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Wounded Marine Who Lost Leg in Afghanistan Finishes Boston Marathon

Staff Sgt. Jose Luis Sanchez, a former Marine who lost the lower part of his left leg during a 2011 tour in Afghanistan, finished the Boston Marathon for the second time Monday.

Sanchez used a prosthetic blade running leg and competed on behalf of Team Semper Fi, a charity that “provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to post-9/11 wounded, critically ill and injured members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.”

“I just felt that I had to run the Boston Marathon. I wanted to run the race and support the bombing survivors, to show them that life goes on and all you have to do is just push through it,” Sanchez told Uproxx days before his first Boston Marathon in 2016.

Sanchez told GrindTV he lost much of his drive after suffering his wound in Afghanistan.

“The injury humbled me. I lost all my muscle mass. I lost a ton of weight. I couldn’t walk or move or stand up. I needed assistance just to get out of my wheelchair, and even then I couldn’t walk more than a foot without collapsing,” Sanchez lamented. (Read more from “Wounded Marine Who Lost Leg in Afghanistan Finishes Boston Marathon” HERE)

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The University of Virginia’s Fight to Protect Free Speech

According to some observers, college campuses are facing a “free speech crisis.” From author Charles Murray, who faced violent protests at Middlebury College, to Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald, who was shouted down by students at Claremont McKenna College, controversial free speech cases arise on college campuses almost weekly.

But amid the chaos, some college and university administrators are working harder than ever to protect the First Amendment. The Daily Signal traveled to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, which has faced its own campus protests in recent weeks, to find out how difficult—and costly—it is in today’s political environment to stand up for free speech.

(For more from the author of “The University of Virginia’s Fight to Protect Free Speech” please click HERE)

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This Is What It Looks Like When a 21,000-Pound MOAB Takes out 36 ISIS Terrorists

The Pentagon has released video footage of MOAB — i.e. the “Mother of All Bombs” — as it was dropped by the U.S. military’s C-130 aircraft Thursday, targeting ISIS fortifications in Afghanistan.

It is the world’s largest non-nuclear bomb, and reports indicate at least 36 ISIS fighters were killed in the blast. So far, no civilian casualties have been reported.

The 20-second night-vision video shows the bomb’s detonation in real time.

(For more from the author of “This Is What It Looks Like When a 21,000-Pound MOAB Takes out 36 ISIS Terrorists” please click HERE)

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That ‘Offensive’ Pepsi Ad? Turns out America Loved It

Remember that “offensive” Pepsi ad featuring the young Kendall Jenner, sibling to the Kardashians? The one in which Jenner tries to bridge the gap between young protesters and the police through an ice cold Pepsi. Well, according to Morning Consult it looks like the American people overwhelmingly like that ad. Proving, just like the 2016 election, that the nation doesn’t hold the same views as a loud group of politically correct whiners.

First up here’s the “offensive ad.”

This is really just a different take on the old Coke, “I’d like to teach the world to sing” commercials. SJWs went nuts because it dared showed a young person being nice to a police officer. That apparently is the height of 2017 offensiveness.

The polling firm Morning Consult wanted to see how Americans reacted to the ad. Here are their results:

As Ms. Miranda of BuzzFeed says, “a lot of people” liked the ad. When you look further at the data it seems that 50 percent or higher of millennials and young Gen Xers had a more favorable view of Pepsi after watching the ad. Which is the exact opposite reaction the MSM and SJWs would have you think would have happened.

In addition, more people had a more favorable view of Pepsi after viewing the ad in all age groups. Though only younger folks were moved at 50 percent or higher.

Finally, the group the SJWs would tell you should be most offended by the ad — minorities — overwhelmingly had a more favorable view of Pepsi after viewing it. This includes 75 percent of Hispanics, 51 percent of blacks, and 65 percent of other non-whites. Whites were the least moved by the ad with only 41 percent, a plurality, liking Pepsi more after viewing watching the ad.

This is more proof SJWs still don’t get America. The American people are sick and tired of being told how to think and act by a group of whiners. The most hopeful part of this Morning Consult poll is that it seems even the younger generation see’s through the SJWs attempt at programming their minds.

The next time Pepsi or any other company gets hit by an internet SJW tsunami of haters, it may be best to just stay the course. (For more from the author of “That ‘Offensive’ Pepsi Ad? Turns out America Loved It” please click HERE)

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Video: Passenger Is Dragged off Overbooked United Flight

Video of police officers dragging a passenger from an overbooked United Airlines flight sparked an uproar Monday on social media, and a spokesman for the airline insisted that employees had no choice but to contact authorities to remove the man.

As the flight waited to depart from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, officers could be seen grabbing the screaming man from a window seat, pulling him across the armrest and dragging him down the aisle by his arms. The airline was trying to make room for four of its employees on the Sunday evening flight to Louisville, Kentucky.

Other passengers on Flight 3411 are heard saying, “Please, my God,” ”What are you doing?” ”This is wrong,” ”Look at what you did to him” and “Busted his lip.”

(Read more from “Video: Passenger Is Dragged off Overbooked United Flight” HERE)

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After Missile Attack, the Challenges Facing Trump in Syria

After President Donald Trump was mostly cheered by the international community for his missile strikes targeted at the Syrian government, he must now grapple with how to pair his first use of decisive military force with a strategy to contest a six-year-old war that has challenged the world.

U.S. officials described Trump’s sudden decision to launch 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles against a Syrian air base as a targeted retaliation on the source of a suspected deadly attack on civilians that occurred two days before—and a symbolic show of American power.

But foreign policy experts say that Trump, by inserting himself squarely into a complex battlefield, will have to deal with the aftermath, and decide how he wants to handle the dual challenges of fighting ISIS, and responding to Syria’s dictator leader Bashar al-Assad, whose brutality many blame for inflaming terrorism in the region.

“Last night’s strikes were an act of war. We need to be clear about that,” said Jonathan Schanzer, a scholar in Middle Eastern studies and vice president at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, in an interview with The Daily Signal. “The intent here and messaging has been, this was a contained, commensurate response and that’s where this ends.”

“But the question is whether the Russians, Iranians, and Syrians continue to test America’s patience,” he added. “I don’t put it past that axis to continue the atrocities in Syria. The Syrian war certainly has now grabbed the attention of the president, so I wouldn’t rule out future strikes.”

‘Mobilize a Common Strategy’

During the campaign, Trump emphasized his focus in Syria would be on defeating ISIS, the terrorist group that maintains its base in that country, and in the early weeks of his administration, the White House articulated that facilitating the removal of Assad from power was not a priority.

This week, Trump’s calculus seemed to change when the president said the chemical weapons attack had “crossed a lot of lines for me” and that his attitude toward “Syria and Assad has changed very much.”

H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser, said Thursday night that he hoped the U.S. strikes on the Syrian government’s infrastructure would “shift Assad’s calculus,” because this was the first time America had taken direct military action against the dictator’s regime.

President Barack Obama had feared being dragged deeper into a civil war that has killed nearly 400,000 people and displaced half the country. He refused to strike Assad’s government after a similar chemical weapons attack in 2013 despite issuing a “red line” that created expectations for military force.

Trump’s action, some experts say, could provide leverage against Assad that the previous administration never had.

“The cruise missile strike sends a strong signal that Assad cannot act with impunity and use chemical weapons,” said Jim Phillips, a Middle East expert at The Heritage Foundation. “It undermines his perceived power and is a powerful warning shot that will constrain his future options. It is crucial to follow up the strike with aggressive and focused diplomacy to mobilize allies behind a common strategy in Syria.”

Yet the the situation on the ground in Syria has changed dramatically since 2013, with Russian troops intermingled among Syrian forces as part of Moscow’s push to keep Assad in power.

“This strike comes four years from when we should have taken another strike in a similar way,” said Brian Katulis, a senior fellow for national security at the Center for American Progress, in an interview with The Daily Signal. “Now, there is more uncertainty and instability. You don’t want to escalate things and inadvertently kill Russian troops. The chances of retaliation or blowback today are much greater.”

Dealing With Russia

Next week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will meet with President Vladimir Putin of Russia, who, along with Iran and Hezbollah, the U.S.-declared Shia terrorist group, has propped up Assad’s government and provided military support to it.

“We have not really seen the affect of U.S. power on the Russian calculus for the last six years or longer,” Schanzer said. “The previous administration was very circumspect with applying power. The Russians took that as a green light to engage in destabilizing activities in Syria and Ukraine. Whether Trump’s new action has a deterrent effect will be interesting to see.”

Russia’s immediate reaction to Trump’s decision has been to not back down. Dmitry Peskov, a Putin spokesman, told reporters the Russian president “considers the American strikes against Syria an aggression against a sovereign government in violations of the norms of international law, and under a far-fetched pretext.”

The Russian government said it was pulling out of an agreement to minimize the risk of in-flight incidents between U.S. and Russian aircraft operating in Syria.

U.S. military officials later insisted Russia was continuing to comply with the agreement.

Russia’s early rhetoric concerns experts about the possibility of a direct military confrontation with Moscow, which has air defense systems in Syria that can shoot down U.S. aircraft. This could complicate the fight against ISIS, since the U.S.-led coalition until now has been conducting airstrikes mostly without interference from Russia and the Assad government.

“Trump’s decision to strike in Syria only improves the U.S. leverage against Assad and Russia to a limited extent,” said Michael O’Hanlon, director of research for the foreign policy program at the Brookings Institution, in an interview with The Daily Signal. “Russia will call our bluff. If we really want them to believe we will dramatically increase our military role in Syria, they know we aren’t serious. I don’t think that’s something Trump wants to do, and I wouldn’t advise it either. As much as I want the war to end, I am not sure I want to risk a U.S.-Russia conflict to do it.”

But James Jeffrey, a deputy national security adviser to President George W. Bush, predicts Russia will increasingly feel isolated because of Trump’s action. Peskov, the Putin spokesman, recently said Moscow’s support for Assad “is not unconditional” and Jeffrey says the international condemnation of the chemical attack could frustrate Russia enough to change its calculus.

“We amassed support from around world for these strikes,” Jeffrey told The Daily Signal in an interview. “That’s something the Russians have to consider. They want to isolate the U.S. and Western world, and that’s not something Russia has now. Putin is outgunned against the U.S. coalition, and isolated internationally. If Trump gives him some way out of Syria through a diplomatic process, why wouldn’t Putin take that?”

‘Has to Stop’

Still, the experts say the Trump administration should proceed cautiously in how aggressively it presses Assad, who remains determined and capable.

Phillips notes that Trump’s strikes only targeted one airfield, not Syria’s air force or chemical weapons capabilities, and he warns there is little the U.S. can do to stop Assad’s security forces from continuing the war, short of taking more military action.

“It would be a mistake to expand the military effort to include the goal of removing Assad,” Phillips said. “That would be a costly and risky mission creep that would entail military clashes with Russia and Iran. And it would bog down the U.S. military in an open-ended effort to stand up and stabilize a post-Assad government. Pressing Assad to step down as part of a political settlement should be a long-term diplomatic goal pursued through sanctions, but ISIS and al-Qaeda should remain the chief targets for U.S. military action in Syria.”

Max Abrahms, a terrorism expert at Northeastern University, is concerned that pushing for the removal of Assad could leave a power gap and make the country even more of a haven for Islamic extremists.

“I worry by weakening the Syrian government’s position, this will help to breathe new life into the al-Qaeda-allied rebels,” Abrahms told The Daily Signal in an interview. “I don’t think Trump wants to get involved into the domestic politics of this country. It will absolutely consume his presidency.”

Even if the Trump administration keeps its word about the limited intent of its missile attack, the experts agree the president has sent a political message that the U.S. can use to its advantage by demonstrating the use of force is on the table.

“This is not George W. Bush going to Iraq in 2003,” Jeffrey said. “There is no doubt in my mind Trump won’t use force to drive Assad out. But he can use military force as part of a diplomatic strategy to get an agreement between Assad and the Sunni majority of his population who he is trying to bomb out of existence. That has to stop and it started stopping yesterday.” (For more from the author of “After Missile Attack, the Challenges Facing Trump in Syria” please click HERE)

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Microwave Radiation Should Be Regulated on a Precautionary Basis, Study Suggests

PubMed published the Abstract of a 2011 science paper titled “Long-term exposure to microwave radiation provokes cancer growth: evidences from radars and mobile communication systems”, which originally was published in Experimental Oncology, 2011 Jun;33(2):62-70. It discusses the alarming epidemiological and experimental data on possible carcinogenic effects from long term exposures to low intensity microwave radiation.

The paper cites model studies in which rodents indicated a significant increase in carcinogenesis [cancer] after 17 to 24 months of microwave exposure. Here’s a most significant statement taken directly from the Abstract:

It is now becoming increasingly evident that assessment of biological effects of non-ionizing radiation based on physical (thermal) approach used in recommendations of current regulatory bodies, including the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) Guidelines, requires urgent reevaluation.

Urgent reevaluation is needed and still ICNIRP refuses to acknowledge non-thermal radiation waves adverse health effects as of late 2016. In testimony presented during my AMI Smart Meter refusal hearing before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s Administrative Law Court in November 2016, PECO Energy Company “expert witnesses” testified they were citing ICNIRP as the expert they rely upon for EMF/RF/ELF radiation knowledge and industry information. Yet, ICNIRP has been cited for conflicts of interest, which I introduced into the court record in the first Brief I filed with the court.

Furthermore, Yakymenko, et al. stated a clear and most important caveat, which utilities that retrofit AMI Smart Meters operating on microwaves and emitting all sorts of wavelengths and “dirty electricity”, aka sinusoidal waves that can radiate 6 to 8 feet away from the house wiring they travel on:

We also emphasize that the everyday exposure of both occupational and general public to MW [microwave] radiation should be regulated based on a precautionary principles which imply maximum restriction of excessive exposure.

Regarding excessive exposure(s), AMI Smart Meters provide 24/7/365 exposures that cannot be turned off like a microwave oven, cell phone or other electrical appliances. The ZigBee radios in AMI SMs operate at gigahertz frequencies—similar to microwave ovens!

And yet, U.S. public utility commissions nationwide are not doing their due diligence in mandating consumer and environmental protections from utility companies and cell/mast/stingray towers that generate tremendous microwave exposures! Why aren’t the PUCs doing their job to protect citizens?

Independent smart meter researcher Warren Woodward produced a video, “Nerve Disrupting Frequencies Radiating from ‘Smart’ Meters,” which documents in sound and visuals the RF wave forms coming off a Landis+Gyr Focus AXR smart meter.

I think everyone ought to watch the video below and then question what’s going on their homes, especially if their utility meters (electric, natural gas and water) have been retrofitted with AMI Smart Meters. If you don’t know if you have an AMI Smart Meter, call your utility companies and ask them. They have to tell you if they retrofitted one on to your home without your permission.

Here’s Warren’s exceptional and timely 16 minute video.

(For more from the author of “Microwave Radiation Should Be Regulated on a Precautionary Basis, Study Suggests” please click HERE)

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Watch Police Call in Backup for Veteran Paying Ticket in Pennies

Stories about citizens paying their taxes with pennies aren’t new. But how Billy Spaulding of Manchester paid his parking ticket with pennies might be a first, since he was packing a sidearm while doing so.

As The Free Thought Project has stated before, “police need you to break traffic laws” because writing tickets and receiving funds from doing so is a considerable revenue generator for police departments. It’s how police states maintain their control over the citizenry.

Manchester police didn’t take kindly to Spaulding’s form of payment, and according to reports, called in a SWAT officer to deal with him. At first, the police told Spaulding he should take his form of payment to the bank to get bills instead of pennies.

“You don’t have a bank account?” one officer asked.

Spaulding responded by saying he didn’t. Whether it’s true or not simply doesn’t matter. Spaulding had every right to pay his extortion fees in pennies. According to U.S. Law Code 31.5103, “United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues.”

Spaulding had a friend record the scene. Although the recording does not start and stop at the beginning and the end of the encounter, it does show police intercepting Spaulding, asking him to find some other form of payment, and then telling his friend he has to stop recording because he didn’t announce he was going to do so.

Refusing to allow the two citizens to record themselves paying a parking fee, is considered a violation of one’s First Amendment rights, so long as it does not interfere with the official duties of the officers. Spaulding may have recourse to file a lawsuit for both issues; refusing to receive his form of payment which resulted in his occurring additional expenditures, and his friend being forced to stop recording.

Recently, an activist by the name of Phillip Turner won a judgment in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals who ruled he does (and so does every citizen) have a right to film police.

Entering a courthouse or a police station while being armed is also not illegal in New Hampshire. Spaulding knew that as well, but he reportedly had to take his grievance to the Sheriff’s department before he was allowed to go back to the court house and pay his parking ticket in pennies.

Spaulding may have, however, missed an opportunity to have his ticket nullified. Upon having presented his form of payment, and having witnessed his payment refused, he could have asked a judge to dismiss his $75 ticket. The judge would likely have done so, being fully aware that the Coinage Act of 1965 allows all forms of U.S. currency to be used for payment.

After leaving the sheriff’s office, Spaulding once again presented his $75 worth of pennies as payment for his ticket at the county courthouse. The clerk, having been notified by the sheriff to receive the former Marine’s payment, didn’t seem all too pleased to be doing so. Nonetheless, Spaulding passed through the glass window separating the two individuals, a grand total of 7,500 pennies and a $5 bill just in case he or the clerk miscounted.

Below is the video of this epic encounter.

(For more from the author of “Watch Police Call in Backup for Veteran Paying Ticket in Pennies” please click HERE)

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The Border Buildup

The battles over how to pay for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall are just getting started, but the administration is already calling for proposals from companies who would build it.

The wall is just one part of the White House plan to stop illegal immigrants crossing the southern border. There’s also going to be a hiring spree, with thousands of new Border Patrol agents and immigration officers added to the federal workforce. It’s not the first time this has been tried. I recently heard a cautionary tale from James Tomsheck, former head of internal affairs at Customs and Border Protection.

The following is from my interview with Tomsheck:

Attkisson: What is the potential downside of doing mass hirings all at once?

Tomsheck: I very much hope that those going forward with the initiative look at what we’ve learned when we executed the Border Patrol search of 2006-2008.

Attkisson: How many were hired in that surge?

Tomsheck: More than 10,000 in that period of time. It was done without many of the security protocols that are in place today.

Attkisson narration:

As we reported last year on “Full Measure,” the Border Patrol is a key target for Mexican drug cartels looking to infiltrate the force by getting their own operatives hired and or corrupting agents. The rewards of corruption can be enormous and it’s such a concern, the FBI has about two dozen border corruption task forces dedicated solely to rooting out officers on the take. Officer Michael Gilliland was caught on FBI surveillance video allegedly carrying a cash payoff in a bag. He pleaded guilty to letting in hundreds of illegal immigrants for $120,000 in bribes. Officer Margarita Crispin is serving 10 years for taking bribes to let marijuana through.

Attkisson: Is it accurate to say that drug dealers and drug cartel members were hired as part of the surge inadvertently?

Tomsheck: We certainly believe that to be the case. We do know that in the thousands of polygraph exams that we administered after the background investigation, more than half of those persons that cleared that background investigation failed the polygraph exam and provided detailed admissions as to why it was they failed the exam …

Included in that study group of more than 1,000 were persons who admitted that they were infiltrators, that they actually worked for a drug-trafficking organization, either on the U.S. side of the border or the Mexican side of the border, who had been directed to infiltrate CBP [Customs and Border Protection] and compromise what they do there.

Attkisson narration:

For most of the hiring spree of 2006 to 2008, polygraph exams weren’t required, which alarmed Tomsheck, who previously served in the U.S. Secret Service. He was instrumental in making lie detector tests mandatory for new Border Patrol agents.

Tomsheck: What we found in those first 100-plus exams that we did was genuinely shocking. They had included many persons who were actively involved in smuggling activity. Persons who very frequently used drugs were currently using controlled substances, and included persons involved in significant serious felony crimes.

Attkisson: As a man looking at corruption inside the agency, do you assume in retrospect that the agents were hired despite, perhaps, cartel contacts and other corruption issues?

Tomsheck: Unfortunately, I think it’s a virtual certainty that at least 5 percent of the workforce that was hired during that period of time are likely persons who have engaged in criminal misconduct and likely engaged in acts of corruption. And may have done so before they entered on duty with CBP.

Attkisson: In a sentence or a phrase, your best advice to the Trump administration on this?

Tomsheck: Move very cautiously. If there is a reduction in the security protocols to screen and vet applicants, I believe we will reduce and compromise the agency’s future integrity. (For more from the author of “The Border Buildup” please click HERE)

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Crime-Ridden Sanctuary City of Chicago Can’t Have It Both Ways: No Federal Funds for Situation They Created

When asked whether President Donald Trump would still cut off law enforcement funds to the city of Chicago because it’s a sanctuary city even though it could hamper police from fighting violent crime, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said sanctuary cities can’t have it both ways – refusing to cooperate with federal immigration officials and still expecting to get law enforcement grants to handle a situation they created.

“You can’t be a sanctuary city and at the same time seem to pretend or express concern about law enforcement or ask for more money when probably a number of the funds that you’re using in the first place are going to law enforcement to handle the situation that you’ve created for yourself,” Spicer said.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced this week that the Justice Department would not only block sanctuary cities from receiving future DOJ grants, it would recoup the federal funds it already sent to those jurisdictions.

“Chicago gets about $12 million a year in law enforcement assistance from the federal government. Would President Trump cut off those funds due to the sanctuary city status even though it would greatly hamper the police fight against street violence, something the president has repeatedly said troubles him greatly?” a reporter asked.

“It’s interesting, you talk about street violence and then we cut off the funding for sanctuary cities. I think it would be interesting to want to send more money to a city that is allowing people to come into the country who are breaking the law, who, in many cases, are committing crimes — member of gangs,” Spicer said. (Read more from “Crime-Ridden Sanctuary City of Chicago Can’t Have It Both Ways: No Federal Funds for Situation They Created” HERE)

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