Moments of terror filled Sunday afternoon for many towns in the Midwest and Ohio Valley as tornadoes ripped apart homes, brought down trees and tossed cars into the air as if they were toys. Emergency responders in Illinois and Wisconsin were the first to spring into action as the storms began to fire, but before long, several other states reported damage from possible tornadoes.
Pictured above is our gallery of aftermath images from the terrifying event. Please check back frequently for the latest photos as this severe weather event unfolds.
More from The Weather Channel
- Midwest Severe Weather Outbreak (fox16.com)
- Large Tornado Confirmed In Central Illinois As Severe Weather Hits The Midwest (businessinsider.com)
- Midwest at risk of severe storms, twisters (usatoday.com)
- Tornadoes rake the Upper Mid West (weathersnapshot.com)
- HAIL TO THE CHIEF: Rare Tornado Outbreak Explained (wqad.com)
- Rare November Tornado Outbreak Kills 6; Subtropical Storm Melissa Forms (wunderground.com)
- Tornadoes, damaging storms sweep across Midwest (cnsnews.com)
- Tornado watch in effective until midnight (chronicle.northcoastnow.com)
- Severe weather, tornadoes threaten Midwest (today.com)
- Tornadoes, damaging storms sweep across Midwest (news.yahoo.com)
PRIVATE LIVES December 4, 2013
In late August, I got an extra day — just an average day — with my father.
At 82, my dad had a whole litany of ailments: a bad heart, inferior lungs, failing eyesight, some skin cancer and a pesky wound on his leg that just wouldn’t heal. So, at the last minute, a day after my mother’s birthday, I detoured from a business trip over to Tampa to see them.
We didn’t do anything special. I made a bunch of work calls, returned emails, even took a nap. Dad paid some bills, opening up a little to me about the state of his finances, which he never did. He had his Social Security, a small pension and the money that he worked hard to save in 47 years as a union butcher for the A&P. Looking through an old tin box, I came across his Army discharge papers and discovered he’d been awarded three bronze stars — something else he’d never bothered to mention. Then he sat in his chair, hooked up to the oxygen he didn’t wear as much as he should, occasionally dozing off between reruns of “M*A*S*H” and “Bonanza.”
I took him to the doctor, where he got (for him) a pretty clean bill of health, and we went to the grocery store. I bought wine and some half-and-half for my coffee. He bought scratch-off lottery tickets — one for him and one to bring home to my mother. On the way home, in a half-sentence conversation that only a father and a son could have, he confirmed that yes, he did want to be cremated someday, and yes, that veterans’ cemetery where they buried Uncle Bob seemed like a nice spot.
In the afternoon, we sat together and I showed him pictures on my computer of his granddaughter Ellie’s first day in kindergarten. For some reason, we looked up on Google Maps places where he had lived and talked about how much they had changed and whether he remembered them looking the way they do now.
Before the three of us went out to dinner we watched Fox News, while outside an early evening Florida thunderstorm was underway. We waited most of it out, but we still got a little wet getting into the car.
On our way to dinner, we argued about where to eat — the Greek place, the place where we get the soup, no, no, the Italian.
I don’t really remember what we talked about at the restaurant — my work, family, kids. But then, there was no reason to remember this particular conversation. Dad and I shared a bottle of wine. With my mother, he shared a birthday portion of tiramisù but only after the waiters embarrassed her with a round of “Happy Birthday.” We even toasted — “to our health.” He tried paying the bill but I insisted, promising he could buy breakfast the next morning.
He was quiet on the drive home but that wasn’t unusual. He was always a quiet guy — Gary Cooper, not John Wayne. As we pulled into the driveway he felt stiff, so I helped him get out of the car and walk inside the house.
Once inside, I called my wife, Nina. She was telling me about Ellie’s first day in school when I heard my mother scream my name. It took only four steps to reach the bathroom where I found my dad frozen, barely standing. “C’mon, Dad, let me help you to the chair.” He started to collapse. I caught him. He couldn’t speak, was gasping for breath. I called 911 while my mother started to cry. The operator told me to start giving him CPR. I’d taken classes, I got the concept, but I’d never actually done it for real and never on my father. Push. Push. Push. There was a gurgling sound from his mouth. His breathing was getting weaker, his eyes rolling back. “C’mon, Pop — breathe, breathe.”
Then the house was filled with paramedics. The defibrillator came out. And my father was in the ambulance, on his way to the hospital, with my mother and me following behind.
At the emergency room, I could tell from the faces of the nurses that it didn’t look good. A sweet doctor came out to tell us they were working on him.
Fifteen minutes later, he reappeared to tell us that my dad was gone. A little over an hour earlier he was eating cake and singing “Happy Birthday.” Now he was dead.
It wasn’t until the next morning that I realized I was a thief.
I stole time. I stole an extra day.
Today’s Stupid Conservative Quotes
Hempstead Independent School District (ISD) in Texas has confirmed that a middle school principal has been placed on leave after Hispanic students said that she forbid the entire school from speaking Spanish.
“I will choke that cleaning in the library,” Palmisano wrote on Twitter in March 2011. “Stop banging [expletive] chairs around and turn off your Walkman.”
In January 2011, Palmisano, who served as an intern on Walker’s campaign for six months before her promotion, also complained about Latinos on Twitter while riding a bus from Pasadena, California to Las Vegas, Nevada.
“This bus is my worst (expletive) nightmare,” she wrote at the time. “Nobody speaks English & these ppl dont know how 2 control their kids #only3morehours # .”
“In this nation we have turned away from the God of the Bible and we’ve told him he’s simply not welcome here,” McGowan said. “We have welcomed pluralism, atheism, secular humanism, Wicca and even Islam.”
She said the nation’s downfall began 50 years ago, when public school-sponsored prayer was limited and continued 10 years later when abortion was legalized.
“We sacrificed 55 million children in 40 years to the god of convenience and self-importance,” McGowan said. “The tune of 55 million. That’s our children, that’s our people; that’s Americans. Fifth-five million Americans have been tossed into the fire, the Dumpster and the toilet.”
“Our national security was breached on 9/11 and yet no repentance came,” McGowan said. “Then financial devastation hit seven years later; still no repentance. Chance after chance to change, yet we still hoist our fist in his face.”
“What will be our future in September of 2015, another seven years, if we don’t repent?” McGowan said. “ If there is no repentance, hear me, there is no salvation. Change of destiny requires a change of course.”
I’ve had several companies come in and they have said just the fact — just the fact — that in the individual market pre-existing conditions have to be covered on Jan. 1, that that is going to double the cost of insurance. You have to have liability insurance. If you’re going to drive on Georgia’s roads, you have to have liability insurance. You don’t have to have collision. You don’t have to have comprehensive…. But you have to have liability.
But say you’re going along and you have a wreck. Well, a pre-existing condition would be you then calling up your insurance agent and saying, ‘I would like to get collision insurance coverage on my car.’ And your insurance agent says, ‘Well, you never had that before. Why would you want it now?’
- Hispanic Students Prohibited From Speaking Spanish At Texas School (VIDEO) (addictinginfo.org)
- Hempstead principal bans speaking Spanish in school (newsfixnow.com)
- Principal suspended after forbidding schoolchildren from speaking Spanish (VIDEO) (thelibertarianrepublic.com)
- Principal bans Spanish language in intercom announcement: report (washingtontimes.com)
- Texas Principal Bans Spanish in Mostly-Hispanic Middle School to ‘Prevent Disruptions’ (crooksandliars.com)
- Texas principal bans Hispanic students from speaking Spanish to ‘prevent disruptions’ (rawstory.com)
- TX principal accused of banning students from speaking Spanish in classroom (nbclatino.com)
- Principal Bans Hispanic Students from Speaking Spanish (gawker.com)
- Hempstead residents speak out after principal put on leave for banning Spanish in class (khou.com)
- Texas middle school students say principal tried to ban speaking Spanish (wfaa.com)
(NEWSER) – A Swedish prisoner managed to escape the minimum-security facility where he was being held, but rather than head for the hills, he went to … the dentist. He had asked for medical care but had not received it, he claims. “My whole face was swollen. I just couldn’t stand it any more,” he explained to a local newspaper, as quoted in the Local. He gamely turned himself back in after having his bum tooth removed, but even so, his original one-month sentence was extended by a day. His electronic tag went off after his escape, AFP reports, but officials—who probably didn’t think to look at the dentist’s office—couldn’t find him.
- Prisoner Escapes… So He Can Go to Dentist (newser.com)
- Swedish Inmate Escaped Prison to Go to the Dentist (gawker.com)
- Swedish prisoner escapes to visit dentist (sott.net)
- Convict escapes prison so he can go to see the dentist (metro.co.uk)
- Swedish Prisoner Escapes To Go To Dentist,Turns Himself Back In After Treatment (medicaldaily.com)
- Swedish prisoner escaped to visit dentist, turned self in (upi.com)
- Inmate Escapes From Swedish Prison, Goes To Dentist, Turns Self Back In: Report (wonderfultips.wordpress.com)
- Man Escapes from Prison To Go To the Dentist and Returns to Prison After Tooth Extraction (americanlivewire.com)
- Swedish prisoner escapes.. to go to the dentist. Returns to prison afterwards. (orrazz.com)
- ‘Arrogant’ dentist escapes jail (smh.com.au)
BY STEVE COLL
In 2005, Alaska Airlines fired nearly five hundred union baggage handlers in Seattle and replaced them with contractors. The old workers earned about thirteen dollars an hour; the new ones made around nine. The restructuring was a common episode in America’s recent experience of inequality. In the decade after 2000, Seattle’s median household income rose by a third, lifted by the stock-vested, Tumi-toting travelers of its tech economy. But at the bottom of the wage scale earnings flattened.
Sea-Tac, the airport serving the Seattle-Tacoma area, lies within SeaTac, a city flecked by poverty. Its population of twenty-seven thousand includes Latino, Somali, and South Asian immigrants. Earlier this year, residents, aided by outside labor organizers, put forward a ballot initiative, Proposition 1, to raise the local minimum wage for some airport and hotel workers, including baggage handlers. The reformers did not aim incrementally: they proposed fifteen dollars an hour, which would be the highest minimum wage in the country, by almost fifty per cent. A ballot initiative so audacious would normally have little chance of becoming law, but Proposition 1 polled well, and by the summer it had turned SeaTac into a carnival of electoral competition. Business groups and labor activists spent almost two million dollars on television ads, mailings, and door knocking—about three hundred dollars per eventual voter. (Alaska Airlines wrote the biggest check for the no side.) On November 5th, SeaTac-ians spoke: yes, by a margin of just seventy-seven votes, out of six thousand cast. A reversal after a recount is still possible.
In any event, SeaTac has proved that the sources of surprise in American politics since the Great Recession are not limited to Tea Party rabble-rousing. The grassroots left, which seemed scattered and demoralized after the Occupy movement fizzled, has revived itself this year—with help from union money and professional canvassers—by rallying voters around the argument that anyone who works full time ought not to be at risk of poverty. Earlier this year, fast-food workers nationwide went on strike for higher pay. This holiday season, activists have been excoriating WalMart because one of its stores organized a charitable food drive for its own low-paid employees. McDonald’s was taken to task for suggesting, on a company Web site, that strapped employees could raise cash for presents by selling belongings on eBay.
The movement has momentum because most Americans believe that the federal minimum wage—seven dollars and twenty-five cents an hour, the same as it was in 2009—is too low. A family of four dependent on a single earner at that level—making fifteen thousand dollars a year—is living far below the federal poverty line. In January, President Obama called for raising the federal minimum to nine dollars an hour, and, more recently, he endorsed a target of ten dollars. Yet Congress has failed to act: a bill is finally heading for the Senate this month, but intractable Republican opposition in the House has made passage of any legislation in the short term highly unlikely. The gridlock has prompted local wage campaigns such as the one in SeaTac.
Twenty-one states and more than a hundred counties and cities have enacted laws that set minimums above the federal one. Before SeaTac’s vote, an Indian reservation in California had the highest local minimum in the country, of ten dollars and sixty cents. San Francisco’s is just a nickel less. But political support for higher wages extends well beyond Left Coast enclaves. According to a Gallup poll taken earlier this year, a majority of Republicans favor a minimum wage of nine dollars. That reflects a truth beyond ideology: life on fifteen thousand a year is barely plausible anymore, even in the low-cost rural areas of the Deep South and the Midwest. National Republican leaders are out of touch with the electorate on this as on much else, and they are too wary of Tea Party dissent to challenge their party’s current orthodoxies of fiscal austerity and free-market purity. In New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie, a presumed 2016 Presidential contender, publicly denounced a ballot measure to raise his state’s minimum to eight dollars and twenty-five cents and to guarantee annual increases linked to inflation. The proposal passed last month anyway, backed by a sixty-one-per-cent majority.
For decades, business owners have resisted higher minimum wages by arguing that they destroy jobs, particularly for young people. At some theoretical level, high minimum wages will distort job creation, but the best empirical evidence from the past decade is aligned with common sense: a minimum wage drawn somewhat above the poverty line helps those who work full time to live decently, without having a significant impact on other job seekers or on total employment. (For example, a study of pairs of neighboring counties with differing minimum pay found that higher wages had no adverse effect on restaurant jobs.) Even so, a federal minimum wage of ten dollars or more will not solve inequality. It will not stop runaway executive pay or alter the winner-take-all forces at work in the global economy. Yet it will bring millions of Americans closer to the levels of economic security and disposable income that they knew before the housing bubble burst.
Now ’tis the season to be hired for temporary low-wage jobs: about half a million people will get work packing Amazon boxes, tending department-store perfume counters, and restocking toy-store shelves to earn and spend their way through the holidays. For those who are paid minimum wage, the outlook remains desultory. Bloomberg News, noting that spendable incomes at the bottom of the pay scale have hardly risen for the fourth consecutive year, reported that “low-income Americans will again have a less-merry season than affluent consumers, who are more flush thanks in part to surging stock markets.”
In SeaTac, at least, there is cheer. The higher-wage campaign showed some of the Occupy movement’s exuberant spirit, but it added a poll-tested goal and the savvy of political professionals. It was politics of a familiar type, yet the bold demands discomfited some of the Northwestern establishment. The Seattle Times urged SeaTac-ians to vote no; the editorial board worried that Proposition 1 was “a labor contract written by social activists,” as if that were a departure from history. The case for a strong minimum wage has always been, in part, civic and moral. Minimum wages do not create new “entitlement” programs or otherwise enjoin the country’s sterile debates about the value of government. They are designed to insure that the dignity of work includes true economic independence for all who embrace it.
ILLUSTRATION: TOM BACHTELL
- Steve Coll: Raising the minimum wage. (newyorker.com)
- New Yorker Demands More Job-Killing By Raising Minimum Wage (thepatriotperspective.wordpress.com)
- Recount requested of SeaTac $15 minimum wage vote (king5.com)
- $15 minimum wage: Today SeaTac, tomorrow America (seattlepi.com)
- SeaTac Voters OK $15 Minimum Wage; Recount Requested (npr.org)
- Monday Reads: We’re losing the War on Poverty (skydancingblog.com)
- Recount requested of SeaTac $15 minimum wage vote (komonews.com)
- SeaTac, Wash., $15 minimum-wage measure passes, goes to recount – @seattletimes (seattletimes.com)
- A Fair Minimum Wage As a School Achievement Strategy? (janresseger.wordpress.com)
- Koch brothers mount Braveheart-like stand against minimum wage increase in SeaTac (rawstory.com)