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Friday, September 02, 2011

Scotland Yard Arrests LulzSec Hacker 'Kayla'

Scotland Yard has arrested two men who together used the online pseudonym "Kalya" and were central figures in the notorious hacker groups Anonymous and LulzSec.

Security specialists say Kayla was among those behind the hacking earlier this year of Californian-based

Internet security firm HB Gary, which sells services to companies and government agencies, the Wall Street Journal reported. The attack, which involved breaking into the company's computers and releasing tens of thousands of internal emails, represented a watershed in the tactics of those associated with Anonymous.


Should Being Beautiful — or Ugly — Pay Off?

Beauty, or lack thereof, seems to be the topic of the week.

Sunday's New York Times started it off, with an op-ed arguing that ugly people should be protected under the law like other minority groups. Sociologist Catherine Hakim disagreed, contending (and promoting her new book Erotic Capital) that discrimination is a part of life and that women should use their looks to get ahead. Too bad for those of us who aren't gorgeous.

Then, controversy erupted over a girls' T-shirt being sold on J.C. Penney's website. The T-shirt, which was printed with the message "I'm too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me," was immediately criticized by consumers for being sexist, and the store
pulled it from the site.

Money-Saving Tips For Students

Newsflash for college students: That student loan money may seem like a never-ending fountain of easy cash, but you'll probably be paying for the ridiculous junk you buy now well into your 30s. Pennies you manage to save now will pay off in the long run.

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Bloomberg Hid Crucial Detail As Aide Resigned: An Arrest

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s management style has its hallmarks: unwavering loyalty to aides and a deep distaste for exposing private lives to public scrutiny.

So when he described the resignation of a deputy mayor a few weeks ago, Mr. Bloomberg left out a crucial detail — the aide had just been arrested over a domestic violence complaint.

On Thursday, Mr. Bloomberg’s instinct to protect, rather than disclose, engulfed his administration in controversy, as prominent city officials harshly criticized his decision to keep the episode hidden from the public.


Evidence Suggests Cover-Up In ATF Scandal, As More Guns Appear At Crime Scenes

Just hours after the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, federal officials tried to cover up evidence that the gun that killed Terry was one the government intentionally helped sell to the Mexican cartels in a weapons trafficking program known as Operation Fast and Furious.

The revelation comes just days after a huge shake-up of government officials who oversaw the failed anti-gun trafficking program and Congress renewed its demand for more answers.


Madera Neighbors Worry About Medical Marijuana Grow

A small medical marijuana grow is causing a big uproar in the North Valley. A Madera family says they are concerned over their safety because neighbors are growing pot plants in their backyard.

Madera Police say they have their hands tied with this one, at least for now.

Miguel Flores is worried about his 6-year-old daughter, Savannah. He fears she's being exposed to the smell of marijuana plants growing just over his backyard fence.

Flores said he worries about safety since the grow is right across the street from an elementary school. "That's the biggest issue, the school and the kids," Flores said. "If something happens, if they get robbed... it's a big if but still it's a possibility something can happen."

Flores is not alone, his next-door neighbor, who also cares for Savannah, said she wonders what will happen if crooks ever try to steal the plants.


New York Mom Of Twins Born Through Surrogate Sues Employer For Denying Maternity Leave

In a case that mixes reproductive technology, family law and employment law, a woman who used a surrogate to give birth to her twins is suing her employer in a U.S. District Court in Massachusetts for refusing to grant her paid maternity leave.

Kara Krill, a clinical business manager on New York's Long Island, has claimed breach of contract, breach of good faith and fair dealing, and negligent misrepresentation against Cubist Pharmaceuticals, headquartered in Lexington, Mass. She seeks an injunction and compensatory and punitive damages for employment law violations.

Dating After Divorce. Get Back Out There!

Is it time? Has it been long enough? Are you ready? When it comes to dating after divorce, only you can answer those questions, but if you are at a place in your life where you feel in complete control and are ready to tackle the big wide world of dating, there are some tips to help you dip your toes back into the dating pool.

Although it might have been years and years since you have had to date, the players are still the same, even though the places might have changed. For instance, being a parent at the age of 40 or 50 might mean that the bar scene is just not for you anymore. And, because you are at a more mature and different point in your life, you will want to find quality over quantity, so where do you go and where do you look?


In America the Rule of Law Is Vacated

With bank fraudsters, torturers, and war criminals running free, the US Department of Justice (sic) has nothing better to do than to harass the famous Tennessee guitar manufacturer, Gibson, arrest organic food producers in California and send 12 abusive FBI agents armed with assault rifles to bust down yet another wrong door of yet another innocent family, leaving parents, children, and grandmother traumatized.

What law did Gibson Guitar Corp break that caused federal agents to disrupt Gibson's plants in Nashville and Memphis, seize guitars, cause layoffs, and cost the company $3 million from disrupted operations?

No US law was broken. The feds claim that Gibson broke a law that is on the books in India.



There are many many reasons why the industrial engine that once was the American economy now lies fallow. Zero Hedge readers are very well versed in these.

I don't know what kind of last minute half baked job creation nonsense Obama is planning to spout just before kick off time next Thursday night. But I do know one thing that that solar powered moron and his bankster loving halfwit AG don't know: America makes the best damn guitars in the whole wide world, bar none.

I have been thinking about what the administration is doing to the Gibson Guitar Corporation, the Cadillac of "Made in USA" guitars. The answer to our problems is likely to be found somewhere between Barry's pet solar powered stimulis project, Solyndra and the harassment of Gibson by Eric (Inaction Jackson) Holder's bankster loving DOJ in collaboration with the US Fish and Wild Life Service.

Solyndra is, or more accurately was, a US start-up manufacturer of solar panels. It just laid off approximately 1,900 employees, shut its doors and filed a bankruptcy petition. Solyndra received US government "stimulis loans of approximately $500 million, but was unable to come up with a business model capable of competing with low cost solar panels from guess where: China.

Gibson, along with several other American icons like like Fender, Martin and Taylor, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of fine guitars and other quality stringed instruments. It employs over 2,000 Americans. It has not borrowed a dime from the US government. It has a simple plan: people around the world will buy guitars that are designed and manufactured with love and care by American luthiers. It's primary competition is where? You guessed it: China.


Virginia City Weighs Confederate Flag-Flying Limits

Officials in this city where Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson are buried are considering limits on downtown flag-flying, including the Confederate flag, angering defenders of the divisive Southern symbol.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans organized a rally ahead of a scheduled public hearing Thursday night and an expected vote. Organizers of the "Save our Flags" rally are offering free hot dogs and music, have lined up speakers and distributed a flyer with a drawing of Lee, a tear rolling down his cheek.

Massive Wave Of Lawsuits To Be Filed By The US Against America's Biggest Banks As Soon As Tomorrow

In a move that could either send BAC stock limit down overnight or send it soaring (we are still trying to figure out just what is going on here), the NYT has broken major news that the US is preparing to go nuclear on more than a dozen big banks among which Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, in an attempt for Fannie and Freddie to recoup $30 billion if not much more. The lawsuit is expected to hit the docket in the next few days: "The suits stem from subpoenas the finance agency issued to banks a year ago. If the case is not filed Friday, they said, it will come Tuesday, shortly before a deadline expires for the housing agency to file claims." Now, taken at face value, this would mean that Bank of America can kiss its ass goodbye as unlike the Walnut Place litigation, this will take place in Federal Court where Article 77 is not applicable. Yet there is something that gives us pause: namely logic, captured by the following words: "While I believe that F.H.F.A. is acting responsibly in its role as conservator, I am afraid that we risk pushing these guys off of a cliff and we’re going to have to bail out the banks again,” said Tim Rood, who worked at Fannie Mae until 2006 and is now a partner at the Collingwood Group, which advises banks and servicers on housing-related issues." In other words: if the banks are sued, and if justice prevails, the end of the world is nigh and cue TARP 2 - XXX. Now where have we heard that argument over, and over, and over before.
From the NYT [18]:
The suits will argue the banks, which assembled the mortgages and marketed them as securities to investors, failed to perform the due diligence required under securities law and missed evidence that borrowers’ incomes were inflated or falsified. When many borrowers were unable to pay their mortgages, the securities backed by the mortgages quickly lost value.

Fannie and Freddie lost more than $30 billion, in part as a result of the deals, losses that were borne mostly by taxpayers.

In July, the agency filed suit against UBS, another major mortgage securitizer, seeking to recover at least $900 million, and the individuals with knowledge of the case said the new litigation would be similar in scope.

Private holders of mortgage securities are already trying to force the big banks to buy back tens of billions in soured mortgage-backed bonds, but this federal effort is a new chapter in a huge legal fight that has alarmed investors in bank shares. In this case, rather than demanding that the banks buy back the original loans, the finance agency is seeking reimbursement for losses on the securities held by Fannie and Freddie.

Google Confirms It Aims To Own Your Online ID

Amid a furor over Google+'s ban on pseudonymity and anonymity, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt just admitted the company intends to be an 'identity service"

Ever since Google (GOOG) launched its new Google+ social network, we and others have pointed out that the search giant clearly has more in mind than just providing a nice place for people to share photos of their pets. For one thing, Google needs to tap into the “social signals” that people provide through networks such as Facebook so it can improve its search results. There’s a larger motive, too: As Chairman and former Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt admitted during an interview in Edinburgh over the weekend, Google is taking a hard line on the real-name issue because it sees Google+ as an “identity service” or platform on which it can build other products.

Schmidt’s comments came during an interview with Andy Carvin, the National Public Radio digital editor who has become a one-man newswire during the Arab Spring revolutions. Carvin asked the Google chairman about the company’s reasoning for pushing its real-name policies on Google+—a policy that many have criticized (including us) because it excludes potentially valuable viewpoints that might be expressed by political dissidents and others who prefer to remain anonymous. In effect, Schmidt said Google isn’t interested in changing its policies to accommodate those kinds of users: If people want to remain anonymous, he said, then they shouldn’t use Google+.

Foreclosures: Uncle Sam And His 248,000 Homes

U.S. taxpayers are the biggest owners of repossessed homes. For now, they’re stuck with them

For sale or rent by distressed owner: 248,000 homes. That’s how many residential properties the U.S. government now has in its possession, the result of record numbers of people defaulting on government-backed mortgages. Washington is sitting on nearly a third of the nation’s 800,000 repossessed houses, making the U.S. taxpayer the largest owner of foreclosed properties. With even more homes moving toward default, Fannie Mae (FNMA), Freddie Mac (FMCC), and the Federal Housing Administration are looking for a way to unload them without swamping the already depressed real estate market.

Trouble is, they haven’t figured out how to do that. The government admitted as much in August, when Fannie, Freddie, and FHA issued a joint plea to the public for ideas about how to solve the problem. (Give it your best shot: You have until Sept. 15 to submit ideas to “They’re stuck,” says Karen Shaw Petrou, managing partner of Federal Financial Analytics, a Washington-based consultant that advises banks and other clients on government policy. “They don’t know what to do.”

Time To Ban Oyster Fishing?

In the late 1880s the Chesapeake Bay was the biggest oyster fishery on the planet. Now, the upper bay is at risk of losing its entire oyster population. Experts are calling for a ban on harvesting oysters.

Full Story

Patriots Day Event

Car Sales Rise - Against All Odds

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Consumers shrugged off a slowing economy, plunging stock markets and even a hurricane to keep buying cars at a decent clip in August.

Industrywide sales were up 7.5% from a year ago in August. And the pace of August sales works out to an annual rate of 12.1 million, off only slightly from the July's 12.2 million pace.


Charges Of Cover-Up In ATF Scandal

Allegations surface that officials covered up evidence that the gun used to kill border agent was part of the failed ATF operation as senator reveals more than 20 guns connected with the program have been found at crime scenes in Mexico.

Conservatives Raise Alarm About Fairness Doctrine In 'Different Garb'

The Federal Communications Commission may have killed off the controversial Fairness Doctrine this week, but conservatives -- offering faint praise for the move -- are sounding the alarm over what they see as backdoor attempts by the Obama administration to regulate political speech on the airwaves.

They point to ownership diversity and "localism" as other ways Democrats can try to keep the spirit of the Fairness Doctrine alive and silence conservatives and Christian broadcasters.


Have You Heard ... Ways To Control Office Gossip

It's a natural human action, but you need to keep your participation under control

It’s been said that “you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family.” And unless you’re in HR, chances are you aren’t able to choose with whom you share an office space either.

Often, what comes from throwing random strangers together into a cubicle-clad office space can lead to situations that make fingernails on a chalkboard sound like a four string quartet. From the break room food klepto to the budding office romance, co-workers offer juicy material for water cooler chatter or hearsay that sparks at your desks, in the break room, or on the elevator. Even at the bar after work.

What starts with a casual observation of how you saw “Joe and Sally exchange lingering glances” can escalate into allegations that could hurt both their personal and professional images, and yours.

Here are a few tips that will keep your professional life from getting tangled up in the web of office gossip.

Democrats Distancing Themselves From Obama

President's low approval rating worrying Party members in swing-districts

It’s been a tough summer for swing-district Democrats seeking reelection in 2012 with a president at the top of the ticket whose approval ratings are in the weeds.

As these members begin to focus on their reelection bids after Labor Day, they are increasingly calculating how close is too close to an unpopular President Obama.

Teamsters Head On Obama, The Future Of Labor, And Romney

James Hoffa, the president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, talks to NBC's David Gregory about the future of the labor movement, what the president needs to do about jobs, and whether corporations are people.

As we head in to Labor Day weekend, President of the Teamsters Union James Hoffa says the future of the labor movement is “bright” and “strong”.


US Set To Sue Big Banks Over Bad Mortgages

Agency says B of A, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, others misrepresented securities

The federal agency that oversees the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is set to file suits against more than a dozen big banks, accusing them of misrepresenting the quality of mortgage securities they assembled and sold at the height of the housing bubble, and seeking billions of dollars in compensation.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency suits, which are expected to be filed in the coming days in federal court, are aimed at Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, among others, according to three individuals briefed on the matter.

The suits stem from subpoenas the finance agency issued to banks a year ago. If the case is not filed Friday, they said, it will come Tuesday, shortly before a deadline expires for the housing agency to file claims.

Farmer Convicted In Chicken House Burning

SALISBURY -- A Wicomico County farmer was found guilty of unlawful burning this week in District Court after a Maryland Attorney General’s Office investigative team discovered he had set fire to a demolished chicken house last January after he was denied a permit. On Monday, Randolph Swift, 59, of Pittsville, was found guilty of unlawful burning under the Environmental Article of the Maryland Annotated Code for violating restrictions on open burning. Swift had applied to the Wicomico...


Labor Day Weekend Will Be A Flop

WBOC is begging their viewers to come visit the beaches this weekend, after Irene hit the economy hard last weekend.

Well, unfortunately, if you look at the traffic at the Bay Bridge right now, THERE IS NONE! Let me make this very clear. There is NO TRAFFIC from the Bay Bridge all the way to Ocean City.

Hey WBOC, GUESS WHAT, Marylanders are tapped out! They blew their wad at Home Depot and Walmart and there's NOTHING LEFT!

I'm sure it will be sunny the rest of today at the beach as well as 95 degrees and sunny with no winds at the beach for the rest of the weekend. What a shame, so many of us will miss the perfect weekend, NOT.

New Liquor Department Making A Difference In Worcester

OCEAN CITY -- Sales are up and relations are at an all-time high, but the recently christened Worcester County Department of Liquor Control (DLC) admits that there are still a few areas it will be working on heading into the winter months and next summer. Even with the improvements, however, some licensees are still eagerly awaiting the chance to leave the DLC, a monopoly that all Worcester County licenses must be purchase their spirits through, and join the free market in...


OC Beach Patrol Scales Back Coverage

OCEAN CITY -- With the onset of Labor Day weekend, Ocean City Beach Patrol (OCBP) is in the process preparing for the fall season and coping with reduced manpower. “We’re changing the way we do our coverage,” said OCBP Captain Butch Arbin. During the peak beach season from May until August, OCBP uses 92 lifeguard stands, stretching them across the 10 miles of beach that make up Ocean City’s shore. Manning those stands are Surf Rescue Technicians (SRTs), some...


BREAKING NEWS: U.S. Sues Banks Over Mortgages

Federal government sues 17 banks over risky mortgages
From Fox News

Rumors, Doubts Persist About Resort Evacuation, Authorities

Pryor Will Assume Job Of Ocean City Clerk Temporarily

BREAKING NEWS: Traders Ditch Equities, Dash To Defensive Assets; Dow Dives 253

The markets sustained steep losses and traders raced into shelters like gold on fresh data showing labor market growth hit a wall last month, souring hopes Wall Street would make a quick turnaround following a brutal month.

From Fox News

NASA Excited About Mars

The Mars rover Opportunity is making NASA scientists very happy. After a three-year journey, it's finally looking at the first rocks inside the Endeavor crater, The New York Times reports. As expected, the rocks are unlike anything the scientists have seen yet on Mars. Scientists say the rocks are full of zinc and bromine, elements that, at least for rocks on Earth, suggest they were formed by heat and water. The rocks in the crater are older, exposed by an impact long ago. The findings could support the theory that Mars once held liquid water. The rover could spend the next few years exploring the crater.

FEMA Puts $30 Million Freeze On Nashville Flooding

FEMA has frozen more than 30-million dollars in funds for Nashville, Tenn. The city was hit hard by flooding in May 2010. The Nashville Business Journal reports that FEMA notified Nashville's mayor that the money is being held indefinitely, until Congress restores FEMA's funding. But, FEMA says while the money is delayed it is not denied. The funds will eventually be released; they just can't say when. Now, Nashville's mayor is calling on Congress to give FEMA the money it needs to help those flood victims.

You Can Now Petition The Government On Line

The Constitution says citizens can petition the government for action. Now they can do it online. The White House will launch a web page to accept petitions from the public, called "We The People." Any petition that manages to garner 5,000 online signatures within 30 days will receive an official White House response. To emphasize word-of-mouth organizing, a petition's Web address will only be known to the person who created it. The address is not supposed to show up anywhere else on the White House website until the petition has 150 signatures. The White House said it will continue to accept paper petitions.

Deja Vu

When it comes to the FAA, expect déjà vu all over again. Congress returns next week and faces the task of re-authorizing transportation and aviation programs. The FAA's authorization expires Sept. 16. Lawmakers and the White House both say they want to avoid a repeat performance of the August stalemate that furloughed 4,000 FAA workers. About 16,000 construction workers also went without pay during the two-week shutdown. Federal highway programs, including the fuel taxes that pay for them, expire Sept. 30. The president said if Congress doesn't reauthorize those programs, a million people could be out of work.

Army Trying To Fix Problems At Arlington National Cemetery

The Army is trying to fix the problem of mis-identified graves at Arlington National Cemetery once and for all. It's converting a hodgepodge of records systems into a single, authoritative database. More than 300,000 people are buried at the cemetery. But the Army lacks a unified listing — electronic or paper — showing who is buried where. The new database will include a photo of every gravesite. Earlier efforts to update cemetery information failed.

Texas Ups Speed Limit To 85 MPH

Put the pedal to the metal and get it in gear, today the max speed limit in Texas was officially raise to 85 MPH. Woohoo, yee-doggy!

More »

American Airlines Disputes Survey Saying It Had Crappiest Call Wait Times During Irene

American Airlines issued a statement disagreeing with a STELLAservice survey that placed its average customer service hold times in last place during Hurricane Irene. During the eight calls placed by the survey team, the average hold time they experienced was 1hr and 32 minutes, while American Airlines say their internal metrics showed an average hold time of 21 minutes.

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Ocean City Maryland Mayor Rick Meehan Predicts Strong Labor Day Weekend

Ocean City, Md. (WUSA) -- Shops, restaurants and hotels at Delmarva coastal resorts are hoping a strong Labor Day weekend helps undo the economic damage wrought by Hurricane Irene last week.

Maryland's Comptroller reports statewide tax revenues dropped by more than $2 million dollars thanks to the precautionary evacuation of Ocean City, Maryland August 26 and 27.

Irene dropped nearly a foot of rain, but in the end did no significant damage to Ocean City.

Now, Ocean City's Mayor is among those now trying to lead the way back for the Labor Day weekend.


White House Forecasts High Unemployment Through 2012

The jobless rate is expected to end this year at 9.1% and average 9% next year. On the bright side, a double-dip recession isn't predicted. The grim outlook comes as President Obama prepares to outline new stimulus proposals next week.

In a move underscoring the urgency of the nation's economic problems, the White House issued a new assessment that predicted continued high unemployment through 2012.

The grim outlook, part of the summer report on the nation's budget and the economy, was released Thursday as President Obama prepared to announce new stimulus proposals next week.
The administration said that based on the latest economic data, it now expects the unemployment rate to end the year at 9.1%, which is where it stood in July. The jobless figure for August will be released Friday with accompanying statistics on job creation.

To The Rescue -- Finding A Purpose For Rejected Shelter Dogs

Santa Paula, California (CNN) -- When disaster strikes and people are buried in rubble, there's often no better search tool than a dog's nose.It's a valuable asset that has already been utilized several times this year. Trained search dogs, along with their human handlers, have provided help in high-profile disasters such as the Japan earthquake in March and the Joplin, Missouri, tornado in May.

"After a disaster, there is a window of opportunity for finding live people," said Wilma Melville, founder of the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation. "The first eight hours are critical."There are about 250 search-and-rescue teams, each made up of a dog and a handler, that are certified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. But Melville says that's half as many as there should be.

Solar Plants That Have Been Shuttered

1. First it was BP's Manassas, VA thin film solar plant factory that closed.

2. Then Astropower filed for bankruptcy protection and was purchased at a discount rate by GE. Then GE sold out to Takoma.  This is situated in Wilmington, DE's industrial park.

3. BP announces closure of Frederick, MD solar plant.

4. Evergreen - highly subsidized by US Government files for bankruptcy protection just last weeik.

5. Now Solyndra files for bankruptcy protection and it to was heavily subsidized by the US Government.

Does anyone know what  gives with all of these green industries going belly up?  For crying out loud - Obama touted it was America's ' wave to the future'.

Adventures in Gluttony: Denny's Mac 'n Cheese Patty Melt Packs In 1690 Calories

Is a cheeseburger with a side of macaroni and cheese just too much effort? Don't fret — Denny's is here for you. The restaurant has just unveiled an artery-clogging monstrosity they call the Mac 'n Cheese Big Daddy Patty Melt that will solve that problem.

The sandwich, according to a press release, starts with a beef patty, adds macaroni and cheese, tops that with Cheddar cheese slices and douses it all in Frisco sauce. The sandwich weighs in at 1690 calories and 99 grams of fat. Plus, it comes with a side of fries.


Caption This Photo 9-2-11

Why Are Some Naturally Skinny? Gene 'Overdose' May Be Responsible

People with extra copies of certain genes are much more likely to be very skinny, scientists said Wednesday in the first finding of a genetic cause for extreme thinness.

In a study in the journal Nature, researchers from Britain's Imperial College London and the University of Lausanne in Switzerland found that a duplication of a part of chromosome 16 is associated with being underweight.

Previous research has found that people with a missing copy of these genes are 43 times more likely to be morbidly obese.

"This is the first genetic cause of extreme thinness that has been identified," said Philippe Froguel from Imperial's school of public health, who led the study. "It's also the first example of a deletion and a duplication of one part of the genome having opposite effects."


Reality 9-2-11

Professor Allegedly Led Motorcycle Gang And Drug Ring

Police seek arrest of 43-year-old after recovering methamphetamine, rifles, handguns, body armor and biker paraphernalia from Calif. home

A university professor suspected of leading a motorcycle gang and methamphetamine drug ring is wanted for arrest in California, authorities say.

Steve Kinzey, 43, believed to be the president of the local chapter of the Devils Diciples motorcycle club, has been the target of a 6-month narcotics and weapons trafficking investigation, sheriff's spokeswoman Jodi Miller said.

'Beyond disappointing'
Kinzey has been an associate professor of kinesiology at California State University, San Bernardino for nearly 10 years. University president Albert K. Karnig said in a statement that the campus would assist in the investigation "to help assure that all the facts are accurate."


Jury Duty Scam

Pass this on to your grown children and anyone else you can think of who may be at risk. This has been verified by the FBI (their link is also included below).. It is spreading fast so be prepared should you get this call. Most of us take those summonses for jury duty seriously, but enough people skip out on their civic duty that a new and ominous kind of fraud has surfaced.

The caller claims to be a jury DUTY coordinator. If you protest that you never received a summons for jury duty, the Scammer asks you for your Social Security number and date of birth so he or she can verify the information and cancel the arrest warrant. Give out any of this information and bingo, your identity was just stolen.

The fraud has been reported so far in 11 states, including Oklahoma, Illinois, and Colorado, AZ and more. This (swindle) is particularly insidious because they use intimidation over the phone to try to bully people into giving information by pretending they are with the court system.

The FBI and the federal court system have issued nationwide alerts on their web sites, warning consumers about the fraud.

Check it out here:

And here:

Obama's Beach Blanket Recovery


(Salisbury, MD) – Wicomico County Health Department announced today it will participate in the National Restaurant Association’s annual National Food Safety Education Month in September to showcase its commitment to food safety education.  This annual food safety campaign strives to build awareness of the restaurant and foodservice industry’s commitment to excellence in food safety education and training. This year’s National Food Safety Education Month theme is “Lessons Learned from the Health Inspection”.

“We are excited about participating in National Food Safety Education Month,” said Dennis DiCintio, Environmental Health Director for Wicomico County Health Department.  “Food safety is, and always has been, one of our highest priorities. We take food safety education very seriously. While we are committed to excellence in food safety year-round, we are taking the opportunity to share and highlight our commitment during this campaign.”

The Health Department will promote NFSEM by distributing educational materials on safe food handling practices to local restaurant owners, asking restaurant managers to review safe food handling practices with staff and providing educational resources on their website at Anyone interested in receiving free posters, brochures or other materials related to NFSEM should contact the Wicomico County Health Department Environmental Health Office at (410) 546-4446.


Not much introduction needed on this one. Smokey knows how to pick ‘em (from a link he provided). This was written in March, 2008, but is still relevant. I’m not trying to beat a dead horse here. I didn’t really want my first posts to be on this topic, nor did I expect to post on consecutive days, but it needs closure now. Racial issues are about as much fun as picking a scab off your ass year after year, but they are essential to the discourse of this country. If there is a final word on the subject, this essay would be it.
A Brief for Whitey

How would he pull it off? I wondered.

How would Barack explain to his press groupies why he sat silent in a pew for 20 years as the Rev. Jeremiah Wright delivered racist rants against white America for our maligning of Fidel and Gadhafi, and inventing AIDS to infect and kill black people?

How would he justify not walking out as Wright spewed his venom about “the U.S. of K.K.K. America,” and howled, “God damn America!”

My hunch was right. Barack would turn the tables.

Yes, Barack agreed, Wright’s statements were “controversial,” and “divisive,” and “racially charged,” reflecting a “distorted view of America.”

But we must understand the man in full and the black experience out of which the Rev. Wright came: 350 years of slavery and segregation.

Barack then listed black grievances and informed us what white America must do to close the racial divide and heal the country.

The “white community,” said Barack, must start “acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination — and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past — are real and must be addressed. Not just with words, but with deeds … .”

And what deeds must we perform to heal ourselves and our country?


Fill In The Blank 9-02-11

If today was my last day on Earth,the first thing I would do is ______?


While many are talking about landlords in Ocean City not reimbursing people who rented their properties during Irene, we thought you might enjoy reading the following...
North Carolina has a law that requires the landlord to reimburse the renter if there's a mandatory evacuation --

§ 42A-36. Mandatory evacuations. If State or local authorities, acting pursuant to Article 36A of Chapter 14 or Article 1 of Chapter 166A of the General Statutes, order a mandatory evacuation of an area that includes the residential property subject to a vacation rental, the tenant under the vacation rental agreement, whether in possession of the property or not, shall comply with the evacuation order. Upon compliance, the tenant shall be entitled to a refund from the landlord of the rent, taxes, and any other payments made by the tenant pursuant to the vacation rental agreement as a condition of the tenant's right to occupy the property prorated for each night that the tenant is unable to occupy the property because of the mandatory evacuation order. The tenant shall not be entitled to a refund if: (i) prior to the tenant taking possession of the property, the tenant refused insurance offered by the landlord or real estate broker that would have compensated the tenant for losses or damages resulting from loss of use of the property due to a mandatory evacuation order; or (ii) the tenant purchased insurance offered by the landlord or real estate broker. The insurance offered shall be provided by an insurance company duly authorized by the North Carolina Department of Insurance, and the cost of the insurance shall not exceed eight percent (8%) of the total amount charged for the vacation rental to the tenant less the amount paid by the tenant for a security deposit.

Thank God Its Friday 9-2-11

What will you be doing this weekend?

Don't Forget The Farmer's Market This Weekend

Eastern Shore Loses Another Fine Attorney

Over the past 15 years I have had the honor of knowing two very fine attorneys who have unfortunately passed away due to car accidents.

The most recent, (as many of you are aware) is Ed Hammond. I started dealing with Ed more than 15 years ago when I purchased my first condo in Ocean City. I've had the pleasure of working with Ed on several other property purchases over the years and it was always a pleasure working with him time and time again.

Nevertheless, I thought I'd share one of my dealings with Ed  on a property he enjoyed talking quite a lot about.

Several years ago I had heard about two properties that were going up for auction on Herring Creek. To make a long story sort, both properties were on the water and both had homes on them. The market had not yet started to boom in Ocean City and many were amazed that the first property had sold for $423,000.00. This scared off most of the people interested in the properties and quite frankly most of them had left, not willing to wait around for the second property set to be auctioned off an hour later.

I was actually dating Jennifer at the time. While we were waiting around I had the pleasure of meeting one of the people living in the home I was interested in. It turns out it was a brother and sister who had been caring for the couple that had passed away in the first home that had already been auctioned.

Now one would think that since the couple had passed away had no living relatives, perhaps the second home would be gifted to  the brother and sister. Somehow, that just wasn't the case. I was the winning bidder on this property and was honored to create a life estate so as this brother and sister could live in this property for the rest of their lives.

There were two reasons why Ed thought this purchase was something special. One was the life estate and the second was what he called the best real estate deal he had ever seen in Ocean City. You see, I bought a two story home, 2 acres on the water for $50,800.00, cash.

Now you might think the purchase price was the best deal, (as many do) but your sadly mistaken. The best deal to Jennifer and I was having the pleasure of meeting the brother and sister. While the brother and sister have quite a few years on Jennifer and myself, I hope they live to be 130 years old.

We don't bother them or make contact with them very often as we don't want them to feel, well, I'm sure you know where I'm going at this point. It's their home to enjoy and we were honored to work with Ed Hammond to make this deal complete.

Whenever we drive to Ocean City we like to stop by the property to see how things look. We're always amazed to see that they are able to keep it up nicer than our own property. Ed Hammond brought us all together and our world is that much better because of him.

To the Hammond Family, we're so very sorry for your loss. I'm sure my Mother was the first to greet Ed and thank him for a job well done.

Fed Action Against 'Serial Offender' Goldman Stumbles Market

The Federal Reserve Board on Thursday announced a formal enforcement action against the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and Goldman Sachs Bank USA to address a pattern of misconduct and negligence relating to deficient practices in residential mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure processing involving its former subsidiary, Litton Loan Servicing LP.

Goldman Sachs sold Litton to Ocwen Financial Corporation on September 1, 2011 and has ceased to conduct residential mortgage servicing. Litton is the 23rd largest mortgage servicer in the United States.

The action orders Goldman Sachs to retain an independent consultant to review foreclosure proceedings initiated by Litton that were pending at any time in 2009 or 2010. The review is intended to provide remediation to borrowers who suffered financial injury as a result of wrongful foreclosures or other deficiencies identified in a review of the foreclosure process. The foreclosure review will be conducted consistent with the reviews currently underway at the 14 large mortgage servicers that consented to enforcement actions [6] brought by the banking agencies on April 13, 2011.

If Goldman Sachs re-enters the mortgage servicing business while the action is in effect, it will be required to implement enhanced corporate governance, risk-management, compliance, borrower communication, servicing and foreclosure practices comparable to what the 14 mortgage servicers are implementing.
As noted in the April press release, the Federal Reserve believes monetary sanctions are appropriate and plans to announce monetary penalties.


Hacker Gets 6-Year Sentence For 'Sextortion'


LOS ANGELES - A Southern California man was sentenced Thursday to six years in prison for infiltrating computers belonging to women and teenage girls where he found sexually explicit photos and threatening to put them online unless they provided him with more.

In sentencing Luis Mijangos, 32, of Santa Ana, U.S. District Judge George King called the crimes a form of cyber-terrorism and warned other hackers they will meet stiff penalties for ruining people's lives.

"Society has to understand that if you engage in this type of behavior, it's no joke," King said. "You are going to jail and going to jail for a long time."

Mijangos, who pleaded guilty to one count each of computer hacking and wiretapping in March, grimaced when King handed down the sentence. Tears began to well in his eyes. Earlier, he apologized for what he had done.


Gibson Guitar CEO Says Feds Told Him Problems Would ‘Go Away’ If Labor Done In Madagascar (Updated With Beck Interview)

The tale of the Gibson guitar raid — the one focused on the legendary guitar maker’s alleged importation and use of illegal wood — has taken an odd turn. Now CEO Henry Juszkiewicz is claiming the Feds told him that some of his problems “would go away” if the company used Madagascar labor.
In an interview with Beck radio affiliate KMJ 105.9 in Fresno, California, Juszkiewicz told host Chris Daniel that the government made the point “explicitly:”
CHRIS DANIEL:  Mr. Juszkiewicz, did an agent of the US government suggest to you that your problems would go away if you used Madagascar labor instead of American labor?
HENRY JUSZKIEWICZ:  They actually wrote that in a pleading.
CHRIS DANIEL:  Excuse me?
HENRY JUSKIEWICZ:   They actually wrote that in a pleading.
CHRIS DANIEL:  That your problems would go away if you used Madagascar labor instead of our labor?
HENRY JUSKIEWICZ:  Yes, yeah. They said that explicitly.
Gateway Pundit has the audio:


R.I. Teens Killed After Visiting "Vampire" Grave

(CBS News)

EXETER, R.I. - Two teenage girls died in a car crash after a nighttime visit to a cemetery to visit the grave of a purported vampire.

Police told CBS Affiliate WPRI Bella DiPalma, 17, and Elenna Zuller, 16, both of Warwick, R.I., died when their car lost control on Purgatory Road and flipped over late Wednesday night.

Capt. Darren Delaney said one of the girls was pronounced dead at the scene; the other later died at Rhode Island Hospital.


Law Schools Lure Fewer Students As Jobs Dry Up

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Tenia Phillips has heard the horror stories about life after law school, circa 2011, from crushing student loan debt to recent graduates serving coffee at Starbucks.

The reality check didn't deter the 27-year-old Waco, Texas, resident from pursuing her childhood dream, though it took four years of working as an apartment leasing agent before she could start fall classes last week at the University of Missouri law school.

"I had gotten to the point in my life where it was either now or never," she said. "Nothing in life is guaranteed. The job market can go back up again or back down."


Mistrial Declared In Killing Of Gay California Student

Los Angeles (CNN) -- A judge declared a mistrial Thursday after jurors said they were hopelessly deadlocked in the murder trial of a teenager accused of gunning down a gay classmate in their Southern California classroom.Ventura County Superior Court confirmed the ruling in the eight-week trial of Brandon McInerney, who was 14 at the time of the shooting in 2008.

The nine-woman, three-man jury panel said its last vote resulted in seven in favor of finding the defendant guilty of voluntary manslaughter, CNN affiliates reported.McInerney was tried as an adult on charges of first-degree murder, use of a handgun and a hate crime.

Goldman Sachs Slapped Over Robo-Signing

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The Federal Reserve sanctioned Goldman Sachs on Thursday, saying the investment bank must investigate questionable lending and foreclosure practices in its former mortgage unit.
The action orders Goldman to review foreclosure proceedings by Litton Loan Servicing between 2009 and 2010 to address "a pattern of misconduct and negligence relating to deficient practices," the Fed said.

Casey Anthony Lawyers Return To Court To Fight Reimbursement Motion

Orlando, Florida (CNN) -- Casey Anthony's attorneys will be in court Friday fighting a motion by prosecutors to have her reimburse the costs of the investigation into her daughter's disappearance and death and Anthony's subsequent trial.

Court documents filed by the state attorney's office and law enforcement agencies indicate those costs are at least $516,099.31.Anthony is not expected to attend the hearing Friday in front of Orange County Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr.

Today's Survey Question 9-2-11

With a nearly $900 million surplus, do you still believe Maryland should raise taxes and tolls?

A Comment Worthy Of A Post And More

"Does anyone know the reason that the Worcester County Dept of Social Services, specifically the Child Support Division, have today and Monday off with pay. Both the State and County websites only list Monday as the paid holiday. Did all county offices get an extra paid holiday and why? Just another little secret the general public knows nothing about!!"

The Department of Motor Vehicle is also closed today and Monday. Must be that sweet $900,000,000.00 State Surplus!!!!!


Maryland will enforce and expand policy in effect today under the Affordable Care Act to increase public scrutiny of proposals to hike premiums

ANNAPOLIS, Md — Governor Martin O’Malley and Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown joined Insurance Commissioner Therese Goldsmith in expressing support for new tools available to states today under federal health care reform to help keep insurance premiums more affordable for consumers.  The new policies will intensify oversight of proposed rate increases and improve the transparency of the rate review process.

“The rapid rise in health insurance premiums over the last decade has caused increasing hardship for families and small businesses across Maryland,” said Governor O’Malley. “We welcome this opportunity made available by the Affordable Care Act to do more to reverse this tide.  Marylanders cannot afford to pay 10 percent more every year for the insurance coverage necessary to protect themselves, their children and their employees.”

The provisions of the Affordable Care Act going into effect today subject any proposed increase in rates of 10% or more to heightened regulatory scrutiny, and they require plans to explain and justify such increases to consumers.  Moreover, in a decision announced last week, Maryland will not limit its increased regulatory review to proposals to raise premium rates by 10%, but will instead expand on a phased-in basis this heightened scrutiny to all plans proposing increases of any size.

In applauding the joint state and federal action, Lt. Governor Brown said, “This enhanced public and regulatory oversight will help hold down large premium hikes and ensure better value for the premium dollar.  It’s yet another tool made possible by the Affordable Care Act to reduce costs, expand access, and improve the quality of health care in Maryland.”

Using federal grant funds, the Maryland Insurance Administration conducted an analysis of how to improve its premium rate review process under the new federal regulatory framework, and it issued its report and recommendations last week. 

“Maryland is building on its effective rate review process to do more to ensure that increases in insurance premiums are justified," said Insurance Commissioner Goldsmith.  “As consumers weigh their options in choosing benefit plans, they need to know premiums are fair and reasonable.”