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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Customer Just Canceled Daily Times Subscription After 50 Years

Joe, Just cancelled our account after 50 yrs. Dialed the local number and after many minutes was connected with someone in Kentucky and told in detail my issues. She said that she would send these issues on to management.

Publisher's Notes: May this spread like wildfire with an 80 mile per hour wind. Ladies & Gentlemen, it says a whole lot when someone cancels a subscription after 50 years. Now it's your turn. Make that call.

A Letter To The Editor 7-12-12


Can't you contact, who are providing this petition, and
possibly get it shut down. This comes from their terms of service:

.........upload, post, transmit, share, store or otherwise make
available any content that we deem to be harmful, threatening,
unlawful, defamatory, infringing, abusive, inflammatory, harassing,
vulgar, obscene, fraudulent, invasive of privacy or publicity rights,
hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable; ......

Three Joseph Alberos agreeing with this is definitely fraudulent among
other infringements.

Hope you can bust 'em!

Maryland Power Companies To Bill Customers For Lost Service

Power customers in Maryland will likely be fuming when they learn that electric utilities Pepco and BGE will be recouping lost revenue from the recent mass power outages from ratepayers.
According to WUSA-TV/9News, it's called "bill stabilization,"   which allows the electric utilities to bill customers for the electricity they weren't able to bill for during the outage.
Maryland is the only state where regulators allow utilities to recoup their losses directly from customers, the news station reports.

Social Networks Scan for Sexual Predators, With Uneven Results

On March 9 of this year, a piece of Facebook software spotted something suspicious.

A man in his early thirties was chatting about sex with a 13-year-old South Florida girl and planned to meet her after middle-school classes the next day.

Facebook's extensive but little-discussed technology for scanning postings and chats for criminal activity automatically flagged the conversation for employees, who read it and quickly called police.

'Robin Hood' tax on financial trades would help turn economy around, supporters say

As both parties argue over whether to raise taxes on those making more than $250,000, some think there is a better way to raise more money from the very people who who helped cause America's financial crisis -- Wall Street speculators.
It's called the Robin Hood tax.
Backed by the AFL-CIO and National Nurses United, the measure would impose a tiny three-hundredths-of-a-penny tax on financial trades. Supporters say the bill would cost the average investor just $1 per year, but could raise up to $35 billion annually from the high-stakes, high-volume high-speed computer trades critics claim increase market volatility.

Salisbury Police Department In Deep Trouble

We mentioned the other day that several Salisbury Police Officers have left the Department. Well, it gets worse. The latest Intel is that 12 more Officers are aggressively looking for jobs elsewhere. Morale is at an all time low. We're told many Officer do not like the Chief and that the Chief has no loyalty towards her Officers.

We have a problem here Ladies & Gentlemen. One, the citizens are at risk. There are NOT enough Officers in the Academy to fill these positions and more importantly we have a Mayor in Office who is keeping this all under wraps.

You know darned well Mayor Ireton clearly has the ear of the Press, yet NOTHING has been mentioned about this situation. Why, because the Mayor is a School Teacher, (with all due respect) and NOT a businessman. He continues to prove day after day he cannot manage this City and now it is at the risk of our safety.

While I want to show as much confidence in Chief Duncan, each one of you know I have a personal issues with everyone involved in the recent alleged phone spoof in which they filed criminal charges against me for filing a false police report, all of which I never made a report, never called the police, Councilwoman Campbell called the police but they used these false charges against me to gain access to my phone records. Records in which I value to the highest level of privacy in the news business and will always refuse to allow access to anyone.

So I have to start questioning just what's going on at the Salisbury Police Department. I have to be concerned at the type of protection we have. I have to be concerned at what the immediate future is for that Department. That being said, this is why I chose to bring this information public. You are not seeing this in your local news, go figure. I think this situation is of vital interest to the public. As much as law enforcement is trying to stay away from anything to do with Joe Albero and Salisbury News, funny how the LAST person who should be getting such information is the first to present it to you. Talk about screwed up.

Salisbury needs new leadership. Salisbury needs accountability. While this Mayor points fingers at others while misrepresenting the real information at hand, behind closed doors REAL situations are happening and Mayor Ireton is ignoring it like it will just fix itself. I'll be a very different hands on kind of Mayor that will get this City running like a fine tuned machine. It's time to get Ireton out and morale back where it should be.

In closing, I just want to mention my visit today to the Government Office Building. I'm telling you, several people came up to me, (City employees) and said they just can't take it any more. They went on to explain how it's almost impossible to work in that building any more. Between Teresa Gardner and Jim Ireton, things are REALLY bad. I simply stated to please hold on until after the election. I'm hoping these veterans listen. Cross your fingers.


Despite earning the nickname “fundraiser-in-chief  ” by conservatives for what appear to be endless money-raising initiatives, it’s no secret that President Obama has taken in significantly less money than Mitt Romney two months in a row. Now, it seems, he’s even having a hard time raising money for third-party causes.
After the president turned down free tickets to this year’s Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the track reportedly chose to auction off the tickets (complete with the president’s name and White House address) for a children’s charity.
Some of the best seats in the house, the tickets retail at about $110 each, according to Sporting News  .  Unfortunately, the track not only failed to earn money by selling the tickets– it seems they actually took a loss.

Bill Would Curb Oversight of Payday Loans

A group of bipartisan lawmakers are pushing a plan to exempt pawnshops, payday lenders, check-cashing stores and installment lenders from oversight by President Obama’s new consumer finance watchdog agency, saying the oversight could restrict credit and economic opportunities for lower-income and inner-city customers.
But the Consumer Federation of America and other advocacy groups say the move runs the risk of undercutting a key power of the newConsumer Finance Protection Board (CFPB), while leaving vulnerable borrowers prey to risky, high-interest loans that leave families and small business high, dry and deeper in debt.

U.S. Foreclosures Up For Second Straight Month

U.S. foreclosure starts rose year-over-year in June for the second consecutive month, as banks continued to clear their backlog of inventory after a nationwide mortgage abuse settlement, data firm RealtyTrac said on Thursday.

Major banks across the country kept moving on distressed properties following a $25 billion mortgage abuse settlement this April, causing foreclosure starts to rise in the second quarter for the first time since the last quarter of 2009.

Lawmakers Take Aim at ATM Scams

Capitol Hill lawmakers are moving ahead with legislation that would prevent what critics say are frivolous lawsuits against banks, credit unions and stores that operate ATMs by exploiting a loophole in federal disclosure laws.
The House this week unanimously passed an amendment to the 1999 Electronic Fund Transfer Act to address the quirk in the law, and theSenate is expected to act on the proposal this week.
The law now requires ATM operators to post two notices about the fees customers will be charged for withdrawing cash. One notice is a digital message displayed on the screen before the transaction is made. The second notice is an actual sign, known as a placard, that is attached to the outside of the machine or nearby.

Redistricting Map Petition Signatures Validated

Enough signatures have been validated to put Maryland's congressional redistricting map on the ballot for voters to decide in a November referendum, the Maryland State Board of Elections determined Wednesday.

Signatures of 56,323 people had been validated by Wednesday afternoon. Opponents needed 55,736 to put the map on the ballot. Officials found 7,057 signatures to be invalid, and there are still about 2,900 signatures left to be verified.

"They have acquired sufficient signatures for ballot placement," said Donna Duncan, the board's election management director.



The Democrats' hypocrisy on outsourcing continues. As they attack Mitt Romney for being an outsourcer, it was revealed that President Barack Obama sent stimulus money -- U.S. taxpayer dollars -- overseas, and the Republican National Committee (RNC) called him out on it yesterday  .



The cliche “If you can‘t beat ’em, join ‘em,” might be tired, but it’s also true. Unfortunately, the Wisconsin Teachers‘ Unions don’t appear to have taken it to heart following their humiliating defeat against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who appears to have routed the teachers‘ unions so completely that they’ve decided to leave Wisconsin. Woefully enough, they haven’t left to ponder their failings, do some soul searching and emerge modernized. Rather, they’ve decided that rather than shrug their shoulders and say, “If you can‘t beat ’em, join ‘em,” they real message they ought to take away is, “If you can‘t beat ’em, bully someone weaker.”
Thus, today, a story comes from the Arizona Daily Independent indicating that Wisconsin’s teachers union leadership has decided to pack up their highlighters, chalk and apples, and begin picketing schools in Tucson, Arizona. Why? Because of the local school board’s controversial decision to ban schools from offering Mexican-American studies courses that are overly political and aim to radicalize students on the basis of race. At the practical level, this apparently meant banning Mexican-American studies courses altogether (what that means about Mexican-American studies, we don’t like to think), which is where Wisconsin‘s teachers’ unions decided to plant their flag



The gay and lesbian community is trying to convince   the traditionally anti-same sex marriage black community to “evolve” -- and now Maryland is a target ground.

Marylanders for Marriage Equality has launched a video on the internet that features various celebrities and politicians voicing their support for same-sex marriage because a referendum is on the ballot this autumn that would overturn Maryland’s same-sex marriage law, which was passed in March. This is the same tactic that Marylanders for Marriage Equality employed in the beginning of 2012 before the Maryland General Assembly passed the same-sex marriage law.

Spotted In The Legacy Today

YES! Another Albero for Mayor Tee Shirt found today. OK, here's the deal. How about we ALL start taking, (even cell phone) pictures of those people proudly wearing these Tee Shirts and we'll publish them on Salisbury News. If you see someone out and about, ask to take their picture and forward it to my e-mail or cell phone 410-430-5349. What a cool day! SIX Tee Shirts so far today. Thanks for the support Folks!

Setting The Record Straight

We write this letter as a sincere attempt to set the public record straight and to put an end to the bullying and dissemination of distorted and inaccurate information regarding the legislative business of the city. We had long hoped that ignoring the bad behavior would let it lose its appeal and that we and the city could eventually get on with business. Now, however, we have come to suspect that our lack of response to the nonsense actually seems to encourage its continuation.

Yesterday, a letter was sent from the office of Mayor James Ireton, Jr. It contained his latest “press release” in which he once again lambasts a majority of Salisbury's City Council and once again frames the issues in a less than accurate way. Such behavior does not advance our city and prevents us from seizing opportunities to work together to make Salisbury a wonderful place to live and work.

To be frank, an attitude and promise that we each gave the constituents of Salisbury in our individual campaigns for office, we are disappointed by and dismayed at the rhetoric in which the Mayor has engaged that inaccurately portrays our performance and intent. We have unfailingly never strayed from honesty, forthrightness and genuine concern for our constituents and our city in every aspect of our legislative actions. We have publicly made our concerns known at every turn, although the public may be unaware due to less than satisfactory media coverage.

We have repeatedly reached out to the Mayor to ask that he join us in discussion and have encouraged approaches that could calm the turbulent relationship that he has fostered with the council president. Ms. Cohen has been open to various approaches to improve the relationship while the Mayor refuses phone calls, mediation or unemotional, fact-based discussion for the good of our city. Instead he calls press conference after press conference and disseminates press releases from the office of the Mayor, making false and misleading accusations. We are particularly disturbed that the Mayor would issue this disrespectful release at the very hour that he knew the Council President would be attending a funeral and unable to respond.

This most recent of the Mayor's press releases, which came less than forty-eight hours after the majority of Council plainly requested that honesty and full truth from him and the media be the rule of the day, cites two items which require more honesty and truthfulness than the Mayor seems inclined to provide, whatever his motives may be. (A copy of the adopted resolution is attached in .pdf format.)

The truth is that the agenda item for the mountain biking path in the City Park came to Council from the Mayor without the recommendation of the City Parks Commission, a standard in the Council consideration process. The Commission is made up of concerned citizens appointed to work together to provide the Council with their best analysis,based on appropriate research, applicability and city needs. The issue will soon be entertained by Council once the Commission formulates a recommendation. In the meantime, be assured that it is a topic of informal discussion among Council members, even though it has yet to be formally advanced.

The truth is that the Three Strikes legislation is under legal review by the new City Attorney. This legislation, which is one of the facets of the Mayor's Safe Streets plan (a set of legislative measures developed to support the City’s desire to have effective laws in place to help with our commitment to fighting crime) is also under review by the City Attorney. This particular legislation is extremely demanding and its crafting requires exacting precision, as it has legal implications which, if it is not carefully written and reviewed before enacting, would certainly expose the City to many legal challenges and particularly expensive and embarrassing lawsuits. Not well done, it would be worse than useless. This is not what we are tasked to do, nor is it what we intend to do. We anticipate seeing a properly composed final draft in the near future.

On the topic of crime reduction efforts, it is also worthy to note that the Safe Streets Program funding, brought to the City through the personal efforts of Mrs. Cohen in a face-to-face meeting with the Governor, has provided nearly three quarters of a million dollars to date, and is largely responsible, with the regionally unprecedented cooperation of a dozen local, county, state and federal agencies and offices, for the dramatic drop in major crimes in Salisbury. It is time that Ms. Cohen is thanked by the administration for her role in bringing that resource to the City.

The attached resolution outlines the truth about the downtown revitalization. Really, isn’t most everyone in favor of a vibrant downtown? We are. However, as is pointed out in the resolution, the plan that was hyped in private meetings long before it was presented to the Council is riddled with deficiencies that would not yield a good long-term result for the city.

Terry Cohen, in our opinion, is the most knowledgeable, best educated and most intelligent Council president that this city has had in memory. Her performance has been exceptional in that she demands legislation that is carefully and properly constructed, legally airtight and always in the best interests of the constituents and the City. She, and we, will not be swayed by the opinions of a handful of people who feel that Salisbury is theirs alone. She and we will continue to do what Council is supposed to do: have a wide appreciation for the needs of our city, both immediate and long lasting, and to craft legislation that supports those needs, legislation that is both beneficial and correct in every aspect possible. Quickly considered, poorly researched and shabbily constructed legislation is not an accomplishment, it is a liability, a liability that costs the taxpayers, whether they be individuals or business owners, a liability that lessens the reputation of Salisbury as a place to work, live, study and do business, a liability that does not speak well of our city on so many levels.

Our record is an inconvenient truth that shatters attempts to paint us as the “culture of no.” We did say “no” to a tax increase, but in doing so were still able to fund virtually every item in the Mayor’s proposed budget. We have worked diligently to get to “yes” on tough issues like the Onley/Bateman intersection improvements even though we suspect that we were deceived by the administration along the way. We have successfully negotiated settlements for the WWTP and are bringing closure to the chapter that brought us to a failed facility in a way that brings the best possible outcome to the city under the very difficult circumstances that we inherited. If you examine the record you will see the positive results that our strong work ethic and divergent opinions yield.

That being said, we again ask the Mayor to engage in honest and forthright discussion with the Council, not the time and resource wasting bullying that seems to have become his standard pattern of approach. We ask the media to accurately, insightfully and fairly report the news. We rightfully expect that the media outlets, our citizens' sources of the truth behind the news, will make every effort to tell the story in an unbiased and non-sensationalized manner, not relying wholly on one-sided, uninvestigated press releases and "he said, she said" reporting styles, or by editorials that most often and regrettably only tell one side of any story and deny those with an alternate view the common decency to respond without undue editing or plain dismissal. Salisbury's people deserve better than they have been afforded to date. Salisbury's people deserve to be informed, not led by the nose by less than acceptable reporting standards.

We will continue to serve our community exactly in the way we promised: honestly, untiringly, professionally and with respect to your needs and the needs of our city. As always, we look forward to and encourage your engagement in city matters, as you are what we are all about.

Very sincerely yours,
Deborah Campbell, Salisbury City Council Vice President
Tim Spies, Salisbury City Councilman

We distribute this statement to all those who were the recipients of Wednesday's press release by the Mayor.

Publishers Notes: It should be noted Mayor Ireton also refused to sign the resolution passed last Monday at the City Council Meeting.


According to the latest estimates, President Obama’s health care law, also known as “Obamacare,” will cost around $2.6 trillion over the next 10 years, nearly $1.7 trillion more than Obama’s initial promise of $900 billion.
The Senate Budget Committee — the Republican side — released the following chart today depicting the rising costs of Obamacare. Notice that the cost estimates have increased with each and every estimate:



Route 9 Truck Route in Georgetown Will be Closed for Full Depth Reclamation

Georgetown --

WHEN: Monday, July 16 through Friday, August 3
Work Hours: 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday
At 7 p.m. each day, the roadway will be open to all traffic.

WHERE: Route 9 (Truck Route) between Route 9 and South Bedford Street Extended
in Georgetown

WHAT: This reconstruction work will be a full-depth reclamation process. Work like this rebuilds worn out asphalt pavements by recycling the existing roadway. The old asphalt and base materials are pulverized, mixed with emulsified asphalt, and compacted to produce a strong durable base for either an asphalt or concrete surface. This is an environmental friendly process. The contractor for these improvements is George & Lynch/E. J. Brenneman.

At all times, local residents and truck deliveries will have access. There may be some delays encountered due to clearing of equipment from the roadway, but accommodations will be made for their access. The operation is weather sensitive and could be impacted by rain.

Variable message boards will be placed to notify motorists of the upcoming closure and detour routes.

Long Road to November on Same-Sex Marriage

Frederick County residents on both sides of the same-sex marriage debate are preparing for a struggle with the news that Maryland residents will vote on the issue in November.

The Maryland State Board of Elections announced Tuesday that a petition effort had gathered enough valid signatures to put to the test a law legalizing gay marriage.

With 109,313 signatures accepted by elections officials, petitioners far exceeded the 55,736 names needed to trigger a referendum. An unofficial summary from the state elections board reported that 4,724 of the approved signatures came from Frederick County.

Businesses Should “Check That Check”

In exchange for a fee and some personal information, thieves are giving people “instructions” on how to use bank account and routing numbers that do not belong to them to pay their bills online, or print checks so they can make payments in person or by mail. In one scheme, scammers are using a variation on the “free money from the government” fraud. They tell people to use the routing number of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta — 0610-0014-6 — to make checks and electronic payments through the Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) Network. (By the way, that number is no longer valid.)

If clients get an ACH payment, check, cashier’s check, or certified check with that routing number, they should look into it. Checks with that number are not valid payment instruments. If they take one, they run the risk of not getting paid. So what should clients do? Do not accept the check — and notify the authorities immediately: the state’s Attorney General, the local office of the FBI, and their bank.

What else can clients do to protect their businesses from fake check rip-offs? They can train their staffs to watch for warning signs that a paper check might be counterfeit, including:

-no perforated edge on one side of the paper;

-the absence of security features, like a watermark;

-a routing number with fewer than nine digits;

-a bank address on the check that does not match its real address; and

-a flimsy feeling to the paper.


After the collapse of Solyndra last summer, Department of Energy Secretary Chu was called to Congress to explain the bad decision making that led to a $500 million dollar loss for taxpayers. 

Chu's testimony in November 2011 was widely regarded as self-serving nonsense. TheWashington Post awarded his claims about the success of the DOE loan program with three Pinocchios  , noting that contemporaneous emails should have alerted decision makers that the solar market was changing.

Once A Liar...

The man is a liar. Every time Barack Obama gives a speech or makes a statement and then turns to walk away from the podium, I expect to see another set of lips on the back of his head, flapping out the opposite of whatever the front of him just finished blabbing.

It's not a tax, it is a tax, it's not a tax. Not only does it make you dizzy, but you have to wonder if Obama thinks America comprises complete morons and nothing else. With respect to anyone who still believes a word out of his mouth, I would agree with him: those rarified few are certainly morons, or at the very least delusional and perhaps in need of intensive medication therapy -- or as the famous black racist Charles Barron would say, at least a good "slap" -- if only for our collective sanity. Oh, and I would remove Barron's requirement that the person being slapped be white. After all, it's possible for anyone to be an Obama sycophant. Delusion is colorblind.

With Chief Justice Roberts' contortions at creating constitutionality in support of ObamaCare, you would think that in victory our president would at least accept the terms of surrender. But even that is a bridge too far for the Punahou dissembler.


Ex-Marine Who Shot at Pentagon Claims Mental Ills

Lawyers for an ex-Marine from Virginia facing 25 years in prison for firing shots at the Pentagon, the Marine Corps museum in Quantico and other buildings say their client is mentally ill.

Yonathan Melaku of Alexandria pleaded guilty earlier this year to a series of overnight shootings at various military buildings in northern Virginia. No one was injured. As part of a plea deal, he agreed to a 25-year sentence.

In court papers Wednesday, Melaku's new lawyers ask for a court-ordered mental examination. They say their own psychiatrist, Neil Blumberg, has concluded Melaku is schizophrenic after reviewing his medical records and interviewing him for five hours at the jail.


Canteen Boutique

The Holly Center Auxiliary will be opening the Canteen Boutique here at the Holly Center on Wednesday July 18th from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. The boutique is open to the Holly Center people, staff and to the public.


Within the next year or two, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will instantly know everything about your body, clothes, and luggage with a new laser-based molecular scanner fired from 164 feet (50 meters) away. From traces of drugs or gun powder on your clothes to what you had for breakfast to the adrenaline level in your body—agents will be able to get any information they want without even touching you.
And without you knowing it.
The technology is so incredibly effective that, in November 2011, its inventors were subcontracted by In-Q-Tel   to work with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In-Q-Tel is a company founded “in February 1999 by a group of private citizens   at the request of the Director of the CIA and with the support of the U.S. Congress.” According to In-Q-Tel, they are the bridge between the Agency and new technology companies.

Seven Counties Designated As High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas


ONDCP Awards $10.6 Million in Resources to Target Drug Trafficking Networks and Prevent Drug Use Before it Starts

Washington, D.C.
–Today, Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) announced the designation of seven new counties in Florida, Maryland, Ohio, and Virginia as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA). The designation will enable the counties to receive Federal resources to further the coordination and development of drug control efforts among Federal, State, local, and tribal law
enforcement officers and allow local agencies to benefit from ongoing HIDTA initiatives working to reduce drug use and its consequences across the United States.

The newly designated counties are:
 Brevard County in Florida, as part of the Central Florida HIDTA
 Wicomico County in Maryland, as part of the Washington/Baltimore HIDTA
 Adams and Scioto Counties, as part of the Ohio HIDTA.
 Lee, Scott, and Wise Counties in Southwest Virginia, as part of the Appalachia HIDTA.

“Drugs place enormous obstacles in the way of our work to raise healthy children, maintain strong families, support economic prosperity, and protect communities from crime,” said Kerlikowske. “The innovative initiatives and support provided by the HIDTA program will play an important role in helping local authorities combat drug related violence and crime. Smart enforcement efforts like these serve as a key
component of our balanced approach to drug control and complement the Obama Administration’s emphasis on preventing drug use before it starts through education and providing treatment to people suffering from drug addiction.”

In addition to designating new counties, ONDCP also announced $10.6 million in discretionary funding to 27 HIDTAs to enhance targeted enforcement and drug prevention efforts nationwide. These resources will support domestic highway enforcement, combat the diversion of prescription drugs, target domestic marijuana cultivation, enhance parcel interdiction investigations, implement Native American initiatives, and provide funding for drug prevention and education activities at the local level.

Created by Congress in 1988, the HIDTA program provides assistance to Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug trafficking regions of the United States. Law enforcement organizations within HIDTAs assess drug-trafficking problems and design specific
initiatives to decrease the production, transportation, distribution, and chronic use of drugs and money laundering. There are currently 28 HIDTAs, which include approximately 16 percent of all counties in the United States and 60 percent of the U.S. population. HIDTA-designated counties are located in 46 states, as
well as in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia.

Overall drug use in the United States has dropped substantially over the past thirty years. In response to comprehensive efforts to address drug use at the local, state, Federal, and international levels, the rate of Americans using illicit drugs today is roughly one third the rate it was in the late 70s. More recently, cocaine use has dropped by 40 percent, and methamphetamine use in America has been cut in half. In Fiscal Year 2011, the Obama Administration spent over $10 billion on drug education and treatment and over $9 billion on drug-related law enforcement efforts in the U.S.

Caption This Photo 7-2-12

Best Of Just For Laughs

PHOTOS: The 1930s Dust Bowl

The Great Depression was bad, but perhaps the worst crisis in 1930s America was the Dust Bowl.

Long droughts and poor farming techniques caused soil in the Midwest to turn into dust. This dust blew in large storms across across Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and other Great Plains states, destroying farmland and forcing residents to flee. These unfortunate farmers moved west to places like California and became poor sharecroppers.

With warnings that dustbowl conditions are returning, we pulled some harrowing images from the Library Of Congress.

Click here to see the pictures>


According to a new Gallup poll measuring   Americans' confidence in television news, the level is the lowest since the poll was begun in 1993. 21% of adults expressed a great deal of confidence in television news reporting. No wonder CNN’s ratings are in the toilet.

Gallup tested 16 institutions, including newspapers, and TV news ranked 11th. Newspapers were ranked 10th. There was an interesting divide among those on the left; Democrats were the most confident in television news of all the groups surveyed (now there’s a shock) but postgraduates, who are more generally Democrats, had the least confidence in the TV news industry. This would tend to imply that well-educated people were more distrustful of what was spoon-fed them by the TV media, while those who were lower-income Democrats didn’t question the TV media’s bias toward the left.

Obama Paying Utility Bills? Scam Victims Nationwide Think So

By Bob Sullivan

Scammers committing a particularly painful form of identity theft appear to have hit on just the right formula to trick thousands of victims: A punishing heat wave, large utility bills, a bad economy and a good story.

The criminals have been marching across the country, making their way from state to state, persuading victims that a special federal government assistance program -- sometimes described as a bailout authorized by President Barack Obama's administration -- is available to pay their utility bills. Victims are given bank account and routing numbers to use when paying their bills online, but only after they "register" by surrendering their Social Security numbers and other personal information.There is no such utility payment assistance program. But electricity users seem to be falling for the ruse everywhere, making it in one of the more successful scams in recent times. Last week, 2,000 people were tricked in Tampa the local utility company, TECO Energy Inc., told There were more victims in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and across New England. Utility firms in Utah and California reported similar scam epidemics earlier this year. And at least 10,000 people fell for the scam in New Jersey in recent weeks, Public Service Electric & Gas told

"We see scams once or twice a year, and a handful of people fall for them. But this is crazy," said Sylvia Wood, TECO spokeswoman. She said about 2,000 customers tried to pay their bills with bogus account information traced to the scam within a 24-hour period last week. The scam spread so fast that all callers to TECO are now greeted by an automated message with a warning.

The continued spread of the “Obama utility bill scam,” as some have dubbed it, means it’s likely coming to a neighborhood near you. Scammers find victims through all the usual digital channels -- emails, bogus tweets, even Facebook messages. But in an unusual twist, the scam also has a real-world element. Agents for the criminals are going block by block, knocking on doors and handing out leaflets, encouraging people to pay their bills with the bogus account information.

One reason the scam is spreading: It seems to work. Before the local utility company gets wise to the bogus account numbers being used, the payments are processed and initially credited to victims, who receive payment confirmation notices. The victims often share their success stories with family and friends, who also fall for the scam. Only later are the payments rescinded.
Facebook has hastened the spread of the scam, said Bonnie Sheppard, spokeswoman from PSE&G in New Jersey, as victims passon their “success stories.”

"Once it morphed into the social media thing, it just kept getting passed on from friend to friend to friend," she said.

In addition to 10,000 victims, tens of thousands of New Jersey residents also jammed customer service lines asking about the scam, she said. That's good news -- calling to verify the authenticity of an email is a good idea -- but it continues to be an additional headache to the utility company, which has been facing record demand from the heat wave.

Caroline Morales of Bethlehem, Penn., told the Allentown Morning Call that she had been tempted by the scam.

"My neighbor comes running with a paper that had a routing and account number," she told the paper. "She said Obama was helping people pay their utility bills, mortgage and any bills you had." While Morales had her doubts, she said her mom told her, "It's probably true since he is looking for votes."

The myth-busting site Snopes has several version of the scam message on its website.

House Conservatives to Boehner: Defund Obamacare Now

Although the House of Representatives, dominated by Republicans, voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, on Wednesday, at least 80 House Republicans so far have signed a letter calling upon Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the House GOP leaders to halt any future funding of the health care law given that the House controls most appropriations.
The letter, signed by Reps. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), Steve King (Iowa), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Allen West (Fla.), Trent Franks (Ariz.), Louie Gohmert (Tex.), and 74 other House members, was sent out by the House Republican Study Committee and the House Tea Party Caucus.


I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
― Ernest Hemingway

“But it does not seem that I can trust anyone,’ said Frodo.
Sam looked at him unhappily. ‘It all depends on what you want,’ put in Merry. ‘You can trust us to stick with you through thick and thin–to the bitter end. And you can trust us to keep any secret of yours–closer than you keep it yourself. But you cannot trust us to let you face trouble alone, and go off without a word. We are your friends, Frodo.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

“We’re paying the highest tribute you can pay a man. We trust him to do right. It’s that simple.”
― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”
― Stephen R. Covey

“Never trust the advice of a man in difficulties.”
― Aesop

“The shifts of fortune test the reliability of friends.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero, De Senectute, De Amicitia

“If you are untrustworthy, people will not trust you.”
― Lao Tzu

Evidence Dispute in Case of Slain Md. Mom, Son

A man charged with killing his estranged wife and fatally beating her 11-year-old son with a baseball bat wants a judge to bar prosecutors from using his cellphone records as evidence.

Curtis Lopez, 46, is awaiting trial in the deaths of Jane McQuain and her son, William, whose bodies were found six days apart last October.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers have been arguing over evidence ahead of a scheduled court hearing next week in Montgomery County, Md.


Home Depot Sells Defective Grill, Reacts Exactly Unlike Stereotypical Big Box Store

Having rented a truck to transport his new grill home from Home Depot, R. had every reason to expect all kinds of inconvenience when the new appliance wouldn't light. At all. But that wasn't so. When he called to report the problem, the store reacted with all of the efficiency and great customer service that we've come to never expect from the big-box stores on every street corner.

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New Septic System Requirements Fire Up Opponents At Hearing

More than two dozen witnesses testified before a joint legislative committee Tuesday on proposed regulation for upgraded septic systems across the state, most of them opposing the rule change. State Department of the Environment officials who wrote the regulations –– the only proponents aside from environmentalists –– told the Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review joint committee that applying best available septic technology statewide is the way to reduce nutrient sediment load in the Chesapeake Bay.

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Not All Millionaires Are The Same: Wealth Vs. Income

The national Tax Foundation got into a bit of a blogging bout with Gov. Martin O’Malley’s office Tuesday over what the foundation saw as misuse of its tax figures. But another problem with the blog was its use of figures about millionaires. It confuses the 157,000 households with liquid assets of $1 million with the 7,000 or so households which have income of $1 million a year.

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