Protesters against the construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline block a highway in near Cannon Ball, N.D., on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016.
AP Photo/James MacPherson
Is your daily road commute murder? If a group of lawmakers has their way, that won’t happen in their heartland state … ever.
After enduring more than a year of protests — many led by veterans — against the Dakota Access pipeline, North Dakota Republicans have introduced a bill that would exempt the state’s drivers from responsibility for “accidentally” killing pedestrians in the roadway with their vehicles.
A sort of “stand your ground” statute for automobiles against human bodies blocking the street, House Bill 2013 states that “a driver of a motor vehicle who negligently causes injury or death to an individual obstructing vehicular traffic on a public road, street, or highway may not be held liable for any damages.” It awaits a committee hearing on Friday morning.
One of the bill’s seven Republican sponsors, Rep. Keith Kempenich, confirmed to the Bismarck Tribune that it was inspired by the pipeline protests. He cited his mother-in-law’s recent experience getting stuck in traffic jams and weaving around protesters who had gathered “near roadways” during the contentious DAPL fight.
“[The roads] are not there for the protesters,” Kempenich said. “They’re intentionally putting themselves in danger." He added that protesters put a lot of pressure on drivers, who could catch hell “if they’d have punched the accelerator rather than the brakes.”
The bill, Kempenich said, is “shifting the burden of proof from the motor vehicle driver to the pedestrian” — in effect, forcing injured or maimed pedestrians to prove in a court of law why they shouldn’t have been struck by a ton or more of human-operated sheet metal and engine.
Sympathizing with anyone who is stuck in traffic is, of course, an American tradition, all the more so in rural areas where roads are lifelines and plenty of people moved to get away from that big-city bullshit.
On the other hand, a lot of vets are taught that firearms never have “accidental” discharges, so deeply ingrained is their sense of safety and responsibility. It might feel a little weird to relieve grandma of her daily duty to mind the corners of her F-250.
Plowing into bystanders who don’t share your mindset is also a favorite jihadi tactic. When you creep up on those demonstrators in second gear, you’re creeping like sharia.
Thousands of U.S. service members who've been sent to operate along the Mexico border will receive a military award reserved for troops who "encounter no foreign armed opposition or imminent hostile action."
The Pentagon has authorized troops who have deployed to the border to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) since last April to receive the Armed Forces Service Medal. Details about the decision were included in a Marine Corps administrative message in response to authorization from the Defense Department.
There is no end date for the award since the operation remains ongoing.
Photo: US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
A former sailor who was busted buying firearms with his military discount and then reselling some of them to criminals is proving to be a wealth of information for federal investigators.
Julio Pino used his iPhone to record most, if not all, of his sales, court documents said. He even went so far as to review the buyers' driver's license on camera.
It is unclear how many of Pino's customer's now face criminal charges of their own. Federal indictments generally don't provide that level of detail and Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson declined to comment.
Carson Thomas, a healthy and fit 20-year-old infantryman who had joined the Army after a brief stint in college, figured he should tell the medics about the pain in his groin he had been feeling. It was Feb. 12, 2012, and the senior medic looked him over and decided to send him to sick call at the base hospital.
It seemed almost routine, something the Army doctors would be able to diagnose and fix so he could get back to being a grunt.
Now looking back on what happened some seven years later, it was anything but routine.
U.S. Army Cpt. Katrina Hopkins and Chief Warrant Officer 2 James Rogers, assigned to Task Force Warhorse, pilot a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) operation at Camp Taji, Iraq, Dec. 18, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Javion Siders)
U.S. forces must now ask the Iraqi military for permission to fly in Iraqi airspace before coming to the aid of U.S. troops under fire, a top military spokesman said.
However, the mandatory approval process is not expected to slow down the time it takes the U.S. military to launch close air support and casualty evacuation missions for troops in the middle of a fight, said Army Col. James Rawlinson, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.