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Artist Sues the Smithsonian for Not Displaying His 16×8 Foot Trump Painting

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Smithsonian Trump Painting
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Conservative artist Julian Raven is reportedly suing the Smithsonian museum because they refuse to display his giant painting of President Donald Trump. The painting is called “Unafraid & Unashamed” and is 16-feet wide by 8-feet tall. “It’s a painting of Trump. It’s gotta be yuge!” Raven said.

According to the Daily Beast, Raven has been trying to convince the Smithsonian to display his painting, has already attempted to sue through the U.S. district court in Washington D.C., and is now threatening to take his case to the supreme court. Raven will reportedly be representing himself.

Raven says that when he asked the National Portrait Gallery to display his painting for Trump’s 2017 inauguration, he was told by the gallery director, Kim Sajet, that the painting was “too political” and “too big.” To add insult to injury, Sajet even told Raven that the painting was “not very good.”

“The last thing she said to me was ‘it’s no good,’” Raven lamented.

Raven is now accusing the museum of infringing upon his First Amendment rights and his Fifth Amendment right to due process. However, if Raven has a right to display his painting in a museum, that means every U.S. citizen has the same right, regardless of the size or quality of the art.

To be fair, Raven is a talented painter and the gallery has hosted paintings of other presidents, like former President Barack Obama for example, but they do have the right to select whichever pieces they want for display.

Raven says that the art world “is controlled by very strong political ideologies on the left.”

Raven explained that he got the idea for the painting while watching Trump on TV in 2015.

“I just had the words go through my mind: unafraid and unashamed. The image in my mind was this soaring flagpole, a U.S. flag pole falling to the ground. Right before it falls to the ground, an eagle swoops in and snatches it,” Raven said.

Raven says that his association with Trump has had a negative impact on his art business. “It’s been a very uncertain and oftentimes very discouraging journey that did affect negatively my art career. My art sales just took a nosedive,” Raven said.

The supreme court is expected to confirm the ruling of Judge Trevor McFadden, who presided over the case in the U.S. district court of D.C. The judge said that the museum has “what amounts to complete discretion in choosing portraits,” and that to force them to show a specific piece of art would essentially be compelling speech from them—violating their first amendment rights.

“The First Amendment simply does not apply to government art selections, no matter how arbitrary,” Judge Trevor McFadden wrote in his ruling.

The piece was shown at CPAC this year, where it received rave reviews from conservatives.

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Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida

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A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.

In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.

“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.

Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.

Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.

Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.

Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.

However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.

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Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son

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A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.

The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.

The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.

“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.

“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.

The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.

The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.

“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.

The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.

The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.

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Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter

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The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.

However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.

In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.

It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.

The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.

Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.

The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.

Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.

The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.

The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.

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