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The LADEE which graced our skies Sept 6th, 2013 will have the fastest internet anywhere….

It could download a full length move in under a minute… For a while at least. That is until the bandwidth gets filled up with pesky ads.

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Photo Courtesy of The Atlantic
My guess is yes.   Remember how the election of 2000 forgot all about the national debt headed towards zero.  It forgot all about the greatest economic boom in America’s history.  It forgot about the prosperity that every quintile of the American Public experience growth from one year to the next.  It forgot about the peace that was in the Balkans.  It forgot about the curtailing of Welfare.  The election in 2000 was decided on morality.  More people in those good times were interested in “morality” than what was good for the economic future of this country.   Because of “morality” (translated as sexual immorality) even smart people could not bring themselves to vote for more of the same, and instead switched to something completely different.  It was close. Florida proved it, but had that immoral incident never been brought to light, … things would have been so much different today.   it affected that many voters, enough to throw an election in the middle of the biggest boom times ever, to the minority party.

That is a valuable lesson.  Now for a known Obama supporter and guide, to have severe misgivings over this use of secrecy and reading all data on all citizens, and keeping them for future reference, (one can only think for sinister reasons), is very telling.   This is a gut mover; one like having the president dally with an intern which sets a lot of people off.   Both are impossible to justify.  The simple fact that all this information is for sale to prospective employers, competitors for the next promotion, or spouses wishing to exit a relationship, has grave consequences to a lot of American’s private lives.  And it is not that they did something bad.  It is that accusations (unfounded) can be made on piecemeal information (as was done by Issa in the IRS hearings)  and the citizen of the United States cannot defend his actions.  In fact, he never knows of  what he was accused.  He gets turned down for this, or for that, and it is all from a mistake…

The Obama Administration is in grave danger of losing his place in history.  His legacy will be shadowed by his upholding of this secret spying.  He has only one out, and it must take place now; surprise everyone, and his legacy will be saved, as well as create a democratic administration which will not undo, as was promised by Romney, everything the current president has put in place.

Here is what he has to do.

1)  Fire and replace the current director with someone Constitutionals trust.

2)  Declare all NSA actions will now be open.  FOIA will apply to the NSA.

3) Remove all objections to lawsuits in court, which seek clarification over whether the Constitution was violated or not.

4) Since the NSA is in charge of domestic spying, (the CIA does International), the NSA rules need to change to that of the FBI.  Though not perfect, secrecy is still kept, but the super-secrecy is stopped.

5) Warrants will be required for all searches.  That is the minimum of what the Constitution requires.

6) Encourage all internet providers not to cooperate unless they have a court order requiring them to do so for each person.  Outlaw blanket searches.  Outlaw phishing.

7) Admit the NSA went overboard, and take the responsibility for it.   Say it was a mistake, which you plan and hope it will be fixed long before you hand over the White House keys to your successor.

Mark my words.  If a very moderate Republican (Christie) ran and said he would “shut down the NSA”,  he would get my vote as of now.  This is serious and you had better listen to those outside of Washington, before you listen to those within.   if you are skeptical, I don’t blame you.  But I have to tell you, we survived Bush; we can survive a moderate Republican who is far more clear headed and able to stand up to nut case conservatives, which was Bush’s biggest personal fault; he caved.   You need to understand that all that damage by Bush, affects my children far less than having them be slandered for something they know nothing of, or did not do because it is attached to their name. Our privacy is of utmost importance to us.   Just like America sent a signal that sex in the White House would not be tolerated, you are in the same boat now.   Clinton won the impeachment battle.  It cost Gore the next election.

The Republicans have something on you here; you are guilty;  this is scary stuff.  Any dodging, or keeping the status quo, hurts your legacy every day it exists in its current form.  You know what you have to do, and the sooner it gets done, the sooner all talk among our citizens goes back towards getting rid of Republicans completely, so we finally can fix the economy.

It would be one more thing.. you got right.

The internet will be abuzz with posts shortly.  The excitement was great.  No one knew if it would pass. It did.

Melanie _____.______. Smith (lol)  Girl you did it.  Hats off to a rather well crafted bill designed to make it through.  You earned your bottle of wine tonight.

Bryan Townsend is amazing.. A Patrick Henry when it comes to what is just.  I kept seeing Tony Deluca in that position, knowing full well we would have an entirely different outcome had it been so.

Patty Blevins as should be, worked the background brilliantly.  Knowing what must take place to do these things, she gets a shout, because the quiet ones, are the ones you have to watch… It takes a lot of structure to put on a pageant such as this…

Clothier, Marshall and Bushweiller had tough choices.. out of  a thousand voices in their ear, they chose to hear the right ones.  We are so small standing next to them.

Karen Peterson rocked the house.  “If my happiness somehow demeans or diminishes your marriage, you need to work on your marriage”  certainly seems like it would apply to Senator Venables. That dude has some work to do…..

In this hearing and vote, it becomes very clear.  If you look straight into the heart of America,  each and all the values we grew up under, the Democrats embody.

The evil that also lies in America, is Republican to the core… Never in my lifetime did I expect to see people use God to promote bigotry.  For as the vote was failing, as the house of sticks was crumbling around them, as they worked themselves into a fever pitch to make one last gasp to undo the damage, the clear, unadulterated hatred, the pure crystal of evil burned from underneath their skin.  Hatred. Hatred at all these people was their fuel.

I now know what those brave souls walking across the bridge at Selma saw in the eyes looking back.  I now know what those women in children sleeping in Wounded Knee saw when their tents were slashed open.  I now know what those female slaves in Alabama saw in their overseer’s eyes… I now know what every Southern black African American man saw, when he heard the phrase… Boy, better move a long now, you know you don’t belong here.”

Because I saw it staring back at me on the floor of the Delaware Senate. It was in each of those Republican’s eyes as they got up and tried to embarrass, put down, demonize an innocent  group of people they deemed inferior, beneath them, slovenly, trash.  It was in the eyes of every fake pastor or priest to got up to twist God’s word in such a way as to demean the very one whose words they praise on Sunday.

This is the undercurrent of America we don’t like to talk about. This is the sewage that come with building a society.  This is America’s most horrible accomplishment.  The underbelly of our just laws and our freedom to say or do what we please.  There are people who only gain worth by putting others down, and because they are Americans, they have every right to do so.  Prejudice will continue.

Seeing it in person was unnerving. Seeing it for real made one sick.  We have a real problem in our country, One that must be put down like a poisonous snake… Sure we can live with it.  But one day it will bite us, or even worse. Our children….

But today, we beat them.  Like George Wallace in the schoolyard doorway, they showed America the stinkin oafs they truly are….

The only reason they voted no… was to fuel their hate.  Delaware and America can and need to do much better…

And lastly. Bethany Hall- Long….. Oh my…   it takes great courage to stand up to one’s enemies… It takes even greater courage… to stand up to one’s friends….

I have to go now. I cannot fight back the tears…


Photo Courtesy of Wallops Island

Most people are unaware there are more NASA launch sites other than Cape Carnaveral. But listed as the newest one is the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), Delmarva Peninsula, Virginia which is located on Wallops Island in conjunction with NASA’s Goddard Space Center. (Most of you know, Wallops Island is just south of Chincoteague)..

Wallops Island was our nations first space launch site. It was established in 1945 by the Langley Research Center as a pilotless aircraft research station. It was incorporated by NASA in 1959. It has always been the small boy of the three launch sites. In the initial days, is was in hot contestation against Cape Canaveral for the becoming the main launch site. The difference in winter temperatures decided the issue.

As an aside Delawareans should be interested to note, that the first seven Nazi rocket technicians of arrived in the United States at New Castle Army Air Field, just south of Wilmington, Delaware, on September 20, 1945. They were then flown to Boston and taken by boat to the Army Intelligence Service post at Fort Strong in Boston Harbor. Later, with the exception of von Braun, the men were transferred to Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland to sort out the Peenemünde (the Nazi Rocket base) documents, enabling the scientists to continue their rocketry experiments.

In 1998, the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority, later joined by Maryland, built the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops on land leased from NASA. In December 2006, the facility made its first launch. It was from here yesterday’s successful launch occurred…. The launch sets the stage for a second company to begin resupply missions to the International Space Station.

California-based SpaceX became the first private firm to officially resupply the ISS last October. Its Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida carrying a Dragon capsule filled with cargo and science experiments. Today, Antares, built by spaceflight company Orbital Sciences of Dulles, Virginia, lifted off from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Virginia, at 22.00 GMT (Sunday, April 21, 5 pm)..

This was just a test carrying a dummy payload corresponding to the weight and proportions of its Cygnus payload. But while Dragon can return from its missions loaded with cargo, no Cygnus craft will ever make it back to Earth. These craft will leave the ISS filled with trash and will burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.

The next test is in June, and if all goes well, 8 flights have been contracted to occur over the next 3 years.

Unfortunately even though it is only 130 miles south, it cannot be seen from Delaware during the day, nor heard. However 21 minutes after launch a very low level rumbling of distant sonic booms were alleged to have been heard here in Northern Delaware.

But, of all places… Sleepy Delmarva. How cool is that?

We are now receiving the hard data.  Throughout the Charter versus Public School debate, the concern on one hand was that allowing Charters to compete, would force Public schools to close, and once done, the charter schools would perform no better than did the public……

In the ’90’s as these ideas were first proposed and debated upon their merits, but there was no evidence; it was all theoretical..  Now, we have actually  done it and are getting hard data….

Here is their history in one paragraph.  If a charter school opens up in a failing school system and the public money per student is allowed to follow that child, obviously parents at no cost to themselves will opt to put their children in a charter school.  Simply put, if their public school is rated  “F”, the charter school can be no worse.  So the charter School being  someone’s private  investment, now begins accepting children with public school money that comes from citizen’s assessed property taxes… As more charter schools open up in that same failed district, they siphon even more public money into these private enterprises, pulling it of course  out of the public school system in that local area.  So the public school which was previously  failing, is now accepting a much lower number of students, yet trying to maintain the same infrastructure covering that wide geographical area..  For example, its school buses have to run the same routes whether they receive cash per student to carry 5 students or 35…  Obviously the public schools have to do with less, while the charter schools have to do with more… The charter schools choose their students in certain cases, and can send them back to public if they don’t meet expectations.  The Public schools must take whomever is left,  in.  Gradually the quality and sheer numbers of students deteriorate so much, that these public schools have to be shut down.  Too many schools are too empty and that is too costly…  Consolidation must occur.

Philadelphia and Chicago are closing schools.  And Guess what?  Most of both are black.

The argument can be made that we are accidentally closing the door on the only one way a person can pull himself out of the inner city quagmire: with a quality education….

Now let us back up.  The argument for charter schools was that they would provide that door or that opportunity for these citizens to help pull themselves out. Theoretically,  if all charter schools had huge success stories, then this plan could be a viable option.

If such were the case, all of us including myself would be in favor of charter schools… As I look back over the past 20 years I can now see how we were seduced into allowing them to happen.  If someone had substituted the word  “private schools”  instead  of  “charter schools”, no one would be against; we’d all be in favor….. private schools (which used private funds), competing with public schools would be a good thing.  People would have a choice if they could afford to let their children get a great education or a good one… I think Britain has functioned fine with its Eton School for Boys.

Then, when the argument became enhanced, that drawing such a line financially was not fair to underprivileged children who had talent,  a lot of us felt that yes  they should receive scholarships to go to good schools, and that was fair.  Then, when the lack of scholarships for the amount of private school openings became apparent, all were lulled into letting the public money for that child, follow the child where he wound up going… even if it was outside the school system and into someone else’s private pockets….

Allowing public money to enhance private pockets, particularly in a urban environment where lots of potential students surround a converted building, opened up great possibilities for some to get wealthy…  Just a hundred students at $15,000 each per year, could bring one a gross of $1,500,000..  One could squeeze that few into  just three rooms of 35 students… Double that, and one gets $3 million.  Do it across the city, and gross $100 million….

So is it really that bad for someone to get wealthy IF… kids are getting a much better education?

And up to now, this was the dilemma .. No one really had that answer because no one really knew.  No one had ever tried it before….

That was then.  We now have results and can analyze this experiment and see, once and for all, how charter schools can impact the growth and development of our children!… This is truly awesome, actually!…. .

In Philly, over a quarter of the district’s 195,000 seats are now empty. That is 48,750  empty spots…  But more important, is the number of the remainder:  146,250…

In Philadelphia, the proportion of students attending charter schools jumped to 23 percent in the 2011-12 school year from 12 percent in 2004-5, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

The actual number of Charter School Students  within the Philadelphia School District, according to the National Alliance for Charter Schools,  is 47,800… just 950 student shy of the district’s empty seats……..

Quite a coincidence!

In all 23.4% of Philly’s children are enrolled in Charter Schools…. The district projects a 37 percent increase in costs associated with charter schools over the next five years, bringing the total charter cost to more than $800 million…. That will come out of the public school budgets.

Last year,  Philadelphia charters met AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress)at only 29 percent, yet that was still better than the 13 percent tally for Philadelphia’s district-run schools…..

Mathematically that stacks up thusly….

(0.13)146,250  +  (0.29)47,800  =  Total Philly students meeting  requirements….   The math gives us this many successful students:  32,874…

In 2005,  there were 185,000 students in the city district’s public schools.  At that time, 34% were deemed advanced or proficient….. Doing the math we get this result…. 62,900…. actual students who were advanced or proficient…

In 2005,  the Philadelphia School District put out 62,900 students meeting standards.  In 2012, after experimenting with Charter Schools,  the same geographical area spit out 32,874 students meeting standards…

Conclusion.  Having  charter schools and public schools duke it out over scarce resources, not unlike the recent movie Hunger Games,  cuts our actual passing students down by  almost half….

We now have evidence.

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.”

 

 

You heard it yourself….. $5 Trillion Romney promised to cut in taxes, plus the $1 Trillion deficit already projected for 2013, plus $2 Trillion he is adding to the military budget over what Pentagon experts say will be pure waste…

Romney says it will balance the budget…. Those three numbers will equal 0.

$5 Trillion Plus $1 Trillion Plus $2 Trillion …. with no cuts (except Big Bird and Lehrer) will create a balanced budget.

These guys are literally insane… The Queen in “Alice In Wonderland” had better logic….

5 + 1 + 2 = 0 Really? Really? REALLY? REALLY? REALLY?

And YOU are saying … Obama lost the Debate?

5 + 1 + 2 = 0

There is just no way I can be the only person in this country who sees Obama just got Romney to lose this election. But of course, if all of you continue to focus on how well Mitt is doing, and fail to make THIS the issue, math that every American can understand, … well then, shame on you.

5 + 1 + 2 = 0

“I’m not familiar precisely with what I said, but I’ll stand by what I said, whatever it was.” Mitt Romney 2012

This is going to my hard core Republican friends. Why are you still supporting Romney?

1) You know he is not going to win.
2) You know as the election heats up, his Bain Capital experience will make Republicans untouchable for decades.
3) You can’t pin down where Romney stands on anything.
4) He tied his dog to a car.
5) He stands with black people and says “Who let the dogs out, woof, woof.”

Most of you are telling me, “I certainly can’t vote for Obama. I guess I’m not voting for President this time.”

Let’s say, just for argument sakes there was a presidential candidate out there who says to have good government you need: …………………

1. Become reality driven. Don’t kid yourself or others.
Find out what’s what and base your decisions and actions
on that.

2. Always be honest and tell the truth. It’s extremely
difficult to do any damage to anybody when you are
willing to tell the truth–regardless of the
consequences.

3. Always do what’s right and fair. Remember, the more
you actually accomplish, the louder your critics become.
You’ve got to learn to ignore your critics. You’ve got to
continue to do what you think is right. You’ve got to
maintain your integrity.

4. Determine your goal, develop a plan to reach that
goal, and then act. Don’t procrastinate.

5. Make sure everybody who ought to know what you’re
doing knows what you’re doing. Communicate.

6. Don’t hesitate to deliver bad news. There is always
time to salvage things. There is always time to fix
things. Henry Kissinger said that anything that can be
revealed eventually should be revealed immediately.

7. Last, be willing to do whatever it takes to get your
job done. If you’ve got a job that you don’t love enough
to do what it takes to get your job done, then quit and
get one that you do love, and then make a difference.

Honesty. Integrity. Principal.

Sounds good so far. Let us say just for argument, he had chief executive experience. Let us say just or argument that he once ran a state, one of the fifty in this union. Let us say while governor, this is what he did…..

During his tenure, New Mexico experienced the longest period without a tax-increase in the state’s entire history.

1) He cut the rate of government growth in half,

2) Left the New Mexico state government with a budget surplus and 1000 fewer employees (without firing anyone),

3) Privatized half of the prisons in the state,

4) Brought a state-wide school voucher system to New Mexico.

5) Vetoed 750 bills (more than all the vetoes of the other 49 Governors in the country at that time, combined) with only 2 overrides, earning him the nickname Gary “Veto” Johnson.

6) In 1999, Johnson became the highest-ranking elected official in the United States to advocate the legalization of drugs.

7) Shifted Medicaid to managed care.

ISN’T THAT WHAT YOU WANT? ISN’T THAT WHAT WE NEED?

Can you not think of a better way to show your lack of enthusiasm over a wealthy capitalist buying his way to the top of your ticket, by voting for someone who has character, who does what you’ve always wanted, a doer, not a talker?

And to think…. you were simply just going to throw your vote away.

His name is Gary Johnson. He is the new party’s candidate for President.

Remember Republicans. It is your values that are important. If your party has given up and moved on from your values, don’t think you have to be loyal to the word…. “Republican”… What you have to be loyal too, is yourself. Always. Never lie to yourself.

You don’t need to waste your vote on Romney. You probably need to find more about this guy, Gary Johnson, and then throw your support behind him.

Don’t worry it is not one of the two parties on whose ticket he is running. Remember, at one point in time, the Republican Party was a once a third party too. One that went mainstream because of its core values, its principles resonated with everyday American People.

It seems like only recently that atrocities are cropping up in Afghanistan. They may have been on going, but the rash today could be explained by the long years, and many repeat tours, which have taken a toll on our best and brightest.

War is not grade school. War takes a toll. And using the same people over and over, would cause the breaking down of moral fiber.

When you are in an impossible situation for a very long time, and it seems like it is such an absurd environment so that old rules don’t apply; you tend to take those old rules for granted. Instead you move yourself into a surreal world; one where your emotions impact your perception of reality.

These atrocities are not new to mankind. If you haven’t fought, just going to the movies should give you enough perspective to understand why these men react they way they do.

What’s different lately, is not that our men are acting like barbarians. Instead, it is that they are not acting to the highest standards possible. That is the norm for the US military. But after being there too long, they are acting like normal men. Like men in every other army.

The same situation is occurring in our high schools. Currently Christina School District has three teacher incident investigations on going. Three. All three of these people would not doubt, still be teaching, had they not been forced to survive the bizarre environment that is high school for so long. An incident came up, and that part of us that constantly protects us from over reacting except in dire emergencies, released that pent up anger prematurely.

We blame the teacher because it isn’t something all teachers are doing.

However we need to look at the system, the way the military is looking at solving their problem. Which is that men have been fighting longer than WWII without a break.

Our schools need more money, not cuts. We need to raise money. The General Assembly should double resources this year and raise tax rates to cover it.

We’re done trying to stretch our schools thinner.. It is time to start building them back.

1. The Earth is not the center of the universe.

2. The microbes are gaining on us.

3. There have been mass extinctions in the past, and we’re probably in one now.  ( Thomas Jefferson saw mastodon bones from Kentucky, for example, and concluded that the giant animals must still be living somewhere in the interior of the continent. He asked Lewis and Clark to keep an eye out for them.)

4. Things that taste good are bad for you.

5. E=mc²

6. Your mind is not your own.

7. We’re all apes.

8. Cultures throughout history and around the world have engaged in ritual human sacrifice.

9.  We’ve already changed the climate for the rest of this century.

10. The universe is made of stuff we can barely begin to imagine.

You are now wiser:  the details  are here….