Wednesday, October 31, 2012

FIX YOU

June Smith

“Lights will guide you home
 And ignite your bones
 And I will try to fix you”

—Coldplay Lyrics from “Fix You”
It's come to this: the politicizing of a natural disaster and the call from the New York Times for Big Government to “Fix You”.
 
The Gray Lady has put her size three national newspaper circulation ranking foot down and declared “A Big Storm Requires Big Government” — a big bold headline with an even bigger bold assumption.
 
Here’s the editorial published October 29th:
 
“Most Americans have never heard of the National Response Coordination Center, but they’re lucky it exists on days of lethal winds and flood tides. The center is the war room of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, where officials gather to decide where rescuers should go, where drinking water should be shipped, and how to assist hospitals that have to evacuate.
 
“Disaster coordination is one of the most vital functions of “big government,” which is why Mitt Romney wants to eliminate it. At a Republican primary debate last year, Mr. Romney was asked whether emergency management was a function that should be returned to the states. He not only agreed, he went further.
 
“‘Absolutely,’ he said. ‘Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.’ Mr. Romney not only believes that states acting independently can handle the response to a vast East Coast storm better than Washington, but that profit-making companies can do an even better job. He said it was ‘immoral’ for the federal government to do all these things if it means increasing the debt.
 
“It’s an absurd notion, but it’s fully in line with decades of Republican resistance to federal emergency planning. FEMA, created by President Jimmy Carter, was elevated to cabinet rank in the Bill Clinton administration, but was then demoted by President George W. Bush, who neglected it, subsumed it into the Department of Homeland Security, and placed it in the control of political hacks. The disaster of Hurricane Katrina was just waiting to happen.
 
"The agency was put back in working order by President Obama, but ideology still blinds Republicans to its value. Many don’t like the idea of free aid for poor people, or they think people should pay for their bad decisions, which this week includes living on the East Coast.
 
“Over the last two years, Congressional Republicans have forced a 43 percent reduction in the primary FEMA grants that pay for disaster preparedness. Representatives Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor and other House Republicans have repeatedly tried to refuse FEMA’s budget requests when disasters are more expensive than predicted, or have demanded that other valuable programs be cut to pay for them. The Ryan budget, which Mr. Romney praised as ‘an excellent piece of work,’ would result in severe cutbacks to the agency, as would the Republican-instigated sequester, which would cut disaster relief by 8.2 percent on top of earlier reductions.
 
“Does Mr. Romney really believe that financially strapped states would do a better job than a properly functioning federal agency? Who would make decisions about where to send federal aid? Or perhaps there would be no federal aid, and every state would bear the burden of billions of dollars in damages. After Mr. Romney’s 2011 remarks recirculated on Monday, his nervous campaign announced that he does not want to abolish FEMA, though he still believes states should be in charge of emergency management. Those in Hurricane Sandy’s path are fortunate that, for now, that ideology has not replaced sound policy.”
 
Although Obama had nothing to do with this editorial, he will no doubt benefit from it.
Using a natural disaster for his own good is something only the Riddler would do.

The Gray Lady can hide behind good intentions and “that ideology has not replaced sound policy” but this is purely and simply politics. The devil is in the hidden details in this editorial. "She" has a seat at the big table in this national poker-style main event and she’s playing her best hand.
 
It will come as no surprise when the NYT endorses Obama for re-election.
 
But I digress…
 
The majority of the American people want the government to fix things for them. Why not? That's what they have been force fed and swallowed in a big gulp. They believe they are entitled to entitlements. That’s what big government wants, too. And big government wants to get bigger, too.

Quo bono? Certainly not the taxpayers and most likely, not Mr. Romney.

One week away from the election, the disaster is still fresh and ballot-casting may not be on the minds of those who lost loved ones or those who lost their homes or were hit by a 14-foot sea wall. Our thoughts and prayers are with them all.

 
Total damages from Sandy are estimated to be $20 billion or more. Just add that to Big Gov’s tab.

Remember, we are to believe this is all about saving lives and being sensitive. Clearly, that is something the NYT believes the Republican candidate is against. But the real story here is that this unprecedented national disaster is about to bring us an unprecedented election.

We don’t need the Weather Channel to forecast the outcome. We can watch it play out in real time.

June Smith is the widow of Ron Smith, WBAL Talk Show Host, Emmy® Award winner, and Baltimore Sun columnist, who was a media titan in Maryland area and beyond for almost forty years. Her tribute website, founded in his memory, is www.friendsofronsmith.com. She is working diligently to raise one million dollars for the Ron Smith Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund at Johns Hopkins. Her email is june@friendsofronsmith.com.

 


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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Your friendly reminder about the Mobbies

It's that time of year when the Baltimore Sun trots out their annual Mobbie awards. The awards are, of course, ostensibly to "recognize" Maryland's best bloggers when in actuality it is a cleverly designed marketing tactic in order to shamelessly use free labor to drive up pageviews at baltimoresun.com, especially with the institution of their paywall. And invariably, local bloggers will trip all over themselves to try to drive up their vote totals in some strange vanity exercise.

Red Maryland was nominated for best news blog. And my Twitter feed was nominated for best personal Twitter feed.

However, we're not going to encourage you to vote. If you want to participate, feel free. But we're not going to encourage folks to drive up the Sun's pageviews at our expense. It's an honor to be nominated by our readers yes, but we don't need an award to let us know what we're doing is valuable and important.

So once again thanks. But no thanks.


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Monday, October 29, 2012

Politicize All the Things

In the mind of Governor Martin O'Malley, there is never a bad time to try to score political points on Republicans. Even when one of the most unusual and dangerous storms this area has ever seen is bearing down on our state.


Let us take you back to Saturday, when our friend Jeff Quinton caught this gem from our esteemed Governor:


Needless to say that got a reaction out of me, and others:

It's ok though. Not too long after that, Governo O'Malley really hunkered down and focused on the storm that was bearing down on our state...



That's right, the Montgomery County Young Democrats held an "Early Voting Rally" of some sort on Saturday night. So instead of trying to publicly show that this is a dangerous storm that can do very bad things, our Governor decided to go whoop it up and some Irish bar instead. Classy....

After a reasonably pedestrian Sunday, the Gov took to the airwaves this morning and found it an apropos time to start waxing poetic about global warming:


I'm seriously at my wits end with this Governor....

During a time of crisis, or emergency, or when the public safety is in danger (as it is right now, in case you haven't looked outside or what's going on at Ocean City) we need leadership that focuses on the task at hand, nothing more, nothing less. You don't need to be boisterous like Chris Christie. But Chris Christie gets the information out there, tells it to you like it is, and doesn't try to score political points about it. Even the President, during his news conference today, deflected the question about what impact this has on the election and said that the election will take care of itself. Instead, O'Malley's out trying to score points that he thinks will help him in his 2016 Presidential campaign instead of showing the competent, thoughtful leadership that might prove to his party and others that he's up to the task to be President. 

Why does Martin O'Malley have to state everything through a political spectrum? What is it in this man's DNA that makes him so averse to performing his job in a competent, apolitical manner?


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Annapolis Report 2012

Every year the Maryland Public Policy Institute releases the Annapolis Report a summary of the Maryland General Assembly's legislative session. 


The 2012 Annapolis Report covers not only the regular legislative session, but the two subsequent sessions to raise taxes and pass a budget, and put expanded gambling on the ballot. 

Key graphs from the summary

Despite the dire predictions regarding the “doomsday” budget, much of the outcry was overstated. For example, Democratic legislators warned that without additional revenue, they would be forced to cut hundreds of millions of dollars in education spending, as well as terminate 500 state employees.    In reality, these cuts were actually reductions in planned increases. The net result, despite the rhetoric about hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts, was that state aid to public schools increased by $1.9 million thanks to the “doomsday” budget.3 As for the idea that state employees would lose their livelihood, the budget called for eliminating 500 positions, not terminating 500 employees. As the state currently has several thousand vacant positions, 500 positions could easily have been eliminated without a single state employee losing his or her job.

Indeed, the fiscally conservative budget that emerged from the chaos of the regular session would have had a number of positive ef- fects, making it possible to eliminate ineffective tax credits, eliminate the patronage of delegate and senatorial scholarships, and require state employees to bear a larger portion of their increasing health insurance costs.5 Overall, the “doomsday” budget actually resulted in an increase of nearly $700 million, or 2 percent, in spending over the fiscal year 2012 budget [emphasis mine]


Unsurprisingly,  "Doomsday" was preferable to the solution the Democratic oligarchy foisted upon us.

Read the whole thing.



20121019_AnnapolisReport2012


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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Referendum ballot question wording: what’s misleading and what’s omitted

By Ann Miller
Founder, BaltoCoPetitions.com


This general election, three statewide ballot questions appear on the ballot as a result of citizen petitions to referendum.  Once the petitions are certified by the Maryland Board of Elections, the Secretary of State prepares and certifies the ballot question wording for incorporation on the general election ballot.

The wording for the three referendum ballot questions, which are Questions 4, 5, and 6, is a critical piece of the process, as it influences voters at the polls and reaches every single person who casts a vote on that question.

Below are the actual ballot questions, with my analysis of the wording following.  The actual wording plus the bill language can be viewed on the Maryland Board of Elections website under the section entitled “Referendums by Petition”, click here.

Question 4
Public Institutions of Higher Education – Tuition Rates
Establishes that individuals, including undocumented immigrants, are eligible to pay in-state tuition rates at community colleges in Maryland, provided the student meets certain conditions relating to attendance and graduation from a Maryland high school, filing of income taxes, intent to apply for permanent residency, and registration with the selective service system (if required); makes such students eligible to pay in-state tuition rates at a four-year public college or university if the student has first completed 60 credit hours or graduated from a community college in Maryland; provides that students qualifying for in-state tuition rates by this method will not be counted as in-state students for purposes of counting undergraduate enrollment; and extends the time in which honorably discharged veterans may qualify for in-state tuition rates.

My analysis of Question 4 wording

“Filing of income taxes”:  This is a misleading use of wording.  One cannot file income taxes.  We file income tax RETURNS.  The difference is a critical point, because the current wording suggests the payment of taxes, whereas the actual language of the law only requires tax returns.  In fact, when our legislators were considering this bill, the original wording included the requirement for actual tax money payment, but that language was struck from the bill before passage and replaced with the current language.  That means our legislators passed this bill with full knowledge that it does not require the actual payment of any taxes whatsoever.  Further, income tax returns can be filed in order to received tax credits.  And finally, the language of the law states that either the student or his parents must file the tax returns for three years.  For example, an 18 year old student who has never filed tax returns but wants to qualify for this tax-funded benefit can back-file three years worth of tax returns from the time he was aged 15-17, pay no taxes, and qualify for this benefit.

“Intent to apply for permanent residency”:  What is omitted from this is the fact that the student must only submit an affidavit (or promise) with the school, not any governmental authority.  That means it gets forgotten in an admissions office file and is not enforceable.

“Provides that students qualifying for in-state tuition rates by this method will not be counted as in-state students for purposes of counting undergraduate enrollment”:  There are several points omitted from this statement.  The inclusion of this phrase in the bill language was intended to ensure the voters that legal Maryland citizens will not be bumped from admission by an illegal alien.  Unfortunately, this may not be the case.  First, since colleges can’t bump in-state students to make room for the increased demand by illegal aliens, then the Dreamer applicants will be competing for limited spots with legal American citizens from out of state.  Second, colleges have the ability to increase or decrease the percentage of their student body that is from out-of-state.  In order to allow more Dreamer students in, they could increase the percentage of out-of-staters allowed up to a max of 30%.  That essentially would bump in-state students in favor of Dreamers.

Question 5
Congressional Districting Plan
Establishes the boundaries for the State’s eight United States Congressional Districts based on recent census figures, as required by the United States Constitution.

My analysis of Question 5 wording

The issue with this wording is all about what’s not being said.  The opponents of the new congressional district maps are opposed because of the gerrymandering, or abusing the process for political benefit at the expense of the fair representation of the people.  It is the outcome of the maps that are in question, not simply the process of drawing them.

Question 6
Civil Marriage Protection Act
Establishes that Maryland’s civil marriage laws allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain a civil marriage license, provided they are not otherwise prohibited from marrying; protects clergy from having to perform any particular marriage ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs; affirms that each religious faith has exclusive control over its own theological doctrine regarding who may marry within that faith; and provides that religious organizations and certain related entities are not required to provide goods, services, or benefits to an individual related to the celebration or promotion of marriage in violation of their religious beliefs.

My analysis of Question 6 wording

“Protects clergy from having to perform any particular marriage ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs; affirms that each religious faith has exclusive control over its own theological doctrine regarding who may marry within that faith; and provides that religious organizations and certain related entities are not required to provide goods, services, or benefits to an individual related to the celebration or promotion of marriage in violation of their religious beliefs.”:  While there are a number of protections built into the legislation, one important exception was made to those protections which impacts them all.  If a religious institution receives government grants or monies, as many do in order to exist, they are not protected.  This means the government is pulling funding from organizations that do not comply with promoting gay marriage, which is a clear and severe violation of Freedom of Religion.

To view original article on Examiner.com, plus comments, click here.


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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Red Maryland Radio: 10/25/2012

Hope you caught another great episode of Red Maryland Radio tonight on the Red Maryland Network.


Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio



Greg Kline was off this week, so Mark Newgent sat in as co-host. On the docket we discussed:


All that and more this week. Be sure to listen every Thursday night at 8, on the Red Maryland Network.......and don't forget that you can subscribe to the Red Maryland Network on iTunes


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Reminder: Red Maryland Radio

Reminder that we are on the air tonight! Greg Kline is off tonight, so join guest host Mark Newgent and I for another big episode of Red Maryland Radio coming at you tonight  at 8 PM only on the Red Maryland Network.

On tonight's show, we've got two big guests:

We will also talk about the U.S. Senate race here in Maryland.

All that and more tonight. Be sure to tune in tonight at 8, only on the Red Maryland Network


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Looking Up

I don’t post often on Red Maryland. Most of what I would write can be heard on our show Vast Right Wing Conspiracy or Red Maryland Happy Hour. However, I found the need to write this because of some doubters. 


After a deluge of blue polls for Obama, I can understand how one can feel this way, but would encourage those pessimists to take a step back off the cliff and take a snapshot of what is really going on with the nation.

You will not be overwhelmed with boring statistics that will make your eyes glaze over, so I will use them as sparingly as possible. The purpose of this short blurb is for you, the reader, to have a nice warm fuzzy for this coming weekend and realize that Romney’s victory is inevitable. Yes, I am fully aware that I might eat crow, but I don’t make it a habit to take unnecessary risks.

For a reminder, Vast Right Wing Conspiracy Radio’s crew posted this a few days before the first debate

http://twitter.com/vrwcradio/status/253111739397332992

This was also before some of the polls turned in Romney’s favor. Why were we so optimistic? Because Romney was not behind in September.

Let’s take a look at Gallup’s poll taken between September 10-16. The poll had Obama with a 48% to 45% lead. The sky was falling for everybody. Was it? First, Gallup was using a registered voters screen. Although the mental titans at Kos would have you think otherwise, the likely voters sample is the one that really matters. And what did Gallup say during the same time frame about likely voters? That Romney was ahead.

That is one of the reasons why we were so confident. But that is in the past. Let’s look at here and now.

Is Romney ahead? Most national polls agree with that statement. The only polls that show Romney behind utilize a ridiculous D+5 to D+9 sample. Trash.

What do I mean by a D+5 sample? They poll 5 more Democrats than Republicans. They justify this by looking at the 2008 voter turnout. Let’s be clear, a sample that high was historic for Democrats – a perfect storm if you will.

For example, today’s Public Policy Polling numbers have it Obama 49% to Romney 48%. Absurd. They are using a D+5 sample. Again, trash. The same poll shows Romney barely ahead with Indies. This flies in the face of almost every respectable polling firm in the nation, which shows Romney leading with Indies by at least 9%.
The poll is trash. Throw it out, along with TIME, IPSOS, essentially any poll that uses anything higher than a D+2 sample, and that is being generous.
Romney is safely in the lead in the national scene.

There is also the matter of the Electoral College. Pundits will have you think that Ohio is the key battleground and that Obama is in the lead there.

Trash.

First, Ohio ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS trends .5% to 2% higher for Republicans than the national polls.

2008 


National: Obama 52.87 McCain 45.60

Ohio: Obama 51.38 McCain 46.80 



2004 


National: Bush 50.73 Kerry 48.27

Ohio: Bush 50.81 Kerry 48.71 



2000 


National: Bush 47.87 Gore 48.27 Nader 2.73 

Ohio: Bush 49.97 Gore 48.71 Nader 2.5 



1996 


National: Clinton 49.23 Dole 40.72 Perot 8.4

Ohio: Clinton 47.38 Dole 41.02 Perot 10.66 



1992 


National: Clinton 43.01 Bush 37.45 Perot 18.91

Ohio: Clinton 40.18 Bush 38.35 Perot 20.98 



1988 


National: Bush 53.37 Dukakis 45.65

Ohio: Bush 55.00 Dukakis 44.15

Ok, for all those doubters. Let’s say that last bit of factual evidence does not sway you. The Ohio polls still show Romney behind. Whatever.

Pollsters who have Obama leading Ohio will point to a D+5 turnout in the traditionally Republican Ohio. Once again, this was a historic turnout and GOTV effort for Obama AND was in the midst of a huge OHIO GOP scandal. Garbage.  Obama will not meet his 2008 numbers.

In addition, the likely voters screening is discounting those OHIO GOPers who simply stayed home in 2008.

Why do I think Romney is going to win Ohio? Facts. Cold hard facts behind early voting turnout. Republican turnout is beating Democrat turnout from 2008 in bellwether counties (Lake, Montgomery, Hamilton and Stark) by a 106% to 74% margin. Right now, Republicans have an approximately 8% - 9% net gain over 2008 numbers. Combine this with the fact that McCain beat Obama in votes on Election Day and things are looking pretty, pretty good.

Oh God, what if we lose Ohio? Obama needs Ohio. Romney can win another way. How? Iowa, New Hampshire and Colorado.

Colorado is done, zip, zilch. Republicans have it locked up. New Hampshire is landing nicely for Romney, much like Bush won the state in 2004.

What about Iowa? Obama crushed in Iowa by double digits. 

How times have changed.

Bush won Iowa in 2004. Today, early voting turnout is essentially mirroring 2004 with a 74K margin for Democrats. It was 71K the same day in 2004.

Nevada? Poll today has Heller (R) 50% to Berkley (D) 45%. Romney has led Obama in Washoe County three straight days. That race will be tight, but Romney stands a great chance to pick Nevada up.

I could go on:
1    1. Romney is crushing with Indies
      2. Obama’s demeanor and condescending nature (think H back in 1992) on Monday showed a desperate man

I could write/edit/revise more, but I have to work.
I’m out. 


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Legislators Reminded Not To Use State Resources for Campaigning, What About O'Malley?

As reported by Bryan Sears of Patch.com Maryland legislators were warned not to use state resources to campaign for or against ballot questions appearing on the ballot in next month's elections.


Dea Daly, ethics adviser to the Maryland General Assembly, told lawmakers in an email that they may not use official letterhead or send email from their state accounts that calls for " The success or defeat of a ballot question, except in responding to an inquiry regarding the ballot questions."
The email to lawmakers comes a week after The Quinton Report raised questions about an email sent by Del. Eric Bromwell.
Bromwell, a Perry Hall Democrat, emailed constituents an 800-word letter explaining his vote on expanded gambling during the special session in August. At the end of the email, Bromwell asked voters to join him in voting for Question 7.
The same message appears on Bromwell's blog on Patch.
In an interview with Patch last week, Bromwell said he would take the issue to legislative ethics officials for advice. The three-term legislator said he had not intended to violate rules governing the use of the state email account.
"I can see how someone would take it like that," said Bromwell. "If I've done something wrong, I'll apologize."

But what about Governor Martin O'Malley, who used state resources to communicate with county Democratic central committees to advocate for Democratic congressional candidates, for the DREAM Act, gay marriage, his congressional redistricting map, and gambling expansion?



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New Anti-Question 7 Ad: Tricks or Treats



Get the Facts Vote No on 7 has a new Halloween themed ad up on their Youtube Page.



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Red Maryland Radio Tonight

Greg Kline is off tonight, so join guest host Mark Newgent and I for another big episode of Red Maryland Radio coming at you tonight  at 8 PM only on the Red Maryland Network.

On tonight's show, we've got two big guests:

We will also talk about the U.S. Senate race here in Maryland.

All that and more tonight. Be sure to tune in tonight at 8, only on the Red Maryland Network


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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

MISSING IN ACTION


June Smith
 
Have you seen this woman?

Hillary Clinton
Secretary Clinton 8x10 2400 1.jpg
 
Secretary of State, member of the Obama Administration, former First Lady. Born: October 26, 1947; height: 5’7”; last seen with her husband, womanizer and former President, on a one-day trip to Haiti.
 
According to Dana Hughes at OTUSNews.com, “The purpose of the trip was philanthropic, but the couple left a little room for romance, reminiscing about the last time they were in the country together for their honeymoon more than 37 years ago.”  
 
The honeymoon was crowded. Actors Sean Penn, Maria Bellow, Ben Stiller and his wife, Donna Karen, super model Petra Nemocova, and Sir Richard Branson tagged along.
 
Hughes reported that the honeymooners and pals were there to open “a $300 million facility in the Caracol area of Haiti, located more than a 100 miles from the worst-hit areas of the 2010 quake zone.
 
“The hope is that the Caracol Industrial park will provide thousands of jobs to the northern part of the country, helping to transform Haiti’s fragile economy,” according to Hughes.
 
Mrs. Clinton has been missing from any live television appearances and hasn’t been seen standing by her other man, President Obama and the Benghazi attack is putting her “diplomatic legacy” in danger.
 
It seems Mrs. Clinton is shunning the stained spotlight and has chosen to only issue statements these days.
 
According to CBS News, she’s “warning against cherry picking one story here or one document there” as the real Benghazi story is coming out.
 
Mrs. Clinton says “it is critical to look at the totality of information become coming to any conclusions.”  
 
And while she continues to urge caution to keep the public from jumping to any quick conclusions, it’s hard not to do just that.
 
Methinks she doth protest too much.
 
But I digress…
 
In The American Thinker today, Moshe Phillips wonders where Mrs. Clinton’s State Department was on the eve of Benghazi.
 
He writes “The  question of what Hillary Clinton’s State Department was busy with during the days and weeks before the September 11, 2012 terrorist strike in Benghazi, Libya needs to be asked insistently and often. What was happening at Foggy Bottom as Islamic terrorists planned the murder of United States Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and other Americans?
 
“We now have part of the answer.
 
“At least some of the State Department’s attention (and funds) were being spent on organizing international music tours. Clinton’s staff was literally involved with fiddles (and guitars and drums) while Islamic terrorists were plotting to attack and burn the American consulate in Benghazi.”

Read more of Mr. Phillips’ piece at www.americanthinker.com/blog as you compile the information needed to make an informed conclusion as to what really happened.
 
It’s going to take a village to find out the truth. But it will come out. And it won’t be pretty for Mr. Obama’s hand-picked Secretary of State or his administration.
 
The highly acclaimed Mrs. Clinton, named” one of the 25 most powerful woman of the past century” by Time magazine (November 2010), anointed by Forbes’ List #2 Power Women and #16 Powerful People, recipient of numerous other awards and honors, and known worldwide, continues proclaiming she plans to move out of public life before the end of the year. She’s well on her way but not on her terms.
 
Yet this may be the most truthful thing she’s said in a long time.

 

June Smith is the widow of Ron Smith, WBAL Talk Show Host, Emmy® Award winner, and Baltimore Sun columnist, who was a media titan in Maryland area and beyond for almost forty years. Her tribute website, founded in his memory, is www.friendsofronsmith.com. She is working diligently to raise one million dollars for the Ron Smith Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund at Johns Hopkins. Her email is june@friendsofronsmith.com.

 


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Why gay marriage in Maryland is not a civil rights issue

By Ann Miller
Founder, BaltoCoPetitions.com


The proponents of gay marriage in Maryland have long framed the debate as a civil rights issue, comparing it to slavery, women’s suffrage, and the work of the greatest Republican of all time, Martin Luther King.  I have heard them speak against the “separate but unequal” aspect of civil unions.

For background, civil unions are contracts which confer all the same legal rights as marriage on the state level, such as distribution of estates, care of minors, property rights, power of attorney, medical decisions, etc.  The caveat is that civil unions are not recognized on the federal level, so anything having to do with federal law is not protected, such as social security benefits, federal tax filings, etc.

To forward this discussion, I will use the following terms with the following self-described definitions.  
  • “Legal equality” is anti-discrimination which protects a demographic from bodily harm or threats, and allows for equality in the workplace in terms of job procurement, wage earnings, and opportunity.  Legal equality protects one’s livelihood.  
  • “Social equality” refers to how a demographic or their lifestyle is viewed by society at large; whether it is accepted or carries negative connotations.
The government, through legislation, owes all citizens legal equality of opportunity.  It has no business, however, legislating social equality.  To do so would enter the realm of thought policing.  Citizens have a right to make judgments, discriminate between choices or lifestyles or appearances or groups, and even to hate, so long as they do not act upon those beliefs in ways which interfere with one’s legal equality rights.  We are thinking beings, and everyone makes judgments, positive and negative, whether they admit to it or not.  Few take them to the point of hate, in my opinion, but I digress.

If gay marriage were merely a civil rights issue, the gay lobby would not have rejected civil unions when they were introduced to the Maryland General Assembly in the past (by a Republican no less).  They would have pushed for it, celebrated its passage, and then moved on to working to get them federally recognized.  Civil unions are a civil rights issue.

Instead, they rejected civil unions in Maryland.  Why?  Because they want more than legal equality.  They want social equality and have no qualms about asking the government to force it on citizens through legislation in order to achieve it.  They have no qualms about pushing to indoctrinate our children in the school system without parental knowledge, much less consent.  They have no issues with forcing religious institutions which receive government grants and monies to accept gay marriage contrary to the tenets of their faith.  (Yes, the gay marriage bill includes no protections from religious institutions being forced to promote gay marriage if they receive government money.)

Social equality must be achieved by slow and gradual work within communities.  It must be driven by education (not of the public school variety) and individuals and society (not the government).

The civil rights aspect to this issue ends at civil unions.  Beyond that, gay marriage is an attack on marriage, the family, religion, and our constitutional First Amendment right to Freedom of Religion.

Vote Against the Referred Law on Question 6 on the November 6 ballot.

To view original post with comments on Examiner.com, click here.


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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Romney Wins #3 on Points: Not Enough

-- Richard E. Vatz


     Just a few observations on last night's third presidential debate:

-- It was another excellent showing by the president on style...he's not amused that Mitt Romney wants his presidency: points for the president on articulate outrage at his presumptuous challenger.

-- It was another win, but by diminishing returns, for Gov. Romney on substance:  the president has no defense for his failed four years of economically treading water...but the Governor wanted for the most part to say that he is "Old Reliable" on foreign policy, and that's okay, he implied, because there is no world-threatening crisis for which he's necessary to replace the president.  But how about Benghazi; how about Iran?  No catastrophic danger in President Obama's leadership, or at least none that Romney articulated. 

-- The best line of the night was Romney's "Attacking me is not an agenda." Exactly. Well, in combination with a frontal attack on the president's failures in domestic and foreign policy it could have been a dispositive argument.  And there was the now almost famous litany of economic problems on which Obama has made no headway, but in foreign policy there appears to be no crisis of leadership articulated by the Governor, especially in the bungling of the Libyan assassination and killings and clueless Administration rhetoric therein.

-- The candidates disagree little on foreign policy, so the game is down to economic policy.  Gov. Romney focused again on his slightly modified list of chronic economic failures, but again, the Obama rhetoric was that this election is about the inconsistency of the challenger.  That needs to be pointed out repeatedly, and that one great line of Romney's did so: "Attacking me is not an agenda."  One great line does not a devastating debate make, however.

-- A somewhat parenthetical point on the excellent moderating by CBS's Bob Schieffer.  That's how you moderate a debate: you cannot be a principal; you cannot be an issue by selectively fact-checking on disputable issues.  CBS has done much to reverse the prevailing liberalism of Dan  Rather and Katie Couric.  Too bad the other major networks have not. Who is a disinterested commentator or reporter at CNN other than Wolf Blitzer?

     All in all, a win on points for Romney, but such a win was not what was needed to seal the deal.

     Governor Romney has two weeks in a close race to move the needle forward, a strategy for which he should have used the debate.


Richard Vatz teaches political rhetoric at Towson University and is the author of The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion (Kendall Hunt, 2012, 2013)


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Monday, October 22, 2012

The Broadside Tonight 8pm

Programming Note: The Broadside will now air at its new permanent time at 8pm.



Tonight on The Broadside:

Former State Department Official Bob Castro on tonight's presidential debate on foreign policy.

The Genuine Progress Indicator. Yet another way in which Governor O'Malley is turning Maryland into Potemkin Village.

Why some progressives argue that Gallaudet University should fire Angela McCaskill for signing the petition to put same sex marriage on the ballot.

Tune in tonight at 7pm on The Red Maryland Network.


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