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Monday, January 30, 2012

Pentaton Expands Talks With Iraq

The Pentagon is preparing for new military talks with Iraq. Their goal is to define a long-term defense relationship that could include expanding U.S. training help. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's chief policy aide, Michele Flournoy, says the administration is open to Iraqi suggestions about the scope and depth of defense ties. Flournoy retires from her post on Friday.

Pa. Man Admits $423K Fraud On Fake Holy Land Trips Read more:

A Pennsylvania man admits he took hundreds of thousands of dollars from mostly elderly church members on the false promise he would book them trips to the Holy Land.
John Baird pleaded guilty Monday to mail fraud in the scam that bilked 138 church members out of $423,000.

Read More

IRS Expands Free Tax Return Preparation

The Internal Revenue Service is expanding a program to offer free tax return preparation and filing for elderly and low-income people. This year more than 12,000 sites will offer the services.

It's all part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, or VITA. IRS teams with the AARP and community groups to identify qualified preparers. VITA is available to people over 60-years old, or who earn less than $50,000. The Armed Forces Tax Council offers similar tax prep service to military members and their families.

Trillions In Tax Cuts

THE REPUBLICAN presidential candidates claim to abhor debt, yet propose tax cuts that would add trillions more.
Yes, trillions.

It Doesn't Pay To Double Dip

A Virginia man has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for holding two jobs at once. Jeffery K. Armstrong of South Riding took a leave of absence from an Army civilian job. He then took a $160,000 security job at the United Nations in New York.

While holding that job, he also applied for and got a position at the National Labor Relations Board for $120,000. For months, he used a variety of methods to keep supervisors from knowing. He was caught, indicted last June and convicted in October. Armstrong's sentence includes $128,000 in restitution.

Hawaii-Based Marine In Hazing Case Goes To Trial

A Hawaii-based lance corporal accused of hazing a fellow Marine who committed suicide at their remote outpost in Afghanistan is appearing in court after agreeing to a plea bargain.
In October, Lance Cpl. Jacob D. Jacoby was referred to a general court-martial on charges that he assaulted, threatened, and humiliated Lance Cpl. Harry Lew, who killed himself on April 3.

Read More

Former Food And Drug Employees Suing Agency

Six former Food and Drug Administration scientists and doctors are suing the agency for allegedly looking at their private emails. Washington Post reports, the former employees say FDA officials took screen shots of their emails detailing alleged corruption. The lawsuit says the information gathered by FDA officials led to all six employees leaving. The Post says the FDA doesn't comment on litigation. FDA warns employees through a pop-up window when users log-on that they should not expect any privacy of information, sent through or stored on the agency's network.

Cancer Survivor Teen Suspended From School for 'Locks of Love'

Seventeen-year-old J.T. Gaskins woke up early this morning and got ready for school like all of his classmates, but instead of going to his Michigan high school, he settled in for what will be his second week of spending the school day working from home.

 Gaskins was suspended from Madison Academy for having hair that did not comply with the school's rules for how long boys can grow their hair. But Gaskins is sporting the shaggy hairdo for a very specific reason. As a leukemia survivor, he is determined to donate his hair to Locks of Love.


DC Park Police Want No Camping Rule

A showdown may be on the horizon for protestors in D.C. U.S. Park Police begin enforcing a no-camping rule at two sites where protestors have been living, and demonstrating for more than three months. The National Park Service says protesters at McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza can be arrested if they violate the rule. The park service defines camping as using park land for activities such as sleeping. It says camping materials must be removed and temporary structures must be left open for inspection. Some protesters say they can get around the regulation by not sleeping, or just ditching their sleeping gear. Other occupiers say they are willing to risk arrest. A sleep strike is planned by some protestors starting today at 11 a.m.

How Doctors Do Harm

(CNN) -- Helen, 50, was college educated, married, worked in middle management at a financial services company and had good health insurance.

 She was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer in 1990. She saw doctors with some of the best reputations. After an appropriate surgery, she was given high dose chemotherapy with a bone marrow transplant.

The treatment almost killed her several times and she was hospitalized for nearly a year.


Immigrant Advocacy Group Asks Judge To Quash Tuition Referendum

An immigrant advocacy group argued in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Friday to invalidate a referendum petition meant to strike down a new law granting in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants. The law was held up last July when a petition drive led by Republicans delegates gathered twice the signatures needed to put the measure on November’s ballot.


Record Executive Leaves $1.5 Million To Driver, Doorman

A millionaire Park Avenue music mogul, lonely after his wife dumped him, repaid two faithful workers who gave him a shoulder to cry on — by making them rich after his death.
“I don’t know what to do exactly with the money, but one thing I know for sure — every year, I’m going to bring the guy some flowers at his grave,’’ said suddenly rich chauffeur Jean Laborde, who received $1 million, or 10 percent, from boss Alan Meltzer’s $10 million estate.
Upper East Side doorman Chamil Demiraj said he would be eternally grateful to Meltzer, too. Demiraj, of Midwood, Brooklyn, received about $500,000 from Meltzer’s will.

Read More 

Part 2: Charter Schools Face Opposition Except In Baltimore

Public charter schools have had a difficult time expanding in Maryland, except in Baltimore, which has 37 of the state’s 51 charter schools. Charters applications are often rejected – more often in some jurisdictions than others – and some counties have no charter schools.


Gas Prices Continue To Rise As The Cost Of Crude Goes Up

Historic highs for gas prices in January and costs are inching up in Delaware.

 Usually January is a time for gas lows but the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular in Delaware is up 6 cents from last week to $3.45. That's 33 cents higher than the cost this time last year.


University Blasted For Intolerance Of Christianity

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered a trial at the district level for a graduate level counseling student who was dismissed from her program for asking that a client with “gay” issues be referred to another counselor because as a Christian she could not affirm that lifestyle choice.

Officials at Eastern Michigan University took that action against Julea Ward, a student approaching the end of her degree program with a 3.91 grade point average, even though, as the appeals judges noted, the school’s own practices in fact permitted such referrals.

The result is that a jury needs to make a determination on whether officials at the school attacked Ward because of her Christian beliefs or not, the ruling said.

“What exactly did Ward do wrong in make the referral request? If one thing is clear after three years of classes, it is that Ward is acutely aware of her own values. The point of the referral request was to avoid imposing her values on gay and lesbian clients. And the referral request not only respected the diversity of practicum clients, but it also conveyed her willingness to counsel gay and lesbian clients about other issues – all but relationship issues – an attitude confirmed by her equivalent concern about counseling heterosexual clients about extra-marital sex and adultery in a values-affirming way,” said the opinion, written by Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton.

The opinion said the evidence suggests “Ward was willing to work with all clients and to respect the school’s affirmation directives in doing so. That is why she asked to refer gay and lesbian clients (and some heterosexual clients) if the conversation required her to affirm their sexual practices. What more could the rule require?” the judge said.

The judges said, “Tolerance is a two-way street. Otherwise, the rule mandates orthodoxy, not anti-discrimination.”

The school launched its disciplinary attack on Ward shortly after she enrolled in a “practicum” in the counseling school in 2009. She was assigned a potential client regarding assistance with a same-sex sexual relationship.

Ward recognized the potential issue and asked her supervisor how to handle the matter. She was told to reassign the client to a different counselor.

Then, however, Ward was ordered to undergo “remediation” to “see the error of her ways” and change her “belief system” or be dismissed.

EMU faculty members then “denigrated” Ward’s Christian beliefs, including a taunt about whether her “brand” of Christianity was superior to that of other Christians.


Abortion Safer Than Giving Birth: Study

Researchers found that women were about 14 times more likely to die during or after giving birth to a live baby than to die from complications of an abortion.
Experts say the findings, though not unexpected, contradict some state laws that suggest abortions are high-risk procedures.
The message is that getting an abortion and giving birth are both safe, said Dr. Anne Davis, who studies obstetrics and gynecology at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, and wasn't involved in the new study.

Arresting A Christian Costs U.S. City $100,000

A judge in Detroit has ruled that the decision by police in neighboring Dearborn to arrest a Christian pastor who wanted to hand out Christian tracts at the city’s Arab fest in 2009 will cost the city some $100,000.

That’s the decision following a request from the pastor’s attorneys that the losing side in the First Amendment argument over expressing religious perspectives on city streets be required to pay them for their work on behalf of Christian Pastor George Saieg.

Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen said his recommendation for fees and costs totaling $103,401.96 be awarded in the case that was handled by attorney Robert J. Muise.

Muise, at the time, was with the Thomas More Law Center, and the fees will go to that organization.

Muise has since worked with attorney David Yerushalmi to form the American Freedom Law Center, a new law firm that fights for faith and freedoms through litigation, public policy initiatives and other activities.

“The award of attorney fees in this case,” he said, “is critical in the lawfare against civilization jihad and dhimmitization, or subjugation, of an entire municipality in Michigan. Dearborn has a long record of this kind of illegal, heavy-handed treatment of Christians as an attempt to placate Dearborn’s Shariah-faithful [Muslims]. The court’s ruling today demonstrates that this kind of behavior will come at great cost.”

More here

Sussex Council Denies Request For Apartments

GEORGETOWN — Five Sussex County families face eviction from an illegal apartment complex following a decision Jan. 17 by Sussex County Council.
Council voted 5-0 to deny an application for a conditional use filed by John and Nicole Scott to allow for multifamily housing in an AR-1 zoning district, which is not permitted under county code.
The developer of the apartments along Airport Road southwest of Laurel did not apply for a building permit, receive a certificate of occupancy or have an inspection. The property was formerly a single-family home.
In addition, Lawrence Lank, director of county planning and zoning, said the owner did not appear to have the proper septic system in place for a multifamily complex. No approval letter is on file from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. Lank said there is no indication of the current sand mound system's capacity; it was designed for a single-family structure. The parcel is also included in the Sussex County landfill-Laurel groundwater management zone with strict regulations placed on land and groundwater use.

Juan Williams Plays The Race Card (Again)

Two weeks ago at the Fox News/Wall Street Journal debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C., I asked each GOP presidential candidate some pointed questions about the racial politics that will play a big role in the presidential campaign.

Race is always a trigger in politics, but now a third of the nation are people of color — and their numbers are growing. With those minorities solidly in the Democratic camp and behind the first black president, the scene is set for a bonanza of racial politics.

The language of GOP racial politics is heavy on euphemisms that allow the speaker to deny any responsibility for the racial content of his message. The code words in this game are “entitlement society” — as used by Mitt Romney — and “poor work ethic” and “food stamp president” — as used by Newt Gingrich. References to a lack of respect for the “Founding Fathers” and the “Constitution” also make certain ears perk up by demonizing anyone supposedly threatening core “old-fashioned American values.”

The code also extends to attacks on legal immigrants, always carefully lumped in with illegal immigrants, as people seeking “amnesty” and taking jobs from Americans.

But the code sometimes breaks down.

Last week a passionate Republican told GOP candidate Rick Santorum: “I never refer to Obama as President Obama because legally he is not [president]. He constantly says that our Constitution is passé and he ignores it … He is an avowed Muslim and my question is, why isn’t something being done to get him out of government? He has no legal right to be calling himself president.”

Santorum did not blink. The man who recently said he meant “blah people” — when the world heard him say “black people” — as he spoke about parasitic Americans who get better lives by taking “somebody else’s money,” did not correct the assault on the truth. Instead he agreed that Obama is attacking the Constitution and said: “Well, look, I’m trying my best to get him out of office.”

Santorum did not follow Sen. John McCain’s example in 2008 when a Republican called Obama an “Arab.” McCain responded that while he had policy differences with Obama he is a “decent, family man [and] citizen.”

More here

Facebook IPO Announcement On Tap?

(CBS News) At long last, Facebook is expected to announce this week that it's going public.

The Mark Zuckerberg-led company could be the biggest initial public offering ever for an Internet company, perhaps even topping the record-breaking Google offering back in 2004.

 When Facebook starts selling shares to the public, Zuckerberg is likely to be worth $24 billion.


Gas In 1956

3 Months After The MF Global Bankruptcy, We Find That $1.2 Billion (Or More) In Client Money Has "Vaporized"

On the three month bankruptcy anniversary of the company whose rehypothecation gimmicks will one day be seen as a harbinger of everything that is  broken with the multi-trillion ponzi system, but not just yet despite loud warnings otherwise, we are getting close to a final verdict of where the $1.2 billion (and possibly more as originally predicted by Zero Hedge - see below) in commingled client money may have gone. Note the use of the passive voice because using the active, as in money that MF Global executives stole from clients, is prohibited in a legal system in which nobody goes to jail for something as modest as $1.2 billion in theft. That verdict? "Vaporized." No really (and yes, in the passive voice of course). From the WSJ: "As the sprawling probe that includes regulators, criminal and congressional investigators, and court-appointed trustees grinds on, thefindings so far suggest that a "significant amount" of the money could have "vaporized" as a result of chaotic trading at MF Global during the week before the company's Oct. 31 bankruptcy filing, said a person close to the investigation." Uh huh... Because money simply vaporizes. Which means one of two things: i) the "vaporization" is merely the phrase that so called investigators use to avoid the far more troubling sounding "stolen" as it would imply guilt, something which the former NJ governor and Goldman CEO (and not to mention JP Morgan which most likely was on the receiving end of the $1.2 billion + transaction) will, under guidance from counsel, sternly disagree with, or ii) the capital markets are such an unprecedented and manipulated fraud, that nobody has any clue at any moment, where any client money is, and that any residual capital still "invested" in mythical representations of "assets", which are likely rehypothecated so many times, that not even Bank of America's robosigning division would have a clue where to start unraveling, will promptly be converted into tangible manifestations of capital. So when someone asks what happened to stock market volume, and to investor confidence in the "stock market" feel free to use just that phrase: "it vaporized."


Letting God Sweat the Small Stuff, Or, Why Christians Should Vote For Ron Paul

One of the standard Ron Paul stories picked up by the mainstream media and repeated ad nauseum is his reputed unpopularity with self-identified Christians, and Evangelical Protestants in particular. It is usually stated that fans of Paul (that is Paul of Texas, not Tarsus) usually chime in at about 15% of the Evangelical demographic. What the articles don’t point out is that this is about the average for most other demographics as well, unless you’re talking about young people and party independents or for that matter "mind independents" in which case the digits could easily be reversed, making for a slim majority.

What I am wondering is if Paul’s support reaches even as high as 15% among atheists? And I’m not just talking about your die-hard Stalinist democratic centralists. Somehow Ron Paul seems to bring out the mean streak (as if it were hard to bring out) in the followers of atheist Ayn Rand. This latter is a mystery, and may have something to with the fact that Paul is a Christian, born into a family which regularly supplied pastors to the Lutheran church. Or it may have something to do with copyright violations on naming one’s children…go figure.

Be that as it may, voting for Ron Paul is a no brainer for any Christian, and I don’t mean just those who style themselves "Christian libertarians"…albeit these latter have a noble pedigree going all the way back to John Lock himself (and no, I don’t mean the spooky character on Lost, but the authentic article who inspired the Founders). After all, it’s not fair to box Christians into some sort of air-tight ideological compartment, since according to the gospel one is supposed to be accountable to the Spirit rather than the supposed consistency of worldly philosophies.


Digital Detectives Dig Through Data Deluge

What you do on your computer stays on your computer.

 That may seem obvious, but a document in a new FBI terrorism caseprovides fascinating reminders of just how much information government agents can mine from your computer and other electronics, revealing cyber secrets you thought you'd long ago deleted.

 Jamshid Muhtorov is a refugee from Uzbekistan who was living in Aurora, Colo., until his arrest on Jan. 21. The FBI began investigating Muhtorov last year for his support of the Islamic Jihad Union. The group is designated a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. government and has claimed responsibility for multiple attacks on coalition forces in Afghanistan.


Va. Republicans Advance Anti-Abortion Bill

A bill advanced by Republican lawmakers in Virginia would require women seeking abortions to first get an ultrasound, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The state Senate bill sponsored by two GOP lawmakers cleared the Education and Health Committee last week on a narrow 8-7 vote along party lines, with all Democrats on the panel opposing it. It now moves to the full GOP-controlled Senate for consideration.

The Times-Dispatch said the vote by the committee marked “the most significant example to date of the impact of Republican control over the committee,” which had been controlled by the Democrats over the past four years.

Supporters of the measure described it as “a significant pro-life proposal.”

“Giving a woman access to the most advanced medical technology available, including an ultrasound, can only ensure that her health is protected and that she can make her decision regarding an abortion with all the information available,” Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation of Virginia, was quoted as saying.


Parent Confession: Many Skip Booster Seats For Carpoolers

You set out with a crew from the birthday party, but find you’re a booster short. Do you make sure your own child gets one?
Or do you, instead, let all the kids use belts only? In a national survey published today by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), half of the 1,612 parents of 4- to 8-year-olds questioned said they sometimes let passengers – and their own kids – go booster free if not every child is using one.

Wicomico County Students Out Of Line

Last Thursday I had to leave the Office for a little while. As I was heading east bound on Rt. 50 from Downtown I came up to the light near the One Stop Job building there were kids crossing Rt. 50. Now, they were NOT crossing in the cross walk and I'm not talking about one or two kids. I'm talking about 10 or so kids running across Rt. 50 100 yards or more from the cross walk.

I mentioned this to a friend of mine and he said, that's nothing! Last week kids at one of the schools were running in front of the school buses playing a game. He went on to say one of the kids actually laid on the ground in front of a moving school bus. Again, information you're not going to hear from the BOE but one thing is for sure, it IS being announced on their radios from one bus driver to the other.

I guess it's too much to ask for our educators to do something about this. Do they TEACH safety in our schools any more? My guess is, they're too busy lobbying for new buildings instead.

Va. State Lawmakers Forward Voter ID Bill

A Virginia state House panel has approved a Republican-sponsored voter bill that would require people unable to produce identification to cast provisional ballots, according to a report by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The vote last week by the state House Committee on Privileges and Election caused an uproar among Democrats opposed to altering existing law, which the Times-Dispatch said allows anyone who claims to be a registered voter to a cast a regular ballot that gets counted immediately — regardless of whether they produce proper identification or not.

The Democrats argued that the measure would suppress the vote of the elderly, poor and young voters, as well as minorities.


Should You Schedule Sex?

Him: “Honey, what’s on the calendar this week? Anything?”
Her: “Well, let’s see. Tuesday night – dinner with your family, Wednesday night – we’ve got our daughter’s junior high school play, Thursday night we’re supposed to have sex at nine-thirty.”
Even WRITING that feels weird. But apparently, this is one of the modern ways that couples are managing to hit their SOQ’s (Sex Occurrence Quotas) and in theory, it's keeping the couple sexually satiated. Does this method really work? I’m serious here: If you’re one of these couples who calendars their sex lives, I need to hear from you. 

Read More

Fracking Explained (finally!)

How Bain's Lobbying Saved Mitt Millions

With the sting of defeat in the South Carolina primary still fresh at last week's Republican presidential debate in Tampa, Mitt Romney slammed Newt Gingrich for his record as a consultant—or "historian," in Newt-speak—for government mortgage-backer Freddie Mac.
But perhaps Romney should think twice before setting his sights on the former speaker's lobbying-related past. That's because the ex-governor has benefited handsomely from the influence-peddling of Bain Capital, the private equity firm he cofounded in 1983. Though he's been gone from Bain for over a decade, Romney continues to rake in millions from accounts with the firm—and in 2007, he took Bain's side in a key lobbying battle with Washington—one that saved him millions of dollars.

New Job

Italian cruise ship captain Francesco Schettino began his new job as a bus driver yesterday...




Japan's Population Faces Dramatic Decline

Tokyo (CNN) -- Japan's population will shrink by a staggering 30% by 2060, according to a new estimate by the country's government.

 The current population will shrink from the current level of 128 million to 86.74 million, as the graying nation's aging accelerates and the birthrate continues to stay low.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare's research organization released the data on Monday. The group, called the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, provides a 50-year demographic forecast every five years.


Rick Hoppes Is Looking Good, Should Becomes Salisbury's Next Fire Chief

New City Solicitor Mark Tilghman advised the City Council today that they do not have to go through a long drawn out process to do another national search for a new Fire Chief.

No matter what anyone says, Rick Hoppes has done his time, knows the ropes and as brutal as the Salisbury Firefighters can be on their Chief's, either Rick has the backbone for it or he'll fold like the rest of them have.

We'll see what their final decision is at the next City Council Meeting but if I was a betting man I'd say Rick Hoppes is your next Fire Chief.

Jackie Evancho Video - To Believe With Lyrics HD

Ayla Reynolds Case: Blood Found In Home Belongs To Missing Girl

Blood discovered in the home of the father of missing Maine toddler Ayla Reynolds did come from the girl and was "more blood than a small cut would produce," the girl's family says investigators told them.

 The family of the missing girl posted on the website set up to help find the 20-month-old on Sunday, sharing the details that investigators told them about the scene where the tot disappeared from her crib in December.


National Bohemian "Natty Boh" Lord Baltimore Ad

New World Trade Center Skyscraper Becomes World's Most Expensive New Office Tower

The price tag for One World Trade Center, the signature skyscraper under construction at Ground Zero in New York, has risen to more than $3.8 billion, making it by far the world's most expensive new office tower, according to people familiar with the matter.
The new figure, up $700 million from the latest public estimate, marks another twist in the rebuilding of the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The process has been marked by thorny political challenges and ever-lengthening construction delays.

Read More

Congressman Andy Harris: More Wasted Stimulus Money

Friday, it was announced that Ener1 an Obama Administration backed electric car battery manufacturer filed for bankruptcy after receiving $118 million in Stimulus money from the Department of Energy (DOE). This marks the third company to declare bankruptcy after receiving large Stimulus grants from the Obama Administration. Last year Solyndra declared bankruptcy after receiving $528 million in Stimulus money as did Beacon Power after it received $43 million from DOE.

In May I held a subcommittee hearing questioning the lack of transparency regarding how Stimulus funds are distributed. Now we have yet another company that received hard-working taxpayers' dollars that declared bankruptcy after wasting $118 million. Ener1 is just the latest in a growing and disturbing trend of Obama Administration decisions that have wasted hundreds of millions of hard-working taxpayers' dollars to benefit politically connected Obama donors. Picking winners and losers based on crony capitalism is wrong and must come to an end.

Hightower: By Axing Parks, Politicians Are Stealing The People's Property

“Sorry, we’re closed.”
In one of the saddest signs of the times, this message is popping up all across the country, as governors and legislators are cutting off funds (and shutting off access) to one of the finest, most popular assets owned by the people of our country: state parks.
More than 6,600 of these jewels draw some 700 million visitors a year to their grand vistas, historic sites, abundant wildlife, majestic forests, cascading waters, expansive beaches, nature trails, campgrounds, educational centers and lodges. Parks are a tangible expression of America’s democratic ideals, literally a common ground for every man, woman and child to enjoy, learn, absorb ... or just be.

An Interesting Weekend At Salisbury News

This weekend I was asked by a French Documentary Film Company to do an interview on Sex Offender Laws in the United States.

It turns out, France has no sex offender laws but are interested in learning how the rest of the World handles sex offenders.

The female journalist came with a camera man, (above) and asked some very interesting questions, all of which when the documentary comes out I think you'll be somewhat shocked at my responses. After about an hour long interview she said, this has been the best interview yet. Reason being, rather than dealing with politicians, this was the first time she was able to get an opinion.

We touched on the Sarah Foxwell / Thomas Leggs case but that was not the key to their asking to interview me. The documentary should air some time in March and we'll be sure to publish it here once it is available.

For Thos Of You Who Do Not Believe America Can Cut Military Spending

I was in a deep conversation this past weekend with two republicans who felt there is no way America can afford to cut back on military spending, I beg to differ. One thing I like to do is research such topics and below is some pretty interesting information.

America has 11 aircraft carriers. No other country has more than one. We could probably go another 40 years without spending and still be way ahead of any other country, yet NONE of this kind of information is provided by the Main Stream Media.

Now I'm sure there will be some of you who will harshly argue my belief here but take a good hard look at what America spends verses any other country around the world. I believe the numbers provided as well as additional links at the bottom will blow you away.

This list is based on the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Military Expenditure Database for 2010 (in constant 2009 US$). It also includes military expenditure data as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009.

Rank Country Military expenditure, 2010 % of GDP, 2009

1 United States 687,105,000,000 4.7%
2 People's Republic of China 114,300,000,000 2.2%
3 France 61,285,000,000 2.5%
4 United Kingdom 57,424,000,000 2.7%
5 Russia 52,586,000,000 4.3%
6 Japan 51,420,000,000 1.0%
7 Germany 46,848,000,000 1.4%
8 Saudi Arabia 42,917,000,000 11.2%
9 Italy 38,198,000,000 1.8%
10 India 34,816,000,000 2.8%
11 Brazil 28,096,000,000 1.6%
12 South Korea 24,270,000,000 2.9%
13 Canada 20,164,000,000 1.5%
14 Australia 19,799,000,000 1.9%
15 Spain 15,803,000,000 1.1%
16 United Arab Emirates 15,749,000,000 7.3%
17 Turkey 15,634,000,000 2.7%
18 Israel 13,001,000,000 6.3%
19 Netherlands 11,604,000,000 1.5%
20 Greece 9,369,000,000 3.2%
21 Colombia 9,191,000,000 3.7%
22 Republic of China (Taiwan) 8,535,000,000 2.4%
23 Poland 8,380,000,000 1.8%
24 Singapore 7,651,000,000 4.3%
25 Iran 7,044,000,000b 1.8%b
26 Norway 6,322,000,000 1.6%
27 Chile 6,198,000,000 3.5%
28 Indonesia 6,009,000,000 0.9%
29 Algeria 5,586,000,000 3.8%
30 Belgium 5,382,000,000 1.2%
31 Sweden 5,248,000,000 1.2%
32 Portugal 5,213,000,000 2.1%
33 Pakistan 5,160,000,000 2.8%
34 Mexico 4,859,000,000 0.5%
35 Iraq 4,663,000,000 5.4%
36 Denmark 4,588,000,000 1.4%
37 Switzerland 4,392,000,000 0.8%
38 Thailand 4,336,000,000 1.9%
39 Kuwait 4,411,000,000 4.4%
40 Oman 4,047,000,000 9.7%
41 Egypt 3,914,000,000 2.1%
42 Angola 3,774,000,000 4.2%
43 South Africa 3,735,000,000 1.3%
44 Finland 3,718,000,000 1.5%
45 Austria 3,446,000,000 0.9%
46 Ukraine 3,442,000,000 2.9%
47 Malaysia 3,259,000,000 2.0%
48 Morocco 3,256,000,000 3.4%
49 Argentina 3,179,000,000 1.0%
50 Venezuela 3,106,000,000 1.3%
51 Czech Republic 2,529,000,000 1.4%
52 Vietnam 2,410,000,000 2.5%
53 Syria 2,236,000,000 4.0%
54 Romania 2,164,000,000 1.4%
55 Peru 1,992,000,000 1.4%
56 Sudan 1,991,000,000c 3.4%c
57 Nigeria 1,724,000,000 0.9%
58 Lebanon 1,564,000,000 4.1%
59 Philippines 1,486,000,000 0.8%
60 Azerbaijan 1,421,000,000 3.4%
61 Jordan 1,363,000,000 6.1%
62 New Zealand 1,358,000,000 1.2%
63 Ireland 1,354,000,000 0.6%
64 Hungary 1,323,000,000 1.1%
65 Sri Lanka 1,280,000,000 3.5%
66 Kazakhstan 1,227,000,000 1.2%
67 Yemen 1,222,000,000b 3.9%b
68 Bangladesh 1,137,000,000 1.0%
69 Libya 1,100,000,000b 1.2%b
70 Croatia 1,060,000,000 1.8%
71 Slovakia 1,010,000,000 1.4%
72 Serbia 920,000,000 2.3%
73 Slovenia 788,000,000 1.6%
74 Bahrain 731,000,000 3.7%
75 Belarus 726,000,000 1.4%
76 Bulgaria 698,000,000 2.0%
77 Kenya 594,000,000 2.0%
78 Tunisia 548,000,000 1.3%
79 Cyprus 510,000,000 1.8%
80 Uruguay 491,000,000 1.6%
81 Eritrea 469,000,000d 20.9%d
82 Georgia 452,000,000 5.6%
83 Lithuania 427,000,000 1.4%
84 Armenia 404,000,000 4.2%
85 Cameroon 368,000,000 1.6%
86 Côte d'Ivoire 353,000,000b 1.5%
87 Botswana 352,000,000 3.0%
88 Ethiopia 338,000,000 1.0%
89 Estonia 336,000,000 2.3%
90 Namibia 329,000,000 3.7%
91 Brunei 327,000,000 3.1%
92 Dominican Republic 322,000,000 0.7%
93 Bolivia 314,000,000 2.0%
94 Luxembourg 301,000,000a 0.6%
95 Uganda 276,000,000 1.8%
96 Latvia 268,000,000 1.4%
97 Afghanistan 250,000,000j 1.8%
98 Zambia 243,000,000 1.7%
99 Chad 242,000,000 6.2%
100 Honduras 235,000,000 1.5%
101 Turkmenistan 233,000,000e 2.9%e
102 Bosnia and Herzegovina 232,000,000 1.3%
103 Tanzania 217,000,000j 1.1%
104 Senegal 207,000,000 1.6%
104 Nepal 207,000,000 2.0%
106 Albania 201,000,000 2.1%
107 Cambodia 191,000,000j 1.1%
108 Mali 183,000,000 1.9%
109 Kyrgyzstan 167,000,000j 3.6%
110 Congo, Democratic Republic of the 163,000,000 1.0%
111 Guatemala 161,000,000 0.4%
112 Panama 146,000,000e 1.0%e
112 Paraguay 146,000,000 0.9%
114 Republic of Macedonia 145,000,000 1.7%
115 Burkina Faso 140,000,000 1.2%
116 Congo, Republic of the 133,000,000 1.1%b
116 El Salvador 133,000,000 0.7%
118 Ghana 115,000,000 0.7%
118 Mauritania 115,000,000j 3.8%
120 Swaziland 102,000,000 3.1%
121 Guinea 99,900,000f 2.2%f
122 Jamaica 95,200,000 0.9%
123 Zimbabwe 93,800,000 1.9%c
124 Mozambique 86,300,000 0.9%
125 Rwanda 77,200,000 1.4%
126 Uzbekistan 70,100,000d 0.5%d
127 Benin 65,600,000b 1.0%b
128 Malta 58,800,000 0.7%
129 Madagascar 55,700,000 0.8%
130 Tajikistan 55,400,000f 2.2%f
131 Togo 55,100,000b 1.7%b
132 Central African Republic 52,900,000 1.8%
133 Fiji 50,200,000j 1.7%
134 Niger 49,200,000 0.5%b
135 Malawi 48,600,000a 1.2%a
136 Mongolia 47,400,000 1.0%
137 Burundi 46,900,000b 3.8%
138 Lesotho 45,600,000j 2.8%j
139 Nicaragua 44,100,000 0.7%
140 Sierra Leone 42,900,000b 2.4%
141 Papua New Guinea 39,100,000 0.5%
142 Djibouti 36,900,000b 3.7%b
143 Moldova 19,000,000 0.5%
144 Laos 18,400,000j 0.3%
145 Guinea-Bissau 15,700,000g 2.1%g
146 Belize 14,900,000 1.2%
147 Mauritius 14,000,000b 0.2%b
148 Iceland 9,900,000j 0.1%
149 Cape Verde 8,800,000 0.5%
150 Guyana 8,100,000h 0.8%h
151 Liberia 7,200,000j 0.8%
152 Seychelles 6,600,000 1.2%
153 Gambia, The 4,600,000a 0.6%a
999 zz 9e50 999

The following is a table of the top 15 countries with the highest military expenditure for 2010 published in the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Yearbook 2011 using current market exchange rates in current (2010) US dollars.

Rank Country 2010 Spending ($ b.) Share of 2010 GDP (%) World Share (%)
— World Total 1 630 2.6 100
1 United States 698 4.8 43
2 Chinaa 119 2.1 7.3
3 United Kingdom 59.6 2.7 3.7
4 France 59.3 2.3 3.6
5 Russiaa 58.7 4.0 3.5
6 Japan 54.5 1.0 3.3
7 Germanya 45.2 1.3 2.8
7 Saudi Arabiab 45.2 10.4 2.8
9 India 41.3 2.7 2.5
10 Italya 37.0 1.8 2.3
11 Brazil 33.5 1.6 2.1
12 South Korea 27.6 2.8 1.7
13 Australia 24.0 2.0 1.5
14 Canadaa 22.8 1.5 1.4
15 Turkeya 17.5 2.4 1.1

Arms industry
List of countries by military expenditures per capita
List of countries by level of military equipment
List of countries by number of troops
Military budget
Military budget of the United States
List of countries without armed forces
Number of warships in service worldwide
Military of the European Union

Freddie Mac Betting Against Struggling Homeowners

Freddie Mac, a taxpayer-owned mortgage company, is supposed to make homeownership easier. One thing that makes owning a home more affordable is getting a cheaper mortgage.
But Freddie Mac has invested billions of dollars betting that U.S. homeowners won't be able to refinance their mortgages at today's lower rates, according to an investigation by NPR andProPublica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom.
These investments, while legal, raise concerns about a conflict of interest within Freddie Mac.

LORA's Annual Gala 3-10-12

New One Stop Job Market

The One Stop Job Market (formerly located at 917 Mt. Hermon Road) has relocated to 31901 Tri County Way (the old Comtek building) across from Wor Wic Community College. The location houses agencies such as Telamon Corporation, the Maryland Workforce Exchange (DLLR), Tri-County Council, Social Services and Wicomico County Child Support among others. The new building opened to the public this morning.

Eric Ludwig Fundraiser

A Rendition Of The New EVO Facility In Salisbury, Coming Soon

A Sign Of The Times

While most would think and some actually pay for the biggest day of circulation the Daily Times offers, (Sunday) I snapped this image at WalMart yesterday at 3:00 PM.

Pictures don't lie Ladies & Gentlemen. The Daily Times has lost their place in this market and continue to spiral downwards.


New Posts to fall below.

Code Of Ethics For Gannett Newspaper Division


Seeking and reporting the truth in a truthful way

We will dedicate ourselves to reporting the news accurately, thoroughly and in context.
We will be honest in the way we gather, report and present news.
We will be persistent in the pursuit of the whole story.
We will keep our word.
We will hold factual information in opinion columns and editorials to the same standards of
accuracy as news stories.
We will seek to gain sufficient understanding of the communities, individuals and stories we
cover to provide an informed account of activities.

Serving the public interest

We will uphold First Amendment principles to serve the democratic process.
We will be vigilant watchdogs of government and institutions that affect the public.
We will provide the news and information that people need to function as effective citizens.
We will seek solutions as well as expose problems and wrongdoing.
We will provide a public forum for diverse people and views.
We will reflect and encourage understanding of the diverse segments of our community.
We will provide editorial and community leadership.
We will seek to promote understanding of complex issues.

Exercising fair play

We will treat people with dignity, respect and compassion.
We will correct errors promptly.
We will strive to include all sides relevant to a story and not take sides in news coverage.
We will explain to readers our journalistic processes.
We will give particular attention to fairness in relations with people unaccustomed to dealing with the press.
We will use unnamed sources as the sole basis for published information only as a last resort
and under specific procedures that best serve the public’s right to know.
We will be accessible to readers.

Maintaining independence

We will remain free of outside interests, investments or business relationships that may
compromise the credibility of our news report.
We will maintain an impartial, arm’s length relationship with anyone seeking to influence the
We will avoid potential conflicts of interest and eliminate inappropriate influence on content.
We will be free of improper obligations to news sources, newsmakers and advertisers.
We will differentiate advertising from news.

Why Vaccines May Not Always Be Effective

Vaccines aren't 100 percent effective. Sometimes, our immune system doesn't mount a strong enough response to an immunization, so defenses are down when a pathogen invades.


NY Inmate Guilty Of Seeking $890M In Tax Refunds

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - A jury has convicted a New York prison inmate of falsely filing tax returns seeking $890 million in refunds.

Prosecutors say the man filed the bogus returns from 2006 to 2010 while at various state prisons. They say he even was issued a refund for $327,000 _ but prison officials intercepted the check and returned it to the Internal Revenue Service, which led the investigation.


Fill In The Blank 01/30/12

The MOST likable villain of all time is ______.

Forget Global Warming - It's Cycle 25 We Need To Worry About

(and if NASA scientists are right the Thames will be freezing over again)

Met Office releases new figures which show no warming in 15 years

The supposed ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years.
The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century.

Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.


19 Cats, Dogs Killed In Va. Fire

SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. (AP) - A dozen cats and seven dogs died when flames swept through a single-family home in Spotsylvania County.

Fire officials tell the Free Lance-Star of Fredericksburg that no one was home Saturday when fire destroyed the home in the Lake Wilderness subdivision.


A Push To Ban Teens From Using Tanning Beds In Maryland

WASHINGTON - Anyone under the age of 18 wouldn't be able to use tanning beds if a new bill passes in the Maryland General Assembly.

The bill, SB 213, was introduced this month, and is sponsored by 12 Maryland State Senators. A similar bill, HB 207, is making its way through the House.

The sponsors say the ban isn't that much different from banning tobacco sales to minors, since both have been linked to cancer.


Help Wanted 01/30/12

Businesses looking to fill positions can put their information in comments for FREE.

Man And Twin Toddlers Found Dead In Virginia Home

Authorities said Sunday they are investigating the "tragic" and "suspicious deaths" of a 40-year-old man and two 3-year-old girls, all related, whose bodies were found this weekend in a modest, ranch-style home in a community near Richmond.
Sgt. Christ Whitley with the Hanover County Sheriff's Department said investigators haven't yet released a cause or motives in the deaths after the discovery of the bodies Saturday afternoon at the home in Mechanicsville, just northeast of Virginia's capital city.

Read More

A Quick Stroll Downtown Today

As I took a quick stroll Downtown there was trash everywhere, as well as a lamp post that had been knocked down and removed, yet the wiring was left exposed and no cones around what was left.

Now mind you, the City can't be everywhere but I will say this, there are a bunch of slobs that travel the Downtown Plaza area. There is trash everywhere, yet there are trash cans all throughout the Plaza. Its just a shame people in this generation have no guilt whatsoever for littering.

With Oil Pipeline To US On Hold, Canada Eyes China

The latest chapter in Canada's quest to become a full-blown oil superpower unfolded this month in a village gym on the British Columbia coast.
Here, several hundred people gathered for hearings on whether a pipeline should be laid from the Alberta oil sands to the Pacific in order to deliver oil to Asia, chiefly energy-hungry China. The stakes are particularly high for the village of Kitamaat and its neighbors, because the pipeline would terminate here and a port would be built to handle 220 tankers a year and 525,000 barrels of oil a day.

My Ride Into Work This Morning 1-30-12

Tennessee Lawmaker Threatens Trans Women With Violence

On Jan. 12 Tennessee State Representative Richard Floyd (R-Chattanooga) said he would "stomp a mudhole" into any transgender woman he saw attempting to use a women's restroom. That phrase means to sexually and violently assault someone to the point where they are unable to fight back.
So far, Rep. Floyd's comments have been largely ignored and unchallenged by the mainstream media. How could something so incredibly outrageous and disgusting go unreported?

Caption This Photo 1-30-12

Today's Survey Question 1-30-12

Do you get a flu shot yearly?

Manhole Covers Secured For Super Bowl

Nearly $200,000 has been spent to replace manhole covers in the Super Bowl Village. Authorities are bracing for whatever threat the first Super Bowl in downtown Indianapolis might bring.


The Dark Side Of Shiny Apple Products

Just try to imagine 37 million iPhones . . . that's how many Apple sold in just the last three months of 2011.
On Tuesday it announced revenue of more than $46 billion for the quarter ending December 31.
Tim Cook, the man who replaced the late Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple, told Wall Street analysts the company couldn't keep up with global demand for the new iPhone 4S. "We didn't bet high enough," he said.
The world is in love with everything Apple . . . but here's a question: Have you ever wondered where all that stuff gets made?

O'Malley Responds To Wife's Remark On Gay Marriage

BALTIMORE - Gov. Martin O'Malley sought to smooth over any raw feelings in Annapolis after his wife referred to opponents of gay marriage as "cowards," saying Sunday that words of compassion, understanding and justice are needed in the debate.

O'Malley, a Democrat who has made same-sex marriage legislation a priority this year, closed out his remarks at the 24th National Conference on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality by underscoring the need for using compassionate rhetoric. The governor said it's important not to let passionate views prompt people to use "words of hurt, rather than words of healing."

"Laws matter, but words also matter, and if compassion and understanding and justice are what we want, then we must choose laws and we must choose words of compassion, understanding and of justice," O'Malley said.


US Elections: No Matter Who You Vote For, Money Always Wins

Republican presidential debates are not for the faint-hearted. Last week in Jacksonville, Florida, Rick Santorum warned of the "threat of radical Islam growing" in Central and South America. Newt Gingrich advocated sending up to seven flights a day to the moon, where private industry might set up a colony, and reaffirmed his claim that Palestinians were invented in the late 70s. Mitt Romney argued that if you make things tough enough for undocumented people, they will "self-deport".


Early Thoughts

Learn how to be happy with what you have while you pursue all that you want.”

A fellow who does things that count, doesn’t usually stop to count them.”

Love makes everything that is heavy light.”

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

Cop In ‘Quota’ Fight

A cop assigned to the Upper West Side is claiming he suffered retaliation for not writing enough summonses and doing too few stop-and-frisks under a quota system the NYPD insists doesn’t exist.
Officer Rajinder Singh reported he was yanked from his regular patrol duties, assigned to lone foot posts in other commands, and ordered to “transport a hostile prisoner without leg restraints,” all because he cop came up short.
With the PBA on his side, Singh has filed a grievance against the NYPD that the Board of Collective Bargaining on Dec. 20 ruled is subject to arbitration, overriding objections from the city.

Read More

Sobering Thoughts

Two Dudes Cleaning,Inc.

Preppers View - how much longer can we let this go on?

I really do try to keep my posts focused on prepping but every now and again I see something on one of the many prepper sites I visit that warrants some extra effort to get out there for everyone to see. I ask you to view this video and open your eyes. How much longer will we let our government do this? I am a conservative but this isn't about republican and democrat. This is about right and wrong and the age old conflict between the two. If this was a legitimate war I could understand collateral damage. It happens during war. But this is an unlawful occupation. If we stand by and let this happen we are as guilty as they are. They being our government. The people that let this happen and cover it up are members of the upper echelons of government and go all the way to the MSM mouthpieces for the government that wage daily propaganda war which tends to drum up support for this type of behavior. There can be no justification for this. Killing innocent people "for their own good" cannot be justified. WE are supposed to be the good guys. Instead we stand by as our government feeds a military industrial complex in the name of profits. Who are we supposed to support? Romney? Gingrich? Obama? Each of them will continue this policy. Ron Paul is the clear choice. But because the MSM is controlled by the big money that benefits from the profits gleaned from the military industrial complex, Ron Paul won't be given the time of day let alone equal airtime. How can this not be obvious to everyone. Anyway, watch this video. the comments will reveal those who can think for themselves and those who are like sheep.


(Crumpton, MD)- Maryland State Police from the Centreville Barrack continue to investigate an early morning double pedestrian fatal in Queen Anne’s County.

The deceased are identified as Megan Pulleyn, 26, of Millington and Thomas Gustafson, 57, of Chestertown. Pulleyn was operating a 2007 Toyota Camry. Gustafson, a hunter in the area, was walking in the roadway at the time of the incident.

State troopers responded to the scene shortly before 7:00 a.m. The preliminary investigation indicates Pulleyn, traveling westbound on Route 544, west of Route 290, struck Gustafson, who was either standing or walking across the roadway. Pulleyn immediately stopped her vehicle, exited and began walking towards Gustafson, while calling 9-1-1 from her cell phone.

As Pulleyn was attempting to help Gustafson, a 2011 Jeep Compass, traveling eastbound on Route 544, struck both pedestrians. The Jeep, operated by Margaret Blankenship, 54, of Crumpton, immediately stopped.

Pulleyn was pronounced deceased at the scene. Gustafson was flown to University of Maryland Shock Trauma, where he later succumbed to his injuries. Blankenship did not suffer any injuries.

The Maryland State Police CRASH Team responded to investigate the crash. Troopers from the Centreville Barrack, Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office, Kent County Sheriff’s Office, and Queen Anne’s Paramedic Units assisted at the scene.

The investigation continues...

Trash Piling Up Faster Along Border With Mexico

Picking her way into the desert brush, Raquel Martinez gathered scores of plastic water bottles tossed in an Arizona desert valley near the Mexico border, often by migrants making a risky trek into the United States across increasingly remote terrain.


Romney Was 'Independent,' Not Strong Republican

As the Florida primary looms closer, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has more and more strongly identified himself as a consistent conservative and Republican voter, and in Thursday’s GOP debate he implied he always has been.

But a review of the facts paints a different picture and counters Romney’s assertions. In the past, Romney has often gone to considerable lengths to distance himself from Republicans and conservatives.

• Romney had been a lifelong independent before he decided to run for Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat in Massachusetts in 1994, the Boston Globe reported at the time.

When Romney debated Kennedy, Kennedy accused his opponent of trying to return the country to the policies of Reagan-Bush. Romney retorted: “I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I’m not trying to return to Reagan-Bush.”

• The Los Angeles Times reported that after Romney entered the '94 Senate race, his wife Ann said: “We didn’t know a single Republican when we jumped in.”

The Times also disclosed that Romney even considered running as an independent “before rejecting the idea as impractical.”

Read more on Romney Was 'Independent,' Not Strong Republican
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