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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Foreclosure Crisis: A Government In Denial

The Federal Reserve sent a warning shot that housing is the greatest threat to the economy. The government should take note.

As we start the New Year, the executive branch and Congress continue to pretend the gravest risk to our economy and social stability does not exist: the ongoing foreclosure crisis. The financial crisis began with the housing crisis and it will not end until we resolve housing.

Government policymakers who seemingly ignore this basic fact are leading the nation to another potential catastrophe.

This past week, a number of important events occurred in Washington, including important recess appointments by President Obama. However, the most noteworthy event did not make front page news: the Federal Reserve’s (apparently) unsolicited memo to the committees of Congress that oversee financial services warning of the dangers the current housing market poses for the economy.


Man Allegedly Stabbed To Death By Own Family Member After Being Mistaken For Intruder In Denver Home

A member of a Littleton family was mistaken for an intruder and stabbed to death on Saturday night in a retirement community. 7News reports that an unidentified person came into a home in Littleton around 11:45 p.m. Saturday night, but another person that was in the home thought an intruder had entered the home and stabbed the person multiple times.
The mistaken intruder entered through the front door,according to 9News, because it was apparently common for him to visit his family's home to which he had his own key.

I Lost My Bag Full Of Cash, Man Is Nice Enough To Return It Three Years Later

Rebecca lost a bag chock full of cash, credit cards and camera equipment on a dirt road in Mississippi three years ago. So she was figuring she probably wouldn't be getting that back, ever — after all, who finds a bag of cash and returns it to the rightful owner years after they find it? Turns out one man is just that kind of good Samaritan.

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U.S. to Force Drug Firms To Report Money Paid To Doctors

WASHINGTON — To head off medical conflicts of interest, the Obama administration is poised to require drug companies to disclose the payments they make to doctors for research, consulting, speaking, travel and entertainment.
Many researchers have found evidence that such payments can influence doctors’ treatment decisions and contribute to higher costs by encouraging the use of more expensive drugs and medical devices.

An Ignored 'Disparity'

With all the talk about "disparities" in innumerable contexts, there is one very important disparity that gets remarkably little attention – disparities in the ability to create wealth. People who are preoccupied, or even obsessed, with disparities in income are seldom interested much, or at all, in the disparities in the ability to create wealth, which are often the reasons for the disparities in income.

In a market economy, people pay us for benefiting them in some way – whether we are sweeping their floors, selling them diamonds or anything in between. Disparities in our ability to create benefits for which others will pay us are huge, and the skills required can develop early – or sometimes not at all.

A recent national competition among high school students who create their own technological advances turned up an especially high share of such students winning recognition in the San Francisco Bay Area. A closer look showed that the great majority of these Bay Area students had Asian names.

Asian Americans are a substantial presence in this region but they are by no means a majority, much less such an overwhelming majority as they are among those winning high tech awards.

This pattern of disproportionate representation of particular groups among those with special skills and achievements is not confined to Asian Americans or even to the United States.

It is a phenomenon among particular racial, ethnic or other groups in countries around the world – the Ibos in Nigeria, the Parsees in India, the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, Germans in Brazil, Chinese in Malaysia, Lebanese in West Africa, Tamils in Sri Lanka. The list goes on and on.


5 Sneaky Fees To Avoid

Some people clip coupons, drive to discount stores and scour their budgets to save money, but there are actually little things in plain sight that chip away at your bank account. Your GalTime Consumer Watchdog teamed up with a very well-known watchdog, Fox Business Network anchor Gerri Willis, to warn you about sneaky fees that you should be on the lookout for in 2012. 


How Bad Will Things Get In The U.S.?

Following up on my warning that we are surrounded in the United States, Doug Casey warns on how bad things might get:

To sum up the situation, given its financial condition and the political forces working to worsen it, the US government is facing a completely impossible and irremediable situation...

Is there any chance that the US government can reform and go back to a sustainable basis at this point? I'd say no. Its descent started in earnest with the Spanish-American War in 1898, when it acquired its first foreign possessions (Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, etc). It accelerated with the advent of the income tax and the Federal Reserve in 1913. It accelerated further with World War I, when the government took over the economy for 18 months. The New Deal and World War II made the state into a permanent major feature in the average American's life. The Great Society made free food, housing and medical care a feature. The final elimination of any link of the dollar to gold in 1971 ensured ever-increasing levels of currency inflation. The Cold War and a series of undeclared wars (Korea, Viet Nam, Afghanistan and Iraq) cemented the military in place as a permanent focus of the government. And since 9/11, the curve has gone hyperbolic with the War on Terror. It's been said that war is the health of the state. We have lots more war on the way, and that will expand the state's spending. But the Greater Depression will be an even bigger drain, and it will likely destroy the middle class as an unwelcome bonus.


Is It A Bad Idea To Friend Co-Workers On Facebook? How About Your Boss?

It’s nice to have a friendly work environment. But in some cases, “work friends” shouldn’t be Facebook friends. Why not? A status update published on a Tuesday night can easily turn into office gossip on Wednesday morning. Even worse: Co-workers and managers could take you less seriously, you could be skipped over for promotions, and you might find yourself first in line when layoffs occur, all based on your activity on Facebook.

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Bennett Middle School Letter Of Intent---NO !

The Bennett Middle School letter of intent is downed by a 4 to 3 vote.

Votes As Follows:

Gail Bartkovich-No
Matt Holloway- Yes
Sharee Sample Hughes - Yes
John Hall- Yes
Stevie Prettyman- No
Bob Culver - No
Joe Holloway- No

More To Come......

Divers Blast Rescue Hole In Italian Cruise Ship

Giglio, Italy (CNN) -- Divers trying to locate survivors of the Costa Concordia cruise ship accident used explosives to blow a hole in the hull of the vessel to allow access for search-and-rescue teams, Italian Navy officials said Tuesday.

A total of 28 people remain missing following the wreck, which led to six deaths, Italian officials said Tuesday.

The list includes 14 Germans, six Italians, including a crew member, four French people, two Americans, and one each from Hungary, India and Peru, all of whom are crew members.

One person on that list was found dead Monday, but authorities have not specified which one it is.


New Polls Show Signs Of Serious Vulnerability For President Obama

There are plenty of Democrats and even some Republicans who view the Republican primary as a gift to President Obama. Sixteen debates, web videos and “you can’t even make this up” candidate behavior, have provided plenty of fodder for late night comedians and opposition researchers. Meanwhile, frontrunner Mitt Romney has solidified his place on top thanks mostly to the fact that his opponents have imploded.

Even so, three new national polls should give Democrats some serious pause. They show a very vulnerable president who is serious danger of losing re-election.


The Rise Of The Praetorian Class

Much attention has been paid to the “disappearing middle class” and the “vanishing American Dream.” While the observations are largely accurate, they are also misleading. The traditional three-tier model of the upper, middle and lower class broadly categorizes people according to income and net worth. One significant problem with this model is that membership in any particular class is very much in the eye of the beholder. One man’s “scraping by” is another man’s “opulent living.” This subjective and arbitrary grouping and boundary assessment inevitably gives rise to the simmering class warfare that is starting to rear its ugly head in many Western countries. Such categorization is therefore meaningless at best, if not outright deceptive as it conflates a variety of economic actors.

The chief fallacy of this model rests in the fact that it focuses on how much those actors are compensated, as opposed to how and why they are compensated. A far better perspective is perhaps gained using two classes, the Political Class and the Economic Class, with a third class emerging.

The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker – The Economic Class

The Economic Class, at least in the United States, has historically been the numerically dominant group, although in recent decades its dominance has noticeably waned. The economic class would traditionally be called the Private Sector, but even that term has become misleading for reasons we will delve into later in this article.

Members of the Economic Class provide goods and services that are voluntarily sought by consumers and paid at rates that the market will bear. In an unfettered environment, the economic class would count farmers, engineers, coal miners, artists, physicians, janitorial staff, security guards, merchants and company executives among its membership. They participate freely and competitively in the market place, using the economic principles of Division of Labor and the Law of Comparative Advantage to increase the wealth of society as well as improve their personal position. Capital, entrepreneurial and human resources are brought together collaboratively to meet the needs of the market place. This is standard Economics 101 fare and hopefully generates little controversy among the readership. The important factor defining Economic Class membership is not the amount of money a person earns but rather their participation in the free and open market.

The Lazy Highwaymen – The Political Class


TSA Agents Steal $40,000 From Passenger Luggage; Sentenced To Only Five Months In Prison

(NaturalNews) Any normal person found guilty of stealing $40,000 from, say, a bank or an employer, would likely be sentenced toat leastfive years of prison. But when you work for the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA), you can expect to be given special legal treatment and sent on your way.

The Associated Press reports that two former TSA screeners, 44-year-old Coumar Persad and 31-year-old Davon Webb, both of which worked at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, have pleaded guilty to grand larceny, obstructing governmental administration, and official misconduct, for stealing nearly $40,000 from an airport traveler's luggage. But rather than receive a normal prison sentence for such crimes, the two were sentenced to just six months in prison with five years of probation.

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Making The World Safe For Democracy (Iraq Edition)

GO HERE to read full story.


The Foreclosure-to-Rental Screwjob

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke wants US taxpayers to purchase more of the garbage loans and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) that the big banks still have on their books. (Cash for trash) That’s the impetus behind the Fed’s 26-page white paper that was delivered to Congress last Wednesday. The document outlines the Fed’s plan for ‘stabilizing the housing market’, which is a phrase that Bernanke employs when he wants to provide more buy-backs, giveaways, subsidies and other corporate welfare to big finance.

“Restoring the health of the housing market is a necessary part of a broader strategy for economic recovery,” Bernanke opined in a letter to the Senate Banking and House Financial Services committees.

Indeed. The housing depression continues into its 5th year with no end in sight, mainly because the people who created the crisis are still in positions of power. And, they’re still offering the same remedies, too, like handing the banks another blank check to save them from losses on their bad bets. That’s what this new “housing stabilization” boondoggle is really all about, bailing out the bankers. Here’s a summary from Bloomberg:

“Bernanke’s Fed study said “more might be done,” including eliminating entirely the reduced fees for risky loans, “more comprehensively” cutting lenders’ put-back risks; and further streamlining refinancing for other Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac borrowers. The U.S. also should consider having Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac refinance loans not already backed by the government, which would add credit risk for the companies, according to the report….” (Bloomberg)


Back A Lawsuit, Get A Return

Investors such as Burford Group and Juridica Capital Management back plaintiffs with litigation financing and are awarded a share of the proceeds.


MLK's Public Philosophy Of Freedom

As I flew home across the country from NYC on January 16th, the holiday this year in honor of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I had the opportunity to watch several programs on television devoted to his legacy. I was especially struck by the fact that commentators – for example, Amy Goodman, the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, "a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program" – keep imputing to him a welfare statism that seems not to have been part of his thinking. (I have no idea what Democracy Now! is independent of since all the programs on it evidence a distinct perspective, no less so than those on Fox TV.)

During the flight I managed, also, to listen again to the entire speech Dr. King gave in Alabama on the day before he was assassinated. What it was mostly about is freedom, not at all about welfare statism.

There are, admittedly, several senses of the term "freedom" in use. In particular, there is negative and positive freedom. The former is strongly associated with the American political tradition – spelled out, for example, in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights – the latter with the ideas of FDR's New Deal. The first means being free from the intrusions of other people, including government, however well intentioned; the second means being provided with support by others, including the government through its power of taking what belongs to one so as to hand to another. So one is free to do what one chooses to do if one is free in the first sense, while one is free from having to cover one's various expenses in the second sense.

The free society as understood by classical liberals stresses the protection of the freedom of the citizenry with a suitably framed legal system, while the society fashioned by modern liberals stresses government's providing to people what they are said to need by way of confiscatory taxation for this purpose.

It seems to me that Dr. King was talking about the former kind of freedom, freedom from the oppressive acts of most whites toward most blacks, for example. Many of those who today wish to invoke his stature and ideas for their political purposes, however, are talking about the second kind of "freedom or liberty." That is the freedom, so called, that the welfare state is supposed to protect for people, at the expense of those whose resources are confiscated so as to achieve this goal. Yet there are many who insist that Dr. King had in mind the second type of freedom – or perhaps that he believed in both. As one commentator put it, "On that day, Dr. King spoke of two types of freedom – one from 'the chains of discrimination' and one from living on 'a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.' Somehow his first message has been taken to heart while his second has been forgotten." (This is what John Fullerton, founder of Capital Institute, declared in his recent essay on Huffington Post.)


Report: Kim Jong Un Won't 'Last Long,' Half Brother Says

Kim Jong Il's eldest son also says North Korea's new leader has traveled to Japan in the past using a 'fake Brazilian passport'

PYONGYANG, North Korea — Kim Jong Il's eldest son has predicted that North Korea's regime will "not last long" under the rule of his half brother, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

Citing e-mails exchanged between Kim Jong Nam and a Japanese journalist, South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper said that the dictator's son described the country's dynastic succession as "a joke to the outside world."

Kim Jong Nam also predicted that his half brother Kim Jong Un would be "just a nominal figure," adding: "The members of the power elite will be the ones in actual power."



Wikipedia to go dark over SOPA legislation
Wikipedia plans to black out the English-language edition of its website for 24 hours on Wednesday to protest anti-piracy legislation before Congress, according to the group’s website on Tuesday.
The Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act — nicknamed SOPA and PIPA, respectively — are aimed at curtailing the pirating of U.S. intellectual property abroad. The bills enjoy particularly strong support from the film and music industries.

Internet companies, however, have argued that the bill will infringe upon freedom of speech and hurt future Web development. Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, eBay and AOL have all come out against the legislation. Web sites such as Reddit and Boing Boing are likewise planning to turn off the lights on Wednesday, according to an Associated Press report.

The White House over the weekend came out against the legislation but suggested it was open to a revised bill tackling online privacy. Also, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the influential Virginia Republican, said the bill won’t get to the floor of the House without “consensus” on the legislation.

– Val Brickates Kennedy


DirecTV Dispute Keeps Viewers From Watching NFL Playoffs

Miami Dolphins fans are used to their team missing the playoffs, but they're usually still allowed to watch other teams play out the postseason on DirecTV. That wasn't the case this weekend, though, because a carriage dispute between the satellite provider and the owner of Miami's Fox affiliate caused the channel to black out throughout the weekend. Two NFL playoff games were the highest-profile casualties of the tiff.

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NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Wells Fargo & Co., /quotes/zigman/239557/quotes/nls/wfc WFC +1.18% the San Francisco banking major, reported on Tuesday that fourth-quarter net income rose 20% on 4.1% lower revenue. Profit reached $3.89 billion, or 73 cents a share, from $3.23 billion, or 61 cents, in the year-earlier period. Revenue slipped to $20.61 billion from $21.49 billion. A survey of analysts by FactSet Research produced consensus estimates of 72 cents a share of profit on $20.01 billion of revenue. Assets not earning interest were $26 billion, down $6.3 billion from a year earlier, the firm said. The net interest margin — the difference between what a bank takes in on loans and pays out on deposits — narrowed to 3.89% from 4.16%.


It's OK To Salvage Moldy Cheese, Except When It Isn't

Some frugal practices cross the invisible line of self-destruction. Take moldy cheese. Or leave it. Some conventional wisdom dictates you should throw out the entire block if you spot any nastiness, while many foodies will tell you you're OK if you amputate the moldy part. Either school of thought can be correct, depending on the cheese.

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“And the great owners, who must lose their land in an upheaval, the great owners with access to history, with eyes to read history and to know the great fact: when property accumulates in too few hands it is taken away. And that companion fact: when a majority of the people are hungry and cold they will take by force what they need. And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.”

John Steinbeck

Ex-McDonald's Employee Records Mouse Stuck In Burger Buns

A fired employee of a Philadelphia McDonald's gave a news station a cell phone video of a mouse stuck in hamburger buns and says he shot it while he was on the job. He says it was common to find mouse droppings on bread in the three months he worked there, and that management knew about the problem, telling employees to brush off the droppings before they served customers.

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Hackers disrupt Israel airline, stock market

– A hacker network that claims to be based in Saudi Arabia paralyzed the websites of Israel’s stock exchange and national airline on Monday, escalating an international cyber war that has jolted this security-obsessed country.

Neither website contains sensitive information and trading and flights were not affected. But the ongoing salvos by hackers who use anti-Israel language in their posts has revealed how vulnerable Israel is to cyber warfare, despite its sophisticated computer security units in the military and advanced high-tech sector.

The attacks began earlier this month when hackers identifying themselves as group-xp, a known Saudi hacking group, claimed on an Israeli sports website to have gained access to 400,000 Israeli credit card accounts. The group called it a “gift to the world for the New Year” designed to “hurt the Zionist pocket.”

Israeli authorities said 15,000 accounts were hacked in that episode and credit card information about 6,000 other Israelis was disclosed online a few days later by the same network.


The Direction Of Our Country


I thought you would be interested in hearing this short 1:30 minute audio report on the financial condition of the United States of America.

Please take a couple of minutes to listen to it. I share your concerns about the direction our country is moving.I hope that you will listen and send me your thoughts on these critical issues.

You can email me at

Thank you for your time and your support. I look forward to seeing you soon!


Andy Harris

Chicago Woman Fired For Doing Work At Lunch Wins Unemployment Claim

Sharon Smiley had worked for 10 years as a receptionist and administrative assistant at a Chicago real estate company until she was fired for skipping lunch one day. After a two-year battle, an appeals court in Illinois has found that denial of her unemployment benefits was "clearly erroneous."

 Smiley, 48, punched out of work for lunch Jan. 28, 2010, but remained at her desk to finish a project assigned by a manager because she did not plan to eat that day, she said.


Military Dogs Need Better Homes After Service

One senator wants to make it easier for military dogs to find new homes after they leave service. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) plans to introduce a bill that would streamline adoptions. The bill would provide a funding stream for moving the dogs back home providing veterinary care and allow the Defense Department to issue letters of commendation to dogs for outstanding work in battle. Right now, dog owners or military units themselves have to bear the costs of shipping military dogs back home after they can no longer work. That's because the Defense Department classifies the dogs as equipment, the senator said in a release.

Brown Road Closed, Rolled Tractor Trailer


SALISBURY - Salisbury City Council President Terry Cohen released a statement describing discussions held at an additional open council work session held Friday afternoon, January 13, concerning the positions of the city’s fire chief and city attorney.

“Contrary to reports and rumors Friday afternoon, the discussion about the Salisbury fire chief position did not involve an assessment of the mayor’s nominee. Rather, the discussion focused on what the council’s next step should be with the process. The mayor’s actions are a distinct departure from decades of employment practice, as is the advice from the city attorney about the interpretation of the City’s employee handbook,” Cohen stated.

“Council’s consensus of four members present was to get verification that proceeding with the nomination process as now set before the council will not create conflicts with federal or state employment law,” she said.

Cohen also said that the council conducted an evaluation of the legal services contract, discussing numerous deficiencies in the provision of legal services, including delayed information concerning “The Bricks” property that surfaced mid-last week.

“Council’s consensus was to work on reorganizing legal services by having the current city attorney firm act in an assistant city solicitor capacity and to consider selecting one of two firms that responded to a September 2010 request for proposal (RFP) as the lead city attorney,” Cohen explained.

Councilwoman Shanie Shields was absent and Councilwoman Laura Mitchell left the meeting before consensus was taken. The city clerk was directed to contact the two candidate firms with questions Council wanted to consider before making a decision.

“Again, contrary to reports and rumors, the council did not decide upon any division of duties among the law firms, which would have been highly premature. The meeting was also given due public notice and held in compliance with the Open Meetings Act,” Cohen concluded.

New Posts to fall below.

Santorum Staffer Says Women Shouldn’t Be President Because It’s Against God’s Will

In an article about the reasons Rep. Michele Bachmann’s campaign fizzled, the Des Moines Register points to “sexism among conservatives,” singling out an offensive email written by a staffer to Rick Santorum:
Rival presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s Iowa coalitions director, Jamie Johnson, sent out an email saying that children’s lives would be harmed if the nation had a female president. [...]
The question then comes, ‘Is it God’s highest desire, that is, his biblically expressed will, … to have a woman rule the institutions of the family, the church, and the state?’ ” Johnson’s email said.

Drug Companies Under New Rules

Drug companies will have to report every bagel they bring to a doctor's office under new rules coming from the Obama administration. The New York Times reports the administration wants to head off medical conflicts of interest. Some research purports to show that when doctors receive lecture fees or entertainment from drug companies, they are more likely to prescribe the companies' products. Reporting will apply to any company with a drug used by Medicare or Medicaid. It will cover entertainment, speaker fees and royalties. All of the information will be posted to a federal web site.

Eisenhower's Military-Industrial Prophecy

Dwight D. Eisenhower – “Ike” – was a towering war-time general, a two-term president, and a Republican.
Fifty years ago today, in his farewell speech as president to the nation, he famously warned against what he called “the military-industrial complex”.  Against the influence on America’s democracy, its thinking, its soul of the huge internal interests that gather around military spending and power.
We’re diving in today to what Ike meant, exactly, and the sway of those interests today — listening back to Eisenhower on the military-industrial complex.

Smart Phone & Tablet Manufacturers Infringe On Patents?

The International Trade Commission will investigate a bevy of smartphone and tablet makers for possible patent infringement. Many of the devices are used widely in the federal government. The ITC received a complaint from Digitude Innovations. The Alexandria, Va., company collects and licenses technology patents. Digitude Innovations is asking the ITC to issue a cease and desist order to stop the import of devices it says unfairly use its patents. Companies under investigation include RIM, the maker of BlackBerries, and H-T-C, which makes Android smart phones. Also named are LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sony, Nokia and Pantech.

Woman Accused Of Killing Husband’s Mistress

Former NASA training specialist Shannon O’Roark Griffin and her husband Roscoe, a decorated retired Air Force colonel, appeared to be the picture of a committed couple working on bumps in their marriage — even attending counseling together near their home in Kansas.

 But in a counseling session on Friday Mr. Griffin, 52, revealed a dark secret that would shatter their marriage. Police say he told his wife he was having an affair with a psychiatrist — 46-year-old Dr. Irina Puscariu — but he refused to end it.


FTC Wants Your Comments

The Federal Trade Commission is asking for public comment on proposals to change the way the agency operates. FTC wants to improve the way it handles investigations and misbehaving attorneys. The changes would streamline the investigative process by speeding up the way the agency uses electronic discoveries to resolve disputes. It would do away a requirement to preserve documents related to an investigation after one year. And it would change the way the agency deals with allegations of misconduct by attorneys practicing before the Commission. The public can comment until March 23.

Controversy Follows San Fran Sheriff's Arrest

(CBS News) The new sheriff of San Francisco is accused of assaulting his wife, and some critics think the investigation into the incident hasn't gotten enough attention because his position in law enforcement.

Ross Mirkarimi was sworn in on Jan. 8. Now, he's facing charges of domestic violence battery against his wife, Eliana Lopez, who was once a soap opera star in her native Venezuela. He denies the charges. She also said she has no "complaints against my husband."



At today's work session the City Council should "just say no" to the request for waiver of unpaid taxes and code citation fees on the vacant apartment house owned by John Phillips, who bought it about 20 years ago and rented units there until the building became derelict a few years ago. He and the Newtown Association are trying to con the Council and the public into believing that he should be relieved of liability of about $5,000 so that he can donate the property to that group, which says that it will demolish the building and convert the site to open space and and a driveway to an adjacent private home.

Phillips says that his property is now worthless because it can no longer be used for apartments and it would be too costly to convert to a single-family home. He has threatened to abandon it (hasn't he already done that?) unless the City does what he wants. And, of course, if it does, the property may not be deemed worthless as a charitable deduction in his tax return,

This scam, which is a variation of the scheme that has resulted in the Bricks and Linen of the Week fiascoes, should be spiked through the heart now.

Mr. Phillips can and should pay his taxes and fees, which are not preventing him from donating the property to the Newtown Association.

USPS Still Trying To Get Out Of The Red

A new Inspector General report says most of the Postal Service's past processing-center consolidations made good business sense. The IG looked at more than 30 consolidations over the past seven years. He concluded that it made good business sense to conduct all but one of those mergers. Four more were poorly executed and never realized the savings that the agency expected. The IG says the agency should keep closer watch on the implementation process and keep stakeholders better informed. The Postal Service is considering closing hundreds of processing centers and thousands of post offices…in an effort to climb out of the red.

U.S. Border Patrol To Toughen Policy

(SAN DIEGO) — The U.S. Border Patrol is moving to halt a revolving-door policy of sending migrants back to Mexico without any punishment.
The agency this month is overhauling its approach on migrants caught illegally crossing the 1,954-mile border that the United States shares with Mexico. Years of enormous growth at the federal agency in terms of staff and technology have helped drive down apprehensions of migrants to 40-year lows.

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BREAKING NEWS: House Arrest For Cruise Captain

Italian judge rules the captain of cruise ship that ran aground should be placed under house arrest pending any trial.

From Fox News

No Change In Vehicle Reimbursement Rate

Federal employees who use their own cars for official business will see no change in mileage reimbursement rates this year. The rate is still 51 cents per mile. Motorcycle riders get 48 cents per mile, also unchanged. If you use your own airplane, the reimbursement rate is one dollar, 29 cents per mile. Rates are set by the General Services Administration. The agency says it will monitor fuel costs and adjust reimbursement rates if necessary.

Police: Mom Killed Two Children, Two Others And Herself After Taping Herself Smoking Meth

A woman who shot her two children, their father and a cousin in California's Central Valley before committing suicide took video of herself on her iPad as she smoked methamphetamine prior to the killings, police said Monday.

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Federal Unions Worry About Layoffs

Federal unions say they are worried President Obama's plan to consolidate business and trade agencies could mean layoffs. Bill Dougan, president of the National Federation of Federal Employees, said he hopes "they find a way to make sure thousands of people working in these agencies aren't giving pink slips." The American Federation of Government Employees released a statement too. In it, President John Gage "takes issue with the notion that most of government is inefficient and that cutting federal workers will somehow solve the problem." But he cheers Obama's elevation of the Small Business Administration to the cabinet. The White House says the consolidation of the six business and trade-related agencies would cut up to 2,000 jobs through attrition.

10-Year-Old Boy Suspected Of Stabbing Friend, 12, To Death

EL CAJON, Calif. -- A 10-year-old boy is suspected to have stabbed a 12-year-old friend to death with a kitchen knife, according to authorities.
The older boy died Monday at a hospital after he was taken from his friend's home in El Cajon, about 15 miles east of San Diego. The mother of the 10-year-old was at home at the time of the stabbing,according to the U-T San Diego newspaper.

Obama, Let's Play Together

President Obama wants 11 federal agencies working international trade to play together. They're the guinea pigs in a wider program to reduce duplication across the government. Each agency must prepare descriptions of what it does. The Office of Management and Budget will compile an inventory so it can sort who should do what. The 11 trade agencies each have until February 1 to designate a senior official to oversee the reporting. OMB plans to issue a detailed timeline for the de-duplication effort.

Congress Logs Most Futile Legislative Year On Record

It’s official: Congress ended its least-productive year in modern history after passing 80 bills — fewer than during any other session since year-end records began being kept in 1947.
Furthermore, an analysis by The Washington Times of the scope of such activities as time spent in debate, number of conference reports produced and votes taken on the House andSenate floors found that Congress set a record for legislative futility by accomplishing less in 2011 than any other year in history.

Burst Pipe Soaks Senate Offices

A burst pipe in the cupola of the James Senate Office Building on Monday afternoon soaked offices, staff members and carpets down to the ground floor, and closed down the building for much of the day.

Continue Reading...

FDA Fines Red Cross Nearly $9.6 Million For Blood Safety Lapses

Federal health officials have fined the American Red Cross nearly $9.6 million for sloppy and unsafe blood management practices, the second multi-million-dollar penalty levied against the agency in the last two years.


SHOCKING ABC News On Obama/USA Infrastructure

This one should be tough for the supporters of the current regime to swallow....AND it comes from ABC Snopes or Wikileaks on this one!!

U.S.A.Bridges and Roads Being Built by Chinese Firms

Shocking to say the least! This video is a jaw-dropper that will make you sick. (It was also shocking that ABC was actually reporting this story.)

The lead-in with Obama promising jobs in the U.S. by improving our infrastructure is so typical of all his promises! Our tax dollars are at work - for CHINA!!!
I pray all the unemployed see this and cast their votes accordingly in 2012!

Click here: U.S. Bridges, Roads Being Built by Chinese Firms Video - ABC News
(Sorry, but there's a short commercial at the start.)

A Letter To The Editor 1-17-12


Just wondering if you have any idea what is going on with the construction on Nanticoke Road. The state spent a ton of money to widen the road, then put barrels out and left.

In fact, the road is more dangerous than before the construction to widen the road took place, as there is a merge area right off of Route 50.

No sign of anyone working on the road for a month or so.

I went to the SHA web site, and of course could not find out anything on that site.

Any help or updates from the state as to what is going on would be of interest to a lot of people that live out along Nanticoke Road and visit your site regularly.

Have A Private Student Loan Horror Story? Today Is The Last Day To Tell The CFPB

We see enough horror stories about private student loans that we know there must be quite a few of them out there. If you'd like to contribute to the public good by sharing your experience, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would like to hear what you have to say. And if you actually had a good experience the CFPB would like to hear about that, too.

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Fill In The Blank 01/17/12

Today is like ______.

Single State Defies Obama Detention Plan

When Congress adopted and Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, alarms were raised over the possibility that it would allow the indefinite and rights-free detention of those who are called “belligerents,” even if they are American citizens.

While the argument over those provisions rages, one state lawmaker in Rhode Island has jumped into action to protect the danger he sees for residents of his state, proposing a resolution to exempt his constituents from sections of the federal law.

Rep. Daniel P. Gordon Jr. told WND he has drafted a resolution, which is being circulated among the lawmakers even now, to express opposition to the sections of the NDAA “that suspend habeas corpus and civil liberties.”

“Sections 1021 and 1022 of the act, signed into law on New Years Eve of 2011, provide for the indefinite detention of American citizens by the military on American soil, without charge, and without right to legal counsel and right to trial,” he explained.

“Given the fact that the constitutions of Rhode Island and that of the United States are replete with guarantees of individual liberties, right to habeas corpus, and right to freedom of speech, the offending sections of that law are repugnant to the sensibilities of anyone that has a basic understanding of the foundation of this country,” he said.

The opinions on the legislation signed by Obama vary. Commentator Chuck Baldwin, who himself has been the target of smears by the Department of Homeland Security-related apparatus, explained the law, “for all intents and purposes, completely nullifies a good portion of the Bill of Rights, turns the United States into a war zone, and places U.S. citizens under military rule.”

More here


Vote? Why? What candidate in the quadrennial resurrection of the Mickey Mouse club wants to do anything that I want done?

I want to roll back the onrushing police state and return to constitutional government. The plunge into totalitarianism is a far worse danger than World War Two, in which the US was never in danger of being invaded, and in which the outcome was a foregone conclusion. Who do I vote for? No candidate (except Ron Paul: ERP) is against sovietization.

I want to end our stupid wars, now. Yesterday. Who do I vote for? There is no antiwar candidate (ERP). Obama sends the troops anywhere he can think of, and all the Republicans want to attack Iran.

I want to reduce the military by half and end the militarization of the country that is bankrupting us. Who do I vote for? (ERP)

I want to reduce the size of government, get rid of the departments of Education, Housing and Urban Development, and Commerce, toss the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and so on. What candidate wants to do these things? Republicans talk a good show, but which of them actually wants to cut?

I want to end affirmative action, which means governmental favor for some citizens over others, and rely on merit. No candidate speaks of this. Who do I vote for?


A Power Play In Congress - And How To Stop It

A wholly predictable big-government play for even more control over markets and technology, information and communication is moving through Congress.

That’s not news. It’s actually quite typical. After the nauseating passage of the National Defense Authorization Bill last month, with its Constitution-shattering military detention provisions for any American who falls out of the President’s favor, or who has crossed his minions, what might not be passed into law?

The Senate’s Protect IP Act, PIPA, and its House companion Stop Online Piracy Act, SOPA, is now seeping through the congressional sewage system. This legislative pollution is purported to reduce global data piracy and illegal copying of digital content by regulating American ISPs and the Internet. Entertainment industry moguls and "too-big-to fail" content producers are demanding it, and it’s designed by paid-off, power-hungry establishment lawyers in Congress who don’t understand internet architecture, information technology, or the nature of the free market.


Detectives Seek Help In Identifying Fraud Suspects

Location: Several locations throughout Sussex County Delaware

Date of Occurrence: Between Saturday, April 23, 2011 and May 24, 2011


• Black male, 20-30 years of age, medium build short black hair. Pictured below in red striped shirt.
• Black male. Pictured below in black clothing.
• Black female. Pictured below in black and white outfit.
• Suspect vehicle is a light colored four door compact vehicle


• Multiple victims

Georgetown, DE- Delaware State Police Financial Crimes detectives are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying suspects in several fraud incidents in which victims had their credit card information stolen in Sussex County Delaware.

The investigation began in April of 2011 after a Milford, DE man contacted Troop 4 Financial Crimes Unit detectives after he had learned that someone had made several unauthorized transactions in Philadelphia, PA using his credit card number. Since that time, there have been over 100 victims of the same type of fraud. Detectives have learned that the suspects were able to obtain the victim’s credit card numbers and then produced new credit cards using the stolen numbers. The suspects then made numerous purchases using the newly produced cards usually in the Philadelphia area. The method that the suspects used to obtain the stolen number is till under investigation at this time. Detectives were able to obtain surveillance photographs of possible suspects in the incidents and are asking the public’s help in identifying them. They were also able to obtain a photograph of the vehicle used by two of the suspects.

The Delaware State Police are asking anyone who may have any information in reference to this incident to contact Detective Cheryl Arnold at Troop 4 at 302-856-5850 ext. 257. Citizens may also provide a tip by texting keyword “DSP” plus your message to 274637 (CRIMES). Tipsters may also provide information through lines maintained by Delaware Crime Stoppers at (800) TIP-3333. Callers can also submit information via the internet at

UPDATE/FACTS Bennett Will Cost County Taxpayers $42,000,000.00 Plus

This was originally posted on 12-15-11 at 12:00 noon. We have been trying to prove to each and every one of you critics the funding the Daily Times put out there was a lie. The state is not paying 96% of the TOTAL cost of this project, as the Daily Times implied.

NOW, IF you cannot understand the facts above and you CANNOT see where Bennett Middle School is costing the taxpayers $42,000,000.00 PLUS, well, you just don't want to see clearly.

New Posts to fall below.

The War On Drugs Is “The New Jim Crow”

Here is some reading to celebrate Martin Luther King Day: Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. I confess up front I have not read the book. I’ve just read some things about it. Here is a short write-up from the author’s interview on NPR.

 The book came to my attention as I was reading Leonard Pitts’s column in the newspaper this morning. I read Pitts regularly, although not necessarily because I agree with him. Rather, reading him helps me to see things from a point of view different from mine.

 Blacks are hit harder by the War on Drugs at least partly because their drugs of choice are more likely to be illegal. Tossing back a couple of shots of bourbon is an adult thing to do. Smoking a joint is a crime. I think the racial profiling argument has merit too. Despite the title of Alexander’s book, many people aren’t colorblind, and that includes people in law enforcement.


10 Reasons The U.S. Is No Longer The Land Of The Free

Every year, the State Department issues reports on individual rights in other countries, monitoring the passage of restrictive laws and regulations around the world. Iran, for example, has been criticized for denying fair public trials and limiting privacy, while Russia has been taken to task for undermining due process. Other countries have been condemned for the use of secret evidence and torture.

Even as we pass judgment on countries we consider unfree, Americans remain confident that any definition of a free nation must include their own — the land of free. Yet, the laws and practices of the land should shake that confidence. In the decade since Sept. 11, 2001, this country has comprehensively reduced civil liberties in the name of an expanded security state. The most recent example of this was the National Defense Authorization Act, signed Dec. 31, which allows for the indefinite detention of citizens. At what point does the reduction of individual rights in our country change how we define ourselves?


Prevent Cancer With ‘Poor Man’s Pepper’

While many people go to the supermarket for their food, some people – like Steve ‘Wildman’ Brill, forage in the wild.
Recently, the Medicine Hunter, Chris Kilham, went to Central Park in New York City with Brill, who likes to forage for food there.
The pair discovered ‘poor man’s pepper,’ or Lapidium virginicum, a tasty member of the mustard family, which may prevent cancer, according to Brill.

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Today's Survey Question

Do you think Baltimore would make a good host city for a future Super Bowl?

Why I’m Suing Barack Obama

Attorneys Carl J. Mayer and Bruce I. Afran filed a complaint Friday in the Southern U.S. District Court in New York City on my behalf as a plaintiff against Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to challenge the legality of the Authorization for Use of Military Force as embedded in the latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act, signed by the president Dec. 31.

The act authorizes the military in Title X, Subtitle D, entitled “Counter-Terrorism,” for the first time in more than 200 years, to carry out domestic policing. With this bill, which will take effect March 3, the military can indefinitely detain without trial any U.S. citizen deemed to be a terrorist or an accessory to terrorism. And suspects can be shipped by the military to our offshore penal colony in Guantanamo Bay and kept there until “the end of hostilities.” It is a catastrophic blow to civil liberties.

I spent many years in countries where the military had the power to arrest and detain citizens without charge. I have been in some of these jails. I have friends and colleagues who have “disappeared” into military gulags. I know the consequences of granting sweeping and unrestricted policing power to the armed forces of any nation. And while my battle may be quixotic, it is one that has to be fought if we are to have any hope of pulling this country back from corporate fascism.


Cops: Saints Fan Shoots Two 49ers Fans After Loss

(CBS News)  
DULUTH, Ga. - An angry New Orleans Saints fan shot two San Francisco 49ers fans in a restaurant parking lot Saturday evening shortly after his team lost the NFL divisional playoff game, police said.
Donald Ray Ayro, 31, reportedly became upset with two 49ers fans while watching the game at an Applebee's restaurant. New Orleans lost, 36-32.

Body Of Missing Boater Recovered

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland Natural Resources Police officials say that they have recovered the body of a missing boater.

Tyler Cordrey, 25, went missing on December 17 after a sailboat capsized near the Sandy Point lightouse in the Chesapeake Bay.


Infants May Use Lip Reading To Learn Language

Infants learn language not only through sound, but also through lip reading, according to a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

 Researchers say the new findings defy the conventional view that babies learn to speak through sound alone and the research may even assist in diagnosing autism spectrum disorders in the future.



Mardela Middle & High School is trying to raise money for their Acapella group "Insongniacs" to go to the Nationals in New Jersey on the 28th of this month. There wasn't much notice so they are taking donations instead of a fund raising program. They need $2500 minimum to be able to go to this once in a life time event. A video and donation board has been set up on . Can you please use your blog to mention this. They don't have much time and donations are very slim so far. A "shout out" from you on sbynews could help reach a large group of people who would other wise be unaware of the need for donations.

For more informatiuon you can contact John Maybury (Acapella Director at MMHS) 443-359-0906 (cell) or at the school directly 410-677-5142

Wikipedia To Black Out Wed. In Protest

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales says the online encyclopedia will black out its website Wednesday to protest anti-piracy legislation under consideration in Congress.
Wales announced the move on Twitter Monday. The popular online community-sourced information site will shut down its English versions for 24 hours in protest of the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act pending in Congress.

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One Last Gift

Two Dudes Cleaning Inc.

City Of Salisbury Looking For A Project Engineer At WWTP

Salisbury - Project Engineer

Date Posted: 01/04/2012

Full-time Public Works position (35 hours per week). Salary is $44,863 with full range of benefits. Duties include: plan review, engineering planning and design, management of design and construction projects, contract administration and construction management. Must have knowledge of municipal water systems and treatment, sewer systems and treatment, storm drain systems, storm water management (MDE 2007 update preferred), road design, traffic studies, temporary traffic control, hydraulics, hydrology, and soil mechanics. Experience reviewing and creating design and construction drawings and specifications, preparing requests for proposals/quotes, preparing construction contracts, performing hydraulic modeling (InfoSWMM and InfoWater preferred), grant writing, public speaking, Microsoft Office, AutoCAD 2012, ArcGIS 10. Must have strong writing skills and well developed interpersonal skills. Requirements include Bachelor's degree in civil engineering, E.I.T. in Maryland, P.E. is preferred. Must be able to communicate clearly and concisely both orally and in writing. Plan review or design experience in municipal infrastructure and storm water management is desirable. Closing date is Tuesday, January 31, 2012 by 4:30 p.m. Send City application and resume to: City of Salisbury HR Department, 125 North Division Street, Salisbury, MD 21801. Phone: 410/548-1065. Fax: 410/548-3748,, e-mail: EOE.

Baby Ava's Benefit Auction

There will be a live auction and a silent auction. Please come join us. We need your help!

When: Friday, February 24, 2012
Where: Brew River
502 West Main Street, Salisbury, MD
$10 Donation at the door
Time: 7:00pm-12:00am
Auctioneer: Doug Marshall, Marshall Auctions
For Questions Call: Vickie Rohrer
100% of the proceeds will go to the
DelRicco Benefit Fund.
We still need Donations! Please call Vickie Rohrer @ 410-334-3076 for doantions and questions.

Ava's Story
Hi my name is Baby Ava. I am 19 months old and I was involved in a car accident on December 16, 2011, when a man on PCP struck and hit my mommy's car. I was flown to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, where I am fighting for my life.
I am suffering brain damage each second of the day, but I am a fighter.
We were on Coastal Highway stopped at a red light when this man high on PCP struck the back of our car. He was driving so fast the back of the car was pushed to the front trapping my mommy and me in our car. They used the Jaws of Life to get us out, it took about 30 minutes.
If you can't help during these hard times by a donation, could you please just say a Prayer untill I get out of the Critical Stage.

We Need Donations of items to be auctioned off..Please help, Call Vickie Rohrer @ 410-334-3076

Thank You for Donating!

Auctioneer- Doug Marshall

Brew River Restaurant and Bar

Playmate Sport Fishing - Rockfish Charter

Jamie Walsh - Cleaning Service

Mia McCarthy and Leslie Insley Smith - Wine and Cup Cake Basket

McCarthy Imagerie - 1/2 Hour photo Session, includes CD.

Jim Adcock - A piece of Art Work

Sandy Sunshine Johnson - Gift Certificate

And much more...

Md. May Strengthen Child Abuse Reporting Laws

ANNAPOLIS Following the child abuse scandal at Penn State, the Maryland General Assembly is moving to "add teeth" to an existing law requiring individuals to report child abuse.
Sen. Nancy Jacobs, R-Harford, is sponsoring a bill to criminalize the failure to report suspected child abuse, making it a misdemeanor with a maximum of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Detectives Probe Parking Lot Robbery

Location: Electric Tiger Tattoo, 117 Church Street, Rehoboth, DE

Date of Occurrence: Sunday, January 15, 2012 at 7:50 p.m.


25 year old Rehoboth, DE man (employee)


Black male, 20 to 25 years of age, 6’00” tall with an average build, black hair, and brown eyes. He was also armed with a handgun.
Black male, 20 to 25 years of age, 6’00” tall, with an average build and dark complexion.
Black male, 6’00” tall, with a dark complexion, black hair and brown eyes.

Rehoboth, DE- Delaware State Police detectives are currently investigating the robbery of a Rehoboth man that occurred in the parking lot of a tattoo parlor last night.

The incident occurred at approximately 7:50 p.m. on Sunday as a 25 year old employee of the Electric Tiger Tattoo parlor, located in the 100 block of Church Street in Rehoboth, was approached by three male suspects in the parking lot. The suspects, one of which was armed with a handgun, confronted the victim and took his wallet and other personal items from him. The suspects then assaulted the victim before fleeing in an unknown direction. The victim suffered minor injuries but refused medical treatment.

The Delaware State Police are asking anyone who may have any information in reference to this incident to contact the Robbery Unit at Troop 4 at 302-856-5850. Citizens may also provide a tip by texting keyword “DSP” plus your message to 274637 (CRIMES). Tipsters may also provide information through lines maintained by Delaware Crime Stoppers at (800) TIP-3333. Callers can also submit information via the internet at