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Award For Delaware's Most Influental P/P/or T of The Year
The Golden Flush Award
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Usually this is an after thought…” Oh, wow, year’s over, let’s get a person of the year”…  And then once we elect one,  we go… “holy crap… we totally forgot so and so….”

So to try to stir up some old simmering coals of memory, both mine and others, and perhaps even to (heaven forbid) get some debate going in the blog sphere, I thought I’d make an initial run on Thanksgiving Week, and then add people into the nominating category as others mention various ones I should kick myself for forgetting.

It will also force me to review the year which is something I rarely do… because face it, as a human being, I am slave of the moment….  If I did this last year, come December 14th the entire world would have been turned upside down and all the old priorities of 2012,  would in one day become trivial….

And so starting early gives me the chance to make the argument for each of those I decide to enroll with your kind recommendations included….

Julius Cephus:  Particularly this one man organized and stopped an end run around the Port of Wilmington.  The Kinder Morgan deal did not go through, and the Wilmington Port is bustling like never before…   Kinder Morgan was to strip the union of power, and drop the rates of pay, further dampening the economy of Wilmington proper.  It was also the first defeat of a Lavine-Markell development project, .. Fisker and Bloom had gone forward without a hitch.  Julius and other’s push back resulted in a General Assembly motion that stated they, not the governor, had final approval. It was the first time we were exposed to the current Governor’s manipulations.  They were to play a significant part across this year’s tapestry.

Steve Newton:  A blogger who has written infrequently, but effectively. His piece on SB 51  is what alerted us to the end run being performed by Dave Sokola on lowering the current standards being used for educating teachers.  It is brilliant.  It took an evening of reading the legislation line by line and cross referencing  it with Steve’s analysis, to understand the huge negative impact this bill would cause.  By the time this was done, the Bill had already passed the Senate unanimously without comment, and with an friendly amendment added that was voted upon without even being read.  Some public outcry was mustered within the House, both in committee and on the floor, but under the Governor’s direction, the Speaker of the House, pushed the bill to the floor before significant outcry could be mustered.  Only 4 House members were not on record for it’s passing.  Our educational schools now have to water down their teaching standards to meet the new law.  Steve also has brought the Highmark story to Delaware.  His research in the increase of medical costs in Western PA as a result of knocking out competition by unfair practices, leads one with a cold chill of what to expect in Delaware’s future.  We are already there.  As an insurer, Highmark is only paying medical claims in its own affiliated clinics.  As the new Blue Cross/Blue Shield owner, that is a huge percentage of Delaware’s residents.  None can go to any other hospital.  He has properly fingered Karen Weldham Stuart for not catching this prior to implementation.  Without Steve, this would have passed unnoticed.  The News Journal still has not once mentioned the takeover of Delaware’s health field under one owner.

Ernest Lopez.  If Kennedy were still writing Profiles of Courage, he should include this man.  Ernest Lopez is a conservative, and voted with Libertarian values to pass the gun legislation recommended by Markell and Biden.  Reflecting the views of his district, instead of taking the threatening message sent to him down from the NRA, he voted for his district.  A very vocal minority, who is always vocal, and always in the minority, swore they would unseat him.  He disregarded their idle threat, and voted both his and his constituents conscious.  A major billboard was put up to call him out.   His vote caused the passage of us now requiring background checks at public gun sales.  Now a certifiably insane person cannot slap cash and get a gun.  It is a no-brainer, and Ernie was the only Republican with brain enough to even know what a no-brainer is….

Cathy Cloutier:  her vote allowed gays to marry.  Again, she is a Republican who said enough is enough… Tired of voting against her conscious just so Sussex County would not flip over to the Democrats, she finally did not toe the line and voted along the lines of her own constituents, all overwhelmingly in favor of gay marriage.  In doing so, she went against the entire grain of her party, who firmly feel that gays are second class citizens, even though most Republicans in office are closeted gays.

Bethany Hall Long:  on the same vote, made a viable personal decision, and also voted for the legalization of gay marriage. Unlike Cathy’s vote, this was accomplished at great personal sacrifice, for all of those in her personal life, were solidly against this policy from taking effect.  In voting for what was morally right, she had to contend against those whose influence she could not escape.  She went with the correct vote, over the easy one.   As a result, Gay marriage is now legal in Delaware.

Paul Baumbach:  gave great ammunition against the fight for SB51, and later against HB 165. Both bills which will damage Delaware’s education for years to come.  He was one of the four who put up a fight on the House floor.  Paul also arranged for the meetings in Newark to discuss the new Power plant that figured in this past week’s election.

John Kowalko:  also was against SB51, HB 165, as well, being against the power plant.  In fact, John was the first person to sound the alarm over how big the power plant would be.  Without his big voice, it may have slid through unnoticed.  The power plant has defined northern Delaware politics since September.

Kim Williams;  responsible for HB 40 which investigates Charter School’s meddling into our educational systems.  She was as an acting state representative, allegedly refused entrance into a committee hearing on education, for fear she might say something damaging to the bill being rushed through….  She brought to the public’s knowledge, that the Charter School bill was drafted illegally without public input, and the charter group constructing it, was also under FOIA, to which the private group denied.  The Attorney General backed up her assertion, that the bill was formulated illegally but their decision was moot, because the bill was passed both houses anyways.  Kim Williams also in the HB 40 task force, led the group to realize that charter schools unlike public schools, do indeed filter those entering charters to weed out those who might lower their test scores….

Mark Murphy, Rodel, Sweeney, Hefferman, and the Fake Educational Reform Establishment:  I almost purposefully did not post this.  Although the first person’s name is usually followed by explicatives whenever mentioned, it is unlike Voldermort’s, still getting mentioned.  Mark Murphy was not put in his position based on his ability. He was placed there for his loyalty to the cause of  corporatizing public education.  Markell pulls the strings, Murphy figures how to get it done…  It is hard to make a puppet the most influential person of the year… So I was going to skip him… But at the last minute, remembered that every time  he or anyone of these make an op-ed, it resonates as gigantic news. The entire community rises up to counteract each op-ed, usually with the word “lies” thrown liberally about…. So, they do exert an influence.  I looped all of them together, as the group of liars in a Greek play, who stand on the stair steps and taunt the protagonists.  Well,… they are part of the play…….

Dan Short:  Sometimes villains get noticed too.  Primarily a single issue candidate, who personally supports the NRA, he actively campaigned and organized to create enough backlash so Markell’s gun laws could not get enough votes…  Without him, there is a possibility that all four of Markell’s gun control pieces of legislation would have passed both houses of Delaware’s legislature. Dan Short should be given the credit for stopping them.

John Sigler: Single handedly by his very brief tenure as the re-elected head of the Republican Party, he pointed out through his pigeon shooting, just how inept the Republican Party was at everything else.  With his leaving, all fissures cracking the Republican bedrock, were impossible to ignore.  Blogs split. The IPOD’s split. Former candidates of the same party just months earlier, now not talking to each other. The Delaware Republican Party is dead; no it is past dead.  More dead than a pigeon shot inside a box by John Sigler, former head of the Delaware Republican Party.

Nancy Willing: Her blog, the Delaware Way, is the go-to site for local information. Whether about Dover, about New Castle County, about any of New Castle County’s associations, Nancy combs all sources and puts them down in aggregate form. Heavily involved in the Power Plant controversy, The Delaware City Rail Yard controversy, Barley Mill controversy, the Woodlawan controversy, the Kinder Morgan controversy, the Charter School Controversy, the Common Core Controversy, Nancy has who is saying “what”, and links to “why”. One can expend less energy by using her blog to follow all the stuff the News Journal neglects, in a few quick empty steps.

Amy Roe:  a head of the Sierra Club, who emerged from nowhere to lead the fight against the power plant, and give quite a run against the establishment candidate.  Becoming the face the anti- power movement could coalase behind, she gave the anti power plant movement both dignity and grace.  Coming up short only 115 votes, she has awakened Newark now politically as never before…  The power plant if it goes forward, now has a strong group of Newarkeans against it.  Hopefully they will be monitoring it regularly and helping authorities keep in in compliance with all local law.

Tom Gorden; although much quieter than his first term in office, Tom Gorden is rapidly rolling back the privileges the previous Clark administration handed over to our state’s top developers. The Barley Mill plaza which had a green light, is now parked at a red. In a big sea change, though handled quietly, community groups are now no longer persona non grata in county government. It is no longer accepted as a matter of course that the Woodlawn Trust will be gobbled up by developers. If enough fight can be mustered, it can be stopped. Furthermore, with Tom there is closer coordination with the City of Wilmington, than we have experienced anytime in our lifetimes. In the county, local policing has been stepped up, particularly in neighborhoods prone to crime…

Dennis Williams: Came in with grand expectations, which looked deliverable for a while. The tide is turning and his relevance on this list, is because every day, the headline reality in Wilmington’s streets, brings his electioneering boasts back to haunt him, like a sizzling hot branding iron.  Time, Dennis, to say “Damn the torpedoes… Their punk asses are going in jail no matter which blowhard on City Council spouts off,before mine gets tossed in jail for impersonating a mayor..”

Alan Levin:  Jack Markell’s second in command, he was instrumental in defending Markell’s position on Kinder Morgan and the port, as well as the new power plant for the data center. He also had a hand in keeping Dole in Delaware, and worked to slip the power plant past a slew of unsuspecting Newark City officials.

Jack Markell: had his hand in everything.  He was behind Kinder Morgan’s takeover.  He was behind SB 51 and HB 165.  He was behind the illegal charter group, requiring HB 40. He also was the driving force for the four rational steps to gun legislation, 2 of which were passed. He was also the driving force behind the passage of gay marriage, signing the bill in the chambers just moments after its passage. He also supported the transgender bill in its travels through the labyrinth of Legislative Hall. He as behind keeping Dole in Delaware. He was behind changing an icon in Millsboro away from pickles, over to poultry. He pushed the bill to curtail Flowers. Despite your opinion over whether these were good or bad, they still showed a ubiquitous and wide reach across the state of Delaware. Seems like nothing got done that didn’t have his fingerprints all over it.

John Young: As head of Christina board, John Young led the board in standing up to Mark Murphy and Jack Markell, by refusing the RTTT funds slated for his district. Although some hired fools, (Jea Street) tried to paint Young into a corner, it served the opposite purpose and gave Young a platform. For the fist time, Common Core was getting publicly bashed. For the first time, many were finding that aligning themselves blindly to this sham of improving standards, was probably going to hurt them politically in the next couple of years. It was the fist salvo back, so the damage estimates were not high, but it did open eyes of many who had been on the sidelines of all educational issues, making them also become vocal in fighting Common Core. His blog Transparent Christina has channelled a lot of detailed information into the Delaware market, and had made Common Core an apprehension, instead of the savior it was supposed to be….

Kilroy: Kilroy has always been haranguing over education. In fact he was doing such a good job I left that issue alone for years, because other issues for me, like the economy and elimination of guns from the hands of the mentally ill, were more important. But as the issue has shifted back into the limelight, Kilroy’s hard hitting is making its mark… Kilroy is blunt, and right now, that is the language that needs to happen. Blunt descriptions of what takes place in the stratosphere of he academic field…. Kilroy often breaks stories before the News Journal, especially ones embarrassing to the Murphy/Markell cartel of education. If you have read Kilroy over the past couple of years, you would already know that Common Core is not the panacea we have been promised. It is a power grab for taxpayer dollars, financed by Wall Street itself…. If you think otherwise, you haven’t been reading a balanced reading list….
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That is what I have so far. In retrospect I am surprised that education has played so much, as even I have only come to that topic lately… But if one looks over the News Journal op eds, education really did dominate the discussion in the 2nd smallest state this year….

I may have forgotten some big ones. To reiterate, that is why I am posting this early, to catch those big mistakes as they get brought to my attention….

In a tone bordering on haughtiness, Cassandra of Delaware Liberal, implies that she is not going to apologize to Chip Flowers. Nor should anyone else she insists.

Her retort implies some serious issues with objectivity.

“How about we get an apology from Chip for this stupidly belligerent performance and for the serious incompetence he isn’t doing a good job of hiding?”

Chip Flowers took a trip and couldn’t find a receipt or two when he returned. One would assume from the tone taken, one has ever lost a receipt before. This accident was further complicated because these meetings were top secret encounters with principals of interest, held primarily to determine how Delaware could use the banking industry to one up every other state. Were details ever leaked, or were the guest list ever know, Delaware might be facing 49 separate high cost law suits; all cast mind you not because Delaware did anything wrong, but because it did something very clever, and did it first. The same way Microsoft sues Apple, and Apple in turn sues Samsung, who then turns around and sues Microsoft. Anything to keep lawyers busy and well paid.

Although not asked, it is clear that Cassandra is in no mood to apologize. All must wonder why. Does she feel jilted. After all, it is a known fact after high school, that when people feel jilted they either overly demand, or refuse to apologize.

One must assume that particular human trait is playing out here, barring any other evidence to the contrary. The next question is whether Trey Paradee is involved. Precluding this refusal to apologize, her co-conspirator El Sonambulo of Delaware Liberal posted a hit piece on Trey Paradee as well, calling him by the ugly “C” word and implying he was to “conservative” for his district. Two hits in less than 24 hours by the same publication in the world of Dick Cheney, is called a conspiracy. Since many of Dick’s values live on today, a conspiracy it is…

One must puzzle as to why Cassandra would not apologize? What is her motive? What are her means? What is she hiding? What does she have in for Chip Flowers? Why is she against the Treasury Department? Is she a follower of Ron Paul?

That would make sense. Ron Paul boasted a huge army of supporters who failed to turn up at the polls. One could now quietly be working for Delaware Liberal or simply be Anthophobic. In any regards, all should demand that Cassandra apologize quickly so Delaware’s news can move on to more important things….

Finally, and almost as an addendum, it should be noted that if one is going to make a parody, one is best to use someone squeaky clean to ensure that parody does not go beyond it’s original intention. Cassandra is squeaky clean. So, unless you have the brain of a horse, by now you should know something was up…

This is simply a copy of a hit piece that is being proffered by the main stream media every day. It’s sickening actually. Almost every story by any of the big 4 television networks, is slanted just like this. If Republicans look good, it is because serious effort was put to make it so. You can indeed put lipstick on a pig (Sarah Palin as an example). (You can also put lipstick on Joe Biden, but he looks funny when you do; Palin at least looks hot)

So thanks for Cassandra for being an unwilling accomplice to this plot. If you even believed it for a minute, then my skills are still intact… Imagine… asking her to apologize to Chip Flowers… Lol. :)

Point is: dont’ trust anything from CBS, ABC, NBC, or Fox. (Notice I used a lot of their tactics, like imaginary experts who don’t exist, lavished the term common sense which isn’t common, talked more about other people talking about what other people were saying, over what really actually happened, utilized mock outrage, used one big word that everyone will have to look up, etc.)

You are so being raked over the coals right now… What to do? News at noon and 4-7 on WDEL.

It’s September and with september comes the time to set up the next legislative session in Legislative Hall.

The first issue of business is revenue.  Delaware needs to generate more revenue.   The more revenue generated here, the more people go to work and the more people go to work, the higher the wages must rise to attract labor…

The way to put Delaware on the fast track to economic growth is as always, to raise taxes…

Here is the first proposition on the table.

Creates four high-income tax brackets for taxpayers with taxable incomes exceeding $250,000, $300,000, $500,000 and $1,000,000. This increased tax will be in effect for 7 years..

  • Imposes a 10.3% tax rate on taxable income over $250,000 but less than $300,000-
  • Imposes an 11.3% tax rate on taxable income over $300,000 but less than $500,000–
  • Imposes a 12.3% tax rate on taxable income over $500,000 up to $1,000,000–
  • Imposes a 13.3% tax rate on taxable income over $1,000,000-
  • All capital gains will be assessed by the level with which they fall into the categories above.

Currently the highest tax rate is 6.95 for all income over $60,000.  A travesty really.  Someone making $400,000,000,000,000,000 is paying the same rate as someone earning one penny over $59,999.99….

As a special request, I would ask that all this income be earmarked to improving our schools.  No one making $400,000,000,000,000,000 could possibly argue against paying more for that!  Public school education is necessary for the continuation of America.

I would further ask that each existing school district offer an accurate budget proposal based on what they actually would need to make themselves run smoothly, deducting the money they should receive from their referendums, and send in the remaining budget shortfall into the state.

If it takes $120 million to run a district, and you only have $90 million to spend, it is no wonder we have problems in education.  The state should fund the $30 million and should take that $30 million from the higher assessments that Delaware so desperately needs.

Time to start discussing it.

 

 

 

The same controversy surrounding Tennessee’s equivalent of SB51, has at least that state’s Democrats fighting for those educating our children .  Not like up here where Dave Sokola and Erica Jenner joined forces and sold the teaching profession out for a couple of pieces of silver.

Think for a second.

If your boss gave you a pop quiz at work, how well do you think you’d do? … Guesses?

The correct answer is: you would do only as well as he wanted you to do.  If he wanted you do do well, he’d quiz you on things you do every day enabling you to pass with high marks.  If he wants you doing poorly, he fills the test up irrelevant questions, that you haven’t thought about in decades (because they are irrelevant); at work you are constantly being bombarded with things that truly do matter..

So we are talking about taking a teacher’s license away because her students did poorly on a standardized test, not by how good or not good the teacher is!

Does the teacher make the test?  Of course not:  the test is made many states away by people who have never stepped foot in a classroom and get paid 6 digit salaries. The tests are untried at the time of taking. They are not last year’s test remade.  No one knows how relevant or non relevant these tests are.

Does the teacher get to know the material on the test so she can teach her students the relevant data?  No, that would be cheating.  The teacher has to guess before hand what will or will not be covered, and then has to teach her best guess.  What if those think tank “specialists” have different philosophies?  Bad scores.

Does the teacher get to interpret the test, to explain the questions in a way the child might better understand?  No, that is considered leading the child.  So if a child can’t understand the question, because they haven’t a Masters or Doctorate degree in education, they fail.

Does the teacher have any control over the test taking environment?  No, if every one stays up late to watch Breaking Bad, and then texts till two in the morning about what happened on the show, and what might happen on next week’s episode.,..  they will do poorly.  To them its some dumb test that doesn’t matter anyway.  They’ll still get promoted…  456 + 789… ah, my head hearts…  let me guess… umm  “{c}”

Imagine lining up all of Delawares School Board and Rodel Foundation officers around the Governor, as he signs SB 51, and taking one photo, then firing all those who blinked, grimace, moved, or otherwise “failed” to properly enhance the photo…..

As their cleaning out their office, you can here Hefferman mutter… “they didn’t even count down. They just took the picture.  If they’d counted down, I could have been ready.”

And speaking of FAILURES.  OH!  MY!  GOODNESS!!!  Rodel’s Vision 2015 has failed to meet its objectives (GOALS) it set for itself back in 2006.  They have had 7 of the 9 years they gave themselves to make it happen. Instead of  firing itself, it announces its name is now Rodel 2020….  But a teacher who’s students blink during 3 hours one day from watching Breaking Bad the night before?  YOU’RE A LOUSY TEACHER!   WHAT A FAILURE YOU ARE!  GET OUT OF OUR SCHOOL!  EVEN BETTER!  GET YOU OUT OF OUR ENTIRE PROFESSION!

That is why this is so stupid. SB51 is so stupid. Everyone who voted for it, without reading it, is so stupid.  Every blog except those who raised awareness against it, is so stupid.  Mr. Sweeney, is so stupid….

I won’t belabor the point anymore.  But firing a teacher for a photo moment, is ridiculous.  Taking away their license for the same should in a proper universe, damn you to an eternity in Hell.

If you yourself personally choose to go to Hell, you will find the following assorted people there to keep you company.

Blevins,  Hocker,  Peterson,
Bonini,  Lavelle,  Pettyjohn,
Bushweller, Lawson,  Poore,
Cloutier,  Lopez,  Simpson,
Ennis,  Marshall, Sokola,
Hall-Long, McBride, Townsend,
Henry, McDowell, Venables,

Atkins,  J. Johnson,  Ramone,
Barbieri,  Q. Johnson,  Scott,
Bennett,  Kenton,  B. Short,
Blakey,  M. Smith, D. Short,
Bolden,  Longhurst,  Smyk,
Brady,  Miro,  Spiegelman,
Briggs-King,  Mitchell,  Viola,
Carson,  Mulrooney,  Walker,
Dukes,  D.E. Williams, Keeley,
Gray,  Outten,  K. Williams,
Heffernan,  Paradee,  Wilson,
Hudson,  Peterman,  Schwartzkopf,
Jaques  Sweeney, Markell, Murphy, Jenner.

Just looking over that list, … I would bet that if this list ever got public, and people could see the likes of the company they’d be spending their eternity with, .. our churches would be overflowing this weekend!…

By the way, can anyone out there possibly tell me when was the last time a doctor lost his license for one case of malpractice judgment decided in court against him? Or one Secretary of Education fired for in his first year statewide test results, in what even the friendly News Journal headline lambasted as: “Disappointing Results”?

GO TO CHURCH!

One time last week as I was doing the grocery shopping I looked up at the clouds on that spectacularly beautiful day.  I call them West Texas clouds because they are the kind you see on the prairie,  small puffy cumulus clouds that never will give rain,  but stretch across the horizon from one end to another….

I looked right through them.  it was then I realized my perspective had changed.

Growing up, clouds were always the ceiling of my world.  The tall thunderstorms reached as high as clouds could go,  That was the upper limit of my universe.  The lower was probably the pit in Hibbing or Anaconda Mines.

Oh, I read books about things beyond that realm,  But they were out there, not me, not my daily living.

But my perspective has changed.  These clouds that used to set the upper boundaries, now were seen as only the first layer of a blanket touching earth. My mind instead of seeing the clouds gracing the ceiling, saw them only scuttling across the floor.

My center of perspective had changed.  And it was somewhere over the past two years.

I don’t know why. or how.  Perhaps it is the constant YouTube bombardments of earth from 200 miles up.  Seeing Northern Lights from the perspective of looking down, Seeing land masses glow at night between the darkness of the oceans.  I truly wonder if it was the day off, shared by video with a man in a balloon as he rose to the highest one has been, then jumped out, falling downwards to again set feet on familiar ground.  One sees the clouds so close to the ground. Perhaps it is being in control of shuttles, battleships, while jumping across galaxies, with a Playstation console in my hand.  Perhaps it is the wealth of info, about the sun, the moon, the near planets, the far planets, the moons of the far planets, the fact we are digging on Mars right this minute.   Perhaps it is the pictures of Earth from Saturn, peeking out from underneath it’s rings, that I recently saw.  Or the first time I saw earth from Mars.  Perhaps it is the picture of our solar system’s sun, a mere dot in a sea of black, as Pioneer 1 goes trotting outside into the real, universe… space not beholden to our sun….I

Maybe it was the accumulation of all.  Or perhaps it is that though technology and first hand experience, these are a part of me, and not just something said by someone else. But now for whatever reason, when I see West Texas Clouds over the Delmarva peninsula , my reference is and will be how they must look from above.  That now, has become the central point of reference…

Have we evolved?

Gosh, You Can Really Tell Who Is Cheating On Whom Up Here

They play elimination on Monday.  

May they give out everything they’ve got and play the best game inside each of them,  

Amen.  <3

The deep blue sea… How often have we heard that? So which of those adjectives are the more predominant, which of those words carries the most descriptive weight? A conundrum?

Not if you add the word “water” to each of those descriptive adjectives…. as in”

Deepwater
Bluewater

Still puzzled? Add the noun “wind”

Deepwater Wind
Bluewater Wind….

The Washington Post reports a deal has been struck and the first Offshore Wind Farm, (which was to be Bluewater Wind 5 years ago), is now going to be Deepwater Wind off Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Rhode Island will now become the center for wind farm technology on the East Coast. If Delaware ever gets to this point, and one would think Markell would have been on top of this one, we will now be buying all our stuff from Rhode Island and importing it down the East Coast on barges, instead of vice versa.

The wind kinda of went out of Delaware today.

Opportunity Sets For Delaware To Become the Wind Hub

The document in question was an 86-page opinion the FISA court had issued on October 3, 2011.

In it the FISA court states that the action requested by the NSA was unconstitutional. The FISA court was of the opinion this information needed to be disseminated to the public.

The Justice Department was due to file a court motion in June in its effort to keep secret an 86-page court opinion that determined that the government had violated the spirit of federal surveillance laws and engaged in unconstitutional spying.

So in a nutshell, we have the NSA committing an unconstitutional action.  We have the secret Federal court which incidentally only hears the NSA’s side of the argument, decide such action was NOT under the scope of the law, and was actually unconstitutional.  The court felt the public should know about this Constitutional violation, apparently because even they were shocked at its danger for democracy.

The Justice Department then filed suit to block the dissemination of knowledge to the American people, that the secret FISA court had determined that the NSA was going over and beyond its powers invested by the Fourth Amendment, and that it is therefore acting unconstitutionally.

So when our government does something unconstitutional and covers it up… what do we do?

Ironically, in East Germany, we have more privacy rights today than in the United States of America.

Where did we go wrong?  It’s all Patrick Leahy’s fault.  He got soft after standing up to the Joker in The Dark Knight and so now he isn’t standing up for Americans. Guess he figured he’s done his share.

A pretty good pastor told me this story.  His first born son came home, obviously had been crying. So he asked him if there was something he wanted to tell him and was told his son hated school.  With this son it was a shock. A complete reversal because that was all this son talked about up to this point: how wonderful his days were at school.  With a little probing the pastor found that other boys had discovered this pastor’s son, didn’t hit back and were having a field day at his expense.  So, the pastor had a little heart-to-heart talk.  “You know,” the pastor said.  “you have the right by God to defend yourself.  If someone hurts you, you are allowed to hurt them back, so they see what if feels like and stop hurting you.”  The relief spread over his son’s upturned face.  “Really?  it’s ok?”  “Why yes.” the pastor said.  “I used to be one of the best fighters in my school when I was growing up.”

The next day his son came home all smiles.  “Everything go ok?”  His son’s smile said it all..

That normally would be the end of the story.  Life lesson taught.  Well, this story has a twist and keeps going.  A couple of weeks later, the pastor got an urgent letter from his teacher. ” I must see you personally as soon as possible.”  He hurried down and the teacher begins… “I don’t know what is wrong with your son.  He used to be so nice and kind and everybody loved him.  Now no one will sit next to him.  They are adamant.  I’ve had to put him in a chair in the corner just to get class back on track.  They say he’s hitting them, but I really find that very hard to believe.”

The pastor went back home, found his son, and together, they had …. another little heart-to-heart discussion…  :)

Point is: sometimes though fighting back is not deemed civilized or the mature method to handle problems, it is necessary. ( Just don’t enjoy the rush so much you forget when to stop.)

The erosion of the middle class has gone on long enough. Let me rephrase that: the erosion of all classes except those at the top 1%, has gone on long enough.  What can we do about it?

it is time for class war.  i don’t like it anymore than that little boy who was taught that hitting was wrong, liked hitting back at first, but it is necessary. The longer we wait; the weaker we become.

How do we win?  We win by deflating the value they place on their pile of money.  We throw the economy so investors everywhere are forced to panic.  The easiest way to do that, is to simply not work.  We can a) under perform and drive up productivity costs; b) sabotage our bosses and drive up supply costs; or c) strike and win, and drive up labor costs.

Of the three, the latter is the cleanest.  Staging a mutiny until conditions change, sends the clearest signal that the rules on the playing field must change.  The price of labor is going up.  If you refuse, we shut your plant down.

It has been awhile since we have had strikes.  If they’ve happened at all, they get swept under the mat of the next news story to come up on the wire.  Strikes are kind of ugly.  They hurt a lot of people just like war; many of those hurt are completely innocent. And at one point, those of us who remember the past, recognized that strikes were being thrown way too often; in fact, they at one point were being used as extortion. Give it to us, or we’ll strike.  The middle class did well back then too.

Strikes hurt those striking.  During the strike they stop earning money.  Strikes hurt  employers whose revenue stream screeches to a stop.  They have to pay bills and have no income with which to pay them.  Strikes hurt customers and vendors of that company that is the target of the strike.   It is indicative that in these times, of all the strikes we have had in recent memory, most have all been done by millionaires striking against other millionaires.  By that I mean the sports industry.  Baseball, hockey, basketball, football…  no problem with them striking;  they have money to wait it out indefinitely.

Our middle class may be past that.  But strikes have a deeper purpose; if they are never used, that purpose ceases to exist.  A strike reminds the employer that they need to pay attention to those who are doing the work.  A strike reminds an employer that all are in life and business together,  Life is not a two layer system consisting of the overseer and the slaves; where one has all the privileges; the other all the pain.

Life is a cohabitation.  And sometimes the expense of a divorce is necessary to drive that point home.  For if you are completely confident that no one will ever strike, you can act with impunity.  Cut wages. Cut pensions. Cut rates. Cut benefits. If you always know that people will work for you, you can starve them to enrich yourself.  Really.  If there were no consequences: who wouldn’t?

War is always far more costly than the concessions of peace.  That was how strikes were won.  A business may balk at paying one percent more of its revenue towards its employees.  “That is outrageous” the business owner may puff.  “That will never happen.”

But he can only say that because he is confident that the employees will say, “oh, ok. Sorry we bothered you then.”   For if they went on strike, and his revenue drops down to zero, he has lost 10% of his potential yearly earnings because of the strike.  The 1% was rather cheap comparatively.

Which is why we need strikes to return.  We need the threat of a strike, to be real again.   What would happen if every teacher refused to return until Common Core was eradicated. We would finally have a serious discussion about Common Core and it would be eradicated.  What if dock workers in both Paulsboro and Wilmington went on strike until Dole decided to stay in Wilmington.  In a few short days, Dole would lose more cash than it would ever pay out  any other way…   What if policemen stopped working because their pension was being privatized?  What if all of Detroit simply stopped working until their pensions were guaranteed by the Federal Government.  What if the wait staffs and bartenders of every restaurant in Delaware refused to work, just stopped one day until their minimum wage set in 1990 was allowed to rise above $2.23 an hour?  What if nurses did not show for work, until rich investment companies owning hospitals, agreed not to steal their pensions, but fund them fully?  What if every administrative assistant in the Federal Government went on strike until Congress passed their budget?  What if no one services a broken car, in any garage across the country, until some of that $150 dollars an hour fo labor, went to them.

Can you see the implications?  In every case the cost of a strike is far more rigorous than the cost of the demand.  But it can only happen when there is a viable expectation that a strike is imminent.   An owner can be as invective as hell at the insolence of his worker daring to ask for more money,  but his accountants and lawyers with wiser heads, know full well that the cheapest way out is to give them what they want… Cheaper by one tenth.

So we have come to where strikes must occur, not only for individual workers, but for society as a whole.  Labor is underpaid, and it is time to use the laws of supply and demand to correct it.

And what will happen if we do?  Suddenly America will no longer be the safest place to park one’s money. The stock market will fall by billions.  Money will move out of our financial center over most likely to China, at the moment.  The wealthy certainly can’t have that.  It is far better to stop getting as high of a rate of return as one is used to,  than lose 40% of everything one has accumulated so far….

And that is the power behind committing to a strike.  As soon as the strike goes into effect, every shareholder of the company being struck, loses tremendous value on their investment.  Does that boss really want to face his angry shareholders at the next stockholders meeting?

The Declaration of Independence states that we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  That adage doesn’t apply  just to the one percent.  Sometimes like that little boy at the beginning of this story, you just gotta hit back.


Courtesy of Dallas Federal Reserve Bank

A very conservative bank, in a very conservative state, came up with a very conservative total on how much damage Republican policies cost the once great United States of America. $14 Trillion.

When even very astute conservatives blame their own policies for RUINING the financial health of this nation, one has no choice but to take notice.

$14 Trillion. How much is $14 Trillion? 7 years of total Government spending, INCLUDING all the entitlements involved with Social Security, Medicare, and Veterans Benefits. How much is $14 Trillion? $14 Trillion would pay off every mortgage existing now in the United States of America. It would pay off the entire student college loan debt fourteen times over! How much is $14 Trillion? it would pay down 7/8ths of the entire National Debt! How much is $14 Trillion? It is 7/8ths of our yearly GDP, seven eights of every single dollar spent per year in the USA by you, me, our rich uncles, our poor aunts, and our government….

That is how much the Bush Era cost America…. $14 Trillion.

So let’s look at this once touted Republican agenda.

Did the tax cuts work? No, they cost us $14 Trillion.
Did deregulating derivatives work? No, they cost us $14 Trillion.
Did less regulation of the financial sector work? No, it cost us $14 Trillion.
Did funding two wars and Medicare Prescription Drug benefits by borrowing money work? No, they cost us $14 Trillion.
Did it work to give banks huge incentives to invest dangerously? No, it cost us $14 Trillion.
Did it work to pass laws forbidding workers to strike? No, it cost us $14 Trillion.
Did de-regulating oil hedge funds work? No, it cost us $14 Trillion.
Did cutting back government spending work? No, it cost us $14 Trillion.
Did removing limits to keep down the scalping of student loan interest rates work? No, they cost us $14 Trillion.
Does keeping minimum wage at low slave levels work? No, it cost us $14 Trillion.
Did re-making our medical care into a for-profit system work? No, it cost us $14 Trillion.
Did subsidizing Halliburton with $39.5 billion work? No, they cost us $14 Trillion.
Did letting the rich get richer; forcing the poor to get poorer, work? No. It cost us $14 Trillion.

Just think. Back in 2001 when Republicans began pushing their tax policies, did you know that doing so would begin to cost us 8 years in our future, $14 Trillion? 7/8ths of our nation’s yearly output? If you read the Congressional Record from back then, the Democrats and the CBO certainly did, though their lowballs of $10 Trillion came in a little under. But it was rather obvious that tinkering with the Clinton dynamo would be risky, that things were working so well, that getting to the destination of having a national debt at zero ought to be achieved before we began going the opposite direction.

But Republicans always when given a choice, choose to respond to lobbyist’s entreaties of support, instead of looking for support from everyday normal American people, so those warnings were all for naught.

And unfortunately still are. Even after a conservative bank, in a conservative state, published their conservative estimate, that the Republican policies cost this nation $14 Trillion Dollars….

In their own words….

“It is crucial to identify the primary causes and implement effective policy to avoid future episodes whose magnitude could exceed even the staggering costs and consequences of the most recent financial crisis.”

That primary cause back then, as well as today, is any policy Conservative! Especially those of the Tea Party!

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