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Saturday, June 13, 2015

D.C. police to change drug strategy, target suppliers

WASHINGTON –The Metropolitan Police Department is revising its strategy on the war on drugs by changing officers’ attire and focusing on suppliers instead of street corner buyers.

The department’s current drug strategy often involves police officers in plain clothes, instead of uniforms, attempting to make arrests on the city’s streets. Open air sales have long been the target of the District’s drug enforcement, but D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier says that will come to an end soon, The Washington Post reports.

“Our main goal is the supply. We don’t want to focus police efforts on just people who are addicted. We want to be focusing on the people who are bringing the stuff in,” Lanier told the Post.

Along with the the policy shift comes a change in uniform.

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Spain's King strips title of duchess from his sister

Spain's King Felipe VI has stripped the title of duchess from his sister, the palace said, heaping pressure on Cristina de Borbon to give up her succession rights as she prepares to stand trial on tax fraud charges.

The bold move by the 47-year-old king, crowned nearly a year ago after the abdication of his father Juan Carlos, is part of a bid to revive the image of a monarchy tarnished by scandals.

Cristina is due to stand trial as soon as this year and will be the first Spanish royal to face prosecution. Graft investigations in Spain have exposed high-level corruption throughout society, damaging Spaniards' faith in their institutions.

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OCPD: HAGERSTOWN TEEN IN CUSTODY FOR ARMED ROBBERY

On June 10, 2015, at approximately 2:20 p.m. Ocean City police responded to the area of 27th Street and Baltimore Avenue for a reported armed robbery involving a handgun. Upon the arrival of officers, a group of individuals reported that they were the victims of an armed robbery inside a motel on 27th Street.

The victims reported that a male, who was accompanied by a group of other individuals, displayed a handgun and demanded money from each of the victims who all resisted. The group, including the suspect, then fled to a nearby hotel at 26th Street and Baltimore Avenue.

With assistance from the victims, officers were quickly able to determine which room the group had fled to and detained five individuals. The primary suspect who had been in possession of the handgun was later identified as Christian S. Gill, 16, of Hagerstown, MD. A search and seizure warrant was later executed on the hotel room in which a pellet gun, clothes matching the description of the suspect, marijuana and drug paraphernalia were seized. The investigation later revealed that this incident was a drug related robbery.

Ocean City police have charged Gill as an adult. His charges include armed robbery, robbery, first degree assault and theft of less than $1,000. Gill was seen by a Maryland District Court Commissioner and was initially transferred to the Worcester County Jail on $250,000 bond. After a bond review, he is now being held without bond.

Republican Presidential Candidate May Have Done The Most Brutal Anti-Hillary Ad Ever

The Right Brain vs Left Brain test - Optical Illusion


The Right Brain vs Left Brain test ... do you see the dancer turning clockwise or anti-clockwise?

If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa.

Most of us would see the dancer turning anti-clockwise though you can try to focus and change the direction; see if you can do it.

LEFT BRAIN FUNCTIONS
uses logic
detail oriented
facts rule
words and language
present and past
math and science
can comprehend
knowing
acknowledges
order/pattern perception
knows object name
reality based
forms strategies
practical
safe

RIGHT BRAIN FUNCTIONS
uses feeling
"big picture" oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
believes
appreciates
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
impetuous
risk taking

UCLA Bans Faculty from Saying America is Land of Opportunity Because It’s Racist & Offensive

You have got to be freaking kidding me. Every day I get up anymore, I just bang my head against the wall over the latest wave of Liberal idiocy. This one does not even make sense. Unless of course you consider that the Leftists want all verbiage that says anything good about America erased from the lexicon. This pretense of being offended at every linguistic turn is just moronic. The following are also on that moonbat list: Alien in One’s Own Land, Ascription of Intelligence, Color Blindness, Criminality/Assumption of Criminal Status, Denial of Individual Racism/Sexism/Heterosexism and Myth of Meritocracy. Our language is being scrubbed, purified and censored. Evidently the First Amendment and freedom of speech mean absolutely nothing at UCLA or our universities anymore.

From Gateway Pundit:

The University of California sent a handout to faculty recently that includes a list of offensive statements. According to the handout,“America is the land of opportunity,” will be banned from campus.

It’s much too offensive.

National Review reported:

A University of California faculty leader-training handout instructed professors not to say that “America is the land of opportunity” because that’s a racist, sexist microaggression.

According to the handout, called “Tool: Recognizing Microaggressions and the Messages they Send,” the statement “assert[s] that race and gender [do] not play a role in life successes” — despite the fact that saying opportunities exist and saying that opportunities are more easily attainable for some people than others are not mutually exclusive assertions.

Other microaggressions listed on the document include asking, “Where are you from or where were you born?” (because it suggests that the person you’re asking is “not a true American”); asking a post-doctoral minority student whether he or she is lost in the halls of a chemistry building (because it makes ”the assumption that the person is trying to break into one of the labs”); and having students fill out forms on which they have to check a box indicating whether they’re male or female.

The school will now ban the phrase, “America is the land of opportunity.”

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A growing experience: Prison gardens transform inmates who tend to them

WESTOVER, Md. — Don Vass, an admitted drug dealer, pulls a cabbage from the ground, then hands it to Walter Labord, a convicted murderer.

They are gardening behind soaring brick walls at Maryland’s largest penitentiary, where a group of inmates has transformed the prison yard into a thriving patch of strawberries, squash, eggplant, lettuce and peppers — just no fiery habaneros, which could be used to make pepper spray.

It’s planting season behind bars, where officials from San Quentin in California to Rikers Island in New York have turned dusty patches into powerful metaphors for rebirth. The idea: transform society’s worst by teaching them how things bloom — heads of cabbage, flowers, inmates themselves.




“These guys have probably never seen something grow out of the ground,” says Kathleen Green, the warden at Eastern Correctional Institution, watching her inmates till the soil. “This is powerful stuff for them.”
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7 Key Events That Are Going To Happen By The End Of September

Is something really big about to happen?

For months, people have been pointing to the second half of this year for various reasons. For some, the major concern is Jade Helm and the unprecedented movement of military vehicles and equipment that we have been witnessing all over the nation. For others, the upcoming fourth blood moon and the end of the Shemitah cycle are extremely significant events. Yet others are most concerned about political developments in Washington D.C. and at the United Nations. To me, it does seem rather remarkable that we are seeing such a confluence of economic, political and spiritual events coming together during the second half of 2015. So is all of this leading up to something? Is our world about to change in a fundamental way? Only time will tell. The following are 7 key events that are going to happen by the end of September…

Late June/Early July – It is expected that this is when the U.S. Supreme Court will reveal their gay marriage decision. Most believe that the court will rule that gay marriage is a constitutional right in all 50 states. There are some that believe that this will be a major turning point for our nation.

July 15th to September 15th –
A “realistic military training exercise” known as “Jade Helm” will be conducted by the U.S. Army. More than 1,000 members of the U.S. military will take part in this exercise. The list of states slated to be involved in these drills includes Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, California, Mississippi and Florida.

July 28th – On May 28th, Reuters reported that countries in the European Union were being given a two month deadline to enact “bail-in” legislation. Any nation that does not have “bail-in” legislation in place by that time will face legal action from the European Commission. So why is the European Union in such a rush to get this done? Are the top dogs in the EU anticipating that another great financial crisis is about to erupt?

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One Man Dead After Shooting In Frederick

One man is dead after a shooting just before 5:30 p.m. in the 400 block of Vermont Court in Frederick.

Frederick police Lt. Clark Pennington confirmed there was one male victim, but could not provide any additional details. He plans to hold a press briefing later tonight.

The crime scene includes an ice cream truck and police and first responders initially standing with a white sheet over the body.

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Erin Brockovich & Susquehanna Valley, Pa. chemical pollution

Though Erin Brockovich mentions, below, that "You won't be seeing this on network news," NBC did go to the trouble of reporting that smoke from a June 5  Hanover, Pa. chemical plant explosion and  5-alarm  fire  was:
"not toxic":
Runoff contaminated the Conewago Creek, killing an estimated 20,000 - 30,000 fish so far and causing the testing of residents' water wells along the creek as it flows miles to the endangered 
Susquehanna River: 
Downstream, Lancaster, York, Columbia, Red Lion, Baltimore, and other municipalities draw drinking water from the river. Wrightsville, Pa. hurried to collect and store some before the chemical contamination reached there:

Hosing it into a quarry:
The following is from Erin Brockovich's Facebook page:
These dangerous chemicals are on their way to the Chesapeake Bay... where are the safety measures to prevent this from happening again, and again, and again, and again, and again...

You won't be seeing this on network news...

York and Adams county officials have said people in the following municipalities should not swim, boat or fish in the Conewago Creek in the following municipalities:

York County, Paradise Township, Dover Township, Washington Township, Warrington Township, Conewago Township, Newberry Township, East Manchester Township, York Haven, East Berlin, Adams County, Hamilton Township, Mt. Pleasant Township, New Oxford, Oxford Township, Reading Township

Chemicals from an Adams County fertilizer business that caught fire Monday had flowed into the creek and colored the water brown and purple. Waterways Conservation Officer Dan Nietupski said more than 20,000 fish have been killed, and the number could grow as the contamination moves downstream toward the Susquehanna River.

Found Mt Pleasant Rd. Powelville last Thursday

Found Mt Pleasant Rd. Powelville last Thursday. Hope we can find his owner. 443-880-0223

11-Year-Old Boy Played in His Yard. CPS Took Him, Felony Charge for Parents.

An interview with two parents who lost their kids... over nothing.

One afternoon this past April, a Florida mom and dad I'll call Cindy and Fred could not get home in time to let their 11-year-old son into the house. The boy didn't have a key, so he played basketball in the yard. He was alone for 90 minutes. A neighbor called the cops, and when the parents arrived—having been delayed by traffic and rain—they were arrested for negligence.

They were put in handcuffs, strip searched, fingerprinted, and held overnight in jail.

It would be a month before their sons—the 11-year-old and his 4-year-old brother—were allowed home again. Only after the eldest spoke up and begged a judge to give him back to his parents did the situation improve.

I spoke with Cindy about her family’s horrible ordeal.

"My older one was the so-called 'victim,'" she said during a phone interview. But since she and her husband were charged with felony neglect, the younger boy had to be removed from the home, too.

Here is the law: "A person who willfully or by culpable negligence neglects a child without causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child commits a felony of the third degree."

I first heard of Cindy's case last week when she wrote to me at Free-Range Kids. Her email explained:

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AGENDA WICOMICO COUNTY COUNCIL FOR JUNE 16th 2015

Police Killed An Unarmed White Man In Iowa And His Community Didn't Seem To Notice

A few minutes before Des Moines police killed Ryan Keith Bolinger Tuesday night, the 28-year-old white man was dancing in the street, according to an officer. Police didn't find the display funny. In a news conference Wednesday, Des Moines Police Sgt. Jason Halifax said Bolinger had earlier pulled up beside the squad car of an officer who was conducting an unrelated traffic stop, parking his 2000 Lincoln sedan so close that he blocked the police cruiser's driver's side door. Bolinger then left his vehicle and danced around before getting back in and driving away.

Officer Vanessa Miller, a seven-year veteran of the force, gave pursuit, following Bolinger in a low-speed chase that hovered around the 35 miles-per-hour limit, officials said. The Des Moines Register reports that Officer Ian Lawler, who had earlier been boxed in by Bolinger, radioed that he was joining Miller in the pursuit. He also suggested that they may be dealing with a drunk or mentally ill suspect.

About two minutes into the chase, Miller cut Bolinger off as he attempted to make a U-turn, forcing his car to a stop. Bolinger exited his vehicle and approached Miller's squad car "walking with a purpose," Halifax said. As he advanced, Miller, who is white, fired a single bullet through her rolled up driver's side window, shattering the glass and striking Bolinger in the torso. He later died from the gunshot wound at a local hospital.

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Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul stumps in Maryland

WOODLAWN, Md. —Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul headlined the Baltimore County Republican Party's Lincoln-Reagan dinner Tuesday evening.

Maryland hasn't been a traditional stop for Republican candidates on the presidential primary trail, but then again, Paul's whole campaign strategy is about bucking tradition.

At the end of his speech, there was a group in the all-Republican crowd chanting "President Paul."

Paul showed his independent streak in his remarks, talking about things a conventional Republican often avoids, including the war on drugs. He used Baltimore to make his point.

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Sanders pushes to give Americans a paid vacation

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wants to give Americans a paid vacation, as part a "family values" agenda he outlined Thursday.

Sanders, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, said he is introducing a bill, the Guaranteed Paid Vacation Act, that would give 10 days of paid vacation to every employee that had worked for an employer for at least one year. The legislation would apply to employers with at least 15 employees.

"What family values are about is that at least for two weeks a year, people can come together under a relaxed environment and enjoy the family," Sanders said from the Senate floor. "That is a family value that I want to see happen in this country."

The legislation is part of the senator's "family values agenda." As part of the agenda, he also backed legislation that would give an employee 12 weeks of paid leave if they have a child or serious medical condition, as well as a separate bill that would give workers up to seven paid sick days.

On his support for paid sick leave, Sanders added, "I am not crazy about the idea of somebody who is sick coming to to work, preparing the food that I eat in a restaurant."

Hunger-Free Schools Act May Affect Parts of Worcester County

Signed into law and taking effect June 1, the Hunger-Free Schools Act of 2015 eliminates the need for an application to receive a free or reduced meal at local schools by instead providing breakfast and lunch to the entire student body at no charge.

To qualify, schools must have at least 40 percent of its student body classified as low income.

Proponents of the bill said it removes the stigma of the application process and will increase participation in the program.

In Worcester County, officials are still evaluating the impact the program could have because participation within the county is a function of where students live. Countywide, the board of education has found that 43.6 percent of Worcester students are eligible for a meal program.

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Pruden: A Bipartisan Betrayal of Trust

The civility chorus may at last be getting what it wants, a shutdown of debate in the name of piety and good manners. Honest debate frightens the chorus, whose sopranos and tenors forget that debate, sometimes gentle and sometimes loud and robust, is what Congress is meant to be about.

Rep. Paul Ryan, once the tough numbers cruncher for the Republicans, has been the eager point man for President Obama in the campaign to give him authority to make unilateral trade deals that include far more than mere trade. Mr. Ryan is having trouble dealing with partisan stress on the eve of the Friday vote. He has lately become a sidekick for Nancy Pelosi,

He lost his cool in an exchange on the floor of the House with a Republican colleague who was pressing him to say out loud, in plain English, what’s actually included in the Pacific Rim trade deal that President Obama regards as crucial to his “legacy.” Mr. Ryan told him, with the heat that Republicans usually regard as a violation of the civility code, that the contents of the legislation are “classified,” that everybody can find out what’s in the legislation once it is adopted and the president signs it. The public should shut up and mind their betters.

This sounds like something from the playbook of Mzz Pelosi, who once famously — or, more to the point, infamously — said that Congress had to pass Obamacare to find out what was in it. Mr. Ryan, in fact, sounds a lot like Mzz Pelosi as the acrid debate moves toward a vote.

The public is asked to take a lot on faith. Trade legislation is complicated and all discussion of it is more or less necessarily conducted in the arcane language that only Congress understands (or misunderstands), with lots of puzzling acronyms, obscure initials and misleading labels and descriptions — the likes of TPA, TPP, IOU. The only initials that congressmen, Democrat or Republican, don’t understand is PDQ.

Skeptics of the trade legislation abound, including both Democrats and Republicans, and John Boehner, the Republican speaker, has cheerfully connived with the Obama administration to keep as many of the details as possible hidden in the legislative argle-bargle. Curious members of Congress who insist on reading the legislation they’re asked to vote for must repair to a secret room in the Capitol to read it. They can take no notes, and they are required to sign a paper that they will say nothing about what they read in the secret room. No one but a congressman who knows the password and the secret handshake can enter the secret room.

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Salisbury City Council Special Meeting June 16, 2015

Watkins Sues McCormick Over Pepper, Makes Federal Case Out Of Grocery Shrink Ray

You know what a McCormick ground pepper tin looks like if you’ve ever bought pepper or browsed an American spice aisle. They’re rectangular and have spouts on each end for sprinkling or pouring the contents. Yet have you noticed how much pepper there is in the container? Competing spice-seller Watkins is paying attention, and it’s accusing McCormick of shrinking all sizes of its pepper containers by 25%. 

June 15th City Council Work Session Has Been Cancelled

Sobo's on The Road

Catering by Sobo's Wine Beerstro
We offer on and off premise catering

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Here's what happens when you stop paying your federal student loans

Two years after leaving school, students default on their federal loans at a rate of 9.1%, according to a 2013 report by the New York Federal Reserve. That figure jumps to 13.4% at the three-year mark.

Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Lee Siegel wrote an op-ed in The New York Times on Saturday in which he advised people to default on their student loans rather than remain stuck with crippling debt.

But what actually happens when you default?

VICE recently talked to Heather Jarvis, a self-proclaimed student-loan expert who graduated from Duke Law School with $125,000 of debt and has been an advocate for borrowers ever since.

According to Jarvis, if you decide one day to stop paying your federal student loans, after 270 days the loan will default, at which point the government will start garnishing your wages, seizing tax refunds, and intercepting government benefits (like social security) without a court order. The government may also sue if they think it will give them access to your assets.

"They can and do — literally do — pursue debtors to their graves," Jarvis said.

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BREAKING NEWS: Gunman dead in Dallas police HQ attack

Authorities confirm the death of the gunman who opened fire on officers outside the Dallas police HQ this morning; the gunman, who police now say acted alone, was shot inside his armored van by a sniper.

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In Case Y'all Forgot!!!!


More "Limited Government" GOP Hypocrisy

MARYLAND’S “REPUBLICAN” GOVERNOR DOUBLES DOWN ON FASCISM

In case it wasn’t abundantly clear by now that the “Republican” party is not the party of limited government, we have a refresher from the state of Maryland …

“Despite recent gains around the country, civil asset forfeiture reform suffered a setback in Maryland when Gov. Larry Hogan (R) vetoed a bill that would have placed restraints on the state’s civil forfeiture regime,” The Cato Institute’s @Liberty blog noted.

What’s “civil asset forfeiture?” When government steals your property (i.e. houses, cars, money … anything) without first convicting you of committing a crime. Or in many cases, stealing because someone committed a crime using your property without your knowledge.

This website has repeatedly railed on civil asset forfeiture at both the federal and state level. It’s simply wrong – a violation of our most basic liberties. Not only should it be outlawed, it should be eliminated.

Unfortunately the Maryland law – which would have capped seizure amounts at $300 and added other property protections for private citizens – was shut down by the state’s “Republican” governor.

Hogan’s logic in vetoing the law? That it “would greatly inhibit” his state’s war on drugs …

Wow …

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Cardin Introduces Bill to Strip Oil and Gas Companies of Environmental and Public Health Exemptions

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), has introduced a bill to remove loopholes that exempt oil and gas companies involved in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) from the Clean Water Act. The FRESHER Act (Focused Reduction of Effluence and Stormwater runoff through Hydraulic-fracturing Environmental Regulation) creates consistent national standards that are needed to protect water resources by requiring oil and gas companies to have a plan to protect streams from runoff and acquire a simple permit.

“Recent advances in technology have helped America become more energy independent than ever before. Our rise in energy independence has unfortunately come with the dangerous deregulation of oil and gas companies. With 15 million Americans living within 1 mile a mile of a well that has been drilled in the last 15 years, the loopholes oil and gas companies enjoy threaten our environment and public health,” said Senator Cardin. “Oil and gas companies that already enjoy tax breaks should be required to follow the same laws to protect our water and public health as other industries. The FRESHER Act is a needed safeguard to ensure that oil and gas companies cannot pollute our water.”

A recent EPA report regarding fracking’s potential impacts on drinking water resources found that fracking has the potential to impact drinking water resources, including the contamination of drinking water wells.

A Letter to the Editor 6-13-15

Please post

The Salisbury Fire Department has 3 out of 5 of their ambulances OUT OF SERVICE!! That means they only have 2 decent ambulances left. Now the Delmar Fire Department has loaned them their 3rd run ambulance to run calls in. Yesterday they only had to ambulances in service and paid EMT's to sit around.

Just think Jim Ireton and Rick Hoppes place demands on the county and plan on not responding to calls outside of the Salisbury City Limits. That means that the Salisbury Fire Department ambulances will not respond to calls in Delmar, but yet Delmar is the better department with better leader ship for loaning Salisbury an ambulance.

This proves that the leadership in the Salisbury Fire Department is very poor and this is what the citizens get! The citizens deserve better than the leadership of Rick Hoppes, John Tull, Jim Ireton and Jake Day.

There have been at least 2 ambulances out of service at any given time for at least 3 years now. Poor planning, poor attention, poor commitment to EMS, poor commitment to the volunteers and poor leadership for many years now.

SICK high school art project shows exactly how liberals have infected our youth

Today I received the following email:

I am a 9-year veteran firefighter from Maryland. Prince Georges County boasts itself as being a leading influential black community in the nation as it is a D.C. suburb. My crew was sent to Oxon Hill High School (a public school) last Friday for a call. When the emergency was mitigated, a crew member noticed this “art” piece and snapped a quick picture.
Not that this part matters but the member of the crew who noticed this was black and he and the other black male (both in their 20’s) said they were offended by this and they are in disbelief that this can go on in a public school setting.

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See What I Mean, Americans Are Just Plain Stupid

POLITICO's Glenn Thrush and Annie Karni are at Hillary Clinton's launch event on Roosevelt Island in New York, New York.

Practical work on offshore wind farm begins with survey

Before the turbines can begin turning on the 80,000 acres slated for offshore wind farms in Maryland, U.S. Wind, the U.S. subsidiary of Italian renewable energy company Renexia, will need to survey the ocean floor to determine the best places to install them.

Renexia won the August 2014 auction for the two Maryland sites, located about 15 miles offshore, with a bid of $8.7 million. The company expects to invest $2.5 billion overall on the project, according to the press release announcing the results of the auction. The zone is estimated to be able to produce between 850 to 1,450 megawatts of power, but the company plans to start with 500, according to the same release.

The turbines are expected to power 300,000 homes.

The Shearwater, a 110-foot former Coast Guard vessel, has been outfitted by U.S. Wind to serve as a geophysical acoustic survey vessel, Bill Wall, technical operations director of U.S. Wind, said.

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How We Ever Survived, I'll Never Know...


OCEAN CITY LIFE-SAVING STATION MUSEUM TO HONOR COAST GUARD WITH RESCUE RE-ENACTMENT

OCEAN CITY, MD – 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the formation of the United States Coast Guard. To recognize this milestone the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum will host a dinner on Fri., June 19, and a breeches buoy rescue re-enactment on Sat., June 20, beginning at 10 a.m. on the beach between the inlet and the pier. “This event,” said Nancy Howard, President of the Museum Society, “advances the mission of the Museum to support the historical role performed by the United States Life-Saving Service, and to preserve .…the 1891 structure that once served as the Ocean City Station. We are delighted to honor the Coast Guard, which has been a welcome presence in Ocean City since 1878.”

The breeches buoy was used in the 19th and early 20th century to bring passengers and crew members to safety from ships wrecked at sea. The Museum, in partnership with the Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum of Rehoboth Beach, DE and the U.S. Coast Guard, will sponsor such a rescue. A Lyle gun will fire a line over a wreck pole (representing the mast of a ship), a series of lines and pulleys will be added, and a breeches buoy will carry a ‘survivor’ from the foundering ship to the shore. The equipment is borrowed from the Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum which is owned and operated by Delaware State Parks. The wreck pole was built by Ocean City’s Public Works Carpentry Division. Laura Scharle, Interpretive Programs Manager for Delaware Seashore State Park, oversees the Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum, where they re-enact the Breeches Buoy Rescue Drill several times each summer. “We are honored and delighted to be a part of this event,” said Scharle. “We’ve been performing the breeches buoy rescue drill in Delaware for over eight years now, and we are eager to partner with the Ocean City Life-Saving Station to reach a new audience and pay tribute to the brave men of the U.S. Life-Saving Service that performed these heroic rescues.”

Ashton Carter’s Remarks Suggest Obama Policy Shift On China

The Obama administration appears to be in the early phase of a policy shift on China. Tougher rhetoric and policies, most recently demonstrated by remarks in Asia from Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, coincide with the departures of two key officials long known for advocating more conciliatory policies toward Beijing.

Paul Heer, who for years held the influential post of national intelligence officer for East Asia, retired recently, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said. From his position as the most senior intelligence official on China, Mr. Heer was known for a steadfast bias that sought to play down the various threats posed by China in favor of more conciliatory views. His influence also is said to have extended to personnel appointments within the CIA’s analytical section, which critics say resulted in “groupthink” on China.

A second major personnel change was the departure last week of the White House’s senior China specialist, Evan Medeiros, who left after a reported dispute with White House National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice. Ms. Rice has a reputation as a prickly manager known for swearing profusely at subordinates. Mr. Medeiros was regarded by critics as among the most pro-China policymakers in the White House’s highly centralized foreign policy and national security power structure.

Congressional Republicans have said Mr. Medeiros was behind the White House decision several years ago to deny sales of advanced U.S. F-16 jet fighters to Taiwan to bolster its flagging air forces.

Mr. Medeiros, in academic writings before his White House posting, has asserted that the Chinese military posed little or no threat and that Beijing’s policies are generally benign.

A government source said Mr. Heer is leaving the intelligence post over concerns that the administration is becoming too hawkish on China. He is said to oppose the gradual abandonment of the long-held foreign policy establishment view of China as a long-term benign power.

More here

Dogs snub people who are mean to their owners: study

Dogs do not like people who are mean to their owners, Japanese researchers said Friday, and will refuse food offered by people who have snubbed their master.

The findings reveal that canines have the capacity to co-operate socially -- a characteristic found in a relatively small number of species, including humans and some other primates.

Researchers led by Kazuo Fujita, a professor of comparative cognition at Kyoto University, tested three groups of 18 dogs using role plays in which their owners needed to open a box.

In all three groups, the owner was accompanied by two people whom the dog did not know.

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China Conducts Fourth Test of Wu-14 Strike Vehicle

China this week carried out the fourth test of an ultra high-speed nuclear delivery vehicle that conducted what intelligence officials say were extreme maneuvers.

The test of the Wu-14 hypersonic strike vehicle was carried out Sunday, launched atop a ballistic missile fired from a test facility in western China.

It was the fourth successful test of the Wu-14 in the past 18 months and the frequency of tests is being viewed by U.S. intelligence analysts as an indicator of the high priority placed on developing the weapon by the Chinese.

Earlier tests took place last year on Jan. 9, Aug. 7, and Dec. 2. The Washington Free Beacon first reported the tests.

The new strike vehicle is considered a high-technology strategic weapon capable of delivering nuclear or conventional warheads while traveling on the edge of space. One of its key features is the ability to maneuver to avoid U.S. missile defenses.

The Wu-14 was assessed as traveling up to 10 times the speed of sound, or around 7,680 miles per hour.

Unlike earlier tests, the latest test demonstrated what one official called “extreme maneuvers” that appeared to analysts designed for penetrating through missile defense systems.

Current U.S. missile defenses are limited to knocking out missiles and their warheads with predictable ballistic trajectories that can be tracked with relative ease by satellite sensors and ground and sea radar.

However, the Wu-14 threatens to neutralize U.S. strategic missile defenses with the unique capability of flying at ultra high speeds and maneuvering to avoid detection and tracking by radar and missile defense interceptors.

The Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency has repeatedly declined to comment on whether current U.S. missile defenses can defeat maneuvering targets.

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Trophies for Losers

Americans today, and especially young Americans, think much more highly of themselves yet know much less about the world around them than previous generations, according to a panel at the American Enterprise Institute on Thursday afternoon.

The panel, titled “The state of the American mind: Anti-intellectualism in America more than 25 years after Allan Bloom,” featured several contributors to the new book The State of the American Mind, published by Templeton Press.

The discussion was moderated by Adam Bellow, son of the late Saul Bellow. Bellow began the event by offering a definition of “the American mind,” suggesting it displays particular characteristics, such as “independent thought and action, thrift and industriousness, [and] delayed gratification,” and certain important influences, such as the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Bible. It can be summarized as “individualism balanced by a sense of civic virtue,” he said.

Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University and author of the book Generation Me, discussed how members of the millennial generation view themselves.

“We do have more individualism, more focus on the self,” Twenge said.

However, this individualism is different than past forms of individualism that were more rugged and self-supporting, she argued.

“One way to put this is that it is a kind of delusional individualism,” Twenge said. “Thinking you’re great is as good as being great. … You suck, you still get the trophy.”

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Md. officials: Letting ‘free range’ kids walk or play alone is not neglect

Maryland officials have taken steps to clarify their views about children playing or walking alone outdoors in a new policy directive that says Child Protective Services should not be involved in such cases unless children have been harmed or face a substantial risk of harm.

The directive, part of a public statement to be issued Friday, follows a nationally debated case involving “free range” parents Danielle and Alexander Meitiv, who let their young children walk home alone from parks in Montgomery County.

The Meitivs say they have gradually allowed their son, Rafi, 10, and daughter, Dvora, 6, more freedom to walk on their own in areas they know. But police twice picked up the siblings as they made their way home in Silver Spring, and CPS neglect investigations ensued.

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Firefighters Try to Blast Drone with Water Hose

Iran Abandons Past Nuclear Promises as Deal Deadline Looms

Iran is backsliding on promises made to U.S. negotiators during previous rounds of discussions aimed at reaching an agreement to curb the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, according to recent comments.

While senior U.S. officials have insisted Iran will agree to a deal that they describe as a “forever agreement,” a top Iranian negotiator disputed this claim in comments this week.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister and senior negotiator Seyed Abbas Araqchi insisted this week that any agreement reached with Western powers will only be temporary and not binding in the long term.

“If any final agreement is struck, it will last for a specified period of time and none of the measures envisaged in it will be permanent,” Araqchi was quoted as saying on Tuesday as he refuted recent comments by U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

Araqchi referred to repeated promises by U.S. officials that a final nuclear deal would last “forever” as “a worthless fallacy.”

“Of course, the undertakings that Iran has accepted based on the international treaties, including the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) will continue as long as Iran is a member of these treaties, and the American side’s resort to such issues which is done for domestic consumption or satisfying allies is just a worthless fallacy,” Araqchi was quoted as saying by Iran’s state-controlled Fars News Agency.

These comments run counter to multiple comments by Obama administration officials claiming that Iran would be subject to certain nuclear restrictions well into the future under the terms of any deal.

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Oh Come ON: We’re Supposed to Believe That’s NOT a Pack of Cigarettes Obama Is Holding

Above is a picture snapped of our president chatting with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi during the G7 summit.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest went on record to emphatically deny those are cigarettes in Obama’s hands:

Earnest told reporters Wednesday that he doesn’t know what the president was holding, and said he didn’t ask Obama what it was.

Referring to the photo, a reporter asked, “Does he have a pack of cigarettes in his hand?”

Earnest responded, “He does not.”

“What was it?” the reporter followed

“I don’t know. I wasn’t there,” Earnest said.

The reporter asked if Obama told Earnest what it was.

“You may not be surprised to hear that I have not raised this issue with the president,” Earnest said.

After the reporter continued to press, Earnest said, “I’ve told you that they’re not cigarettes. Let’s move on.” (source)

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HISTORICAL COMMENTS BY GEORGE CHEVALLIER 6-13-15

Swimming Holes
 
The era of the old swimming hole is long past. There were many in and around Salisbury that are no longer. The main spot was the City Park by the bandstand. The water was only four feet deep and always nice and refreshing. They even had a lifeguard. The Red Cross gave swimming lessons there, and, in the summer there was always a gang of children playing there. The end came when they built the zoo. This was in the mid-1950’s. The claim that the animal effluent traveling downstream polluted the water and made the water unsafe for the children caused the powers-that-be to ban all swimming. It has remained that way ever since. I never could understand what all the fuss was since we only had two monkeys in the zoo in those days. The ducks and geese were always there since this was their natural habitat.

Another favorite spot for those in the North Division Street area was Johnson’s Lake. The lake, enhanced by the concrete dam built as only one of two WPA projects (the City Park being the other), drew large crowds in the summer. They also held boat races on Johnson’s Lake. I remember watching them, and it was thrilling. The boats were called “pancakes”, because of their flat profile. They only held one person, the driver, and could fairly fly. Nowadays, Johnson’s Lake doesn’t even have swimming as a recreation. If you want to swim, you have to join the YMCA or the Elks Club, or have access to the College pool. Opened in 1960 was Canal Park. They had a large pool, and the annual membership fee was only $35. It is also now only a memory.

Another venue was the City Park down by Picnic Island. The water above the dam, just beyond the right field fence of the Little League field, was available to the more adventuresome. I remember watching some larger boys swim there as I played at the ball park.

There was also Schumaker Pond that could refresh a body during the long, hot summer. It is a lengthy body of water that is the easterly origin of the Wicomico River. There are many parts of Schumaker. The most easterly part makes for a nice canoe or kayak jaunt. There is a park there now, but swimming is not one of the recreations. Moving west, Schumaker becomes Beaver Dam Creek, running past and through the zoo. As it continues along, it runs through the City Park past the bandstand. From there, it empties into the Wicomico River.

North of Salisbury was Leonard’s Mill Pond. A swimming area was established to the west of Route 13 at one time. That has all gone by the wayside in lieu of the Wicomico County Tourism building being the only attraction at this location. Years ago, on the other side of the highway, before Chestnut Hill development was there, there was a house there from which you could rent canoes.


I remember paddling a canoe with another boy way back in the woods. On our way back, the wind shifted and we had a hard time making it back. Ah, memories!

Prison Labor Helps Solar Firm Backed by Dem Donor Undercut Competition

A solar company backed by a high-dollar Democratic donor has found a solution to low-cost Chinese competition: prison labor.

Georgia-based Suniva is keeping its manufacturing costs down by enlisting the services of U.S. prison inmates, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

The company’s arrangement with Federal Prison Industries, known as Unicor, has helped Suniva move all of its solar panel assembly to the United States from Asia over the last 18 months, said Matt Card, vice president of global sales and manufacturing. The company says prison labor accounts for less than 10 percent of its panel manufacturing. […]

Inmates working for Unicor, which has existed since the 1930s, have long made things like license plates and goods for the military. Solar panels were added to its list of products so that inmates could acquire skills in a new and growing industry and help government efforts to use more renewable energy.

The vast majority of Unicor’s 12,000 inmate workers make products for the federal government, but as federal budgets have shrunk in recent years the company has been trying to attract more contract work from private businesses. About 10 percent of its inmate workers are now engaged in such work.

Suniva is backed financially by Prelude Ventures, a venture capital firm run by Nathaniel Simons, a high-dollar donor to Democratic candidates and interest groups.

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Worcester Salary Talks Face Deadline Of Next Week

BERLIN – With a June 16 deadline approaching, representatives of the Worcester County Teachers Association continue to work with the school system to finalize salary negotiations.

The teachers association and the Worcester County Board of Education resumed salary negotiations this month after the Worcester County Commissioners voted June 2 not to fund pay increases for teachers — or any other county employees. The requested board of education budget of nearly $83 million was trimmed to $79 million.

That forced the school system to reopen negotiations with the teachers, who were seeking a step increase and a 2.5-percent cost-of-living increase.

Beth Shockley-Lynch, head of the teachers association, did not return calls for comment this week but school system officials confirmed that negotiations were underway.

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BREAKING NEWS: Two explosive devices found near Dallas Police HQ

Dallas Police say two explosive devices have been found and cleared at police headquarters after gunmen opened fire at officers with automatic weapons; police have cornered at least one gunman in an armored vehicle at a nearby parking lot.

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Paying it Forward

Skimmer Found On Columbia ATM

COLUMBIA, MD (ANN) - Customers who use a Columbia bank should check their account statements.

Police found a skimming device on an ATM at the NASA Federal Credit Union on Dobbin Road. So far, police have not received any reports of any stolen information being used.

Do You Know How To Spot An ATM Skimmer?

Recent incidents involving card skimming devices being installed at Virginia Credit Union ATMs should have all debit card users on alert. In a card skimming crime, the crooks install a device on an ATM to collect card data which they use to produce fake debit cards to withdraw funds.

A skimming device fits over the ATM’s card reader. Hidden cameras or wandering eyes take down your pin.

Here’s what to look out for when using an ATM:

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Statues can be fun!


How Awesome Is That!


JUST IN: Shots fired from armored van at Dallas police headquarters


A police source has confirmed that someone in an armored van fired shots at Dallas police headquarters early Saturday, prompting a pursuit involving dozens of police vehicles.

The gunman has been cornered in the van along Interstate 45 near Hutchins after more shots were fired at that location.

Police apparently are negotiating with the gunman, but there are reports he has threatened that the van is carrying explosives.

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Feel Like The Trip Home Is Quicker Than The Trip There? Science Says You’re Not Alone

After reading the above headline, you’re probably already saying to yourself, “Yessss I know exactly what that feeling is!” The “return trip effect” is one we’ve all likely experienced — it seems to take a long time to get somewhere — whether it’s vacation, a visit to relatives or a business destination — and a much quicker time to arrive back home again, even though you traveled the same distance. Scientists are on the case to try and explain why we all feel this way.

Watch Out For Flood-Damaged Cars Coming Out Of Texas

Last month, flooding in Texas killed at least 23 people: there isn’t a final tally yet because some people are still missing. That’s all very sad, but what if you live thousands of miles away and don’t know anyone in Texas? This natural disaster could still affect you directly…if you’re in the market for a used car, since rebuilt vehicles destroyed in a flood could be hitting the market in coming months. 

Pizza Hut Officially Announces Pizza Surrounded By Pigs In Blankets

Over the last eight years and in multiple countries, Pizza Hut has been carefully developing their “hot dog stuffed in a pizza crust” concept. An early version stuffed only the ends of a regular-length hot dog inside the crust, creating a pretty flower shape. Then the frankfurters lay horizontally along the crust, like the ropes of cheese. Now the crust has finally come to America, as the Hut hinted earlier this week

Army: We Can Provide Honor Guards For A Gay Pride Parade, But Not For A Church Service

The Army is refusing to provide an Honor Guard at a Baptist church because it violates their involvement in a religious service. This is uber offensive considering that the Army just refused to provide an Honor Guard for a church whose first pastor was a chaplain in the Revolutionary Army. This is the Fourth of July for crap’s sake! So, our Army can provide an Honor Guard now for a Gay Pride parade (where there will be perversion on display for the kiddies), but not for a Baptist church honoring a Revolutionary War hero? Our nation is totally screwed up. We now celebrate depravity and deplore morality. Abilene Baptist Church was founded in 1774 – one of Georgia’s most historic churches and the second oldest in the state. The founding pastor was arrested by a colonial magistrate for “preaching in Georgia” and the first pastor, Reverend Loveless Savage, was a chaplain in the Revolutionary Army. But that doesn’t matter to the Army these days – our founding is so yesterday… two snaps and on with the rainbow!

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