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It is so frustrating to live in these times. So many things need commented upon. They need researched. They need exposed. They need discussion.

It is in times like these that one discovers exactly what one’s priorities are.

I woke up feeling the need to comment on Delaware’s wind power. It has been awhile for me and I needed, particularly with the cancer clusters in the news today, to find outwhether any other coal fired power plants had cancer clusters popping out around them.

Then I received some economic news that set me off.   New insights of a Stock Crash that makes 1929 look puny.

I then got a call from someone who had no health care and wanted my advice on how to go about getting a cyst removed…..Another topic that needed addressed.

Later today I got fired up over watching a panel discussion describing the so called union of Canada, the US, and Mexico. Although the presentation was just on trade barriers only, during the questioning, the public conversation turned to covering a union of the three countries. The most telling of the answers was that this type of wild speculation was prevalent only because every negotiation was being done in secret. No one really knows what is going on on the larger scale because each splinter group is meeting with its counterpart without disclosing any information to the other splinter groups.

What was needed was full disclosure with one negotiation held around one table done in the open for all to see………

Sort of a metaphor for Delaware’s State legislature………

Next, while listening to WDEL I got fired up over my children’s education. Ideas popped out of the conversations and I needed to flush them out and post them.

But by the time I got back to post, it was time to check on the court case in San Francisco. Like a kid opening a present, I frantically searched for any comment from that telling exchange. I finally found one just minutes after it was posted.

So as I look back and reflect upon my day, I see I value the environment, cheap energy, open disclosure, improvements in education, and a fierce protection of our privacy. But at the core of my being, I will drop all these to protect the Constitution. The Constitution is really worth giving up ones life over.

And right now, after last weeks vote on the Protect America Act, our Constitution is in danger. Great danger. Of course each of our elected officials can decide NOT to be Julius Caesar and NOT take the reins of a dictatorship that have been handed to them, but they would be bucking the trend of human history, if they did so………

I am struggling to understand how and why any Democrat would or could have voted to allow this travesty to happen. The more I find about the turn surveillance has taken since 9/11, the more apparent it seems that everything was staged to allow the reins of power to be handed to a choice few. For once done, no one can take them away. I am struggling to figure how rational, thinking human beings, could be so unaware of the potental of wrong doing and yet so trusting of those who have proven they cannot be trusted.

After all that is why History is there. In 2002 when protesters were chanting “No Blood For Oil” I smiled and thought that made a nice chant, but that slogan was so far fetched that it never could have seriously been possible. My research into whatever files I could find leading up to the invasion of Iraq, have proved otherwise. Apparently, we did invade Iraq for oil……..

So even though the idea of a “shadow” government that could quietly become the acting government also seems like a nice chant, but is still a bit too far-fetched and could never be possible,……. I have, no choice, but to act like it is, based on the past actions of this administration.

Yes, of course I hope I’m wrong……I hope it with all my heart. But had a greater number of Americans seen the light in 02, and frozen this nation in its tracks, we would not be where we are today, looking over casualty lists……

This stuff is not out in the open. The main stream media neither can or will investigate deeply enough. Even then, the stories are getting buried when and if they are reported.

I can only hope that more citizens become concerned that their right to privacy has gone with their ability to challenge this administration.

With spy satellites now focusing cameras on our backyards with a resolution of 4.54 inches, we need to be very careful about who is looking. Men, it would be a smart idea to keep your clothes on. Women, watch out for those cleavage shots………

Ladies and Gentlemen: the Constitution is in grave danger. You need to hold your Congress accountable: they have made a decision worse than the Dred Scott Decision. Don’t just phone or email……That becomes a statistic. Show up at one of his meetings in Georgetown, Dover, Wilmington, or Newark……Ask him in front of everyone why he decided to sell your freedoms down the river……….Only public scrutiny and/or embarrassment can and will make the difference. For if our public officials  defray from defending the Constitution, then it is up to us to ensure that this document, and the freedoms that come with it, are still around for our grandkids and great-grandkids…………..

Even if just to stall for time, bite up several of the six months, distract the administration from carrying out their mysterious plans,  impeachment procedures need to begin.  Had such fortitude been present in Rome, as Caesar crossed the Rubicon, history could have turned out much differently………….

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Ohio Class Submarine  US Navy

Saw a good friend today over Easter Break, who offered this comment.

He does submarines.

One, it brought home how dangerous our technology has evolved in order to protect us and keep us safe by mobile storage of nuclear missiles underwater.

Two it spoke volumes of a professionalism that exists, I believe in every member of our armed forces, that seems to be sorely lacking in the top circle of advisers of our government.

I mentioned before, that our military succeeds in taking complicated bits of knowledge, breaking them down into logical pieces, and feeding them piecemeal to a collective group of every race, religion, educational, and economic background known to man. This would be a good model for our education system to copy, in order to start the rectification of America’s excellence in math and engineering.

The difference between discipline and brutality, is that one is positive and the other negative. Discipline is enforced because all parties, both the instructor and instructed, understand that it saves lives. Brutality, however, is when we allow the worst part of ourselves to intimidate those who oppose us, and hope such a blatant display of force will subdue them into submission. The latter is primarily supported by the argument of “because I said so.”

I think Von Steuben, the fowl mouthed Prussian drill instructor who relentlessly drilled the Revolutionary American troops at Valley Forge, is the one who said, “it takes great discipline to overcome the natural tendency to flee the enemy, after seeing a cannonball disembowel your best friend standing next to you.

One of the best teachers I have seen was Ms Roane, a first grade teacher for my son. She understood the energy level inside of a first grader and pro actively channeled that energy into acquiring knowledge, instead of useless time-consuming ploys to keep them quiet, but do nothing to teach.

One, she was nice to look at. Every day she dressed as if she might be called on to plea for the salvation of the Newark Chrysler plant. She was methodical with her praise and always corrected and disciplined in a positive manner. Example: she would explain to the class how a persons action was preventing the entire class from doing their task, and then would address the student publicly and discipline him for his action.

After a few short weeks, she had no discipline problems. I have seen her accolades in various local publications as parents often write in to praise her for her demeanor and effectiveness.

I remember another educator, Mr Pritchett who headed one of the inner city schools I “choiced” my child into. His job was larger and tougher, he had a entire school to run, but he ran it well. (I often tease him for giving us George Bush, because Bush had lost all his primaries up until Pritchett introduced him at Riverfront Center as the “next President of the United States.” Thereafter, the curse was dropped.)

Again, he explained why an infraction was bad for everyone and then he would address the infractee and persuasively win a promise of support.

This approach to discipline is readily seen on the sideline of our schools athletic fields, and one must wonder why it fails to permeate into the classroom. It, along with ability, is what differentiates a good from a bad coach.

But we see little of this accountability in our elected officials and their appointees who oversee the process of educating our children. We used too. Tom Carper, at least did something towards improving the standards to which we hold our students accountable. The sad case is that, after he moved on, the wheels began to spin.

As Mike Protack would be inclined to say, perhaps it is because we have the wrong officials.

As we gear up to new elections, and even right here, right now, as several districts go to the polls this spring to fill replacement seats, we Delawareans need to hold them accountable on the single greatest issue that affects the future economic viability of our state.

And that is education. Or more specifically, education in science and math. Or even more specialized, engineering. What can these candidates bring to the table to improve the engineering capability of Delaware students?

Expected answer: “Gee, I haven’t really thought of that.”

Appropriate answer: The state should fund .5 mil for stipends to assist engineering classes. Those students who possess superior math skills should be challenged by an interesting and enlightening curriculum. Visiting professors could be brought in to generate interest and excite students into the possibility of pursuing a career in engineering.”

But what is most needed, is to change the image of the future engineer from being a geek, to something to be sought after. Immigrant cultures pursue this naturally when they come to this country. The problem lies not with our abilities as a culture, but with our attitudes.

There is no shortage of raw material for potential engineers. Our cities are full of them. Right now, these resources are wasted. Particularly in Delaware, the students of the city are deemed a curse imposed by an archaic judicial order upon the suburban elite. I find this demeaning attitude to be the culprit. To bypass it, Wilmington needs their own school district, hopefully headed by Mayor Baker, after his mayoral term expires, to prove there is nothing wrong with students who happen to live in the inner city.

I am sure racial skeptics will scoff at this suggestion and say privately that inner city kids can never rise above their inadequacies. What a delusional state one must be in to even suggest it………………………………

To them I answer:

Take a look who is running our submarines………………………..

Had the opportunity to watch the Health Care debate in Las Vegas. Here are some of the gems.

“We are looking at a system where people tell you the words you want to hear, but are less than forthcoming with plans to make it happen.”

“Half of the bankruptcies in this country are the result of people not being able to pay their hospital bills.”

“31% of the money in the insurance system goes toward the “for profit” system. Using that toward bringing down health costs would prevent financial insolvency.”

“Corporate profits, stock options, execuitive salarys takes 31% out of the healthcare dollar with no benefit to the health of anyone.”

“Doctors do testing to cover their backsides. do away with malpractice.”

“Take the profit out of medicine. Health care is a right, not a privelege,”

“Who has the courage and willingness to take a stand for the American people and take on the insurance companies who give us diminishing returns and insist on higher co-pays and higher deductibles.”

“How does Ameica plan to stay competitive against other countries with lower health care costs.”

“If Individuals hold on to more of their money, using only a fraction of the money to maintain the system. eliminate costs, purchase drugs by bulk, thereby passing the lower costs on to the economy”.

“Single pay, medicare option is the way to go. If people chose this option, this country could evolve. Competition among insurance companies is not the answer for competition drives up prices. Each company is cherry picking for the most lucrative health dollars, whereas the poor will get stuck on Walter Reed type government programs which will collapse under the strain, and a death spiral of the entire system will occur.”

“Some suggest that the government provide subsidies to insurance companies. Did it work for pharmeceuticals? Take insurance companies out of the picture. Health Care is a right.”

“The change will not happen through Congress. Are you kidding? They are beholden to too many lobbyists. Any attempt to change will be chopped up, water downed giving, no relief.”

“This country is literally bankrupt. Controlled by the military industrial complex, this country is whistling through the grave yard. You cannot trust a president. You can only trust the Amercan people. We need a plan where you chose the options. You know what is best for you. On this issue, you cannot trust the leadership. They have been screwing up for fifty years, have you had enough yet…..”

‘There is a role for the president. That is to change the culture. To energize the environment which sets a tone to demand from us the best that is in us. We diet all the time, but with a trainer we have a greater chance of success. The president is not an solution, the president is a tool, the people can use it.’

‘Lobbyists pay for the people who pay for the campaigns that pay for the candidates who pay for the marketers who manipulate you people to vote for those who have been told to suscribe to the view that was paid for originally.’ — Gravell

One of the fallacies of any leadership position is that one is held responsible for everything under ones jurisdiction, even if when not under their direct control. Accountability as we see today, unfortunately has its price, and something so innocuous as a year ago procedural firing of US attorneys can spawn a crises of severe proportions.

Currently in my dealings with the Public Educational system, I have been forced to settle on mediocre performance from students, because of a antique bias among Delaware’s educational professionals.

That bias pertains to use of electronic data acquisition as opposed to using books.

Most homework assignments require references to hard copies resources, and will not utilize internet sources. Perhaps they mean well, but they have forced irreparable harm upon today’s students.

Most of those who establish educational policy are computer illiterate.

Here is an example. Driver’s Ed requires a student to clip drunk driving stories from newspapers and paste onto a poster board. Forty years ago, no problem. But today, who in the hell buys the paper? Ok, so until the project is done, buy a paper. Considering that police blotters are not allowed. and that only a news story with a reporters bi-line attached can be used, the child is still doomed to failure……………..

Don’t believe me? Try standing at the front door of a Wawa, going through every paper on the rack, looking for any accident reported? Learning this was unproductive from my first child, for my second child, I thought I would sit in one of our fine New Castle Libraries and skim the massive stacks of papers. Finding nothing in over five hours of reading, the pointlessness began to sink in. What is this teaching our kids? Perseverance?

The real answer is this. It teaches them that education, at least in terms of their parent’s generation, is SO STUPID.

How did I help get my kids project done? I had my son Google accidents in all the counties surrounding Delaware, then took a day off, and picked up papers in Lancaster PA, then on to Bel Air and Chestertown Maryland

It was pass/fail.

Why a student cannot point, click, print, read, and learn, is beyond me.

Another example of bureaucratic antique thinking: my daughter requires 3 hard sources for her paper. She has instant access to 1,694,935 on her topic of alternative medicine. But she is requred to have three books, still sitting on the shelf of her local library. She has been asking her errant and inconsiderate father to take her for two weeks. But the library is not open after 9:00 pm, not does it open before 10:00 am. If one is going to demand hard sources, then those entities should also demand that libraries, where those sources are stored, remain open for twenty four hours.

Visit a library at noon and it is empty. Return just minutes before closing time, and it is full. If we are paying for libraries to serve the public, doesn’t it make sense for their opening hour to match our needs, not theirs?

About the libraries, I am not totally serious. For where are you going to find a midnight librarian. But using this example brings out the idiocy of misguided bureaucratic educationists who believe life today is like it was forty years ago.

Their policies are seriously limiting our students educational potential and disrupting their natural will to learn………………………..

This bias and ban against electronic sources of knowledge is overdue for re-evaluation and needs to be rescinded now. Or perhaps, we will need someone who is more in touch with today’s world, running the Department of Education in the state of Delaware.

Horton hears Blue Wind Blowing

Karen, you at the PSC have heard so much.

What is one more?.

In Horton Hears A Who, a childhood book by Dr. Suess, the elephant’s big ears overhear conversations on a speck of dust, and only one Who, has the squawk that makes the difference in being heard or not, to those about to destroy the dust speck..

In the book, that squawk saves their planet.

If only I could be so presumptuous……………………………

However, they say our childhood memories make up our core. And perhaps that is true.

For when the time comes to stand up and be counted, those memories of sitting next to mother, and being read to, are the ones that now block out all the research, facts, figures, I have done on this issue, and in a gentle human way now seem so clear, and so purposeful.

My children, your children, all children need this Wind Farm to go through. For you, it is about money and who will get it………For us, it is whether our life here, in this state, is worth forbearing. For us, it is the difference in the amount of CO2 that the Wind Farm will save, For us it is the difference in Sulfur, Nitrous chemicals,and Mercury embedded in our children’s lungs. For us, it is the difference between paying 6 cents per future kilowatt, and paying 13 cents per future kilowatt.

Wind, despite its problems, is the choice that this little Who believes we need to make.

Tommywonk has a great posting on Christiana School District’s “take” of inner city Wilmington’s educational needs.

If you haven’t read it, it illuminates the hypocrisy of the planning portion of the educational system saying “we need to invest serious time and effort in order to inspire inner city children to want to achieve“, and the real budget crunchers saying “we need to consolidate costs so let’s close inner city schools.”

Both are right. We do need to promote learning in our inner city environments. Not just here, but nationwide as well.

However, we cannot continue to run 17 million $ overruns either.

What to do:

The new leader of the Christiana school district has come up with the only viable solution she can within her perameters. She has no choice as hired help but to stay within those boundries imposed upon her.

So………………………to fix this problem we need to expand the perameters wide enough so that they include continuing those schools in those neighborhoods where they are MOST needed.

This does not come from her; it come from us. Whether it is absolving the 17 million debt, or whether it is providing state and federal monies needed to rebuild inner city schools, or whether it is to branch out and provide supervised home schooling in daycare throughout the city, it is the personal responsibility of each one of us to prod our legislators to make it happen, understanding that there will be a cost attached.

Her job, and Tommywonk’s, Nancy’s, and mine, will be to sell you on the fact that this increased cost is the smaller price to pay versus the social cost of doing nothing……….

And, as I sit here (on Google Earth) and look down across this entire country we call the United States of America, I can think of no greater waste of resources squandered, then the intellectual potential of it’s inner city youth.

Just imagine that if all those negatives we associate with inner city life, were instead positives, how wonderfully great this country could be.

What to do:

Contact your state representatives. You can find out who by looking at the maps and contact them at their websites or message phone numbers. Tell them you think raising the intellectual awareness of inner city children is more important than not increasing taxes. That is essentually what it boils down to.

Follow, campaign for, and contribute to those candidates who are running for federal offices and believe that the Federal government needs to invest more dollars in its inner city education.

Finally, we need to realize that to get funding, we must go hat in hand to where the money is: our wealthiest 2% of the population. Whether through phlanthropy or increased government giving, that 2% at the top needs to ante up their part to insure that all other Americans, expecially those of the inner city, will have the same opportunity to become wealthy, as did they.

Recently I was reminded of what Martin Luther King stood for.

Quite often, as minorities protest and rant and rave at their inequalities, we tend, after a polite listening of their grievances, to acquiesce to their protests and give in. After all, we as Americans, believe that all should be treated fairly, for after all we feel that everyone has the same rights under our law. Right? So why are our prisons filled mostly with blacks? Why are the poorest sections of our cities inhabited mostly by blacks? Why do the rules of “Economics” as taught in our schools, not apply to our African American ghettos?

After all, does not the law guarantee everyone equal protection under the law? Of course it does.

Is it not criminal to show prejudice according to race in housing, in hiring, or in hitting, aka Rodney King? Of course it is. Everything that government stands for, is there to protect those rights. Lawyers (in need of work) are lined up, ready to defend those rights in any court found in this country. So why do Jesse Jackson and other followers of Martin Luther King still decry racism every time it seems like a black person gets to be on television? The laws are set in stone.

But still, if one looks at the entire African American segment of the population, one sees some progressive movement, but more than likely, there are still areas as impoverished as they were in the nineteen seventies. I remember the 2nd Watts conflagrations, after Rodney King was beaten by police chief Gate’s henchman. It cost Bush his presidency. When looking at it on television, it was obvious that nothing had changed in twenty years. Twenty years! Except that Korean shopowners lost everything instead of the whites…….

Today we find guidance in King’s own words:

“I have a dream that one day, the Negro will be judged, not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character.”

Are there perhaps more blacks in prison because they do more crimes? Are there perhaps more blacks in ghettos because they pissed away their right to education and now cannot find meaningful employment? Are there perhaps more blacks being smacked around by bigoted cops because they are more mouthy and more inclined to piss cops off? Do I know the answers to these questions? No, that is why I posed them rhetorically.

The key to this puzzle lies in this phrase: “judged by the content of their character.” If one sends their child to school and tells him not to listen to “authority”, then races down to the school office threatening and waving their hands when that student is disciplined for insubordination, then one’s character sucks. There is no other way around it: one’s character sucks.

If one breaks into a house, rapes and kills a minor: one’s character sucks. There is no other way around it.

If one finally gets a job, then calls out repeatedly, drinks on the job, and basically tries to show his independence from his employer by civil disobedience, and is then fired: one’s character sucks.

If one fathers a child and has nothing to do with it forever, it is undeniable: one’s character sucks.

No matter what the color of one’s skin…………………………………..

All of us are individuals. It is time we make Martin Luther Kings vision real, and stop treating people by class distinctions. There is no limit to what the African American individual can do. If there is a problem, it lies with those who provide a psychic crutch for such a large segment of the population, and conjole them that they will never amount to anything until “whitey” gives then “his”.

I will tell you flat-out that there is no reason every black child in our cities cannot be a doctor. I have seen it. They all have the potential. They all have it within their character. They just need it developed. How can I say this? Because I know I could never find the courage to march over that bridge in Selma. They did.

They had character then. They still have it now. Now today, like then, they need to look towards themselves, and not wait for a handout that realistically will never come………. And we, the rest of us, need to stand ready to help those who want to help themselves…..

If we could just unlock the potential buried in our cities, this country would be greater yet…….