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Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Life In Pictures (4 of 5)

2015: A World Ruled By Hubris, Willful Blindness And Desperation

Issuing lies and pursuing willful blindness is not leadership: it's failure on a grand scale.

Rather than issue predictions for 2015, this week I'll cover themes that I believe will be consequential in the year ahead.

The first theme is the dominant psychological dynamic of global leadership, which can be distilled down to a toxic brew of Hubris, Willful Blindness and Desperation.

Examples of leadership hubris abound, and they all arise from the false confidence that the same playbook and tools that rescued the Status Quo from well-deserved oblivion for the past six years will continue working splendidly in the years ahead.

Prime examples include the Federal Reserve, which clearly believes its own PR (we are omnipotent and the markets rise at our command) and China's leadership, which clearly believes that the strategies and tools that rescued China from implosion in 2008-09 can be applied to the entirely different problem of deflating the world's greatest quadruple-bubble in shadow banking, real estate, commodities and state-owned enterprises (SEOs).

The two problem-states could not be more different, and hence the Chinese leadership's bravado is classic hubris.

Grand Opening Celebration of Performing Arts Center Featuring Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra

(January 6, 2015) – Good things come to those who wait and after more than a year of construction, the second phase of the improvement project for the Roland E. Powell Convention Center is complete. The Mayor and Ocean City Council will be joined by members of the Maryland Stadium Authority and Maryland State officials on January 17, 2015, to celebrate the finished project with the official opening of the new Performing Arts Center.

The grand opening will celebrate the accomplishment of the brand new 1,200 seat, two tiered auditorium. The celebration will include a ribbon cutting ceremony and performances by the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Julien Benichou and featuring Israel Lozano. The OC Stars will also take the stage for a very special appearance.

“This event marks a monumental moment in our community’s history,” said Mayor Rick Meehan. “The Performing Arts Center is a focal point for entertainment in Ocean City. It represents a lot of hard work, a strong partnership between Ocean City and the State of Maryland, big dreams and a very bright future for our community. It is a beautiful venue and I am confident that citizens will walk away with a very different experience, a more personal experience, than they will at many other venues in our surrounding area.”

Ticket prices for the grand opening celebration range from $25-$45 and are currently on sale through TicketMaster at or the convention center box office. In addition to the performance, tickets include complimentary hors d’oeuvres. A cash bar will be available and black tie is optional. Doors will open at 6:15 p.m., with the ribbon cutting ceremony scheduled at 7:15 and the concert to follow. For more information, visit or call 410.289.2800.

Scientific team sounds the alarm on sugar as a source of disease

Is sugar making us sick? A team of scientists at the University of California in San Francisco believes so, and they're doing something about it. They launched an initiative to bring information on food and drink and added sugar to the public by reviewing more than 8,000 scientific papers that show a strong link between the consumption of added sugar and chronic diseases.

The common belief until now was that sugar just makes us fat, but it's become clear through research that it's making us sick. For example, there's the rise in fatty-liver disease, the emergence of Type 2 diabetes as an epidemic in children and the dramatic increase in metabolic disorders.

Laura Schmidt, a UCSF professor at the School of Medicine and the lead investigator on the project, SugarScience, said the idea is to make the findings comprehensible and clear to everyone. The results will be available to all on a website ( and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Added sugars, Schmidt said, are sugars that don't occur naturally in foods. They are found in 74 percent of all packaged foods, have 61 names and often are difficult to decipher on food labels. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires food companies to list ingredients on packaging, the suggested daily values of natural and added sugars can't be found.


2 more women join defamation lawsuit against Bill Cosby

BOSTON – Two women accusing Bill Cosby of sexual offenses decades ago have joined a defamation lawsuit, contending he publicly branded them as liars through statements by his representatives.

The amended complaint was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Springfield, in western Massachusetts, where Cosby has a home in Shelburne Falls.

Cosby is the only defendant in the lawsuit, originally filed last month by Tamara Green, who said he drugged and assaulted her in the 1970s. The two new plaintiffs are Therese Serignese, who said he drugged and raped her in 1976, and Linda Traitz, who alleges he tried to drug her and then sexually groped her in 1970.


Report: OBX sea level could rise 1 foot or more

A new 30-year report on sea-level rise shows wide variances along the North Carolina coast, from a possible rise of 4 inches at Southport to more than 12 inches on the northern Outer Banks.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported those numbers are part of a draft report by an advisory science panel for the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission. The commission requested the report after legislators rejected a 2010 study.

The 30-year projections will go through 18 months of peer review, public comment and possible revision. A 2012 law prohibits state agencies from taking any action based on the sea-level forecast until July 1, 2016.

East Carolina University geologist Stan Riggs, a member of the advisory panel, said state leaders should start dealing with the effects of coastal storms whose impact is magnified by the rising sea.

“If you’re going to build sewage plants or hospitals or highways, you’d better be thinking about the longer term,” Riggs said Wednesday. “How many mom-and-pop businesses out there (on the Outer Banks) have failed this year because Highway 12 has been broken or under water? It has been happening more frequently, under less-stormy conditions.”


Snow Tubing Panda Style

New Study Finds GMO Soy Toxic to Kidneys, Liver and Reproduction

Rats given GM soy found to have deadly amounts of toxicity in kidneys, liver, testes, sperm, blood and even DNA

In North America, approximately 75 to 89% of the soy beans grown are genetically modified (GM). One may not realize it, but this is concerning news – especially because recent research found that GM soy is toxic to the kidneys, liver, and more.

There isn’t just one smoking gun anymore pointing at GMO toxicology. There is now an entire arsenal of scientific research proving that genetically modified organisms adversely affect the body. In yet another new study conducted by Egyptian researchers, rats given GM soy were found to have deadly amounts of toxicity in their kidneys, liver, testes, sperm, blood and even DNA.

Is there any question anymore about the true poisons that are biotech’s squalid wares?

The histopathological assessments made by the researchers of the rat’s bodily tissues leave no room for mistakes or misjudgments. You can’t argue over the results as some GMO-supporters have tried to do with other studies (like Seralini’s). Seralini’s study is one of the most quoted papers on the Internet, yet Monsantogave a lengthy refutation of its findings.


Maryland paramedic killed by utility truck while trying to reach injured person

A Harford County volunteer firefighter was killed after he was struck by one of the fire company’s utility trucks while attempting to reach an injured person who slid into an embankment.

The crew from the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company was dispatched to a car crash in the 300 block of Patterson Mill Road at about 1:50 p.m., according to a release.

A driver had slid off the road and into an embankment. The team called for a four-wheel drive vehicle to make it up an icy driveway, where they would meet the injured person inside of the adjacent home.


'Give Me a Chance': WWII Vet's Medal Ceremony Crashed by Protesters

Protesters in Portland, Oregon, interrupted a town hall meeting where a decorated World War II veteran was receiving a special honor.

100-year-old U.S. Navy vet Dario Raschio was supposed to be presented with medals by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), but soon after the meeting began, more than 100 protesters emerged, shouting "hands-up, don't shoot!" and "I can't breathe!"

The protesters did not stop until Rashcio spoke up and said, "Give me a chance. At least let us show a little respect for this occasion."

Raschio accepted his honor from Wyden and made a brief speech, but as soon as he was done, the protesters resumed their shouting.

Raschio left the meeting early.


Corn syrup ‘more toxic than table sugar’

'This is the most robust study showing there is a difference'

High-fructose corn syrup, found in sodas and many processed foods, appears to be more toxic than table sugar, a new study found.

Researchers at the University of Utah looked at the effect of the two ingredients on mice. One group was fed a diet with 25 percent of the calories from the equivalent of high-fructose corn syrup. The other, in comparison, consumed sucrose, or regular sugar.

Female mice on the fructose-glucose diet had death rates 1.87 times higher than those on the sucrose diet and they produced 26.4 percent fewer offspring.

“This is the most robust study showing there is a difference between high-fructose corn syrup and table sugar at human-relevant doses,” said Wayne Potts, senior author of a the study which will be published in the March issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

BREAKING NEWS: Shooting confirmed at Texas Army base

The Army is searching for a suspect after an active shooter was reported at El Paso’s William Beaumont Army Medical Center, which is part of Fort Bliss.

From Fox News

More HERE from CNN.

Happy Anniversary

George W. Bush

Happy 70th anniversary to the longest-married presidential couple in history.

Photo from "41: A Portrait of my Father," courtesy George Bush Presidential Library and Museum


(NEW YORK, NY) – A suspect in last month’s murder of a Washington County woman turned herself in to police in New York City and is in custody, awaiting extradition proceedings.

Neajee S. Terry, 19, whose address is unknown, was wanted on a Maryland warrant charging her with first degree murder, second degree murder and first degree assault. The charges are in connection with the murder of Malicia Smith, 20, of Hagerstown, Md. Smith’s body was found along Rt. 40 near Frederick early on the morning of December 24, 2014.

Maryland State Police Homicide Unit investigators were contacted by New York Police Department detectives and informed Terry turned herself in to police at a precinct in Brooklyn yesterday about 2:00 p.m. State Police investigators traveled to New York last night to continue the investigation. The vehicle Terry is believed to have traveled from Frederick County to New York in was located in The Bronx. The vehicle is now in police custody and will be processed for evidence.

Terry will be held on the Maryland arrest warrant until an extradition hearing. A hearing date is unknown, but is expected in the near future.

The investigation is continuing.

Jeffrey Epstein: the billionaire paedophile with links to Bill Clinton, Kevin Spacey, Robert Maxwell – and Prince Andrew

A list of people who have associated with Jeffrey Epstein over the years would take in the world of celebrity, science, politics - and royalty.
Over the years, the casually-dressed, globe-trotting financier, who was said to log more than 600 flying hours a year, has been linked with Bill Clinton, Kevin Spacey, Chris Tucker and Manhattan-London society figure Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of the late media titan Robert Maxwell.

Epstein reportedly flew Tucker and Spacey to Africa on his private jet as part of a charitable endeavour. Clinton, meanwhile, flew on multiple occasions in the same plane to Epstein’s private Caribbean island, Little St James, between 2002 and 2005 as he developed his philanthropic post-presidential career. It would later be alleged in court that Epstein organised orgies on that same private island in the US Virgin Islands.

Reports in the US media say many of the A-list names broke off any links with the former maths teacher after his arrest and conviction in 2008 of having sex with an underage girl whom he had solicited. His arrest followed an 11-month undercover investigation at a mansion in Florida’s Palm Beach that Epstein owned.

In 2008, he pleaded guilty to a single charge of soliciting prostitution and was handed a 18-month jail sentence. He served 13 months in jail and was obliged to register as a sex offender. A 2011 report in the New York Post said that he celebrated his release from jail and his return to a property he maintains in New York – a 45,000-sq-foot eight-storey mansion on East 71st Street – with Prince Andrew.


Photo of Sarah Palin's son standing on dog draws criticism from PETA

ALASKA (AP) - A photo of Sarah Palin's young son standing on a dog to reach the kitchen sink is drawing sharp reaction.

The image of 6-year-old Trig, presumably preparing to wash dishes, and the reclining and seemingly relaxed black Lab-type animal is posted on the former Alaska governor's Facebook page.

"May 2015 see every stumbling block turned into a stepping stone on the path forward. Trig just reminded me. He, determined to help wash dishes with an oblivious mama not acknowledging his signs for "up!", found me and a lazy dog blocking his way. He made his stepping stone," she wrote. Trig was born with Down syndrome.

The online response to the one-time Republican vice presidential nominee's New Year's Day post was fast and at times furious.


ISIS Hacks WBOC? Part II

Prince Andrew abused an underage girl at an orgy where she was being used as a sex slave, it was sensationally claimed last night.

In an extraordinary legal allegation, a woman said she was ‘forced’ to have sex with him at parties in London, New York and the Caribbean.

Last night the prince issued a strongly-worded denial, with Buckingham Palace saying ‘any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue’. But his alleged victim immediately hit back by saying she would not be ‘bullied into silence by aggressive attacks’.


Accused Pennsylvania gunman who eluded police for nearly two months will face trial

The man accused of shooting two Pennsylvania state troopers before escaping into a densely wooded part of the Pocono Mountains, avoiding capture for nearly two months, will go on trial.

Eric Frein, the man identified by police as the suspected gunman days after the Sept. 12 shooting, appeared in court for a preliminary hearing Monday. A judge determined that there is enough evidence for Frein to face trial.

Frein has been charged with shooting two state troopers outside a barracks in Blooming Grove, a small township in northeastern Pennsylvania. Police said he shot and killed Cpl. Bryon Dickson, who was leaving the barracks, and seriously wounded Alex Douglass, who was arriving.


A Message From U.S. Representative Andy Harris

Andy Harris, M.D.

In November, Speaker Boehner was re-nominated by the Republican House Conference without a single opponent stepping forward. That was the appropriate time for an alternative to step forward and be considered by House Republicans. Today’s vote on the House floor was simply whether Nancy Pelosi or John Boehner was going to be Speaker of the House. I hope that we can now move forward and work with the Senate to pass common-sense conservative policies. If Speaker Boehner does notdeliver on his promises, a Republican House Conference can be called by 50 members and I would join in that call. I have no problem standing up for conservative principles to the Speaker and Republican leadership, such as my vote against the reauthorization of the Patriot Act, as well as my votes against the Ryan-Murray budget deal and debt ceiling increases. Please know that I will continue to fight for conservative values and Maryland’s First District in the 114th Congress.

A $75 1957 Truck Bought in 1976 Is Still Rolling Along

When Bob Sportel spent $75 on a Chevrolet pickup, he had no idea it would still be trucking along just fine 38 years later.

Sportel drove the 58-year-old truck to his job at Prinsburg Farmers Co-op in Prinsburg, Minnesota, for nearly four decades before he finally retired this week. He bought it from a farmer whose asking price at the time was $75. Sportel, then in his 20s, tried to negotiate and only pay $50 but the farmer refused the lower offer, KARE-TV reported.

So paying the full asking price of $75, Sportel drove the 1957 truck off the farm not even knowing for sure how many miles it had on it since the odometer was broken.

“If I could get four years out of it, I thought I’d be really happy,” Sportel said.

Today, he estimates he’s put about 300,000 more miles on it by driving it to work across town and back each day. Sportel hasn’t even stored it in a garage during the bitter cold

Sure, the truck doesn’t have a radio, the bottom is rusted, the seats have a few layers of duct tape on them and putty is about the only thing holding the headlights in, but after all these years, the pickup still runs just fine.

So what’s the secret to keeping the truck running nearly six decades after it came off the assembly line? Sportel said he changes the oil in it four times per year. As far as repairs go, he estimated those have cost him around $1,000 since he bought the truck.


Obamacare grabs your wallet in 2015

Welcome to 2015. Now we will find out if the GOP has teeth with which to bite or just a tongue with which to lick. You see, in addition to the seventy five thousand pages of regulations written by this administration in 2014, there are some very nasty ones still to be enacted.

Of course there’s the massive regulations the EPA is about to enact that will attack the other sectors of the fossil fuel industry the way they devastated the coal industry, but that is just the appetizer, not that you’ll want what they are about to serve. The EPA is also about to regulate the hell out of the water table which will be horrendous to not only business, but to personal property rights as well. Buckle up…this is going to get really ugly. One must pray the Republican led congress has not just teeth, but fangs and a large pair of _____ (you fill in the blank) with which to combat this massive power grab legislatively.

However, as they say in all those cheesy TV commercials: “But wait, there’s more!” You’d better grab the duct tape. The largest redistribution of wealth since LBJs “Great Society” is about to slam you up against the wall and grab the wallet right out of your purse or pocket. Obamacare is about to get really ugly.


JUST IN: Ex-Virginia Gov. McDonnell sentenced to 2 years in prison for corruption

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has been sentenced to two years in prison for taking money and gifts in exchange for promoting a dietary supplement while he was in office.

McDonnell, a Republican, was once on the short list to be Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate. He was sentenced Tuesday after being convicted of 11 counts of corruption.

The former governor and his wife, Maureen, were found guilty in September. She was convicted of eight counts and will be sentenced in February.


11 Predictions Of Economic Disaster In 2015 From Top Experts All Over The Globe

Will 2015 be a year of financial crashes, economic chaos and the start of the next great worldwide depression?

Will 2015 be a year of financial crashes, economic chaos and the start of the next great worldwide depression? Over the past couple of years, we have all watched as global financial bubbles have gotten larger and larger. Despite predictions that they could burst at any time, they have just continued to expand. But just like we witnessed in 2001 and 2008, all financial bubbles come to an end at some point, and when they do implode the pain can be extreme. Personally, I am entirely convinced that the financial markets are more primed for a financial collapse now than they have been at any other time since the last crisis happened nearly seven years ago. And I am certainly not alone. At this point, the warning cries have become a deafening roar as a whole host of prominent voices have stepped forward to sound the alarm. The following are 11 predictions of economic disaster in 2015 from top experts all over the globe…

#1 Bill Fleckenstein: “They are trying to make the stock market go up and drag the economy along with it. It’s not going to work. There’s going to be a big accident. When people realize that it’s all a charade, the dollar will tank, the stock market will tank, and hopefully bond markets will tank. Gold will rally in that period of time because it’s done what it’s done because people have assumed complete infallibility on the part of the central bankers.”

#2 John Ficenec: “In the US, Professor Robert Shiller’s cyclically adjusted price earnings ratio – or Shiller CAPE – for the S&P 500 is currently at 27.2, some 64pc above the historic average of 16.6. On only three occasions since 1882 has it been higher – in 1929, 2000 and 2007.”


Loretta Lynch questioned over secret deal depriving fraud victims of $40M

Probe of Obama attorney general nominee sought over secret deals for cooperators

More than a year before President Obama nominated federal prosecutor Loretta Lynch to be attorney general, a former federal judge quietly called on Congress to investigate her U.S. attorney’s office for trampling on victims’ rights.

Paul Cassell, a law professor at the University of Utah, said Ms. Lynch’s office, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, never told victims in a major stock fraud case that a culprit had been sentenced — denying them a chance to seek restitution of some $40 million in losses.


SFD Calls For Service 1-5-15

  • Monday January, 5 2015 @ 20:40Nature: Medical EmergencyCity:Salisbury
  • Monday January, 5 2015 @ 19:21Nature: Medical EmergencyCity:Salisbury
  • Monday January, 5 2015 @ 17:53 Nature: Service CallAddress: 704 Hammond St Salisbury, MD 21801
  • Monday January, 5 2015 @ 17:04 Nature: Natural CoverAddress: 924 Johnson St Salisbury, MD 21801
  • Monday January, 5 2015 @ 16:51 Nature: Vehicle Accident w/InjuriesAddress: N Salisbury Blvd & Centre Rd Salisbury, MD 21801

Community Emergency Shelter Project Winter 2015 Shelter Schedule (Adult Males Only)

Texas lawmakers to feds: Leave us alone

Continued federal overreach

State lawmakers hope to send a clear message to the federal government this year: Don’t mess with Texas.

Already, more than a dozen bills have been filed to push back against what their sponsors say is a continued federal overreach.

Touching on issues from guns to the 10th Amendment, state lawmakers are calling on the federal government to do everything from repaying the costs Texas incurred for dealing with people illegally in the country to abolishing the income tax system.

“This is a recurring theme in Texas history, going all the way back to the early years of statehood,” said Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. “The Southern perspective is that the federal government is responsible for interstate commerce and foreign relations and states are in charge of everything inside the state’s borders.”

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WCSO Press Releases - January 6, 2015

Miguel Angel Santos-VillaltaMiguel Angel Santos-VillaltaIncident: Assault on a Deputy / DUI

Date of Incident: 3 January 2015

Location: 500 block of S. Salisbury Blvd., Salisbury, MD

Suspect: Miguel Angel Santos-Villalta, 40, Salisbury, MD

Narrative:    On 3 January 2015 at 8:36 PM a deputy stopped a vehicle operated by Miguel Santos for an equipment violation in the 500 block of S. Salisbury Blvd. Upon making contact with Santos, the deputy detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage. That, along with other indicators suggested that Santos was operating his vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

The deputy administered field sobriety tests after which the deputy decided to place Santos under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol. Instead of submitting, Santos became hostile and attempted to walk away from the deputy which caused the deputy to take steps to prevent Santos from leaving. Santos then initiated a physical confrontation with the deputy and fought the deputy’s efforts to take him into custody. At one point, Santos placed both hands around the deputy’s throat in an attempt to choke the deputy. The deputy became engaged with a serious struggle to gain the control of Santos that was not completed until additional law enforcement officers arrived.

The deputy involved suffered minor injuries consisting of abrasions and small lacerations.

Santos was also operating the vehicle while his privilege to drive had been suspended.

Santos was detained on a bond of $50,000.00 in the Detention Center by the District Court Commissioner.

Charges: Assault 2nd Degree on a Deputy
                 Resisting Arrest
                 Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol
                 Driving While Suspended


Incident: Assault

Date of Incident: 2 January 2015

Location: 700 block of College Avenue, Salisbury, MD

Suspect: Jose Hernandez-Sanchez, 40, Salisbury, MD
Narrative:    On 2 January 2015 at 6:30 PM a deputy arrested Jose Hernandez-Sanchez following a complaint that he assaulted a female subject he resided with and was at the residence in violation of a protective order that ordered him to stay away.

Upon arrest Hernandez was processed at the Central Booking Unit and taken in front of the District Court Commissioner. Following an initial appearance, Hernandez was detained in the Detention Center in lieu of $40,000.00 bond.

Charges: Assault 2nd Degree
                 Violation of a Protective Order


Incident: Extradition

Date of Incident: 2 January 2015

Location: Newport News, VA

Suspect: Christina Annette Blackley, 23, Norfolk, VA
Narrative:    On 2 January 2015 a deputy extradited Christina Blackley back from Newport News, VA. Blackley was being sought on a District Court Bench Warrant that was issued after she failed to appear for a CDS Possession case back in June 2014.

Blackley was released by the District Court Commissioner on Personal Recognizance.

Charges: Failure to Appear
Releasing Authority: Lt. Tim Robinson        Date:  6 January 2015

The Specter That Haunts America

A specter is haunting America. It is a group of influential individuals who harbor an intense hatred of such principles as private property, markets, limited constitutional government, and freedom itself. They are hardcore leftists who proudly list as their heroes communist agitators from the last century. They despise private property and advocate nationalization. They attempt to brainwash young children by distributing trinkets in public schools adorned with sayings by Karl Marx and Che Guevara. They advocate “urban Marxism” for America’s cities and “Third World communism” for the less-developed countries of the world. They employ shady figures from the sixties “protest movement” who admit to having committed violent crimes that caused the death of innocent bystanders. The head of the organization proudly accepted a lifetime achievement award named after an old communist revolutionary.

This organization specializes in waging vicious, malicious, campaigns of libel, slander, and character assassination against virtually anyone who publicly expresses support for private property, free markets, constitutionalism, individualism (as opposed to collectivism), and liberty. This of course is the old classic Marxist/Leninist political strategy.

At the top of their list of smear targets is a private organization that says it defends the principles of “faith, family, tradition, community, private property, loyalty, courage, and honor.” Anyone who says such things must be destroyed, says The Specter.

The Specter mobilized into hyper-smear mode when this same private organization wrote on its Web site that it opposes the state’s “perpetual wars for perpetual peace;” the notion that the U.S. government should “rule the world;” the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and all otheroffensive wars; and all forms of political correctness. All such talk should be brutally censored, says The Specter.


New EPA Regs Could Shutter Businesses

EPA’s proposed rule invoking tighter industry ozone standards is widely characterized as the most expensive regulation ever imposed upon the American public. If allowed, countless businesses wishing to expand or build new power plants and factories will face higher permitting thresholds, pay fines to offset their emissions, or even shut-down altogether.

Although an ozone standard authorized under EPA’s Clean Air Act doesn’t regulate businesses directly, it nevertheless accomplishes that same outcome. In forcing states to comply, they in turn, can compel municipalities along with utilities, refineries, and other public and private entities to curb operations or install new equipment. Such costs are passed on to the nation and public.

Whereas the “ozone layer” in the upper atmosphere which protects us from harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun is essential, when concentrated at ground level . . . not so much. Accordingly, few are likely to argue that regulating ground-level ozone, a key component of unhealthy smog, isn’t necessary.


Senate wants more answers from feds about fake cell towers, other devices that collect smartphone data

The Senate Judiciary Committee wants more answers about law enforcement agencies across the country deploying surveillance technology, including trick cellphone towers, that gather cellphone data, according to a letter obtained Thursday by

The bipartisan letter was sent to the departments of Justice and Homeland Security, following a recent FBI policy change regarding search warrants that committee leaders say raises questions about privacy protections and how the equipment was used.

Among the tools singled out in the letter is a Stingray, a device that pretends it is a cellphone tower and tricks cellphones into identifying some of their owners' account information.

In addition, the U.S. Marshal Service is deploying an airborne device -- called a “DRT box” or “dirtbox” -- from five metropolitan-area airports across the United States that also “mimic standard cell towers, forcing affected cell phones to reveal their approximate location and registration information,” the Dec. 23 letter states.

“It remains unclear how other agencies within the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security make use of cell-site simulators and what policies are in place to govern their use of that technology,” states the letter from Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, the committee chairman, and Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the top Republican on the committee, reported first by The Associated Press.


Flu Is Becoming Widespread Throughout Md., US

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Flu epidemic. The CDC released new numbers Monday showing the flu is widespread in most of the country, including here in Maryland—and doctors say this strain can be more dangerous.

Meghan McCorkell has more on how local hospitals are handling a surge of cases.

Hospitals in Maryland say they have been slammed with flu patients since Christmas.

The flu turned deadly in the United States with 21 children dying this season. One of the latest was seven-year-old Ruby Hanson, whose parents say she may have survived if it weren’t for a pre-existing condition.


My son will not be in a Gang, who ever has a problem come see me: WARNING, Foul Language

License Plate Trackers Send Passenger Photos to Police Databases

The establishment will likely continue construction of the surveillance apparatus until the entire country is being watched...

Every day, the power of the police (and their federal financiers) to track the movements of every American expands.

The latest loss of liberty involves the ability of license plate tracking software to recognize the faces of individual travelers in target vehicles.

A company called ElsaAG North America (a division of Finmeccanica, an Italian defense, aerospace, and security conglomerate) has developed automatic license plate readers (ALPR) and is aggressively marketing its high-tech trackers to U.S. law enforcement. Vigilant Solutions, another ALPR manufacturer, boasts of being a “trusted provider to tens of thousands of law enforcement professionals.” The Vigilant database reportedly “contains 2 billion entries,” with “70 million additional license plate photographs being added each month.”
Lest anyone doubt the scope and power of these tracking technologies, consider the following description of one of Vigilant’s latest products, the Mobile Companion:

Vigilant Solutions’ Mobile Companion is an industry-exclusive mobile app delivering the benefits of Vigilant’s Intelligence-Led Policing Package (including license plate recognition (LPR) and facial recognition technologies) to your mobile device.

The Mobile Companion is available to every officer with a mobile device and proper user permissions, as set by an Agency Manager. With the Mobile Companion, officers are now able to scan license plates, match against agency hotlists, query historical data, use the exclusive Mobile Hit Hunter feature to locate nearby hits generated by the Vigilant LPR network, and verify identities in the field using facial recognition. [Emphasis added.]

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His Royal Glibness

Random thoughts on the passing scene.

Now that Barack Obama is ruling by decree, he seems more like a king than a president. Maybe it is time we change the way we address him. “Your Majesty” may be a little too much, but perhaps “Your Royal Glibness” might be appropriate.

It tells us a lot about academia that the president of Smith College quickly apologized for saying, “All lives matter,” after being criticized by those who are pushing the slogan, “Black lives matter.” If science could cross breed a jellyfish with a parrot, it could create academic administrators.

Mitt Romney seems to be ready to try again to run for president in 2016. But most defeated presidential candidates who ran again lost again. There are much stronger Republican candidates available now than there were in 2012, including governors Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. At this crucial juncture in the nation’s history, why run a retreaded candidate?

Explaining differences in achievements between groups often pits those who attribute these differences to ability against those who attribute differences to barriers. Neither seems to pay much attention to differences in what people want to do. Few guys from my old neighborhood were likely to end up as violinists or ballet dancers, simply because that was not what they were interested in.

When Professor Jonathan Gruber of M.I.T. boasted of fooling the “stupid” American public, that was not just a personal quirk of his. It epitomized a smug and arrogant attitude that is widespread among academics at elite institutions. There should be an annual “Jonathan Gruber award” for the most smug and arrogant statement by an academic. There would be thousands eligible every year.


ObamaCare Slaps States With $15 Billion In New Costs

Thirty-six states that rely on private managed care programs to provide medical services to all or some of their Medicaid recipients are facing an added ObamaCare tax.

According to a report by Milliman consulting actuaries, states that contract with Medicaid managed care plans face up to $15 billion in added costs over 10 years for their share of the law’s tax on private health insurance.

States will pay even if they strongly oppose ObamaCare and are refusing to establish health insurance exchanges or expand Medicaid.

The health law imposes an annual tax on private health insurance plans – a tax designed to recoup what some call their “windfall” from the millions of new customers they could gain because of the law. The tax on health insurers was expected to raise a total of $8 billion in 2014 and as much as $150 billion over the next 10 years. It is one of 20 designed to fund ObamaCare’s expanded coverage.

Most Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) are considered private plans and therefore are subject to the new tax. But this punishes states that are trying improve their Medicaid programs: They are working to make Medicaid more efficient and save money by contracting with private managed care plans to provide medical care to recipients. States that stay with the antiquated fee-for-service Medicaid program escape the levy.


O'Malley plans to commute sentences of Maryland's four death row inmates

Gov. Martin O'Malley announced Wednesday that he would erase the last vestiges of Maryland's death row by commuting the sentences of the state's remaining condemned murderers to life without parole.

Acting on the last day of the year and with three weeks remaining in his term, O'Malley said he will spare the lives of four men left in limbo after Maryland abolished the death penalty for future offenders in 2013.

The four are Vernon Evans, Anthony Grandison, Jody Lee Miles and Heath William Burch.

Evans and Grandison were convicted in a 1983 contract killing at a Baltimore County hotel. Burch was sentenced to die in 1996 for killing an elderly couple when he broke into their home in Prince George's County. Miles was found guilty of the 1997 murder of a man during a robbery in Salisbury.


Cape May-Lewes Ferry To Replace Old Diesel Engines

LEWES — The Delaware River and Bay Authority is taking steps to make the Cape May-Lewes Ferry a greener operation.

A grant worth nearly $1 million has been awarded to the DRBA by the Environmental Protection Agency to repower two diesel propulsion engines in the M/V Delaware with EPA-certified engines.

The existing diesel engines have been in operation for 40 years; they are the same type of engines used in World War II submarines. Ferry Director of Operations Heath Gehrke said he expects work to begin in winter 2015-16 to replace the engines in just one of its four vessels.

“We've known we wanted to replace these engines for quite some time, but sometimes it just takes something to spark that project and move it forward,” said Gehrke during a ceremony held in the foot passenger bridge overlooking the ferry Dec. 8.


CDC Warns: First Case of Human Infection With Avian Influenza A (H5N1) Virus Ever Detected In the Americas

Though it’s not as deadly as the West African Ebola virus, the Avian Influenza A (H5N1) still has a mortality rate of 60% for those who contract it. That makes it a serious disease with deadly implications and it has now made its way to North America for the first time ever according to the CDC.

The virus, a mutation of which was created by scientists in a lab, is believed to have the potential to kill up to half the world’s population should it ever start to spread at a more rapid rate.

The CDC reports:


Hogan promises to be advocate for rural Maryland

WILLIAMSPORT — Gov.-elect Larry Hogan thanked Washington County supporters Sunday for his successful run for governor, said rural Maryland has been neglected and promised to change that after he's sworn in this month.

"I can promise you that Washington County and Western Maryland are no longer gonna be forgotten," Hogan said to enthusiastic applause at the Williamsport Volunteer Fire and EMS station on Sunday afternoon.

More than 300 people turned up to show their support for the next governor.

While the election was "pretty hard," Hogan said the transition has been more difficult because "we're faced with a tremendous budget problem down in Annapolis."

Hogan asked for patience. His team will get to work, but change will not happen overnight, he told the crowd.
"I really do feel that rural Maryland ... Western Maryland, Eastern Shore and Southern Maryland — have been neglected. Haven't had a seat to the table. You guys haven't been well represented. Nobody's been paying attention. I promise you that that's all going to change on Jan. 21," Hogan said, referring to his inauguration date.


Mystery: Sandy Hook Victim Dies (again) in Pakistan

Photo of child killed at Sandy Hook shows up at Pakistani school shooting

A large-scale attack on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, last month left 132 school children and 10 teachers dead.

Among the alleged victims emerged the familiar face of Noah Pozner, one of the children supposedly killed in the December 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.


The Trouble with Legal Marijuana: Banks

The nation’s rapidly expanding legal marijuana industry, which operates in 23 states and the District of Columbia, enters a new year facing a multibillion-dollar question: What to do with all the millions in cash it collects each week?

Nearly all of the nation’s banks refuse to take money from marijuana sales or offer basic checking or credit card services to the industry for fear they’ll be shut down by federal authorities, for whom marijuana remains an illegal narcotic. The banks won’t do business with growers, processors, retail shops and medical dispensaries, nor with their employees and contractors.

“It’s the biggest problem we have,” said Taylor West, deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, many of whose 800 members are awash in $5, $10 and $20 bills and change and no bank to put them in.

The abundance of cash makes the country’s 2,000 retail shops and medical dispensaries tantalizing targets for criminals. Without bank accounts, legal marijuana businesses have a hard time paying their employees and vendors. Relying solely on cash leads to a lack of transparency in accounting and auditing, and it complicates paying the taxes that states impose on cannabis.

The problems caused by a cash-and-carry retail business likely will grow as more states move to legalize pot for medical or recreational use, unless Congress steps in and changes federal drug and drug-trafficking laws.


Colburn reflects on 28 years of public service

EASTON — After 28 years representing citizens who live on the Mid-Shore, 64-year-old Richard F. Colburn is seeing his political career in Annapolis come to a close.

Throughout his career, Colburn worked to remain steadfast in what he called one of the most important assets a legislator could have — constituent service.

“The most humbling thing is helping people, and that’s where constituent service has come in,” Colburn said. “We’ve tried to do the best we could to represent the people of the Eastern Shore.”

Colburn’s dedication to constituents is one of the things Cambridge Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley said she respects most about him.

It’s something that showed when she worked with Colburn to transfer the property rights of the Port of Cambridge, or Sailwinds property, to the city.

Jackson-Stanley, who has known Colburn for more than 20 years, said they worked together closely to secure the Sailwinds property, and that he made sure the door was open when it came to navigating the state system, including arranging a meeting with the secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation.

“Whenever constituents call him, for any reason, he’s always very responsive. Even small issues, he will take the lead in getting an answer,” Jackson-Stanley said. “He was dogging you about getting the answer and getting it back to the people. You’ve got to respect a person who’s a public servant.”


Outlaw Watermen Busted by DNR Cops

Pirates Allegedly Caught Red-handed Poaching Sanctuaries & Cheating on Rules

(Editor’s Note: A few outlaw Maryland watermen, who are in the distinct minority of those who work the water to make a living – have extensive criminal records and are seldom in thin ice when it comes to being prosecuted. This review of the records of four recently charged with violations of DNR rules and Maryland law are as follows: Explanations of some of the cases involving one waterman have been provided by Somerset County States Attorney Daniel Powell.)

Saturation patrols, surveillance and tips from the public led to oyster poaching charges being filed by Maryland Natural Resources Police officers against four Eastern Shore watermen over the holiday period.

DEAL ISLAND, MD. — Natural Resources Police report that on Monday Dec. 29, 2014, DNR officers set up surveillance near Deal Island in Somerset County to check for oyster harvesting before legal hours. At about 5:30 a.m., they saw a boat operating without navigational lights head into Tangier Sound.

DNR Police say that the officers tailed the vessel and watched its activity with night-vision glasses. Two officers boarded the vessel and directed the operator, Lance Carl Fridley, 29, of 10915 Tangier Acre Drive, Deal Island, to return to shore. Once back at Deal Island, the officers found seven bushels aboard, all ranging from 55 percent to 69 percent unsorted.

Fridley was charged with seven counts of possessing unculled oysters, oystering before legal hours, having oysters aboard between two hours after sunset and sunrise, power dredging in a prohibited area, operating a vessel without navigational lights, and negligent operation of a vessel.

All seven bushels were returned to state waters.


Operation Team Player nets more than $25,000 worth of fake goods

WASHINGTON – The 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic netted a win not only for the Washington Capitals, but also for intellectual property rights (IPR) advocates. Law enforcement seized $25,130 worth of counterfeit National Hockey League (NHL) gear and other merchandise leading up to the New Year’s Day outdoor game that featured the Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. The operation was led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with assistance from the Metropolitan Police Department.

The $25,130 value is based on the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the 680 items of counterfeit NHL gear and other sportswear seized by law enforcement.

The operation, dubbed Operation Team Player, resulted in seizures of jerseys, hats, t-shirts and posters. Although most of the seized items were fake NHL merchandise, agents also seized other counterfeit items bearing the trademarks of professional sports teams. The seizures were part of a crackdown on IPR violators leading up to the NHL Winter Classic. Operation Team Player is an effort by the HSI-led IPR Center that targets counterfeit sports merchandise from all of the major sports leagues.


Shut Up Officer

So let’s cut the crap, eh? Being a cop isn’t particularly dangerous as occupations go

“With the increasing number of ambush-style attacks against our officers, I am deeply concerned that a growing anti-government sentiment in America is influencing weak-minded individuals to launch violent assaults against the men and women working to enforce our laws and keep our nation safe,” said Craig Floyd, chairman and CEO of the memorial fund.

“Enough is enough,” he said in a statement. “We need to tone down the rhetoric and rally in support of law enforcement and against lawlessness.”

Here are the facts. There were 126 on-duty deaths reported among all officers in 2014. There are approximately 1 million sworn officers between federal, state, county and local government entities (and another couple of million employees who are not sworn; that is, they are not officers and do not have arrest powers, such as dispatchers and clerks.)

This is a rate of fatality of 12.6 per 100,000. Sounds bad, right?


If you’re a logger, you have a fatality rate ten times that of a cop.

A fisherman? Almost time times — 117 per 100,000.

A pilot? 53.4 per 100,000. Yes, really — it’s about four times as dangerous to fly a plane or chopper than be a cop.

The guy who puts your roof on? 40.5 per 100,000 — about three times as dangerous.

How about iron workers — you know, the guys who put up the buildings you work in? Yeah, those dudes. Three times the risk of a cop in dying, most from falls, being crushed by heavy materials or welding accidents.


State Departments of Agriculture are Attempting to Regulate Seed Banks Out of Existence

Last year, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture officials sent ‘a friendly letter’ to a seed bank/seed exchange group in Mechanicsburg, telling them they need to test every variety of seed with extremely impractical and pointless tests to ensure that they are up to standards with regulations.

‘Agri-Terrorism’ was cited by officials as a reason why such regulations should be enforced on something as natural as the right to exchange and possess seeds.

There are laws in every state regulating the possession and exchange of seeds. The actual enforcement of these laws is spotty, because a lot of law is actually too complex most often to even decode, and just about any crazy thing that was once written in law can be enforced if law enforcement wants to. Also, who wants to enforce laws regulating and stifling such a productive, natural right?

“There’s almost no danger,” said John Torgrimson, the executive director of the Seed Savers Exchange. “This is not a risk to agriculture in any state. This is not a risk to our food supply.”

Pennsylvania is not alone in this fight. Regulators in Nebraska are also looking at local seed banks.

David Svik, the head of Nebraska’s ‘Seed Control Office’, says he will ‘see how to proceed’ with the many seed banks of the state who are not complying with regulations.

To quote a farmer from Nebraska on the issue, Betsy Goodman, on her opinion: “Regenerating your own seed is a human right.”


Is More War in Store for 2015?

“If you see 10 troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you,” said Calvin Coolidge, whose portrait hung in the Cabinet Room of the Reagan White House.

Among the dispositions shared by the two conservatives was a determination to stay out of other people’s wars.

Peering into 2015, there are wars into which our interventionists are eager to plunge that represent no immediate or grave threat to us.

One is the war the Islamic State group is waging in Syria and Iraq, a menace so great, we are told, it may require U.S. ground troops.

But why? Syria and Iraq are 5,000 miles away. And because of its barbarism and incompetence, the Islamic State is losing support in the Sunni lands it now occupies.


3,100 students embroiled in N.C. cheating scandal

'Definitely compounded by inaction and the lack of really appropriate checks and balances'

(Digital Journal) Embroiled in a staggering academic fraud-related scandal that lasted nearly 20 years and fueled by indifference and lack of oversight, the University of North Carolina (UNC) is reeling from the fallout.

The latest report showed that university leaders, faculty and staff either missed or ignored red flags that could have put a stop to the problem years earlier, WJLA reports. At least 3,100 students — half of them athletes — benefited from fake classes and grades that were artificially inflated in the former African and Afro-American Studies department (AFAM) in Chapel Hill.

Whistling Past the Junkyard: The Establishment's Attempt to Make Jeb Seem Inevitable

For several weeks now, the mainstream Jurassic media has been up to their old psychological warfare tricks, and naturally, the Republican establishment is falling for it hard. They always do, and this includes “the architect,” Karl Rove.

This time it’s the media’s attempt to get Jeb Bush the Republican nomination for President in 2016. Articles that fawn over Jeb, either from a formidability standpoint or in the vein that he’s a “reasonable” conservative are everywhere. There has also been a release of meaningless polls touting Jeb’s strength atop the potential Republican field. These have all surfaced from many of the same quarters that tried to sell the country similar notions about John McCain in 2007-08, Mitt Romney in 2011-12, and to some extent even Jon Huntsman.

Naturally, the GOP establishment was all in for McCain in ’08 and Mitt in 2012 as the two “most electable” Republicans, because they would appeal to the independents. They were not and did not. The establishment was wrong again. They always are. (More on that later).

From the Jurassic media standpoint, this is a fairly transparent attempt to soften the battlefield of ideas with shallow psy-ops by warning Republicans and conservatives what they must do to keep their party from becoming extinct. Consider some history: this is the same media that told us Romney was actually “too Republican and too conservative” in 2007-08. Some tried to assure us the Democrats really feared Huntsman more than anyone else in 2011-12. Later, we were told Romney was inevitable and that Newt Gingrich only appealed to “fans of cock fights,” racists, and “Tea Party extremists.” We were told soccer moms in Ohio didn’t want us to criticize Obama because he was so personally popular.


State of the Bay: Water Quality Improvements Offset By Fisheries Declines

(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's (CBF) biennial State of the Bay Reportis a mix of good and bad news. The good news is that the overall pollution score improved, but that improvement was offset by declines in fisheries.

"While we can celebrate water quality improvements, we must also acknowledge that many local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay are still polluted. They remain a system dangerously out of balance," said CBF President William C. Baker. "The Clean Water Blueprint is in place and working, but there are danger signs ahead. The states must pick up the pace of reducing pollution, especially from farms and urban areas."

The 2014 State of the Bay Report is a comprehensive measure of the Bay's health. CBF scientists compile and examine the best available historical and up-to-date information for 13 indicators in three categories: pollution, habitat, and fisheries. CBF scientists assign each indicator an index score between 1 and 100. Taken together, these indicators offer an assessment of Bay health.

The 2014 report score is 32, a D+, unchanged from the 2012 score. The report notes improvements in dissolved oxygen, water clarity, oysters, and underwater grasses. Nitrogen, toxics, shad, resource lands, forested buffers, and wetlands were unchanged. Declines were seen in scores for phosphorus, and rockfish, and blue crabs.


Boston Public School Teaching Islamic Conversion Prayer To Elementary Students

GO HERE to view story.

These 19 States Just Hiked The Minimum Wage: Here Come The "Unintended Consequences"

Starting on January 1, 2015, a one year-delayed component of Obamacare kicks in: according to the health care law, businesses that employ at least 100 full-time workers — or full-time equivalents, including part-time workers — must offer health benefits to at least 70% of those working at least 30 hours a week by Thursday, or pay a penalty. This will expand to by next year, when companies will have to provide insurance to 95% of their workers, and firms with 50 to 99 employees must offer coverage as well. As a result, and as even the USA Today reports, "many businesses in low-wage industries have hired more part-time workers and cut the hours of full-timers recently to soften the impact of new health law requirements that take effect Thursday."

More details:

Businesses in low-wage sectors, such as restaurants, retail and warehousing, are feeling bigger effects because health insurance represents an outsize share of their total employee costs, says Rob Wilson, head of Employco, a human resources outsourcing firm. Many of those with just fewer than 100 staffers have hired more part-timers in recent months, while those with at least 100 are reducing the hours of existing employees, he says.
Michelle Neblett, senior director of labor and workforce policy for the National Restaurant Association, says many restaurants are being more cautious about boosting the workweek of part-timers to 30 hours or more, doling out such increases to reward top performers.

Those strategies have not had a noticeable impact on the labor market. Monthly job growth has averaged 240,000 this year, up from 194,000 in 2013. And full-time employment has increased at about twice the rate of part-time payrolls, Labor Department figures show.

Still, the number of part-time workers who say they'd prefer full-time jobs has remained stubbornly high. That can at least partly be traced to the inclination of the restaurant, retail and hotel industries to hire more part-time workers to sidestep the ACA mandate, Royal Bank of Scotland wrote in a recent report.


This Cop Pulled THIS Out During A Traffic Stop… What They Caught On Camera SHOCKED Everyone!

A Tale of Two Cities

Chicago, IL
Houston, TX
2.7 million
2.15 million
Median HH Income
% African-American
% Hispanic
% Asian
% Non-Hispanic White
 Pretty similar until you compare the following:
Chicago, IL
Houston, TX
Concealed Carrygun law
# of Gun Stores
184 - Dedicated gun stores plus 1500 - legal places to buy guns- Walmart, K-mart, sporting goods, etc.
Homicides, 2012
Homicides per 100K
Avg. January high temperature  (F)
Democrat Conclusion: Cold weather from global warming causes murder.