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Editorial By: Kelly Woodard

This week I did as most women (and men) in America did, and sat down to watch the Victoria’s Secret runway show. I’m not really sure why I do it every year. I don’t buy the looks featured, I wouldn’t be caught dead listening to Taylor Swift or Ariana Grande (in public anyways), and when it’s over, I always feel a gaping hole inside of me where the skinny girl within’s soul used to live. This year was no exception.
Once again on my never-ending quest for health, fitness, and a body that I’m not embarrassed to put a bikini on, I had cut out red meat, sugar, flour, and for the most part carbs, a month ago. For any normal human being, eating clean and working out several times a week at a high intensity boot camp would have weight melting off of them, but just yesterday I weighed in to find that I had only shed 2 pounds. Pure torture.
Needless to say, the last thing I needed to bum me out was 47 gorgeous, long, lean beauties stomping down the runway in underwear to remind me how far I have left to go just to be a socially acceptable troll on the beach. I had made up my mind not to watch.
Within seconds of the show starting, my girlfriends began texting me. “Did you see that outfit?” “Taylor Swift is coming on next.” “They are showing behind the scenes stuff.” Like the reality addict and self-deprecating sadist I am, I couldn’t resist and turned it on just in time to catch a rousing lip sync of ‘Blank Space’ by Taylor Swift. It was almost as believable as the models being au naturel. See….I’m being facetious here.
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It's Not About Race
Making Sense by Michael Reagan

Remember Kelly Thomas?

Didn't think so, but it's understandable.

Thomas was an unarmed mentally ill homeless man from Southern California who was tasered, clubbed and beaten to death in Fullerton by three cops in July of 2011.

Thomas' face was pounded to a pulp and, after losing the ability to breathe normally, he died later in a hospital of brain damage.

Video of the awful incident — including Thomas' screams and his cries of "Dad! Dad!" -- was recorded on security cameras and there was a minor outcry at the time over police brutality.

Unlike the case of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., county prosecutors brought the Fullerton cops to trial on serious charges.

But last January a jury acquitted two of them and charges against the third policeman were dropped.

When the "peace" officers who killed Thomas got off the hook, what happened? Almost nothing.

There was no 24/7 media circus. No "Dad! Dad!" T-shirts were printed up. The Rev. Al Sharpton didn't come to town.

And there were no big marches like the one in Berkeley the other night to protest the death of corner cigarette salesman Eric Garner of Staten Island, N.Y.

Why was no big fuss made over Thomas' unjustifiable death?

It was on videotape. It was far more violent than Eric Garner's death. It clearly was not an accident or caused in part by his weight or bad physical health.

Thomas was killed by three men who were either bad cops or poorly trained, or both. But he was the wrong color — white.

That's why there were no sad commentaries from President Obama and no public protests from professional football or basketball players when the three cops who killed Thomas got off.

We have a serious law enforcement problem in America, but it's not about race. It's about bad cops and how we've built our policing system.

No one knows how many people cops kill unjustifiably each year. The statistics are fuzzy because of problems with under-reportng, but the number is said to be at least 400.

The media — and the president — pick and choose which victims of police stupidity or brutality to emphasize.

It's all about politics — racial politics. And it's usually designed to fit the myth that cops hate or fear black males, or devalue their lives compared to whites, and are therefore more likely to shoot them dead.

But it's become clear to me that it's not racism that's the real problem. It's our police.

Most cops, by far, are good. But we also have too many bad or dumb cops.

We've lowered standards and hired people who are under-qualified or not suited psychologically to be cops in the first place.

Then we train them poorly, equip them with all kinds of deadly weapons, give them too much power over our lives and excuse them when they do bad or dumb things.

Making everything worse are our politicians.

Both parties pass all kinds of stupid or harmful laws that cops are then expected to enforce — laws like the one in New York City against selling loose cigarettes that resulted in Garner's death.

New York's lawmakers have jacked up the tax on cigarettes so high that they've created a black market and turned harmless entrepreneurial people like Garner into criminals.

They are the ones who should be put on trial. For criminal greed and stupidity.

Every talk show host in the country, including me, predicted years ago that putting exorbitant taxes on cigarettes would create a thriving black market in New York. The high price of a carton of cigarettes cost Garner his life.

The team of cops who killed Eric Garner shouldn't have been wasting their time harassing him for his minor victimless crime.

He didn't deserve to die. But his death — like Kelly Thomas' death -- had nothing to do with his race. It had everything to do with a broken system of policing that badly needs to be fixed.
Copyright ©2014 Michael Reagan. Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of "The New Reagan Revolution" (St. Martin's Press). He is the founder of the email service reagan.com and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at www.reagan.com and www.michaelereagan.com. Send comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com. Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.
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Help Needed As the Investigation Continues In the Murder Of Local Dolphin
By: Kelly Woodard

Local coastal communities are still reeling after the discovery of a dolphin with a hunting arrow in its side was found dead in Orange Beach this weekend. Federal officials are investigating the crime, which many residents are saying is “heartbreaking”.
In a press release from NOAA, preliminary results of a necropsy suggest the dolphin lived with the arrow in its side for at least five days before dying from a from a secondary infection caused by the wound. NOAA spokesperson Kim Amendola reports that this is the second human-related dolphin death in the past two weeks in the northern Gulf of Mexico coming shortly after the discovery of a pregnant dolphin was found dead after being shot with a firearm in Miramar Beach.
Published reports by NOAA state that at least 17 dolphins have stranded with gunshot wounds since 2002, with 70 percent of those occurring since 2010, a huge problem considering that all human interaction with the marine mammals is punishable by up to $100,000 in fines and up to one year in jail per violation according to Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972.
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Santa “Drops” In This Weekend To Help Provide Christmas Memories For Everyone
By: Kelly Woodard

Even though we don’t have snow for Christmas here on the Gulf Coast, that doesn’t mean Santa doesn’t stop in on our “snow” white sands for a meet and greet! Watch Santa fly in to the Flora-Bama to kick off the holiday season right at the Annual Flora-Bama Santa Drop, this Saturday, December 13
th at noon.
Santa will parachute in from the North Pole and land right on the beach just in time to hear your Christmas wish list. Of course he will be bringing gifts in his magical bag to hand out to all the good boys and girls in attendance. Kids (and adults) of all ages will have the opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap and take a special photo.
Other festivities for the event will include a tree trimming party, fantastic holiday inspired food and drinks, as well as a holiday sing along including all of the holiday classics, led by Flora-Bama favorite, Cathy Pace.
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Still Looking For the Perfect Gift? Tips For Last Minute Shoppers
By: Kelly Woodard

Did you wait until the last minute to do your holiday shopping? Don’t panic….you’re not alone! The most important thing to do now is create a plan so you don’t end up with all the wrong gifts and head with a lot less hair! Here are some suggestions to get you through the last minute hustle and bustle of the holidays while pleasing all those on your seemingly never-ending list.
If you're in a hurry, save yourself some time and cash by purchasing online (using an online coupon code, of course) and picking it up in the store. You'll be in and out fast -no wandering the aisles in a state of indecision and, best of all, no shipping delays.
Don’t forget to score fast free shipping for little Timmy's gift when you take advantage of the 2-day shipping perk that comes with an Amazon Prime membership. Order Prime-eligible items by 12/22 for Christmas Eve delivery. Not interested in shelling out for Prime year round? Sign up for the free trial and cancel before your 30 days are up.
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Local Musician Helps Barbie to Make Girls Proud ‘To Be a Woman’
By: Kelly Woodard

Grammy nominated singer/songwriter and local resident Rhonda Hart once again turned her fabulousness into a magical Christmas for underprivileged kids along the Gulf Coast with her annual Birthday Barbie Bash.
Hart, who began her career in Nashville with an all-girls group called "Angels On The Range" consisting of herself, Deanna Carter, and Mila Mason, is best known for writing the Quadruple Platinum hit, "Did I Shave My Legs For This" for Deanna Carter’s multiplatinum album of the same name. The song received a Grammy Nomination in 1998 for Country Song of the Year. Her latest album, "To Be A Woman" is available now on iTunes.
Hart moved to the Perdido Key area several years ago, and has made quite an impression on the local music scene ever since. With her stunning good looks, raspy country voice, and incredible stage presence, Hart has become a crowd favorite among local music lovers. Always known for her giving nature, Hart now shares her generosity in a way that would make even the most sophisticated Barbie proud.
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