Thursday ReadsPosted: June 7, 2012 Filed under: 2012 presidential campaign, court rulings, Crime, Foreign Affairs, Mitt Romney, morning reads, religion, Republican presidential politics, Syria, U.S. Military, U.S. Politics | Tags: Boston Celtics, Brett Kimberlin, DOMA, Erick Erickson, George Zimmerman, impersonating a police officer, Joe Conason, Luka Rocco Magnotta, Michigan State Troopers, Patterico, Ray Bradbury, right wing bloggers, Salt Lake City gay pride march, Stanford University, SWAT-ting, uniform fetish, Vietnam War 24 Comments
Last night I wrote about Mitt Romney’s claim that he “longed” to serve in Vietnam, but instead sacrificed his fondest dream by living in France for the war years. But he wasn’t always averse to wearing a uniform. When he was in prep school at Cranbrook, he once played a “prank” in which he impersonated a police officer and stopped a car in which four of his “friends” were out on a double date.
But until I read this piece by Joe Conason, I had no idea that Romney had repeatedly dressed as a Michigan state trooper even when he was a student at Stanford.
According to Robin Madden, one of Romney’s Stanford classmates, Romney once showed him a state trooper’s uniform and said he’d gotten it from his father George Romney, who was then Governor of Michigan. Madden told Conason:
“He told us that he had gotten the uniform from his father,” George Romney, then the Governor of Michigan, whose security detail was staffed by uniformed troopers. “He told us that he was using it to pull over drivers on the road. He also had a red flashing light that he would attach to the top of his white Rambler.”
In Madden’s recollection, confirmed by his wife Susan, who also attended Stanford during those years, “we thought it was all pretty weird. We all thought, ‘Wow, that’s pretty creepy.’ And after that, we didn’t have much interaction with him,” although both Madden and Romney were prep school boys living in the same dorm, called Rinconada.
Is there no end to this man’s weirdness? Just one more Romney story and then I’ll move on to something else. The New York Times has a front page story today on Romney’s neighbors in La Jolla and how annoyed they are by him.
ON Dunemere Drive, it seems as if just about everyone has a gripe against the owners of No. 311.
The elderly woman next door complains that her car is constantly boxed into her driveway. A few houses over, a gay couple grumbles that their beloved ocean views are in jeopardy. And down the street, a widow grouses that her children’s favorite dog-walking route has been disrupted.
Bellyaching over the arrival of an irritating new neighbor is a suburban cliché, as elemental to the life on America’s Wisteria Lanes as fastidiously edged lawns and Sunday afternoon barbecues.
But here in La Jolla, a wealthy coast-hugging enclave of San Diego, the ordinary resident at the end of the block is no ordinary neighbor.
He is Mitt Romney.
The biggest complaints seem to be about the Romney’s plans to turn their beachfront home into a giant “McMansion. The article says that the Romneys haven’t asked any of the neighbors over to their house, but Ann and Mitt do take walks and interact people they see along the way.
Mr. Romney and his wife take regular walks around La Jolla, exchanging pleasantries with fellow strollers and occasionally enforcing the law. A young man in town recalled that Mr. Romney confronted him as he smoked marijuana and drank on the beach last summer, demanding that he stop.
The issue appears to be a recurring nuisance for the Romneys. Mr. Quint, who lives on the waterfront near Mr. Romney, said that a police officer had asked him, on a weekend when the candidate was in town, to report any pot smoking on the beach. The officer explained to him that “your neighbors have complained,” Mr. Quint recalled. “He was pretty clear that it was the Romneys.”
I hope our libertarian readers are paying attention.
The Washington Post reports that there has been another massacre in Syria.
Two activists in Hama said Wednesday that at least 30 people, and possibly many more, had been killed in Qubair, northwest of Hama, after the militias known as the shabiha raided the village. Government forces had blocked roads leading to the village and prevented activists from gathering evidence of the killings, they said.
But one of the activists, Asem Abu Mohammed, said he had received frantic calls for help from people in the village starting in the late afternoon.
Another activist, Mousab al-Hamadi, said people in the village told him that many women and children were among those hacked to death with knives by the militiamen.
Also at the WaPo, there is an interesting graphic piece: Ray Bradbury: 10 of his most prescient predictions. Bradbury apparently foresaw earbuds, Facebook, ATM’s, and E-books!
This story is a couple of days old, but did you hear about the hundreds of mormons and ex-mormons who participated in Salt Lake City’s gay pride march?
They came in suits and skirts, and they drew tears and cheers.
More than 300 current and former members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints participated in the Utah Gay Pride Parade on Sunday as part of a group called Mormons Building Bridges.
“I haven’t recognized them as equals,” one marcher, Emily Vandyke, 50, told the Salt Lake Tribune. “They have been invisible to me.”
She carried a sign with words from a Mormon children’s song: “I’ll walk with you, I’ll talk with you. That’s how I’ll show my love for you.”
It’s a start, anyway.
Another judge has ruled the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional.
The law was challenged by 83-year-old Edith “Edie” Windsor after the federal government failed to recognize her marriage to her partner Thea Spyer, after Spyer’s death in 2009. Her marriage was recognized by the state of New York.
The Defense of Marriage Act was enacted in 1996 and Section 3 of the law, which the case challenged, defined marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. It prohibited legally married same sex couples from receiving federal benefits.
“Thea and I shared our lives together for 44 years, and I miss her each and every day,” said Windsor. “It’s thrilling to have a court finally recognize how unfair it is for the government to have treated us as though we were strangers.”
U.S. District Court Judge Barbara S. Jones of the Southern District of New York ruled the statue violated the constitution’s guarantee of equal protection because it discriminated against married same sex couples.
This next one is pretty funny: Senator Asks DOJ to Investigate SWAT-ting Attacks on Conservative Bloggers
A number of conservative bloggers allege they have been targeted through the use of harassment tactics such as SWAT-ting (fooling 911 operators into sending emergency teams to their homes), in retaliation for posts they have written, and now Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., has stepped into the matter. He has sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder urging him to investigate the SWAT-ting cases to see if federal laws have been violated.
Who are these bloggers and when were that “SWAT-ted?” Are there videos? Inquiring minds want to see them.
ABC News spoke with two prominent conservative bloggers who were victims of SWAT-ting, a hoax tactic used by some hackers to infiltrate a victim’s phone system, often through voice over IP (VOIP) technology to make calls appear as if they are coming from a residence. The perpetrators call police to report a violent crime at that home to which the police respond, sometimes with SWAT teams.
And ABC names names! Victim 1: Patrick Frey AKA Patterico. Victim 2: Erick Erickson of Red State and CNN fame. Victim 3: Robert Stacy McCain of “The Other McCain.” Victim 4: Ali Akbar, whoever that is. Other victims are referred to but not named. And the culprit? The mysterious Brett Kimberlin, whom the wingers think is a prominent “progressive.”
Brett Kimberlin, a man who was convicted of a series of bombings in Speedway, Indiana in the 1980s and made headlines in 1988 when he claimed to have once sold marijuana to then-vice presidential candidate Dan Quayle….
Kimberlin, who is now the director of a non-profit organization called Justice Through Music, told ABC News that he did not commit or ask anyone to conduct the SWAT-ting hoaxes that were perpetrated against Erickson and Frey.
“Of course not, it’s ridiculous. It’s totally irresponsible for them to even say this,” Kimberlin told ABC News. “There is no truth to anything about the SWAT-ting.”
This is so bizarre. I read all about it at Cannonfire ages ago. I can’t believe ABC News bought into this nonsense.
In crime news, someone mailed body parts to two schools in Vancouver. Naturally, the prime suspect is Luka Rocco Magnotta.
St. George’s senior school student Trevor Leung was working on his computer Tuesday afternoon when he saw the Yahoo news alert: a package of human remains had been discovered in the mail room at the nearby St. George’s junior school.
Leung didn’t know then that it was a human foot. Or that earlier, at about
1 p.m., a package containing a hand had been opened by a staff member at another Vancouver school, False Creek elementary.
By then, investigators in Montreal and Vancouver were on the phone, trying to establish whether the body parts were linked to the murder case involving former Canadian porn actor Luka Rocco Magnotta.
Ugh! Thank goodness that monster is behind bars for now.
George Zimmerman won’t have a second bail hearing until June 29, so he’ll be behind bars for awhile also. The article says that Attorney Mark O’Mara claims that Zimmerman “has learned his lesson.” I guess that will be up to the judge to determine.
Finally, a bit of provincial sports news: The aging Boston Celtics have LeBron James and the Miami Heat on the ropes in the NBA Playoffs.
Boston is the first road team in the series to win just as the Oklahoma City Thunder did in taking a 3-2 Western series lead. Both are trying to to rally from 2-0 deficits, never done in the same conference finals round.
No two teams have ever come back from 2-0 deficits in the same year in the conference finals. The only time it has happened twice during the same stage was 2005, when the Washington Wizards and Dallas Mavericks topped the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets in the first round.
“We’re just hanging in there and I tell (them), ‘Hang in, hang in there, don’t overreact,’ ” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said.
Game 6 in the East finals is Thursday in Boston (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Le Bron is such a choker. He’s loaded with talent but just doesn’t have the necessary fire in the belly.
Now what are you reading and blogging about today?