Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Senate clobbers Obama’s $4 trillion budget plan in 1-98 vote — Here’s the one guy who voted ‘yes’

The Senate on Tuesday destroyed any lingering hope President Barack Obama might have had for passing his budget plan through Congress this year, by voting down Obama’s plan 1-98.

The only senator to vote for the plan was Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.).

Obama’s budget plans have not fared well in Congress, and in fact Democrats have not even tried to present them each year when members consider various budget plans. That has forced Republicans to call up a version of Obama’s plan to get a sense of how much Congress supports Obama’s plan.

In the last few years, Democrats have protested that these attempts are not real votes on Obama’s budget plans. But those arguments seemed mostly designed to allow Democrats to vote against it with Republicans and spare Obama from seeing his budget plans go down year after year.

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Going Soft on Crime


House Bill 121 seeks to turn back the clock...
by Mike McDermott


Every now and again Maryland’s General Assembly can be counted on to get something right. This was true when, years ago, they passed legislation that placed mandatory minimum sentences in place for repeat drug offenders. It was crafted in response to a real problem with the courts and a system that allowed repeat offenders (career criminals) to serve minimal sentences before being eligible for parole.

Our prisons had become revolving doors and, with a growing crime problem, legislators took action. At the prompting of criminal justice and other community leaders, they adopted mandatory minimums sentencing guidelines to address the more serious criminal drug element. In many cases this meant a criminal caught taking another bite of the apple would be required to serve a minimum sentence between 2 and 40 years behind bars before they could even think about being paroled.

Even the threat of a 10-year minimum sentence created an environment where those charged became more receptive to plea bargain offers from the State’s Attorneys. This ultimately reduced the demand placed on an overburdened court system by limiting the number of jury trials required. Further, it lessened the impact on crime victims and witnesses by eliminating the need to testify. Acceptance of pleas in these cases vanquished the appeals process further reducing pressure on the system.

It is safe to say, there are more marks in the plus column on the balance sheet with this law in place. Yet, in a move to turn back the clock, the Baltimore City Delegation and their Chairman, Delegate Curt Anderson, are pushing ahead with HB-121 in an effort to further soften life for criminals in Maryland.

The bill has suffered amendments, as most do, but it is still full of language that would damage a system that has been working to the benefit of Marylanders. If passed into law, it would strike the minimum mandatory sentences and replace them with discretionary sentences that could be imposed by the trial judge. It is a bait and switch tactic where you trade your guaranteed dinner for what could amount to an empty plate.

The delegates pushing this bill designed it to “appear” tougher saying, “but we doubled the sentencing possibilities from 10 to 20 years”. This is true, but they know full well that it would take a 20-year sentence to see an inmate come anywhere close to serving 10. In reality, it would be closer to 7, and this is the very reason that mandatory minimum sentences were sought out in the first place.

While we are under siege with a heroin epidemic, going soft on the dealers and traffickers that are poisoning our children seems hardly appropriate. In fact, it amounts to surrender. Our State’s Attorneys need the threat of mandatory sentences hanging over the heads of career criminals, and our court system needs the relief that a functional plea agreement often provides.

If HB-121 becomes law, it will only benefit the criminal and it will increase the burden on tax payers. If passed, it will only mean that our streets will be occupied with more drug dealers and those they make dependent upon their poison. It will constitute another step in the wrong direction for Maryland. The vote in the House Judiciary Committee came down along party lines with 8 Republican votes against and the bare minimum 12 Democrat votes in favor. Seems a few Democrats sat this one out on the sidelines.

It is perhaps appropriate that the hearing date for HB-121 in the Maryland Senate falls on April 1st; for changing the law, in this case, would constitute a foolish act.

Police shooting of mentally ill woman reaches US supreme court. Why did it happen at all?

In August 2008, Teresa Sheehan, a mentally ill 56-year-old woman, was shot multiple times by San Francisco police officers. The police had been called to take her for an emergency psychiatric evaluation when she threatened a case worker, but the situation quickly escalated.

After Sheehan threatened the officers with a knife, they shot her five or six times, including in the hip and head. She survived but needed two hip replacement surgeries.

Sheehan sued the officers and the city for failing to take her mental health status into account during arrest. Her lawyers argue that Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires officers to “reasonably” modify arrest procedures when confronting people who have mental illness; San Francisco says the ADA does not apply to arrests, especially with public safety at stake.

On Monday, the US supreme court will hear oral arguments in the Sheehan case, to decide whether and how disabilities regulations apply to police policies and procedures during arrests.

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Erica Coulbourne's Funeral Fund

No parent, grandparent, family member, or friend should have to bury a child; however, tragedies unfortunately happen.  When they do, the support system surrounding the grieving family is important.  Beyond the thoughts, prayers, and support, the monetary situation is sometimes forgotten.  The average cost of a funeral is about $10,000.  

We have a wonderful community and I believe we can all come together and help this family out.  Unfortunately, the family did not have life insurance.  Any help we can get and make sure this beautiful, young girl has a proper farewell. 

Erica was a beautiful, fun loving girl who had a contagious smile, and wonderful friendships.  Erica touched many of our hearts during the time we got to have her here with us on earth.  She has left us too soon.

http://www.gofundme.com/pmuca4 

TSA improperly provided 'notorious' convicted felon expedited screening at airport

A convicted felon who was also a former member of a domestic terrorist group was allowed by the Transportation Security Administration to go through the expedited passenger screening lane at an airport last year even after a security officer recognized the "notorious" traveler, the Homeland Security Department watchdog said in a March 19 press release.

The DHS inspector general conducted an investigation after the U.S. Office of Special Counsel received a whistleblower disclosure that alleged that the felon was not properly cleared for TSA's PreCheck screening.

The partially redacted March 16 report (pdf) – "Allegation of Granting Expedited Screening Through TSA PreCheck Improperly" (OIG-15-45) – was released on the IG's website March 19. The House Democrat's Homeland Security website previously posted the report.

"The traveler is a former member of a domestic terrorist group," the IG said in its report. "While a member, the traveler was involved in numerous felonious criminal activities that led to arrest and conviction. After serving a multiple-year sentence, the traveler was released from prison."

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Federal workers owe more than $3.5 billion in unpaid taxes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal workers and retirees owed more than $3.5 billion in unpaid taxes last year, a $200 million increase over the previous year, the IRS said Tuesday.

Almost 305,000 federal workers and retirees owed back taxes as of Sept. 30. That’s down from 318,000 the year before.

The delinquency rate was 3.1 percent for the 9.8 million workers and retirees included in the data. That’s down from 3.3 percent the previous year.

The IRS compiles data each year on unpaid taxes by federal workers. The data does not include workers who have enrolled in installment agreements to pay their back taxes.

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Brother, former president to attend Jeb Bush fundraiser

DES MOINES, Iowa — Former President George W. Bush is scheduled to attend a Lone Star-studded fundraiser in Dallas Wednesday for his brother Jeb Bush.

The former president and former first lady Laura Bush are the special guests named to appear with the former Florida governor, who is expected to announce in the coming months his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, Texas Republicans said Monday.

It would be the first time former President Bush — a former Texas governor and current resident of Dallas — has attended a fundraiser for his brother, who has been aggressively raising money for his political action committee from some of the GOP's top donors for three months. It also comes as Jeb Bush nears the end of what is expected to be a successful fundraising quarter for the PAC.

The guest list also includes big names in Texas and national GOP fundraising circles, including Dallas billionaire T. Boone Pickens, who is chairman of BP Capital Management, and real estate and homebuilding magnate Woody Hunt of El Paso.

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2 Maryland students caught cheating on PARCC exam

BALTIMORE —Two Maryland students have been caught cheating on a new test tied to the Common Core standards.

Education officials said they learned earlier this month that the students posted test questions to their Twitter accounts. The state is not naming the students, identifying their schools or saying what might happen to them.

The 10th-grade students were taking the statewide English test when they apparently took pictures of the test questions and posted them on Twitter. The tweets were noticed by the testing company using software designed to find keywords and phrases. It wasn't long before state school officials got word of what had taken place.

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Evolution May Explain Why a Curvy Bottom Drives Men Wild

(HealthDay News) -- Men are naturally drawn to a woman with a curvy backside, a new report suggests.

The "theoretically optimal angle" is a 45.5-degree curve from back to buttocks -- not necessarily a big butt, the University of Texas at Austin researchers determined.

These curvaceous gals would have had an evolutionary advantage, in that they appeared able to bear multiple children easily, the researchers said.

"This spinal structure would have enabled pregnant women to balance their weight over the hips," said study leader David Lewis, a UT Austin alumnus and now a psychologist at Bilkent University in Turkey.

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Bill seeks to abolish Delaware death penalty


State troopers group opposes bill as proposed

 

DOVER — Flanked by a bipartisan group of legislators, religious leaders from across the state and activists who oppose the death penalty, Senate Minority Leader Gary Simpson was one of nearly two dozen people calling for the abolishment of the death penalty in Delaware.

During a March 18 press conference in the Senate Chambers of Legislative Hall in Dover, Simpson, R-Milford, said he’s long believed Delaware should end the death penalty.

The Senate minority leader said Gov. Jack Markell and his fellow legislators need to be brave and do the right thing.

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White House mystery: Florist said to have been escorted off grounds

When White House chief pastry chef Bill Yosses left the executive mansion last summer, the president publicly mourned the loss of “the crust master’s” mysteriously addictive pies. And when the first family’s personal chef and pal, Sam Kass, left in December, Michelle Obama heaped praise on Kass’s “extraordinary legacy of progress” in an official White House statement.

But the recent exit of head florist Laura Dowling, who’d been in the job since 2009, has been a much quieter affair. So hush hush, in fact, that most outside of 1600 Penn knew nothing about it. There’s still no official comment on why Dowling is no longer at the White House, but according to a source with close ties to current residence staffers, she was escorted from the building on Friday, Feb. 13.

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Easter Egg Hunts And Spring Celebrations Across Delmarva

It feels a little odd to be celebrating Easter so early this year, but perhaps all of the spring and Easter celebrations that are scheduled across Delmarva will incite Mother Nature to turn up the heat and bring out the sunshine. After all, no one likes a cold and rainy Easter egg hunt! Salisbury, Lewes, Rehoboth, Bethany, Ocean City, Berlin, Pocomoke, Snow Hill…they’re all welcoming spring with a fantastic array of spring and Easter events that are fun for the entire family. Start making your plans now, Easter will be here before you know it!

Eggstravaganza: Sunday, March 29, Wicomico Recreation and Parks, Salisbury

Hop on over to Pemberton Historical Park in Salisbury for Wicomico County’s Annual Spring Eggstravaganza event, featuring egg hunts, crafts, an egg toss, bunny hop, egg dyeing and more! Children ages 3 and under are $2, and ages 4 and up are $4. This year’s Eggstravaganza will be held Sunday, March 29 from 1pm until 3pm. Four egg hunts (for children ages 12 and under) will be held. For more information, email Cortney Kline, Program Director, andcfronczak@wicomicocounty.org.

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Lynch Confirmation Vote in Senate Seen Delayed Until April

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch probably won’t get a Senate confirmation vote until at least mid-April, five months after she was nominated, because the chamber plans to spend this week debating its budget proposal.

“Budget all week,” Don Stewart, a spokesman for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, said in an e-mail Monday when asked whether the Senate would vote on Lynch before taking a two-week spring break until April 13. President Barack Obama said Nov. 8 he was nominating her to replace Attorney General Eric Holder.

“We’re as disappointed as we can be,” Democratic Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland said in an interview Monday. “There hasn’t been one earthly reason given.” He said he still hopes for a vote this week.

McConnell backed off a plan to consider her nomination last week amid a partisan fight over an anti-human-trafficking bill that is stuck in the Senate. Democrats are blocking a vote because they object to Republican language in the bill to ban abortion funding. McConnell has said Lynch’s confirmation won’t come up until the human-trafficking dispute is resolved.

Obama and other Democrats have accused McConnell of holding Lynch’s confirmation hostage for political reasons. The delay also has a downside for Republicans because Holder, widely criticized by members of that party, is still on the job.

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Wind farm opposition building steam

CHESTERTOWN — Opponents of a proposed wind farm in Kent County recognize that they are going to need larger venues for their meetings to accommodate the growing number of concerned citizens.

Keep Kent Scenic formed about a month ago over a proposal by Apex Clean Energy to build anywhere from 30 to 50 wind turbines expected to be at least 500 feet tall. What Apex is calling Mills Branch Wind will be spread out over several farms in the center of the county, between state routes 213 and 291.

On Saturday, March 21, Keep Kent Scenic organizers Bill Graham and Janet Christensen hosted an organizational meeting for would-be members. They found themselves with a standing-room only crowd in the Kent County Public Library's main branch in Chestertown.

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Worcester County Bureau Of Investigations Seeking Information On Burglaries

Uptick in Severe Storms Imminent After Unusually Slow Start to Season

Due to the continuous onset of cold, drier air that's been keeping southern moisture at bay, the month of March has seen no severe thunderstorm watches issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Storm Prediction Center through the middle of the month, something that has never happened in the center's 45-year history.

"We are in uncharted territory with respect to lack of severe weather," SPC's Warning Coordination Meteorologist Greg Carbin said in a March 17press release. "This has never happened in the record of SPC watches dating back to 1970."

According to the SPC, the center has issued only four tornado watches and zero severe thunderstorm watches from the beginning of 2015 to March 17.

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Key Annexation Vote Moves Berlin Apartment Project Forward

BERLIN – An apartment complex proposed for Seahawk Road is expected to move forward following the town council’s approval of the annexation of 90 acres of farm land into Berlin.

After hearing from residents both for and against the project, members of Berlin’s town council voted 3-2 Monday to approve the annexation of 90 acres just south of the former Harley Davidson building. Mayor Gee Williams said developments like the one proposed for this site would help fund the town’s infrastructure improvements.

“I’m worried that if we don’t start accommodating them we’ll be forced to raise taxes,” he said.

Developer Blair Rinnier plans to build nearly 800 “garden-style” rental apartments on the site. The first phase will consist of 144 units that could be complete in about a year. Additional units would follow based on demand.

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Supreme Court Leaves Intact Wisconsin Voter ID Law

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday left intact a new Republican-backed law in Wisconsin that requires voters to present photo identification when they cast ballots.

The court declined to hear an appeal filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which challenged the law.

Voter identification laws have been put in place in a number of Republican-governed states over the objection of many Democrats. Republicans in Wisconsin and other states say such rules are needed to prevent voter fraud. Democrats say the laws are intended to suppress the turnout of minorities and other groups that tend to voter for Democrats.

In October, the court temporarily blocked the Wisconsin law. It did not explain its reasoning at the time, but it was most likely because the statute was being implemented so close to the November election, which could have caused confusion and disruption.

The ACLU had pointed out in October that absentee ballots had been sent out before the November election without notifying voters of the identification requirements.

The Supreme Court has previously upheld the constitutionality of such voter ID laws.

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BREAKING NEWS : Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to be charged with desertion

Fox News confirms that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, released last May by the Taliban, will be charged with desertion.

5 MD High School Students Taken To Hospital After Ingesting Prescription Drugs

Charges are pending against a 15-year-old Oakdale High School student who county sheriff's deputies said provided prescription drugs to several classmates Wednesday.

Emergency personnel were sent to the school off Eaglehead Drive in Ijamsville around 11 a.m. after school administrators learned that five students had ingested the prescription drugs, said Michael Doerrer, a Frederick County Public Schools spokesman. Five female students took Ambien and Adderall obtained from a sixth female student, said Deputy 1st Class Amanda Hatcher, a sheriff's office spokeswoman.

"The girls were experiencing dizziness, shortness of breath, vomiting and lack of coordination," Hatcher said, adding that four of the five girls who took the drugs were taken by ambulance to the Frederick Memorial Hospital for treatment, while a fourth was released to a parent.

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Bald first lady? Michelle Obama’s 'Jeopardy!' appearance raises questions

An appearance by Michelle Obama on “Jeopardy!” had fans on Twitter scratching their heads, wondering whether Michelle Obama was sporting a new, hairless look on hers.

The first lady popped up on the long-running quiz show on Tuesday to promote her “Let’s Move!” anti-childhood obesity initiative.

In one clue, FLOTUS talked about rinsing canned vegetables to reduce sodium and how much Vitamin A could be found in sweet potatoes. But what many on social media up in arms appeared to not be nutrition, but an apparent lack of follicles.

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SPD COLD CASE CONVICTION: CHRISTOPHER GIBBS JR. CONVICTED OF RAPE 2nd DEGREE AND RELATED CHARGES

On March 23, 2015, Christopher Gibbs Jr., age 52, of Salisbury, Maryland, was convicted of Rape 2nd Degree and related charges. The charges against Gibbs arose from an incident that occurred on July 22, 1999, in the area of Isabella Street, Salisbury, Wicomico County, Maryland. As the victim was coming home from work on the evening of July 22, 1999, Gibbs forced her into her apartment at knife point. Gibbs ordered her to the bedroom and committed a sexual assault. Before Gibbs left the apartment, he cut the phone cord from the wall and stole the victim’s purse and keys. Police were called and the crime was investigated by the SPD City Investigation Division (CID). The victim was taken to PRMC for treatment and DNA evidence from the case was sent to the Maryland State Police Crime Lab. SPD could not identify a suspect at that time, however, the victim’s attacker’s DNA was uploaded onto the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). In 2014, the CODIS unit notified the Salisbury City Police that the DNA standard of Christopher Gibbs Jr., matched the DNA collected during the investigation on July 22, 1999.

A Pre-Sentence Investigation has been ordered by the Court and sentencing will occur on a later date. The Defendant has a significant criminal history that includes burglary, theft, and drug offenses.

Wicomico County State’s Attorney Matthew A. Maciarello commended the Salisbury City Police, and investigating officer, Det. Matthew Thompsen, for their work in the investigation and prosecution of this case. Mr. Maciarello also thanked Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Kristen Schultz who prosecuted this case.

For more information or for an interview please call the Office of the State’s Attorney at (410) 548-4880 or go to www.wicomicosao.com.

Matthew A. Maciarello
State's Attorney
Wicomico County State's Attorney's Office
309 E. Main Street
P.O. Box 1006
Salisbury, MD 21803-1006
P: 410.548.4880

Study: Poop Contains Gold Worth Millions

Human feces contains gold and other precious metals that could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, experts say.

Now the trick is how to retrieve them — a potential windfall that could also help save the planet.

"The gold we found was at the level of a minimal mineral deposit," said Kathleen Smith, of the US Geological Survey, after her team discovered metals such as platinum, silver and gold in treated waste.

A recent study by another group of experts in the field found that waste from one million Americans could contain as much as $13 million worth of metals.

Finding a way to extract the metals could help the environment by cutting down on the need for mining and reducing unwanted release of metals into the environment.

"If you can get rid of some of the nuisance metals that currently limit how much of these biosolids we can use on fields and forests, and at the same time recover valuable metals and other elements, that's a win-win," said Smith.

"There are metals everywhere — in your hair care products, detergents, even nanoparticles that are put in socks to prevent bad odors."

More than seven million tons of biosolids come out of US wastewater facilities each year: about half is used as fertilizer on fields and in forests and the other half is incinerated or sent to landfills.

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Confirmed Case of Tuberculosis Reported at Salisbury University

(SALISBURY, Md.)- A Salisbury University student has tested positive for tuberculosis,according to the Wicomico County Health Department (WiCHD).

"There is no risk of additional exposure to SU students, faculty or staff," according to Lori Brewster, Wicomico County Health Officer, "and the risk of infection from previous exposure to the student affected is small."

The student is currently under medical care and is no longer attending classes. Health officials and Salisbury University are collaborating on preventive health measures following the diagnosis.

According to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), in 2013 there were 178 cases of TB in Maryland and 224 cases in 2012.

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Four Juveniles Busted for Busting 30 Car Windshields

(MILFORD, Del.)- Milford Police busted four teenagers, who they say busted out the windshields of more than 30 different vehicles.

Police arrested and charged a three 14 year-old boys and a 16 year-old boy, all of Milford, stemming from multiple incidents that occurred from March 13, 2015 through March 23, 2015 throughout the city.

They were charged with 29 counts of Criminal Mischief Under $1000, 3 counts of Attempted Criminal Mischief Under $1000, 7 counts of Conspiracy 3rd Degree and one count of Resisting Arrest.
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WCSO Most Wanted 3-25-15



Kenya Elizabeth Keene
• Black Female, 5’06” 178 lbs
• DOB 03/09/1979 36 years of age
• Black hair, Brown eyes
• Keene’s last known address was Salisbury MD but she may have left the state.
• Keene is wanted by the Sheriff’s Office on a District Court Arrest Warrant issued in September 2013 for Theft under $1000 and Theft under $100
• The state will extradite her from states surrounding MD


Kristopher Michael Tindall
• White Male, 5’09” 150 lbs
• DOB 01/13/1978 36 years of age
• Brown hair, Brown eyes
• Tindall’s last known address was Felton DE
• Tindall also uses the name Christopher James Jonson and has multiple tattoos on both arms and legs
• Tindall is wanted by the Sheriff’s Office on a Child Support Body Attachment issued in April 2011 as Unable to locate
• The preset bond is $20,000 cash


Earl Wayne Taylor
• White Male, 5’09” 175 lbs
• DOB 11/09/1956 58 years of age
• Gray hair, Brown eyes
• Taylor’s last known address was Laurel, DE
• Taylor also uses the name Earl Wayne Byrd, Steve Lewis, or Doug Owen
• Taylor is wanted by the Sheriff's Office on a District Court Arrest Warrant issued in November 2013 for Failure to Comply with a Peace Order
• Taylor may be ARMED, should be APPROACHED WITH CAUTION and has history of DRUG ABUSE
• The state will extradite him from DE and VA 


Jataurean Rayvon Price
• Black Male, 5’03” 145 lbs
• DOB 10/12/1986 28 years of age
• Black hair, Brown eyes
• Price’s last known address was Kensington, MD
• Price is wanted by the Sheriff’s Office on a District Court Bench Warrant issued in January 2015 for Violation of Probation on charges of DWI Alcohol
• The preset bond is $10,000
• Price has a history of DRUG ABUSE

Leonard Ray Morris
• Black Male, 5’10” 220 lbs
• DOB 01/09/1969 46 years of age
• Black hair, Brown eyes
• Morris’ last known addresses were in Baltimore and Hyattsville MD
• Morris is wanted by the Sheriff’s Office on a Circuit Court Bench Warrant issued for Failure to Appear in August 2010 for a Violation of Probation hearing on the charge of CDS Possess with Intent Distribute Narcotics
• There is no preset bond, he must be brought before the court
• Morris has a history of being a DRUG USER SELLER

Conservative Professors Losing Campus Culture War

Teresa Wagner recently notched a victory at the U.S. Supreme Court, but she can be forgiven if she doesn’t exactly feel like a winner.

Her lawsuit against the University of Iowa College of Law, in which she accuses the school of denying her a promotion over her conservative beliefs, has dragged on for six years. The case has taken a toll on her family and her finances, and she is running out of money to pay her legal bills.

Ms. Wagner is still working at the university, although no longer as a part-time legal writing instructor. In November, she was reassigned to the library after she told university officials that she found a supervisor rummaging through her backpack.

Even if Ms. Wagner prevails at trial and conservatives win the battle, there is little doubt they are losing the war. Those in the trenches say the assault on conservative ideas in higher education continues despite high-profile legal victories by academics over viewpoint bias.

“These victories are incredibly important to prevent the complete silencing of dissent. But we can’t kid ourselves in thinking that these victories are changing the culture,” said David French, senior legal counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice. “They’re just maintaining the toehold for dissenters.”

Mr. French scored an enormous win a year ago in his defense of Mike Adams, the conservative sociology professor who was awarded a promotion, a raise, $50,000 in back pay and $710,000 in legal fees in his seven-year fight against the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.

“In the future, we obviously in the conservative movement have to do much bigger things. We have to start taking over universities,” said Mr. Adams, who also is a columnist at Townhall.com. “When you hear about a liberal cesspool like Sweet Briar College [in Virginia] going broke — conservatives need to buy them. We need our own universities because the fact of the matter is we’re battling against extinction.”

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Happy Maryland Day!

Happy #MarylandDay!

Posted by Boyd Rutherford on Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Trooper First Class Joshua Kim

Washington, DC—The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has announced the selection of Trooper First Class Joshua Kim, of the Maryland State Police, as the recipient of its Officer of the Month Award for March 2015.

On Saturday, August 9, 2014 at 6:23pm, Trooper Kim was patrolling the Millard E. Tydings Memorial Bridge, 90 feet above the Susquehanna River on I-95 in Hartford County, Maryland, when he noticed something was amiss. He spotted a man walking along the side of the busy bridge away from a nearby parked car. Trooper Kim immediately made a U-turn and went back to check on the man.

As soon as Trooper Kim pulled up behind the man, he turned and waved at Trooper Kim, and then began climbing over the three foot barrier to jump off the bridge. With no regard for his own safety, Trooper Kim darted from his vehicle and grabbed the man around his waist to prevent him from climbing over the concrete barrier. Relying on his past experience as a football player, Trooper Kim lowered his body as he grabbed the man so that he would not be pulled over the barricade with him. Trooper Kim handcuffed the man to prevent him from harming himself by running into traffic, before taking him to an area hospital for evaluation. Trooper Kim’s heroic rescue was caught on film by his vehicle’s dashboard camera.

Trooper Kim has been a Maryland State Trooper for approximately two and a half years and is assigned to the JFK Memorial Highway Barracks in Perryville, Maryland.

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Benefit For Tom Neal

Dear Folks,

Tom Neal lost his home, his dog and everything he owned in a tragic fire on February 16 2015. Tom has served both the integrators and poultry growers of Delmarva for over 3 decades. There are very few of us in the poultry community who do not know him. I would like to ask you to please step up and help him rebuild his life. A benefit will be held to help Tom on Saturday March 28 at the Hebron Fire Hall at 5pm. There will be a dinner by Emmings, a silent auction and door prizes. They tickets are 25.00 each, a small price to help some one rebuild their life. Please buy a ticket and come or just buy a ticket. The flyer attached has the information for contact. You need to confirm you are attending no later than Thursday afternoon.


Obama's Snub of Nato's Chief Has Europeans Worried

President Barack Obama has yet to meet with the new head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and won't see Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg this week, even though he is in Washington for three days. Stoltenberg’s office requested a meeting with Obama well in advance of the visit, but never heard anything from the White House, two sources close to the NATO chief told me.

The leaders of almost all the other 28 NATO member countries have made time for Stoltenberg since he took over the world's largest military alliance in October. Stoltenberg, twice the prime minister of Norway, met Monday with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa to discuss the threat of the Islamic State and the crisis in Ukraine, two issues near the top of Obama's agenda.

Kurt Volker, who served as the U.S. permanent representative to NATO under both President George W. Bush and Obama, said the president broke a long tradition. “The Bush administration held a firm line that if the NATO secretary general came to town, he would be seen by the president ... so as not to diminish his stature or authority,” he told me.

America's commitment to defend its NATO allies is its biggest treaty obligation, said Volker, adding that European security is at its most perilous moment since the Cold War.

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Zimmerman: Obama Turned Americans Against Me

George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot a black teenager three years ago, blames President Barack Obama's "racially charged comments" for turning many Americans against him.

In an interview recorded with the lawyer who worked on his 2013 divorce case, Zimmerman calls out the president's messaging following the fatal shooting.

"I think that throughout the process, the president should have done what he said he was going to do and not interject himself in a local law enforcement matter or a state matter and waited until the facts came out, instead of rushing to judgment, making racially charged comments, and pitting American against American," Zimmerman said.

The 31-year-old was asked to single out one "government agency or official" who placed "the highest level of unfairness" on the situation.

"By far, the President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama. He had the most authority and in that sense I would hold him in the highest regard believing that he would hold that position and do his absolute hardest to not inflame racial tensions in America," Zimmerman replied.

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White House Attorneys Scrambling Over Hillary Emails

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s email practices are now becoming a legal headache for the Obama administration, which for the first time has admitted to a court that the former secretary of state withheld her emails.

Administration attorneys are now scrambling to contain the damage by promising to redo what eventually could be hundreds of open records searches that were tainted by Mrs. Clinton’s email practices and those of her top aides, who, according to a New York Times report Monday, also occasionally used private emails to communicate.

The government attorneys, however, insist that the officials didn’t break the law or act in bad faith by not revealing to anyone that it never searched Mrs. Clinton’s emails, despite hundreds of requests for her electronic communications that were unable to be completely fulfilled because the department didn’t gain access to her messages until late last year.

“It’s a con game. They’ve been caught in a con,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest law firm that filed 160 open-records requests that could have been tainted by Mrs. Clinton’s email practices. “The concern is there’s been misconduct and misrepresentation and fraud on the courts, and certainly on Judicial Watch.”

His organization has asked a court to reopen one case seeking Mrs. Clinton’s emails, saying the State Department couldn’t have completed a search last year because it never had her emails in the first place.

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Did Jeb Bush Fight Obamacare?

For many conservatives, the fight against Obamacare has been the defining battle of President Obama's years in the White House. For them, and probably a majority of the Republican base, fighting first against the passage of the Affordable Care Act and later pressing to repeal it have been so important because: A) they strongly oppose the substance of the law, and B) they see opposition to Obamacare as the best way to resist the president's overall expansion of government.

That the struggle has so far been a losing one has not changed the fact that conservatives require their presidential candidates to have solid anti-Obamacare bona fides.

Recently a well-known conservative activist, recalling the GOP effort to stop the Affordable Care Act in 2009 and 2010, asked:

"Where was Jeb Bush? I don't remember him being there when we were doing everything we could to derail Obamacare."

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Larry Hogan says Maryland is already more business friendly

As Gov. Larry Hogan was taking his oath of office two months ago and the state administration changed hands, the signs on the highways across Maryland were also being rotated.

“They were changed to say, ‘Welcome to Maryland. We’re open for business,’” Hogan said Tuesday in a speech to Maryland Business for Responsive Government. “I think they used to say, ‘Welcome to Maryland. What’s in your wallet?’”

Maryland Business for Responsive Government is a political research and education organization supported by businesses, trade associations and chambers of commerce.

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‘Authorized Users’ Would Get ‘Complete Access’ to Patient Health Records

(CNSNews.com) – Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) has drafted “interoperability” legislation that would require private electronic healthcare record (EHR) companies to provide unrestricted, one-stop access to patient medical records.

Burgess, a physician, released a draft version of his bill on March 9 to solicit comments by March 13.

It would give “authorized users access to the entirety of a patient’s data from any and all qualified electronic health records (EHR) without restriction” - including “complete access” to health data “in one location, without the need for multiple interfaces (such as sign on systems).”

"Authorized users" include government officials, academic researchers, insurance companies and others besides health care providers.

Under his proposal, the secretary of Health and Human Services would establish a “Charter Organization” made up of representatives of standards development groups, health care providers, electronic record-keeping companies, insurers and group plans appointed by Congress to propose new interoperability rules.

The draft provides “incentives” for practitioners and hospitals that comply, and “penalties” for those who do not, including the loss of federal certification. The HHS secretary would also be required to report “any barriers that are preventing widespread interoperability” to Congress and document “specific steps” taken to overcome the barriers by July 1, 2016.

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Md. Lawmaker Wants In-Vitro Fertilization Benefits For Lesbians

Maryland State Delegate Terri Hill, a Democrat, has introduced a bill that is working its way through the General Assembly that would require state-regulated health insurance plans that cover pregnancy-related benefits to include benefits for in vitro fertilization for lesbians.

Current law includes language that says the sperm used for in vitro fertilization has to come from the husband of the woman using the treatment to become pregnant, according to a Mar. 18 article published in the Baltimore Sun.

Delegate Terri Hill, the bill’s chief sponsor, said the bill is necessary to make Maryland law consistent after the passage of The Civil Marriage Protection Act in 2012 that legalized same-sex marriage in the state.

"We're concerned that we correct the law to reflect Maryland's state on marriage equality," Hill told The Sun. "It was about making sure all Marylanders are treated in an equitable fashion."

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Governor Larry Hogan Celebrates Maryland Day

Governor Larry Hogan Celebrates Maryland Day
Visits Maryland State Archives, Issues Proclamation

ANNAPOLIS, MD – In observance of Maryland Day, Governor Larry Hogan today visited the Maryland State Archives and issued a statewide proclamation in recognition of March 25, 2015 as Maryland Day. The governor presented the Maryland Day proclamation to Acting State Archivist, Timothy D. Baker.

The holiday commemorates the day in 1634 when English settlers from the Ark and the Dove landed at St. Clements Island, in what is now St. Mary's County. The formal observance of Maryland Day began in schools in 1903 and was named a legal holiday by the Maryland General Assembly in 1916.

“This day commemorates the 381st anniversary of settlers landing on Maryland soil,” said Governor Hogan. “Today, I am reminded of those brave first Marylanders, who came to this land seeking freedom and opportunity when the Ark and the Dove landed at St. Clements Island. While the challenges facing us today are different, I know that the courage and spirit of Marylanders is the same.”

As part of Maryland Day, Governor Hogan visited the Maryland State Archives and viewed historic records, representing Maryland’s four centuries of history including:
    • A Relation of the Successfull Beginning of the Lord Baltemore's Plantation in Mary-land – volume of the original account by Father White of the arrival of the Ark and the Dove to St. Clements Island in 1634 and the original settlement of the Maryland Colony.
    • Documentation identifying enlisted men who comprise the “Maryland 400” – currently being studied as part of an effort to identify the soldiers from Maryland who defended Long Island in Battle of Long Island during the Revolutionary War.
    • Birth record for Frederick Douglass, contained in a slave ledger of 1818.
    • Mace from Constitutional Convention of 1967; the ceremonial mace used during Maryland's last constitutional convention.

      Ron Paul: After a Twelve Year Iraq Mistake, Time to March Home

      Twelve years ago last week, the U.S. launched its invasion of Iraq, an act the late General William Odom predicted would turn out to be "the greatest strategic disaster in U.S. history."

      Before the attack I was accused of exaggerating the potential costs of the war when I warned that it could end up costing as much as $100 billion. One trillion dollars later, with not one but two "mission accomplished" moments, we are still not done intervening in Iraq.

      President Obama last year ordered the U.S. military back into Iraq for the third time. It seems the Iraq "surge" and the Sunni "Awakening," for which General David Petraeus had been given much credit, were not as successful as was claimed at the time. From the sectarian violence unleashed by the U.S. invasion of Iraq emerged al-Qaeda and then its more radical spin-off, ISIS. So Obama sent the U.S. military back.

      We recently gained even more evidence that the initial war was sold on lies and fabrications. The CIA finally declassified much of its 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, which was the chief document used by the Bush Administration to justify the U.S. attack. According to the Estimate, the U.S. Intelligence Community concluded, "[W]e are unable to determine whether [biological weapons] agent research has resumed... the information we have on Iraqi nuclear personnel does not appear consistent with a coherent effort to reconstitute a nuclear weapons program."

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      Thomas Sowell: A Simple Question

      It is amazing how a simple question can cause a complex lie to collapse like a house of cards. The simple question was asked by Bill O'Reilly of the Fox News Channel, and it was addressed to two Democrats. He asked what has Hillary Clinton ever accomplished.

      The two Democrats immediately sidestepped the question and started reciting their talking points in favor of Hillary. But O'Reilly kept coming back to the fact that nothing they were talking about was an accomplishment.

      For someone who has spent her entire adult life in politics, including being a Senator and then a Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has nothing to show for all those years -- no significant legislation of hers that she got passed in the Senate, and only an unbroken series of international setbacks for the United States during her time as Secretary of State.

      Before Barack Obama entered the White House and appointed Mrs. Clinton Secretary of State, Al Qaeda operatives in Iraq had notified their higher ups, stationed in Pakistan, that their cause was lost in Iraq and that there was no point sending more men there.

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      New Trend: ‘Radically Inclusive’ Churches That Embrace All Religions And All Lifestyles

      If you want as many people to attend your church as possible, why limit yourself to just Christians?

      If you want as many people to attend your church as possible, why limit yourself to just Christians?

      All over America, “radically inclusive” churches that embrace all religions and all lifestyles are starting to pop up.

      Church services that incorporate elements of Hinduism, Islam, native American religions and even Wicca are becoming increasingly common. And even if you don’t believe anything at all, that is okay with these churches too.

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      Traffic Deaths In Md. Fell To 66-Year Low Last Year

      ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland officials say traffic deaths have hit a 66-year low in the state.

      Transportation officials said at a news conference Tuesday that traffic deaths in Maryland fell to 442 last year. That’s the lowest amount of traffic deaths in the state since 1948.

      The year with the most traffic deaths was 1968, with 872 fatalities.

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      Mocking the Obese Should be Illegal, Says Expert

      Should all speech and humor that hurts someone's feelings be banned?

      An obesity expert has called for mocking the overweight to be made illegal, putting poking fun at fat people on a par with sexism and racism.

      “Our results indicate that discriminatory experiences contribute to poorer psychological wellbeing in individuals with obesity, but there are currently no laws prohibiting weight discrimination,” Dr Sarah Jackson told the Daily Mail.

      “If weight was a protected category it might help to reduce the prevalence of weight-related discrimination and thereby improve quality of life and wellbeing for a significant proportion of obese individuals,” added Jackson, calling for the Equality Act 2010 to be amended to protect the obese from “discrimination”

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      Where's the 'Dreariest' Place in America?

      Gloomy cities with tons of rain and clouds include Seattle, Portland, and Buffalo.

      Last week, meteorologist Brian Brettschneider created a map of Seattle's not-so-rainy climate that made a lot of people inexplicably mad.

      Well, he's now produced another assessment of America's lousy weather, and it isn't going to make Northwesterners any less peeved. Using a formula that takes into account annual precipitation, number of days with precipitation, and cloudiness, Brettschneider has determined that the "dreariest" place in the United States to live is ... Seattle.

      At least it has company. Seattle shares the dishonor of Nation's Gloomiest Suck-Pit with Buffalo, according to this index, with each city logging high dreary scores of 27. Coming in second are Pittsburgh and Portland, Oregon, followed by Cleveland, Cincinnati, Lexington, and Boston—ensuring Brettschneider will now be hated on both coasts.

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      Facebook Reveals its Master Plan – Control All News Flow

      The implications of this are so huge that at this point I have far more questions than answers

      In recent months, Facebook has been quietly holding talks with at least half a dozen media companies about hosting their content inside Facebook rather than making users tap a link to go to an external site.

      The new proposal by Facebook carries another risk for publishers: the loss of valuable consumer data. When readers click on an article, an array of tracking tools allow the host site to collect valuable information on who they are, how often they visit and what else they have done on the web.

      And if Facebook pushes beyond the experimental stage and makes content hosted on the site commonplace, those who do not participate in the program could lose substantial traffic — a factor that has played into the thinking of some publishers. Their articles might load more slowly than their competitors’, and over time readers might avoid those sites.

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      TWO OFFICERS HONORED BY AMERICAN LEGION AND KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS

      Pfc. Aaron Morgan
      Pfc. Nathan Kutz

      Two Ocean City police officers were recently honored by the American Legion Post 166 and Ocean City Knights of Columbus. Police Officer First Class (Pfc.) Nathan Kutz received the Officer of the Year award from the American Legion on March 16 and Pfc. Aaron Morgan r eceived the similar honor from the Knights of Columbus on March 18. Both officers are members of the Ocean City Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit and were recently finalists for the Neighborhood Watch Officer of the Year.

      “Pfc. Kutz and Pfc. Morgan are both excellent members of the Traffic Safety Unit and are very deserving of these awards,” commented Chief Ross Buzzuro. “They are both exemplary officers and are dedicated to the safety of our roadways.”

      Pfc. Kutz began his career with OCPD as a seasonal officer in 2009 and was hired as a full-time officer in 2012. He joined the Traffic Safety Unit shortly after and has gone through advanced training in traffic crash and impaired driver investigations. Pfc. Kutz is recognized by the State of Maryland as a Smooth Operator and has earned numerous awards from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D.). He was recently promoted to Police Officer First Class in January 2015.

      Pfc. Morgan joined OCPD as a full-time officer in 2006 and is highly trained in traffic safety. He has been a M.A.D.D. DUI award recipient for six consecutive years, State of Maryland DUI award recipient for five consecutive years and is a three-time Smooth Operator Award winner. Also, in 2014, Pfc. Morgan was one of only two officers in the State of Maryland to receive the ACE Award. The ACE Award is given to officers that have arrested at least 100 impaired drivers in a year.

      Zimmerman: A person in his circumstances can't feel guilty

      George Zimmerman has said he can't feel guilty over surviving a confrontation like the one he had with Trayvon Martin three years ago.

      In a new controversial new video released on Monday by law firm Ayo and Iken, the 31-year-old criticized President Barack Obama's reaction to the case involving the death of the unarmed 17-year-old.

      It is the first time he has spoken since the Department of Justice cleared him of Civil Rights violations in connection with youngster's death.

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      Don't chew gum or use silly string: strange things cities ban

      When we think of things on that are on the wrong side of the law, we tend to imagine crimes, weapons and other things linked to violence. There’s a natural inclination to associate laws with danger, but truthfully, this isn’t always the case. Over the years, cities around the world have banned a host of behaviors and objects, from the seemingly mundane to completely bizarre, that might not necessarily deserve it.

      While we haven’t encountered a real-life “Footloose” plot just yet, there are still dozens of strange laws out there. Some come with at least some logic, like the New York City law that prohibits residents from keeping ferrets as pets. Other bans, however, make less sense.

      Before your next trip, here are some rules that should be on your radar:

      In Melbourne, Australia, you can only use your vacuum cleaner during certain hours of the day.

      The city of Melbourne cares a lot about noise control. It has a whole list of Environment Protection (Residential Noise) Regulations, which includes prohibited hours for certain “noisy” acts: Power tools, lawn mowers, amplified musical instruments … and vacuum cleaners.

      According to this document, residents are not allowed to vacuum their homes between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. On weekends and public holidays, the forbidden morning hours are extended until 9 a.m. So if you’re an early bird who likes to get chores done on Saturday morning: Tough luck.

      You can basically drive as fast as you want on the German Autobahn, but don’t run out of gas.

      It seems crazy to get fined for something that could happen purely accidentally, butrunning out of gas on the Autobahn in Germany is illegal. This law comes with a painfully ironic catch-22 because walking along the Autobahn is also illegal. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t!

      E-cigarettes are facing serious scrutiny in more place than one

      While once considered a “healthier” alternative to actual cigarettes, this electronic version has been under fire lately. Boston Attorney General Maura Healey is seeking to ban the sale of e-cigs to all minors, using the same laws as cigarettes themselves.

      In Delaware, a bipartisan bill was filed this week that would ban people from smoking e-cigarettes indoors. The reasoning: Though e-cigs don’t emit a thick cloud of smoke, they still emit dangerous chemicals such as nicotine, chromium and nickel.

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      ARMY AND MSM LAUNCH DISINFO PSYOP AGAINST AMERICAN PEOPLE

      Special Operations leadership attempts to downplay military drill listing Texas as "hostile"

      Alex Jones breaks down the current disinfo psyop being launched by the federal government in conjunction with Army Special Forces leadership and mainstream media outlets.

      As Infowars reported last week, a “realistic” military training exercise involving Navy Seals, the Green Berets and the 82nd Airborne Division known as “Jade Helm 15″ will be conducted throughout Texas, Arizona, California, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada and Colorado from July 15 to September 15.

      The exercise, which will include role-players “wearing civilian clothes and driving civilian vehicles,” lists both Texas and Utah as “hostile” territory.

      USASOC spokesman Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria responded Monday by labeling Infowars’ reporting as “alarmist” while failing to mention the disturbing designation placed on Texas and Utah.

      The exercise is one of many in recent years that not only attempts to acclimate the public to seeing military personnel on American streets, but to also condition troops to feel comfortable operating domestically.

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      DOJ Orders Banks To Call Cops on $5,000 Withdraw

      Activist Lawyer Says He’s Behind ‘Whites Only’ Stickers in Austin

      An activist lawyer has claimed responsibility for placing stickers that read “exclusively for white people” on several East Austin businesses in a controversial effort to shed light on gentrification.

      Adam Reposa, 40, posted an expletive-filled video on YouTube blasting the media for fixating on the offensive language of the stickers instead of looking into the deeper message.

      “They’re getting pushed out, and pretty quick. This area of town is turning into whites only,” Mr. Reposa said in the clip. “Not by law like it used to be, and everyone’s going to jump on, ‘That’s racist!’ ‘that’s racist!’ Man, this town, the way [expletive] works is racist! And I knew I could just bait all of y’all into just being as stupid as you are.”

      The sticker reads: “Exclusively for white people. Maximum of 5 colored customers, colored BOH (Back of House) staff accepted.” The sticker also includes the City of Austin logo and says the message is “sponsored by the City of Austin Contemporary Partition and Restoration Program,” the station reported.

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      9,000 Mainers lose food stamps under new rules

      AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — More than 9,000 Maine residents have been removed from the state’s food stamp program since Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s administration began enforcing work and volunteer requirements late last year, officials said.

      The number of people that have been dropped from the program has exceeded even the administration’s expectations.

      About 12,000 adults who aren’t disabled and don’t have children were in the program before Jan. 1. That number has dropped to 2,680 this month, David Sorensen, spokesman for the Department of Health and Services, told The Associated Press.

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      Boehner 'Baffled' By Reports Of Israeli Spying

      House Speaker John Boehner said he is "baffled" by reports that the Israeli government spied on the nuclear talks between Iran and the United States, and then leaked the information to congressional lawmakers.

      The Ohio Republican told reporters Tuesday he was "not aware of that at all," and was "shocked" by the news reports that the information obtained by Israel was leaked to members of Congress.

      "I'm not sure what the information was," Boehner told reporters. "But I'm baffled by it."

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      EPA gives poor marks to Pa. on protecting Chesapeake Bay watershed

      For the second time in as many years, Pennsylvania’s efforts to reduce agricultural pollution damaging the ecological health of Chesapeake Bay have received failing grades.

      The latest report, released last week by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said the bay pollution control programs of Pennsylvania and Virginia have “significant deficiencies that will have to be rectified if clean-up goals are to be achieved.”

      According to the EPA, only about 30 percent of Pennsylvania’s 40,000 farms in the Chesapeake Bay watershed comply with existing regulations to limit runoff of animal manure and manure fertilizer into streams and rivers.

      The report notes that Pennsylvania has relied on voluntary compliance with the agricultural pollution regulations; does not have a consistent strategy or spend sufficient resources to ensure that farmers comply with the law, and that the state only inspects farms in response to complaints.

      As a result, the EPA report said, the state has failed to meet the 2013 agricultural pollution reduction targets that were established by the EPA’s “Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint.” The agency set those targets to speed up reductions of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment discharges into the bay’s tributary rivers and streams after President Barack Obama, responding to the slow pace of Chesapeake restoration efforts, issued an executive order in May 2009.

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      Feds Urge Banks To 'Call Police On Customers'

      The Justice Department, which already requires banks to alert on customers who make withdrawals of large sums of cash, is now suggesting they go a bit further in the fight to uncover financial shenanigans – call the police, one blogger reported.

      Simon Black, an investor and financial blogger, wrote of a “senior official from the Justice Department [speaking] to a group of bankers about the need for them to rat out their customers to the police,” at Sovereignman.com.

      Infowars.com then reported assistant attorney general Leslie Caldwell actually pressed banks to “alert law enforcement authorities about the problem” of suspicious customers who withdraw $5,000 or more so that police might “seize funds” or “initiate an investigation.”

      Aside from withdrawing large amounts of cash, suspicious activity can also be defined as “transactions conducted or attempted by, at, or through the bank (or an affiliate) and aggregating $5,000 or more,” Black wrote, citing the Federal Financial Institution Examination Council.

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      A Comment Worthy Of A Post 3-25-15

      Anonymous has left a new comment on your post " There's A Major Flaw In The Decriminalization Pot ...":

      10:36 you are absolutely wrong. As soon as the legislation was passed but before the law went into effect on 10/1/14 states attorneys met with people from the AG's office and had a great deal of discussion about the new marijuana law. The Legislature's failure to address the issue relating to paraphernalia was discussed in great detail. Legislation on related paraphernalia will is forthcoming, I assure you. There were other issues discussed as well. Interestingly enough, there were as many opinions on how to enforce the new law as there were attorneys present. I agree that this is nothing more than a stepping stone to total decriminalization and legalization. But there are many more serious issues that currently face the law enforcement officers as they try to enforce these "civil" issues. One that comes immediately to mind is probable cause to search. The definition of probable cause has been similar for decades. Probable cause is that amount of evidence available to a reasonable and prudent police officer in light of his training, knowledge, and experience, to lead him to believe that a crime has been or is being committed and that the person to be arrested or search commited that crime.

      Imagine this scenario: A police officer watches someone smoking a joint. He approaches the suspect and when the suspect sees the police officer, the suspect puts the joint out and puts it in his pocket. The officer sees this and reaches into the suspects pocket and retrieves the joint because it is evidence. Legal, right? Good search? I would suggest that as soon as a good attorney gets a case like this, he will challenge the search. You see, probable cause relates specifically to crimes being committed. NOT civil infractions. But the officer (not the States Attorney because they will not be present during this civil proceeding) could argue that the possession of the marijuana is still a crime under Federal Law. See how this gets muddy? Now lets say that when the officer reaches into the suspects pocket, the suspect swats the officers hand in protest of the search. Does a citizen have a right to resist an unlawful arrest or search? Now lets say the officer gets his hand swatted and attempts to arrest the suspect for second degree assault. Good arrest or bad? If the suspect resists and is seriously injured, should the officer be responsible for carrying out the procedure established by the AG's office? This law was so ill prepared or thought through that it should be immediately repealed. Make marijuana legal or illegal. Anything in between is utter non-sense.

      City Of Salisbury: CDBG Public Hearing Notice & Annual Action Plan

      What's Gone Wrong With Democracy?

      The Economist magazine recently published “What’s gone wrong with Democracy … and what can be done to revive it?” The suggestion is that democracy is some kind of ideal for organizing human conduct. That’s a popular misconception.

      The ideal way to organize human conduct is to create a system that maximizes personal liberty for all. Liberty and democracy are not synonymous and most often are opposites. In Federalist Paper No. 10, James Madison explained, “Measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.” Democracy and majority rule confer an aura of legitimacy and respectability on acts that would otherwise be deemed tyrannical.

      Let’s look at majority rule, as a decision-making tool, and ask ourselves how many of our life choices we would like settled by majority rule. Would you want the kind of car you own to be decided through a democratic process, or would you prefer purchasing any car you please? Ask that same question about decisions such as where you shall live, what clothes you purchase, what food you eat, what entertainment you enjoy and what wines you drink. I’m sure that if anyone suggested that these choices be subject to a democratic process, we would deem it tyranny.

      Our Founders saw democracy as a variant of tyranny. At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Edmund Randolph said, “…that in tracing these evils to their origin every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy.” John Adams said, “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” Alexander Hamilton said, “We are now forming a Republican form of government. Real Liberty is not found in the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments. If we incline too much to democracy, we shall soon shoot into a monarchy, or some other form of dictatorship.”

      By the way, the word democracy appears in none of our founding documents.

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      A Comment From Yesterday's Students Win Right To Hold “American Pride”

      Wait. Please explain the difference between National Pride and American Pride in reference to the United States of America? Has pride in America, the investment of over a hundred generations of American citizens coming from around the world become something else this week? 

      When last I looked, being American meant being a citizen of the U.S.A. who not only accepts, but embraces the concept and implementation of becoming an American and promoting the Republic. Was I asleep when it became a constant national celebration and embracing of the tenets of from where the citizens came and some official acknowledgement and wholesale adoption of those countries' national and religious endeavors, that America is not the "melting pot", but a place where those secular and religious activities of countries of origin must be adopted? 

      Certainly, over the centuries, America has adopted those, but in a very gradual manner and only in ways that served to strengthen the Union, not to fragment it into bits and pieces comprised of segments with widely differing values. 

      Is it gone, that time when people came to the United States to become Americans, to join the masses who had a grand sense of patriotism for their new found country, who BECAME Americans by choice, and expected all others to do the same?

      My sense of pride comes from being an American. Not a something-or-other American (insert religion or country of origin), but an American, a product of belief in the Constitution of The United States, the notion that democracy isn't perfect but it's the best show in town, and that America is built upon the ideologies not only of the Founding Fathers, but of the best of the ideas of those who followed them, ideas that promoted and enriched the functions of our national identity. 

      It's all well and good that you or your people came from whatever country. They/we all did. All of them/us. What matters is that we became and are ONE people, the American people. 

      Celebrate being whatever as subset of being an American, but do so with the conviction that you are or have become an American, not that you are a (insert country of origin/religion/color/creed) living in America. There's a difference, one that seems to escape the recognition of too many.