You should not be allowed to wear ‘special’ uniforms if your team sucks

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Another week, another special commemorative uniform worn by the Maryland football team, and another humiliating loss. Yesterday Maryland welcomed the Ohio State to the Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium, and were soundly beaten 52 to 24.

Under Armour, the Maryland-based sports clothing and accessories company, it the official supplier of uniforms to Maryland athletics. It’s as though they try to come up with an even more hideous looking uniform than the week before. With yesterday’s offering, they really outdid themselves.

The gangsters that run the NCAA ought to step in and stop teams from wearing special uniforms unless they don’t suck. Maryland is now 4-2 for the season and haven’t been ranked in a top-25 poll in the regular season since 2008. With that said, they still crank out these stupid special uniforms like they have their stuff together.

They need to concentrate more on football and less on making sure the bottom of their ugly shoes match the palms of their ugly gloves.

Amazon to start charging Maryland sales tax

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If you live in the state of Maryland and purchase something from Amazon, an extra six percent will be added to your purchase price and funneled to Maryland in the form of a sales tax. This change goes into effect beginning today.

Until now, Amazon did not collect Maryland sales tax because they did not have a physical presence in the state. That’s about to change. Amazon is in the process of converting an old General Motors plant in Baltimore into one of its massive distribution centers. The new facility is not scheduled to open until next spring, but they will start collecting Maryland sales tax from Maryland residents beginning today.

I wonder how much taxes Amazon is paying to state and local governments for its new facility in Baltimore. Usually, when a business like Amazon comes into a location, it’s showered with tax incentives intended to attract them into establishing a presence. The idea is that they will hire lots of people who will then in turn pay taxes and spend their paychecks, thus stimulating the economy.

When I moved here to Maryland in 1994, twenty years ago, it was to work in a new gigantic Wal-Mart photo finishing lab that was being constructed in nearby Williamsport. The state and county essentially gave the land to Wal-Mart to build the facility. They also provided tax incentives for the next twenty years. After a few years, Wal-Mart sold all their large photo labs to Fujicolor. The lab closed in 2008, resulting in 125 people losing their job.

Personally I hate that I will now have to pay Maryland six percent of everything I buy from Amazon. I feel like they’ve done nothing to deserve it. I also feel like I pay Maryland enough without having to also pay a tax for the stuff I buy from Amazon. Oh well, what can I do about it, join the TEA Party?

Gre Hernandez

I don’t think so. I’d rather just pay the stupid six percent tax.

Baltimore Orioles win the American League East

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The Baltimore Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays last night 8-2 and with the win, they locked up the American League East. It’s the first division title for the Orioles in 17 years.

To put this achievement into context, the last time the Orioles were AL East Champions, Cal Ripken Jr. was at third, Brady Anderson roamed centerfield, and Chris Hoiles was behind the plate.  The Peacemaker, starring George Clooney and Nicole Kidman was the number one movie. Bill Clinton was President of the United States and nobody yet knew about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Elton John’s remake of Candle in the Wind, a tribute to Lady Di, was the number one song.

Between then and now, the Orioles played a lot of sucky baseball. They put together 14 straight losing seasons after 1997. It was a bad time to be Orioles fan. It was a bad time to be a watcher of baseball in Maryland.

One of the most remarkable things about this season is that they were able to win the division without the services of two of their best players, Matt Wieters and Manny Machado.

Last night’s game on TV was pretty special. MASN chose not to go to commercial between the eighth and ninth inning. Instead, they just showed the crowd and the players take the field to get the last three outs. The best part was that they had Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer in the broadcast booth turn their mics off. The only sound you heard were the cheers of the crowd as the Orioles took the field. It was nice.

No matter what happens in the playoffs, winning the American League East is quite an achievement.

The silliness of Maryland’s tax-free week

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Until Saturday, when you buy clothing or shoes in the state of Maryland, you won’t be charged sales tax. From the official Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week website:

The second Sunday of August to the following Saturday is designated as Shop Maryland tax-free Week each year. That means qualifying apparel and footwear $100 or less, per item, are exempt from the state sales tax. Accessory items are not included. The Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week for 2014 is Sunday, August 10 – Saturday, August 16.

Maryland sales tax is normally a whopping six percent.

They do this every year and I think it’s kind of dumb, mostly because of the way people respond to it. We were at the mall Sunday and people seemed to be buying a lot of stuff. There was a long line at the register at one of the shoe stores. I don’t think I’ve ever seen people lined up there to buy anything. And for what, to save six percent?

That seems kind of silly.

Six percent isn’t that much. If stores collectively decided to have a week-long sale where everything was six percent off, would people even respond? Would they be lining up?

The Maryland comptroller published a three-page list of what gets taxed and what doesn’t. Bow ties are taxed, adult diapers are not. They also published a list of Frequently asked questions. I read through them and if people are really frequently asking these questions, Maryland has a lot more stupid people than I ever thought.

Bryce Harper drags foot over Braves logo

Bryce Harper drags foot over Braves logo

Spoiled brat Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals took some much deserved heat Saturday night from Atlanta Braves fans when he intentionally dragged his foot over the giant stylized letter “A” behind home plate. This was evidently done in retaliation for Braves fans booing the immature outfielder every time he made his way to the batter’s box.

Harper of course lied about it after Saturday’s game. That’s what he does. He acts like a punk and then lies about it after he’s called out on it. It’s the Harper way.

It’s hard for me to put into words just how much I dislike Bryce Harper. I can’t even watch Nationals games anymore. Living here in Maryland, I can watch every Orioles and National game on TV. I used to, pre-Harper, watch quite a few Nats games when the O’s weren’t on. Not anymore.

As of this morning, Harper is batting .249 and has only four home runs. He’s struck out 65 times. Being the Bryce Haper hater that I am, maybe I should start watching Nationals games again for the schadenfreude.