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Saturday, June 07, 2014

Experts: Only Two Weeks To Protect Your Computer

WASHINGTON -- Computer owners are being encouraged to run security tests on their machines within the next two weeks to ensure they have not been infected by two hacker networks that were seized this week by international law enforcement agencies.

The malware-driven network, called "Gameover Zeus," lifted banking credentials from up to 1 million infected Microsoft Windows computers, according to the United Kingdom's National Crime Agency.

The Wall Street Journal's Market Watch reports the U.S. is home to the highest percentage of Gameover Zeus infections, at 13 percent, according to the Symantec security company.

A second network, using Cryptolocker malware, took command of more than 234,000 computers, demanding ransom payments to unlock files.


New York Times’ Maureen Dowd Eats Pot Candy Bar In Colorado And Totally Freaks Out

When well-known New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd eats edible marijuana in Colorado and freaks out about it, you better believe she’s going to write about it. You’ve might’ve heard of her tale of paranoia and extreme anxiety, because it seems like everyone else is freaking out about it, too. Of course, that’s not the actual point of her opinion piece.

It’s not secret that regulators in Colorado are trying to stay ahead of the new legal marijuana industry, but when it comes to figuring out how much marijuana should be in each kind of product sold — especially edibles like candy, cookies and oils — it gets a bit tricky.

That’s what led to the reefer-induced trials and tribulations of Dowd, who wrote that she started by nibbling on the end of a caramel-chocolate candy bar laced with marijuana. When nothing happened at first, she kept on nibbling.

Fast forward an hour later, to when the you-know-what hit the proverbial fan:

But then I felt a scary shudder go through my body and brain. I barely made it from the desk to the bed, where I lay curled up in a hallucinatory state for the next eight hours. I was thirsty but couldn’t move to get water. Or even turn off the lights. I was panting and paranoid, sure that when the room-service waiter knocked and I didn’t answer, he’d call the police and have me arrested for being unable to handle my candy.


Just 10 States Have A ‘Stable’ Housing Market, Report Finds

The housing markets in just 10 states and four of 50 metro areas are stable, according to a recent report.

The national housing market is also weak overall, according to the assessment by the mortgage giant Freddie Mac, but there are positive signs, too. Thirteen states and 20 metro areas had housing markets in March that were trending positively over a three-month period, according to the report from the quasi-governmental firm.

The firm assesses the housing markets using its Multi-Indicator Market Index — MiMi — score, which is based on four indicators. Freddie Mac considers home purchase applications; home purchasing power based on house prices, mortgage rates and household income; the rate of on-time mortgage payments in each market; and local employment. The score is used to compare each market’s current conditions to its long-term stable range.


This Is One Of The Scammiest Payday Loans We’ve Ever Seen

May’s Jobs Report: Lowest Percentage of Americans Working in Decades

There was good news and bad news in today’s jobs report, and both came from what the report did not show. The did not show either the warning or hopeful signs that many economists anticipated.

The good news: Despite the U.S. economy shrinking in the first quarter–its first quarterly contraction in three years–job growth remained healthy. Employers added 217,000 jobs and the unemployment held steady at 6.3 percent. Job growth occurred in many sectors with the fastest growth in the professional and business services (+55,000) and healthcare and social assistance (+55,000) sectors. And wages rose modestly.

Taken together, the labor market shows no signs of heading into a recession. This makes it more likely the Q1 GDP report represented an aberration, not a harbinger of worse to come.

The bad news: Labor force participation flat-lined, despite expectations among economists this rate would increase. Participation in the labor force had fallen almost half a percentage point in April. To put this in perspective, participation rates have not been lower since the Carter administration – when far fewer women worked outside the home.


How Taxpayers Subsidized Walmart Exec's Pay

While many of Walmart's (WMT) workers rely on food stamps and other government aid to make ends meet, its top eight executives are living better, thanks in part to $298 million in tax-deductible "performance pay" during the past six years.

That's according to a new report from the left-leaning Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), which found that Walmart lowered its federal tax bills by $104 millionbecause of the "performance pay" loophole. Of course, Walmart isn't alone in benefiting from that loophole, which was created in 1993 as a way to allow corporations to take tax deductions for "performance-based pay."


USS Bataan and USS Elrod rescue 282 people from vessels in distress in Mediterranean

MEDITERRANEAN SEA (WAVY) The crews of the USS Bataan and USS Elrod rescued 282 people from a sinking vessel and five other small vessels that were in distress in the Mediterranean Sea Friday.

According to a press release from the U.S. Navy, the USS Bataan and the USS Elrod responded to a report of six small vessels in distress after an Italian military marine patrol spotted them around 3 p.m. Friday.

Two MH-60S Seahawk search and rescue helicopters launched from the Bataan to investigate the report and confirmed one of the vessels was sinking. The helicopters lowered rescue swimmers to the vessels and began extricating people from the water.

US Jobless Claims Rise 8,000 to 312,000

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits rose last week but initial claims clung near a post-recession bottom, reflecting the low number of layoffs taking place in the U.S. economy. Initial jobless claims climbed by 8,000 to 312,000 in the week ended May 31, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists polled by MarketWatch expected claims to total 311,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis. The average of new claims over the past month, a more stable measure that smooths out weekly gyrations, fell by 2,250 to 310,250, touching the lowest level since June 2007. The government also said continuing claims, or the number of people already receiving benefits, declined by 20,000 to 2.60 million in the week ended May 24. That's the fewest since October 2007. Initial claims from two weeks ago, meanwhile, were revised up to 304,000 from 300,000, based on more complete information collected by the states.

Read the full story:
Jobless claims rise slightly but remain low

57 Chevy On His 57th Birthday A Promise I Made To My Dad When I Was 8 Years Old

Growing up my dad always dreamed of owning a 57 chevy bel-air. He grew up poor in a family of 7 children. He never thought he would be able to own his dream vehicle but would talk about it all the time.

When I was 8 years old I promised him that on his 57th birthday I would buy him a 57 bel-air. I never forgot and was able to fulfill my promise.

Here is his reaction.

Explanation on what he was doing. One of our cornhole boards was broken and we were trying to rig it to stay up, while he was occupied I opened my garage to show the vehicle. He was too intent on fixing the board that he didn't notice the garage opening which took my sister saying "theres something we can fix it with in the garage, there".

Also when he states thats the one you have been showing me, that is because I had been,I had showed him pictures of the Bel air. (I have had it for over 2 years waiting to give it to him) We would talk about older vehicles so to gauge how much he would enjoy it etc I would show him pictures of it from the listing I found. He would get so excited and talk about owning something like that but that he "knew her never would be able to"

ECB Announces Negative Interest Rates

The European Central Bank (ECB) took the unprecedented step Thursday by imposing a negative interest rate on banks for their deposits—in effect charging lenders to park money with it.

The move was part of a series of measures to combat the euro zone's growth-sapping disinflation and give a push to its stuttering economic recovery.

At its June monetary policy meeting, the ECB cut the rate on its deposit facility for banks from 0 percent to minus 0.10 percent—the first time a major global central bank has moved rates into negative territory.

It also cut its main interest rate to from 0.25 percent to 0.15 percent, and cut the rate on its marginal lending facility by 35 basis points to 0.4 percent from 0.75 percent.


WWII Vet Missing From Nursing Home Turns Up In France For D-Day Anniversary

A British World War II veteran who was reported missing from his nursing home on Thursday night turned up on the beach in Normandy — wearing his medals — during the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion on Friday.

Bernard Jordan, 89, left The Pines, a nursing home in Hove, England, on Thursday morning and did not return that night. Dressed in a gray raincoat with a jacket underneath that had his medals pinned to it, Jordan took a bus to France to be there for the anniversary of the largest amphibious assault in history, according to a report by The Guardian. Meanwhile, the nursing home reported him missing to the Sussex Police at 7:15 p.m. on Thursday, resulting in a search of the area and local hospitals.

At 10:30 p.m., the home received a call from a younger veteran saying that he met Jordan on the bus and that he was accompanying him to Normandy. Gracewell Healthcare, which runs The Pines, confirmed it was Jordan, who is also a former mayor of Hove.


Charles Manson granted parole? Hoax goes viral!

A viral hoax is going viral about Charles Manson being granted parole, but this is certainly a hoax since it has originated from a satire news website. Nonetheless, numerous people have been sharing the hoax story on social media, falling for it in belief that the notorious cult leader is being released. Many people are sharing this false story not realizing that other stories on the same site are clearly satire -- such as claims that the women of Duck Dynasty plan on posing nude together in a calendar!

Hoaxes like these come and go, and many of them do go viral to the point of making news. Many times celebrities are the targets of death hoaxes (usually on Twitter) and other times satire sites like the aforementioned print false stories about whatever they please. This satirical hoax about Charles Manson being released from prison clearly comes as a response to the latest news about Manson associate Bruce Davis being granted parole. His old age and other factors have led to the early parole, but the reality of the matter is that Davis may never be released.

So if you're among those who have fallen for this hoax: No, Charles Manson was not granted parole. Be sure to pass on the info!


Habitat Announces “20 Families In 20 Years” Campaign

BERLIN – Habitat for Humanity of Worcester County, Inc. (HFHWC) has announced an annual appeal campaign in honor of the affiliate’s upcoming 2015 20th Anniversary.

The “20 Families in 20 Years” appeal is a multifaceted campaign that seeks to raise awareness and funding, create partnerships with area businesses and other nonprofits, and qualify partner families for an additional four home projects.

“This campaign will enable our Habitat affiliate to extend our reach into the community like never before. Instead of the objective being one new build per year, this campaign goal includes critical repair and rehab projects for existing homeowners,” said Executive Director Andrea Bowland.'


Trash In Salisbury

Doesn't it just flame you when you see something like this? What's wrong with people that think the world is their trashcan?

Rapper Who Backed Cardin Faces Charges

AG candidate takes down photo, returns check after learning of pending human-trafficking case

A Baltimore-area rapper who endorsed Del. Jon S. Cardin’s candidacy for attorney general is facing nearly two dozen charges related to human trafficking and prostitution.

Cardin now says he is rejecting the endorsement after being asked about the pending charges against Lawrence S. Christian, a rapper who uses the stage name Ski (pronounced Sky) Money.

Cardin, whose platform includes strong stances against sexual violence against women and revenge porn, had featured a photo of himself with the rapper on his campaign Facebook page.

Comic Actor Tracy Morgan in Intensive Care After Six-Vehicle Wreck

Morgan’s publicist released the following statement Saturday morning:

“Tracy remains in critical condition at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital. He sustained these injuries in an accident that occurred early this morning as one of several passengers in a chauffeured SUV returning from a tour date in Delaware. His family is now with him and he is receiving excellent care. We don’t anticipate much of a change in his condition today but will provide a further update once more information becomes available.”


UPDATE: Tracy Morgan’s comedy writer Jeff McNair was pronounced dead at the scene of the Saturday morning crash.

Great Advice

I grew up with practical parents. A mother, God love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it. She was the original recycle queen before they had a name for it. A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones.

Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away.

I can see them now, Dad in trousers, tee shirt and a hat and Mom in a house dress, lawn mower in one hand, and dish-towel in the other. It was the time for fixing things. A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep.

It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, eating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there'd always be more.

But then my mother died, and on that clear summer's night, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any more.

Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away...never to return.. So... While we have it..... it's best we love it.... And care for it... And fix it when it's broken......... And heal it when it's sick.

This is true. For marriage....... And old cars..... And children with bad report cards..... And dogs with bad hips.... And aging parents...... And grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.

Some things we keep. Like a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with.

There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special........ And so, we keep them close!

I received this from someone who thinks I am a 'keeper', so I've sent it to the people I think of in the same way... Now it's your turn to send this to those people that are "keepers" in your life. Good friends are like stars.... You don't always see them, but you know they are always there. Keep them close!

When you die, 10 things GOD won't ask you:

1..... God won't ask what kind of car you drove. He'll ask how many people you drove who didn't have transportation..

2..... God won't ask the square footage of your house, He'll ask how many people you welcomed into your home.

3..... God won't ask about the clothes you had in your closet, He'll ask how many you helped to clothe.

4..... God won't ask what your highest salary was. He'll ask if you compromised your character to obtain it.

5..... God won't ask what your job title was. He'll ask if you performed your job to the best of your ability.

6..... God won't ask how many friends you had. He'll ask how many people to whom you were a friend.

7..... God won't ask in what neighborhood you lived, He'll ask how you treated your neighbors.

8..... God won't ask about the color of your skin, He'll ask about the content of your character.

9..... God won't ask why it took you so long to find Him and ask Him into your house, He'll lovingly take you to heaven and not to the gates of Hell.

10..... God won't have to ask how many people you forwarded this to, He already knows your decision.


Badass WWII Veteran Jumps Out Of A Plane To Commemorate D-Day Anniversary

Jim Martin, 93, proved he was a badass when he parachuted into France 70 years ago, ahead of the D-Day invasion.

He proved he hasn't lost his touch when he completed a tandem parachute jump on Thursday to commemorate the anniversary of D-Day.

Martin told Reuters he wanted to do the jump now because he may be the last man from his unit of the 101st Airborne Division to ever do it again.


Yo Momma So Fat...

SFD Calls For Service 6-6-14

  • Friday June, 6 2014 @ 22:14Nature: Medical EmergencyCity:Salisbury
  • Friday June, 6 2014 @ 21:27Nature: Medical EmergencyCity:Salisbury
  • Friday June, 6 2014 @ 19:59 Nature: Vehicle Accident w/InjuriesAddress: Old Ocean City Rd & Moss Hill Ln Salisbury, MD 21801
  • Friday June, 6 2014 @ 18:44Nature: Medical EmergencyCity:Salisbury
  • Friday June, 6 2014 @ 15:48Nature: Medical EmergencyCity:Salisbury
  • Friday June, 6 2014 @ 12:17Nature: Medical EmergencyCity:Salisbury
  • Friday June, 6 2014 @ 11:34Nature: Medical EmergencyCity:Salisbury
  • Friday June, 6 2014 @ 11:33 Nature: Vehicle Accident w/InjuriesAddress: 1016 S Salisbury Blvd Salisbury, MD 21801
  • Friday June, 6 2014 @ 11:33 Nature: Vehicle Accident w/InjuriesAddress: 1016 S Salisbury Blvd Salisbury, MD 21801
  • Friday June, 6 2014 @ 11:17Nature: Emergency UnknownCity:Salisbury
  • Friday June, 6 2014 @ 11:12Nature: Medical EmergencyCity:Salisbury
  • Friday June, 6 2014 @ 10:38Nature: Medical EmergencyCity:Salisbury
  • Friday June, 6 2014 @ 10:20Nature: Medical EmergencyCity:Salisbury
  • Friday June, 6 2014 @ 09:10Nature: Medical EmergencyCity:Salisbury
  • Friday June, 6 2014 @ 01:08Nature: Medical EmergencyCity:Salisbury

Why Central Bank Stimulus Cannot Bring Economic Recovery

Fed engages in futile effort to stimulate economy through an expansion of fiat money credit

Today every central bank on the planet is printing money by the bucket loads in an attempt to stimulate their economies to escape velocity and a sustainable recovery.

They are following Keynesian dogma that increasing aggregate demand will spur an increase in employment and production. So far all that these central banks have managed to do is inflate their own balance sheets and saddle their governments with debt. But make no mistake, central banks are not about to cease their confidence in the concept of insufficient aggregate demand. In fact, European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi is considering imposing negative interest rates to force money out of savings accounts and into the spending stream. Such an action is fully consistent with Keynesian dogma, so other central bankers will be impelled by the failure of their previous actions to follow suit.

Violating Say’s Law

Keynes’s dogma, as stated in his magnum opus, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, attempts to refute Say’s Law, also known as the Law of Markets. J.B. Say explained that money is a conduit or agent for facilitating the exchange of goods and services of real value. Thus, the farmer does not necessarily buy his car with dollars but with corn, wheat, soybeans, hogs, and beef. Likewise, the baker buys shoes with his bread. Notice that the farmer and the baker could purchase a car and shoes respectively only after producing something that others valued. The value placed on the farmer’s agricultural products and the baker’s bread is determined by the market. If the farmer’s crops failed or the baker’s bread failed to rise, they would not be able to consume because they had nothing that others valued with which to obtain money first. But Keynes tried to prove that production followed demand and not the other way around. He famously stated that governments should pay people to dig holes and then fill them back up in order to put money into the hands of the unemployed, who then would spend it and stimulate production. But notice that the hole diggers did not produce a good or service that was demanded by the market. Keynesian aggregate demand theory is nothing more than a justification for counterfeiting. It is a theory of capital consumption and ignores the irrefutable fact that production is required prior to consumption.

Central bank credit expansion is the best example of the Keynesian disregard for the inevitable consequences of violating Say’s Law. Money certificates are cheap to produce. Book entry credit is manufactured at the click of a computer mouse and is, therefore, essentially costless. So, receivers of new money get something for nothing. The consequence of this violation of Say’s Law is capital malinvestment, the opposite of the central bank’s goal of economic stimulus. Central bank economists make the crucial error of confusing GDP spending frenzy with sustainable economic activity. They are measuring capital consumption, not production.


Poll: Most Black Voters Support Voter ID Laws

“The right to vote is threatened today in a way that it has not been since the Voting Rights Act was passed in to law nearly five decades ago…The real voter fraud is people trying to deny our rights by making voting harder in the first place.”

President Barack Obama, 2014 National Action Network Convention in New York City.

Though many believe them to be an effort at voter disenfranchisement, a recent poll suggest most Americans are actually in support of voter identification laws, perhaps making them harder to combat.

A total of 31 states have active voter ID laws. Many others have had their attempts to institute the laws stuck down and state court with opponents citing little to no evidence of fraud in past elections and the potential of the laws to disenfranchisement the elderly, young people and many voters of color.

For what it’s worth, A FOX News poll released last week found strong support for voter ID laws in every major demographic, including black respondents and Democrats. The poll asked, “Supporters of these laws say they are necessary to stop ineligible people from voting illegally. Opponents say these laws are unnecessary and mostly discourage legal voters from voting. What do you think?”



Allen West lays out his case for impeachment

Former Republican Rep. Allen West two days ago called for President Obama’s impeachment over his decision to swap five known terror leaders for a soldier whose behavior is under investigation, arguing Obama apparently violated U.S. law forbidding material aid to terror groups.

Nevertheless, Obama defended his decision Thursday, saying he offered no apologies for releasing five Guantanamo detainees – who had been determined to be too dangerous to be freed – in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has been accused of desertion.

West, in a promotion for his political action committee, took aim at Obama’s unapologetic stance.

“Obama and his aides have lost their minds,” he said in an email for the Allen West Guardian Fund.

West’s outrage reverberated throughout his comments.


Sweet Scandals

Offshore Windmills An Eyesore? Well, Maybe

As the reality of an offshore wind farm in Ocean City draws nearer, some question whether the change off the coast will alter their beach views.

The answer is a resounding “sometimes,” said Andrew Gohn, senior clean energy program manager for the Maryland Energy Administration.

The closest turbines will spin about 11.5 miles from the shore, with the farthest sitting nearly 30 miles from the city’s coastline, Gohn said.

“While turbines might be visible on a clear day at this distance, on most days they will be obscured by haze,” he said.


Obama Workout

Request for equal political presentation


I would like to give your viewers an alternative to think about in the upcoming election for Governor for the State of Maryland. I am a lifelong resident of Wicomico County and the Wicomico County Chair for the Lollar-Timmerman for Governor Campaign. I would ask that your readers to take a few moments of their time to watch the following video:

The real answer for a new way forward for Maryland.

A Winning Strategy for the GOP

Though President Obama’s first term was characterized by anemic economic growth, decreasing household income, prolonged joblessness, an unpopular health law, foreign-policy blunders, and bitter partisanship, the electorate seemed stubbornly unwilling to lay any of it at his feet. As late as July 2013, 35 percent of Americans assigned George W. Bush a “high degree” of blame for the economy versus only 19 percent who named Obama alone.

Now the spell appears to have been decidedly broken. The benefit of the doubt Obama enjoyed for more than four years has been depleted. The Benghazi, IRS, and VA scandals; the disastrous rollout of Obamacare (and the revelation of presidential dishonesty); the molasses economy; the Syri “red line” fiasco; the feeble response to the Ukraine mess; the new EPA regulation on coal; and the utterly tone-deaf treatment of the Bergdahl trade have combined to convince the country that President Obama is out of his depth. A Fox News poll found that 55 percent of voters believe that Obama has made the country weaker. CNN foundthat 61 percent disapprove of his handling of the economy, along with 63 percent who disapprove of his handling of the health-care law and 57 percent who disapprove of his management of foreign policy (the poll predated the Bergdahl trade).


Real Economy Bites Housing Bubble 2

When the home-sales curve kinked south last fall, soothsayers had some handy reasons: The fiscal cliff, the threat of a government shutdown, and the potential government default that no one took seriously made home buyers uncertain. The jump in mortgage rates in reaction to the Fed’s taper cacophony? Homebuyers would get used to them, soothsayers mused.

By December, it was water under the bridge, but home sales dropped through the winter. Polar vortices were convenient excuses, though in the West, the weather was gorgeous. Then the spring buying season came around when the mood was supposed to perk up, but sales were still dropping.


Trolley Services Offered To And From Berlin, WOC, OP

Visitors and locals can take a ride on one of Ocean City’s former trolleys this summer.

The Shore Transit service that started last week is opening new routes to the local community, offering service from West Ocean City to Ocean Downs, Ocean Pines, downtown Berlin and several stops in between.

The idea came from almost a year of brainstorming with local business owners and the Worcester County Tourism office, said Shore Transit’s Brad Bellacicco, transit director.


5,000 Years of History Shows that Mass Spying Is Always Aimed at Crushing Dissent

Spying has been around since the dawn of civilization.

Keith Laidler – a PhD anthropologist, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a past member of the Scientific Exploration Society – explains:

Spying and surveillance are at least as old as civilization itself.

University of Tennessee history professor Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius agrees:

Espionage and intelligence have been around since human beings first began organizing themselves into distinct societies, cities, states, nations, and civilizations.

Unfortunately, spying hasn’t been limited to defense against external enemies. As documented below, tyrants have long spied on their own people in order to maintain power and control … and crush dissent.


You Might Think Twice

It’s Coming: “We Are Seeing a Very Material Slow-down Across the Economy”

Remember back in early 2008 when the Presidential election was in full swing and the majority of financial and political pundits were hailing the booming American economy, record home ownership and never ending growth?

By the end of the year everyone had changed their tune and the United States of America was, as former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said, “on the brink” of an unprecedented collapse.

When the stock exchanges turned, credit markets froze up and the U.S. was in the midst of its worst recessionary environment since the Great Depression the oft repeated phrase “nobody saw it coming” was being peddled by the mainstream on every front in an attempt to convince Americans that the crash simply came out of nowhere.

The following analysis from The Market Ticker is a blaring alarm.

This time no one can say we didn’t see it coming.

An interesting paradigm shift is happening here.

I monitor lead times and vendor fill requirements on a fairly regular basis, including from some big e-Commerce folks.

In the last couple of months I’ve noted a rather dramatic shortening of inventory lead times from them — that is, expectation that if you are a vendor you will be able to ship product to them much faster than before.

Some of these shortenings are really dramatic — 50% or more. Amazon, in particular, is getting extremely aggressive in this regard.

This implies that the inventory drawdown we saw in 1Q GDP revisions is going to continue.


What Quality Jobs? Over Half Of May Payroll Growth Is In Education, Leisure And Temp Help Jobs

If there was some hope that in April the trend of the US adding low-quality (as in low-paying) jobs may finally be coming to an end, this came to a quick end in May, when more than half of the 217K jobs added were in the lowest paying sectors. Specifically:

Education and health: +63K
Leisure and Hospitality: +39K
Temp Help Services: +14K

These three lowest paying categories amount to 116K, or well over half of the total jobs gains. What's more, if there was some hope for a construction renaissance in April after 34K jobs were added in the sector, in May this too came to a grinding halt after only 6K construction jobs were added. The best paying jobs: financials and information, also deteriorated, with fins adding 3K in May, half of the April gain, while 5K Information jobs were outright lost in the past month, compared to a gain of 1K jobs.

The good news, if any: retail jobs did not make up the fluff of job gains as they have in the past, with just 12.5K retail jobs added in May, and finally: all that channel stuffing appears to be paying off finally as 10K manufacturing jobs were added in the month, up from 4K in April.


Auto workers union hikes dues as membership losses drain treasury

For the first time in 27 years, the United Auto Workers has hiked the dues that must be paid by its rank and file members. The move was needed to help boost the union's budget, which has suffered as a result of sharp membership losses over the last decade.

UAW delegates passed an increase of 25 percent by voice vote Tuesday during their 36th constitutional convention in Detroit. The hike will cost the average union member an extra $14 a month.

The union's membership has fallen from an estimated 1.5 million in 1979 to just 391,000 today. It was almost 655,000 as recently as 2005. The decline has cost the union substantial revenue and it has run budget deficits of $30 million to $40 million over the last few years, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The hike was controversial and only approved by UAW delegates after a two-hour debate at the convention. Notably, the passage was done by voice vote, not recorded vote.


"Border Control" Has No Control, So Why Call It That?

The situation for the Border Patrol on the Mexico border is going from bad to worse. Deputy Chief Ronald Vitiello warns the White House, last week's calculation of the number of unaccompanied minors crossing into the United States was too low. He's upped the estimate from 60,000 this year to 90,000. He says next year the number could hit more than 140,000. Vitello's memo to the National Security Council was obtained by the Associated Press. It describes an overwhelmed Border Patrol having to fly some migrants out of Texas to other border states where agents aren't as busy.

MD Teen Birth Rate By County


CLICK HERE to see how the other counties rated

In The Dark

Those who were in the know have issued an explanation for why most members of Congress were kept in the dark about negotiations between the United States and the Taliban. Two unnamed senior officials from Congress and the White House say they worried the Taliban would kill their captive, Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, if word got out. In a deal that's proven controversial, Bergdhal was exchanged for five top Taliban leaders. They were released from Guantanamo Bay and shipped to Qatar. A federal law requires Congress to be told 30 days before a prisoner is released from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.


Governor O’Malley signed in to law Senate Bill 605 on May 15, 2014 which offers property tax credits on commercial properties when owners make certain investments in adaptive reuse their existing buildings.

Originally, the bill was intended to cover 2nd floor renovations to typically historic buildings where current code now requires expensive upgrades like elevators and sprinkler systems. These requirements have made it difficult for property owners to invest in their buildings, causing many historic downtown building to fall into disrepair. District 4 Candidate for Worcester County Commissioner, Molly Hilligoss has been following this bill and was encouraged by its passing stating, “This is a move in the right direction to jump start economic development and move ahead projects in Historic Downtowns.” Hilligoss shared the great news with key leaders and the business community in Snow Hill on June 4th via email, as the bill went into effect on June 1, 2014. Property Tax credit may not exceed 50% of the upgrade expense and must be spread out over 10 years in equal amounts.


This reclusive gun-loving chain-smoker built a Fusion Reactor in his Basement!

What you’re about to see is what happens when someone with a lot of love, brilliance and technological know-how can’t stand how frustrating the world can be sometimes, and decides to create something on his own. The results are nothing short of fantastic.

He chain smokes, he loves his guns, and he almost looks homeless, and yet this man is actually pretty damn awesome. Meet Doug Coulter. A guy who spends his time doing everything from being a gunsmith to a DIY engineer. His ability is so amazing that he’s built a nuclear fusion reactor in his basement. Yup.


2014 Maryland Gubernatorial Debates

Can You Pass a U.S. Citizenship Test?

These are some of the hardest questions pulled from the 100 civics questions about U.S. history and government and given to applicants for naturalization by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Department.

A USCIS worker will ask each applicant up to 10 of the 100 questions for the naturalization test, and applicants must earn a score of at least 6/10 (60%).
Try these 'not so easy' questions below: 

Question 1: If both the President and the Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President?

Question 2: The House of Representatives has how many voting members?

Question 3: Who is the Chief Justice of the United States now?

Question 4: Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the states. What is one power of the states? 

Question 5: Why did colonists fight the British? 

Question 6: When was the Constitution written?

Question 7: The Federalist Papers supported the passage of the U.S. Constitution. Name one of the writers. 

Question 8: What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803? 

Question 9: Before he was President, Eisenhower was a general. What war was he in?

Question 10: Name one of the two longest rivers in the U.S.
Before looking at the answers here, how many do you think you got right? You need at least 6 out of 10 correct to pass the Citizenship Test.

Hardest Tongue Twister in the English Language

MIT researchers believe they have devised the world’s toughest English language tongue twister.

A nonsense string of words put together by MIT researchers investigating speech errors and brain functions proved so difficult that no test subjects could repeat the phrase - clearly marking it as the world’s toughest tongue twister.

The phrase is this:

"pad kid poured curd pulled cod"

How Many Wolves Can You Find in This Picture?

The wolf is the largest member of the canine family. Gray wolves range in color from grizzled gray or black to all-white. Wolves are making a comeback in the Great Lakes, northern Rockies and Southwestern United States

So far we've found 9 wolves in this picture, although some people claim to have found even more. Let us know how many you find. We'll post an answer on here later once we find them all, but we're still looking.

Update: Ok, some time has passed, so here is the Answer.

How many did you find?

How Many BTUs Of A/C Do I Need For My Home?

We don’t need to go outside, look at a thermometer, or even to peek outside the skylights of the Consumerist Bunker: we can tell when temperatures are beginning to climb in much of the United States, because search engine traffic begins to pour in to old posts about how to figure out how many BTUs you need when shopping for a room air conditioner. Fear not, overheated Consumerists: we’re always here to help.

Here’s a handy chart based on information from the cool people over at EnergyStar. It’s not a precise measurement: according to our breezy and cool colleagues over at Consumer Reports, the type of appliance you might need will also depend on what you use the room for, and how many people are usually in it. For example, if you’re buying a unit for a kitchen or a an open-plan room that includes a kitchen, you’ll need about 4,000 additional BTUs to compensate for that whole “cooking” thing that happens in kitchens.

Consumer Reports also offers suggested models for different types of sizes of rooms, and broad ranges of capacities that might work for different room types ranging from tiny bedrooms to huge living rooms.


Actor Behind One Of Kia’s Dancing Hamsters Accused Of Working While Collecting Disability Payments

For the state of California, a man dancing around with the head of a hamster in a Kia commercial is an unbelievable thing. Not because hamsters don’t drive cars or have the bodies of humans, but because if you’re claiming disability pay, you shouldn’t be able to be a dancing hamster and get paid for it.

The California Department of Insurance has accused one of the dancing hamster actors from those car commercials with fraud, claiming he was paid for work — including shooting at least one of those commercials — while he was collecting disability payments, reports theLos Angeles Times.

He also allegedly worked as backup dancer for various pop stars while raking in state workers’ compensation benefits, a spokeswoman for the agency said.


New York City Back In Court Trying To Reinstate Ban On Big Sodas

It seems like only yesterday that New Yorkers were living under the unsweetened thumb of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, because although there’s a new mayor in town, the old fight over restricting the sizes of soda and other sugary drinks continues onward.

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has taken up the Bloomie torch and yesterday urged New York’s highest court in Albany to reinstate the proposed ban on large sugary drinks (in servings over 16 ounces) served in restaurants and other public venues.


Magic Car Scratch Repair Pens Aren’t So Magical After All

Car-scratch repair pens are not magic. They might help you patch up light scratches on your car, sure, but they aren’t magic. What our gently buffed colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports discovered when they tested some popular pens advertised for quick scratch repair. One problem with the products: a paint with no color can’t replace colored paint that has been scratched away.

That’s not a problem when you just have a fine scratch on the clear coat of your vehicle. That’s the kind of damage that pens like the DuPont Pro Fusion Color or the Turtle Wax Scratch Repair Pen are supposed to fix. The problem, CR notes, is that the pens are advertised as working on “all colors” of car paint, and you can’t blame consumers who don’t know better for assuming that this means it will fix all scratches. Even scratches that go down below the colored pain.


The Most Common Ways People Die In Every State

Two months ago, I wrote about the fun and the pitfalls of viral maps, a feature that included 88 simple maps of my own creation. Since then I’ve written up a bunch of short items on some of those maps, walking through how they can both illustrate great information and hide important details. At one point, I said I was done with these. Well, I wasn’t. Here’s another, on death. Enjoy!

The data used to create the table below are from a 2008 CDC report that’s based on numbers from 2005. Ideally, we’d have more up-to-date information, but their page on mortality tables indicates that there’s nothing more recent on state-by-state causes of death.