Domestic Surveillance: Where do the Presidential Candidates Stand?

Would you believe Yahoo News has a cutting edge article on the Presidential Candidates and the renewal of domestic surveillance? I encourage you to read it.

Hillary Clinton is all over the map and not answering questions just like every other issue. This woman is so risk aversive that I wonder how anyone can support her for President. She is afraid of her shadow or maybe the ghost of an election lost. One of the strengths that Hillary had was that people saw her as a strong leader. She is not honest and trustworthy, but she was perceived as a strong leader. Today, I question even if that is true. Bernie Sanders opposes it.

Scott Walker is out of the country and can’t answer questions, they seemed to have forgotten Dr. Carson and Carly Fiorina did not respond. The rest of the GOP field is lining up on one side or the other. On the side of liberty are Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee. On the side of the NSA, we have Jeb Bush, Chris Christy, Marco Rubio, and Lindsey Graham.

The question is what do you want? Contact our congressional delegation with your views.

Why Huckabee Would Be The Best President

I love the GOP field this time. It is deep and diverse. Rubio excites me, Carson inspires me, Bush reassures me, Paul rallies me to liberty, Cruz illustrates the power of principle, and Walker shows me courageous leadership. One person does it all. Governor Mike Huckabee. He has a strong record of success. No state advanced more in relationship to moving up the ranks in family income, education, healthcare, and improved infrastructure.

He brings a statesman skill and a pastor’s heart to the equation. He understands that the divides that hold us back need to be bridged. He is unafraid to confront our enemies and unapologetic about American Exceptionalism. He is willing to protect Judeo-Christian principles and republican principles. He is a populist in that he is for the forgotten man and not owned by the billionaire class. He is all for billionaires, just on an equal footing. His opposition to fast track shows his fidelity to the intent of the Constitution.

Governor Huckabee is someone who is not a part of the Washington mess. Instead he has a proven track record of governance. He has one of the most successful records of any governor. He makes sense to normal people.

If you believe infrastructure needs someone who will rebuild it instead of make it a give away to special interests like the current administration, Governor Huckabee did that for Arkansas. If the squeeze on middle income Americans is the issue of the day, he handled that with average incomes soaring, under his tenure, 59% or 20% in real dollars allowing poverty stricken Arkansas to finally track national prosperity. He improved education so that the state went from the being on the bottom to being in the middle of the pack. He stood for family, life, and the second amendment. He bridged gaps between black and white, stood for common sense in the judicial system, and approached the immigration issue with compassion and strength.

The doctrinaire people criticize him for raising taxes, he did. He also cut taxes. It was more that he favored dedicated user taxes over general taxes for roads and healthcare. The critics are disengenious or uniformed. The people supported the gas tax hike by over 80% in a referendum because the roads were in such bad shape. The people knew that they could trust him to put the money where it was supposed to go. He also signed a temporary tax hike to a save the schools from losing the reforms and going under court mandated supervision with taxes being controlled by judges. He got rid of the tax hike when the economy stared to recover. If you subtract education, he kept state spending even in real dollars despite healthcare, prisons, and roads. He favored an excise tax on cigarettes to pay for children’s healthcare through the SCHIPS. The quality of life improved because of the program. Working class children had needed healthcare in the free market. If you look at the net tax increases that he favored versus tax cuts that he enacted, it is actually a net decrease. Arkansans did pay more of their income to the state when he left office, but that was because of a 400 million dollar sales tax hike that he opposed, but the Democrats had a veto proof majority and enacted it over his objections.

Some people say that he increased spending over 10 years as Governor. Is that bad? We favor shifting more responsibility out of Washington and to the states. He was a governor when we were actually doing that so of course state budgets increased. The question is was the money well spent and were the increases excessive. The standard for spending is in my mind inflation plus population growth. Anything above that should be examined. Inflation was 39% and population increase around 23%. Spending increased around 50% so a real analysis would show that Huckabee restrained the unnecessary growth of government. The Washington Post called Huckabee a “fiscal hawk” in their fact check on May 6th because he was concerned about budgets. Cato, Americans for Prosperity, and Club for Growth blames Huckabee for tax increases that he could not stop and opposed, but give him no credit for turning a 200 million dollar deficit into an 850 million dollar surplus or 94 tax cuts including the largest in state history. They advocate user fees, but somehow think Huckabee allowing the driver’s license to go from $14 to $20, which matched inflation, is a tax hike. Under Romney, it is a user fee. That seems to show an agenda that is biased. Neither were taxes. If government is to run like a business, it should not lose money on services it sells.

The real agenda for CATO and Americans for Prosperity is not a government that works, that is the least intrusive, most efficient and least burdensome government possible, like most conservatives seek. It is a radical Libertarian view of dismantling large parts of the government at all levels. It does not believe that policies can help raise the prosperity level of the poor and middle America. It advocates a type of social darwinism. That is antithetical to traditional Republicanism which advocated pro-business and pro-working person polices such as infrastructure, free soil, civil rights and universal education, stable currency, trade polices that benefited America, and legal immigration. The attack on Huckabee is necessary because he proved as Governor that government policy does matter. He should not run away from his record. It is what most Americans are hungering for. They want someone who actually believes there are answers to our problems which do not demand our freedom, property, and heritage as payment. Huckabee must be stopped because he is the most popular Republican and is a heretic according to the new regime that has poured hundreds of millions into the party. He is good for America, but a threat to their ideology. Well they only get one vote too. It is time for the rest of us to vote our interests. Only one Republican has a proven record of actually doing something for the rest of us, we ought to return the favor.

Gunn Loses Appeal To DE High Court

After Four Different Counts, In An Election That Gunn Initially Won, Gunn Loses In Delaware’s High Court.

In one of Delaware’s Strangest and most obvious cases of voter election fraud, Lamarr Gunn’s run for the Kent County, Recorder of Deeds bid to regain the seat, he clearly won, was rejected by Delaware’s Supreme Court.

The election results indicated that Gunn won the election by two votes. State election laws dictates an automatic recount of votes, in an election that close. The absentee ballots were counted three times and in the first two recounts, Gunn won. Betty Lou McKenna won the last recount by two votes, at a late night count and the Board of Canvass certified that count in a late night session, after most people had gone home.

Mr. Gunn then appealed to the State Superior Court. A recount of the absentee ballots was ordered by the court, and once again a hand count of absentee ballots took place, resulting in a tie. Under Delaware State Law, Gov. Jack Markell vacated the seat and appointed McKenna as the Recorder of Deeds until 2016.

According to local news sources, Gunn said, “it caught me off guard. At this point it is beyond the Recorder of Deeds office. Now it’s about the integrity of the process. Any clear thinking Delawarean is scratching their head about this election. If I have anything to do with it I’ll make sure it will get the attention it deserves.”

Gunn was also quoted as saying that he plans to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, the decision was a total surprise, he stated, according to local news sources.

Mr. Gunn, who is also the President of the Kent County Chapter of the NAACP, has recently said that all he wanted was the chance for another election. He is right, this obvious theft of the Recorder of Deeds seat has left many Delawareans “scratching their heads” wondering about the veracity of Delaware’s entire election system.

In my opinion, after two counts, it was clear that Mr. Gunn was the winner of the election. Only in Delaware would a Superior Court and Delaware Supreme Court step in and invalidate an election such as this. The entire Delaware election system should be investigated by the Federal Election Commission. This is one good reason why Delaware should have an “Office of Inspector General.”

Appoquinimink-Delaware’s Top High School?

U.S. News and World report did a massive ranking of America’s public high schools. Congratulations to the State Winner, Appoquinimink High School in Middletown which ranked 1300th nationally which is easily in the top 10%.

Delmar High School ranked second at 2135 nationally and was the only other Silver ranked school in the state. The Bronze ranked high schools are Cape Henlopen High School, Lewes; Delcastle Technical High School, Wilmington; Lake Forest High School, Felton; Mount Pleasant High School , WILMINGTON; Smyrna High School , SMYRNA; and Sussex Central High School , GEORGETOWN.

Neighboring Maryland had two schools make the top 100 and the highest percentage of schools to score at least a silver medal with 30% of the schools receiving that distinction. Neighboring New Jersey had two schools in the top 20. Our highest school would be 45th in New Jersey, but like its Appo’s national rank, that is within the top 10%. The Charter School of Wilmington did not have test scores available at the time of the ranking. By the other criteria, it is likely the top performing school in the state and would rank in the top 50 nationally.

Suspected Russian Sub Nearly Capsizes British Trawler

Incident in the Irish Sea Raises Further NATO Concerns

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer

According to recent articles in Business Insider and the New York Times, a suspected Russian submarine breifly towed a British fishing vessel backwards and nearly capsized it when it became entangled in its nets. The incident occured in international waters in the Irish Sea between the UK and Ireland in late April, further raising naval security concerns in the NATO alliance.

Read the original articles at:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/suspected-russian-submarine-may-nearly-153700477.html

and

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/11/world/europe/russia-tests-distant-waters-resurfacing-cold-war-fears.html?ref=world&_r=2

HB 140 is Designed to Raise Motor Vehicle Fees

In a move to raise more revenue for Delaware’s Transportation Trust Fund (TTF), some state legislators have sponsored HB 140, designed to raise a set of 14 separate motor vehicle documentation fees.

Democrat Representatives Peter Schwartzkopf (Dist.14), Valerie Longhurst (Dist.15), John J. Viola (Dist. 26), S. Quinton Johnson (Dist. 8) and Edward S. Osienski (Dist. 24) as well as Senators Patricia M. Blevins (Dist.7), David B. McBride (Dist. 13), Margaret Rose Henry (Dist.2) with David P. Sokola (Dist. 8) are primary sponsors.

Estimated to cost Delaware drivers an additional $ 24 million annually, the increase is projected to raise an additional $12.5 million for the TTF. Under the terms of HB 140, the motor vehicle document fee (imposed on new cars sold in Delaware) would rise from 3.75 percent to 4.25 percent, the fee for driver’s licenses record sales would increase from $15 to $25 and car title fees would inflate from $25 to $35.

The bill was filed last Friday, May 8 and is currently pending action in the House Revenue and Finance Committee. Pursuant to the Delaware Constitution, revenue increase measures require approval by a 3/5 (60%) majority in both houses.

Given the current composition of the Delaware State Senate, at least one Republican vote is needed for passage.

Read the entire bill at: http://legis.delaware.gov/LIS/lis148.nsf/vwLegislation/HB+140/$file/legis.html?open

Dover Police Issue Statement/Release Video ON Officer Related Incident

by Dover Police Department

After a federal judge ruled that the video regarding the arrest of Lateef Dickerson on August 24, 2013, by Officer Tom Webster was no longer considered to be confidential, the Dover Police Department has decided to release the video. Based on the incident that occurred, which is captured on this video, the Dover Police Department initiated a multi-pronged investigation into this matter. As a result, in November 2013, the Dover Police Department placed Webster on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation and review of the case by the Delaware Attorney General’s Office.

In March of 2014, the Delaware Attorney General’s Office took the case before a grand jury who did not return an indictment for Webster. At that time the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware reviewed the case and found that there was not a civil rights violation. After both agencies conducted their separate investigations, the Dover Police Department completed the internal investigation on Webster finding that his actions regarding this incident were outside of Dover Police Department policy and the department took the appropriate actions.

In June 2014, Webster returned to full duty with the Dover Police Department and was reassigned to the patrol division. On May 4, 2015, the Dover Police Department learned that the Delaware Attorney General’s office took this case before a second grand jury which indicted Cpl. Webster on the charge of Assault 2nd degree. Upon being notified of the indictment the Dover Police Department immediately placed Webster on leave without pay pending the outcome of the criminal case.

On May 4, 2015, Webster turned himself in and was presented to Commissioner Andrea Freud of the Kent County Superior Court where he was released on $5,000.00 unsecured bond. For more information, please see the previous press release issued by the department here: http://wp.me/p407do-1CD

http://doverpolice.org/2015/05/07/dover-police-issue-statementrelease-video-officer-related-incident/

My View– We’re Standing together: Leaders support Webster Indictment and call for calm

I was proud of my city. Community leaders from elected officials to faith groups to police rallied together to ensure the truth is known in excessive force case involving CPL Webster. City leaders acted with dispatch, but were turned down. The details are well covered in the previous article. The news coverage has been positive except for Delaware Online which twisted one sentence of Mr. Gunn. View this and other videos then decide which account is closer to accurate, ours or theirs.

As elected community leaders, it is incumbent upon us to communicate the truth to the people that we serve. My colleague and I have issued a statement with our view of the issue. We are pleased that AG Denn took a look at the case personally Friday and reopened it. A travesty of justice was overturned.

Joint Statement on the Webster Indictment from Councilman Elect Roy Sudler Jr. and Councilman David Anderson

Yesterday’s indictment is justice delayed, but justice served. It’s a shame that one bad decision by good people can ruin lives, but we all must be accountable for our actions. It is because we have the highest respect for our police that we demand high standards of conduct. Now we need to let the judicial system work in an orderly fashion. We also need to press for reforms in state law to allow cities to enforce their own standards of behavior.

We believe that the former Police Chief Hosfelt, and current Chief Bernat of the Dover PD were correct when they referred this case for prosecution in 2013 because our standards were violated, it was clear that department procedures were not met.

The Police leadership acted courageously and retain the trust and support of the community. Dover has a tremendous, community police force dedicated to the highest standards of service. The action yesterday will allow us to move forward together in addressing the serious problems that we face. It is all of our responsibility to make sure our community is safe, to make sure it is a place we want to raise our families. We are pleased to stand with the Mayor and Community leaders in the quest for peace, unity, and justice.

Dover Community Works Together In The Wake of Webster Indictment

Mayor Christiansen and Dover’s Black Leaders Unify to Prevent Violence Over The Felony Arrest Of Dover City Police Cpl. Thomas Webster on A Second-Degree Assault Charge.

Authored by: Staff Writers, DonAyotte and Wolf von Baumgart

In a press conference that took place in front of Dover’s City Hall, Mayor Robin Christiansen said that the Dover City Council met in special executive session yesterday to discuss the matter of the Delaware Justice Department’s indictment of Dover PD Cpl. Webster.

The closed session was held according to the terms of the Delaware Freedom of Information Act, involving cases in which litigation and personnel matters are involved. He would not discuss legal details of the case but said that Webster would be dismissed if he were convicted of the charge.

When asked if one of the possible reforms may include establishment of a civilian police review board, Christiansen answered flatly, “No. It is precluded by state law”. In response to a question of establishing an Office of Inspector General to investigate incidents of public misconduct, he replied, “That’s up to the legislature but, no we don’t need an extra layer of government, it’s our responsibility and we take it seriously.

Dover City Mayor Robin Christiansen

Dover City Mayor Robin Christiansen

Thomas W. Webster IV was arrested Monday, May 6th after being indicted by a Kent County grand jury on a second-degree assault charge, stemming from an incident that occurred on August 24, 2013.

Webster responded to a call at the Hess gas station (now renamed Speedway Service Station) for a fight in progress where one of the persons could possibly be armed with a gun. Webster arrested one assailant, Lateef Dickerson and commanded Dickerson to get on the ground and the subject complied. As the subject was in the process of complying with Webster’s command, he was kicked in the head and handcuffed, The alleged assault by Webster resulted in Dickerson’s jaw being broken.

Webster was placed on paid administrative leave in November of 2013 pending an internal investigation and a review of the case by the Delaware Attorney General’s Office. In March of 2014 the case was taken to a Kent County grand jury and they failed to return a indictment. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware reviewed the case and found there was no civil rights violation.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit against Cpl. Webster and the City of Dover in the U.S. District Court in Wilmington, on behalf of Lateef Dickerson in lieu of the alleged incident that led to his jaw being broken. Mr. Dickerson also received lacerations to his lip, nose and forehead, according to the ACLU.

Dr.LaMarr Gunn, President of the Central Branch of Delaware’s NAACP, spoke at the City’s news conference stating, that people in Dover have learned from mistakes in Baltimore and other American cities and said that by working with the greater human community, Dover could become a model for the country, for greater police/community relations.

IMG_0415[1] [Dr.LaMarr Gunn, President of the Central Branch of the Delaware NAACP addresses media re: Indictment of Cpl. Webster]

Delaware NAACP Central Branch Vice President, Rita Page said that the indictment of Cpl. Webster will serve as “a ray of hope” for all those persons who have experienced injustice at the hands of police officers across the United States.” She also stated, “We the people will not tolerate police brutality and misconduct. Accordingly, the NAACP is willing to work in partnership with the police and the City of Dover to ensure that all lives matter.”

Various members of the African-American Clergy, including an assistant Imam of the Islamic Community of Delaware voiced similar concerns. “We come in peace and unity, respecting both families in this matter and we are here to unite the greater human family, to make Dover a better place,” said Ali Abdul-Aleem. He compared the Dover PD to the point guard and the people to the center in a team working toward fairness and equality.

Pastor Cannon of Dover Praise and Worship took the opportunity to call for revision of title 11, chapter 92 of the Delaware code, known as the “policeman’s bill of rights.”

Six Baltimore Police Officers Criminally Charged In Freddie Grays Death.

State’s Attorney General Marilyn Mosby Announces Criminal Charges In The Death Of Freddie Gray Who Was Critically Injured While In Police Custody.

Most Protesters interviewed greeted Mosby’s announcement with cautious skepticism, and a wait and see attitude. While people were happy that some action was being taken, pessimism was heavily speckled throughout the crowd, according to various press sources.

Despite Mosby’s announcement, Protesters were gathering in Baltimore’s streets for a fair-weather weekend of protests over Gray’s death, allegedly caused while he was injured in police custody. Unrest and an uneasy calm was apparent by most visual media on site in Baltimore streets.

Driver of the police van that carried Freddie Gray in a four-stop ride through Baltimore, Forty-five year-old Officer Caesar Goodson was charged with second degree murder, manslaughter and misconduct in office.

Officer William Porter, 25 was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second degree assault and misconduct in office.

Lt. Brian Rice, 41, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second degree assault and misconduct in office.

Sgt. Alicia White, 30 was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second degree assault and misconduct in office.

Officer Edward Nero, 29, was charged with second degree assault and misconduct in office.

Officer Garrett Miller, 26, was charged with second degree assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment.

Despite charges being filed, a man yelled Justice, Justice, Justice, while driving by in a car, and at the corner where Freddie Gray was arrested, Willie Rooks held his hands up in obvious peace signs yelling Justice. In an interview with a reporter, Meech Tucker, who was wearing a T-Shirt reading, “I Bleed Baltimore,” said, “If it was one of us doing that against a police officer, it would be first degree murder,” according to local news sources on site.

Gene Ryan, President of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3, said in a letter to Mosby, “As tragic as this situation is, none of the officers involved are responsible for the death of Mr. Gray. Mosby was asked to appoint an independent prosecutor in the case, citing her ties to the Gray family’s attorney, William Murphy. Mosby’s lead prosecutor’s connection to members of the local media were also cited as cause for the appointment of a special prosecutor. Murphy donated $5,000 to Mosby’s campaign and served on her transition committee.

In a press conference, Ryan said he was going over to Mosby’s office to congratulate her and would ask her to speak at the mass rally, he has planned for Saturday. “under the pressure of the world, she has stood up and put the blame squarely where the blame belongs,” he said.

Despite charges being filed, Protests for Friday and Saturday night in Baltimore and many cities across the nation have been scheduled, according to various news sources. With the level of violence piggy-backing and spilling over from the recent violence in Ferguson Missouri, many people have become disillusioned with the changing role of local and state police in America. The role has changed from the motto of “To Protect and Serve,” to one of a para-military standing army, which our violates American’s civil rights.

Iranian Naval Force Reaches Bab al-Mandeb

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer

According to the Iranian news agency, IRNA, Iranian naval forces of the 34th Fleet have reached the Bab el-Mandeb, a strategic strait and oil traffic choke point between Yemen and Djibouti, Iran’s navy commander said earlier today. The force consists of the frigate, Alborz (F-72) and the light replenishment ship, Bushehr (AORLH-422).

81591243-6422709V_IRIN_Adm Sayyari

IRIN Commander Vice Admiral Habibolla Sayyari (IRIN Photo)

Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, stated that the IRIN ships are on an anti-piracy patrol mission. “We are present in the Gulf of Aden in accordance with international regulations to ensure the safety of commercial ships of our country against the threat of pirates,” he said. Iranian merchant shipping has been attacked by Somali pirates in the past. Sayyari also stated that the Iranian Navy has maintained a continuous presence in the Gulf of Aden, Bab el-Mandeb Strait and western India since 2008.

http://irna.ir/en/News/81591243/

IRINS Frigate, Albroz (F-72) FARS Photo

IRINS Frigate, Albroz (F-72) FARS Photo

Last week, Pentagon sources indicated that nine-ship Iranian convoy, suspected of carrying weapons to Houthi insurgents in Yemen had reversed course, but did not indicate the disposition of the Iranian naval vessels.

The 34th Fleet usually rotates anti-piracy operations in the area with the IRIN 33rd Fleet, according to www.arrse.uk

[NOTE: Bab al-Mandeb means “Gate of Tears” in Arabic.]

US Response to Iranian Seizure of the MV Maersk Tigris

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer

The US is prepared to deal with increasing naval tensions in the Persian Gulf in response to the Iranian seizure of the Marshall Islands registered Danish container ship, MV Maresk Tigris, according to Pentagon sources.

The US State Department, after consultation with Marshall Islands officials, has clarified its position. “The U.S. continues to have “full authority and responsibility for security and defense of the Marshall Islands,” according to the State Department’s website. The Marshall Islands gained independence from the United States in 1986, but continues in the US sphere of defense, according to a treaty.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/04/30/state-dept-pentagon-send-conflicting-messages-on-us-response-to-iran-cargo-ship

Subsequently, FOX News televised reports that the US Navy will escort American-flagged commercial vessels through the Straits of Hormuz.

US and Marshall Islands Weigh Options Over Iran’s Seizure of the Maersk Tigris

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer

In response to the recent Iranian seizure of the Danish-owned, Marshall Island registered container ship, MV Maersk Tigris, US State Department and Marshall Islands officials are considering various options in this matter.

Currently, the US Navy has a maritime security task force in the Persian Gulf monitoring the situation consisting of : the Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer, USNS Farragut, (DDG-99,) and Typhoon class coastal patrol ships USNS Thunderbolt (PC-12), USNS Firebolt (PC-10) and USNS Typhoon (PC-5) operating in the area near the Strait of Hormuz following the Iran’s detention of the cargo ship, according to Pentagon sources.

http://news.yahoo.com/u-marshall-islands-discuss-way-ahead-iran-detains-174331669.html

According to an Iran Project report, The US State Department has announced that it was “premature” to say whether the use of force is needed in this matter.

http://theiranproject.com/blog/2015/04/29/us-rejects-use-of-force-over-ship-boarded-by-iran-in-strait-of-hormuz/

It is likely that the US Defense Department is also evaluating contingency plans in this matter in case the situation intensifies.

Progress Report: HB 50

An Interview With John Kowalko

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer

According to Delaware State Representative, John Kowolko, (D – 25th District) HB 50, a bill that would enable parents to have their children opt out of state education assessment is ready to be voted on sometime next week. He stated that he is actively working to communicate details of the bill individually to all House members.” I would like to assuage their feelings and correct any misimpressions. There is alot of misinformation out there.”, he said earlier today.

“HB 50 will simply codify parents rights to opt out of state testing and preclude state and school district employees or officials from exerting pressure or other forms of intimidation if they opt out. The value of this bill is to provoke a greater dialog on education. A lot of our resources that should go into educating out children in the classroom are currently being lost in the witchcraft of educational reform.”, he concluded.

Download and read the text of HB 50 here:

http://legis.delaware.gov/LIS/LIS148.NSF/vwlegislation/A7345A5746E0C7BA85257DD3006C4DE2?open

Concered citizens should communicate their ideas about the proposed bill with their state legislators.

Baltimore’s Mayor, Incompetent Or Following Presidential Orders?

Baltimore’s Mayor Is Beyond Incompetent. Are her actions also criminal?

With the outbreak of uncontrolled violence in Baltimore Tuesday night, police stood still, and instead of arresting violent criminals who were looting, burning businesses and police vehicles, while stoning police, they retreated! Why? This is a question I’ve heard asked on radio talk shows and throughout Delaware where people gather.

Accusations have been repeatedly hurled at Baltimore’s Mayor, Stephaine C. Rawlings-Blake, that she ordered her police force to stand down, when and if violence broke out. Mayor Rawlings-Blake was repeatedly quoted by Foxnews’ Anchor, Meagan Kelly as saying before the violence started, “we also gave those who wished to destroy, space to do that as well.”

It was also reported over many news sources that Mayor Rawlings-Blake spoke to President Obama long before the violence broke out on Tuesday evening that lasted all night. Could it be that Obama advised the mayor to order the Baltimore Police to stand down for reasons of his own. If so, what could those reasons be?

Did the infamous phrase spoken by Baltimore’s Mayor give protesters a “Carte Blanche” pass to riot, loot and attack police. Mayor Stephanie C. Rawlings Blake showed an unbelievable lack of leadership, causing many of Baltimore’s police to be injured, with one officer considered critical and unresponsive, according to news sources. For her behavior, should the mayor be charged with inciting a riot and should she be impeached and thrown out of office?

Because of the mayor’s inaction and inability to allow her law enforcement officers to control this mob of criminals, she has set Baltimore back decades. What business would even think of re-building their business in this area. Her lack of action coupled with complete incompetency caused irreparable damage to the city she should have lead, but instead threw her own people to the wolves.

Iranian Naval Force Seizes Danish Cargo Ship

US Navy Responds

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer

Elements of the Iran Revolutionary Council Guard Navy (IRCGN) have boarded and seized a Danish-owned cargo ship, MV Maersk Tigris (originally bound for the UAE from Saudi Arabia) in the Persian Gulf, earlier today.

An earlier report from the Iranian FARS News Agency claimed that the MV Maersk Tigris was a US-owned cargo ship. The report also claimed that the trade vessel was seized by the Iranian naval forces at the request of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization after a relevant court order was issued for its confiscation. The order was officially issued regarding alleged long-standing overdue payments that the vessel’s account owed to the IPMO. The ship was reportedly boarded and directed to the southern Iranian Port of Bandar Abbas.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940208001509

According to Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren, the container ship was in Iranian waters [near the Straits of Hormuz] when it was approached and surrounded by a group of Iranian patrol vessels at approximately 0905 Zulu (GMT). Subsequently, the Maersk Tigris reportedly sent out a distress signal that was monitored by US Navy forces in the Persian Gulf area.

“The [ship]master was contacted and directed to proceed further into Iranian territorial waters,” He declined and one of the IRGCN craft fired shots across the bridge of the Maersk Tigris. The master complied with the Iranian demand and proceeded into Iranian waters in the vicinity of Larak Island.”, he said.

Pentagon officials stated that the guided missile destroyer, the USNS Farragut, (DDG-99, Arleigh Burke class) and surveillance aircraft of the US Central Naval Command (NAVCENT) have been dispatched to the area. NAVCENT has also “directed aircraft to observe the interaction between the Maersk vessel and the IRGCN [Iranian] craft.

However, the ship’s manager, Cor Radings, a spokesman for Rickmers ship management, told Bloomberg that the ship, chartered by Rickmers, was in international waters when the Iranians approached it.

www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-28/ship-seized-by-iran-wasn-t-u-s-flagged-pentagon-says

The 62,292-ton (dwt) container ship, MV Maersk Tigris (IMO-9694581 ) is owned by the Maersk Line, based in Denmark and is registered in the Marshall Islands. Its 34-member crew is multinational and includes Europeans. Pentagon officials have indicated that there are no U.S. citizens on board.

This contradicts initial reports, by the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya News Channel, which claimed that the ship was American owned and manned by American crew members.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/04/28/Iran-holds-U-S-ship-34-sailors-.html

A more detailed report is available at:

http://heavy.com/news/2015/04/maersk-tigris-mv-ship-marshall-islands-american-united-states-iran-seizes-cargo-commercial-vessel-strait-hormuz-crew-injuries-response-port-p

Further information on the MV Maersk Tigris is available at:

www.shipspotting.com/gallery/photo.php?lid=741942

According to marinetraffic.com, as of 2015-04-28 18:35, the Maersk Tigris was at anchor at Latitude / Longitude: 27.03202° / 56.27347° in the Persian Gulf near the Iranian island of Qeshm across from Bandar Abbas.

http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/details/ships/shipid:1635726/mmsi:538005749/imo:9694581/vessel:MAERSK_TIGRIS

The IRCGN is a separate branch of the Iranian armed forces as distinct from the regular Islamic Republic of Iran Navy (IRIN), currently involved in international waters of the Gulf of Aden. Iranian political posture is integrally linked to this matter, as the IRCGN (formed after the 1979 Iranian Revolution) is more integrated with the Islamic Republican regime than the IRIN.

It is not clear at this point what direct jurisdiction and mission, beyond monitoring that the US Navy may have in this matter; however, according to a treaty, the US is responsible for the defense of the Marshall Islands, a UN-member South Pacific state.

Finnish Navy Fires Depth Charges in Territorial Waters Near Helsinki

By: Wolf von Baumgart , Staff Writer

The Finnish Ministry of Defense has stated that its maritime surveillance system detected a possible submarine intrusion in Finnish Baltic territorial waters near Helsinki (Helsingfors) at approximately Noon (local time) on April 27. Finnish Navy surface vessels conducted an area search and subsequently fired warning depth charges at approximately 3am earlier this morning after a second detection was registered.

The incident is currently under investigation. No official statements as to the possible source of the submarine target have been issued as yet, pending outcome of the investigation.

Various neutral and NATO-affiliated Baltic Area States have reported increased Russian submarine and air force maneuvers described as unsafe, intrusive or provocative (occasionally involving territorial incursions) as well as increased surface naval activity in nearby international waters.

The original Finnish Defense Ministry statement can be read here:

http://www.defmin.fi/en/topical/press_releases/finnish_navy_detected_possible_underwater_target_in_the_territorial_waters_off_helsinki.6211.news

9-12 Delaware Patriots to host Candidate Nights for Kent and Sussex County School Board Elections

The 9-12 Delaware Patriots will be hosting two school board candidate nights, one for all of the Kent County Candidates and another for the Sussex County Candidates.   Each event will be conducted as a forum for the candidates, not a debate.  Former U.S. Senatorial Candidate, Kevin Wade will be the moderator for both forums.  The candidates will be given an equal amount of time to share their platforms, and an opportunity to answer questions directly from the audience.  They will also have table space to share campaign materials and interact with potential voters.  These forums are both free and open to the public. The 9-12 Delaware Patriots is a non-partisan organization and will not be endorsing any candidates.  These forums provide citizens with an opportunity to gather information on the candidates so that they can make an informed decision of who to offer their support and their votes.  We also provide candidates with a platform to share the issues that they are running on with the public. Kent County School Board Candidates Forum – Tuesday, April 28, 7:00-9:00 p.m. – Dover Elks Lodge, 200 Saulsbury Road, Dover, DE  19904 Sussex County School Board Candidates Forum – Thursday, May 7, 7:00-9:00 p.m. – Millsboro Fire Hall, 109 East State Street, Millsboro, DE The School Board Elections will be held on May 12th.  

Russia’s Geopolitical Posture May Be Inconsistent With Its START Strategy.

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer

Russia’s nuclear strategy appears to be inconsistent with recent Russian geopolitical posture, including recent nuclear treats to Denmark, a Russian general’s call for preemptive nuclear strikes against NATO, etc. in the face of its actual strategic nuclear weapons reduction according to the latest Nuclear Notebook, written by Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris of the Federation of American Scientists.

According to their analysis, Russia is continues to modernize its nuclear arsenal while reducing strategic nuclear launchers well below the limit set by the New START Treaty. The overall Russian force appears to be leveling off at nearly below 500 strategic launchers over the next decade, as older Soviet-era ICBMs are scheduled to be retired.

Russia currently has 4,500 nuclear warheads. 1,780 are deployed on missiles and bomber bases with 700 additional strategic warheads and 2,000 nonstrategic warheads in storage. An estimated 3,200 retired but largely intact warheads now await dismantlement.

Read and download the entire report at: http://fas.org/blogs/security/2015/04/russianotebook/

Iran Denies Shipping Weapons to Houthi Insurgents

Fighting Intensifies in Yemen

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer

Speaking in response to recent reports of suspected arms shipments, Iranian Navy Commander, Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, has officially denied that the Irianian convoy was carrying arms destined for Houthi insurgents in Yemen. Furthermore, he said that Iran Navy warships were originally deployed along area shipping routes as an anti-piracy operation in accordance with UN approved resolutions.

81584120-6410272_IRIN Comander Admiral Habibolla Sayyari

IRIN Commander, Admiral Habibollah Sayyari (IRNA photo)

He also stated that Iran would maintain warships in international waters of the Gulf of Aden for at least the next several months, Admiral Sayyari also rejected reports that Iran’s fleet has been warned to leave the Gulf of Aden, according to the Islamic Republic’s state news agency, IRNA.

http://irna.ir/en/News/81584120/

Meanwhile, in an apparently new phase of the Saudi-led coalition’s military intervention in Yemen, observers on the ground have stated that [unspecified] foreign warships have shelled various Houthi emplacements around Aden’s commercial port facilities, according to Reuters. Major Saudi air strikes on the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, were also reported.

http://news.yahoo.com/saudi-led-air-strikes-hit-yemeni-capital-ending-072124975.html

There is no word as yet as what, if any effect these developments will have on US Navy activity in the area.

Gay Bakeries Deny Service to Traditional Marriage Celebration

I agree with Gay activists that refuse to make a cake for a traditional marriage celebration that says Gay Marriage is Wrong. The question is why should Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Conservative Jews, and others be forced to make same sex marriage cakes? The question is why would the government pursue one not the other? Does it show why we should let people make their own decisions in this regard? Watch the video here.

Yemen Area Naval Situation De-escalates

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer

The US/Iranian naval tensions, related to suspected strategic arms shipments to Houthi rebels in Yemen appears to be de-escalating as the US Navy aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt and guided missile cruiser USS Normandy are being withdrawn and are now heading back to the Persian Gulf, according to Pentagon officials.

Yesterday, the nine-ship Iranian convoy, thought to be carrying arms to Yemen, contrary to UN sanctions, reversed course in the Arabian Sea.

The International Dimensions of Yemen Sector Naval and Evacuation Operations

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer

Beyond the current U.S. “Big Stick” naval diplomacy versus Iranian (pre-nuclear) asymmetric maritime power play situation in open waters off the coast of war-torn Yemen, international dimensions have evolved.

According to the International Business Times, three German and two Japanese Navy vessels are known to be along the southern periphery of the oceanic area between the port cities of Aden in the west and Al Mukalla further east. The IBT article cited its source as: http://www.ibtimes.com/us-allied-naval-forces-converge-yemen-iran-suspected-supplying-weapons-houthis-1890833 , a free global ship tracking site.

Their specific configurations and missions are virtually unknown at this point, but are surmised to be more directed toward general external maritime traffic monitoring rather than surveillance and arms interdiction in Yemeni waters.

http://www.ibtimes.com/us-allied-naval-forces-converge-yemen-iran-suspected-supplying-weapons-houthis-1890833

Egyptian and Saudi Naval vessels are monitoring Yemeni waters, with Saudi warships effectively closing Yemen’s commercial ports, preventing ship movements earlier this month.

Five French Navy ships as well as various Indian, Russian, and Chinese naval assets are also present in the region. Pakistan has also agreed to send navy ships.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2015/04/17/263508/pakistan-agrees-to-send-ships.html

An illustrative map and chart of most naval and air assets committed to the Yemen area is viewable at:

http://cigeography.blogspot.com/2015/04/operation-resolute-storm-saudi-led.html

Under the April 14 UN Security Council arms embargo, allied naval forces may monitor ships outside the recognized 12-mile territorial limit of Yemeni waters. However, they have no legal mandate to stop board and search vessels of any nationality, unless clearly justified in anti-piracy operations. Legal authority to interdict ships suspected of arms trafficking takes effect only upon their entry into Yemeni waters.

International cooperation in recent evacuation operations was well coordinated and executed. India evacuated nationals of 23 other countries besides its own nationals in Operation Rabat, concluded on April 8.

http://thediplomat.com/2015/04/23-countries-want-indias-help-in-yemen-evacuation-operations/

Russian and Chinese evacuations also afforded safe passage to foreign nationals.

http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20150405/1020494564.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/03/us-yemen-security-china-idUSKBN0MU09M20150403

[ Ironically, the nuclear powered aircraft carrier, USS Theodore Roosevelt is nicknamed “the Big Stick” and its call sign is “Rough Rider”. ]

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