Thursday, December 18, 2014

Fisherman Get Year In Prison For Illegal Harvesting

BALTIMORE (AP) — A Tilghman Island fisherman has been sentenced to a year in prison for illegally harvesting and selling more than 185,000 pounds of striped bass.

Forty-one-year-old William Lednum was also ordered to pay almost $500,000 in restitution to the state of Maryland at sentencing Wednesday in federal court in Baltimore.

According to his plea agreement, from 2007 to 2011, Lednum and others used illegally weighted or anchored gill nets and exceeded their maximum daily vessel limit of striped bass.

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Model who lost her looks to drugs released from prison after plea deal

A former model who lost her good looks after becoming hooked on drugs and whose boyfriend shot dead a police officer has been released from jail after accepting a plea agreement.

Traci Vaillancourt was sitting in a car with her boyfriend Timothy Troy Walker when police Sergeant Derek Johnson approached the Volvo in Draper, Utah, on September 1, 2013.

Walker shot Johnson dead and turned his weapon on Ms Vaillancourt, seriously wounding her before failing to kill himself.

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Black teen's execution in killings of 2 white girls was 'great injustice,' judge says

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - More than 70 years after South Carolina sent a 14-year-old black boy to the electric chair in the killings of two white girls in a segregated mill town, a judge threw out the conviction, saying the state committed a great injustice.

George Stinney was arrested, convicted of murder in a one-day trial and executed in 1944 - all in the span of about three months and without an appeal. The speed in which the state meted out justice against the youngest person executed in the United States in the 20th century was shocking and extremely unfair, Circuit Judge Carmen Mullen wrote in her ruling Wednesday.

"I can think of no greater injustice," Mullen wrote.

The girls, ages 7 and 11, were beaten badly in the head with an iron railroad spike in the town of Alcolu in Clarendon County, about 45 miles southeast of Columbia, authorities said. A search by dozens of people found their bodies several hours later.

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No Sh!t?

Yak Dung Is Making Climate Change Worse

It gets pretty cold this time of year in Tibet. For centuries, the solution to this problem was a win-win: just burn that huge pile of yak dung that’s been accumulating all summer.

For millions of nomadic Tibetans, it’s a system that works. But that system comes at a hefty cost. Tibetan homes have some of the worst indoor air pollution in the world, and the soot the dung fires release is a big contributor to climate change.

Yak dung, when used as fuel, is arguably dirtier than coal but is definitely much cheaper. Particulate pollution from burning animal dung greatly increases the risk of lung cancer and other respiratory ailments, the occurrence of which can be slowed by switching to cleaner ways of heating homes.

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Police recover carjacked cab, arrest 1, after chase over Bay Bridge

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Metro Transit Police recovered a carjacked taxicab and took one man in custody following a 30-mile chase Wednesday that ended on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

The carjacking occurred just before 2 p.m. at the Addison Metro Station in Prince George's County.

The stolen taxi was spotted a short time later by Metro Transit Police on eastbound Route 50; officers said it fled as they tried to pull it over.

Police then chased the cab, with the pursuit ending about 2:30 p.m. on the Bay Bridge in Anne Arundel County.

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Rand Paul: 'Will Be Very, Very Difficult' for Jeb Bush to Run in 2016 Primary

On Tuesday’s broadcast of “The Kelly File” on the Fox News Channel, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) weighed in on former Gov. Jeb Bush’s (R-FL) announcement he would begin the early stages of seeking the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Paul offered a possible theory on why Bush is getting in the contest so early, but warned the former Florida governor has hurdles to overcome.

Transcript as follows:

KELLY: Let's switch gears. Today a potential presidential contender, Jeb Bush, announced that he'll quote, “Actively explore the possibility of running for president in 2016.” He said he hasn't made a final decision, but this is a much bigger step than he's taken thus far. You have not gone that far yet and said maybe in six months, I’ll make a decision. Some people are saying, come on, Senator, make a decision. Why is Jeb Bush out ahead of you?

PAUL: Well, maybe he has more ground he needs to gain. He’s been out of this for a while. So maybe he needs to get back in and practice up a bit. I don't know. I can't determine why other people -- I just know what I’m going to do.

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Worcester One of First Maryland Health Departments to Receive PHAB Accreditation

Snow Hill, MD – Worcester County Health Department (WCHD) announced today that it has achieved national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). Worcester, along with Frederick County, is one of the first two health departments to be accredited in Maryland.

The national accreditation program works to improve and protect the health of the public by advancing the quality and performance of the nation’s Tribal, state, local and territorial public health departments. WCHD is one of only 60 health departments to receive PHAB accreditation nationally.

“We are pleased and excited to be recognized for achieving national standards that foster effectiveness and promote continuous quality improvement,” said Health Officer Debbie Goeller. “The accreditation process helps to ensure that the programs and services we provide are as responsive as possible to the needs of our community. With accreditation, Worcester County Health Department is demonstrating increased accountability and credibility to the public, funders, elected officials and partner organizations with which we work.”

Meet Your Newest Legislator: Citigroup

Citigroup was key participant in 1929 collapse under moniker National City Bank

Citigroup is the Wall Street mega bank that forced the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999; blew itself up as a result of the repeal in 2008; was propped back up with the largest taxpayer bailout in the history of the world even though it was insolvent and didn’t qualify for a bailout; has now written its own legislation to de-regulate itself; got the President of the United States to lobby for its passage; and received an up vote from both houses of Congress in less than a week.

And there is one more thing you should know at the outset about Citigroup: it didn’t just have a hand in bringing the country to its knees in 2008; it was a key participant in the 1929 collapse under the moniker National City Bank. Both the U.S. Senate’s investigation of the collapse of the financial system in 1929 and the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) that investigated the 2008 collapse cited this bank as a key culprit.

The FCIC wrote:

“…we do not accept the view that regulators lacked the power to protect the financial system. They had ample power in many arenas and they chose not to use it. To give just three examples: the Securities and Exchange Commission could have required more capital and halted risky practices at the big investment banks. It did not. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York and other regulators could have clamped down on Citigroup’s excesses in the run-up to the crisis. They did not. Policy makers and regulators could have stopped the runaway mortgage securitization train. They did not…Too often, they lacked the political will – in a political and ideological environment that constrained it – as well as the fortitude to critically challenge the institutions and the entire system they were entrusted to oversee.”

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Caroline Woman Helping To Look For Info On Missing Marine

FEDERALSBURG — After a chance meeting, a Caroline County woman is helping a woman on the other side of the country fight to bring home her Vietnam War veteran brother’s remains from where they lie on a mountain in Vietnam.

Marie Savage, of Federalsburg, said the story of Gregory Benton Jr.’s disappearance during the war and his sister Mary Benton’s decades-long personal investigation into what happened that day has inspired her to do what she can to help Mary fulfill a promise to see her brother laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.

Savage grew up in Bishopville, in Worcester County. In 1969, she bought two bracelets, each engraved with the name of a U.S. troop who was either missing in action or a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

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Bush v. Clinton In 2016? New World Order Dream Matchup Being Touted As ‘Inevitable’

The next presidential election is still nearly two years away, and yet the mainstream media is already telling Americans who they are supposed to vote for

The next presidential election is still nearly two years away, and yet the mainstream media is already telling Americans who they are supposed to vote for. Now that Jeb Bush has all but officially declared that he is running for president, a “dream matchup” between Bush and Hillary Clinton is being touted as “inevitable”. But is this what the American people actually want? Most liberals seem to truly dislike Clinton, and most conservatives can’t stand Bush at this point. And yet when the time comes, the big money donors will line up behind them and they will get far more media coverage than the other candidates. Yes, there is still a chance that another establishment candidate such as Mitt Romney could jump ahead of Bush on the Republican side, and there is also a chance that Hillary Clinton may decide not to run at all (more on that below). But when it is all said and done, it is virtually certain that Americans will have a choice between establishment candidate #1 and establishment candidate #2 on election day 2016, and that is absolutely sickening.

We have already had 20 years of Bush/Clinton, and if it is Jeb Bush vs. Hillary Clinton in 2016 we will be guaranteed another four years.

The Bushes and Clintons are portrayed as “enemies” by the mainstream media, but that is not even close to the truth. The two families have a long, friendly relationship, they have taken vacations together, and they even publicly joke with each other over social media. The following is just one example that was recently highlighted in Time Magazine

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Poll: 57 Percent of Americans Say Race Relations in U.S. Are Bad

A majority of Americans now say that race relations in the United States are bad, according to the latest NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll, which showed the most pessimistic assessment of racial issues in almost two decades.

In the wake of protests over the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police, just four in ten Americans told pollsters that they believe race relations in the United States are "good," while 57 percent disagreed. And nearly a quarter - 23 percent - classified the current state of the country's racial issues as "very bad."

The data showed a dramatic slide from just 18 months ago, when a July 2013 poll indicated that a majority - 52 percent - offered an optimistic view of race relations. And throughout President Barack Obama's first term in the White House, more than seven in ten Americans said race relations were good, with a record 77 percent giving a positive assessment shortly after Obama's election as the first black president.

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State Rep Slams Sheriff For Defending Controversial MRAP Comments

Sheriff's deputy said armored vehicles were necessary to deal with "constitutionalists"

Washington State Rep. Matt Shea slammed Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich for refusing to apologize for comments made by a Sheriff’s deputy in which the officer stated that MRAP armored vehicles were necessary to deal with “constitutionalists” who could pose a violent threat.

As Infowars exclusively reported last week, during a charity event a Spokane resident asked an officer why cops need armored vehicles that were originally used to fight insurgents abroad.

“I mean, we’ve got a lot of constitutionalists and a lot of people that stockpile weapons, lots of ammunition,” one deputy responded. “They have weapons here locally.”

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Traffic Alert Salisbury


Jonathan Gruber Should’ve Been Time’s Person Of The Year

Jonathan Gruber should have been Time’s Person of the Year. The magazine gave it to the “Ebola Fighters” instead. Good for them; they’re doing God’s work. Still, Gruber would have been better.

Time’s Person of the Year designation has lost a lot of its stature over recent years. Part of its decline can probably be attributed to the fact that it’s come to be seen as an honorific. It was originally conceived to recognize the person who, “for better or for worse … has done the most to influence the events of the year.” So Adolf Hitler (1938) and Josef Stalin (1939 and again in 1942) qualified. In 2001, however, the editors couldn’t bring themselves to bestow the title on Osama bin Laden, even though he certainly deserved it. (New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani got it instead for his heroic response to the evil deeds of the person who influenced the events of the year most decidedly for the worse.)

The other conceit of the P.O.Y. is to capture some theme or trend that lends itself to end-of-the-year thumb-sucker columns (like this one). That’s why the computer was hailed as the “Machine of the Year” in 1982 and our “Endangered Earth” was dubbed “Planet of the Year” in 1988. In 2006, “You” won the contest because of all the wonderful work you do in creating Web content. (Congrats, by the way.) And in 2011, “the Protester” won in recognition of tea partiers and Wall Street occupiers alike.

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Stamping Out Social Injustice

Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice are three names recently added to a list of highly disconcerting deaths — unarmed African Americans killed by police. Protestors throughout the country are calling for change over these cases and others. We applaud the peaceful protests — the vigils such as the one held in Chestertown Friday, Dec. 5 — and deplore those that led to looting and attacks on innocent people.

“We're here tonight because senseless acts of violence continue to happen. Every face we see on the news is a father who will never walk his daughter down the aisle, a pre-school teacher who will never get to see her class graduate, a boyfriend who will never get to propose to the love of his life, a mother who will never have the opportunity to provide for her family and a child who will never get to start their life,” said Kyle "Kotic Couture" Wilson, one of the organizers of the Chestertown vigil.

When Paul Tue, of the Bayside HOYAS, said Chestertown is one step away from being Ferguson, Mo., where Brown was killed, he was right. We may be a small town, but the Internet has given media outlets a global reach. Do a Google search for images of "Frosty arrested" and you'll see how some of our local police officers last made the national news.
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Tonight Is $5.00 Burger Night At Station 7



Obama Issues 12 Pardons, Commutes 8 Sentences

President Obama commuted the prison sentences of eight people who were convicted of drug-related crimes Wednesday, in a move that also saw 12 presidential pardons issued, for offenses ranging from theft to running an illegal distillery.

Half of the eight whose sentences were commuted had been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Citing "unduly harsh sentences issued for drug offenses under an outdated sentencing regime," a White House official said Wednesday that all eight of those who were punished for drug offenses "would receive a substantially lower sentence today."

Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole said of those whose sentences were commuted:

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New York Makes It Illegal To Tattoo Or Pierce Pets

If you live in New York, your pet’s body is no longer allowed to be your canvas under the steely eyes of the law. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law that goes into effect in 120 days, making it illegal to pierce or tattoos animals for cosmetic purposes. Yes, that includes tattooing Mr. Grobblesworth Wrinklefoot with your name in a heart pierced by a rose’s thorns. 

The 21st Annual Atlantic General Hospital Penguin Swim is scheduled for Thursday, January 1, 2015!

Online registration is now available at aghpenguinswim.org!
Please email penguinswim@atlanticgeneral.org or call the AGH Foundation office at 410-641-9671 for more information.

2015 Penguin Swim Sponsors (last updated 11/20/14)
Glacier Sponsors – $3,500
AGH Auxiliary
D3Corp
Bull on the Beach
The Princess Royale Oceanfront Family Resort & Condominiums
Iceberg Sponsors – $1,000
The Dough Roller
Igloo Sponsors – $500
The Bank of Delmarva
Trond’s Pool Care, LLC
Icicle Sponsors – $250
Snowflake Sponsors – $100
Ocean City Parrothead Club


Check out the current list of registered Penguins and Teams at aghpenguinswim.org!
While you're there, register yourself or your team to Get Wet for a Good Cause!

OUT OF TOWN FOR THE HOLIDAYS? Join us for the Virtual Swim!
Register and fundraise as an individual penguin or as part of a team. Then jump into the water where you are, take a photo and share it with the Penguin Swim’s online community on Facebook and Twitter using #OCPenguinSwim. *Make sure your post is public so we can see it!

For more information, please contact the AGH Foundation at 410-641-9671 or penguinswim@atlanticgeneral.org 

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President Indefinitely Bans Drilling in Alaskan Bay

WASHINGTON — President Obama on Tuesday again used his executive authority to enact an environmental priority as he indefinitely barred oil and gas exploration of Alaska’s picturesque Bristol Bay to protect some of the nation’s most productive commercial fisheries.

Mr. Obama first put the ecologically sensitive area of the Bering Sea — home to an important population of whales, seals and sea lions — off limits to oil rigs in 2010, but that restriction was set to expire in 2017, several months after he leaves office. With the new executive memorandum that he signed in the Oval Office on Tuesday, Mr. Obama made the ban permanent unless a future president acts to reverse it and allow leasing of the waters of the bay.

“It is a beautiful natural wonder, and it’s something that’s too precious to us to just be putting out to the highest bidder,” Mr. Obama said in a one-minute video announcing his decision, which was posted on the White House website.

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SFD Calls For Service 12-17-14

  • Wednesday December, 17 2014 @ 23:32Nature: Medical EmergencyCity:Salisbury
  • Wednesday December, 17 2014 @ 22:33Nature: Medical EmergencyCity:Salisbury
  • Wednesday December, 17 2014 @ 22:29Nature: Medical EmergencyCity:Salisbury
  • Wednesday December, 17 2014 @ 20:34Nature: Medical EmergencyCity:Salisbury
  • Wednesday December, 17 2014 @ 20:30Nature: Medical EmergencyCity:Salisbury

How a plumber's truck from Texas ended up in Syria

Mark Oberholtzer isn't an Islamic fighter in Syria. He's never been to Syria. And the plumber from Texas City, Texas, says he certainly would never willingly aid fundamentalist rebels.

So it's hard for him to understand how his Ford F-250 pickup truck - including his logo for Mark-1 Plumbing and his phone number - wound up in a propaganda picture sent out by the extremist Ansar al-Deen Front from the front lines of the war in Syria.

Mr Oberholtzer says he's been getting hundreds of phone calls and faxes since the Ansar al-Deen Front tweeted a picture of his old truck with an anti-aircraft gun in the back, according to the Galveston County Daily News.

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History of Man

For those who don't know about history... Here is a condensed version:

Humans originally existed as members of small bands of nomadic
hunters/gatherers.

They lived on deer in the mountains during the summer and would go to the coast and live on fish and lobster in the winter.

The two most important events in all of history were the invention of beer and the invention of the wheel. The wheel was invented to get man to the beer.These were the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups:

1 . Liberals
2. Conservatives.

Once beer was discovered, it required grain and that was the beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can were invented yet,so while our early humans were sitting around waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the brewery. That's how villages were formed.

Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to BBQ at
night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as the Conservative movement...

Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live off the conservatives by showing up for the nightly BBQ's and doing the sewing ,fetching, and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Liberal movement.

Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women. They became known as girlie-men. Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy, group hugs, and the concept of Democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that conservatives provided.

Over the years conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest, most powerful landanimal on earth, the elephant. Liberals are symbolized by the jackass for obvious reasons.

Modern liberals like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like their beef well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard liberal fare.. Another interesting evolutionary side note: most of their women have higher testosterone levels than their men. Most social workers, personal injury attorneys, journalists, dreamers
in Hollywood and group therapists are liberals.

Conservatives drink domestic beer, mostly Bud or Miller. They eat red meat and still provide for their women. Conservatives are big game hunters, rodeo cowboys,lumberjacks,construction workers, firemen, medical doctors, police officers, engineers, corporate executives, athletes, members of the military, airline pilots and generally anyone who works productively.

Conservatives who own companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living. Liberals invented the designated hitter rule because it wasn't fair to make the pitcher also bat.

Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to govern the producers and decide what to do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the liberals remained in Europe when conservatives were coming to America. They crept in after the Wild West was
tamed and created a business of trying to get more for nothing.

Here ends today's lesson in world history: It should be noted that a
Liberal may have a momentary urge to angrily respond to the above before forwarding it.

A Conservative will simply laugh and be so convinced of the absolute truth of this history that it will be forwarded immediately to other true believers and to more liberals just to tick them off.

And there you have it. Let your next action reveal your true self....
I'm going to have another beer.

The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its
limits.
Albert Einstein

Mysterious donor known only as 'Santa B' gives $50,000 to cover layaway balances at Pennsylvania Wal-Mart

A mysterious donor known only as 'Santa B' offered $50,000 to a Pennsylvania Wal-Mart to cover shoppers' layaway balances this week.

'Santa B' offered the sum to the Mechanisburg store in a check Monday morning, Pennlive.com reported.

Wal-Mart manager Steve Myers told the website the store has previously received smaller gifts between $2,000 and $3,000.

'He said he wanted to help take care of folks – to bring everyone a special Christmas,' Myers said.

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ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging Brookville, IN Nativity Display

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has filed a lawsuit challenging the placement of a religious display outside a government property in Franklin County.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, says the Nativity scene outside the Franklin County Courthouse is a First Amendment violation that shows the county endorses Christianity over other religions.

"Any reasonable person viewing this display would conclude that its principal effect is to advance religion," Gavin Rose, ACLU of Indiana senior staff attorney, said in a news release. "The First Amendment protects these kinds of displays by individuals and groups on private property but also makes clear that displays on public property, which is maintained by taxpayers, cannot demonstrate a preference for religion."

The ACLU of Indiana filed the lawsuit on behalf of Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based nonprofit organization that has been sending letters to Franklin County Commissioners expressing its concerns about the Nativity display. According to the lawsuit, two Franklin County residents, Steve Kristoff and Renana Gross, are against the display being on public property. The two, along with the foundation, are plaintiffs in the suit.

More here

14-YEAR-OLD BOY SHOOTS, KILLS HOME INVADER

A 14-year-old North Carolina boy shot and killed a 18-year-old man who was trying to break into his grandmother’s home Tuesday while he was there alone with the elderly woman.

Investigators said the incident occurred shortly before 5:15 p.m. near Charlotte. They said the 14-year-old and his grandmother were in the home when two men tried breaking in, reported the Charlotte Observer.

George Wyant, the homeowner and the teen’s grandfather, told the newspaper that the intruders were on the deck in the back of the house and trying to get through a sliding-glass door. He said his grandson warned the men to leave.

“He told them, ‘Stop, I’ve got a gun,’” Wyant said. But the men continued trying to get into the house. So the boy fired and hit his target – 18-year-old Isai Robert Delcid.

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Federal judge says Obama executive action on immigration is unconstitutional while Democratic senators snipe that he's 'wrong'

President Barack Obama's new plan to spare 4.7 million illegal immigrants from the threat of deportation violates the U.S. Constitution, a federal judge declared on Tuesday, handing down the first legal ruling against the plan.

Judge Arthur Schwab's ruling has no immediate impact, since the Obama administration says there was no reason for his Western District of Pennsylvania court to address the issue in the case, which concerns the legal status of 42-year-old Honduran immigrant Elionardo Juarez-Escobar.

Schwab is the first judge to rule on the legality of the plan Obama announced on Nov. 20. The executive action by the Democratic president is opposed by Republicans and has already been legally challenged by two dozen U.S. states.

'President Obama's unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause, and therefore is unconstitutional,' Judge Schwab wrote.

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Convicted killer will NOT receive $20,000 sex-change surgery paid for by taxpayers after court overturns controversial ruling

A federal appeals court today overturned a controversial ruling ordering Massachusetts prison officials to provide taxpayer-funded sex-reassignment surgery for an inmate convicted of murder.

Michelle Kosilek, born Robert Kosilek, has already received hormone treatments, psychotherapy and electrolysis while serving a life sentence for strangling to death her wife, Cheryl, in 1990.

But she has continued to wage a protracted legal battle for the $20,000 full genital reconstruction treatment she says is necessary to relieve the mental anguish caused by gender-identity disorder.

While imprisoned, she has tried to commit suicide twice, as well as attempting to castrate herself.

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Mexican Drug Cartel Beheads Two Captives In Message To America

WARNING: The content below is graphic in nature.

In some graphic footage that was recently released, a Mexican drug cartel viciously beheads two prisoners with chainsaws. The incident was captured on film.

The disturbing video opens with the cartel giving their captives a moment to say their final words, but within three minutes it takes an ugly turn. The men are brutally executed.

Although the video is not pleasant, it does serve as a reminder of what happens just south of our border, and what might happen in the United States if we decide to invite illegal immigrants in with open arms.

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Fire your valet: Now BMW's car will park itself when you tell it to

There’s nothing worse than forgetting where you’ve parked your car in a multi-storey car park.

But soon you won’t even need to climb the stairs to another floor, as BMW has announced a new feature that can park itself and return to you at the touch of a button.

When a voice command is spoken into a smartwatch, the car will leave its space and drive to the exit, calculating the time it will take so that it arrives just as you get there.

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U.S. Special Forces Conducts Urban Training in North Texas

If you think you've spotted low-flying black helicopters around Downtown Dallas in recent days, you likely have.

Twitter users reported seeing blacked-out helicopters flying in low, close formations with no lights.

Our partners at The Dallas Morning News checked and found out the helicopters were taking part in preparedness training for U.S. Special Forces Monday night.

The Morning News learned the training was necessary so that the they could get a feel for "realistic urban sites," according to the Dallas Police Department.

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Why This Season's Flu Shot Won't Work

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has announced that this year's flu shot doesn't match the major strain that's causing the majority of cases spreading across America. A mutated version of the influenza A (H3N2) component that's contained in this year's flu shot is the most common strain that's currently circulating. But since the strain has changed since this season's vaccine was formulated, that means that the flu shot you may have gotten a month ago will do even less than usual to keep you from getting flu.

"The flu vaccine never works for most of us, and this year it's going to be even worse," says holistic family physician Dr. David Brownstein.

There are many strains of flu virus, and scientists decide early in the year which strains they believe will be the prominent strain in the coming flu season. They include their picks in the new vaccines — three in the traditional flu vaccine, and four in the new quadrivalent vaccine, which theoretically protects against four strains of flu virus. "They just take their best guess, and they're often wrong," Dr. Brownstein tells Newsmax Health. "But right or wrong, there's never any real difference in the numbers of cases of flu whether the vaccine is a good match or not."

The CDC has warned that the H3N2 strain that's circulating is linked to flu that's more severe than usual, and results in more hospitalizations and deaths. And they urge people to get the shot, telling them the vaccine will still offer some protection.

They're also urging people who catch the flu to rush to their doctor to get an antiviral, such as Tamiflu. "It's ridiculous," says Dr. Brownstein, author of the newsletter Dr. Brownstein's Natural Way to Health.

"In the first place, the vaccine doesn't work. The main reason given for adults to get vaccinated is to prevent complications arising from the flu, including pneumonia, which kills more than 30,000 Americans each year," he says. "However, a review of 50 studies that included more than 70,000 adults found that 100 people needed to be vaccinated to avoid one set of influenza symptoms, which include fever, runny nose, and cough."

Airline Baggage Fees Bring In Nearly $1B In Three Months, Ticket Sales Still Top Revenue-Maker

All those baggage fees added so far this year appear to be bringing in the big bucks for U.S. airlines. A new report found that airlines brought in nearly $1 billion last quarter by charging customers for hauling their belongings. And while that seems like a lot of dough, it’s just a drop in the bucket for the industry. 

States have sneaky plan to pump up gas prices

'This is their worst nightmare right now'

Falling gas prices have been like an early, unexpected Christmas present for millions of motorists and working families.

With average pump prices about 60 cents lower than they were a year ago and a dollar lower than they were this summer, many families might find they’re able to put a few more presents under the tree this year.

But don’t get too excited.

Politicians in some states are already devising plans to play Scrooge and snatch the savings before they can even be fully realized.

Seeing the falling fuel prices as an opportunity, legislators and governors in several states are eyeing their state gas taxes as ripe for an increase.

As the theory goes, it’s better to raise the gas tax when prices at the pump are low, even if it’s just a temporary blip, so consumers won’t notice what has been done to them.

Republican governors in Michigan, Georgia, New Jersey, Utah and South Carolina are all pondering hikes in their states’ gas tax, while Democrat governors in Delaware, Vermont and Kentucky are also considering increases. In a few cases, such as in South Carolina, the increases have been proposed by legislators by opposed by the governor.

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Senator Wants PETA Investigated For Taking Chihuahua

ACCOMACK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) – State Senator Lynwood Lewis from the Eastern Shore wants PETA to be held accountable.

Lewis believes two PETA workers may have violated state code when they took a dog from the porch of a mobile home in Accomack County and then told the family they euthanized the pet.

“Whether it’s animal rights, property rights, any sort of different factors, this has been a violation on so many levels. It has to be looked at,” Lewis told WAVY.com.

Accomack County Sheriff Todd Godwin charged the two workers with larceny, but local Commonwealth’s attorney Gary Agar dropped the charges, citing lack of evidence. Lewis now wants the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) to investigate whether any laws may have been violated.

“I’ve heard from law enforcement about what they uncovered in their investigation, and then there’s absolute silence on PETA’s side,” Lewis said. “So, I have to assume everything is as it appears — and it’s pretty egregious.”

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The Great Generic Drug Rip-Off

Big Pharma has followed the only avenue left to reap billion-dollar profits: jack up the price of generics.

What happens when rapacious cartels run out of billion-dollar-profit products? They jack up the price of what was previously low-cost. And why are they able to raise prices by 388% to 8,000% at will? Because they can. That's the whole point in having a cartel that is enabled and enforced by the cartel's toadies and apologists in the central state (federal government): price increases can be imposed on the government and the private sector at will.
I was alerted to the extraordinary price increases in widely used generic drugs by Ishabaka (M.D.), who forwarded this fact sheet issued by the office of Senator Bernie Sanders: (Chart is reproduced below)

Staggering Price Increases for Generic Drugs

"Rep. Elijah E. Cummings and Senator Bernard Sanders sent letters to 14 drug manufacturers requesting information about the escalating prices of generic drugs used to treat everything from common medical conditions to life-threatening illnesses. Data was provided by the Healthcare Supply Chain Association (HSCA) on recent purchases by group purchasing organizations (GPOs) of ten generic drugs."

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Court Affirms $151M Ruling Against Walmart For Making Employees Work Off The Clock

When employees claim that their employer systematically forces them to work through breaks or other times during which they aren’t getting paid, how far do they have to go to prove that this is not a fluke particular to just a few stores? This is the question at the core of Walmart’s most recent appeal of a 12-year-old lawsuit that could cost the company nearly $200 million. 

At Least Government Workers Will Get Full Time Jobs While Forcing Private Sector To Drop Hours

The minimum wage goes up to $10.10 for federal contractors working for the Defense Department, General Services Administration and NASA. Three agencies issued an interim rule changing the Federal Acquisition Rule. Wages are set to go up Jan. 1, 2015.

DecemberFest with 3rd Friday

3rd Friday.  
DecemberFest.
 
December 19th 2014 is the next 3rd Friday in Downtown Salisbury, and proves that even in the winter months, Downtown Salisbury has tons to offer! 

You could spend your time shopping for last minute gifts, enjoying special holiday musical performances, browsing gallery exhibits or simply dining at one of the restaurants!  
Shop Local  
3rd Friday is a perfect excuse to don your best ugly sweater for a night out Downtown!

Shoppers will find plenty of places to score one-of-a-kind gifts. Season's Best Antiques is filled to the brim with unique  inventory, and will be having huge sales and an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party!  Timeless treasures can also be found at Angello's Unique Giftsand Kuhn's Jewelers on the Plaza and Gallery 101 will be open with sales on paintings and hand-knit winter accessories. 

Enza's An Organic Salon will be celebrating their 8th Anniversary with cake, caroling, discounts on organic hair products, and an amazing bogo gift card offer. Bury Apparel will have all their Salisbury short sleeve t-shirts on sale for only five bucks!   
  

Holiday Art & Craft ShoppingFor local art and handmade items, be sure to stop by the Art Institute and Gallery's 2014 Holiday Starving Artist Show and Sale and Salisbury University Galleries Downtown Campus for theChrismahanukwanzakah
Student Art Sale featuring glass blowing, photography, fine art and crafts.

When you've finished shopping, you can take all your gifts over to the City Center building, where Relay For Life Team CARES will be offering gift wrapping services to raise donations for the American Cancer Society! 
Nocturne
For those looking for art shows and gallery exhibits, Salisbury University | Downtown Campus will again have Nocturne by Kathleen Scott, a transformative installation that uses cut paper, moving images, sound and projection to create an environment that has both the eeriness of a forest at night, and the comfort of a nursery.  The whole gallery is transformed into a spooky light projection!  Nocturne is a perfect treat for the eye and the mind on a winters evening.  



Veronique Diriker
The Tony Weeg Photography Studio & Gallery will proudly feature the artwork of Veronique Lance Diriker, a unique and prolific artist, who paints anything and everything, in styles and mediums that show the full magnitude of her mastery! 


Diriker, the Director of Development at UMES, has twice been named one of Maryland's Top 100 Women  for her professional and academic achievements, but her amazing talents also shine through her art.  It is an honor to have her displaying at 3rd Friday, and it will not be a night to miss!    
  

Bay Brass and B&B Open Mic 
Holiday music and festivities will be happening all over Downtown.  Bay Brass, a local horn ensemble, will be performing their Christmas program on the Plaza Stage from 6pm - 7pm.  B&B's Open Mic Holiday Spectacularwill bring even more Holiday music and caroling to the Parker Place Building, where performers and groups of all sorts can perform their favorite tunes.   



Salisbury Wicomico Arts Council
You can even enjoy caroling,  music from the grand piano, holiday food and drink and kids Christmas crafts at SWAC! The Salisbury Wicomico Arts Council will be celebrating becoming the first arts group in Henson History to receive the 2014 Richard A. Henson Award for Non-Profit Excellence from theCommunity Foundation of the Eastern Shore

SWAC's office is located above Season's Best on Poplar Hill Avenue, and elevator accessible.  

 

The Downtown Bars and Restaurants will have great specials for the dinner crowd, and plenty of entertainment planned for the night. 

The Brick Room will have live music from Naked Nation, Mojo's will have the ever-funky Groove JooseMarket Street Inn will have DJ B-Side andCellar Door Tavern will have the acoustic stylings ofWhiskeyBellyEchelon Southern Bistro will have Alex & Shiloh from 6-10pm and The Soulful Tones Bandfor the late night crowd. 

Roadie Joe's has Dark Gold Jazz from 5:30-8:30 andDJ Rusty Griswald to close the night and Brew Riveris having a Late Night Happy Hour with live music from Willow Brook!  

Stay tuned with all the latest info on our Facebook Event!

 There is no charge for local artists to set up, but online advance registration is required.   For Artist Registration Info:  Click HERE.

Quarter-Million Letters: Boehner Faces Judgment Day

http://static5.businessinsider.com/image/5397d024ecad04df0c0adb06-1200-924/john-boehner-129.jpg
It took only about 48 hours after the launch of a “Don’t be Yellow: Dump Boehner Now Campaign” to allow constituents to encourage their members of Congress to reject Ohio Rep. John Boehner as speaker for more than 250,000 letters to be ordered on their way.

“It appears this campaign will generate millions of letters by the time Boehner reconvenes the House,” said WND CEO Joseph Farah, who started the effort.

“Will that have an impact on his fate? It will unless Republican House members have a political tin ear and can’t tell which way the wind is blowing.”

On Twitter, the hashtags #BoehnerMustGo and #DumpBoehner were surging, and other commentators, while not adopting the specific letter writing campaign launched, agreed with the goal.

At the American Thinker blog, editorialist Layne Hansen wrote, “It is time to stop thinking of John Boehner and the rest of the Republican congressional leadership as being cowardly and recognize them for what they are: part of The Ruling Class that believes it has the right to tell the rest of us how to live.

“The current GOP leadership has got to go; this has ceased to be an arguable point. We cannot count on these people to do what is right. Conservatives did not give them majorities in both chambers for them to keep playing the same game,” he wrote.

Read more here

Painting Or Photograph? With Richard Estes, It's Hard To Tell

American painter Richard Estes has made a career out of fooling the eye. His canvaseslook like photographs — but they're not.
"You can't see my paintings in reproduction," the 82-year-old artist says. That's because, in reproduction, the paintings — especially his New York cityscapes from the late 1960s — look like photos. He's called a photo-realist, or hyper-realist — an intense observer of the built environment. But he doesn't paint the view from his apartment window.

Governor-elect Hogan Announces Four Cabinet Secretary Appointees

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor-elect Larry Hogan announced four Cabinet Secretary appointees today at a press conference in Annapolis. The appointees include: Delegate Kelly Schulz for secretary of the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation; Bel Air Town Administrator, Dr. Jim Fielder for Appointments secretary; President & CEO of TCE, Incorporated, Gail Bassette for Secretary of the Department of General Services; and Secretary of Juvenile Services Sam Abed, to continue in that role.

"I want to sincerely thank all four of these distinguished and talented individuals for their willingness to join us in public service to our great state," Governor-elect Hogan said. "I look forward to working very closely with each of them over the next four years, as our new team endeavors to put Maryland on a new path and change Maryland for the better."

A diverse group, each appointee brings a wealth of experience to their new role. Dr. Jim Fielder, former secretary of DLLR, currently serves as Town Administrator of Bel Air, Harford County. He has also served as the deputy secretary of the Department of Business and Economic Development, and has a long record of accomplishment in government, academia, and the private sector. He has served as Vice President, Director, and Chief Development Officer of Business Development in the IT and accounting industries, and has served as Vice President of Finance and Administration at Towson University, as well as Director of Budget, HR, and Analysis at the University of Michigan.

Gail Bassette is President & CEO of TCE, Incorporated, a management consulting firm in Laurel. She has over 25 years of experience in Broadcast Media, Business Development, and Project Management. As a government contractor, Bassette understands the challenges faced by small businesses in doing business with government, and understands the importance of delivering services on time and under budget.

Current secretary of the Department Juvenile Services Sam Abed will reprise his position under the Hogan administration. Abed has served as secretary of DJS since 2011, and has led over 2,000 employees and overseen all services of the agency, including probation, supervision, and the treatment and aftercare of committed youth. Prior to his work in Maryland, Abed served as deputy Director of Operations at the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice.

Finally, Delegate Kelly Schulz has been a member of the House of Delegates since 2011, representing Frederick County, and has sat on the House Economic Matters Committee. She is a former federal appointee to the Environmental Protection Agency, and has experience in the private sector.

Judge Says He Regrets Harsh Toll Of Mandatory Minimum Sentences

It seems long ago now, but in the 1960s, '70s and '80s, murders and robberies exploded as cocaine and other illegal drugs ravaged American cities.

Then came June 19, 1986, when the overdose of a college athlete sent the nation into shock just days after the NBA draft. Basketball star Len Bias could have been anybody's brother or son.

Congress swiftly responded by passing tough mandatory sentences for drug crimes. Those sentences, still in place, pack federal prisons to this day. More than half of the 219,000 federal prisoners are serving time for drug offenses.

"This was a different time in our history," remembers U.S. District Judge John Gleeson. "Crime rates were way up, there was a lot of violence that was perceived to be associated with crack at the time. People in Congress meant well. I don't mean to suggest otherwise. But it just turns out that policy is wrong. It was wrong at the time."

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Will the Last Employee of the NY Times Please Turn Out the Lights?

We have long ripped the New York Times as the ultimate in biased, hard-left news coverage. But as red ink has compelled one layoff after another, and the paper’s management has become ever more comically inept, the situation has deteriorated. The New York Times now lacks the basic competence to put out a newspaper. Yesterday’s edition featured this correction to an article on the nationwide Michael Brown/Eric Garner demonstrations:

Correction: December 13, 2014

An earlier version of this article misidentified, on second reference, the person who was shot in Ferguson, Mo. It was Michael Brown, not Darren Wilson. An earlier version of this article also referred incorrectly to the shooting of Trayvon Martin. He was killed by a civilian, not by a police officer. In addition, an earlier version of this correction misspelled Trayvon Martin’s given name as Travyon.

But that’s not all. Today’s corrections include this one:

The Strategies column last Sunday, about how holiday retail sales may have been affected by recent demonstrations against racial injustice, referred incorrectly to the death of Eric Garner after a confrontation with the police on Staten Island. He died after being placed in a chokehold; he did not die in a shooting.

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Atheist Complaint Backfires, Lands Nativity In Full Public View

When the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) went after a city council in Jay, Fla., for displaying a nativity set on public property, the atheist group might have won a battle, but seems to have lost the war.

The FFRF, known for protesting any and all religious displays in public places, sent a complaint letter recently to local officials in the 526-person city of Jay, arguing against the life-sized nativity that had been set up on the site every Christmas for nearly 40 years, the group said in a press release.

In a letter sent to the city’s mayor, FFRF attorney Andrew Seidel alleged, "It is unlawful for the town to maintain, erect, or host a holiday display that consists solely of a nativity scene, thus singling out, showing preference for, and endorsing one religion.” He added there are "ample private and church grounds where religious displays may be freely placed.”

In response to the group’s complaints, the city council declared the nativity set surplus property and sold it to the Santa Rosa County Ministerial Association, thus removing it from public property.

The FFRF’s co-president, Dan Barker, praised the city council’s decision as “divesting the town of a divisive display.”

But the town has not been deprived of the nativity, reports the American Pastors Network. In fact, after the ministerial association purchased the nativity, they then placed the huge Christian display on private property near one of the busiest parts of the small town.

The APN said the complaint was just the latest in a continued attack on religious freedom by groups like the FFRF.

“The truth remains that public displays of the nativity scene on government property in no way violate the Constitution. FFRF’s attempts to stifle religious liberty, however, do.”

More here

A Washington State University Study Finds That Cops Are 25 Times More Likely To Shoot Unarmed White Suspects Than Black Ones

I don’t put much stock in polls or studies. They can pretty much say whatever you want them to. This one though, is interesting. It sure puts a hole in the whole racial bias meme concerning the police, doesn’t it? Crime is colorblind. Bad people do bad things and cops are there to stop them or deter them. They are trained exhaustively on how to respond in stressful situations. Do they make mistakes? Yep. Are there bad cops? Fewer than you’d think, but yes. Just like there are bad apples in any bunch and those that are bad should be prosecuted like any other criminal. I would say, that given all the politicization over race, cops are more hesitant to take down someone of color and that could end badly for everyone. So, the next time a crime is committed, get all the facts and then you should thank the police for having your back as much as they can.

“Hands up, don’t shoot . . . white people”

Via Policeone:

With the turmoil in Ferguson (MO) the latest example, activists and many reporters would have us believe that police officers are prejudicially “trigger happy” when dealing with black suspects.

But a scientific study from Washington State University-Spokane suggests just the opposite. In truth, according to findings from the research team’s innovative experiments:

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New evidence sheds light on deadly traffic stop

In May, a routine traffic stop turned deadly for a Michigan retiree, but cell phone video seemed to contradict police accounts of the event.

As in other cases involving allegations of excessive force by police, a grand jury called to look into Charles Eimers' death chose not to indict the officers. Now, a new video is raising questions about what that grand jury didn't see, CBS News' Elaine Quijano reports.

On Thanksgiving morning last year, Eimers drove into Key West, Florida, planning a dream retirement, but not long after arriving he was pulled over by police for illegally changing lanes.

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