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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Napolitano: ‘The FBI Now Has Leverage’ With Hillary Aides

Judge Andrew Napolitano said Thursday that “the FBI now has leverage” in the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server and can indict Clinton’s top aides and trade less punishment for testimony against her.

Citing the report by Fox News’s Catherine Herridge and Pamela K. Browne, Napolitano said on Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom” that “Mrs. Clinton’s top aides regularly received from Mrs. Clinton via her private server Top Secret emails. These are emails which the aides lacked the security clearance to receive.”

“So this tells us a couple things,” Napolitano said. “One, Mrs. Clinton was so reckless in the manner in which she sent out Top Secret emails, knowingly sending them to people who weren’t authorized to receive them.”

“We know two, their acceptance, discussion and transfer of this is a felony. We know three, that the FBI now has leverage. The Justice Department can indict her top aides and trade with them,” Napolitano said.

“What would they want? Testimony against Mrs. Clinton in return for a deal with them."

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Valentine's Day Dinner for Two



Valentine's Day Dinner for Two. // http://bzfd.it/1mxnewl
Posted by BuzzFeed Food on Friday, February 12, 2016
Click on title of post if video fails to load
 

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 pounds mixed root vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, and parsnips
1 bunch fresh thyme, divided
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 (3 1/2-pound) chicken
1 whole head garlic, halved crosswise through the middle
1 lemon, halved
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 cups winter salad greens, such as arugula or watercress
1/2 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 blood orange (or regular orange), peeled and thinly sliced
1 loaf of crusty bread, for serving
1 bottle of wine, for drinking

PREPARATION
1. Preheat the oven to 425°.

2. Wash and scrub the root vegetables (if you *must* peel them, go for it, but I think it’s totally unnecessary) and cut them into large pieces. Place them on a rimmed baking sheet and toss them with a few of the thyme sprigs and 2 tablespoons of olive oil; season with salt and pepper.

3. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and season all over with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the garlic, the rest of the thyme and half the lemon (just shove all the stuff in there, it’s okay if some of the things are exposed). Drizzle the chicken with another 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place the baking sheet in the oven.

3. Roast, tossing vegetables occasionally, until the chicken is a deep golden brown and cooked through (a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh should register 165°. If you don’t have a thermometer, a good way to test is to wiggle the drumstick—it should feel tender and loose, about 45-55 minutes.

4. Remove the chicken from the baking sheet and place it on a cutting board to rest. Sprinkle the vegetables with the Parmesan and return to oven until the cheese is browned and the vegetables are super crispy, 5-8 minutes. While you’re at it, toss that loaf of bread in there, because warm bread > not warm bread.

5. While the chicken is resting and the vegetables are finishing up, make the salad. Combine the salad greens, fennel and blood orange in a medium bowl. Squeeze the other half of lemon over everything and season with salt and pepper. Add the last tablespoon of olive oil and toss everything together. Taste a leaf or two and make sure it’s seasoned to your liking.

6. Bring everything to the table so you can carve the chicken in front of your dining companion, forever charming them with your poultry prowess. You can also just slice pieces as you see fit, this should be the least stressful part of this whole thing.


http://www.buzzfeed.com/alisonroman/dinner-for-two-video?bffbfood&utm_term=.de3MBMp1A1#.xt66o6gXAX

Tempers Flare at IRS Hearing

A heated argument erupted Thursday at a hearing on the IRS, with Democrats and Republicans trading charges about the work of the Oversight Committee.

Two Democrats on the panel accused their GOP colleagues of repeatedly holding hearings on the IRS for political reasons.

In his opening statement, Oversight Committee ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) complained that the hearing was the 23rd held about the IRS in recent years.

“Unfortunately, Republicans have become obsessed with investigating any and every allegation relating to the IRS, no matter how small,” he said.

He said Republicans are frustrated that they have never found proof that the White House conspired with the IRS to target conservative groups or shown that any IRS employee destroyed evidence during the investigation.

“The problem now is that our committee is in a mindset where we are just trying to get the IRS,” Cummings said.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio.), chairman of the Oversight subcommittee on administrative rules, fired back.

“We’re not trying to get the IRS. The IRS was trying to get conservative Americans who were exercising their First Amendment, free speech right,” he said. “Twenty-three hearings is a pretty small price to pay when you’re trying to protect fundamental liberties in the Constitution, for goodness sake.”

Jordan said the hearings are warranted because the IRS has engaged in a pattern of destroying records and documents.

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Pelosi Wants to Discuss Requiring All Young Women to Register for Draft

(CNSNews.com) – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told CNSNews.com at her press briefing on Thursday that requiring young women to register for the draft is “an issue that we should discuss."

At the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, CNSNews.com asked Pelosi, “The commandant of the Marine Corps and chief of staff of the Army testified in the Senate Armed Services Committee last week that young women should be required to register for the draft. Do you support requiring all young women to register for the draft?

Pelosi said, “I think it’s an issue that we should discuss. I think we should discuss it. Every time we use the word draft people get a misunderstanding about what you’re talking about but I have supported women in every role in the military including Commander in Chief.”

“I think it’s an important issue for us to discuss,” she said. “It is, the public opinion on it is really I think thirsty for more information as to what that would mean.”

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A Picture Is Worth...


1/3 OF AMERICANS SAY SPECIAL INTERESTS CONTROL OVER GOVERNMENT IS FULL BLOWN CRISIS

A new Gallup poll reveals that a third of Americans believe the power special interests now hold over government is a full blown crisis.

"Undoubtedly fueling the rise of unconventional presidential candidates"


A total of 33 percent of respondents across the political spectrum said that special interests having too much control over what the government does has reached crisis level.

A further 51 percent say they view the issue as a “major problem,” meaning that a huge majority of 84 percent are deeply worried about the government being controlled by private entities.

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WORCESTER COUNTY INSPIRES TRAVEL ON NEW TV SERIES TRAVELS WITH DARLEY THIS SUNDAY


Scenic Worcester County will be featured on Travels with Darley on PBS stations nationwide Sunday, February 14, 2016, at 9 a.m. on MPT2 and Channel 268 on Comcast.

During the 30-minute segment, TV Host Darley Newman will take a family road trip through Ocean City and Assateague Island, as well as historic Berlin, Chesapeake Bay Farms in Pocomoke City and St. Michaels. View the upcoming preview online at http://travelswithdarley.com/tv-show/pbs-tv-preview. 


“In Maryland, we enjoyed activities and places that multiple generations can enjoy together, including young children,” TV host Darley Newman said. “We did everything from glassblowing in Berlin with Jeffrey Auxer to visiting the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St Michaels to viewing wild horses on Assateague Island. The trip was particularly special for me, as my best friend Ellen Schmidt of Baby Meets City fame came along with her two daughters, Millie and Vivian, ages three and five. That we could all enjoy the vacation and filming together created memories we’ll always cherish.”
The Worcester County episode will broadcast five times per year during the next two years on 432 PBS stations to an audience of more than 46 million viewers. Full episodes will be available online through Hulu, iTunes, as well as the Worcester County Tourism (WCT) website and Facebook page at Beach and Beyond.

Oregon Shooting Witness: FBI 'Blasted the Truck'

An eyewitness to the fatal shooting of rancher Robert "LaVoy" Finicum outside an Oregon wildlife refuge tells Newsmax TV that the protesters' peaceful attempt to negotiate with a local sheriff turned into a bloodbath as authorities opened fire when Finicum screamed, "Go ahead and shoot me! Shoot me!"

In an exclusive interview with "Dennis Michael Lynch: Unfiltered," Shawna Cox says that on Jan. 26th, she and fellow protesters Finicum, Ryan Payne, and Victoria Sharp were in a truck headed to meet with the Grant County Sheriff's Office to discuss their armed siege of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

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Attorney John Phoebus: Drinking while parked is not a DUI.


Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio Reject Barack Obama’s “Neighborhood Engineering”

TIME FOR THE REST OF THE GOP FIELD, SENATE TO STEP UP …

U.S. Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida have agreed to support legislation sponsored by U.S. Senator Mike Lee of Utah that would block federal funding for Barack Obama‘s “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” rule.

Now if only U.S. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina would follow through on his plans to put this “rogue regulation” under the microscope via congressional hearings …

Promulgated by Obama’s Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), this onerous rule would effectively put the federal government in charge of local zoning laws all over the country. Basically, it would allow Washington, D.C. to infringe upon one of the most fundamental liberties we have left – the right to live where we want – permitting politically correct bureaucrats to mandate the construction of low-income housing in the middle of high-rent neighborhoods.

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Session Week #4

Session Week #3

The pace has quickened in the past week with more bills being drafted, submitted, and heard in committee. The big story came on Wednesday when Governor Hogan delivered his second State of the State address to the General Assembly. The Governor discussed the events and accomplishments over the past year, which included him overcoming a cancer diagnosis and the Baltimore riots.

Here are some excerpts from his speech:

None of us could have foreseen just how much we would be asked to overcome: the riots and lawlessness that threatened to tear Baltimore City apart; for me personally, a life-altering diagnosis requiring me to publicly wage what is normally a very private battle; and last week an historic winter storm that left a season’s worth of snowfall in just two days. Together, we have been tested. But in the face of adversity, we were not Democrats or Republicans looking backward. We were Marylanders with our eyes fixed forward, working together for a better tomorrow. 
*
There is so much more that unites us, than that which divides us. There is so much we can find agreement on. In the days ahead, I extend my hand to you – in cooperation and in devotion to our duty – and I ask each of you, and all Marylanders, to seek that middle ground where we can all stand together. Because together, we are stronger. Together, we can continue on this bold new path. And together, we can and we will change Maryland for the better.

Each week I will be spotlighting some bills that I have sponsored or co-sponsored. Here are two:

HB116 Motor Fuel Tax Rates - Consumer Price Index Adjustment Repeal

Currently, the tax on gasoline in Maryland is automatically increased based upon the Consumer Price Index. This allows for a tax increase without the General Assembly having to vote on the tax increase. I disagree with our taxes being increased automatically and have for the second year in a row co-sponsored a bill to repeal this practice.

HB121 Criminal Law - False Statement Concerning Destructive Device or Toxic Material - Venue

This bill was submitted by my colleague Delegate Mary Beth Carozza. If passed, it will give law enforcement more power to go after the individuals who have plagued our local school systems with bomb threats.

If you are coming to Annapolis for a visit, have an idea, issue, or concern, please reach out to our office via phone or email: 410-841-3431carl.anderton@house.state.md.us

Thank you for your support.
In the picture Gary Mangum is testifying on the "Beekeeper" bill about neonicotinoids.
Note: That diet Sunkist is Delegate Kathy Szeliga's. It's not mine...really it's not.

Berlin Plans Fireworks Show Night Before Independence Day

BERLIN – A first of its kind fireworks show tops the list of town events for 2016.

Ivy Wells, the town’s economic development director, shared plans for a July 3 fireworks show to be held on the former Tyson property — now known as Berlin Falls — with the town council this week. The event is one of more than two dozen the council approved for the coming year.

Wells wanted to bring fireworks to town last year but hadn’t been able to find a suitable site. With the town’s purchase of the 60-plus acre property on Old Ocean City Boulevard, this year there will be a usable location.

“We wanted to add to the whole July 4 celebration,” Wells said.

The fireworks show, set for July 3 so as not to compete with the displays offered in neighboring municipalities, would be the first in recent memory in Berlin on the holiday. Wells said that while they would be shot off from the Tyson property, the fireworks should be visible to most in town.

“We’re hoping people will be able to see them from most locations,” she said.

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Students Raise Nearly $12,500.00 for the Somerset County Library Foundation

Westover, Maryland - February 11, 2016- Students throughout the Somerset County Public School System have donated $12,424.85 to the Somerset County Library Foundation. The monies will be used to purchase equipment and furnishings inside the new Crisfield Library. This is part of the Library Foundation’s fundraising efforts to raise additional monies for interior items.

Crisfield Academy and High School Students against Destructive Decisions (SADD) raised $10,000 for furnishings and materials in Brad’s (Mason) Room of Knowledge in the new library. Mason passed away during the summer of 2013 due to a tragic automobile accident. He was a scholar and was active in numerous extracurricular and community activities.

In addition, several schools donated money to the Library Foundation. Woodson Elementary students raised $997.00 for the library fund. Crisfield Academy and High School students donated $401.00. Somerset Intermediate students contributed $372.11. Princess Anne Elementary School children brought in $265.49 while students at Deal Island Elementary School provided $244.11 and Greenwood Elementary students added $201.17.

Commission Chair Proud To Safeguard Town’s Historic Character

BERLIN – For Carol Rose, serving on the town’s historic district commission comes down to one thing.

“You’ve got to love your town,” the longtime resident said.

Rose, the current chair of the Berlin Historic District Commission, has been serving on the board tasked with maintaining the downtown’s historic character for a dozen years. Born and raised in Berlin, her memories of the town and interest in its history made her eager to serve when she was asked to do so by then-Mayor Tom Cardinale. She’s been volunteering her time ever since. She’s spoken to local children about the town’s historic buildings, advised homeowners on where they might find grants and researched the applications presented to the historic district commission each month.

According to the historic preservation section of Berlin’s town code, the purpose of the historic district commission is to safeguard the heritage of the town by preserving its architectural history. The commission is tasked with reviewing applications from property owners interested in making exterior changes to buildings within the town’s historic district, which runs from roughly Powellton Avenue to the end of South Main Street.

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Kung Fu Bear- Unedited Footage(NOT FAKE!)-ORIGINAL

Zika Virus Has Now Spread to 20 U.S. States and DC

The first case of the Zika virus has been confirmed in Alabama.

Officials in Alabama said the person had recently traveled to a country affected by the virus and returned infected.

The individual, who has not been identified, is a resident of Morgan County in the Tennessee Valley and is said to be 'fine'.

Four other people have been tested and are awaiting results, while another person, who had returned from Latin American country, came back negative.

'We knew it was only a matter of time before we would have the first positive case of an individual in Alabama with Zika virus,' he said.

'Given the frequency of international travel to affected areas, we anticipate having additional positive cases. We are working with the medical community to identify high-risk individuals.'

The worst affected areas are Florida, with 14 cases of Zika, Texas, with 11, California, with six, and New York, with five.

Hawaii, Illinois, Nebraska, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC, have all seen at least two cases, while 10 other states have each seen one infection.

Indiana and Ohio became the latest states to confirm infections after women returning from Haiti were found to have the virus.

Of the 59 reported cases of the virus in the U.S., all of them have been brought back into the country by people who became infected abroad.

There have been no cases where the virus has been spread by mosquitoes in the U.S.

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Foreclosure Fallout: 43 Percent of Americans Are Still Renting

Although the start of the mortgage meltdown is nearly a decade in America's rearview mirror, its effects are still evident in the number of former homeowners who are treading water in the nation's rental market.

A new report by real estate site Trulia.com found that the number of renters across the United States grew by about five percentage points between 2006 and 2014, to just over 43 percent.

Within this cohort, though, some geographic and demographic groups suffered a more acute dropoff in homeownership levels. As aspiring presidential nominees travel to Las Vegas to woo Nevada voters in advance of that state's primary later this month, candidates will be facing a population in which fully half of households rent today, up from just under 40 percent a decade earlier, the highest increase among major U.S. metro areas.

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Limbaugh: Cruz 'Has Got to Be Your Guy' – 'Closest to Reagan'

With conservatives across the country facing a critical decision whether to back Donald Trump, top radio talker Rush Limbaugh said Wednesday that true conservatives have no choice but to vote for Ted Cruz.

Limbaugh told his radio audience, "If conservatism is your bag, if conservatism is the dominating factor in how you vote, there is no other choice for you in this campaign than Ted Cruz…."

Limbaugh gave his powerful imprimatur to Cruz by adding, "This [Ted Cruz] is the closest in our lifetimes we have ever been to Ronald Reagan."

Cruz has finished first in Iowa caucuses, but performed, not unexpectedly, poorly in New Hampshire, coming in third place behind Trump and Gov. Kasich.

Now the election turns to South Carolina and a slew of southern states that will vote on Super Tuesday in March.

More here

Yellen: Negative Rates not "off the table"

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told Congress Thursday the central bank has not ruled out imposing negative interest rates if the economy takes a downward turn but is investigating their viability.

“I wouldn’t take them off the table but we would have work to do to make sure they would be workable,” she told the Senate Banking Committee in her semiannual monetary policy report to Congress. Yellen testified before the House Financial Services committee Wednesday.

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Berlin man found not guilty of abuse charges

William Burke, 38, of Berlin faced 10 charges, including second-degree assault, second-degree child abuse and reckless endangerment stemming from a series of incidents involving former live-in girlfriend, Lauren Blevins, and her children but was acquitted of all counts Wednesday afternoon by Judge Richard Bloxom in Worcester County Circuit Court.

Blevins herself was put on trial by the defense attorneys, who drew out her history of addiction and relapses into drugs, including Suboxone, heroin and crack cocaine.

Burke, a youth football coach in Berlin, was confident and concise throughout his lengthy testimony and cross-examination during the five-hour bench trial.

Blevins, who was called and recalled by State’s attorney Diane Ciulhe several times throughout the proceedings as new facts arose or inconsistencies were uncovered, was erratic in her testimony. She also had difficulty remembering dates and made several attempts to reconcile with Burke after the alleged incidents occurred.

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Most Dangerous Landing in Colombia - Cockpit View

Fox News: Up to 30 Accounts Handled Hillary's Top Secret Emails

As many as 30 different accounts may have handled the top secret emails on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email server, Fox News reports.

One official close to the inspector general's probe told Fox that at least a dozen accounts on Clinton's unsecure server were part of email chains discussing the information which has since been classified "top secret." They include top Clinton aides Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, Jake Sullivan and Philippe Reines and State Department Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy.

Another source said the number may reach as high as 30.

Many of the emails contain such sensitive information that they were deemed not safe to release — even in redacted form — as part of the ongoing release of Clinton's emails from the State Department.

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Mother Nature Completely Thrown Off


HISTORICAL COMMENTS BY GEORGE CHEVALLIER 2-13-16

Dangerous Games


This is not the best historical article, but it may bring back a memory or two.

Over the years children have come up with games that were not in the best interest of their health. But kids will be kids and we didn’t have all the electronics that kids have today and had to just come up with something to occupy our young and immature minds.

Since almost every boy carried a pocket knife, a game was played called “mumbly peg”. This was played by two boys who faced each other and threw his knife so as to miss the other boy’s foot. If you hit his shoe (or worse), you lost the game. If neither boy hit his opponent, the one closest to the other’s shoe was the winner. It seems stupid now but we thought it was great fun. Usually, a large crowd would gather to witness the activity.

Another, even more stupid, was the practice of two boys sitting opposite each other at Leo’s Confectionary which is gone now but was located at the apex of Main St., Long Ave., E. William St., Truitt St. and Mt. Hermon Rd.. They would each put their forearm on the table touching each other. A lit cigarette was dropped between them, burning both participants. The first one to pull away was the loser. This was strictly a macho thing and I never had the lack of good sense to try it. It was always sure to draw a sizeable crowd though.

Car games were another popular past time. “Rat Racing” in Pocomoke Forest was always popular. Even though it is not hard to get disoriented in Pocomoke Forest, we always knew there were only two roads bisecting the Eastern Shore – Route 13 and Route 50. Eventually, you had to come out to one of them. I can’t ever remember an accident doing this. Maybe someone would miss a curve and wind up in a field, but the way cars were built back then, nothing was harmed.

Drag racing was really popular in the 1950’s. A race was usually arranged at the Oaks Drive-in and from there a steady stream of cars left to go to the designated stretch of lonely road somewhere out in the country to pair off and “get it on”. The first official track was in Georgetown. They had a track that was all of 1/8th of a mile, about half the distance of other tracks. Delmar opened their track in the late 1960’s. Anyone who paid the entrance fee could be put in a Class and race other cars in the same Class. It was neat to see somebody pushing the gas pedal to the floor on Dad’s prized Oldsmobile or Buick. If Dad’s only knew what Junior was doing to his family vehicle.

When someone my age looks back most of the memories are good ones. We didn’t have drugs to screw up our heads. Only sailors and convicts had tattoos. Modesty was the norm at any social level. Teen pregnancy was almost unheard of although it did happen.

When that did happen, they changed from happy-go-lucky teenagers to parents and started raising a family. It was called responsibility and everybody took it very seriously. No more stupid childhood games entered their lives. They had neither the time nor money for suddenly something so foolish. The world has sure changed and not for the better.

Jonas Beach Damage Repairs Estimated At $21M

OCEAN CITY — With heavy seas and a pending winter storm pounding the coast again on Monday morning, Ocean City officials have issued the initial estimates on the damage to the beach and dunes during Winter Storm Jonas late last month, including roughly $21 million needed in repairs.

In late January, Jonas, now deemed a 50-year storm, pounded the resort beaches for three straight days during what was essentially a classic Nor’easter during a full moon. The storm exacted a heavy toll on the beaches and dunes, the extent of which is just now being known. The federal Army Corps of Engineers late last week released the results of its recently completed initial estimates of the damages and a plan for emergency restoration.

According to the Army Corps’ figures, the volume of sand lost during Jonas is estimated at 880,000 cubic yards. The estimated cost to repair the damage caused by the January storm came in at around $21 million. The Town of Ocean City is currently moving forward with emergency dune repairs through a partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

The Army Corps of Engineers will be requesting funding for the full beach restoration. Just last week, the Mayor and Council signed off on a letter to Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) seeking continued funding for the beach replenishment project through the Water Resources Development Act.

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Homeless Sex Offender Notifications

The following are not wanted.  This is a Homeless Sex Offender Public Notification.  If you have information that any of the listed subjects are occupying a residence, please contact 302-672-5306.  Information may also be provided via the internet at www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com or by sending an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword "DSP."
 
Johnny R. Howering, 29, is a Tier 3 (High Risk) sex offender who has registered homeless in Dover.  Click or copy and paste the link to view the profile and the community notice poster:  https://sexoffender.dsp.delaware.gov/Poster/00002402
 
Anthanei L. Lindale, 27, is a Tier 2 (Moderate Risk) sex offender who has registered homeless in Camden.  Click or copy and paste the link to view the profile and the community notice poster:  https://sexoffender.dsp.delaware.gov/Poster/00004781
 
James E. Gibson, 40, is a Tier 2 (Moderate Risk) sex offender who has registered homeless in Wilmington.  Click or copy and paste the link to view the profile and the community notice poster:  https://sexoffender.dsp.delaware.gov/Poster/00000749
 
Christopher Henry, 25, is a Tier 2 (Moderate Risk) sex offender who has registered homeless in Dover.  Click or copy and paste the link to view the profile and the community notice poster:  https://sexoffender.dsp.delaware.gov/Poster/00002909

Democrats demand government-funded lawyers for illegals

Top Senate Democrats announced legislation Thursday to grant government-funded lawyers to tens of thousands of illegal immigrant children and mothers who surged into the U.S. from Central America over the last few years, opening another front in the thorny immigration battle.

Arguing the Obama administration has been unfair to illegal immigrants by shunting them through a complex legal system without proper attention to their rights, Sen. Harry Reid, the top Democrat in the upper chamber, led colleagues in demanding lawyers and other protections, such as allowing migrants to delay their trials until they get access to their entire government file.

Currently, migrants are able to hire their own lawyers, but the government cannot pay for them.

Though unlikely to advance in the GOP-controlled Congress, the legislation is an important marker for both the presidential campaign and for the ongoing debate over how the U.S. treats the illegal immigrants — and, particularly, the unaccompanied children — that have skyrocketed in recent years.

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President’s Oil Tax Puts Americans Over A Barrel

If you have ever found yourself at the gas pump thinking, “I really wish it cost more to fill up,” then President Obama has just the idea for you. In his final budget request, he will include a call for an additional $10 in taxes per barrel of oil. This terrible idea would roll back the tremendous energy gains made in recent years and harm the economy.

The biggest and most obvious impact of the Obama gas tax would be its impact on the pocketbooks of American drivers. That’s right; one of the most underrated findings in economics is the fact that the person cutting the tax check isn’t always the one shouldering its burden. In this case, you can tax “oil companies” as much as you want, but the burden will be passed on to consumers. And indeed, estimates show the $10 per barrel fee could translate to roughly 22 cents per gallon of gasoline. That would more than double the current federal gasoline tax of 18.4 cents per gallon. The president, in other words, wants Uncle Sam to collect $5 or more every time you fill up.

The president’s plan for this new windfall is to fund a “21st century clean transportation system.” Central planners love to dream up such massive projects, but they lack the discipline and necessary market incentives to determine if they’re actually feasible, much less to implement them successfully. California’s multibillion-dollar high-speed rail boondoggle is just one of many examples proving the point. The White House is spinning that the added costs imposed by the new crude oil fee will be borne primarily by producers, but that belief defies economic reality. It will be passed on to consumers and felt not only at the pump, but also in their homes and through higher costs for any other good or service that requires significant energy use.

It wasn’t so long ago that the president at least rhetorically acknowledged the negative impact of higher energy costs, particularly on the poor — for whom transportation and residential energy costs account for a larger share of their household budget. During a speech in 2011 on energy security, he said of rising oil prices: “If you’re somebody who works in a relatively low-wage job and you’ve got to commute to work, it takes up a big chunk of your income. You may not be able to buy as many groceries. You may have to cut back on medicines in order to fill up the gas tank. So this is something that everybody is affected by.”

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WOW: See Why The Democrats Are The Party Of Slavery And Victimization.

WOW: See Why The Democrats Are The Party Of Slavery And Victimization

You should definitely take the time to watch this.http://conservative50.com/blog/why-the-democrats-are-the-party-of-slavery-and-victimization-zonation/

Posted by Conservative 50 - Living The American Dream on Thursday, April 16, 2015
Click on the title of this post if video fails to load

Dick Morris: Clinton deploys B Team

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign is falling apart. Bernie Sanders soared in New Hampshire and now two polls have him tying her nationally. It’s a disaster.

Now she’s called in the B Team — the cynical, paranoid and wacky twins Sidney Blumenthal and David Brock — to bail her out. And here comes the elderly, diminished and livid former President Bill Clinton to lead the duo’s frantic attacks on Sanders.

The attacks are rooted in nothing more than a list of dirty names they call the Vermont senator every day. Having found little in his record to attack, they have consulted the thesaurus to turn up ugly sounding accusations.

Sanders has a coherent, consistent and concise message: Incomes are stagnant because the economy is rigged by the top one-tenth of 1 percent that controls politics through massive campaign contributions.

Clinton has no competing message, just the charge that Sanders’s supporters are “sexist and vulgar.” Brock adds that one of Sanders’s ads was racist because it had too many white people in it.

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Md. Senate president calls for civility after veto override

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland’s Senate president is calling for civility after Democratic senators have received what he called “the most vicious hate mail you can possibly imagine” in the aftermath of a veto override vote.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, a Democrat, made the appeal from the Senate rostrum Friday. He called on Republican Gov. Larry Hogan to stop his supporters from singling out senators after the legislature’s veto override of legislation allowing felons to vote when they are on parole and probation.

Miller says one person called a senator’s office and said he hoped the senator’s wife would be raped as a result of his vote.


Doug Mayer, Hogan’s spokesman, says if lawmakers don’t want their constituents to be upset with them, they shouldn’t vote for items their constituents “absolutely despise.” 


Source

In Her Defense


A Wife Faces Six Years in Prison for Not Cleaning or Cooking for Her Husband

It may be every man’s dream to have a wife who loves to cook and clean for him, but should a woman be sent to jail for not living up to the dream? Apparently in Italy, the answer is yes.

A 40-year-old Italian woman is headed to trial after her 47-year-old husband claims his wife neglected and abused him by not cooking and cleaning enough, and by sometimes kicking him out of the bedroom, according to multiple media reports.

According to The Telegraph, the woman faces two to six years behind bars if convicted of violating an Italian law that “punishes whoever mistreats a person in their family or a person entrusted to them for reasons of education, care or custody.”

The woman had a preliminary hearing and the Italian judges decided not to dismiss the case, but rather to send it to trial.


Many Italians are shocked that the case has gone this far.

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The Supreme Court Just Gave Obama the Middle Finger

This is great news! The five Republicans on the Supreme Court basically gave Obama the middle finger on his climate change initiatives. The vote was split straight down party lines with all the Republicans nixing it and all the Democrats supporting it. This is why the Supreme Court is so important and in such danger. Of course the left is screaming how this will kill thousands of children. They always use children as human shields when they want their way. This time, it’s not working.

From ThinkProgress:

The five Republican members of the Supreme Court handed down a series of unexpected ordersTuesday night, halting environmental regulations that were expected to “avoid thousands of premature deaths and mean thousands fewer asthma attacks and hospitalizations in 2030 and every year beyond,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency. As ThinkProgress has previouslyexplained, these regulations “represent the most significant thing America has ever done to combat climate change.”

The justices cast their vote along party lines. All four of the Court’s Democrats voted to allow the rules to go into effect.

The Court offered no insight into its reasoning beyond its vote. Under Tuesday evening’s orders, “the Environmental Protection Agency’s ‘Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units,’ is stayed pending disposition of the applicants’ petitions for review in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and disposition of the applicants’ petition for a writ of certiorari, if such writ is sought.” In effect, this means that the rules will remain suspended until a federal appeals court rules on this challenge to the regulations, the parties challenging the rules seek Supreme Court review, and the justices decide how they wish to handle that request.


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Mexico Says It Won’t Pay for Wall, So Trump Responds With THIS

You’ve got to love Trump’s response to Mexico when they said they wouldn’t pay for the wall he intends to build after he is elected president: “Now the wall just got taller.” That’s an awesome response! One I can totally get behind even though Ted Cruz is my guy. If Americans get caught being in Mexico illegally, they are either immediately deported or thrown in prison. But they demand we let all of their citizens come on in unfettered. Screw that. Not to mention terrorists and criminals coming in over that border. If Trump is elected, he’ll build that wall and one way or another, Mexico will pay. I have no doubt about it.

From Allen West:

Trump’s plan to finally secure border has his supporters excited. And of course he wants Mexico to pay for the wall.

On his campaign website he points out that that Mexico’s government has published pamphlets on how to illegally migrate to the US. Mexico deports more illegal immigrants than the US does, so it’s a bit hypocritical for them to enforce their immigration laws while encouraging their citizens to bypass ours.

Trump estimates finishing the border would cost $8 billion – which is less than the amount of public assistance illegal immigrants receive every year in the US. It would be nice for Mexico to pay it forward, but they’re not interested in the deal.


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Wisconsin Jury Rejects Man’s Beer-Battered Fish Excuse In Drunk Driving Case

You might recall the story of a driver who told police that the reason he failed a field sobriety test was because he’d been eating some beer-battered fish before getting in the car, and not because he’d been drinking booze. His case recently made it to a Wisconsin courtroom, where a jury decided his excuse was too fishy to be true. 

$1 Gas Arriving Soon in US

Drivers in Chicago and other parts of the Midwest may see gasoline prices at the pump fall to 99 cents a gallon as regional stockpiles swell.

Average Illinois retail gasoline prices have dropped 34 percent in the past year to $1.57 a gallon, while Oklahoma motorists can fill up for a $1.36 a gallon, according to GasBuddy Organization. If gasoline supplies keep growing, 99-cent fuel is not out of the question, said GasBuddy, which tracks prices at filling stations.

Midwest gasoline inventories hit a 21-year high during the last week in January, according to government data. Nationwide inventories may have increased as much as 1 million barrels last week, according to the average forecast of seven analysts compiled by Bloomberg. Valero Energy Corp.’s Memphis refinery was said to have recently reduced how much oil it processes as the profit margin from turning crude into gasoline declines, according to two people familiar with operations.

The chance for 99-cent fuel is possible during the next few weeks before the summer driving season begins, Michael Green, a spokesman in Washington for AAA, said in a phone interview. “We may have some stations offering gas below $1 per gallon for marketing purposes, but the chances of a station offering under $1 are going to decrease pretty soon.”

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Friday, February 12, 2016

Senate Votes to Boost US Sanctions Against North Korea

The Senate overwhelmingly voted to authorize new U.S. sanctions against North Korea, days after the country launched a long-range rocket.

The measure, passed 96-0, would create sanctions against individuals, companies and foreign governments that contribute to North Korea’s nuclear program and ballistic missile development. Also penalized would be those who send luxury goods or aid the regime’s censorship or human rights abuses.

The House passed an earlier version of H.R. 757 on Jan. 12, also in an overwhelming bipartisan vote. The differences must be reconciled before the bill can go to President Barack Obama.

Prior to the vote, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, and Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, each spoke on the Senate floor to urge their colleagues to support the bill. The leaders said Congress needs to act after the Pyongyang regime’s rocket launch on Sunday, which the U.S. says violated a United Nations ban on North Korea’s use of ballistic missile technology.

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House Bill Would Allow Drug Testing For Food Stamps

WASHINGTON (AP) — A key House Republican is renewing a GOP push to allow drug tests for low-income food stamp recipients, a move to help states like Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker has sued the federal government to permit screening.

Alabama Rep. Robert Aderholt unveiled the measure on Thursday as Republicans look to find savings in the program. Aderholt says that states could choose whether they wanted to allow drug testing, so the legislation wouldn’t be a mandate. He says it’s common sense to create drug programs for those who need help.

“This is a compassionate way to try and help these people who have issues, instead of turning the head,” said Aderholt, chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees spending for the Agriculture Department, which administers the food stamp program.

The bill is designed to aid states like Wisconsin, where former GOP presidential candidate Walker has sought to require food stamp recipients to undergo drug screening.

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Dick Morris: Hillary Lost Because She Lied

New Hampshire exit polls in the Democratic primary indicate that Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton among self-described liberals by 60-39. Okay. But he also beat her among moderates and conservatives by a nearly identical 60-37 margin.

They also show that among the one-third of all voters who said "honesty and trustworthiness" were the most important qualities of a candidate in determining their vote, Sanders beat Clinton by 95-5.

These data indicate that Sanders' victory was not the result of an ideological vote for a socialist but was due to a personal repudiation of a liar. It was Hillary's dearth of personal ethics and her lack of veracity, not her political ideology or her issue positions, that led to her smashing defeat in New Hampshire.

So when Hillary sought to co-opt and plagiarize Bernie's rhetoric in her concession speech, she did nothing to solve the problem that brought her low. Nor will any shift in her message or beheadings of her staff do much to help her.

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Defense Secretary Backs Plan To Relaunch Radar Balloons

ABERDEEN, Md. (WJZ) — It flew across Maryland and into Pennsylvania, but now a plan to fly a pair of giant radar balloons could lift off again.

According to our media partner, The Baltimore Sun, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter signed off on the plan to relaunch the unmanned balloons over Aberdeen Proving Ground.

They have been grounded since a series of errors caused one of them broke free in October.

Getting them back in the air will require congressional approval, more money, training personnel and a new balloon.

Source

Dan Said He Can't Wait Till That New Radar System Is Available


Nope, nothing here Joe, don't see a darn bit of snow. I don't know what you're talking about here in Salisbury!

North Korean Leader Kim Has His Military Chief Executed

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had his military chief executed for corruption and other charges, a South Korean official said Thursday.

If true, the execution of Ri Yong Gil, chief of the North Korean military's general staff, would be the latest in a series of killings, purges and dismissals since Kim took power in late 2011.

Details about North Korea's opaque government are notoriously difficult for outsiders to get, even national governments, and South Korean officials have a spotty record of tracking developments in North Korea.

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Snow Conditions In West Ocean City


Its coming down pretty good in Ocean City. From everything I had heard on TV today, including the graphics, I never expected to see the snow accumulate. Especially in the Ocean City area. How's your neck of the woods looking?
Surprise, Surprise, Surprise.

Bill would change driver's license renewal process

ANNAPOLIS, Md. —State lawmakers heard passionate testimony Thursday for a bill that would change the driver's license renewal process.

Victims' family members joined national experts for a briefing in Annapolis in hopes of changing state law to require older drivers to renew their licenses in person. They want changes made to better evaluate driving ability.

For Josie and Mike Hollingsworth, the doctor's words still sting, "She didn't make it." In the fall of 2014, their 23-year-old daughter, Lauren, died after she was struck by an 81-year-old driver.

Josie Hollingsworth told a House committee that police said the man panicked and got confused seeing a car door suddenly open, hitting the gas pedal instead of the brakes. She recalled witnesses describing Lauren looking like a rag doll rolling down the sidewalk.

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Sanders Raises $5M 24 Hours After Defeating Hillary

White House hopeful Bernie Sanders raised a staggering $5 million in the 18 hours since winning New Hampshire's primary, his campaign announced Wednesday, further evidence he can mount a protracted Democratic nomination battle against Hillary Clinton.

Sanders' team described the $5.2 million haul as "shattering the campaign's previous record for money raised in less than a day."

The fundraising bump came after he trounced Clinton 60 percent to 38 percent in New Hampshire, the second contest to determine the party standard bearer for the 2016 White House race.

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Maryland lawmakers to weigh ban on use of animals in medical research

Maryland legislators are considering a bill that would end the use of medical training on live animals at Johns Hopkins University, one of the few remaining institutions where the practice remains.

The bill, HB 289, would prohibit a medical school from using live or dead animals to teach surgical procedures if an alternative method is in use at another medical school in the state. The legislation would establish $1,000 fine for breaking the rule. The bill was introduced by Montgomery County Del. Shane Robinson and is set for a hearing in the House Health and Government Operations committee Thursday.

The proposed legislation would apply to all three of the state’s medical schools, but would primarily affect Hopkins.

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January 2016 Salisbury MD Home Sales Report

In January 2015, the median single family home sales price in Salisbury Maryland and Wicomico County was $129,600, down 10% from the median sales price last January. There were 46 home sales, down 18% from last January.

The average time on market was 3.5 months compared to 4.2 months for home sales in the Salisbury MD area last January.

Currently, there are 10.7 months of supply of homes in the Salisbury MD area.* This is determined by how many homes are available divided by how many homes sold the previous month.

Homes Sold in Wicomico County January 2016

Conclusions for Salisbury MD Area Home Buyers

Salisbury MD area home buyers started the New Year facing low inventory, which is typical of the season and uncertainty with mortgage rates. Interest rates actually declined towards month’s end, showing us that December’s Fed action was taken in stride by the markets and aided by the worst start in the Dow’s history.

Even with low single family home inventory in Wicomico County (around 450 units), the slower sales pace pushed the months of supply up considerably. With such a small data sample, this is inconsequential. A significant portion of January home sales were foreclosures and short sales, pulling the median price down.

Conclusions for Home Sellers in the Salisbury MD Area

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Officials map out future OC bike path, despite troubles

Ocean City’s bicycle path has hit a few bumps in the road – namely in receiving permission from various property owners – but officials are still forging ahead.

Instead of moving forward with a temporary “right of entry agreement,” the City Council’s Transportation Commission instead agreed to draw a map designating where cyclists would be able to travel on private properties on the proposed trail between Convention Center and Route 90.

“In creating a site-specific map, the property owners would see that the right of easements would not apply to the whole property, just a segment where the bike path would be.” said Public Works Director Hal Adkins. “This would give the property owner some ease.”

The bicycle path proposal, pushed by Councilman Tony DeLuca, would keep cyclists off Coastal Highway and the bus lane and on side roads near the ocean. Officials have been eyeing the 20-block stretch between Convention Center Drive and 62nd Street since tourist-favored bars line that segment.

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County Executive Responds to Poultry Concerns

As Wicomico County Executive, I want to address the apprehension some of our citizens have expressed regarding the poultry farm that is being considered on West Road.

Many of the statements that have been made during public comments in County Council meetings along with emails that I have received personally and articles in the media have been less than accurate. I take this matter very seriously and have my own concerns about this issue. Because of these concerns, I have reached out to experts on the topic who are charged with the responsibility of protecting public health and our environment.

I have invited the Secretaries of Maryland Department of the Environment, Maryland Department of Agriculture and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and have asked them to conduct a public meeting locally to share the facts as they know them and to answer our citizens’ concerns.

I have also been meeting with poultry companies, the Delmarva Poultry Industry, our local Health Department and others attempting to collect factual information on an operation of the size being considered at this time.

Until all of this information can be compiled, I believe it is premature to attempt to legislate or regulate a business as important as the poultry industry is to our county and to restrict citizens’ property rights.


Publishers Notes: The following must be stated.

I came to learn that Council President John Cannon has been feeding the very people who are complaining about this project, (and others) with a load of his own CRAP.

He is trying to give FALSE HOPE that something can be done about this exact project and very frankly he is full of sh!t. As I have tried to explain to many other people who approached me on this matter, what they are planning to build IS PERFECTLY LEGAL. John Cannon is once again taking every single controversial matter and make it his own. He wants to garnish FALSE support to make it LOOK like he's trying to help people when the fact remains, he can do NOTHING about it. He is trying to run for County Executive with complete BS. 

While County Executive Culver inherited this alleged and manufactured problem, he understands every single concern here but you cannot ask him to BREAK THE LAWS already in place and that is exactly what John Cannon is filling the minds of concerned people, hoping they'll believe he's the "Good Guy" in this whole thing. 

It was just as much Rick Pollitt's problem as it is now Bob Culver's. The ONLY difference here is, NO ONE ever attempted to build so many at one time, until now. 

John Cannon is creating false hope and as Council President should know better then to abuse his position against a County Executive he knows cannot do anything. Again, nor could the former Executive, any Delegate, Senator, Congressman and yes, even the Governor. 

Can projects like this be toned down IN THE FUTURE, absolutely. But as things stand now, this group has every legal right to move forward. Cannon, how dare you go so low to mislead people with your BS. 

4 Ways To Protect America’s Fragile Internet From Cyber Threats

Government Needs To Be More Vigilant Against Enemies
Overseas, Cyber Security Expert Says


The Internet has transformed the way we communicate, the way governments interact and how we use everything from cell phones to home alarm systems and baby monitors.

Unfortunately, it’s also made the nation vulnerable in ways previous generations couldn’t have imagined, says Gary Miliefsky, CEO of SnoopWall (www.snoopwall.com), a company that specializes in cyber security.

“Billions of dollars have been spent on firewalls and antivirus programs,” he says. “Yet at every turn they fail us and we see major breaches in the news on a weekly basis.”

The victims aren’t just retailers targeted by cyber thieves who are after customer credit card information. Government also is at risk and the White House, the Office of Personnel Management and NASA are among those that have been victimized by hackers.

“As much as we would like for the Internet to be secure, it is in fact fragile and constantly under attack,” Miliefsky says. “That’s bad for us as consumers because our private information can be at risk, but it may be even worse for us as a nation, because our national security can also be at risk from cyber attacks from abroad.”

Miliefsky says it’s critical that the federal government take steps to shore up the nation’s cyber defenses in the same way it tries to guard against attacks from land, sea and air.

His recommendations for accomplishing that include:

• Require text-only email communications. All email coming in and out of U.S. government agencies should be restricted to text only. No more attachments or hyperlinks. “That’s going to seem inconvenient, but it will help the White House, the Office of Personnel Management and other agencies avoid falling victim to well-crafted spear phishing attacks,” Miliefsky says. This wouldn’t have to be a permanent fix, he says. Over time, when a completely secure email and hyperlink scrubbing system is in place, agencies could again allow the attachments and hyperlinks.

• Stick to government email servers. Government employees shouldn’t do any public business through private email accounts. This topic has drawn a lot of attention because Hillary Clinton used a private email server when she was secretary of state, but the problem goes even deeper than that. Last year, the research group Government Business Council surveyed federal employees and reported that 33 percent said they sometimes use private email accounts for government business. “That needs to stop, especially when classified information is involved, because it puts all that information at risk of being hacked,” Miliefsky says.

• Block file transfers to enemy nation states. It’s all right for U.S. government employees and the military to visit, study, learn from and review websites outside the country, but they shouldn’t be transferring files and records to such nations as China, Russia, Iran and North Korea, Miliefsky says. Such transfers should be blocked at the government firewalls and routers, he says, though exceptions could be made for classified projects that have been vetted by the FBI, CIA, NSA or Department of Defense.

• Expand funding for cyber defense training and staff. Beefing up the nation’s cyber defenses comes with a price tag, but the investment would be worth it, Miliefsky says. The nation faces the possibility of cyber war, cyber espionage, cyber crime and cyber terrorism, and the federal government needs to hire staff “who have a skill set that’s as good or better than our enemies,” he says. “They will become the new leaders in expanding our cyber defense strategies and capabilities, both in military and civilian roles.”

First Responders To Condo Blaze Recognized In OC

OCEAN CITY — Ocean City firefighters and first responders got a sincere thank you last week from the owners of a north-end condominium for their quick action under trying circumstances during a massive fire in January.

Around mid-day on January 13, Ocean City firefighters along with personnel from the OCPD and the Public Works department responded to the Pelican Beach condominium on the beach between 139th and 140th streets after several citizens reported a structure fire with heavy black smoke seen from miles away. By the time first responders arrived, the fire had spread to the dune area on the east side of the property and the sounds of explosions were heard coming from the first-floor parking garage.

The investigation revealed a generator in the back of a work truck had exploded, setting fire to the building. With the swirling winds, the fire spread quickly and the entire east side of the condo was engulfed. The fire was brought under control in about an hour although frigid temperatures and gusty winds created challenges. The building suffered significant damage to its exterior as well as the interior of two of the 28 units, although it appeared initially to be much worse.

On Monday, Mayor Rick Meehan shared a letter from the condo’s board of directors thanking the city and its first responders for their quick action in putting out the massive blaze and minimizing the damage.

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And So It Began...

Once upon a time there was a king who wanted to go fishing.

He called the royal weather forecaster and inquired as to the weather forecast for the next few hours. The weatherman assured him that there was no chance of rain in the coming days.

So the king went fishing with his wife, the queen. On the way he met a farmer on his donkey. Upon seeing the king the farmer said, "Your Majesty, you should return to the palace at once because in just a short time I expect a huge amount of rain to fall in this area".

The king was polite and considerate, he replied: "I hold the palace meteorologist in high regard. He is an extensively educated and experienced professional. And besides, I pay him very high wages. 
He gave me a very different forecast. I trust him and I will continue on my way." So he continued on his way.

However, a short time later a torrential rain fell from the sky. The King and Queen were totally soaked and their entourage chuckled upon seeing them in such a shameful condition.

Furious, the king returned to the palace and gave the order to fire the professional. Then he summoned the farmer and offered him the prestigious and high paying role of royal forecaster.

The farmer said, "Your Majesty, I do not know anything about forecasting. I obtain my information from my donkey.

If I see my donkey's ears drooping, it means with certainty that it will rain."

So the king hired the donkey.

And thus began the practice of hiring dumb asses to work in the government and occupy its highest and most influential positions.

And the practice is unbroken to this day..

Immigrant families being evicted from mobile homes in Virginia

FAIRFAX, VA (WUSA9) -- One by one, low-income immigrant families living in one of the last affordable neighborhoods in Fairfax County are losing their homes.

The managers of Waples Mobile Home Park are demanding social security numbers for every resident. And if they cannot produce them, they're being evicted.

Waples Park managers insist they need the numbers to conduct background checks on residents. But migrants who have lived here for years without them say it's just terribly unfair.

Construction worker Carlos Hernandez says his small mobile home is the only thing -- the only small piece of America -- that his family owns. “I just want my kids to have a better future,” he said.

Hernandez and his wife are raising his three boys and girl here. They carefully charted their growth on a door frame. The three youngest are US citizens, and Eric, their oldest child, is OK because they brought him here when he was four.

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Is Amazon Doing Anything To Fight Latest Wave Of Fake, Paid-For Reviews?

Since Amazon began allowing customers to post reviews on product pages, various waves of bogus reviewers have attempted to game the system by posting fictitious or dishonest write-ups. While Amazon has recently taken legal action against people paid to write fake reviews for products, and the site has aban on most forms of “paid” reviews, there’s a new crop of compensated reviewers who are receiving free or discounted products in exchange for then writing “honest” reviews. But some of these users are writing dozens of reviews a day, sometimes for products they couldn’t possibly have tried.

This newer form of fake, paid Amazon reviews are creeping in thanks to marketing sites that offer free and deeply discounted items if buyers promise to then share their honest feelings on Amazon.

While Amazon’s review guidelines prohibit most “paid” reviews, they do include an explicit exception “when a free or discounted copy of a physical product is provided to a customer up front” if the user “clearly and conspicuously disclose[s] that fact” in their review.

That’s because e-tail giant has its own form of a “free stuff for reviews” in Amazon Vine, which allows select customers to get pre-release access to some products.

But Amazon knows who Vine members are and what they’ve received through the program. Amazon does not, however, necessarily know if a reviewer purchased an item through some discount marketer with the promise of writing a review.

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Muskrat Or Oyster Platters


Big Brother Seeking to Get in Your Child's Head — Literally

With help and funding from the federal government, Big Brother is about to get inside your child's mind — literally. Emerging technologies backed by the U.S. Department of Education are already being deployed in “education,” with federal education bureaucrats hoping to eventually use those tools to monitor and track everything from children's “mindsets” and “attitudes” to their “emotions” and “cognitive processes.” Much of it is being pursued under the guise of improving and individualizing schooling. But the reality is probably not that simple. Experts have been warning about the trends for decades. Even a layman, though, can see the dire potential abuses of such technology.

Aside from official documents, the latest reports to document the troubling trend — albeit while trying to put a smiley face on the developments — come from Education Week. According to an article by Benjamin Herold published last month, under the guise of providing “personalized learning experiences,” new technology is targeting students' “individual emotions, cognitive processes, 'mindsets,' and character and personality traits.” Apparently almost oblivious to the implications of entering into students' minds under the pretext of “educating” them, the multiple Education Week articles and other reports on the issue come across almost as advertisements for Big Brother and his growing capabilities.

On January 6, for example, the education-focused media outlet touted “new efforts to dramatically expand the types of data collected in the classroom and to focus more attention on responding to individual students' 'mindsets,' non-cognitive skills, and emotional states.” Aside from one brief mention of privacy being a major concern, the report does not even consider that parents may not want their children's mindsets and emotional states to be tracked, probed, analyzed, and manipulated by Big Brother. The terrifying potential of such mind-breaking technology in the wrong hands is another subject that is never touched upon in the glowing reports, despite warnings about it from within the federal government stretching back to at least the 1970s.

Among the many tools being pursued are so-called “Intelligent Tutoring Systems,” which monitor, track, and exploit students' emotional and physiological reactions. “The idea is that emotions have a powerful influence on cognition,” computer science and psychology Professor Sidney D'Mello at the University of Notre Dame, who has done a great deal of research in the field, is quoted as saying by Education Week. “Ten years ago, there were things you could do in a lab that you couldn't do in the messiness of the real world,” he said, adding that better and more affordable technology have provided a major boost for researchers. “Now, you can get a reasonable proxy of a student's heart rate from a webcam.”

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Dodgeball Tournament

Deadline to Register is Monday February 15th

New Chipotle Food Safety Procedures Include Shutting Down Restaurant If Anyone Barfs

Yesterday, Chipotle restaurants didn’t open until 3 PM so 50,000 or so restaurant employees could sit in hotel conference rooms or movie theaters to watch a live-streamed company-wide meeting about food safety. The future of the chain is at stake, and their task is to prove to the public that they’re not trying to make us all sick.

Chipotle’s food safety worries started to attract national attention when the same strain of E. coli showed up in customers in disparate states with no connection between incidents and investigators unable to figure out which food item actually caused the outbreak.

After the multi-state E. coli outbreak, a different foodborne illness, norovirus, broke out in Boston at a location popular with Boston University students. That caused news outlets to look back at an earlier norovirus outbreak in California, as well as a Salmonella outbreak in Minnesota, and customers to conclude that they shouldn’t go to Chipotle.

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