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This is in spot 6 tomorrow on the Senate Side.   This is the famous bill were the Board did not approve the Governor’s recommendation, and he replaced them,  getting the vote he needed.

This bill is solely to allow an Alabama firm to come into Delaware and perform health care and be the exception that never gets licensed, never gets inspected, and never gets a citation.   If this wasn’t America, and the building wasn’t in Middletown just under the flight path of Summit Airport, with the tiniest bit of imagination, this could be a concentration camp and we’d never know.  A place to take kidnapped school board officials, kidnapped in the dead of night, feed them truth serum then throw their bodies into the Appoquinimink marsh.

it is extremely bizarre, really.  The company is legit in Alabama, they own rehabilitation homes down there,  but if this were new with no track record,  I would almost think it were to become the top secret detention center.   Now I’m joking for those who can’t tell the difference, but that joke is brought on by these lines in the bill.  …   HB 89.

In definitions….

(4) “Health care facility” shall include hospital, nursing home, freestanding birthing center, freestanding surgical center and freestanding emergency center, whether or not licensed or required to be licensed by the State, whether operated for profit or nonprofit and whether privately owned or operated or owned or operated by a unit of State or local government. The term also includes continual care communities and any other nontraditional, long-term care facilities identified by the Department of Health and Social Services or the Delaware Health Care Commission. …………. The term also shall not include any freestanding inpatient rehabilitation hospital. 

What?  WHat!  WHAT?

If this bill passes a freestanding inpatient hospital is not a medical facility… 

If it is not a hospital, then what is it…. (here is the fun part…)

c. “Freestanding inpatient rehabilitation hospital” shall mean a facility that satisfies, or is expected by the person who will construct, develop or establish the facility to satisfy, the requirements of 42 C.F.R. § 412.23(b); provided that, if such facility is not paid under the prospective payment system specified in 42 C.F.R. § 412.1(a)(3) within 24 months after accepting its first patient, then it shall not be considered a freestanding inpatient rehabilitation hospital under this section. No freestanding inpatient rehabilitation hospital is subject to the Certificate of Review process, and thus no such hospital shall have any license or authority to operate denied, revoked or restricted on the grounds that a Certificate of Public Review has not been obtained.

This bill allows the Alabama firm to build a facility with no inspections, and if found they are killing patients to feed to other patients, their authority to operate still cannot be denied, revoked or restricted….

Is this wise?

Delaware is being held hostage. The firm is stating that they won’t come unless they can get no inspections and no state agency can shut them down.  Quentin Johnson and  Jack Markell want the business so much, they are catering to this one companies demands.

Meanwhile all other IRF’s get inspected,  injected, detected, neglected, and all kinds of stuff that they gotta do….

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This is going to my hard core Republican friends. Why are you still supporting Romney?

1) You know he is not going to win.
2) You know as the election heats up, his Bain Capital experience will make Republicans untouchable for decades.
3) You can’t pin down where Romney stands on anything.
4) He tied his dog to a car.
5) He stands with black people and says “Who let the dogs out, woof, woof.”

Most of you are telling me, “I certainly can’t vote for Obama. I guess I’m not voting for President this time.”

Let’s say, just for argument sakes there was a presidential candidate out there who says to have good government you need: …………………

1. Become reality driven. Don’t kid yourself or others.
Find out what’s what and base your decisions and actions
on that.

2. Always be honest and tell the truth. It’s extremely
difficult to do any damage to anybody when you are
willing to tell the truth–regardless of the
consequences.

3. Always do what’s right and fair. Remember, the more
you actually accomplish, the louder your critics become.
You’ve got to learn to ignore your critics. You’ve got to
continue to do what you think is right. You’ve got to
maintain your integrity.

4. Determine your goal, develop a plan to reach that
goal, and then act. Don’t procrastinate.

5. Make sure everybody who ought to know what you’re
doing knows what you’re doing. Communicate.

6. Don’t hesitate to deliver bad news. There is always
time to salvage things. There is always time to fix
things. Henry Kissinger said that anything that can be
revealed eventually should be revealed immediately.

7. Last, be willing to do whatever it takes to get your
job done. If you’ve got a job that you don’t love enough
to do what it takes to get your job done, then quit and
get one that you do love, and then make a difference.

Honesty. Integrity. Principal.

Sounds good so far. Let us say just for argument, he had chief executive experience. Let us say just or argument that he once ran a state, one of the fifty in this union. Let us say while governor, this is what he did…..

During his tenure, New Mexico experienced the longest period without a tax-increase in the state’s entire history.

1) He cut the rate of government growth in half,

2) Left the New Mexico state government with a budget surplus and 1000 fewer employees (without firing anyone),

3) Privatized half of the prisons in the state,

4) Brought a state-wide school voucher system to New Mexico.

5) Vetoed 750 bills (more than all the vetoes of the other 49 Governors in the country at that time, combined) with only 2 overrides, earning him the nickname Gary “Veto” Johnson.

6) In 1999, Johnson became the highest-ranking elected official in the United States to advocate the legalization of drugs.

7) Shifted Medicaid to managed care.

ISN’T THAT WHAT YOU WANT? ISN’T THAT WHAT WE NEED?

Can you not think of a better way to show your lack of enthusiasm over a wealthy capitalist buying his way to the top of your ticket, by voting for someone who has character, who does what you’ve always wanted, a doer, not a talker?

And to think…. you were simply just going to throw your vote away.

His name is Gary Johnson. He is the new party’s candidate for President.

Remember Republicans. It is your values that are important. If your party has given up and moved on from your values, don’t think you have to be loyal to the word…. “Republican”… What you have to be loyal too, is yourself. Always. Never lie to yourself.

You don’t need to waste your vote on Romney. You probably need to find more about this guy, Gary Johnson, and then throw your support behind him.

Don’t worry it is not one of the two parties on whose ticket he is running. Remember, at one point in time, the Republican Party was a once a third party too. One that went mainstream because of its core values, its principles resonated with everyday American People.

Two workforce housing meetings occurred this week. The first on Tuesday was at the Cornerstone Church off 896, and the second one took place with the New County Council in the Gillian building just off New Castle Commons…

The first meeting was put on by the new found work-group..Stay Out Of My Pocket. This group coalesced out of the early September meeting off Vance Neck Road…. Apparently citizens did not like what the County told them there…. (You can refresh your memory here to find out why…) Since that time research was done and an action and plan of attack has been determined…

The tone between this meeting and the last, was different as East Delaware is from West Delaware…(lol) Whereas the star of the last meeting was a map, this meeting was owned by a power point. In fact walking in ones’ first impression was “wow… this is a nice church..” complete with cafeteria, hotel informational desk, and gift shop. The inner sanctum gave new meaning to echo chamber, since only those who used a mike, could be understood, unless one was quite near the speaker…

But with little contention worth mentioning, here is the scoop from the meeting… Work force housing is a done deal. Stays can be executed but we can never go back and undo the bids that were placed before and between the first and last meeting… However, legislation can be passed in the General Assembly and signed by Jack Markell which can be retroactive before the bids were placed, and that can undo the damage… An arduous process to be sure. But a lawsuit in Chancery Court can stop it cold…

There are several reasons for following through with Chancery Court… First, the Chancery Court revolves around “equity”. And the current workforce housings provisions provide developers, as well as county government, some prime plums to be picked… But.. it penalizes every other citizen and homeowner in the county by doing so… It is not equal and therefore the Chancery Court is where it needs to be heard…

Furthermore, William Chandler III stated that our current rate of development will DESTROY DELAWARE FOR GENERATIONS TO COME…

The unions sent some representatives, not wanting to be blindsided as the were by the Vance Neck meeting, where in September they figured that workforce housing was a done deal, so why bother… They did get anxious and their blood pressure soared during the part where “slowing down the process” was discussed, either by filing historical claims, environmental claims, or more or less using every law on the books, to slow down the development until the court case could be heard… was mentioned…

That then is the way to start…

Most importantly was the implicit implication to Sussex and Kent Counties… Mark Baker, who is running for Sussex County District 3, himself on Maria Evan’s show stated that workforce housing, if he was elected, was to be Sussex Counties next big priority…..

Equally chilling was a video, made by developers in America’s most royalist state, Virginia, which told other developers how to game the local system in order to put up workforce housing.. To paraphrase…”having trouble with getting a project passed through County Council?…Just mention workforce housing (formerly known as low income housing) and poof, it gets passed”…  Equally telling was that Hawaii had shut down workforce housing in that state… because the outcome was so horribly different from what they had been promised…So it is possible.  Success can be accomplished…

As an aside, Cathcart and Lofink both stated emphatically that they were against the work force ordinance changing forever the quality of New Castle County.  Steve Amick (retired) also was against the plan.. Bethany Hall-Long, no doubt due to an acknowledgment towards the union,  hemmed and hawed until rousing discontent from the audience made her too see the light… (If she was ever to be elected…..) she too came out against the ordinance..  Earl Jacques stood up in back and said he too was against the ordinance… Four for four against was the call made by the moderator…

Again more can be found on their site:  Stay out of my pocket.

The following day County Council met to hear the public’s view.. In fairness to all, it should be disclosed that your humble reporter chose to spend the evening behind third base at a certain athletic event that took place that evening… So I apologize for any inconsistencies and if notified, will correct them… (Fifteen years… man…) But from what I heard, the following is what took place…

To begin we had a presentation describing work force housing….. put on by the county.. You can see that display here….

Then came the citizenry up to the open mike…

Bill Williams blamed Democrats and organized labor that goes “whoop, whoop” at county meetings.
Next Mark from Caravel Farms had questions to be answered later..
Then a fisherman’s daughter from Seattle stepped up in support of Work Force Housing…
Appoquinimink School Board President said at $30 million per school, and 1000 new kids being the thresh-hold for a new school, and a net gain of 500 students over this past summer, schools could not be built fast enough if work force housing goes into effect… He stressed he was unaware that plans had been changed regarding density levels. Next a resident complained of traffic on his road, and wondered if Deldot could ever be counted upon to fix it.. Then a rep from Stay Out Of My Pocket asked three questions to be answered in full, later… We did find out that $4200 is assessed per household for educational needs, but costs could be much higher, with the difference impinging upon taxpayers.. A visitor from the State Education stood up an said he had pertinent information, if he could speak… He jumped the line and spoke.. He was in charge of determining the assessment fees for developments across the state… His formula was simple.. take the cost of building a school..divide it by the number of houses…. for Appoquinimink…around $4200 per unit.. (someone verify that formula?)  The formula is determined by state law…that finger point was repeated a lot… so today,even as commodities rise, the cost is mandated at that low level meaning that is all the developers pay… the rest is paid by your taxes…

Then Chuck Mulholland, head of Southern New Castle County Alliance, gave his opinion that work force housing was a costly endeavor… for nothing.. There are 300 properties in Claymont sitting empty… put the workforce into those houses, before moving them down to Boyd’s Corner… an idea that makes sense…  Brandywine school district is cutting back due to lack of students, and Appoquinimink can’t build schools fast enough…

Several other speakers spoke as well.

On resident of Denny Road decried the condition of his highway in front of his house, and that with several new developments, no work was anticipated to widen the road… “The shoulder is crumbling away”, said this resident. “Deldot’s answer was to zig-zag the white line edging the holes already formed on the highway’s edge… Boggles the mind… and density rates were doubled?

Jim Spencer, running against Earl Jacques in the twenty seventh,  who is well acquainted with Deldot… said he lives on Porter Road… It takes ten minutes for him to leave his driveway because of all the traffic… Deldot is broke… they just paid 20 million for a pile of sand at Indian River… Don’t count on Deldot to do anything to alleviate your congestion, he said.. they can’t… and density rates were doubled?

One resident of Rose Hill, (always reminds me of that scene in the Wizard of Oz… oh,.. that was poppies.) had some good questions.. Forgetting what they were, perhaps they will show up later…

Several citizens said they were raised in the city, and left on their own…  They agreed with the principal of work force housing, but not with the method which it was sprung upon them in their new developments…

Several plants were called in support of the principal of work force housing, creating a controversy over whether workforce housing was for fireman and policeman, or was for slum lords and riff raff..  One wife of a policeman contested workforce housing was necessary for them by stating “the families of policemen, don’t need workforce housing… we can find housing on our own”.  One lawyer from New Jersey spoke until the audience began challenging her, then walked off…. but not before giving Penrose Hollins a hug….XOXOXO

A couple of liberal types spoke on the “egalitarian principles” of why we need work force housing, thereby giving liberalism a bad name…

Andy Taylor, a lawyer for the County, who occasionally shows up in the comment sections of these blogs, said he lives in Claymont, where the density level is higher than what is being proposed in and around MOT. And he is a happy person. Great.

Joann Christian, Asst. Appoquinimink Superintendent, spoke a little about how the plan had blindside them within the school district… One of the criteria for work force housing was that it be pre-approved by the school board.. Not quite… A call comes to the school board… Can you accept “X” number of new students?”  “uh… no.”  “Ok, we’ll assess the fee then…”  and the houses are built anyway, with part of the fee assessed upon the developers, and the children get dumped on overcrowded schools…

After seeing his former opponent speak, State Senator Bruce Ennis signed in and stepped up to the mike… Upon opening his folder, he knocked the red, yellow, and green time clock on the floor, prompting county officials to holla’  “send him the bill.”….  Bruce discussed how he was unaware that the laws for development had been changed.  He cited statistics showing that of all the new plans brought before the state… those in New Castle County were in single digits… That was because a circular had been circulated saying that the county ordinance overrode the state law, which had been changed to be subordinate to county law, by the same group of Democratic Senators who backed Minner’s veto on eminent domain… led, of course, by Tony DeLuca… (no wonder he is against open government).

Laura Brown, who is running against Bill Bell, the council person responsible for putting lower New Castle County in this predicament, spoke out that she was against work force housing moving into that region, and would fight to limit its extent…  Bill Bell WILL have developers and union support.. It will take everyone in District 12 who is not union or a developer, to vote for Laura Brown if Bell is to be unseated… Remember, it was Bell who sat quietly in Hooters, sipping beers while looking out the window at the scenery (yeah right), while this controversy was brewing… He talked to no one about it before it blew up… It was his seat which was hottest during the August meeting… “psssss”.

Bill Dunn, hero extraordinaire, had a couple of questions…. Almost more important than what he said, was the reaction of one Paul Clark, who leaned against the wall… As Bill spoke, Paul Clark snickered, hardly unable to contain his glee… If he is ever put in jail, he not only would be a Clark bar, but a Snicker’s bar as well.  As Paul turned his head, one could see where Pam had pulled a hair for each time he had failed to do what she wanted….

Attending but not speaking, were candidates Rebecca Walker, and Bethany Hall-Long who could be overheard at the end, “where can I get a program”….

This is probably Delaware’s next big battle: citizens against the developers.. affecting Sussex and Kent Counties, as well as New Castle County…  It is time everyone begin to acquaint themselves with just how bad work force housing will affect them personally, and then “get themselves a program…”

Again the best start would be with Stay Out Of My Pocket.

Do we hate our children?

Perhaps we are too busy, perhaps we mean well, perhaps we are too selfish for our own good. But after being party to a round table discussion led by current high and middle school students, and listening to them discussing relationships with teachers, spread over 5 different school systems, I was amazed at the consistency of the patterns, I was impressed by some of their attempts to adapt to a topsy turvy world, and was deeply saddened because schools were run differently back when I had to attend.

We led the discussion with an open ended question. How does one maintain their ethics, morals, and values while doing a day at school……..We had one group from a Christian school, and their response, was “we split ourselves off from the mainstream.” That is how they (their parents) chose to keep their value system intact. Those at public schools said they associate only with those like themselves, and do not mix with those who held morality in less than high esteem.

They were two phases of the same current. Their defensive mechanism was to separate themselves from others. When asked an open ended question where we asked them to describe how they felt they fit in with the rest of students in their school. (we asked for percentages), none of those percentages given, were over ten percent.. Their answers imply that the average student, trying to be a good citizen, feels that more than ninety percent of the student body are morally different from themselves. For purposes of contrast, in my day, we felt that we were part of the ninety percent that was moral. Trouble makers made up less than ten percent…

What caused this flip flop, “where evil rules, and goodness drools”? The kids had no answer. In fact they were shocked that the morality percentage of our generation’s educational process was the exact opposite of theirs!

But the animated argument really took off when someone brought up the fact that the teachers were less moral than some of the students.

Before I get into the discussion that followed, one should note that every school has got to get their students to abide by the “rules.” Education cannot exist in anarchy. But in listening to these kids talk to each other, I could not help but think that as a society we have moved our focus away from making learning a priority, to making behavior control each and every school’s prime directive.

Of course, this was coming from kids. But it was still unsettling to hear the tactics used in Guantanamo, being used in 5 of our schools existing right hear in Delaware. (No, the issue of water-boarding did not come up.)

Over and over and over I heard stories of teachers trying to prove how tough they could be. It was as if appearing like Himmler enhanced ones career path better far better then teaching did. (So what if the morons learned nothing. We sure as hell broke their spirit.)

Something, seriously wrong, seems to be at play in our school systems. It is as if we (teachers, parents, society) are telling our kids, “We don’t care what you learn. That is on you. But you better not twitch one iota while sitting at attention, or I will suspend your ass.”. In other words, the entire modus operandi of our school systems has shifted to get children to toe the line…..and away from getting them to enjoy learning.

One major difference today, from our time, is that in the “old” days we toed the line naturally without screaming and yelling. Perhaps we were pre-programed, perhaps it never occurred to us to disobey. I don’t know. We did not have discipline problems, nor did we have Draconian rules we were required to follow. We had a handbook which we never read and surprisingly everything worked out fine…..Classes started when they were supposed to, and proceeded without interruptions.

It was against this background that we heard the student’s stories. We heard how they only had four minutes to change classes, and constantly received infractions for not making it on time. The geography of the campus was stacked against the students. Four minutes? 240 seconds? Is everyone running a school crazy? Comparing notes afterwards, the previous generation sitting in on the conversation, had an average of 10 minutes between classes. No wonder we were never late.

We heard stories of teachers, in all five schools, who wanted to begin teaching students in class a minute before the bell rang, even though the hand book specifies that the bell is the deciding factor. We heard stories of students receiving infractions, and being sent to the office, before the bell had even rung. We heard of stories of being late, receiving infractions, which ultimately lead up Saturday detention costing $20 dollars. We heard of one student that had to shell out $200 dollars for what seemed like us, like innocently caused infractions that were beyond his capacity to fix.

As the students continued, we learned that in schools with uniforms, authorities go overboard with infractions. Much time and effort is used to force compliance. So much effort in fact, that the uniform code becomes like tax law, overburdened and therefore unclear and hard to maintain, eventually losing credibility with both students and parents, and breaking down.. Can’t wear hoop ear-rings……..But 3 days later no one says anything. Can’t wear basketball shoes. 3 days later the focus is on something else. In all schools, the students avidly expressed that teachers when dealing with them one on one, treated a student as a second class citizens. The philosophy currently embedded in our schools, it appears, has borrowed much from our both prison and psychiatric care systems. It has become necessary to ontain the inmates.

We often hear complaints that today’s students do not respect authority figures. After hearing what we heard, I would not respect any of those people mistakenly placed in positions of authority, either. I thought that people in authority were supposed to be wise. People in authority were supposed to use common sense. People in authority were supposed to use their brains, to weigh the pros and cons, and make calculated decisions. People in authority, were supposed to give us an environment that was conducive to our interests…They were not hired to intimidate us, they were not hired to demoralize us, they were not employed to break us down. Imagine yourself? If you have been dressed down in front of your peers by a drill sergeant, how could you quit fuming long enough to learn the intricacies of algebra only minutes later? It is impossible. You can’t.

And that in essence, is why our schools are failing. Of course the teachers , the administrators, the unions, the school boards, the Secretary of Education will offer multitudes of excuses….But what they offer, are just that….Excuses do little to promote an conducive environment where learning is encouraged……….

The harsh regime prevails;

The quest for knowledge fails.