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Monday, September 26, 2011

Salisbury Police Department Press Release 9-26-11

On September 26, 2011 at approximately 12:03 am, Officers of the Salisbury Police received a call to respond to the Peninsula Regional Medical Center for the report of a victim with a gunshot wound. Upon arrival the officers met with an adult male victim who was identified as 31 year old Korie Raman Holden of Fruitland. Holden advised that he had been shot in the area of the VFW on West Main Street in Salisbury.
 The victim continued that he had been located across the street from the business when he heard a gunshot then realized that he had been shot in the rear of his neck. The victim ran toward the VFW and fell in the roadway where he was approached by the suspect. The suspect stood over the victim then fled from the area on foot towards Delaware Avenue. The victim was transported to the Peninsula Regional Medical Center by a friend, where he was treated and released. This investigation is continuing. The suspect is described as follows:

Black male, approximately 5’08" in height, 180 lbs. in
weight, wearing a black and gray mask.

If anyone has any information concerning this assault, they are asked to contact the Salisbury Police at 410-548-3165 or to contact Crime Solvers at 410-548-1776. Information may be left at both locations anonymously.    CC # 201100037700

On September 23, 2011 at approximately 9:44 pm, Officers of the Salisbury Police were on routine patrol in the area of Camden Avenue and Maryland Avenue and observed the below listed suspect in possession of an open container of alcohol. As the officers approached the suspect the suspect immediately fled from the area on foot. After a substantial pursuit, the suspect was apprehended and taken into custody. A search of the suspect, incident to arrest, revealed a 9mm handgun in his front waistband and a substantial quantity of live ammunition in a front pocket. A records check of the suspect also revealed that he was currently wanted on four (4) outstanding Circuit Court Bench Warrant Body Attachments.

ARRESTED: Carl Jeffrey Yarns, 25 years of age
Salisbury, Maryland
CHARGES: Wearing and carrying a handgun
Open container of alcohol
Disorderly conduct
Failure to obey a lawful order
Obstructing and hindering an investigation
Four (4) Wicomico Co. Circuit Court Bench
Warrants – Body Attachments
DISPOSITION: Released to Central Booking
CC # 201100037447/201100037451

On September 23, 2011 at approximately 12:02 pm, Officers of the Salisbury Police were on routine patrol in the area of Beaglin Park Drive and observed the below listed suspect involved in possible controlled dangerous substance related activity. The officers approached the suspect and received consent by the suspect to check his person. The check resulted in the discovery of a baggie containing a quantity of suspected "crack"/cocaine. The suspect was arrested without incident.

ARRESTED: Cassone Arnza Taylor, 19 years of age
Salisbury, Maryland
CHARGES: Possession of cocaine with intent to distribute
Possession of cocaine
Possession of CDS/Paraphernalia
DISPOSITION: Released to Central Booking
CC # 201100037393

On September 24, 2011 at approximately 4:40 am, Officers of the Salisbury Police were on routine patrol in the area of Baker Street and observed the below listed suspects trespassing on posted residential property. The suspects were taken into custody and a search of their persons, incident to arrest, revealed a smoking device containing suspected "crack"/cocaine on suspect # 1, and a baggie containing suspected "crack"/cocaine on suspect # 2.

ARRESTED #1: Kenneth Stewart Cropper, 33 years of age
Salisbury, Maryland
CHARGES: Trespassing
Possession of cocaine
Possession of CDS/Paraphernalia
ARRESTED #2: Christine Marie Chase, 33 years of age
Salisbury, Maryland
CHARGES: Possession of cocaine
DISPOSITION: Both released to Central Booking
CC # 201100037494

On September 24, 2011 at approximately 10:19 pm, Officers of the Salisbury Police were on routine patrol in the area of Baker Street and Anne Street and observed the below listed suspect trespassing on posted residential property. The suspect was arrested and a search of his person, incident to arrest, revealed a quantity of suspected marijuana and a smoking device containing suspected marijuana residue.

ARRESTED: Mark Joshua Downes, 48 years of age
Salisbury, Maryland
CHARGES: Possession of marijuana
Possession of CDS/Paraphernalia
DISPOSITION: Released to Central Booking
CC # 201100037577


Last year I replaced all the windows in my house with that expensive double-pane energy efficient kind. Today I got a call from the contractor who installed them. He was complaining that the work had been completed a whole year ago and I still hadn't paid for them.
Hellloooo,............just because I'm blonde doesn't mean that I am automatically stupid. So, I told him just what his fast-talking sales guy had told me last year, "in ONE YEAR these windows would pay for
themselves!" Helllooooo? It's been a year! There was only silence at the other end of the line, so I finally just hung up. He never called back. I bet he felt like an IDIOT!

Salisbury City Council Takes Back Old Fire Station 16

I'll get into the details tomorrow but the Salisbury City Council majority agreed Palmer and Brad Gillis did not fulfill their end of the RFP and the City found they were in fault of their original 60 day agreement to deliver a final proposal.

More to come tomorrow.

New Posts to fall below.

HollywoodTube: Will YouTube Be The Next Big TV Network?

Will consumers put down the remote and tune into YouTube?

The Google-owned site is getting closer to finding out, the Wall Street Journal reports

The video giant is finalizing contracts for its first of more than a dozen "channels" featuring regularly scheduled content on big broad themes such as fashion and sports, according to people familiar with the matter.

YouTube has requested some content for the channels within the next 60 days, according to one of these people, as it considers a launch in early 2012.


Black Panther Supporter Warns Conservative Student: I Could ‘Exercise’ My 2nd Amendment Right On You

Here’s the irony about the Constitution: it doesn’t matter if you believe in it or fully accept it, it still protects you. That’s the case with one Black Panther supporter at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. During an exchange with a Constitution-loving student on campus on Sept. 16, the Black Panther supporter said that he could “exercise” his 2nd Amendment right against his fellow student while also admitting later that he doesn’t actually believe in the Constitution.

It all happened while Phil Cleary was passing out Constitutions in honor of Constitution Day. (which calls Cleary a “conservative) reports he had a table of literature promoting Western Civilization (and his group Youth for Western Civilization) and was engaging students and faculty on the topic. While doing that he had conversation with someone the site identifies as Blair Jordan Moses, the young man with a soft spot for the Black Panthers.

And Cleary got it on video.


Living People Eligible To Appear on U.S. Stamps For First Time

WASHINGTON -- For the first time, living people will be eligible to be honored on U.S. postage stamps. 

The U.S. Postal Service announced Monday that it is ending its longstanding rule that stamps cannot feature people who are still alive and it's asking the public to offer suggestions on who should be first. 

Since Jan. 1, 2007, the requirement has been that a person must have been deceased five years before appearing on a stamp. Before that, the rule was 10 years. (By tradition, though, former presidents are remembered on a stamp in the year following their deaths.). 


NYPD Chief: Police Could Take Down Plane If Needed

The chief of the New York Police Department says city police could take down a plane if necessary.

Commissioner Ray Kelly tells CBS' "60 Minutes" that after the Sept. 11 attacks, he decided the city couldn't rely on the federal government alone. He set about creating the NYPD's own counter-terrorism unit. He says the department is prepared for multiple scenarios and could even take down a plane.

Kelly didn't divulge details but said "obviously this would be in a very extreme situation."


SEC Eyeing Action Against Standard & Poor's

The SEC is contemplating taking civil action against Standard & Poor's for alleged violations of federal securities laws related to its ratings of collateralized debt obligations in 2007, as the financial crisis was getting under way.

McGraw-Hill Cos. Inc., which owns S&P, said in a statement on Monday that S&P received a so-called "Wells Notice" on Thursday in which the SEC staff "may recommend that the Commission seek civil money penalties, disgorgement of fees and other appropriate equitable relief."


Four Years Ago Today 9-25-07

Five Years Ago Today 9-26-06

Snoopy visited DelMarVa.


Shanghai Gold Exchange Hikes Silver Margin By 20%

Wondering what caused the dramatic plunge in gold and silver earlier? Wonder no more: the CME’s counterpart in China, the Shanghai Gold Exchange, decided to follow through with an identical, if more substantial, action to that undertaken by the CME on Friday, and announced an increase in the Silver T+D contract margin from 15% to 18%, a 20% bump; the SGE also noted an increase in the price range limit from 12% to 15%, which will be promptly fulfilled, as margin hikes traditionally tend to lead to a sudden spike in vol, contrary to well-meaning expectations. There was a second announcement, slightly more cryptic one, noting that if volatility were to persist, the SGE would outright halt silver trading (although the Google Translation of this previously unseen form announcement is a little sketchy). Expect to see more exchange intervention in precious metals today. Regardless, those who bought silver 15% lower a whopping, oh, two hours ago, courtesy of the out and out sheer panic, are quite grateful to the Chinese.


Department Of Defense Charitable Giving

Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn is asking Defense Department workers to unite for charitable giving.

With the start of the Combined Federal Campaign, Lynn made a public appeal to DoD workers, asking them to make history with their donations, reports.
Last year, contributors gave $110 million to the campaign, which serves more than 4,000 charities. And DoD civilians and service members averaged giving a record $489 dollars each last year.
This year's goal for DOD is more than $14 million dollars. Lynn said they will need to work harder this year because of the decreasing pool of donors.


Hearing To Be Set On Sussex Redistricting Plan

Council asked to reconsider district lines in resort area

GeorgetownThe only questions being raised about the county council’s proposed redistricting map deal with how the lines are being drawn in eastern Sussex County.

During the public comment portion of the agenda, Catherine Ward, president of the League of Women Voters of Sussex County, asked council to reconsider the importance of communities of interest in the resort area. She noted the proposed map has South Bethany in District 5 and Bethany Beach in District 4. “How can you separate the resort areas with their particular interests?” she asked.

She also questioned District 5 that spans across the southern section of the county from one border to the other. “In this district the interests are terribly varied,” she said. District 5 ­– held by Vance Phillips – not only includes Laurel and Delmar in western Sussex, but also includes Dagsboro, Millsboro and Frankford in central Sussex and Fenwick Island and South Bethany along the coast.


Fewer Hospitals Giving Away Free Formula

An increasing number of hospitals are no longer giving new moms industry-sponsored baby formula samples when they leave the hospital, and that's a good thing,  health experts say.

The number of hospitals choosing to discontinue this practice doubled, on average, in the past four years according to a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

However, most hospitals still send new parents home with samples of formula, even though major health organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend mothers try to exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first six months of life.  Breast milk is considered to be the best source of nutrition for newborns and infants.

"It's a change, but it's just a small change," says Anne Merewood, Ph.D., director of the Breastfeeding Center at Boston Medical Center and senior study author.


Netflix One-Ups HBO By Snagging DreamWorks Deal

When Netflix started upped its prices for subscribers by splitting streaming and disc rentals into separate subscriptions, the top brass said it would use the additional funds to secure streaming deals. Now the company has something to show for the promise, having secured a deal with DreamWorks for programming that currently goes to HBO. The agreement goes into effect in 2013.

More »

Haas Steals $10M FedEx Cup Jackpot After 'Perfect' Shot

(CNN) -- American golfer Bill Haas said he was "very lucky" after securing the biggest win of his career on Sunday.The 29-year-old beat U.S Ryder Cup star Hunter Mahan on the third playoff hole at the Tour Championship in Atlanta to clinch the PGA's season-ending FedEx Cup and $11.44 million in prize money.

Haas needed a dramatic save after hitting a water hazard before going on to sink a four-foot putt on the par-three 18th hole at East Lake to finally see off his compatriot, after the duo had finished tied on eight under par through 72 holes.

NJ Church Reverses Money Flow, Collection Plate Holds Cash For Congregants

(CNN) – A New Jersey church - already a bit different in that its three congregations gather weekly at two hotels and a middle school - put a new spin on the collection plate Sunday by having congregants take cash-filled envelopes from the plate in hopes that the money will be put to charitable use.

"People are cynical about religion and expect to come to church and be shaken down, but really, it's all God's money," Liquid Church pastor Tim Lucas said prior to Sunday services. "Every bill in the U.S. economy says 'In God we trust,' and we're going to put that to the test."


BREAKING NEWS: Senate Passes Continuing Resolution Bill To Fund Government

The U.S. Senate passed a bill to fund the federal government through November 18 and ensure aid will be available for victims of recent disasters.  However, the House of Representatives will need to vote on this bill, which is different from the bill the House passed last week, in order for it to head to the president's desk.
From Fox News

Senators Place Blame For Budget Stalemate

(CNN) – Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander and Democratic Sen. Mark Warner engaged in a political back-and-forth Sunday that revealed fractures between both parties—and the House and Senate.

Though Warner admitted the threat of another government shutdown as a result of a budget showdown is “embarrassing,” he also told CNN’s “State of the Union” that the conservative tea party movement was causing yet another stalemate.

The latest budget faceoff comes as current funding for government agencies is set to expire September 30 without a continuing resolution to extend spending.


Police: 5 People Found Dead At 2 Rural Ind. Homes

Five people were found dead Sunday at two homes in rural southeastern Indiana, and authorities warned residents to be careful because it wasn't immediately clear whether there was one or more suspects on the loose.

The multi-agency investigation began after the Franklin County Sheriff's Department responded to a call Sunday afternoon about a child wandering around a roadway in the area, according to a news release from Indiana State Police.

Instigate An Independent Investigation Into The Bush Administration For Violating The "War Crimes Act Of 1996".

Although the practices of killing, torture, and inhuman treatment of prisoners at American-led detention centers like Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib are well-documented, those that handed down the orders have thus far escaped both public trial and punishment for violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2441, the "War Crimes Act of 1996". By bringing those involved with violating the Law to justice; most notably former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney, Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales; Americans can finally repair the damage caused to its National Image and standing in the World Community, an image tarnished by this group of high-powered rogues and their attempts to subvert the law to their own whims.

Obama: GOP Vision Of Government Would 'Fundamentally Cripple America'

(AP) SEATTLE -- President Barack Obama charged Sunday that the GOP vision of government would "fundamentally cripple America," as he tried out his newly combative message on the liberal West Coast.

Aiming to renew the ardor of Democratic loyalists who have grown increasingly disenchanted with him, the president mixed frontal attacks on Republicans with words of encouragement intended to buck up the faithful as the 2012 campaign revs up.


Crime Comission Considering Measures To Stem Methamphetamine

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - State officials are considering new measures aimed at stemming the production of methamphetamine, including tracking the purchase of over-the-counter medicine that's used to make the illegal drug.

The General Assembly's Joint Commission on Health Care and the State Crime Commission are considering new steps to monitor purchases of pseudoephedrine, found in Sudafed and other cold and allergy medications. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the Crime Commission staff is studying a pharmaceutical industry-supported database that tracks PSE purchases and blocks those exceeding legal limits.

More Evidence That Marijuana-Like Drugs May Help Prevent PTSD

Could a marijuana-based medicine potentially prevent the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? If the findings of a new study in rodents hold up, they may offer a new avenue for treatment of an illness that affects at least 7% of Americans during their lifetimes.

For the study, published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, researchers exposed rats to severe, Navy Seal-level stress, including restraint, forced swims and anesthetization. Luckier control rats just stayed in their cages and were handled twice by researchers.


11-Year-Old Shoots Sister While 'Playing CSI' At Indiana Home

A 14-year-old girl was hospitalized after her younger sister shot her in the head while "playing CSI" at their home in Logansport, Ind., the Logansport Pharos-Tribune reported Sunday.

Cass County conservation officer Brenda Louthain, who investigated the incident, said the older girl was taken to Logansport Memorial Hospital after being shot by her 11-year-old sister shortly before 10:30am Saturday morning.

The girls' parents were not at home at the time of the incident.


Study Shows More Mental Illness, But Decline In Getting Help

A few months ago, Dr. Ken Duckworth, a psychiatrist in Massachusetts, was swimming in his community's pool, chatting with other swimmers. When he mentioned his profession, one man wanted Duckworth's opinion on his struggles with depression; another asked for advice on a family member's schizophrenia.
"I was sort of amazed. They were talking openly about their psychological vulnerabilities with a stranger in a swimming locker room," said Duckworth, the medical director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. "That wouldn't have happened 15 years ago."

Will Lawmakers Truly Reduce The Federal Workforce By 10%

Lawmakers in both chambers have introduced legislation that aims to reduce the federal workforce by 10 percent by 2015 through attrition. The House version has been introduced by South Carolina Republican Mick Mulvaney. The Senate version, by Wisconsin Republican Ron Johnson. They estimate savings of 139 billion over 10 years. Agencies would only be able to hire one new person for every three that retired or quit through 2014

NASA Is Clueless

It fell. The six-ton satellite that NASA has been watching so closely finally fell to Earth on Saturday. But scientists don't know where, Reuters reports. They *think* the ton of space debris ended up in the Pacific Ocean. But NASA scientists aren't sure exactly when it entered the atmosphere, nor where it landed. They've narrowed the time between 11:23 p.m. Friday and 1:09 a.m. Saturday. But because they don't know exactly when it reentered Earth's atmosphere, they can't calculate where it landed. They say they might never know.

South, Slammed By Recession, Bleeds Jobs

The aftermath of the Great Recession has overturned the long-standing geography of economic strength in the U.S., with the Sun Belt now setting and the Rust Belt doing relatively better in the albeit anemic recovery, The New York Times reported on Monday.

In a front-page article on called "Slump Alters Jobless Map in U.S., With South Hit Hard" the newspaper says that six of the 10 states with the highest unemployment rates in the nation are in the South, which before the Great Recession boasted one of the country's lowest unemployment rates.
Now, with the concentration of the highest unemployment rates in the South and the West, some economists and researchers wonder if it is an anomaly of the uneven recovery or a harbinger of things to come, The New York Times' Michael Cooper wrote.

OPM Recovers $490 Mil Of $600 Mil Paid In Improper Payments

The Office of Personnel Management has created a new task force to work on stopping improper payments to dead annuitants. This after an Inspector General's report found the agency paid $600 million in retirement benefits to dead people. OPM Director John Berry told Federal News Radio he plans to check with the task force on a weekly basis. The agency has already recovered almost $490 million of the money in question, and is working on the rest. OPM says it has implemented 10 of 14 recommendations made by the inspector general. The leaves just four more to tackle, including tracking undeliverable IRS forms and modernizing their retirement system technology

Shutdown Averted? FEMA Has Enough Disaster Money

WASHINGTON (AP) - After weeks of political brinkmanship in Congress, the threat of a partial government shutdown appeared to ease Monday with the disclosure that money to aid victims of natural disasters may last through the end of the budget year after all.

The revised estimate suggested there would be no interruption in assistance in areas battered by disasters such as Hurricane Irene and last summer's tornados in Joplin, Mo., and also that lawmakers could act quickly on gridlocked legislation that is needed to keep the government running normally when the new budget year begins on Saturday.

Even so, there was no formal announcement that the impasse had been resolved. As a result, it was unclear what the immediate impact would be in the Senate, where a late-afternoon vote was set on legislation that combined the two issues _ short-term disaster relief and longer-range overall government funding _ into one.

It was just the latest in a string of political standoffs between Democrats and Republicans over deficits, spending and taxes that have left many Americans soured on Congress.


Virginia Congressman To Gay Teens: It Will Get Better

WASHINGTON -- Amid a hostile climate for many gay young people in school, a local congressman posted a video last week to remind them "it will get better."
The monologue on bullying from Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., contributes to the It Gets Better Project, which seeks to convince lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender young people -- who are significantly more likely to kill themselves than their heterosexual counterparts -- that life gets easier with age.
In the video, Moran says he "didn't happen to be born gay" but has known a lot of bullies throughout his life, who grew up to be "insecure jerks." He was harassed as a young man for his shyness and anxiety for public speaking.


Pentagon Shooting Suspect Charged In Attempted Jail Escape

WASHINGTON - The man charged with shooting at the Pentagon and a number of other military establishments last year was caught trying to damage his jail cell in order to escape.

The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office says Yonathan Melaku has been charged with damaging a facility to aid escape and possession of an instrument to aid escape after he damaged a small portion of a cinder block in his holding cell at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center.


Disorderly Arrests At Chicken Flop Live

Incident: Disorderly Conduct
Date of Incident: 24 September 2011
Location: 6400 Hobbs Road, Salisbury, MD
Suspect: 1. Melissa K. McLead, 44, Salisbury, MD
2. Keith C. Seyfert, 45, Salisbury, MD

Narrative: On 24 September 2011 at 8:30 PM, a deputy from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office
assigned to the detail for a concert at Perdue Stadium was contacted by venue staff about a patron, later
identified as Melissa McLead, who strayed into a restricted area of the concert area after being told once
before to stay out. The deputy observed that McLead was refusing to leave the area after a request from
the venue staff. The deputy placed McLead under arrest and attempted to escort her off the field but this
effort was stopped by the interference of Keith Seyfert who requested that the deputy not arrest McLead
and then launched into a profanity laced tirade directed at the deputy and the venue staff. Seyfert
escalated his actions when he began threatening stadium management and began moving in a way that
indicated an assault was imminent. The deputy took steps to eliminate any further threat from Seyfert and
his disruptive behavior. Seyfert was then also placed under arrest.

McLead and Seyfert were both transported to the Central Booking Unit where they were processed and
taken in front of the District Court Commissioner. After an initial appearance, the Commissioner released
both on Personal Recognizance.

Charges: McLead - Failure to Obey a LE Officer to Prevent a Disturbance of the Public Peace / Trespass/
Disorderly Conduct/ Resist Arrest/ Obstruct and Hinder a Law Enforcement Officer
Seyfert - Interfere with an Arrest/ Disturbance of the Public Peace/ Obstruct and Hinder a Law
Enforcement Officer/ Failure to Obey a LE Officer to Prevent a Disturbance of the Public Peace

UK Scraps $17 Billion Info Tech Program

Health IT may be harder to pull off than anyone thought. The United Kingdom is scrapping its $17 billion information technology program for its state-run health service. The Wall Street Journal reports that officials say some of the money has been wasted and that the program isn't fit to provide the services they need. The program was hailed as one of the biggest IT projects ever attempted and Computer Sciences Corp was one of the contractors. Other countries — including the U.S. — were watching the U.K. project to see how it would digitize and link together patient records and the entire National Health Service. Officials with Britain's Department of Health say future IT decisions will be made on a regional level, with more suppliers competing for contracts

The Threat Of An Oct. 1 Government Shutdown Is Closer

The Senate on Friday rejected a continuing resolution passed by the House. Senators will take up the matter again this afternoon. The two houses differ over a tiny portion of the more than $1 trillion bill. At issue is the level of spending for disaster relief and whether that $3.7 billion is offset by cuts in subsidies to electric cars. Both versions would keep the government open for six weeks following the end of the fiscal year, which occurs this Friday night at midnight.The House is in recess for the week.

Call To Action! - A Federal Challenge To Religious Liberty

I rarely send out an email to a large group of people, but I feel this is extremely important.
Whether or not you are Catholic, whether or not you believe what the Catholic Church teaches about contraception, this issue goes beyond our beliefs to the heart of religious liberty in our country.
Please take the time to read the message below, which I think is very concise and addresses the issue very clearly.
I have also included another article that speaks to the long history of the societal benefits of religious freedom in America, written by a respected law professor at a state university.
The long-term, ill-effects this regulation will cause should warrent a thorough reading of these articles. Consider the amount of time and research you put into making a decision about purchasing a new car, a flat screen TV or, perhaps, a stock. This is so much more important.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope you will respond by contacting HHS or your state representatives.
A Federal Challenge to Religious Liberty
Dear Friends, 
    Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed a regulation that presents an unprecedented challenge to religious liberty.  The public comment period on this rule ends September 30, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is encouraging Catholics to send an e-mail message to HHS urging our government leaders to ensure that such federal regulations do not violate Americans’ moral and religious convictions.
    In implementing the new health care reform law, HHS issued a rule that would require private health care plans nationwide to cover contraception and sterilization as “preventive services” for women.  The mandate includes abortificients, which have the capacity to terminate a pregnancy in its early weeks.  Never before has the federal government required private health plans to include such coverage.   
   The exception for religious institutions is so narrow that it covers almost no one.  The proposed religious exemption would apply only to those institutions that primarily serve  members of their faith community, exclude those of other faiths from their employment and focus solely on the inculcation of their religious beliefs.  
      For Catholic institutions this would mean that religious liberty is applicable only if a Catholic school, hospital or social service program hires primarily Catholics, serves primarily Catholics, and attempts to convert to Catholicism anyone who seeks these services.  Yet through our schools, our hospitals and our vast array of social service programs, the Catholic Church, like most other religious organizations, serves all those who come to us in need and welcomes people of all faiths to our employment whenever possible. This new mandate would severely impede our ability to freely practice our religious beliefs in service to our neighbors.  Most Catholic charitable institutions that serve the public would be ineligible for the exemption, in which case they either would be forced to provide health care coverage of drugs and procedures to which they have a moral objection or decline to offer health benefits to their employees. 
     I hope you will send your comments to HHS by the September 30 deadline to discourage this onerous infringement on religious freedom.  
       Thank you for your kind consideration of this request. 
                                                                                               Sincerely in Christ,
                                                                                               Most Reverend Barry C. Knestout
                                                                                               Auxiliary Bishop of Washington
Uphold Conscience Protection: Religious Freedom’s Contribution to the American Experience and Threats to its Survival
by Helen Alvaré
Religious communities are an essential part of the fabric of America, even over and above the vital services they provide to weak and vulnerable members of our communities; we must protect their conscience rights against legal coercion.
It is impossible to understand the American experiment without understanding the role that the free exercise of religion has played in our nation’s founding and in its flourishing. We are not a people who have merely “tolerated” religious commitments as eccentricities or only upon the condition that they remain hidden from public view. Rather, we have understood the debt our nation owes to fundamental principles of human rights that have their origins in overlapping theological and philosophical commitments. Particularly today, we know how religion plays a role in securing the family life that provides an irreplaceable foundation for a healthy, prosperous, well-formed citizenry.
We are also grateful to religious institutions for providing services to our most vulnerable citizens, services that government cannot duplicate, because of the thick moral commitments that suffuse them. We understand, too, the role that religion plays in inspiring untold numbers of daily, private interactions that law could neither effectively command nor police, but that are essential for creating a society in which human beings’ intrinsic dignity is both recognized and served. Finally, we recognize the prophetic role that religious institutions and persons have played during our history, when they have identified human rights’ violations and called for both a change of heart and changes in the law.
At the time of our founding, Thomas Jefferson wrote that “Almighty God hath created the mind free. … All attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens … are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion.” He also wrote that the “moral duties which exist between individual and individual in a state of nature accompany them into a state of society, … their Maker not having released them from those duties on their forming themselves into a nation.” In other words, God has entrusted human beings, alone and in society, with the crucial task of seeking the truth and of living in accordance with it. The state has no authority to interfere with or to direct this pursuit. Our founders’ convictions about religious freedom found their way into our Constitution as the First Amendment of our Bill of Rights.
Over the course of our history, Americans came to understand that the state’s lack of jurisdiction over questions of ultimate meaning entailed not only allowing individuals to believe privately in a transcendent reality, or to worship as they believed, or even to pray privately and perform good works. Rather, it also entailed recognizing that religion is also exercised in the form of associations that provide services to vulnerable citizens of every background in accordance with religious principles. Throughout American history, religious citizens were not only permitted, but even encouraged, to let their religious convictions inform their work, and their contributions to public debates were understood to have important consequences for our understanding of human rights and dignity.
Americans have also historically recognized religious providers’ valuable contributions in the areas of education, healthcare, and general social services. Religious ministries often lead the way in reaching out to the most unpopular or invisible groups, whether persons with AIDS, immigrants, poor single mothers, the severely disabled, or the dying. Ironically today, these ministries are branded as bigoted and misogynistic by interest groups claiming “rights” to sexual expression of any sort, while these same ministries labor daily to piece together the lives of those directly harmed—whether by sexually transmitted disease, non-marital pregnancies, or abortions—by the exercise of such “rights.”
Institutional religious ministries also serve another valuable function, less often noticed. They act as a force for assimilation, through their services to new immigrants and inner-city students, and in their hiring and serving people who do not share their faith affiliation, especially in their healthcare and social service ministries. In their encounters with millions of diverse clients, these ministries bring invaluable wisdom about human needs to the public policy table on many issues such as healthcare, abortion, post-abortion distress, marriage, euthanasia, immigration, poverty, war, and the moral guidelines for scientific research.
Despite this record of accomplishment, religious individuals and institutions are threatened today by various social and legal forces. First, it seems that both citizens and leaders often forget or take for granted the crucial role that religious freedom has played in our nation’s founding and flourishing. We no longer clearly grasp the relationship between our enjoyment of social peace and prosperity and our long tradition of religious freedom.
Second, among elite academic and media voices, there seems to be a particular animus against Christian adherence to classical norms regarding the dignity of the human person in connection with sex, marriage, and the family. Christians have been especially condemned for their staunch refusal to agree that abortion is a “right,” for their insistence that children’s interests—not adults’—should guide marriage law, and for their refusal to accede to the trivialization of sex and the degradation of women implicit in governments’ approach to birth-control distribution and sex education. Leading Supreme Court opinions, as well as federal statutes and regulations, are more inclined than ever to posit the existence of a “right” to any form of sexual expression, on the grounds of either “privacy” or “equality.” This increasingly aggressive stance is often the cause of the most virulent attacks upon religious freedom.
Third, during the passage of the 2010 health care law (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or PPACA), longstanding, bipartisan agreement to shield the religious freedom of healthcare providers—especially where abortion is concerned—broke down. Democrats in the Senate and then in the House either proposed or ultimately acceded to conscience provisions significantly weaker than those available in past federal laws. Very recently, the Obama administration realized religious institutions’ worst fears by mandating all forms of birth control, and some forms of abortifacient drugs, as mandatory “preventive healthcare” services under the PPACA. Under this regulation, religiously affiliated healthcare institutions that attempt to hire or serve people of other faiths are denied conscience protection. It is almost unnecessary to point out the irony, the shortsightedness, even the cruelty, of such a denial.
Fourth, in the struggle over same-sex marriage, some lawmakers are increasingly hostile to moral and practical arguments about the unique goods intrinsic to opposite-sex marriage, and to citizen demands for conscience protections. It appears that lawmakers are responding more to cultural and media elites who express overt hostility to religion, or they are simply confused about the true meaning and purpose of marriage and the family. Some groups and politicians supporting same-sex marriage brand religious ministries to the poor and vulnerable as “bigotry” and threaten the very existence of those ministries, during a time when the government would be hard-pressed to fund additional services itself. Witness the harassment, and in some cases termination, of Catholic adoption agencies that refuse to pair children with same-sex couples.
Fifth, the expansion of state power, combined with a “creeping” notion of human or civil “rights,” also jeopardizes religious freedom today. Government regulation has spread to nearly every sphere of life and thus imposes more constraints upon a wide variety of religious ministries. At the same time, “rights” language is increasingly applied to human “wants” rather than “needs.” It is used to promote individualism and particular ideologies, rather than universally recognized attributes of human life or dignity. This increase in regulation, combined with “rights creep,” leads directly to refusals to grant religious exemptions, on the ground that people have human “rights” to consensual sexual expression with any other person, or to kill an unborn child, and that “rights” do not permit exemptions for the sake of conscience.
All of these forces are combining to threaten religious freedom at a time when we can ill afford to lose the unique voices and contributions of religious citizens and institutions. Objections to religious freedom on the grounds that religious behaviors and services are “eccentric” or “dangerous” or “against human rights” are contradicted by our historical experience with religious freedom. Furthermore, citizens and lawmakers are quite capable of distinguishing between claimed religious messages or behaviors that might threaten human lives or the common good (e.g., human sacrifice) and those that are merely different means to a good end (e.g., exhortations to practice sexual restraint, or to preserve the centrality of children’s well-being in marriage law). On the grounds of preserving peace and prosperity, strong families, and a robust network of private charitable institutions, and on the grounds of resisting the totalizing inclinations of government, federal and state laws protecting religious voices and ministries—in health care, education, and especially family life—must be enacted and enforced today.
The health of religious freedom in the United States is in large part entrusted to the Congress, to the president, and to state governments. In the near term, our lawmakers need to ensure the passage and enforcement of legislation that at the very least:
  • Fixes the PPACA to provide conscience protection for all health care providers, sponsors and insurers.
  • Enables religious ministries to continue to operate in accordance with their religious conscience to provide the kinds of educational, health care, and other social services to the vulnerable communities they serve.
  • Requires all entities receiving government funds to avoid discrimination on the basis of religious conscience.
A more generous disposition toward religion would be even better—better not only for religious citizens and ministries, but better for the most vulnerable Americans, for American families, and for the nation’s future. For a genuinely healthy national future—for a future in which America nurtures healthy children, personal and group initiative, and volunteerism, while avoiding stultifying bureaucracy and governmental totalism—it is imperative that the next president and next Congress have a firm and intelligent grasp on the real blessing that is our tradition of religious freedom.
Helen Alvaré is an associate professor at George Mason University School of Law and a senior fellow of the Witherspoon Institute.

Chairman Mooney Condemns Democrat Map

Congressional Redistricting Should Respect Traditional Boundaries, Give Fair Representation

ANNAPOLIS – In response to the map published on on September 19, a partisan Democrat-designed congressional map that outrageously gerrymanders the state of Maryland, Maryland Republican Party Chairman Alex Mooney made the following statement:

"This map represents a backroom deal and is an insult to the people of Maryland. Governor O'Malley and his stacked partisan Democrat committee ignored the people's plea to respect geographic boundaries and minority rights. Clearly the only goal of this Democrat map is to carve up the Western part of Maryland and defeat Republican Congressman Roscoe Bartlett," Mooney said. "County boundaries and communities of interest were not given their due regard in this map. As a result, this map further violates minority groups who have been traditionally underrepresented in the state’s congressional delegation," he continued.

"I challenge Governor O'Malley to live up to the 'One Maryland' talking point he uses during election years and denounce efforts to carve up and divide both the rural areas of our state and black communities to maximize the Democrats partisan advantage," concluded Mooney.

Dog Needs Good Home: UPDATE


Many have called and I think we picked a good home for him. I don't know if you remember or not, but my  mom was the one who went looking for Peppie (her other dog) and was attacked by a neighbors dog. Thank you for all you do.
Mr. Albero,

My mother passed away this week and we would like to find her 1 1/2 year old Chihuahua a good home. We can't take him and we don't want to take him to the pound. Maybe one of your readers would love to have him. Thank you for your time. Sorry I forgot my phone number 410-422-9851 or e-mail me at


In A Nutshell: Corporatocracy Has Replaced Capitalism
Capitalism Fixes Problems & Preserves Democracy: Capitalism is what we should be relying on to fix our problems. Capitalism has it’s own ecosystem, just like biology’s ecosystem. An economic ecosystem that weeds out the weak, has parasites that eat the failures and new bacteria that evolves and grows replacements for that which failed. A system that keeps everything in balance.
The problem is we are no longer a capitalistic society. What we were taught in school is now utter and absolute nonsense. Capitalism is a thing of the past.
As outlined in “It’s Not A Financial Crisis – It’s A Stupidity Crisis”, we created two back to back bubbles. The air out of the Tech Bubble was sucked up for fuel by our next stupidity crisis: The Housing Bubble.
Now, after the second Stupidity Crisis there isn’t a third bubble to inflate. If we still lived in a capitalistic environment the banks and financial institutions that created loans for folks who should have remained renters and then sold those loans as investments to pensions and countries would have been cleansed by capitalism’s ecosystem.
But that isn’t what happened.
In a very anti-capitalistic move the government decided that stupidity and criminal activity should be rewarded. I’d say they took our money, but it is worse, we didn’t have that much money. So they borrowed the money in our name. The loan has a variable rate. They borrowed so much money that our kids cosigned the loan. In fact, our kid’s future kid’s signed on the dotted line.
That is unequivocally immoral.

New Way To Herd Cows

Which Side Of The Fence?

If you ever wondered which side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test!
If a Republican doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one.
If a Democrat doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.
If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat.
If a Democrat is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.
If a Republican is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a Democrat is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.
If a Republican is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A Democrat wonders who is going to take care of him.
If a Republican doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Democrat's demand that those they don't like be shut down.
If a Republican is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.
A Democrat non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.
If a Republican decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it..
A Democrat demands that the rest of us pay for his.

A Brooke Mulford Update 9-26-11

Sorry for the delay in updating!  Fabulous news with all scans and tests.  The nodules and ditzel did not show up on the CT scan!  MIBG scan is clear as well.  She wasn't able to complete the Pulmonary Function Test (tough for a 6 year old to do).  Neuropsych baseline test results were all for the most part very good (she will get re-tested every 2 years to monitor any possible late cognitive issues from skull radiation).  Still waiting to hear back on some of the labs but everything that had come back was good.  We had a great time while we were up there at the Beyond Cancer event at CHOP Sunday and at the Camden Aquarium Monday. 
We are getting ready to head back up to NJ tonight.  She has eye doctor and ENT appts at CHOP on Monday (please pray that her Amblyopia has improved).

We will also be participating in the Parkway Run/Walk Sunday at the Four Seasons Hotel , One Logan Square, 18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia.  It is too late to sign up online but you can still sign up at the event.  Registration opens at 7:00am and the race starts at 8:30am.  Tell them you are with Team Brooke.  Brooke and I will be hanging out around the CHOP tent until the walk begins so come find us!  If you think you will be joining us email me at so I know to look for you.

PlanMaryland Is A Dream Come True For Bureaucrats

Gov. Martin O'Malley's statewide land-use initiative, PlanMaryland, employs soothing terms like "smart growth" and "sustainability" to lull Marylanders into accepting this ostensible effort to reduce sprawl. But it's nothing more than a power grab designed to replace land-use planning by local elected officials with micromanagement by unelected state bureaucrats in Annapolis.

Don't take our word for it. After reviewing the first draft of PlanMaryland released in April, the Maryland Association of Counties warned that it could "not support a plan that would impose a centralized state-controlled land use model" on member counties. The blowback forced O'Malley to issue a second draft and extend the public comment period to Nov. 7. Even with the extension, county officials statewide insist they need more time to review the proposal, especially since implementation details are conspicuously absent.

Western and rural counties are particularly concerned that this one-size-fits-all plan will stifle much-needed economic development in their communities and funnel their tax dollars to more densely populated areas. Their fears appear to be justified, since under PlanMaryland, O'Malley's Smart Growth Subcabinet will decide what is the highest and best use of all land within the state. That is an incredible amount of power to give to a small group of bureaucrats voters don't know and have no way of holding accountable.

O'Malley aides disingenuously claim that PlanMaryland is only meant to improve state and local coordination on land-use issues,and that local officials would still be free to approve new development. But Allegany County planning director Phil Hager points out"tremendous inaccuracies" in PlanMaryland maps, which do not parallel the maps prepared by local elected planning commissioners. Hager adds that state officials could not explain the discrepancies, leading him to characterize PlanMaryland as "the single largest intrusion upon local land use control" in Maryland history.

MACO concurs, noting that the second draft doesn't correct the main problem with the first: Under PlanMaryland, localities would be able to nominate certain areas within their boundaries as "Priority Funding Areas" -- where state resources would be targeted -- but the state would ultimately have the final say, leaving local elected officials to "participate only in an advisory and informational capacity."

It's easy to see where this top-down, Soviet-style, cookie-cutter central planning process is going in a state already known for its anti-business tax and regulatory policies. There's a good reason why land-use planning in Maryland has been the prerogative of local elected officials for more than two centuries, and there it should remain.

This issue has not gotten the attention it requires.  It is a very dangerous exercise in centralized land use planning that gives enormous power to the Governor's people to achieve their goals by doling out state funds to counties that are "cooperative".  Carroll County Commissioners have been the most vocal. particularly Richard Rothschild who has been traveling the country trying to wake up other local officials that this is part of a much wider effort stemming from UN Agenda 21.  Agenda 21 is a plan which basically seeks to reduce private property ownership and cram people into small livable areas.   And if you are unfamiliar with Agenda 21, read the second article that I have included.  Ellen Sauerbrey

OK To text From Bed? Survey Says Yes!

(CBS News)

A new Yahoo survey finds that more than half of adults say it's OK to text in just about any social situation - including during family dinners, weddings, parties - and even while in bed with someone else.

Heather Cabot, Yahoo Web life editor, pointed out on "The Early Show" that the statistics showed the lines were drawn across generational - not gender - lines.

Cabot said, when asked about texting on a date, 44 percent of men and women over 35 said it was acceptable, while in the 18-to-24 age range, only 25 percent said it was acceptable.

"We didn't ask if this was a first date," Cabot said. "I think that may have made a little bit of a difference."


Tis The Season

Chemical Explosion At University Of Maryland Lab

Acid burned several people at University of Maryland laboratory on Monday.

Prince George's responded to the Chemistry Building on the College Park campus shortly after noon.

A chemical reaction occured in the third floor laboratory, which sparked an explosion, according to Prince George's Fire spokesperson Mark Brady.

Two female students sustained first-degree burns and suffered superficial lacerations in the incident.

Public School Coaches Told Not To Participate In Prayer


Some football coaches are in trouble for something they did with their players. They said a prayer.
That has the school district taking action.

And the policy, while it may be the law, has plenty of people up in arms.

Every school district has a responsibility to follow the law, and separate private faith from public school. It can be a fine line at times. One crossed in Sumner County, it seems, when the coaches didn't say a word during a student-led prayer, but they did bow their heads.

In a town like Westmoreland, faith and football seem to matter.

"We're just respectful, God-fearing people up here," resident Tony Bentle said.