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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….

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It amazes me how quickly we forget. Our lives are so busy… Things blur by, pass in a moment to be replaced with a long line of new things to take their place… Did you know today was the 10th anniversary of Johnny’s passing?

I was curious an looked it up over the summer because my memory too had faded and I couldn’t remember which year it was. He passed September 12, 2003... The official cause was diabetes; however those who knew him, all knew he’d been in a hurry for some time to join June, who passed 4 months earlier….

As one watches the video, those of you old enough see an America we all knew as a child. Even if we weren’t country music fans at the time. That America is long gone, but one very similar has replaced it… full of economic hardships, angst, and self pursuit at the expense of inner peace. His music is more relevant today, perhaps than when we knew him.

I am surprised by the number of younger generation who live his songs, and know them, far better than those of the Beatles, Who, or Stones… His lyrics are simple, direct, and reach out to grasp that humanity that sometimes escapes us all.

it is ironical we were all talking about the VMA’s last week. For ten years ago, Johnny Cash was nominated and actually won, the VMA award for best cinematography for this video posted…

They called his name… And the winner is………………………………… Johnny Cash……….
All waited for his speech, but no one came up… Uncomfortable chatter as everyone looked around… After minutes someone came out from the back stage and said, Johnny is in hospital tonight and needs all of your prayers…. This award will be sent to him…..

Those prayers were answered just 15 days later…. He was in June’s arms before the night was over…..

High Stakes Testing is just that… High stakes… The underlying principle is that we hire you to do a job and if you don’t accomplish that job, we fire you; putting someone better in.

The job the education governor and his Secretary of Education were supposed to perform, was raise test scores.  Test scores went down.

So under high stakes testing, what happens to a teacher when her scores go down?  She gets fired.

So under high stakes testing, what happens to a school when it’s scores go down?  It gets closed.

So under high stakes testing, what happens to the State of Delaware when it’s scores go down?  It loses Federal Funding.

Our scores went down and Federal Funding for Race To The Top is not coming back….

Who was responsible?   Our Governor who put in all these programs, invested millions of dollars in consultants, and paid heavily invested Wall Street educational companies to run our state’s education system…

If a teacher gets fired, if a school gets closed, if a state loses its grants, shouldn’t someone at the top be held accountable?  or is it that high stakes testing only works for the poor, and downtrodden, but those at the top can do whatever they please?

Probably the latter is true, which is why we don’t see Mark Murphy packing his bags and headed to another Common Core State.  Though he did NOT improve our states results (they actually got worse), he does not have to fear for his job.

Why?  Because events were out of his control…  So he shouldn’t be fired…

One would hope, the Delaware peoples’ sense of fairness would come into play here.  One would think..  Why would we not fire the Secretary of Education, but fire his secretary who made his phone calls?  Why would we not fire the proponents of charter schools who are in danger of failing dismally,, but fire those teachers doing well in those public schools competing against charter schools for student funding?  Why would we fire those teachers who make strong gains with inner city children, and heap laud and praises on those in Charter Schools who took last years top students, and made them into this year’s top students?

Why would we use a double standard and fire those on the bottom, but allow those on the top to do the same mediocre performance they have always done in the past?   Why would we fire those on the bottom from whom we tied their hands behind their backs, and pulled all the necessary resources needed to do their job, and not fire those who took those resources away?

“Put simply, the Delaware public should NOT tolerate, a Governor and Legislature who refuse to provide sufficient resources to high need schools and then turn around and blame the schools and communities for their own failures. (all the while, protecting millions of dollars in separate aid programs that drive funds straight into charter schools embedded in wealthy districts).”

They should be fired…  Either one of two things must happen… If we choose to go the route of high-stakes testing, then it needs to apply to those at the top too. Actually first.  If Michelle Rhee had gotten fired, none of the turmoil would have happened causing a whole generation to get lost.   Or if you are not going to fire those at the top for factors they are responsible for, but have no control over, then you shouldn’t be firing those teachers dealing with poverty in their classrooms, with single parent issues, with neglect, with crime, with drugs, with home abuse, with parents who are unemployed.  Sure they are responsible for doing the best they can;  but you can’t have one set of rules at the top, another at the bottom and maintain your office….

Mark Murphy works for Jack Markell.  He gets fired when Jack is tired of him.  Jack will not be running for state office.  He has two  and a half years left on this cycle.

But, next November, we have legislative elections.   We can pressure and fire THEM  based on their attitudes and votes this upcoming session.  If they don’t and can’t get high scores this next summer, and if they run on firing and demoting teachers, they should receive their just desserts.

This is actually very doable in this state.  WE can eliminate all those legislators who state that teachers and parents are at fault for our schools, and turn a blind eye to their removal of “in school” funding, forcing public school teachers to have to do more, with much, much, less…  Anyone who says we need to cut costs in schools, needs to go.  Anyone who promotes a charter school, needs to go…. Anyone who by doing these things that damage the rest of our children who are trying to learn in some of the best public school districts in the country, before school reform began tearing them down…. needs to go.

A short list of those who, by their actions last session, should, unless they change, face the same forms of accountability affecting those who work in public schools.

David Sokola

Patty Blevins.

Greg Lavelle

Earl Jacques

Vote them out……

“All Rise and Raise Your Right Hand… Do You, solemnly swear to have no remorse, to allow those known to be extremely violent and mentally twisted, to possess all purchasable firearms and ammunition, and to have no restrictions upon their use?  So Help You?

“WE DO.  WE VOTED AGAINST Barbieri HB 88 w/HA 1, HA 1 to HA 1, HA 2 BECAUSE WE BELIEVE  ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO OWN A GUN WITH NO RESTRICTIONS, EVEN IF THEY LOVE THE MALICIOUS KILLING OTHER HUMAN BEINGS.

Ok then in order please state your name and affiliation… in the order you are listed above.

Sweeney Todd– Republican; Bruce Ennis– Democrat; James Holmes–Republican; Colin Bonini– Republican; Adam Lanza– Republican; Cathy Clouthier– Republican; Charles Manson– Republican; Brian Bushweller,–Democrat; Gerald Hocker– Republican; Greg Lavelle– Republican; Robert Marshall– Democrat; David McBride–Democrat;  Gary Simpson–Republican; Robert Venables– Democrat; Charley Manson– Republican;  Brian Pettyjohn– Republican; Jeffery Dahmer– Republican; Ernie Lopez– Republican; Sweeney Todd– Republican;  David Lawson– Republican;  Jeremy Loughner– Republican…..

it is probably time to discuss this.

For years we have quietly known and accepted the negatives of having an NSA. Things like we need it for our protection, or it makes things safer, tended to overide our fears that they know too much already, and I can’t do anything in private anymore…

We accepted that as progress.

However, when you have an organization so secret, that members of Congress are shocked to find out what it is doing, that no one knows who is authorizing who gets spied upon and what, that when brought before the courts for overstepping the Constitution, it can’t be prosecuted because a) it operates under “secret” laws, b) with “secret operations”, c) authorized by “secret courts” …. it is time to shut the entire operation down.

Why do we have the NSA when we have the CIA and the FBI. The FBI covers domestic spying. The CIA covers international spying. So, unless we find out that there are aliens and the NSA is really running the world while we think otherwise, then it probably ought to go.

I find it interesting that those on the far right, and those on the far left are the most outraged by this disclosure. We’ve been stating that news on this blog after the story was broken back in 2007-8 and not one press person cared. I supposed the AP Story opened their eyes this time. Struggling to put a finger on why, I came up with the theory primarily by looking at Congress, that it is the libertarians on left and right who are against, and the conformist, primarily in the center who are acceptive. So this gives us a split where the bottom third and the top third of the political body are opposed to the middle third… If you look at Congress that is exactly how it splits up. Moderates are pro domestic spying, the libertarians are not.

Probably similar is the theory that those beholden to corporate interests are pro-spying, after all, that is normal in the corporate environment; interoffice spying is not limited by any judicial system because it is deemed to be private. Those aghast, tend to fight corporate intrusion from their original political perspective, either left of right.

What the NSA does, watch everything to discern what is happening to increase its chances of survival, is not new. Intelligence has been the secret success of many an empire. Knowing what someone will do before they do it, is pretty comfortable in a world where in a day, we probably pass within 10 feet of 10,000 people (that includes inside our vehicles).

That is what all governments with the capacity, do. The biggest argument against it, is that it is un-American. Sure we have the “ability” to do it, but do we have the restraint, not to…

America has always been ruled by restraint. When Washington was entreated to be the King, he restrained and said no. When the heads of Europe all bet that Washington would invent a method to stay in power, he restrained, and government turned over peacefully. When the US was left in charge of a broken Europe, it put it back together and went home. The only country to invade another and give it back willingly to its original owners.

We had a scare in Boston a while back. Did the NSA protect us then? It’s a secret, no one knows. In Newtown 26 bodies littered the floor of an elementary school. Did the NSA protect us then? When a gunman burst into Aurora firing into the audience, did the NSA protect us then? When Gabby Gifford took a bullet, where was the NSA? Did the NSA protect us then?

That is the point. We are always in danger. But our personal lives are more at risk if our private information should fall into a competitors hands, than being victim of a terrorist. In Boston just 2 people died. In Newton 26. But each and every one of us, is at risk that selective information from ones past, can be used in secret to smear each and every one of us, should it fall into the wrong hands.

What would happen if we shut the entire agency known as the NSA down? A big nothing. They overstepped. It is not knee-jerking anger to respond “Shut them down right now!” It it calm, cool reasoning tipping the balance, that points out simply that is the right way to go.

And now it is Michelle Rhee herself.  The DC darling who was praised by both McCain and Obama during the 08 campaign, now has to contend with the fact that she knew all along the cheating was beyond the parameters of  normal and did nothing about it…   It is one thing if you don’t know, and your underlings who you have told to “produce or else” change their scores underneath of you,   but it another to actually know  and understand the implications (that she and her principals erased and changed the answers from wrong to right), that what you may be proposing is false and to then go forward and propose it anyway using the compromised data to back you up….

Just this year, we had Texas acknowledge that the test results then under then  George W. Bush governorship, were faked.  That pilot project went on to become the “No Child Left Behind” which left a whole generation behind.

Again just this year we had almost the entire district of Atlanta whose amazing results sold the rest of the nation into diving towards Common Core and RTTT , indicted under falsifying all the test results…

You see.

This new fangled educational system does not work unless the results are fabricated.

This is the same new fangled educational system which the Markell administration and Mark Murphy seem to be forcing upon Christina School District as we speak.  This system is dependent upon holding teachers accountable to standards that don’t work….  Then pulling out these faked test results from Texas, DC, and Atlanta, waving them and saying… we want results like these….

Ummm.  No thank you.   Things used to be much better before corporate got involved…

Anyone who has ever worked in any corporation, no matter what geographical spot you live or work in, knows very well your success depends on how you look doing it, not on whether or not things get done ethically…  On the other hand, our sports teams have the opposite philosophy.  To them, it is what you accomplish that matters, no matter how you look in achieving it.

It is time we switch and use the sports model, not the corporate model for our educational needs.  Our children deserve the best.

This is the first thing I saw as I began my day, and that day is ruined already…. On Delaware Liberal this is what greeted me….

Whole Jewish families lined up against the walls of the Warsaw Ghetto, and shotJohn Sigler Head of Delaware Republican Party and NRACourtesy of Mirror.co.uk

Iranians Don’t Have PigeonsCourtesy of 4.bp.blogspot.com

Nazi’s Idea of Crossing State Lines to engage in sport shooting illegal in their own state.John Sigler Head of Delaware Republican Party and NRACourtesy of 4.bp.blogspot.com

What happens when one callously equate human life with pigeons.
John Sigler Type Confuses First Graders with Pigeons In A BoxCourtesy of TheIndyChannel.com

You do not have to draw the same conclusion I did from this video. If you try to equate the two then the onus is on you. This is just a portrayal of how the video made me feel…

That shot of the pigeon still alive, going “why are you doing this! why are you doing this!” would have been just like one of those first graders looking up at Adam Lanza. Sigler and Lanza are alike. It is a free country and I can say so…

If we’d had mandatory background checks, and a registry, Adam Lanza might be on medication right now…..

This is the head of Delaware’s Republican Party. How can anyone ever vote for a Delaware Republican ever… again?

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.

Everyone know’s the Kardashians are the first.  They are everywhere.  But who is second?

The Palin Family, of course…

The Palin family has become second perhaps only to the Kardashians in terms of reality-show performances on TV. Mrs. Palin herself had a show on TLC, “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.” Her daughter Bristol made a splash on “Dancing With the Stars” and currently has a show on Lifetime that also features her sister Willow and son Tripp. Now Mr. Palin has entered the arena.

Birds of a feather, flock together…… 

I'm Grover And I will be your keynote speaker today
Courtesy of ©2012 Michael D’Antuono oil on canvas 30″ x 40″

In an insightful meeting at the Delaware Republican’s Lincoln Day dinner Saturday night, Grover Norquist, the featured speaker, came to give the locals an idea of what was going on in Washington…..

More gridlock.  More obstruction. More intransigence,  In his speech, the prime points were that there would be no compromise.  Republicans were dedicated to seeking full sequestration.  They were going to cut spending no matter what was going to happen.  They don’t care if Dover AFB is going to close; its a good thing because the military budget will be cut in half.  They don’t care if Highway funding is going to be fully put all upon the states; sequestration is going to cut the budget  in half.  They don’t care if there will be no beach rebuilding this summer; Republicans are going to cut the Federal budget in half.  There will be no agriculture support payments; Republicans are going to cut them in half.  There will be no Federal Medicare or Medicaid payments reimbursements made to the states; Republicans are going to let sequestration cut them in half.  When heaven forbid, an oil tanker turns the beaches and marshes of Rehoboth to Ocean City Md, into this century’s Valdez calamity, Both state’s will have to use their general fund to clean it up; the Republicans are going to say no to all new money…. Remember the last East Coast hurricane relief?  You were lucky, was the implication. Forget about any more for any storms in the future…

On the revenue side, huge tax breaks must continue going to oil companies and oil hedge funds; Republicans are going to say taxes were raised too much already.  Huge off-shore tax breaks will be maintained by billionaires and millionaires; after all taxes are raised too much already for any more loopholes to be closed.  (If pressed, they might do away with the mortgage interest deduction since that doesn’t affect billionaires; it only affects the middle class so it won’t create any economic impact.. The implication was that Republicans will do that if necessary, but at the bottom of the upper class; that is where they draw the line… )  The clear message was: it is time to make the poor suffer more; after all, the rich have suffered too much already.

More gridlock.  More obstruction. More intransigence,

“You can’t have compromise when both parties are going in the opposite directions.”  said Grover.  “It doesn’t do any good to say no, no, no, …yes.  It has to always be no, no, no… no.

More gridlock.  More obstruction. More intransigence,

There was little that was new.  Grover did express hope that as the Obama/McCain wave of democratic Senators comes up for a vote this next election, many in traditional Red states, playing a no-gain defense until the new team comes on board, is their best option.. Grover Norquist also made the point that due to the Republican redistricting, the red districts will outnumber the blue in the House until the next redistricting in ten years.

A decade of decadence is a long time.  

Grover did bring up an interesting concept.   That we have red states and blue states and they will be a laboratory of who is right, red or blue… We will see within these experiments whether theology can trump economics, whether philosophy can support a family, or whether an idle belief, can pay the bills….  He seems to believe that side by side experimentation will bode well for the red states instead of the blue.  He is thinking only as a rich person.  We shall see if voters agree with him, if they prefer living in a first class blue state or would rather forebear a third world red state…. His idea will backfire…

He praised Indiana erroneously, calling that a school choice state.  Instead voters threw out their gung-ho school-choice education head and replaced him with a Democrat who is going slow..  He praised Indiana’s privatization plan of the Indiana Turnpike without mentioning this road had not had upgrades to it in over 5 years. It is called the most dangerous Turnpike in America. (The money collected is going to the investment bankers)…  He derided California which has finally achieved a balanced budget.  He praised Wisconsin’s eradication of public unions without mentioning that because of Scott Walker’s governmental pay cuts, the economy in Wisconsin was collapsing while all others were bouncing back from the recession.  So though his scenario as presented painted a glowing picture to those Republicans seated before him, it was full of errors.

But I confess, I agree with his premise.  I too would like to see vindication that in order to run a stable economy you need what’s been missing: a balance between profits, taxation, and job growth and the only way to achieve that is to tax the top echelon much, much more so they reinvest in their state to avoid paying higher taxes…..  As was just done in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland; all economies that are now rising while those of red states are falling or staying the same.

Unfortunately we will have to make the states our laboratory.  We will have no choice but to rely upon the state level to analyze what is working and what is not and then derive from pure evidence, which one of our two parties we need to completely eradicate and do away with…. so government can begin to compromise and to work again.

For on the national scale, Grover promised it: All we are going to have is….. More gridlock.  More obstruction. More intransigence,

We will have it; because Mr. Norquist said so. He promised it in a keynote address, at Dover Downs in Dover Delaware on February 9th, 2013….