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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

2 Million Facebook, Gmail And Twitter Passwords Stolen In Massive Hack

Hackers have stolen usernames and passwords for nearly two million accounts at Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo and others, according to a report released this week.

The massive data breach was a result of keylogging software maliciously installed on an untold number of computers around the world, researchers at cybersecurity firmTrustwave said. The virus was capturing log-in credentials for key websites over the past month and sending those usernames and passwords to a server controlled by the hackers.

On Nov. 24, Trustwave researchers tracked that server, located in the Netherlands. They discovered compromised credentials for more than 93,000 websites, including:
  • 318,000 Facebook (FB, Fortune 500) accounts
  • 70,000 Gmail, Google+ and YouTube accounts
  • 60,000 Yahoo (YHOO, Fortune 500) accounts
  • 22,000 Twitter (TWTR) accounts
  • 9,000 Odnoklassniki accounts (a Russian social network)
  • 8,000 ADP (ADP, Fortune 500) accounts (ADP says it counted 2,400)
  • 8,000 LinkedIn (LNKD)accounts


Publishers Notes: I continue to wonder why County Executive Rick Pollitt refuses to bend the ear of the Governor to bring such Industry and Jobs here to the Eastern Shore. You can't tell me we couldn't offer them better incentives. 

Brace Pharmaceuticals, part of Brazilian pharma giant EMS, locates its U.S. headquarters in Rockville

– On a trade mission to Brazil, Governor Martin O’Malley announced that Brace Pharmaceuticals, an investment company created by EMS S/A, Brazil’s largest domestic pharmaceutical company, has opened its U.S. headquarters in Montgomery County and plans to invest $200 million into the new operation. The company, which is located in the Rockville Innovation Center, is focused on the late stage clinical development of pharmaceutical products with the potential for near-term commercialization. Brace invests in research and development companies’ efforts to successfully complete their clinical trials and seek FDA marketing approval. Brace recently entered into its first venture investment in a U.S. company with Gliknik, a Baltimore-based biopharmaceutical company that is creating new therapies for cancer and immune disorders. The announcement came after Governor O’Malley visited EMS headquarters near Sao Paulo and met with the company’s owner and Chairman, Carlos Sanchez and its Vice President of Strategy & Operations, Vinzenz Plorer, a member of the Maryland delegation to Brazil.

“Brace Pharmaceuticals’ decision to establish its U.S. headquarters in Maryland reaffirms the State’s position as one of the world’s leading locations for life sciences innovation,” said Governor O’Malley. “We welcome Brace and are pleased that they will be able to benefit from our highly-educated workforce and our proximity to key federal labs. Their work with a wealth of cutting-edge companies will help to cure diseases and develop new therapies to save lives across the globe.”

"By establishing Brace's operations in Rockville, Maryland, we have access to one of the U.S.'s top life sciences communities,” Brace’s Plorer said. “There is a talented pool of industry experience to draw upon as we expand our footprint. Moreover, there is established infrastructure and support from companies, universities, NIH and FDA."

Governor O’Malley also announced that DK Diagnostics, a Sao Paulo, Brazil-based biotechnology company, is planning to expand its presence in Maryland, invest $1 million in the new operation and grow to 20 employees over the next two years. Founded in 2004, the company manufactures and markets a parasite testing kit called PARATEST.r Currently, the company has four employees in an office in Frederick and recently began manufacturing the product in Maryland.

“It is our goal to become an export company to NAFTA's market from our plant in Maryland and help fortify the concept of biotechnological innovation that is the State's mark,” said Jose Carlos Lapenna, DK Diagnostic President & CEO.

Earlier today, Governor O’Malley addressed the Federation of Industries of Sao Paulo, which represents more than 30,000 industrial companies. As part of the presentation, called “Doing Business in Maryland,” the Governor highlighted the State’s top-ranked education system and leadership in the Innovation Economy, including biotechnology, cyber security and advanced manufacturing.

Orders For Mistletoe Pour In After Oregon Girl Told She Can’t Sell Them, But Can Beg For Money At City Park

It appears the Oregon girl who was told she could not sell mistletoe in a public park, but could beg for money to pay for her braces, will be able to pay for dental work...and then some.

Hundreds of mistletoe orders have poured in after reports of 11-year-old Madison Root being told by a security guard that she cannot sell the item at a public park, but she could, if she wanted to, beg for money, reported.

Root, who was selling the classic Christmas staple to earn enough money to pay for her new braces, also received $1,000 from a local entrepreneur as "seed money" for her mistletoe operations.

Corporate Profits Rising Economy Struggling Infographic

Wasn’t the economy supposed to be struggling? Then why are companies in the U.S. and all around the world raking in cash? Let’s look at which companies are most profitable — and how some of them stay that way.

Who Makes the Most Money?

Of the 25 companies with the largest corporate profits in the world, banking, energy and technology firms are absolutely ranking it in.

Collectively, they made $567,856,000,000 in 2012 alone. And that’s only 25 of the most profitable companies in the world. Let’s put all that cash into perspective. That enough money to …

… provide a year of funding on mid-range plans under the Affordable Care Act for 144 million Americans (that’s equivalent to nearly everyone in the eight most populous states in the country, California, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Florida, Ohio and Georgia).
… outweigh a 68,000-individual herd of African elephants


First Dog Sunny Gets A Little Frisky With Toddler At White House Holiday Event

New first dog Sunny got a little frisky at the White House.

First lady Michelle Obama yanked on the new pup’s leash as Ashtyn Gardner, 2, from Mobile, Ala., lost her balance while greeting the Portuguese Water Dog.

The faces of horrified chefs can be seen in the background.

Little Ashtyn was at the White House for a holiday arts-and-crafts event in the State Dining Room for the children of military personnel.

Obamacare And Its Cronies

“Collaboration” between insurers and the administration, or revolving-door economics?

Despite the myriad problems with Obamacare’s rollout, health-insurance companies are not tempering their support for the controversial law. The industry is even gearing up for an expensive “PR blitz” to enroll people in the exchanges, which should come as no surprise.

In the words of former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle, insurance companies are “not necessarily unbiased. They have a lot of skin in the game.” Indeed, one of the more peculiar aspects of the Obamacare debate has been the mainstream media’s apparent bemusement at the insurance industry’s support for a law that not only forces people to buy its products (which are necessarily more expensive under the law) but also offers direct taxpayer subsidies to help cover the cost, to the tune of nearly $500 billion over the next ten years.

It was hardly a shock when, in 2011, the industry’s largest lobbying group, America’s Health Insurance Plans, argued in an amicus brief to the Supreme Court that, in the event that the individual mandate to purchase insurance was struck down, Obamacare should be scrapped entirely.


Iran Enrichment Capacity Expanded Dramatically On Obama's Watch

Before he paused to allow reporters to ask questions about the nuclear deal with Iran that he had just announced in Geneva, Secretary of State John Kerry seemed to anticipate one line of criticism about the accord -- that it effectively cedes to the Islamic regime the right to enrich uranium, despite half a dozen U.N. Security Council resolutions declaring the activity illegal. And he moved, preemptively, to address it.

"In 2003, when the Iranians made an offer to the former administration with respect to their nuclear program, there were 164 centrifuges," Kerry said in a news conference held in the early hours of Nov. 24. "That offer was not taken. Subsequently, sanctions came in, and today there are 19,000 centrifuges and growing."

In essence, the secretary of State was suggesting the staggering number of centrifuges that Iran now has effectively forced the hand of the P5+1 negotiators at the talks, making the placement of restrictions on Iran's nuclear program the only realistic prospect the negotiators could pursue. Kerry also suggested that had only President George W. Bush done the right thing a decade ago, the United States and its allies in the P5+1 -- Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia -- wouldn't have found themselves in such a precarious negotiating posture.


Dr. Benjamin Carson Talks About Health Care

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - On November 7th, Dr. Benjamin Carson addressed an audience of 1,400 at the Alabama Policy Institute’s 24th annual dinner.

At a time when nationalizing 1/6th of America’s economy has imploded into a health insurance fiasco and the national debt is at $17 trillion and climbing, pioneering neurosurgeon Dr. Carson is speaking out against political correctness and government dependency.

Carson is a very soft-spoken man, and even when he is using a microphone the entire audience hushes as much as possible for fear they might miss a word.

Benjamin Solomon Carson was raised by a single mother who was committed to giving her sons a strong foundation for liberty.

“My mother was out working 2-3 jobs at a time, leaving at five in the morning and getting back after midnight, because she didn’t want to be on welfare,” said Carson. “She was very observant and she noticed that no one she ever saw go on welfare came off of it. She did not like the idea of being dependent. She didn’t want us to be dependent.”

“In fact, I suspect my mother with her 3rd grade education could probably do a much better job than the people at the head of this country,” said Carson, drawing applause from the audience.

FBI Impeding Inquiry Into IRS Targeting Of Conservative Groups

The House’s chief investigator says the FBI is stonewalling his inquiry into whether the agency and the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative group True the Vote for special scrutiny, and Rep. Darrell E. Issa is now threatening subpoenas to pry loose the information from FBI Director James B. Comey Jr.

Mr. Issa, California Republican, and Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican, are leading the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s IRS inquiry. They also said the FBI is refusing to turn over any documents related to its own investigation into the IRS, which began in the days after an auditor’s report revealed the tax agency had improperly targeted tea party groups for special scrutiny.



Incident: Warrant
Date of Incident: 2 December 2013
Location: Salisbury, MD
Suspect: Robert Leon Lewis Jr., 18, Salisbury, MD
Narrative: On 2 December 2013 at 10:20 AM, a deputy arrested Robert Lewis on a District Court Bench Warrant. The warrant had been issued after Lewis failed to obey the conditions of his pre-trial release in a trespassing case.  The deputy transported Lewis to the Detention Center where he was detained without bond.
Charges: Failure to Follow Conditions of Pre-Trial Release
Lewis, Robert
Lewis, Robert

Incident: Possession of CDS / DUI
Date of Incident: 2 December 2013
Location: Gunby Road, Salisbury, MD
Suspect: Scott Michael Davis, 30, Salisbury, MD
Narrative: On 2 December 2013 at 1:00 PM, a deputy arrested Scott Davis in connection with an incident that had occurred back on 21 Nov 2013. In that incident, the Sheriff’s Office and EMS were summoned to the area of Gunby Road in Salisbury for the report of a vehicle stooped in the middle of the road with the operator passed out behind the wheel. The operator, Scott Davis of Salisbury, was discovered to be suffering the effects of being under the influence of what was suspected to be Heroin. That suspicion was supported by the discovery of heroin along with paraphernalia that included a syringe inside the vehicle. Upon the initial arrival of EMS, Davis was found unconscious with the vehicle in gear and his foot on the brake.  Davis was transported to PRMC at the time of this incident.  The investigating deputy applied for and received a warrant for the arrest of Davis. Upon arrest he was transported to the Central Booking Unit where he was processed and taken in front of the District Court Commissioner. After an initial appearance, the Commissioner detained Davis in the Detention Center in lieu of $20,000.00 bond.
Charges: Possession of CDS, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Driving Under the Influence of CDS
Davis, Scott
Davis, Scott

Incident: Wanted Fugitive / Possession CDS
Date of Incident: 2 December 2013
Location: 100 block of S. Division Street, Salisbury, MD
Suspect: Hezekiah McBride Purnell Jr., 47, Salisbury, MD
Narrative: On 2 December 2013 at 2:00 PM a deputy responded to the Wicomico County Library after receiving information that a wanted fugitive, Hezekiah Purnell, was inside. Upon arrival the deputy located Purnell sitting at one of the library computers surfing the internet. Upon being taken into custody, the deputy located a baggie of what was recognized as marijuana in Purnell’s pants pocket.

Purnell was wanted on a total of four (4) warrants:
  1. District Court Bench Warrant issued for Failure to Appear in a Marijuana Possession case.
  2. District Court Bench Warrant issued for Failure to Appear in a CDS Paraphernalia case.
  3. Child Support Body Attachment
  4. Child Support Body Attachment 
Additionally, Purnell was also charged with Possession of CDS due to the marijuana located in his possession.  Purnell was detained in the Detention Center on bond.
Charges: Possession of CDS, Failure to Appear and Child Support Non-Compliance
Purnell, Hezekiah
Purnell, Hezekiah

With Top 4 US Banks Holding $217 Trillion In Derivatives, Total Number Of US Banks Drops To Record Low

Overnight, the WSJ reported  a financial factoid well-known to regular readers: namely that as a result of a broken system that ever since the LTCM bailout has encouraged banks to become take on so much risk they become systematically important (as in their failure would "end capitalism as we know it"), and thus Too Big To Fail, there has been an unprecedented roll-up of existing financial institutions especially among the top, while the smaller, less "relevant", if far more prudent banks have been forced out of business. "The decline in bank numbers, from a peak of more than 18,000, has come almost entirely in the form of exits by banks with less than $100 million in assets, with the bulk occurring between 1984 and 2011. More than 10,000 banks left the industry during that period as a result of mergers, consolidations or failures, FDIC data show. About 17% of the banks collapsed."

The resulting elimination of over 10,000 banks in the past thee decades is shown in the WSJ chart below, which also shows total amounts of bank deposits.


Md., Va. Among Top Five States For Government-Funded Jobs

Maryland and Virginia are among the top five states in the nation in the dubious competition for most government-financed employment, according to a new economic study.

It turns out Virginia, Maryland’s closest fierce competitor for business, edges out Maryland in most categories for taxpayer-funded jobs, according to a study conducted by Keith Hall, former commissioner of the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. He is now a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center of the George Mason University.

6 Fresh & Green's Markets In Maryland And Washington Closing

Downtown Baltimore will lose one of its few grocery stores when six Fresh & Green's markets in Maryland and Washington close by the end of the month

Natural Markets Food Group announced the closings Monday. The stores, former Superfresh markets, opened in 2011 under the ownership of Natural Markets, a subsidiary of Catalyst Capital Group, a Canadian private equity firm.

Anne Burns, a spokeswoman for Fresh & Green's, said about 40 employees will be affected at each store, including one on Charles Street in Baltimore and others in Arnold, Brunswick, Cambridge and Chestertown.

The stores were not profitable, the retailer's CEO, Robin S. Michel, said in a statement.

"Closing stores is never easy, given the impact on employees and the communities they serve … but there are times when it is necessary, and this is such a time," she said. "We've reached the point at which continuing to operate these stores does not make financial sense for the company."


Atlantic City Fire Dept. - Expiring Grant = 51 Layoffs

ATLANTIC CITY - The expiration of a federal grant is forcing the fire department to layoff dozens of firefighters.

Atlantic City Fire Chief Dennis Brooks tells NBC 40 that come December 4, the expiration of the Federal S.A.F.E.R. grant will force the department to lay off 51 firefighters. Eight more will be demoted.

The grant, awarded in May 2011, allowed the department to maintain a staff of 264 firefighters.

Chief Brooks says the department has had no word from the federal government on whether or not the S.A.F.E.R. grant will be renewed.

Hough Wants Term Limits For State Lawmakers

Maryland Delegate Michael Hough says he wants his fellow state lawmakers to limit their own terms so part-time legislators don't turn into career politicians.

When the Maryland General Assembly convenes in January, Hough will push to bar state lawmakers from serving more than three terms in the Senate and three in the House of Delegates. Capping length of service would shake up the "ruling class" that now controls the legislative process in Annapolis, he believes.

"They've got a machine down there, and they wield a lot of power," said Hough, R-District 3B.

Hough said his belief in term limits developed after seeing how the state Legislature operates. He noted that Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., a Democrat, has led his chamber for decades and said the seven House committee chairs have held office for a combined total of about 180 years.


Oregon Girl Told She Can't Sell Mistletoe, But Can Beg For Money

An 11-year-old girl from Portland, Ore. has been told that she can't sell mistletoe to help defray the cost of braces, but she can beg for the money on the city's streets.

According to KATU-TV, Madison Root and her father were selling bags of the hand-cut, hand-wrapped Christmas favorite Saturday morning next to the Skidmore Fountain in downtown Portland, where the city holds a weekly market. Everything was going well until a security guard told her that she had to stop selling due to a city ordinance that bans such activity in a park "except as expressly permitted under the terms of a lease, concession or permit."


No Cook Cinnamon Ornaments

Here is a simple way to make amazing cinnamon ornaments for your Christmas tree this year. This recipe requires NO COOKING, takes mere minutes to mix up, and will fill your home with the best scent of the season.

This recipe is so simple to prepare and the ornaments smell divine. One other thing I love about these cinnamon ornaments is that kids can paint them once dry for added fun! They dry naturally light in color, giving kids a perfect canvas to create.

Cinnamon Ornament Recipe
1 cup of flour
1/2 cup of salt
1/2 cup of cinnamon
3/4 cup of very warm water
See more

Man Survives Three Days at Bottom of Atlantic Ocean After Tugboat Topples: Amazing Rescue Video

LAGOS, Nigeria — Entombed at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in an upended tugboat for three days, Harrison Odjegba Okene begged God for a miracle

The Nigerian cook survived by breathing an ever-dwindling supply of oxygen in an air pocket. A video of Okene's rescue in May that was posted on the Internet more than six months later has gone viral this week.

As the temperature dropped to freezing, Okene, dressed only in boxer shorts, recited the last psalm his wife had sent by text message, sometimes called the Prayer for Deliverance: "Oh God, by your name, save me. ... The Lord sustains my life."

Blue Angels Coming To OC In 2015

The Dispatch
BREAKING NEWS: Blue Angels Coming To OC In 2015
It was confirmed today the U.S. Navy Blue Angels will be in Ocean City for the 2015 OC Air Show on June 13-14. Who exactly will headline the 2014 OC Air Show, set for June 14-15, should be known soon as the military demonstration teams typically solidify their schedule at the International Council of Air Shows in Las Vegas that is currently being held. On the radar of the OC Air Show is the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, among other acts.

SU Students Volunteer For The Holidays

SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University students, faculty and staff are preparing for the holidays with projects that benefit the whole community. The following is a sampling:
TOURNAMENT OF TREES:  The Guerrieri University Center hosts its 10th annual Tournament of Trees in December. More than 20 SU organizations decorate three-foot, pre-lit Christmas trees for a chance to win prizes. The trees are displayed in the center’s Fireside Lounge from December 4-11 before being given to residents served by local charities.
SHORECORPS/PALS COLLECTION:  ShoreCorps/PALS (Partnership for Adolescents on the Lower Shore), the AmeriCorps program at SU, is collecting toys throughout the Salisbury area to be distributed to local families in need by the Salvation Army through Saturday, December 14.
BACKPACK PROGRAM:  The Student Affairs Division collects non-perishable, easy-to-open foods such as peanut butter, granola bars and fruit cups to benefit Beaver Run Elementary School’s Backpack Program from Monday-Thursday, December 2-19. Twice each month, the Maryland Food Bank fills some 40 backpacks with these items and sends them home with eligible Beaver Run students to help supplement their meals. Collection boxes are located at the Information Desk of the Guerrieri University Center and Sea Gull Square Housing Office.
TYPHOON RECOVERY:  SU’s Filipino American Cultural Association is teaming with other student organizations through Thursday, December 5, to collect money to benefit UNICEF’s typhoon recovery efforts in the Philippines.
ANIMAL SUPPLY DRIVE:  Blackwell Library reminds the community that people are not the only beings who are homeless and hungry during its annual donation drive to benefit animal shelters in Dorchester, Worcester and Somerset counties. The drive runs through Friday, December 13. A list of needed items, such as dog and cat food, and collection boxes are located near the library’s circulation desk.
KETTLE CAMPAIGN:  The Salisbury Pops collects donations for the Salvation Army’s Kettle Campaign during its annual Holiday Concert 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 3, in Holloway Hall Auditorium.
CHRISTMAS WITH THE JAYCEES:  Through the SU Volunteer Center, students have signed up to chaperone children in need when they purchase gifts for loved ones and themselves during the Salisbury Jaycees’ annual Children’s Christmas Shopping Tour and to assist with the organization’s 67th annual Salisbury Christmas Parade, scheduled Sunday, December 8.
TOYS FOR TOTS:  Participants in the SU Intramural Office’s 31st annual Turkey Trot 5K Fun Run and Holiday Basketball Tournament were asked to bring in a toy or make a $5 donation to Toys For Tots. The Perdue School of Business also is collecting items for Toys For Tots through Friday, December 13.
OPERATION WE CARE:  Members of the SU chapter of the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity hosted a drive at Walmart to collect items for Operation We Care, which sends care packages to U.S. military personnel serving overseas. They also assisted in packing over 800 boxes sent to troops in November.
THANKS-4-GIVING:  SU’s TRiO-ACHiEVE Student Support Services program collected toys, clothes, toiletries and non-perishable food in November to supply care packages for local individuals in need through its Thanks-4-Giving initiative.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:  SU’s athletic trainers and student athletic trainers collected canned and non-perishable food throughout November to benefit the Joseph House shelter. The tradition, dating back more than a decade, has supplied more than 1,500 pounds of food for the homeless and less fortunate since its inception.
YELLOW RIBBON FUND:  Students in Dr. Chrys Egan’s Family Communications class collected gift cards, stuffed animals, art supplies, toys, video games and other requested items for the Yellow Ribbon Fund, supporting injured soldiers and their families. The organization primarily offers support for troops undergoing medical rehabilitation at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Fort Belvoir Community Hospital.
I LOVE SALISBURY:  Some 500 students partnered with community neighbors to pick up litter, rake leaves, sweep and perform other tasks during the Student Government Association’s sixth annual “I Love Salisbury” cleanup event in November.
SEMESTER OF GIVING:  Students in Paula Morris’ promotions classes have spent the semester organizing and hosting fundraisers for area non-profit organizations, including the Village of Hope, Delmarva Education Foundation, Kids of Honor mentoring program, Women Supporting Women cancer support program, Salisbury Zoological Society and Stop the Violence Wicomico County.
For information on these and other holiday philanthropic programs at SU call 410-543-6030.  For updates, visit the SU Web site at

Obamacare's New Goal: Stay Alive Until 2015

So Nov. 30 has come and gone, the day that President Barack Obama would be up and working. And his administration says that the site is working, dramatically better than when it first went up. On the other hand, anecdata suggest slow enrollment. So what does it all mean? Is the website working? Is Obamacare saved?

To answer that, let’s break down the details a bit. First, the good news: Compared with the chaos of October, the consumer experience is much better. It could hardly have gotten worse; for the first eight days, to a first approximation, no one could get coverage, and things were only marginally better by the end of the month. But the administration says that error rates have fallen dramatically, and the site can now handle 50,000 simultaneous users, where previously as few as 500 or 1,000 users would completely crash the site. In early November, the site was down more than half the time; now it has greater than 90 percent uptime. A source in the know tells Bloomberg that 100,000 people signed up in November, four times the pace of October enrollment.


Don't Miss This Event At Peaky’s On Friday December 6th From 5:30pm-7:30pm

Yee Tak Sharon Kui, Montgomery County Teacher Accused Of Sexual Assault, Flees To Hong Kong

Montgomery County police say a teacher accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old student with autism, has fled to Hong Kong to avoid prosecution.

Investigators tell ABC7, Yee Tak Sharon Kui, 25, a former educational assistant at the privately-run Frost School in Wheaton, engaged in illicit sexual contact with the boy. Like many cases, the classroom was the meeting point, but technology kept the relationship alive after school.

According to court documents, Kui and the teen sent text messages and made phone calls on a regular basis, even during school hours. Their secret connection escalated in early November when, on two occasions, Kui allegedly drove to the teen's Silver Spring home and engaged in inappropriate behavior.

The World Is Stuck Between A Rock And A Squishy Place

The rock is reality. The squishy place is the illusion that pervasive racketeering is an okay replacement for an economy. The essence of racketeering is the use of dishonest schemes to get money, often (but not always) employing coercion to make it work. Some rackets can function on the sheer cluelessness of the victim(s).

Is it fair to suppose that money management is at the heart of the sort of advanced, complex economy that developed early in the 20th century? I think so. Money is the lifeblood of trade and of investment in productive activities that support trade. Of course, in order for money to have meaning, to function in such transactional relations, the people must be convinced that it legitimately represents its face value. Otherwise, money must be labeled “money” — that is, a medium of exchange suspected of false value. An economy that uses “money” — especially an economy of rackets — is an economy in a lot of trouble, and that is where ours is in December 2013.

The trouble reached escape velocity in the fall of 2008 when a particular brand of racket among the Wall Street kit-bag of rackets got badly out-of-hand, namely the business of selling securitized bundled mortgages and their “innovative” derivative “products” to dupes unaware that they were booby-trapped for failure which would, perversely, hugely reward the seller of such trash paper. These were, in the immortal words of Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich), the “really shitty deal[s]” propagated by the likes of the Goldman Sachs crypto-bank — so-called collateralized debt obligations — pawned off on credulous pension fund managers and other “marks” around the world greedy for “yield.”


Costco’s Clever Plan To Sell Both Gas & Liquor In D.C. Results In Death Threats

In Washington, D.C., you can’t sell alcoholic beverages and gasoline at the same business. But when Costco came to town, it didn’t throw up its hands and do away with one or the other parts of its business. Instead, it got clever and figured out a way to sell both booze and discount gas, a move that hasn’t gone over well with other gas stations in the city.

To get around the law, in 2012 Costco split its then-under-construction D.C. site into two, and created a wholly owned subsidiary — CWC WDC LLC — to run the gas station. Thus, the warehouse store could get its liquor license and the gas station could sell gas at around $.30/gallon cheaper than competitors in the capital.

But the Washington Post recounts how things got ugly when local gas station operators tried to fight Costco.


Cyber Monday A Bust For Some

Cyber Monday didn't quite work out for hundreds of websites selling counterfeit merchandise. Europol says American and European authorities seized control of more than 700 of them. Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director John Sandweg says the operation's goal was to stop counterfeiters from taking advantage of holiday shoppers on the year's busiest online day. ICE's Homeland Security Investigations unit teamed with the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center plus 10 foreign law enforcement agencies. Common stuff sold on the sites included headphones, sports jerseys, grooming products, shoes and electronics. 297 of the sites were hosted in the U.S.

Don't Get Too Excited Yet

Before you get excited about a drone dropping a package at your doorstep, know that the Federal Aviation Administration isn't giving the go-ahead yet. And not for some time. In an interview with CBS' 60 Minutes, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said his company was working on a way to let unmanned aircraft do deliveries, hopefully within five years. But the FAA is moving slowly on drones for commercial use. It plans to propose rules next year that could allow limited use of drones weighing up to 55 pounds. But those rules are expected to include major restrictions on where drones can fly.

5 Ways To Get Good Bacteria In Your Stomach

We have more bacteria in our gut than cells in our body.

As foreign as it sounds, the word microbiome may soon be part of the mainstream lexicon. The term refers to the microbes or bacteria that naturally inhabit the body from the surface of your skin to your gut. We tend to think of microbes as bad—pathogens that need to be killed—but new research suggests that storing scores of them is paramount to our health and metabolism.

"We have 100 trillion microbes in our gut — more bacteria than cells in the body," says Frank Lipman, MD, the founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness in Manhattan. " They aid in digestion and detoxification, help support our immune system, and manufacture key vitamins, among other functions. Western medicine is catching on to the importance of all the bacteria in our bodies, especially in our gut. In Functional Medicine we've been manipulating this microbiome for some time, but it's primarily been guesswork."

"Understanding these microbes is the future of medicine," he said.


County Receives Grant Funding for Watershed Projects


The author, Rick Mathes, is a well-known leader in prison ministry.

The man who walks with God always gets to his destination.

If you have a pulse you have a purpose.

The Muslim religion is the fastest growing religion per capita in the United States , especially in the minority races.

Last month I attended my annual training session that's required for maintaining my state prison security clearance.

During the training session there was a presentation by three speakers representing the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Muslim faiths, who each explained their beliefs.

I was particularly interested in what the Islamic Imam had to say.

The Muslim gave a great presentation of the basics of Islam, complete with a video. After the presentations, time was provided for questions and answers.

When it was my turn, I directed my question to the Muslim and asked:

'Please, correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that most Imams and clerics of Islam have declared a holy jihad [Holy war] against the infidels of the world and, that by killing an infidel, (which is a command to all Muslims) they are assured of a place in heaven. If that's the case, can you give me the definition of an infidel?'

There was no disagreement with my statements and, without hesitation, he replied, 'Non-believers!'

I responded, 'So, let me make sure I have this straight.

All followers of Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is not of your faith so they can have a place in heaven. Is that correct?'

The expression on his face changed from one of authority and command to that of a little boy who had just been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.' He sheepishly replied, 'Yes.'

I then stated, 'Well, sir, I have a real problem trying to imagine The Pope commanding all Catholics to kill those of your faith or Dr. Stanley ordering all Protestants to do the same in order to guarantee them a place in heaven!'

The Muslim was speechless.

I continued, 'I also have a problem with being your friend when you and your brother clerics are telling your followers to kill me!

Let me ask you a question:

Would you rather have your Allah, who tells you to kill me in order for you to go to heaven, or my Jesus who tells me to love you because I am going to heaven and He wants you to be there with me?'

You could have heard a pin drop.

Needless to say, the organizers and/or promoters of the 'Diversification' training seminar were not happy with my way of dealing with the Islamic Imam, and exposing the truth about the Muslims' beliefs.

In twenty years there will be enough Muslim voters in the U.S. to elect the President.

Community Supervision (Parole & Probation) Is Hiring

We are actively hiring for our next Parole and Probation Agent academy class. You can apply now as long as you graduate by the end of the spring semester. Additionally we have a Lab Tech position open and will be having clerical positions opening very soon!

If you are interested in an exciting and challenging career in Community Corrections with the ability to advance and grow, here is your chance!

The P&P Agent position is currently posted. If you know anyone who may be interested in applying for a position as Parole and Probation Agent I, now is the time to reach out and provide information on how to apply. I have pasted the link to JobAps below. Please actively recruit. The filing deadline is 12/10/13.

The Menace And Immorality Of The Welfare State

In the United States policies are being promulgated by those with political power in Washington, D. C. that involve a massive and dangerous growth in the size and scope of government. At the core of the Obama administration's push for implementing a comprehensive national health care system and related programs is a radical ideological belief in political paternalism and the welfare state. 

In the face of the euphoria of those demanding such a huge expansion of "Big Brother" over even more of our lives, it is worthwhile reminding ourselves of the premises behind and the realities of welfare statism. 

Power and Paternalism 

First and foremost, the guiding idea behind political paternalism is that the individual cannot be trusted to be a free and responsible human being. Those who wish to socially engineer our lives consider us too ignorant, too irresponsible and too narrow in our own personal planning horizons to intelligently and reasonably take care of our own health care, our own retirement, our own family's education, or our own spending and consumption choices.


More Than 1,200 People Attend Change Maryland Event!

It's Time to Take Back Maryland from Steve Crim on Vimeo.

Ron Paul Rages "'Easy' Money Causes Hard Times"

One economic myth is that paper money is wealth. The proponents of big government oppose honest money for a very specific reason. Inflation, the creation of new money, is used to finance government programs not generally endorsed by the producing members of society. It is a deceptive tool whereby a “tax” is levied without the people as a whole being aware of it. Since the recipients of the newly created money, as well as the politicians, whose only concern is the next election, benefit from this practice, it’s in their interest to perpetuate it.

For this reason, misconceptions are promulgated about the “merits” of paper money and the “demerits” of gold. Some of the myths are promoted deliberately, but many times they are a result of convenient rationalizations and ignorance.

Paper money managers and proponents of government intervention believe that money itself — especially if created out of thin air — is wealth. A close corollary of this myth — which they also believe — is that money supply growth is required for economic growth.

Paper money is not wealth. Wealth comes from production. There’s no other way to create it. Capital comes from production in excess of consumption. This excess is either reinvested, saved, or loaned to others to be used to further produce and invest. Duplicating paper money units creates no wealth whatsoever, it distorts the economy, and it steals wealth from savers. It acts as capital in the early stages of inflation only because it staels real wealth from those who hold dollars or have loaned them to someone.


FBI Bribery Probe At California Statehouse Roils Democratic Ranks Ahead Of 2014 Elections

The federal investigation of a powerful California Democratic senator has roiled the state capital with accusations involving bribery, Hollywood and FBI dirty tricks that threaten to impact next year’s elections.

The six-year-long investigation was made public in June when FBI agents raided the offices of Sen. Ron Calderon. But the drama continues to unfold, with the Los Angeles-area lawmaker saying a few weeks ago that he was targeted for refusing to help ensnare fellow Democrats in the FBI sting.


43rd Annual Berlin Christmas Parade

Berlin's 43rd Annual Christmas Parade will be held Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. The inclement weather date is December 12, 2013. This year's parade theme is "A Magical Berlin Christmas." The parade is sponsored by the Berlin Main Street Program, in cooperation with the merchants of the town. Due to the increased costs, most categories will be asked to pay a small entry fee of $10. Commercial entries will cost $25.

Individuals or organizations wishing to enter the parade must submit entry forms no later than Friday, November 22, 2013. Anyone wishing further information about participating in the parade should contact Joann Unger at 410-641-3858 or Sharon Timmons at 410-629-1716.

Wicomico Recreation Indoor Community Yard Sale Scheduled For January 4

Table & Booth Rentals Available Now

Salisbury, MD
- Clean out your house and fill your wallet at Wicomico Recreation’s Indoor Community Yard Sale on Saturday, January 4 at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center.

Table and booth rentals are available now at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center Box Office (500 Glen Ave., Salisbury, MD, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.), online at (online fee may apply) or by phone at 410-548-4911. Tables are $15 and booths are $40 for a 10’ space including three tables. Set-up for sellers will begin at 4 a.m. on the morning of the sale.

Doors will open to the public at 7 a.m. Those interested in shopping the yard sale can do so for just $2 at the door. Children under 12 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Proceeds from the sale will benefit Wicomico Recreation.

For more information, please contact Karen McInturff at 410-548-4900 x118 or

Illinois Approves Pension Overhaul

Illinois lawmakers approved a bill to address the state's $100 billion pension debt.

The state has the worst credit rating in the country according to S&P, and its pension crisis was having ripple effects throughout the state. Fitch cited it two weeks ago when it downgraded Chicago's credit rating.

Officials hope the bill, which will among other things raise state workers' retirement age on a sliding scale and introduce a 401(k) option, can save $160 billion over 30 years and reduce annual pension payments by up to $1.5 billion.

But some have cast the measure the bill as an inadequate stopgap. In a lengthy op-ed Friday, Citadel CEO Ken Griffin, a Republican, called it "a fiscal death sentence."


One Last Time Before You Diet



As three individuals attacked and shot 76-year old Dorothy Hendrix outside her South Carolina home, she shot back before succumbing to her wounds.

The attackers were after Hendrix's "bingo money."

According to the Daily Mail, Hendrix was shot twice by the "gang of two men and a woman" outside her home "in the early hours of [November 30]." She was shot in her stomach and arm but managed to shoot attacker Steven Hagood in the stomach as well.

A neighbor called police after hearing the gun shots and "Hendrix died outside her home with a relative holding her hand."


Wicomico County Bond Refunding Saves A Projected $850,000

Kissing Test

Caption This Photo 12-4-13

Mother Of Chronically Sick Kids Posts Video, Says ObamaCare Costs Destroying Her Family

SFD Calls For Service 12-3-13

  • Tuesday December, 3 2013 @ 20:45:47Nature: Emergency UnknownCity: Salisbury
  • Tuesday December, 3 2013 @ 17:19:32Nature: Natural CoverAddress: Truitt St and fillmore St Salisbury, MD 21801
  • Tuesday December, 3 2013 @ 17:04:45Nature: Pro Qa EmsCity: Salisbury
  • Tuesday December, 3 2013 @ 16:58:59Nature: SeizureCity: Salisbury
  • Tuesday December, 3 2013 @ 15:07:23Nature: Abdominal PainCity: Salisbury
  • Tuesday December, 3 2013 @ 13:39:59Nature: Sick SubjectCity: Salisbury
  • Tuesday December, 3 2013 @ 11:39:41Nature: Sick SubjectCity: Salisbury
  • Tuesday December, 3 2013 @ 09:45:34Nature: Pi AccidentCity: Salisbury
  • Tuesday December, 3 2013 @ 09:12:33Nature: Medical AssistAddress: 105 Times Sq Salisbury, MD 21801
  • Tuesday December, 3 2013 @ 09:10:01Nature: Subject FallenCity: Salisbury
  • Tuesday December, 3 2013 @ 08:26:47Nature: Automatic AlarmAddress: 1311 Belmont Ave Salisbury, MD 21801

WH: Food Stamps 'Are Boosting The Economy'

( - People who depend on the government to buy their food using food stamps are boosting the economy, the White House says.

A Thanksgiving message posted on the White House website says the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)--AKA food stamps--helps millions of Americans put food on the table and keeps millions out of poverty.

In the last five years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of Americans on food stamps has gone up 67.7 percent.

"What's more, SNAP is boosting the economy right now," the infographic says. "SNAP's effect extends beyond the food on a family's table--to the grocery stores, truck drivers, warehouses, processing plants and farmers that helped get it there."

The White House says every $5 in new SNAP benefits generates as much as $9 in economic activity for participating grocery stores and farmer's markets.

"It's estimated that an additional $1 billion in SNAP benefits supports an additional 8,900 to 17,900 full-time-equivalent jobs -- including 3,000 farm jobs," the White House said.


Douglas Considering Bid For Maryland Attorney General

In an opinion-editorial article published in National Review, December 2, Richard Douglas, Maryland lawyer, businessman and Iraq veteran, said squabbling elected officials in Annapolis – led by Attorney General Doug Gansler and Lt. Governor Anthony Brown -- are motivated by personal ambition and politics rather than duty when it comes to implementing the Affordable Care Act in Maryland.

“To the detriment of shell-shocked Maryland consumers, Gansler and Brown have chosen to battle each other instead of confronting the challenges of the health care law’s implementation,” said Douglas.  “Governor O’Malley, for his part, belatedly and quietly acknowledged responsibility for low Maryland enrollment numbers while Marylanders celebrated Thanksgiving.     With our citizens’ health care options in a state of flux, Maryland desperately needs leaders who take their current duties seriously instead of preparing for the next campaign.”

In the National Review article, Douglas notes that Maryland enrollment rates under the Affordable Care Act badly trail other states with Democratic governors including California, Connecticut, Kentucky and Washington.   A unit within the Office of Attorney of General’s Consumer Protection Division takes credit for assisting patients with health care insurance problems and the transition to the ACA but provides no coherent explanation of actual accomplishments.

"Whether one supports the President's signature legislation or opposes it, Mr. Gansler had a duty to warn Maryland consumers about what to expect with this law,” said Douglas.   “But the Attorney General, Governor O'Malley, and Lieutenant Governor Brown have all let Maryland down."

In 2012, Douglas carried 11 of Maryland's 24 jurisdictions in the Maryland Republican primary for the U.S. Senate in his first bid for elected office.  He has been an active member of the Maryland bar in good standing since 1991, primarily in Montgomery and Prince George's counties.  He has notable pro bono legal experience and has been a volunteer lay chaplain for Spanish-speaking persons at the District of Columbia Jail.   Douglas speaks Spanish fluently and has lived in Mexico. A Navy veteran, he served in Iraq in 2006 and in the submarine force in the 1970s.

Douglas is evaluating a 2014 run for Attorney General.   In 2010, the GOP did not field a candidate for the office.