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Friday, December 21, 2012

Australian Boy's Egg Collection Turns Into Nest Of Deadly Snakes

A 3-year-old Australian boy was lucky to escape uninjured after a collection of eggs he found in his yard hatched into a slithering tangle of deadly snakes.

Reptile specialist Trish Prendergast said Friday that young wildlife enthusiast Kyle Cummings could have been killed if he had handled the eastern brown snakes -- the world's most venomous species on land after Australia's inland taipan.

Kyle found a clutch of nine eggs a few weeks ago in the grass on his family's 3-acre property on the outskirts of the city of Townsville in Queensland state, Prendergast said. He had no idea what kind of eggs they were.


Teen Gets 11 Years In Prison In Florida Burning Attack

A teenager convicted of orchestrating an attack on a middle school classmate who was soaked in alcohol and lit ablaze was sentenced to 11 years in prison Thursday even as he continued to insist on his innocence.

Circuit Judge Matthew Destry agreed with prosecutors that Matthew Bent, 18, deserved the same sentence as the youth who flicked the lighter during the 2009 attack on Michael Brewer, who was then 15. Although Bent did not set the fire or pour the flammable liquid, Destry said he was just as much to blame. Bent was convicted of aggravated battery in June.

"I cannot ignore that, but for Mr. Bent's orchestration of these events, none of this would have happened," Destry said.

Before he was sentenced, Bent turned and apologized to Brewer but said he was not the ringleader.


U.S. Clears Criminal Illegals with Removal Orders for Public Benefits

As if President Obama’s stealth amnesty program weren’t bad enough, one in eight foreigners who have been ordered deported—including serious criminals—subsequently get approved by the government to collect public benefits while they live in the country illegally.

This is yet another one of those sad, only in America stories. The very government that boots an illegal immigrant out of the country later clears the violator to receive taxpayer-funded benefits. In some cases the illegal aliens have been convicted of serious crimes like child abuse, assault with a deadly weapon and drug-related offenses yet Uncle Sam rewards them with free health insurance (Medicaid) and food stamps.

Many Americans may wonder how this could possibly occur. Here is how, according to a new federal audit; the Homeland Security agency in charge of keeping track of foreigners, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) isn’t doing its job. The agency is headed by Alejandro Mayorkas, a Clinton federal prosecutor who resigned in shame after orchestrating the pardon of a major league drug trafficker from Argentina serving a 15-year sentence.


Hackers' Westboro Baptist Church Blitz Continues: UG Nazi, Jester, Anonymous Take Down Twitter Accounts, Sites

The online offensive against the Westboro Baptist Church continues to gain momentum.

The Twitter accounts of two prominent members of the hate-mongering group were apparently infiltrated this week by members of the infamous hacker collective UG Nazi.

On Monday, confirmed that 15-year-old whiz kid "Cosmo the God," a prolific member of the UG Nazi "hacktivist" group, had successfully carried out a takeover of @DearShirley, theTwitter account opened by WBC spokeswoman Shirley Lynn Phelps-Roper.


U.S. Spends $500 Mil to Racially Diversify Medical Fields

While the U.S. government commits senseless acts like skimping on consulate security in violent North African countries, it spends $500 million to help minorities—especially blacks—enter biomedical research fields where lack of diversity is “disturbing and disheartening.”

The grand plan was announced this month by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nation’s medical research agency. As part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the NIH doles out north of $31 billion annually to hundreds of thousands of researchers at thousands of universities and institutions around the globe.

Last year the NIH sanctioned a study that determined blacks who apply for federal research grants are less likely than whites and Hispanics to receive the awards. The study took years and was conducted to “learn more about the challenges facing the scientific community,” according to the NIH’s director, and to improve the diversity of its biomedical research workforce. He called the findings “disturbing and disheartening.” 


Unemployed To Be Forced To Sign Up To Universal Jobmatch Website At The Centre Of Security Concerns

Unemployed people will be forced to join up to a government site at the centre of security concerns - as well as posting their CVs online - or face losing their jobseeker’s allowance from the new year, it has been announced.

The Universal Jobmatch site was criticised after hackers demonstrated its vulnerability to attack and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith admitted that thousands of fake job adverts had been blocked, but that some had got through and had to be removed.

But, speaking this morning, Mr Duncan Smith said that joining it would become compulsory, regardless of whether or not they search for jobs via other means. He said: “We have been clear that this is not mandatory yet and there will be no sanctions for not joining…but mandation will begin in the new year.”


As Long As We Are Banning Stuff...

If the 2nd Amendment is responsible for Newtown, Conn. then let's have a look at what really kills Americans. Guilty and innocents alike. Let's legislatively ban the obviously responsible parties in each category of unnecessary death. (using Left-think)

Smoking related deaths - 434,000+

We have to immediately punish all tobacco retailers for these deaths. And the people who smoke tobacco. And who manufacture matches and cigarette lighters. In fact, we must immediately ban all forms of combustible weeds.

Obesity related deaths - 300,000+

Ban all food. Now. It's nearly too late.

Medical mistake-related deaths - 225,000+

Appoint VP Joe Biden to Chair a Blue Ribbon Panel to determine what must be done to prevent medical mistakes, Funeral Directors cheer. Casket manufacturer stock prices soar.


The Grassroots Movement to Change the Nation's Public Restroom Laws

With the rise of inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's and ulcerative colitis, some are rethinking how we approach restroom access

When Lisa Bain first noticed the look of pain and horror on her daughter Ally's face, she didn't need to ask her what was the matter. The two were shopping in an Old Navy outside of Chicago, and Ally, then 14, had suffered from Crohn's disease for nearly three years.

Few people will ever understand the fear and anxiety someone with Crohn's feels at the thought of appearing in a public place while in the throes of a flare up. An immune disorder, Crohn's (and similar diseases like ulcerative colitis) is characterized by inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in diarrhea, abdominal pain, and bleeding.

While in the midst of a flare up, a person with IBD may have to use the bathroom upwards of 30 times a day. As the gastrointestinal tract becomes more inflamed, he or she is unable to control the bowels for more than a few minutes at most. In some cases, it can be less than 60 seconds.


Sam Donaldson Waives Arraignment On DUI Charge

LEWES, Del. (AP) - Authorities say ABC News veteran and former correspondent Sam Donaldson has waived arraignment on a driving under the influence charge in Delaware.

Police in the southern coastal town of Lewes say the 78-year-old Donaldson was stopped Dec. 1 for a traffic violation. Police say the officer determined Donaldson had been drinking and gave him field sobriety tests.

Donaldson was arrested and later released.


Midwest Blizzard Causes Travel Problems

The first widespread snowstorm of the season began a slow crawl across the Midwest on Thursday, creating treacherous driving conditions that, in Iowa, led to a 25-vehicle pileup that killed one person.

Drivers were blinded by blowing snow and didn't see vehicles that had slowed or stopped on Interstate 80 about 60 miles north of Des Moines, state police said. A chain reaction of crashes involving semitrailers and passenger cars closed down a section of the highway.

Drivers throughout the Midwest were harried by heavy snow and strong winds that combined for blizzard conditions in areas from Kansas to Wisconsin.


6 Schools Selected As 2013 Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools

Six Maryland public schools on Thursday were selected as 2013 Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools.

The schools with the honors include:
  • Chadwick Elementary School, Baltimore County
  • Charlesmont Elementary School, Baltimore County
  • Folly Quarter Middle School, Howard County
  • Robert Frost Middle School, Montgomery County
  • Century High School, Carroll County
  • Boonsboro High School, Washington County
The schools are recognized on the basis of rigorous state and national requirements for high achievement and dramatic improvement. The students in each of these schools perform at the top 15 percent on state assessments in reading and mathematics.

Maryland Population Grows By 45,000 In Last Year

Maryland’s population grew by 44,991 in the past year, figures released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau show.

The 0.8 percent increase ranks the state 23rd overall in the U.S. for population growth between July 2011 and July 2012.



President Obama today issued a sweeping executive order banning the manufacture, sale and possession of all semi-automatic firearms in the U.S.

Obama cited for his authority for the action a national state of emergency that has been in effect ever since Sept. 11, 2001, and renewed annually by both President George W. Bush and Obama ever since. He also cited portions of the Patriot Act that suspend certain civil rights that remain classified.

The dramatic action by the president follows closely on the heels of the Newtown, Conn., massacre of 27 schoolchildren and teachers by Adam Lanza a week ago.


Texas Officer Suspended During Investigation Into Roadside Cavity Search

A Texas Department of Public Safety trooper accused of conducting a humiliating cavity search along a highway last summer was suspended with pay as an investigation into the allegations continue, the department said in a statement to

The trooper was identified as Kelly Helleson. In July, she was reportedly called to the scene along Highway 161 after another trooper suspected two women had marijuana.

Angel Hobbs, 38, and her 24-year-old niece, Ashley Hobbs, denied having the drug. The women, however, were searched. Video from the patrol car's dashboard appears to show Helleson's hand on their breast and down the back and front of both women's pants.


What Happened To Fighting Against Any Cuts To Social Security?

Earlier this week, after more than a month of apocalyptic warnings about the impending fiscal cliff, news broke that the White House and the House Speaker John Boehner are incrementally negotiating a deal. How's it looking, you might ask? If you're looking for answers from the perspective of what is best for popular interests, unfortunately a swelling number of "liberal" opinions are losing their bearings on Social Security, buying into a backdoor approach that could take out over $100 billion in payments to the neediest people -- we're talking widowed grandmas over 90 -- out of the system even though it makes no sense from a policy standpoint.

Since it’s easy to get distracted when talking about the fiscal cliff and the deficit, it’s worth saying upfront: Social Security right now has nothing to do with the deficit. The program is already paid for up through at least 2033, and right now boasts a staggering $1.7 trillion surplus.


Baltimore City Hall Opening On New Year's For First Maryland Same-Sex Weddings

City Hall will open its doors at 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 1 to a select few couples who want to tie the knot as soon as possible in 2013.

And Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake may be among those presiding over Maryland’s first same-sex weddings, although the opportunity is open to all couples.

“The mayor was overjoyed and thrilled and excited about the opportunity,” said Mark Scurti, an attorney at Pessin Katz Law in Towson who specializes in same-sex legal issues. “The only problem we had was that at 12 o’clock she has to set off the fireworks at the harbor.”


Are The US And Israel Heading For A Showdown?

Here’s the question no one is asking as 2012 ends, especially given the effusive public support the Obama administration offered Israel in its recent conflict with Hamas in Gaza: Will 2013 be a year of confrontation between Washington and Jerusalem? It’s on no one’s agenda for the New Year. But it could happen anyway.

It’s true that the Israeli-Palestinian peace process appears dead in the water. No matter how much Barack Obama might have wanted that prize, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rebuffed him at every turn. The president appears to have taken it on the chin, offering more than the usual support for Israel and in return getting kloom (as they say in Hebrew). Nothing at all.


Americans Seeking Unemployment Aid Rises By 17,000

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week by 17,000, reversing four weeks of declines. But the number of people seeking aid is consistent with a job market that continues to grow modestly.

Unemployment claims rose the week of Dec. 15 to a seasonally adjusted 361,000 from a revised 344,000 the week before.

The less-volatile four-week moving average fell 13,750 to 367,750, lowest since late October. Applications had surged in early November after Superstorm Sandy, then dropped back.


More On The Westboro Baptist Church

The Hacktivist group, Anonymous, has their keyboards trained on a new target – the Westboro Baptist Church. After the hate-filled, cult-like church promised to picket the funerals of children who were massacred in Newtown, Connecticut, Anonymous vowed to completely wipe the Westboro Church off the internet. During a radio interview on Wednesday, a member of Anonymous said the hacktivists have already taken down 18 of the 19 websites belonging to the Westboro Baptist Church. And Anonymous also released on the internet files containing information about members of the Westboro Baptist Church. Anonymous claims it has not broken any laws in their digital assault against the fringe church.

Maryland Bills Would Protect Children In Cars

Maryland lawmakers have filed two measures aimed at protecting children while they are in cars.

The first proposal, by state Del. Sam Arora, D-Silver Spring, would require people caught driving drunk -- with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit of 0.08 -- with a minor in the car to install an ignition breathalyzer in their car. The device would not allow the car to start unless the breathalyzer determines that a driver is sober.

"It's sort of a greater offense to drive drunk with a kid in the car," Arora said. "The philosophy behind that is kids really don't have a choice."


Cheaper Coins?

The U.S. Mint is trying to make coins of the realm cheaper. But it's not having much success. In a 400-page report to Congress, the Mint details exhaustive experiments to come up with a less expensive metal for casting coins. It's tried 29 recipes, testing them for hardness, corrosion resistance and durability and whether they look good. One elusive quality is the metal's magnetic signature. If that changes, not a parking meter or vending machine in the land will work right. At issue is the fact that it costs 2 cents to make a penny and 11 cents to make a nickel.

New Worcester Program Targets Minority Gap

NEWARK -- Despite consistently ranking at the top of school systems in the state, educators in Worcester County have always acknowledged that schools here suffer from the same minority achievement gap that is measurable nationwide. Hoping to chip away at that gap, the county has started a Building a Bridge to College Summit Program (BBCSP).

“The focus of this program is to promote academic excellence and opportunities for underrepresented minority students, as well as other students, in various academic programs that show achievement gaps,” wrote Coordinator of Instruction Shirleen Church in a memo to the Board of Education. “Data has shown there are pockets of talented students who need additional support, resources and guidance to guarantee they reach their academic goals. This program will provide those support systems and thus close those achievement gaps.”

BBCSP is a collection of activities countywide designed to motivate parents and students to get ready and excited about going to college, according to Church. It’s also in place to help educators zero in on the areas where the achievement gap between minorities and white students are most prevalent. Besides the obvious areas like Maryland State Assessment (MSA) performance, Church pointed to things like the honor roll as a watermark that the board can look at to indicate progress in closing the gap.


Heads Are Rolling

After only one day of hearings into the Benghazi attack, heads are rolling at the State Department. Lawmakers yesterday heard secret testimony from the special panel appointed to investigate the Libyan episode. It left four Americans dead when terrorists overran a diplomatic outpost. Obama administration officials said those who resigned were Eric Boswell, assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security; Charlene Lamb, deputy assistant secretary responsible for embassy security; and Raymond Maxwell, deputy assistant secretary of state who oversees the Maghreb nations of Libya, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. State said a fourth person resigned whom it wouldn't name. Hearings continue today.


To launch the high quality TV channel TNT in Belgium we placed a big red push button on an average Flemish square of an average Flemish town. A sign with the text "Push to add drama" invited people to use the button. And then we waited...

Message From Wicomico Superintendent On Safe Schools

We appreciate hearing from parents and students and school safety concerns. Our schools are safe. We have highly trained and committed staff of our own in place as well as others from outside agencies prepared to do whatever it takes to keep your child safe. We have made appropriate adjustments in our systems, tools, and personnel to address existing and potential concerns. Our number one goal is safety and our teams are practiced at keeping things safe.

We recognize that rumors exist about various concerns and we are addressing them as needed. Many rumors have been circulating this week, and we have been working in cooperation with law enforcement personnel to investigate each report of a rumor. To this point, none of the rumors has been found to have a basis in fact.
When one looks at where students are safest, it’s in their school, so please encourage your child to attend every day. We respect the right of parents and guardians to make decisions about school attendance, but feel that students will be safe every day at school. Please help by reassuring your student that the school is safe and that there is a large family of staff, volunteers, other parents and students who are here to help keep everyone safe.

Please keep in contact with your student’s school, should you have information that we haven’t learned about yet.

Texas Town Allows Teachers To Carry Concealed Guns

In this tiny Texas town, children and their parents don't give much thought to safety at the community's lone school _ mostly because some of the teachers are carrying concealed weapons.

In remote Harrold, the nearest sheriff's office is 30 minutes away, and people tend to know _ and trust _ one another. So the school board voted to let teachers bring guns to school.

"We don't have money for a security guard, but this is a better solution," Superintendent David Thweatt said. "A shooter could take out a guard or officer with a visible, holstered weapon, but our teachers have master's degrees, are older and have had extensive training. And their guns are hidden. We can protect our children."


Where White Men Went Wrong

Thank A Teacher

12 Days of Christmas- Kids Being Kids


Says their women, daughters may legitimately be regarded as wives of Muslims

(YNetNews) Jihadi leader Ahmad Al Baghdadi Al Hassani referred to Christians as polytheists and “friends of the Zionists.”

In a recent Egyptian TV address, the extremist leader stressed that Christians must choose “Islam or death,” while their women and daughters may legitimately be regarded as wives of Muslims.

Get A Tissue

Why It Is Not Possible To Be Moral And To Work For A Bank

In honor of December 21, 2012, a date that a few elements in the West have used to bastardize the Mayan calendar with apocalyptic predictions, we present to you a philosophical debate. Felipe Gomez, leader of the Maya alliance Oxlaljuj Ajpop, told the AFP news agency, that December 21, 2012 only marks the end of one of the Mayan calendar cycles and never predicted the end of the world. The final 400-year cycle of the calendar, the 13th b'aktun that completes a 5,200 year era, will complete on December 21st.

"We are speaking out against deceit, lies and twisting of the truth, and turning us into folklore-for-profit. They are not telling the truth about time cycles," Felipe stated. In a statement released by Oxlaljuj Ajpop, to the Mayans the end of the 13th b'aktun is important not because it means the end of the world but because of its spiritual significance in predicting “big changes on the personal, family and community level, so that there is harmony and balance between mankind and nature."
In honor of this new spiritual awakening predicted by the Mayans, we address the question, “Is it possible to be moral and still work in banking?” We believe that because the Rockefellers and Rothschilds created our “modern” banking system with the express diabolical intent of transferring the wealth of nations to themselves with zero work and of preventing the people of these nations from revolting through the imposition of debt enslavement achieved through the administration of the fractional reserve banking system, the answer to this question is a definitive “NO”. The banking industry, as evidenced by the operational platform of the now-defunct Municipal Bank of Amsterdam founded more than 400 years ago, is completely capable of returning to a moral industry through the use of sound money principles. However, as long as today’s banking industry retains the complicit silence and support of good people that continue to work in an immoral industry, banking will never return to be the moral industry it once was.

Fiscal Cliff

Sharp Downward Revision In October Jobs Numbers Stalls Private Sector Growth

Annapolis - Maryland saw a sharp downward revision in the number of jobs created as well as a decline in the most recent month compared to last month in the latest employment numbers released today by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The number of jobs created in October was revised downward by 9,300. From October to November, Maryland lost 3,100 more jobs while the unemployment rate dropped a tick from 6.7% to 6.6%.

"While recent months started to look more promising, these numbers tell a different a story," said Change Maryland Chairman Larry Hogan. "The private sector is shedding jobs and Maryland needs sustained growth in hiring levels to help us weather the fiscal cliff and impending federal government cuts."

Maryland lost 6500 small businesses between 2007 and 2010 according to the U.S. Census, and the state now has just three Fortune 500 companies - some of the worst declines in the region.

"I am concerned that we already lost too many companies to build lasting momentum in job growth," said Hogan.

O'Malley is Pumping And Dumping Inaccurate Information

Hi Joe

I just read O'Malley's latest press release regarding November's job numbers for Maryland and I posted a comment under his latest press release.

He did not accurately report the number. The BLS report shows that the labor force in Maryland - Nov. 2011 - 3,081,500
Nov. 2012 - 3,103,600

So in essense we have gained 22,100 new jobs - not the 22,200 jobs as stated in his report.

Bottom line - This is not good news at all as Maryland's population grew at a rate of .0095% - or - we gained 54,737 new people from Fiscal Year 2010 to Fiscal Year 2011.

We needed to generate at least 50,000 jobs or more than double this amount to keep up with high school and college graduates.

Check out the information yourself at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Please folks - double check out the information before you take these press releases for gospel.

Congratulations Dr. David Cowall!

Outgoing Medical Director, Dr. David Cowall recently received the Jean Camie Jackson Heart of Hospice award, which is the highest honor given by Coastal Hospice for volunteerism. Dr. Cowall is pictured on the left, with Coastal Hospice Board Chairman Richard Holloway and President Alane Capen. Dr. Cowall was also recently honored at the Eastern Shore Oncology Conference with the Excellence Award for Oncology Research.

NRA Press Conference Moments Ago

Couples Going Into Business Together

In the past decade, more couples are going into business together than ever before.
Glenn Muske, an Oklahoma State University professor who has spent six years studying the topic, estimates that 3 million of the 22 million U.S. small businesses in 2000 were couple-owned.

Mariam Hawley and Jeffrey McIntyre, a married couple of thirty years recently published "You and Your Partner, Inc.", a book about the growing trend of entrepreneurial couples.

What they found after conducting over 50 interviews with couples of all ages in all types of industries is that for the most part, the co-partnership actually strengthens their romances and businesses.

Our interview with Hawley and McIntyre shed some light on the reasons for this emerging trend. Part of it is that corporate America sometimes stifles couples' options for the type of lifestyle they want to lead. Long hours and structured workplaces leave little time for them to spend together and less opportunity to express and use multiple parts of their personalities, skills and talents.

Today's Advertiser Of The Day 12-21-12


It's Time For Some Really Great Christmas News

Saturday December 22
Salisbury Wicomico County Airport
Meet at 9:30am at the Airport

We will be welcoming a US Army PFC home from his 12 month deployment in Afghanistan. Please join us as we welcome this hometown hero home to his family for Christmas.

And Now For Your Weather Forcast

Route 113 Intersection Needs A Light, Residents Urge

SNOW HILL -- Weeks after the most recent fatality at a troubled intersection, Snow Hill residents turned out in force Wednesday night at a public hearing to demand a traffic light at Routes 113 and 12.

With the current state plan calling for the installation of “J-turns” at the intersection instead of a light, dozens of residents promised to do everything from a petition drive to marching down to Annapolis to get a light built instead.

That intersection has a long history of accidents, including fatalities. Since opening in 2006, the spot has seen close to 60 collisions.



Wicomico County:

· Wicomico County offices, including the Wicomico Health Department and Wicomico Public Library will be closed on Monday, December 24th and Tuesday, December 25thand re-open Wednesday, December 26th.

· The Newland Park Landfill, Transfer Stations and both the Upper Ferry and Whitehaven Ferry will close at 12NOON on Monday, December 24th

City of Salisbury:

· City of Salisbury offices will close at 12NOON on Monday, December 24th. All non-emergency City facilities will also close at that time. Sanitation crews will complete their garbage collection routes on December 24th and will also respond to bulk pick-up calls.


County Leaders to Focus on Critical Services, Government Responsiveness, and Policy Forecast
December 21, 2012 (Salisbury, MD) – Every year in January, county elected officials, Senators, Delegates, and other representatives of Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City gather in Dorchester County, Maryland for the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) Winter Conference. The goal of the event is to provide county decision-makers and other participants with tools for more effective leadership and a clearer perspective on the issues that will be addressed during the upcoming Maryland General Assembly session. The ultimate result of attendance is more effective and efficient county government. The 2013 MACo Winter Conference will be held on January 2-4 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay in Cambridge, Maryland. The theme of the conference is “Counties: We Deliver!” focusing on county services, with a spotlight on responsiveness during emergency situations, open government, and innovative best practices. 

"As we come together for what will surely be an aggressive agenda, we are forming a unified voice on our shared priorities, including budget, land use, environmental and economic development issues,” said Ingrid M. Turner, Prince George’s County Council Member and MACo President. “Considering the myriad of challenges in need of effective solutions, I encourage County Government officials and all stakeholders to attend the MACo Winter Conference in January.” MACo’s Winter Conference marks the change in term for its Board of Directors. Council Member Turner will conclude her one-year term as MACo President, passing on the Association’s top leadership role to Wicomico County Executive Richard Pollitt, Jr. Governor Martin O’Malley will preside over the installation of the 2013 MACo Board of Directors on Thursday, January 3 at the Inaugural Ceremony and Awards Banquet, where he will also deliver his traditional address to MACo’s leadership and conference attendees.

County Executive Pollitt has been a member of MACo since 2006 and has served as 2nd Vice President (2011), and most recently 1st Vice President and Chair of the Legislative Committee (2012). Pollitt has also served as Chair of the Conference Planning Committee and various other committees and workgroups during his time with MACo.

Executive Pollitt commented, “I’m looking forward to the honor of serving Maryland county government as MACo’s president in 2013. We are a diverse state with a diverse geography and a diverse population. But we are also one community dedicated to the promotion and protection of one concept: keeping local decisions local. I intend to focus on those attributes of county government that unite us in order to build upon MACo’s success as a full partner with the state in developing the laws and policies that will define our communities in the years to come.”

During the Inaugural Ceremony and Awards Banquet, MACo will honor the 2013 recipient of the Marilyn J. Praisner Public Service Award. The award was established in 2009 to recognize extraordinary public service, passion for county government, and tireless dedication to MACo. All of these characteristics were exhibited by the award’s namesake, the late Marilyn J. Praisner, who served as a Montgomery County Council Member and as the 2003 President of MACo. Counties have nominated candidates for this award and the recipient will be announced at the Banquet.

Also being featured at the conference are two courses from the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance certificate program, 20 table-top exhibits, and several Association meetings and government briefings. Educational and networking opportunities at the conference allow attendees to learn about issues facing local government and the tools and strategies for successfully meeting those challenges as they prepare for the upcoming 2013 General Assembly session.

General Sessions include “County Service in Times of Trouble: The Local Role in Emergency Response,” and “Open Government: What We Owe Our Citizens.” Many issues will be discussed in other sessions, including how local government communicates with citizens, the legal and technical applications of a county’s emergency response and continuity of operations plans, and best practices in preventing and handling a violent public crisis. With the recent wide-spread power outages, storm damage, and armed attacks on the public, it is extremely timely and relevant for local government officials to study their role in managing these events and communicating with residents.

Another highlight of MACo’s Winter Conference is the 2013 General Assembly Forecast. Leaders from both chambers of the General Assembly, an opposition party leader, and an Administration policy leader will discuss legislative priorities for the upcoming legislative session.

MACo remains committed to providing county decision-makers with the means to explore the challenges facing Maryland’s counties and the resources with which to solve these challenges. The MACo Winter Conference will be a premier event not to be missed by any officials who are dedicated to fostering public leadership and constituent services.

Today's Survey Question 12-21-12

What days will you get off work for the Holidays?


President Obama will nominate Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., Friday to replace Hillary Clinton as U.S. Secretary of State, Fox News confirms.

The Party's Just Beginning

“For thousands more years the mighty ships tore across the empty wastes of space and finally dived screaming on to the first planet they came across--which happened to be the Earth -- where due to a terrible miscalculation of scale the entire battle fleet was accidently swallowed by a small dog.” 

-Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 

Still here. We are still here. It is true that we have many hours to go before today crosses across all of the time zones and becomes tomorrow and, in any event, the Chateau Petrus will not have been in vain. I am holding classes in deduction now in Nassau on my boat. Other boat owners have dropped by and are all inquiring about the fiscal cliff. “The plunge is at hand,” I tell them as Congress adjourns, the rank and file Republicans turn on the House Speaker and the Lords of Chaos are in charge once again. All of the stuff and nonsense about taxing the wealthy and gibberish about who and when and where to tax is like so much marshmallow spread on a peanut butter sandwich; it just doesn’t matter. The galling omission of not concentrating on what is truly important, the cost of entitlements and social programs and what the nation can and cannot afford shows the true worth of our nation’s leaders which is about equal to a wooden nickel or a three dollar bill. It is the Lost Boys living in Never-Never Land and Wendy nowhere in sight. 

“In the first place God made idiots. He did this for practice. Then he made politicians. This was a mistake. Then he tried to correct His mistake by having the people elect the politicians of their own choosing. He then realized that he had made idiots twice and he pondered his miscalculation for seven days. Next he made dogs and finally being satisfied that he had done something correctly he went off on holiday. One day he may come back and finish the exercise.” 

-The Wizard

Pocomoke High School In Lockdown

Pocomoke High school is on lockdown due to a burglary suspect on the loose in the area. Police are tracking with dogs.

Rampage Shootings: It's The Moral Decay Of Society, Not Guns

It should come as no surprise that the rate of mass shootings at schools and in other public places is increasing. The surge has nothing to do with guns, which have been widely available in the U.S. for years. Gun control laws have been increasing. Instead, there is a direct correlation between the increase in violence and the gradual degradation of morals, ethics and parenting. We are cultivating mental illness in our society.

Parents are allowing television and video games to increasingly babysit their children, even though both have become full of gratuitous violence. A New York Times study of rampage killers found that six of them were into violent video games. Research shows that violent video games and television desensitize people and promote aggressive behavior, despite claims to the contrary. A research scientist at the University of Michigan found that television was responsible for 10% of youth violence. Parents today are neglecting their children, and when things don't go well, rushing to get divorced instead of trying to work things out first. Children suffer emotionally when their parents fight or split up. Parents are ignoring their children so much they don't even see the warning signs that something might be wrong. The New York Times study found that 63 of 100 rampage killers had made threats of violence before the event.

Parents are no longer taking their children to church, where they would learn stability and morals. Fewer than 20% of Americans now regularly attend church. Every year there are 3000 fewer churches across the U.S, even though the population is growing. God and morality have been taken out of the public schools and replaced with political correctness and non-judgmentalism. “Public virtues” are no longer taught in today's schools. People who do not attend church are more likely than churchgoers to have stress and to be less optimistic about the future. When parents split up and there is no father to take the children regularly to church, the children are much less likely to become regular churchgoers than if their mother regularly takes them.

The New York Times study found that at least half the killers in 100 rampage attacks showed signs of serious mental health problems. 48 killers were formally diagnosed with mental illness, often schizophrenia. The mentally ill used to be kept in hospitals, where they were not a danger to others. Beginning in the 1950s in California, the ACLU successfully filed lawsuits to take the mentally ill out of hospitals, known as “deinstitutionalization.” By the 1980s, most state-run mental health hospitals had closed.

Now, most of the mentally ill are out on the streets or in prison. The laws have been changed to state that the mentally ill cannot be hospitalized until they've already attacked someone. As a result, more mentally ill people are incarcerated than in hospitals, with the seriously mentally ill three times more likely to end up behind bars than hospitalized. More than half of all people in prison report that they have mental health problems, and more than 40 percent of the seriously mentally ill have been in jail or prison. A study at the University of South Florida found that the highest users of criminal justice and mental health services were 97 people who had been arrested 2,200 times. It is ludicrous that those 97 people are not contained for their safety and others in mental health hospitals.

The 22-year old Oregon shopping mall gunman who killed two people earlier this week is sadly typical of the rampage murderers the decay of society has spawned. He had this written on his Facebook page, "I'm the conductor of my choo choo train. I may be young but I have lived one crazy life so far." One of his friends said he raised himself; his mother died at childbirth, he never met his father, and he left his aunt's home at age 14.

The left will use the high level of emotion stirred up by this past week's two rampage killings to push through new gun control laws. Liberal New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called upon President Obama to enact tougher gun control laws immediately after Friday's mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut. Yet demanding more gun control laws will not solve anything. Gun control advocates have already increased the number of laws around the country requiring background checks, waiting periods for purchases, and tracking of firearms. Many of the rampage killers obtained guns illegally. If they can't obtain guns, deranged individuals will find other ways to commit mass murders – by setting fires, making bombs or running people over with vehicles. One day after the shootings in Connecticut, a man in Beijing stabbed 22 primary school students with a knife.

The left should not be allowed to dominate the dialogue after these tragic events with a red herring argument for gun control, in order to sneakily distract Americans from blaming them for what they have wrought. Americans who believe in traditional values must speak up and denounce the degradation of society's morals as the root of the problem behind these rampages, or the tragedies will continue to escalate.
Rachel Alexander

Rachel Alexander is the editor of the Intellectual Conservative.

Fiscal Cliff, Plan B: The GOP's Own Goal

It's probably a good thing that politicians sometimes vote based on their beliefs and values, rather than political expediency, even if that sometimes makes governing "messy."

And that's the popular interpretation of what happened last night.

See, John Boehner, in hoping to get leverage with the President, intended to pass a 'Plan B' fiscal cliff deal, that would see income taxes revert to Clinton levels for those making over $1 million or more, while permanently freezing lower tax rates for everyone else.

Had it passed, Boehner could have easily said: "We did our part to keep taxes low, and we didn't even coddle the fat cats. Now It's Obama's fault that taxes are rising on everyone."

Now again, it would be understandable if conservatives denied Boehner this leverage out of hardcore refusal to ever vote to raise taxes. But the Plan B idea never raised taxes on anyone. It lowered taxes on nearly 99% of Americans, relative to the baseline scenario. Comparing Plan B to the current tax rates (which are about to expire) makes no sense. Comparing Plan B to the coming tax rates is the only logical way of looking at it.

So the GOP denied Boehner leverage and there's not even an ideological defense, since there was never a vote to raise taxes... only to lower them.

Worcester Seeks Dismissal In LCB Wage Discrimination Suit

BERLIN -- Worcester County this week filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed in late August alleging the now-defunct Liquor Control Board (LCB) violated the federal Equal Pay Act by paying female employees at retail outlets less than their male counterparts in the same positions.

In August, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the suit in U.S. District Court. The complaint outlines an alleged pattern by the old LCB or undercompensating female retail clerks at the agency’s retail outlets throughout the county compared to their male counterparts that performed the same job.

The allegations date back to as early as April 2010 when the county liquor dispensary operations were still run by the LCB. In 2011, amid significant controversy, the old LCB was dismantled by the General Assembly and the new county-run Department of Liquor Control (DLC) was created to fill the void. The charges of discrimination surfaced early in July 2011 after the DLC assumed control on July 1, 2011, but the allegations stem from alleged wage discrimination carried out by the LCB prior to the takeover and does not implicate the new DLC.


Breaking News

BREAKING NEWS: Jon Hammar, the U.S. Marine imprisoned in Mexico on a gun charge, will be released today, Fox News confirms.


ANNAPOLIS, MD (December 21, 2012) – Governor Martin O’Malley today released the following statement on the U.S. Department of Labor’s release of preliminary employment data for the month of November:

"While November's preliminary jobs report is disappointing, on the year, there are several positive indicators that point in one direction: forward. Over the last 12 months, Maryland's businesses have created 22,200 jobs and because we've driven our unemployment rate down to 6.6 percent, over 25,400 more Marylanders are working today than at this time last year. With that said, better is not good enough; the most important job we create is the next job.

“This year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ranked Maryland #1 for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and in the top five states for economic performance for the third year in a row. The States Project said we're #2 for economic opportunity. And, most recently, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation ranked us among the five states best positioned to succeed in the New Economy. Together, we can continue to grow jobs, opportunity and prosperity in the year ahead.”

Scots Are So Romantic


Invincible Ignorance
by Thomas Sowell

Must every tragic mass shooting bring out the shrill ignorance of “gun control” advocates?

The key fallacy of so-called gun control laws is that such laws do not in fact control guns. They simply disarm law-abiding citizens, while people bent on violence find firearms readily available.

If gun control zealots had any respect for facts, they would have discovered this long ago, because there have been too many factual studies over the years to leave any serious doubt about gun control laws being not merely futile but counterproductive.

Places and times with the strongest gun control laws have often been places and times with high murder rates. Washington, D.C., is a classic example, but just one among many.

When it comes to the rate of gun ownership, that is higher in rural areas than in urban areas, but the murder rate is higher in urban areas. The rate of gun ownership is higher among whites than among blacks, but the murder rate is higher among blacks. For the country as a whole, hand gun ownership doubled in the late 20th century, while the murder rate went down.

Congressional Candidate Charged With Voting Twice

A former congressional candidate is facing charges she voted illegally in Maryland, while she was registered to vote in Florida.

Wendy Rosen was the Democratic nominee for the First Congressional District seat this year, but she was forced to drop out of the race in October after allegations surfaced she voted illegally in 2006 and 2010.

Rosen is charged with voting illegally in Baltimore County in both of those elections. Rosen, who is from Cockeysville, can face up to five years in prison and a $2,500 fine for each charge.


A Love Story In Pictures

If he is a hero...........
She is an angel