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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Abolish The Supreme Court

The current frenzy over the vacancy on the Supreme Court in the wake of Scalia’s death should be enough to make it clear to even the most naïve observer that the Supreme Court is a partisan and political institution, and nothing like the group of disinterested non-political sages that we are supposed to believe the court to be. As I wrote in “The Mythology of the Supreme Court,” the idea of the court as a group of jurisprudential deep thinkers is a tale for little school children:

This view of the court is of course hopelessly fanciful, and the truly political nature of the court is well documented. Its politics can take many forms. For an example of its role in political patronage, we need look no further than Earl Warren, a one-time candidate for president and governor of California, who was appointed to the court by Dwight Eisenhower. It is widely accepted that Warren’s appointment was payback for Warren’s non-opposition to Eisenhower’s nomination at the 1952 Republican convention. The proposition that Warren somehow transformed from politician to Deep Thinker after his appointment is unconvincing at best. Or we might point to the famous “switch in time that saved nine” in which Justice Owen Roberts completely reversed his legal position on the New Deal in response to political threats from the Franklin Roosevelt administration. Indeed, Supreme Court justices are politicians, who behave in the manner Public Choice theory tells us they should. They seek to preserve and expand their own power.

In practice, the Supreme Court is just another federal legislature, although this one decides matters of public policy based on the opinions of a mere five people, most of whom spend their time utterly divorced from the economic realities of ordinary people while cavorting with oligarchs and other elites.

The court’s legislative power is matched by its political power since every vacancy on the court is a gift to the dominant political parties. Every time a justice dies or retires, the event provides political parties with yet another opportunity to issue hysterical fundraising letters to the more monied supporters and demand unqualified support from the rank and file while claiming the SCOTUS-appointment process makes the next election “the most important ever.”

It seems to bother few, however, that we live in a political system where the most important political and economic matters of the day — or so we are told — are to be decided by a tiny handful of people, whether they be the chairman of the Federal Reserve, five Supreme Court justices, or a president with his “pen and phone.”

Just as it is supremely dysfunctional for a major economy to hang on every word of a central bank chairman, so too should it be considered abnormal and unhealthy for a country of 320 million people to wait with bated breath for the latest prognostications of nine friends of presidents in black robes from their palatial offices in Washington, DC.


The dangers of celebrating single motherhood

“Single Mom by Choice: A Great Option for ‘Strong-A–– B––––––.’ ” That was the headline of a post on Jezebel last year exploring the question of the ups and downs of single motherhood. Citing a recent piece by Kate Bolick in Cosmopolitan, the author notes that the moms who were interviewed all said having a child as a single woman was “the best decision she’d ever made.”

Whether it’s good for the kids, though, is another story entirely. According toresearch done by Pew’s Economic Mobility Project, 54 percent of young adults today who grew up in an intact, two-parent home in the top third of household income have remained in that bracket, compared with just 37 percent of today’s young adults who grew up in a top-third divorced family.

So while our culture often celebrates the single life as empowering, this empowerment rarely trickles down to children. We can cheer the mother who dragged her son away from the rioting in Baltimore after Freddie Gray was killed, and we can find it sweet that the former star of “16 & Pregnant” istaking her young son on “dinner dates” to teach him how to treat women, but there is something sad about the fact that these boys do not have a father to offer these lessons in a more effective way. Children of single-parent familiesare less likely to finish school; more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol; and more likely to be incarcerated. Disadvantages for boys in particular are especially pronounced.

So how did we go from thinking of single motherhood as the fate of widows to seeing it as a “great option”? In part, it stems from the feminist notion of women needing men like fish need bicycles. But it’s not only sisters these days who are doing it for themselves. It’s everyone. In 1950, 22 percent of American adults were single. Now we are at almost 50 percent. One in seven adults lives alone.


Coastal Kids Consignment Sale – Salisbury’s Biggest Discount Shopping Event – Returns to the WY&CC

One Weekend Only – March 17-19

Salisbury, MD –
Coastal Kids offers area families the opportunity to sell, shop and save on high quality, gently used merchandise for infants to juniors and maternity. Continuing its tradition, financial and in-kind donations will be distributed to Hope and Life Outreach Ministries (HALO) of Salisbury, MD, Life Crisis of Salisbury, MD, Eastern Shore Pregnancy Center of Salisbury, MD and several other churches and local shelters.

The Coastal Kids Consignment Sale is a three day consignment event, which brings together thousands of ways to get what you need at a fraction of the price. Shoppers will find high quality, gently used items for infants to juniors and maternity including clothing, shoes, toys, baby gear, strollers, pack and plays, bounce chairs, outdoor play items and much more. Laid out like a retail store, shopping is easy with items sorted by size and gender as well as similar item groupings which allows shoppers to find what they need quickly with minimal hunting. The one stop opportunity to find spring and summer season items at 60-90% off retail is an event you do not want to miss.

What Shoppers Need To Know:

Thursday, March 17 from 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Friday, March 18 from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Saturday, March 19 from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Wicomico Youth & Civic Center, 500 Glen Avenue, Salisbury, MD 21804

Located in the Midway Room. Free admission. Cash, Visa/MC accepted. Shopping bags available. No diaper bags or large purses permitted while you shop.

Those interested in consigning must pre-register at Consignors earn up to 70% of their sales and will receive a check within seven days of event close.

For complete details, visit


Hillary, Bill and Osama — Fact vs. Fiction

During Saturday’s GOP debate, Marco Rubio made the point that “Bill Clinton didn’t kill Osama bin Laden when he had the chance to kill him.” Naturally, Hillary Clinton took issue with that factual assertion. “Yes, there was an effort to kill him,” she conceded. “Based on the intelligence that was available, missiles struck what was thought to be a training camp. So it wasn’t like there wasn’t an effort.” Then she added, “I see somebody like Senator Rubio just twisting himself into pretzels, trying to appeal to the base of his party — to try to say things that have no common sense or merit to them.”

She is, of course, dead wrong. As Mark Alexander wrote in 2006, “The fact is, during his eight years in office, Clinton had numerous opportunities to capture or kill Osama, but refused. Air Force Lt. Col. Robert Patterson, who carried the ‘nuclear football’ codes for the Clinton administration, notes, ‘[W]e could have prevented the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, we could have prevented 9/11 and we could have prevented the bombings of the embassies in Africa if President Clinton had taken one of these opportunities. … We had eight chances at least to either nab bin Laden or to kill him.’ Michael Scheuer, former CIA chief of the team responsible for hunting bin Laden, confirmed that prior to 9/11 SpecOps had two opportunities when Osama was literally in their sights, but Clinton pulled the plug on both operations.

"Additionally, after 9/11, Clinton admitted he turned down an opportunity to take custody of bin Laden..

More here


Unmatched Experience & No Living Costs Only Steps from the Beach

Are you looking for a rare opportunity to gain experience in the fire service, while living at the beach for no cost? The Ocean City Fire Department’s (OCFD) Live-In Program is currently accepting applications for members interested in becoming part of a fast-paced emergency services environment, while living steps away from Ocean City’s beach and Boardwalk.

“This program is great for college students and young adults, specifically those students who are pursuing a higher education with experience in a busy, progressive fire/ems organization,” commented Ocean City Fire Chief Chris Larmore. “Not only are we steps away from the beach, but we are located near several universities on the Eastern Shore, offering a short commute to participants who are continuing their education, no matter what their field of study may be.”

In all, the live-in program provides space to approximately 10 members in various fire stations throughout the resort town. Living space is provided for free, in return for responding to calls at least four shifts per week, among other requirements. In addition, program participations must be active members of the Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company.

“The OCFD’s Live-In Program has hosted dozens of Fire and EMS volunteers who began their career in Ocean City and continued in public service fields locally, regionally and nationally,” Chief Larmore continued. “If you are looking for a great opportunity to save money, receive quality training and unmatched experience, then look no further than the Ocean City Fire Department Live-In Program.”

For more information or to obtain an application, visit:

Governor Larry Hogan Proposes Record Funding for Maryland Arts Community

First Lady Yumi Hogan to Speak at 2016 Maryland Arts Day February 17

Demonstrating his continued commitment to the arts in Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan has proposed a record-setting $20.3 million FY 2017 budget for the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency within the Maryland Department of Commerce that works to encourage investment in the arts for all Marylanders. The governor included a $700,000 increase for the council in his FY 2017 budget and will also introduce a measure to permanently transfer $2 million from the special fund for the Preservation of Cultural Arts to the Arts Council’s annual appropriation.

“The arts are not only an important economic generator in Maryland, they are also essential to educating our children, spurring creativity and innovation, and maintaining our overall quality of life,” said Governor Hogan. “The First Lady and I have a deep connection to the arts and believe an investment in the arts is an investment in Maryland’s future.”

The proposed additional funds would have a significant impact by providing a boost in operating support to hundreds of Maryland arts organizations and programs, community development grants to local arts councils in all 24 jurisdictions, and expanded arts education programming for Maryland students, along with other program priorities.

“The arts in Maryland represent hundreds of nonprofit organizations operating as small businesses that build and add vibrancy to their community. As publicly funded arts organizations, we take seriously our responsibility to serve the communities we represent,” said April Nyman, executive director of the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County. “Maryland has a long history of support for the nonprofit arts sector. I applaud Governor Hogan for raising the bar with this extraordinary investment and, in turn, creating new opportunities to better serve the citizens of Maryland.”

Tomorrow, more than 400 arts advocates will meet in Annapolis for Maryland Arts Day 2016. Presented by the Maryland Citizens for the Arts, the group will highlight the contributions of the arts to Maryland’s economy and meet with members of the General Assembly to encourage support for the governor’s budget. First Lady Yumi Hogan will be among the speakers, along with members of the General Assembly, Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill, and leaders in the arts community.

An economic impact study released by the Arts Council in November 2015 shows that Maryland arts organizations generated $646 million in direct spending and had a total economic impact of $1.03 billion in FY 2014. In addition, the organizations created 12,155 full-time equivalent jobs and generated $48.3 million in state and local taxes.

A Letter To The Editor: Poultry Concerns

I applaud Bob Culver for moving forward with caution. The CAFO on Naylor Mill is approved that can’t be undone to blindly regulate is not the answer. It will take time and valid information to make solid decisions. To be dependent on information provided by activist groups would be very unwise. It has been my experience that the more you give the green movement, the more they demand or attempt to legislate. I have heard, but not confirmed that Wicomico County has passed a resolution against the Poultry Litter Act. If this is true I applaud them for standing up for Poultry Agriculture and our rural way of life. We need more of the Counties to get behind Poultry Agriculture. Yes I call it Poultry Agriculture, if we don’t like being called Factory Farms then perhaps we should not refer to ourselves as an Industry.

Michelle Protani-Chesnik

A Comment Worthy Of A Post 2-17-16

“Anonymous said...

The real question is with all these "American" companies moving to mexico, why do they still come here for work? Is it work they seek or all the handouts from democrats? If they have good jobs available there from our companies, then there is no need to come here for work...only handouts. Makes sense why they vote dem and dems love them. Will be hilarious when there is no one in mexico to work for these companies and they come crawling back. I say any company that goes there should be banned from re-entry unless they pay a fine totalling the profits they made in mexico. And should have to pay increased import taxes on any product they sell in the US.

February 16, 2016 at 9:27 PM”

Rep. Gutierrez on $30 Minimum Wage: ‘I Am For That Goal’

( - Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) recently praised a Las Vegas restaurant for raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour but said he is “for that goal” of $30 an hour.

Gutierrez can be seen making the comments in a series of You Tube videos that show the Democrat speaking to a small group at a Hillary Clinton event during his visit to Nevada earlier this February.

“We’re working to champion the cause of people - and I’m so excited you guys increased the minimum wage at Taco el Gordo, right?” Gutierrez tells the group.


Top 10 Dunks 2016 NBA Dunk Contest

Pizza Hut Trolls Kanye West’s Twitter Rant In The Most Hilarious Way Possible

It’s not been a good week for Kanye West.

After his epic Twitter meltdown claiming he’s $53 million in debt, being smacked down publicly by Taylor Swift at the Grammys and Virgin Airlines suggesting he do something vulgar, now even Pizza Hut is getting into the act. Pizza Hut in the UK, that is.

In response to Kanye’s plea for more money, the UK branch of the pizza chain informed him they couldn’t accept his illiterate resume.


Do You See a Rabbit or Duck in This 124-Year-Old Image? Here’s What Your Answer Says About You

Take a look at this picture, published more than 100 years ago in a German magazine. Do you see an animal?

According to The Daily Mail, the speed with which an observer can see one animal and then identify the other is an indication of the person’s creativity level.

And NBC’s “Today” said that Dr. Joseph Jastrow, a psychologist, determined that those who could see both a rabbit and a duck were also capable of coming up “with five unusual uses for an everyday item,” while those who saw only one animal or the other were able to only come up “with two unexpected uses for that same everyday item.”


Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade To Be Aired on TV Live, Repeated Several Times

OCEAN CITY — While the masses will line Coastal Highway for the Delmarva Irish-American Club’s 35th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade next month, thousands more will have the opportunity to watch the popular event live on television for the first time ever.

The DIAC and local NBC affiliate WRDE announced on Tuesday this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Ocean City, set for Saturday, March 12, will be broadcast live on parade day and again throughout the week including a marathon on actual St. Patrick’s Day on March 17. Mayor Rick Meehan., president of the DIAC, and WRDE President and General Manager Bob Backman made the announcement on Tuesday morning at City Hall.

“This is an exciting time for us,” said Meehan. “We have our 35th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade coming up and we’re very excited to announce that this year’s parade will be broadcast live.”

From modest beginnings in 1980, when the fledgling DIAC first conceived the idea of a St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Ocean City, the annual event has grown to become the second largest of its kind in Maryland. Just a few vehicles and a handful of participants marched down Coastal Highway in that very first parade, but the event now includes around 125 entries.


Arson Ruled Homicide

Police are looking for help in solving an Exmore area arson homicide that occurred in late January.

State Police Sgt. Michelle Anaya said the remains of Shirley Onley, 70, were found at her Occohannock Neck Road home, the scene of a trailer fire.

Based on autopsy results, the death is being handled as a homicide, with the blaze having suspicious origin. Details about the cause of death or how the fire was started were not disclosed.

Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to call State Police at (757) 424-6800, #77 on a cell phone or email


Va., Md. weigh raising marriage age to 18 to combat coercion, abuse

They can’t legally vote, drink alcohol or smoke a cigarette, but thousands of underage Virginians, most of them girls, have been pressured into marriage over the last decade.

Now there’s a move afoot in the General Assembly to try to head off the disturbing trend by raising the age of consent for marriage to at least 18 in most cases.

The issue popped onto state Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel’s radar after she learned of a story in her district of a 15-year-old girl dating a 50-year-old man. As police began to investigate, the man first took the girl out of state; then, as the investigation intensified, he married her — effectively shutting down the probe.

“Virginia’s marriage law is really out of whack,” said Ms. Vogel, Fauquier Republican.


Looking for Love in Maryland? Try a College Town

If you're planning ahead now so that you don't spend next Valentine's Day alone, know this: where you live could have a big impact on who you meet. Across Maryland, college towns top the rankings of cities with the highest proportion of unmarried residents. But if you're looking for someone single over the age of 24, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., are your best bet.


College Towns Lead State in Percentages of Single Residents
Try heading to Washington, D.C., Baltimore, or College Park for your best chances at finding a date. While Salisbury has a slightly higher percentage of unmarried residents than College Park, the home of the University of Maryland boasts more residents between the ages of 20 and 39. 



Ever since 1980 (except for a brief pause from 2013 to now) there’s been a Bush or a Clinton in the White House.

1980-1988: George H.W. Bush, Vice President
1988-1992: George H.W. Bush, President
1992-2000: Bill Clinton, President
2000-2008: George W. Bush, President
2008-2013: Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State for Barack Obama

In every presidential election from 1980 to 2008, a Bush or a Clinton was attempting to get into the White House.


What's For Dinner: Bourbon Street Chicken

Serves 4 to 6
You’ll Need
– 6 chicken thighs, about 1 ½ pounds
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 teaspoon minced ginger
– 1/4 cup apple juice
– 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
– 2 tablespoons ketchup
– 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
– ¼ cup soy sauce
– Red pepper flakes
– Green onions, chopped
How To
  1. In a medium bowl, mix the garlic, ginger, apple juice, brown sugar, ketchup, cider vinegar and soy sauce together.
  2. Place the chicken thighs into the crockpot. Pour the mixed sauce into the crockpot and over the chicken, then use tongs to coat the chicken thighs in the sauce.
  3. Cook on high for 4 hours, until the chicken is tender.
  4. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and chopped green onion on top. Serve with steamed rice.
Expert Tip
To slightly thicken the sauce once the chicken has finished cooking, remove about a cup of the sauce from the crockpot and mix it in a small saucepan with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Let it come to a boil so that the cornstarch will dissolve and thicken, then stir it back into the crockpot with the rest of the sauce and the chicken.

More Harford County Fallen Officers Funeral Pictures

Secretary of State, Attorney General Issue Cease-And-Desist Against Charity Claiming to Help Veterans

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Secretary of State John C. Wobensmith and Attorney General Brian E. Frosh announced today that the Office of the Secretary of State has shut down a purported charity for veterans which allegedly falsified marketing materials and other documents and has not accounted for donations.

The Secretary of State issued a cease-and-desist order against the Southern Maryland Veterans Association, along with principal Dan Brashear, and alleged former associate Norman Randolph McDonald.

In response to multiple complaints, an investigation by the Secretary of State’s Charities and Legal Services Division, aided by the Office of the Attorney General, showed that the organization was allegedly not assisting the housing needs of veterans as claimed in marketing materials. The charity was also not registered with the Secretary of State.

“Manipulating the good intentions of Marylanders who think they are helping our veterans is unconscionable and unacceptable,” said Secretary Wobensmith.

“I commend the investigators who took these complaints seriously and took steps to make sure that any potential fraud was stopped,” said Attorney General Frosh. “This case shows again that we all must be vigilant, because there are unscrupulous people who care more about their own pockets than the welfare of the community.”

Solicitors for Southern Maryland Veterans Association had been a visible presence at retail and grocery stores in Calvert County and elsewhere in Southern Maryland. Fund-raisers for the charity would distribute documents that claimed to show that the organization was registered with the state, when in fact it was not.

The charity appeared to collect thousands of dollars in 2014 and 2015 in cash and donated goods, but exact totals of contributions and their use could not immediately be determined by investigators.

The cease-and-desist order alleges multiple violations of the Maryland Solicitations Act, including misleading potential donors to a charitable organization, using false and misleading advertising in connection with a solicitation and failing to register with the Secretary of State before soliciting.

The Office of the Secretary of State registers and regulates charitable organizations that solicit charitable contributions in Maryland. The Office works to ensure that charitable contributions made by Marylanders go to qualified charitable organizations and are used for the intended purpose.

Anyone who may have been solicited by this organization is encouraged to contact Michael Schlein, Investigator, Charities and Legal Services Division at 410-260-3879. To check if a charity is registered or to report other suspected violations of charitable giving law, please call 410-260-3879 or 1-800-825-4510. More information on charities can be found on the Secretary of State’s charity home page:


Let me just start this post out by saying,“HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAA”.

This has been, perhaps, the most ridiculous election cycle yet, or, at least, in the three decades I’ve been alive on this planet. And while it’s horrifying to think that somehow we’re going to end up with a Bush or a Clinton yet again, at least no one can say the handbasket ride to Hell hasn’t been entertaining to watch.

While this sham of a “fair and democratic” process falls apart before everyone’s eyes after Hillary Clinton’s razor-thin win via “virtually improbable” coin toss in Iowa and leaving New Hampshire with the same delegates as Sanders despite his 22 percentage-point win that amounts to the biggest victory in a contested Democratic primary there since John F. Kennedy, DNC Chair Representative Rep.Debbie Wasserman Schultz couldn’t even give the most basic explanation to CNN’s Jake Tapper why anyone should believe the whole entire process isn’t rigged:


Southern Poverty Law Center – Manufacturing Hate for Fun and Profit

The Southern Poverty Law Center, always seeming to hover in the shadows whenever honest citizens and organizations try to stand up for this country, is at it again. In addition to the usual suspects – which includes pretty much anyone who disagrees with the American radical Left – SPLC has been increasingly attacking people and groups who express concern about Islamic terrorism –adding them to SPLC’s infamous “Hate Watch” list.

This now includes the Washington, DC think tank, Center for Security Policy. Widely respected in defense circles, the Center has been warning us for years about the subversive tactics being employed by the Muslim Brotherhood and its proxies to destroy our nation from within. Its veteran analysts from the defense and intelligence community seek to warn the country of the existential threat we now face from Muslim terrorists.

The only true haters are the Islamists and SPLC. Americans do not need to justify their concerns over Islamic terror and its political corollary, the body of Islamic law known as shariah. Indeed, shariah is anathema to every freedom we hold dear and threatens to rob us of it before our very eyes.

If there were no reason to be concerned about Islam, it should be a simple matter for American Muslim leaders to reassure America. But instead, they denounce Americans as "Islamophobic" and the SPLC turns it into a nationwide vilification campaign.

In gambling they call this a “tell.” When your political opponent resorts to name calling, it is because he cannot articulate a credible argument against you. So instead of arguing, he intimidates and attacks.



It is the job of the Fourth Estate to act as a check and a restraint on the others, to illumine the dark corners of Ministries, to debunk the bureaucrat, to throw often unwelcome light on the measures and motives of our rulers. ‘News’, as Hearst once remarked, ‘is something which somebody wants suppressed: all the rest is advertising’. That job is an essential one and it is bound to be unpopular; indeed, in a democracy, it may be argued that the more unpopular the newspapers are with the politicians the better they are performing their most vital task.
– Brian R. Roberts from a October 29, 1955 article in the London periodical “Time & Tide”
A newspaper is a device for making the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy crazier.
– H.L. Mencken
If you really want to know how weak Hillary Clinton is as a candidate, you merely have to appreciate that the U.S. media essentially acts as her own personal PR firm, yet the public still recognizes her as a dishonest crook. Brace yourself for the following story, it’s huge.

Dr. Doom: Blocking SCOTUS Nominee Will Haunt Republicans

Blocking any of President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominees would be "the most nakedly partisan" move Republican Senators could make in history, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post Monday night, and such a move could haunt them.

"Our founders who envisioned a fair, bipartisan process must be rolling in their graves," the Nevada Democrat said. "If my Republican colleagues proceed down this reckless path, they should know that this act alone will define their time in the majority. Thinking otherwise is fantasy."

If the nominee is blocked, Reid warned, the republican majority would be remembered as "the most nakedly partisan, obstructionist and irresponsible majority in history. All other impressions will be instantly and irretrievably swept away…[this] would rank among the most rash and reckless actions in the history of the Senate. And the consequences will reverberate for decades."

More here


ANNAPOLIS – Complaining that decisions about Maryland’s congested transportation system are made with no accountability or public input, Maryland Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday announced legislation that would create an Oversight and Planning Board for the Maryland Transit Authority.

The bill, sponsored by Delegate Brooke Lierman, D-Baltimore, would create a board composed of both government officials and private citizens.

“MTA is an extremely complicated multi-modal transit system, and yet does not engage in any long-term planning, does not produce regular performance or reliability reports, and does not accept public or local government feedback in any organized way,” Lierman said.

The board would evaluate the Maryland Transit Authority’s budget and policies as well as voice the concerns of residents who have problems with the agency.

Matt Clark, communications director for Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, called the announcement a “thinly veiled power grab” by the Democratically controlled legislature to weaken local authority.


Sowell: Tragedy and Choices

Amid the petty bickering, loud rhetoric and sordid attack ads in this year’s primary election campaigns, the death of a giant — Justice Antonin Scalia — suddenly overshadows all of that.

The vacancy created on the Supreme Court makes painfully clear the huge stakes involved when we choose a President of the United States, just one of whose many powers is the power to nominate justices of the Supreme Court.

Justice Scalia’s passing would be a great loss at any time. But at this crucial juncture in the history of the nation — with 5-to-4 Supreme Court decisions determining what kind of country America will be — Scalia’s death can be catastrophic in its consequences, depending on who is chosen to be his successor.

Given the advanced ages of other justices, the next president is likely to have enough vacancies to fill to be able to shape the future of the court that helps shape the future of America.

Already many people are complaining that the America they grew up in, and loved, is being changed into something they can barely recognize. Record numbers are renouncing their American citizenship.

Meanwhile, people with high level experience in the military and in the intelligence services are warning us against extreme dangers in a world where our adversaries' military power and aggressiveness are increasing, while our military forces are being cut back.

Against this background, the frivolous rhetoric and childish antics in the televised political “debates” are painful to watch. If ever there was a time to choose a president with depth, rather than glitter or glibness, this is it.

Whatever the achievements of anyone in some other field, we cannot afford a novice in the complex world of politics and government at a time of grave dangers at home and internationally.

More here

The Islamization of American Schools

Apparently American Muslims are not American. Oh, they may think they are, but this is evidently not the case. Normal Americans go to work every day and send their normal American kids off to school. They don’t consider themselves particularly special. They don’t ask others for a carve out or to be celebrated as being different. They are just Americans.

I’m sure many American Muslims think this way. I’m sure they don’t consider themselves special. They want to be treated like everyone else. They say they don’t wish to be treated differently than any other American. But is this really true?

Evidently not, at least far as the school administrators at the New York World School of Inquiry, in Rochester NY are concerned. A request from a single Muslim student prompted Principal Sheela Webster to host a “World Hijab Day event the week of February 1 which ‘encouraged girls to wear the Muslim religious head covering.’”

And what made “World Hijab Day” so much more special – not a single parent was notified ahead of the event. They found out about it on the news, which being New York, probably breathlessly reported on it, extolling the schools diversity and inclusion.

Anger Builds Where Obama Seeks Shelter for Immigrant Children

Amid a resurgence in the pace of unaccompanied migrant children crossing the U.S. border, President Barack Obama is facing angry opposition as he searches for places to house them temporarily.

The administration is attempting to assemble a network of shelters on military bases and other federal facilities to lodge thousands of children awaiting immigration proceedings after leaving El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. That’s hit a nerve in communities, some in crucial presidential swing states such as Colorado and Florida, where potential facilities were announced without community input and later scrapped.

“I don’t want a military base to be an orphanage,” said Veronica Kemeny, president of the Republican Veterans of Florida, who lives in Panama City near an Air Force Base that was named as a potential shelter.

Ten additional military bases were placed under review by the government. Six were dropped as potential sites last week, leaving under consideration bases in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Alabama and California, according to Defense Department spokesman Tom Crosson.

In Ohio, Republican Governor and presidential candidate John Kasich in December denied requests by the Obama administration to use the state’s National Guard facilities to house children.

In Florida, before it was crossed it off the list last week, Obama’s plan to house children at Tyndall Air Force Base outside Panama City had turned into a political fight in a heated congressional race featuring two Republicans trying to unseat a Democratic incumbent.


Harford County Fallen Officers Funeral

 City of Salisbury Honor Guard

Funeral for officers in Harford County. Must be over 100 different Police agencies there. New York City, all Maryland communities, Pa, Va, DC and others. 

Democratic Debate Moderators Have Not Asked A Single Question About LGBT Equality

Debate moderators have failed to ask a single question about LGBT equality in the first five Democratic primary debates, despite a number of emerging threats to LGBT rights.

In the five Democratic presidential debates held since last October, debate moderators at CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC and MSNBC failed to ask candidates a single question related to LGBT equality. The only time a moderator mentioned LGBT rights was in the first Democratic debate, hosted by CNN on October 13, 2015, when moderator Anderson Cooper referenced Hillary Clinton's previous opposition to same-sex marriage - which she eventually reversed - to ask, "Will you say anything to get elected?"

Moderators of the GOP debates, by comparison, have asked candidates about issues related to LGBT equality, including exploring the candidates' positions on Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis, who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and inquiring into candidate Ben Carson's involvement on gay-friendly corporate boards.


A Camouflage Clothing Line Wants to Be Lululemon for Hunters

Kuiu is betting hunters want high-end, high-functioning gear.

Killing a Canadian mountain sheep is a little like climbing Everest. It’s expensive and arduous and typically involves terrible weather. Clothing is critical, but hunters can’t wear the garish, down-stuffed suits that climbers in the Himalayas favor. Sheep, it turns out, have incredible eyesight: Sophisticated camouflage is essential. “I’d say 80 percent of the hunters I know wear Kuiu,” says Bob House, who charges $40,000 for guided expeditions in the Yukon. “I absolutely love it when my client steps off the plane and is fully outfitted in that stuff.” If paying tens of thousands of dollars and traveling to a remote part of Canada to kill sheep doesn’t already signal how serious someone is, Kuiu does.

Unless you’re an experienced sheep stalker, you’ve probably never heard of Kuiu, named after an Alaskan island and pronounced “koo-yoo.” But the company is conferring on hunting gear the status that Patagonia did for outdoorwear and Lululemon Athletica did for yoga pants. Kuiu is making it lighter, more water-resistant, more breathable, and better looking—an upgrade to what’s been previously available, which has been as oblivious to performance, fit, and aesthetics as a deer on the opening day of hunting season.


Did Senator Mikulski pull a Brian Williams and play loose with the facts?

Few will forget the sudden fall from grace of NBC’s “Nightly News” anchor, Brian Williams. He got caught exaggerating his supposed role in a helicopter incident during the Iraq War. The mouthy dude couldn’t stop fibbing about it. As a result, William lost his job and became a subject of a national joke line on the Internet. He even got his own hashtag#brianwilliamsmisremembers.

Enter U.S. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD).

President Barack Obama awarded Mikulski the “Medal of Freedom” at a White House ceremony on Nov.24, 2015. In his remarks, Obama related, “the often-told story of how the Highlandtown native, a daughter of Baltimore grocers, rose to political prominence in the 1960s by successfully blocking efforts to extend Interstate 70 through Fells Point.”

Obama relying on information supplied to him by Mikulski’s public relation’s machine, continued: “Let’s just say you don’t want to get on the wrong side of Barbara Mikulski. She stopped ‘that’ highway!”

Well, here’s a relevant question: Did Mikulski really have anything to do with stopping “that” highway (East-West Expressway) or is she pulling a Brian Williams on the public?


KY Dem's Bill Would Require Wife's Permission For Viagra

A Kentucky lawmaker has put forward a bill that would require men to visit a doctor at least twice and obtain a signed permission slip from their wives before they could obtain a prescription for the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra.

State Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, a Democrat, acknowledged to the Louisville Courier-Journal that the bill has no chance of passing. However, she said the bill was a response to several anti-abortion measures, including a recently ratified law that requires a woman seeking an abortion to get counseling at least 24 hours in advance from a health professional.

In an opinion piece, Marzian said her bill is meant to "illustrate the absurdity of government encroachment into women's personal and medical decisions currently running amok in the Kentucky General Assembly and [Gov. Matt] Bevin administration."

Marzian's bill specifies that only married men can obtain Viagra and a prospective patient must "make a sworn statement with his hand on a Bible that he will only use a prescription for a drug for erectile dysfunction when having sexual relations with his current spouse."


'Narconomics': How The Drug Cartels Operate Like Wal-Mart And McDonald's

When Tom Wainwright became the Mexico correspondent for The Economist in 2010, he found himself covering the country's biggest businesses, including the tequila trade, the oil industry and the commerce of illegal drugs.

"I found that one week I'd be writing about the car business and the next week I'd be writing about the drugs business," Wainwright tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I gradually came to see that the two actually were perhaps more similar than people normally recognize."

During the three years he spent in Mexico and Central and South America, Wainwright discovered that the cartels that control the region's drug trade use business models that are surprisingly similar to those of big-box stores and franchises. For instance, they have exclusive relationships with their "suppliers" (the farmers who grow the coca plants) that allow the cartels to keep the price of cocaine stable even when crop production is disrupted.

"The theory is that the cartels in the area have what economists call a 'monopsony,' [which is] like a monopoly on buying in the area," Wainwright says. "This rang a bell with me because it's something that people very often say about Wal-Mart."


Leave the Scalia Chair Vacant

It is a measure of the stature and the significance of Justice Antonin Scalia that, upon the news of his death at a hunting lodge in Texas, Washington was instantly caught up in an unseemly quarrel over who would succeed him.

But no one can replace Justice Scalia.

He was a giant among jurists. For a third of a century, he led the conservative wing of the high court, creating a new school of judicial thought called "originalism."

But originalism is not conservatism, which, in the judicial era that preceded Scalia, often meant court decisions that "conserved" the radical social revolution Earl Warren's court had imposed upon us.

Scalia believed in going back to the founding documents of the republic and discerning from them the original meaning and intent of the framers.

More here

Shore reps: Bridge won't wait

ANNAPOLIS — Eastern Shore lawmakers in their weekly delegation meeting on on Friday, Feb. 12, pushed for funding the next study included in steps toward a new Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

The comments, which were made during a review with engineers involved in a recently released study of the current William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bridge spans, accompanied a concern by Lower Shore Sen. Jim Mathias that the future will be here before they know it, while traffic continues to get worse on the quickest route onto and off the Shore from the rest of Maryland.

Eastern Shore lawmakers on Friday reviewed a cost analysis study on the Bay Bridge, which overviewed traffic growth projections and cost estimates for a new bridge span and to maintain the current spans.

The study found that while traffic growth on the bridge has been flat for the past decade, it is projected to rise 1.3 percent from 2017 through 2040.


Hillary Uses Black Accent In Chat With Sharpton

Hillary Clinton appeared to mimic Rev. Al Sharpton’s accent on Tuesday while standing right next to the civil rights activist.

“My lips are sealed,” Clinton said in an affected accent after an event at the Harlem headquarters of Sharpton’s National Action Network.

The comment came after Politico reporter Annie Karni asked Sharpton if he plans to endorse Clinton.

“You’ve got to watch her,” Sharpton said, drawing Clinton’s attention to Karni. “She’s trying to ask whether I’m endorsing. I told her only you know, and I’m not telling.”


Scalia's Death Saves Unions From Momentous Ruling Ending Political Power

As the nation and official Washington prepared to mourn the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, watchers of the high court began to assess the immediate impact of his death on several pending cases whose decisions might have had momentous political implications.

Among these is Friedrichs v. California Teacher’s Association, set to have been a landmark case regarding the mandatory collection of union dues and their use for political purposes. The ruling could have meant the death knell of collective bargaining and the political might of America’s unions.

After oral arguments in the case in January, The Washington Post indicated the court’s conservative majority, including Scalia, were leaning to rule against the unions ability to collect mandatory dues.

But Scalia’s passing – and the news that the Republic-led Senate will likely not confirm an Obama nominee — means such cases could up with 4-4 decisions. Lacking a majority, the lower court’s rulings will stand.

In the Friedrichs case, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled in favor of the teacher’s union.



George W. Bush Steps Up for Jeb: He Can 'Fix the Problems'

Donald Trump's name was never mentioned from the stage, but it was clear the GOP front-runner was target of multiple barbs as former President George W. Bush joined the campaign for his brother Jeb Bush Monday in North Charleston, South Carolina.

"These are tough times, and I understand that Americans are angry and frustrated," George W. Bush told the cheering crowd of supporters. "But we do not need someone in the Oval Office who mirrors and inflames our anger and frustration; we need someone who can fix the problems that cause their anger and frustration — and that's Jeb Bush."



Maryland’s Eastern Shore is about to be featured in a very big way.

Last summer, the hosts of History Channel’s hit show American Pickers rolled through town looking for unique, antique and collectible items. What they found will air in an episode Wednesday February 17th at 9pm.

Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz visited the site of the former Eastern Shore Americana Museum located near Crisfield in Somerset County. The late Lawrence Burgess founded the museum in 1976 and after his passing the family donated its contents to Somerset County.

The Pickers were reportedly impressed with the size of the collection and spent a large part of the day touring the site. The collection contains pieces Burgess acquired over the years from yard and estate sales that reflect what life was like in rural Maryland over the last century.

“We’re excited that the Somerset County will be showcased on The History Channel tomorrow night,” said Jack Gerbes, Director of the Maryland Film Office. “American Pickers has highlighted many unique Maryland stories this season, and we are sure that Somerset County is ready for their close-up!”

American Pickers has aired on History Channel for 14 seasons and is consistently one of the network’s highest rated shows. Tune in on Wednesdays at 9:00pm.

Episodes are also available on the History Channel’s website the day after airing.

Waiting Lists Grow for Medicine to Fight Opioid Addiction

BURLINGTON, Vermont — After more than a decade of getting high on illicit opioid painkillers and heroin every day, Christopher Dezotelle decided to quit. He saw too many people overdose and die. “I couldn’t do that to my mom or my children,” he said.

He also got tired of having to commit crimes to pay for his habit — or at least the consequences of those crimes. At 33, he has spent more than 11 of his last 17 years incarcerated. The oldest of seven children, he started using marijuana and alcohol when he was 12.

It’s been five years since Dezotelle started treatment the first time, and he still hustles for drugs every day. Only now, instead of heroin or OxyContin, he’s trying to score buprenorphine, one of three federally approved opioid-addiction medications. He says heroin is much easier to find, and it’s less than half the price of buprenorphine on the streets and parking lots of this college town.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, a Democrat, was among the first in the nation to address the opioid epidemic. He devoted his entire State of the State address to the crisis in 2014. Since then, his administration and many of Vermont’s private practice doctors have made treatment more available than it is in most of the country.

But it’s not enough.


Lost Dog 2-16-16: UPDATE

Buddy is our 11 year old german short hair pointer and late yesterday afternoon he ran off after an unknown wild animal (fox or deer). He was last seen on Levin Dashiell Rd in Hebron in the small stretch between Quantico Creek Rd and the blueberry farm, headed towards the triple decker chicken house and Rockawalkin Rd. He is dark brown with a gray muzzle and a docked (short) tail, he does not have is collar on, and is hard of hearing. He does not like the rain and maybe taking cover in a barn or out building where he can keep dry and hunt for cats or mice.


It’s Tax Season, and States Are Battling Bogus Requests for Refunds

Last year during tax season, Utah discovered that about 8,000 state income tax returns were filed with fake IDs, which could have cost the state $11 million in bogus refunds. The fraud discovery precipitated a weekslong halt to processing taxpayers’ returns and an intense investigation that stopped all but $17,000 in false refunds.

The scam sought to take advantage of the consumer-friendly service used by Utah and many other states of sending taxpayers their refunds quickly via pre-paid debit cards that could immediately — and untraceably — be used like cash.

No more, say Utah and the other 40 states and the District of Columbia that require taxpayers to file state or local income tax returns. This year, they are working together with the IRS and the largest private tax software companies to try to discover and stop the online filing fraud quickly — sometimes before it starts — by doing a better job of verifying the identity of the filers, strengthening password protocols and sharing information on filings that use stolen identities.

The dollar stakes are high in combating the cyber fraud. The IRS lost an estimated $5.8 billion to paying out fraudulent federal refunds in 2013 alone. And states are defrauded by an estimated $8 billion to $9 billion annually, said Haywood Talcove, CEO of Government and LexisNexis Special Services Inc., which works with many states to counter the scams.

The fight against tax fraud is a “battle that seems to grow every day,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told state, federal and private industry tax leaders in June. “The threat from fraudsters and criminals is complex and evolving.”


Yes, You Can Combine Amazon Subscribe & Save With Free 2-Day Prime Shipping

Amazon’s Subscribe & Save feature is useful when there’s something that you want to buy online and know that you’ll need regular shipments of, like electric toothbrush heads or bags of freeze-dried marshmallows. There’s a catch, though: if you have Amazon Prime and want free two-day shipping on those mailing labels or novelty emery boards, selecting the Subscribe & Save option from the item page doesn’t get you two-day shipping by default. 

PHOTOS: American Presidents: Through the Years

Awesome Story

The Jewish Quarterback

The coach had put together the perfect team for the Baltimore Ravens...

The only thing that was missing was a good quarterback.

He had scouted all the colleges and even the Canadian and European Leagues, but he couldn't find a ringer who could ensure a Super Bowl win.

Then one night while watching CNN he saw a war-zone scene in the West Bank. In one corner of the background, he spotted a young Israeli soldier with a truly incredible arm.

He threw a hand grenade straight into a 15th story window 100 yards away. KABOOM.

He threw another grenade right into a chimney 75 yards away. KABLOOEY, and the chimney vanished.

He then threw another grenade at a passing car going about 90 miles per hour. Bulls eye.

"I've got to get this guy," the coach said to himself. "He has the perfect arm."

So he brings him to the states and teaches him the great game of football and the Ravens go on to win the Super Bowl.

The young man is hailed as the great hero of football and when the coach asks him what he wants, all the young man wanted was to call his mother.

"Mom," he says into the phone. "I just won the Super Bowl."

"I don't want to talk to you," the old woman says.

"You are not my son."

"I don't think you understand, mother," the young man pleads.

"I've won the greatest sporting event in the world. I'm here among thousands of my adoring fans."

"No, let me tell you," his mother retorts. "At this very moment, there are gunshots all around us. The neighborhood is a pile of rubble. 

Your two brothers were beaten within an inch of their lives last week, and I have to keep your sister in the house so she doesn't get raped."

The old lady pauses, then tearfully says,

"I will never forgive you for making us move to Baltimore."

I Want One

The Great White North

Congress wants to turn the US Postal Service… into a bank

It’s news that seems ripped from the pages of The Onion. Or perhaps Atlas Shrugged.

But incredibly enough it’s actually true: earlier this week, Congress proposed a new law authorizing the US Postal Service to provide banking and financial services.

It’s called the “Providing Opportunities for Savings, Transactions, and Lending” Act, abbreviated as… wait for it… the POSTAL Act.

And it provides explicit authorization for them to provide banking services including checking and savings accounts, money transfers, and “other basic financial services as the Postal Service deems appropriate in the public interest.”

Bank of the Post Office. It’s incredible when you think about it.