Sunday, March 04, 2012
Contact number: 302-846-2722.
From Fox News
Date and Time of Occurrence: Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 1:20 a.m.
Operators and Vehicles:
Operator #1: Craig Hicks, 25, Seaford, DE
Vehicle #1: 2009 Nissan Murano
Operator #2: Leonard Eley, 34, Lewes, DE
Vehicle #2: 1996 Volkswagen Passat
Lewes, DE- The Delaware State Police are currently investigating a motor vehicle crash in which two people were injured following a short vehicle pursuit that occurred early this morning in Lewes.
The incident began at approximately 1:20 a.m. this morning as a Delaware State Trooper on routine patrol observed a Volkswagen Passat driving in an erratic manner on southbound DE Rt. 1 in the area of CR 264 in Lewes. The Trooper activated his emergency equipment and with the assistance of a second Trooper, attempted to stop the Volkswagen. However the operator of the vehicle refused to stop. He then led Troopers on a pursuit along DE Rt. 1, Nassau Park Road, and DE Rt. 9 in Lewes. The vehicle then turned onto Church Street and as it reached the intersection of Beaver Dam Road, it failed to stop at a sign. The Volkswagen was then struck on its driver’s side door by a 2009 Nissan Murano which was traveling on westbound Beaver Dam Road and which was being operated by Craig Hicks, 25, of Seaford.
The operator of the Volkswagen, later identified as Leonard Eley, 34, of Lewes, was trapped in his vehicle for a period of time until he could be extricated by responding emergency personnel. He was then transported by EMS to the Beebe Memorial Hospital and then to the Christiana Hospital where he was admitted in serious condition. Craig Hicks was not injured; however, a passenger in his vehicle, Danniell Long, 33, of Seaford was removed from the scene by EMS and transported to the Beebe Memorial Hospital where she was treated for non-life threatening injuries. Two other passengers in Hick’s vehicle were not injured.
Beaver Dam Road was closed for approximately 2 hours as the crash was investigated and cleared.
This crash remains under investigation at this time and charges are expected. Alcohol is being considered as a factor in the crash.
But prosecutors are now dusting off a rarely used law to charge Brown with vehicular homicide right along with her man, citing that anyone who knowingly hands over their keys to an intoxicated person is just as liable for any damages as the individual behind the wheel. Now she’s facing 30 years in jail because she wasn’t astute enough in her drunkenness to realize that her boo was too tipsy to drive.
So what we’re basically saying here is that it was up to Brown to discern how far gone Bradshaw was rather than it being up to him to admit that he was too stewed to play chauffeur. Under that line of thinking, it must be a mugging victim’s fault for wearing a super snazzy handbag and tempting a renegade thief to steal it.
The sad fallout from their bad decision-making means two young men are now dead: Michael Brooksher, 22, and Tommy Allen, 23. The best friends both suffered injuries that killed them shortly after they were plowed down at 2:30 in the morning back in December. If the D.A.’s office has its way, this incident will also claim the lives of two more young people, with Brown and Bradshaw serving three decades behind bars, which puts them darn near in their golden years by the time they get out if they serve full sentences.
I’m not saying break out the violins and sad movie music for either of them, especially him. How many high school health classes and bad after school specials does someone have sit through before they get the message that driving drunk, bad; calling taxi, good? But I do think that, barring any idiotic new developments that confirm she was well aware of how inebriated her man actually was, prosecutors are trying — unnecessarily — to make an example out of her.
There are a lot of laws on the books that we all could be slapped with and long suffering because of. In New Jersey, cabbage can't be sold on Sunday, and in Missouri, a man must have a permit to shave. Yet we’re footloose and fancy-free when it comes to those rules. My point is, there are oodles of stupid, silly, downright foolish regulations that we don’t honor or observe. Why crank up this one?
Is Brown just as accountable as her boyfriend for the deaths?
"All elements of American power" remain an option to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power, including "a military effort to be prepared for any contingency," Obama told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a pro-Israel lobby group.
At the same time, Obama made clear that he preferred diplomacy over war both as a principle and in the case of Iran, and he warned that "too much loose talk of war" with Iran only benefits the Iranian government by driving up the price of oil.
Obama also said U.S. support for Israel should be a bipartisan issue, and he dismissed criticism of his record by Republicans, saying "it's not backed up by the facts."
There are many that absolutely love Salisbury Police Chief Barbara Duncan. She really is a pro active leader with true experience. You see Folks, (IMHO) a leader has to be a person who not only understands their job, a leader has the wisdom and experience to manage and retain their staff.
Let me give you an example. Right now you're seeing the Sheriff's Department patrolling Rt 13 and the Bypass. They're looking out for specific drivers, (skin color) and specific out of state vehicles. The intent, (some might call it profiling) is to pull over certain out of state vehicles that match a specific description. The reason for such is to pull over and catch the drugs, weapons and cash one might find from these specific vehicles.
Now, while many in Wicomico County get wind of such traffic stops and pat certain people on the back, your County truly is not getting the protection you deserve. The most disturbing part of this is the fact that surrounding municipalities are now trying to get into the game in the hopes of catching these specific vehicles not picked up by the Sheriff's Department, or even perhaps before they reach the Sheriff's Department vehicle.
Sooner or later the practice of targeting one type of vehicle and a specific kind of driver is going to end. In the mean time, what are you getting protection wise? If you have Officers patrolling Rt 13 and the Bypass all the time, they are NOT being seen patrolling neighborhoods. More importantly, this goes for municipal Police as well. All of a sudden these officers want to be as good as Sheriff Lewis, or as recognized. Because each municipality is understaffed in the first place, why concentrate on Rt 13 or the Bypass?
This brings me back to leadership. Chief Barbara Duncan is concentrating on community policing, not Rt 13 and the Bypass. She's not out kissing babies and probably hates having to take the time to go to certain political press conferences and so forth. She has a LOT of work to do, especially with what the former Chief of Police left behind. Nevertheless, the morale in the SPD has never been higher, (some may argue this point with me). The same can't be said for the WCSO. When you have an entire team of Officers doing outstanding jobs and only one person takes all the credit, over time these veteran Officers get fed up and leave.
Another major issue you have is the fact that it's almost impossible to recruit new Officers. You have to have an unbelievable record to get accepted these days into the Police Academy. Such records are the kind in which these people receive scholarships to colleges, not Police departments. So to find good people, well, let's just say not many people want to spend the majority of their free time after work in court for what turns out to be very little pay in the end.
There was a lot of talk about the Sheriff's Department not having disability. An Officer was shot last week and IF he had been disabled, he'd be screwed. Hardly worth taking that kind of risk, wouldn't you agree?
Nevertheless, leadership is extremely important. Having a leader who recognizes everyone else, (rather than just one person) is what is needed. Many of us placed Sheriff Mike Lewis on the top shelf, many of us were wrong for doing so. Many police officers told me years ago this would be a problem and quite frankly I didn't see it coming, sorry.
In recent weeks we are seeing execution style murders. We have seen a police officer shot. We CANNOT make a difference policing the Bypass and NOT protecting our communities. You might even say that Sheriff Lewis has actually increased crime stats in Wicomico County. I know, that's a harsh statement but think about it for a minute. IF the Deputies were out patrolling the County with PROACTIVE policing and those people running drugs up and down the Bypass simply cruised through our communities untouched, crime numbers wouldn't be on the rise like they have been based on these drug arrests. Because so much time is being spent on the Bypass, there's no doubt in my mind that IF we were policing our communities instead many would think twice about execution style murders. Most crimes are crimes of opportunity. THINK about that, please.
Let the State Police handle the drug runners, or Homeland Security. If things continue down the path they are right now we'll simply have Officers REACTING to crimes that have already taken place, rather than Officers PROACTIVELY policing our communities to help prevent crime.
Considering Wicomico County is so large, why hasn't Sheriff Lewis opened up the Sub Stations throughout the County. Well, I think if you have read this Post this far you'll now know why. I personally think it's more important to the leadership in the WCSO to make the Rt 13 and Bypass arrests than it is to protect our communities. These arrests will NOT benefit Wicomico County citizens.
Oh sure, many of you will come back here and say that it will but if you stop for just a few minutes and look at this for what it really is, it really doesn't help us. It's easy to argue that taking ALL drugs off the streets is a benefit, who can really argue that. However, with execution style murders going on in Wicomico County, IF we don't start challenging our leaders right here and now we're simply going to see more of these murders and who knows what else.
Don't shoot the messenger. Just because I personally disagree with how things are going doesn't mean these leaders aren't great leaders. Every one has room to grow. However, when you have leaders who never get challenged, well, that's a very scary outcome. Most are not aware that any of this has been going on. Open your minds to what I'm bringing forth in this Post and rather than saying Joe just hates Mike Lewis, WRONG! I think Mike Lewis in many ways is an incredible human being. Just because I do not agree with everything Mike does doesn't mean I hate Mike or Law Enforcement.
I'm simply the ONLY one who is willing to use my name to challenge Mike. I'm not trying to be a rebel. I'm very concerned for the safety of those in Wicomico County. Especially lately!
Week 8 February 27-March 2, 2012
House Voting Session Tuesday Morning
The following link will allow you to view this information: Third Reader Bills
Judiciary Hearings Conducted Tuesday
Today we dealt with many bills concerning bail bonds. HB-492 seeks to insure that there is no deviation from the posting of “cash bonds” with other securities. HB-517 would not allow a property which had outstanding repair orders or building citations to be used as surety on a property bond. HB-573 would prohibit employees of the courts or correctional personnel from soliciting on behalf of a bonding agent or company. HB-742 would create certain qualifications and licensing for bonding agents. It would also require any payment agreements to be documented and provided to the person securing the services.
We also heard several bills dealing with corrections and jails. HB-528 is a perennial bill which seeks to limit the time a person can serve in a local correctional facility to 12 months instead of the current 18. Many Wardens across the state complain that they went along with the change to 18-months years ago when they were provided state funding to supplement their budgets. This situation has now become an unfunded mandate. Based on the fiscal note of $39 million, I am quite sure this is going nowhere, though it should serve as a warning to any who negotiate with the state. HB-500 seeks a small fee reimbursement from inmates who receive dental and medical care while incarcerated. This is a Frederic County Delegation Bill. Great idea, but the liberals will not hear of it. HB-509 would require an inmate submit to any applicable testing for HIV if a correctional officer feels they may have been exposed to pathogens during an altercation. As expected, the inmate sympathizers were there to defend the “rights” of criminals with little concern for those who must keep society safe from them. HB-513 would allow for local correction facilities to confine prisoners being held for an Initial Appearance before a judicial official. This is a very practical bill as temporary custody orders are no longer being issued for this purpose. HB-587 would make it a felony to smuggle a cellular phone into a prison on a second offense. We were told that this is a rampant problem and how the state prisons have confiscated hundreds of phones, yet it seems that few are ever charged under the current misdemeanor statute. HB-1147 seeks to provide a Telephone Assistance Fund for indigent inmates out of some of the proceeds from the telephone fees collected from collect calls at the facilities. This is a good hearted idea that may have many implementation problems. HB-624 would require a judge to issue a brochure on Expungement procedures for a person who may qualify while they are in open court.
Special Plate to Honor/Support Maryland Veterans
I testified today with Del. Smigiel (R-Cecil) on HB-541 in front of the Environmental Matters Committee. This bill would authorize the MVA to provide a license plate honoring our Veterans with all of the proceeds for the special registration going to a fund for wounded Maryland Vets and their families. The plate features a beautiful eagle in the background covering the whole plate with a banner clutched below which reads, “Maryland Supports Veterans”. We were joined at the table with a couple of veterans and the bill seemed to meet with support on the committee. Sadly, by the end of the week, it appeared that the Committee Chairman was going to have the bill voted as “unfavorable”. It seems she would not want us to “compete” with the Bay plate or the Agriculture plate. It is ridiculous, of course. If you would like to see this move forward, please contact the Chairman, Maggie McIntosh at 1-800-492-7122, ext. 3990 (toll free) or e-mail: email@example.com
House Voting Session Wednesday Morning
The following link will allow you to view this information: Third Reader Bills
Judiciary Hearings Conducted Wednesday
HB-507 would limit the number of expert witnesses in a Circuit Court trial to two on any one subject matter as is the case during arbitration during malpractice litigation. The attorneys in the committee feasted until they were stuffed. I think it is going nowhere fast. HB-703 sought to require a defendant to reimburse the state for the cost of an interpreter if the defendant fails to appear for trial. It was shown the high cost of providing this service and how the tax payer is footing the bill on all cases, including a no show. It makes sense and I would like to see it implemented. HB-704 would require a Process Server to provide a description of the person on whom the court paper is served. This is another common sense bill and would appear to be supported by the committee. HB-1042 would allow for certain communications between a union representative and a union member to be considered confidential. Criminal conduct was not covered as protected communications, but there were many questions about allowing an Attorney-Client privilege to exist for an untrained union representative or shop steward.
Judiciary Committee Voting Session Wednesday
The following bills received a favorable report from the committee and moved to the House for Second Reader: HB-20 places penalties for failing to report a child less than 13 years of age as being “missing” within certain time periods. HB-34 addressed court criminal procedures concerning a discharge from commitment of a person previously found not criminally responsible. HB-337 allows for additional information to be provided to an attorney or another seeking the enforcement of a monetary judgment in a civil case. HB-400 would allow for a variance in the computation of Child Support payments with a multi-family adjustment. HB-579 provides an exemption from required training for law enforcement officers purchasing regulated firearms. HB-618 which will create a task force to study the issue of regulated firearms and the sale of those firearms to persons with a back ground of mental illness. HB-883 allows a judge to specify a certain distance a person must avoid contact with a petitioner under a Protective Order.
The following bills received an unfavorable report and have met their fate:
HB-294, HB-397, HB-462, HB-485, HB-856, HB-968, HB-1010, HB-1057, HB-1100,
HB-1104, HB-1113, HB-1114, HB-1179.
House Voting Session Thursday Morning
The following link will allow you to view this information: Third Reader Bills
HB-119 was finally passed on to Third reader following a few amendments. The bill will allow many misdemeanor crimes to be charged via citation following processing by police. It will potentially save tens of millions of dollars and thousands of hours of downtime experienced by police waiting on District Court Commissioners to see prisoners on misdemeanor offenses. It is the companion bill to HB-261/112 which I crafted (and it became a work of the committee) to address the Public Defender issues of requiring representation at the Initial Appearance before the Court Commissioner.
Judiciary Hearings Conducted Thursday
We heard a variety of bills today with standing room only. Out of the box was HB-539 which seeks to make the impersonation of a police officer a felony. The supporters brought many examples of an increase in this crime and the breakdown of public trust which results from these acts. HB-545 seeks to create a separate offense to cover the thefts from motor vehicles of property inside the vehicle or accessories attached to the vehicle. Currently, people can be charged with multiple charges in these cases and it is difficult to track repeat offenders. This bill would combine multiple offenses under one new crime called Theft from Motor Vehicle. HB-1012 seeks to create a task force to study business development programs for ex-offenders. This would include working with business and economic development folks to see if there is a way to craft programs that would assist ex-offenders as they attempt to become productive citizens. I am skeptical of programs that tend to place the government in competition with existing private sector businesses.
We received testimony on three bills which arose from the Prisoner Re-entry Task Force chaired by Del. Waldstreicher over the past two years. The first was HB-652 which seeks to allow for the shielding of criminal records following a period of time where the person has demonstrated that they have successfully completed probation and a certain period of time has expired. It appears that some amendments have been offered which would enumerate and exempt certain crimes from being shielded from public viewing on public Case Search sites currently available online. The bill has many who testified who professed how difficult it was for them to find any job when it was revealed that they had a criminal record. The shielding would not be hidden from the public safety sector, but under certain conditions, it would be hidden from public viewing. HB-651 would allow for the suspension of Child Support payments whenever an indigent person is incarcerated for 18 months or more. Some on the committee understood suspending payments, but did not think the inmate should escape the payments once they were gainfully employed again.
We also reviewed HB-460 which seeks to require a law enforcement officer to acquire a Search Warrant prior to accessing information or tracking of a mobile communications device (phones, computers, etc.). This is being offered in response to recent court rulings regarding GPS tracking devices. It would seem reasonable to me to have a review conducted and over sight provided by a State’s Attorney, but the sponsor did not agree.
O’Malley-Brown Same Sex Marriage Bill
There was a bill signing on the stairway of the State House Rotunda where Governor O’Malley put his pen to HB-438 signing Gay Marriage into law in Maryland. The law will take effect in January, 2013 and a drive to petition the bill to referendum is in full swing by opponents. Folks interested in participating in the petition drive can go to mdpetitions.com where they can sign up and will be able to download a petition. The process will work just like last year’s successful drive to petition In-State Tuition for Illegal Aliens to referendum. If successful, both issues would appear on the ballot in November for the voters to decide for themselves.
Eastern Shore Delegation Meeting Friday Morning
We met with several business representatives of the paving/road construction industries on Delmarva. Their message was simple: they have had to lay off anywhere from one-third to one-half of their workforce due to cuts by the state and local governments. They were advocating for tax increases to fuel to restore funding for road construction. I told them that before we increase the tax we need to secure the trust funds to which the money is directed. Transfers in recent budgets are to blame for the current lack of funds.
We also heard from all 9 Eastern Shore Counties who were well represented as well as a representative from the Maryland Association of Counties (MACO). They provided a presentation on their current fiscal outlooks as it relates to absorbing teacher pension costs and the view was grim. As the governor has formed his budget around certain fund transfers, pension shifts to the counties, as well as a plethora of taxes and fees, I doubt that this can be stopped though it might be slowed down. My advice to them is to prepare for the absolute worst and have no faith in a decent return of tax dollars to the shore. It is not going to happen. They also expressed great displeasure with HB-1412 (detailed below). I also met for several minutes with Commissioners Church, Boggs, and Lockfaw from Worcester County as well as Councilman Bartkovich of Wicomico to hear their concerns. Wicomico Executive Rich Pollitt was also at the Delegation meeting along with Worcester CAO Gerry Mason.
BOLO (Be on the look out) for this Bill
HB-1412 has been proposed by Del. Bohanan (D-St. Mary’s) and Del. Conway (D-Wicomico). This bill would allow counties who operate under a Revenue/Tax Cap to violate the cap in order to comply with Education Maintenance of Effort provisions in a budget year. Currently, 7 counties in Maryland have such caps in place with Wicomico being one of them. Further, if the County Council elected not to violate their cap and meet the Maintenance of Effort amounts for the Board of Education, the bill empowers the State Comptroller to seize any Income Tax money the county is due and pay it directly to the local board of education to make up for the money not included in their budget. This bill clearly replaces a stick and carrot approach for a bit and a bridle with spurs. This bill is moving through the Ways and Means Committee and needs to be watched carefully. It could move out for a vote by early next week.
Don’t Be Fooled...
The Gas Tax is still alive and well. Some said it was dead last week, but that is not true. There was talk of raising the State Property and Income Tax instead...but they are all active, alive, and pathetically well in Maryland. Keep a close eye out for these and other distractions. The next one will be the Transgender Bill which had a hearing this week in the Senate. The General Assembly is being distracted by the social arm of the O’Malley-Brown agenda which has bogged us down for 8 weeks. With little time left, the shell game of money movement will begin in earnest.
It's a sad day when I have to sit down and write a letter like this but the people need to know what's going on around them. While many Marylanders are out working every day just trying to support their families there is a group of people who are trying very hard to get your tax dollars in any way they can. They are emboldened by our Democratic President's actions when he said Congress was slow and no longer relevant so he would go around them. He is! Then we have our Democratic Governor who is also running for President who feel the only way to fix his billion dollar deficit is to tax and spend his way out of it. Now where have we heard that one before? Oh yeah, I remember, from the President. Now to add to all this sadness our own Democratic Delegate Norman Conway has finally come fully out of the closet about his feelings for Wicomico County's Revenue Limitations (Cap as many mistakenly call it) and has grabbed the Teacher's Union banner and is telling his constituents that the most important thing in the world is to see that your hard earned tax dollars go directly to the Board of Education no matter what the county government says and the citizen's votes don't really matter. He has apparently not just drank a cup of Obama/O'Malley kool-aid he has swallowed the whole pitcher. Delegate Conway along with Delegate Shelia Hixson acting as proxies for the Maryland State Teacher Union's group are chairing two separate committees, Ways and Means, and, Appropriations and are promoting HB1412 trying to get it passed any way they can with total disregard for you the working tax payer. And guess what, this isn't for the Teacher's Unions Oh no, "It's For The Kids". Folks, we've heard that so many times it's ridiculous. They just need to be truthful and tell people the truth and stop thinking that we taxpayers are stupid. A union has just one purpose - that is to get the biggest salaries and best benefits at any cost. And they have the best propaganda team that money can buy to do this. Remember, "It's For The Kids". This saying is meant to throw the Fear of God (UH, OH I said the "G" word) into people to demonize them if they don't agree with this teacher's union #1 slogan. Recently, I read where someone asked what can we do. Well, the people have already taken the first step by getting the Elected School Board issue on the ballot to demand accountability. The next step is to contact your County Council representative and ask them to draft a resolution calling for all BOE Capital Project to be put before the people to be voted on. This is not a new idea. It's an idea that works great in Delaware and they have a good school system that is accountable to the people. The third step is to get rid of the people who now consider your vote irrelevant. In other words "HAY! HO! TIME FOR CONWAY TO GO". I encourage all hard working families to get in touch with your state representatives and tell them YOU ARE RELEVANT! I also encourage you to keep a look out for the first BOE budget hearing, plan to attend and we extend a special invitation to all senior Teacher's Union representatives to come and interact with us. Again, I won't hide behind an anonymous signature.
New Posts to fall below.
John Palmer Jr. - President VOICE, Inc.
On Friday, March 2, 2012, County Executive Pollitt, along with other elected leaders from all nine Maryland Eastern Shore counties, converged on Annapolis in a unified effort to present to members of the State Legislative Delegation their concerns regarding the proposed teacher pension shift legislation. The meeting was spearheaded by County Executive Pollitt and included MACo’s Director, Michael Sanderson.
Delegates and Senators for the Eastern Shore counties listened to Wicomico County Director of Finance, Andrew Mackel’s presentation that included point-by-point accounts of how the shift would place an unfair and devastating burden on revenue-strapped local governments. It also outlined projected fiscal impact data and detailed how counties have been struggling with declines in recurring revenues, general fund balances and the loss of state highway user revenue. Other elected leaders expressed their frustrations with the timing of the legislation while counties are facing high unemployment rates. State officials were reminded that constituents will be the ones to bear the burden with increased taxes.
“Our concern is that we can’t look at teacher pensions, MOE, and state funding formulas for education in silos – independent from everything else,” Pollitt said, “All of us want to do the best that we can for our children. When we were able to, almost every county has met or exceeded maintenance of effort. Our obligation should be to take a comprehensive look at how we fund education and the product that we deliver to our children.”
Since then the group has met only a handful of times and has never reported to the public.
The Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group has met only four or five times since its creation last April 21, and most of those meetings came at the time of its inception. Back then, Obama promised that the group would "root out any cases of fraud or manipulation" and noted that its scope would include the "role of traders and speculators."
Although the task force was announced during a time when Obama's poll numbers were sagging and he left the impression that it was investigative in nature, it's actually a subset of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, an independent entity.
Far from being a new sheriff in town, the oil and gasoline working group assembles regulators from several agencies with overlapping jurisdiction to discuss what they're looking into separately, see what information they can legally share and compare experiences.
Women Supporting Women will host the 11th Annual Pink Ribbon Basket Bingo at the Salisbury Moose Lodge on Thursday, March 8, 2012. Doors will open at 5:00 PM, and games will begin at 6:30. In addition to the standard Longaberger baskets, new this year will be other baskets filled with items from The Pampered Chef. Bring your old cell phones, iPods, and ink cartridges to benefit Women Supporting Women and receive a free raffle ticket! Tickets for the event are $20 in advance from the Salisbury WSW office, and $25 at the door. Other activities include a refreshment sale, 50/50 raffle, two additional raffles, and two special games. For more information or tickets, please call WSW at 410-548-7880.
Women Supporting Women is a local, grass-roots non-profit organization dedicated to providing awareness, education and support to all those who are affected by breast cancer. With no national ties or funding, we rely completely on our community to help us provide free services to our neighbors, friends and families right here on Delmarva. To learn more about WSW, visit www.womensupportingwomen.org or www.facebook.com/womensupportingwomen/delmarva , or stop by our Salisbury office located at 1320 Belmont Avenue, next to the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore.
The media resound with warnings about a likely Israeli attack on Iran while the U.S. hesitates, keeping open the option of aggression – thus again routinely violating the U.N. Charter, the foundation of international law.
As tensions escalate, eerie echoes of the run-up to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are in the air. Feverish U.S. primary campaign rhetoric adds to the drumbeat.
Concerns about “the imminent threat” of Iran are often attributed to the “international community” – code language for U.S. allies. The people of the world, however, tend to see matters rather differently.
The nonaligned countries, a movement with 120 member nations, has vigorously supported Iran’s right to enrich uranium – an opinion shared by the majority of Americans (as surveyed by WorldPublicOpinion.org) before the massive propaganda onslaught of the past two years.
China and Russia oppose U.S. policy on Iran, as does India, which announced that it would disregard U.S. sanctions and increase trade with Iran. Turkey has followed a similar course.
It is useful to keep this idea in mind when trying to figure out whether the United States or Israel will go to war with Iran. In short, what are the interests of the protagonists, and are they important enough for those nations to take the fateful step into the chaos of battle?
Israel’s Political Problem
According to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran is building nuclear weapons that pose an “existential” threat to Israel. But virtually no one believes this, including the bulk of Tel Aviv’s military and intelligence communities. As former Israeli Chief of Staff Dan Halutz said recently, Iran “is not an existential” threat to Israel. There is no evidence that Iran is building a bomb, and all its facilities are currently under a 24-hour United Nations inspection regime.
So from a strictly security perspective, Israel has little reason to go to war with Iran. But Israel does have an interest in keeping the Middle East a fragmented place, riven by sectarian divisions and dominated by authoritarian governments and feudal monarchies. If there is one lesson Israel has learned from its former British overlords, it is “divide and conquer.” Among its closest allies were the former dictatorships in Egypt and Tunisia. It now finds itself on the same page as the reactionary monarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC): Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman.
Iran is not a military threat to Israel, but it is a political problem: Tel Aviv sees Tehran’s fierce nationalism and independence from the West as a wildcard. Iran is also allied to Israel’s major regional enemy, Syria—with which Israel is still officially at war—as well as Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza, and the Shiite-dominated government in Iraq.
powered donors (some of them unknown). Most of that spending, of course, was on negative ads.
Just as with Florida (which saw the worst of it) and other competitive primary states before, the people of Michigan are now cleaning off from a heavy dose of slime– one enabled by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Commission (FEC) and paid for by super-rich CEOs and, increasingly, corporations themselves.
This spending and slime, of course has nothing to do with backers’ substantial congressional lobbying expenditures, a connection that led our own campaign-finance guru Craig Holman to observe that “Citizens United has elevated lobbying entities to kingmaker status.” (Oh, and as for the cottage industry that has sprung up denying that the Citizens United ruling has anything to do with this mess—see useful correctives from the Sunlight Foundationand from election-law scholar Rick Hasen.)
Now that Iowa, South Carolina and other early primary states are done, it’s onward to next week’s “Super Tuesday” primaries in states like Georgia and beyond, with casino magnate
Sheldon Adelson making another “substantial donation” to the pro-Newt-Gingrich “Winning Our Future” Super PAC and those bankrolling other candidates following suit. Super PACs are also playing agrowing role in congressional races, so as depressing as it is to note, this upcoming Tuesday is really only the beginning of a long election season.
In fact, you just might as well call this coming series of primaries “Super PAC Tuesday” given the dominant role they’ve come to play. So that’s what we’re going to do, using social media to amplify and harness Americans’ disgust with the auctioning and debasement of our democracy.
Starting today and up through Tuesday, Public Citizen, our Democracy is for People campaign (Twitter:@RuleByUs), and allied organizations, elected officials and citizen activists will be tweeting about ongoing money-in-politics news with the hashtag #SuperPACTuesday.
Comprehensive, addressing all aspects of the corridor including roadway conditions, intrinsic qualities, visitor experiences, signage, and marketing
Consistent and Coordinated with existing plans and people including: local and state governments, businesses, communities, agencies (including the Delaware Department of Transportation)
Guiding in terms of the direction for the future it will provide through management guidelines
Creative and Visionary
Integrated with CMPs and programs in other states
Dynamic and Responsive to changes over time, while sensitive to preservation
Specific rather than general, containing well-defined and achievable strategies
Long-term with definitive plans for the initial years and direction for the future
Feasible and Realistic
The HTURB corridor is approximately 90 miles travelling through the State of Delaware. The corridor passes through the communities of Sandtown, Camden, Dover, Smyrna, Clayton, Townsend, Middletown, Odessa, Port Penn, Delaware City, New Castle, and Wilmington. Some of the benefits of Scenic Byway Designation are:
Promotion - The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway will be promoted nationally and internationally through the Delaware Byways Program and the National Scenic Byways Program. Communities can benefit from statewide campaigns and local efforts that are designed to draw the traveler to their communities.
Preservation - Preserving the Intrinsic Qualities of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway is essential to its long-term integrity and sustainability. Byways create legacies and offer opportunities to preserve special places.
Partnerships - Even before nomination or designation, citizens and key stakeholders are engaged to create and foster a Byway vision. Partnerships, both formal and informal, are needed to begin and sustain a successful byway. Many partners bring new resources to the table through their knowledge of the area, expertise, personal commitment and access to public or private funding sources. Scenic Byway designation offers the opportunity to expand partnerships well beyond local or state boundaries.
Pride - Scenic Byway designation can instill a greater sense of awareness and pride among citizens. Neighbors learn and share with one another. People work with each other to identify the resources that the community believes form the basis of the story of the byway. Byways attract volunteers who may help clear a trail, repair or restore a building, participate in planning, or advance the overall interest of the byway in the community. The Byway itself may become the connecting force between communities along a route.
Funding - Many funding opportunities are offered to designated Scenic Byways that can assist the Byway in achieving their goals. For example, $40+ million was authorized for National Scenic Byway Program funding in FY2010.
Inquiries regarding the public meetings or any aspect of the Harriet Tubman Byway can be made by calling Ann Gravatt, Delaware's Byways Program Coordinator at 302-760-2254, or visiting www.harriettubmandelaware.com.
March 1, 2012
Chestnut Manor Apartments, Chestnut Street, Delmar, Wicomico County, MD
On March 1, 2012 Detectives initiated an investigation into the homicide of Euric C. George, AA M 26 YOA. George was located in the parking lot of Chestnut Manor Apartments, Chestnut Street, Delmar, Wicomico County, MD and was suffering from multiple gunshot injuries. He was transported by Delmar EMS to PRMC where he succumbed to his injuries. Delmar Police Department requested the assistance of the Wicomico Bureau of Investigation and WBI responded to assume the investigation. Based on the investigation detectives obtained probable cause for the issuance of arrest warrants for the below listed individuals. This investigation is ongoing and continuing.
Wicomico Bureau of Investigation is being assisted by the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit and Officers from the Delmar Police Department.
Anyone with information contact the WBI at 410-548-4898 or Crime Solvers at 410-548-1776.
Holland, Joseph Raynair, AA/M, 8/31/88, 1001 Pine Street, Delmar, MD
Akram, Bilal Mustafa, AA/M, 402 East Road, Delmar, MD
Con. Murder-2nd Degree
Con. Murder-1st Degree
Handgun on Person
HGV Use/Fel. Violent Crime
"We're trying to make the decision to attack Iran as hard as possible for Israel," an administration official, speaking anonymously, told the Washington Post.
White House officials said that for now, both Democrats and the Republicans feel that a strike would be premature and that the diplomatic efforts and international sanctions have yet to exhaust themselves.
"Obama plans to caution Netanyahu against attacking Iran's nuclear facilities in the coming months, urging patience while international economic sanctions take full effect," the report said.
Israel maintains that time is running out and that the West must find a way to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions immediately.
The US, however, is still hesitant-- while the administration has voiced an adamant intention to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, it has yet to make the leap to declaring it wants to stop Iran's nuclear ambitions, i.e. – its civilian and nuclear efforts – altogether.
Japanese researchers have invented a speech-jamming gadget that painlessly forces people into silence.
Kazutaka Kurihara of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, and Koji Tsukada of Ochanomizu University, developed a portable "Speech-Jammer" gun that can silence people more than 30 meters away in mid-sentence.
The device works by recording its target's speech, then firing their words back at them with a 0.2-second delay, which affects the brain's cognitive processes and causes speakers to stutter before silencing them completely.
Describing the device in their research paper, Kurihara and Tsukada wrote, "In general, human speech is jammed by giving back to the speakers their own utterances at a delay of a few hundred milliseconds. This effect can disturb people without any physical discomfort, and disappears immediately by stopping speaking."
Saying that every year $4 billion in taxpayer money goes to subsidizing the oil industry, Obama urged lawmakers to put an end to corporate welfare.
"I don't think oil companies need more corporate welfare," Obama said in his weekly address. "Congress should end this taxpayer giveaway."
President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2013 budget request, released Feb. 13, projected that subsidies for low-income and working-class families would total $478 billion through 2021. The administration pegged the cost at $367 billion over the same period in its fiscal 2012 budget proposal.
The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Republican Dave Camp of Michigan, asked the Secretary of the Health and Human Services Department, Kathleen Sebelius, to explain the change in a budget hearing Tuesday. Sebelius didn’t have an answer, saying the estimate appears in the Treasury Department’s budget. Camp followed up with a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner today.
The increase “cannot be explained by legislative changes or new economic assumptions, and therefore must reflect substantial changes in underlying assumptions” about the way the subsidies would work, Camp wrote.
Read more here
[Try not to laugh out loud-- Editor]
Investigators appointed by Marine Gen. John Allen, the commanding officer in Afghanistan, determined that soldiers removed the Qurans from a prison at the Bagram Air Base after they were found to contain extremist messages, and then placed them in an office. The books were mistaken for trash and taken to a landfill where they were burned, according to the Post.
Officials tell the Post the five soldiers will face reprimands but added their names will be kept secret. “For the soldiers, it will be serious — they could lose rank. But you’re not going to see the kind of public trial that some here seem to want,” a military official in Afghanistan told the Post.
Another official added the soldiers were careless “but there was no ill will.” The findings are unlikely to satisfy Afghan leaders who have demanded harsh treatment for the soldiers.
INCIDENT: Shots Fired
LOCATION: Ridgefield Lane
CASE NO.: 2012-0291
PERSON CHARGED: Derick L. Cline
ADDRESS: Salisbury, Maryland
CHARGES: Handgun on Person
Handgun in Vehicle
Threats (Elected Official)
Assault (Against Law Enforcement)
Obstructing and Hindering
Malicious Destruction of Property
DISPOSITION: Released to Central Booking
SYNOPSIS: On March 4, 2012 at 0005 hours, Fruitland Police responded to Ridgefield Lane for a report of shots fired. As officers arrived the suspect vehicle was observed leaving the area and a traffic stop ensued. The occupants were ordered to exit the vehicle, at which time the passenger, later identified as the above named suspect, became disorderly, assaulted an officer and attempted to kick a window out of a police car. The suspect made numerous threats to officers at the scene as well as specific elected officials. Other units arrived at the house and learned that the suspect had discharged a semiautomatic handgun inside of a residence, narrowly missing a resident, shattering a glass door and then fled with the gun. Officers searched the area and located a 9mm handgun, which was believed to have been thrown from the vehicle, in the area of the traffic stop. A 9mm shell casing was recovered at the residence and unused 9mm ammunition was found in the suspect’s possession. The suspect was arrested and transported to WCDC and released to Central Booking. The Fruitland Police were assisted by the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office.