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Waxing nostalgic I searched my files and came up with this:… a nugget of how things once were….

We’ve changed; I’ve changed…

i remember the controversy over Donvitti’s Veteran’s Day picture… Many were moved at it’s evocative message to complain vociferously … Now jaded as we are, we’d just say”that’s Donvitti” and shrug it off… Yes, things have changed…

I think young people thrive on change: old people hold onto pieces of the past… and as much as I hate to admit it, I am less young than I once was.

Memorial Day used to sweep me with emotion as I remembered those who had gone before… Back then, I hadn’t had to bury any of them… I think funerals change a person. I think they provide a reality check against some of the dreams to which we aspire… So now, I accept out of duty, and go through the motions, of celebrating Memorial Day… But is more empty than it was before…

I wonder sometimes, if blogging burns out neurons. It seems to… Sort of the same way that drinking strong coffee, towards the end, doesn’t jolt to the same effect as did that first cup…. or that flush from a light Chardonnay, gets lost at the bottom of the third bottle, … or how attending aother funeral, becomes “just another one..’

So how does one celebrate Memorial Day? What is the most fitting way of doing something grand? Something that can be done year after year, without losing its impact, its effect, its meaning?

Attending services at first seems like a viable option… Showing your respect by driving around the state, stopping from memorial service to service to shake a few hands, thank veterans for their service…. but after a while, when you look at the impact of what you’re accomplishing, versus the time, versus the effort you paid out, and you start feeling it’s a lost cause, an issue of spending years collecting pennies in mason jars, only to find at life’s end, no one wants them?

But,

Huddled on a moonscape tonight, is someone’s little boy… someone’s baby girl,… Perhaps their eyes are blue, or maybe they’re brown… Perhaps their hair is fine, flopping the breeze, or maybe it’s wiry, cropped close to the scalp? Bottom line, and cold reality is: tonight, any one of them, could breathe their last …

And for what?

For a gabble of egoistic, cranky old coots jamming the halls of Congress? For a man, (or women) having the luck to convince more levers, more buttons, more check-marks, to be cast for his name as opposed to his rival’s? For their spouses sleeping around the base back home? For their kids missing a parent, and taking that frustration out on those in school? For less taxes, more taxes, too many taxes, not enough taxes? For giant building projects? For protecting the simple wetlands needed to keep a little quiet in the urban world?

Why?

These ideas go through every service person’s mind, just before the order to move out, comes down… “Why am I here. they wonder?”

The answer lies in a small word, with a big meaning…. America… People have tried to put their finger on it, just what that means… and no one can: It is just too big…

How can you describe standing on the rocky beach in Portland, Maine, looking out toward Europe on a clear blue day, and compare it to the hotness lining the burr-yos outside Los Angeles, where the most amazing senioritas strut their stuff? How can you link hiking under the spires of the pristine rain forests on the Olympic Peninsula, with laying in the sun, sweating on top of an Alabama haystack sharing that moment with your high school sweatheart and two cans of PBR?…. Impossible? Yet but all that and more, fall under the umbrella of that single word “America….”

All are indeed worth dying for…

So, I think when it comes down to it, my best way to honor those who went off and didn’t come back, is to ask, …. “what would they want to do right now, if they were here? What is the one thing they miss the most?”

That would be: spending quality time with friends and family… That would be my answer… Personally, if they were here again, I doubt that they would spend all day going from service to service… Instead, they would be hugging their children, never letting go of their spouse, laughing with their grandparents, chilling with their friends, … they would be living life…. a life they did not have.

THAT is what they’d want to do, … if they were still here…

So, that’s how I’m spending my holidays… with family. with friends. Doing some catching up, some future planning, some sharing….

And the thought occurs to me at some point during that time… THIS is what they gave up… THIS is the true nature of the sacrifice they made…..

And that stupid little tear that always forms in the corner of the eye, almost always at the most inopportune moment, is now…. there again..

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Recently I was privileged to sit in on a financial review session for a business here in Delaware.  Here is how the conversation went.

Q:  Your “utilities” are out the roof.  What the hell are you doing?

A:  Our rates increased 60% last May when Delmarva Power was deregulated.

Q:  Bullshit.  Why didn’t the other Delaware units show the same increase.

A: Both of them receive power through municipal coops.  Those rates were settled by separate deals.  We deal with Delmarva directly, and have no buffer.

Q: That’s crap.  You are spending and not controlling energy costs.  This summer, your costs are almost 40% higher than than anyone else in the company.  We paid you to control this!

A. We have. Here is the proof.  These are the bills from other stores. Here is ours.  We use less kilowatt hours over each month than those other units.  We have stretched our efficiency to  as close to the theoretical, as is possible.  You can see our price is higher, much higher, we have no control over that. But even though we use less energy than any other unit, we have to pay what we have to pay.

Q:  Well if that’s the case then you need to find another $5,000 a month from somewhere else, to make up for pissing away good money.

A:  The only option I have left is to NOT pay Delmarva the amount they ask, in other words, short the bill  That option buys only 4 months until they shut us down. And then you will have to take the entire hit at one time.  I say “you”, because if that is the move you ask me to make, then I won’t be here.

Q:  You are damn right you won’t.

A:  Be forewarned, it will cost you three times as much to find a replacement willing to deal with this kind of  bullshit…….”

With that, the financial review was over.

This microcosm is currently taking place throughout every chain unit that pays Delmarva directly.  There are two takeaways that come out of these experiences.

Businesses:  if you are thinking of moving into Delaware……..don’t.  You can’t afford it.  Do not be misled by our state’s economic office.  Look at the rates and do the math and see how much of your margin you give up!  There are better places to invest than here in Delaware.

Others:  You need to get off your asses and get this wind farm started now.  The only way Delaware can remain competitive with any state, is to build the 600MW wind farm and use that 2.3 cent kilowatt hour to drive our energy prices down.

Even the tiniest amount of foot-dragging, will push this state over the edge.

WTF?photo by SUCHAT PEDERSON, News Journal

I learned it in sports and have carried it through my professional life. Sometimes one needs to be competitive.

You may have morality on your side, you may have competence on your side, and you may have legality on your side, but still, if you do nothing to stop an opponent, he wins.

Common sense right? It does not seem so with Democrats. Often criticized by the other side as being pushovers, it seems like the school of hard knocks has given Democrats an “F” in “learnability”. Some of the basic tendencies of human survival seem to have mutated away and out of the Democratic party. Some old democratic dinosaurs still have it. But when push comes to shove, Democrats primarily get the shove……….

Primer: here is how it is done……Whenever someone blocks one of my actions that I feel is instrumental in propelling my business forward, I make against him, an outrageous accusation in public. There may or may not be a smattering of truth to it, but the accusation is so well made, that the opposition is momentarily stunned. Stunned. Their brains fumble for the logic behind my remark. They cannot believe they were even accused of such an outrage. While they are still stumbling dazed through the fog of unbelief, I point out their slow response time and comment that they must be guilty. Unless they are super well put together, they usually respond in a stutter like fashion and make a number of errors that I can then expound on. “See. I told you so,” I say to the others.

This happened precisely as such with the Swift Boat controversy. Kerry did not respond well enough. Previously this happened earlier when the diminutive Dukakis almost fell off his step stool as Bernard Shaw implanted into every American debate viewer, the image of Dukakis walking in on his wife being raped……..

Immediately after making the accusation, you point out to the others, “See, I told you he is ineffective. Look at his demeanor. He is ineffective….”

Kerry looked ineffective as the tried to stare down the Swift Boat gasoline sniffers. Dukakis did not appear presidential in his answer either.

So who is getting it now?

Congress? Yes, Congress.

Congress is rated low in public opinion polls. Americans feel they are ineffective. Anyone with their pulse on America knows full well that Congress is getting it in both front and back by Republicans who are unhappy by nature, and Democrats who feel betrayed by the rhetoric that was campaigned upon………

When compared to Congress, the Executive Branch looks competent.

Congress is getting manipulated. The message ( not yet spoken out loud) is this: this Executive branch functions better without direct oversight by the American people. This ties together many strings into one package: Cheney’s outrageous comment, Gonzales cocky smugness, Harriet Myers blatant refusal to testify before Congressional committees, and now the threat to fire whichever poor sap of an attorney dares to file Congress’s contempt charge.

Flatly this administration is saying: We are a separate entity and there is nothing you can do about it.

Congress has done nothing.

The public is saying: “You know? The administration was right on this one. Look, the Constitution is in deep, deep trouble and Congress sleeps on their hands and does nothing. We are stuck with a king.” Today every Democrat should be worried about the permanent consequences of this ineptness: an uncontrollable executive…… Today every republican should be worried about the permanent consequences of this ineptness, during the next administration: an uncontrollable executive………

As an old pro, here is what Congress needs to do. It is not too late,… yet. Hopefully some of this advice will penetrate their archaic plugs of earwax, and resonate with action.

Instantly every Democrat needs to say into any microphone thrust towards his face: This is wrong! This is what the Soviets did! This is what the Chinese did! This is what the Nazi’s did! This if unchallenged, will be the end of the United States of America! Every day, Americans stand up and say “I pledge allegiance, to the flag, FOR WHICH IT STANDS………” And I may be dead tomorrow,… but while I am still alive and breathing, I am going to make sure as hell that our flag, does NOT stand for Dick Cheney and his youthful sidekick, George W. Bush!”

Every Democrat. Every microphone. And it must resonate….. if this country shall be saved as our Founding Fathers dared envisioned it………

Our bodies lie throughout this world,
Returned from where we came.
In honesty without our loss,
Life could not be the same.

by “k” , a Delaware poet