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China shoots down two  B52’s flying through it’s extended air zone.

What now?

Nuke 7

The initial reaction would be to retaliate.  Strike something of theirs!  Expect some nut of the Tea Party to do a stand-up filibuster the Senate and demand nuking Beijing and Shanghai… But they are stupid.

The US is really not in any position to retaliate. We would have to react diplomatically.  Pull our staffs, etc, etc,… talk to them through the Russians.

For if we were to launch, we would be launching against a nation smart enough to cybersleath into our NSA, not some dumb Muslim nation locked in the 13th Century.  Good chance that not only would we have lost the two planes originally, but our losses would also extend to every single one of our attacking planes. We’d be wiped out.  No doubt all our electronic deflections have already been neutralized by the Chinese…   Our most effective military retort would be of a submarine at-sea launching of unmanned missiles taking out a minor retaliatory target.  But even if that launch was not jammed, once that was over, the extension of airspace would remain, and not be challenged again…..

In any military engagement off its coast, China wins.  Pretty much the same way the US would win in enforcing the Monroe Doctrine 2 centuries ago…  We have the power here; and you, from way over there, don’t.

Nuke 6

So one must use a different perspective.

What is the one thing China most fears…  Come on.. you know… It is obvious…  Still guessing?    Ok, I’ll help you out.  China most fears an insurrection of its own people.  People who want freedom, privacy, democracy, and those great things we often take for granted.  The Chinese willingly let themselves be run by their totalitarian government… At any point, based simply on numbers, ie the number of people in security, and the number of people not, China could rise up, revolt,  and rule itself…  This scares the Party more than any other threat.  They know that whereas the US would certainly not dismember their bodies in a public square, if the revolt got ugly, unlike us the local population would have no qualms in doing so…

Therefore we play to their fear….

The reason China does what it does, is to keep the people happy enough so they don’t revolt.  Their economic growth, their development, their capitalism, is all based upon that premise.  “If they are happy, we, the Party, stay in control….”

So.

Nuke 5

What if we declared economic war?  Stopped buying anything from China?   China would have to become a consuming nation to survive. Currently China’s wealth is saved and reinvested.  Compared to the average US income, which practically buys everything it makes… China buys very little of their own products, those are slated for exports to bring more cash into the country. If the world stops buying Chinese products, then those savings not invested outside of China, need to start buying  up the products instead of the other members of the global economy….  That is a short lived proposition.  After all, how many shovels will each Chinese buy?

It is further aggravated by China’s demand for raw materials.  Food is one.  Oil is another.  Heavy metals are a third.  As each of these become critical, each becomes rationed, the growing restlessness starts whispering that these hardships would never have come to pass, if the regime had not shot down two airplanes that up until a week earlier, had always flown that route with no problem.  Now, because of a gross error made by the current regime, millions have to go hungry, aren’t working, and are barely existing…  Perhaps the whispering campaign goes, it is time to overthrow the overlords and sue for peace, and get things back to normal?

As China cracks down against this whispering dissent internally, it loses focus externally…

Nuke 4

That would be the time to present a show of force.  The US  then blockaids China.  It would take two rings.  The outer ring would consist of ships permanently parked outside the range of China’s missiles… Their job would be to impede all international commerce headed to China, boarding and searching every ship…   The inner ring would consist of primarily of stealth submarines who would sink or shoot down everything making a mad dash into China…

The Russians would probably take the middle road, most likely benefiting from their proximity to China, but not going as far to alienate the US itself by forming a Sino-Soviet Aggression Pact.  It would be impossible to stop all commerce into China.  The demand for all goods would make the profit margins of smuggling, impossible to ignore.  The Soviets would benefit; Indochina, India, Burma, the Stans, would all benefit, but that amount slipping through, would not compensate for the hurt coming from the Shanghai and Hong Kong docks being empty of commerce….

Sooner or later, a group within the Chinese leadership, would have attracted enough numbers to challenge the military extremists, and something would crack and diplomacy would then become an option….

Point is, the choice to not attack militarily, is not an act of cowardice…  it is just so smart.  If every American citizen were to follow the Tea Party option and attack China, we would be at a 5 to 1 disadvantage.   But if every citizen in China attacked the ruling party and we were on THEIR side, we would have a 20 to 1 advantage….

nuke 3

Attacking China with economic weapons, is no different than surrounding a castle during a Medieval siege and waiting it out….

Super smart.  One gets the prize for no cost at all…..

That is why China has erred in its calculations… by thinking only in military terms where it does possess all the cards in its favor…

Unfortunately in war…  one does not get to make up all the rules….

Nuke 2Nuke 1

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You will be asked to represent the people of Delaware. This is an accountability vote. One which will always be used against you, by someone, no matter which way you choose to vote. Hillary’s similar vote cost her the Presidency. These type of votes don’t die. They are never forgotten.

Your Great- Great Grandchildren’s descendants will rate you based on this vote. This is one you don’t want to cast lightly. You, no doubt, will be offered a lot of short term promises, in return for the loyalty you choose to show the President. It would be wise to remember that a promise easily made, can just as easily be broken.

But if you get this vote wrong, it will haunt you.

There are huge questions that need answered. By you.

  • Why is launching cruise missiles the “only” option being considered?
  • What is the Pentagon’s and outside experts’ assessment of the damage, a “limited” attack will cause?
  • How does this petty retaliation show resolve? For example, if you put a starving man in jail for stealing an orange off a fruit stand, does this act affect his behavior a week later when he is starving again?
  • How does any act against the regime, not worsen the plight of those who live within its borders? Any damage suffered by the military will get repaired asap while taking resources away from the already suffering population.
  • How does sticking to our principals, when the world tells us our principals are dead wrong, “win us friends and influence people?”
  • Exactly how is using chemical weapons good when it is the US Marines making it rain white phosphorous as was done over Fallujah, and only bad when it is someone else?
  • If the US launches an attack, and fails to achieve the teaching of a lesson, doesn’t that in real life, embolden Iran that much more, knowing that if the USA can’t effectively execute against Syria, it surely is not a threat to Iran?

And what is the other sides argument?

  • We have to look like men, and defend our honor.
  • Nobody will respect us if we don’t respond ruthlessly.
  • We have to do this (kill more poor innocent children) so those children who died in the chemical attack, did not die in vain,
  • Our Pentagon has new surface to surface weapons we have not yet tested in combat,  This is our only chance to do so.
  • It gives our nation macho-swag.
  • We always go to war when we feel like it; why stop now?
  • We want to see the footage on TV.  This television season is so boring already  (Just don’t bomb between 9-10 on Sunday nights!)
  • As soon as the first bomb will fall, Assad will apologize, step down, and surrender, and not retaliate in any way, just as did the USA after being attacked on 9/11.
  • It is too much expense and trouble to actually “do something” meaningful in Syria, to make life palatable for those living there.   Just send them a delivery by air mail and then be done with it.  Like wiring some flowers on Mother’s Day.

All these are very valid reasons for launching cruise missiles into Damascus and the surrounding desert.  So you, Carper, Coons, and Carney, must weigh these opposing arguments very carefully, and not only be conscious of how opinion flows today, but as everyone directly saw after the invasion of Iraq, be very wary of how all that “we yet don’t know”, can rise up and forever attach itself to your reputation for as long as men look back upon this time.

You have to get this one right…..

My advice?  (you knew it was coming…. )  Listen to NO ONE in official capacity, because everything they say will be slanted.  Get your “read” from your children, your mom and dad, your aunts, uncles, grandkids if you have them.  Your friends from high school and college.  Go into a bar incognito in another state and listen to what real people are saying….

These kind of decisions are not to be decided lightly.  These are not decisions of the moment.  These decisions come from whom you really are….  Someone who decides for themselves?   Or who decides based upon which option looks the best at any given moment?

For if you are right.  And you know it, Then history will be kind to you.  You will be able to rest in peace.

 

“Watching you watching me / It’s so easy to see…/ Watching me watching you / It’s so obviously true”  Lyrics by Bill Withers… 

If there is anything one can gather from the Snowden release, it is that American media is severely compromised.

Here is the news we are constantly being given:

  • Interest and speculation on what Snowden must feel.
  • Speculation on where he might or might not go.
  • Speculation on what it must be like to live in an airport.
  • Breaking news of what Snowden’s father thinks and feels.
  • Reports on who back in Washington, feels he needs or needs not to be punished.
  • Accepting without question, the US Government’s case he is a spy, not a whistle blower.

=====

So here is what is not getting told.

A) Internet freedom is over.  Revelation that the US has the ability to read everything passing through the US, means that this connection is no longer trusted by the Chinese, the Russians, our economically competitive nations, those pirate sympathizers or people like you and me, who don’t want strangers accessing what we like to do when we have stripped off our professional skins and get down to being ourselves.

B) The Chinese have moved to seal off their own system. The Russians will have theirs up and running shortly. There will be soon be private enterprises who will set up secure connections that guarantee that no records will be given out based on the  model of the Swiss system of financial secrecy.

C) What this means, is that we revert back to the library system.  If you want to look up something in China, you will send a query, it will be approved as it leaves the US, it must be approved by the Chinese in order to enter, and it then gets directed to your party.  This requires human oversight, and will slow queries to weeks, instead of nano-seconds.  Same if you wish to find out something in Russia.  Heaven help us if a Chinese satellite breaks off course and drifts towards collision with the International Space station manned by Russians and Americans…  We’d never get the message.

D) We are hoping the US will be one monolithic entity under this, but imagine if it wasn’t.   Imagine if nothing liberal could be searched up in Texas?  Or nothing Conservative in Connecticut?

E) This is being effectively done, right now, and no news service in the US is reporting it.

F) Without Snowden we would not know that the NSA has been able to bend nine US internet companies to its demands for access to their users’ data.

G) Without Snowden we would not know that analysing data was not done by the NSA< but was  turned over to un-vetted private operators, such as employees of Booz Allen Hamilton.  Their employees had access to every email, every phone call,  every facebook account.   We would not know that half a million fellow citizens have high security clearances who shouldn’t.

H) Nor would there be a debate between Europe and the US over where the line between Freedom and security should lie.

i)  Control of the internet is about to get very contentious.  Knowing how the US and its internet corporations abused their control, certainly means the US cannot be counted on to oversea almost all of the junctions upon the net.   Google instead of being world wide, independent of the US government, is now seen as an express arm of that same government.  Yahoo, Verizon, AOL, Time-Warner, Microsoft, Comcast, all certainly cannot be trusted either…

J)  These revelations also damage the Obama administration’s credibility to its core. Proclaiming internet freedom in words, to cover up deeds on this gigantic scale, was an attempt to mislead.  Fully aware of the extent, and arguing for full internet freedom is equivalent of George Bush arguing for gentleness and amnesty towards Iraqi prisoners  to cover the atrocities of Abu Ghraib.

K)  Snowden’s revelations tell us that NO United States- based internet provider can be trusted with your privacy.  Nothing that is stored in their “cloud” services can be guaranteed to be safe from surveillance or from illicit downloading by employees of the consultancies employed by the NSA.  If you are a company thinking of using a US company for servicing your IT needs, you now know that all your trade secrets will be up for sale.

This means the golden years for US internet companies may have come to an end.  If not their end, then at least these companies must now scramble to quickly evolve into different entities if they wish to survive.

Perhaps Swiss law might be tweaked to allow secure servers to set up camp somewhere in the beautiful Alps, who for NO reason, will give out any information….

More jobs going overseas.

Why is this not being mentioned in American media?  Are our reporters really that stupid?  Is our press truly nothing but Luddites who blindly go where authority directs them to go and look for clues?

That could explain why we constantly hear about  speculation about Snowden’s travel plans, asylum requests, state of mind, physical appearance, etc. The “human interest” angle over here, has trumped the real story.

The real story is that the NSA revelations expressly tell us how our networked world actually works and they portend the direction to which it is heading.

I hope you enjoyed your freedom while you had it.  The internet is through,.. Welcome to the Age of Internets…..   That is the real story.

The sub-story is that the NSA lied in March and emphatically said: this program flat-out did not exist.  So when they say they only see phone numbers… ?

cough, cough…


Right click to open full image… Pictograph Courtesy of Viral..

So, can someone tell me again, why we shouldn’t tax the rich, and instead, balance the budget on the backs of everyone else?…….

I seem to be missing that little detail where that all makes sense……

Call it temporary insanity but let’s pretend, let’s just say, …that at one moment in time, if I chose to donate my youth out for my country, to be compensated back in the form of low pay; to completely and unjudgingly offer my fate up to the will of bureaucrats, all for the loss of my own self esteem, all for unending stretches of boredom, sparsed with interludes of a few intense seconds, that fortunately thorough my reactions and training, enabled me to continue living as I do today………….

I could reasonably be expected to be honored for that service to my nation, right?

In a perfect world, that is….

One would think, that in a perfect world, as needs were being debated across the universe of public funding, that a hierarchy resembling this, would sort of be the guideline, if not the rule?

National Heroes…..

over

We, The People…..

over

LLC corporations….

After all, if it weren’t for us, there’s a good chance those LLC. corporations wouldn’t be able to do business in a free and prosperous society, you would think?….

One would think, that if one of these heroes needed medical care, with the tremendous amounts of money being thrown away by our government daily, in the forms of corporate tax breaks enabling corporations to make “record breaking profits”…. that they would be put at the top of the list.. don’t you think?

Sorry, CEO… your operation will have to wait… We have a veteran who is in dire need ahead of you….

In a perfect world….

One would think, that a voucher system would be in place, or a blank check, where any veteran could walk into any hospital, and get immediate, necessary medical attention, have his prescriptions filled as a privilege for his service, and that the bill would be willing be paid by those with monetary resources more than adequate for their own needs?

One would think, (right?)… that it would be CEO’s, those who give pink slips so they can break profit records, those who cut benefits so they can break profit records, those who don’t invest in America so they can break record profits, ….who should be the ones finding themselves regulated to CEO hospitals, where they would then have to settle in on a waiting list for the next opening to occur, where they had to endure budget cutbacks and go without life-saving medicine because there was no money left in the CEO fund, perhaps because it had all gone to Veterans to pay THEIR expenses?

In a perfect world…..

In a perfect world, veterans would need no freebies…. They would not need welfare, or a pension, or a humble stipend to eke an existence… They would be working, contributing to society, in any way they could… If they had no legs, they would be outfitted at corporate’s expense, so that would not be an issue… If they had no arms, they could be outfitted at corporate’s expense so that was not an issue. If they had psychological damage, (and who wouldn’t?) they could be treated at corporate’s expense… so that was not an issue.

If they were so badly damaged that they create an efficiency drain on society, they could be honored for their sacrifice, and a useful voluntary capacity could be created to honor that commitment once made so long ago… Perhaps speaking about serving one’s country in every class, in every school, in every county? Can you think of any better civic’s lesson?

There’s a lot that can be done…

The problem is that veterans are deemed as just another expense…. Because to corporate America, that is just what they are… An expense, an obligation to be met that gets in the way of their making more money…

Unfortunately, our Congress is owned by Corporate America….

What should and does need to happen, is this relationship needs to be exposed. We need to call them out on it…

Republicans and Democrats are both complicit in allowing corporate raiders this unprecedented power. But Republicans are the symbol of Corporate America. Republicans are the ones who championed the Corporate Takeover. Republicans are the ones who dismanteled the safeguards that had been put in place to prevent that takeover from happening. That is why they need to go. Disappear… Whoever is left, the remainder, most likely after seeing the elimination of a large majority of their peers, will think twice before following their Dark Lord, now a soul less wanderer eking existence.. ……

In a perfect world…

Unfortunately, today we need to contend with obscene amounts of money saying Corporate is Good; Government Fairness is Bad….

But we have our lives telling us the opposite… It will take courage and strong will, to override all the overload of sensory data being pipelined into our soul, but we still have hearts, and those hearts are attuned to what makes America special. great, and the best place to live on this earth….

WE can still dream….

And those dreams should include a perfect world… one we CAN make happen, at least for those without whom we would not have the freedom, the resources, the nation, we have today….

Here’s to a perfect world?

Delaware's best and brightest

Isn’t she lovely?

Before picking on a young Christine, one has to remember what those times were like. Back in the 1980’s, she really wasn’t that far out….

AID’s had just come out of nowhere. Today we don’t fear it; but back then, there was fear. Have sex with the wrong person, and you’d be dead in two years… Morte!.

Some people who were deeply religious, thought it was their responsibility to make the world safer if not healthier. Especially when MTV was promoting masturbation as the safe substitute for sexual intercourse.

Self-Masturbation could lead to mutual masturbation which could lead to group masturbation which could lead to leaky seminal fluids which could then be passed around….. indiscriminately. One could die from AIDS. And to set the stage correctly, quite a few people did die!

If one could die from masturbation, then it is best not to get started. So warning others about masturbation, could indeed, save lives… I know, wild and crazy sex may not seem like a crises now, but back then, AIDS was indeed rather scary…. Of course, the press played it up big that we were all going to die unless we became monogamous with another safe partner….

Christine O’Donnell was saving lives; That is a good thing. So don’t knock our lady.

Ok,.. Let's Do This!....

Yesterday, Obama was in Dover to grieve the return of those heros who crashed.

It brings up again the argument of why we are there……

There are small truths, and there are Great Truths…

For example, a amall truth may be that your child is on heroin. It will suck away everything you own.

A Great Truth, is that the boy or girl is still your child; you can’t wipe out that fact. You can’t say, “you made your choice; I’m done with you.”

Of course you will get that advice from well meaning friends. They’ll point out the hard facts that your child made his own decisions; that your child bears the responsibility; that your child made his bed and now has to lie in it.

And in the context of small truths,….. they will be right. Why should you cash out your retirement for legal fees, fines, clinics, drying out facilities? Why should you go to bed with a collapsed heart, cleaved by grief, from guilt, from the ghosts of “what could have been?”

But our lives…. are run by “Great Truths”, not small ones.

The “Great Truth” is that:.. “that is always your child”. The “Great Truth” is that: there can always be “hope”. The “Great Truth” is that: miracles do often happen, and when they do, they often leave a trail of good in their wake… The “Great Truth” is that: if you do choose to give up, and stop fighting the fight for “good”, the answer suddenly becomes final. It is over. You were it’s last hope.

But,…. if you never give up, for as long as you keep fighting, it can,… it can have a “good” ending some day. At some point in the future, it will have all been worthwhile…. Every effort, every pain, every tear, will have had its place in history as being a piece of the road that brought you to this marvelous conclusion.

Yes, miracles do happen. They never happen to those who give up.

So the question that needs addressed to the American people, is not symptomatically whether we should or should not get out of Afghanistan….

The question needs to be framed, that as Americans, should we pursue our journey towards a Greater Truth… or collapse upon the recognition of the small truths, and cut our losses…?

Essentially every president faces this test. Dying in quest of achieving a “Great Truth” is worth the lifeblood of every American parent’s children. Losing one’s child in vain, is the opposite.

Our goal in Afghanistan, is not to eliminate Al Qaeda, nor eliminate it’s unwilling ally, the Taliban. Our goal is not to support Karzai, who increasingly is showing himself to be using the vehicles of corruption to keep himself alive…. Our goal is not to isolate Pakistan, which will tend to increase their nuclear paranoia, were a freely independent Afghanistan to do a reach around and engage Pakistan’s arch rival India…..

Our goal is simple… It is to leave Afghanistan in a position where it can rule itself, and rule itself with a power that is not intent on crashing airplanes into our cities……….

It is that simple… We are simply there to protect individual families of Afghanistan from being on the receiving end of terror from either side or warring party, and provide each family with enough security for them to figure out just how to accomplish these goals…..

Yes Afghanistan is a mess now. And yes, there are hopeful signs of a positive conclusion. Those of you who shun the military, probably missed the significance of this teeney, tiny little line in today’s paper…..

“Mohibullah (chief target of the raid) and the unidentified man who fired the shot at the helicopter attempted to flee the country, ISAF said, most likely to Pakistan, but were tracked to a wooded area in a nearby district. Both were killed by an air strike Tuesday, ISAF said.”

That sent a tsunami through the insurgent community.

“Sure you can get lucky and bring down one of our more antiquated helicopters, but don’t expect to be a hero for long. We will find you. We will kill you…”

Every insurgent will think twice the next time, RPG in hand, a helicopter flies over his head…. “Um, not me, too risky. I won’t be the one this time.”

Small truths… Greater truths.

No one ever faults the parent of a child who successfully beats his habit, who drove the streets at night looking for their child on every corner, who stayed by his child through treatment and jail, who supported them right to the end, when finally that child, after all that effort, decides to dry out permanently, and start taking control of their own life.

Walking down our streets at night, asleep in its shadows, lie the sleeping bodies of all those children of parents, who chose to accept the “small truths”, and washed their hands, giving up on them.

That’s pretty much the answer to Afghanistan.

On the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, the continuous guns fell silent…… After years of incoming artillery’s deep, resonant pounding,…..the quiet began. The rare pop of small arms fire,….. faded away. Cautiously a brave soul or two crawled out and stood on top of the trenches. Turning to the other side, they saw the enemy of just a few minutes before, mirroring their own actions…..It was truly over.

Compared to the rest of Europe, the US fared well. Germany, France, Great Britain lost an entire generation of their young men…..

Some dreamed that surely, after such a waste, there never could, or would be such a war again……

It was only a dream…..as history would soon prove……

On this day, there are 22 verified veterans left….worldwide. Four of these are Americans. Soon the last living memories of this war….. will fade away……….

My brush with living memories happened when I was in High School. What the German war machine failed to do………an insignificant clot accomplished. Those who visited, told stories of the dark, turbulent wrestling within the soul……They whispered of an alert mind, albeit one locked in the year 1917 from which it would ultimately and peacefully escape…. They spoke in hushed tones of an old man, possessing enormous strength, incapable of being subdued by even the hospital’s largest orderlies……They told of the soldier’s enterprising son, who climbing back into those years to be with him, and navigating the treacherous barbed wire memories, peacefully calmed him down, until the old soldier finally accepted that his war was over, and quietly signed his own armistice with God………..

We learned he had suffered from shell shock as they called it then, spending the post-war years in a sanitarium somewhere in occupied Germany, of the bland letters to his wife and unseen child back home, letters whose lack of substance during this vapid time, played rabidly on her fears of another women…..

We heard stories of involuntary reactions, occurring some twenty years later…of a face, framed by white hair, turned scarlet in the middle of a social gathering, when someone absently said, “Oh that was during the war.”

And then there were the personal effects, a letter rapidly written in German by a dying officer, with our hero’s first name mentioned as being the one entrusted to make sure the letter got back to his wife, a letter that said the war would soon be over for him, that the only important thing he hung onto as he crossed over to the the other side, were the times he and she had shared together……..As kids we used to march around in a dough boy’s hat, and a genuine spiked Prussian helmet. (the originals were all black, by the way, no silver.)

And then the youngest son, who came along after our soldier had mellowed somewhat, told of stumbling with his dad, across a model of one battlefield, I think it was Belleau Wood, and how that opened up the memories which, pent up for years, calmly flowed out unrepressed, with no emotional consequences.

Through this, we heard the story of a young officer defying a direct order to attack, solely because the objective was unattainable and trying to attempt it, would wipe out every one of his men….Who opting, instead of facing a firing squad, to have himself crawl into no mans land……accompanied only by his sergeant who had stood steadfast with him during this ordeal only to get ripped apart minutes later, had to lie there for two days protected under the warm, safe body which occasionally absorbed a well placed bullet, kept safe by only the tiniest rise of land preventing a direct shot…..

The story of showing up in France, and leading the AEF’s first attack, upon a fortified hill surrounded by the Meuse, and succeeding…..

Those memories didn’t die….they passed and took seed in another generation. Today they lie embedded in one more, a generation who once again questions the “why” of war.

Like his grandfather before him, this person too was brought up under a religion that seem to question war and tell us to “turn the other cheek.” Like his grandfather before him, this person too believes that sometimes there is no greater duty, than to give one’s life for one’s country……..How are these two, supposedly opposite points of view, ever to be reconciled?

We know that Jesus allowed his disciples to carry swords. During the final days, when he asks the disciples if they have a sword, and Peter shows two, he says that is enough…..But later that night when Peter uses his sword to protect Jesus and cuts off a servant’s ear, Jesus tells him sternly. “Put that away. We will have no more of that…”

Fascinating. This duality starts from the beginning of the Christian religion itself.

Throughout history, the worst wars fought have been religious ones. The longest animosities, the ones considered too hard to bury, are those originally pricked by religion….

When we are told to turn the other cheek, perhaps we are to do that on a personal level…. By doing so, hoping that we show others, just how deeply we believe these principals . Perhaps this line of thought recognizes that we are each small instruments of change; but a change of heart in multitudes of men, can implement massive changes…..Therefore doing a self deprecating act, such as dying for another, or carrying an enemy soldier’s bag an extra mile, can have a much greater impact overall, than another killing and the loss of one dead soldier…..

But as a nation of free people we have another responsibility. That responsibility is to ensure that justice, (or that which is right),… prevails over evil, (or that which is wrong)…. As some of you may note, there is a wide play of interpretation in just exactly what is right, and what is wrong…..

But for a strong nation to appease a despot like Stalin, Hitler, or those tyrants in Burma, does exactly the opposite of performing justice. Instead it shows others, despite our words, that we implicitly support these evil regimes, and in doing so, we fail to send hope and inspiration to those who fight, to right the wrongs caused by their misguided leaders….

War enacted by a political state is sometimes a necessity, the last remaining line of defense against the selfish designs of a demented few. Less pain and suffering worldwide, can be bandaged by enacting war, than by allowing open wounds to fester, rot, and spread their evil infection elsewhere.

Therefore as a nation, the United States must occasionally gamble all of it’s resources in the ultimate test…. One must on occasion risk all, to determine whether all was worthy to be risked……

Any nation is only as good as its foot soldiers,…. its grunts. Those choice veterans I know, with whom I’ve hugged, laughed, and cried, …… continue to reinforce the notion I once had as a child: that based on the quality of people who put their lives on the line for this nation, we are truly the best nation to have ever lived upon this planet……..

The clock is ticking down……less than forty hours remain. Friends….that is only 2400 minutes! Or even worse, just 144,000 seconds. The countdown continues…..

Remember when the General Assembly was sworn in early in January, At that time the 1st of July seemed a long way off.

But in 2359 minutes, it will be here! January to June, let us see…..six months? we should be tidying up by now with just a few knick knacks left to finalize…..Right?

Let us see what is on the agenda’s of today’s General Assembly.

In the Senate: as of 12:00 (yesterday) only one thing: Tony De’Luca’s bill to have various organizations within the state, look for extra money and report back on 12/21/07 on what they find. I find this a little confusing. Why do we need to tie up the remaining 2398 minutes with a bill that does nothing but say “we need to do this”. On the surface, when you first hear it, it seems sound good. “I, Tony DeLuca, got tough with our bureaucrats and demanded they look for other ways to fund our government.” But isn’t that naturally what happens when you, your business, your government runs out of money? Your first priority becomes to find “where you can get more”……….Since there is no funding within the bill, and there is really nothing new in the bill, this bill, as it says from the outset, it is just a proclamation……..A commission, proposed within this bill, could just as easily be appointed by the governor to find revenue streams and report back.

If someone could get back to me on why this bill is important, I would like to hear. But in reading it, it sounds like ‘much ado about nothing.” One would think with only 2397 minutes left, we could find something far more worthwhile to debate……………..

On the house side more is going on. You have Senate Bill 36 which quietly sells government employees down the river. AFSCME may still be around for years, but as for saving pension plans or bargaining for better insurance, forget it. This bill would forever remove those items from the collective bargaining table:

Position classification, health care and other benefit programs established pursuant to Chapter 52 of Title 29, workers compensation, disability programs and pension programs shall not be deemed to be compensation for purposes of this section;

So if in the future if it becomes necessary for the state to economize by cutting benefits to minimize costs, the unions will be unable to protest it. This appears to be the first quiet, hidden attempt to cut state employee’s benefits. This Rubicon, if crossed, will forever diminish labor’s effective voice. Due to the lack of outcry, I doubt if most of them know……….or will know with only 2396 minutes left.

Next comes HB 177, the fusion bill. This would eliminate candidates who may have lost the primary, from running as a third party candidate in any general election aka Joe Lieberman or Connecticut. As Delaware Watch points out this bill would force organized labor to support just one of the two major parties. And you know they won’t support Republicans. Obviously this is one Democrat’s attempt to keep its rank and file from trickling away, aka the Berlin Wall. Thanks to the watchfulness of Dana this bill became public knowledge. But with only 2395 minutes left it had a good shot at going through.

Next comes HB 208, which says that a person has committed burglary as soon as they enter a building without permission. They do not have to steal anything, just be there. This would effectively cut down on the solid American tradition of checking on elderly neighbors, just to see if they might need medical attention. But most likely this issue will not be raised with just 2394 minutes left.

House Bill 251 prevents convicted criminals from becoming volunteer fireman. Perhaps this is ok, but I think there is no harm in letting Freeberry fight fires if she wants to. But these ramifications will go unnoticed with only 2393 minutes left.

The Senate Joint Resolution 3, organizes a leviathan task force to see what can be done with Wilmington’s schools. The makeup of this monstrous 33 member task force, will be big on names, but seriously short on talent. It will pass on the feeling of “lets do something nice for Wilmington” because no one will have time to look too hard at it with only 2392 minutes left.

House Concurrent Resolution 32 creates another task force, this time of 23 people, to look at new assessment possibilities instead of the current DSTP used in schools today. 3 of those will be on the above task force as well. (I hope they have daytimers). This report is due late May 2008, too late for serious action by the second half of this General Assembly. But it should generate plenty of controversy for the upcoming election. 2391 minutes and counting.

Senate Bill 119 seeks to insert this clause into the Delaware code: “(1) The amount to be raised by taxation shall not exceed 20.97 cents on each $100 value of real property in Sussex County for the tax year 2008, 22.23 cents for 2009, and 23.50 cents for 2010 and all years thereafter.” This is to fund Vocational Schools only. And with only 2390 minutes left, no one will even know……..

Senate Bill 123 further seeks to streamline and professionalize the educational process by controlling who those parents are on the advisory boards, which used to be siphoned from the Delaware Congress of Parents, but now are to be hand picked by the Secretary of Education.

Senate Bill 126 finally does some good. This bill alone should save the state billions over its lifetime if enacted. This bill returns the determination of fines back to the discretion of the judge, by eliminating the predetermined amounts, which unfortunately sent many people into our correctional system, who really did not need to be there. Let’s hope there is enough time, with only 2388 minutes left.

House bill 189 removes one more roadblock that stands in the way of remaking Sussex County into a sea of aluminum sided houses. This obsolete law, which on its surface makes sense to update, will, by its removal, allow many developments to go forward which have been so far held back. This bill still is stuck in committee. It may not see light in the next 2387 minutes left. Oops just passed the House.
HS 1 for HB146 seeks to mandate stateside recycling. Unlike most bills before the House this time, this one has the means to pay for itself. However constant vigilance and discipline need to be exercised to insure the recycling fund is not pilfered by Republicans whose modus operandi has always been: “see it, spend it” despite their political rhetoric to the contrary. Oh! Just got shot down…………..

House bill 241 seeks to make this change which will affect 5 employees of the state………all well known to every legislator.

Section 1. Amend §5201(b), Title 29 of the Delaware Code by adding the following sentence at the end thereof:

“An Individual qualifying for a service pension under §5522(e) of this Title shall not be an ‘eligible pensioner’.”.

Section 2. Amend § 5501(d), Title 29 of the Delaware Code, by inserting therein a new paragraph to read as follows:

“(22) Service as a per diem employee with the House or Senate of this State.”.

Senate bill 133 seeks to mandate the separation of children from sex offenders. This is a good bill. Let’s us hope it gets a hearing with only 2384 minutes left.

HB 220 could with tongue- in- cheek, be called the John Atkins bill. Should he ever return to political notoriety at a whim, he could be hauled in and tested. This bill extends alcohol monitoring indefinitely instead of ending in one year. This could be a good thing for those repeat offenders, but more than likely, knowing how most legislators can put down several very stiff drinks in a very short span of time, it could also be used for intimidation and control once an arrest was made. But in their stupor, there is no time to consider this, with only 2383 minutes left.

House Bill 172 seeks to impose the monitoring of uninsured motorists driving upon the road. It tightens reporting requirements on those who get insurance to buy a car, then let it lapse with no payment. Within ten days the state will know. But, to those who like to hold public officials accountable for their actions, this warning is appropriate: you had better make sure your insurance gets paid on time…….

HB 240 seeks to clarify criminal offenses by switching many minor ones over to civil offenses where they belong. This bill is an interesting read for it includes a list of minor infractions that should be civil in nature. Check out for yourself how many times you were a criminal, and because you did not get caught, you never knew it? This bill is overdue. The cost savings from tying down courts, the AG’s office, and law enforcement, over the life of this bill, should save billions.

HB 212 widens the area sex offenders cannot be seen in to include parks, playgrounds, daycare centers.

SB 160, again by DeLuca, provides one more slap in the face specifically to those American workers who get HURT ON THE JOB. They are being asked to incur at least 15% of the medical costs that occurred from accidents while they were on the job. Currently, they receive medical attention at no cost to themselves for employer mandated accidents. Considering that most current Americans do not have enough money to pay for gas , electric, ARM mortgages, car insurance, or car payments,….. their answer to the question “Do you want to go to the hospital for that?” will turn into an emphatic “no,” a decision that may perhaps kill them a few months later from its complications, but save them from paying their part of the 4000 dollar medical bill, which if paid, would push them into bankruptcy. This is just one more example of how a leadership position, removes a thoughtful person away from reality.

Senate Bill 111 seeks to move one offense the other way, towards a felony. Violation of a Domestic violence protection order, will be upgraded from a Class A misdemeanor, to a Class F felony. Knowing how those to violate these orders, are under passionate emotional influences, and immune from normal rational thought , this bill falls into that feel-good status, (look, we did something) just as mandatory sentencing did, and not into effective control. The only effective difference will be the charge presented to the court, long after the women and children are dead.

House bill 266 attempts to standardize the definitions of abuse thought the state’s governmental system. However, based on their definition of “emotional abuse” that definition could be in a thesaurus under “marriage”.

SB150
will give those medical professionals who help out during emergencies, freedom from any liability for any action occurring as a result of their involvement, the same way state emergency responders are protected.

HB 207 seeks to give the same penalties for selling counterfeit drugs, as for the drugs themselves. No more getting off because the actual drug sold, acetaminophen, was not on the controlled substance list……… but was being sold as something that was……..

SB 35: Section 1. Amend Subsection 1014(a) of Title 26 of the Delaware Code by striking the figure “$0.000178” in the first sentence thereof and replacing it with the figure “$0.000356”. This extra money goes into the Green Energy fund at the residential electrical cost of .18 cents per household. This is to generate home grown energy projects on a person’s own property.

And most importantly, with ramifications greatly affecting all Delawareans, is the Dick Cathcart sponsored HB 245. This bill will change history by changing the method moist snuff is taxed within the state of Delaware.

UPDATE: JUST LAID ON SPEAKERS TABLE

Keeley HJR 7 establishes yet another task force, again devoid of funding, to look into statewide recycling. I guess she doesn’t have the necessary votes to pass HB 146.

Then there is the HB 250, the appropriations bill for 2008: all 256 pages of it. But no worries, mate, there still are 2377 minutes left. (9.28 minutes to read and absorb each page, that is if so choose not sleep.)

Hopefully they are taking amphetamines. Because if they decide to get a good night’s rest over the next couple of working days, they will squander 480 minutes of that time left. One must assume that they will sleep on the floor of the offices, because commuting times will bite into 120 more of those minutes. Unless they eat while working they will use up 120 minutes and estimated bathroom time should fall between 100 and 120 minutes. So if we are willing to forgive these personal indulgences (a whopping 820 minutes), they have only 1577 minutes left……a little over twenty six hours to do all of the above and the bond bill as well, which as of yet, has not arrived out of committee…

There is a lot for our legislators to absorb in the next several minutes. To make it even tougher, our lobbyist’s contingent insists… that our legislators follow the Dr. Pepper rule these last few days……..

Dr. Pepper rule? Don’t know that one? That is a classic. It stands for having two drinks by ten, two drinks by 2, and two drinks by 4. Is it any wonder that our citizens get the short end of the deal at the end of every legislative session?

For true insight on how democracy works, show up at legislative hall on Saturday night.It is free and open to the public…… And bring a camera phone.

I find it ironic that:

Dick Cheney says pulling out of Iraq will embolden other Arab nations, and yet his company Halliburton moves its headquarters to Dubai, so it has a free hand to do business and pump up those very Arab nations he warns us about…..

That Mike Castle feels giving billions to the wealthiest few is important, but body armor to our soldiers, is not………..

That under democratic leadership in WWII, we fought two wars similtanously, and won, in less time than we have been in Iraq under republican supervision……………..

That everyone who has ever had the misfortune to be involved with Iraqi war, has suffered considerably, except one: Cheney………………………..

That a president who smoked pot and “didn’t inhale,” fared much better in making policy decisions than a president who was arrested for over drinking when he was young…………..

That Organized Labor, who singlehandedly confronted factories and coal companies and forced them to pay its workers at fair rates, is now kowtowing to the same large corporations such as NRG, thereby screwing its worker’s families with higher energy prices and lung disease……………

That Republicans can even think, that to save a son’s or daughter’s life, now stationed in Iraq to protect Dick Cheney’s oil,……. is playing politics to the far left extreme of a certain political party……………………….

That the candidate in the 41st special election, who is sponsored by the “party of the people”, has thrown his support towards a large corporation, NRG,who is intent on taking over Sussex Counties airspace with its pollution………

That the more some republicans emphatically argue that Bush is different than Hitler, the more he sounds the same……………..

That some Republicans had the guts to stand up to Adkins, and Democrats, didn’t…………………………..

That Republicans even to the point of fake television shows, went to great lengths to portray 9/11 as the fault of Clinton’s democrats, when it was those very Clinton Democrat holdovers, Tenet, Black, and Clarke, who were the very ones who pleaded with Condoleeza Rice to aggressively pursue Al Qaeda and disrupt its ability to organize just such an attacka 9/11, and each time, were unceremoniously shut down………..

That blogs, are more intellectually stimulating than newspapers…………………………..

That people complain about money corrupting politics, but avidly determine a candidate’s credibility and their vote, by how much money he or she has raised………………

Republicans gained credibility under Reagan’s crusade against Communism, and under Bush, who embraced Communisms way of dealing with opposition, they lost it…….

That the only candidate for governor to offer voters a fifty point declaration of great ideas for this state to grow and develop, is bashed by the News Journal editors as being inconsequential.

That up until this legislature started, all we heard was Karen Petersen’s open government legislation, and now, no one even mentions her anymore………..

That NRG even has an “environmental manager.”

That it is parent’s responsibility to “educate” their own children, but when they attempt to “educate” the administration by a midterm election, it is dismissed as an irrelevant event.

There is room for so many more, but I ran out of time……………………..