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Tuesday, April 07, 2015

The Average Ticket Price Of A Baseball Game Sees Steepest Increase In Six Years

Taking yourself out to the ball game is getting pricer this season, with the average ticket price to attend a Major League Baseball game rising by 3.3% to $28.94, the sharpest increase the league has seen in six years.

According to Team Marketing Report’s annual Fan Cost Index [PDF], that makes a 4.4% increase since 2013, after staying flat in 2012, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Fans of the Boston Red Sox will feel the most pain, with an average ticket costing $52.34. That’s the same price as last year, however, so that could serve as some sort of relief for fans watching their wallets. The New York Yankees’ prices stayed flat as well, with an average price again of $51.55.

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American Solar Gone Wild

A new program will train service members and veterans to enter the solar workforce. The departments of Energy and Defense launched the Solar Ready Vets program at 10 military bases. 

Service members will learn how to install solar panels, connect electricity to the grid and comply with local building codes. The program builds on Energy's SunShot Initiative, which partners with community colleges to train students for solar careers. 

The White House said the solar industry added jobs at 10 times the rate of the rest of the economy. Energy wants to train 75,000 people to enter the solar workforce by 2020.

No chump change! TSA netted $675K in lost coins

Going through airline security can be hectic, so it's not surprising that passengers sometimes forget to pick up a quarter or dime that's slipped out of a coat and into a security bin.

That's adding up to a small fortune for the Transportation Security Administration, which last year collected almost $675,000 in spare change left behind by travelers, according to agency data. While 2014 represented the biggest lost-change haul for the TSA, it's collected several hundred thousand dollars in unclaimed money during each fiscal year since 2008. All together, forgotten loose change at American airports has amounted to more than $3.5 million in the past seven years.

If no one claims the lost money, the TSA is allowed to keep it, with the funds then going to pay for security operations. A dropped coin here or there can amount to real money, something that the TSA isn't alone in noticing. With the arrival of smartphones and other devices, there's some evidence that Americans are increasingly neglectful of loose change, perhaps because they lack a free hand to pick up a dropped coin or they're so engaged in texting that they're simply not aware of it.

One dedicated coin hunter told The New Yorker magazine since the iPhone rolled out in 2007, he's picked up an average of $95 per year from New York's sidewalks, or 63 percent more than in the two decades before that.

Military Tattoo Update

The Army said it will update its tattoo policy in the coming weeks. Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said the revised policy would be more in line with current social norms. Soldiers won't have a limit to the size and number of tattoos on their arms and legs. But Odierno said the tattoos can't be extremist, indecent, sexist or racist. The Army will still prohibit tattoos on the head, neck, face, wrist and hands.

COLORADO’S REVERSE DISCRIMINATION: YES TO GAY MARRIAGE, NO TO BIBLE VERSES

In a bizarre new twist on the religious liberty front, Colorado officials have determined that bakeries must cater to proponents of gay marriage but are not legally obliged to decorate cakes with Bible verses.

Christian activist Bill Jack has denounced a decision by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Regulatory Agencies, which found Azucar Bakery in Denver not guilty of discrimination for refusing to bake a cake adorned with Bible quotes condemning sodomy.

Last March, Jack went to Azucar Bakery and requested two cakes to be decorated with biblical messages.

“I requested two cakes, each in the shape of an open Bible. On the first cake I requested on one page, ‘God hates sin — Psalm 45:7,’ and on the facing page, ‘Homosexuality is a detestable sin — Leviticus 18:22,’” Jack said.

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HIDDEN COLORS 3....SELLING BLACK CHILDREN ORGANS

Vice President Biden to speak at Naval Academy graduation next month

Vice President Joe Biden will speak at Naval Academy graduation on May 22.

He's expected to shake 1,076 hands.

Some 805 midshipmen will be commissioned as ensigns in the Navy. And 271 midshipmen will be commissioned as second lieutenants in the Marine Corps.

The ceremony will begin 10 a.m. at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. It's not open to the public.

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Mayor Ireton's Neighborhood Almost Exploded Today


After one of Jim Ireton's neighbors lost their home to foreclosure, sources say the former owners of the home became squatters and turned the gas on and almost blew up the neighborhood. 

Neighbors were outside when the detected the overwhelming odor of gas and called 911 immediately. Fortunately no one was hurt. 

N.H. senator's state director arrested in prostitution sting

The top adviser for U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte has resigned after being arrested during a prostitution sting at a New Hampshire hotel.

The sting operation resulted in 10 men including David Wihby, Ayotte’s 62-year-old state director, being nabbed after allegedly responding to a woman’s ad online.

His former boss said Saturday that Wihby, also the vice chairman of the Manchester School District, had been “a friend for many years.”

“David obviously cannot continue his duties, and I have accepted his resignation,” Ayotte said in a statement. “This is a very difficult time, and my thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved.”

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DC power outage affecting agencies

An explosion at a Maryland power plant caused power outages at some federal buildings located in DC. Employees have been sent home from several agencies including IRS and the Coast Guard.

Read the full story.

Teen pleads guilty, gets time served in Ravens Super Bowl parade killing

A 17-year-old accused of stabbing three teens – killing one – in a fight after the Ravens Super Bowl parade in 2013 has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and – as part of a deal with city prosecutors – was sentenced to time served.

Nazr Williams had taken the case to a jury trial in January, which resulted in a hung jury and mistrial. Eleven jurors jurors had wanted to acquit while one believed he should be found guilty.

Williams, wearing his Eager Street Academy polo shirt, khakis and glasses, was sentenced as an adult to 30 years in prison, with all but time served suspended. He has been in jail for one year, seven months and 18 days and will likely be released today.

Prosecutors said Williams stabbed three people in a melee on Howard Street in downtown, as the victims left the Ravens victory celebration on Feb. 5, 2013. Deontae Smith, 15, died after suffering four stab wounds.

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Tom DeLay: We Love Gays, but Not the Sin

The huge uproar over religious freedom laws in Indiana and Arkansas was manufactured by the nation's "gay agenda," which wants to force America to accept homosexuality, former House majority leader Tom DeLay says.

"This isn't about discrimination. We love people that have chosen to be homosexuals," DeLay, a Texas Republican, said Monday on Newsmax TV.

"This is the result of the gay agenda. We're now seeing what the gay agenda is all about."

Delay insisted the laws are in concert with the values of America's founders.

"Religious liberty is the foundation of this country and what they're trying to do is to undermine the religious liberty so that they become an accepted sexual orientation."

Instead of being about discrimination, DeLay insisted, the laws are about stopping the proliferation of sin.

"The problem is the sin. So yes, when I have a business and some gay person walks in — unidentified, by the way; there's no way you can tell unless he tells you — then I'm going to serve him," he said.

"But if he comes in and asks me to undermine my values, what I believe in, undermine my religious liberty, then I have the right to stand up for what I believe in and not serve him.

"It's not discrimination. It's the government telling us how we are to act, what we are to believe, and that has got to be fought with every ounce of our being."

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Light of Literacy Awards Ceremony

Who: Friends Wicomico Public Libraries

What: The Friends of Wicomico Public Libraries will host their Third Annual Light of Literacy Awards on Thursday, April 9, from 8-10 a.m. at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center. This awards breakfast recognizes the dedication of everyday individuals doing extraordinary work in promoting the power of literacy throughout the community. The Light of Literacy Awards brings together leaders from around the area to recognize those who are luminaries in our community, lighting the way for others by their example.

When: Thursday, April 9th from 8 am – 10 am

Where: Wicomico Youth and Civic Center, Flanders Room - Salisbury, Maryland

Why: By recognizing individuals and organizations who promote literacy and by raising public awareness of their work, the Friends hope to multiply their efforts and the effect they have in the community.  This will benefit those who do the work, those who gain assistance from this work, but also those with literacy needs who are seeking assistance.

Below is a list of our nominees:
Adult Luminary Award
Neil Jen
Alexis Dashield
Andrew Heller
Linda Jagusiak
Beth Ohlsson
Brice Stump

Business Luminary Award
Barnes & Noble of Salisbury, MD
Salt Water Media

Educator Luminary Award
Teresa McCain
Janice McCabe
Betty Hamblin    
Dr. Judith Pike
Dr. Judylynn Mitchell
Mary Mannel
Priscilla Basehart
Barbara Culver

Higher Education Luminary Award
Carson Wigley
Charles Porter
Dr. Amy Hagenrater-Gooding
Ernest Bond
Dr. George Whitehead
Jennifer Cox
Thomas Boudreau

Non-Profit Organization Luminary Award
PAC 14
Pets on Wheels of Delmarva, Inc.
Cops N Kids Program
DEAR Project at Dove Pointe
Girls Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay
Lynn Rising, Program Coordinator for ShoreCorps/PALS at SU
Somerset Early Learning Advisory Council
Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art

Youth Luminary Award
Douglas Buck
Alison Sahler
Breanna Soldatelli
Levy Stuart Minchala
Samantha Wiersberg
Wicomico High School Volunteers for the WISE Program at Wicomico Middle School

Beautiful, Emotional and She's only 9 !!!!

Maryland governor plans trade trip to China, Japan, S. Korea

ANNAPOLIS, Md. —Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is planning an economic development trip to Asia this spring.

Hogan said in an interview Monday with The Associated Press that he is planning the trip to South Korea, China and Japan at the end of May or early June.

The Republican governor says there are a number of initiatives the state is looking at to stimulate economic investment and job creation in the state. He says one of them is meeting with Asiana Airlines and Korea Air to talk about the possibility of getting flights to Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

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As water runs dry, Californians brace for a new way of life

PASADENA, Calif. — His lawn was thick, healthy and gorgeous, and Mike Duran was in love. “It was so green. It was so lush,” he said. But the relationship had financial issues. Watering the grass cost about $1,200 every other month in this drought-stricken state.

“The money I was spending for water, I had to make a change,” Duran said. The yard has been an arrangement of sand and cactus for three months now. “Emotionally, it took me a little time to adjust, to say the least,” he said.

When Gov. Jerry Brown (D) told Californians last week that watering grass every day is “going to be a thing of the past” and announced the first mandatory water restrictions in the state’s history, people in a region full of swimming pools, pretty lawns and flowers bursting in technicolor began to worry that the place would start to look a lot more like Arizona.

“Without water, you can’t live in California,” said Bill Whalen, who works on politics, and the politics of water, at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. “It ties into the California psyche.

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WCSO Calls For Service 4-3-15 Thru 4-5-15

Governor Hogan Issues Executive Order Extending Maryland General Assembly Session

ANNAPOLIS, MD - Governor Larry Hogan today issued Executive Order 01.01.2015.15, which will extend Maryland's General Assembly session for no longer than 10 days to provide additional time for legislators to pass a budget. During the 10-day extension, the budget bill is the only piece of legislation that can be debated among the General Assembly.

Article III, Section 52 (10) of the Maryland Constitution provides that the Governor shall issue a proclamation extending the session to allow for passage of the budget bill when the budget bill has not been passed by the 83rd day of the regular legislative session.

“With the final week of session upon us, I am happy to give legislators extra time to reach an agreement on the budget," said Governor Hogan. "I remain committed to working with the General Assembly to reach a bipartisan budget resolution that delivers the tax relief and fiscal responsibility that Marylanders are demanding."

A Viewer Writes: Dead Body

Hey Joe....

I havent seen anything on any news outlets today, but a vehicle was towed from PRMC last night to SPD HQ that was abandoned by an unknown driver in front of the ER doors. The vehicle had a deceased, fully nude male body in the rear cargo area that was "in there for sometime" No other details were shared with me personally, but it obviously was suspicious.

Going To School In The 70s vs. Today. A Lot has Changed

Back to School in the 70s
  1. Take the kids downtown to go shopping at Sears for back to school clothes the last week of August. Get everyone a new pair of corduroys and a striped tee shirt. Buy the boys a pair of dungarees and the girls a pair of culottes. No, Jennifer, you can't have that orange and red poncho. Promise you will crochet her a better one with much more fringe. Get the girls a package of that rainbow, fuzzy yarn they like in their hair. You are done. You have spent a total of $43.00. Now take everyone to the Woolworth's lunch counter for grilled cheeses and chocolate milk.
  2. On the night before the first day of school (that would be the Sunday night after Labor Day, of course, you know, mid-September) throw the kids in the way back of the station wagon and drag them downtown to Eckerds, K-Mart, Ames, Dollar General, Drug Fair or the like and hurry them over to the back-to-school area to pick out a lunchbox. Make sure to tell them get a move on because you don't have all night for them to make a damn decision. They need to get in bed by eight and yes, they're going to miss the Wonderful World of Disney if they can't decide between The Fonz and Dukes of Hazzard. Good Lord, why is it so hard for them to pick? Tell Kimberly if she can't make up her mind between Holly Hobbie and The Bionic Woman then you're going to pick Pigs in Space and you don't want to hear another word about it until June. Grab a composition book for each of them and a pack of pencils too. That's all they need. Remember to save some grocery bags so they can cover their textbooks with them after the first day of school.

Meet the swingers next door

A new reality show called "Neighbors With Benefits" looks at a neighborhood of swingers -- and it's just as awkward as it sounds, CNN's Lisa France says.

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SPD Calls For Service Week Ending 4-5-15

Black Woman Pretends to Be White, Job Offers Skyrocket

Introducing Spot

Jeb Bush marked 'Hispanic' on Fla. voter registration form

Likely Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush, who was popular among Spanish-speaking voters while Florida governor, marked himself as "Hispanic" on a 2009 voter registration application, The New York Times reported on Monday.

The newspaper posted a fuzzy copy of the form, which it said it obtained from the Miami-Dade County Elections Department. The circle marked "Hispanic" was checked. The next circle said "White, not Hispanic" and was not checked.

"My mistake! Don't think I've fooled anyone!" Bush wrote on Twitter on Monday, responding to a message from his son calling him an "honorary" Latino.

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As Horseshoe grows, revenue declines at Maryland's other 4 casinos

Maryland’s five casinos brought in a record $91 million in March, but monthly revenue declined at all but one.

Year-over-year, statewide casino revenue increased 16.9 percent, or $13.2 million, from March 2014, according to the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. The Horseshoe Casino Baltimore carried those gains. Excluding the Horseshoe, which opened in August, the state’s other four casinos saw revenue decline by 14.8 percent, or $11.5 million.

The Horseshoe is still undershooting its monthly revenue projections, which were expected to average at least $31 million. However, the South Baltimore gaming venue saw its highest monthly revenue yet at $24.7 million in March. The Horseshoe's previous best month was November when it brought in $23.4 million.

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Virginia fraternity chapter says it will sue Rolling Stone

NEW YORK - The University of Virginia fraternity chapter at the center of Rolling Stone's retracted article "A Rape on Campus" said on Monday that it planned to sue the magazine for what it called "reckless" reporting that hurt its reputation.

The chapter of Phi Kappa Psi said in a statement that it would pursue all available legal action. The announcement came a day after a team from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism concluded the magazine failed to follow basic journalistic safeguards in publishing the story, which accused the fraternity of hosting a gang rape.

The story sent shockwaves through the sleepy campus about 70 miles (113 km) from the capital Richmond. Students held demonstrations on campus as well as in front of the fraternity house, which was vandalized after the article was published.

"Clearly our fraternity and its members have been defamed, but more importantly we fear this entire episode may prompt some victims to remain in the shadows, fearful to confront their attackers," Stephen Scipione, the president of the fraternity chapter in Charlottesville, Virginia, said in a statement.

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Army Diversity Training Features Slide About ‘White Privilege’

Army soldiers at Fort Gordon, GA, were inappropriately shown a slide about “white privilege” during a diversity training briefing, according to an Army spokeswoman.

Army spokeswoman Capt. Lindsay Roman said that Army officials are investigating the Equal Opportunity (EO) briefing, USA Today reports.

The slide, which contains bullet points about “white privilege,” is titled “The Luxury of Obliviousness.”

“Race privilege gives whites little reason to pay a lot of attention to African Americans or to how white privilege affects them. ‘To be white in America means not having to think about it,’” states one item.

More here

Hillary Clinton and the stupid voters

Elected leaders love to yak about all that is wrong with our education system. They refer to study after study showing our children falling further and further behind the rest of the world and then demand to see improvement. No matter what we do, whether it is “No Child Left Behind,” “Common Core,” or free tuition to attend community college, our leaders can not come up with a fix to what appears to be our increasing stupidity. What they fail to consider is the possibility the problem might lie in the fixers and not the fix. In other words, maybe it is our elected leaders that have fallen behind the rest of the world and they are nothing more than a reflection of our failing schools.

This brings me to Hillary Clinton. A recent poll showed 51 percent of the nation believes she has done something seriously wrong in regards to her email fiasco, while 48 percent believe the matter is no big deal. Another poll shows 50 percent of the country believes she cannot be trusted while the other half … well, I am sure you can figure it out.

Hillary Clinton is a very bright person who makes a point of surrounding herself with very bright people. Together, they have come to the conclusion most Americans are stupid and will end up electing her president in 2016. How’s that for a campaign strategy? Forget splitting the country between red and blue, rich or poor, young or old, or male and female. Clinton is splitting us based on our intelligence and she is convinced she will win based on overwhelming support from the “dumb vote.”

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Kansas man sends high school teacher a surprise $10,000 thank you check

NEW YORK (ABC News) - One man in Kansas has been paying it forward with his high school teachers, one check at a time.

Kevin Perz graduated from Parkway Central High school in Missouri in 1977, but he hasn't forgotten to show his appreciation for special teachers that impacted his life there.

The latest teacher who received an unexpected gift was Marilyn Mecham, who he had been trying to track down for years.

After finally finding her current phone number, the pair chatted by phone in January, a move that Mecham told ABC News was special enough.

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New Report Shows More Than 2,000 Illegal Immigrant Children Arrive In The US Each Month

A new report shows that more than 2,000 illegal immigrant children arrive in the U.S. every month, the National Review reports.

Upon reviewing statistics from the Department of Homeland Security, the Center for Immigration Studies found that more immigrant children have entered the country this fiscal year than at this point in fiscal years 2012 and 2013.

The report shows that 85 percent of the children crossing the border are teenagers and are mostly boys. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reported it has encountered children from 27 different countries so far this year. The agency is in charge of taking custody of illegal immigrant children.

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ACLU Demands Religious Groups Provide ABORTIONS For Illegal Immigrants

The American Civil Liberties Union will seek a federal court order compelling the U.S. government to release documents related to federal contracts with religious relief agencies that assist illegal immigrants.

The ACLU is seeking the information over its concerns that a huge majority of women and underage girls who illegally immigrate to the United States endure rape and other forms of sexual assault, according to a press release obtained by the Arizona Daily Independent.

Specifically, the venerable civil rights organization estimates, “between 60 and 80 percent of women and girls who cross the border are sexually assaulted.”

Does the ACLU want to clamp down on the massive border surge of the Obama era to prevent such intolerable human rights violations? No. Of course not.Don’t be ridiculous.

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BREAKING NEWS: Rand Paul announces presidential bid

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul uses his website to announce 'I am running for president.' Paul will speak about his candidacy at an appearance in Louisville later today.
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Syrian Girl Seen Surrendering To Cameraman Reportedly Fled Refugee Camp With Family

A 4-year-old Syrian girl, who recently captured the hearts of millions when a Turkish photojournalist snapped a picture of her surrendering to his camera, has fled with her family from a refugee camp and may be in the Al Qaeda controlled city of Idlib.

The Daily Mail reports that a source from within the Atmeh refugee camp on the Turkey-Syria border has confirmed that girl — whose name is Adi Hudea — and her family are no longer in the camp.

“The child does not exist now in the camp,” the unnamed source is quoted as saying. “They fled to a village in Idlib about two weeks ago.”

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Record Gasoline Output to Curb Biggest U.S. Oil Glut in 85 Years

Refiners are poised to make gasoline at a record pace this year, keeping the biggest U.S. crude glut in more than 80 years from overflowing storage.

They’re enjoying the best margins in two years as they finish seasonal maintenance of their plants before the summer driving season. They’ll increase output to meet consumer demand and they’ve added more than 100,000 barrels a day of capacity since last summer, when they processed the most oil on record.

Booming crude production expanded inventories this year by 86 million barrels to 471 million, the highest level since 1930. Analysts from Bank of America Corp. to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. have said storage space may run out. What looks like an oversupply to banks is turning into an all-you-can-eat buffet for those making gasoline and diesel fuel.

“A lot of the excess crude we’ve been sitting on is going to get chewed up quickly,” Sam Davis, an analyst for energy consulting company Wood Mackenzie Ltd., said in Houston April 2. “We’re going to move from a stock build to a stock draw.”

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THE IRS AND CONGRESS BOTH HOLD OUR LIBERTY IN CONTEMPT

This week the Justice Department announced it would not charge former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official Lois Lerner with contempt of Congress

This week the Justice Department announced it would not charge former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official Lois Lerner with contempt of Congress. Some members of Congress requested that Lerner be charged with contempt after she refused to testify at a congressional hearing investigating her role in denying or delaying the applications for tax-exempt status of “tea party” and pro-limited government organizations.

Cynics might suggest it is not surprising that a former government official would avoid prosecution for refusing to tell Congress about how federal employees abused their power to help the incumbent administration. These cynics have a point, but the problem goes beyond mere partisanship. Government officials are rarely prosecuted for even the most blatant violations of our liberties. In contrast, federal prosecutors routinely pursue criminal charges against whistleblowers. For example, the only American prosecuted and imprisoned in relation to the government’s use of torture was whistleblower John Kiriakou!

While some officials like Lois Lerner who find themselves at the center of a high-profile scandal or partisan dispute can expect harsh treatment from Congress, this is the expectation, not the rule. Executive branch officials usually receive deferential treatment from members of Congress. I recall one hearing on government surveillance where a representative actually apologized to a government official because Congress had the gall to ask that official to testify about the government’s ongoing surveillance of the American people.

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Pope: 'Our Martyrs Today...Are More Numerous Than in the First Centuries'

(CNSNews) - Pope Francis said on Monday that Christian martyrs are more numerous today than they were in the first centuries of the church.

He made the statement while speaking to a group, the Shalom Community, that had run a relay through Rome, as reported by Vatican Radio, to show solidarity with Christians who are being persecuted.

"Your itinerary on the streets is over," the pope said to the group, "but what must continue on the part of all is the spiritual journey of prayer, intense prayer; the concrete participation and tangible help in the defense and protection of our brothers and sisters, who are persecuted, exiled, killed, beheaded, for the only reason of being a Christian."

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Md. lawmakers won’t vote on paid sick days

Maryland lawmakers have decided not to advance legislation that would have required many businesses to let workers earn as many as seven paid sick days each year. Advocates accused Democrats, who hold majorities in both chambers of the legislature, of only supporting working-class issues during election years.

Sen. Thomas M. Middleton (D-Charles) and Del. Dereck E. Davis (D-Prince George’s), who lead the committees that handled the legislation, explained the decision in a letter to the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, which opposes the bill, and the Job Opportunities Task Force, which is fighting for paid sick days.

Given “the complex nature of this legislation and the potential impact that it may have, if enacted, on the State’s businesses and workforce,” the legislation needs more work, said the letter, which is dated Friday and was made public Monday.

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Why Are US Colleges So Afraid of Letting Students Speak Freely?

“Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech.” The words of the First Amendment couldn’t be plainer. Yet more than two centuries after the Bill of Rights was written, they remain the subject of fierce debate.

Actually, I should amend that (no pun intended). These words would be the subject of debate—if debate were permitted. But these days, apparently, we’re all so thin-skinned that we can’t bear to hear an opinion that challenges our worldview.

This is even true, ironically, at our institutions of higher learning. Some colleges are far more interested in swaddling their students in a protective bubble than in teaching free speech.

Consider what happened to Omar Mahmood. The University of Michigan student last year wrote a satirical piece for the campus newspaper, The Michigan Daily, listing the ways that the pervading culture of right-handedness victimizes left-handed people.

More here

Obama explains the 'doctrine' that underlies his foreign policy

President Barack Obama sat down for an interview with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman over the weekend and explained the "doctrine" underlying his decisions to thaw relations with countries like Iran and Cuba.
The "Obama doctrine," which focuses on engagement and diplomacy, came up in the interview when Friedman asked the president whether there was a "common denominator" to his decisions to "break free from longstanding United States policies isolating Burma, Cuba and now Iran."
Friedman writes:
Obama said his view was that 'engagement,' combined with meeting core strategic needs, could serve American interests vis-à-vis these three countries far better than endless sanctions and isolation. He added that America, with its overwhelming power, needs to have the self-confidence to take some calculated risks to open important new possibilities — like trying to forge a diplomatic deal with Iran that, while permitting it to keep some of its nuclear infrastructure, forestalls its ability to build a nuclear bomb for at least a decade, if not longer.
Obama insisted that these new policies of diplomacy don't put the US at risk.
He said: "The truth of the matter is: Iran’s defense budget is $30 billion. Our defense budget is closer to $600 billion. Iran understands that they cannot fight us. ... You asked about an Obama doctrine. The doctrine is: We will engage, but we preserve all our capabilities."
Obama does not believe that Iran is "undeterrable" and suggests that it won't hurt to try negotiating with the country.
"If in fact we can resolve these issues diplomatically, we are more likely to be safe, more likely to be secure, in a better position to protect our allies, and who knows? Iran may change," Obama said. "If it doesn’t, our deterrence capabilities, our military superiority stays in place. ... We’re not relinquishing our capacity to defend ourselves or our allies. In that situation, why wouldn’t we test it? "
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Judge rules that you can now divorce your spouse on Facebook

How do you divorce your spouse when you don't know where he or she is? You use Facebook, according to a ruling from Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper.

Ellanora Baidoo and Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku were married in a civil ceremony in 2009, but things started getting rocky when Blood-Dzraku backed out on his promise to follow the ceremony up with a traditional Ghanian wedding. This means that the couple's wedding was never consummated, and they never actually lived together despite being husband and wife on paper.

To complicate matters further, Blood-Dzraku disappeared shortly after the ceremony. For a while, Baidoo had no idea where her husband was. After hiring a private investigator and querying the DMV about his whereabouts, Blood-Dzraku was still nowhere to be found.

The ghost husband kept in touch with his wife via telephone and Facebook, and the only address she had for him was an apartment he moved out of in 2011. Yet for whatever reason, Blood-Dzraku doesn't want a divorce and refuses to process any of the divorce paperwork his wife sends him.

Now, Baidoo has earned the court's blessing to notify her husband about the impending divorce once a week for three weeks via Facebook message. If there's no response within that time frame, she no longer needs her husband's blessing to go her own way.

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Laura Ingraham Says This Is ‘Insanity’ As Report Shows 3 of 4 Refugees In U.S. Are On Food Stamps

The Office of Refugee Resettlement released a report this week that shows 3 out of 4 refugees in the United States are – shockingly – receiving food stamps. Talk show host Laura Ingraham sanely responded on Twitter that this use of government resources is “insanity.”

That sobering fact is just the tip of the iceberg, according to an annual report from the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Breitbart News reported:

“Additionally, nearly half were on some form of cash assistance and more than a half were on medical assistance. More than 20 percent were on Supplemental Security Income, more than 22 percent were in public housing and nearly 20 percent were on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).”

The data covered a five year time period between March 1, 2008 to February 28, 2013, and was also broken down by region of origin.

According to the report, refugees from the Middle East drew the most cash assistance at 68.3 percent, and topped the list of food stamps users at 91.4 percent.

African refugees were a close second in both categories.

All of which leads one to wonder just how long does the goose continue to lay golden eggs? Ingraham responded to a tweet from GOP-led Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, which shared the Breitbart column on Twitter.

Twitter users agreed with Ingraham’s assessment.

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NRP Seeking Applicants for Cadet Program

The Maryland Natural Resources Police has opened the hiring process for seven young men or women to join its cadet program.

The cadet program is the law enforcement equivalent to a paid internship, allowing the individuals to not only experience firsthand the life of an NRP officer but also to participate in other areas of the Department of Natural Resources, such as fisheries, state parks and wildlife.

In the past two years, seven cadets have made the transition to the NRP Police Academy. One of them already has graduated and joined the ranks of field officers.

Candidates for these full-time positions must be between 17 and 19 years old to apply, and between 18 and 20 years old to be hired. They must have either a high school diploma or high school equivalency certificate. Candidates must be citizens of the United States and establish residence in the State of Maryland prior to appointment.

Applicants will have to pass rigorous physical and psychological tests, and undergo an intensive background check. A demonstration of the elements of the Functional Fitness Assessment Test, including the correct position for push-ups and sit-ups can be viewed online.

Online application is strongly preferred and can be accessed directly here, or via search at jobaps.com/md. The salary and benefits schedule is at that site as well. The deadline to apply is April 20.

The Pentagon can’t account for $45,000,000,000 of YOUR money it spent in Afghanistan

Now I’m generally for more military spending, seeing as it’s actually one of the few obligations the founders gave to the federal government. But I have to admit stories like these give me pause:

Remember when we were informed in 2013 that America was giving literal bags full of cash to the office of then-Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai? It really shouldn’t be a surprise at this point that billions of dollars of Pentagon spending within Afghanistan prior to 2010 is unaccounted for.

That’s the latest from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). We’ve made note of previous SIGAR reports about blown tax dollars in the country, like $500,000 on a poorly made shooting range and $3.6 million for trucks to film games of buzkashi, Afghanistan’s version of polo with goat carcasses.

Now comes the news that we don’t even really know for certain what the Pentagon has done with $45 billion of $66 billion spent in Afghanistan prior to 2010. Why? Because until then the Pentagon was not required to account for it.

Yeah that seems like… a bad idea.

Source

Blues legend B.B King rushed to hospital in Las Vegas

Blues star B.B. King was rushed to hospital over the weekend.

The 89-year-old was hospitalized near his Las Vegas home for a diabetes-related emergency - a condition he's live with for more than two decades.

A source told TMZ the health issue was the result of dehydration from his Type II diabetes and that he was still in hospital being treated. 

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60 Insane Photos That You Won’t Believe Aren’t Photoshopped


How did pit bulls get such a bad rap?

If current news reports are to be believed, pit bulls have been attacking and biting humans left and right—to the point that many communities are considering breed-specific bans on pit bulls.

Would it surprise you to learn that pit bulls used to be America’s darlings? Before the mid-80s, stories of pit bull attacks are practically non-existent. There is even some confusion over exactly which breed of dog is a pit bull — the definition includes the American pit bull terrier, the Staffordshire terrier and, at times, the bulldog. This confusion seems to have dogged the breed from the beginning, as there is some disagreement over the origin of pit bulls.

Where do pit bulls come from and how did they get such a bad rap?
Two possible histories of pit bulls

In one theory, pit bulls began during antiquity as the so-called Molossus, a now-extinct breed that was used by the Greeks as shepherds and guard dogs. In times of war, they marched off to battle with their humans. Eventually, so the theory goes, the Molossus made it to early Britain, where it became known as the Mastiff. In the first century CE, Rome discovered the breed after defeating the Britons, and the dogs spread all over the empire. For the next four hundred years, they were used as war dogs, and intermixed with various local breeds all over the European continent, becoming the forerunners of the modern pit bull.

A competing theory places the origin of the pit bull in England at the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066, when butchers would use large, Mastiff-type dogs as “bullenbeissers,” which translates as “bull biter.” Trained to latch onto a bull’s nose and not let go until the animal was subdued, these dogs were the only way that humans could regain control when a bull became agitated. Unfortunately, this practical if dubious use eventually led to the “sport” of bull-baiting, where dogs were put in a pit with an intentionally riled-up bull and spectators placed bets on which dog would hold on the longest, or bring the bull down. You’ve probably guessed it by now, but this is also the origin of the terms “pit bull dog” and “bulldog.”

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House Fire In Salisbury Last Night

Salisbury units responded to the second working structure fire of the day at 2300 hours. Units arriving at 427 Elizabeth...

Posted by Salisbury Fire Department on Monday, April 6, 2015

Thousands Band Together to Find Deaf and Blind Dog

I think the world needs more positive stories like this one. Dunhill, a 15-year-old blind and deaf Jack Russell, found himself lost in some mangroves around March 28th. His distraught owner took to social media, hoping to alert the community to the missing pup. What happened next blew her mind.

A deaf, blind dog seemed to be up against the odds when he became lost in mangroves, but thousands of animal lovers came to his rescue.

Owner Angela Beer said she tried not to fear the worst when she discovered her 15-year-old jack russell missing from its home in the upmarket Auckland suburb of Westmere.

“I didn’t want to think he was injured, alone and dying in the dark.”
Dunhill was found after a land, sea and air search.

She had been looking after her sick mum while some friends house-sat on Saturday night, March 28, when the dog escaped.

Refusing to give up hope, Beer sprang into action and posted missing posters on social media.

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Do We Understand Each Other?


Safety First?


Clueless?


Can You Find the Face in this Picture