Lack of Depth in Salisbury Maryland Mayoral Race

The first press shots across the bow by Salisbury mayoral challenger Joe Albero came in a slickly produced press release decrying incumbent Jim Ireton for…not showing up at a boxing event.

When I saw the headline “Albero Supports Youth Sports Program” my first thought was, okay, where is he going to get the money to pay for it? Instead, the thin gruel I was subjected to went like this:

Salisbury mayoral candidate Joe Albero attended Saturday’s “Warriors of the Ring” event at the Main Street Gym. The event was in support of Main Street Gym’s youth boxing program. Albero and his wife Jennifer, along with other local businesspersons such as John Robinson and Danny Burt, were sponsors of Saturday’s event.

Albero stated, “The work that Hal Chernoff has done with our local youth is phenomenal! Boxing is a great sport which instills the values of hard work and discipline. These are the same traits which will help these young people succeed as adults.”

Albero lamented the absence of his opponent, incumbent mayor Jim Ireton. “I’m sorry that Jim wasn’t able to be here tonight. We were both asked to participate in tonight’s event. Regrettably, Jim felt that campaigning was more important than showing support for this great program and our area youth.”

Both candidates had been invited to participate in Saturday’s event. Ireton declined, stating that he was too busy campaigning for re-election.

So Jim Ireton decided not to show up at a boxing match in favor of “campaigning,” yet his opponent makes a campaign issue out of it. I think I’d be more worried if Ireton didn’t show up at a mayoral forum.

Read more here.

What happened to the conservative blogosphere?

That’s the title of a recent post by Eric Odom of Liberty News, who’s pondering the question after studying the decline of conservative blogs since he last did a survey in 2009.

Well, in one respect Eric is correct when he notes:

Truthfully, blogging takes a lot of work. Time is required and a lot of it if you want readers. Especially now that an active social media presence is needed to drive growth and personal influence.

He’s exactly right on that one, as I would estimate I spend between 15 and 20 hours a week working on this site. That’s not necessarily just doing the writing, but promotion, attending events I cover, and reading other news sites to pick up ideas and trends. I’ve been blessed with a mind which rarely encounters writer’s block, but as a tradeoff readers may notice I veer onto non-political avenues once in awhile. (The best case in point is my Delmarva Shorebirds coverage, mostly during the summer. Local music also finds its way here.)

Yet if I were to survey the many thousands of bloggers who have left the field since 2009, my wager is that a significant number of them have simply traded in their blogs for other communication venues, particularly Twitter. WordPress is pretty easy for me to work with, but it’s no match for Tweeting to those who used to simply link to another post and perhaps add a line or two of commentary. 140 characters is about the length of a good-sized sentence like the example you’re reading, and for many it’s enough to express a thought. If they need a little more space, there’s always a Facebook page. It’s far easier to be the master of a Facebook page or a Twitter account than the servant of a blog site where new content is demanded regularly.

There’s also the idea of having to build and keep an audience, which is difficult because it requires that same consistent approach. I once read that the key to blogging success is to write 2500 words a day, which is generally more than I put in. My output is usually about half that, although my Ten Question Tuesday segments so far have exceeded that 2500-word figure. Of course, I didn’t have to be creative for those aside from coming up with the questions and tenor of the conversation. To be able to write creatively at such a pace it would also be to have my sole source of income and thus far that’s not been a doable option.

It occurred to me that I had my own (partial) list of blogs from back around that time, as the also now-defunct BlogNetNews used to “rank” conservative websites in Maryland. This was the list I had from 2008 as I compiled my own ranking of these sites – out of those twenty I believe this site, Red Maryland, and The Hedgehog Report are the only ones still posting on a regular basis.

Read more here.

70 House Members to Call on DOJ to Investigate SWATting of Conservative Bloggers

Earlier today, Breitbart News reported that the recent SWATting attacks on several political writers and commentators have been gaining traction in the mainstream media:

Today, CNN featured a story centering around CNN contributor and RedState managing editor Erick Erickson, the latest victim in a series of incidents in which an imposter mimics the phone number of a target, then calls the police and confesses to a violent crime. Such confessions often result in law enforcement personnel, many times special weapons and tactics teams (SWAT teams), responding to calls with full force, risking the life and health of the target. This tactic has been called SWATting by the FBI.

Later, on his own radio show, Erickson played a recording of the 911 call that triggered the visit from law enforcement to his home. He went on to describe the series of events that occurred on the evening of May 27th. As he discussed the recent letters sent by Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss and Texas Congressman Kenny Marchant calling on the Department of Justice to investigate the SWATting incidents, Erickson announced a breaking development regarding Congressional actions:

I have been told that Monday, the House of Representatives will engage on this and seventy or more members will formally be sending a letter to Eric Holder, asking him on behalf of these members of the house to also get the FBI involved.

Read more here.

Is Free Speech Under Attack, or Just Unethical Bloggers?

A federal judge in Oregon has ruled that a Montana woman sued for defamation was not a journalist when she posted online that an Oregon lawyer acted criminally during a bankruptcy case, a decision with implications for bloggers around the country.

Crystal L. Cox, a blogger from Eureka, Mont., was sued for defamation by attorney Kevin Padrick when she posted online that he was a thug and a thief during the handling of bankruptcy proceedings by him and Obsidian Finance Group LLC.

U.S. District Judge Marco Hernandez found last week that as a blogger, Cox was not a journalist and cannot claim the protections afforded to mainstream reporters and news outlets.

Although media experts said Wednesday that the ruling would have little effect on the definition of journalism, it casts a shadow on those who work in nontraditional media since it highlights the lack of case law that could protect them and the fact that current state shield laws for journalists are not covering recent developments in online media.

“My advice to bloggers operating in the state of Oregon is lobby to get your shield law improved so bloggers are covered,” said Lucy Dalglish, executive director of The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. “But do not expect the shield law to provide you a defense in a libel case where you want to rely on an anonymous source for that information.”

The judge ruled that Cox was not protected by Oregon’s shield law from having to produce sources, saying even though Cox defines herself as media, she was not affiliated with any mainstream outlet. He added that the shield law does not apply to civil actions for defamation.

Hernandez said Cox was not a journalist because she offered no professional qualifications as a journalist or legitimate news outlet. She had no journalism education, credentials or affiliation with a recognized news outlet, proof of adhering to journalistic standards such as editing or checking her facts, evidence she produced an independent product or evidence she ever tried to get both sides of the story.

Cox said she considered herself a journalist, producing more than 400 blogs over the past five years, with a proprietary technique to get her postings on the top of search engines where they get the most notice.

“What could be more mainstream than the Internet and the top of the search engine?” she said.

Read more here.

Temporary Protected Status: a LEGAL immigration scam

Last week while collecting signatures for the in-state tuition for illegal immigrants referendum, a few of us in Boonsboro were confronted by an Open Borders activist from Identity, Inc. which I told you about in a post here. You might want to visit or revisit that post now and then read on below.

One of the things our harasser said in response to my question about how the illegals who would receive in-state tuition might have a path to citizenship she said they (activists including CASA de Maryland) were working on TPS. She mentioned Asylum too—El Salvadoran gays are persecuted, she said. So those claiming to be homosexuals are seeking asylum in the US. (I’ll have to tell you about that asylum scam another day.)

Read more here.

The Time Is Now To Move Our City Forward

In December when I filed to run for Salisbury City Council I began this campaign with the following message and I feel it is only appropriate to make this my last message before Election Day.
Our campaign has been about ideas, solutions and action.
For too long our city has been embroiled in the politics of personal destruction and the clash of personalities. This has caused much embarrassment for the City of Salisbury and the wonderful people, who live, work and play here.
Meanwhile, businesses are struggling, crime has steadily risen, property rights are under attack and in the end our quality of life deteriorates. We must put aside our differences and come together to address the many issues we face.
I believe in having everyone at the table. All are stakeholders in this city whether you are a homeowner or business owner, landlord or renter, employer or employee, you have a right to be heard. We all have a stake in this community and passing it on to the next generation better than we received it is not just the right thing to do, it is our duty.
Join me as we bring forth a positive message of healing, reaching out to our neighborhoods that are disenfranchised and opening up our doors for business. We have so much work to do and it is going to take all of us putting aside our differences to do what is best for Salisbury.

Less We Can/Muir Boda 4 Salisbury

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.” — Thomas Jefferson, to Archibald Stuart, 1791.

In this day and age we are seeing the effects of too much government — governments that believe they must regulate every minute detail of our lives, our business transactions, what we can and cannot do on our properties, what we can eat or how it is made. It is simply staggering to see the amount of government intrusion into our basic freedoms.

The more we expand government powers and regulations, the more money it costs to run the government, because they will need to hire more people to carry out and enforce the new regulations. All of these new expenses require money, so the government will either raise taxes or borrow money so that the next generation will pay for it.

Or they will impose massive fees, which will stifle economic growth and restrict the ability of the business community to effectively and efficiently serve the community.

The best and most effective way for government to serve is to simply get out of the way. Less regulation and less taxes will create more prosperity and more opportunity.

Less government will produce more liberty, both economically and personally. I adhere to the Jeffersonian view of government that “the government that governs least, governs best.”

I say, “less we can.”

Muir Boda

Salisbury

Boda is a candidate for Salisbury City Council.

Learn more here.

The FCC’s Threat to Internet Freedom

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will mark the winter solstice by taking an unprecedented step to expand government’s reach into the Internet by attempting to regulate its inner workings. In doing so, the agency will circumvent Congress and disregard a recent court ruling.

How did the FCC get here?

For years, proponents of so-called “net neutrality” have been calling for strong regulation of broadband “on-ramps” to the Internet, like those provided by your local cable or phone companies. Rules are needed, the argument goes, to ensure that the Internet remains open and free, and to discourage broadband providers from thwarting consumer demand. That sounds good if you say it fast.

Nothing is broken and needs fixing, however. The Internet has been open and freedom-enhancing since it was spun off from a government research project in the early 1990s. Its nature as a diffuse and dynamic global network of networks defies top-down authority. Ample laws to protect consumers already exist. Furthermore, the Obama Justice Department and the European Commission both decided this year that net-neutrality regulation was unnecessary and might deter investment in next-generation Internet technology and infrastructure.

Analysts and broadband companies of all sizes have told the FCC that new rules are likely to have the perverse effect of inhibiting capital investment, deterring innovation, raising operating costs, and ultimately increasing consumer prices. Others maintain that the new rules will kill jobs. By moving forward with Internet rules anyway, the FCC is not living up to its promise of being “data driven” in its pursuit of mandates—i.e., listening to the needs of the market.

It wasn’t long ago that bipartisan and international consensus centered on insulating the Internet from regulation. This policy was a bright hallmark of the Clinton administration, which oversaw the Internet’s privatization. Over time, however, the call for more Internet regulation became imbedded into a 2008 presidential campaign promise by then-Sen. Barack Obama. So here we are.

Read more here.

Fisher For Congress/1st District/Maryland

Rob Fisher to Run For Congress

(Salisbury) Republican Rob Fisher today announced he will run for Congress in Maryland’s First District after submitting a Statement of Candidacy to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). A small businessman, veteran and Eastern Shore native, Fisher is looking to bring real leadership to Congress that puts the needs of Maryland residents first.

“At a time when the people of the First District are struggling to make ends meet, Congress is more concerned with forcing job-killing legislation down the throats of taxpayers instead of helping lead us through these turbulent economic times,” said Fisher. “Maryland deserves a representative with real-world experience who will put people ahead of party and bring an entrepreneurial spirit to Congress. I pledge to be a tireless advocate for my constituents and make job creation my first priority.”

A serial entrepreneur who has run several successful small businesses in the First District and the Capitol Region, Fisher knows first-hand the challenges faced by small businesspeople and the barriers to success that have been championed by Nancy Pelosi and Congressional Democrats. Fisher’s current company, Secure Infrastructure Solutions — a Cyber Security firm helping to safeguard America’s National Security assets — has been able to grow and expand despite the terrible economic conditions of the past two years.

“My company has grown in spite of Congress, not because of it,” said Fisher. “Small businesses need government to be their loudest cheerleader, not their biggest detractor.”

Fisher will run an issues-based, grassroots campaign that will focus on the needs of the residents of the First District. His campaign will be opening offices on the Eastern Shore, Anne Arundel County and the Baltimore area.

“The First District needs a Congressman who will put Maryland first,” said Fisher. “Career politicians have had their chance. It’s time for Congress to show real leadership, listen to the people’s concerns and find innovative solutions to our country’s problems.”

Mr. Fishers office number is 443-859-3342.

Read more here.