The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent our advertisers

Friday, May 24, 2013

Troopers Step Up Patrols For Memorial Day Weekend Travel Safety

Friday, May 24, 2013 at 10:45 a.m.

Dover- The Delaware State Police will be out in full force patrolling the roadways this weekend to ensure that everyone is driving with due care and offering assistance to motorists in need. The Delaware State Police Mounted Patrol Unit will also be assisting the Dewey Beach Police Department with proactive patrols, and the Delaware State Police Maritime Unit’s “Marine One” will be operating on Delaware’s waterways to ensure boater safety and security.

“As we take time this Memorial Day Weekend to celebrate the men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, we must not forget the dangers that can arise from traveling on our roadways,” said Sergeant Paul G. Shavack, Director of Public Information for the Delaware State Police. “The Delaware State Police would like to wish everyone an enjoyable but SAFE Memorial Day weekend!”

Troopers intend to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries on our highways during this “official” start of the summer season. Troopers will be focusing on distracted driving, motorists not wearing seat belts, unrestrained children in vehicles, and any aggressive driving behaviors such as speeding, following too close, and especially, driving under the influence.
By following these easy steps, a driver can enjoy a safe holiday weekend travel without jeopardizing their life or the lives of others who may be on the road:

Ensure all occupants of are properly restrained
Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin
Before drinking, please designate a sober driver and give that person your keys
If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely
If you see a drunk or aggressive driver on the road, immediately contact 911 as soon as safely possible.
If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

IRS Update

The Internal Revenue Service official at the center of the tax-exempt Tea Party controversy has been placed on paid, administrative leave. That's according to the office of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). Aides there say Lois Lerner was asked to resign by the acting IRS Commissioner, Danny Werfel. But she refused. Lerner appeared briefly before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee this week. She declared her innocence, then pled the fifth in refusing to answer questions. Werfel e-mailed employees that Ken Corbin would become acting head of the exempt organizations division. He's a 27-year career veteran at IRS.

People Getting Dumber? Human Intelligence Has Declined Since Victorian Era, Research Suggests

Our technology may be getting smarter, but a provocative new study suggests human intelligence is on the decline. In fact, it indicates that Westerners have lost 14 I.Q. points on average since the Victorian Era.

What exactly explains this decline? Study co-author Dr. Jan te Nijenhuis, professor of work and organizational psychology at the University of Amsterdam, points to the fact that women of high intelligence tend to have fewer children than do women of lower intelligence. This negative association between I.Q. and fertility has been demonstrated time and again in research over the last century.

But this isn't the first evidence of a possible decline in human intelligence.


5% Of Federal Work Force Furloughed Today

Americans wanting a smaller federal government have gotten it — at least for today. About 5 percent of the federal workforce is on furlough. A White House official confirmed that about 115,000 employees from six agencies are affected. Most work at EPA, Housing and Urban Development, the IRS, and the Office of Management and Budget. Also on furlough today, some employees at the Labor and Interior departments. Some services for the public are also curtailed today.

“They knew they were gonna die” – Parents Of SEAL Team 6 Member Want Answers In Son’s Death

Billy and Karen Vaughn, parents of SEAL Team 6 member Aaron Vaughn, were on Fox and Friends this morning pushing for answers in their son’s 2011 death in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. They revealed that yesterday a recently retired SEAL Team 6 member called them and told them that despite the claims of higher-ups that the team members were OK with how they were operating in Afghanistan, he said that they all knew they were going to die and talked about it all the time. He said that because they were using a national guard helicopter instead of a special operations helicopter, that it was only a matter of time before they were going to die.

Watch the full interview:



There were multiple reported sightings of agents with the Department of Homeland Security at several Tea Party-led IRS protests in states like Missouri, Florida, Illinois and Indiana. The rallies that occurred across the country on Tuesday were sparked by the IRS’ unfair targeting of conservative groups — one of the several scandals the Obama administration is dealing with.

What is unclear though is why federal officials felt the Tea Party presence required more than the attention of local law enforcement.

These photos, one showing “armed” DHS guards, were reportedly taken at the St. Louis IRS protest:


Lawyer, School Officials to Meet Following Student’s Pledge of Allegience Complaint

A Maryland student who says she was harassed by teachers and her assistant principal for refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance just might get her wish for reform in the Montgomery County school district.

The 10th grade Damascus High student went to the American Civil Liberties Union after she felt the apology she received from the principal wasn’t good enough. ACLU attorney David Rocah heard back from the District Wednesday, and they agreed to talk. He hopes they can reach “a meaningful resolution.”

According to Rocah, the student just wants to ensure no other county student faces harassment for practicing a legal right.


Ex-Cincinnati IRS Manager: This Was Not The Work Of ‘Low-Level’ Employee

Bonnie Esrig, a former manager at the Internal Revenue Service Cincinnati office at the center of the political targeting scandal, told NBC News she believes the scandal goes well beyond “low-level” employees.

The 38-year IRS veteran said she was shocked when she saw headlines blaming the scandal on “rogue” employees. She added that she was equally surprised when she saw headlines tying the scandal to the Obama White House.

“Those were things that were not consistent with my knowledge of the way the organization works,” she said:


Kmart Unleashes Another Near-Profane Ad

The retailer that set the advertising world on fire almost two months ago with its "ship your pants" campaign is now out with a follow-up.

And its new ad campaign is almost as funny as the original.

Once again, Kmart's ad agency ( which will probably rake in the awards for these) is using almost-profanity to sell a new idea at the longtime retailer.

Read more

IRS's Lois Lerner Has History Of Harassing Religious Groups

Lois Lerner, director of the IRS’s Exempt Organizations Division and a central figure in the recent IRS scandal, has been accused of a number of untruths since she admitted the agency has targeted hundreds of conservative and Tea Party groups for over two years.

Though some of her defenders claim she is "apolitical," prior to joining the IRS, Lerner’s tenure as head of the Enforcement Office at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) was represented by what appears to be politically motivated harassment of conservative groups, particularly those with religious ties.

According to Mark Hemingway at the Weekly Standard, Lerner was head of the FEC’s enforcement division between 1986 and 2001. In the late 1990’s, the FEC initiated a burdensome investigation of the Christian Coalition, an endeavor that ended up costing the organization hundreds of thousands of dollars and many hours of time.

Hemingway indicates that the investigation was particularly notable because the FEC claimed that “the Christian Coalition was coordinating issue advocacy expenditures with a number of candidates for office.” Though there was no proof that this was occurring, the question remained of whether the FEC actually had the authority to bring these charges at all.


Hobby Lobby's Obamacare Birth Control Fight Up For Federal Appeal

DENVER — In the most prominent challenge of its kind, Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. asked a federal appeals court Thursday for an exemption from part of the federal health care law that requires it to offer employees health coverage that includes access to the morning-after pill.

The Oklahoma City-based arts-and-crafts chain argued that businesses – not just the currently exempted religious groups – should be allowed to seek exception from that section of the health law if it violates their religious beliefs.

The arguments Thursday centered on the Green family, founders of Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. and a sister company, Christian booksellers Mardel Inc. An eight-judge panel peppered both sides with questions about whether the contraceptives mandate is an undue burden on the Greens' religious belief.


IRS internal Investigation Ended 6 Months Before Election, Hidden From Congress

In a startling exchange Wednesday during the IRS hearings before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, America learned that the IRS knew in May of 2012 that its employees were targeting conservative organization with paralyzing harassment and Kafka-esque audits. Although the IRS knew this, they did not report this information to Congress.

"While a tremendous amount of attention is centered about the Inspector General's report, or investigation, the committee has learned from Ms. Paz that she in fact participated in an IRS internal investigation that concluded in May of 2012 - May 3 of 2012 - and found essentially the same thing that Mr. George found more than a year later," Committee Chair Issa said.

"Think about it," Issa continued. "For more than a year, the IRS knew that it had inappropriately targeted groups of Americans based on their political beliefs, and without mentioning it, and in fact without honestly answering questions that were the result of this internal investigation."



Speaking on Senate floor on Thursday, a fed-up Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) scolded Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) over his objection to initiating House-Senate budget negations unless a debt limit increase is taken off the table. It’s a stance shared by another Tea Party favorite, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

McCain lectured Lee over such a proposal, saying it would “paralyze the process.”

“The senator from Utah keeps talking about back-room, closed-door deals,” McCain said, explaining how that’s how stuff gets done in Congress. “How do we reconcile legislation that is passed by one body and the other body? That’s what we’ve been doing for a couple hundred years.”


Response To Councilman Culver's Allegations: Plus Publishers Comment

Wicomico County Councilman Bob Culver recently made public statements about the bid process for the new State’s Attorney’s Office. We, the Wicomico County Executive’s Office, the Wicomico County State’s Attorney Matthew Maciarello and the majority of the Wicomico County Council, feel portions of Mr. Culver’s statements do not reflect the truth and need to be corrected.


”Obama didn’t know the IRS was targeting conservatives until he read it in the papers. He didn’t know about “Fast and Furious” until he read it in the papers, too. He has “complete confidence” in Holder, and didn’t know about the decision to collect the phone records of reporters. He didn’t know about the investigation into CIA director David Petraeus’s affair. He told Letterman during the election he didn’t know what the national debt was. He didn’t know about the AIG bonuses in the TARP legislation. He said he didn’t know how bad the economic crisis was when he took office.

That “empty chair” metaphor from the Republican convention was so out of line, huh?” –Jim Geraghty


Attorney General Eric Holder personally signed off on the warrant that allowed the Justice Department to search Fox News reporter James Rosen's personal email, NBC News' Michael Isikoff reported Thursday.

The report places Holder at the center of one of the most controversial clashes between the press and the government in recent memory. The warrant he approved named Rosen as a "co-conspirator" in a leak investigation, causing many to warn that the Justice Department was potentially criminalizing journalism. The warrant also approved the tracking of Rosen's movements in and out of the State Department, as well as his communications with his source, Stephen Kim.

The Justice Department later said that it did not intend to press any charges against Rosen.


Wicomico Councilman’s Future In Question

SALISBURY – The future of an elected official is unclear this week after the Wicomico County Council voted to meet in closed session to discuss “council personnel issues” following Tuesday’s legislative session.

After the council approved the release of closed session minutes from March 18, it was confirmed the majority of the County Council had begun to question whether Councilman Bob Culver could secure confidential information.

“I would like to make a motion that after the adjournment of the legislative session we enter into a closed session to discuss council personnel issues,” Councilman John Hall said, and Councilwoman Stevie Prettyman second the motion.


Numbers Soar

While we have experienced one of the best weeks for traffic SBYNews has ever seen, yesterday was a record Thursday and we've already surpassed those numbers already today. This will be the best Friday we have ever seen.

We want to thank everyone for coming here and hope your enjoying the material we provide. Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend. By the way, a friend of mine is heading down to North Carolina and when they went over the Maryland line into Virginia on Rt. 13 a sign stated, "Have A Nice Holiday". And you wonder why I can't stand LIBERALS. Really, Have A Nice Holiday, seriously? 

It's MEMORIAL DAY you SOB's. Next year, should we expect it to be "Have A Nice Obama Day"?

Local Lame Stream Media

Salisbury Middle School


WMDT just posted about a man across the street, laying in the street with a head injury. WMDT said it seems to be related to the school. It is not related to the school. I was there. A man came in and reported it and the resource officer responded. A woman coming to pick up her child saw him laying on the edge of the street. It is unknown what happened at the time. I was with the man and the officer until EMS arrived. Detectives were called due to not knowing what happened but students were released on time. WMDT reporting something they know nothing about.

House Committee Wants To Hear From Anyone Targeted By The IRS

Claims of political targeting by the Internal Revenue Service are flooding into the House Ways and Means Committee, bolstered by evidence that includes secretly recorded conversations with IRS officials.

Ways and Means has created a website inviting Americans who believe they were targeted to share their stories, and among the information being forwarded to committee investigators are surreptitious recordings of interviews with the IRS. The recordings and other evidence are coming from conservatives who believe they were subjected to tax audits because of their political activism, or from members of conservative groups who believe their organizations' requests for tax-exempt status was subjected to extra scrutiny.


Cooper-Booth 'Victim of Unfortunate Circumstances'

C-store distributor files for bankruptcy following customer's cigarette smuggling indictments

MOUNTVILLE, Pa. -- In business since 1865 and one of the top 20 convenience store distributors in the country, Cooper-Booth Wholesale Co. LP, a wholesaler in the Mid-Atlantic region, has become collateral damage over an investigation and indictments in the state of New York involving cigarettes it sold to a customer, smuggled into the Empire State and sold without tax stamps. The federal government froze Cooper-Booth's main bank account, which has forced it to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 21, executives said.

According to the bankruptcy court declaration of Barry Margolis, Mountville, Va.-based Cooper-Booth's president and CEO, Cooper-Booth and its two corporate partners "were experiencing sales growth, were operating profitably and the future was bright and prosperous."

The bankruptcy was not in response to the company's business practices; rather, they were the "victims of unfortunate circumstances."

Man Wins Appeal But Remains On Sex Offender List

BALTIMORE (AP) -- A man who successfully petitioned Maryland's highest court to be removed from the state's sex offender registry is still on the list.

That's according to the lawyer for the unidentified man, who has filed a motion for contempt.

The man identified in court documents as John Doe pleaded guilty in 2006 to sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl in 1984. The Court of Appeals ruled in March that he couldn't be placed on the sex offender registry because it didn't exist when the crime was committed.


Internet Auction Planned For WOC Property

WEST OCEAN CITY -- A vast West Ocean City multi-family rental complex and associated restaurant site known for decades as the Villanova community will be put up for sale next month with an Internet-only auction.

The somewhat historic mixed-use, income generating property will be sold via a one-day Internet-based auction by the Max Spann Real Estate and Auction Company beginning Wednesday, June 19 at 1 p.m. and concluding at the same time on the next day, Thursday, June 20. The entire auction will be conducted online and there will previews to provide potential buyers with a tour held on May 29, June 7 and June 14.

The property includes 27 year-round cottages along with eight apartment units and the large restaurant facility currently home to the Station 7 Bar and Grill. For decades, the site housed the old Villanova bar and for years hosted the 707 Bar and Grill. The new ownership opened Station 7 on the site last fall. The 27 year-round cottages, eight additional apartments and the restaurant were all completely renovated in recent years.


I Wish For

New State Law Will Impact Police, Suspects; Some Offenses Now Could Now Result In Citations, Not Arrests

OCEAN CITY -- With the arrival of another summer season and the pending invasion of the June Bugs, Ocean City will certainly see a spike in the number of lower level crimes, such as simple marijuana possession and disorderly conduct, for example, but the resort’s holding cells will not likely be filled with young revelers on most nights.

A change in Maryland law that took effect on Jan. 1 allows law enforcement officers in Ocean City and across the state to issue criminal citations instead of arrests. The intent is to streamline the booking process and keep officers on the street instead of spending hours filling out paperwork and processing defendants charged with certain simple offenses that traditionally have been arrestable offenses.

While the change has been in effect for months, perhaps nowhere in Maryland will it be tested more than in Ocean City in the coming weeks when thousands of high school seniors, college students and summer workers descend on the resort. With them comes a traditional spike in the number of low-level crimes.


Good News On Health Care Benefits, And Pensions

Good News
From the White House
Concerning Pensions
and Benefits

نور اگر رفت سايه پيدا نيست نقش ديوار و چشم خيره
ما نقش سايه دگر نمي دان نور اگر رفت سايه. ر رفت 
نور اگر رفت سايه پيدا نيست نقش ديوار و چشم خيره ما نقش سايه دگر نمي دان نور اگر رفت سايه. ررفت ديوار و چشم خيره ما نقش سايه دگر نمي دان نور اگر رفت سايه پيدانيست نقش ديوار و چشمخيره ماسايه 
ديوار و چشم خيره ما نقش سايه دگر نمي دان نور اگر رفت سايه پيدانيست نقش ديوار و چشم خيرهماپيدا
نيست نقش

If I Hear
Anything Else,
I'll Let You Know.

Md. Delegate Looks To Close Loophole In New Gun Legislation

A Maryland delegate launches a campaign to close what he calls a loophole in Maryland gun laws.

Pat Warren reports–the problem affects getting firearms out of the hands of convicted criminals.

New legislation signed into law this month bans assault-style weapons and requires gun purchasers to be licensed and fingerprinted.

But according to Montgomery County Delegate Luiz Simmons, it skipped one common sense point he plans to address next year. 


Yard Sales 5-24-13

Saturday, May 25th 7 to Noon Salisbury, MD. Westbury Dr (Off Nanticoke Rd). Baby Clothes girls sizes 0 to 18 months. Baby toys, swing, diaper bag, tub, etc. Boys clothes size 8 - 10 and Junior Girls Clothes size 7 and M.

Other household items.
Saturday, May 25th. Household yard sale at 25561 Rising Eagle Rd., Mardela Springs, MD 21837 from 7am. - 11am. General household merchandise included one loft bed, early (pre -2nd) home school curriculum and more!

Salisbury Gives OK For Police To Seek Grant

SALISBURY -- The Salisbury Police Department (SPD) received permission this week to apply for a federal Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant that could yield a total of $455,046 to the city to pay for three new officers.

If awarded and accepted, the grant would require a 25-percent match from Salisbury, an expensive prospect that made a few City Council members uneasy.

“We’re asking to hire three officers after much consultation with finance,” SPD Chief Barbara Duncan told the council Monday. “This is what the city can afford. Most of that is coming, from my understanding, from collection of delinquent property taxes.”


Jodi Arias Trial Update: Hung Jury In Convicted Killer's Sentencing Phase, New Panel Must Be Chosen

PHOENIX - The jury in the penalty phase of the trial of convicted killer Jodi Arias was unable to reach a unanimous decision on sentencing, and was dismissed by the judge in a Maricopa County courtroom late Thursday afternoon, in Phoenix, Ariz. The judge said the retrial of the penalty phase only will commence July 18 with a new panel of jurors.

The same jury that convicted Arias of first-degree murder for the killing of her onetime boyfriend Travis Alexander was weighing whether the 32-year-old former waitress should be sentenced to life in prison, or to the death penalty.

CBS affiliate KPHO reported that some jurors were crying as they left the courtroom late Thursday after being unable to determine a sentence, including mouthing the words "I'm so sorry."" 


Student Loan Bill Passes House, Setting Up Face-Off

WASHINGTON — The House on Thursday passed legislation to head off a doubling of student loan interest rates on July 1, instead tying rates to prevailing market trends and ending federal subsidies.The bill, approved largely along party lines, 221 to 198, kicks off what is sure to be the next showdown involving House Republicans, Senate Democrats and President Obama, with a hard deadline looming in little more than a month.

Republicans said they had come up with a long-term plan that would get the government out of the business of setting interest rates.

Thank God Its Friday 5-24-13

What will you be doing this weekend?

Boehner: House Won’t Pass Senate Immigration Bill

House Speaker John A. Boehner on Thursday flatly ruled out chances of the House passing the Senate’s immigration bill, saying his chamber will debate its own bill instead.

Mr. Boehner and his top GOP lieutenants issued a joint statement that seemed designed to tamp down some of the momentum behind the Senate bill, which emerged from a Senate committee on a bipartisan 13-5 vote earlier this week, and to stake out a House GOP position.

“While we applaud the progress made by our Senate colleagues, there are numerous ways in which the House will approach the issue differently,” the GOP leaders said in their statement. “The House remains committed to fixing our broken immigration system, but we will not simply take up and accept the bill that is emerging in the Senate if it passes. Rather, through regular order, the House will work its will and produce its own legislation.”

Cops Go Undercover at High School to Bust Special-Needs Kid for Pot: Why Are Police So Desperate to Throw Kids in Jail?

Californians Doug and Catherine Snodgrass are suing their son’s high school for allowing undercover police officers to set up the 17-year-old special-needs student for a drug arrest.

In a video segment on ABC News, they say they were "thrilled" when their son -- who has Asperger's and other disabilities and struggled to make friends -- appeared to have instantly made a friend named Daniel.

“He suddenly had this friend who was texting him around the clock,” Doug Snodgrass told ABC News. His son had just recently enrolled at Chaparral High School.

Leopold Pays $75,000 Fine To Anne Arundel County

ANNAPOLIS - Former County Executive John R. Leopold has paid his court-ordered fine, choosing to give the money to the county he once led.

By doing so, he reduced the fine to $75,000, instead of the $100,000 he was ordered to pay in March by retired Circuit Court Judge Dennis Sweeney.

Leopold, 70, was serving his second term in office when he was convicted of two counts of criminal misconduct in office for ordering his executive protection detail to do campaign work for him and to empty his catheter bag following his back surgery. He resigned from office in February. 


Military Calls UK Attack Victim A Model Soldier

LONDON (AP) -- The soldier brutally murdered in a suspected terrorist attack in London was a popular 25-year-old ceremonial military drummer and machine gunner, a father and a passionate fan of the Manchester United soccer team, the British military said Thursday.

Lee Rigby, of 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, who had joined the army in 2006, was posted in Cyprus, Afghanistan and Germany before becoming a recruiter, assisting with duties in the Tower of London.

"All he wanted to do from when he was a little boy was be in the Army," Rigby's family said in a statement issued through the Ministry of Defense. "He wanted to live life and enjoy himself."


Swim Coach Sentenced To 7 Years For Sex Abuse

ROCKVILLE — A once-prominent swimming coach who trained thousands of children was sentenced to seven years in prison Thursday for sexually abusing one of the girls he instructed.

Richard J. Curl, who last year was banned for life from the sport by USA Swimming, apologized for abusing the girl over a four-year period in the 1980s. The abuse started when she was 13 and took place in their respective homes, at the private school where he worked and in hotels where they stayed for swim meets. He was charged last year after the allegations of abuse against the woman, Kelley Davies Currin, became public.

Turning to the woman, Curl said, “Every day of my life has been spent thinking and feeling awful about my behavior.”

Read more

Coast Guard Evacuates Man From Tanker off Md.

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) -- The Coast Guard rescued an oil tanker crewman after he suffered a head injury about 60 miles east of Ocean City.

The Coast Guard says one of its helicopters picked up the 47-year-old man Thursday from the Hellas Endurance, a 500-foot, Greek-flagged tanker.

The tanker contacted the Coast Guard about 6:50 a.m. to report the man needed immediate medical attention. The Coast Guard sent a helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City in New Jersey. Fog created low visibility, so pilots used radar to find the ship.


Smoke In Gallery Building Downtown

A report of smoke in the building just came in at 212 W. Main Street.

UPDATE: Apparently it was coming from the Downtown Deli. All 150 units have been called back to their stations. The call was downgraded. 

Friday, June 7 Is Last Day Of School For Students Of Wicomico County Public Schools

The last day of school for Wicomico County students will be Friday, June 7 to make up for one winter weather day. June 5, 6 and 7 will be half-days.

On half-days, dismissal will be 2 hours early for each school EXCEPT dismissal will be 3 hours early for students attending Delmar Elementary, and Delmar-area Magnet students attending North Salisbury Elementary.

Other schedule notes for the end of the 2012-12 school year:

Tuesday, June 4: Last day for PM prekindergarten students

Wednesday, June 5-Friday, June 7: Choices I will operate 8-11 a.m. Choices II will operate 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Thursday, June 6: Last day for ATEX, CTE I, high school orchestra, Latin, JROTC, VPA, full-day prekindergarten, Wicomico Early Learning Center, and AM Prekindergarten (all AM Prek will dismiss at regular time and ride their normal mid-day buses home EXCEPT for Westside Primary; Prek students of Westside Primary will dismiss at 11:15 a.m. and ride their normal prek buses)

Friday, June 7: Last day of school for Wicomico students. Elementary report cards sent home with students.

Monday, June 10: Last day for teachers

Thursday, June 13: Secondary report cards mailed

Department of Homeland Security: Selling Counterfeit Goods Is Now “Terrorism”

If the IRS scandal wasn’t enough to convince you that bloated, corrupt, bureaucratic government institutions pose a greater threat to our freedoms than any terrorist attack ever could, this story should settle it once and for all. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is not only wasteful, power hungry, and entirely unnecessary, it is also rapidly transforming itself into the Vampire Squid of government. In light of the fact that pretty much every terrorist plot the U.S. government has “thwarted” since 9/11 has been either FBI or CIA hatched schemes rooted in entrapment, the DHS has a lot of spare time on its hands to hunt frightening acts of “domestic terrorism.” You know, like fake Gucci bags. This story is beyond unacceptable. From WIVB Channel 4 News:

AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) – Federal agents swept through two shopping malls Monday, seizing fake merchandise and shutting down stores.


Ramadan Brothers Extradited One Week After Local Arrests; 300-Page Indictment Details Lengthy Conspiracy

Basel Ramadan                        Samir Ramadan

OCEAN CITY -- Two local business owners, indicted by a New York grand jury last week for enterprise corruption and money laundering, were extradited to New York Wednesday and were expected to be arraigned Thursday afternoon.

Last week, federal officials concluded an investigation into a vast multi-million dollar cigarette smuggling operation with raids on two locations in and around the resort area, including the West Ocean City homes of residents Basel Ramadan, 42, who is being called the “boss” of the enterprise, and Samir Ramadan, 40, who is Basel Ramadan’s brother and has been called the “enterprise treasurer.” Federal officials also raided the Ramadan’s offices over the Subway restaurant they own at Sunset Drive near 26th Street in Ocean City on the same day.

At the Ramadan’s West Ocean City homes in the Oyster Harbor community, $1.4 million in large black bags was recovered, along with 20,000 cartons of untaxed cigarettes. Also seized were numerous vehicles and other property belonging to the Ramadans. The Ramadans allegedly conducted the vast cigarette smuggling operation out of their Ocean City properties, but 14 other co-conspirators, from transporters to distributors to resellers, were also rounded up at locations all over the mid-Atlantic region.