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BY COLUMNISTS

| Steven R. Berryman | Chris Cavey | Joe Charlebois | Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Patricia A. Kelly | Jill King | Tom McLaughlin | Roy Meachum | Cindy A. Rose | John W. Ashbury | Richard B. Weldon Jr. | Blaine R. Young |

DOCUMENTS


The Tentacle


Shawn Burns

April 17, 2012
Lies Are Leading to More Taxes
Shawn Burns

When times are good, money is flowing and life is relatively easy. It is also during good times that many among us become fat and lazy.


April 3, 2012
What We Got Ain’t So Hot Either…
Shawn Burns

“People try to live within their income so they can afford to pay taxes to a government that can't live within its income,” Robert Half once said.


March 13, 2012
Garagiola Wrong for The Sixth
Shawn Burns

The Sixth Congressional District was gerrymandered for State Sen. Rob Garagiola by his puppet master, Maryland Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller. Both thought the move would make the race a cakewalk. Instead it has turned into a dogfight with political newcomer John Delaney.


February 21, 2012
A Tribute In Their Own Words
Shawn Burns

President’s Day – a national holiday combining the birthdays’ of President George Washington and President Abraham Lincoln – was meant as a day to recognize the contributions to our country by two of the giants who served in the highest office in the land.


February 7, 2012
Contradictory Evidence on Bay Pollution
Shawn Burns

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley regularly says that septic systems are “one of the biggest causes of pollution in the bay.”


January 17, 2012
Padding One’s Resumé At Our Expense
Shawn Burns

It is no secret that Gov. Martin O’Malley wants to run for president in 2016. He has an ambitious list of proposals he would like to see enacted in the next four years in order to bolster his resumé in order to appeal to progressives and Democrats on the national level.


January 3, 2012
Some thoughts on driving in 2012
Shawn Burns

Turn signals are included in vehicles for a simple reason – Safety. Use them. If you are too lazy or are physically unable to move the little handle up or down on the steering column to let drivers around you know when you are planning to turn, you shouldn’t be on the road.


December 20, 2011
Worse Than Marijuana – But Legal
Shawn Burns

Professor John W. Huffman, the man who first synthesized many of the cannabinoids used in synthetic cannabis, has been quoted as saying that "People who use it are idiots. You don't know what it's going to do to you."


December 6, 2011
Who owns the Sixth District seat?
Shawn Burns

The redrawn Congressional Sixth District is attracting would-be candidates from all corners and from under all size of rocks. It is really the so-called candidates that are crawling out from under rocks that people in the district should be watching with a close eye.


November 22, 2011
Thrilling Days of Yesteryear
Shawn Burns

The “Super Committee” is a super failure. This bunch of inept career politicians exemplifies and epitomize the overall failure of the 112th Congress. And both sides of the aisle are to blame.


November 8, 2011
Cookie Jar Empty! The Sky Is Falling!
Shawn Burns

Let’s say that you go to a bank and open a “Christmas Club” account. You decide that you will put $100 a month into the account based on the assurance from the bank that when you are ready to use the money, it will be there for you.


October 25, 2011
“Thieves” In Elected Office
Shawn Burns

For the last 30 years, Congress has “borrowed” money from the Social Security Trust Fund to pay for programs to study the mating habits of salmon, to build bridges to nowhere, and to fund a multitude of other pet projects.


October 11, 2011
Send Them All Home
Shawn Burns

Former President Harry S Truman believed that the presidential term limits established under the 22nd Amendment should be applied to all federal officials. Congressional term limits would eliminate the "fossilization of the key committees," according to Mr. Truman.


September 27, 2011
Deconstructing Rick Perry
Shawn Burns

As of right now, Rick Perry, governor of Texas, appears to be the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president. Of course that can all change in the blink of an eye, but assuming he is, who exactly is Rick Perry?


September 13, 2011
Unwinding The Tangled Web
Shawn Burns

President Barack Obama is still roundly criticized for his stimulus spending and now for his plan for job creation. Former President George W. Bush, in the twilight of his second term, authorized the federal government to spend billions to bail out our banking system. Both plans have their faults, failures and critics.


August 30, 2011
Governor’s Power Grab
Shawn Burns

What is PlanMaryland? Why do we “need” it? And what is the true purpose of this policy proposal?


August 16, 2011
Dual Decisions! Who Cares?
Shawn Burns

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R., MN) “won” the Iowa Straw Poll. So what? Who cares? She received 28 percent of the approximately 17,000 votes cast in this glorified high school popularity contest. She is claiming that her “win” sends a strong message to President Barack Obama about taking back our country.


August 2, 2011
“…and the beat goes on”
Shawn Burns

The end of days is upon us. The debt ceiling “crisis” has delivered us to the edge of the cliff, painted us into a corner and has us running around like chickens with our heads cut off. Well, at least that’s what our leaders in Washington would have us believe.


July 19, 2011
Losers and Thieves
Shawn Burns

Either the plan proposed by the city police to offset their demanded pay increase pays for itself this year and in future years, or it doesn’t. So, which is it?


July 5, 2011
The Outrageous Tax-Exempt AARP
Shawn Burns

AARP gets approximately $100 million of taxpayer money every year. Should they? AARP has assets valued at $2.2 billion. So, why would our government give AARP one penny of taxpayer money?


June 21, 2011
Golden Words on Government
Shawn Burns

Our government! What exactly is it? What do we want it to be? How has it grown and adapted to meet our needs? How has it grown for better or worse?


June 7, 2011
Good or Bad? At Least It’s A Start
Shawn Burns

To grow or not to grow? That is the question, one that the Frederick County commissioners are attempting to address with their proposed school mitigation fee.


May 24, 2011
Federal Panel With Total Autonomy
Shawn Burns

When they operate as intended, local government commissions and boards and the people who serve on them, contribute a great deal to the community in which they serve.


May 10, 2011
First on the Minds of Our Countrymen
Shawn Burns

Spending cuts are a good thing. Addressing and cutting government waste is also a good thing. Who doesn’t get annoyed about hearing that a couple hundred thousand dollars was spent to study the mating habits of salmon?


April 26, 2011
Sour Grapes and No Sugar
Shawn Burns

Attempts to entice the residents of Frederick County to change our form of government have failed to move voters at least four separate times in the last 45 years.


April 12, 2011
The Road to Victory – For Whom?
Shawn Burns

Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. Our noble leaders have averted a shutdown of the federal government with their last minute budget agreement.


March 29, 2011
No Tears for These Guys
Shawn Burns

Business is good for professional sports. All 32 National Football League teams are making money during a time when the national unemployment rate is at least nine percent.


March 15, 2011
A New Tax Code?
Shawn Burns

The deadline to file taxes is quickly approaching. And, as is usual, new forms are accompanied by page after page of explanations on how, when and why one form or another may or may not be needed.


March 1, 2011
Charities – To Fund or Not
Shawn Burns

Frederick County is fortunate to have such a wide range of non-profit and charitable organization that work for the benefit of the community. These groups here at home and across the country are faced with the reality that government is reducing or completely eliminating funding for many of these programs.


February 15, 2011
A Failure to Inform
Shawn Burns

The time has come for our local newspapers to evaluate and re-evaluate their role in our community. Recent current events – and the embarrassingly lack of adequate reporting by our newspapers – raise serious doubts about their usefulness and effectiveness in our community.


February 1, 2011
The Bailout Boondoggle
Shawn Burns

On the campaign trail in 2008, Sen. Barack Obama said that – if elected to serve as our president – he would hold all debate and discussion on healthcare out in the open to give us, the people who are most affected, the chance to be a part of the process.


January 18, 2011
Government – Good or Bad?
Shawn Burns

At what point does government become a hindrance, and to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as opposed to being a means to ensuring those rights? When is government good government versus bad government?


January 3, 2011
What’s In Store?
Shawn Burns

The year in review reads pretty much the same as it did in years past. People died, wars were fought, and politicians argued and lied to voters…


December 20, 2010
Ideas Whose Time Has Come
Shawn Burns

Sometimes ideas seem to appear out of thin air. Other times ideas are nurtured and developed over long periods of time. Regardless of how ideas come about, they are essential to our existence. Of course, with those ideas, we are also faced with their positive and negative consequences.


December 10, 2010
Living by One’s Commitments
Shawn Burns

Finally President Barack Obama has announced a pay-freeze for federal employees. It’s long overdue. Now, to the president’s credit, since he took office two years ago, he has had a pay-freeze in place for everyone in his administration. But still, he waited too long to institute the same pay-freeze across the board for all federal employees.


November 22, 2010
This Is No Pig-In-A-Poke
Shawn Burns

Most readers of TheTentacle.com are familiar with the parable about the wild hogs – or at least they should be.


November 8, 2010
Life Goes On!
Shawn Burns

Now what? Elections are finished for two years. I suppose all of the political junkies will quickly spiral into a post-election depression. But not to worry, by March candidates will be campaigning again for 2012.


October 25, 2010
Ways to a Clear Future…
Shawn Burns

The word democracy does not appear once in the Constitution. That’s because the architects of our country created for us a republic in which we elect leaders based on our faith that they will work on our behalf and in our best interest to make laws.


October 11, 2010
Voting! Making Up Your Mind
Shawn Burns

There are only 22 days left before the General Election on November 2. Get ready for a deluge of material in your mailbox and on your radios and televisions.


September 27, 2010
The New Katzenjammer Kids
Shawn Burns

County Commissioner David Gray said immediately after the primary election on September 14 that he had “no intention of joining any team.” My, oh my, how quickly things change.


September 13, 2010
Candidates Respond
Shawn Burns

In my last column, I asked several questions of candidates for Frederick Board of County Commissioners. Below I have restated the questions and the answers from the candidates who responded. Thank you to those who did and for taking the time to get back to me.


August 30, 2010
An Open Letter
Shawn Burns

Dear County Commissioner Candidates: There are a few things I’d like to know before I cast my vote for any of you. This isn’t about Republicans or Democrats. And it’s not about conservatives or liberals.


August 16, 2010
Ethics, conflicts and objectivity, oh my…
Shawn Burns

Nationally, unemployment is hovering around 9.6%. In Maryland we’re looking at 7.4%. And here in Frederick County they say we are around 6.5%. We are lucky. We’ve fared better than most, but there are a few things to consider.


August 9, 2010
Running for a Better Pension
Shawn Burns

A few hundred years ago when David Gray first ran for county commissioner, his motives may have been noble. I say, “may have been,” because I’m skeptical of any politician who has hung around as long as he has in Frederick County.


August 2, 2010
Same old song and dance
Shawn Burns

Our economy has collapsed since 2006. Banks won’t lend money. People are being laid off every day. People are losing their homes. Businesses are closing their doors. Frederick County government is looking down the barrel of a $34 million projected deficit next year.


July 19, 2010
Friends of Frederick County Fraud
Shawn Burns

Here are a few bits of information that Friends of Frederick County would never make available on their website or in their literature:



Yellow Cab
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