletter.

    Sweepstakes

    In The Marketplace: Your Valentines Day Gift Guide for Small Businesses

    No purchase is necessary to win. Here are the prizes:

    In The Marketplace: Your Valentines Day Gift Guide for Small Businesses
    Valentine’s Day Variety Pack
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    In The Marketplace: Your Valentines Day Gift Guide for Small Businesses
    Southern Magnolia Deluxe Gift Set
    $69 value

    In The Marketplace: Your Valentines Day Gift Guide for Small Businesses
    Howlite Triple Heart Necklace and Earrings
    $34 value

    In The Marketplace: Your Valentines Day Gift Guide for Small Businesses
    Love Story Collection
    $33.80 value

    In The Marketplace: Your Valentines Day Gift Guide for Small Businesses
    Moonstone Necklace and Earrings
    $35 value

    In The Marketplace: Your Valentines Day Gift Guide for Small Businesses
    Best-Selling Soap 5-Pack
    $25 value

    In The Marketplace: Your Valentines Day Gift Guide for Small Businesses
    Rose Quartz Necklace
    $25 value

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  • Hey Indianapolis, Your Pizza Guy May Be Carrying More Than Just a Large Pepperoni
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 9:11 am by Elizabeth Kreft

    Comments (101)

    If you order a pizza in Indianapolis, your driver might be packing more heat than a steamy pizza.

    After two pizza delivery drivers were killed in just two weeks, some drivers have decided to arm themselves while they work their routes, WISH-TV reported.

    Pizza Delivery Drivers To Carry Guns for Safety in Indianapolis

    Indianapolis pizza drivers are now considering packing more heat than usual. (AP)

    Bill Bruton is one of those drivers. He spent Super Bowl Sunday delivering pizzas all over Indianapolis for Aunt Polly’s Pizza. And he carried his gun, WISH reported.

    “I’ve got a lifetime permit and I carry,” Bruton said.

    The manager at Aunt Polly’s said their drivers have carried for years: “As long as they have gun permits,” Jeff White, store manager, said.

    Pizza Delivery Drivers To Carry Guns for Safety in Indianapolis

    According to WISH-TV, pizza chains in Indianapolis have asked that customers leave a porch light on and give a reliable cell phone number to help protect their drivers. (Photo credit: Shutterstock)

    According to WISH-TV, not all Indianapolis pizza joints are as enthusiastic about their drivers carrying a weapon, but Pizza Hut managers did respond with concern for the safety of their employees:

    “We took it real seriously,” Pizza Hut spokesman James Hines told the station. No Pizza Hut employees were involved in the shootings.

    “We’ve coached every store – every employee on driver safety and different steps we can take internally to make sure our number one priority is the safety of our team members,” Hines said. Pizza chains have also asked that customers leave a porch light on and give a reliable cell phone number to help protect their drivers.

    The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department confirmed Friday night that a pizza delivery driver was shot and killed around 7 p.m. in the city. Police said a man in his 30s delivered a pizza to a couple and that shortly after he dropped it off, the couple walked outside and spotted the man laying face down.

    Police officials said the pizza delivery man was shot and that the suspect stole the driver’s vehicle.

    In Indiana, applications for concealed weapons permits are made through the local police department, and are issued by the Indiana State Police, according to USA Carry.

    Indiana is a “Shall Issue” state, which means a sheriff must issue the permit even after the applicant meets all requirements for an Indiana Handgun Permit. Background checks are required when applying for an Indiana concealed weapons permit, and the state offers four-year or lifetime licenses.

  • Palestinian President Proposes U.S. & NATO Troops Be on the Ground of Future State Indefinitely
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 8:33 am by Sharona Schwartz

    Comments (83)

    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has suggested to Secretary of State John Kerry that a U.S.-led NATO force be created to patrol a future Palestinian state – including in Jerusalem – indefinitely, Abbas told The New York Times.

    Palestinian President Proposes U.S. & NATO Troops Be on the Ground of Future State Indefinitely

    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images)

    In an interview with the Times over the weekend, Abbas said he would agree to a demilitarized Palestinian state and that Israeli troops would have to completely withdraw from Palestinian territory after five years.

    Jewish communities in the West Bank, also known as Judea and Samaria, would also be emptied over the same timetable, according to the Palestinian leader’s vision.

    Palestinian security forces would be responsible for policing the cities and towns, but NATO would be in charge of preventing weapons smuggling and terrorism directed against Israel, he said.

    Abbas said that the American-led NATO troops could be positioned “for a long time, and wherever they want, not only on the eastern borders, but also on the western borders, everywhere.”

    “The third party can stay. They can stay to reassure the Israelis, and to protect us,” Abbas told the Times.

    “Do you think we have any illusion that we can have any security if the Israelis do not feel they have security?” Abbas asked.

    Israeli Housing Minister Uri Ariel told Israel’s Army Radio on Monday that Abbas’s proposal is out of the question.

    “I think the plan he proposes is impossible to implement. It will not bring security to Israel, it will not bring peace to Israel, and it is unacceptable to me,” Ariel said. “One who suggests removing 300,000 to 400,000 Jews from their homes is not offering peace.”

    “Those who don’t recognize the state of Israel as a Jewish state do not offer us peace. That is a euphemism I do not suggest anyone buy,” Ariel added.

    Asked if he would recognize Israel as a Jewish state – a core Israeli demand – Abbas told the Times, “This is out of the question.”

    Kerry has been working on gaining agreement from Israeli and Palestinian negotiators for an interim peace framework leading to a comprehensive peace agreement to end the conflict.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that under a future arrangement, Israeli forces would have to remain on a “security border” in the Jordan Valley to prevent terrorists from crossing into Israel from the east. Evolving regional conflicts which have drawn thousands of foreign jihadi fighters to the neighborhood have heightened Israeli concerns about potential future threats.

    Asked about the Abbas proposals, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told the Times that “there are many ideas being proposed from both the Israelis and the Palestinians, but it is premature to make any predictions about the final contents of a framework.”

  • What Happens When an Atheist and a Devout Christian Intentionally Swap Religious Views for 30 Days?
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 8:31 am by Billy Hallowell

    Comments (212)

    Move over “Wife Swap.” There’s a new social initiative afoot and it involves an atheist and a Christian intentionally exchanging theological views and practices for a 30-day period.

    What Happens When an Atheist and a Devout Christian Intentionally Swap Religious Views for 30 Days?

    Image source: “Faith Swap” Facebook page

    Organized by Premier Christian Radio, a faith-based outlet in the U.K., “Faith Swap” is an experiment involving Bentley Browning, a committed Christian, and Simon Capes, an atheist.

    The two U.K.-based comedians agreed to swap religious practices for one month, The Huffington Post reported.

    For Browning, this meant dropping his daily prayer, church attendance and other faith rituals. For Capes, the effort required him to actually pick up prayer and church attendance — religious elements he had generally been avoiding as a non-believer.

    The two concluded their month-long faith swap in recent days, which they had been covering extensively over the 30-day period on a Facebook page setup to shed light on their unique experience.

    Browning completed his portion of “Faith Swap” Sunday, writing that he is thankful for the opportunity and that it posed a true challenge to both men.

    “Thankfully no major meltdown happened and I [learned] a lot about myself. Today’s end to the experiment culminated with me praying for Simon,” he wrote. “Congratulations to him for throwing himself into it … it was challenging for both of us.”

    Browning said that he sees similarities in the wake of the experiment between the atheist and Christian churches. People in both groups are “seeking connection, love and something to believe in,” he noted.

    And as for Capes, while he said he still can’t buy into “the supernatural miraculous nature of Christianity,” he sees the faith through a new lens.

    “I am beginning to understand what being a Christian can mean,” Capes said.

    While Browning attended to The Sunday Assembly, an atheist church TheBlaze has extensively covered, Capes visited a Christian church during the month-long experiment.

    In the end, Browning said he’s relieved that the “Faith Swap” is over.

    “Big thanks to those who prayed for me as I felt very protected throughout,” he added.

    Christian Today reported that Premiere Christian Radio host Justin Brierley came up with the idea for the social experiment.

    “We are not expecting either of their lives to change dramatically as a result,” he told the outlet. “It will clearly be something of a challenge for both of them.”

    What Happens When an Atheist and a Devout Christian Intentionally Swap Religious Views for 30 Days?

    Image source: “Faith Swap’s” Facebook page

    And a challenge it was, as Browning said that had it gone longer than a month, the experiment could have done major damage to his faith.

    But both Browning and Capes said that the “Faith Swap” experience allowed them to see the other person’s theological views more clearly.

    Read about the entire experiment here.

    (H/T: Huffington Post)

    Featured image via “Faith Swap’s” Facebook page

  • Reporter Says More Journalists Are Liberal Because Left-Wingers Have Higher IQ
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 7:55 am by Sharona Schwartz

    Comments (582)

    A reporter for a widely-watched Israeli television news program has suggested that more journalists have a liberal political outlook because they possess higher intelligence.

    Ilan Lukatch, the culture reporter for Channel 2 News, received a question on his Facebook page last week inquiring, “How many people at Channel 2 affiliate with the political right?”

    Reporter Says More Journalists Are Liberal, Because Left Wingers Have Higher IQ

    Ilan Lukatch reports for Israel’s Channel 2 News (Image: Facebook)

    According to The Times of Israel, Lukatch replied, “I will not give you a list of names, for obvious reasons, but there are right-wingers.”

    “Of course there are more on the left, but that’s because there’s correlation between one’s IQ and political leaning, and senior figures in the media are generally above average,” he wrote.

    The Israeli news site Walla reported that the second part of Lukatch’s post read, “there’s correlation between one’s IQ and left [political] leaning.”

    Several Israeli news sites reported that Channel 2 launched a disciplinary inquiry into Lukatch’s statements.

    According to Walla, Lukatch was reprimanded for his comments.

    TheBlaze was unable to locate Lukatch’s original Facebook post which was quoted in the Times of Israel, Walla, and Arutz 7.

    Walla reported that along with his controversial comment, Lukatch attached a study supporting his claim.

    On Sunday, Lukatch appeared to backtrack, writing on Facebook that he “fell” in two ways. “I both deduced a causal correlation, which is a mistake of novices, and I assumed that American data are valid here, as the right/left there is another matter. In short, I was wrong,” Lukatch wrote.

    He appeared to suggest that the argument would be different in the U.S. and Israel, because the distinction between right and left in Israeli politics is based on security and defense rather than economic issues.

    Reporter Says More Journalists Are Liberal, Because Left Wingers Have Higher IQ

    Reporter Ilan Lukatch interviewed Glenn Beck in 2011 in Jerusalem (Screenshot: Channel 2)

    In 2011 in Jerusalem, Lukatch interviewed Glenn Beck who he described as “ultra right-wing” and possessing a “big mouth.”

    Beck was in Israel for his “Restoring Courage” gatherings in support of the Jewish State, but Lukatch suggested that some Israelis felt uncomfortable by Beck’s support. “Not everyone is crazy about this [Beck’s] embrace,” Lukatch said, noting that a small left-wing group opposed the pro-Israel events.

  • 9/11 Truther Disrupts Post-Super Bowl Press Conference in a Big Way
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 7:45 am by Billy Hallowell

    Comments (346)

    Riding high after last night’s Super Bowl XLVIII win, Seattle Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith was speaking to reporters Sunday night when something truly bizarre happened: a 9/11 truther stormed in, grabbed the microphone and briefly stole Smith’s thunder.

    It all happened very quickly, leaving the NFL star, who took home honors as last night’s MVP, visibly bewildered.

    “I always imagined myself making great plays, but you never think about being MVP,” Smith said during the post-game press conference.

    And that’s when the unidentified man ran up, took the mic and called for an investigation of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

    “Investigate 9/11. 9/11 was perpetrated by people within our own government,” he said before being pulled away.

    Smith, looking confused, paused before saying, “All right … Is everybody all right?”

    Watch the awkward moment below:

    Ironically, the incident happened just days after new reports questioned whether Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is a 9/11 truther.

    (H/T: Deadspin)

    Featured image via YouTube

  • Baby Blick Only Made a 10-Day Stop on Planet Earth but His Very Presence Spoke Words That Will Last Lifetimes
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 7:34 am by Dave Urbanski

    Comments (270)

    Before you do anything else, stop…and just watch the video below:

    Zion Isaiah Blick’s mom and dad, Robbyn and Josh, got word about 20 weeks into Robbyn’s pregnancy that Zion had trisomy 18, also called Edwards syndrome, a chromosomal condition associated with abnormalities in many parts of the body, according to Genetics Home Reference.

    “Due to the presence of several life-threatening medical problems, many individuals with trisomy 18 die before birth or within their first month,” the website adds.

    Robbyn shared with TheBlaze that Zion had a heart defect and that doctors very early on prepared her for the worst. But Robbyn’s outlook, as well as her husband’s — a pastor at Alpine Chapel in Lake Zurich, Ill., a Chicago suburb — was all about having faith in God and betting on Zion defeating the odds.

    “Our choice is always life and giving him a chance,” Robbyn said.

    Touching Video Shows How Zion Isaiah Blick Touched So Many in the 10 Days He Lived

    Baby Zion (Image source: Instagram)

    So the Blicks let others know about their little boy and their choice of “having faith and having hope” in the midst of a diagnosis that doctors told them was “not compatible with life.”

    And Zion was beating the odds at every step.

    First doctors said he could very well die during the pregnancy…but he didn’t.

    Then he might die during labor…but he didn’t.

    After he was born, Robbyn was told to prepare for a few minutes with him. But Zion held on and got stronger.

    Touching Video Shows How Zion Isaiah Blick Touched So Many in the 10 Days He Lived

    Baby Zion (Image source: Instagram)

    Friends and family and church members poured into the hospital to greet him. And hold him.

    “Then it all started,” Robbyn shared. “At that moment, I didn’t think minute by minute. He’s here.”

    They were told Zion might last until morning. Of course, Zion fought and fought…and pulled through.

    Only four pounds, the Blicks’ “tiny little miracle” was ready to go home.

    “That was one of the biggest joys,” Robbyn said of Zion’s homecoming. “Our children prayed every night that we’d bring him home. There was such a joy and such a fullness.”

    Touching Video Shows How Zion Isaiah Blick Touched So Many in the 10 Days He Lived

    Baby Zion and mom. (Image source: Instagram)

    Touching Video Shows How Zion Isaiah Blick Touched So Many in the 10 Days He Lived

    (Source: Vimeo screen shot)

    The many people helping out the family at home “allowed us to inhale him. I literally didn’t put him down until he was one week old. He was held and loved and cherished for every minute of 10 days,” she said.

    Touching Video Shows How Zion Isaiah Blick Touched So Many in the 10 Days He Lived

    Baby Zion (Image source: Instagram)

    Robbyn shared that by day nine, Zion didn’t seem as interested in being fed…and the family experienced their first scare with him at home: Zion took a big gasp of air and “turned a little bit blue.”

    Josh grabbed him and rubbed his back, and their newborn son recovered quickly, Robbyn said.

    “It was really scary,” she said. “He hadn’t done that before…I knew in my heart things were getting closer to ending.” Robbyn said she stayed close to Zion the rest of evening and slept on the couch.

    The next day, Jan. 21, 2014, Zion was taking more of those big gasps.

    With family huddled around him, Robbyn said Zion was “peaceful and perfect” even as his breathing became less frequent. Then he passed away.

    In tears, Robbyn and Josh told their sons that Zion was with Jesus now, which is “the best place to be.” The boys got to see Zion and hold him again. Robbyn said she held him for hours.

    Touching Video Shows How Zion Isaiah Blick Touched So Many in the 10 Days He Lived

    Baby Zion (Image source: Instagram)

    It was one more chance for them to feel “that glory in their arms.”

    For all those who met Zion, Robbyn knows “he has changed their lives being little fighter that he is.”

  • Goodwill Manager Was Faced With a Dilemma When He Found $43K in a Donated Coat. How He Handled It Will Make You Proud.
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 5:14 am by Becket Adams

    Comments (11)
    Goodwill Manager Was Faced With a Dilemma When He Found $43K in a Donated Coat, How He Handled It Will Make You Proud

    Getty Images

    A Goodwill store manager found $43,000 dollars inside donated clothes last week and his first move was to track down its rightful owners.

    Tyler Gedelian, who manages a Goodwill store in Monroe, Mich., said it’s not unusual to find loose change in donated clothes. But envelopes containing neatly bundled $100 bills? That was a first, he said.

    “We might find a quarter in somebody’s jeans,” Gedelian, 29, told Monroe News. “But that blows my mind.”

    Gedelian, 29, didn’t even count the money. His first move was to phone the police to help him track down the person who donated the clothes.

    He explained that he didn’t even think about keeping any of the crisp $100 bills because it wasn’t his money.

    “My biggest concern was getting the money back to the rightful owner,” he said. “I certainly can’t imagine losing that kind of money. I was so nervous having so much of someone else’s money.”

    Police eventually tracked down the man who donated the suits and robe. The donor, who asked not to be identified, explained that he had donated the clothes after cleaning out an elderly relative’s closet. He had no idea the money even existed.

    “I am really proud of those people at Goodwill,” the man said. “It makes me feel good there are people out there like that, especially in this day and age.”

    Gedelian said the cash was discovered when he and Laura Pietscher, a job coach at Goodwill, were sorting a load of new donations. Pietscher notified Gedelian after she found one of the envelopes and the two of them worked to make sure they had collected all the cash.

    They called the police and an officer promptly responded to the call. Law enforcement officials then transported the money to a police station where it was counted and sorted.

    The stash was comprised entirely of $100 bills, some of them dating back to the 1930s. Police also found a wallet containing the name of the person eventually tracked down.

    “It would have been extremely easy to take the money and walk away,” Sgt. Chris Miller said. “It’s reassuring to know there are people in this world who are willing to do the right thing.”

    The rightfully owner of the money said he will personally thank Gedelian and Pietscher for their honesty.

    “There aren’t many people like that today,” he said. “I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart. In this world we live in, we need more people with morals like that.”

    But it was a no-brainer for Gedelian. Pocketing the money never occurred to him.

    “There was never a question,” he said. “I don’t even think I did anything special. I did what any person should do. If it was my money and I lost it, I hope somebody would try to find me.”

    Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

  • Light Humor, Emotional Ads Rule Super Bowl Commercial Breaks
    Posted February 2, 2014 at 11:35 pm by Dave Urbanski

    Comments (131)

    Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski

    NEW YORK (AP) — Advertisers played it safe in Super Bowl ads this year.

    There were no crude jokes. Sexual innuendo was kept to a minimum. And uncomfortable story lines were all but missing. And in their place, much more sedate ads.

    From a Coca-Cola ad showcasing diversity by singing “America the Beautiful” in different languages to the light humor of RadioShack poking fun at its image with 80s icons, it was a softer night of advertising.

    With a 30-second spot costing around $4 million and more than 108 million viewers expected to tune in to the championship game, it’s was crucial for advertisers to make their investment count. The shocking ads in years past have not always been well received (Think: GoDaddy.com’s ad that features a long, up-close kiss came in at the bottom of the most popular ads last year.)

    So this year, advertisers out of their way to be more family friendly themes: socially conscious statements, patriotic messages and light humor.

    “Advertisers are getting attention but they’re not trying to go over the top,” said David Berkowitz, chief marketing officer for digital ad agency MRY. “A lot of brands were going with the safety from the start.”

    The safer ads had a mixed reaction among viewers. Keith Harris, who was watching the Super Bowl with friends and family in Raleigh, N.C., said he appreciated the safer ads. “The ads are less funny, but it’s easier to watch the Super Bowl with your family,” he said.

    But Paul Capelli, who lives in West Chester, Pa., found most ads dull: “The best spots were like a Payton Manning-to-Wes Welker pass play — they were there, but too few and those that connected left you wanting something a bit more spectacular.”

    CONNECTING WITH A CAUSE

    Many advertisers played it safe by promoting a cause or focusing on sentimental issues.

    Chevrolet’s ad showed a couple driving through the desert in remembrance of World Cancer Day. Bank of America turned its ad into a virtual video for singing group U2′s new single “Invisible” to raise money for an AIDS charity. (The song will be a free download on iTunes for 24 hours following the game and Bank of America will donate $1 each time it is downloaded to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS.)

    Meanwhile, a Microsoft ad focused on how its technology helps people in different ways. The ad is narrated by Steve Gleason, a former prof football player who is living with ALS. He uses a Surface Pro running Tobii’s eye gazer technology to speak.

    And an Anheuser-Busch “Hero’s Welcome” ad was an ode to U.S. soldiers. The spot showed how Anheuser-Busch helped prepare big celebration that included a parade with Clydesdales as a surprise for a soldier returning from Afghanistan.

    AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL

    Many advertisers took the safe route by playing up their Americana roots.

    Coca-Cola showcased America’s diversity with a spot that showed scenes of natural beauty and families of different diversities to the tune of “America the Beautiful” being sung in different languages.

    Chrysler had a two-minute ad starring music legend Bob Dylan discussing the virtues of having cars built in Detroit, a theme the car maker has stuck with in previous ads with rapper Eminem and actor Clint Eastwood. “Let Germany brew your beer. Let Asia assemble your phone. We will build your car,” Dylan said in the ad.

    Barbara Lippert, ad critic and Mediapost.com, said the ads were an attempt by companies to connect with viewers on a more personal level. “We want to be able to feel through all these screens and through all the hype there’s a human element and in the end were all human,” said Barbara Lippert, ad critic and Mediapost.com.

    Not everyone was a fan. “I didn’t like it very much,” said Crystal Booker, who lives in Rock Hill, S.C., about the Chrysler ad, in particular. “It was nostalgic but nothing that I hadn’t seen before.”

    LIGHT HUMOR

    Jokes were also a lot tamer this year in Super Bowl ads. “A few years ago we had a lot of physical slapstick, this year there’s a lot less of that: less outright use of seniors and animals are still alive and well,” said Berkowitz, with digital ad agency MRY.

    But this year, advertisers that typically go with more crude humor and scantily-clad women toned it down. Bud Light, for instance, showed an ad using hidden cameras taking a non-actor on an adventure, GoDaddy.com’s ad showed it helping a small-business owner quit her job and Doritos’ spot featured a kid playing a joke on a man by making him think a box is a time machine so that he could steal his Doritos. “Women were fed up and parents were fed up and advertisers listened,” said Mediapost.com’s Lippert.

    Other advertisers went with light humor as well. There were mini sitcom reunions: in an ad for Dannon Oikos, the “Full House” cast reunited. And Jerry, George and even Newman came back to Tom’s diner in New York City for an ad for Jerry Seinfield’s show “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”

    Stephen Colbert appeared in a pair of 15-second ads for Wonderful Pistachios. In one he predicted the nuts would sell themselves because “I’m wonderful, they’re wonderful.” He was back a few seconds later covered in bright green branded messages because the nuts hadn’t sold out in 30 seconds.

    Another light-humored ad came from RadioShack. The consumer electronics retailers poked fun at its own image by showing 1980s pop culture figures including Teen Wolf, Chucky, Alf and Hulk Hogan destroying a store, with a voiceover: “The 80s called, they want their store back. It’s time for a new RadioShack.”

    This story has been updated.