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The controversy has been debunked.  As Christopher Bullock plainly stated on WDEL to Allan Loudell, he was funneled the emails in order to make a statement harmful, he hoped, to the opponents of the Data Center…

For the most part it backfired.

After that was admitted, that the documents had been selectively chosen, edited, and highlighted to show only a small section of  text, completely ignoring the bulk of the letter, and after Meg Williamson had said the” Union Thugs” at Newark High School on that cold, heavy rainy March evening, were trying to intimidate all those townspeople’s entering to make their voices known….  the controversy showed itself for what it is….

A complete sham and fraud……

Because one must ask….

If one supposedly has the good of the community on one’s side…. why does one dally in evil?   One simply doesn’t.  The data center is a sham, a ghoul, a shade,  a hallucination, a mythical fabrication….  All that its supporters have said up to this point, have been false.

Let’s review?

It is being run by a viable, longterm, prosperous company headquartered in West Chester….  Yeah, out of the smallest and cheapest mail box one can rent from Mailbox Etc……. (Oh, my, gosh…. one can’t make this stuff up!)

There is no noise…. False, it is the equivalent to two drunks talking right outside your bedroom window at 3:33 am.

It will create jobs…. yes, after initial building is over, about 10 new local jobs,…. less than a brand new Wawa.

It will not pollute more than Chrysler.  False… it pollutes considerably more than Chrysler.

It does not produce Carbon Dioxide.  False.. It will add considerably to global warming over what is there now….

It does not burn fracked natural gas.  False… All it’s gas will come from fracking.

There are no investors who will get rich… This is only for the good of  Newark… False.  The investors this month chose to piss away$7 million, than have to reveal who they truly are to the public eye.

There is no pollution from a gas turbine…  False,  … According to their spokesperson (Ed Grant) on WDEL, this will be the largest gas fired burner in the state…. It will pollute worse than that tall burner in Delaware City, the one you can smell as far away as Bear and the City of New Castle, acknowledges TDC spokesperson, Ed Grant.

People live next to gas burners all the time.   Yes, little teeny tiny baby burners….  Like those next to IKEA’s… But no one in America has ever lived this close to a giant 248 MW burner, and lived to tell about it.

There are no carcinogens, ever, that come out of natural gas… False.  Their own submission to DNREC states the exact opposite….

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Get the picture?  Like a used car salesman trying to sell you a car pulled out of the Hudson River, every claim imaginable is being made with no regard to substantiation or whether or not it is true….

There has not been one truth told by supporters of the data center……

Oh yeah?  Find it.

So it has become all about those damned elitist, racist white bi*ches, now….   What a pathetic bunch of puss*es….

Hey, Chris Bullock... You’re a pastor…. Tell us the truth…. Is this how you want to really be remembered…. after you leave this earth?  A bully?  The opposite of Jesus?

Hey Sam Latham…. You’re also a pastor…. God’s country, Sussex County. You too… Tell the truth….. Is that how you really want to be remembered?   Having to beat up on some woman, who came damn close to being Newark’s mayor?

Your side has lost this cause… If  either of you were truly serious about getting jobs into New Castle County, instead of covering for the Greenville elite….  You’d be hustling for another business to come in, one that won’t kill women and children, pets and grown working union men in the process…….  and we’d all be right there with you.

 

 

 

 

 

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“All you have to do, is close your eyes, click your heels together and say:  “there’s no place like home. there’s no place like home…”

Imagine Delaware, held at the Clayton Hall of  the University of Delaware, is sort of like that…  The panel featured 5 speakers:  

1) Mark Kleinschmidt,  NCCCCn (New Castle County Chamber of Commerce President)

2) Dr. Domenico Grasso, Provost of the University of Delaware (UD) 

3) Robert Schwartz, Pathways to Prosperity Network 

4) Robert Atkinson,  President,  Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

5) Governor Jack Markell,…

The theme was : career ready jobs through career ready education….   Tonight, the call was issued for a combined intensive effort from employers, educators, and government and nonprofit leaders to build pathways that link between work and learning and are aligned with labor market demand.

The argument was similar to that used by Common Core…  It goes like this.

The job market is global. America is behind.  We need more jobs.  There are jobs for very smart people that are empty.  We need to revamp our education so our not-so-smart people, can perform in those smart jobs.... That was essentially it, if you couldn’t go.

Just in case you are not familiar with the myths proven false with those looking at Common Core, here are the several myths from  above…

1)  The job market is global.  (The myth (or joke) is that no American Corporation pulled out of America and went to a third world country because of the quality of  their education…  We are not making IPods in China, Banaton’s bangles in Bangledesh,  Nike neckties in Nigeria, because of the high degree of mathematical skills their population’s possess…  No!  We shipped jobs over there because their employees would originally work for a bowl of rice……)

2) America is behind.  (The myth (or joke) is that America has the best education across all income levels.. Education is related to poverty;  if you take each income layer of America’s schools, and compare it to the comparable countries which are also in that same income level, which ever one you choose,…  the United States is on top of every single category….   Our +60% poverty schools educate better than other countries whose poverty average is +60% as well.  Likewise, our under 2% poverty schools, beat those of other nations with under 2% poverty…  At the  core of all the inappropriate misguided interpretations, is that our +60% poverty schools cannot do as well as  those under 2% poverty schools in other nations…. We have more poverty than most countries, and that is what lowers our entire national school average.)

3) We need to revamp our education:  (The myth (or joke) is that we revamp our education every 3 years.  Common Core is three years old now, and here we are, now getting this big push for vocational oriented education).   We did the DSAT, DCAS, SBAC’s all in quick succession.   We jumped from No Child Left Behind, to Race To The Top, to Common Core, and now… Imagine Delaware.  Education is the one facet of American life that goes through more changes than Chairman Mao…. 

4)  So not-so-smart people can do smart jobs…  (The myth (or joke) is that the number of smart-jobs is so small… Cited was the AIR study that pushed the parameters to state that in Delaware, there are 3 1/2 more high tech jobs than people who can fill them… Also stepping up to collaborate that was...Beracah Homes in Greenwood Delaware which was quoted as having hard times finding licensed electricians, plumbers, and other experienced tradesmen according to Jon Gallo, the company’s CFO.  Yet a quick check with IBEW off Basin Road, and Harry Gravell’s office in Elsmere, and Sam Latham, Delaware’s head of the AFL-CIO, … all consistently informed me that all their workforce is half idle…  There are electricians looking for work; there are plumbers looking for work.  there are skilled tradesmen looking for work…  The problem being quoted by Beracah Homes, is there are not enough NON-UNION certified electricians, not enough NON-UNION plumbers, not enough NON-UNION skilled tradesmen for Berach Homes to hire…  What they are looking to hire, is “cheap” skilled labor… 

The unsaid premise of tonight’s gathering, was that if you train your high schoolers in the trades, you can then do away with the trade unions… You can hire skilled labor on the cheap right out of high school for pennies on the dollar….. 

Furthermore you had two think tanks on the panel, one chamber of commerce head, one provost, and the governor… It is human nature. When any of us feel self-important we accent those threads of life which make us think we are self important…. 

Missing from the discussion, was any mention of poverty.  To be honest, it really didn’t fit in with the topic of conversation… just like a smelly elephant in the room doesn’t jive when one is discussing delicate desserts… so I can forgive it for being overlooked…  But if anyone is really serious, and would truly like to meet the aims these lofty over-$150,000-yearly-incomes espouse….  then we have to attack the poverty and start educating our children…  

We’ve got everything we need to get it done except leadership…. 

This will get lost in 9/11 memories and Syrian controversy.. It is a shame. For in all that madness created by the Obama drones (forever now imprinted by the John Stewart’s Daily Show), this is one true gem of news…

Allowing non union workers to win benefits achieved by the union members in collective bargaining agreements, violates Indiana’s law which requires, no, mandates that compensation must be made for services rendered.

Because the non union employees were getting compensated without paying union dues to the union that won that benefit for them, that clause of the Indiana State Constitution was being violated.

Indiana is a Republican state. This was a Republican court. They even used a basic tenant of Republican philosophy, eliminate Welfare, to come to this decision.

In their eyes, there is no difference within a “right to work” state, between non union workers sitting back on their asses, drinking beer and watching TV on someone else’s effort…. and Welfare Queens, sitting back on their asses, drinking beer and watching TV on someone else’s effort.

Telling words ended their judgment….. “There is no court more loathe to declare an Indiana statute unconstitutional than this one”

“The court has no choice but find the Right To Work Laws violate the Indiana Constitution…”

ALEC’s Right To Work law has suffered defeat… Time to step up pressure in ALL states.

The now famous high stepping Wal*Mart video  mentions that point….

Now, the meme of bashing Wal*mart  and fast foods has gotten a little blaze and to be honest, when I first saw the flash mob at Walmart on the national sites, as a person with little time, I passed.

But on Delaware Liberal, I opened it in another tab, and was listening to it as background and all of a sudden…..  it stopped for a half second and then…

“Hold It! Did You Know? It Is Your Right To Form A Union!”

The answer in my head was … “no, i didn’t…”

The second answer was… “of course I did.” which made me more intrigued by my original answer.  Why on earth did I think it was bad for these people to interrupt business as usual to demonstrate for something affecting I think, one person?

As this “wow moment” started to dawn on me, I realized I’d been brainwashed’… Over time.  it had really happened.  My gut, had been  over-ruling my head….  it’s a business. They should call the police. They should fire everyone involved…   Demonstrations are really ineffective blowing off of steam…

“Hold It! Did You Know? It Is Your Right To Form A Union!”

How many others out there would say “no” … How many others out there really don’t know it is their right to form a union?  That anyone can form a union?  It is legally protected.

Oh, they can threaten to fire you if you join… And they can fire you….

But if they do… you can sue… and even better, under current law, you can sue them and win.  Win big!

You can make them pay you for all back wages you lost.  So finacially it is just like you were working but having the entire time off.

You can make them pay all your damages, including late fees on bills you couldn’t pay because the illegally fired you. You can make them pay interest on all loans you took out to live on, even if they came from family.  If you Dad gives you a loan at 1000% interest, they have to pay that… and to your Mom, your brothers, your sisters, your aunts, and uncles…  Your whole family and friends can get rich off them because they fired you for forming a union!

“Hold It! Did You Know? It Is Your Right To Form A Union!”

The business may respond to the legal judgment ,  “Screw you , we are closing”.  But if they close they will still have to pay you for all the damage they cause you because they fired you for forming a union… You still win! And win BIG!

“Hold It! Did You Know? It Is Your Right To Form A Union!”

How is it that our newspapers don’t remind us of this.  How is it that Unions are painted to be the bad guys, because they make a business lose money?  Why isn’t the business painted as the bad guy, for stealing potential earnings out of each and every employee working for them…

Some may think forcing a union on a business is unfair.  Racist states often use this argument.  Why should White owned businesses pay more for black people’s labor?   That is why ALEC (in Delaware associated with Patty Blevins) was invented:  to protect White Businesses’ interests.   And still unfortunately, in some states, there were enough white people still agreeing that black people as well as to  those whites who associate with them, should be paid inferior wages,so much so that with ALEC’s help, enough votes were mustered to pass state anti-union laws..

But historically there were laws that once said: slavery was legal. Despite bad law, morally it was still everyone’s right to be free….

“Hold It! Did You Know? It Is Your Right To Form A Union!”

It is your right to form a union.  Existing law is crystal clear.   Why was this decided?  What is the moral argument behind it?

Simple.  You have to eat.  Bottom line.  If someone says  I have to pay you $6.00 an hour because I’m not making enough money, and you can’t get money anywhere else, you work for $6.00 and hour.  If he counters that he can only pay $5.00 an hour, and you can’t make money anywhere else, you will  do his bidding for $5.00 an hour.  Why not $4 then?  Why not $3 then?  Why not $2 then?  Why not $1 then?  Why not .25 cents then?

You have to eat.

There is no bargaining chip in your favor…  Your employer if legally allowed, would pay the lowest rate possible to still have employees. When there are more employees than positions,  wages could drop very low…. because you have to eat.

America went through the Great Depression primarily because of this… Even business leaders realized from that experience that by making their employees so poor, no one was buying the products they were making…

And so they agreed: “If we make our employers have disposable income, they can buy our products and we can again make money”.  So the legal basis was almost unanimously approved  by both businesses and labor, to make the right to strike just that.  a basic human right protected by the full force of the law…   Simply because paying workers higher wages is good for increasing overall demand. and that is what drives economies forward.

“Hold It! Did You Know? It Is Your Right To Form A Union!”

Basically, a union is the answer to this counter argument:   “why should you, the investors, get all the money off our labor, and we get none?” Admittedly both of us should get something decent from our arrangement….

And there you go.  America did do very well… that is, until our media became influenced by investors (who now own them btw) and started painting unions as a scourage…  Missing from all press coverage, was the simple fact that one has to act scouragingly when bargaining with fellow scourages…  Sort of like not realizing that your hero prize fighter has to hurt people.  It’s necessary to stay in the ring…

So I encourage all reading this to now begin talking up unions in your workplace… Because if you get fired for any reason afterwards, you can blame it on the legal right to form a union….  it is like a wonderful vacation in which you still will get paid, probably even more than if you’d put up with the bosses crap the whole damn time….!

Now… you know!   It Is Your Right To Form A Union!”

Yeah.

It really is your “right.” and it is protected by law.  Now, go get them tigers!

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!

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.

Most of you missed this, but Alan Levin and Senator Bob Marshall stopped by coincidentally at the same time to visit Rick Jensen of WDEL, and smooth as he was, Rick convinced both to sit down for an hour and go head to head over the topic of  privatizing the Port of Wilmington….

First Alan Levin;  Delaware Economic Development Office….

a.  Delaware river will be dredged to 45 feet.

b.  Panama canal will open to new big ships from the Pacific, which will be coming up the Delaware River.

c.. Ships if not coming here, may go to ports north to Philly, Paulsboro, Newark NJ, Norfolk.

d.  If we don’t accommodate these larger ships, jobs will go elsewhere taking 3000 jobs. By 2016 we should start seeing them.

e. Was not a sweetheart deal. Competing bids were proffered.  Local  ILA (International Longshoreman) even asked the state to search out new private/public partnership bids back in Sept 09

f. Turns out that the  Bank of Montreal was advisor for port transactions, the division was located in San Francisco. It’s job is to  just finance ports.  Sent out 70 inquiries  17 expressed inquiries for further information,   4 actually made bids.  2 were called non responsive.  leaving 2 good. Kinder Morgan and one private equity group financed by local individuals.

g. Of the two bids received, the Kinder Morgan bid secured workforce. The other group said they would rob workforce pension and union bust to squeeze their profit out of efficiencies.

h. Kinder Morgan bid grants a three year guaranteed security, to the  ILA, to the  teamsters, to the businesses outside..  What other business gives you a three year guarantee?

i.  Kinder Morgan would grow profits by increasing tonnage.  They want to add 3 additional warehouses  200,000 square feet each, and 28 additional jobs.  The other bidder, made up of local cutthroats, would cut the workforce to squeeze out its profit.

j. Kinder has the ability to bring in additional volume, to negotiate and bring other companies in.  The other bid doesn’t.  Improvement costs are substantial.  $12 million per crane. It costs between $60-70 million to replace berth 5 and 6, just the repair of which will cost $8-10 million. We need the long term lease. Companies want return over time.  they won’t do it for 5, they won’t do it for 10. That’s why it is a 50 year lease.  The people of Delaware want commitment as well.  They don’t want someone saying “we’re outta here” after 5 years.

k. BDO did an independent audit.  As does the State Senate  they also show a $ 3 million yearly loss.  Reports are posted in their auditor’s office.  BDO is independent and won’t jeopardize  their reputation by lying about the port of Wilmington.  It is bottom line business.  Net profit in the end, is minus $3 million dollars.  The General Assembly is putting in $10 million a year for improvements.  That $10 million doesn’t get us past where we are. It doesn’t get us out to the large ships.  We need to get out into the Delaware  and that will cost $100’s of millions of dollars.  Kinder Morgan has considered expanding the Delaware River auto berth, built 20 years ago to accommodate Volkswagon.  The berth goes southward. Kinder would go northbound, and put two berths, with two cranes which will service the 3 warehouses being built.l.

l. LNG is off the table,  that has been committed to in the General Assembly and will also be in the lease. Can Wilmington accommodate LNG tankers?  No!  The port of Wilmington is not big enough to do LNG.  And two, they will not increase coal over today’s level; our same level of 100,000 tons of coal is stipulated for the next 50 years.

m. Protests against the port are  having negative effect. Both Mr. Kinder and Mr. Foster came with the understanding we were the ones seeking and they were not expecting negativity. They understand the ebb and flow, but were not prepared for this huge outcry. it was us. We invited them to the party. Had they come to us as a hostle takeover, the outcry could be right and proper… So far we’ve done  what we thought was right.  We got to find a way to stop the annual spending of the $10 million because the $10 million won’t get us out to the river. Kinder proposed and promised and has done it elsewhere.

n. Kinder Morgan if they have a customer who needs to get to the river, they then will build to go to the river; they can make the extension at that time.  But Kinder (like any successful business) does not promise or commit to anything except what it is prepared to do today.

o. If deal falters, the future of port will be tenuous.  It will continue to have great management, and a great workforce, but won’t have the proper resources to go to river.

p.  If deal collapses, no,  the port won’t go bankrupt.  but collapsing the deal  is not responsible.  Being responsible is doing something to stop the $10 million  bleeding.

Now… state senator Bobbie Marshall…author of Senate Bill 3 signed by Jack Markell, overseeing the lease of port….

a. Big problem is… we do not have details of Kinder Morgan.  No written proposal,

b.Expansion is something we all favor. but deal  receded into one of ” no expansion”, but we will now have to turn over the entire port. including the 300 acres owned by Delaware citizens, managed by Diamond State Port Authority to someone we don’t know.

c. Port is actually  a profit making entity if you remove the depreciation yearly. Actual operation is profitable.

d. Port could grow jobs within the  interior 250 acres if port grows and expands, and with new money, more employment opportunity exists if expansion occurs…

e. Point out that Julius Cephus (ILA) has rallied people, businesses, and elected officials, and has pointed out that this may not be beneficial in long term.

f. Preliminary proposal at this time, the due diligence will be present by end of month which will allow presentation to bond bill and bond bill will hold hearings on the proposal… Senate Bill 3 requires review by bond committee.

g. Members of legislature representing the state of Delaware, passed bill in 1994 to allow Diamond State to operate the day to day operations, but never was it place  in the code, to give either Diamond State or the governor sale and total control of 300 acres of port property.  General Assembly and its citizens are the tenant. Diamond State Port is the renter.

h. Port of Wilmington Directors are responsible to exercise “all function” of port….including the leasing of lands to companies…. That is different from” selling” the land of the taxpayers out from under them.  The state taxpayer keeps ownership but leases to Kinder Morgan.

i.  All  interested parties, need to read Miami Herald and how expansion of Panama Canal will affect the ports of the east coast. We need to invest the Delaware river side of the port and that is not happening with Kinder Morgan.

j.  This is a lease, this is not a sale to Kinder Morgan. The Diamond State board can do leases….  Alan’s understanding is if the bond bill committee approves Kinder Morgan deal, it goes to the House and Senate for up or down vote with no debate.  But Marshall say debate will be impossible to quench.

k. Any one can appear before the bond bill committee… Alan will appear. Senators can appear. Kinder Morgan will be given total control of port. Diamond State Board will still be in place, will still have oversight, but not its running on a day to day basis.  They make sure agreement is in force, and if not, they will take appropriate action.

l. Worried about control  People getting laid off?  Kinder Morgan will automate and cut employees down to one.  Low skilled people will get shut out,  Has happened all over the country.  Failed private ports run by Kinder Morgan, cut people.  (Which ones ask Jensen.)

m. Kinder Morgan is interested in the fruit business, Kinder Morgan is paying premium for fruit; they want to build three warehouses. Already they are seeking  long term contracts with Dole, Chiquita, and the Chilean Pacific Seaways in order to get their fruit.  They have to have to be given the chance.

n.  (Jensen) Depreciation needs to be on the form to comply with IRS. Depreciation is where the loss of the port is coming from. Without it, the port is profitable according to Marshall.

o. Kinder Morgan is a bulk and liquid bulk company. (John Vitale):  Concerned this deal will cost him money; his business is on the outside of the port.  Container experience is limited to one 10 acre container port in Florida. Taht is all the experience they have.  Products generating most jobs in ports are containers, breakable containers as in fruit, and automobiles. Handling bulk products are the least job creators.   The outside area around the port has grown because the conscious decision not to handle bulk, because they didn’t mix with fruit and automobiles… .

p.   Ok, (John Vitale) With Kinder Morgan switching to bulk, we could end up out on the river, but we still would have 20 percent of today’s  jobs.

q.  Flat out,(John Vitale)  bulk products are far more profitable and will drive out costlier containers which are labor intensive, forcing the outside businesses to go out of business. High number of jobs at the port are there because of fruit, these will be lost by not sticking to containers…. A for-profit company will not be in the best interest of the  existing port.

r.  Ferrous alloys, fertilizer, liquids are not competitive with the outside businesses. (Alan).  We can promise this:  employees will last three years, we will get an income stream to the people of Delaware, and that capital improvements will happen.  Check out Vancouver where Kinder Morgan has spent in last two years, $140 million spent on improvements for cargo bulk containers, something they didn’t anticipate when they leased it two years ago. …They are  willing to pay a premium for our expertise. They think fruit is good business.

s. Concern that we are putting too much faith in hope. Kinder Morgan is a Wall Street for-profit stockholder company.  Delaware’s General Assembly’s support is contingent on growing business to the river. Legislators are very worried about the external  businesses existing outside the port.  i

t.  Bonds $7 million owed to the city (Roger Roy) ..  In 1994, we made two deals with Wilmington: one to pay them over time, and the other was to take over  the bonds they owed,  which is to pay off their bonds which they currently have.  State still owes city close to$7 million..

u. (Kowalko).  We will debate the bill on the floor. … Alan is saying the Bond Bill Committee will debate the pre proposal proposal… not the proposal because at this time, there is  no proposal.  Issue is not about Kinder. …  The bond bill was to discuss t he ethics of privatization of the port, not the deal itself.  Therefore when it goes on the floors, that will be the only time to debate the actual Kinder Morgan proposal.

v. (Liz Allen)  Vancouver contract shows Kinder Morgan is not liable or loss for any cargo, not liable for any delay, strikes, fires explosions, or acts of god, and Kinder Morgan is indemnified from all losses…. Both (Alan and Rick) spoke up that sounded like a standard hold-harmless contract, one required for all business.  So who is responsible if there is an explosion (Liz)?   Responsibility goes to Kinder Morgan, they have the liability(Alan), their insurance covers that, and we are not absolving them of liability.  All obligations go to the person leasing the deal, not the lessor…

w. (Rick)  Emotion doesn’t make sense. Why so much negative  emotion?. (Bob Marshall)  Those interested and raising concerns are those who work in the port, work in businesses  around the port.  Kinder Morgan is a profit making company, former operator working as Enron officials, that raised a red flag. Rick asks:  is everyone at Enron a criminal?   No.

x. (Alan) Trepidation is about change to what we know.  We have tried to mitigate  that concern on everyones issue.  Bottom line is people of Delaware can no longer afford putting $10 million a year to upgrade the port.

y. (Alan)we take money away from everyone else in the state to bolster the port. We have an obligation to the port of Wilmington, but we can’t take anything away from Seaford, and Laural, and education and public safety….

It probably hit mass culture with Star Wars. Where, when in a pickle, one made some adjustments to a computer, pushed a button, and one was suddenly in another part of the universe.

Then came the TV show Quantum Leap in the 80’s, where after a certain feat had been changed, one jumped through space and time into a new body, to begin a new episode the following week.  Remember Ziggy?

I was reading one of my earlier pieces that for some random reason yesterday had  caught a flicker of interest, and back then I had used that concept, that of “jumping”, to explain why America was finally settling on Obama as their candidate of choice….

America had been milling around in stagnation and needed a “jump” to move us forward. Clinton and McCain could not engineer that, I proposed and that is why we needed someone new, to “make the jump” forward.

That was written during the campaign of 2008. This summer will be 5 years hence.

America still needs to make that jump.

But just as we almost get there, Republicans sabotage it by pulling the  computer’s plug…

Now you reading this may be a Republican but please don’t take offense. You are actually a big part of the solution which you will see, if you read through to the end.

Let’s look at a few things.

  • Starting in the 80’s the Middle Class has consistently been losing ground against the top 1%. Now the Middle Class has spent their retirement savings just to pay normal expenses , and we are still heading downward.
  • Immigration reform was supposed to be completed and done in Reagan’s time. Thirty years ago. We are just getting serious now.
  • Our interstate system is 50 years old. We haven’t reinvested adequately. 11,000 bridges are held up by paint, and could drop out from under us at any moment.
  • Our tax system is still after 30 years, in disarray. The wealthy get breaks, the poor get pissed on.
  • Our Social Security and Medicare Programs are going bankrupt. They were also supposedly permanently fixed in Reagan’s term, again 30 years ago.
  • We have been at the mercy of oil speculators for the past 13 years. We still are. What did you pay today?
  • Capital investment in America is at an all time low, yet the wealthy have parked $13 trillion in savings. Why no investment?

So America, why are we still stuck in the 1980’s?

Republicans.  That is why.  Conservatives.

That sounds so simple that one must wonder why we haven’t moved them out of the way?

And that answer, is because for some crazy reason, we keep changing the rules to let them play longer.  Citizen’s versus United is just one case in point.  Allowing one person to fund a candidacy opposing the people’s true choice, obfuscates the entire playing field, and in the fog, makes the minority appear to have far more clout than is endowed to it by the American people.

Voting tallies prove that we have had over the past 24 years, 5 popular vote victories for Democrat presidents, and just 1 for Republicans, and to be fair, that was to a wartime president who barely got re-elected into office. Voting totals are the only non-spin, the only unobfuscated time we ever get to see how America truly feels.

The majority of America want us to jump forward.  They are tired after thirty years of nothing.

Right now, Republicans have killed the America dream.  College grads do not see them using their knowledge in their future jobs.  Retirees see their golden year’s savings swallowed up by profits of gigantic medical corporations.  Everyone is making tremendous amount of money, except 99% of the American people.

The majority want to jump forward.  Yet it is always Republicans holding us back.

Holding us back on Immigration Reform.  Holding us back on higher revenue.  Holding us back on budget cuts.  Holding us back on health care reform.  Holding us back on Chuck Hagel’s nomination….

It is just stupid..   It is done simply to achieve drama, and is only done for dramatic effect; it still is just a stupid waste of time and your money.  It is as if Republican behavior was patterned after that of a six year old child who drags his feet before going to school.  That child  knows he has to go there eventually, but he whines, supines, and acts recalcitrant, just to get attention…. maybe make someone feel “sorry’ for them… Boo hoo.

America is playing the role of the parent to these recalcitrant Republicans and is damn tired of it.

One simply has to look at today’s looming sequestration, which is strictly a problem Republicans created and brought down upon all of us,  and across this great nation, Americans  shake their heads in unison, remembering that if a Republicans had never been elected President  in the year 2000, by 2008 and Obama’s election, our national debt was on track to have hit zero…   Yes,  Democrats would have paid off the entire National Debt by 2008, if we had never had George W. Bush slip into office.

And now, we preparing to slash $86 billion over the next 9 months.  Then do the same over the next 12  years…

Under the Budget Control Act by 2021 discretionary spending will be at 5.5% of GDP which is its lowest level of GDP since 1931.  (We all know what happened in 1932!)   And we propose to cut it lower?

Yet we have $13 trillion in savings owned by the top 1%.  $86 billion of $13 Trillion is…. 0.7th of  one single percent.   If you increased taxes on the wealthy by only one penny per every dollar over $1 million, we would have  yearly budget surplus... just like that.  One penny per dollar over $1 million.  That one penny would even give us an additional 0.3 of one percent extra which could be applied to lowering the deficit…   Unbelievably easy….  If you own trillions, who is going to miss a penny?

But we can’t do it for one single roadblock.  Republicans won’t raise taxes.

America needs to “make a jump”…… and we need to make that jump now.

If this were Hollywood or a television drama, Captain America would pull out his sidearm, kill the insubordinate (spy) officer, and ask his attache to step into his position. We would then,  finally be able to save our ship.

Americans could then dream again about prosperity.  There is only one reason we don’t still  have it today.

What Lower Christiana Will Look Like in 10 Years
Photo courtesy of Google Maps/ Lower Schuylkill

Kinder Morgan is a pipeline company. It is the fourth largest energy company in America, behind Exxon-Mobile, Chevron, and Conaco-Phillips. Though it was spun off from Enron, a point of contention which many opponents point to, it was started by those who saw to where Enron was headed and jumped the ship in port before Enron began its fateful run. In fact, it employs the whistle blower who reportedly sank Enron. So get that comparison out of the way. KinderMorgan is not Enron. It IS the fourth largest energy business in America.

Which shows how little we really know about it. For Kinder Morgan likens themselves to a toll road. No matter whether the price of gas goes up. or the price of gas goes down, as long as it gets transported by the fourth largest energy company, it makes money. Kinder Morgan transports energy.

Which is why it wants to come to Wilmington.

Big company. Little state. Equals coercion.

Today, most people have no idea what the Dupont reference means in the title. That is amazing and really shows how far things have come in thirty years… Without exaggerating too much, it would be safe to say, Dupont owned Delaware’s government, and got anything it wanted. For that privilege, mind you, they loved us and bestowed upon us many gifts, including our double laned highway stretching from Delmar to Philadelphia Pike… now named the Dupont Highway… In all honesty, one of the things that makes Wilmington such a great city, and makes Delaware one of the best states, is the generosity of Dupont bestowed upon this state with the second smallest landmass.

It came with a price. Our toxic waste dumps. Our cancer rates. Our brownfields. These were bought by Dupont’s gifts to those running our state. Vote to allow Dupont to dump toxic chemicals on a piece of land and get a museum as a bonus. Really how can anyone say no?

38 years later, no one remembers the museum, except that their school may have went there on a field trip. And that is hard to even remember while busing mom to her radiation treatment center, and taking the kids to AI Dupont for their bone marrow transplants… And with all the Advil you have to take to keep the throbbing bearable in your own head, it is a miracle that you even remember anything..

Choices have consequences. Every marriage has its cost.

It becomes a moral issue, now. Should Delaware divorce the marriage made to its high school sweetheart, the one with a long high school and college courtship? The one both families have gotten used to? The one spawning four children? The one supporting a church, a PTA, the Food Bank, the fight against diabetes, with volunteer effort, because a new suitor just happened to notice you and wants to play?

A big name like Lindsey Lohan wants to marry Delaware. She will bring a lot to the table. The question is, just as if the suitor were Lindsey Lohan, the benefit is very short term. The cost, will be on-going for the rest of our lives…. Is there a chance that such a marriage will work? There is always a chance…… but .. nope. Not in this case.

There will be a Kinder Morgan port with liquefaction plant somewhere on the east coast. It can either be in the Delaware Bay or the Chesapeake Bay. There is so much gas being found in the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania right now, estimates of a massive 100 years worth, that to get a higher price for it one has to go overseas. Europe is starving for gas. Russia keeps turning their supply on and off.

Someone will need a gas port on America’s east coast and the cheapest spot is between north of the C&D Canal, and Philadelphia….

A pipeline from the terminal at Coatesville to Wilmington is rather cheap, and with minor adjustments, LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) ships docking in Wilmington will soon carry their explosive cargo to Rotterdam, Hamburg, and Sagunto, Spain. ..

This construction will be done with non-union labor brought up from Texas. Existing contractors with whom Kinder Morgan are familiar. Costs per mile, payment plans are already locked down. Gradually Southbridge with the help of Delaware’s General Assembly and the blessings of the next generation of chief executives, will be bulldozed and turned into the next Marcus Hook.

It is inevitable. Europe’s lifestream will flow through Delaware. Shipping is not as dependable as are pipelines and storage is a key component… Fill the tanks when the price is low; sell the contents when the price is high.

The Christina Riverfront, will resemble the lower Schuylkill delta. Across the river from the riverwalk, storage tanks will stretch as far as the eye can see……

This deal, that of giving away our port, WILL CHANGE DELAWARE FOREVER…. and it is being done in secret. No community involvement. All hush hush. False innuendos being given instead of details…

Are the details not as bad as the hype? Well, whenever that scenario occurs, details usually are leaked out for the very reason the are used TO SWAY OVER the public… Since they aren’t leaking, someone is trying to present a fait accompli.

Speculation is always rampant when there is silence. The best way to combat irresponsible speculation is to release the actual details. Let people know what to expect before the deal is done. Just perhaps, their objections may open your eyes to a possibility previously unconsidered, that could, if found out too late, wreak havoc with our daily lives!

Otherwise Delaware, expect to be greeted early one morning with this… : Kids? I kicked out your Mom last night… I want you to meet your new Mom… Her name is Lindsey. Lindsey Lohan… Everything is going to be just great from here on out!”

Surprising the (thought of too late) proper answer to Romney’s silly statement that: Corporations are people too… would be how I ended my post below, which is the headline above. People are capital, too.

Which means just like you have to invest in physical capital, one has to invest in human capital too.. Ironically the wisdom of this disappears in corporate boardrooms. They look at how to use capital to achieve more profitable ends. Therefore it falls upon the shoulders of Labor Unions, to bring this argument into daily discussion. sometimes by employing the action of a a strike.

Suddenly with a work stoppage, the idea that one needs to reinvest in human beings, makes itself readily apparent.