Sunday, December 31, 2006


Joealbero mentioned a guy by the name of Chris Llinas, an attorney who was disbarred after a conviction of (I think) evidence tampering involving a healthy, or unhealthy (depending upon one's perspective) chunk of cocaine. But in Joe's retelling of the tale, Llinas was guilty of distributing this high-end drug to children..... thing is, I can't find anything in print to substanciate that claim, so I suspect it's a lie.
Listen, I've never seen Llinas. I wouldn't know him if I bumped into him in my linen closet. And I'm not going to defend his actions, but I do believe we need to address the decades-long government propaganda campaign against recreational drug use. But why? Not one of our so-called leaders has ever been able to articulate exactly why someone who uses drugs should go to prison.... I mean so what, if someone wants to get high? Who does it hurt, except the user? ... And before y'all get your irish dander up and strap on an ignorant sense of pretend indignation, tell us what the government has done to resolve the problems associated with drug use.....I'll give you a hint: not a goddamned thing... matter of fact, they've just made the problems much, much worse.
"Oh," our elected officials whine, "drugs destroy minds and families and communities, and get people killed, so we're going to fix it." .... Yeah, right.... this is what they've done to "fix" the problem: When the dimwitted Ronald Reagan was elected, he saw to it that penalties were vastly increased for both simple possession and distribution. And he got public support for that through a propaganda campaign that included a claim that these dark men were coming into neighborhoods to get children addicted to drugs. And that the drugs were coming from communist narco-terrorists in South America, which was all part of a fiendishly clever plot by the Soviets to take over the world. And a lot of mind-bogglingly ignorant voters bought that line of crap because they were too lazy and stupid to check the facts against the claims.
The result was that the risks associated with distribution got a lot higher, the availability decreased only slightly, and it set of a nation-wide turf-war among dealers and the price and potential profit margin went through the roof. Washington, D.C. has several consecutive banner years where the homocide rate was staggering.... the same was true of New York, Baltimore, Detroit, Los Angeles and Miami..... Did that shit-for-brains policy work? Nope.... Matter of fact, it just made the problem much, much worse. Because, it wasn't just the dealers and users getting hurt and killed, it was innocent bystanders- kids, moms and dads, who took bullets meant for others. In made minority and poor communities much more dangerous places to live, so businesses left those communities and conditions and the sense of economic desperation got even worse for those in need of good-paying jobs. And without money, education or transportation, the only jobs they could find were right in their own neighborhoods, which were drug-related. And as more people entered the marketplace, the greater the risk became and so the price of the product had to increase to compensate for that risk. And as the profit margin increased, so did the competition for turf.
And, make no mistake, this is not just a lesson in ancient history.... the policies are still with us. You see it every day in courts and prisons. Crack cocaine will get you a much stiffer prison sentence than powder cocaine.... and ya know what the difference is between the two.... Nothing. Crack is pure cocaine. Powder cocaine is crushed pure cocaine with a inert ingrediant added to increase the weight and profit margin. That's the difference... none.
So are our fearless leaders solving the "drug problem?" No, because they're not addressing the real issue, which is that drug use is not the primary problem: Drug use is a symptom of much larger emotional and societal problems... and unless those issues are resolved first, then drug abuse and antisocial behavior issues will continue to degrade us all... Ya want peace, then demand real social and economic justice.

Saturday, December 30, 2006


I need a land-shark, a barracuda with a ravenous appetite and a dark suit. I need a lawyer to sue the fuck out of the Snow Hill McDonalds. They served be a poisoned cheeseburger last week that sent me to the hospital and had me in bed or on the toilet for the past three days.... as a side note: When I got sick, I called the county health department, who jerked me around before finally sending me to the right people. I made a report, and was told the inspector would call me back for more information..... That was Thursday.....haven't heard from the woman yet. Makes me wonder whose interests they're protecting-- the public's, or the restaurant's.


Geez, you guys been watching the news broadcasts about Gerald Ford's place in history? Man, it's damn-near painful to see these guys try to cobble together something note- and praiseworthy to say about his administration.
In fact, there is nothing praiseworthy to say about the Ford Administration, and about the only thing noteworthy to mention is the fact that he robbed America of its rightful demand for justice when he pardoned Richard "The Dick" Nixon.... Oh there were other noteworthy events, such as instituting wage and price controls in a feeble and ineffective attempt to control skyrocketing inflation.... and let's not forget the millions he squandered on the WIN (Whip Inflation Now) buttons.... as if that was any help whatsoever.
Listen, except for the most vile and sociopathic, we all want to be able to reach the end of our lives and have others look back to say that it was a life well-lived, that we contributed in some appreciable fashion to improving the world, and in truth, many of us will. But the standards are higher when we enter the public arena, holding ourselves out as leaders---particularly, as President of The United States of America, one of the two superpowers on the planet. And by that yardstick, Ford was Millard Filmore; not the worst (though he did pardon the worst, up to that point, anyway) but nowhere near the best.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Friday, December 22, 2006


If this report is accurate, we haven't seen anything yet. Just look at the depth of debt over the last four years to pay for a useless war.


That muffled explosion you heard today came from the Worcester County School Board. Seems some administrators were a trifle irritated after the county teachers association published the results of a recent in-house poll dealing with job satisfaction. After it was done and the numbers were crunched, the results were.... well, someone with a more polite and politically astute vocabulary wight say "the outcome was interesting, maybe even bears closer examination." But, as my lovely wife knows, I'm not that polite and I don't give a rat's ass for political correctness. So, I'll say YIKES.
On the good side, teachers at Snow Hill High School reported the highest level of satisfaction. Seventy-five percent of those responding to the poll reported they have a high level of job satisfaction. But lest anyone think that the remaining 25 percent are just malcontentts, rabble-rousers and square pegs, an elementary school in the north end of the county came in at the bottom of the list with just 42 percent of teachers there reporting satisfaction. Even worse, there were more schools tied for the bottom three rankiings than there were at the top five.
That means that the problems teaches are having finding job satisfaction do not related to individual schools and administrators but are instead, systemic in nature. In effect, the problem is not individuals, but with policies.
Reportedly, school Superintendant Jon Andes got a heads-up, some time ago, that this report was coming out and, being the smart man that he is, sought to counter that implication with his own mandatory poll. Those results have not yet been published.
Look for a spirited discussions process as teachers and adminstrators negotiate next year's contract in the coming months.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Delaware Rep. John Adkins got extra-special treatment two months ago when Ocean City cops stopped him for drunken driving, but let him call a friend to take him home. No charges, no trip to the jailhouse, and certainly no embarrassing questions from nosey-assed reporters..... until now.
But while Adkins may suffer some embarassment, it is the police officer who has some 'splainin' to do. Actually, according to yesterday's reports, there were two police officers at the scene- one a rookie, identified in the police report as Natalie Smolko and the other, her training officer, Douglas Smith. Seems Smith took it upon himself to promise Adkins he would not be arrested, even before any sobriety tests were issued. And after the breathalyzer tests were done, well, he blew a .14. That almost twice the benchmark of .08 for drunken driving in Maryland. And his wife blew even higher; .16.
So, we all know that a street cop has a lot of discretion in dealing with petty stuff. But can he let someone go on a drunken driving charge.... I mean, where they are clearly over the limit? And if so, how often do they do it, and why? Aren't drunk drivers one of the major causes of death on the nation's highways? Shouldn't there be some penalty that uniformly enforced? Well, of course there is. but it's only for the little people, the people without power.... not Republican lawmakers from another state. And so what, if that lawmaker was arrested later that same night and charged with domestic violence (don't you just love Family Values) on his equally drunken wife? That didn't happen on Officer Smith's beat. And speaking of being let off, maybe that's what needs to happen to officer Smith.... about 30 days off the job, without pay should be the minimum penalty. He was, after all, sworn to uphold the laws of the state and the city. The fact that he didn't do so, marks him as someone too afraid to do the job he swore to do. Maybe he needs some time to think about whether he's cut out for this line of work.

Monday, December 18, 2006


The Daily Crime today published an editorial calling for the Town of Ocean City to honor its word to the FAA to expand it's airport. This, despite the residential and commercial growth in the surrounding area that has taken place in the intervening years since that agreement was signed.
But conditions have changed, and so must the terms of the original agreement.... So in the immortal words of Ron Ziegler; "that statement is no longer operative."
Listen, we all know what the agreement was but, we also know that the city, under the leadership of virtually every mayor and council since Fish Powell has adamantly denied there were plans to expand the airport for jet traffic. And those denials came in response to community opposition to doing so. But we also know that those plans were already on the drawing board, because we saw them with our own four eyes.
Ocean City has no need for a larger airport; it already has one less than 20 miles to the west. If the FAA wants its money back, then the city needs to float a bond to pay them, not to build something nobody wants.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


I'm trepadacious about bringing up this subject, both because I don't know a lot about structural analysis of large buildings and because I strongly suspect that my government- specifically the Bush Administration- is a rogue state. In effect, I fear it more than I do terrorists in turbans. Nevertheless, I'm posting a link to a very interesting film about the unanswered questions surrounding the collapse of the three buildings at the World Trade Center. You guys need to watch it and judge for yourselves if it has any legitimacy..... Personally, I think it does. I'm just not sure how much.


Oh look, Wicomico County schools made the AP national wire this week for the incident in which three schoolboys were forced to avail themselves of a soda bottle in leiu of a urinal.... I'll just bet school officials are so proud to make national headlines.
But now that their 15 minutes of fame has passed, perhaps they can take a moment to look back on the path that brought them such dubious fame. And given the decision-skills they've exhibited thus far, let's make clear that the examination should keep in in mind they want to avoid similar notariety in the future.
Okay. So the question was how to curtail vandalism and other untoward behavior in the restrooms visited by Mom and Dad's little darlings. Two words: toilet training. Do it before sending the kids to school. Failing that, the plan to have then escorted to and from the restrooms was not bad. But it fell apart without a backup plan.... Plan B, we'll call it.... So, what happens when there's no escort available?
Well, "we just wing it" did not prove to be as successful as they had hoped... But hey, on the Up side, these people may be more than qualified enough to get high paying jobs as War Planners in the Bush administration.
I mean, having the boys piss in a soda bottle carries with it several logistical questions such as privacy, contact with possibly diseased human waste and disposal - what happened to that bottle... whose job was it to empty and dispose of it?
Couldn't this have just been avoided by having the boys visit the restroom one at a time and having the custodian check conditions before and after each visit.... And is the teacher who thought this was a good idea even smart enough to be teaching children?

Monday, December 11, 2006


Check out this report on corruption in the Department of Homeland Security from Judicial Watch.

Rampant Fraud At Dept. Of Homeland Security

The massive federal agency created after the 2001 terrorist attacks to patrol the nation’s borders and guard it against terrorism is infested with criminal employees who regularly commit fraud, theft and smuggling.

In its short history the Department of Homeland Security has battled widespread corruption from within and the problem seems to be growing. A lengthy report filed with Congress this week details the severe misconduct of many of the agency’s 180,000 employees.

The report, published by Homeland Security’s Inspector General, lists an array of illegal behavior on the part of U.S. Government employees, ranging from immigration officials exchanging sex for visas, airport screeners stealing money from tourists’ luggage, federal air marshals smuggling drugs and other agency employees distributing child pornography.

In a six-month period this year more than 300 Homeland Security employees were arrested and 243 were convicted. They included Transportation Security Administration screeners taking jewelry and cash from luggage, another agent smuggling $80,000 into the country and two federal air marshals accepting bribes to smuggle cocaine through various airports. Also arrested were two Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who sold alcohol and cigarettes to illegal immigrants in their custody.

This isn’t the first scathing report detailing the severe problems at the department, which was created in 2002 by unifying various existing agencies in an effort to secure the nation. Many other reports critical about mismanagement, security flaws and the wasting of millions of taxpayer dollars have been published in the past. In fact, the Department of Homeland Security’s first Inspector general, Clark Ervin, lost his job for thoroughly investigating the agency and exposing its many flaws.

Ervin has remained a big critic of the department and he even launched an informative web site, Open Target, that features reports and inside information on various homeland security issues. Ervin has called the Department of Homeland Security dysfunctional and disingenuous and has accused it of not conducting criminal background checks for the very employees who supposedly guard the nation.


Airport authorities out in Seattle this weekend elected to remove a Christmas tree from their concourse rather than argue with an orthodox Jew who suggested they place a menorah beside it and, according to news reports, threatening to sue if it didn't happen. So, rather than test the argument in front of a judge, the authorities just decided to remove to point of contention all together. What a bunch of boneheads.
First, had the Jewish dude bothered to talk to his rabbi, or to his lawyer, he would have discovered his position to be extremely shaky. Both would have undoubtedly told him a Christmas tree is not a religious symbol, but is, in fact, a vestige pagan symbol. So the argument that he was cranking up to present to the court- that being, if the airport displays icons of one religion it give equal access to all religions, holds no water.
Secondly, the airport authorities were no less boneheaded. I mean, they could have just said "no." .... They don't have any trouble doing that when I ask about my Fourth Amendment rights when they want to search me before I get on an airplane, and that policy is on equally shaky ground.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Y'all catching the TV commercial about getting heating oil at a 40 percent discount? It's sponsored by Citco Oil of Venezuela and fronted by former Democratic Senator Joe Kennedy. It's aimed at those who cannot afford to heat their homes.
But some in the Repiglican party have begun a whispering comapign aimed at attaching a stigma to enrolling in this privately funded program. They say that this is an attempt to shame the president by having a foreign nation do what the Bush Administration either cannot or will not do-provide heat for the less fortunate. The unspoken implication here is that no real American should accept charity if it embarasses the administration.
But the president and everyone in congress don't have to make a choice between being warm, having enought to eat or getting medical care this winter. And you can bet the mortgage on that.
Moreover, given his performance thus far, I seriously doubt George Bush will even catch on to the fact that he should be ashamed. I mean, he's six years in and still hasn't caught on. So what makes them think he'll grasp this concept?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Seems some of our friends over at the university got an object lesson last week when the Salisbury cops raided their party, sprayed some people with mace, broke into one of the partier's car, and just generally made pigs of themselves.
Welcome to the Real World, guys, where the cops do whatever they damned-please unless you know both the magic words and the intonation.
First, never raise your voice to the police; that gives them reason to arrest you for disturbing the peace. Second, never argue, get angry or call them names. You have to remember the cops lobby has put a lot of time and money into a campaign to persuade the public they are both heroic and infallible. It's gone on for so long that even they believe their own press.
Now, one might think they are powerless against cops who bully people on the street, but that's not true.
If you want to keep a confrontation with the cops from spinning out of control, maintain a conversational tone-firm, assertive and quiet. Second, if things look as if they're not going to be resolved peacably, tell the cop you don't see him working to resolve the issue, and demand to see the shift commander. Then, shut your mouth. You have a right to not speak to the police. Take advantage of it.
If the cop on the scene refuses that demand, then call 911 and tell them you need the shift commander on the scene. If the cop says the commander is busy, tell him you have plenty of time and you'll wait. Now you've put him in an uncomfortable position and he feels more like civilized discussion and less like ubercop, because he's not resolved the issue, he's wasting time on a routine call and he has to explain his behavior to his superior. .... You may not have the upper hand, but at least you're now on level ground, so take advantage of it and resolve the issue without going to jail, or getting maced, shot or stomped.


Well... it turns out there is some research on why otherwise ordinary, sane people become right-wing fanatics, marching around in a goose step and advocating everyone who does not conform to their moral, religious or political standards be sent to the ovens..... you know those people-- nazis and Reaganites and such. The report below is culled from the UC Berkeley News.

Researchers help define what makes a political conservative

By Kathleen Maclay, Media Relations | 22 July 2003 (revised 7/25/03)

BERKELEY – Politically conservative agendas may range from supporting the Vietnam War to upholding traditional moral and religious values to opposing welfare. But are there consistent underlying motivations?

Four researchers who culled through 50 years of research literature about the psychology of conservatism report that at the core of political conservatism is the resistance to change and a tolerance for inequality, and that some of the common psychological factors linked to political conservatism include:

Fear and aggression

Dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity

Uncertainty avoidance

Need for cognitive closure

Terror management
"From our perspective, these psychological factors are capable of contributing to the adoption of conservative ideological contents, either independently or in combination," the researchers wrote in an article, "Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition," recently published in the American Psychological Association's Psychological Bulletin.

Assistant Professor Jack Glaser of the University of California, Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy and Visiting Professor Frank Sulloway of UC Berkeley joined lead author, Associate Professor John Jost of Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, and Professor Arie Kruglanski of the University of Maryland at College Park, to analyze the literature on conservatism.

The psychologists sought patterns among 88 samples, involving 22,818 participants, taken from journal articles, books and conference papers. The material originating from 12 countries included speeches and interviews given by politicians, opinions and verdicts rendered by judges, as well as experimental, field and survey studies.

Ten meta-analytic calculations performed on the material - which included various types of literature and approaches from different countries and groups - yielded consistent, common threads, Glaser said.

The avoidance of uncertainty, for example, as well as the striving for certainty, are particularly tied to one key dimension of conservative thought - the resistance to change or hanging onto the status quo, they said.

The terror management feature of conservatism can be seen in post-Sept. 11 America, where many people appear to shun and even punish outsiders and those who threaten the status of cherished world views, they wrote.

Concerns with fear and threat, likewise, can be linked to a second key dimension of conservatism - an endorsement of inequality, a view reflected in the Indian caste system, South African apartheid and the conservative, segregationist politics of the late Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-South S.C.).

Disparate conservatives share a resistance to change and acceptance of inequality, the authors said. Hitler, Mussolini, and former President Ronald Reagan were individuals, but all were right-wing conservatives because they preached a return to an idealized past and condoned inequality in some form. Talk host Rush Limbaugh can be described the same way, the authors commented in a published reply to the article.

This research marks the first synthesis of a vast amount of information about conservatism, and the result is an "elegant and unifying explanation" for political conservatism under the rubric of motivated social cognition, said Sulloway. That entails the tendency of people's attitudinal preferences on policy matters to be explained by individual needs based on personality, social interests or existential needs.

The researchers' analytical methods allowed them to determine the effects for each class of factors and revealed "more pluralistic and nuanced understanding of the source of conservatism," Sulloway said.

While most people resist change, Glaser said, liberals appear to have a higher tolerance for change than conservatives do.

As for conservatives' penchant for accepting inequality, he said, one contemporary example is liberals' general endorsement of extending rights and liberties to disadvantaged minorities such as gays and lesbians, compared to conservatives' opposing position.

The researchers said that conservative ideologies, like virtually all belief systems, develop in part because they satisfy some psychological needs, but that "does not mean that conservatism is pathological or that conservative beliefs are necessarily false, irrational, or unprincipled."

They also stressed that their findings are not judgmental.

"In many cases, including mass politics, 'liberal' traits may be liabilities, and being intolerant of ambiguity, high on the need for closure, or low in cognitive complexity might be associated with such generally valued characteristics as personal commitment and unwavering loyalty," the researchers wrote.

This intolerance of ambiguity can lead people to cling to the familiar, to arrive at premature conclusions, and to impose simplistic cliches and stereotypes, the researchers advised.

The latest debate about the possibility that the Bush administration ignored intelligence information that discounted reports of Iraq buying nuclear material from Africa may be linked to the conservative intolerance for ambiguity and or need for closure, said Glaser.

"For a variety of psychological reasons, then, right-wing populism may have more consistent appeal than left-wing populism, especially in times of potential crisis and instability," he said.

Glaser acknowledged that the team's exclusive assessment of the psychological motivations of political conservatism might be viewed as a partisan exercise. However, he said, there is a host of information available about conservatism, but not about liberalism.

The researchers conceded cases of left-wing ideologues, such as Stalin, Khrushchev or Castro, who, once in power, steadfastly resisted change, allegedly in the name of egalitarianism.

Yet, they noted that some of these figures might be considered politically conservative in the context of the systems that they defended. The researchers noted that Stalin, for example, was concerned about defending and preserving the existing Soviet system.

Although they concluded that conservatives are less "integratively complex" than others are, Glaser said, "it doesn't mean that they're simple-minded."

Conservatives don't feel the need to jump through complex, intellectual hoops in order to understand or justify some of their positions, he said. "They are more comfortable seeing and stating things in black and white in ways that would make liberals squirm," Glaser said.

He pointed as an example to a 2001 trip to Italy, where President George W. Bush was asked to explain himself. The Republican president told assembled world leaders, "I know what I believe and I believe what I believe is right." And in 2002, Bush told a British reporter, "Look, my job isn't to nuance."

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Last January my lovely wife and I were sitting in our living room, one evening, enjoying the warmth and some mindless television when we heard the unmistakable sounds of a gunfight in the immediate vicinity of our home. It was a bit disconcerting. While she killed the lights I grabbed the phone and did the 911 thing. After hanging up the phone I shrugged into my jacket and mosied out to the corner to meet The Heat when they showed up. Thing is, it was some time before I actually spotted a marked cruiser-- maybe 10 minutes or more. But that's not to say the cops took their time about getting to the scene. Having grown up in the city, I learned to be aware of what's happening on the street. And what was happening was there was a sudden rush hour of non-descript vehicles in the neighborhood. Sedans, sportscars, pickup trucks and the like, and they all seemed to be going somewhere in a hurry... and none to the same place. If I had to posit an educated guess, I'd say they were undercover cops setting up a parameter with my house as ground-zero-- without the noise of lights and sirens.
In the fullness of time, a uniform did show up and took a report. But he told me we weren't the only ones to call in.
In the following days we discovered that someone had sustained a minor gunshot wound when two wannabe gangsters started busting caps over-- you guessed it, dope. Apparently one of the shooters was also a shootee, as it were, and caught a minor case of hight-speed lead poisoning. The other one, who the cops say was a bonehead named Riley Collick. Cops had been looking for him since then. But Collick surrendered to federal marshals in Baltimore today and is being held on federal fugative warrants there. .... Well, that's a load off my mind but it does sort of point up the ineffectiveness of the local cops.... a hometown boy who can hide from the cops for almost a year..... look guys, he's not at the doughnut shop so quit going there to look for him.

Friday, December 01, 2006


Yikes. Did any of you guys catch the latest Britney Spears photos? Spears has spent a while at the top of the list of women who men would most like to see naked. But now it turns out that, like the whole two-women-one-man scenario, the fantasy is better (trust me on this) than the reality.... Jesus Christ, what was she thinking?
Well, this just goes to support my suspicion that her stardom was nothing more than a slick PR campaign to craft an all-American girl pop star out of trailer trash and rake in the money.
Now with just a couple flashes of her long sought-after beaver, her career as a pop-singer to teenieboppers is done. Kaput. Paws Up. Mr. an Mrs. American Mommie and Daddy almost certainly don't want the little girls to emulate some pop tart who transitions from a teen idol who sing for a living to one who encourges papparazi to give her a curbside gynocological examination.... and you just know this wasn't just an instant of her being accidentally caught in an awkward position.... not with the possibility of her soon to be ex shopping a four hour long sex tape around to various media outlets, with a reported asking price of $50 million. No, someone must have sugestted to her that the tape would plummet in value if she showed the goodies before he did. And that may be true, but she should propably thought about the collateral damage to her admittedly flagging career. Now she joins the ranks of people like her new buddy Paris Hilton and Pamela Anderson... still famous, but for what?.... I just bet her mom and dad are so proud of her.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


In yet another example of cops getting special treatment at the bar of justice, the AP wire reports today that a former Hurlock cop will not face prosecution even thought prosecutors believe he sexually assaulted an eight-year-old girl. That's right.... the state is perfectly willing to let a child rapist off the hook, apparently because he was a cop.... The story cited no reason the prosecutor and court agreeing to a plan that would have Robert Allen Sellers Jr., 32, attend counseling for a minimum of six months, and be on probation. According to the story, if Sellers abides by they terms of his release, the state will drop the charges after three years. Other conditions include a prohibition against his being around children unless supervised and a loss of his certificate with the Maryland Police Training Commission.
What happened to the state's commitment to prosecute child molesters? What happened the it's obligation to protect children, families and communities? What happened to justice and punishment for the worst kind of offenders? Why isn't Seller's up in Jessup right now getting acquainted with all of his new cellblock boyfriends, who would tune up both his head and his ass?
You don't have to tell me, I know. Cops are special.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Is it again? I really don't know... in any event, ol' Joe from across the river, says some dude had him escorted from some sort of meeting of Salisbury public officials last night.... Poor ol' Joe... he's been a real pain-in-the-ass to the city council.... but that's a good thing.... and I can't help but notice that he knows how to research the law..... maybe he needs to research the state Open Meetings Act.... If he does, he'll find out that no member of the public may be barred from an open meeting unless they are disruptive to the meeting. Further, he discover that observers may photograph, videotape or record open meetings.... with that in mind, it behooves him to carry a tape recorder and record all conversations with elected official... just in case one of them errorneously tells police he was threatened and asks to have Joe removed... those tape recorders come in real handy if he ever need to file a complaint with the Open Meetings Board.

Monday, November 27, 2006


Three guys got whacked in New York City last weekend, and that's not unusual. But what is unusual is that the hit was done by cops.
Yeah, I know the first graf is inflamatory and wouldn't get by any news editor worthy of the title, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's inaccurate. According to news reports, the cops, who were all in street clothes, claim that the vehicle in which the men were riding struck a minivan full of the UCs, and it was after the vehicle backed up an struck it again that five of the seven cops present opened fire... 50 times. Here, I have to wonder if the cops discharged all 50 rounds before they realized that no one was shooting back, or if they stopped shooting in order to reload, or if maybe they just got tired of shooting. In any event, the guys that were shot were unarmed, this despite one news report that said cops were acting on a tip that one or more of them had a gun.... I gotta tell ya, the more complex this story becomes, the less believable it becomes.
In fairness, there are more than a couple possible scenarios by which this whole thing could have unfolded, but none of them make the cops look good. ... The thing about street cops is that they are herd animals, like sheep, or cows or a high-school football team in that they back each other up, right or wrong. And top some degree that's both a necessity and understandable -- except if they lie for one another. And it is in just such circumstances as these that the herd mentality comes into play and all it takes for an arrest to degenerate into a firefight is one cop to get excited or scared and start busting caps. If that happens, the other cops will too, because they trust their safety and lives to their fellow cops and if he fired then they have to believe that he saw a immediate threat that others didn't and they need to protect him.
Of course, this does not excuse or even mitigate their culpability in a reckless use of their weapons.
But don't look for any real sanctions against the shooters. They are, after all, cops and that group has done a lot PR to persuade the public they are heroes and flawless in their judgement. Oh, some may be demoted, and some may even lose their jobs, but in all liklihood nobody's going to jail. I mean, it's not like if you or I had shot someone who ran into our car. These are cops -- you know, Heroes.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Michael Richards, the guy who played Kramer of the TV show Seinfeld took a public beating this week because he used the word "nigger." Actually he called someone a "nigger." He also exchanged a few "motherfucker[s]," with the offended and offending party, but the public and the media has ignored that term and focused on the apparently much more offensive "nigger."
But who is really offended by that word, as opposed to pretending to be offended?
The answer to those questions may depend upon your race and social status. If the media is any barometer of indignation, I'd have to guess that white people are the ones most fearful of "nigger." It is, after all, troubled by a history tied to slavery in this ocountry.... So the obvious implication is that to use the word means you support slavery and cruelty to blacks. ... But whose implication is it? Does it come from some misplaced caucasian guilt over a social policy that no one living today had any role in forming or maintaining? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe the implication is fostered by those who stand to gain from that guilt..... But maybe the term is not so much about (with apologies to the memory of Dr. King) the color of one's skin as it's about the content of one's character. Comic Chris Rock has a thought-provoking bit on this very subject

Thirty years ago, the term "fuck" was a word one just didn't use. It was coarse and ugly and would in some cases get your ass thrown in jail if you uttered it in public. Then students and other militant leftists began using the word with such frequency that it entered the American lexicon, and has now lost virtually all of it's shock value and meaning. Fuck is rarely about sex. It's the first word out of our mouths when screw up something in a serious fashion, or when we're exasperated and frustrated and angry. It is an exclamation for everything and yet really means nothing.... And that's the impact "nigger" should have. If you are offended by this or any other racial or ethnic slur, then you need to take responsibility for that umbrage. You need to accept the fact that you are offended because you choose to be offended. And when you choose the not be offended, then you've disarmed those who choose to offend you.


So Charlie Rangel said this weekend he supports a return to a military draft. ... He says if there was a draft and elected officials' son and daughters were equally eligible to be flung into harm's way, then elected officials might be more circumspect in committing troops to war. ... With a logic like that, I can't tell if Charlie has been taking too many drugs, or not enough. .... Charlie: let's talk for a moment, okay. Even if congress did re-enact an draft, what makes you think the children and grand children of rich and powerful people would be called up? And even if they were, what makes you think they would be sent to forward areas?.... And what, in the name of God, makes you think that a larger military force and pool of prospective inductees would make leaders less likely to toss them into a war zone.
Also, I con't help noticing that you say you want to pull troops out of Iraq..... If that's true, then why do we need more troops.... unless, you guys have other, bigger plans in another theater of operations.. ... I just don't know, Chuck.... I think you're lying to us about something......either that, or you're suffering from some type of terminal stupidity, like Ronnie Rayguns.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Is Delmarva Dealings an alter-ego of Hadley Whiplash... one is bad and the other is even worse?
I'm just wondering because I don't believe in coincidence.


As he predicted last week, Joel Todd has retained his seat as Worcester County State's Attorney. His victory, however, is not yet carved in stone, as the margin was small enough that even the dumbest of Repiglicans is still smart enough to call for a recount. Whether that will happen, or not, is still up in air as even the home town party movers and shakers shrugged unknowingly at the question. "That will be up to the state Republican Party, not Beau." Pat Schrawder said immediately after the count was official. Questioned by a local reporter, a representative of the state party said party officials would consult with Oglesby before making that decision.
One of the concerns that will affect that decision his how it will play with the electorate... in effect, would Oglesby, and perhaps by extension, the Party be seen as squeezing sour grapes to demand a recount? And that's a tough call. On one hand, the margin is tiny and there is the remote possibility that Oglesby could gain a few more votes in a recount... on the other hand, the Republican's Feckless Leader has already burned all of the party's political capital, so there's little sense in continuuing to irritate and annoy the voters any longer.


Have you guys noticed the similarity between Pat Robertson and Nancy Pelosi? I mean, Yikes. .... No matter what words are coming out of their mouths, they always smile. Nancy's getting a lot of press right now, so you can can check her out easily enough.... But when you've done that, go back an look at tapes of Pat Robertson, particularly when he was calling on the U.S. government to whack the president of Venezuela... apparently both believe that as long as they smile, their words will be seem reasonable ... alright, I'll admit that so far Pelosi's language is much more to my liking than Robertson's, but they both strike me as insincere, like used-car salesmen with a sociopathic streak they're trying to cover with a smile.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

UP 16, 37 TO GO

Alright all you right-wing mo-fos, the word gets put down this morning... That's when the Worcester County Board of Election counts the last 37 votes and name the newly elected State's Attorney. Given the present lead and the closeness of the race thus far, I'm thinking Joel is going to retain his office. But either way, I don't really expect the contest to end after the count is done. I'm looking for whoever comes out on the short end to demand a recount, and if that's going to happen, it has to happen by the close of business next Wednesday... so says the lady at he election board. Personally, I hope Joel keeps the office... not just because he's has more experience and already has a team in place, but because I listened to the candidates carefully before the election and I know that Beau Oglesby took a few liberties with the facts in his campaign literature... He didn't exactly lie when he and his flunkies said Todd's conviction stats were bolstered by plea bargains. But his clear implication was that he would not allow plea bargains.... But the fact is that he will not only allow them, he'll offer them up to defendants, himself. That's not a lie, or conjecture, or hyperbole. It's a fact, because that's how the criminal justice system works. As a matter of fact, if Oglesby has as much litigation experience as he wants voters to believe he has, then he has already been a willing part of many, many plea bargains. And the fact that he didn't tell that to voters makes me question his honesty.
And on the outside chance that Oglesby really will do away with plea bargaining, here's what will happen: Conviction rates will go into the basement, because plea bargains serve to punish criminals when prosecutors have marginal cases. Also, more cases will be dismissed because the state either cannot prove it's original case or defendants have been denied the right to a speedy trial, because every case is going to a jury and there's a backlog.
Oglesby is a blowhard.... I mean, that's to be expected from someone who fancies himself a politician, but this gig is not just about politics. It's also about justice and honesty. And from what I saw during the campaign, he's not fit to represent the interests of the public.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Well, just as JFA went dark and Hadley Whiplash crawled off to sulk in the basement, Delmarva Dealings struck up Ruffles and Flourishes and paraded himself back into the blogosphere amid the applause of ... well, no one, really.
Holding himself out as some sort of conservative intellectual (now there's an oxymoron for you) his pontifications on political issues betrays both his ignorance of the current climate and his longing for a return of a demented grade B movie star as commander in chief... We would like to take him to school, but he won't allow comments, opposing or otherwise. .... Just another light-weight too fearful to leave his nest and fight the good fight. Pity.

Monday, November 13, 2006


A source close to the Worcester County Courthouse said this afternoon that Joel Todd now has a 16 vote lead in his bid to retain his office as the county's State's Attorney. A count of absentee and provisional ballots that began at 10 a.m. gave Todd the lead. As of today, 35 more ballots will be counted on Friday, although the sources says the county Board of Elections may still receive more ballots before then. Reportedly, the board of elections will accept ballots until Wednesday.
In related news, the state high court rejected a lawsuit by plaintiffs represented by the American Civil Liberties Union to allow their votes to be counted despite being postmarked after the Nov. 6 deadline. That suit was filed in Anne Arundel County last week and, had it been successful, would have allowed 15 additional ballots to be counted.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Our house is haunted.... No, really. .... My wife and I were on the way to Salisbury today and she asked, rather matter-of-factly, if I have had any issues with the house recently.... that's linguistic shorthand for, "have you seen the ghosts recently."
Well, no I haven't. There were a few odd incidents when we first moved in three years ago, and then some more weirdness when we redid the master bedroom, but nothing, for me, since then.... and by "odd" and weird, I mean stuff like the clock flying off the wall and landing six or seven feet away, the doorbell ringing and no one is there ... that kind of thing... But for my wife, the weirdness has taken on physical shapes, like the little black dog on the front stairs and the man in the brown suit in my office--- he made his first appearance last night about 10 o'clock.
I've not seen either the dog or the man, but that doesn't mean I disbelieve the wife. She's sane and not given to flights of fancy, but neither of us are afraid of whatever shares our home, and over the years we've come to not even be too much surprised by their presence or actions. This is an old home, occupied by just four families since it was built sometime between 1850 and 1885. ... That disparity comes from the years the state says the house was built and the year listed in Paul Touart's book "Along the Seaboard Side." ... And it's not so weird anymore to think that ghosts might exist. Even such scientific journals as National Geographic seems to be giving them some level of credence.... they spent a couple days in Snow Hill last year doing a segment on a ghost known as "JJ" in the old Snow Hill word on what they found, but to those ( and there appear to be many) who have seen him, he's a revolutionary war-era soldier. Nevertheless, it does make me wonder if others have similar encounters but have not mentioned them.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Yo Dick, you owe me a drink... A nice 12-year-old scotch will do.... not chivas.... I hate that stuff.


My coffer maker went belly-up this morning, so no coffee. ... And since I needed something to get blood pumping up to speed, I tuned in to Hadley Whiplash's blog..... and , holy dogs, it's gone... vanished into the great beyond of cyberspace. It's a pity really, that he couldn't stay around to argue and defend his right-wing perspective.... a fair-weather friend to the fascists.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Two days since we heard from Hadley Whiplash....... you don't suppose he's sulking, do you... he shouldn't be... he tried, at least.... and got 2.5 percent of the vote.... hell, that's something.... at least it shows he's not so freaking weird that nobody agrees with him.... Buck Up, Hadley. It's a new day and there are dragons to slay and damsels to rescue and ridiculous arguments to be made..... Tell ya what; why don't you and Joe come on over here and we can pontificate on the sudden change in fortune for Don Rumsfeld.
Some people are suggesting the first moron lied last week when he said Rummy was his man until the end. But I don't know if that's true. I think he meant it when he said it, but then the polls were closed and the votes counted, I think even the president could tell which way the wind was blowing, and he had to make immediate changes in order for the party to regain some semblance of validity before the 2008 general elections. What do you guys think?
Moreover, I think we're going to see significant changes in the party in the near future, that may include a distancing from the so-called "Christian Right," toward a more centrist position -- at least as far as being public perception goes. ... Now, come on up on the porch, pull up a rocker and let's talk for a spell.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


After cruising along unimpeded for six years, the S.S. Republican Arrogance yesterday hit a snag that tore a hole in the aft portion of the ship. Although Capt. Georgi Shrubinski has portrayed the damage as "minor" to the passengers and ship's owners, reports from the scene indicate he has jettisoned important cargo to lighten the ship's load and adjust the ballast. While Shrubinski's actions have had the desired effect, the Arrogance is still dead in the water and salvers say it could be two years or more before they can recover the vessel and make it seaworthy. Other informed sources say, however, that it could be eight or even 12 years before the ship can be returned to flagship status. Until that happens, the Arrogance has been re-assigned to garbage-scow duties. Shrubinski was on his last voyage before his retirement. Although he is descended from a line of captains, Shrubinski's career has been plagued by failure and, some would say, incompetence.


So here we are.... and things turned out pretty much as I thought they would. More to the point, they turned out like they did for the reason I thought they would.... I spent election day doing exit polling in Worcester County and the one point that became clear very early in the day was there midterm election were a referendum on the president and his policies. Two questions on the exit poll made that point clear. .. One was whether or not voters came to the polls to express support or dissatisfaction with the president, and yikes, those who responded that the president's performance had not role in their vote were in the low dingle digit percentages. The overwhelming majority responded that it did... I was too busy to get a clear idea of how the numbers went pro or con for the president, but my impression is that voter were mostly dissatisfied with the White House shrubbery.
And that impression takes on added weight when we consider the other question, which dealt with the occupation of Iraq... We saw a lot of teeth gnashing and outright vocal anger in response to that question. Although I was in a solidly conservative precinct, support for the war and the president's policy was nearly non-existant.
There are a couple more numbers I want to see in order to further validate my observations, but they'll come in the next day, or so. One is the percentage numbers on total voter turnout, and the second is the percentage numbers on voter turnout by party.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


I'm out in the field today.... working for the wires and network news organization doing exit polling. We'll talk (gloat) tomorrow. GO VOTE !

Monday, November 06, 2006


Over across the river, Joe has brought up a subject that always gets my Irish up.... okay, I'm not remotely Irish, but you understand the phrase..... the subject is the local news media and how the beg like cur dogs for tips that will help them report news.
While tips from the public have always been part of a reporter's toolbox for gathering news, it seems that many news organizations have, for some time, hired reporters based mainly on how many words they can type and not on their news gathering ability. Consequently, even print news organizations have a lot of typists who can write to the AP Style Book and not many people who can actually go out and find a story. So, not only are the newspapers and reporters reduced to begging for information, but so is the public. And even if the news-gatherers can find a story, most can't or won't get the information because they're too timid, ignorant, or both to get the background information. Add to these deficits the editors' demand that reporters no annoy anyone with political or economic power. .... So what are reporters left with ? Crime reports, political reporting that is nothing more the "he said, she said," and press releases from community organizations that want to portray themselves in the best light. Many editors have taken away the most basic reporters' tools. Papers rarely will allow a reporter to file a demand for documents under FOIA because they don't want to pay legal fee if the source refuses to turn over documents. And they won't stand behind reporters in questions of accuracy.... if somebody complains, then the reporter must be wrong.... anything to placate power. .... And let's not even talk about the local TV news because they're even worse.... most of the so-called-reporters have little or no experience or training in journalism..... they are communications majors.... trained to speak clearly and look good.... and they have even less time than the print guys to do any in-depth reporting.... of the local papers, the Maryland Coast Dispatch is the best, although even they shy away from really digging into the background of stories. But at least the reporters are competent and autonymous enough to ask the right questions.....

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Is Hadley wigging out? Looks like it in the past few days. Apparently he had a poor showing at some recent forum and from there starting digging his political grave before his campaign even got off the ground; separating himself from supporters. We wonder if he's taken this thing too hard.
Thing is, Hadley's an attorney, so we're told, and he should know that write-in dark horses have a very small chance of even making a decent showing, and actually winning is almost unheard of. Most of the time they just fragment the popular vote and some second-rate candidate takes the win. It's called being a spoiler.
Hadley, old buddy, time to read the writing on the wall.... your support is vocal but not numerous. Not even the popular press believes you have legitimacy. Time to move on.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Showing continued signs of tedium, Eddie Lee's political candidates forum at the Snow Hill Fire Hall last night turned out to be the useless waste of everyone's time that most thought it would be. Voters and candidates alike stayed away in droves. With an estimated 50 people in the audience, a quick look around the room told those plugged into the political machine, that only about 10 people were disinterested observers. The rest were hangers-on of one candidate or another. Announcement of the forum a few days ago, set some to wondering why the NAACP would host the event, and that issues was resolved with the first question to a candidate: Now that the board of education has established what Lee calls an "omsnabudsman" in the southern end of the county, would the candidate support similar positions at other schools? ... Unfortunately, that question was posed to Randy Beachamp, candidate for county commissioner, and one observer described his response as something akin to a deer in the headlights -- sort of a local Dan Quayle thing..... he has no freaking idea what an ombudsman is.... but that's not as bad as it looks... because the schooldboard has NOT established an ombudsman position in any school... that was just a line of bullshit that Lee has been pimping as his idea and the board's agreement.... didn't happen. Oh Lee whined about it and all, but the board never agreed and never funded the position... don't believe me? Call the the School Board and ask to speak to the ombudsman. See what happens. ... This is just another example of Lee promoting himself and telling people that he's doing things he hasn't done. I'm beginning to think maybe he's pathological.
The one interesting point in the evening was a couple blatant lies proffered by Beau Oglesby. One was his comment that he had experience prosecuting major felony cases, like murder, rape and robbery. ... if you count appearances in district court to present just enough evidence to have a judge to find probable cause a crime has been committed and send it on to the circuit court, well then yes, I guess he has... but if your definition includes actually arguing the state's case in circuit court (and there's a world of difference between the two) then, Oglesby lied. He lied too when he held up a copy of a newspaper story about gang activity in the county and attempted to show his opponent was lying when he said there is no gang activity in Worcester. In fact, the story was about a rumor amongst local cops that certain gang initiates could kill anyone who flashed their lights at them. The story was about the urban myth that has been around for at least 20 years, and that cops keep falling for.... cops love drama and suspense and the very thought they may get to be heroes and save the world... or at least a cute little blond babe who will be very, very thankful. ... oh wait... maybe that's my fantasy.... yes... that's it.... never mind.... Nevertheless, this really calls Oglesby's honesty and integrity into question... If we can't trust him now, why should we trust him after the election?
Okay.... I made a mistake about the newspaper story Oglesby whipped out at the forum (geez, somebody tell him to quit whippin' stuff out in public).... turns out it was a story about an incident at a biker rally last year and how the cops bungled the case.... still, that's on the cops, not the state's attorney's office....

Monday, October 30, 2006


Well, I see where ol' Joe is havin' his troubles. Seems his boys are alcoholics or drug addicts, or maybe both... Is that what he said? ... And he blames it all on them coming to the bustling metropolis of Ocean City. ... But I can't help but wonder if a large part of their problem is their parenting, or lack of same. .... Now don't get me wrong, I don't like OC myself... seems like a big twisted Busby Berkley production in tribute to avarice... Damn place is a freak show designed for the dumbest and most easily entertained of Americans.... Sort of a carnival put on by shorebillies for the amusement of hillbillies. But, relatively speaking, it's not fraught with danger. So, if Joe's boys got caught up with drugs and whiskey and fancy women when they were teenagers, don't you have to wonder if they just didn't know any better, or if their parents didn't teach them right from wrong?
I can't figure why he would hold his boys up to public ridicule, seeing as all this happened some time ago. But if I were him, I'd leave those boys be and them them heal up. The more shit ya stir up, the more it stinks. ... know what I mean?

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Across the river, ol' Joe posited a question that I have often pondered, myself. Specifically, is it not time we send the state boys on their way and created a county-wide police force..... and already, I hear some sabres clearing their scabbards. But before y'all commence to wailing on your old buddy, Rat, with high-end steel, tell me why it's wrong. I asked Joel Todd one time and he rejected the idea but gave no reason.
I mean, sure I can understand that such a move would have several police chiefs looking for jobs, and Chuck Martin's rolle in county law enforcement would be reduced, but the fact is that the area is growing in population and will continue to grow. So why not have the various jurisdictions pool their resources and get a better product in the bargain.... I think it's an economy of scale..... The larger the police force, the more able it is to take advantage of state and federal assistance grants.... The larger the force, the better pool of applicants it can draw from. Pay and benefits would be the same across the county, so there would be no competition between various jurisdictions for candidates... This seems like a good idea to me... after we discuss that, maybe we can talk about a professional fire department..... yeah, that way we can piss off everyone at the same time.
And I admit that may be more problematic, seeing as the volunteers already own the equipment and it might entail a considerable outlay of money for the county. But maybe we could move to a 50/50 department-- half volunteers, half professionals-- so the stations are always manned.

Friday, October 27, 2006


News sources are reporting that elections official in the lower Easter Shore counties are being swamped requests for absentee ballots. Some counties are experiencing a two-fold increase over previous elections.... Either the whole freaking population will be out of town that day, or the population distrusts the voting machines provided by Diebold. You remember those folks- they sponsored the Repiglican victory in Ohio during the last presidential election, not to mention the cluster fuck during the primaries in September.
But if you think you an get away from the incestuous relationship between the Repigs and Diebold by casting a paper ballot, you need to think again, as the absentee ballots are also being provided by Diebold... or not provided, as the case may be. State election board official Linda Lamoane (geez, I love that name.... sounds like a character from the Fritz the Cat movie) took a flogging recently from the governor for her office's inability to provide absentee ballots to voters in a timely fashion. Reportedly, some have been waiting weeks for their ballots and are starting to get cranky...

Thursday, October 26, 2006


The local heat held themselves a PR function ( sort of a "We're The Law and We're Here to Help You" for the public thing) in Ocean Pines last night and it was well-attended. That is to say, it was well attended by Worcester County movers and shakers in their right minds. But we couldn't help noticing that the black community was seriously under-represented. Jim Purnell was absent, as was the self-appointed king of the black community, Eddie Lee.... geez, didn't he say just last month that he was the only person who could represent the Second District on the Democratic side?.... Where were these people? And don't think their absence wasn't noticed and commented upon... well at least Purnell's absence was noticed... Lee's lack of attendance was probably mutually beneficial, as his whole, "hate whitey" schtick doesn't play well in local circles, and most dems don't want to be anywhere near him. ... It's sort of like having Dick Cheney show up to stuimp for a grassroots Republican candidate.... really the kiss of death.
But his racist demeanor and spastic conduct does a disservice to minority voters in that his increasing political and social isolation means the concerns of minority voters go unaddressed. But hey, people get the government they elect.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Oh you knew Sonny Bloxom wouldn't stay in the political shadows for long... Here he is in this morning's Daily Crime (it's a crime to call it a newspaper) pimping the same old fear and conservatism. The Eastern Shore is overwhelmingly conservative, he says, and Jim Mathias and Norm Conway do not represent those values. But everything is relative and I think they are conservative. Too much so.
Mathias, in particular, has a nasty habit of supporting business interests over those of the individual, and so if he is liberal it is only in the context of say, comparing him to John Assho... uh, make that John Ashcroft, Pat Robertson, or Eastern Shore politics.... As one woman observed, "even the Demeocrats here are Republicans."
Here's the thing, the region is changing, both politically and socially. And the old ways, while they may have some merit, are going to change to meet the perspective of those who are moving here. Like it or not, things change. They changed during your parents' time and your grandparents' time, and they'll continue to change long after we're all gone. It's part of the human condition, and we can't stop it. But we can adapt.... Notice that word, adapt. It is not synonymous with "adopt." You needn't change your religion, your morals, or your ethics (although, God knows some of you should change them) in order to adapt. You simply have to change your thinking. Get past your xenophobia. Get past thinking that the old ways are the only ways. Progress.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Should the cops in Wicomico County be able to bargain collectively for salary and benefits? Hell yes, and not because they are cops and deserve some special consideration, but because their employers will pay them as little as they can get away with.
When I moved to the Eastern Shore 12 years ago, I was struck at the low salaries paid to local workers. And that cheap stinginess has not changed- salaries remain low and business owners still think $10 per hour is good money. Yet business still complain they are unable to find competent and loyal workers. ... Here's a tip, guys: If you want qualified and loyal employees, then you have to pay for them. That means, you pay realistic wages based not upon the cost of living, but upon of similar jobs in other markets, and you offer an attractive benefits package.... you don't want to do that, then don't whine when your children move away for better jobs and careers, and don't whine about not having employees. In the meantime, workers of every description need collective bargaining and union representation.

Friday, October 20, 2006


Perhaps correctly reading (and wouldn't that be a first) the writing on the wall, the Republican National Committee, we hear, has rescinded its targeting project of Maryland, hoping to turn it red. That decision, we're told, came sometime in the last week, shortly after the poll numbers showed Ben Cardin with a nine-point lead. If it's true, it means the reds have determined that a Repiglican win is unlikely, if not impossible. Oooo... Things ain't looking good for the neofascist party in Maryland.... or anywhere else for that matter. Under normal circumstances, this would be the time the administration pulls out the big guns and sends the Fearless Leader, or his protege, Reichfuhrer Cheney out to pimp the party picks. But with six years of breathtakingly bad government as their only recommendation, even your run-of-the-mill, half-bright repiglican candidate knows shit on a stick tends to drive voters away rather than attract them.
So, six months ago, democratic Party strategists were thinking that they could probably regain control of the House in the mid-term. Now it's nearly a forgone conclusion, and the Senate seems a real possibility as well. ... And this is as it should be; one party controlling the executive branch while the other control the legislative side. But don't look for the federal government to regain it's footing anytime soon. Even if the Dems do regain control of congress, they still may have a serious battle in front of them in the next two years. The First Shrub has vastly exceeded his authority and it will take some time and muscle to wrest it back.
And by that time, we'll be into another election season, so it's likely we'll end up with a single party controlling both the executive and legislative branches.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


....Black people don't trust the police.
Yup. Let's just let that sit there for a moment so we can ponder this breaking news....
Okay, that's long enough.
Was this headline really worth the cyberspace is took up? I mean, this can't be news, given the elitist and bullying nature of so many cops. Whether we want to admit it or not, the truth is that prejudice is a big part of the law enforcement psyche.... We've all seen the court case where various police agencies are taken to task for racial profiling... Ever been to a jail or a prison and seen the racial makeup there? Majority black. Death sentences are imposed much more in cases where the victim was white and the accused was black than on black on black, or white on black.
and this is not even to mention people like Bull Connors, George Wallace, Lester Maddox, or Nathan Bedford Forest. That blacks don't trust the cops is not news. News would be if a poll showed that blacks do trust the cops. News would be if a serious poll showed that that majority of white people don't trust cops..... though that would be an interesting poll, wouldn't it?
Me, I'm white as Wonder Bread, but I grew up on the streets and I absolutely don't trust cops. That not to suggest that I think all cops are dirty. I don't. But I don't think cops, as demographic group, are any more clean than any other group of randomly-picked citizens of the same age, gender, racial and educational makeup.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Call it gun control if you want. I call it muzzle discipline. .... Hittin' what you're aiming at and not whacking the friendlies while you're doing it. But for those ignorant sons-of-bitches out there who believe that because I support certain issues that they oppose, then I must also support gun control -- as in outlawing private ownership of firearms... I don't. But that's not the end of the statement. Neither do I support unregulated ownership.... here's the bottom line: you want to own a device that's designed to kill things, people included. Okay, then own the respopnsibility for it too. If you get shitfaced, get mad at your wife, your neighbor, or anyone else and decide to cap them, you pay the price. By the same token, if you're stupid, lazy or both and your gun finds its way into the hands of someone who shouldn't have it, there has to be a penalty for that too -- especially if it causes injury or death to someone. If you sell, give, or lend it to someone who is prohibited from using or owning it.... penalty time. And these "costs" and "penalties," that means significant time in the Big House. Mandatory.
And I don't have a problem with registration or pre-sale ballistic fingerprinting either. I mean, you're a law-abiding citizen who bears no evil intent, right? So, what's the problem?
Personally, I don't need the NRA to defend my constitutional rights. ... They're not doing it out the goodness of their heart, anyway. They're doing it to make money. The NRA is a business, not a 501-C3.
As to gun-control reducing crime, that's bullshit. When the citizenry looses the right to own guns, then the only people that will have guns will be those that make the rules. We call that a police state.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Resume - George W. Bush6-21-6
ResumeGEORGE W. BUSH 1600 Pennsylvania AvenueWashington , DC 20520
LAW ENFORCEMENTI was arrested in Kennebunkport, Maine , in 1976 for driving under the influence of alcohol. I pled guilty, paid a fine,and had my driver's license suspended for 30 days. My Texas driving record has been "lost" and is not available.
I joined the Texas Air National Guard and went AWOL. I refused to take a drug test or answer any questions about mydrug use. By joining the Texas Air National Guard, I was able to avoid combat duty in Vietnam
I graduated from Yale University with a low C average. I was a cheerleader.
I ran for U.S. Congress and lost. I began my career in the oil business in Midland , Texas , in 1975. I bought an oil company, but couldn't find any oil in Texas . The company went bankrupt shortly after I sold all my stock.
I bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a sweetheart deal that took land using taxpayer money. With the help ofmy father and our friends in the oil industry, including Enron CEO Ken Lay, I was elected governor of Texas .
I changed Texas pollution laws to favor power and oil companies, making Texas the most polluted state in the Union.
During my tenure, Houston replaced Los Angeles as the most smog-ridden city in America
I cut taxes and bankrupted the Texas treasury to the tune of billions in borrowed money.
I set the record for the most executions by any governor in American history.
With the help of my brother, the governor of Florida , and my father's appointments to the Supreme Court, I becamePresident after losing by over 500,000 votes.
I am the first President in U.S. history to enter office with a criminal record.
I invaded and occupied two countries at a continuing cost of over one billion dollars per week. I spent the U.S. surplus and effectively bankrupted the U.S. Treasury.
I shattered the record for the largest annual deficit in U.S. history.
I set an economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12-month period.
I set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12-month period.
I set the all-time record for the biggest drop in the history of the U.S. stock market.
In my first year in office, over 2 million Americans lost their jobs and that trend continues every month.
I'm proud that the members of my cabinet are the richest of any administration in U.S. history. My "poorest millionaire," Condoleeza Rice, had a Chevron oil tanker named after her.
I set the record for most campaign fund-raising trips by a U.S. President. I am the all-time U.S. and world record-holder for receiving the most corporate campaign donations.
My largest lifetime campaign contributor, and one of my best friends, Kenneth Lay, presided over the largest corporatebankruptcy fraud in U.S. History, Enron.
My political party used Enron private jets and corporate attorneys to assure my success with the U.S. Supreme Courtduring my election decision.I have protected my friends at Enron and Halliburton against investigation or prosecution.
More time and money was spent investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair than has been spent investigating one of thebiggest corporate rip- offs in history.
I presided over the biggest energy crisis in U.S. history and refused to intervene when corruption involving the oilindustry was revealed.
I presided over the highest gasoline prices in U.S. history.
I changed the U.S. policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded government contracts.
I appointed more convicted criminals to administration than any President in U.S. history.
I created the Ministry of Homeland Security, the largest bureaucracy in the history of the United States government.
I've broken more international treaties than any President in U.S. history.I am the first President in U.S. history to have the United Nations remove the U.S. from the Human Rights Commission.
I withdrew the U.S. from the World Court of Law.I refused to allow inspectors access to U.S . "prisoners of war"detainees and thereby have refused to abide by the GenevaConvention.
I am the first President in history to refuse United Nations election inspectors (during the 2002 U.S. election).
I set the record for fewest numbers of press conferences of any President since the advent of television.
I set the all-time record for most days on vacation in any one-year period. After taking off the entire month of August, I presided over the worst security failure in U.S. history.
I garnered the most sympathy for the U.S. after the World Trade Center attacks and less than a year later made the U.S. the most hated country in the world, the largest failure of diplomacy in world history.
I have set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously protest me in public venues (15 millionpeople), shattering the record for protests against any person in the history of mankind.
I am the first President in U.S. history to order an unprovoked, pre-emptive attack and the military occupation of a sovereign nation. I did so against the will of the United Nations, the majority of U.S. citizens, and the world community.
I have cut health care benefits for war veterans and support a cut in duty benefits for active duty troops and theirfamilies-in-wartime.
In my State of the Union Address, I lied about our reasons for attacking Iraq and then blamed the lies on our Britishfriends.
I am the first President in history to have a majority of Europeans (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat toworld peace and security.
I am supporting development of a nuclear "Tactical Bunker Buster," a WMD. I have so far failed to fulfill my pledge to bring Osama Bin Laden [sic] to justice.(and I'm not sure the man exists at all)
All records of my tenure as governor of Texas are now in my father's library, sealed and unavailable for public view.
All records of SEC investigations into my insider trading and my bankrupt companies are sealed in secrecy and unavailablefor public view.
All records or minutes from meetings that I, or my Vice-President, attended regarding public energy policy are sealedin secrecy and unavailable for public review.

I am a member of the Republican Party.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Yesterday's Grapevine in the Daily Crime... Some bonehead calls up to complain about an editorial that he thought was biased against the governor. Yup.
Did I miss a memo that went out to the rest of the world, or does this guy just not understand the concept of the op/ed pages? ... Okay, on the outside chance that I'm still right, I'll impart a little understanding.
Dear Dimbulb;
Thank you for your concerns regarding the editorial in question.
As you may know, the newspaper industry many years ago bowed to the the public's demand for journalistic standards that are free of values and opinions. This change came about partially as recognition on the part of the industry to clean its own house, and partially in response to pressure from politicians who were finding it increasingly difficult to be elected while being called names in the press. Please understand that our ending that policy didn't mean that politicians and society-at-large were suddenly cleaner, only that we stopped characterizing them as dirty. Concurrently, we also stopped labeling any behavior in an unfavorable fashion. Of course, this means that modern newspapers have abrogated their role as a moral compass for the communities they serve, and so now the population is left to make it's own moral choices, for good or ill..... Except for the Op/Ed pages. As you should know, the opinions and editorial pages are self-explanatory in that they contain the thoughts of the editorial staff and the opinions of other syndicated writers and the public at large. They are opinions and as such are not constrained by the demands to be free of bias. We thank you for your observations. Please write us again when you better understand this concept.
The Editors


In a none-too-subtle hint, the Daily Crime prints a story in today's paper about bloggers being sued over what they write. .... The story is not merely an accident of happenstance, comng as it does while Charles Jannace, aka Hadley Whiplash, or whatever, is pimping himself as a write-in candidate for county executive, all the while continuing to hammer the city's elected officials for transgressions real and imagined.
Listen , I don't agree with Jannace at all. I think his right-wing political views would be laughable if so many others didn't believe as he does. I think his ideas are ill-conceived and poorly expressed and down right stupid. Nevertheless, he has a constitutional right to express his political opinions, no matter how stupid they may be.
Unfortunately, that right frequently bumps noses with another right we have in this country; the right to sue. Anyone can sue anyone else for, it seems, any reason. That means the government can and will sue citizens if they make a pain of themselves. The ACLU even has an acronym for the tactic. It's called a SLAPP suit, short for Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation, and it's particularly effective against individuals and small independant newspapers. The object of such a suit isn't necessarily to win, but to shut the offending party up by draining their wallets with the legal fees and costs associated with defending a lawsuit. It is the politics of deep pockets-- it's not about who's right and who's wrong. It's about who has the money to spend.
I don't know if the tactic has hit the blogosphere yet, but I do know that at least one local government has employed it against a newspaper and a freelance reporter.
So be careful how loudly you complain about elected officials or corporations. They have lawyers and are not afraid to use them.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Former Baltimore Police commissioner Ed Norris , convicted in 2004 of public corruption and federal tax charges, wants a presidential pardon so he can go back to police work, the job he loves. Yeah, right.
Norris was caught dirty, and there's few things worse in this society than a dirty cop. If he loved his job so much, then why did he engage in criminal behavior? Did he think, as too many cops do, that his position put him above the law?
In wire reports, Norris claims his prosecution was politically motivated. Maybe it was, but so what? He was convicted of the charges, and that's what matters. The fact that he may have had political enemies only means that he should have taken more care to be a clean cop. But he didn't and those who didn't like him found out and he a very small price -- six months in the slammer and the loss of his job. Hell, corrupt cops should get 20 years in prison, minimum, and never be able to hold a position of public trust again. Cops should be held to a higher standard of honesty and should suffer greater penalties when they break that trust, because they used the power invested in their authority to commit and cover up their crimes.
But now, Ed Norris is telling us that he can be trusted. He can't. He's corrupt. Period.

Monday, October 09, 2006


With less than a month until the elections, a Newsweek poll finds the Bush administration's approval rating at a mere 33 percent, his hemorrhaging credibility is sucking strength and vitality from the state and federal foot-soldiers of the Repiglican Party so much that the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives is all but a foregone conclusion.
Although House Speaker Dennis Hastert has thus far refused to resign his seat, that may be more political posturing than promise to the party faithful, particularly in light of the president's recent sound bite supporting him. And we've seen that means-- when Bush went on the tube telling the head of FEMA what a great job he'd done in the wake of Katrina, right before he was fired. And with his present approval numbers, the president's support is akin to the kiss of death, rather like getting high praise in seamanship from the captain of theTitanic.
But with the elections so close, Hastert may be saved having to fall on his sword for the good of the party in that voters in his district could send him toddling off into obscurity. ... Personally, I hope he has to fall on his sword..... not that it will do any good. With Bill Frist retiring, Tom Delay under indictment and Hastert under fire, the Repiglican leadership is crippled and weighted down by an idiot in the Whitehouse. To steal a line from James Brown; I feel gooood!!

Friday, October 06, 2006


“This is a court of law, young man, not a court of justice.”
-- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.


The more bread you have, the less shit you have to eat.
Those were the words that came to mind as I read the story in today's Daily Crime about Ocean Pines attorney Christopher Llinas. Llinas, a former member of the Ocean Pines board of directors, was sentenced this week for his role in what the federales called a major drug distribution ring based in Salisbury. Two years of probation, with one of those years to be served on home detention. By contrast, his co-defendants caught 70 months and 14 years in the federal system where there's no parole. Relatively speaking, this is less than a slap on the wrist. Hell, the judge just about gave him a rim-job as he was leaving the courtroom.
This is not to suggest, however, I think he should have gotten prison time, only that all those who were convicted should have gotten similar sentences, whether it was a prison cell or a walk in the park..... But that's not how the legal system works in this country. The way it works is that Justice is not blind, it's just myopic and refuses wear a either blindfold or corrective lenses. So, if you come before the court and you're poor then you're a nigger, regardless of skin tone, and will be dealt with harshly. But if you have means, or if you're a cop, the judge will cite the all good you've done with your life, say you just made a mistake and send you home with a relatively minor penalty.... But that's not the truth, is it? The truth is that that lawyer, that cop, that clergyman, that member of congress used his position of trust and power to prey on others, and he should receive a sentence commiserate with that received by the lowest street criminal. ... If you serve up shit to others, you gotta eat a full portion yourself.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Let's think the unthinkable, let's do the undoable, let's prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all. -Douglas Adams

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Oh come on, you had to see this coming two miles down range. Seeking perhaps to mitigate his guilt in the eyes of the public, Mark Foley yesterday went public with a claim that he was molested when he was a boy. .... I see. And how, I want to know, does this excuse, mitigate or even explain his behavior? The answer is that it doesn't. The only thing it does is tell the public that his alleged first-hand knowledge of the damage inflicted on the victims would have kept anyone with an ounce of morality from inflicting it on others. The fact that he apparently couldn't resist his sick urges brands him as a sociopath unfit to walk among us. He needs to go someplace special, someplace where people can keep an eye on sociopaths and control their actions, someplace where he can rest, reflect and retire ... the Atlanta Federal Pen leaps immediately to mind.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


We're beginning to see correlations between the catholic church and Republican Party. Foley steps down, leaps from the closet, and goes to hide in an alcohol rehab facility (Oh great, now he's a pervert and a drunk). Priests get caught with their hands in some young boy's pants and are transferred to another parish or sent to a "rest home." Senior officials in both organizations have knowledge of what's going on but are not punished... This sounds like a RICO crime ... Yup, I'm seeing a pattern, here. Both are really uptight, rigid groups, probably because of repressed sexual issues. Both groups could provide a haven for those who struggle with perversions. Both are a closed society of mostly men.... Hmmmmm. Maybe the G.O.P really stands for Gang Of Pedophiles.
And, for all you conservative family-values types lamenting the loss of one of your leaders, fear not. He's just going to check into rehab, do 60 days and then present himself to you guys as healed from the Devil's curse and expect you to return him to the trough. Because he knows you guys are forgiving of his trespasses, as he would forgive you of yours. Can I get an 'Amen?"
... Just one more thing: he's asking if any of y'all have a teenage son who might be willing to work around his house while he recovers from his epic battle with the Devil.


We came into possession, today, of a letter from Lanny Hickman, chair of the Democratic Central Committee of Worcester County. Seems Lanny and the rest of the crew in Berlin are annoyed with their webmaster, Dave Suznavick, because of his "efforts to personally attack one of our members through the internet." There was no mention of who that member might be, or what form that attack might have taken. In a tersely-worded letter, Lanny fired Dave as the webmaster, saying "the Committee is of the opinion that such actions undermine the efforts of the Committee to build a cohesive, active and vital Democratic Party in Worcester County."
When we talked to Dave this afternoon, he did not appear to be heartbroken. " I haven't done any work for them since the primaries," he said. "It took me nearly 60 goddamn days to get paid for building the website. And they still haven't paid me for August and September."
Dave later forwarded us the email response he sent to Lanny the other committee members.
I just got your letter relieving me of duty on the DCCWC website.
Perhaps you've noticed that I've not put any new information up on the website since the primary elections. That's because you haven't paid me for August or September, not that I care at this point.
But I'm appalled at your reasons for firing me, because it shows that the local democrats are, in reality, no better than the worst Repiglicans.... You fire me for exercising my First Amendment rights? You fire me because I dared to comment on and criticize the racist propaganda that Eddie Lee disseminated during his political campaign? Am I understanding you correctly? Please, let me ask you why you or any other central committee members didn't comment on or criticize Lee's choice of words? If you didn't comment because you agree with Lee, then you too are a bigot and are unfit for leadership of a political entity. By the same token, if you didn't speak up because doing so might have focused attention on the state of the local party, then you are still not fir to be a leader in the community. You should be ashamed of yourselves. God knows I'm now ashamed to have ever been associated with a political group that claims to uphold the American ideals, yet punishes someone exercising his constitutional rights and engaging in fair political comment and criticism."
Dave also told us about the last committee meeting he attended, during which Eddie Lee created such a furor that then-Chairman Kathy Phillips threw up her hands, saying she couldn't deal with the fighting and turned the meeting over to another member before leaving the building. Dave tells us he called Phillips on her cell phone and suggested she return to the meeting and assume control, and that Phillips was crying, saying she couldn't stand any more of Lee's disruptions. Dave also said Phillips told him that Lee had physically assaulted vice-chairman Tom Widerman at the previous meeting.
But the Democratic festivities were not over, by a long shot, according to Dave. He says that after Phillips returned to the meeting, Eddie Lee returned to hellraising. He objected to Dave being at the meeting and was overruled with a reminder that the meeting was open to the public. He then objected to Dave and his wife passing notes between one another, saying he was offended, and wanted the chair to order them to stop communicating. The chair declined. At the end of the meeting, Dave says he asked to time for public comment, where he reminded the committee of both his First Amendment right of free speech and his marital right to communicate with his with whenever he saw fit. And (drum roll) in the seconds before Hell Broke Loose, Dave says he told the committee that "if Mr. Lee doesn't like it, he can kiss my butt." (Cymbal crash) Well, witnesses say Lee jumped to his feet and charged Dave as if to fight, but was blocked by others. The disturbance was only quelled by committee member Dale Smack, a deputy sheriff, who escorted Lee from the property.
So it seems the Democratic Central Committee has a jump on their goals. It seems active. But the whole "vibrant and cohesive" thing needs some work.