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Pushing the data of the Moody’s Analytics regarding Delaware being the only bad risk in the country, some other illuminating factors emerge.  The revenue data taken from our tax receipts over the past two years, portends to ever decreasing departmental budgets state wide in 2013 and 2014.

This problem will be compounded further, by this fourth quarter competing with the largess of last fourth quarter.  If you remember, incomes were very high in December 2012, as a lot of capital gains were cashed in to beat the tax increase beginning in 2013.  There was a huge flood of tax revenue that pushed up estimates, both in personal and corporate income taxes.  The December revenue was 23.3% higher than December 2011.

That largess won’t be coming in this year and we will have to deal with the difference.

Second, due to impingements to our economy, our tax revenue will be under last year.

Delaware employment is growing slowly.  Yet there are only 18 states with a total unemployment (U6) higher.  As a result, personal income tax revenue is down.  This was compounded by a tax decrease recently given to the top 1% of earners. Passage of this tax rate decrease, means those who were the only people actually gaining income, will now, not be paying any of their increases into the treasury, as is being required of everyone else.

Across the nation, total state tax revenues first quarter 2013 rose 6.8%.  Across the nation state income taxes grew 18.4%, state corporate taxes grew 9.4%, and state sales taxes grew 5.5%  ….  Delaware does not have a sales tax.

Only 6 states had declines in personal income tax that same quarter.  Delaware led the pack as having the largest decline at 15.8%. States less shy about raising taxes, California and New York had the highest gains.  $6.3 billion and $1 billion respectively.  Incidentally as correctly predicted by the kavips economic model, both economies are thriving.

Based on withholding data, Delaware’s amount withheld dropped from a 9.3% increase in last quarter 2012, to a 2.0 increase in first quarter 2013, both over the previous year.  At the outset, the potential exists for a loss of that 7.3% difference in fourth quarter 2013.

The wealthy pay in the form of estimated payments.  They don’t use withholding.  The average estimated payment’s percentage increase over 2012, was 12.2%.  However the 4th quarter payment was a jump of 23.3% over the fourth quarter of the previous year.  Meaning the average of the previous 3 quarters was a negative or -3.7% from the year 2011.  Only that windfall of the fourth quarter, driven primarily by federal tax changes, gave Delaware its positive increase in estimated payments for 2012. Bottom line.  We were lucky. First quarter 2013, they are up 7.9% in comparison.

Corporate tax.  Overall across the nation, corporate tax increased by 9,4% this first quarter of 2013 over the same quarter last year. 30 out of the 46 states that have corporate income taxes showed increases. 16 of them were double digit increases.  Virginia suffered the largest decline: $87 million.  New York showed the biggest gain:  $239 million.

Tax Revenue is directly related to economic growth.  Growing economies increase personal income taxes and sales taxes as income gets spent. Delaware’s economy is estimated by the Federal Reserve of Philadelphia for the three months prior to June 2013, to lie between the growth rates of 0.1% and 0.5%.

Take the first quarter of 2013.  It is a harbinger of things to come….  In Delaware, the amounts collected Jan-March.

  • Personal income tax:  2012 = $411 million   2013 = $346 million …. drop of $65 million or -15.8%
  • Corporate income tax: 2012 = $65 million    2013 = $73 million …. increase of $8 million or 12.3%
  • Total with other (fees) included:  2012 = $956 million  2013= $883 million…. drop of $73 million or -7.6%….

Our current state budget is running $73 million in the red based on actual versus revenue projections.  And this does not even include the fourth quarter drop off. Delaware was one of only 5 states capturing less personal income taxes in 2013’s first quarter than in 2012. Rhode Island, Indiana, Utah, West Virginia were its team mates. Delaware lost $65 million (-15.8%); West Virginia was second losing a comparative paltry $21 million. or -5.4%.  The others:  Rhode Island -$13 million (-6.4%); Indiana -$5 million (0.5%); Utah -3 million (0.6%)

It was estimated that over the year Delaware’s tax decrease would cost the state $70-80 million.  if averaged per quarter, that would be $17 to $20 million lost to the state every 65 working days.

One would conclude that a big part of Delaware’s state revenue problem is a direct result of that tax break we handed over to the top percent of Delawareans…. There are 15 states with higher top marginal tax rates than Delaware.  All but one of them (Idaho) are showing better growth than Delaware.  The belief that lower taxes creates jobs and better state economies does not agree with reality experienced by other states on a daily basis.

Again, the national economy as a whole is looking better.  Delaware is looking like the exception.  After the Great Recession the national total of state revenues dropped for 5 consecutive quarters. The national total of all state’s revenues has since grown 13 consecutive quarters…

The same criticism that applied to Obama after the Obamacare vote, applies now to Markell after the SB 165 vote.  Instead of trying to fix something that was working fine, one’s attention should have been spent on all that which isn’t (working fine)….

Recommendations for 2014:

Go to multiple tiered tax rates:

  • 10% on $1 million or more
  • 9% on $500,000 or more
  • 8% on $250,000 or more
  • 7% on $125,000 or more
  • 6.75% on $60,000 or more
  • Spend most of our money on Delaware’s people.  Hire empty positions. Keep the money here in state as much as possible.
  • Cut out from budget most consulting fees for out-of-state entities.
  • No hiring of outside specialists or corporate buddies.
  • Add more teachers, firemen, policemen where needed.
  • Push for building an offshore wind farm; override all Pepco’s objections.
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(Courtesy of Delaware Liberal’s Hot & On Top Reporting)

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that 5,600 Delaware residents will benefit from $1.8 million in rebates from insurance companies this summer, because of the Affordable Care Act’s 80/20 rule. These rebates will average $351 for the 5,300 Delaware families covered by a policy.

Obamacare is working!  Obamacare is saving people money.  They were at the mercy of insurance companies before.  Now, they have $1.8 million in their pocket.

It is not because of Republicans!.. They are the ones taking money out of your pocket, handing it to the insurance companies, and saying “don’t forget about that campaign contribution in October.”

No one can trust Republicans unless you are making more then 10 million a year. No one.

So when they say the first thing they want to do in January is repeal Obamacare,  and now you can see why.

That want insurance campaign contributions… and that is all.  They don’t give a fuck about you.

Only Democrats can right the wrongs… Do what you know you must.  Swear on a stack of Bibles, never, never,  never, never vote for a squirmy, sluggish, beetle-infested, putrid, maggotty, caterpillerish, centipedific, millipederishes, multi-lensed eyeballed, appendage ringed mouthed, stinger-embedded, infectious bacterial infested, food coveting, ooze secreting, spontaneously defecating  insect who swears allegiance to the Republican Party….

Spray them with insecticide instead…..

(Wow, what a great demo idea for the Republican National Convention……)

Sometimes after reading truth like this, you just want to walk into a room of thronging with roaches, pretend they’re Republicans and squish them each and every one ………

Many of the areas hit by the storm had also been hit by Irene. In New Jersey’s Hamilton Township, Tom Jacobsen also recalled heavy spring flooding and a particularly heavy winter before that.

“I’m starting to think we really ticked off Mother Nature somehow, because we’ve been getting spanked by her for about a year now,” he said while grabbing some coffee at a convenience store…..

OF COURSE YOU DID, DUMMY. YOU VOTED FOR REPUBLICANS!

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.

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……

Your five year old is outside, on this balmy day, and you decide to hang laundry outside for a change….He seems preoccupied with digging in the ground…so you focus on getting your chore done….

He has found an ant hill, and sticks his stick down into the hole and the soldier ants, start scrambling up the stick. Being only five and extremely curious, he calls out to a neighboring 5 year old and she comes up with the idea of introducing those ants to an ant hill in her yard, where the ants are a different color….

They do so and a great battle ensues…. With two grownups keeping eyes on the small congress of kids swelling in their yards, both parents remain comfortable and neither investigates exactly what is going on….

But a nosy neighbor who has been trying to get both families to move away for years….hears the noise, and calls the authorities to announce there is animal fighting going on……

Keep in mind, it is just ants, locked in mortal combat, fighting to the death……..

…………………….

Tomorrow on the Senate Agenda, lies Senator Bonini’s bill SB 258. This Act imposes a minimum mandatory 6 months in jail for animal fighting or baiting. The offense is a class F felony.

Although one would certainly approve of this bill if it were limited to dogs, cocks, or other large animals with which we share empathy….. But it lacks such limitations. This crime, according to Delaware

Code TITLE 11
Crimes and Criminal Procedure
Delaware Criminal Code
CHAPTER 5. SPECIFIC OFFENSES
Subchapter VII. Offenses Against Public Health, Order and Decency
§ 1326.
Animals; fighting and baiting prohibited; class F felony.

covers “any bull, bear, dog, cock or other animal, or fowl:”

“Other animal” could be construed to to cover any living organism which isn’t a plant. That includes crabs, oysters, praying mantises, spiders, slugs, and of course all insects, including ants……

If Bonini’s act is passed without substantial amendments, some small child could spend six months in Smyrna…. For : “the minimum sentence shall not be subject to suspension and no person shall be eligible for probation during the minimum sentence.”.

Even if they are five years old?

The bill could be considered “ok”. only if a proper amendment is passed with a clarification of exactly which “animals” will bestow this mandatory sentence (mandatory sentences do not work…by the way) and which animals will not…….

Young kids are very curious. It would be a tragedy if some young child was ruined because of vague language within an Act of the Senate itself…. How many of you know of an incident such as this, which took place as you were growing up? If Bonini had been around during my day….I would have had a brother locked up…….