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

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Wicomico County Sheriff Deputy Fired While Being Investigated For Child Abuse @ Parkside High



Case Number:3H00066573Tracking No:121002065822
District Code:02Location Code:03
Document Type:WARRANTIssued Date:12/07/2012
Case Status:ACTIVE

Defendant Information
City:SALISBURYState:MDZip Code:21801 - 0000

Court Scheduling Information
Trial Date:01/14/2013Trial Time:08:30 AMRoom:002
Trial Location:SERV CTR,201 BAPTIST ST SALISBURY 21801-0629

Charge and Disposition Information
(Each Charge is listed separately. The disposition is listed below the Charge)
Charge No:001Description:CHILD ABUSE:CUSTODIAN
Statute:CR.3.601.(d)Description:CHILD ABUSE: 2ND DEG -CUST
Amended Date:CJIS Code:1 0173MO/PLL:Probable Cause:X
Incident Date From:06/21/1999To:06/20/2002Victim Age:

Charge No:002Description:CONTRIBUTE TO COND OF CHLD
Statute:CJ.3.8A-30Description:CONTRIBUTE TO COND OF CHLD
Amended Date:CJIS Code:2 0238MO/PLL:Probable Cause:X
Incident Date From:06/21/1999To:06/20/2002Victim Age:

Charge No:003Description:ASSAULT-SEC DEGREE
Statute:CR.3.203Description:ASSAULT-SEC DEGREE
Amended Date:CJIS Code:1 1415MO/PLL:Probable Cause:X
Incident Date From:06/21/1999To:06/20/2002Victim Age:

Charge No:004Description:SEX OFFENSE FOURTH DEGREE
Statute:CR.3.308Description:SEX OFFENSE FOURTH DEGREE
Amended Date:CJIS Code:4 3600MO/PLL:Probable Cause:X
Incident Date From:06/21/1999To:06/20/2002Victim Age:

Charge No:005Description:PERVERTED PRACTICE
Statute:CR.3.322Description:PERVERTED PRACTICE
Amended Date:CJIS Code:6 3600MO/PLL:Probable Cause:X
Incident Date From:06/21/1999To:06/20/2002Victim Age:

Related Person Information
(Each Person related to the case other than the Defendant is shown)
Address:PO BOX 46
City:SELBYVILLEState:DEZip Code:19975

Agency Code:MSPAgency Sub-Code:9054Officer ID:5151

Address:P O BOX 33
City:SALISBURYState:MDZip Code:21803 - 0000

Event History Information
WARI12/07/2012121207;MSP 9054;2;ARR;D12104274-0
INIT12/08/2012121208;00025000.00;HDOB;010;PCT ;2119
BOND12/08/2012121208;00025000.00;PCT ; ; ;010

Originally Posted at 9:46 PM. For what it's worth, we've learned the alleged events took place some 12 years ago.

Wicomico Continues to Lose Labor Force Ground

Below, is the latest state/local 2011 income tax financial information for Wicomico County that was released yesterday from the State Comptroller's office.  What is alarming is the shear number of non-taxable state/local income tax returns.  These individuals are exempt because they are not meeting the income filing thresholds.

Notice - that over the course of the past 11 years - (FY 2000 - FY 2011) - the total number of State/local Income tax returns have grown by 5,396.  Of that amount - the number of Non-Taxable State/local income tax returns have grown by 3,214.  Thus our net state/local income tax paying base has only risen by  2,182 returns - although our population has increased by approximately 14,834 residents.

Bottom line - our local area workforce has dwindled dramatically and not kept pace with the population growth.  This has resulted in diminished federal, state, & local income tax revenues, and, a sign of a very weak local economy.  Our area needs jobs and lots of them in order to help sustain our community.  This is definately not happening.

Take a look at the results another way - Maryland has a filing threshold.  Essentially, if a resident falls below a certain income threshold, they are not legally required to file a Maryland return.  Some individuals still do file a return, but usually for purposes of claiming a refund on withholding payments or to claim the Earned Income Credit.  Over the past fiscal year - (2010 - 2011) - the total number of income tax returns that were filed over this period increased by 380 returns.  Of those 380 returns - (reporting income) - 359 of them did not pay any MD state/local income tax.  Thus our county only gained revenue ground for 21 returns or realized a net income gain in state & local tax revenue of $23,136 over the past year.

Below is the income tax revenue for Wicomico county for FY 2010 & 2011.

FY 2010 Total State & Local Tax Revenue - $93,759,616
FY 2011 Total State & Local Tax Revenue - $93,782,752
                                      Net Revenue Gain -        $23,136

Marylanders are in dire need of jobs - and fast.

Maryland Local Income Tax Returns - Wicomico County
FY No.of Income No. of Non- Population Average Tax
Tax Returns Tax. Returns State & Local
2000 36,840 6,375 84,899 $1,984.14
2001 37,144 6,851 85,637 $1,954.27
2002 37,316 7,151 86,679 $1,950.31
2003 37,797 7,292 88,463 $2,058.52
2004 38,781 7,265 90,210 $2,316.36
2005 40,527 7,441 92,508 $2,396.71
2006 41,889 7,759 94,621 $2,445.84
2007 42,889 8,405 96,110 $2,495.16
2008 42,290 9,054 97,111 $2,287.58
2009 41,411 9,277 98,069 $2,209.82
2010 41,856 9,230 98,733 $2,240.00
2011 42,236 9,589 99,733 $2,220.45
Population data extracted from the Maryland Department of Planning .
Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division, release date: December 6, 2012
Number of Maryland State Income Tax Returns Filed extracted from State Comptrollers  
Source: Income Tax Summary Reports  

Fox News Contributor Punched In Face At Pro-Union Protests In Michigan

A Fox News contributor was punched in the face during a pro-union protest Tuesday in Michigan, one of a series of confrontations between union demonstrators and opponents on the day the state Legislature approved so-called "right to work" legislation that unions oppose.

Steven Crowder, a conservative comedian and Fox News contributor, had spent the day questioning demonstrators, and video he posted on YouTube showed some of them becoming verbally aggressive, with one telling him, "get the f--- out of my face!"

Another protester can be seen later in the video punching Crowder in the face before being restrained by another man. 


Secession Petitioners Near 1 Million, Oil-Rich States' Signers Have Leverage

Almost a million Americans have signed secession petitions to President Obama requesting that their states be allowed to peacefully leave the United States, some saying the empire's collapse is inevitable, but those in oil-rich states, Louisiana and Texas, leaders in the secession rally cry, might have more leverage, suggesting the movement is another example of "Astroturf."

Almost one million people, including Americans in each of the 50 states, have signed secession petitions to President Obama, around 0.2% of all Americans, but Louisiana and Texas might have more leverage due to their oil, according to news reports citing author Bob Smiley.


35 Things You Will Never See Again In Your Life

 Everything on this list is either irreplaceable or gone forever… BUT NOT FORGOTTEN!

1. One of these bad boys:

2. A man with a better name than "Pappy DreWitt":

3. A handheld game as hard as this:

Undefeated - The Toughest Bridge in the World


Remember back in 2010 when 13 Chrysler auto workers got busted drinking and smoking what appeared to be marijuana on the job? Sure you do, it was all over the news.

Unsurprisingly, once news of their “extracurricular” activities made headlines, they were promptly fired by the embarrassed automaker for violating company policy.

But here’s something new: Chrysler has been forced to reinstate all 13 of the disgraced employees. As it turns out, the 13 kicked back against the company’s decision and filed a grievance and entered arbitration.


BREAKING NEWS: Mall Gunman, Two Others Dead

Three are dead, including the gunman, after a rampage at a mall near Portland, Ore.

From Fox News


When Chase Branscum turned 8-years-old, he received more than 500 gifts at his birthday extravaganza. However, he left his party with none of them.
Young Chase instead decided to give all of his presents away to help other local boys and girls through a Toys for Tots toy drive.
“I already have toys and other kids don’t,” he told FOX23. “They don’t have toys and when they have anything for Christmas they can’t play and they can’t have fun.”

Bad news: Plurality of Americans believe Santa’s a Democrat

C’mon now. In the great scheme of “makers” and “takers,” is there any purer “maker” than Santa?

Besides, when it comes to correlations between political affiliation and private charity, there’s an obvious way to bet here. And it ain’t on “Democrat.”

PPP’s new holiday season poll sees voters in giving moods towards both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney – voters believe both men will be receiving presents from Santa this holiday season rather than a lump of coal, with Romney perhaps getting some sympathy presents. Voters say Romney will get presents by a 63/37 margin compared to 51/49 for Obama. Some other findings:

- 44% of respondents said Santa was a Democrat while 28% say he is a Republican…

- A majority of voters (52/45) said they believe in Santa Claus. 80% said they were on Santa’s “Nice” list to just 11% who said they were on his “Naughty” list…

- When asked, “If Grandma got run over by a reindeer, would you press charges against Santa?” 61% would not press charges, to 24% who would. 33% of Democrats would press charges compared to 19% of Republicans.


Will Justice Clarence Thomas Vote In Favor Of Gay Marriage?

Now that the Supreme Court has decided to take up the issue of whether gays have a constitutional right to marriage, most of the attention will likely focus on the key swing votes in the court – Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy. But court-watchers should keep an eye out for a potential surprise vote: Justice Clarence Thomas. He may be inclined to join with the liberal justices on this issue.

Thomas is generally seen as a staunch conservative to the right of even Justice Antonin Scalia. He notably thinks little of the concept of stare decisis, meaning that legal precedents don’t matter much to him if he thinks they interfere with a plain reading of the Constitution’s text. Thus he has been unafraid to attack long-ingrained liberal precedents.

But Thomas’ legal thinking also has a strong libertarian bent. If he thinks the Constitution does not bar it he has been inclined to allow it. The caveat here is that his reading of the Constitution has also given states leeway in drafting laws in those cases. This can bee seen in his ruling on the last major gay rights case before the Supreme Court, 2003′s Lawrence V. Texas.


BREAKING NEWS: Obama Says US Recognizes Syrian Rebels

President Obama says the U.S. recognizes the main Syrian opposition group as the 'legitimate representative' of the Syrian people.
From Fox News

Obama Wades Into Labor Fight On Michigan Swing

Stumping for higher taxes on top earners, President Obama Monday also inserted himself squarely into Michigan’s boiling debate over a new right-to-work labor law, telling a crowd of Detroit-area auto workers that Republicans pushing for the law are creating political distractions and risking harm to the economy.

“What we shouldn’t be doing is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages and working conditions,” the president said at the Daimler Detroit Diesel plant in Redford, Mich. “We don’t want a race to the bottom, we want a race to the top.”

He urged the state’s GOP-controlled legislature and Republican Gov. Rick Snyder to abandon their efforts to pass the law, which would forbid unions from charging its members dues automatically. Michigan would be the 24th state to adopt the right-to-work law, following Indiana’s passage of a similar law in February.


Storm Relief Sets Up New Spending Without Cuts

President Obama’s call for $60 billion in additional spending to cover damage from Superstorm Sandy tops a congressional wish list of more stimulus spending, expanded unemployment benefits and extending the payroll tax cut — all without finding cuts elsewhere in the federal budget.

The new spending, totaling as much as $250 billion, and the lack of what lawmakers call “offsets” threaten to complicate the already difficult “fiscal cliff” conversations going on in Washington, where the push is on to lower deficits over the long run.

“The American people are expecting that the cliff negotiations to be focused on reducing the deficit, not increasing spending,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican and ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, who has called for any form of new spending to be balanced by savings or reductions elsewhere in the federal budget.


The Student Loan Debt Bomb

Last week, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported that student loan debt increased to $956 billion, more than auto loan debt or credit card debt. More worrisome, the student loan 90-day delinquency rate increased to 11% this past quarter and for the first time exceeds the "serious delinquency" rate for credit card debt.

Student loan debt is reaching bubble-bursting levels. By comparison, in October 2007, the start of the subprime mortgage crisis, 16% of subprime mortgages were 90 days delinquent, according to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. By January 2008 it accelerated to 21%. If the economy heads off the fast-approaching fiscal cliff and tax rates spike for lower- and middle-class Americans, it may accelerate student loan defaults to crisis levels. The big banks got their taxpayer bailout; taxpayers may soon be on the hook for another.

Even if the markets manage to avoid another debt crisis, the mountain of student loan debt is already taking its toll on a weak economy.



The Pentagon is betting big on a real life invisibility cloak for American solders, according to recent reports.

Hyperstealth Biotechnology Corp, a Canadian company known for its innovative camo technology, is attempting to revolutionize the battlefield by providing true invisibility for soldiers. The special material being used is know as Quantum Stealth. The pictures posted on the company’s website of the fabric, which apparently bends light to create the effect, look as though they are straight out of a Harry Potter movie:

There is no video yet of the technology in action since its development is considered highly secretive. However, Guy Cramer, CEO of Hyperstealth Biotechnology Corp, told the Daily Mail that top military brass in the U.S. and Canada have seen it in action, and were amazed: 


Antonin Scalia Defends Legal Writings Some View As Offensive, Anti-Gay

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Monday found himself defending his legal writings that some find offensive and anti-gay.

Speaking at Princeton University, Scalia was asked by a gay student why he equates laws banning sodomy with those barring bestiality and murder.

"I don't think it's necessary, but I think it's effective," Scalia said, adding that legislative bodies can ban what they believe to be immoral.

Scalia has been giving speeches around the country to promote his new book, "Reading Law," and his lecture at Princeton comes just days after the court agreed to take on two cases that challenge the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman.


Jamie Foxx Monologue

Deck The Halls With Edible Holiday Gifts

Last week the Cancer Support Community invited me to speak to a group of their members about edible holiday gifts. Not the kind you buy at kiosks that appear in the mall after Thanksgiving, but gifts you can make in your own kitchen. For those of you who are experts at canning and preserving, this is an easy assignment – add a pretty fabric cover or ribbon to top the jars of your delicious creations. For those of us who may be intimidated by all the boiling involved in making jams and jellies, there are a few other options.

One of the simplest gifts is an herbal infused vinegar (at the center in the photo). Start with a slender-necked bottle with an attached ceramic lever-stopper or a reusable cork. Rinse everything with boiling water and make sure none of the elements that touch the vinegar are made of metal. Select your herbs and rinse them thoroughly; set them to dry on a piece of paper towel and pick out any imperfect leaves.

Your choice of herbs can include rosemary, lavender, thyme, parsley, sage or tarragon. You can also add whole peppercorns or cloves, depending upon the flavor profile you’re creating. Avoid dried or ground herbs, as they’ll cloud the vinegar. Choose high quality vinegar with at least five percent acidity.


Childhood Cancer Awareness

A Look Inside The Maryland State Police Crash Team

Police are typically involved in the aftermath of a vehicle collision, though for some, the involvement can last for years.

When it's a serious enough crash, members of the Maryland State Police Crash Team are usually on the scene.

The crash team, part of the state police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, is a unit of eight members who are assigned to various barracks around the state.

In 2011, the crash team responded to 99 statewide incidents. Of those incidents, 61 were fatal crashes and 27 were personal injury crashes. Eleven of the incidents were not crash related.

In Carroll, the crash team responded to three fatal crashes and three personal injury crashes in 2011.


BREAKING NEWS: New Orleans Saints Suspensions Overturned

Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue overturns suspensions of New Orleans Saints players involved in bounty scandal.
From Fox News

"Obey The Prophet, Even If He Tells You To Kill"

Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi—one of the most influential Islamic clerics in the world, author of over 100 books on Muslim doctrine, head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, and spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood—maintains that Muslims must obey the commands of Islam's prophet Muhammad, even unto murder. This would be the same Dr. Qaradawi that American academics like Georgetown professor John Esposito praise for engaging in a "reformist interpretation of Islam and its relationship to democracy, pluralism, and human rights."

Missed in the West, Qaradawi made this declaration two years ago on his popular Arabic program, Al-Sharia wa Al-Haya ("Sharia and Life"), broadcast by al-Jazeera to an estimated audience of 60 million worldwide.

Towards the end of the show, the host asked Qaradawi what he thought about the fact that Sheikh Ahmad Hassoun, the grand mufti of Syria, had earlier said to an American delegation: "If [Muslim prophet] Muhammad asked me to reject Christianity or Judaism, I would have rejected him." Visibly agitated, Qaradawi erupted as follows:


Finally A Well Dressed Wal-Mart Shopper

States Put Brakes On Capital Punishment

For just the second time since 1984, Virginia and Maryland will end the year without executing a single death row inmate — reflecting a national trend of states using capital punishment less often over the past decade.

Maryland has long been reluctant to use its death penalty. Virginia, which ranks only behind Texas in the number of executions over the past 35 years, has put fewer people to death in recent years as many cases are tied up in appeals and as juries become less likely to recommend the punishment in capital murder cases.

Analysts say executions have plummeted nationwide and are banned in some states because of rising concerns over heavy court costs, biased sentencing and, perhaps most prominently, the fear that a state could — or already has — killed an innocent person.



Obama And Slavery

Thomas Jefferson owned about six hundred slaves over the course of his life. That is to say, he was involved in denying individual sovereignty to six hundred people. Barack Obama, by comparison, wishes to deny individual sovereignty to over three hundred million people. And yet according to the left, Jefferson should be dismissed as a hypocrite, and one of the noblest documents ever written reduced to the status of mere "politics," whereas Obama, who seeks to destroy that document, ought to be seen as a champion of equality and fairness.

If you are inclined to incredulity at the notion of comparing Obama's policy agenda to slave ownership, then you may wish to excuse yourself from the rest of this discussion, as the comparison only gets worse for Obama.

What, at its base, is slavery? Slavery, we would casually answer, is the ownership of one man by another. That is to say, it is a perversion of the notion of private property, rooted in a fundamental illogic about the nature and source of property itself.


“The Most Important Meal of the Day”

Hunger is thought to be a third-world problem, but the reality that 1 in 5 American children struggles with hunger qualifies it as an all-too-real problem here in the United States as well. At Patterson High School we see it every day. Roughly 80% of Patterson High School students receive free or reduced lunch, and many students are very hungry throughout the school day.
Patterson started taking on the hunger issue the way we should start every day–with breakfast. Even students whose families are not struggling to provide food arrive to school without having eaten. Studies show that students who eat breakfast at school perform and behave better than students who skip breakfast at home. Moreover, breakfast-eating students are less likely to be overweight, more likely to be present and on time, and it improves the learning environment. With all of these facts out on the table it was obvious to us that Patterson High School would be serving breakfast this year. Thanks to Share Our Strength, the First Class Breakfast program was initiated at Patterson.

Every morning Patterson students engage in 500 Conversations, a homeroom-style period where students discuss a daily topic in efforts to make them not only scholars, but well-rounded adults as well. The cafeteria staff, HealthCorps coordinator, and Lifeskills program work together to deliver the First Class Breakfast program’s nutritious meals to each and every Patterson student, free, during the 500 Conversations period. At first students were hesitant to accept the milk & cereal or bagel & cream cheese with juice. They are now very eager to share the meal together. Students who previously ate nothing all day long now eagerly await the arrival of their in-class breakfast. The program has given students further incentive to attend the 500 Conversations period. Teachers believe that the program has improved performance, alertness, and participation in class. With hunger out of the way, students can now concentrate on their studies. Patterson High School is devoted to go beyond teaching ABCs and 123s, to empower Baltimore’s teenagers to be healthy adults who move on to positive futures. The First Class Breakfast Program, along with Patterson’s new lunchroom salad bar, is setting the tone for a newly healthy school environment that leaves no kid hungry, and all kids successful.

52-Pound Striped Bass Breaks State Record

A 52-pound striped bass caught Saturday morning, Dec. 8, on the beach of Delaware Seashore State Park has broken the existing state record. Ben Smith of Bryn Mawr, Pa., caught the four-foot-plus fish at about 7:30 a.m. True to proper angler form, Smith wouldn't disclose the exact location of the catch. He caught it on a chunk of fresh bunker purchased at Old Inlet Bait and Tackle.

Eddie Heite of Old Inlet said when the angler weighed the fish in after noon, it registered 52 pounds. When it was weighed a little later at Hook' Em and Cook 'Em at the state's Indian River Marina, the fish tipped the scales at 51 pounds, nine ounces. "Our scale is certified by the state's weights and measures division," said Heite, "and fish are known to lose weight over time. It could have easily lost a few ounces between us and the other scale." Since five hours passed between the time the fish was caught and when it was first weighed, Heite felt certain it beat the old record of 51 pounds, eight ounces set by Betty Rosen in 1978.



(GLEN BURNIE, MD) – Maryland State Police are asking for help from the public as they continue their search for the driver involved in a hit and run fatal crash this morning in Anne Arundel County.
The crash occurred between 3:00 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. today on I-97 between Rt. 32 and Benfield Blvd. A passenger in a vehicle that overturned was ejected into the southbound lanes of I-97. Apparently as he was standing up in either the left or center lane of southbound I-97, he was struck by a southbound vehicle that did not stop. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Troopers do not have a description of the striking vehicle at this time. Anyone who witnessed the crash or may have been in the area at the time is urged to contact Maryland State Police at the Glen Burnie Barrack at 410-761-5130.

Troopers remain on the scene of this crash. The preliminary investigation indicates a truck was northbound on I-97 when, for unknown reasons, it entered the median, struck the guardrail and overturned. Both the driver and passenger were ejected from the truck. The passenger was ejected into the southbound lanes of I-97, where he was struck and killed by the hit and run vehicle. The driver of the truck was taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center where he is undergoing treatment for his injuries.

The investigation is continuing. Families are still being notified. Further information regarding identities will be released later this morning.

Former QA's Deputy State's Attorney Accused Of Misconduct

Former Queen Anne's County Deputy State's Attorney John Mark McDonald faces allegations of professional misconduct during his time at the state's attorney's office.

The Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland has petitioned the court seeking disciplinary or remedial action. The civil case is set for a non-jury trial in Queen Anne's County Circuit Court in January.

The petition, filed Sept. 12, alleges McDonald engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a co-worker at the state's attorney's office, Melissa Knotts, the former office manager, who pleaded guilty to embezzlement charges from that office in October 2011. It alleges McDonald allowed Knotts to take leave she wasn't entitled to, that he nol prossed five traffic citations as favors to her and he attempted to interfere with her prosecution.


Public Notice

Walmart Security Guard Shoots 'Shoplifting' Mother Dead In Parking Lot As She Tries To Escape With Two Young Children

A 27-year-old mother of two has been fatally shot by an off-duty sheriff's deputy after he suspected her of shoplifting at a Houston Walmart.

Harris County Sheriff's deputies have said that victim Shelly Frey, Tisa Andrews and Yolanda Craig were stealing when they were confronted by Louis Campbell a 26-year veteran of the force who works as a security guard at the store.

According to Campbell the women ran to their car and when he rushed to open the door, they accelerated away - at which point he fired the deadly shot into the car which hit Frey in the neck.


Board of Education Monthly Meeting At 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11

The December meeting of the Wicomico County Board of Education will be held at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, in the Board of Education auditorium. The agenda is posted at; click on the BoardDocs box (left side of home page) to view the agenda. 410-677-4561

BREAKING NEWS: Michigan House Approves 'right-to-work' Bill

Republican-controlled state House of Representatives approves measure to limit public-sector unions' strength in Michigan. The chamber still has to vote on a bill dealing with private-sector workers. Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to sign both bills after final passage.

Muslim Student Go Crazy In Campus Showing Anti-Islamic Amateur Film In Sweden 2012

Why Gift Cards Need Stronger Regulation

If you buy a Chase gift card for a friend or relative or employee, you may notice that it comes with snowflakes or bubbles or one of the other decorative choices the bank offers. One thing you may not notice is that it also comes with an “inactivity fee” which kicks in after twelve months and starts removing $2.50 in value from the card every month. For slow-to-spend shoppers, that works out to a $30-a-year fee for letting Chase hold onto your money.

Gift cards are expected to be the #1 gift this holiday season. More than 80 percent of shoppers will buy at least one this year, according to a recent retailer-backed study – and they will spend an average of $156.86 per card. Many cards come from traditional retailers like L.L. Bean and Dell, which are both also using gift cards as an inducement to buy other gift cards— so-called promotional cards. Some givers, knowing neither what their aunt or nephew might want nor where they would want to shop, will turn to bank gift cards like the one from Chase.



Wicomico County Executive Rick Pollitt and the Wicomico Executive’s Fitness Council (WEFC) invite you to kick off 12 days of Wellness with a brisk walk, healthy lunch and more! A Winter Walk @ Lunch event is scheduled for Wednesday, December 12, 2012 from 11am – 1:30pm. Santa Claus is confirmed to make a special appearance during the event and pose for photos with walk participants. Participants will meet at the Pavilion on East Market Street in Salisbury – just look for the BIG tent!


Wicomico County Executive Rick Pollitt is inviting all citizens to attend and participate in a Public Hearing on the development of next fiscal year’s Capital Improvements Program and Budget (CIP) to be held Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 6pm in Room 301/Council’s Chambers of the Government Office Building.

The public is encouraged to submit ideas for capital improvements to the county’s facilities, infrastructure and equipment. Executive Pollitt and his staff will consider these inputs when creating both the CIP FY2014 budget and accompanying Five Year plan. Ultimate decisions will be based on urgency of need and identification of available funding sources.

WHO: All Wicomico County residents

WHAT: Public Hearing Notice: Capital Improvements Program and Budget

WHEN: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 6pm

WHERE: Government Office Building, 125 N. Division Street, Salisbury in Room #301

The Message Of Welfare: 'No, You Can't'

So, you didn't win last week's Powerball? I didn't either, which is why I'm writing blog posts instead of designing a helipad for my new private island.

I was surprised to see even my most cynical friends succumbing to lottery fever in a bad way. Though usually shrewd with their finances, they couldn't resist throwing a few bucks at a gas station attendant for that infinitesimal shot at half a billion dollars.

I resisted the Powerball's allure, mostly because (1) I understand math, and (2) I'm lazy. But another reason to frown on lotteries is the counterintuitive fact that unearned wealth usually makes the recipient less happy. We've all read the hard-luck stories of lottery winners who strike it rich only to lose their homes, spouses and health a few years later. But there are now several scholarly studies to back up the devastating effects of not earning your success.

Martin Seligman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, named the effect learned helplessness. “We found that even when good things occurred that weren’t earned, like nickels coming out of slot machines, it did not increase people’s well-being,” Seligman told the New York Times. “It produced helplessness. People gave up and became passive.”


The Unlikelihood Of President Hillary

The votes have been cast, the count has been completed, and we all know the winner of the presidential election. So now it's just a matter of letting the Electoral College meet to make the outcome official. Then we can get along with planning the inauguration of Hillary Clinton.
True, it's still four years away. But by now it's clear that Republicans needn't bother putting up a nominee. They may as well save their money and candidates for 2024, when Hillary will be ready to leave Washington and become a judge on "The Voice."

The secretary of state is currently more popular than ice cream in August. Matched by Public Policy Polling against a field of other possible contenders for the 2016 Democratic nomination, she got 61 percent among primary voters -- well ahead of second-place Joe Biden, with 12 percent.

Polling analyst Harry Enten of the British newspaper The Guardian says no previous non-incumbent in recent history has reached that level. And each of the ones who came remotely close -- Al Gore, Bob Dole and George H.W. Bush -- got his party's nomination.


Newt Gingrich: Republicans Today Would Be ‘Incapable Of Competing’ Against Hillary Clinton In 2016

Former House Speaker and Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said the current GOP would be “incapable of competing” against Hillary Clinton should she run in 2016.

Gingrich on NBC’s “Meet the Press” called Clinton a “very formidable” person who is married to “the most popular Democrat in the country.”

“If [the Republicans'] competitor in ’16 is going to be Hillary Clinton, supported by Bill Clinton and presumably, a still relatively popular President Barack Obama, trying to win that will be truly the Super Bowl. And the Republican Party today is incapable of competing at that level,” Gingrich said.


Today's Advertiser Of The Day 12-11-12

Barack Obama Rewards Korean Rapper Who Called For The Murder Of American Citizens

Barack Obama doesn’t love this country. Never has, never will. Anyone who paid attention already knew he wasn’t patriotic. Before he was elected, Obama didn’t hold his hand up for the pledge of Allegiance. He made a big deal out of not wearing a flag pin. He sat in Jeremiah Wright’s anti-white, anti-Semetic, anti-American church for 20 years which is something no one who loved their country would ever do. He spent his first term apologizing for America and bowing to dictators.

Now, Barack Obama not only attended a concert featuring a rapper who sang these lines, he shook his hand.

What a disgrace it is that this country has sunk so low that we have a man like Barack Obama in the White House.


Chesapeake Losing Its Working Waterfronts

Harold Robinson has made his living out of Wingate Harbor in Dorchester County for all of his good years. He knows every piece of the bottom in the waters he works near Hearns Cove on Chesapeake Bay. At 64, Robinson is one of the last working oystermen around these parts. And he knows his days on the water are numbered. Not for nothing has he called his boat Limited — a reference to the restrictions the state has placed on what and when watermen can harvest.

“They get you back to the wall, where it’s just so hard to make a living,” Robinson said as he stopped in the marina’s office to get a part for his boat. “Some winters, we didn’t even work at all.”

The ranks of oystermen in Maryland have long been dwindling. But now the harbors and marinas that once housed their boats are going, too.


Gun Owners: Should We Listen To Bob Costas Or Jesus Christ?

As most of you know, during a football game last week Bob Costas lectured us po’ goofy Americans about the evils of a “gun culture” and how we need to evolve away from being obsessed with firearms. As soon as I heard that drivel roll off Mr. C’s tongue I ordered another 30/06, a sweet Walther PPK and a custom .416 Rigby turnbolt. Cowabunga, Bob. Thanks for reminding me to buy more guns.
First off, let me help you, Robert: Guns do not kill people. Dads with daughters do. Oh, and BTW, Planned Parenthood kills a lot of people … like real innocent babies … like the most vulnerable form of all humanity. Why don’t you piss and moan about PP, Roberto? What’s that I hear? Crickets? Yep, crickets from Costas on the evils of the abortion mills. I would’ve thought that crime would have made Bobby incensed. Oh, well.
Another thing I thought was weird was Bob launching into an anti-gun diatribe during a football game. A football game, BC? Look, I know he was trying to be relevant in his commentary as it related to Belcher’s murder/suicide, but whizzing on guns to a football crowd is like pooh-poohing pasta and red wine to Italians. You should have saved that lecture for a figure skating event where the male contestants are sashaying to Spandau Ballet, doing pirouettes and floating around in unitards with glitter in their hair. You could have come on during a gentle moment and said, “Don’t you think we have too many guns? You do? Me too.”

Today's Survey Question 12-11-12

Does Suspending Students Work?

October US Exports Plunge By Most Since January 2009 As Trade Deficit With China Hits Record

The boost to GDP from the declining US trade deficit is over. While the September trade deficit number was revised further lower, to $40.3 billion from $41.5 previously, October saw a pick up to $42.2 billion, slightly less than the expected $42.7 billion, but a headwind to Q4 GDP already. As a result, expect a modest boost to Q3 GDP in its final revision, even as Q4 GDP continues to contract below its consensus of sub stall-speed ~1%. The reason for the decline: a 3.6% decline in exports of goods and services. This was the biggest percent drop in exports since January 2009 as the traditional US import partners are all wrapped in a major recession. What helped, however, was the offsetting drop in imports by 2.1%, the lowest since April 2011, as US businesses are likewise consumed by a concerns about the global economy. And without global trade, whose nexus just happens to be Europe, there can be no global or even regional recovery. So far, all hopes of a pick up in global economy have been largely dashed. Yet one country benefits from the ongoing US slump is China: imports from China - consisting primarily of computers and toys, games, and sporting goods- jumped 6.4% to a record $40.3 billion, offset be a modest rise in exports - primarily soybeans - to $10.8 billion, bring the China deficit to a record $29.5 billion from $29.1 billion in September. Of course, one wouldn't get that impression looking at the Chinese side of the ledger: the Chinese Customs department, reported a September and October trade surplus with the US amounting to $21.1 and $21.7 billion. One wonders, somewhat, where the over $16 billion difference has gone.