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DAMN THIS STUPID CONGRESS THAT FORCES US TO TAKE DESPERATE MEANS. HOW CAN OLD MEN BE SO STUPID. I THOUGHT YOU GOT WISER WITH AGE
Image direct result caused by actions of the stupid fools impersonating a US Congress

This Wednesday, on January 18th 2012, we too will be participating in SOPA Blackout Day… I encourage every true American patriot left, to do likewise.

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This is a guessing game. It’s supposed to be fun. You do the guessing. I’ll reveal the answer at some point in the future. Bottom line, I am interested in how this plays out. (To keep answers out of moderation, no links please.) You may use the categories above for some helpful hints, but knowing me, don’t expect to find the answer that easily.) 🙂

1) Foreign policy/defense: I want American imperialism rolled back and American interventionism halted, as the same time we begin to pull free from the military/industrial complex by slashing the budgets for defense and homeland security to reasonable levels.

2) Civil libertarian issues: I want to see gay marriage legalized; drugs decriminalized; Real ID abolished; the Patriot Act gutted; and immigrants viewed as human beings. I want intrusive government the hell out of my life.

3) Fiscal sanity: I want a government that stops growing and taking an ever-expanding bite out of my paycheck; I want to see wasteful programs cut, and to have Congress faced with the same sort of imperative the Delaware General Assembly had to face this year: balancing the budget.

On the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, the continuous guns fell silent…… After years of incoming artillery’s deep, resonant pounding,…..the quiet began. The rare pop of small arms fire,….. faded away. Cautiously a brave soul or two crawled out and stood on top of the trenches. Turning to the other side, they saw the enemy of just a few minutes before, mirroring their own actions…..It was truly over.

Compared to the rest of Europe, the US fared well. Germany, France, Great Britain lost an entire generation of their young men…..

Some dreamed that surely, after such a waste, there never could, or would be such a war again……

It was only a dream…..as history would soon prove……

On this day, there are 22 verified veterans left….worldwide. Four of these are Americans. Soon the last living memories of this war….. will fade away……….

My brush with living memories happened when I was in High School. What the German war machine failed to do………an insignificant clot accomplished. Those who visited, told stories of the dark, turbulent wrestling within the soul……They whispered of an alert mind, albeit one locked in the year 1917 from which it would ultimately and peacefully escape…. They spoke in hushed tones of an old man, possessing enormous strength, incapable of being subdued by even the hospital’s largest orderlies……They told of the soldier’s enterprising son, who climbing back into those years to be with him, and navigating the treacherous barbed wire memories, peacefully calmed him down, until the old soldier finally accepted that his war was over, and quietly signed his own armistice with God………..

We learned he had suffered from shell shock as they called it then, spending the post-war years in a sanitarium somewhere in occupied Germany, of the bland letters to his wife and unseen child back home, letters whose lack of substance during this vapid time, played rabidly on her fears of another women…..

We heard stories of involuntary reactions, occurring some twenty years later…of a face, framed by white hair, turned scarlet in the middle of a social gathering, when someone absently said, “Oh that was during the war.”

And then there were the personal effects, a letter rapidly written in German by a dying officer, with our hero’s first name mentioned as being the one entrusted to make sure the letter got back to his wife, a letter that said the war would soon be over for him, that the only important thing he hung onto as he crossed over to the the other side, were the times he and she had shared together……..As kids we used to march around in a dough boy’s hat, and a genuine spiked Prussian helmet. (the originals were all black, by the way, no silver.)

And then the youngest son, who came along after our soldier had mellowed somewhat, told of stumbling with his dad, across a model of one battlefield, I think it was Belleau Wood, and how that opened up the memories which, pent up for years, calmly flowed out unrepressed, with no emotional consequences.

Through this, we heard the story of a young officer defying a direct order to attack, solely because the objective was unattainable and trying to attempt it, would wipe out every one of his men….Who opting, instead of facing a firing squad, to have himself crawl into no mans land……accompanied only by his sergeant who had stood steadfast with him during this ordeal only to get ripped apart minutes later, had to lie there for two days protected under the warm, safe body which occasionally absorbed a well placed bullet, kept safe by only the tiniest rise of land preventing a direct shot…..

The story of showing up in France, and leading the AEF’s first attack, upon a fortified hill surrounded by the Meuse, and succeeding…..

Those memories didn’t die….they passed and took seed in another generation. Today they lie embedded in one more, a generation who once again questions the “why” of war.

Like his grandfather before him, this person too was brought up under a religion that seem to question war and tell us to “turn the other cheek.” Like his grandfather before him, this person too believes that sometimes there is no greater duty, than to give one’s life for one’s country……..How are these two, supposedly opposite points of view, ever to be reconciled?

We know that Jesus allowed his disciples to carry swords. During the final days, when he asks the disciples if they have a sword, and Peter shows two, he says that is enough…..But later that night when Peter uses his sword to protect Jesus and cuts off a servant’s ear, Jesus tells him sternly. “Put that away. We will have no more of that…”

Fascinating. This duality starts from the beginning of the Christian religion itself.

Throughout history, the worst wars fought have been religious ones. The longest animosities, the ones considered too hard to bury, are those originally pricked by religion….

When we are told to turn the other cheek, perhaps we are to do that on a personal level…. By doing so, hoping that we show others, just how deeply we believe these principals . Perhaps this line of thought recognizes that we are each small instruments of change; but a change of heart in multitudes of men, can implement massive changes…..Therefore doing a self deprecating act, such as dying for another, or carrying an enemy soldier’s bag an extra mile, can have a much greater impact overall, than another killing and the loss of one dead soldier…..

But as a nation of free people we have another responsibility. That responsibility is to ensure that justice, (or that which is right),… prevails over evil, (or that which is wrong)…. As some of you may note, there is a wide play of interpretation in just exactly what is right, and what is wrong…..

But for a strong nation to appease a despot like Stalin, Hitler, or those tyrants in Burma, does exactly the opposite of performing justice. Instead it shows others, despite our words, that we implicitly support these evil regimes, and in doing so, we fail to send hope and inspiration to those who fight, to right the wrongs caused by their misguided leaders….

War enacted by a political state is sometimes a necessity, the last remaining line of defense against the selfish designs of a demented few. Less pain and suffering worldwide, can be bandaged by enacting war, than by allowing open wounds to fester, rot, and spread their evil infection elsewhere.

Therefore as a nation, the United States must occasionally gamble all of it’s resources in the ultimate test…. One must on occasion risk all, to determine whether all was worthy to be risked……

Any nation is only as good as its foot soldiers,…. its grunts. Those choice veterans I know, with whom I’ve hugged, laughed, and cried, …… continue to reinforce the notion I once had as a child: that based on the quality of people who put their lives on the line for this nation, we are truly the best nation to have ever lived upon this planet……..

Frank Church Quotes
“At the same time, that capability at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left, such [is] the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.

“If this government ever became a tyranny, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back, because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology…

“I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.”

Where’s a real patriot when you need one?

This was resurrected in part due to this article from the Wall Street Journal

In brief, the decision, made three months ago by Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell, places for the first time some of the U.S.’s most powerful intelligence-gathering tools at the disposal of domestic security officials. The move was authorized in a May 25 memo sent to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff asking his department to facilitate access to the spy network on behalf of civilian agencies and law enforcement.The U.S.’s top intelligence official has greatly expanded the range of federal and local authorities who can get access to information from the nation’s vast network of spy satellites in the U.S.

In recent years, some military experts have questioned whether domestic use of such satellites would violate the Posse Comitatus Act. The act bars the military from engaging in law-enforcement activity inside the U.S., and the satellites were predominantly built for and owned by the Defense Department.

Access to the satellite surveillance will be controlled by a new Homeland Security branch — the National Applications Office — which will be up and running in October.

“You are talking about enormous power,” said Gregory Nojeim, senior counsel and director of the Project on Freedom, Security and Technology for the Center for Democracy and Technology, a nonprofit group advocating privacy rights in the digital age. “Not only is the surveillance they are contemplating intrusive and omnipresent, it’s also invisible. And that’s what makes this so dangerous.”

Sometimes a lightning bolt of a thought strikes from nowhere. When it does, you know you have found your answer.

There is a false quality many have mentioned about the front runners. Scripted to every detail, repetitive as a hammer, their responses seem nice, agreeable, and flat……

The problem with the political process, is that Americans are not involved. Each candidate is a carefully marketed bag of rice, and all the marketing is designed to say: “pick me.” In our busy lives, we are not only responsible for picking out the “rice”, but also the milk, the car, the cereal, the dessert treats, gasoline, etc. The election process boils down to just another product piped into my home by cable, mail, or obscene phone banks.

Normally these things happen to me in a church pew, but this time the answer I needed came from a surprising source.

In a recent comment, Tyler Nixon dished up the answer. As soon as I saw it, I realized that those of us who care about the future of Constitutional Government need to steer the campaign towards this direction. Speaking of Biden, Tyler says this.

Biden, for example, has emerged as not only a “gaffe machine” but a Teflon one! Why? Because he is forgiven these “sins” as coming from a genuine man revealing himself rather than a plasticine politician exposing himself.

Like the other candidates I mentioned Biden’s foibles make him “real”. One thing a professional politician can’t fabricate is a good foible. If you have none, you are not to be trusted in my view. Those who would present themselves as perfection have the most imperfections to hide – if not the worst ones….

In such a similar way Reagan endeared himself to millions of Democrats, thereby enabling the beginning of the Republican regime. One knows a long termer is wary of trips and hazards, and Biden is a long termer. Comparatively, the newness of some of our front runners, is not reassuring. No Senator since Kennedy has attained election as the most powerful person in the world. Perhaps that is why relations between Congress and Executive are at an all time low…..

What I’m looking for in a candidate is someone I can trust. I don’t expect perfection, not in this day and age, but I am looking for an old warrior. Someone who has seen up close both the good and the bad of human nature, and will do everything to promote the good, and anything to stop the bad.

Democrat or Republican does not matter. Fixing America, does.

I’ll trust an imperfect friend before I’ll trust a salesman who attempts to sell me on his candidate’s perfection.

Taking the Easy Pass Lane

So there I was as a young man, traipsing over the grassy knolls of a compound called Dachau……..and the single image of which I could not shake from my mind, was a view back home from the top of the former Twin Towers.………taken while walking  around the observatory in a slow 360 degree circle and realizing that the entire mass of humanity in that circle of twenty miles, was less than the amount of those eradicated by the Nazis, without a whimper from the German people.

And as my eyes watered a bit, ((no I did not cry), I was still too young), while gazing upon the fake showers, and peering into the cyanide vats on the other side, a tiny child’s voice between my ears, kept repeating a phrase I had stumbled across before the tour on the floor inside the museum. ” You saw us being beaten, you saw us wearing stars, you saw us humiliated, you saw us being transported, and YET YOU DID NOTHING……… I remember at the time being quite angry at the timidity and the complicity of the German people. For a brief moment I hated them…….and in a typical fashion common of that gender in possession of high and excessive levels of testosterone, in those emotional moments I vowed that I, (superior being that I was) would never fear or cave in to brutal intimidation………..

Today, my friend’s friend, lies buried in Arlington……And when I clicked on a forgotten link……(do I still need this?…) and saw the face of a very brave New Castle citizen…….looking back from her high school picture…..those jaded eyes of mine wet over again as I slowly realized that I too had failed to live up to that promise I once made on a bright July afternoon, while standing beside a giant trench planted over with flowers……….

So where was I when it happened? What was I doing that was so important as events played around me? Nothing earth shattering really, and if you probe and scrape all the residue away, I was simply way too busy going through motions in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, to really worry making those tough sacrifices that are personally required to implement the necessary changes (piece of crap, I am)……. Then,……… something about that girl’s picture…………..pissed me off. I think it was how much like my own daughter she was……

So what can I do? Not much, I am no Kissinger nor Howard Baker. I cannot bring these people together and make a settlement. But I can make a choice……and that choice is this.

I can choose to STOP DOING NOTHING. I can go on record and suffer the surprise trip to Guantanamo that may come in the middle of the night (risk diminished), or the bullet to the back of the head in some forgotten landfill (not likely), if it comes to that. And most particularly, I can look at those who enabled and supported this administration when it chose to invade a nation that had not attacked us, a nation that had no intention of attacking us, a nation that had nothing to do with 9/11…….but only a nation that had the poor unfortunate distinction, of being the chosen victim that this bully of an administration had decided to make an example of………..long before the 2000 elections were ever held!

If any of you have ever felt that you too have done too little, that you too were lulled and fooled into believing this war made you safer, then come, join me outside Delaware congressman Mike Castle’s office on Friday July 6th. And should you be too busy, I will understand. Most likely you do not have that haunting childlike voice as do I between my ears, that implores ……..AND YET YOU DO NOTHING…….…But if, by some ancient gene, you do…… possess the capacity to know right from wrong, and if…… by the grace of God, you have been given time to come and be counted, and if…… you do not want to pass on, having never made a difference in anything………… then take the half hour, and come and join us; be counted on this upcoming Friday at 11:00am. (Tell Boss-women you have a doctors appointment if you have to……or call on someone you know who feels like you do, and unlike you, has nothing going on at moment in time.)

Results:

If ten people show, the war goes on, but us ten can rest at ease that we did our part. If twenty show, our numbers just grew 100% !!…….If hundreds show, one or two lines will appear in the News Journal and it will not have been in vain. If a thousand people show, the Congressman and staff will take notice. And just maybe……just maybe……..find within themselves the moral courage to add their voice to echo ours……..WE CAN MAKE A CHOICE……WE CAN DO SOMETHING.

In democracy, the real leaders are always “We, the people“: it is us who tell the government what We want them to do…… Please……..come with us……….and make our stand?

Occasionally something pops up and causes me to remember Senator Lloyd Bentsen, D Texas, responding to soon to be Vice President Quayle’s allusion that he, a young Republican was the new John Kennedy.

“Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”

Today another John is in the news, albeit briefly. Often as human beings we sometimes tend to make assumptions about the motives of another person, based solely upon our own emotional reaction. Because we happen to be in a somber or serious mood, any form of satire, humor, or silliness is taken verbatim and acted upon as an actual threat………..Only when one accounts for the degree of damage caused by a humorous action, can we hold its perpetrator accountable. For example, it would really be hilarious to yell fire in a crowded theater and watch all the fools (those not in on the joke) get flustered and crawl over each other to get out. Only when the bodies were counted, would we realize that our joke was not very funny to those families lined up to claim those corpses. Only then, would we understand the serious implications behind our actions.

John is a funny guy. He is outrageous. He is probably slightly crazy. (I love this quote)

“Daniello is the type of guy who can ask, as he did Saturday, “Can we all stand for the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, please?” and make it sound like a threat. Do not cross him when he has a gavel in his hand.” With this reputation it would be irresistible not to utter some outlandish proposition, strut and fret your hour upon the stage, and watch the minions scurry away in fear and trepidation.

John Daniello received his 15 minutes of fame last night, making it all the way to Kos and perhaps Malkin with his reported comment. Quite possibly he got more hits last night than he got votes against Dupont in 1970!

Many young bucks, restless after years of hiding behind a Bush, want to let chips fly, open wide the doors to opportunity, and let anyone and everyone have a run at the gold ring, and with a “what the hell,” throw all to the wind and let the voters decide, then accept whoever the voters choose. But underlying their premise, is the unspoken notion that the Democrats are going to take it anyway, so why not let them fight it out, and let the best man win the primary? It will be good for the state. Or will it?

Ask John Daniello. “Yo, John, know any Shipleys?”

The war was bad then…….just as it is today……great dissatisfaction was prevalent with the status quo, because of some guy named NIxon (no relation to Tyler). A general malaise had fallen over the entire country. Democrats were sure to win in the off year election, especially in a solidly Democratic state such as Delaware.

Two contenders, both beloved favorites of the party, both with strong support from their respective contingents, thought it was their time to grab the ring. Neither candidate, nor their supporters, could fathom that the other side would feel just as strongly for their candidate. Each side would run clean positive campaigns. But only one group can win, right?

What happened? If you don’t remember that primary you are telling your age. Daniello got into a lobster fight for the 1970 congressional nomination with Samuel L. Shipley, later a Democratic state chairman. After some double-dealing and a fistfight between two rival supporters, Daniello won the party’s backing at a wild, wild convention, but Shipley forced their feud to a primary. Daniello won again, but there were so many hard feelings that his candidacy was doomed in the general election.

It took 12 years and a young Tom Carper to put the House Seat back into the Democratic column.

If Democrats cannot hold together like glue, and based on tonight’s story and the blogger’s reaction, it looks like they can’t, the upcoming primary will result in a Republican’s capture of the governorship for the first time in 16 years.

So what’s with John’s beef with bloggers? Daniello sees bloggers as being the wild cards stirring up the embers, just as those long haired radicals, Tom Carper and Ed Freel did in the seventies. Just like those young bucks, the bloggers run on their own agenda, fueled by the passion of the moment (and a couple of beers), and as we have all read in the comment sections, they often threaten to switch parties if such- and= such does not happen.

But what if our flagrant actions were to result in the postponement of progressiveness’s moving forward. What if the electorate, recoiling from the animosity expressed so recently in a September primary, on November makes the emotionally safe choice, instead of the rational “better-we -go- this- way” choice……….

We pay for our sins a long time.

More than anyone else, John Daniello knows the pitfalls that a divisive all state primary will create…………he knows that war, sometimes seems glamorous from afar, especially to both young bucks and wizened draft-deferring Republicans, but when its ugliness is experienced up close……war exposes the worst of the human capacity.

Do we want to go there? Remember Franklin’s admonishment: we must all hang together, for surely if we don’t, we will all hang separately. Still want to go there?

We do?……. Good, I was hoping someone would say that. For a second I was afraid that I had convinced you otherwise. So lets get the rumble going……
I’ll start: That John Carney is nothing more than an ostrich, full of feathers, head in the sand, lays a couple of big eggs, and is so damned ugly……or was it Markell I was supposed to say that about…….damn, I can’t remember…….I’ll get back to you later as soon as I figure out which side I’m on…..It was Markell, right, oops I mean Carney, Markell………its time for some chocolate………

Much hand wringing has taken place on the “other side” of the aisle. Their erosion of power, while uplifting to their opposition, tends to have a psychotic depressing effect upon those who suffer the actual convulsions, caused by aneurysms regularly occurring along their arterial chains of command.

This feeling is perhaps best put by this phrase: “We were doing so well……..how could this have happened to “us”?”

Eloquent as always, Jud’s Rant sounds the alarm.

To echo, I would like to borrow a this phrase from Lord of the Rings: The Quest stands upon the edge of a knife: stray but a little, and it will fail, to the ruin of all.

And so along this vein, it was sad to read of Copeland’s upcoming support of Delmarva Power’s status-quo decision, when it was leaked that Delmarva not supporting ANY of the three options to generate new power in Delaware.

To paraphrase his comment, he said something like,… “a company should be allowed to make the decisions that affect it’s own well being. Government should not dictate to a corporation how to run its business.”

To be honest, if someone who had possibilities of achieving a future governorship, were to tell me that government should stay OUT of my own personal decisions that affect me and no one else, I would say “whoopee” and pledge my support.

But if I were, and forgive the insensitivity for no malice is intended, being raped and a potential governor came out and defended the rights of my rapist to “run her business as she saw fit”…….. my support would, and should go to anyone, even former enemies, who would step up and champion my rights for a change.

Figuratively speaking, all of Delaware was and still is, being financially raped by Delmarva’s rate hike last year.

Having the most touted Republican gubernatorial candidate, far more interested in pandering to future contributors, than in alleviating the suffering of his own state’s people, amply gives credence to the growing disbelief that, perhaps it really is true, the Cheney/Bush ticket has morally bankrupted and effectively killed the Republican party everywhere, as recently evidenced in the Republican dominated seventh district’s election.

However I would be remiss if I were not to confess that as a dull, self indulged, overwhelmed by daily life citizen, I did not find the Republican Party currently far more fascinating than the old guard Democrats who still wear their pants too high, and currently run the politics of this state.

The excitement generated by Dave Burris in standing up for American principals, as opposed to Republican ones, awes me.

Tyler’s last campaign, long on solutions, short on “old guard” support, signaled that political bravery was not “just” a provincial Democratic one.

The current buzz in today’s Republican House of Delegates, now void of Wayne Smith, is both refreshing and hopeful.

The Republican push for “Karen Petersen’s Vision of ‘Open Government’ ” is smart, inspiring, and long overdue.

And on the national scale, shadowing the local trend, Mitt Romney’s campaign, as viewed through unfiltered non-partisan eyes, still generates exciting possibilities when compared to front-runner Hillary’s campaign, who by some accounts has already been prematurely ordained as our next president.

So it behooves me to understand why this party, now on it’s death throes here in Delaware, still continues to insist on its adherence to the “old” ideas of energy generation, instead of being forward thinking and becoming supportive of Blue Water Wind’s proposal. This is the one proposal which allows Delaware the freedom to create it’s own cheap energy, instead of buying it from its high priced neighbors.

One would think someone at least would look at the numbers. 94% of Delawareans support wind power. The Democratic old guard, labor, and Minner’s inner office are vulnerable on this issue, having been caught with NRG’s coal dust underneath their fingernails. If Republicans ever needed a popular campaign issue at the right time, this is it.

Those of us who watch politics are always surprised and amazed when a new issue that political pols think is insignificant, resonates through the general public and becomes the central campaign divider and emphatically decides the election.

The Republicans have an opportunity to do that. Just as they attempted with open government his year, they can use this issue to again make themselves relevant to Delaware’s voters.

For those of us paying 60% more in energy costs this year, it is not too late.

Let us hope that Copeland has not hammered too many nails into the coffin’s lid, still allowing for their sleeping corpse to wake up, raise its head and look around, and climb out of the casket before it’s buried six feet under.