You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Department of Interior’ category.

My friends, we are gathered here today to celebrate one of life’s greatest moments, to give recognition to the worth and beauty of committed marital love, and to add our best wishes to the words which shall unite these two people in marriage.  In the words of our Creator, what God hath brought together, let no one cut asunder.

The commitment that the two of you are about to make, is the most important commitment that two people can make; you are about to create something new, the marriage relationship, an entity that never ends.

As you stand here today, are you now prepared to begin this commitment to one another? (I am)

Have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage? (I have)

I would ask that you both remember to treat yourself and each other with dignity and respect; to remind yourself often of what brought you together today. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your marriage deserves. When frustration and difficulty assail your marriage – as these do to every relationship at one time or another – focus on what still seems right between you, not only the part that seems wrong. This way, when clouds of trouble hide the sun in your lives and you lose sight of it for a moment, you can remember that the sun is still there. And if each of you will take responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight. 

Will you have this person to be your wedded partner? (I will)

Will you love and comfort then, honor and keep them, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto them as long  as you both shall live? (I will)

Will you have this person to be your wedded partner? (I will)

Will you love and comfort them, honor and keep them, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto them as long as you both shall live? (I will)

Since it is your intention to enter into marriage, join your right-hands, and declare your consent (before these witnesses) by  repeating after me: 

I, take you to be my partner, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, as long as we both shall live. Take this ring as a sign of my commitment and fidelity to you. …

I, take you to be my partner, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, as long as we both shall live.  Take this ring as a sign of my commitment and fidelity to you. 

In so much as the two of you have agreed to live together in Matrimony, have promised your commitment to each other by these vows, (and) the joining of your hands (and the giving of these rings), by the authority vested in me by the State of  Delaware, I now pronounce you a married couple.  Congratulations, you may now kiss as a married couple….

Ladies and Gentlemen here who are witnesses.  May I present to you the world’s newest couple…. 

Awwwww.  How can anyone vote against something as wonderful as that?

January 1-3
January 1-3

January 11-13 2013January 11-13

I getting a bad feeling about this. Who can tell us? What’s this mean?

Btw. There is a monster hurricane approaching Alaska with a low of 943mb. Category 4 if it were an actual hurricane. It is so huge it would stretch from the East Coast of the US to Denver.

So why is Congress held in such Low Esteem? How did this Congress, achieve the record low mark of public esteem, getting the approval of only 7 percent? Why is it that for anything to get done, a big battle has to occur and we either go over the edge to get an agreement, or we get it just as we are about to lose our balance?

Republicans.

This stuff never used to happen. Republicans have been around for a long time. It is just today’s Republicans are a spoiled child. They are the little kid in the restaurant who screams so loudly that everyone is forced to make them the subject of conversation…

It started with Gingrich’s Congress shutting itself down. Bill Clinton won that one because America looked up from their work and went…”Really?” You are shutting down work because you didn’t get your way? Wish I could shut down my work whenever I didn’t get my way. I’d never have to work.”

Today the foolishness continues. Just after Obama’s inauguration the republican caucus announced: there one goal was to make Obama a one term president. They jokingly became the party of “no”. When Obama said our country needs to bail out the auto industry, Republicans said “no.”. When Obama said our health-care system needed a vast overhaul, Republicans said “no.” When Obama said workers were getting hired too slowly and that we needed to do more, the Republicans…. said no…

No matter what Obama tried to do, in order to commit to their prime objective, getting him out, the Republicans fought him tooth and nail. Back when Republicans had the voice of the American people, and were a majority of Congress, they needed 51 votes to pass legislation. Today’s Democrats, who today have the voice of the American People, must have 60 votes to do the same thing. That has to change. It is unfair to citizens living today, that just because they randomly live today instead of 10, 20, 30 years ago, they have to have a congress where nothing gets done unless 60 Senators agree. Every other generation survived on 51 Senators getting together. Our nation is still here for us.

Today’s Republicans are the problem. The Democrats have done everything they can to meet halfway. The problem is, that is not good enough for today’s Republicans who subscribe to the philosophy, it is my way or the highway….

Take a look at today’s fiscal cliff. Obama started with $’1.6 Trillion in new revenue. He went down to $1.2 Trillion. The Republicans started with $0 new revenue… In a caucus vote last week, Boehners offer of at least $.8 trillion, was voted down. They would only accept $0

So let’s just say it: Republicans Are The Problem……

Did You Ask Me What It Was Like?
Right Click for Full Image.

Women Of The World  Unite  You Are Under Attack
Photo courtesy of Big Girl In A Straight World

There is no war on women… War is what’s going on in Syria. War on women, is what the Taliban did to that poor Pakistani girl.

But that said, this whole binder thing, has opened my eyes like no other. I can remember when we women had things much worse. For example, if we refused sex, we’d get fired and had no recourse to sue. “Shouldn’t have asked for it was all the police would say.” So from that perspective I’d have to say I was intrigued, but a little distant from all the angst todays Republicans were bringing to bear….

Delaware Liberal had a conversation about Morning Joe after the debate, when the female brought up the binder issue, and Joe Scarborough and his male friend, jumped all over her… Don’t bring up that slip of the tongue, it has no relevance to this election.” In a sense, they dismissed her as stupid, right there on national television.

If they’d thought about it beforehand, I’m sure they’d phrase it differently. Obviously there were major items that the male mind was still struggling to grasp from the night before. Like who was the tougher guy? Who won? Who had the best offense, best defense? They couldn’t be bothered by a joke about binders when the candidate probably didn’t even know how funny what came out of his mouth was…..

But what Mitt said, burns with a hot flame in the consciousness of every woman that hears it. Because we’ve heard it all before. It’s not the words being spoken; it is the hidden disdain lurking underneath what is being said….

Here is how Mitt came across… “Wait, there are women voters too. Do we have any women on our staff? We need some women as window dressing. Bring me some binders of women. I want to pick a couple out…. so I can say I have one working hard under me… ha ha…nudge, nudge. (and while you’re out there, pick up a couple of knee pads, will you?)… We’ve heard it all before. Sometimes to our faces, thinking they are funny and we are just like them so we will approve, but usually we hear about it second hand, and act like it comes with the job…

It does come with the job.

Not saying we don’t have fun with it too. We’re human. But most men we work with have more harassment nooses around their neck than a drunk queen on Bourbon Street has beads… They are so lucky we haven’t hit the button for that trap door….

Here is what you men don’t get. Mitt Romney ran the Olympics, worked at Bain Capital, campaigned for Governor and won all before this incident. Are we to assume no women were involved in “trustworthy” positions during the previously 20 years, so now, he had to study binders full of women, to find one to hire?

That is the anger behind this women in binders. It has nothing to do with binders, or resumes, or diminutive women living out in plastic cover cardboard with three silver rings inside….

It is that Mitt Romney, at that point in time, did not feel women were equal to men. They were flawed, they had periods, they had children, they couldn’t stay late but had to be home by 5! Sheesh. How can a government run, when it’s workers have to be home by 5? Oh well, she’s just window dressing, we’ll humor her and let her dally home each day. I’ll count on my men for the real work I’ll need…

Then, you compare this glaring example of someone who pays lip service to women, who understands he needs “window dressing” when it comes to women, and you realize that even if you made the company twice as much profit as did any man, this Mitt Romney guy, would pocket it, dismiss your contribution, and reward someone else for the work you did…..

It happens to every woman. Mitt Romney is THAT guy.

So when you compare it with his answer to the Lilly Ledbetter Act, and he said he would not support it, and several weeks ago, when asked if he’d rescind the act when he got into office, the answer, .. after looks back and forth between staffers, was literally… “Uhhh, we’ll get back to you on that one.”…. when all those are taken into account, Mitt Romney is THAT Guy… Oh, I’m glad to have some women in the office, it seems like home, can you get me some coffee, I’d like two sugars, and one cream please, and then you can dust those shelves over there. They get dusty when I’m out campaigning… ”

And that is why the binders are so important. They show us he is THAT guy. The one we trade departments to get out from underneath, the one we look for new employment, because opportunity has stopped at HIS desk, the one that in the middle of the night, upsets our whole family routine, because he infuriates with his smug condescending nature….

Women work twice as hard as men. Men can’t keep a house running for shit. I know a lot of men. As soon as they get home, they are done. Window dressing here or there. But food needs fixed, kids need bathed, floors need mopped, the bills need paid…. “Honey, the Eagles are playing tonight… you got this… ok?”

So, is there a war on women? If you mean like Syria… of course not. But America when it saw the psychological tools that were used to keep blacks down in the South, was appalled. American (except for Southern Radicals) collectively said, “you can’t treat people like that.”

Would you have called that a war on blacks? You could have and explained you were speaking metaphorically. And that’s what we women are doing now. Speaking metaphorically. There IS a war on women. It is meant to keep us in our place.

“You tell, anyone, … you are fired, got that lady?”

From Aaron Nathans of the News Journal…..

NRG/Bluewater Wind got good news on a different front Monday, as the federal government moved one step closer to issuing the developer a lease on a tract off the southern Delaware shore.

The Department of the Interior announced it would open a 30-day public comment period on the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of offshore renewable-energy projects off Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia.

If the department determines no significant impact off Delaware, it will move forward with Bluewater to sign the lease, said its president, Peter Mandelstam. He said he hopes to secure the lease by the end of the year.

Once a lease on these ocean blocks has been secured, construction permits can begin. Or better put: Bluewater can proceed with more detailed environmental reviews to try to get a construction permit.

And to those of us who marshaled the deal in 08, here is a reminder of how time flies… Bluewater faces a September deadline to exit the Delmarva contract or pay $2.75 million, money it would get back if it successfully completed the wind farm.

The following concern has also been noted in the Federal overview of the project. Construction will take place near an area off Delaware, where ships typically anchor. Wind development should be avoided in that area, the U.S. Coast Guard has argued.

The anchorage area, off Delaware Seashore State Park, sits on the outer edge of Bluewater’s proposed development area.

map of Bluewater's location vis a vis shipping lanes

Every time I pay my electric bill to Delmarva, I sigh, knowing that had wind gotten underway faster, I’d be paying 60% less…….

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…..

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.

This Monday afternoon on Star Wars Day (May the fourth (be with you)), a small town hall meeting was held in the Presbyterian Church in Old New Castle, to discuss the idea that a National Park would be coming to Delaware.

History buffs everywhere rejoiced.

Delaware’s own Senator Tom Carper has championed a Delaware National Park for at least 6 years, and now with the complete devastation and eradication of the entire line of Republican philosophy, it appears that the timing for such an event to occur, is eminent.

Joining Senator Tom Carper at this meeting, was Delaware’s lone congressman, former Delaware governor, Mike Castle…

Roughly 100 people packed the lower level community room, and memorized all the details of the first page of upcoming the power point screen, while waiting for the guests to arrive… The average age of all the participants, was probably 78.

The Honorable Jack Klingmeyer, mayor of forever, mingled among those present often sharing “old” stories…

The guests arrived, with the sole temporary Republican entering from the left…. and Carper and the Democrats entering from the right… (its called the Delaware Way)…. the meeting got underway.

Tom, started with the admonition of “let us pray”…. not only alluding to having the meeting inside a church… but the fact that this was HIS church that we were in and such would be the initial greeting which one would hear announced in that place.. The audience did not really know how to react at first. (After all, Presbyterians have a subtle sense of humor.)

Tom introduced the panel that was present. Ken Salazar, the new Secretary of the Interior, Tom Strickland ( who was just confirmed last Thursday (89-2) making this his first speaking engagement in that capacity), the assistant secretary of the interior for fish, wildlife and parks, and Representative Mike Castle…

Tom Carper spoke that the idea for a national park had been a passion of his for some time, and that he felt that the new administration, (and our new Vice President) was working to make it become a reality.

Former Governor and current Representative Mike Castle then got up and spoke about the green ways he opened during his governorship which ended back in 92. The connection between green ways and a national park, was somewhat inconclusive, but he ended by saying he was for and would support the Delaware National Park, which guaranteed, at least in that room, a round of applause.

Next Ken Salazar, former Senator from Colorado, and now current Interior Minister, essentially said he was supportive of the idea. He promised that it would happen on his watch, again creating a round of applause. He was followed by Tom Strickland, who ran for Senate twice in Colorado, and when not making the kill, served as Ken Salazar’s chief of staff.. During Tom’s confirmation hearing as Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Tom Carper supposedly just asked just one question of him: are you for a Delaware National Park? Strickland, of course, said “yes”.

The head of the National Park Service, David Wenc, then gave a presentation of the proposal of the park which would include pieces of various properties around the state…( At this point, the power point page that had forever held the screen, changed much to the relief of the audience ).. The proposal covers Fort Christina and the Old Swedes Church, parts of New Castle, the John Dickenson House, and the Green in Dover… The presentation has been made three times already in this state, and was glossed over since apparently those in charge were certain the deal was going forward to fruition…

The floor was then opened for questions. Now I’m not sure if those visiting other states are prone to the same jostling egos and self serving interests that we have here, a microcosm of which we saw this afternoon, but considering that one of those in the room sits down regularly with President Obama, this author felt a little embarrassed for Delaware’s reputation.

Carper called upon the first guest, and made the mistake of saying the “well dressed one” there.. Two people stood up, and since that remark was made, each thought Carper was speaking directly to them, and neither was willing to back down. It got worse.

The first speaker was part of the team that got the Veterans Memorial put in by the bridge, and proposed that those memorial gardens, be incorporated into the National Park. The second speaker, wearing a leather cowboy hat, said he was thankful that Theodore Roosevelt had established a National Park in Puerto Rico, and that we should follow through with Wilmington Baker’s vision of topping over 95, so the city was no longer divided. (The idea may have merit in an unlimited economy with no budgetary restraints, but many were struggling to determine why this topic was draining time away from the topic that was under discussion)… After speaking, the speaker stormed out of the building, slamming the ancient wooden door behind him..

The third speaker stood up and talked about the navy and gave out P38’s to Tom Carper and Ken Salazar… ( Military speak for can opener) Next another long term New Castle Council Member stood up and handed out books to Ken and Tom Strickland, showing a pictorial history of New Castle from the 1800 to today.. (those photos may actually have some merit pushing the park forward in committee) but for the audience, there was little to hear.

Then the shopkeeper of the Three Crowns, an establishment just 5 doors down, who looked like he himself had hailed from the Colonial era, offered free ice cream to anyone who stopped by for just that afternoon…

By now, it was becoming obvious. Only the exotics were speaking today. Even a few words by Jack Klingmeyer and a former state senator whose name I did not catch, were not sufficient to salvage the afternoon away from those speaking.

Ken had specifically asked for a town meeting environment in order to gauge the interest, and this is what he was getting?

It looked like a lost cause…

Carper called out “one more question”…

Then, it happened.

I’ll try to describe it as I can remember it, but memories involving emotions are faulty as we all know.. The speaker said they had come to the meeting to fulfill a childhood memory. That memory was of opening their grade school history book and first seeing the map that showed the Colonial powers extent throughout North America. The French held the Mississippi and Ohio valleys extending up through Canada. The Spanish held Florida and the South with the Western states firmly in their possession. The English held a fragile ribbon of red along the Atlantic Coast, and the Dutch held New York. Looking at the guide, there was a blue patch that said Swedes, and on the map, was a single dot showing that establishment of a Swedish colony right were all of us were sitting. There was no other mention in the text about any Swedish colony.

Later in life, the speaker moved to, and lived in, Old New Castle. Surprisingly, the spot William Penn landed, the great fire on the Strand of 1809, the first commercial railroad, the rout of the capital of Delaware when a British frigate pulled up and the government raced out of town to Dover… an epitaph written by Ben Franklin, the George Read House, were all amazingly well preserved. But no one outside of New Castle knew anything about them…

“This state was the intellectual hot bed of the revolution. The ride of Caeser Rodney, played a critical role in the foundation of this nation. Yet one never hears about it outside of Delaware… It is not so much that Delaware played a sole major role of leading our nation forward, but had individuals chosen NOT to do what destiny required, history would have had great consequences, possibly even giving rise to a totally different entity other than the United States of America. Especially now, people need to hear how actions of individuals do make a difference.

One, it was necessary to preserve the past so future generations shall always know, and two, it was necessary by the establishment of this park, to refocus our current attention on the principals of stepping up to the plate when called upon by destiny. For without Delaware’s enthusiasm to the cause, the historical record shows us results could have gone a different way…. Without Delaware, America might just not be here…”

Wow.

Ken Salazar was obviously affected… He spoke spontaneously.

He too knew what it was like to grow up outside of history. His ancestry moved north and settled Santa Fe in 1608 ( 30 years before Delaware’s founding) From there they moved into Colorado, settled ranches and family farms, and as a child going through school, nothing was ever in his textbooks describing that magnificent story of a different civilization deriving from Spanish ancestry, who tamed the western wilderness. He too knew what being outside of history meant, and was committed to a historical preservation and educational series involving the National Park Service, to rectify those inconsistencies. He would work to see Delaware got their National Park.

We turned and strained our necks to see who had turned the tide, but no one was there. Like the New Castle ghost wandering the grounds of the Green, the apparition had mysteriously evaporated…

It is my humble opinion that the park will be done. It is smaller in scope than I would wish, but reality speaks volumes… In the future we shall effectively add on, but to just have this National Park existing in Delaware will provide support for those individuals currently fighting developers and government officials like the Mr. Pam Scotts of this state. Delaware’s history is unique; it must be saved for the world.