Watch And See Why This Woman’s EPIC Advice For Avoiding Shark Attacks Is Going Viral

First, to avoid any misunderstanding that might lead to nasty comments, let me say a few things. This is in NO way intended to make light of the horrible shark attacks off the coast of North Carolina (another one reported just today); this is certainly NOT meant to endorse the video maker’s admonition about venturing into the ocean at coastal vacation spots; and this must be viewed with the caveat NOT to record yourself on a cellphone video while you’re driving. Okay, that said…

Veronica-Pooh Nash Poleate has posted a short video to her Facebook page that offers “Summer Safety Tips” and has been viewed well over 1.7 million times…in just three days! Identifying herself as a School Counselor at the Hamilton County Department of Education in Tennessee, Veronica-Pooh has a gift – a real gift for making selfie videos that lots and lots of people really, really like.

And apparently, this gifted video star is a big-time meat eater (now c’mon, that’s really not a size joke) who follows the gastronomic gospel of something called the “Meat Ministry.” And, oh yes, she’s also quite a believer in the Divine Power of the Almighty who made the oceans as the “sharks’ house” and quite possibly, according to Veronica-Pooh, a domain to be avoided by mere mortals.

With prayers for a speedy recovery of the shark-bite victims (today’s attack off Ocracoke Island marks the seventh incident on North Caolina beaches in June and July), we invite you to click on the video above and heed the words of caution from Veronica-Pooh Nash Poleate.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

This Firefighter Posted A 12 Word Facebook Comment… Automatically Lost His Job

A volunteer Texas firefighter lost his job after writing a comment on Facebook in the aftermath of the Charleston church shooting.

Kurtis Cook, a 23 year veteran of the Mabank Fire Department, wrote: “He needs to be praised for the good deed he has done” on a South Carolina newspaper’s Facebook page about the shooting. A social media firestorm followed, with calls for him to be fired and death threats made against his family.

Cook told local ABC affiliate KLTV News that his comment was taken entirely out of context.

“When I was looking at the threads and, you know, I was just reading down and there was a person there [Wyatt] that posted, was donating a large sum of money to the victims, so I just said ‘This person ought to be praised for his good deed,’” Cook explains.

A screenshot taken of the Facebook post that went viral does not include comments preceding Cook’s, and the post is no longer available. Cook has since taken down his Facebook page. KLTV called the newspaper, which was unable to find the original thread.

Image Credit: Twitter/@NYDailyNews

Image Credit: Twitter/@NYDailyNews

On Friday, Cook was asked to come to the firehouse with all of his equipment to discuss a Facebook post he had made.

“We had no idea what kind of comment on Facebook he would have made that would offend anyone,” his wife, Andrea, said.

Cook went to the station, and his fire chief–Ricky Myrick–questioned him about the post. Cook responded by asking what the problem was.

An hour after announcing on Facebook the station was investigating the matter, it posted that Cook had been terminated.

Facebook - Mabank Fire Department

Cook said he did not put up a fight with the fire department because “They were getting so much pressure over there that I just went ahead and just let them go ahead and resign me, or terminate me, so they could go ahead and move on with the fire department.”

“The investigation happened so quickly it was almost like Kurtis didn’t have time to defend himself,” his wife said.

KLTV News reported that Cook eagerly agreed to be interviewed regarding his Facebook post because media coverage was “making me look like I’m standing with this comment, like I’m supporting this Dylann guy, and I would never do that. I’m not racist, never been racist.” he said.

“You can’t put your opinions out there anymore, because somewhere somebody’s going to take that the wrong way and then they’re going to run with it, and that’s what’s happened here,” he added.

Cook was firefighter of the year in 2009 and 2010. “And now I’ll never be a fireman again,” he lamented. “I’m going to lose my full time job and I’m going to have to relocate,” he said through tears. “I’m not trying to just ‘do damage control.’ I’m just telling you the side of the story where I came from on this.”

The fire chief explained that the department has a strict policy on posting on social media and that all members are warned of this and urged to be careful of what they post.

IJReview reached out to Chief Myrick regarding Cook’s claim that it was a misunderstanding.

Myrick responded: “We have a zero tolerance policy on social media so when we start getting slack out of it, we start going down hard. As much slack as we had on this, we had no other option. It didn’t say Kurt Cook on it — it said Mabank fire fighter. It represented me…and I got the blame for it.”

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Sarah Palin Might Have Just Enthusiastically Revealed Who She Supports For 2016

The day after he formally announced his candidacy, 2016 presidential hopeful Donald Trump received a glowing compliment – if not an endorsement – from one of America’s most recognizable political figures.

Sarah Palin opined in a Facebook post Wednesday that the backlash Trump received after making his announcement should be a sign that he is “doing something right,” going on to point out some of the qualities she believes make him a good leader.

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“There’s no denying Donald J. Trump’s accomplishments and drive to create opportunity for every willing American to succeed,” she wrote. “His own success is testament to the job-creating achievements made possible when one applies the courageous and tenacious pro-private sector precepts we need to fire up the economy.”

Acknowledging Trump entered an already crowded primary field, she said his presence – as with all of the candidates – is good for the party.

“This,” she pointed out, is “in contrast with the pro-big government party’s practice of merely anointing a chosen one, thus robbing voters of healthy debate.”

It is, she claimed, the responsibility of Republican voters to ignore the mainstream media and select the most electable, ideologically sound candidate from within the field to square off against the Democrat nominee in 2016.

“THEN,” she wrote, “on an even playing field, in 2016, we can charge forward after the radical left hears America shout, ‘You’re fired!’”

Her statement was met with some support, including those who suggested she join the ticket as Trump’s running mate. Others expressed cynicism, many of whom pointed to the fact that Trump believes Oprah Winfrey would make a good vice president as evidence that he is the wrong choice.

Would a Trump administration restore America? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

School Principal Posts This About McKinney On Facebook, Loses Job Almost Immediately

According to a recent Miami Herald report, one local high school principal lost his job after posting his opinion of a video depicting an interaction between a McKinney, Texas, police officer and a teenage suspect. The footage has sparked protests and demonstrations, making it the latest hotbed of civil unrest tied to perceived racism within the law enforcement community.

Former North Miami Senior High School Principal Alberto Iber, however, was one of many who believed the officer involved, Cpl. Eric Casebolt, was likely justified in his use of force.

“He did nothing wrong,” Iber asserted in a recent Facebook post. “He was afraid for his life. I commend him for his actions.”

The short message quickly attracted criticism, starting with locals like Miami Councilman Alix Desulme.

“For him to make such a comment is insensitive to the community,” he said.

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As for his boss, Miami-Dade County School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho promptly delivered Iber’s pink slip and released a statement denouncing the former principal’s statement.

“Judgment is the currency of honesty,” he stated. “Insensitivity – intentional or perceived – is both unacceptable and inconsistent with our policies, but more importantly with our expectation of common sense behavior that elevates the dignity of humanity of all, beginning with children.”

Iber has since reacted to the controversy, stating that he intended the comment to appear online anonymously.

“I regret that I posted the comment as it apparently became newsworthy and has apparently upset people,” he said. “That was not my intention in any way.”

It is clear from the social media response to his post that there are plenty of Americans who feel he should not have been punished for sharing his thoughts.

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Should this principal have lost his job for posting an opinion on Facebook? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Free Speech, Facebook, And The NSA: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

A person under surveillance is no longer free; a society under surveillance is no longer a democracy.”—Writers Against Mass Surveillance

THE GOOD NEWS: Americans have a right to freely express themselves on the Internet, including making threatening—even violent—statements on Facebook, provided that they don’t intend to actually inflict harm.

The Supreme Court’s ruling in Elonis v. United States threw out the conviction of a Pennsylvania man who was charged with making unlawful threats (it was never proven that he intended to threaten anyone) and sentenced to 44 months in jail after he posted allusions to popular rap lyrics and comedy routines on his Facebook page. It’s a ruling that has First Amendment implications for where the government can draw the line when it comes to provocative and controversial speech that is protected and permissible versus speech that could be interpreted as connoting a criminal intent.

That same day, Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, the legal justification allowing the National Security Agency (NSA) to carry out warrantless surveillance on Americans, officially expired. Over the course of nearly a decade, if not more, the NSA had covertly spied on millions of Americans, many of whom were guilty of nothing more than using a telephone, and stored their records in government databases. For those who have been fighting the uphill battle against the NSA’s domestic spying program, it was a small but symbolic victory.

THE BAD NEWS: Congress’ legislative “fix,” intended to mollify critics of the NSA, will ensure that the agency is not in any way hindered in its ability to keep spying on Americans’ communications.

The USA FREEDOM Act could do more damage than good by creating a false impression that Congress has taken steps to prevent the government from spying on the telephone calls of citizens, while in fact ensuring the NSA’s ability to continue invading the privacy and security of Americans.

For instance, the USA FREEDOM Act not only reauthorizes Section 215 of the Patriot Act for a period of time, but it also delegates to telecommunications companies the responsibility of carrying out phone surveillance on American citizens.

AND NOW FOR THE DOWNRIGHT UGLY NEWS: Nothing is going to change.

As journalist Conor Friedersdorf warns, “Americans concerned by mass surveillance and the national security state’s combination of power and secrecy should keep worrying.”

In other words, telephone surveillance by the NSA is the least of our worries.

Even with restrictions on its ability to collect mass quantities of telephone metadata, the government and its various spy agencies, from the NSA to the FBI, can still employ an endless number of methods for carrying out warrantless surveillance on Americans, all of which are far more invasive than the bulk collection program.

As I point out in my new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, just about every branch of the government—from the Postal Service to the Treasury Department and every agency in between—now has its own surveillance sector, authorized to spy on the American people. Just recently, for example, it was revealed that the FBI has been employing a small fleet of low-flying planes to carry out video and cell phone surveillance over American cities.

Then there are the fusion and counterterrorism centers that gather all of the data from the smaller government spies—the police, public health officials, transportation, etc.—and make it accessible for all those in power.

And of course that doesn’t even begin to touch on the complicity of the corporate sector, which buys and sells us from cradle to grave, until we have no more data left to mine. Indeed, Facebook, Amazon, and Google are among the government’s closest competitors when it comes to carrying out surveillance on Americans, monitoring the content of your emails, tracking your purchases, and exploiting your social media posts.

“Few consumers understand what data are being shared, with whom, or how the information is being used,” reports the Los Angeles Times. “Most Americans emit a stream of personal digital exhaust — what they search for, what they buy, who they communicate with, where they are — that is captured and exploited in a largely unregulated fashion.”

It’s not just what we say, where we go, and what we buy that is being tracked. We’re being surveilled right down to our genes, thanks to a potent combination of hardware, software, and data collection that scans our biometrics—our faces, irises, voices, genetics, even our gait—runs them through computer programs that can break the data down into unique “identifiers,” and then offers them up to the government and its corporate allies for their respective uses.

All of those internet-connected gadgets we just have to have (Forbes refers to them as “(data) pipelines to our intimate bodily processes”)—the smart watches that can monitor our blood pressure and the smart phones that let us pay for purchases with our fingerprints and iris scans—are setting us up for a brave new world where there is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

For instance, imagine what the NSA could do (and is likely already doing) with voiceprint technology, which has been likened to a fingerprint. Described as “the next frontline in the battle against overweening public surveillance,” the collection of voiceprints is a booming industry for governments and businesses alike. As The Guardian reports, “voice biometrics could be used to pinpoint the location of individuals. There is already discussion about placing voice sensors in public spaces, and [Lee Tien, senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation] said that multiple sensors could be triangulated to identify individuals and specify their location within very small areas.”

Suddenly, the NSA’s telephone metadata program seems like child’s play compared to what’s coming down the pike.

That, of course, is the point.

Whatever recent victories we’ve enjoyed—the Second Circuit ruling declaring the NSA’s metadata program to be illegal, Congress’ inability to reauthorize Section 215 of the Patriot Act, even the Supreme Court’s recognition that free speech on the internet may be protected—amount to little in the face of the government’s willful disregard of every constitutional safeguard put in place to protect us from abusive, intrusive government agencies out to control the populace.

Already the American people are starting to lose interest in the spectacle of Congress wrangling, debating and, negotiating over the NSA and the Patriot Act.

Already the media outlets are being seduced by other, more titillating news: ‘Caitlyn’ Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover, Kim Kardashian’s pregnancy announcement, and the new Fifty Shades of Grey book told from Christian’s perspective.

What remains to be seen is whether, when all is said and done, the powers-that-be succeed in distracting us from the fact that the government’s unauthorized and unwarranted surveillance powers go far beyond anything thus far debated by Congress or the courts.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth