Late last week and through the weekend, citizens of St. Louis, Mo., were told not to be alarmed should they see military tanks roll by their home. Even with this warning, though, some wondered why the U.S. Army was taking the vehicles off the base and to the streets in the first place.
According to KSDK-TV, Army specialists from Fort Meade came into town for a training exercise for members of the 354 NP company. As the reporter states, this “drivers’ ed.” for tanks will take place on city streets and the highway.
As noted in the video, the military is warning onlookers to steer clear of the tanks should they be seen on the road. Still, this caused Brandon Smith from Alt-Market in a guest post for Zero Hedge to wonder why the military is really conducting this training in public at all, saying it “makes very little sense to me.” He poses these questions:
U.S. Army troops all the way from Maryland running open exercises in armored personnel carriers on the busy streets of St. Louis? I know Maryland is a small state, but is there really not enough room at Ft. Detrick to accommodate a tank column and some troops? Are there not entire fake neighborhood and town complexes built with taxpayer dollars on military bases across the country meant to facilitate a realistic urban environment for troops to train in? And why travel hundreds of miles to Missouri?
He also points out that some local reports did mention some citizens being worried about the purpose of the training exercise but those featured in the report were all supporters. The local Fox affiliate has a couple examples of the supporters in its report:
Read more here.
The U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-3 to strike down three of four provisions in Arizona’s controversial immigration law, ruling in favor of the federal government, Fox News reports.
However, Justices upheld the so-called “stop and check” provision that allows police in Arizona to check an individual’s immigration status after a crime is committed if there is “reasonable suspicion” the person is in the U.S. illegally.
The state has geared up for massive protests regardless of the ultimate decision by the Supreme Court. Both supporters and staunch critics of the law had reportedly planned protests at the Arizona State Capitol building.
In preparation for the ruling, Ariz. Governor Jan Brewer also issued a two-page executive order essentially telling the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board to redistribute a training DVD for SB 1070.
The videos are to be distributed to all law enforcement agencies across the Arizona. The DVD discusses everything from reasonable suspicion to foreign vehicle registration.
A major point is made in the video instructing officers to not racially profile. It also includes types of acceptable identification that should end an officer‘s suspicions about a person’s immigration status.
SB 1070 was passed two years ago and signed into law by Governor Brewer. The move sparked a massive debate and legal challenges which have ultimately led to the Supreme Court.
Portions of the law were blocked including a provision requiring police to question people‘s immigration status while enforcing other laws if there’s a reasonable suspicion they’re in the country illegally.
As many news reports have indicated, the ruling is hardly the end to the heated immigration debate, but rather just the latest development in an ongoing political battle.
Read more here.
Last year, a Hollywood documentary wondered if Jesus Christ was a communist. This year, a totally separate film is slated to claim that the Son of Man was born after a Roman soldier raped his mother. The movie, which will be based on Paul Verhoeven’s controversial book, “Jesus of Nazareth,” is set to begin filming in the near future.
According to the blog Wizbang, Verhoeven’s 2008 book was filled with some controversial claims. Aside from dismissing Christ’s many Biblical miracles, it charged that Mary’s pregnancy was anything but immaculate and that it resulted from non-consensual sex with a Roman centurion. This, of course, would mean that Jesus wasn’t (and isn’t) the son of God, as stated in Christian tradition. The author also claims that Christ was never betrayed by Judas Iscariot.
“As for Verhoeven’s book, the adaptation will depict Jesus in a more human light, hence the reason the miracles and the resurrection are being stripped from the story,” IndieWire reported. “Instead, Jesus will be portrayed as an ethicist and a radical prophet, whose message became too politically strong for the Romans to idly accept and endure. While that version may not seem blasphemous to Verhoeven, it more than likely is for many.”
Read more here.
When Pat Tillman was deployed to Iraq for the first time, he did something he had done throughout his love affair with his wife, Marie — he wrote her a letter.
Except this one was never meant to be read.
It sat through two deployments on the bedroom dresser, eventually buried under piles of receipts and greeting cards.
Then, during Pat’s tour in Afghanistan, Marie got the news she had long feared. Her husband would never be coming home.
That night, she crept to the bedroom dresser, unearthed the letter and opened it.
She immediately recognized his familiar scrawl. The pages were a mess of ink and scribble. There were words and whole sentences crossed out.
She closed her eyes before reading his words:
“It’s difficult to summarize 10 years together, my love for you, my hopes for your future, and pretend to be dead all at the same time . . . I simply cannot put all this into words. I’m not ready, willing or able.”
Still in shock, Marie had not cried since she heard the news of her husband’s death. Reading his words, she wept.
Marie thought of the hundreds of letters that they had shared during their 11-year relationship — an affair she chronicles in her book “The Letter: My Journey Through Love, Loss, & Life” (Grand Central) out Tuesday.
Read more here.
Eric Allen Bell, once a strong supporter of the controversial mega-mosque in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, has reportedly switched positions on the matter after learning more about terrorist attacks overseas, and reading books on Islam.
A fixture at court hearings and protests in 2010, the California native and self-described liberal even started making a movie about the situation called “Not Welcome,“ where he depicted mosque critics as ”southern Christian bigots,” in the words of the Huffington Post, before making the switch.
“Of course, Muslim Americans making up less than 1 percent of the total population in this country, the idea that 1 percent will arm themselves and take over is nothing short of paranoid and psychotic nonsense…” he said at the time. Now, he says the mosque is built on a “foundation of lies,“ and maintains there is both ”mysterious money” and a suspicious motive people need to be aware of.
At last, the verdict.
Republicans and Democrats are girding for a politically explosive week as the Supreme Court prepares to rule as early as Monday on the federal health care overhaul.
The ruling, as campaign advisers are well aware, has the potential to re-shape this year’s presidential race. For weeks, each party has been positioning itself to make the best of whatever outcome emerges from the tight-lipped justices.
And the implications go far beyond the 2012 election. The outcome of the health care case, involving one of the most divisive domestic policies in modern times, will affect millions of Americans. Calling for the law’s survival, supporters trumpet the expanded consumer protections and subsidies that make insurance more available and affordable. Calling for its defeat, critics blast what they describe as an unconstitutional requirement to buy health insurance, and warn the law will pummel businesses with its mandates and fines.
In the run-up to the historic ruling, each party is crafting a game-plan.
House Speaker John Boehner this past week cautioned the GOP ranks against “spiking” the ball if the mandate is struck down. He and other Republicans say the party will remain focused on repealing whatever parts of the law remain following the upcoming ruling. And, they say, they’ll pursue “step-by-step” reforms to replace the law no matter the court’s decision.
Lawmakers will be dealing with plenty of other matters this week — notably, a likely court decision on Arizona’s immigration law and a possible House vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt. On health care, they’re trying to game out all scenarios.
In a memo to colleagues, House GOP Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, urged members to prepare for three possible rulings: a full repeal, a partial repeal involving the mandate or a law left intact.
Read more here.