Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mitt Romney Florida Victory Speech

Following up on my earlier report, "Mitt Romney Florida Victory Could Deal Mortal Blow to Once-Resurgent Newt Gingrich."

And check The Other McCain, "BREAKING NEWS: MITT ROMNEY WINS FLORIDA REPUBLICAN PRIMARY." And also Legal Insurrection, "Florida primary results."

Mitt Romney Florida Victory Could Deal Mortal Blow to Once-Resurgent Newt Gingrich

I wouldn't count out Gingrich just yet, but the momentum is back with Romney in a big way tonight.

At the Los Angeles Times, "Mitt Romney wins Florida GOP primary":

Reporting from Tampa, Fla. — Mitt Romney won the Florida presidential primary Tuesday, taking a long stride toward capturing the GOP nomination and dealing a potentially mortal blow to the hopes of the once-resurgent Newt Gingrich.

The television networks called the race for the Massachusetts governor soon after polls in the westernmost part of the state closed; by that time Romney already held a big lead in the votes already tabulated. The result ended what had become a suspenseless campaign over the last few days, as multiple opinion surveys showed Romney opening a commanding lead.

His victory handed Romney Florida's 50 delegates, the biggest cache yet, but more than that the win shows his ability to capture support in a big, costly and diverse state that will be a major battleground in the fall contest against President Obama.

Speaking to reporters before the polls closed, Romney said he learned a lesson from the double-digit loss he suffered at Gingrich's hands 10 days ago in South Carolina.

“If we’re successful here, it’ll be pretty clear that when attacked you have to respond and you can’t let charges go unanswered,” Romney said after visiting campaign volunteers at a Tampa phone bank. “I needed to make sure that instead of being outgunned in terms of attacks that I responded aggressively. I think I have and hopefully that will serve me well here.”

Also at the New York Times, "Romney Wins Big in Florida Primary," and the Washington Post, "Romney claims decisive victory in Florida." (Via Memorandum.)

More Florida blogging throughout the evening...

Van Halen: 'Tattoo'

Enjoy some music for the day, some lightening up.

Reactions to Guilty Verdicts in Canada 'Honor Killing' Trial

From Phyllis Chesler, at Fox News, "Will Guilty Verdict in Canadian 'Honor Killing' Trial Be a Turning Point for Justice?":

Western-style domestic violence and even domestically violent femicide is not the same as an honor killing.

For example, Westerners rarely kill their young daughters nor do Western families of origin conspire or collaborate in such murders. While Sikhs, and Hindus, (mainly in India), do commit honor killings, the majority of such murders in the West (91%) are Muslim-on-Muslim crimes.

The high-profile Shafia case may be a watershed decision in terms of Canada’s long standing Multiculturalism Policy which was passed in 1971 under Prime Minister Trudeau and legally enshrined in 1988 as the Canadian Multiculturalism Act.

According to Dr. Salim Mansur, a Muslim Canadian professor and author, such policies are ultimately “racist.” They keep immigrants confined to their “group” and do not encourage members to become “individuals” and “citizens” of a modern liberal democracy.

Although some have called for a special “honor killing” law, it is important to note that the Shafias were tried and convicted under existing Canadian law. They were not tried for committing a culturally approved “honor killing,” but for having conspired to commit a cold-blooded and pre-planned murder on Canadian soil.

So, too, were Muslim-Canadian Aqsa Parvez’s father, Mohammed, and her brother, Waqas, who were tried and convicted for murdering the 16-year-old girl because she refused to wear the hijab and other traditional clothing.

Her mother, who was not tried, lured her daughter home from a shelter for battered women to her death.

After the Shafia jury was individually polled, (it was a unanimous decision and the evidence of guilt was overwhelming), the Justice, Robert Maranger said “It is hard to imagine a more heinous crime, a cold-blooded and shameful crime, (committed because of) a sick notion about honor that has no place in this society.”

And in a statement following the verdict, Canadian Justice Minister Rob Nicholson called honor killings a practice that is "barbaric and unacceptable in Canada....This government is committed to protecting women and other vulnerable persons from all forms of violence and to hold perpetrators accountable for their acts."

Defense lawyer David Crowe has vowed to appeal.

The accused continue to insist they are innocent.

I hope that Canadian and North American Muslim associations and experts will welcome this decision in which three murdered Muslim girls and one murdered Muslim woman were considered important enough to merit a long and expensive trial in the search for justice.
VIDEO HAT TIP: Blazing Cat Fur, "Ezra Levant Rips Political Correctness & CBC"s Coverage of the Shafia Honour Killing."

California Penal Code Section 653m on Criminal Harassment With Intent to Annoy: Report on Unwanted Illegal Contacts by Fascist Hate-Blogger Walter James Casper III

As promised, I reported Walter James Casper III to the Irvine Police Department yesterday. The officer I spoke with indicated that Casper's actions are serious, potentially criminally actionable offenses under Section 653m of the California Penal Code, which states:
a. Every person who, with intent to annoy, telephones or makes contact by means of an electronic communication device with another and addresses to or about the other person any obscene language or addresses to the other person any threat to inflict injury to the person or property of the person addressed or any member of his or her family, is guilty of a misdemeanor. Nothing in this subdivision shall apply to telephone calls or electronic contacts made in good faith.

b. Every person who makes repeated telephone calls or makes repeated contact by means of an electronic communication device with intent to annoy another person at his or her residence, is, whether or not conversation ensues from making the telephone call or electronic contact, guilty of a misdemeanor. Nothing in this subdivision shall apply to telephone calls or electronic contacts made in good faith.

c. Every person who makes repeated telephone calls or makes repeated contact by means of an electronic communication device with the intent to annoy another person at his or her place of work is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by both the fine and imprisonment. Nothing in this subdivision shall apply to telephone calls or electronic contacts made in good faith.
The police found Casper to be harassing, although he's just short of being criminally implicated under California Penal Code Section 646.9, as discussed at my previous entry, "California Penal Code Section 646.9 on Criminal Harassment and Cyberstalking: Statement of Warning to Hate-Blogger Walter James Casper III. In fact, Casper's deranged actions are literally at the limits of legality under the law. Upon review of the evidence presented, the officer suggested that in her experience people like this are indeed highly dangerous and mentally unstable. In fact, the officer suggested that Casper was basically a dirtbag and a loser and wondered if someone like this was worth my time. She said that Casper was "beneath me." I said she had a point --- Casper IS a scuzzy racist sleazebag --- although I then further explained that Casper is the publisher of a hate blog whose co-bloggers and commenters have engaged in campaigns of workplace harassment and intimidation against me (and my family, since workplace attacks are threats to my family's economic livelihood). Given that, she said she understood why I wouldn't let a pattern of despicable intimidation such as Casper's slide by without challenge. Indeed, the officer indicated that Casper's unwanted communications --- communications through the Blogger commenting system, and especially those sent by e-mail after having been warned to cease and desist --- were potentially substantive violations of Penal Code Section 653m, cited above. The key qualifying factor here is Casper's pattern of persistent harassing and annoying contacts AFTER THE HARASSER HAS BEEN TOLD TO CEASE. At this point, while I issued a formal complaint against Casper, I agreed with the officer to hold off on opening a criminal investigation until the complaint process through Google has been exhausted.

Thus, I will be continuing my communications with Google in order to obtain action against Casper to desist from harassing me at the blog and by email.

It's also interesting to note the police department's reaction to Casper's comments after he was banned from American Power:
"As long as Donald Douglas is posting a public blog that accepts comments, I'm going to continue to comment on what he posts, whenever and wherever I choose. He's welcome to delete anything and everything I contribute to his blog if he so chooses -- it is his blog, after all -- but that won't stop me from making the contribution in the first place, and pointing out every cowardly deletion he makes (on my blog, I mean), as well."
I first showed these comments to the officers at the reception, as well the harassing emails Casper has sent me personally. The reception personnel then contacted the officer I spoke with, and I then filed the complaint. The officer and I also discussed strategies to deal with people like Casper who hide and harass under free speech protections to cause emotional and physical distress to their targets. I will be following up with her as soon as I know more from Google.

I will also be expanding the investigation on workplace harassment and intimidation with the Long Beach Police Department. In previous discussions with LBPD the possibility of restraining orders was raised with respect to outside complaints. I will be investigating what the LBPD will recommend regarding Walter James Casper III. Particularly, I will be indicating that it was his blog that first published my workplace information with the intent to harass and intimidate, and I will be indicating that Casper has continued to attempt to cause substantial emotional distress by making contacts to me that serve no legitimate purpose --- contacts that I have explicitly and repeatedly told Casper not to make. I will update on this further.

So until then, I am once again reiterating my demand to Walter James Casper III: Stop contacting me. Such contacts are in violation of the law, for you have been told to stop. Do not comment on this blog. You are banned. And cease and desist from further contacting me by email. You are in violation of California state law and continued contacts by you will be placed on file with the appropriate law enforcement authorities and I will continue to notify Google of your intent to annoy and cause emotional and physical distress.

Budget Cuts Force 'Rationing' at California Community Colleges

This isn't just about cutting class offerings, which is discussed at the clip by Ann-Marie Gabel, LBCC Vice President for Administrative Services.

The community college system will begin prioritizing enrollment, placing part-time, recreational, and self-enrichment students at the bottom of the priority list for registration. See the Sacramento Bee, "California community colleges prepare to ration their offerings":

Faced with state budget cuts since the recession – annual funding is now 12 percent below its 2008-09 high-water mark – community colleges have pared back course offerings. Yet demand remains sky high as costs at four-year universities shoot upward and unemployed Californians seek retraining.

Community college leaders say it has become necessary to ration classroom seats like water in a drought. They plan to impose statewide rules that prioritize students working toward a degree, certificate or basic academic skills. To meet that end, students who make little progress or take classes for enrichment purposes will move to the back of the line.

The hope, says California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott, is that new students won't get locked out. State leaders want to increase the percentage of students who graduate or transfer to universities, rates that suffer when students can't register for classes.

"It was never my wish to ration attendance at community colleges, but this was forced upon us by the very severe budget cuts," Scott said. "The reality is, we just can't offer everything to everybody."
Boy, it's going to be a tough year.

PREVIOUSLY: "Dr. Gaither Loewenstein Appointed New Vice President of Academic Affairs at Long Beach City College."

Monday, January 30, 2012

Michelle Malkin Endorses Rick Santorum for GOP Nomination

And boy, this is some doozy of an endorsement.

See, "For Santorum" (via Memeorandum):

Rick Santorum opposed TARP.

He didn’t cave when Chicken Littles in Washington invoked a manufactured crisis in 2008. He didn’t follow the pro-bailout GOP crowd — including Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich — and he didn’t have to obfuscate or rationalize his position then or now, like Rick Perry and Herman Cain did. He also opposed the auto bailout, Freddie and Fannie bailout, and porkulus bills.

Santorum opposed individual health care mandates — clearly and forcefully — as far back as his 1994 U.S. Senate run. He has launched the most cogent, forceful fusillade against both Romney and Gingrich for their muddied, pro-individual health care mandate waters.

He voted against cap and trade in 2003, voted yes to drilling in ANWR, and unlike Romney and Gingrich, Santorum has never dabbled with eco-radicals like John Holdren, Al Gore and Nancy Pelosi. He hasn’t written any “Contracts with the Earth.”

Santorum is strong on border security, national security, and defense. Mitt the Flip-Flopper and Open Borders-Pandering Newt have been far less trustworthy on immigration enforcement.

Santorum is an eloquent spokesperson for the culture of life. He has been savaged and ridiculed by leftist elites for upholding traditional family values — not just in word, but in deed.

He won Iowa through hard work and competent campaign management. Santorum has improved in every GOP debate and gave his strongest performance last week in Florida, wherein he both dismantled Romneycare and popped the Newt bubble by directly challenging the front-runners’ character and candor without resorting to their petty tactics.
He rose above the fray by sticking to issues.

Most commendably, he refused to join Gingrich and Perry in indulging in the contemptible Occupier rhetoric against Romney. Character and honor matter. Santorum has it.

Of course, Santorum is not perfect. As I’ve said all along, every election cycle is a Pageant of the Imperfects. He lost his Senate re-election bid in 2006, an abysmal year for conservatives. He was a go-along, get-along Big Government Republican in the Bush era. He supported No Child Left Behind, the prescription drug benefit entitlement, steel tariffs, and earmarks and outraged us movement conservatives by endorsing RINO Arlen Specter over stalwart conservative Pat Toomey.
Read it all at Michelle's.

Also blogging, Lonely Conservative, "Michelle Malkin Endorses Rick Santorum," and The Other McCain, "Like an Earthquake in Vanuatu: Michelle Malkin Endorses Rick Santorum!"

Shafia Convictions Put Focus on Culture of Honor Killings

At Wall Street Journal, "Afghan Immigrants in Canada Found Guilty of Honor Killing":

TORONTO—A Canadian court found two Afghan immigrant parents and their eldest son guilty of murdering four female family members in a so-called honor killing Sunday, the climax of a case that's transfixed Canada and sparked a wider debate about clashing cultures amid the country's large immigrant population.

Mohammad Shafia, his wife, Tooba Mohammad Yahya, and eldest son, Hamed, were found guilty of killing Mr. Shafia's three teenage daughters and Mr. Shafia's first wife in an elaborately staged, though ultimately bungled, car accident in June 2009. The defense argued the four died after a late-night joy ride went awry.

The four-month trial opened a relatively rare window onto honor killings in North America. The crime, where victims are murdered for bringing shame on their family, is increasingly common in western European countries like Britain and Sweden, which has seen large-scale immigration from countries where researchers say the custom happens most—such as Pakistan, India and Turkey ....

The prosecution argued it was honor rooted in Afghan tribal traditions that led Mr. Shafia to cleanse the shame he felt from the conduct of his rebellious daughters, Zainab, 19 years old, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13. The eldest two took unapproved boyfriends, and all three disobeyed their father through their independent behavior and sometimes-revealing dress. Rona Amir Mohammad, who was Mr. Shafia's first spouse in the polygamous family, was killed, the prosecution argued, because she was a troublesome first wife and lenient step mother.

The trial filled the Canadian press with the macabre details of a murder in which police believe the victims were drowned and then placed into a car that was then pushed into a lock outside of Kingston, near Toronto. The local press printed police transcripts of a ranting Mr. Shafia calling his daughters "whores" and boasting, "nothing is more dear to me than my honor."
Video c/o Blazing Cat Fur.

And my previous roundup is here: "Shafia Family Guilty of Honor Killings in Canada: Updates."

Costa Concordia Cruise Ship Will Take Up to 10 Months to Removed From Italy's Coast

At Telegraph UK, "Costa Concordia will take 10 months to be removed":

The Costa Concordia cruise ship will take up to 10 months to removed from Italy's coast, according to officials, as rough seas off the Tuscan coast forced the suspension of recovery operations.

Officials called off both the start of operations to remove of 500,000 gallons of fuel and the search for people still missing after determining the Costa Concordia had moved an inch and a half over six hours, coupled with waves of more than three feet.

A 17th body, identified as Peruvian crew member Erika Soria Molina, was found Saturday. Sixteen crew and passengers remain listed as missing, with one body recovered from the ship not yet identified.

Officials have virtually ruled out finding anyone alive more than two weeks after the Costa Concordia hit a reef, but were reluctant to give a final death toll for the Jan. 13 disaster. The crash happened when the captain deviated from his planned route, creating a huge gash that capsized the ship. More than 4,200 people were on board.

"Our first goal was to find people alive," Franco Gabrielli, the national civil protection official in charge of the operation, told a daily briefing. "Now we have a single, big goal, and that is that this does not translate into an environmental disaster."

Newt Gingrich Pledges 'Straight Out Contest For the Next Four or Five Months'

I posted on this previously, and now here's the video:

And see also Mark Levin, "Character Matters and Romney's Worries Me":
I am beginning to think that the nature and level of attacks being launched by Mitt Romney against Newt Gingrich, which he would surely use against any conservative threatening his nomination, are going to make it very difficult for Romney to unite the different factions of the GOP and the conservative movement behind his candidacy should he win the nomination.  While I have said that I would vote for Rick Santorum, I am appalled at the "anything goes" assault on Gingrich. See here:

Romney is not a conservative in the traditional sense, and he has a record of big-government Republicanism.  Even many years after the success of the Reagan administration, he sought to distance himself from Reagan and the GOP, self-identifying as a progressive and independent.  Thus, he resorts to spending multi-millions of dollars trashing his opponents, rather than providing thoughtful arguments on conservatism and constitutionalism.  Lest we forget, it was Gingrich who was trying to run a positive campaign and who offered to debate Romney one-on-one, asking Romney to stop with the millions in unanswered ads attacking him.  Romney declined.  I have no doubt that Romney would do the same thing to Santorum if Santorum was rising in the polls, albeit on different issues.

I have said that Romney is in many ways Richard Nixon, and that Romney would not successfully lead efforts to repeal Obamacare but, in fact, would grow the federal government in many respects.  Romney's advisor, former senator Norm Coleman, has now said as much.  That is Romney's record.  Despite having been a businessman, he was not a defender of free market capitalism while governor.  Romneycare is, as Santorum pointed out, a top-down government health care system with an individual mandate that is breaking Massachusetts' treasury and destroying private health insurance.  It is a disaster.  Romney also backed cap-and-trade and TARP (as did Gingrich).

My great fear is, however, that he is the weakest candidate who can face Obama and will go into the general election with a fractured base, thanks to his own character flaws, which are now on display, and his tactics of personal destruction.  Moreover, while Romney can swamp his Republican opponents by 3 to 1 or more in every state with his spending advantage, Barack Obama will be raising more and spending more to beat him in the general election, meaning Romney's financial advantage will be non-existent.
Continue reading.

NewsBusted: 'Gas expected to hit $5/gallon in summer'

Via Woodsterman:

Prosecutor Heckled by Shafia Guilt-Deniers at Press Conference in Canada Honor Killings Trial

More from Blazing Cat Fur:

The Economy Isn't Expanding Fast Enough to Make Up for Lost Years of Growth

From James Pethokoukis, "The economic chart that may doom the Obama presidency":


See also, "U.S. Economy Picks Up Steam: Fourth-Quarter Growth Rate of 2.8% is Fastest in 18 Months, but Doesn't Appear Sustainable."

PREVIOUSLY: " The Economy Still Sucks and It's Not Likely to Surge In Time to Save Barack Hussein," and "The Economy Still Sucks Democrat Donkey Dongs, No Matter What Islamo-Socialist President Barack Hussein Says Otherwise."

Hellfire Missile Takes Out Taliban Jihadist

Via Weasel Zippers:

And from yesterday, "The Taliban Go Mainstream: Afghanistan Terror-Sponsors Seek 'Softer Side' to Medieval Political Regime."

Occupy Protesters Burn the Flag at Oakland City Hall

Because, you know, they're just strangers from out of town, or something.


Also at CNN, "Oakland's mayor says city is fed up after hundreds of Occupy activists arrested."

PREVIOUSLY: "Racist Walter James Casper III Doubles-Down on Endorsement of Revolutionary Anti-Semitic Occupy Wall Street." And "Occupy Wall Street: Anti-Semitism, Socialism, Crime and Public Defecation."

Laura Ingraham on 'This Week': 'I Don’t Know If Mitt Romney Can Beat' Obama

From Jake Tapper at ABC News, "Laura Ingraham: Romney Has to Bring ‘A’ Game If He’s Going to Beat Obama." Scroll forward at the clip to just after 9:00 minutes

Millionaire Elizabeth Warren Claims She's 'Not One of Them' Wealthy Individuals...

At Weasel Zippers, "OWS-Founder Elizabeth Warren Says She’s Not In The 1% Despite Being Worth $14.5 Million…"

Progressives: liars, hypocrites, losers.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Shafia Family Guilty of Honor Killings in Canada: Updates

Okay, my earlier post is here: "Guilty Verdicts in Canada Honor Killing Trial."

And see Pamela here, "GUILTY! First Degree Murder Verdicts in Shafia Honor Killing Trial."

And don't miss the excellent Christie Blatchford, at National Post, "No honour in ‘cold-blooded, shameless’ murder of Shafia girls."

Plus, London's Daily Mail has a huge article, "Honour killing family jailed for life as judge says: 'It is difficult to conceive of a more despicable, more heinous crime'."

And an update at Blazing Cat Fur, "Shafia Murders: CBC Finds Apologist Who Implies Canada Racist & Just Like Islamist Hell Holes."

And here's an earlier clip with Ezra Levant on the tragedy of honor killings in Canada:

Whoa! Rep. Allen West Tells Democrats to 'Get the Hell Out of the United States of America'

Well, it's a good guess he's fed up with the left's bullshit civility meme.

Via Gateway Pundit, "Allen West: Obama, Pelosi, Reid… “Get the Hell Out of the United States of America” (Video)":

Well, yeah. You have to stand up against the mob.

See: "California Penal Code Section 646.9 on Criminal Harassment and Cyberstalking: Statement of Warning to Hate-Blogger Walter James Casper III."

Romney Hopes to Deliver Knockout Punch to Gingrich

At LAT, "Romney keeps pressure on Gingrich as Florida primary nears":

Reporting from Naples, Fla.  —

Seeking to deliver a knockout punch to Newt Gingrich in Tuesday’s Florida primary, Mitt Romney and his surrogates continued their heavy assault on the former House speaker’s record, urging voters to study his temperment, his work for mortgage giant Freddie Mac and the ethics investigation into his fundraising in the 1990s.

As a Romney rally got started before a crowd of several thousand outside a theater in downtown Naples on Sunday, U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV contrasted Gingrich’s “very checkered past when it comes to ethics and honesty” with that of Romney, whom Mack said has lived his life “honestly, with integrity and character.”

Echoing that line a few minutes later, Mack’s father, former Florida Sen. Connie Mack III, called Mitt and Ann Romney “role models for all Americans” and said the former Massachusetts governor has “presidential temperament.”

“A lot of people say he looks presidential. And you do!” the former senator said. “But the important thing is, he acts like a president. Under fire, under attack, under challenge. He responds as a cool, calm and collected man, a person that we need in the White House.”

For his part, Romney keyed off his strong performances in two recent debates, as well as an NBC/Marist preference poll released Sunday morning that showed him leading Gingrich by 15 percentage points in Florida. He accused Gingrich of “making excuses” for his sliding poll numbers during the Sunday morning talk shows.

“He’s on TV this morning going from station to station complaining about what he thinks were the reasons he’s had difficulty here in Florida,” Romney said, “but you know, we’ve got a president who has a lot of excuses, and the excuses are over; it’s time to produce.”

“If we failed somewhere, if we failed the debate, if we failed to get the support of people, it’s time to look in the mirror,” Romney said. “My own view is the reason that Speaker Gingrich has been having a hard time in Florida is that people of Florida have watched the debates, have listened to the speaker, have listened to the other candidates and have said, ‘You know what, Mitt Romney’s the guy we’re going to support.’ ”
And see "Polls see Mitt Romney cruising to Florida victory."


Sarah Palin: 'Newt Gingrich Would Clobber Barack Obama'

She's talking about "clobbering" Obama in a debate, and by implication in the general election. Palin says GOP voters should take that into consideration in the primaries. And this is pretty much a Palin endorsement for Gingrich, which has been mostly unarticulated at this point, but see C4P, "Governor Palin’s Clarion Call: “Rage Against the Machine…Vote for Newt!”"

Newt Gingrich: '"I Will Go All the Way to the Convention. I Expect to Win the Nomination' (VIDEO)

The video's at RealClearPolitics, "Gingrich Vows to 'Go All The Way to the Convention'."

And at Washington Wire, "Gingrich Predicts ‘Straight-Out Contest for Next 4 or 5 Months’" (via Memorandum):
LUTZ, Fla. — A pugnacious Newt Gingrich reiterated his intention to stay in the Republican presidential primary “all the way to the convention,” telling reporters Sunday morning that he believed that “this is going to be a straight-out contest for the next four or five months” between him and Mitt Romney.

Newt Gingrich speaks to media during a news conference outside the Exciting Idlewild Baptist Church, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012, in Lutz, Fla. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Mr. Gingrich said after attending a morning service with 2,000 worshipers at the Exciting Idlewild Baptist Church that he didn’t agree with polls that show him trailing in Florida, and in any case, he’s not bowing out of the race.

“I think that the election will be substantially closer than the two polls that came out this morning,” he said, adding that he was eying support for Rick Santorum as potential source of votes in the coming months. “When you add the two conservatives together we clearly beat Romney,” Mr. Gingich said. “I think Romney’s got a very real challenge trying to get a majority at the convention.”

Guilty Verdicts in Canada Honor Killing Trial

See Blazing Cat Fur, "Justice: Shafia Honour Murderers All Guilty."

And at National Post, "Shafia accused guilty of first-degree murder."

KINGSTON, Ont. — After Canada’s first mass-honour-killings trial, three members of a Montreal family have all been found guilty of first-degree murder in the drowning deaths of four other family members — including three teenage sisters.

A jury on Sunday handed down its guilty verdicts for Mohammad Shafia and Tooba Mohammad Yahya, as well as their 21-year-old son, Hamed.

They had been charged with murder after the bodies of three Shafia sisters — Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and 13-year-old Geeti — were discovered in a submerged vehicle in a canal near Kingston, in June 2009.

Also in the vehicle was Rona Amir Mohammad, the 52-year-old first wife of Shafia, whom he married in his native Afghanistan before the polygamous family moved to Canada in 2007 and settled in Montreal.

A conviction for first-degree murder carries with it an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.

The trial, which began in October 2011, heard from 58 witnesses and was presented with more than 160 exhibits from both prosecutors and defence lawyers. While some described Shafia as the ultimate family man, other witnesses painted a picture of strict control in the family and limited freedoms for his daughters.

Marco Rubio Delivers GOP Weekly Address

Well, Senator Rubio's been in the news with the immigration blowback on the campaign trail in Florida.

And see Toronto's Globe and Mail, "Marco Rubio coy about endorsing Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich."

The Taliban Go Mainstream: Afghanistan Terror-Sponsors Seek 'Softer Side' to Medieval Political Regime

Well, you gotta give it to the Obama administration.

They got Bin Laden so now it's time to go easy on the Taliban, the medieval Islamist terror-sponsor who executes teenage girls for escaping arranged marriages and who is now looking to build deeper alliances with Pakistani militants to fight U.S. forces. But hey, it's a new day. Barack Obama's on the way!

At Wall Street Journal, "Emboldened Taliban Try to Sell Softer Image":
KABUL — When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan in the 1990s, Maulvi Qalamuddin headed the Committee to Protect Virtue and Prevent Vice, the religious police that shut down girls' schools, beat up men with insufficiently long beards and arrested those in possession of music or video tapes.

Nowadays, the 60-year-old Taliban cleric is on a different mission: He is overseeing a network of schools that teach reading, writing and math to thousands of girls in his home province of Logar, an insurgent hotbed just south of Kabul.

"Education for women is just as necessary as education for men," Mr. Qalamuddin thunders. "In Islam, men and women have the same duty to pray, to fast—and to seek learning."

The Taliban's restrictions on women and schooling, combined with support for al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, turned the group into an international pariah even before the September 2001 attacks on America. Now, as the U.S. pulls out its troops and tries to negotiate a peace settlement with the insurgents, the international community grapples with a crucial question: If returned to power, will the Taliban behave any more responsibly this time around?

In recent public statements, the Taliban have made an effort to appear a more moderate force, promising peaceful relations with neighboring countries and respect for human rights. The big unknown is whether this new rhetoric represents a meaningful transformation—or is merely designed to sugarcoat the Taliban's real aims.

"One might believe that they would change over time," says U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, the day-to-day commander of the U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan. "You see some messages that they might open their thinking a bit about women, a woman's place in society. But I don't know that I would bet on it."

U.S. and Taliban representatives have met over the past several months, trying to establish a dialogue that could end America's longest foreign war. In a tangible sign of progress in early January, the Taliban dropped their insistence that all foreign troops must leave Afghanistan before any peace talks begin and agreed to set up a representative office in Qatar to facilitate future negotiations. To create trust in these talks, the U.S. is considering transferring to Qatari custody five senior Taliban officials incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Despite a new willingness to negotiate with the U.S., however, the Taliban's leadership still believes it can reach its war aim of seizing Kabul and the rest of Afghanistan after most foreign forces withdraw in 2014, American military commanders agree.
Continue reading.

For some reason optimism eludes me here.

But the drumbeat for precipitous withdrawal continues on the left, and even some on the mainstream right think we should pull out --- because the Obama administration's prosecution of the war has endangered American lives.

Another reason to vote Republican in the fall, no matter who wins the nomination. We need to repair American foreign policy and commit to completing the gains in international security that the Bush administration had secured before the Corrupt-o-crats took office. Sheesh.

Hot Go Daddy Super Bowl Ads 2012!

Are these "sleaze merchant" ads?

Better check in with TrogloPundit, who doesn't seem to be protesting too much: "Hey, you guys wanna see this year’s GoDaddy.com Superbowl ads?"

Also, at Vancouver Sun, "Sexy Super Bowl ads set to get racier."

PREVIOUSLY: "Adriana Lima Super Bowl Commercials."

Adriana Lima Super Bowl Commercials

Well, another reason to tune in on Super Bowl Sunday.

See Puff Ho, "Adriana Lima to Star In Two Super Bowl Commercials (VIDEOS)."

And see: "Vote Victoria's Secret for Greatest Super Bowl Commercials," and "Victoria's Secret 2008 Super Bowl Commercial."

Netanyahu Expected to Call Early Elections

The clip below via Israel Matzav, "The most popular video of the week is..."

And see Los Angeles Times, "Election fever grips Israel as Netanyahu maneuver expected":

Israel's current coalition government is one of its most stable in decades, and the next scheduled national poll is nearly two years off. Yet election fever has gripped the country and some believe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is quietly preparing to call for an early vote, perhaps in the middle of this year.

The two biggest political parties — Netanyahu's conservative Likud and its main rival, the centrist Kadima — recently announced that they would hold primaries to select leaders whose names would be on the next election ballot.

The left-leaning Labor Party held a leadership convention in September. And this month, popular TV news anchor Yair Lapid promised to shake up the status quo, saying he would compete for prime minister as head of a new party.

In a country where the prime minister's average term in recent decades has been shorter than three years and most governments collapse prematurely, some believe that Netanyahu, who took office in 2009, will seek to capitalize on his improving popularity by securing another term before the U.S. presidential election in November.

Sunday Cartoons

At Flopping Aces, "Sunday Funnies."


Also at Reaganite Republican, "Reaganite's Sunday Funnies," and Theo Spark, "Cartoon Roundup..."

Republican Candidates Fight for Direction of the Party

At Los Angeles Times, "In Florida, Romney vs. Gingrich is a fight for GOP's direction":

As Brenda Mulberry stepped into the natural-food grocery in Cocoa Beach this week, she paused to tick off elements of her shopping list for a candidate in Tuesday's Florida primary. Electability was at the top, and for that reason she's backing Mitt Romney.

Mulberry, 53, owns a small business manufacturing souvenir T-shirts, so she appreciates Romney's moneymaking skills and thinks critics should stop attacking him simply because he's rich. As for Newt Gingrich, Mulberry is certain the thrice-married former House speaker would lose in November.

She can hear President Obama now: "Well, I've been married to Michelle for all this time.... If he can't run his own personal life, then how's he going to run a country?"

But Jeff Cloud, 59, who makes a living doing yardwork in Florida's rural interior, questions whether Romney has the toughness it takes to sit in the Oval Office. For that reason, he leans toward Gingrich.

"He's fought a lot of battles," Cloud said, sitting at a picnic table outside the public library in Brooksville. "With Romney, I just don't know if his background is strong enough to be what we need as a leader."

The fight for the Republican presidential nomination, now centered in Florida, has become more than just a contest between Romney and Gingrich. It has become a battle over the direction of the party, between different visions of whom it serves — Wall Street or Main Street? — and whom it should represent.

It is an old fight, waged intermittently for more than 50 years, with different candidates — Eisenhower versus Taft, Rockefeller versus Goldwater, Dole versus Buchanan — in the roles of establishment favorite and conservative alternative. (Spoiler alert: The establishment pick almost always wins the nomination.) It is a fight, as well, between classes and cultures, evidenced by the support won this year by each of the main contenders in the three contests so far.
Well, it's a pretty nasty fight by this point. And Romney's coming back up in the Florida polls, so perhaps the Sunshine State might be decisive.

More later.

Hundreds Arrested in Oakland as Occupy Protesters Storm Barricades With Rocks, Bottles, and Improvised Explosive Devices

Damn, these people are freakin' terrorists.

See New York Times, "Occupy Protesters and Police Clash in Oakland":

A march to take over a vacant building by members of the Occupy movement in Oakland, Calif., turned into a violent confrontation with the police on Saturday, leaving three officers injured and about 200 people arrested.

The clashes began just before 3 p.m. when protesters marched toward the vacant Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center, the police said, and began to tear down construction barricades. Officers ordered the crowd to disperse when protesters “began destroying construction equipment and fencing,” the Oakland police said in a press release.

“Officers were pelted with bottles, metal pipe, rocks, spray cans, improvised explosive devices and burning flares, the police said.” Officers responded with smoke, tear gas and beanbag projectiles. Twenty people were arrested.

Most of the arrests occurred in the evening, when large groups of people were corralled in front of the Downtown Oakland Y.M.C.A. on Broadway. At one point, one group of protesters broke into the City Hall building.

On a livestream broadcast on the Web site oakfosho.com, dozens of protesters could be seen sitting cross-legged in darkness on the street in front of the Y.M.C.A. Their hands appeared to be bound behind them, while police officers stood watch. Occasionally the protesters sang or cheered.

The events were part of a demonstration dubbed “Move-in Day,” a plan by protesters to move into the vacant convention center and use it as a commune-like command center, according to the Web site occupyoaklandmoveinday.org.

“We were going to set up a community center,” said Benjamin Phillips, 32, a member of the Occupy Oakland media team. “It would be a place where we could house people, feed people, do all the things that we have been doing.”

In an open letter to Mayor Jean Quan on the Move-in Day site, the group threatened actions like “blockading the airport indefinitely, occupying City Hall indefinitely” and “shutting down the Oakland ports.” Occupy protesters did briefly shut down the city’s busy port in November.

In a statement issued before the march, Ms. Quan said that “the residents of Oakland are wearying of the constant focus and cost to our city.” On Saturday night, she added: “Once again, a violent splinter group of the Occupy Movement is engaging in violent actions against Oakland. The Bay Area Occupy Movement has got to stop using Oakland as their playground.”

In a statement, city officials said the total number of arrests was estimated at 200.
Actually, these are the original occupiers, not a "violent splinter group." The Occupy Wall Street movement piggy-backed onto to initial violent occupations that have been ongoing for the last couple of years. Once the "we are the 1%" slogan went mainstream, the Democrats and their MFM enablers deliberately ignored. the anarcho-revolutionary agenda of the protests. These people are violent militants and radicals. See also, "Manifesto: Occupy for the Revolution."

PREVIOUSLY: "Racist Walter James Casper III Doubles-Down on Endorsement of Revolutionary Anti-Semitic Occupy Wall Street."

Britain Could Not Reclaim Falklands, Former British General Sir Michael Jackson Warns

Britain was the world's supreme power a little over a century ago. Today, it wouldn't be able to hold onto its territorial possessions if it had to.

At Telegraph UK, "Britain could not reclaim the Falklands if Argentina invades, warns General Sir Michael Jackson":
The Falklands will be lost forever if Argentina invades again, one of Britain's senior military figures has warned.

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, the former head of the army, General Sir Michael Jackson, says defence cuts have made it "impossible" to win the islands back after a successful invasion, in the way the British task force did in 1982.

"What if an Argentinian force was able to secure the Mount Pleasant airfield? Then our ability to recover the islands now would be just about impossible," says General Jackson, who was Chief of the General Staff until five years ago and led the army into Iraq.
"We are not in a position to take air power by sea since the demise of the Harrier force."

Britain no longer has an aircraft carrier and the Harrier fleet which performed with such distinction during the Falklands War has been sold to the US Marine Corps.

"Let us hope we do not live to regret that decision," says General Jackson, responding to what he calls "disagreeable noises coming from Buenos Aires" as the 30th anniversary of the war approaches.
Continue at the link.

And previously, "Britain and France to Share Aircraft Carriers."

'Look Around'

The Chili Peppers are playing live this summer. I'm not sure if my wife can dig it, so I'll probably hold off on getting tickets. I love the album though, so we'll see. We're all set for Van Halen, though, so that's cool. It's going to be something else. More on that later.

And check Rolling Stone in any case, for an interview with Flea:

Next year, the Red Hot Chili Peppers will turn 30 – but they’re celebrating a little early: On March 29th, they kick off a 25-city U.S. arena run in support of their 10th Album, I’m With You – their first with new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer. (The tour was postponed from January due to singer Anthony Kiedis’ foot injury.) And on April 14th, bassist Flea Michael Balzary, Anthony Kiedis and drummer Chad Smith will hit Cleveland to join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “I’m excited, says Flea, checking in before a show in Barcelona. “It’s going to be a really cool, special night.”

After that, the Red Hot Chili Peppers will get back to rocking stadiums on a summer tour of Europe. “It took us a while to get solid with Josh Klinghoffer – there’s so much improvisation in our band that it’s like establishing a new vernacular,” says Flea. “But we’re fucking on fire, man!”

You’re a maniac onstage. How will you come down after tonight’s show?

I have my rituals. After I walk offstage, I’ll go to the dressing room and meditate. Then I’ll eat, go to back to my hotel and go on a 3 a.m. hour long walk through Barcelona. Then I hit the hay. I used to panic on tour, lose it and fall apart and crumble, but now I have it down to a science...
Continue reading.

Tea Party 2012

A great video, via ChristinaKBo on Twitter:

'Vampire Woman'

This is pretty wild, at Telegraph UK, "'Vampire Woman' shows off incredible tattoo transformation in Venezuela."

Michael Mann's Emails

This is an amazing post at Watt's Up With That, "Legal exemplars cited in Michael Mann’s UVA email case":

The selected emails include graphic descriptions of the contempt a small circle of largely taxpayer-funded alarmists held for anyone who followed scientific principles and ended up disagreeing with them. For example, in the fifteenth Petitioners’ Exemplar (PE-15), Mann encourages a boycott of one climate journal and a direct appeal to his friends on the editorial board to have one of the journal’s editors fired for accepting papers that were carefully peer-reviewed and recommended for publication on the basis that the papers dispute Mann’s own work. In PE-38, he states that another well respected journal is “being run by the baddies,” calling them “shills for industry.” In PE-39 Mann calls U.S. Congressmen concerned about how he spent taxpayer money “thugs”.

PE-18, 20 & 27 illustrate the typical fashion with which Mann used a UVa email account to accuse co-authors and other respected scientists of incompetence, berating them in emails copied to colleagues living throughout the world. UVA claims this is somehow exempt from VFOIA as scientific research.

In PE-22, Mann alludes to his “dirty laundry” which cannot come out, requesting his correspondent to not pass the email or the data attached to it to anyone else (UVa has claimed no attachments to any emails were preserved on their system). In this email, Mann admits he has failed to follow the most basic tenet of science, to keep a record of exactly what he did in his research, and thus himself could not reproduce his own results.

PE-24 & 25 characterize the efforts of this small group of academics to hide what they are doing and to avoid their work being held up to inspection under the Freedom of Information Act. In PE-26, Mann goes so far as to ask a federal employee — impossibly, as he send it to an email account subject to the federal FOIA — to “treat this email as confidential” though all the email does is complain about a Wall Street Journal author’s efforts to report the science impeaching Mann’s early work. PE-26, like many other emails UVA wishes to keep secret, is subject to release under the federal FOIA.
Continue reading.

PREVIOUSLY: "Evidence Does Not Support Catastrophic Man-Made Global Warming."

U.S. Economy Picks Up Steam: Fourth-Quarter Growth Rate of 2.8% is Fastest in 18 Months, but Doesn't Appear Sustainable

At First Street Journal, "The Economy Grew 2.8% For the 4th quarter, 1.7% Overall in 2011."

And at Chicago Sun-Times, "Economic growth not enough to sharply reduce unemployment."
 WASHINGTON — The economy grew late last year at a pace that in normal times would suggest it’s healthy.

But the 2.8 percent annualized growth rate in the October-December quarter — the fastest pace since the spring of 2010 — isn’t being cheered by most economists or investors. That’s because growth would need to be much stronger to sharply reduce unemployment. And signs in the data point to slower growth ahead.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Mechanics of the Vote Pump

It's Bill Whittle's Firewall:

More Topless Ukrainian Protest Ladies!

Well, they sure know how to generate some attention.

At Telegraph UK, "Video: Feminist group take topless protest to Davos."

And at New York Times, "Davos, in the Style of Occupy Wall Street."

Gingrich, Ignoring Attacks, Plays Up Ties to Reagan

At New York Times, "Gingrich Predicts a ‘Wild and Woolly’ Campaign":

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Despite signs that he could lose the important Florida primary on Tuesday, Newt Gingrich pledged Saturday to stay in the nominating fight until the very end, telling reporters he would press on until the Republican convention in Tampa in late August.

“I will go all the way to the convention,” Mr. Gingrich told reporters after a rally at a golf course in this coastal community. “I expect to win the nomination.”

Mr. Gingrich alluded to two national polls that he said showed him ahead, but it is the state polls that count, and in Florida they show him lagging 8 or 10 percentage points behind Mitt Romney.

Mr. Romney, meanwhile, exuded confidence, telling jokes to a crowd in Pensacola and drilling down against President Obama, a shift from recent days, when he had divided his focus between Mr. Obama and Mr. Gingrich.

But he mentioned Mr. Gingrich only once, to gloat slightly about his own strong debate performances in Florida this week, which his campaign hopes will propel him to a win here on Tuesday.

Mr. Gingrich turned in uncharacteristically weak debate performances, something of a surprise since he had climbed in the polls on the strength of his ability to make sharp, succinct arguments and confront his questioners in the news media.

He has also faced a torrent of criticism from the Republican establishment warning that he is too erratic, unhinged and temperamental to be president. Moreover, they have said, he would lose to Mr. Obama in November.

The taunts seem to have emboldened Mr. Gingrich, who predicted a “wild and woolly” campaign ahead as he barreled through a series of speeches and town-hall-style meetings Saturday on Florida’s affluent Treasure Coast.

The Romney campaign has been sprinkling its surrogates on the edge of crowds at Gingrich events to talk with reporters about Mr. Gingrich’s failings and why they were supporting Mr. Romney.

The Gingrich campaign criticized this tactic, even as it brought out its own surrogates and said a backlash was developing against Mr. Romney for orchestrating criticisms of Mr. Gingrich from the Republican establishment. Despite Mr. Gingrich’s three-decade career in Washington, he argues to audiences that he is the only one with vision bold enough to change it.

“Have courage!” he told the crowd here of about 150 people who were standing by the golf course in shorts and flip-flops.

And in the face of assertions that he is exaggerating his closeness to President Ronald Reagan, Mr. Gingrich added that he was “very proud to run on a Reagan-Gingrich record.”
Also, at CNN, "Herman Cain endorses Gingrich."

Australian Bikini Rule 5

Well, this sure beats cyberstalking.

Also blogging, American Perspective, "Kate Beckinsale - Rule 5."

And a roundup at Proof Positive, "Saturday Linkaround."

Added: At Daley Gator, "DaleyGator DaleyBabe Kate Upton."

Air War 'Grinding Newt Down'

At Los Angeles Times, "Mitt Romney leading polls in Florida":

After months of gyrating front-runners and inconclusive voter tests, a victory by Mitt Romney in the looming Florida primary would send the 2012 campaign down a well-worn path — pointing the most established GOP contender toward a highly competitive race against President Obama in the fall election.

If Newt Gingrich wins, the contours of the battle would be radically different: a prolonged intraparty struggle unlike any the GOP has seen in decades, pitting the former House speaker as an insurgent force against many present and former elected officials he once led, with unpredictable consequences in November if he is the nominee.

Romney has, for now at least, pulled ahead of Gingrich in the roller-coaster campaign for Florida. An opinion survey of Florida Republicans, released Friday by Quinnipiac University, showed Romney leading Gingrich by nine points, 38% to 29%. Rep. Ron Paul and former Sen. Rick Santorum were far back, at 14% and 12%, respectively.

"I think if Romney wins this, it's over for Newt," said John McLaughlin, a veteran Republican pollster who is unaffiliated in the presidential campaign. Looking ahead, Romney has the advantage in the Feb. 4 Nevada caucuses and other, largely symbolic contests next month, including a nonbinding Feb. 7 primary in Missouri, where Gingrich failed to qualify for the ballot.

The statewide poll, conducted Tuesday through Thursday, was the latest indication that Gingrich's surge after his Jan. 21 win in the South Carolina primary had evaporated in this week's summerlike heat. The same survey had Gingrich ahead by six points just after South Carolina voted.

Romney's superior performances in two Florida debates blunted Gingrich's efforts to build on his recent primary success. Earlier nationally televised forums had been crucial to Gingrich's ability to counter Romney's edge in campaign money and organization.

At the same time, Romney and his supporters are using overwhelming force to gain the upper hand in the Florida air war, unleashing a barrage of negative ads that are "just grinding Newt down," McLaughlin said. Members of Congress and other forces in the GOP establishment have fanned out across the state to criticize Gingrich and boost Romney.
More at the link.

And see also the New York Times, "Romney Goes on Offensive in Florida, Bolstered by Debate Performance."

And at Quinnipiac, "Romney Pulls Ahead In See-Saw Florida GOP Primary, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Men Shift From Gingrich to Romney."

On Nevada, check CBS News Las Vegas, "TV Ad War Heating Up Before Nevada’s GOP Caucus."

NBC Objects to New Romney Ad

At National Journal, "NBC Asks Romney Campaign to Remove Its Content from New Ad."

Susan Duclos comments (via Memeorandum):
This type of dishonesty may be one reason that Mitt Romney's negativity rating has surged 20 points with Independents since November.

Seems ironic that Mitt Romney is going after Newt Gingrich using ethics charges that he was exonerated from by using questionable ethics of his own.
Still more links at Memeorandum.

Also at The Last Tradition, "Romney camp uses Tom Brokaw in hard hitting ad about Newt Gingrich’s ethics. Brokaw doesn’t like it."

Sarah Palin Denounces 'Tactics of the Left' by GOP Establishment

See Palin's comments on Facebook, "Cannibals in GOP Establishment Employ Tactics of the Left" (via Memeorandum):

We have witnessed something very disturbing this week. The Republican establishment which fought Ronald Reagan in the 1970s and which continues to fight the grassroots Tea Party movement today has adopted the tactics of the left in using the media and the politics of personal destruction to attack an opponent.

We will look back on this week and realize that something changed. I have given numerous interviews wherein I espoused the benefits of thorough vetting during aggressive contested primary elections, but this week’s tactics aren’t what I meant. Those who claim allegiance to Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment should stop and think about where we are today. Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater, the fathers of the modern conservative movement, would be ashamed of us in this primary. Let me make clear that I have no problem with the routine rough and tumble of a heated campaign. As I said at the first Tea Party convention two years ago, I am in favor of contested primaries and healthy, pointed debate. They help focus candidates and the electorate. I have fought in tough and heated contested primaries myself. But what we have seen in Florida this week is beyond the pale. It was unprecedented in GOP primaries. I’ve seen it before – heck, I lived it before – but not in a GOP primary race.

I am sadly too familiar with these tactics because they were used against the GOP ticket in 2008. The left seeks to single someone out and destroy his or her record and reputation and family using the media as a channel to dump handpicked and half-baked campaign opposition research on the public. The difference in 2008 was that I was largely unknown to the American public, so they had no way of differentiating between the lies and the truth. All of it came at them at once as “facts” about me. But Newt Gingrich is known to us – both the good and the bad.
More at the link.

And from George Moneo, at BabalĂș:
I don't have a dog in this hunt: none of these candidates is my ideal of a conservative Republican in the Reagan mode. That said, however, the sniping, conniving, backstabbing, innuendos and calumnies (from all parties) are beginning to wear thin and piss me off. This is not the campaign I envisioned that was needed to end the Democrats' hopes of reelecting Jimmy Carter II.
Yeah, I'll be glad when the primaries are over, big time.

BONUS: From Dan Riehl:
I believe it was Dan Gainor who pointed out via Twitter last night, in essence, the establishment may end up getting Romney through but they are quite possibly costing themselves the election to do it. Mitt Romney IS a progressive Republican who will say anything to get the nomination. The GOP sycophants that call themselves conservative in our Beltway media can shill and hide massive weaknesses for Romney all they want. Come a general election, they will be irrelevant and an Obama-friendly media will be calling the shots. Given the bias of so many GOP pundits in the primary, they will have no right to complain about it, as if it would even matter.

Demi Moore 911 Call Released

At ABC News, "Friend Says on 911 Call Demi Moore Was Convulsing."

And at Los Angeles Times, "Confusion over Demi Moore 911 call delayed paramedics' dispatch to star's home."

Newt Gingrich Comments On Palestinians as 'Invented People'

This was something that impressed me about Gingrich previously, and it was a high point of the Jacksonville debate:

PREVIOUSLY: "Newt Gingrich Attacked By Weasels."

Students May Not Take Pictures of Sleeping Teachers

Well, I can't imagine when a teacher would have time to sleep, although one semester when I had a night class, after I held my office hours in the afternoon, I'd lie down on the floor to rest before going back out to teach.

But that's not what this is about, at Blazing Cat Fur and Jawa Report:

Pentagon May Delay Replacement of U-2 Spy Planes Because of Defense Department Cutbacks

At Los Angeles Times, "U.S. may rely on aging U-2 spy planes longer than expected":
Wars have come and gone. But for more than half a century, the CIA and U.S. military have relied on a skinny sinister-looking black jet to go deep behind enemy lines for vital intelligence-gathering missions.

The high-flying U-2 spy plane was first designed during the Eisenhower administration to breach the iron curtain and, as engineers said, snap "picture postcards for Ike" of hidden military strongholds in the Soviet Union.

And although the plane is perhaps best known for being shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960 and the subsequent capture of pilot Francis Gary Powers, the U-2 continues to play a critical role in national security today, hunting Al Qaeda forces in the Middle East. The aging cold warrior once slated for retirement in 2015 may fight on into the next decade.

The fleet of 33 spycraft was supposed to be replaced in the next few years with RQ-4 Global Hawks, the high-tech drones that have been part of the Air Force since 2001. But this week the Pentagon proposed delaying the U-2's retirement as part of Defense Department cutbacks.

At an estimated cost of $176 million each, the Global Hawk drone had "priced itself out of the niche, in terms of taking pictures in the air," said Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter at a Thursday news conference. "That's a disappointment for us, but that's the fate of things that become too expensive in a resource-constrained environment."

The Pentagon has determined that operating the U-2 would be cheaper for the foreseeable future; it won't disclose how much operating the U-2s will cost for security reasons. The government has relied on the U-2 since 1955, when the aircraft was first built and designed under tight security by Lockheed Corp. at its famed Skunk Works facilities in Burbank headed by legendary chief engineer Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson.

"It's incredible to think that these planes are flying," said Francis Gary Powers Jr., Powers' son and founder of the Cold War Museum in Warrenton, Va. "You'd think another spy plane, or satellite or drone would come along by now to replace it."
Continue reading.

Near Earth Objects

A cool piece, at Telegraph UK, "Asteroid near misses and the threats to come."
Figures show about 50 million NEO’s (Near Earth Objects) pass by every day. Here are some previous near misses as well as possible future threats.

Friday, January 27, 2012

California Penal Code Section 646.9 on Criminal Harassment and Cyberstalking: Statement of Warning to Hate-Blogger Walter James Casper III

Okay, this has gone on long enough.

I am herewith setting out my policy on harassment and stalking and I'm affirming for the record that I'm playing for keeps.

For some reason racist hate-blogger Walter James Casper III thinks this is all fun and games. I warned him not to comment here and that if he does comment I will approve those as a record of harassment, which I will report to Google. Casper's contacts here at this blog are unwanted and unsolicited. I am within my free speech rights to post commentary and criticism on politics and ideology. And I am particularly within my rights to identify and highlight criminally derogatory and racist speech directed against me. And thus I will continue to monitor Casper's hate blog American Nihilist. Importantly, since Casper sponsored workplace attacks against me, and since he has contacted me personally by email with threatening statements, I ceased all direct contact with him at his blog or elsewhere online. And I have also repeatedly warned Walter James Casper III not to contact me or to comment at this blog. It's all on the record.

As is within my free speech rights, I highlighted Casper's dishonesty and stupidity in an essay today: "Oops! MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Spews Hatred of American Exceptionalism: Racist Attack Blogger Walter James Casper III Caught Lying Again!"

Comments are closed at that post to prevent harassment. Casper commented at an unrelated post, against my wishes, since he is banned from commenting here. After I updated the post, Casper ignored the admonitions yet again with another comment in violation of my rights:
repsac3 said...

"Walter James Casper is now in likely violation of Google's terms of use. He is banned from commenting here and he is abusing his Google privileges. I am now approving all of hate-blogger Walter James Casper's comments and submitting them to Google as a record of the harassment."

I'll get around to the rest of Dr. Douglas' nonsense if / when I have the time, but I did want to briefly comment on this bit...

There is no "term of use" that forbids anyone from submitting comments to any blogspot blog, and I find it awful hard to believe that anyone at Google is going to reprimand a person for one for one [sic] comments in response to posts where that person is called out by name, no matter how vociferously the blog owner asserts his right to malign a person at his blog without being called on it at that same blog. (I'm willing to bet I could submit a comment or two in response to every post at this blog, and Google still would not act -- Dr. Douglas should consider himself lucky I only submit comments to some of the posts where he attacks me by name.)

That said, if Google does agree with Dr. Douglas, and contacts me pointing out the term I am violating, I will most certainly stop doing so. I suspect, however, that should Google respond to Dr. Douglas' specious "Mommy, he's making faces at me!! Make him STOP!!!" pleas at all, it will be to tell Dr. Douglas that he ought to grow up and stop whining. One cannot throw the first punch, and then scurry to hide behind his mother's skirt complaining about the return punch.

And seeing as he intends to approve of my comments, anyway, perhaps Dr. Douglas would be so brave as to not delete the comment sections on posts mentioning me--or maybe, just not moderate his blog in the first place. (though the latter'd prolly take more guts than Dr. D. has, anymore... Golly forbid folks actually disagree with him on his own blog...)

Say hi to our Google overlords for me... ...and thanks for approving my comments...

January 27, 2012 5:53 PM
Actually, there are indeed "'terms of use' that forbid" Casper from harassing me in the comments. According to Blogger's "Terms of Service":
2. Proper Use. You agree that you are responsible for your own use of the Service, for any posts you make, and for any consequences thereof. You agree that you will use the Service in compliance with all applicable local, state, national, and international laws, rules and regulations, including any laws regarding the transmission of technical data exported from your country of residence and all United States export control laws.
Walter James Casper is engaged in a malicious, persistent, and willful pattern of abuse that is prohibited under California state law (see below). As such, Casper's comments here are a violation of Blogger's terms of service. Moreover, here's the statement from Google's "Reporting abuse - Blogger Help" page:
We strongly believe in freedom of expression, even if a blog contains unappealing or distasteful content or presents unpopular viewpoints. We realize this may be frustrating, and we regret any inconvenience this may cause you. In cases where contact information for the author is listed on the page, we recommend that you work directly with this person to have the content in question removed or changed.
Here are some examples of content we will not remove unless provided with a court order:

Personal attacks or alleged defamation
Parody or satire of individuals
Distasteful imagery or language
Political or social commentary
Thus, this is to inform Walter James Casper III of my effort to "work directly with this person" to stop his comments on this blog. THIS IS A FORMAL LEGAL WARNING TO CEASE AND DESIST FROM COMMENTING AT THIS BLOG. Hereafter, I will consider any new comment posted here a "personal attack" within the purview of the terms of service and I'll append the comment to this post and send it to Google as a legal complaint and report on abuse, harassment, and cyberstalking.

Here's California Penal Code Section 646.9 on Criminal Harassment and Cyberstalking:

(a) Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or harasses another person and who makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety, or the safety of his or her immediate family, is guilty of the crime of stalking, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment, or by imprisonment in the state prison.

(b) Any person who violates subdivision (a) when there is a temporary restraining order, injunction, or any other court order in effect prohibiting the behavior described in subdivision (a) against the same party, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years.  

(c) Every person who, having been convicted of a felony under this section, commits a second or subsequent violation of this section shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three,
or four years.

(d) In addition to the penalties provided in this section, the sentencing court may order a person convicted of a felony under this section to register as a sex offender pursuant to subparagraph (E) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 290.

(e) For the purposes of this section, "harasses" means a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person that seriously alarms, annoys, torments, or terrorizes the person, and that serves no legitimate purpose.  This course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and must actually cause substantial emotional distress to the person.  

(f) For purposes of this section, "course of conduct" means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of "course of conduct."

(g) For the purposes of this section, "credible threat" means a verbal or written threat, including that performed through the use of an electronic communication device, or a threat implied by a pattern of conduct or a combination of verbal, written, or electronically communicated statements and conduct made with the intent to place the person that is the target of the threat in reasonable fear for his or her safety or the safety of his or her family and made with the apparent ability to carry out the threat so as to cause the person who is the target of the threat to reasonably fear for his or her safety or the safety of his or her family.  It is not necessary to prove that the defendant had the intent to actually carry out the threat.  The present incarceration of a person making the threat shall not be a bar to prosecution under this section.  

(h) For purposes of this section, the term "electronic communication device" includes, but is not limited to, telephones, cellular phones, computers, video recorders, fax machines, or pagers. "Electronic communication" has the same meaning as the term defined in Subsection 12 of Section 2510 of Title 18 of the United States Code.
See the full text here or here.

I will also report new instances of abuse and harassment to the Irvine Police Department and the Long Beach Police Department. Here is the record of harassment published previously, with one of Casper's emails warning me to "reconsider" or else: "Continuing Lies by Cowardly Hate-Blogger W. James Casper in Left's Demonic Workplace Intimidation Campaign." And American Nihilist's long pattern of abuse, intimidation, and workplace harassment is chronicled at this post as well.

The harassment stops now. Walter James Casper III has no right to comment on this blog. If he feels he has been maligned or libeled he can take proper legal recourse. I have legal representation and I am prepared to defend my free speech rights in a court of law.

And folks might weigh Ann Althouse's comments policy in relation to the policy I'm setting forth here. She writes:
I have started deleting all the comments of one of our most conspicuous commenters for reasons I am not going to discuss. I ask all of my commenters to take some extra care with your comments now. Don't be a troll and don't feed a troll. If you are a troll, I may target you for deletion next. If you feed a troll, you may soon find that your comment refers to a comment that has been deleted. Let's raise the level of discussion around here. I have many great commenters that I love having as my guests. Others are being destructive and need to stop. If you're someone I'm targeting for deletion -- and I'm deleting all your comments regardless of content -- you need to go away permanently. You are on notice that I consider you to be harassing me, and I will contact Blogger about your account if you do not desist.
Althouse is a professor of law, so she certainly knows something about harassment and stalking. And recall that Walter James Casper III has long been trolling my comments. Indeed, I went to comment moderation to help prevent his trolling. But comment moderation has not been effective, and I have had to disable comments to some posts on occasion to prevent malicious attacks. When I did that, Casper then started harassing me by email. These emails I consider personally threatening to me and my family. And as such they're considered criminal activity under California state law. Hereafter I will update this post with any comment here from Walter James Casper III, or with any other form of unwanted personal contact, and I will submit a complaint of abuse and criminal harassment to Google and to the proper legal authorities.

Walter James Casper III is hereby notified under the law.

Comments on this post are closed.

UPDATE: (1-28-12 8:20am PST) Walter Jamers Casper III is on record that he wants to be known as a criminal harasser. Here's is his comment in violation of this policy:
repsac3 said...

In reply to: California Penal Code Section 646.9 on Criminal Harassment and Cyberstalking: Statement of Warning to Hate-Blogger Walter James Casper III

Sorry, Dr. Douglas, but I will not allow you to attempt to intimidate me with specious threats. My answer now is the same as it was the last time you made this kinda noise, back in September (and probably before that too, though it ain't worth the search):

If you really believe I am in violation of any federal or state law or ISP/Google/??? term of service because I submit a comment or two to your moderated blog against your expressed wishes, often in reply to American Power blog posts where you discuss me by name, I cordially invite you to make your reports to Google, the Irvine / Long Beach police department, Homeland Security, or whoever you feel you need to.

The time has come to fish or cut bait.

January 28, 2012 4:22 AM
UPDATE: (1-28-12 8:45am PST) Here's the complaint sent through the Blogger help page:
A man named Walter James Casper III used to be a commenter on my blog years ago. He became obsessed and abusive and started an entire blog to attack me personally and to threaten me with harassment. His co-bloggers at the blog, called "American Nihilist," have contacted my workplace to complain about my blogging, trying to get me fired. These attacks are violating my free speech rights and causing me and my family personal strife and emotional duress. Walter James Casper has also sent me personal emails of a threatening nature. These are completely unsolicited, as I have never exchanged emails with him at any time. I have written about the harassment and threats at my blog and Walter James Casper claims he has a right to respond in the comment section at my blog. While I have moderated comments, or even disabled comments, Casper continues to harass me with additional attempts to comment, with threats, and by email. I will also be filing police reports and contacting my attorney about these issues. My complaint is in no way an attempt to suppress Casper's free speech rights. This is only to notify Blogger of a terms of use violation, since Casper's threats are illegal under California state law, Penal Code Section 646.9, which makes cyberstalking and online harassment a crime. Casper's Blogger profile name is "Repsac3" and this is his Blogger profile URL: http://www.blogger.com/profile/15458282944035344707. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
I will also be notifying the police of Walter James Casper's harassment next week.