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I really didn’t give this report much respect coming out of the gate for the word-leaked-out, was that it does nothing to stop the NSA’s abuse.   However, I have deep respect for Richard Clarke who was one of the five, so I felt compelled to read the whole thing

Since I’m sure few of you will venture to read the entire report, If something jumps out, I jotted it down below…

1. The United States Government must protect, at once, two different forms of security: national security and personal privacy.

In addition to reducing risks to national security, public officials must consider four other risks:

• Risks to privacy;
• Risks to freedom and civil liberties, on the Internet and elsewhere;
• Risks to our relationships with other nations; and
• Risks to trade and commerce, including international commerce.

We recommend that Congress should end such storage and transition to a system in which such metadata is held privately for the government to query when necessary for national security purposes.

In our view, the current storage by the government of bulk meta-data creates potential risks to public trust, personal privacy, and civil liberty.

We recognize that the government might need access to such meta-data, which should be held instead either by private providers or by a private third party. This approach would allow the government access to the relevant information when such access is justified, and thus protect national security without unnecessarily threatening privacy and liberty.

We endorse a broad principle for the future: as a general rule and without senior policy review, the government should not be permitted to collect and store mass, undigested, non-public personal information about US persons for the purpose of enabling future queries…

We also recommend that legislation should be enacted authorizing telephone, Internet, and other providers to disclose publicly general information about orders they receive directing them to provide information to the government. Such information might disclose the number of orders that providers have received, the broad categories of information produced, and the number of users whose information has been produced…

We recommend that, in the absence of a specific and compelling showing, the US Government should follow the model of the Department of Homeland Security and apply the Privacy Act of 1974 in the same way to both US persons and non-US persons.

We recommend a series of organizational changes.  We believe that the Director should be a Senate-confirmed position, with civilians eligible to hold that position; the President should give serious consideration to making the next Director of NSA a civilian. NSA should be clearly designated as a foreign intelligence organization….

The head of the military unit, US Cyber Command, and the Director of NSA should not be a single official.

We favor a newly chartered, strengthened, independent Civil Liberties and Privacy Protection Board (CLPP Board) to replace the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB)…

We recommend that Congress should create the position of Public Interest Advocate to represent the interests of privacy
and civil liberties before the FISC.

The US Government should take additional steps to promote security, by

(1) fully supporting and not undermining efforts to create encryption standards;

(2) making clear that it will not in any way subvert undermine, weaken, or make vulnerable generally available commercial
encryption; and

(3) supporting efforts to encourage the greater use of encryption technology for data in transit, at rest, in the cloud, and in
storage.

The use of “for-profit” corporations to conduct personnel investigations should be reduced or terminated.

There then follow forty-six recommendations, most of which were mentioned above… They start on page 26 and continue until page 44,  For the most part, these are where the complaints that the report is too soft, lie.  The report states things should be in a certain way, and like the Articles of Confederation, there is no teeth to back them up….  For instance it states we recommend that private third parties turn over data only if it is necessary to the security of the United States… Easily setting up this scenario… “Hi, can you give me info on Ms Murphy.  Appears we have some trousers in some soup…” ” Is it a national emergency?” “Yes, sure is”… “Ok here are all their calls…” Essentially unless teeth are added, this allows the same actions as go on today, to progress further.

Teeth such as:  any third party who gives, or any governmental employee who asks for private confidential information for purposes other than an immediate physical threat to national security, may be sued in court for any damages such misuse of information may cause…. etc…

It is our sincere hope, that one, this power is removed from the government.  Private corporations cannot arrest one in the middle of the night, and that with this data in the hands of private entities, that those private entities are at risk if any wrong information falls into anyone’s wrong hands…

Most of us would still trust our privacy in that scenario…  “What?  Someone just told my spouse I was sexting Miley Cyrus?  Oh well, (sigh) with the judgment of $68 million I’ll eventually receive, I’m much better off if I’m divorced before I receive it… ..”

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I hope you see this… I wanted to document a list of the damage the Pam Scott regime had done to New Castle County, such as destroying historical buildings, brushing aside traffic studies, mitigating necessary environmental policies, .. In general, everything they did that deteriorates the quality of life for people in New Castle County for years to come..

Then I realized it really should  come from you… You have the archives in Delaware Way; you know how your archives are organized, and you with a quick email sent “To All” could rapidly receive a plethora of details your contacts had lived through and fought against…

I know it will be a labor of love, and may take some time… But I think the world should know how this erosion of resident’s rights for the accumulation of money for a few, was done.  I figure it would probably take one day to go thought your archives, cutting and pasting links to all the articles on one page…

Often local struggles are rarely documented.  However they touch our lives far more than state or national issues.  It would be nice to have the truth out first for once…  all organized in one volume.

I really feel it should come from you. 🙂

Posting this in timely fashion so something has to get down about it.

A) Kilroy links to the Sheriff’s Sale report showing Moyer’s Attorneys put it on the auction bloc to buy it up themselves.

B) That link goes down.

C) Investigating why that link went down, the address he posted
“/sheriff/documents” was moved to the forbidden list.

Sheriff Is Shocked, Shocked That Sheriffs Sales Are Public Information

D) All documents with that address, meaning all sheriff sales etc, valuable public information that is required to be publicly accessable to prevent the type of corruption that just occurred, ….. everything with “/sheriff/documents”… is now frozen….

Is this law firm guilty of corruption in the highest order?

In today’s News Journal there is notice that Pam Scott had influence upon the letter announcing the compromise Chris Coons and Stoltz Reality worked out regarding the Barley Mill Plaza.

I just want to point out that this is not odd.  I do it all the time.  When an agreement is going to be made public, it is common practice to have the attorney’s on both sides trouble shoot it, play devil’s advocate, fling it against the wall to see if anything loose will fall out.

There is nothing more embarrassing than rolling out a plan whose flaw is immediately picked out by the public, and the whole plan has to then be rolled up and fixed.

This is why we send drafts back and forth to each other and ask for their approval, and if they choose to make changes they send it back to us for our approval.

This is a standard protocol in business and is nothing shady at all.   Trying to make it into something sinister and heinous won’t stand.  It is what we all do.  It is how things work.

Just sayin’.

Contorversy Across the Fields of Barley
Photo Courtesy of www.oldwilmington.net

It is a question of degree.. Who has the more authority within the current moment. A brand new administrator elected by the choice of the people over his predecessor, or…. a plan put in place and carried out by a previous administration.

Bottom line. There are no rules here. Depending on which side you seem to be on… will affect your outlook. The decision is both right and wrong for either side, depending upon which criteria one will use to decide.

Examine the first.

An Administrator is elected. He comes in and takes over his office. One of the planks he ran on was to reverse a certain act of his predecessor. When the people had a choice of electing a person who was for the proposal in question, and one who was against it, they overwhelmingly went for the one who was against it….

Now the second.

An Administrator inherits a problem from his predecessor. He applies considerable effort to get a deal made and moved forward. It goes through all proper channels. It is legalized by a vote on Council. It is the Council and thereby the County’s official policy. A schedule has been drawn up. Funding approved. It is in effect, in the middle of being completed…. Since it was set in stone before the new administrator comes in, he has no right to interfere…..

Can a chief executive overrule a previous Council’s decision? Well. Romney certainly was going to with Obamacare.
Congress had passed it, the Supreme Court had legitimized it, and Romney was going to make it obsolete with the stroke of a pen, based solely on the argument that it was the wish of a mandate of the voters putting him into office.

If it would work for the president, it must also be effective and allowed, under the new New Castle County Chief Executive.

It therefore, is not only legal, but ethical, contrary to the opinion of one certain Danberg who resigned in protest as county attorney on Wednesday.

A leadership role demands that a leader leads. For a leader to have to swallow every poisoned pill his predecessor were to leave him, puts not only him, but his department and the province he oversees…. at risk. That would be harmful to all society, if something was locked in stone by every outgoing administration…. Were that the true will of the people of New Castle County, to have Barley Mill Plaza go forward, then Paul Clark would now be the executive, not Tom Gordan…

Either way the decision goes, someone gets hurt. If the decision is to go forward, then those residents around that area who are the victims of a fabricated traffic study, are doomed to suffer. If the decision is to be stayed, and reworked pending a new traffic study, then those who have invested into the plan, are the ones doomed to suffer.

So someone has to get hurt! The question is …. who?

HERE COMES DA JUDGE!……

Due to the lack of Republican challengers, the next four years are coming into view.  There are bigger things at stake, and those suffering losses need not be too hard on themselves.

It would be safe to say that we have two opposing forces in this county.  One is labor, and the other is developers.  And to this, I’ll add a third, community organizations.

To understand the election, you have to understand the history.   When Tom Gordon first ran, the communities were up in arms over haphazard development with no control.   In 1974 vast swatches of the county, then all farmland, had been zoned into various categories.  As development moved outwards from Wilmington,  issues began to develop.  Gordon upon coming into office, put a moratorium on development.  None for 6 months.

That is when the UDC became formulated.  Through Community organizations who were allowed to be part of the planning, a system was developed that  had already been subsequently approved by those whose backyards would be affected….  During this time frame community associations were big.  Even state legislators made it a point to attend.  Labor made it a point to attend.  Sometimes if the project was big, even a US Congressman or Senator might attend.

The point was, that the community was involved.  And compared to earlier, it was cheaper for developers, who did not have to worry about making arbitrary adjustments during the construction process simply because of pressure from the community put on elected official, who then demanded costly requests to those investing the money and building projects.

That was early in Gordon’s term.  Then came the paranoia.  Was someone a plant?  Was someone working for someone else, and sabotaging from the inside all the good work being done.  A police state mentality descended upon  county employees.  If someone challenged Gordon,  instead of saying whatever, give it your best shot, maybe that’s the way it is going to work out better,  the tone became how dare you challenge me.  Once that tone gets taken it has to be supported by actions.  The legal troubles ensued because county money was used to this purpose.  Intimidation.   Company employees sent to spy; all sorts of cloak and dagger tactics.

It was time for new leadership.  The Unions were out, and the business model came in.  Under Coons the model was to bring in business. But gradually the cash cow of transfer taxes began to trickle.  Paul Clark continued the business model during the tightness of the past 4 years.  Balancing the budget on lean earnings meant some people had to go.  It meant some positions could not be filled.  It meant new equipment needed by police and firemen, could not be purchased.  On a positive note, it meant balanced budgets, and a AAA bond rating, which holds costs down during times of future borrowing.

Because of the shift to business, it meant that community organizations were a hindrance.   Bloggers who were worried about the destruction of an old cow shed,  calling it historical,  were holding development costing millions of dollars.  Paul Clark though his wife, streamlined the process required for moving projects forward.  Like everything, there are negatives and positives.  As these moved forward, the negatives were washed over and the positives extolled.   In hindsight, when money and jobs were in short supply, this streamlined process probably did allow a few worker’s houses to remain in their position.  Had they waited or scrapped the projects, those workers would be out of work and bankrupt.

So hindsight is clearer than foresight.  Had we had a labor executive, or a community supporter during this Republican caused Recession, we may have been worse off.

Now, Tom Gordon is back in.  We have the ascendency of the Unions, but the community associations have dried up and blown away.  Deemed vestigal organs by the past two administrations, they withered on the vine and are hard pressed to find ones still actively involved in planning and development.

But Tom has his own challenges.  Personal challenges.  There are two types of people and everyone ranges somewhere between them.  You have “good” people and “bad” people…   If a “bad” person gets re-elected, he goes, “ha,ha… suckers…. This time I’m taking everything that is not nailed down.”  If a “good” person gets re-elected,  he goes “… wow, i got another chance to make things right; I can’t eff it up this time; I got to be careful.”  Which of these is Tom, depends upon who you talk to right now.  It is still close to the election.  However, knowing what I know, if  it were me, I would do the latter.   I would know that I would be rated by my last term; memories are short. Whatever I do in my last term will erase what happened in the first.   I will end well liked.

Tom lost his mind on Freeberry.  He has not talked to her in 5 years.  I can understand how in that type of relationship, if one hears the admonition of that one is not tough enough, one could believe it, and crack down harder to be feared….

We are at a new crossroads now.  Here is what needs to happen.  We need the skills that Tom once had, without the baggage…. Anyone can make guesses at what motivates other people and I am no exception.  It appears that the early Tom was insecure.   Afraid of losing everything he had built up, he doubled down on everyone under him.  If someone dare oppose him on council, the found a challenger and worked with that challenger to defeat  that person who opposed him.

A secure person would have gone to that person’s district, checked to see if that office holder was voting what his constituents wanted, and if so, dropped the plank.   To continue would be forcing constituents to accept what they did not want.  Drop it and move on.

The second requirement is to surround himself with top notch people.  Look for and hire people who are capable of doing what is required.   Don’t worry about loyality;  that comes with time.  You can’t force someone to be loyal;  you can only force them to tell you they are loyal.  Real loyalty comes from love.  When people like you well enough, and buy into what you are trying to accomplish that they sacrifice some of their well being for a greater cause that you champion,  life becomes so much easier.   What about that spy?

There will always be spies.  The US has spies as well as China and Russia and Israel.   When spies are found out, they are dealt with quickly and decisively.   One has to.  Your loyal members need to know you value their feelings too.   But if you have a mole, and you are a good leader, your people will bring the spies before you, especially if they are interrupting their work and feelings of accomplishment.

When a management team closes ranks, it destroys it’s legacy.  It will not last forever and when it does go, it leaves no knowledge behind.  The replacement team tinkers and often erases all the accomplishment the original team laid out, so years later no one can remember anything you ever did.  A true team, leaves behind a team that is better than it was, having learned from all the original blunders and errors what not to do.  A true team, when it leaves, has things continuing running smoothly as far into the future as the eye can see.  As long as those things run well, when someone asks, who started this,  your legacy will be enhanced.

Bottom line, is to treat the employees in your office building like you would treat a community association meeting.  You are only, and will only be, as good as they are.

That needs to be your focus over the next four years…   A quick speech:  “We will not fail our constituents;  if you are having trouble succeeding, I need to know about it quickly so I can give you what you need to be successful.”

Time to move Forward.

New Castle County Executive. Today we decide.

I first heard of Bill Shahan from Nancy. Woo-hoo, I thought. Someone beside Clark. Bill filed early. He really wants to do this.

But alas in the meetings I attended, Bill Shahan appeared amateurish compared to Clark. Paul Clark, without Pam, presented a good case. He trimmed the budget, he kept the A+++ rating during the Republican Depression from 2008 on. He increased the amount of police being trained. He raised the target level, even though it would make him look bad politically, because he then had more openings on his police force.

Paul effectively explained and I doubt that Nancy could hear it, that sites like Barley Mill, could be developed if they met all parts of the code. The County cannot say to you who own the property, “you can’t build here”. It has no authority under code to do so. What it can do, and does, is say “Ok, if you are building you have to meet these requirements: traffic, environmental, run-off, density, historical, sewar.” As long as the property owner meets those requirements (or gets a variance) he is free to build……

In the beginning meetings back in March, Shahan sounded like a good guy, but, was outclassed by Clark. Clark had all the answers; Shahan had opinions yet untested….. Remember…. this was Pre-Gordon….

Then Tom Gordon enters the race. My first thought was, really? But then he makes a film for the Muslim audience of New Castle County, and that was impressive. No one in recent memory had ever reached out to them. Perhaps this was someone contrite, humbled, possessing a firm quietness…..

The first public meeting with Clark, Shahan, and Gordon, brought back all the memories. Gordon was a thug… Not in a bad way, and if you needed a forceful enterprising person, that personality might be advantageous, say, in tackling the murder rate of Wilmington, “Die, Sucker, Die”… But the congenial atmosphere of going to debates changed. Instead of hearing a college lecture, one needed to prepare his stomach as one does before a episode of “Breaking Bad.” They were combative.

It was like watching a dog fight… with everyone standing around… Your natural urge was to wonder, shouldn’t somebody do something to stop it?

Under the onslaught of Gordon’s thuggishness, Clark responded in kind. Debates were very visceral. It became about who was the toughest, about who could throw punches and who could dodge them, not what could be done for New Castle Citizens.

Having written off Shahan very early on, I believe all attention was focused on these two to see who would be the better for us. This is not completely accurate, but.. one could say the Unions back Gordon, and the Building Industry backs Clark.

It was Allan Loudell of WDEL News who first brought it to my attention. “Both challengers to Gordon & Clark – Jon Husband (a manager in the county’s Special Services department) and Bill Shahan (an employee in the county’s Land Use Department) – tried to stay above the fray. Shahan tried to direct the discussion to the future. He showed great polish and poise for someone who hasn’t held elective office before. Both lesser-known challengers suggested they’d be in a unique position to cut waste and inefficiencies in county government, because they’ve long labored within the innards of county government.”

“Bill Shahan tried to stay above the fray. Shahan tried to direct the discussion to the future. he showed great polish and poise for someone who hasn’t held elective office before……

That moment made me think there was something in Bill I had missed. He’d grown in 6 months.

Then I happened to catch his editorial in the News Journal. It was good, priorities were right. But in that opinion piece was a surprise I really liked. The question was what would you do to bring jobs to New Castle County. The others candidates said tax cuts, improve education… everything that sounds good but is impossible  to implement… Bill said, “our port is under utilized. If we bring in more cargo, we have people working full time, not part time. We have money spent in the economy. ” I said wow. Here is an idea from someone who really does have a breadth of knowledge. We already have it here, It sits right off the artery of eastern America, it is cheaper than further upriver, it has a great potential to steal business away from both Philly and Baltimore… Sure as the others stated, you could pay someone to try to coax a small business hiring one or two people to abandon every other county in the nation and choose ours, but really, what would be your rate of success? But to build up the port, where you already have trained labor under utilized, where you actually get tax money instead of giving it away, what a great idea. I wouldn’t have thought of that…

i began to see Bill as different. Bill was around before the UDC. Bill built the UDC. Bill has been around to see its successes and its failures. Bill really knows the UDC in and out. Now I don’t know about you, but often in ones workplace you have two jerks who are always vying with each other for the next big promotion. They form two camps of supporters, and neither one talks to the other… When each side talks to you, most of what they say, is telling you how bad the others are…

When both are on the same shift, the tension is thick. When only one is there, there is no love or happiness, but you can tolerate it. But when both are gone, everyone feels happy, like a load’s been lifted off, and everyone likes working those days because everyone does their job, doesn’t have to waste time looking over their shoulders, and enjoys the work thoroughly.

I was listening to Al Mascitti yesterday morning, and the was explaining the history of Tom Gordon, and Gordon supporters were calling up and bashing Clark. “You can’t talk about Gordon because Clark is corrupt!  He did this; he did that. He’s a terrible person… ” and I thought really? ….You are trying to make me like you, by demeaning someone else? And it was just disgusting… like the dogfight I alluded to above. Sure it was good radio, but somewhere in that discussion, I had to ask why… Why are we dealing with this?  If either one, Clark or Gordon gets elected, the other side won’t let up, and this will continue ad infinitum. ….

What would break the cycle?

“if you stay out of the headlines for bad things, and start making headlines for good things”…. Bill Shahan.e/o WHYY

That finally decided it for me. “Damn, we deserve better than what we have.”

What was originally a diamond in the rough, has now been polished.. and is now ready to lead the first county in the Diamond State.

When a good person is put in charge, everyone steps up to carry him forward. If (and I stress if because I’m beginning to think the guy on the inside all these years maybe does have all the answers),  there is any experience factor missing in Bill Shahan’s portfolio, someone already and expert in it, can support him.

The difference is, we can now all be” proud” of who our County Chief executive is, instead of carefully watching our elected officials  and tolerating their disgustingly negative spontaneous outbursts.

Paul Clark For County Executive


Courtesy of Delawareonline

“Once you destroy History, all the money in the world cannot replace it.”

Picture Says It All

It was called politics as usual when Rich Krett withdrew from the New Castle County Council President’s race.

It was anything but usual.

You see, Rich Krett, is head of AFSCME Local 3109. AFSCME has 7000 Democratic employees in Delaware, … Mr Pam Scott, is head of the Realtor’s Association of New Castle County. They have 1900 agents and all of them, all of them are Republicans. Not much help in a Democratic primary….

Something had to be done to stop Rich Krett from going through with his election…. Otherwise the Realtors were out!

Somehow Rich’s signature showed up on a grant request for a new driving simulator for paramedics. He is not a signatory. He is an alternate, get that, alternate… It could have gone like this…

“This grant application is no good…”

“What? No good?”

“Yep, it’s no good.. It’s missing a signature…”

“Where? We got all the signatures…. ”

“No, we need two alternates also to sign on this form… ”

“Aw, man… Cut us a break… we are just here ourselves… ”

“Well, do you know anyone who can co-sign? You could be their proxy?”

Hey, Rich won’t mind…. Put his name down, and I’ll tell him later… (if I remember it, lol)…

“There… are we good now?”

“Yep, you are good now.”

And so a signature is attached and Rich has no idea how it got there… But, under the Hatch Act, any local officials who in any way receive federal funding are bound by the Hatch Act’s prohibition on seeking political office. Problem is: it often keeps qualified candidates out of the field… sometimes people more qualified than the current office holder….

Hats off to WDEL’s Rick Jensen. In an on air interview with Assistant attorney for New Castle County, Ed Danberg, we heard Ed dancing semantically arouhd Rick’s direct questions.

Ed sent Rich an email on March 7th informing him there could possibly be some conflict with the Hatch Act. Today, Ed sent Rich an ultimatum… “Quit your job, or quit the race against my boss (the man who could one day remove the word “assistant” from my job title if I prove my loyalty)… Paul Clark”

“Ed, you can have my damn job… I’m definitely going to take the job of your boss now!!!!!” …. didn’t happen. Rich obviously needs to work. And so Paul Clark does not have a head of the government union running against him in the Democratic Primary….

In the conversation, (which Ed was on a speakerphone with “realtors” also in the same room), Ed slipped up that whether or not this violated the Hatch Act.. was in his words… “HIS” opinion…. His opinion…

When pressed by Rick Jensen, as to what was the hurry, as to why such a short time existed between the first notice and the ultimatium: “quit your Job, or quit your campaign“, Ed fell back on the doctrine that New Castle County could lose all their funding if they violated the Hatch Act…

Although that could be true in an extreme case, it would have to go through a long series of events to make that happen. First, Rich would have to say, I’m challenging this. Then Mr. Pam Scott, would have to say, … you’re right… We are not firing you and not only that.. we are going to be sticking up for you!… Then, the Feds would have to ask the Special Counsel to look in on the situation. She would, and she would have to respond back, that things were completely out of control in New Castle County under the leadership of one Mr. Pam Scott, and that all Federal funding for everything in New Castle County should be frozen….

Rich Krett probably should have contacted the Office of Special Counsel to see if his very suspicious situation would, could, or might be covered under the Hatch Act… There is a very good chance that she would say,… “no. I determine that you are free to run….”

Ironically on the very day Rich was first contacted by Ed (attorney for Mr. Pam Scott), on the blue carpeted floor of the United States Senate, a bill by Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md), was introduced that would… in the future, EXEMPT ALL LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND STATE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES FROM THE HATCH ACT….

The Office of Special Counsel, wants the Hatch Act Overhauled….

Head of the Office of Special Counsel, Carolyn Lerner, said on this matter… “The law desperately needs to be updated. What we’re seeing now is unfair results and probably unintended consequences that were never meant to be part of the act,”

She is on record as being in favor of NOT holding local government employees to full accounting by the anachronistic Hatch Act…

Looks like the only people who REALLY care about this ancient piece of legislation, are a crotchety bunch of Realtors, desperate in times of changing political loyalties, to limit any competition……….


Right click to open full image… Pictograph Courtesy of Viral..

So, can someone tell me again, why we shouldn’t tax the rich, and instead, balance the budget on the backs of everyone else?…….

I seem to be missing that little detail where that all makes sense……