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Delaware's Heroes For What

We hail our fallen heroes.  Hopefully many of you stirred some dull roots with spring rain today:…  memories, both a blessing and a curse.

But for whom did they die?

Did they die for….

Top 5 Contributors, 2009 – 2014,       Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC      Contributor      Total Indivs PACs
AstraZeneca PLC                                                                     $71,550                                               $36,550               $35,000
JPMorgan Chase & Co                                                          $58,200                                              $33,200               $25,000
Ashland Inc                                                                                $55,420                                              $25,700               $29,720
Blue Cross/Blue Shield                                                      $46,000                                                  $6,000               $40,000
Bank of America                                                                     $40,440                                                 $3,940               $36,500

Those were Tom Carper’s top 5 contibutors……

Or did they die for….

Top 5 Contributors, 2009 – 2014,        Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC     Contributor           Total Indivs PACs
Young, Conaway et al                                                        $121,300                                            $121,300                     $0
Skadden, Arps et al                                                              $92,600                                             $87,600                       $5,000
Grant & Eisenhofer                                                              $70,049                                              $70,049                       $0
Comcast Corp                                                                         $69,200                                            $44,200                       $25,000
Morris, Nichols et al                                                            $57,550                                              $57,550                        $0

Those were Chris Coons’ top 5 contributors……

Or did they die for…....

Top 5 Contributors, 2013 – 2014,       Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC     Contributor           Total Indivs PACs
Investment Co Institute                                                $12,500                                                 $8,140                            $2,500
Skadden, Arps et al                                                            $10,640                                                 $8,140                            $2,500
National Multi Housing Council                                $10,500                                                 $0                                     $10,500
Bank of America                                                                  $10,250                                                 $750                                 $9,500
AstraZeneca PLC                                                                 $10,198                                                 $250                                 $9,948

 

These are John Carney’s top contributors……

Our state relative to nationally, is actually on the good end of campaign contribution spectrum.  Nothing here, is really out of line. You should see some in other states…

But let us isolate by industry…..

For John Carney…. 

Top 5 Industries, 2013 – 2014,       Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC       Industry Total           Indivs PACs
Insurance                                                       $96,520                                                                   $2,820                     $93,700
Securities & Investment                          $93,000                                                                  $1,500                     $91,500
Lawyers/Law Firms                                  $59,110                                                                   $45,610                     $13,500
Commercial Banks                                    $49,000                                                                  $1,250                       $47,750
Finance/Credit Companies                    $43,250                                                                  $5,250                      $38,000

For Chris Coons…….

Top 5 Industries, 2009 – 2014,      Campaign Cmt                                                Industry Total             Indivs PACs
Lawyers/Law Firms                                  $1,495,387                                                    $1,341,519                    $153,868
Leadership PACs                                        $512,900                                                           $0                              $512,900
Lobbyists                                                       $345,302                                                       $325,472                        $19,830
Securities & Investment                        $296,800                                                       $235,300                      $61,500
TV/Movies/Music                                     $228,157                                                          $163,800                       $64,357

For Tom Carper……..

Top 5 Industries, 2009 – 2014,       Campaign Cmte                                            Industry Total               Indivs PACs
Insurance                                                     $371,710                                                          $94,470                         $277,240
Securities & Investment                        $320,340                                                      $125,840                       $194,500
Lawyers/Law Firms                                  $294,382                                                       $170,761                        $123,621
Lobbyists                                                        $214,262                                                     $207,042                            $7,220
Pharmaceuticals/Health Products      $207,710                                                      $50,300                         $157,410

And now, in what I believe is the first time ever…. here is the combination giving you an idea of who influences our 3 man delegation…  Compiled by adding together all three’s industry totals listed above and then ranking them top down…..

 

Lawyers/Law Firms   ……………..    $1,848,879

Securities & Investment …………….   $710,140

Insurance…..,,,,,,,,,……………. , ……   $668,257

Leadership PACs ………………………. $675,400

Lobbyists  ………………………………,…$568,779

Pharmaceuticals/Health Products $486,108

Commercial Banks  …………………….$435,240

TV/Movies/Music……………………….$292,067

Finance/Credit Companies………….$208,865

========

And that is who owns our delegation….  Just seeing the visual makes it clear why some of the anti-people votes cast by this delegation, … are ever cast at all….   No, contrary to how we exclaim… They are not insane.  They are practical….

It will get worse with McCutcheon passed…

Already the amount of dark money as shown by tallies done by the Center for Responsive Politics show that nondisclosing groups have already reported spending more than three times as much as they had at this point in the 2012 elections — a presidential cycle when higher spending would be expected.”

Did you get that?  The unprecedented spending done in 2012, a contested presidential year, as of now been tripled over the same point of time back in 2012…….. . And it is both sides. In the past dark money was 80% Conservative, 20% Liberal.  Today (2014), it is 60% Conservative; 40% Liberal…   Spending by liberal nondisclosing groups is more than four times higher than it was at this point in 2012, while their conservative counterparts have tripled their previous spending level……

Which means, no tv watching this summer… and social media will become a real turn-off….  Both mean that most of America will tune out this election…  Thank you, Supreme Court…..   What were you smoking?

And if most of America tunes out this election,   it again begs the moral and serious question…. for whom did they die?  Certainly not us.

Delaware's Heroes

 

 

 

 

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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…….

 

 

 

 

 

States With Death Panels
Courtesy of Kaiser Foundation

Should you live or die from an accident or life threatening illness? Depends apparently on where you live… If you live in the Blue, you survive. If you live in the Orange, goodbye… Simple, clear, concise.

Served to you courtesy of ALEC and the Republican Party of the United States of America

 

 

WORSE-THAN-CHRYSLER-1-1024x791WORSE-THAN-CHRYSLER-23-1024x791
Courtesy of Newark’s True Residents

If anything is clear over how things have moved with the establishment of the power plant across the public’s eyes these past nine months, it is how the Newark Public is being manipulated by outside interests.

When one finds why they are being manipulated, they must first ask why?   Why did you not tell us the truth up front in the beginning?

In the beginning for those who an still remember, there was  just a Data Center, that to insure constant coverage, would have a small auxiliary clean natural gas fired do-generator to supply electricity to the facility in case of power failure….

Why were we lied to?

The answer is simply, like the reason anyone lies, ever, that if they told us the truth they would never get the power plant opportunity.

The truth is that the largest gas fired generator in the state will be built 200 yards away from someone’s back yard.  The truth is that one of the largest polluters in the state, will be within a mile of a University of over 15,000 students.  The truth is that  two miles from Delaware’s largest single output smokestack,  lies a Main Street that has just seen over 100 million in renovations, both public and private… The truth is, that the air of Northern New Castle County, will now be dominated entirely by  a burner larger than any single burner  in Millsboro, or Foxmoor, or anywhere else in the country….  This one  is right in the middle of town.

So of course if the truth had been told, it wouldn’t pass…. Duh….   Why are you shocked, shocked you were lied to?

Silly Newark people.  What did you expect?  Openness?  Honesty?  C’mon.  Were you all just born yesterday?

So you lost two close fought battles….

The US lost Pearl Harbor and Subic Bay,  but signed the Armistice in Tokyo Harbor.  The Allies lost all mainland Europe, but ended the war in the middle of Berlin…   So don’t even think this is over.  The last meeting in Newark showed some interesting opportunities….

One.  Those supporting the power plant have used all their resources.  Ads,  mysterious PAC’s,  back-room deals,  imported activists,  bribes?, sponsors, promoters,  all the best that money can buy… and they have just barely squeaked by with very narrow victoreis…

Two. These opponents are just getting warmed up.  At their advantage is the feeling  of a whole city, a whole county that will have to breathe the results of this decision for 75 years hence…   The information, or truth, is on the side of the opponents.  That this will be killing you seventy five years from now, is a very effective argument…  It is an argument that seems distant if glimpsed from far away, but one which grows in importance with every step closer to that mark… Except for 50 assorted jobs,  all  short-termed economic benefits will be gone in 3 years.

Here is where it stands.

Short Term Gain at the price of Long Term Suffering….

Fact: if Newark does choose to go forward with this power plant it will pay for its consequences for the rest of its life. Liken it to this scenario…..

Imagine two teenagers exploring each  other for the first time.  Making out, the usual things, and  trying to figure if they want to go all the way….  Hormones are flowing and the thought processes have pretty much been shut up into a box….  They decide to go for it, and take off their clothes, and jump into the bed and continue making out… Then just as one of them swings over and gets on top,  the other see the rash….

Newark is there now; it has just seen the rash…  (It’s in the images up top, if you still don’t “get it”.)  The cost of going forward will, like the rash,  last forever.   Question is, will just the sight of it dissuade Newark from continuing its momentary psychological fantastical rush? Don’t know. Can’t say.  That is up to Newark.   But there are a lot of people out there in society today who are presently wearing rashes and wish they weren’t, is all I will say….

But it should not be lost that the opposition has put up everything they have, and still it barely came out of the last confrontation with more than  a draw.  Once it truly becomes apparent to those locals deciding this issue, that they will become Newark pariahs if they continue supporting TDC, the decisions currently being made will fall in line differently. Right now to those deciding, that vision is not crystal clear. If the power plant opponents are truly serious, it would seem that a door to door campaign with red signs in hand, handing out the charts above, and asking permission to put signs in each property owner’s yards,  would be their most effective weapon towards keeping that lifetime rash away from Newark….

Call it a public education campaign if you want,   but if so  it is one that bypasses our media-whores too afraid to turn away free cash for each trick they get to turn….

 

 

 

And now a study in New Jersey debunks using value added test scores to grade a teachers performance. As in New York, the same conclusions abound.

Poverty overwhelmingly determines a school’s test scores. There is very little impact a teacher can make….

One thing is very important and cuts to the heart of Fredericka Jenner’s acquiescence to letting teachers be subjected to this irrationality…..

Those supporting Value Added Testing as the sole evaluator of a teacher’s performance, use subjective arguments to buttress up their arguments. A subjective argument is where one takes a position and then attempts to persuade one with moral or impassioned entreaties, to accept that position he has taken.

Those opposing Value Added Testing, use objective arguments to prove their points. An objective argument is where one take a school’s published value added test score and plots it on a graph according to it’s published poverty level, and then, just lets the results stand for all to see.

Like this….

New Jersey Free Lunch and Value Added Scores
Figure above elaborates on the negative relationship between student low income status  and school level growth percentiles, showing: that among very high poverty schools, growth percentiles tend to be particularly low. 

In other words, it is a myth that you can teach everyone the same. Those with low poverty, due to factors beyond their control, cannot with the proper teacher, become geniuses…. Of course good teachers are better than bad teachers for these children, but relying solely upon test scores, will counter negatively against teachers in high poverty areas and push poor teachers scores up higher, provided the poor teachers are in affluent schools.

Setting up the paradox,… that a good teacher gets fired in a poorer school, and a bad teacher gets promoted in an affluent school.

Something is not right with this picture, and Frederica Jenner had better get fighting mad over this data, or if she has been compromised, resign and let a fighter take over for the betterment of all our teachers.

And students.

And parents.

Occasionally something that you looked at many times, but have never seen, suddenly jumps out and changes your whole perspective. For example, I had always thought that as far as the Revolutionary War went, Delaware’s only claim to fame was that the new flag was first flown in battle on Delaware’s soil…….

Not so! Two hundred thirty-six years ago today, things were really jumping in these parts. It may seem like a long time ago to most of us, but in reality it is only a string of three ten year olds who each knew someone who was ninety. In the vernacular, that means that most of us know someone, who themselves knew someone who actually had spoken to someone, who was alive during the Revolutionary War!…… Whoa…….

August 25, 1777 close to 300 ships sailed up the Chesapeake Bay, anchored off off Elk Neck, Maryland, and began disembarking. That has been called the largest fleet ever assembled off either of the America’s coasts. To put that number into perspective, the famous Spanish Armada, consisted of a meager 130 Spanish ships. The most-oft talked about Battle of Trafalger, consisted of a combined total of some 60 ships. Modern historians can get a perspective by comparing those 300 ships to the 700 off of Dunkirk or the 900 off of Normandy…….

It must have been quite a sight to stand on the top Iron Hill and see over 300 tall masts sailing to defeat you. And on board those ships, were 15,000 solders disembarking to begin marching towards your capital city….That’s close to the total number of women living across Greater Newark in 2010.

Were we living 236 years ago, we would all be on edge! Anticipating a major battle on Delaware soil, 11,000 continental troops were moved into Delaware and bivouacked at what used to be known as Red Mill Neck, and now is near the Marshalltown bridge over top of Red Clay Creek.

The British moved in steps, out of Elkton to Gray’s hill, then up the road to Newark. One account said their line stretched from Glasgow to the bridge across the Christiana, where the I 95 and 896 interchange is today. They marched through the village of Newark, and then advanced parallel to today’s Kirkwood highway and camped at Milltown, just two miles from the American Camp in Newport. For one day, they stared each other down. The potential existed for a pitched battle to have occurred on Delaware soil. When no attempt was made by the British, Washington got scared that he was to be flanked to the north. Had General Howe chosen to do so, Washington and the Continental Army would have suffered a catastrophic defeat. At 2 am, the Continentals forced marched north to Chadd’s Ford, thereby occupying the high ground, and then on the following day, occurred the Battle of the Brandywine, the second to last major battle to be fought by Washington until Yorktown, four years latter.

Just a small footnote:  it was in Delaware  where General Pulaski, from Poland, met Washington while in Wilmington and was placed in charge of developing the calvary.

Although only a small skirmish actually occurred in this small state, with just a few things happening differently, a major conflagration could have happened that could have ended the war for the Americans.

Needless to say, it was relatively scary “in these parts” just 11 score and sixteen years ago.

Delaware's Engagement 1777 August 25
Full Resolution

MSNBC just put up a critique of Texas education.. Texas  was the instigator of No Child Left Behind which when Obama took over, became Race To The Top.

It started in Texas.  It is about to end, … in Texas.

A coalition of parents nicknamed  Mothers Against Drunk Testing has taken the fight to the Texas Legislature.   Soon, it appears Texas will lead the nation again on education,… by banning the role testing plays in analyzing the competency of education.

The problem underlying both No Child Left Behind and Race To The Top is not in its philosophy. It is not in its intent.  It is not in its principles.   It is … the test.

There is a reason these tests are top secret.  Here is the story of one that leaked out…   The Hare and the Pineapple…..

Subsequent inspection showed….” On the fourth-grade exam, one question has two correct answers, the department warned. The eighth-grade test contains one question with no correct answer at all.”

Needless to say, both came out of a firm, Pearson,  receiving a 5 year $32 million dollar contract from New York State….

Grown ups are now taking the tests.  Florida school board member with a bachelors degree and two masters degrees made national news when he flunked his state’s 10th-grade math test.  Seattle teachers boycotted the giving out of their tests based off the faults inherent in their texts.

Then, we got the results.

Texas started to lose 70,000 kids a year, most dropping out before they had to take the 10th-grade tests that would count against the school.

A third of kids in Texas who started high school never finished.

Scores on the Texas test rose, but SAT scores for prospective college students dropped.

The Texas tests designed by Pearson primarily measured test-taking ability, researchers discovered.

National Assessment of Educational Progress scores were cherry picked to show progress, but Texas lost ground to the rest of the country.

According to Julian Helig, who released this report to examine the education for the Texas Legislature,

“The reason why we’re seeing, well, what we’re seeing, after ten years of No Child Left Behind is the fact that we didn’t close the gaps, the fact that our graduation rates haven’t gone anywhere, our dropout rates haven’t improved, because Texas never did that in the 1990s,” said Heilig. “Over the last ten years now that we have Texas-style accountability and policy in the whole United States, the reason why it didn’t deliver is because it never delivered in Texas.”

Texas revolted back in 2009.  The parents and teachers that is.  But Republican Governor Perry refused to sign the bill banning standardized testing,  saying he would not sign it unless the legislation doubled down on accountability….

So instead of the testing being eliminated, kids in elementary school and middle school would be required to pass tests—or else. To get out of high school they’d have to pass not two, but 15 tests. Pearson got a new $468-million contract to write and administer all these new tests…..

Sandy Kress, a Democratic lawyer from Dallas, who first got Texas Governor George W. Bush’s ear with the expression:  “soft bigotry of low expectations, has moved on to a high paying job with Pearon and was on Texas Governor’s Educational advisory committee when he doubled down on standardized testing.

Now, and only now, as a result of all this data, even the Republican Texas Chief of Education,  Robert Scott, is calling the fatuation with all this testing, … a perversion.

Speaking to the Texas State Board of Education late last month, Scott said that the mentality that standardized testing is the “end-all, be-all” is a “perversion” of what a quality education should be. What’s more, he called “the assessment and accountability regime” not only “a cottage industry but a military-industrial complex.” And he attacked the Common Core Standards Initiative as being motivated by business concerns.   It is the heart of the vampire, so to speak.”

It’s too soon to say whether a near-unanimity of opposition to high-stakes testing from school boards, superintendents, parents and education researchers will succeed against Perry and Pearson, but there’s a better chance than ever that the false education doctrine that Bush started in Texas and then spread across the country will finally meet its end in the same building where it started.

It can best be described by the Republican appointed Texas Commissioner of Education at a Dallas Board Meeting.

I say this all the time: Parents care about kids, teachers care about kids, individuals in this room care about kids.  “The system doesn’t give a damn about kids unless you make it care.”

 

 

When you are getting married, for the short term you can enjoy the sex, the presents, the booze, the going out, but for a marriage to work you really have to know the other person’s heart. If you err, it costs a big bundle, it financially sets you back a decade, and it affects your life forever…

As any great mom or dad will tell their progeny…. If you don’t want to go through with it, don’t. It is easier to call if off now, then it will be 10 years from now. Plus, all that time isn’t wasted finding your real love.

Alan Levin is looking for a suitor. His bride is the Port of Wilmington. The dowries match up, the agreements between families work ok, but how can he tell if his daughter will be happy with the arranged marriage? He needs to discern the heart of the suitor, find out what lurks within. Is it malice, or self sacrifice. Is it selfish? Or selfless?

Finally we have a glimpse…..

In February
2011, for example, the US Department of Labor sued Kinder Morgan, arguing that the
firm had been underpaying nearly 4,600 workers for overtime for at least two years.

The company contends that its incentive plan shouldn’t be considered part of an employee’s regular hourly pay because whether any bonuses are paid —as well as how much an employee might get — is at the discretion of management and the boards of directors,

The Labor Department, which filed the lawsuit February 2011 in federal court, alleges that the pipeline company did not include the bonuses it paid its employees when it calculated their overtime pay. Federal labor law requires companies to include bonuses when overtime pay is calculated,

The Labor Department brought the lawsuit after its investigation uncovered what it called “systemic violations” of federal overtime laws at 11 Kinder Morgan locations in Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, North Dakota and Texas. According to the Labor Department, Kinder Morgan improperly rounded work hours in the company’s favor and failed to pay employees at several locations who attended meetings before their shifts began.

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 spells out how employers must calculate overtime pay. Many don’t realize they have to include bonuses that are related to meeting or exceeding production, efficiency or attendance goals, according to the Labor Department. Employers put the programs in place as an incentive for employees to work faster or more efficiently. Such bonuses — including quarterly and annual awards – must be included in total compensation and used to calculate the base hourly rate that determines the amount of an overtime premium such as time-and-a-half.

The company agreed to settle the suit, paying out $830,000 in back pay.

In business there are two kinds of people. Those that screw over their employees, and those that don’t. I’m sure over the course of your personal experience you will agree. What is particularly of interest here, it that this mistake could only be made in a non-union organization, and two, the rounding down systemically occurring across the nation, shows that directive comes from the top….

If one is pushing one’s employees to work harder and faster, and then cheating them on pay, one doesn’t have their best interests at heart.

So, we’ve glimpsed the heart. Since the deal over the port of Wilmington mysteriously revolves around the compensation of those current union employees who unload this and every week’s cargo, knowing how Kinder-Morgan will eventually view our employees behind their backs, should play a big part of the decision whether or not we want to allowed them into our family…….

Here is what the EPA says….

Kinder Morgan Transmix Co. has agreed to pay the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency $600,000 to resolve numerous violations of federal air and hazardous waste regulations, including mixing hazardous waste with gasoline.

Keep in mind that any accident, even a tiny small one of a gallon or two, affects the entire Delaware Bay and its unique biodiverse shoreline.

Now Imagine a tanker taking a hole.

Outlined here are the violations Kinder Morgan got hit with…..

A. The illegal mixing of a RCRA hazardous waste with gasoline, and from failing to sample and test gasoline to ensure compliance with CAA emissions standards.

B. Kinder Morgan failed to comply with a number of sampling and testing requirements of the CAA and fuels regulations to ensure the environmental and quality standards of fuel they produced.

C. KMT failed to notify EPA or the State of Pennsylvania prior to storing the cyclohexane mixture, a hazardous waste, at its Indianola Transmix Facility.

D. KMT failed to perform or obtain a general waste analysis upon receiving its first shipment of the cyclohexane mixture as required

E. KMT accepted the hazardous waste cyclohexane mixture at its Indianola Transmix Facility without first obtaining a RCRA Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facility Permit, and therefore violated the following federal and state hazardous waste requirement…

F. KMT produced gasoline at the Indianola Transmix Facility that was not “substantially similar” to any fuel utilized in the certification of any motor vehicle or engine sold in the United States,

G. KMT failed to collect and analyze representative samples of conventional gasoline that it produced at the Hartford Transmix Facility, in violation of the anti-dumping regulations…

H. KMT failed to collect and analyze representative samples of conventional gasoline that it produced at its Hartford Transmix Facility for the purpose of determining the sulfur content of these batches of gasoline..

Result of Kinder Morgan’s actions?

Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC (Marathon) reimbursed repair costs to owners of many vehicles that sustained damage. EPA understands that KMT reimbursed Marathon for the costs that it incurred in responding to these consumer complaints.

Obviously Kinder Morgan came up with the idea that they would rid themselves of an expensive waste product by burning it off in the cars that used its gas. It was cheap and untraceable. To accomplish this, they went dark on their self testing until the product had passed through their lines…. It would have worked, and they would have gotten away with their little scheme, except…. the fuel filters clogged with the waste product, and the traces began.

So, is this the epitome of ethics we want in Delaware? Of course ethics like this exists in Texas. That’s where they filmed Dallas. But do we need them here in Delaware?

No doubt, Alan Levin was not privy to this information. He is now.


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……