There is a troubling report out of Ireland that raises many of the concerns that we have discussed earlier about the erosion of free speech in the West. Bernadette “Bernie” Smyth is one of Northern Ireland’s most prominent anti-abortion activists and the founder of Precious Life, a pro-life group. She was convicted this week of two counts of harassment that stem from her picketing of the country’s only abortion clinic. The charges were brought by the clinic’s director, Dawn Purvis, who runs the Belfast branch of Marie Stopes. However, the line drawn in the case could create a chilling effect on political and religious speech in the future.
It has been a virtual mantra of U.S. policy for decades that we do not negotiate with terrorists and never never pay ransoms. That is why a new report is so startling even though it has received relatively little attention. The Pentagon reportedly gave an unspecified but large amount of money to an Afghan for the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and then found out the money and the Afghan disappeared without a trace. The Pentagon is denying that it tried to pay a ransom for Bergdahl.
There are so many surprising aspects to this story including the two salient points that we use kitty litter in nuclear plants and using the wrong kitty litter can cost you half a billion dollars. However, a recent report states that the mismanagement of the kitty litter issue at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico by its private operator, Los Alamos National Security LLC, led not only damage, but the injury of at least 20 workers — and the creation of a type of kitty litter dirty bomb. The concerns of an Al Kitta threat however may be premature. It turns out that you can avoid the risk by selecting clay-based kitty litter over wheat-based kitty litter.
The Florida State University community is still in shock over the killing of three people and wounding of others on campus. The bar was rocked today with the news that the alleged killer was one of our own, FSU graduate and attorney Myron May. May’s final post on Facebook was the biblical verse, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
I have often written about my love for traveling in Canada. This video reminds me why I love Canadians. At the November 18, 2014 Maple Leafs game against the Nashville Predators, the mic cut off during the singing of our national anthem so the Canadians finished singing the song for us.
There is an interesting out of California where Citadel Exploration, an oil company, has sued the San Benito County for $1.2 billion for banning fracking and oil extraction on land within its jurisdiction. Citadel is arguing that the ban constitutes a regulatory taking and that it is entitled to the value lost, which it says amounts to 20-40 millions barrels of oil and a profit of $1.2 billion. It is a troubling case for environmentalists and land use advocates seeking to place limitations on certain industrial activities viewed as harmful.
There is a surprising plea deal in Georgia this week where Philip Sailors, 69, (left) was accused of responding to Rodrigo Diaz (right) pulling into his driveway by mistake by shooting him in the head and killing him. Sailors has now been allowed to plead out on a single misdemeanor for involuntary manslaughter with no jail time. He was facing a murder charge. Under the plea bargain, Sailors will serve 12-months’ probation and pay a $500 fine. What is equally striking is that Sailors declined to say a word of apology to the family of Diaz when he appeared in court to accept the plea bargain of lifetime. We previously discussed this case.
Continue Reading »