Protecting Or Bullying? Cop Posing As Student Gets Autistic Kid To Buy Some Weed

A scary trend in which cops infiltrate American schools and set up unassuming students for drug deals is emerging in the United States.

Last week, the parents of a special-needs boy in Temecula, Calif., filed a claim against the local school district for helping “local authorities in an undercover drug sting that intentionally targeted and discriminated against their son.”

 
Via ABC News:

“It is shattering to our son. I don’t know how he will ever be able to trust friends again,” Doug Snodgrass, the father of the student, told ABCNews.com “He is changed for life by this.”

Snodgrass said his 17-year-old son, whose name has been withheld at the request of his parents, transferred to Chaparral High School, a public high school in Temecula, for his senior year. District discipline records from his previous school, Temecula Valley High School, “showed 10 discipline referrals”  between August 2011 and May 2012, according to court records, but Snodgrass said the reason for the transfer was the family’s move to a different section of Temecula.

He was placed into an art class at Chaparral where he met Daniel, who befriended him.  Not having any friends, his father said, his son quickly latched on to Daniel.

Snodgrass’ son began texting round the clock with his new friend, which at first thrilled his parents, happy that their son had made a new friend, Snodgrass said.

What they didn’t know was that Daniel was an undercover police officer, who the family claims would pressure their son to procure drugs.

“Our son was a new kid in August, and this undercover cop befriended him,”  Snodgrass said. On the second day of school, Snodgrass said, Daniel asked the boy to buy drugs. “He asked my son if he could find marijuana for $20,” Snodgrass said. ”Three weeks later my son was able to bring back a half joint he received from a homeless guy.”

Later, Snodgrass said, “he asked to purchase my son’s prescription medication, but our son refused.”

It took the 17-year-old three weeks to procure a half joint of marijuana, according to court documents filed later in Riverside County juvenile court. After he was pressed again by the police officer, the student retrieved another joint for $20, from another homeless man, the documents said.

A similar case was reported on the radio show “This American Life” last year. In that story, several young police officers were sent undercover to pose as students at three high schools in Palm Beach County, Fla., and tasked with making drug arrests.

Fight Springtime Sneezes With All-Natural Solutions

Spring may bring warm weather and trees in bloom, but that can also mean allergies or colds. However, several new remedies are readily available to help ease your symptoms: sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes.

If you’re looking to prevent colds or reduce your symptoms, try adding andrographis to your daily regimen. This extract is found in shrubs throughout India and Asia, and now has been popping up on shelves in the United States. Researchers have concluded that this supplement greatly reduced cold symptoms in a study of 433 patients.

If you want to boost your immunity, try astragalus. This herb has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine to help improve your cold and disease-fighting abilities. Plus, this supplement is thought to have a diuretic effect and may help lower blood pressure and relax blood vessel constriction.

A vitamin D3 supplement will also boost your immunity and help to ward off a host of diseases.

Local honey has also been shown to help reduce allergy symptoms. It can be eaten by the spoonful or added to hot green tea, used in cooking as a natural sweetener or poured over biscuits or toast.

Researcher: It’s Free, Swipe Yo EBT

It is a common belief, held by top officials in the Administration of Barack Obama as well as a number of American academics, that the key to ending poverty is enabling it.

A University of Illinois researcher, in a paper funded by ConAgra Foods, opines that American efforts to alleviate food insecurity should include encouraging more people to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), aka food stamps, “because it works.”

“We already know that SNAP leads to reductions in food insecurity, and poverty, and there is no evidence that it leads to obesity,” researcher Craig Gundersen said. “We need to make it easier for people to apply for the program, to recertify once they’re in the program, and to increase benefits, especially for those who are at the lower end of the benefits structure.”

The researcher holds the belief — in line with rhetoric from the Obama Administration — that reducing the stigma associated with being on food stamps should be an important goal of American policymakers.

“There is a perception among some that people who receive SNAP benefits are lazy — this has historically been the reason for stigma in SNAP,” Gundersen said. “In recent years, the stigma associated with SNAP participation has shifted toward a prejudice against people who are overweight. You hear a lot of anecdotal evidence that people who are overweight may be uncomfortable using SNAP. They feel like people are judging them for buying food. If we could become a society that doesn’t judge others about their weight, we could reduce stigma.”

Gunderson also defends the use of food stamp benefits for low, or no, nutrition foods — he compares telling welfare recipients what is and isn’t an acceptable purchase with assistance to telling a working American how to spend an earned paycheck.

“Stores would have to add a lot of expensive signage and reconfigure cash registers to read new bar codes on foods that may or may not be eligible for SNAP. And who would make those decisions? It’s also just patronizing and offensive to poor people; it’s telling them that because they don’t know how to shop for their family, we’ll tell you how to shop and what’s best for them. When I worked for the federal government, no one told me how to spend my paycheck, and Social Security recipients aren’t told how they can spend their money,” he said.

After all, it isn’t as if food stamp abuse is a prevalent and widely recognized problem in America.

Here’s a satirical video that points out many of the problems with the researcher’s aforementioned assertion that America should encourage more people to use food stamps:

A Memorial Day Message

Today is Memorial Day, a day we’ve set aside to salute the veterans who laid their lives on the line and gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country, our country: the United States of America.

Memorial Day actually began in May 1865, when newly freed slaves in Charleston, S.C., exhumed the bodies of Union soldiers from a mass grave at the Washington Race Course (today the location of Hampton Park) and gave them individual graves.

The following year, and each year thereafter on May 5, a Decoration Day observance was held in Waterloo, N.Y. To commemorate the occasion, the graves of fallen soldiers were decorated with flags and flowers in cities and towns and battlefield graveyards across the Nation.

In 1882, the alternative name of Memorial Day was used, though it did not become commonly used until Federal law declared the day in 1967. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill set the date as the last Monday in May rather than the more traditional day of celebration, May 30.

Personal Liberty Digest™ is a site that promotes discussion from all sides of the spectrum on a variety of topics. Unfortunately, some of the discussions devolve from rational debate to name-calling exercises in futility.

Let’s set aside our partisan ideas and ideologies today and recognize those who have sacrificed for us. Remember, too, their families, who gave their loved ones on the altar of freedom.

And don’t forget that we currently have members of our military fighting a shooting war in Afghanistan, patrolling the seas, standing at attention on the Korean Peninsula and guarding our Southern border. There are others at hundreds more bases around the world representing America’s interests.

Regardless of whether you support the wars in those places, the wars fought previously or the policies that require us to have troops stationed around the world, we must leave politics aside this day and remember those who chose to go where their Commander in Chief sent them, and who did all they could to see the mission through.

Many Americans receive the day off, and it’s not unusual for them to spend the day at picnics, barbecues, the lake or the beach. As you enjoy this holiday, don’t forget the reason behind it.

Remember those who fell on the battlefields at Lexington, Concord and Valley Forge; at Ft. Meigs, Ft. George and Baltimore; at El Paso, Cerra Gordo and Mexico City; at Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg and the Wilderness; at San Juan Hill, Santiago de Cuba and Silva Heights; at Rheims, the Marne and Argonne; at Pearl Harbor, North Africa, Normandy, Guadalcanal, Ardennes and Midway; at Inchon, Chosin and Seoul; at Saigon, Hue, Hamburger Hill and An Loc; at Kuwait City, and Southern Iraq; at Mazar-e-sharif, southeastern Afghanistan, Qandahar, Marjah and Pashmul; at Nasiriya, Baghdad and Al-Anbar; and all the battlefields in between.

Thank you to those who gave it all. And to all veterans who have served or are currently serving, thank you and God bless!

Respectfully,

Bob Livingston

–Bob Livingston

Palin On Obama’s IRS Attack Dog: ‘Will We Stand For This?’

Sarah Palin has written a few guest columns for Breitbart, but Wednesday’s piece on what the Internal Revenue Service-Tea Party scandal means for every American is by far the best.

Palin talks about how, since the beginning of the Tea Party movement in 2006, Constitutional conservatives have successfully been marginalized in the press, despite the fact that the Administration of President Barack Obama evidently has considered the true conservative movement a far greater threat to his own agenda, and his political ambition, than he ever did mainstream establishment Republicans.

That’s evidenced, a companion story by Craig Shirley points out, by the fact that the IRS targeted only Tea Party-type nonprofits over at least the past two years, passing over run-of-the mill Republican groups — taking for granted  that establishment Republicans were never an impediment to liberalism under Obama:

The unspoken 600-pound gorilla in the room is that the IRS did not go after Republican Party groups. There has been some noise made in that direction, but it is just that — noise. The real IRS vendetta was aimed at the Tea Party movement and not at the myriad GOP inside-the-beltway groups like American Crossroads or Americans for Job Security or any of the other interlocking GOP seen as front groups for corporate America.

…The Republican Establishment is pea green with envy but also embarrassment “that the IRS did not think them worthy of harassing, or even worse, on the same side as the IRS. In other words, the IRS saw the GOP as too feckless to worry about. Either explanation is not very appealing for the national Republicans.”

Now, says Palin, more Americans are seeing the sinister side of enabling the IRS to enforce Obama’s social policies, exactly as the Tea Party called it, back when everyone thought small-government conservatives who bothered to organize were just a bunch of stone-throwing kooks:

Please remember that some of us warned America about the dangers of having the IRS play such a big role with the administration of Obamacare. We were laughed at and mocked relentlessly back then. It sure doesn’t seem funny now, does it?

This IRS scandal is especially terrible because Americans live in fear of the IRS like no other entity because this monstrous bureaucracy has the power to take your hard-earned money. Your wages are the sum of your labors; hence, the IRS has the power to steal the fruits of your labors. Average Americans live in fear of making an error on their tax returns that could cost them massive amounts of money, plus their reputation and good name.  If a small business makes a mistake, the IRS can shut them down and send them to jail.

The IRS has always been the face of intimidating and controlling big government. Now it’s the face of corrupt big government that actively attacks the people it is supposed to serve. This isn’t the change America was hoping for, Mr. President, but it certainly is transformative.

The collective disgust — and it’s coming, now, from true conservatives, liberals and everyone in between — over the ease with which a Presidential Administration can now wield aloof, dispassionate Federal agencies against the people should catalyze a majority against the Orwellian reality of big government power.

These Obama administration scandals are a sad and stark reminder that only limited government can ensure liberty. At our core, we Americans just want to be left alone to live freely, peacefully, and productively.

… It’s time for all Americans to stand together and join in the growing outraged chorus that looks at our out-of-control government and says, “Enough is enough!”

Read the full commentary at Breitbart and pass it along.

Posters Linking Gun Rights, Gay Rights Baffle The Left

In Washington State, gay rights advocates and gun rights advocates intersect in a series of posters appearing around the State Capitol in the past several days linking gay rights and opposition to gun laws.

The posters, which direct people to a pro-gun website, have liberals complaining — seemingly appalled that homosexuals might also value 2nd Amendment rights.

From the Seattle alt-weekly The Stranger’s Cienna Madrid:

I just find it striking that a traditionally conservative movement is branching out to recruit gays and lesbians.

It’s hard to know who’s responsible for putting the posters up all over Capitol Hill. “Nale Dixon,” who’s credited for drawing the cartoon of the gay couple, returns no search results online. The pro-gun website is run by a dude named Oleg Volk, “An American,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s responsible for papering the hill with them. Without someone to credit, it’s impossible to glean the posterer’s intentions.

Perhaps being courted by a traditionally right-wing, conservative movement is refreshing and progressive, but it could also just be really effective concern trolling. What better way to make people feel unsafe in gay-friendly Capitol Hill than by slyly referencing homophobia and hate crimes in pro-gun propaganda plastered on every street corner?

Over at Buzzfeed, a report about the posters came with the sarcastic headline “Bizarre Pro-Gun, Pro-Gay Posters Appear In Washington State: Because gun control and LGBT rights go hand-in-hand, obviously.”

Here are a couple of the posters:

guns-gays-1-e1369087376383

guns-gays-2

‘Budget Cuts’ Leave Attacked Oregon Woman Out Of Luck When She Calls 911

As an ex-boyfriend attempted to break into her home, allegedly intent on assaulting her both physically and sexually, an unidentified Oregon woman did what everybody’s instructed to do: She called 911.

A dispatcher answered. The woman described the situation, saying, “If he gets in the house, I’m done.”

That’s when the dispatcher advised her to… figure it all out herself.

“Uh, I don’t have anybody to send out there. You know, obviously, if he comes inside the residence and assaults you, can you ask him to go away? Do you know if he’s intoxicated or anything?”

What had actually happened, in the magic phone-land between the 911 call and someone picking up on the other end, was that the woman’s call had been rerouted from the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office to the Oregon State Police. That’s because there wasn’t anyone available at the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office to answer, after there had been layoffs that limited local police service only from Monday through Friday, during business hours. This assault occurred over the weekend, in the wee, pre-dawn Sunday morning hours in August 2012.

As the unidentified woman waited for the eventual intrusion, which ultimately culminated in Michael Bellah allegedly throttling the victim by the throat and sexually assaulting her, the dispatcher offered compassionate reassurance:

“It’s unfortunate you guys don’t have any law enforcement out there.”

Bellah was arrested by State police — after the incident, of course — on charges of kidnapping, sex abuse and assault. He pleaded guilty. His victim told the dispatcher, mid-assault, that Bellah had allegedly put her in the hospital once before, in a similar attack.

The Josephine County Sheriff’s Office let go of 23 deputies, along with its entire Major Crimes Unit, after it lost a major Federal timber subsidy, according to Oregon Public Radio. The U.S. government owns about 70 percent of the land in the county, and property owners have voted down ad valorem tax increases to fund public services. The sheriff’s department now operates with six deputies, who don’t patrol on weekends. It’s not known whether the victim had access to a firearm.

Sheriff Gil Gilbertson has advised residents who fear domestic assaults, which don’t routinely conform to business hours, to consider moving to an area where law enforcement can protect them around the clock.

The sheriff didn’t say anything about citizens arming themselves. Since protecting and serving in rural Oregon counties has become a carrot-and-stick game with Federal subsidies as the victory prize, it’s evidently more important than ever that citizens at least know they’re on their own when it comes to keeping themselves, and their loved ones, safe.

Oregon’s gun laws, for now, are closer to the spirit of the 2nd Amendment than those in many other States, although recent proposed legislation would place new restrictions on residents’ powers to own so-called assault weapons and limit magazine size to 10 rounds.

Give Your Immune System A Boost

Dear Bob,

I have recently decided to start taking Vitamin D3 in the hopes of strengthening my immune system. I seem to get sick at least twice per year(I am right now), and I’m tired of relying on antibiotics to cure me. I was wondering how much D3 you would recommend I take per day (I bought 5000 UI capsules). I am 16 years old. I’m about 5 feet 11 inches tall, and I weigh roughly 145 pounds. Also, I was wondering if there is anything else you would recommend I take in order to improve my immune system and overall health.

Sincerely,

Aaron M

Dear Aaron,

There are several factors that determine how much vitamin D you should be taking: your race, complexion, the latitude at which you live, how long you are outside each day, etc. You should see a health practitioner and get tested for your current vitamin D level. Then you and the practitioner can accurately determine the amount you need. Dr. John Cannell of the Vitamin D institute says the skin will produce up to the equivalent of 10,000 IUI after about 30 minutes of full sun exposure. He suggests that for adults, daily doses exceeding 40,000 IU may be toxic. As for me, I take 30,000 IU daily and my wife takes 20,000 IU daily because she weighs 100 pounds less than I do. As for your overall health, the best thing you can do is eliminate processed foods from your diet. Eliminate soft drinks and all canned drinks from your diet. Eat whole, preferably raw, organic vegetables and meats. Reduce the amount of beef and pork overall; but with all meats, try to consume only free range meat that has not been injected with hormones and antibiotics.

Best wishes,

Bob

A Search Engine For Government Documents

A new project spearheaded by a group of historians, mathematicians and computer scientists at Columbia University in New York City is aimed at compiling all of the documents that have been declassified by the government in an easily searchable online database for research.

Currently, only a portion the CIA’s declassified materials are available online. And access to the full declassified database requires a visit to the National Archives at College Park, Md.

But the Declassification Engine project would change this, putting declassified materials into a one-stop-shop search engine and providing tools to make broad study of the material easier.

From the project website:

Currently its main projects are the (de)classifier, a tool displaying cable activity over time for different embassies and topics contrasting the number of documents declassified with the number still withheld, the (de)sanitizer, an app that illuminates previously redacted text to show what kinds of information is considered particularly sensitive, and the sphere of influence, a visualization of diplomatic activity around the globe based on the volume of classified and declassified cable traffic. We hope to combine these and other tools in a platform that will accept user-submitted documents to further improve its capacity to predict what still-classified documents might reveal.

To date, the CIA has released 11 million digital declassified documents, but hasn’t released the database providing access to those documents online. Researchers say this could mean that there is a great deal historians could learn — possibly things the government doesn’t want revealed — simply by being able to access all of the documents in one place.

Tornadoes Wreak Havoc: How To Prepare Yourself For One

No one is exempt from disasters like the tornado that hit the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, Okla., last week. My thoughts and prayers are with the families who lost their loved ones and those who lost their homes, personal belongings and businesses to the storm, which had winds of more than 200 miles per hour and which was 1.3 miles wide as it moved through the town. Many people lost their lives, and hundreds of people were injured.

Make A Plan

You must always have a plan for any emergency situation. Write down all the different scenarios that could possible happen to you in an emergency. Plan out the supplies you may need, purchase them and store them so they will be safe and waterproof. A plastic sealed bag will keep your supplies waterproof. Below ground is the best place to store your emergency supplies, if you have a basement or a storm shelter of some kind.

Implement your plan and practice your skills. Become certified in first aid. Become a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member. You really need some training in search and rescue so you don’t endanger yourself while helping others.

Prepare A Medical Kit

It is important to have an up-to-date medical kit with everything you can possibly anticipate needing to help others with wounds and trauma. In a disaster first responders are needed everywhere. Your skills will be very valuable in helping bandage wounds and calm down people in an emergency.

Emergency medical teams can take hours to respond to minor injuries, so plan on helping out with your own supplies. I suggest you store enough medical supplies for your own family as well as several other people.

You can purchase a pre-made medical kit, or create one of your own by going through your home and collecting the following items and putting them in a backpack, medical bag or suitcase:

  • A tourniquet.
  • Pressure bandages.
  • Assorted sterile gauze.
  • First aid tape.
  • Sports tape.
  • Antiseptic.
  • Neosporin or other antibiotic ointment.
  • Hydrogen peroxide.
  • Rubbing alcohol.
  • Instant cold and hot packs.
  • All sizes of bandages, including triangular, butterfly and ACE bandages.
  • Scissors.
  • Tweezers.
  • Thermometer.
  • Splints for broken fingers.
  • Cotton balls.
  • Cotton swabs.
  • Wet wipes.
  • Washcloths.
  • Towels.
  • Water.
  • Lightweight blankets.
  • Pain reliever such as Ibuprofen, acetaminophen or aspirin.

Your medical kit should be loaded with everything you could even anticipate needing in an emergency. I keep one medical kit in my home, one in my car and one at my business where they are protected and I can get to them easily.

Along with the medical kit, you will need a clean change of clothing, shoes, warm socks, a blanket, gloves, a hat and a jacket or coat.

ION (Stabilized Oxygen)

ION Stabilized OxygenI use ION (stabilized oxygen) for any kind of injury where the wound needs to be clean and free of bacteria. ION will kill bacteria on contact and can be used to clean the wound. It can be used on scrapes, puncture wounds, burns and infections; and it can be taken internally to kill bacteria in the body from colds, flu or infections.

Clean Potable Water

Clean water to drink is more important than food. ION treats water that has any kind of bacteria in it. If you are using dirty water, strain it through a dishtowel, T-shirt or cheesecloth to get the dirt and impurities out. Boil the water and then mix 20 drops of ION in each glass of water before drinking. ION kills many bacteria immediately externally and internally. ION is non-toxic and won’t hurt you in any way. It oxygenates the blood and helps the body fight its own battle against bacteria.

Redmond Clay (First Aid)

Redmond Clay First AidI keep a product called Redmond Clay First Aid in my medical kit and even in my purse. Redmond Clay First Aid is a premixed clay that takes the pain and inflammation out of any injury immediately. It looks like mud. You squeeze it onto the injury and cover it with gauze and tape. It works extremely well for bruises, broken bones, injuries and for burns of any kind, including sunburn. But if it’s a severe injury, you should seek medical help as soon as possible. Redmond Clay also comes in bulk, which can be mixed with water and used as a compress to pull inflammation, toxins and pain out of the body. I mix the clay like mud, put it on the injury, place plastic wrap around the injury so the clay does not dry out and leave it for 24 hours. It is an amazing product that can be mixed in water and you can drink it to pull toxins out of the body.

Prepare To Save Your Important Documents

In emergency disaster situations you must be prepared ahead of time for any situation where you may lose everything valuable. It is important to keep important documents and records in a waterproof bag or, if possible, in a waterproof and fireproof safe. This includes important paper documents such as photos, deeds, birth certificates, money, family scrapbooks and any digital records on your computer. It is important to have several copies of your will and other valuable documents. Keep them at another family member’s house in another State or area in case yours are destroyed.

Have a backup of all digital photos and documents on your computer. I have an external hard drive to back up all my documents. I switch off between two external hard drives, so I have an extra one in a waterproof storage container. Once a month, I back up to the one in storage.

This will help you to have a record of all your valuables for insurance claims. If your home was demolished and you had to prove what you owned, this would come in really handy and could determine whether you receive reimbursement from your insurance company.

Insurance

If you live in an area where tornadoes hit, get the right kind of insurance that covers natural disasters, on your home and vehicle. Medical insurance is also very important to have for any kind of emergency situation. Your entire life savings and all you have worked for could be wiped out in a few minutes in an earthquake, tornado, tsunami, snowstorm, etc.

During A Tornado

People in tornadoes have no time to even grab anything and run. Taking cover is the most important thing to do. Keep all valuables in a waterproof bag and in a place that is waterproof and preferably lower than ground level, such as a basement.

If you live in an area where you can have a root cellar, bomb shelter or safe room in a basement, you will be protected more than a room above ground.

If you are above ground, find a closet or a small room such as a bathroom in the middle of the home. Outside walls can collapse around you, and flying debris can hit you.

The safest place above ground is in the bathtub. It is best to cover yourself with a mattress or something soft like pillows to protect yourself from flying debris. It is safer to stay away from windows.

Vehicles are not a good place to be in a tornado. Depending on the category of the wind, cars may be lifted up and thrown into buildings and trees. If you have to abandon your vehicle, the safest place for you to be is in a ditch below ground level or try to find a building with a basement or storm shelter.

Anticipate Utility Shut-Off And Power Failure

Utilities such as electricity, gas and water and everything that is run off them will be affected. The refrigerator, freezer, garage remote, security systems, stove, lights, heat and water will all be affected. If your home is demolished to a point where it is unsafe to stay, you must make decisions about where to go and what to do. A generator can come in handy for temporary solutions, but ultimately you will need to relocate.

It is good to have an alternate set of keys to your home, car and business stashed somewhere below ground so you can find them easily if the first set are lost.

It is important to have emergency tools in a waterproof place also. You will need a gas shut-off wrench, a shovel, an axe, a hammer, gloves, a helmet, pliers, screwdrivers and a chain saw with fuel. You may need to help rescue people or animals trapped under debris.

Emergency Food Storage

As a business owner in the emergency preparedness industry, I keep close watch on these incidents that are happening and I am hopeful that families have prepared themselves for these tragic events. Many of our customers live in areas that have been hit. We hope their emergency food and water supply will sustain them in the aftermath of the tragedy.

If you call me before May 29, you can get a special price of $500 for a five-month supply of delicious meals ready to just add water and cook. That’s four servings per package and 635 servings total, which works out to be .79 cents per serving. Plus, I will give you a free wholesale membership so you can purchase food later at the wholesale price. The food is highly nutritious, with no GMOs, added MSG or trans fats. It’s compact and lightweight, too, making it easy to store. And it will retain its flavor and nutrition for up to 25 years.

To order online, go here and click on “sign up.” On page one of the sign up, there is a place for a promo code at the bottom. Use promo code SUCCESS500. This promotion won’t last, so take advantage of it today. Please call me, Peggy Layton, at 435-851-0777 if you have any questions or need assistance with this amazing offer.

–Peggy Layton

Morgan Freeman On Nap: I’m A Beta Tester For Google Eyelids

SEATTLE, (UPI) —  Actor Morgan Freeman says he had a very good reason for appearing to sleep during a morning television interview with a Fox affiliate in Seattle this week.

“I wasn’t actually sleeping,” Freeman jokingly told People.com Thursday. “I’m a beta tester for Google Eyelids. I was merely updating my Facebook page.”

Freeman, 75, and his 80-year-old co-star Michael Caine were promoting their new film “Now You See Me” when Freeman closed his eyes and bobbed his head while Caine was talking about midway through the on-air chat.

Pizza Delivery To U.S. Service Members In Afghanistan Dubbed Largest

CHICAGO, (UPI) —  The delivery of 30,000 pizzas to U.S. military service personnel in Afghanistan has been named the world’s largest pizza delivery by Guinness World Records.

Mark Evans, a retired Air Force master sergeant and founder of nonprofit group Pizza 4 Patriots, said Guinness officials notified him that last summer’s massive pizza delivery to U.S. service members in Kandahar, Bagram and Camp Bastion was officially the world’s largest pizza delivery, ABC News reported Thursday.

Evans said he is “completely pleased and overwhelmed” by the record.

“The world record is secondary to taking care of our soldiers and sending them a slice of home,” Evans said.

The non-profit teamed with shipping company DHL for the feat.

“Feedback from U.S. troops who received the care packages has been heartwarming as they truly appreciate the recognition for their valuable service,” said DHL Chief Executive Officer Ian Clough.

Barack Obama’s High School Prom Pictures Released

HONOLULU,  (UPI) —  A high school friend of U.S. President Barack Obama has released pictures of the head of state as a 17-year-old on his way to prom in Hawaii.

Kelli Allman, who went to prom with Obama’s friend Greg Orme, released pictures of Obama and his date, Megan Hughes, posing with Allman and Orme before going to the Punahou School’s prom, Time magazine reported Thursday.

Allman said the pictures were taken at her home, where the couples sipped champagne before going to the dance.

“It was a really fun, happy time. We were all cracking up, and everyone was smiling,” Allman said. “It was pretty typical from there out as far as what happens at prom: the dinner and the dancing and the photos.”

Tiger’s Giant Hairball Removed Via Surgery

CLEARWATER, Fla., (UPI) —  Veterinarians in Florida said a 400-pound tiger was found to have a hairball so massive it had to be removed via surgery.

BluePearl Veterinary animal hospital in Clearwater said the 18-year-old tiger, Ty, was brought in Monday by Vernon Yates, founder of Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Inc., and Dr. Don Woodman, a veterinarian and owner of Animal Hospital of Northwood in Safety Harbor, Central Florida News 13 reported Thursday.

The men said they were concerned because the tiger had not eaten in two weeks.

“He’s sort of like my biggest baby. This is my kid. This tiger means more to me than any cat that I have,” Yates said.

BluePearl veterinarians said they used a scope with a camera and discovered a hairball so massive it had to be removed via surgery.

They said Ty is doing well after the procedure and is expected to be fully recovered within a couple weeks.

“There’s nothing else that we found. So, with domestic cats they bounce right back,” said Dr. Brian Luria, BluePearl internal medicine specialist. “So, hopefully he’s going to be feeling like a million bucks.”

Woman Accused Of Wielding Garden Gnome In Domestic Assault

GULFPORT, Fla., (UPI) —  Florida police said a woman accused of domestic battery allegedly used a garden gnome decked out in New Orleans Saints gear to strike a man in the head.

Gulfport police said Lisa Buckley, 47, arrived home around 4:17 p.m. Sunday “and began yelling at the victim” to start an argument that soon turned physical, the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times reported Thursday.

Buckley “threw items all around the residence and then picked up a New Orleans Saints garden gnome and struck [the victim] with it,” Officer Jennifer Crowson wrote in her report.

Crowson wrote she arrived at the scene to find Buckley gone and the alleged victim bleeding from his left ear and the side of his head. The man, whose relationship to Buckley was not specified,  declined medical attention.

Police said Buckley sent text messages to the man the following day asking him to drop his case against her.

Buckley was arrested Tuesday and charged with domestic battery and harassing a victim. She was released from the Pinellas County Jail after posting $5,000 bail.

Obama: U.S. Is Not At War With Islam

WASHINGTON, (UPI) —  The United States is not at war with Islam as some extremists claim to justify their violence against the West, President Barack Obama said.

Obama, speaking at the U.S. Defense Department’s National Defense University in Washington, referred to various terrorism threats and how some are fueled by extremists saying Islam is in conflict with the West.

“Most, though not all, of the terrorism we faced is fueled by a common ideology — a belief by some extremists that Islam is in conflict with the United States and the West, and that violence against Western targets, including civilians, is justified in pursuit of a larger cause,” the president said.

“Of course, this ideology is based on a lie, for the United States is not at war with Islam.  And this ideology is rejected by the vast majority of Muslims, who are the most frequent victims of terrorist attacks.”

However, Obama warned the extremist ideology persists and the U.S. response to terrorism cannot depend just on the military or law enforcement.

The president said the best way “to prevent violent extremism inspired by violent jihadists is to work with the Muslim-American community — which has consistently rejected terrorism — to identify signs of radicalization and partner with law enforcement when an individual is drifting towards violence.”

Obama said it must be recognized Muslims are a fundamental part of the American family.

“In fact, the success of American Muslims and our determination to guard against any encroachments on their civil liberties is the ultimate rebuke to those who say that we’re at war with Islam,” Obama said.

Boy Scouts Vote To Accept Gay Scouts; Gay Adults Still Banned

GRAPEVINE, Texas, (UPI) —  The Boy Scouts of America national council Thursday voted in Texas to overturn the organization’s ban on gay scouts but retain a ban on gay adult scout leaders.

More than 1,400 voting members of the council voted on the issue at the council’s annual meeting in Grapevine, near the BSA national headquarters in suburban Dallas, USA Today reported.

Gay Scouts, Scout leaders and supporters held what they called an Equal Scouting Summit across the street from the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center, where the BSA national council was meeting, the newspaper said.

Once the vote to overturn the ban is implemented, openly homosexual adults will still be barred from volunteer or paid positions in the BSA, The Dallas Morning News said.

No protests were reported at the convention center, but supporters of maintaining the ban — many of them carrying signs with slogans such as “Keep Scouts Morally Straight” — stood outside the facility Wednesday evening.

Barry Price, 68, of Grapevine, a businessman and former Boy Scout who joined Wednesday’s protest, told the Los Angeles Times ending the ban on gays would be the end of the Boy Scouts. But a petition to change the rules picked up 1.8 million signatures, far more than a petition to keep the ban.

Zach Wahls, 21, an Idaho Eagle Scout who has lesbian mothers and helped gather signatures for the first petition, said the organization is now in a “conversation” on gays in Scouting.

“That being said, we want full inclusion — ending the ban on gay youth and leaders,” he told the Times.

IRS’ Lerner Placed On Administrative Leave

WASHINGTON, (UPI) —  The International Revenue Service Thursday put Lois Lerner on administrative leave one day after she refused to testify before a House committee, NBC reported.

Lois Lerner, who was the IRS official who disclosed the targeting of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status for closer scrutiny, invoked her right against self-incrimination in an appearance Wednesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Though she did not testify, she made a statement denying any wrongdoing — something Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said nullified her Fifth Amendment rights.

Her refusal to testify prompted Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and John McCain, R-Ariz., to send a letter to Acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel requesting Lerner’s suspension for refusing to provide information to their Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Roll Call reported.

“Given the serious failure by Ms. Lerner to disclose to this Subcommittee key information on topics that the Subcommittee was investigating, we have lost confidence in her ability to fulfill her duties as Director of Exempt Organizations at the IRS,” Levin and McCain wrote.

NBC quoted sources in reporting Lerner’s suspension.

Accused Fort Hood Shooter Wants To Represent Himself

FORT HOOD, Texas, (UPI) —  U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, charged with gunning down 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, wants to act as his own lawyer, military officials said.

Fort Hood officials said Wednesday Hasan told a court he wants “to waive his right to counsel and proceed pro se,” the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman reported. Col. Tara Osborn, a military judge, is expected to consider his request at a hearing next week.

Hasan’s trial is scheduled to begin July 1. The selection of a panel, the military equivalent of a jury, to hear the case, was postponed to June 5 because of his request to act as his own lawyer.

Hasan, 42, born in the United States in a Palestinian immigrant family, joined the Army after high school and received his medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He was raised as a Muslim and relatives say he became more devout after his parents died.

Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, was about to be deployed to Afghanistan when he allegedly opened fire in 2009, killing 13 people at Fort Hood and wounding many more.

Jeff Addicott, a former Army lawyer who teaches at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, said Hasan probably wants to represent himself to get his views across.

“He will use it as a platform for radical Islamic rhetoric,” Addicott said. “He views the trial process as a way to capture media attention and to advance jihad.”

Concealed Carry Bill Introduced In Illinois House

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., (UPI) —  A gun bill introduced in the Illinois House would create a statewide concealed carry permit while the Senate would allow Chicago to set its own rules.

Backers of the House version say it is more likely to win legislative approval, the Chicago Tribune reported. It was introduced Wednesday.

The Legislature has a June 9 deadline to adopt some sort of bill after a federal court last year overturned the Illinois ban on concealed weapons. But the Tribune said the issue, like some others recently, could end up with a stalemate between the two houses.

The Senate bill also requires people applying for concealed-carry permits to give a reason for needing one. The House measure would eliminate that requirement.

The House bill also does away with a home-rule provision that would allow the Chicago Police Department to issue permits for the city and to ban concealed weapons from some locations.

Fresh Orders For Factories Rise

WASHINGTON (UPI) — U.S. durable goods orders jumped 3.3 percent in April, about twice the gain economists had expected, the U.S. Commerce Department said Friday.

Factory orders climbed by $7.2 billion to $222.6 billion, after dropping 5.7 percent in March.

What a difference a month makes. In March, durable goods orders were down for two of the past three months. However, with April’s increase, new orders have now increased for two of the past three months.

Economists had expected a rebound, but had predicted a bounce of about 1.5 percent.

In April, new orders rose 1.3 percent excluding orders for big-ticket transportation equipment, a category economists had predicted would rise 0.5 percent.

Investors generally react to predictions made by economists. When the predictions are off, investors tend to make quick adjustments. If they are accurate, investors tend to take it in stride.

Transportation orders, which have been seesawing for eight months, rose 8.1 percent after dropping 15 percent in March.

Among transportation orders, orders for commercial aircraft provided a boost, adding $1.9 billion to the category’s $5.1 billion increase.

Durable goods inventories, up for three of the past four months, rose 0.4 percent to $377.9 billion, the highest level since 1992. Transportation inventories, up for 32 out of 33 months, rose by $1.7 billion, providing for the bulk of the increase.

New orders for capital goods in April rose 3.3 percent after falling 10.6 percent in March. The category is defined as equipment required to run a business — printing presses, commercial ovens, conveyor belts. As such, capital goods is a leading index, hinting at the level of confidence among business owners.