A fire toppled a railroad bridge like it was made of dominoes outside the small town of San Saba, Texas. Members of the Lometa, Texas, volunteer fire department arrived on the scene, but they could only contain the fire and watch as trestle after trestle folded, leaving the train rails suspended in air momentarily like Wile E. Coyote.
Jamie Smart, who shot the video, spends his days as principal of the local high school, but he volunteers his time at the Lometa Volunteer Fire Department. The small group uses donations to maintain vehicles and hoses when the county budget falls short. Responding to a call from a local resident, he found the air too hazy to see much when he got there. But from up close, Smart knew the 900-foot trestle bridge, built in 1910 as a spur of the Sante Fe Railroad, was in flames. “It was quite an engineering marvel, that it stood up that long,” Smart said.
Firefighters had only the water they brought in trucks—enough to fight a brush fire, but not enough to take on the giant structure made of aged, dried wood that burned like kindling. The crew spread out on the valley floor and tried to save what they could: the farmland under the bridge.
“It was the most dramatic fire I’ve seen, in terms of spectacle,” Smart says. Unlike many of the fires he’s seen in his seven years of work, this one involved no human tragedy, no family that had just lost their home or worse.
… that is why he is so sure of the ‘miracle of the emaculate conception’”.
The Atlantic’s Hugo Schwyzer has a theory: that masturbation, as the most common sex act, is the heart of modernity’s war between Christianity and secularism.
Many progressives were bewildered by Antonin Scalia’s blistering 2003 dissent in Lawrence v Texas, in which he warned that state laws against evils such as “adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, and bestiality” might be invalidated as a result of the decision. Why, liberals wondered, was masturbation included on that list? The answer is simple: masturbation remains not only a grave sin in the eyes of the Catholic Church to which Scalia belongs, but its acceptance as benign and healthy is perhaps the foundational error of modern sexual culture.
Repression could not be causing any problems for them, could it?
To tell you the truth. I couldn’t resist the temptation to feel the giddy joy of creating a post that combined all the tags below. I just reached a obvious state of Nirvana!
While remodeling his newly purchased home in Elbow Lake, Minn., David Gonzalez noticed something unusual amid the old newspapers that had been used as wall insulation.
It was a copy of Action Comics No. 1 from 1938, the very first comic to feature the granddaddy of all superheroes, Superman.
StarTribune.com spoke with Gonzalez about his amazing find as well as a subsequent family accident that knocked down the value of his windfall.
Only the best of leaders dare to reduce the powers of their office or government. I applaud the effort in the strongest terms. Please support these changes with your own Congressman or Senator.
While Obama would not declare an end to the war on terrorism, Obama offered to work with Congress to constrain some of his own authorities for waging it, reflecting what he and aides described as a discomfort with permanent executive war powers. He said he was “open” to working with Congress to establish some additional mechanism to oversee the proper targeting of terrorists, such as a court modeled on the secretive one that oversees the surveillance of suspected foreign agents. He also expressed a preference to constrain “and ultimately repeal” the broad latitude of warmaking powers granted in the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF), the legislative wellspring of the war. “This is the moment to ask ourselves hard questions,” Obama said.
Over the past five years, Obama took a relatively limited program of drone strikes and expanded it to western Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya. The CIA and the military built or expanded airfields in the Middle East and Africa capable of hosting the flying robots. As the administration became more comfortable with the drone strikes — which officials said, without providing evidence, killed few civilians — the CIA and the military began expanding their range of acceptable targets. What was once an effort to kill senior leaders of al-Qaida became a tool to kill low-ranking ones.
LA RUANA, Mexico — The farm state of Michoacan is burning. A drug cartel that takes its name from an ancient monastic order has set fire to lumber yards, packing plants and passenger buses in a medieval-like reign of terror.
The Knights Templar cartel is extorting protection payments from cattlemen, lime growers and businesses such as butchers, prompting some communities to fight back, taking up arms in vigilante patrols.
Lime picker Alejandro Ayala chose to seek help from the law instead. After the cartel forced him out of work by shutting down fruit warehouses, he and several dozen co-workers, escorted by Federal Police, met on April 10 with then-state Interior Secretary Jesus Reyna, now the acting governor of the state in western Mexico.
The 41-year-old father of two only wanted to get back to work, said his wife, Martha Elena Murguia Morales.
But, as often, the cartel responded before the government did.
On the way back, his convoy was ambushed, twice. Ayala and nine others were killed.
“I called him after the first one, and he said, `They shot at us, but I’m OK,’” Murguia Morales said. “Then I called him again, and he didn’t answer.”
The heart of a conflict where a mafia openly rules and the government is largely absent is nowhere more evident than in the lime groves that cover the hot, hilly plains, miles and miles of trees with the fruit yellowing and falling into uncollected heaps on the ground.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R-PA) brushed away a question about Latinos working in his administration during a roundtable discussion at The Union League in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Friday, telling the moderator, “If you can find us one let me know”:
MODERATOR: Do you have staff members that are Latino?
CORBETT: No, we do not have any staff members in there. If you can find us one, please let me know.
MODERATOR: I am sure that there are Latinos that…
CORBETT: Do any of you want to come to Harrisburg? See?!
Tesla haters just lost another quiver in their dwindling arsenal. The upstart electric automaker has paid off the entirety of its Department of Energy loan — a whopping $451.8M — and did it nine years ahead of schedule.
“I would like to thank the Department of Energy and the members of Congress and their staffs that worked hard to create the [Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing] program, and particularly the American taxpayer from whom these funds originate,” Tesla CEO and co-founder Elon Musk said in a statement. “I hope we did you proud.”
The repayment of the DoE loans comes just weeks after Tesla reported its first profit after 10 years in the car-making business. And thanks to a stock offering last week that raised $1 billion, it was able to repay the balance of its federal loans.
Tesla is also crowing about the fact that it’s the first American automaker that has fully paid back the feds through the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) program. But then again, Tesla didn’t take much compared to Ford ($5.9 billion) and Japanese automaker Nissan ($1.4 billion).
Investigators with the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office have already uncovered evidence of businesses taking advantage of the recent tornado’s devastation by price-gouging in the weather-ravaged region, including a grocery store accused of charging consumers $40 for a case of water.
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt told ABC News that 30 investigators from his office started aggressively combing the region for fraud just hours after the tornado tore through it – and immediately found businesses violating the law.
“This is something we were putting in place and starting in motion as soon as we knew the threat existed,” Pruitt said. “We’re going to places where we think potential harm could occur.”
Using a law known as the Emergency Price Stabilization Act, consumer protection investigators are teaming with local law enforcement to catch fraud as it happens. The law was passed after a tornado leveled the same region in 1999 and prohibits price increases of more than 10 percent on goods and services such as water and hotel rooms for 30 days after a disaster. It extends to 180 days for construction-related complaints.
In addition to the $40 cases of bottled water, Pruitt said his team uncovered a hotel in the area that was allegedly overcharging in violation of the law.
“We’re looking at everything from work gloves to water to storage units, hotels and car rentals. And long term, we’ll be dealing with home construction and repair,” he said.
Despite repeated warnings to be on the lookout for scam artists after a disaster, Pruitt said many Oklahomans are still unaware that they can be ripped off.
“They would never anticipate or expect or guess that someone would take advantage of them right now, but this situation is what criminals prey upon,” he said.