Super-Woke Show Introduces Muslim Family Worried About Hate Crimes Because ‘We Live in America’

HBO’s Here and Now continues to try to set the gold standard for being the most obnoxiously woke show on television. In its premiere last week, we met the main family, the Bayer-Boatwrights, who are made up of an academic, some kind of a counselor (we will see more in this week’s episode), and their children adopted from around the world in a show of how “progressive and evolved they are.”

In the February 18 episode “It’s Coming,” we get to know Farid Shakrani (Peter Macdissi), one son’s therapist. He’s a Muslim with a son, Navid, of questionable gender identity (pictured in a hijab in the screenshot) and a wife, Layla, who loves her hijab, but he thinks America is a pretty terrible place.

Farid: So… Navid’s gonna go through life being trans and Muslim. 
Layla: I don’t think he’s trans. I think he’s more fluid… gender neutral, or… is it gender queer? 

Farid: Yeah, however you wanna frame it, it just ups his chances of getting the shit kicked out of him… or worse. 
Layla: He agreed to never go out like that. 
Farid: Yeah, I really hope so, ’cause he’s a big target. And so are you, insisting on wearing the hijab every time you go out. 
Layla: That is my faith. I know women are forced to wear the veil in certain places, but in the West, we are pressured not to. Everybody– including my husband, apparently– wants us to be invisible. 
Farid: I just don’t want you to be the victim of a hate crime. 
Layla: We live in Portland.
Farid: Remember what happened on the MAX last year during Ramadan? We live in America.

Yes, you live in America. Does Farid think most Muslim countries would be friendly to a young man who is gender queer or whatever other phrase he and his wife would like to use? They wouldn’t. While his wife points out that they live in Portland, implying that it is a progressive utopia, which many seem to think it is, Farid does my research for me by pointing out that hate crimes do happen there.

The crime the show chooses to point out is one in which a white man attacked two people trying to protect a Muslim woman during Ramadan, but the FBI thwarted a terrorist attack in Portland in 2010 and there have been high-profile crimes that had nothing to do with ideology, some of which have been committed by illegal immigrants in the “sanctuary city.” Then again, “white guys are bad” was a theme in this week’s episode. 

At the youngest Bayer-Boatright’s high school, the straight white kids are a little upset that every other group of students gets to be proud of who they are, but they’re supposed to feel guilty about it. So, they decide to start a club celebrating their heritage like other ethnic groups do. Of course, this goes over horribly, so family matriarch Audrey Bayer (Holly Hunter) is called into the school to facilitate a dialogue between the groups of students. It is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen on television. The students opposed to the group call the other students Nazis and fascists, which is to be expected, but then this magical dialogue occurs:



White Student: I feel like I have to personally apologize for all of history, but I didn’t do any of those things, guys.
Audrey: Good.
White Student: Thank you. 
Student of Color: And I feel like you don’t want to acknowledge how people of color have suffered and continue to suffer because you never did, and you just assume everybody experiences life the same way you do. 
Student of Color 2: Exactly.
White Student: I feel like maybe you’re right. 
Other White Students: What? What? Oh please. 
Boy: What the hell?
White Student: Look… I’m quite aware of my white privilege. That’s what makes it feel so shitty, watching every other group celebrate their culture and feeling like I’m supposed to feel guilty about my own. 
Audrey: Excellent. 

White Student: We respectfully withdraw our application for official club status.

This reminds me of those corporate training videos wherein everyone says the exact right things for the situation and it in no way models real life. If these students wanted to stir things up enough to make their point by starting a straight white people club, they weren’t going to quit because they had a 30-second respectful dialogue. 

The youngest Bayer-Boatright, Kristen (Sosie Bacon), had another important social justice role to play. Remember last week when she lost her virginity to a complete stranger while wearing a horse’s head mask? Well, she has Chlamydia now and she goes to Planned Parenthood. Of course, she’s virtually attacked by pro-life protestors outside who shout at her like crazy people – including this man who is holding a baby doll nailed to a cross as they walk out and Kristen bemoans her condition:



Kristen: Yeah, but I am the most disgusting slut alive.
Ashley: Oh, stop, there are plenty of sluts way more disgusting.
Kristen: No, I’m just ashamed.
Man: Of course you are. How many babies you kill today?
Kristen: Thirty!
Man: You think this is a joke? They butcher it while it’s still inside you, and then they suck the dead baby out, and they sell it for parts!
Ashley: That’s been completely debunked.

Man: Oh yeah? Well, I guess then black lives really don’t matter.
Kristen: Hey, fuck you, you fucking ass.
Ashley: Kristen! Get in the car. Get in the car.
Man: Yeah, Kristen. Dumb whore! Hey!

When the man points out that Planned Parenthood dismembers babies in the womb and sells off the parts, Kristen’s adopted sister Ashley (Jerrika Hinton) says that that has been “completely debunked.” Um, that’s not true, no matter how much the mainstream media tries to cover it up. When the man comes back at Ashley, who is black, with “I guess black lives really don’t matter,” she doesn’t have much to say. Maybe she knows that more than 15 million black babies have been lost to abortion since Roe v Wade. Nearly 10,000 per day. In New York City, more black babies are aborted than born. Maybe Ashley knows all of this and that’s why she remains quiet. Kristen, on the other hand, goes after the guy and starts physically attacking him. Both women are arrested. Kristen is treated like a queen in jail and Ashley is treated like, well, a criminal. We are led to believe it’s because Kristen is white. 

Since Here and Now is basically farce, the man who was beaten up outside of Planned Parenthood isn’t going to press charges. Care to guess why? Because he’s a sex offender and the clinic was near a school, so he wasn’t allowed to be there anyway. 

When Kristen comes home and tells her mother that she was arrested for beating up a man outside of a Planned Parenthood, we get another conversation that could occur on no planet but this show. 

Audrey: It’s okay, sweetie. Your father and I have both been arrested.
Kristen: Okay. I kicked some Jesus freak who called me a whore at Planned Parenthood. But don’t worry. He’s not pressing charges. 
Audrey: What were you doing at Planned Parenthood? Are you pregnant? 
Kristen: No. I had my period like a week before I had sex. 
Audrey: You had sex? 
Kristen: Oh my God.
Audrey: With who? 
Kristen: It doesn’t matter. 
Audrey: Did he give you an STD?
Kristen: Oh my God. Okay. I have Chlamydia. 
Audrey: Oh. Sweetie, I’m so sorry. That truly sucks.

This 17 year-old just got arrested for beating a man up outside of a Planned Parenthood where she was being treated for the Chlamydia she got from losing her virginity to a stranger and her mom’s reaction is “that truly sucks?” What kind of parenting goes on in this show? None, obviously.

Oh, that’s right, we haven’t checked in yet with Kristen’s dad, Greg Boatwright (Tim Robbins). Still in the midst of his mid-life crisis, he kicks his philosophy students out of the classroom with instructions to, amongst other things “punch a Nazi.” Maybe that’s where Kristen gets her aggression. 

If I had not just watched this show with my own eyes, I wouldn’t believe that it actually existed. Having seen it, I can barely believe it isn’t supposed to be a farce. How can this show possibly take itself seriously?

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After 3 days of bloody mayhem 23 family members booted off cruise ship (PHOTO, VIDEO)

Passengers on board the Carnival Legend ship recorded the moment their cruise was reduced to bloody chaos as fighting broke out between 30 members of two family groups


Passengers described three days of mayhem during what was supposed to be an ideal holiday through the South Pacific.

The Carnival Legend arrived at its homeport in Melbourne on Saturday, following an unscheduled stop to offload the 23-member family at Eden on the the New South Wales south coast.

An NSW police investigation is now under way into the brawl that broke out in the early hours of Friday at the ship’s nightclub.

Lisa Bolitho, a passenger, said the “big Italian family” spent the past few days attacking “Aussies”. “Very violent, they were full-on attacks,” she told reporters on Saturday.

“The captain said ‘What do you want me to do about it – throw them overboard?’.

“We’ve all made several complains saying kids were scared. They saw people getting strangled and punched up.”

Bolitho questioned the management’s handling of the incident.

“We were saying ‘We want them either locked up or taken off board’. It never happened and there was another four occasions,” she said. “We dropped them off at Eden yesterday, but that was after three days of violence.”

She said security staff ended up “jumping” the family, and had no choice but to do so. “They deserved everything they got – they were the aggressors.”

Bolitho said her son was targeted by the family, and the pair had to flee and lock themselves in their cabin.

“I was watching the fight and one guy came up to me and said ‘Do you want to go too bro?” her son said. “My mum had to drag me away from it all. They were trying to pick on any Aussie they could find.”

Kellie, a passenger, says a group of troublemakers had been starting fights for a few days including in front of children playing in the pool.

“There are people walking around with cut heads and hands,” she told Melbourne radio station 3AW.

David Barkho says his son phoned and begged him to call authorities after he sustained a head injury while on the ship.

His 20-year-old son said “a lot of people are bleeding, a lot of people down”.

“He rang me about 1am this morning and said ‘Pease dad, please dad, call the federal police’,” Mr Barkho told the radio station on Friday.

Video footage of the scuffle, shared on social media, shows dozens of people fighting each other, security guards and other staff before the person filming the incident is confronted by staff.

The Carnival general manager, Jennifer Vandekreek, said there were “limited and isolated events with the family in question” in the lead-up to the brawl.

“It is always our last resort. We felt it was the best course of action for the safety and security of our guests and our crew.

“We sincerely apologise to our guests who were impacted by the disruptive behaviour of the group removed from the ship by the NSW Police in Eden yesterday. Our care team is supporting those guests who have been affected,” she said in a statement.

The group was taken ashore and then to Canberra where they made other travel arrangements, NSW Police said.

Another video on social media shows dozens of passengers applauding, and taunting the family, as they were forced off the anchored ship and handed over to water police.

“Enjoy the rest of your cruise,” one woman yells out.

Carnival Cruise Line has also launched an internal investigation.

The incident comes after seven people were offloaded from a P&O ship in Sydney on Sunday after a 37-year-old Russian woman allegedly struck a 21-year-old man with an empty wine bottle during a fight about 1am.

Six men were released without charge while the Russian was charged with reckless wounding and affray.

Comment: The Daily Mail reports:

The Carnival Legend ship was on a 10-day South Pacific cruise when savage fist fights broke out as it was 220km off Jervis Bay, Australia, around 1am on Friday.

One witness, named only as Zac, said the brawl started after two men tangled feet, leading to a bitter exchange of words between two family groups.

That then escalated into a brawl, with Zac accusing security of escalating the situation before piling into the foray with vicious kicks and punches.

He told 3AW: ‘This is all over a thong [flip-flop] – not a foot – a thong being stepped on and being instantly apologised for.’

Footage of one of the fights shows two men being bundled to the floor by dozens of security guards who punch and kick the pair in an attempt to separate them.

Two women are also pinned down after they become involved in the massive brawl which left other passengers so fearful they barricaded themselves in their rooms.

Mr Barkho also alleges cruise security staff are attempting to destroy images and footage from the incident.

‘He (George) said, “The security came in and took his phone, and deleted a lot of images”,’ he added.

Passenger Kellie Petersen told 3AW it was 27 people from one big ‘family group’ inciting the violence.

‘We have been told to watch our backs by this group,’ she said.

‘They fought in front of my children in the pool… five of them surrounded my husband.’

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BREAKING: Family Awarded $36 Million After Cops Kill Mom, Shoot Her 5yo Son Over Traffic Ticket


Baltimore, MD – The jury in the high profile police killing of Korryn Gaines has just reached their verdict in the wrongful death civil suit in Baltimore County. The Gaines family has been awarded a precedent-setting $36 million.

According to WBAL, after deliberating for about three hours, jurors ruled in favor of the Gaines family. Jurors ruled that Baltimore County police Officer Royce Ruby did not act reasonably in the fatal shooting of Gaines and the wounding of her son, Kodi, in August 2016.

“I don’t know how anyone can just extinguish a life, then hide behind a badge,” Korryn Gaines’ mother said.

“This is a great day … (the verdict) sends a great message on behalf of many who are victimized by police,” said Ken Ravenell, attorney for Kodi Gaines.

“Korryn is smiling today. She got her day in court,” said J. Wyndal Gordon, the attorney for the Gaines family.

On Monday, August 1, 2016, at 9:30 am, police arrived at the Carriage Hill Apartments to serve a warrant on Korryn Gaines, 23, for failing to appear on charges stemming from a traffic stop in March, which Gaines recorded.

Shortly after arriving on scene police learned that there was a firearm in the house, so they brought in a SWAT team to deal with the situation. Officers initially knocked on the door, identified themselves as police officers, and after 10 minutes with no response obtained a key to the apartment from the landlord, according to police.

Upon entry to the residence, Gaines was found sitting in on the floor with her son and pointing a shotgun at the entering officers and informed them that she would shoot them if they did not leave the premises. Officers then retreated to a hallway and called for backup.

The video below appears to show officers dressed in tactical gear near the entrance to Gaines home, but it isn’t clear at what point during the standoff this video was recorded.

A standoff then began which lasted throughout most of the day until the police decided to raid the home with guns blazing, killing Gaines and injuring her 5-year-old child. Police spokeswoman, Elise Armacost claimed that Gaines repeatedly pointed her gun at officers and made threatening remarks.

“If you don’t leave, I’m going to kill you,” Gaines allegedly said at 3 p.m., according to Armacost.

It was at this point that one officer opened fire, to which Gaines then returned fire, with police then opening fire again, striking her several times and killing her as she cradled her 5-year-old son. The boy was injured in the exchange but was reportedly in stable condition.

This Incident Stemmed from a Traffic Stop That Led to Gaines’ Arrest in March, Which She Recorded — She Had Previously Complained About ‘Police Harassment’ & Had Only a Single Misdemeanor on Her Criminal Record

The entire incident began with a “failure to appear” bench warrant, police said, stemming from a March 2016 traffic stop. According to a police press release, Gaines did not appear in court on an “array of traffic charges” stemming from the March 2016 traffic stop.

Gaines was initially pulled over for having a cardboard placard in place of where a license plate should have been on a Toyota Camry she was driving. She was charged with several traffic violations, including operating an unregistered motor vehicle, driving without current tags, driving an uninsured vehicle, failure to display registration card on demand and driving a vehicle on a highway with a suspended registration. She was also charged with resisting/interfering with arrest, disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and littering, all misdemeanors.

Police said the officer reported that the cardboard on the back of the car said, “Any government official who compromises this pursuit to happiness and right to travel, will be held criminally responsible and fined, as this is a natural right and freedom.” The piece of cardboard on the front of Gaines’ car had “Free traveler” written on it, police said.

Much of her argument revolved around the fact that anything she was alleged to be engaging in “illegally” would be a victimless crime and that she had a right to travel unimpeded without government interference. Both signs on her car give hints that she had a strong libertarian perspective of individualism and self-ownership, with some likening her verbiage to that of a Sovereign Citizen, or someone who believes that all local, state and federal laws, are illegitimate – especially regarding the right to travel without interference from the government.

While not a popularized sentiment in the U.S. – the United Nations has recognized the right to travel as a fundamental human right.

The right to freedom of movement is enshrined in Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as being enshrined in Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and has been argued as a basis for licensing & registration being an illegitimate constraint on an individual’s basic human rights:

1. Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence.

2. Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own.

3. The above-mentioned rights shall not be subject to any restrictions except those which are provided by law, are necessary to protect national security, public order (ordre public), public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others, and are consistent with the other rights recognized in the present Covenant.

4. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country.

Watch the video of her being pulled over and arrested below.

Prior to the arrest in the above video, Gaines had one misdemeanor criminal charge. She was cited in June 2015 for confining an unattended child, a misdemeanor violation, according to Heavy. She pleaded guilty in September 2015 and was fined $42.50, along with court costs, and put on unsupervised probation for one day. A person is charged with that violation when a child under the age of 8 is locked or confined in a home or motor vehicle while the parent is absent and out of sight without any supervision, according to Maryland law.

Friends claimed on social media that she had been the target of repeated law enforcement harassment and Gaines claimed that she had a lawsuit pending against the department. The police did not comment on either allegation.

Facebook Deactivated Gaines’ Instagram and Facebook Accounts at Police Request as She Livestreamed & Posted Video During the Standoff

Police acknowledged on Tuesday, that Facebook deactivated the Facebook and Instagram accounts of Korryn Gaines, at the request of law enforcement officials. Law enforcement officials had Facebook take down Gaines’ social media pages in the midst of the standoff, as she was posting videos during the standoff with police to communicate messages regarding what was transpiring. Although early reports on social media suggested her posts had been deleted, the photos, videos and other information on the accounts were not deleted, police said, but were preserved as evidence.

She posted videos to her Instagram account and was live streaming on Facebook prior to being killed, with one of the videos showing a SWAT officer outside her door, and another show some of her final moments with her 5-year-old son, who was also shot and wounded during the incident.

Below is a heartbreaking Instagram post in which Gaines attempts to let the public know that her son is not a hostage within the home during some of the final moments of the standoff with police:

My son is not a hostage. He wants to be here in his home with his mother.

A post shared by RoyalKay💋 (@shesyourmajesty) on Aug 1, 2016 at 9:57am PDT

Facebook never commented on their shutdown of Gaines’ social media accounts – but the fact that an individual can lose the ability to transmit an accurate record of what is transpiring to the world so easily during a rapidly escalating situation is dangerous for transparency and accountability. It inevitably leads to situations whereby the public is forced to rely on those that have killed someone to give a proper accounting of the events leading up to their death – an almost certain exercise in futility.

The real question is why should Facebook simply acquiesce to the demands of law enforcement so easily to shut down an individual’s most vital lifeline in a deadly situation such as this?

Officers Claim They Had NO Working Bodycams During the Encounter – Thus No Objective Record of the Encounter

The officers were not wearing body cameras, police initially said after the shooting, claiming that the program was new and officers had not yet been trained to operate them.

“BCPD’s camera program is weeks old, and few officers have been assigned cameras at this early stage of the program,” police said in a press release.

While still unclear, police have seemingly revised their stance on whether any police cam footage of the shooting exists, as spokeswoman Armacost stated that it is “not clear” if footage of the incident would become available from the police – this after law enforcement initially claimed that none of the officers were equipped with body cameras.

A SWAT officer appears to be wearing a helmet cam in footage taken by Gaines during the incident but could be potentially some type of night vision device.


Court Documents Reveal Gaines Suffered from Lead Poisoning

The many social media clips of Gaines, taken as a whole, reveal a woman who felt so strongly about her rights as an individual that she was willing to die in a violent altercation with police, as she states in her March 2016 video. Rather than get out of the vehicle and allow it to be towed, due to her perceived illegitimacy of the legal system, she stood her ground.

One possible explanation for her sometimes seemingly erratic behavior could be the result of lead poisoning, which left her with “neurodevelopmental disability and brain damage,” according to a doctor cited in a lawsuit she filed against several landlords in the Baltimore area. They also wrote that “Korryn was exposed to a sea of lead when she lived in lead-contaminated houses.”

In fact, this isn’t some isolated case, as there are thousands of young adults, mostly black and poor, who also have lead poisoning in the city of Baltimore, according to a Washington Post investigative report.

According to that report from the Washington Post:

Decades ago, city health officials tested for blood lead levels that were higher than 20 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood. Now, it is believed that anything higher than 5 micrograms can cripple a child’s cognitive development.

“In 1993, we found that 13,000 kids in Baltimore had been poisoned with lead, but we weren’t collecting at the levels that we are today,” said Ruth Ann Norton, the executive director of the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning. “If we had, we would have found 30,000 poisoned kids.”

Overall, more than 93,000 children with lead poisoning have been added to the state’s Department of the Environment lead registries over the past two decades.

A month after the killing, in September 2016, Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger said no criminal charges would be filed against the officers involved.


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Family Members Say Florida School Shooter Was On Antidepressants for Emotional Issues 

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Parkland, Florida – At least 17 people were killed and 15 were wounded during a mass shooting at a high school in Florida on Wednesday, and the reports that have been released about the suspect indicate that he was taking medications for depression and emotional issues that come packed with dangerous side effects.

Nikolas Cruz, 19, is accused of entering Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and opening fire on his fellow students after he was previously expelled for disciplinary reasons that have not been made public. The Miami Herald reported that Cruz has raised red flags at school in the past, and last year a teacher submitted a warning against letting him on campus with a backpack.

Former classmates said they were not surprised by the shooting. Joshua Charo told the Herald that Cruz fit the description of a disgruntled student who would carry out a mass shooting.

“I can’t say I was shocked,” Charo said. “From past experiences, he seemed like the kind of kid who would do something like this.”

John Crescitelli shared the same sentiment, saying his son had warned him about Cruz before. “If you were to pick one person you might predict in the future would shoot up a school or do this, it would be this kid,” he said.

An Instagram account attributed to Cruz that was taken down after the shooting showed a number of photos that displayed his love for guns, knives and killing small animals and rodents.

The people who knew Cruz described him as a troubled teenager who was adopted when he was young and then was forced to move in with a friend after both of his adopted parents died. Jim Lewis, an attorney for the family that gave Cruz a place to live after his mother died in November, told The Washington Post that they knew Cruz was depressed, but they believed he taking steps to manage his depression.

Family member Barbara Kumbatovich told the Herald, “she believed Nikolas Cruz was on medication to deal with his emotional fragility.” She was a sister-in-law of Lynda Cruz, the suspect’s mother, and she also told the Sun-Sentinel that she believes Nikolas has been on medications for several months.

“I know she had been having some issues with them, especially the older one. He was being a problem. I know he did have some issues and he may have been taking medication. [He] did have some kind of emotional or difficulties,” Kumbatovich said. “[Lynda] kept a really close handle on both boys. They were not major issues, as far as I know, just things teenagers do like not coming home on time, maybe being disrespectful.”

Janine Kartiganer, a former neighbor, also described Crus as “very troubled,” and said, “He wore a hoodie and always had his head down. He looked depressed.”

An anonymous relative added another description, telling the Sentinel that they believed Cruz has been diagnosed with autism.

While it is not clear how many medications Cruz was taking, the pharmaceutical drugs prescribed for depression and emotional issues are packed with a number of side effects that can lead to violent behavior.

As The Free Thought Project has reported, Las Vegas shooting suspect Stephen Paddock was prescribed the anti-anxiety drug diazepam in June, a few months before he is accused of opening fire out of his bedroom window at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, and killing more than 50 people.

The side effects from diazepam include “confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior; unusual risk-taking behavior, decreased inhibitions, no fear of danger; depressed mood, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself; and hyperactivity, agitation, aggression, hostility.” 

Aurora shooting suspect James Holmes killed 12 people and injured 70 when he opened fire inside of a movie theater in 2012, and he was also found to have been taking the antidepressant Sertraline, a generic version of the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) Zoloft.

Sertraline has side effects that include “aggressive reaction; mood or behavior changes; and fast talking and excited feelings or actions that are out of control.”

Gavin Long, the veteran who went on a shooting rampage in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was prescribed Lunesta and Ativan, both of which have an extended list of adverse side effects.

Both Lunesta and Ativan have overlapping side effects of aggression, agitation, changes in behavior, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts — and homicidal ideation.

Homicidal ideation is a common medical term for thoughts about homicide. There is a range of homicidal thoughts which spans from vague ideas of revenge to detailed and fully formulated plans without the act itself.

There have been 150 studies in 17 countries on antidepressant-induced side effects. There have been 134 drug regulatory agency warnings from 11 countries and the EU warning about the dangerous side effects of antidepressants.

Despite this deadly laundry list of potential reactions to these medications, their use has skyrocketed by 400% since 1988. 

Currently, 11 percent of all Americans 12 years of age and over take antidepressant medication, which is a higher rate than all other countries in the world.

An investigation conducted by the BBC found that in the United Kingdom, antidepressants have been linked to 28 reports of murder and 32 cases of murderous thoughts referred to the UK medicines regulator in the last three decades.

As details emerge from the shooting, causing several lawmakers to call for gun control, many will ignore that fact that the suspects from most of the deadliest U.S. mass shootings in recent years also had access to dangerous pharmaceutical drugs that can lead to violent behavior and can worsen the mental illnesses they are prescribed to treat.

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Father and son build this minimalist, energy-efficient family cabin (Video)

What does it take to build a small, sustainable home close to nature? For William and Daniel Yudchitz — father and son and both architects — that meant thinking in a modular way for fitting the interior spaces of their 340-square-foot family cabin on the shores of Lake Superior, as well as carefully selecting materials and designing custom-made, multipurpose furniture that maximizes space. Seen previously in Lloyd’s post, we now get a personal tour of how this energy-efficient home works via Fair Companies:

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The Yudchitzes’ minimalist cabin is called E.D.G.E. (Experimental Dwelling for a Greener Environment) and was constructed some years ago as a winter retreat for the family. Built using a combination of interlocking structural panels, multi-ply Baltic birch plywood and durable white oak for cladding, half of the home was actually put together in the parking lot outside of William’s architecture office, prior to being moved to a state fair where it was exhibited, and then moved again to the final site near Bayfield, Wisconsin.

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The interior spaces themselves are conceived in a modular, interlocking way. For example, beyond the main 12-foot by 12-foot cube of the living room, there are two lofts for sleeping here, yet they don’t need a lot of headroom, so they are placed over the kitchen and bathroom spaces, which do need some clearance for standing up. Even the alternating paddle-tread stairs and the 6-foot tall landing makes sense: less space is needed than a full stair, and you can stand up before ducking into bed.

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The main living space also exemplifies a common thread in small space design: it’s made to be multifunctional, thanks to father and son’s set of transformer furniture. Benches and table have storage elements built in that also act to structurally reinforce the piece; and when moved around can become a platform for a guest bed, or extend some supports down, and it becomes a dining table. Everything has been routed by a CNC machine — from the finger joints, to the holes in the loft wall — and fastened with furniture connector bolts to minimize bulk and to comply with local building codes.

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The holes in the ceiling panels above act as part of an acoustical insulation system. Outside, the cabin’s huge glass windows can be covered with sliding exterior doors that also act as an insulating barrier.

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The concrete floor has imprints of leaves that happened to fall down during the day they poured it: a happy accident that looks quite lovely.

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In addition to the intelligent configuration of interior spaces, the home also integrates a number of sustainable features, such as rainwater harvesting, geothermal heating and cooling, and heat recovery ventilation, in addition to employing passive solar design principles.

In addition to the E.D.G.E., the Yudchitzes built a smaller cabin closer to the lake (seen here in this post), which also utilizes many of the same space-saving and energy-efficient ideas. To see more, visit Revelations Architects.

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The Odd Squad Family: This Unique Hip Hop Collective Are A Force To Be Reckoned With

By Fattima Mahdi Truth Theory

Throughout their lives, Nubs, Snowman and A-Factor have been outcasts, but they haven’t let this stop them from achieving their dreams. Instead, they have found refuge in what makes them different and are inspiring many with their unique style and empowering lyrics. Meet the Odd Squad Family.

Nubs, which is an acronym for Normally Underestimated By Sight, was born with a rare condition which means that he has no arms or legs. Rather than let bullying get him down, he chose to put his “real life trials and tribulations into his tracks.” Snowman was also born with a rare condition – albinism. Just like Nubs, Snowman has dealt with many struggles growing up and uses hip hop to express his feelings. Though A-Factor does not have a rare condition, he has had his own battles to overcome throughout life and he tells all in his music.

Their music video entitled ‘Done Did’ is equipped with a positive message and heartfelt lyrics detailing the battles they have overcome. Not only is the chorus catchy but it’s also powerful “I done did everything they said i shouldn’t do, i done did everything they said i wouldn’t do, i done did everything i couldn’t do. And with God as my witness, I made it through.”

Watch Odd Squad Family – ‘Done Did’ video below:

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More than $60K raised for family of man killed in GOP train crash

The family of the man who was killed when a train carrying Republican members of Congress to a retreat collided with a garbage truck in Virginia on Wednesday thanked donors to a crowdfunding campaign that raised more than enough to cover the cost of his funeral.

Christopher Foley, a 28-year-old sanitation worker, died when the Amtrak train carrying the lawmakers hit the truck in Crozet, Va., on Wednesday morning. Two other truck passengers were injured, one of them seriously. Two railroad crew members and three passengers were transported to a local hospital with minor injuries.

A GoFundMe campaign created by Time Disposal, the company that owns the truck, raised more than $61,000 for Foley’s family in less than 24 hours.

“We are overwhelmed at the outpouring of love and support we have received,” Joann Scott, the sister of Foley’s fiancée and aunt of his 1-year-old son, wrote in a GoFundMe post. “His son was the light of his life and Adriana was the love of his life. He was a hard worker and he would be amazed at how many people are coming to aid in this tragedy right now.”

Some of those who donated posted notes saying that Foley collected their trash. One person posted the image of a black ribbon attached to a Time Disposal can.

The company also created a crowdfund campaign for Dennis Eddy, who was seriously injured in the collision.

Slideshow: Train carrying GOP lawmakers crashes into garbage truck >>>

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident. The Associated Press reported that the arms at the railroad crossing “appeared to be malfunctioning the day before the deadly crash.” Pete Kotowski, the NTSB’s lead investigator, said Thursday that he is “in the process” of trying to interview the driver of the truck.

In her GoFundMe post, Scott made clear that Foley was not the driver — and urged the community not to speculate about the cause of the accident.

“I would like to make sure that everyone is aware that Chris was not the driver of the vehicle,” Scott wrote. “I’ve seen some really nasty messages and things I would prefer that my sister not see while she is grieving the loss of her fiancé. We are sending positive thoughts to the other families, as well, but there’s so many conflicting reports out there at this time. Just be aware that multiple families are grieving at this time and we all, as a community, need to be sensitive. Speculation does nothing to help.”

“Again, we are so incredibly thankful right now,” she added. “Our community is simply amazing.”

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