The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent our advertisers

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

REMINDER: Aging into Medicare this Thursday

World's Hottest Gummy Bear

Reconstruction: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly


Parkland dad uncovers how district enabled deranged student-turned-shooter

After the deadly Feb. 14, 2018, mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., national media focused largely on a handful of student activists, leaving it to victims’ parents to unravel why the slaughter happened. Andrew Pollack, whose daughter, Meadow, was one of the 17 killed, conducted his own investigation to uncover the roots of what he calls the most avoidable mass murder in American history. He and Max Eden are co-authors of “Why Meadow Died: The People and Policies that Created the Parkland Shooter and Endanger America’s Students.” This adapted excerpt, based on never-before-released educational records of the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, shows the Broward County school district knew full well about his obsession with guns and murder — and then let him practice shooting at school.

When staff at Westglades Middle School heard that Nikolas Cruz had committed the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, some couldn’t believe it. The fact that he was a mass murderer wasn’t what surprised them, but rather the fact that he had attended that school.

“How is that possible?” one Westglades educator recalled thinking. “We did our jobs. It took forever, but we got him [to the specialized school] where he needed to go. We couldn’t believe they ever let him into [Douglas].”


Study: Teens Who Hold Off On Dating Have Better Social Skills, Less Depressed

In contrast to every movie or television show you’ve ever seen about teenagers in high school, a new study has found that teens who don’t date are happier, less depressed, and more adept at dealing with a variety of social situations.

It’s generally believed that dating is a perfectly healthy part of being a teenager. Forming a romantic connection for the first time can help teens’ grow their self-esteem, mature on an emotional level, and develop important social skills for later on in life. While all of that still holds true, researchers from the University of Georgia say that not dating can be just as, if not more, beneficial for teens.

The research team discovered that teens who had not dated during middle or high school displayed good social skills, low levels of depression, and generally fared equal to or better than their classmates who were dating.

“The majority of teens have had some type of romantic experience by 15 to 17 years of age, or middle adolescence,” explains doctoral student and the study’s lead author Brooke Douglas in a release. “This high frequency has led some researchers to suggest that dating during teenage years is a normative behavior. That is, adolescents who have a romantic relationship are therefore considered ‘on time’ in their psychological development.”

More here

Conservative network files $10M defamation lawsuit against MSNBC and Rachel Maddow

One America News Network filed a $10 million defamation lawsuit against Rachel Maddow and MSNBC in California's southern district Monday.

The complaint alleges that the dispute began a week after OAN president Charles Herring "called out and objected to Comcast's anti-competitive censorship in an email to Comcast's President of Content Acquisition," according to a press release from the network. It then alleges that shortly after that Maddow opened her show by saying OAN "really, literally is paid Russian propaganda."

While it's not entirely clear exactly what segment OAN is taking exception with, they allege that Maddow and MSNBC "knew this statement was false and that they acted maliciously and recklessly in making it," adding that it was "meant to damage OAN's business and reputation."


Happy Timers season starts this week

Happy Timers season starts this week
Drop-in program is for ages 50-plus

SALISBURY, Md. – Wicomico County Recreation & Parks’ Happy Timers program kicks off its 2019-2020 season this week.

The group, for men and women ages 50-plus, meets in the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center Da Nang Rooms from September through May on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m.-noon.

A Welcome Back/Registration Day will be held this Wednesday, Sept. 11, from 9-11 a.m. at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center. There will be a meet and greet with the new director and free food and games. The first regular day will be Monday, Sept. 16.

Happy Timers offers exercise classes led by certified trainer Amanda Fooks. She follows an evidence-based program designed for seniors called Enhance Fitness. There is also a walking group.

Members also enjoy bingo, card games and more. It's a drop-in program, so people can attend as often as they like.

Registration is available on-site and at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center box office (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.). For more information, call 410-548-4900 x118 or email


Consumer Credit Card Debt Explodes In July Despite Rates At 18-Year Highs

Something is not quite right here.

Despite The Fed signaling rate-cuts as far as the eye can see, US credit-card interest rates have soared to the highest since 2001.

And despite credit card rates being at 18-year highs, US revolving debt (largely made up of credit card debt) has exploded in July to its highest on record.


73-Year-Old Maryland Woman Arrested For Killing Neighbor, 82, With A Brick

A 73-year-old Maryland woman has been arrested and charged after she killed her 82-year-old neighbor with a brick, according to the Prince George's County Police Department.

Around 7:15 a.m. Sunday, officers with the Bladensburg Police Department were called to an apartment building in the 5900 block of Emerson Street after Chun Yong Oh called 911, confessing to killing her neighbor with a brick, police say.

Once at the location, police found Oh's neighbor in a garden in the back of the apartment building suffering from upper body trauma, according to police. Her neighbor was pronounced dead at the scene and identified as 82-year-old Hwa Cha Pak of Bladensburg.

Investigators say the women had a dispute when Oh struck Pak in the head with a brick multiple times before calling 911 and confessing to the murder.


Report: Millions Taking Low-Dose Aspirin Daily Shouldn't Be

As many as 29 million Americans who take low-dose aspirin on a daily basis to try and prevent heart disease or stroke should not be doing so, The Washington Post reports.

The National Institute of Health found in a study conducted by researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard University that millions of Americans, about 29 million people, take low-dose aspirin on a daily basis despite not having cardiovascular disease, and 6.6 million are doing so without the recommendation of their health-care provider.

Most of these people take 81 milligrams, or “baby aspirin,” once a day to try and keep from developing heart disease or a stroke, but the most recent medical guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, which were last updated in March, do not recommend that people who do not have cardiovascular disease take low-dose aspirin daily, and in fact the guidelines recommend against it for people who are at a low or moderate risk of developing heart disease since the risks outweigh the possible benefits.


Soros Fuels Dark Money Judicial Group That Fights Kavanaugh, Trump Nominations

A "dark money" group that was established to push back against the judicial nominations of President Donald Trump, and which was at the forefront of the battle against Justice Brett Kavanaugh and continues to go after him to this day, was heavily financed by liberal billionaire George Soros around the time of its inception, grants show.

Demand Justice, a left-wing advocacy group, was established in 2018 and is led by Brian Fallon, the former press secretary for Hillary Clinton's failed 2016 campaign. The group does not disclose its donors and is a project of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, which falls under the umbrella of Arabella Advisors—an intricate dark money network containing dozens of liberal groups and projects. The network is used as a "pass through" entity for Democrat donors and has facilitated $1.6 billion in funds to liberal entities in recent years.

Due to Demand Justice's arrangement with the Sixteen Thirty Fund, which acts as its fiscal sponsor, it does not have to file annual tax forms to the Internal Revenue Service. Those who contribute to groups housed at the Sixteen Thirty Fund can also mark the money to the fund's name, where it is passed to the intended groups while ultimately masking the destination.


Google's got a new face-tracking camera for your home. We've got questions

Google Home and Nest Hub gadgets already feature microphones that are always listening for the words that wake up the Assistant ("OK, Google" or "Hey, Google"). Now, the search giant's newest gadget for your home, the Nest Hub Max smart display, adds in a camera that's always watching for a familiar face.

Google calls the feature Face Match, and it uses facial recognition technology to remember what you look like. After that, you can tap on the screen to see personalized bits of data like calendar appointments and Google Duo messages whenever it recognizes you.

The Nest Hub Max isn't the first product to bring facial recognition technology -- and the legal and ethical considerations that come with it -- into people's homes. Smart phones have been using the technology to let us unlock our devices and authorize purchases for years, and a growing number of smart home gadgets that use cameras are putting it to use, too, including Google's own Nest Hello video doorbell.

Still, it's a product that seeks to give Google a wider window into our lives at a time when the company is already facing questions about the way it handles our personal data. I wanted to take a closer look at how those privacy standards apply when you add always-watching cameras into the mix.


Palindrome Week

Today begins Palindrome Week, which means that every date reads the same backward as it does forward!

Boy bullied for homemade Tennessee shirt has logo become official design

A Florida boy who was bullied and laughed at for his homemade T-shirt representing the University of Tennessee Volunteers at his elementary school’s college colors day has not only had his design made official by the university – but the demand for the product is so high that it crashed the school’s website.

It all started when Laura Snyder, the unnamed boy’s teacher at Altamonte Elementary School in Altamonte Springs, Florida, posted the story about the Tennessee-obsessed student.

“This particular child came to me and told me that he wanted to wear a University of Tennessee shirt, but he didn’t have one. We discussed that he could wear an orange shirt to show his spirit. He told me every day leading up to it that he had an orange shirt that he was going to wear”, Snyder said in her post.


Trump ends U.S./China Trade War

Washington DC—After months of growing trade tensions between the US and China leading to an impending global recession, along with mounting strife in China’s Hong Kong province prompting dissidents to wave American flags, US President Donald Trump has negotiated quite possibly the biggest deal of his life : the US will trade the entire state of California for Hong Kong in a flat exchange.

“Basically almost everyone in California wants to be communist and Hong Kong wants to be American, so we did what we call a win-win-win and traded the two in a tremendous deal,” Trump said in a press conference announcing the unprecedented deal.
Markets responded with a complete turnaround from recent declines and posted record numbers.

Californians and Hong Kongers were dancing in their respective streets—Californians happy about the 1-child-only policy and being run by the Communist Party finally!—and Hong Kong is happy about being part of the free world once again.


Record 157,878,000 Employed in August
-CNS News
“The number of people employed in the United States hit a record 157,878,000 in August, the 21st record set under President Donald Trump,” Susan Jones reports. “The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7 percent. For blacks, the unemployment rate dropped to a record low of 5.5 percent last month. And for Hispanics, the unemployment rate was 4.2 percent in August, which ties the record low set earlier this year.”

More: “Job creation continues strong in August”
The Washington Post’s Lost Summer
-Washington Examiner
“It’s been a lost summer for the Washington Post,” White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham and Principal Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley write. “Despite record-setting accomplishments in record-setting time, data shows the news coverage of Trump has been 92% negative. The most egregious and dangerous forms of this bias thrived this summer at media outlets like the Washington Post, which routinely masquerade opinion as news.”

 What the media “forgot:” President Trump’s summer of winning!
Ivanka Meets Guaidó Aides, Announces $120 Million in US Aid for Displaced Venezuelans
-McClatchy DC
“Ivanka Trump met with aides to Venezuelan National Assembly President Juan Guaidó in Colombia on Wednesday to underscore support for a ‘democratic transition in Venezuela’ and offer $120 million in U.S. assistance to neighboring countries under strain from a refugee crisis,” Michael Wilner reports. “We stand with the people of Venezuela in their struggle to restore democracy, freedom and rule of law,” Ms. Trump said.

 Ivanka Trump helps launch new Academy of Women Entrepreneurs
USMCA Good Deal for Union Workers
-Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
By protecting American jobs and labor, the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) is a better deal in every sense than NAFTA, the outdated pact that currently governs North American trade. “NAFTA enabled giant corporations to outsource jobs . . . Unions have railed against NAFTA for three decades. Now, their allies in Congress finally have an opportunity to scrap that deal and replace it,” Deena Flinchum writes.
NBA Legend Jerry West Honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom
-Fox News
“President Trump awarded basketball legend Jerry West the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, on Thursday, continuing a run by Trump of recognizing American sports greats . . . [The President] said West ‘richly deserved’ the medal, citing the West Virginia native's years as a decorated player, executive, and supporter of the nation’s war veterans,” Frank Miles reports.
Trump Administration Awards $1.8 Billion in Grants to Combat Opioid Epidemic
-The Wall Street Journal
“The Trump administration on Wednesday announced it was awarding $1.8 billion in grants to help states and communities continue to battle the opioid epidemic, part of the administration’s broader effort to drive down overdose deaths and addiction,” Stephanie Armour writes. “My administration is determined to use every resource at our disposal to smash the grip of addiction,” President Trump said.

Trump fires national security adviser John Bolton

President Trump announced on Tuesday morning that he has asked national security adviser John Bolton for his resignation.

"I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning," Trump tweeted. "I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new National Security Advisor next week."
....I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning. I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new National Security Advisor next week.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2019
This is a breaking story...

Suspicious vehicle at Inner Harbor is found to be filled with stolen fuel

NRA sues San Francisco over "domestic terrorist organization" label

The National Rifle Association sued San Francisco on Monday over the city's recent declaration that the gun-rights lobby is a "domestic terrorist organization."

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, accuses city officials of violating the gun lobby's free speech rights for political reasons and says the city is seeking to blacklist anyone associated with the NRA. It asks the court to step in "to instruct elected officials that freedom of speech means you cannot silence or punish those with whom you disagree."

Last week, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution calling the NRA a "domestic terrorist organization," contending the group spreads propaganda that seeks to deceive the public about the dangers of gun violence.


Hogan: Judges should decide how much to pay 5 wrongly incarcerated men

Gov. Larry Hogan proposed Wednesday using administrative law judges to revive the state’s practice of awarding payments to wrongly incarcerated individuals ― an action the state hasn’t taken in 15 years.

Under pressure from lawmakers to act on the cases of five men who collectively spent more than 100 years behind bars, the Republican governor said he believed administrative law judges are better qualified than the Board of Public Works ― which he chairs ― to determine how much to pay the former inmates.

Hogan also blamed Maryland’s Democratic-controlled legislature for not mandating specific payments for the men.
Lawyers representing the five men have asked the board to award $100,000 to each man for each year he spent behind bars. That would total about $12 million.

Trooper outsmarts scammer, recovers $17,500 belonging to a Cecil County woman

NORTH EAST, Md. — Just two years on the job and Maryland State Police Trooper Kurtis Henry has done something even the most capable and experienced law enforcement officers have trouble doing. Trooper Henry helped intercept $17,500 that was headed directly to a scammer.

The victim, an older woman who did not want to be identified, walked into the North East barracks last month at around six in the morning and explained what had happened. Someone called her claiming her computer virus software was expiring. The caller convinced her to renew for $350, and requested her bank account information. She gave the caller the information then had second thoughts and asked for a refund.

“They then moved some money around in her account and made it look like they gave her too much money,” said Henry.


A Familiar Boardwalk Tram Station Face For 31 Years

OCEAN CITY – When Betty Kurka retired from Moore Business Forms in the 1980’s, she quickly realized retirement was not for her.

“I had to do something,” she said.

And so, at the suggestion of a friend, she quickly found employment at the south tram ticket booth on the Boardwalk.

“So here I am,” she said, “still here.”

For the last 31 years, Kurka has been a familiar face at the ticket booth. And although she is now 94 years old, she said she has no plans of slowing down.

“My son jokes that one day I’ll have to come by ambulance,” she said. “Every year, if they want you back, they send you a letter. So if I get that letter I’ll probably respond. If I don’t get it, it’s back to the recliner.”


'Grey's Anatomy' star Isaiah Washington opens up about decision to leave the Democratic party after Trump White House visit

On Fox Nation's latest episode of "Nuff Said," "Grey's Anatomy" star Isaiah Washington opened up about his decision to leave the Democratic Party, and the reaction he got from the Hollywood community after publicly declaring his support for the #WalkAway movement.

"Walking away is... a sacrifice," Washington said. "There's a risk and there's a penalty for it but you have to walk away when it matters...and the reason I chose to walk away from the Democratic that something doesn't feel right."

Washington blamed the Democrats for "not doing enough" and pointed to their lack of action for the black community as an example.


‘Open Borders, Inc: Who’s Funding America’s Destruction?’

The following is an exclusive excerpt from Michelle Malkin’s new book, Open Borders, Inc: Who’s Funding America’s Destruction?, available Tuesday, September 10.


The Illegal Alien Shelter Network Operating in Plain Sight from Central America, across Mexico, and into the U.S.

To fully appreciate the manufacturing of the 2018–2019 invasions of our southern border, you must first understand this: Pueblo Sin Fronteras is just one cog in the well-oiled, illegal-alien caravan-generating machine. Let’s start with what open-borders advocates themselves call their “Underground Railroad” of migrant safe houses that extend across Central America, through Mexico, and up and into the U.S… This sprawling network of aid stations has been in place for years, bolstered by global interests, left-wing activists, and religious institutions that advocate for illegal aliens…

In 2012, for example, the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Mexico signed “cooperation agreements” with three migrant shelters along Mexico’s southern border to support their work assisting “irregulars” traveling through the Mexican states of Chiapas and Oaxaca on their way to the U.S. The IOM pact guaranteed supplies of medicine, hygiene products, construction materials, as well as therapy services and legal training at the previously mentioned Hermanos en el Camino shelter, along with the Catholic-run Hogar de la Misericordia shelter and Jesus el Buen Pastor del Pobre y el Migrante shelter. IOM extended similar aid to nine other migrant shelters in the northern and central parts of Mexico, from Chihuahua, Sonora, and Tamaulipas along the northern border to San Luis Potosi, Veracruz, and Tlaxcala in the center of the country…


McAleenan: Border Arrests Drop Due to 'Shared Responsibility'

Apprehensions at the southern border dropped to 64,000 in August, tens of thousands less than the month before, thanks to an "international effort" to reduce crossings, Fox News reports.

August saw 64,006 migrants apprehended or found to be inadmissible, a 22% decrease from the 82,055 apprehended in July, and a 56% drop from the 144,000 caught or refused admission in May. Fox notes, although migration numbers drop after the summer, it is not usually this pronounced.

Officials credit the "Remain in Mexico" policy the country adopted following President Donald Trump's threat of tariffs has helped reduce crossings into the U.S., since migrants who reach Mexico are now being given permits to stay, authorization for work, social security, and free transport if they wish to return to their country of origin.

"That international effort is making an impact," Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said Monday.

More here

GOP demands answers from Democrats who visited Mexico with lawmaker accused of coaching migrants

Republicans on the House Oversight and Reform Committee Monday demanded that their Democratic counterparts explain why they traveled to Mexico on two occasions this summer with a congresswoman who sent congressional staff south of the border to coach asylum seekers.

The Washington Examiner reported in July that aides to Texas Democrat Veronica Escobar traveled to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico earlier this summer to find migrants who been returned from border crossings in El Paso, Texas, under the “remain in Mexico” policy. The aides then coached some of those who were told to await U.S. asylum decisions in Mexico how to exploit loopholes in the Migration Protection Protocols program.

“They went through and interviewed everybody, cherry-picked them, brought them back, and now are using them as tag lines. They’re going over there and manufacturing a lot of these issues,” a National Border Patrol Council official in El Paso said in July. “What we’re hearing from management is that they’re attempting to return people, and the story was changed in Mexico, where a person who understood Spanish before now doesn’t understand — where a person who didn’t have any health issues before now has health issues."


Political Memes

Tuesday Morning Funnies

Bark For Life Of Wicomico County

Do you have a dog & want to help fight cancer?? Then join us for a fun event and brief walk on Sunday Sept 15, 2019 from 11am to 1pm. Only $15 for 1 dog (or $20 for 2 dogs), or $10 if you want to walk and aren't bringing a dog with you. We will have dog activities, demonstrations, costume & doggie contests! Every dollar benefits the American Cancer Society - Relay For Life Wicomico!