Do Not Resuscitate?

You are in the middle of cooking dinner and unwinding from a long day when you suddenly get a sharp pain in your chest. You are unable to call out as you collapse and blackout. The next morning you wake up in a hospital bed attached to wires and a little delirious. A family member informs you that you had died and the doctors managed to bring you back to life. Great, right?  In most cases, many would be happy, however in the case of a Miami man the story is a little different.

A 70-year-old Miami man had “Do Not Resuscitate” tattooed on his chest when he appeared at the hospital. So, when the doctors saw the tattoo, they began to question what they should do. They did not know who this man was, let alone how to reach his relatives. While they searched for more information to help them decide what to do, they bought themselves time by giving him antibiotics, blood pressure medicine, and fluids.  At this point, they also met with their ethics counselors as they struggled to decide. The doctors were starting to choose not to attend to the tattoo because life decisions can always change while tattoos are permanent. The ethics counselors said they should honor the tattoo. The question remained, should they honor the words on his chest or ignore them?

An interesting dilemma, yet in this case they were able to resolve the issue. They took the unknown man’s fingerprints and ran them through the Florida drivers license database and came up with his identity. From there, they looked up his file at the hospital and found that he had filled out a Do Not Resuscitate form. They also discovered that this man had a history of serious health problems including COPD, diabetes, and irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation). When he reached the hospital, he had high blood alcohol levels and an infection that led to septic shock.  Once doctors established that his tattoo corroborated with the DNR form they honored it. Throughout the night the man’s condition deteriorated, and he died without undergoing CPR. But a simple tattoo like his was not legally binding.

In this case, the doctors neither supported nor disagreed with the tattoo’s message. They resolved this issue in this case, yet one can’t help but to question what would they decide if they hadn’t found the paperwork. 

JFK In Pop Culture

John F. Kennedy was the 35th president from January 31st, 1961 until his assassination on November 22, 1963. It is common knowledge that Kennedy was in Dallas Texas as he traveled in a motorcade when Lee Harvey Oswald killed him. He was the sole perpetrator of the assassination and Oswald was also assassinated two days later on November 24. Lyndon B Johnson the current vice president then became president just minutes after J.F.K was pronounced dead.

J.F.K has become a pop culture icon because of all the conspiracies that surround him even including the “Happy Birthday Mr. President” that was sung by the glamorous Marilyn Monroe. This song had affair rumors flying back in the day.  I enjoy conspiracies theories! I am not saying I believe in them, but it is interesting how different people can take a set of information and interpret it in their own way. So who killed J.F.K and what is up with the newly released files?

The Mafia took him out. This conspiracy implies that a Chicago mobster had the money power and influence to have J.F.K killed because of Robert Kennedy push to stop the mobster’s drug activity. What makes this theory appealing to others is because Lee Harvey Oswald is killed by Jack Ruby who had connections with the Chicago Mobster.

Lyndon Johnson was behind it.  A theory suggests that Richard Nixon and Jackie Kennedy believe this theory because Johnson had the most to gain from J.F.K’s death. Most of the evidence to back this claim up is based on rumors.

The Oswald Conspiracies. One theory suggests that the KGB hired Oswald to assassinate Kennedy because he was an undercover Soviet agent. However, this theory did not hold up as later released documents suggested that Russia actively avoided recruiting Oswald as they deemed him mentally unstable.

Another theory involving Oswald linked him to the New Orleans Conspiracy where a right-wing businessman got Oswald to be the patsy since the businessman did not want peace negotiations to begin with Russia. The plan was to hire Oswald, arrange the shooting, and get back to New Orleans that night. The businessman was later arrested and went to trial over these allegations, but the jury found the case groundless and dismissed it.

The third conspiracy directly involving Oswald proposes that he couldn’t have fired the shot that killed Kennedy. The conspiracy states that Oswald was shooting from a 60-year-old rifle that was hard to aim let alone almost impossible to shoot three shots in eight seconds. It also stated that Oswald was not that great of a marksman. Later investigation proved this theory false because his wife said he always was practicing with this gun and Oswald did have a marine background. When the shooting of J.F.K occurred, he was only 90 meters away from Oswald and J.F.K. was moving slowly. In the marines, they practiced shooting at 200 meters, so J.F.K wasn’t even half the distance Oswald was used to shooting. Also, the Warren Commission and even CBS news organization duplicated the shot several years later with the same model weapon and overall conditions and proved that it was possible to take the shots within 8 seconds with most marksmen hitting the target 2 out of 3 times.

Some of the files revealed that;

  • The FBI knew there was a threat to Oswald life before he died.
  • Oswald contacted the Soviet Embassy inquiring about a visa.
  • The documents stated that the CIA looked into whether Hitler was alive in Venezuela
  • Several memos revealed plots to kill Castro from poisoning his swimsuits, to putting a bounty on his head, although the price of his head has been debated.
  • A CIA document notes they were looking into Martin Luther King’s companions thinking most of them had communist ties.

For more information visit http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/26/politics/jfk-file-release-highlights/index.html

Terrifying Social Media Game – or Hoax?

Parents around the globe are filled with anxiety, as police warn of the possibility of a new game on social media, called the 48 Hour Facebook Challenge.

A mother in Northern Ireland claimed her daughter was missing due to the game.  Though no one knows for sure if the game is real, the threat is alarming for parents, especially in the Texarkana area. Snopes.com says the game is a hoax.

The rules of the game have kids trying to earn points by having their names mentioned in Facebook posts or by receiving likes and shares for posts featuring them after their staged disappearance.  Participants in the challenge have 48 hours to get the highest score, before coming forward and letting everyone know they are safe.

In the past two weeks, three teens have gone missing in Texarkana; 15-year-old Austin Ariniello, 14-year-old Justyn Coe, and 17-year-old Spencer Martin.  Austin Ariniello has been located and is safe.  Spencer Martin, had only a BOLO (Be on the Look Out) issued for him.  There have been no follow-up stories on the whereabouts of the other two teens.  There is no evidence to suggest these teens had anything to do with the 48 Hour Challenge.  And furthermore, there are no confirmed reports of anyone participating in the game.  Still, parents are fearful.

Facebook is currently investigating this sick game.  Keep up with this story in Eagle Eye.

Kids Will Be Kids?

A group of teenagers were charged with second-degree murder after a 6-pound rock was thrown off an overpass and killed a man on October 18. Kenneth White, 32, was a passenger in a van driving south on I-75 in Vienna Township Michigan when a rock smashed through the windshield and struck his head and face. The teenagers, aged 15-17, are each charged with one count of second degree murder. They are also charged with conspiracy to commit murder, six counts each of malicious destruction of property, and two lesser charges.

The group reportedly threw about 20 rocks and a tire off two overpasses that night before eating at McDonald’s. The heaviest rock thrown was 20 pounds and four other cars pulled over after receiving damage. What may have started as an inconsiderate prank has turned into tragedy for a family and an inconvenience for the people who now must get their cars repaired.

When does a prank become serious? When should kids and teens who commit illegal acts be held responsible? When I was in high school, I went to the movies with a group of friends. When we walked out, I saw my car covered in flour. I had no idea why my car was the only one covered and could not think of a person who would do that. A classmate I was not close friends with had seen my school parking pass and decided to prank me. She claimed not to know it was my car, but I was livid. I drove home angry and told my mother, who suggested I call the police. Instead, I told her it was just a prank. Had we called the police, the girl responsible could have been fined and face up to 30 days in jail.

The pranks we pulled on friends in school were not meant to hurt anyone’s feelings or damage property. If things went a little too far, we always took responsibility for our actions and tried to make the situation better.

In April 2015, 100 students at Sequoyah High School in Madisonville, Tennessee, were banned from graduation for a senior prank that took a very ugly turn. The first wave of students entered the building with balloons and glitter. Later that night, a second group arrived that did the most damage. The students let crickets and chickens loose in the building, urinated on walls, and left a dead animal in the hallway amongst other damage. This prank was absolutely disgusting and extremely disrespectful. Not only did they vandalize property, but they left a mess they expected someone else to clean up. A janitor may have to clean up some awful messes, but cleaning up dead animals and wiping urine off the wall is a very big difference. There were marbles placed under hay in the doorways that could have caused serious injury. There were goldfish left in toilets and trash thrown on the floors.

The seniors were barred from participating in the graduation ceremony, but was that enough? Should they have been charged with vandalism? As a teenager, I didn’t think too much about pranks and tried to stay away from them as often as I could. While I was raised to be respectful of others, I still shrugged some pranks off as just silly games. It was not until I got older that I began to see them in a new light. What begins as a small and harmless prank can cause serious damage to another person. When you are in the moment, it is not always easy to see what could possibly go wrong in a situation. If kids and teens are held fully accountable at a young age, it can help prevent them from taking a human life for a few moments of fun.

Help for Harms of Hazing

Blake Novacek has sued the Beta Theta Pi fraternity and two fraternity members over an alleged hazing incident in October of 2015 that reportedly left him with a traumatic brain injury.

Courtesy of Christopher Cooke

Blake Novacek, son of former NFL tight end Jay Novacek, is suing a University of Oklahoma fraternity for brain injuries he sustained from hazing in 2015.

He was pledging to the Beta Theta Pi fraternity on October 11,2015 when he was taken into Shane Musselman’s room and asked to state facts about the fraternity’s history. When he could not give the answers, he was hit in the stomach with a baseball bat. He fell after being hit and struck his head on a hard object which left him unconscious for around 10 hours. Novacek alleges that Gavin Martindale approached him after he woke up and told him to keep his mouth shut about the incident.

Novacek’s attorney, Christopher Cooke, said the plaintiff has been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, postconcussive syndrome, and bipolar disorder. Novacek is also under the care of many doctors.

Both Martindale and Musselman have retained attorneys to “aggressively defend” them in the suit, and the fraternity denies the allegations. The Gamma Phi chapter said there were no fraternity activities on October 11 because nearly all of the fraternity members were in Dallas for a football game that weekend. Novacek also posted a photo of himself at the Dallas Cowboys football game on October 11.

Cooke says Novacek is unable to recall dates after sustaining head injuries and says the date given is the closest he can recall to the date of the events outlined in the lawsuit.

The most recent fraternity hazing death occurred on September 14 at Louisiana State University. Max Gruver, 18, was laid on a couch by members of Phi Delta Theta that morning. When they came back, his pulse was weak. Gruver died at a nearby hospital later that day. The coroner reported Gruver having a “highly elevated” blood-alcohol level. His BAC was .495, significantly higher than the 0.08 that would be considered legally drunk in Louisiana.

Max Gruver

Arrest warrants were issued for the people involved in Gruver’s death. They were charged with hazing, and Alexander Naquin has an added charge of negligent homicide.

According to the University of Dayton, alcohol consumption is one of the most common activities involved in hazing and contributes to 82% of hazing deaths. Nine out of ten college students who have experienced hazing in college do not believe they have been hazed. While alcohol is a common hazing activity, there are also many others including:
• Morally degrading or humiliating activities, games or stunts
• Physical abuse
• Requiring of nudity
• Having a person run personal errands

Hazing cases that result in death occur each year. However, most students who experience hazing do not come forward and report it to their campus officials. This is partially out of fear of the consequences of their actions and because they do not realize they have been hazed. These activities occur more frequently in clubs, teams, and student organizations. Sometimes hazing occurs with a faculty member who is present or is actually engaging in the activities. TAMUT students can report hazing to the Office of Student Life at (903) 223-3116 or the Vice President of Student Affairs at (903) 223-3602.

For more information about hazing, visit the following links:
http://www.tamut.edu/Campus-Life/Student-Conduct/Hazing.html
http://www.uncw.edu/fsl/hazing/whatis.html

A silent protest with a loud message

Dallas Cowboys team and owner lock arms in moment of silent protest on Monday September 25. Photo from ESPN.

In 2016, Colin Kaepernick drew nationwide attention for not standing during the national anthem before games. His silent protest was against the oppression of people of color in light of events of police brutality. This form of protest has gained more attention since Sunday, when more players were shown with arms linked, kneeling on the field, sparking a debate over what the players are protesting and whether they should be able to protest at all.

On Monday September 25, the Dallas Cowboys team and its owner, Jerry Jones, linked arms and knelt on the field before the national anthem was played amidst jeers from the crowded arena. Jason Garret, Dallas Cowboys head coach, said in an interview with NFL Total Access they chose that moment to demonstrate for a reason.

“The biggest thing for us was to show support and to demonstrate, but do it in a way that didn’t involve the American flag and the national anthem, and everybody was behind that,” said Garret.

“The reason that I’m particularly proud of this team and the coaches that coached them, is because we all agreed that our players wanted to make a statement about unity and we wanted to make a statement about equality,” said Jerry Jones.

Jones is not the only owner to kneel with his team. Arthur Blank of the Atlanta Falcons and Dan Snyder of the Washington Redskins also kneeled with their teams. Donald Trump has spoken out against the NFL, urging for a rule that forces the players to stand for the anthem and sees kneeling as a sign of disrespect on the United States rather than a silent protest for social equality. He shared his opinion through a series of tweets.

Many Americans agreed with his statements. Taya Kyle, widow of ‘American Sniper’, Chris Kyle, shared her thoughts about the issue in a letter to the NFL on Facebook. In the letter, she claims the NFL’s job was to “bring people together and heal the world” and feels that their recent protests go against that.

“You are asking us to abandon what we loved about togetherness and make choices of division,” Kyle said.

While many Americans believe the protests are disrespectful to the country, others do not. There are many Americans that understand there is a meaning behind the protests, but feel the field is not the right platform.

Zane Watson, freshman, was on the fence about the issue.

“It’s their right as human beings to represent their opinions, but those opinions can reflect badly on the organization,” he said.

Cameron Frieden, University of Iowa student, does not believe the protests are disrespectful to veterans or the flag.

“These players make millions of dollars a year to play one game on Sunday, Monday, or Thursday. It’s a distraction to the sport of football. I think they should do it on their own time and not involve the game.”

“I personally don’t see why they shouldn’t be allowed to kneel. I also feel like if there are etiquette rules about the national anthem, they should consider that, too,” said Kayla Biegler.

Other Americans support the protests and feel the players are within their constitutional right to protest an injustice on the field.

Olivia Okoye, freshman, supports the players kneeling. “It’s their right to kneel. If they feel that they should do it, it’s their right.”

“I think they are standing as a team no matter what race they are because it affects all races. There are all races in the NFL,” said Arlena Lightsey, freshman.

Cassie Underwood, United States Army service member, believes the players have the right to kneel because they are using their right to a nonviolent protest.

“There are many people who don’t take off a hat or stand during the national anthem, but since the football players are televised, they are scrutinized for every movement they make.”

United States Navy service member, Kevin Marshall, agrees that the players should be allowed to kneel. However, he thinks the reason for it has changed.

“The protest is no longer about social injustice. Now it’s a protest against the President,” he said. “It started with protesting the social injustices that we as people of color face every day. Now, it’s more superficial with some protesting the cause mixed in with some showing unity after disrespect.”

United States Navy veteran, Willie Black, said, “Colin Kaepernick wanted to bring attention to racial inequality and police brutality toward African Americans. After Trump’s tweets this past weekend targeting the NFL, players, coaches, and managers and owners responded peacefully.”

Officers At Sea

Richardson Rutter-Reese

The U.S. Coast Guard is one of the five armed branches in America. The Coast Guard is unique in that it falls under the Department of Homeland Security, while the other four branches fall under the guidance of the Department of Defense. The Coast Guard was the first armed force created by the United States as a nation, then known as the Revenue Cutter Service. The job of the service was to deter smugglers and to ensure that taxes were being paid by sea-going merchants. Over the centuries other agencies and duties have been created and absorbed, including the Life-saving service, the lighthouse service, the ice breaking service, the aids to navigation service, the radio service, the humanitarian service, the intelligence service, the law enforcement service, and the immigrations service. All these services and more have been combined to form the multi-directed mission that the modern U.S. Coast Guard performs today.

From a historical perspective, the Coast Guard has been involved in every American conflict, notably Vietnam, World War II, and the War on Terror. During World War II the Coast Guard performed minesweeping operations, operated watercraft during beach landings, collected intelligence, kept traveling routes clear of ice, and performed anti submarine operations. It was a during a beach rescue operation that Signalman First Class Douglas Munro was killed after volunteering to make multiple trips to get all the Marines off the island, including a Marine who would become General Chesty Puller. He was shot on the way back to the ship after making the last trip. He remains the only Coast Guardsman to receive the Medal of Honor.  During the Vietnam War the Coast Guard patrolled the shoreline ensuring the Vietcong would be cut off from supplies and reinforcements. They would also transport troops.

The Coast Guard is the only military branch authorized to perform law enforcement action. This is becuse it falls under the Department of Homeland Security. A Coast Guard vessel may at any time inspect, board, or question any vessel in U.S. waters or our Allies’ waters. There are no rights to privacy on the water as on land. All petty officers in the Coast Guard are federal law enforcement officers, and able to carry subpoenas, detain suspicious individuals, and make arrests. Due to the dual military and law enforcement nature of members in the Coast Guard, there is confusion on how far the rights of a petty officer go. Technically, as federal law enforcement officers, petty officers can carry weapons across the fifty states.  Some state police disagree with this and will still arrest members carrying weapons. This is still an ongoing issue in the courts.

On the topic of members of the Coast Guard, it has consistently been the smallest service since its creation. At the height of its force, the New York Police Department outnumbered the active duty members of the Coast Guard. It has always been a service that prides itself on doing more with less. It receives the lowest budget out of the five services, it has one of the oldest fleets in the world, and consistently uses older technology from the Navy. Many swathes of water go unguarded due to their not being enough funds to patrol all the areas of the coastline.

Even with these problems, people are not deterred from the Coast Guard. It is the most competitive branch to enlist into. The reenlistment rate is above 90%, the only service to have this claim. The Coast Guard administration had to create programs to phase non-performing members out to create space for other sailors to advance. Through the ages, members of the Coast Guard stay with their service. The Coast Guard is a unique service in America, and although its numbers are small, it provides a large impact for the safety and protection of the American people.