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Friday, February 08, 2013

Why Albero Should Be Salisbury's Next Mayor

Salisbury has been in the economic 'doldrums' for most of the recent past.  Many can argue that this condition can be attributed to crime, poverty, hostile business environment and so on.  But the bottom line is this - do you think you are better off today than you were 4 years ago?

As an independent journalist that publishes many articles for SBYnews - I will admit that there might be a slight bias toward Albero for Mayor.  But when one closely examines the record of the current administration, one can only deduce that Joe Albero is the right man for this job.  From my own personal experience in my daily interaction with him -  his grasp of concepts and facts relative to our local economy is on target.  He is keenly aware of all of the following:

  • Salisbury & Wicomico County has experienced labor force losses in 7 of the last 11 months for a net loss of 1716 jobs - (unbiased reporting by the latest US Bureau of Labor Statistics).

  • 17.7% of all Salisbury/Wicomico residents are considered to be living in PovertyThis is up from last years 16.6% - (reported by the US Census Bureau, Small Areas Estimates Branch as reported from their latest data)

  • Average State & local income tax collections are down as a result of a sagging local economy.  As of 2011 - the average State & local income tax was down to $2,220 per Maryland/Wicomico return verses $2,240 per 2010 income tax return.

  • The number of local business closings are at an all time record high.  As of to date - we have documented more than 88 renowned businesses that have decided to leave our area.  Yet the government entities keep expanding.  SBYnews has re-published this index many times for its readers.

  • He has a clear vision and is focused.  Like many well trained athletes - he is disciplined. 
I'll tell you something else about this gentlemen - he has personally paid a tremendous price for taking a stand against abuses inflicted upon us by our own government.  Whether it be the Salisbury Waste Water Treatment plant and/or other illegal waste water discharges - his vision for a clean environment is second to no one.  And one more thing - I can guarantee you that if Joe Albero is elected as Mayor - he will not waste time in assembling an economic development team to help address some the economic conditions that have afflicted our community.  In fact - if I know this man -(which I believe I do) - he already has a development team in mind even prior to this election.

I say give this man the 'gavel' and let him go to work.  The time is ripe for Joe Albero to become Salisbury's next Mayor.  I encourage all - (rich, poor, black, white, male, female, or others, hispanic, asian, etc.) - to get out and vote for him.

Signed Beezer
(Freelance Journalist for SBYnews)

GUN CONFISCATION BILL PROPOSED IN CALIFORNIA: ‘WE CAN SAVE LIVES’

Law abiding gun owners in California have to feel uneasy after Democrats rolled out a massive gun control package on Thursday, which includes strict ammunition regulations and even a bill that allows potential confiscation of the state’s 166,000 legally registered semi-automatic rifles.

Under the sweeping gun control bills introduced by state Senate Democrats, all semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines would be banned, all guns would be registered and gun owners would need a special permit just to buy ammunition.

The proposals appear to be even more draconian than New York’s recent gun control legislation, considered to be the toughest in the nation.

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The Hidden Death Of The Ownership Society

Charles Hugh Smith and I are on the exact same page. He just sent me his latest article for your enjoyment.

The Hidden Death of the Ownership Society (February 6, 2013)

The foundation of the neofeudal economy is this: the right of ownership still exists in name, but the actual ownership of political and financial power is concentrated in the hands of a few.

The core of American liberty is widespread private ownership of property.The Founding Fathers were quite clear on the necessity of protecting private ownership from encroachment by a covertly created monarchical Empire or a financial Aristocracy.

Private ownership protected liberty and the distribution of wealth by enabling widespread ownership of “the means of production” (land, tools, intellectual property, enterprises) and home ownership.

Thus the correlation between prosperity, widespread ownership of small businesses and homes and a relatively modest disparity of private wealth. When ownership of property becomes concentrated into a rentier class (i.e. a financial Aristocracy) that is protected by a Monocrat Central State, income disparity shoots up and prosperity is concentrated in the hands of the political and financial Elites.

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Some Redskins Season-Ticket Holders Get 40 Percent Price Increase

“General Admission ticket prices have increased for the first time in seven seasons, with most seats going up no more than 10 percent,” the Redskins noted in last week’s press release.

The implication, of course, was that some seats would go up by more than 10 percent, as some plan holders have been discovering.

“My tickets (which have been in my family for almost 50 years) went up over 40% this season!” one plan holder wrote to me. “I have never seen such a price hike – and I am a season ticket holder of the Wizards and Nats, too.”

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The Group That Will Decide Whether The United States Gets An Assault Weapon Ban

As Congress considers steps to prevent gun violence, the controversial assault weapons ban faces an uncertain fate in the Senate, amid growing speculation that the bill will not have enough support to get through the Democratic-held chamber.
Based on past records, we can predict that just a handful of Senators will decide whether the new ban lives or dies.

Forty Republican Senators recieved an "A" rating from the NRA, and 36 Democrats have recieved an F rating from the NRA.

This leaves just 24 Senators who have deviated from their party's strongest position on gun control — enough to swing a vote in either direction. This group includes any Republican who didn’t get at least an A rating from the NRA, and any Democrat who didn’t get an F rating.

Thanks, FDA: A Trip to the Grocery Store May Soon Cost More

Thanks to the FDA’s menu labeling provision in ObamaCare, which targets restaurant chains and grocery stores, consumers may soon have to pay a little more at the checkout counter.
The proposed regulation would require store owners to label prepared, unpackaged foods found in salad bars and food bars, soups and bakery items. Erik Lieberman, regulatory counsel at the Food Marketing Institute, said testing foods for nutritional data will require either expensive software or even more costly off-site laboratory assessments.

Lieberman said failure to get it right comes with stiff penalties: "If you get it wrong, it's a federal crime, and you could face jail time and thousands of dollars worth of fines."

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Congressmen Federal Pot Legislation

Two Democratic congressmen are tapping into what they call a “groundswell of public opinion” by introducing legislation to legalize Marijuana on the federal level, tax it and regulate it like alcohol and tobacco.
Colorado Rep. Jared Polis introduced the Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act on Tuesday.

The bill would remove marijuana from the schedule of controlled substances and prohibit the Drug Enforcement Administration from regulating it.

Pot would be regulated under the to-be-newly-named Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana and Firearms.

Texas Lawmaker's Bill Puts Penny Per Ounce Tax On Sweet Drinks

A San Antonio lawmaker has introduced a bill that would levy a penny per ounce tax on caloric sweet drinks sold in the state of Texas.

State Rep. Joe Farias filed HB 779 which would impose a $0.01 tax on each of ounce of sweetened beverages, sweetened beverage powder product and sweetened beverage syrup.

The penalty for not paying the tax on time is deemed a Class C misdemeanor and will equal 50 percent of the amount of the delinquent tax. For example, if a retailer sold 100 ounces of sweetened beverage and failed to pay the $1.00 tax, that retailer would owe to the comptroller a total of $1.50.

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The United States Of Debt Addiction

16 point 7 trillion dollars. That is our current national debt. 12 point 8 trillion dollars. That is the amount households carry in mortgage and consumer debt. We are now addicted to debt to lubricate the wheels of our financial system. There is nothing wrong with debt per se, but it is safe to say that too much debt relative to how much revenue is being produced is a sign of economic problems. At the core of our current financial mess is how we use debt as a parachute for any problem. We’ve been masking the shrinking of the middle class by allowing households to take on too much debt for a couple of decades. The results were not positive. Too this degree, we have now created a massive moral hazard economy where savings are punished into oblivion. There is very little incentive to put your money in a bank account yielding zero percent interest when real inflation is eating away at your money like a hungry wolf. So what do people do? Well many simply cannot save and therefore choose to go into debt to finance cars, housing, and education with very little down. Where does this debt addiction lead us?

A little bit of deleveraging

US households have deleveraged from the peak in the crisis. However, much of this deleveraging has been forced via the 5 million foreclosures that have occurred:

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Bill Of Rights


SO GOD MADE A BANKER

To be read in the voice of Paul Harvey.

And on the eighth day God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need someone who can flip this for a quick buck.”

So God made a banker.

God said, “I need someone who doesn’t grow anything or make anything but who will borrow money from the public at 0% interest and then lend it back to the public at 2% or 5% or 10% and pay himself a bonus for doing so.”

So God made a banker.

God said, “I need someone who will take money from the people who work and save, and use that money to create a dotcom bubble and a housing bubble and a stock bubble and an oil bubble and a commodities bubble and a bond bubble and another stock bubble, and then sell it to people in Poughkeepsie and Spokane and Bakersfield, and pay himself another bonus.”

So God made a banker.

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D.C. SYMPOSIUM TO DISCUSS REDSKINS NAME CHANGE

On Thursday, the National Museum of the Native American in Washington, D.C. is playing host to a conversation on “Racist Stereotypes and Cultural Appropriation in American Sports.”

Given the recent war of words and calls for a Redskins name change, the topic is apropos.

Last month, Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy, who feels the Redskins name is racist and patently offensive, sparked the latest row when he intimated Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III’s knee injury was linked to “bad karma” over the team’s name.

In a cliched montage, Milloy described RGIII as a “noble savage” who “goes on a ‘Redskins’ warpath only to leave a trail of tears when his wounded knee gets buried at FedEx Field.”

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Young Girl's Sheer Delight As She Boards First Ever Train

Rep. Sarbanes: Some Gun Makers Build Sales Models on Assumption 20% 'Will Get Sold Illegally’

Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) told Maryland county officials that some gun manufacturers build their sales models “on an assumption that at least 20 percent of the weapons will get sold illegally.”

While addressing the Montgomery County Council on Jan. 29, Sarbanes discussed his support of Vice President Joe Biden’s recent gun control recommendations saying, “I want to note that the resistance to it, the organized resistance to it, doesn’t just come from organizations like the NRA, which gets a lot of attention, but there’s a lot of moneyed interests behind it - the gun manufactures have a pretty strong lobby as well in Washington.”

Sarbanes continued, “There’s some information that suggests that some of these manufacturers build their sales models on an assumption that at least 20 percent of the weapons will get sold illegally. So the industry is even building on the assumption that this is happening out there and there are many reasons this is the time to respond.” 

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Sandy Benefit


SPD Press Release 2-8-13



Fire In Salisbury Off Eastern Shore Drive

Photos courtesy of Jordan Wharton
There is a major fire at a business between Rt. 13 and Eastern Shore Drive.

Utah Sheriff's Association Letter To Obama


Senators Try Again To Ban Smoking With Kids In Car

ANNAPOLIS — Sen. Jennie Forehand, D-Montgomery, is passionate about Marylanders not smoking. She remembers coming to the Senate in 1979 and hiding all of the ashtrays under the radiator.

“I was the laughingstock of everybody, but I made the point,” Forehand said.

Last year, she proposed a ban on smoking in cars with young children, which passed in the Senate, but died in a House committee.

This year, Sen. Bobby A. Zirkin, D-Baltimore County, is sponsoring legislation that would impose a fine of $50 on anyone caught smoking while driving or riding with children under 8.

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French Government Fears 'Social Implosions Or Explosions'

The daily drumbeat of layoff and plant-closure announcements in France has been riling up desperate workers who who have little hope of finding a job elsewhere, with unemployment at 10.5%.
But now the government is worried about a “radicalization” of these angry workers. A major quandary: on one hand, the Socialists promised during the election to side with the workers; but on the other hand, they must somehow figure out how to create an environment where the private sector can survive.

And the private sector is gasping for air. The Services Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 43.6 in January, from 45.2 in December (below 50 = contraction), the fastest rate of contraction since March 2009. Particularly worrisome was the steep decline in employment.

Baltimore Looking For Safer City To Host Super Bowl Parade

BALTIMORE—Following the Ravens’ victory over the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII, Baltimore officials confirmed Tuesday that they are currently seeking a safer, less crime-infested city to hold the team’s celebratory parade. “Though we are all excited about our Ravens bringing home the Lombardi Trophy, we must make the safety of parade attendees and the players our number-one priority—and that means keeping the celebration far away from Baltimore,” said mayor’s office spokeswoman Ganesha Martin, who noted that parade planners had proven unable to map out a suitable motorcade route within the city limits that wouldn’t lead the procession through urban neighborhoods notorious for poverty, drugs, and brutal gang violence. “We’ve been scouting out a number of cities in which fans can cheer on their victorious Ravens without putting themselves in immense danger, including Boston, New York, and Pittsburgh. Honestly, San Francisco is pretty high on our list right now, and doesn’t have nearly as many homicides.” City officials are reportedly resolved not to repeat the same mistake made in 2001, when the decision to hold the Super Bowl XXXV victory parade in Baltimore led to the near-fatal stabbing of Ravens head coach Brian Billick by a homeless crack addict 30 seconds into the ceremony.

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BULLY BRUTALLY BEATS TEEN ON BUS THEN BRAGGINGLY POSTS VIDEO ON FACEBOOK

You may recall the horrifying viral video of Karen Klein, a bus monitor who was brutalized by school children last year. Now, in a new scenario that is making headlines, a teenager in Pasco County, Fla., was viciously attacked on a bus by a fellow student. Video of the violence was later posted on Facebook, where the assailant allegedly boasted about her actions.

Chase Cristia, 16, claims that the incident unfolded on Friday afternoon after she stood up for her friend earlier in the day. She was subsequently beaten by a 17-year-old girl, who punched her repeatedly in the head and neck. Another student — a friend of the aggressor — filmed the disturbing encounter on a cell phone. All three students involved attend Mitchell High School.

“I just kind of ducked down and thought, ‘I can’t do anything about it because I don’t want to get into trouble, and I don’t want that to affect the way people think of me,’” Cristia said of the incident.

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LT. GOVERNOR WELCOMES NEW TROOPERS TO THE RANKS

(Sykesville, MD) – Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown joined Colonel Marcus L. Brown today as they welcomed fifty new troopers to the ranks of the Maryland State Police.
After 26 weeks of rigorous academic and physical training in the Maryland State Police Academy, 50 new troopers marched across the stage to accept their diploma from Lt. Governor Brown and their new gold badge from Colonel Brown. Family and friends, along with their fellow troopers witnessed the graduation of the 139th Trooper Candidate Class at Century High School in Sykesville. 

"Public safety is the most important service and responsibility of government, and that service would not be possible without the work done each day by the brave men and women of the Maryland State Police," said Lt. Governor Anthony Brown. "I want to congratulate all of the members of the 139th Trooper Candidate Class, and thank them for their dedication to the safety of citizens throughout our state."

After acknowledging the ongoing commitment of the O’Malley-Brown Administration to improving public safety, Colonel Brown reminded the new troopers of the level of sacrifice it will take to succeed in their chosen profession. “It requires leaving your friends and families on weekends or forfeiting that gathering or holiday event to serve and protect,” Colonel Brown said. “When you take the oath to become a Maryland State Trooper, the uniform you wear is with you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even when you are off duty.”

The 42 men and eight women in the 139th Trooper Candidate Class make up the most diverse class in Maryland State Police history. This class includes seven military veterans, two prior police officers and two paramedics. Also in this class, there are ten new troopers who are following in the footsteps of family members. The class set amazing standards for charity involvement and support during their six months of training. They raised more than $16,000 to support Special Olympics of Maryland and $2,500 for Autism Awareness.

The new troopers will report for duty to one of 22 barracks across Maryland after a few days off. They will be assigned to a field training trooper and begin another eight weeks of closely supervised training and instruction before being allowed to patrol on their own.

The next Maryland State Police Training Academy class is expected to begin in July 2013. Anyone interested in a career with the Maryland State Police is urged to visit www.mdsp.org for more information.

Do Teachers Really Discriminate Against Boys?

Worries about the declining academic performance of boys, a topic of increasing alarm this past decade, have intensified recently. It seems that boys are being judged both unduly harshly and leniently at school. A new study on gender disparities in elementary school performance — the first study to examine both objective and subjective performance—found that boys were given lower grades than girls, even in cases (such as math and science) where their test scores were either equal to, or higher than, the girls’ test scores.

It seems like out-and-out discrimination, except that there is an interesting wrinkle: teachers didn’t downgrade boys who had identical test scores to girls if they seemed to share the girls’ positive attitude towards learning. In fact, the opposite seemed to occur: the well-socialized boys received a small grade ‘bonus’ for their good behavior relative to other boys, suggesting that teachers may be overcompensating when they encounter boys whose behavior exceeds expectations. In other words, boys who match girls on both test scores and behavior get grades better than girls, but boys who don’t are graded more harshly. Which means that the issue of what to do with underperforming boys just got a lot more complicated.

With Super Bowl Win, A Push Begins To Make The Raven Maryland’s State Bird

Still on a high from Sunday’s Super Bowl, some Baltimore-area lawmakers have introduced legislation to make the raven an official state bird.

Maryland has about two dozen other state symbols, and those already include one state bird: the Baltimore oriole, which happens to be the namesake of a certain baseball team.

But in the wake of the Ravens’ defeat of the San Francisco 49ers, supporters argue that it is time to share the honor. 

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Thank God Its Friday 2-8-13

What will you be doing this weekend?

Tim Geithner Joins CFR As "Tireless And Creative Practitioner And Thinker"

Well that didn't take long. It appears spending time with the family is over-rated (or perhaps they couldn't stand him either) as Turbo Timmy has landed his first post-Treasury gig (Citi next?). The Council of Foreign Relations has graciously brought this "tireless and creative" thinker on board as a Distinguished Fellow. His role... "to strengthen their capacity to produce thoughtful analysis of issues at the intersection of economic, political, and strategic developments." We assume this is his gracious 'giving back' phase before six-months down the line slithering over to the big bucks at a bank when he suspects no one will be looking...

The mutual adoration society continues..
former sec of Treasury Tim Geithner joining #CFR [4] as distinguished fellow.Thrilled to have this leading practitoner & thinker in our midst

— Richard N. Haass (@RichardHaass).

O'Malley Outlines Measures To Boost Jobs

Governor Martin O'Malley on Thursday highlighted some initiatives he hopes will stimulate job growth by increasing training for positions in the highest demand and clearing some hurdles to employment for military families.

The Democrat has put $2.5 million in his budget proposal to create a competitive grant process to help get people the skills for jobs that are in high demand. The initiative, called the Employment Advancement Now Initiative, would encourage regional training collaborations among businesses, nonprofits, colleges and local governments. It would focus on industries such as traditional and advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity and health care.

"This is really an effort that is driven by employers who say they have jobs that are open, they need more employees with the skills to fill them and so this EARN bill will help more moms and dads get the skills they need to enter those better jobs," O'Malley said at a Senate hearing.

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The Real Reason Obama Disbanded His Jobs Council

Women Protest Feinstein's Gun Ban Against Women's Rights

Maryland Bill Mandating Bike Helmets Gets A Cold Shoulder From Cyclists

Their national association says you should wear one, a federal watchdog says you’re more likely to be killed without one and 21 states insist that kids use them, so it figures that most cycling advocates would salute a proposal to mandate that everyone use bike helmets in Maryland.

They don’t.

This was not a happy decision for cycling groups deeply entrenched in the karma of safety first, because they all agree that strapping your head into a plastic foam cocoon is the single best protection against going kerplunk.

But they worry that a House of Delegates measure requiring helmet use for all Maryland bicyclists would keep some people from riding at all. They also argue that there is safety in numbers, too — the more drivers see cyclists on the road, the more apt they are to be alert for them.

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Hogan Warns Maryland Will Be In "Race To Bottom" If Gov. Fails To Act On Education

Annapolis - Change Maryland Chairman Larry Hogan called for tighter coordination between the O'Malley and Obama Administrations on key areas of education reform. According to the U.S. Department of Education's review of Maryland's performance in the Race to the Top initiative, the state failed to set clear expectations for principal and teacher evaluation systems.

"School reform in Maryland will be a 'race to the bottom' if the governor fails to get engaged in this," said Hogan. "It is a serious problem when the U.S. Department of Education cites a leadership failure in the state's ability to implement needed reforms."

Federal officials cited a leadership void when the state's education department was without a permanent superintendent.

In the second year of the $5 billion Race to the Top initiative, the Obama Administration singled out Maryland, Washington D.C. and Georgia as coming up short on progress in fundamental areas. According to the U.S. Department of Education, Maryland did not set clear expectations for the 2011-2012 school year in the development of a teacher and principal evaluation system which rendered the data meaningless and inconsistent. Lack of coordination between the state and local school districts was cited as the primary reason for the data collection failure.

"I would like to see Gov. O'Malley reach out to President Obama while he has his attention today and seek assistance on properly implementing the Race to the Top initiative," said Hogan. "Our students and their parents deserve a way to measure how effective their teachers are."

According to Education Week magazine - the source that O'Malley has used more than any other to tout his Administration's success - the rankings as weighted towards quality criteria such as evaluating teacher performance likewise show weakness in the public school system. Under that criteria, Maryland's performance lags behind Virginia and Pennsylvania and joins Delaware and West Virginia in earning a "C" grade in that category.

"There can be no serious effort at education reform without proper procedures to evaluate teacher performance," said Hogan. "Maryland is behind the curve on implementing the most sweeping, fundamental and systemic changes to public schools our nation has seen in a generation."

In the Education Week annual report card, Maryland earns a 76.5 score under the accountability for quality criteria. Among the performance indicators this category measures are the degree to which teachers are formally evaluated.

Where Will Gas Prices Go Next?

Gas prices have gone up by more than a dime in the last week in Maryland and by 15 cents in the last month in the Baltimore area.

At least one analyst expects that we could see prices continue to inch up to near $4 a gallon mark by June.

But, Greg Laskowski of marylandgasprices.com thinks they will then likely will come back down, if things don't get nasty in the Middle East.

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Free Internet For Everyone!

Well...almost. The FCC is considering plans to set-up free, high-speed public Wi-Fi in both major metropolitan areas, and rural areas. Though it would take several years to implement, this proposal could go a long way to bringing the United States up to speed with the rest of the developed world.

The NRA: Drowning Out Marylanders

The majority of Marylanders, including many responsible gun owners, support common sense legislation to prevent gun violence. But the PR wing of the NRA, lobbyists for gun manufacturers, and others who want to block any and all gun safety ideas would have you to believe otherwise. For weeks, they’ve been spreading falsehoods and using scare tactics to mislead Marylanders.

They may be shouting louder, but Marylanders know better. Here are a few of the voices that have been drowned out by the NRA propaganda machine.

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Publishers Notes: This is a press release from Governor O'Malley and links to his Blog. 

Teen Pregnancies Are Plummeting In New York City

The city's health commissioner told the New York Daily News, that over the last decade, teen pregnancy rates have dropped by 27%. This drop likely has something to do with New York being one of only 21 states that allows minors to have access to contraceptive services. Also, the public school system started a program two years ago, to provide students in districts with high pregnancy rates with access to Plan B. And, the majority of parents in the New York City public school system approve of this expanded access to emergency contraceptives. In other words, rather than relying on abstinence education, which results in high teen pregnancy rates in Republican southern states, New York is confronting real world problems, with real world solutions.

Elected Officials Are Fundamentally Dishonest

To the Editor:

This letter was forwarded to Barack Obama, John Boehner, Chris Murphy, Dick Blumenthal, Elizabeth Esty, and Harry Reid

I live in Sandy Hook , CT. My family and close friends weren't harmed on December 14. That day impacted 26 families with an indescribable, staggering pain and anguish. For most of Sandy Hook , it merely affected us with an inescapable intensity of sadness and grief.

Gun control has long been a focus of many in this country. Though I'm not knowledgeable of all the nuances of the Second Amendment, based on the Founding Fathers' circumstances, it had far more to do with enabling the citizenry to protect themselves against tyrannical government than against local psychopaths. It is about providing a balanced firepower so when King George's successor came knocking on your door, you could fight back. Government today is no less inclined to abuse its authority than it was then. Based on the absurd and ongoing power grab that is present day Washington , it's as threatening as ever.

That so many of you view the NRA with its resistance to further restrictions on firearms as intransigent lunatics has far more to do with how you conduct yourselves in office than it does with the NRA's actions.


You in public office are fundamentally dishonest people. You lead lives of deception at every turn, structuring your lives as comfortably as you can while governing with an indifference and arrogance that is absolutely maddening. When the country is reeling from financial disaster, you waste a trillion dollars on a health care bill we can't afford and you've never read. You claim it's critical because health care costs are killing this country... no they're not, you are! You are killing this country. You endorse the ongoing slaughter of millions of unborn children and whine when terrorists are water boarded. You can't lecture us right in Newtown High School about not doing enough to keep our children safe, while simultaneously slaughtering the unborn. You fabricate the intense, media laden drama of the fiscal cliff and lack the courage to do anything about truly reforming the obscene gluttony of government. You know you'll be out of office before the bill comes due… you don't care and have no integrity nor honor.

You lie whenever and wherever you need to to move forth your agenda. Were you able, you would purge the US of guns… every last gun in the country, if you could. So please forgive Wayne LaPierre and those of us who don't trust you as far as we can spit. You're a dishonest lot, motivated by a distorted worldview. If mass murder prevention were truly your goal, you would welcome armed security wherever needed. It is outrageous that we protect our money with far more firepower than we protect our children.

I have never owned a gun, nor wanted to as intensely as right now. You'll stop restricting guns when only you have them.

Brendan Duffy
4 Chestnut Knoll Drive
Sandy Hook 
January 8, 2013

Eastern Shore Farmer, Perdue Seek Attorney's Fees

The lawsuit may be over, but the bitter legal battle continues.

Lawyers for poultry producer Perdue and an Eastern Shore farmer are asking a federal judge to award them more than $3 million in attorneys' fees and expenses from the Waterkeeper Alliance, the New York-based environmental group that failed to prove they were polluting a Chesapeake Bay tributary.

Pointing to written comments by the deciding judge that were critical of the plaintiffs' motives and the strength of their case, the successful defendants contend they're justified in seeking reimbursement for a case they argued should never have gotten that far.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY 2-8-13

“Fearful people are more dependent, more easily manipulated and controlled, more susceptible to deceptively simple, strong, tough measures and hard-line postures. They may accept and even welcome repression if it promises to relieve their insecurities.”

George Gerbner

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Rep. Andy Harris Introduces Bill Supporting Harriet Tubman Memorials

WASHINGTON, DC—Rep. Andy Harris, M.D. introduced the “Harriet Tubman National Historical Parks Act” (H.R. 513) this week to establish two federal parks honoring the life of Harriet Tubman. The first park would be the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park in Caroline, Dorchester, and Talbot Counties in Maryland. The second is the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park in Auburn, New York. Rep. Harris introduced identical legislation (H.R. 4007) in the 112th Congress.

Rep. Harris recognizes the important role that Harriet Tubman played in our nation’s history, especially in her native Maryland. She fought tirelessly to undermine slavery with the Underground Railroad, aided the Union Army during the Civil War, and became active in the woman’s suffrage movement.

Statement from Rep. Harris:

“I can’t think of a better person to honor during Black History Month than Maryland’s own Harriet Tubman. Her contribution to improving the lives of fellow Americans needs no explanation. She fought for justice and equality when slavery was a regular part of life. Her courage and steadfastness blazed the trail for those who lived during this dark period in our country’s history. Ms. Tubman is a role model for all Americans, and I’m proud to once again sponsor this legislation in her honor.”

Feds Charge 18 People With Ringing Up $200 Million In Fraudulent Credit Card Charges

Credit card fraud is nothing new — identity theft is common enough — but managing to make up enough identities to steal $200 million from credit card companies? That’s a staggering feat, and yet 18 people managed to pull it off. At least, until the U.S. Department of Justice managed to crack the case.

Federal prosecutors are calling the $200 million heist one of the largest credit card fraud schemes ever, as it spans 28 states and eight countries, notes ABC News.

“The defendants are part of a massive international fraud enterprise involving thousands of false identities, fraudulent identification documents, doctored credit reports and more than $200 million in confirmed losses,” FBI Special Agent James Simpson said in court records.

Md. Lawmakers Approve Natural Gas Surcharge Bill

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Maryland Senate and the House of Delegates have approved measures allowing natural gas companies to seek a surcharge of up to $2 on monthly gas bills to help recover costs for replacing aging infrastructure.

The Senate voted 35-12 on Thursday for the bill. The House vote was 120-17.

Lawmakers who supported the bill said companies need the boost to help replace aging pipes and address safety concerns. Supporters also say the surcharge would have to be approved by the Public Service Commission, and the money wouldn't be charged until work was done to improve infrastructure.

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Here’s What To Do If You Can’t Afford To Pay Your Taxes

While many Americans look forward to tax season and the promise of a rewarding tax return, there are plenty of those who dread it, as they’ll have to fork over cash to settle up with the Internal Revenue Service. But for those who find they can’t afford to pay what they owe — whether in back taxes or due to other circumstances — the Federal Trade Commission is warning tax payers to avoid companies offering tax relief help.

The FTC just settled a case against American Tax Relief, which it says took more than $100 million from consumers by claiming it could help shrink their tax debts. The only thing to reduce how much you owe the government is to um, pay them until you don’t owe anymore.

Those kinds of companies offer to help consumers apply for IRS hardship programs that people often don’t qualify for, and they find themselves still straddled with tax debt and out whatever cash they paid to the fraudsters.

Instead, the FTC has a few simple tips to help you pay what you owe. The operative idea here being, you’re going to have to pay but it doesn’t have to be a terrifying, overwhelming experience.

Baltimore Furniture Store Makes Good On Super Bowl Pledge To Give Away Free Furniture

A Baltimore furniture store isn’t bummed that the Ravens won the Super Bowl, but if not for some clutch foresight by its owner, the store might’ve been out $600,000 worth of merchandise. See, the store ran a special promotion to encourage customers to come in and buy items during the Super Bowl: If a kick was returned by the Ravens for a touchdown, all products purchased between Jan. 31 and 3 p.m. on the day of the game would be free.

Cut to the second half of the game against the San Francisco 49ers, when Jacoby Jones returned a kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown. On the line? About $600,000 worth of furniture. Luckily for the store’s co-owner, he’d purchased a $12,000 insurance policy beforehand, just in case.