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  • Watch as Anti-NRA Protester Explains Why You Shouldn’t Be Able to Protect Yourself With a Gun If Your Life Is in Danger
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 4:20 pm by Jason Howerton

    Comments (576)

    When MRCTV’s Dan Joseph talked with protesters outside the National Rifle Association’s headquarters in Fairfax, Va., earlier this week, he was able to really encapsulate the anti-gun crowd’s argument against the Second Amendment.

    When asked if a person who believes their life is in danger should be able to defend themselves with a firearm, one protester simply said, “No.”

    MRCTV

    MRCTV

    “Only a law enforcement officer should be allowed to use weapons,” she said. The same woman also told Joseph that he shouldn’t be able to carry a gun in a bad neighborhood, because he shouldn’t be walking around in a bad neighborhood in the first place.

    Another protester claimed that 30,000 people die every year to gun violence, and it’s all the NRA’s fault.

    “People who go out and buy a bunch of guns” are just paranoid and misinformed, a female protester argued.

    There’s plenty more footage from MRCTV below:

    Editor’s note: This story has been updated to note the interviews took place outside the NRA’s headquarters in Fairfax, Va.

  • ‘I Hope You Die in Prison’: Judge’s Scathing Words for Woman Convicted of Killing Her Boyfriend
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 3:46 pm by Madeleine Morgenstern

    Comments (94)

    A Michigan judge had scathing words Wednesday for a woman convicted of murdering her boyfriend, telling her in court, “I hope you die in prison.”

    Image source: WXYZ-TV

    Image source: WXYZ-TV

    Camia Gamet, 31, was convicted of first-degree murder in the stabbing and beating death of Marcel Hill, but only rolled her eyes and laughed while the victim’s family members spoke out, WXYZ-TV reported.

    Jackson County Circuit Court Judge John McBain made clear he would not tolerate Gamet’s behavior in the courtroom.

    Image source: WXYZ-TV

    Image source: WXYZ-TV

    “You’re gonna shut your mouth or I’m going to have some duct tape put on it,” McBain said.

    Hill was stabbed 11 times, WXYZ reported. Gamet had a history of violence against him.

    “You gutted him like a fish,” McBain said. “You stabbed, you stabbed, you stabbed, until he was dead. … I agree with the family, I hope you die in prison. You know, if this was a death penalty state, you’d be getting the chair.”

  • Texas Parents Hit Back After Their Kids Come Home With ‘Very Inappropriate’ Assignment — and Why It May Look Familiar
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 3:21 pm by Jason Howerton

    Comments (185)

    Parents in El Paso, Texas, want answers after fourth-grade students at Pasodale Elementary School were reportedly given an adult-themed assignment on topics like infidelity and a mother losing her son to war.

    The “inappropriate reading assignment,” obtained by KTSM-TV, asks students to draw inferences based on the information provided.

    The news station provides a transcript of the questions included in the assignment:

    - Ruby sat on the bed she shared with her husband holding a hairclip. There was something mysterious and powerful about the cheaply manufactured neon clip that she was fondling suspiciously. She didn’t recognize the hairclip. It was too big to be their daughter’s, and Ruby was sure that it wasn’t hers. She hadn’t had friends over in weeks but there was this hairclip, little and green with a few long black hair strands caught in it. Ruby ran her fingers through her own blonde hair. She had just been vacuuming when she noticed this small, bright green object under the bed. Now their life would never be the same. She would wait here until Mike returned home.

    1. Why is Ruby so affected by the hairclip?

    2. How has the hairclip affected Ruby’s relationship?

    KTSM-TV

    KTSM-TV

    - “Tommy!” Mom called out as she walked in the front door. “Tommy,” she continued shouting, “I sure could use some help with these groceries. There was still no reply. Mom walked into the kitchen to put the grocery bags down on the counter when she noticed shattered glass from the picture window all over the living room floor and a baseball not far from there. “I’m going to kill you, Tommy!” Mom yelled to herself as she realized that Tommy’s shoes were gone.

    1. What happened to the window?

    2. Why did Tommy leave?

    KTSM-TV

    KTSM-TV

    - Valerie opened up the letter from the military department. She felt the pit of her stomach drop to the bottom of the earth before she even opened it. She knew it was news about John. As she read the first line, she thought of all of the lunches she had packed him and all the nights she tucked him in his bed and warded off the nighttime monsters. The man carrying the flag put his hand on her shoulder. She thought of the day that John signed up for the military. Her tears wet the letter. She stopped reading after the first line.

    1. What does the letter say?

    2. What is Valerie’s relationship to John?

    KTSM-TV

    KTSM-TV

    Ursula Silverstein, an upset parent of a 10-year-old daughter, said these types of “life situations” should be “taught at home, not at school.”

    “Why would the teacher give them that type of assignment, you know? It could be something about nature or planets. But something about that, it’s very inappropriate,” another parent told KTSM-TV.

    However, some people seemingly downplayed the inappropriateness of the assignment on Facebook.

    The Ysleta Independent School District released a statement on Thursday, calling the assignment “unacceptable” and apologizing to parents.

    “YISD administration is aware of an unacceptable assignment that was given to a 4th- grade class at Pasodale Elementary. We apologize to the students and the parents who received this assignment,” the statement said. “Campus administration has addressed the issue with the teacher, and has taken decisive measures to assure that future assignments are aligned to the curriculum and are of the highest instructional caliber.”

    The assignment may look familiar to some readers of TheBlaze as a similar assignment was reportedly given to fourth-graders at Playa Del Ray Elementary School in Arizona.

    “A 4th grade student at the Playa Del Rey Elementary School in Arizona said she was ‘a little shocked’ when she opened up her homework assignment last week,” TheBlaze reported. “Not quite the reading material the 10-year-old was probably used to, the worksheet asked her to explain what was happening in a situation where a woman finds another woman’s hair clip under the bed.”

    That was the only scenario described by the parent in that instance.

    A school representative told TheBlaze at the time that the teacher responsible “downloaded a worksheet.” While it’s not entirely certain the worksheets are the same, it could indicate that the adult-themed worksheet is more widely-used than first thought.

    (H/T: Gawker)

  • Injuries Don’t Stop These Wounded Heroes From Hitting the Road
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 3:00 pm by Fred Lucas

    Comments (12)

    Sgt. Major Sedrick Banks suffered injuries to his brain, back and neck after an explosion in Iraq. But on Thursday, he was ready to ride along with dozens of other veterans on the second day of the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride.

    President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, welcome the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 17, 2014, in celebration of the seventh annual Soldier Ride. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

    “After years of rehab, Sedrick is focused on the future,” Obama said, welcoming the soldiers at the White House. “He volunteers here in Washington, helps mentor young men with the life skills they need to succeed. He calls himself now a warrior for society. This is his first soldier ride.”

    The Soldier Ride is a four-day event that takes place in cities across the country. The soldiers riding in Washington rode 17 miles for each day, departing from the White House South Lawn with the the music of “Stars and Stripes Forever” blasting after Obama’s remarks.

    “Many of you are recovering from devastating injuries. some of you have had had to learn the basics all over again, how to stand again, thou walk again, how to run again and now you’re here today because that’s what soldiers ride is all about. seeing each other through the finish line,” Obama said.

    The Wounded Warriors Project describes the event as “therapy through cycling.”

    “Soldier Ride is a unique four-day cycling opportunity for Wounded Warriors to use cycling and the bonds of service to overcome physical, mental, or emotional wounds,” the website says. “The rides are exhilarating and a great way to help warriors gain confidence and realize you can do this.”

    Obama also singled out other veterans for honor, sharing about a conversation he had with Maj. Janet Nieves-Ayala, when she declined a coin that the president typically gives wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Hospital, where she was recovering from injuries in Iraq.

    “All men think your coins are the best. I don’t. I made a bet with them that there was a coin that can trump yours,” Obama recalled her saying. “I said, what are you talking about? She said, I want the first lady’s coin. The first lady’s coin would be yours.”

    “Janet says her proudest accomplishment is being appear mentor to other wounded warriors. She says that during her recovery I was definitely being carried. Now I feel like I’m helping to carry others,” Obama added.

    Lt. Cmdr. John Jae Terry lost a leg when he was hit by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.

    “Reflecting on his service, he said he’d do it all again and now he’s in the best shape possible so he can play with his three kids and today he is here on his first soldier ride,” Obama said.

    Master Sgt. Louis Alfonso Ramirez was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after surviving an attack in Afghanistan.

    “He lost good friends in a terrible ambush and he even assisted at the airport as they began their transfer home and later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress and credits the wounded warrior project with helping him heal,” Obama said. “He says you know that they’ve got you. This is now his fourth ride.”

  • Atheists Respond After Anti-Easter Poster ‘Violently Mangled’ and ‘Mutilated’ by Angry ‘Fanatic’
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 2:29 pm by Billy Hallowell

    Comments (388)

    An anti-Easter sign posted in the Wisconsin state Capitol by atheist activists was “violently mangled” and “mutilated,” according to the organization that displayed it.

    “Nobody died for our sins. Jesus Christ is a myth,” read the sign that was posted Monday by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

    According to the Wisconsin-based group, a “fanatic” vandalized the poster Wednesday, though little information is known about the culprit.

    “A man wrested [the] foamboard sign, which was securely taped to an easel, and violently mangled it in front of passersby,” a statement on the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s website said. “Capitol security was quickly summoned and gave chase, but the vandal got away.”

    Image source: Freedom From Religion Foundation

    Image source: Freedom From Religion Foundation

    Rather than replace the sign, the group decided to leave it on display as is, affixing a note to let passerby know why it appears bended.

    “Somebody, presumably somebody who disagreed with our message, tried to destroy our sign. Apparently, this person believes the Capitol is a public forum for Christianity only,” the note said.

    It continued, “If you don’t think religious messages should be displayed on government property, join the club! We don’t think they should be, either. But as long as religious groups use the Capitol to proselytize, FFRF has a right to respond to their message.”

    The sign was first placed in the Capitol building Monday after the atheist group learned that the Wisconsin chapter of Concerned Women for America, a Christian group based in Washington, D.C., would be assembling an Easter display of its own.

    That display features a cross as well as pro-life materials.


    “It’s unfortunate to see a sectarian symbol that is increasingly used as a symbol of political intimidation in our state capitol,” Freedom From Religion Foundation co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor said in a statement. “It’s also unfortunate to see women a serving as a front for a patriarchal religion based on women’s subservience and second-class status.”

    Conservatives like Faith and Freedom Coalition Chairman Ralph Reed have defended the atheist group’s right to free speech, but have said that the sign is an attack on people of faith.

    “I would certainly hope that people would show more respect for and deference on this most high and holy week,” Reed told Fox News this week. “But unfortunately … we crossed that line a long time ago.”

  • Hot List: Surprising Dress Codes
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 2:20 pm by Amy Holmes

    Comments (6)

    Amy Holmes takes a look at some interesting places that require dress codes:

  • The ‘Incredible’ Thing That Happened During a Beck Interview That May Not Help Neb. Sen. Candidate’s Case
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 2:10 pm by Erica Ritz

    Comments (135)

    Republicans Shane Osborn and Ben Sasse are both running for the U.S. Senate in Nebraska, and held no punches during a “Nebraska power hour” on Glenn Beck’s radio program Thursday.

    Beck has said in the past that he would be happy to see either one succeed, but wanted to learn more about the two ahead of next month’s primary. So, he invited them both on his radio program for back-to-back interviews.

    Osborn, a retired Navy pilot who was held captive by the Chinese during the 2001 Hainan Island conflict, was interviewed first.

    Former Navy pilot and state treasurer Shane Osborn is running for U.S. Senate in Nebraska to replace retiring Sen. Mike Johanns. (Photo: AP)

    Former Navy pilot and state treasurer Shane Osborn is running for U.S. Senate in Nebraska to replace retiring Sen. Mike Johanns. (Photo: AP)

    “News came out that you are part of a cabal with [Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell], and Mitch McConnell is not really liked on this program,” Beck began. “Can you tell me about your relationship with Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove and that whole gang?”

    “As a matter of fact, Karl Rove helps [Ben Sasse],” Osborn retorted. “I keep getting painted in this way. I haven’t taken any money from any senators or their Super PACs in D.C. And Ben Sasse is getting his funding from out there. I mean, just yesterday, a D.C. special interest group popped up helping him out. It’s Michael Bloomberg’s D.C. team that’s behind Sasse. That’s just offensive to me.”

    Beck asked for more information, and said he would follow up with Sasse, before remarking: “I’m sorry, Shane, that all might be true, but did you notice what just happened here? … I asked Shane Osborn about Shane Osborn’s relationship with Karl Rove and Mitch McConnell, and Shane Osborn just started going into, ‘[Sasse is] just not what Nebraska is.’”

    The two agreed that “this is what people hate about politics,” and Osborn highlighted more of what differentiates him from his opponent before he remarked: “One other plug: Tonight, I’ve got Grover Norquist doing a town hall with me … I’m pretty excited to have Grover helping me out.”

    “You’re close with Grover Norquist?” Beck inquired.

    “I’ve known him for years,” Osborn said. “I think Americans for Tax Reform does a lot to help the movement on simplification. We need a fairer, flatter tax code.”

    Beck later said it was “incredible” what happened at the end of the interview. He said he wrote down a couple of questions to ask Osborn, and “all of the sudden” it was like he “couldn’t even read the writing.”

    “So I pause … because I was confused and lost, and I said, ‘say what were you going to say; go ahead,’” Beck explained. “And [Osborn] starts into the Grover Norquist thing.”

    Beck said Norquist is one of the most “dangerous” men on the right, saying: “If you are going to be a senator, you had better learn about who the people are you are standing next to. It is your responsibility.”

    Beck even added: “If you are a friend of Grover Norquist, no thank you. Thank you, but no thank you. We have too many GOP people involved with Grover Norquist.”

    Complimentary Clip from TheBlaze TV

    Beck’s interview with Midland University President Ben Sasse, who has received the endorsement of FreedomWorks and Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, also didn’t skirt the issues.

    “Assure me that you are not going to turn into an, ‘I know better than everybody else, kind of Woodrow Wilson progressive,’” Beck said, “and a guy who doesn’t have the experience with the free market system. Help me out.”

    “Amen,” Sasse said. “That’s the right kind of skeptical question our founders would relate to. I’m a college president because I’m at a 130-year-old school that was going bankrupt, and I do turnaround stuff. So my background is actually private sector, and I’m in my fifth year as college president in my home town because this special school was closing … Now we put kids first, and we have gone from the brink of bankruptcy to being the fastest-growing college in the Midwest.”

    In this March 11, 2014 Republican rivals Shane Osborn, left, Ben Sasse, right, debate in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

    Beck also asked Sasse about Osborn’s allegation that “it’s Michael Bloomberg’s D.C. team” that’s behind him through a group called DCI. Sasse responded that he doesn’t even know Bloomberg, though he does know some people who work for DCI Group, a Washington-based political communications firm. Sasse said a person from his home town who works there contributed to his campaign, but he does not receive official money from the organization.

    When Beck asked about Sasse’s connections to Karl Rove, Sasse declined to say anything negative about Rove personally, explaining that while he was working for former President George W. Bush as the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, his wife had a brain aneurysm. He said Rove and many other people at the White House were very kind to him and his family, and he’d rather focus on the philosophical differences.

    “Right now there is an important battle going on for the soul of the Republican Party, and one side of the Republican Party believes in constitutional limits,” he said. “Another side is pretty content, like the Democrats are, to let D.C. get bigger.”

    Complimentary Clip from TheBlaze TV

    After the interviews, Beck said he wanted to know how his audience felt about the candidates, and encouraged them to speak out on social media.

    “That was like — holy cow,” Beck said. “Dirty, in your face, everything we hate — and I think a few things we really love — but I know where I came down.”

    Ultimately, Beck said: “People are frustrated, and people are just looking for people who are just plain-spoken, and it’s sometimes hard to find you way through the weeds. We have watched both [candidates], and we’ll support either one … whoever wins.”

    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.

    This post has been updated.

  • He Was Tased Four Times With No Effect, and as Soon as You Hit Play You’ll See Why That Was Only the Beginning
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 1:34 pm by Becket Adams

    Comments (117)

    An Arizona man is dead following a violent altercation with Phoenix law enforcement officials Sunday night.

    An employee watches as police fought a 38-year-old Arizona man who had acted erratically and barricaded himself in the bathroom (Image source: YouTube)

    An employee watches as police fought a 38-year-old Arizona man who had acted erratically and barricaded himself in the bathroom (Image source: YouTube)

    Edward Michael Caruth, 38, reportedly barricaded himself in a bathroom at a Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers in West Valley, Ariz., clogging the sinks, turning on the faucets and flooding restroom.

    One of the restaurant’s employees called 911 and reported Caruth’s frightening and erratic behavior.

    “He indicated to 911 that this suspect had been in the business for quite a while, was scaring the employees,” Officer James Holmes with the Phoenix Police Dept. said, according to KTVK-TV. “He had gone into a restroom, barricaded himself in the restroom and then turned on the water faucets causing the restrooms to flood.”

    Caruth eventually emerged from the flooded bathroom and proceeded to harass and scare the restaurant’s eight employees.

    “At one point he attempted to get back behind the counter and into the kitchen area of the restaurant but an employee that had been behind the counter actually grabbed a kitchen knife and threatened him with it and told him to stay back and the suspect did,” said Officer Holmes.

    Two officers were dispatched to the scene and tried to coax Caruth out of the restaurant.

    “The only thing that the suspect would comply with was to get down on his knees. He wouldn’t put his hands behind his back,” Holmes said.

    When they tried to take Caruth into custody, things turned violent.

    “At that point he became physically resistant with the officers to the point where they were in a physical battle, if you will, for three, four, five minutes trying to get this guy into custody,” Holmes said.

    Caruth apparently lost his cool, lashed out at the two officers and was soon pinned to the ground, one officer trying to handcuff him.

    But Caruth managed to get back to his feet and became even more violent, swinging wildly at the officers. Caruth was Tased at least four times before taking the fight into the restaurant’s parking lot. The Tasers had no effect.

    Two additional officers eventually arrived on the scene and only then was Caruth restrained and taken into custody. However, officers noticed the Arizona man was showing signs of distress. Caruth was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital where he died.

    “We don’t know what caused his behavior,” said Holmes. “In these cases we suspect that there may be prescription drugs or illegal drugs. We won’t know that until there’s an autopsy.”

    Footage of the fight was captured by a restaurant employees and uploaded to YouTube [content warning: the following contains strong language]:

    Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

  • Video of the Chaotic Aftermath When Two Firetrucks Collide and One Goes Right Through a Crowded Restaurant
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 12:59 pm by Liz Klimas

    Comments (42)

    MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (TheBlaze/AP) — Two firetrucks answering a call collided in a Los Angeles suburb, sending one careening into a restaurant and leaving 14 people, including several firefighters, injured, one critically.

    Monterey Park Fire Chief Jim Birrell said trucks from his city and neighboring Alhambra were responding to a house fire shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday when they slammed into each other at an intersection.

    One truck then plowed deep into a restaurant.

    Image source: KTLA-TV

    Image source: KTLA-TV

    Watch this cellphone video showing the firetruck and chaos in the restaurant:

    Birrell said at least 14 people were injured, one critically. Most of the rest had minor injuries.

    Authorities said several were firefighters.

    “I was very scared, I thought somebody might have passed away because it’s such a small restaurant,” Gemma Barraza, who lives nearby, told KTLA-TV.

    This report shows victims being rescued by emergency crews:

    As for how the accident might have occurred, Alhambra Fire Chief Bill Walker told KTLA that with buildings around the intersection, road noise, their own sirens and protective gear, the firefighters very well might not have heard each other coming.

    He noted that both fire departments involved have procedures for how to provide such a unified response, but something clearly went wrong Wednesday. An investigation into the accident is being conducted.

  • The Movie That Got a 100-Year-Old Woman to Go to the Theater for the First Time in Her Life
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 12:44 pm by Billy Hallowell

    Comments (62)

    Juana Franco Echeverría had never been to a movie theater in her life.

    But when “Son of God,” the film about Jesus Christ’s life and ministry, was recently released in theaters, the 100-year-old decided to go where she had never gone before.

    Joined by friends and family for the experience, Echeverría, who grew up in El Salvador but now lives in Los Angeles, was so moved by the film and experience that she broke down and wept.

    The theater visit, which was documented by marketing firm the ARENAS Group to promote “Son of God” during holy week, was a radically new experience for Echeverría, who had no access to a theater when she was growing up.

    Image source:

    Juana Franco Echeverría went to a movie theater for the first time in her life to see “Son of God.” (Image source: ARENAS Group)

    “I’m happy that I’m going to watch the movie ‘Son of God,’” she said in a video documenting the experience. “I’ve never been to a movie theater.”

    Echeverría said after that she “really liked” the movie and said she was brought to tears when she saw Jesus’ death depicted on the big screen.

    “I couldn’t hold back my tears. And I still feel like crying,” she said, at one point dabbing her eyes. “Just to see all they did to him. When they were hitting him, when they put him on the cross and when he fell — it was hard to watch.”

    While she was emotional, she quipped that she plans to go to the movies more often now, so long as she has someone to go with.

    Watch her speak about the experience below:

    “Son of God” filmmaker Roma Downey said she and her fellow producer and husband Mark Burnett were encouraged by Echeverría’s response to the film.

    “What an extraordinary lady she is and what a gift for her to be able to see Jesus on the big screen. It’s truly a blessing,” Downey told TheBlaze. “As feedback continues to flow in we now know of countless lives changed as millions of people have embraced this beautiful movie.”

  • Joe Biden’s Son Says He’ll Run for Governor of Delaware
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 12:20 pm by Madeleine Morgenstern

    Comments (87)

    Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Beau Biden, announced Thursday that he won’t be seeking another term as Delaware’s attorney general, but will instead run for governor of the state in 2016.

    Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden speaks at a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013. (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

    “Over the past few months, as I’ve been planning to run for re-election, I have also been giving a great deal of thought to running for governor in 2016,” Biden, the vice president’s eldest son, said in an email to supporters and in a statement on his website. “What started as a thought – a very persistent thought – has now become a course of action that I wish to pursue.”

    Biden, who was hospitalized at a Texas cancer center last year, said he decided it would not be right to seek another term as attorney general in 2014 “knowing that my focus would be divided between doing my job as attorney general while at the same time running as a candidate for governor.”

  • Watch: Here’s the Anti-Gun Ad Featuring Two Children That Doesn’t End Well
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 12:18 pm by Jonathon M. Seidl

    Comments (139)

    Earlier this week, we brought you the news that former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg  was pumping $50 million into an umbrella group that is supposed to be the equivalent of an NRA for anti-gunners. Now we’re getting a glimpse into one of the first ads from the organization. And no doubt it’s meant to be shocking.

    The ad (put out by Everytown for Gun Safety) features two children playing hide-and-seek. When one of the kids goes upstairs to hide under a bed, she finds a gun. She initially appears inquisitive, then begins to play with it. When her brother finally walks in on her, the camera cuts away to the sound of a bang and a mother screaming. The ad, right before the shocking moment, shows an interactive message with a countdown. If viewers click, it eventually takes them to a page where they can give their name, zip code and email address.

    Viewers who don’t click are treated to the heartbreaking ending, but they are then allowed to atone for their lack of clicking by still going to the sign-up page.

    (Source: YouTube)

    (Source: YouTube)

    (Source: YouTube)

    (Source: YouTube)

    Here’s the full ad:

    Comments for the video have been disabled, but some are already pointing out flaws in it, such as the idea that a responsible gun-owners wouldn’t story their firearm in such a careless manner and that the child wouldn’t have been educated enough to know what not to do.

  • Disturbing Video: Man Pleads With Friend Lying on Track Right Before NYC Subway Train Barrels Over Him
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 11:36 am by Liz Klimas

    Comments (51)

    A disturbing video opens with a man screaming on New York City subway tracks as another on the platform tried to coax the endangered man up to safety.

    With the man on the platform sternly telling the man on the tracks to give him his hand, the man on the tracks only wailed as if in pain and said no.

    “Give me your f***ing hand,” the man helping said.

    Image source: YouTube

    Image source: YouTube

    Aside from the man trying to help the individual and the person filming the video on a cellphone, the 175th Street station in Manhattan appeared rather empty.

    “We gotta bolt. We gotta bolt man, let’s go. The f***ing cops are coming,” the helper said.

    At one point amid crazed screams, the helper jumped down on the tracks to try to force the man he seemed to call “Reggie” up.

    Another person arrived on the scene and the helper appealed to him for assistance to get the man off the tracks. Both men on the tracks tried to lift the other, but it was too late.

    The inevitable eventually happened. Those trying to help the man jumped off the tracks and the train came into the station. The man who had been trying to help the other all along, yelled “stop,” waving his arms at the train, but it barreled right over the man lying in the middle.

    Amazingly, the man on the tracks survived, according to WPIX.

    Watch the footage (Content warning: strong language and disturbing footage):

    The incident occurred on Dec. 28, 2013, at 3:15 a.m., according to the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s spokesman Kevin Ortiz. He told Gothamist that while the man refused medical aid after the train rushed over him, he was taken to a local hospital by force as an “emotionally disturbed person.”

    The video, which is just getting play after being posted to YouTube Saturday, is not the original posting. A YouTube user going by Jason Taylor posted it after the original poster took it offline at the time due to comments criticizing him for filming instead of taking action to help the man on the tracks, Taylor told Gothamist. But Taylor had already downloaded the video himself and had the footage to re-post.

    “The best advice is to avoid going on the tracks,” Ortiz told Gothamist. “Customers who witness someone on the tracks should immediately contact a MTA employee or police officer. Station agents can immediately contact the Rail Control Center who can stop trains from entering the station, cut off power and effectuate a rescue.”

  • How Many Voters Think the President Is Dishonest?
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 10:58 am by Fred Lucas

    Comments (244)

    A decisive majority of voters – at least 61 percent – said they do not believe President Barack Obama is honest about important matters, according to a new survey.

    AP

    A Fox News poll found that 37 percent of voters think that Obama lies “most of the time” about important issues, while 24 percent said they believe the president lies “some of the time.”

    The percentage of those who believe the president can be dishonest jumps even higher when including the 20 percent who believe Obama lies “only now and then.” Just 15 percent said they think the president “never” lies.

    The survey was conducted among 1,012 registered voters across the country from April 13-15.

    There has been a growing trust deficit with Obama regarding the health care law and his assertion that Americans could keep their insurance plans or their doctors – both of which turned out not to be the case across the board. Many Americans also strongly distrust the administration over the National Security Agency’s data gathering.

    Though much smaller, some segments of Obama’s base still said they believe he lies “most of the time,” including 13 percent of Democrats, 12 percent of black voters, 16 percent of liberals, 31 percent of unmarried women and 34 percent of voters under the age of 30.

    In some nominally good news for Obama, the Fox poll found his approval rating to be 42 percent, up from 40 percent last month.

    He is nevertheless losing ground on personal likability, where he has generally been strong even as his job approval numbers dipped. The Fox poll found that 45 percent said they have a favorable opinion of Obama as a person, while 51 percent said they have an unfavorable view, numbers that flipped from one year ago, when another Fox poll found 52 percent had a favorable view of Obama as a person compared to 46 percent who had an unfavorable view.

    Regarding potential 2016 White House contenders, 54 percent of voters said they believe former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is honest and trustworthy, despite still looming questions over the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack. “Bridgegate” appears to have taken a stiffer toll on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, as just 41 percent believe the potential Republican candidate for president is honest and trustworthy. Meanwhile, 49 percent regard former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has honest.

  • Now That the Feds Have Backed Off, Where Does This Leave the Nevada Rancher in His Battle With the Gov’t?
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 10:27 am by Becket Adams

    Comments (350)

    Federal agents waved the white flag Saturday and retreated from Gold Butte, Nev., releasing some 389 “trespass cattle” that had been rounded up as the result of an ongoing land dispute between rancher Cliven Bundy and the United States.

    MESQUITE, NV - APRIL 11: Rancher Cliven Bundy poses for a photo outside his ranch house on April 11, 2014 west of Mesquite, Nevada. Bureau of Land Management officials are rounding up Cliven Bundy's cattle, he has been locked in a dispute with the BLM for a couple of decades over grazing rights. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images George Frey/Getty Images

    Rancher Cliven Bundy has won a temporary reprieve from the federal government. (Getty Images)

    But as Bundy family members celebrate what they call a decisive victory in their decades-long struggle against the federal government, the legal battle between the Clark County rancher and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is far from over.

    “He’s still making these arguments about how the federal courts don’t have jurisdiction because the United States doesn’t own the land in question,” Dan Greenberg, an attorney and president of the Advance Arkansas Institute, a nonprofit that advocates for public policy based on the principles of limited government, told TheBlaze.

    “He’s losing on all these claims,” Greenberg said, noting that Bundy’s arguments have already been rejected twice by the courts. “Unfortunately for him, his arguments – that he simply doesn’t recognize federal authority – will not be recognized in the courts. … The legal theory here that Mr. Bundy’s using is radical in its implications.”

    ‘That’s Fed Land’

    Bundy continues to defy two court orders, one from 1998 and one from 2013, requiring that he remove his cattle from property recognized by the state of Nevada and the courts as belonging to the United States government. The court orders were issued after Bundy’s grazing permit was canceled in 1994, one year after he “fired” the Bureau of Land Management, refusing to pay to graze his cattle after the agency converted public land into a protective habitat for the state’s desert tortoise.

    Bundy claims he has a right to graze his cattle on the nearly 600,000 acres of government-owned land in Gold Butte, Nev., located west of his 150-acre ranch in Bunkerville, Nev., because his family has lived in the area since the 1880s.

    “My family has preemptive, adjudicated livestock water rights filed with the state of Nevada. They were established in 1877 when the first pioneers entered the valley. Among those first pioneers were my grandparents from my mother’s side,” he told TheBlaze early Thursday. “My father either bought or inherited his Nevada state livestock water rights and I, in turn, have done the same.”

    Bundy’s father “started ranching in this valley in 1954,” he said. This detail is noted in the 1998 court ruling against Bundy.

    The Bureau of Land Management, part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, didn’t come into existence until 1946, when the General Land Office and Grazing Service combined.

    The Bundys have never owned the disputed land. They hold no deed and they’ve never paid property taxes on it. Rather, prior to “firing” the Bureau of Land Management, the Bundy family held a grazing permit, which, according to the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934, does not bestow the holder with permanent grazing rights or land ownership.

    “But even if he tried [to pay], we wouldn’t be authorized to collect. That’s fed land.”
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    Bundy told TheBlaze his rights predate the grazing act.

    “The beneficial uses were established before the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934. The rights were adjudicated after 1934. Preemptive, adjudicated, beneficial use, Nevada state water law and custom and culture are the key to this issue,” he said.

    In 1993, Bundy did not pay to renew his permit and it was canceled one year later.  The rancher has claimed he tried — without success  — to pay grazing fees to Clark County.

    A spokesman with the Clark County Recorder’s Office told TheBlaze that he had no record of Bundy trying to pay the county a grazing fee.

    Federal law enforcement officers open a gate to allow a convoy of cattle to get through at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area near Overton, Nev. Thursday, April 10, 2014. Two people were detained while protesting the roundup of cattle owned by Cliven Bundy on the road. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, John Locher) AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, John Locher

    Federal law enforcement officers open a gate to allow a convoy of cattle to get through at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area near Overton, Nev. Thursday, April 10, 2014. (AP)

    “When I pull up his name it says no record found,” the spokesman told TheBlaze. “But even if he tried, we wouldn’t be authorized to collect. That’s fed land.”

    Clark County Assessor Michele Shafe said she has no record of Bundy trying to pay grazing fees to the county, either.

    “But if he tried to do that back in 1993,” she said, “we wouldn’t know about that. None of us were here. Anyway, that’s not county property.”

    ‘It’s Nevada Land’

    Since that time, Bundy has refused to recognize federal authority in the state of Nevada.

    “At the moment of statehood, the people of the territory [now known as Nevada] became people of the United States with the Constitution, with equal footing to the original 13 states,” Bundy said on Glenn Beck’s radio program Monday. “They had boundaries around them, a state line. And that boundary was divided into 17 subdivisions, which were counties. I live in one of those counties: Clark County, Nevada.”

    “And in that county, Clark County, Nevada, we elect our county commissioners, which is the closest to ‘we the people’ and we elect the county sheriff and we pay him to do what? Protect our life, liberty and property. I’m a citizen of that county. I abide by all the state laws,” he said. “It’s not [Bureau of Land Management] land. It’s Nevada land.”

    A U.S. District Court in 1998 addressed Bundy’s argument and ruled against it.

    “Bundy argues the federal … government cannot have authority over lands ‘inside an admitted state,’” the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada said in its decision. “That argument must fail because federal lands located within states are federal territories under federal jurisdiction.”

    The ruling cites the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, which outlines how public lands are to be administered by the Bureau of Land Management:

    The term “public lands” means any land and interest in land owned by the United States within the several States and administered by the Secretary of the Interior through the Bureau of Land Management, without regard to how the United States acquired ownership, except

    (1) lands located on the Outer Continental Shelf; and

    (2) lands held for the benefit of Indians, Aleuts, and Eskimos.

    43 U.S.C. § 1702(e). The Bunkerville Allotment where Bundy is grazing his livestock falls within the definition of “public lands” administered by the Secretary of the Interior through the BLM.

    The court also reaffirmed that the government has held the property in question since the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 when Mexico ceded the territory to the U.S.

    “The public lands in Nevada are the property of the United States because the United States has held title to those public lands since 1848, when Mexico ceded the land to the United States,” the court ruled, citing United States v. Gardner, a 1997 case that established that the Equal Footing Doctrine does not give Nevada ownership of public lands within its border but instead ensures equality in sovereignty and political standing.

    The U.S. District Court in 1998 ordered Bundy to remove his cattle from Gold Butte. He refused. A second court ruling in 2013 ordered the same. He again refused, eventually prompting last week’s standoff with the federal government.

    ‘Simple Trespass’

    Samuel A. Rosado, an attorney who works for a New Jersey state agency that handles similar matters, said Bundy’s legal arguments are similar to those who call themselves “sovereign citizens,” individuals who believe they are not subject to federal, state or local laws.

    “Bundy tends to be all over the place,” Rosado said in an email to TheBlaze. “He said he had vested grazing rights prior to the [Bureau of Land Management’s] formation. He then said he is not a citizen of the U.S. and only recognizes himself as a citizen of Nevada. So now he does not recognize the laws (and by assumption the property ownership) of the United States government. Then he alleged Nevada reclaimed virtually all federal land in the state via state statute in 1979.”

    It should be noted that Bundy told Beck on Monday that he is not familiar with the “sovereign citizen.”

    “No different than me suing Occupy Wall Street because they set up tents on my front lawn.”
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    Rosado said the fact that the Bundys paid grazing fees beginning in 1954, as noted by the courts and by Bundy, suggests the rancher at one point recognized federal authority.

    “I find it very difficult to argue that Bundy can claim he had vested rights, when he is continuously paying for use of the land,” Rosado said, adding that the 1996 case Bundy regularly cites in his favor, U.S. v. Nye County, Nev., “utterly debunks” the rancher’s claim that he’s not bound by federal law.

    “The Nye County ruling established unequivocally that federal land within Nevada belonged to the U.S government,” Rosado said, adding it’s “notable because the court was the federal district court of Nevada.”

    Federal law enforcement officers block a road at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area near Overton, Nev. Thursday, April 10, 2014. In the foreground are the shadows of protestors. Two people were detained while protesting the roundup of cattle owned by Cliven Bundy on the road. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, John Locher) AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, John Locher

    Federal law enforcement officers block a road at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area near Overton, Nev. Thursday, April 10, 2014. (AP)

    Rosado said the government’s case against Bundy is fairly cut-and-dried.

    Contrary to the rancher’s arguments in court, the Bureau of Land Management ”is not bringing an action against Bundy under the Endangered Species Act, but a tort action for trespass,” Rosado said. “Bundy’s discussions of ‘foreign commerce’ is therefore irrelevant.”

    “The U.S. government’s entire action involves simple trespass. It has nothing to do with the desert tortoise. Bundy stopped paying his grazing permit, therefore he lost his right to enter federal land,” Rosado said. “By keeping his cows there, he is trespassing on federal land. That’s basically it. No different than me suing Occupy Wall Street because they set up tents on my lawn without my permission.”

    At least five states, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Nebraska and Utah, have proposed plans to transfer control of public land from the federal government to the states. Nevada even established a task force in 2013 to deal with this very problem. The Nevada Land Management Task Force, comprising 17 state commissioners, hopes to present its plan for the transfer to the Legislative Committee on Public Lands by Sept. 1, 2014. That means there is some precedent for the outcome Bundy is eventually hoping for.

    ‘The Door Isn’t Closed’

    For now, however, a relative calm has fallen on Gold Butte and Bunkerville, the return of armed federal agents increasingly unlikely. But Washington’s decision over the weekend to cease its roundup operations does not mean it has abandoned its plans to exercise authority over Nevada’s public lands.

    “The door isn’t closed,” Bureau of Land Management spokesman Craig Leff said after federal agents retreated from the area. “We’ll figure out how to move forward with this.”

    Aided by armed militiamen, some of whom were reportedly in Nevada at Bundy’s invitation, the veteran rancher has won himself a brief reprieve.

    But it’s unlikely he’ll win any meaningful legal battles in the near future.

    “Losing in court and defying court orders won’t get you want in the long-term,” Greenberg, the pro-limited government Arkansas attorney, told TheBlaze. “I think Mr. Bundy is a victim of politics – and in particular a victim of the Bureau of Land Management, which I think has a very different land use agenda than he does – but I worry about the prudence of the path that he has chosen.”

    “As a general matter, people who signal that they are willing to consider the use of force against government run the risk of receiving, from the government, a much more aggressive signal back,” he said.

    Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

  • Shocking Moment a Victim’s Mother Forgave the Killer and Stopped His Execution…While His Head Was in the Noose
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 10:25 am by Sharona Schwartz

    Comments (18)

    A rare last-minute pardon for a convicted killer who was already standing on a chair with a noose around his neck is being discussed passionately among Iranians, particularly because an Iranian news agency captured photos as the dramatic event unfolded.

    The man in the noose was identified by British media as Balal who is now in his 20s. Seven years ago, he stabbed 18-year-old Abdollah Hosseinzadeh with a kitchen knife, killing him after they got into a fight.

    Iran follows the Shariah system of retribution, or qisas, like the principle of “an eye for an eye.” As the BBC noted, traditionally only the victim’s family is able to issue a pardon from execution.

    In keeping with the custom, according to the British newspaper the Guardian, the victim’s family was supposed to take part in Tuesday’s execution by pushing the chair out from under him.

    But instead, the mother of the victim slapped Balal in the face, with the noose already on his neck, and said she would forgive him. The victim’s father then removed the noose from Balal’s neck.

    Iran-Execution-TwitterThe unfolding drama was photographed by Arash Khamooshi of the semi-official Isna news agency and can be seen here.

    The photos begin with the image of a solitary chair, awaiting the ascent of the convicted killer. Onlookers watch in anticipation, some with tears in their eyes. The killer, blindfolded with a black strip of cloth, is propped onto the chair, the noose placed over his head. His victim’s mother stands on an adjacent platform to reach his height, slaps him across the face — while the noose is still around this head and the blindfold around his eyes — and then apparently pardons him.

    When the noose was peeled off of his neck, the victim’s mother broke down in tears.

    One of the photos showed Balal’s mother hugging the victim’s mother, who was overcome with emotion, the Guardian reported.

    Later images showed the victim’s parents visiting the cemetery and weeping at his graveside.

    The mother’s ability to pardon drew particular praise, as the Guardian pointed out, because she had previously lost another son, Amirhossein, 11, who was killed in a motorbike accident.

    The victim’s father, Hosseinzadeh Sr., said that Balal did not intend to kill his son.

    “Balal was inexperienced and didn’t know how to handle a knife. He was naive,” he was quoted as saying.

    The father said that when his wife had a dream days before the scheduled execution, they decided to opt for the pardon. “Three days ago my wife saw my elder son in a dream telling her that they are in a good place, and for her not to retaliate,” Hosseinzadeh Sr. was quoted by the Guardian as saying.

    The BBC reported that the images have “spread like wildfire among Iranians on both Facebook and Twitter” in Iran, a country that according to Amnesty International has the highest number of executions after China.

    The BBC further noted that commenters on social media in Iran are nearly unanimous in their support of the victim’s parents’ move, using the words “courageous, honorable and moving” to describe their decision.

  • Will This Change the Way Christians Read the Bible?
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 9:48 am by Billy Hallowell

    Comments (49)

    YouVersion, a mobile and tablet app that provides free access to the Bible, is continuing to impact the way people interact with scripture — and its developers’ believe that their latest move to integrate a social network into the platform will increase both Bible reading and analysis.

    Bobby Gruenewald, innovation pastor of LifeChurch.tv in Oklahoma, and the founder of YouVersion, told TheBlaze Tuesday that he believes the new social feature will bring people closer to both God and the Bible.

    Image source: YouVersion

    Image source: YouVersion

    “We believe that it will move people that might be more casual Bible app users [and] … pull them into being daily users of the app,” Gruenewald said.

    So, how does the social component work?

    In the most ambitious and significant development since YouVersion first launched back in 2007, users are now able to discuss and analyze scripture with their trusted friends and family – right inside the app.

    The feature, offered in Bible App 5, the latest version, is reminiscent of social media streams that are found on both Twitter and Facebook, but there are some distinct differences.

    YouVersion limits users to 150 friends in an effort to keep the focus on Bible-themed conversation with trusted associates. Also, updates can be marked as private if a user wishes not to share certain content with the broader network.

    “You can form friendships. It’s a mutual deal where both people have to agree they’re friends,” Gruenewald told TheBlaze. “All of those activities become something. You can have a conversation with those trusted people.”

    App users can see what their friends are highlighting and bookmarking, can ask questions and engage in important conversations.

    Gruenewald said the community feature allows people to experience scripture alongside other believers – something he believes offers “the best of both worlds.”

    “We certainly want scripture to be able to be shared in other environments, but if you want to explore scripture — that’s best done with people you know and trust,” Gruenewald said, adding in a press release that scripture experiences with trusted believers is the “very foundation of the church.”

    He told TheBlaze that the idea for the social function has been in the works for the past two years, as his team felt that building upon the app’s sharing capabilities would offer much-needed benefits.

    Image source: YouVersion

    Image source: YouVersion

    YouVersion users are already sharing 250,000 Bible verses per day through SMS, email and social media, so the new social attribute holds the potential to increase that reach exponentially through a relational experience.

    Current users can download the latest version of the app or visit Bible.com to access the new social network. Read more about the history of the YouVersion Bible app, which has now been downloaded more than 137 million times, here.

  • Crook Learns the Hard Way That Some People Aren’t Going to Stand by While a Store Is Being Robbed
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 9:21 am by Jonathon M. Seidl

    Comments (160)

    Freddie F. Johnson, 65, walked into a CVS store in Sarasota, Fla., on Sunday and had an idea. He was going to rob the pharmacy of some prescription drugs. He was counting on the clerk believing that pointing his finger in the shape of a gun in his pocket would do the trick. What he wasn’t counting on was Jaanus Jurisoo.

    Johnson went to the counter of the drug store and demanded all the Oxycodone and Hydromorphone pills, WFTS-TV reported. But as the clerk began handing them over, security camera footage shows Jurisoo lurking in the background. As the heist unfolds, and the cameras roll, Jurisoo can be seen springing into action: he creeps up behind Johnson, wraps his arms around Johnson’s neck and then takes the crook to the ground.

    (Source: YouTube)

    (Source: YouTube)

    Jurisoo held onto Johnson until police arrived, who was eventually arrested and charged in connection with the robbery. He’s also being investigated for connections to another robbery.

    Still, despite Jurisoo efforts, the Sarasota police don’t recommend doing what he did.

    “Although we applaud the actions of Mr. Jurisoo in bringing this suspect into custody, we do not encourage or recommend that members of the public take matters into their own hands when they observe a crime,” Captain Patrick Robinson warned.

    Watch Jurisoo in action below:

  • The Number of Americans Applying for Jobless Benefits Ticks Up Slightly
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 9:07 am by Becket Adams

    Comments (21)

    Applications for jobless benefits increased by 2,000 for the week ending April 12, bringing the total to 304,000, up from last week’s revised figure of 302,000, the Labor Department announced Thursday.

    The four-week moving average, a “less volatile” figure, fell 4,750 to 312,000, down from last week’s revised figure of 316,750.

    “This is the lowest level for this average since October 6, 2007 when it was 302,000,” the Labor Department report reads.

    There were no unexpected factors that affected this week’s unemployment benefits number.

    “The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.1 percent for the week ending April 5, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate of 2.1 percent. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending April 5 was 2,739,000, a decrease of 11,000 from the previous week’s revised level,” the report reads.

    “The previous week’s level was revised down by 26,000 from 2,776,000 to 2,750,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,785,250, a decrease of 32,500 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since January 19, 2008 when it was 2,777,500. The previous week’s average was revised down by 6,500 from 2,824,250 to 2,817,750,” it added.

    The states with the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending April 5 were Michigan (+4,285), Pennsylvania (+2,335), New Jersey (+1,630), Florida (+1,624), and Georgia (+1,453). Meanwhile, California (-13,892), Iowa (-1,266), Kentucky (-699), Tennessee (-582) and Idaho (-383) posted the largest decreases in initial claims.

    “Employers added 192,000 jobs in March,” the Associated Press reported. “That follows gains of 197,000 in February, as the unemployment rate stayed at 6.7 percent for the second straight month.”

    Markets are poised to have a strong trading day Thursday:

    Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

  • Gay Marriage and Abortion Cut From Nevada Republican Party Platform
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 8:59 am by Billy Hallowell

    Comments (158)

    The Nevada Republican Party has voted to make some big changes to the party platform, removing language pertaining to both gay marriage and abortion.

    Some members said the amendments were decided upon at the party’s national meeting last weekend based on recent Supreme Court and lower level court rulings in favor of same-sex nuptials, according to the Christian Post.

    The platform change was adopted when less than half of the 520 delegates in attendance at the convention showed up to vote by a show of hands, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

    “I think it was about inclusion, not exclusion,” said state party Chairman Michael McDonald. “This is where the party is going.”

    Two brides are send on a wedding cake at a press conference in Los Angeles, after the United States Supreme court ruled on Californias Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, June 26, 2013. The US Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a controversial federal law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, in a major victory for supporters of same-sex marriage. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) had denied married gay and lesbian couples in the United States the same rights and benefits that straight couples have long taken for granted. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

    AFP/Getty Images

    The decision to remove the issues comes at a time of increased social and political acceptance of gay marriage.

    Dave Hockaday, who sat on the committee that decided on the new platform, said it’s about finding areas where the GOP can make headway.

    “The issue was how can we back out of people’s personal lives,” Hockaday told the Review-Journal. “We need to focus on issues where we can have an impact.”

    The 2012 Nevada Republican Party Platform defined marriage “as only between a man and a woman as defined in the Nevada Constitution.”

    The language present on the abortion front was specific and pointed as well, noting that the party supports a “ban on partial-birth abortion.”

    The document also read, “We affirm the sanctity of life and the inherent dignity of each human being from conception to death. The unborn child has a fundamental right to life and should be welcomed into life and protected under law.”

    While some Republicans warned that removing gay marriage and abortion would alienate social conservatives, the arguments did not sway the decision away from removing these issues from the platform.

    The decision follows the local Clark County Republican Party’s move to cut these issues in early April.

    (H/T: Christian Post)

  • What Happens When Schools Ban Chocolate Milk? The Study That Child Anti-Obesity Advocates Might Not Like
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 8:55 am by Liz Klimas

    Comments (96)

    Schools might want to think twice before banning chocolate and other flavored milk from their cafeterias, according to a new study.

    Photo credit: Shutterstock

    Photo credit: Shutterstock

    The skinny?

    “Students take 10 percent less milk, waste 29 percent more and may even stop eating school meals,” if chocolate milk is not offered as an option, said Andrew Hanks, who conducted the pilot study with colleagues at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.

    The researchers looked at before and after milk sale data from several elementary schools in Oregon where flavored options, which could include chocolate, strawberry and other flavors that were not plain, white milk, were banned. Oregon isn’t the only state with cities banning such options though. In 2011, Los Angeles Unified School District removed flavored milk from its schools in order to battle youth obesity.

    While such bans might reduce calorie and sugar intake, the study said, it might not be a worthy sacrifice in the long run.

    Informed of the results of the study, Nicole Zammit, former assistant director of nutrition services at Eugene School District in Oregon, said she wasn’t surprised at the backfire. 

    “Given that the role of the federal school meal program is to provide nutritious meals to students who may otherwise have no access to healthy foods, I wouldn’t recommend banning flavored milk unless you have a comprehensive plan in place to compensate for the lost nutrients when kids stop drinking milk altogether,” she said.

    The Cornell researchers noted that the decision to ban flavored milks in the Oregon schools studied came from the local parent-teachers association.

    The study authors suggest taking other tactics to encourage white milk over chocolate, rather than an outright ban.

    “Make white milk appear more convenient and more normal to select,” the study’s co-author Brian Wansink said, suggesting schools put white milk in the front of the cooler or fill at least have of the cooler with white milk options.

    Watch Wansink discuss the study’s finding:

    The idea that banning flavored milk could result in reduced milk intake overall isn’t entirely novel.

    In 2012 after the US Department of Agriculture updated school meal standards, the National Milk Producers Federation President and CEO Jerry Kozak cited other research that showed milk consumption can drop 35 percent when flavored milk options are removed.

    The USDA’s rule allows only fat-free flavored milk in schools participating in certain federal programs, while white milk can be low fat — or 1 percent milk.

    Agri-View last year pointed out that sugars in flavored milks had been reduced by about 38 percent since 2006. It also noted that 95 percent of flavored milk in school is still 150 calories or less per serving, which is only about 31 calories more than white milk.

    The results of this most recent study regarding the impact of flavored milk bans on school children’s consumption was published in the journal PLOS One.

  • Armed Robber Was Sentenced to 13 Years in Prison — But Then the Gov’t Totally Forgot About Him
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 8:17 am by Billy Hallowell

    Comments (91)

    ST. LOUIS (TheBlaze/AP) — It’s a complicated case about a man who committed armed robbery, was sentenced to more than a decade in prison — and was then forgotten about.

    Cornealious Anderson was convicted in 2000 and sentenced to 13 years behind bars, but until last year he never ended up serving that time. After his conviction, he was told to await instructions on when and where to report to prison, but those instructions never came. So he didn’t report.

    And here’s where Anderson’s story gets a bit trickier. Free to continue with his life, he spent the next 13 years turning things around — getting married, raising three kids, learning a trade and starting numerous businesses.

    Anderson apparently wasn’t running from the law. In fact, he made no effort to conceal his identity or whereabouts, paying taxes and traffic tickets, renewing his driver’s license and registering his businesses.

    Not until last year did the Missouri Department of Corrections discover the clerical error that kept him free. Now he’s fighting for release, saying authorities missed their chance to incarcerate him.

    This undated photo provided by the Missouri Department of Corrections shows Cornealious Anderson. (AP Photo/Missouri Department of Corrections)

    In a single day last July, Anderson’s life was turned upside-down.

    “They sent a SWAT team to his house,” Anderson’s attorney, Patrick Megaro, said Wednesday. “He was getting his 3-year-old daughter breakfast, and these men with automatic weapons bang on his door.”

    Anderson, 37, was taken to Southeast Correctional Center in Charleston, Mo., to begin serving the sentence. A court appeal filed in February asks for him to be freed.

    He had just one arrest for marijuana possession on his record when he and a cousin robbed an assistant manager for a St. Charles Burger King restaurant on Aug. 15, 1999. The men, wearing masks, showed a gun (it turned out to be a BB gun) and demanded money that was about to be placed in a deposit box.

    The worker gave up the bag of cash, and the masked men drove away. The worker turned in the car’s license plate number. And that’s why Anderson was convicted and sentenced to 13 years in prison.

    But never receiving any word from authorities opened the door for him to change his life around and move forward.

    “His attorney said, ‘Listen, they’re going to get you some day, so just wait for the order,’” Megaro said. “As time goes by, the order never comes. What does a normal person believe? Maybe they forgot about it. It’s only human nature to hope they just let it go. He really didn’t know what to do.

    “A year goes by, two years, five years, 10 years. He’s thinking, ‘I guess they don’t care about me anymore,’” Megaro said.

    The attorney described Anderson as a model citizen — a married father who became a carpenter and started three businesses.

    He paid income and property taxes and kept a driver’s license showing his true name and address. When he was pulled over for a couple of traffic violations, nothing showed up indicating he should be in prison.

    That’s why Anderson was shocked when the marshals arrived.

    He now lives among the general population at Charleston. Megaro said Anderson is holding his own— barely.

    “He’s doing his best to keep his spirits up,” Megaro said. “Each day that goes by, more hope is lost. It’s a daily struggle for him.”

    Peter Joy, director of the Criminal Justice Clinic at the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, said it isn’t unusual in a country with such a high prison population for sentences to fall through the cracks. What is unusual, Joy said, is for it to go unnoticed for so long.

    “The real tragedy here is that one aspect of prison is the idea of rehabilitation,” Joy said. “Here we have somebody who has led a perfect life for 13 years. He did everything right. So he doesn’t need rehabilitation.”

    What happens next isn’t clear. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster on Tuesday filed a court response that said the state is justified in making Anderson serve the sentence.

    “The United States Supreme Court has upheld much more severe sentences for much less serious crimes,” Koster wrote. “No precedent indicates Anderson’s circumstances or anything like them are cruel and unusual punishment.”

    But Megaro doesn’t think Koster understands his point, which he clarified in an interview with U.S. News and World Report.

    “I’m not saying a 13-year sentence is cruel and unusual,” Megaro said. “I’m saying enforcement of a 13-year sentence 13 years later, making it a 26-year sentence, is cruel and unusual.”

    Koster said that Megaro could refile the case as an action against the director of the Department of Corrections, which could give Anderson credit for the time he was technically at large.

    Megaro doubted that strategy would work. He said the law does not allow credit for time served when the convicted person was not behind bars.

    “I don’t think that’s an option, unfortunately,” Megaro said.

    Instead, he’s relying on case law. The last time anything like this happened in Missouri was 1912. In that case, the convicted man was set free, Megaro said.

    Gov. Jay Nixon could also commute the sentence. A spokesman for Nixon declined to comment.

  • See the Shock Flyer Distributed to Some Ukrainian Jews Calling on Them to Register With Separatist Government
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 8:00 am by Sharona Schwartz

    Comments (132)

    The Jewish community in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine was stunned earlier this week when flyers were distributed calling on all Jews age 16 and older to register with separatists, list real estate and vehicles they own and pay a special tax, or face deportation, loss of citizenship and confiscation of their property.

    The International Business Times reported that the flyer ordered Jewish citizens to register at one of the government buildings that was taken over by separatists earlier this month and that a special registration fee of $50 due May 3 was being levied.

    The Israeli news site Ynet wrote that the leaflet specified what documents Jewish citizens would need for the registration process.

    “ID and passport are required to register your Jewish religion, religious documents of family members, as well as documents establishing the rights to all real estate property that belongs to you, including vehicles,” the document read according to Ynet’s translation from Russian.

    An image of the reported leaflet was posted on several news sites and Twitter accounts. (Photo via Twitter)

    An image of the reported leaflet was posted on several news sites and Twitter accounts. (Photo via Twitter)

    International Business Times also provided translation of excerpts from the flyer, which said the fee was a result of Jewish leaders having “supported the nationalist junta of [Stepan] Bandera in Kiev” and who are hostile “to Orthodox Donetsk republic and its citizens.” Bandera was the Ukrainian national movement leader who in the 1940s initially allied himself with Nazi Germany to fight the Soviet Union.

    The Novosti Donbassa news agency reported that the paper was handed out near the Donetsk synagogue by “three unidentified men wearing balaclavas and carrying the flag of the Russian Federation,” and alleged that the aim was to incite strife which would then be blamed on separatists, International Business Times reported.

    According to the news service the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, pro-Russian separatists — who earlier this month occupied several government buildings in Donetsk and declared their own state separate from Ukraine — have denied that they were behind the circulation of the intimidating document. This, despite photos of the flyer posted online which displayed a stamp of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk and the name of its government chairman Denis Pushilin.

    The news site tvrain.ru on Wednesday quoted Pushilin denying being behind the flyers and calling them a provocation, JTA reported.

    Olga Reznikova, a Jewish woman in Donetsk told Ynet that “we do not know if the leaflet was spread by pro-Russian forces or someone else, but it did manage to create quite a fear. This reminds me of texts from darker times. Other members of the Jewish community I spoke with are not afraid, but it is unpleasant.”

    “I do not intend to register, I am 32, I have lived in Donetsk my entire life and have never had to deal with anti-Semitism until I laid eyes on this piece of paper. Though I take it very seriously, I am uncertain of its authenticity,” she added.

    Kiev native Alex Tenzer, who is now a director of the National Association of Immigrants from the former Soviet Union in Israel, told Ynet, “The Jewish-Ukrainian leadership supports Ukraine’s new government, but it’s hard to tell whether the leaflet is valid or simply a provocation.”

    “The material is very anti-Semitic and reminds me of the kind of material distributed by the Nazis in WWII,” Tenzer said.

    Emanuelle Shechter, who lives in Israel and was sent a copy of the leaflet from friends in Donetsk told Ynet, “They told me that masked men were waiting for Jewish people after the Passover eve prayer, handed them the flyer and told them to obey its instructions.”

    TheBlaze is unable to independently verify the authenticity of the flyer.

    News of the intimidating document came as Israel was bracing for a sharp rise in immigration of Jews from Ukraine who are concerned about anti-Semitism in the wake of the domestic strife.

  • The Moment a Major Country Star Showed Up and Shocked a Fan at Her Bridal Shower
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 7:46 am by Liz Klimas

    Comments (74)

    Country music’s biggest stars undoubtedly get thousands of pieces of fan mail, some including invitations to major life events, like weddings. While they can’t answer them all, every once in a while, some stars seem to do something big for extremely loyal fans.

    Taylor Swift is one of these stars. She recently explained that she received a wedding invitation from one such fan, and while she couldn’t make the wedding, there was also an invitation for the bride-to-be’s shower.

    Image source: YouTube

    Image source: YouTube

    “And I’ve never been to a bridal shower, so we’re gonna fly to Ohio today,” the 24-year-old with her trademark red lipstick said in a video posted to her YouTube channel.

    And so the surprising of Gena — and all her friends — began.

    Swift’s bridal shower gift? Chocolate chip cookies that she made, the recipe for the cookies, a picture she painted with her popular songs “It’s a Love Story” and what appeared to be a quite few gifts wrapped by Williams-Sonoma, the high-end kitchen store.

    On the car ride from the airport to the shower in Columbus, Swift sang a little jingle.

    “Going to the bridal shower. Going to the bridal shower. Gonna wear pastel. Gonna go to the bridal shower. Gonna give her some presents.”

    The moment Swift rounded the corner at the shower venue and set eyes upon Gena, there were no words, only a speechless face and a big hug.

    Image source: YouTube

    Image source: YouTube

    Image source: YouTube

    Image source: YouTube

    Image source: YouTube

    Image source: YouTube

    Watch the whole of Swift’s shower surprise:

    After the surprise, Gena tweeted her thanks to singer.

    “Thank you for making today even more special,” she wrote.

    (H/T: Reddit)

  • John Daly Smacks a Big Drive… Out of a Woman’s Mouth!
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 11:58 pm by Mike Opelka

    Comments (43)

    The very colorful professional golfer John Daly was not playing in last weekend’s Masters tournament in Augusta, GA. However, that does not mean Daly was not attracting attention with his golf skills.


    Last Friday, Daly was captured on video hitting a golf ball off a tee being held in the mouth of his friend Katherine Michelle. The picture and video circled the social media world over the weekend and have started popping up on network television.

    Watch the clip posted on Instagram:

    Daly was successful in striking the ball cleanly and not injuring Ms. Michelle. Others who have tried similar stunts have not been as fortunate.

    In 2012, Elizabeth Dickson, a Playboy model, was injured when she was struck on the right buttock cheek by a badly aimed driver that was meant to hit a golf ball teed up between the cheeks of her buttocks. Dickson is suing for $500,000 plus damages.

    She is claiming that the stunt was supposed to be a photo shoot only and the man who struck her with the golf club was reckless in swinging the club. Dickson’s suit was filed in California last month.

    Follow Mike Opelka (@Stuntbrain) on Twitter