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I want some bread, man Can you give me some bread
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In isolated argument the idea of school vouchers has appeal. If you can’t get the education you need, you go somewhere else to get it. The idea is that this forces those losing students to change in order to attract them back.

Everyone gets a better education.

There is a huge problem with that argument. I will use Hurricane Sandy to point it out.

Before Hurricane Sandy struck, everyone went shopping the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday before. By Sunday night, there was no bread in New Castle County. In every store, the shelves were empty.

At first it was the cheap bread that went. The dollar loaves which are the first pick of most bread eaters. As those were gone, then the basic bread of private bakers went, the brand names. Soon all the white bread was gone, and the wheat began disappearing. After the wheat was gone, the gourmet breads began disappearing, the 5 grains, the 7 grains, the 12 grains, the hearty grains… Then went the ryes, the Jewish ryes, the pumpernickels. Many people who came for white bread, who’d never paid $4 dollars a short loaf before, were snapping it up. When all the bread was sold out, hamburger buns went, hot dog buns went, dinner rolls went, starting from cheap all the way up to Arnold’s and Pepperidge Farms… The last person coming in to pick up a loaf of bread, got gourmet pumpernickel hot dog buns with oatmeal sprinkled on top…

You walked in Sunday night, October 28th, 2012… the shelves were bare…. from one end to the other….

How does this correspond to vouchers?

If everyone has the option of taking a voucher to improve their child’s education, you’ve created a crises and a lack of supply.

The best schools are snapped up first, then the 2nd best, then the 3rd, the 4th, the 5th, and at last the inner city schools being the last to go… So those shopping first get the good deal. Those say out of town, arriving late and picking out a school before the deadline, are stuck… And some, because of a shortage of schools, go without.

There was bread on the shelves the next day. But a school system that mis-allocates a student deals with that problem for a full year, seriously setting back the development of that child and possibly the room he is in….

The problem with school vouchers, is as a system, it doesn’t work. Oh it works for one individual. But it only helps the first in line. After that, it is all downhill.

For if you gave every bread shopper a number based on whether their purchase matched their expectation, those getting the store brand for a dollar would rate a +1, then if one settled for their second choice they’d get -1. Third choice would equal -2. Fourth choice a -3 and so on down the line. The total of the negative numbers would quickly balance the positive ones, making the total value of all zero, and then continue bringing the entire total further into the negative with every new purchase…. In the same way, school vouchers after the good schools were full, would increase the negatives to a point so big, they would soon swallow up any positive advantage the voucher program had every given…..

So as we approach the teaching crises. we must ask ourselves how we wish to be judged. Do we want to mandate that we will always have bread on our shelves, with plenty of choices for all? Or do we want to let anarchy or random chance decided who gets ahead, and who gets left behind?

So, why has no one looked at voucher’s impact on an entire school system before?

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This is going to my hard core Republican friends. Why are you still supporting Romney?

1) You know he is not going to win.
2) You know as the election heats up, his Bain Capital experience will make Republicans untouchable for decades.
3) You can’t pin down where Romney stands on anything.
4) He tied his dog to a car.
5) He stands with black people and says “Who let the dogs out, woof, woof.”

Most of you are telling me, “I certainly can’t vote for Obama. I guess I’m not voting for President this time.”

Let’s say, just for argument sakes there was a presidential candidate out there who says to have good government you need: …………………

1. Become reality driven. Don’t kid yourself or others.
Find out what’s what and base your decisions and actions
on that.

2. Always be honest and tell the truth. It’s extremely
difficult to do any damage to anybody when you are
willing to tell the truth–regardless of the
consequences.

3. Always do what’s right and fair. Remember, the more
you actually accomplish, the louder your critics become.
You’ve got to learn to ignore your critics. You’ve got to
continue to do what you think is right. You’ve got to
maintain your integrity.

4. Determine your goal, develop a plan to reach that
goal, and then act. Don’t procrastinate.

5. Make sure everybody who ought to know what you’re
doing knows what you’re doing. Communicate.

6. Don’t hesitate to deliver bad news. There is always
time to salvage things. There is always time to fix
things. Henry Kissinger said that anything that can be
revealed eventually should be revealed immediately.

7. Last, be willing to do whatever it takes to get your
job done. If you’ve got a job that you don’t love enough
to do what it takes to get your job done, then quit and
get one that you do love, and then make a difference.

Honesty. Integrity. Principal.

Sounds good so far. Let us say just for argument, he had chief executive experience. Let us say just or argument that he once ran a state, one of the fifty in this union. Let us say while governor, this is what he did…..

During his tenure, New Mexico experienced the longest period without a tax-increase in the state’s entire history.

1) He cut the rate of government growth in half,

2) Left the New Mexico state government with a budget surplus and 1000 fewer employees (without firing anyone),

3) Privatized half of the prisons in the state,

4) Brought a state-wide school voucher system to New Mexico.

5) Vetoed 750 bills (more than all the vetoes of the other 49 Governors in the country at that time, combined) with only 2 overrides, earning him the nickname Gary “Veto” Johnson.

6) In 1999, Johnson became the highest-ranking elected official in the United States to advocate the legalization of drugs.

7) Shifted Medicaid to managed care.

ISN’T THAT WHAT YOU WANT? ISN’T THAT WHAT WE NEED?

Can you not think of a better way to show your lack of enthusiasm over a wealthy capitalist buying his way to the top of your ticket, by voting for someone who has character, who does what you’ve always wanted, a doer, not a talker?

And to think…. you were simply just going to throw your vote away.

His name is Gary Johnson. He is the new party’s candidate for President.

Remember Republicans. It is your values that are important. If your party has given up and moved on from your values, don’t think you have to be loyal to the word…. “Republican”… What you have to be loyal too, is yourself. Always. Never lie to yourself.

You don’t need to waste your vote on Romney. You probably need to find more about this guy, Gary Johnson, and then throw your support behind him.

Don’t worry it is not one of the two parties on whose ticket he is running. Remember, at one point in time, the Republican Party was a once a third party too. One that went mainstream because of its core values, its principles resonated with everyday American People.

Again, lifted from Der Spiegal

The current favorite? He’s a political dinosaur, dishonored and discredited. Or so we thought. Yet just because he studied history and speaks in more complex sentences than his rivals, the US media now reflexively hails him as a “Man of Ideas” (The Washington Post) — even though most of these ideas are lousy if not downright offensive, such as firing unionized school janitors, so poor children could do their jobs.

Pompous and blustering, Gingrich gets away with this humdinger as well as with selling himself as a Washington outsider — despite having made millions of dollars as a lobbyist in Washington. At least the man’s got chutzpah.

The hypocrisy doesn’t end here. Gingrich claims moral authority on issues such as the “sanctity of marriage,” yet he’s been divorced twice. He sprang the divorce on his first wife while she was sick with cancer. (His supporters’ excuse: It’s been 31 years, and she’s still alive.) He cheated on his second wife just as he was pressing ahead with Bill Clinton’s impeachment during the Monica Lewinsky affair, unaware of the irony. The woman he cheated with, by the way, was one of his House aides and 23 years his junior — and is now his perpetually smiling third wife.

Americans have a short memory. They forget, too, that Gingrich was driven out of Congress in disgrace, the first speaker of the house to be disciplined for ethical wrongdoing. Or that he consistently flirts with racism when he speaks of Barack Obama. Or that he enjoyed a $500,000 credit line at Tiffany’s just as his campaign was financially in the toilet and he ranted about the national debt. Chutzpah, indeed.

Yet the US media rewards him with a daily kowtow. And the Republicans reward him too, by having put him on top in the latest polls. Mr. Hypocrisy, the bearer of his party’s hope.

“I think he’s doing well just because he’s thinking,” former President Clinton told the conservative online magazine NewsMax. “People are hungry for ideas that make some sense.” Sense? Apparently it’s not just the Republicans who have lost their minds here.

There are two choices before us:

One, we tax the top 1% and live the quality of life we deserve…..

Two, we continue the tax cuts, allowing the top 1% to not pay their fair share in taxes, and continue the quality of life we’ve suffered since 2001..

Simple microcosmic view: find a pothole in today’s state road system… You can’t, it’s covered up with stimulus funded new pavement… Nice, crisp, sharply painted blacktop, as far as the eye can see….

Compare that to the Bush Era… Potholes galore and getting them fixed was like pulling teeth…

Now pull back and look at your entire lifestyle with all it’s moving parts…. first see one where everything outside your control is operating smoothly like clockwork ( a Visa commercial comes to mind), and the other where it is all cacophonous and catastrophic…..

So, in which type of lifestyle do you prefer to live?

Decide and vote.

Perhaps my information is sketchy, but it comes featured on AOL… Apparently the Israeli cabinet has two women on it whose images were photo chopped so the published picture would only show men..

Some ultra conservative Jews feel women are not human.

That philosophy is so close to the opinion currently held by the Taliban, that one must criticise the excessive amounts of money we funnel to Israel to support a country that sanctions the seclusion of women from public life..

Up to now, I always supported Israel because I thought they were exemplary in giving women equal rights to men…. Why are we sending tremendous amounts of American women’s tax dollars to fund a piddly nation that can’t find the testosterone within itself to criticise those within its own borders who uphold those same archaic values which are no better than the Taliban?

A bridge to the future, if collapsed, takes you no where… –kavips

This chapter looks at rebuilding our infrastructure. We have highway problems, energy problems, educational problems, as well as health problems, environmental problems, and social problems. Can rebuilding our infrastructure be a tool to begin the mending process?

Up to now very little has been spent on maintaining our highways. Most highway money was earmarked for new growth.. It was as if no one gave consideration of the fact that maintenance of what we already had up and running was a cost that needed budgeted in.. After all, what political points are ever given for repairing a road before it goes bad? (Damn it, why are they tearing up good highway, costing me twenty five minutes in each direction?) But with the August 1, 2007 collapse of the Interstate 35 Bridge in Minneapolis, we see what happens when highway infrastructure is ignored.

For example in the United States alone, 25% of our bridges are deficient. In Delaware, 15.4 % of our bridges are either functionally or structurally deficient, which is actually good when compared to our fellow small state Rhode Island with 52.9% of its bridges deficient. As one travels back and forth, one crosses an unknown number of tiny bridges; of these, one out of four is deficient. How would you like to be on the I 95 bridge across the Susquehanna… when its time came to fall?….. or perhaps driving across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge between Kent Island and Annapolis? Thinking “one out of four” may raise your apprehension rate the next time you find yourself traveling unknowingly across a potential deathtrap…

The need to improve our infrastructure is obviously there. So if we have the labor available, how will we pay for the construction and repairs with our treasury bottomed out?

That depends on whether bonds still had any worth, meaning whether or not anyone still had any interest in buying them… Normally bonds are sold at a low interest rate, and the money taken in is used for construction. The notes are paid back in regular payments. But if there is no demand for, or more money out there with which to buy the notes, who will fund the infrastructure investment?

Today the bottom line is that the money will have to come from the Treasury. Being broke, that also means the Treasury will no choice but to print more money in order to accommodate the economy’s need. As more money starts chasing fewer goods, inflation looks at us dead center down it’s barrel. Unfortunately we are in such dire straits, that we have no choice but risk the chance of inflation just to keep the next Great Depression at bay….

The same scenario applies to our efforts to revamp our educational system. Now estimated to require between 45 to 50 billion (how much was AIG’s bailout?) the infrastructure of our schools systems faces the same challenge of acquiring minimum funding, as does that of rebuilding our highway system.. Up until August of this year it could still have been done. Now due to insufficient funds, this accomplishment is unlikely. But if we choose to go forward, we will have to do so again funded by printed money with inflation drawing another bead upon the target on our own purchasing power..

Even today, there is enough work to employ every man, woman and child in America if we can find the resources to pay for them doing so… Work such as environmentally cleaning up Superfund Sites, energetically laying new transmission lines, socially integrating our square pegs into round holes, educationally teaching problem readers to become literate, or simply maintaining hospice care over those citizens who cannot survive long enough to see America turn its corner; yes, work can be found…

But the underlying question still remains as to how we will be able to fund the privilege of keeping America employed… and at whose expense? If we were unable to solve these problems during the past 8 years of plenty, how will we deal with them during a time of shortage?

Fortunately, we are not the first group of people in our lifetimes to rebuild our world around us… Three examples of what can be accomplished, are found in three post war states who after war’s end, found themselves under American influence. That would be Germany, Japan, and South Korea. These are the models we need to turn to. Someway and somehow they bounced back from complete devastation to becoming the the second, third, and fourteenth largest economies behind that of the United States…

At war’s end, there were very poor resources to spread around. Everything possible needed fixed at once. But with a small amount of seed money provided by the Marshall plan, a major currency adjustment, and a release from price controls, the German population pulled themselves up and today have roaring economies better than do any of our allies of that past conflict. (It doesn’t seem fair.)

History shows us that for two years after the war, while post war punitive policies were kept in place, all of the occupied countries’ economies decreased. The Soviet sector opted to maintain those policies and their economy continued to suffer accordingly until German Reunification in 1990. However in the western Allied sector, starting in 1948 with the abolition of price controls and most post war rationing, along with the devaluation of their currency designed to shrink the amount (by 93% contraction) of the money in circulation, their economy took off; lost days decreased by half, and industrial production climbed within six months by 50%. Both nations were blessed with the post war abundance of skilled cheap labor; therefore both nations were able to increase the flow of money into and around their country.

Rising to the challenge imposed upon them by history, all three countries had able leadership which was effective in communicating this to each countries’ populations: … that their time and effort were to be properly considered as an investment. Their rewards would not be reaped immediately, …but would someday be magnificent. Their leadership was also effective in communicating that timing was critical. If they did not begin immediately… their nation’s dreams would never materialize. It was their competent leadership that marshaled the populations of both WWII nations back to work “on the cheap” and that…. the bottom line, is how both counties bounced back. Not dictatorially, but economically. One should note that both of the two occupied economies fared much better than our Allies, who received far more Marshall Plan aid than did the conquered nations, and who did not have to pay for war repatriations as did both of the war-torn countries.

From here I pulled this little piece of history, showing the progressiveness that forced the German economy forward…..

Colonel:“How dare you relax our rationing system, when there is a widespread food shortage?”

Erhard:“But, Herr Oberst. I have not relaxed rationing; I have abolished it! Henceforth, the only rationing ticket the people will need will be the deutschemark. And they will work hard to get these deutschemarks, just wait and see.”

That they did.

Obviously sitting in our armchairs looking forward, we too understand that we will face the specter of inflation. It MUST come with the copious amounts of money we are currently and anticipated soon to be printing. However as does any nation in a war, our country does what is needed. Currently and just like it was after WWII, the US right now is the only global entity strong enough to expand its money supply fast enough to put most of its citizens back to work. As we begin earning extra spendable income, our demand increases; when that demand pushes up prices, more and more entrepreneurs race to fill in the vacuum of goods… bringing them back down. Greed is good.

As for actual rebuilding of infrastructure, postwar Japan offers a slightly different model. In Japan we meshed the government, banking system, and large industrial players to fund, construct, and grow their infrastructure during the sixties. The local banks, backed by the government of Japan, used a system of overloaning. This policy is one which the Bank of Japan guarantees all loans issued by city banks to their industrial conglomerates. Because there was a shortage of capital in Japan at the time, industrial conglomerates borrowed beyond their capacity to repay, often beyond their own net worth, thereby causing city banks in turn to over borrow from the Bank of Japan. This gave the national Bank of Japan complete control over all dependent local banks until the loans were repaid.

The primary difference between the Japan of then and America today, is that today, the money is still not being lent out by those banks receiving Federal assistance. Instead, today’s over loaning is being wasted on the buying up of other banks; today that mass infusion of capital is being used to consolidate the financial industry, instead of financing large projects that actually put citizens to work, and in turn funnel money back through the economy.

The question remains. Does rebuilding our infrastructure get us back on our feet?

Yes and no. The economic impact on the local level at the location where the federally funded project is being built, is huge. But it is a localized effect. For an economic turnaround to be effective, infrastructure building must occur simultaneously in almost every town or village across the United States. If funded solely by the federal government, that significant cost would appear prohibitive. But if instead of being funded solely by the Federal Government, it is done as did the Japanese during their infrastructural rebuild, (where all local banks simultaneously financed local projects close to their locations), much more capital becomes available. If we place our bets on the option that local banks WILL lend out the money, if we guarantee that they lose none of the amount lent out,…. then that outcome could start some infrastructure development in the very near future somewhere near every community’s small bank, no matter where it may be located.

So if as a nation, we choose this plan, and we attempt the Japanese-tried approach, the question next arises over which infrastructural improvements will return the largest investment? The consensus seems to be that Energy, Education, and Technological advancement lead the pack.

As we now all know, even during prosperous times our nation gives up a large percentage of its income to other overseas nations just for oil. By simply keeping that dollar amount in the United States we could provide our economy a substantial boost. Furthermore, manufacturing and exporting new technology which help frees the rest of the world from their dependence on oil, would certainly assist us in turning the trade balance back in our favor. Both of these lines of thought converge to point out this: the increase of our energy independency could become the primary viaduct which could bring America back into prominence.

As for increasing our energy independency, there are several options for doing so. One, is to create new sources. Here is one startling fact: there is enough potential wind power in North Dakota alone to cover 25% of America’s energy needs. The problem is getting it to where it needs to be used. Building transmission lines from America’s heartland out to its extremities, where its largest users are, should be a first priority. For one, it actually uses the free market plan and opens markets to a cheaper supplier of that required product. Two, transmission costs are a significant portion of the energy costs we pay for electrical energy today. Three, poorly outdated transmission grids eat up a lot of energy that could instead be used to power America.

Likewise building transmission lines from our local shores to major metropolitan areas, provides those city areas with cheaper electricity from off shore wind, thereby increasing the likelihood that more wind power generating companies will set up off-shore. The larger the wind farms are off shore, the better our economy will weather that upcoming Depression that appears to be looming off our horizon… And if hydrogen is one day destined to become our replacement fuel, then locating their manufacturing plants in close proximity to offshore wind farms, in order to capitalize on a wind farm’s free excess energy during non peak hours….. could certainly help build an industrial base to back up the tourist economies of rural shoreline counties.,.

Directly related to the new technology of wind power, would be the need to construct electrical storage facilities in areas that have no jobs. Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia would be ideal localities to build closed circuit water generators that use free excess wind power during non-peak times to pump water up a hill to reservoirs on top, from which water can then be released during peak times, flowing downhill turning a series of giant generators as it falls to the valley floor. These massive projects would put large numbers of Americans to work in those areas desperately needing new development.

But these three investment strategies are all dependent on the knowledge that wind driven energy will be a big player in the years to come. No one will make such an major investment in a climate of doubt. The Federal government over the next few years … has to make that clear.

For other hard hit areas, an investment in solar power out in America’s Southwest can do the same. A conglomerate of local banks issuing out loans, guaranteed by the Federal Banking System, should have sufficient resources necessary to begin the immediate construction of a series of large solar farms in that area. With such an investment to attract large numbers of employees to that area hardest hit by the housing crises, local banks could with the Federal bank’s support., begin paying workers who in turn would help out the local banks by buying back some of those foreclosed mortgages at market prices…

But unquestionably, the largest saving can be made by simply conserving more energy in our homes and businesses. Just re-insulating every home in America, can save the cost of its installation within a year. According to the Department of Energy, re-insulating a home can save between 5% and 22% of its energy costs per year. At their estimated energy cost of $1500 a year (seems low, doesn’t it), the range would be from $75 dollars to $300 dollars a year. So paying someone a bounty of $75 dollars for each house, just to infra-red, then re-caulk it’s leaky windows and insulate it’s doors, would see its return within one year on every dwelling visited. Paying someone to go through a city’s public housing could save that city government tremendous amounts of money which could be better spent putting its citizens back to work.

Educational infrastructure is likewise needed. Our nation’s schools for the most part, have not been updated on a grand scale since they were originally built for the influx of baby boomers … What is more important than structural additions to existing buildings, is a revamping of the educational process itself.

America needs to regain their technological prowess… Our educational system ranks behind most of Europe and civilized Asia. One Duke study concluded that 137,437 engineering graduated in the United States, compared to 112,000 for India and 351,537 for China. Of course the quality of those foreign engineers are open to debate. But still, with lopsided numbers like that, it is obvious that over time…. we lose the technological war. Today… whoever is driving the global need for technology… drives the global economy.

Putting additional parents or motivators inside of class rooms, increasing allocations for science supplies (simply dropping sodium into water turns most students on to science as well as instantly explains the clarity of the periodic table), and increasing the social status of the “geeks” in teenage classrooms, are just some of the ways we can rebuild our educational infrastructural needs, without large investments of cash… Where we most often complain that the educational system is broken and in dire need of fixing, at the core of the problem is broken down people. Whether it is administrators, teachers, school board members, parents, or the students themselves, what we have throughout our education system is a group of talented, but leaderless individuals. All are spinning their wheels independently in their effort of trying to find some type of traction in improving education. Often within the same schools, different partners are spinning in opposite ways.

What American education needs is a grand goal, one that is set nationally and bought into by all of its people. Once again, America needs to be challenged. At its forefront it needs a leader capable and willing to stake his reputation on meeting and achieving that goal.. And most importantly, that challenge needs to me made without any financial strings attached. You know: the usual “we need to invest $$$ in …….”. Instead, what is needed by our incoming leadership is to voice a measurable goal such as this one for example: that says by 2015 we will as a nation, turn out as many engineers as does China….. (Goal reaching against a competitor worked for reaching the moon). Perhaps to achieve it, some additional funding may be necessary. But what is more important, is that is sends a real signal to students that fun and games as they have been portrayed on children’s TV, can no longer be tolerated within our high schools. Every young person now has the survivalist duty to apply themselves to the best of their ability, for the honor of their country in whatever the direction their talents lead them… (With proper leadership, this can be done fairly cheaply: it takes just one big speech.)

The long term return on this cheap investment is that by 2020, our engineers should be in the field working at top notch organizations, benefit them and us from their training and expertise…. The longer we wait… the further behind China and India we find ourselves… We are already talking twelve years from now before we can get any return on both ours, and our student’s investment….

Likewise, tying in with improvement of our educational output, is our need to advance ourselves further along the road of technological innovation, ie. creating new patients. For which ever nation builds the most savvy technical gadgets, that is the country from whom all others will want to buy…

But in today’s economical climate one must realize that a risky investment on some new technological device, untested in the market place, will have difficulty finding financiers. Once again, the Federal government, if it is spending its resources elsewhere, has the option of only printing more money to pay for this investment, assuming that private lenders are too scared to lend. Therefore as mentioned above, as in the post-WWII-Japanese model where the small city banks overloan to businesses and corporations allowing them to invest in research and development, if these loans are themselves guaranteed by the national bank, private lending can fulfill the need.

A very strong incentive to promote new research and development by corporations, would be to allow all such expenses devoted to the creation of new products, to become tax deductible under the newer higher rates that will be forthcoming shortly. Every bit of money spent on research and development, is our nation’s best investment. Innovative new products lead to the quickest economic turnaround as those new developed ideas soon become commercially viable…

Other areas where infrastructure can also be propped up by an infusion of small loans made by city banks which are then guaranteed by the Federal Reserve, are in the areas of environmental protection, health care, social services. Western forest fire fighting companies, environmental detoxification companies, and tree reforestation companies, could begin putting people to work.

It could work like this. A company such as Guardian, on call for disaster, receives a payroll loan from a small bank guaranteed by the Federal Government to keep itself afloat until money comes in from charging an oil tanking firm for the mess they made… Most of that loan money is used to buy necessary additional equipment, which puts someone to work in the manufacturing plant where that piece of equipment came ….. As work eventually comes in, the Federally guaranteed loan is paid back to banks… In this and most cases, no direct Federal investment is required. They just stand behind the guarantee.

In the health care industry, private companies providing hospice care, watching over psychiatric patients, creating new MRI’s, handling billing requests and follow up from insurance claims, can now receive a private loan from a small bank guaranteed by the Federal Government to carry them over until their money returns. Needing new equipment keeps a job at the plant where that piece was manufactured…

Companies specializing in assisting the poor, handicapped, impoverished, hungry, homeless, can also stay afloat by these private loans over lent by their banks, but guaranteed by the Federal Government. When the money returns from their clients, the loans are paid off.

In each of these areas, existing goods and services are maintained. The businesses don’t fold. Here is a different way of looking at it. This Keynesian jolt of economic activity is metaphorically like starting a heart of a human being temporarily stopped in cardiac arrest. At that time, all the systems are in place to work…. the heart just needs pressed to get started….. Our economy is like that. Inattention to the core of our economic problem, which is money not flowing out of banks, will lead to the same result to us as it would to a patient who does not get his heart restarted….

So this chapter can be summed up this way. The Federal Reserve is given responsibility for making sure that all projects having a viable chance of success, receive funding from, and eventually pay back… the small local banks making those loans. The Fed just guarantees the loans won’t fail….

Those out going loans should be focused on projects giving us our biggest bang for our money. Those areas providing the best return on their investment, are in the areas of energy, education, and technological advancement……

Instead of direct investment, the use of Federal guarantees in these three areas, coupled with the Federal Reserve’s monitoring the effects of inflation, are one way our nation can capitalize on its current hardship, and pull itself out through our effort, grit, and tenacity….

It was last July, as I watched a second shift come on, laughing and quite happy with themselves, that I thought… they don’t have a clue about what is about to happen… The Even Greater Depression…

…And as I greeted them… I had what for lack of a better word, ..a vision… and through that process I grew to understand what probably transpired in all those Sunday School history lessons when we were told of someone famous “having a vision…”

Naturally because I was a child, I had always interpreted those moments to be awesomely grand, and mind provoking… with perhaps the entire sky lighting up as a digitalized IMEX screen… But this quiet moment made me wonder whether perhaps a more accurate translation of “vision” in each of those situations……. might have been… say… “insight”, as in “God then gave him insight”.

For as I became disengaged from the interaction taking place, and began to wonder how that same scene would transpire a year from now were something major to happen, with no money capable of trickling in to the business… Granted, I would be out of work. Likewise, everyone coming and going on that July day, would be out of work. Those fortunately wealthy, would still eat… but the rest of us… would eventually die if not for the generosity of others… If economic collapse were ever became total… obsequiously serving those interests of the ruling class, would become the only way to survive…..

Those who had land, of course, could return to an agrarian existence… For the rest of us, there would be no electricity, primarily due to a lack of money to fund it… And with no electricity, most of our homes would become instantly uninhabitable… Neither would we be blessed with any of those comforts stemming from natural gas, fiber optic phones, ipods, batteries, gasoline, cars… Our interstates would be ribbons of concrete… empty….

Without electricity, we would have no way to communicate… Only those miserable few, living up and down our streets, would ever see our face or come to know our name…

And if you were able to extend that vision further…. one generation later…. all of civilization’s benefits… ie. everything we ever learned from any of our previous generations… stops… The era of the Darker than Dark Ages begins… The next generation, those who are just infants now, will grow up seeing abandoned cars with windows smashed, not knowing what they once did; they will see gas stations boarded up and forever sealed, only to guess at their original function; they will ponder the reason for telephone poles whose electrical wires have collapsed, collected, and been stripped…

For that knowledge of “how to start up a power grid”… has passed. And with no way to communicate across great distances, no one could even gather those few remaining experts into one place to figure it out.. And even if that miracle were to occur, it would cost far too much for any investor to initiate the repairs, even if it was a simple matter of figuring out just which switch to flip…..

Yes, in one year things could be vastly different…. our current existence that July day was so fragile.

As my mind returned to the present… and as I watched people who I consider as friends, entering and leaving their livelihoods, completely oblivious to what was looming on the horizon… I understood the kinship I had with those of old, who had similar preminiscent visions as they perhaps looked in on Maria Antoinette’s court syncophanting as normal while plebeian crowds gathered outside the Bastille;…. or as the family of Harold feasted on wild game while unknown to them, Normans climbed into their boats across the Channel, ….or as Anastasia and her brothers ate, played, slept and dreamed while the word circled among Bolsheviks to get themselves to the Winter Palace…

Our routines… are so shallow… when faced with breathtaking events….

But if things go bad… we still have choices… And after reading a comment tacked to the bottom of a post of The Mourning Constitution by one nosy neighbor… I think I saw the crystallization of what those choices eventually solidify into….

We are ultimately given two options… The first option is simple. We can attempt to survive this scenario by being incredibly selfishly individualistic, resorting to every man responsible only for himself… Hoarding what little he has, helping no one; keeping what little he has to hopefully survive beyond the famine…

Or…..

We can instead choose to help our neighbor with all the little we have, and hopefully survive the major bump-in-the-road as a group intact… preserving that good portion of our human nature… Obviously, you can’t help everyone… but if everyone helps someone, we could pull it through. And I think therein lies our answer… Ironically, despite the controversy swirling through October, at the end of November, it really boils down to us “sharing the wealth.” Not equally, of course… but just enough to survive… stepping up to help out when there is no other….

I have often thought myself magnanimous each time I’ve helped out charity… but never have I undertaken a sacrifice as that freely given by a nosy neighbor… It bothers me somewhat that I have a lot of learning to do….

For just today, as I stood in line for my commute-home coffee, a conversation to the side led me to believe that someone who should have retired already, (he’ll never find another job)… had just been let go.. on the day before Thanksgiving… “Sometimes life just shit’s on you” is the quote I overheard….

Stupid selfish ass me… It never even crossed my mind to offer to buy him a cup of coffee……

So as I read, agreeing with another blogger friend saying he didn’t feel like writing the obligatory Thanksgiving post covering all for which he was thankful….. it occurred to me that come Thanksgiving 2009….. perhaps we will understand a little better, how many wonderful things we had at this point in history… for which to be grateful.

A recent commenter inquired why establishing a National Park for Delaware should be a priority…

Considering today’s economy, that is a fair question…

The best answer I can come up with is Mr. Pam Scott.. The group of developers and their liaison with the building trade unions, have no qualms about destroying Delaware’s history to build slums. There…. someone said it.

Federal protection of those historic sites would take them off the table….

Because Delaware is developed, at least in New Castle County, the proposed park will have to be an amalgamation of a series of plots, spread over the whole of the state… It should be offered as a chance to glimpse America as it was during the time of our Independence… There are not many other places where that can be done.. At first thought, the only one I can think of is Fort Louisburg.. and that is not even in the United States… Ok, …Williamsburg, even though it is not original, and was rebuilt with Rockefeller money… Hey, wait! New Castle is mostly original buildings!

Point is, Delaware is an amazing place. The park should somehow encompass and protect the following: Delaware Seashore, Mason Dixon markers, Fenwick Lighthouse, America’s first offshore wind farm, Cyprus swamp, Ceasar Rodney’s Gravesite, the Parson Thorne mansion, the Millers House, Dickenson House, Georgetown Circle, The Green in Dover, an Amish farm, the Chesapeake wetlands surrounding the Tina Fallon ferry, Leipsic, Prime Hook, Port Mahon, our Delaware Bay lighthouse, Historic Lewes, the Underground Railroad sites, Historic Odessa, Blackbird Forest, the Sassafras River, the Delaware-Chesapeake Canal, Delaware City, Endangered Riverbank Beaver Dens, Pea Patch Island, Fort Delaware, Frenchtown Railroad, Historic New Castle, Scenic Route 9, Christiana watershed, White Clay Creek, Red Clay Creek, and Brandywine River scenic rivers, the Pencader encampments, Iron Hill, Cooch’s Bridge Battleground Memorial, Delaware Park, Hagley Mills, Rockford Tower, Winterthur, our Chateau Region, Mushroom farm in Hockesin, University of Delaware Green, Deer Park Tavern, Old Christiana, Delaware Memorial Bridge, Kalmyer Nickle, Trinity Church, The Rocks at Wilmington, American trenches in Marshalltown, the British encampment of Mill Creek.. Home of Judy Johnson, birthplace of Nancy Willing….. so many possibilities….

Some of you may remember the piece I did last year covering this piece of local history, history that almost changed everything….(Refresher?.. it is here)… The reminisces of that event are to be bulldozed under by Pam Scott at the site called The Grange, where Nancy has kept us abreast of this travesty on the level equivalent to the Taliban’s destruction of 1000 year old Buddhas…What Pam Scott’s group plans to do there is just retchably sickening.

Likewise, what Mark Baker was planning to do to Sussex County, was just as retchably sickening… Thank heavens Joan Deaver won with a field goal. Equally disturbing… is that which Rich Collins hopes to do to Kent County…. Fortunately, again, the Levy Court has kicked in his teeth… As long as evil in the form of greed lies unchecked, those parts of Delaware that have survived in part to development passing us by, are in severe danger of being destroyed… Developers have no qualms of torching national treasures, as was done to the historic and magnificent Booth House, just so the Capano White Oak Group could build 10 more units of “affordable housing”..

There is so much that Delaware has to offer, and many Delawareans themselves are unaware of just how magnificently special this region is… We can fight little battles each time a Paul Clark-Pam Scott connected developer wants to build…. or we can fight one big battle in the national limelight….bring in national publicity, national donations, and preserve the traces of liberty that have languished here unnoticed for so long…

That is just a brief window into why bringing a National Park to Delaware should be a priority this decade. You know, if just one tenth of New York or DC visited us over the next fifty years….. it would pay for itself in tourist dollars….

Is it just me, or do those two candidate’s names sound like twitter birds….  Unfortunately there is no twitter site for the Twenty-ninth Representative District, so this post will have  to do….

Again, featuring the best Delaware Voter’s Guide ever… we go to the top of the page, click voter’s guide, drop down to the Twenty-Ninth District, and click on Charles Paradee.

As is often the case with progressive candidates, the first selection is his campaign website.. I see we are to drop the Charles and call him Trey… Ok, with a quick click on Trey’s website we see….wow… Protect, Preserve, Prepare is his motto… He even breaks it down further… Protect Open Space (sounds what Sussex County needs as well)..Approximately 85% of the 29th District lies outside the Growth Zone. Despite this fact, the 29th District has been one of the fastest growing areas in the State over the past decade. As the results of the 2006 Levy Court elections show, the people of the 29th District want elected officials who are committed to protecting the rural nature of Kent County from unbridled growth. Trey will be your advocate.

Preserve the low tax structure (also needed in Sussex County)We need Representatives who are equipped to understand the complex budget issues facing our State and who are willing to make the tough decisions. Trey is a self-described fiscal conservative whose background and experience in finance and small business will serve Delaware well.

Prepare for future development–The future is bright for Delaware… if we make the right decisions! We have to recognize that people will continue to move here as long as our taxes are low and our quality of life is high. Growth will continue. Will we do it wisely or will we fall into to the same traps as our neighbors, leading us to higher property and school taxes.

Fascinating.. (This guy’s platform is right out of my post below this one, which advocates what Sussex County must do to save itself from a terrible fate… ie vote Joan Deaver)…There is a picture of him and his hunting dog setting out on the Leipsic River.. Now that is someone we can trust to keep the best parts of Delaware…the way they are now……. Thanks to the Coastal Zone Act I have been remarkably surprised at how many parts of Delaware resemble the way it looked during the colonial area… The view of many of the ships plying up the Delaware River differs little from what those first explorers must have seen. Try saying that while traveling up any other ships channel in the civilized world….

With all the controversy swirling around the Democratic Insurance Commissioners candidate’s resume, it is refreshing to see Trey posting his online… How open is that?…. We see UD all the way, and an English major to boot, always a good sign… At least we see that from having lived in Newark, that he knows what overdevelopment looks like, (unlike someone who grew up, went to school, and never left her hometown)….. We see he is familiar with stable duty; which means he already has a pair of high topped work boots to use while dealing with the lobbyists inside the halls of Legislative Hall…Being prepared he will be, as is always a former Eagle scout… We see he worked at Merrill Lynch… oops… oh so that’s why he is running for office now… 🙂 He is a NRA member and a member of Duck’s Unlimited…He’s a Chamber of Commerce guy, licensed for insurance, securities, and financial planning….

For those of you outside of Dover who as children used to travel through it on your way to the beach… he hails from the Paradee Gas Company lineage…and…. the dude plays drums…Awesome. (I don’t think the blogger’s band has a drummer yet….)

On his issues page, the first thing catching your eye is the title…Education is more important than cheap beer… He continues with this: I purchased some beer to enjoy with friends at a cookout. As I left the liquor store, I glanced at my receipt to see that I had paid $4.85 per six-pack of beer. I wondered for a moment how much my purchase decision would have been affected had I been required to pay $4.89 per six-pack. I doubt anyone would notice an increase of less than 1 cent per individual beer. In the waning hours of the 144th General Assembly, House Bill 518 was defeated in the State Senate, days after passing in the House of Representatives. HB 518 would have increased the tax on a six-pack of beer by 4 cents, 10 cents on a bottle of wine, and 37 cents on a .75-liter bottle of liquor. The tax increases would have generated an estimated $4.5 million in revenue for our cash-strapped State. Three hours after HB 518 was defeated, our lawmakers voted to slash $10.9 million from “programs for remedial readers and students who need extra schooling in the summer” and “funding that provides extracurricular academic help, professional support for teachers and school discipline.” I am proud that my State Senator, Nancy Cook, had the courage to stand up for the children of our State by co-sponsoring HB 518, and I am terribly disappointed that the current Representative of the 29th District, Pamela Thornburg, did not.” Shame on that Pam Thornburg who puts cheap beer before the education of those needing extra schooling. Shame. Shame. (We know how she likes parties)

Other issues… we see he is for open government… (his opponent was one of the few Republicans voting against House Bill 4, much to the chagrin of one Dave Burris..) He offers us his jobs proposal where he arguably points out the ineffectiveness of his incumbent who, in answer to the question what can be done to bring jobs to Kent County… could only come up with one: sports betting at three local racetracks….

Further along he adds: While on the subject of alternative energy, I must also add that it is absolutely shameful how our current legislature has handled the proposed wind power farm. We have an opportunity to attract good paying “green collar” jobs to our State. The development of alternative energy sources is the next great growth industry for our Nation. Delaware needs to get its share of these jobs by providing a business friendly environment that will attract forward thinking
entrepreneurs and businesses.

Here is an inquiry into his family tree. And here is his answer to the News Journal Questionnaire.

Here we see his father owed the city of Dover $800.68 for a sewer tap that was annexed after he had installed it…(I didn’t even know they had computers back on September 13, 1965… lol. )

Here is a search engine report for the Heritage Gas Company, (also known as the Paradee Gas Company..)

From here, Google starts getting confused and substituting items with “parade” in place of Paradee.

Here is his endorsement from the AFL-CIO. And here is his PDD endorsement…. I don’t know how many of either live in his district…

Ok, Let’s Check Out The Other Contender

Click on Pam Thornburg and now we are ready to go.

Pam has an interesting fault.. She has a large wealth of Google data under two spellings of her name..Pam Thornburg (correct) and Pam Thornberg (incorrect).
One thing worth mentioning is that Pam Thornburg has no mention of it, but Pam Thornberg was one of the opponents of the Smoking Ban back in 2002 who introduced bills to water down or delay its taking effect….(Remember… she’s a party girl)….Here we have her at the 11th annual Delaware Standardbred Owners Association (DSOA) Awards Dinner at the Dover Sheraton Hotel on Friday, Jan. 11, 2008.
Here we have her lauded for her work with the Career Transition Project in Kilroy’s own Red Clay District for those with special needs… Hey didn’t I just mention that she voted to cut funding for them? Something like education versus cheap beer? And it was her special project that got budget sliced? Beer IS important.

From beer we go to her official state website… We see she went to high school and college and never left Dover…We see she has been in Legislature since 2000, riding in with Minner, and lists herself as a full time legislator…We see she has oversight of Corrections and she should be answering some hard questions there… since what happened, occurred on her watch…

Here is what she has proudly sponsored…

HB 85 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES.

HB 175 AN ACT TO AMEND SUBCHAPTER III OF CHAPTER 31 OF TITLE 20 OF THE DELAWARE CODE PERTAINING TO THE EXERCISE OF EMERGENCY POWERS.

HB 189 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 7 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO TAX DITCHES.

HB 224 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 24 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO FALSE ALARMS AND SECURITY SYSTEMS.

HB 452 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 7 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO TAX DITCHES.

HB 492 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 19 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO WORKERS’ COMPENSATION.

HR 7 COMMEMORATING JANUARY 22-26, 2007 AS DELAWARE AG WEEK.

HR 37 ESTABLISHING THE GROCERY STORE BEER SALES TASK FORCE TO STUDY THE FEASIBILITY OF BEER SALES IN GROCERY STORES.

HR 39 COMMEMORATING JANUARY 7-12, 2008 AS DELAWARE AGRICULTURE WEEK.

HR 46 PROCLAIMING APRIL 21 THROUGH APRIL 25, 2008 AS SMALL BUSINESS WEEK.

HS 1 FOR HB 224 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 24 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO FALSE ALARMS AND SECURITY SYSTEMS.

Which one jumped out at you?  Yep… me too…

ESTABLISHING THE GROCERY STORE BEER SALES TASK FORCE TO STUDY THE FEASIBILITY OF BEER SALES IN GROCERY STORES.  (I guess the liquor stores close too early in Dover).  That bill was laid on the table only to be strickened upon the opening of the  next session… The Girl loves to party…

So much that only three of her bill got to the governor’s desk… 1) One NRA piece saying the state could never confiscate ones firearm in a Katrina style emergency; 2) one grandfathering encroachments on Tax Ditches, and 3) one fining those with false security alarms… But thanks to her… January 7 – 12 was Delaware AG (Attorney General…lol) week, and April 21 – 25th was Small Business Week… Shucks… I missed it…

Next we have the Delaware Task force that was created by Pam Thornburg who sponsored House Resolution 69,, From the minutes we see the task force met two times and then…Rep. Thornburg stated that she did not feel the task force need to meet again.

Next we have project Vote Smart synopsis of Pam Thornburg’s voting record… There we see that she did not vote on one of John Atkins bills HB 537 back in 2006, even though she was a sponsor.

We see she voted for the 2008 budget, and voted no on the bill to raise her beer 4 cents….She voted yes to collective bargaining…She voted against increasing the cigarette tax,…She voted against raising the minimum wage from $6.15….She voted yes to prevent state employees from paying dues or fair share fees without written consent….She voted “no” against a sterile needle programs, and against a ban on open alcoholic containers in one’s motor vehicle…. (That’s what the drive to the beach is for…) and she voted yes to repeal the statutes of limitation on child abuse cases and to ban the exemption of state employees from being charged under those statutes…

Next we have a wonderful little piece of satire describing here role on the House Committee of Energy in its approval hearing on Bluewater Wind’s proposal… (Like Charlie Copeland, she fought for Delmarva all the way until the final bill was signed…) The piece is appropriate.

Next we have some beautiful pictures of Pam Thornburg as she performs her daily duties as a member of the General Assembly…..

Next we see that on May 8-9th, 2006, the person representing the 29th district, got to party in some really swank digs… The Greenbrier of White Sulphur Springs.. I hope she got a chance to play a round of golf… It is one of the most beautiful courses east of California…. And if she is ever in jail, her supporters can get “Free Pam Thornburg” signs here…

Here is Pam Thornburg’s answer to the News Journal Questionnaire….

Next we have Nancy from Delaware Way’s description showing Pam Thornburg as a tool of Delmarva Power in its battle against Bluewater Wind… It would be wise to remember that even after it was proven that Bluewater Wind cost much less than Delmarva could offer from other sources… Pam Thornburg emphatically backed Delmarva Power against the wishes of 90% of her constituency….She is a special interest legislator… (No doubt, Delmarva Power threw better parties, thanks of course to her fellow party-er... Joe Farley…)

In an effort to stifle John Kowalko, (totally ineffective) she used Joe Farley, lobbyist for Delmarva Power to filabuster most of the time allotted for discussion.. More from Delaware Liberal…

We see another party this time closer to home.. December 2-4, 2005. Minutes of the Kent County Transportation meeting from March 2, 2005 .... are here…

Here, much more pertinent, are the opening minutes of the early meetings of the SEU, that infamous board which tried to scarf $100,000,000 into McDowell’s hands… and still might… A piece is ready for the new session which as shown last June, is full of some shady dealings…..

We see why she is the way she is… As the state chairman of ALEC, American Legislative Exchange Council, she shares with them a common belief in limited government, free markets, federalism, and individual liberty. Just to name some of the original founders, two of which were Henry Hyde (he liked to party as well) and Jesse Helms… But before we go on… isn’t the whole problem we are facing with our economy the result of the policies that organizations like ALEC sneak through our legislative bodies? Isn’t what we are feeling this economic session the result of deregulating and not supervising adequetely those in charge of the money… Doesn’t it seem reasonable that someone who is so into a failed policy of the past, would do our state much more harm than good?

And then we have this.

And from here we see that the Twenty-Ninth District is split 40% Democrats, 35% Republicans, and 25% other.. The key for both candidates is the other…..

The Inevitable Conclusion

That depends entirely upon you….  however if you want my synopsis, it would be that we need forward thinkers now, and not someone playing around in the past to dally in “little” things… I saw Thornburg in action during the Bluewater Wind controversy and it was scary… Why someone would hurt the citizens under their care, who as you all know were struggling so hard to keep up with their utility payments, support the entity beating them down, and be glib and laugh about their plight sarcastically….  I didn’t know people like that ever got elected….  A “small business week” sounds nice, but really…. what does it do…  what does it accomplish… how does it make anyone’s life even a little better?

The twenty-ninth district is so lucky to have someone like Paradee who reflects their values, but looks to carry those values into the future rather than return them to the past….  There are some trying times ahead… someone tackling new problems with an antiqued set of tools is not what the twenty-ninth needs right now…  Thornberg’s philosophy dates back to 1973… as a nation we have moved on since then…

Every two years the Legislature gets shuffled… (but unfortunately not as much lately as it has needed)… Pam Thornburg has, on every one of the great issues that affected this state’s positioning of itself among its neighbors, been on the wrong side…… She was against cheap clean power from Bluewater Wind almost chasing away 500 high paying jobs…… She is against open government; she voted against House Bill 4.  She way back when, was against the smoking ban, in a state with one of the highest cancer rates in the nation for heavens sakes!…  On the other hand if it involves gambling, liquor, beer, wine, cigarettes, open containers in motor vehicles, or any other vice… whoopi… she is all for it…(or so her record would make it seem….) That’s the small town mentality…that comes from never opening ones horizons….

One thing is certain.  Someone good needs to fill that post…Someone forward looking, smart, conservative, family oriented, knowledgeable in business, conservation, the locality, and interested in preserving what is best of western Kent County.  Protect, Preserve, Prepare. The twenty-ninth district could do no better than put Trey Paradee into the House of Representatives on November 4th….

This is a guessing game. It’s supposed to be fun. You do the guessing. I’ll reveal the answer at some point in the future. Bottom line, I am interested in how this plays out. (To keep answers out of moderation, no links please.) You may use the categories above for some helpful hints, but knowing me, don’t expect to find the answer that easily.) 🙂

1) Foreign policy/defense: I want American imperialism rolled back and American interventionism halted, as the same time we begin to pull free from the military/industrial complex by slashing the budgets for defense and homeland security to reasonable levels.

2) Civil libertarian issues: I want to see gay marriage legalized; drugs decriminalized; Real ID abolished; the Patriot Act gutted; and immigrants viewed as human beings. I want intrusive government the hell out of my life.

3) Fiscal sanity: I want a government that stops growing and taking an ever-expanding bite out of my paycheck; I want to see wasteful programs cut, and to have Congress faced with the same sort of imperative the Delaware General Assembly had to face this year: balancing the budget.