Friday, December 28, 2012

Fruitland Fundraiser

QUOTES OF THE DAY 12-28-12

“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.”
Harry S. Truman


“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”
Harry S. Truman

“Fame is a vapor, popularity is an accident, riches take wings, those who cheer today may curse tomorrow and only one thing endures – character.”
Harry S. Truman

“It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose your own.”
Harry S. Truman

“I never did give them hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell.”
Harry S. Truman

“Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.”
Harry S. Truman

“My choice early in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there’s hardly any difference.”
Harry S. Truman

“The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount…If we don’t have a proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the State.”
Harry S. Truman

“Selfishness and greed, individual or national, cause most of our troubles.”
Harry S. Truman

“It is ignorance that causes most mistakes.”
Harry S. Truman

“The most peaceful thing in the world is plowing a field. Chances are you’ll do your best thinking that way. And that’s why I’ve always thought and said, farmers are the smartest people in the world, they don’t go for high hats and they can spot a phony a mile off.”
Harry S. Truman

“Carry the battle to them. Don’t let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive. And don’t ever apologize for anything.”
Harry S. Truman

“I never would have agreed to the formulation of the Central Intelligence Agency back in forty-seven, if I had known it would become the American Gestapo.”
Harry S. Truman

Chicago Sued For Alleged Discrimination Against Black Teachers

The Chicago Teachers Union has sued the nation's third largest school district, saying Mayor Rahm Emanuel's campaign to reform or close underperforming public schoolsdiscriminates against African-American teachers and staff.

The federal lawsuit filed on Wednesday and announced on Thursday is the latest battle with the city since teachers staged a week-long strike in September. It alleges that more than half of the tenured teachers fired in the most recent round of school closings and turnarounds were African American.

But blacks make up less than 30 percent of the tenured teaching staff in the district and 35 percent of the tenured teacher population in the failing schools, the lawsuit claims.

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Top Ammo Supplier Sells 3 1/2 Years Worth Of Assault Rifle Magazines In 72 Hours

Firearm accessories supplier Brownells says that it's experiencing "unprecedented" sales of magazines.
Brownells has sold 3 1/2 years worth of PMAG magazines in just 72 hours, according to a statement posted from the company's official account on gun owner forum AR-15.com.

It also says that it has sold "an even greater amount" of its own Brownells magazines.

Gas Prices & Quality

Yesterday we got in my Toyota pickup truck and headed south to Virginia Beach to visit Family. While we did do a little running around, (one trip to the store) by the time we filled up the tank to head back last night we had burned 3/4 of a tank. We filled up in Virginia Beach for $3.09 a gallon and my Brother said I paid too much because some stations there are selling gas for $2.99 a gallon, GO FIGURE!

OK, get this. We only burned just over 1/4 of a tank coming back!!!! Now where did that extra HALF A TANK go? Not only do gas prices stink here on the Shore, the quality of gas stinks as well! Driving Rt. 13 south to the Bay Bridge Tunnel is not all up hill and the ride home all down hill. Also, I used the cruise control both ways to avoid any tickets, so my speed was the same both ways.

I even heard today the gas prices on the Western Shore are a lot lower there then they are here. What gives?

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR DENIES HOBBY LOBBY REQUEST ON HHS MANDATE

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has denied Hobby Lobby’s emergency application to be exempted from the HHS Mandate on abortion services, but that should not be considered a sign that the HHS Mandate will survive its legal challenges in the end.

The war on religious liberty continues. Despite repeated promises from President Barack Obama and his allies that they would not use Obamacare to force people to violate their religious beliefs regarding abortion, Obama handpicked an abortion-hardliner as secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Kathleen Sebelius.

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Professor: Don't Be Surprised If There's A War Between Japan And China In The Next Year

Chinese planes flew near Japanese airspace Monday to assert its claims to Japan's Senkaku islands (China calls them the Diaoyu islands).
The move came just as Japan announced its new prime minister.

Hugh White, a professor at Australian National University and a former Australian defense official, believes this is the latest sign the two countries are heading to war.

And the U.S. will be dragged in.

Obama’s Regulatory Cliff Draws Near

Many Americans believe the biggest problem the nation currently faces is the so-called fiscal cliff. Unfortunately, the fiscal cliff is nothing compared to the avalanche of new regulations that will be coming in 2013. That Americans remain unaware of this ominous development is understandable. The most transparent administration in history ignored the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and a subsequent series of executive orders that require the semi-annual release of all regulations under development or review by some 60 departments, agencies, and commissions. Thus, the April 2012 and October 2012 deadlines came and went without compliance. Now that the election is over, Americans will discover just how all-encompassing Obama and his big-government zealots intend to be.

The scope is staggering. According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the overall regulatory burden has reached $1.8 trillion annually, and $215.4 billion in compliance costs have been added in 2012 alone. The OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs website reveals that 4,100 new regulations are in the pipeline, with more than 400 aimed at small businesses, whose compliance costs will exceed those of their larger competitors by 36 percent.

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The Reason Liberals Want To Raise Taxes On The Rich Has Nothing To Do With The Deficit

A common argument you hear from conservatives is that raising taxes on the rich is a joke of a deficit reduction proposal, because it hardly makes a dent in the deficit.
According to CNBC, reverting to Clinton-era levels would just get you about $40-$45 billion in the first year.

GOP Congressman Tom Price has gotten a lot of attention for saying it would only fund government for 8 days... so what's the point?

So what is the point?

Well, it's not really about deficit reduction at all.

Maryland Live! Now Pulling All-Nighters

A collective groan could be heard rising over the slot machines when closing time came to the Maryland Live! casino.

Gamblers, some delighting in hot machines, others chasing their losses, would head with reluctance toward the exits.

No longer. The casino at Arundel Mills Mall in Hanover began 24-hour operations Thursday morning.

Now, Maryland Live! is open all day, every day.

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What Happened When Guns Banned In Australia

After Australia banned and confiscated guns from their citizens,
promising them safety in return for their weapons, violent crime
dramatically increased:

Armed robbery +69%

Assault with guns +28%

Gun murders +19%

Home invasions +21%

Americans should never relinquish their weapons. The right to bear arms as written in theSecond Amendment has three main purposes:
to allow our citizens to protect themselves, their families, and their property to allow our citizens to protect themselves from a tyrannical government to allow our citizens to resist foreign attack/invasion

New ID Theft Law To Take Effect

A Maryland law enabling parents to better protect their children from identity theft is among several taking effect next week.

The child identity theft law, which is the first of its kind in the nation, will allow parents to freeze their child's credit any time. Credit agencies have been required to place a security freeze on the credit of anyone who requests it. But they have been able to refuse to lock the credit of those who do not have a pre-existing credit report. That has presented problems for children, because if they have a credit report they likely already are a victim of fraud.

Delegate Craig Zucker, a Montgomery County Democrat who sponsored the bill this year, noted that it also will benefit elderly and developmentally disabled residents who could become victims of identity theft.

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MAJOR SETBACK FOR PLANNED PARENTHOOD: JUDGE SAYS OKLAHOMA CAN END CONTRACT WITH CLINICS

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal judge on Monday denied a request by Planned Parenthood to temporarily block Oklahoma from terminating a contract with the agency to provide nutritional services to low-income mothers.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot ruled that although the state’s stated reasons don’t seem to be sufficient cause for ending agreements with Planned Parenthood’s three Tulsa-area clinics that have been in place for 18 years, the group’s response to the state’s concerns was insufficient enough to warrant ending the relationship.

The decision will likely mean that the group will have to close one of the clinics and eliminate six full-time staff positions when the contracts end on Dec. 31, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s President and CEO Jill June said in a statement.

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Business Owners Team Up For VW Bus Drop

Unsatisfied with a traditional ball-drop to ring in the New Year, Oasis Bar and Grill in Whaleyville will be teaming up with Shorebilly Brewing to lower a holiday-themed Volkswagen bus from the sky on Dec. 31.

According to Oasis owner Bobby Riccio, his bar organizes a New Year’s Eve celebration every winter and has finally decided to do something that will make the event an extremely memorable one. There will be no cover for the bus drop, live entertainment, a champagne toast, and a special brew from Shorebilly to commemorate the night. The bus will be lowered by crane, this year from Aerial Crane Company from Parsonsburg.

“We’ll do this every year,” promised Riccio. “It’ll be a big cross-promotion.”

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Obama’s Hidden-Tax Heist

How is it possible that the government can spend almost twice as much as it takes in without having high inflation? The fact is that over a long period of time, it can’t. In the short run, which can be a few years, the government can paper over its fiscal irresponsibility by expropriating most of the productivity gains in the private sector through regulatory and central bank actions. This is precisely what has been happening in the United States.

The reason real, after-tax, per capita incomes have been able to increase year by year for most Americans for the past two centuries is that productivity has been growing — that is, the amount of goods each worker produces per hour has risen steadily. The reason productivity rises is that workers tend to be better trained, the amount of productive capital per worker rises, and there is a steady flow of innovation, which reduces costs and improves goods and services.

To understand productivity growth, look at the advances of farm and construction machinery — which enable one worker to do more, better and with greater safety. Wal-Mart, Amazon and FedEx have made amazing developments in reducing distribution costs by instituting better equipment and systems. Magnify these individual company and industry gains throughout the economy, and the result is a steady national gain in worker productivity.


30-DAY CONTRACT EXTENSION FOR LONGSHOREMEN

ANNAPOLIS, MD (December 28, 2012) – Governor Martin O’Malley released this statement following the agreement today to extend the longshoremen’s contract for 30 days: 

“I'd like to commend today’s decision by the International Longshoremen’s Association and the United States Maritime Alliance to extend their negotiations by 30 days to produce a new master labor agreement for ports along the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico.

“The Port of Baltimore continues to be a major part of our State’s economic strength, generating and supporting thousands of jobs. During this extended period, we hope that a long-term resolution can be reached for the well-being of Maryland's hardworking families who depend on jobs and commerce linked to the Port of Baltimore.”

Gambling Lobbyists Top Spenders In State

Gambling interests are high up on a list for spending on lobbyists in Maryland this year.

The State Ethics Commission has released a list of employers who spent $50,000 or more between May and Oct. 31.

Buildings Trades for National Harbor Inc., spent about $2.7 million. That's the most on the list. The group lobbied on legislation to allow a casino in Prince George's County.

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Born To Die So That You Might Live

Luke 2:12
12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”


You are probably familiar with the story of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. The Bible says that when the time had come, Mary “brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger”. (Luke 2:6–7) But have you ever wondered why the angel told the shepherds that the Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger was a “sign”?

A manger is actually a feeding trough for livestock. Do you know what a feeding trough in those days looks like? I have seen a similar one at Solomon’s stables in Meggido, Israel. It is basically a big rectangular block of stone with the trough hewn out of it. So baby Jesus, who was wrapped in swaddling cloths, was placed in such a stone trough.

But why was that a sign? Because if you have seen the empty tomb of Jesus at a place called The Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, you would have noticed that the place where His body was laid, inside a tomb hewn out of rock, resembles a stone trough. The Bible says that after Jesus’ crucifixion and death, Joseph of Arimathea took Jesus’ body, wrapped it in linen and laid it in a tomb hewn out of a rock. (Mark 15:43–46)

Can you see the similarities? Wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger, baby Jesus would one day be wrapped in linen and laid in a tomb. That was the sign the angel was referring to. It pointed to Jesus’ death.

Jesus was the only child in all of humanity born to die. Once you realize that, you will realize how much God loves you. You will realize that He gave up His Son for that one purpose, and that His Son willingly came for that one purpose — to die for your sins and mine.

Beloved, can you imagine living your life knowing that you are just qualifying yourself to die on the cross to save the world? That was the life that Jesus lived. He lived to die, so that we might live and enjoy life abundantly today!

Dakota


Joe,
    She has been spotted in Tamarac Village this morning... Yesterday morning she was by church st and the morning before by secu bank.  Ur website had been amazing! Can I ask you to please repost the info to keep it fresh with the updates !! 

Contract Extension Averts Port Strike

Dockworkers union agrees to 30-day contract extension, for now averting a strike that threatened to shut down East Coast, Gulf ports.

Russian Adoptee Fighting Russian Government

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday he will sign a controversial bill banning Americans from adopting Russian children, a defiant move against the U.S. that has angered some Russians who argue it victimizes children to make a political point.

The law would block dozens of Russian children expected to be adopted by American families from leaving the country and cut off one of the main international routes for Russian children to leave often dismal orphanages. Russia is the single biggest source of adopted children in the U.S., with more than 60,000 Russian children being taken in by Americans over the past two decades.

The bill is retaliation for an American law that calls for sanctions against Russians deemed to be human rights violators and part of an increasingly confrontational stance by the Kremlin against the West.

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Dec Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index

The December Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index is out and it's a miss.
The headline number fell to 5 from 9 in November. Economists were looking for a reading of 8.

"Looking at the broad indicators of activity, new orders were virtually unchanged, shipments grew more slowly, and employment declined," wrote the Richmond Fed. "Other indicators were mixed. Capacity utilization turned positive, while backlogs fell further. Moreover, the gauge for delivery times inched higher, while finished goods inventories grew at a slightly slower pace and growth in raw materials inventories edged higher."

The survey tracks manufacturing activity in the central Atlantic region of the U.S.

Security Tech Company To Lay Off 25

Sotera Defense Solutions Inc., a national security technology company in Frederick, will lay off 25 employees effective Monday.

The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulations received Sotera's Work Adjustment and Retraining Notification notice about the layoffs in October, spokeswoman Maureen O'Connor said.

WARN offers protection to workers, their families and communities by requiring employers to provide notice 60 days in advance of covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs. Plant closings and mass layoffs trigger WARN notices, the DLLR said.

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China Proposes Full Name Registration For Every User To Make Its Internet "Healthier, More Cultured And Safer"

With various "gun control" proposals flying fast and furious (precisely the reactionary kneejerk reaction Ron Paul warned would happen [11]), some of which as brilliant as RFIDing every gun in existence, supposedly including the tens of millions of illegal and unregistered ones, it is perhaps appropriate to see how another authoritarian government - China - deals with its own equivalent of the touchy Second Amendment, its "First", or the right to free speech in a society which for decades has had none, and where the internet makes free speech regulation impossible (very much any gun control in a nation in which there is one gun for every person is impossible). China's solution, according to Reuters [12], the requirement of a real name registration for internet access for every person, "extending a policy already in force with microblogs in a bid to curb what officials call rumors and vulgarity...A law being discussed this week would mean people would have to present their government-issued identity cards when signing contracts for fixed line and mobile internet access, state-run newspapers said."
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Man Dies Of Hypothermia In Frederick Co.

Maryland health officials reported the first hypothermia-related death of the winter Thursday.

The man died in Frederick County and was at least 65 years old. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner confirmed the cause of his death during the past week.

State health officials released no other details.

Fifteen hypothermia-related deaths were reported last winter. One death had been reported by this time in December 2011, according to the medical examiner's office.

With winds gusting Thursday and another round of snow headed for the region this weekend, health officials remind Marylanders to bundle up before heading outside.

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DESCENT INTO LAWLESSNESS

The “fiscal cliff” is a myth.

Instead, what we are facing is a descent into lawlessness.

Wikipedia notes:

In many situations, austerity programs are imposed on countries that were previously under dictatorial regimes, leading to criticism that populations are forced to repay the debts of their oppressors.

Indeed, the IMF has already performed a complete audit of the whole US financial system, something which they have only previously done to broke third world nations.

Economist Marc Faber calls the U.S. a “failed state“. Indeed, we no longer have a free market economy … we have fascism, communist style socialism, kleptocracy, oligarchy or banana republic style corruption.

Let’s look at some specific examples of our descent into lawlessness.

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WCSO Press Release 12-28-12

'Crooked Beat Records' Bucks Industry Trend With Vinyl Success

Bill Daly may have devilishly chuckled earlier this month when he shared a story from the past. But he knows all too well his isn’t the last laugh – more like upbeat gallows humor. No matter. This was the day after the 15th anniversary of his baby, Crooked Beat Records, and he was nothing if not defiantly content.

“When we decided to go into vinyl years ago,” Daly, 48, says while sorting records at his Adams Morgan shop, “I remember sales reps from distributors saying, ‘You’re crazy – you’re going to be out of business within a year if you do that.”

After all, all the big ones went belly up. Peaches. Tower Records. Tracks. And on and on. Same for the smaller chains and many independently owned shops.

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AGENDA 21

Agenda 21 Is Being Rammed Down The Throats Of Local Communities All Over America

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/agenda-21-is-being-rammed-down-the-throats-of-local-communities-all-over-america

Have you ever heard of Agenda 21? If not, don’t feel bad, because most Americans haven’t. It is essentially a blueprint for a “sustainable world” that was introduced at the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992. Since then, it has been adopted by more than 200 counties and it has been modified and updated at other UN environmental summits. The philosophy behind Agenda 21 is that our environmental problems are the number one problem that we are facing, and that those problems are being caused by human activity. Therefore, according to Agenda 21 human activity needs to be tightly monitored, regulated and controlled for the greater good. Individual liberties and freedoms must be sacrificed for the good of the planet. If you are thinking that this sounds like it is exactly the opposite of what our founding fathers intended when they established this nation, you would be on the right track. Those that promote the philosophy underlying Agenda 21 believe that human activity must be “managed” and that letting people make their own decisions is “destructive” and “dangerous”. Sadly, the principles behind Agenda 21 are being rammed down the throats of local communities all over America, and most of the people living in those communities don’t even realize it.

So how is this being done? Well, after Agenda 21 was adopted, an international organization known as the “International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives” (ICLEI) was established to help implement the goals of Agenda 21 in local communities. One thing that they learned very quickly was that the “Agenda 21″ label was a red flag for a lot of people. It tended to create quite a bit of opposition on the local level.

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Whirled Beat


"Whirled Beat". Boy (age 10) enjoys exploring the undiscovered, percussive sounds of household appliances. He also owns a Pearl drum kit, has been taking lessons for over a year, but is mainly self-taught in general percussion. His main inspirations are Neil Peart and Buddy Rich.

Thank God Its Friday 12-28-12

What will you be doing this weekend?

Public Landing Development - Building Lots

While touring the landscape - my wife and I recently visited Public Landing. Since it had been a few years since our last visit - I was astonished to see that a waterview development of Chincoteague Bay - Equestrian Shores - whereby the property prices were signficantly discounted. If my recollection is correct, these same lots asking price were in excess of 100k just a few years ago. Take-a-look at the reduced prices - and still there is no new construction presently going on in this development. As one can easily see - our local housing industry has not gotton any better, but much worse.

GOP Senators Won’t Confirm Kerry Until Clinton Testifies on Benghazi

Republican senators will refuse to confirm Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., as Secretary of State until the nation’s current top diplomat, Hillary Clinton, testifies about her handling of the Benghazi terrorist attack.

“The Senate is expected to take up Kerry’s nomination in early January, but multiple Republican senators have already said they won’t agree to a vote on Kerry’s nomination until Clinton testifies about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi,” The Cable’s Josh Rogin notes.

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BIG BROTHER WATCHING YOUR EMAIL

Congress, at Last Minute, Drops Requirement to Obtain Warrant to Monitor Email

The federal government will continue to access Americans’ emails without a warrant, after the U.S. Senate dropped a key amendment to legislation now headed to the White House for approval.

Last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved an amendment attached to the Video Privacy Protection Act Amendments Act (which deals with publishing users’ Netflix information on Facebook pages) that would have required federal law enforcement to obtain a warrant before monitoring email or other data stored remotely (i.e., the cloud).

The Senate was set to approve the video privacy bill along with the email amendment, which would have applied to a different law, the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act. But then senators decided for reasons unknown to drop the amendment.

Currently, the government can collect emails and other cloud data without a warrant as long as the content has been stored on a third-party server for 180 days or more. Federal agents need only demonstrate that they have “reasonable grounds to believe” the information would be useful in an investigation.

-Noel Brinkerhoff

Source

MCCONNELL CALLS OUT OBAMA'S NEGOTIATION CHARADE

The office of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) responded to reports today that President Barack Obama called him and other congressional leaders to receive updates about negotiations to avoid the Jan. 1 "fiscal cliff" by noting that it was the "first time McConnell has heard from any Democrat, including the President, on this since Thanksgiving."

The President and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) made a show of returning to Washington this week, as if to continue negotiations--when their open opposition to Speaker of the House John Boehner's "Plan B" last week helped doom that plan to defeat in the Republican caucus. House members were reluctant to vote for "Plan B" to begin with, since it would have raised some tax rates; the certainty that it would fail in the Senate made them even less enthusiastic.

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Maryland Gay Marriage: Some St. Mary's County Clerks To Stop Performing Marriages

Some deputy court clerks in St. Mary's County will stop performing marriages when same-sex marriage becomes legal in Maryland next week.

Joan Williams is clerk of the St. Mary's Circuit Court. She tells The Washington Examiner that some of her employees are opposed to gay marriage for religious reasons. As a result, she decided those deputy clerks won't perform any marriages. She says it's a way of respecting their beliefs.

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The Sleeper Must Awaken

“Above the comforts of Base Camp, the expedition in fact became an almost Calvinistic undertaking. The ratio of misery to pleasure was greater by an order of magnitude than any mountain I'd been on; I quickly came to understand that climbing Everest was primarily about enduring pain. And in subjecting ourselves to week after week of toil, tedium and suffering, it struck me that most of us were probably seeking above all else, something like a state of grace.”

-Jon Krakhauer, Into Thin Air

I am not sure the country is seeking a state of grace but we are surely seeking something of a much higher order than we are getting. Congress adjourns, the President spends twenty million dollars of our money flying off to vacation in Hawaii and we peer over the edge of a monetary cliff of our own making because we have elected people that have all of the leadership skills of some Grinch that is stealing our Christmas because we let him. Ultimately it is us you know, “We the People,” and perhaps it is our two party system of government that has failed us because we put people in power who know how to run for election and re-election but who somehow have no idea how to govern the nation. It is pathos, absurdity and frankly a tragedy that we face a financial calamity, and it is just that, and our elected leaders head off on vacation.

"Well, thus we play the fools with the time, and the spirits of the wise sit in the clouds and mock us."

-William Shakespeare, Henry IV

It may not be fiddling while Rome is burning but it isn’t that far off that course. In the end, I suspect, we will pass the deadlines and find ourselves in trouble. I say this because to date all we are discussing is who to tax and we have not made one serious effort to confront the social programs that have elected people but which the country cannot afford. It is not that complicated at its core; we cannot afford the entitlements that we have legislated and so the nation must, like any household, man up to what we can and cannot afford and get on with it. No use pretending that we are as rich as we once were and so we must first cut-back and then get down to the serious business of how we can increase our revenues. Households, corporations or governments; the fundamental issues apply and while different themes may apply for the fix; America’s economic condition must be fixed.

"The majority is never right. Never, I tell you! That's one of these lies in society that no free and intelligent man can help rebelling against. Who are the people that make up the biggest proportion of the population -- the intelligent ones or the fools? I think we can agree it's the fools, no matter where you go in this world, it's the fools that form the overwhelming majority."

-Henrik Ibsen, An Enemy of the People

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Soft-Shell Crab Could Be Md.'s Official Sandwich

Maryland already has an official state desert. A state sandwich could be next.

A pre-filed bill in the Maryland General Assembly would make soft-shell crab the official Maryland sandwich.

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Feds Fail To Implement Fixes That Could Save Billions

The next time you hear government officials insist they're doing all they can to save federal money or ensure safety, consider this: the U.S. Transportation Department has yet to complete more than 600 action items, some dating back to 2004, that were recommended by its internal watchdog to help protect taxpayers.

That eye-popping statistic is contained in a little-noticed letter that DOT Inspector General Calvin L. Scovell III sent to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform over the Christmas holidays.

The "open recommendations" -- as they are called in bureaucratic parlance -- are fixes identified by the inspector general to improve safety or prevent hundreds of millions of dollars of future waste, fraud and abuse that have not been fully implemented and documented, or have been outright rejected by federal agencies.

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Ron Paul: Government Security Is Just Another Kind Of Violence

The senseless and horrific killings last week in Newtown, Connecticut reminded us that a determined individual or group of individuals can cause great harm no matter what laws are in place. Connecticut already has restrictive gun laws relative to other states, including restrictions on fully automatic, so-called “assault” rifles and gun-free zones.

Predictably, the political left responded to the tragedy with emotional calls for increased gun control. This is understandable, but misguided. The impulse to have government “do something” to protect us in the wake national tragedies is reflexive and often well intentioned. Many Americans believe that if we simply pass the right laws, future horrors like the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting can be prevented. But this impulse ignores the self evident truth that criminals don't obey laws.

The political right, unfortunately, has fallen into the same trap in its calls for quick legislative solutions to gun violence. If only we put armed police or armed teachers in schools, we’re told, would-be school shooters will be dissuaded or stopped.

While I certainly agree that more guns equals less crime [4] and that private gun ownership prevents many shootings [5], I don’t agree that conservatives and libertarians should view government legislation, especially at the federal level, as the solution to violence. Real change can happen only when we commit ourselves to rebuilding civil society in America, meaning a society based on family, religion, civic and social institutions, and peaceful cooperation through markets. We cannot reverse decades of moral and intellectual decline by snapping our fingers and passing laws.

Let’s not forget that our own government policies often undermine civil society, cheapen life, and encourage immorality. The president and other government officials denounce school violence, yet still advocate for endless undeclared wars abroad and easy abortion at home. U.S. drone strikes kill thousands, but nobody in America holds vigils or devotes much news coverage to those victims, many of which are children, albeit, of a different color.

Obviously I don’t want to conflate complex issues of foreign policy and war with the Sandy Hook shooting, but it is important to make the broader point that our federal government has zero moral authority to legislate against violence.

Furthermore, do we really want to live in a world of police checkpoints, surveillance cameras, metal detectors, X-ray scanners, and warrantless physical searches [6]? We see this culture in our airports: witness the shabby spectacle of once proud, happy Americans shuffling through long lines while uniformed TSA agents bark orders. This is the world of government provided "security," a world far too many Americans now seem to accept or even endorse. School shootings, no matter how horrific, do not justify creating an Orwellian surveillance state in America.

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Charity Begins With Wealth Creation

Charity — helping people who have trouble helping themselves — is a good thing two times over. It’s good for the beneficiary and good for the donor, too. Stephen Post’s fine book, “The Hidden Gifts of Helping,” reveals that 76 percent of Americans say that helping others is what makes them most happy. Giving money makes us feel good, and helping face-to-face is even better. People say it makes them feel physically healthier. They sleep better.

Private charity is unquestioningly better than government efforts to help people. Government squanders money. Charities sometime squander money, too, but they usually don’t.

Proof of the superiority of private over government efforts is everywhere. Catholic charities do a better job educating children than government — for much less money. New York City’s government left Central Park a dangerous mess. Then a private charity rescued it. But while charity is important, let’s not overlook something more important: Before we can help anyone, we first need something to give. Production precedes donation. Advocates of big government forget this.

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