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Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Tale of Two Stories - Part I

Daily Times Shows Bias For Ireton Yet Again

Once again, the Daily Times shows its true colors.  In Sunday's DT, two stories (see Albero HERE, see Ireton HERE) show the tone we can expect from this year's Salisbury city elections.  On one hand we have the implication that candidate (and SBYNews publisher) Joe Albero is a racist.  On the other we see Ireton's erratic, grandstanding behavior explained away as being in the best interest of Salisbury.


Is Joe Albero a Racist?

The bottom line - NO!

Sunday's article on Albero was based on posts cherry-picked from Salisbury News (often out of context) and put up on a web site admittedly owned by Salisbury mayor Jim Ireton.  When asked about the site Albero commented:
It's sad.  Salisbury has so many problems.  What is our mayor doing?  He's playing petty politics rather than trying to make Salisbury a better place to live and work in.  This is the second time that the Daily Times has been directly involved in a spoof involving Jim Ireton.  First there was the "phone spoof", which resulted in the firing of two Daily Times employees.  Now we have the "web site spoof".
I have faith in the citizens of Salisbury.  If they bother to look at these things objectively they will quickly realize that this is smoke and mirrors on the part of Jimmy and his pals at the DT.  I'm just sorry that a decent reporter like Jeremy Cox has been drawn into it.  Unfortunately for the people of Salisbury, when you're Jim Ireton and you don't have a record to run on, this is what you do.... you crawl into the gutter.
We acknowledge that the DT will only provide reporter Jeremy Cox with a certain number of column inches; however, if Cox had been able to print more of the research that (we know) he gathered, the implication would be even more laughable.  Last week Cox requested an interview with Albero regarding this article.  In his request, Cox cited three posts on Salisbury News that he wanted to specifically discuss:



As Cox acknowleges, most of the content posted on Salisbury News is excerpted from other sources.  This article, including its title, is no exception.  We recommend that you read the entire article in its original form.

Let's start with its author, Pastor Ben Kinchlow.  Cox's piece portrays him as "an African-American columnist and former co-host of the Christian Broadcasting Network’s “The 700 Club.”  That's accurate ... as far as it goes.  Pastor Kinchlow has also hosted shows on TBN (the Trinity Broadcasting Network), is a well known author, successful businessman, and well regarded by tens of millions of evangelical Christians in this country and probably hundreds of millions around the world.  Oh yes, he also happens to be African-American.

If you read the entire article, you will see that it poses some rather simple questions:  given that African-Amerians are among the most faithful of our citizens, and given Biblical teaching on certain moral issues, and given the Democrat party's stance on these issues ...
"In light of all the above statistics and more, we are forced to address these two questions: 1) Why the dichotomy of supporting, almost blindly, a party that stands in direct contradiction to what they hold as moral truth? And 2) since blacks are demonstrably the most religious of all voters, are they hypocrites or are they stupid?"
The questions are simple.  Maybe the answers are a little more complicated.  However, the questions certainly aren't racist.  I'm surprised that Albero and Kinchlow aren't also being accused of being homophobes (a term I personally dislike because of its inaccuracy, but I'll stick to conventional usage).




While Cox wanted to discuss this article with Albero, no specific mention is made of it in his article.  Instead, we read a non-specific reference to "Daily Times analysis found a half-dozen posts in 2012 alone that included the term 'black mobs' in the headline or body."  Small wonder.  I doubt that Cox's editors would publish an article that  included mention of a second post like the one above.

"A Censored Race War", the article in question, was excerpted from National Review Online and was originally published as one of the author's syndicated newspaper columns.  Again, we recommend that you read the ENTIRE article as originally published.

This piece was authored by Dr. Thomas Sowell.  Dr. Sowell is a respected economist, the author of over 30 books, a syndicated columnist, and a renowned social and political philospher.  Oh yea, like Pastor Kinchlow, Dr. Sowell is also African-American.

I can understand why the editors of the Daily Times wouldn't want specific mention of Sowell in this context.  Born in the segregated South and raised in North Carolina and Harlem, Sowell dropped out of high school and served his country as a Marine in the Korean War.  After his service, Sowell went on to earn degrees from Harvard, Columbia, and the University of Chicago.  He has served on the faculties of Cornell and UCLA and currently serves as a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.  Perhaps this is why specific mention of this piece is dropped and instead allusion is made to "Daily Times analysis"?


The third piece which Cox specifically asked about was Albero's "pre-announcement".  That's pretty innocuous.  However, Cox was concerned about some comments which appeared on that post.  They're valid questions.  Some commenter did make a reference to "black and stupid voters".  I will admit that I probably would not have approved such a comment myself.  However, you need to take a few things into account:  first, Albero doesn't moderate all of the comments; second, Albero doesn't like censoring comments unless the commenter uses foul language or is overtly racist; and third, if you read the entire thread of comments it's pretty clear that the commenter is not calling African-Americans stupid.  He (or she?) is saying that the people who voted for President Obama were African-American or stupid.  Given the overwhelming share of the African-American vote which Obama (and most Democrat candidates) received it's tough to argue that side of the statement.  While I personally know quite a few people of above average intelligence who voted for the President, and aren't black, it's easy to be flippant about their intelligence given my (and many other conservative's) views on President Obama's policies.  (and NO, that comment wasn't mine).  But again, Albero shouldn't be responsible for every view proffered by his readers and should be commend for taking a liberal view on censorship.

A Diversity of Views

It should also be noted that, in addition to original material, Albero posts from a diversity of sources.  As conservative as World Net Daily might be, it is balanced out by posts from left of center sites such as MSNBC and ProPublica.  As Cox notes in his article, Albero runs every press release submitted to him from Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (hardly a promoter of conservative ideas, values, or policies).

The thing I find most interesting about this article, though, are the quotes from area residents.  Who is calling Albero a racist?  Ireton and councilwoman Shanie Shields.  Readers should remember that Ireton has a history of playing the race card.  He has accused council members of being racist because they disagreed with him on a policy matter (The Bricks).  Shields concurred with Ireton at that time and threatened to "take it to the streets" if necessary.  Since Albero has announced his candidacy, Ireton has been calling Albero a racist to anyone that will listen.  As for Shields, she should be equally ashamed:
Asked whether she agreed that Albero “sees color,” as Ireton charged, Shanie Shields, the City Council’s lone African-American representative, replied, “Of course. Read his stuff and you can pass good judgment on what he reports on.”
She hasn’t read it herself, she admitted, since Albero posted pictures of her former home in 2008 after she lost it to foreclosure.
How can you argue that Ireton is right when you admit that you haven't read anything on Salisbury News for almost five years?

NAACP President Mary Ashanti refused to "pass judgment" without context and a thorough examination of the facts.  Ms. Ashanti and the NAACP should be commended for taking a reasoned and responsible stance.  They may come back and decide that Albero is wrong.  I'll disagree with them then.  However, I will still respect the fact that they took a reasoned approach to responding to these charges rather than going off half-cocked like Shields.  There's nothing half-cocked about Ireton, this is a calculated move to sow the seeds of racial division in order to survive an election.

I also found great irony surprise that an African-American citizen was brave enough to go on the record in support of Albero, despite the fact that people like Ireton and his supporters will probably attack the man now that his name has been published in the newspaper.  Mr. Neal should be commended for his courage.

Fair and Balanced?

Overall, Cox wrote an accurate piece.  I will not say that it is fair, but it is accurate.  You can even call it "balanced" in a twisted way.  What's the difference?  Look at Cox's mention of "hate crime" statistics.  Rarely is black-on-white crime classified as a "hate crime".  In addition, there was no mention in Sowell's article of hate crimePMs.  Instead the focus was on the media's (and liberal establishment's) reluctance to openly discuss black-on-white crime because it offended their skewed world view and political agenda.  Cox doesn't cite other specific articles, so I can't comment on the result of the DT's "analysis".

I'm quite sure that Ireton's supporters will disparage Cox for being accurate rather than simply re-printing, 100%, the spoon-fed meme Ireton tried to sell him.  Some of Albero's supporters won't be happy with the article because of its tone and implications.  Maybe that was the "balance" Cox was striving for.    Perhaps I would be a little more placated if Cox's article on Ireton was as equally "balanced".

More on that in Part II, tomorrow

G. A. Harrison is a former editor of Salisbury News and a guest contributor.  He also writes at the DelMarVa Observer.

Today's Survey Question 2-10-13

What do you think of a standing mayor, 
(Jim Ireton) 
who steals an opponents name 
to create an attack website?

SOLAR ENERGY ACTUALLY HAS A BIG ‘HAZARDOUS WASTE PROBLEM’ (AND HOW MUCH DID SOLYNDRA CONTAMINATE?)

Those who prefer to wait on “green energy” alternatives until they can compete on the free market without taxpayer assistance likely already know the drawbacks of the new technology: it is costly, inefficient, and in some cases, poses more harm to the environment than conventional energy sources.

It’s unlikely you’ll hear that from anyone in the media outside of Fox News or talk radio, though — until now. On Saturday, the Associated Press published a lengthy, definitive piece on the “hazardous waste” created as a result of solar energy.

The article begins:

Homeowners on the hunt for sparkling solar panels are lured by ads filled with images of pristine landscapes and bright sunshine, and words about the technology’s benefits for the environment – and the wallet. 

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Divorce Law Firm


State Lawmakers Rush To Draft Gun Bills In Response To Shootings

Democratic lawmakers across the country are proposing gun-control bills in the wake of recent mass-shootings, including at least one far-reaching state measure that might interfere with federal laws.

At least seven states have proposed such legislation. Among the most recent proposals are ones requiring gun owners or makers to buy liability insurance to cover damages for injuries caused by their weapons.

Two California Democrats proposed a bill last week in the state Assembly that encourages owners to attend gun-safety classes and lock up their weapons to get insurance discounts.

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TOUR OF THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION

Budget Cut Woes Leave Military, Families Uncertain

With family members waving from a pier, sailors aboard a Navy destroyer left for an overseas mission with more uncertainty than ever about their homecoming as potentially massive budget cuts reshape military plans.

The political hick-hack in Congress over the budget is having real-life consequences for service members in the Navy and maybe soon in other branches. It comes at a time when some military families were getting used to deployments coming back down to normal lengths after more than a decade of two wars, when the Pentagon routinely extended the time forces stayed in the field.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Barry headed out Thursday for what was supposed to be a six-month deployment in Europe as part of a NATO plan to provide a ballistic-missile shield for the continent. The Navy has warned that tours like this one could be extended for unspecified periods after billions of dollars in automatic spending cuts known as sequestration take place March 1, unless Congress acts to avert them.

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3rd Friday: Art & Entertainment In Downtown Salisbury

Salisbury, MD – Why not fall back in love with Downtown Salisbury this Friday? February 15th, 2013, is another 3rd Friday in Downtown Salisbury! It’s the perfect time to rekindle your love for our city’s gorgeous downtown. There will be plenty of stops to make, from special events, gallery openings, poetry readings, amazing restaurant specials; and more!

The Powell Building, on the Plaza, will again serve as 3rd Friday’s headquarters. In addition to fine art displays, handmade items and local crafters, 3rd Friday is pleased to welcome children’s book author, Eleanor Vernice Siyon, for a special book signing for her latest work Sylvia Visits the Land of Angels! This story is truly unique, as it combines the book’s rich illustrations, with an accompanying CD, where the story is beautifully sung and narrated over original music. “Rich expressive illustrations set the tone for a fun-filled spiritual adventure and poetic verse flows freely as feelings of peace and happiness are imparted by the original music” says Ms. Siyon. Eleanor Vernice Siyon is an educator, author and playwright whose primary focus is enhancing the spiritual development of children from all faiths and spiritual persuasions. Also on the Plaza, Sushi de Kanpai, Plaza Deli and Main Roots Coffee will all be open with amazing 3rd Friday specials, so stop in for a bite or a drink before you venture on!

Sure to warm your heart, The Art Institute and Gallery opening reception of its 15th annual Blooming Artist Youth Show, will be held from 5 – 7pm and is a must see! With over 250 works submitted from children age 4 – 18, you will be dazzled by works from precious to down-right professional! Awards will be given in Preschool, Elementary, Middle and High School divisions. The Foyer Gallery will feature artwork from the 2012 High School Division winner, Katie Engberg!

The Wicomico County Public Library is also having a special after hours event: The Murder of Abraham Lincoln! The program is from 7pm – 9pm, hosted by Mr. Roger Arthur, and is part of the "Making Sense of the American Civil War" series. The program will explore the many theories that have emerged about this most famous of assassinations.

On the West End of East Main Street, Seasons Best will be celebrating and keeping this sweet, with a cupcake bonanza as well as having tons of special sales! Their huge inventory or unique one-of-a-kind items, makes it the perfect place to pick up a gift for your special someone. Then head upstairs to SWAC, for “The Art of Love” poetry reading from 6-8pm. Poets and writers are welcome to share up to 2 poems each, followed by group discussion, as well as the authors’ commentary. Stay the whole night or just stop in to enjoy some wine, cheese, and a reading or two. Then stop by Mojo’s for a drink to top it all off!

3F is an all-volunteer effort, a downtown economic development initiative and a project of the Salisbury Arts & Entertainment District Committee. There is no charge for local artists to set up, only registration is required. For more information: 3rdFridaySby@gmail.com or Visit http://www.3rdfridaysby.com

HANDICAPPED WOMAN REFUSES SMART METER — HAS POWER CUT IN THE DEAD OF WINTER

A handicapped woman in western Ohio has to battle the freezing winter weather this weekend because she refused to allow the local power company to install a “smart meter” on her property.

Brenda Hawk has a pacemaker for her heart and because her brain was injured in a car accident, she requires a breathing machine in order to sleep at night. She does not want the new radio-frequency emitting meter because of the health problems these devices have been said to cause. But American Electric Power AEP-Ohio, the local power company, has persisted in their push to swap out Hawk’s analog meter and replace it with the new one.

TheBlaze spoke with Hawk on Saturday. At the time, she was using a kerosene heater to stay warm in the freezing weather. Hawk gave us a basic timeline on the story.

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GOVERNOR O’MALLEY AND LT. GOVERNOR BROWN HIGHLIGHT INITIATIVES TO CREATE JOBS FOR MORE MARYLANDERS

Governor testifies on EARN bill; Governor and Lt. Governor testify on Veterans Full Employment Act
Governor also accepts recommendations from the Federal Facilities Advisory Board to drive innovation and create jobs in Maryland 
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Martin O’Malley and Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown highlighted initiatives to create jobs for more Marylanders, testifying on the Employment Advancement Right Now (EARN) initiative and the Veterans Full Employment Act of 2013 - two components of the Administration’s jobs agenda for the 2013 legislative session.

“The greatest assets we have are the talents and skills of our people. Maryland has built up one of the most highly-skilled workforces in the nation, but together we can do more to ensure that every Marylander has the opportunity to learn and earn,” said Governor O’Malley. “That’s why this session, we are fighting to pass the EARN bill to allow us to partner with businesses to equip more workers with the skills they need to fill the jobs in highest demand, and the Veterans Full Employment Act so we can remove barriers to employment for our veterans and their spouses.”
A joint effort with Senate President Miller and House Speaker Busch, Governor O’Malley’s proposed FY 2014 budget includes a $2.5 million investment to create a competitive grant process to bridge the gap between specific employer workforce needs and the skills of Maryland’s workers. The grant will be managed by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation to encourage regional workforce training collaborations among businesses, non-profits, institutions of higher education, community college, local workforce investment boards, local governments, and various types of workforce training providers. These employer-driven partnerships will serve to identify common workforce needs for high-demand occupations within a target industry such as construction, traditional and advanced manufacturing, cyber security, and health care; and develop and implement education or training strategies to address those shortages. 
The Veterans Full Employment Act removes certain barriers to employment that service members often face when making the transition from military service to the civilian workforce. The bill also expedites the occupational and professional licensing process for military spouses when a military family moves to Maryland.

“As a Veteran, I believe we have a sacred obligation to honor the service and sacrifice made by our veterans, active-duty military, and their families. This legislation is an important step forward in meeting that goal,” said Lt. Governor Brown, a Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves and the nation's highest ranking elected official to have served a tour of duty in Iraq. “With this bill, we have a chance to ensure that veterans have every opportunity to enjoy the benefits they've earned, and make it easier for military spouses to find work when their families are transferred to Maryland.”

Earlier, the Governor also accepted the recommendations from the Federal Facilities Advisory Board - a strategic plan that outlines 25 actions the State can take to better leverage the potential of government labs, military installations and other federal facilities to drive innovation and create jobs in Maryland. The board’s strategic plan covers six broad priorities: aligning state resources with federal priorities; promoting cyber security business and innovation growth; positioning federal contractors for sustainability and growth; expediting infrastructure improvements that impact federal facilities; developing a pipeline of highly-qualified workers to fill the federal workforce; and deploying technology transfer and commercialization resources to accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship.

“I want to thank the Board members for their hard work to help us develop a sustainable plan to leverage crucial federal assets and take full advantage of their job-creating potential,” the Governor said.

Steven Seagal, Sheriff Train Arizonans To Guard Schools

The self-proclaimed "America's Toughest Sheriff" joined forces this weekend with action movie star Steven Seagal to train volunteer armed posse members to defend Phoenix-area schools against gunmen.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced the controversial plan in the wake of the December Newtown, Conn., school shooting that left 27 people dead, including the gunman and 20 first-graders.

The exercise took place Saturday at a closed school site in suburban Fountain Hills, outside Phoenix, where sheriff's SWAT members acted as shooters and teenagers played the part of students during mock scenarios involving up to three gunmen.

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STATE PRISON INMATE DEATH UNDER INVESTIGATION

(CUMBERLAND, MD) – Maryland State Police and Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services investigators are continuing their investigation into the apparent homicide of an inmate that occurred early this morning at a state prison in Allegany County.
The victim is identified as Ricky Bailey, 51, who was an inmate at the North Branch Correctional Institution. According to prison officials, Bailey was serving a sentence of life without parole. 

A suspect has been identified and is an inmate at the same correctional facility. Charges against him are pending. He will be identified publicly when charges are filed.

Maryland State Police Homicide Unit investigators were summoned to the North Branch Correctional Institution by prison officials this morning to conduct the investigation. They are being assisted by investigators from the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Internal Investigations Unit.

The preliminary investigation indicates that shortly after 4:00 a.m. today, inmates in the housing unit were having breakfast delivered to their cells. An inmate told correctional officers that his cell mate needed to be removed from the cell. Officers entered the cell and found Bailey seated at the rear of the cell, leaning on the lower bunk.

Officers determined Bailey was unresponsive and appeared to have sustained injuries to his head, neck and extremities. Prison medical staff responded and began resuscitation efforts. An ambulance was summoned and responded to the prison from Cumberland. Bailey was pronounced deceased at the scene.

State Police crime scene technicians responded to the scene and processed the cell for evidence. Investigators are continuing to interview correctional officers and inmates. A specific cause of death is not known at this time. The victim’s body will be transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy to determine a cause and manner of death.

The investigation is continuing.

CITY COUNCIL AGENDA

February11, 6: 00 p.m.
Government Office Building ` Room 301
Times shown for agenda items are

6: 00 p.m. CALL TO ORDER

6: 01 p.m. WELGOME/ANNOUNCEMENTS

6; 06 p.m. INVOCATION/MEDITATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

6:08 p:m. ADOPTION OF LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

6: 10 p.m. CONSENT AGENDA—City Clerk Kim Nichols

January 22, 2013 work session minutes.

January 22, 2013 closed session minutes separate envelope)

January 28, 2013 regular meeting minutes

Resolution No. 2254- approving the reappointments of Keith Cordrey, 
Gregory Johnson, Kimberly R: Nichols, and John R. Pick to GASB 45 Trust

6: 15 p.m. AWARD OF BIDS—Assistant Internal Services Director-Procurement

Catrice Parsons

Award of RFP 06- 13 Pay & Classification Study

Change Order# 7 to Contract A-7- 09 R2

6: 30 pm. RESOLUTTONS— Ci'ty Administrator John Pick

Resolution No. 2251—amending the Salisbury City Council Regulations and

Rules of Order

Resolution No. 2255 —accepting funds awarded through a grant from the
Department of Housing & Community Development, Emergency Solutions Grant

7: 00 p.m. ORDINANCES— City Attorney Mark Tilghman

Ordinance No. 2230—
reading— amending False Alarm Fees and designating certain reoccurring false alarms within the same calendar year at the same property location as municipal infractions

Ordinance No. 2231 —2°a reading— to eliminate fourteen parking spaces and
provide three bus parking spaces on the east side of Wayne Street adjacent to the Salisbury University Stadium

Ordinance No. 2232— reading - approving an amendment of the FY 13'
General Fund and Water and Sewer Fund Budgets to appropriate funds to cover the City' s cost for a pay arid classification study 
7:45 p.m. PUBLIC COMMENTS

8: 00 p.m. ADJOURNMENT

Gun Show In Virginia Hikes Admission Fee To Fight Obama's Gun Control Push

CHANTILLY, Va. — The largest gun show in the D.C. area has raised its admission fee to help bankroll its fight against President Obama’s push for tighter firearm restrictions.

Thousands of gun enthusiasts are descending upon the “Nation’s Gun Show” at the Dulles Expo Center this weekend and, for the first time in five years, are being greeted with a higher cost of entry as the gun rights community wages a tough, and costly, campaign to stop Obama and Congress from stiffening certain gun laws.

“Admission has gone up because we are using the money to fight so you can keep and bear your guns,” read the sign on the front doors to the gun show.

“We have already spent $25,000 this year to stop impending legislation by hiring lawyers, lobbyists, and writing bills.”

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Greek Tax Hikes Backfire As Tax Revenues Plunge 16%

There was some hope that Greece, which for the past few months was desperately trying to show it has a primary surplus when in fact it was merely shoving unpaid bills under the rug, was at least getting its runaway deficit situation under control. This, despite what many sensible people pointed out was the return of nearly daily strikes, which meant zero government revenue as zero taxes could be levied on zero wages. Turns out the sensible people were again right, and the Greek and European propaganda machine has failed once more as the Greek Finance Ministry just reported that despite big tax hikes demanded as part of austerity measures by international lenders, tax revenues fell precipitously in January, with the Greek Finance Ministry reporting a 16 percent decrease from a year earlier, and a loss of 775 million euros, or $1.05 billion in one month.

This means that the government took in only €4.05 billion ($5.47 billion) in tax revenues in January, far short of its target of €4.36 billion ($5.89 billion), a $420 million shortfall in one month, which also came during an annual holiday sales period for shops who are bleeding customers and shutting down by the thousands.

It is all downhill from here as the feedback loop of more spending cuts is activated to offset declining revenues, leading to even less revenue, and culminating with the complete collapse of Greek society.

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Lawmakers Seek To Slash Their Salaries

House and Senate lawmakers are seeking to slash their salaries with bills seeking cuts ranging from 10 percent to all of their pay.

The bipartisan efforts come at a time when congressional approval ratings are near record lows.

In a little more than one month since the 113th Congress convened, at least 16 bills have been introduced to downsize members’ paychecks.

The belt-tightening measures range in scope.

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Maryland And Other Northeast States’ Plan Deeper Cuts In Power Plant Pollution

Stronger Regional Program Will Reduce Global Warming Emissions

Power plant pollution in the Northeast would decline by more than 20 percent in the next decade under a plan announced today by Maryland’s and other Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states’ environmental and energy officials.

“We applaud Governor O’Malley and his environmental team headed by Department of Environment Secretary Robert Summers for leading the way in tackling the pollution that contributes to global warming. Strengthening RGGI is one of the best ways we can lower the emissions that cause global warming. We look forward to working with Maryland officials to ensure these improvements are adopted,” said Tommy Landers, director of Environment Maryland.

O’Malley Administration officials announced improvements to a regional cap on carbon emissions, following a year-long review of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the nation’s first cap on carbon from power plants.

The proposal announced today would cap emissions from power plants in the region at current annual emission levels (91 million tons). The cap would take effect in 2014 and tighten, requiring emission reductions of 2.5 percent per year.

There was broad support from a broad range of stakeholder for strengthening the program. Last year, a coalition of more than 300 environmental and public health organizations, consumer advocates, and clean energy and mainstream businesses sent a letter to the states’ governors. The letter highlighted RGGI’s success to date and called for strengthening the program’s pollution reduction targets, and increasing investment in clean energy and energy efficiency measures that benefit the climate, the economy, public health and energy consumers.

“Even before Superstorm Sandy, public concern about extreme weather fueled by global warming was on the rise,” said Landers. “Now, it is even more urgent that Maryland and the other states in our region do all they can to tackle global warming and ensure that RGGI substantially reduces carbon pollution.”

Gun Control Foes From Around The World Flood Lawmakers' In-Boxes


A Linthicum delegate received thousands of emails about the Firearms Safety Act.

A Pasadena senator took 400 phone calls on the governor’s proposal.

Correspondence arrived from Texas, Florida, Arizona, Colorado — even Australia.

“Yanks, don’t let them take your guns,” encouraged one Aussie.

Legislators are being flooded with emails, phone calls and letters opposing Gov. Martin O’Malley’s bill to ban assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition clips. Still, legislators said only a minority of the correspondence is from Anne Arundel County voters.

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CNN: Bad Government Is YOUR Fault Not Ours

It's your fault: How our 'tribes' help create gridlock in Congress ... If Congress has danced at the most perilous edges of brinkmanship, we the people helped push them there. We did it by voting lawmakers out of office when they work with the other party to craft legislation but then claiming we want Congress to compromise and seek bipartisan solutions. We're doing it by sending to office those who promise to toe the line and continue the partisanship we say we despise ... "We the people do bear responsibility," said CNN senior political analyst David Gergen. "It's often been said we get the government we deserve. The polarization has come in part because the middle has fallen away and engagement has been left to the far right and far left." – CNN

Dominant Social Theme: It is up to you individually to change the direction of the US Empire – with your vote.

Free-Market Analysis: This is one of those definitive articles – a lengthy one – that is obviously meant as a positioning statement for propounding an increasingly important elite dominant social theme having to do with why government CAN work if people are responsible citizens.

The government in question, of course, is the US$3 trillion US Leviathan – as much an empire as a government and run, from our perspective, out of the City of London and elsewhere by a tiny top power elite that could give less than a damn about participative democracy. We'll get to that in a moment.

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God Made A Liberal

Santelli On The Hypocrisy Of The Elites: "No One Will Ever Take Away The Punchbowl"

The infamous Bob Rubin appeared on CNBC this morning - extolling the "nobody could have seen this crisis coming" meme - and Rick Santelli went after the hypocrisy of these so-called elites and what they did and didn't know. The glaring hypocrisy of claiming that S&P knew that everything they rated was a P.O.S. and yet no-one else could have seen the crisis coming. The crony capitalism of Geithner's proximity to Rubin's Citi during the dark days - especially considering the increasing evidence in book after book - prompts Santelli to suggest we "draw our own conclusions." From saving the GSEs to Maxine Waters ignorance and Barney Frank's slamming of any pessimists, Santelli covers a lot of ground fast but notes, with venom, that none of these 'elites' ever want to be the naysayer (due to the implications) and they will never "take away the punchbowl," and while he proclaims that if S&P goes down then everyone should suffer clawbacks, he reminds us all, "you can't fight City Hall."
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Gun Show Draws Crowds, Protesters

As Neil Kravitz manned his table at the Annapolis Gun Show on Saturday, a sea of camouflage surrounded him.

Men, women and children strolled up the aisles, their eyes passing over the merchandise. There were shotguns and handguns and rifles, along with ammunition, holsters and cases.

Some vendors sold hunting gear, while others offered knives, handcuffs and throwing stars. A handful of protesters held signs outside, their anti-gun messages drawing acid comments from patrons.

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GET 'EM WHILE THEY'RE YOUNG

Texas Students Asked To Design Flag for New Communist Nation

As America becomes more liberal, there are still a few states that stand as beacons of conservatism and good ole American values. One of those states is Texas.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott ran ads in Albany and New York City telling New York gun owners to move to Texas to get away from the strictest state gun laws in the nation. Hunting and gun ownership means as much to most Texans as owning a driver’s license or having a job is to others. It’s more than a right, it’s a way of life that they will guard with their lives.

The Texas state legislature, with the endorsement of Abbott and Gov. Rick Perry, passed a law that forbids any abortion provider in the state from receiving taxpayer funds. This hit Planned Parenthood facilities in the state hard and has helped cut down the number of abortions.

But when it comes to the education of their children, Texas has become almost as liberal as California or New York. A new curriculum infiltrating Texas schools has re-written history to make patriotism look more like terrorism. School kids are being taught that the Boston Tea Party was an act of terrorism, not patriotism. They are also being taught that Allah is God Almighty.

Now, the same curriculum, produced by CSCOPE, is asking 6th graders to design a flag for a new communist country. The lesson plan reads:

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Kids Rewarded For Good Manners At Wash. Restaurant

SEATTLE (AP) -- To Laura King, her three children were acting normal while enjoying dinner at an Italian restaurant in their hometown in Washington state.

But staffers of the restaurant Sogno di Vino in Poulsbo were so impressed with her children's table manners during their Feb. 1 dinner that they thanked her kids and gave the family of five a bowl of ice cream.

It wasn't until King got home that that she noticed a $4 "well behaved kids" discount on her receipt to cover the dessert. A friend posted a picture of the receipt on the website Reddit, and the story took off.

"The server said staff didn't even know there were kids at the table," said King, whose children are 2, 3, and 8 years old.

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Panetta Warns Of Becoming A 'Second-Rate Power'

Taliban Offers To Bring Peacekeepers To Chicago

As negotiations for the US withdrawal from Afghanistan have once again come to a halt , the Taliban Supreme Council has offered to level the playing field by sending a group of 400 battle-hardened Taliban peacekeepers to the U.S. city of Chicago, to help pacify one of the most violent regions in the Great Plains area of the North American continent.

With many years of combat experience in violent areas of their own country and having fought rebels, insurgents, villagers, urban militias, rival drug lords, as well as Soviet and American occupying forces on foot, horses, camels, donkeys, and trucks, they may be just what the Chicago city officials need to pacify their own population and bring the recently publicized murder rate under control.

Details as to the logistical challenges have yet to be worked out, but already many US officials are expressing support for the idea. 

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Why Higher Education Must Be Part Of Immigration Reform

Last week, President Obama and a bipartisan group of senators outlined a plan for comprehensive immigration reform. Like the DREAM Act that has stalled for years in Congress, the proposal’s outline hints at an expedited pathway to citizenship for young people who came to the U.S. as children if they attend college or serve in the military. As the details are worked out in the coming weeks, it is critical that legislation include provisions that make it easier for undocumented high schoolers to go to college. Education is the gateway to the American Dream. But today our immigration laws make higher education — a virtual requirement for financial security — out of reach for more than one million undocumented students.

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A Doubly Trying Tax Season for Same-Sex Couples

FOR Colette Hayward and Margaret Selby, the problem is this: Maryland recognizes their 2009 marriage, but the federal government does not.

The ramifications are maddeningly complex, no more so than when they deal with the Internal Revenue Service. Two years after taking legal action to assert their rights as a married couple, they are paying a price when they pay their taxes.

For Ms. Hayward, 47, a lawyer who owns two construction businesses, and Ms. Selby, 48, a Baltimore County police officer, a big issue involves insurance benefits they fought to achieve. They are paying taxes on those benefits, even though such benefits for spouses normally are not taxed.

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The Secret To Super Sperm? Less TV

Even healthy men could improve their sperm quality by spending less time in front of the tube.

Studies show that the quality of sperm, measured in concentration of sperm and sperm count, is declining in Western countries, with some suggesting a drop of up to 38% in concentration. Numerous factors could explain the trend, from lower levels of physical activity to exposure to environmental chemicals. But the downward dip in sperm quality matches up with increased TV viewing, so researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) decided to investigate the relationship between TV viewing, physical activity and semen quality.

The scientists analyzed the semen quality of 189 relatively healthy New York men aged 18 to 22, who were asked about how often and how intensely they exercised, as well as the amount of time they spent watching TV, videos or DVDs. The men were all normal weight and height, and the majority did not smoke.

Md. GOP Chairman Resigns

Maryland Republican Party Chairman Alex Mooney is resigning.

In a letter that was distributed to central committee members on Saturday, Mooney said that after 12 years as state Senator and two years as party chairman, it was time to “pursue other ventures.”

Mooney says that his resignation will become effective March 1, allowing for the election of a new chairman on April 20. He lists putting the party on strong footing as an accomplishment along with having party grassroots activism at an all-time high.

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Wicomico Recreation And Tall Tales Brewery Introduce Mudapalooza & Mud Run

Registration Now Open for Mud Run – Register Early & Save $20
(Salisbury, MD) Join Wicomico Recreation and Tall Tales Brewery for Mudapalooza, April 12-14, 2013. The three-day celebration of athleticism, teamwork and mud will take place at the Tall Tales Brewery in Parsonsburg, MD and will feature a two-mile Mud Run and plenty of opportunities to celebrate with live music and food & drink specials.

Mudapalooza will begin on Friday evening at Tall Tales Brewery where runners are encouraged to stop by for team check-in and stay for Paul Bunyon's Pre-Party at 6:00pm. Teams are invited to gear up for the weekend's race with live music and food & drink specials. On Saturday, it's time to get down and dirty in the Mud Run - a 2 mile course with 16 obstacles. Celebrate your team's accomplishment at Tall Tales' post-race mud party, "Get Mucked Up at Tall Tales" Saturday evening at 6:00pm. The mud party will be free to all and include live music and food & drink specials. Special race awards will be handed out during the party.

The Mud Run will be a team event; runners should register as a team of four. Teams will be split in to three divisions; adults (ages 18+), high school (ages 14-18) and family & youth sports team (youth ages 12+, one adult 25+). The adult and high school divisions will run on Saturday, March 13 and the family & youth sports team division will run an abbreviated version of the course on Sunday, March 14. Participants will receive a t-shirt, medal and before & after team photos (via web link). The registration fees are as follows: adults: $180.00 per team, high school: $140.00 per team, family & youth sports team: $120.00 per team.

Registration for the Mud Run is open now online at www.WicomicoRecandParks.org and in person at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center Box Office (500 Glen Avenue, Salisbury, MD 21804; Monday-Friday, 8:00am-6:00pm). Teams registering by March 1 will receive a $20 discount on their registration fee. For more information, visit www.WicomicoRecandParks.org or contact Ashley Desjardins, Event Coordinator, 410-548-4900 x113 or ashdesjardins@gmail.com.

ARMED CHURCHGOER PREVENTS SLAUGHTER

Charl Van Wyk, who carried a gun to a church service, shot back at terrorists bent on mass slaughter and ultimately was credited with saving hundreds of lives, says politicians should rise above the “politically correct” and do what’s right to save the lives of children and teachers.

Weighing in on the current debate in America over the public’s access to self-defense, he told WND that only in a “sheer utopian fantasy” would people expect that “homicidal maniacs” would follow gun laws.


“In Israel teachers and parents, serving as school aides, are armed at all times on school grounds, with semi-automatic weapons. Since this policy was adopted in the 1970s, attacks by gunmen at schools in Israel have ceased,” he said.
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Maryland Officials Probe Possible Abortion Link In Woman’s Death

The Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and the Montgomery County Police Department are investigating the death of a woman who died at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital on Thursday — days after she was believed to have started an abortion procedure at a controversial clinic in Germantown.

The facility has become a touchstone for the abortion debate nationwide. Those who oppose abortion have launched regular demonstrations near the facility, saying its leader, Dr. LeRoy Carhart, regularly performs late-term and dangerous abortions. Abortion-rights advocates say that Carhart courageously performs procedures that other physicians have backed away from.

In this case, the 29-year-old woman, who has not been identified, died Thursday after being taken to Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, according to local and state officials. 

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Parents Gain Access To secret School Curriculum


AUSTIN, Texas – Parents of school children across Texas now are gaining access to a previously secret public school curriculum, according to an announcement from a state lawmaker.

The CSCOPE program, an online offering that until now has prohibited, under penalty of law, teachers from sharing the lessons with parents, stirred up controversy because of its various lessons – some that were taken offline after the questions arose.

Among those issues were that the curriculum at one point taught the Boston Tea Party was an act of terrorism and Christians were cannibals, and forced students to draw a socialist flag while imagining a new socialist country.
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NRA Endorsement

If you're a Member of Congress – you might want to think twice about vying for that "prized" NRA endorsement. A new Public Policy Polling survey found that an NRA endorsement will actually hurt most political candidates.
The poll surveyed voters around the nation – asking them if an NRA endorsement would make them more or less likely to support a particular candidate. According to the results, 26% of voters said the NRA's endorsement makes them more likely to support a candidate. BUT, a much higher 39% said it would make them less likely to support a candidate. Among independents, 41% said an NRA endorsement will diminish their support for a candidate. Remember, this is the same organization that spent millions in 2012, to elect pro-gun lawmakers – yet fewer than 1% of its contributions went to winning candidates. This is not an organization to be feared. If anything, it should be put in a museum.

Sprinklers Save Child Playing With Matches

A four-year-old playing with matches Saturday morning was saved by an automatic sprinkler system and working smoke detectors, fire officials said.

Authorities said fire crews were called to the 200 block of Winterborn Lane in Salisbury just before 8:30 a.m. for a report of a fire in a two-story five unit apartment building. When firefighters from the Salisbury Fire Department and the Fruitland Volunteer Fire Company arrived they found the fire was already extinguished in the child’s bedroom.

Fire Marshals investigating the scene concluded that the child had been playing with matches and set a bed on fire. Working smoke alarms alerted the parents to the blaze and they were able to escape with the child and warn neighbors. A sprinkler in the child’s bedroom put out the fire.

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National Nurses United To Fight Pipeline

Those battling the Keystone XL pipeline just received some much-needed reinforcements. The nation's largest nurses union – National Nurses United – has joined the fight against that toxic pipeline. As people who understand first-hand the health effects of a hotter, more polluted planet, National Nurses United is in a unique position to highlight health concerns related to the pipeline. National Nurses United Co-President Deborah Burger said, "Nurses care for patients every day who struggle with health crises aggravated by environmental pollution in its many forms... As a society, we need to reduce the effects of environmental factors, including climate change, that are making people sick, and endangering the future for our children. That's why we oppose the Keystone XL pipeline." As with any fight against entrenched, well-funded special interests like Big Oil – organized people need as much help as they can get to take on organized money. Kudos to National Nurses United for getting involved in the fight to save the planet.

WHICH REP. SAYS NIXING SATURDAY MAIL DELIVERY WILL HURT MINORITIES AND SINGLE MOTHERS?

After the United States Postal Service announced that it intends to stop delivering mail on Saturdays in an effort to cut costs beginning this August, many praised it as a relatively straightforward way to save roughly $2 billion a year.

Some lamented the inconvenience of the change and others were alarmed at what that means for post office employees. Not many, though, tied the matter to race or gender.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) was apparently one of them.

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Obama Wants Congress To Put Off Trillion Dollar Cuts

On Tuesday, President Obama urged Congress to put off the looming sequester of nearly a trillion dollars in spending cuts. But if he wants to find a suitable replacement to reduce the deficit and stimulate the economy – he should look to the left-wing of his own party: the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
On Tuesday, the Progressive Caucus announced it will introduce legislation known at the "Balancing Act", that will scrap the sequester – raise new revenue from the rich who aren't paying their fair share – and make critical investments in our economy and infrastructure. To begin with, the Progressive Caucus' proposal will raise $960 billion in revenue to replace the sequester, by closing tax loopholes for the billionaire hedge fund managers, closing loopholes for corporations that ship American jobs overseas, and by cutting off billions in taxpayer subsidies to Big Oil. The plan also cuts our war budget by $300 billion. With the extra revenue, the Caucus proposes new investments in education, in infrastructure, and in the middle class, with new tax cuts that actually help working people. Altogether – the proposal will slash the deficit by $3.3 trillion – and at the same time create more than a million jobs. Voters spoke loud and clear last November, when they re-elected President Obama, and elected a more progressive Congress. Now it's time to give the American people what they want: policies that revive the middle class, and make the rich and corporate American pay their fair share in taxes again. Call your Member of Congress and tell them to support the Congressional Progressive Caucus' Balancing Act.