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To THE CITIZENS OF KENT COUNTY, DELAWARE

[August 14(?) 1793.]

Fellow Citizens: Being guided in the discharge of my public duties by our excellent constitution, and laws made under it; and having always in view the happiness and best interests of my fellow Citizens, I cannot for bear to express the satisfaction which I feel when, upon important and critical occasions, my countrymen approve my conduct, and do justice to the motives which influence it.

The sentiments publicly expressed by the people of different parts of the Ud. States, and the anxiety which is shewn by all considerate and well disposed citizens to preserve the peace of our country and a continuance of its prosperity, is an incontestible evidence of their enlightened wisdom in justly appreciating the blessings we enjoy beyond, perhaps, any other nation under the sun.

While I assure you, Gentlemen, of the great pleasure which it gives me, to see this public testimony of your particular attachment to our Government, and approbation of its measures; permit me to express my gratitude for those marks of personal respect and attachment, which are evidenced in your address, and let me beg you to believe that it will ever be my study to deserve them.

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I really didn’t give this report much respect coming out of the gate for the word-leaked-out, was that it does nothing to stop the NSA’s abuse.   However, I have deep respect for Richard Clarke who was one of the five, so I felt compelled to read the whole thing

Since I’m sure few of you will venture to read the entire report, If something jumps out, I jotted it down below…

1. The United States Government must protect, at once, two different forms of security: national security and personal privacy.

In addition to reducing risks to national security, public officials must consider four other risks:

• Risks to privacy;
• Risks to freedom and civil liberties, on the Internet and elsewhere;
• Risks to our relationships with other nations; and
• Risks to trade and commerce, including international commerce.

We recommend that Congress should end such storage and transition to a system in which such metadata is held privately for the government to query when necessary for national security purposes.

In our view, the current storage by the government of bulk meta-data creates potential risks to public trust, personal privacy, and civil liberty.

We recognize that the government might need access to such meta-data, which should be held instead either by private providers or by a private third party. This approach would allow the government access to the relevant information when such access is justified, and thus protect national security without unnecessarily threatening privacy and liberty.

We endorse a broad principle for the future: as a general rule and without senior policy review, the government should not be permitted to collect and store mass, undigested, non-public personal information about US persons for the purpose of enabling future queries…

We also recommend that legislation should be enacted authorizing telephone, Internet, and other providers to disclose publicly general information about orders they receive directing them to provide information to the government. Such information might disclose the number of orders that providers have received, the broad categories of information produced, and the number of users whose information has been produced…

We recommend that, in the absence of a specific and compelling showing, the US Government should follow the model of the Department of Homeland Security and apply the Privacy Act of 1974 in the same way to both US persons and non-US persons.

We recommend a series of organizational changes.  We believe that the Director should be a Senate-confirmed position, with civilians eligible to hold that position; the President should give serious consideration to making the next Director of NSA a civilian. NSA should be clearly designated as a foreign intelligence organization….

The head of the military unit, US Cyber Command, and the Director of NSA should not be a single official.

We favor a newly chartered, strengthened, independent Civil Liberties and Privacy Protection Board (CLPP Board) to replace the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB)…

We recommend that Congress should create the position of Public Interest Advocate to represent the interests of privacy
and civil liberties before the FISC.

The US Government should take additional steps to promote security, by

(1) fully supporting and not undermining efforts to create encryption standards;

(2) making clear that it will not in any way subvert undermine, weaken, or make vulnerable generally available commercial
encryption; and

(3) supporting efforts to encourage the greater use of encryption technology for data in transit, at rest, in the cloud, and in
storage.

The use of “for-profit” corporations to conduct personnel investigations should be reduced or terminated.

There then follow forty-six recommendations, most of which were mentioned above… They start on page 26 and continue until page 44,  For the most part, these are where the complaints that the report is too soft, lie.  The report states things should be in a certain way, and like the Articles of Confederation, there is no teeth to back them up….  For instance it states we recommend that private third parties turn over data only if it is necessary to the security of the United States… Easily setting up this scenario… “Hi, can you give me info on Ms Murphy.  Appears we have some trousers in some soup…” ” Is it a national emergency?” “Yes, sure is”… “Ok here are all their calls…” Essentially unless teeth are added, this allows the same actions as go on today, to progress further.

Teeth such as:  any third party who gives, or any governmental employee who asks for private confidential information for purposes other than an immediate physical threat to national security, may be sued in court for any damages such misuse of information may cause…. etc…

It is our sincere hope, that one, this power is removed from the government.  Private corporations cannot arrest one in the middle of the night, and that with this data in the hands of private entities, that those private entities are at risk if any wrong information falls into anyone’s wrong hands…

Most of us would still trust our privacy in that scenario…  “What?  Someone just told my spouse I was sexting Miley Cyrus?  Oh well, (sigh) with the judgment of $68 million I’ll eventually receive, I’m much better off if I’m divorced before I receive it… ..”

There is no way there was an altercation.  There is no way Trayvon was on top of Zimmerman.  

Dr. Shiping Bao, the Volusia County medical examiner who was in charge of handling slain-teenager Trayvon Martin’s body in February 2012, has come out and claimed  that, despite Zimmerman’s statements regarding their altercation, there was no feasible way for Martin to have been on top of Zimmerman when the gun was fired because the bullet entered Martin’s back. ….

One must be initially skeptical because this new revelation, is being made by one subsequently fired from his position who is now threatening to sue the state of Florida for $100 million dollars.

But, if anyone knows white supremacists, there is a lot of circumstantial evidence going in this direction.

One, the assistant medical examiner is not white.  He is Asian.  A minority himself.   It reminds one of those films where a black child witnesses a lynching and then is told, “boy, you tell no one about this, you hear?” and out of fear, willingly obliges….  

The claim this medical examiner is making is that when he questioned why the “official version” was not related to the placement of the gunshot wound, he was told to ” zip his lips. ‘Shut up. Don’t say those things.”

Since this message was released by Mr. Bao’s attorney, and specifically to a sympathetic ear with a well read reading base, one may have reasonable doubts as to their validity.

Two, recent activities by Zimmerman himself, now that his handlers have all packed their bags and departed, has given far more credibility to him having a persona who would have lovingly shot Trayvon simply to paraphrase Johnny Cash, “watch him die.”  His ex-spouse has been quoted (and retracted) as having Zimmerman state as he waved his gun in front of her and her dad, that “he’d take care of both of them just like he did Trayvon”... Unfortunately the proof is in a busted up phone in police protection and may never be recovered.  The original police chief who knew Zimmerman, has been quoted saying “Zimmerman was a nut case”.

Three.  What was on trial for Floridians and their sponsors ALEC, was the unconstitutional gun law.  The trial needed Zimmerman to be innocent, in order to keep constitutional challenges of that law at bay.  They are at bay, now, as you read this.

Bao claims that the prosecution never actually asked him the questions that were crucial to the success in the case, and that he changed his opinion  after repeatedly being warned… from the time he initially examined Martin and the time he was on the stand. Bao and his attorney say they believe he was fired for questioning the way the case was handled, and possibly for not going long with the desired narrative.  

Bao was “supposed” to follow the prosecution’s line that Trayvon was “doped up like a Jamacian” on marijuana, but instead told the truth that the minimal amount in Trayvon’s body, would in no way impair his judgment. 

Before one dismisses this accusation out of hand, one must wonder.  Why has it not been disproven already?  A exhumation would easily prove Bao to be a liar, or instead a whistle blower.   Surely there are the police photos from the coroner’s office,  or crime scene, showing a shot into the front cavity of Mr. Martin, or his back, completely unscathed.. 

This accusation,  if it was not true, would have already been completely shot down days ago.  But it hasn’t… Why not?  Are there no pictures of Trayvon Martin dispelling this notion? 

If not, then why of all cases where routine pictures are always taken, is this case, which since it’s beginning has been under suspicion of miscarrying of justice, had its pictures been lost, … or stolen?

And that, is where we are. 

All evidence now, after the trial, certainly point to Zimmerman executing Trayvon Martin while he was on his knees, back towards him, most likely begging for his life, and a) because blacks in hoodies cannot be right in that Southern Community, and b) because legitimacy of the Stand Your Ground Law  was under attack, … bigger interests than either of these two people, had to insure that all stereotypes played out as they are supposed to in storybook little Florida towns…. 

 

 

 

The cannon fire could be heard from Brandywine Hundred. It was louder in Concord. It was deafening in Chadd’s Ford. The Battle of the Brandywine was in full swing, and the result was a defeat of the American Forces leaving Philadelphia wide open to the British invasion.

Sadly for us this marks the end of Delaware’s direct involvement in the Revolutionary War. After this battle, the war in the North became a sitting game, and Cornwallis felt compelled to shift to the South to try and gain some momentum. He misread the South’s resilience, and the war of course ended when he got boxed at Yorktown.

As for Delaware, the British had previously marched up from Glasgow through Newark then up Kirkwood Highway and camped at Marshalltown. One can still see the embankments they threw up. The Americans realized that they had only a narrow route north before did the British. Had the British chosen to fight through the night, the war would have been over with Washington’s defeat. He was trapped by water on three sides. General Howe was a person adverse to exertion, and chose to investigate the following morning. When the British awoke, they saw the Americans had disappeared in the night, leaving their camp fires burning to fool the British watchmen.

The British marched north to Kennett Square, probably along what is now Route 82… On the morning of 9/11 the British marched towards Philadelphia. Washington assumed the lazy Howe would march the easiest route and set up defenses in Chadd’s Ford covering the road to Baltimore, which is Route 1 today. What Washington miscalculated is that the British had better intelligence than he. Here is how.

Washington was employing those in Philadelphia to give him advice. Howe was approaching on the outside, and chose those locals to tell him the layout. The difference in intelligence was a simple as one looking out, and one looking in. Perhaps you may remember the meme last decade of showing a city as the makeup of their entire World? For instance one of Rehoboth, would show Rehoboth and Dewey and Ocean City in Great detail, and Washington and Baltimore as tiny patches on the last edge of the map? Well that myopia actually affects our judgment. As one approaches the unknown, one is apt to know only his one way. But to use that same analogy backwards, as one approaches the known, from the area of the unknown, one is far more perceptive of all other options leading towards that goal or destination.

So it was with Howe, who found out there were two ford to the north, both overlooked by Washington, and the access to the battle field was relative easily. Howe committed 5000 of his 18,000 troups to attacking Washington’s front lines, and sent 13,000 north to cross both the west and east branches of the Brandywine, then head south. imagine the surprise of the American army who had been confident that they were holding their own, to find they’d been fighting a measly 5000 men in the fog, and now had 13,000 marching behind them on their right side….

We retreated. Some said it was a disciplined retreat, and Lafayette is given a lot of credit for that. He was wounded this day in history by the way, yet he established a rallying point, communicated it to all the troops, and an orderly retreat was managed. But the surprise to our right cost us dearly. We lost 11 of our 14 artillery guns. The British listed 587 as killed, missing or wounded, but no records of the Americans lost is known.. General Nathaniel Greene is later quoted as guessing 1200 to 1400 Continentals were lost… Commander Howe wrote to the British Foreign Secretary that 300 dead, 600 wounded, 400 prisoners were the total of America’s casualties.

One cannot imagine how dark things seemed for the prospects of an American nation after this day.

  • Americans had been tricked and easily routed.
  • They’d lost 79% of their artillary, having only 3 cannons left.
  • The Continental Congress fled in the night to Lancaster for one day, then to York.
  • Military supplies were moved to Reading.
  • Philadelphia, the cradle of democracy, was wide open to the British Army.
  • It was 52 years before the founding of Yeungling’s brewery, so none was available to drown one’s sorrows.

They suffered fully sober.  If we can remember the tragedy of our 9/11, try to imagine something ten times worse. There was no hope, period.

A makeshift hospital was scrambled together in Wilmington Delaware, and 350 causalities were sent.

Let us start here.  A good leader takes his people where they want to go.  A good leader does not force his people to go where they definitely don’t want to go… That is ruling.  Not leading.

A good leader convinces his people why they must do something.  He makes sure he puts in how it will benefit them.  If it doesn’t benefit them, he is ruling.  Not leading.

A good leader creates good out of evil.  There is a moral equivalency to leadership.  It can be defined shallowly at times.  Such as calling Hitler good leader based on his strategy of conquering France. But time makes such affirmations short lived.  I don’t think anyone looking over the rubble left of Germany in 1945 at that moment considered Hitler a good leader after viewing his legacy.

A good leader does not follow the rules… He decides when and where the rules apply.   Some would apply the name “great leader” to one who never wavered.  Well, such a leader would have ruined the life of a little boy whose grandmother sent along a knife to cut the cake, not knowing that knives in school were grounds for expulsion.  A lot of misdirected people in leadership positions in that particular school district, made bad decisions based on their mistaken view of what makes a good leader.  A good leader does not always follow the rules.

A good leader decides when and where the rules apply.

In Syria we have controversy.   We have one argument stating that Syria must be punished.  We have the other that says War must be reserved only for something Huge.  That “Huge” is of course undefined and fits in with “we know it when we see it.”

As the executive of the world’s largest force, militarily, economically, and morally,  our president pretty much get to decide.

Here is what a great leader would do.  He would find a way to unite the two sides into one…  He would find a way to punish Assad of Syria in a way that would scare any other despot thinking of using chemical weapons,  and do it without going to war.

That would be great leadership.

So what would scare Assad the most?   It’s hard to tell, but my guess is that his biggest fear as a man, is if his palace is overrun by Syrians, who basically tear him apart, and do his wife and children, then systematically erase any acknowledgement  that he or his dad ever existed…   That whole reign of terror becomes ridiculed, laughed at, for the rest of History.   i would guess that is how you could get to Assad.

So, we, (not just the US but the rest of the world) have to make that threat real.. We don’t have to carry it out necessarily, but we have to make it real.   How can that happen?

I think first, is that we make crossing the border out of Syria a real good move for Syrians…   Send the signal, that if you leave Syria, the world community will settle you somewhere, give you a job, and a chance to begin a life of freedom and prosperity. ideally what we are doing is a Cold War.  Over time we are saying: “See how great the Rest of the world lives?  Oh, you poor Syrians… Escape and come join us”. Where could we relocate them?  Iran could step up, Jordan,, and Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States,

This is how your hurt Assad… Turn his own people against him… No ruler can rule a group of people who don’t want to be ruled.  He can use brutality to a certain extent, but the numbers are completely on the side of the population wanting him gone.  With our intelligence capacity, he will never be safe… Every bodyguard is a potential killer..

And that, more or less, is what we should do… It is what a great leader does… He solves problems in ways where the evil get punished and the good win out.

Going to war, rewards those doing evil, and hurts the good….

It is time our President, become the great leader.  Not by  digging down and reinforcing the costly methods promoted in the past..  But to devise and implement new methods which because of their success, will be utilized far into the future….

What an odd title but that is exactly what is going on in Egypt right now. A similar juxtaposition also occurred inside the minds of some Americans back on July 4th 1863 (exactly 150 years ago)  as they begin to bury the dead from both sides in Gettysburg.   Since human beings are 99.5% the same, what Egypt is now bearing must create some  intro-inspection upon how things are going here in the US as well.

I was shown an email passed among Tea Partiers that whooped:  “Egypt got rid of  their dictator; Why can’t we get rid of ours?”   Ironically the popular vote percents are strikingly similar… Morsi won with  51.7%;  Obama with 51.1%…   Yet Egypt is in the middle of a coup; and Obama is being hailed as the first since Dwight to have solidly won over 51% for both terms…

Just looking at a chart over our nation’s history one sees just how tight our popular vote margin is.  (one also sees the margin of victory is a bad indicator of just how good a president will be)…

It’s a good thing we have an electoral college to decide matters for us, and create a more determinable method of preventing what Egyptians and many of out tea partiers think should happen now….

I know many decry Bush’s win (-0.51$)  over Gore and use that to promote an amendment to abolish the Electoral College.  However America survived far better than Egypt (+1.7%) is doing  now,  with even worse violations against the the  popular vote total…  Through the House of Representatives, these people became President:  Benjamin Harrison (-0.83%), Rutherford B. Hayes (-3.00), and John Quincy Adams (-10.44%) all with more of a percentage loss than had George W. Bush over Gore.  In two of the three, the loser returned to whomp the stealer out of his second term.  One  of these “losers” even had a 51% popular vote majority!

But the electoral college  provided decisiveness. Just like in football or basketball, the final score may not portray the better team, but it provides a finality from which we can all move on.

The demise of Morsi is a great chance to bring up this issue, simply to force us to understand why our founding fathers who were unburdened at that point by political parties,  could by using what today are called “thought models”, come up with this peculiar institution that has well served it’s test over time.  Couple that to the fact that even today, we have something almost akin to a political party vying for the forced overthrow our our elected top official,  one can imagine the rancor and violence that might have tainted our nation’s  development if we did not have a clear uncontestable “score” that determined our winners from losers.

One must be cautious when comparing today’s Egypt with today’s American democracy.  Egypt is in its founding stages.  As Morsi proclaimed, removing him removes all legitimacy of any future democratically elected government.  As did Julius Caesar to all future democracy in Rome.

It makes us realize how lucky we are today that all of America was unified behind George Washington as it’s first head of state.  That unanimity of opinion, allowed the slow formation of  traditions we now have today to take root.   For one, Washington did not impose himself (as did Morsi) by aligning with either the Democrats or Federalists on policy at the expense of the other.

Morsi made that mistake with the Muslim Brotherhood.   Instead, unlike the current head of Egypt,   George Washington held court over a myriad of opinions, and picked and chose in the fashion of King Solomon, almost the same as he did at the Constitutional Convention,  of which was the most judicious approach on the basis of each proposal’s merits.  It is worth noting,  that towards the end of his second term as the political parties were being formed for the upcoming  1798 race,  he himself became quite disgusted with the smears, dirt, graft, and corruption required to enable any country to run effectively upon its own power…

Perhaps because Egypt did not endure a long war of Independence, it does not respect the cost of freedom.  Perhaps because democracy came to Egypt in its first time  like a pack of chewing gum in a cashiers line, they easily think they can replace it again with a better flavor?

But this foreboding irony of Egypt remains.   Instead of comparing it with American Democracy, suppose we go Godwin and compare it to the German election of 1932.  What if the Germans had risen up a year later against Hitler and thrown him out?  That would be  good thing right?  Or had  Mao been pushed out and the Chinese business reforms begun 40 years earlier?   Or had North Korea said “unh unh” to its dictator in the first year?  Or had Centrists in Iran risen and prevailed over the Ayatollah?

The Turkish Army as well as the Pakistani Army has on occasion stepped in and then later bowed out whenever control has become precarious.  Perhaps this is the only model that works well for overly excitable Arab populations?  it is a longterm democracy with military safeguards built into its Constitution.

But one thing is very clear from this current outcome is this:  religion can play NO part in government, even if given a political mandate. Living vicariously through Egypt it is clear there must be an impenetrable wall between that which belongs to Caesar, and that which belongs to God. All political entities who have dared mix religion into their political framework, have populations who are deeply suffering now (relative to those in strictly secular governments), even when that religious entity is the Chairman of the ruling political party himself, as is the case in North Korea, the old Soviet Union, or as was of Japan and Germany during the second world war…

It’s a lesson the US should take to heart.  They next time anyone decries we need more religious people in our democracy, cut them off with this:  “Remember Iran; Remember Egypt.”

As Americans we are not immune to Civil War.  From it we learned it is a horrible alternative to walk away from one’s existing structure simply because one does not get one’s own way…  We also learned that one can’t impose one’s will on vast majorities of ourselves who think differently.

Third.  We learned that freedom is great, but the need to eat is greater.  Government first has to function to meet the basic needs of its citizens; only then, once its citizens are economically stable to be not worried whether they will be alive the day after tomorrow,  can their thoughts begin to turn to topics such as does democracy even matter?

As US policy,  our actions need to first get Egypt to feed themselves; Spare no expense; make it our generation’s Marshall Plan. Then once well fed and able to provide for themselves, can we begin to  proselytize our points of view.  Whether they choose democracy or totalitarianism, will depend solely on who they see helping them now in their time of need…  One can talk of democracy’s long-term future implications, but that rings on deaf ears when all one really wonders, is if one will be alive the day after tomorrow.

It is time to sanction gay marriage.   Gay marriage is different from civil unions. Gay marriage means much more.  Someone who is gay, who can now be married for life is finally an equal citizen.  Without that certainty the rest of  their rights are meaningless….

“Oh, we’ve got nothing against gays!.  You are equal to the rest of us, except, snicker, snicker, when YOU marry, we will give it a lower second class status and call it a civil union.”

Until Gay Marriage is made legal gays are only second class citizens….

It is interesting that very conservative parents of gay children, see it with open eyes… “Yeah, why can’t they get married?” Senator Portman who was flirted with as Romney’s running mate, and the odious Dick Cheney are both in favor of gay marriage. They credit their openness to learning from their children… every parent wants their child to be happy.

As a nation we’ve been here before.  Blacks were given freedom by the Federal government, but local governments who disagreed, would not allow them to marry whites.  Obviously the signal being sent was no, they weren’t equal after all.  Mexicans in the West, legal and forced to be accepted so by whites, had to deal with local laws disallowing mixed marriages… After all, they “really” weren’t equal, not even close?.”  American Indians, even though there were many interracial lifelong monogamous sexual unions during the exploration of our frontier, those unions were banned by laws intent on maintaining the purity of the Caucasian race, “Indians, equal with the white man?  Get real!”…

All these laws have fallen away, shredded by common sense and common decency.  It it easy to label a group with which we have no connection, as a “they” and say “they” are different, allowing it to be “ok” to treat “them” with disdain……

It is when “they” become part of “us” and we finally realize that treating “them” with disrespect is exactly the same as “us” being disrespectfully treated; we certainly would find that to be unfair. …

It is upon that realization, that discrimination against them…  finally becomes unfair….

Our Constitution and Declaration of Independence are pretty clear…   all humans are equal at birth… and once we widen our perception of what is human, we are forced by our beliefs to accept them into our family as well….

Hard as it was for the South, we finally accepted that slaves were human beings, and therefore agreed they should be afforded the same protection as their owners….

Hard as it was for mankind, we finally accepted that women were human too, and therefore agreed they should be afforded the same protection as their “owners”….

We later had to revisit the treatment of those whose ancestry derived out of our former African slaves, even to the point of guaranteeing them by law, actually making it punishable to treat them with disrespect, in order to drive home this point to Southerners, that…. all people are created equal….

Any baby born within our borders becomes a citizen.  Whether its parents are or not… They were born here; they are equal to the rest of us…  We allow any baby to grow up and marry any other baby who grew up here, unless they are gay.

The overwhelmingly majority of our culture has recently come to the realization that people who are gay, are created that way. They can change it no more easily than one can molt the color of  their skin, or alter the slant of their eyes, or raise or lower their cheek bones…  That is how God makes them…..

For anyone to vote no against Gay marriage in Delaware’s General Assembly, they will have to first  imagine themselves in a Twilight world, one where genes gave dominance to gays, and heterosexuals occurred rather rarely… Being one of those heterosexuals, who had deeply fallen in love with someone of another gender, would you, a Delaware Representative, settle for only having  civil unions for you and your heterosexual spouse, when all the gays around you were getting married and raising families?

Their gay clergy would spout:   “Oh, you are one of those… We can’t let you marry….”

If you  CAN’T  IN  GOOD  CONSCIOUS  agree that you yourself should be discriminated against because you happen to be heterosexual in a gay world, something you were born with and couldn’t change, then you cannot vote AGAINST gay marriage when it comes up for a vote with any good conscious.

Voting against gay marriage, carries the same moral price as did the voting against the freeing of slaves, as did the voting against allowing women to vote, as did the voting against letting blacks finally be allowed to succeed….

Now, since all of those are so much woven into the fabric of our society, we forget today that back then there were people who actually argued vociferously against allowing these citizens to become  equal members of our society… it was just like people argue against gay marriage today.

They arguing were wrong then.  Those same people doing it to gays, are wrong now….

Settling for Civil Unions instead of marriage is a slap in the face.  It has only one point and that it to say:  “Oh, you aren’t as good as us, and never will be.”

Each time in our nation’s past, it took the will of strong people to overcome the strong wills of weak people…. Delaware needs to allow gay marriage, simply because not doing so is the morally wrong thing to do….  Those crying against it with self thought-up platitudes, will come around eventually after the deal is done and the battle is over…

They have to!… One can only argue against what is right, … for so long.

So impressed was Leon Panetta with Hillary Clinton’s taking out the Republican opposition for 2014/2016, he said, “Damn! Women can sure fight good!”

Immediately thereafter, he overturned the ban on women in combat.

The inaugural commission created a menu balanced across the palate of the United States of America… Featuring Maine Lobster, hickory grilled bison from South Dakota, Hudson valley apple pie, wines from Lake Eire region. The decision was made by a committee…

Mrs. Debbie Boehnor
Mrs. Diani Cantor
Mrs. Honey Alexander
Mrs. Iris Schumner
Mr. Paul Pelosi
Mrs. Landra Reid

They tasted thousands of different items representing areas across this , and came to a consensus… How hard is that? You try it. It is very hard!

If Americans who have no connection other than their spouses chose to run for office and won, can come together to figure out a complicated endeavor, why can’t we figure how to keep guns out of school, how to raise our debt ceiling, how to cut spending fairly and how to balance our budget?

The reason is the bullies on the outside. Those groups who yell, “don’t you give one inch”. Those groups who say “they’re trying to take rights away from you”. Those groups who growl: “take everything; give them not one penny in return”.

Usually those bullies are powerful because they are bullies. They live and survive on your donations… IF they can freak you out, that you give up some of your hard earned money, they get rich…

There is an industry that thrives on conflict. That gets rich off discontent. That fans flames to grow their pockets.

That industry is who to blame for our nation’s intransigence. Fox News gets the lions share, because they were first. But Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coultier, Glenn Beck, are all to blame. Because we see them in surroundings that mirror our memories of Ed Marrow, Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, we drop the pretense that what we are hearing is not news. It is a business whose income depends upon the temperature of our hate. Pure and simple. The more we hate, the richer they get..

Would a consensus on a menu reflecting all of America have been so easily obtainable if Limbaugh, Hannity, O’Reilly were shrieking about each item? Exhorting any viewers to call and complain?

You know the answer… Proof is without the bullies on the outside, you put a handful of Americans on any committee, and things get done….

We’ve got to silence the bullies on the outside… Let’s do it, and eat in peace…

That is probably the biggest take-away historians will keep when they use today’s fiscal crises in future civic’s lessons across this country, precisely in order to teach students just how well put together this nation’s govermnent is…..

I have long blamed the filibustering Senate for intransigence.  Whenever we have an emergency, the House passes legislation quickly, and the Senate takes it’s time.  Things just   s  l  o  w   down in the Senate.

I have also blamed that in part upon the old age of Senators, and the cliques that evolve from spending 20 to 30 years together…  Senators are more worried about upsetting the feelings of Joe So-and-So instead of quickly passing the House’s legislation.  Legislation also gets tabled as a favor to Ms. La-La-La, for a favor she extended 15 odd years ago…

But it is precisely these negatives that allowed the Senate to take up the fiscal cliff legislation that was all-but-dead on arrival in the House….

John Boehner, was forced to give up his lead and capitulate, when his caucus voted down giving even billionaires a tax increase.  His caucus had too many Tea Partiers, who were still green behind their ears, and put their own personal principals, … over top the rest of the financial world’s welfare, including the USA….

John couldn’t control his caucus.  Why was that?  Because the founding fathers wanted the House to be reelected every 2 years.  The idea was that these people who were invested with the responsibility of spending the “people’s” money,  needed to be directly responsible to those back home, who’s money they were spending!  As a result, the Tea Party contingent, whose home-spun philosophy plays well on country porches, has no idea of how things work.  We don’t let two year olds drive cars for a reason.

But,…. who did solve the crises and bring both sides into agreement?

The top two members of the Senate, … The Vice President and  Mitch McConnell, a Louisville Cardnals fan.

For both, a deal was necessary and they crafted one that would sell.  It definitely sold the Senate… 89 to 8….  It sold the problem House of Boehner as well:  257-167 including….. with more Democrats voting for it… 172  than Republicans voted against it… 167.

85 House Republicans voted in support of this McConnell-Biden adaptation, keeping us from going over the cliff before the markets opened up in Asia…. (which at time of print are all up between .6% and 2.2%)..

Through a personal relationship based on a long history of dealing with each other in a non adversarial fashion, a deal was struck.  We were clued in two weeks ago that the $400,000 level would be the floor.  No surprise there.

But, now it is clear that Social Security will no longer be on the chopping block in two months.  Medicare will no longer be on the chopping block in two months.  Unemployment compensation (for those dismissed by their corporate employers for working too many hours under Obamacare), now will still dribble some cash to get by.  The Earned Income Credit, the best part of the year for anyone earning less than $30,000, is no longer on the chopping block!

For this, the increases in additional taxes on income, estates, and investments, were softened a bit.  Even though there will now be less movement of cash from the private sector to the Treasury than occurred under the boom years under Clinton, but… as long as the economy takes off, we can worry about that later.

For that, is why this bill was passed.   Signs are encouraging that the economy is getting better, now that the world KNOWS no Republican (whether he really wanted to be president or not) will run the country.

To nix that up, and again, hurt those who were most hurt before, is unconscionable.

For most Americans, working and living and dying in our towns, this is what is important.  It never could have happened under the dynamics of the House of Representatives.  Only in the Senate, could such an agreement even be possible….

Only there buried within the term of 6 years, is enough distance available to exercise good judgment on what is necessarily right for this country, then have time to deal and fix the political repercussions back home… Only there is an opponent also a dear friend, one you take seriously and trust, causing you to give up a little more on both sides.

Only there.  Once again, we see the great wisdom possessed in those we call The Founding Fathers…. Who could have known?