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Today, as I was sitting on my lawn chair soaking up the hot temperature, a cabbage butterfly flew over me.

My first thought was oh wow, I have to mention this to Allan.

But then, I remember, they pulled the plug on  comments to their blog, so this little conversation that should have lead to other conversations and topics, will never happen.

Death …. it is final.

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It’s been a week and WDEL has died. Allan Loudell still gives the best news one can find, but lunch is a busy time.  Whereas before, the oscillator was always positioned on 1150 AM or 101.7 FM because of Al Mascitti who was on 9-12 M-F, and the news came on right after, now even though I know Allan comes on at 12, even though I know how good it is, I still forget because I’m already deep into another station… When they hit their commercial break at 12:30, suddenly I remember: oh crap, I missed Allan’s news.

Rick’s show is still Rick and I do listen whenever I get the opportunity, but that usually is random and now rare, simply because as soon as the car turns on, another station begins playing…

The blog of Allan’s has dried up.  No one has commented on it since the change over to facebook login only.  No one.  I wonder how long Allan will dance in the dark, putting up his links and commentary which take a lot of work and time of his, when there is no corroboration that anyone is paying attention.  Before it is too late, scroll down past the timeline of change, and see how voluminous the comments often were. I’ve gotten many comments of how less fun life in Delaware is since these changes were made.

Today I listened to Susan for a short spell. Someone from Pike Creek who used to always yell at Al and Al would often yell back and hang up on him, told Susan she was a lot better than her predecessor.  Said the previous person in her position was crass, disrespectful, and a disgusting human being.  Then he went on to lambaste Liberals as putrid imbeciles, full of hate, disgusting slugs who had ruined the entire world and would not sit still to be lectured about it..

It occurred to me. Al wasn’t a horrible human being.. This person calling in was. A real jerk. A jackass. An insolent piece of pipe one could buy at Ace Hardware for 5 cents a foot.  The reason he didn’t like Al was because he couldn’t put his “thing” down on Al’s show.  He had nothing to say, but call names.. This made me think since a lot of chatter was speculating that Al was mean and rude, the real problem was those callers who really shouldn’t have been calling in public.  I don’t know how many people supposedly complained, but… did we do a psychological examination on all those who did, before taking their side and removing the prime money-maker WDEL had?

But between the hateful spew this commentator gave, Susan, was playing along right with it.  Thanking him for listening to her show, and telling him to call in again.   Out loud I said… “Damn, what a double standard…. ”

And it became quite clear, personality clashes probably had little to do with it.  If you allow one side to be rude and obnoxious, but don’t allow the other, you are playing sides.

There is no progressive side now.  Rick’s show is more progressive than Susan’s if you can believe it.  Morning radio  at WDEL is like listening to the old days at WGMD when Don Ayotte and Frank Knox would call in and spat.  🙂  And there were calls in from Phoenix (obviously a regular caller) and West Virginia, weighing in on Donald Trump?  Can we say…. conservative plants?

One can sense all negative feedback over the change will be brushed off by Delmarva Broadcasting.  It’s a marketing plan to go after the Southern listeners… However, there are other stations down there with conservative views that conservatives listen to. Al Mascitti was the only option for progressives in this state to catch.  The math doesn’t add up. You lose everyone in New Castle County to fight in the margins of Kent and Sussex. New Castle County is Delaware’s most populous with 56% of the state’s population.

Smh.

 

Susan Monday came on at 9:00 today.  Susan hails from 105.9, a sister station of WDEL located in Dover. Al has been scrubbed entirely from the WDEL website. Today Susan’s conversation was imported from 2006… “What we should do about waterboarding?”  Really? I flipped stations after 15 minutes because that battle was fought and won 10 years ago… The two callers I recognized from battling them back then on Delaware Politics and Delaware Right.  Even with Al, I always had another station burning in the background but would hold off depending on Al’s topics. With Susan, it is now a no brainer.

Furthermore at exactly the same time,  Allan Loudell’s blog comment section has switched over to only to Facebook verification, there is no bypass.  Those of you who do comment on Facebook, and feel disheartened by Al’s absence, should go to Allan Loudell’s blog  and replicate the thread you put down at Delaware Liberal..

Whether this change was insisted by someone to shut down a very powerful voice which did create multiple backlashes which in fact, did stymie a rather large number of New Castle County crony get-rich-schemes, OR…. whether it was as is being played, a business move to try and grow more conservative listeners downstate,…..  either way, there is now no progressive main stream media outlet in this state.

It’s like the world just went silent.
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What can we do?

Use your facebook account to log onto her greeting on Al Loudell’s Blog and express your complaint. (If you get scrubbed, comment on that too, here)

Join the boycott of Boulden Brothers, Sobieski, Calvert (Now One Hour Air) Horizon HVAC, Concord Pet. They are the largest commercial advertisers. (can’t really boycott the DSEA)… Hitting them publicly will put progressitivity back on the burner faster than anything else. Visit them on Facebook.

Scold Susan Monday’s twitter feed that Northern Delaware’s attention span is too short for her ramblings; we are all dropping off …  30 tweets allegedly stand for 30,000 people who didn’t bother to tweet but feel the same way… (That is what Twitter advertising claims.)

And of course tell everyone you know how WDEL has gone downhill. I guess it was destined, being the only true news source in the tri-state area; eventually it would have to go the way of all the others… Now all we get is one sided news, efficiently scrubbed clean of any progressive points, and therefore one sided.  WDEL just went from great icon status, to another News Journal.. Seriously, how many of you still look at that anymore?

Sigh, I guess I’ll have to pay more attention to the blogs…

 

 

That was the consensus of how Sean Barney came across in yesterday’s debate. Perhaps it is the lisp he has, or his youthful choice of adjectives, but, when stacked next to the current treasurer, Barney comes across the weaker choice.

The debate pitted idealism against reality. As a child intent on making the world a better place, the idealism of Barney became too much as the hour progressed. Far too often he was tripped up by Flowers on specifics of the office that in our circle are common knowledge, but apparently Barney didn’t know.

As one sometimes feels sorry when two football teams are extremely mismatched, one feels the same for Barney.

After all, several external events recently undercut Barney’s campaign.

One: The treasurer was honored by the auditors report for being squeaky clean and honest. Unlike Markell (Barney’s old boss) Chip Flowers had no dings on his reporting of finances…

Two: Flowers acted promptly and properly over his deputy’s transgressions. There is no crime in being vicitmized and Barney lost points in trying to tie Flowers to the action of his deputy. Flowers responded to the problem, and currently now, for any future treasurer, it cannot happen again.

Three: Jack Markell’s and Tom Carper’s reputation are the kiss of death. It was ironical for Barney to accuse Flowers of travel violations when Barney’s own boss was accused of the very same, and unlike Flowers, has done nothing to resolve it… Markell had a low level staffer simply brush it off.

Four: The economy of Delaware is not booming. Problems outnumber successes. The Markell Administration is under fire for Fisker, Bloom, TDC, gutting the Coastal Zone Act, Common Core, Smarter Balanced Assessments, a diminishing economy, loss of revenue, casinos going bust, Charter Schools failing, so Barney’s advertising that he was Markell’s POLICY DIRECTOR, is nothing short of an albitross hung around his neck.

Five: It borders incredulous that Barney was unfamiliar with Dave Marvin’s malefeasance as member of the Cash Management Board, and that the single person leading the charge against Chip Flowers, was fined for being dishonest to his investors, and lying and cheating in his disclosures as required by law. Basically Sean Barney was unfamiliar with this man. This completely undercuts Barney’s argument that Chip is flawed because he can’t get “crooks” to like him. That exchange was incredulous to listen to.

Six: Complaining that Flowers was incompetent because he couldn’t get his legislation passed by Markell’s flackeys, was turned on its ear by Allan Loudell who immediately brought up that Markell couldn’t get his 10 cents a gallon passed, barely got his Smarter Balance Assessments passed (had to bribe Greg Lavelle with a spot on Chuck Todd), barely got gun legislation passed, failed to get Flower’s sanctioned last year. If not getting legislation passed is a crime, then Barney’s own boss was guilty of far more…

Seven: After a full hour, one gets an overall sense, that if you want the Delaware way to continue, where a few dictate things behind the scenes and there is no way one can contest or derail it, then Sean Barney is the way to go. One senses that he will not do anything without getting his bosses approval first. “I’ll have to ask the boss.” On the other hand if one feels the elite have run Delaware into the ground, and think a new direction is necessary, one which will improve economic possibilities for all Delawareans not making over $10 million a month, Chip Flowers should be the Democrats choice on the General Election ticket…

It depends who you are, on which one you should vote for. If you are a Greenville elitist, I doubt that you will be happy with Chip Flowers. Heck, if you are one of them, I doubt that you will be happy with anyone. Which in turn, would be good for Delaware….

He is on vacation….

Send him a quick birthday greeting…. aloudell@wdel.com

(This is my present… lol.)

If I said… “Hey, dude, what happened 100 years ago today?”…. about 4 out of every 25,000 of  you, would know and answer back with a question…. “Are you sure you are not talking about 100 years yesterday?”    You would be officially right of course…  June 28th…. But I would be “politically” right, I guess, (struggling for an adjective to describe the rightness I would be..).

To fill in the rest of the 24,996 of you…. yesterday marked the 100th anniversary of the shooting of the Archduke of Ferdnand,,,,

“Who the fvck is that?”  say 24,996 people all at once….  (People in Oklahoma hear that rumble as another frack quake..)

Since reality is 100% of reality, I’ll take that on….

In 1914… there were 5 nations that mattered.  One of the nations that didn’t matter back then would have been the United States; others: China,  and Japan… The 5 nations that were relevant back then actually included Russia, believe it or not…. with Germany, France, Britain, and Austria-Hungary rounding out the full 5… This last nation, I always think of as a joke, and say so sometimes… (“What?  Austria’s Hungry?  What a joke!”)   That is because I tend to ignorant of anything southeast of Germany… I’m an American, you know…

Austria Hungary was called the Dual Kingdom…  Can you guess why?  One was Austria, the other was Hungary.   Austria ran Austria/ Hungary ran Hungary, and a couple of times a year they got together to coordinate…  Those episodes resembled today’s divided Congress.  Neither side would accept the provisions of the other….  and stalemate meant each could go their own way with little interference from the other…   However on security matters they were conjoined…  Austria had the military; a standing army of 900,000..  and Hungary bordered Russia from where any major attack would come…

To the south the ancient empire of the Ottoman Turks was decaying from its inside.  Recognizing that most of the Empire’s attention had to be focused inside of Turkey proper, all 5 relevant  nations begin eyeing the Balkans and Dardanelles and sizing each other up…  Significantly, Russia was very nervous over the Dardanelles because the wrong person owning that property, could bottle her navy inside the Black Sea…

Austria had, in just a very few years before, annexed Bosnia, roughly the same size as it is today, by marching in and calling it their own… Serbia, had wanted the same, but was too small to do anything about it and no one came to their aid…. But people inside of Bosnia who had wanted Serbia to control it, had financial resources made available to help make that happen…

The archduke was the next in line to the Austrian emperor, who himself was getting quite old.  Both the archduke and emperor were primarily pacifists who didn’t believe that war was profitable.  But like any nation, within their cabinet as well as in charge of their military, they had well-spoken ministers who argued that a “shock and awe” first strike was always the best option…

Unfortunately for the world, it was one of those two pacifists who was assassinated 100 years ago today….  along with his wife… killed by what today would be considered a terrorist cell of about 5 people total… working independently…  meeting in secret. etc. etc.  They botched their previous attempts and by today’s standards were almost comical, until they finally got lucky on number 3…

Some people got the word 100 years yesterday… June 28th.  Who these were, were mostly heads of state, many of whom were on summer vacation so telegrams had to jump all over the country, and in some places be put on skiffs and rushed out to meet the heads of states floating in the Baltic….   No one at first predicted what this assassination would preclude… Those who firmly believed in war,  thought it precluded war.  However most thought that was too unreasonable and assumed everyone would of course get mad first, then settle down and make certain arrangements and life would eventually go on as normal…..  After all, worse crises had been settled such….

There were two small problems… One involved the signing of treaties, some secret and some not, that tied promises of reaction to any military invasions of one of the signatories… The other, was the Victorian mode of character which dictated that one dutifully filled out one’s signed obligations, regardless if they had been originally made in error…  One filled out ones obligations and damned the torpedoes.

In efforts to preserve a peaceful Europe, (which had been effective for 40+ years, and probably a world record at that time)…. alliances had been made loosely between Britain, France, and Russia…  With the two extremes  of East and West appearing united, this left vulnerable those who could get crunched in the middle, so they formed an alliance too:  Germany and Austria-Hungary….

But no one ever thought they’d be used.  Ever! Europe was one chummy place.  The heads of England, Germany, Russia were all related, and met for state weddings and funerals regularly.  Vienna was one of the playful destinations in Europe, and socialites from all 5 nations frequented there every summer…  It and Paris vied for the Art & Music capitols of Europe…  Tension was not like during our Cold War at all. Europe was very open and much like international relations today, where one could travel freely, where all the big powers meet occasionally and decided how to deal with each of little tweaks and interruptions….

So 100 years ago today,  people woke up to this assassination story ….  Today (yesterday) is the real beginning of the count-down-clock because for the first time in European history,  the populations inside the nations were to have a profound impact on the upcoming events to come… (even though the structures of the governments were very closed to all but the upper crust of society…) Public opinion primarily through the growth of large metropolitan newspapers, had become an influence that had to be “reckoned with”.

For Austria Hungary was hot!  You can imagine if Joe Biden was killed.  Though some here love him, and some here make fun of him, … were he assassinated, this entire nation would demand retribution….   So Serbia got blamed….   In Austria-Hungary, with one pacifist dead, and the other now solo against a cabinet calling for an invasion, the call to go to war with Serbia came quickly…

Serbia appealed to their soul mate Russia.  There had always been a deep Slavic bond between the two nations… and the head of Russia, when confronted with the fact that his people would rebel against him if he ignored his brother nation’s plea, said Russia would attack Serbia’s attacker if Serbia were attacked by Austria Hungary…   Military philosophy at this time dwelt solely on the benefit of a quick attack.  All armies were trained to attack, not defend.  Simply put, the philosophy was that if you attacked quick enough, you always won…  And all nations suffered from this delusion, though reality had showed it certainly hadn’t worked in all the proxy wars (Boer, Sudan, Balkans)….   As Austria began to mobilize her troops towards Belgrade, Serbia’s capital, Russia began mobilization to send it’s troops to the  Austria-Hungarian border….

Austria Hungary had the second largest standing army in Europe (Russia had the largest due to its gigantic size relative to European nations)  but even still, Austria-Hungary could not both defend its border, and attack/occupy Serbia simultaneously… Therefore they appealed to Kaiser Wilhelm to promise an attack on Russia if Russia attacked The Dual Kingdom…  Previous handshakes had sealed the deal long before, and the Kaiser promised he would….

Now this caused a dilemma within Germany’s army.  Their plan had long called for first attacking France … France was the more dangerous of the two, so it made great sense to defeat France first and then attack Russia, instead of attacking Russia and have a fit France barge in through the back door…   No one had ever considered the option that perhaps a minor limited war with Russia could happen first without French involvement.  But plans were plans and the detail in them was so meticulous that there was really no option to opt-out and siphon off troops to the Russian Border…. (all the trains would be tied up and busy carrying soldiers to the West) until after France and fallen and signed their surrender…  The surprise Russian build-up now meant it was more imperitive than ever that France surrender before Russia could mobilize to march into Prussia proper….

France was insistent that it would not make the first move.  They tried to dissuade Russia to stand down, but Russia’s people felt a personal insult  (and a rational fear of internal overthrow) if Serbia fell, so that didn’t happen.  The French who were the villains of the last European War( the Franco-Prussian War that ended in 1870… a quick war, which France had lost, and been paying repatriation upon for a long time), were very squeamish about being  considered the aggressor again, and so they mobilized defensive forces and  fortified their common border with Germany, just in case.

Britain’s Prime Ministe firmly believed in making alliances but also keeping them secret so both his allies and enemies would be left guessing…  He was so good at it, that the Kaiser was convinced upon invasion, that Britain would definitely not interfere and that Paris would fall quickly as had long been planned (across twenty years)….

The accidental player in this scenario, turned out to be the tiny little neutral nation of Belgium……   With no real army and a reputation for being a peaceful take-what-comes population, its future role had been dismissed by Germany, France and Britain…   Germany simply assumed that it being a neutral nation, it would take the gentlemanly course and let the German’s pass through unopposed to attack France where it lacked defenses.  Britain and France had assumed due to its neutrality, Belgium would be off limits for any German advance….

As troop deployments began to show the German’s hand,  four nations raced to shore up that area….  Belgium said it would not allow German passage and began to mobilize  its defense….  (This infuriated the Kaiser who apoplectically raged how dare that tiny nation not fall in line with Germany’s plans; who did they think they were?)… which shows how reality and clear thinking often had little voice in governments at that time…. Assumptions made by whomever was annointed head of state, tended to always carry the heavier weight.

With everything ready and the impetus on the Axis (Germany/Austria)  to strike quickly and the Entente (Britain, France, Russia) to wait and only fight defensively, all pieces were in place for what everyone thought, would be a short little war… Most analysts assumed everyone lacked resources or the will to fight in order for it to carry over 2 months…  “By Christmas all the troops would be home” each nation’s people were promised….

What impressed me most upon looking back from a 100 years’ perspective and I guess it is true with any war, was how life went on normally for 99.999% of the world’s population while this crises brewed… Future weddings were planned, meetings between future adversaries were scheduled,  treaties and statements of purpose continued to be signed between the future enemies… At any point, if anyone powerful enough had said, “STOP!  let’s talk about it”, (as is done so often today it now seems like an extra step), this war would have been prevented… If Russia had not mobilized, this would have remained a local conflict, taking place only on Serbian hillside  whose outcome have been very quickly settled.  Or if Britain had been forthright, stating that it would come to France’s aid and attack German interests, then the cost of war would have risen to where the Kaiser would have backed down from attacking France first and would have made a deal with Russia…  If Germany had not been locked so deep into its own plans, so that once the order was given to mobilize it started everything which precipitated the next step automatically like a line of dominoes. …. if any of these occurred prior to the  First World War , history would be far different today;  The First World War would not have happened…..

The suddenness is simply mind boggling.  How could Europe go from congeniality and peace and prosperity and hope, to an all-out brawl.  Like a bar fight that erupts instantly leaving lifelong scars?

It would be like today… if we opened our paper and read the news that one of Putin’s emissaries was assassinated in Sevastopol, Crimea….   And…  by this upcoming Saturday (July 5th), Russia had asked China  if it will help fight and China agrees. .. and exactly two and a half weeks later on July 23, Putin’s Russia surprises the world with an ultimatum to Ukraine designed to be so harsh that the Ukraines cannot possibly accept it.  The world holds its breath, and the 5 day deadline passes, and Russia declares war on the Ukraine….  July 28th, exactly on month from today!

NATO mobilizes, beginning with their declaration… .   All NATO units are then put on full reserve and active units are then moved into Turkey, Uzbekistan, Poland, and Finland, positioned along their borders with Russia….

On the last day of this month, July, China calls upon the NATO to stop its mobilization…. NATO says no; it is mobilizing solely against Russia  and for only the protection of the Ukraine people….  Then on August 1st, China declares war on NATO, including the US….

The very next day, August 2nd, China bloodlessly rushes in to occupy North Korea  … China then demands of  South Korea to let them use its seaports to facilitate their landing craft invasion against Japan.  They promise that after hostilities are over, all Korea will be free and promise it can under them become one nation again…

The very next day, on August 3rd, China declares that the state of war now exists between it and Japan, Taiwan, North Vietnam, and the Philippines, and moves their navy into blockade those ports…  All those nations plea for help from the US and the US promises it…..  South Korea to the Chinese surprise, announces despite overwhelming odds,  it will NOT grant permission for China to enter peacefully, NOR allow Chinese military hardware into its country….  A brief testing skirmish occurs on the 53 parallel between US and Chinese troops becoming the first engagement of the war….  On this same day unknown to almost everyone, China and most Latin America nations sign a secret treaty…. relating strictly with the US and stating that if China is attacked, Latin America will side with China in order to protect their massive investments there….

The very next day, August 4th.  China swiftly invades South Korea and quickly over runs Seoul and commandeers all the ports on the peninsula.   China’s massive merchant marine of commercial cargo ships out of nowhere suddenly gather outside all of  Korea’s ports.   The US protests. calling for China to leave Korea. China flatly says it won’t.   The US declares war on China…. The Chinese merchant marine begins loading up the 2 million troops and lands them on the remote undefended section of north-western Japan…  Within 7 days,  2 million Chinese are moving towards Tokyo….

The very next day, August 5th… Latin America surprises all and closes shuts down all commerce with the US, closing it’s borders… All US firms have their property confiscated to be nationalized and the Panama Canal is closed  to all but Latin American and Chinese traffic…

The very next day, August 6th… Putin’s Russia declares war on the US and NATO….. and for what it is worth, the Ukraine declares war on China….

The very next day, August 7th…  The first US troops from Okinawa, land in Japan and rush north to engage the advancing Chinese… Battles ensue and the Chinese throughout the next week, till the 13th, win all of them…

The very next day: August 8th…  NATO and the US finally declare war on Russia…

For the next week, all eyes focus on China’s advance to Tokyo.  Then one week later, August 15th… Ukraine counter attacks a Russian outpost on its border, and regains control of the entire border area… The Russians run back across the border.  It will be the first allied victory of the war…

Two days later… August 17th… The US and NATO forces invade Russia proper upward from Uzbeckistan, and upwards from Turkey through Sochi, and eastward into Belarus from Poland, and towards Leningrad from Finland….

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4 years later, 2018, the armistice will be signed, leaving  37 million souls dead…. 93 million wounded for life…. and 34 million people simply missing… never heard from again….  And the borders between most of the big players will primarily remain just as they are… ( Hopefully all parties refrained from nuclear weapons….. or citizen causalities would be uncountable.)   Unsettled emotional antagonisms will continue to fester, and won’t be settled until after the next great war beginning in 2039…..

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This is how life changing that event was 100 years ago…. Literally it came out of nowhere…..  Just take a moment to consider the breathtaking speed with how fast this occurred and stretch your imagination wide enough to take in us being in a full fledged real world war equivalent to WWI in less than one month and 5 days from today, as you read this and the News Journal and fret over Greg Lavelle… ….. Maybe this could happen today, maybe not.   You and I need to make sure the “not” wins out…. were such a crises to occur.

The lessons of yesteryear are so lost on us today, as I’m afraid they are on every new generation.  I only share interest because of a personal bond with a relative, who was called to France in 1918.  So unlike most today, this history to me is something very real.   Upon my passing, there will then be no one to remind us of how stupidity can sometimes take over an ruin a world of good…  But for the rest of you, 100 years ago today you would be just reading about this life-changing first step in the paper…. (yawn) another assassination in Crimea… possibly thinking  “awwww… how sad”…  but never dreaming it would within four years time, cause you to lose your entire family in the same amount of time that briefly passes between two World Cups….

Life should never be taken for granted. Lesson.  Always be vigilant against war. Always.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was done with my shopping at Acme, had picked up a bouquet of flowers, and saw the Blue Crab and ducked in to get some food to go…Heck, I didn’t feel like cooking…  I decided to pass upon driving through the new WSFS atm, and instead came straignt out of Suburban Shopping Center, got stuck at the light where the Soviet interference blocks out WDEL, and with the green, pulled straight ahead onto Rt.4 towards the Bob… I go up the rise that is the bridge, squeeze down to one lane, and look to my left at where the new power plant will be. thinking of course it would be way off in the corner by the railroad tracks… As I looked, it slowly dawned that it would be right at the corner, right next to the bridge i was on…  Holy Crap.

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I would be directly under that smoke stack at least 4 times every day… Why would that concern me?  Because concentrations of the heaviest particles are thickest the closer one gets to the stack…  My open window or car vent would suck those in, and keep them in my car, for what? maybe a mile, or two?  I would be breathing lots of stuff that normally stays deep underground… Like lead.  Like cobalt, Like uranium, Like Radon. I know, as do you, that all it takes is one atom to get sucked into my lungs, bond with a cell tissue, and stay there, and I die of lung cancer.   Of course it could happen in Ohio, and since atoms never die, get blown from there over to Rehoboth Beach, and be hanging right above the ocean about an inch, right where I come up and gasp for air… and the same thing could happen… Therefore I have to look at probabilities.  My probability of dying from cancer is almost infinitely larger when I drive under the stack 4 times every day, or 28 times every week, or 1456 times at the minimum, every year I live in Newark…  Just imagine the probability from those living in Devon, less than 200 yards from the belching stack…

Belching, as in burping up lead, cobalt, antimony, uranium, cesium, strontium, radon,  Ever had to work with someone who had bad breath?  This would be infinitely worse….

Here is where you say… Wait!  But Jack Markell and Sam Latham all said that gas was cleaner than coal.  How does you headline fit in with your claims that gas is dirtier than coal….

Great question… Let us answer that with an entertaining example….  let us say there is a house up the street, shared by 4 young people, maybe they are in a band even…. But rumor is they smoke pot…   Now let us say, you rent one of your rooms out to Justin Beiber, and Lo, come to find out he smokes pot too…  but not that much…. Now, which of the two, is going to provide you the greatest opportunity to get high from second hand smoke:.  The reggae band 15 houses away, or Justin Beiber who crashes at your house when on breaks from his tour?

It’s the same way with carcinogens in pollution.  Coal plants are in Ohio.  This 248MW natural gas co-generation power plant, is 200 yard away….

The figures for mean damages per ton of emissions are higher for natural gas plants than for coal plants because of the locations of the plants. If you think about it, a power plant located near an urban area will do more human damage than one located in the country, all other things being equal….

There can be no question.  The rate of death will jump in areas surrounding Newark if this power plant goes in.  Explaining it is cleaner than coal is irrelevant for there is no coal plant going in… The comparative factor must be against the status quo.  Right now, there is nothing polluting the air breathed by the citizens of the town of Newark. Soon there will be… and obviously as a result, more people and animals will die horrible, painful deaths than do now.  That is inevitable, and must be recognized, while at the same time, not blown out of perspective.

There are times when the benefits might be worth the risk of dying prematurely. WWII for example.  And not everyone will die early. Just those unlucky to breathe in the unlucky molecule, which today, doesn’t exist in Newark but when finished, will soon be belched out 24/7 right there by Route 4’s bridge over Amtrack..  Those in receivership will die, while the rest of us live on… The question stands: is this power plant worth dying for? Is the money being made for its investors, worth the copays our estate will fork over on our own terminal medical bills…

You say yes?  or was that a no, I heard?

This bears more exposure.  Originally from Allan Loudell’s blog on WDEL.  

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I would have to disagree with XXXX’s current political assessment. I can see how he would be misguided. If one associates only with those who think like ones self, then one reinforces ones opinions instead of challenging them….

 XXXX feels like people don’t remember the shutdown… He thinks that people are more concerned about losing their insurance. If one looks at Breitbart and Red State, one can see why he feels that way. They talk of nothing else.

But the rest of America all suffered from feeling embarrassed that one wing of us was so childish, they shut down the government, then capitulated completely, getting absolutely nothing to gain from it.

In other words, all America suffered, not one single person gained. Ironically, just returning to normal was heralded as a victory for the American People, and allowing the return to normal was cast as a blemish to the Tea Party. That stains like child abuse; they will never live that down.

Now lets take the insurance exchange debacle. If you randomly pick 1000 people, 800 of them already have insurance so are unaffected. That leaves 200. Out of those 200, 170 of them were previously uninsured. So getting insurance for the first time, is a bonus to them. We are left now with 30. 30 people out of 1000 who currently buy their own plans on the open market. Of these 30, 8 will save money either through subsidies or through more direct competition. 9 will go through the process and find they are spending relatively the same. Unfortunately for those 13 left, they will have an increase in their premiums. That is 13 out of … how many? 1000.

Only 13 out of 1000 will have their insurance go up. Of course, with entreaties out to “send us your story” these 13 have a pipeline right up to the top of national media from where it is spewed out like treated water at a sewage treatment plant….

 But in the end.. by next November 4th, exactly 345 days away, those 13 will be drowned out by the 987 who received no harm from Obamacare.

The problem is not your facts. 13 people will pay more. It is with your getting your facts from only those people who want you to hear one side.

Good luck winning Congress back with 13 people.

Syrian Resistance FlagSyrian Flag We are a tired generation… We grew up with ‘Nam.  Which ever side we were on during the battle here in America over that police action, or war, looking back after it was done, …. we all knew it was wrong….

After that we thought all war was wrong, and unfortunately took some of that angst out on those who least deserved it:  those coming back from the steamy jungles of hell…..

Against our will a certain president soon sent Marines into Beirut;  what happened then reinforced our belief that an American war was unjustifiable and that all other means must be utilized to prevent American war from ever happening again….  Against our will, we propped up a Nicaragua dictator against some rebels.  Against our will, we sold arms to Iran to use for paying for our support for that Nicaragua dictator, since a Congress elected by the American people, flatly said no to supporting him in Nicaragua…  We found a way to do it anyway….

I remember Senator Rudman, (R-NH) saying at the hearing while addressing Oliver North,… “The American people have the RIGHT to be wrong.”

Oliver North had been insisting that even when Americans flatly say NO, one still must do what one deems is necessary, that whatever one deems necessary, is the highest moral truth.  “Sometimes one has to go above the law!”  was actually said by the defense at this hearing.  Only one good thing came out of those hearings:  we all were introduced to Fawn Hall.

But then…  The Brits quickly regained the Faulklands. Then came Grenada, which went off without a hitch.   Then Panama, which was successful and almost painless.  Then came General Schwartzkopf.  The 4th largest army in the world, was routed in hours, and in days, had been completely mopped up.  Then came the Balkans.  We were on a roll.  We’d finally nailed down the successful formula of how to win in battle.

Today we say Iraq is a failure.  But that was so not so just after the invasion.  Inside Baghdad, the pulling down of Saddam’s statue, the victory of capturing Saddam, the ability of us to hand out billions of American dollars, initially gave this campaign the luster of looking like another success story…

Until we tried to steal their oil.  The standard global rate of dividing oil revenues is that the US gets a 20% cut for the development, and Iraq would get to keep 80% because it is after all, their resource.  That is how we deal with Nigeria.

But Brenner announced that we’d flip that to pay for the war, and that Iraq would be allowed to keep 20% because we liked them so much, and we’d only, by our good graces, take 80% of the revenues. 24 hours after letting that cat out of the bag, the first IED went off under a US military vehicle…  Before week was out, the total was in the hundreds.

The luster was gone.  We were an invading army, something  we have not called ourselves since WWII.  We always saw ourselves as the policeman who leaves as soon as order is restored…

Afghanistan likewise, got worse.  Then Pakistan.  Then Yemen.  On the diplomatic front  instead of doing no harm, .. we could do no good.  Then Libya costs us an ambassador who was running guns through Turkey.  He shouldn’t have been there; it should have been a low level staffer with security clearance.

This baby boomer generation knows that war is wrong.  We know from experience. The only time it can be employed successfully, is a) when the whole world is united behind you, b)  you go in and get out, and c) you have a structure that stays in place long after you are gone.

The only time it goes badly… is every other scenario.

Which brings us to Syria.  Syria has no importance to anyone.  (They couldn’t even defend the militarily advantageous Golan Heights in ’67!)  Which is why we let the Russians have them.

People are going to die in Syria if a):  Assad wins, b):  the rebels win, or c):  no one wins. The only thing changing upon this wars outcome, is which side will be massacred at war’s end.  Hence the battle for survival over there now.

So by having the US intervene or not, we are choosing which side gets to kill the other after the hostilities die down.

The weakest argument for going in still left with standing, is that they used chemical weapons.  In WWI, the British, French, and Germans all used chemical weapons.   Are chemical weapons really worse than being burned alive?  Or asphyxiated as a bomb blast sucks all the oxygen out of your lungs and the room?  Or a milk jug sized piece of jagged metal shrapnel ripping and leaving a hole through your body?  Or a mine being stepped on?  I’m trying to think why chemical weapons are so much worse, except for the fact that we’ve been told” they are so much worse”?

A causality is a causality.

We understand “why” some say we should go into Syria.  Because if we do not respond to chemical weapons in a big way, someone else will become confident and use theirs.  There is only one way to keep the genie inside the bottle, and that is to never leave a opening for it to escape….

We also understand “why” one of our beloved School districts had a policy that suspended, and expelled those who brought weapons to school!  Not just guns, but knives too. After all, the argument for punishing Syria, applies to soon-to-become high school felons too.

But, there came a time when the response generated by a policy, actually became the crime,   You remember the little boy expelled who brought a cake to school, and his grandmother thoughtfully sent a knife knowing teachers usually don’t have utensils in their classrooms.  The teacher actually cut the cake, served it, thinking nothing of it.. it was someone higher up, reviewing the situation, who said, “wait, that can be interpreted as a breach of regulations.  Let’s make an example out of this little boy”.  He was suspended and could have been expelled, except it eventually became news and public outcry was solidly on his side.  The policy makers were laughed out of town.

Which is why, if you are making this decision, you need to stall.  Acting quickly and decisively is equivalent to acting on rumor and innuendo.   So what if Syria lied and shot the gas cannisters off?

Does a military strike create enough excellent good will to neutralize this bad act?

Ironically what is best for the US in this situation, is for Assad to stay in power, to have a zealous change in heart, to work closely with the USA to get his economy working, to becoming a partner in that region with the US, and to signing a treaty with Israel, as did the Egyptians many, many years ago…

What is worse for us, is if the jihadists win, push out the moderates and take over the reform movement (they always do), then go to war with Israel, Jordan and Turkey.  Making ourselves into the evil empire will only create more explosions everywhere, flare-ups which would not have occurred had we taken the Jedi way, and used the “Force” in our possession, to make events on the ground turn our way and happen in our favor….

Realistically such a rosy scenario probably can’t happen; but if it did, were this to come about, there would be no doubt: Obama would be lauded as the best president we’d ever see in our lifetimes.  The cost of failure is so low that it just might be worth the try.

The second point… which all us Viet-namers will well remember, is that you may win every engagement you participate in Syria, but you won’t win the war at home, and that… will suck all your energy away from all the good you plan to do before 2016.

It broke LBJ.  It broke Bush II.  Don’t let it break you….

Borrowed From Nancy

i’m sure you’ve already seen this (why would you not have) but it bears a thoughtful look.

Where are your priorities today?

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