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Saturday, March 03, 2012

Wicomico County Revenue Cap

This past week - several legislators took up Emergency legislation to try and override many of Maryland Counties revenue caps - HB-1412.
One of our local legislators - Norman Conway - (also a retired Wicomico educator) - signed on as one of the bill's co-sponsors.

1/5 of Maryland's counties - now have implemented Revenue Caps as a means of restraining runaway property taxes. Even New Jersey's Governor Chris Christie recognized the significance of VOICE's 2% Revenue Cap ballot initiative and implemented his own Statewide 2% Revenue Cap.


Several years ago (1978) Talbot County instituted a Tax Cap after a hugely unacceptable tax increase to Wicomico County incensed the voters to action. From 1978 until 1995 a Coalition of Special Interest Groups - Board of Education, Chamber of Commerce, PTA, NAACP, League of Women Voters, and other individuals sued to overturn the Tax Cap and they won! The Tax Cap was ruled unconstitutional.

Do you think VOICE should have gone for a Tax Cap? That certainly would have been an easy 'kneejerk' thing to do in light of the Court's decision.

After the Tax Cap was ruled unconstitutional in January 1995, The Talbot County Council in May raised the property tax by 46%. That's right they raised the property taxes by almost 50 percent! But they - SPECIAL INTEREST - didn't have enough. The next year, in 1996 they raised it another 46.3%!!! And we - Wicomico residents - think 23.7% was bad. Now let's try and add this up . . . .what's 46.1% and 46.3% over two years. Let's hold the math until the end of this lesson.

The Talbot voters were so incensed they searched for a way to stop these run-a-way politicos and came up with the Revenue Cap concept. The voters rallied to get it on the ballot and it was passed in 1996 by 72.21% of the voters! It stands as law today in that County. Even after six attempts to have it removed - VOICE used the EXACT wording in their petition as was used in Talbot County. It's exactly the same language that is law in Talbot now.

So what have we learned today. Hopefully we've learned that from the time the Tax Cap was ruled unconstitutional and replaced by the Revenue Cap in Talbot County (1995 - 1996) property taxes went up 92.4%! Actually that would not be entirely accurate as I'm told that before the Revenue Cap could become law the actual true tax increase was 113.8%.

The next question is a bit more subjective - after this current events history lesson - is Norman Conway's and Rick Pollitt's staunch reason for objecting to the Revenue Cap - do you now feel the VOICE proposals are obviously not well thought out?

If your property tax increased by 113.8% - would the difference be greater or less than your recent pay raise?


Call you legislator today and tell them to oppose HB-1412.
If you don't - well - at least you can't say we didn't try and warn you.

Norman Conway - (410) 841-3407
Rudy Cane - (410) 841-3427
Addie Eckardt - (410) 841-3433
Jeannie Haddaway - (410) 841-3429
Mike McDermott - (410) 841-3431
Jim Mathias - (410) 841-3645
Rich Colburn - (410) 841-3590

New Posts to fall below.

BREAKING NEWS: Romney Projected Winner Of Washington State GOP Caucuses

Mitt Romney is projected winner of Washington presidential contest, in last competition before Super Tuesday.

From Fox News

Students Protest Valedictorian's Deportation Order

Students protested Friday in support of a Miami high school valedictorian who has been ordered by a federal immigration judge to leave the country.

A judge denied Daniela Pelaez's request for relief from deportation on Monday. Her attorney is planning an appeal.

Pelaez came to the United States from Colombia with her family when she was 4. She considers herself American and has applied to several Ivy League universities and wants to become a heart surgeon.

"I just want to pursue the American dream like any other child," Pelaez said.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will not take any action against Pelaez while she pursues her legal options, said spokesman Nestor Yglesias. He added that the agency prioritizes the removal of criminals, those who have crossed the border recently, and those who have previously been removed from the United States.

"Upon conclusion of their appeal, ICE will review this matter to determine whether an exercise of discretion is warranted," Yglesias said.

The Obama administration announced in August that it would indefinitely delay deporting many illegal immigrants who do not have a criminal record and offer them a chance to apply for a work permit. Earlier last year, they also sent out a memo to agents offering guidance on when and how to use discretion. That document also covered those who could potentially benefit from the proposed DREAM Act, which would offer young unauthorized immigrants who go to college or serve in the military a chance at legal status.

Mike Krieger Asks Whether September 11, 2001 Is Our Big Lie

“I am convinced that there was a direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the September 11th attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia,” former Senator Bob Graham, Democrat of Florida, said in an affidavit filed as part of a lawsuit brought against the Saudi government and dozens of institutions in the country by families of Sept. 11 victims and others. Mr. Graham led a joint 2002 Congressional inquiry into the attacks. Their affidavits, which were filed on Friday and have not previously been disclosed, are part of a multibillion-dollar lawsuit that has wound its way through federal courts since 2002. An appellate court, reversing an earlier decision, said in November that foreign nations were not immune to lawsuits under certain terrorism claims, clearing the way for parts of the Saudi case to be reheard in United States District Court in Manhattan.

Still, Washington has continued to stand behind Saudi Arabia publicly, with the Justice Department joining the kingdom in trying to have the lawsuits thrown out of court on the grounds that the Saudis are protected by international immunity.

The senators’ assertions “might inject some temporary strain or awkwardness at a diplomatic level,” said Kenneth L. Wainstein, a senior national security official in the George W. Bush administration. Even so, he said, “the United States and the Saudis have developed strong counterterrorism cooperation over the last decade, and that relationship will not be undermined.”
- NY Times article from today

I wasn’t planning on writing this week, but so much stuff has come out in the last two days that I couldn’t help myself from trying to get this information out to as wide an audience as possible. Those of you that have been long time readers are aware of the fact that I witnessed 9/11 firsthand. On that fateful morning, I was getting breakfast at 3 World Financial Center when all of a sudden people started panicking and saying we were evacuating the building. I never made it back up to my cubicle and instead took my toast and orange juice downstairs with me. When I got down there I couldn’t believe my eyes. There in from of me was a huge smoldering black hole in the first tower that was hit. I was one block away just starring at this symbol of the city I was born in with sheer terror. People all around starting speculating as to what caused it. I heard ridiculous theories such as a “helicopter hit it.” It looked like a bomb to me. In any event, we all stood there very close until out of nowhere I heard a massive explosion and saw debris spewing from behind the building. In case you are unaware of how the buildings were situated, from my viewpoint the first building that got hit totally blocked the second tower. I didn’t see or hear a plane, just a massive explosion. The ground shook and people started to stampede away. I almost got tossed into a nearby trashcan as my opened orange juice container spilled all over me. I retreated about one hundred yards back to regroup with the herd.

At this point the word had started to get around that two planes had hit the buildings. Several friends and I decided to walk back to my apartment, which at the time was on 12th street between 3rd and 4th avenue. Cell phones didn’t work. My parents and brother who was studying abroad in Australia at the time all thought I might be dead. I saw people jumping to their death. I saw the first building come down in person as I walked home. I never returned to 3 World Financial Center as it became a temporary morgue. Lehman Brothers relocated to the Sheraton Hotels in Midtown for the next several months and my group worked out of a small conference room.

While 9/11 was far more traumatic for many Americans than for myself, it really messed me up emotionally for a while. I thought about joining the armed forces or the newly created Department of Homeland Security. I almost quit my job to get a graduate degree in something I could do to help fight the “war on terror.” The city of my birth was attacked and two great symbols I had seen repeatedly growing up had suddenly vanished. I never once questioned anything about 9/11 for many, many years. I was emotionally reprogrammed. I now realize that was the intent and I am not happy about it.

Look, I will be the first to say I have no idea what really happened on that day, but I can tell you one thing. I am 100% convinced that it wasn’t 19 cave dwelling Al Qaeda members who hate us for our “freedoms.” I can also tell you that two planes didn’t take down three buildings.


IRS Red Tape?

The Internal Revenue Service is tangling with conservative groups who say the agency is tying up tax exempt applications in red tape. The groups say information requests from the IRS go beyond what is necessary. In some instances, IRS has asked for information about social media postings and group members' relatives. An Ohio Tea Party group calls the IRS demands intimidation. The IRS says decisions on tax exempt status sometimes require lots of information. Officials say decisions are made by career employees without regard to politics.


The price of gas at the station near my house jumped from $3.79 to $3.87 overnight. It was $3.53 a couple weeks ago. The article below has a lot of truth, mixed with a smattering of lies. The same old bullshit is being rolled out again by the politicians and their MSM mouthpieces. Evil speculators aren’t the reason for rising gas prices. Big Oil companies are not the reason for rising oil prices. It comes down to worldwide supply, worldwide demand and America’s invasion of foreign countries. The key point in the article is that the U.S. demand for gasoline is only 10% of the world’s demand. We are using less gas, but it doesn’t matter to the price. China, India and the rest of the world matter 10 times as much as the U.S.

You will be seeing the classic Washington DC response to this surge in gas prices. The morons on Capitol Hill will call hearings to yell at Big Oil Executives and condemn the evil speculators. The COMEX will raise margin requirements on the same day that Obama announces he is tapping the Strategic Oil Reserve. This is all a big phony show to obscure the fact that these numbskulls haven’t done anything in thirty years to prepare this country for the onset of peak cheap oil. Our warmongering and fake War on Terror are a HUGE reason for you paying $4 per gallon for gas. Here are a few inconvenient facts for the neo-cons and Obama:

The average price of a barrel of oil in 2002 before Bush invaded Iraq was $23 per barrel. Ten years later it is $108 a barrel. No correlation there, right?
Iraq is producing less oil today than they were in 2002.

Our invasion of Libya has resulted in their oil output being completely off-line and a country now roamed by bands of savages and thugs. Thank God we disposed of that evil dictator.

It is Obama and the idiots in Congress that passed the sanctions against Iran and have resulted in less oil supply on the market. It is the U.S. and Israeli threats to attack Iran that have caused the spike in oil prices.


LSE 6th Annual Bingo

Either Kick Butt Or Be A Loser

It’s long been understood in U.S. politics that the one who wins an election is the one who has the power to treat Americans like total garbage while enriching his buddies. On the other hand, the one who wins the election could do something entirely different from what presidents for years have done. The one who wins the election could wind up being a guiding figure as we Americans tear down the system that is slowly enslaving us. That’s what we hope for. That’s what we work for. If we work tirelessly and effectively, that’s what we’ll achieve.

I write this not for the folks who are opposed to political participation, but for those who recognize the importance of political participation. Working half-heartedly or ineffectively in these times that so matter is simply not enough, because victory is so close for a candidate who is so threatening to the forces that oppose freedom.

What Ron Paul threatens to do is to take the free meal ticket from many men and women who currently depend on government’s corrupt corporate "welfare" in order to live well. There are lots of people who need Ron Paul to lose, because they see that their livelihoods depend on it. Simply sharing links on Facebook and getting into online debates will do little to make Ron Paul president; in fact, the powers that be would love to see Ron Paul’s proponents stay online "where they belong" or just coming outside every once in a while to wave signs. Those actions are entirely ineffective in winning a campaign. Do them and you are just as bad as any neo-con – because you have a chance to effectively fight for liberty, yet you do nothing. Your silence, your comfortable obeisance in your day-to-day life, only strengthens the existing system. You spend your day strengthening that system, just like a neo-con. In fact, I’d say you’re even worse than a neo-con, because a neo-con doesn’t get it. A neo-con isn’t wasting the opportunities to destroy the shackles, because he doesn’t feel the shackles. You who feel those shackles, yet do nothing effective in response to them – you are villains in this story.

The first day this spring when Ron Paul loses an online poll is the day that I know the movement has refocused its attention on something better – winning a race instead of acting like we’ve already won a race. Rejoicing about our strength and our numbers is exactly that – acting like we’ve won a race. We have no reason for gloating, yet so many Ron Paul supporters gloat. We have not won the race.


Great Picture!


City Council to Hold Four Election Redistricting Forums

The Salisbury City Council invites members of the public to participate in four open forums it will hold for the purpose of obtaining public input on election redistricting. Redrawing lines of voting districts is considered following the release of population and demographic figures from each U.S. Census, the last being held in 2010.

The times and locations are listed below:

March 13, 2012 (Tuesday)
Faith Baptist Church
30505 Dagsboro Rd.
6:30pm – 8:00pm

March 20, 2012 (Tuesday)
Parkway Church of God
Rt. 50 & 600 Edison St.
6:30pm – 8:00pm

March 27, 2012 (Tuesday)
Harvest Baptist Church
119 South Blvd.
6:30pm – 8:00pm

April 2, 2012 (Monday)
Government Office Bldg. Council Chambers
125 N. Division St.
12:30pm – 2:00pm

Districts must be drawn in compliance with the Voting Rights Act Section 2 and in consideration of a number of factors, such as compactness, contiguity, respect for “communities of interest” and others. Salisbury also operates its elections under a court consent order of the late 1980s, which created the current two-district system.

A base map showing the areas of the city with majority-black (yellow) and majority-white census blocks (green) is found on the City’s website,, under “Latest News.” That section also contains three plans advanced by the mayor. The city council is awaiting public input on these and any other suggestions or plans the public may advance before deliberating on final district lines to be drawn.

Input and questions may also be directed to the entire council via email to, or by calling the Office of the City Clerk, (410) 548-3140.

Prayer Request

I have a prayer request. There's a lady I've known forever. She's very sick. On top of that, she's being abused by those to whom she has given everything. Just breaks my heart. Seems there's nothing I can do alone. But maybe, if we join in and lift her up together we can heal her. She's well over 200 years old, but way too young to die. Her name is America ... and I love her.

Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Press Releases 3-3-12

On 03/01/2012 at approximately 1458 hours, members of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office arrested Devin Treye Wessels, B/M DOB 06/04/1994, of Parksley, Virginia on a District Court Arrest Warrant. Wessels has been charged with Attempted 1st Degree Murder, Reckless Endangerment, Trespass, Assault-2nd Degree, MDOP more than $500, and Handgun violations. Wessels was taken before a District Court Commissioner and held at the Worcester County Jail with no bail.

On 03/01/2012 at approximately 1547 hours, members of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office arrested Michael Warren Rose, W/M, DOB 07/27/1957, of Salisbury, Maryland on a District Court Arrest Warrant. Rose has been charged with several charges related to Failing to stop after an accident and driving on a suspended and revoked license. Rose was taken before a District Court Commissioner and held at the Worcester County Jail with $25,000 bail.

Caption This Photo 3-3-12

Fed Shrugged Off Warnings, Let Banks Pay Shareholders Billions

In early November 2010, as the Federal Reserve began to weigh whether the nation’s biggest financial firms were healthy enough to return money to their shareholders, a top regulator bluntly warned: Don’t let them.

“We remain concerned over their ability to withstand stress in an uncertain economic environment,” wrote Sheila Bair, the head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., in a previously unreported letter obtained by ProPublica.

The letter came as the Fed was launching a “stress test” to decide whether the biggest U.S. financial firms could pay out dividends and buy back their shares instead of putting aside that money as capital. It was one of the central bank’s most critical oversight decisions in the wake of the financial crisis.

“We strongly encourage” that the Fed “delay any dividends or compensation increases until they can show” that their earnings are strong and their assets sound, she wrote. Given the continued uncertainty in the markets, “we do not believe it is the right time to allow transactions that will weaken their capital and liquidity positions.”

Four months later, the Federal Reserve rejected Bair’s appeal.

In March 2011, the Federal Reserve green-lighted most of the top 19 financial institutions to deliver tens of billions of dollars to shareholders, including many of their own top executives. The 19 paid out $33 billion in the first nine months of 2011 in dividends and stock buy-backs.


Are We About To Execute Another Innocent Man?

Down in Alabama – questions are swirling around Thomas Arthur – a man convicted of murder three decades ago who is set to be executed in March. Since his conviction – a key witness has recanted her testimony – another man has admitted to the murders – and Arthur’s lawyers are calling for DNA tests that could prove their client is innocent. Unfortunately – the state is refusing to allow for the DNA to be tested. Arthur’s lawyers have even volunteered to pay for the DNA testing – meaning it wouldn’t cost the state a dime to find out the truth in the case. As Andrew Cohen writes in the Atlantic, “Alabama wants to finally solve its Arthur problem by executing him. No matter how the new DNA test could come out, the state is more interested in defending its dubious conviction.” And the state can do that - get rid of this problem by killing a potentially innocent man - because of another 5-4 decision by our right-wing Supreme Court. It's time to get corrupt justices like Thomas and Scalia off the Court!


Equality & Dignity Are On The Line

Yesterday was a day for Maryland’s children. It was a day for human dignity. After years of hard work, we signed a bill into law that protects individual civil marriage rights and religious freedom equally. Yesterday, we came together as One Maryland and showed that there is more that unites us than divides us.

But while we celebrated yesterday, today, we need to refocus and continue the fight for marriage equality. Why? Because even before we signed the bill into law, the opposition started their fight to bring the issue to referendum.

Make no doubt about it, this issue will go to referendum and the other side will have the money and resources to fight against it. We can stop them but we need to start early. Join me and donate $10, $20, $50 or even more to protect human dignity.

I wish I could tell you that we've won the battle; that our State is more just today than it was yesterday. I wish I could tell you that the bill has been signed into law and that all of Maryland's children will now be protected equally. But the reality is, there are enough people who oppose equality, that the future of marriage equality is in jeopardy.

We need to continue telling our stories, explaining to our neighbors and friends why this issue is important and working to ensure the dignity of every individual. We need to keep explaining how this legislation provides some of the nation's greatest protections for religious organizations.

We need your help. Please consider donating $10, $20, $50 or even more today to help the fight for equality tomorrow.

If there is a thread that unites the story of our people, it is the thread of human dignity; the dignity of work; the dignity of family; the dignity of every child's home; the dignity of every individual.

It's time to refocus. Equality and dignity are on the line.

Every little bit helps. Please consider donating whatever you can today.

Thank you,

Martin O'Malley

The Debt Collector Industry Is Booming

And is another reason why average Americans are screwed. According to a report from the Roosevelt Institute – one in seven Americans are hounded by debt-collectors. That’s twice as many as in 2000 – and a consequence of a disappearing middle class that has to rely on credit cards to make ends meet since their wages have failed to keep up with inflation over the last 30 years. The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can keep debt collectors in check but – unfortunately – Republicans in Congress are working hard to shut down the agency by cutting off its funding.


Delegitimizing Government Power

Al Gore excoriates us on how we need to restrict our wasteful lifestyles and limit our "carbon footprint" while flying around the world in private jets, using orders of magnitude more energy than any of us little people.

Barrack Obama attacks the "fat cats" and nags us for not being generous enough – requiring the government to spread the wealth around – while making millions of dollars, giving little to charity, and traveling on exorbitant vacations.

Leftist politicians claim that they support the "99 percent" crowd of the Occupy Wall Street protests, though they personally tend to be among the wealthiest and the most involved in the kind of fascist crony capitalism that is most oppressive to regular citizens.

These are all examples of world-class hypocrites. They say one thing and do another. They go around telling everybody else how to live while they themselves indulge their own appetites.

People in positions of power are very susceptible to behaving in ways that contradict their own public dictates. And the more legitimate they believe their power to be, the more brazenly they will do what they tell others not to do. These are the findings of a study by Lammers, Stapel and Galinsky, "Power Increases Hypocrisy: Moralizing in Reasoning, Immorality in Behavior."


Who Stole The American Dream In Broad Daylight?

Opening in New York City on March 2 at the Quad City Cinema, "Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?" is a feature documentary about the emergence of plutocratic control of the US government. But the film is not meant to raise the white flag to accumulated wealth. In fact, it concludes that, "There are only two kinds of power in America: organized money and organized people." "Heist" was directed and produced by Donald Goldmacher and Frances Causey and narrated by Thom Hartmann. Progressive activist Earl Katz served as the executive producer. You can view the trailer for "Heist" here.

Mark Karlin: What role did the book "Global Class War" (2006) play in your formulation of the film?

Donald Goldmacher: Though our initial focus was on undocumented workers, the book gave us a much broader understanding of how big corporations were using low-paid workers, by either outsourcing manufacturing jobs to low-wage countries, or in-sourcing low-paid workers into the United States, to undermine good-paying jobs held by union members. It was also instrumental in helping us to understand that the phenomenon of globalization that began in the 1970s, accelerated during the 1980s by Ronald Reagan and George Bush senior, was also unequivocally embraced by Bill Clinton and his economic team, which included Professor Alan Blinder, Robert Rubin of Goldman Sachs and Larry Summers, all of whom believed in free trade and free markets. They revealed their true colors when they pushed through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) agreements, concocted during the Reagan administration, screwing workers in all three countries.


Will Bibi Break Obama?

The prime minister of Israel is angry with Barack Obama and is coming here to force a hardening of U.S. policy toward Iran.

"Bibi" Netanyahu had his anger on display at a meeting in Israel with Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

McCain emerged saying he had never seen an Israeli prime minister "that unhappy." "He was angry," said McCain. "I've never seen U.S.-Israel relations at this point."

"The Israelis are unnerved," said Graham. "They think the administration is sending the wrong signal, and so do I."

What has so enraged Netanyahu? The Obama policy of tightening sanctions on Iran while holding out the opportunity for Tehran to negotiate and provide guarantees that its nuclear program is not aimed at an atomic bomb.


Poll Finds Unprecedented 25-Point Gap Between Supporters And Opponents Of Marriage Equality

A 25-point gap now separates supporters and opponents of marriage equality in California, with 59 percent of residents backing same-sex marriage and just 34 percent opposing it, a new Field survey finds. This represents “the largest margin of support for the issue in the three-plus decades the Field Poll has been asking the question” and shows a big increase for marriage since voters approved Proposition 8 in 2008. Significantly, support increased among all groups, including Protestants, Catholics, African Americans, Latinos and older Americans and pollsters say that opponents of marriage would have a difficult time overcoming the trend should the measure go back to the ballot:

Poll Director Mark DiCamillo said the move to a 25-point gap goes beyond the gradual increase in support that has been expected as young voters age and “replace” older voters in the electorate. “This is now showing that opinions are changing irrespective of generational replacement,” DiCamillo said. “This is real change.” [...]

DiCamillo said voters still hold the judiciary in relatively high regard, and years of gay marriage court battles in California are likely contributing to the opinion shift. “The winds of change are blowing in other states (and) when judges start ruling the same way, I believe that has an influence,” he said.


Legislators Seek More Control Over Toll Hikes

Some legislators want to give the General Assembly more control over bridge and tunnel toll increases. In this podcast, Duane Keenan talks to Sens. E.J. Pipkin, Bryan Simonaire and Del. Steve Hershey about their bills.

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Why Was Stephon Watts Killed?

Rory Fanning reports on how one family and community are grappling with a horrific episode of police violence against a mentally ill black teenager.

Stephon Watts suffered from autism, but he was like other 15-year-olds in many ways. He loved to fix computers, watch YouTube and read Dr. Seuss books.

On the morning of February 1, Stephon was having an emotional meltdown because he didn't want to go to school. His father, Steven Watts, called the hospital and described the situation, and they told him to call police.

This wasn't unusual. The local Calumet City, Ill., police had been to the home 10 times under similar circumstances, and Stephon's social worker had also counseled the family to call police in various situations.

Stephon had calmed down soon after his father called the police, and by the time four white police officers arrived, he was sitting quietly in the basement of his home. But the sight of the officers frightened him, so he raised a butter knife and lunged at the gun-toting men, according to his father.

That's when police shot and killed the African American teenager.


Celebrating The Signing Of Same-Sex Marriage Law As Referendum Looms

The marble lobby of the State House reverberated with cheers and applause Thursday evening for a highly unusual signing ceremony that made Maryland the eighth state to legalize same-sex marriage in the nation. (Includes one-minute video.)

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FCC Fines Radio Station For Airing "Fake News" From Labor News Show

Earlier this month, the Federal Communication Commission fined the Chicago-based for-profit radio station WLS-AM $44,000 for running eleven 90-second labor journalism news segments paid for by Workers Independent News (WIN). Based in Madison, Wis., WIN produces full-length radio shows about labor struggles around the country; some radio stations choose to broadcast them, while WIN pays others to air them.

The FCC claims that WLS did not make clear to listeners that the spots aired in April 2009—which detailed how stimulus money was funding an infrastructure project in Illinois, and featured a state representative—were paid for by WIN. The fine inspired the Radio Television Digital News Association to publish an article titled “Using 'Fake News' Costs Chicago Radio Station $44,000,” which WIN Managing Editor Frank Emspak says could lead to a potential loss of funds for his station.


Inflation Is A Tax And The Federal Reserve Is Taxing the Living Daylights Out Of Us

Ronald Reagan once famously declared that inflation is a tax, but sadly most Americans did not really grasp what he was talking about. If the American people truly understood what inflation was doing to them, they would be screaming bloody murder about monetary policy. Inflation is an especially insidious tax because it is not just a tax on your income for one year. It is a continual tax on every single dollar that you own. As your money sits in the bank, it is constantly losing value. Over time, the effects of inflation can be absolutely devastating. For example, if you put 100 dollars in the bank in 1970, those same dollars today would only have about 17 percent of the purchasing power that they did back then. In essence, you were hit by an 83 percent "inflation tax" and all you did was leave your money in the bank. So who is responsible for this?
Well, the Federal Reserve controls monetary policy in the United States, and the inflationary monetary policy that the Fed has gotten all of us accustomed to is taxing the living daylights out of us. This is madness, and it needs to stop.

In previous articles I have discussed how the Federal Reserve creates money. If you have not read those articles yet, you can find a few of them here, here and here.

The Federal Reserve system is designed to have the U.S. money supply expand indefinitely.

And that is exactly what has happened since 1913.

But when the money supply expands, there are very serious consequences.

Every time more money comes into existence, the dollars that you and I are already holding become less valuable because now there are more dollars chasing the same amount of goods and services.

Right now, the U.S. government says that the annual rate of inflation is somewhere around 2 percent. Those of you that have to buy food and gas on a regular basis realize how much of a joke that is.

Thankfully, there are others out there that keep track of these statistics as well. According to John Williams of, if inflation was measured the same way that it was back in 1980, the annual rate of inflation would be more than 10 percent right now.

But let's use the doctored government numbers for a moment. Using the doctored numbers, what inflation has done to all of us is still absolutely horrific. Just check out the chart below. This is what the Federal Reserve was designed to do. It was designed to constantly expand the money supply and create inflation that never ends....


Americans Are Screwed At The Pump

With estimates that gas might hit five dollars a gallon this summer. But here’s the truth: high gases prices have nothing to do with lack of available gas in America. That’s because for the first time in 62 years – the United States became a net exporter of oil products. In 2011, our nation sent 439,000 more barrels of oil a day overseas than we imported. That means we’re awash in oil and gasoline, it’s just in the hands of oil barons who are making more money shipping it overseas than selling it to U.S. customers. So, drilling in Alaska or in the Gulf won’t cut gas prices. Our status as a net exporter of oil also means we’re now the world’s dirt pit – where the dirty work like refining and processing crude is done, because oil barons don’t have to worry about the costs of pollution. We the taxpayers and consumers pay for all the externalities of oil production – from more asthma and cancers to the environmental damage. In the hands of banksters and oil barons, the United States of America is UN-developing and unraveling.


Is The Philly Cellphone Jammer A Hero Or A Jerk?

A man in Philadelphia decided he'd had enough with listening to his fellow bus passengers blab away on their cellphones. But instead of buying himself some noise-cancelling headphones or politely asking people to pipe down, he chose to fight back with a handheld device that jams their signals.

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What To Do If Your 1099 Is Wrong

It's tough enough for freelancers to calculate and pay the taxes they owe on income from which no funds have been withheld, but even more difficult if their bosses screw up their tax info. If the company you work for incorrectly reports your income on a 1099 form, you'll be on the hook for paying taxes on that amount unless you can set things straight.

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What You’re Paying For Your Child To Learn At College

As high school seniors throughout America will be receiving acceptance letters to colleges within the next month, it would be nice for parents to meditate on what they’re getting for the $20,000 to 50,000 they’ll pay each year.

–The United States is no better than any other country, and in many areas, it’s worse than many. On the world stage, America is an imperialist country, and domestically, it mistreats its minorities and neglects its poor while discriminating against non-whites.

–There is no better and no worse in literature and the arts. The reason universities in the past taught Shakespeare, Michelangelo, and Bach rather than, let’s say, Guatemalan poets, Sri Lankan musicians and Native American storytellers, was “Eurocentrism.”

–God is at best a nonissue, and at worst a foolish and dangerous belief.

–Christianity is largely a history of inquisitions, crusades, oppression and anti-intellectualism. Islam, on the other hand, is “a religion of peace.” Therefore, criticism of Christianity is enlightened, while criticism of Islam is Islamophobia.

–Israel is a racist state, morally no different from apartheid South Africa.

–Big government is the only humane way to govern a country.

–The South votes Republican because it is still racist, and the Republican Party caters to racists.

–Mothers and fathers are interchangeable. Claims that married mothers and fathers are the parental ideal and bring unique things to a child are heterosexist and homophobic.

–Whites can be racist; non-whites cannot be (because whites have power, and the powerless cannot be racist).

–The great world and societal battles are not between good and evil, but between rich and poor and the powerful and the powerless.

–Patriotism is usually a euphemism for chauvinism.

–War is ignoble. Pacifism is noble.

–Human beings are animals. They differ from “other animals” primarily in having better brains.

–We live in a patriarchal society, which is injurious to women.

–Women are victims of men.

–Blacks are victims of whites.

–Latinos are victims of Anglos.

–Muslims are victims of non-Muslims.

–Gays are victims of straights.

–Big corporations are bad. Big unions are good.

–There is no objective meaning to a text. Every text means only what the reader perceives it to mean.

–The American Founders were sexist, racist slaveholders whose primary concern was preserving their wealthy status.

–The Constitution says what progressives think it should say.

–The American dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima was an act of racism and a war crime.

–The wealthy have stacked the capitalist system to maintain their power and economic benefits.

–The wealthy Western nations became wealthy by exploiting Third World nations through colonialism and imperialism.

–Defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman is as immoral as defining marriage as the union of a white and a white.

Some conclusions:

If this list is accurate — and that may be ascertained by visiting a college bookstore and seeing what books are assigned to any given instructor — most American parents and/or their child or children are going into debt in order to support an institution that for four years, during the most impressionable years of a person’s life, instills values that are the opposite of those of the parents.

And that is intentional.


Why Liberals Cheer When Conservatives Die

Earlier today, Quin Hillyer ripped Matt Yglesias a new one after he went on Twitter to delight in the death of Andrew Breitbart.

Well, Yglesias was outdone by Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone who wrote this afternoon, "Good! F#*k him. I couldn't be happier that he's dead."

I would call on Rolling Stone to fire Taibbi but they'll probably give him a raise.

All of which raises two questions.

1. Why do liberal pundits delight in the death of conservatives?

2. Why do liberal pundits have no shame in publicly expressing these sentiments?

You can probably give the same answer to both questions. Liberal pundits hate conservatives and their hatred of all things conservative knows no bounds. I would also add that liberal pundits aren't very mature.


Why Liberals Like Taxing The Wealthy

I have long been puzzled by the enthusiasm with which many young liberal bloggers cheer on proposals to raise tax rates on high earners. I can understand why they might favor them, but not why they seem to invest so much psychic energy in the issue.

Some of this may just be team ball: You cheer when your side puts up numbers on the scoreboard. So Democratic cheerleaders are rah-rahing what they insist on calling repeal of the Bush tax cuts (which have been in effect now longer than the Clinton tax increases they rolled back).

But the liberal bloggers cannot be entirely ignorant of the knowledge that we have a pretty progressive income tax already. In 2009, the top 1 percent of earners reported 17 percent of adjusted gross income and paid 37 percent of total income tax revenues.

By some measures, the American tax system, including the payroll tax and state and local taxes, is more progressive — in the sense of extracting disproportionate shares of revenue from high earners — than most European tax regimes, which rely heaving on value-added taxes.

Plus, as liberal economist Lane Kenworthy points out, you don’t get much income redistribution from higher tax rates.


Let's Kill All The Banks!

Let’s see ... how was it the Fox News Channel anchor phrased it? Oh yeah. Here we go: “Bank of America is going to penalize some of its customers by charging them a fee for their checking accounts.”

“Penalize?” Really? and just how are they going to do this? Do you mean these dastardly banks are going to charge these customers a fee for their checking account if they don’t maintain a high enough balance or use some other banking service? How horrible! Burn these banks to the ground!

Amazing, isn’t it! The language of the anti-capitalist left is even making its way onto the teleprompters of the evil right wing extremists of Fox News. In todays parlance a bank doesn’t charge a consumer for a product; the bank “penalizes” the customer. It’s not a fee for service, it’s a penalty. Incredible.


20 Obvious Truths That Will Shock Liberals

1) The Founding Fathers were generally religious, gun-toting small government fanatics who were so far to the Right that they’d make Ann Coulter look like Jimmy Carter.

2) The greatest evil this country has ever committed isn’t slavery; it’s killing more than 50 million innocent children via abortion.

3) Conservatives are much more compassionate than liberals and all you have to do to prove it is look at all the studies showing that conservatives give more of their money to charity than liberals do.

4) When the Founding Fathers were actually around, there were official state religions and the Bible was used as a textbook in schools. The so-called “wall of separation between church and state” has absolutely nothing to do with the Constitution and everything to do with liberal hostility to Christianity.


GOP lawmakers criticize $750,000 Gitmo soccer field

At least four House members and one staffer from the Senate appropriations committee have pushed the Department of Defense for answers on the new soccer field for detainees at Camp 6 in Guantanamo Bay.

Fox News first reported on the $750,000 controversial project Tuesday.

Congressman Dennis A. Ross, R-Fla., is introducing the "NO FIELD ACT" that would penalize the Department of Defense and cut the 2013 budget by $744,000 -- the price tag for the Camp 6 soccer field.

"This may be the poster child for this election as to what's wrong with this country," Ross told Fox News in an interview from Tampa.

"We're talking about a significant amount of money spent for terrorist detainees at a camp that we are told is supposed to be closed," he said.

And Ross said the message from voters was clear. "I have heard from my constituents, 'please tell us this is not true,' you're asking us to contribute and is this the fair share the president is talking about?"

On the House floor this week, Congressman Ted Poe, R-Tx., underscored, what he portrayed, as the lunacy of the project


Storms Wreck Indiana Towns, Kill at Least 28 Across 3 States

Powerful storms leveled small towns in southern Indiana, transforming entire blocks of homes into piles of debris, tossing school buses into a home and a restaurant and causing destruction so severe it was difficult to tell what was once there.

As night fell, dazed residents shuffled through town, some looking for relatives, while rescue workers searched the rubble for survivors. Without power, the only light in town came from cars that crawled down the streets.

From the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes, the storms touched nearly all walks of life. A fire station was flattened. Roofs were ripped off schools. A prison fence was knocked down and scores of homes and businesses were destroyed. At least 28 people were killed, including 14 in Indiana and 12 in Kentucky, and dozens of others were hurt in the second deadly tornado outbreak this week.

It wasn't immediately clear how many people were missing.

The threat of tornadoes was expected to last until late Friday for parts of Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana and Ohio. Forecasters at the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center said the massive band of storms put 10 million people at high risk of dangerous weather.

What Can Cops Look At On Your Phone Without A Warrant?

Ten years ago, most of us had little more on our mobile phones than other phone numbers. Then cames texts, photos, video, web pages, passwords, credit card info, and most importantly Sudoku scores. But how much of that should be readily available to police if you are believed to have run afoul of the law?

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