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Friday, September 11, 2015

World’s first head transplant patient schedules procedure for 2017

A man set to become the world’s first head transplant patient has scheduled the procedure for December 2017.

Valery Spiridonov, 30, was diagnosed with a genetic muscle-wasting condition called Werdnig-Hoffmann disease, and volunteered for the procedure despite the risks involved, Central European News (CEN) reported.

“When I realized that I could participate in something really big and important, I had no doubt left in my mind and started to work in this direction,” Spiridonov, a Russian computer scientist, told CEN. “The only thing I feel is the sense of pleasant impatience, like I have been preparing for something important all my life and it is starting to happen.”


The half-empty United flight at the center of a corruption probe

In the airline business, filling seats is everything.

Whether it’s packed or empty, airlines have to pay for fuel, flight crews and everything else it takes to get a plane off the ground. So to boost profits, airlines try to get as many people on board as they can.

Efforts to fill up planes have spawned seat designs that look like torture devices, a federal investigation into potential collusion and a constant peeve of travelers: no leg room.
In fact, the percentage of seats that fly empty has been dwindling for more than a decade, federal data show — that is, it’s been getting harder and harder to luck out and get a row to yourself.

But if you flew between Newark and Columbia, S.C., back when United offered that route, you had a pretty good chance of being able to spread out.


AG Frosh Backs Consumer Rights To Challenge Flawed Data

Maryland joins Supreme Court argument in support of Virginia man suing data broker for errors

Baltimore, MD - Attorney General Brian E. Frosh today joined a U.S. Supreme Court brief arguing that consumers suffer when data-mining companies collect and disseminate inaccurate personal information that is used to make decisions about credit, housing, insurance or employment.

Attorney General Frosh is supporting the case of Thomas Robins of Virginia, who is pursuing a lawsuit against the data-collecting search engine Spokeo, Inc. Mr. Robins claims that errors in his profile could be used against him by employers, banks and other companies that use Internet searches to do business.

"It is my job as Attorney General to help protect consumers when inaccurate data is disseminated to companies that then make important decisions based on erroneous facts," Attorney General Frosh said. "Companies that scour the Internet and collect and sell data bear responsibility for ensuring that the information is accurate."

It's complicated: Why following your significant other on social media is a bad idea

Dr. Ian Kerner wants you to unfriend your significant other on social media. And he wants you to do it now.

The psychotherapist, who specializes in couples counseling, recently told Public Radio International that contrary to what your friend who posted 700 newlywed shots from her honeymoon thinks, being connected to your partner on social media is ultimately detrimental to the health of a relationship.

While many are quick on the trigger, posting every photo, tweeting every funny story, and writing mushy Facebook posts about a new bae, Kerner says that you're probably a lot better off holding back. Instead of focusing on documenting the relationship on social media, he advised couples to just focus on being in the relationship.

“I see technology and compatibility as one of the main subjects in therapy,” he told PRI in the interview. “So often, couples are really having side-by-side conversations—they’re not having direct face-to-face conversations because they’re also on an iPhone or a gadget, so they’re partially vacated. In couples therapy, sometimes that’s the only time that they’re actually having a real, genuine face-to-face conversation.”


Nearly A Dozen Baltimore Charter Schools Suing City’s School System

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City schools–hit with a major lawsuit. Nearly a dozen charter schools claim the district is breaking state law when it comes to funding.

Christie Ileto with more on why schools are joining together to sue.

These schools say it’s not just about the dollars, but how the districts come up with how much they’re getting. City schools CEO Gregory Thornton tells WJZparents shouldn’t panic.

Nine charter schools are suing the city school district.WJZ obtains the lawsuits that allege the school board failed to live up to its obligations for full funding and transparency.


Abortion Survivor: ‘Is My Life Less Valuable Due to My Cerebral Palsy?'

(CNSNews) – Abortion survivor Gianna Jessen told the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that after surviving a late-term saline abortion, she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a condition she calls “a tremendous gift.”

“I would ask Planned Parenthood the following questions: If abortion is about women’s rights, then what were mine? You continuously use the argument, ‘If the baby is disabled, we need to terminate the pregnancy,’ as if you can determine the quality of someone’s life. Is my life less valuable due to my Cerebral Palsy?” Jessen asked.

“Instead of dying, after 18 hours of being burned in my mother’s womb, I was delivered alive in an abortion clinic in Los Angeles on April the 6th, 1977. My medical records state: ‘Born alive during saline abortion’ at 6 am,” Jessen said.

Jessen was later diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, “which was caused by a lack of oxygen to my brain while surviving the abortion. I was never supposed to hold my head up or walk. I do, and cerebral palsy, ladies and gentlemen, is a tremendous gift to me,” she said.

“Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, said the following: ‘The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it,’” Jessen noted.

More here

James Clapper: Islamic State could infiltrate U.S., West through migrants fleeing from Syria

America’s top spy said Wednesday that U.S. intelligence officials have a “huge concern” about Islamic State’s ability to infiltrate waves of Syrian war refugees flowing into Europe and potentially the United States as pressure mounts on Western nations to take in a growing number of people fleeing the conflict in the heart of the Middle East.

“As they descend on Europe, one of the obvious issues that we worry about, and in turn as we bring refugees into this country, is exactly what’s their background?” Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper said. “We don’t obviously put it past the likes of ISIL to infiltrate operatives among these refugees.”

“That is a huge concern of ours,” Mr. Clapper said during a rare and unusually informal public appearance at an annual U.S. intelligence community conference that kicked off Wednesday morning in Washington.


New Species in Human Lineage Is Found in a South African Cave

Acting on a tip from spelunkers two years ago, scientists in South Africadiscovered what the cavers had only dimly glimpsed through a crack in a limestone wall deep in the Rising Star Cave: lots and lots of old bones.

The remains covered the earthen floor beyond the narrow opening. This was, the scientists concluded, a large, dark chamber for the dead of a previously unidentified species of the early human lineage — Homo naledi.

The new hominin species was announced on Thursday by an international team of more than 60 scientists led by Lee R. Berger, an American paleoanthropologist who is a professor of human evolution studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. The species name, H. naledi, refers to the cave where the bones lay undisturbed for so long; “naledi” means “star” in the local Sesotho language.

In two papers published this week in the open-access journal eLife, the researchers said that the more than 1,550 fossil elements documenting the discovery constituted the largest sample for any hominin species in a single African site, and one of the largest anywhere in the world. Further, the scientists said, that sample is probably a small fraction of the fossils yet to be recovered from the chamber. So far the team has recovered parts of at least 15 individuals.

“With almost every bone in the body represented multiple times, Homo naledi is already practically the best-known fossil member of our lineage,” Dr. Berger said.


O’Malley takes to the (Wall) street to earn an honest buck

WASHINGTON — Former Maryland Governor and current Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley is no stranger to musical props.

He picked up his guitar to gear up for his campaign back in May.

Now, he’s teamed up with the Independent Journal to take on Wall Street’s political contributions. And again, O’Malley used his guitar to do it.

O’Malley took to Wall Street, opened the case, and began playing. The video, titled “How To Make an Honest Buck on Wall Street with Martin O’Malley,” shows the candidate playing for the public while passersby toss money into his case.


Nuke all your computer passwords, says Intel exec (INTC)

Let's face it: No one likes passwords.

With all the different websites and devices you log in to, it has become almost impossible to keep track of all your passwords.

But what if you could forget about passwords and log in instantly using something else, like your face or fingerprints?

Intel thinks that's a real possibility — and something you can do right away.

"We want to eliminate all passwords from computing," Kirk Skaugen, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's client-computing group, said at the Citi Global Technology Conference held on Tuesday. "I can confidently say today, you can eliminate all your passwords today, if you buy a sixth-generation Core system."


DC’s delegate to Congress introduces bill on Redskins name

WASHINGTON (AP) — Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District of Columbia’s delegate to Congress, introduced a bill that would lift the NFL’s antitrust exemption if the Washington Redskins do not change their nickname.

In a news release issued Thursday, Norton was quoted as saying Washington “should always be associated with pride, not with a moniker that mocks and insults Native Americans.”

Legislation from the non-voting Democratic delegate stands little to no chance of being passed by the Republican-led House.


Huma Abedin, top Clinton aide, formally investigated by feds for embezzlement

Blames husband Weiner for failing to notice extra $30K payment

Federal investigators formally investigated top Hillary Rodham Clinton aide Huma Abedin for the crime of embezzlement after confirming she took a “Babymoon” vacation and maternity time at the State Department without expending her formal leave, resulting in thousands of dollars of pay she wasn’t entitled to receive, The Washington Times has learned.

The probe also gathered evidence she filed time sheets charging the government for impermissible overtime and excessive hours after she converted from a full-time federal employee to a State Departmentcontractor.


Virginia Sheriff releases video of struggle with inmate who died

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP/ WJLA) — A video released Thursday shows a prolonged struggle between a naked, mentally ill inmate and five deputies in biohazard suits who shocked her four times with a stun gun before she lost consciousness.

The inmate, 37-year-old Natasha McKenna, died several days after the struggle, prompting a months-long criminal investigation. Thursday's release of the 45-minute video by Fairfax County Sheriff Stacey Kincaid comes two days after the county's lead prosecutor announced he would not file charges, calling the death a "tragic accident."

A medical examiner also ruled the death accidental, specifically by excited delirium associated with use of restraints and a stun gun. McKenna's schizophrenia was listed as a contributing factor. The case remains the subject of a federal civil rights investigation.


Oakland Zoo to auction paintings by its animals

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elephants, giraffes, lemurs, and even a cockroach at the Oakland Zoo have been exploring their creative sides to produce colorful paintings that will be auctioned for charity.

The painting sessions were conducted by zoo keepers who used only positive-reinforcement, including plenty of treats, as they worked with the animals, zoo spokeswoman Nicky Mora said.

Elephants were helped to hold paintbrushes in their trunks and giraffes in their mouths and produced their artwork one stroke at a time. Goats, lemurs, and meerkats had their hooves, paws or claws dabbed with nontoxic, water-based paint and ran over a blank sheet of poster board while chasing a treat.

Thirty-two of the works will be auctioned on eBay starting Thursday.


Police: Md. Correctional Officer Attempted To Deliver Drugs To Inmate

TOWSON, Md. (WJZ)—A Maryland correctional training officer has been charged after police say he attempted to deliver drugs to an inmate.

52-year-old Patrick Merson, an officer with the Maryland Correctional Training Center (MCTC) in Hagerstown, is facing 11 criminal charges related to an alleged plot to bring heroin, OxyContin, and synthetic marijuana known as “Spice” into the prison.

Investigators believe Merson was working with a relative of the inmate to deliver the drugs from a location in Smithsburg, MD.


This is what could tip Fed's hand

Financial markets have become the story for the Fed next week.

After another day of searing volatility, traders will look past economic reports Thursday and the normal triggers of market movements to see if conditions stabilize, creating an environment where the Fed would be more comfortable hiking rates for the first time in more than nine years.

"I think what people are going to focus on is are we in an extremely volatile period for the next couple of weeks, and if we are I think this is a Fed that feels like it can be patient," said Rick Rieder, chief investment officer, fundamental fixed income at BlackRock. He said the odds of a rate increase at the Fed's Sept. 16 and 17 meeting is now less than 50 percent, but would increase to 50 percent if the markets stabilize.


Police/Courts 09/11/2015

Assault and damages

Lynnette Cutlip, 35, Levittown, Pa. was arrested on Aug. 26 for malicious destruction of property and two counts of second-degree assault.

Ocean City police met with the suspect’s boyfriend who said they were drinking when an argument erupted and that Cutlip punched and kicked him.

According to the report, Cutlip took her mother-in-law’s duffle bag and threw it off the balcony, which landed on her boyfriend’s car causing $300 in damages.

Disorderly conduct

Ryan Mittrick, 22, of Severna Park, Md. was arrested on Aug. 25 for disorderly conduct after he disrupted several people on the Boardwalk. He also was charged with indecent exposure after being taken into custody.


Congressman Harris: President Obama is Empowering our Enemies

Congressman Andy Harris’ Statement on the Iran Nuclear Vote in the House

WASHINGTON, DC: Congressman Andy Harris (MD-01) released the following statement after the House of Representatives did not approve the nuclear deal in Iran. The House did not pass H.R. 3461, “To Approve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, signed at Vienna on July 14, 2015, relating to the nuclear program of Iran.” The House also passed H.R. 3460, which would remove the ability of the President to lift or reduce sanctions on Iran within the nuclear agreement.

“It’s a shame that on the fourteenth anniversary of September 11th, President Obama seeks to empower the terror-ridden country of Iran and aid worldwide terrorism. The bottom line is that they are our enemies, and the President, along with 42 Democrats in the Senate, seeks to enable a country that has a proven record of state-sponsored terrorism, religious extremism and human rights abuses with this horrendous deal.

“Today, the House, acting in a bipartisan vote, stood strong by not approving the nuclear deal with Iran, while also passing a bill that would immediately deny the President the ability to lift sanctions on Iran. Iran’s possession of a bomb would immediately endanger not only our allies in the region like Israel, but the security of the United States itself in the future. I continue to support much stronger sanctions and believe we can and should make a better deal.”

Marriage fraud scheme aimed to help Chinese get US residency

LOS ANGELES — An American man was told he could make $18,000 for marrying a Chinese woman who needed a green card, so he agreed to get hitched at a California wedding studio and then took an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas where he posed in photos with his new wife.

But the man was gay and vacationing with his boyfriend, while the woman already had a husband. Until he revealed his sexual orientation to an immigration officer during a green card interview, both couples had been caught up in an elaborate marriage fraud scheme that has netted organizers $3.5 million since 2006, authorities say.

Federal authorities on Wednesday arrested Jason Shiao, a 65-year-old Southern California man they say posed as an attorney, and his 43-year-old daughter, Lynn Leung, on charges of conspiring to commit visa fraud by arranging phony marriages between Chinese citizens seeking legal residency and American spouses.


Ocean City Brewing Co. expands to Harford County

An Ocean City taphouse is bringing its seaside suds to Harford County.

Ocean City Brewing Co. is taking over an 8,500-square-foot space at the Boulevard at Box Hill in Abingdon. Joe’s Crab Shack, the current tenant, announced its closure Sept. 9.

Unlike the Baltimore restaurants that have laid fresh roots in Ocean City, such as Ropewalk Tavern and Abbey Burger Bistro, the beach pub is heading in the opposite direction for its expansion. Owner Joshua Shores splits his time between a house in Bel Air and one in Ocean City, and he had been searching for space for a second location near his Harford County home for more than six months.


Dems filibuster Iran vote

The House formally began seven hours of floor debate on the Iran deal after easily clearing a procedural vote to initiate proceedings on Thursday.

House GOP leaders changed course Wednesday on an original plan to vote on a resolution disapproving of the Iran deal after hearing an earful from conservatives at a morning conference meeting.

The vote on the rule, which establishes guidelines for floor debate, must pass first in order for the House to debate a bill. Some conservatives had suggested on Wednesday that enough Republicans frustrated with the leadership’s initial strategy would derail the rule.


Wall Street expert: Clinton Foundation a ‘vast criminal conspiracy’

Emails show Hillary's deep ties as secretary of state

Adding to Hillary Clinton’s concern that the FBI may open a criminal investigation into her use of a private email server is evidence among the emails recently released by the State Department that she maintained deep ties to the Clinton Foundation while serving as U.S. secretary of state.

In a new report, Wall Street analyst and investor Charles Ortel charges the Clintons and their associates have been engaged in a “vast criminal conspiracy to defraud the general public, enrich themselves and entrench their political influence.”

Ortel believes the evidence calls for a criminal investigation by the FBI as well as by attorneys general in four states where the Clinton Foundation is registered, maintains offices and/or has aggressively solicited individual donations: Arkansas, Massachusetts, California and New York.

He published on his website a new executive summary of his “First Foundation Report” of his continuing investigation into the operations of the Bill, Hillary, & Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

“Since July 2002, the worst known example of flagrant and unpunished abuses by a U.S. domiciled, public charity is the record of voluminous flawed, inaccurate, false and misleading public disclosures made by representatives of the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation (the “Clinton Foundation”), as trustees, executives and agents illegally solicited across state, and national boundaries and raised close to $2 billion from donors who were either willingly or unwillingly duped,” Ortel alleges.


Welcome back

It is that special time of year again, when Chestertown residents wake from their long, peaceful summer nap and start eyeing the houses around them to see who may be moving in. Strange cars with license plates from Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York are poorly parked in prime spaces, or roar down the streets blaring strange music, if one could even call it that. And young people talking loudly fill the sidewalks in clothes that are: a. too bright, b. too tight, c. too revealing or d. all of the above.

That's right. This is when we remember that our sleepy little spot on the Chester River is in fact a college town. Chestertown is home to Washington College, the venerated liberal arts and sciences institution founded in 1782 with the approval of none other than the nation's first president himself, George "I cannot tell a lie" Washington.

It is said that because of his renowned hatchet skills, Washington cleared out the cherry orchard that previously occupied the campus. Remember that key fact, freshmen. Ask your American History professors about it. They will be impressed by your knowledge of the area.


Remembering September 11 Patriot Day

(Guideposts Devotion for September 11th - By Brian Doyle)

Pray for each other so that you may be healed.... James 5:16 (NIV)

"A haunted day, September 11, here in the States that are still United in the wild idea that interindependence is possible and glorious. A shivering day. It always will be.

I pray it never becomes a mere anniversary, an event only to remember murder and terror and fire and fear—or even worse, a day only to celebrate vengeance. No, I pray it becomes a day to remember courage and grace and love. I pray that will someday be the story of September 11. To remember right is to pray right, says my dad, and he knows about murderous souls; he fought against Hitler.

He says to remember the roaring courage of the people who rushed to help, and the people who helped others out of the fire and ash, and the people who used their last minutes on earth to call their families and say “I love you. I love you. I will love you forever,” is to pray for them and us and even for the poor silly murderers, themselves just lanky, frightened boys, in the end, bloody boys terrified of a free world.

He says to remember the firemen who ran up, knowing they would never come down, the passengers storming the cockpit, the sergeant who ran out of the Pentagon to catch women leaping from high windows is the way to erase the name of the chief murderer.

He says that if we remember right, if we pray with our hearts in our mouths, maybe someday no one will remember the architect of ruin, but everyone will remember a day when the courage and mercy and glory of human beings rose to such a tide that no one will ever forget. That could happen, says my dad, and who will gainsay my dad? Not I.

Dear Lord, for the murdered, our prayers. For the murderers, our prayers. For us, frightened and muddled, prayers. For the courage to remember right, to witness and sing grace under duress, to someday find the country of forgiveness, prayers."


Gasoline at $2 by Christmas Will Be Windfall for U.S. Motorists

U.S. motorists will have more to spend at the malls this holiday season as gasoline pump prices drop near $2 a gallon at the end of the year.

Gasoline has reversed a 38% jump in the first half of 2015. Prices, already the cheapest for early September since 2004, will drop another 41 cents by December to about $2.03, the Energy Information Administration said in its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook. That would be down 17 percent from the $2.437 reported by the agency Monday.

Gasoline over the four-day U.S. Labor Day holiday weekend was almost a $1 cheaper this year compared to last year, the lowest price in more than a decade, translating to a cumulative savings for U.S. motorists of about $1.4 billion, according to, which tracks gasoline prices.


California to become sixth US state to allow euthanasia

California is set to become the sixth American state to approve euthanasia, a controversial issue in the United States fueled by the recent suicide of a woman suffering from terminal cancer.

"This is a historic step forward for Californians with terminal illnesses who have been looking to the legislature for the option to determine the quality of their final days of life based on their own personal beliefs," said Senator Bill Monning, one of the backers of the bill approved by the state assembly on Wednesday.

The measure, approved by 43 votes against 34, is expected to be adopted by the state senate this week.

Euthanasia, or assisted suicide, has long been a controversial issue in the United States, with Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont and Washington the only states to have approved it so far.

The topic was brought to the forefront in California by the case of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old with a brain tumor who moved from San Francisco to Oregon and took her own life last November.

"Her case brought the story to the public in a way that hadn't been done before," said Monica Schmalenberger, an aid to California Senator Lois Wolk, a supporter of the euthanasia bill.


GOP contender Jindal brands Trump a 'madman'

BATON ROUGE, La. — One of Donald Trump's Republican rivals is calling him a "madman."

More specifically, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal says the GOP front-runner is an "egomaniacal madman who has no principles" and who risks costing the party its chance to regain the White House.

Jindal's words in a speech to the National Press Club in Washington were unsparing, even coming from a candidate who's held little back when it comes to Trump.

The governor said: "The silly summer season is over. It's time to get serious about saving our country. It's time to send Donald Trump back to reality TV."

He called Trump a "carnival act" and said rivals shouldn't be "kissing up" to him.


Tudor fisherman cast their nets as far away as Canada: Research shows 16th century ships were travelling 2,000 miles for catch

Fish served on the dinner tables of Tudor England could have been caught more than 2,000 miles away off the coast of North America, research revealed yesterday.

DNA tests on the bones of cod provisions stored on Henry VIII’s doomed warship the Mary Rose reveal that some came from as far away as Canada.

Demand for fish from the growing urban population forced mariners to seek new supplies further afield – which in turn helped fuel the colonisation of Northern America, the Cambridge University study suggests.


Ocean City gives out first busker ticket

OCEAN CITY — (Sept. 11, 2015) Local landlord and agent provocateur Tony Christ has earned the dubious title of being the first person to get a ticket for violating the city’s new-for-this-summer Boardwalk performing ordinance.

Christ was cited over Labor Day weekend for performing on the Boardwalk without having registered for a designated space, violating city legislation designed to reduce congestion and cut down on overt busker competition.

The space-registration system for buskers is slated to come to an end Sept. 30, and not start up again until May 1, meaning the inaugural year almost went by without incident.

Christ, of course, is not a routine street performer, but went out this past Saturday with the express intent of getting a citation.


A Letter To The Editor: Flags


I have been riding around today and it truly amazes me on how many businesses DO NOT have the flags at half staff out of respect of the people that lost there lives on 9/11. What is this country coming to!!!

Trump goes after Carson, defends his insult of Fiorina

Business mogul Donald Trump on Thursday dismissed criticism over comments he made that appeared to take aim at GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina’s appearance, saying that he was only commenting on her “persona” and not her physical attractiveness.

"Look at that face!" Trump reportedly told Rolling Stone while talking about Fiorina, according to a profile published Wednesday "Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!"

The billionaire, Rolling Stone wrote, added: "I mean, she's a woman, and I'm not s'posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?"

On Fox News Thursday morning, Trump denied he was talking about Fiorina's looks, even as he conceded that the comments were reported accurately.


O'KEEFE STRIKES AGAIN: Undercover Video Purports to Show Hillary Campaign Violating Election Law

An undercover video published Thursday by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas purports to show Nevada-based Hillary Clinton campaign staffers and volunteers ignoring and knowingly violating Nevada’s voter registration laws. Moreover, the video appears to showthat this conduct is being condoned and encouraged by a local attorney who works for the Clinton campaign.



Germany's Appeasement of Radical Islam

German, and possibly European, demographics are being set to change forever.

"No one knows exactly what actually happens in Islamic classes in German primary schools." — Abdel-Hakim Ourghi, head of the Faculty for Islamic Theology and Religious Studies at the Freiburg University of Education.

In Ourghi's assessment, conservative Islam, the one dominant in Germany, is incapable of thinking critically about its past.

According to the report, the textbooks fail to "confront the problematic verses of Koran." The curriculum also fails in its most important purpose -- integrating Muslims into the German society -- as it fails to reconcile the "Islamic faith of the students with the reality of the western society" they are living in.

By legitimizing extremist groups such as DITIB within German Muslim society as the sole legitimate representatives of Islam, the German government has marginalized genuine voices of reform and dissent within its Muslim population.

These courageous dissident Muslim men and women are left to face threats and intimidation on their own, while the government is busy appeasing the self-proclaimed leaders of the faith.


Stephanie Rawlings-Blake: Here's why Baltimore's Freddie Gray settlement helps businesses

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on Thursday took her case to business leaders for the city's $6.4 million civil settlement with Freddie Gray's estate and family.

The settlement, approved by the city's Board of Estimates Wednesday, does not end criminal trials for six officers charged in Gray's April death. But it puts to rest the possibility of long, expensive civil litigation that could disrupt the city and its businesses, the mayor said while speaking at a Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce event.

Baltimore has had to make the costly move of canceling police leave during pretrial hearings in the criminal cases for the six charged officers, Rawlings-Blake said. Two hearings that have taken place, the latest held Thursday, drew protestors while slowing and disrupting traffic in some parts of the city.


Candy Carson: The Anti-Michelle Obama

After nearly eight years of the East Wing's politics of mope and complain, it's refreshing to see a presidential candidate's spouse who is always smiling.

Candy Carson — wife of GOP 2016 hopeful Dr. Ben Carson, mother of three sons, and grandmother of two — is the anti-Michelle Obama. She's a quiet but confident ray of sunshine: down-to-earth, devoutly Christian and proudly patriotic.

While Mrs. Obama first gained notoriety carping about racism and trashing America, Mrs. Carson helped kick off her husband's 2016 bid by playing the violin with a gospel choir as they performed a joyful, rousing rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner.

I met the couple, who recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary, a few weeks ago during a campaign stop in Colorado Springs. Dr. Carson's dazzling career as a Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon is well known. But Mrs. Carson's own personal story is remarkable as a standalone exemplar of the American Dream achieved.

The daughter of a teacher and a factory worker, Candy Carson grew up poor in inner-city Detroit with four siblings. She earned a scholarship to attend Yale University, where she met her future husband and fellow Detroit native. Mrs. Carson triple-majored in music, psychology and pre-med. She played violin for the Yale Symphony and Bach Society. Just as her church-organist mother insisted that all her children learn to play instruments, Mrs. Carson formed a string quartet (two violins, cello and viola) with her own three sons dubbed the "Carson Four."

Feminists loved Mrs. Obama's relentless jokes openly denigrating her spouse's shortcomings as a husband and father on the campaign trail.Victory did not improve her dour disposition. Even after moving into the White House and enjoying multiple taxpayer-financed vacations around the world, President Obama's bitter half bizarrely lamented her plight as a "busy single mother."

So. Put. Upon.

Elitist liberal working mothers expend an astounding amount of energy letting everyone know how hard they toil, how much "sacrifice" they've made, and how unhappy they are if they're not working outside the home earning "respect" from other elitist liberal working mothers.

Meanwhile, moms like Candy Carson operate in a no-whine zone. It is a blessing to have so many opportunities and choices. And there's no time to waste.

More here

Warnings Issued About Submerged Dredge Pipe In Bay; Six Vessels Damaged So Far

ASSATEAGUE — At least six boats have been seriously damaged by an unmarked dredge pipe submerged in shallow water in the main navigational channel in the Sinepuxent Bay near Assateague this week, prompting the Coast Guard to issue warnings to mariners and take action to remove the hazard.

There have been six confirmed cases of boats running afoul of the submerged dredge pipe in the main channel near Assateague just north of the Verrazano Bridge this week, likely costing boaters tens of thousands of dollars in damages. It is believed the dredge pipe belongs to a subcontractor working for the federal Army Corps of Engineers on a larger maintenance dredging project in the area.

Coast Guard Ocean City Officer Brandon Scott said on Thursday the Coast Guard was aware of the navigation hazard and was in the process of taking steps to have it removed.

“We are aware of it,” he said. “I don’t know the timetable for getting it removed. Coast Guard Station Ocean City doesn’t do aids to navigation work, so our Aids to Navigation team will come in and get a diver in the water and eventually get that pipe cut out.”



Statement from Governor Larry Hogan on the Passing of Delegate James E. Proctor, Jr.

Governor orders flags to fly at half-staff in honor 
of late delegate
ANNAPOLIS, MD - Governor Larry Hogan today issued the following statement on the passing of Delegate James E. Proctor, Jr. Governor Hogan also ordered flags to fly at half-staff in honor of the late delegate.

"The First Lady and I extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Delegate James Proctor. Delegate Proctor was a fixture in the General Assembly, passionately serving his constituents for 25 years. He touched the lives of countless students during his many years as an educator in Prince George's County, and served our country as a member of the United States Air Force. We owe Delegate Proctor a debt of gratitude for a lifetime of public service on behalf of the state of Maryland."

Congressman Harris: The American People Deserve the Truth

WASHINGTON, DC: Congressman Andy Harris (MD-01) released the following statement after voting in favor of House Resolution 411, the “Finding that the President has not complied with section 2 of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015.” Recently, Congress learned that President Obama made two secret side deals within the nuclear deal with Iran that were not originally disclosed.

“The American people deserve to know the truth about the secret side agreements in President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. President Obama’s complete disregard for the will of the people is clearly illustrated in how he once again believes he is above the law. It’s time for the President to provide Congress with the full text of the secret side deals of the nuclear deal with Iran.”

More Than 90 Percent of Middle Eastern Refugees on Food Stamps

More than 90 percent of recent refugees from Middle Eastern nations are on food stamps and nearly 70 percent receive cash assistance, according to government data.

According to Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) data highlighted by the immigration subcommittee staff of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) — chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest — in FY 2013, 91.4 percent of Middle Eastern refugees (accepted to the U.S. between 2008-2013) received food stamps, 73.1 percent were on Medicaid or Refugee Medical Assistance and 68.3 percent were on cash welfare.

Middle Eastern refugees used a number of other assistance programs at slightly lower rates. For example, 36.7 percent received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), 32.1 percent received Supplemental Security Income (SSI), 19.7 percent lived in public housing, 17.3 percent were on General Assistance (GA), and 10.9 percent received Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA).

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Cruz: Stop Iran Deal-- ‘Simply Enforce Federal Law’

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner have it in their power to prevent the Iran nuclear deal from going ahead, on the grounds the administration has not produced all the documentation as required by law, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) argued Wednesday.

“There are two men in Washington D.C. who can defeat this deal,” Cruz told a Tea Party Patriots-organized rally on Capitol Hill, protesting against the Iran agreement.

“Under the terms of the Corker-Cardin review legislation, the clock does not begin ticking until the president hands over the entire deal, and he has not handed over the side agreements.

“What that means is that all that has to happen is for Mitch McConnell and John Boehner to say: ‘The congressional review period has not started. Under federal law, it is illegal for Obama to lift sanctions [against Iran],’” said Cruz, one of 17 Republicans campaigning for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

“Mitch McConnell and John Boehner can stop this deal if they simply enforce – if they simply enforce federal law.”


Can the GOP at Least Slow Iran Deal?

Republicans are considering their options to thwart the Iran deal and preserve at least some of the sanctions against Iran for as long as possible. They’ll do this by rebuking Barack Obama for failing even to abide by the terms of Sen. Bob Corker’s ill-advised review deal. Under that law, which Obama signed, he was required to submit all relevant information to the deal, including unbelievably foolish secret side deals, by July 19, after which Congress would have 60 days for review. Obama did not do so, which Republicans argue means the congressional review period never actually began. They have forced a delay in the debate over the deal until Obama hands over the information.


County mulls long-term state of retiree medical trust funds

Though it has little effect on the county’s ability to provide health coverage to its employees past and present, Worcester County’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) has been massively overstating the funding ratio percentage since 2009.

In the recent debate by the Worcester County Commissioners over whether to end spousal and dependent health coverage for retirees, the pivotal question was exactly how the county’s financial position is in when it comes to funding these benefits.

Not quite as good as one might believe, given that the county’s CAFR lists the aggregate funding level of the two retiree health funds (one for board of education employees, one for the county’s direct employees) at 82 percent in 2014.


Trump: If I Win I Guarantee Iran Will Return Four Americans

Donald Trump said on Capitol Hill Wednesday that if he is elected president, four American citizens imprisoned or missing in Iran will be back in the United States – “before I ever take office.”

Addressing a Tea Party Patriots-organized rally, the billionaire businessman railed against those who negotiated the nuclear agreement with Iran, saying, “Never, ever, ever in my life have I seen any transaction so incompetently negotiated as our deal with Iran. And I mean never.”

And in highlighting what he views as weaknesses in the agreement, the Republican presidential hopeful alluded to the fact the Obama administration had not tied the deal to the fate of Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati, Jason Rezaian and Bob Levinson.

“We have four wonderful people over there,” he said, “and frankly, they’re never going to come back with this group,” he added, apparently referring to the administration.

“And I will say this,” Trump continued. “If I win the presidency, I guarantee you that those four prisoners are back in our country before I ever take office. I guarantee that.

“They will be back before I ever take office, because they [the Iranians] know that that’s what has to happen, okay? They know it, and if they don’t know it, I’m telling them right now,” he added.


Democrats, Republicans and Mushroom Clouds

No regime on Earth has been as diligent in executing attacks on Americans since 1979 as Iran.

The world’s leading terror state is expanding its hegemony and contributing, through its brutal support of Syria’s Assad, to the horrific refugee crisis now swamping Europe. Even the grotesque Sunni extremist group ISIS owes part of its success to Iran, which has so frightened the Sunnis that some have been willing to support such monsters of their own sect. And the Islamic Republic has threatened, unabashedly and consistently, to annihilate the state of Israel.

This is the regime the Obama Democrats propose to enrich, to grant international legitimacy to as a nuclear threshold state, and to invite to monitor its own nuclear sites. No other signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty is permitted to enrich uranium. This is beyond naivete — it is sheer lunacy. The Democratic Party has forfeited any claim to national leadership.

Republicans cannot simply shrug and announce that they lack the votes to stop this catastrophe. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has a reputation as a shrewd inside player. He has many possible options. 1) Pass a rule by simple majority declaring that the filibuster cannot be used for grave matters of national security. 2) Announce, as David Rivkin and Rep. Mike Pompeo have proposed, that because the president is not in compliance with the Corker/Menendez legislation (which requires that all side deals be submitted to Congress), the 60-day review period has not yet begun. 3) Decide (as Andy McCarthy has suggested) that this agreement — so crucial to the security of the nation and the world — is clearly a treaty and can only be considered by Congress as such, requiring a two-thirds vote in both chambers for passage.


TN School Accused of Islamic Indoctrination

Maury County, Tennessee is in the heart of the Bible Belt. So it’s understandable why the local church ladies got all shook up when they discovered that school children had been forced to declare, “There is no God but Allah.”

Seventh graders at Spring Hill Middle School spent three weeks covering Islam in a Social Studies class – enraging some parents who say the lessons crossed the line into indoctrination and proselytization.

“I am not pleased that my 12-year-old was taught the Islamic conversion prayer,” parent Brandee Porterfield told me.

According to the lessons, students were instructed to write the “Shahada” – “There is no God but Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” Students also learned the five pillars of Islam.

“That was crossing the line between teaching the culture and teaching them the Islamic faith,” Porterfield told me. “This is not teaching. This is indoctrination.”

Could you imagine the outcry from liberal activists if the students had been forced to write “Jesus is Lord’?

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Is President Obama Truly A Socialist?

If the Party of European Socialists were to rate Obama, he would get a near perfect score. The political views and programs that Obama is prepared to reveal to the public are consistent with those of European socialists. He is clearly a socialist in the European sense of the term.

If the “socialist label” sticks, Obama faces an even more uphill 2012 campaign. In scripted moments – like Tuesday’s State of the Union Address — he must present his socialist campaign themes while avoiding the appearance of being a socialist.

Obama must worry most about those slips in unscripted moments that, I believe, reveal a deep animosity towards private enterprise. He has given us a few fleeting glimpses, such as his complaint about the Constitution’s “negative rights and his off-the-cuff “spread the wealth around” remark. His most recent and significant slip was to tell Occupy Wall Street protesters: “You are the reason I ran for office.”

Obama’s defenders will counter that Republicans also accept Social Security and a progressive income tax and that his slips are taken out of context. But these criticisms fail to address the remarkable coincidence of Obama’s views with those of European socialists. By comparing Obama not to Lenin or Mao but to European socialism, we have placed the question “Is Obama a socialist?” in a fair and appropriate context.


Governor Larry Hogan Remembers Victims of September 11th, Honors First Responders

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today visited Baltimore’s World Trade Center in the Inner Harbor to pay his respects to and remember the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. During his visit, the governor laid a ceremonial wreath at the base of the September 11th memorial that stands at the Trade Center.

"Today, we as a nation remember the victims of September 11th and the families who lost their loved ones during those attacks," Governor Hogan said. "What started as a normal morning turned into a day that would change our world forever. The First Lady and I are praying for all those whose lives were impacted that day, for the first responders whose bravery and strength comforted a nation in mourning, and for all our leaders who work tirelessly to ensure peace and security in our country. Since that fateful day fourteen years ago, America has persevered, her strength and fortitude an example of what is possible when we are united as one."

Fla. man plotted to carry out 9/11 memorial bombing in Mo.

A Florida man is in custody after allegedly plotting to help carry out a terror attack during a Sept. 11 memorial in Kansas City, Mo., this weekend.

Joshua Goldberg, of Orange Park, was arrested Thursday after federal authorities say the 20-year-old instructed an undercover officer on how to create and detonate a pressure-cooker bomb during the city's Memorial Stair Climb on Sunday.

The explosive would have contained nails and metal shrapnel dipped in rat poison, a chemical which would help ensure the victims bleed out due to its use as a blood thinner, according to federal authorities.

The Jacksonville-area resident was tracked down through his internet communications, where he claimed to have motivated two gunmen into storming a Muhammad cartoon convention in Garland, Tex., in June.

That attack left two people dead.


Retail Stores, Apartments Eyed For Long Vacant Berlin Property

BERLIN – A local developer’s purchase of a long vacant lot at one of Berlin’s entrances could bring more retail and apartment space to the town.

Developer John Derrickson says he plans to build retail space with apartments above it on the one-acre lot at the intersection of North Main Street and Old Ocean City Boulevard. He bought the long vacant parcel, which in the past has been home to several restaurants, last month.

“I want to do what’s right for the town,” he said.

Derrickson approached Berlin’s planning commission Wednesday to ask for its advice on the project. He said he’d hired the local firm Design Resources but didn’t want to begin plans until he had an idea of what the planning commission wanted to see built, as the project would not be able to move forward at all without its approval.


Thank God Its Friday 9-11-15

What will you be doing this weekend?

Who will be the GOP nominee in 2016?

GO HERE to vote.

Blues & Soul Music Featured at Headquarters Live!

Friday, September 18
Come out for September's 3rd Friday to see The Chris Duarte Group at Headquarters Live! With the release of his latest opus, "My Soul Alone", Chris Duarte is still reaching for new ground while also throwing out some of his best blues work to date. The maturity in the phrasing and melodic statements are a far cry from the early raw days of his first few releases. A portion of the proceeds from this show go to support Main Street Gym, a local non-profit.

Show: 8 PM
$10 Admission | 21+ Show


Thursday, September 10

The Locals Jam is a one of a kind jam session for our area and will be open to musicians of any instrument. The primary focus is on funk, jazz, and blues, but we welcome all styles! The Larks will supply all the gear. 

Doors: 7 PM | Show: 8 PM
$5 Admission | 18+ Show

Saturday, September 19
Eastern Shore natives The Permilla Project will be playing original soul, funk and rock & roll at Headquarters Live next Saturday! They will be performing with Skribe, a garage folk band hailing from Annapolis, MD. 

Doors: 7 PM | Show: 8 PM
$10 Admission | 18+ Show


Headquarters Live is a music venue in Downtown Salisbury. The focus here is on music, sound quality and the performers. It is a truly unique experience compared to anywhere else in the area! Sure, we have a bar - serving domestic and craft beers, wines and wine cocktails - but it's so much more than that!

Check out our website for more upcoming shows and events!

Never Forget.......

Bike Week At Oasis

Don't Judge A Book/Movie By Its Cover In Walmart

Caption This Photo 9-11-15

“Operation Spiritus” Concludes with Multiple Arrests in Kent County

Kent County, DE- A multi-jurisdictional investigation into the illegal drug trafficking organization involving multiple subjects conducted by the Delaware State Police, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Dover Police Department, Milford Police Department, and several other assisting police agencies, has concluded with the arrest or indictment of 13 individuals on over 100 criminal charges.  This organization was responsible for the distribution of over 1,000 grams of cocaine in the last six months.
The six month investigation, dubbed “Operation Spiritus” which began in March of 2015 and concluded on September 9, 2015, targeted the illegal drug trafficking organization headed by Kevin M. McDonald, 41 of Magnolia (Photo attached-name labeled), who has been charged with directing a significant cocaine network in the central and southern Kent County area.  The operation involved the execution of search warrants at 12 different residential locations throughout Kent County which resulted in the arrest or indictment of 13 individuals on numerous drug and weapons offenses.
On September 9, 2015, search warrants were executed by the tactical teams of the Delaware State Police, Dover Police Department, Milford Police Department, Smyrna Police Department, FBI, and State of Delaware Division of Probation and Parole, at 12 separate residences located in Magnolia, Felton, Frederica, Harrington, Greenwood, and Milford.
The targeted locations were:
  • unit block of Apple Run, Paris Villa, Magnolia, De
  • 300 block of Abec Lane, Peachtree Apartments, Felton, De
  • 2100 block of Cubbage Pond Road, Lincoln, De
  • unit block of Sycamore Drive, High Point Mobile Home Park, Frederica, De
  • 100 block of Unity Lane, Greenwood, De
  • 1300 block of Layton Corner Road, Harrington, De
  • unit block of New Street, Harrington, De
  • unit block of West Cherry Drive, Paris Villa, Magnolia, De
  • 4 separate units on Linstone Lane, Silver Lake Estates Apartments, Milford, De
As a result of the execution of the search warrants the following items were seized (all weights are approximate):
  • 1,089.64 grams of cocaine
  • 21.36 grams of heroin
  • 22.3 grams of marijuana
  • (2) .40 caliber handguns
  • (1) .410 caliber handgun
  • (3) 9 mm handguns
  • (1) 12 gauge shotgun
  • (1) .223 caliber assault rifle
  • Assorted ammunition
  • $42,973.00 in suspected drug proceeds
  • 2 motor vehicles
  • Packaging material including thousands of wax bags associated with the sale of heroin
As a result of the cooperative effort of approximately 50 investigative personnel from the various law enforcement agencies, Kevin M. McDonald was indicted in the Kent County Superior Court and charged with a total of 12 felony crimes including Racketeering, Drug Dealing, Aggravated Possession of Cocaine, and numerous other drug offenses.  McDonald is currently incarcerated at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Institution for lack of $41,750.00 cash bail.
The following were also indicted in the Kent County Superior Court.  They were charged with various felony crimes including Racketeering, drug, and weapons offenses and remanded to the Delaware Department of Corrections in lieu of bonds.  (All photos attached have been labeled with the subjects name)
  • Kevin A. McDonald Jr., 22 of Felton
  • Amanda Pollard, 23 of Magnolia
  • Gary D. Williams, 25 of Frederica
  • Taquen G. Owens, 22 of Greenwood
  • James M. Smith, 30 of Harrington
The following were arrested during the execution of the search warrants and charged with various drug and weapons offenses.
  • Arthur D. Stratton, 39 of Magnolia
  • Teuntay C. Drummond, 22 of Milford
  • Alivia Mosley, 22 of Milford
  • Kashyra Cannon, 25 of Milford
  • Jocquon Johnson, 22 of Milford
  • Deanna Boyd, 25 of Milford
  • Rhymean Floyd, 35 of Milford
Indictments have been obtained for the following individuals in connection with this investigation and are currently wanted:
  • Abdul T. White, 30 of Dover, DE, wanted for Racketeering.
  • Ashley S. Gonzalez, 25 of Harrington, DE, wanted for Racketeering.
  • Frank R. Lovett, 28 of Greenwood, DE, wanted for Racketeering.
If anyone has any information in reference to the location of the listed wanted subjects, they are asked to contact Sgt. Skinner at 302-741-2798 or by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333.  Information may also be sent via the internet, or by sending an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword "DSP."
The following is a list of agencies that provide assistance throughout this investigation:
Delaware State Police
Dover Police Department
Milford Police Department
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
Delaware Department of Justice
New Castle County Police Department
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF)
Department of Corrections- Probation and Parole
Smyrna Police Department
Harrington Police Department
Kent County SPCA
Kent County Code Enforcement
Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC)
City of Harrington Code Enforcement