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Actually it was the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights act that brought this home…   The Civil Rights Act among many other things enforced the  role a Federal Government should have over the national character.  Prior, if the South behaved in one way, that was acceptable.  If the North behaved in another, that was acceptable…

The Civil Rights Act stated that some behaviors are indeed deemed not acceptable.  It dealt with opposing local laws, opposing local enforcements of segregation, and opposing  individual business practices  perpetuated by the wishes of small handfuls of individual business owners who like Hobby Lobbyists, thought they could do what they liked….

The Civil Rights Act in no uncertain terms, said:  No! We are a nation of principles embodied in our Constitution as well as our Declaration of Independence, and you cannot violate those principles in the name of “your” personal freedom….

Hobby Lobby sort of changes all that… The big fear is that it just opened a door so that corporations can freely do whatever they feel is best, and that any legislation voted and signed, now has no real impact upon them because they are after all: … corporations….  You have all read the slippery slope theories and so I won’t redo them.  But slippery slopes have a tendency to sometimes be idle warnings….  A lot of people walk on slippery slopes; very few fall off… In part that may be due to warnings from others that they are on slippery slopes and to be be careful…  Just like a road sign of a car with skid marks makes one say, “oh yeah, that’s right, it’s raining, I’d better take this curve slower.” and possibly affect the outcome of that turn….

But slippery slope or not, the Hobby Lobby decision does do this:  it says that what a government says you have to do, you don’t have to do, provided you can find a reason that is valid for you not doing so…

And that is rather Libertarian.

It makes one sigh that history is a lost art.  Because there were times in our history when Libertarianism indeed was the predominant philosophy…. So why was there never a Libertarian Party?   After all, one would think that a dominant philosophy would have a Libertarian Party, correct?

How soon we forget…..  The reason there was no libertarian party formed to compete against other parties is because during this time of Libertarianism, there was no structure of Government requiring organized parties….  Of course I am referring to the times under the Articles of Confederation….  When the idealism of throwing off the king of England, made the predominant meme that one of “not taking on a new authority to replace the role of the other”….

The reason we don’t have a Libertarian run government today, is because the reality turned out to be that it could not work.  It’s own beliefs worked against its own existence…  How can you have an effective government telling you what to do when your government was founded on its not being able to tell you what to do?….

So, America’s top citizens at that time scrapped the Confederation, established a Constitution, and today, we are still here…. Debating Libertarianism rampant in today’s court….

Just looking over the final stats, I did see that the percentage of  cases in which this Supreme Court decided things 5-4 were only 13%. Yet, its 9-0 decisions marked 65% of this year’s final tally.  So it is with a grain of salt that we should dismiss the entire court… In doing so we fail to see the wisdom behind having the third branch of government…  It allows for the last look.

This year the average age of the Supreme Court is 68….  it’s average composite would have been born in 1946… would have gone through grade school in the 50’s while segregation was perfectly legal, would have been a high school senior the year Kennedy was shot,  college would have structured by the military-industrial complex, being too soon they would have missed out on the protests of ’68 onward, would think Jersey Boys were the ultimate musical group ever, would never try drugs, would have been disappointed in the 70’s as that decade’s media ridiculed all the structure with which they grew up and made them iconoclasts inside their own world, would always fondly remember Mom at home and Dad always working to the bone, would be in their late 30’s when Reagan came into in office, and see in his grandfather qualities the fondness of the times they grew up, would be 45 when the Soviet Union imploded, 57 when we invaded Iraq, 62 when the Global Depression hit, and now stand at the cusp of 68…

Justice Kennedy.  The swing.  Appointed by a someone today dead 10 years, 27 days,  elected 34 years ago this November…. Thirty four years…  Ironically half a lifetime of a 68 year old.  In some cultures, a grandparent.   Who ironically, when that president was sworn in, the number one single was “Imagine”…..

Today, people under 20 years of age make up over a quarter of the U.S. population (27.3%), and people age 65 and over make up one-eighth (12.8%)…The national median age is 36.8 years…

So to say the Supreme Court is representative of all of America is bolderdash…  Nothing could be further from the truth… But perhaps that was exactly the point in how the Supreme Court came to have as much power as it does, now checking the other two branches?

Originally the Supreme Court was an appendage organ of the Constitution.  It’s power was sharpened only 30 years after the Constitution was founded when changes were being made by Congress and the Executive Branch, that woke up the Supreme Court and stirred it into saying,… “Hey, no!  That is not what the Constitution meant.  We were there! We know…”   It was kind of hard to refute that argument back then…  If you walked and talked with Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton, you probably had a better grasp on the  Constitution than some thirty year punk still green behind their ears….

It is a global common tendency of youth to dismiss the wisdom of their elders…  “You don’t know because you don’t live in our world now”, is a very common expression in most households of teenagers no matter what upbringing those old children have had. I fondly remember my frustration with my own parent’s conservatism, thinking they were incapable of thinking anything different what they had been told to think.  My children made me realize otherwise.  In fact, once I was seasoned I was surprised to learn that my parents thought they were the rebels dismissing the conservative attitudes their parents had bestowed, and were proud they were the cutting edge of liberal child-raising in their day… Furthermore, in candid discussions with my grandparents, I was quite surprise to hear how they threw out the patterns of THEIR parents and raised their children using the cutting liberalism of child raising in THEIR day…   Bottom line, my great grandparents must have been REALLY conservative…  And now, according to my children… I’m just like they were….

No one would let a child run a family.  No one should let a 30 year old run a business.  No one should have a 40 year old run a nation… But we do.  Rarely does it work….

Point is:  the Supreme Court will always play it’s role… That role is to look at fundamental changes and decide how they stack up to the Constitution…  As a periphery example of what could happen without this type of check, just review what happened to our own economy since the Bush tax cuts went into effect.  With a new crowd taking over our economy since 2000, dismissing the old tried and true policies, we have seen how destructive new untested fads can be… Imagine if an economic court of New Dealers had been present to say “NO, this is the 1920’s all over?”  Our national debt could be zero now.  The same is true in government.  Were Congress to become completely bought out, and sell our votes for arbitration, and there were no check?  The end of the world as we know it.

Will old geezers always be right?  No.

But if they are wrong, natural forces congeal and work harder to overturn the well-intentioned but error-filled decisions.  Slavery took a war.  Segregation took television beatings of a proud race to show us that intimidation would not work; beatings wouldn’t stop “being right” from moving forward.

But if the geezers are right, it stops bad right then and there….

Not to absolve the Supreme Court but their primary function isn’t to distinguish between “right” or “wrong”.  Their job specifically, is to see how our system of laws stacks up to our Constitution… by looking at one challenged law at a time.  Sometimes when they do, it comes up right…. and sometimes when they do, it doesn’t….

If you think the Court was wrong,  and if you think it is out of touch, YOU HAVE AN OBLIGATION  to vote Democratic in 2014, and to express to all others, both Republican and Democrat  the importance of THEIR voting democratic as well in 2014 to send this signal, and we will see, just how wrong this court is…. If you can’t get out the vote… then gee, maybe the court was right after all.

Which… as the framers of the Constitution intended, in the end, puts us, the American people….  firmly in charge of our government….

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Delaware's Heroes For What

We hail our fallen heroes.  Hopefully many of you stirred some dull roots with spring rain today:…  memories, both a blessing and a curse.

But for whom did they die?

Did they die for….

Top 5 Contributors, 2009 – 2014,       Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC      Contributor      Total Indivs PACs
AstraZeneca PLC                                                                     $71,550                                               $36,550               $35,000
JPMorgan Chase & Co                                                          $58,200                                              $33,200               $25,000
Ashland Inc                                                                                $55,420                                              $25,700               $29,720
Blue Cross/Blue Shield                                                      $46,000                                                  $6,000               $40,000
Bank of America                                                                     $40,440                                                 $3,940               $36,500

Those were Tom Carper’s top 5 contibutors……

Or did they die for….

Top 5 Contributors, 2009 – 2014,        Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC     Contributor           Total Indivs PACs
Young, Conaway et al                                                        $121,300                                            $121,300                     $0
Skadden, Arps et al                                                              $92,600                                             $87,600                       $5,000
Grant & Eisenhofer                                                              $70,049                                              $70,049                       $0
Comcast Corp                                                                         $69,200                                            $44,200                       $25,000
Morris, Nichols et al                                                            $57,550                                              $57,550                        $0

Those were Chris Coons’ top 5 contributors……

Or did they die for…....

Top 5 Contributors, 2013 – 2014,       Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC     Contributor           Total Indivs PACs
Investment Co Institute                                                $12,500                                                 $8,140                            $2,500
Skadden, Arps et al                                                            $10,640                                                 $8,140                            $2,500
National Multi Housing Council                                $10,500                                                 $0                                     $10,500
Bank of America                                                                  $10,250                                                 $750                                 $9,500
AstraZeneca PLC                                                                 $10,198                                                 $250                                 $9,948

 

These are John Carney’s top contributors……

Our state relative to nationally, is actually on the good end of campaign contribution spectrum.  Nothing here, is really out of line. You should see some in other states…

But let us isolate by industry…..

For John Carney…. 

Top 5 Industries, 2013 – 2014,       Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC       Industry Total           Indivs PACs
Insurance                                                       $96,520                                                                   $2,820                     $93,700
Securities & Investment                          $93,000                                                                  $1,500                     $91,500
Lawyers/Law Firms                                  $59,110                                                                   $45,610                     $13,500
Commercial Banks                                    $49,000                                                                  $1,250                       $47,750
Finance/Credit Companies                    $43,250                                                                  $5,250                      $38,000

For Chris Coons…….

Top 5 Industries, 2009 – 2014,      Campaign Cmt                                                Industry Total             Indivs PACs
Lawyers/Law Firms                                  $1,495,387                                                    $1,341,519                    $153,868
Leadership PACs                                        $512,900                                                           $0                              $512,900
Lobbyists                                                       $345,302                                                       $325,472                        $19,830
Securities & Investment                        $296,800                                                       $235,300                      $61,500
TV/Movies/Music                                     $228,157                                                          $163,800                       $64,357

For Tom Carper……..

Top 5 Industries, 2009 – 2014,       Campaign Cmte                                            Industry Total               Indivs PACs
Insurance                                                     $371,710                                                          $94,470                         $277,240
Securities & Investment                        $320,340                                                      $125,840                       $194,500
Lawyers/Law Firms                                  $294,382                                                       $170,761                        $123,621
Lobbyists                                                        $214,262                                                     $207,042                            $7,220
Pharmaceuticals/Health Products      $207,710                                                      $50,300                         $157,410

And now, in what I believe is the first time ever…. here is the combination giving you an idea of who influences our 3 man delegation…  Compiled by adding together all three’s industry totals listed above and then ranking them top down…..

 

Lawyers/Law Firms   ……………..    $1,848,879

Securities & Investment …………….   $710,140

Insurance…..,,,,,,,,,……………. , ……   $668,257

Leadership PACs ………………………. $675,400

Lobbyists  ………………………………,…$568,779

Pharmaceuticals/Health Products $486,108

Commercial Banks  …………………….$435,240

TV/Movies/Music……………………….$292,067

Finance/Credit Companies………….$208,865

========

And that is who owns our delegation….  Just seeing the visual makes it clear why some of the anti-people votes cast by this delegation, … are ever cast at all….   No, contrary to how we exclaim… They are not insane.  They are practical….

It will get worse with McCutcheon passed…

Already the amount of dark money as shown by tallies done by the Center for Responsive Politics show that nondisclosing groups have already reported spending more than three times as much as they had at this point in the 2012 elections — a presidential cycle when higher spending would be expected.”

Did you get that?  The unprecedented spending done in 2012, a contested presidential year, as of now been tripled over the same point of time back in 2012…….. . And it is both sides. In the past dark money was 80% Conservative, 20% Liberal.  Today (2014), it is 60% Conservative; 40% Liberal…   Spending by liberal nondisclosing groups is more than four times higher than it was at this point in 2012, while their conservative counterparts have tripled their previous spending level……

Which means, no tv watching this summer… and social media will become a real turn-off….  Both mean that most of America will tune out this election…  Thank you, Supreme Court…..   What were you smoking?

And if most of America tunes out this election,   it again begs the moral and serious question…. for whom did they die?  Certainly not us.

Delaware's Heroes

 

 

 

 

Today, March 25th, the Supreme Court hears the Hobby Lobby case.

The question before the court is this:

If a law violates one’s religion, does one have to follow it?  We have by fortuity and circumstance, brought ourselves so low to  now ask of our court, to decide which of the two shall have predominance… Law or Religion.

If law wins, than religions must conform to the law; if religion wins, then to circumvent any law, one simply has to state it is against one’s religion.

There are good reasons for both sides, depending upon which predominates in your mind.  If you think religion is above the government, then obviously you will think that as an individual, your government shall not make you do something your religion tells you is wrong…. Basically the law is compelling you to sin.

We’ve seen it before.  Burkas:  your religions dictates you wear them, and the law says you can’t for safety reasons… Withholding medical care for a child,   your religion tells you to put faith into divine intervention, and when that turns out badly, the state sends you away for murder. Vaccinations.  your religion tells you no, but the government says yes…..

In all those cases religion lost;  here is why.

There were other people affected.  Religion is a deep personal internal experience.  and the law generally upholds that one has the right to adhere to doctrines if one wishes…. AS LONG AS THEY DO NOT HARM SOMEONE ELSE.   The canon of law is very clear, that hurting other people, cannot be excused on the account of ones religions… The Burka ban is to protect from human bombs.  The courts have said that if safety in a crowd  is an issue for many other people, then the law can be changed to violate the harm-giver’s religion.  The potential for harm controls the dynamics of the case.

Likewise the dead child not receiving medical care can be a very moving religious experience, but the child died.  He obviously was harmed ant therefore the law trumps religion. The potential for harm controls the dynamics of the case.

Again the same is true over withholding vaccinations.  Not being vaccinated creates a possible host-carrier for the disease sometime in the future…  It is not just the subject at risk for failing to become vaccinated.  Everyone else is susceptible to that carried organism.  The potential for harm to many controls the dynamics of the case.

So we turn to birth control. One of which is abortion.  Who could possibly be harmed over not insuring contraception?  Is it really as cut and dried as Rush Limbaugh speaks, when he says it is all about him paying  for Sandra Fluke to have sex?  He’s paying and it isn’t even with him?   Tant pis.

Prophylactics.  Who gets harmed?  That one is easy.  Every person who picks up HIV for one. For two, gonorrhea and syphilis. For three, someone getting the herpes virus.  Harm is endemic.  And like vaccinations, harm can be unsuspectingly spread to others. Lack of free contraception could cause multiple spouses irreparable harm through no fault or wrongdoing of their own.  Everyone has the right to intercourse, just as everyone has a right to their own Roth-IRA.  But not everyone has an Roth-IRA now, do they?  Many can’t afford it and so do without.  Same with contraception.  Therefore not funding free prophylactics causes irreparable harm to innocent people….

Chemicals, birth control pills and RU-486.   Who gets harmed if these are unavailable?  That one is easy.  The future baby (def: humanness does not  or will ever start until birth), the mother, the father, the grandparents, the great grandparents, the physician,  society in general, future taxpayers…  Quite a few harmed souls actually…. Withholding these birth control items is exactly on par with withholding antibiotics to a child dying from blood poisoning.  Just as the child is suffering needlessly through no fault on its own, so is the pregnant woman suffering as is her child, though no fault of their own.  Normally she would have gotten free contraception. But no, religion stepped in and now that is impossible.

Third is performed abortion.  This is an emotional topic, that some equate with murder.  The courts have flatly said it is not.  Life begins at birth, always has, always will.  Therefore performed abortions are perfectly legal, even though some people may not agree.  And here the law is clear.  They have the right to decide for themselves and not agree if they so choose, but they do not have any right to decide for others.  No one does. That is embedded in the foundation of our founding documents…. That is the definition of freedom.  One cannot say they for freedom and yet rail against choice.  That is a scientific impossibility.  Obviously what those well meaning people are trying to express is that they are all for freedom when it applies to them, but certainly not when it applies to others who have a different value system from them.  Enforcing the right to free abortions, is like allowing burkas to be worn without restriction, fully knowing that suicide bombers are rampant in the crowds around you…  Banning abortions for certain women, is the equivalent to telling the Israeli population, ” oh, sorry; no protection for you; you have to die if someone sets off a bomb, because you see, burkas are so sacred, we aren’t going to violate one of our tiny minority’s religious beliefs.  If someone smuggles a bomb in under one, sigh, oh well.

If you are sharp about your wits, you picked up the clue I left you in the paragraph above.  Right up there where I said..”they do not have any right to decide for others”…..  Probably Conservatives will pick it up faster than contraception supporters.  “Wait a minute” they will say, “see, that is exactly what you are doing to us by making us pay for contraception when we don’t want to cough up the money for it.  You are deciding for us, what we have to do…”

And that is exactly right….   We are.

If you remember up at the top of this piece of writing where I stated this case was to decide the supremacy of law versus religion? Well that is the caveat.  In religious circles we are deciding what one needs to do. We are saying that contraception will be available to everyone through their insurance free of charge….  In the legal realm that is the law.  You can choose to follow it or not.  If not, then beware of consequences.  Why just today, I saw a Toyota that by my guess, chose not to follow the posted speed limit.  He didn’t look too happy either….  We make decisions every day on whether to follow a law or not, and we choose to what degree we wish to comply… Some of us, unluckily, will pay a price….  But though angry, we really have no right to bring in religion….  Because it is a non-religious law….

In the religious world, we are however making a person (although admittedly in an extremely indirect and via a convoluted pathway, be associated with something he doesn’t wish…  However, that is not a problem of our governmental courts.  Religious issues are not in the bailiwick of the Supreme Court.  It decides issues of law and order, and is forbidden on deciding on religion. Instead, religious issues need to be decided by a denominational or religious court if their denomination should happen to have them… If not, they should then be decided by that religion’s Inquisition or equivalent…. Then through whatever authority those courts have, they need to exercise their options of enforcing those religious edicts in ways that do not run up against the laws of the land…

A second issue is whether information or facts on file inside a Delaware Courthouse is also a real person.  Are Corporations people too,  as Romney once said?  That is preposterous to even consider, but alas, so it will be one of the hinges on which this outcome depends.    The sole point of this case is that a corporation (Hobby Lobby) is so sad, it’s heartbroken that it will have to pay for contraception for its employees, it cries every night and has insomnia. It can’t urinate correctly and has irregular bowel movements.  As a result, this corporation is now suffering from malnutrition, and dehydration. Quite possibly, through all the duress and stress, this corporation has also suffered brain damage, causing its malignant depression.  It might even have cancer….

If a corporation is not a person, then this case is simply dismissed.  Corporations are subservient to human beings and therefore must confirm to the laws of the land in which they may find themselves.  But if a corporation IS a person, then we have a battle over which person suffers the most, if free birth control is abandoned…. or…. no longer free…

If a corporation IS deemed to be a person… the next question for discussion, is when does that person-hood begin…. Did it start when it is born,upon the signing of its documents?  Or, has it existed as a corporation ever since its idea was first conceived?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delawares US Senator Chris Coons

I wasn’t going to say anything; obviously I’ve changed my mind as the controversy continues to swill around Chris Coon’s “no” vote against his putting a certain person who once represented a cop killer on the bench….

Chris has said this vote was difficult for him, and I think it would be for any of us finding ourselves in his position.  It is easy to have an opinion and act on it when sides are clearly divided.  As when it is you against them.

It is not so easy when your close friends are sharply divided, and half want you go go one way; the other half want you to go the next… When in that situation people develop formulas to guide them;  such as take a poll and alienate the lesser amount;  another is to check with those who are closest to you, and go the way they suggest.  A third is to flip a coin, since you lose either way and gain nothing.  A fourth is to skip the vote.  And a fifth, is to actually look inside yourself, weigh all the data you are privileged to see,  seek out the best and worst of both sides, then make a decision on what you think is best…

That last one is a doosey.

But that is what we elect our officials to do.  We can’t be there ourselves.  We have mouths to feed, bills to pay, bosses to satisfy, and spouses too mollify, and our duty is to pick who we think will do their best making these decisions in our absence…  Among leaders, we call it delegation. We delegate these decisions to someone else, and trust they make the correct and right ones.

If you read through Chris’s statement, the emotion jumps off the page that it wasn’t an easy decision for him.  None of us who throw invective bombs his way, ever sat down with the family of a fallen police officer and ask how they feel.   Therefore we only know half of the equation; and to be straight up, that half is the left-brained, logical side of the equation.  Respectfully, the lawyer who represents a client should not be pasted as being aligned to that client, because that, is what lawyers do…. Neither should a plumber be blamed because he once fixed Eric Bodenweiser’s faucet…  Same thing;  logically speaking;  it’s work, that’s all…

But tell me truthfully… did you just cringe when I mentioned fixing Eric Bodenweiser’s faucet?  If you were in a bar, and this great guy next to you suddenly spilled that story that he once went to that house, of that man, and took money from him,  speaking strictly for me, I would immediately begin looking for another conversationalist… I’m just being honest.  I don’t know why, it is completely illogical…. But there is just that stigma…. that kind that causes a shudder from the very inside of the heart, outward…

Again.  no offense to anyone in bringing up this description.  We all can agree it is just a example of human nature.  But it is a very “BIG” part of human nature….

Which means it plays into the equation because all of our transactions are human…   Those of us taking Coons to task probably did not look very deeply at the ramifications of having someone like that on the bench.  Would there be more jailhouse deaths of inmates, because cops felt the defendant would be let off and knew he was guilty?  Would there be less arrests because cops knew their charges would get pardoned anyway?  To be honest, probably not, but since those thoughts just ran through my mind I’m sure there are other out there affected similarly….

But what this huge controversy does manifest, no matter which side you happen to be on, is that this decision was tainted.  Either way, there is going to be this  stigma, one way or the other, to one party or the other, always attached to this appointment….

With every decision this judge would make, forever into the future, … that stigma would  get called into account.   Either one side or the other would be outraged with every decision being made, by a far greater degree than if those same exact decisions had been made by someone we’d never even heard of before….

And that is where leadership comes into play… Whereas weaker minds would pick and choose sides, debate back and forth whether the one side or the other should win out in the end,  the real leader looks at the big picture, charts the path forward over years and decades,  and says “what would make all this go away, and get ourselves returned back to business as  normal in the shortest possible time frame?”

When that becomes the parameter, the correct answer almost smacks you in the face; it is so clearly obvious what must be done….

Call it Chris’s Lawrence of Arabia moment;  when you see the big picture and know what it is you must do. There are bigger, more important battles that need fought.  Allowing a tempest in a teapot to derail the future of the entire nation is in no one’s best interest.  Someone else, who will do just as great of job sitting on that bench can be found….  By then, many new crises will be upon us, and we’ll all be fortunate we are not reliving this distraction, over, and over, and over….

We made it go away… Whether it was this guy, or another, or a woman who sat on that bench, would not make any probable difference to your life, or mine. There are a lot of people out there who think the way this ex-lawyer does, who have the same depth of feeling towards civil rights, and I’m sure another one can be found rather quickly..  To let that distract from imposing higher taxes on the wealthy, from standing up to brutality in sub-Saharan Africa, from protecting Social Security,  from fighting the corporate influence that is slowly choking off everything good we used to love about America, would be in error…  And we’d be willing to throw all that away for what?  Just for a puny public show to prove how tough we are that we can stand up to the Fraternal Order of Police and not back down?

There may be another time to do so.  For example to preserve our Miranda rights.  To protect habeas corpus would be another one.  To keep the 5th Amendment intact would be a third… Those are all worth losing political capital over.  Each of those make decisions that really matter, to not only ourselves, but future Americans down through the years as far as our eyes can see.

You aren’t standing in his shoes.  He is.  It is called “doing your job” and it is why we elected him; to sometimes even save us from ourselves when  necessary…

Oh, well, you can think what ever you want about him, do whatever you want;  it’s your right, I won’t say any more; there other far more pressing things needing my attention… But just remember this;  that if you were in his shoes, at that time, making that decision, would you simply fall back on your prejudices and pap philosophies, perhaps your political nature that automatically always chooses one side over the other?  Or… would you too, look at both sides, and figure out by yourself what America really needs at this point,  then do something constructive to move us in that direction?

.

A. A woman, with two small children, separated from an abusive husband. He has just started violating a no-contact order, and is making threats over the upcoming divorce.

B. A father of three boys, married, lives in rural area. Owns 97 acres of woods. Has a two mile driveway. Then fifteen miles of one lane road to the nearest major highway, whose junction is 38 miles from the nearest police station.

C. A 15 year old urban dropout, who was jumped and beaten up badly when he was twelve in an act of random violence; he was in the wrong place when they were looking for something to do, allegedly to “teach him a lesson”; the reality? There was no reason for it.

D. A thirty year old man, who was raped over 100 times while a child by a neighbor, and that neighbor now is politically well connected, who boasts on talk radio of how big his arsenal is….

E. A bright, attractive professional woman of twenty five, who has a high powered job, lives alone out of necessity and convenience, lives on an international schedule, enters and exits often between midnight and 6 am.

F. A 43 year old mother, who at 18 became state’s witness and testified against her acquaintance and he, is being freed tomorrow, sentence done….

G. A 62 year old pill popping DJ, who excels at conservative talk radio, by stirring up hate, spinning lies into truth, and coining derogative names to be recycled by bitter old white me, like “femminazi’s”….

H. Pastor Washington, who has taken the calling of walking around the inner city on very cold nights, and persuade homeless people to swallow their pride and come inside to a warm shelter…

I. One day, you?

I’m trying to put all your ideas together into one package. So, let me get this right… All you are asking is for, is a country where:

1) There is no universal healthcare.
2) Few entitlement programs.
3) Low Flat Tax System.
4) Faith based Government.
5) A deep reverence for God.
6) Extremely strict rules against abortion.
7) Marriage has already been strictly defined as between man and woman.
8) Homosexuality is a sin, and illegal.
9) Dress Codes are strictly enforced.
10) Tattoos, piercings, baggy pants, are banned.
11) Has the Death Penalty which they aren’t shy about using.
12) Strong private school system with religious focus.
13) Widespread dependency on oil and natural gas drilling.
14) Growing nuclear program
15) Nonexistent environmental nuisances
16) Culture that promotes family and stereotyped roles for men and women.

I’ve endeavored to put all your values on one page. I share your frustration because today, ever since 2008, it seems like America is moving further and further away from these values.

But you don’t have to be frustrated anymore. I have looked far and wide and have discovered a place already in existence that has those values in place, and more. If you sorely long for those values above, it is sincerely a place where you and your family would be very happy.

It is Iran.

You don’t have to pay me. I don’t need any commission. Just glad to help a fellow Delawarean out…. No problem.

“Laws,” we said,
are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinions, they may with practices. . . . Can a man excuse his practices to the contrary because of his religious belief? To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself.”

Based on this precedent, the Bishops of the Catholic Church, do not have to practice contraception on themselves, but should allow it’s use among all others.

Here is the blog that has been quoted recently by the mainstream press, especially after the video went viral, and they had to scramble to cover up the fact they originally tried to whitewash the incident.

“DUMB COLLEGE KIDS”, the right wing pundits squeal…

Not so…

Try an Assistant Professor in the Department of English, who organized the peaceful demonstration.

Or try an Associate Professor of English, who was grabbed by her hair, thrown on the ground.

Or try Associate Professor Geoffrey O’Brien who was injured by baton blows.

or try Professor Robert Hass, former Poet Laureate of the United States, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner, who was also struck with a baton.

I wonder how this child’s mom feels right now: One of them, forty-five minutes after being pepper-sprayed down his throat, was still coughing up blood.

Or the dad who was there, bedside, to welcome this bundle of joy into the world.

Or the Grandparents of these children… When students covered their eyes with their clothing, police forced open their mouths and pepper-sprayed down their throats.

What’s the point? What were you trying to prove, Mr Rogue Policeman? Ohhhhh, that you were sooooooooo tough… I bet all the women flock to you now, don’t they?

What were you trying to prove, Chancellor Katehi? That you have an iron will? Or that you didn’t care? You had to appease the wealthy donors. The tents were such an eyesore and had to be removed, even with the potential for a loss of life?

What were you trying to prove, Republicans? Cutting taxes. Underfunding institutions of learning. Trimming school budgets so the wealthy wouldn’t have to pay their fair share of the cost of living in American society…

Go ahead. Save them a couple of pennies…. Beat the student’s senseless.. Fill their lungs with pepper spray… Ram their lower abdomens with your batons. Make them unable to ever bear children…. Do it for your wealthy master. All so millionaires can save one more penny on the dollar they’ve already taken from us…

Oh, no… Wait… Why didn’t we think of that before… If you kill us all off now, you won’t get back your student loans we borrowed from you at those exorbitant amounts of interest you so graciously parted your money for….

Hurricane Irene is scheduled to blow into North Carolina, sucker punch Richmond, then follow I 95 up the Eastern Seaboard….

When the storm is over, out come the cries for Federal Assistance to cope with damages. Of course, due to Richmond’s representative Eric Cantor, this time there will be a historically low amount of assistance dollars available to be dispensed among all those states needing help….

The proper way any administration should handle these incoming and overwhelming requests, would be to say: since Delaware has always understood the interfacing required between the Federal Government and states; they will get what we need. Richmond,on the other hand, has not. Perhaps they might like to give Eric Cantor a personal call and ask him and his supporters to assist them with their finances?

I’m printing this article in full: tell me, where in America can you find journalism this “fair and balanced”?

Another crisis in the horizon?

A | A | A |
Winarno Zain, Jakarta | Tue, 07/19/2011 7:00 AM A | A | A |

It seems the world economy has faced endless threats preventing it from sailing smoothly into a strong recovery this year.

First there was the Greek debt crisis that jolted several major banks, and then a political uprising in the Middle East that pushed up oil prices, and then a tsunami in Japan that disrupted manufacturing activities in many countries.

The world economy has not fully dusted off the adverse impacts of these three events. Yet another headwind is looming large on the horizon. This time it is the possible default of the US government of its debt on Aug. 2, if the US Congress fails to approve an increase to its debt ceiling as requested by President Barack Obama. By that date, the US government debt would have reached its maximum allocated limit of US$14.3 trillion.

The current negotiation between representatives of Democratic and Republican parties on the US budget deficit has run into a deadlock, and so the possibility is real that there won’t be any substantial agreements reached, since the dateline is nearing. Major rating agencies such as Standard and Poor, and Moody’s have warned they are ready to downgrade the US government debt rating from top grade AAA.

This would be the first time in 90 years that the US government debt has been downgraded.

It is not hard to imagine what will happen if by Aug. 2 the US government has exhausted its credit ceiling and can not get additional debt to pay for its spending needs.

The US government would have to curb its spending, and because some of these relate to payments to government employees, pensioners and other social benefits, this would strike a severe blow to the consumer spending that is so essential to the US economic recovery.

With debt default and credit rating downgrades, it would be difficult for the US government to get loans. Faced with increasing risk, investors would ask for higher returns for US government bonds. This would push interest rate higher, further depressing the economic recovery.

The US dollar would plunge, triggering a surge in commodity prices and another round of inflation around the world. A deadly combination of inflation and economic stagnation could spin the world economy into a tailspin as happened in the early 1970’s.

How would this worst case scenario affect the Indonesian economy? As capital flows out of the US, investors have tended to seek safe havens elsewhere. Commodities, especially gold and oil, would be their first targets. Emerging markets could be the next destination of this capital flight, depending on the assessment of investors on the strength of its economy and their vulnerability and exposure to the US economic fallout.

But financial crises always result in a loss of confidence and produce negative sentiments in the financial markets. They put financial markets into disarray, and as investors panic, capital starts flowing out of emerging economies.

During the global financial crisis in 2008-2009, capital moved out from emerging economies back to the advanced economies. At that time, the US government bonds and commodities like gold were considered safe havens.

If the US government defaults on its debt payment this time, the question is will the situation change? Will the US government bonds still be considered a safe haven for investors? If not, then where else will they put their money? Or maybe they would prefer to keep their money in the same place and not move it anywhere. If so, the Indonesian economy could get some benefit and may not have to face another shock.

In the longer term, however, the situation may change. No country is immune to the negative ripples of a US economic crisis. As US imports plunge from weakening domestic demand, exports from emerging countries will also suffer. The extent to which these negative impacts affect each country will depend on their trading and banking exposure to the US economy.

What is disturbing about this debt talk is the use of this debate as a political game. This is especially apparent in the Republican stance.

Economist, market analyst and CEOs of financial institutions and even the IMF itself have warned that if Congress fails to raise the ceiling of the US government debt, the world economy would slip into deep recession.

The Republicans did not fully accept Obama’s proposal to raise the debt ceiling. They only agree on a smaller number, but even it was given with some conditions. The Republicans asked Obama not to raise taxes, especially for the wealthy, and Obama should cut social spending, a sacred cow for the Democrats.

By using tit for tat tactics in the negotiation and by seemingly ignoring the impending consequences and dangers, the Republicans were trying to push Obama into an intricate political dilemma.

If the US economy slip into another crisis, economic contraction would be inevitable. Corporate bankruptcies would spread, and jobless rate would surge.

A presidential election is still slightly more than one year away, and Obama’s reelection prospects are solid. But his popularity rating is highly dependent on the unemployment rate. That is why the Republicans think the only way for them to erode Obama’s popularity now is by pushing the US economy into crisis.

As the stakes are high, the two political parties should temporarily set aside their ideologies and adopt a pragmatic stance for the interests of saving the world economy from another catastrophe.

President Obama demonstrated his willingness to compromise his political ideology during the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. Being a Democrat, Obama’s political inclination is generally anti-big business.

Obama realized that it was reckless lending by some big banks on Wall Street that triggered the financial crisis. But he also realized that saving these banks from bankruptcy was key to saving the world economy from further disaster.

His decision to pour $800 billion of taxpayer’s money to bail out these banks was hard to swallow by his fellow party members, but it worked. Now it is expected that the Republicans will be willing to do likewise.

The writer is an economist.