You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Mike’s Musings’ category.

I got this idea 24 hours after reading Duffy’s post here.

Titled “My Most Popular Post”, it states simply that it is his most clicked post and provides a link.

I wanted to do the same. But……..my most popular posts, are rather embarrassing.

But if everyone else released theirs……..then to support FOIA……I will too..

We have lost momentum on Around the Horn.…..If everyone on Friday, posts their most popular first, second and third…..we should all get a weekend of laughs…and share some highs, as well as lows, within our clan.

The only rule, is “no spinning” of the results. A simple ….here is mine and a link……will do……

Looking forward to a “fun” weekend for a change………………….

Advertisements

Outside the Perimeter
Courtesy of Department of Defense

Things are heating up.

Some think politics are noble. They aren’t. They are about winning. Now that some contests are heated, we see frustration and anger apparently beginning to flare.

There are three themes running through Delaware’s blogosphere currently and all three are contentious. All three came to a head this week, because, to paraphrase a line in the movie Casablanca, destiny stepped in. In other words, real events outside our arena shifted the whole turn of events, and bloggers from both sides, came out clamoring.

The first factor, Harris McDowell’s report. The wind power battle witnessed the final lash by Harris McDowell. It fell short. Issued with it came a minority version that once coupled with the original, makes it look pretty sad….This is the best $100,000 of our state money can produce? And Tommywonk can write the opposing view for free? Incredulous minds began to wonder. We paid how much for this testimony, and we wouldn’t let those willing to speak for free, to say a word? Is something wrong with our government in Dover?

Of course. It lives and breathes in the bodies of four people….

One of those persons was the topic of some original research carried out by Jason330. Just in time to illuminate the motives behind the bill passed last week that allows McDowell to take over the SEU without remaining non profit.. What is even more of a scandal, is that the News Journal has not had the stomach to tackle this story. Suddenly the motives behind fighting Bluewater Wind, are now clear. Bluewater is not costly to Delmarva rate payers as we have heard ad nauseum over the air waves…….they are costly to one Harris McDowell.

The second event was the entrance of Charlie Copeland into statewide politics. Many were surprised, and some were angry, and some were hungry for copper.

Perhaps by coincidence, out of nowhere came this.

Having heard nothing about pink post cards for what seems like half a year, suddenly, with Charlie’s hat still wobbling in the ring, it’s out again. Just in time for the Republican convention, too. A Protack/Copeland ticket would again serve proof that politics can indeed make some strange bedfellows. But what is ironical is that Dave’s opinion seems to be a minority in his party. Protack has established some credibility in the past few months. One follower, also a friend of Dave’s, puts it this way……Whereas McCain was whacked by his party regulars, yet embraced by the voters, the Republican party would do well to investigate the popular appeal Mike Protack has. He has done well in each debate up to now…….probably better than Levine or Lee could muster. Of course he is not one of their own……so they may fail to make the wise choice. Realize of course, no one would even know about the pink post cards if it weren’t for bloggers……..

But perhaps the stars of our blogosphere are those making and responding to the comments. This topic has some very good dialog. The now famous “giggle berries” comment is one worth reading the many above it. As contentous as it may seem at times, this is what politics is about. Learning through listening to others. I found my viewpoints shifting back and forth as I read through the opposing viewpoints. It is truly recommended reading for all interested parties.

The third contentous topic was spawned by the Pennsylvania primary last week. Down with Absolute’s new writer has things jumping at that blog again, with reprucussions aftershocking their way across the net.
Helped along by Rev. Wright, their Hillary supporter, has aggressively challenged the Delaware blogosphere’s almost tepid status quo. In a way somewhat reminiscent of the good old days, blogging has become fun again. We are all grateful for the transfusion…….A great study of American politics can be made by studying this thread and its comments involving the Reverand Wright. But before we stop and take this commentator too seriously….we get a helpful hint at their psychology from this tasty nugget. If you want to see the fire power a Hillary supporter can muster, follow the comments on this thread, Overall, in an environment that had grown a little staid….there is now some habanero among the bunch……That’s a good thing.

But sometimes after taking a canoe down the Grand Canyon, one longs to find an eddy to sit and indulge the grandeur for a moment. Dover is our place of refuge. Although among most blog readers Dover is discussed most often in derogitory fashion, Mike Mahaffie shows us its better side. His pictures reaffirm why being alive and living…. is a good thing.

At Delaware Libertarian, Tyler posts a note about Argentina’s eradication of drug laws. We are also forewarned to expect some weird things out of Brian, but not because of any liberalization of drug laws.

Shirley has a post on what happens when you take Brian to Argentinia, or mix the fun side of drugs with what they are supposed to do, heal. They might be needing some of that medicine on Wall Street soon.

Perhaps while swirling in the quiet waters between thunderous rapids, you might want to ponder this message for The Digital Federalist. It has meaning on so many different levels. Does it really pay to work more?

Liberal Delight has some casual observations on contempory dating life. Check out the differences between your time and his…………

And then the eddy pushes you back into the current and cantankerous rapids begin. One good reason for supporting Obama is that he and JttR actually agree on something. Don’t know if that speaks more highly of Obama, or Ryan S. from Jokers to the Right.

Merit Bound Alley is approaching a month from his last post. Hope all is still going well. Hopefully the silence is due to spending the proper amount of time with the little one.

Kilroy has details on Senate Bill 308 which opens our schools finances to the public. Earlier he takes on Obama on his attack of Exxon, instead of attacking Americans who waste energy unwisely.

Pencader Days will make you forget about politics for awhile. Here is his treatise on autism, that gets my vote for best piece of the week. Here is his advice column. Its off to a good start.

Delaware Way has staked out the local news whether from Middletown or Mill Creek, and has started issuing race tips..….

But then as one approaches the turbulent water of the Colossus of Rhodey the gloves come off. Again we have moon bats beating up on ding bats……Here is an example…Of course the Rev Wright makes a billing. Who would have ever expected Hube to agree with a Hillary supporter about anything?

Politics do make strange bedfellows. Expect the cantankerous nature of close contests to rub off on our Democratic brethren as thing heat up for the Democratic governor’s race….It will be tough to reconcile us to one party in time for November…….

So on this note it would be appropriate to close with this comment buried in the DWA post about the Rev. Wright. Its author is none other than Steve Newton:

Ironically, until this thread was posted, I was working on a piece about the great strength of the Delaware blogosphere being the consistently ability to keep dialog going between people of completely different political orientations. We have our fights, and we have our moments of unity………

I don’t think I’ll be publishing the piece on the intellectual vitality of the Delaware blogosphere any time soon.

We have met the enemy and it is us.

Because that……. is what we do.

Outside the Perimeter
Courtesy of Department of Defense

There was very little mention of the Easter Holiday in the local blogosphere. Delaware Liberal had a comment about choosing ham or turkey. Delaware Politics (FSP) also had a brief note acknowledging it, and went on to analyse Rev. Wrights comments, Delaware Libertarian’s Brian had canine problems at Easter, and Delaware Way provided a pictorial version, and Elbert (What, no E?) showed us his version of his Sunrise Service. But for the most part, very little about Easter was written, showing the relative unimportance that Easter has in our blogo world when compared to those other more important days, such as Veteran’s Day.

Nancy has one post covering the Turkey, and so does Delaware Liberal, but the turkey seems to have taken a back seat this weekend to the ham. Delaware Liberal talks about the Ham here. And those at DelawarePolitics.net have been partaking too much of the ham it appears, at least if you look here, here, and here.
They seem to be overlooking the obvious.

It is obvious that in their feigned optimism, they overlook the this fact that Delaware Watch pulls off a BBC video clip. Certainly no one in the United States media would dare show something truthful. As Delaware Watch shows again, look what happens when truth tries to “come out” on our corporate owned broadcasting media….

And speaking of truth, on Easter we hit 4000. The Memorials were quick to go up all over the entire blogosphere. Delaware Liberal has a pictorial representation where each dead soldier is portrayed as a comma…..Merit Bound Alley in a post titled “So?” answers the ham’s comments with a touching pictorial representation of those who gave their lives after spending a majority of their lives here in our schools. Delaware Watch‘s take is here and Steve Newton succinctly says it well in the comment underneath: War is horrible when necessary; this is not necessary.

This was the week for milestones. Not only did we finally hit that figure in Iraq, but race relations themselves hit a milestone earlier this week with the “best speech ever.” Days later, discussion still swirled around what truly was a good speech; good enough it persuaded Richardson that a “once in a lifetime” candidate, was truly walking the ground among us…Delaware Liberal carried this piece of fallout…, David Anderson provides a deeper look at race than we are used to seeing on DelawarePolitics.net. Nancy responds with a Greenwald quote. And occurring simultaneously……the passport privacy issue. Delaware Watch points the finger at Clinton. The Colossus of Rhody points the finger back at Obama. After spending Easter analyzing the capacity for wind off of Cape Henlopen State Park, Tommywonk returns with a overall analysis of how the race speech played out. Duffy has the opposite tack, on how the Reverend Wright’s words themselves, have played out……

And don’t forget the Tibetans.

Even then, the local front was not quiet, not by a long-shot. Nancy tells us about the fight against Democrat Paul Clark and this developing buddies being waged by the Glasgow Historical Preservation group. Jack and John debated about education. DelawarePolitics.Net has their view. Dave tries to poke holes in Jack’s arguments, but he could use some lessons on calling out baloney from Steve Holmes’ twelve year old daughter. To echo Duffy from a few weeks back, maybe that blog, Delaware Libertarian, can learn something from her brevity.

Shirley has the history behind the world’s best protest symbol. And our favorite curmudgeon is on a tear about rotten pears, and other earmarks that suck up all our money. Libertarian illustrates an earmark about another crop.

And speaking of money, Delaware Libertarian riffs off Delaware Liberals piece and produces a piece of original thinking that leads to an idea on how we can produce a living wage without raising wages. As far as best original post of the week, this would be it.

Being a week of milestones, as I mentioned above……..one would almost expect this to happen. Of course he is in Hawaii, so will know nothing about us mentioning it here until he clicks on his link when he finally gets back…Jason 330 got back and here is his report. Tommywonk got back and here is his report. Matt Marshall at DWA was gone, came back, and now is gone again. Congratulations Matt. If you ever need to lift anything, you have my permission, go ahead…strike while the iron is hot. If you ever need a ghost writer, I know a twelve year old who can help…(She likes Markell, too.)

And if you happened to read through this entire piece, and click each link, and especially if you read them too, you would probably appreciate this most excellent awareness test coming from the Digital Federalist. Welcome back Alan. And those wanting to get in touch with their inner selves Duffy has a fun one for you, that just may open your eyes a little.

And finally a link (from Duffy) that puts our milestone week in proper perspective.

Next week (ie this Friday) Around the Horn will debut on Delaware Liberal, courtesy of Brian.

Outside the Perimeter
Courtesy of Department of Defense

Delaware Liberal ran a virtual caucus on their site over this weekend past, and three people showed up….Delaware’s apathy is especially apparent when compared to our neighbor up north, who is getting ready for prime time on April 22nd, Earth Day. Pennsylvania voters have until March 24th to switch or join parties. In all 187 delegates, including 29 super delegates will convene in Philadelphia for the National convention. The Republican ballot will list McCain, Huckabee, and Ron Paul…..

What will be interesting for Delaware, is that the current Pennsylvania polling shows the state is divided exactly in half, with half of the population supporting Obama, and the other going to Hillary.

The swing area, the area no one know what exactly will happen, is the southeast corner of Pennsylvania, just south of Philadelphia. From Upper Darby to Boothwyn, from Chester to West Chester….all guesses are good. It would be an opportune time for all supporters of a primary candidate to volunteer and work to make a difference. For it looks like the difference may be decided within thirty miles of Wilmington.

In the next 5 and a quarter weeks, that area will have unlimited access to both candidates. It’s do or die for both.

Of course for political junkies, local television becomes the primary news source up until the last votes are counted. For those of you who hate political ads……I would advise you not to watch TV, except of course on April 4th, and every week thereafter, when Battlestar Galactica makes it seasonal debut…….

From the best that I can see, it looks like I scooped Hube on this one…..being the B.S. fan that he is. For those of you who refuse to watch science fiction, many of us have found that the underlying controversies are lifted directly from today’s headlines….well, with the writer’s strike this year, shall we say last summer’s headlines. But if I missed his post announcing it, I am sure he will let me know right about…………………………………now.

But what he did scoop me, as well as the rest of the Delaware blogosphere, was the fact that he wears glasses. His doing so prevented him from the fate of Ralphie (The Christmas Story) in getting his eye poked out…..

The Colossus jumps into the Obama church controversy, with both feet in right sided shoes. Just for the record, Obama answered his critics in a ninety minute interview in Chicago, and won the interviewers grudgingly stingy respect.

Far removed from the Obama controversy, the Delaware Curmudgeon has apparently been a good little kitten…….for she shall have some pie.…..Although from the looks of things, it looks like she wasted no time going back to her “curmudgeous” ways…..

Kilroy joins the ubiquitous team of Delaware bloggers quite unhappy with their state legislature. He pleads, as does Ellen on Tommywonk, to follow through with their commitment to the electorate that put them there…….Is it just me, or does there seem to be a problem here……?

Delaware Watch points out why all children are getting left behind. Bush is giving out tax breaks to the top 1% of the population that are more than the entire Department of Education’s budget…..Not only are we unfunding our “no child left behind, but we are unfunding our entire educational system.
At least I hope the money not going to education is being spent wisely………meanwhile our own Mike Castle, who sits on the Education Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education as the ranking member, looks at Bush like a deer facing oncoming headlights, and says…….”ok.”

The opposite extreme of the nonjudgmental Mike Castle, occurs in the “instant verdict” court of John Feroce. His attempt to Swift Boat Obama over the choice words spoken by his minister, slams itself solidly upon the sandbar of logic dredged up by Steve Newton at Delaware Libertarian. Based on the program notes provided by the “Libertarian”, I think if I lived in Chicago,…….I would want to go to that church as well. it is active and making a positive difference.

(Anyway, if one were to substitute the word “republicans” everywhere Obama’s minister says “Americans”, his statement would be mainstream, echoing the sentiments of 89% of the population.) Feroce provides two clips, an accumulation of the most evocative points taken out of context. The only thing obvious coming out of this whole controversy, is that Feroce has never been in a black church. The tapes are actually quite mild, compared to what is being said in most black churches across this country. Steve beat me to the punch, but were I Obama, I most certainly would not disassociate myself from my pastor of 20 years, because some kook named O’Reilly cut and pasted video clips together with Window’s Movie Maker upon his show…….If you think Rev. Wright’s words are over the top, try reading the angry words of Jesus and the Apostle Paul sometime; it is obvious O’Reilly hasn’t.

But while my topic is on religion, Joe M. takes us down an interesting road, on one at least I have never been. We are on his odyssey to discover his search for the absence of religion, having spiraled down through Catholicism, to Wicca-ism, and now through the mid-years. Somehow thorough the shallowness of his experiences I can sense why he feels he must pursue that quest…….were my life experiences the same as his, I wonder if logic would have taken me on a similar journey. But my experiences were quite different, and propelled me in a different direction. So to find out what was missed…we await the fourth Canto.

Religion, being a touchy subject, one must always respect others boundaries. Religion is personal. One’s opinion may or may not resonate in those next to him. Therefore to pull me out of this topic we turn to Mike Mahaffie, and his search for boundaries, especially those laid down by Mason and Dixon. We also get insight into his trip into Washington as well, as well as background from where he came…..

Speaking of being on the road, Liberal geek is in Arizona. Not much info yet, let’s hope for pictures, and political insight from the far West.

All in all it was a quiet weekend. As if we were sitting around waiting for the next big engagement. A quiet breeze blowing down upon us from a nearby super-cell, a magnificent cloud which will soon change our lives with a vengeance. It could just be a foreboding… a sixth sense that something big is going to happen, perhaps picked up unconsciously like a soft rumble of thunder many miles away. But the feeling is there. Something is coming. Something …….big………

Outside the Perimeter
Courtesy of Department of Defense

In order to build suspense, anticipation, and a wealth of new material for the new round-robin “Around the Horn” edition which debuts tomorrow (at Merit Bound Alley), this week’s “Outside the Perimeter” has been postponed.

It should resume in a slightly different fashion next week.

Outside the Perimeter
Courtesy of Department of Defense

As the national campaigns heat up and volley charges and rebuttals across the airwaves, so too has the fallout settled upon the local political landscape. We will start on the right with FSP Delaware Political. Net. FSP is dead. It has been reborn as Delaware Politics.Net. I guess the initials FSP were too often confused with Delaware Liberal. Net, so it was necessary to change the name to one less similar. Now Delaware Politics.Net. and Delaware Liberal.Net have names that are so distant apart, that no one will ever get them confused again…….

We will start off with the right. FSP Delaware Politics.Net has a vitriolic attack on Pete Schwartzkopf for his verbal smackdown of Terry Strine on WDEL. it is a great example of how political writing is different than writing about facts. Let’s jump in.

First we have Exhibit A written by the author of this Delaware Politics.Net article.

“Long story short: Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf has accused Rep. Bob Valihura and Rep. Donna Stone of screwing over thousands of Delawareans to directly benefit State GOP Chairman Terry Strine, because they wouldn’t speed up the negotiations over the manufactured home bills to suit Pete’s tastes. Also, Pete has a problem because the House wouldn’t suspend the rules to pass a moratorium bill:

* the day it was introduced;
* that no one had time to read; and
* that would have had far-reaching consequences.”

And now Exhibit B from Pete Schwartzkopf’s letter itself:


A few questions remain: Why wouldn’t
Chairman Valihura schedule a committee meeting in June knowing homes were in jeopardy in Sussex? Why would Vice Chair Stone introduce an amendment that completely gutted SB 122 and replace it with a bill drafted by park owners? Why would the prime sponsor of HB 258 strike the bill without any consultation of manufactured home owners, the same people he claimed that he was trying to help? Who are they trying to protect?

I suspect that the answer to all of these questions is the same: Delaware GOP Chairman Terry Strine. He and his family make their money from manufactured housing communities and they have a vested interest to make sure this legislation never comes to fruition. I think it is that simple.

Notice how Exhibit A and Exhibit B differ.

In Exhibit A we see that the author blames Pete Schwartzkopf for being irrational because moratorium legislation was not passed in one day. That would be an acceptable criticism were it true, because legislation is rarely passed in one day. But if we look to Exhibit B, we see the irrationality belongs to the Republicans because NO MEETING was scheduled even as late as June, FIVE MONTHS AWAY. Now because he doesn’t get it, it is obvious that the post’s author may have never felt hardship so he may be somewhat unaware of unintended consequences. But if one is suffering, FIVE MONTHS IS A LONG TIME! And if that elected official’s constituents were constantly pressing to have something done about this problem, one would naturally expect their elected leader to show some outrage over the fait accompli that their relief bill was tabled without a vote, and another bill, this one favorable to the landlords, was substituted in its place. So what we have going on between these two Exhibits, is the brazen attempt to paint outrage over the postponement of tenant relief until the next legislative session, as being instead, outrage that the vote was not accomplished in one day………. This misdirected emotion is a common occurrence in political writings and is somewhat similar to a department stores tactic of “bait and switch.”

Lets continue on.

Exhibit C

First, let’s be honest here. Bob Valihura and Donna Stone don’t give a hoot about Terry Strine. Sure, he’s the party chairman, but individual legislators don’t really care.

Uh…yeah right. We are often willing to suspend disbelief but not for something that that goes that far. Most of us looking at that statement with inside knowledge and experience, would say: “Oh, so thats why they did it.” Or are we to believe that anytime they can, both Bob Valihura and Donna Stone give Terry and his family the middle finger: “Hey Terry, this is for you and yours.” C’mon…..Get real.

Exhibit D

Second, let’s get down to what we’re really talking about here: rent control. Schwartzkopf, who’s never worked in the private sector and been forced to sell a good or service, is perfectly happy to fix the price that someone can charge for a piece of ground.

Here we are supposed to believe that Pete Schwartzkopf is a no good bum because he has never worked in the private sector. What a piece of trash….I say…..never worked in the private sector?…..What is wrong with everyone down in Rehoboth who keeps re-electing him?.… When actually very few legislators have ever worked in the private sector. Take Delaware for example……This blogger himself took the trouble to find just how many private sector persons were involved in our states General Assembly. Not many. Historically very few private sector persons have ever become legislators over the last 229 years (It doesn’t pay), and this state and nation have survived….. But you are being prepped to accept that Pete Schwartzkopf is dirt by some stupid fact that has no relevance to this issue that Vice Chair Stone introduce an amendment that completely gutted SB 122 and replace it with a bill drafted by park owners.

Exhibit E

Not only that, the bill has no provision for means-testing.

Here we have an actual weakness in the bill that is being exploited for political gain. Yes, it’s an easy fix. But it points to the stark difference between the two parties. From the Democrats frame of reference, any law should be equal for everyone; that’s what democracy is. There should be no special class of people to which the law should not apply. Republicans think differently. They believe if one is privileged and wealthy, that laws are to govern others, and should not apply to them. Just look to Cheney/ Bush if you wish to see verification. Therefore from any Democrat’s point of view, you make one law to fit all. Within that frame, this detail of millionaires living in trailer parks was missed.

Exhibit F

So, there are problems with the bill. Significant problems. Not the least of which is the fact that YOU CAN’T FIX PRICES.

Of course you can. Everyone fixes prices. Whether through a gentleman’s agreement, or a “follow the leader” policy, or whether sanctioned by the Public Service Commission,… prices, for the most part, have been regulated over the entire history of humanity. Anyone who has ever bought or sold an item and thought they paid a price too high for its value, has probably been a victim of price fixing. As we have monopolized giant corporations thereby limiting competition, we have given up our right to paying the lowest price possible for any of our purchases. When trying to increase one’s revenue stream, the first question out of a round table discussion is: what is the competition charging for a similar service? So here a mis-truth is trumpeted like it is the clincher to an argument. Can’t fix prices indeed…….(Oops. Texas has a refinery’s down. Let’s raise prices 50 cents……..)

Exhibit G

As soon as you fix the price of ground rent, why not fuel oil? Food? Textbooks or computers for schools? Commodities? Consumer goods? Where does it stop?

Here is a classic example of sloppy, slippery slope argumentation. If we follow the logic correctly (and not emotionally) we are to assume that Pete Schwartzkopf will be responsible for price controls for everything. Hey Pete, McDonalds wants to raise the price on one of their hamburgers 5 cents. Can you do them a favor and get the General Assembly and the Governor to agree on that? If you don’t, McDonalds may have to discontinue selling that item because foreign beef went sky high, only because Cheney/Bush sliced all the money out of the Food and Drug Administration, thereby contaminating our food supply? Emotionally this works, however, because we as humans don’t pay attention………What we hear is : Pete Schwartzkopf………..fix the……does it stop? We walk away shaking our heads thinking: that Pete guy, something must be wrong with him…….when actually there is nothing wrong with him….. Instead something is wrong with the author for using the slippery slope argument in the first place.

Exhibit H

The true solution here has to be a fund to help poor residents afford rent increases.

Spoken like a true Republican: its the governments job to bail them out…….It’s not like we have a deficit or anything. Let’s just pay the patrons or even better…… subsidize the landowners the difference between the market value and regulated rent. We can increase it at will…..Let our grandchildren pay it off, no big deal. Now I don’t know about you, but I worked too hard for my money to turn it over to people moaning I’m not making a billion dollars yet…help me… Let land owners suck it up……They bought the land years ago when it cost pennies on the dollar. They are not hurting. The tenants are. And to previously complain about the high amount of Federal and State spending, and to then propose that we spend tax dollars on these few people, (one who happens to chair the Republican party), is in one word……odd.

Exhibit I

There is a compromise solution, here. It will involve the park owners giving up some restrictions on how and when they adjust their rents, and it will involve the home owners giving up their dream of fixed prices.

In other words: price fixing.

Exhibit J

It should certainly involve the ability to pay as a main factor, which it does not now.

As mentioned above, this is the one good idea coming out of this whole post. It can be easily fixed by one amendment and a voice vote.

Exhibit K

Now, back to Rep. Schwartzkopf. His argument is since Reps. Valihura and Stone see the issue from the same point of view that the park owners do, that they are somehow looking out for the park owners. That is an outrageous charge,

Is it really? Don’t all of us see reality as is prismed though our individual perspectives. Don’t all our pasts have input into how we see the present? Don’t our actions reflect our values, which in tern reflect our perspectives? At least that is the way I see it……for example if many meetings about this issue have been held across the state say by several different people, and then, in the secret of a committee’s chambers, this work disappears and another one take its place, one that gives park owners everything they wanted……can that even be remotely considered as looking out for the park owners? HELL, YEAH! It;s not outrageous……it’s reality……there is no other explanation……For if the assertion were true, that they shared the perspective and would dare align themselves with the scummy park owners, they would have done the normal thing and introduced another bill, gotten sponsors and publicity, passed it through committee, and onto the floor for a vote. But, you see,… they didn’t do that!…..What they did, was take a bill that had gotten sponsors and publicity, rip it up and substitute it with their bill which hadn’t. Now those on the floor who support the original bill, will never get a chance to vote. What Donna Stone and Bob Valihura did, is actually kind of sneaky and very undemocratic. And what the post’s author tried to do, was make a bold attempt to brand Pete’s accusation as being outrageous, in order to throw attention away from the undemocratic act actually done by these two officials.

Exhibit L

  • Who was Pete Schwartzkopf looking out for when he voted that the public, the press and the legislators DON’T DESERVE TO SEE the multi-billion dollar state budget before it becomes law?
  • Who was Pete Schwartzkopf looking out for when he voted AGAINST banning open containers in vehicles, costing the state millions in federal dollars?
  • Who was Pete Schwartzkopf looking out for when he FAILED TO SUPPORT the creation of the office of State Inspector General, who would investigate waste, fraud and abuse in the state government?
  • Who was Pete Schwartzkopf looking out for when he vote TO RAISE taxes, tolls and fees for the Transportation Trust Fund without any reforms to how the money is spent?
  • Who was Pete Schwartzkopf looking out for when he voted AGAINST requiring all candidates to disclose that they are up to date on income taxes and any past due taxes and that all child support payments and property taxes are current?
  • Who was Pete Schwartzkopf looking out for when he voted AGAINST preventing the state from taking money out of state employees’ paychecks without their permission?
  • Who was Pete Schwartzkopf looking out for when he voted AGAINST letting school boards decide whether to pay artificially-inflated, state-mandated wages on their school construction projects, when supporting it would have saved up to $35 million?

And here comes the emotional dump. Here is where everything the author hates about the man is suddenly thrown out, in the dire hope that you remember even a tiny piece. However, it has nothing to do with the argument at hand…..which is basically what can we do to stop rents from rising out from under fixed income tenants, who must drastically cut their calorie intake to pay the rent increase, who must cover their children with borrowed clothes to pay the rent increase, and who must skip every other day of medication, just to make sure that more money goes to their wealthy landowners …….That is really what this argument is all about……It’s about who gets the help…..and who sucks it up……Under Donna Stones interpretation of the law, tenants who actually own the homes…..but rent the land……have just landed on “Park Place” with five hotels……..They are out…….And the wealthy Strines are laughing loudly……”I won, you’re out sucker……” It’s not a pretty picture… But because we are being told that Pete is such a bad man, it must follow that Terry Strine, who is Pete’s opposite, must be good in comparison, at least on an emotional level. But if we look at the logic underlying what is being said, well, …..there is none…..What we have is a fool calling someone else out for another fool…. For logically, how does legislation about the budget/bond bill, have any thing to do with tenants getting dicked by their landlords? What does open containers in vehicles have to do with tenants getting dicked by their landlords? What does creating the office of Inspector General have to do with tenants getting dicked by their landlord? What does raising tolls to cover the shortage in the Transportation Fund, have to do with tenants getting dicked by their landlords? What does having all candidates eventually making public their child support payments, have to do with tenants getting dicked by their landlords? What does the state’s deduction policy have to do with tenants getting dicked by their landlords? What does prevailing wage have to do with tenants getting dicked by their landlord? Not much. In fact each of these targets set up by the author are probably all much closer to Kevin Bacon, than to dealing with tenants getting…… dicked by their landlords…….

It is the hope of that author that you forget what Donna Stone and Bob Valihura did to these people and democracy in general. He hopes instead to convince you that Pete Schwartzkopf, the guy standing up for these tenants, is a really bad guy who should not be trusted. Bad Pete, bad, bad……..

Exhibit M:

By State Reps. Robert Valihura and Donna Stone

“As state representatives who have a great deal of experience handling manufactured housing issues, and who have successfully enacted numerous reforms to help manufactured housing residents in recent years, we find it very disturbing to witness the hostility, politicking and misinformation that is frustrating efforts to find solutions to issues impacting this community.

La, la, la, la………Did we do anything wrong? It’s that bad guy…..Pete…….

Ok so there you have it. Political writing at its best. It does not use logic. But the prize at stake, is enormous, at least to us……That is why it is important to look at political writings with a critical mind. Had such been done in 2000, the word “deficit” would now be a historical term. It is not…. because we screwed up…..It collectively was our fault……Of course some were aware and shouted it from the roof tops, only to be drowned out by the bass drums and the pageantry of the parade below.

We must always be critical, for politicians can’t be logical. As a species we are in the emotional phase of our cultural development. In truth, if a politician acted like a Vulcan ( Mr. Spock) we would probably give him/her a pass. Therefore it is up to us, as dedicated citizens, to critically interpret what is being spoken, by both sides…… and not be bashful about pointing it out……Remember, our current president squeaked in (barely) because of his opponents “sighs” and the press pounding that theme. Now look what it got us.

When it comes to elections, our emotions cannot be trusted. And that my friends, is why with this dichotomy between emotions and reason, the few of us find politics so engaging. There will always be something to defend, regardless of party.

Advice to future authors: If you are required to defend a really, really, stupid policy, no matter how you spin it, you are ultimately going to sound really…………….well, we’ll let the reader decide…

Final note: The politics of division is always done by “losers”. Not necessarily losers of the actual campaign, for sometimes these negative tactics actually work, and the “losers” win. But people who, if you met them on the street and started a up conversation. you would walk away and say: “Wow, what a loser.” (Rick Santorum) employ these types of tactics. The “winners” (people you say wow, what a great person) use something different: the politics of inclusion. From the sidelines you can tell who will be the better officeholder, by watching whether they include, or divide….. whenever the race tightens…….If you want to better your country, go with the “includers”…….

Outside the Perimeter
Courtesy of Department of Defense

This is tougher to find these days…. Politics of inclusion. By definition, the campaign of inclusion has its eyes set for the future. It states in clear concise terms what its goals will be and then sets dates for those goals to be reached……

An example: by 2014 I want to turn over to Congress a yearly budget that has no red ink. (meaning it is balanced). If that is the goal you want, you climb aboard. If not, you let the train pass by…..knowing all the while you will benefit as well if that goal is achieved.

One of the better examples of the politics of inclusion was seen in a speech today, in Madison Wisconsin, by Ms. Michelle Obama. A random selection of passersby stood mesmerized in front of the HD flat screen showing the event. I too was taken in by her words and was surprised at the effect her words had on those who watched. She said nothing bad about Hillary, nor McCain, nor Bush. It was amazing to watch how she navigated through her speech without doing so, especially in front of a crowd that disliked all three. I couldn’t shake the idea that such a great person has to get into the White House, even if as a spouse. Somehow if that could just happen, the winter would pass and a new spring begin…….Yeah…..it was that good.

it was good because she talked about herself, her husband, and their plan for the future. Much of their popularity can be construed to the fact that to most politicos, their approach is quite novel. To those who have been around the Bush, their performance reminded one of politics like it used to be……way before television……….back when giants ruled…….

My vote for most inclusive Politico of the Delawarean blogosphere, would have to go to this person. This week at least, saw double duty as another media carried her vision across the Delmarva peninsula. No Al Mascitti is this one. We have yet to hear a rant coming from someone hiding behind the name “Curmudgeon.” Who else would have the balls to publish this quote: “It’s only when the tide goes out that you find who has been swimming naked.” But good quotes seem to run in her family: ‘And if you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.’ ” and the story behind it.

Another inclusive blogger on the local front would be Tommywonk. Being Republican or Democrat has little relevence as long as one is for wind……and who wouldn’t be, if they knew all the facts?
He has been busy battling the evil Zorg from Delmarva, forming his truth squad 1, 2, and 3 so far.

Donvitti seems to have been lulled into the politics of inclusion. The lion shall lie down with the lamb. I will let the readers ponder who is which after reading both posts…. A far cry from this.
We look forward to more examples of “beer therapy” Actually Drinking liberally is coming up, when? But that cuts out half of the fun crowd. A better tradition would be served by having an informal “Delaware Drunk Bloggers” session, open to all…..The combination of beer, politics, discussion, and witty repartee, covering both sides of discussion, would be intriguing. I believe the last time it was tried was around 1775, by a guy named Samuel Adams in British controlled Boston. Who knows what might happen if we try it here?

Imagine linking Mike Castle and Jason330 in a post about the politics of inclusion. Hard to believe? But a perfect example of blogging without editorializing was done yesterday just that way. Composed of facts, links, and time for the viewer to make up his/her own mind. In the end we understand that Mike Castle is running away from Bush like General Lee being chased by Knight Rider

Mike got his first golf game in. See Global warming is a good thing…..Where did all our snow go this winter? As Nancy points out, it apparently went to China.

Nancy also informs us of a meeting regarding Bluewater wind. With two speakers, one from Delmarva and the other from Bluewater Wind, one can listen to both and make up their mind. Just listen critically, bring questions. The meeting is at the New Castle Public Safety Building, the old county police headquarters on Rt 13, Tuesday night at 7:00.

Although one could not call it inclusion, Dana and Steve at Delaware Watch have traced down Tony DeLuca‘s involvement in killing Bluewater Wind. Et tu Brute? Hat’s off. It was a good job nailing down that one’s motive. Anyone in the 11th district want to blow him out of the water? A lot of people will pay to have him gone…….even if he does sing Italian love songs…..Perhaps he should be singing to corporations this song: “you can get anything you want, at Tony D’s Restaurant.

In another scoop, Dana has the first photo in recent memory of Tommy Noyes. If you do not yet know who that is,……you need to read more…………

Soon Delaware will see the properties of inclusion in action. Running for the Newark city Council is a young man not put off by politics. Down with Absolutes has the plea. No doubt his opposition will run as exclusive a campaign as his will be inclusive. Send help.

Kilroy threw in the bloggers towel last Wednesday. But fortunately his tests went well so he is still at it. Remember, it is a miracle that we are even here. One’s health is most precious, trumped only by the health of one’w loved ones……He too expects to show up in a different media.

Merit Bound Alley has a piece on the MSM’s infatuation with Obama. I have reported on the MSM’s “dis” of Biden. Joe M writes that the MSM favors Obama in their coverage. I believe I now know why. If one was a reporter confined to hotel rooms and a bus, going through the usual campaign assignments by rote, one would sense that this Obama campaign was fundamentally different.

Merit Bound Alley has also made the jump to being a .Net. No longer WordPress, it is Meritboundalley.net.

Finally Hube has a different take on the same Michelle Obama’s message. He seems to sigh over her admission that for the first time in her life she is proud of her country…….I think she has a point. Not since Kennedy passed has there been a President in the White House who made us proud to be Americans. Some felt that way about Reagan, many didn’t. Many felt that way about Clinton, some didn’t. One person felt that way about Bush, but he is soon moving to Dubai when his term ends…..so he doesn’t count. But someone with Michelle Obama’s perspective, especially after watching youth become engaged for the first time, it must be a “real” win to see them leave their video games at home in order to take in the sensations of the “Politics of Inclusion, ”

.

Outside the Perimeter
Courtesy of Department of Defense

One of the more interesting byproducts of the past SuperTuesday election, was that right winged blogs suddenly became interesting. Of course Democrats went throught the same thing in 04, but it is, nevertherless interesting to see it on the other side. First off, after Mitts disappointed showing, the Dave Burris /Mike Protack debate is off. Whereas both John McCain and Mike Protack were given up for dead as early as just last Thanksgiving, both seem to have locks and appear unchallengable for thier party’s top slot. One can feel the love and goodwill over at FSP.

Suddenly, in a large part caused by America’s repudiation of everything Conservative, Republican blogs have become worthy of study. In a struggle to find identty, deep self inspection is a valid first step. There are of course missteps, but even those can be interesting and helpful in gathering a larger perspective.

And that large perspective is that even among Conservative voters, ie the Republican Party, more then half of THOSE voted against the brand of Conservatism that Romney and Huckabee had to offer. Evenwhen added together, they still can’t beat McCain. Republicans of good standing should take note that this old brand of conservatism, when ranked within the general population, ranks slightly below the level achieved by followers of Chairman Mao. It is quite interesting to marvel at their awareness, as if they one day realizied that their “bell-bottom” pants did indeed look stupid, as they see the true results of America’s repudiation for the first time unfiltered by means of Diebold machines.

Always willing ot help a friend, Dana and Steve, at Delaware Watch have offered to help with their debriefing. Imagine their shock as they come to and see their full impact on the deficit and our children’s future prosperity for the first time.

Their shock continues as they see the vast levels of their ineptness and incompetence. Shirley has proof here showing, albeit tongue in cheek, lapses in our “Homeland” security And as if right on cue, McCain shows he understands the playing field is free of biased talkshow referees, by picking Ron Paul’s economic advisor, as his financial geru. As one of the links in that past link alludes, Ron Paul IS THE NEW RONALD REAGAN. Some of you may of course differ with that assessment, but then again, some of you out there are still supporting Chairman Mao as well; so go figure.

Democrats are not off the hook, however. In a preview of the nastiness that will eventually occur in Delaware’s upcoming gubnatorial primary battle, Hillary and Obama are trying to take the high road and battle each other by proxies… As Republican’s ponder the role of the Conservative while standing in the mess Conservatives have made wieh their boots muddy,  Democrats will be pitting Women against Blacks. Expect the scabs on old wounds (1980’s) to be knocked off as America re-discusses things like “glass ceilings” and “race baiting” which many of us thought were healed in the nineties during times of “real” prosperity. These old antagonisms will be hauled out in large volume, if for no other reason, than to show that the candidates themselves are above such levels of insidiousness. Time to set your e-mail Spam levels on high if you don’t have them set so already.

But all politics are local, as a look towards Nancy and Tommywonk will attest. On Thursday Harris had his first “I don’t want wind” meeting. By a parliamentary move, Tommywonk was allowed to speak (McDowell so wanted him silenced) and Nancy gives us Freida’s statement here. Nancy also give us John Flaherty’s take on HCR 40, which will attempt to take on the of spread Bluewater’s cost to all Delawareans. Frankly I am surprised by his endorsement since it seems this bill is destined to spend its summer in Adam’s drawer, to see daylight only when that desk’s new owner pulls on the handle again next January. The entire Bluewater deal will remain on standby until this issue is finally resolved (which it won’t). Without the HC 40 deal-killer we can move forward as is, and later change the payment plan in the future in the same fashion as we are attempting to do now. Instead of this worrying how to spread the benefits, it would be wiser if we focused on Delaware’s future, it’s own economic survival, and not let the hub of offshore wind, escape across the bay to Southwest Jersey, thereby earning THEIR state revenues, bringing money to tHEIR local economies, giving THEIR citizens new high paying jobs, and meanwhile here in Delware we continue to pay Delmarva the highest cost possible for our electricity.

Kilroy’s Delaware has a bulldog’s grip on the Red Clay School distirict and won’t let go. Personell changes mey be in the offing. But if you want to do something directly for the betterment of education, donate money to Red Clay District. With Kilroy watching, we know your money will be well spent.

Merit Bound Alley has moved. Here is the old site. Here is the new. M Ba is gradually becoming our science guy.

Perhaps he can explain some of the strange stuff going on at Pencader Days

Steve at Delaware Libertarian has a European smackdown. Mahaffee has the lowdown of what is like to “sit in the corner.” Mathews (Delaware has lots of Mikes so be careful what you say) picks up off the New Journal‘s lead story and challenges Dave Burris ot take on Nancy Wagner as he did scofflaw John Atkins. For those that missed it, Nancy’s take on Delaware Government is that it should be a goverment “for the Nancy, by the Nancy, and of the Nancy.”

Hube comments on Mike Matthew’s posting on the “pimping” of Chelsea Clinton, and the fallout that arose from an out of context statement. Keep in mind it is taking place on both sides. Montel was fired by FOX  for saying the war and this administration  were stupid.

It looks as if “free speech” is dead. Compared to campaign literature written in the first election between Jefferson and Adams, today’s outbursts are nothing.  Free speech? This is corporate speech we are dealing with today. It’s ok to say anything one wants if it makes money. But if it costs money, ie lawsuit, oh heaven forbid!

One of the best written posts I have read in forty days appeared on Hube’s Weasel Watch. It involves the right to fly the confederate flag. That should be an interesting read for a certain firehall in Sussex County.

Overall there is some reassurance in all of this. For as long as Americans remaing skeptical about their government, local government in paricular, we will be allright. It is only when the silence of apathy dampens our voices of criticism, do we have much to worry about. There will always be a watchful Liberal balanced by a wily Conservative, even if both are going under different names. It is through this conflict that good ideas are forged, and the bad ones are discarded.

What we are witnessing is the rapid discardment of “bad ideas.”

Often after scouring thorough the “usual suspects” I need to find something different. There are two blogs that I highly recommend for Delawareans.

The first is Mike Mahaffee’s Mike’s Musings which with the aptness of quick shutter release, often shows sides of Delaware taken for granted. In the process we come to feel we share some of his life as well. But what is more of a historical interest is his quixotic nature of cataloging the images of things we see daily and by doing so, we take a quick look at a broad spectrum of views that only someone dedicated to the proposition that the topic was important, would otherwise study.

For example, what were Delaware’s beaches like at the cusp of Global Warming? Mike has the evidence here.

(Historians: notice you can still see all of the lighthouse, and New Jersey in the background.) Or if one were someday to question their parents, “Was it true in your time, that people really didn’t go to the beach in November because it was too cold?” well, the evidence is here.

(How odd; it’s sunny and no one is laying out on the beach) And finally were one to be beset with the question someday, “Dad, is it true that there were once beaches, like where people could swim, in Delaware?” we would have the proof: here

In each of these cases, those of us with memories can, for as long as that site is available, still reminisce about our own experiences in what once was known as the “first state”. Soon, from the looks of all the evidence, we will be known as the “First State” to go underwater, unless Florida takes that distinction away from us…

The other site of note is Duffy’s Pencader Days Although occasionally as does Mike Mahaffee, some commentary on the political scene is covered, most of the blog is devoted to the personal attribute of what it takes to survive in Delaware today. Sometimes its the distractions that make life itself worthwhile, and Duffy has some of the best on the net. What is interesting about Duffy’s list of distractions, is that they have to be rather awe inspiring just to get on Duffy’s list.

The distraction that was totally awesome to this history buff, was titled “The Civil War in Four and a Half Minutes.” Unfortunately the link has been taken down, and I am guessing that was done for the simple fact that someone could capitalize on the popularity of that item.

Here is a link about the making of that video, however. This link answered my question as I watched it, on just how accurate some of the lesser known perimeters of the Confederacy were. From this link, apparently they were quite accurate. Hopefully the link will be back up, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Every High School American History Teacher should show that clip before their class begins to study the Civil War…….

But Duffy also shows us the everyday trauma of just coping in this state of ours. From sick children to insomnia, from soccer maniacs to bosses miles away, he portrays the futility, and yet the will to struggle on. After reading his post on dealing with sickness, and the new medication prescribed for one of his children, his resiliency has become legendary, at least in these circles. There have been two incidents just this past week, of being presented with stomach turning situations that truly needed to be addressed, that after asking myself, “what would Duffy do”, I have dived in and moved on….yes, I too survived.

We are lucky to have two such bloggers among our company.