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Twas the night of mid May,

The clouds were long shed,

The stars were all out,

The moon was half dead.

I’d just closed my eyes

In dark deepest dread.

I had a forewarning

Of what was ahead.

The river was foggy

So full of thick mist,

My eyes played tricks.

A hand grabbed my wrist

“What is it ” I cried

As my wrist was entwined.

“Come Hither”,  it hissed,

in a voice harsh and sublime.

“In your search of pure knowledge

Things are not as you know

Shapes shift,  spin  around.

Truth lies buried under snow

Down becomes up, and up, is then down”

“Plant only one seed

Something evil will grow”.

Something dark is afoot,

In spirit it has stalked,

If it wins out tomorrow,

Education is debauched….

Tomorrow at Two

It will take place in Bright Light.

What I feared from my heart,

In that deepest dark night.

The 147th House would vote,

Without any debate,

On something important

To all our children’s fate.

War would soon be declared

On all those teachers who were right.

They’d  all have to leave

Or stand up and fight.

A Bill with nice thoughts

Will be laid on the dock.

But in the dark wording it shields,

A most powerful shock.

Instead of making better,

It tears down all the schools,

Putting up cheap imitations

That mock  all the rules.

No more shall a teacher know

What her calling required?

She could only hope like her kids,

Her scores would help get her hired.

Instead of knowledge, proven and direct.

She’d be tested on simply how well she could bet.

Praxis One and Praxis Two

Those tests of the best.

Would now be retired.

By which test could “bid” best.

Instead of old classics,

New standards were wrought,

“Romeo and Juliette” now replaced

By “How To Properly Clean a Pot”.

Twas necessary to learn prose they said.

No matter if such a bore.

It left no brain cells still standing.

Well done, Common Core.

Delaware’s education is 35th best.

That Includes the Ivy Leagues,

And all those good schools out West

“Not Good Enough”!

The gauntlet was laid

We must tear it down quickly

Our consultant’s need paid.

We must start something new!

We don’t know what it is.

But without old constraints

We can create it like jizz.

Who will do this? Good question!

That we do not know.

But when it gets done,

Arne Duncun  will be here to show.

So we’ll  make it mysterious.

And hard to deduce.

Make the poor teachers sweat,

Think they’re all in the caboose.

We can brainwash them now,

Do it before they begin.

They will soon work for peanuts

Because that’s all we’ll send in.

We won’t let them pass

Till their eyes all have tears in,

We’ll switch things around

Like we do on kids with Pearson….

We’ll make them earn B’s

To get into our class.

Those who don’t earn them,

Can get in with a pass.

These new tough standards

Will make bad teaching stop.

Besides we will need them

In our Race To The  Top.

It says right here on line 53

“Must redo college standards”

Let us  buy them  new teacher ID’s

Which they can hang from their lanyards.

It says “redo”, not “raise levels” I see

Let us  make up our creed

Raise them higher or lower,

Or even sideways if we need.

So let’s scrap what we have,

Make new in our image.

Trash all classic standards,

We’ll make it a corporate scrimmage.

The tests we used to have,

Were so hard and so tough,

Lets’ sub them with easy ones,

Those scores will rise with fluff.

When the kids scream about testing

We’ll know we’ve done enough.

Let’s water the standards

But tell them they’re tough.

Do it with ed- gobblyspeak.

So those dummies in House

Without even a peek,

Vote YES like a mouse….

Since what you get out

Is What you put in,

We’ll have robots for teachers

Their union will end.

But we got to be careful,

We got to act fast,

If they catch what we’re doing,

This campaign can’t last.

Strike quickly, strike fast

Strike them hard like a flogger.

Can’t let them hear the truth,

Keep them far from that “blogger”.

Oh we’ll smile, we will praise,

We’ll do what we must.

What ever it takes

To turn those standards to dust.

Make Teachers in our image?

Yes, that’s what we’ll do.

We’ll count ourselves lucky

If they can count up to two.

The children? Don’t worry,

They’ll be fine as we speak.

We’ll teach them with tests,

So their knowledge will peak.

Then when it does,

We’ll know that we have won.

Common Core is in place.

Our work is now done.

Our friends in this Biz

Will now pay for our way.

When we meet our next challenger

Thinking he has something to say.

The Battle is ending

The war’s almost won.

We just need some dumb  asses

To vote  in S.B 51…..”

The specter was silent

It paused for a while

“Who are you? I said

I saw a faint smile.

It turned slowly towards me

And gave me a stare.

I could feel the electricity

From the bottom of each hair.

“Tell me” I inquired,

just one more time.

But the vision was fading

Into many fine lines

All that was left were the eyes,

And they gave me a shiver

It then grew transparent,

It was the Christina river.

So my friends, if you’re up,

If you read this in the morn.

It wasn’t a dream,

You must sound off your horn.

You must call down to Dover,

Let them know how you feel.

Hell copy and paste this.

Let them know this is for real.

We are being bamboozled

By clever and wit.

Our children won’t learn

Anything, not one little bit.

Teaching requires

Something you can’t test.

Requires a human you respect

Pushing to do your best.

We are moving away,

From what has worked well.

We are tearing down Rome

And burning it to hell.

This bill is too rash

Though it sounds pretty good.

It needs not to be rushed,

But debated as it should.

If anything is to change

It depends now on all of you.

Without your quick  input,

Like in the Senate, it will pass too.

It’s tearing down what is good

And replacing it with “what-ever”

Gotta be bad for the kids,

No matter hard they endeavor.

This bill needs work.

Though it’s ideas are nice.

It will mess things up royally

Without changes concise.

A simple amendment

Is all it would take.

To undo all the damage

And terrible things soon at stake.

A little snip of a scissors will do

Component V and Evaluations…

Just separate the two.

Because the way this is written

If you teach and you fail.

It’s the blacks and the poor,

Who lose and wind up in jail.

Their great teachers got fired,

Because they worked in the city.

The teachers in rich schools.

Got good scores, just sitting pretty.

This is the damage this Bill will soon do.

For under this plan

If your kids don’t test well,

Your career is so through

Doesn’t matter if their poor,

Or if their homes are all broken.

When it comes down to corporate,

All excuses are token

“it’s your fault” they’ll say

“It can’t be the test.

You’re lazy and useless

You didn’t do your best”.

Meanwhile in Newark,

Where teaching’s a breeze.

Just wave a magic wand,

And there is no pay-freeze.

Scores roll in higher

Because the curriculum is dumbed down.

Kids do all the work.

You smile looking down.

So reader, what do you think…

As is, what will this bill do?

If you were a new teacher,

if it was you starting anew.

Would you go to the city?

Where opportunity lies?

Teach out your heart?

And stifle your cries?

Or would you choose

The easy way out.

A lifelong career

With no second doubt.

It is so important

That this bill get changed

Otherwise our system

Will split from the strain.

Decouple the evaluations

From component Five.

Let’s do what we can

To keep education alive.

This bill needs work

On quite a few levels

That will only happen,

If this vote gets disheveled.

If you love your kids,

And kids of all ages,

You need to call

Make them retract their pledges.

They don’t know what’s in this bill.

Because they were told it’s ok.

Only the parents who vote

Can still save the day.

This is you I’m telling

Just so you know.

You need to go here,

And call all that you know.

Send them this poem,

It will get their attention,

Then give them the pitch,

Tell them they’ll go to detention.

What they’re about to do,

Is destroy our great state.

By Dismantling educational.quality

And by then it is too late.

This bill is on rush,

That i can tell you.

Vacation is coming.

But hopefully they’ll hear you.

Say “This Bill Cannot Pass”

Exactly as it is written.

“Change it, change it now

Before you get smitten”.

I hope these few words

Don’t fall on deaf ears.

I don’t want to see children

Through veils of thick tears….

It is you, it is me,

Who must carry this fight.

It is we who are parents.

We have the most right!.

.

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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……

At a recent planning session, the edict went out that this year, there would be no new taxes. The state budget would be balanced without any new revenue….

Progressives cringed but accepted the verdict. This year the Democrats were not going to raise taxes to balance the budget; instead they would balance the budget with painful cuts…

As I have on occasion mentioned before, raising the marginal rate on the top one percent, does wonders for an economy… That is the reason the 90’s were so great. Dropping the marginal rate, sucks money from out of the economy. That is the reason the first decade of this century, is less prosperous than the good times under Clinton. It is all about the top tax rate.

That is for the Fed… However, and though I have mentioned it on the state level, there things are a little different. As we saw last November, when you try to raise the tax level by the tiniest amount on the fewest of the richest…. by the time it gets down to the voting public, all they hear is… “raising taxes.” “Hell, no, I won’t have my taxes raised, and they vote accordingly”…

There is another issue. Taxes by businesses are seen in a bad light. Delaware is in competition with 48 larger states, and one smaller state, for a piece of America’s economic pie. We are wooing businesses away from other states; they are wooing our businesses over to them….

Anything that gums up a deal, is counter productive. Sure, we could tax a wealthy person more, which winds up going to pay for the unemployment we could have prevented by bringing in a new manufacturer, one who chose not to come, because he heard we were raising taxes…..

So, is there a unique way to raise the top marginal rate (which does wonders for the economy) and do it in a way that doesn’t raise taxes?

Actually….. yes, there is…

Here is how. We include a new deduction. Money spent on capital investment strictly in the state of Delaware.

I know it is hard for most people to grasp what just happened, so I’ll elaborate a little more…

You make a million dollars each year (income). The top Delaware tax rate goes up 1%… One percent of $1 million is $10,000…. In 2011 since your income is stable, you will pay $10,000 more in taxes than you did on this year’s return, 2010.

Unless, you decide to use that for construction to improve your business, home, or trailer park. Lets say you run a business out of your home. You redo your roof, pave your driveway, and upgrade your data speed…

The rise in marginal tax didn’t cost you a thing. You were planning to go to Ireland this year and blow the extra money there but… because of the tax laws, you spent it on construction in Delaware. You are not out anything. If you put your house up for market, it is now worth $10,000 more with a new roof, new driveway, and top of the line data connection…

But wait, Delaware is out $10,000 dollars.. What’s the point? You didn’t want to cut programs, so you raised the top marginal rate, and then, didn’t take the money? What gives?

What gives, IS….. well, lets track where that money goes first. The business selling the material for the roof and pavement and hardware for the data upgrade, gets 1/2 or $5,000…. They pay a series of taxes on that transaction…The other half goes to labor… Where 10% in taxes is pulled yielding $500. When that money gets spent again, more tax is paid, by the workers getting paid by that money coming in..

Bottom line, is that even though the wealthy individual does not pay taxes, the fact that he spent money in Delaware for that tax deduction,.creates jobs that weren’t there which will pay something into the state treasury….

This is actually the Reagan argument backwards. He argued that if you cut taxes, people would invest in jobs and more would work, pay their share of lower taxes, and the treasury’s revenue would rise… Naively, he, like most of us, assumed that free money would be spent in America. It wasn’t. It was invested overseas, so those people could get jobs, make things cheaper, and profit margins could rise.

All we are doing is modifying Reagan’s proposal, by saying, you can keep your tax liability where it is, only if you build something new here in Delaware.

All we are doing, by raising the top marginal percent …. is forcing that money to stay in Delaware….. Now what Republican could possibly be against that?

Thanks to Rick Bayard, our state deficit will be $55 million more in the hole. Here is the list of those legislators who put the interests of their friends, the lobbyists, above and beyond the interests of the regular people working in our state… Ironically some of the biggest critics of the 8% rollback of wages, also voted against obtaining $55 million dollars worth of revenue which could have assisted and possibly prevented some of those roll backs.

Ramone N

Kovach N

Bennett X

Blakey N

Booth N

D. Short N

Carey N

Carson N

Cathcart N

Hocker N

Jaques X

Lee N

Manolakos N

Oberle C

Outten N

Thornburg N

Walls N

Wilson N

Each one of the “No’s ” voted to kill the bill strictly because the Racino owners wanted even more money from the commissions off of sports betting,  than the bill would give them….

These legislators listed above, believe wealthy race owners deserved millions of dollars more than those hard working Delawareans who will now have to make up the difference in increased taxes and fees…  the cost of $110 extra dollars for every working Delawarean… Just so Racino owners can make an additional $55 million over the millions they make already.

It is a travesty when members of certain party do not have the state’s interest at heart, and prefer to take care of lobbyists than either you or me..

This is what they did, and that: is who they are….

And I thought yesterday’s trifecta was big… Partly because of trying to encapsulate yesterdays perfect storm of big issues all playing at once, I paid less attention to the one coming up in just a few moments….

That is the necessary vote on SB 59.

SB 59 simply states that instead of adhering to those cheap ass building codes recommended by profiteering developers themeselves, the new code will be based on energy efficiency requirements listed by the Federal Governnment.

These guidelines will save each homeowner lots of money. Money developers wish was coming to them…

They are in the process of old boying the Senate in an effort to kill this piece of legislation…. But there is a catch….

This piece of legislation is a requirement if the state of Delaware is to receive any Federal Stimulus funding for this year… Currently we are expecting roughtly $155 million of our $780 million dollar deficit to be covered by the Federal Stimulus Package. Not passing this bill means that additional fees must be levied somewhere else.

I recommend taking that short fall from Rich Collins and other members of the Positive Growth Alliance.

Here is what is at stake.

These guys (developers) make way too much money.

The state has way to little money..

The state’s homeowners have way to little money.

The “not” voting for passage of this bill by any legislator will prove beyond all doubt, which Legislator is serving only for his own self interests, and which is truly there to serve the public……

For there is no way in hell, a no vote on this bill, helps the public out by one iota.

Some of us old timers have been celebrating the second Tuesday of January for what seems like quite a few years… Each year we see signs that Open Government will come to our General Assembly. Last year was the greatest.. Complete with a living autographed open body, fluorescent green tee shirts, and Robert Venebles praying for the souls of those wanting to hold public officials accountable, surely with such a circus atmosphere just before election we would finally see results…..

It never left the drawer.

Fun and games won’t get it done.

What will?

You.

A public who demands that open government is passed; a public who dogs those royalists intent on keeping our hands away from our money, a public who exposes the lies and fallicies of their obfuscations…. WILL PREVAIL IN THE END.

We have to. At some future point they will need our vote.

OK, so that brings up this point which often made by the contractors of our current closed governmental system. If it is inevitable, why the hurry… Why put wrinkles in the current system which seems to work OK as it is now? After all, are their any major problems, serious catastrophies, widespread panics being caused by our current secret General Assembly?

Actually…. yes.

There is a $600,000,000 dollar shortfall; one of the reasons being the lack of open government in those areas that determine where we spend our money… The General Assembly.

In plain terms here is how it goes down.

A handful of legislators decide who gets what money. Those handful are sequestered in a chamber, away from the public’s eye, but freely visited every day by lobbyists for various interests. Many offer gifts. They have access, but someone wishing to get a safety device installed on school buses to protect our children, has to go through loops, tunnels, push bells and whistles, just to get enough points to be heard….

Open government is just a way to balance it out more… There are two ways to balance it out… One is to get rid of lobbyists entirely… then there is nobody in that chamber… The easier way is to open of those sessions so anyone can see what is going on… There is a reason shady deals are not done in the open… people will know about them.. So if we open those arrangements, we can hear when a lobbyist says he will provide tickets to the Netherlands to study wind farming.
And when they come back from that trip spouting only the corporate philosophy of that business that gave them the tickets…. we can say now wait a minute… You were “rickrolled“. What about the other argument?

In tight times there is nothing wrong with looking hard at ones budget…. Making hard choices is what we do… ie should we spend this little bit of money on our roads, or on our schools. Each makes the best argument in their favor, and then someone…. has to decide. That’s it. That is how it is done..

What is wrong, and why legislators such as Senator Thurman Adams, Senator Tony DeLuca, Senator Patty Blevins, and Senator Harris McDowell want open government to go away, is that without anyone looking over their shoulder, instead of going to a road or a school, that money now goes to a developer who has property he can’t unload for a profit to anyone except to the state….

And we hear: “the state has invested “so many” dollars to preserve open space containing so many acres so that future Delawareans can……..”

We don’t ever learn that a school was not built, a road was not repaired, 150 jobs were cut, just to make that sweetheart deal happen…

Here is real fact: choke on this.

In the development of the Wilmington Waterfront, those developers were given carte-blanche legal protection…

Accordingly, no legal or equitable action seeking damages for personal injury or death as a result of any operation, condition, service, or program related to the parcels that were the subject of these development agreements shall be permitted, maintained, or recovered against such entities

Delaware National (nee Hercules) Golf Course – Approximately 101 +/- acres adjacent to Hercules Road (SR 282) in New Castle County. The Department shall work with members of the surrounding community, plus state and local officials, to develop a master plan for the permanent protection – 57 – of the site as community recreation and open space, and upon satisfactory completion of such plans, may transfer the parcel to the appropriate owner(s) for a fee to be determined.

Or $4,000,000 to redo Garrison Lake Golf Course.

Bottom line is as we try to trim $600,000,000 from our state’s expenses, how much less would we be trimming if during the past 8 years we had not invested in various governmental officials pet projects?

Quite a lot.

As a result, our children will learn in shoddy schools, potholes will tear off our oil pans, our police forces and teachers numbers will be diminished….. all because someone was “hooked up” in an earlier closed session committee that decided where and how our public money will be spent…

As was emphatically said by our new Speaker of the House….” Damn it; its the public’s money!” then it stands to reason that the public be part of deciding how that money is spent…..

We did it with Bluewater Wind… Our duty as citizens of this state demand we do it again…

We are at a point where almost everyone in Delaware is in favor of Open Government.. It is an issue that crosses party lines…

Those few who do not, are all in the Senate. That is why we need to take our fight there. Within that chamber are the ones who need to band together to vote with at least 11 votes to do away with the desk drawer veto. From this group of twenty one, 11 need to agree that if any of their coalition is threatened or denied his right to bring his bill on the floor, because he dared to stand up to Adams on open government, that irregardless of party loyalty, the other ten will stand behind them and override Senator Adams and bring that bill on the floor of a vote.. It will need to be bipartisan, which is why it will need all of us to apply the political muscle….

As per our drill with Bluewater Wind, here are the numbers…..

Senate Democrats
Dover: 302-744-4165
Wilmington: 302-577-8542

Senate Republicans
Dover: 302-744-4134
Wilmington: 302-577-8517

And for good measure:

House Republicans
Receptionist: (302) 744-4171
FAX: Dover (302) 739-2773
Wilm. (302) 577-6396

House Democrats
Receptionist: (302) 744-4351
FAX: Dover (302) 739-2313

One might recommend printing up on ones computers business cards with just one number, explaining to ones friends and neighbors the importance of their call, and handing out the numbers enabling a greater number of Delaware’s citizens to become involved with controlling their own destiny.

After all that is why our ancestors fought the revolution. That is why they fought for Lincoln, to keep this nation together. That is why they beat back the Japanese and Germany during WWII, to ensure those freedoms remained at home… That is why Delawareans are in Iraq RIGHT NOW.

They are not there so some very important piece of legislation can get buried in someone’s desk drawer……

To be honest, I never thought I would live to see a Democrat take the fourth district… Never in my wildest dreams.   I hope my previous thoughts were wrong for I certainly do not want to die within 15 days….

Most of it has to do with the candidate, himself..  Dr. Michael Katz.  If one were to wave a magic wand and say that political parties no longer existed, and every man could represent himself if elected…. Dr. Katz would be a shoo in…  Here is why: He is better educated than his opponent, and he thinks before he acts, something Clatworthy is not prone to do. Clatworthy follows the other political tack, you know the one which was quite popular over the past 8 years, that of falling in step with the party and not straying out of bounds….  Both philosophies have their times and places…

But if one had no concern whether he was represented by a Democrat or Republican, then Dr. Katz would be the next representative of the Fourth Senatorial District….

I will show you why Dr. Katz is better for that district during the next term…..

Health Care… we will create a new way of doing health care in Dover sometime during the next term. That is a given, based on the current status of Health Care today.  Am I the only one who thinks bringing a doctor to the table would be a good idea?  Wouldn’t he be the better choice to explain to us, all that gobblygook those insurance reps like to throw our way?  Has the good doctor’s opponent ever had to work with today’s insurance companies to get paid?…..  ” your call is important to us….  Please hang on until the next operator is available….. You have been holding 39 minutes….. music

No doubt you too have seen those same insurance commercials, telling us that national health-care will drive our doctors overseas…. Instead of taking it hook, line, and sinker, should we not instead, ask the good Doctor?

What does his opponent bring to the health care table,….other than a bundle of beliefs?  And it is probably silly at this late point to remind you of just where that bundle of beliefs, which are not new but were spouted afresh during one presidential campaign a full 8 years ago…. winning George Bush the presidency…..  Just where has that bundle of beliefs led this country over the past 8 years….?

When Delaware looked into building a wind farm off Rehoboth’s coast, both sides spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on consultancy fees.   But when it comes to health care, citizens in the Fourth District currently have someone spending thousands of his own campaign money just to apply for that consultancy position… One of these two candidates will be deciding our health care issues for us. It actually makes sense to vote to the Doctor in.  Let’s tap in and get his expert advice for free….

The dead-horse republican platform still beaten by Clatworthy, that one of stressing no taxes, is a misnomer..  Everyone knows that if you grow your economy by funding your appetite on debt, you will soon be out of money…  Eventually, some day, you have to pay it back… Of course when you do, not only do you have to pay back the money that you borrowed, but you also pay back the interest on that deal as well.  In other words you have to pay interest ON TOP OF all the goods and services you currently use and are paying for as you go… Even if you wanted your state to keep its expenditures at current levels, repair roads, fix schools, etc, you would have to slash necessary goods and services,   Since no one can function without basic government services, roads, schools, etc., taxes inevitably will be raised… So just how seriously can we take his pledge to cut taxes?

Oh,…. but Republicans don’t cut taxes…Correct, they just defer taxes down the road, perhaps giving it to one’s children to make up the payments.   If you didn’t believe it before, you should by now based on what we have all witnessed done to our national debt over the last 8 years….

Citizens of the Fourth District need also to be concerned about the education of their children… Who would better understand what it takes to make a doctor out of one of Delaware’s children….?
Someone from a fundamentalist Christian school? Or a doctor? My vote for the education of my own children (if there were no such thing as a Democrat or Republican Party) would certainly go first to someone who was a physician in anesthesiology and is an assistant professor at the Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, as opposed to someone whose claim to fame was that he once sat at the feet of Pat Robertson… Unlike some I am not knocking Regent University. It is just a fact of life that sometimes you need experts to do what they were specialized in… You wouldn’t take your car to a dentist…. likewise vice versa trust your teeth to an engine mechanic…..

Putting political affiliation aside (it won’t mean much this election cycle anyhow) those living in District 4, the Chateau Country, whether wealthy or not, will need someone solid representing them come January for the next two years… Someone solid…

Of course you know Clatworthy’s dad…. But you also know that someone easily bamboozled once they enter lobby heaven, will do the Fourth District more harm then good.

Dr. Mike Katz is no stranger when it comes to dealing with lobbyists…..That is why when Aetna started refusing to cover the anesthesia necessary for colonoscopies, Mike refused to stay silent. Being intimately familiar with the pain and discomfort of colonoscopies experienced by many of his patients, Mike feared that without proper anesthesia, many individuals would simply opt-out of this critical cancer screening. Refusing to let big insurance bully Delawareans, Mike took a stand—and won.

Cancer doesn’t care if you are a Democrat or a Republican.. Let’s hope my fellow voters in the Fourth Senatorial District can be as open-minded.