Dad in America Told His Son Had To Die Like Alfie—But He Resisted With Guns and His Son LIVED


As the tragic story of baby Alfie begins fading from headlines, it is important to point out what allowed this situation to unfold like it did. Guns. Before throwing your arms in the air and screaming out, “how the hell does this child’s death have anything to do with guns?” consider the following truth: The majority of the United Kingdom is unarmed, leaving most guns in the hands of criminals and government. When only government has guns, they can make decisions—like kidnapping a baby and starving him to death—without fear of recourse from the citizens, or even the family.

Officials in the UK sentenced baby Alfie to death this year when they denied his parents the ability to fly to Italy to receive free treatment at no cost the British government. The decision was entirely arbitrary as it had no bearing on Britain’s healthcare system. They had nothing to lose by allowing the family to fly to Italy and they had everything to gain.

Instead of allowing the family a last stitch effort to save their baby’s life however, the state effectively kidnapped him and had armed police officers standing outside the hospital to make sure he was left there to die. His parents, Kate and Tom, were helpless to resist.

With an open mind, consider the following tweet:

While many will consider this tweet as a threat of violence toward government, it is nothing of the sort. Kidnapping a child and starving him to death is violence. Promising you’ll try to stop it by any means necessary is self-defense.

But no single person with a gun could ever prevent the state from carrying out a government-sanctioned death sentence on their child for being sick, right? Wrong.

George Pickering Sr., from Houston, Texas proved that this was possible, just three years ago.

Pickering’s son, George Jr. was declared “brain dead” in 2015 after suffering a massive stroke. The decision to end Pickering’s son’s life had been made. However, desperate to keep his son alive, seemingly knowing something that the doctors did not, George Sr. armed himself and intervened.

“I felt hopeless. They were moving too fast. The hospital, the nurses, the doctors,” this dedicated dad told Click 2 Houston at the time.

After entering the Tomball Regional Medical Center in Houston, Texas, determined to make sure his son was given more time to recover, a standoff ensued as George Sr. barricaded himself in his son’s room.

George Sr. was willing to risk jail time and even death if it meant getting his son a few more minutes on this earth and a chance to survive.

A SWAT team was kept at bay as an armed George Sr. sat with his son and prayed for a sign of life. George Sr.’s other son was allowed in the room and eventually talked down his father. However, because this father was armed, police were held off long enough for something amazing to happen.

“Towards the end of the standoff, which was about three hours long, he felt his son squeeze his hand,” the family’s lawyer Phoebe Smith said.

“At this time, the SWAT team had already opened the door to the critical care room and he had surrendered to the police, but he surrendered knowing his son had squeezed his hand,” she added.

Had he not been armed, police would’ve removed George Sr. in only a few minutes and he would’ve never felt his son squeeze his hand, and life support would’ve been pulled.

To confirm the father’s claims that his son had shown signs of life, the SWAT team even sent in their own doctors.

“The SWAT team had their own doctors and when they entered into the critical care room, they saw that my client’s son was not brain dead because he was making eye contact, was following their commands and they were completely amazed at this,” Smith added.

Had an armed father not decided to take a stand, his son would likely be dead right now.

“The amazing thing was that my client was right and that his son did survive. When you see him now, he is a picture of health. I don’t think he would have survived but for the fact that his father slowed the process down,” Smith said.

“This case has always been about a father protecting his son, when his son couldn’t protect himself,” she said.

George Sr. was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, but one was later dismissed and the other lessened to a state jail felony. However, this father of three doesn’t regret any of it—including the jail time he served after.

“There was a law broken, but it was broken for all the right reasons. I’m here now because of it,” George Jr. told Fox 6.

“It was love. It was love. It’s the duty of a parent to protect your children and that’s all he did. Everything good that made me a man is because of that man sitting next to me.”

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Short-Lived US Government Shutdown

Short-lived US Government Shutdown

by Stephen Lendman ( – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Shutdowns occurred 18 previous times, the longest in 1996, lasting 21 days.

The second one under Trump in the past three weeks, occurring after midnight Thursday, was resolved quickly. Neither party wanted it to last.

Overnight, Senate budget legislation passed overwhelmingly, not before shutdown occurred after Senator Rand Paul delayed voting past midnight, objecting to GOP failure   to stick to 2011 budget caps and fiscally conservative policies.

On Fox News, Paul said Washington “spends too much money, borrows too much money, and actually we’re going to bring back Obama era deficits. I was elected to combat Obama era deficits.”

US deficits occur in nearly all fiscal years. The nation has a long history of indebtedness from the republic’s early days.

Andrew Jackson was the only president to eliminate US debt entirely. It was about $1.4 billion in current dollars. Today the national debt is $20.6 trillion.

Deficits occur almost annually, balanced budgets or surpluses rare. Deficits explode in wartime. They rose sharply under Bush/Cheney and Obama.

Because of the great GOP tax cut heist, budget experts estimate the US FY 2018 deficit at $1 trillion or more, continuing high in subsequent years.

David Stockman believes the tax cut will add trillions of dollars in federal debt. He estimates it rising to around $35 trillion by 2028, causing enormous economic harm, saying:

“Whatever expansionary impulses that do remain in the US economy are about to get smothered by the impending collision between soaring debt issuance by the US Treasury just as the Fed prepares to dump upwards to $2 trillion of existing debt securities into the bond pits.” 

“The punters on Wall Street have been so addled by years of Fed monetization of the public debt that they now think rising yields are a ‘good thing’ and reflect rebounding economic growth. No they don’t!”

“The only possible way to accelerate growth in a 104-month-old business cycle – where household consumers are impaled on a record $15 trillion of debt and other liabilities – is through an outbreak of capital spending.”

So far, companies have been largely focused on stock buybacks, increased executive pay and bonuses, along with mergers and acquisitions.

There’s no way out of “the fiscal trap…short of a thundering financial collapse,” Stockman believes.

Stockman earlier called Fed quantitative easing (QE) “high grade monetary heroin,” believing one day it’ll “kill the patient.” 

He called the current equity market swoon “a minor warm-up for the main event.” The fullness of time will tell.

Pre-dawn Friday, House members passed budget legislation, agreeing on a $300 billion increase in military and domestic spending to keep dysfunctional government running – Trump expected to sign the measure into law later today.

The shutdown lasted hours. Three weeks ago, it shut down for three days. Undemocratic Dems caved, agreeing to another continuing resolution to keep government running through February 8.

The January shutdown occurred over immigrant rights issues, notably Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), letting undocumented immigrants entering America as minors receive renewable deferred action from deportation, along with work permit eligibility.

Around 850,000 “Dreamers” are affected. Some estimates put their number at 1.7 million human beings deserving equitable treatment – not thrown under the bus for political reasons.

The issue remains unresolved, leaving them in limbo once budget resolution is signed into law – likely later on Friday, but in Washington, nothing is certain.

The proposed budget deal involves a fifth stopgap bill to fund government through March 23. Another measure will be needed to prevent shutdown.

It’s no way to run government, yet it persists, a game of chicken to see who blinks first.

A Final Comment

The deal agreed on includes:

$165 billion military spending increase;

domestic program spending boosted by $131 billion;

nearly $90 billion in disaster relief funding:

funding community health centers for the next two years;

extending the Children’s Health Insurance Program for four years;

funding for existing infrastructure programs for transportation, drinking water and broadband.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at

My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

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Meet the Man Who Has Lived Alone on This Island for 28 Years

Meet the Man Who Has Lived Alone on This Island for 28 Years

November 21st, 2017

Via: National Geographic:

Seventy-eight-year-old Mauro Morandi often walks along the rocky shores of Budelli Island and looks out over the disconsolate sea, feeling dwarfed by the phantom forces that tug and twist the tides.

“We think we are giants that can dominate the Earth, but we’re just mosquitos,� Morandi says.

In 1989 on a stretch of water between Sardinia and Corsica, with a crippled engine and anchor adrift, Morandi’s catamaran was gripped by these same inexorable forces and carried to the shores of Budelli Island. When he learned that its caretaker was retiring from his post in two days, Morandi—long disenchanted with society—sold the catamaran and took his place.

He has lived alone on the island for the past 28 years.




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Texas Church Shooter's Ex-Wife Says She Lived In Constant Fear Of Him

The ex-wife of Devin Patrick Kelley, the 26-year-old gunman who killed 26 people in a rural Texas church last week, says she lived in “constant fear” of him during their brief marriage.

In her first TV interview since the massacre, Tessa Brennaman opened up about her relationship with Kelley, saying that the former Air Force member had threatened to kill her and her whole family, according to a clip published Friday on CBS News’ website.

“He just had a lot of demons or hatred inside of him,” said Brennaman, 25, who was Kelley’s first wife. She told CBS’ “Inside Edition” that her short marriage to Kelley was filled with abuse and described one violent interaction she had with him over a speeding ticket.

“He had a gun in his holster,” said Brennaman. “And he took that gun out and he put it to my temple and said, ‘Do you want to die? Do you want to die?’”

Kelley would choke, punch and kick her, she added. “There would be times where I would be on the floor curled up and having to protect my organs because he would be violently kicking me on my side.”

Brennaman contacted her sister and the Air Force about the abuse, but she said that Kelley threatened to kill her and her entire family if she told anyone. He even said to her: “I could just bury you somewhere here in the desert and nobody would ever find you.”

Devin Patrick Kelley shot and killed 26 people and wounded 20 others last week at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. He was later found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.Devin Patrick Kelley shot and killed 26 people and wounded 20 others last week at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. He was later found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Brennaman, who married Kelley in April 2011, filed for divorce from him just over a year later. Around that same time, Kelley was charged with assaulting Brennaman and her child from a previous relationship. In November 2012, he pleaded guilty in a military court to strangling, striking and pulling the hair of Brennaman on multiple occasions, as well as fracturing his stepson’s skull. He was sentenced to 12 months’ confinement in a military prison.

After serving his sentence, he received a “bad conduct” discharge from the Air Force in 2014. Later that year, he married his second wife, Danielle Lee Shields.

The domestic violence conviction should have barred Kelley from purchasing firearms from licensed gun sellers. But the Air Force admitted Monday that it had failed to enter the conviction into a national database used by licensed gun sellers to determine whether an interested buyer is eligible to access firearms.

This glaring omission allowed Kelley to purchase an assault rifle from a sporting goods store in April that he would later use at the church where Shields’ relatives worshipped. Her grandmother was among those killed.

The Air Force has pledged to undergo “a comprehensive review of Air Force databases to ensure records in other cases have been reported correctly.” 

This piece has been updated with added details about the abuse Brennaman suffered.

Watch Brennaman’s full interview with “Inside Edition” at 7 p.m. ET on Monday.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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She Has Lived Legally In The U.S. For 19 Years. Now The Trump Administration Wants Her Out.

Maria Elena Hernandez, a 58-year-old immigrant from Nicaragua, has lived legally in the United States for 19 years. She has family here that she sees daily and a job as a janitor. She is active in her union and volunteers.

Hernandez was at work Monday evening when she received a call from a union organizer who warned that her whole life could soon fall apart. The Trump administration announced that it is ending the temporary protected status that has allowed Hernandez and about 5,300 other Nicaraguan immigrants to remain in the country since 1999. They now have until January 2019 to either find a legal avenue to stay in the country or get out.

Hernandez felt betrayed.

“I was expecting more empathy, more comprehension of all of the good that we contribute to the economy and to the culture here in this country,” Hernandez said, speaking through an interpreter.

There are about 300,000 immigrants living in the U.S. under temporary protected status (TPS), and it will be up to the current administration to determine whether they should be able to stay legally or become targets of President Donald Trump’s deportation efforts. It’s often politically difficult to end protections for people who have lived in the U.S. for years, but Trump did it for Sudanese immigrants with TPS and then again in a separate program for young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. His administration is now weighing whether to do the same for Haitians and Salvadorans, and will soon have to reconsider the fate of Hondurans, whom he granted a six-month extension on Monday.

Trump and his officials called on Congress to step in to help those immigrants. But they also put them at risk of being cast out of a country where they’ve lived for years.

Hernandez doesn’t plan to stay in the U.S. without legal status, but she doesn’t want to go back to Nicaragua. She came to the U.S. in December 1998 on a tourist visa to visit her brothers and stayed because of instability at home. Nicaragua was designated for TPS in January 1999, after Hurricane Mitch devastated the country the previous year.

Hernandez applied for TPS and has renewed it multiple times in the years since. She put down roots, like most other TPS recipients have. She lives with family, including two of her brothers, in an apartment in Plantation, Florida. The family is “always together,” she said, going to church or the beach, or having Sunday dinners.

Leaving them would be particularly painful after their third brother died of cancer last November, Hernandez said. She called her brothers her “reason to live.”

“I already lost one brother, and the idea of being separated from them makes me feel so sad,” she said, adding later, “Just with the death of my brother we all feel a great loss as if there’s a part of our body that’s missing.”

Maria Elena Hernandez, a recipient of temporary protected status, with her brother, Jose Vicente, who died last year.Maria Elena Hernandez, a recipient of temporary protected status, with her brother, Jose Vicente, who died last year.

Hernandez and her late brother used to work together at a local college, where she is still a janitor. She was active in helping them fight for raises and better benefits as a member of the 32BJ SEIU, a local of the Service Employees International Union.

When she found out about the TPS decision on Monday evening, one of her U.S. citizen co-workers said they would all fight together to help her stay.

The first step will be to visit a lawyer to determine whether she has legal options. Although she has family members who are U.S. citizens, the sponsorship process is slow and there might not be enough time.

Her best bet is for Congress to pass a bill granting her and other TPS recipients permanent legal status. The Trump administration and other TPS critics have argued the program is not meant to provide long-term status and that it should be ended if the country is no longer suffering from the situation that led to the protected status.

Hernandez said the situation is “not fine” in Nicaragua or in Honduras, which received a six-month extension by default because the administration failed to come to a decision about whether to extend it.

The United States “is supposed to be a leader in human rights and a country that critiques other countries for failing to respect human rights like the countries that we come from,” she said.

“How is it possible that they could then turn around and send us back to these countries?”

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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A Tornado Sent A 75 Year Old Woman Flying Through The Air In Her Bathtub, And She Lived To Tell About It

Many people across the American midwest who deal with tornadoes on a regular basis are prepared for the storm. Whether they have a shelter underground, or a basement stocked with supplies, when the warning comes they know where to hide.

Charlesletta Williams a 75-year-old woman from Marion County, Texas heard the roar of the approaching storm and had to think quickly.

She had been at home with her son Rickey when they realized the storm was going to hit their home. Her son suggested they seek refuge in the tub – advice meteorologists recommended for those without a storm shelter.

Since bathtubs are heavy and typically anchored to pipes, they are ideal in these types of storms.

While she and her son were crouched inside the tub and threw a blanket over themselves for protection. That’s when the storm lifted it straight up and they began spinning around.

“I can’t tell you how high we were. It just felt like someone placed us on the ground,” Rickey said.

Moments later they were on the ground sprawled 20 feet apart.

“A woman inside took shelter in a bathtub,” says the storm damage survey team’s report. “The tornado lifted the tub out of the home and deposited it in the woods with the woman still in the tub.”

Rickey crawled over to his elderly mom and laid across her body to protect her from flying deprise. He then asked if she was alive.

“Yes, but I can’t breathe because you’re suffocating me,” he said she told him.

Their home was destroyed, but aside from some scrapes and bruises they are fine.

“I’m blessed,” she told KYTX. “I couldn’t live through another one. I’d have a heart attack.”

Their home was one of 15 that were leveled during the extreme weather event. Fortunately no one was seriously injured during the EF2 tornado.

“I wasn’t looking. I was under that quilt,” she admitted.

The storm didn’t scare into going anywhere though. She says she has plans to build another home in the exact same spot.


 Huffington Post KSLA

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Baby bird found in amber lived with the dinosaurs

The most complete bird found in amber so far, the baby bird is around 99 million years old.

We can’t time travel to the Cretaceous Period, we don’t have photos, we don’t even have paintings or cave drawings – but thanks to the persevering preservative qualities of amber, we are nonetheless offered exquisite glimpses of some of the organisms that called planet Earth their home millions of years ago.

There have been bits and pieces of feathered things found in amber before, but now half of a hatchling has been found and described in a new paper. With most of the skull and neck of the bird, along with part of a wing, hindlimb, and tail all beautifully preserved, it is the most complete bird found in amber so far.

bird amber© Xing Lida

National Geographic explains how the spectacular specimen was discovered:

The fossilized specimen was purchased in Myanmar in 2014 by Guang Chen, director of the Hupoge Amber Museum in Tengchong City, China, after he had heard about an amber sample with a strange “lizard claw” inclusion. Chen brought the sample to research team co-leader Lida Xingof the China University of Geosciences, who identified the claw as an enantiornithine foot. Additional imaging of the specimen revealed the remarkable extent of preservation obscured behind thick layers of amber, carbonized plant remains, and clay-filled bubbles.

“It’s the most complete and detailed view we’ve ever had,” says Ryan McKellar of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Regina, in Canada, one of the researchers who described the find. “Seeing something this complete is amazing. It’s just stunning.”

The team, who nicknamed the babe Belone, after the Burmese name for an amber colored skylark, were exceedingly surprised by what they were seeing. “[I thought we had] just a pair of feet and some feathers before it underwent CT imaging. It was a big, big, big surprise after that,” says Lida Xing of the China University of Geosciences.

“The surprise continued when we started examining the distribution of feathers and and realized that there were translucent sheets of skin that connected many of the body regions appearing in the CT scan data,” adds McKellar.

Based on the preserved parts, the team identified the hatchling as a member of the extinct avian clade Enantiornithes, of which an artist reconstruction is shown below.

bird amber© Cheung Chung Tat

New Scientist notes that the “unfortunate youngster” (because there’s nothing like falling into a puddle of sticky pine sap that you can’t get out of, ever; then again, talk about legacy!) belonged to a group of birds known as “opposite birds” – creatures that lived along with the ancestors of modern birds. Even though opposite birds had cool things like claws on their wings, and jaws and teeth rather in place beaks, they nonetheless bit the dust with the dinosaurs some 66 million years ago.

From looking at its molting pattern, researchers determined that the little guy (or gal) was only in its first days or weeks of life before succumbing to the resin. Its feathers appear as an array of subtle tones ranging from white and brown to dark grey.

bird amber© Ming Bai

For a more detailed description, head to National Geographic, whose Expeditions Council helped fund the discovery. And if you happen to be near the Shanghai Museum of Natural History this summer, you can see the 99-million year old bird in the flesh, so to speak … and travel back in time, if only for a moment.

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