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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Politicians Get Wealthier As Those They Represent Get Poorer

In the past quarter-century, Congressmen have gone from super rich to super-duper rich, while their constituents have remained relatively poor. Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are doing quite well for themselves, raising their median net worth from $280,000 to $725,000 from 1984 to 2009. In the same span, the average net worth of American families has dropped from $20,600 to $20,500. The inflation-adjusted figures come from Panel Study of Income Dynamics from the University of Michigan.


Top 10 Healthiest New Year's Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions are a bit like babies: They’re fun to make but extremely difficult to maintain.

Each January, roughly one in three Americans resolve to better themselves in some way. A much smaller percentage of people actually make good on those resolutions. While about 75% of people stick to their goals for at least a week, less than half (46%) are still on target six months later, a 2002 study found.

Walmart Greeter Asks For Receipt, Customer Punches Her In The Face

On Christmas Eve in Batavia, N.Y., an elderly Walmart greeter asked a 26-year-old customer for the receipt for her electronics purchases. Instead, the customer allegedly punched her in the face and tried to flee. A mob of customers chased her and prevented her car from leaving the parking lot, and she's now in jail, charged with two counts of assault. Here's the unusual part: the customer had receipts for all of her purchases.


Feds Shut Down Bus Company That Operates In Md.

Double Happyness Travel an 'imminent hazard' to public safety

A bus company that served Baltimore has been shut down by federal transportation officials for being an "imminent hazard" to public safety.

Double Happyness Travel Inc., of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., was found in violation of regulations on driver fitness, drug and alcohol testing, unsafe driving and vehicle maintenance by inspectors for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The six inspections covered the period from June 24 to Nov. 18.


House Balance May Hinge On Court Rulings

The 2012 congressional elections are more than 10 months away, but some key votes already have been cast — and not by the electorate.

Judges, rather, are playing major roles in reshaping the House landscape this election cycle, as the courts in many states have ruled — or soon will — on disputed redistricting maps in several battleground states.

Democrats have won early-round court battles in Texas and California regarding congressional redistricting — a process conducted every 10 years based on census data that reflect changes in population. With more cases pending or expected in those and other key states such as Florida and New York, the party is in a good position to chip away at the Republicans’ 50-seat advantage in the House.

Political analysts say Republicans still aren’t in danger of losing control of the House, which they wrested from Democrats with the 2010 elections.

“Even though we’re still in the redistricting process, it looks like Democrats will gain House seats — just not the 25 they need in order to win the majority,” said Nathan L. Gonzales, deputy editor of the Rothenberg Political Report.


Botox: Taboo...or Do?

Recently, a girlfriend of mine tried Botox...and loved the results. At first blush, I couldn’t put my finger on anything in particular other than the fact that she looked great (really, really great). She sheepishly told me she’d decided to win the battle against her crows’ feet and fine lines via Botox, and, to my utter surprise I couldn’t believe how amazing and natural her skin looked (emphasis on “utter surprise” as I’m one of those who has a predisposition about Botox even though I’ve never tried it).


Saudi Highschool Textbook: Jews Need To Be Exterminated And Homosexuals Should Be ‘Put To Death’

Our own government officials justify hundreds of billions of dollars in expenditures and the lives of thousands of Americans on wars that they claim will spread democracy, yet it is clear that our ideologies of individuality, freedom of expression and freedom of religion are completely lost on these societies.


This Crystal-Encased Toilet Is Worth $130,000

Talk about toilet humor. The jokes keep coming to mind about reports of a Japanese toilet manufacturer adding 72,000 pieces of Swarovski cut crystal to a prized pedestal, now valued at about $130,000.
Manufacturer INEX isn’t actually selling its creation, nor is the company letting people try it out, but instead using it as a lure to attract customers to the Lixil interior fixture company in the Ginza shopping district in Tokyo.

Bunker Buster Bombs From US May Be Defective

Israel is seeking clarifications from the United States to ensure bunker buster bombs it recently purchased are not carrying defective fuses that could cause their premature detonation.

Last week the US settled a lawsuit against a defense contractor for allegedly supplying it with faulty fuses.

The laser-guided bomb, GBU-28, weighs about 2.5 tons and is reportedly capable of penetrating 30 meters of earth or alternatively 6 meters of concrete.

The bomb was initially developed in the 1990s to penetrate hardened Iraqi command centers located underground.

Israel ordered its first batch of the GBU-28 from the US in 2005 and reportedly received them a year later. In 2007 it asked the Pentagon for another batch of bombs but the delivery was delayed due to concern in Washington that Israel planned to use the bunker buster bomb to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, some of which are located in fortified bunkers.

In September, Newsweek reported the Obama administration had recently decided to authorize the delivery of 55 GBU-28 bombs as part of an aid package aimed at improving ties with Jerusalem.

There are now concerns in Israel that some of the bombs supplied to Israel over the years could have been supplied with defective fuses.


Perry Toughens Anti-Abortion Stance

OSCEOLA, Iowa -- In a move that cements his stature on the Republican Party's conservative wing, Texas Gov. Rick Perry confirmed to a pastor on Tuesday that he no longer supports abortion in any cases, including rape.
"You're seeing a transformation," Perry told Joshua Verwers, the pastor of the Full Faith Christian Center, at an event in nearby Chariton, Iowa. The event was part of the governor's ongoing effort to demonstrate his appeal to the Hawkeye State's Christian conservatives.

No More Paper U.S. Savings Bonds

An era comes to an end for the Treasury Department. After midnight Saturday, no more paper U.S. Savings Bonds. The ornate bonds have been a regular feature in the savings plans of millions of Americans since 1935. But Treasury has been planning to go all-electronic for years. Paper savings bonds purchased through payroll deductions ended in December 2010. Now individual sales will take place only at Treasury officials say the elimination of paper bonds will save $120 million over five years

NRG Cancels Wind Power Contract With Delmarva Power

NRG, the parent company of Bluewater Wind, cancelled its power purchase agreement Dec. 27 with Delmarva Power. Bluewater signed the long-term power purchase agreement with Delmarva Power in 2008 to provide Delaware customers with up to 200 megawatts of offshore wind energy.
Delmarva Power officials accepted the termination, which was allowed under the terms of the agreement, and said they would continue to support the state’s long-term renewable energy goals.
“Delmarva Power and NRG worked hard to see this project come to fruition,” said Gary Stockbridge, region president for Delmarva Power. “But the inability to secure a financing partner prevents us from moving forward.”


U.S. Customs And Border Protection Gets New Drone

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has taken delivery of a new drone aircraft. The Predator-B will be fourth to be flown out of CBP's National Air Security Operations Center in Sierra Vista, Ariz. The agency will use the plane to patrol the southwest border with Mexico. CBP operates a total of nine unmanned aircraft. Drone flights require special permission from the FAA. CBP officials say that in 12,000 hours of flights, drones have helped in the seizure of tens of thousands of pounds of illegal drugs. They've also aided in the arrest of 7,500 individuals.


ANNAPOLIS, MD (December 28, 2011) – Governor O’Malley today announced the appointment of Frank Michael Kratovil, Jr. to the District Court for Queen Anne’s County. Mr. Kratovil will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable John T. Clark, III.

“I am honored to appoint Frank Kratovil to the Queen Anne’s County District Court,” said Governor O’Malley. “His strong work ethic, dedication to justice, and years of experience will make him an excellent judge.”

Mr. Kratovil served as State’s Attorney in Queen Anne’s County from 2002 to 2009. Mr. Kratovil left his post after he was elected to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. Earlier in his career, Mr. Kratovil served as an Assistant State’s Attorney in both Queen Anne’s and Prince George’s Counties and as Deputy State’s Attorney in Kent County. His diverse legal background also includes experience in private practice, as a criminal justice advisor in the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention, and as a law clerk in the Public Defender’s Office for Prince George’s County and for the Honorable Darlene G. Perry on the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County. Mr. Kratovil graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1994.

Mr. Kratovil was nominated by the Trial Courts Judicial Nominating Commission. More information about the nominating commissions can be found at

Chicken Jerky Treats Sicken 350 Dogs

Reports of illnesses and deaths in dogs given chicken jerky treats have climbed to more than 350 following a November government warning about pet snacks made in China.


As Iraq War Ends, No Parade imminent

Americans probably won't be seeing a huge ticker-tape parade anytime soon, if ever, for troops returning from Iraq.


UPDATE: Memorial Service Thursday For Millsboro Man Killed In Lewes Crash

UPDATED STORY 12.28.11:  A memorial service for the 22-year-old Millsboro man killed in a one car crash on Route 24 near Peddler’s Village last week, will be held Thursday.
Delaware State Police say Nicholas Ventresca died at the scene of the crash on Friday, December 23.

Tolls Trump Taxes As Lesser Of Two Evils

Tolls trump taxes as the lesser of two evils in a new nationwide survey about transportation funding.


Pain Clinic Overprescribed Oxy: Prosecutor

A man who runs a pain management clinic in Chantilly, Virginia, has been charged with multiple counts related to the unlawful distribution of a controlled narcotic.

Prosecutors said that in one year, the pain clinic "Chantilly Specialists," run by Paul Boccone, wrote prescriptions for the distribution of 800,000 OxyCodone-based pills to 600 patients. OxyCodone is a poweful, controlled narcotic that can result in addiction and death if not properly applied.

Attorney for Boccone, John O. Iweanoge, II, says his client denies the allegations against him.

Boccone has operated his pain clinic in Chantilly since 2005, first on Parke Long Court, and then moving it to 4200 Lafayette Center Drive. Prosecutors said he made all the decisions on the day-to-day management of the clinic, and at times also saw patients there, referring to himself as Doctor Boccone.

What Boccone did not do, prosecutors said, was get a medical license, either in Virginia or any other state. Prosecutors said he had no medical qualifications, and had never received any medical education.


War As A Lifestyle By Butler Shaffer

Whenever I watch the Republican presidential debates, my mind is drawn to that important children’s book, The Emperor’s New Clothes. The six sock-puppets who have thus far managed to survive the musical-chairs comedy ballet wow Mr. and Mrs. Boobus with their visions of a violent, intrusive, policed, and war-loving America that equals, if not exceeds, what Barack Obama has been able to generate. It was but four years ago that John McCain choreographed his campaign around the lyrics "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran." That so few people were repulsed by such psychopathic utterances is but one of many symptoms of a society in moral, spiritual, and intellectual collapse. The domestic police-state so passively accepted by most Americans – and insisted upon by the voices of the political establishment – reminds me of the comment made by the Prince of Wales in the 1934 film, The Scarlet Pimpernel: "if a country goes mad, it has the right to commit every horror within its own walls."

As America continues its slide down the razor-blade of history into total collapse, a growing number of men and women – whose membership is most prominent among those under forty years of age – have decided to end the collective madness that engulfs their lives and the society in which they live. While octogenarian survivors of Tom Brokaw’s "greatest generation" cheer on the sock-puppets who promise an ever-more vicious and violent government should they be elected, those who envision a world grounded in peace and liberty have an alternative agenda. Like the sub-surface energies that erupt into expressions of "plate tectonics" (e.g., earthquakes, volcanoes), there is a life-force within nature that resists its own destruction. Those in charge of institutional abstractions, such as the corporate-state forces that dominate humanity, are aware that life is increasingly insistent upon its own self-directed nature. Institutions feed upon life and regard autonomous and spontaneous impulses as forms of entropy (i.e., energies unavailable for productive organizational purposes). In an effort to retain its anti-life nature, the established order responds with increasing levels of coercion, threats, and violence to keep its conscript herd intact.


Condoms For Porn Actors To Be On L.A. Ballot

A ballot initiative requiring Los Angeles porn actors to wear condoms has qualified to go before city voters in a presidential primary election in June, organizers said on Tuesday.
America's second-largest city is home to the multibillion dollar U.S. porn industry, which health advocates say is riddled with sexually transmitted diseases.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation said the city clerk certified the over 71,000 signatures it helped collect, far more than the 41,000 needed for the ballot initiative.

Putin Disses Protesters; Says They Are Seeking 'Brownian Motion'

Vladimir Putin has turned to deep physics to diss Russian protesters. The Christian Science Monitor explains:

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, during comments before his supporters on Tuesday, said protesters against his 12-year reign were seeking "Brownian motion." What was he talking about?

Mr. Putin was referring to a physics phenomenon first described by Scottish scientist Robert Brown in his 1827 paper "A brief account of microscopical observations made on the particles contained in the pollen of plants."

While observing pollen grains suspended in water, Mr. Brown found that the grains jiggled and bounced within the fluid in what he called "rapid oscillatory motion." He could not see any cause of their motion – they didn't appear to impact any other particles, and he ruled out currents within the water – but he was able [sic] use other substances to consistently replicate the phenomenon, which he dubbed "Brownian motion."

It wasn't until 1905 that the phenomenon was explained, by none other than Albert Einstein. The grains weren't jerking randomly in the water, he wrote, but rather were colliding with much smaller water molecules. As the molecules hit the grains, the grains would change direction, but since the water molecules were invisible, it would appear that the grains were jittering without cause. Einstein's discovery was seen as proof of the atomic theory of matter: that all matter is made of tiny particles, or atoms.


Christmas Dinner

Paul: 'I Wouldn't Send US Troops To Fight Nazis'

Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul's past statements are coming back to haunt him – and this time it's about the US' role in ending World War 2 and the Holocaust.

Following a controversial revelation by a former aide to the congressman, saying that Paul "wishes Israel didn't exist," another blogger said Tuesday that in 2009 Paul went on the record as saying that if he were the president of the United States during WWII he "wouldn't have risked American lives to end the Holocaust."

Journalist Jeffrey Shapiro posted a 2009 interview he held with the candidate, in which Paul clearly states that if it were up to him at the time, saving the Jews from annihilation in Europe would not have been a "moral imperative."

"I asked Congressman Paul: If he were president of the United States during World War II would he have sent American troops to Nazi Germany to save the Jews? And the Congressman answered: No, I wouldn't."

"I wouldn't risk American lives to do that. If someone wants to do that on their own because they want to do that, well, that’s fine, but I wouldn't do that," Shapiro wrote.

Shapiro added that he later contacted Eric Dondero, Paul's former top aide, who said that he had heard his boss make similar comments on various occasions.


Waters Introduces FCC Reform Bill

Would have prevented the departure of FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker to Comcast

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) has introduced an FCC reform bill that would have prevented the departure of FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker to Comcast earlier this year, and would follow the money in proceedings.

The bill, the FCC Merging Entities Regulatory Guidance and Ethical Reform (MERGER) Act of 2011, would authorize the FCC to require public disclosure of contributions recieved by any party that submits comments to a merger, rulemaking or adjudicatory proceeding.

It would also prevent FCC officials from accepting employment with a company within one year of presiding over a decision involving that company--which is what Baker did less than six months after voting to approve the Comcast–NBCU merger. Waters was a strong and vocal opponent of the deal.


Detectives Seek Information In Year Old Homicide

Location: Da’ Spot Dance Club, US Rt. 13 and Trussum Pond Road, Laurel, DE

Date of Occurrence: Friday, December 31, 2010 at 11:28 p.m.

Victim: Alfred Stanley, Hurlock, Maryland

Laurel, DE- Delaware State Police Homicide Unit detectives are seeking the public’s help in helping to solve a Laurel area homicide that occurred last New Year’s Eve.

The incident happened at approximately 11:28 p.m. on Friday, December 31, 2010 during a fight between a group of male subjects from Delaware and second group of male subjects from Maryland in the parking lot of Da’ Spot Dance Club in Laurel. During the fight, one of the subjects began firing rounds from a handgun striking the business owner, Alfred Stanley. Stanley was removed from the scene by responding EMS personnel and transported to the Peninsula Regional Medical Center located in Salisbury, Maryland. Alfred Stanley was pronounced dead as a result of his injuries on Sunday, January 2, 2011.

Homicide detectives have followed several leads in this case; however, have not been able to make an arrest at this time. Detectives have revealed that there were many people present in the parking lot of the club during the fight and are asking anyone who may have witnessed the shooting to come forward with information.

The Delaware State Police are asking anyone who may have any information in reference to this incident to contact Detective Mark Ryde at 302-741-2730. Callers may remain anonymous. Tips may also be submitted through Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or via the internet at

Tax Bill Set For Increasingly Rare Conference Committee

Last week’s tax fight in Congress was about many things — Social Security taxes, unemployment benefits and an oil pipeline — but House Republicans tried to make it into an even bigger fight over the institutional relevance of the House of Representatives itself.

In the end, they won a partial victory. House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, caved in to Senate demands and approved the upper chamber’s two-month tax-cut bill. In exchange, the Senate agreed to name negotiators for a conference committee to hash out a longer-term solution.

It will be the fifth bill to be sent through the conference committee this Congress, putting lawmakers on pace for the worst performance in modern history and underscoring how much has changed in Washington, where conference committees used to be standard.

Like most of the other major deals struck over the past decade, the two-month tax-cut agreement was written by the Senate — in this case by Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican.

Mr. Boehner initially blessed the deal, but his caucus argued that a two-month cut was bad policy and demanded that the House have a role in writing the final deal.

“Senator Reid is not king. He can’t tell us what to do here,” House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier, California Republican, said as his committee wrote the floor procedures that sought to force a conference committee.

Mr. Reid, though, refused to enter into negotiations until the House took away the end-of-year deadline for the tax cut’s expiration.

“Once the House passes the Senate’s bipartisan compromise to hold middle-class families harmless while we work out our differences, I will be happy to restart the negotiating process to forge a yearlong extension,” Mr. Reid said as the brinkmanship intensified.


Red Light, Speed Cameras Remain Controversial Even As Numbers Grow

In the 14 years since the Maryland legislature approved red light cameras, about 200 of the ticket-issuing machines have been installed in the state, according to a database compiled by AAA Mid-Atlantic. That doesn't include speed cameras, which are numerous in Maryland, but for which there is no comprehensive database.


How The GOP Tries To Transform America Into A Selfish, Souless Place

In the spirit of their self-centered mentor Ayn Rand, Republicans are trying to disfigure America so she resembles Pottersville, the 'bankers town' in "It's a Wonderful Life

In the iconic Christmas film, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” an angel offers the beleaguered main character, George Bailey, the stark choice between a hometown named for a cruel banker or one created by and for the middle class.The banker’s town, Pottersville, is filled with bars, gambling dens and despair. The people’s town of Bedford Falls is made of hope, hard working middle class families, and their homes financed by the Bailey Brothers Building & Loan.


MD Fourth-Grader Writes Up 'Kill List'

A “kill list” compiled by a student was discovered by administrators at Deale Elementary School in Anne Arundel County.

Hometown Annapolis first reported that administrators found a handwritten list of 35 people under the heading “kill list.” That heading was erased, and replaced with the words “people mean to me.”


Traffic Cameras Can Be Bad Deals For Local Jurisdictions, Study Says

Cameras that take pictures of motorists running red lights and speeding – currently located in 41 communities statewide – can be bad deals for the cities that install them, according to a report from PIRG. The report goes through many of the issues that states and communities have had with the traffic cameras issuing citations – and costing both motorists and communities dearly.


The Federal Reserve's Unauthorized Massive Bailout Of Europe (and Possibly Japan)

On Monday of this week, I posted a commentary by Ron Paul calling for the halt of a coming Federal Reserve bailout out of Europe (The Coming Fed Bailout of Europe Must Be Stopped!)

Now, beltarian insider Gerald O'Driscoll (former vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and later at Citigroup and now a senior fellow at the Cato Institute) warns, in WSJ, that the bailout that Ron Paul warned about has started, when one examines the latest Fed reports.

O'Drsicoll writes:

This Byzantine financial arrangement could hardly be better designed to confuse observers, and it has largely succeeded on this side of the Atlantic, where press coverage has been light.
Perhaps MSM is spending time on what Dr. Paul didn't write 20 plus years ago versus what he is actually writing now.

Here's O'Driscoll warning about what Dr. Paul spotted:

America's central bank, the Federal Reserve, is engaged in a bailout of European banks. Surprisingly, its operation is largely unnoticed here. [Except for Ron Paul-rw]


Oily: How A San Francisco Oil Spill Took Its Toll On Fish

How quickly have Americans forgotten about the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill? Fast enough that that last week BP launched an advertising blitz aimed at giving a “progress report” on the company’s cleanup efforts. It’s nothing new for the company—BP started bombarding the country with its widely derided “BP Cares” ads while the oil spill was still ongoing last year—and it hardly means BP is done fighting the government on responsibility for the spill.
The Interior Department has slapped BP with regulatory violation notices that will lead to fines related to the spill—fines BP says it will appeal. Still, I doubt BP would greenlight another set of ads unless it felt public attention had so waned on the spill that it wanted to get some credit by reminding Americans that it was still out there doing good work.


Preventive Care: It's Not Always Free

The health overhaul encourages prevention by requiring most insurance to pay for preventive care. But there are confusing exceptions.


Second IAF Strike In Gaza Targets Terror Cell

For the second time in several hours, the IAF struck late Tuesday evening a Global Jihad terrorist cell that was preparing to carry out a terror attack against Israelis.

The IDF Spokesperson said in a statement that the terrorists were struck down in a joint IDF-Israel Security Agency (ISA) operation. The statement added the terrorists were planning an attack along Israel’s border with Egypt.

One of the terrorists in the group was identified as Rami Daoud Jaber Kafarneh from Jabalia. Kafarneh, a former member of Hamas’ military wing, took part in recent rocket and mortar firing from Gaza toward Israel.

A second terrorist has been identified as Hazam Muhammad Saadi Alshaker from Beit Hanoun. Alshaker, according to the IDF statement, was part of a terror cell that operated in Gaza and planted explosives in the area. The statement said that the IAF scored direct hits against its targets.

“The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers, and will operate against anyone who uses terror against the state of Israel,” the statement added.

The attack came several hours after a pinpoint IAF airstrike in Gaza killed one Islamic Jihad terrorist and injured three others.


Seven Ravens Selected To Next Month's Pro Bowl

Rice, Leach, Yanda, Suggs, Lewis, Ngata and Reed named

The Ravens, who enter Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals as the No. 2 seed in the AFC, could be well-represented next month in the Pro Bowl with seven players being selected Tuesday for the game, including six as starters.

But count linebacker Terrell Suggs among the Ravens who have no desire to be in Honolulu on Jan. 29.


Top 10 Short-Lived Celebrity Marriages

Forget "till death do us part" — these celebrities couldn't even make it a year. In honor of Sinead O'Connor's 18 days of wedded bliss, TIME rounded up the 10 most ephemeral Hollywood unions

Marylanders Face Long Wait In Assessment Appeals

Delays can stretch for months, state officials say
The assessed value of Jack Becker's three-bedroom split-level home in Reisterstown dropped nearly $90,000 in the past five years. But in a bad economy, Becker still thought his assessment — and property taxes — were too high.

He filed an appeal to the state Department of Assessments and Taxation. It was denied. Then, Becker waited more than nine months for a hearing with a local appeals board, finally getting one in November. He still hadn't gotten the results of the hearing when he paid his tax bill in December.


Indoctrination Now Begins Earlier Than Many Of Us Expected

Everyone knows that children are easily influenced. Perhaps this is why the government has been so aggressive at "training" kids to walk in lockstep through the school system. But it seems that "Tonka" is helping to keep that ball rolling. While in Toys "R" Us just before Christmas, I saw this Tonka truck (picture below). I immediately began to think about the new S1867 bill and the National Gaurd troops patrolling New Orleans and those soon to be deployed in Camden, N.J. I thought....."I am shocked to hear of these things - but will my grandson be shocked?" Will my grandson and other kids his age be shocked to see the military policing the streets or police check points everywhere checking our "papers". If we keep giving them these types of toys, won't our kids grow up learning that police check points are just a normal part of life? They won't even know what a 4th amendment right is!! It will have been stripped from them long before they even knew they once had it!

Take a good look at this picture and decide if you would be willing to give this to your child or grandchild.

Home Values Fell 17% In Three Years, State Assessors Say

Notices mailed to owners Tuesday
Home values in Maryland communities reassessed by the state this year have fallen an average of 17 percent since 2008, a sizable drop but smaller than in the last two rounds of property evaluations.

Nine out of 10 residential properties that were reassessed lost value, the state Department of Assessments and Taxation said Tuesday. Some homes were more valuable because their owners renovated.


Clergymen Clash At Birthplace Of Jesus

A brawl has erupted between rival clergymen participating in an annual cleaning ritual at the church built at Jesus' traditional birthplace. Armenian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox clergymen screamed at each other and beat each other with broomsticks during Wednesday's cleanup inside the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem.


County Pulls Grant For MLK Breakfast

Go Here to read more.

Wicomico County Sheriff's Office Press Releases 12-28-11

Incident: Burglary
Date of Incident: 24 December 2011
Location: 800 block of Price Road, Salisbury, MD
Suspect: Pending

Narrative: On 24 December 2011
at 11:14 PM, a deputy from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office responded to a reported burglary in the 800 block of Price Road in Salisbury. The deputy learned that the homeowner returned just prior to calling the Sheriff’s Office to discover his rear sliding door had been smashed out, allowing entry into the residence. The unknown perpetrator(s) then proceeded to unwrap Christmas presents looking for something to steal. The perpetrators left with a watch set that was intended as a gift along with jewelry and cash from elsewhere in the residence.

The deputy processed the scene and initiated an investigation into this crime. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 410-548-4890 or Crime Solvers at 410-548-1776.

Charges: Burglary 1st Degree

Incident: Burglary Investigation
Date of Incident: 23 December 2011
Location: 300 block of Brookdale Drive, Salisbury, MD
Suspect: Pending

Narrative: On 23 December 2011
at 3:21 PM, a deputy responded to a residence in the 300 block of Brookdale Drive in Salisbury for a reported residential burglary. Upon arrival, the deputy met with the resident who informed the deputy that upon returning home the resident had discovered an open window that had not been left that way. The resident advised that upon entering his residence he discovered that an unknown perpetrator had entered and stolen items from within. The resident reported jewelry, household electronics and Christmas presents were missing.
The investigating deputy processed the scene and began an investigation. Anyone with information about this crime or the identity of the perpetrators is asked to contact the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office at 410-548-4891 or Crime Solvers at 410-548-1776.
Charges: Burglary 1st Degree

Incident: Assault
Date of Incident: 24 December 2011
Location: 6100 block of Steve Street, Salisbury, MD
Suspect: Edmond F. Cormier, 54, Salisbury, MD

Narrative: On 24 December 2011
at 11:29 PM, deputies from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office responded to a reported domestic dispute occurring at a residence in the 6100 block of Steve Street in Salisbury. Upon arrival, the deputies met with a female resident who stated that her live in boyfriend Edmond F. Cormier grabbed her by the hair and threw her out the door during an altercation. The
responding deputies noticed that Cormier appeared visibly intoxicated to the point where Cormier was having trouble standing. Cormier repeatedly insisted on yelling derogatory comments while outside which clearly caused a disturbance to the neighborhood on Christmas Eve.

The investigating deputy attempted to place Cormier under arrest but Cormier struggled against the deputy which forced the deputy to physically subdue Cormier.

The deputy transported Cormier to the Central Booking Unit where he was processed and taken in front of the District Court Commissioner.

After an initial appearance, the Commissioner released Cormier on Personal Recognizance pending a March 2012 court date.

Charges: Assault 2nd Degree Disturbance of the Peace Resisting Arrest

Incident: Possession of Marijuana
Date of Incident: 23 December 2011
Location: Beaglin Park Drive, Salisbury, MD
Suspect: Lane A. Miller, 21, Delmar, MD

Narrative: On 23 December 2011
at 11:45, a deputy from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office stopped a vehicle operated by Lane Miller of Delmar for an equipment violation on Beaglin Park Drive in the area of Old Ocean City Road in Salisbury. The deputy observed as the operator and sole occupant of the vehicle, Lane Miller, exited her vehicle and appeared to drop something on the ground in the process.

When the deputy inspected what she dropped, the deputy discovered a wooden marijuana smoking device that still held the remnants of that drug. Further search of the vehicle revealed an additional metal smoking device and a grinder all recently used due to their contamination by marijuana. Additionally a baggie containing what was recognized as marijuana was eventually found in Miller’s possession.

Miller was placed under arrest and transported to the Central Booking Unit where she was processed and taken in front of the District Court Commissioner. After an initial appearance the Commissioner released Miller on Personal Recognizance pending an April 2012 court date.

Charges: Possession of Marijuana
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Incident: Assault
Date of Incident: 25 December 2011
Location: 800 block of Snow Hill Road, Salisbury, MD
Suspect: Mark W. Hastings, 29, Salisbury, MD

Narrative: On 25 December 2011
at 7:32 PM, a deputy responded to a parking lot in the 800 block of Snow Hill Road for a reported domestic situation. Upon arrival, the deputy met with a female subject who informed the deputy that she became embroiled in an altercation with her boyfriend, Mark Hastings, inside a vehicle in the parking lot when Hastings bit her pinky finger. During the investigation, the deputy saw clear signs of injury on the victim’s finger. During the ensuing investigation, Hastings, who was visibly intoxicated, exited his vehicle and entered the vehicle of his mother who was at the scene. As this was contrary to the deputy’s previous instructions to Hastings, the deputy ordered Hastings out of the vehicle. When Hastings refused, the deputy had to assist him with an exit from the vehicle. Hastings continued to resist the deputy’s efforts to take him into custody which forced the deputy to physically subdue Hastings.

Hastings was placed under arrest and transported to the Central Booking Unit where he was processed and taken in front of the District Court Commissioner. After an initial appearance, the Commissioner detained Hastings in the Detention Center in lieu of $20,000.00 bond.

Charges: Assault 2nd Degree
Resisting Arrest
Failure to Comply

Former Fed VP Accuses Bernanke Of Bailing Out Europe Via Currency Swaps

The Federal Reserve's Covert Bailout of Europe

When is a loan between central banks not a loan? When it is a dollars-for-euros currency swap.

America's central bank, the Federal Reserve, is engaged in a bailout of European banks. Surprisingly, its operation is largely unnoticed here.

The Fed is using what is termed a "temporary U.S. dollar liquidity swap arrangement" with the European Central Bank (ECB). There are similar arrangements with the central banks of Canada, England, Switzerland and Japan. Simply put, the Fed trades or "swaps" dollars for euros. The Fed is compensated by payment of an interest rate (currently 50 basis points, or one-half of 1%) above the overnight index swap rate. The ECB, which guarantees to return the dollars at an exchange rate fixed at the time the original swap is made, then lends the dollars to European banks of its choosing.

Why are the Fed and the ECB doing this? The Fed could, after all, lend directly to U.S. branches of foreign banks. It did a great deal of lending to foreign banks under various special credit facilities in the aftermath of Lehman's collapse in the fall of 2008. Or, the ECB could lend euros to banks and they could purchase dollars in foreign-exchange markets. The world is, after all, awash in dollars.

The two central banks are engaging in this roundabout procedure because each needs a fig leaf. The Fed was embarrassed by the revelations of its prior largess with foreign banks. It does not want the debt of foreign banks on its books. A currency swap with the ECB is not technically a loan.

The ECB is entangled in an even bigger legal and political mess. What the heads of many European governments want is for the ECB to bail them out. The central bank and some European governments say that it cannot constitutionally do that. The ECB would also prefer not to create boatloads of new euros, since it wants to keep its reputation as an inflation-fighter intact. To mitigate its euro lending, it borrows dollars to lend them to its banks. That keeps the supply of new euros down. This lending replaces dollar funding from U.S. banks and money-market institutions that are curtailing their lending to European banks—which need the dollars to finance trade, among other activities. Meanwhile, European governments pressure the banks to purchase still more sovereign debt.


Authorities ID Victims In Santa Suit Shooting

GRAPEVINE, Texas - A 56-year-old suburban Dallas man facing marital and financial problems killed his estranged wife, two teenage children and three other family members on Christmas Day while dressed as Santa Claus before turning the gun on himself, authorities said Tuesday.
A police spokeswoman said Aziz Yazdanpanah died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound and the six others were shot to death.

Public Policy Polling: Ron Paul In The Lead

The first post-Christmas poll is out and it was conducted by Public Policy Polling, a group I consider the most accurate pollsters in the country. PPP writes:

The last week and a half has brought little change in the standings for the Iowa Republican caucus: Ron Paul continues to lead Mitt Romney by a modest margin, 24-20. Newt Gingrich is in 3rd at 13% followed by Michele Bachmann at 11%, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum at 10%, Jon Huntsman at 4%, and Buddy Roemer at 2%.

Paul's strength in Iowa continues to depend on a coalition of voters that's pretty unusual for a Republican in the state. Romney leads 22-20 with those who are actually Republicans, while Paul has a 39-12 advantage with the 24% who are either independents or Democrats. GOP caucus voters tend to skew old, and Romney has a 34-12 advantage with seniors. But Paul's candidacy looks like it's going to attract an unusual number of younger voters to the caucus this year, and with those under 45 he has a 35-11 advantage on Romney. The independent/young voter combo worked for Barack Obama in securing an unexpectedly large victory on the Democratic side in 2008 and it may be Paul's winning equation in 2012.

Paul continues to have much more passionate support than Romney. 77% of his voters are firmly committed to him, compared to 71% for Romney. Among voters who say their minds are completely made up Paul's lead expands to 7 points at 28-21. If Paul's lead holds on through next Tuesday it appears he'll have won this on the ground- 26% of voters think he's run the strongest campaign in the state to 18% for Bachmann and 10% for Santorum with just 5% bestowing that designation to Romney. There's also an increasing sense that Paul will indeed win the state- 29% think he'll emerge victorious with 15% picking Romney and no one else in double digits....


Maryland May Soon Legalize Sale of Marijuana For Medical Use

As the Maryland General Assembly prepares to convene in just a few days - there is already legislation on the table for the legalization of marijuana use.

HB-15 being proposed by Maryland Delegate Green would allow for such use.


Bridge Joint Repair Will Require Southbound Lane Closures on Route 1 near Smyrna
Smyrna -- WHEN: Monday, January 9 through Friday, January 13, hours of lane closure from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., pending weather.

WHERE: Route 1 southbound (Bridge 2-918S over Big Oak Road) between Exit 114 and Exit 104, southeast of Smyrna

WHAT: DelDOT's maintenance crews will be repairing the bridge joints.

Most Rugged iPhone 4/S Cases

So you work in a potentially hazardous environment for your phone, and you just upgraded to the iPhone 4 or 4S recently? There are plenty of professions that can seem like another day at the office for you, but might be a cracked or broken phone waiting to happen. Construction, emergency services, corrections and law enforcement, HVAC, plumbing, manufacturing, the list goes on. From personal experience, it is very well worth it to invest in a good case for your phone to protect it from bumps, bruises, splashes, and falls. This list highlights the top 20 most rugged cases for the iPhone 4 and 4S. They can be a bit pricey, but will pay for themselves the within the first couple drops from a desk or slippery hand.

A personal end note, I have the iPhone 3GS which I paid $20 for (contract with AT&T). The next day, I went out and spent $45 on the OtterBox Defender Series. It has been dropped dozens of times, been thoroughly showered with CO2/water, rained on, fallen down stairs, etc. When I take the phone out of the case to clean it, it still looks like new. I would definitely recommend this case, and it is being made for each progressive generation of iPhones.

Feel free to chip in your thoughts and experiences with various iPhone/Smartphone cases and which ones you would and wouldn't recommend.

Mike's Tech Service

Pitfalls New Bloggers Should Avoid

You've followed your favorite blogs for years and are convinced you can do just as well. With nothing holding you back except for lingering insecurities, you're prepared to try your hand at blogging. If you want the effort to turn into an enjoyable and possibly profitable hobby, there are things you'll need to keep in mind as you get started.


Libertarianism And Americanism

Given that in the main the American political system is still the closest to protecting varieties of individual liberty – regarding speech, commerce, religion, due process, etc. – most of those who peddle political ideas want to hitch their wagon to the ideas of the American Founders. Socialists, conservatives, populists, agrarians and even communists have laid claim to being the proper carriers of the American political flag. Libertarians, of course, are no different. They hold that it is their political philosophy that most fully realizes the vision first put into practice by the American Founders and Framers. And with their current role in America's political life, it would be useful to see if they or the others are right.

Why would a socialist think the same thing? Or a conservative or populist, let alone a communist?

Socialists tend to believe that the American Founders advocated egalitarianism, first and foremost. They focus on the paramount idea in that document that "all men are created equal." Conservatives, in turn, consider their position to be validated by the Founders and Framers in light of how they derived their political theory from a study of history and the thoughts of numerous influential political philosophers and theorists. This confirms the conservative notion that to do nation building properly, one must consult tradition, history and custom, not concoct ideas and ideals de novo. Populists, of course, focus on the democratic elements of the American political tradition, those that relate to how every citizen has a right to influence public policy. Never mind the limits imposed by, say, the Bill of Rights. What counts is mass participation, the "will of the people." Agrarians will insist that Jefferson & Co., were mostly promoting the special interest of the landed gentry. And communists will argue that the American system is simply a historical precursor to the ideal community in which a nation becomes a family of equals.



Excellent truthful article from the DesMoines Register. Amazing how well a non-mainstream media journalist can stick to the facts and generate a worthwhile piece of reporting. The clueless lying smear artists on CNN, CNBC, Fox and the NYT should observe how journalism is supposed to be done. Their corporate hit jobs on Ron Paul are a disgrace and further degrade their image around the world. The mainstream media has become a joke. Young people across the land ignore the MSM. They have become obsolete, but they don’t know it yet.

Leadership profile: Ron Paul’s policy vision is consistent, clear (part 3 in a series)

Mary Stegmeir

A mix of tenacity, steadfast ideals and prescient economic predictions has transformed U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas from a quorum of one in Congress to a recognized leader of the crusade to rein in the federal government’s reach and spending. The libertarian-leaning Paul, 76, doesn’t claim party insider status like Newt Gingrich or executive experience like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Supporters say his political clout lies in the clarity and consistency of his policy vision.

“Up until now, I think many would say he was the loneliest man in the House of Representatives,” said Nick Gillespie, editor in chief of the online platforms of Reason, a libertarian magazine. “But there are so many examples of where politics has now kind of caught up to where he’s been for quite some time.”

•See 140 photos of Ron Paul campaigning in Iowa.
The most prominent illustration: Paul’s recruitment of 320 legislators from both sides of the aisle to co-sponsor his 2009 bill calling for the first-ever audit of the Federal Reserve.

Concerns about the U.S. monetary system had prompted the 12-term congressman to first run for office in the 1970s. Starting in 1983, he repeatedly introduced legislation calling for an audit of the Fed before finally gaining its passage two years ago.

The resulting examination, conducted by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, revealed that the Fed made $16 trillion in loans to American and foreign banks and businesses during the 2008 economic crisis and lacked sufficient protocols to address conflicts of interests.

Back in 2002, he also used his theories about the Fed’s operations to predict the 2007 housing bubble, a trigger of the subsequent global recession.

Paul’s views on sound money policy were seen before 2007 as “a little nuts — conspiracy theory sort of stuff,” Gillespie said.

Today, Paul chairs the Congressional Domestic Monetary Policy Subcommittee and is joined by a chorus of lawmakers from both parties calling for reforms at the central bank.

And, after America’s decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, more of Paul’s Republican brethren show respect for his noninterventionist foreign policy.

“While he certainly is very independent, he’s also someone that people pay attention to,” said Ohio representative and former Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich. “He’s someone whose credentials do speak on the issues of our time, and, in many cases, he’s been borne out to have been right.”


Gingrich Puts A Price On His Family Values : He Sheltered His $4-Million Book Bonanza From His Struggling, Non-Trophy Ex-Wife.

Newt Gingrich on his first wife, Jackie Battley: "She's not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of the President. And besides, she has cancer."

The news that Newt Gingrich will receive $4 million from Rupert Murdoch's publishing house must have been greeted with dismay by his former wife, Jacqueline, down in Carroll County, Ga. Newt had pulled a fast one. It was only nine months ago that she consented to the congressman's request for an amendment to their divorce decree that bars her from claiming additional funds due to an increase in his earnings.
Not to be too harsh on Newt, it must be terribly difficult balancing pro-family values with a commitment to a Darwinian survival of the fittest in the marketplace. Newt the congressman-author is a winner in life's sweepstakes, Jacqueline the schoolteacher-mother is a loser, and that must be the way God and/or Adam Smith intended it.

December Was A Banner Month - For State Auditors

Maryland officials will joyfully welcome the new year - on the assumption that January cannot possibly bring a worse spate of stories about state government than December.

Let's review this month's stories in The Capital, many of which featured the word "audit":

A four-year audit found that the state Office of Personnel Services and Benefits stockpiled nearly 10 times the amount in bank accounts that it was authorized to keep, failed to establish adequate controls over nearly $35 million in cash receipts in 2010, and didn't safeguard information on state employees, including Social Security numbers and dates of birth.

The new director of the state Child Support Enforcement Administration promised that he'll vastly improve the situation found by state auditors, who said this year that the department had left more than $1.7 billion in child support uncollected. The agency, auditors said, had failed to use available enforcement tools, such as garnishing wages, seizing bank accounts and suspending occupational licenses.


Little Ava

Last week there was a horrific accident in Ocean City involving an infant child named Ava. Her Aunt is keeping the public aware of her condition for those who might be interested HERE.

How Long Should You Expect To Wait For Refunds From Online Retailers?

We are now three days into the official Holiday Returns & Exchanges Season, and while those shoppers who paid a little more — and put on pants — to go shopping at bricks-and-mortar stores, it's usually just a matter of waiting in line to get your refund. But for gift-givers who did their buying online this year, that wait for a refund could be anywhere from a few days to several weeks.


Keeping Students From The Polls

Next fall, thousands of students on college campuses will attempt to register to vote and be turned away. Sorry, they will hear, you have an out-of-state driver’s license. Sorry, your college ID is not valid here. Sorry, we found out that you paid out-of-state tuition, so even though you do have a state driver’s license, you still can’t vote.


Trial By Media: The Justice System No One Wants You To Know About

Remember Mike Nifong? Sure. He's the sleazebag former district attorney in the Duke University lacrosse team's rape scandal back in 2006. He made himself a short-lived hero by agreeing to prosecute members of the Duke Lacrosse team for allegedly raping an African-American exotic dancer the team had hired for a party.

But Nifong, hellbent on winning re-election, forgot that he was an officer of the court. He went public with a series of accusations that later turned out to be untrue; he exaggerated and intensified racial tensions; he unduly influenced the Durham police investigation; he tried to manipulate potential witnesses; he refused to hear exculpatory evidence prior to indictment - that regulations on the conduct of an identification exercise were breached by failure to include "dummy" photographs, that he had never spoken directly to the alleged victim about the accusations and that he made misleadingly incomplete presentations of various aspects of the evidence in the case (including DNA results).

He was dismissed from his job and later disbarred.

Or how about federal prosecutor William Welch, and his deputy chief, Brenda Morris, who convicted the late Sen. Ted Stevens - and helped their own cause by withholding evidence from the defense that could have helped the defendant.

Or there's Richard Convertino, the lead prosecutor in the so-called Detroit Sleeper Cell terrorism case. He was removed from the case on suspicion that he allegedly failed to turn over photographic evidence to the defense.

These acts and alleged acts by prosecutors all qualify as prosecutorial misconduct. There are hundreds of such cases in our justice system every year. Very few of them ever get such high visibility. In fact, most abuses of this kind probably go unnoticed and unreported. In the three cases referenced above, only Nifong lost his law license. The others did not.

But, since 9/11, there has been another kind of misconduct growing. It usually takes place outside the courtroom and is a favorite of politicians of both parties, especially if they are running for re-election.


Amazing Clock

You've never seen a clock like this one HERE.

93-Year-Old Tennessee Woman Who Cleaned State Capitol For 30 Years Denied Voter ID

A 93-year-old Tennessee woman who cleaned the state Capitol for 30 years, including the governor’s office, says she won’t be able to vote for the first time in decades after being told this week that her old state ID failed to meet new voter ID regulations.

Thelma Mitchell was even accused of being an undocumented immigrant because she couldn’t produce a birth certificate:

Mitchell, who was delivered by a midwife in Alabama in 1918, has never had a birth certificate. But when she told that to a drivers’ license clerk, he suggested she might be an illegal immigrant.

Thelma Mitchell told WSMV-TV that she went to a state drivers’ license center last week after being told that her old state ID from her cleaning job would not meet new regulations for voter identification.


Gun Sales At Record Levels, According To FBI Background Checks

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- December holiday shoppers were not just interested in buying the hottest electronics and toys -- they also were purchasing record numbers of guns, according to the latest FBI figures on background checks required to buy firearms. With a few days left in December, the FBI reports the number of background checks has already topped the previous one-month record -- set only in November -- of 1,534,414 inquiries by gun dealers to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System also known as NICS. Almost half a million checks were done in just the last six days before Christmas.


Wicomico Recreation Announces Community Yard Sale

Make room in your house and fill your wallet at Wicomico Recreation, Parks & Tourism's Community Yard Sale. Tables and booths are available for this indoor mega-sale, slated for Saturday, January 7th from 7am to 12pm at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center.

Tables are available at $15 for a 30"x72" size. Booths are also available at $40 for a 10' space with three tables. Set-up for those renting tables or booths will begin at 4am on Saturday morning. Reserve your table or booth at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center Box Office (500 Glen Ave. Salisbury, MD), online at (online fee may apply) or by phone at 410-548-4911.

Those interested in shopping at the Shore's largest yard sale can do so for just $2 at the door. Children under 12 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Proceeds from the sale will benefit Wicomico Recreation.

Sexual Assaults Reported On Rise At U.S. Military Academies

Washington (CNN) -- Sexual assaults at the nation's military academies increased sharply in the last academic year, according to a new report from the Department of Defense. Accounts of sexual assault rose by nearly 60 percent during the 2010-2011 academic program year.

A total of 65 reports involved cadets and midshipmen compared to a total of 41 reports in the prior year. While the Defense Department was unable to cite definitive causes for the increase, the report did say efforts by the academies to encourage victims to report incidents of sexual assault could have played a role in the swell of cases.


January 16th: "Occupy The Federal Reserve"

The “Occupy the Dream” coalition has called for a National Day of Action on Martin Luther King Day – Monday, January 16, 2012 – when they will “Occupy the Federal
Reserve,” in multiple cities nationwide, focusing attention on the gross injustice visited upon the 99% by the financial elite.

Indeed, occupying the Fed has been a large part of the Occupy movement from day one.


Fill In The Blank 12/28/11

When I grow up I want to be ______.

A Libertarian Christmas

Libertarians always seem to make the most sense. Why are liberals and conservatives so nonsensical? It must be the only way they can rationalize their interventionist government “solutions” to every ill in society. They believe they are smarter than the average person and can run their lives for them better than they can.

The Top Ten Things Santa Claus Forgot To Give Me

By: Doug Bandow

Santa Claus came and went. Truth be told, I’m a bit disappointed. He didn’t leave me even one of my ten favorite gifts. I guess I have to wait another year. Maybe after next year’s election Santa will be more forthcoming.

Top of my list is for Americans to stop confusing Uncle Sam with Santa Claus. The idea of some rich guy from far away showing up to fulfill one’s most devout desires is really quite attractive. When people expect the government to do the same things quickly get ugly—and quite expensive. No wonder economist Lawrence Kotlikoff figures that we face total debts and unfunded liabilities totaling some $211 trillion, 14 times America’s annual GDP. We’ve been racking up the red ink in the belief that someone else would pay the bill.

Next, I wish the people of the world would stop confusing Uncle Sam with Joan of Arc. It seems everyone everywhere expects America to show up and save them. The South Koreans desire to be defended from the North Koreans. The Japanese want protection from China. The Afghans in government want to keep the Taliban out of government. The Europeans expect Americans to buy the expensive weapons necessary to allow them to take credit for tossing out a North African dictator. The Israelis insist that the U.S. bomb their enemies. And so it goes.


Zookeeper: Polar Bear Cub Will Fare Better Than Knut

Bottle-fed Siku is gaining weight, ‘will grow up in a different environment’

As his more than 1 million YouTube fans can attest, polar bear Siku’s main job these days is to be un-bear-ably adorable as he rolls around on his back, sucks a handler’s finger, and takes long, leisurely naps with his tongue hanging out.
But the little 5-week-old Internet sensation has some serious business in his future — serving as an ambassador-at-large for his wild polar bear brethren, whose population is shrinking right along with the sea ice that provides their hunting grounds. In fact, his name means “sea ice” in the Inuit language Inupiat.

Fruitland Police Department Press Releases 12-28-11

DATE & TIME: Wednesday December 21, 2011 @ 2150 hours

INCIDENT: Possession of CDS-Not Marijuana
Possession of CDS-Marijuana/Paraphernalia

LOCATION: Fruitland Intermediate School

CASE NO.: 2011-1510

PERSON(s) CHARGED: Ross A. Perim
William P. Simons

AGE: Both 18

ADDRESS: Salisbury, Maryland and Selbyville, Delaware

CHARGES: Possession of CDS-Not Marijuana (Amphetamine)
Possession of CDS Paraphernalia
Possession of CDS-Marijuana

DISPOSITION: Released to custody of Central Booking at WCDC

On the above date and time a Fruitland Officer was on patrol and observed a vehicle parked in the parking lot of the Intermediate School, while no school functions were being held. The vehicle was also parked in a Handicapped Only space and was not displaying a placard or proper tag. Upon contact with the vehicle occupants, the officer detected the odor of Marijuana emanating from the vehicle and observed that the driver was so nervous he could not speak enough to answer simple questions. A Probable Cause Search was conducted and Marijuana was located in the vehicle and in the driver’s possession. The passenger was also found to be in possession of a suspected Schedule II Amphetamine. Both suspects were arrested and transported to WCDC without incident.

DATE & TIME: Thursday December 22, 2011 @ 1940 hours

INCIDENT: Strong Arm Robbery

LOCATION: Ogle Avenue

CASE NO.: 2011-1503

PERSON(s) CHARGED: 1) Tajh D. Smith / 2) Juvenile Male

AGE(s): 18 / 17

ADDRESS: Fruitland, Maryland

CHARGES: Robbery (Strong Arm)
Assault 2nd

DISPOSITION: Adult released to custody of Central Booking at WCDC
Juvenile to custody of Department of Juvenile Services

On the above date and time Fruitland Officers responded to the 400 block of Ogle Avenue for a reported robbery of a delivery driver. Upon arrival, officers learned that an order was placed for a food delivery and the caller provided an address for a vacant house. Upon delivery, the driver was assaulted and he was robbed of the food that he was attempting to deliver. The investigation led to the immediate arrest of a male juvenile and later the above named adult suspect. The juvenile remains in custody of DJS and the adult suspect was released to the custody of WCDC. Further charges forthcoming as the investigation continues to identify other suspects involved.

DATE & TIME: Friday December 23, 2011 @ 0257 hours

INCIDENT: 1st Degree Assault

LOCATION: Green Street

CASE NO.: 2011-1515


AGE: 31

ADDRESS: Salisbury, Maryland

CHARGES: Assault 1st
Assault 2nd
False Imprisonment
Reckless Endangerment
Concealed Dangerous Weapon (Wear and Carry)

DISPOSITION: Released to custody of Central Booking at WCDC

On the above date and time Fruitland Officers responded to the 300 block of Green Street for a reported assault. Upon arrival officers learned that the above named suspect forced his way into a home and attempted to smother and choke a female victim while refusing to let her up. The victim was finally able to free herself and call 911. The suspect was placed under arrest and was found to have a double bladed knife concealed in his pants. The suspect was transported to WCDC without further incident.

It Doesn't Look Like The Earl Campbell, Charlie & OCPD Story Is Going Away Any Time Soon

While some feel the story about an Officer and his K-9 is getting old, the Main Stream Media wants to keep it alive to sell papers and defend Police Chief Bernadette DiPino.

The Anti Albero Bloggers have enjoyed sending me anonymous comments with links back to their stories defending the Chief as well but I refuse to go there as it has been almost 2 years since I've visited their Sites.

Nevertheless, Police Officers continue to send in comments and letters to the editor on a regular basis, clearly bothered by being told there is a gag order on them and removing their first amendment rights.

Here's what I find interesting. A gag order would only be put in place if there's something to hide. I have to agree with one Officer, why would they sell a $10,000.00 K-9 for $1.00 IF the animal wasn't truly injured and in need of retirement? Two OCPD officials stated on the record that they had to see official documents from a Veterinarian before they would allow such a retirement. Then, (of course) I made the statement some time ago about the possibility of the OCPD breaking the law, (or at least abusing their powers) by calling every Veterinarian in a tri-state area to find out if a surgery was done on an animal that was no longer theirs.

What bothers me more than anything is the INSIDERS making contact with Earl Campbell telling him what clothes his Daughter was wearing that day. The next was another INSIDER telling Mr. Campbell the posters that are hanging on his Daughter's walls in her bedroom.

They have done everything in their powers to intimidate this man and his Family, to a point in which they had to leave town for the safety of their children. Are you reading any of this in the Daily Times? No! Why, because all they care about is selling newspaper, at whatever expense that might be.

So when you hear there needs to be an investigation into this matter, it's true and in my honest opinion it should happen. Earl Campbell was not fired from the OCPD. He chose to resign. Out of respect for a man in blue, has the BROTHERHOOD changed in such a way you're only remembered when your ON the force? When you ABUSE your power, one would think it would be for the SAFETY of one of your own, not to attack someone who chose to do what he thought was right and in the best interest of his Partner.

The man stood his ground because he felt he was right. Should the local media make every attempt to bash this man and defame his Family in the hopes of intimidating them and shutting them up? It reminds me of the old Tilghman Administration.

I have to wonder, what will newer Officers think when they see all of this going on. I know I wouldn't want to be in that business if I knew my BROTHERS and SISTERS would turn on me simply because I made a decision similar to Earl Campbell's.

Then to be forced to keep my mouth shut on a matter in which NO CRIME was committed would make me rethink the whole law enforcement issue. One would think Police Officers are in place to protect us from those breaking the law. Can someone please tel me/us what laws have been broken here?

In closing, why won't the Ocean City Town Council allow a meeting with Earl Campbell? Everyone wants to see a receipt from the Veterinarian and Campbell has agreed to bring such documents IF the Council will allow the meeting. It would seem to me, (ESPECIALLY NOW) that they do NOT want the public to see the bill from the Veterinarian because it would put a black eye on the OCPD. Yet the MSM wants to go after Campbell instead.

There are several unanswered questions still out there, ALL of which the Daily Times have conveniently ignored. The only gossip site out there is

What Government Really Is

A theory should explain something without reference to something else. That is, a metaphor doesn’t work. It’s just a description. If you say that government is a kind of ‘social contract,’ you are merely describing how it seems to you…or what you think it might be comparable to.

Our theory is that government is a natural phenomenon, an expression of power relationships, in which some people seek to dominate others by force. These dominators gather ‘insiders’ together so that they can take money, power and status away from other people, the ‘outsiders.’

Many people think that government provides some service. That is true, but it is incidental. Governments often deliver the mail. But they don’t have to. They would still be governments even if they didn’t control the Post Office. And what if they didn’t have a department of inland fisheries, or a program to teach retarded democrats to count to 20? They would still be in the government business…and still have their helicopters, chauffeurs and expense accounts. But if they lost control of the police or the army it would be an entirely different matter. Force is the essence of government, not a decorative detail. Without armies and police, they would no longer be governments. It is “from the barrel of a gun,” as Mao put it, that political power projects itself.