So, which news stories / issues / topics have captured your attention?
Tragically, with the more mild, spring weather, the string of street shootings is accelerating in the city of Wilmington.
For the second day running, gunfire reverberated through the streets -- and claimed another man's life, Thursday. Someone shot a 39-year-old man near Elm & South Harrison Streets -- the 23rd person to be shot in the city in 2014, and the sixth to lose his life. Police encountered a belligerent crowd on arrival -- even though they were trying to save the victim's life. Police say the unruly crowd hurled some rocks at officers, and some of those rocks did meet their targets.
Late: The Potters' shenanigans will cost the city's taxpayers even more money.
Brandon Potter, organizer of the Foxtail Fest hip-hop concert while he was working for the Williams Administration (and son of Mayor Dennis Williams' then-chief strategist, Velda Jones Potter) has slapped a lawsuit against the City of Wilmington over the city's request for reimbursement for providing security at the fest. Brandon Potter's basic position: His company, What Scene?, doesn't have to pay the nearly seven-thousand-dollar bill because What Scene" didn't ask for, nor need, the officers. As you may recall, this story dominated Wilmington's media for a few days, and Mayor Williams eventually sacked Velda Jones-Potter as his strategy adviser. But Brandon Potter's lawsuit claims the mayor himself was involved. The mayor's office late Friday issued an unusually terse statement. From Alexandra Coppadge: What Scene? LLC has "unfortunately chosen to waste even more taxpayer resources by filing a lawsuit that blames everyone but itself for the situation regarding Foxtail Fest."
Are the Potters finished in politics?
In a letter to The NEWS JOURNAL, state Attorney General Beau Biden defends Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden's handling of a child sex abuse case against Robert Richards IV, a duPont family heir. The letter from Beau Biden (one can only ASSUME the Attorney General authored this letter, rather than one of his assistants) asserts the case against the defendant was weak and "a loss at trial was a distinct possibility." So prosecutors formulated an appropriate plea bargain. As usual, Delaware's (apparently ailing) Attorney General has declined requests for interviews.
New Castle County Police record the biggest single confiscation of heroin in the history of the county police department. Officers recovered 13,558 bags of heroin from two apartment units at the Silver Spring Apartments. Estimated street value: $41,600. Also recovered: About $24,000 in cash and three weapons. Eleven suspects busted and jailed.
Delawareans involved with the filming of "Dead Poet's Society" a quarter century ago - the first major movie filmed entirely in the First State - celebrate the flick's 25th anniversary. One of the movie's venues, Middletown's Everett Theatre, marks the anniversary Saturday with a screening and gala, and a matinee screening Sunday as well.
No word on whether Dover Air Force Base altered its security regimen in response to the shootings at Ford Hood, Texas. But surely these tragic incidents put military personnel on edge, the realization one could be in harm's way at home, in what one might think would be a rather secure cocoon -- in contrast to forward positions overseas.
First characterizations of the latest Fort Hood gunman, Ivan Lopez: A rather laid-back 'average Joe' who had suffered personal trauma lately. He might have been angry at the military for reportedly dragging its heels in granting permission for him to fly to his native Puerto Rico to attend his mother's funeral. He might have been harboring a grudge against a fellow soldier Lopez believed might have stolen from him.
By the way, remember what then-U.S. Secretary of Defense Bob Gates said when announcing a Pentagon review of the shootings at Ford Hood in November 2009? The review would ensure that "nothing like this ever happens again," Gates declared. Maybe public officials at all levels should impose a moratorium on such promises they can't possibly keep.
The state of Texas executed a serial killer Thursday after the U.S. Supreme Court turned aside his lawyers' appeal that the state be compelled to release information about the source of its lethal injection drug(s). Supreme Court Justices apparently bought the argument from Texas corrections officials that the drug suppliying pharmacy needed secrecy to protect it from threats of violence. (Of course, we can only infer that, as the justices don't elaborate on their reasoning in such cases. So Tommy Lynn Sells, 49, became the first individual to be injected with newly replenished pentobarbital.
U.S. unemployment stats came out Friday morning: U.S. employers added jobs at a fairly solid pace in the month of March, and hired more people in the first two months of the year than previously thought. The official unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.7 percent, but the Labor Department said the U.S. economy gained 192-thousand jobs in March. Employers added a total of 37-thousand more jobs in January and February than previously projected. More Americans were looking for jobs, a good indicator of increasing optimism. The biggest milestone in the March report: Some six years after the start of the Great Recession, private employers finally restored all the positions lost to the recession. But long-term unemployment for folks with mostly antiquated job skills looks intractable. And because of budget-cutting at many levels of government, public employment has not at all recovered.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell might not have to worry about his Tea Party challenger in Kentucky's G.O.P. Senate primary (or then again, he might): Tea Party candidate Matt Bevin spoke to a pro-cockfighting rally this past weekend. Bevin first claimed he didn't fully understand the nature of the event, but later declared American's Founding Fathers were cockfighters. (A Bevin spokesman had told The LOUISVILLE COURIER-JOURNAL: "It was not a cockfighting rally; it was a states' rights rally." But the pro-cockfighting organization had promoted the event on its FACEBOOK page as a campaign to construct 'a grassroots movement to legally protect gamefowl enthusiasts'.) The cockfighting enthusiasts claim they could swing as many as 60-thousand votes in a tight primary election.
Catholic (and Jesuit, as in Pope Francis) institution of higher learning Marquette University in Milwaukee has come under fire for presenting an award to U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan.
From The MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL:
GROUP CRITICIZES MARQUETTE for HONORING PAUL RYAN at FUNDRAISER
"Marquette University is drawing criticism from a Christian social justice group after presenting an award Thursday to U.S. Representative Paul Ryan.
Faithful America, a national organization that claims approximately 280,000 members, said by presenting Ryan with the Les Aspin Center 2014 Public Service Award, the university is trading on the Republican's popularity with the superwealthy to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The organization said Ryan's proposed budget 'slashes lifelines to the poor and middle-class in ways that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have previously condemned as immoral.'
The award was presented to Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, at a luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Washinton, D.C.
The cost of the registration for the event was $150. However, attendees could make scholarship donations of up to $25,000 for additional recognition, guests and tables at the luncheon.
Faithful America has started an on-line petition demanding the university donate proceeds from the event to the poor..."
A university representative later defended Marquette's position, saying the proceeds would benefit students of the university's Les Aspin Center for Government, which Ryan has supported. Further, in no way was the university endorsing Ryan's budget.
You may recall another Catholic institution, the University of Notre Dame, has repeatedly taking heat for hosting or honoring pro-abortion rights politicians, up to, and including the President of the United States.
Perhaps Catholic institutions should avoid the problem: Don't host or honor or recognize ANY politicians. Virtually no officeholder takes public positions lining up with the moral and social teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. The COMPLETE mosaic of Catholic teaching doesn't line up with ANY of the currents in U.S. politics: Conservative, liberal/progressive, nor libertarian; Republican, Democratic, nor any minor party.
The back-and-forth diplomatic feuding between the United States and India appears to be continuing. From The NEW YORK POST:
NYPD COP JAILED in INDIA as 'NANNYGATE' REVENGE
"India is getting revenge for Nannygate.
The NYPD is trying to bring home a Harlem cop who's being detained on trumped-up charges by Indian authorities still bitter over the way their diplomat was treated in New York last year, law-enforcement sources told the POST.
'You guys like to strip-search our diplomats,' a cop at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport told Officer Manny Encarnacion as he arrested him on March 10 for inadvertently traveling there with three bullets in his checked luggage.
Encarnacion was charged with violating the country's Arms Act of 1959 -- and is facing up to seven years in an Indian prison. He is forbidden from leaving the country until his case plays out in court..."
With reports of partial Russian withdrawals of troops from near the Russian/Ukrainian international frontier, is the current Ukrainian crisis ratcheting down, at least slightly? Still, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov heaped sarcastic scorn on the United States. He told the Russian Interfax news agency: "What can one advise our U.S. colleagues to do? Spend more time in the open, practice yoga, stick to food-combining diets, maybe watch some comedy sketch shows on TV... This would be better than winding oneself up and winding up others, knowing that the ship has already sailed... Tantrums, weeping, and hysteria won't help..."
Ryabkov sounded off after the Obama Administration added the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) to the list of U.S. agencies banned from contacting their Russian counterparts. But the United States and Russia would still collaborate with the international space station, and that, in fact, is the main area of Russia/U.S. space collaboration anyway.
Afghans are voting for president this weekend, a chance at the first tranquil democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan's history. But irregularities and Taliban-inspired violence are just about guaranteed. Afghans - and the rest of the world - may not know the final outcome for several weeks. The eight-candidate Presidential field is wide open, but it looks to be essentially a three-man race. The three leading candidates appear to be relative moderates with international credentials.
Already violence directed against journalists in Afghanistan: A 48-year-old, Swiss-based, German photographer, Anja Niedringhaus (covering the Afghan election for The Associated Press) was killed, and Canadian journalist Kathy Gannon was seriously wounded, after an Afghan policeman opened fire. Niedringhaus's death comes after the killing of Swedish journalist Nils Horner in Kabul last month. Niedringhaus was part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning team honored in 2005 for photography of the Iraq War. A sniper's bullet hit her on her first day in Sarajevo.
Health scare for gay men on the West Coast...
From The Los ANGELES TIMES:
MENINGITIS DEATHS BRING WARNING for GAY MEN
"Three gay men who contracted meningitis have died of the disease, officials said Thursday, heightening calls in West Hollywood and beyond that people get vaccinated.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health began providing free vaccinations for patients without health insurance Thursday. It recommended that gay and bisexual men receive the vaccination.
The department announced earlier this week that there have been eight cases of invasive meningococcal disease in the county so far this year. Of those, four cases occurred in men who have sex with men. Officials said Thursday that three of them died, and that the victims were ages 27 or 28..."
The Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington ranks nations in its Global Youth Wellbeing Index: Australia takes the top spot, followed by Sweden, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Germany, and then the United States, at #6. Nigeria came in last place among the thirty ranked countries. Criteria included education, job prospects, health, and safety for people between ten and 24 years of age. Also, citizen participation and access to IT technology.
Authorities in Passau, Bavaria, Germany have barred parents from naming their son, Wikileaks, in the registry office, fearing such a name could subject the child to ridicule -- or worse. The 28-year-old father, Hajar Hamalaw, is a journalist originally from Iraq. Hamalaw believes Wikileaks "changed the world." According to the PASSAUER NEUE PRESSE, Hamalaw later named his son, Dako.
I'll probably be posting more about this in my "Eclectic Hobbies" blog, but the unusually cold - and extended - winter, coupled with all those winter storms, has delayed the emergence of many animals and critters. Butterflies were already flying by the second week of March two years ago; this year, Jim White at the Delaware Nature Center tells me he saw 2014's first butterfly, a Cabbage White, just a couple of days ago.
I finally sighted my first butterfly of 2014, a Cabbage White, along School Bell Road, Sunday, April 6th. Surprisingly, this sighting came a few days earlier than last year: April 9th, 2013. But again, as noted above, 2012's butterflies emerged very early, with my first sighting of a Cabbage White that year, March 12th, 2012.
Entertainment: David Letterman is retiring. Frontrunners to succeed Letterman -- Chelsea Handler & Stephen Colbert.
Posted at 7:47am on April 4, 2014 by Allan Loudell
Dead Poets was a great movie, and it being filmed in Delaware just added the frosting to the already great film.
A different topic: Executives and politicians including AG's NEVER admit to making a mistake. A weak case where he [Roberts IV] might have won??? What's the difference? [to use Hillary's famous line]. He got probation !!!! He did win. No jail time at all. He's been living in two mansions, happily spending his trust money. Yeah, some punishment.
Until the ex-wife filed this civil suit recently, no one knew of this case. Meaning the AG, his prosecutor, and the judge got away with this farce. I sure don't remember hearing ANY news of this on Delaware / Philly media, or from the Delaware / Philly press. It's been the best-kept secret until a couple of weeks ago.
The AG and his office can spin this any way they want, THEY WERE WRONG and did a major disservice to the people of Delaware. ALL should lose their jobs today.
Sorry about Beau's "illness", but wrong is wrong, and this was VERY wrong.
Fri, Apr 4, 2014 9:25am
"Afghans are voting for president this weekend, a chance at the first tranquil democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan's history. But irregularities and Taliban-inspired violence are just about guaranteed. Afghans - and the rest of the world - may not know the final outcome for several weeks. The eight-candidate Presidential field is wide open, but it looks to be essentially a three-man race. The three leading candidates appear to be relative moderates with international credentials."
Moderates...only when compared to the other candidates.
Warlords with checkered pasts stand beside scholars on the ballot.
Fri, Apr 4, 2014 9:50am
The CEO of Mozilla resigned due to pressure from pro same-sex marriage bullies.... it's interesting that the group that wants tolerance, equal rights, and diversity is currently on a witch-hunt to silence any opposing opinions.
Time to remove the co-exist bumper stickers from your cars, hypocrites.
The LA Times released the CEO's name along with all others who donated over $100 to California's Prop 8...is that right to do?
Is it proper for newspapers to release this info, or addresses of people with CCW licenses or list the names of jurors in print for all to see? The formerly secret names of the Zimmerman trial were just released... those jurors are now all in danger.. .and future jurors will think twice on a verdict that might make them hated by some groups of vigilantes.
Fri, Apr 4, 2014 9:51am
"...the string of street shootings is accelerating in the city of Wilmington..." but the mayor said his policies were working?
"...Attorney General has declined requests for interviews." But he can somehow make it to fundraising functions?
Fri, Apr 4, 2014 10:03am
Beau Biden, who features every arrest of every mope in his mother's basement looking at even one picture of a naked kid, didn't know a thing about this case. Then, all of a sudden, he writes a 4-page letter to the editor of The News Journal saying how difficult this case would have been to win. Looks like he just guaranteed himself the vote of every lawyer in Delaware for the AG's race, and perhaps governor in a few years. But he can't hide forever. He will have to answer questions about this case at some point.
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Apr 4, 2014 10:17am
So Beau Biden the State AG, is only tough on working-class pervs; the wealthy pervs get probation. Gee, how genteel.
Thankfully, citizens outnumber lawyers, so if the DEMS are smart, they'd realized that even with the so-called "Biden pedigree", Beau is now very damaged goods and an easy candidate for the Republicans to beat in re-running for AG or Governor, or Dog Catcher.
I can hear the ads on WDEL now from the Del G.O.P.: Do you want your Attorney General to give special treatment to wealthy child rapists? Then you don't want to vote for Beau Biden, because he did that with DuPont heir Robert Richards IV. He got probation in a plea deal admitting he raped his 3-year-old daughter. If you want a real Attorney General who will treat ALL criminals the same and not allow the wealthy to cut special deals, then vote for [insert name of G.O.P. candidate], the person who'll treat every one with the same equal justice under the law. Paid for by the committee to elect [insert name].
Fri, Apr 4, 2014 11:30am
Nice roundup... Though some Russian troops have backed off the border, there is concern it might be a ruse, that they could be quickly re-inserted as soon as hostilities began. The main troops are still dug in...
Did anyone else do the math on the heroin bust? Based on the figures released, they are selling for 3 dollars a bag... We've lost the drug war when the cheapest bottle of wine is $7.50, and bags of heroin are half that. The only smart solution is to legalize it and then let commercial enterprises regulate it, and gradually close down the anti-drug divisions in every federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.
Before anyone returns to the 50's insanity and insist that drugs would destroy society, it would be wise to remember that alcohol was indeed destroying huge parts of society in the 19th Century, but after Prohibition was tried and killed, Americans learned how to handle it.
No one would say alcohol destroys society today, (even though it probably does, at the very least it damages it)... But legalizing it again in the '30's did get the tommy guns off Chicago's streets.
Wonder what would happen if Wilmington's City Council passes a non-binding resolution seeking to make certain street drugs legal? We would undergo the process that the state did, of being in violation of Federal law, but it would get a much-needed conversation started among serious people, over the cost and effect of all that money.....
To Earl: The CEO of Mozilla is a sad thing that speaks more of his willingness not to fight than anyone else. It does not appear that he was an outspoken person at all... just someone who made a cash donation. It was probably wrong that he got hounded, and I think, sets up a good argument for not stepping down, when the virtual world takes off and goes off kilter. As with stock transactions, with today's technology, an idea can spread like wildfire. Likewise, over time the rebuttal too can spread like wildfire, which is why it is sad he didn't fight back. From what I read - and on this I am just learning about it - it sounds like he tried to do the right thing, but was drowned out.
Very similar to the guy who hit a kid, got out to help, was beaten up by bystanders, and no one helped the kid... When you have right-wing media calling for the heads of people over absolutely nothing... I'm afraid with people who have nothing to lose, that is what you are going to get.... The idea that we have to do something right now, whether it is right or wrong, wins out in today's world over the argument of whatever we do, let us make sure it is the right decision...
As for its release.. Although I would initially say no, such things should remain private, one has to remember why disclosure is there in the first place. It is so we know whether the Russians or Chinese are funding a campaign, whether DuPont is putting in someone who will override citizens' concerns and be a puppet for DuPont, etc. ... So I think you need clarity, and that means the donor lists need to be public... That was a long time ago, and his view, at that tim,e reflects the view of our current president, at that very time... No one is asking Obama to step down because he believed marriage was something special between a man and a woman back in 2008...
I think he should have stuck to his guns, and forced Mozilla to fire him... and then we could vote against Mozilla with our usage and dollars... because he did resign too soon, long before the internet could come to his defense.... as it is now beginning to do...
Maybe he'll be reinstated like that quack with an ugly beard who made duck noises for a living....
Fri, Apr 4, 2014 12:22pm
kavips: I think the Mozilla CEO put the company ahead of his own self-defense...unlike Phil Robertson (duck guy with an awesome beard) the Mozilla CEO did not own the company. I agree that he should have let the issue speak for itself (as Phil did) and after the dust settled on the non-issue let people decide whether or not the product (Mozilla/Firefox) is better than other web browsers...I personally have used Mozilla for years and find it far better than the others offered.
Chick-fil-A stuck to their "guns" as well and have now surpassed KFC as the largest chicken franchise in the U.S.
So, I agree with you that Mozilla CEO Brendan Aich should have stood his ground and let the chips fall where they may.
Fri, Apr 4, 2014 12:51pm
Btw, the man who was severally beaten by a modern-day lynch mob for "doing the right thing" had nothing to do with right-wing media, it had to do with blatant racism and mob mentality...the scene was caught on surveillance video.
Very few people would have stopped in that part of town...this guy was the "good Samaritan" and no one came to his aid.
Mrpizza: Why the shot at the homeless man? My guess is many folks if at the ATM might just pocket some of that money. We all are fallen people. It would be just as wrong for the suburbanite housewife to pocket that money as that homeless guy.
Remember, many of those folks DO have mental problems, thanks to Reagan kicking them out of mental hospitals during his term as a way to save money, so this particular guy may literally not be completely "right in his head". The bank chose to NOT press charges, in this case the Robber Barren's appear to be more forgiving than a self proclaimed follower of Christ.
So if that makes me a bleeding heart, then guilty as charge. By the way, the term bleeding heart comes from a famous painting called the Bleeding Heart [most Catholics have seen it] of Christ on the cross with his heart circled in a crown of thorns dripping blood. So calling someone a bleeding heart, at least to me as a follower of Christ, is a compliment. I want to be more like Jesus and less like my fallen nature. As both Lutherans and Catholics say, we are to take up our cross and follow Jesus each day.
Mon, Apr 7, 2014 8:53am
Mike: It's good that some pastors are trying to turn this into a positive learning experience. The problem IMHO is that God has been removed from society...in large part thanks to our government's understanding of church/state issue. He (GOD) is no longer welcomed in school, in the courtroom, in the public eye...so if you remove God then what fills the void of His presence is hate/violence.
As I have said previously on this blog I have spent a good number of years working with urban missionaries in Detroit and Philly (and other various cities around the country) and what I see is that the families in most of these poor cities (and in the wealthy spots as well) God has been removed from the home. The last generations who truly loved God/went to church regularly (for community of Christians) are dying off and the next generations see no need for God and see Him as a mean Judge or bad/violent Father...which is how most view fathers and the law so it makes sense (though it's very sad).
Mon, Apr 7, 2014 10:09am
...one more interesting update on the Detroit story.
There was a "good Samaritan" who helped stop the beating and probably saved the man's life. A nurse stopped and demanded the men (100+ plus had gathered at that point in time according to her) to stop and let her look at him...she also added that she was armed and ready to defend herself and the man if the crowd turned on her.
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Apr 7, 2014 10:09am
EarlGrey: Well said.
Mon, Apr 7, 2014 8:25pm
MFD: If the shoe fits, wear it.
Mon, Apr 7, 2014 8:52pm
MFD: Actually, I was taking a shot at those who think all homeless are just poor innocent people who can't help themselves. Yeah, some are like that, but then some other ones are just downright dangerous criminals. There's just too much excusing of sin and that does nothing to help the sinner. You can't help people change by molly-coddling them.
If I didn't care about the homeless, I sure wouldn't be going to Sunday Breakfast twice a week. I am at least putting my time (and money) where my mouth is.
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Apr 7, 2014 10:09pm
Mrpizza: Your use of negative labels or name-calling weakens your point-of-view, in my opinion. You don't mean the phrase "bleeding heart" as a compliment.
As with all parts of society there are both good & bad, same with the homeless. I try to give folks the benefit of the doubt.
Tue, Apr 8, 2014 3:51am
MFD: You're right. I don't mean bleeding heart as a compliment. That's the whole point of the presentation.
Mike from Delaware
Tue, Apr 8, 2014 7:46am
Mrpizza: Call me a bleeding heart any time, as I explained I see that as a badge of honor, a compliment. I'd rather err on the side of Agape Love.
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