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Saturday, December 20, 2014

American Jailed for 15 Years for Helping Al-Qaeda Read Latest Breaking News from Urgent: Should Obamacare Be Repealed? Vote Here Now!

A naturalized American was jailed for 15 years in Miami on Wednesday for conspiring to provide thousands of dollars to Al-Qaeda and its affiliates in Syria and Somalia, U.S. justice officials said.

Gufran Ahmed Kauser Mohammed, 31, admitted to the court in July that he conspired to provide money and recruits to Al-Qaeda, the Al-Nusra Front in Syria and the Shebab in Somalia, a Justice Department statement said.

Mohammed, who lived in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, and co-conspirator Mohamed Hussein Said were arrested last year in Saudi Arabia after an undercover sting and brought to Miami by FBI agents.


Who Knew Santa Could Dance?

Man Dressed As St. Nick Robs Downtown San Francisco Bank During SantaCon

He knows if you’ve been bad or good, and he apparently also knows when your guard is down.

This last Saturday, some Scrooge dressed as Santa—much like most the rest of the city during the SantaCon street party —tiptoed right into a Wells Fargo bank on Sutter Street downtown, and robbed it.

The real life Man With The Bag approached the teller window in the early afternoon with a demand note in hand, and then gracefully walked away.

The sneaky St. Nick was described only as a man in his 40s or 50s standing about 5-feet, 11-inches tall. KPIX 5’s Joe Vazquez was the first to track down FBI photos revealing that he was wearing an ill-fitting beard.

He slipped into the SantaCon crowed filled with hundreds of merry-makers who were drinking and partying in the streets around Union Square.

“The suspect decided to take advantage of this event dressed as a Santa,” said SFPD spokeswoman Grace Gatpandan


Fed Bill Includes Assateague Funds

ASSATEAGUE — The U.S. Congress this week passed a federal spending plan that includes over $70 million in investments in Maryland waterway projects including a handful on the Lower Shore and across the Eastern Shore.

Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced this week the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 includes $70.3 million for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects in Maryland. The bill was passed by the House and Senate and now heads toward final approval by the president.

“These investments in Maryland’s waterways create and sustain private sector jobs,” said Mikulski this week. “This federal investment in the lives and livelihoods of those who depend on clean and open waterways will keep businesses open and keep Marylanders working.”


TIME warns reporters: Boost reader 'traffic' or get sacked

Time Inc., one of the nation’s oldest media firms, is joining the newest kids on the block like Buzzfeed and Gawker in demanding that its stable of writers drive more reader “traffic” to its website, or else.

The warning comes from Time’s Washington boss who told the Washington Post that he has “the right” to fire a reporter who is unpopular on the internet.

Once home to many reporters who poured their scoops into a blender that editors turned into impactful stories, the goal now appears to be dragging in as many “eyeballs” to the website as possible, helping to drive up advertising rates.

Longtime Post reporter Thomas Heath (please click his page) interviewed Time’s Norman Pearlstine for story this week. He is the “chief content officer,” a new term for top editor being used in legacy media that is shifting to online.


JUST IN: Baltimore Man Suspected In Fatal Shooting Of 2 NYPD Officers

NEW YORK (AP/WJZ/WCBS) — An armed Maryland man that allegedly killed two New York Police Department officers sitting in a patrol car in a Brooklyn, NY neighborhood Saturday afternoon was also linked to another shooting just hours before in Baltimore County, police said.

NYPD Police Commissioner William Bratton confirmed that the suspect was Ismaaiyl Brinsley, a 28-year-old Baltimore man.

Bratton says the suspect shot his ex-girlfriend Saturday morning around 5:45 a.m. in Owings Mills.

The ex-girlfriend’s mother told Baltimore County police that Brinsley was posting on her daughter’s Instagram account.

Police learned of Brinsley’s connection with Brooklyn and had faxed a warning flier to the NYPD, but it was not received until around the same time as the 2:47 p.m. shooting.

Brinsley allegedly posted anti-police postings on his ex-girlfriend’s Instagram account before the shooting.

According to CBS News, Brinsley posted a photo of a handgun on Instagram.

“I’m Putting Wings On Pigs Today,” the post said. “They Take 1 Of Ours. Let’s Take 2 Of Theirs. #ShootThePolice #RIPErivGardner (sic) #RIPMikeBrown This May Be My Final Post. I’m Putting Pigs In A Blanket”

Christmas Day Climatology

Sen. Ted Cruz: Obma Is Acting Out of Anger at American People

Canada Woman Who Parked Car On Highway To Help Ducks Sentenced In Deaths Of 2 On Motorcycle

MONTREAL – A Canadian woman who caused a fatal traffic accident after stopping her car to help ducks on a busy highway has been sentenced to 90 days in prison.

Emma Czornobaj was convicted by a jury on two counts of criminal negligence causing death and two counts of dangerous driving causing death.

The 25-year-old was charged in the deaths of Andre Roy, 50, and his daughter Jessie, 16.


Financial Market Manipulation Is The New Trend: Can It Continue?

Financial Imperialists Attack Russia

A dangerous new trend is the successful manipulation of the financial markets by the Federal Reserve, other central banks, private banks, and the US Treasury. The Federal Reserve reduced real interest rates on US government debt obligations first to zero and then pushed real interest rates into negative territory. Today the government charges you for the privilege of purchasing its bonds.

People pay to park their money in Treasury debt obligations, because they do not trust the banks and they know that the government can print the money to pay off the bonds. Today Treasury bond investors pay a fee in order to guarantee that they will receive the nominal face value (minus the fee) of their investment in government debt instruments.

The fee is paid in a premium, which raises the cost of the debt instrument above its face value and is paid again in accepting a negative rate of return, as the interest rate is less than the inflation rate.


Wicomico County Eyes Database To Improve Transparency

SALISBURY – Wicomico County is following in the footsteps of many other local governments seeking greater transparency by approving funds for a new Citizen Transparency database.

A resolution making a supplemental appropriation from Contingency to the Department of Finance in the amount of $17,500 came before the County Council on Tuesday morning to fulfill the desire for heightening transparency.

The resolution states, “The Executive, Council and Citizens of Wicomico County have expressed a desire for greater transparency in government. The Finance Department has been preparing and posting a series of financial reports to the County’s webpage on a periodic basis, which provide interested consumers with a substantial amount of fiscal information in fixed report formats. The County’s accounting software provider, Tyler Technologies has recognized the nationwide demand for greater transparency in local government and has developed a near real-time, cloud based data reporting module that will allow citizens to access MUNIS financial data, graphs and charts directly from the County’s website. The Executive [County Executive Bob Culver] desires to replace the current report oriented financial reporting process with a dynamic, interactive and searchable source of financial information for both citizens, vendors and elected officials.”


Training centre for North Korea's cyber spies revealed after Sony hack

Just like in a Bond movie, an army of teenage geniuses tap away at keyboards in fortified complex tucked away from prying eyes in a rogue state, bent on bringing cyber-carnage to their Western enemies on the orders of their leader who is bent on revenge.

But this isn't the plot line from a film. This is North Korea in 2014. And the cyber-warriors inside have diverted from their usual work of disrupting governments and big business to turn their collective fury on Sony.

The building, the Kim Il-Sung Military Academy, is one of four North Korean universities known to train children, hand-picked for their intelligence from all around the country, and turn them into recruits for an elite group of hackers simply known as Unit 121 or Bureau 121.


Two Alcohol Licenses Suspended For Infractions

SNOW HILL – Two local businesses face hefty fines and suspensions for liquor license violations following hearings with Worcester County’s Board of License Commissioners.

On Wednesday, the board fined de Lazy Lizard $3,000 and suspended its alcohol privileges until May 26, 2015 (the Tuesday after Memorial Day) following a number of license violations. The board also fined the Friendship Food Mart $3,000 and suspended its alcohol sales until Jan. 5.

“A liquor license is a privilege not a right,” BLC Chairman William Esham told de Lazy Lizard.

Violations stemmed from two occasions in September — a concert during Bike Week and a wedding held Sept. 27. During Bike Week, on Sept. 16, De Lazy Lizard violated its license by setting up a tent and offering live music outside. The number of entertainers also amounted to five — one more than allowed. The bar’s license allows four-piece, live entertainment inside.


Cheney, CIA Torture Offer Rare Glimpse Into Darkness of New World Order

The CIA torture program is fully exposed to the world and there goes Dick Cheney - still alive, still defiant, still selling tyranny, dictatorship and fascism to anyone who will listen. Every time the man speaks he seems to be attempting to speak to your consciousness with the voice of darkness and evil. The voice seems to be saying- “Bad is good, eye for an eye, survival of the fittest wins, he who has the biggest gun wins, kill or be killed, the ends justifies the means.” Now where have I (we) heard this before? Who thinks this way? Who declares boldly that anything goes, murder and torture is fair game, love and peace is weak and useless, might and force rules, and thinks that we live to kill enemies?

I remember now – it’s the villains in every movie we watched as children. It was the villain in every cop show we watched growing up. Remember the bad guys that always died at the end? The ones whose missions almost succeeded except for the actions of a superhero, or hero cop, detective, agent or investigator saving the day.

I remember the typical villains in old shows and movies – They never felt like they owed anything to humanity. Everything they did was for themselves. They were consumed in egoism and selfishness. The villains of old movies and TV shows never felt responsible for anything they did and they never felt any guilt when doing something evil. Remember those typical personality profiles of the evil villains?


Smoking Rate Plummets To 7.7% In Worcester County

BERLIN – Smoking is on the decline in Worcester County.

According to local health officials, the percentage of adults using tobacco products in Worcester County dropped from 23.7 percent in 2000 to 7.7 percent in 2012. The drop, which is outlined in a recent report from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, mirrors statewide trends.

“I’m amazed,” said Marty Pusey, director of prevention services for the Worcester County Health Department. “Generally Eastern Shore counties tend to be higher in smoking rates. I’m pleased to see this but what we get one year doesn’t mean we’re going to get that the next year.”

Across Maryland, the rate of tobacco use dropped from 20.5 percent in 2000 to 16.2 percent in 2012. Here in Worcester County, Pusey says it’s hard to pinpoint a specific reason for the decrease. She believes the significant amount of funding the county received in 2000 — the year the Cigarette Restitution Fund was created — played a role, as did the passage of the Clean Indoor Air Act in 2007. The funding increase allowed the county to expand its smoking cessation programs, its enforcement programs and its educational programs.


Obama Again Bows to a Dictator, Will ‘Normalize’ Relations with Communist Cuba

Barack Obama has made an unprecedented announcement following Cuba’s release of American Alan Gross, who has been held in a prison in Cuba for five years, accused of being a spy. The release came as the result of a swap, in which the United States also released three Cuban citizens who had been held jailed in Florida.

The AP reports that the Obama regime has been in secret talks with Raul Castro’s regime in Cuba for over a year. These meetings took place in both Canada and the Vatican with Pope Francis getting involved personally. Following the announcement of the normalization of Cuba-U.S. relations, Pope Francis praised the decision. In an official statement from the Vatican, Pope Francis said that he “wishes to express his warm congratulations for the historic decision taken by the governments of the United States of America and Cuba to establish diplomatic relations, with the aim of overcoming, in the interest of the citizens of both countries, the difficulties which have marked their recent history.”

Obama called the economic sanctions and travel restrictions in regards to Cuba “outdated” and said it was time to take a new approach. The AP details some of Obama’s changes in policy towards Cuba.


Salisbury Public Works Press Release (Christmas Tree Pickup)

This Bullet Just Designed for the U.S. Military, Really Should Have ISIS Terrorists Quaking in Their Boots

Firefly and Stagecoach Present Big Barrel Country Music Festival

Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood to Headline 3-day event at The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway

DOVER, DE - Big Barrel Country Music Festival will take place in 2015 from June 26-28 at The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway, where the annual Firefly Music Festival is held. Hosted the weekend following Firefly, the festival will provide a similar world-class experience featuring headliners Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood. Additional artists include Jake Owen, Chris Young, Gary Allan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, and over 40 more. Three-day general admission passes are $99.

In addition to three days of country music’s top performers, attendees will be introduced to a wide variety of attractions within the festival and campgrounds. Highlights include, but are not limited to, a large-scale Dance Hall, BBQ area, Saloon, marketplace with a variety of western goods and products, as well as a family-friendly area.

Students at George Washington University Sign a Petition to Deport Americans in Exchange for Illegal Immigrants

SFD Calls For Service 12-19-14

  • Friday December, 19 2014 @ 23:00Nature: Medical EmergencyCity:Salisbury
  • Friday December, 19 2014 @ 19:31Nature: Medical EmergencyCity:Salisbury
  • Friday December, 19 2014 @ 19:08Nature: Medical EmergencyCity:Salisbury
  • Friday December, 19 2014 @ 17:32Nature: Medical EmergencyCity:Salisbury
  • Friday December, 19 2014 @ 17:18Nature: Medical EmergencyCity:Salisbury

‘Racial’ Cop Stories That Didn’t Make The Cut

In 2012, according to the CDC, 140 blacks were killed by police. That same year 386 whites were killed by police. Over the 13-year period from 1999 to 2011, the CDC reports that 2,151 whites were killed by cops — and 1,130 blacks were killed by cops.

Police shootings, nationwide, are down dramatically from what they were 20 or 30 years ago. The CDC reported that in 1968, shootings by law enforcement — called “legal intervention” by the CDC — was the cause of death for 8.6 out of every million blacks. For whites the rate was was .9 deaths per million.

By 2011, law enforcement shootings caused 2.74 deaths for every million blacks, and 1.28 deaths for every million whites. While the death-by-cop rate for whites has held pretty steady over these last 45 years, hovering just above or below the one-in-a-million level, the rate for blacks has fallen. In 1981, black deaths by cop stood at four in a million, but since 2000 has remained just above or below two in a million.

So what’s driving this notion that there is now an “epidemic” of white cops shooting blacks when in the last several decades the numbers of blacks killed by cops are down nearly 75 percent?

Where’s the evidence suggesting race had anything to do with the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, who was pointing a pellet gun at bystanders before being shot and killed by police?

What’s the racial nexus to the death of Eric Gardner, the large, obese man who died after being taken down by several NYPD cops?

While the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case became another racial thermometer of America, the jury found Zimmerman not guilty, and several jurors later said that during jury deliberations “race never came up.”


Iraq, Afghan Wars Cost US $1.6 Trillion Since 9/11

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and counterterrorism operations have cost the U.S. a combined $1.6 trillion since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to a new Congressional Research Service analysis.

Through fiscal 2014, which ended in September, Congress approved $815 billion for warfare in Iraq, $686 billion for Afghanistan and other operations against terrorism, $81 billion for other war-designated spending and $27 billion for Noble Eagle air patrols over the U.S., according to the report posted on the agency’s internal website. The total includes $297 billion spent on weapon procurement and war repairs.

The assessment is the agency’s first full update of war costs since March 2011. It accounts for money provided to the Pentagon, State Department and Department of Veterans Affairs for war operations, training and equipping Iraqi and Afghan forces, diplomatic operations and medical care for wounded Americans over the past 13 years, the agency said in the report dated Dec. 8. It also includes most reconstructions costs.

“The main factor determining cost is the number of U.S. troops deployed” at different times, the research service said. U.S. troops in Afghanistan peaked at 100,000 in 2011; there are 11,600 there today as the U.S. withdrawal continues.

The figures include war-related intelligence funding that wasn’t tracked or spent by the Defense Department, according to the report. It wasn’t updated with the $63.7 billion in war spending for the current fiscal year for Afghanistan operations and the first installment of operations against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.


Ex-Reagan Cuba Adviser: Obama's Timing Is 'the Worst'

By normalizing relations, President Barack Obama has just thrown a lifeline to Cuba's flailing dictatorship instead of exploiting the island nation's desperate economic situation to extract meaningful concessions on human rights, a former Cuba adviser to President Ronald Reagan told Newsmax TV on Wednesday.

"We're getting in bed with a Stalinist regime, a communist regime," and at the worst possible moment because the U.S. negotiating position would have been strengthened by waiting even just a few months, Miami talk radio personality Carlos Perez told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner.


Michelle Obama’s Tales of Racialized Victimhood

She changes her story about her adventure at a big-box store.
Oh, woe is she. In an “exclusive” interview withPeople magazine this week, first lady Michelle Obama lamented the “sting” of “racist experiences” that she and her husband allegedly still suffer. My message for America’s Marie Antoinette? Cry me a river.

To show how she’s down with The Struggle of post-Ferguson agitators, Mrs. Obama cited a supposedly horrifying incident at a Target store where she was treated, in her paranoid mind, as a subservient. “Even as the first lady,” she bemoaned, “not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf.”

A lowly peon asked her for an innocent favor? It’s Jim Crow all over again! ABC News reports that Mrs. Obama said such “incidents are ‘the regular course of life’ for African-Americans and a ‘challenge’ for the country to overcome.”


Rescue or relinquish: Where to bring animals for adoption

Outside of Ocean City, stray animals are, according to county code, to serve a quarantine of 10 days at the Worcester County Animal Control center off Timmons Road in Snow Hill. That’s a good 20 miles away from the Worcester County Humane Society, near the Ocean City Airport.

The reasoning for this is admittedly nebulous, but as an organization trying to rebuild itself, the humane society is quite used to working in uncharted territory.

“We’re trying to organize policies and procedures, and we’re starting from scratch,” Kelly Austin, president of the humane society’s board of directors, said.

There exists a deal in which animals found in Ocean City can serve their quarantine at the humane society. All other animals are, for the time being, out of luck at that facility.


The Clinton ‘Nexus Of Money And Official Action’ To Be Investigated

While most news outlets focused on the North Korean Sony hack and U.S.-Cuban relations opening Wednesday, one shocker of a scandal fell under the radar.

Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin sat down with John Heilemann to discuss a story where Hillary Clinton, in her capacity as Secretary of State, lifted a ban on an Ecuadorean woman so she could work for one of President Obama’s top donors.

There is still more investigating to be done, “but the bottom line is not good for the Clintons,” Halperin said.


786 children have been killed across the U.S. since 2008

Shocking new figures reveal Florida to be the child abuse capital of America - as 117 children were killed while being monitored by welfare officers in the state in just five years.

And a sickening map of abuse shows how at least 786 children, most under the age of four, died from violence or neglect from 2008 to 2013 in plain view of child protection authorities.

Many of them were beaten, starved or left alone to drown while agencies had good reason to know they were in danger.


Vermont Bails on Single-Payer Health Care

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin on Wednesday dropped his plan to enact a single-payer health care system in his state — a plan that had won praise from liberals but never really got much past the framework stage.

“This is not the right time” for enacting single payer, Shumlin said in a statement, citing the big tax increases that would be required to pay for it.

Shumlin faced deep skepticism that lawmakers could agree on a way to pay for his ambitious goal and that the feds would agree to everything he needed to create the first state-based single-payer system in 2017.

And that was all before Shumlin, a Democrat, almost lost reelection last month in one of the country’s most liberal states. And it was before MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, the now notorious Obamacare consultant who also advised Vermont until his $400,000 contract was killed amid the controversy, became political poison.

More here

Military Planes Caught Dumping Mysterious Fibers

State’s attorney, sheriff working on tailored GIS maps

If law enforcement or the state’s attorney’s office wants access to a particular map of an area for an investigation or trial, the process can be arduous, even if the data already exists within the county’s geographic information system coffers.

State’s Attorney Beau Oglesby admitted he’d welcome any solution to the problem that presented itself, which it has, sort of.

County employee Mark Dunlevy is pursuing, at his own cost and on his own time, a master’s degree in GIS management at Salisbury University. To complete that degree, he must complete and document a GIS-related project.

Dunlevy has offered to produce a web map, essentially the same as a PDF (Adobe Portable Document Format) file with some filters that could add or subtract layers of detail according to the users’ wants or needs. The document will be “read only,” so users could not modify the file information.


A Tweet On Women's Veils, Followed By Raging Debate In Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabian women wear their traditional face covering, the niqab, at a coffee and chocolate exhibition in the capital Riyadh on Monday. A prominent religious figure said on Twitter that the face veil is not mandatory, sparking a heated national debate.

The man at the eye of the storm in Saudi Arabia is Ahmad Aziz Al Ghamdi. He's a religious scholar, the former head of the religious police in Mecca, a group officially known as the Committee for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

He has the pedigree of an ultra-conservative. Yet he stunned Saudis with a religious ruling, known as a fatwa, that is very liberal by Saudi standards. He declared that the niqab, the black face veil that is ubiquitous among women in Saudi society, is not obligatory.

His answer came in a Twitter response to a tweet he receive from a Saudi woman who had turned to him for religious guidance. She asked: Does Islam allow her to post a picture of her face on social media?

His affirmative answer went viral within hours, with more than 10,000 comments on his Twitter feed that ranged from congratulations to death threats.

When Twitter commentators asked, "What about his own wife?" Al Ghamdi promptly stepped up the controversy another notch.


Holiday Celebrations, Services and Closings

The Town of Ocean City is reminding citizens that administrative offices will be closed on Wednesday, December 24, and Thursday, December 25, in observance of the Christmas holiday. The normal trash pickup schedule will be in effect on Wednesday, December 24, however; there will be no trash collection on Thursday, December 25.

Also beginning December 26, the Town of Ocean City will once again provide a Christmas tree drop-off site at the 100th Street Municipal Parking Lot. Trees can be placed in the northeast corner of the 100th Street lot December 26 through January 15. Please remove all tinsel, ornaments and other non-wooden items from the tree. Trees collected at the site are taken to the county landfill where they are recycled.

Citizens should also be reminded that Town of Ocean City administrative offices will be closed on Thursday, January 1, in observance of the New Year’s holiday. There will be no trash collection on New Year’s Day. The normally scheduled trash collection will resume on Friday, January 2.

Supreme Court Refuses To Block Arizona Driver's Licenses For 'Dreamers'

Arizona hoped an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court would prevent the state from having to grant driving permits to young undocumented immigrants, also known as "dreamers," who entered the country as children. A federal appeals court ruled in July of this year Arizona must start issuing the licenses to dreamers, who under Obama administration policy are permitted to remain in the United States.

NPR's Nina Totenberg reported on the Supreme Court's Wednesday decision and the background of the legal dispute:

"When Arizona refused to allow dreamers to get drivers licenses, a group of these young adults challenged the action in court. A federal appeals court ruled that since the dreamers were likely to prevail, the state must go ahead and grant the licenses while the case is litigated. Arizona then appealed to the Supreme Court, asking the justices to block that order."

The court's decision, she says, ultimately did not rule in the state's favor.

"The justices, by a 6-to-3 vote, refused to intervene, at least for now. The three dissenters were Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito."

The state has been fighting for more than two years to deny the licenses, beginning with an executive order by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer in August 2012. The Arizona Republic published a timeline of the state's legal actions surrounding the issue, showing Brewer issued the order on the same day President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program took effect. The program allows those undocumented immigrants to stay in the U.S. for 2 years in order to apply for immunity.


Report: Immigrants Account For All Employment Growth Since 2007

Labor statistics show that foreign-born workers account for all net gains in U.S. employment in the past seven years, according to a group that advocates low immigration.

The Center for Immigration Studies issued a report Friday that found 1.5 million fewer U.S.-born workers employed in 2014 than prior to the recession in 2007. Foreign-born employment for both legal and illegal immigrants increased by more than 2 million workers during the same time period.

The data, which CIS obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is evidence that native-born workers could have a harder time finding jobs under President Obama’s plan to allow more than 5 million illegal immigrants to obtain work permits, CIS officials said.

“If we continue to allow in new immigration at the current pace or choose to increase the immigration level it will be even more difficult for the native-born to make back the ground they have lost in the labor market,” the report’s authors, Steven A. Camarota and Karen Zeigler, wrote.


STUDY: Cops are most obese workers

Their job is to protect and serve – but it seems some police officers interpret this as an excuse to enjoy too many extra servings at the lunch table.

A study has revealed US cops have the highest rates of obesity among any profession in the country.

Along with firefighters and security guards, nearly 41 per cent of boys in blue are obese, according to a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Social workers, clergy and counsellors come in second, with 35.6 per cent having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more – the standard definition of obese used by the study.

Home health aides and massage therapists are third at 34.8 per cent.

Surprisingly sedentary professions such as truckers, bus drivers and crane operators, come in only fifth in a group with garbage collectors on nearly 32.8 per cent.

The slimmest workers are economists, scientists and psychologists, of whom 14.2 per cent are classed as obese.


University of Michigan Professor Says ‘It’s Okay to Hate Republicans’

University of Michigan communications professor and department chair Susan Douglas is facing calls for her resignation following an op-ed she wrote, titled “It’s Okay To Hate Republicans.”

“I hate Republicans,” Ms. Douglas wrote for the nonprofit magazine In These Times. “I can’t stand the thought of having to spend the next two years watching Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Ted Cruz, Darrell Issa or any of the legions of other blowhards denying climate change, thwarting immigration reform or championing fetal ‘personhood.’ “

She then accused conservatives of having “certain psychological characteristics,” such as “[d]ogmatism, rigidity and intolerance of ambiguity; a need to avoid uncertainty; support for authoritarianism; a heightened sense of threat from others; and a personal need for structure.”

“According to researchers, the two core dimensions of conservative thought are resistance to change and support for inequality,” Ms. Douglas continued. “These, in turn, are core elements of social intolerance. The need for certainty, the need to manage fear of social change, lead to black-and-white thinking and an embrace of stereotypes.”

More here

A Drone's View Of Christmas Lights

Maryland Mayor: Scrutiny may be affecting cops' ability to act

Baltimore mayor believes nationwide protests might cause officers to hesitate in using deadly force — compromising their safety

Nationwide protests after the deaths of two unarmed black men by police in Missouri and New York might cause officers to hesitate to use deadly force for fear of becoming the "next Darren Wilson," Baltimore's mayor said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, police unions say departments across the country are battling anxiety that could compromise officers' safety. They called upon more police chiefs and elected leaders to vocally back officers, who have felt their public support erode even as they continue to do dangerous jobs protecting communities.

In the latest flash point in Baltimore, a city officer drew a Taser on a man concealing a gun who shot him Sunday night. The investigation into the shooting continues.

During a weekly news briefing Wednesday, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said intense public scrutiny and four months of protests against police brutality in Baltimore may be affecting officers' ability to act at critical moments.

"A lot of officers I've heard — not just in Baltimore but nationally when I talk to other mayors — said they want to make sure that they get it right," she said. "It's understandable if they feel at greater risk. We are, for our generation, for many of those who are active on the street, in uncharted territory. There is a lot of unease."

"They don't want to be the next Darren Wilson," she said, referring to the Ferguson, Mo., police officer who shot an unarmed man.


Law Enforcement Is the Fattest Profession, Study Finds

Along with firefighters and security guards
Police officers, firefighters and security guards have the highest rates of obesity of all professions, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

According to the Journal, 40.7% of police, firefighters and security guards are obese. Other jobs with high obesity rates include clergy, engineers and truckers.

Read more

The Fed & "The Grandest Con Job In The History Of The World"

I used to get a kick out of the cute little children waiting for the Fed Chair to come and deliver presents or coal. So giddy and excited from the anticipation of not knowing who Janet thinks were good boys and girls. Who’s going to be rewarded and who disappointed? And I don’t know how many people asked me today what the Fed will do. My answer was “The same f@#*ing thing they always do, nothing. So stop asking”.

You see if you read some of Stanley Fischer’s early work on the rational expectation model you find that the key to fixing the lack of long term effectiveness to monetary policy is by confusing the working man. The idea being, people will act rationally with the information they are provided and so what typically happens is that people change their behaviour which counters the impact of the policy being implemented. The solution is to keep us guessing. And so what they have done for essentially every meeting is nothing.

However, they use the media to talk about all the things they just might do. And the pundits on television go on and on about all the things that might happen and what the follow on implications will be given those alternatives and then the moment comes and ahhh nothing, damn they fooled me again! I really thought this time was it gosh golly dang it!. I guess it was just that this or that was just slightly out of place otherwise they said they were totally gonna do this or that. So close, but ultimately they are right. Yep they made the right choice based on all the variables. They are just swell.

At this point, I just get annoyed with the ridiculous foolishness of people. We’ve got to start using our own brains. The Fed stopped using any benchmarks because while the benchmarks were improving, the economy wasn’t and isn’t. And so they were being railroaded by the transparency that benchmarks provide. And now it is just a black box of various indicators that will be analyzed in real time to form justifiable actions, far too complex for you and I but trust them that there is a definite method and it’s very quantifiable at that, they just can’t tell us what it is because it would just confuse everyone.


Public Gets First View Of County Audit Report

County officials on Tuesday presented the county commissioners with the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for fiscal 2014 containing data they’ve seen before but not in report form.

This was the first time the public had access to the data, County Finance Officer Phillip Thompson said. Independent auditor TGM Group in Salisbury reviewed the document and found it to be in compliance with standard accounting practice and a fair representation of the county’s financial information.

According to the report, the variance between the county assets and liabilities was $11.7 million less than it was fiscal 2013, shrinking from about $171 million to $159 million.


How 59 Republicans Can Show Boehner The Door

Our system of government was designed to be run from the bottom up. Our Founding Fathers wanted to be sure that we the people would have the final say in matters of great importance, not the president or congressional leaders, and certainly not the Supreme Court.

They also recognized that it was we the people who must have absolute control of the power of the purse, not the other way around. That is why the Constitution mandates that all spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives and that the members of that illustrious body must stand for re-election every other year. They gave us the ability to rein in congressmen if they overstep their bounds.

To say that John Boehner has failed as speaker of the House is to state the obvious.

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to dump a sitting speaker. As the old saying goes, “Power corrupts, and absolutely power corrupts absolutely.” Congressional leaders have a lot of power, and they do everything they can to maintain it. That is why the current Congress holds the elections for party leadership positions for the next Congress before the new members are seated. It’s all supposed to be a fait accompli – but is it?

Not completely. The only thing that remains to be decided in January is the vote for speaker of the House. That’s because the speaker is ostensibly the leader of the entire Congress. Therefore, that vote must be taken, not in the conference (party) meeting, but on the floor of the House itself.

This is usually the very first order of business. It will happen on Jan. 6, 2015. Not a lot of time to rally the Boehner opposition.

Nevertheless, in a perfect world, it could happen, and here’s how:

Keep reading..

Phelps Pleads Guilty For DUI Charges

Olympic gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps avoided jail time on Friday when a judge placed him on probation for pleading guilty to a drunken driving charge for the second time in 10 years. The punishment came with a warning.

"You don't need a lecture from the court," Baltimore District Judge Nathan Braverman told Phelps. "If you haven't gotten the message by now, or forget the message, the only option is jail."

Probation allows the most decorated Olympian ever to focus on training for the 2016 Games in Rio De Janeiro, which would be his fifth. The 29-year-old came out of a year's retirement with his sights set on Rio, and the plea is not expected to have any ill effect on those plans.


David Stockman: Energy Crunch Will Morph Into a Replay of the Housing Crash

The spiraling energy meltdown is the new housing crash, according to David Stockman, White House budget chief in the Reagan White House.

Just as the 2007-09 housing plunge did not put a dime into consumers' pockets — even though average home prices tanked by about 30 percent, from $230,000 to $165,000 — the energy crunch likewise is not going to add to consumer wallets, Stockman asserts.

At the peak of the mortgage boom, he notes, the U.S. savings rate had actually vanished, falling to about 2.5 percent of personal income from pre-Greenspan rates of 10 percent to 12.5 percent.

"Stated differently, the mortgage credit boom exploded uncontrollably in the run-up to the financial crisis because free-market pricing of debt and savings had been totally distorted and falsified by the monetary central planners at the Fed," Stockman writes on his Contra Corner blog.

"Drastic mispricing of savings and mortgage debt in this instance touched off a cascade of distortions in spending and investment that did immense harm to the main street economy because they induced unsustainable economic bubbles to accompany the financial ones."

Now Stockman predicts it will be deja vu all over again for Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and her minions at the Fed.


NASA Builds $349M Tower, Then Promptly Mothballs It

A massive $349 million NASA tower completed in June has been "mothballed" in Gulfport, Mississippi, without ever being used.

The construction of the 30-story tower, designed to test a new rocket engine, had actually continued for several years after the project was officially scrubbed, according to The Washington Post.

The building, called the A-3 test stand, has been empty and locked up for months, but in fact, it already has been rendered useless in 2010 after the expensive rocket program had been canceled.


These Politicians Didn't Let A Conviction Stand In The Way Of Their Career Aspirations

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Not all politicians convicted of crimes leave politics for good. This week, ex-Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci decided to run for mayor again, despite a corruption conviction and 4 1/2 years spent in prison. A look at high-profile politicians who wouldn't let a conviction stand in the way of a bid for public office:


Cianci was forced to resign as mayor in 1984 after he was convicted of assault. Six years later, he won his job back, but Cianci's second mayoral reign, known around town as Buddy II, ended in 2002 when he was convicted of racketeering conspiracy and sent to prison as part of an investigation into corruption in City Hall. Cianci announced Wednesday he is trying for Buddy III, running as an independent for what would be a seventh term as mayor.


The former Louisiana governor served eight years in prison for a felony racketeering conviction arising from the licensing of riverboat casinos in his fourth term. Edwards announced in March he is running to represent Louisiana's 6th Congressional District, ending months of speculation about his political future.


This Is Not What We Meant By “Paying Players” Read more at

S.C. Senator Marlon Kimpson – an uber-liberal trial lawyer from Charleston, S.C. – wants to force the University of South Carolina and Clemson to pay football players a stipend of $150 per week. He also wants the schools to pay into a new trust fund for graduating athletes.

Um … really?

That’s peanuts, dude … and more to the point, Kimpson’s ridiculous legislation neglects to privatize these schools first.

Seriously … sports (as much as we love it) is not a core function of government, a point we made abundantly clear in opposing taxpayer funding for a low-level bowl game in Charleston, S.C. Also, last time we checked South Carolina pays a disproportionately large percentage of its budget on a bloated, inefficient and duplicative system of higher education – one being fed by a bubble that’s about to go pop.

Anyway … this website has written extensively on the racket that is major college athletics, publishing a lengthy post earlier this year in response to the autograph scandal involving University of Georgia running back Todd Gurley.


“Hell No” To Legal Fees In Gay Marriage Case


This website has been adamant in its opposition to government’s intervention in the institution of marriage – which we believe to be the exclusive purview of individual churches.

Gay, straight or plural … government should neither compel nor condemn churches when it comes to performing marriages.

What should it do? Stay the hell out it … and let individual congregations decide.

Accordingly, we supported U.S. district court judge Richard Gergel‘s recent ruling striking down the Palmetto State’s gay marriage ban – well, we supported (and still support) the conclusion Gergel reached.

We do have serious reservations, though, regarding Gergel’s decision to take the case in the first place.


Price of Ground Beef Climbs to Another Record

The average price of a pound of ground beef climbed to another record high -- $4.201 per pound -- in the United States in November, reports the BLS.

In August 2014, the average price for a pound of all types of ground beef topped $4 for the first time, hitting $4.013. In September, the average price jumped to $4.096 per pound, and in October, the average price climbed to $4.154 per pound. In November, the average price hit the highest price ever recorded -- $4.201 per pound.

A year ago, in November 2013, the average price for a pound of ground beef was $3.477 per pound. Since then, the average price has increased 20.8 percent in one year.

Five years ago, in November 2009, the average price of a pound of ground beef was $2.062. The price has since climbed by $2.139 per pound, or 103.7 percent.


Study This for Awhile

As Doug Short notes, student loans may be a liability on the consumer balance sheet, but they constitute an asset for Uncle Sam. Just how big? It's 45.3 percent of the total federal assets, up from 37.2 percent at the end of 2012. This is about 7 times larger than the 6.4 percent for the Total Mortgages outstanding and 4.8 times the size of Taxes Receivable.

In other words, there is no market judgement involved in the sanity of these loans held by the government. They are made for all practical reasons by the government for political reasons to:

A. prop up the education infrastructure


B. buy the votes of students.

Is it any wonder there are so many interventionists in academia and students come out of college with no understanding at all about free markets and the nature of entrepreneurship?

It's a rigged game.

And, oh yeah, the government will eventually forgive the student loans.