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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

History of the Bikini in France

This is 'the danger'

Stock markets around the world are getting bludgeoned, and there is no shortage of reasons that may be behind it.

One big theme this year has been the longtime sell-off of commodities, which are more sensitive to the demands of the economy. For the most part, analysts had tied this sell-off to the slowdown in China's economy, the second largest in the world.

Interestingly, the S&P 500 has managed to decouple from commodities.

But with stocks tumbling, are we at risk of a recoupling? Because if commodity prices don't pick up, then stock prices will have to go down.

"Markets are afraid of further economic weakness in China, further pain in global commodity markets and uncertain about Fed and PBoC policy — what they will do and what the impact will be," Societe Generale's Kit Juckes wrote on Monday. "The divergence between global commodity prices and equities is not a new theme but the danger now is that they begin to re-correlate - as they did when the dotcom bubble burst in 2000 and what had previously been an emerging market crisis became a US recession."


Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Child Pornography Arrest

(Bowie, MD) Members of the Maryland State Police, Computer Crimes Section, Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) arrest Prince George’s County individual on child pornography related charges.

The suspect is identified as David Carl Tranberg, 40, from Bowie, Maryland. He was arrested without incident. Tranberg was charged with child pornography related charges during an investigation into child exploitation.

On August 25th, 2015 after a month long investigation, a search and seizure warrant was executed in Prince George’s County, Maryland by the Maryland State Police Computer Crimes Unit, Department of Homeland Security Investigations and Naval Criminal Investigative Services. Investigators identified Tranberg as the focus of the investigation. Investigators arrested Tranberg on scene charging him with four counts of Distributing Child Pornography and four counts of Possession of Child Pornography. Tranberg was transported to the Prince George’s County Detention Center where he was waiting to see a District Court Commissioner.

The Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is comprised of police agencies from around the state. Its primary mission is to protect children from computer-facilitated sexual exploitation. The Task Force works cooperatively with law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to provide resources to combat these crimes. Additionally, the Task Force provides community awareness campaigns helping to prevent the spread of these crimes through education.

Police fear airshow crash toll could rise to 20

The death toll after a vintage fighter jet ploughed into a busy road in southern England while performing an acrobatics display could approach 20, police said on Monday, as Britain announced new safety restrictions on airshows.

The Hawker Hunter plane, of a type developed by Britain in the 1950s, struck several cars on Saturday on the major road next to Shoreham airport near Brighton, where the show was taking place.

The crash was the third - and by far the most deadly - at the event since 2007.

Police said on Sunday they feared 11 people had died. A senior officer said that figure was likely to rise as police gained access to more areas of the accident scene.


18th-century shipwreck discovered in Vienna

VIENNA, Md. —State archaeologists are analyzing the oldest Maryland-built shipwreck found on the lower Eastern Shore.

E.E. Cummings is quoted, "Whatever we lose, it's always ourselves we find in the sea." In the historic, tiny town of Vienna, Dorchester County, Maryland's former self has been found buried in sediment and has come to the surface to answer long-held questions.

"The day you find a shipwreck in Maryland waters is a momentous occasion. It doesn't get much better than this," said Julie Schablitsky, chief archaeologist with the State Highway Administration.

On the other side of Maryland's shore, scientists have made a home for an 18th-century shipwreck in an above-ground swimming pool in St. Leonard, Calvert County.

The husband-and-wife team of Schablitsky and Navy underwater archaeologist Bob Neyland has been studying the structure all summer since it was found during repair work under the U.S. Route 50 bridge in Vienna.


Why is Everyone Freaking Out About September 2015?

Next two months could be looked back on for decades to come

With the global economic meltdown already in full swing, the months of September and October 2015 could be looked back on in years to come as the most tumultuous in generations.

Here’s what they’re NOT telling you about how this came about.


While on Vacation, Obama Criticizes Congress for Taking Vacation

President Obama returned from a two-week vacation on Martha’s Vineyard on Sunday, but not before criticizing members of Congress for taking their own recess.

During President Obama’s weekly address released on Saturday, the president chastised Congress: “Unfortunately, Congress left town for five full weeks – and they left behind a stack of unfinished business.”

“For the first time ever, Congress failed to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. That left thousands of business owners and their employees at a serious disadvantage compared to their competitors overseas,” Obama said.


The best way to destroy the Capitalist System

"Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the Capitalist System was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.

...Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose."
-- John Maynard Keynes
(1883-1946) British economist

The Sudden Market Plunge

Are you prepared for further turmoil?

The global deflationary wave we have been tracking since last fall is picking up steam. This is the natural and unavoidable aftereffect of a global liquidity bubble brought to you courtesy of the world’s main central banks. What goes up must come down — and that’s especially true for the world’s many poorly-constructed financial bubbles, built out of nothing more than gauzy narratives and inflated with hopium.

What this means is that the traditional summer lull in financial markets has turned August into an unusually active and interesting month. August, it appears, is the new October.

Markets are quite possibly in crash mode right now, although events are unfolding so quickly – currency spikes, equity sell offs, emerging market routs and dislocations, and commodity declines – that it’s hard to tell for sure. However, that’s usually the case right before and during big market declines.


NRP Blotter 8-25-15

Worcester County

On August 5, 2015, Maryland Natural Resources Police officers received a report of a theft that had occurred in Worcester County at the Ocean City Fishing Center during the White Marlin Open tournament.

After public release and distribution of a flyer that included a photo of the suspect’s vehicle, officers identified the owner of the vehicle, Dennis J. Tronosky, Sr.

Upon further investigation and interview, a search warrant was secured for Tronosky’s residence and vehicle. After concluding interviews, charges were sought and placed against him for theft from vessels docked at the fishing center. Total estimated value of the stolen fishing equipment was $5,600.

Navy will use solar energy for 14 Navy and Marine installations

The Navy has signed on to have a 210 megawatt solar facility built at its Naval Air Station North Island, California, making it the biggest purchase of renewable energy by a federal entity, according to an Aug. 20 Navy statement.

In May 2014, the Navy and Western Area Power Administration, a division of the Environmental Protection Agency, signed an interagency agreement that allowed Western to issue a request for proposal to construct a solar power facility at the base, the statement says.

Western selected Sempra U.S. Gas & Power to install its Mesquite Solar 3 project. It will include more than 650,000 photovoltaic panels that the Navy says will provide a third of the energy that is needed to power 14 Navy and Marine Corps installations.

Construction of Mesquite Solar 3 will begin in August and Sempra expects the project to be complete by the end of 2016.


Bakers’ Surprise ‘Love’ Cakes Spark a Big Response From Gay Rights Groups Who Received Them

Gay rights organizations are responding in a variety of ways after Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of the Sweetcakes by Melissa bakery, sent cakes and letters out to numerous LBGT groups in an effort to deliver what the Kleins contend was a powerful message about faith and freedom.

As previously reported, the Kleins, who were ordered by Oregon state officials last month to pay $135,000 in damages after they declined to make a lesbian wedding cake, shipped the care package out last week along with gift cards and copies of “Audacity,” evangelist Ray Comfort’s controversial film about homosexuality.

From immensely skeptical to very thankful, recipients’ responses have run the gamut from negative to positive.

“This seems to a semi-clever publicity stunt to promote an independent film,” Jim Key, chief marketing officer of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, told TheBlaze. “I hope the cake is better than the movie’s reviews.”


Packing heat in Detroit: Motown residents answer police chief's call to arms

Detroit resident Darrell Standberry doesn't navigate streets of the Motor City without his licensed handgun, and it already has saved his life once.

“I never leave home without my weapon,” he said. “You never know when or what you’ll encounter.”

It was 2011, when Standberry stopped at a gas station on Six Mile Road after attending his son’s football practice. After filling up the tank of his SUV, he left the car running and went inside to pay, only to spot a man jumping in behind the wheel.

“I went back over and told him to get out of my car," said Standberry, 46, aformer bar owner who is now a college student. "He told me to get the hell out of there and drove off.”


24 Heroin Dealers Indicted In Annapolis

The Annapolis Police Department announces the indictments of twenty-four Annapolis heroin dealers. The Annapolis Heroin Initiative spanned more than six months and involved Annapolis detectives working undercover to make controlled purchases from drug dealers.

The Annapolis Police Department’s Drug Enforcement Unit made 50 controlled buys in different areas around the City of Annapolis, including twelve in and around Newtowne Drive. Six guns were also seized from the Woodside Gardens community on Newtowne Drive. The indictments, resulting from these buys, will disrupt these illegal drug trafficking groups in Annapolis.

Those indicted are identified as:
Jestin Elliott, 23, of Annapolis
Keddrick Green, 18, of Annapolis
Onjay Johnson, 19, of Laurel
Isiah Naylor, 19, of Glen Burnie
Richard Naylor, 22, of Glen Burnie
Michelle Neal, 23, of Annapolis
Jaron Rhodes, 21, of Annapolis
Donovan Robinson, 20, of Annapolis
Jonathan Scott, 49, of Annapolis
Leeron Shaw, 26, of Annapolis
Kedrick Tooles, 26, of Severn
Sheldon Wells, 25, of Annapolis
Keo Williams, 18, of Annapolis

Eleven others were indicted and their names will be released in the coming days.

Douglas announces bid for Senate

BLADENSBURG, Md. (AP) — A former George W. Bush administration defense department appointee from Bladensburg is running for Senate in Maryland.

Richard Douglas announced Monday that he will seek the Republican nomination in the race to succeed Sen. Barbara Mikulski, who announced in March that she would not seek re-election. The Navy veteran’s 2012 bid for Senate was unsuccessful.

Douglas says Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s victory set the stage for improvements for American workers, but moving ahead “requires a new team on Capitol Hill.”


Cruz: Enforcing Current Laws More Important Than 14th Amendment Debate

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a GOP presidential candidate, says he sees good arguments on both sides of the current debate on the 14th Amendment and "anchor babies," but said a much quicker resolution to the nation's immigration problem would be to enforce current laws.

"There's a good faith argument on both sides," he said Sunday on "Face the Nation." "We should pursue whichever one is effective. But as policy matter, we should change the law."

America is facing a "crisis" over illegal immigration, said Cruz, who has proposed a law to stop visa overstays as well as more National Guard members patrolling the border.



The Maryland Renter's Tax Credit program's deadline to apply is less than two weeks away. Qualified renters can receive up to $750 in tax credits.

In order to qualify for the program, renters must be:
  • Age 60 or over, or 100% disabled.
  • Legally responsible for the rent.
  • Or, a surviving spouse of one who otherwise would have been eligible.

A resident under the age 60 who has at least one dependent under the age of 18 living with them, and has not received federal or state housing subsidies, does not reside in public housing, and the combined income of all residents of the home is below the allowable guidelines during the year they apply for the credit, could also potentially be eligible.

The deadline to apply for the 2015 credit is September 1 . Waiting until the last minute is not recommended.

A Viewer Writes: Hebron Savings Bank Robbed Again

Hebron Savings Bank on Riverside Dr. just robbed

Some tech shares turn positive as Dow chops huge early losses

U.S. stocks plunged more than 3.5 percent on Monday, closing off session lows in high volume trade as fears of slowing growth in China pressured global markets. ( Tweet This )

S&P 500 ended nearly 80 points lower, off session lows of about 104 points lower but still in correction territory after the tech sector failed intraday attempts to post gains. Nine of the 10 sectors are in correction territory, with consumer staples less than 1 percent away.

Cumulative trade volume was 13.94 billion shares, the highest volume day since Aug. 10, 2011. Composite trade volume on the New York Stock Exchange was 6.57 billion shares, the heaviest since Oct. 27, 2011.

"This is the proverbial markets hating uncertainty and you've got uncertainty in every driver—Fed, China, oil prices," said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial. "This is a market in pricing discovery in where prices should be."

"The market's going to be focused on China tonight to see if they come on tonight with something that would be considered a viable (way) to stimulate growth in that economy," she said.


OCPD Animal Control Rescues Stolen Puppy

OCEAN CITY, MD – (August 25, 2015): The Ocean City Police Department Animal Control Unit recently rescued a young puppy that had been stolen from its foster home in West Virginia.

Animal Control Officers began an investigation into a stolen puppy after being contacted by an animal shelter in Jefferson County, WV. Shelter staff told Animal Control Officers that a female suspect had stolen the dog, known as Foxie, from a foster home in WV that was caring for the dog temporarily. It was learned that the suspect was on her way to the Ocean City area with the puppy.

After a thorough investigation with assistance from Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, Animal Control Officers discovered where the suspect was staying and located her and the dog at a home in Ocean Pines. Animal Control Officers deemed the home and the suspect unsuitable for a pet and took the dog into their custody. The female suspect has theft charges pending out of West Virginia.

A local family who learned of this story is currently working with the West Virginia animal hospital to adopt Foxie.

Officials find neglected horses with 3-foot-long hooves

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — The Humane Society of Washington County is investigating a situation that recently resulted in the euthanization of a miniature mare and the rescue of two emaciated horses from a property in Washington County.

The Days End Farm Horse Rescue announced that the horses were found on Friday in an unspecified location, with two of the horses having curled hooves that were more than three feet long.

The two horses were found in a stall with three-to-four-feet of manure. It is suspected the horses were locked up for at least 15 years without proper care.


Fruitland Police Department Press Release 8-25-15 (Theft From Vehicles)

The Derivatives Market Is Beginning To Crack

Top 5 American banks have a 200 trillion dollar exposure offshore

Here is just a small sampling of a non bank entity taking a huge loss on a derivatives position. On Friday Metlife reported profit down 21%.The loss amounted to 593 million on derivatives that went the wrong way. Reuters is reporting that the
top 5 American banks have a 200 trillion dollar exposure offshore
that they parked in 2014.This very morning,the Canadian papers are reporting that the 6 biggest banks carry over 100 billion of gross credit exposure to the oil and gas sector and defaults may ensue. Now might be the time to get some money out of the bank…

How Wall Street got around derivatives rules imposed by the CFTC after the financial crisis

The lobbying blitz helped win a ruling from the CFTC that left U.S. banks’ overseas operations largely outside the jurisdiction of U.S. regulators. After that rule passed, U.S. banks simply shipped more trades overseas. By December of 2014, certain U.S. swaps markets had seen 95 percent of their trading volume disappear in less than two years.

While many swaps trades are now booked abroad, some people in the markets believe the risk remains firmly on U.S. shores. They say the big American banks are still on the hook for swaps they’re parking offshore with subsidiaries.


If Donald J. Trump is so tough, why does he take on minimum wage workers?

If Donald J. Trump is so tough, why does he take on minimum wage workers? Why does he scapegoat New Americans?

Posted by Martin O'Malley on Tuesday, August 25, 2015

920-pound gator captured in Alabama lake

The huge alligator recently caught in Lake Eufaula in Alabama weighed in at a whopping 920 pounds.

It took six men to pull in and secure the 13-foot 6-inch alligator, according to

The reptile was caught by friends Scott Evans, Jeff and Justin Gregg on August 14. The gator was weighed at Dixon Lumber Co., reports.

The gator, which should produce about 250 pounds of meat, "won't go to waste," Evans told He is planning a Labor Day cookout.

"It was surreal, " Evans said. "We weren't expecting anything that big."


HUD gave housing assistance to families who were over the income threshold, IG says

Tens of thousands of families were provided housing assistance despite being over the income threshold, leaving some low-income families out in the cold.

Public housing authorities provided public housing assistance to as many as 25,226 families whose income exceeded HUD's 2014 eligibility income limits, according to a recently released Housing and Urban Development Department inspector general audit (pdf).

Of those 25,226 families, IG says 17,761 earned more than the qualifying amount for more than one year.

"As a result, HUD did not assist as many low-income families in need of housing as it could have," IG says.

The problem exists because HUD regulations require families to meet eligibility income limits only when they are admitted to the public housing program, the report says. The regulations do not limit the length of time that families may reside in public housing.

The IG notes that HUD's December 2004 public housing rule gave public housing authorities discretion to implement policies that would require families with incomes above the eligibility threshold to leave public housing.

The 15 housing authorities that IG contacted chose to allow overincome families to reside in public housing, and HUD did not encourage them to require overincome families to find other housing, the report says.


Bad Sign: Rule 48 Invoked, Dow and S&P Halted

Trading halts similar to what China implemented

Rule 48 allows designated market makers on the NYSE to refrain from disseminating price indications ahead of the opening bell. The procedure makes it easier and faster to open stocks on days when trading could be perilous.

The so-called “flash-crash” of 2010 prompted a Rule 48 switch from the Dow to the S&P 500.

“It was set up for situations like this,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderich Securities, told CNBC.


State police: Trooper shot man after fight in North East

NORTH EAST, Md. —Autopsy results shed new details in the fatal shooting of a man in Cecil County Friday night by a Maryland state trooper.

The incident happened at a busy parking lot in North East, and a use of force investigation is underway.

This is another incident in which police video would be helpful in determining whether the use of force is justified, but there is none. While some state police cars have dashboard cameras, the one used by the trooper in this case was not so equipped.

In video taken by a bystander Friday night, a woman identifying herself as the wife of Charles Hall questioned the need for a Maryland state trooper to fire his gun.

"He sat on his lap and shot him in the (expletive) neck. He shot my husband ... while he was sitting on his lap after he maced him," Amanda Hall said.


Consumer Reports Finds Fecal Matter in Beef

Here’s some crappy news: There’s poop in your beef.

All 458 pounds of store-bought beef that Consumer Reports tested had some level of fecal contamination, the watchdog group announced last week.

Twenty percent tested positive for C. perfringens, a bacteria that sickens 1 million people each year, and 10% contained a strain of S. aureus that produces sickening toxins and doesn't go away when cooked.

One percent of beef tested positive for salmonella, which may not seem like a lot, but is considering that Americans bought 4.6 billion pounds of beef last year.

Cows that were not treated with antibiotics or those raised on organic farms had beef with less bacteria than conventionally raised cattle, the group found. Eighteen percent of conventional beef had antibiotic-resistant bacteria in it, as opposed to 9% from the so-called sustainably raised cattle.


First female soldiers graduate from Army Ranger school, not allowed in elite force

The first two women in history have graduated from the grueling Army Ranger school at Fort Benning, Georgia, though the women won't be allowed to serve in the elite force.

First Lt. Shaye Haver and Capt. Kristen Griest, both graduates of the Military Academy at West Point, were among the 96 soldiers who graduated Ranger School on Aug. 21, according to an Aug. 21 Army statement.

Maj. Gen. Austin Miller, commander of the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, said the women performed the exact same test as the men.

"Up front, what we've been very consistent on is we've said there will be no change to the standards and there weren't," said Miller, who graduated from Ranger school 30 years ago.

Haver said their gender wasn't a factor when it came to getting through the Ranger test.

"We immediately integrated in our squad and became teammates that way," Haver said. "It was never about the women trying to beat the men through Ranger School, or the women banding together for any reason in Ranger School."

However, the two women won't see any combat as Rangers. Women still aren't allowed to actually eligible to serve as Rangers.

Since Ranger School opened in 1950, only 77,000 soldiers have passed the course. Of the 4,057 soldiers who attempted the course in 2014, only 1,609 completed it.




The new text for the sign marking mile 420 on U.S. Highway 95. Idaho, like Colorado and Washington, replaced the sign's number, which is associated with marijuana, because people kept stealing it.


Average price of one ounce of marijuana in Washington, D.C., which is one of the nation's most expensive rates. The district legalized possession and cultivation of the drug but not retail pot stores, partially explaining the high price.


Average number of annual severe weather events that caused more than $1 billion in damage in the U.S. since 2010. In the 1980s, the country averaged two such weather events a year.

WESLEY PRUDEN: Hillary Clinton's dying campaign

Hillary Clinton may think those creatures making wide, gentle circles over her campaign are bluebirds of happiness, but they’re looking more and more like buzzards. They look hungry.

The news gets grimmer with every news cycle as she revises and extends everything she has said about her email machine and the classified information that may be on it. She says she can’t remember, and we can believe that much. Sir Walter Scott got it right: “O, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.”

Hillary even upends the famous Washington dictum that “it’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up.” Sometimes it’s both.

We’re hearing the first hints, some of them not so subtle, that the FBI is investigating more than a security situation, defined as a simple matter of learning whether classified information leaked from the State Department when she was the secretary of State, and if so, who it was leaked to. National Public Radio, which usually feeds only the bluebirds of Democratic happiness, reports that it learned from “two lawyers familiar with the inquiry” that a formal criminal investigation is under consideration, presumably at the Justice Department, and it could happen “soon.”

Hillary might not be the first target. She can always find somebody else to throw under the bus or feed to the alligators.


Police baffled after 25-year-old woman’s body vanishes from casket after funeral

A Texas family was in the midst of one life-altering tragedy when another one struck this month.

Within hours of saying goodbye to 25-year-old Julie Mott, a San Antonio woman who died Aug. 8 after a long battle with cystic fibrosis, her family learned that her body had vanished from the funeral home where the ceremony took place.

Investigators suspect someone slipped into the funeral home and removed Mott’s body from her casket between the end of her funeral at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 15 and the funeral home’s closing at 4:30 p.m., according to the San Antonio Express-News.


SPD Press Release 8-25-15 - (Multiple Arrests/Theft From M/V's)

Officials: Arrests in drone plot to supply prison contraband

JESSUP, Md. —State officials caught a drone in the act of trying to deliver prison contraband into a maximum-security state prison in western Maryland.

"You can't make this stuff up," Secretary Stephen Moyer of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services said.

Moyer said good intelligence helped authorities foil a drone caper in a contraband delivery plot.

"This case began on Saturday around 8 p.m., (when) officers at the Western Correctional Institution in Cumberland spotted a vehicle on a road that runs off U.S. 220 near our Cumberland prison complex," Moyer said.

Police arrested two men in that vehicle. They were identified as Thaddeus Shortz and Keith Russell Brand.


Police: Wife of Oklahoma politician tried to stop son's fatal attack

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A rising politician's meeting with his mentally ill son at a restaurant turned deadly when the young man pulled out a large kitchen knife and stabbed his father to death while his mother and other horrified witnesses looked on, police said Monday.

Christian Costello, 26, was being held on a preliminary first-degree murder charge Monday after the Sunday night killing of his father, Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Mark Costello, a two-term politician who was expected to run for higher office in 2018.

The son, who once spent 90 days confined in a hospital for treatment for an undisclosed mental illness, had asked his parents to meet him at the Braum's fast-food restaurant in northwest Oklahoma City, where he argued with his father while his mother waited outside.

"What set him off to attack the commissioner, we still don't know," Oklahoma City police Capt. Paco Balderrama said at a news conference.


Man admits forcing immigrant teenagers into egg farm work

MARION, Ohio (AP) — The thousand-mile journey to the Texas border was supposed to bring the Guatemalan teenagers to a better life. Instead, it was the beginning of a terrible ordeal: Prosecutors say they were fraudulently plucked from U.S. custody by conspirators posing as friends or family who forced them to work as virtual slaves.

As the country’s immigration system was being overwhelmed by an unprecedented flow of unaccompanied children fleeing unrest in Central America, one of their countrymen orchestrated the scheme to force them to work on egg farms in Ohio, prosecutors said.

Arodolo Rigoberto Castillo-Serrano pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Cleveland to single counts of forced labor conspiracy, forced labor, witness tampering and encouraging illegal entry into the country. His sentencing date is to be set.

Castillo-Serrano, a 33-year-old Guatemalan, has been in the U.S. illegally for much of the past decade, prosecutors say. In some cases, prosecutors say, he made victims’ family members sign over deeds to their property in Guatemala to pay for transporting the boys, with assurances they would be enrolled in school here. That never happened.


Mystery lights in space increasing, moving south, potential sign of global warming

Strange blue lights glowing on the edge of space first appeared over polar regions in 1885 and today, sightings are becoming increasingly common, and now the phenomenon is moving into lower latitudes including Northern California.

Like the proverbial canary in the coal mine, these glowing space clouds may be a celestial siren, warning of Earth's global warming, according to some scientists.

They're called "noctilucent clouds" or NLCs, basically, clouds that glow at night. They appear mainly in northern latitudes, about 50 miles above earth as miniscule droplets of water reflect the sun on the other side of the globe.

Now, they're moving father south.


More drivers use marijuana, but link to crashes is murky

There are fewer alcohol-impaired drivers on U.S. roads than ever before, but the proportion of drivers testing positive for marijuana and other illegal drugs is on the rise, results of the latest National Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers indicates. At the same time, an in-depth federal study found no link between marijuana use and driver crash risk after controlling for driver demographic factors and alcohol use.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in February released results of the 2013-14 roadside survey, a nationally representative survey of nighttime weekend drivers. The voluntary, anonymous survey includes data collected from more than 9,000 drivers at a representative sample of 300 roadside sites nationwide. This was the second time that the survey collected information about driver use of illegal and legal drugs in addition to alcohol. Both saliva and blood samples were used to detect drugs, including cannabinoids, stimulants, sedatives, antidepressants and narcotic analgesics. For marijuana, samples were screened for THC and its active metabolite, 11-OH-THC.
The survey found a large increase in the proportion of weekend nighttime drivers testing positive for marijuana or other illegal drugs compared with the 2007 survey, which was the first one to screen for drug use (see "Drinking continues to decline among weekend drivers," Feb. 6, 2010). About 1 in 5 weekend nighttime drivers tested positive for at least one legal or illegal drug, NHTSA reports. Marijuana showed the greatest increase in prevalence among illegal drugs. The percentage of weekend nighttime drivers testing positive for marijuana use increased from 8.6 percent in 2007 to 12.6 percent in 2013-14.
In contrast to the rise in drug use, the roadside survey found a third fewer drivers with alcohol in their system in 2013-14 compared with 2007. About 8.3 percent of weekend nighttime drivers tested positive for alcohol, and about 1.5 percent of drivers had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. The proportion of weekend nighttime drivers at or above 0.08 percent BAC declined 32 percent from 2007 and plunged 80 percent from 1973 when the first roadside survey was conducted.
NHTSA in its research summary notes, "Changes in state policy on marijuana use, including medical and recreational use, may have contributed to an increase in marijuana use by drivers. However, the survey does not permit a state-by-state comparison. The change in use may reflect the emergence of a new trend in the country that warrants monitoring."

Post-storm New Orleans: The good and the sad a decade later

If you were last here in, say, July 2005, everything will seem to be mostly where you left it.

The French Quarter still hums with booze and brass bands. Carnival still owns the city's heart every February, culminating with the joyful, raucous Mardi Gras celebration on Fat Tuesday. Streetcars still clatter up stately St. Charles Avenue beneath the broad live oaks.

But squint, and New Orleans is a subtly though significantly different place since Hurricane Katrina overwhelmed the city's levies Aug. 29, 2005, and left 80 percent of the streets underwater. From dozens of new restaurants and bars to booming startup and real estate industries to a new park along the long-underutilized Mississippi riverfront, the Crescent City - the nickname most locals prefer to the Big Easy - has seen an unlikely transformation rooted in both the opportunity, and the need, to rebuild. New Orleans always played the role of Southern siren with its endemic joys: jazz, revelry and rich food. But the city also was sort of stuck in that pose; few visited New Orleans for what was new.


America’s Biggest Drug Problem Isn’t Heroin

It’s Doctors Painkillers prescribed by both well-intentioned doctors and so-called "criminals in white coats" are driving the overdose epidemic. States and cities are pioneering ways to control it.

Brendan McDonald was one of those kids you never thought would start taking drugs.

The year it began -- the 2004-2005 school year -- he was an honor-roll senior at a well-regarded Jesuit high school in Boston, a varsity baseball player who had won early admission to the college of his choice. “Quiet, handsome and charismatic,” says his mother, Nancy Holler, of her oldest child. “He was always just a really good kid.”

But by that spring, something was wrong. Brendan wasn’t himself. His GPA had fallen. He was sitting on the bench during baseball games instead of starting. The school guidance counselor thought it might just be a case of “senioritis.” Brendan’s stepfather Steve worried it might be something else. Steve had degenerative disc disease that was being treated with Percocet, a powerful prescription painkiller. Recently he’d noticed that pills were going missing. When Nancy and Steve confronted Brendan about the disappearing Percocet, he admitted that over the winter he’d started drinking beer and taking pills with some of his friends. Steve and Nancy hoped it would stop. Instead, it escalated.

Brendan went to college that fall, but after just six weeks he returned home and got a job. It wasn’t the same Brendan. The old Brendan had been a snappy dresser who cared about his appearance. The new Brendan paid no attention to his hygiene. “He was wearing the same clothes to work every day, not taking care of himself, looking like a slob,” Nancy says.

Pressed, he confessed that he’d started taking OxyContin, an even more powerful prescription painkiller. He went into detox at Thanksgiving but couldn’t stay clean. He moved to California to work in construction with Nancy’s brother. He came back addicted to heroin. By the spring of 2008, though, things seemed better. He had completed a rehab program and got a good job. His parents had allowed him to move back into his old bedroom in their home in Quincy, just outside Boston. But one afternoon in May, Brendan came home early and went straight upstairs to the bathroom. Moments later, Nancy heard a crash. She ran upstairs. Brendan was face down on the bathroom floor, unconscious with a needle in his arm. But that wasn’t what alarmed Nancy most. What was truly terrifying was that Brendan was blue.


Comptroller Franchot Statement on Starting Maryland Public Schools After Labor Day

Annapolis, Md. – “With thousands of students returning to Maryland public schools today, I would like to thank teachers, administrators and support staff for their hard work, selfless dedication and commitment to making a difference in our children’s lives. They have my continued support and appreciation for the sacrifices they make each and every day. This is an exciting time for students and families, and I wish them success in the coming school year.

By next Monday, students from all but one of Maryland’s 24 public school systems will return to the classroom. Sending kids back to school during the hot and humid days of August just doesn’t make sense to me – or to an overwhelming majority of Marylanders that support starting the state’s public schools after the Labor Day holiday. Very rarely does an issue make so much sense that it crosses all demographic, geographic and partisan lines like this one does, as evidenced by Governor Larry Hogan’s support, along with the 13,240 Marylanders from every corner of the state who signed the “Let Summer Be Summer” petition.

Despite facing firmly entrenched opposition from within the educational bureaucracy, this issue is just too important for me to back down. Once again, I will put my full support behind legislation to make a sensible change to Maryland’s public school calendars. As with most legislation that is introduced, I recognize that this is a multi-year effort. With the tremendous support of families, teachers and small business owners I have met while traveling across our state, I am more certain than ever that this is an issue of great importance to our quality of life and our economy. An independent poll by Goucher College found that 72 percent of Marylanders favor adjusting the school calendar and a Virginia Commonwealth University study showed no link between a pre-Labor Day school start and student achievement.

Child Support Statistics

Child Support Statistics: Myths, legends and the American Way: Deadbeat dads The "deadbeat dad" craze has allowed the blame of several social ills, from poverty to welfare costs to social pathology, to be placed squarely in the laps of fathers.

(Summary: 62% of custodial mothers do not receive child support. However, of that number, three-fourths of them simply do not want child support, have not asked for it, have accepted other financial arrangements instead of child support, or the father does not have the money. Only 11% of those custodial mothers who do not receive child support, is because of "deadbeat dads".)

The "deadbeat dad" craze has allowed the blame of several social ills, from poverty to welfare costs to social pathology, to be placed squarely in the laps of fathers. When we view government data that 6.2 million single mothers do not receive child support, we cringe in disbelief, and wonder how those dads could be so heartless to their children. How can those fathers just walk away from their responsibilities?

Or, perhaps there is another story to be told? Examining the data closer reveals a much different picture of why things are the way they are. It suggests that the severe draconian measures placed to enforce child support are no more than knee-jerk reactions which are oppressing a whole class of people to punish a few. When the reasons for custodial mothers not receiving child support, or not even having a child support order to begin with, are examined, it becomes clear that "deadbeat dads" are a rarity, and the current policies in place will never work.

Of those custodial mothers who do not receive child support, almost 30% of them either simply do not want child support, or have never asked for it. These are not the cases of dads willfully neglecting their children; it's a case of the mother not wanting the child support or not asking for it to begin with. Some of these dads don't even know that they are dads! Some of these mothers receive informal support from the father, and do not wish to get involved with the government and child support enforcement. In almost 25% of the cases, the father simply cannot afford to pay child support. Now, keep in mind that this data was determined by asking the custodial mother why she is not receiving child support. These are not dads who are hiding assets and crying poor. The custodial mothers have admitted that one-quarter of the dads do not pay child support because they do not have the money.


As Minimum Wages Rise, Restaurants Say No to Tips, Yes to Higher Prices

SEATTLE — Restaurant owners, customers and staff have long railed against the tyranny of tipping, but like a love affair gone bad, it has proved difficult to quit.

Now, prompted by a spurt of new minimum wage proposals in major cities, an expanding number of restaurateurs are experimenting with no-tipping policies as a way to manage rising labor costs.

Here in Seattle, where the first stage of a $15-an-hour minimum wage law took effect in April, Ivar’s seafood restaurants switched to an all-inclusive menu. By raising prices 21 percent and ending tipping, Bob C. Donegan, the president and co-owner, calculated he could increase everyone’s wages.

“We saw there was a fundamental inequity in our restaurants where the people who worked in the kitchen were paid about half as much as the people who worked with customers in front of the house,” Mr. Donegan said.


DC Has A Bigger Welfare State Than Any European Country Besides Denmark

When you hear the term “welfare state,” most people think of Europe and countries like Denmark or France. No doubt those countries offer a wide range of benefits targeted to the middle class, retirees, and so forth. But according to a new study released by the Cato Institute this week, someone who is poor might just be better off here in D.C.

The federal government currently funds more than 100 anti-poverty programs. While no one participates in all of them, many can and do collect assistance from multiple programs.

In D.C., a mother with two children under the age of five who participates in six major welfare programs — Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps), housing assistance, home energy assistance, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and free commodities) would receive a benefits package worth $34,963 per year.

Using a similar measure, Cato found that benefits in Europe ranged from $38,588 per year in Denmark to just $1,112 in Romania. In fact, the District’s welfare system can be more generous than every country included except Denmark. The benefits package is higher than in well known welfare states as France ($17,324), Germany ($23,257) and even Sweden ($22,111). Moreover, this benefit package doesn’t include Medicaid, which would be worth roughly $8,140 for this household, because Europe’s health care systems are not targeted to the poor, unlike Medicaid.


Rauner signs bill banning gay conversion therapy for young people

Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed a bill banning therapists from trying to change a young person's sexuality.

The Republican approved the "gay conversion therapy" ban Thursday. His office didn't immediately offer a statement.

The measure keeps therapists from trying to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of a person younger than 18. Providers who don't comply could face disciplinary action.

Supporters of the measure have argued conversion therapy has been discredited and can be harmful to young people. But opponents have questioned whether therapists would be punished unfairly and say a ban limits parents' treatment decisions.

Similar legislation has been enacted in California and New Jersey. Earlier this year, President Barack Obama conveyed his support for such bans.


Maryland Issues Guidance To Address Police Profiling

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh is issuing statewide guidelines to prevent discriminatory profiling by law enforcement officers based on race, gender and other characteristics.

Frosh, who has scheduled a Tuesday news conference about the initiative, said the guidelines are similar to guidance issued in December by the U.S. Justice Department, which called on states to adopt their own. Frosh said Maryland is the first state to issue its own guidance.

"We want this memorandum to create the standard for how law enforcement operates in Maryland," Frosh said.

Frosh, a Democrat, said the guidance goes significantly further than current Maryland law. First, it defines discriminatory profiling not only based on race and ethnicity, but also on national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability and religion. It also applies to a broader range of police actions beyond traffic stops, including routine police operations and ongoing investigations.


MSP DUI Press Release 8-17-15 thru 8-23-15 (Berlin Barrack)

SPD Press Release 8-25-15 (Shoplifting)

A Viewer Writes: Serving Suggestion


Maybe someone from Wal-Mart can teach us all how to serve creamy peanut butter and make it look like the serving suggestion on the label. I’ve been trying all morning and just can’t get it to look like that!

The Haunted Mid-Shore: Spirits of Caroline, Dorchester & Talbot

History Press releases second book in a series written by local author

A new book, written by local author, Mindie Burgoyne is released today by The History Press.The Haunted Mid-Shore: Spirits of Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot Counties has twenty-five spine-tingling tales all set in Maryland’s Mid-Shore region that include Mary’s Ghost at Old Salty’s, the Witches of Plain Dealing, Spirits from the Underground Railroad at Linchester Mill and Burgoyne’s own personal account of a scary night spent at the Robert Morris Inn in Oxford – the property that is featured on the book’s cover.

Burgoyne has written five books, including The Haunted Eastern Shore, which has sold over 10,000 copies since its publication in 2009.The Haunted Mid-Shore is the second book in a three-book series that goes deeper into the haunted landscape of the Delmarva Peninsula – with Haunted Ocean City and Berlin being the first. In the past seven years, Burgoyne has collected over 150 ghost stories and interviewed more than 200 people about their own personal haunted experiences that began with moving into a haunted house in Marion Station thirteen years ago.

“The Mid-Shore region is the least populated tri-county area in Maryland,” states Burgoyne. “It is such a haunted landscape. These wide open spaces haven’t changed much in the three hundred years, and the vastness of the marshes, shorelines, farm fields and open sky put you right on the edge of that ‘other world.’ You can almost feel that spiritual energy pulsating toward you – especially if you’re in a swamp or a dark road …at night.”

Burgoyne collects her ghostly tales from various sources that include local libraries, regional books, newspaper articles, and the folklore collection at the Edward H. Nabb Research Center at Salisbury University. She also collects stories through personal interviews. The book includes some of the well-known ghost stories are such as Wish Sheppard and the Denton Jail, Bloody Henny, Maggie’s Bridge and the Frenchman’s Oak. But there are some rarely heard tales included as well like the Spirits of Navy Point, The Man Who Was Buried with his Dog, the Seven Gates of Hell and the LeCompte Curse.

What’s Burgoyne’s favorite ghost story in this book? “It would have to be The Town Dog Killer.” One of the stories set in Denton talks about a man who was suspected of poising the dogs. Sophie Kerr wrote a short story based on this man and the beautiful Victorian house he lived in across from the Courthouse Green. “The man and his family are long gone now, but a spirit of a child is said to haunt the house, Burgoyne said. “Prospective buyers saw the face of little girl in the upstairs window. Research on the family showed that there was a little child who died in the house over 70 years ago. It was a little girl.”

BOOK SIGNING - Mindie Burgoyne will be signing copies of The Haunted Mid-Shore at The Robert Morris Inn on Saturday, August 29 th (the night of the full moon) from 5 to 7 pm. Books will be for sale for $19.99 plus tax. A ghost walk of St. Michaels sponsored by Burgoyne’s ghost tour company, Chesapeake Ghost Walks is scheduled for 8pm that evening and tickets can be purchased online at

Peggy Hubbard talks about Ferguson and Protests

Check out U.S Marines 'take down' armed gunman onboard a high-speed train

Train staff on board the high speed train which was the scene of a suspected Islamic extremist attack yesterday have been accused of barricading themselves in their staffroom and locking the door, leaving passengers to fend for themselves.

The Moroccan terrorist was disarmed and beaten unconscious by US servicemen and a British man after he opened fire on a Paris-bound train with a Kalashnikov.

Now, French actor Jean-Hugues Anglade, who was on board the Thalys train during the attack has slammed train staff who he claims locked themselves in an office away from the attacker and refused to help the trapped passengers.

But the head of Thalys, the train company that ran the train on which the attempted attack took place, denied that passengers were abandoned.


The New Ocean City Tanning Trend

I'm Really Liking Dallas

City of Dallas, Texas passed an ordinance stating that
if a driver is pulled over
by law enforcement and is not able to provide proof of
the car is towed   .
To retrieve the car after being impounded,
they must show proof of insurance
to have the car released.
This has made it easy for the City
of Dallas to remove uninsured cars.
Shortly after the "No Insurance" ordinance was passed,
the Dallas impound lots
began to fill up and were full after only nine
of the impounded cars
were driven by illegals   .
Now, not only must they provide proof
of insurance to have their car released,
they have to pay for the cost of the tow  ,
fine   , and   
for every day their
car is kept in the lot.
Guess what?
rates have gone down 
Dallas' solution gets uninsured drivers
off the road WITHOUT
making them show proof of nationality.
I wonder how the  
US Justice Department will
get around this one
* * * *   
Just brings tears to your eyes doesn't it? **
***   GO Dallas  ***

Failed Leadership

Ed Klein: Michelle and Valerie 'Connected at the Hip'

Bestselling author Edward Klein's bombshell claim that Michelle Obama and top White House adviser Valerie Jarrett have become so close they may live together in Europe after President Barack Obama finishes his second term has sent the rumor mill into overdrive.

But Klein, who made the startling assertion on his website, told Newsmax TV on Friday that the relationship between the high-powered women definitely does not involve physical intimacy.

"These two are really connected at the hip, Valerie and Michelle. They're best friends, [an] older sister, younger sister kind of thing.

"Every night they go up to the family quarters of the White House [and] Valerie Jarrett joins the family. Afterwards, she stays up there with Michelle, they open a bottle of Chardonnay, and they talk about their future."

Klein bared the jaw-dropping claim this week on his blog "Ed Klein Confidential," writing that the first lady's post-White House plans "don’t include her husband" … and the future she envisions includes one other person — her best friend and confidant, Valerie Jarrett.

Klein said a source close to Jarrett, who is divorced and has a grown daughter, revealed to him that Michelle and Valerie "discuss their possibilities all the time and Michelle talks about their future as if they are one and the same."

The source added Michelle plans to pen a memoir, after which "she and Valerie want to travel abroad — maybe make their base for a while in Spain or France.

"Valerie sees Michelle and herself sitting on the boards of a handful of corporations, giving speeches for big bucks, writing books, and living large. Michelle has had the time of her life in the White House, and she doesn’t want to step down from that luxurious Air Force One lifestyle."

More here