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Tuesday, February 07, 2012

States To Feds: Take This Law And Shove It

“We don’t need permission from the feds to exercise our rights!”

That’s the message the Tenth Amendment Center and The Foundation for a Free Society will be bringing to the year’s biggest event for conservatives with the premiere of the explosive documentary film, “Nullification: The Rightful Remedy.”

The documentary explores the history of state nullification, the constitutional legitimacy of the idea and how the concept can be used today to fight encroachment of federal power.

Nullification is a states’-rights doctrine written by Thomas Jefferson in 1798 in The Kentucky Resolutions, which were written to protest the Federalist Congress’ passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts. Under the nullification concept, states can refuse to recognize a federal law passed by Congress if the federal government overstepped its constitutional authority in passing the legislation.“

‘Nullification: The Rightful Remedy’ promises to be the most comprehensive documentary on the subject of the Tenth Amendment and nullification, the long-forgotten tool that Jefferson considered our best defense against the federal government’s unconstitutional usurpation of power,” said Jason Rink, executive director of the Foundation for a Free Society and producer and director of the film.

In 1798, Jefferson explained that the states shaped the federal government and ratified the Constitution, so they have the power to determine whether the federal government is abiding by the Constitution. He warned the states to be alert against violation of the Constitution and not to hesitate to strike down unconstitutional legislation by Congress or the president.

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Should More Schools Have Plan B Contraceptive Available From Vending Machines?

University is making headlines across the country today after newspapers and TV stations picked up an AP story about the school offering Plan B emergency contraceptive (you can also call it levonorgestrel if you're not into brand names) via a vending machine in the school's health center.

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Why Did It Take Them So Long?

This afternoon, Governor O’Malley will give a lecture on same-sex marriage to Attorney General Joe Curran’s class at the University of Baltimore School of Law. He’ll be giving out this handout and we wanted to share. As the Governor said in his State of the State address, “I’m sure there are many who in hindsight of history will say, “why did it take them so long?……” I’m sure people back in Attorney General Curran’s day asked the same thing…

Governor O'Malley

Here's Government's Latest Plan To Gain Control Of The Internet

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, following a recent anti-piracy legislative debacle with SOPA and PIPA, will lead his second effort of 2012 to push Internet-regulating legislation, this time in the form of a new cybersecurity bill. The expected bill is the latest attempt by the Democrats to broadly expand the authority of executive branch agencies over the Internet.

Details about the bill remain shrouded in secrecy. Clues available to the public suggest that the bill might be stronger than President Barack Obama’s cybersecurity proposal, which was released in May 2011. Reid said that he would bring the bill — expected to come out of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, chaired by Connecticut independent Sen. Joe Lieberman — to the floor during the first Senate work period of 2012.

A classified meeting behind closed doors in October 2011 between key Senate committee leaders with jurisdiction over cybersecurity and White House officials, took place at the request of the Obama administration. Lieberman, in an interview with The Hill in October, said that past Senate cybersecurity bills were considerably stronger than the White House proposal.

The White House proposal recommended that the Department of Homeland Security be given broad regulatory authority for cybersecurity matters over civilian networks. The White House proposal also recommends that the DHS program be “developed in consultation with privacy and civil liberties experts and with the approval of the Attorney General.”


A Budget Of Choices

As the jobs recovery continues, there has been some chatter about the choices being made here in Maryland to help speed our recovery along compared to our neighbors across the Potomac.

Budgets are about choices, and those choices have real consequences. For example, Governor O’Malley has chosen to protect record investments in public education, affordable college and Maryland’s innovation economy even in the toughest of times.

Last year, Maryland created 30,300 new jobs, most of them in the private sector, and at nearly two and half times the rate of neighboring Virginia. Our public universities and colleges have become more affordable, not less. And we saw healthcare coverage expanded to more than 400,000 people who were previously uninsured – about half of them children.

While our neighbors in Virginia begin considering a new two-year budget, they too will have to take a hard look at the consequences of Governor McDonnell’s choices for children and families throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.

For example, even as Governor McDonnell’s proposed budget spends about $7 billion dollars more than his Democratic predecessor, his budget cuts $450,000 in healthcare for Virginia’s children, and $520 million less for hospitals that could have been used to provide life-saving care to citizens.

To be certain, Governor McDonnell made a choice last year to write a $620 million IOU to Virginia’s public pension system, compounding the problems to be addressed in this new proposal. Even as he’s now pledging to “fix” Virginia’s pensions system that he helped break, Virginia’s public schools will now have to do more with less as he begins to gradually shift revenue away from schools, public safety, and health programs to roads, rails, and bridges.

The Washington Post notes that Virginia faces a transportation funding shortfall of $1 billion annually. The roads, bridges, mass transportation, schools, water treatment facilities and more that our parents and grandparents built simply aren’t going to hold up forever.

But there are no easy choices that can fix these problems. And there are certainly no easy choices that would satisfy the tea party elements of his Republican Party to help him win the #2 spot on Mitt Romney’s 2012 ticket.

So Governor McDonnell made a different choice, one that diverts funding intended for schools, children and healthcare but fails to make even the slightest dent in a transportation funding problem that he himself has called “a crisis.” The Washington Post has correctly labeled his choice as politically expedient, a major failure of leadership, and one that is likely to haunt Virginia for years.

But maybe if things don’t work out in November, he can convince Mitt Romney to at least buy the naming rights to the Virginia side of the new ‘Mitt Romney Woodrow Wilson Bridge.’

Military Families Paying Too Much For Child Care

Many military families are paying a lot more than they need to for child care. That's according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office. GAO found a high rate of military deployments is one factor that's led child care facilities on military bases to fill up. To compensate, the Defense Department offers subsidies so families can use off-base child care. But GAO found many military familes are never told about those subsidies. DoD says it's in the middle of new construction projects that'll provide 21-thousand new child care spaces on military bases. And later this year, they plan to pilot a new central website that will let servicemembers request child care services either on-or-off of military bases.

Sheriff Joe Sets D-Day On Obama's Eligibility

Following a Georgia judge’s ruling that Barack Obama is eligible to be on the state’s 2012 Democratic Party presidential ballot, the front lines in the continuing eligibility battle are being fought in Arizona.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio told WND his office has scheduled a news conference in Phoenix for March 1 to release findings of the Cold Case Posse that has been investigating Barack Obama’s birth certificate and eligibility to be president.

Arpaio declined to release to WND any of the posse’s conclusions in advance of the press conference, although he is on record saying the findings may be “shocking” to many.

Arpaio’s decision to investigate Obama follows a meeting held in his office Aug. 17 with tea party representatives from Surprise, Ariz., who presented a petition signed by more than 250 Maricopa County residents. The petitioners expressed concern that their voting rights could be irreparably compromised if Obama uses a forged birth certificate to be placed on the 2012 presidential ballot in Arizona or otherwise is found to be ineligible.

More here

Thomas Sowell: A Defining Moment

Governor Mitt Romney's statement about not worrying about the poor has been treated as a gaffe in much of the media, and those in the Republican establishment who have been rushing toward endorsing his coronation as the GOP's nominee for president -- with 90 percent of the delegates still not yet chosen -- have been trying to sweep his statement under the rug.

But Romney's statement about not worrying about the poor -- because they "have a very ample safety net" -- was followed by a statement that was not just a slip of the tongue, and should be a defining moment in telling us about this man's qualifications as a conservative and, more important, as a potential President of the United States.

Mitt Romney has come out in support of indexing the minimum wage law, to have it rise automatically to keep pace with inflation. To many people, that would seem like a small thing that can be left for economists or statisticians to deal with.

But to people who call themselves conservatives, and aspire to public office, there is no excuse for not being aware of what a major social disaster the minimum wage law has been for the young, the poor and especially for young and poor blacks.

It is not written in the stars that young black males must have astronomical rates of unemployment. It is written implicitly in the minimum wage laws.

We have gotten so used to seeing unemployment rates of 30 or 40 percent for black teenage males that it might come as a shock to many people to learn that the unemployment rate for sixteen- and seventeen-year-old black males was just under 10 percent back in 1948. Moreover, it was slightly lower than the unemployment rate for white males of the same age.

How could this be?

(Keep reading..)

Teachers Union Staffers Set Sail On 7-Day Caribbean Cruise

Imagine your organization is facing attacks from all sides. Imagine it’s losing members and revenue. Imagine governors and mayors – of both political parties – publicly denouncing your industry as “broken” and move swiftly to stifle your power and influence, while you flail away helplessly.

What to do? What else to do but go down drinking?

That’s what members of the National Education Association’s National Staff Organization have apparently decided. The NSO is an association of sorts for teachers’ union staff – political and communications types.

Following an “Advocacy Retreat” with the theme “Building Our Unionism,” members set sail on a 7-day cruise from Miami on February 5th “with stops at Cozumel, Grand Cayman Island and Isla Roatan.” Sounds fun! [In case the Facebook link disappears, never fear: here’s a PDF of the NSO newsletter.]

Guess what union staff? There are going to be cameras all over the ship documenting your every move – from every Fuzzy Navel to every game of shuffle board. Just think how your rank-and-file members might appreciate seeing all the “fun in the sun” you’re having, courtesy of their dues dollars.

Dues payers – especially those in states with compulsory unionism – can think fondly this week about their “employees” cavorting in the Caribbean as they’re looking at layoffs, decreased pay and increased insurance co-pays.


Senate Passes Bill Allowing Airports To Evict TSA Screeners

The Senate has passed legislation that includes a provision allowing airports to replace TSA screeners with private security, opening the door for the widely loathed federal agency to be marginalized from aviation security altogether.

The bill was primarily concerned with how the Federal Aviation Authority would be funded for the next four years, but also included measures that would force the TSA to reconsider applications from airports to replace TSA workers with their own privately hired screeners.

“Security companies would have an easier time winning contracts to operate airport checkpoints,” reports Businessweek.


Cracking The Whip On SNAP

The Agriculture Department cracks the whip on SNAP. USDA has intensified efforts to root out fraud under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. In the last quarter of 2011, it fined or suspended 225 stores from the food stamp program. Investigators disqualified 350 stores for trafficking in SNAP benefits. Nearly a quarter million stores participate in SNAP. USDA officials say they are stepping up inspections of stores operating at former locations of disqualified stores.

Tri Senators Wants Monthly Update On Federal Retirement Claims

A trio of Senators are demanding action over a growing backlog of federal retirement claims. Senator Mark Warner or Virginia, and Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland have written a letter to the Office of Personnel Management. They want OPM to submit monthly updates to Congress -- and work with OMB to develop a more efficient, tech savey retirement processing system by 2014. They also want OPM to report on all federal agencies that file inaccurate or incomplete information about retirees. The senators together represent a quarter-million Federal Employees. They say they've received many complaints about the more than 50-thousand backlogged retirement applications. OPM Director John Berry says tackling the backlog is his top priority for 2012.

5 Year FAA Stalemate Ends

Congress has sent President Obama a bill permanently authorizing the Federal Aviation Administration. That follows five years of legislative stalemate. FAA has operated under a series of 23 continuing resolutions. Lawmakers authorized $11 billion over the next four years for modernizing the air traffic control system. FAA is in the midst of converting from ground radar to satellite positioning for guiding aircraft. The bill also directs FAA to authorize drone flights within four years.

Increased Transportation Revenues May Not Be Enough To Fund Projects, Analysts Say

Legislative analysts said Friday that $870 million more in revenues for transportation – the amount recommended by the Blue Ribbon Commission on Maryland Transportation Funding – is not enough for the state to meet all of its needs.

Continue Reading...

Meet The Obscure Federal Regulator Who's Not Helping Homeowners

Our reading guide on the head of the regulatory agency that oversees Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae -- who's putting profits (and paying back taxpayers) ahead of homeowners.


Truth, Lies And Afghanistan

I spent last year in Afghanistan, visiting and talking with U.S. troops and their Afghan partners. My duties with the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force took me into every significant area where our soldiers engage the enemy. Over the course of 12 months, I covered more than 9,000 miles and talked, traveled and patrolled with troops in Kandahar, Kunar, Ghazni, Khost, Paktika, Kunduz, Balkh, Nangarhar and other provinces.

What I saw bore no resemblance to rosy official statements by U.S. military leaders about conditions on the ground.

Entering this deployment, I was sincerely hoping to learn that the claims were true: that conditions in Afghanistan were improving, that the local government and military were progressing toward self-sufficiency. I did not need to witness dramatic improvements to be reassured, but merely hoped to see evidence of positive trends, to see companies or battalions produce even minimal but sustainable progress.

Instead, I witnessed the absence of success on virtually every level.

My arrival in country in late 2010 marked the start of my fourth combat deployment, and my second in Afghanistan. A Regular Army officer in the Armor Branch, I served in Operation Desert Storm, in Afghanistan in 2005-06 and in Iraq in 2008-09. In the middle of my career, I spent eight years in the U.S. Army Reserve and held a number of civilian jobs — among them, legislative correspondent for defense and foreign affairs for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas.

As a representative for the Rapid Equipping Force, I set out to talk to our troops about their needs and their circumstances. Along the way, I conducted mounted and dismounted combat patrols, spending time with conventional and Special Forces troops. I interviewed or had conversations with more than 250 soldiers in the field, from the lowest-ranking 19-year-old private to division commanders and staff members at every echelon. I spoke at length with Afghan security officials, Afghan civilians and a few village elders.

I saw the incredible difficulties any military force would have to pacify even a single area of any of those provinces; I heard many stories of how insurgents controlled virtually every piece of land beyond eyeshot of a U.S. or International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) base.

I saw little to no evidence the local governments were able to provide for the basic needs of the people. Some of the Afghan civilians I talked with said the people didn’t want to be connected to a predatory or incapable local government.

From time to time, I observed Afghan Security forces collude with the insurgency.


Debt, Toll Roads And Patents

It's budget time, again. This means that the deficit hawks will be out in force warning us about the devastating debt burden that we are passing on to our children. So that this Halloween fright gang doesn't needlessly cause any kids to lose sleep, here's what parents can tell their children.

First, it is important to tell your kids that the national debt is not in any way a measure of intergenerational transfers from the young to the old. Debt is also an asset to the people who own the bonds. At some point, everyone who is alive today will be dead, which means that the bonds they own will be passed on to their or someone else's children and grandchildren.

Our children and grandchildren might owe the debt, but they will also be receiving the interest paid on the debt. There can be an issue of distribution within future generations (e.g. Bill Gates' descendants own all the debt), but that is a question of inequality within generations, not between generations. So, when you hear the deficit hawks ranting about the $15 trillion debt that we are passing on to our kids, you can tell your children that we are passing on $15 trillion in government bonds to our children.


Does The Racial Profiling Continue At The Wicomico County Sheriff's Office?

It's no secret that while Sheriff Mike Lewis was running for Office, Lewis was publicly targeted for racial profiling.

In the Alex Guerrero arrest was it really a "drug investigation" or simply a DWB, (Driving While Black).

There was a ton of discussion in the New York Times challenging MSP Officer Mike Lewis for racial profiling. Will history continue to haunt the Sheriff's Department? ''They're going to let the N.A.A.C.P. tell us how to do traffic stops,'' he says. ''That's what's happening. There may be a few troopers who make stops solely based on race, but thisa they're going to let these people tell us how to run our department. I say, to hell with it all. I don't care if the drugs go through. I don't.'' said Lewis.

While a person may not resist a lawful arrest, they have every right to resist an unlawful arrest. No drugs were found, therefore, was the arrest of Alex Guerrero lawful or unlawful? While it's true we weren't there, we can only go by what we are told and or read off of press releases. Mind you, any one taking the time to read the WCSO Press Release can clearly see the multitude of questionable information provided. The Sheriff cannot be very proud of what has been published in that release.

But it's whatever.

Bailed-Out Banks Won't Create Jobs: What Next?

After more than four years since the start of the recession in December 2007 and three years after President Obama assumed office, the jobs crisis continues to be the US economy's number-one problem.

Based on the US Department of Labor's more accurate latest "U-6" unemployment rate, at the official end of the recession in June 2009, there were 25.4 million jobless; today, more than 30 months later, there are still 23.4 million people without work. That means only approximately 67,200 jobs were created each month over two and a half years - a monthly number barely half of what is needed merely to absorb new entrants into the labor force.

Most of the 2 million jobs created in the private sector since Obama assumed office three years ago have been lower-paid service jobs, part-time jobs and temporary forms of employment - all of which have lower wages and few benefits. Higher-paying jobs and jobs with benefits in manufacturing and construction have, in contrast, continued to decline since the June 2009 recession low point. Today, there are still 79,000 fewer jobs in manufacturing and 680,000 fewer jobs in construction than at the June 2009 recession low point. There were 21.1 million manufacturing and construction jobs when the recession began in 2008. There are only 17.3 million manufacturing and construction jobs today.


Coming Soon: James M. Bennett High School's Rock & Roll Revival

Feb. 9-12 and Feb. 16-19JMB’s 14th annual Rock & Roll RevivalJames M. Bennett Auditorium, SalisburyTickets are on sale now for James M. Bennett High School's annual showcase of Clipper talent, the Rock & Roll Revival. Students sing, dance, play instruments, and work in many areas behind the scenes to put on this highly successful show, which this year returns to the stage of the James M. Bennett Auditorium in Salisbury. Show directors are Christie and Larry Wersen, and net proceeds benefit the JMB PTSA. Shows will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9, Friday, Feb. 10 and Saturday, Feb. 11, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12, and then 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, Friday, Feb. 17 and Saturday, Feb. 18, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19. Tickets are $15 for the two Thursday night shows and $18 for the weekend shows. Tickets are available now at the Bank of Delmarva branch on Eastern Shore Drive. For ticket information, e-mail or call Chris Wilde at 410-430-8634. Check out the show news on Facebook at RockRoll Revival.

Planned Parenthood: How Advocacy Writers Open Your Wallet With A Deceptive Key

CHICAGO, The Senators, Ms. Pelosi, and media onslaught against the non-profit group, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, was not just some spontaneous flash mob of bullies and donors.

Planned Parenthood was notified of Komen group’s decision to defund them in December.

That left two months for professional advocates and their copywriters to design and coordinate a media, Internet, and social media onslaught, a public relations free-for-all where Planned Parenthood, the Senators, Ms. Pelosi and others could make any accusations they want.


Withholding Consent From The Khan

People all over the world – in the United States, the eurozone, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and everywhere in between – are now inescapably facing the consequences of a century of unmitigated fiat-currency expansion. In response, a global movement has risen to search for solutions to the central-bank-engineered deterioration of standards of living, purchasing power, employment prospects, and economic health in general.

In the United States, this pursuit is embodied by two superficially different – though both hopelessly naive and economically underinformed – political movements: the numerous Occupy groups and the so-called Tea Party. But both factions ultimately kowtow before the state, worshiping either its welfare or warfare.

Is activism that appeals directly to the political class and central bankers – the individuals who are directly responsible for the current economic morass – a logical course of action? A review of history reveals some alternatives; what follows is one of them.


Smoke And Mirrors: Jobs Claim Made By 'Shrinking' Workforce

Last week, the White House claimed that unemployment dropped for the fifth consecutive month to 8.3 percent — the lowest it has been in nearly three years — after adding 243,000 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But financial experts are saying the figures may have been manipulated — and that the significant drop in employment was because of the fact that the federal agency charged with computing key economic data has significantly decreased the number of Americans in the workforce.

“If you hold the workforce participation rate constant over the past year, unemployment would be about 8.9 percent instead of 8.3 percent,” GOP economist Matt McDonald of Hamilton Place Strategies said Monday on CNBC’s Squawk Box. "So it is a weird number that is out there, and I think people have to be looking at that carefully.”

The same Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report that showed unemployment dropping to 8.3 percent showed total workforce participation — the number of people either working or looking for work — declining by 1.2 million people in one month.

The unemployment rate is determined by dividing the number of unemployed job-seekers by the total labor force. By reducing the number of workers in the overall workforce, the Obama administration can show actual unemployment dropping, when, in fact, improvement has been marginal at best.

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Va. Senate Votes To Repeal One-Gun-A-Month Law

RICHMOND — The Virginia Senate on Monday voted to repeal the state’s nearly 20-year-old law limiting handgun purchases to one per month, delivering a long-sought victory to advocates of gun rights and the Second Amendment.

The legislation, signed by Gov. L. Douglas Wilder in 1993, was intended to curb illegal gun trafficking from Virginia to other states on the East Coast, notably New York. That point was reiterated Monday by those looking to keep the ban in place.


Lesbian Divorce Shocker

Same-sex marriages between women are considerably more likely to end in divorce than either same-sex male marriages or heterosexual marriages, according to a study of Norway and Sweden:

We found that divorce risks are higher in same-sex partnerships than in opposite-sex marriages, and that unions of lesbians are considerably less stable, or more dynamic, than unions of gay men. In Norway as well as in Sweden, the divorce risk in female partnerships is practically double that of the risk in partnerships of men.

Is the difference explained by a relative lack of children to encourage stability? Maybe not. The study found a similar pattern with childless couples (when other variables were accounted for).


Aviation At Its Best

Debbie Spend-It-Now Is Selling America’s Future To The Chinese

Oklahoma Governor To Eliminate State Income Tax

Hi Joe

You have to see this video. Oklahoma Governor is going to eliminate the State income tax on people making $30,000 or less.
But even more incredible - is that they are also reducing their unfunded pension liability by raising retirement age and not including COLA adjustments

I sincerely hope Maryland's Governor O'Malley is looking at this because this is the style of government that Maryland should be implementing.

5 Things Conservatives Can Learn From Liberals

There are a lot of things NOT to like about liberals, but you have to give them some credit. These are people who are badly, dangerously, and devastatingly wrong on almost every issue of consequence and yet, year after year, they hang in there at a rough parity with conservatives. So, they may do a lot wrong, but there are things we can learn from the Left.

1) Fight Harder: Liberals win a lot of battles just because they’re willing to fight harder. Look at what happened to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Komen decided not to keep giving free money to Planned Parenthood and liberals, who aren’t even willing to oppose cancer unless some babies can be aborted to even it out, raised so much hell that Komen had to engage in a public face-saving maneuver. This is not unusual. Conservatives are constantly complaining that some insult towards Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann would never be tolerated if it were aimed at Michelle Obama or Hillary Clinton. Well, of course, it wouldn’t. Liberals raise hell, create blacklists, and hold permanent grudges over that sort of thing. Conservatives complain, shrug their shoulders and let it go. If conservatives get nastier, more vindictive, and less forgiving, then suddenly people will start giving conservatives the same respect liberals get.

On the other hand, ever notice that liberals can get away with everything from leaving women to die in a tidal pool to having a gay prostitution ring run out of their apartment, while conservatives are destroyed for some faux pas that wouldn’t even hurt a liberal’s popularity rating? There’s a reason for that: liberals will stand up for liberals who are politically useful while conservatives will toss those people under the bus in some kind of misguided attempt to appear “principled.” When two equally matched forces meet and one is playing by Marquess of Queensberry rules while the other has an ends justifies the means mentality, there’s no question which side is going to win anywhere outside of a Disney movie. If conservatives want to save the country, we need to start playing as dirty as the Left.



Sharpton records video and joins in support of Marylanders for Marriage Equality

ANNAPOLIS, MD (February 7, 2012) – TONIGHT, at 6:15 p.m., Governor Martin O’Malley will appear live on MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation” with Rev. Al Sharpton to discuss the Civil Marriage Protection Act of 2012.

Today, the Marylanders for Marriage Equality Coalition released a new video featuring Rev. Al Sharpton. This afternoon, the Governor guest lectured at the University of Baltimore School of Law on marriage equality and equal protection for all Marylanders under the law.

WHAT: Governor to appear LIVE on MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation” with Rev. Al Sharpton

WHEN: TONIGHT, February 7th at 6:15 p.m.

WHERE: MSNBC, Check local listings

Who Wants War With Iran?

Pat Buchanan's column is released twice a week.

Appearing alongside CIA Director David Petraeus before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence last week, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, said of Iran:

"We don't believe they've actually made the decision to go ahead with a nuclear weapon."

Before the hearing, as James Fallows of The Atlantic reports, Clapper released his "Worldwide Threat Assessment." It read, "We do not know ... if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons."


Axelrod Defends Administration Birth Control Rule

WASHINGTON (AP) — A political adviser to President Barack Obama said Tuesday the administration didn't intend to "abridge anyone's religious freedom" with its regulation requiring church-affiliated employers to cover birth control for their workers.

"This is an important issue. It's important for millions of women around the country," said Axelrod, the political adviser to Obama's re-election campaign. "We want to resolve it in an appropriate way and we're going to do that."


Roseanne Barr On Calif. Ballot For US President

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Roseanne Barr's name is on California's primary ballot as a Green Party candidate for president.

Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced Monday that Barr is among 24 candidates she intends to place on the June 5 ballot. An officially certified list will be released on March 29.

A news release says Barr is among three candidates for the Green Party presidential nomination.


Currie Appears Before Ethics Panel

Punishment for senator's failure to disclose income at issue

Prince George's County Sen. Ulysses S. Currie attended a closed-door meeting of the legislature's ethics committee Monday, making his first appearance before a panel expected to recommend whether he should be punished for failing to report income on financial disclosure forms.



Buchanan: GOP Risks Third Party Revolt with Romney Candidacy

The GOP could face a revolt from within its tea party grassroots base if it nominates an establishment candidate without true conservative, anti-big government values, one of America’s leading conservative pundits tells Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview.

Specifically, columnist and former Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan told Newsmax that the nomination of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the architect of a state insurance plan that many say inspired Obamacare, could prompt the tea party movement to form a third party.

“It’s a real possibility because the tea party folks and the Republican conservatives and social conservatives and others are very apprehensive of Mitt Romney and they don’t feel he is really one of us,” Buchanan told Newsmax.

“They’ve got reason for that feeling and that sentiment but if they do that, if, for example … they persuaded Ron Paul to run on a third party ticket, Barack Obama would be easily re-elected,” he added.


New 'Doomsday Preppers' Show Highlights Extreme Survivalists

It's better to be safe than sorry, which is why FEMA guidelines recommend stockpiling your pantry with three days worth of food in case of a natural disaster. Meanwhile, Paul Range and Gloria Haswell have enough in store to feed 22 people for 15 years — as well as enough guns, bullets and bug-out vehicles to wage a small war. The couple occupies nine steel shipping containers arranged in a castle formation outside Floresville, Texas. A system of windmills and solar panels powers the compound, and human body waste is used to generate methane, which serves as their cooking fuel.

It's all because they are worried Earth's magnetic poles might switch.

Range and Haswell are among those profiled in "Doomsday Preppers," a weekly TV documentary premiering on the National Geographic Channel tomorrow (Feb. 7) at 9 p.m., with a bonus episode at 10 p.m. following the premiere. The show takes viewers on a shocking tour of modern-day apocalypse paranoia, from Range, Haswell and their steel fortress to a Californian who has trained himself to survive off garden weeds in preparation for a major earthquake.


Two Cats Need A Loving Home

Dear Mr. Albero,

I follow your blog and I have noticed the dedication you and your readers have to our animal community. I have seen the stories of lost pets who have been reunited with their owners thanks to your readers. I am in need of your assistance. I've tried all other options with no success. I have two female Calico cats who need a permanent home. Their names are Mitzi and Cammi. They are sisters, about 6 years old, who have never been separated. They are very sweet cats who love to be brushed and pampered, and are both good with other cats and dogs. I'm looking for a home for the two of them if possible, but will separate if absolutely necessary. They were left with me by a friend, and I simply can't provide the with the kind of home they deserve. They currently reside in our shed outback because with our four dogs in the house, they would never have any peace. I love them dearly and can't imagine having to take them to the Humane Society. I fear they wouldn't be able to withstand the stress of kenneling. Please help me to provide these cuties with a good home. They deserve a warm and fuzzy life. Interested parties can email me. Thanks in advance for your help. 443-373-7335

Great Trick Shots

Wal-Mart Plans Simple Label To Identify Healthier Foods

Wal-Mart is unveiling a simple icon that it says will help consumers make a snap decision about whether a food is healthy, without delving into the nitty-gritty of the nutrition label.

The move by the nation's biggest retailer to label some food products as "Great For You," being unveiled Tuesday, could be a significant development in the fight against obesity because of the company's enormous influence in the marketplace, over both consumers and food vendors eager to sell into the Wal-Mart supply chain.

There have been fumbles in the past. In 2009, major food makers backed off a plan to label foods as “smart choices” after the Food and Drug Administration, which has been working on a standard system for such logos, noted that many competing nutrition symbols could be confusing. At the time, some food makers were criticized for trying to market items such as mayonnaise and sugary cereals as “smart choices.”


Sex-ed Less Effective In Red States, Study Says

Sex education is failing to reduce adolescent birthrates in conservative states, according to a new study.

Perhaps paradoxically, states with a majority conservative population and higher degree of religiosity tend to have higher teen birthrates. The findings suggest that the social structure of the state, such as the degree of conservatism, can undermine the effect of the sex curricula.

The researchers, from Washington University in St. Louis (WUSL), do not recommend abstinence-based education, but rather crafting sex education curricula that take into account the influences of a state's sociopolitical composition. The study appears today (Feb. 6) in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.


Buying Generic Doesn't Save Shoppers As Much As It Used To

Used to be, back in the days of yore, shoppers looking for a deal in the grocery store could go for a generic store brand item instead of the more expensive name brands. But lately the gap between those two options has been narrowing, to the point where store brands sometimes even cost more than their previously pricier counterparts.


It’s Not  (Only) The Economy . . . And We’re Not Stupid

"It’s the economy, stupid,” was a useful slogan for the 1992 Bill Clinton campaign. Of course, it wasn’t really true. The Clinton campaign was about much more than the economy. It was about “ending welfare as we know it,” for example, and putting government on the side of those who “work hard and play by the rules”—all of this part of a broader redefinition of the Democratic party away from the failed liberalism of Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis. And the collapse of the Bush administration in 1992 was also, as it happens, about much more than the economy, which was in fact coming back strong in the fall of that year.

Since then, we’ve seen an epic Republican collapse in 2006. That happened despite pretty good economic growth in the preceding two years. Its cause was some combination of the Bush attempt to institute private Social Security accounts, Hurricane Katrina, Harriet Miers, Tom DeLay, Donald Rumsfeld, immigration, and God knows what else—but not particularly the economy. The repudiation of the Democrats in 2010, for that matter, was fundamentally about Obamacare, the size and scope of government, and particular Obama policies like the stimulus and cap and trade. It wasn’t primarily a referendum on “the economy, stupid.”

Nonetheless, the slogan has become a talisman, evoked by unimaginative political consultants and reached for by cautious candidates, in pursuit of an easy, safe, cookie-cutter campaign strategy. But it’s not safe. The belief that voters react in a simple-minded way to their current economic well-being leads campaigns and candidates to counterproductively dumb their message down. It’s also condescending, and voters often see it as such.


The Tea Party's Waning Influence: 4 Theories

Nevada was a hotbed of Tea Party activity in the 2010 midterms, but in the weekend's GOP presidential caucuses, the Silver State activists' least favorite candidate, Mitt Romney, trounced the field. In Colorado — which, along with Minnesota and Missouri, picks its preference for the GOP presidential nominee on Tuesday — the Tea Partiers who dominated the political scene two years ago are no longer holding many rallies. And now an Ohio Tea Party leader tells The Daily Beast that while the movement may have been a giant killer in 2010, it's "dead" and "gone" this year. What happened? Here, four theories:

1. Tea Partiers never settled on one candidate"If the Tea Party could get behind one person and call it a day," says Patricia Murphy at The Daily Beast, it could be a force in the presidential election. But the conservative politicians that small-government, anti-tax activists truly love — Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), for example — aren't running. Instead, Tea Partiers must choose from a field of candidates that all have "original sins against constitutional freedom or fiscal sanity." Tea Partiers aren't excited or in sync, and as a result, "for the Tea Party movement, the 2012 presidential primaries have been a bust."


Hard-Up College Students Turning To Food Stamps

Being in college and having an empty wallet tend to go hand-in-hand. A full course load can make it difficult for students to find steady work, and in many college towns the work that's available isn't going to pay for very much. But while my fellow students were undergoing (legal) drug trials and donating whatever bodily fluid they could get a few cents for, some in the current generation of cash-strapped collegians are turning to food stamps.


Kids Denied Food Stamps Under Ala. Immigration Law

Some U.S.-born children with parents who are illegal immigrants have been denied food stamps under Alabama's new immigration law, Southern Poverty Law Center President Richard Cohen told Yahoo News on Monday.

More »

New Legislation Would Pad Health Insurance Coffers While Screwing Over Consumers

As part of the Affordable Care Act, health insurers must spend at least 80% of the money they earn from premiums on actually providing health care, with the remaining cash used to cover all administrative, advertising and payroll costs. Those insurers with plans that don't follow this ratio are soon supposed to start giving the extra money back in refunds and discounts. But new legislation introduced in the Senate this week could jeopardize this, while giving insurance companies even more money to stick in their dog pillows.


Forty Nine Years Ago Today...

President Kennedy banned travel to Cuba and financial/commercial transactions with Cuba. This in combination with Castro's totalitarian rule has left Cuba in a warped time tunnel, where modern medical care, communication, travel, etc. are non existent.

Scammers Using Real Vacation Rental Info To Trick Victims Out Of Thousands

As people have gotten wiser to the obvious hallmarks of online scams, the scammers have had to step up their game in order to keep making a dishonest buck. And now that people begin thinking about their upcoming summer vacation rentals, these scammers are prepared with the latest in darned-close-to-realistic-but-still-fake realty listings.


Educational Specialist Charged In Altercation With Student

· New Castle School, 903 Delaware Street, New Castle, DE

Date of Occurrence:
· Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 12:30 p.m.

· 13 year old male student

Defendant/Charge/Bond Information:
· Mark A. Murdock-41, of New Castle, DE (photo not available)
· Offensive Touching
· Arraigned and released on $100 Unsecured Bond

New Castle-The Delaware State Police have arrested and charged a contracted Educational Specialist assigned to the New Castle School in connection with an altercation with a 13 year old male student.

On January 26, 2012 the State Police School Resource Officer assigned to the New Castle School was notified of a physical altercation between Mark A. Murdock-41, an Educational Specialist contracted through the Colonial School District, and a 13 year old male student. The investigation revealed that Murdock was assigned to monitor the In-School Suspension Room, located in the New Castle School, where the 13 year old student was attending for the day. Murdock and the victim engaged in a verbal confrontation allegedly over comments made several days prior. The verbal confrontation continued with an argument over a trash can placed in the center of the classroom, and the victim being instructed by Murdock to not touch it. The victim walked up and touched the trash can which led to Murdock initially placing the victim in a headlock. The victim was able to escape the headlock and the physical confrontation continued with Murdock again placing the victim in a headlock escorting him back to his seat. The victim received minor injuries to the neck and face, and was treated at school nurse’s office.

On Monday, February 6, 2012, Mark A. Murdock-41 of New Castle, DE was charged with Offensive Touching, arraigned and released on $100.00 Unsecured Bond.

Inquiries regarding Mark A. Murdock’s status with the New Castle School and the Colonial School District should be directed to the his employer, Positive Directions @ 302-654-9444

Wicomico County Sheriff's Office Press Releases 2-7-12

Incident: Burglary Arrest
Date of Incident: 7 February 2012
Location: Delmar Elementary School, Delmar, MD
Suspect: 1. Male Juvenile, 17, Salisbury, MD
2. Male Juvenile, 15, Delmar, MD
3. Male Juvenile, 15, Delmar, MD

Narrative: On 5 February 2012 at 12:32 PM, a deputy from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office responded to an alarm at Delmar Elementary School. Upon arrival, the deputy located an open window where the screen had been pried out. During the ensuing investigation, the deputy learned that juvenile subjects had been seen running on the property prior to this while wearing masks. The deputy, along with the assistance of the Delmar Police, located one of the juveniles who was wearing a mask. From there the deputy managed to identify two other involved juveniles and recovered three laptop computers that were stolen from the school.

All three juveniles were charged on a juvenile referral and released to a parent. The Juvenile Referrals will be sent to the Department of Juvenile Services for formal adjudication.

Charges: Burglary 2nd Degree

Incident: Assault on a Deputy
Date of Incident: 6 February 2012
Location: Glen Avenue, Salisbury, MD
Suspect: Alexis Guerrero – Delacruz, 31, Delmar, MD

Narrative: On 6 February 2012 at 4:56 PM, a deputy from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office Drug K9 team arrived at the scene of a traffic stop conducted by a city police officer to assist with a drug investigation. The deputy attempted to have the driver, Alexis Guerrero-Delacruz exit his vehicle while his K9 partner sniffed the vehicle for the presence of the odor of illegal drugs. Instead of complying, Guerrero became argumentative and had to be asked several times to exit the vehicle. While outside the vehicle, Guerrero started acting furtively and tried to shield himself from being patted down for a weapon.

After repeated demonstrations of non-compliance Guerrero attempted to push the deputy away. The deputy attempted to place Guerrero in handcuffs, at which point he began to actively resist and struggle against the deputy’s efforts, requiring the deputy and the city officer to engage in a physical confrontation in order to subdue Guerrero.

Guerrero was eventually taken into custody and transported to the Central Booking Unit where he was processed and taken in front of the District Court Commissioner. After an initial appearance, the Commissioner released Guerrero on Personal Recognizance.

Charges: Assault 2nd Degree
Resisting Arrest

Incident: Possession of Marijuana
Date of Incident: 6 February 2012
Location: Salisbury Blvd. at Naylor Street, Salisbury, MD
Suspect: 1. Caleb E. Levers, 25, Salisbury, MD
2. Brian J. Miles, 27, Salisbury, MD

Narrative: On 6 February 2012 at 9:33 PM, a deputy from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office stopped a vehicle for an equipment violation on Salisbury Blvd. in the area of Naylor Street. As the vehicle came to a stop, two passengers jumped from the vehicle and ran while the deputy detained the driver. The deputy detected an overwhelming odor of burnt marijuana emanating from within the passenger compartment and subsequently located what the deputy recognized as marijuana in the center console of the vehicle. The deputy placed the driver, Caleb Levers under arrest for possession of marijuana.

A short while later, the two passengers were seen walking nearby by a Maryland State Trooper who had to chase them on foot when they tried to run away. The trooper was able to apprehend one of them, Brian Miles, when Miles tripped over a fence.

The deputy transported both Levers and Miles to the Central Booking Unit where they were processed and taken in front of the District Court Commissioner. After an initial appearance, the Commissioner detained both of them in the Detention Center in lieu of $10,000.00 bond each.

Charges: Possession of Marijuana
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Hindering and Obstructing (Miles only)

The 2013 Mazda CX-5 I Won't Be Seeing

I just got invited by Mazda to attend a press event for the 2013 CX-5 in CA. I used to attend such events regularly, and I’d love to attend this one- but am pretty much decided against because of the prospect of being handled by some TSA cretin (because I won’t be scanned). I feel obliged to stand on principle, but there’s also the practical reason that I know myself – and know I might mouth off or maybe even hit one of those sons-of-bitches. And I don’t want to end up in jail (or worse). I’m still trying to practice avoidance. I know someday this will probably no longer be possible. But for now, I am trying to stay out of harm’s way – even though I know harm is not looking to stay out of my way.

This is the dilemma of living in America, post 911.

If it can be called living.

It is no longer possible to travel by air without submitting to degradations unimaginable just 10 years ago. All of us are faced with the horrid choice: Either we constrict our lives as a form of quiet protest against those who are trying to degrade us – no more travel by air, which in addition to everything else also means not being able to see friends/family who live more than a few hundred miles distant without an arduous journey by car. Or we bow our heads (and spread our legs) and become complicit in establishing the new normal – and acceptance of those who degrade us.


Environmental Protection Agency Says Beach Sand Can Make You Sick

The beach has all sorts of ways to punish you for daring to relax and enjoy life. The sun can burn you and give you cancer, while the water can drown and poison you. Then there's the sand, which can contain pathogens that make you feel like a Patriots fan the day after yet another crushing Super Bowl humiliation at the hands of the Giants.


Car Company That Got $500 Million Green Energy Loan Announces Layoffs

In another setback for President Obama’s clean energy loan programs, the recipient of more than a half-billion dollars in federal loans is laying off workers at their Delaware and California operations.

Delaware’s News Journal reports that Fisker Automotive, a California-based electric car start-up company, is laying off an undisclosed number of staff to try to reserve enough capital in order to qualify for more federal help from the Department of Energy, according to a Delaware state development official.

“They’re trying to preserve the cash that they have,” said Alan Levin told the News Journal. “And unfortunately, until they meet the milestone that DOE continues to set … they’re not able to access the additional capital that they need.”


Today's Fill In The Blank 2-7-12

My next purchase will be a _______.

Coming Soon: Individual Mandate To Buy Chevy Volts

President Obama spent more than $85 billion bailing out General Motors and Chrysler three years ago. Now he claims credit for saving the industry, noting GM's recent return to the top sales spot among automakers worldwide, Ford's record profits (albeit achieved without federal funds), and the recent revival of Chrysler, (though Italy's Fiat owns it). Regardless whether you supported or opposed the government bailouts, the reality is the Big Three's assembly lines are humming again. Too bad Obama's Environmental Protection Agency is preparing yet another killer hike in the Corporate Average Fuel Economy, only this time instead of merely inflicting massive costs on the industry and consumers, the coming regulation could very well demolish the Big Three for good.

Here's why: The CAFE rule is the fleet-wide average fuel economy rating manufacturers are required by Washington to achieve. The new rule -- issued in response to a 2010 Obama directive, not to specific legislation passed by Congress -- would require automakers to achieve a 40.9 mpg CAFE average by 2021 and 54.5 mpg by 2025. In case you're wondering whatever happened to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it has been supplanted in the CAFE process by the EPA. The proposed regulation was designed, according to the EPA, "to preserve consumer choice -- that is, the proposed standards should not affect consumers' opportunity to purchase the size of vehicle with the performance, utility and safety features that meets their needs." But the reality is that consumer choice will be the first victim.


What To Do When Mercury Hits The Floor

If you break a thermometer or compact fluorescent light bulb, you're suddenly dealing with a contamination hazard. Cleanup requires more care than simply sweeping it up and throwing it away, and you need to be thorough in order to avoid being poisoned.


Santorum Good Day Could Scramble Race Again

On Monday morning, the eve of caucuses and primaries in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri, the Romney campaign sent out notice it would hold a conference call to discuss rival Rick Santorum's "long history of pork-barrel spending." The call would feature former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty explaining why Santorum "is simply not ready to be president."

Santorum's aides were delighted to hear the news. "They've turned their attack machine against us in the last 24 hours," top adviser John Brabender said that afternoon. "I can only read into that that they're looking at polling numbers telling them we're they're biggest threat. It's a badge of honor that Romney has decided to try to destroy us."

There isn't much polling for the three states holding contests on Tuesday, but one survey in Minnesota put Santorum slightly ahead of Romney, who is coming off wins in Florida and Nevada. It's no surprise the Romney campaign directed its guns at Santorum.

Good showings on Tuesday, Santorum aides believe, will allow Santorum to use the coming three weeks without a Republican primary or caucus -- Feb. 7 to 28 -- to beef up his campaign and finally emerge as the one-on-one rival to Romney.

Meanwhile, on the day of the Nevada caucuses, Newt Gingrich held a long meeting with top advisers in Las Vegas, trying to come up with a strategy to recapture the form he showed in South Carolina. The key challenge was to somehow get Gingrich to talk about policy and stop his one-on-one personal spat with Romney. Throughout the Florida campaign, especially, Romney was able to pull Gingrich's chain almost at will; whenever Romney attacked, Gingrich would react in an angry, self-defeating way. In Las Vegas, the Gingrich team realized that had to stop.


Blocking The McDonald's Drive-Thru? That's A Tasering

A North Carolina woman is probably still feeling the sting — at least the sting of public humiliation — from being Tased by police for refusing to budge from the McDonald's drive-thru.


Virginia Couple Charged For Kids' Tardiness

A Loudoun County couple is facing misdemeanor charges for failing to get their three children to school on time -- repeatedly. They face fines of up to $3,000 if convicted of the misdemeanor.


Study Says Tourism A Growing Force In Delaware

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) -- A new study from the Delaware Tourism Department shows the $2.1 billion industry has become a top economic driver for the state.

The study by D.K. Shifflet and Associates and Vantage Strategy shows tourism employs 39,000 people and attracts 7 million visitors annually to Delaware. The study is based on 2010 data.

The study shows tourism is the third largest private employer in the state. It generated $400 million in state and local taxes and fees in 2010.


Today's Survey Question 2-7-12

Do you believe the Wicomico County Board of Education should have an elected Board?

Black & Decker Announces Layoffs

BALTIMORE -- Stanley Black and Decker has announced several layoffs in the Baltimore area.

According to the Baltimore Business Journal, the company is closing its Baltimore Protection Net Center on Sisson Street in west Baltimore.

The company said the center was acquired from Sonitrol during 2008 and that the security monitoring functions performed at the site will be moved to other facilities throughout the country.

The company said it expects to close the facility by the end of the year and that all employees will get at least 60 days' notice before any changes are made.

The layoffs will take place in waves beginning April 1. About 79 jobs will be lost.


Groups Want School Funding Waiver Rule Put Back In Place

Education groups are asking the General Assembly to require waivers from counties that fall below maintenance-of-effort funding levels.

The maintenance-of-effort rule mandates that county governments spend no less per student than in the prior year. If they don't comply, they face penalties reducing annual increases in state aid. Counties facing fiscal challenges used to be required to apply for a waiver with the state Board of Education.


Ron Paul Warns Of Federal Reserve Power Grab

Not only was Obama’s appointment of Richard Cordray to the misnamed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) unconstitutional, but the newly minted federal leviathan itself is in direct violation of Constitution, specifically the Tenth Amendment.


Desperate Krugman Turns To Diaper Economics

How desperate is Paul Krugman to find deflation? He thinks he has spotted some in the price of diapers.

In a post titled, Diapers and Deflation, he quotes from a Bloomberg column:

Kimberly-Clark Corp. started offering coupons on Huggies after resistance to the diapers’ cost.
First, this in itself doesn't sound like deflation, but resistance to part(?)of a price hike.

Second, is Kimberly-Clark, the makers of Huggies, facing some kind of deflationary spiral across their product line? Not quite.

Here's what Mark Buthman, Kimberly-Clark Senior VP and CFO had to say, in last weeks earnings conference call:

Organic sales rose 3%, driven by higher net selling prices of 2% and increased sales volumes of 1%.
Got that? Overall, Kimberly-Clark prices were up. No deflation there.


Clint Eastwood Speaks Out On Super Bowl Ad

LOS ANGELES, Feb 6 ( - Clint Eastwood is setting the record straight about his improbably controversial Chrysler ad that aired on Sunday's Super Bowl.

The "Gran Torino" director went on the defensive Monday, dismissing suggestions that the ad is a partisan love letter to President Obama.

Speaking to Ron Mitchell, a producer at Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor," Eastwood asserted, "I am certainly not politically affiliated with Mr. Obama. It was meant to be a message ... just about job growth and the spirit of America. I think all politicians will agree with it."



All Screaming Id, No Brains, No Honor

A Martian psychoanalyst observing the US Superbowl on TV would be shocked by the vicious animal spirits emanating from that spectacle, starting with the triumphal trumpet blasts borrowed straight from the old 1950s Hollywood epic movies echoing the prideful mis-steps of ancient Rome, along with the by-now clichéd CGI trick in the opening credits of gleaming metallic heraldic insignia spun into a military cordon of stars so as to protect the tender collective ego of this anxious nation. America wears its zeitgeist plastered right on its sweaty forehead.

Everybody knows that the commercial messages between the play-action amount to a national Rorschach test, and this year’s collection made us look more psychopathic than ever – starting with the advertisement for the Chevy Silverado: Fade in on a devastated nameless American city, the buildings smashed, the streets littered with debris, a gray ash coating over everything, and no living creatures in evidence…. A newspaper headline proclaims “2012 Mayan Apocalypse….” How reassuring! Wait! Something stirs behind a heap of rubble… it cracks open… and out drives a plucky American male lumpen “worker” dude behind the wheel of a gleaming giant pickup truck. He is soon joined by other men and their trucks, all of them blithely unfazed by the end-of-the-world.

A curious scenario. What’s the take away? I wondered, of course, where these plucky fellows would look for their next fill-up in the devastated landscape. Surely the service stations would miss the next scheduled fuel truck delivery. Are American men not expected to think beyond the immediate moment they are in? Are they on an intellectual level with lemurs and Holstein steers?

The Superbowl pageant is a window into the condition of American manhood, and the view is pretty pathetic. It’s a picture of men who feel so weak, insecure, and fearful that they have to compensate with fantasies of limitless destructive power. Ads for several new movies and (I think) video games followed the Silverado apocalypse romp. There were unifying themes throughout. All depicted the problems of life as 1) coming from outside our own society (or world); 2) in the form of aliens who wield mystifying technological destructive power; and 3) leaving a few human remnants on a smoldering landscape after a cosmic showdown.


Slavery Protections For Animals?

A judge for the first time in U.S. history heard arguments to determine whether animals enjoy the same constitutional protection against slavery.

Incident: Child Neglect
Date of Incident: 5 February 2012
Location: 600 block of Dawn Court, Salisbury, MD
Suspect: Fayetta Collick, 41, Salisbury, MD
On 5 February 2012 at 10:03 PM, a deputy from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of unattended children at a residence in the 600 block of Dawn Court in Salisbury.

Upon arrival, the deputy discovered three children were home without any adult supervision. One of the children left alone was under the age of 8 years old. While the deputy was on scene, one of the children called their mother who then returned home.

After an investigation, the deputy placed the mother, Fayetta Collick under arrest for leaving an unattended child alone under the age of 8. Collick was transported to the Central Booking Unit where she was processed and taken in front of the District Court Commissioner. After an initial appearance, the Commissioner detained Collick in the Detention Center in lieu of $20,000.00 bond.

Charges: Child Neglect

Incident: Possession of Marijuana
Date of Incident: 3 February 2012
Location: West College Avenue, Salisbury, MD
Suspect: Male Juvenile, 17, Salisbury, MD

Narrative: On 3 February 2012
at 10:36 PM, a deputy from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office received an alert from an Automatic License Plate Reader of a registered owner with a suspended Maryland Driver’s License. The deputy located the vehicle and made contact with the operator, a 17 year old male, when he pulled into parking lot. During the ensuing encounter the deputy determined not only was the operator the owner of the vehicle, but that he was well aware his privilege to drive had been suspended.

Additionally the deputy ended up recovering marijuana from the vehicle after a WCSO drug K9 provided a positive alert for the presence of the odor of illegal drugs.

The juvenile was placed under arrest and transported to the WCSO where he was released to a parent. A juvenile referral will be submitted to the Department of Juvenile Services requesting formal adjudication.

Charges: CDS Possession
Driving While Suspended

Incident: Motor Vehicle Accident
Date of Incident: 4 February 2012
Location: South Brown Street, Fruitland, MD
Suspect: Female Juvenile, 14, Fruitland, MD

Narrative: On 4 February 2012
at 12:30 PM, a deputy from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office responded to the report of a pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle on South Brown Street in Fruitland. During the investigation, the deputy learned that a 14 year old juvenile had taken her father’s vehicle without permission and went for a drive in the adjacent area. It was during this drive that the juvenile struck a 12 old juvenile in the 4000 block of South Brown Street.

The deputy placed the 14 year old juvenile under arrest for Driving without a license and theft of the vehicle and transported her to the WCSO where Juvenile authorities were contacted. The Department of Juvenile Services detained the juvenile in the Lower Eastern Shore Children Center pending court adjudication.

The struck juvenile was transported via EMS to PRMC.

Charges: Driving without a License
Theft of Motor Vehicle

Drinking On College Campuses On The Rise

WASHINGTON - For parents with children in college or planning to attend soon, a new report could be an eye-opener.

It suggests alcohol abuse remains a big problem among college students.

The study comes from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in Rockville, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.


REVISED - Public Workshop Announced For Route 113 Intersection Improvements Near Georgetown

Georgetown -- The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) invites the public to attend a public workshop to receive an update on the status of the proposed improvements to address safety at two median crossovers along Route 113, south of Georgetown:

- Route 113 at Almshouse Road / Speedway Road
- Route 113 at Wood Branch Road / Kruger Road

The proposed improvements will be the focus of the February 13 public workshop. Interested members of the public are invited to attend at any time between 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the DelDOT South District Administration Building (23697 DuPont Boulevard) in Georgetown. Attendees will have an opportunity to review display materials and provide comments to DelDOT representatives.

Specifically, the proposed project involves reconstructing the median crossovers to install islands to restrict turning movements. The access to the median area at Almshouse Road/Speedway Road will be reconstructed to limit Route 113 northbound and southbound left-turn movements only. The access to the median area at Wood Branch Road/Kruger Road will be reconstructed to limit eastbound and westbound left-turn movements only.

Interested persons are invited to express their views in writing, giving reasons for support of or in opposition to, the proposed project. Comments will be received during the workshop or can be mailed to DelDOT Public Relations, P.O. Box 778, Dover, DE 19903-0778. This location is accessible to persons having disabilities. Any person having special needs or requiring special aid, such as an interpreter for the hearing impaired, is requested to contact DelDOT by phone or mail one week in advance.

"This Burns Me Up"

I hope this makes you as angry as it makes me and that you will share with every friend you have!

Take a look at the attached flyer that came in our mail today. Now tell me, do YOU qualify for a FREE CAMERA PHONE, FREE MONTHLY MINUTES , NO PAYMENT EVER? And note the box stating NO I.D. REQUIRED. So, how do they know if you really even “qualify”?

First time that I became aware of this program was when we saw HALF PAGE ADS in the Sun paper Next ir was ads on TV. Now they are mailing heavy cardstock, full color, glossy ads– in English and Spanish. Guess this is another “gimme” from Obama’s “stash”…. except that you and I are paying the freight- which comes as a tax on your monthly phone bill.

This program began to provide a land line for the poor and disabled. But since when do people need or deserve a free camera phone and lots of minutes at other’s expense?

So what is going on here? Who is paying for the glitzy advertising? Once again is there crony capitalism involved? Since most Americans already own a cell phone, the poor represent a last untapped market for phone companies. The New York Times reported that wireless companies are scrambling to sign up people who receive government assistance. “Carriers can receive up to $10 a month in government subsidies, sufficient to cover what amounts to about $3 in service,” So with government assistance, companies are aggressively marketing the free phones. Nice work if you can get it.

I know, I need to calm down. I am just a heartless conservative!

Ellen Sauerbrey

Join The Jobs Recovery

Last year, working together we created 30,300 new jobs in our state, the most since the recession began and at twice the rate as our neighbors in Virginia. Last month, we drove unemployment down to a three year low. But better isn't good enough for the mom or dad who continues to search for a job.

That's why we are asking all Marylanders to be a part of our jobs recovery.

The proposals I laid out in the State of the State ask for new investments to create new jobs and continue investing in Maryland's number one ranked public school system.

Our budget is a jobs budget--one that will support 52,000 jobs through capital expenditures alone.
With a balanced approach we’ve been able, together, to build America’s best public school system, drive down violent crime to a thirty year low, and secure our status of one of only nine states to earn a Triple A Bond rating.

With $800 million in spending cuts we will have cut $7.5 billion in state spending over six years – the most ever.

With a record investment in public education we will protect the progress we’re making for our schools. And with 744 pages of regulations we’re submitting to the General Assembly for reform, reduction, and removal we are easing the administrative burden on business.

The choices we are proposing on the revenue side are very difficult. But with 84 cents of every dollar we invest allocated to public education, public safety, and public health – and with one of the smaller state government workforces in the country – every passing year leaves fewer and fewer responsible options for budget cutting.

Without anger, fear or meanness, the question we must ask ourselves is how much less do we think would be good for our children’s future? How much less education do we want? How much less public safety? How many fewer jobs?

We can be victims of circumstance or we can build a better future. Join me in our jobs recovery.

Thank you,

Martin O'Malley


This week, the Ocean City Police Department will be joining other law enforcement agencies on theEastern Shore, such as the Worcester County Sheriff and the Wicomico County Sheriff, by beginning operational deployment of TASER equipment. Prior to implementing the TASER equipment, the Ocean City Police Department spent hours developing policy, adopting procedures and extensively training in the use of the TASER.

In addition, the Ocean City Police Department received guidance from other law enforcement agencies that have successfully implemented use of TASERS along with TASER itself. “Studies have shown that the availability of a TASER can lead to the reduction in injuries to both a police officer and a suspect,” said Chief Bernadette DiPino. “We believe that having the availability of a TASER will not only reduce injuries of our officers and suspects, but will deter and reduce violent crime in Ocean City. This is a proactive and positive step in the evolution of our police department and we are thankful to have the opportunity and the support from the Ocean City community.”

In correlation with training of police officers, the OCPD wants to keep the community informed about this new TASER program. The OCPD is planning an informational symposium for Ocean City residents, businesses and members of the media. The symposium will address various topics dealing with the use of the new TASER system, including departmental policy and procedure. In addition to providing information, the symposium will give citizens the opportunity to ask questions about the program, as well as view a demonstration of the equipment.

The Ocean City Police Department believes that a well-informed community is the best form of crime prevention. The OCPD will be conducting the symposium onFebruary 9, 2012, from noon to 2 the Ocean City Northside Park Recreation Center meeting room. For more information about this symposium, please contact the OCPD Public Affairs Office at 410-520-5395.

A Letter To The Editor 2-7-12

There was a recent issue involving my teenage son and a Worcester Co. Sheriffs Deputy. My son was riding his skateboard locally when he noticed a car approaching from behind. He crossed to the other side of the road for his own safety. The car passed and my son returned to the other side. The car... a Sheriffs Deputy slammed on his brakes almost causing injury. My son was handcuffed, interrogated and verbally abused. The Deputy referred to him as a “punk kid”. He was detained for 30 minutes. He had 1 cigarette which was destroyed during the investigation. This is just one of example of the police behavior that has been going on here. My neighbors children recently told me that they don’t want to leave their homes. This is an obvious case of a violation of his civil rights. As a resident,a taxpayer,a voter and a member of the business community. This is the first time I have ever spoken up about this. Marylands motto... “Keep the free state free” What a joke!

Engines Idling In New York Despite Law

(CNN) -- Passing laws is one thing; enforcing them is another.

Enter New York City's idling rule, meant to improve the city's air quality by prohibiting drivers from running their engines when they're not moving.

Toxic tailpipe fumes have been shown to increase rates of asthma and put children at risk of developmental delays, environmental studies show.

When cars and buses line up outside of schools, all those idling engines can worsen the quality of air both inside and outside the school, as children and parents come and go.


Faith Filled Women

Faith Filled Women Announce One-Day Conference Tickets On Sale for “Living a Faith Filled Life in a Faithless World”

(Salisbury, MD)
Join Faith Filled Women from across the Eastern Shore for “Living a Faith Filled Life in a Faithless World” at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center on Saturday, March 24, 2012. This one-day conference is for all Christian women who want to live their lives with faith and purpose. Enjoy awesome speakers, breakout sessions on a wide variety of topics, a buffet lunch, vendors, music and more! Featured speakers include Jennifer Beckham, a former Disney Princess and author of Get Over Yourself! and Kathy Chiero, syndicated radio show host of The Sitting Room. The conference emcee will be Lisa Bryant, host of WBOC’s Delmarva Life.

Tickets are now on sale for this event. Early bird tickets purchased before March 1 are $35 per person. Tickets purchased after March 1 will be $40 and student discount tickets are available for $30. Tickets can be purchased at or by emailing Tickets are also available for purchase at Family Christian Stores in Salisbury and The Mustard Seed in Milford and Rehoboth. Seating is limited to the first 400 guests, so early reservations are recommended.

This event is sponsored by Faith Filled Women, a non-profit organization headquartered in Salisbury. For more details, visit

Prepper's View - Spring into action

Spring is right around the corner. Some would argue that it's already here and others believe we still have a cold winter ahead of us. No matter what your position is on the matter, to look out and see the daffodils pushing up their tender shoots, it's hard to believe it's only the first week of February. Be that as it may, it is almost time to prepare for spring planting. Some of us plant a garden as a hobby and some of us plant a survival garden. As preppers, most of us recognize the fact that the ability to grow a garden, harvesting the fruits and vegetables, and prepare it for storage is as important as anything else you can do. So where do we begin?

Some among us have a very unique ability to grow anything anywhere. Unfortunately I wasn't blessed with that ability. I have to work like a dog for every tomato that makes it's way to my salad, spaghetti sauce, or mason jar. Last year my garden was a catastrophe. This year I have decided that it will be my personal goal to grow an outstanding survival garden that will bear enough to eat during the summer and can for the winter. I have been told recently to start tomato plant seeds now inside and grow them inside until they can be moved outside. I have also been instructed to save milk jugs so that they can be used to cover the small tomato plants after they are moved outside. If I start my tomato seeds now, I will plan on putting them in the ground in about 6 weeks. My understanding is that most other seeds are best planted in the garden.

After planting my tomato seeds I will make sure that my tiller starts and runs the way it's supposed to. Since I have layer chickens and other livestock, I have been saving the straw bedding and composting it. I will spread it over my garden plot and till it under several times about two weeks before I'm ready to plant. I will till it again just before I plant.

At this point I would like to know what others do to prepare their gardens, start their seeds, stake their plants, what are easiest to grow, what are problems we may run into, etc. Many of us want to learn as much as we can before the time to plant is here. Share your knowledge. This is networking.