Akein Scott, 19, was apprehended in the Little Woods section of eastern New Orleans, Louisiana. Police department spokeswoman Remi Braden told the Associated Press that no additional details would be made public until Thursday morning. …
A new survey from the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling finds that Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Sen Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, both Democrats and both vulnerable in their 2014 reelection campaigns, could get a boost from their support for gun background checks.45 percent of voters in Louisiana say they’re more likely to support Landrieu following the vote, compared to 25 percent who said they’re less likely to support her. For Kay Hagan, 52 percent said they were more likely to support her, compared to 26 percent who said they it was less likely.Conversely, the poll shows, Hagan and Landrieu’s Republican colleagues aren’t doing as well:Continue Reading… …
Freshman Republicans in the House say that they are “frustrated” that leadership hasn’t made a single attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act this year – after almost 40 attempts since the bill became law in 2010 – even though they know the move is purely symbolic and bound to fail.At a panel on Wednesday hosted by the Heritage Foundation, conservative Republicans criticized leadership for failing to bring forward a repeal in 2013. ”We need to continue fighting for repeal. We need a clean vote on repeal,” said Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, who chairs the conservative Republican Study Committee.From Sahil Kapur at TPM:“If you’re a freshman — the guys who’ve been up here the last year, we can go home and say listen, we voted 36 different times to repeal or replace Obamacare. Tell me what the new guys are supposed to say,” [Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C.] said. “We haven’t had a repeal or replace vote this year.” “We have not had a chance as freshmen to do that,” said first-term Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL). “Even if it’s just symbolic — and even if we understand that process-wise we are not going to be able to say, okay we want repeal, it’s done, and it’s over. But this is the issue that so many people around the country who love the Republican Party are frustrated with.”Continue Reading… …
Joshua and Sharyn Hakken, the
Florida couple who “kidnapped” their own children after a Louisiana
judge terminated their parental rights following a 2012 marijuana
arrest, could be facing life in prison.
The Tampa Bay Times: ;
Because weapons were involved, the Hakkens could be facing
multiple charges carrying lifelong sentences. Kidnapping for the
purpose of committing a felony and burglary with battery are both
felonies punishable by life in prison, Tampa lawyer Rick Terrana
“They are literally legal strangers to the children, therefore
it is straight-up kidnapping,” Marchese said. “They will have a
very difficult time in the criminal arena. You’ll never be able to
tell a biological parent, ‘You are no longer the parent.’ They
don’t understand that.”
That Times story came out lo April 10. A day later,
the paper reported that ;
Prosecutors also added one new charge: child abuse.
The couple inflicted “mental injury” on the children, according
to court records. If convicted, they face up to life in prison.
Child abuse is an odd, maybe even vicious, charge to levy,
considering that Chase and Cole believe they were on vacation.
The Times again: ;
The boys think they took a vacation to Cuba.
They have no idea that, according to deputies, they were
kidnapped by their parents.
On Thursday, a few hours after their parents made their first
appearance before a Hillsborough County judge, Cole and Chase
Hakken, ages 4 and 2, stood before a crush of media on their
grandparents’ front lawn. The boys flashed broad grins and held
The grandparents simply told the boys Thursday that people
wanted to take pictures of them because of their boat trip and
Bail was denied for both Joshua and Sharyn, which means they’ll
be jailed for the duration of their legal troubles, and probably
for long after. Their next hearing is on May 30, when we might see
some evidence that this tragedy had a point.
As of now, the only arguments I’ve seen that the Hakkens were a
danger to their kids is that they are a) marijuana users b) gun
owners and c) willing to use force to get their kids back. Oh, and
they distrusted the government. ;
about the Hakkens here. ; …
BELLE ROSE, La. – Tim Brown eases his john boat from his back yard dock into his daily therapy: The Bayou Corne that courses through this patch of southern Louisiana like a lifeline. Brown powers past the Tupelo Gum, Cypress Moss and Swamp Maple trees that drape the bayou in a frame, and steers to the spot where he reels catfish and collects thoughts.“If I had to actually leave this place and go back to a house on dry land, I’d probably be dead in two years,” says Brown, 65 and retiring next year. “I guess you can say it’s a totally different life out here.”But now that life, for Brown and 350 other residents in a neighborhood with “Crawfish Crossing” signs and roads named Gumbo, Jambalaya and Crawfish Stew Street, has been shattered by discovery of a 14-acre sinkhole that fractured the community’s calm and may bury its dreams.Continue Reading… …
Joshua Hakken, the Florida man who
kidnapped his own children after being inititally separated from
them due to a marijuana arrest, has allegedly landed with his
family in Cuba.
CNN reports that ;
A man on a boat at a Havana marina told CNN’s Patrick Oppmann he
is Josh Hakken, the U.S. man accused of kidnapping his sons and
sailing them to Cuba.
He declined to answer questions, and Cuban security asked a CNN
reporter to leave.
The man, who fit Hakken’s description, was with a woman who fits
the description of his wife. Both were aboard a blue sailboat named
“Salty.” The CNN reporter also saw one child on the boat.
Hakken, a Louisiana man who lost custody of his two young sons,
is accused of abducting them, together with his wife, according to
a Florida sheriff’s department.
Joshua Hakken, who media outlets continue to describe as
“anti-government” due to his anarchist/libertarian postings on
firearm and homeschooling forums, kidnapped his children from his
mother-in-law last Wednesday, just one day after a Louisiana judge
terminated his and Sharyn Hakken’s parental rights.
The judge’s ruling allegedly stems from Hakken’s June 2012
arrest in Slidell, Louisiana. The Hakken family–Joshua and Sharyn,
and their sons, Cole and Chase–were staying in a hotel in Slidell
when police were called due to a “disturbance.” Slidell Police
claim they found Joshua Hakken in possession of a gun, a knife,
and marijuana, and that the couple said they were “taking a journey
to the Armageddon.” Hakken was charged with using a controlled
substance in front of a minor, and his children were immediately
placed in foster care. Hakken allegedly spent a week in jail
according to Slidell police. Upon his release he showed up at the
foster home where his children were and demanded that they be
returned to him at gunpoint. When the woman who ran the foster home
said no, Hakken left. ;
Fast-forward to last week: After a year separated from his
children, Hakken showed up early Wednesday morning at the home of
Patricia Hauser, his wife’s mother and the children’s guardian, and
restrained her with zip ties. He then took Cole, 4, and Chase, 2,
and left with them in Hauser’s car. Only minutes away from Hauser’s
home near Tampa, Hakken allegedly rendevouzed with Sharyn Hakken.
The family of four then drove to nearby Madeira Beach, boarded the
family sailboat, and set sail. Florida law enforcement didn’t
realize until the weekend that the Hakkens had taken to the Gulf of
Mexico. Since the family disappeared, media outlets and law
enforcement have suggested the Hakkens meant to harm their children
and possibly themselves. It looks more and more like they simply
wanted their children back. …
Peer into the future. Not
our future (hopefully), but a future in which Michael Bloomberg’s
most feverish dreams about saving us from ourselves have come true.
That’s the premise of
Bacon and Egg Man by Ken Wheaton, a novel
that should be satirical, but really is just an extrapolation down
the path set by smoking bans and soda restrictions. In Wheaton’s
mid-21st century, the northeastern United States seceded from the
union under the leadership of a “King Mike” who was primarily
motivated by the desire to be the biggest fish in a small pond.
After years of creeping nanny-statism, the rest of the country was
only too happy to tell King Mike and his Northeast Federation of
States not to let the door hit them in the ass on their way out —
and to insist they take California with them. This set King Mike
and friends loose to mold a new nation using all of the tools
available to elitist control freaks with no checks on their
Wheaton’s hero, Wes Montgomery, is a journalist with a sideline
as the leading black market dealer of banned foods on Long Island.
The fun begins when he gets busted and coerced into participating
in an undercover operation against his counterpart in
The premise of the book is similar to that of F. Paul Wilson’s
which was written when the whole idea of a diet-controlling,
therapy-mandating, Big Mother-ish government seemed oh-so
far-fetched. I asked Wheaton about that, and he’d never heard of
the story. He’s a Louisiana native though, and a few years of
living under King Mike’s smothering hand while working for Ad
Age in New York City were likely all it took to have him
pining for an America that had quarantined militant aerobicizers
and haters of trans-fats.
While we’re on the subject of satirical
novels about the nanny-state future, let’s not forget Scott Stein’s
Manning. Consistently funny and, yes, mean, the novel
follows misanthropic Martin Manning, who hasn’t left his apartment
in years simply because he wants to be left alone. He’s not
neurotic, or phobic, or troubled in any way. But he is ill-tempered
— and perhaps just a little more than the aggressively caring
minions of the nanny state counted on when they set out to “help”
those who neither want nor need anything of the sort. What’s that
about waking sleeping giants? How about pissing off ; a pit
Mean Martin Manning was published in 2007 and deserves
much more notice than it has received. Like Bacon and Egg
Man, it captures all of the awful presumption of the nanny
state, and then just sets it down its own logical road, to where
the nanny staters are not only likely, but certain, to go if
allowed free rein.
I’m a big believer in the value of both culture and fun. I
recommend these books not just because they celebrate freedom, but
because they’re enjoyable to read and work in and of themselves as
novels. We have to participate in the culture and contribute of
ourselves if we’re going to nudge it in a healthy direction, and
both Bacon and Egg Man and Mean Martin Manning
are worthy contributions in that direction.
So, of course, is
High Desert Barbecue, the rollicking, thug-thumping
novel of outdoor adventure, penned by yours truly. Thrill as
conspiracy, arson and ineptitude threaten the desert West, and only
a misanthropic hermit, a subversive schoolteacher and an unemployed
business writer stand in the way. I may not address nanny staters
to any great extent, but my book deals at great length with
tree-huggers and bureaucrats. There are plenty of larfs and
violence. I should have added more sex.
High Desert Barbecue was a Freedom Book Club book of the
month. Like the other two novels featured here, I like to think
that it stands on its own merits. …