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.