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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Soros-Backed Group Launches Bid to Keep Syrian Refugees Flowing

A group masquerading as conservative but backed by left-wing foundations including billionaire George Soros’s Foundation to Promote Open Society (FPOS) has launched an online advertising campaign in defense of bringing Syrian refugees to the United States.

The banner ads bear tag lines like, “Support freedom, not fear,” and, “America is better when we welcome refugees.” They lead to a microsite located at Americaisbetter.org with Old Glory-clothed, American flag-waving young people, with a light-skinned blonde leading the way for others who appear to be ethnic minorities partially or fully obscured behind her.

The site in turn quotes conservative icon former president Ronald Reagan, saying, “America is better when we embrace President Reagan’s ‘shining city … teeming with people of all kinds, living in harmony and peace.’”

The site derides “who would make us react in fear of those different from us.” It continues, “As commander in chief, Reagan kept America safe. At the same time, he was the world’s ‘Great Liberator,’ in the words of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. He welcomed refugees from the Soviet Union, Cuba, Vietnam, and elsewhere.”

More here

Columbia Student Claims To Be Traumatized By Reading About White People

A student at Columbia University is urging the school to inject more diversity into its required courses, claiming she suffered severe emotional trauma from reading too many books by and about white people.

Columbia students and faculty gathered Wednesday night for a panel discussion on “Race, Ethnicity, and University Life.” According to the Columbia Daily Spectator, much of the commentary revolved around the idea that minorities on campus simply spend too much time being traumatized by the white-centric content of their classes.

One of the panelists at the event was black Columbia student Nissy Aya. Aya was supposed to graduate in 2014, but instead is only on track to receive her degree in 2016. That, Aya says, demonstrates “how hard it has been for me to get through this institution,” though it’s worth noting she is an exceptional case, as Columbia has one of the highest four-year graduation rates in the country.

Aya attributed some of her academic troubles to the trauma of having to take Columbia’s current Core Curriculum, which requires students to take a series of six classes with a focus on the culture and history of Western, European civilization. Aya says this focus on the West was highly mentally stressful for her.

“It’s traumatizing to sit in Core classes,” she said. “We are looking at history through the lens of these powerful, white men. I have no power or agency as a black woman, so where do I fit in?”

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U.S. Pilots Confirm: Obama Admin Blocks 75 Percent of Islamic State Strikes

U.S. military pilots who have returned from the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq are confirming that they were blocked from dropping 75 percent of their ordnance on terror targets because they could not get clearance to launch a strike, according to a leading member of Congress.

Strikes against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) targets are often blocked due to an Obama administration policy to prevent civilian deaths and collateral damage, according to Rep. Ed Royce (R., Calif.), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The policy is being blamed for allowing Islamic State militants to gain strength across Iraq and continue waging terrorist strikes throughout the region and beyond, according to Royce and former military leaders who spoke Wednesday about flaws in the U.S. campaign to combat the Islamic State.

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Tell YOUR Rep. to suspend Syrian refugee resettlement in U.S.

First Name Last Name 
Street Address
CityState Zip 
Phone Number
Your Three Members of Congress
Street Address
CityState Zip
Dear Your Three Members of Congress,
Amid the recent attacks in Paris, France, I urge you to make sure Rep. Brian Babin's H.R. 3314, the Resettlement Accountability National Security Act of 2015, is included in the upcoming appropriations bill. FBI Director James Comey warned earlier this month that the agency has no way to fully vet Syrians who seek refuge in the United States. This is a national security threat and should be put on hold until we have a way to completely vet them.
The attacks in France showed just how vulnerable we are to terrorism. We cannot make it easier by resettling Syrian refugees in the United States when we can't determine exactly who they are.
According to FBI Director Comey, "We can only query against that which we have collected and so if someone has never made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity or their interest reflected in our database, we can query our database until the cows come home, but there will be nothing show up because we have no record of them."
American lives are at risk if mistakes are made, therefore I urge you to make sure H.R. 3314 is included in the upcoming spending bill. No refugees should be allowed into the United States until we are 100% sure they can be fully vetted.
Sincerely,
First Name Last Name

Iraqi Christians Feel Uncle Sam's Boot

Amid Washington’s raging debate over refugees and religion, more than two dozen Iraqi Christians who crossed into the U.S. from Mexico in hopes of joining their friends and families are being deported after their bids for religious asylum were rejected.

A total of 27 Chaldean Christians, driven from their homeland by Al Qaeda and ISIS, entered the country in April and May, hoping to join the thriving Iraqi Christian community in and around San Diego. But the door to America is being slammed on the 17 men and 10 women over what their supporters say are technicalities.

“These are families who were split up because of religious persecution, and now the government – which we love – is preventing them from being reunited,” said Fr. Michael Bazzi, of St. Peter Chaldean Catholic Cathedral, in El Cajon. “We wonder why, for thousands of Muslims, the door is open to America, yet Christians are not allowed to come.”

San Diego is home to one of the largest Chaldean populations in the country and several of the 27 were seeking reunification with other family members willing to take them in.

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What Are You People Thinking?


Bicameral Coalition Aims To Clarify Pension Rules For Clergy And Other Religious Institution Workers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Rob Portman (R-OH), both members of the Senate Finance Committee, along with Representatives Pat Tiberi (Ohio-12) and Richard E. Neal (Mass.-01), both members of the House Ways and Means Committee, have introduced the Church Plan Clarification Act of 2015 (S. 2308/H.R. 4085) to support the retirement security of our nation’s clergy, church lay workers, and their families. The Church Plan Clarification Act clarifies the application of certain tax and retirement laws and regulations to the unique structures of church pension plans. The Senate legislation is cosponsored by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.),Ranking Senate Member of the Joint Economic Committee.
“Retirement security should not be based on faith when you dedicate your working life to serving a church, synagogue or other religious entity,” said Senator Cardin. “Many church plans date back to the 18th century, and our complicated tax system hasn’t always kept up with the times. More than 1 million clergy, faith institution workers, and their dependents deserve the peace of mind that comes with the financial security during retirement that we wish for every American.”
“Those who dedicate their life to serving a church, synagogue or other religious organization should be able to have peace of mind when they retire,” Senator Portman stated. “Our bill will make important reforms to ensure financial security for those who have devoted their lives to faith.”
“Unintended consequences created by our overly complex tax code could impact the retirement security of more than one million clergy and lay workers at faith institutions across the country,” said Congressman Tiberi. “This bill would correct these inequalities to ensure that those who spend their lives working in the name of their faiths have the same retirement security as their private-sector counterparts.”
“This common sense initiative will make retirement security easier for members of the clergy and our religious institutions,” said Congressman Neal.  “I am pleased to introduce bipartisan, bicameral legislation that will simply the tax code to fix long-standing problems to give our faith leaders the ability to save for retirement.”
“People who dedicate themselves to a life of religious service should have the same opportunities for financial security in retirement as other working Americans,” said Senator Klobuchar. “This bipartisan bill will help provide those who have devoted their lives to their faith with peace of mind in their retirement years.”
In recognition of their unique status, most church retirement plans are exempt from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) and are instead subject to special laws and regulations that reflect the distinctive issues that these plans and churches confront. Church retirement plans are subject to stringent state and federal laws and Church Alliance regulations, including state fiduciary standards, state contract law, and Internal Revenue Code requirements. Church retirement plans ensure the stability of participants’ investments by applying many of the same strong safeguards applied to corporate and public pension funds. Moreover, churches and synagogues have a strong lifelong relationship with employees and are motivated to provide for and serve the clergy and church lay workers who have dedicated their lives to working for religious institutions.
Due to their distinctive structure, certain legislative and regulatory changes have unintentionally resulted in uncertainty and/or compliance issues for these plans.  TheChurch Plan Clarification Act of 2015 corrects five legal/regulatory issues confronting church retirement plans:
  • Controlled Group Rules. The Church Plan Clarification Act establishes rules for aggregation of church-related entities for benefits rules and testing purposes that reflect the unique structural characteristics of religious organizations.  Currently, the controlled group rules for tax-exempt employers may require certain church-affiliated employers to be included in one controlled group (i.e., treated as a single employer), even though they have little relation to one another. A modification is necessary to the controlled group rules to ensure that multiple church-affiliated entities – which may be related theologically, but have little or no relation to one another in terms of day-to-day operation – are not inappropriately treated as a single employer under the tax code.
  • Grandfathered Defined Benefit (“DB”) Plans. Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) section 403(b) church DB plans established before 1982 are called grandfathered DB plans and were intended to be treated and continue to operate as DB plans. The Church Plan Clarification Act would clarify that that such plans must comply with the benefit accrual limitations applicable to defined benefit plans under IRC section 415(b) and not the accrual limitations applicable to defined contribution plans under IRC section 415(c). This clarification would prevent unintended consequences that can arise from application of both limitations as provided by current law, principally harm to clergy who are lower-paid and closest to retirement.
  • Automatic Enrollment. The Church Plan Clarification Act equalizes the availability of automatic enrollment for church and conventional private-sector retirement plans by preempting state laws that may be inconsistent with including auto-enrollment features in church retirement plans.
  • Transfers Between 403(b) and 401(a) Plans. It is not uncommon for churches or church-related employers to establish an IRC section 401(a) qualified plan on their own, only to subsequently decide that they would prefer to participate in their denomination’s IRC section 403(b) plan.  Current regulations, however, do not allow transfers and mergers between a 403(b) church retirement plan and a 401(a) qualified church retirement plan.  This limitation on transfers and mergers increases complexity and administrative costs for church employers and creates more confusion for covered employees when they are covered by more than one plan maintained by the pension board (e.g., multiple account balances, statements, etc.).  The Church Plan Clarification Act would allow for such mergers and transfers, decreasing the complexity and administrative costs resulting from current law.

  • 81-100 Trusts. The Church Plan Clarification Act allows special tax-exempt investment vehicles (often referred to as “group trusts,” “collective trusts,” or “81-100 trusts”) to accept pooled church plan assets. Many church pension boards hold, on a pooled basis for investment purposes, plan assets and non-plan church-related assets devoted exclusively to church purposes, allow churches the benefit of the board’s greater resources, investment skills, and economies of scale. These pension boards are currently prohibited from investing pooled assets in 81-100 trusts, which forecloses an attractive investment opportunity that achieves diversification at low cost.

Liberal Logic


Task force suggests lottery for performers

Sometimes the obvious solution is the best one, even if it doesn’t please everyone.

Following last month’s hearing when performers roundly criticised the first-come, first-serve Boardwalk space system instituted for 2015, Ocean City’s Boardwalk Task Force endorsed the idea Wednesday of creating a lottery for spaces.

“The selection of the spaces was definitely the thing we heard the most about,” said Task Force Chair Greg Shockley.

City Clerk Diana Chavis, whose office has become responsible for administering the city’s performer-allocation system, provided the task force this week with an outline of a new procedure that was endorsed with only a few changes.

The major point of contention with street performers over the past summer was the twice-weekly space signups, which began at 9 a.m. on Mondays for spaces to be used the following Monday-Thursday, and at 9 a.m. on Fridays for spaces to be occupied the following Friday-Sunday.

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BREAKING NEWS: Police: Missing Washington College student found dead in Pennsylvania

ALBANY TOWNSHIP, Pa. —A missing Washington College student at the center of a weeklong manhunt has been found dead in Pennsylvania.

Jason Marberger, 19, was a sophomore at Washington College, where classes have been canceled since Monday. The campus remains closed until the end of the month.

Pennsylvania State Police said Marberger's body was found shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday in a picnic area of the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Albany Township, Pennsylvania. State police said Marberger died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

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Be Very Careful What You Wish For


Baby announcement to my parents during family game night

Let's Help Liberals Better Understand AMERICANS


FBI CONFIRMS: EXCLUSIVE—6 Men from Pakistan, Afghanistan Busted Illegally Entering Arizona from Mexico

A highly trusted federal agent working under the umbrella of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has confirmed to Breitbart Texas that a group composed of 5 Pakistani men and 1 man from Afghanistan was captured by U.S. Border Patrol agents after having illegally crossed the porous U.S.-Mexico border in the Tucson Sector of Arizona.

The six men were traveling in a group and were captured roughly 16 miles into the state of Arizona, specifically, near the small picturesque town of Patagonia, Arizona.

The apprehension of the group occurred late on Monday night, November 16, 2015.

Border Patrol agents were unable to do extensive interviews with the six Middle Eastern men because the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) took over the matter. The aliens were immediately transferred to Tucson where the FBI took custody.

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Leadership Done Right


New Worcester County 4-H Club Explores Robotics

New Worcester County 4-H Club Explores Robotics

A new 4-H club has fledged in the Berlin area and branched out to explore the world of Robotics. The Worcester County 4-H Berlin Hoot Owls Club, open to all youth ages 5 – 18, met on November 12 with more than a dozen young people trying their hand at Robotics.

Under the guidance of Worcester County 4-H Program Coordinator, Cindy Morris, teams of two strategized to follow a build manual to construct an alligator made of Legos. The teams then used laptop computers to program their alligator to move, snapping its mouth open and closed. Robotics is just one of the many activities 4-H offers in the focus area of S.T.E.M. education.

4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization dedicated to helping cultivate the next generation of leaders and tackling the nation’s top challenges such as the shortage of skilled professionals, maintaining our global competitiveness, encouraging civic involvement, and becoming a healthier society. According to a study by Tufts University, 4-H youth are three times more likely to actively contribute to their communities and have higher educational achievement. Serving more than 7,000,000 young people, 4-H offers opportunities in more than 100 project areas that are as diverse as the kids themselves. Under the supervision of trained adult volunteers, 4-H youth “Learn by Doing”.

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Thinking out of the box


Yard debris out of Berlin, into central landfill on Jan. 1

The Maryland Department of the Environment has approved the cap and closure plan for the Berlin rubble fill site with a projected spring construction start and that means some Worcester residents will need to find another place to dispose of yard waste.

This could be a challenge for residents of northern Worcester in particular, since the closest county-run facility designed to accept such waste is in Newark at the Central Landfill, about eight miles south of Berlin on Route 113.

Public Works Director John Tustin said this project, which has been in the pipeline for years, is part of the normal lifecycle for landfills. As one reaches capacity, another is opened, and the former landfill is sealed and closed.

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Rand Paul Forces Mitch McConnell to Pull Bill Off Senate Floor Over Refugee Housing: ‘I Will Not Back Down’

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)
93%
 forced his own party’s leadership to yank a bill off the floor of the Senate on Thursday over refugee housing, a significant political and policy victory for the Kentucky Senator and 2016 GOP presidential candidate.

Paul also blasted Senate leadership on Thursday for not considering his amendment to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bill that would have blocked any current refugees in the United States from getting public housing.
“Well I think what boggles my mind is the biggest issue in our country right now is keeping us safe from attack,” Paul told Breitbart News on Thursday afternoon when reached by phone. “My amendment tells the president that we don’t approve of bringing more people here from the Middle East until we have adequate controls on who’s here already. My amendment was not only pertinent to the biggest issue of the day, it was also germane to the bill. Both parties tried to stop me from offering it and that’s a tragedy.”

Health Department Using New Videos To Spread Messages

SNOW HILL – Looking for some healthy tips?

Thanks to the Worcester County Health Department, you don’t need to look further than YouTube. The health department is now offering monthly health and fitness videos through its social media pages.

“Most people spend their days at a job and we were thinking of ways to reach them,” said Mimi Dean, the health department’s supervisor of chronic disease and tobacco control.

Since September, the health department has been posting two videos a month to YouTube. The videos, which focus on physical fitness as well as healthy eating, are made with the help of volunteers from area businesses.

Dean said area businesses were welcome to take part in the initiative as long as they were certified as one of the “Healthiest Maryland Businesses.” Even if they’re not certified yet, Dean says businesses can contact the Worcester County Health Department to determine whether they fit the bill.

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Today Is The 11th Annual Pittsville Chili Cook Off


Our friends Pat & Rick have been cooking a good 40 gallons of chili for friends and neighbors for the past 11 years. It all gets started well before the sun rises and is usually ready to eat around noon. It's a great community event.

Obama And The U.N. Just Passed ‘Agenda 21 On Steroids,’ And Virtually No One Noticed

While the mainstream media has ignored the freedom-infringing nature of Agenda 21, the world’s leaders and the United States have passed another “biodiversity” plan which many are calling the current program’s “evil twin.”

The newest program is calledAgenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, and it was passed this fall by United Nations members with barely a mention on any mass media outlet. The Heartland Institute think tank calls it a “rebooting” of Agenda 21, and it has the full support of the Obama administration.

“2015 is a pivotal year for global development,” the White House said in a statement. “The adoption of the 2030 Agenda, which sets out a global development vision and priorities for the next 15 years, captures the hopes and ambitions of people around the globe for meaningful change and progress, including here in the United States.”

The Heartland Institute even calls Agenda 2030 “Agenda 21 on steroids,” and the document itself seems to acknowledge that.

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Black Friday, Cyber Monday now Giving Tuesday

While national and statewide initiatives to inject a little charity into the post-Thanksgiving day consumer frenzy have existed for years now, this year will mark the first time Worcester residents can not only support local nonprofits but also do that in their pajamas, if they so choose.

The centerpiece of “Giving Tuesday” on Dec. 1, is a website, www.shoregivesmore.org, that allows users to donate to one or more Worcester charities of their choice. The full site will launch just before Dec. 1, but now available is a placeholder site that offers details about the programs and the charities involved.

“What happened is a group of Worcester nonprofits gathered together,” and wanted to be able to offer potential donors a way to manage multiple donations, Heather Mahler, program director for the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, said. “That’s where we come in.”

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The Fed-Induced Farce

The minutes from the last Fed meeting were released on Wednesday afternoon. The minutes, along with a squadron of jabbering Fed heads lying about the economy doing great, pretty much locked in the most talked about .25% interest rate increase in world history. Evidently the Wall Street titans of greed have convinced the muppets higher interest rates are great for stocks, as the market soared by 250 points. As institutional money exits the market on these rigged up days, the dumb money retail investor buys into the market with dreams of riches just like they did with Pets.com in 2000, McMansions in 2005, and Bear Stearns in 2007.

The Fed has lost any credibility they ever thought they deserved by delaying this meaningless insignificant interest rate increase for the last three years, so they will make this token increase in December come hell or high water. They want to give themselves some leeway for easing again when this debt saturated global economy implodes in the near future. The Fed is trapped by their own cowardice and capture by the Wall Street cabal. If they raise rates the USD will strengthen even more than it has already. The USD is already at 11 year highs. It has appreciated by 25% in the last year versus the basket of world currencies. The babbling boobs on the entertainment news channels authoritatively expound with a straight face about the rise in the dollar being due to our strong economic performance. It’s beyond laughable, as the economy has been sucking wind since the day the Fed turned off the QE spigot in October 2014.

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Alan Dershowitz: Israelis Want to Stay a Jewish State

Palestinians who reside in Israel overwhelmingly want it to remain a Jewish State, renowned civil rights lawyer and Middle East scholar Alan Dershowitz tells Newsmax TV.

"The Palestinians who live in Israel are in a conflictive situation. Polls show that when they're asked would they like to have their territory made into part of a Palestinian state, they overwhelmingly say no," the Harvard Law professor emeritus said Thursday on "Newsmax Prime."

"They want to live in Israel. They live in the highest standards than any other Arabs virtually in the world. They have more democracy, more ability to vote. They had a justice to the Supreme Court so their life is like the life of minorities in many other countries around the world.

"The difference is that they have now been incited to violence in particularly by [Mahmoud] Abbas, [president of the Palestinian National Authority] himself, the man with whom Israel is expected to make peace."

On Thursday, an American teen was among five people killed in two attacks in Israel and the West Bank.

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The Beginning Of The End For The Affordable Care Act? Largest US Health Insurer May Exit ObamaCare

Tracking the slow motion trainwreck of Obamacare has become one of our preferred hobbies: below is just a random sample of headlines covering just the most recent tribulations of the "we have to pass it to find out what's in it"Unaffordable Care Act:

In Latest Obamacare Fiasco, Most Low-Income Workers Can't Afford "Affordable Care Act"
The Stunning "Explanation" An Insurance Company Just Used To Boost Health Premiums By 60%
Your Health Insurance Premiums Are About To Go Through The Roof -The Stunning Reason Why
Obama Promised Healthcare Premiums Would Fall $2,500 Per Family; They Have Climbed $4,865
Largest Health Insurer On Colorado Exchange Abruptly Collapses
Co-Op Insurers Across America Are Collapsing, And Now There Is Fraud
"$19,000 Premiums, Up 4x Since Passage": The 'Crippling Effect' Of Obamacare On The Middle Class
Meet The Family That Just Spent Half Its Annual Income Paying For Obamacare

But the most surprising article we wrote was our explanation from three weeks ago explaining why "Your Health Insurance Premiums Are About To Go Through The Roof" showing that even insurance companies have been unable to earn a profit under Obamacare, as shown in the following chart:

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Texas Ranchers, Counties Sue Feds Over BLM Land Grab

Private landowners get help from counties in attempt to stave off federal takeover

Multiple ranchers, a sheriff and several Texas counties are suing the federal government for unconstitutionally attempting to seize thousands of acres of private property along the Red River.

Claiming the US Bureau of Land Management is violating citizens’ Fourth and Fifth Amendments and “infringing upon the sovereignty of local county governments,” a lawsuit filed in US District Court by nine private landowners, including one county sheriff, in addition to Wichita, Clay, and Wilbarger counties, seeks to end the dispute with the feds once and for all.

The lawsuit claims the federal government’s “ownership of property is limited to bottom-half of the sandy riverbed outside of Texas.

“Nonetheless, the BLM asserts that its boundary extends well past the riverbed into Texas and, in some instances, more than a mile outside of its lawful territory.”

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Cardin, Senate Democrats Call for Immediate Federal Study on Effectiveness of Public Health Programs that Promote Gun Safety

Accountability Office (GAO) study into the effectiveness of public health and safety programs designed to improve gun safety, including the storage and security of the 300 million guns in American households nationwide. Citing the facts that 43 toddlers so far this year have shot themselves or others and that the lifetime medical costs of treating gunshot U.S. gunshot injuries is $2.3 billion, almost half borne by taxpayers, the Senators urge U.S. Comptroller General Gene L. Dodaro to initiate a report analyzing the full range of programs at the federal, state and local levels designed to raise the awareness of the risk factors associated with having guns in the home. The Democratic Senators also ask the GAO to develop best practices on how families and communities can discuss safe and secure storage of guns in the household, and to detail which federal agencies can influence public health or safety, children’s health, criminal justice or violence prevention programs.

“We have a gun violence epidemic in America and we must employ a multi-faceted approach to address it immediately. This should include better background checks and the closure of chronic loopholes in gun purchase laws, but we also need to work to cure this epidemic as we have with others, by building public awareness of the risks and better ways of dealing with potential danger,” said Senator Cardin. “Not another toddler should have to be injured or killed before we act. The time is now to find every way possible to keep kids, and our country, safe.”

“Too many families have suffered tragic losses and hardships as a result of gun deaths and injuries,” the Senators wrote in their request to GAO. “This public health burden demands an assessment of potential actions by the federal government, including the possibility of robust partnerships with established nonprofits and provider organizations in the development of a public campaign aimed at informing physicians, clinicians, parents, and families about the public health need to address this urgent issue.”

Rep. Babin: Jesus, Mary Weren't Wearing Bomb Vests

Texas Republican Rep. Brian Babin said in a recent radio interview that comparisons of Jesus and Mary to Syrian refugees doesn't wash.

During an interview on "Brietbart Daily News" on Sirius XM's Patriot Channel, host Stephen K. Bannon noted that liberals will bring up the analogy of Jesus and Mary having to flee to Egypt as the Christmas season approaches.

"I would just say this," Babin responded. "Mary and Jesus didn't have suicide bomb vests strapped on them, and these folks do. You can see it in Technicolor in Paris."

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The Fed Has Set the Stage For a Stock Market Crash

The Fed has created a very dangerous situation.

Ever since 2009, anytime the markets came close to breaking down, “someone” (read: the FED) has stepped in a propped the markets up.

In 2010, the S&P 500 staged a death cross, where its 50-DMA broke below its 126-DMA (the half year moving average). Stocks were in a perilous state with the 2008 Crash still in everyone’s short-term memory.

The Fed stepped in, hinting at, then all but promising, and then finally launching QE 2 in July, August, and then November, respectively.

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If The Economy Is Fine, Why Are So Many Hedge Funds, Energy Companies And Large Retailers Imploding?

If the U.S. economy really is in “great shape”, then why do all of the numbers keep telling us that we are in a recession? The manufacturing numbers say that we are in a recession, the trade numbers say that we are in a recession, and as you will see below the retail numbers say that we are in a recession. But just like in 2008, the Federal Reserve and our top politicians will continue to deny that a major economic downturn is happening for as long as they possibly can. In this article, I want to look at more signs that a dramatic shift is happening in our economy right now.

First of all, let’s consider what is happening to hedge funds. For many years, hedge funds had been doing extremely well, but now they are closing up shop at a pace that we haven’t seen since the last financial crisis. The following is an excerpt from a Business Insider article entitled “Hedge funds keep on imploding” that was posted on Wednesday…

BlackRock is winding down its Global Ascent Fund, a global macro hedge fund that once contained $4.6 billion in assets, according to Bloomberg’s Sabrina Willmer.

“We believe that redeeming the Global Ascent Fund was the right thing to do for our clients, given the headwinds that macro funds have faced,” a BlackRock spokeswoman told Business Insider.

The winding down of the Ascent fund is the second high-profile hedge fund closing in 24 hours. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Achievement Asset Management, a Chicago-based hedge fund, was closing.


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You’ll Never Guess Where Most Pro-ISIS Tweets Originate From

The United States, France and Russia need to change the target list



OC Surf Club-Led Program Has Major Impact On Middle School Students

OCEAN CITY – Rich Brueckner spends his days working as the Assistant State’s Attorney in Salisbury heading up the gang and narcotics prosecution unit.

Yet, juxtaposed with his day job is a lifelong love of surfing and the intense spirituality that being in the water provides him.

This week, Brueckner and a team of instructors and volunteers from the OC Surf Club were praised for spearheading a forward thinking nine-week after-school program called “Surfing Into Integrity” at Stephen Decatur Middle School that taught students life lessons and surfing through the inspirational best-selling book, “Surfer’s Code: 12 Simple Lessons For Business and Life” by former world champion surfer Shaun Tomson.

“This is the first time the book has ever been used in the classroom,” said Brueckner. “I used to live in San Diego and became an acquaintance of Tomson. The book had such an impact on my life, and I thought it would be a great way to teach kids the important lessons about life that can’t be taught in the classroom.”

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Chrome Has a Serious Security Flaw

Since Google launched the Chrome browser in 2008, it's built a reputation for speed and security not found in other browsers. While the gap has narrowed in both those areas thanks to improvements in Firefox, and Microsoft creating the new Edge browser for Windows 10, Chrome still has the edge in hacking contests.

That's one reason hundreds of millions around the world have it installed on their computers and mobile gadgets. Unfortunately, a newly discovered security flaw might put that reputation in jeopardy.

A Chinese researcher, Guang Gong, discovered the flaw after three months of work, and built a proof-of-concept he demonstrated at the recent PacSec conference. Using a simple game app with a bit of extra code in it, he forced the phone to call out to a special server and load up a webpage in Chrome containing malicious code.

When the Chrome browser visited the webpage, a flaw in the JavaScript system let the page download another app that took over the Android gadget completely. That's scary, but it gets worse.

More here

ACME opens on 94th Street in OC

While the deeply discounted groceries leading up to the 94th Street Superfresh’s closure last Monday were still able to draw crowds, they were nothing compared to what began the following Friday when the store reopened as an ACME.

Throughout the weekend and into this week the parking lot was, for this time of year, very busy, with dozens of cars filling it for the first time in months — perhaps longer. The ACME is open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Internally, the 33,000-square-foot store is much the same as Superfresh left it, including the staff.

“We hired substantially all of the store-level A&P employees at the stores we acquired,” ACME spokeswoman Danielle D’Elia said.

The stores needed the staff during the recent run on groceries, and even drew some up from the Route 50 location, which was scheduled to close Thursday, to help handle the offseason load. All of the Ocean City area employees, a source speaking on condition of anonymity confided, had been brought into the ACME fold on a probationary basis, meaning their future isn’t yet certain.

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Rand Paul: Cut Off Arms Sales To Saudis Until They Take In Refugees

"The Gulf states have poured gasoline on this fire, they have not taken a single refugee."

GOP Presidential candidate Rand Paul made some bold statements in an interview Wednesday, noting that until other Middle Eastern countries address their role in the refugee crisis, the US should not be selling arms to them.

When asked what should be done to help the innocent people fleeing terrorism in Syria and Iraq, Paul called out the neighboring states that have yet to take in a single refugee.

“One of the biggest supporters of Sunni terrorism in the world is Saudi Arabia, Qatar is up there, UAE is up there.” Paul noted

“Sometimes government, sometimes private donors. What I would say is no more sales of any arms to these countries until they start accepting refugees.” the Senator urged.

“The Gulf states have poured gasoline on this fire, they have not taken a refugee. Iran has not taken in refugees and they’ve been an arsonist in this situation as well.” Paul told Fox News viewers.

“So those who live there need to step up and we need to say we’re not going to sell arms to you anymore if you’re not willing to do your fair share.” the Senator concluded.

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FDA OKs Genetically Modified Salmon

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved genetically modified salmon, the first such altered animal for human consumption in the United States.

The Obama administration has stalled in approving the fast-growing salmon for more than five years amid consumer concerns about eating genetically modified foods. But the agency said the fish is safe to eat.

By altering genetic materials, scientists have proposed - and in some cases, actually created - animals that would be bred to be disease-free, cleaner in their environments or grow more efficiently.

Some retailers have pledged not to sell the salmon, which has an added gene from the Pacific Chinook salmon that enables the fish to produce more growth hormone and grow faster.

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Troopers Investigate Robbery of Laurel Gas Station

Laurel, DE – Troopers are investigating the robbery of a Laurel area gas station that occurred early Friday evening.

The incident occurred approximately 8:10 p.m. Friday November 20, 2015, at the Exxon located at 30341 Sussex Highway as a male subject entered the business and confronted a female employee at the counter. The suspect demanded the cash from the register and the clerk complied, handing over an undisclosed amount of currency. The suspect then fled back out of the front door and left in an unknown type vehicle. The employee was uninjured in the incident and no weapon was observed.

The suspect is described as a black male, 20-27 years of aged, 5'10" - 6'02" tall, 200-230 lbs., wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with the words "Delaware Tech" on the front (No further physical or clothing description available). No weapon was displayed.

Surveillance photos attached.

If anyone has any information in reference to this incident, they are asked to contact Trooper P. Schlimer at 302-337-1090. Information may also be provided by callingDelaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333, via the internet atwww.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com, or by sending an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword "DSP."

2015 Black Friday Freshness Report: Retailers Repeat About 1 in 10 Deals from 2014

Every year, retailers hurry consumers to take advantage of their once-in-a-lifetime Black Friday deals. Those special sales won’t be back a second time, they warn. Although that’s certainly true in some cases, it could also be nothing more than an empty threat.

But two can play that game. With all the hype around Black Friday, consumers expect retailers to wow them with new and better deals when the event rolls around again. On the most recent holiday shopping surveyfrom BestBlackFriday.com, 81 percent of respondents said that “Black Friday deals are not improving from previous years.”

Regardless, they’re going to shop. So for those consumers who seek the freshest bargains, WalletHub compared America’s most beloved retailers to find out who among them is offering a truly unique deal in 2015 and who is merely recycling old promotions. You can find the results, expert commentary and a detailed methodology below.

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Hillary can’t run from the messes she — and Obama — made

Hillary Clinton’s speech Thursday was billed as her plan to combat the Islamic State. In truth, her plan was to combat the idea that she is another Barack Obama.

It was a good try, but she failed because, as boxing great Joe Louis once said about an opponent, “He can run, but he can’t hide.”

Clinton can run from Obama, but can’t hide from the unholy mess he — and she — made.

As his first secretary of state, she was part of the team that botched the wars in Iraq and Syria and helped birth the Islamic terrorism now rattling the world. The slaughter in Paris and fresh threats against America make it urgent that she erase her fingerprints from the calamity. That’s impossible, so she settled for putting some daylight between herself and Obama.

“Our goal is not to deter or contain ISIS, but to defeat and destroy ISIS,” she said.

Daylight, but not too much daylight. For as a Democrat trying to succeed him, she needs Obama’s support, and especially the black vote, to win the general election.

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Berlin To Expand Traditional Holiday Season Festivities

BERLIN – “A Very Merry Main Street” is coming to Berlin.

Though some signs of the coming holiday are already on display in Berlin, the town will officially kick off the season next Friday, Nov. 27 with Holiday Arts Night. This year, the town is expanding the celebration beyond the traditional Victorian Christmas to “A Very Merry Main Street.”

“We’re featuring even more reasons to bring your entire family to Berlin,” said Ivy Wells, the town’s economic development director. “People are really excited because we’re adding to an already awesome experience.”

The festivities, as usual, begin the day after Thanksgiving as residents and visitors gather in front of the Atlantic Hotel for the town’s Christmas tree lighting during Holiday Arts Night. After the tree is lit, attendees are encouraged to stroll through the town’s shops and stop by the visitor center, where jazz musician Eric Byrd will perform music from A Charlie Brown Christmas. Wells said Santa and Mrs. Claus would be at the visitor center to pose for pictures. In addition, an ice sculptor, sponsored by the Casino at Ocean Downs, will be at work downtown.

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AMA Calls for Ban on Prescription Drug Ads

The American Medical Association on Tuesday called for a ban on direct-to-consumer ads for prescription drugs and implantable medical devices, saying they contribute to rising costs and patients' demands for inappropriate treatment.

Delegates at the influential group's policy-making meeting in Atlanta voted to adopt that as official policy as part of an AMA effort to make prescription drugs more affordable. It means AMA will lobby for a ban.

"Today's vote in support of an advertising ban reflects concerns among physicians about the negative impact of commercially driven promotions and the role that marketing costs play in fueling escalating drug prices," said Dr. Patrice Harris, an AMA board member.

According to data cited in an AMA news release, ad dollars spent by drug makers have risen to $4.5 billion in the last two years, a 30 percent increase.

More here

Evangelical Groups Break Away From GOP Over Syrian Refugees

Some evangelical Christian leaders are breaking away from national security-minded Republicans who want to stop the entry of any Syrian refugees.

For evangelicals, particularly those organizations approved by the State Department to resettle refugees, there is no choice but to welcome those fleeing war-torn Syria, Matthew Soerens of Church Mobilization for World Relief tells NPR.

"Jesus himself was a refugee," Soerens tells the outlet. His group is an offshoot of the National Association of Evangelicals and one of nine groups approved to help in the resettlement that stirred up opposition among many Republican governors, lawmakers and GOP presidential candidates.

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Who’s the Real Danger?

The tragedy in Paris last Friday has regrettably been employed as a catalyst for renewed calls by governments in western Europe and even in the United States for more curtailment of personal liberties. Those who accept the trade of liberty for safety have argued in favor of less liberty. They want government to have more authority to intrude upon the daily lives of more innocent people. Their targets are the freedoms of speech and travel and the right to privacy. Their goal is public safety, but their thinking is flawed.

The clash between liberty and safety is as old as the republic itself. The United States was quite literally conceived in liberty. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson painstakingly listed the ills and evils of the British government’s administration of the Colonies. There were no complaints about the absence of public safety; rather, Jefferson’s “long train of abuses” cataloged the British government’s interference with the colonists’ personal liberties.

What has made the declaration so enduring and unique in world history is its unambiguous embrace of the natural law as its explanation of the origin of our rights. The British king thought he reigned by the will of God — the so-called divine right of kings.

Jefferson, influenced by the British philosopher and political theorist John Locke, turned that belief on its head. He argued that our liberties are natural, even inalienable, because they stem from our humanity, which is a gift from God. How could the same God have given us natural, inalienable personal freedoms and also have given the king the natural right to interfere with those freedoms?

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HISTORICAL COMMENTS BY GEORGE CHEVALLIER 11-21-15

John H. Dulany & Son

John H. Dulany & Son was extensively engaged in the growing and canning of food products in Fruitland from its founding in 1899 through the 1970’s. Mr. Dulany’s father, I. H. A. Dulany, brought his family up from the Eastern Shore of Virginia and had the most prosperous store in Fruitland.

He started the canning factory along with a man named Johnson, and they had a canning operation in Fruitland. Shortly after that, Mr. Johnson resigned and it became just the I. H. A. Dulany & Sons. It remained this way until 1919, when his son, Ralph O. Dulany, joined him. The Dulanys attempted to do some canning in Salisbury with a Mr. Hastings. The records show them as canners in Salisbury in 1919 and again in 1924. The elder Mr. Dulany died in 1925, and his son ran the company for many years.

Also in 1920, the Dulanys started up a shirt making operation, which they ran until 1926. The shirt making operation was supposed to supplement the income of the workers after the canning season was over. Low wages due to piece work always kept them looking for both good foremen and mechanics. They found out that it was a lot easier to get into the shirt making business that out of it. A business in Salisbury bought them out in 1926 and they never got into the business again.

Ranking as one of the larger business units of the Shore, its development was not characterized by any phenomenal growth, but it steadily forged ahead through the years in enlarged facilities, modern improvements, and additional lines.

Originally, its efforts were confined entirely to canning tomatoes, other items being added from time to time to meet an increased demand. The newer items were berries, peaches, sweet potatoes, lima beans, string beans, peas and asparagus. In 1935, they began canning white, or Irish, potatoes. They already packed sweet potatoes in syrup, using a method that was owned and controlled by the Dulany Company.

They contracted with local farmers to buy their harvests. This amounted to over 600 acres. The personal control that the Dulany Company had over the growers insured them the quality that earned them the reputation in the industry as a high quality producer. At the time, they had over 300 employees packing their brand in the peak season, which was from May to November.

They were also pioneers in the process of preserving fresh fruit and vegetables by freezing. This process was inaugurated by the company in 1912. Starting with strawberries, it was extended to lima beans, corn and stringless beans. The frozen process was done atNorfolk, Va., where the company kept two large plants operating with more than 900 workers. The parent company and general offices were still located in Fruitland.

The distribution of Dulany products covered a wide area. Locally, it included the nearby large cities, and large shipments were made to the Middle West and extreme West Coast. Shipments for the West Coast, designated as water transportation, were made by steamship from Baltimore and went through the Panama Canal to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. From Los Angeles, some of the products were loaded on ships for ports in the South Sea Islands. These Islands, Mr. Dulany said, offered the best market for canned Irish potatoes. The Eastern Shore products supplied the world.

How many of us remember the daily notices that came over the radio in the 1950’s and 1960’s for different shifts for different vegetables to report for work?

The Dulany Company was sold in 1967 to the Green Giant Company. It has since closed down in Fruitland and there is no more Dulany Company.

OCPD Chief On Tasers: ‘Proven To Be A Very Valuable Tool For Us’

OCEAN CITY — With all of the Ocean City Police Department’s front line officers and supervisors now equipped with Tasers, the program has reached fruition and is now exceeding the desired results.

During his report to the Mayor and Council on Monday, OCPD Chief Ross Buzzuro presented the Conducted Energy Weapon (CEW), or Taser, report for October. For the last three years or so, Ocean City has piecemeal-funded new Tasers for the OCPD and now all officers and front-line supervisors are carrying the electronic weapons designed to dissolve certain incidents. Buzzuro told the council on Monday his top lieutenants have been praising the Taser program for its role in reducing injuries to police officers and to suspects as well in certain cases.

“It really has paid dividends,” he said. “It has worked even better than we anticipated. It has proven to be a very valuable tool for us.”

The OCPD has been utilizing the Tasers to varying degrees since 2012 with some times of the year more active than others. Buzzuro said there were four incidents in October during which OCPD officers utilized Tasers for different situations.

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Philip Chism in new video following Colleen Ritzer 'before raping and murdering her'

Chilling new surveillance video showing a high school teacher's last moments of life was played in court Wednesday during the trial of the teen accused of raping and murdering her.

Jurors watched video in court from the surveillance cameras at Danvers High School, Massachusetts, that caught what prosecutors say is Philip Chism, then 14, following Colleen Ritzer in the hallway.

Chism, now 16, has pleaded not guilty to murder, rape and other charges in the October 2013 slaying of 24-year-old Ritzer, a math teacher at the high school.

The video first shows Ritzer, sporting a smile and a purple top with black pants as she waves to someone who isn't on camera, walking alone down a hallway at the school.

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Maryland Officials Complain Of Shabby Capitol Grounds

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The grounds of Maryland’s capitol have become so shabby that state officials are thinking about forming a nonprofit foundation to raise money to better maintain them.

Members of the State House Trust discussed the possibility Friday.

House Speaker Michael Busch, who is on the panel, says he has never seen the capitol grounds “look as shabbily as they look today.” He says it’s “embarrassing.”

Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford says budget constraints have strained staffing and resources at the Department of General Services, which maintains the grounds.

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Hillary Clinton's Laugh Factory Threats -- Why Did Her Campaign Want Comedians' Personal Contact Information?

The campaign actually threatened to shut the club down. 

Hillary Clinton’s campaign thought it was okay to order a comedy club not to make fun of her, which is obviously a totally normal thing to do. 

That is, if this if this were China. 

In case you haven’t heard, Hollywood’s Laugh Factory posted a three-minute video of comedians telling jokes about Hillary Clinton on its website. 

Yes . . . comedians making fun of a public figure. How outrageous! And by outrageous, I mean something that any presidential candidate should not just accept but expect because that’s the way it works.

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THE END OF OBAMAWORLD

Pat Buchanan: 'Nations have a right to preserve their own unique identity'

In denouncing Republicans as “scared of widows and orphans” and castigating those who prefer Christian refugees to Muslims coming to America, Barack Obama has come off as petulant and unpresidential.

Clearly, he is upset. And with good reason.

He grossly, transparently underestimated the ability of ISIS, the JV team, to strike outside the caliphate into the heart of the West, and has egg all over his face. More critically, the liberal world order he has been preaching and predicting is receding before our eyes.

Suddenly, his rhetoric is discordantly out of touch with reality. And, for his time on the global stage, the phrase “failed president” comes to mind.

What happened in Paris, said President Obama, “was an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.”

And just what might those “universal values” be?

At a soccer game between Turkey and Greece in Istanbul, Turks booed during the moment of silence for the Paris dead and chanted “Allahu Akbar.” Among 1.6 billion Muslims, hundreds of millions do not share our values regarding women’s rights, abortion, homosexuality, free speech, or the equality of all religious faiths.

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PUBLIC HEARING ON 2017 CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PLAN

County Executive Bob Culver invites all citizens to participate in a Public Hearing on the 2017-2021 Capital Improvement Plan.

The public is encouraged to present their comments and questions.

WHO: Wicomico County Residents
County Executive Culver and Staff

WHAT: Public Hearing Notice
Proposed Capital Improvement Plan

WHEN: Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 6pm

WHERE: County Council Chambers, Room #301
Government Office Building
125 North Division Street
Salisbury, Maryland  21801

6 BOYS AND 13 HANDS - A Must Read

Each year I am hired to go to Washington, DC, with the eighth grade class from Clinton, WI where I grew up, to videotape their trip. I greatly enjoy visiting our nation’s capital, and each year I take some special memories back with me. This fall's trip was especially memorable.

On the last night of our trip, we stopped at the Iwo Jima memorial. This memorial is the largest bronze statue in the world and depicts one of the most famous photographs in history -- that of the six brave soldiers raising the American Flag at the top of a rocky hill on the island of Iwo Jima, Japan, during WW II.

Over one hundred students and chaperones piled off the buses and headed towards the memorial. I noticed a solitary figure at the base of the statue, and as I got closer he asked, 'Where are you guys from?'

I told him that we were from Wisconsin. 'Hey, I'm a cheese head, too! Come gather around, Cheese heads, and I will tell you a story.'

(It was James Bradley, who just happened to be in Washington , DC, to speak at the memorial the following day. He was there that night to say good night to his dad, who had passed away. He was just about to leave when he saw the buses pull up. I videotaped him as he spoke to us, and received his permission to share what he said from my videotape. (It is one thing to tour the incredible monuments filled with history in Washington, D. C., but it is quite another to get the kind of insight we received that night.)

When all had gathered around, he reverently began to speak. (Here are his words that night.)

'My name is James Bradley and I'm from Antigo, Wisconsin. My dad is on that statue, and I wrote a book called 'Flags of Our Fathers'. It is the story of the six boys you see behind me. 'Six boys raised the flag.

The first guy putting the pole in the ground is Harlon Block. Harlon was an all-state football player. He enlisted in the Marine Corps with all the senior members of his football team. They were off to play another type of game. A game called 'War.' But it didn't turn out to be a game. Harlon, at the age of 21, died with his intestines in his hands. I don't say that to gross you out, I say that because there are people who stand in front of this statue and talk about the glory of war. You guys need to know that most of the boys in Iwo Jima were17, 18, and 19 years old - and it was so hard that the ones who did make it home never even would talk to their families about it.

(He pointed to the statue) 'You see this next guy? That's Rene Gagnon from New Hampshire. If you took Rene's helmet off at the moment this photo was taken and looked in the webbing of that helmet, you would find a photograph...a photograph of his girlfriend. Rene put that in there for protection because he was scared. He was 18 years old. It was just boys who won the battle of Iwo Jima. Boys. Not old men.

'The next guy here, the third guy in this tableau, was Sergeant Mike Strank. Mike is my hero. He was the hero of all these guys. They called him the 'old man' because he was so old. He was already 24. When Mike would motivate his boys in training camp, he didn't say, 'Let's go kill some Japanese' or 'Let's die for our country'. He knew he was talking to little boys.. Instead he would say, 'You do what I say, and I'll get you home to your mothers.'

'The last guy on this side of the statue is Ira Hayes, a Pima Indian from Arizona. Ira Hayes was one of them who lived to walk off Iwo Jima. He went into the White House with my dad. President Truman told him, 'You're a hero'. He told reporters, 'How can I feel like a hero when 250 of my buddies hit the island with me and only 27 of us walked off alive?'
So you take your class at school, 250 of you spending a year together having fun, doing everything together. Then all 250 of you hit the beach, but only 27 of your classmates walk off alive. That was Ira Hayes. He had images of horror in his mind. Ira Hayes carried the pain home with him and eventually died dead drunk, face down, drowned in a very shallow puddle, at the age of 32 (ten years after this picture was taken).

'The next guy, going around the statue, is Franklin Sousley from Hilltop, Kentucky. A fun-lovin' hillbilly boy. His best friend, who is now 70, told me, 'Yeah, you know, we took two cows up on the porch of the Hilltop General Store. Then we strung wire across the stairs so the cows couldn't get down. Then we fed them Epsom salts. Those cows crapped all night.' Yes, he was a fun-lovin' hillbilly boy. Franklin died on Iwo Jima at the age of 19. When the telegram came to tell his mother that he was dead, it went to the Hilltop General Store. A barefoot boy ran that telegram up to his mother's farm. The neighbors could hear her scream all night and into the morning. Those neighbors lived a quarter of a mile away.

'The next guy, as we continue to go around the statue, is my dad, John Bradley, from Antigo, Wisconsin, where I was raised. My dad lived until 1994, but he would never give interviews. When Walter Cronkite's producers or the New York Times would call, we were trained as little kids to say 'No, I'm sorry, sir, my dad's not here. He is in Canada fishing. No, there is no phone there, sir. No, we don't know when he is coming back.' My dad never fished or even went to Canada. Usually, he was sitting there right at the table eating his Campbell's soup. But we had to tell the press that he was out fishing. He didn't want to talk to the press. 'You see, like Ira Hayes, my dad didn't see himself as a hero. Everyone thinks these guys are heroes, 'cause they are in a photo and on a monument. My dad knew better. He was a medic. John Bradley from Wisconsin was a combat caregiver. On Iwo Jima he probably held over 200 boys as they died. And when boys died on Iwo Jima, they writhed and screamed, without any medication or help with the pain. 'When I was a little boy, my third grade teacher told me that my dad was a hero. When I went home and told my dad that, he looked at me and said, 'I want you always to remember that the heroes of Iwo Jima are the guys who did not come back. Did NOT come back.'

'So that's the story about six nice young boys.. Three died on Iwo Jima, and three came back as national heroes. Overall, 7,000 boys died on Iwo Jima in the worst battle in the history of the Marine Corps. My voice is giving out, so I will end here. Thank you for your time.'

Suddenly, the monument wasn't just a big old piece of metal with a flag sticking out of the top. It came to life before our eyes with the heartfelt words of a son who did indeed have a father who was a hero. Maybe not a hero for the reasons most people would believe, but a hero nonetheless.

One thing I learned while on tour with my 8th grade students in DC that is not mentioned here is . . that if you look at the statue very closely and count the number of 'hands' raising the flag, there are 13. When the man who made the statue was asked why there were 13, he simply said the 13th hand was the hand of God.