Monday, October 26, 2009

Sen. Cardin to Congress: Extend Unemployment Insurance Benefits!

Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin has urged Congress to pass a bill that would extend unemployment insurance benefits in all states in the Union. But there are two bills

A bill pending in the House would allow states with unemployment rates of 8.5 percent or higher to continue paying out unemployment benefits for 14 additional weeks. But a Senate version applies that change to all states. Maryland’s unemployment rate was 7.2 percent in September.

OK if Congress is really serious in helping workers in this Great Recession, he's what they really should do. Make all unemployment benefits permanent Yes you heard me, make all unemployment benefits permanent, until the person finds a full-time job. The standing beneficial unemployment rate is 6%, right?

Here are the unemployment rates for all counties in Maryland from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Mid-Atlantic Information Office. (Stats are in %.)

Allegany County: 8.6
Anne Arundel County:6.9
Baltimore County: 8.0
Baltimore City:11.3
Calvert County:6.4
Caroline County:8.8
Carroll County:6.7
Cecil County:9.4
Charles County:6.4
Dorchester County:11.5
Frederick County:6.4
Garrett County:7.9
Harford County:7.7
Howard County:5.7
Kent County:7.3
Montgomery County:5.5
Prince George's County:7.5
Queen Anne's County:6.8
Somerset County:9.5
St. Mary's County:6.1
Talbot County:6.7
Washington County:9.7
Wicomico County:8.0
Worcester County:7.3

It's going to take about two years for private sector jobs to be back at the 2008 level at this point. That means for people who have been unemployed by the recession, it's going to take a long time to get a decent job. So instead of extending it 14 weeks and risking another beg session with Congress, why not make it permanent? The unemployed payed their federal unemployment taxes, and corporations who fired their employees are still making record profit, they should have the responsibility for taking care of their own fired people, until they get anohter job, by paying their unemployment taxes.

Montgomery County and Healthy Eating! Council Debates on Requirng Resutants to List Nutrition Values!

The Montogomey County Council is set to resume debate on a ordinance requiring chain restaurants to list nutritional values on their food offerings. In 2007, Councilman George Leventhal, Democrat-at Large introduced a bill requring such resturants with ten or more facilties (Chick-a-fllia, McDonalds, etc) nationwide to post nutritional information similar to the nationally recoginized Nutrition Facts labled on the back of each food and drink package on their menues and menu boards in all of their lcoations in the country. Work sessions were held on the bill, but the bill never got to a full vote.

But this year it will be heard by the Health and Human Services Committee of the council on Thursday. Yes this Thursday.

What does this bill means to you? This means that when you step into a resutrant you will able to find out how much calories, fat, oil, vitaimins and minerals, your food contains. This will allow you to make better informed and healthier choices. Great for those who are dieting or just courious of much calories you will be consuming for your next meal in a fast food resturant.

Opponents have spoken out of the bill and said it would would hurt small business owners. The owner of two IHOP restaurants in the county estimated that the "bill would cause customers to take longer to read menus and make selections, leading to losses of more than $62,000 a year for a business centered on speedy service."

I have to ask that man how much does the resturants he own make in year in profit and revenue. If he's really concerned because of the lost profit and instead of health concerns, that's something else.

Your Maryland Government Weekly

While all Americans know their federal constitution, they do not realize that each state including their own have their own constitutions. Maryland is just one of many states that have their own constitutions. According to the Maryland state manual, the state actually had four constitutions. There are 29 articles in the constitution plus one which is the declaration of rights.

Random facts:

For reasons unknown (to me)Article X is vacant.

Art. 37 of the declaration of rights: No religious test is required except for declarartion of belief in the existence of God.

Art. 41. That monopolies are odious, contrary to the spirit of a free government and the principles of commerce, and ought not to be suffered. (An anti-monopoly law)

Art. 46 Equality of rights under the law shall not be abridged or denied because of sex (Equal Rights Amendment)

Elective Franchise

1. SEC. 4. The General Assembly by law may regulate or prohibit the right to vote of a person convicted of infamous or other serious crime or under care or guardianship for mental disability (This is called the mental illness and felony disenfranchise clause of the Maryland constitution)

The three branches of of government in Maryland are called Departments. So instead of the Legislative Branch, you have the Legislative Department, and so on. This is a relic of the time when the State constitution was written. But Branch and Department are one in the same in seperation of powers.

Legislative Department:
  1. SEC. 18. No Senator or Delegate shall be liable in any civil action, or criminal prosecution, whatever, for words spoken in debate.
  2. SEC. 21. The doors of each House, and of the Committee of the Whole, shall be open, except when the business is such as ought to be kept secret.
  3. SEC. 39. The books, papers and accounts of all banks shall be open to inspection under such regulations as may be prescribed by law.
Judiciary Department:
  1. SECTION 1. The Judicial power of this State is vested in a Court of Appeals, such intermediate courts of appeal as the General Assembly may create by law, Circuit Courts, Orphans' Courts, and a District Court. These Courts shall be Courts of Record, and each shall have a seal to be used in the authentication of all process issuing from it
  2. SEC. 44. There shall be elected in each county and in Baltimore City one person, resident in said county or City, above the age of twenty-five years and for at least five years preceding his election a citizen of the State, to the office of Sheriff. He shall hold office for four years, until his successor is duly elected and qualified, give such bond, exercise such powers and perform such duties as now are or may hereafter be fixed by law. In case of vacancy by death, resignation, refusal to serve, or neglect to qualify or give bond, or by disqualification or removal from the County or City, the Governor shall appoint a person to be Sheriff for the remainder of the official term. The Sheriff in each county and in Baltimore City shall receive such salary or compensation and such expenses necessary to the conduct of his office as may be fixed by law. All fees collected by the Sheriff shall be accounted for and paid to the Treasury of the several counties and of Baltimore City, respectively
Other articles

Article XI is mostly dedicated to the City of Baltimore except for Articles XI-E and F.

Article XIX is dedicated to Video Lottery Terminals that was amended on November 8 2009. They could have simply passed a regular law allowing these terminals, but the gambling lobby wanted the provision to be amended by the constitution.

Next Week: The Maryland State Code of Statues (If I can find a way to read a section of the code without clicking on each clause one by one first.)

News Headlines for Monday, October 26, 2009

Security screenings at MARC stations to begin this week

Maryland addresses health impact of climate change

Montgomery to resume debate on restaurant nutrition labeling

Sen. Cardin urges Congress to extend unemployment insurance benefits

Baltimore Sun circulation drops almost 15 percent

Watchdog Cites Youth Isolation

Pr. George's looks to rely more on transit, HOV

Monday, October 05, 2009

News Headlines

Transportation officials consider National Highway parking problems

Officials urge public to get swine flu vaccine

Judge denies motion to dismiss perjury charges against Dixon

Hopkins professor among Nobel winners in medicine

What is the Modern Day Prophet?

The Modern Day Prophet is a news and commentary blog reporting on events in the state of Maryland. When I mean news, I mean hard news. No celebrity news, no crime blotter news that our local TV news reports every day, no fluff consumer or health pieces. Just hard news: News about social issues, politics, the economy, government, civic and cultural events.

Why hard news? Because local TV news in Baltimore/Washington area, rarely report hard news, because doing hit-and-run crime blotter stories, showing AP copies of national stories, reporting on sport, celebrities, human-interest stories, and the latest uncited health study is just too profitable. Newspapers? They just either too focused on Washington or too focused on Baltimore.

So why not have a regular person, a regular African American, to report hard news? And probably do it’s own investigations as well? Probably even better than the various consumer story laden investigative reports that our local TV station “I-teams” trot out once in a while.

Most of the modern day prophet will be mix of news, news with commentary, or just plain commentary. It will be focused on the state of Maryland. Social and political issues, civic events and issues, culture. If it happens in Maryland, it goes here.

Investigative Reports:

Even a news blog has to have some investigative reporting. Once in a while if a topic comes up and I want to investigate it, I’ll do it. If a newspaper has interesting story that I see that they just hit-and-run I’ll pick up the story and do most of the heavy lifting.

Long Form Reports:

Long form reports could be anything, like a regular news report or on a civic or cultural event that I attended. It’s just like a news report

But not everything in this blog will be plain hard news.

The Black Otaku:

The black otaku is a section of the blog where I discuss anything related to anime, manga, video games, comics, music, films, television, music. Basically anything that is related to the otaku culture in the United States. There will be news, previews, reviews, observations, and reports of anything in the culture.

Why? I have been an avid fan of anime for years, my first ones was Dominion, and You’re Under Arrest. The First DVD series I bought for Christmas was Neon Genesis Evagelion, the entire series including the End of Evagelion. I have played video games since the NES and I currently own a Dremacast, PS2, a Nintendo DS, an Xbox and now an Xbox 360.

This is where I’ll post information about upcoming anime convention in the DC-Baltimore area. I usually attend four major conventions in the area: Anime USA, MAGFest, Katsucon, and Otakon. During these conventions I usually do most of the conventions taking pictures of cosplayers, events, and taking videos of the same. I tend to take upwards of an average of 1500 pictures during conventions, about 30% are pictures of cosplayers. As such this will be the section where I will be posting my convention reports from each convention, as well as post videos and pictures of the conventions a few days after I return home.

Everyday Photography

Everyday photography is the section where I post at I post a picture of I taken during the day. I usually bring my camera and my camcorder everywhere I go, and there’s at least one picture I take or one video per day. One of the pictures will be posted on the website. Also, there will be daily (when possible) videos I’ve shot with my camcorder.

The pictures you’ll see on the website will be made into headers for my blog, soon after I post it.

The Vast Wasteland

The Vast Wasteland is the section of the blog which covers the current state of American media. From broadcast television and radio, cable news, children’s programming, high definition offerings, basically anything related to the degenerate state of American mass media. Because even if you get cable, most of it is junk unless you pay more, especially with HD programming.

Trains, Subways, and Buses

This is the dedicated section of public transport in the blog. I have been an avid supporter of public transportation for several reasons. It’s more energy efficient that using a car, it saves money and cost less than using or maintaining a car, and is more efficient. Despite the fact that the America worships automobiles more than their God, many still use public transport. This section will feature news of public transit developments not only in the United States, but across the world as well. Commuter rail, light rail, subways, trams. Anything that has to do with public transit, it’s in here.

The Modern Day Prophecies

The Modern Day Prophecy is essentially the main commentary of the week. It could be anything related to the State of Maryland, civic issues, politics, the main news storties of the week. The commentary’s would be at least a page long. But it will not be your average commentary or the daily news commentary I do for the news reports.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Friday, August 07, 2009

MD Chamber of Commernce is Opposed to Health Care Reform

The first top story on Friday, with the current health care debate rages on, even though the actual reform proposal is a joke because it merely strengthens the private health insurance industry (even though that joke proposal may be replaced with an amendment that effectively gets us a single payer system). The Maryland Chamber of Commence has voiced their opposition for a government run insurance system. Basically saying that if the bill is passed, it will further increase health care spending on their end.

In plain english: Even if this bill is passed, we will lose profit"The Maryland Chamber of Commerence practically sides with the health insurance industry in the Health Care debate. Again, I'm opposed to universal health care if it has a forced private insurance mandate, like Massachusetts. I rather prefer universal health care that a single-payer (The Federal Government), pays for. No deductables, no co-pay, any and every medical procedure is covered. That is single-payer health care. The American people want it, and I would want it too.

But I doubt even the MD Chamber of Commence would support single payer either.

News Headlines For Friday, August 7, 2009.

Maryland Chamber of Commerce Opposed to Health Care Reform Proposals

Questions Remain on Purple Line Proposal and Purple and Red Lines Being Built

Maryland Plans to Boost Math and Science Learning.

Maryland Regulators to Approve Deep Coal Mine

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The taxi cab industry in the Prince Georges County.

1.Silver Cab: Owned by Badi “Bob” Nabley-(Also owns Taxi-Taxi) controls 125 medallions-(dominant player in the market)
2.Blue Bird: Owned by Scott Bretner, but his son Scott Bretner is the president of Blue Bird-controls 186 medalions (reportedly controlled as many as 400 of the Taxicab operating certificates then in existance)
3. Paramont Cab/Paramount Cab-owned by Hashmatullah Haider-controls 102 medallions

Source: Dispatching Injustice: Cab Driver's Struggle in Prince George's County. Advancement Project. July 2009.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Friday, July 31, 2009

Repelling UMD Students?! Clash Over College Park's Rent Control Extention.

With the economy finally starting to recover, even though the real economy will not see a recovery anytime soon, it's still important for people to keep or to be able to afford a home, even if it means renting an apartment. This is especially true for students studying in the University of Maryland. Problem is that apartments will be more expensive if the landlords get their way to abolish rent control.

Many landlords accused the city of having an ulterior motive behind the ordinance — to rid neighborhoods of students from the University of Maryland, College Park.

"You can't come out and say, ‘We don't want students living here,'" said Bryan Mack, a College Park landlord who lives in Mount Airy. "But I think that's what's lying underneath everything."

While many landlords favored the outright abolishment of the ordinance, students at Tuesday's hearing spoke in favor of extending rent control to apartments as well as houses.

"The new [apartments] that are being built have an unfair advantage. They can charge rents that are artificially high," said Bob Hayes, a UM junior. "The only reason that I can afford to live in College Park is because I'm able to rent a single-family house with a group of people."

People should be able to rent rooms to other people, as long as they pay their share of the rent and don't disturb the community. The vote is scheduled on August 11 and this blog will cover it.

Morning Note

When you have classes on Monday and Wednesday, you tend to focus on Monday through Wednesday concentrating on that day. Then you take a day off on Thursday, then you start to slowly continue your studies on Friday to Sunday, taking small breaks throughout the day until the assignment is done.

That's why I'm study during the summer.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

No More Adult Court Waivers or Not!?

What's really a bad idea, sending serious child offenders to adult court to do adult time. Doing that actually defeats the purpose of Juvenile Courts. The United States have done this bad idea for about two decades. But the state legislators are thinking of ways of reforming Maryland's juvenile justice system.


What Free Market?! The Taxi Cab Cartel in Prince Georges County!

According to a report entitled "Dispatching Injustice: Cab Drivers' Struggle in Prince George's County", a cartel of cab companies which control taxi business in prince georges county hinders competition, leading to long hours and low pay to those that you hire to take you wherever you need to go. What even worse, is that there are many companies who still have taxi cab licenses, but never reliquished them when they gone out of business. What's interestingly is that Silver Cab and Taxi-Taxi, the county's central taxi dispatching service, share the same owner.

I'm watching this story as it develops, and I need to read the report to see what is going on.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What is the Modern Day Prophet? (Part 1)

The Modern Day Prophet is a news and commentary blog reporting on events in the state of Maryland. When I mean news, I mean hard news. No celebrity news, no crime blotter news that our local TV news reports every day, no fluff consumer or health pieces. Just hard news: News about social issues, politics, the economy, government, civic and cultural events.

Why hard news? Because local TV news in Baltimore/Washington area, rarely report hard news, because doing hit-and-run crime blotter stories is just too profitable. Newspapers? They just either too focused on Washington or too focused on Baltimore. So why not a regular person, a regular African American, to report hard news? And probably do its own investigations as well. Probably even better than the various consumer story laden investigative reports that our local TV station “I-teams” trot out once in a while.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Free State Still in the Red?! 700 Million Dollars Must Be Still Cut!

The Government of Maryland is still 700 million dollars in the red. This is despite salary freezes, cuts to road aid, and taking advantage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Governor O'Malley is planing this week to present a package of cuts to the Board of Public Works.

This is a bit of old news because it was reported on July 10. But what cuts is the Governor planning to propose?

Morning Note

It's unbelievable, but I'm back in College Park. I'm about just to begin my 2009-2010 year in Leonardtown for the summer. I just need to cook breakfast for myself and be on my way to class. The thing is that why the University of Maryland likes to house students in Old Leonardtown? Because I have been in the same housing complex like the time I got housed there in Summer 2007. Amazingly, I'm across the street of where I was when I was in summer 2007 in Leonardtown.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

O'Malley Will Run Again! Governor and Lt. Governor to Plan for 2010 Re-election!

Current Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown will be planning for their re-election next year in 2010. He announced his plan in a meeting with Fredrick County Democrats. Anthony Brown told 130 people in attendance in the meeting that "their administration is focusing on job creation, providing education funding and eliminating childhood hunger."

He also mentioned about the current recession that Maryland is doing a lot better than in other states "but that doesn't mean that people aren't struggling in our communities".

Interestingly Republicans still outnumber Democrats in the county. While the Governor were elected with about 53 percent of the vote in 2006, defeating incumbent Republican Robert Ehrlich voters in Frederick county however, favored Ehrlich by a wide margin.

But the real question remains: What will be their priorities for next year election?

Brown: we're running for re-election
Lt. governor says he and O'Malley will run in 2010

North American Influenza Update

Now for current updates for the so-called "Swine Flu" in the Maryland region which is really should be called the North American Influenza, since this flu did not came from pigs.

Four schools in the State of Maryland are being closed for an extended period to isolate cases of the influenza. Those schools are Rockville High School in Montgomery County, Montpelier Elementary School in Prince Georges County, Milford Mill Academy in Baltimore County, and Folger McKinsey Elementary in Anne Arundel County. Those schools will be closed for a period of two weeks to prevent the spread of this season's influenza.

These schools are closed are based on new guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and discussions with other State Governors on a conference call today, the Maryland State Government will close any public or private school and cease all extracurricular activities for up to two weeks in the event a student is deemed "probable" for the H1N1 influenza virus.

So what to do to prevent getting this virus. Surprisenly simple things you can do: Wash your hands after touching possible containmiated surfaces and cover your mouth when sneezing.


Governor Martin O’Malley Declares Public Health Emergency

Md. Schools Hit by Flu Staying Shut For a While

Monday, February 23, 2009

Screwed-up Priorities?

With all the budget cut mania the State Governments are forced to do due to the recession (and possible depression), every legislature is doing budget cuts on health care, education and such. But are they're cutting from other parts of the budget such as tax cuts, prisons, and other subsidies?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Top Stories for Tuesday, Janurary 27 2009

Office of Thrift Supervision to Suburban: Sell or Takeover, Your Choice!

New Laws to be introduced in the Maryland General Assembly 2009.

Two! Yes Two More Prisons Coming To Your Community.

Plus: The Analysis of the Maryland State Budget 2009 (If I have time)

UPDATE: University of Maryland Closed Due to Snow

Well history has repeated itself again. UMD has decided to close for the
remainder of the day at 12:30pm. All afternoon and evening classes has
been canceled. However the basketball game will continue as scheduled.

If you are not a dorm resident in the university I suggest you leave now
and go back home for the rest of the day. You don't want to get frostbit
don't you?

Morning Update

If you are living in the Maryland area you are already aware that the first snowfall of 2009 in our area has arrived. Problem is that unlike most schools in the Maryland area, university's such as the University of Maryland does not easily closedown. So I get the "pleasure" of going to the first week of classes in this weather. The same thing happened in 2007, even though another winter storm successfully closed down the school for two days.

Also in analog deathwatch front, the US Senate has voted to delay the digital changeover to June 12, 2009. The House has to vote for their own bill, and then reconcile it with the Senate. The President Obama has supported a delay in the digital changeover for sometime because the coupon program has ran out of funds. The problem is that the legislation will not actually solve the actual problems. One there are areas where no matter what they do, even if they have to get an outdoor antenna, they can't get any digital reception at all. Forcing them to pay more in monthly fees to satellite and cable television companies. While the FCC advised them licensees that they can install relays to transmit the signal to dark reception spots, they do not have to.

Another big problem with the digital changeover is that it has there is really no actual change in the content. Aside with crappy weather radar, sport archives (NBC's Universal Sport), and bowdlerized movies broadcast in 4x3, they are not really taken advantage of digital television revolution, except for broadcasting High Definition programs. What worse, is that there is no talk of re-regulating the airwaves to ensure that they use the new frequencies for the public interest, becuase they will not. Come on Obama, do I have to demand change in order to see it!?

Although I did see a special on the digital changeover on MPT, and as a concerned citizen I called their toll-free number and asked this question: What if I have a converter box, and I can't get any signal even if I use an outdoor box. Short answer: You should consider subscribing to cable or satellite service. Other questions include that cable companies may not service the area or the satellite may get a clear view of the southern sky. The represenative said that you may petition that cable regulation authority to service the area, and as for satellite, they can hook the dish in such a way so that you can recive satellite serivce. They even say the signal goes through trees.

(If you can prove the last few sentatives wrong, please contact me ASAP.)

Anyway that was your morning update for Tuesday Januray 27, 2007.