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You heard it here first.  More on this later, but first all need to work to make hemp completely legal…  Hemp  is God’s gift to America, and I don’t mean when it goes up in smoke.  I am speaking of  fibers…

Begin educating those who won’t vote for hemp legalization….

The hemp plant is a renewable resource..

Hemp enriches the soil it grows in. …

Hempseeds and hemp oil are highly nutritious and delicious…

Hemp is the only plant that contains all of the essential fatty acids and amino acids required by the human body… (stop over-fishing).

It is an excellent option for vegetarians.

It’s quite high in some essential amino acids, including gamma linoleic acid (GLA), a very rare nutrient also found in mother’s milk.

Fishermen sprinkle hempseed on the water as an effective bait..

Songbirds will pick it out of the mix as they prefer it over other seeds.

Hemp is becoming a common ingredient in lotions and many other skin, hair, and cosmetic products.. (compared to toxic chemicals).

Hemp is an ideal material for making paper. It regenerates in the field in months (unlike trees which can take 30 years or more to become harvestable after planting.)…

It makes a fine quality paper that is naturally acid free and does not become yellow and brittle or disintegrate over time like conventional paper.

Hemp is also excellent for making rugs and other textiles.  Levi Strauss’ original denim jeans were made of hemp.

Hemp is the traditional rope making fibre due to its flexibility, strength, and resistance to water damage..

Hemp oil can be used to create biofuels to replace gasoline for diesel engines. Unlike fossil fuels, biofuels are renewable and produce less of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.  Diesel built his original engine to run on hemp oil.

Alternatives to plastic can be made from hemp… Hemp based materials can replace wood and other materials used to build homes and other structures including foundations, walls, shingles, paneling, pipes, and paint.

Hemp may look like marijuana, however it does not contain the active chemicals that cause mind-altering effects.  Politics have kept this gift from us.  When Dupont made nylon, it influence was used to suppress hemp production….

58,000 tons of hemp seeds were imported into America for paint products in 1935″ — Sherman Williams Paint Co.

Hemp produces the same amount of oxygen while it’s growing that it would use in carbon dioxide if burned as a fuel. Also, due to it’s leaf/root ratio (this can often be 10% roots vs 30% leaves), hemp can produce between 20% – 40% more oxygen than will be polluted.

Thomas Jefferson himself said, “Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country.”

The draft of the Declaration of Independence was made on hemp paper….

The first American Flag was made of hemp.

If hemp cross-pollinates with marijuana, it creates a lower THC marijuana, not a smokable hemp… Illegal growers will not grow near hemp farms because it practically destroys the effectiveness and marketability of their product.

Fabrics made of at least one-half hemp block the sun’s UV rays more effectively than other fabrics..

The US Drug Enforcement Agency classifies all C. sativa (hemp) varieties as “marijuana.”  Hemp was grown commercially (with increasing governmental interference) in the United States until the 1950s. It was doomed by the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which placed an extremely high tax on marijuana and made it effectively impossible to grow industrial hemp…

While Congress expressly expected the continued production of industrial hemp, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics lumped industrial hemp with marijuana…

Because of its low lignin content, hemp can be pulped using less chemicals than with wood…

It is naturally resistant to most pests, precluding the need for pesticides. It grows tightly spaced, out-competing any weeds, so herbicides are not necessary. It also leaves a weed-free field for a following crop…

Today it is clear that these beginnings of “the war on drugs” were pushed into being by the newspaper, cotton, and petroleum industries, all of which had much to fear over being competitive with hemp…..

Finally, a word of wisdom from our founding father…. “Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere.” — George Washington 1794

 

 

 

 

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Why does every bill with Scott’s and Sokola’s name at the top, mean no good for the people of Delaware?  Intriguing, however, also are the names of Kowalko, Baumbach, and Townsend as additional sponsors for this same bill… ( Longhurst is there as well, but that doesn’t matter)…..  One must assume for these three to endorse such a bill,  that perhaps they are unaware of who is signed up as a lobbyist, and who, if a fee is required, will be shut out from personally making their case to Delaware legislators..

Contrary to I guess, public opinion, not all lobbyists are fat cats.  Many of them are thin cats….

Nancy Willing is one.  Darlene Battle is another.  John Flaherty is a third. For you see, if anyone approaches a legislator about a certain bill, they need to be signed in as a lobbyist….

All a lobbyist is, is an expert on piece of legislation who attempts to explain it to a legislator.  Of course, an expert on sneaking a poisonous chemical through the labyrinth of law, requires one kind of lobbyist.  But removing the” box” from employment applications, requires another…..  Whereas our legislature doesn’t need the first type of lobbyists, it absolutely really does need the second.

What this bill does, is shut accessibility to legislators to all who cannot pay.  The indigent, the middle class, the workers, don’t have  a voice, unless they can find a paid lobbyist who will do it pro-bono.  The ducks, geese, and even the gray fox who currently have school children as advocates,  get shut out allowing sportsman to dominate the conversation.  In gun control, the dead children have no voice; the paying NRA has a monopoly on legislative personal relationships….

That is why as it stands, this is a bad bill.

To those on the inside, the reason for it’s proposal is obvious in light of the education fight over Common Core.  Educational issues are not going as those responsible (Jack Markell) for pushing them through legislature think they should.  Somehow, legislators are getting other opinions beside those carefully screened for their indulgence… This bill will stop that.

I can understand how progressives could get behind a bill to make lobbyists report who pays them, and make lobbyists pay a fee…. But a close reading of the bill does not legislate how much the fee shall be, nor does it exempt anyone working pro-bono…  Yes, of course without it being specified specifically, that could still happen after this bill is passed.  … But so could the opposite!… It will be solely at the discretion of those on the Integrity Commission to determine who can play, and who cannot….

“Set that fee for Nancy at a $1000, will you” said the joker to the thief……

Below are organizations currently listed as lobbyists who probably won’t be, if the fee is enacted……

  1. Delaware Estuary
  2. Stand Up For What’s Right And Just
  3. National Popular Vote
  4. Girl Scouts of Chesapeake Bay
  5. Associated Community Talents
  6. Delaware Association of Non Profit Agencies
  7. 9-12 Delaware Patriots
  8. Kent County Progressives
  9. Center for Inland Bays
  10. Delawareans for Social and Economic Justice
  11. Delawind
  12. Delaware Repeal Project
  13. Delaware Jobs Now
  14. American Lung Association
  15. Common Cause/ Delaware
  16. Pilot’s Association for the Delaware River
  17. Burris Firm
  18. NAACP
  19. Concerned Black Men, Inc.
  20. Wilmington Tug
  21. Blue Hen, Inc.
  22. Delaware Business Roundtable Education Committee
  23. Delaware ACLU
  24. Center for Popular Democracy
  25. Council on State Taxation
  26. Marijuana Policy Project
  27. Delaware Audubon Society
  28. Delaware Sleep Society
  29. American Traffic Solutions
  30. League of Women Voters
  31. Chimes Delaware
  32. PTA Delaware Congress
  33. Delaware Rural Water Association
  34. Brandywine Sprouts, Roots, and Shoots
  35. Delaware Council on Gambling Problems
  36. Autism Delaware
  37. Delaware Auctioneer Association
  38. Delaware Police Chief’s Council
  39. Save our Society From Drugs
  40. Greenwatch Institute
  41. Sierra Club
  42. Delaware Defensive Driving
  43. March of Dimes
  44. Consortium of Non-medical Privately Owned Healthcare
  45. City of Wilmington
  46. Volunteer Hose Company of Middletown
  47. Delaware Volunteer Fireman’s Association
  48. Delaware Coalition For Open Government
  49. Delaware School Boards Association
  50. Consumer’s Union of US Inc.
  51. AIDS Delaware
  52. Delaware Nature Society
  53. Delaware River Stevedores, Inc
  54. Council on State Taxation
  55. Bridgeville Rifle and Pistol Club
  56. Delaware Ecumenical Council on Children and Families
  57. American Lung Association of the Mid Atlantic
  58. Delaware Society for Respiratory Care
  59. Humane Society of the United States
  60. Horizon House
  61. American Cancer Society Action Network and It’s Affiliates
  62. Consumer Health Products Association
  63. Best Friends
  64. Wilmington Fire Foundation
  65. Film Delaware
  66. Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau
  67. Easter Seals
  68. Rodel
  69. Mid Atlantic Education Alliance
  70. Christina River, LLC
  71. Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition
  72. Recycling Reinvented
  73. Delaware State Lodge  FOP
  74. Police Athletic League of Delaware
  75. Kind to Kids Foundation
  76. Delaware State Funeral Directors Association
  77. Delaware Tourism Alliance
  78. Commercial Industrial Reality Council
  79. Cigar Association of America
  80. Scientific Games Corporation
  81. Delaware Auctioneer Association
  82. Save our Delaware Byways
  83. Delaware Solar Energy Coalition
  84. Fort Miles Historical Association
  85. Atlantic Pawn
  86. Delaware Asian American Business Association
  87. City of Newark
  88. Alternative Energy Researching and Consultation
  89. Gift of Life Donor Program
  90. Delaware Cemetaries for Consumer Choice
  91. Gun Rights Across America
  92. White Clay Creek Watershed Management Association
  93. Rehoboth Art League
  94. WHYY Inc
  95. Delaware Association of Surveyors
  96. National Campaign to Reform State Juvenile Judicial System
  97. Sussex Technical School District
  98. National Guard Association of Delaware
  99. OSG Ship Management Inc.
  100. St. Francis Hospital/Catholic Health East
  101. Westown Movie Theater
  102. Red Frog, Events LLC
  103. Woodlawn Trustees
  104. Prestige Academy
  105. Communities in Schools of Delaware
  106. Punkin’ Chunkin’
  107. CRI
  108. Arcadia Wind Power
  109. National Association of  Professional Surplus Lines Offices LLC
  110. Teach For America
  111. Civic League for New Castle County

Just to name a few…  You see, lobbyists are the oil inside the engine.  They reduce friction, and are what keep legislators capable of staying ahead of multiple issues at any given time….  So, yes, some may be paid very well. But quite a few of the above will not be back if this law is passed and signed….

I have included lobbyists for both sides, to show that they are indispensible to the operation of government as we know it… This bill will affect the postions held dear by both Republicans and Democrats.  Essentially those hurt will be all those who cannot afford to pay for representation … Those helped will be all those who can easily pay for the privilege of meeting with a legislator….

That is why I am not surprised to see Sokola and Scott at the top of this bill.  I am surprised to see Townsend, Kowalko, and Baumbach as additional sponsors….   Someone should tell them…..

 

And here is the meat of the bill…..

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Section 1.  Amend § 5832, Title 29 of the Delaware Code by making insertions as shown by underline as follows:

§ 5832. Registration of lobbyists with the State Public Integrity Commission.

                (b) The information recorded in the Commission’s lobbyist docket shall include for each separate employer:

(6) Whether the employer pays or promises to pay compensation, as defined in § 5831(a) of this title, to the lobbyist.  The amount or value of compensation is not required.

                (e) Upon registration, and between January 1st and January 15th of each subsequent year, each lobbyist shall pay an annual registration fee per employer paying or promising compensation to the lobbyist.  The fee is not prorated for compensated lobbyists or their employers who are registered for only a portion of the year.  At the beginning of each calendar year, the Commission shall establish an annual registration fee which shall approximate and reasonably reflect all costs necessary to defray the expenses of administering § 5832, § 5833, § 5834, § 5835, § 5836, § 5837, § 5838 of this title.  The Commission may not impose a fee on lobbyists who are not paid, or who are not promised, compensation from the employer of the lobbyist.  The fee is payable through the Public Integrity Reporting System database maintained by the Commission.  All revenue generated by registration fees shall be deposited in an appropriated special fund account for the Commission.  These funds shall be used to fund all costs necessary to defray the expenses of administration of § 5832, § 5833, § 5834, § 5835, § 5836, § 5837, § 5838 of this title. Nothing in this section shall relieve a lobbyist from the registration requirement in subsection (a) of this title, whether required to pay the annual fee or not.

                Section 2.  Amend § 5838, Title 29 of the Delaware Code by making insertions as shown by underline as follows and by redesignating accordingly:

                § 5838. Violations and penalties.

                (d) Any person who fails to pay a registration fee required by this subchapter shall be deemed to have voluntarily cancelled registration as a lobbyist and shall be prohibited from reregistering or acting as a lobbyist until all delinquent registration fees are paid.

                Section 3.  This Act shall become effective on January 1, 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turtle Eyes

 

This kind…

Doesn’t he have an election coming up soon?  If so, how can anyone expect to make a credible run for Attorney General IN THIS STATE, AFTER BEAU BIDEN’S TERM,  and be guilty of keeping a tiny little bill, which has no harm but opens all board meetings to being recorded and accessible on line?

Only Simon Barsinister could be against something so inane… Or…. Hmmmmm…. Somebody … With… Something…. To …. Hide….

Three lines of simple code: All boards of education of public school districts, vocational-technical high school districts, and all boards of directors of charter schools shall digitally record all of their public meetings and shall make the recordings available to the public on the districts’ or charter schools’ websites within seven (7) business days of each meeting.  These recordings are not official board minutes, but are a means to enhance communication to the public and to State legislators.…….

Hmmm.  Now… Why would the surprise future attorney general, be sooooo adamant, even to the point of losing an election over blocking legislation so inane, that all it does is open school boards of all things, open to the public as a service… Anyone can walk into a school board and hear exactly the same thing they’d hear on tape… But sometimes… a diaper needs changed.  But sometimes, a family meal needs prepared.   Sometimes extra work for the office must be done for deadline the next day…. Darn we say now….I guess we won’t get to know what happened…

So why?  Why is HB 23 being put on ice as my compatriot Kilroy is found of saying.  Who is soooooo scared someone will find out what is really going on in school board meetings?  Is it Charlie Copeland?   Is it Mark Murphy?  Is it… Darryl Scott?   Is it Pete Schwartzkoph?

Hmmm.  I wonder if it has any sponsors in the General Assembly right now?

HOLY MOLY!!!!!!  LOOK AT THIS!!!   Sponsors:  Hudson, Sen. Peterson, Reps. Dukes, D. Short, Miro, Peterman, Wilson, Baumbach, Bennett, Mitchell, K. Williams; Sens. Hocker, Lavelle, Simpson, Townsend….

Is Pete Schwartzkoph there?….. No…… Is Bryon Short there?  ….. No……  Is Melanie George Smith there?….. No……  Is Valarie Longhurst there?……. No…… Is Darryl Scott there?  … No….Is Earl Jacques there?…… No  Is Patty Blevins there? …… No……  Is Quentin Johnson there? …. No….   is John Viola there?…… No….  Is Ernie Lopez there?….. No?

Hmmmmmm…   What do those all have in common…… 🙂   Hmmmmmmmmmmmm….  Do they all drink their coconut milk imbibed with lime?  …. No…..   Do they all call each other up and wear the same color of underwear each daily session?…… No……  Ummm.   Do they all have the same Delaware extension tatoo’d to their buttocks?….. Ummmm…..M a y… b e…….

It is someone with a lot to hide; that is for sure…  And it is nobody from here:

Red Clay, Christina, Capital, Delmar, Brandywine and Colonial currently already voluntarily record their board meetings! As well as the Delaware State Board of Education records their meetings!

So why is this something that has to be kept secret, and never brought to pass?….. Because we are not talking about individuals  VOTING on a bill…They could vote YEA or NEA and it wouldn’t matter!  What concerns us and you, is the pure morality of  KEEPING A BILL FROM BEING VOTED FOR YOU BECAUSE IT WILL PASS….

So according to its sponsor, Deborah Hudson,  Matt Denn is sitting on this bill….  He is doing it to protect someone else, to whom perhaps he is loyal….  How seriously then, were a procedural crime to be committed requiring a judicial investigation, can he be trusted to dig and search for the truth instead of whitewashing the whole affair to protect this same someone, when he can’t even be trusted to get a vote for heaven’s sakes….on  a voice recording of  school board meetings,  out on to the floor for a vote?   Let that sink in for a second….  Really?

Put all else aside…..  Really?

IS that really the kind of attorney general we want after Beau Biden….  a crony?

Really?  He’s going to throw his whole career away …. on that?

Really?  Why would he do that?   But it is definite a campaign issue, like blocking the GW bridge, one that resonates and will stick, because EVERY parent has a child in school….Whether they would ever listen themselves or not, this concerns them now… They too will question:  why is Matt Denn, who is running for Attorney General, trying so hard to keep information regarding my kid and his friends, from ever being made public??? Hmmmmm….

Seriously, this blemishes his entire pro-family  image he developed while serving as our insurance commissioner.  This makes him one of the snakes…..  with those evil eyes…..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Common Core is based on one single paper written in 2010, which artificially inflated a crises that our high school graduates were not sufficiently prepared for college…  Back then I believed it, as do most people who like me never  thought to question a supposedly intellectual study we thought was thoroughly based on data.

Turns out we were wrong to trust it.  If you bear with me, I hope to use hard data we now have from 2009, to cast a giant shadow of doubt on this paper that in 2010, led all of America down the path to corporatizing education to the detriment of students, parents, and teachers.  Hopefully this data in turn, will lead to the detriment of all those politicians who took us there, and jumped on board of Common Core without ever asking if  the data was real…..

First from the paper itself…. This assertion….  then a follow up with statistics on post-secondary education….

“Figure 1 shows the extent of the college readiness problem by portraying the gap between eligibility for college and readiness to do college-level work. Students in public colleges and universities attend one of three types of postsecondary institutions: highly selective four-year institutions, somewhat selective four-year institutions, and nonselective or open-access two-year colleges.The readiness gap is nominal in the most selective universities because their admissions criteria screen out most students who are under-prepared.The gap is huge, however, in the other two sectors of higher education, which serve between 80 percent and 90 percent of undergraduates in public institutions.”

Figure 1 Achieve

We can begin to see the fallacy of the argument.  We are not discussing students going into Harvard who are ill prepared. Nor Ohio State. Nor  any of the higher education facilities we have come to think of under the designation of “college”…  What this study attempts to argue, is that those  who previously would never have thought of going on past high school graduation, are now doing so, and are finding that they didn’t pay attention in high school as well as they should have….. probably because back then, they never expected to go to college…

As this study shows, it is those on the bottom who are the ones not prepared…  In other words, our entire educational system was putt-putt-putting along fine.  We are just attempting to increase what is taught among those of  the bottom academic margins….

Although such a cause may be deemed progressive and creating an overall improvement to society, … why, then, are we changing the entire educational process across this nation from the top down, in trying to bring the bottom level up, serving only to water down the top?

The answer is $$$. Someone is making a boatload of money off this claim.  Whereas instead of recognizing there is nothing wrong with the status quo,  that if an underprivileged or “regular joe” wants to go to college and better his lot in life, he can do so (and while there take and pass the redial courses he needs), … the sales pitch was made and gobbled up that we needed a half a billion Federal dollars invested into two companies in order to change the entire curriculum of America’s schools, including those of students at the top who seem to have no problem when THEY go into post secondary education….

On to the data.  I apologize for it being heavy in numbers, but as a firm believer in open source arguments, I certainly wouldn’t think of having it any other way.

The source for the statistics is the NCES or National Center of Educational Statistics or  nces.ed.gov …. From this source we see that each year across America, we graduate 3,011,040. Roughly 3 million every year…

Now since today’s post secondary educational system is fragmented beyond recognition, with statistics inclusive of doctorates, masters, bachelors, associates, and trade schools… and then we have to process how many have years off, take partial loads, are on the 5 year plan, the 6 year plan, etc… in order just to get a conservative estimate I picked the number of graduations or degrees handed out, which are markable. If 3 million exit the high schools each year then an estimate of the number graduating would give us at least a minimal floor on how well this data stacks up…

From the NCES we see that roughly 21 million were enrolled 2009-2010. That includes everyone… Of that, 13 million were enrolled in 4 year institutions, 7.5 million were in 2 year institutions, and under half a million in less than two year institutions.

Further down the chart we find the number of those receiving degrees.  This is what we have to match up to the flood of students leaving high school, or 3 million each year….

We see 937,000 of what used to be considered Junk degrees…  Very necessary for technical skills, such as ultrasound technology, so I certainly don’t want to make light of them, but they run less than two years of education and don’t really study typical college course such as calculus or the religous beliefs of American Samoans.  Then there are 850,000 associates degrees,  with 250,000 given out by 4 years colleges, and 600,000 given out by 2 year accredited community colleges.

Bachelor degrees make up 1,650,000….  (Masters an additional 700,000 and Doctor’s degrees at 150,000, neither included in the below undergraduate total).

So we feed 3 million into the post-secondary pipeline, and give undergraduate degrees out to 3.4 million.

This convolution is explained by the growth of students applying to college.  Enrollment in degree-granting institutions increased by 11 percent between 1990 and 2000. Between 2000 and 2010, enrollment increased 37 percent, from 15.3 million to 21.0 million. Much of the growth between 2000 and 2010 was in full-time enrollment; the number of full-time students rose 45 percent, while the number of part-time students rose 26 percent.. So in 2009-10, one was conferring 4-year degrees upon someone who entered 2005, and 3 year 2-years degrees upon someone who entered in 2006. upon 2-years completing on time who entered in 2007, and those who took one year trade school courses from 2008… Likewise if the amount going into post secondary education was collapsing, the reverse, less graduating than entering would be true…..

These totals do not include those graduating who did either armed forces,or went straight into the workforce, or remained unemployed… The percentage of 18-24 year olds going to college rose from 35% up to 41%.  Which means that 60%  or 1.8 million of each graduating wave of 3 million, does not go to college at all…

Additionally some relieved of their jobs in 2009, went back to school for various degrees helping in part to bump up the one year statistics, and probably later will be a bigger force in pumping up  the future 2 years and 4 years statistics.

So putting the charts together we  would estimate that overall, out of a wave of high school graduates 40% of the 3 million or 1.2 million go onward into post secondary education.  Of this 1.2 million the assumption made by the Common Core advocate group was that 60% of those 1.2 million or  720, 000 went to schools only accepting a high school diploma in order to allow one entrance.  Of those, 75%  of that 720,000 needed remedial math or English.  That comes to  540,000…

In the next echelon of 30% of attending less selective four year institutions, (read state colleges mandated to allow all eligible state students),  we see from the report that they estimated 50% of those were not at the level to jump into the academic fray.  That total number  180,000.  Finally in the most selective colleges taking 10% of those 1.2 million of each class going into school after graduation, only 10% or 12,000 are deemed not up to standards….  When added up,  12,000 + 180,000 + 540,000  we see that a total of 732,000 students may need some remedial math or English which are given without receiving college credit…..

The percentage of those in post secondary education based on these estimates, requiring remedial instruction (732,000 out of 1.2 million) is 61%….  

But the percentage out of all high school graduates (3 million) is 24.4%….  We essentially are creating a curriculum to benefit only 24.4% of our students.  (For this we are spending most of a child’s time in kindergarten teaching how to properly fill bubbles on a standardized test….)

Now, there is another side to this equation….

Here are the schools ranked by largest enrollment by the current Wikipedia

1 University of Phoenix For-Profit 4-year Online Campus (Headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona) 307,871
2 Pennsylvania State University Public 4-year Multiple Campuses (Headquartered in University Park, Pennsylvania) 96,562
3 Ashford University For-Profit 4-year Multiple Campuses (Headquarters in Clinton, Iowa) 74,596
4 Arizona State University Public 4-year Phoenix Metropolitan Area, Arizona 72,254
5 University of Minnesota Public 4-year Multiple Campuses (Headquarters in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota) 68,418
6 Liberty University Private 4-year Lynchburg, VA 64,096
7 Miami Dade College Public 2-year Miami, Florida 63,736
8 Lone Star College System Public 2-year The Woodlands, Texas 63,029
9 Houston Community College Public 2-year Houston, Texas 63,015
10 University of Central Florida Public 4-year Orlando, Florida 58,465

11 Ohio State University Public 4-year Columbus, Ohio 56,867
12 Kaplan University For-Profit 4-year Multiple Campuses (Headquarters in Davenport, Iowa) 56,606
13 University of Texas at Austin Public 4-year Austin, TX 51,112
14 American Public University System For-Profit 4-year Online (Headquarters Charles Town, WV) 50,838
15 University of Texas A&M Public 4-year College Station, TX 50,230
16 Tarrant County College District Public 2-year Fort Worth, Texas 50,062
17 Northern Virginia Community College Public 2-year Annandale, Virginia 50,044
18 University of Florida Public 4-year Gainesville, Florida 49,589
19 Walden University For-Profit 4-year Online Campus (Headquartered in Minneapolis, MN) 48,982
20 Michigan State University Public 4-year East Lansing, Michigan 47,825

Just add up the total enrollment of the “for profit” universities listed above….. That total is 482,287.   Next take the 2 year community college enrollments.  289,886…

First, without being condescending, we should be grateful that this many people now are able to get further schooling who could not get it before…  Adding these two enrollments together, one comes with 772,173.  These figures consist of  total enrollments and should not be confused with those partial enrollments entering on a year by year basis.

It should also be noted; that whereas the requirements may be easier to get into a for-profit or a community college, the course material is usually taught on par with those of long term colleges and universities.  Therefore though easier to get in, they are not that easy to pass and get out anymore than a state university or college would be…

So it would stand to appear reasonable that those entering these colleges would have a lower echelon of preparedness than would those doing well in high school, and common sense would preclude they would need some remedial work to compete on the level of those who ranked in the tops of their high school classes.

Is that reason enough to dismantle public education as we know it, throw the old textbooks out of the window, and re do everything just for this percentage of students?

Common Core will not teach great works of literature.  Common Core stops math development at Algebra II. (no geometry, no trig, no pre-calc, no calc. )  Is this good for those 40% who do not need remedial work when they go forward?  Are we hurting them by not educating them enough, when their brains are perfect for retaining it?  By limiting our top performers, are we truly dumbing down America?

Now I was playing you along here to see if you caught the catch.  For this to be true, those 10,30, 60 percents and those 75, 50, and 10% all have to be true assessments… These were the premise made by the writers of Common Core….

In their report, there is this line….

Firm data on the proportions of entering college students who need remediation in English
and/or math are not available, but the proportions shown in Figure 1 reflect national estimates. 1

I left the citation number… Clicking forward to the citation, it reads like this…..

1 Readiness standards vary widely across states and across institutions within states, which further clouds the meaning of national statistics on remedial rates.

The report glibly slides past this.  It cites CSU’s entry exam as it’s only source.  It extrapolates the national totals from CSU’s data.  California State University has 23 campuses across California.  It has required entrance standards for  each incoming freshmen class.  The reports states….

68 percent of the 50,000 entering freshmen at CSU campuses require remediation in English/language arts, math, or both…

Wow, can it really be that bad?   In one word …. no.  If one goes to CSU and I pulled 2009 to see how it compares with the NCES data above, CSU states that it deemed 33% were not proficient in math.  Not  68%.  Dropping down the page to the English comparison, and the statewide comparisons are to the right of every California High School’s data, CSU states that it deemed 34% not proficient in English…  not 68%…  So where did the 68% come from……

WELL…  if you take 33% and add 34%…. you get 67%….  and then add the decimals together, you get a few points over 68%……

Really.  REALLY?  I mean REALLY? …..  We are changing the entire curriculum of the United States of America, (its no mistake: Common Core is changing the curriculum of America) on one single report written by someone who does not know you can’t add percentages in a sum?  Really?

Did anyones ever stop to consider that if 66% of students ARE proficient in  English, and 67% of students ARE proficient in Math….. how do you make the jump that 68% of incoming freshmen are not proficient in math or english or both?  Yes…. You added them together….  (hope you weren’t drinking liquids when you read this)..

And that, is what sold the Governor’s Association on implementing Common Core, and doing so,…  completely out of the public eye.  Otherwise someone might actually crunch the numbers….

So now let us redo the national numbers with this new data, correctly reported by CSU with 33% imputed instead of 68%…. Here is where I’ll use others to collaborate. ….  But working off page with the same formula and NCES data above….  I come up with a gap of 362,480 post secondary students entering unprepared…  these are the ones who are not proficient….  Among the 1.2 million entering post secondary schools each year, that ranks at…. 30.2%..

Which means we are changing the curriculum of our schools to somewhat sketchily benefit just 12% of our entire graduating class of the total 3 million students a year….  And to help this 12%, which in numbers is almost the equivalent of the University of Phoenix’s enrollment, we are ruining the minds of the other 88%…..

For 12% (who would be considered lower C students….)

  • We are making kindergartners take bubble tests.
  • We are training elementary students how to use computers so they can take on line tests
  • We are eliminating great literature out of the curriculum.
  • We are not teaching math beyond Algebra.
  • We are cutting back on art, music, and foreign languages, because they aren’t tested.
  • We are boring our students into apathy…..
  • We failed over 70% of New York’s students!

Why?  How did this come about?

Apparently someone didn’t know you couldn’t add percents together and get a bigger sum……

The same controversy surrounding Tennessee’s equivalent of SB51, has at least that state’s Democrats fighting for those educating our children .  Not like up here where Dave Sokola and Erica Jenner joined forces and sold the teaching profession out for a couple of pieces of silver.

Think for a second.

If your boss gave you a pop quiz at work, how well do you think you’d do? … Guesses?

The correct answer is: you would do only as well as he wanted you to do.  If he wanted you do do well, he’d quiz you on things you do every day enabling you to pass with high marks.  If he wants you doing poorly, he fills the test up irrelevant questions, that you haven’t thought about in decades (because they are irrelevant); at work you are constantly being bombarded with things that truly do matter..

So we are talking about taking a teacher’s license away because her students did poorly on a standardized test, not by how good or not good the teacher is!

Does the teacher make the test?  Of course not:  the test is made many states away by people who have never stepped foot in a classroom and get paid 6 digit salaries. The tests are untried at the time of taking. They are not last year’s test remade.  No one knows how relevant or non relevant these tests are.

Does the teacher get to know the material on the test so she can teach her students the relevant data?  No, that would be cheating.  The teacher has to guess before hand what will or will not be covered, and then has to teach her best guess.  What if those think tank “specialists” have different philosophies?  Bad scores.

Does the teacher get to interpret the test, to explain the questions in a way the child might better understand?  No, that is considered leading the child.  So if a child can’t understand the question, because they haven’t a Masters or Doctorate degree in education, they fail.

Does the teacher have any control over the test taking environment?  No, if every one stays up late to watch Breaking Bad, and then texts till two in the morning about what happened on the show, and what might happen on next week’s episode.,..  they will do poorly.  To them its some dumb test that doesn’t matter anyway.  They’ll still get promoted…  456 + 789… ah, my head hearts…  let me guess… umm  “{c}”

Imagine lining up all of Delawares School Board and Rodel Foundation officers around the Governor, as he signs SB 51, and taking one photo, then firing all those who blinked, grimace, moved, or otherwise “failed” to properly enhance the photo…..

As their cleaning out their office, you can here Hefferman mutter… “they didn’t even count down. They just took the picture.  If they’d counted down, I could have been ready.”

And speaking of FAILURES.  OH!  MY!  GOODNESS!!!  Rodel’s Vision 2015 has failed to meet its objectives (GOALS) it set for itself back in 2006.  They have had 7 of the 9 years they gave themselves to make it happen. Instead of  firing itself, it announces its name is now Rodel 2020….  But a teacher who’s students blink during 3 hours one day from watching Breaking Bad the night before?  YOU’RE A LOUSY TEACHER!   WHAT A FAILURE YOU ARE!  GET OUT OF OUR SCHOOL!  EVEN BETTER!  GET YOU OUT OF OUR ENTIRE PROFESSION!

That is why this is so stupid. SB51 is so stupid. Everyone who voted for it, without reading it, is so stupid.  Every blog except those who raised awareness against it, is so stupid.  Mr. Sweeney, is so stupid….

I won’t belabor the point anymore.  But firing a teacher for a photo moment, is ridiculous.  Taking away their license for the same should in a proper universe, damn you to an eternity in Hell.

If you yourself personally choose to go to Hell, you will find the following assorted people there to keep you company.

Blevins,  Hocker,  Peterson,
Bonini,  Lavelle,  Pettyjohn,
Bushweller, Lawson,  Poore,
Cloutier,  Lopez,  Simpson,
Ennis,  Marshall, Sokola,
Hall-Long, McBride, Townsend,
Henry, McDowell, Venables,

Atkins,  J. Johnson,  Ramone,
Barbieri,  Q. Johnson,  Scott,
Bennett,  Kenton,  B. Short,
Blakey,  M. Smith, D. Short,
Bolden,  Longhurst,  Smyk,
Brady,  Miro,  Spiegelman,
Briggs-King,  Mitchell,  Viola,
Carson,  Mulrooney,  Walker,
Dukes,  D.E. Williams, Keeley,
Gray,  Outten,  K. Williams,
Heffernan,  Paradee,  Wilson,
Hudson,  Peterman,  Schwartzkopf,
Jaques  Sweeney, Markell, Murphy, Jenner.

Just looking over that list, … I would bet that if this list ever got public, and people could see the likes of the company they’d be spending their eternity with, .. our churches would be overflowing this weekend!…

By the way, can anyone out there possibly tell me when was the last time a doctor lost his license for one case of malpractice judgment decided in court against him? Or one Secretary of Education fired for in his first year statewide test results, in what even the friendly News Journal headline lambasted as: “Disappointing Results”?

GO TO CHURCH!

it is always nice to say “I told you so” even when it irritates those listening to have to hear it.   I apologize in advance for this is one of these moment.  But the first story I saw today, was one that i went on a limb to state and took flack for.  It has now come to pass.

in what now seems like a previous lifetime, when there actually were Conservatives on the blog circuit,  I stated that teeming up with the Chinese was our solution to stabalizing and getting out of Iraq.  I made the point that we’d lost the right to develop all of Iraq’s oil and would never get it being the oppressor;  we should use a third party as a front, and partner with them to at least get some access.

The oil barons all cried traitor…

Lol.  Well, today Reuters broke the story that Exxon was partnering with PetroChina to develop one of the massive oil fields near Basra.  As an aside to that story, it mentions that one of Iraq’s targets is to be outproducing Saudi Arabia by 2020.

it is always nice to always be right. 🙂   But just imagine if we’d done it back in 2007.

(Thanks Mike O)

A) The establishment of a Charter Performance Fund, starting at $2 million; I’ll raise you to 5.

B) Charter Schools are a form of re-segregation.

C) The DOE can transfer funds from public to charter schools. If that were such a good practice, then they should also be able to transfer funds from Charters back into public funds. That they cannot do.

D) A charter contract for ten years is way too long. The decisions made today, cannot be changed for bad or worse, until 2023 if this is the case…

Therefore this is a super bad bill and should be scrapped (paraphrased…:) )

Just read that the NSA is pressing for a Justice Dept. probe to find out who leaked the PRISM plan to the Guardian…   I’m slightly befuddled.  Why don’t they just look in their files?  They have the records.

Frequently quoted in support of scrapping our current teaching standards, and replacing them with an untested approach, has been the works of one Dr. Louise Moats, a developer for Sopris Learning, a private company that makes money getting schools systems like Delaware’s, to buy its products.

Louise Moat’s writings were predominantly based off an NRP study, yet Dr. Moats appears unfamiliar with the actual findings of the NRP and with the subsequent re-analyses of the studies they examined…

NRP adjusted its earlier enthusiasm and found only a small positive effect for systematic phonics instruction, one that even if it were reliable is, of no practical significance in terms of improving  reading achievement.

Even the small effect disappears when the outcomes of the phonics studies are more appropriately analyzed.

Yet despite being disproven, today’s educational reformers such as Pat Heffernan’s piece in the News Journal use this as proof that today’s teachers are dumb and don’t know the newest research which teaches reading.

Old educational pros laugh at him because the same controversy swirled in the 70’s.

For this reason we have to change everything!

With SB 51 we are trading the educational excellence of the 31st best educational American school of teacher education, ranked as the University of Delaware was, for a philosophy that has been long discredited…. except by the sellers of programs they promote.

The real question is why?  And How… could this happen?  How could the everyone be fooled by a false study?  How could we scrap the 31st best teaching institution in the top nation for teaching excellence, for an advertisement?  How could this get passed without debate?