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The bill entering law this session is very different from that of last session.

Here is the original bill:

This Act would increase the minimum wage to not less than $8.00 per hour effective July 1, 2013, and not less than $8.75 per hour effective July 1, 2014. If the federal minimum wage becomes higher than the Delaware minimum wage, the Delaware minimum wage would increase by $1.00 above the federal minimum wage….

Here is the amended version that passed the Senate last year…… which dropped the rates by a half a dollar, and excluded the possibility that Delaware could be over the Federal Minimum Wage…

“(a) Except as may otherwise be provided under this chapter, every employer shall pay to every employee in any occupation wages of a rate i) not less than $7.75 per hour effective January 1, 2014 and ii) not less than $8.25 per hour effective January 1, 2015. Upon the establishment of a federal minimum wage in excess of the State minimum wage, the minimum wage in this State shall be equal in amount to the federal minimum wage, except as may otherwise be provided under this chapter.

The House Amended it this year, primarily to update the dates by 6 months.

AMEND Senate Bill No. 6, as amended by Senate Amendment No. 2, by deleting on line 3 of Senate Amendment No. 2 the text “January 1, 2014” and substituting in lieu thereof the text “June 1, 2014”. FURTHER AMEND Senate Bill No. 6, as amended by Senate Amendment No. 2, by deleting on line 4 of Senate Amendment No. 2 the text “January 1, 2015” and substituting in lieu thereof the text “June 1, 2015”.

Then came the first Republican torpedo, later stricken…. to poke multiple holes in the minimum wage, thereby making it a minimum seive. Allowing for the payment of $5.81 per hour to the following….

(e) A wage no less than 75-percent of the minimum hourly wage required under § 902(a) of this Title shall be paid to the following:

(1) employees under the age of 18; and

(2) employees during their first 180 consecutive calendar days of employment with the employer; and

(2) employees employed in a seasonal capacity.”

Here is the real Republican torpedo. (Defeated naturally like everything Republican in this wonderful state) to extend implementation by half a year.

“(a) Except as may otherwise be provided under this chapter, every employer shall pay to every employee in any occupation wages of a rate (i) not less than $7.75 per hour effective January 1, 2015; and (ii) not less than $8.25 per hour effective January 1, 2016. Upon the establishment of a federal minimum wage in excess of the State minimum wage, the minimum wage in this State shall be equal in amount to the federal minimum wage, except as may otherwise be provided under this chapter.”

Then the third Republican attempt at poking holes in the minimum wage to allow businesses to exploit child and migrant labor by paying them $5.81 an hour….

e) A wage no less than 75-percent of the minimum hourly wage required under § 902(a) of this Title shall be paid to an employee satisfying any of the following:

(1) is under the age of 18; or

(2) is within the employee’s first 180 consecutive calendar days of employment with the employer; or

(2) is employed in a seasonal capacity.”

As it stands now, the minimum wage will rise to $7.75 per hour on June 1, 2014, and then again one year later.  On June 1, 2015, the minimum wage will be $8.25.. unless the Federal wage is passed at a higher amount:  $10.10….

But the real question is this:  how is it remotely possible that we still have 16 people in the civilized world, much less in our Delaware legislature, who still think it is ok to pay $5.81 for minimum wages therby putting Delaware in a slot between Slovenia and Greece on a chart of international minimum wages….

How is it possible that Blakely, Briggs-King, Dukes, Gray, Deborah Hudson AGAIN!!!!, Q. Johnson, Kenton, MIRO, Outten, Peterman, Ramone, D. Short, Smyk,  Spiegelman, Walker, Wilson, are still living in the 1990’s back when $5.81 was considered the barest acceptable minimum wage?  Roll back time 20 years… Sure, no problem say these 16.

Greece.  These people want us to be Greece…. GET RID OF THEM!  GET RID OF THEM ALL….. 🙂   (it is an election year, you know?)

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The same controversy surrounding Tennessee’s equivalent of SB51, has at least that state’s Democrats fighting for those educating our children .  Not like up here where Dave Sokola and Erica Jenner joined forces and sold the teaching profession out for a couple of pieces of silver.

Think for a second.

If your boss gave you a pop quiz at work, how well do you think you’d do? … Guesses?

The correct answer is: you would do only as well as he wanted you to do.  If he wanted you do do well, he’d quiz you on things you do every day enabling you to pass with high marks.  If he wants you doing poorly, he fills the test up irrelevant questions, that you haven’t thought about in decades (because they are irrelevant); at work you are constantly being bombarded with things that truly do matter..

So we are talking about taking a teacher’s license away because her students did poorly on a standardized test, not by how good or not good the teacher is!

Does the teacher make the test?  Of course not:  the test is made many states away by people who have never stepped foot in a classroom and get paid 6 digit salaries. The tests are untried at the time of taking. They are not last year’s test remade.  No one knows how relevant or non relevant these tests are.

Does the teacher get to know the material on the test so she can teach her students the relevant data?  No, that would be cheating.  The teacher has to guess before hand what will or will not be covered, and then has to teach her best guess.  What if those think tank “specialists” have different philosophies?  Bad scores.

Does the teacher get to interpret the test, to explain the questions in a way the child might better understand?  No, that is considered leading the child.  So if a child can’t understand the question, because they haven’t a Masters or Doctorate degree in education, they fail.

Does the teacher have any control over the test taking environment?  No, if every one stays up late to watch Breaking Bad, and then texts till two in the morning about what happened on the show, and what might happen on next week’s episode.,..  they will do poorly.  To them its some dumb test that doesn’t matter anyway.  They’ll still get promoted…  456 + 789… ah, my head hearts…  let me guess… umm  “{c}”

Imagine lining up all of Delawares School Board and Rodel Foundation officers around the Governor, as he signs SB 51, and taking one photo, then firing all those who blinked, grimace, moved, or otherwise “failed” to properly enhance the photo…..

As their cleaning out their office, you can here Hefferman mutter… “they didn’t even count down. They just took the picture.  If they’d counted down, I could have been ready.”

And speaking of FAILURES.  OH!  MY!  GOODNESS!!!  Rodel’s Vision 2015 has failed to meet its objectives (GOALS) it set for itself back in 2006.  They have had 7 of the 9 years they gave themselves to make it happen. Instead of  firing itself, it announces its name is now Rodel 2020….  But a teacher who’s students blink during 3 hours one day from watching Breaking Bad the night before?  YOU’RE A LOUSY TEACHER!   WHAT A FAILURE YOU ARE!  GET OUT OF OUR SCHOOL!  EVEN BETTER!  GET YOU OUT OF OUR ENTIRE PROFESSION!

That is why this is so stupid. SB51 is so stupid. Everyone who voted for it, without reading it, is so stupid.  Every blog except those who raised awareness against it, is so stupid.  Mr. Sweeney, is so stupid….

I won’t belabor the point anymore.  But firing a teacher for a photo moment, is ridiculous.  Taking away their license for the same should in a proper universe, damn you to an eternity in Hell.

If you yourself personally choose to go to Hell, you will find the following assorted people there to keep you company.

Blevins,  Hocker,  Peterson,
Bonini,  Lavelle,  Pettyjohn,
Bushweller, Lawson,  Poore,
Cloutier,  Lopez,  Simpson,
Ennis,  Marshall, Sokola,
Hall-Long, McBride, Townsend,
Henry, McDowell, Venables,

Atkins,  J. Johnson,  Ramone,
Barbieri,  Q. Johnson,  Scott,
Bennett,  Kenton,  B. Short,
Blakey,  M. Smith, D. Short,
Bolden,  Longhurst,  Smyk,
Brady,  Miro,  Spiegelman,
Briggs-King,  Mitchell,  Viola,
Carson,  Mulrooney,  Walker,
Dukes,  D.E. Williams, Keeley,
Gray,  Outten,  K. Williams,
Heffernan,  Paradee,  Wilson,
Hudson,  Peterman,  Schwartzkopf,
Jaques  Sweeney, Markell, Murphy, Jenner.

Just looking over that list, … I would bet that if this list ever got public, and people could see the likes of the company they’d be spending their eternity with, .. our churches would be overflowing this weekend!…

By the way, can anyone out there possibly tell me when was the last time a doctor lost his license for one case of malpractice judgment decided in court against him? Or one Secretary of Education fired for in his first year statewide test results, in what even the friendly News Journal headline lambasted as: “Disappointing Results”?

GO TO CHURCH!

It is time to sanction gay marriage.   Gay marriage is different from civil unions. Gay marriage means much more.  Someone who is gay, who can now be married for life is finally an equal citizen.  Without that certainty the rest of  their rights are meaningless….

“Oh, we’ve got nothing against gays!.  You are equal to the rest of us, except, snicker, snicker, when YOU marry, we will give it a lower second class status and call it a civil union.”

Until Gay Marriage is made legal gays are only second class citizens….

It is interesting that very conservative parents of gay children, see it with open eyes… “Yeah, why can’t they get married?” Senator Portman who was flirted with as Romney’s running mate, and the odious Dick Cheney are both in favor of gay marriage. They credit their openness to learning from their children… every parent wants their child to be happy.

As a nation we’ve been here before.  Blacks were given freedom by the Federal government, but local governments who disagreed, would not allow them to marry whites.  Obviously the signal being sent was no, they weren’t equal after all.  Mexicans in the West, legal and forced to be accepted so by whites, had to deal with local laws disallowing mixed marriages… After all, they “really” weren’t equal, not even close?.”  American Indians, even though there were many interracial lifelong monogamous sexual unions during the exploration of our frontier, those unions were banned by laws intent on maintaining the purity of the Caucasian race, “Indians, equal with the white man?  Get real!”…

All these laws have fallen away, shredded by common sense and common decency.  It it easy to label a group with which we have no connection, as a “they” and say “they” are different, allowing it to be “ok” to treat “them” with disdain……

It is when “they” become part of “us” and we finally realize that treating “them” with disrespect is exactly the same as “us” being disrespectfully treated; we certainly would find that to be unfair. …

It is upon that realization, that discrimination against them…  finally becomes unfair….

Our Constitution and Declaration of Independence are pretty clear…   all humans are equal at birth… and once we widen our perception of what is human, we are forced by our beliefs to accept them into our family as well….

Hard as it was for the South, we finally accepted that slaves were human beings, and therefore agreed they should be afforded the same protection as their owners….

Hard as it was for mankind, we finally accepted that women were human too, and therefore agreed they should be afforded the same protection as their “owners”….

We later had to revisit the treatment of those whose ancestry derived out of our former African slaves, even to the point of guaranteeing them by law, actually making it punishable to treat them with disrespect, in order to drive home this point to Southerners, that…. all people are created equal….

Any baby born within our borders becomes a citizen.  Whether its parents are or not… They were born here; they are equal to the rest of us…  We allow any baby to grow up and marry any other baby who grew up here, unless they are gay.

The overwhelmingly majority of our culture has recently come to the realization that people who are gay, are created that way. They can change it no more easily than one can molt the color of  their skin, or alter the slant of their eyes, or raise or lower their cheek bones…  That is how God makes them…..

For anyone to vote no against Gay marriage in Delaware’s General Assembly, they will have to first  imagine themselves in a Twilight world, one where genes gave dominance to gays, and heterosexuals occurred rather rarely… Being one of those heterosexuals, who had deeply fallen in love with someone of another gender, would you, a Delaware Representative, settle for only having  civil unions for you and your heterosexual spouse, when all the gays around you were getting married and raising families?

Their gay clergy would spout:   “Oh, you are one of those… We can’t let you marry….”

If you  CAN’T  IN  GOOD  CONSCIOUS  agree that you yourself should be discriminated against because you happen to be heterosexual in a gay world, something you were born with and couldn’t change, then you cannot vote AGAINST gay marriage when it comes up for a vote with any good conscious.

Voting against gay marriage, carries the same moral price as did the voting against the freeing of slaves, as did the voting against allowing women to vote, as did the voting against letting blacks finally be allowed to succeed….

Now, since all of those are so much woven into the fabric of our society, we forget today that back then there were people who actually argued vociferously against allowing these citizens to become  equal members of our society… it was just like people argue against gay marriage today.

They arguing were wrong then.  Those same people doing it to gays, are wrong now….

Settling for Civil Unions instead of marriage is a slap in the face.  It has only one point and that it to say:  “Oh, you aren’t as good as us, and never will be.”

Each time in our nation’s past, it took the will of strong people to overcome the strong wills of weak people…. Delaware needs to allow gay marriage, simply because not doing so is the morally wrong thing to do….  Those crying against it with self thought-up platitudes, will come around eventually after the deal is done and the battle is over…

They have to!… One can only argue against what is right, … for so long.

I’m tying together three threads to make a knot..

A. The election 2012 showed the end of political dominance by “white people” on the national stage.

B. John Stapleford wrote a derogatory piece in Wilmington’s News Journal whining that “blacks and browns” (his words) were lazy, no good, bums and would always not vote for a white guy, no matter how fly…..

C. Martin Luther King Blvd. is renamed off of Duke of York Streets, William Penn Street, and Court Street….

This 2012 election bamboozled Republican strategists because they totally neglected to account for the votes of Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, who were heavily engaged in this election. To Republicans, these people never mattered. But, these people who never mattered, now have more votes. They, are the majority… and far more moral than any Republican Moral Majority could ever hope to be…..

John Stapleford’s piece was an attempt to denigrate this very vote. By saying thugs had overrun the election, he could still attempt to keep his values above water. He was trying to say….”our outdated values are still the true path; we were overwhelmed by critters and just lost one round, that’s all.” It didn’t fly. His audience almost to every man and woman, saw it as prejudice and nothing else. Instead, the die had been cast. This Obama was the direction America really wanted to go….

Dover changed the name. Now Dover is the 40th Capital City to have a Martin Luther King Boulevard. It will not be the last…. In a sad way, Delaware’s Colonial Heritage is being lost to the 20th Century… The Duke of York put Dover in the same class as Williamsburg. The colonial aspect of Dover is now gone. It is just old buildings on a street that happens to be named after the bravest American of the last century… Before there was correlation…. Now, what’s the correlation?

But that is … as it should be… Times change. And really… though sad to see 300 years of tradition swept away, exactly “who” is the Duke of York? How many of those voting in Dover itself, could have answered that question properly?

He, along with William Penn… have no meaning to people whose ancestors were sold, brought across the Atlantic, sold again, mistreated, and then once freed, quietly kept in second class status, until one man made so much noise it could be ignored no longer…..

It is proper and fitting that someone who has more name recognition and who deserves to be honored, replaces 300 years of tradition… We can only hope he may reign on that street sign, as long as did the Duke of York…..

The vote has passed. We are now in a new America, and it is good.

Tomorrow, is the day… like a wedding, can’t wait for it to finally be over so life can go on again…. But there is one last thing to do.

Look at the Republican Party. The only reason Romney is doing well, is because he pivoted in the first debate, and became a liberal. His past track record had almost pushed him to the point of no return, until he reinvented himself upon that first debate stage. In other words, Romney is now the more liberal candidate, if one just looks at what he has said since October 4th.

However the old message is still prevalent in Delaware’s Republican exoskeleton. Kovach who once was considered a decent person, is now a compromised decent person. Kevin Wade, is nothing more than a word to rhyme with suede. Jeff Craig wants us to believe that if you can run a 16 X 40 foot retail outlet buried in the middle of a Fairfax strip mall, you can run the entire state’s government. Greg Lavelle believes that if you trash your opponent hard enough, you will get elected. Cathy Cloutier believes that no one gives enough of a hoot, making it so simple that she can be endorsed by the pro choice and pro life movements in the same election. Evan Quietsch believes the United Nations has set up a secret outpost somewhere in the woods of the 11th District, and that his challenger is the Manchurian Candidate who is actually from Manchuria. Rick Jensen has to ignore 99% of a story to make his case in support of any Republican who shows up on his show. Dori Conner, is running “Go, Go William Penn” down in Cavalier Country. NCCE Blake has to put stickers on his campaign signs, that say “I’m not Tom Gordan.” Then there is DelawarePolitics.Net, which although it has great people, they all get their orders from Homer Simpson. There is Brian Pettyjohn who, whenever his name gets mentioned, reminds one of the Lollypop Guild soliciting a hooker on the side of the Yellow Brick Road… And then, there was Two Timing Booth, kicked out for…. oh my. Don’t even get me started on Bodenweiser…. And above all this mess, flies the green faced witch on her magic broom, saying 2014, 2014…..

What happened? Siegler, is this what happens when you put the NRA actually in charge of something?

From top to bottom this party is (I’ll bend over backwards and be very nice here)…. dysfunctional… It is time for it to go away….

I heard a caller put it very well on Al Masciti this morning. Business needs representation. With this party they don’t have it. What they do have is Jack Markell, Chip Flowers, and Beau Biden, working with them as well as representing “we the people” who simultaneously do the necessary work for these businesses as well as us who depend on their health to live well ourselves…..

Delaware works better as a single party state than as a two party one…. Why? Simply put, everyone is an individual again. There is no reason NOT to work with someone who’s viewpoint is different from yours… It is called “compromise” and with today’s Republican Party from the top down, that compromise gene is simply not in their chromosomes……

Now here is my argument… Any vote for any Republican, weakens our state. I’m guessing we need an 85/15 democratic majority to permanently make this party go away…. I’m worried that many in Delaware may not vote this time because our national election is a foregone conclusion, and really, there is no reason to suspect or worry that any Republican will win….

Here is why you must… Your vote against the Republican Party, is needed to make it be gone forever….. We need single party government now more than ever… WE need cooperation between workers and businesses, and only one party, the Democratic one, can provide that.

Some say we need another voice to balance out one party rule… We will have them. 21 separate voices in the Senate, and 45 separate ones in the House, but only if they are all Democrat … Every person is an individual, and every person has to represent their district. There are some conservative districts, there are some progressive districts. but it still will take a majority to get anything passed.

At least if there is only one party, they will get things done the old fashioned way. The conservatives will express their needs, the progressives will express their needs, and some type of compromise all can live with, will get hammered out….

That can’t happen if there are Republicans anywhere in government to mess things up…..

So do your civic duty… Vote Democratic or Libertarian, or any another candidate…. Just make Republicans go away…. I used to like watching cartoons on Saturday… Now, that I have to watch them 365 days at 24/7, it is too much…. (Now, where’s that Advil?)

Make them go away.

With High Republican Turnout I'm Sure to Be Wellfed Nov. 6th
Photo Courtesy of Soggy Log

They thought he was nuts.

Ruth Ann Briggs calls the 37th District of Delaware Home…   It is a long, skinny district looking remarkably like a part of the male anatomy, stretching from Georgetown to the coastal communities of Long Neck…  Naturally, it is being fought over by two women candidates….  The challenger is Elizabeth E. McGinn.

At one point in time this year, Elizabeth was challenging Ruth Ann Briggs in the Republican Primary.  Eric Bodenweiser, had courted her, brought her to the election office, and had her sign up.   Eric Bodenweiser just won his Republican Senatorial primary, and since his territory and that of Ruth Ann Briggs now overlap, inquiring minds in Sussex County want to know who Eric will support.  Will he  1) support his friend and supporter who happens to belong to the Democratic Party?  Or, will he toe the party line and support someone he doesn’t like, has extremely different outlooks from, and can’t stand enough that he had recruited someone he could work with, to run against her?

Why are we even debating this, Sussex County?  Of course he is going to support the better candidate.  That candidate is NOT  a  Republican…

Voters in the 37th have a very real option.  They can elect a clown,  one of those old Barry Goldwater Republicans , out dated,  unrated, and never elated, … to be their  show piece in the state legislature.  Since she is so far out of the mainstream, even conservative Republicans are pulling for a Democrat to run against her.  Such a person, will not be needed for any close votes.  Such a person, who campaigns  on her purity rather than her purposefulness,  will not be able to help her district very much, when it comes time to compete for funds.

Elizabeth, however, whose conservative credentials cannot be challenged even though she is a Democrat,  will be needed for the caucus.  Very similar to Thurman Adams in Bridgeville,  because she is in the major party, they will need her to pass any close legislation.  If keeping your district conservative and receiving plums (every legislator’s true job) is how you would like it to happen, then voting for someone representing your beliefs, who will have access to those in power, is a far better bet.   The opposite would be to vote for someone representing your beliefs, who does not even get to share a room with those in power.

For what we want is a government that works.  Ideally all of us know that compromise is a fact of life.  Far too often Republicans have gummed up the works by refusing to do just that.   Sussex County, do you compromise in your marriage?  Do you compromise on your church boards, when there is a difference of opinion?  Do you compromise when dealing with your children?  Of course you do.  Of course we all do…   Except for Rose Ann Briggs.  She defiles common decency, which is why, Eric Bodenweiser got a lifelong Democrat to sign up and primary her in her own district…..

For people are the people they are… If you grow up where everyone is conservative, it is what you are.  You don’t change your values because you change your party.  That is ridiculous.  You stay the same.  The same applies to liberals too, no matter what party you belong too.  You are, what you are….

Having a Democrat conservative instead of a Republican conservative, changes only one thing.  The amount that gets done for your district.  In fact,  I know this is hard for some old Republicans to swallow, it it time for the Republican party to wither and die.  They have marginalized themselves into oblivion.   Today, their source of power in Congress is the fact they do nothing.   They have no power here in Delaware.   In fact their party’s chair, Seigler, points to the prison work release program to deflect attention that in this upcoming election,  there are only 26 Republicans on the state ballot; only 8 more then third parties like the Libertarians, and dwarfed by the 65 spots contested by the Democrats.

So voters of the 37th.  Don’t let a name put you off.  Democrats are conservative too.   If you want your voices heard,  well, a Republican addressing an empty caucus room, won’t do it.

Voters in the 37th, irregardless of the shape their district is in, need to vote for the best woman around.  And Eric Bodenweiser will certainly tell you (just look at his eyes when she walks into a room) Elizabeth E. McGinns can deliver…..

Really, what did Ruth Ann Briggs bring you these past two years?  Compare that to John Atkins district to the south of you….

Eric Bodenweiser knows what he is doing…  You’d better pay attention.