Tuesday, March 3, 2015

General Petraeus Gets Plea Bargain

Retired General and former CIA director David Petraeus has agreed to plead guilty to one count of removing and retaining classified information, a misdemeanor.  Prosecutors have reportedly recommended a $40,000 fine and two years probation.  The charge stems from his allegedly giving the information to Paula Broadwell, who has been both his biographer and his lover.

Read more at The New York Times, Fox News, USA Today, Politico and CNN.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Does Obama Love America?

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani certainly touched a nerve by saying that President Obama doesn't love America.  In response, many have weighed in, from both sides of the political aisle, perhaps most notably a 12-year-old kid in Georgia who came down on his honor's side and soon afterwards started to experience some technical difficulties with his Facebook account.  (See also here.)  I've come to believe that there is an America that Obama loves, which is not the country as it actually exists, but the country that he wants to "fundamentally transform" (to use his words) America into.  Here are some things that to some extent lead me to have this belief:

As a candidate and later as president, Obama did not place his hand over his heart, the traditional civilian salute to the flag during the Pledge of Allegiance or the National Anthem, while others were shown do doing so.  In another instance at Arlington National Cemetery, he was shown without his hand over his heart, but this was during the playing of Hail To The Chief, which is a salute to him as president rather than to the flag, so I'll have to cut him some slack on that one.  Of course, in the future he might wish to dispense with the coffee cup before returning the salute of a Marine.  (If gets his coffee from KFC, he can actually eat the cup.)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Leonard Nimoy 1931-2015

Leonard Nimoy, best known for his portrayal of the half-Vulcan half-earthling Mr. Spock in the Star Trek TV shows and movies, has died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles.  He had reached the age of 83, thus living out the Vulcan blessing that Spock often recited, "live long and prosper."  Nimoy attributed the disease to years of smoking, although he had quit about 30 years ago.

Leonard Nimoy was born on March 26, 1931, to Max and Dora Nimoy, Jewish immigrants from Ukraine.  He started acting at age 8 and continued through his high school and ensuing adult years.  He served two years in the Army, getting his discharge in 1955.  Afterwards, he worked various odd jobs while studying acting, attended college, and appeared on several TV shows, before landing the role of Mr. Spock.  Besides appearing in the original series, he was also on screen for the first six Star Trek movies, two of which he directed, a few episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and in cameo roles in director J.J. Abrams' two recent Star Trek movies.

Besides his involvement with the Star Trek franchise, Nimoy also directed the comedy Three Men and a Baby, and hosted the TV series In Search Of and Ancient Mysteries.  His pursuits outside of show business included poetry, photography and music.  He wrote two autobiographies, I Am Not Spock and I Am Spock.  He is survived by his second wife, two children (with his first wife), several grandchildren, and a brother.

Read more at The New York Times, Variety, USA Today, TMZ and The Telegraph.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Escapees Recaptured In Arizona

This afternoon, two fugitives, one white and one black, ran through Sun City, AZ, eluding both police and civilians until they were finally apprehended.  The pair had shown an impressive talent for evading their captors, being exceptionally fast and agile.  This is likely because unlike most who run from the law, they have four legs instead of two.

Read more at the New York Daily News, USA Today and Fox News.

UPDATE:  I've run across an Arizona-based source, Fox10 Phoenix, which includes a 34-minute video, so read more there, too.

FCC Passes "Net Neutrality"

The Federal Communications Commission, by a 3-2 party line vote, has approved a plan, known as "net neutrality", to regulate the Internet like a public utility.  The new rules, which will be published in the Federal Register, are intended to replace earlier rules that had been struck down by an appeals court, and are likewise expected to be subjected to a court battle.

Read more at Fox News, CNET and Newsweek.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wednesday Links

As we get through another "hump day", here are some stories in the news:

From CBS Chicago, the Chicago police department denies that a West Side facility is used as an illegal detention center, as was alleged in a British newspaper report.

From Real Clear Politics, Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC) warns Democrats about not enforcing immigration law.

From The Daily Caller, an MSNBC host expresses sympathy for the recently-convicted killer of former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle.

From the Washington Examiner, another MSNBC host hopes that Trayvon Martin had beaten the [bleep] out of George Zimmerman.

From The Telegraph, Iran attacks and destroys a replica of a U.S. aircraft carrier.  (via Western Journalism)

From WUIS, Englewood, California approves a plan for an NFL stadium, involving the owner of the St. Louis Rams.

From Bizpac Review, the Obama administration comes up with a new phrase to refer to illegal aliens.

From Townhall, a federal judge issues an injunction against a DHS immigrant detention policy.

From CNN, weather postpones the execution of Kelly Renee Gissendaner, set to become the first woman to receive the death penalty in Georgia in 70 years.

From The Corner at National Review, Jamiel Shaw testifies before a House subcommittee panel about the murder of his son by an illegal alien.  (via The Blaze)

From Mashable, a mysterious tunnel has been found under Toronto.

From reason.com, FCC commissioner Ajit Pai explains his opposition to regulating the Internet like a utility company.

From Fox Nation, three residents of New York City have been arrested for conspiring to support ISIS.

From The Hill, the FBI is investigating suspected ISIS supporters in all 50 states.

From ABC News, the owner of a maraschino cherry factory cooperates with police searching the facility, and then kills himself.

And from the New York Post, "Don't tease us, Mo."

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Famed Sniper's Killer Found Guilty

In Erath County, Texas, former Marine Eddie Ray Routh has been convicted of murdering former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield.  Routh had admitted to killing the two men, but plead not guilty by reason of insanity.  He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Kyle was the author of the book American Sniper, which has recently been made into a highly successful movie.

Read more at ABC News, CNN, Fox News and NBC News.

Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Bill

As expected, President Obama has vetoed legislation that would have approved the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.  The construction would involve running a new pipeline from the Canadian province of Alberta to an existing pipeline in Nebraska, and extending the southern end of that pipeline to the Gulf of Mexico.  The bill may still be passed if Congress votes to override the veto, which would require a 2/3 favorable vote in both Houses.

Read more at USA Today, NBC News, The Washington Times, Fox News, the Latin American Herald Tribune and CBC News.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Marine Who Disappeared In Iraq Convicted Of Desertion

Marine Corporal Wassef Ali Hassoun, who left his post in Iraq in 2004, turned up at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, went back to Camp LeJeune in North Carolina, and disappeared again in 2005, has been convicted of two counts of desertion.  He was also convicted of losing his service pistol, but not of theft resulting from its loss.  He faces up to 7 and 1/2 years in prison, a reduction in rank, and a dishonorable discharge.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

ISIS In Libya Burns Drums

Via the International Business Times and brought to my attention by Red Fox Blogger:

In Libya, a group of ISIS fighters has done something that even their cohorts in Iraq and Syria, to my knowledge, haven't tried.  Near the city of Derna, they burnt a pile of drums.  From the Daily Mail:
ISIS in Libya have released pictures of armed fighters burning musical instruments as the extremist group continues its propaganda assault in the north African country.
Pictures of the heavily armed masked militants watching while a pile of drums burnt in the Libyan desert were released earlier today - purportedly by the 'media wing' of the local group.
It is understood the brightly coloured instruments had been confiscated by the religious police, and were destroyed near the port city of Derna, in eastern Libya.
I've heard of music being illegal in some Muslim countries, but these guys have certainly made their intentions clear.  Read the full story.