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Friday, July 29, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Senate Puts House Debt Bill On Hold

Senate tables House GOP debt ceiling bill for now as Senate Democrats work to advance their own last-minute legislation.

From Fox News

Breaking News---House of Representatives Boehner's Revised Debt Limit Bill Passes House, as Senate Dems Work on Rival Legislation

With the U.S. moving perilously closer to defaulting on its loans, the House passed an increase in the federal debt limit as part of Speaker John Boehner's third version of a deficit-reduction bill, which includes a balanced budget amendment -- a pivotal provision for securing the support of hard-line Republicans.

The bill passed in a 218-210 vote, with all House Democrats opposed, as well as 22 Republicans. But it isn't likely to advance in the Senate, where Democrats are working on rival legislation ahead of the Treasury's Tuesday deadline to increase the debt limit.


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Rep. Harris Will Vote For Historic Budget Control Act

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Andy Harris will vote for the historic Budget Control Act of 2011, which will reduce spending by more than $2.7 trillion over the next decade, is coupled with a Balanced Budget Amendment, and would end the debt limit crisis.  The bill would also cut government spending by a larger amount than the debt ceiling increase.
“I didn’t come to Washington to put off making the tough decisions necessary to deal with our crippling debt and deficits,” said Rep. Andy Harris. “I came to Washington to end budget tricks, accounting gimmicks and empty promises. A Balanced Budget Amendment will provide the permanent accountability that America needs in Washington. The Budget Control act ends the debt limit crisis, and builds an environment for a strong, healthy economy and the job creation we so desperately need.”
Currently, the U.S. Government has a national debt of $14.5 trillion and runs an annual deficit of $1.65 trillion a year.

Don't Forget The Farmer's Market Tomorrow

Pres. Obama Takes Historic Step To Get America Off Oil & Tackle Global Warming Through Cleaner Cars

Washington, D.C.—President Obama today announced the outline of proposed clean car standards that by 2030 will cut annual gasoline use nationally by as much as 23 billion gallons, reduce annual emissions of global warming pollution by as much as 280 million metric tons, and save Americans over $80 billion at the gas pump annually.* 

The standards will cover cars and light trucks in model years 2017-2025, and are expected to require that these vehicles meet a global warming pollution standard equivalent to a 54.5 miles-per-gallon fleet-wide average by 2025.    

Foster Hardiman, Federal Field Organizer with Environment Maryland, issued the following statement in response to the announcement:

“Oil is America’s Achilles heel, holding us back from protecting our environment and growing our economy.  But today’s clean cars proposal is the single biggest step this country has ever taken to end our addiction to oil—and tackle global warming—and the Obama administration should be loudly applauded for taking it.  By ensuring that the cars of tomorrow are much cleaner and more fuel-efficient than the cars of today, we will reap huge global warming pollution reductions and oil savings.  Cleaner cars will benefit Maryland’s environment and our families’ health, while saving Maryland residents money at the gas pump and helping to protect our national security.

“We will work with the administration to further strengthen several elements of this proposal, as the problems of global warming and our addiction to oil demand that we make the final standards as strong as possible.  We can do this by putting American ingenuity to work and avoiding loopholes that will mean lost oil savings and pollution reductions. 

“We again applaud the Obama administration for this historic step forward that will benefit Maryland’s environment, our health, our economy and our national security, and we look forward to working with the administration to strengthen this proposal moving forward.”

Boonies Celebrates 10 Years This Sunday

Four Years Ago Today

I depositions, the above statements were made referencing the Jaguar escaping from his exhibit at the Salisbury Zoo.

Ron Alessi and Jim Rapp made claims that they did in fact have the proper narcotics on premises to sedate the animal. The Daily Times was told this was not true but they went ahead and published what Alessi a Rapp stated.

The above documents prove just what happened that day. A bus load of children had just left that area when the Jag got out. The Zookeeper "Ann" was heroic, (IMHO) by risking her own life to call the animal back into the exhibit.

The event happened much longer than 4 years ago today but we published this information at that time.

3 Years Ago Today

Candidate Andy Harris stops into Salisbury News Headquarters at 300 W. Main Street.

Two Years Ago Today

Former Police Chiefy Webster held a Press Conference outside the Salisbury Police Station because the new Mayor insisted Joe Albero be allowed to be present.

Since Webster couldn't stand me, he held the conference outside in the extreme heat just to prove his point.

Well, where are we today. Webster is history and still searching the Help Wanted Ads after a devastating loss in Somerset County as he tried to run for Sheriff and lost by a landslide.

THIS COUNTRY DEFAULTED LONG AGO

The final collapse of our credit expansion boom approaches. We have a choice over the next week. We could voluntarily abandon further credit expansion by voting for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution or we can raise the debt ceiling, pretend to cut spending far in the future, and allow our currency system to experience a catastrophic final collapse.

We’ll take what’s behind door #2 Johnny. The vested interests in Washington DC and Wall Street only care about power and wealth. They will never abandon credit expansion. It’s their drug. They must have it. They are addicted to it. They will keep injecting it into our system until they overdose America.

The mainstream media acts as if not raising the debt ceiling by next Tuesday will result in America defaulting. This is a crock. America chose to proceed on a path to default decades ago. We are just finally reaching our destination. Below are the choices we made as a people and a country to default on our obligations and eventually destroy our country:
  • The enactment of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution in 1913 allowing the government to impose a tax on your income, thereby opening Pandora’s Box to a 60,000 page tax code and allowing politicians to sell their votes to the highest bidder.
  • The signing into law of the Federal Reserve Act by Woodrow Wilson in 1913, transferring control of our currency system to Wall Street banks. The man made inflation created by the Federal Reserve has reduced the purchasing power of the USD by 97% since 1913 and has allowed politicians to promise $100 trillion of benefits to Americans, that can never be delivered.
  • The Social Security Act signed into law by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1935, supposedly to help widows and orphans, morphed into a giant ponzi scheme used by politicians to make Americans think it was a retirement plan and the money was in a lockbox. The scam continues, but ponzi schemes always collapse.
  • Fannie Mae was created in 1938 as a government agency and Freddie Mac was created in 1970 as a quasi-government agency. By promoting home ownership and subsidizing loans to people who should have never gotten loans these agencies caused hundreds of billions in mal-investment. As tools of politicians, they were used to push social agendas. The result will be in excess of $300 billion in losses to the American taxpayer.
  • The Korean War set a precedent where the President did not need to seek Congress to declare war as required under the Constitution. This has allowed the President the freedom to fight undeclared wars around the world for decades, while spending trillions, with no approval from Congress.
  • LBJ’s Great Society programs such as Medicare and Medicaid were sold to Americans as cost saving programs that would improve healthcare for all Americans. We now spend 17% of our GDP on healthcare and these two programs have an unfunded liability of almost $100 trillion.
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Grandparenting Classes Teach New Rules To Older Generation

'We learned that whatever we did with our kids, to do the opposite'

Congratulations! You’re going to be a parent. And, congratulations again! The grandparents-to-be are equally overjoyed – which bodes well for future babysitting.

Except that it’s been years since your mom took care of a newborn. And your mother-in-law is promising to move in a week before your due date, so she can “help you out,” and your dear old dad just doesn’t get this whole car seat business. Back in his day, they held their little angels on their laps, dang it, and you kids turned out OK.

Maybe it’s time to send grandma and grandpa back to school. Many hospitals now offer grandparenting classes, which cover everything from current trends in childbirth to updated standards on infant care.

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Thieves Rob Fire House During Call

A handful of teenagers are accused of breaking into a fire station in Southeast Washington.

According to the Washington Examiner, thieves ransacked the fire station along Atlantic Street on Tuesday while crews were fighting the flames along Savannah Street.

MEMO TO PRESIDENT

Dear Mr. President, I heard you say you will not guarantee SS checks if the debt ceiling isn't raised.

Why is it the scare always has to do with SS, Medicare, & our Soldiers pay?

Why not stop your pay, your staff, or Congress and the Senate to save more money for our country?

Why use Seniors, Soldiers, & our Needy as examples?

Take the money from those who take no risks and reap the benefits!!

Instead of threatening to withhold Social Security, VA and disability payments of people who really need the money....

Lets hold the paychecks of all house & senate members, then see how fast they resolve the debt ceiling crisis !!!!!

Conservatives, Let's Remember Who Our Political Enemy Is

by David Limbaugh

I hope that as we conservatives traverse these very difficult roads, we will always remember who the political enemy is. Our internecine fighting of late has given President Obama a bit of needed cover for his primary culpability in our nation's budget crisis.

Conservatives seem to be evenly divided on whether or not to support House Speaker John Boehner's budgetary plan to avoid a debt ceiling impasse. But the level of vitriol back and forth is increasing, with one side calling the other "crazy" and the other shouting back "RINOs," or Republicans in name only.

I believe both sides are acting honorably; they mostly agree on goals and disagree on tactics. But it's a bit more complicated than that. They also differ somewhat in their operating assumptions.

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Thefts From Motor Vehicles

The Summer season in Salisbury has traditionally shown an increase in crime throughout the city, particularly thefts from motor vehicles. During this summer we have found that many vehicles are parked and left unsecured with their windows down and tops down- if the vehicle is a convertible. These vehicles become easy prey if property is left in plain view. Residents are reminded to secure the vehicles, even if left only for a short time. Drivers are advised to secure and store all property out of sight, preferably in the trunk, or better-out of the vehicle. Drivers are also reminded to park in well lighted and populated areas.

Additional tips can be found on the Police Department’s website, http://www.salisburypd.com/. On the lower right side of the page is a link to a crime prevention tips page. On that page there are a number of additional links for personal safety tips.


Any questions can be directed to the Salisbury Police Department Community Affairs Division at 410-548-3165.

The Boehner Plan is the Best Deal for the Country That Our Divided Govt. Can Deliver

By Howard J. Warner

As we wait for the vote on the Boehner Debt Bill, some wonder what is the best way to handle the debt crisis? The crisis was created by our President and the Democrats in Congress. For two years the President had a Democratic majority in both Houses and could pass an increase in the debt limit authority. They chose not to do this as it might be viewed negatively by the populace. Now we are on the brink of creating another market collapse as the President has heightened the stakes by repeatedly addressing the public on this issue while ignoring any real compromise and using this crisis as a means to get another tax increase.

The legislation passed recently by the House sets the correct tone by limiting spending, requiring balanced budgets, and capping the growth. However, it will never become law as the balanced budget amendment cannot ever pass enough states as there are many that will fear the loss of federal funds in the future. Yet, this is a worthy goal and one that the TEA Party supporters favor. I find it analogous to the attempt years ago to pass the Equal Rights Amendment.

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On Weasels And The Removal Thereof Through Unified Action

After shocking even myself one day several years ago, I decided I needed to settle on a word to use when referring to politicians, leaders, and the other special interest groups who work so hard to sell the sovereign countries of the world down the road for personal gain, all the while espousing their good intentions for the "general welfare" of the people. Not that there aren't innumerable choice terms for these treacherous busy-bodies already. However, vocalizing any of them in public usually results in a rapid change to my complexion – a facial state I've generally tried to avoid since middle school PE classes. Nevertheless, I admit to using most of them at one point or another in recent times and many of them quite often, albeit in private. I really just needed a word I could do more than mutter disgustedly under my breath in public. Ultimately, I settled upon the term "weasel". I'm not sure who first applied this word to humans as a descriptor for acting in a cunning and/or deceitful fashion to achieve desired ends, but I'm willing to bet a politician was involved somewhere.

Most of us know (or have known) a weasel or two in our lifetimes. Some of us know more than a few, and a few of us are unlucky enough to be surrounded by them. Escaping real life encounters with weasels is a fortunate state of affairs indeed. Nevertheless, you will undoubtedly be assaulted by proxy either through media or legislative mandates. Pick up any form of print media and their visages smile up at you with a plastic intensity matched only by the accompanying pontificating on their plans for maintaining and expanding the status-quo controls on your life. I challenge you to find a news channel where you won't hear those same plans (or worse ones) regurgitated through flashy, cutesy sound bytes on the hour by more (or the same) plasticine personas. Our nation's capital seethes with them. Their offices overflow with favored crony lobbyists, and their legislative droppings have spread over the land burying our Republic in the stink of rotten tyranny. Yes, weasels are rampant on the Hill. So much so that one might wonder whether D.C. suffered an invasion of the weasel-pod-people one fine night while the country slept. Of course we have been asleep for quite a long time, so perhaps it shouldn't surprise us to find that our house has been overrun by weasels, the clean up of which – to borrow a favored weasel phrase – is a "shovel ready job". This one, however, would actually be of more than temporary benefit to America.


The weasels would like us all to accept that their infestation is not only normal, but "just the way things are". At which point they expect us all to go back to sleep, so the merry-go-round of fraud and plunder can continue spinning money out of our pockets and into theirs. Since that proposed state of affairs has been a long-standing given, it's not surprising that they can't recognize the winds of change, even after the gusts carried a good number of them out of office this past November. Some are beginning to get a clue, but they have yet to realize that the people mean serious business this time. The dysphoria hanging over the land is not just a temporary phase easily placated with business as usual platitudes mouthed blithely out of one side of their faces or the other. Too many Americans caught a glimpse of the underlying decay exposed to sunlight during the 2008 debates by the sheer strength of honest words voiced by a man of impeccable integrity. If as Justice Louis Brandeis stated (and Obama so blithely quoted out of one side of his face) "sunlight is the greatest disinfectant," then Ron Paul – who simply wiped away years of grimy obfuscation with a few clarifying statements – is the mightiest cleaning agent since the advent of Clorox

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Salisbury City Council Members Targeted

Between the dates of July 28 and July 29, 2011, two (2) members of the Salisbury City Council became victims of a malicious destruction of property.

In the early morning of July 29, 2011, Officers responded to a residence on the four hundred (400) block of Virginia Avenue. Upon arrival the officers found that an unknown suspect had thrown an object through the rear window of the residence, destroying the window. The scene was processed and resulted in the recovery of suspect evidence.

On the same date, a short time later, Officers received a call to respond to a residence on the eight hundred (800) block of Camden Avenue for the report of damage to a motor vehicle. Upon arrival the officers found that an unknown suspect had broken the window of the vehicle. Additional suspect and witness evidence was collected at this location.

Both locations are the residential properties of two (2) members of the Salisbury City Council. These incidents are under investigation.

If anyone has any information regarding these incidents they are asked to contact the Salisbury Police Department at 410-548-3165 or to contact Crime Solvers at 410-548-1776. Information may be left at both locations anonymously.

PUBLISHERS NOTES: As of this moment there is a $750.00 REWARD for the arrest and conviction for the individual/individuals who committed these crimes.

Work to Begin on OC Convention Center Expansion

OCEAN CITY, MD - Construction of the long-discussed expansion of the Ocean City convention center is expected to begin next week.


Convention Center Director Rick Hamilton and Mayor Rick Meehan went to Annapolis Wednesday to receive the final approval from the state Board of Public Works on the construction contract. The state, through the Maryland Stadium Authority, is a partner in the facility, so it must approve all contracts.

“It’s already been negotiated, so I think it will be a formality,” Hamilton said of the state approval.

Once the approval is in hand, construction can begin. Hamilton said the contractor is “waiting to start” on Monday.

READ MORE …

Support the Fruitland Police Department K-9 Unit

Bad Boy, Bad Boy, Whatch Gonna Do When They Come For You...

The Ocean City Police Department isn't playing games when it comes to illegal 3 wheeled vehicles roaming the streets of that City.

There is only ONE 3 wheel vehicle permitted to travel in just that City alone. They are NOT permitted anywhere else in Maryland, regardless of what some people might say.

Hence the little red thingamabopper no longer seen roaming the streets of Salisbury. Besides, a 14 year old isn't permitted to drive, period.

A Swamp Monster Disses Ron Paul

TIME Magazine columnist Michael Scherer, who writes a column called Swampland, is out with one of the most distorted attacks on Ron Paul since, well, the beginning of Time.

I guess there will be more of this from the establishment as Dr. Paul climbs in the polls, but this one runs Congressman Paul's views through a distortion mirror at least a dozen times and comes out with these conclusions:
[Ron Paul]argues that this [a default] will mean, as the President, Wall Street and the Treasury Secretary argue, an increase in interest rates, not just for the government, but for regular Americans. The cost of car loans would go up. The cost of house loans would go up (and the values would probably come down), as would the monthly payments for people with adjustable rate mortgages. The amount small businesses pay to get loans to expand their business would go up....

So to summarize, here is what Ron Paul, who may yet win the biggest GOP polling test of 2011, is advocating: Less short term employment, slower economic growth, and higher costs for things that Americans buy regularly.
Nowhere does Ron Paul say that defaulting on the U.S. debt will result in higher interest rates in the private sector. In fact, getting the government out of the debt market will increase by trillions the amount that is available from the markets for the private sector.

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Philly Utility Goes The Distance So Your Car Doesn't Blow Up

Claude has a cool story about how Philadelphia Gas Works went the extra mile to make sure his girlfriend's car wouldn't explode after a gas leak started nearby.


Claude writes:


My girlfriend is out of the country for the month, and I was in charge of her car. This past Saturday, I left Philadelphia for California where I would be meeting with my girlfriend for a wedding and a short vacation. She had very limited internet access, and received two emails from a PGW employee asking her to move her car because of a gas leak where she was parked. What was remarkable about the emails is who they came from.

The first email was from a current tenant at her old apartment — PGW looked up her tags, called the old landlord, and then got the tenants information who then emailed my girlfriend. The second email came from the president of a small organization she volunteers for; the PGW employee had seen several flyers in the back seat of the car, and called that number as well.

Unfortunately, we weren't able to call them in time, and I assumed the car was towed and we would have to deal with it when we got back. I emailed the PGW employee to ask what to do, and he wrote back saying they were able to move some cars that were parked behind my girlfriend's and they just pushed her car back. No car towing. No hassle, and an appreciated effort from our end!


Hey! Something in Philly works! Awesome! No, really, it's pretty cool how they got all private detective and tried to track Claude's girlfriend down. Of course most of it is that they didn't want a four-wheeled box full of gasoline sitting around a possible gas leak, but they were also pretty cool by just pushing her car out of the way. Maybe there's something magic in that melted Cheese Whiz after all, like a little squirt of kindness.


from Ben Popken @ The Consumerist

IMF: Turning Crises Into Opportunity

IMF's Lagarde Says Clock Ticking for U.S., European Policy Makers on Debt ... Christine Lagarde (left), the new head of the International Monetary Fund, urged U.S. policy makers to quickly agree on a fiscal plan and avoid default, while warning Europeans that they are also under pressure to implement their own measures to alleviate the debt crisis. ... The former French finance minister hinted that she may seek more money for the IMF. The decision by the group of 20 nations in 2009 to triple IMF resources "was exactly the right move," she said. "The question is do we still have the level of resources that is now needed and appropriate to address the crises?" – Bloomberg

Dominant Social Theme: With a little more money the IMF can fix all.

Free-Market Analysis: We have been predicting in these humble pages that the current crises sweeping through the world's financial marts would be used to galvanize support for an even greater consolidation of globalist power. And now, here comes Christine Lagarde, speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations, warning not only America's "wise leaders" to get their financial house in order, but also the Europeans too. She truly speaks to all nations with a very authoritarian voice.

Lagarde is wasting no time in positioning the IMF as the ultimate provider of wisdom and understanding – the ideal institution to help lead the world forward. As she winds her way through her performance, we envision a crowd of CFR attendee's swooning to-and-fro in gleeful unison, machinating how to advance the new world order. Oh how much more pleasant she is at this than DSK! (Sarcasm off.)

The reality of the global financial turmoil that has everyone's attention right now, and deservedly so, is NOT going to be fixed as long as we-the-people continue to give these "wise leaders" the license to oppose the laws of nature. It is the inconsistencies associated with econometrics and central planning, which run counter to the basic operating systems that drive individuals and communal realtionships generally.

People make billions and billions, perhaps trillions and trillions, of decisions each and everyday about a whole host of things that affect their lives. The totality of all these decisions shapes the overall environment around us. And the closer the decision maker is to the ultimate effect of the actual decision being made, the more likely the individual will choose a course that best represents his or her interest.

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Obama's Leadership Deficit

by Linda Chavez

When the history of the debt limit fight is written, the failure of presidential leadership will constitute a major chapter.

Once again, President Obama has proven himself lacking in the most fundamental attribute necessary to the office he occupies: leadership. His idea of leading his party and the American people in a crisis is to give a speech, as he did earlier this week in prime time. But when it comes to fashioning a concrete plan or rallying support of his own troops, he's missing in action.

Contrast President Obama's leadership to that of House Speaker John Boehner, who not only has worked diligently to come up with real numbers matched to federal programs to reduce future debt but has been personally engaged in trying to persuade skeptics within his party to go along. And when the Congressional Budget Office determined the GOP numbers didn't add up as claimed, Boehner went back to the drawing board to come up with new ones that delivered what they promised. As of this writing, the vote on the Boehner plan has yet to occur — but win or lose, the speaker has demonstrated he's willing to lead.

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QUOTES OF THE DAY – REVOLUTION 7-29-11

We have two American flags always: one for the rich and one for the poor. When the rich fly it means that things are under control; when the poor fly it means danger, revolution, anarchy.
Henry Miller

There’s nothing wrong in suffering, if you suffer for a purpose. Our revolution didn’t abolish danger or death. It simply made danger and death worthwhile.
H. G. Wells

The scrupulous and the just, the noble, humane, and devoted natures; the unselfish and the intelligent may begin a movement – but it passes away from them. They are not the leaders of a revolution. They are its victims.
Joseph Conrad

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
John F. Kennedy

It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.
Henry Ford

A revolution can be neither made nor stopped. The only thing that can be done is for one of several of its children to give it a direction by dint of victories.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.
George Orwell

In a revolution, as in a novel, the most difficult part to invent is the end.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Revolution, n. In politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.
Ambrose Bierce

It is impossible to predict the time and progress of revolution. It is governed by its own more or less mysterious laws.
Vladimir Lenin

First Mariner Reports $11 Million Loss in Second Quarter

First Mariner Bancorp's bleeding increased during the second quarter as continued write-downs on real estate and bad loans left the Baltimore company with $11 million in losses.


The 1st Mariner Bank parent, locked in a battle for survival, said Friday that its loss during April through June was more than double that of a year earlier.

But the almost $4.7 million loss during the second quarter of 2010 would have been higher if not for a $3.8 million tax benefit during that period, the company said. It received no tax benefit this year.

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The World's Biggest Central Bank Has Private Shareholders

By Washington’s Blog [6]

As I've pointed out [7] for years, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is owned by the world's central banks, which are in turn owned by the big banks. See this [8] and this [9].

It turns out there may be a very interesting wrinkle to private ownership issue.

By way of background, BIS is often called the "central banks' central bank", as it coordinates transactions between central banks, and which is the entity determining [10]the level of reserves banks are required to keep worldwide.

As Spiegel reported [11] in 2009:
The BIS is a closed organization owned by the 55 central banks. The heads of these central banks travel to the Basel headquarters once every two months, and the General Meeting, the BIS's supreme executive body, takes place once a year.
But the New York Federal Reserve Bank currently states [12] on its website:
As of March 2006, the BIS had 55 shareholding central banks from around the world. As of March 2006, the Bank’s assets were approximately $221 billion, including $5.8 billion of its own funds.

When the BIS initially raised capital, participating banks were given the option to buy BIS shares or arrange for those shares to be bought by the public. Currently, 86 percent of the shares of the BIS are registered in the names of central banks, and 14 percent are held by private shareholders. The shares owned by private shareholders consist of part of the French and Belgian issues and all of the shares that were in the original U.S. issue in 1930.
So the private banks own the Fed (and most other central banks), and the central banks - and private shareholders - in turn own BIS, the global bank regulator.

It would obviously be very interesting to find out who these private shareholders are.

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Salisbury Council Members Vandalized

SALISBURY, MD - Last night the homes of Salisbury City Council members Debbie Campbell and Tim Spies were vandalized. A cinder block was thrown through the rear window of Bill Campbell’s car and a brick was thrown through a window in Spies’ home. (the photos below are from Spies’ home)

Given that both victims are members of the Salisbury council and political allies, it is unlikely that these acts were random. The enemies shared by both members is a relatively small list.

The Salisbury Police Department is investigating the matter.

Berlin Meets All National Main Street Standards

BERLIN, MD - The National Trust Main Street Center has recognized Main Street Berlin as a standard for historic preservation and business friendly effort.

Berlin’s Economic and Community Development Director Michael Day said the town’s Main Street program was evaluated by Main Street Maryland on behalf of the national-level nonprofit according to 10 performance points.


“We’re a small Main Street, so we have challenges with volunteers and time constraints. But Terri Sexton of Treasure Chest is chair of Main Street Berlin and has been doing a great job,” Day said. “Our historic fa├žades on our buildings have been pretty well received and have been a good improvement. Main Street Maryland looks to us when a new town comes along and wants to become a Main Street program. They send the town officials to us to show them an example of how to go about preparing to become one. They like how we pretended as if we were a Main Street for three years before we were designated as one.”

Some of the key points require a Main Street community to have an active board of committees; have a paid professional program manager; conduct ongoing training for staff and volunteers; exhibit a historic preservation ethic; and display commercial revitalization support for the downtown area from public and private sector groups.

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Who Are The Extremists?

The Debt Ceiling Reality Show approaches its grand finale in the next week. The world breathlessly awaits the shocking conclusion. The debt ceiling will be raised. The world will be saved. Wall Street will rejoice. Americans can focus on the important stuff again, like Casey Anthony’s upcoming book, who will win this week’s Toddlers and Tiaras pageant, and the latest app created for their iPads. Based on my observations over the last few weeks, I’m absolutely sure that 90% of the politicians in Washington DC would lose on Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?

Still, the mainstream media and the performing puppet politicians need to create a fearful frenzy among the masses to insure maximum public relations exposure for their lies, misinformation, and mistruths. Wall Street will exert their control over the debate by threatening to crash the market if they don’t get what they want (aka TARP). I generally ignore the talking heads on Fox, MSNBC, CNN, and CNBC, as I could learn more from watching Cash Cab than listening to ideologues spouting their talking points. But, last night I happened to see an hour or so of Fox, CNN and MSNBC. I saw the full spectrum of right wing and left wing rhetoric and fear mongering. These stations should be ashamed to call themselves news organizations. They do not even purport to report the news. They spew talking points generated by the left and right, depending on the station’s bias. Truth is unavailable on the mainstream media.

What the public doesn’t see is the rooms filled with PR maggots in the bowels of Congress generating talking points and testing them in over night polls of the public. Their sole purpose is to generate a message that will convince the public the fiscal debacle is the fault of the other party. The goal is to gain an advantage in the next elections. The long term future of our country is unimportant to the soulless autobots that get paid to misinform and mislead the masses. Leaving unborn generations with an un-payable debt so we can selfishly cling to benefits promised to us by corrupt politicians who only made the promises so they could be elected, is the ultimate in egocentric myopia.

The deceptive talking points created in smoky backrooms in Washington DC and vetted by Madison Ave maggots are easy to detect. Each side pounds home the exact same phrases on every “news” station:
Republican Talking Points
  • We refuse to increase taxes on all Americans to fix a spending problem.
  • Spending has been out of control since Obama took control of the White House (reference $800 billion stimulus package, home buyer tax credit, and Obamacare).
  • Say that Obama doesn’t have a plan and mention his ten year budget.
  • Tell the American people Republicans are fiscally responsible and the real party of change.
  • The people told them to change Washington with the 2010 election.
Democratic Talking Points
  • The Tea Party EXTREMISTS have hijacked the Republican Party and want to destroy the country by forcing the country to default on its debt.
  • The Bush tax cuts and the Bush wars are to blame for the entire increase in debt and deficits.
  • The Republicans want to protect the richest Americans while cutting Medicare and Social Security benefits for the poor.
  • The Democratic Party will never cut Medicare or Social Security.
  • The Democrats are willing to compromise and act like adults, while the evil Republicans resist all offers to strike a deal.
Depending on your ideology, you will find yourself agreeing with the talking points that strike your fancy. Don’t worry; they’ve all been tested on sample groups of ignorant Americans in order to strike the right nerve. As I listened to that bald headed prick – James Carville – screeching on CNN last night about Bush’s wars and tax cuts causing our economic peril today, I wanted to reach into the TV screen and throttle the weasel faced demagogue. The National Debt on the day Bush took office was $5.7 trillion. On the day he left office the National Debt was $10.6 trillion, a $4.9 trillion increase in eight years. Today, the National Debt stands at $14.4 trillion, a $3.8 trillion increase in two and a half years. That sounds bipartisan to me.

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Is Maryland Going to Tax My Haircut and Cable TV?

by Jay Hancock

From the Department of Legislative Services' briefing on services that are not subject to the 6 percent Maryland sales tax. The Senate Budget & Taxation Committee said the briefing was part of a hearing that was "educational" and not a road map to future taxes. Hmm. How do you like totally hypothetical taxes on this totally for-informational-purposes-only list of services?


Business Services: Employment; payroll processing

Entertainment Services: Health and fitness centers; golf courses

Financial Services: Financial holding companies; corporate managing offices

Information Services: Cable television; satellite television

Personal Services: Barber and beauty shops; parking garages

Professional Services: Engineering; legal

Repair Services: Automobiles; commercial machinery

Transportation Services: Couriers; taxis and limousines

from Jay Hancock @ the Baltimore Sun

74 Year-Old Former Astronaut Buzz Aldrin Punches Moon Conspiracy Stalker In The Face

Obama's Exclusive George Soros Waivers

by Michelle Malkin

"Millionaires and billionaires," President Obama says derisively, must make more "sacrifices" and live by the same rules the rest of America lives by. But there are seven little words that will never appear on the White House teleprompter: "And that means you, too, George Soros."

For all his (and his wife's) bashing of greedy Wall Street hedge-fund managers, Obama has shown nothing but love to the world's most famous hedge-fund mogul. The feeling is mutual and deep(-pocketed).

Soros and his family shelled out $250,000 for Obama's inauguration, $60,000 in direct campaign contributions and untold millions more to liberal activist groups pushing the White House agenda. While the class warrior-in-chief assails conniving financiers who exploit loopholes and corporate titans who imperil the planet, he lets the Soros exemptions to his attack-the-rich rules slide like butter on a hot plate.

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3 Little Pigs

This is a true story, proving how fascinating the mind of a six year old is.
They think so logically.

A teacher was reading the story of the Three Little Pigs to her class.

She came to the part of the story where first pig was trying to gather the building materials for his home.

She read. "And so the pig went up to the man with the wheelbarrow full of straw and said: 'Pardon me sir, but may I have some of that straw to build my house'?"

The teacher paused then asked the class, "And what do you think the man said?"

One little boy raised his hand and said very matter-of-factly...

"I think the man would have said - 'I'll be a son of a bitch!! A talking pig'!"

The teacher had to leave the room.

O’Malley Announces Appointment to Caroline County School Board

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Martin O’Malley today announced the appointment of Walter B. Palmer, III, to the Caroline County Board of Education. Mr. Palmer is a life-long resident of Caroline County and comes from a family of teachers. He is an attorney with his own practice in Denton. Prior to opening his own practice, he served in the Office of the Caroline County State’s Attorney handling child support and juvenile cases.

“Mr. Palmer brings a broad knowledge and a wealth of experience to the Board,” said Governor O’Malley. “He is an active member of the community with a strong commitment to education. I am confident that Mr. Palmer possesses the skill and the leadership necessary to ensure every child in Caroline County receives the quality public education they deserve.”

From 1999 to 2002, Mr. Palmer served on the Caroline County Education Study Commission where he served as chair of the Performance Audit subcommittee. He has also been the attorney advisor for the North Caroline High School Mock Trial Team. Palmer is an active member of his church, the Rotary Club, Character Counts, and various mental health, addiction and family violence organizations. Additionally, Palmer has been a Boy Scout leader for decades.

A graduate of North Caroline High School, Palmer earned his BA in History with honors from Gettysburg College. He earned his JD from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary. In addition to the Caroline County Bar, he is a member of the Maryland Bar and the American Bar Association. Mr. Palmer resides in Denton.

Networks Bid $1.5million For Casey Anthony's Story As ABC Announces It Will End Payments For Exclusive Interviews



Television networks are set to make Casey Anthony a millionaire, bidding up to $1.5million for exclusive rights to her story, it has been reported.
After the notorious young mother was acquitted of murdering her two-year-old daughter Caylee earlier this month, media outlets have desperately been clamouring for her first post-jail interview, with figures offered said to be in the millions.
One network has, however, decided to take a stand against the bidding war. Broadcaster ABC said it is to end six figure payments for photographs and videos that lead to exclusive interviews after accusations it was employing 'chequebook journalism' in high profile cases such as the Casey Anthony trial.

Councilmen Offer Varying Views on Visitor Retention

OCEAN CITY, MD - A discussion over how to thank visitors for coming to Ocean City became a thankless business at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, as members mixed it up in a dispute over marketing.

Councilmen Brent Ashley and Joe Hall have pushed for the city to create and distribute silicone wristbands with the city’s Web site printed inside. They suggested that local businesses buy the wristbands at cost and give them to patrons and the special Web site will take visitors to a survey where they have a chance to win an Ocean City trip.

Some other council members have said that is not the best way to say thank you, because people might throw away the wristbands or not visit the Web site. Having businesses offer top-notch customer service is the best way to make visitors happy and wanting to return, they said.

READ MORE …

Dogs Need A Good Home


Hi, my name is Erin and I found these dogs about a month ago and have had no luck finding their owners. I am unable to keep these dogs because I have 4 of my own. They are somewhere between 16-20 weeks old. I have taken them to the vet and had 1 round of shots already and they are scheduled to go back for more. Super loving and playful puppies. My vet says they are a choc lab/boxer mix. 1 is male and the other female. ANY help you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much Joe. You rock.
Erin White
410-430-1757

Cost of Doing Business Hinders Investment in MD

by Donald C. Fry

What’s the biggest consideration in making decisions about where to locate a business operation?

“The cost of doing business,” was the consensus of more than 50 Maryland CEOs, entrepreneurs, and experts in business development and retention who participated last year in the Greater Baltimore Committee’s series of focus groups, from which the GBC compiled eight core pillars for economic growth and job creation.

While the cost to do business isn’t the only factor, it’s the elephant in the room for location decision makers, say experts.

A state’s individual income taxes, business taxes and property taxes and other taxes and fees, as well as regulations, and policy measures that impact business operations all contribute to overhead and directly relate to any business’ bottom line. Together, they are key factors in the perception of a state’s environment for business growth, participants in the GBC study universally agreed.

That’s why fundamental prerequisites relating to business costs comprise three of the eight core pillars for a competitive business environment.

READ MORE …

Donald C. Fry is president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee.

Study: Pink Ads Prove Counterproductive for Breast-Cancer Awareness

Despite years of a coordinated advertising and branding campaign, a new study shows that use of the color pink doesn't work so well for awareness of and fundraising for women's issues like breast cancer.
The problem is not that some women are turned off by the traditionalism and underlying stereotype of a pink brand, but rather that too large a proportion of women directly identify with the color. Rotterdam School of Management professor Stefano Puntoni showed in a series of ten experiments over three years that women were less likely to think themselves at risk and less likely to say they would donate to breast or ovarian cancer advertisements if they employed a pink color scheme.
The underlying cause, Puntoni theorized for the Harvard Business Review, is that when a woman perceives that a cancer advertisement is aimed directly at her (by the use of gender-specific colors) then there is a higher likelihood she will subconsciously go into a state of denial.
"By adding all this pink, by asking women to think about gender, you're triggering that [mechanism]," Puntoni told the HBR. "You're raising the idea that this is a female thing. It's pink; it's for you. You could die. "

The Debt Ceiling and 2012

by Mona Charen

It is true, so true, as Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation, argues in the Washington Post, that the doyens of liberal media have been attempting to paint tea party members as the villains of the debt-ceiling confrontation. But this shouldn't surprise. From the inception of the movement, liberals and Democrats have purported to see dark and dangerous trends afoot. The movement has been insulted as stupid and radical, and slandered as racist and nativist.

Perhaps liberals have a hard time understanding the tea party phenomenon because it's so at odds with the spirit of the times. Those funny 18th-century costumes they sport at rallies have a deeper meaning than simply a reference to the original Boston Tea Party. Unlike most 20th- and 21st-century political activists, tea party members are not asking for anything from the federal government — not "full funding" for this or that program, not more research for this or that disease, and not more tax exemptions for this or that industry. They simply ask that the federal government not spend more than it collects in taxes and not continue its suicidal expansion.

Tea party activists are excellent patriots — but during the debt-ceiling confrontation, some have displayed an obtuse and even vain rigidity.

READ MORE …

Obama Administration Accuses Iran Of 'Secret Deal' With Al Qaeda

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration accused Iran on Thursday of entering into a "secret deal" with an Al Qaeda offshoot that provides money and recruits for attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Treasury Department designated six members of the unit as terrorists subject to U.S. sanctions.

The U.S. intelligence community has in the past disagreed about the extent of direct links between the Iranian government and Al Qaeda. Thursday's allegations went further than what most analysts had previously said was a murky relationship with limited cooperation.

More 

Moody’s Puts Maryland, Virginia Localities on Credit Watch

Moody's Investor Services is threatening to downgrade the credit ratings for dozens of local governments in Maryland, Virginia and 29 other states, based on how the federal government's negotiations concerning the U.S. debt ceiling affects financial markets.

The ratings agency placed more than two dozen counties and cities in Virginia and at least seven local governments in Maryland on its credit rating "watch list" on Thursday, citing concerns over the federal government's presence in those areas.

Affected governments include Fairfax, Arlington and Prince William counties in Virginia, as well as Rockville, Prince George's County and Montgomery County in Maryland, as well as smaller incorporated cities and towns in the Washington area.

"The ratings of these local governments, particularly those with a high economic dependence on federal activity, would be vulnerable to a downgrade of the U.S. government," said Moody's Senior Vice President Matt Jones.

The action comes after Moody's placed Maryland, Virginia and three other state governments that have AAA ratings on its "watch list" last week, pending a possible downgrade to the federal government's credit rating as a result of congressional budget action.

READ MORE …

Assistant Secretary Of Labor Department Resigns

An assistant secretary at the Labor Department has resigned after an internal investigation found he improperly steered contracts to friends and former colleagues, The New York Times reports. The department's inspector general said Jefferson used his position to coerce or intimidate other employees to award contracts without open competition.

A Comment Certainly Worthy Of A Post, Or At Least Attention

"Funny how know one is addressing what this article is talking about. Our unfair tax code. Hello? Is there any intelligent life out there?"

I'm sorry but when I saw this earlier this morning and I just couldn't help myself.

Attorney Gets 5 Years In Child Porn Case

BALTIMORE (AP) - The U.S. Attorney's office says a Baltimore attorney has been sentenced to five years in prison for distribution of child pornography.

Fifty-five-year-old David Bart Goldstein was also sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court to five years of supervised release and ordered to register as a sex offender.

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STATEMENT FROM GOVERNOR MARTIN O’MALLEY FOLLOWING PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW FUEL STANDARDS

ANNAPOLIS, MD (July 29, 2011) – Governor Martin O’Malley today released the following statement on new fuel standards announced by President Obama:

“Maryland has become a national leader in the fight for clean air. Through initiatives such as the Healthy Air Act and the Clean Cars Act, we are reducing air pollution to improve the health of our citizens, clean up our Chesapeake Bay and local waterways, and combat climate change.


“About one-third of the nitrogen in the Chesapeake Bay comes from air pollution, and as much as 70 percent of Maryland’s ozone pollution can come from out of State. While Maryland is taking steps to reduce air pollution, we need help from our federal partners to ensure a level playing field and to reduce pollution from beyond our State’s borders. 

“I’d like to commend President Obama for his leadership on this issue. The new fuel economy standards announced today will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as ozone forming and toxic emissions from cars and trucks.

“Together, we can work to transform our carbon-based economy into a green, sustainable economy for a cleaner future and healthier families - not just in Maryland, but across the nation.”

Skull Found on Beach Not From Missing Rock Hall Man

TOLCHESTER, MD - The discovery of a partial human skull on a remote stretch of beach last week has produced more questions than answers.

The skeletal remains are those of a man who was murdered, most likely this year, according to Maryland State Police. While investigators have not been able to identify the victim, they have determined that the man is not Rock Hall resident Bruce Edward Freeman, who was reported missing in June 2010. Dental records eliminated Freeman as a possibility, MSP Cpl. William McFarland said in a telephone interview Wednesday. McFarland is the supervisor of the Kent Bureau of Investigation, which is assisting the MSP Homicide Unit.

The investigation into Freeman's disappearance is ongoing, according to Rock Hall Capt. William Dempsey. He said Freeman's information has been entered into the national missing person database, and that a KBI investigator talks to Freeman's family on a monthly basis.

READ MORE …

New Jersey Governor Christie Discharged From Hospital

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, often mentioned as a possible Republican U.S. presidential candidate, was released from hospital on Thursday evening after undergoing tests for breathing difficulties.

Christie, 48, who is heavily overweight and has asthma, was given "routine tests as a precautionary measure," spokesman Michael Drewniak said in a statement earlier on Thursday.

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BREAKING NEWS: One Dead, One Injured at Arundel Mills Slots Construction Site

One worker was killed and another severely injured after a wall collapsed at the slots parlor construction site at Arundel Mills mall,Anne Arundel County officials said Friday.


A male worker in his 20s was trapped under the wall and pronounced dead at the scene, said Chief Michael Cox of the county Fire Department. The second worker, a man about 35 years old, has life-threatening injuries and has been taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, Cox said.

Police received a 911 call at 9:58 a.m. after the accident at the site in the 7000 block of Arundel Mills Circle, police said.

READ MORE…

When the Plot Is Runny

by L. Brent Bozell, III

They say the movie theaters make more money on popcorn, candy and soft drinks than they do on the movie tickets. If that's true, theater owners really ought to reconsider the previews they're airing. They can make you sick to your stomach.

I don't know why Hollywood moviemakers are so fascinated with flatulence and excrement. It's become almost an obsession, a formality of sorts in the "humor" oeuvre.

Watching a recent preview of the forthcoming movie "The Change-Up" is bad enough when you consider the plot — two men mysteriously switch bodies, and just how many times will they beat this horse to death? One is an uptight lawyer and family man, and the other a foul-mouthed slacker and relentless womanizer. Aha! The womanizer will be presented with the opportunity to have sex with another man's wife! Genius!

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Red Flags In Dead-End Job Postings

Job hunting can be a daunting task, especially when you're not sure what to look for in online job postings. Ruth Mantel, personal finance reporter for MarketWatch, offers tips on how to read a job ad and how best to go about applying.
 

Auditors Find Problems at Morgan State

Auditors found that Morgan State University has a litany of problems with controlling spending on scholarships, research and development grants, and granting access to its computer systems – but on the whole, the university is doing much better.

According to the report published on Thursday by the Office of Legislative Audits, Morgan State has 10 major areas where controls need to be tightened.

This may sound like a lot, but the last time the university was routinely examined by the office – three years ago – auditors found 17 major problems, including potentially criminal activity in the capital division. Auditors found that Morgan State cleared up 16 of those problems, and the activity referred to the Attorney General’s Office is still under investigation.

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Wicomico County Sheriff's Office Press Release

Trespassing
Date of Incident:
27 July 2011
Location:
7200 block of Walston Switch Road, Parsonsburg, MD
Suspect:
  : On 27 July 2011 at 10:24 PM, a deputy from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office
responded to a reported trespassing problem at a residence in the 7200 block of Walston Switch Road in
Parsonsburg. Upon arrival, the deputy met with the residents who advised that they had been trying to get
Robert Stevenson of Mardela Springs to leave their residence. The residents told the deputy that
Stevenson refused their requests which prompted to deputy to make the same request. When Stevenson
refused the deput
y’s request to leave the residence and even challenged the deputy to arrest him, the
deputy did just that and placed Stevenson under arrest.

The deputy transported Stevenson to the Central Booking Unit where he was processed and taken in front
of the District Court Commissioner. After an initial appearance, the Commissioner detained Stevenson in
the Detention Center in lieu of $3,000.00 bond.
Charges: Trespassing

Narrative
Robert L. Stevenson, 46, Mardela Springs, MD

Incident:

Denton Police Seize 119 Grams of Crack Cocaine

DENTON, MD - A Denton man was arrested Saturday on drug-dealing charges after police seized 119 grams of crack cocaine from a home he was in, according to a news release from the Denton Police Department.

Police said Jermaine Lotez Ringgold, 38, of High Street was charged with possession of a large amount of drugs with the intent to distribute, drug possession with the intent to distribute, drug possession not marijuana, drug paraphernalia possession and failure to obey a lawful police order.

Police said Ringgold was riding on the back of a motor scooter driven by Michael Seth, 47, of Denton, which failed to stop at a stop sign at the Goose Creek gas station on North Sixth Street.

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Advertiser Of The Day

Milton Expects $348,000 Deficit

MILTON, DE — With very few revenue streams, Milton is expected to enter the fiscal year 2012 budget year with a deficit of $348,000.

Mayor Cliff Newlands said the town has only enough cash reserves to last another year.

“In our money market account we have just enough to cover [the deficit],” he said. “We have a few dollars on our CDs. Other than that, after this year we’re broke. We have no money.”

The town council worked with the first draft of the budget at a workshop July 26, and council is expected to discuss revenue-producing opportunities at its regular meeting at 6 p.m., Monday, Aug. 1, at the Milton Library. Among items that will be pondered is Newlands’ proposed gross rental receipt tax, which is estimated to generate about $200,000, or a little more than half the budget shortfall.

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Lagoon Specials

Fredericksen Threatens Layoffs, Blames Council Members

Wicomico public schools Superintendent John Fredericksen doesn’t like certain members of the Wicomico County Council. That’s fine. I have a sneaking suspicion that some of them feel the same way about Fredericksen as I do – that he’s an arrogant spendthrift who believes that the taxpayers exist solely to fund his bureaucracy and his pet projects.
Regardless, I don’t hear members of the county council giving talks to groups attacking Fredericksen. If only Fredericksen was able to exhibit such self restraint.
Lately Fredericksen has been meeting with groups of WCBOE employees at various schools. The nominal reason for these meetings is to explain the budget cuts for the current fiscal year.
At some of these meetings he has made the statement, “If you’re laid off, you can blame the council”, or specifically council person X or Y. (The folks who have reported this to SBYNews have asked that specific council members not be named in case Fredericksen could figure out which meeting he mad a specific comment and then retaliate against specific individuals.)
I find this very interesting. Wicomico County Executive Rick Pollitt cut the BOE’s budget by $5 million. The council cut an additional $2 million (a cut I opposed). Yet, this is the fault of specific councilmembers?
No, I think this has more to do with Fredericksen being embarrassed because certain council members have dared to demand some accountability. Some council members have reminded Fredericksen that the dollars he spends come from the hard work of our citizens. And that is FAR more important than educating our children … at least to people like John Fredericksen.

Microsoft's Use Of Low-Tax Havens Drives Tax Bill To 7 Percent Of Profit


FAIRFIELD, Connecticut (Lynnley Browning) - If you want to know why tax from surging corporate profits isn't making much of a dent in the United States' crippling budget deficit, a glance at Microsoft Corp's recent results provides some clues.
Things were rosy in the giant software company's just-ended fiscal fourth quarter, which produced record sales of nearly $17.4 billion, a 30 percent increase in after-tax profit, and a 35 percent gain in earnings per share.

But for the Internal Revenue Service and foreign tax authorities, things weren't so rosy. Microsoft reported only $445 million in taxes in the U.S. and other foreign countries, just 7 percent of its $6.32 billion in pre-tax profit.
Given the rancor in Congress and in the country about how to tackle the nation's budget deficit and debt, including how companies stash profits overseas and enjoy lucrative tax breaks, it is instructive to see how the top brass at Microsoft's Redmond, Washington, headquarters achieved this eye-popping tax result.

Partly it was because the company had a one-time refund of $461 million from the IRS for previous overpayments and because of its over-estimation of tax rates in previous quarters. There may be increased sales of products to consumers overseas, though it is not clear from company disclosures how much of a factor this might be.

But Microsoft is straightforward about the core reason for its lower tax bill: It is increasingly channeling earnings from sales to customers throughout the world through the low-tax havens of Ireland, Puerto Rico and Singapore.

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge to Add 400 Acres

CAMBRIDGE, MD - Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge recently announced that the refuge, through the leadership of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has added more than 400 acres of vital property.

"We are pleased with this important addition to the refuge which will help support multiple goals outlined in our Comprehensive Conservation Plan and will play a key role in supporting the developing sea level adaptation planning effort that is currently underway," said refuge manager Suzanne Baird in a written statement. "This new addition would not be possible without the significant support of partners."

The property, which was gained through efforts of the Chesapeake Conservancy, the Maryland congressional delegation and the Conservation Fund, will support present and future wildlife habitat management needs and maintain the region's ecological diversity.

READ MORE …

Baby Hippo Ballet

BOE Argues Over Funding

Earlier this week a forum hosted at Salisbury University was to discuss public school funding. Unfortunately for the representatives of the Wicomico County Board of Education (WCBOE), their core assumption was shot down straight out of the box.

The WCBOE wishes to argue that that the county’s share of BOE funding has dropped to $36.2 million. In reality, the county is spending $47.3 million in FY 2012 on education.

WHY THE DISCREPANCY?

The difference lies in how the money is being spent. It is true that $36.2 million has been allocated to the BOE’s operating budget. However, $11.1 million is going to principle and interest on inconsequential items like the new James M. Bennett High School.

WCBOE comptroller Bruce Ford argues that this is “apples and oranges.” On one hand it is. On the other hand …

Tax dollars are tax dollars. They are a limited resource in Wicomico County thanks to the revenue cap. Even without a cap in place, our elected officials and entities such as the WCBOE should treat them as such.

Given that they are limited, when you increase debt service to build new schools (a fact that Wicomico County Executive Rick Pollitt and the WCBOE still don’t grasp regarding plans for a new Bennett Middle School), that money has to be taken from somewhere else. Unlike the US or world economies, Wicomico is dealing with a zero-sum game (actually zero + 2%). Therefore, investment in education is investment in education. It doesn’t matter whether that money is spent on operations or capital projects.

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

It’s unfortunate; but the WCBOE seems to believe that the citizens of Wicomico County are like a rigged slot machine. The BOE wants (pull the handle) and money magically comes out. That simply isn’t the case. There are limited resources which have to be spread out among ALL county services (county departments PLUS other services such as the WCBOE, the State’s Attorney’s office, Health Department, etc.).

WCBOE Superintendent John Fredericksen wants to build new schools. That requires borrowing money; which must be paid back. To quote Wicomico councilwoman Stevie Prettyman, “It’s not a matter of how much you can borrow, but what you can afford to pay back.”

Each time Fredericksen or his minions propose a new capital project (such as a new James M. Bennett Middle School) and demand that it be a palace (rather than merely functional) they need to be careful what they wish for. Other county departments have already been severely cut. The BOE needs to remember that a new school isn’t much good if you can’t afford to staff it with teachers.

After all, IT’s FOR THE CHILDREN.

The End Of America's Most Wanted: Good News For Criminals?


The fugitives of the nation may be heaving a sigh of relief at the news that the television show America's Most Wanted is no more. After 23 years of profiling the dregs of the criminal underworld — directly leading to 1,154 arrests by law enforcement agencies — the show was canceled in May by FOX and its final episode aired last month. The close working relationships host John Walsh cultivated with the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service over the years was an unprecedented collaboration between law enforcement and television. It was one of the very first reality shows which resulted in great TV and did a lot of good. Its cancellation leaves a hole both of those agencies will now need to fill.
"This is a big hit for us. The show is invaluable," says Geoff Shank, assistant director of investigative operations for the U.S. Marshals Service. "We have arrested so many heinous people and we've saved so many lives because of America's Most Wanted." Kevin Perkins, assistant director of the FBI's criminal investigations division, echoes the sentiment. "I personally hate to see it go," Perkins tells TIME. "We had 17 of our Most Wanted fugitives captured because of them and over 550 different cases solved as a result of tips."