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Yellow, and brown.
The scores fall.
All over the town…
That’s adapted from a children’s book; originally it was a bedtime poem about falling leaves…
i want to share a story. A young lady i met near the end of this week, was excited her session of Summer School had ended… This is a bright person, I was surprised to hear she was in Summer School; (isn’t that remedial?)
So I asked, (to be polite), “how did you do?”
She said, ” I got a hundred on my final; That is the whole grade…”
“What?” I queried. “What was the course?”…
“Algebra” she said…
“You went to summer school, and got a hundred in Algebra? What kind of grades did you get all year?”
“Oh”, she said. “I flunked it. I had to take this course to go onto high school next year…..”
“Oh, wow. Say, I’m kinda involved with educational issues, and I’m really curious now.” I spoke quickly. “How was it that you learned something in what, four weeks, from June 19th to now: that you couldn’t learn in class, .. the whole school year?”
She flashed a smile, like “yeah, crazy, huh” and thought for a second, and said… “They just explained it better… it’s actually really easy.”
“They couldn’t explain it in regular school? Not even a whole year? “
“No, they were like reading out of the book, and when we’d ask questions, they’d say the book didn’t make sense to them either, but it was what they had to teach from and they were sorry, but they didn’t know the answer themselves. They wouldn’t show us anything…”
“So, how did you like learn it all in summer school?”
Again the smile. “Well, like finding the slope, In my old class, I had no idea what the teacher was talking about with the change or x over the change of y… here they just said take this side and that side, and bingo, you have the slope.” It was so easy…
Well I thanked her for sharing and congratulated her on her achievement… I wished her best in another school year too…
Hmmmm. So why is it.. that Delaware pays for a whole year of school, when it can be boiled down and taught in 17 days? The whole course of algebra… boiled down to 17 days….
What are we doing wrong, that we willingly “lose someone” capable who can learn algebra in 17 days, and hold them back another year, because they couldn’t pass a core course? It doesn’t look like the problem is with her: it appears the problem lies in us!
All it took … was for someone to take the time to explain it to her…. That was all it took….
Ladies and Gentlemen: that is how we’re going to win this race … the one…to the top. .. …
Open government. Now that’s a New Year’s Resolution I could get behind….Wouldn’t it be nice if all dealings between cronies were open for all to see and hold those perpetrators accountable?
For one, I would like to see how Russ Larson feels he represents the entire legislature by voting down Bluewater wind, an event that was supported twenty to one by Delawareans. Surely his vote does not represent the entire legislature. It must represent just a few who are in Delmarva’s pocket. Come on now….twenty to one and you are going to vote it down. Something is not right.
For two, I would like to see how many bills are gathering dust in Thurman Adam’s (D-Bridgeville) Senate drawer. Again the question needs asked, when a majority of Delawareans want a bill to be passed, and it can’t by a silly rule, what kind of government is that? Communist I say. Only a communost would stick a bill in a drawer never to be voted on…Communists? Weren’t they the enemies of the United States at one time or another? Apparently now they run our legislature.
Third, I would like to know which corporation supports which bill. If I disagree with their position, I and my friends certainly should be allowed to protest its actions by boycotting its products. We already know who the lobbiest are, they have to sign up. We just can’t drop in and see them writing out the bills for lazy representatives, gearing up support for lazy representatives, and throwing wild parties for the lazy representatives….
Common sense tells us why our government should be open. Common sense also makes it quite understandable why the powers-that-be, fight so hard to keep things as they are. They are afraid that they will be exposed as crooks. The only other reason one can assume, is that eventually we will find out just how little they know about what they are doing……
Comment overheard in the alcove at Legislative Hall:
“I’m confused. I just don’t know what to do.”
Here you go, here is a list of all the votes up today. Just do what the list says and vote yes or no….
Oh, thank you sooooo much. You’re an angel.
Obviously if the rest of the public was aware of that Senator’s performance, things would change…..
We who support open government, think they will change for the better. Those that are corrupt, think open government will change things for the worst.
You can make your voice heard at the “ooga ooga ooga” educational event at legislative hall on opening day next Tuesday January 8th around 2 pm. “Ooga, ooga, ooga,” sounds like a Model T car horn doesn’t it? That is how far behind the times our current Senate rules are. They are as old as a Model T Ford….
But “ooga” is really an anocrym for “Open Our General Assembly”
On Tuesday, show your representive in person, that this time, you will not take NO as an answer. After all it is your money they throw away. You’ve got a right to know who is spending it and where it is going……………………..
See you there. Ooga ooga ooga
I disagree with some of those who put down Petraeus as a liar, simply because they fail to agree with his assessment. It may come across to some as funny that I have thought, if not said, some to the same things against which I am now taking issue, and if so, so be it……
What happened was this. I became more familiar with what was going on within Iraq. Of course, being of skeptic I tended to look at things hard. Very hard. To my surprise, I found out that I was seeing real signs of hope. This hope was not in the eyes of the politicos; it was the eyes of Iraqis. Since desperate souls grasp any rope tossed to them, I have waited quietly to make sure that these Iraqis were not suffering any type of delusion. I listened to all three reports expecting to see something in them dash my half submerged optimism, upon the reality of Iraqi shores.
I think my conversion may have come about when I was studying the conversion of Al Anbar province. Those Sunnis chose to back us because they like us. Of course it wasn’t much of a contest, considering who their alternative was…..But it may have also come while studying the criticism leveled at us by the British, as they packed up and split. They criticized our arrogance , heavy handedness, and unwillingness to trust: all valid complaints Each of these were addressed under the Petraeus doctrine. After reading the Petraeus Book on the suppression of Insurrections, I realized his tactics were not part of the problem. They were in direct opposition to the problem. I understood what he was trying to accomplish.
What happened under Petraeus, happened not because of the amount of troops we had at our disposal, but because of the way we used them, that made a difference.
The surge may have helped. For before the surge, we, due to our insufficient numbers, acted like Soviets, if I may be blunt. We were there to suppress and pacify. We, with our own patriotic roots, should have been more aware that by taking that stance, we directly increased our own opposition.
Once we added just a few more troops on the ground, we were able to interact with the local population, while still having enough force surrounding us to protect us. Prior to the surge, the problem was that whenever a few shots were fired, we would have to shut down our clinic, and head out across the desert. However with additional troops able to chase the insurgents, the military medical corp could continue to cure the local citizen’s ills. That was the difference. We could finish what we started.
Of course the original problem was created by republicans, Rumsfeld in particular. Had we ramped up enough ground forces from day 1, we never would have needed the surge in the first place. Yes, we know their insurrection began because they believed we wanted their oil. (That republican Cheney messed everything up). But if I understand correctly, we dropped that privatized oil plank as a “no go” and are now supporting the nationalization of oil assets. We are pursuing more of a Biden local strategy, tribal leader by tribal leader, and doing so because of the surge. Paul Bremmer’s national unification strategy was not working.
What I found, in essence, was that everything I said eight months ago that we needed to do in Iraq to win, we were now doing.
Can this late development be twisted to mean I justify this war that was fought on false pretenses? Hell no. It will always stand as a stupid war, instigated by stupid ass republicans. Nothing can ever change that. We could have achieved much better results at far less cost, had we chosen to use other means.
But we didn’t. We went in against all common dignity, history and sense. So since we did, does the resulting mess lie at our doorstep? Does we broke it, mean we own it?
Perhaps. But instead of a “oops, I broke it” moment, it is more of an “Honey, I’m pregnant” moment. Whatever happened way back then, has now changed things permanently.
Of course we can put up our hands and say, “Whoa, that’s your problem bitch…” and walk out the door. Many people do and feel no remorse about doing so. But that is not how I want my America to be perceived. I want My America to be responsible. I want My America to do the right thing. My America will be no punk. My America will be a Dad……….
So emotionally, that is how I have come around about to see how we could win in that barren land. It is nothing new. Biden has pushed it for years.
To win, these things must happen. They are in our control.
Congress must finally stand up to the President. If Iraq can finally realize that America does not equal Bush, that we too think he’s a moron, that we too can admit and correct our mistakes, our relations will improve. If the American Congress ever gets some backbone, and forces upon the president a withdrawal timetable, the Iraqis too will get some backbone and begin controlling their own affairs.
Congress must stand up to the president, and eliminate the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy 2%, and invest that money into Iraq’s infrastructure, hiring Iraqis to build their own sewers, roads, and buried electrical conduits. If Congress could do that, then the Iraqis might get some back bone and start controlling their own affairs.
Congress must stand up to the President, and force impeachment if he fails to comply with Congress’s orders. Only then will Iraq realize that America is not over there to conquer, but sincerely is over there to help. If we are decisive over here, they will be decisive over there,……. instead killing time and each other until our next inauguration day.
I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker. (Helen Keller)
How true this is from a military perspective. We read of generals astride their horses, whose only contribution was to say, “let’s attack here” . Their work is done. They then receive history’s blame or credit depending on the outcome of those brave souls fighting for their lives.
The battle results are determined on the field by soldiers. Whether they choose to break and flee, or to stand their ground against impossible odds, alone determines the future reputation of their commander. History judges clearly.
Besides war, the same holds true for peace. Often it is more difficult to be non-violent, than to go into a rage. Yet those who propose peace, become castigated as being too cowardly to handle war, when in fact, the opposite is true. It takes deep spiritual devotion, and a strong belief in a higher power, to sail against the prevailing wind. To trust that peace will provide a dividend that is far greater than taking what you want to take with force……..requires great insight and courage, to make yourself believe in it……..
So who is brave?……. I learned that Marines (US) are brave. When shots were fired across Michigan Avenue in Fallujah, the uninitiated take cover. When they dare to look up, they see the Marines already running towards the sound of the shots. As you get to know Marines while off duty, you slowly arrive at the opinion, they are not that much different. But the moment live ammunition smacks around you, and you see them run at the source like fireman racing to a fire, you realize that courage has different levels.
We are taught from birth, (it may be instinct) that self preservation is a worthy cause. Survival is our primary concern. So when one takes the opposite tack, and puts survival below other considerations, those of us who witness it, call it courage.
It takes great courage to stand up to ones enemies. It takes even greater courage to stand up to ones friends. (Professor Dumbledore, Book 1) Think about it for a second………………..How easily do we lob insults at those representing the other side of the blogosphere? Too easy…………….Now how hard is it to do the same and to criticize those who have stood solidly with you and “watched your back” on other issues? Quite hard……..isn’t it.
But sometimes one must go against ones gut, and do what is right. What kind of insanity must possess a person willing to trust his life to some nylon and some string, and then throw himself out the door of a shot-up B17 over enemy territory? The answer is that the insanity of staying inside a falling chunk of metal, is greater than the insanity of bailing out……..
So what kind of insanity must possess a person who today, is willing to abandon the wreckage of what has been the primary focus of our nation’s foreign policy? Again, the answer is that the insanity of staying in a falling chunk of metal, is greater than the insanity of bailing out.
Wait a second: many of you by now are thinking. “Your analogy is not a good one. Many B 17′s were shot to hell and still made it back to English airfields. Those who persist in the war effort are like those few B17 crewmen who did not abandon their posts and persevered to safe harbor. Your analogy seems to support the opposite of your views?”
But there were also many who did not bail out over continental Europe, and then were force to bail out over the English Channel and certainly perish. By bailing early, their chances of survival would have been higher.
So rational people must look at each of these circumstances and make a decision based on their assessment of all the evidence. We are humans, we do this all the time.
For those who haven’t yet “got it,” the conversations we have about the war here within the blogosphere, mirror the conversations that took place within those shot up B17′s. The upcoming Petraeus report, is no more than a damage assessment sheet.
So with this upcoming report, how do we determine whether we throw our support against those who want to stay, or against those who vote to leave?……..We do it by performing a gut check.
Gut Check 1: If I lose my son or daughter in this war, will I always feel that they died to preserve my nation’s freedom.
Gut Check 2: Would I be better served to have all my money spent on this war and not on something else?
Gut Check 3: Would I be worse off if we left the war, or would it be better off to stay the course and continue doing exactly what we are doing now?
If you can answer no to any of these questions, you need to be in Rodney Square Today, from 5 to 7 pm. The rest of the arguments offered by both sides don’t matter one iota. The only thing that matters is your answer to these three gut checks.
Once you have decided that this war is not for you, then get moving to Wilmington’s Rodney Square. Don’t expect anyone else to do it for you. Even though the time will come when our policies dealing with foreign affairs will change for the better. But that will be because we can no longer afford the extravagance of war. This will occur when the American people realize that war causes too much suffering here at home, and the benefits of peace again become attractive to us all.
It is my humble opinion that America needs to change its policy. This change in policy can come easily once the people of this country decide that there is a better way to conduct ourselves throughout the world. Whenever the people turn against war as a tool to promote certain beliefs, the war ceases. That’s what we need today. (Ron Paul)
As Helen Keller stated in the opening of my piece: “the world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker. “
Today we are in desperate need of more honest solders for peace. Ask yourself this question: “if your showing up to this event, would make the actual difference and stop this war, could you then make a greater effort do it?” If you answered yes, then show up. Just showing up may be only the “tiny push: that Helen Keller spoke about, but if you passed the gut check, it is a push in the right direction………one requiring a great amount of courage……………………
Time to run like Marines towards those enablers who keep this war running; not duck and cover.
What would you do with 2.86 Billion? Would you redo every Delawarean High School, and hire additional teachers? Would you inspect and repair those bridges in danger of falling down? Would you put it as seed money into forming a Single Payer health care system so needed by this state? Would you invest it and use the interest to fund the Highway Fund on a yearly basis? Would you buy up farmland in danger of development, so Delaware will always be a wonderful place to live?
What is this 2.86 Billion anyway? Why are we speculating on what we would do with it if we had it?
IT IS DELAWARE’S PORTION OF THE MONEY WASTED IN IRAQ. If we were not spending it on a religious civil war over there……we could be spending it here, on us………
For those of you who still do not know, anyone still supporting the policies of this administration in that part of the world, is the person to be blamed for us not spending that money where it is needed. Here!
That person needs to switch parties, and then support spending that money here, not there.
He has been different ever since his operation. Anyone still in denial needs to see this!
Kevin Giannini copyright 2001-2007
Like the White House is prone to do, I wanted to slip this post in where it would go unnoticed for as long as possible. Sunday morning is a bloggers day to sleep in or go to church. I will probably (although I am not sure as of yet) put a bland title that most readers will pass over.
Why, because what I want to talk about is something I would personally feel more comfortable if no one knew.
Many people think that politicians control their own destines. That is a very rare case. A better metaphor would be (I love this one) that they wheel, deal, or beg for any ride that looks to take them where they want to go, and then, once inside the car, they have to deal with what ever choice they’ve made……..sort of like groupies chasing after a string of Greatful Dead concerts scattered across the Great Midwest……….
When young and idealistic, most politicians make a choice and then spend the rest of their lives proving to others that they chose wisely…….That is why when an independent notion strikes a politician so hard that he chooses to switch parties, it is news indeed.
Some, perhaps even myself on rare occasions, have castigated Mike Castle for his support of a leader who is leading this country in the wrong direction. Since Mike Castle was enabling that same leader to continue down that same path fraught with danger, and was not speaking up,… I was holding him accountable for the failed results of that very policy…..
So now I am faced with a dilemma. Do I continue to lambaste someone who is “coming to Jesus” and punish him for his past sins?
My gut feeling says no. I should not. Of course those who have read me for a while know that I am heavily influenced by that story of the “adulteress who was condemned for stoning.”
“Who has condemned you?’
‘No one is left, Sire.”
“‘Nor do I condemn you. Arise and go home.”
Perhaps my writings too will just be scribbles in the sand, whose record will be forever lost to history. But then again, the effect of those words, may just influence one of you to rise to a higher plain of eloquence than I am capable, and in turn, fan the flames a smidgen higher. A historical change may be on the verge of occurring…….
So here is a man, similar to each of us, who has seen up close the effect of pursuing the Bush Policy. Like the pharisee Saul, who witnessed the stoning of Stephan, he is overdue for a change of heart.
So what do we do? Do we support him, and welcome him in as a blinded Saul, feed and nourish him and treat him as a brother? Hoping as we do so, that others will see our noble nature and realize that it really is safe to defect from the will of Bush over to the other side? Or do we humiliate, spit and crucify him and by doing so intimidate those very others who are debating whether or not to jump ship,… from doing so?
There are many shades and colors to this question. Is this defection real or is it just a feint? Is this move designed to flush out and focus the Cheney Eye of Mordor firmly upon those in Delaware who must be surreptitiously removed whenever Cheney is eventually crowned king?……..Perhaps this olive branch is a ruse, a Trojan horse, or a decoy to buy time and lull us into sleep, while the secret orc army is cultivated deep in the bowels or earth?
It could be. I don’t know, ……….and implications lie too far beyond my meager influence, to care.
For in the end of this argument, I am just one person, but as one person who made a choice, I hope my warnings will have at least caused some free thought to have occurred within each of you. With each new reader, as ever increasing free thought and independent thinking is generated, it is through such disclosures, comments, and discussions,…..that more and more information becomes placed upon the open table, and the more informed our leaders, lawmakers, and electorate will ultimately be……..
And when it comes down to how I feel, or partisanship, …part of me like many of you, has those strong feelings that want justice. But in my case at least, those feelings are overwhelmed by a strong love for this nation and the ideals this nation represents. If someone, especially after a deep cleansing soul search, reaches in and does that unthinkable thing for a politician, and emphatically surprises everyone and says to the driver: “STOP THIS VEHICLE NOW……I’M GETTING OFF HERE…………..
he will have my support. For it takes only a small breath, or a butterfly’s wing effect, to tumble a house of cards….. If Mike Castle wants to be that link in the chain of events that makes this happen, I will do what I can to help…………
As I said……..this is hard for me to write……..I hope it generates much controversy. Truly that is what is needed……in these dire times.
And if my endorsement of a former Saul, who may soon turn on a Castle quarter and regenerate into the apostle Paul……..stops this insane war of profit just a smidgen sooner, to save even one life that would have died had events continued differently; it will be worth the pain and embarrassment that is sure to come my way by many of my closest friends and colleagues.
I have made my choice. I have personally decided that this nation’s place in history, far outweighs my own.
May God continue to bless this great nation, the United States of America…….