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“No Love, No Tacos”: Mexican restaurant accused of insulting “Christianity & America” for sign

Some residents even sent hate mail accusing the restaurant of having “gone completely POLITICALLY CORRECT (leftist/Marxist).”

Elias Marat

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A Mexican restaurant in a small Iowa town has become a focus of attention by locals after posting a yard sign explaining his political stance, drawing both controversy and support from customers over the anti-racist message.

Alfonso Medina owns La Carreta in Marshalltown, Iowa, a restaurant that has been serving such beloved Mexican dishes as chile verde, enchiladas, and burritos for 20 years. The town lies about 50 miles northeast of Des Moines.

However, amid the increasingly polarized political and racial climate in the United States, Medina decided that it was time to make a simple statement addressing questions of basic respect and social equity.

Locals in the small Midwestern town quickly responded to the message, with some residents excoriating the restaurant for making a political stance.

Rather than taking the sign down, Medina decided to place a much bigger sign on his yard that read: “NO LOVE, NO TACOS.”

For Medina, the issue is simple: if businesses such as Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby can openly support Christian causes and donate to anti-LGBTQ organizations, then it’s only right that small business owners like him can share their views to motivate open dialogue and conversations within the community.

Medina also sees the issue of racism as personal. While he was born in Iowa, his own parents migrated from Mexico before finding success with their family business in the small community of Marshalltown. Medina proudly claims that he was “Made in Mexico, delivered in the U.S.”

His vocal stances have garnered some support from the community, allowing the restaurant to thrive despite the pandemic and keep its employees on payroll.

In August, Medina dug his heels in and put up a sign in August that read “WE BELIEVE: Black Lives Matter – no human is illegal – love is love – Women’s rights are human rights – science is real – water is life – injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

“I didn’t think there was anything bad,” he told CNN, explaining that his wife called him “brave” for erecting the sign in front of the restaurant.

His social media feed was quickly inundated with heated criticism over the sign. Some residents even sent hate mail to La Caretta, including one letter accusing the restaurant of having “gone completely POLITICALLY CORRECT (leftist/Marxist),” adding that Medina’s sign “insults & disrespects Christianity & America.”

Medina decided to share the letter on Facebook, where he explained his position.

This is the second hate letter I get in 30 days. One without a return address and one with, which I will reply to. For…

Posted by Alfonso Medina on Tuesday, August 25, 2020

“If a white-owned company has the right to be vocal about their beliefs, big or small, so does a minority-owned tax-generating business,” Medina wrote in a post to his Facebook profile. “Minority-owned businesses should not shy away from being vocal or thinking they have to keep to themselves their thoughts.”

“I’m sorry if the yard sign has offended anyone, but I don’t believe anything on there is offensive,” he added. “If anything, everything on there is true. And I stand behind it.”

Continuing, he explained that the letters were giving him more strength in being vocal about his stance. “Si ladran es porque vamos avanzando,” he added, which means “If they bark, it signifies we are advancing.”

In a separate Instagram post, he wrote, “We’re sorry your burrito had to get political, but it was the only way y’all would listen.”

He ended the post with a phrase that has, in his words, since launched a movement: “No Love, No Tacos.”

The phrase quickly went viral, and became the new slogan for the Mexican eatery.

“I am someone who takes something negative and tries to turn it into something 10 times more positive,” he said. “If they don’t want us, they should align their ideals and their comments with the food they eat.”

Medina has since copyrighted the slogan, and has a website where customers can buy t-shirts and hoodies with the iconic phrase. All proceeds will go toward scholarships to the local community college. Medina has already sold over 450 shirts and raised $4,000 to distribute to recipients.

He also put up a much larger billboard reading “No Love, No Tacos” that is much bigger than the original sign.

Business is now booming at La Carreta, with customers flooding the restaurant to enjoy its nachos, tacos, and celebrated “California Burrito” – which was named one of the best burritos in the country by The Food Network.

Medina now hopes that he can use his platform to encourage people to vote. He is also advocating for turning Election Day into a national holiday.

“Election Day should be one of the most important days for our country — one day, every four years for our democracy,” Medina told Iowa Starting Line. “And we believe businesses should close on Election Day in order to let their employees go out and vote.”

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Cop Gave Children Weapons During Exorcism and Told Them To Shoot Demons And Intruders

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A police officer from Florida was recently arrested after he was caught performing a strange exorcism on a child holding a taser, while another child was given a gun and instructed to shoot anyone who entered the home. 37-year-old Christopher Dougherty reportedly told the two children that there were demons in the house. According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Dougherty was fired from the department on an unrelated matter on the same day of his arrest, but he had worked with the sheriff’s office since 2006.

Someone tripped an alarm at the house where the incident was occurring, which prompted police to arrive on the scene. Once they got there, they saw evidence of child abuse, and decided to enter the home. Upon entering they found a young girl wearing body armor and a Kevlar helmet, lying on the ground with a rifle in a shooting position. There was also a young boy in the house who had a taser. The boy is believed to be the subject of an exorcism. Dougherty was armed with a handgun when police arrived.

The children said that Dougherty was performing an exorcism on the young boy, and told the girl that there were demons in the house, and instructed her to shoot anyone that entered.

Dougherty was detained and taken to a hospital where he was held under the Baker Act, and then arrested after he was released from the hospital a few days later. On the same day as his arrest, he was fired from the sheriff’s office, but the agency insists that his termination was related to “an unsatisfactory performance finding in a separate matter,” and had nothing to do with the exorcism. 

In a statement to Fox News, Orange County Sheriff John Mina said that he was concerned about the officer’s mental health. 

“While this deputy was terminated for a pattern of unsatisfactory performance, these are very serious criminal allegations. As law enforcement officers, we are held to the highest standards of conduct whether on duty or off duty. But we are also concerned about the deputy’s mental health,” Mina said.

It is still not entirely clear what Dougherty’s relationship was with the two children that were in his care.

The 2014 horror film “Deliver Us From Evil” is based on the true-life story of New York City Police Sgt Ralph Sarchie, who was an exorcist in his spare time. Sarchie described himself as a “demonologist” and claimed to have taken part in at least 20 exorcisms, but says that he investigated over 50 paranormal cases. “I’m a demonologist, and I’m going head to head with the devil,” Sarchie once said in an interview.

In 2001, Sarchie co-wrote the book Beware the Night about his experiences as a part-time demon hunter in New York. His book would eventually inspire the horror movie that came later.

Of course, Sarchie’s “demon hunting” activities seem to be a bit more safe and legitimate than whatever was happening inside the home of Christopher Dougherty.

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Bizarre

Study: 1,000 Potential Alien Star Systems Could Be Watching Us From Afar

Justin MacLachlan

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Motivated by the “Pale Blue Dot” NASA photo researchers are asking the question, could other planets be looking at us just like we’re looking at them? A study of Earth’s “solar neighborhood” has found that over 1,000 different systems have the perfect angle to view Earth.

The infamous “Pale Blue Dot” photograph was suggested by astronomer Carl Sagan who implored that the Voyager 1 space probe take a picture of Earth from nearly four billion miles away. The new study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, seeks to find out how many different exo-planet systems with alien life could be watching us. Ironically, the research comes from the Cornell’s Carl Sagan Institute.

The studies co-author Lisa Kaltenegger stated their list focuses on main-sequence stars similar to our own sun. These solar systems may contain exoplanets, Earth-like worlds sitting in the habitable zone for life. All of the prospective systems are within 300 million light-years of Earth, close enough to see our world’s chemical traces according to the researchers.

“Let’s reverse the viewpoint to that of other stars and ask from which vantage point other observers could find Earth as a transiting planet,” Kaltenegger, the director of Cornell’s Carl Sagan Institute said in a press release.

“If observers were out there searching, they would be able to see signs of a biosphere in the atmosphere of our Pale Blue Dot… and we can even see some of the brightest of these stars in our night sky without binoculars or telescopes.”

What makes this listing of 1,004 star systems novel and significant is they all sit in Earth’s elliptic orbit or the plane of the planets orbit around our Sun. Exoplanets traveling along this same path would be able to see the Earth according to the researchers.

To foreign observers, Earth would be a transiting planet that passes in front of its sun as the observer looks at distant stars. Theoretically, these exoplanets would be able to see Earth crossing the Sun, which sounds like a marvelous sight.

“Only a very small fraction of planets will just happen to be randomly aligned with our line of sight so we can see them transit,” co-author Joshua Pepper of Lehigh University says. “But all of the thousand stars we identified in our paper in the solar neighborhood could see our Earth transit the sun, calling their attention.”

“If we’re looking for intelligent life in the universe, that could find us and might want to get in touch,” Kaltenegger adds. “We’ve just created the star map of where we should look first.”

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Animals

Scientists Say Species Throughout Earth’s History Keep Inexplicably Evolving Into Crabs

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A paper from 2017 recently resurfaced online and has gone semi-viral because of its weird, and, according to some scientists, somewhat disturbing/amazing conclusion: that life on Earth seems to naturally evolve toward crab-like species.

Originally published in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, the paper is titled “One hundred years of carcinization – the evolution of the crab-like habitus in Anomura.” It found a new life in mid-October on Boing Boing under the title “Animals have evolved into a crab-like-shape at least 5 separate times” and has since been the subject of articles on Popular Mechanics and several other websites.

So what are popular science writers – and their readers – so worked up about? The original paper discusses the curious and highly improbable sequence of instances involving convergent and parallel evolution of animals into crab-like species. These instances of carcinization – the scientific term for when a crustacean evolves from a non-crab-like form into a crab-like one – has happened at least five different times in completely different historical contexts.

In the paper, the researchers write:

“The fact that a crab-like habitus did not evolve solely in ‘true’ crabs but also several times independently in the Anomura makes this process ideal for evolutionary research.”

Parallel evolution is certainly no stranger to Earth’s history. For example, marsupials are commonly referred to in this context. Convergent evolution, which refers to species from independent epochs of time developing analogous morphological structures, is also well established by Darwinian principles. Species on separate evolutionary tracks of both habitat and time can end up arriving at the same traits and structures. However, the number of times it happens with the crab-like shape and features seems to baffle more than a few scientists.

Additionally, the researchers point out, the similarities are not just relegated to superficial appearances in shells and claws: the five evolutionary journeys toward carcinization include shared functional traits in neurological processes and circulatory systems.

“Curiously, not only did the crab-like habitus evolve independently from the ‘true’ crabs (Brachyura), it also evolved three times independently within anomurans. […] Although enormous morphological disparity is observed in the internal anatomy of the crab-like taxa, reflecting the fact that the evolution of the crab-like habitus was indeed convergent, various corresponding dependences are found across the different lineages between the external characters of a crab-like habitus/morphotype and inner structures. In other words, as a result of carcinization certain structural coherences led to the specific internal anatomical patterns found in crab-like forms.”

So, what does it all mean? Is life on Earth somehow predisposed to crabs? Does this mean that when we meet aliens someday they will be giant intelligent crabs? Or could there be some strategic evolutionary advantage in the crab-like habitus and internal structures?

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