Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist
Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Md Troopers Assoc #20 & Westminster Md Fire Dept Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New York Times: U.S. Flies B-52s Through China’s Expanded Air Defense Zone

BREAKING NEWS Tuesday, November 26, 2013 12:47 PM EST

Two long-range American bombers have conducted what Pentagon officials described Tuesday as a routine training mission through international air space recently claimed by China as its “air defense identification zone.”

The Chinese government said Saturday that it has the right to identify, monitor and possibly take military action against aircraft that enter the area, which includes sea and islands also claimed by Japan. The claim threatens to escalate an already tense dispute over some of the maritime territory.

American officials said the pair of B-52s carried out a mission that had been planned long in advance of the Chinese announcement this past weekend, and that the United States military would continue to assert its right to fly through what it regards as international air space.


Daily Grind: Fed's $1 trillion a year subsidy to banks to continue under Yellen's watch

Nov. 26, 2013
Fed's $1 trillion a year subsidy to banks to continue under Yellen's watchWith no filibuster, the Senate is set to rubber stamp Janet Yellen as the next Fed head, meanwhile, the American people and their representatives have no idea which banks foreign and domestic are benefitting from the Fed's $1 trillion annual subsidy.
A Life LineHarry Reid seems to have thrown not much of a life line to Democrats.
The 17th Amendment: 100 years laterAny elementary social studies student can tell you that the Senate is the "legislative cooling saucer" and the voice of the smaller, less powerful states. Now compromised on both fronts, it is worth repeating Thomas Jefferson's query: What exactly is the purpose of the Senate?
Crudele: On false job numbers, did the White House know?"Did White House know about fabricated and manipulated job numbers before 2012 election?"

Fed's $1 trillion a year subsidy to banks to continue under Yellen's watch
By Robert Romano
With the filibuster against most presidential nominees now eliminated — well, sort of, Senate Democrats did not actually amend the rules, they just voted to pretend they don't exist — the confirmation of Janet Yellen to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve is all but certain.
Which is too bad.
Of all nominees, blocking cloture on Yellen could have been worthwhile. With the Fed creating $85 billion a month in its quantitative easing programs, the Senate has no business confirming any Fed chair until it and the whole country knows more about the policy.
Specifically, the American people and their representatives have no idea which banks are benefitting from the Fed's $1 trillion annual subsidy.
The only way to know will be if there is a regular audit of the practice, since all that can be seen now is by how much the central bank's balance sheet of securities is expanding — telling us very little about who is receiving the money?
In the last one-time audit of the Fed under Dodd-Frank in 2010, it was ascertained that of the $877.3 billion of mortgage bonds the central bank had purchased that were included in the audit, some $442.7 billion — more than half — were bought from foreign banks.
These included $127.5 billion given to MBS Credit Suisse (Switzerland), $117.8 billion to Deutsche Bank (Germany), $63.1 billion to Barclays Capital (UK), $55.5 billion to UBS Securities (Switzerland), $27 billion to BNP Paribas (France), $24.4 billion to the Royal Bank of Scotland (UK), and $22.2 billion to Nomura Securities (Japan). Another $4.2 billion was given to the Royal Bank of Canada, and $917 million to Mizuho Securities (Japan).
According to the Federal Reserve, the securities were purchased at "Current face value of the securities, which is the remaining principal balance of the underlying mortgages." These were not loans, but outright purchases, a direct bailout of foreign firms that had bet poorly on U.S. housing.
According to the New York Fed's website, the purpose of the program was to "foster improved conditions in financial markets." But whose financial markets were we really propping up? The United States', or foreign countries'?
The $442.7 billion overseas was just a snapshot in time. The last transactions covered in the audit date all the way back to July 2010.
Since then, say, July 8 of that year, the Fed has bought another whopping $1.689 trillion of securities. And we have no idea where the central bank bought the securities from — because the practice is not audited.
If the previous audit was any indication, one presumes about 50.4 percent of the $1.689 trillion of purchases — more than $851 billion — has gone to foreign banks. But then again, who knows?
As for the $1.36 trillion of treasuries the Fed has bought since the financial crisis began in Aug. 2007, we have no idea which banks received that money.
How can Senators make an informed decision about who should serve as Fed chair overseeing a $1 trillion a year bank subsidy when they themselves have no idea where the money is even going?
Were there still a filibuster, this would have been a ripe issue for Senate Republicans to block against any Fed nominee until there is legislation providing for an annual audit of Fed securities purchases.
The fact is, the Fed's $1 trillion a year bank subsidy to banks will be continuing for the foreseeable future under Yellen's stewardship. If we're really going to still be bailing out banks more than five years after the financial crisis, shouldn't the practice at least be transparent?
It is bad enough that Congress ceded its constitutional, legislative powers over monetary policy 100 years ago to the Fed. The American people and their representatives should at least be allowed to analyze the institution's policies which have such a dramatic impact on our economic well being.
Is that really asking too much?
Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.

A Life Line
By A. F. Branco

The 17th Amendment: 100 years later
By Tom Toth
Since its original design, the United States Senate has undergone two integrally related transformations in design and purpose.
In 1913, states voted away their federal legislative voice by ratifying the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, changing the appointment of Senators to a direct election.
Under the original bicameral design of the United States legislature, the Senate was the voice of the individual, co-equal states of the union and its members were appointed by state legislatures to represent the interests of the state. The House of Representatives was conversely designed to be the complimentary voice of the people, where members from relatively small districts face election by their neighbors every 24 months.
The existence of the Senate as a second chamber of Congress was the great Constitutional compromise for small states who would have been rendered powerless to the political wills of the larger states in the union. The 17th Amendment ended this compromise.
Direct elections shift the political motivation of the individual Senator from representing the interests of his or her state to representing the same electorate as the House of Representatives, using the same device of election, changing the purpose and makeup of the Senate as a legislative body.
As with any change in the law, Constitutional amendments have consequences. If the 17th Amendment were removed and Senators were representing the states, members of the Senate would be intimately familiar in the civil affairs of their states and  there would conceivably be no unfunded mandates allowed to be imposed upon states from the federal government. Further, local elections would have tangible ramifications over the national political landscape resulting in greater individual civic engagement.
Thomas Jefferson, who was serving as a Minister in France during the Constitutional Convention, inquired of George Washington why the delegates to the convention had created the Senate. Washington responded famously, "Why did you pour that tea into your saucer?" "To cool it," said Jefferson. "Even so," responded Washington, "we pour legislation into the senatorial saucer to cool it."
In 2013, the Senate abandoned its role as the "legislative cooling saucer" when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and the compliant members of his party unilaterally suspended minority power in the Senate by destroying filibuster rule for virtually all presidential nominees. The filibuster is the sole means by which the minority party in the Senate can practice legislative oversight as a governing check and balance by continuing debate until a 60-vote cloture agreement can be made. Once removed, not only do states have no representation, but neither do the nation's minority voices.
There was a common notion among the nation's framers that the deliberative process (often called "gridlock" today) is beneficial for the long-term health of the republic as a preventative protection against radical change. Conversely, "Progressives," by virtue of even their self-assumed title, resist the very notion of gridlock when they are in power. They practice public policy as if the greater good is only achievable when the "progressives'" notion of forward progress is constantly being made, otherwise their work as statesmen is irrelevant. The filibuster, a staple of Senatorial deliberations, is the tool of practical deliberation that, although frustrating for the majority party, ensures a layer of protection against bad policy. It exists to keep simple mob rule from dominating deliberations in the small, powerful legislative body.
Harry Reid stated on the morning he changed the Senate rules that action was necessary for the chamber to "evolve" in order "to remain relevant."  Killing the filibuster, no matter how shortsighted politically, is the only expedient option for the left if "progress" is challenged on any significant scale. Republicans stood in the way of progress, and evolution became a necessity.
If kept, this rule change will mark as significant a fundamental transformation in the Senate as the 17thAmendment.
Contextualizing the Senate in the light of its original design, then, what is the purpose of the Senate's modern existence? The people already have direct legislative representation in the House of Representatives. The states have no federal representation from either chamber. Now, Presidential appointments can be passed by simple majority fiat and any other filibuster rules are one motion from a majority vote away from nonexistence.
Any elementary social studies student can tell you that the Senate is the "legislative cooling saucer" and the voice of the smaller, less powerful states. Now compromised on both fronts, this observer repeats Jefferson's query: What exactly is the purpose of the Senate?
Tom Toth is the Social Media Director for Americans for Limited Government.

ALG Editor's Note: In the following featured column from the New York Post, John Crudele asks what the White House knew and when did it know it on the Census Bureau's false unemployment numbers:
On false job numbers, did the White House know?
By John Crudele
Let me be the first to ask: Did the White House know that employment reports were being falsified?
Last week I reported exclusively that someone at the Census Bureau's Philadelphia region had been screwing around with employment data. And that person, after he was caught in 2010, claimed he was told to do so by a supervisor two levels up the chain of command.
On top of that, a reliable source whom I haven't identified said the falsification of employment data by Census was widespread and ongoing, especially around the time of the 2012 election.
There's now a congressional investigation of how Census handles employment data. And we can hope that we'll find out this was just an isolated incident.
But let me tell you why it might not be.
Back in 2009 — right before the 2010 census of the nation was taken — there was an announcement that the Obama administration had decided that the Census Bureau would report to senior White House aides.
The rumor was that Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was in charge of the nationwide head count.


Westminster and state officials cut the ribbon on downtown sidewalk retrofit project

Westminster and state officials cut the ribbon on downtown sidewalk retrofit project

Westminster and state officials joined together Tuesday morning to cut the ribbon on over 200 new disabilities-compliant sidewalk curb cuts throughout downtown Westminster

By Kevin E. Dayhoff, 

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Westminster city officials and representatives from four Maryland state government departments gathered together Tuesday morning in front of the Westminster Recreation and Parks Family Center on Longwell Avenue to celebrate, and cut the ribbon, on an unprecedented groundbreaking $318,000 partnership that resulted in the completion of 214 new or rebuilt ADA-compliant curb ramps in the downtown area.

“What a wonderful project this is and with so many partners, said Westminster mayor Kevin Utz in prepared remarks for the occasion, after he was introduced by Mark Vernarelli, spokesperson for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

“With these partners 4 curb ramps were reconstructed, 64 curb ramps were modified and 164 new curb ramps were installed…” Because of this partnership, “over 200 ADA Compliant curb ramps now exist in Downtown Westminster,” explained Utz.

Utz read-off a long list of state secretaries and dignitaries who traveled from state offices in Baltimore and Annapolis for the occasion; including MD Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Secretary Gary Maynard, Deputy Secretary J. Michael Stouffer, Public Safety Works Coordinator John Rowley, Director of Corrections Felicia Hinton, and Facility Administrator Leonard Rice.

Also present were Department of Disabilities Secretary Catherine Raggio, Deputy Secretary George Failla, Jr., and Access Maryland Director Cari Watrous as well as MD Department of Housing & Community Development: Assistant Secretary Carol Gilbert, Director of Community Programs Cindy Stone, and Project Manager Dona Sorce.

Along with Tony Romano, a representative of Romano Concrete Construction and Ronnie Townes, 21, an inmate who helped build the curbs; MD Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Coordinator, Career and Technology Programs Ken Weeden, Field Director of Correctional Education Jack Cunning, and David Bordley were there to cut the ribbon and discuss the unprecedented city, state and private partnership.

According to information provided by the department of public safety, DPSCS, the project was “Grant-funded thanks to work by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development … The curb project is the largest project of its kind ever done by inmates in the DPSCS Public Safety Works community project initiative. The inmates learned concrete skills from Romano Concrete, a longtime and valued partner with DPSCS.”

Westminster mayor Kevin Utz was joined by Westminster Common Council president Dr. Robert Wack, council member Tony Chiavacci, city administrator Marge Wolf, public works director Jeff Glass, police chief Jeff Spaulding, , Community Programs Specialist Sandy Anderson, city engineer Mike Matov, assistant street superintendent Wayne Reifsnider and recreation and parks director Abby Gruber.

Planning for the project began in earnest after a similar, but much smaller partnership was called to Glass’ attention in the summer of 2012. “We submitted the grant application on August 27,” said Anderson. “The actual work on the sidewalks began last May.”

“I’m very pleased that what initially started as a conversation with Secretary Maynard and Secretary Skinner has become a model partnership between the City of Westminster and three state agencies – Disabilities, Public Safety and Corrections, and Housing and Community Development,” said MD Dept. of Disabilities Secretary Catherine Raggio. “As a result of this partnership, we now have sidewalks that are safer and more accessible for individuals with disabilities, seniors and others.”

“DPSCS worked with the MD Dept. of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation to secure the partnership with Romano Concrete---with whom DPSCS inmates previously worked on the Eastern Shore at Cambridge in a similar but smaller project,” according to information provided by DPSCS. “This project is the first to give inmates DLLR on-the-job certifications.”

“It’s been a great project… It’s made a big difference for (getting around) downtown,” said Glass. Wolf and Utz agreed. “Everybody was a winner,” said Wolf.

Maynard called the inmate restorative justice initiative, “groundbreaking.” “This is our largest community curb project yet,” said the DPSCS secretary. “Our inmates have built or rebuilt more than 200 curbs, getting valuable skills training from Tony Romano and his concrete tradesmen, and helping this nice town become more accessible in the process.

“We call projects like these Public Safety Works ‘restorative justice’ programs, because they allow inmates who want to pay society back with a really meaningful way to do that.

“On any given day, we have more than 350 inmates out across the state of Maryland doing meaningful projects. Right now, inmates are rebuilding a skipjack on the Eastern Shore, gleaning fresh produce for the Maryland Food Bank, planting millions of oyster spat, restoring battlefields, cemeteries and playgrounds, and helping cities and non-profits with all kinds of projects they couldn’t do otherwise.

“We are very serious about this particular kind of project here in Westminster---where inmates get actual skills training from professional tradespeople. We’re having inmates trained in hazardous materials abatement and they’re taking down the old House of Correction prison in Jessup, a deconstruction that’s saving taxpayers at least five million dollars compared to the cost of demolition. It’s the only project of its kind in the country.

“These skills should serve the inmates well and give them a leg up on jobs when they get out and go home. I would love to talk to you today about how Public Safety Works might be able to help your agency or non-profit.

Maynard also elaborated upon how the partnership with the city gave the prison inmates an opportunity to learn job skills. “We may be in charge of keeping people locked up,” continued the secretary, “but what we really want is to set people free; to free them from addictions and anger issues, give them education and job skill training, and turn them into productive taxpaying citizens. After all, almost all inmates will one day be getting out.”

“We are very serious about this particular kind of project here in Westminster---where inmates get actual skills training from professional tradespeople,” remarked Maynard.

“This project, however, is about so much more than curbs and concrete,” said Utz in agreement. “With this project, the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) provided training for the inmates. With this project the state corrections department has provided construction experience and positive community participation for the inmates. With this project the inmates have received certification from the DLLR for on the job training. With this project the inmates participated in a major community project.

“Maynard was all smiles as he thanked the city and invited city officials to talk about more opportunities for partnerships. “Thank you again for this wonderful collaborative effort, and thank you, Mayor Utz, for allowing the Dept. of Public Safety and Correctional Services to perform this important work in Westminster.”

Utz added, “At this time I’d like to personally thank the inmates for their hard work. Their work was crucial to the success of this project. Concrete lasts a long time. We hope that the experience gained from this project will last even longer. Thank you.”

Jackie Kline, Hit by Car While Helping at Traffic Stop, Inspires Many

Jackie Kline, Hit by Car While Helping at Traffic Stop, Inspires Many

Many folks have asked where they may find the articles – and pictures on Maryland State Trooper Jackie Kline’ articles and fundraisers:

Eldersburg Patch: State Trooper Jackie Kline, Hit by Car While Helping at Traffic Stop, Inspires Many, Do you know the rest of the story on Kline's recovery? Check out our blogger spotlight.

Runner raise funds to assist Maryland State Trooper Jackie Kline
Over 800 runners converged in Sykesville Sunday morning to aid injured Maryland State Trooper Jackie Kline By Kevin E. Dayhoff, Sunday, November 10, 2013

On November 15, 2013, Eldersburg Patch editor Susan Jenkins wrote, “A Maryland State Trooper who was injured in October during a traffic stop has inspired many to take action in the form of a recent 5K benefit and a stepped-up effort by police to increase awareness about the Move Over law.

“Trooper Jacqueline "Jackie" Kline was hit in Anne Arundel County on Oct. 6 as she assisted another trooper on a traffic stop on Route 100 in Pasadena.

“To raise money to help Kline with expenses related to her recovery, about 800 runners participated in the 5K for JK on Nov. 10 in Sykesville. In his blog post on Patch, Kevin E. Dayhoff included photos and wrote about participating in the event. Click here to see the blog and more photos from the 5K for JK...”


Monday, November 25, 2013

"It's the Power, Stupid: Be it Soft, Hard, or Smart, It's All About Power," A Lecture by Prof. Dr. Christianna N. Leahy McDaniel College

Published on Feb 8, 2013 "It's the Power, Stupid: Be it Soft, Hard, or Smart, It's All About Power"

A Lecture by Prof. Dr. Christianna N. Leahy, Professor of Comparative Politics, Chair, Department of Political Science and International Studies, McDaniel College

The ICD Annual Conference on Cultural Diplomacy in the USA
"Options on the Table": Soft Power, Intercultural Dialogue, and the Future of US Foreign Policy" The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (Washington D.C., January 9th - 11th, 2013)