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I was talking to someone who was in favor of Common Core, and yet a vehemently against a power plant going up in her back yard. I was able to show them that both processes were similar, and that she was at different points of the curve on the two separate topics, but they were both curves that were parallel and would end the same……

I got this great idea off of Norquist and pulled out a napkin where we were eating…….

Famous Napkin

The x axis stands for truth… as in what we know about a topic goes from zero to infinity, and the y axis represents our feelings of favorability towards the project as we learn more…..

As you can see,  when someone says… “a data center” we have no opinion at first…  We are at (0,0)  As we learn of jobs,  taking up a brownfield spot,  helping out the university by educating engineers,  putting topmost technology into our home, Newark Delaware, as well as selling power to the grid, our favorability towards it rises….  Yeah we could use all those things.

But then as we learn more, our favorability sours.   WHAT!  248 MEGAWATTS!!!!!  Excessive pollution.  Dangerous pollution,  for 75 years, very loud noise.  Huge cancer signatures around gas turbines. poisoning water, digging new gas lines through wildlife areas from Hockessin. A 24/7 operation.  The TDC was to sell the power plant, not the power plant being there for the TDC.  We sour. Something else, almost anything else could still give us the positives, without the negatives.   All those negatives were hidden and still would be, if citizens hadn’t ferreted them out.  There was never any plan to mention them if at all, until absolutely necessary…..

We lose favorability based on how much we know…  So those still supporting it, even Al Mascitti (unless he changes his mind while on vacation), aren’t more stupid than the rest of us… in fact, they are exactly like us, back when we were at that same point on the learning curve… Instead of bemoaning that TDC supporters are jack-stupid, educate them…  Then, after they’ve been educated, if they didn’t change their mind, it was not because they are jack-stupid.  It’s because they are sinister.  But really, when it comes to dying, very few people are really sinister. It’s really all about knowledge…..

This is exactly the same with Common Core!… This person with whom I was in this discussion,  is a member of the Delaware Chamber of Commerce and she was at the milktoast breakfast thrown at the Hotel Dupont where the Grand Poobah of the national Chamber of Commerce came in to elevate support for Common Core.  One assumes the Grand Poobah would know what he is talking about… Alas, he is a common man. He is no expert.   Because really, very few people there are privy to the facts.  You readers happen to be  far more privy to what Common Core is really about, because you have seen it here, with your very eyes, and are certainly quite capable to make up your mind yourselves…

I assured my friend, that when I knew as little about Common Core as she did, I too believed in it. Of course it makes sense to have standards the same across the country.  Of course it makes sense to raise the bar so students can’t loaf as much as they do now I thought… Of course it makes sense that if we don’t teach our children well, then the jobs will go to those nations which do teach their children well.  Of course it makes sense to pay those teachers who do well more, and to weed out those who’s real calling is obviously not teaching…   of course it makes sense to train teachers better, instead of throwing them into a classroom and saying:  Good luck, here you go…

But none of those are true I found out as I learned more… I learned that poverty is what makes students not perform well, otherwise we are all born equal… I learned that if you give someone a harder test who is relatively impoverished, they will flunk it worse than they flunked an easier test their society wouldn’t provide the necessary safety net to  enable them to study.  I learned that Common Core was all about money and politics.  I learned that Common Core was the brainchild of a mad scientist, David Coleman. Not a group of top educators.  I learned that Common Core actually shut out teachers, and was made with one goal: to make more money. When teachers objected, they were summarily dismissed.  I learned that it was getting rid of Shakespeare, and subbing in text on how to install a ceiling fan.  I learned that students in all of Delaware’s pilot programs were tuning out of Common Core subjects, saying they learned that stuff 5 years earlier.   I learned from inside the DOE that in the Common Core pilot classes of 2013, every pilot class had depressed scores.  I learned that this administration, co-oped the favor of the teacher’s union, whose leadership jumped in with both feet, and now the rank and file who see Common Core up close, have said loud and clear, they have no confidence in this administration’s roll out..  I learned that grown up professional adults, most of America’s leadership, could not pass a third grade math test.  IT is that hard!…  I learned that though the test is impossibly hard, but the standards will not even include 8th grade algebra, or trigonometry, or geometry, or pre-calculus, or calculus, all of which are offered now.  I learned the meat of Common Core is a crock of shit. Basically.

My friend is looking at me now with a dumb-ass deer expression…  sort of like… “Gee, I’m a dumb-ass deer…. I wonder what I should do now….”

“But, but, but, none of that can be true,”  she blurted out.. ” I was at the meeting with the Grand Poobah..  None of this stuff was mentioned. Common Core is our future… It is good, It is necessary for this nation……”

All I simply said was this:  “And on the power plant they didn’t tell you about the carcinogenic radon and sulfuric acid that would be dropping on your lawns, pets and cars, or the horrendous noise that never stops, or the amount of cancer rares that go up because of a power plant in your back yard, did they?…  And… when did you find out how big the 248 MW power plant really was?  That didn’t grow on you, you know… That was planned from day one… And…You only found out because other people told you.  Just like with Common Core, you need to see what other people are saying about it instead of taking the official side, and then make up your own mind…”

“I need to learn more about Common Core”, she said….

And if you dear reader still think Common Core is all good, then so do you……


As an after thought, it struck me how this pattern has played out rather often since Markell’s second term began…..   Kinder-Morgan, Common Core, Delaware City expansion, Coastal Zone eradication, Charter School expansion.   Always a very dark undercurrent that only benefits the top 1% at the expense of 99% of the rest of us… It is sugar coated, given the Editorial Board approval, rushed in secret through the GA, where any dissent is squashed by Pete Schwartzkoph and Valerie Longhurst, and the signature gets applied, and commemorative pens are then handed out….   And it bears mentioning that in the first term there was also Fisker…. and Bloom… How much are we paying for Bloom right now with each electric bill?  How much did we pay for Fisker?

Well if you still think Common Core is good… do some reading…   If you don’t do your reading, (and who has time) you should not give it your support, but instead, … say you prefer the current system until you have time to find out more….  Because as the graphs above show, if you state your opinion too early… as you continue to hear more and  learn, you will be forced to change your mind…….







Sitting with an accumulation a large number of people gathered for the holidays, and the feature is an  old Star Trek move… “The Wrath of “something or other….

Someone surprisingly about 25 years old piques up… “Oh look!  It’s that guy from .;… Priceline.!….”

Oh my….

Award For Delaware's Most Influental P/P/or T of The Year
The Golden Flush Award
/Click Image for Past Winners

Usually this is an after thought…” Oh, wow, year’s over, let’s get a person of the year”…  And then once we elect one,  we go… “holy crap… we totally forgot so and so….”

So to try to stir up some old simmering coals of memory, both mine and others, and perhaps even to (heaven forbid) get some debate going in the blog sphere, I thought I’d make an initial run on Thanksgiving Week, and then add people into the nominating category as others mention various ones I should kick myself for forgetting.

It will also force me to review the year which is something I rarely do… because face it, as a human being, I am slave of the moment….  If I did this last year, come December 14th the entire world would have been turned upside down and all the old priorities of 2012,  would in one day become trivial….

And so starting early gives me the chance to make the argument for each of those I decide to enroll with your kind recommendations included….

Julius Cephus:  Particularly this one man organized and stopped an end run around the Port of Wilmington.  The Kinder Morgan deal did not go through, and the Wilmington Port is bustling like never before…   Kinder Morgan was to strip the union of power, and drop the rates of pay, further dampening the economy of Wilmington proper.  It was also the first defeat of a Lavine-Markell development project, .. Fisker and Bloom had gone forward without a hitch.  Julius and other’s push back resulted in a General Assembly motion that stated they, not the governor, had final approval. It was the first time we were exposed to the current Governor’s manipulations.  They were to play a significant part across this year’s tapestry.

Steve Newton:  A blogger who has written infrequently, but effectively. His piece on SB 51  is what alerted us to the end run being performed by Dave Sokola on lowering the current standards being used for educating teachers.  It is brilliant.  It took an evening of reading the legislation line by line and cross referencing  it with Steve’s analysis, to understand the huge negative impact this bill would cause.  By the time this was done, the Bill had already passed the Senate unanimously without comment, and with an friendly amendment added that was voted upon without even being read.  Some public outcry was mustered within the House, both in committee and on the floor, but under the Governor’s direction, the Speaker of the House, pushed the bill to the floor before significant outcry could be mustered.  Only 4 House members were not on record for it’s passing.  Our educational schools now have to water down their teaching standards to meet the new law.  Steve also has brought the Highmark story to Delaware.  His research in the increase of medical costs in Western PA as a result of knocking out competition by unfair practices, leads one with a cold chill of what to expect in Delaware’s future.  We are already there.  As an insurer, Highmark is only paying medical claims in its own affiliated clinics.  As the new Blue Cross/Blue Shield owner, that is a huge percentage of Delaware’s residents.  None can go to any other hospital.  He has properly fingered Karen Weldham Stuart for not catching this prior to implementation.  Without Steve, this would have passed unnoticed.  The News Journal still has not once mentioned the takeover of Delaware’s health field under one owner.

Ernest Lopez.  If Kennedy were still writing Profiles of Courage, he should include this man.  Ernest Lopez is a conservative, and voted with Libertarian values to pass the gun legislation recommended by Markell and Biden.  Reflecting the views of his district, instead of taking the threatening message sent to him down from the NRA, he voted for his district.  A very vocal minority, who is always vocal, and always in the minority, swore they would unseat him.  He disregarded their idle threat, and voted both his and his constituents conscious.  A major billboard was put up to call him out.   His vote caused the passage of us now requiring background checks at public gun sales.  Now a certifiably insane person cannot slap cash and get a gun.  It is a no-brainer, and Ernie was the only Republican with brain enough to even know what a no-brainer is….

Cathy Cloutier:  her vote allowed gays to marry.  Again, she is a Republican who said enough is enough… Tired of voting against her conscious just so Sussex County would not flip over to the Democrats, she finally did not toe the line and voted along the lines of her own constituents, all overwhelmingly in favor of gay marriage.  In doing so, she went against the entire grain of her party, who firmly feel that gays are second class citizens, even though most Republicans in office are closeted gays.

Bethany Hall Long:  on the same vote, made a viable personal decision, and also voted for the legalization of gay marriage. Unlike Cathy’s vote, this was accomplished at great personal sacrifice, for all of those in her personal life, were solidly against this policy from taking effect.  In voting for what was morally right, she had to contend against those whose influence she could not escape.  She went with the correct vote, over the easy one.   As a result, Gay marriage is now legal in Delaware.

Paul Baumbach:  gave great ammunition against the fight for SB51, and later against HB 165. Both bills which will damage Delaware’s education for years to come.  He was one of the four who put up a fight on the House floor.  Paul also arranged for the meetings in Newark to discuss the new Power plant that figured in this past week’s election.

John Kowalko:  also was against SB51, HB 165, as well, being against the power plant.  In fact, John was the first person to sound the alarm over how big the power plant would be.  Without his big voice, it may have slid through unnoticed.  The power plant has defined northern Delaware politics since September.

Kim Williams;  responsible for HB 40 which investigates Charter School’s meddling into our educational systems.  She was as an acting state representative, allegedly refused entrance into a committee hearing on education, for fear she might say something damaging to the bill being rushed through….  She brought to the public’s knowledge, that the Charter School bill was drafted illegally without public input, and the charter group constructing it, was also under FOIA, to which the private group denied.  The Attorney General backed up her assertion, that the bill was formulated illegally but their decision was moot, because the bill was passed both houses anyways.  Kim Williams also in the HB 40 task force, led the group to realize that charter schools unlike public schools, do indeed filter those entering charters to weed out those who might lower their test scores….

Mark Murphy, Rodel, Sweeney, Hefferman, and the Fake Educational Reform Establishment:  I almost purposefully did not post this.  Although the first person’s name is usually followed by explicatives whenever mentioned, it is unlike Voldermort’s, still getting mentioned.  Mark Murphy was not put in his position based on his ability. He was placed there for his loyalty to the cause of  corporatizing public education.  Markell pulls the strings, Murphy figures how to get it done…  It is hard to make a puppet the most influential person of the year… So I was going to skip him… But at the last minute, remembered that every time  he or anyone of these make an op-ed, it resonates as gigantic news. The entire community rises up to counteract each op-ed, usually with the word “lies” thrown liberally about…. So, they do exert an influence.  I looped all of them together, as the group of liars in a Greek play, who stand on the stair steps and taunt the protagonists.  Well,… they are part of the play…….

Dan Short:  Sometimes villains get noticed too.  Primarily a single issue candidate, who personally supports the NRA, he actively campaigned and organized to create enough backlash so Markell’s gun laws could not get enough votes…  Without him, there is a possibility that all four of Markell’s gun control pieces of legislation would have passed both houses of Delaware’s legislature. Dan Short should be given the credit for stopping them.

John Sigler: Single handedly by his very brief tenure as the re-elected head of the Republican Party, he pointed out through his pigeon shooting, just how inept the Republican Party was at everything else.  With his leaving, all fissures cracking the Republican bedrock, were impossible to ignore.  Blogs split. The IPOD’s split. Former candidates of the same party just months earlier, now not talking to each other. The Delaware Republican Party is dead; no it is past dead.  More dead than a pigeon shot inside a box by John Sigler, former head of the Delaware Republican Party.

Nancy Willing: Her blog, the Delaware Way, is the go-to site for local information. Whether about Dover, about New Castle County, about any of New Castle County’s associations, Nancy combs all sources and puts them down in aggregate form. Heavily involved in the Power Plant controversy, The Delaware City Rail Yard controversy, Barley Mill controversy, the Woodlawan controversy, the Kinder Morgan controversy, the Charter School Controversy, the Common Core Controversy, Nancy has who is saying “what”, and links to “why”. One can expend less energy by using her blog to follow all the stuff the News Journal neglects, in a few quick empty steps.

Amy Roe:  a head of the Sierra Club, who emerged from nowhere to lead the fight against the power plant, and give quite a run against the establishment candidate.  Becoming the face the anti- power movement could coalase behind, she gave the anti power plant movement both dignity and grace.  Coming up short only 115 votes, she has awakened Newark now politically as never before…  The power plant if it goes forward, now has a strong group of Newarkeans against it.  Hopefully they will be monitoring it regularly and helping authorities keep in in compliance with all local law.

Tom Gorden; although much quieter than his first term in office, Tom Gorden is rapidly rolling back the privileges the previous Clark administration handed over to our state’s top developers. The Barley Mill plaza which had a green light, is now parked at a red. In a big sea change, though handled quietly, community groups are now no longer persona non grata in county government. It is no longer accepted as a matter of course that the Woodlawn Trust will be gobbled up by developers. If enough fight can be mustered, it can be stopped. Furthermore, with Tom there is closer coordination with the City of Wilmington, than we have experienced anytime in our lifetimes. In the county, local policing has been stepped up, particularly in neighborhoods prone to crime…

Dennis Williams: Came in with grand expectations, which looked deliverable for a while. The tide is turning and his relevance on this list, is because every day, the headline reality in Wilmington’s streets, brings his electioneering boasts back to haunt him, like a sizzling hot branding iron.  Time, Dennis, to say “Damn the torpedoes… Their punk asses are going in jail no matter which blowhard on City Council spouts off,before mine gets tossed in jail for impersonating a mayor..”

Alan Levin:  Jack Markell’s second in command, he was instrumental in defending Markell’s position on Kinder Morgan and the port, as well as the new power plant for the data center. He also had a hand in keeping Dole in Delaware, and worked to slip the power plant past a slew of unsuspecting Newark City officials.

Jack Markell: had his hand in everything.  He was behind Kinder Morgan’s takeover.  He was behind SB 51 and HB 165.  He was behind the illegal charter group, requiring HB 40. He also was the driving force for the four rational steps to gun legislation, 2 of which were passed. He was also the driving force behind the passage of gay marriage, signing the bill in the chambers just moments after its passage. He also supported the transgender bill in its travels through the labyrinth of Legislative Hall. He as behind keeping Dole in Delaware. He was behind changing an icon in Millsboro away from pickles, over to poultry. He pushed the bill to curtail Flowers. Despite your opinion over whether these were good or bad, they still showed a ubiquitous and wide reach across the state of Delaware. Seems like nothing got done that didn’t have his fingerprints all over it.

John Young: As head of Christina board, John Young led the board in standing up to Mark Murphy and Jack Markell, by refusing the RTTT funds slated for his district. Although some hired fools, (Jea Street) tried to paint Young into a corner, it served the opposite purpose and gave Young a platform. For the fist time, Common Core was getting publicly bashed. For the first time, many were finding that aligning themselves blindly to this sham of improving standards, was probably going to hurt them politically in the next couple of years. It was the fist salvo back, so the damage estimates were not high, but it did open eyes of many who had been on the sidelines of all educational issues, making them also become vocal in fighting Common Core. His blog Transparent Christina has channelled a lot of detailed information into the Delaware market, and had made Common Core an apprehension, instead of the savior it was supposed to be….

Kilroy: Kilroy has always been haranguing over education. In fact he was doing such a good job I left that issue alone for years, because other issues for me, like the economy and elimination of guns from the hands of the mentally ill, were more important. But as the issue has shifted back into the limelight, Kilroy’s hard hitting is making its mark… Kilroy is blunt, and right now, that is the language that needs to happen. Blunt descriptions of what takes place in the stratosphere of he academic field…. Kilroy often breaks stories before the News Journal, especially ones embarrassing to the Murphy/Markell cartel of education. If you have read Kilroy over the past couple of years, you would already know that Common Core is not the panacea we have been promised. It is a power grab for taxpayer dollars, financed by Wall Street itself…. If you think otherwise, you haven’t been reading a balanced reading list….
That is what I have so far. In retrospect I am surprised that education has played so much, as even I have only come to that topic lately… But if one looks over the News Journal op eds, education really did dominate the discussion in the 2nd smallest state this year….

I may have forgotten some big ones. To reiterate, that is why I am posting this early, to catch those big mistakes as they get brought to my attention….


Truth, again lifted from Der Spiegal….

What a nice club that is. A club of liars, cheaters, adulterers, exaggerators, hypocrites and ignoramuses. “A starting point for a chronicle of American decline,” was how David Remnick, the editor of the New Yorker, described the current Republican race.

The Tea Party would take issue with that assessment. They cheer the loudest for the worst, only to see them fail, as expected, one by one. Which goes to show that this “movement,” sponsored by Fox News, has never been interested in the actual business of governing or in the intelligence and intellect that requires. They are only interested in marketing themselves, for ratings and dollars.

So the US elections are a reality show after all, a pseudo-political counterpart to the Paris Hiltons, Kim Kardashians and all the “American Idol” and “X Factor” contestants littering today’s TV. The cruder, the dumber, the more bizarre and outlandish — the more lucrative. Especially for Fox News, whose viewers were recently determined by Fairleigh Dickinson University to be far less informed than people who don’t watch TV news at all.

Maybe that’s the solution: Just ignore it all, until election day. Good luck with that — this docudrama with its soap-opera twists is way too enthralling. The latest rumor du jour involves a certain candidate who long ago seemed to have disappeared from the radar. Now she may be back, or so it is said, to bring order into this chaos. Never mind that her name is synonymous with chaos: Sarah Palin.


Lifted from Der Speigal:

And so the farce continues. The more mind-boggling its incarnations, the happier the US media are to cheer first one clown and then the next, elevating and then eliminating “frontrunners” in reliable news cycles of about 45 days.

Take Herman Cain, “businessman.” He sat out the first wave of sexual harassment claims against him by offering a peculiar argument: Most ladies he had encountered in his life, he said, had not complained.

In the most recent twist, a woman accused Cain of having carried on a 13-year affair with her. That, too, he tried to casually wave off, but now, under pressure, he says he wants to “reassess” his campaign.

If Cain indeed drops out, the campaign would lose its biggest caricature: He has been the most factually challenged of all these jesters.

As CEO of the “Godfather’s” pizza chain, Cain killed jobs — but now poses as the job-creator-in-chief. Meanwhile, he seems to lack basic economic know-how, let alone a rudimentary grasp of politics or geography. Libya confounds him. He does not believe that China is a nuclear power. And all other, slightly more complicated questions get a stock answer: “Nine-nine-nine!” Remember? That’s Cain’s tax reduction plan that would actually raise taxes for 84 percent of Americans.

Has any of that disrupted Cain’s popularity in the media or with his fan base? Far from it. Since Oct. 1, he has collected more than $9 million in campaign donations. Enough to plow through another onslaught of denouements.


Courtesy of


Ladies and Gentlemen: It is Open Letter season again. If anyone pressed for time, needs to copy, paste and send parts of this letter as their own, please do.


Arnetta McRae, Chair
Public Service Commission
861 Silver Lake Boulevard
Cannon Building, Suite 100
Dover, DE 19904
Fax: (302) 739-4849
Email c/o Karen Nickerson:

Russell T. Larson, Controller General
P.O. Box 1401
Legislative Hall
Dover, DE 19903
Fax: (302) 739-3794

Office of Management and Budget
Jennifer W. Davis, Director
Haslet Armory, Third Floor 122 William Penn Street
Dover, DE 19901
Fax: (302) 739-5861

Department of Natural Resources
John Hughes, Secretary
89 Kings Highway
Dover, DE 19901
Fax: (302) 739-6242

Based on your past actions, it is probably superfluous of me to remind you that your loyalties lie with the bulk of citizens who expect you to choose the best option for our future energy development.

You have heard the same information we have, no doubt, as well as some we haven’t. I only urge you to account for that human tendency that occurs as one nears a deadline, of shrinking one’s universe down to a room sized level, and how options that may seem best in the give and take among personalities within a small conference room, do not reflect well outside those four walls.

Last spring, many of us went great lengths to tell you exactly how much we believed in wind, how it could save us from high prices, from environmental damage, and from many of our own medical nightmares…..That feeling has not changed. A large number of us still feel, that since we poured our hearts out to you before, we do not have to make the same concerted effort to do it again…..We trust by now, you know how we feel.

Bluewater has shown good faith in these negotiations. Their recent letter pulling all cost escalators off the table is a bold and sincere indication of how they will do business.

This contrasts greatly with Delmarva’s actions. The recent unsettling revelations over how Delmarva pretended to compromise, and then use an asterisk in the last hours of the last afternoon, to say it held no allegiance to any of the agreements previously made in good faith, is an even better indication of how they will do business.

Over my lifetime it has been my general human experience that people who use tricks, parliamentary motions, and intrigue, usually lack sincere interest in the common good. In fact, their attempts to obfuscate, divert, ignore, and intimidate, usually illustrate that they most desperately fear the common good and will use whatever weapons they have at their disposal, to prevent further actions from taking place in the public- goods’ behest…….

I have often noticed that those who are honest, open, and willing to investigate these type of impediments as a rare opportunity to improve and fine-tune their options, usually do have something that all will support, if the unadulterated information can “just get out there,” to the general public.

Just on this basis alone, one can present a strong case that you should consider moving forward with Bluewater’s proposal, and create adequate oversight and various monetary incentives (punitive damages) to insure that Delmarva complies with assisting Bluewater in achieving its goal in a timely fashion…..

However, other elements also support Bluewater Winds proposal. Electrical price stability will give Delaware an economic edge in attracting high tech businesses we desperately want. The same price stability will make living in Delaware much more favorable relative to living in one of our state’s neighbors, who themselves will be struggling to pay the future high cost of carbon. The decrease within our own air supply of SO2, CO2, NO and NO2, as well as trace amounts of mercury, cadmium, and strontium, and lead, should be something we should all be willing to pay more for, but in this case will receive as a bonus while paying even less..

As a citizen, and human being, I recognize that there are moral causes worthy of investment. One considers the savings spread over a long period, compared to the costs of doing nothing over that same time period…Today we have an option to invest in an energy plan, similar to a 401K, that will cost us money we would never see anyway. Just as a 401K’ money’s would go towards taxes if we failed to chose the option, money not spent on wind, would just go to pay the ever increasing costs of carbon. In the end, we would spend the same, and gain nothing.

As you approach the deadline, I entreat you to remember those of us on the outside of those four walls, who pray you will continue to stand up to Delmarva as you so far have, who pray you will choose the option that is right for us, and pray that you will not lose courage against those insincere characters sitting across your table, creating such a big stink within those four walls…….

Many hopes lie with you. May you continue to show the transparency, good judgment, and wide angled vision you have so graciously used in your past decisions.

For when it truly counts, we trust you will continue to show the moral courage sincerely hoped for by a tremendously large percentage of Delaware’s public, who support Bluewater’s open and transparent proposal, against the way things have always been done in the past……..


One citizen


growing like their economy

Every Democrat running for President agrees: the war in Iraq must end.

But it matters profoundly how we end it. It matters to our soldiers. It matters to Iraqis. And it matters to America’s future security.

Joe Biden sums it up well. I want to pay particular attention to the last line:

And it matters to America’s future security.

In my tongue in cheek post below about shrimp, I uncovered some facts I was unaware of. Particularly impressed was I on China’s buildup.

Knowing that it was the economic might of the North, that really outspent the South in the American Civil War, and knowing it was the economic might of the US during WWII, with the ability to build a liberty ship in sixteen days, that kept up with a two wars going on in two theaters, China’s relative economic strength versus our weakness, gives me some concern.

Speaking particularly of submarines, the Heritage Foundation has this to say:

Sea-power trends in the Pacific Ocean are ominous. By 2025, China’s navy could rule the waves of the Pacific. By some estimates, Chinese attack submarines will outnumber U.S. submarines in the Pacific by five to one and Chinese nuclear ballistic missile submarines will prowl America’s Western littoral, each closely tailed by two U.S. attack submarines that have better things to do. The United States, meanwhile, will likely struggle to build enough submarines to meet this challenge.


Right now, China wants to be at 85 submarines by 2010. The September 2004 promotion of Admiral Zhang Dingfa, a career submariner, to Chief of Staff of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and a full seat on the Central Military Commission was a clear signal of the primacy of submarine warfare.

Comparatively, in the US, Electric Boat (EB), the nation’s preeminent submarine contractor, has announced plans to lay off 900 of its 1,700 designers and marine draftsmen engineers over the next three years. It will mark the first time in 50 years that the U.S. has not had a new submarine design on the drawing board. EB laid off nearly 200 submarine engineers and machinists in early February—and EB is the only shipbuilder in the nation that maintains submarine designers. The U.S. has three submarines under construction today.

Whereas China has 25 new boats under contract now; 16 are under construction today, including a new class of nuclear attack submarine designated the Type-093 and a new nuclear ballistic missile sub, the Type-094.

Our Navy’s new 30-year shipbuilding plan calls for 48 nuclear attack submarines in the fleet by 2035. If the Navy does not start launching new subs at the rate of two per year until several years after 2012, the force would dip to a low of 40 in 2028, or 17 percent below the Navy’s stated needs.

The reason for the cutback on what may be the most instrumental weaponry needed by mid century, is because of Iraq.

We simply do not have the resources to build submarines fast enough. Our money is being used elsewhere.

One needs to ask who will be the greater enemy of our future. The impoverished insurgents jumping through rings of fire in their video clips, or…..the worlds largest economic power when it finally decides to shift some of its resources away from butter, and turn them into guns……

This war in Iraq is a threat to America’s future security. We are squandering valuable resources needed elsewhere.

We need to end this war now, and start building to keep ahead of our real enemies. Otherwise, we will find ourselves soon to be out-Reagan’d by our newly capitalist friends in China………

spy photos of China's Secret Nuke Base


Taking the Easy Pass Lane

So there I was as a young man, traipsing over the grassy knolls of a compound called Dachau……..and the single image of which I could not shake from my mind, was a view back home from the top of the former Twin Towers.………taken while walking  around the observatory in a slow 360 degree circle and realizing that the entire mass of humanity in that circle of twenty miles, was less than the amount of those eradicated by the Nazis, without a whimper from the German people.

And as my eyes watered a bit, ((no I did not cry), I was still too young), while gazing upon the fake showers, and peering into the cyanide vats on the other side, a tiny child’s voice between my ears, kept repeating a phrase I had stumbled across before the tour on the floor inside the museum. ” You saw us being beaten, you saw us wearing stars, you saw us humiliated, you saw us being transported, and YET YOU DID NOTHING……… I remember at the time being quite angry at the timidity and the complicity of the German people. For a brief moment I hated them…….and in a typical fashion common of that gender in possession of high and excessive levels of testosterone, in those emotional moments I vowed that I, (superior being that I was) would never fear or cave in to brutal intimidation………..

Today, my friend’s friend, lies buried in Arlington……And when I clicked on a forgotten link……(do I still need this?…) and saw the face of a very brave New Castle citizen…….looking back from her high school picture…..those jaded eyes of mine wet over again as I slowly realized that I too had failed to live up to that promise I once made on a bright July afternoon, while standing beside a giant trench planted over with flowers……….

So where was I when it happened? What was I doing that was so important as events played around me? Nothing earth shattering really, and if you probe and scrape all the residue away, I was simply way too busy going through motions in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, to really worry making those tough sacrifices that are personally required to implement the necessary changes (piece of crap, I am)……. Then,……… something about that girl’s picture…………..pissed me off. I think it was how much like my own daughter she was……

So what can I do? Not much, I am no Kissinger nor Howard Baker. I cannot bring these people together and make a settlement. But I can make a choice……and that choice is this.

I can choose to STOP DOING NOTHING. I can go on record and suffer the surprise trip to Guantanamo that may come in the middle of the night (risk diminished), or the bullet to the back of the head in some forgotten landfill (not likely), if it comes to that. And most particularly, I can look at those who enabled and supported this administration when it chose to invade a nation that had not attacked us, a nation that had no intention of attacking us, a nation that had nothing to do with 9/11…….but only a nation that had the poor unfortunate distinction, of being the chosen victim that this bully of an administration had decided to make an example of………..long before the 2000 elections were ever held!

If any of you have ever felt that you too have done too little, that you too were lulled and fooled into believing this war made you safer, then come, join me outside Delaware congressman Mike Castle’s office on Friday July 6th. And should you be too busy, I will understand. Most likely you do not have that haunting childlike voice as do I between my ears, that implores ……..AND YET YOU DO NOTHING…….…But if, by some ancient gene, you do…… possess the capacity to know right from wrong, and if…… by the grace of God, you have been given time to come and be counted, and if…… you do not want to pass on, having never made a difference in anything………… then take the half hour, and come and join us; be counted on this upcoming Friday at 11:00am. (Tell Boss-women you have a doctors appointment if you have to……or call on someone you know who feels like you do, and unlike you, has nothing going on at moment in time.)


If ten people show, the war goes on, but us ten can rest at ease that we did our part. If twenty show, our numbers just grew 100% !!…….If hundreds show, one or two lines will appear in the News Journal and it will not have been in vain. If a thousand people show, the Congressman and staff will take notice. And just maybe……just maybe……..find within themselves the moral courage to add their voice to echo ours……..WE CAN MAKE A CHOICE……WE CAN DO SOMETHING.

In democracy, the real leaders are always “We, the people“: it is us who tell the government what We want them to do…… Please……..come with us……….and make our stand?


Brief notes:

What didn’t happen?

SB 04 did not escape fast enough when Thurman Adam’s bottom drawer was quickly open and shut. It and HB 04 expired last night from lack of oxygen.

Few gave much chance that either bill would survive once they entered the dreaded Senate Executive committee. Gee, who is on that committee? One, the chair, is a Democrat! Thurman Adams who hails from the Sussex County town of Bridgeville. The others include the following Democrats: Patty Blevins, Tony DeLuca, and Jim Vaughn, who can now retire since it will not matter how his replacement would vote. The committee is complimented by the ghost of Wayne Smith, Charlie Copeland, and the renewable resource fox lover, Liane Sorenson

If you need a good cry, look back through the January archives of Delaware’s bloggers and see the hopefulness that burned within. Then on 1/11 the Senate bill got pegged. On March 20, the House Bill 04 disappeared along with it after being passed 38 to 1 in the House.

So lets see…….in the House, which is Republican, almost everyone except for Rehoboth’s Democrat, voted to have the Bond Bill brought out of committee three days before the last day of the session. This year, the bond bill came out and was passed sight unseen at11:01 by the Senate, and at 12:54 by the House. 3.4 Billion and now you know more of what was in it than any of those voting yea did in the early morning hours!

So who failed us? We did, you and me. As any high school student of physics will tell you, under the law of inertia, it takes an unbalanced force to challenge and change the direction of a moving object. And our General Assembly has been traveling in this direction for a long time.

Only Delaware’s bloggers are “unbalanced enough” to create the precisely applied force required to change the direction of our legislature. Now, after tonight, it is public knowledge as to where that force needs to be applied………….

So we’ll give those lobbyists who packed the galleries early into the morning, fingers crossed that their special projects would go unnoticed until passage, then high five-ing their way down Lockerman Street to their favorite watering hole-(Hi Diana (bartender))……… them, we give the first round.    But it was no TKO;   just a one point split decision. We now know their Achilles heel.

Incidentally,  of all the personalities. on either side of the aisle, in either chamber,   the most impressive personality was,……………………………Karen Peterson.  Someday she really could be governor.