Thursday, July 31, 2014

Anthony Brown Plays the Race Card Over Peroutka and Suckers Hogan Into Alienating His Base

So much for Larry Hogan being able to tolerate dissent within his own party. Methinkes Hogan runs with the establishment RINOs.

from the Baltimore Sun
A controversial Anne Arundel County Council candidate is making waves in Maryland's gubernatorial race.

Late Thursday night, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown's campaign called on Republican candidate Larry Hogan to "disassociate" from Michael Anthony Peroutka. Hogan's camp quickly responded by disavowing Peroutka, a Republican running for a County Council seat representing Severna Park, Arnold and Broadneck.

Peroutka gained attention for being a member of the League of the South, a group that advocates for southern states to secede from America. The League of the South has been labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The Brown campaign issued a statement Thursday night: "It's surprising that Maryland Republicans would nominate a candidate who's a member of a hate group with such disturbing racial and secessionist positions, but we call on Larry Hogan to do the sensible thing and disassociate himself from Peroutka and his views. These outdated and offensive positions have no place in Maryland."

Hogan's spokesman, Adam Dubitsky, responded: "Larry absolutely disavows him. Those views have never been a part of the Republican Party and they never will."

Peroutka could not be reached for comment Thursday. His campaign spokesman, John Lofton, did not respond to requests for comment. Through Lofton, Peroutka has declined interview requests from The Baltimore Sun since his 38-vote victory in the Republican primary.

The exchange between the Brown and Hogan camps come as there's increasing attention to a local race that would typically have a lower profile.

A local civil rights leader in Anne Arundel County on Thursday called for Republicans from Hogan on down to disavow Peroutka.

The request comes from Carl Snowden in his role as organizer of the Caucus of African-American Leaders, a group that includes representatives from the NAACP, black churches and other organizations in the county.

"The Republican Party has been advocating that they want to attract African-Americans and Latinos to their cause," Snowden said in a statement issued Thursday afternoon. "We believe the candidacy of Mr. Peroutka will have a disastrous effect on this outreach effort."

Snowden said Peroutka's candidacy gives Republicans "a golden opportunity" to show their commitment to diversity.

And on Friday, Peroutka is scheduled to meet with the director of the Maryland Republican Party, who has concerns about the GOP being associated with a candidate who might be painted as racist.

Republican Party Director Joe Cluster said he'll explain to Peroutka that the party is not comfortable with an association with the League of the South. "If he wants to continue to be part of these organizations, we can't do much to help him out," Cluster said.

"I can't tell him, 'You can't run,'" Cluster continued. "I can only say we're not comfortable with some of these organizations. We're not affiliated with them – just him."

All of the attention on Peroutka is welcomed by his Democratic opponent, Patrick Armstrong.

"I'm glad people are starting to take notice," said Armstrong, a retail manager from Arnold. "I've certainly been out there telling people who I am and letting people know about my opponent. I knew the more time that goes on, the more people would find out his views."

The district that Peroutka and Armstrong are running in is generally conservative and has been represented by Republicans since 1990. Armstrong said he has to convince Republicans to look past party labels and choose the candidate who will do the best job advocating for the community.

Armstrong said he's been talking about supporting school upgrades and helping the police and fire departments.

"My opponent has been completely wrapped up in these organizations and people who have completely different views," he said.

Peroutka, a Pasadena attorney, is also co-founder on the Institute on the Constitution, which teaches a God-centered "American view" of government. He helps run a family charity that donates to causes including the Creation Museum in Kentucky, and recently donated a dinosaur fossil to the museum.

He is a former member of the Constitution Party and ran for president with that party in 2004.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Beautiful Harford County

Rocks State Park
Rocks has 855 acres of dense forests and massive Boulders at Rocks State Park. The King and Queen Seat, once a ceremonial gathering place of the Susquehannock Indians, is a natural 190 foot rock outcrop. This cliff, reached by scenic trails, affords a view of the rolling hills and farmland of Harford County. Also preserved on park property are many structural remains from the days when the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad wound its way through Rocks, helping the farms and quarries of Northern Harford County to prosper.

Deer Creek is popular for fishing and tubing. Secluded glens along its shores offer ideal spots for relaxation.
More here.

Monday, July 28, 2014

What our Current Immigration Problems and Fair Trade Coffee Have in Common

Paying more than the market price for coffee gets you many, MANY more coffee growers... growers inexperienced and incapable of dealing with plant diseases. And when the coffee crops get infected, what do the new and inexperienced farmers and their kids do? They leave. It doesn't help that most of the "Fair Trade" groups want "Organic" beans, untainted by those nasty fungicides that control the rust...
Figure 1. World distribution of coffee rust. (Adapted from Schieber, E. and G.A. Zentmyer. 1984. Coffee rust in the Western Hemisphere.
GUATEMALA CITY: Guatemala cut its coffee export forecast 13.8 percent for the 2012/2013 coffee harvest because of a severe outbreak of roya, or leaf rust, that also threatens to harm the 2013/2014 crop, national coffee association Anacafe told Reuters on Monday.

Anacafe said the Central American nation famed for its Arabica bean will export 3.1 million 60-kilogram bags in the current 2012/2013 season, down from the 3.6 million forecast when the coffee year began last October.

Guatemala, the region's second-biggest coffee exporter behind Honduras, exported 3.7 million bags during the 2011/2012 harvest.

The head of Anacafe, Nils Leporowski, said that the deadly roya outbreak, which kills leaves on coffee trees and makes the weakened plants produce less, could cut exports by up to 40 percent in 2013/2014 compared to 2011/2012 levels, leaving only 2.22 million bags for export markets.

"The roya attack is terrible," Leporowski said in an interview. "The fields are severely damaged. It is very worrying."

Anacafe also said Monday that December coffee exports were down 21.3 percent compared with the same month a year earlier, reaching 140,369 bags for the month.
Graphic from 2013 WSJ article
Exerpt from 2013 WSJ article...The fungus is hurting production and is expected to cause crop losses of $500 million and cost 374,000 jobs in Central America this year (2013), the International Coffee Organization says. This year (2014), the losses are estimated at over $1 billion and the linked article states"Moreover, the blight is jeopardizing the livelihood and food security of about 500,000 people who make their living in the coffee industry, especially small farmers and seasonal workers, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).".

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Perils of Botched Maryland Abortions Continue to be Covered Up

from Life News
Operation Rescue has received threatening e-mails from the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service that “strictly prohibit” the release of two audio files received in response to a Maryland Public Information Act request. The audio files are related to a 911 call placed from the Germantown Reproductive Health Services (GRHS) abortion facility on July 2, 2014.

“The extensive redactions and ban on publishing the recordings can only be considered part of a botched abortion cover-up by Montgomery County officials and an attempt to intimidate us into silence about the danger and frequency of botched abortions at Germantown Reproductive Health Services,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.

GRHS is a late-term abortion facility that employs Nebraska abortionist LeRoy Carhart. The July 2 incident was the eighth medical emergency documented at Carhart abortion facilities since 2012. Video footage provided to Operation Rescue by local activists in Maryland clearly shows that an African-American woman was transported from the late-term abortion facility by ambulance suffering from unknown, but apparently urgent abortion complications.

The e-mails, sent from Michael Baltrotsky, Operations Supervisor of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, warns Operation Rescue that a heavily redacted 911 call and radio traffic audio recordings attached to his e-mails contain “confidential information” and their release is “strictly prohibited.”

“There is absolutely no ‘confidential’ information in those recordings. In fact, they contain much less information than is usually provided and certainly less than is allowable by law. We have made the decision to publish the audio files because we simply cannot be intimidated into aiding in this obvious cover-up nor can we submit to what amounts to governmental bullying, which is the first step toward tyranny,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.

911 Call (Redacted by MCFR)

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Radio Traffic (Redacted by MCFR)

While the audio recordings do corroborate the fact that a medical emergency did indeed take place at GRHS on July 2, 2014, they reveal little else about the incident, except that two ambulances were dispatched to the abortion facility for “BLS,” which is “Basic Life Support” assistance.

But more importantly, the files exposes the effort in Montgomery County to protect Carhart and his late-term abortion business.

“The Montgomery County authorities have crossed the line with this failure to properly comply with the Maryland Public Records Act and their brazen attempt at intimidation. We are considering legal action to stop this cover-up,” said Newman.

Last month, Operation Rescue sued the City of St. Louis for improperly withholding public information from requests for 911 records.

“We are seeing more and more attempts to deny information related to abortion emergencies, but it is critical that we stand up to defend the public records laws because the public information contained in 911 records can help expose abortion abuses and spare women from future harm,” said Newman. “It is the duty of emergency communications records custodians to comply with the law and release the records with as few redactions as possible. It is not the duty of those people to conceal public information in order to protect abortion businesses or other special interests.”

Recently, the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service changed its procedure for placing Maryland Public Information Act requests for 911 documents. Requesters must now fill out a web form that requires disclosure of the reason a record is being requested. It also notifies the requester that “911 recordings will not be released without a subpoena or compelling [reason].”

“From our reading of Maryland’s Public Information Law, it is improper for records custodians to ask why a particular record is being requested,” said Newman. “That information should be irrelevant to them. Their job it to release the files when requested. Period.”

While the Maryland Public Records Act specifically states that the reasons for a request should not be asked, Operation Rescue stated that it needed the 911 recordings to support a complaint it plans to file with the Maryland Board of Physicians. However, the recordings are so heavily redacted that they would likely be of little or no use to Board investigators.

Operation Rescue has a long history of obtaining and publishing such recordings in order to expose the dangers of abortion and particular abortion facilities and practitioners and has frequently used those recordings to support complaints against abortion facilities and abortionists. Such records prompted investigations that eventually led to the closure of New Woman All Women abortion facility in Birmingham, Alabama, for instance.

Operation Rescue has successfully requested and publicly released two previous 911 calls from Carhart’s Germantown abortion facility related to medical emergencies that took place on July 9 and November 26, 2013.
A video produced by Operation Rescue that featured the July 9th 911 call was broadcast on Fox News last year. The video showed Carhart escorting a woman on a gurney to an awaiting ambulance along with the 911 call that revealed the 35-year old woman was suffering from uncontrolled bleeding.

“We believe that it is no coincidence that since Fox News aired our video, subsequent recordings have been increasingly redacted,” said Newman. “However, if information describing a patient’s condition in last July’s 911 call was considered public enough for release, what has changed in the law that would make similar information too confidential for release this year? The answer to that is nothing.”

Newman continued, “Secrecy works to benefit the wrongdoers and cover up their misdeeds. When the public is denied access to records traditionally considered in the public domain, then those who commit abuses can more easily get away with them.”

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Only Member of Maryland's Congressional Delegation with ANY Sense

from the Baltimore Sun
WASHINGTON -- Rep. Andy Harris, the state's sole Republican in Congress, vowed Friday to use his position on the House Appropriations Committee to block any effort by the federal government to set up a shelter for immigrant children in Carroll County.

The Department of Health and Human Services was expected to perform a preliminary review of a former Army Reserve Center near Westminster as a potential shelter for some children, according to a document obtained on Thursday by The Sun.

The federal government has considered and ultimately rejected three other sites in Maryland.

"These unaccompanied minors who have entered our nation illegally must not be brought to Carroll County, Maryland," Harris, a Baltimore County Republican who represents portions of Carroll County said in a statement. "Flying them to Maryland only to turn around and fly them back home is nonsensical."

The Obama administration is scrambling to find space for the children, about 250 of whom are crossing the U.S. border every day. In contrast to how adults are treated, federal law requires U.S. Customs and Border Protection to turn the children over to the Department of Health and Human Services.

The review of the site comes as the White House is seeking $3.7 billion in emergency funds from Congress to deal with what the administration and others have called a humanitarian crisis. The prospects for that request remain unclear.

The Carroll County site is located in Rep. Chris Van Hollen's district. In a statement, a spokeswoman said Van Hollen supports the emergency fund and must "ensure the safe treatment of these young people while also making it clear that the United States does not have an open border."

The spokeswoman, Bridgett Frey, said the congressman, a Democrat, will "consider proposed actions to determine whether they are consistent with those two objectives."

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Harford's Heroes

from the Baltimore Sun
WASHINGTON — A team of chemists and engineers from Aberdeen Proving Ground has begun to neutralize chemicals from Syria's weapons stocks, the Pentagon said Monday.

The work is taking place aboard the container ship MV Cape Ray under heavy security at an undisclosed location in international waters. The ship left Gioia Tauro, Italy, with 600 tons of chemicals, including the World War I blister agent sulfur mustard and the sarin precursor DF.

The team of some 64 civilians from the Edgewood Area of Aberdeen Proving Ground, who developed a special system for neutralizing the chemicals aboard a ship, had waited months to get started.

If all goes well, the work will take about 60 days, Army Col. Steve Warren told reporters in Washington on Monday. Weather could affect the process.

Syrian President Bashar al Assad agreed to surrender the weapons last year amid international outrage over a chemical attack near Damascus that reportedly killed hundreds of civilians. The attack was among the bloodiest in a 4-year-old conflict between the regime and rebel fighters that has left more than 100,000 dead and displaced more than a quarter of the Syrian population.

The Edgewood specialists intend to use equipment they designed and built specifically for the mission. Officials have described the first-ever shipboard destruction of chemical weapons as a potential model for future missions.

The so-called Priority 1 chemicals to be neutralized by the Edgewood team are the most dangerous of Syria's weapons stocks. Other materials are to be destroyed or rendered harmless at commercial facilities in the United States, Britain and Finland.

Russia and China provided security as the materials were transported from Syria to Italy aboard Danish and Norwegian ships. Representatives from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is based in the Hague, are monitoring the operation.

The Edgewood specialists have decades of experience in destroying chemical weapons — but always at highly secure and often remote facilities, on land, built for the purpose. Now, for the first time, they're doing the work aboard ship, on the open sea.

The system they have designed is based on the technology they used to destroy the U.S. stock of mustard agent at Aberdeen Proving Ground under the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1997.

The Cape Ray has been fitted with two units of the new Field Deployable Hydrolysis System. Operators do not handle the materials directly; the chemicals and their neutralizing agents are mixed in a closed container, and the resulting effluent is to be discharged into closed containers. The operators wear masks with air hoses.
The Edgewood team was expecting 540 tons of DF and 26 tons of mustard. Both materials are neutralized in the same way: They are mixed with water.

The liquid that is produced is acidic. Team members plan to add chemicals to bring the pH level above neutral, creating a caustic material that some have likened to Drano.

In that form, they say, it will be safer to store and transport to its eventual disposal site. Germany and Finland have agreed to take the waste.

Officials say safety, not speed, will be their priority. They have said the operation will show that there is now a safe, environmentally responsible way to dispose of chemical weapons that can be deployed anywhere in the world.

The Edgewood specialists had been waiting since January while Syria missed several deadlines to deliver the materials. Under the initial timeline set last year by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the destruction was to have been completed by June 30.

Syrian officials blamed the delays on the challenges of transporting the chemicals out of the country amid heavy fighting.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Con Permiso, Senor Presidente?

from the LA Times
Pesident Obama and his aides have repeatedly sought to dispel the rumors driving thousands of children and teens from Central America to cross the U.S. border each month with the expectation they will be given a permiso and allowed to stay.

But under the Obama administration, those reports have proved increasingly true.

The number of immigrants under 18 who were deported or turned away at ports of entry fell from 8,143 in 2008, the last year of the George W. Bush administration, to 1,669 last year, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement data released under a Freedom of Information Act request.

Similarly, about 600 minors were ordered deported each year from nonborder states a decade ago. Ninety-five were deported last year, records show, even as a flood of unaccompanied minors from Central America — five times more than two years earlier — began pouring across the Southwest border.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Still Free and Independent Today?

The reign of old Saturn is highly renown'd
For many fine things that no longer are found,
Trees always in blossom, men free from all pains,
And shepherds as mild as the sheep on their plains.

In the midland Equator, dispensing his sway,
The Sun, they pretended, pursu'd his bright way,
Not rambled, unsteady, to regions remote,
To talk, once a-year, with the crab and the goat.

From a motion like this, have the sages explain'd,
How summer for ever her empire maintained;
While the turf of the fields by the plough was unbroke,
And a house for the shepherd, the shade of an oak.

Yet some say there never was seen on this stage
What poets affirm of that innocent age,
When the brutal creation from bondage was free,
And men were exactly what mankind should be.

But why should they labour to prove it a dream? -
The poets of old were in love with the theme,
And, leaving to others mere truth to repeat,
In the regions of fancy they found it complete.

Three ages have been on this globe, they pretend;
And the fourth, some have thought, is to be without end;
The first was the Gold- But a fifth, we will say,
Has already begun, and is now on its' way.

Since the days of Arcadia, if ever there shin'd
A ray of the first on the heads of mankind,
Let critics dispute - but with us it is clear,
That the aera of PAPER was realiz'd here.

Four ages, however, at least have been told,
The first is compar'd to the purest of Gold -
But, as bad luck would have it, its circles were few,
And the next was of Silver - if Ovid says true.

But this, like the former, did rapidly pass -
While that which came after was nothing but Brass -
An age of mere tinkers - and when it was lost,
Old Iron succeeded - we know to our cost.

And hence you may fairly infer, if you please,
That we're nothing but blacksmith's of various degrees,
Since each has a weapon, of one sort or other,
To stir up the coals, and to shake at his brother.

Should the Author of nature reverse his decree,
And bring back the age we're so anxious to see,
Agreement, alas! - you should look for invain,
The stuff might be chang'd, but the staff would remain.

The lawyer would still find a client to fleece,
The doctor, a patient to pack off in peace,
The parson, some hundreds of hearers prepar'd
To measure his grace by the length of his beard.

Old Momus would still have some cattle to lead,
Who would hug his opinions, and swallow his creed -
So it's best, I believe, that things are as they are -
If Iron's the meanest - we've nothing to fear.
Philip Freneau, "The Five Ages" (1785)