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70 Years Ago Today, This Hour

It takes war to prevent war I’m afraid. We are losing those who remember what war is really like, and replacing them with those who fantasize what they think war is like… The latter are far more likely to send troops into battle….

At 70 years, there is no one left to tell us… to say: “no! Find a another way to solve your differences; you really don’t want to do this…..”

We are losing the real memories of war. and replacing them with people so shallow as to harp about prisoner swaps…. It is inevitable. It is sad. The cost of all out war is so high, it is never the best option….

When we fantasize about war, we always see ourselves as the hero, coming out on top, winning the day, lauded for our bravery. We never see ourselves as dead. For a lot of people, that is exactly what war is.

Always remember.

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Today it is depicted as sml.  Or fml.  Loosely translated, it means “I’m screwed”….

When I was young, grandparents were very sympathetic.  So we milked them for it.  However to all my problems they had one answer. “Well, it could be worse.”  i always felt that was a cop-out, like “hey, really man?  I come to you for aged wisdom and guidance and all you can tell me is that… hey dude, you know man, it could be worse?”

Funny.

Only now I am fully comprehending what it must have been like living through the Great Depression.  Only now can I fully realize what it was like to lose your house, your farm, and actually have nothing.  Only now can I fully realize the true horror of having evil tear apart your world, and land a sucker punch out of the blue with an unprovoked Pearl Harbor or an invasion through the Ardennes.  Only now, can I appreciate what it truly meant, that zero ships made it up the coast from Florida to New York in quite a few months. Only now can I fully realize what it meant to watch evil take out civilization like shutting off light switches and there was nothing we could do about it except read of the defeats in the newspaper….  Only now, can I fully realize what it meant to put your life and job and family’s future welfare on the gambling table and agree to strike your employer, until he agreed to pay you a little more than the starvation wages you were stuck in…

What my grandparents were telling me was this:  “That’s not really that bad;  try hard and you can dig yourself out of it… “

What was unsaid, probably because they hated bragging, was this……. “We did, and it was much, much worse than what you face today.”

Quit complaining, and do.

A Reminder How It All Could Have Gone Differently

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

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

In a perfect world, that is….

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

National Heroes…..

over

We, The People…..

over

LLC corporations….

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

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

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

In a perfect world….

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

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

In a perfect world…..

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

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

There’s a lot that can be done…

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

Unfortunately, our Congress is owned by Corporate America….

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

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

In a perfect world…

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

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

WE can still dream….

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

Here’s to a perfect world?

When The Whole Country is Going South, Look to the North, as In Northington
Photo Courtesy of Northington 08

It is hard to run a Congressional campaign… sometimes things go wrong…

But sometimes one does things right, and that in itself, is an achievement worth celebrating…

Jerry Northington has run a good campaign from his own bootstraps… Not only is it good, but running without the “backing” of the state’s primary neutral Democratic party, he has emerged as one who has the potential to ruin Republican Mike Castle’s dream of his last election…

And that, is what this years Delaware election is all about…

I don’t need to preach to the choir about how Mike Castle has voted the Republican line… I don’t need to preach to the choir about how Mike Castle has voted for the war of oil; I don’t need to preach to the choir about how having a Republican in the extreme minority of the House (it will be entirely Democratic) will affect our slice of federal money; I don’t need to preach to the choir about how having a Congressional Republican from Delaware, puts growth in this state on ice. No…. you all know that already.

You also know that the challenges we will face in the next four years, here at home, 200 miles away in Washington, and across the world, will require a new path to be taken. They will require new ideas to inspire. They will require smart people for a change…. smart enough to work out the details….

And what impressed me about Jerry… was his intelligence…

(Now don’t get all hot and bothered if you support another candidate…I’m refusing to make comparisons…You can discuss it among yourselves if you wish…)

Intelligence… that IS a relative term…..Let me explain….I (cough, cough) have been called on occasion, by misguided people, “intelligent” at times for some of the posts I have written here…. But… I would not expect Dave or Hube to EVER utter such a compliment (except perhaps at my funeral) …. for based on what they represent….(making the assumption they are intelligent too)… my ideas appear bunk… 🙂 But, without them, the blogosphere would fall like a thud, cracking our asses wide open like a seesaw that someone has jumped off too quickly. The world needs some type of balance. We need those guys for constructive dialog, just as they need us….

So real intelligence is the understanding that even though we put the best argument for OUR side up for debate, we NEED another side to debate against, in order to get what we need done…..

I know… it is a big concept to grasp….(come back to it later, will you?) The big guys get it…. I think Clinton got it mid term… I actually heard Newt a year ago in New Hampshire, and I think he got it too. Despite our distaste now for Carper, I know he gets it… and the reason Castle has won so big so many times, is that he gets it…

So let me tell you about Jerry….

First if you haven’t, you should check out the Congressional Primary Debate here.… You should, really… For we are talking about our strategy to navigate this state over the next ten years….

Usually since the beginning of this nation, an outgoing administration has set in place, plans that self perpetuate over several years before they become obsolete.. This administration, however, has been so preoccupied with day to day dilemmas, that they are leaving us with no future plan and an empty treasury starting January 20th……

We need to choose someone smart.

Why? For what happens in Washington, for those of you that do not know, is that a lobbyist shows up at your door with a pre-written bill, he wants you to sponsor it, you horse trade, and then you set your staff on bringing it to the floor… The bills are never read by Congressmen, maybe only by two staffers, and the rest is all hype. To really change Washington, we need smart people to say, “wait a second, why are you billing us for this…?” Dumb people, oh dear, will just rubber stamp…..

I am afraid to say that Mike Castle has become a rubber stamper,…. In his defense, if I had been there as long as he, as I got old I would probably evolve into the same… In the twilight years it just gets so hard to read reams of paper; the cocktail circuit is much more intriguing and fascinating…..

There comes a time, for an old general to retire…. His past victories though glorious, are meaningless if he leads us into one more battle that loses it all……..History is full of such generals who have stayed on a little bit too long…. The best way to preserve ones legacy, I think, is to walk away from it while it is still intact….

Jerry is tall enough to fill Mike Castle’s shoes… To be honest, he is the first Democratic candidate since Mike and Tom flipped, to do so…
In listening to Jerry, one gets the sense that we will do ok if he represents us… He is not harsh like the last candidate…. He is open and understands that he has been led down a miraculous path, one he could ever imagined would continue as far as it did…..

The only reason he is not yet considered a strong contender, is because so few people have gotten to know him… My sources and calculations show him winning on Tuesday… Soon more will learn how good a candidate he really is… We know he’s tough… His gentle toughness has got him this far… But what impressed me most, was that he is solidly balanced….He may not be the raving Liberal that some progressives want….

Unlike most previous candidates for that office, I sense he understands the need, that if America is to get better…. WE ALL HAVE TO GET BETTER AT THE SAME TIME… Conservatives too.

It’s time we had a smart person in Congress. And Jerry can, I believe, push a moderate form of Health Care that will cover all Americans, without busting the budget…. His focus will be on prevention… If a pill taken early costs $3 dollars and a surgery costs $30,000, preventive heath care makes sense…

My favorite line, and the one I think that pushed me to understand that this man has not only the smarts to represent Delaware, but the charm, confidence, and intelligence to make things happen ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE, was this one:

“Ladies, and gentlemen, I’m a veterinarian… My medical experience…is that;… taking care of sick animals… We have known in veterinarian science, that the cheapest, most cost-effective way to treat a large population of animals…. is through preventative health care… We have known that for 100 years….. Now if we have known that, and we can accomplish it for animals….why in hell’s name,… can’t we come to an agreement, to do it for Human beings?”

Yeah, I think,……… he’s the one.

What Lower New Castle County Can Expect if They Don't Fight Hard
photo from file.

(Overheard on his cellphone to his developer boss; paraphrased, coming from a skinny twenty something, logo’d in a golf shirt, khaki pants, standing in the vestibule corner as everyone filed out; “it’s spinning out of control. E-v-e-r-y-b-o-d-y is angry. I don’t think we can fix it. It’s going the wrong way. I think we lost the election.”)

Now I’ve seen many meetings.  Usually it’s always the same comfortable group, the same participants, with one or two of the same troublemaker activists.  We all know each other, politely nod to our enemies,  and once our duty is performed, socializing progresses afterwards.  The short story version appears in the News Journal two days later….

Usually.

That was not what happened last night, August September 4th ( 🙂 h/t rsmitty) inside the Crossroads Presbyterian Church, which had blissfully wonderful cushioned green seats; that is if you were early enough to grab one…

Standing-room-only would be too cliche to describe the turnout.  This issue at hand was so hot it swelled participation far above the 200  the organizers had expected…. (237 cars were counted; 500 participants?)  They had even forgotten to plan for a microphone, assuming normal voices would suffice.

They didn’t, and fortunately a microphone was found.

Dignitaries (ie our politicos) sat across in front of the crowd… Dick Cathcart sat center, Bill Bell sat next to him.  Bill Powers sat and stood on Cathcart’s left. Penrose Hollins drove down to represent Council. Bill Dunn, Bethany Hall Long, Earl Jacques, Rebecca Walker, Tom Scherer, Mike Protack, Bruce Ennis, members of the land use committee, and the Superintendent of the Appoquinimink School District showed up.  Ms Fitzpatrick (sp) came in place of Representative Lofink, who was unfortunately at his son’s wedding rehearsal, to which one irate resident blurted out….”that’s no excuse!” Her spouse, quickly put his hand on her leg, and warned her to calm down..”it’s his son’s wedding….”

Yes tensions were that high…..

But the real star of the entire evening was the map….  Yes, a silly map.  It stood tall over the entire meeting, dominating everyone’s attention… It out staged the County Council Head, Penrose Collins, who stormed off when it became obvious that the audience was not interested in his point of view….

Most felt that was fair play…. for no one had taken the time to consider their point of view when these ordinances were passed, affecting the entire lower region of the New Castle County… That it turns out, appears to be true…. no one.

The map stood tall over the entire proceeding, reminding everyone, every minute of the immense changes coming soon.  And the changes were immense….

Here is the scale they are speaking off.

Three new schools will need to be built, one each year, to accommodate the new influx of  students.  The school district was surprised tonight; the plans were made without consulting them.  They have no money to grow.

Traffic will grow by 1800 cars.  What’s the visual of 1800 cars?  At fifteen feet per vehicle, 27,000 feet total divided by 5280 ft/mile, equals a line of cars, parked bumper to bumper, a little over 5 miles long…  Imagine a line of cars parked on the shoulder of RT 1 from St. George’s bridge to the heart of Odessa.  There is your visual image.  Deldot was surprised tonight.  The plans were made without consulting them. And they too, have no money to grow.

Most of the areas do not have sewer capacity yet; however in a rush, building will progress, anticipating promised waivers to use septic systems, until the county sewer system can catch up….. (Do you follow county finances?)  They have no money to grow…..

The wells to supply additional amounts of water; they are not yet drilled.  They are on hold, for they have no money to grow….

The anger seemed to grow exponentially within that room… (Thank heavens they held this disclosure within a church).

Hats off to a great job done by the organizers, including one Chuck Mulholland.  No one could have prepared them for what took place.  Their natural demeanor saved the day, rising to the challenge of the moment.  Particularly impressive was Chuck’s impromptu changing of the agenda, as it became quite apparent that citizens were there to make their voices heard, not listen to failed excuses….  That change-up, diffused some tension, perhaps saving a riot…     I’ll bet he never expected to put 3 miles on that evening, all the while carrying the microphone.

The question of the day?  How could this have happened…

The answer:

Mr. Pam Scott Paul Clark, President of County Council.

All these elements were rushed though, without vetting, to get developers in construction phase before the public could become aware of what was aimed at them.  No vetting was done, so no leaks would occur.  The last thing developers and Paul Clark needed,  was a large meeting of outraged citizens.

Obviously the details of the arrangements were made in his home, and presented fait accompli to the Council for its rubber stamp.   That is after all, what New County Council’s  tend to do…

Therefore Paul Clark needs to go.

Councilman Bill Bell, who resembles the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man, performed the role of a stool quite adequately.  “No one told me” was his response….” I didn’t know…” he stammered.  The question which immediately popped into every head but one, was  ” why not?”  That’s your job…

Obviously his principal function was to be the Rose Margaret Henry of the County Council. Being put in that position by the developers and unions, means he obviously feels he doesn’t need to call back his constituents, doesn’t need to show up at their meetings, doesn’t need to answer their letters or emails…  Like Margaret Rose Henry, all he needs to do is show up… and vote the way he is told..

When faced with 450 some people he began to get nervous.  His primary is days away…  His opponent Tom Scherer, who is having his own personal fight with the developers of his development, over their unfulfilled promises..  certainly does appear to be the better choice,  Towards the end, almost reduced to pleading for his seat, Mr. Bell promised too late, to “not support” the resolution that due to his complicity, has already been passed….

If there was another star, other than the map, the organizers, and the citizens themselves, it was Representative Dick Cathcart…  Angered at the incompetence bordering on deceit coming from   Mr Pam Scott Paul Clark and his Council, he promised legislation to forever put County Council growth under State oversight…. it’s about time.

Bruce Ennis, surprised everyone in the room by coming down hard for a moratorium on all new development.  Two, three, four years  whatever it takes to get local citizens to become comfortable with the new developments.  He cited Kent County as a place where citizens took control and booted all developers our of governmental oversight positions….  That county is once again under control of its citizens; spawning a series of lawsuits from developers against it.  Ennis implied that as long as New Castle’s citizenry supported the continuation of a moratorium against such lawsuits, he would as well.  Most nuisance lawsuits would be thrown out, costing nothing since they were filed with no legal grounds to support them, but still the stigma of having lawsuits might make some citizens feel uneasy….  The consensus in that room was: if you take on the developers…. we got your back….

Go get them Bruce.

They came to listen.  They got their earful.

Distilled to its basic elixir, here is the essence.

New Castle County  development is controlled by developers and the Building Trades Union who are linked together in their interest for growth.  Money for developers, jobs for employees.  They own the following:  Chris Coons, Paul Clark, Bill Bell, Bill Powers, George Smiley, and Bob Weiner….

Breaking that connection is the first step in returning Democracy back to those New Castle County citizens who live outside the city. Democratic Voters have the opportunity to sever that connection during Tuesday’s primary, September 8th.   Voting Bill Dunn over Paul Clark, Tom Gordon over Chris Coons, Tom Scherer over Bill Bill, and Carl Colantuono over John Cartier, will do your part in returning Democracy to County Government. (Yeah, I know one is controversial, but if elected, we will own him, not the developers).

I’ve run out of time and space.  Not mentioned here was the citizens fear of falling property values; not mentioned here was one realtor who spoke 6 (?) times, warning citizens of how workforce housing would affect their property values, not mentioned here was the question of where these workforce housing residents, transferred from Wilmington’s projects on the East Side, would find ever find work to pay for their housing, pimps, and bags of crack; not mentioned here was the cost of someone to cut down tennis shoes hanging from electric wires; not mentioned here was how noble Bill Dunn looked when working the crowd, compared to Paul Clark 4 years ago; not mentioned here was how poorly workforce housing residents obey driving laws; not mention here was how insufficient the current sewer systems are today, even without additional units; not mentioned here was how County Council increased the density levels, so developers could sell more houses per lot, more profit per lot; not mentioned here were the number of minority citizens who vehemently said they left the city to get away from the trash the County was again forcing upon them; not mentioned here was how hard everyone has worked, and suffered, to build their piece of the American dream, which now the County Council, at the bequest of Developers and Building Trade Unions, was about to destroy, WITHOUT EVEN CONSULTING THEM!

I wish I had more time…

Nancy, Geek?  Can you add more?

Part of it was due to a funeral that came up, but if you remember well, this was supposed to be the official Russ Larson Day…

Of course it was planned in short notice, and with Delmarva announcement of their signing the onshore wind deal, this day of honoring Russ Larson never got off the ground.

So although it is not much, here is what I could accomplish in quick order….

Russ larson day
PROCLAIMING JUNE 6, 2008 “CONTROLLER GENERAL RUSS LARSON DAY”

WHEREAS all acknowledge that as Controller General, Russ Larson wanted to do the right thing and vote for approval of the working agreement between Delmarva and Bluewater Wind,

WHEREAS all sympathize with Russ Larson for having his job and salary threaten by said Tony DeLuca, current Senate Majority Leader.

WHEREAS all understand that instead of voting NO on December 18th, against orders from Senate leadership, with considerable bravery he agreed instead to table the decision until a future time when passage was assured.

WHEREAS all acknowledge that even though no vote has yet taken place within the Senate, the passage was so overwhelming within the House, that over a majority of all legislators have either voted for or sponsored HCR 38, and that Russ Larson is therefore within his rights to vote his conscience knowing that he speaks for the majority of all legislators.

WHEREAS all of Delaware acknowledges the tough spot Russ Larson was put into by the leadership of the Senate, most particularly Thurman Adams, the aforementioned Tony DeLuca, the squirrelly Charlie Copeland, and the buffoon Harris McDowell, and certainly feels for him…

BE IT RESOLVED by all the bloggers following the 144th General Assembly of the State of Delaware, that June 6, 2008, is designated as “Controller General Russ Larson Day” and it is requested that citizens throughout the State join in recognizing the work, effort and contribution that this individual made to improve the quality of life for all families in Delaware.

SYNOPSIS
Controller General Russ Larson Day”. Russ Larson has showed considerable loyalty to Delaware’s citizens, quick thinking, and a steady resolve in supporting Blue Water Wind in Delaware…..

Russ, when this whole thing is over……we are throwing you a party. Sorry we couldn’t get it together in time for the actual date itself

Seconds Before Impact  D Day June 6th 1944
Photo courtesy of Utah Senate Site

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home — fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them — help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice. FDR Prayer On D Day, June 6th, 1944