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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Obama's Dividend Grab

President Obama's 2013 budget is the gift that keeps on giving—to government. One buried surprise is his proposal to triple the tax rate on corporate dividends, which believe it or not is higher than in his previous budgets.

Mr. Obama is proposing to raise the dividend tax rate to the higher personal income tax rate of 39.6% that will kick in next year. Add in the planned phase-out of deductions and exemptions, and the rate hits 41%. Then add the 3.8% investment tax surcharge in ObamaCare, and the new dividend tax rate in 2013 would be 44.8%—nearly three times today's 15% rate.

Keep in mind that dividends are paid to shareholders only after the corporation pays taxes on its profits. So assuming a maximum 35% corporate tax rate and a 44.8% dividend tax, the total tax on corporate earnings passed through as dividends would be 64.1%.

Who would get hurt? IRS data show that retirees and near-retirees who depend on dividend income would be hit especially hard. Almost three of four dividend payments go to those over the age of 55, and more than half go to those older than 65, according to IRS data.

But all American shareholders would lose. Higher dividend and capital gains taxes make stocks less valuable.


Online Journalists Censored, Attacked: Report

Deaths while covering dangerous assignments, such as street protests, reached the highest level since 1992

NEW YORK — A global coalition against censorship is needed to protect online journalists and bloggers who are being targeted by repressive governments, a leading advocacy group said Tuesday.

At least 46 journalists died around the world in 2011, the Committee to Protect Journalists said, an increase from the estimate it released in December. Seven journalists were killed in Pakistan, where 29 journalists have been killed in the past five years.

Freelancers, bloggers and citizen journalists like those reporting in the Middle East have few resources to defend themselves against censorship and attacks, the CPJ said. Authoritarian states are buying communications surveillance equipment from Western manufacturers and using it to monitor and target journalists and bloggers, the group said.


Study: Half Of Internet TVs Aren't Getting Online

More TVs on the market have the capability to connect online to access apps that stream video and music, as well as hook up to browsers and social networks. Consumers, though, aren't necessarily taking advantage of the feature. According to research firm NPD In-Stat, half of the TV owners aren't putting the devices online.

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FDA Green Lights Imports Of Cancer Drugs To Ease Shortages

Of all the agonies that confront cancer patients, an unnecessary shortage of drugs they need must be among the more frustrating. The Food and Drug Administration is showing some compassion for the sick by easing import rules for two crucial cancer drugs in order to bulk up supply.

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Convince Your Spouse To Stop Being Such An Idiot With Money

If your household is wallowing in a sea of debt and looking to paddle your way out, you'll need to get your live-in better/worse half on board with your plans, otherwise you'll just be rowing in circles. Since you can't berate loved ones into changing their ways, you'll have to find a method to convince them that change is necessary, and that rewards will come from taking the right course.

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How Walmart Is Making Americans Even Stupider

Reader "Nick" manages a store that sells DVDs. And while store managers have many, many legitimate gripes that they could share with the Consumerist Nation, Nick has a very specific complaint about Walmart. It's his belief that Walmart is making Americans stupid. Well, stupider. Hear him out.

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Air Force Unexpetedly Cancels 3,000 iPads

The Air Force Special Operations Command has canceled a plan to buy nearly three thousand iPads. The command gave no specific reason for the cancellation. But the move came after the online publication NextGov inquired about the PDF reader software named in the solicitation. The software was developed in Russia. It's called Good Reader from Good iWare, not to be confused with Good Technology used by other federal agencies.The tablets were to be used as electronic flight bags, replacing paper charts and operations manuals. The Air Force says it will still pursue an electronic flight bag.

Update On Immigration And Customs Enforcement Officer Shooting

We now know the identity of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer who shot and killed a fellow officer who was trying to kill their supervisor. Perry Woo has received high praise from Homeland Security Officials, even though they haven't named him publicly. The name was revealed to the AP by a source. Woo killed officer Ezequiel Garcia after Garcia shot his supervisor six times in an argument. The supervisor is recovering. Woo was the Justice Department's Officer of the Year in 2004 for work leading to the capture of eight child molesters.

Justice Department Throws In Towel

The Justice Department has thrown in the towel on a two-year prosecution of businessmen charged in a foreign bribery sting. District Judge Richard Leon granted the department's motion to dismiss all charges against 16 defendants. The move came after two cases fell apart. Jurors already acquitted 10 defendants after long trials under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. They were arrested at a Las Vegas trade show, charged with bribing officials of Gabon. Judge Leon said both the FBI sting and the prosecutions were botched from the beginning.

Breaking News On Superintendent John Fredericksen Tomorrow Morning

Sit tight Folks, we've got a whopper for you tomorrow morning.

Bill Would Reduce Penalties For Marijuana Possession

The House Judiciary Committee had a hearing a bill (HB350) that would lower the punishment for having small amounts of marijuana. Audio reporter Duane Keenan talked to it’s sponsor, Del. Luke Clippinger, about the impact of the bill.

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Republicans Try To Curb Benefits For Illegal Immigrants

Republicans are again trying to curb public benefits for illegal immigrants, as they have repeatedly in past years, against the continued opposition of social service groups.

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Senate Looking For Alternative Tax Hikes To Avoid ‘Doomsday’ Budget, Miller Says

Senate leaders are trying to find $500 million in tax hikes as alternatives to those proposed by Gov. Martin O’Malley to avoid a “doomsday” budget with $1 billion in spending cuts, Senate President Mike Miller told reporters Tuesday.

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Judicial Proceedings Committee Forwards Same-Sex Marriage Bill To Full Senate

With a 7-4 vote, the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee Tuesday afternoon sent the bill allowing same-sex marriage to the full Senate, setting the stage for its full passage by the end of the week.

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Brochin Seeks To Ban Use Of Speed Cameras In Work Zones With No Workers

Sen. James Brochin says spent nine months driving through a section of the Baltimore Beltway in his Towson district with a speed camera in a work zone that had no workers. He’s sponsoring a bill to require that cameras be used only when workers are present.

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Missing Dog: UPDATE

Hi Joe,

Titan got off his chain today in the Fruitland area. His chain was in his dog house but he was gone. We hope to have him home soon.

Thanks. Allen.

BREAKING NEWS: Former University Of Virginia Lacrosse Player Found Guilty

Jury finds George Huguely guilty of second-degree murder in the killing of his ex-girlfriend, Yeardley Love.

From Fox News

Indiana Warns Obama Of Eligibility 'Default'

A state commission in Indiana that was asked to review whether Barack Obama is eligible to be on the state’s 2012 ballot has scheduled a hearing for Friday, and warned the parties to the argument that those who fail to attend may be subject to a default decision.

The notice was signed by Trent Deckard and J. Bradley King, co-directors of the Indiana Election Commission, and regards case No. 2012-176, which is a challenge to Obama brought by Karl Swihart.

“The hearing is called to determine the merits of the candidate challenge pursuant to Indiana Code 3-8-1-2,” the notice, addressed to Barack Obama at a Chicago address for his campaign, explains. “A party who fails to attend or participate in the hearing may be held in default or have the proceeding dismissed.”

A similar hearing was held last month in Georgia, and Obama and his attorney refused to participate. Instead of accepting the judge’s offer of a default judgment then, which probably would have recommended to the secretary of state that Obama’s name not be on the 2012 election ballot in the state, attorneys for several citizens raising various issues asked to present evidence regarding Obama’s ineligibility.

The judge, Michael Malihi, allowed that in several cases, but then in one sweeping opinion that didn’t even respond to some of the legal motions pending, he dismissed the testimony and ruled without evidence from Obama that he should be on the 2012 state election ballot.

The move is part of an effort on the part of citizens across the country to use each state’s election procedures to challenge Obama’s name on state ballots. It is the states that run elections, not the federal government, and the presidential race results are just a compilation of the elections run by all the states.

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Can Rep. Bachus And His Money-Crazed Congressional Colleagues Be Stopped From Insider Trading?

A growing list of legislators use their office to play a game of "Who Wants to Be a Multi-millionaire?" But there is legislation that could potentially stop them.

Back in the Gilded Age, venality was the rule in Congress. Bribes were as common as tobacco pipes. Lawmakers fattened their bank accounts through insider deals, with the needs of ordinary people an afterthought. Nelson Aldrich, a powerful Republican who served in the Senate from 1881 to 1911, was that corrupt era’s political poster boy, serving on the Finance Committee and using his position to invest in railroads, sugar, rubber and banking deals that made him rich.

Sound familiar? It should. We’re well on our way to repeating that money-crazed chapter in American history as a growing list of legislators use their office to play the game, "Who Wants to Be a Multi-millionaire?”

Last week we learned that Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Alabama, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, is under investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics – the first such case involving a member of Congress. The probe comes at a time when America’s ethics alarm bells are ringing loudly. In the business world, trading on insider information is a crime punishable with prison time, but Congress operates in a different – and very lucrative -- universe. Recently, the House and the Senate have been debating legislation to stiffen rules on insider trading by lawmakers in the wake of a "60 Minutes" report and a book focusing on the topic, Throw Them All Out, by Peter Schweizer of the conservative Hoover Foundation. But the legislation, known as the STOCK Act, appears to be stalling.


The High Costs Of Birth Control: A Major Barrier To Access

Many people seem to think birth control is affordable, but high costs are one of the primary barriers to contraceptive access. It is for this reason that the Obama administration recently followed the recommendation of the Institute of Medicine to ensure that birth control will be covered as a preventive service with no cost-sharing beginning August 1, 2012.

Although three-quarters of American women of childbearing age have private insurance, they still have had to pay a significant portion of contraceptive costs on their own.

A recent study shows that women with private insurance paid about 50 percent of the total costs fororal contraceptives, even though the typical out-of-pocket cost of noncontraceptive drugs is only 33 percent.

In some cases oral contraceptives approach 29 percent of out-of-pocket spending on health care for women with private insurance.

Women of reproductive age spend 68 percent more on out-of-pocket health care costs than do men, in part because of contraceptive costs.


What if the Next Steve Jobs Is Chinese?

As Apple's stock continues to hit record highs and its sales and profit reports exceed all expectations, Steve Jobs' reputation as an entrepreneurial genius grows ever larger. He succeeded in developing products that people around the world very much want to buy. In this sense, Jobs stands out from the mediocrities that run most corporations, and collect huge paychecks in the process.

It may be some time before another innovator comes along who can match Steve Jobs record, but we constantly see companies developing new products, even if few will have the same impact as the iPod or iPad. The United States continues to be at the forefront in innovation, but this will likely not always be the case. It is worth asking whether we should care. This requires a clear-eyed assessment of the benefits to the country provided by innovators like Jobs.

As The New York Times recently documented, Jobs deserves credit for developing products that people value, but it is less clear that he deserves much credit for creating jobs in the United States. Apple has long outsourced to China and other countries virtually all of its manufacturing operations. Apple has absolutely not been a boon for US manufacturing workers.


We Are All Greeks Now

They chanted, "We. Are. The 99 percent" with Greek accents in Zuccotti Park on Saturday. Greek-Americans, nationals and immigrants were joined by Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protesters in a show of solidarity with the people of Greece, thousands of whom took to the streets to protest the latest round of International Monetary Fund-imposed austerity cuts. A week earlier, Greeks had rioted, setting dozens of Athenian buildings ablaze.

One of the Zuccotti Park protesters, Costas Panayotakis, is an associate professor of sociology at City College of Technology and author of "Remaking Scarcity: From Capitalist Inefficiency to Economic Democracy." "Greece is just a more extreme example of what's going on around Europe and around the world," he said in an interview with Truthout, explaining the impetus behind the solidarity demonstration.

Christa Calbos, a student activist who goes to Manhattanville College and who has spent time in Greece, agreed that the solidarity stems from people worldwide seeing their own situation in the Greeks'. "It is important for Americans," she said, "and all citizens of the world fighting against austerity to show solidarity because the challenges Greece now faces are not unique to Greece."


A People’s History Of Robin Hood

For hundreds of years, he’s fought tax injustice, tyranny, and the seizure of the commons. Why we still need him today.

“Man has an insatiable longing for justice. In his soul he rebels against a social order which denies it to him and whatever the world he lives in, he accuses either that social order or the entire material universe of injustice . . . And in addition he carries within himself the wish to have what he cannot have — if only in the form of a fairy tale.”
— Eric Hobsbawm, Bandits (1981)

In the late 1950s, a handful of peaceniks protested mandatory ROTC on a major U.S. university campus by carrying signs and wearing green buttons. Back when The Adventures of Robin Hood was a giant hit on television, most everybody knew that green was Robin Hood’s color and that Robin could not side with the king’s soldiers or future soldiers of any empire. Five decades later, the lead protagonist of a cult favorite American cable show, Leverage, announces at the beginning of each episode: “The rich and the powerful take what they want; we steal it back for you.”

It’s a fitting motto for heroes of the 21st century. Admittedly, resistance to injustice has not as yet returned to the level of the apprentices and craftsmen in Edinburgh, Scotland, who in 1561 chose to come together “efter the auld wikid maner of Robene Hude”: they elected a leader as “Lord of Inobedience” and stormed past the magistrates, through the city gates, up to Castle Hill where they displayed their unwillingness to accept current work-and-wage conditions. But as a global society, we are clearly still thinking about the need for Robin Hood.


The Developing Price Inflation

Ben Bernanke money printing is beginning to have an impact.

Today's futures activity:

West Texas Intermediate crude oil is trading at $106.07 (+2.5%)

Gold is at $1757.20 up $31.30 (+1.85%)

Silver is at $34.35 up $1.13 (+3.47%)

Copper is at $3.8385 up $0.1305 (+3.53%)

Sugar is at $24.50 up $0.73 (+3.03%)

But, there is an opposing view. Paul Krugman sees deflation because P&G is distributing diaper coupons.

Is it going to have to come down to reminding Krugman that you can't eat diapers, new or otherwise?


Spying On Campus: New York Police Caught Monitoring Muslim Student Groups Throughout Northeast

The Associated Press has revealed the New York City Police Department monitored Muslim college students at schools throughout the Northeast, including Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania. In one case, the NYPD sent an undercover agent on a whitewater rafting trip in upstate New York, where he recorded students’ names and noted in police intelligence files how many times they prayed. We speak to one of the students on the trip, Jawad Rasul. He is the only student who was under surveillance to now publicly speak out about his experience. "[This is] hurting NYPD’s try and attempt at finding homegrown terrorism, because these kind of tactics actually create more hatred towards them and the other law-enforcement agencies and really destroys the trust that any youth might have developed with the government," Rasul said. We’re also joined by Mongi Dhaouadi, executive director of the Connecticut chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is calling for a state probe into the spying on Muslims.


Girl, 12, Found Naked And Rummaging In Trash For Food In Calif.

A teacher’s assistant from California faces child endangerment charges after her 12-year-old daughter was found naked and rummaging through trash cans for food, officials said.

Police were called on Thursday after a local resident saw a girl walking in Temecula, south-east of Los Angeles, wearing no clothes and eating food out of trash cans.


Where Do Problem Teachers Go? LA's 'Rubber Room'

It’s called the "rubber room" -- a popular name for a reassignment center many say is emblematic of what is wrong with public education.

The rubber room is where teachers accused of everything from drug abuse to sexual harassment are sent to do nothing, but still collect a salary, benefits and accrue time toward pensions.


Under CRC, Teen Murderer Faces Maximum 3 Years

Who can measure the value of a teacher’s life? Apart from the inestimable intrinsic value of any human life, there is also the value of the everyday sacrifice, the noble laying aside of one’s own ambitions for the opportunity to shape and mold the next generation, to make a positive difference in the world of the country’s children and youth. So just what is the life of a noble teacher worth?

Under the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), apparently not very much.

The Times of India last Saturday reported on a high school teacher, Uma Maheshwari, who was stabbed to death in her classroom by an angry student. Under India’s Juvenile Justice Act 2000, a law passed “in keeping with the UN Child Rights Convention,” the young murderer will face a maximum sentence – a maximum sentence – of three years in a reformatory. Though the 15-year-old assailant spent days plotting her death, he could be free by the time he reaches adulthood.

Lesser sentences are also available under the law, including shorter time in the special institution for youth, probation, or even a simple admonition and counseling for the boy and his parents.

Maheshwari leaves behind two children, a 16-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old son, though just how the CRC is protecting their rights is unclear. Having been deprived of their mother, they will next see her murderer get a slap on the wrist.

With such lax punishments for so serious a crime, there is no real deterrent to keep teachers – or even parents – safe from the passions of any angry teen. According to comments at The Times’ website, that is the sentiment of many in India as well. (As one posted, “Who will wish to become a teacher now? … What does [this say] about our culture of respecting our teachers and education?”)

But the law will not likely be changed. It reflects the rights of the child as set forth in the CRC, which demands that 1) there is to be no life imprisonment for minors, and 2) incarceration in any form is to be used only as a last resort. The Supreme Court of South Africa has held that under the CRC no first-time murderer can face incarceration, as it cannot be a “last resort” if it is a “first offense.” Even a premeditated murder like this one cannot be punished as a serious crime.

Our own Supreme Court has already cited the CRC in ending the use of the death penalty (Roper v. Simmons, 2005) and life sentences without parole (Graham v. Florida, 2010) for minors who commit murder, as well. Should things continue as they are, perhaps we, too, will see children receive a slap on the wrist for these horrific crimes.

Apparently, an adult’s right to live isn’t worth as much as a child’s right to freedom under the CRC.

Section Three of the proposed Parental Rights Amendment will prevent this dangerous treaty from ever ruling here. Let us honor our teachers, their families, and all life in general, by keeping the CRC out of American law.


Protestant Colleges Threaten To Drop Student Health Care Over Contraceptive Mandate

Not just a Catholic controversy: Protestant colleges threaten to drop student health care over contraceptive mandate

On a chilly winter day earlier this month, 120 college presidents--mostly of Protestant schools--from around the country met in Washington for an annual meeting sponsored by the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities, a group that represents 136 American schools and more than 400,000 students. One topic kept coming up in the discussions: How to combat President Barack Obama's proposed mandate for religious employers to provide health insurance that offers free contraception, a decision that would affect all of their institutions--and could violate some of their deepest-held beliefs.

During the conference, 25 of the presidents held a separate policy meeting to discuss the proposed directive, which was first established in the Affordable Care Act in 2010 and was upheld this year by the Department of Health and Human Services. The mandate, later softened by the Obama administration, would have required non-church religious institutions like schools and hospitals to offer health insurance plans that include free access to contraceptives and abortifacient drugs. Many of these presidents made trips to the offices of their representatives to urge them to fight against the decision.


Students Sue Over Pepper-Spraying At UC Davis

SAN FRANCISCO - The University of California, Davis is facing a federal lawsuit filed by students who were pepper-sprayed during a campus crackdown on Occupy protests last fall.

Nineteen students and alumni represented by the American Civil Liberties Union filed the complaint in U.S. District Court in Sacramento on Wednesday.

The lawsuit is the latest fallout from the Nov. 18 incident, when campus police doused pepper-spray on sitting protesters who had set up an Occupy camp.


War Reporting Legend Marie Colvin And Photographer Rémi Ochlik Are Killed

A celebrated American-born war reporter and a young French photographer were killed on Wednesday morning when Syrian forces bombed a makeshift media center in the besieged city of Homs. The tragedy shook the disparate community of conflict journalists gathered there, not least in highlighting the degree to which risks are intensifying for those covering Syria's march to civil war.


Wicomico County Sheriff's Department Desperate For Speed Cameras

For starters, the Daily Times REALLY needs to get their head out of their rear ends, (you know I'm being nice with words) because today they put up an article stating the County Council already approved speed cameras in front of Bennett Middle School.

Look you Idiots, Bennet Middle School speed cameras were decided upon by the CITY COUNCIL and NOT the County Council. One would think that Joe Carmean or Greg Bassett would at least start paying attention to the crap they spew in that daily rag but they don't. This is the problem with virgin reporters who have no clue how things work here on the Shore.

Nevertheless, Sharee, Matt and John Hall were once again quick to show immediate support to Sheriff Lewis on the speed cameras. However, I've got a couple questions for Sheriff Lewis, some of which he has refused to answer.

1. How many children in the past 10 years have been struck by a vehicle in school zone areas?

2. Why does the City and County feel the need to keep these cameras ON during the summer months?

It has become quite evident that the CITIZENS, you know, the people that pay YOUR salaries on Council and in the Sheriff's Department are AGAINST these speed cameras, yet our elected officials keep ramming things we do NOT want down our throats.

ANYONE supporting such a thing supports tax increases. Oh, they'll get those tax increases too, you just wait and see. So when you add it all up in the end you'll be paying higher fees for gas, gas taxes, tolls and a REPUBLICAN, (or so he claims) Mike Lewis is simply shoving another "fee" down our throats because they have to catch you at anything and everything you do. As if they don't have enough on their plate each day with real crime, murders, hit men.

They run to the Daily Times and tell them, we really don't know the MOTIVE behind why this man was ASSASSINATED, yet he was a key witness to a recent attempted murder that was getting ready to go to trial.

No Folks, they don't want you to know the TRUTH. They don't think we're big enough to handle the FACT that Salisbury and Wicomico County now have hit men out there flat out killing people. Instead, they offer a $2,500.00 reward for information leading to the gunman.

Well, we at Salisbury News are NOT stupid. We are strongly against speed cameras and we are destined to tell the TRUTH. Now, will this too get me assassinated, time will tell. Lord knows, I certainly will NOT be protected because I speak my mind, because I tell the truth. I even get threats in comments on these matters by anonymous representatives from the Sheriff's Department, or so we'll assume.

In the end, do YOU support these speed cameras, fees, taxes? Have YOU ever seen or heard of someone being hit by a car by a speeding driver? Come on now, is it really necessary at all. If the Sheriff's Department and Salisbury Police refuse to TICKET/FINE kids NOT using cross walks, why should drivers be punished from 6 am to 8 pm every week day, all year round?

New Posts to fall below.

Sale Of Philadelphia Newspapers Raises Bias Concerns

Philadelphia’s two daily newspapers have long been accused of liberal bias, but critics say a group of potential buyers led by former Gov. Ed Rendell would turn the papers into mere mouthpieces of the Democratic Party in a 2012 swing state.

Mr. Rendell, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is teaming with George Norcross, the Democratic Party boss of southern New Jersey, and others in an effort to purchasethe Philadelphia Inquirer, the Daily News and the company’s website,


Christie: Buffett Should "Write A Check And Shut Up"

Famously outspoken New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says he's "tired" of making the discourse surrounding tax reform all about Warren Buffett - and that if the billionaire investor wants so badly to pay more taxes, "he should just write a check and shut up."

In a CNN interview on Tuesday, Christie sparred with Piers Morgan over the issue, arguing that, as governor, he's "not going to let the most vulnerable suffer." But the Republican governor added that he also is "not going to get into this class warfare business, where certain people are more important than others or deserve more attention than others."

Warren Buffett has become something of a symbol for the left on the matter of tax reform, due to his urging that the wealthiest Americans - people like himself - should be taxed at a higher rate than the current tax code demands.


Va. Passes Contentious Gay Adoption Bill

RICHMOND, Va. - Private adoption agencies could deny placing children with prospective parents who are gay under a bill that received final approval in the Virginia General Assembly on Tuesday.

The Senate voted 22-18 to pass the bill and send it to Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, who has said he will sign it. Virginia will become just the second state with such a law, which proponents said was modeled after North Dakota's statute. The legislation allows agencies to deny placements that conflict with their moral or religious beliefs, including opposition to homosexuality.


Maryland, Virginia Propose Widely Differing Laws

Despite being geographically close, Maryland and Virginia have stark differences, which is clearly evident in the proposed laws being debated by each state’s legislature

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley has made legalizing same sex marriage a top priority while Virginia’s Governor Bob McDonnell supports a bill allowing private agencies to ban gay couples from adopting.

Maryland approved in-state tuition for illegal immigrants while Virginia is considering banning illegal immigrants from state schools


Prof. Challenges 'Redskins' Name As Racist

WASHINGTON - One ESPN anchor was suspended, and another employee of the same network fired, for using the phrase "Chink in the Armor" to describe a loss by the New York Knicks, led by their Asian-American phenom Jeremy Lin.

Now a public policy law professor at George Washington University is using that Lintroversy to draw new attention to a long-running debate over race and sports in Washington -- the Redskins team name.


Peter Cukor Killed After Police, Allegedly Busy With Occupy Protest, Failed To Respond To Call

A tragic murder in Berkeley has stricken two families with grief and led to serious allegations against the Berkeley Police Department, the mental health system and Occupy Oakland.

On Saturday night, Peter and Andrea Cukor called Berkeley police on a nonemergency line to report a trespasser outside their garage. However, police did not immediately respond, claiming they were busy with an Occupy protest. Soon after, 67-year-old Peter Cukor was beaten to death by the trespasser, allegedly 23-year-old Daniel DeWitt

DeWitt -- a former Alameda High School football star and the grandson of Alameda's first black mayor and councilman -- has suffered from paranoid schizophrenia for the past five years. His family claims that they have aggressively been seeking treatment.


Frederick: Only English In This County

Frederick County has become the first in Maryland to make English the official language of the government. Only two people spoke in favor of the proposal at a public hearing.


Senate Postpones Gay Marriage Debate; More Amendments Sought

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Maryland state Senate has postponed debate on Gov. Martin O'Malley's same sex marriage bill until Thursday.

11 News reporter David Collins said a number of the members want more time to draw up amendments to the legislation.

Collins said Senate President Mike Miller, who opposes same sex marriage, doesn't anticipate any votes have changed since last year when it passed 25-21.


Maryland Senate To Weigh ‘Doomsday’ Budget

ANNAPOLIS — Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. said Tuesday that the chamber will look to make broader budget cuts than those proposed by Gov. Martin O'Malley and might even consider a “doomsday” budget that would include $500 million in reductions with essentially no revenue increases.

Mr. Miller, Prince George’s Democrat, said theSenate likely will begin the budget debate this month and will consider several alternate proposals to the Democratic governor’s plan, which includes modest cuts and hundreds of millions of dollars in tax and revenue increases. Mr. O'Malley’s plan also includes an income-tax hike on the top 20 percent of earners


FBI Enlists Local Muslim Community To Fight Terror

WASHINGTON - The scenarios are similar, the results apparently life-saving.

Last week's arrest of Amine el-Khalifi is the most recent in a string of stings by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in which a would-be terrorist was identified, monitored, and provided with an inert weapon by undercover agents and informants.

Contacted by WTOP, the FBI would not address whether it is recruiting members of the American-Muslim community to act in undercover roles, but the bureau has been public about its outreach efforts, after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.



A Democrat in the state House in Georgia has proposed the state regulate vasectomies because, “thousands of children are deprived of birth in this state every year because of a lack of state regulation.”

Rep. Yasmin Neal, a Democrat from the state’s 75th House district, said, “It is patently unfair that the men can avoid the rewards of unwanted fatherhood by presuming that their judgment is more valid than the General Assembly while women’s ability to decide is constantly up for debate … .”


What Is Your Stress Level?

Lawmakers: Turn Cameras Off When Workers Leave Site

Legislation restricting speed cameras in a highway work zone to the hours when people are actually working is moving through the state House.

It's a measure that died last year, according to 11 News reporter David Collins, who said it's hard to tell how it will play out this year.

While few people like the cameras, no one is complaining about the money they generate, Collins said.

Speed cameras are now a fixture in highway work zones, even when no one is working. Collins said the Outer Loop of Interstate 695 at Charles Street is one example.


A Letter To The Editor 2-22-12 Accurate Optical SCAM ALERT

My job offered to pay for a pair of safety glasses. I go to Accurate Optical, get my exam and pick a really basic pair of frames. Two and a half weeks go by and I hear nothing. I give them a call only to have them take my number and NOT return my call. I call the next day only to be put on hold for 5 minutes until I just hang up. The the following day, SURPRISE, they call me but only to tell me they DONT have the frames I wanted so I had to come in and they will put my order in as a RUSH job. So I go there and they only see they have a couple extra pair of basic (free from my employer) which were not very good so I say let me see the next step up, for which I would pay maybe $10 extra for. They do NOT have the next THREE (3) levels of frames... they say the next available set is about $60 to $70 bucks. I walked out!


U.N. Experts Leave Iran Without Nuclear Agreement

Two days of talks with Iran have failed to produce agreement on how to verify that Iran's nuclear program remains peaceful, the International Atomic Energy Agency announced Tuesday.

Iran also refused to allow a team from the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency to visit its military base at Parchin, southeast of Tehran, during the two-day visit, the IAEA said.

"Intensive efforts were made to reach agreement on a document facilitating the clarification of unresolved issues in connection with Iran's nuclear program, particularly those relating to possible military dimensions," an IAEA statement on the visit read. "Unfortunately, agreement was not reached on this document."


A Letter To The Editor 2-22-12

While watching the news tonight something just hit me wrong. Maybe a good point for comments.

Now MD lawmakers want to make a law to make it illegal to smoke while driving (maybe, just while children are present). Anyway, I feel these lawmakers are paid way too much to be making (or even thinking of) laws such as this. Although I agree with the intent, they should be doing more to reduce crime and to punish offenders of
more serious nature.

To me, this is more justification of 'vote the do nothings out'.


Arpaio: I briefed Santorum On Birth Certificate Investigation

Phoenix (CNN) – Joe Arpaio, the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, briefed GOP contender Rick Santorum on his investigation into President Barack Obama's birth certificate, the controversial law enforcement official told reporters Tuesday.

After a speech to a Republican gathering in Phoenix where Santorum appeared earlier in the day, Arpaio explained he wanted to inform the candidate of his investigation "as a matter of fairness in case he wouldn't want me to support him."


A Comment Worthy Of A Post 2-22-12

- the date for renewing the contract has been on here for a week or more

- names of school board members and contact info has been listed, over and over again

- BOE, (teachers and administrators )have been drug through the mud over and over by comments

- gossip, rumors and "my best friend's mother's boyfriend's ex-wife's mother-in-law said" stories repeated by viewers have been rampant

The day of reckoning arrives, so how many who were protesting the renewal of the contract bothered to show up to the meeting? I do not buy the "I had to work" excuse, as there was ample time to make arrangements to be off for a few hours. (Just like there is time to take off for things really important to you).

How many actually contacted the school board members with a grievance for renewal the contact ? From viewers comments on here it sounds like hundreds, but do you actually know that to be factual?

In my opinion (from reading comments on SBYNews about Mr Fredericksen, the staff and teachers) over the past four years, the only reasons given not to renew the contract have been mainly repeated rumors or gossip or insinuations.

Now I question if there are only one or two dozen people in the county who voiced their opinion of not renewing the contract. I question how many viewers are actually writing comments (is it the same 12/24 over and over). I question if tens of thousands are coming to this site daily to read about the BOE.

If my questions or opinion of the above is correct than I say most don't care or they think this whole BOE fiasco has been blown out of proportion.

Loss Of License Ordered In Kansas Abortion-Referrals Case

A state administrative judge has ordered the revocation of a Kansas doctor's license over her referrals of young patients to the late Dr. George Tiller for late-term abortions, concluding their care was "seriously jeopardized" by inadequate mental health examinations.

In an order that became public Tuesday, the judge said Dr. Ann Kristen Neuhaus failed to meet accepted standards of care in performing exams on 11 patients, ages 10 to 18, who had late-term abortions at Tiller's clinic in Wichita from July to November 2003. The judge said Neuhaus' records did not contain the information necessary to show she did thorough exams.

Tiller needed an opinion from another doctor to terminate the pregnancies because Kansas law restricted late-term abortions at the time. Neuhaus said each patient's mental health issues were serious enough to allow each procedure to go forward.


Cost To Operate A Chevy Volt

Eric Bolling (Fox Business Channel's Follow the Money) test drove the

Chevy Volt at the invitation of General Motors.

For four days in a row, the fully charged battery lasted only 25 miles before the Volt switched to the reserve gasoline engine. Eric calculated the car got 30 mpg including the 25 miles it ran on the battery. So, the range including the 9 gallon gas tank and the 16 kwh battery is approximately 270 miles. It will take you 4 1/2 hours to drive 270 miles at 60 mph. Then add 10 hours to charge the battery and you have a total trip time of 14.5 hours. In a typical road trip your average speed (including charging time) would be 20 mph.

According to General Motors, the Volt battery holds 16 kwh of electricity. It takes a full 10 hours to charge a drained battery. The cost for the electricity to charge the Volt is never mentioned so I looked up what I pay for electricity.

I pay approximately (it varies with amount used and the seasons) $1.16 per kwh.

16 kwh x $1.16 per kwh = $18.56 to charge the battery.

$18.56 per charge divided by 25 miles = $0.74 per mile to operate the Volt using the battery.

Compare this to a similar size car with a gasoline engine only that gets 32 mpg.

$3.19 per gallon divided by 32 mpg = $0.10 per mile.
$3.75 per gallon divided by 32 mpg = $0.12 per mile.

The gasoline powered car cost about $15,000 while the Volt costs $46,000.

So Obama wants us to pay 3 times as much for a car that costs more that 7 times as much to run and takes 3 times as long to drive across country.

REALLY? I say "drill here - drill now". This is nuts, but people have bought them.

Putin: Russia Must Re-Arm Because Of United States Aggression

That's the only way to interpret a new article by Vladimir Putin in the new issue of Foreign Policy. He writes:

We will, under no circumstances, surrender our strategic deterrent capability. Indeed, we will strengthen it.

We will not be able to strengthen our international position or develop our economy or our democratic institutions if we are unable to protect Russia.

We see ever new regional and local wars breaking out. We see new areas of instability and deliberately managed chaos. There also are attempts to provoke such conflicts even close to Russia's and its allies' borders. The basic principles of international law are being degraded and eroded, especially in terms of international security.

Under these circumstances, Russia cannot rely on diplomatic and economic methods alone to resolve conflicts. Our country faces the task of sufficiently developing its military potential as part of a deterrence strategy. This is an indispensable condition for Russia to feel secure and for our partners to listen to our country's arguments...



February is Teen Dating Violence (DV) Prevention and Awareness Month and the Ocean City Police Department is joining the national effort to raise awareness about abuse in teen and 20-something relationships. Teen DV Month, which is now in its third year, joins organizations and individuals to highlight the need to educate young people about healthy relationships.


Today's Fill In The Blank 2-22-12

I believe in __________ as my savior.

Are You Kidding Me


The Wall, A Bit Of History

A little history most people will never know.

Interesting Veterans Statistics off the Vietnam Memorial Wall

There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2010.

The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized. It is hard to believe it is 36 years since the last casualties.

The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth , Mass. Listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965.

There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall.

39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger.

8,283 were just 19 years old.

The largest age group, 33,103 were 18 years old.

12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old.

5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old.

One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old.

997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam ..

1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam ..

31 sets of brothers are on the Wall.

Thirty one sets of parents lost two of their sons.

54 soldiers attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia . I wonder why so many from one school.

8 Women are on the Wall. Nursing the wounded.

244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall.

Beallsville, Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons.

West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation. There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall.

The Marines of Morenci - They led some of the scrappiest high school football and basketball teams that the little Arizona copper town of Morenci (pop. 5,058) had ever known and cheered. They enjoyed roaring beer busts. In quieter moments, they rode horses along the Coronado Trail, stalked deer in the Apache National Forest. And in the patriotic camaraderie typical of Morenci's mining families, the nine graduates of Morenci High enlisted as a group in the Marine Corps. Their service began on Independence Day, 1966. Only 3 returned home.

The Buddies of Midvale - LeRoy Tafoya, Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales were all boyhood frie nds and lived on three consecutive streets in Midvale, Utah on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues. They lived only a few yards apart. They played ball at the adjacent sandlot ball field. And they all went to Vietnam. In a span of 16 dark days in late 1967, all three would be killed. LeRoy was killed on Wednesday, Nov. 22, the fourth anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination. Jimmy died less than 24 hours later on Thanksgiving Day. Tom was shot dead assaulting the enemy on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245 deaths.

The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 - 2,415 casualties were incurred.

For most Americans who read this they will only see the numbers that the Vietnam War created. To those of us who survived the war, and to the families of those who did not, we see the faces, we feel the pain that these numbers created. We are, until we to o pass away, haunted with these numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters. There are no noble wars, just noble warriors.

Advertiser Of The Day

White House Comments On Surging Gasoline Prices

Just when we thought that when it comes to nonsensical announcements Europe is second to none, here comes the White House and takes the cake:

Uhm, would the "unrestful" parts of the world be those that have an above average US drone presence. At least we know that said price surges have nothing to do with the following chart:


A Foul Post

Preppers View - The Caliber Question

The article on Guns and Ammo brought about some good comments but one comment stood out to me. The comment relating to the Rock River LAR-8. I won't be commenting on Rock River, S&W, Colt, or other manufacturers, but rather the caliber of the weapon mentioned in the comment - the .308. Commonly referred to as the 7.62 x 51 NATO, there are differences between the two as it relates to shoulder design and case pressure. While a weapon designed to fire the NATO round will chamber and fire the .308 Win., significant hazards exist. A good rule of thumb - if it's chambered for .308, shoot .308. If it's chambered for 7.62 x 51 NATO, shoot the NATO round. Now that I've covered the disclaimer thing ;) I can get to the meat and potatoes of the post - the benefits of a hefty round like the .308 / 7.62 x 51.

Don't get me wrong. the .223 / 5.56 x 45, used by AR15's, is a good round. An accurate round. But a weak round. It will bounce off of a cinder block wall leaving any adversary behind the wall unscathed. The .308, on the other hand, will pass through the cinder block wall and still take care of business on the other side. This is important. Because a cinder block wall that offers cover against the .223 is not more than concealment against the .308. The same relates to 1/4 inch plate steel depending on distance.

As mentioned above, the accuracy of the .223 is admirable but there is a reason that the .308 Winchester replaced the 30-06 Springfield as the sniper rifle of choice of the USMC for more than 40 years. The .308 has repeatedly neutralized targets at distances of 1000 yards when used in a rifle of the proper configuration.

All in all, IMHO, the commentor who owns the LAR-8 owns a fine weapon in a caliber that will serve him/her better than most weapons chambered in .223 in most situations.

Caption This Photo 2-22-12

Today's Survey Question 2-22-12

Do you think it's a conflict of interest for welfare recipients, (entitlement recipients) to vote?

Franklin Graham Questions Faith Of Obama, Romney

Evangelical minister Franklin Graham — son of famed evangelist Billy Graham — said he "can not answer" whether President Obama is a Christian and that most Christians would "not recognize Mormonism" during an appearance Tuesday morning on MSNBC. But Graham said he was confident that Rick Santorum was a Christian because of his stance on "moral issues."

Obama's faith has been in the news of late after Santorum suggested on the campaign trail Saturday that the president did not hold Christian values because of his environmental agenda.

Graham was asked by the "Morning Joe" panel whether he believed the president was a Christian. He responded with doubts about Obama's faith.

"I think people have to ask Barack Obama. He's come out saying he's a Christian, so I think the question is, 'What is a Christian?' " Graham said.

Graham then said that Obama told him that he joined his church while doing community work on the South Side of Chicago because members of the community had told him it was a necessary part of doing his job.

Later in the segment, Graham also said he could not definitely say Obama was not a Muslim.

"All I know is under Obama, President Obama, the Muslims of the world, he seems to be more concerned about them than the Christians that are being murdered in the Muslim countries," he said.

"Under Islamic law — Sharia law — Islam sees him as a son of Islam. Because his father was a Muslim, his grandfather was a Muslim ... that's just the way it works … that's the way they see it," Graham said.

The minister also said "Islam has gotten a free pass under Obama."


Hillary Clinton Must Not Have Gotten The White Shirt Memo!

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stood out from the crowd during a G20 group photo in which she was the only participant not dressed in a white button-down shirt. Instead, Clinton arrived wearing one of her signature pantsuits, this one a shade of chartreuse green.

The photo-op was held at the G20 Ministers of Foreign Affairs informal gathering in Los Cabos, Mexico. Apparently, there was no white shirt requirement in place. The State Department told theDaily Mail that they were not made aware of any formal dress code before the photo op.

Gallup: Iran Is America's No. 1 Enemy

Iran tops the list of countries that Americans consider the greatest enemy of the United States, followed by China, according to a new Gallup World Affairs poll released Monday.

Alarm over Iran’s growing nuclear capabilities, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s belligerent threats of war against the United States and Israel, and the possibility of a disruption in oil flow leading to higher gas prices are propelling Americans’ negative views of the Middle East nation, according to Gallup.

87 percent of those surveyed gave Iran an unfavorable rating, the most negative measured in the survey.


Texas Emergency Rooms and Elsewhere Levy Fees for Some Care

Talk about adding insult injury. More and more U.S. emergency rooms won't admit patients until they pony up a fee of $100 dollars or more for nonemergencies.

The fees are meant to discourage people suffering from nothing worse, say, than a sore throat or a skinned knee from taking up time and resources better reserved for the seriously ill.

Both for-profit and non-profit hospitals are levying the charge.

Ed Fishbough, spokesman for the nation's biggest for-profit chain,HCA Healthcare in Nashville, Tenn., says the company first started imposing such fees in 2004, at one of its Houston-area hospitals.