Video: A Heartbreaking Memorial for a Gay Soldier Killed in Afghanistan

Gay soldier Andrew Wilfahrt's death reminds us why "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was incredibly stupid.


Corporal Andrew Wilfahrt was a young man from Minnesota who joined the Army in 2009. Though he'd been openly gay his whole adult life, the then 29-year-old closeted himself in order to enlist, but he eventually came out to some of his fellow soldiers. Their response? According to Wilfahrt's mother, "nobody cared." "Even the really conservative, religious types," Wilfahrt told her, "they didn't care either."

Wilfahrt was killed in action in Afghanistan in February, just two months after President Obama signed into law a repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." According to his father, who says in this video that Wilfahrt's sexuality was "the least interesting thing about him," Wilfahrt threw himself in front of a bomb in order to protect one of his colleagues, who had two children at home.

"Soldiers don't die for our political agendas," says Wilfahrt's dad, mourning his son in the above video. "Soldiers die for each other." The message is simple: The vast majority of people arguing about gays in the military aren't in the military themselves. Because soldiers on the battlefield don't care about each other's sexuality. They care about staying alive.


Two years after its opening in 1914, the Baltimore Museum of Art acquired a painting by Sarah Miriam Peale — its first work by a female artist. More than a century later, one might assume that the museum would have a fairly equal mix of male and female artists, right? But as of today, only 4% of the 95,000 pieces in the museum's permanent collection were created by women.

The museum is determined to narrow that gap, and they're taking a drastic step to do so.

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Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" debuted the first episode of its final season last week.

The show is loosely based on an alternative history novel by Philip K. Dick that postulates what would happen if Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan controlled the United States after being victorious in World War II.

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The World Health Organization is hoping to drive down the cost of insulin by encouraging more generic drug makers to enter the market.

The organization hopes that by increasing competition for insulin, drug manufacturers will be forced to lower their prices.

Currently, only three companies dominate the world insulin market, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. Over the past three decades they've worked to drastically increase the price of the drug, leading to an insulin availability crisis in some places.

In the United States, the price of insulin has increased from $35 a vial to $275 over the past two decades.

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Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

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The Planet

Since the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, whale populations have been steadily recovering. However, whales in the wild still face other dangers. In the summer of 2018, four Russian companies that supply aquariums with marine animals captured almost 100 beluga whales and killer whales (aka orcas). After a public outcry, those whales are swimming free as the last of the captive whales have been released, the first time this many captured whales have been released back into the wild.

In late 2018 and early 2019, a drone captured footage of 11 orcas and 87 beluga whales crammed into holding pens in the Srednyaya Bay. The so-called "whale jail" made headlines, and authorities began to investigate their potentially illegal capture.

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