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

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Inspiring music

Sent in by a viewer
Thought you might enjoy this, especially those with younger children (or grand kids):

Welcome to Britain, please don't stick your nose in

Britain has rolled out the red carpet for Donald Trump today as the US President begins a two-day visit to London in the crucial run-up to the December 14 general election.

Trump is in the UK for a NATO summit and Prime Minister Boris Johnson is keeping his distance, amid nervousness in Tory HQ that the US President will says something controversial and hurt the PM's campaign.

Jeremy Corbyn is going all out to 'weaponise' the US President's arrival and yesterday released a video blaming Britain's close relationship with the US for the London Bridge terror attacks.


NOI 12/3/19 Somerset Vacant Dwelling Fire Somerset Ave.

new patch


Date:   December 3, 2019
Time:  2:09 a.m.
Location / Address:  12028 Somerset Ave., Princess Anne, Somerset County
Type of Incident:  Fire
Description of Structure / Property:  Vacant 1 ½ story wood frame single family dwelling        
Owner / Occupants:  Ashok and Virbala Patel
Injuries or Deaths: None
Estimated $ Loss: Structure:  $75,000                     Contents: $0
Smoke Alarm Status:  Present, unknown if activated
Fire Alarm / Sprinkler Status: n/a
Arrests(s):  None
Primary Responding Fire Department:  Princess Anne Fire Department
# of Alarms:   1    # Of Firefighters:  25
Time to Control:  1 hour
Discovered By:  Neighbor
Area of Origin:  Rear porch
Preliminary Cause:  Incendiary (intentionally set fire)
Additional Information:  Anyone with information is asked to call the Salisbury Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal at (410) 713-3780.

Former Starbucks manager says she was wrongfully fired after coffee cup controversy

Lola Price, a manager at a Starbucks near Tulsa, was fired after five cups with the word “PIG" printed on them were handed to a police officer.

She told Tulsa's KTUL she was called Thursday evening by her supervisors.

"Just still kind of in shock about it all," Price said.

She told Tulsa's Channel 8 her life has been wrecked since then.
"I was terminated from my position because, Starbucks was looking for someone to take the blame for this and to save some face from their company," she said.


Cats Do Have Facial Expressions, We're Just Bad at Reading Them, Study Shows

We generally assume a purring cat is a contented cat. It's safe to say a hissing cat, its ears drawn back, is not pleased.

But aside from the visage of Grumpy Cat - who may not have been grumpy at all - feline faces don't tell us much about how cats feel. Or rather, as a new study on the topic found, most of us are pretty terrible at reading cats' expressions.

Cats have a reputation for being "inscrutable", the researchers say, and their results mostly back up this notion. More than 6,000 study participants in 85 countries, the vast majority of them cat owners, watched brief cat videos and then judged the animals' moods. The average score was just under 60 percent correct - an F, if cat videos were a school subject.

However, 13 percent of participants did quite well, scoring 75 percent or above. The researchers dubbed these achievers "cat whisperers" - and said their results are important.

"Cats are telling us things with their faces, and if you're really skilled, you can spot it," said author Georgia Mason, a behavioral biologist at the University of Guelph in Ontario.


NBC: Massive Chinese Fraud Suspected in OPT Visa-Worker Program

Numerous U.S.-based companies that got Optional Practical Training (OPT) work permits for Chinese graduates have quietly closed their doors following an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) crackdown and media investigations, according to a report by NBC Bay Area.

“NBC’s efforts to contact officers at 14 suspicious companies [who got many OPT work permits] were met with a series of dead-end business addresses and disconnected phone numbers, ” said the NBC Bay Area report. The report continued:

Emails, phone calls, and social media messages went unanswered by all but two companies. In those two instances, an officer reached by phone verified their identity but declined to discuss their company. Those 14 companies employed more than 5,500 foreign students through the OPT program in 2017, according to ICE records.

The OPT program allows 300,000 foreign graduates to get work permits lasting one to three years if they pay tuition to U.S. universities. The matching Curricular Practical Training (CPT) program gives 100,000 work permits to students each year. These two huge programs offer work permits to 400,000 foreigners each year, even as 800,000 Americans graduate from four-year colleges with skilled degrees.

More here

The Student Loan Bubble - Gambling With Your Future

Have you heard? The Democrats are going to fix the student loan mess! They’ve brought up the issue in almost every Democratic Party presidential debate. All we need is a good government program and we can easily solve this $1.64 trillion problem.

Never mind that government programs caused the problem in the first place.

The student loan bubble continues to inflate. Student loan balances jumped by $32.9 billion in the third quarter this year, pushing total outstanding student loan debt to a new record. Student loan balances have grown by 5.1% year-on-year.

Over the last decade, student loan debt has grown by 120%. Student loan balances now equal to 7.6% of GDP. That’s up from 5.1% in 2009. This despite the fact that college enrollment dropped by 7% between 2010 and 2017, with enrollment projected to remain flat.

In a nutshell, we have fewer students borrowing more money to finance their educations.

Before the government got involved, college wasn’t all that expensive. It was government policy that made it unaffordable. And not only did it manage to dramatically drive up the cost of a college education, but it also succeeded in destroying the value of that degree. Peter Schiff summed it up perfectly:


At Least 14 Killed in Attack on Burkina Faso Church

At least 14 people including teenagers were shot dead in an attack on a church in eastern Burkina Faso during mass on Sunday morning, a security source and a local official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré confirmed the attack in a tweet later Sunday.

The identity of the gunmen was not yet clear and further details on the attack had yet to emerge.

This year an Islamist insurgency in Burkina Faso has ignited ethnic and religious tensions, rendering large parts of the country ungovernable, especially in the northern areas bordering restive Mali.

More here

Italian pasta increasingly is made of wheat from Canada and U.S.

Italy, the world's largest pasta consumer, can't abandon the North American wheat used to make spaghetti and macaroni, after smaller plantings and foul weather curbed output in the European Union.

Exports of durum wheat by the U.S. and Canada are booming, foiling efforts by Italy to protect its farmers by adopting country-of-origin labelling rules in 2017, effectively lessening imports. EU production of the wheat variety for the season that began in July fell 10 per cent to 7.78 million tons, European Commission data show, triggering demand for North American supplies.

Italian importers took advantage of U.S. and Canadian durum of "excellent quality" at "historically cheap values," Niccolo d'Andria, vice-president of the Rome-based grains group Associazione Nazionale Cerealisti, or Anacer, said in an email. A second round of imports may loom in April, he said.


“Ohhhh, I’m Not an Obama Fan. This Is Trump Country” – Iowa Farmer Who Ignored Joe Biden in Restaurant Speaks Out

“This is Trump country.”

On Saturday Politico reporter Natasha Korecki snagged a photo of Joe Biden approaching a man watching college football at the Corn Stalk Cafe in Missouri Valley, Iowa.

The farmer had no idea Joe Biden was standing next to him and didn’t seem to care.

Korecki asked the farmer if he knew who was standing next to him in the restaurant.
His response was epic!


Hundreds of Thousands Return to Hong Kong Streets, Invigorated by U.S. Support

Rally organizers said 380,000 people took the streets of Hong Kong Sunday for a protest themed “never forget” – a reminder to the city’s government that the protest movement’s victory in last week’s district council elections would not silence their four democratic demands.

Hong Kong residents have been organizing peaceful assemblies since June – the largest protest on record attracting 2 million people in a city of 7 million – demanding the government not cede to Chinese Communist Party attempts to subdue it. China has a right to sovereignty over Hong Kong under a policy called “One Country, Two Systems,” which bans Beijing from imposing communism.

The protesters are making five demands of their government: the full withdrawal of proposed legislation to allow Beijing to extradite anyone present in Hong Kong into China’s repressive and secretive prison system; freedom for all political prisoners; the direct election of lawmakers; an end to the government referring to protests as “riots;” and an independent investigation into police brutality.


Transportation Sec. Chao: Rural Areas to Get More Aid

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said Monday that rural areas would now receive more federal funding for infrastructure improvements under a program that had long been biased toward urban areas.

"Rural America is not looking for a handout," Chao told Paul Bedard of The Washington Examiner. "They merely want not to be overlooked or discriminated against and to have their fair share in the distribution of federal resources."

Under the program, Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success (ROUTES), communities can apply directly to the U.S. Transportation Department for dollars for upgrading airports, roads and rail operations.

Historically, rural communities have received only 21% of as much as $8 billion in such funds — but at least half would now be earmarked in future years, Bedard reports.

Applications would be reviewed by a special council, Chao said, and the initial funds could come as early as next spring.

More here

25 Maryland corrections officers indicted on criminal charges

BALTIMORE (WBFF) - Twenty-five corrections officers are being charged with more than 200 counts of running a criminal organization and misconduct in office.

Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby and the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services announced the indictment today.

The 25 suspects, with the Baltimore Central Regional Tactical Unit, are indicted on 236 counts, including conspiracy to promote and maintain a criminal organization by unlawful means, participation and conspiracy to participate in a criminal gang, conspiracy to commit first-degree and second-degree assault, first-degree and second-degree assault, misconduct in office and conspiracy to commit misconduct in office.


Massachusetts EBT cards were used in elite hotels in Hawaii: report

On 18 different occasions in 2019, a Massachusetts EBT card was swiped in Hawaii — including one that was used twice at a posh island resort where rooms fetch $800 a night, a report published Monday said.

The Boston Herald said it reviewed more than 2 million EBT expenditures over the past year and found thousands of out-of-state transactions that included withdrawals in Las Vegas and Alaska.

The Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards are issued to needy citizens who qualify and are replenished monthly.

The state's Department of Transitional Assistance bars cardholders from using the cards for vacation services — but hotels are not banned. According to the Herald's report, in one instance an EBT card was used to buy a $700 round-trip ticket from the state to Hawaii.

Here are some of the 6,000 words Maryland won’t let you put on your vanity license plate

The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration has expanded its list of rejected vanity license plates to more than 6,000.

The “Objectionable Plates List” is a decades-long collection of vulgar words and other terms Marylanders have unsuccessfully tried to put on their bumpers. The list contains words and phrases rejected by the MVA due to scatalogical or sexual meaning; curse words, epithets or obscenities; deceptive or fraudulent meanings; references to illegal acts; or messages about a race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or disability.

Most, understandably, cannot be printed in a family newspaper. New entries to the banned list include “VEGANAF," “TURD,” “PPLSUC," “BAYLIFE," “ST0N3D" and “C0CAINA.” References to hydraulic fracturing — “FRACK” and “FRACKNO” — also did not make the cut.


More Than 300 Ads by Trump Campaign Taken Down by Google and YouTube

More than 300 of President Donald Trump’s political ads have taken down by Google and its video platform YouTube, mostly over the summer, according to a report by 60 minutes.

The CBS reporters were unable to find specific reasons for the mass takedowns of Trump ads, a common problem with social media companies, which are often reluctant to explain precisely why a ban or other act of censorship has happened. “We found very little transparency in the transparency report,” concluded 60 Minutes.

CBS reporters investigated the removal of pro-Trump ads after YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki highlighted the company’s decision to ban some of the President’s ads during an interview.


West Wing Reads

Trump Is Trying to Save NATO By Demanding 
Members Pay a Fair Share
“President Trump intends to keep pushing at this week’s NATO summit for other alliance members to up their defense spending, but it’s worth noting the success he’s already had,” the New York Post editorial board writes.

“Since 2006, each member nation has been supposed to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense. Yet only the United States and two other members hit that mark in 2014, when NATO formally re-committed to the goal. Now eight European countries are on track to meet it this year: Britain, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania.”

The bottom line: “For all the complaints that the president has been alienating America’s allies, it sure looks like he has strengthened the most important US alliance.”

Click here to read more.

“First lady Melania Trump has officially decked the halls of the White House. This year, the theme is ‘The Spirit of America.’ The 2019 decorative approach features glittery patriotism throughout 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.” The official White House Christmas Tree arrived last week, Natacha Larnaud reports for CBS News.

“Forgetting the lesson from the boy who cried wolf, Democrats have lost their grip on the public’s attention toward their incessant schemes for dumping President Trump . . . The relentless yammering for a legislative coup is fading into background noise, tuned out by a nation anxious to move ahead,” The Washington Times editorial board writes.

With only seven legislative days left in the year, House leadership has all but tabled any real agenda for working Americans, including passing the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement. Speaker Nancy Pelosi now says she believes “there is not enough time” left this year to vote on USMCA, despite House Democrats spending nearly 30 legislative days on impeachment, Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) writes in the Washington Examiner.

Report: US may face french fry shortage due to stunted potato crops

The United States may soon face a french fry shortage due to poor potato crops this year, Bloomberg has reported.

Cold and wet weather this year has stunted potato growth. Retailers rely on long potatoes to make french fries, but those larger, more desirable starches will be in short supply.

“French fry demand has just been outstanding lately, and so supplies can’t meet the demand,” Travis Blacker, industry-relations director with the Idaho Potato Commission, told Bloomberg.


Ollie's Bargain Outlet CEO, Founder Dies at 61

The founder and CEO of Ollie's Bargain Outlet has died at the age of 61.

A statement from the company's board of directors says Mark Butler died unexpectedly Sunday while spending time with his family for Thanksgiving. Butler founded the outlet chain with Mort Bernstein, Oliver "Ollie" Rosenberg and Harry Coverman. The Baltimore Sun says Butler was the last surviving founder.


Schumer: GOP senators spreading Russian propaganda to defend Trump

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Monday that Republican senators are “disgracefully” spreading Russian propaganda and lies to defend President Trump.

The New York Democrat deliberately did not name the Republican senators he alleged were spreading Russian propaganda and lies, only saying, “They know who they are.”

“While the House investigation continues in search of the facts, certain Senate Republicans have increasingly made outlandish claims, including the assertion that Ukraine might have been involved in interfering in the 2016 election,” Mr. Schumer said on the Senate floor. “The charge that Ukraine had something to do with election meddling in 2016 is a lie spread by [Russian President] Vladimir Putin to get things off his back. … And now, disgracefully, we have sitting U.S. Senators helping to spread that Russian propaganda in an effort to defend the president.”


[Is this another one of those 'conspiracy theories' that Google/Facebook/Twitter say they need to block? --Editor]

Mayor Buttedge Promises Government Health Care for Illegal Immigrants

Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Sunday told a Hispanic worker in South Carolina that illegal immigrants would have access to government-funded health care if he was elected president.

Buttigieg was filmed by a supporter speaking Spanish to the worker, explaining who would be covered under his proposed plan.

He said:
So the most important thing for me is that we offer the opportunity for health care to all in our country, and this includes the opportunity to buy this plan of Medicare for All who want it. That is our solution. And this opportunity to buy this plan is for everyone regardless of their immigration status.

Rob Smith: Black Americans ‘Understand How They’re Being Condescended to’ by the Left

Turning Point USA contributor Rob Smith told SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily host Alex Marlow in a Monday interview that he believes the black voter turnout for President Donald Trump in 2020 will be significantly higher than it was in 2016.

This will be so because the president actually has a political record to reference, that shows positive results for black communities in America. Smith also touched upon the left’s condescending demeanor toward black conservatives.

“We’re looking at 34 percent [of black approval ratings] among two different polls,” said Smith. “We’ve been seeing Trump polling higher and higher among African American voters, and the significance is — post 2016, going into 2020 — we’re looking at higher polling based not on what people are saying — but on what the administration is doing, and has done.”

“I think the three major things that are going on right now,” continued Smith.

Rob Smith: Trump’s 34% Black Approval Shows 2020 Momentum

President Donald Trump just hit 34% approval among Black voters in two recent polls. Why? Results.

An administration official recently told me — amidst a push for black support that is unprecedented for a Republican — that the only true way to reach voters of any color is results, and this administration has them.

In a recent video for the Black Voices For Trump Coalition, I pointed out some of the results: record low black unemployment, the signing of the historic First Step Act, and so on.

To keep the momentum going through 2020, I suggest that Trump and the campaign drill down on facts, not rhetoric, to turn out a historic number of African-American voters next November.

Calling Trump “racist” has been a talking point of the left since the moment he rode down the escalator in Trump Tower and announced his candidacy.


'We aren't here to talk about impeachment': Pelosi shuts down partisan talk overseas

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that any talks about President Trump and the impeachment proceedings were off the table while she visits overseas.

"We aren’t here to talk about impeachment of the president of the United States," the California Democrat said Monday at a climate summit in Madrid. "We’re here to talk positively about our agenda to save the planet for future generations."

The comment is an affirmation of a policy the top House Democrat has of not criticizing Republicans when she is abroad. In April, Pelosi said in Europe that she does not "criticize the president outside the country."


School Board Nominating Commission Information


Board of Education. County school commissioners were renamed boards of education in 1916 (Chapter 506, 1916). They were to be appointed by the Governor without regard to political affiliation.

Now, the Wicomico County Board of Education oversees educational matters that affect Wicomico County (Code Education Article, secs. 4-101 through 4-126).

Formerly, the Board's seven members were appointed by the Governor to serve five-year terms (Code Education Article, secs. 3-101 through 3-105; 3-108). On November 8, 2016, however, the voters by referendum chose to have an elected Board of Education (Chapter 169, Acts of 2016). Thereafter, on November 6, 2018, the voters first elected seven members (five by district & two at large) to serve four-year terms. The Superintendent of Schools continues to serve as secretary, treasurer, and executive officer of the Board (Code Education Article, sec. 4-102).

For vacancies on the Board of Education, the Wicomico County School Board Nominating Commission selects and recommends nominees to the County Council for appointment (Chapter 169, Acts of 2016).

The Superintendent of Schools administers the Wicomico County Public School System. The Superintendent also serves as executive officer, secretary, and treasurer of the Board of Education (Code Education Article, secs. 4-102; 4-201 through 4-206).

(From Maryland Manual Online)

Appointed by County Executive with County Council consent to 4-year terms:
Benjamin Brumbley, Chair (chosen by Commission)
Michael Adkins; Pamela Barclay; Eddie Boyd, Jr., Ph.D.; G. Mandel Copeland; Dennis DiCintio; Sarah Edwards; Chrystianna Gosnell; Charles T. Gray; James R. Slacum; Joan Smith; Sherree West; Sarah Lynn Wiltbank.

(From Maryland Manual Online)

That smart TV you just bought may be spying on you, FBI warns

Those Black Friday and Cyber Monday super sales are not only a boon for your bank account, but may also reap serious rewards for cyber criminals intent on causing harm, according to the FBI.

In a pre-holiday message to consumers, an FBI field office is warning that "smart TVs" -- televisions equipped with internet streaming and facial recognition capabilities -- may be vulnerable to intrusion.

In addition to outlining how new advanced technological features risk allowing television manufacturers and app developers to snoop on consumers, the bureau says malicious cyber actors can also take control of unsecured smart TVs and potentially wreak havoc on unsuspecting owners.

Buttigieg Nods as Pastor Says Mexican Illegal Aliens Just Reclaiming Stolen Land

Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Sunday listened and nodded without disputing a claim from Pastor William Barber that illegal immigrants from Mexico were merely reclaiming land from the United States.

“We call people illegal aliens … Why can’t we just own in America that some of the people that are trying to come from Mexico here are coming back to land we stole?” he asked. “And the reason we took the land is because people wanted to keep their slaves?”

Some in the congregation applauded.


A Viewer Writes..........

Just looked up Jonathan Eure’s court record and was surprised that there were 40 records; traffic, uninsured vehicle, non-payment, child custody, constructive criminal contempt, and now child abuse. Why in the world was he even hired with that record?

'Impeachment without any evidence'

The top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee on Monday blasted Democrats for rushing into new impeachment hearings without providing the evidence or details about the proceedings.

“For the first time in history, this committee will weigh impeachment without any evidence for us to review,” Rep. Doug Collins, Georgia Republican, wrote to the committee’s Democrat chairman, Rep. Jarrold L. Nadler of New York.

The committee, which is charged with writing articles of impeachment, is scheduled to hold a hearing Wednesday to explore grounds for the removal of President Trump from office.

Mr. Collins balked at the process moving forward before members see a report from Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff, who to this point has spearheaded the impeachment inquiry.

“We do not have the Schiff Report,” Mr. Collins wrote. “We do not have any underlying materials to the Schiff Report. We do not know of any hearings other than one of academics and possibly a presentation by Chairman Schiff’s committee.”


Donald Trump's campaign bans Bloomberg News reporters from covering events after Michael Bloomberg launches White House run

Donald Trump's re-election campaign said Monday it would bar reporters from Bloomberg News from covering the president's campaign rallies after the global news outlet announced a new reporting policy for a 2020 race that includes its billionaire owner.

The Trump camp blasted out word of the ban in a statement from campaign manager Brad Parscale while the president was en route to Britain for a NATO meeting.

'The decision by Bloomberg News to formalize preferential reporting policies is troubling and wrong,' wrote Parscale.


Become a Pulse Point Subscriber

Become a Pulse Point Subscriber
Wicomico County Emergency Services

The Wicomico County Department of Emergency Services (DES) wants to make it much easier for citizens who are trained in CPR to use their life saving skills to do just lives! Through the use of modern, location-aware mobile devices PulsePoint is building applications that work with the local public safety agencies to improve communications with citizens and empower them to help reduce the millions of annual deaths from Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

As of April 2019, the system was available to our citizens and 1433 have become a subscribers. To become a Pulse Point subscriber, an app can be downloaded on a smart phone device by using your phone's app store.

Subscribers can be notified within ¼ mile for from the sudden cardiac event and could be instrumental in helping the citizen with a medical emergency before Emergency Medical Service Arrive.

For additional information visit

Political Memes

Tuesday Morning Funnies

Kamala Harris's top aide QUITS and says she has 'never seen an organization treat its staff so poorly'

A top aide to Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris who stepped down to work for rival Mike Bloomberg left behind a resignation letter with a stinging critique of her former boss' campaign.

'This is my third presidential campaign and I have never seen an organization treat its staff so poorly,' wrote Kelly Mehlenbacher in the November 11 letter obtained by the New York Times.

The letter came after the once promising campaign announced last-minute layoffs of staff in early November, reports the Times.