HEROIC CAPTAIN HONORED
Captain Richard Phillips of the Maersk Alabama distinguished himself with his heroism during the attempted hijacking of his vessel. The recognition for his heroism continues – as the Navy League of the United States recently presented him with the Admiral Arleigh Burke Leadership Award. WELL DONE, CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, AND BRAVO TO THE NAVY LEAGUE!!
WHY DO PIRATES SUCCEED?
Analysts from Combined Task Force 151 have determined several factors that lead to successful pirate attacks: These include ships traveling at low speed, and ships that fail to post adequate lookouts at high-risk periods of time, including conditions of good visibility and calm seas.
Combined Task Force 151 has been providing mariners routing advice to avoid pirate attacks, but has noted that the pirates have expanded their hunting grounds. The battle against piracy off the Horn of Africa looks like it will be a long one.
WHERE YOUR TAX DOLLARS GO
Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), has released a report on a number of programs from the $787 billion stimulus bill. Among the projects: An eco-passage for turtles and other critters underneath a Florida highway that will set taxpayers back by a total of $3.4 million. That $3.4 million for those pork-barrel projects could have purchased seven Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicles for our troops in Afghanistan.
23 STATE AGS TO HOLDER: NO MORE GUN BANS
In what can only be described as yet another shot across the bow to the Obama administration’s push for gun control, a bipartisan group of 23 state attorneys general sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder expressing their opposition to reinstatement of the 1994 ban on certain semi-automatic firearms. These attorneys general also pointed out to Holder that existing laws already exist to punish those who would provide firearms for use in violent or drug-related crimes.
One has to ask – why won’t Holder use those laws to halt gun smuggling? Would using those laws make it tougher to justify new gun bans?
Specialist David Hutchinson became the fifth Army Reservist to be awarded the Silver Star for heroism on 9 June, 2009 while serving with the 420th Engineer Brigade during operations in the Global War on Terror. Despite being wounded, Specialist Hutchinson kept up fire from a Mk 19 automatic grenade launcher on an enemy force in Afghanistan, killing five of the enemy fighters. After the firefight, he provided first aid to a wounded comrade. WELL DONE, SPECIALIST HUTCHINSON!!
HEADS UP ON A HOAX!
Recently, rumors about an SB-2099 have been floating around, claiming that the Senate Finance Committee has passed legislation that would require you to register your guns via your 1040 tax form. THIS IS A HOAX. There was an S 2099 introduced in 2000 by Senator Jack Reed that would have placed handguns under the National Firearms Act, but the bill went nowhere and died. To ensure that you get the straight scoop, contact the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. There are enough real threats to our right to keep and bear arms that we do NOT need to chase phantoms like this one.
GETTING FACTS ABOUT WHAT GOES ON SOUTH OF THE BORDER
The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers, an organization supporting efforts to ensure secure borders for the United States of America, puts out the M3 Report – which covers events south of the border by translating media reports from Mexican, Central American, and South American media outlets. Recently, they have translated media coverage of the Mexican navy’s takedown of the largest synthetic drug lab in Latin America – netting over 50,000 liters of ephedrine, a precursor to crystal meth. It also translated coverage of one Border Patrol bust that netted 73 illegal immigrants being smuggled in via a tractor-trailer.
EXERCISE TURNS REAL
During this year’s Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) exercise – which brings together a dozen countries, including the United States, Germany, and Sweden – the theoretical exercises turned very real. First, the naval forces stumbled onto a line of mines laid by Germany during World War II. This line of mines was among the over 100,000 laid in both of the World Wars of the 20th Century – with as many as 60,000 still lurking in the Baltic, even though the wars ended over 64 years ago.
However, Germany was not the only country that is responsible for unexploded ordnance in the Baltic. In the course of the same exercise, a Swedish minesweeper using an autonomous underwater vehicle found a Royal Navy torpedo that thankfully posed no threat to maritime traffic. Some serious cleanup is in order in that area.
SEVENTH CIRCUIT UPHOLDS GUN BANS
A three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals did not get the message of the Heller decision. Despite the Supreme Court ruling that Washington, D.C.’s handgun ban was a violation of the Second Amendment, the Seventh Circuit upheld handgun bans in Chicago and Oak Park, Illinois. As we go to press, NRA has asked the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari.
UPDATE ON GIFT CARD MONEY LAUNDERING
Last month, we reported on the potential use of gift cards to launder money. The FBI has delivered some mixed news since the last issue went to press. At the time, they had not been able to do anything, but hoped to have resources and manpower to work on it by late summer. We will keep you posted on events regarding this matter.
OBAMA PUSHING KNIFE CONTROL?
Multiple sources report that U.S. Customs and Border Protection is trying to expand the definition of a switchblade knife to include many popular folding knives – simply because they could be opened with one hand. Sounds bad, doesn’t it? Well, it gets even worse: The Obama administration DENIED a request by the American Knife and Tool Institute to extend the deadline, to comment, cutting off comments on 21 June!
Not much notice given. One has to wonder why Customs is picking this fight, rather than securing the southern border at a time when Mexico is wracked by the ongoing violence between drug cartels and the government.