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Is this really what democracy looks like? Not the history I learned. Certainly goes against the Constitution I gave an oath to defend. Hard to be objective when the very civil liberties I firmly believe in are under assault in such a blatant and widespread manner.

The president wanted to stop leaks pouring from the White House.
huffingtonpost.com

American terrorist executed for killing federal judge and civil rights attorney with a bomb.

ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama inmate convicted of the mail-bomb slaying of a federal judge during a wave of Southern terror in 1989 was executed by lethal injection Thursday, becoming the oldest prisoner put to death in the U.S. in modern times.
yahoo.com
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In the meantime, a woman in Texas was sent to prison last week for FIVE years for registering to vote while on probation. And while the woman claimed ignorance... she was on probation. This isn't the first time Kris Kobach has been caught and his effort have suppressed an unknown number of voters. We seem to be seeing quite the pattern across our country.

A Kansas federal judge on Wednesday ruled Kansas Secretary of State Kris
yahoo.com

While deciding your own conclusions regarding integrity... don't forget that while President Trump was pulling the neccesary strings for medical deferrment to avoid the Vietnam War, Lt. Robert Mueller was a combat Marine leading hardchargers into combat - which included being shot. Just saying. Here's Mueller's citation for battlefield valor.

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I grasp the fact that the police are a needed element of society. I know many cops and, as people, like them a lot. That doesn't change the fact there are serious issues that need to be addresed in this country regarding our police force. The first being, in my opinion, retraining in the art of de-escalation. Unfortunately that does not seem to fit the current mood in regards to law enforcement. To all of you that ask that questions, "Why can't police shoot to injure?" ...To me, it's a valid question. I agree that there would be times shooting-to-wound COULD work against you. However, I'd bet a vast majority of the times it would be extremely effective. The admission this week, by one of the country's leading killers of citizens by a government entity, showing just how brazen some departments are about shoot to kill is tough to comprehend. This is especially disturbing because it places money over a human life while endorsing state sponsored extra-judiciary murder. This cannot possibly be the only department that professes this. This is so scary on so many levels.

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Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood made the statement in a 2006 video shot during his first campaign for office.
wsbtv.com

Just some quick education. In 1985 my boot camp platoon was the very last platoon in the Marines to be issued M16A1 rifles. This rifle was able to fire on semi-auto (one pull, one shot) and full auto (hold trigger and will fire until bullets are gone). As soon as I hit the fleet in 1986, I was issued an M16A2, which was bigger, heavier and fitted with a "three round burst" mode instead of full automatic. The point, we were told, was that the troops in Vietnam had wasted s...o much ammo that they wanted to help us with our fire discipline while in combat. Makes sense... you can shoot more accurately that way. Anyway, 1986 was when the last fully automatic M16 left the service. Full auto M16s can throw between 750-900 rounds per minute down range. However, in real conditions, it really boils down to how fast you can reload your 30 round magazine. My best experienced guess, for me, would be 8 clips x 30 rounds = 240 rounds per minute. Give or take a slip, dropped mag, smoke in the eye... whatever.

The birth of this weapon actually began in the form of the now infamous, AR-15, which started its development in the 1950's. From my research, by 1956 the weapon was being battlefield tested by the Malaysian Army and some smaller unit, likely CIA-directed, operations also in South East Asia. Apparently things did not go well and by 1964 that weapon had been DQ'd from the military gun hunt and allowed to enter the civilian market by the end of 1963. By early 1964, the AR 15 was being sold to the public.

At the same time, the military brought in Colt, who took the AR 15 design, and made it better. The biggest change would be in the barreling of the weapon, which was increased to maximize accuracy. In 1965, the AR 15's kissing cousin, the M16, was born and sent to war.

As I mentioned above, it would be the same weapon I was issued in boot camp; a weapon I qualified expert on. To do so, I had to shoot a man sized target, consistently, from 500 meters out - about 550 yards. Nice range! Not only that, but we also were taught how the 5.56 rounds, unlike other rounds, tumbled and ricocheted off of bone as they hit their target. This little bitty round had so much destructive power it was awesome - for killing commies; which is what we were training for at that time!

So what you ask? With all of this debate over guns, I feel the best way to move forward is through education. So there's mine. Below is a little more, where you will understand how a bump stock increases an AR 15's power from 240rpm to 400-800 rpm.

Bump stocks are made for ALL semi-automatic assault "style" weapons, fyi. Please help me educate and share.

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When a Las Vegas SWAT team breached Stephen Paddock's hideout on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, they found the gunman dead on the hotel room's beige carpet surrounded by more than a dozen rifles and what had to be nearly a thousand spent bullet cartridges. He killed 59 people....
washingtonexaminer.com

Does not bode well for this administration. Investigators were already onto Manafort before Mueller was even appointed. Notice the word "colluding"?

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In 2014-2015, when I was a journalist at a local Sinclair station, we began receiving pre-produced "packages" from corporate HQ mandating that they be aired in our local programming. This content was national in nature but clearly produced to push an agenda that supported a narrative slanted toward ultra conservative political agenda items. There was a lot of concern among my colleagues about the ethics involved because it was clearly NOT objective reporting and it was bein...g forced on us. Even more concerning was the fact we were entering a presidential election season which made me feel as though our national news segments were being intentionally manipulated to reinforce such ideology. Understand that this is not about individual affiliates and their local journalists. This is about a national corporation forcing the local stations to air national political content clearly geared toward a specific political philosophy. These "stories" did not just air on FOX affiliates owned by Sinclair, but affiliates, they own, across the board: CBS, ABC, NBC and FOX. In light of recent developments that are clearly relatable, it is of utmost importance that the viewing public understands what is going on. I cannot stress how dangerous this movement has become and the only way to combat it is through education. Millions of viewers consuming this information are direct targets of what boils down to be a psychological operation specifically meant to shape a narrative that is less than fact. This is dangerous in so many ways it is hard to articulate, but the main concern I have is that it is dividing this country and undermining the basic ethical foundation of journalism. Not only is the end game brainwashing, in my opinion, but it is also a means to force people to question journalism as a whole. Unbiased journalism is meant to be a check and balance on the government. It is an institution that is so important it is protected by the First Amendment of our country's Constitution. We have entered a very scary era in our history as elements within our country are doing everything possible to confuse, anger and divide us as a people. This is not a play out of the American journalism playbook. This is straight out of the disinformation playbook of a country under authoritarian rule. It is one thing to be duped by content on the internet; it is a whole different ballgame when we are targets of deception by content airing on information presented by America's core news and information channels. It is impossible to see where this will take us and the implications it will create but if people do not wake up soon... it will be too late and the American experiment will be on the same path of the Black Rhino. Do your part and PLEASE share.

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Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., the nation’s largest owner of broadcast TV stations, is under fire for requiring news anchors at dozens of its local stations to read a segment saying they were concerned about “the troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country.”
marketwatch.com

What is your take on this? It seems to me we have moved into an era where we, as citizens, are in serious danger. Prior to this, police that shoot citizens rarely see the justice system regardless of the circumstance. It appears the Supreme Court has taken that to a whole new level. With a Supreme Court that will be conservative for decades to come, I am afraid the innocent bloodshed will only get worse.

The Supreme Court sided with an Arizona police officer who shot a knife-wielding woman four times. But Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in a dissent that the court's decision "sends an alarming signal to law enforcement officers and the public."
pbs.org

When you get a few minutes, head over to my page, A Battlefield Tourist, where I am starting to post my favorite images from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a lead up to a book I hope to release sometime next year.

Please LIKE the page!

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A Battlefield Tourist

Over the next several months I will be posting my most cherished images from my trips overseas. These images will help people understand the stories I am tryin...g to tell in a book that I am currently writing; to be released sometime next year. 2019 will mark the ten year anniversary of my last trip abroad as A Battlefield Tourist. It also is the proper amount of time needed to be able to understand the true historical context of the events I bore witness to. I ask that you consider sharing my content with friends as I hope these images, of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, help those that are interested understand this decade in American history. To me, your "share" is priceless. Thanks for being a part of the journey.

In early May 2004 a Marine unit was ambushed in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan, killing a young Marine Corporal; marking the first US Marine combat death during the Afghan War. The following morning nearly 500 Marines and Afghan soldiers launched an airborne assault on the area, near the towns of Tarawa and Gumbad, killing two and taking about a dozen prisoners. This image shows the point ANA soldiers who led the initial assault. USMC #afghanistan #USMC 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit

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David Tate shared a link.
February 28
Watch how this #Muslim American father brings the court staff to tears by forgiving the murderer of his slain son. Watch Live: http://www.presstv.com/live.html YouTube: https://www.youtu
liveleak.com

You know things are getting bad when the family of a massacre survivor uses the event to try to discredit a news organization with deceit.

A CNN source provided Colton Haab's version of the emails, plus their versions of all of the communications between the Haabs and CNN, to Business Insider.
businessinsider.com

If you are in need of some good karma, consider donating or simply share this post. I wirk with Addy's father and this venture is as noble as they get. Thanks!

The Addy Grace Foundation is planning to build an all-abilities playground in Botetourt County next to the future YMCA site.
wsls.com

The children's book is coming along well!! Here's another sketch for a frame from it.

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Many years ago, back in 2002, I embarked on my first overseas trip in support of my blog, A Battlefield Tourist. Back then the idea was to take a look at the war on poverty south of our border in Honduras. That trip was so fulfilling that I spent the next eight years documenting children, poverty and conflict all over the world. At that time, I was attached to a secular medical mission trip that provided some form of health care, comfort and friendship to hundreds of impov...erished Hondurans. It was something that made my heart swell with love; something I can never forget. One of the biggest lessons I brought home, and then carried forward, was that we were Americans helping people less fortunate in another country. We were literally ambassadors of hope representing the greatness of this country. It was a huge responsibility, in my eyes, that was taken on with great pride. Now full circle, my beautiful, kind, intelligent and awesome woman, Christine Hart, will be able to experience what I did so long ago as she prepares for a medical trip to Guatemala to assist in surgery, among other things, for people who have no health care and no other options. As a surgical nurse, an oncology nurse and a labor and delivery nurse, her qualifications are hard to beat - which is why the team asked her to come. Notice was short and funds are tight... but this is going to happen with departure set for early February. However, we need your help. In a time when Americans abroad are looked at in such a tarnished way it could not be any better timing for Christine and her team to espouse the true nature of us Americans. Her team represents what we, as a country, are all about. With that said, instead of drinking three beers this Friday... drink just two. Instead of going out to eat, stay home with your family and be thankful. Instead of that one extra splurge this week... just stop and think. Then, please, take that extra $10 and contribute to this team of ambassadors who need your support. Christine has so far raised 45% of her goal for this trip - money that will all be used to achieve mission accomplishment. However, a little more is needed so please consider a gift - of any donation; a gift that will keep on giving to someone who has no other options. This is a huge deal for us as a family and for you as Americans. We, as a people, need to project love and kindness in order to prevail over the tainted image we unfortunately currently have. This trip will not change the world... but for those involved and those being served, this trip will change hearts. Thank you for considering this endeavor. If you cannot contribute, at least show us your caring friendship by sharing this post. Unfortunately, I will be home with the three girls holding down the fort!

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I have been given the incredible oportunity to go on a medical mission trip with Roanoke Valley Medical Missions to the rural mountains of Guatemala. This has been a dream of mine ever since I became a nurse and I could not be more excited! Unfortunately, this all happened so quickly that I do no...
gofundme.com