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Monday, January 07, 2013

Joe Albero To Make Announcement Tomorrow

SBYNews publisher and Salisbury businessman Joe Albero will announce his intention to run for mayor of Salisbury on Tuesday.

              Tuesday, January 8th

WHERE:  DW Burt Concrete Construction Co.
                1802 Northwoods Drive
                Salisbury, MD

The public is invited.


Funny Money: Pundits Float $1 Trillion Coin As Answer To Debt-Ceiling Standoff

Imagine sitting around the kitchen table, trying to figure out how you're going to pay off that next-generation HDTV you just bought.

Then someone has an idea. Brush off one of the old checker pieces in the attic, assign it a value of, say, $2,000 -- and use that newly minted "coin" to pay the credit card.

Such an absurd idea is, pun intended, gaining currency as a technically legal way for Washington to avert a looming fight over the debt ceiling. A Democratic congressman, a Nobel-winning economist and several prominent writers are now floating the idea that the Treasury Department should use obscure powers to mint a $1 trillion coin if Congress does not permit an increase in the debt ceiling. 



Buried at the bottom of a New York Times piece might be the real reason to explain why New York's Journal News did something as sensationally stupid as publishing the names and addresses of over 30,000 legal gun owners living in two New York counties. In just five years, the Journal News' Monday through Friday circulation rate has plummeted almost 40%, "from 111,536 in September 2007 to 68,850 in September 2012."

Robbery Sting Nets Alleged Black Guerilla Family Members in West Baltimore

In Baltimore, authorities are finding that if they can't solve a robbery, the next best thing may be to set one up.

Six men - at least three who police say are members of the Black Guerilla Family - were indicted last week in federal court on robbery charges. They didn't commit a robbery, but were caught in recorded conversations with a government source planning and preparing to carry one out, according to court records.

It's a tactic that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has used at least three times here, and which the Federal Bureau of Investigation also used in a case involving a man charged with accepting a murder-for-hire proposal.

Pentagon Bans Gay Blogs But Not Ann Coulter

The progressive political site AMERICAblog has uncovered a strange and not-so-accidental glitch in the Department of Defense’s computer system, one that’s been around for a while.

The Pentagon reportedly blocks a number of LGBT-related websites from being accessed by DoD computers, while allowing access to right-wing powerhouses like the American Family Association and Ann Coulter.

Louisiana Sen. Vitter Rips Reid For Katrina Comments

Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter ripped Majority Leader Harry Reid for suggesting the damage from Hurricane Katrina was "nothing" compared with the damage from Superstorm Sandy.

Reid, D-Nev., made the comments last week when Congress was taking up a $9 billion disaster-relief bill for the East Coast, which is still reeling from Sandy.

“The people of New Orleans and that area, they were hurt, but nothing in comparison to what happened to the people in New York and New Jersey,” Reid said. 


Outrage in Delaware (FINAL UPDATE: A HAPPY ENDING)

This picture is from a Milford, Delaware playground. Milford is in Southern Delaware in the very conservative Sussex County. I originally saw this picture on Facebook, from a liberal friend downstate, who was sharing it via an original posting of the very nonliberal Dan Gaffney, a conservative talk show radio host. It is nice to know that the outrage concerning this photo is bipartisan. And what is so outrageous about it, you ask?

Well, you can read what it says in English. In Spanish it says (paraphrasing) "You have to have a permit to play here or you will be arrested." The english version contains no information about needing a permit or else you will be subject to police action. It is an obvious intimidation tactic and a not so subtle "Whites Only" sign.

So if you are a white English speaking "American," you can play here at your own risk so long as you have a parent or guardian watching. If you are brown, if you dare play here without a permit we will arrest your immigrant ass. That is the fucking height of racism, and I will see to it that who ever is responsible for this sign will have their public careers ended immediately.

Maryland Live! Revenue Grows For Second Straight Month

The Maryland Live! casino in Hanover brought in $35.9 million in revenue last month, an increase of about 4.6 percent from November, according to revenue figures released today by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.

The state’s largest slot machine destination has generated more than $1 million a day for six of the past seven months. November revenues were $34.3 million.

The December figures indicate continued resurgence in revenue at Maryland Live! Profits increased 12.1 percent in November compared to October. But before that, profits decreased 4 percent in October compared to September; 1.3 percent in September compared to August; and 8.3 percent in August compared to July.


Company Confirms Plans To Shutter Berlin Operation

BERLIN -- Merial Select confirmed this week it will be closing its Berlin doors effective next year.

Though the majority of Merial’s approximately 45 employees are expected to lose their positions, town officials are optimistic that the facilities closing will not adversely affect Berlin.

Mayor Gee Williams compared Merial’s shutting down to when the Tyson plant likewise left Berlin in 2003. That departure meant the termination of about 600 jobs. However, the town was able to weather the event relatively well, according to Williams, and the expectation is the same with Merial.

“It all depends on where the employees live,” he said. “Years ago, when Tyson closed down, people were really concerned about what impact that would have. And out of all of the employees, and they had a lot of employees, almost all of them lived in southern Delaware and Virginia and other counties other than Worcester.”

Williams expressed sympathy for the roughly 45 current employees who will be out of work next year but was certain that the closing will not be felt much in Berlin.

Maryland Ranks 35th on Recession Recovery Scorecard

So, which states have best braved the five-year-old Great Recession — the most severe economic contraction the United States has experienced since the Great Depression?

Maryland was among the states that have been less successful in taming the recessionary conditions, ranked 35th in an analysis by 24/7 Wall Street. Current unemployment is at 6.7%, down 1.3 percentage points from the peak of 8%; and 2011 GDP growth was a mere 0.9%.

“The housing market crash hit Maryland harder than any other state in the Northeast. Between the second quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of this year, the median home price in the state fell by 27.2%,” 24/7 Wall St. pointed out.


Health Insurers Still Seek Steep Premium Increases

NEW YORK — Health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration’s health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers.

Particularly vulnerable to the high rates are small businesses and people who do not have employer-provided insurance and must buy it on their own.

In California, Aetna is proposing rate increases of as much as 22 percent, Anthem Blue Cross 26 percent and Blue Shield of California 20 percent for some of their policy holders, according to the insurers’ filings with the state for 2013.

Octomom Nadya Suleman Back On Welfare: Report

It seems like the Octomom has gotten her tentacles back on welfare checks.

Five months after Nadya Suleman weaned herself off welfare, the mother of the world's most famous octuplets (and six other children) has filed again for government aid, sources told TMZ.

Suleman, who filed for bankruptcy last May, signed up for welfare this week and will be getting $2,800 a month in assistance, according to the gossip site.


The War On Tater Tots: Enlisting Daycare Centers In The Fight Against Childhood Obesity

The childcare centers Debbie Ellis owns in Greenwood, Miss., used to serve instant potatoes, chocolate pudding and fried food. Now she has a caterer prepare meals with whole grains and vegetables. And thanks to subsidies from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, she’s actually saving money by offering her kids healthier fare. They don’t have as much fun eating it, she says, “but we do have good quality.” 

There have been a lot of stories this year about the USDA’s new nutrition requirements for school lunches, which started to kick in this fall. But less attention has been paid to places like Mississippi – which has the highest rate of childhood poverty and childhood obesity in the U.S. – where efforts are underway to help kids form better eating habits before they even reach elementary school.



According to the federal government, the number of people killed in automobile-related deaths annually is approximately three times higher than the number of people killed by all gun-related deaths combined -- handgun, shotgun, and rifle.

Yet there is, to my knowledge, no concerted effort to ban automobiles.

In a post on Jan. 3, I pointed out that FBI crime statistics show more people are consistently killed each year with hammers and clubs than with rifles. This information was pertinent because Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is planning to push legislation to ban several classes of rifles as we speak. Here is the link to her legislation.


The Only CIA Officer Scheduled to Go To Jail Over Torture Never Tortured Anybody

Reporter for the New York Times, Scott Shane, wrote a feature story on the case of former CIA agent John Kiriakou, who is the first from the agency to face jail time for a classified leak. He is to be sentenced to 30 months of jail on January 25.

Kiriakou pled guilty to the charge of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA) by revealing the name of an undercover officer on October 23 in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. He faced the potential of going to jail for more than a decade and did not want to be separated from his wife and five children for that long.

The chain of events that led to Kiriakou becoming a target of prosecution is outlined in Shane’s story.


Earlier we reported that the Los Angeles Police Department made a big show of having found "rocket launchers" during it most recent gun buyback program. We pointed out that the so-called launchers were being misreported and the police were likely using them as a scare tactic. But now we find that this same police chief has apparently done this before.

On December 27 L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck displayed a pair of what he claimed were "weapons of war" turned in during his latest gun buyback program. Chief Beck told the media that a pair of "rocket launchers" turned up and he evidently wanted to scare his city and make waves in the media about his success in getting these "weapons of death" off the streets of L.A.

Of course, the "rocket launchers" Chief Beck showed the Old Media establishment were nothing of the kind. Instead, what Beck waved about during the December press conference were apparently U.S. Army training devices that were dummy devices. They are essentially prop pieces made to show young soldiers what such anti-tank weapons look like and how they feel. These training devices have likely never been able to fire anything nor could they be made to do so.




Caption This Photo?

More Than 30,000 Sign WH Petition Calling for Cut in Congressional Salaries

The Obama administration’s “We the People” petition page on collects signatures on petitions posted, with the idea that those that have 25,000 or more signatures will get an official response.

But the future of the petition proposing to cut the pay of members of Congress to $75,000 a year for three years to cut the national deficit is uncertain, even if it has received 31,579 signatures since it was created on Christmas Day and as of the time this story was posted.

Two days after Christmas, President Barack Obama signed an executive order ending the pay freeze on federal workers, including representatives in the House and senators, effective Jan. 1, 2013 – the same day the U.S. government technically fell over the so-called fiscal cliff because Congress could not reach a legislative solution.


The War On Female Sexuality: Is Globalization To Blame?

Women’s bodies have become a global battlefield. The brutal New Delhi gang rape case, and the fierce protests it sparked, is just one example. From education of Afghan schoolgirls to veiling in France, female sexuality and freedom has come to symbolize a global conflict “over the nature of the self,” argues David Jacobson, a University of South Florida sociologist, in “Of Virgins and Martyrs: Women and Sexuality in Global Conflict,” which comes out later this month. It’s chiefly an ideological divide of “honor” versus “self-possession” — or, as he puts it in the book, “who owns and control’s one’s body, especially when it comes to women: is it the individual herself or the community, through enforced practices of honor, virginity, veiling, and marriage?”

What Jacobson does beautifully in his accessibly academic book is differentiate between politicized Islamist patriarchy and “the broader Muslim community,” the former being “a core expression of a deeper global fissure,” he explains. “In an honor society, patriarchal and tribal traditions dictate that a woman’s body belongs to and serves the community. … An interest-based society privileges self-determination, the sovereignty of the individual over her body, and ownership of one’s own capital, be it economic, cultural, or social.” As globalization improves the status of many women, it also incites a ferocious backlash against them.

Hillary Clinton Back To Work

 Hillary Clinton was presented with a football helmet by staff on her first day back at work.

DHS Buys 200,000 More Rounds of Ammunition

While the Obama administration sets out to eviscerate the gun rights of American citizens in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, earlier this week it was announced that the Department of Homeland Security has awarded a company a contract worth over $45,000 dollars to provide the DHS with 200,000 more rounds of bullets.

This new purchase adds to the staggering figure of 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition already secured by the DHS over the last 9 months alone.

A solicitation originally posted on the website on December 17 on behalf of the DHS Federal Law Enforcement Training Center advertised the need for 200 cases of 13–40 Cal, 180 Grain, Jacketed Hollow Point bullets, with each case containing 1000 rounds, to be delivered almost immediately as soon as the contract is awarded.

Obama Cutting Secret Deal With Banks Because Foreclosure Probe Is Going Badly

President Obama’s financial regulators are reportedly negotiating a secret settlement with 14 banks to end an investigation into predatory loans and foreclosures because federal investigators are having trouble finding the evidence they need for a successful end to the probe.

Fourteen banks — such as JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, and Bank of America — would pay $10 billion, under the settlement, that would be used for relief for homeowners and families that have lost their homes.

What do the banks get? “The proposed settlement would also halt a separate sweeping review of more than four million loan files that the comptroller’s office and the Federal Reserve required the banks undertake as part of a consent order in April 2011,” The New York Times reports.

‘Enough Is Enough,’ County Officials Telling The State

CAMBRIDGE, MD. — After several years of pummeling by state government, through cuts in aid, offloading of state expenses and unfunded mandates, county officials gathered here for their annual conference believe that “enough is enough,” said Rick Pollitt, new president of the Maryland Association of Counties.

Facing the new session of the legislature next week, county officials want a reprieve from any more damage flowing downhill from Annapolis.

Like many of the hundreds of elected and appointed officials here, Pollitt, the first county executive of Wicomico County on the lower Eastern Shore, can reel off the series of actions taken by the governor and the legislature to balance the state budget on the backs of county governments, which are just as hard-pressed by flat revenues.


Occupy Steubenville: Anonymous vs. the Sheriff

The sheriff investigating the alleged rape in Steubenville, Ohio, has not made friends with Anonymous after the hacking collective's document dump this week accused him of being close with Steubenville High's football coach, deleting video evidence, and running "the largest illegal gambling operation in Jefferson County." So it was strange to see the sheriff on stage at the Occupy Steubenville rally Saturday afternoon.

Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla has been targeted as the symbol of the corrupt nature surrounding the city and its relationship with the Big Red football program, ever since rape charges against two members of the team became national news again on Wednesday. Whether because of the increased attention or not, the investigation has deepened already — CNN reports the FBI offered "some technical assistance" to state authorities in charge of the case.


Cpl. Joshua Boston, the U.S. Marine whosescathing open letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) over proposed new gun control legislation went viral, again vowed not to abide by any new law requiring him to register his firearms.

“Whatever happens happens. I have a right granted to me by the Second Amendment in our bill of rights and it says ‘shall not be infringed,’” Boston said Saturday on CNN. “Unconstitutional laws aren’t laws.”

Boston’s letter, titled “No ma’am,” was first posted on CNN’s iReport on Dec. 27 and quickly made the rounds on social media.

“I am not your subject. I am the man who keeps you free. I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve. I am not your peasant. I am the flesh and blood of America,” the eight-year Marine Corps veteran wrote.


‘Schoolhouse Rock’ Gets A Singalong Salute For Its 40th Anniversary

Back in the heyday of Saturday mornings, back when cartoon viewing was a scheduled date for 8-year-olds and their ­cereal bowls, back before Nickelodeon made animation into a 24-hour buffet, there arose a phenomenon that was good and pure and true. It was called “Schoolhouse Rock.”

“I still play the songs in my jazz jobs,” says Bob Dorough, who wrote and voiced much of the original “Schoolhouse” canon. “I used to play very hip songs, but then one of the waiters — who would be 25 or 30 — would say to me, ‘your voice sounds familiar.’ ” Dorough would reveal why. The waiter would get excited. “Oh!” he would say. “Can we have one, please?”

Bob Dorough just turned 89. “Schoolhouse Rock” turns 40 next week: On the morning of Jan. 13, 1973, a three-minute animated video called “My Hero, Zero” materialized on ABC, sandwiched between programs such as ­“Superfriends” and “Yogi’s Gang” and “The Roadrunner Show.” 


Troopers Investigating A Crash Involving A Tractor Trailer

Location: Redden Road at Oak Road, Bridgeville, DE

Date of Occurrence: Monday January 7, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.

Bridgeville, DE- The Delaware State Police is on the scene of a crash involving a pickup truck and a tractor trailer hauling live chickens at the intersection of Redden Road and Oak Road east of Bridgeville. The roadway is currently shut down between Deer Forest Road and Chaplains Chapel Road due to the overturned tractor trailer and is expected to be closed for at least another hour. Motorists are encouraged to find alternate routes of travel until the roadway is able to be reopened.

There are reports of at least one injured in the crash. More information will be released when it becomes available.


There have been many dangerous and even fatal accidents at the intersection of RT 12 and 113 in Worcester County, Snow Hill Md. Yet nothing is being done to rectify the problem. Please sign and share this to get action before there are more fatalities and serious injuries.Join in and Demand something be done.


Ten major banks and mortgage companies agreed Monday to pay $8.5 billion to settle federal complaints that they wrongfully foreclosed on homeowners who should have been allowed to stay in their homes.

The banks, which include JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, will pay billions to homeowners to end a review process of foreclosure files that was required under a 2011 enforcement action. The review was ordered because banks mishandled people's paperwork and skipped required steps in the foreclosure process.

Under the new settlement, people who were wrongfully foreclosed on could receive from $1,000 up to $125,000. Failing to offer someone a loan modification would be considered a lighter offense; unfairly seizing and selling a person's home would entitle that person to the biggest payment, according to guidelines released last summer by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Monday's settlement was announced jointly by the OCC and the Federal reserve.


McChrystal Takes Blame For Rolling Stone Article

(WASHINGTON) — Speaking out for the first time since he resigned, retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal takes the blame for a Rolling Stone article and the unflattering comments attributed to his staff about the Obama administration that ended his Afghanistan command and army career.

“Regardless of how I judged the story for fairness or accuracy, responsibility was mine,” McChrystal writes in his new memoir, in a carefully worded denouncement of the story.

Washington And Baltimore: Two Of The Drunkest US Cities

Washington and Baltimore are two of the drunkest cities in the nation, according to a new list from The Daily Beast.

To create the list, The Daily Beast weighed information on the number of alcoholic drinks served per adult in each metro area, along with numbers from the CDC on the percentages of binge drinkers and heavy drinkers.

D.C. ranks ninth on the list, while Baltimore comes in at number 13.


Today's Survey Question 1/7/13

With the new taxes now in effect. Did you see a change in your paycheck?

14th Amendment Option: Nancy Pelosi Urges Obama To 'Just Go Do It'

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urged the president on Sunday to drop his resistance to the idea and simply bypass the upcoming debate over raising the debt ceiling by deeming the entire cap unconstitutional.

Appearing on CBS' "Face the Nation," Pelosi offered her strongest endorsement to-date of the 14th Amendment option, which holds that Congress doesn't have the power to use the debt ceiling as a hostage-taking device because the validity of the debt “shall not be questioned.”

Nancy Pelosi: Well, you ask the Republicans, because we always passed the debt ceiling. When President Bush was president, as he was incurring these massive debts, and the Republicans weren't saying 'boo' at the time. There should be, this is a conversation where there should be no doubt. In fact, if I were president, I'd use the 14th Amendment, which says that the debt of the United States will always be paid.

Bob Schieffer: You would just go ahead and do it, you wouldn't wait for the Congress?

State Sen. Dennis Kruse Pushes For Mandatory Recitation Of Lord's Prayer In Indiana Public Schools

A Republican state senator wants Indiana's public school students to begin each day by reciting the Lord's Prayer.

Dennis Kruse, chair of the state Senate's education committee, has introduced Senate Bill 23, which would allow Indiana's school districts to require recitation of the prayer, "In order that each student recognize the importance of spiritual development in establishing character and becoming a good citizen."

The proposal does offer exemptions, including a provision allowing students and parents to opt out of a school's mandatory prayer. Still, experts and the Indiana Senate legal committee believe the bill to be unconstitutional, the Indianapolis Star reports.

New Rules

The Food and Drug Administration has embarked on a drive to impose new regulations. It's proposed rules for farmers and food companies to deal with bacterial threats in raw fruits and vegetables. FDA received more regulatory authority in a 2011 law. The new proposed rules were due a year ago, but the administration waited until after the 2012 elections. The rules would cover food workers' hygiene, irrigation water and animals wandering in produce fields. The Centers for Disease Control estimates 3,000 Americans die each year from contaminated food.


You're sound asleep when you hear a thump outside your bedroom door.

Half-awake, and nearly paralyzed with fear, you hear muffled whispers.
At least two people have broken into your house and are moving your way.

With your heart pumping, you reach down beside your bed and pick up your shotgun.

You rack a shell into the chamber, then inch toward the door and open it...

In the darkness, you make out two shadows.
One holds something that looks like a crowbar.

When the intruder brandishes it as if to strike, you raise the shotgun and fire.

The blast knocks both thugs to the floor.

One writhes and screams while the second man crawls to the front door

and lurches outside.

As you pick up the telephone to call police, you know you're in trouble.

In your country, most guns were outlawed years before,
and the few that are privately owned are so stringently regulated as to make them useless..

Yours was never registered..
Police arrive and inform you

that the second burglar has died.

They arrest you for First Degree Murder

and Illegal Possession of a Firearm.

When you talk to your attorney, he tellsyou not to worry:
authorities will probably plea the case down to manslaughter.

"What kind of sentence will I get?" you ask.
"Only ten-to-twelve years,"

he replies, as if that's nothing.

"Behave yourself, and you'll be out in seven."

The next day, the shooting is the lead

story in the local newspaper.

Somehow, you're portrayed as an eccentric vigilante while the two men you shot are represented as choirboys.
Their friends and relatives can't find an unkind word to say about them..

Buried deep down in the article, authorities acknowledge that both "victims" have been arrested numerous times.

But the next day's headline says it all:

"Lovable Rogue Son Didn't Deserve to Die."

The thieves have been transformed from career criminals into Robin Hood-type pranksters..

As the days wear on, the story takes wings.

The national media picks it up,

then the international media.
The surviving burglar has become a folk hero.

Your attorney says the thief is preparing to sue you, and he'll probably win.

The media publishes reports that your home has been burglarized several times in the past and
that you've been critical of local police for their lack

of effort in apprehending the suspects.

After the last break-in, you told your neighbor that you would be prepared next time.
The District Attorney uses this to allege

that you were lying in wait for the burglars.

A few months later, you go to trial.

The charges haven't been reduced,

as your lawyer had so confidently predicted.

When you take the stand, your anger at

the injustice of it all works against you..

Prosecutors paint a picture of you

as a mean, vengeful man.

It doesn't take long for the jury to convict you of all charges.

The judge sentences you to life in prison.

This case really happened.

On August 22, 1999, Tony Martin of Emneth, Norfolk , England , killed one burglar and wounded a second.

In April, 2000, he was convicted and is now serving a life term..

How did it become a crime to defend one's own life in the once great British Empire ?
It started with the Pistols Act of 1903.

This seemingly reasonable law forbade selling pistols to minors or felons and
established that handgun sales were to be made only to those who had a license.

The Firearms Act of 1920
 expanded licensing to include not only handguns but all firearms except shotguns..

Later laws passed in 1953 and 1967 outlawed the carrying of any weapon by private citizens and
mandated the registration of all shotguns.

Mom entum for total handgun confiscation began in earnest after the Hungerford mass shooting in 1987.
Michael Ryan, a mentally disturbed man with a Kalashnikov rifle, walked down the street shooting everyone he saw.
When the smoke cleared, 17 people were dead.

The British public, already de-sensitized by eighty years of "gun control", demanded even tougher restrictions.
(The seizure of all privately owned handguns was the objective even though Ryan used a rifle.)

Nine years later, at Dunblane , Scotland ,

Thomas Hamilton used a semi-automatic weapon to murder 16 children and a teacher at a public school.

For many years, the media had portrayed all gun owners as mentally unstable, or worse, criminals.

Now the press had a real kook with which to beat up law-abiding gun owners.

Day after day, week after week, the media gave up all pretense of objectivity and demanded a total ban on all handguns.

The Dunblane Inquiry, a few months later, sealed the fate of the few sidearm's

still owned by private citizens.

During the years in which the British government incrementally took away most gun rights,
the notion that a citizen had the right to armed self-defense came to be seen as vigilantism.

Authorities refused to grant gun licenses to people who were threatened,
claiming that self-defense was no longer considered a reason to own a gun.

Citizens who shot burglars or robbers or rapists were charged while the real criminals were released.

Indeed, after the Martin shooting, a police spokesman was quoted as saying,

"We cannot have people take the law into their own hands."

All of Tony
 Martin's neighbors had been robbed numerous times,
and several elderly people were severely injured in beatings by young thugs
who had no fear of the consequences.
Martin himself, a collector of antiques,
had seen most of his collection
trashed or stolen by burglars.

When the Dunblane Inquiry ended,
citizens who owned handguns
were given three months to turn them over to local authorities.

Being good British subjects,
most people obeyed the law.
The few who didn't were visited by police
and threatened with ten-year prison sentences if they didn't comply.

Police later bragged that they'd taken
nearly 200,000 handguns from private citizens.

How did the authorities know who had handguns?
The guns had been registered and licensed.
Kind of like cars. Sound familiar?


Gay Discrimination Settlement

A major bank is paying the Department of Housing and Urban Development $7,500 in a gay-discrimination case. That's not a lot of money, but the agency says it's proof that HUD will "vigorously enforce" a new rule. The rule mandates that the department's core housing programs be open to anyone who's eligible regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status. HUD says the Bank of America denied a lesbian couple a mortgage because they were gay and not legally married. It says the bank is updating its policies and training its staff.

Md. Bridge And Tunnel Tolls To Rise This Summer

Starting in July, tolls to use several Maryland bridges and tunnels will go up.

Crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and the Gov. Harry Nice Bridge will go from $4 to $6 in cash, and $3.60 to $5.40 for E-ZPass drivers.

Tolls on Baltimore's two tunnels and the Key Bridge will also go up, as well as the Thomas J. Hatem Bridge near Havre de Grace. See the full list of toll changes here. (PDF)


Watch Your Tweets

It may take a split second to post a 140-character tweet, but those words could last forever. Decades from now, historians may be reading your tweets to understand political campaigning, citizen journalism or public health efforts. The Library of Congress has archived about 170 billion public tweets dating back to 2006. Now the library says it's working on making that archive easy to access and use. It can take researchers 24 hours to do a single search, so the library isn't opening up the archive yet.

New Commemorative Pistol

Ruger is coming out with a new pistol in honor of the United States Senate and the House of Representatives. It will be named the “Congressman.”
It doesn't work and you can't fire it.

Post Discovers Welfare-Card Scams

Belly up to the ATM, boys — drinks are on the taxpayers.

And maybe lap dances, too.

As a Post investigation has uncovered, welfare recipients are spending their cash benefits at strip clubs and in liquor stores — all part of practices that involve outright fraud that’s enriching both welfare cheats and local bodegas.

Reporter Kate Briquelet reveals today that it all revolves around two kinds of Electronic Benefit Cards (EBTs) issued by the feds to provide food stamps and cash assistance.

They operate like debit cards — recipients swipe them at a participating ATM or grocery checkout and enter their PIN, and the amount is deducted from their balance.
One is a grocery card that provides up to $668 a month for food only; the other pays up to $433 in cash for things like housing, clothing and utilities.

But some of those participating ATMs are located in strip clubs and liquor stores — and though cash transactions can’t be traced, the notion that the dough is spent elsewhere is a bit of a stretch.

But grocery-card transactions canbe traced — and some turn out to be real eyepoppers.


Alabama Lawmaker To Introduce Bill Arming Teachers, Despite Opposition From School Officials

An Alabama lawmaker plans to introduce a bill to arm teachers and principals next week, despite the opposition of school administrators. State Rep. Kerry Rich’s (R) proposal would “allow superintendents to recommend certain principals and teachers to have guns at school” but does not seem to provide for the training necessary to handle the firearms:

“I know that teachers, probably some of them, would feel comfortable with a weapon if we put them in a safe,” said Hugh Taylor, the new DeKalb County Schools superintendent. “But you’re talking about training, and I’m afraid if we put a gun in every teacher’s classroom, that we may run into some issues. 

Md. Officials Launch Task Force To Examine Guns & The Mentally Ill

In light of the Sandy Hook massacre that killed 20 students and six adults, questions linger concerning guns and the mentally ill. Maryland officials launched a task force to look at the issue. Gigi Barnett reports concerns were raised before Newtown.

Months before the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting where a 20-year-old gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School with an arsenal of weapons and killed 20 children and six school workers.

Maryland mental health workers had already formed a task force on guns and the mentally ill and the group found that firearms should be immediately stripped from anyone making specific threats of serious violence.


President Obama Could Get 3 Terms If H.J.Res 15 Abolishes Term Limits

Americans around the nation were shocked Friday as they heard about H.J.Res. 15. H.J.Res 15 proposes an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the Twenty-second Amendment. This would remove the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.Rep. José Serrano (D- NY15) introduced the controversial joint resolution on Friday, the second day of the 2013 legislative session.

The last President to serve more than two terms was Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt served three full terms as President and was elected to a fourth term. Roosevelt died 83 days into his fourth term in office.

Congress passed the Twenty-second Amendment on March 21, 1947. The required number of states ratified it in 1951. There have been numerous attempts to repeal the Twenty-second Amendment, including a previous attempt by Rep. José Serrano. Rep. Serranoattempted to repeal the Twenty-second Amendment with H.J.Res. 5 in 2009.


Mexico Considers Marijuana Legalization After Ballot Wins In U.S.

MEXICO CITY — Forgive the Mexicans for trying to get this straight: So now the United States, which has spent decades battling Mexican marijuana, is on a legalization bender?

The same United States that long viewed cannabis as a menace, funding crop-poisoning programs, tearing up auto bodies at the border, and deploying sniffer dogs, fiber-optic scopes and backscatter X-ray machines to detect the lowly weed? 

The success of legalization initiatives in Colorado and Washington in November has sparked a new conversation in a nation that is one of the world's top marijuana growers: Should Mexico, which has suffered mightily in its war against the deadly drug cartels, follow the Western states' lead?