Utah

Caution on assumptions from Utah

There is much chatter about polls in Utah favouring independent candidate Evan McMullin.

Most articles are like this one from The Hill:

Independent candidate Evan McMullin is leading in Utah, according to a new Emerson College Polling Society survey released Wednesday.

McMullin is favored by 31 percent of likely voters in Utah. Republican presidential nomineeDonald Trump has the support of 27 percent and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is backed by 24 percent.

Another 5 percent of voters support Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and 12 percent are undecided.

The poll finds both Trump and Clinton are viewed unfavorably by a majority of voters in the state.

Clinton is viewed favorably by 23 percent of voters and unfavorably by 74 percent. Trump is viewed positively by 24 percent of voters and unfavorably by 72 percent.   Read more »

Photo Of The Day

'Madam Mayhem': Joyce McKinney, former Miss Wyoming, who became obsessed with the Mormon Kirk Anderson.

‘Madam Mayhem’: Joyce McKinney, former Miss Wyoming, who became obsessed with the Mormon Kirk Anderson. “For Kirk, I would have skied down in the nude with a carnation up my nose…”

 ‘Madam Mayhem’

A Tawdry Tale 

The Surreal Life of Joyce McKinney

The story of Joyce McKinney and the Manacled Mormon sounds like a Quentin Tarantino film or an episode of South Park. It’s almost unbelievable that the story actually happened; that it wasn’t something that was made up by the National Enquirer or the Globe like all those Big Foot sightings or Bat Boy. They say that truth is stranger than fiction and it is certainly true in this bizarre story of one beauty queen’s obsessive love for a Mormon missionary. In McKinney’s version she was just trying to save the man she loved from the mind-bending control of a religious cult.

A brief affair with a religious man in the 1970s, led the former Miss Wyoming Pageant winner to embark on a cross-continent journey involving kidnapping at gunpoint, sexual assault and solicitations for tabloid and movie offers. Joyce McKinney dated Kirk Anderson for a brief period of time when she was 25 years old, an affair Anderson ended quickly over religious beliefs. Anderson was so wracked with guilt that he actually moved to England, which didn’t deter the obsessive McKinney at all.

After hiring a Private Investigator to track her lover down, McKinney crossed the pond, had an accomplice kidnap him at gunpoint and take him to the home she was renting, where she proceeded to chain him to a bed and rape him for days. Anderson only escaped his chains after agreeing to marry McKinney. Instead, he reported his ordeal to the cops. Though arrested, McKinney jumped bail and wound up in Canada. She tried to sell her story in Atlanta, and ultimately couldn’t resist following Anderson to Utah, where she was arrested.

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This is how you do courtroom security

There is security, then there is real security then there is courtroom security in Utah.

A U.S. marshal shot and critically wounded a defendant on Monday in a new federal courthouse after the man rushed the witness stand with a pen at his trial in Salt Lake City, authorities said.

Defendant Siale Angilau was hospitalized with at least one chest wound, FBI spokesman Mark Dressen said.

‘During the trial this morning the defendant went after, engaged the witness stand, and when he engaged the witness at the witness stand, he was shot by the U.S. Marshals Service,’ Dressen said.

‘From what I understand, the defendant may have grabbed a pen or a pencil and charged the witness stand at that time.’

The witness wasn’t hurt.   Read more »

An indiscretion of youth?

Some people do silly things in their youth that cause them embarrassment when they seek political office. They might have a child before they were ready to do so, smoke a bit of drugs, engage in some petty vandalism or something silly like that. By and large voters are pretty forgiving these days.

But planning to engage in blowing up your high school?

After spending six months in a juvenile detention centre, 18 year old Joshua Hoggan now wants to run for Mayor of the small town of Roy in Utah.

Mmm. Good luck with that one asshat.  Read more »

Marriage Equality is a Conservative Cause

Jon Huntsman writes at The American Conservative about why Marriage Equality is actually a conservative cause:

If conservatives come to the table with solutions that put our communities first, it will go a long way toward winning elections.

But it’s difficult to get people even to consider your reform ideas if they think, with good reason, you don’t like or respect them. Building a winning coalition to tackle the looming fiscal and trust deficits will be impossible if we continue to alienate broad segments of the population. We must be happy warriors who refuse to tolerate those who want Hispanic votes but not Hispanic neighbors. We should applaud states that lead on reforming drug policy. And, consistent with the Republican Party’s origins, we must demand equality under the law for all Americans.

While serving as governor of Utah, I pushed for civil unions and expanded reciprocal benefits for gay citizens. I did so not because of political pressure—indeed, at the time 70 percent of Utahns were opposed—but because as governor my role was to work for everybody, even those who didn’t have access to a powerful lobby. Civil unions, I believed, were a practical step that would bring all citizens more fully into the fabric of a state they already were—and always had been—a part of.  Read more »

Whale Week What Was

682zoomWe started our Saturday by paying our respects to Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., the hard-charging US Army general whose forces smashed the Iraqi army in the 1991 Gulf War.  He died aged 78.  At The Standard 2012 Worst Political Blog Mike Smith is told some home truths about long term grass-roots Labour families heading for the Greens.  A quick vid on how to put out a boat fire the Kiwi way is next, followed by a vote for Best Minister.  The winner, at 52%, is Judith Collins.  The Whale Week That Was summarised all the stories this blog covered in the previous seven days.  A quite active Saturday Debate (for the time of year especially) led a post calling for nominations for Best Political Blog.  Those who see WOBH as any sort of threat to them (and those that don’t too), should take heed of this Malcolm Tucker quote: “marshal all the media forces of Darkness to hound them to an assisted suicide”.  A CNN piece showing Teachers in Utah taking a class on gun use shows some common sense around the gun debate.  A reader has taken yesterday’s US Fiscal Cliff graphic and created one for New Zealand – great work.  As Cameron Slater predicted from the outset, the Aussie Hoax DJs will not face charges.  The NZ Herald continues to amuse – this time a car crashed into a poll.  The blog then introduces us to two sexy taxidermists showing you don’t have to look like a front row forward to deal with dead animals.  And you’d think we’re picking on an incompetent NZ Herald, and you would be right.  This time they have Jesse Ryder beating himself at Eden Park in Wellington.  Then a hilarious story about a Queensland woman who fell into the longdrop and was there for two hours before being discovered by her husband.   Turns out that during the Falklands War the French tried to send missiles to Argentinia behind Margaret Thatcher‘s back.  Commerce first eh?  The last post of the day highlights a report of a man holding up a Countdown Supermarket with a hammer.  Our readers get fired up about the idea of hammer banning.

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We need a law like this

New Zealand needs a law like this:

HB129: Defense of Property and Person

The incident was mentioned Thursday morning in the Utah Legislature where the Utah Senate gave preliminary approval to a bill that clarifies a person is justified in defending their home and family against criminal activity and may not be held civilly liable for damage or injury to perpetrators.

Sen. Curtis Bramble, R-Provo, said HB129 was “timely” given the home invasion in Springville.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Patrick Painter, R-Nephi, is a clarifying measure, Bramble said.

“If you’re being victimized, you can defend yourself without being sued by the person trying to take advantage of you or your property,” said Bramble. The bill moved to a final reading on a vote of 19-0.

The law currently allows Utahns to seriously injure or kill someone if they believe they are in imminent danger of being seriously injured or killed. Self-defense can also be used as a defense by a third party who goes to help someone else who is being threatened.