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Award For Delaware's Most Influental P/P/or T of The Year
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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….
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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….

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We Cut Your Food Stamps. We Put You Out Of Work, We're Crashing Your 401K's, Just So Boehner Treats Us To A Pizza Party, Which You Are Paying For, BTW... Ha, Ha, Ha

Pizza being taken to John Boehner’s office as the House speaker held talks with Republicans after the collapse of a deal to raise the government debt ceiling temporarily. Photograph: J Scott Applewhite/AP

Story by Pittsburgh Press.  Of course it is easy to point flaws out on the other side, and use it so bolster oneself by saying: “see!  Told you we’re the good guys”.  Reality is that bad people pop up everywhere so this shouldn’t become the crux or banner of the reform Educational-reform movement.

What it does show, however,…  is that the other side, the Charter School movement, is very susceptible to people whose primary goal is to enrich themselves well and quickly.

The charges really come down to a good person thinking that no one would know how much he was making, because the Charter Movement was so messed up organizationally, and therefore it was his for the taking and no one would ever know.

Apparently he wasn’t aware that all his calls and emails could be pulled up at the touch of a button.

Anyways, his policies which are harmful to public education will now not be as effective compared to as if he was still able to convince others over to his way of thinking….

I guess that is a small victory.

The real lesson, is that this rarely happens in public school systems, because there is no money that can be made.  Pirates always be lookin’ at the booty….

It is clearer now that the biggest benefactors for the NSA spying were commercial enterprises. The Obama administration went along with the Bush plan and accelerated it, primarily to give American companies a heads up, and keep jobs here.  It worked too.

One can’t argue with success. But one can find how American businesses were co-opted to assist the NSA.  From the Guardian, the following, allegedly from Snowden himself.

• Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new Outlook.com portal;

• The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on Outlook.com, including Hotmail;

• The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide;

• Microsoft also worked with the FBI’s Data Intercept Unit to “understand” potential issues with a feature in Outlook.com that allows users to create email aliases;

• In July last year, nine months after Microsoft bought Skype, the NSA boasted that a new capability had tripled the amount of Skype video calls being collected through Prism;

• Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a “team sport”.

it is revealing that the beneficiaries of the Patriot Act and probably one of the reasons it has been intact long after terrorism faded offshore, are the exact same who are suing each other left and right, using the anti-piracy laws as their barrage.  It appears that laws are not for people anymore; they are for corporations.  It is corporations who want the US to fund listening posts for every American word and sentence.

The only way to fix that, is to divide the corporations Teddy-Roosevelt-style, thereby giving We, the People a little more clout.  …

Accountable For Every Student's Progress

You asked for this. Please cut and paste at will.

Barack Obama
President of the United States.
White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr President:

There is something you need to know. I would be happy to tell you in person or get a group of educators to discuss the problems we are having with pursuing your education policy. It is a situation where communication is key.

I want to be clear. We have the same goals. It is just that the methods being prescribed are steering us away from those mutual goals, instead of towards them.

Honestly. This is a case of middle management gone awry. This is a case I feel, where the top and the bottom are on the same page, but those in the middle, are not to be trusted.

As member of a school board, one that is struggling to do it’s best to bring a district from behind, who has achieved progress in a way sort of like you have on the economy where we both started so late and so far behind, that we are being accosted as failures though if one actually took time to account for our progress, as well as yours, we’ve both done a pretty good job… I think for your legacy, you need to hear from us….

We are in Delaware’s Race to the Top. Those of us here and in Tennessee are having the same problem.

The specific problem, is that you and those in the top echelon are not getting the truth. You may actually think we are making progress. As the person most accountable, I think you would want to hear that perhaps the glowing reports you are getting, are not entirely true. This is something obviously which cannot be passed up through the chains of commands, because it involves them.

Truth in reporting is the issue. The truth is that what we are being fed, is not working at the interface where student meets teacher. In fact, the pressure all are being put under to fulfill these arbitrary deadlines, inane quotas, and poorly thought out trackers, actually is taking away from the time we spend with students. I repeat it is a negative influence on the results expected….

We originally approached this with an open mind. We wanted to reform our schools too. But, somewhere up the ladder, things went bad.

The prime issue is that we are being force to follow a system poorly designed. When we bring concerns to the table, they are dismissed and we are treated as inconsequential, and dismissed, accused of being the source of trouble. Instead, we were simply trying to establish an environment of mutual respect, where problems can be discussed and probed, and workable solutions can be found, and tested before implementation. It’s as if someone designed the cooks line of a restaurant and put all the necessary tools on the other end from where they were needed. It seems to make sense to talk to those who actually will be expected to provide results during the planning stages, instead of wondering to use the example above, why all the food always took so long… It can be prevented if we can be part of the planning process.

Our concern is our students.

We sincerely would like to discuss ideas that can keep the good parts of these programs moving forward, and utilize all the tools that we, as highly trained professionals, can apply to this worthy cause.

As every leader should know, the truth will not stay buried. It always surfaces, even if it is after the implosion has occurred, even if it is found by specialists sifting through the wreckage to find the cause. Simply put, we would like someone to listen to us on the bottom: the teachers, administrators, parents, students, and particularly a school board…..

It could positively affect the entire campaign.

Sincerely:

All of the below……

kavips.

Reading a recent critique of the debates, it focused on a fact. Millions of Americans are not enjoying the benefits of this economy. Romney had the lucky position to point out all that was wrong, without the responsibility of finding any solution to fix it.

His line, “bring down the rates, broaden the base.” simply has not worked. It didn’t work in Reagan’s time. It didn’t work for Bush HW. It didn’t work for Bush W. It is called: “trickle down”.

Clinton, who practiced kavipsian Economics, raised the rates, causing profits to revert back into the economy stimulating even more growth; that growth grew people’s incomes. That is the key. People will take lower wages if they know they will grow out of them. But ever since Republican Tax Rates went into effect, wage growth immediately stopped. 99% of Americans are earning exactly what they did in 2000. It’s been twelve years since wages for the 99%, increased. Higher taxes takes away all incentive for any employer to pay his people more.

Here is the funny part. To actually do something about the economy, President Obama has to eradicate the Republicans. Get rid of them. Make them a non player. Republicans and republicans alone, are the reason the economy is in such a slump.

Let’s review.

Republicans fought the stimulus.
Republicans fought the car buying incentive.
Republicans fought infrastructure development.
Republicans fought giving Veterans jobs upon returning to USA after fighting for years.
Republicans fought lowering insurance rates.
Republicans fought lowering gas price legislation.
Republicans fought regulating big banks from literally stealing your money.
Republicans fought against balancing the budget.
Republicans fought against payroll increases for all Americans.
Republicans fought against lowering medical costs.
Republicans fought against a better economy.
Republicans fought against hiring more policemen.
Republicans fought against hiring more fireman.
Republicans fought against hiring more school teachers.
Republicans fought against building roads and bridges that were sorely needed.
Republicans fought against not defaulting on the US Dollar.
Republicans fought against strengthening America Abroad.
Republicans fought against stopping corporate corruption.
Republicans fought against fighting wealthy tax cheats.
Republicans fought against closing the loopholes Romney used to get rich.
Republicans fought against raising wages for all Americans.
Republicans fought against legislation that allowed workers to ask for more money without being fired.

yeah. There is a reason the economy is bad. It is called the Republican Party.

Having “No Republicans” equals massive investment back into our economy. The formula for a successful America is…..

NO REPUBLICANS EVER ELECTED AGAIN = MASSIVE AMERICA ECONOMIC GROWTH

So Obama, you are at fault according to Mitt Romney and the Conservative Cheer-leading squad… Because you didn’t get rid of Republicans… Shame on you!!!!

I guess it is up to us, to do so if we EVER want our economy back.

If not… I guess every vote for a Republican is a vote in support of Communist China…..

Google dismantled Safari, to access private data from iPhones.

They deliberately overrode the security setting set by each individual, to find out the browsing preferences of those individuals…

Those individuals specifically set their security setting so their information would not be given out…..

Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Earlier today I wrote that gigantic penelities need to be levied in today’s world, to protect information.

It is too easy to steal, and any type of security to prevent such stealing is cost prohibitive.

So. fine them… Fine them so it hurts……..

The only reason they tried it, was because they could…

And hat’s off to Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, for finding, calling Google on it, and forcing Google to disable that program….

I think a proper fine would be a full year’s earnings for Google Inc.

Nothing…….

If someone downloads a Hollywood movie or television series…. is that a loss of profit for a Movie studio?

They would like you to think so…

But most people download movies because they do not have the money to otherwise spend.

Therefore, they would never buy that product …. If it were not available, they would just do without…..

Today, everyone has access to a computer. There is no market for movies copyied on CD and sold on the black market. There is no money in downloaded movies. They are worthless entities…

What the availability of downloaded movies actually do, is to effectively market that product.

How often have you been in a group of strangers with time to kill and get stuck searching cable for a movie?

Do you trust the reviews, obviously slanted so you pick their product, or do you listen to other people and pick one that they have seen and say is good?

You know that answer.

One day soon it will be proven. The reason profits of movies studios and the entertainment industries are up, is because of the ability to “globally” upload movies on the internet…. More people now (or did) have access to “Hollywood” across this globe than ever before… Theoretically, even if one out of ten viewers later buys the product after testing it, that is a boon for movie moguls. Don’t ever think anyone in the Third World will buy without first testing.

Without such glowing reviews from our peers, when it comes to fluffy entertainment, …. we will prefer to spend our hard money on more worthwhile causes.

As a concerned citizen, I am beginning to accept that a boycott of Hollywood until charges against MegaUpload are dismissed … is exactly the precise action that is needed…..

After all, “Hollywood Jobs are at stake.”…..

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.

Greece has been racked by torment since soon after Papandreou won power in 2009 and revealed that the real budget deficit was three times bigger than original estimates put out by his CONSERVATIVE predecessor.

Will wonders ever cease?