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Saturday, December 21, 2013

'Almost Orwellian' -- Why Judge Leon Is Right About Massive NSA Spying Program

“Almost Orwellian” -- that’s the description a federal judge gave earlier this week to the massive spying by the National Security Agency (NSA) on virtually all 380 million cellphones in the United States.

In the first meaningful and jurisdictionally grounded judicial review of the NSA cellphone spying program, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon, a George W. Bush appointee sitting in Washington, D.C., ruled that the scheme of asking a secret judge on a secret court for a general warrant to spy on all American cellphone users without providing evidence of probable cause of criminal behavior against any of them is unconstitutional because it directly violates the Fourth Amendment.

Readers of this page are familiar with the purpose of that Amendment and the requirements it imposes on the government. The Framers intended it to prevent the new government in America from doing to Americans what the British government had done to the colonists under the king.
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US Existing-Home Sales Tall To 4.9M Pace, 3rd Straight Decline And Weakest In Nearly A Year

WASHINGTON – The number of people who bought existing U.S. homes in November declined for the third straight month. Higher mortgage rates have made home-buying more expensive, while the lingering impact of the October government shutdown may have deterred some sales.

The National Association of Realtors says home sales fell 4.3 percent to an annual rate of 4.90 million. That's the weakest pace since December 2012, and the first time since April that the pace has slipped below 5 million.

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Colorado Bill Would Use Tax Credits To Offset ObamaCare Penalty

Two Republican lawmakers in Colorado plan to introduce a proposal that would make it easier for residents to opt out of ObamaCare by creating a tax deduction to offset the federal penalty for not purchasing health insurance.

State Reps. Dan Nordberg, R-Colorado Springs, and Jared Wright, R-Fruita, announced this week that they will introduce the Healthcare Liberty Act when the state's 2014 legislative session convenes in January, KDVR.com reported.

Under the proposal, anyone who is fined for failing to purchase health insurance would be given a state tax deduction in an amount equal to the federal tax penalty. The deadline for avoiding penalties under ObamaCare is March 31.
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Is the U.S. Government Changing The Amount In People’s Financial Accounts With Its Offensive Cyber Capabilities?

Hidden in the report which the White House panel on NSA released today is a stunning implication: that the U.S. government has been using its massive offensive cyber capabilities to change the amounts held in financial accounts and otherwise manipulating financial systems.

Specifically, the panel’s report states (page 221):

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No Seats, No Seatbelts, No Unenclosed Coastal Highway Cruising

City council approved the first reading this week of a code revision that would ban passengers riding without seats or seatbelts in the unenclosed areas of vehicles.

Specifically, the policy targets the unmistakable phenomenon of early June in the resort, where high-school students cruise Coastal Highway in the beds of pickup trucks, despite the obvious safety concerns involved – and the annoyance for residents.

“I like the idea that it’s going to cut down on the rowdiness,” said Councilman Brent Ashley. “I think this is two-fold. Public safety number one, and quality of life number two.”

The change will become law if it receives a second favorable vote at the Jan. 6 council session.
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The Boston Tea Party?

Today is the 240th anniversary of the act of civil disobedience against taxation, corporatism, and colonialism known as the Boston Tea Party.

The economics of the situation that precipitated the event were quite complex, however, and about more than a simple tax increase on tea. As noted here by Edmond Bradley, a monopoly over the tea trade had been granted to favored corporate interests by the British Crown, which made the price of tea artificially high to begin with.

Charles Beard in his The Rise of American Civilization frames the conflict as a matter of “Colony vs Metropolis” in which the metropolitan center of government power in London exploited the people in the colonies through crony capitalist/corporatist policy.

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A Service Dog Meets Pluto Aboard The Disney Fantasy

CBO On SS - Another 29' Crash?

The Congressional Budget Office is out with its annual review of Social Security. It's a long report - here's all you need to know:

cboss [10]

This result is no surprise. SS's finances deteriorate every year. What I found interesting is the extent of the deterioration. 2013 was the best year since 2008 for the broad economy. We had fairly steady growth in the economy, and the job market improved significantly. But the red ink at SS rose very rapidly.

In 2012 a 'fix' for SS would have required an immediate and permanent tax increase of 1.95%. A year later the cost of the fix has risen to 3.36%. That's a 70% deterioration in twelve months. To right the SS ship a payroll tax increase equal to $180B would be required for 2014, and that higher tax rate would have to be sustained forever. A tax increase of this magnitude would sink the economy into a recession that the country would struggle to get out of.

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State Sees Sustainable Future Blowing In Wind Off Ocean City

State and national officials announced on Tuesday a proposed notice of sale for nearly 80,000 acres off Ocean City’s shoreline to be used for commercial wind farm development.

“Today’s announcement brings our state one step closer to harnessing the tremendous potential of offshore wind energy,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley, who made the announcement alongside Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Tommy Beaudreau in Baltimore.

“The development of offshore wind will drive economic development in Maryland, create high-quality, family-supporting jobs for Maryland residents and play a major role in reducing emissions and protecting the environment,” said O’Malley, a longtime champion of the project.

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Pennsylvania Fracking Clears Air In N.Y., But Gov. Cuomo In No Rush To Allow It

(CNSNews.com) – A long-delayed decision on fracking in New York isn’t expected any time soon.

“I want the right decision, not necessarily the fast decision,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told a news conference on Monday. “It’s one of the most important decisions I think we will make as a government, with far-reaching consequences – good and/or bad.”

Calling it a “very controversial field with very high stakes,” Cuomo mentioned “potential health consequences, danger, risk -- versus economic benefit.” He’s leaving it to his advisers to work at their own pace.

Gov. Cuomo’s comments came several weeks after National Public Radio reported that fracking in Pennsylvania “helps clear the air in New York.”

On Nov. 28, NPR’s “Morning Edition” reported that New Yorkers are switching to natural gas while saving money and cleaning up the air.

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WOMEN ENTERING PRISON AT HIGHER RATES

WASHINGTON – Anna Davis spent four months this year in the Maryland Correctional Institute for Women in Jessup, where she said she found herself in the same living pod as an inmate who raped another woman with a curling iron.

Pamela Griffith, now a psychology student, was imprisoned there several years ago after being convicted of theft. She had similar concerns about being housed with inmates from multiple security levels.

“There’s no way to physically separate the lifers from the others … These women have nothing to lose,” Griffith said.

Women are entering the U.S. prison system at a faster rate than any other group, and they face an array of issues that male inmates don’t, including pregnancy and higher rates of mental health issues stemming from the tangled web of trauma, homelessness, and sexual abuse. Drugs are often a way to cope. 

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Come See Santa Tonight from 6 Til 10pm


Christmas On Parker Place
It's going to be a beautiful night! We will have the lights on from 6 til 10pm. Santa will also be here shortly after 6pm so bring the family and camera and get a family picture with Santa and best of all this is a FREE family event! The weather for tomorrow night is not looking very good right now so we will post something on our facebook page tomorrow if we will not have the lights on.  Merry Christmas and we hope to see you soon!


Click HERE for directions to Christmas On Parker Place

Polls: 77 Percent Of Uninsured Don't Want Obamacare, Majority Of Voters Want Repeal

Two out of three voters want Obamacare delayed, including a majority of Democrats who now say they want the new healthcare law postponed — a surge in sentiment that has climbed 10 percent since October in the latest Fox News poll.

A majority said they would vote to have the new healthcare law repealed, if they were able, and they wish it had never passed and the old system was still in place, according to the poll taken Dec. 14-16 of 1,027 registered voters across the country.

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Missing POW's Remains Returned To His Widow 63 Years After His Death

Army Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Gantt told his wife to remarry if he didn’t come back from the war. She told him no. He had a hard enough time getting her to say yes. He was it.

For 63 years, the World War II and Korean War veteran was missing in action and presumed dead, but Clara Gantt, 94, held out hope and never remarried.

On a cold, dark Friday morning on the Los Angeles International Airport tarmac, the widow stood from her wheelchair and cried as her husband’s flag-draped casket arrived home.
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Ben Carson: I Can't Find A Doctor Who Likes Obamacare

Renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson says he's been having "great difficulty" finding doctors who have anything good to say about Obamacare.

He told Fox News Channel's Stuart Varney that he's spoken to hundreds of doctors throughout the country about the Affordable Care Act, and not one of them "liked" President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law.

Asked if doctors are "in favor" of the huge changes in the health insurance system,
Carson that if they are "they're hiding from me, because I travel all over the country and talk to a lot of groups — including lots of doctors — and I'm having a great difficulty finding anybody who likes this.

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COMMUNITY GROUPS WORK TO OVERCOME LANGUAGE BARRIERS IN OBAMACARE SIGNUP

COLLEGE PARK – Community health organizations in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties are working to overcome language barriers that have prevented non-English speakers from completing Obamacare insurance applications.

The state’s online insurance marketplace, the Maryland Health Connection, only provides application materials in English and Spanish. To meet the needs of Spanish-, French- and Chinese-speaking residents, representatives from CASA de Maryland and the Asian American Health Initiative have attended outreach events and developed their own materials on purchasing Affordable Care Act insurance plans.

Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez, D-Montgomery County, said organizations like CASA and AAHI should not be expected to fill the gap. Government entities like the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange should be responding to the concerns of non-English speakers, she said.
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Full-Time vs. Part-Time Workers

Does anyone else find this chart shocking?
Here’s the source. I was looking up the proportion of part-time versus full-time workers to see if the passage of ObamaCare had any noticeable impact.

(Note: Be sure to look carefully at the left and right axes. It’s not that the whole composition of the workforce has flipped.)

I don’t think you can pin the blame on ObamaCare in isolation (it passed in March 2010), but the so-called Great Recession has been qualitatively worse than the dot-com bust. My short explanation is that the combination of economic turmoil and “regime uncertainty” in general (not just ObamaCare) has made employers very reluctant to commit to a full-time hire.

Source

Profile Of The Original 'Welfare Queen'

Ronald Reagan told the story of a benefit stealing "welfare queen" back in 1976 to argue for smaller, leaner government. Liberals have complained about the generalization ever since. Paul Krugman called it a "bogus story" as recently as 2007.

It turns out there was a real welfare queen, and that name was given to her by the Chicago Tribune, not Ronald Reagan. According to an excellent piece by Josh Levin for Slate, stealing welfare under false names may have been the least of her crimes:

When I set out in search of Linda Taylor, I hoped to find the real story of the woman who played such an outsize role in American politics—who she was, where she came from, and what her life was like before and after she became the national symbol of unearned prosperity. What I found was a woman who destroyed lives, someone far more depraved than even Ronald Reagan could have imagined. In the 1970s alone, Taylor was investigated for homicide, kidnapping, and baby trafficking. The detective who tried desperately to put her away believes she’s responsible for one of Chicago’s most legendary crimes, one that remains unsolved to this day. Welfare fraud was likely the least of the welfare queen’s offenses.

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Former Eagles Cheerleader Rachel Washburn Now Stars For Army

As a Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader, Rachel Washburn toted pom-poms. As an Army intelligence officer with a special ops combat unit in Afghanistan, she carried an assault rifle and pistol. She was a pioneer in a special mission to relate to local women in ways that would be culturally inappropriate for male troops - including helping deliver an Afghan baby in a snowstorm.

Washburn, 25, who recently returned from her second tour in Afghanistan, will be honored Sunday night as a "Hometown Hero" by the Eagles at their home against the Chicago Bears.

Cheerleader turned soldier? Did that turn heads when she was in military training or living in a mud hut with Green Berets in a village in Afghanistan?
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WHOLE FOODS CEO: OBAMACARE 'ESCAPE CLAUSE' GOING TO CREATE PERMANENT AMERICAN PART-TIME WORKFORCE

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey on the Fox News Channel on Wednesday... GO HERE to view.

Pastor Leads Church In Harsh Alaska Frontier

With a population under 4,000 and an average temperature well below zero degrees in the winter, the city of Nome stands on the far reaches of Alaska’s frontier.

Nome Covenant Church, led by Pastor Harvey Fiskeaux, was faced with a house of worship that was too small and failing apart. The building was being held together by cables and the roof had sagged, says Fiskeaux.

“Our old church was 75 years old, it was built with available materials at that time,” Fiskeaux told Fox News’ Lauren Green. “I was actually fearful it was going to fall in.”

Fiskeaux believes the church has an important role in the community.

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How To Open A Beer--It's A Guy Thing

OCPD AND SANTA HOUSE TOY DRIVE A SUCCESS

The Ocean City Police Department’s Holiday Food and Toy Drive proved to be a blessing to many local families this holiday season. OCPD partnered with the Santa House, Inc. this year. The Santa House took in the many toys and donations and OCPD served as both a drop off and a distribution point. On December 17, OCPD gave food, toys and clothes to over 50 families and the Santa House served a combined total of over 500 families throughout the three distribution points: OCPD, Showell Fire Department and the Santa House warehouse in Snow Hill.
 
“The community we live in is a very benevolent one and it was extraordinary to witness the giving spirit during the holiday season,” said Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro. “Partnering with the Santa House was a great idea and we hope to continue this partnership in the future. We were able to serve the families of Ocean City as well as throughout Worcester County.”
 
Several Ocean City businesses and organizations contributed to the success of the Food and Toy Drive. Contributions were made by the Toys for Tommy campaign, Delmarva Condominium Managers Association, Atlantic Physical Therapy, Ocean City Parrotheads Clubs, Fager’s Island, Caine Woods Association, Ladies Hibernians, and the many people who donated directly to the Santa House. We would also like to thank all of the community members who dropped off toys and donations throughout the holiday season. Thanks to all of these donations, families all over Worcester County will have a joyous holiday season and children will have a gift to open Christmas morning. OCPD would like to thank each and every one of you.
Brad Wells, Lindsay O'Neal, Jessica Schmucker,
CPL Allen Hawk. Wells and Schmucker led the "Toys for
Tommy" campaign.
Lt. Scott Kirkpatrick thanks the Ladies Hibernians.
Chief Ross Buzzuro, Santa House coordinator Dena Holloway,
and Bob Hammond of Atlantic Physical Therapy with his grandson.
Leaders of the Ocean City Parrothead Club pictured with
CPL Rick Wawrzeniak at the West OC Greene Turtle Chili Cookoff.

Arkansas Mother Obliterates Common Core In 4 Minutes!

Obamacare Shows America's Aversion To Big Government Policies

As the fifth year of the Obama presidency draws to a close, it may be time to examine the unspoken but powerful assumption behind the policies of the president and his party.

That is the assumption that in times of economic distress Americans would be, more than usual, supportive of or amenable to Big Government programs.

The assumption was widely shared, and not just by Democrats. And it has pretty well been disproven, insofar as any abstract proposition can be disproven, in the five years of the Obama presidency.

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CRACKER BARREL CAVES TO THE PC POLICE:

Cracker Barrel’s mission is Pleasing People. We operate within the ideals of fairness, mutual respect and equal treatment of all people. These ideals are the core of our corporate culture.

We continue to offer Duck Commander products in our stores.

We removed selected products which we were concerned might offend some of our guests while we evaluate the situation.

We continually evaluate the products we offer and will continue to do so.
 

Harry Reid Takes Taxpayer Subsidy: 'My Employer Helps Me Pay For My Health Care'

(CNSNews.com) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.), whose salary is $193,400 a year, said he has purchased a health care plan through the D.C. Obamacare exchange and that he is accepting the federal subsidy that can run up up to $11,378 per year for a member of Congress to purchase a plan on that exchange.

“I’m just like 150 million other people in America,” Reid said. “My employer helps me pay for my health care.”

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POLICE CRACK DOWN ON MARYLAND OYSTER POACHING

ANNAPOLIS- The weeks before Christmas tend to be the most active for oyster poachers, but the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and State Police hope new technology and harsher penalties will help crack down on illegal oyster harvesting in the Chesapeake Bay.

Poaching includes harvesting undersized oysters, exceeding bushel limits or harvesting in areas designated as sanctuaries, Maryland Natural Resources Police Capt. David Larsen said.

Oyster poaching has also become a large problem over the years, because it undermines attempts at restoring oyster populations. Mostly due to overharvesting and disease, “currently less than 1 percent of historic levels of oysters exist in the bay,” Sarah Widman, a Department of Natural Resources Fishery spokeswoman said. Poaching also compromises researchers’ ability to gather data. “It’s very frustrating from a scientific perspective,” said Don Meritt, director of the Horn Point Laboratory.

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The Obamacare Generation

The ACA depends on Millennials picking up the tab — as they already are for other entitlements — in the midst of a bad economy.

There are all sorts of time bombs embedded within Obamacare.

Will we force doctors to treat the millions of new Medicaid patients who are signing up for services that can be only partially reimbursed? How exactly will the IRS collect penalties from millions of off-the-books youth who choose not to buy coverage?

Of the newly insured who chose not to buy health insurance in the past, how many will follow through on their initial signups with steady monthly premium payments? If many don’t, how will we collect what they owe? Will all those who lost their coverage have enough money to buy the costlier Obamacare replacement plan?

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I Pledge Allegiance To PHRMA

The U.S. is attempting to give multinational corporations a status that has hitherto been reserved to sovereign nations. According to documents recently leaked from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, the Obama administration wants corporations to be able to challenge the laws and regulations of foreign countries, and bring the dispute to a privately-run international court. The World Trade Organization currently grants the power to challenge a nation's laws only to another nation. 

The Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement of 2005 (P4) is a treaty between Singapore, New Zealand, Chile and Brunei with the goal of facilitating trade in the Asia-Pacific region. Since then, the negotiations for a new and expanded agreement (TPP) have swollen to include 12 nations. The United States has assumed a leadership role since 2010 under the auspice of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). With the possible exception of Japan, the other 10 nations are resisting the corporate empowerment demand upon which the USTR is reportedly inflexible.

Why were the documents 'leaked' and why is the word 'reportedly' being used? The Huffington Post article (Dec. 8, 2013), "Obama Faces Backlash Over New Corporate Powers In Secret Trade Deal," explained: "The Obama administration has deemed negotiations to be classified information – banning members of Congress from discussing the American negotiating position with the press or the public. Congressional staffers have been restricted from viewing the documents." 

In May 2012, the Democratic Senator Ron Wyden went against his own party to introduce Senate Bill 3225, "Congressional Oversight Over Trade Negotiations Act," which mandated congressional access to TPP documents. In introducing the bill, Wyden stated: "The majority of Congress is being kept in the dark as to the substance of the TPP negotiations, while representatives of U.S. corporations—like Halliburton, Chevron, PHRMA, Comcast, and the Motion Picture Association of America – are being consulted and made privy to details of the agreement.... We hear that the process by which TPP is being negotiated has been a model of transparency. I disagree with that statement."

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SPD Press Relase 12-20-13


Seneca Falls, NY, Claims Link To 'Wonderful Life'

Is this where George Bailey lived his wonderful life?

Folks in this quaint upstate New York town think so.

Or more precisely, they say Bailey's make-believe hometown of Bedford Falls in "It's a Wonderful Life" — including the main street and the steel truss bridge — was heavily inspired by Seneca Falls.

This cannot be proven, and director Frank Capra never confirmed such a connection. But that hasn't stopped locals from celebrating the beloved movie every December, complete with actors dressed as Clarence the Angel and mean old Mr. Potter parading down a main street gussied up to look like Bedford Falls.

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Pelosi: Being An Illegal Alien Is Not A Reason To Deport Someone

This is what the left has believed all along. Nancy Pelosi should be praised for having the courage to come right out and say it.

Nancy Pelosi recently told Telemundo that violations of immigration law should no longer have any consequences:

“Our view of the law is that it — if somebody is here without sufficient documentation, that is not reason for deportation.”

This wasn’t just a verbal flub; her spokesman reiterated the point, saying her comment was merely “a restatement of her long-held belief that being an undocumented immigrant is not a basis for deportation.”


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Florida: New Rules Prohibit Children From Playing On The Street

The motto in Lakewood Ranch is "Live. Work. Play."

"They're always itching to come outside and play," said mom Luisa Capra. But on Miramar Way, play has just been outlawed. "Never, ever, ever have I heard of anything so absurd," said Capra.

"I was just completely appalled. It's just getting to the point where I don't know where they want the kids to play? Inside on an X Box I guess," said Anne Sofie Hait.

Hait is mom to two boys, 3 and 7 years old. Her kids aren't allowed to play on their own street anymore because the Miramar at the Country Club Homeowner's Association passed a new bylaw last week. "We're trying to make the place safe. We're trying to make it safe for those people who have kids in the community and they should be the ones that should be happy about that, not upset," said Bill
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SFD Calls For Service 12-20-13

  • Friday December, 20 2013 @ 21:53:13Nature: Natural CoverAddress: 1946 Pine Way Salisbury, MD 21801
  • Friday December, 20 2013 @ 20:56:32Nature: SeizureCity: Salisbury
  • Friday December, 20 2013 @ 18:16:00Nature: Gas LeakAddress: 405 Naylor St Salisbury, MD 21801
  • Friday December, 20 2013 @ 15:53:09Nature: Subject FallenCity: Salisbury
  • Friday December, 20 2013 @ 15:49:29Nature: Pi AccidentAddress: Naylor Mill Rd and northgate Dr Salisbury, MD 21801
  • Friday December, 20 2013 @ 15:28:53Nature: Medical AssistAddress: 756 S Division St Salisbury, MD 21801
  • Friday December, 20 2013 @ 15:18:40Nature: Subject FallenCity: Salisbury
  • Friday December, 20 2013 @ 12:51:25Nature: Non BreathingCity: Salisbury
  • Friday December, 20 2013 @ 12:49:04Nature: Non BreathingCity: Salisbury
  • Friday December, 20 2013 @ 12:18:57Nature: Difficulty BreathingCity: Salisbury
  • Friday December, 20 2013 @ 11:56:26Nature: Chest PainCity: Salisbury
  • Friday December, 20 2013 @ 10:09:34Nature: Sick SubjectCity: Salisbury
  • Friday December, 20 2013 @ 09:29:38Nature: Maternity PatientCity: Salisbury
  • Friday December, 20 2013 @ 08:27:59Nature: Subject FallenCity: Salisbury

Hunters, Fishermen Targeted by Feds For Local Violations

U.S. law enforcement agencies are conducting thousands of investigations using a law that makes violating state wildlife statutes a federal crime, often ensnaring hunters and fishermen for seemingly minor infractions.

Some even suffer stiff federal prison sentences.

Special agents and wildlife inspectors for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conduct about 2,500 investigative cases a year of violations of the Lacey Act, a 1900 law meant to combat illegal trafficking of wildlife. Additional probes of Lacey Act violations also are conducted by other federal agencies, as well as state and local governments.

Though a small percentage of the Lacey Act cases result in prison time, a high percentage plead guilty, consistent with a federal system in which 97 percent of cases end in plea deals.

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Keep Your Guns And Buy More

When Katie Worthman was a little girl in Austria, she witnessed firsthand Adolph Hitler’s rise to power and the Soviet communist occupation that followed. She also witnessed, for decades, the distortions of the media when it came to the reporting of the events.

From her eyewitness perspective, Worthman said that the whole thing didn’t happen overnight, in a brutal attack, like the media portrays it, but rather, it evolved into a dictatorship gradually, over a period of a few years. Hitler didn’t come across as someone evil, to be feared, initially. ”In the beginning, Hitler didn’t look like, or talk like a monster at all. He talked like an American politician.”

Here are some things that occurred in Austria, according to Worthman, that just might look familiar to Americans:

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