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I was just challenged by the owner of a gun blog to illustrate how well gun control works.
US = no gun control == 14078 gun homicides==0.00446% of the population==. 4.69 per 100000
Somalia = no gun control== 138 gun homicides==0.0000138% of the population==1.38 per 100,000
Yeman = no gun control== 990 homicides (by any means)==0.0000413% = 4.304 per 100,000 (this total includes deaths by swords, stonings, long curved knives and guns).
Japan = good gun control == 11 gun homicides== 0.00000866% of population == 0 per 100,000
S. Korea = good gun control ==14 gun homicides == 0.0000290% of population == 0 per 100,000
Spain = good gun control == 67 gun homicides == 0.0000565% of population == 0 per 100,000
Finally, Australia. a single country on both sides of the spectrum! One that had no gun control, then passed legislation which controlled guns. In similar terms out of 100,000, it went from a high ratio of 4.71 to 1.06…. Gun control where you make it illegal to own a military grade weapon works deliciously well…
Now, Mike W. Prove how homicides go down when you give everyone a gun … Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha…
The stupid NRA has their head wedged so far up their butt, I bet it hurts bad when they try to sit down…
I missed this on Sunday.
And what are today’s birds telling us? The Audubon Society estimates that nearly 60 percent of 305 bird species found in North America in winter are shifting northward and to higher elevations in response to climate change. For comparison, imagine the inhabitants of 30 states — using state residence as a proxy for species of American human — becoming disgruntled with forest fires and drought and severe weather events, and seeking out suitable new habitat.
Despite what Republicans say: man-made global warming is here. The birds are telling us. No wonder the Delaware head of the Republican Party, John Sigler is shooting pigeons in boxes….
Although the year is barely out, we do have our first nomination for the spot to be announced in December 2013. With the Kinder Morgan Deal now on hold semi-permanently, even they are pointing to our hero of the year as the man most responsible for allowing the port to remain state owned….
I can say it was Julius Cephas who was behind almost every move to combat the loss of good jobs at our port. He is being pointed out as the villain by the capitalists at Kinder Morgan. In Delaware’s eyes, that elevates his hero’s stature even more…
In truth, he is no villain and knowing him, he will probably shun the acclimations being made by us common folk as being our hero. In his eyes, he was just doing what needed to be done because no one else was there at that very moment to do it, and as that task swelled, it took a lot out of him….
Capitalists always need a villian. But it was the “truth” which actually is what killed this deal. Kinder Morgan WAS going to cut back on jobs, and their change of heart and blaming Julius instead of others, points exactly to the core of their problem with our port… …
People in Texas, do not understand unions. They simply can’t fathom or understand how there can be an actual law that lets people strike and shut you down, whenever you try to pay them less.. In their eyes, you work for what they want to give you and if it is too little, ..humph. go elsewhere….
The second culprit (after the “truth”), was our office of economic development. We gave Kinder Morgan too many “eager” signals that set us up as being seen as an easy pick. They truly thought they could waltz in, pick up a top notch East Coast Port for a song, and we would eagerly give it up… Again, that was because everything was done in secret. Had a meeting been forthcoming in the very beginning, Kinder Morgan might have moved on earlier when it became readily apparent, that southern Texas practices do not bode well in the Northeast…
Of course, being a corporation, they will blame the whistle blower. (Ironic since the whistle blower of Enron works for them).. Of course. It is not like they find anything immoral in taking a state asset for a song, in firing those skilled dock workers, and replace them with some Spanish speaking Texans who never even heard of a union….
And Julius did blow that whistle. . Like Rose on the Titanic, he took the whistle off of Jack (pun intended), and blew softly at first, then harder, and harder. Gradually the sound registered on others ears….
Without Julius, Bob Marshall would not have pushed through Senate Bill 3. Without Julius, most of the links showing up in everyone’s blog, would have not been found. Without Julius, the case for protecting workers would not have even made the rounds of the Norman Oliver show….
There were many helpers. Bob Marshall, Nancy Willing, Norman Oliver, Norinda, Helene Keeley, Al Mascitti, Liz Allen, John Kowalko, and (an other blogger too shy to be mentioned here). When one looks back through all of them one sees from everywhere, there in the center of the universe, stands a normal human being just like us, known to most … as Julius.
There will come a time when a better deal will arrive. Could even be this year. There will come a time when a suitor who does care about Delaware, who does care about unions, about human beings, about those businesses on the outside, and who will want to upgrade the port for everyone’s interest, not just their own… And that suitor in this day and age, could even come from abroad. Germany is very committed to union labor, to the environment, to being a good neighbor…. There are a great many possibilities out there that are immeasurable…. We definitely dodged a Texas bullet with this one….
When that suitor arrives… Julius’s stature will be set in cement…. For he did nothing really Herculean, except argue the truth… He didn’t lie. He didn’t connive, He didn’t threaten….
That was done by our office of economic development. Instead and unlike them, Julius told the truth. He told the truth to anyone who would listen. He told the truth enough, so many “did” listen….
And that is why, he deserves this nomination as Delaware’s Man of the Year. I know it is early into 2013, but great things just do not wait!!….
You will hear smears that Julius tubed the deal… I saw the letter and it is already out on WDEL and the Delawareonline’s News Journal… But as an impartial blogger, I can tell you exactly what killed this deal.
It was “the truth”. The truth of what this deal would cost us Delawareans….. is what turned the tide and caused the outcry that rose up against it….
If Kinder Morgan really wanted this deal, they could have easily said… “we are expanding and putting 5 new berths out into the river. We are buying the port for the bargain price of $5 billion. We need those businesses outside the fence because the jobs we get, will soon be too big, we can’t do it ourselves. We will keep the union just as it is; Wilmington needs good jobs and we are going to do our part…. We are also going to contribute into an emergency fund to be used for any spill or environmental accident that takes place under our tenure….
Kinder Morgan could have done any of those things, … and didn’t…. The blame doesn’t lie with Julius after all…. Especially when you consider the following…
This Economic Council erred on Fisker Automotive. Then it erred on Bloom Energy. Then it tried to Kinder Morgan us out of our port….. Someone rushed in with a save to make sure that last one didn’t happen.
That person is now hereby nominated for Delaware’s Person of the Year…….
Photo Courtesy of Port of Wilmington.com
Delaware is poised to give Kinder Morgan, our port for free. Well not exactly but on a percentage scale to Kinder Morgan, that is what it would come to.
This could easily have been done, if our government handled everything in secret. Pay a few people off, sign the contract; the yellow smoke appears, and Delaware fades into oblivion (Shrek Forever After image).
But, Delaware is a government of the People, for the People, and of the People. We found out.
There is a reason you have presidents of stockholders. Because naturally every one has a certain slant of opinions and one has to listen to a lot of hot air by listening to everyone’ parents complain. Having a chief executive cuts that process out and gives us simplicity required to get things done in a timely fashion. If people differ then they can take it up with the chairman and organize a revolt if necessary…
Hence in Delaware we have reached the point where we have a chief executive making the decisions and a lot of revolt steaming underneath.
So up to now, the unanswered question has been: how much should we charge? Just using the simple criteria of buying a house as an example, we can come up with a minimum figure.
When you sell a house you ask for:
- Down payment: 5 percent
- Interest rate: 3.26 percent
Next step is to figure out exactly what our port is worth to us.
If we just take the cumulative $250 million the state has made off the port in tariffs since taking ownership and providing records since 1996, we have a minimum guideline. In tax revenues alone over 50 years, to maintain the status quo, we need the minimum of a $781 (250/16 X 50) million asking price.
Using the criteria above, we should then require 5% or 39 million down payment, and run the existing remainder through the standard mortgage calculation at 3.26%…
(Remember we are not figuring out the best deal, but the best worst deal for which we can afford to give up our beautiful port)
So financing the remainder $742 million over 50 years at 3.26% we should be asking directly for $$1,505,000.000 (billion) spread over 600 payments on top of that 5% down…. Even this paltry price would bring into the state a monthly income of $2.5 million (that is monthly!)..
As an aside, the equivalent of interest we would be receiving over time, would be $706 million. Not much over 50 years but a lot better than a loss.
As we have heard from many, giving the port up for free (as is being proposed by the secret deal of Alan Levine with Jack Markell’s blessing), hurts very many people…
So being realistic, if we have hurt on one hand, and benefit on the other, we need to make sure the overall benefit we get at least matches the hurt we are about to cause,… in order to simply break even. Since breaking even is not a really the best business decision, we should be looking at doing a little or a lot better than breaking even…
Our lowest minimum price can be $1,544,000,000 (billion) meaning we lose out on anything less.
How much is the Kinder Morgan Deal? $200.5 million. Just 13% of the minimum price we will need to require for purchase… .
Courtesy of Fine Art America; by Ed Welker
Robert Bianco’s poem enlisted and spoken at the inauguration was probably the high point, eclipsing the inauguration speech, and both the singing of Beyonce, and Carrie Underwood.
it was a poem of understatement. A simple description of the sun rising and shining over this nation on one day of its life. Bonding us all in the unity of experience we all undergo. No matter the differences of our upbringing, the differences of your heritage, the differences of our finances, we all wake up to one sun….
East or West, North, or South, one sun shines down on this country….
We are all Americans, based on the geography of where we live. Divisions do not becomes us. We all bask in the same sun.
New York and San Antonio, Miami and Seattle. All live and bask under the same sun. Different to be sure. But all Americans. All sharing the heat and warmth from the one sun, as the world turns underneath…..
It was the most emotional moment of the celebration. As camera’s panned the crowd one could see the emotion being experienced was not just inside ones self but in commoners and the elite as well…. Like it or not, we are all American. We have so much in common we probably take it too much for granted….
One sun rose on us today,
Kindled over our shores,
Peeking over the Smokies,
Greeting the faces of the Great Lakes,
Spreading a simple truth across the Great Plains,
And Charging across the Rockies,
Waking up rooftops,
Under each one a story,
Told by our silent gestures
Moving across windows,
Millions of faces in morning’s mirrors.
Each one yawning to life,
Crescendoing into our day,
The pencil yellow school buses,
The rhythm of traffic lights,
Fruit stands: apples, limes, and oranges,
Arrayed like rainbows, begging our praise.
Silver trucks, heavy with oil or paper, bricks or milk,
Teeming over highways
Along side us,
On our way,
To clean tables,
Or save lives,
To teach geometry,
Or ring up groceries,
As my mother did
For twenty years,
So I could write this poem for all us,
All of us,
As vital as the one light we move through,
The same light on blackboards with lessons for the
Equations to solve,
History to question,
Or atoms imagined.
The “I have a Dream”
We all keep dreaming,
The impossible vocabulary of sorrow,
That won’t explain the empty desks,
Of twenty children marked absent,
But one light,
Breathing color into stained glass windows,
Life into the faces of bronze statues,
Warmth onto the steps of our museums,
And park benches
As mothers watch children,
Rooting us to every stalk of corn,
Every head of wheat,
Sown by sweat and hands,
Hands gleaning coal,
Or planting windmills,
In deserts and hilltops that keep us warm,
Hands digging trenches,
Routing pipes, and cables.
As worn as my father’s,
So my brother and I could have books,
The dust of farms and deserts,
Cities and plains,
Mingled by one wind,
Hear it through the days gorgeous din
Of honking cabs,
Buses launching down avenues,
The symphony of footsteps, guitars,
And screeching subways.
The unexpected songbird
On your clothesline.
Hear squeaky playground swings,
Or whispers across cafe tables.
Hear the doors we open,
Each day for each other.
Na me state,
Or, buenos dias
In the language my mother taught me,
In every language
Spoken into one wind,
Carrying our lives without prejudice,
As these words break from my lips.
Since the Appalachians and Sierras claimed their majesty,
And the Mississippi and Colorado
Worked their way to the sea.
Thank the work of our hands,
Weaving steel into bridges,
Finishing one more report for the boss,
Stitching another wound, or uniform.
The first brush stroke on a portrait,
Or the last floor on the Freedom Tower,
Jutting into the sky,
That yields to our resilience.
Toward which we sometimes lift our eyes,
Tired from work,
Some days guessing at the weather
Of our lives,
Some days giving thanks for a love,
That loves you back.
Sometimes praising a mother who knew how to give,
Or forgiving a father, who couldn’t give what you wanted.
Through the gloss of rain,
Or weight of snow.
Or the plum-blush of dusk,
Always under one sky,
And always one moon,
Like a silent drum,
Tapping on every rooftop,
Of every window of one country,
All of us
Facing the stars,
A new constellation,
Waiting for us to map it,
Waiting for us to name it,
Courtesy of Wikipedia
Is the economic model being used to evaluate the impact of privatizing the Port of Wilmington, the exact same one used to determine the economic benefit from both Fisker and Bloom Energy?
Delawarean’s probably ought to know.
If yes, might it be possible that here could be some flaws inside that formula?
Yawn. We are so used to it by now.
Always near the last week of September before an election cycle, Republican State Auditor Thomas Wagner, releases some audit that somehow gets stretched to cover something both corrupt and Democratic, and Republican Greg LaVelle jumps all over it like a ho on coke to prove he is Delaware’s champion for righteousness and might. It’s like we get nothing of value for two years solid years, then right before an election, bam, we have a grave crisis, handcrafted for one politician: Greg LaVelle. Republican for Senate.
They tried to waltz in on the Work Release program. That fizzled. Isn’t it ironical that it was only those two Republicans who were redistricted into contentious races who were being the ones who creating the crisis, fanning the flames, leading the charge, and advertise that it was they who are calling on the US Attorney’s office to investigate what turns out to be a petty and extremely minor occurrence…. They were fortunate they had Rick Jensen to give them one day of airplay, otherwise it would have flopped dreadfully. Rick Jensen failed. It flopped dreadfully anyways.
“Oh, it’s terrible, it’s typical. It is a sacrilege”… anytime one hears that in politics it immediately sends up a red flag that someone is in trouble, that a) it is not terrible unless one has a very low threshold of what ”terrible” is; b) it is not typical, unless one has no idea of what is typical and what is not; c) it is not a sacrilege; unless something like breaking a fingernail is also considered to be a sacrilege….
And so Rick Jensen wastes an hour, the News Journal wastes a page of print, and we all waste an awful lot of time…. which could be spent doing something far better…..
You see, the Democratic Governor, the Democratic Senate, and the Democratic House have done such an exemplary job of running this state, that there are no crises to divert voters attention away from the fact that Republicans have really done nothing since being elected into their seats. Nada……
They NEED a crises to appear important…. And so they called their buddy, Tom Wagner, the only Republican in a statewide office.
“Tom, Tom, save us, save us. You gotta help us old buddy. Do something. Do something”
Instead of doing the right thing and saying….” I stick my neck out for nobody,” …. Tom says “ok, let me see what I can dust off in my files…..”
“Oh, here is one… Let’s give this a shot… (dials number)… “hello? Hello? Oh, yes. Say, is this Doug? Which Doug? Uhh, this is the News Journal, isn’t it? Doug …. Denison. Heh, heh… Yeah, I remembered his last name finally. Tell you, old age doesn’t make one as sharp as he use to be… heh, heh, heh…. Hi, Doug… this is Tom Wagner, state auditor. Hey I got something you might be interested in….. We need some help here if you could do us a favor….”
And so the story comes out…. Political Hands in Pact With Non-Profit. ” An ‘ongoing’ investigation by the state auditor questions why a Wilmington nonprofit received more than $880,000 in contracts after an earlier review determined there was no way of proving the state money was used properly and salaries paid were justified. “
Greg calls up Tom Wagner…. ” Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”
But, soon the other side begins to come out. Apparently this was a secret audit done which non of the perpetrators even knew existed. Apparently no collaboration of the actual charges were ever made. Apparently this was created mysteriously in the dark of night, and none of the responsible parties were asked to provide any documentation… Apparently there was a good reason for that. If they had been asked to provide documentation and did, then there would not be a crises.
They only mileage that can be ginned from this, is simply saying “there’s trouble in River City.” When poking around, one finds there really is no trouble at all…..
If you look at the report, simplified, it states that this nonprofit was audited before, and holy crap, we are still giving money to it.
Is that bad? You tell me. If a nonprofit corrects its deficiencies and functions as it is supposed to, shouldn’t it be allowed to continue? Of course. But Republicans can’t win if that’s the case. They have no positives and can only win by saying Democrats are corrupt, and are equivalent to that abysmal boil on the underside of your rump. But, when evidence proves otherwise, that Democrats are pretty cool and certainly more trustworthy, Republicans lose big.
So Doug Denison gets slammed for faulty journalism, and so goes poking around to vindicate his name… Here is what he finds.
A) The State Auditor Tom Wagner was not comprehensive or thorough in his review. (How much are we paying him?)
B) Concerns addressed in the previous audit were fixed in 2009.
C) Tom’s report inaccurately states that the contract was terminated and reinstated. It never was terminated.
D) The services provided by this organization are vital (life and death) and abruptly terminating this contract would have a life or death impact upon the elderly clients this non profit serves.
E) Considering the gravity of such termination, Tom’s report deems the decision to continue using this service as “inappropriate”. (WTF? Inappropriate based on whose standards, Greg Lavelle’s?)
F) The auditor was unaware that a team had audited the facility and found no wrong doing. The DHSS was never asked. The evidence from that internal audit would have eliminate this issue completely.. (But… that wouldn’t have given Greg Lavelle a platform to scream from).
G) After the 2009 issue, a system was put in place of which the auditor (who simply dusted off an old report) was completely unaware, which monitored and assisted the organization in keeping their finances in good standing and compliant. It’s like if your daughter bounces a check in her first checking account, you the parent, periodically look over it, teaching her how to balance it correctly. It never happens again.
H) The report implies that the only reason this nonprofit received any funding at all, is because Tony DeLuca, Patty Blevins, and Bob Gilligan, (all Democrats) overruled official policy and said… ”they’re with me… just give them ‘da’ money…” Tom states: ”the agency had learned that a few phone calls would absolve their responsibility to comply with the state contract..” The DHSS, was dumbfounded. ”There were no threats, intimidation, suggestions of reprisals or anything that equates to “political pressure”, as the report mistakenly concludes.
I) Auditors did not interview anyone from the non profit agency about allegations of political pressure. It made them all up.
J) The head of the organization told Doug Denison, the News Journal reporter, that since 2009 the organization has never failed to meet the expectations of the DHSS. ”They always say they have everything they’ve asked for.”
K) Non profits undergo a yearly audit by outside auditors, and not one of those accountants raised any concern. Neither has anyone from the DHSS.
Overall this claim by Lavelle and Tom Wagner and all other Republicans, is outrageous. That this is even an issue, and especially that it conveniently gets trotted out to help Greg Lavelle who is already predicted to lose, and now must rely on some type of “hail mary” or something if he is to win his seat.
Now we all know that this is politics. But here is the apparent tragedy. WE, THE PEOPLE of the state of Deloaware, pay $101,600 to our State Auditor, who over two years, earns a combined total of $203,200 and issues one report or two just before election time to save one or two Republican’s seat.
That money one should think, could be better utilized. If the Republican Party wants to do a “hit” audit, they can use Party funds for it. Not the hard earned tax payer dollars just to help keep Greg Lavelle from losing so embarrassingly.
The audit appears to never have been updated. It appears that all evidence comes from the previous 2009 audit. It appears that when the Correctional Work Force didn’t generate outrage, something else had to be created quick. This was the something else. It appears that all areas are compliant with all laws….
And this is exactly why we cannot have any Republicans in office. Ever. They do absolutely nothing except cry wolf. They did in 1992. They did in 1996. They did in 2000. They did in 2004. They did in 2006. They did in 2008. They did in 2010… And yep… here we go again. It is time to throw all these imposters out of office. These people, who earn our money just being lazy, watching tv, socializing, drinking expensive scotch, and don’t do a damn productive thing for society, think they are entitled to their office…. Except at election time of course, that is when they finally stand up and point their finger and shriek at the top of their lungs…. “You, you, Monster”…
Get rid of Greg Lavelle and all Republicans. This state is too good to have even just one of them stinking up the works… They have done nothing but push us backwards. They have done not one decent thing for this state. They have stalled all progress and cost Delaware thousands of jobs. All they do is scream… it is time to vote either Democrat or third party… Someone who will actually do work for us…. Republicans? Screw them…
I’ll change my tune if anyone, anyone, anyone, can name just one thing, one thing positive, that any Republican has done that no Democrat can do better!!!!! I’ve been searching Republican blogs for years as well as listen to Rick Jensen over the same time period. And I can attest that there IS NOT ONE SINGLE BENEFIT THAT ANY REPUBLICAN HAS DONE FOR THIS STATE THAT IS DOCUMENTED ANYWHERE .
But there IS a lot of screaming. An… awful… lot… of… screaming….
Paul Clark For County Executive
Courtesy of Delawareonline
“Once you destroy History, all the money in the world cannot replace it.”
Delaware Senator Chris Coons has a chance to do something good tomorrow.
Tomorrow with him there, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider a bill S.285 by Senator Levin, of Michigan, to allow this man to say in this country.
Victor Sopuruchi Chukwueke has an amazing story to tell. And he loves to tell it to anyone who will listen.
Victor was a victim of tumors. In his homeland of Nigeria, he was told there was nothing that could be done. He continued anyway. A nun arranged for him to come to the US and work for a plastic surgeon and receive a free operation.
All accounts describe him as an uplifting speaker, one who causes us to look harshly at ourselves and ponder why we’ve let our minuscule traumas, set us back from our own dreams. Victor wants to be a surgeon. He is scheduled next year to begin medical school at Wayne State University.
That dream, once again is in jeopardy. For somewhere along the way, Victor didn’t file to continue his VISA. It expired, and he is an illegal alien. Michigan Senator Carl Levin put a request back in the 209th Congress, it wasn’t acted upon. He did it again on the 210th. And again in the 211th. And now in the 212th Congress.
Senate Bill 285 seeks to deem him to have been lawfully admitted to, and remained in, the United States, and shall be eligible for adjustment of status to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence under section 245 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1255) upon filing an application for such adjustment of status.
This bill was filed, February 3, 2011. It has had 16 months, and 10 days of just sitting in that committee’s drawer… Delaware’s Senator will cast the pivotal vote tomorrow….
At his commencement address Victor said this….
“Things happen in life to all of us. What matters most is how we respond. We can get sad and give up. Or we can rise up and face the challenges. Over the past few years I was forced to make a decision: should I consider myself a victim and abandon my dream? Or should I work hard to reach my goals? If I had considered myself a victim, I would not be here today.”
“I say to you, strive to be all you can be in your life. My presence here today shows that anything is possible.”
America needs this positivity now, more than ever. Let’s hope some of the positivity sinks into at least those Senators blessed with hearing this amazing tale….
This one is a no-brainer… He must be reinstated……
Chris: don’t even think of shuffling out early after discussion of S-250 Justice for All Reauthorization Ac in order to make the Law of the Sea Hearing, scheduled at the same time!!! 10:00 tomorrow.
Good luck today, Victor!