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What a crazy day. Headlines are just writing themselves…. Crossfire in Wilmington wounds two ladies just sitting on their porch…..

Is Williams qualified as mayor to take the reins and go forward?  He certainly ran as such.  But since, we have gotten only talk…

“I’ll get it. I’ll get it… It just takes time ( ghost of Mayor Baker?)… You see, it’s the neighborhood, the bad family life..(ghost of Mayor Baker?).  We’re going to crack down.  We’re going to stop this senseless killing.”

Then another one goes down….

“I’ll get it. I’ll get it… It just takes time ( ghost of Mayor Baker?)… You see, it’s the neighborhood, the bad family life..(ghost of Mayor Baker?).  We’re going to crack down.  We’re going to stop this senseless killing.

Then another one goes down….

“I’ll get it. I’ll get it… It just takes time ( ghost of Mayor Baker?)… You see, it’s the neighborhood, the bad family life..(ghost of Mayor Baker?).  We’re going to crack down.  We’re going to stop this senseless killing.

Then another one goes down….

“I’ll get it. I’ll get it… It just takes time ( ghost of Mayor Baker?)… You see, it’s the neighborhood, the bad family life..(ghost of Mayor Baker?).  We’re going to crack down.  We’re going to stop this senseless killing…

How long has this been going on?

The answer of what needs to happen is pretty obvious.  As cautioned elsewhere, Mayor Williams needs to stop saying “stop and frisk.”  Just the sound of that causes trouble…

Instead, round up everyone you see loitering or jaywalking and take them in for processing…  The ordnances are already on the books and everyone is frisked before going into a police car…  Nothing illegal at all.

Start saying “we’ll clear the streets of loiterers and jaywalkers.”… then do it.  The difference will be evident in just one day.

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

What now?

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

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

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

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

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So one must use a different perspective.

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

Therefore we play to their fear….

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

So.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Award For Delaware's Most Influental P/P/or T of The Year
The Golden Flush Award
/Click Image for Past Winners

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’m a little late, but I wanted to mark down mostly for myself but sharing it as well, the accomplishments being made as a direct result of last year’s elections….  Some of the conclusions are superfluous, but are perceived to be a result of the election’s consequences, and since perception is nine tenths of reality, they too are a force with which to be reckoned..

Remember this is general and is being painted with a broad brush….

The economy is number one.  Some taxes were raised which boosted the economy almost immediately.  This has been the most consistent trend over the past year.  The economy has benefited the same people it benefited before. It has not seemed to help those who were not helped before.   If you are an investor, this has been a great year.  Stock Market has never been higher.

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The number of private sector jobs has consistently grown across 2013…..

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One of the marvelous trends is the fact that once the solid line is crossed in the year 2010, it never drops below…  That means we have consistently been growing private sector jobs… Since 2010 we have never had a negative month… one where we actually lost jobs.  However Unemployment has not fared so well.  Even though we are growing jobs, we still have a ways to go.  In one of the most amazing graphs… so amazing I’m rather surprise it has not been featured until now, one sees all employment across this century….

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What is fascinating is first, the constant rate of growth.  the pitch of the line never changes.   But what is freaky, is exactly how that pitch mirrors the employment growth of the Bush years…  Not even Republicans can fault George W. Bush’s employment growth up until 2007.  Obama’s rate mirrors his rate exactly.

It needs more quantified research, but initial speculation would be that since the tax rates were similar (The Bush Cuts were carried over) that factor pretty well determines the maximum rate at which our nation’s economy is able to grow.  Furthermore it shows us that if consistency prevails, and since it has for the past 10 years there is little likelihood it wouldn’t, then we will have grown into employment levels which we had just before the crash in fall of 2014……

So investors have done well; the middle class hasn’t.

Consumer spending is exactly the same level as of the first of the year.  It’s low was reached during the sequester fight (Jan 28) and its high, was on August 18th.  As for now, we are were we were Christmas Day 2012.

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Consumer Confidence is right where it was in January.  We had some peaks over summer, but he shutdown lowered us back to where the threat of a shutdown held us hostage as the year began…..

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Only since 2013 have we made progress on hammering down the deficit.  The national debt is still huge.  it will take multiple budget surpluses to whittle it down, and to achieve that, we need to again tax more than we spend.  But we are not spending a trillion dollars in deficits anymore. we are only over spending by 600 billion which may become less by years end than 2003’s deficit….

Budget Savings 2013

 

Enough economics.

On the world front:

  • We have a possible solution to Iran’s giving up on being a nuclear power.
  • We have Syria dismantling their chemical weapons.
  • We are on course to leave Afghanistan.
  • We have Iraq begging us to please, please come back.

All of these would have gone completely the opposite way if you remember what Romney was promising during the debates.

  • Attack Iran with shock and awe.
  • Attack Syria with shock and awe,
  • Attack Iraq with shock and awe… oh wait, that was Rumsfeld.  Instead, Iraq was that we should never leave, and we should also stay in Afghanistan indefinitely.  But we should have never gone into Libya. My goodness, can you image the shambles the world would be in if he had ever been elected?

Not to mention,  his pushing of tightening up the money supply.  Just the anticipation of such, sends our stock market into a panic.

Domestically we have weathered Benghazi, more a Republican talking point than anything important.  We worked through the IRS scandal which it was revealed to be a forward thinking sound policy and not a scandal after all..  Political groups friendly to the president were swept up in the nets as well.

The Common Core package fortunately seems to have stalled.  It was always a low priority, and with the drying up of TARP and Stimulus funding, it seems like most state’s enthusiasm is drying up as well.   The program does not seem to be able to get past the roadblock that the tests themselves create.  There is enough opposition  by enough parents so that this program maybe salvageable in part, but dead in the water as a whole.

It would be nice to have a viable program in its place.  One that aims to put an 11:1 student/teacher ratio in troubled public schools.

But, the most notable event and the one with the biggest blowout, was the revelations by one Edward Snowden which were made last July. America is collecting huge amounts of data.  Since then the leaks have only become worse.  Americans have compromised the entire Internet.  They have broken into banks, they have spied on foreign competitors, they have become a service offering  “information for hire…. ”  And although too early to tell, implications are that is may have been done secretly even keeping the president and his officers completely in the dark….

Which is really scary.  Cheney’s shadow government is alive and well……

If true, this is our greatest threat.  Simply because unlike the economy, unlike unemployment, unlike Syria, Iran, or Israel, unlike the Republican yellow journalistic scandals…. this one is against us.  It violates our Constitution.  It is against all we purport to be…..

One interesting parallel…. Long, long, long ago, the city state of Rome was also a viable democracy, and like us, it too expanded its empire across the known world…  Until Julius Caesar marched his armies into Rome, took over the reins as dictator, done in order to bypass the quagmire in which it’s Congress had become bogged down…  It was originally supposed to be a temporary solution….  For the next 400 odd years, Rome never went back… Instead one bad Caesar followed another, often at the point of a sword (there was no NRA back then)…

Looking the other way at a scandal of this proportion, especially if it was done as a rogue element of which the White House now even barely has a clue as to how deep it goes… and what is has been doing,  then we already have a Caesar, and whoever it is, they are not elected by us, We, The People….

This can be fixed quietly, internally, and we may never hear of its resolution.  Or it could get worse.  Much worse…

The final solution is to cut off the NSA from its unlimited sources of money…. Even shut it down, or better, let a more porous government agency, even that of the CIA take it over….

Spying on American citizens is simply put…. un American.  It has never been who we are.  We’ve always chose the other way.  It does not represent what we want ourselves to be….   Any person could spy on their neighbor if they wished.  Any person could hide in his neighbor’s bushes and watch them get undressed… Most of us would be so creeped out at just the idea, we would never, ever consider doing such a thing.

The fact that most of us would never consider something that creepy, has always been what has made Americans so special, so likable, and so loved the world around…. We were different from those Communists….  Well, not any more.

As each new NSA revelation comes out, one just can’t shake the creepy feeling that somewhere Voldermort,  somehow is pulling all the strings……

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A causality is a causality.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There was little to report in Sanford.  The big event was a bust. The police would not allow anyone in front of the courthouse and directed everyone to a park far away. Anyone without a GPS got lost.  At most  there were about 45 people at one time and probably 70 total stretched over the two hours.  Everyone was well behaved, and the town is surprisingly not hostile.  In fact, they prefer protesters over the media that has worn out its welcome lately.

A circle of the few gathered, a pastor said prayers, then anyone was allowed to go into the circle to speak.   It was filmed in its entirety  from a roof top on the edge of the park.   Met one really nice Hispanic girl from Jacksonville who had come down to add her culture’s victims to the group. We all understood the importance.

It was a nice gathering, most were Southerners, Miami had the largest contingent I think.  But the world is not going to change, at least from here.  From what I hear, it was 10 degrees cooler here, a thousand miles closer to the tropics. :).

Just heard on WDEL, that the Congressional Budget Office has scored the cost of the Gang of 8 Immigration Act…

The immigration bill under consideration in the Senate would reduce federal deficits by nearly $200 billion over the next decade, and continue generating savings in the years beyond, even after millions of new citizens became eligible for health-care and welfare benefits, congressional budget analysts said Tuesday.

This is so full of common sense, it makes those who hate Hispanics have to now solely rely on the argument that they hate Hispanics in order to stymie Immigration Reform. No more costs involved with deportation, with detention, with investigation, with employee verification, with I-9 investigation. As citizens endowed with the same rights as Southern hand-fishing Hillbillies, they contribute immensely to the revenue pool. Taxes, social security, medicare, all legally deducted from their pay checks. They can buy insurance. They can get valid licenses. There are so many cost savings.

Not included in this CBO estimates, are the benefits to state and local governments as well, which probably each are equal to the federal savings, creating a $600 billion bump to our GDP over time…

Thanks WDEL for the timely release of news. (they were on the air 40 minutes after the CBO book was released)…

Just got a ruling in from the Attorney General’s office. The working group that met secretly in the dungeon under Woodburn, was breaking the law….

I heard it from Transparent Christina and heard Nancy has it up too…

Here is the critical piece of the reply….

“…any prior meetings conducted without adequate public notice or compliance with other open meeting requirements may have been held in violation of the Act.” From: McConnel, Ian R (DOJ) Sent: Monday, June 10, 2013 3:45 PM

Even if it barely passes by the skin of its teeth, we now have basis for the filing of an injunction based on an illegal action resulting in this legislation coming forward, to stop it in its tracks.

Donald Trump has a small penis. (His overcompensation gives it away). He wants America to appreciate small things. And most importantly, he wants to use his massive amounts of money make others do so, even if by funding a candidate up to the $200 million dollar level now that there is no limit….

Senator Ted Cruz envisions himself as President some day. He will need money…. Lots of money. His own supporters (the former Tea Party) are poor. The wealthy in his state do not like him so he can’t count on Texas. He will need a big donor when he makes his run.

Dick Durbin is up before Ted Cruz as a candidate for the President’s Secretary of Defense. “Dick” Durbin is rumored to have a big dick because his wife is always smiling.

Ted knows, that if he is very hard on Mr Big, (Dick Durbin) he will catch the eye of Donald Trump. If he stymies Mr Big (Dick Durbin) he will get noticed even more. Furthermore, Ted Cruz also knows some of his party compatriots, also have hard-ons for the presidency, and they also are planning on being anti-Big to get Donald’s eyes as well.

Ted Cruz knows he has to be the biggest, baddest, Dick (Durbin) basher on the committee, if he wants Donald Trump to fund him through out the primaries, instead of another suitor….

Every Republican Senator tries to one-up the other when it comes to bashing Dick, and that, explains the irrationality of the entire hearing, the filibuster, and the vote.

The behavior was certainly irrational if one considers the state of the country, the lost election, the armed forces, the sequestration, the upcoming NATO meeting on the future of Afghanistan. But it very rational, very rational indeed if you have no money and are looking for a Sugar Daddy to spread apart, open up your path into the Presidency….

Now.

Substitute Adelson, Israel, Chuck Hagel, and you finally have an idea of what was going on with the Chuck Hagel hearing and vote.