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Where This Budget Stands
Courtesy of The Atlantic

This is a good illustration of how compromise works… After the Tea Party’s humiliating defeat, it appears all those left, have thrown their mesh skeletons into the trash can, and to each of their entreaties for redemption…. have given them a collective……

“Forget about it…”

It should hit you hard right now, of just how far back we are from where we’d be if 2010 Tea Party Revolt had never happened………

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Award For Delaware's Most Influental P/P/or T of The Year
The Golden Flush Award
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Usually this is an after thought…” Oh, wow, year’s over, let’s get a person of the year”…  And then once we elect one,  we go… “holy crap… we totally forgot so and so….”

So to try to stir up some old simmering coals of memory, both mine and others, and perhaps even to (heaven forbid) get some debate going in the blog sphere, I thought I’d make an initial run on Thanksgiving Week, and then add people into the nominating category as others mention various ones I should kick myself for forgetting.

It will also force me to review the year which is something I rarely do… because face it, as a human being, I am slave of the moment….  If I did this last year, come December 14th the entire world would have been turned upside down and all the old priorities of 2012,  would in one day become trivial….

And so starting early gives me the chance to make the argument for each of those I decide to enroll with your kind recommendations included….

Julius Cephus:  Particularly this one man organized and stopped an end run around the Port of Wilmington.  The Kinder Morgan deal did not go through, and the Wilmington Port is bustling like never before…   Kinder Morgan was to strip the union of power, and drop the rates of pay, further dampening the economy of Wilmington proper.  It was also the first defeat of a Lavine-Markell development project, .. Fisker and Bloom had gone forward without a hitch.  Julius and other’s push back resulted in a General Assembly motion that stated they, not the governor, had final approval. It was the first time we were exposed to the current Governor’s manipulations.  They were to play a significant part across this year’s tapestry.

Steve Newton:  A blogger who has written infrequently, but effectively. His piece on SB 51  is what alerted us to the end run being performed by Dave Sokola on lowering the current standards being used for educating teachers.  It is brilliant.  It took an evening of reading the legislation line by line and cross referencing  it with Steve’s analysis, to understand the huge negative impact this bill would cause.  By the time this was done, the Bill had already passed the Senate unanimously without comment, and with an friendly amendment added that was voted upon without even being read.  Some public outcry was mustered within the House, both in committee and on the floor, but under the Governor’s direction, the Speaker of the House, pushed the bill to the floor before significant outcry could be mustered.  Only 4 House members were not on record for it’s passing.  Our educational schools now have to water down their teaching standards to meet the new law.  Steve also has brought the Highmark story to Delaware.  His research in the increase of medical costs in Western PA as a result of knocking out competition by unfair practices, leads one with a cold chill of what to expect in Delaware’s future.  We are already there.  As an insurer, Highmark is only paying medical claims in its own affiliated clinics.  As the new Blue Cross/Blue Shield owner, that is a huge percentage of Delaware’s residents.  None can go to any other hospital.  He has properly fingered Karen Weldham Stuart for not catching this prior to implementation.  Without Steve, this would have passed unnoticed.  The News Journal still has not once mentioned the takeover of Delaware’s health field under one owner.

Ernest Lopez.  If Kennedy were still writing Profiles of Courage, he should include this man.  Ernest Lopez is a conservative, and voted with Libertarian values to pass the gun legislation recommended by Markell and Biden.  Reflecting the views of his district, instead of taking the threatening message sent to him down from the NRA, he voted for his district.  A very vocal minority, who is always vocal, and always in the minority, swore they would unseat him.  He disregarded their idle threat, and voted both his and his constituents conscious.  A major billboard was put up to call him out.   His vote caused the passage of us now requiring background checks at public gun sales.  Now a certifiably insane person cannot slap cash and get a gun.  It is a no-brainer, and Ernie was the only Republican with brain enough to even know what a no-brainer is….

Cathy Cloutier:  her vote allowed gays to marry.  Again, she is a Republican who said enough is enough… Tired of voting against her conscious just so Sussex County would not flip over to the Democrats, she finally did not toe the line and voted along the lines of her own constituents, all overwhelmingly in favor of gay marriage.  In doing so, she went against the entire grain of her party, who firmly feel that gays are second class citizens, even though most Republicans in office are closeted gays.

Bethany Hall Long:  on the same vote, made a viable personal decision, and also voted for the legalization of gay marriage. Unlike Cathy’s vote, this was accomplished at great personal sacrifice, for all of those in her personal life, were solidly against this policy from taking effect.  In voting for what was morally right, she had to contend against those whose influence she could not escape.  She went with the correct vote, over the easy one.   As a result, Gay marriage is now legal in Delaware.

Paul Baumbach:  gave great ammunition against the fight for SB51, and later against HB 165. Both bills which will damage Delaware’s education for years to come.  He was one of the four who put up a fight on the House floor.  Paul also arranged for the meetings in Newark to discuss the new Power plant that figured in this past week’s election.

John Kowalko:  also was against SB51, HB 165, as well, being against the power plant.  In fact, John was the first person to sound the alarm over how big the power plant would be.  Without his big voice, it may have slid through unnoticed.  The power plant has defined northern Delaware politics since September.

Kim Williams;  responsible for HB 40 which investigates Charter School’s meddling into our educational systems.  She was as an acting state representative, allegedly refused entrance into a committee hearing on education, for fear she might say something damaging to the bill being rushed through….  She brought to the public’s knowledge, that the Charter School bill was drafted illegally without public input, and the charter group constructing it, was also under FOIA, to which the private group denied.  The Attorney General backed up her assertion, that the bill was formulated illegally but their decision was moot, because the bill was passed both houses anyways.  Kim Williams also in the HB 40 task force, led the group to realize that charter schools unlike public schools, do indeed filter those entering charters to weed out those who might lower their test scores….

Mark Murphy, Rodel, Sweeney, Hefferman, and the Fake Educational Reform Establishment:  I almost purposefully did not post this.  Although the first person’s name is usually followed by explicatives whenever mentioned, it is unlike Voldermort’s, still getting mentioned.  Mark Murphy was not put in his position based on his ability. He was placed there for his loyalty to the cause of  corporatizing public education.  Markell pulls the strings, Murphy figures how to get it done…  It is hard to make a puppet the most influential person of the year… So I was going to skip him… But at the last minute, remembered that every time  he or anyone of these make an op-ed, it resonates as gigantic news. The entire community rises up to counteract each op-ed, usually with the word “lies” thrown liberally about…. So, they do exert an influence.  I looped all of them together, as the group of liars in a Greek play, who stand on the stair steps and taunt the protagonists.  Well,… they are part of the play…….

Dan Short:  Sometimes villains get noticed too.  Primarily a single issue candidate, who personally supports the NRA, he actively campaigned and organized to create enough backlash so Markell’s gun laws could not get enough votes…  Without him, there is a possibility that all four of Markell’s gun control pieces of legislation would have passed both houses of Delaware’s legislature. Dan Short should be given the credit for stopping them.

John Sigler: Single handedly by his very brief tenure as the re-elected head of the Republican Party, he pointed out through his pigeon shooting, just how inept the Republican Party was at everything else.  With his leaving, all fissures cracking the Republican bedrock, were impossible to ignore.  Blogs split. The IPOD’s split. Former candidates of the same party just months earlier, now not talking to each other. The Delaware Republican Party is dead; no it is past dead.  More dead than a pigeon shot inside a box by John Sigler, former head of the Delaware Republican Party.

Nancy Willing: Her blog, the Delaware Way, is the go-to site for local information. Whether about Dover, about New Castle County, about any of New Castle County’s associations, Nancy combs all sources and puts them down in aggregate form. Heavily involved in the Power Plant controversy, The Delaware City Rail Yard controversy, Barley Mill controversy, the Woodlawan controversy, the Kinder Morgan controversy, the Charter School Controversy, the Common Core Controversy, Nancy has who is saying “what”, and links to “why”. One can expend less energy by using her blog to follow all the stuff the News Journal neglects, in a few quick empty steps.

Amy Roe:  a head of the Sierra Club, who emerged from nowhere to lead the fight against the power plant, and give quite a run against the establishment candidate.  Becoming the face the anti- power movement could coalase behind, she gave the anti power plant movement both dignity and grace.  Coming up short only 115 votes, she has awakened Newark now politically as never before…  The power plant if it goes forward, now has a strong group of Newarkeans against it.  Hopefully they will be monitoring it regularly and helping authorities keep in in compliance with all local law.

Tom Gorden; although much quieter than his first term in office, Tom Gorden is rapidly rolling back the privileges the previous Clark administration handed over to our state’s top developers. The Barley Mill plaza which had a green light, is now parked at a red. In a big sea change, though handled quietly, community groups are now no longer persona non grata in county government. It is no longer accepted as a matter of course that the Woodlawn Trust will be gobbled up by developers. If enough fight can be mustered, it can be stopped. Furthermore, with Tom there is closer coordination with the City of Wilmington, than we have experienced anytime in our lifetimes. In the county, local policing has been stepped up, particularly in neighborhoods prone to crime…

Dennis Williams: Came in with grand expectations, which looked deliverable for a while. The tide is turning and his relevance on this list, is because every day, the headline reality in Wilmington’s streets, brings his electioneering boasts back to haunt him, like a sizzling hot branding iron.  Time, Dennis, to say “Damn the torpedoes… Their punk asses are going in jail no matter which blowhard on City Council spouts off,before mine gets tossed in jail for impersonating a mayor..”

Alan Levin:  Jack Markell’s second in command, he was instrumental in defending Markell’s position on Kinder Morgan and the port, as well as the new power plant for the data center. He also had a hand in keeping Dole in Delaware, and worked to slip the power plant past a slew of unsuspecting Newark City officials.

Jack Markell: had his hand in everything.  He was behind Kinder Morgan’s takeover.  He was behind SB 51 and HB 165.  He was behind the illegal charter group, requiring HB 40. He also was the driving force for the four rational steps to gun legislation, 2 of which were passed. He was also the driving force behind the passage of gay marriage, signing the bill in the chambers just moments after its passage. He also supported the transgender bill in its travels through the labyrinth of Legislative Hall. He as behind keeping Dole in Delaware. He was behind changing an icon in Millsboro away from pickles, over to poultry. He pushed the bill to curtail Flowers. Despite your opinion over whether these were good or bad, they still showed a ubiquitous and wide reach across the state of Delaware. Seems like nothing got done that didn’t have his fingerprints all over it.

John Young: As head of Christina board, John Young led the board in standing up to Mark Murphy and Jack Markell, by refusing the RTTT funds slated for his district. Although some hired fools, (Jea Street) tried to paint Young into a corner, it served the opposite purpose and gave Young a platform. For the fist time, Common Core was getting publicly bashed. For the first time, many were finding that aligning themselves blindly to this sham of improving standards, was probably going to hurt them politically in the next couple of years. It was the fist salvo back, so the damage estimates were not high, but it did open eyes of many who had been on the sidelines of all educational issues, making them also become vocal in fighting Common Core. His blog Transparent Christina has channelled a lot of detailed information into the Delaware market, and had made Common Core an apprehension, instead of the savior it was supposed to be….

Kilroy: Kilroy has always been haranguing over education. In fact he was doing such a good job I left that issue alone for years, because other issues for me, like the economy and elimination of guns from the hands of the mentally ill, were more important. But as the issue has shifted back into the limelight, Kilroy’s hard hitting is making its mark… Kilroy is blunt, and right now, that is the language that needs to happen. Blunt descriptions of what takes place in the stratosphere of he academic field…. Kilroy often breaks stories before the News Journal, especially ones embarrassing to the Murphy/Markell cartel of education. If you have read Kilroy over the past couple of years, you would already know that Common Core is not the panacea we have been promised. It is a power grab for taxpayer dollars, financed by Wall Street itself…. If you think otherwise, you haven’t been reading a balanced reading list….
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That is what I have so far. In retrospect I am surprised that education has played so much, as even I have only come to that topic lately… But if one looks over the News Journal op eds, education really did dominate the discussion in the 2nd smallest state this year….

I may have forgotten some big ones. To reiterate, that is why I am posting this early, to catch those big mistakes as they get brought to my attention….

I’d never thought I’d write that.  How could anyone in their right mind be against raising teacher’s standards… After all it is our kids we are talking about who will suffer….

Exactly,  Passing SB 51 with S/A 1 Amendment attached, will cause our kids to suffer. That’s how I can write that. Otherwise I’d be full force behind this bill just as was every senator who voted for it….

You ask, how can raising standards on teachers, hurt our children?

I will ask you back;  “How would you like to take your brand new car you just purchased to Joe The Mechanic’s Auto Shop and have him work it over? How could that possibly hurt your car?”

Basically that’s what this law does for education. It is as if we passed a law for cars that said every new car purchased had to be re-certified by Joe The Mechanic’s Auto Shop.  The entire premise on this auto legislation lies in this one single question: gee, who is Joe?

If Joe is someone who is the world’s best mechanic, factory trained by every car manufactured, a man or woman who can analyze myriads of problems by just with listening with a fine-tuned ear, then maybe this bill could possibly be ok.  But if Joe has no knowledge of electronic computers, but learned his mechanics back in the days of steel and oil, and is a complete loss when he sees a car with no distributer cap,  then taking your car that runs perfectly to Joe The Mechanic’s Auto Shop, can damage your car pretty darn bad.

And THAT is the problem with SB 51…  We don’t know who Joe is….

What we do know, is that our car is purring perfectly, heck we just bought it, everything was tuned at the factory.  Since it is straight from the factory, it is running very well,  no play in the wheel, clean car smell, all items are working, and even our factory tells us to make sure we take it back to a “factory approved shop” for all repairs in order not to void the warranty….  But our government is making us take it to Joe The Mechanic’s Auto Shop.… And we still don’t know who Joe is?

And we are not too enthralled by all the junk cars piled up in its back lot…….

That is what is wrong with SB 51….

Our great educational  training program that is functioning very well, is going to be tested and inspected by someone who doesn’t know crap…

That should scare the hell out of every single parent….

The educational system of America over the last 13 years has been disrupted. Good teachers have been fired, to be replaced with bad ones.  Students used to read literature, and now they are handed “packets” and read test questions. Schools that have been opened for a century,  have been closed…. The educational system is in disarray; a disarry that appears to have been forced down from the top.

We’ve all been there… The new boss walks in, and yells “things are going to be different now”.  Some are excited, some are afraid, but this boss is out of control… He arbitrarily fires, can’t hire fast enough, and the  business breaks down.  It becomes broken.  He came into fix, and it got put… into a fix.  So he storms out, blaming all those left for his need to make an exit.  And then everyone is asked to put it back together, and they do, then the next boss is hired…  If you work in America, you’re guaranteed to have  been through this scenario.

We are going to do that with teachers?  Who’s this guy, Joe again?  Is this test going to be made by the same ones that lowered Delaware’s results?  Is this test going to be like those 5th grader tests loaded with 7th grade questions using letters a,b,c in algebraic math?

As that car owner, we have the best educational system bar none.  Delaware educators have among toughest standards in the country. Counting every school, even the most stringent Ivy League schools, the University of Delaware is ranked 37th in the nation. That’s ahead of  Rutgers, Temple, and even Boston University. Delaware State University is solid Tier 2 school.

Currently in Delaware’s educational programs, only one third make it through the tough gauntlet into teaching. All students graduating from UD, DSU, and WU have passed Praxis I and II; have logged hundreds of hours of observation and additional hundreds more hours of supervised teaching under the watchful eye of master teachers in our public schools. Compared to the standards even 10 years ago, new Delaware teachers graduated by these universities are the best prepared to enter the classroom in our history.

Delaware should be pretty damn proud. Instead we appear to be on the verge of committing a rash act full of unintended consequences. Our head is in the sand. Ok, the argument may go…. “If we’re so good, what possiblE harm can befall us if we take our new baby to Joe The Mechanic’s Auto Shop?

Apart from the fact that we do not know who “Joe” is or will be when we get there, there are these reasons. The changes in SB 51/SA-1 actually lower some credentialing standards rather than raise them [see the section on now accepting Composite Scores].

Currently all Delaware student teachers take the Praxis One and the Praxis Two. No pass, no teach. These are the factory cars in the educational equation. There are composed by NCATE, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. This is a very solid organization. If you go to their website right now, you will see that they pre-published their accreditation standards for public view and comments. They also dropped Wesley College’s accreditation for not living up to the standards.

This bill would replace these standards with ones created by the Delaware Department of Education. Returning to the Joe The Mechanic’s Auto Shop analogy, one has to wonder how a 3 year Phys Ed elementary teacher, can do better than a national organization that accredits schools.

Delaware has the 37th BEST teacher school ranked in the nation. And after this bill is passed, we are going to completely gut our entire program out of all we do so well, and have a 3 year elementary Physical Education Teacher rebuild our entire program from scratch….. One who has never gone through the RTTT testing he inflicts on others? One who quite questionably doesn’t meet the minimum 5 year requirement necessary to be a DOE?

It’s in the bill. that is what it says.

Would we let someone who has never been a doctor create the state’s medical certification program? Would we let a non-lawyer create the state’s Bar exam? Would we let a manager of McDonalds create our state’s nutritional guidelines?

With this administration and this Senate, I really don’t know. We just might, based on what I’m seeing right before me!

So, you are saying you would really take your BMW, Rolls, or Cadillac to Joe The Mechanic’s Auto Shop to be certified to drive it in Delaware? Wouldn’t you be afraid he’d mess it up, especially since it is working rather well right now? Ranked 37th!..

I can hear “Joe” now… “What are all these damn stupid wires for. (Rip,rip,rip) My old Model T never had this crap”…

It’s our kids. We can’t rush this, and this bill has been rushed far too fast through the Senate. The House needs to slow down and debate this one…

We can’t afford to lose our 37th top spot in the nation for which we worked so hard and so long to get….. We got to stop this bill that will make our cars all go to “Joe’s” .

Although the year is barely out, we do have our first nomination for the spot to be announced in December 2013.  With the Kinder Morgan Deal now on hold semi-permanently, even they are pointing to our hero of the year as the man most responsible for allowing the port to remain state owned….

I can say it was Julius Cephas who was behind almost every move to combat the loss of good jobs at our port.  He is being pointed out as the villain by the capitalists at Kinder Morgan.  In Delaware’s eyes, that elevates his hero’s stature even more…

In truth, he is no villain and knowing him, he will probably shun the acclimations being made by us common folk as being our hero.  In his eyes, he was just doing what needed to be done because no one else was there at that very moment to do it, and as that task swelled, it took a lot out of him….

Capitalists always need a villian.  But it was the “truth” which actually is what killed this deal.  Kinder Morgan WAS going to cut back on jobs, and their change of heart and blaming Julius instead of others, points exactly to the core of their problem with our port… …

People in Texas, do not understand unions.  They simply can’t fathom or understand how there can be an actual law that lets people strike and shut you down, whenever you try to pay them less..  In their eyes, you work for what they want to give you and if it is too little, ..humph.  go elsewhere….

The second culprit (after the “truth”),  was our office of economic development.  We gave Kinder Morgan too many “eager” signals that set us up as being seen as an easy pick.  They truly thought they could waltz in, pick up a top notch East Coast Port for a song, and we would eagerly give it up…  Again, that was because everything was done in secret.  Had a meeting been forthcoming in the very beginning,  Kinder Morgan might have moved on earlier when it became readily apparent, that southern Texas practices do not bode well in the Northeast…

Of course, being a corporation, they will blame the whistle blower.  (Ironic since the whistle blower of Enron works for them)..   Of course.  It is not like they find anything immoral in taking a state asset for a song, in firing those skilled dock workers, and replace them with some Spanish speaking Texans who never even heard of a union….

And Julius did blow that whistle. .  Like Rose on the Titanic, he took the whistle off of Jack (pun intended), and blew softly at first, then harder, and harder.   Gradually the sound registered on others ears….

Without Julius, Bob Marshall would not have pushed through Senate Bill 3.  Without Julius, most of the links showing up in everyone’s blog, would have not been found.  Without Julius, the case for protecting workers would not have even made the rounds of the Norman Oliver show….

There were many helpers. Bob Marshall, Nancy Willing, Norman Oliver, Norinda, Helene Keeley, Al Mascitti, Liz Allen, John Kowalko, and (an other blogger too shy to be mentioned here). When one looks back through all of them one sees from everywhere, there in the center of the universe,  stands a normal human being just like us, known to most … as Julius.

There will come a time when a better deal will arrive.  Could even be this year. There will come a time when a suitor who does care about Delaware, who does care about unions, about human beings, about those businesses on the outside, and who will want to upgrade the port for everyone’s interest, not just their own… And that suitor in this day and age, could even come from abroad.  Germany is very committed to union labor, to the environment, to being a good neighbor…. There are a great many possibilities out there that are immeasurable…. We definitely dodged a Texas bullet with this one….

When that suitor arrives… Julius’s stature will be set in cement….  For he did nothing really Herculean, except argue the truth…  He didn’t lie.  He didn’t connive,  He didn’t threaten….

That was done by our office of economic development.  Instead and unlike them, Julius told the truth.  He told the truth to anyone who would listen.  He told the truth enough, so many “did” listen….

And that is why, he  deserves this nomination as Delaware’s Man of the Year.  I know it is early into 2013, but great things just do not wait!!….

You will hear smears that Julius tubed the deal… I saw the letter and it is already out on WDEL and the Delawareonline’s News Journal… But as an impartial blogger, I can tell you exactly what killed this deal.

It was “the truth”.  The truth of what this deal would cost us Delawareans….. is what turned the tide and caused the outcry that rose up against it….

If Kinder Morgan really wanted this deal, they could have easily said… “we are expanding and putting 5 new berths out into the river.  We are buying the port for the bargain price of $5 billion.   We need those businesses outside the fence because the jobs we get, will soon be too big, we can’t do it ourselves.  We will keep the union just as it is;  Wilmington needs good jobs and we are going to do our part….  We are also going to contribute into an emergency fund to be used for any spill or environmental accident that takes place under our tenure….

Kinder Morgan could have done any of those things, … and didn’t…. The blame doesn’t lie with Julius after all…. Especially when you consider the following…

This Economic Council erred on Fisker Automotive.  Then it erred on Bloom Energy.  Then it tried to Kinder Morgan us out of our port…..   Someone rushed in  with a save to make sure that last one didn’t happen.

That person is now hereby nominated for Delaware’s Person of the Year…….

This Time It's Different

I hear you are going on a tour to sell your ideas on gun control across America. First of all, thank you for carrying that message forward in the public spotlight.

Secondly, I am making the request that you make Rodney Square in our state of Delaware one of your stops… Here are some unique reasons why.

1) Wilmington was rated the most dangerous city last summer. Number 1. Most of that is due to illegally owned guns. It would be seen as being very brave coming into the heart of the problem. It would show inspiring leadership and courage to show up at Illegal Gun’s headquarters.

2) Rodney Square can be easily secured. You were previously here in your first campaign. It gives you access to the Philly media market as well as being closer to those higher income population swing areas in Southern PA that you carried, than downtown Philly itself.

3) We have an airport with a very long runway on which the Air Force One would have no problem landing…. and then a straight line to Rodney Square….

4) You could stay at Biden’s house overnight, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind. About time he entertained his boss…. Plus it’d save us all one big hotel bill.

Seriously, I can’t think of any 4 better reasons why you should make Wilmington, Delaware a major focal point in your trip around the country….

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

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

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

Which is why it wants to come to Wilmington.

Big company. Little state. Equals coercion.

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

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

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

Choices have consequences. Every marriage has its cost.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Business Is Up At Wilmington's Port
Courtesy of Maersk Lines

To privatize or not privatize Wilmington’s own ocean-going port; that is the question now up for debate. Talks begin next week.

One the port loses money; turning it over saves money the very year it gets dumped.

Two, privatizing the port, will cost union jobs and their pension fund, dearly. There is no way any company will not want to “own” that pension fund.

Three, as a private business, the port must be taxed, earning revenue for the city.

Four, safety, upgrades, competitiveness with other ports, all take back seat to revenues acquired per quarter.

Five, the city will have another major business knocking its doors down asking for new major concessions.

Bottom line, is whether the city wants to sell out those working, taking the financial hit that will cost it, or to pay the extra each year to keep the port running….

In this day and age, it appears selling out the people, carries far greater risk and impacts the area with a greater negative, than simply paying for the shortfalls year after year.

Let’s us remind ourselves what actually “is” privatization….

In privatization schemes to outsource traditional governmental functions, taxpayer dollars are diverted from the building of public assets and institutions to create long-term revenue streams for corporations. Privatization has resulted in the loss of public sector jobs that have been crucial to the growth of the middle class, and instead has created a system that favors lower wage jobs and new profit centers for CEOs and investors.

Here is how privatization works. I buy a field next to your house. I live in a tent. I watch your house while you are away on vacations. You’ve paid off the house, and now, having retired, you live in Florida, and the house taxes are backing up here in Delaware. You sign the deed over to me, so you don’t pay taxes anymore….

I just stole your property. All that money you put into it, was essentially, wasted. Your assets, drop by $500,000. Mine jump $500,000. You could have put the house on the market… That is what most people do… But no. You just gave it away. Thank you, btw.

That is privatization. Giving something free to corporations, a handout, that they only get, because they just happened by at the right moment…. Here you go, bud… have $45 million dollars… Run a business! Welcome to corporate America.

That is privatization. Of course, it is framed these three ways: …. “let me take that off your hands…;” “I could take care of that awful problem for you;”…. ” You, know, I could make that “problem” go away..”.

And in the heat of the moment, that investment that years of hardworking people have put into, gets whisked away…. So of course privatization is going to be sold hard. Who wouldn’t want a free $50 million dollars?

Bottom line, there are some entities in public society that are there for the common good. The public funds them… Take roads for example. If Delaware privatizes 95 into to Wilmington, every commuter pays an extra $2 a day to make the trip. Every commuter pays $2 X 5 X 50 on the average, or $500 a year. At roughly 60,000 commuters a day, $30,000,000 is sucked from all other businesses in New Castle County per year, and given to the new owner of interstate 95…. Primarily to prevent that, was why a long time ago public funding and ownership, was deemed to the better approach. Furthermore, repairs and potholes, suddenly get low priority status; skimming off the top becomes number one…..

The choice of privatization boils down to the following…. Which is better? A choice of higher business activity, or a choice of keeping the wages of those working now?

This can best be seen in Greece. The Greeks farmed one half of this port, the container side, over to a Chinese company. They kept the lucrative part, the cruise ship side, for themselves. What has happened is that business on the Chinese side as doubled. It is becoming one of the busiest ports in the world. The Greek half is languishing. Lacking the money to invest, their side has, by not going forward, fallen backward.

The Chinese have invested in new ideas and new technology. But, being Chinese, one can rightly expect they don’t invest in human capital.

On the Greek side, some worker’s salary and benefits amount to $181,000 a year. Obviously a full work force paid that much would soon force closure of the port. The Chinese pay $23,000…. and have no job security plan. They also do not abide by Greece’s union regulations and safety requirements. Currently they have no trouble filling workers when they need them. (Greece is in the imploding stages)…

And there you have it. One simply has to plug in whether the lease amount and tax revenue from a thriving port on top of the diminished payroll purchasing power of all its ex-employees, is greater or less than…. the diminished tax revenue from a mediocre port, on top of the purchasing power all it’s unionized employees possess…..

It appears that the one best option, is to have Government upgrade the port, meanwhile keeping government ownership, thereby keeping its workers employed and their money flowing through their economy… That option maximizes the most money flowing out of the port, and into the city.

The problem for unions is, that as long as wages are consistently high across the Seaboard, then that is the price of doing business in America’s ports. But let one port hire 7/8th less per worker, then in all other ports to remain competitive, all workers will soon also have to be working at that level. 7/8ths less of economic clout per worker, needs to be quantified in dollars, before knowing the full economic benefit.

There is one more thing. If the business running the port loses money, even one dollar; they can just shut the port down and walk away…. Then there are no winners.

I like watching her jumpCourtesy of Facebook.

The Greek track star was booted off the Olympic Team. No, it was not because of the Euro… It was because of her slur against Africans. People need to keep their mouths shut. I was glad the Olympic Committee was adhering to high standards.

Later, another report came across the wire. This one actually had translated what she had said…… It was something like …”with so many Africans here, the West Nile Mosquitoes will be able to dine on local food.”

I read it again, because that didn’t sound horrible.

“with so many Africans here, the West Nile Mosquitoes will be able to dine on local food.”

I HAVE to be missing something…. I read it real slow.

With….. so…..many….. Africans….. here, .. the….. West….. Nile…. Mosquitoes…. will…. be….. able…. to…..dine…. on …..local…. food..

Didn’t see it that time… I tried reading it real fast.

Withsomany Africans here, theWestNileMosquitoes willbeabletodineon localfood.

No it is not in delivery…. Is there something racist about West Nile Mosquitoes?

Google Search of West Nile Mosquitoes lists these locations…. Massachusetts, Connecticut, Atlanta, Rockville, and Illinois. Someone just died of it in Arizona. These mosquitoes are all over America, and it appears they bite white people as well as nonwhites too. Oh, crap. They just found one in Tom’s River!!!!! Now even I’m worried. I saw one on my arm earlier today….

Is the joke in regards to the Nile River? It is, after all in Africa. But is that pejorative? After all, most of us associate the Nile with Ancient Egypt, where mankind began civilization. The Nile almost has a regal nature to it. Do we preach defamation when someone says “Mississippi”? or “Missouri”? or “Ohio”? They are rivers too… How about… “Amazon”? Ooooh. There is pejorative turn of a word. That makes me think of tall scantily clad Lucy Lawless. … If there was a mosquito disease originating in Jefferson County outside of New Orleans, and we said, the same thing when the Saints come up to Philadelphia to play… ” With so many Saints fans here in Philadelphia, all our Jefferson County mosquitoes will have local cuisine.” ( I would have added) “I hope they didn’t lose their tolerance for cayenne.”

Would I be cast off an Olympic Team?

The Phillies play the Colorado Rockies at home next on September 7,8,9th. Must I pencil myself a note never to say… “Rocky Mountain spotted fever” on those three days? Especially if to do so is….to lead me “to express my heartfelt apologies for the unfortunate and tasteless joke I published on my personal Twitter account. I am very sorry and ashamed for the negative responses I triggered, since I never wanted to offend anyone, or to encroach human rights.”

Or if I go up to New London, Connecticut, I must be very careful not to think of ticks and if I do get bitten by one on the back of my hairline, while there, I must be very careful not to say in the local’s presence… Lyme Disease. Old Lyme is only a couple of towns west of New London. I wouldn’t want to offend anyone, or encroach human rights.

Encroach human rights? How.

How does either statement encroach human rights? Does either statement bring down people from Colorado or Connecticut?

Are you a bad person just because there is a disease that originated in your country? If so, all Africa is doomed. And so is South America. And syphilis came from the New World! So we are all in this together.

Mosquitoes dine on everyone, myself included. They ARE color blind.

Where is the racist remark? “There are so many Africans here?” Should she have said Negroes? or blacks? Do we take offense when we get called Americans while we are abroad? “kick that bitch off the team. We are United Staters; not Americans. Everyone in the Western Hemisphere is a damned American…”

I’m struggling here. Someone help me out. I’m trying to think of a slur made at Americans that would require an apology and a kick off the Olympic Team… and for heavens sakes, I just can’t think of one.

Basically her point is…. Gee, there are a lot of Africans here… Yeah.. duh… it’s the Olympics……
You take that and put it with the fear of West Nile, which in Greece is at a higher preponderance than here in the US.

The Olympics must have the highest standards. Without question. But there is the other standard, the one requiring a burden of proof. It appears all we have to have is a prosecutor and boom, a sentence is levied.

And this is not one occasion. Nancy Grace on Fox is a case. Bloggers comments are another case. Everyone has an opinion. No one stops to look at facts. They judge based on one or two words in the question. “Sure, if someone slurs a race, they should be thrown off the team. I say throw them off the team. We need to make an example so powerful it never happens again!” Hey, everybody! Let’s judge by popular opinion and not the facts.

Everyone has an opinion before anyone knows what she said. The implication is: “oh, it doesn’t matter what she says. If someone complains and thinks it is derogatory, then that is what matters. Whether it is derogatory or not, is inconsequential. After all, how can she not be guilty, if someone complains?”

Uhhhhh. perhaps the person doing the complaining is simply not that smart? If affects 50% of the worlds population you know?

I remember saner times.

how can you not like someone who laughs when they hit dirtCourtesy of Facebook

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.

I wish WordPress’s format would allow the privilege of posting two articles side by side. That way the effect could be as eye opening to you, as it was to me…

But alas, I will have to run it through in the old fashioned way, and trust my powers of argument are descriptive enough for the task…

Here are the two articles… I would recommend reading them in their entirety before going further.

How The US Lost Out on iPhone Work

In China, Human Costs Are Built Into An iPad

If you read both of those back to back, I probably do not have to say much. The vision they invoke in you, is probably the same as mine….

They do show us the way out…….

Often in our lives we live in confusion. We muddle through by making small decisions because the big ones ruling our lives are just too impossible and too gigantic to handle. Unexpectedly (it’s a rarity of course), someone, or something puts the pieces in place, and a road map out, one that is simple, plausible and doable, materializes and we can take action, and resolve our gigantic problem causing all our little ones….

Did you see it too?

Allow me the liberty of elaboration. One shows why our jobs moved to China and other countries. They are better than we… The one telling line I believe, is ” Apple’s executives had estimated that about 8,700 industrial engineers were needed to oversee and guide the 200,000 assembly-line workers eventually involved in manufacturing iPhones. The company’s analysts had forecast it would take as long as nine months to find that many qualified engineers in the United States.” The focus of the article, was that was accomplished in 24 hours in China…..

Its the equivalent to a boss telling a subordinate… I want this done, and done it is…..

The second article shows the flaws. It focuses on the explosion at the Foxcomm plant that made assembled the ipods… Two people died. That human cost of an ipod is factored in. It also covers the deplorable living condition that those living at the Foxcomm plant must endure. And it ends with the line, … that if you want to pay for cheap phones, this is what has to be done to make them cheap enough for you to buy….”

Clearly, the US is trending to matching the working conditions of the Chinese in order to compete for jobs.

I don’t think we want to live like that, just to make a living….

We’ve been through this before. Those who once lived along the Merrimack River flowing past Lowell, Massachusetts, well know the dangers described now taking place in China. Those row houses in Appalachia, built by mining companies years ago, share the same horror stories these Chinese are now experiencing.

When you have cheap labor, you have situations where all the power rests in the hands of the one handing out the paychecks… “You want better conditions, they say? You’re fired. Now you have better conditions.” The others bite their tongue so their fate will not be the same.

We learned during the late 19th Century, that the only way out, was to have EVERY worker stop production until, a contract was reached and they allowed themselves to continue forward.

As the right to strike became eroded here in the United States, so has the quality of life for those in the manufacturing sector. Long hours, dangerous conditions, low pay, no benefits, are the lot of those employed by manufacturers. Their bosses insist, those are the conditions then can barely afford, since if they didn’t,… even those jobs would soon leave overseas.

We are in the downward spiral….

Reading the two articles, it became apparent that we are in competition with Chinese and other workers for the bottom… Who can work the hardest with the least amount of trouble for their corporate sponsors and the least amount of money… Whoever it is, will be declared the winners….

Well, if that is the life of a winner, I want no part of it… There has to be a better way….

The answer should have hit you already if you truly did read both articles. The answer is not to compete for the bottom, but the top…. It means we judge success by a whole new set of rules. It means we alter our buying habits and compensation to make living conditions far more bearable around the world, than they are today. And we exercise our power as people, so the money has to work within our framework, sort of along the same framework of just what the Labor Movement accomplished when they took on the big powers that be during the Thirties.

Here is the rough outline.

A) We elect no Republicans in 2012.

B) They pass labor laws determining a true-value wage. Two thirds of that person’s annual wage needs to be able to provide for living quarters, food, utilities, and medical insurance. After all required expenses have been met, 1/3 of each employees income should be left as discretionary income… This is pretty much what most US families had during the nineties. It is affordable because businesses prospered then too.

C) Ugh. The math… (Skip this if math bores you) .. Which means that if a single person can barely make ends meet on $20,000, the standard should be $30,000 here in the US.. Likewise for families, if $40,000 is required, then $60,000 should be the average.. Of course New York and California would be higher paid than say North Dakota or Alaska.. That is the basic gist of it… This cost then becomes a cost of the manufactured product….

D) We hold all businesses doing business in the United States to this principal, no matter where their products get made… Of course we don’t use the same monetary figures, just the same principal… If in Egypt, one can live on $7,000, it is fair to pay them $10,000. Quite possibly, in parts of Africa, one could pay someone $5,000 a year and keep within the same principals. For companies who try to import products made by desperate people in desperate situations, we impose the old custom’s duty, to make them equally as expensive as those made elsewhere, thereby negating any economic advantage to undercut the system.

E) I know the word tariff sends up a red flag to Free Trade-ists. It means that we no longer worrying ourselves about how much a company can maximize its profit; that concern has become secondary. instead, we are concerned about the welfare of those human beings actually working in that country’s manufacturing industry.

F) And for the Free Trade-ists, we are invoking the Free Trade Principals in just a different way. As always, we have said a corporation should have the right to sell and cross borders to trade at a spot that gives them a lower cost… That is what free trade is. We are now, invoking the same rational, but instead of using “cost” as our measuring stick we are attempting to do that with something called the “quality of life”… We are stating: for free trade to occur, “quality of life” must be equal or monetary penalties will be placed raising the cost of that product so they will be…

G) This will be good for China. China needs to raise their cost on which they compete or they will implode. Historically that always happens; the peasants revolt. The best prevention is to fix the problem beforehand. Reading the article above, the one about Foxcomm, one can see that without changes, probably within ten years, China will go down in a massive internal turmoil, UNLESS those in its manufacturing sector are given better working conditions. They need a union movement of their own. Ha, ha: they could look to their own founding Communist philosophy on this one…. if they wanted to see what the future will bring if you run government at the whims of large corporations…

H) Obviously, things will not be as cheap from China, if this goes through. The increased cost of labor to the manufacturer, will be shared in half by a price increase to the final consumer, and the other half by a loss in corporate profit. But the balance of that cost to our economy is: more people will be working in this country. The loss of corporate profits to the labor movement did not create the Depression! It worked us out of it!… The higher the wages, the more money spent. The more money spent, the more things manufactured. The more things manufactured the more people employed. The more people employed the higher the wages. The higher the wages…. the more money spent… We begin the cycle pulling us out ….

So through the juxtapositioning of these two articles, the light has been shown from the end of the tunnel… The way back to prosperity is to pay American workers more. The way to do that is to negate the advantage of paying the Chinese less. The way to do that, is to pass an import tax that raises foreign manufactured items to a rate that allows foreign workers to live with the same amount of discretionary income left over after their necessary expenses, as we would wish upon ourselves. That is the silver bullet, and it surely won’t happen as long as Republicans can block it. Which is why, we need to remove enough corporate sponsored politicians from office, both Democratic and Republican, so We, The People once again, can have a free hand.

Yes, we can do this.