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MLB stars commit to 'All-Star Series' in Japan
Robinson Cano, Adam Jones, Albert Pujols and Yasiel Puig will highlight a group of MLB stars, led by Rangers manager Ron Washington, who will travel to Japan in November to take part in a five-game All-Star Series against Japan's national team, Samurai Japan.

Surging Orioles set for challenges of stretch run
The Orioles, winners in nine of their past 10 series, have their largest lead -- nine games -- in the American League East since 1997, and they are playing some of their best baseball down the stretch. So what's going exactly? And how did the O's get here? Let's take a closer look at some of the questions, numbers and overall chatter surrounding first-place Baltimore.

Gausman on the hill for O's trip to Chicago's North Side
The Orioles will try to remain perfect during their stay in Chicago when Kevin Gausman starts opposite Cubs right-hander and former O's pitcher Jake Arrieta at Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon.

O's win fourth straight with trio of HRs, Chen
Wei-Yin Chen pitched his way to win No. 13 and Steve Pearce, Nelson Cruz and Adam Jones homered as the Orioles completed a three-game of the White Sox with a 4-3 victory Wednesday night in Chicago.

Teen killed in Northeast Baltimore, second in as many days
Baltimore Police are investigating the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old — the second in as many days.








Looking Out: Free State Legal seeking new leader as Merki departs
LGBT-related news and commentary from around the web

Free State Legal, which provides legal services to low-income lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents in the Baltimore area, is seeking a "passionate and visionary" new leader following the announced departure of its executive director.








Ravens fans rated fifth-best in league by Forbes
It’s a big week over at Forbes, which has released both its NFL franchise value rankings and its fan base rankings.


Man killed in apparent murder-suicide attempt in Laurel
One man is dead and another is in custody

A man allegedly shot and killed another man who was dating his estranged wife before attempting to take his own life in Laurel Wednesday night, Anne Arundel County police said.








Nearly 35 million Americans to travel for Labor Day, AAA predicts
1.3 percent increase over last year, most since 2008

Nearly 35 million Americans are expected to travel for Labor Day weekend this year, a slight increase over last year and the most since recession-driven declines began in 2008, according to driver advocacy organization AAA Mid-Atlantic.








Avoiding ticks is key to preventing Lyme disease
Maryland has one of the highest rates of Lyme disease in the country

Maryland has one of the highest rates of Lyme disease in the country.

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Perhaps the best part of blogging or the internet in general is the occasional discovery of something unexpected.Over on Baltimore Reporter and Conservative Thoughts is a great and thought provoking article by Robert Farrow.I hope you will follow this link and read this great post.

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2/6/2013

GUN CONTROL PUNISHMENT OF THE LAW ABIDING
Filed under: — Robert Farrow @ 11:04 pm

James H. Lilley
The shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School sparked another massive wave of gun control hysteria across America.  President Obama, Mayor Bloomberg, Governor O’Malley, Senator Feinstein and hundreds of others have been fanning the fires of gun control frenzy since December 14, 2012.  The loss of those innocent lives is indeed a tragedy of unimaginable proportions for those who lived and are still living that nightmare.
Yet, the voices of those calling for gun control, speak without solid rational thought.  Everyone, from President Obama to Governor O’Malley, Mayor Bloomberg and Senator Feinstein, along with dozens of other politicians are clamoring for everything from a ban on assault weapons, to high capacity magazines, a 50% tax on ammunition, a $25.00 registration fee on guns, banning on-line sales of ammunition, requiring background checks to buy ammo, allowing only seven rounds to be loaded into a magazine, declaring a shotgun that holds more then five rounds an assault weapon and, in New York, forcing those currently owning high capacity magazines to sell them out of state within one year.
Some of these measures have already been signed into law without first asking the most logical questions.
Who is most impacted by every existing gun law across America?
Who will face the greater consequences of new gun laws?
The answer, of course, is the law-abiding citizens.  Unfortunately, this has always been the standard?  Why?  Is it because our lawmakers know it’s the easier path to pursue?  Maybe so, but the bigger issues still remain after the passing of new gun laws.  The violent criminals, gangs, the mentally impaired and the mentally unstable will continue to be a problem, and no laws enacted years ago, laws passed today or tomorrow will effect them.
Does anyone truly believe that a criminal will immediately run out and purchase liability insurance?
Does anyone really believe that a criminal will register a firearm and pay the $25.00 registration fee?
Does anyone believe that a criminal will turn in or sell their high capacity magazines?
Does anyone believe that a criminal will load only seven rounds into a high capacity magazine?
Does anyone believe that a mentally impaired person will carefully assess the aftermath of their planned violent rampage?
Anyone with an ounce of common sense, including those clamoring for these laws, surely knows the answer to those questions is a resounding “No.”  Yet, the president, governors, mayors and others will charge ahead, full throttle, powered by the anti-gun hysteria to get their laws passed.  And, in the end, the only people of America affected by these laws will be those who already obey the law.
Quacking loud and long for some of the strictest gun laws ever is Senator Dianne Feinstein who, in fact, has a permit to carry a firearm and has declared publically that she would use it to defend herself.  What is she saying with this declaration?  It’s okay for her to have a firearm to defend herself, but to hell with the rest of America?
It also appears that Hypocrite Feinstein puts a favorable gun control spin on facts and figures.  The following quotes are direct from an article titled, Feinstein Goes For Broke With New Gun-Ban Bill: (http://www.nraila.org/legislation/federal-legislation/2012/Feinstein-goes-for-broke-with-new-gun-bill)
Department of Justice Study.   On her website, Feinstein claims that a study for the DOJ found that the 1994 ban (Assault Weapons) resulted in a 6.7 percent decrease in murders.  To the contrary, this is what the study said: “At best, the assault weapons ban can have only a limited effect on total gun murders, because the banned weapons and magazines were never involved in more than a modest fraction of all gun murders.  Our best estimate is that the ban contributed to a 6.7 percent decrease in total gun murders between 1994 and 1995…  However, with only one year of past-ban data, we cannot rule out the possibility that this decrease reflects chance year-to-year variation rather than a true effect of the ban.  Nor can we rule out effects of other features of the 1994 Crime Act or a host of state and local initiatives that took place simultaneously.”
“Assault weapon” numbers and murder trends. From the imposition of Feinstein’s “assault weapon” ban (Sept. 13, 1994) through the present, the number of “assault weapons” has risen dramatically. For example, the most common firearm that Feinstein considers an “assault weapon” is the AR-15 rifle, the manufacturing numbers of which can be gleaned from the BATFE’s firearm manufacturer reports.  From 1995 through 2011, the number of AR-15s—all models of which Feinstein’s new bill defines as “assault weapons”—rose by over 2.5 million. During the same period, the nation’s murder rate fell 48 percent, to a 48-year low. According to the FBI, 8.5 times as many people are murdered with knives, blunt objects and bare hands, as with rifles of any type.”
Another article of interest titled “Ten Big Killers: The Chart Anti-Gunners Don’t Want You To See” (http://www.evolution-interrupted.com/the-chart-anti-gunners-don’t-want-you-to-see) was posted online January 7, 2013.  The sources for the data relating to deaths per year are, The Centers for Disease Control, The FBI and the U. S. Federal Government.  The data for causes of death reveals:
1.    Tobacco Use:                       529,000
2.    Medical Errors:                  195,000
3.    Unintentional Injuries:    118,021
4.    Alcohol Abuse:                    107,400
5.    Motor Vehicle Accidents: 34,485
6.    Unintentional Poisoning:  31,758
7.    Drug Abuse:                          25,500
8.    Unintentional Falls:            24,792
9.    Non-firearm Homicides:   16,799
10.     Firearm Homicides:           11,493
In fact, I believe that Obama, Feinstein, O’Malley, Bloomberg and their supporters know that more gun control laws cannot and will not prevent another mass shooting event.  They could pass a gun control law a day from now throughout eternity and it would not prevent another mass shooting.  Yet, their solution to a problem they cannot fix is to attack the law-abiding citizens and punish them for crimes committed by others.  Is this the way of the new America?  If we cannot prevent criminals and the mentally unstable from killing, we the lawmakers will take it out on those who live by the law.  Well, that certainly seems to be their answer.
Let’s take one more step with the cry for stricter gun control laws.  What would happen if our lawmakers were able to push through a bill ordering the confiscation of all firearms?  Who would they immediately go after?  You can bet your life it would be the law-abiding citizen.  Why?  Because they obeyed the law requiring registration of their firearms, government officials know where they reside and the good citizen will, in all likelihood, offer the path of least resistance.   The criminal?  Well, the criminal will get a free pass because they did not obey the law.
So, it will be gun crime as usual on the streets of Chicago, Baltimore, New Orleans, Washington, D. C., Houston and Los Angeles, while a mentally unstable person loads his guns and plans a mass shooting at a mall, church or school in your neighborhood.
Welcome to the real world of Obama, Feinstein, Bloomberg and O’Malley gun control.

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A Pick Six of new passing combos (The Associated Press)
Six NFL teams have made significant alterations in their passing games. Denver, Indianapolis, Washington and Baltimore did so with proven wideouts. Tampa Bay and Houston chose new quarterbacks to combine with an established target. A Pick Six of new passing combinations: Denver: Eric Decker left Manning for Geno Smith and the Jets.

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On the day the Arizona Cardinals went back to work for the first time since Darnell Dockett went down with a knee injury, the impact of losing the big defensive tackle for the season was softened a bit by the return of safety Tyrann Mathieu and nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu. The 'Honey Badger' Mathieu, a crucial component of Arizona's talented secondary, went down in the 13th game of his impressive rookie season a year ago with a torn ACL and LCL. With just Frostee Rucker and two rookies at Dockett's position, the Cardinals signed two free agent defensive linemen on Wednesday - 6-foot-2, 330-pound Isaac Sopoaga and 6-6, 305-pound Ryan McBean. Sopoaga is a 10-year NFL veteran who split last season with Philadelphia and New England.

Cowboys shuffle LBs with McClain skipping workouts (The Associated Press)
One day Rolando McClain is getting first-team work with the Dallas defense after owner Jerry Jones offers yet another hopeful plug that the former top 10 pick can fill a big void at linebacker. The next, McClain is sitting out practice again, raising more questions about the desire of a player who walked away from the sport twice in Baltimore before the Ravens traded him to a team desperate to replace Sean Lee after a season-ending knee injury. Justin Durant is the swingman as the Cowboys search, playing his more natural spot on the weak side when McClain is on the field and mostly filling the middle when McClain isn't.

RG3's ungraceful slide remains hot Redskins topic (The Associated Press)
Robert Griffin III stood at his locker and answered five consecutive questions about sliding. ''I could keep going over this, over and over,'' the Washington Redskins quarterback said with a touch of good-natured exasperation. ''Gah! I slid correctly on the third time.'' Coach Jay Gruden also faced five questions about Griffin's far-from-graceful sliding technique. Griffin on Wednesday acknowledged that he put himself on the line a bit too much when he took some big hits while scrambling in open field against the Cleveland Browns on Monday night.

AFC North trying to regain reputation as the best (The Associated Press)
They do things a little differently in the AFC North. They're patient with their coaches and quarterbacks - well, with the exception of Cleveland, which is in a league of its own when it comes to change. The AFC North is coming off what amounts to a down year for the NFL's most successful division over the past six years. Only one team reached the playoffs, Cincinnati, which lost in the opening round for the third year in a row.

Cowboys, Patriots top Forbes NFL franchise value list; Bills, Rams on bottom (Shutdown Corner)
Want to buy an NFL franchise? Better liquidate grandma's AT&T stock. Forbes has come out with its annual list of the NFL's most valuable franchises , and there are some familiar names at the top. The Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots top the list, coming in well above the exorbitant $2 billion that the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers were recently sold for. [ Smack talk season is back at Yahoo Sports: Sign up and play free Fantasy Football! ] The Cowboys, which Forbes estimates will generate a combined $8.6 million in revenue for the team over the next five years with its massive JerryWorld stadium and fans the world over, are tops at a whopping $3.2 billion. The Patriots check in at a still-impressive $2.6 billion — not bad for a franchise Robert Kraft bought back in 1994 for a measley $172 million. The average franchise now is valued at $1.43 billion, the highest figure in the past 17 years that Forbes started tracking NFL team finances. That average took a massive boost of 23 percent from one year ago, which was the biggest one-year increase percentage since 1999. With reports out that the for-sale Buffalo Bills are garnering offers well north of $1 billion, it might surprise you to find out that they came in 31st of the 32 teams at a value of $935 million. But if that same trend of value increase continues, the Bills' new owner likely can feel better about their purchase in the golden-egg-laying NFL. Bringing up the rear on the list: the St. Louis Rams, whose stadium issues loom as a concern, at $930 million. Oft mentioned as a possible Los Angeles candidate should Rams owner Stan Kroenke seek to move the team folliowing the expiration of the Edward Jones Dome, that value could skyrocket with the right stadium situation and league support — i.e. hosting a Super Bowl down the road. Here's the list in its entirety: Forbes rank NFL franchise Estimated value 1 Dallas Cowboys $3.2 billion 2 New England Patriots $2.6 billion 3 Washington Redskins $2.4 billion 4 New York Giants $2.1 billion 5 Houston Texans $1.85 billion 6 New York Jets $1.8 billion 7 Philadelphia Eagles $1.75 billion 8 Chicago Bears $1.7 billion 9 San Francisco 49ers $1.6 billion 10 Baltimore Ravens $1.5 billion 11 Denver Broncos $1.45 billion 12 Indianapolis Colts $1.4 billion 13 Green Bay Packers $1.38 billion 14 Pittsburgh Steelers $1.35 billion 15 Seattle Seahawks $1.33 billion 16 Miami Dolphins $1.3 billion 17 Carolina Panthers $1.25 billion 18 Tampa Bay Buccaneers $1.23 billion 19 Tennessee Titans $1.16 billion 20 Minnesota Vikings $1.15 billion 21 Atlanta Falcons $1.13 billion 22 Cleveland Browns $1.12 billion 23 New Orleans Saints $1.11 billion 24 Kansas City Chiefs $1.1 billion 25 Arizona Cardinals $1 billion 26 San Diego Chargers $995 million 27 Cincinnati Bengals $990 million 28 Oakland Raiders $970 million 29 Jacksonville Jaguars $965 million 30 Detroit Lions $960 million 31 Buffalo Bills $935 million 32 St. Louis Rams $930 million     - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm

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