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They cost you too…

The drop in payroll tax from 6.2% to 4.2% results in a savings of about $1000 a year to every wage earner.

(If truth were widely known, that tax cut is actually a bad idea. It hemorrhages a dying social security fund, requiring the eventual death of the program or an expensive emergency last ditch surgery in the future.)

But it is hard not to give a $1000 present to every voter. Even if it only comes out as $19 dollars and change each week… But, still again, if your electric bill is $198 and you only have $189 in your account, that additional amount is, well, a lifesaver…..

But, Republicans in the House, even after Republicans in the Senate voted passage, overwhelmingly voted….. not to vote on the measure…

They didn’t vote against it… THEY VOTED NOT TO VOTE ON IT……
(speculation is that they lacked the votes to keep it from passing)..

So, how does that relate to you?

House Republicans (read Tea Party) just voted NOT TO VOTE on whether or not you will be losing an extra $20 a month out of your next paycheck.

Imagine what this is doing to payroll clerks around the country?
Imagine what this is doing to family budgets around the country?
Imagine what this is doing to businesses who rely on consumer spending around the country?
Imagine what this is doing to businesses heavily involved in the financial sector, around this country?

So what would normally happen?

Normally a group that can’t find agreement, acknowledges the sad fact, and long before the deadline, announces that they failed to reach agreement and that things would continue as they were on a temporary basis, to unfortunately allow for more time to solve differences.

But NOOOOOOOOOOOO, …. WE ARE STUCK WITH A TEA PARTY THAT FUCKS THINGS UP.

Instead, we have a vote not-to-vote, then get all sorts of very lame excuses from those who are delaying, none of which apply to the real problem that Social Security is doomed unless drastic action gets taken (higher rates, not lower), and we get nothing….

The tax cut will expire…

It is like sequestering a jury in a room, where everyone after much fact-covering argument has agreed to a judgment, except for one person who’s been bought off. And nothing, nothing, logic, emotional appeal, bullying, snuggling up to, befriending, produces any change. And you go years, every working day, to the same court house, the same jury room, they same chair at the same table, hear the same arguments, hoping against all odds, that today, he will see the light and switch. You go the next day.

That is today’s Congress. Held hostage by Tea Party Republicans who live in a dream world untouched by the reality of living under $185,000 a year. Like that bought-out juror, every day, they hold up progress with the unjustified belief that, if they wait long enough, the other 11 jurors will give up and sway over to the sole juror’s way….

Two things can happen… 1) return to the public and announce a hung jury, and do a complete retrial.. or 2) sneak up to that one juror, put a gun to his head, say nothing, pull the trigger, clean up the mess, dispose of the body, then go out to the public and announce what the 11 of you have decided…..

One is the nice way, sanctioned to due process of law. The other is the American Way.

It’s time to initiate the kavipsian policy of expression or what is otherwise known as “Show Us How You Really Feel”… Who knows? It could become the next great movement? The next time someone you know (or don’t), says anything about how millionaires should keep their tax cuts and the poor should pay, nod your head in agreement, smile a little bit, then hit them as hard as you can in their mouth, I mean as hard as you can! Put them flat on the ground holding their jaw… Then loudly say, “Don’t every talk that stupid way to me again!” Who knows, if 99% or all 303,930,000 would respond that way to our fellow congressional delegates, and the other 3.9 million of their like who advocate such madness, we might actually get the very progress we need, not because of intimidation, but because such policy is right….

For those who argue expression of violence is un-American, I’ll remind them that tonight, is John Wayne Night on AMC: view it!… I argue that such action is VERY American and perhaps it has been the lack of such spontaneous expressions of frustration from working American people, that has caused the logjam where nothing gets done because of one holdout, who thinks he can sway the world to his opinion and face no consequences… ….

Practice now, by punching brick walls.

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The story goes that Warren Buffet, rather worried about his investments early 2008, wanted to talk to God… God told him to use his phone and he’d send him the bill… He got and paid the $333 million dollar charge. His investments flourished, too… That would be the end of the story, except he was down in Sussex County recently, following up first hand on a corporate case being processed out of Georgetown… once again, he asked God for the right to call, and agreed to accept the charges… When he got his bill, he was fuming… He was only charged 25 cents… “God”, he said, “you ripped me off on that first call, big time!”… God said, “Warren, don’t you get it? In Sussex County, that’s a local call…”

Local call or not, Sussex County is weighing in on whether to say a prayer before County meetings or to not… Here are a few takes on that policy: one, two, three, four……

As someone who grew up where prayers were always said before football games and county meetings, it isn’t a big deal…… That is, as long as everyone agrees it isn’t a big deal. You don’t see prayers before meetings conducted in New York.

Not because New Yorkers are heathens, but because in New York, you have a multiplicity of religions, so praying a prayer from one of them, is a slap in the face for all others…

Why it’s even an issue in Sussex County is because the Positive Growth Alliance, has been building condo’s like ants, and lots of people who did not grow up in Sussex County, now live there. Many have different ideas of religion than those who’ve always been there all their lives…

If everyone believe in the same version of God as does David Anderson, then of course, duh, why are we even arguing about it… Of course we’re going to pray to God to guide us through this meeting.. That’s what He’s for!

Suddenly, thanks to Rich Collins and the Positive Growth Alliance, we have tons of people who do object to having David Anderson’s version of God, one who dislikes Homosexuals, and one who casts pox on Democrats, one who believes married people should have sex only when they have children, one who believes sex between animals is immoral, one who believes taxes are caused by the devil, one who believes that nature was made to bulldoze and pave with a combination of petroleum and gravel. … one who believes that oil companies have the divine right to pollute oceans, one who believes that animals were made for us to kill. … one who believes a national religious holiday should fall on the first day of deer season.. one who believes pick up trucks and baseball caps are proof that homosexuality is a sin,… on who believes killing someone with a gun is not a sin, but taking that gun away for the safety of others is…

(yes, I’m having fun and talking tongue in cheek)…

The point I’m making is that Sussex County is changing; and it is changing mostly thanks to Rich Collins and the Positive Growth Alliance.

Can you make new citizens join the current religion? If so, then by all means, just like the days of old, they will see no qualms in having a tiny prayer before the meeting.

But if they don’t want to join that religion, then, to force one group of religious people to impose their prayers on others, is not American…In fact, it’s kinda creepy…

If in an effort to show fairness, the Sussex County decided they would do prayers from all religions in alphabetical order, when they came to “B” and hit Buddahism, giving an Buddahist prayer before the session, most of those in the audience would be saying WTF! This is our nation, why do we have to listen to such crap…

Which is… exactly what those Buddahists think, who have opened a business in Millsboro, and have come before the county to ask for a variance on something or other that is in their antiqued code….

So… If it is unnatural for a Baptist to suffer a Buddahist prayer, it is equally unnatural for a Buddahist to sit through a Baptist prayer…

It’s not about one religion being right and the other wrong. It’s about who the citizens are that make up Sussex County. If you want to blame anyone over this controversy, the blame solely lies with those who built up Sussex County and brought in all these new people to begin with… Now that they are here, we have to make Sussex County as fair to them as New York, is fair to us, when we take our business up there……

Positive Growth, huh? Depends on your version of positive I guess………….

Every hearing for HB 5 is packed with Sussex County citizens carrying Skittle colored Bibles hollering out the word “abomination“. Now I thought I knew what that word meant, but seeing unsettled people calling the right of all people to be considered equal under law an “abomination”, kind of threw me..

Seriously! How could the very principals outlining our Declaration of Independence and embodied within the framework of our Constitution, be considered an abomination? Were these people really some fractured part of Al Qaeda and why were they truly working the same side? As silly as that sounds, if one just follows the train of thought that these people always throw out whenever a microphone is pointed towards their mouth, that is exactly correct.

Both are fighting the great Satan and see that embodiment walking around within the confines of our own government….

(The following is in code: wise people can figure it out, stupid people can’t. I figured that to discuss sensitive subjects, it was wise to keep them out of reach of Google so that young impressionable readers lacking the maturity to fathom the depth of the arguments, don’t visit.)

Those protesting HB 5 who call it an abomination, pretend they are Christians. They are not. They are Jews. They follow the Old Testament version of Jewish law and have not adequately made the adjustment that Jesus so willingly gave his life up to teach us…

For if one wants to crystallize and pull the essence of Jesus’s message out of the four gospels, one could simply characterize it in two words: “Love” and “Respect”. Those are what Jesus was sent to teach. Everyone who has run across John 3:16, knows that Jesus’ raison d’etre was to physically show that God so loved the world, that he sent his only son, to die, so that all could live..

Let’s focus on that thought for a second. What is “real love”. Right now, if you personally had within this one second to choose: would you choose to give your life up for your child or spouse? If you had only that split second to choose, would you instinctively give yourself up to protect them so they could live?

After years of struggling with this question myself, I have come up with some parameters that may help guide one’s answer. If you truly love your child or spouse more than you do yourself, you will. Absolutely. But if you love yourself more than you do your child… then you won’t… This impossibly complicated answer, … is really just that simple.

But discussion about the “love factor” has been overdone. It is the “respect factor” which provides a more intriguing aspect of Jesus’ teaching. And if one looks, there is to be found a big difference between what Jesus teaches about homosexuality between men, and what the old testament happens to say… Jesus never, never, never, and never mentions homosexuality.

For you see, Jesus was huge on respect, even to the point of showing respect to one’s enemies or opponents. His well documented rage aimed at the Temple moneychangers, was over the desecration of their respect for God, which they accomplished by their turning His place of worship into a profit oriented market place…. His message to them, was: if you don’t respect God even in his own house; THEN GET OUT! On that he was very clear.

Respect was always important to Jesus. “Give unto Ceasar (the government), that which is Caesar’s (the governments). Give to God, what is God’s.” He carried the analogy one step further… “If a Centurion forces one to carry his pack one mile, request to take it two miles”… Justify your own existence by showing thy enemy some token measure of respect.

Yes, Jesus was big on respect. That is why it is fair to say, that those who bring their Bibles into Legislative Hall to loudly thump, and then chant repeatedly like Gregorians, “abomination”, “abomination”, “abomination”, and continuously castigate those who have a slightly wider sexual preference than they themselves adhere to,…… actually cast a bigger abomination towards the name of Jesus, than do those who genuinely love each other as man and wife, but just happen to be of the same gender…

This flip-flop of the word abomination, actually makes good sense. For if Jesus respected Caesar, if Jesus respected the harlot about to be stoned, if Jesus respected the outcast Samaritans, if Jesus even gave up a singular measure of respect to the demon who departed the man possessed, and then leaped into a herd of wild pigs sending them over a cliff, … and especially, i mean especially if those frightened followers of Jesus, respected and took in a man formerly called Saul, who had smilingly condemned and then held the cloak of the first Christian martyr Stephan, even as tossed rocks split open his skull allowing it’s contents to leak into the soil below …. then it is quite improbable that anyone avowing hatred, wrath, disgust, anger, and above all, disrespect… towards people of the same gender who just simply want a little legal protection to love each other… are truly Christians.

FOR THEY ARE NOT FOLLOWING THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS. They are following some earlier words of men…. And from our own perspective offered in our own lifetime, when we can look towards the Middle East and see their Muslim religion in primitive contrast to our worldly view… we see how simple minded men sometimes take up behaviors which benefit them, and wrap them up someway in god’s name to give it sanctity. For example, legalized rape by a husband of his wife in the Muslim world, is a case in point. No merciful God would condone such behavior. That is a ruling strictly made for, and made by, horny men.

So which is the truer abomination? A small piece of Jewish law decided by committee? Or the disrespect of the actual teachings of Jesus himself? Most true Christians are taught that the words of Jesus far outweigh the words of men.

So it brings a valid question to those about to cast their vote on HB 5. Do they too bring disrespect on Jesus himself by voting to allow the continuance of discrimination based only on sexual preference? Are they not equal to the Taliban, using some strict interpretation of religion, to impose a hardship upon and over another citizen?

Yes they are.

Which means that Tony DeLuca, Thurman Adams, Bob Venebles, Senator Bonini, Senator Bunting, Senator Cook, Senator Ennis, Senator Marshall, and Senator Gary Simpson, (if their legislative record even allows them access to the gates of Heaven), will surely have considerable trouble getting past the questions of Saint Peter who is guarding Heaven’s Gate.

Perhaps through him, God will say this to them: why should I not treat you the way you treated those children of mine who just happened to love people of the same gender as themselves? They loved… and your answer was what?

Abomination?

Well sorry Dudes and Dudettes! It was your own vote which cast your fate. These were my people hurting, my brothers, and my sisters. For they understood love, and how important love is to fight for, but of them you chose to NOT protect them and by doing so, imply they were inferior. I’m sorry but you cannot enter here until you are forgiven… And it’s hard to forgive someone who remains unrepentant…. To do so, would be an abomination of everything my Son was sent to teach…..

When you have the capacity to forgive them, … I will forgive you.

Amen.

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……

If you were blessed with one too few neurons and found the numbers flung back and forth between Delmarva and the rest of us, to be mildly put, as slightly bewildering, and were to be blunt, scared to pass the Bluewater Wind HCR 38 because you didn’t want to be saddled with another Delmarva Price increase around your neck……………………………well, you can relax. Help is on the way!

Courtesy of Delmarva.

Here is the line your lobbyists have been giving you.

over the 25 years of the PPA, into above-market cost of, respectively, $1.7 billion (ICF) and $2.0 bilion (Pace). (In its October 29 Report, the Commission Staffs independent consultant (the “IC”) made certain above-market calculations. If the commodity pricing escalators are removed from those calculations, the result is similar above-market costs of $1.3 billion.)

There it is.

Now let’s break it down. The actual “facts” between both parties are the same, or very close. By that, I mean that the actual cost estimated to build an offshore plant is not far apart, whether the consultant came from Delmarva or was truly independent. What is at stake is frank discussion about how much the offshore wind will cost us over market and just exactly what over market is.

What we need in this discussion is a floor that determines exactly what “market” is.

Delmarva originally used 2005 prices (Table 2.1.2) to determine what market was. When called out on that, they used 2007 prices, which shrunk the differences considerably. Most of us independents doing analysis on prices use the future’s index as a guide for “what we anticipate we will pay in the future”.

(For example: if one takes todays cost of $110MWh and applies it to Delmarva’s original formula for determining cost above market, Delmarva is already predicted to run (1106GWh/year X 1000 MWh/GWh X 25 dollar increase X 25years) = $691,250,000 above-market in less than six months since Russ Larson voted no!)

We seem to have the upper hand. Bluewater’s bundled price, which means it includes REC charges and something called capacity costs, is close to $105 per MWh., and will stay so over the next thirty years. Currently, as mentioned above, Delmarva in March announced the lowest cost of energy it would receive over the next three years, would be $110 per MWh and by everyone’s estimate, is expected to rise considerably.

Who seems to have a better handle on the market now?

Realistically at their prices right now, Bluewater Wind and Delmarva are close to a statistical wash. Whether or not Bluewater Wind is a really good deal boils down to one thing: whether the cost of getting our energy the old way, from fossil fuels will rise over the next thirty years……..or fall.

You have only to fill up your car to get your answer.

Much hot air has been written on whether Atkins is making a comeback in Sussex County. I am somewhat shocked that there is anyone left to defend poor Atkins. After all he allegedly hit his wife.

What? He hit his wife? Perhaps to those who defend him, such actions are acceptable. Particularly the honorable Sen. Bunting and Sen. Hocker who seem more concerned with public manners than with the slime such manners cover up. (Al Mascitti: great line by the way.)

I may ride a high horse sometimes. But anyone,…… (WGMD, Sen. Bunting, or Sen. Hocker himself) who still wallows in their support of Atkins, is sending this signal that hitting one’s wife can be winked away and is therefore still an acceptable form of behavior. I find that repulsive. Of course none of these few would do the unthinkable in their own drunken stupor, but to accept it and justify it as a reasonable course of action, by supporting someone for public office who actually did so? C’mon! There is something seriously wrong in this state’s Southern half of the Republican party.

One cannot effectively vote for legislation affecting the 440,000 or so women in this state, and still feel strongly that any man is entitled to hit his wife whenever he drinks.

Dave Burris is absolutely dead-on-right about this one. The rest of the Republican Party (if they still have any moral decency), needs to line up solidly behind him or…….. form a new party.