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Miss Delaware USA
Delaware's Hope To End The Curse
Delaware's Miss USA Contestant
Katie Hanson; Miss Delaware USA (photo’s courtesy of Miss USA Pagent

I really don’t know why it gets to me,… but it does… My state, the first state to enter the Union, the second smallest but still, the one state with the fewest counties, my state, the one our nation’s Vice President calls home…… My state, the one poised to be the first state in the union to have an offshore wind farm…. has, never… not recently, not even in ancient history, … ever won a title in a national beauty pageant….

Just as we are the only state without a National Park; we are also the only state that has never won a national title… Wikipedia almost gloatingly points out, “The least successful states are Delaware, the only state that has never placed;”

How come? Did any of you know this?

It’s obviously not because of our women! We have some amazing women here… Why is Delaware the ONLY STATE TO HAVE NEVER PLACED IN A NATIONAL COMPETITION?

To be honest, it’s because we don’t care. until of course, we happen to catch a glimpse on TV of our stunning candidate, and say wow, they really do look better than the competition…. By then, it’s too late.

No matter how you feel about beauty competitions… they do represent your state.
and Delawareans should begin getting mad that we are always left out…

When the Miss USA of Texas gets crowned, she is given a line of prizes a mile long.

Usually the family of the Delawarean contestant must pay out of pocket for the privilege to fly out and compete…. One would think, someone here in Delaware, would want provide some help to sponsor her? In return for advertising, if nothing else?

Is there anything we can do?

Yes, there is… For the first time in history, citizens of Delaware can go online here and vote 10 times a day for the candidate of their choice… Of course with our few citizens, compared to the numbers of New York and California, only a ambush will give us any chance… But ambushes are the American way.. Look at the Battle of Trenton, and Princeton!… We have a shot…to change history, at least get Delaware into the semi finalists, if everyone reading this votes, and votes often….

Why?

Primarily because we are a small state, one with few sport’s hall of famers… Often the butt of national jokes, we usually simply have no choice but to dismiss them… Now, before us is an opportunity to brag a little if we can pull this off.. Do we have a great candidate? Yes!.. Look at the competition on the site above..

We have a contender….

Delaware has never placed… Let’s do something about it?

What if we all petitioned David Letterman, to negotiate with Donald Trump, ( the owner of the Miss USA pagent) live on air, to give Miss Delaware a fair shot at righting this dubious distinction? Of course, Delaware will have to take some pings in the process ( that’s what comedy is all about) but to see one of our own as a finalist, would still send chills up our spines, irregardless of what we normally profess to think of beauty pageants.

It’s Delaware we’re talking about…

A brief note should turn the tide; something like this:

Dear Dave: Often you make Delaware the butt of your jokes. That is probably because we deserve it. But did you know, Delaware is the only state that has never placed in a national beauty pageant? Now, we know you are good friends with Donald Trump and he runs the Miss USA pageant. Could you do our humble state a favor and introduce Miss Delaware USA to Donald Trump on your show? We are not expecting miracles… but she IS beautiful…. and we could use some extra publicity so the world knows it… After all we are the only state that has never, ever placed… even Wikipedia makes fun of us…
If you can help us, thanks…

Here is the site for the David Letterman show... please include any jokes their writers might enjoy…. The email address is: lswdl@aol.com

5 or 10 won’t do it; I figure the minimum to be noticed is around 30,000… It will take some enthusiasm, some selling, and some enthusiastic supporters to make a dent in a contest that is obviously stacked against us, like a Republican Congress is stacked against John Carney!…

If you can spread the word, please do… and vote… and yes, vote often…. It’s our state pride that’s on the line here…..

1. Proximity to one of the top research Universities in the country..

2. Well trained work force, ex Chrysler, GM, DuPont, Siemens,

3. Good relations between unions and management at all Delaware companies.

4. Proximity to Dupont Headquarters.

5. Delaware’s Corporate Legal System.

6. Delaware’s own underutilized and “cheap” access port for import and export ocean traffic .

7. Close proximity to the moneyed and power towns of Washington, New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, which is good for investor relations.

8. Nearby beach as incentive to draw top engineers from around the nation.

9. Soon to be built, cheap offshore wind power, which will help to moderate utility costs against the ever rising price of coal and natural gas.

10. By getting foot in Delaware’s door, GE could have an inside track at building and installing their top rated turbines off Delaware’s shores…

GE is looking for somewhere to build a new solar plant... Not one requiring tons of sun, but a place to manufacture the thin film necessary for the exchange of electrons necessary to make electricity. Driving down the cost of this film, will drive down the cost of solar electricity.. The lower the cost, the more it will be used, meaning less coal will be burned….

Lower Delaware is the best place in the nation for it.

.. and thanks Nancy for bringing this to our attention…. 🙂

Sorry not a post about the World Cup,  the Phillies, or the upcoming Tour De France……..

But about Substitute 1 for SB 119 that is now out of committee….

This piece of legislation will have great impact on our lives during the next decade. It is often hard for those trying to meet today’s economic challenges, to think past the immediate crises, and plan for our economic health over the next 25 years…….

This bill puts into law a requirement that may actually be somewhat conservative by the time the schedule it enacts, comes to its end…

Essentually it sets a minimum level of renewable sources required for this state’s total electric output….

Why is this important?

Private entrepreneurship needs something solid in hand before risking its investment of hard cold cash. This bill gives businesses, entrepreneurs, and far thinking individuals, a solid figure upon which to make calculations into the future required to determine whether that investment will or will not pay out….

No one invests money in order to lose it… That is why this bill is needed.

If passed, energy moguls, both large and small, can begin to build towards a more certain future, one which will create jobs…

This bill sets a floor on which all calculation can be built……

If passed, in the years 2025…. we will be paying far less for energy, maybe 60% less, than we would without its passage…..

This bill benefits investors, power procurers such as Delmarva Power, and rate payers like you far, far into the future.

Truly a … win…. win…. win.

As the logo suggests:  A good thing for the environment
Photo courtesy of the Telegraph

George Bush was considered a good leader after we had just gotten socked by 17 people in four hijacked airliners, when he picked up a megaphone and set the war against terrorism in motion…

They'll hear this

Fact: that war has diminished terrorism.

Today we are fighting in Afghanistan against Afghanistan people who think we and what we offer, are not the best thing for their future…

They have that right, just like you or I would have that right if an uncertain future were being imposed on us, as say 30 years ago, was portrayed in the movie Red Dawn…. But although the words terrorism get thrown about, …. most of us honestly think far less of terrorists now, than we did even during the most glorious days of the Clinton reign…..

I will say that is a success, one which can be measured by a quantified analysis of results. The US achieved success by diminishing global terrorism. Pretty unbelievable, based on the paradigm of the world we had 10 years ago….

But where I’m going with this,…. is that an event happened that impacted American prosperity, and everyone got together to overcome it…

Today, dead plant and animal material of 250 million years ago, is being forced out at high pressure into an underwater basin. Oil is washing up on shore; oil is creating a desert of life where once life thrived…

The equivalent of 9/11 would to not just simply go after BP, but to go after all of terrorism or in this case… dirty energy…. A real leader doesn’t solve a problem. He changes the paradigm….

What we need to do, is to leverage this unfortunate blemish upon the practices of the past, into a understanding and movement towards weaning ourselves off “dirty energy”….

Today, Obama did just that…

“We cannot consign our children to this future. The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now. Now is the moment for this generation to embark on a national mission to unleash American innovation and seize control of our own destiny. ”

The time to embrace a clean energy future is now……

Sunrise on offshore Wind Farm

Two years ago, Delaware was poised to be the first state to have off shore wind… Legislation was passed, signed… the investment firm was pumped up… and then…. Babcock and Brown… collapsed.

The tragedy in the Gulf ….like a boot camp bugle too early in the morning, means that at this moment… we need to jump up, and go forward with upgrading the plans and building a 600 MWh wind farm off the Delaware coast…

Since private investors can’t handle it… we need a government who can…

We set a very similar precedent seventy five years ago…

Between July 1933 and March 1939 the PWA funded and administered the construction of more than 34,000 projects including airports, electricity-generating dams, aircraft carriers, and bridges, as well as 70% of the new schools and 1/3 of the hospitals built between 1933-1939. Some of the most famous PWA projects are the Triborough Bridge and the Lincoln Tunnel in New York City, the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington, and the Key West Highway in Florida.The PWA also electrified the Pennsylvania Railroad between New York and Washington, DC. The PWA did not create as much affordable housing as supporters would have hoped, building only 25,000 units of in 4½ years.

Those necessary structures today, would not be there without the Publc Works Adminstration. Simply put… It’s goal was to spread big bucks, on big projects… There is some argument that these expenditure did little to alleviate the Great Depression. The geography of the problem was too great: the solutions too small.. Only with the outbreak of WWII and Roosevelt’s realization that deficit spending was now mandated, did this nation begin to work its way out of the Great Depression.

Now try to imagine getting into New York today without either the Lincoln Tunnel or the Tribourough Bridge… Try imagine Boeing in the Northwest developing without the cheap power off the Columbia River…. Try imagine the US developing the atomic bomb without Oak Ridge, a subsidiary of the TVA…. Try imagining the Empire State, without the public funded Niagara Power Project, which held the price of power consistently from 1961 to 1981…

In each case, the long term benefits to the community far outweighed the benefits caused by just the new jobs alone…

Therefore it is time for us to do the same with Wind and Solar…

Private investment is stalemated; the active engine of the economy is (like it or not), the federal government…

For as little as 2 billion, we could begin construction within a year. The dreams of developing a wind farm construction-center right here in New Castle County, would again take wing. The dreams of importing the brains of energy to set up homes in Delaware, would once again become reality…

$2 Billion spread over 20 years… averages out at $100 million a year… Getting a return on that investment with wind energy, would be fairly simple… Between jobs, economic growth, full governmental coffers, and very cheap electricity for all… we could easily show that investment to be worthwhile…. And not to mention, were we to clear a little of our air, who can guess how much of a medical saving each household would garner?

But dreams mean little without action.. Now is the time to begin the pursuit of landing a large government contract to begin off the coast of Rehoboth as soon as possible..

We all know it works. Evidence as been there in the above structures… all our lives… We just need to do it….

So…

Do it.

……. and if that happens…. this BP disaster will have been a good thing in the long run…..

A Giant Battle For A Little Wind

Greeks hold the line at Thermopylae

A little over two millennium ago, the roots of our western civilization stood on the brink of eradication. Only a small band of Greeks stood between the massive Persian army and the destruction of Athens, the foundation of democracy and defender of fine arts. Ironically had the outcome of the battle been different, perhaps it might be us placing IED’s along roads built and traveled by those descendant of that Persian stock.

But against such invincible odds, this small band of men chose to fight, and took the necessary action, even though outnumbered 10,000 to one, against the greatest army ever to land upon Grecian shores. Through strategic planning and personal courage, they stood fast against the onslaught and in doing so, changed the course of history..

Now we too stand at a crossroads of civilization, where our choices and bravery will lead to great consequences. The nemesis we face, however, is one we have brought upon ourselves.

Of the hottest years ever recorded in history, twenty one have occurred during the last twenty five. The ten hottest years on record, have occurred since 1993. Five of those hottest years have occurred since 2000. The year 2005 was the hottest on record. Last year 2006 was the hottest ever in America. This winter, the one we finished yesterday with the first day of spring, is the hottest winter ever recorded! This problem is not static; it grows worse with each day.

A decision is about to be made, regarding the future generation of Delaware’s electricity. This decision, though made by a few, will certainly affect many. Due to its timing, this is to be one of the first major decisions ever made by a state in real time regarding renewable energy. If chosen, Blue Water could be up and running in little over two years, not fifteen. This gives other states and other nations the distinct possibility of being influenced by our success, to such a degree that man’s ultimate footprint upon this planet, may have the distinction of being first decided in our small state.. One can hope, that instead of the PSC dooming us to continued carbon dependency, a choice will be made that will prove to all, that wisdom, open mindedness, and courage are not yet extinct among Delawareans and that this state of Delaware can indeed count on those traits to remain instrumental when it comes time to choosing what is best for our own future.

It will require great courage to vote for Blue Water’s wind proposal. For we will not know what problems may yet appear over the future’s horizon. As someone already mentioned, on these shores wind power is untested. But a cold eye cast towards gas or coal can quickly discern monstrous problems down those two roads should we choose to follow either of those options. Sometimes, as with cancer, the certainty of knowing what WILL happen if we continue doing what we have always done, can sometimes propel us down the road less traveled.

There will be great pressure upon you in the PSC to take the comfortable choice, and avoid the upcoming battle against the carbon interest should you dare to make the “right” choice. But in years ahead, the gravest of consequences are predicted to befall each of us, should you fail, fall short, and err in judgment. With gas and coal both expected to continue their steep price climb over the next twenty five years, any wrong choice made now, could burden this struggling small state to the point of economic exhaustion.

Only a fresh puff of wind can break this downward trend. Blue Water’s generation plan can give us, this army outside your tent awaiting your decision, the extra economic lift it needs to face down the multitude of obstacles arrayed before us.

Be known, that as you confer in your tent that is flapping in the stiff breeze, and ponder the subtle strategies arrayed upon the ground before you, that you have an loyal army of public opinion, over ninety percent, ready to take on any hardship, attack any risk, and march forward into any battle with you arm in arm, should you decide to lead us to renewable energy. We do it willingly, not for glory, not for honor, not for personal aggrandizement, but because we are truly in awe of the immense and profoundly global consequence that our small state’s actions may impart upon the future of all civilization.

Should Delaware fall short, fail to do its duty, and continue to compromise its future by the rapid exhumation of carbon fuels, we no doubt shall one day be viewed as harshly, as that poor fool who panicked and guided the Persians to a secret path through the mountains, thereby surrounding those brave souls, whose valiant effort against incredible odds of 10000 to one, managed to stall the onslaught and save Athens and the future of western civilization.

Now civilization looks to us.

When the CO2 ultimatum is laid before us, demanding that we too sign over our state’s future to those armies beholden to carbon kings, and threaten to blot out our sun with hundreds of thousands’ of tons of emissions volleyed in our direction, let us hope that we too, fully mindful that we guard our own Thermopylae through which all these monstrous armies of carbon interests must pass, stand shoulder to shoulder, and reply ” “In that case, we shall fight in the shade……………”

Courtesy of Associated Press.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says the United States can lead the world in offshore wind energy production and should have significant offshore development within four years.

Salazar told members of the American Wind Energy Association meeting in Chicago that the Obama administration has cleared up rules for developing offshore wind production.

He says dozens of applications have been hung up by governmental red tape that now should clear.

Salazar also told reporters that the Great Lakes have strong offshore wind-power potential.

Denmark is the world’s leader in offshore wind power.

The wind industry group is meeting through Thursday.

Delaware Biggest Polluters
Delaware's Power Polluters cont.
Courtesy of the Delaware Energy Office

At first I thought nothing of it… Charlie Copeland’s stump speech… “I am the only one running for statewide office that has grown a business.” We know he took his AGS and grew it from a few employees (8 I think) to around 80…. But you know, we were dealing with other issues and I thought at the time… who cares…?

It was actually Allen Loudell, of WDEL fame (interesting alliteration) who brought it to my attention…

He said “I think that Jack Markell would take offense to that…(Jack Markell is a founder of Nextel).
Charlie clarified the point to say within the last 10 years, or the time that Markell has been the state treasurer…. So I’m thinking Markell — giant business; Copeland — little xerox machine. What on earth is he talking about….

We know that Charlie likes to exaggerate when he boasts… He founded Bluewater Wind… He thought up and started the Challenge Program…. He put Thurman Adams in as head of the Senate, because he supported Charlie’s vision of FOIA….. We know that… It’s been proven over, and over, and over, and over, and actually, its what makes Charlie even the least bit viable as a candidate…. We know he is going to boast, we know he is going to stretch the truth, we know he really doesn’t have the qualification for the job at hand… but he say’s it anyway…. You gotta to love it, man… Just like you do that Eagles fan who says they are actually going to win the Superbowl this year…..(They are, you know…William Penn is now on top of the Comcast Building)…..

“I’ve grown jobs, and I’m the only person who knows what it takes to grow jobs who is running for a state office…” I think is what he says…. But how does growing a printer business help bring more jobs into this state?

Here is how he grew the business if you read AGS reports… He used technology, basically he bought a new form of a copier, and to his credit, his firm won an award for one of the software pieces they created… He went to beg for Astra Zenica’s business, got it, and built on that… They have a lot of printing needs…by the way… (I believe Hercules also uses them, but there volume is less…) For some reason every election year his business increases…

Now obviously, if you buy his argument, that he will bring jobs to Delaware because he has had business experience…. you don’t know much about small business…. If you want to prosper there is something very important you have to understand… your bills need to be less then your income… You can survive a while on loans and keeping the nose ahead of the closing curtain, but eventually, you need more income than your costs.. That’s it… Everything else driving a business is aimed at that one factor…

So as a business person, you need to micromanage your business better than your competitors… Basically you need to hustle in sales, by offering a lower cost than your competitors for the quality you are providing….. Which means you need to know your business… How much ink costs, where the cheaper supplier is, how much paper costs, where the cheaper supplier is, how little you can pay your employees, without them unionizing… (lol)… These are the special knowledge that one must master to become successful.. As more contracts come in… it becomes a lot easier…

Now being an expert printer, is no qualification for being Lieutenant Governor… If any other of Delaware’s printers were running, Matt would win hands down… Contrary to what Republicans would like to tell you, a tax structure has little to with keeping a small business afloat… Because you see, the only part that is taxed… are the profits… no profits… no tax… a little profit… just like your income… a very little tax… Lots and lots of profits… a tiny increase in the rate one pays…. If you are making money you can afford it….

Government is different… Running a government like a business…well… it was tried by the national Republicans from 2000 to 2008… So how’s it working for you? Yeah… you get my point… For Charlie to say that he will use business techniques to run our government, is scary to say the least….

Here is an example… DNREC has over 1000 employees.. I’ll use that figure as an illustration because it makes the math easy.. So a business person would look at DNREC and say we can cut 500 of them and save $25 million every year….yeah, yeah, yeah,…BOOM… it’s done… $25 million is saved every year…. But… here is the difference…. only 500 people are now regulating the pollution laws, throughout the state… Before 1000 were insufficient, now there are 500…Guess what happens… “Is the inspector down in Seaford today?” “Yes, he is.” “Good, kill the scrubbers, let it go… we’re safe in Delaware City today…” So there is less accountability.. there is more corruption, leading to a definite dive in the quality of life for every Delawarean…

Government is not to be a business.. it is not there to make a profit… It is there to make our lives better…. Otherwise….as my Libertarian friends would espouse… “why have it?”

So to run government on a better note… one would say…”hmm Taxpayers of Delaware….. Which do you prefer…. paying us 25 more dollars each per year for your roads…. or charge you $1.00 each way on I 95….. After pulling out my calculator, it would be obvious that after two and a half weeks, it would be cheaper for me to pay $25 dollars more per year…. Because as we all know once you start.. it jumps from one dollar to two, then three, then four…… The tax increase less than a restaurant meal is a bargain….

Actually what Charlie accomplished with his business, is exactly what this state needs to do… Get more money coming in… But whether one pays high taxes or high utilities, matters little… it is still a cost whether it comes from our government… or a private entity…. it is money out of our pocket….

Now good government seeks to lower the cost imposed by it and all other factors upon its citizens.. Good government should be dedicated to making each citizen’s cost lower than his income… Good government should seek to make larger that discrepancy… One of the tools government has to do just that…is taxes… It’s a tool…

There is no question that our taxes under Bush/Cheney went down… He said he was going to do… we did it…. and all of our taxes went down…. So in Reaganomic terms… why are we so miserable?

Simple…each one of our other costs went up… Insurance… way up…Energy…way up….Health Care….way up… Food…. way up… With no regulatory agencies in place to monitor the best practices of business…. they practiced what was best for them… raising prices… and if you worked for them… lowering your cost to them…. So business thrived,…. we got squeezed, and all the extra profit went into marginalized derivatives, which as we all have found out,….eventually evaporate into nothing…. Out of all that money, no factories were built… no manufacturing jobs were created… and once busted….we had nothing to sell…

So someone who has run a business and grown a business would be a very dangerous person to elect right now… So what is the alternative?

Someone who actually lowered a part of our monthly expense… our insurance…. Someone who did not kowtow to big business and regulated them… “This is what you are going to charge in this state….Colonoscopies? With anesthesia… you will do it”…. A business person would dance and say ok… let the market decide… Wrong answer… They are the market, they decide whatever they want unless we the citizens through our government, tell them “what’s up.”

Now like any pendulum swinging backwards in the opposite direction… regulation can go too far and stifle business from growing… Today that is not the problem…. As every state scrambles to coax businesses into their tax structure… saying we won’t tax you is not a competitive advantage…

But…. if we had a 600MWh windfarm off Rehoboth cranking out 2.3 cents a kwh of electricity, when other states had 18 cents kwh as a charge…business would be fools not to move into this state…
If we had an educational community that was world class, business would be fools not to move into our state…If we had un-choked roads so goods could be in New York or Washington in less than two hours…. business would be fools not to move into our state… If we had insurance rates lower than surrounding states, but had better coverage then most… business would be fools not to move into our state… If we had open space with uncluttered schools and uncluttered roads, and no workforce housing in rural areas, people would be fools not to move into our state and set up housekeeping….

So this is just a brief overview… But you see… and I’m remember a story of one of our old governors who sat in General Motor’s executive office all day to plead our state’s case for not closing our Boxwood plant…. Government is a good thing… Government can bring a 600 MWh to Rehoboth. Government can invest in an education community that is world class. Government can widen our roads. Government can force our insurance rates down…Government can enforce zoning laws already on the books and forget about rewarding developers with extra bonuses for overcrowding our land….

And it can do it cheaper than any private enterprise can…

So I balk at the idea that Charlie Copeland can better Delaware because he grew his business… Coming from someone who has grown a business too… every quarter… at least up until July… I can tell you Charlie has no clue what he is talking about when it comes to running a government…

One just has to look that the Bush administration over the past 8 years… if you love Bush… you’ll love Copeland…..

Brilliance Doggedness and Determination
Courtesy of Projo.com

The following is from a fellow trooper, one who carried the flag for awhile…….

(And that is why I’m breaking my tradition of not posting press releases… but sometimes a hero calls upon one, to step up and join the battle… And one does.)

There will always be causes needing ones help, and there will always be those out there asking favors… But at least once in everyone’s life, someone we know actually has the necessary character to continue pressing on when most others have given up. At least once in everyone’s life, someone we know chooses to fight back for those who can’t fight for themselves, instead of siding with those who will reward them well for their acquiescence….. Joan is that person.

And so… a tradition is being broken here… It’s being done for Sussex County…….

Below: the press release in full….

FROM: Citizens for Clean Power, Lewes, Delaware

The Executive Committee of the grassroots organization Citizens for Clean Power endorses Joan Deaver for Sussex County Council. Ms. Deaver was an early, effective voice for cleaning up the Indian River Coal Plant, the state’s biggest industrial polluter. Her organization, Citizens for a Better Sussex, labored tirelessly for almost two years to share facts and information about the damaging effects of pollution from the coal plant. Because of her determination, she became a pivotal force in bringing the nation’s first offshore wind project to Sussex County. As a local homeowner herself, Joan understands the need for County Council to lead efforts in reducing air and water pollution which damages our health, and seriously impacts our quality of life. Joan is a fiscal conservative who expects polluters to pay for their pollution, not the taxpayers. Her moderating voice on land-use decisions is urgently needed at the County level.

Ms. Deaver’s opponent, Mark Baker, has offered no commitments to clean up air pollution in the county, or address damage to the Indian River estuary system from the Indian River Coal Plant. His website says nothing about the need to move toward clean energy or mandate energy efficiency standards for all new home construction in the county. To our knowledge, Mr. Baker has no experience working for the public’s interest with state legislators. He never responded to questions from two months ago regarding his positions on the environment and zoning. On the other hand, Joan Deaver understands that in order to attract more jobs and increase property values in Sussex County, we must offer a healthy environment, improved infrastructure, good schools, better home construction and energy-efficient construction standards which will actually be enforced. We believe Joan will continue to work tirelessly to protect the Sussex County way of life, promote clean energy alternatives, and restore Sussex County as a great place to work and raise a family.
We urge voters to elect Joan Deaver to the Sussex County Council.

Kilroy Nails it Good   This is exactly what it is all about….

So How Do We Step It Up for the Third Bush Term?