Wednesday, May 15, 2013

5 Reasons That Both Mainstream Media – And Gatekeeper “Alternative” Websites – Are Pro-War

There are five reasons that the mainstream media and the largest alternative media websites are both pro-war.

1. Self-Censorship by Journalists

Initially, there is tremendous self-censorship by journalists.

A survey by the Pew Research Center and the Columbia Journalism Review in 2000 found:
Self-censorship is commonplace in the news media today …. About one-quarter of the local and national journalists say they have purposely avoided newsworthy stories, while nearly as many acknowledge they have softened the tone of stories to benefit the interests of their news organizations. Fully four-in-ten (41%) admit they have engaged in either or both of these practices.

Similarly, a 2003 survey reveals that 35% of reporters and news executives themselves admitted that journalists avoid newsworthy stories if “the story would be embarrassing or damaging to the financial interests of a news organization’s owners or parent company.”

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THE SNEAKY CHANGE TO TRAFFIC LIGHTS IN FLORIDA THAT’S NOW LEADING TO MORE TICKETS

 
An investigation by a local news station in Tampa Bay, Florida, has revealed that the length of yellow lights in some areas were shortened, resulting in more tickets being issued by cameras set to catch drivers running red lights.

WTSP reported that the Florida Department of Transportation changed the state’s policy regarding yellow light intervals in 2011 below the federal recommendation. Some of the lights were shortened by fractions of a second, according to the news station, and revenue from red light cameras in the state last year brought in $100 million.

“Red light cameras are a for-profit business between cities and camera companies and the state,” James Walker, executive director of the National Motorists Association, told WTSP. “The (FDOT rule-change) was done, I believe, deliberately in order that more tickets would be given with yellows set deliberately too short.”

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Round The Clock Surveillance: Is This The Price Of Living In A ‘Free, Safe’ Society?

Immediately following the devastating 9/11 attacks, which destroyed the illusion of invulnerability which had defined American society since the end of the Cold War, many Americans willingly ceded their rights and liberties to government officials who promised them that the feeling of absolute safety could be restored.

In the 12 years since, we have been subjected to a series of deceptions, subterfuges and scare tactics by the government, all largely aimed at amassing more power for the federal agencies and extending their control over the populace. Starting with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, continuing with the torture of detainees at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, and coming to a head with the assassination of American citizens abroad, the importing of drones and other weapons of compliance, and the rise in domestic surveillance, we have witnessed the onslaught of a full-blown crisis in government.

Still Americans have gone along with these assaults on their freedoms unquestioningly.

Now, in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, we are once again being assured that if we only give up a few more liberties and what little remains of our privacy, we will achieve that elusive sense of security we’ve yet to attain. This is the same song and dance that comes after every tragedy, and it’s that same song and dance which has left us buying into the illusion that we are a free, safe society.

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American Indian Chief: ‘Waste of Time’ to Argue Over Redskins Name

Leaders of Native American tribes in Virginia say they don’t have an issue with the name of Washington’s professional football team and have bigger fish to fry.

Their admissions parallel a recent Associated Press/GfK poll that shows nearly 80 percent of all Americans are not offended by the name.

And the other 20 percent appear to be out of luck after team owner Daniel Snyder emphatically stated the name would not ever change.

Robert Green, Chief of the Patawomeck Tribe tells the Richmond Times-Dispatch the name isn’t an issue for the vast majority of members of his tribe.

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Fact-Free Crusades by Thomas Sowell

Amid all the heated, emotional advocacy of gun control, have you ever heard even one person present convincing hard evidence that tighter gun control laws have in fact reduced murders?

Think about all the states, communities within states, as well as foreign countries, that have either tight gun control laws or loose or non-existent gun control laws. With so many variations and so many sources of evidence available, surely there would be some compelling evidence somewhere if tighter gun control laws actually reduced the murder rate.

And if tighter gun control laws don't actually reduce the murder rate, then why are we being stampeded toward such laws after every shooting that gets media attention?

Have the media outlets that you follow ever even mentioned that some studies have produced evidence that murder rates tend to be higher in places with tight gun control laws?

The dirty little secret is that gun control laws do not actually control guns. They disarm law-abiding citizens, making them more vulnerable to criminals, who remain armed in disregard of such laws.

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House Republicans Working on Backdoor Deal to Move Gun Bill Through House

According to a report on TheHill.com, House Republicans are more involved in the behind the scenes efforts to move a gun bill through the House than most might be led to believe based on public knowledge.

It has long been thought that even if the extremely divided Senate was to pass a gun bill, that it would most likely die a slow death in the GOP controlled House, especially with the midterm elections coming up.

According to TheHill.com,
But House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) told The Hill on Friday that he’s had “a lot of discussions” with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on guns. Goodlatte suggested the Speaker is more involved in the behind-the-scenes wrangling of how to move a gun bill than the Ohio Republican has let on in public.
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CLINTON PART II

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

5 MINUTE CHOCOLATE MUG CAKE

This is the most dangerous cake recipe in the world? Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night

Ingredients:
4 tbsp. flour
4 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. cocoa
1 egg
3 tbsp. milk
3 tbsp. oil
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)

Method:
Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts (high). The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.

TRUTH IS TREASON IN AN EMPIRE OF LIES

“The problem with telling a lie, or even a succession of lies, is that a very small dose of the truth can sometimes make the whole thing collapse like a house of cards. The State Department’s own foreign service officer Gregory Hicks was in Libya during the attack, so he knew the truth. When threats were not enough to silence him, it was then necessary to try to discredit him.

After years of getting glowing job evaluations, and awards of honors from the State Department for his work in various parts of the world, Mr. Hicks suddenly began to get bad job evaluations and was demoted to a desk job in Washington after he spoke with a Congressman about what he knew. The truth is dangerous to liars.” –Thomas Sowell

Source

BREAKING NEWS: OBAMA TO ADDRESS IRS SCANDAL

President Obama will speak about the IRS situation at 6 p.m. ET. Watch LIVE on Fox News and FoxNews.com.

BREAKING NEWS: WHITE HOUSE RELEASES BENGHAZI DOCUMENTS

The White House is releasing 100 pages of e-mails and notes on the Obama administration’s response to the deadly attack on a US diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, detailing how the government developed talking points to describe the attack.
From Fox News

KMOV Anchor: The IRS Is targeting Me

UPDATE (8:31 p.m.): In a segment on KMOV 4 on Tuesday night, Conners disclosed that his issues with the IRS predated his 2012 Obama interview "by several years."

Larry Conners, a veteran local news anchor at KMOV Channel 4 in St. Louis, says that the Internal Revenue Service has been targeting him since an April 2012 interview he conducted with President Obama -- a fact that he dismissed as coincidence until the recent reportsabout the IRS targeting conservative groups.

"Shortly after I did my April 2012 interview with President Obama, my wife, friends and some viewers suggested that I might need to watch out for the IRS. I don't accept 'conspiracy theories', but I do know that almost immediately after the interview, the IRS started hammering me," Conners wrote on his Facebook page late Monday night.

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Conservative Group Accuses EPA Of Playing Favorites On FOIA Fees

Here’s a potential mini-scandal to add to the list of President Barack Obama’s problems this week: The Environmental Protection Agency often refuses to waive fees for Freedom of Information Act requests from conservative groups, while almost always waiving them for environmental groups.

That’s according to an analysis of a year’s worth of FOIA requests by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a nonprofit Washington, D.C.-based public policy group that advocates limited government, free enterprise and individual liberty. The waivers are significant since FOIA fees can run into the thousands of dollars – enough money to discourage groups from going forward with their requests for emails and other government documents. Federal agencies usually waive fees on FOIA requests by the media or public-interest groups.

CEI found that the EPA waived fees on 75 out of 82 FOIA requests made by environmental groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council and Greenpeace. But it denied fee waivers on 14 of CEI’s 15 FOIA requests. Other conservative groups also were often denied fee waivers, according to CEI.

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FORMER NAACP CHAIR: 'LEGITIMATE' TO TARGET 'ADMITTEDLY RACIST' TEA PARTY

Maryland School District Wants Dress Code For Teachers

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - Washington County public school officials say they're considering a dress code for teachers.

Superintendent Clayton Wilcox told The Herald-Mail newspaper of Hagerstown Monday that he plans to ask a group of employees to formulate suggestions for appropriate attire.

School board member Jacqueline Fischer says some female substitute teachers have worn clothes that she considers too revealing.



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IRS And AP Scandals Are President’s Failures

News the IRS targeted conservative groups for intense scrutiny is just one in a series of revelations pointing to a culture of expediency and intolerance in the Obama White House that corrupts this administration.

Consider the September slayings of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other U.S. diplomats in Benghazi. If the attack were revealed to be undertaken by terrorists, it posed a grave embarrassment to the President’s antiterrorism strategy — eight weeks before the election.

On Sept. 12, the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs wrote in an email, “The group that conducted the attacks, Ansar al-Sharia, is affiliated with Islamic terrorists.”

Yet, on the Sunday talk shows, UN Ambassador Susan Rice characterized the incident as the result of spontaneous street demonstrations inspired by an anti-Muhammad YouTube video.
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Bingo, Bingo!

Click to Enlarge

O'Reilly vs O'Malley - Prison Corruption in Baltimore City.

The US Student Loan Bubble Broken Down By State, And Why Washington D.C. Sticks Out Like A Sore Thumb

Curious how the student loan bubble, just shy of $1 trillion, and now the largest debt portion of the US household non-mortgage wallet, bigger than credit card and auto loan debt - affects your state? Then the following three charts just out from the NY Fed [3]are for you.

What the data shows is that less than 12% of the population in Hawaii has student loans, while the record is in D.C. at over 25%. All those "students" in the nation's capital. Really?

But that's not all. While the average loan balance is under $21,000 in Wyoming, it is once again highest in D.C., with the average loan balance over $40,000. It is almost as if D.C. "students" have learned how to game the system.

Yet where the very "studious" population in the capital city truly excels is in the amount of delinquency: here it is all West Virginia at the top with over 18% of all loans delinquent 3 months and over, while DC is not even in the top 10 - must be all those well-paying jobs for interns and college grads in the beltway. It is almost as if someone is closing their eyes when it comes to the delinquencies of DC borrowers. But that would be yet another preposterous conspiracy theory of course...

Borrowers as share of population:

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Maryland Trying To Limit Term Of Parental Consent For Indoor Tanning For Minors

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is proposing a six-month expiration of parental consent for minor indoor tanning.

The agency released the proposal for public comment Monday.

Current state regulations allow parents to set a date on which their permission expires. If no date is specified, a minor child can use the same parental consent form for indoor tanning until age 18.


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Delmar Family Denied Peace Order After Arson

DELMAR, Md. (AP) -- A Maryland judge has denied a peace order for a Wicomico County family whose landlord is charged with burning their home.

District Court Judge L. Bruce Wade told Eduardo and Patricia Machado on Tuesday that they didn't present convincing evidence that Andy Modeste of Seaford, Del., is an imminent danger. But Wade did rule that Modeste cannot contact the family as part of the ongoing criminal case.

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Give University System of Maryland’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site Proposal Strong Consideration

Hoyer, Mikulski Lead Bipartisan Maryland Delegation In Urging Secretary LaHood to Give University System of Maryland’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site Proposal Strong Consideration

Entire Maryland Delegation United Behind University System of Maryland’s Application for One of Six FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Sites

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-5) and Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD), together with Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and the bipartisan Maryland House Delegation, sent a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today urging him to give the University System of Maryland’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) test site proposal his strongest consideration. The entire Maryland delegation strongly supports the University System of Maryland’s bid to be selected as one of six UAS test sites chosen by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The letter was signed by Congressman Hoyer, Senators Mikulski and Cardin, and U.S. Representatives Elijah E. Cummings, Chris Van Hollen, Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, Donna F. Edwards, John Delaney, and Andy Harris.

“The University System of Maryland’s proposal uses the collaborative strengths of higher education, industry, and state government to develop deployable solutions to increase the safety, efficiency, reliability, and security of our national airspace transportation networks,” the Maryland Delegation wrote. “The Maryland proposal will also give the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) the best opportunity to gain a better understanding of training requirements, operational specifications, and technology considerations. In addition, this proposal will enable researchers to develop and promote operational strategies to mitigate the increasing congestion and safety concerns of our nation’s airspace.”

Governor Visits House Of Cards Set To Tout Maryland Film Production Tax Credit

Governor Martin O’Malley visited the set of House of Cards, the critically acclaimed series that is filming its second season in Maryland. The Governor talked with producers and crew members about jobs, opportunity, and why Maryland is fast becoming the premier destination in America for film production. Kevin Spacey, star of the House of Cards, summed it up best:
“Look, it all comes down to what makes a State great and it’s the people who are here. And, the fact of the matter is, you look at film production in the United States and around the world, the reason that places like Prague become such a great place for film- European film- one of the biggest reasons is because they learned how to ‘crew up.’ They hired really terrific, great people. And that’s what’s been happening here in Maryland.

To date, the Maryland Film Production Tax Credit has created 5,700 jobs, with the promise of more job creation now that the credit has been expanded. Marylanders from across the state are working on the crew of House of Cards. The show employs nearly 2,200 Maryland residents as crew, actors and extras. The net impact of the program on Maryland’s economy is $150 million.

In the first quarter of 2013, Maryland created jobs faster than any other state in the region and at the fourth fastest rate in the nation. Maryland’s dynamic private sector led that growth, creating nine out of every 10 new Maryland jobs. As of March 2013, our work alongside thriving businesses has driven down the unemployment rate to a four-year low and allowed us to recover 97 percent of the jobs we lost in the national recession.

Indicted Correctional Officers Were Low Paid

Thirteen Maryland correctional officers indicted last month in a corruption case that has outraged legislators and the public were getting paid between $28,000 and $47,000 in 2012, according to salary figures from the comptroller’s office.

The 13 officers were indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly helping members of the Black Guerilla Family gang smuggle in drugs, cell phones and other contraband. Four of the correctional officers also had babies fathered by the inmate gang leader.

Jeff Pittman, communications director for the employee union that represents correctional officers — the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) — said that the union doesn’t believe higher salaries will prevent corruption.

“The vast majority are doing [the job] at the current salary level,” Pittman said. “I don’t think offering someone more money makes them more honest.”


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Casino Dollars Will Help Local Business Owners

On April 17, 2013 the Board of Public Works approved a program that would use revenues from the state’s casinos to establish a loan program for small, minority- and women-owned business owners in Maryland. 

Maryland Capital Enterprises Inc.,was one of the three organizations that will oversee the distribution of funds from the Small, Minority and Women-Owned Business Account, which receives 1.5 percent of video lottery terminal revenue from Maryland casinos. In total, the three fund managers were allocated $7.86 million and will begin making loans May 1. Maryland Capital Enterprises received $1 million, Meridian Management received $3.5 million and Anne Arundel EDC received $3.36 million.

Fund managers must invest at least 50 percent of funds into businesses located within a 10-mile radius of the state’s three existing casinos — Maryland Live in Arundel Mills, Hollywood Casino Perryville and the Casino at Ocean Downs in Berlin. Each manager is not assigned to a specific geographic area. The remaining money can be used to make loans to small, minority and women-owned businesses across the rest of the state. The Board of Public Works and DBED, which is administering the program, will allocate yearly the new video lottery terminal revenues that accumulate in the fund. Both current and new fund managers will be eligible for the subsequent allocations. Future casino sites — Horseshoe Baltimore and Rocky Gap — will be taken into consideration by fund managers once they open.

“Small businesses are the engine that drives Maryland’s economy and we are delighted to have these additional resources to support their growth and job creation in Maryland,” said DBED Secretary Dominick Murray. “We look forward to working with great partners like the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corp., Maryland Capital Enterprises, and Meridian Management Group to deploy these funds where they are needed most.”

Hayley Gallagher, executive director of Maryland Capital Enterprises, said her fund will look to invest 50 percent of the $1 million within at the 10-mile radius of Casino at Ocean Downs and Maryland Live. The fund will look to invest its remaining total in businesses located in the eight counties on the Eastern Shore, as well Baltimore County, Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County.

Maryland Capital Enterprises is a microledner, so the fund plans to invest in companies that need $50,000 or less and that have 10 employees or less. Joe Morse, the company’s chairman emeritus, said Maryland Capital Enterprises would not limit its options when it comes to potential businesses.

“MCE is pleased to be chosen,” said Hayley Gallagher, Executive Director of Maryland Capital Enterprises. “This funding will significantly increase our ability to help businesses in the Baltimore and Eastern Shore areas that we serve with micro loans of an average of $50,000.”

For more information or to inquire about a small business loan contact Maryland Capital Enterprises at 410-546-1900 or email info@maylandcapital.org. To find out more about Maryland Capital’s loan programs visit their website www.marylandcapital.org

News Organizations' Ties To White House


Court Denies Asylum to German Home-Schoolers

A federal appeals court has denied asylum to a Christian family that fled Germany because that country does not allow home schooling.

Many American home-school families and evangelical Christians have taken up the cause of Uwe and Hannelore Romeike (roh-MEYE-kee). They faced fines and the threat of losing custody of their children because they refused to comply with Germany's compulsory school attendance law. The family moved to Morristown in 2008.

On Tuesday, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the Romeikes do not meet the criteria for asylum.

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Lost Cat 5-15-13

Joe,

I was hoping you could help us locate a missing cat. He's been gone for 2 days now. His name is Mookey and he is 6 years old. He is an indoor cat (up to date on shots and has been declawed). Our front door was left open by the cable guy and Mookey ran out. We live in Delmar off Lincoln Avenue and so far, no sight of him.

What Would You Do With $360 Million?

Get your lucky rabbit’s foot and keep your fingers crossed. This Wednesday’s Powerball lottery jackpot has reached $360 million.

The draw will take place at 10:59 pm on May 15. The cash option for the $360 million jackpot is $229.2 million.

In April, a Timberville, Va. woman won a $2 million Powerball prize.


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Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Press Release 5-15-13

The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office has obtained a warrant for Delmar James Cubbage, a white male date of birth 08-27-90 for failing to register as a convicted sex offender. Mr. Cubbage was released from the Worcester County Detention center on 05-02-13 after serving a nearly yearlong sentence for failing to register as a sex offender and violation of probation. Since his release Mr. Cubbage has absconded and moved to an unknown location. Mr. Cubbage was originally convicted of fourth degree sex offense in July 2010. Mr. Cubbage has two prior convictions for failing to register as a sex offender.

Judge Goes Off Deep End To Shut Up Christians

A federal judge has issued a startling ruling that suppressing Christian speech is allowed when Muslims threaten violence because they’re upset over the message.

The ruling from Judge Patrick J. Duggan in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan granted Wayne County’s motion for summary judgment of a lawsuit brought by a team of Christians who were badgered, bullied and targeted with garbage thrown by Muslims who disliked their message at last year’s Arab Fest in Dearborn, Mich.

Officials with American Freedom Law Center, who have been arguing the case on behalf of the Christians, also said the judge denied AFLC’s motion requesting that the court issue an order preventing the Wayne County Sheriff and his deputies from restricting the Christian evangelists from displaying their banners and signs on the public sidewalks outside of this year’s Arab Festival.
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This Kid Will Leave You in Awe (Watch Til The End!)

“How Not to Grow An Economy, Part 2”

When Pennies Become Dollars
“How Not to Grow an Economy, Part 2”

By Delegate Mike McDermott
When it comes to raising taxes, no one can minimize like a Maryland liberal. During the previous two regular sessions of the General Assembly, one can find unimpeachable evidence of how they sell a tax by the penny while beguiled Marylanders will pay a pound at the register. Consider these examples of their “bait and switch” mastery:

The “Rain Tax” (HB-987) was tucked away in 2012 with an action date set for 10-counties on July 1st of this year. The lower shore local governments are not compelled to collect a Rain Tax from their people, though some jurisdictions are moving ahead with plans to do so. This tax is designed to pay for infrastructure improvements to address storm water management issues (many believe that this is what they pay Property Taxes for in the first place). This tax is being “marketed” as being only $20 to $50 per homeowner annually as they are assigned a flat rate no matter the size or scope of their property. The same rates do not apply for business property.
Commercial properties, hospitals, churches, schools, etc. will be required to pay a tax rate based upon the square footage of impervious surface which they have on their respective properties. Sidewalks, driveways, and rooftops all count in figuring how much the owner, corporation, or congregation must pay. Suffice it to say, there will be no $20 bills for these properties. In fact, some of these commercial properties with their significant parking lots could easily find themselves paying in the $15,000 range and up. Just imagine the bill for a mall property! What do you suppose a business owner or corporation with a tight bottom line is going to do about paying this new tax? They will have little choice but to pass it on to their customers through higher costs at the register…yet they tell us it will “only cost a homeowner $20 per year!” That 20 bucks is the least of our worries.
How about those “green” wind turbines off our coast? (SB-275) Well, those same folks claim the new Electricity Tax will cost you less than “$2.00 per month”. What a deal! What they do not tell you is the Electricity Tax for business and commercial properties is going to be significant and will be in proportion to the amount of electricity utilized. It is so significant; the poultry growers were able to lobby hard to be exempted from most of this new burden, but not so for every other business entity in the state.
Supermarkets are big consumers of electricity as are retail stores. Who is going to pay for the added expense that these business entities will be forced to absorb to pay for this boondoggle? It will be those same folks who were told, “You will pay less than $2.00 per month on your bill”. The folks that propose this nonsense appear to have zero conception of how a business actually operates, or perhaps they believe our business community is flush with cash and will simply take it out of their marginal profits. Well how about local government? Schools, government buildings, street lights, all will be subjected to these higher rates resulting in a direct pass through to the taxpayer. How’s that “$2.00” sounding now?
These are the same people who just handed you a perpetual gasoline tax (HB-1515) which will increase like clockwork every July 1st and be forever linked to the consumer price index (CPI). So, when the cost of everything else goes up in your hard working life, the price of your misery at the pump will rise in proportion to the pain you experience everywhere else in your budget. Don’t worry, if the CPI ever drops, the same legislators rejected any amendments to make the tax decrease in like manner. They also rejected the idea of some type of cap on this tax.
Keeping this in perspective and doing the math, if they had established this same tax in 1992 linked to the CPI, Marylanders would be paying over $10.00 per gallon to fill their tanks. This adjustment would have been bad enough, but they have also added a new Sales Tax to the cost of fuel which will be phased in over the next four years. The net result will be an 80% increase in the Gasoline Taxes (currently at 24.5 cents per gallon). Of course, this was sold to the public as “mere pennies” at the pump.
So, what about the fact that 90% of the goods utilized on the Eastern Shore are trucked in overland? The cost of shipping goods always comes with the fuel cost factored into the overall price. Again I ask you, is there anyone who thinks that we will not be paying for increased cost of folks doing business with every purchase we make at a register? All of those “mere pennies” quickly add up to real dollars.
As the government draws more money out of the economy through these new taxes and fees, taxpayers/consumers find themselves with fewer discretionary dollars. This always results in fewer dollars being put back into our local economy and every point of commerce suffers. When business slows, expansion is put on hold. When business suffers loss, people lose jobs.
I am not sure where the disconnect lies with legislators who see nothing wrong with this tax and spend approach at governing, but I am quite sure the public is fully able to connect the dots. I was recently at a meeting of local business owners and entrepreneurs when a senator told them that what they could “conceive…the government would help them achieve”. Sadly this was repeated so there was little doubt where he was coming from in his thoughts regarding the purpose and scope of government.
The American dream is the recognition that if you can conceive an idea or a concept, your freedom and liberty will allow you to achieve it through personal dedication and the sweat of your own brow. Liberty is the mortar that binds Conceiving and Achieving together. When our dreams become dependent upon the government to fulfill, we extinguish liberties flame and, along with it, the American Dream.

“How Not to Grow an Economy…” Part 1

When Pennies Become Dollars“How Not to Grow an Economy…”

By Delegate Mike McDermott

When it comes to raising taxes, no one can minimize like a Maryland liberal. During the previous two regular sessions of the General Assembly, one can find unimpeachable evidence of how they sell a tax by the penny while beguiled Marylanders will pay a pound at the register. Consider these examples of their “bait and switch” mastery:
The “Rain Tax” (HB-987) was tucked away in 2012 with an action date set for 10-counties on July 1st of this year. The lower shore local governments are not compelled to collect a Rain Tax from their people, though some jurisdictions are moving ahead with plans to do so. This tax is designed to pay for infrastructure improvements to address storm water management issues (many believe that this is what they pay Property Taxes for in the first place). This tax is being “marketed” as being only $20 to $50 per homeowner annually as they are assigned a flat rate no matter the size or scope of their property. The same rates do not apply for business property.
Commercial properties, hospitals, churches, schools, etc. will be required to pay a tax rate based upon the square footage of impervious surface which they have on their respective properties. Sidewalks, driveways, and rooftops all count in figuring how much the owner, corporation, or congregation must pay. Suffice it to say, there will be no $20 bills for these properties. In fact, some of these commercial properties with their significant parking lots could easily find themselves paying in the $15,000 range and up. Just imagine the bill for a mall property! What do you suppose a business owner or corporation with a tight bottom line is going to do about paying this new tax? They will have little choice but to pass it on to their customers through higher costs at the register…yet they tell us it will “only cost a homeowner $20 per year!” That 20 bucks is the least of our worries.
How about those “green” wind turbines off our coast? (SB-275) Well, those same folks claim the new Electricity Tax will cost you less than “$2.00 per month”. What a deal! What they do not tell you is the Electricity Tax for business and commercial properties is going to be significant and will be in proportion to the amount of electricity utilized. It is so significant; the poultry growers were able to lobby hard to be exempted from most of this new burden, but not so for every other business entity in the state.
Supermarkets are big consumers of electricity as are retail stores. Who is going to pay for the added expense that these business entities will be forced to absorb to pay for this boondoggle? It will be those same folks who were told, “You will pay less than $2.00 per month on your bill”. The folks that propose this nonsense appear to have zero conception of how a business actually operates, or perhaps they believe our business community is flush with cash and will simply take it out of their marginal profits. Well how about local government? Schools, government buildings, street lights, all will be subjected to these higher rates resulting in a direct pass through to the taxpayer. How’s that “$2.00” sounding now?
These are the same people who just handed you a perpetual gasoline tax (HB-1515) which will increase like clockwork every July 1st and be forever linked to the consumer price index (CPI). So, when the cost of everything else goes up in your hard working life, the price of your misery at the pump will rise in proportion to the pain you experience everywhere else in your budget. Don’t worry, if the CPI ever drops, the same legislators rejected any amendments to make the tax decrease in like manner. They also rejected the idea of some type of cap on this tax.
Keeping this in perspective and doing the math, if they had established this same tax in 1992 linked to the CPI, Marylanders would be paying over $10.00 per gallon to fill their tanks. This adjustment would have been bad enough, but they have also added a new Sales Tax to the cost of fuel which will be phased in over the next four years. The net result will be an 80% increase in the Gasoline Taxes (currently at 24.5 cents per gallon). Of course, this was sold to the public as “mere pennies” at the pump.
So, what about the fact that 90% of the goods utilized on the Eastern Shore are trucked in overland? The cost of shipping goods always comes with the fuel cost factored into the overall price. Again I ask you, is there anyone who thinks that we will not be paying for increased cost of folks doing business with every purchase we make at a register? All of those “mere pennies” quickly add up to real dollars.
As the government draws more money out of the economy through these new taxes and fees, taxpayers/consumers find themselves with fewer discretionary dollars. This always results in fewer dollars being put back into our local economy and every point of commerce suffers. When business slows, expansion is put on hold. When business suffers loss, people lose jobs.
I am not sure where the disconnect lies with legislators who see nothing wrong with this tax and spend approach at governing, but I am quite sure the public is fully able to connect the dots. I was recently at a meeting of local business owners and entrepreneurs when a senator told them that what they could “conceive…the government would help them achieve”. Sadly this was repeated so there was little doubt where he was coming from in his thoughts regarding the purpose and scope of government.
The American dream is the recognition that if you can conceive an idea or a concept, your freedom and liberty will allow you to achieve it through personal dedication and the sweat of your own brow. Liberty is the mortar that binds Conceiving and Achieving together. When our dreams become dependent upon the government to fulfill, we extinguish liberties flame and, along with it, the American Dream.

U.S. Safety Board Recommends Tougher Drunken Driving Threshold

States should cut their threshold for drunken driving by nearly half--from .08 blood alcohol level to 0.05--matching a standard that has substantially reduced highway deaths in other countries, a U.S. safety board recommends. That's about one drink for a woman weighing less than 120 lbs., two for a 160 lb. man.

More than 100 countries have adopted the .05 alcohol content standard or lower, according to a report by the board's staff. In Europe, the share of traffic deaths attributable to drunken driving was reduced by more than half within 10 years after the standard was dropped, the report said.

NTSB officials said it wasn't their intention to prevent drivers from having a glass of wine with dinner, but they acknowledged that under a threshold as low as .05 the safest thing for people who have only one or two drinks is not to drive at all. 

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Baltimore Resident Hiring Bill Gets Preliminary OK

BALTIMORE (AP) -- The Baltimore City Council has given a preliminary approval to a bill that would require local hiring for contractors.

The bill received preliminary approval Monday and would require contractors and entities that receive $5 million in assistance for city-subsidized projects to make sure 51 percent of jobs are filled by city residents.

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Lost Dog In Eden

Hi, Joe. 

A very upset neighbor just stopped by our home desperately seeking their dog that has been missing since Saturday. He is an older brown husky-shepherd mix. His name is Sammy but he is very hard of hearing. Lost from the Eden-Allen Road area. Owner is Kim at 443-614-9946.

52 MEDIA ORGS SIGN LETTER OF COMPLAINT TO ERIC HOLDER

The journalist group Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has penned a letter of complaint to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder after revelations that the Department of Justice obtained the phone records of some 100 reporters from the Associated Press.

The letter informs Holder that the group was "stunned" to learn of the DOJ's actions against the Associated Press and notes that none of them could "remember an instance where such an overreaching dragnet for news gathering materials was deployed by the Department."

"The scope of this action calls into question the very integrity of Department of Justice policies toward the press and its ability to balance, on its own, its police powers against the First Amendment rights of the news media and the public’s interest in reporting on all manner of government conduct, including matters touching on national security which lie at the heart of this case," the letter states.

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Fall Youth Soccer Registration Day At Dick's Sporting Goods On May 18

Register During Event to Save $5 & Receive Coupons

(Salisbury, MD)
Wicomico Recreation will hold a special registration day for Fall Youth Soccer on Saturday, May 18 from 11:00am-2:00pm at Dick’s Sporting Goods in the Centre at Salisbury. Participants registering during this event will receive $5 off the registration fee, store coupons and a chance to win a Dick’s gift certificate.

Dribblers (Age 3) & Squirts (Ages 4&5)

Dribblers and Squirts will meet on Saturday mornings beginning September 7 at the Henry S. Parker Complex. During each session, participants will spend the first half hour learning and practicing a new skill and the second half hour playing a game against another team. Dribblers and Squirts will be placed on small teams based on their neighborhood. Each player will receive a team shirt and their own soccer ball. The registration fee is $58 per player.

Individual Registration (Ages 6-17)

Individual registration will be open to girls and boys ages 6-17 and is broken into six age divisions; U8, U10, U12, U14, U16 & U18. Teams will begin practicing at the end of August and the 12-game season will begin on September 7. Teams will play two games per week (one Saturday game and one weekday game) at the Henry S. Parker Complex and surrounding county fields. Games will be played in an 8v8 format. Times vary. Players will be placed on teams according to their neighborhood and/or school. Each player will receive a team jersey. The registration fee is $58 per player.

Scholarships are available for Dribblers, Squirts and individual registrants. For more information on scholarships, please contact Louie Richardson at 410-548-4900 x105.

Team Registration (Ages 6-17)

Team registration will also be available for coaches and/or parents who wish to register their team as a whole. The 12-game season will begin on September 7. Teams will play two games per week (one Saturday game and one weekday game) at the Henry S. Parker Complex and surrounding county fields. Times vary. Team entry is open to U8-U18 divisions and games will be played in an 8v8 format. Team information and registration packets can be picked up at the Civic Center Box Office. The registration fee is $395 per team.

All U8-U18 teams will be invited to participate in an end of season tournament.

For those unable to register at Dick’s Sporting Goods, regular registration will open Monday, May 20 at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center Box Office (Monday-Friday, 8:00am-6:00pm) and online at www.WicomicoRecandParks.org. For more information, please contact Louie Richardson, Program Director at 410-548-4900 x105 or lrichardson@wicomicocounty.org.