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As we approach the new year, the clowns will begin dropping out and all begin to take a serious view over who can be our next president.  By now a normal trend; it happens every four years.

The reason we have to put up with the clowns is  because across all of America, there is gross disenchantment over  the way things are.   A gross enchantment so huge, that unifies both the extreme right and extreme left into a larger classification.

These two opposite sides actually have a common denominator.  Both sides are both unhappy how the needs of real human beings are being trumped by those whom they have elected and trusted to serve them.

On the right it is the tea party types who are erroneously easy to dismiss as primitive forms of intelligence.  On the left is its those who exhale in triplicate just to hear themselves breathe, usually with complaints regarding how good programs are not good enough to their liking.

Or so each are characterized by the other side’s talk radio hosts…..

But in reality, both have a deep love of the America they grew up under and see it slipping away by the minute.  Both share the same vision that America needs to be great again, but simply differ on the approaches required to achieve that aim which can be characterized as such.  The left believes we need to change somethings in our system of governing; the right believes we have to change individual people one by one.

The common enemy in both parties surprisingly is the bloc of moderates spanning both parties who compromise too freely against their parties values and who seem  too prone to cater to business at the expense of individual constituent’s wishes and demands.  Rather bizarrely, we three parties, if you include this business class in the middle of both and only when two of the three agree, does anything get accomplished.

In Delaware this is played out in the opt out movement where the Governor (business party) used his veto and the head of the House of Representatives (business party) shows no sign of bringing it up to be overturned.. Enough votes (Dems and Repubs) are present to do so, just little procedural matter is all that is now boxing up the two wings wishes…’

Nationally the same scenario is being played out in that all the candidates are the same except one.  Only one candidate of either party is taking on corporate America.  All the rest are fortressed and supported by Corporate America marking all the differences actually existing between them as petty and insignificant when compared to the pressing needs at hand.

No matter who is elected, we can have no real change over the next four years unless that one who is different and from Vermont, wins.

So despite all the banter our main stream media is giving us, (whose staff is primarily and pathetically reduced to snooping on Twitter and putting that up as “real news”), the real question emerging as voters begin to look seriously, needs to be:  who will actually make that change that benefits me?

Only one.  Right now only one candidate’s platform can make the huge changes required to wean America off its penchant for developing profits, and turn America back to work on developing its people. Which is what the extremes of both right and left believe need to be done.

Because behind all the arguments about trade, abortions, shootings, and economics, the real solution to making your life better, is to put more money into your pocket as well as the pockets of the rest of the 99%.,…

Because you really aren’t politically free, unless you are also economically free. For unless you can quit that job you don’t like, can’t stand, or hate, and quickly find another one, you are not free.  If you have no choice but to work at that crumby job, you simply do not taste freedom.

Only one candidate’s platform will change that now;  it requires raising taxes on the one percent.

According to Fortune estimates, on this planet global households together have amassed over  $250 trillion in assets.   The one percent now owns 50% of that which translates into their ownership of $125 trillion in net worth. If this net worth were conservatively earning 7% per year in interest ($17.5 trillion), and the capital gains tax were raised to 50% marginal levels only on this select group, it would pump a lost $8.5 trillion back into the economy per year.

This is money that could be spent on combating global warming.  This is money that could be spent on making normal citizens earn more.  This is money that could be spent on ending hunger world wide. This is money that could rejuvenate cities providing great future for ones youth. This is money that could be spent on education.

And this money is absolutely free.

For the $7.5 trillion taxed and reinvested through governments around the world will offer (at minimum) a 2:1 rate of investment, meaning that the $7.5 trillion taxed and spent will generate a yield a $15 trillion return on that investment. Which since the wealthy own one half of all wealth, this means they get to re-pocket $7.5 trillion which they just gave up.  And if investment returns are higher, by ratios of 3, 4, 5,  even 10, they make out big time. Win, win, win.

Right now, only one person says he will do this.

Compared to this sea change, none of the other little things matter. If that yearly $7.5 trillion dollars through increased economic activity, is averaged out to all the 7.5 billion of this planets dwellers (of course it won’t be), it actually gives every single person a $1000 dollar increase of money they get to keep… They will see it in two ways; one they will see part of it in expenses going down and part of it in salaries going up.

Only one person across both parties fields has the wisdom take on Wall Street now knowing that it gets more expensive to do so by each hour.  OUT of all the candidates on both parties… ONLY ONE is not beholden to the interests of the top 1%.

You need to send him  money, whether you’re a Republican or Democrat. Both party’s networks are thoroughly tainted by corporate money. But one person isn’t…

In 2002 we gave the top one percent a loan from the American people which was to make us all wealthier over time.  They got their money, and kept it; we were polite and nice about asking for restitution. Apparently enough time has gone by, they think it is theres.  Meaning, it’s now past time we called back our loan which we originally gave to the top 1% via the Bush Tax Cuts. …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As the weeks sneak past, the cry of the unemployed becomes fainter and fainter.  It’s official. The Republicans won. They were right; we were wrong. For them, indeed, it was a good political move. They were right. Everyone cares about money saved; no one cares about people anymore, even those suddenly destitute, hit almost without warning.

I guess since there are no stories out there now of what it is like to have no money, the Republican got it right about our concern over the long term unemployed. Those unemployment checks were going to freeloaders and as soon as the money quit, they all got jobs.  At least that is what one would certainly think, from the silence, from the complete lack of stories, lack of diaries, or even lack of pleas to get something moving again on the assisting the unemployed.  It’s like the Republicans said “no”, and that was it… no more long term unemployment… Gravy train—> over… Back to work you scum….

Who would have expected it could have worked out this well?  Certainly no one I know.  We are all shell-shocked that any concern for these fellow citizens has just gone, evaporated. It appears that people are indeed, despite their lip-service, privately tired ot those lazy, cheapskates, mooching off the public dole, and that, though they say “tisk, tisk, you shouldn’t cut them”, there simply is no heart in them anymore to treat people more humanely than say, corporations….

Just out of curiosity over how this could be so, how we could have been so wrong, I wanted to crunch numbers for myself to see if it was true.

It is estimated that there are 4 million workers who are over 26 weeks unemployed. As of December 28th, there were 1.3 million who would lose benefits.   That would be week zero of the crises.  From December 29th through January 4th.  70,000 more were Immediately dropped high and dry. Then the following week, January 5th through the 11th,  another 70,000 tumbled off the roles.. The week following, January 12th through the 18th, 70,000 more…. Last Saturday, saw the grand total rise by another 70,000 people…. We have now gone a full month, at four times 70,000 and have added 280,000 more destitute families to our national roster….  1.58 million families are facing their own personal Grapes of Wrath… In the silence of public outcry, Republicans just laugh and laugh while they swim in the Congressional pool and wipe their clean butts now with clean towels, (now that the sequester and shutdowns are over)….

What’s the effect of all this?  I do Federal Budgets so these numbers are small to me… What’s a million?.  Chump change…  or  1 X 10^-12  or 0.000000000001 of my problems….It is so small it is very hard to visualize the human cost.  It is far easier to visualize the dollars saved.. The initial cut saved approximately . $ 397 million  ($306 listed as the average unemployment check amount)… Each subsequent week that total climbs as 70,000 X $306 or $21,420,000 gets added to the amount the Republicans are saving America….So as of last week, January 25th the chart of weekly savings looks like this….

  • $397 million  as of January 4th
  • $418 million as of January 11th
  • $440 million as of January 18th
  • $461 million as of January 25th.

Total saved America courtesy of the Republicans of the United States of America is… $1.76 billion dollars! Roughly one thousandth of our budget….

The total number of people claiming unemployment benefits in all programs for the week ending January 4 was 3,706,087, a decrease of 1,003,734 from the previous week. There were 5,659,482 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2013.

Hats off to them.  They saved money by taking care of a problem Democrats were too squeamish to handle.  Why have extended unemployment at all?  There was no where else that money could be saved, and it was time those lazy, useless freeloaders went back to work anyways.   There is no where else to make up that money.

For last month they already let tax breaks expire for college tuitions.  That’s been done; $4 billion saved.. Last month they let teachers writing-off their classroom expenses, expire.  That saved almost a billion.  No mortgage insurance premiums can be now be deducted. That saved over $5 billion dollars.  If you lived in a state with no sales tax, where you used to be able to deduct state and local sales taxes, .. you can’t now. Savings of $16 billion. The mortgage-modification tax break expired… meaning if your home was under water,  and you got relief from a bank, you get taxed on the amount of relief, thousands more than you can afford….  Got to love those Republicans, saving America money..

And of course no one can make changes to these tax breaks... The Cato Institute estimates that direct  federal subsidies to corporations costs taxpayers almost $100 billion every year. Furthermore, the tax code gives corporations special tax-breaks which reduced what is supposed to be a 35 percent tax rate to an actual tax rate of 13 percent, saving these corporations an additional $200 billion annually,,, Likewise, special tax breaks for hedge fund managers allowing them to pay only 15% rate?  (This is the break where the multimillionaire manager pays less of a percentage in taxes than her secretary). Estimates are that this costs taxpayers $83 billion annually and 68% of those who receive this special tax break earn far more than $462,500 per year (the top one percent of earners).

So Republicans are laughing all the way to the bank.  None of their money was touched, and $1.6 billion was saved on the backs of people who apparently live inside the cone of silence… I don’t hear outrage anymore, do you?

After all, what they did all those freeloaders, was apparently a favor. They finally got them off their ass and made them get a job. No lazy asses in a Republican-run world.. Bring on 2014…

They did all get a job, right? No one is saying anything to the contrary, so surely, they all got a job, right? All you have to do is walk up to a business and say, “I need a job” and they give it to you on the spot, right? Of course, right? Isn’t that how it’s done on TV sitcoms? If you need a job, you just go out and get one. Like Drake and Josh? So, everybody is now working, right, except those lazy butts whose long term still has not run out!

Let’s look. Here is the unemployment table for December 2013….

  • A)  According to the BLS 37.7% or over one third of all our unemployed are over 27 weeks…
  • B)  24.4% or one fourth land a job in 4 weeks and start in 5…
  • C)  Another quarter or 24.4% get a job their second month… that’s up to 8 weeks between jobs.
  • D)  The remaining 16% or one seventh of the unemployed, get their replacement job somewhere between the 3rd and 6th month….
  • It is the first third, or 37.7%,  who will lose benefits…. They are the losers….

“These had better get off their sasses, get over to Burger King, and start flipping (cooking) burgers.” (actual statement by Congressman on Budget Committee). So are they?

The advanced number for seasonally-adjusted insured-unemployment during the week ending January 11, was 3,056,000, an increase of 34,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 3,022,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,939,000, an increase of 31,000 from the preceding week’s revised average of 2,908,000.

What? Unemployment claims are rising? That can’t be. People should be going back to work, not more people getting laid off! How will those long-term people now with no income, courtesy of the laughing House Republicans, get all those jobs they were supposed to walk in, demand, and get? You say there are now even more unemployed?

December’s unemployment for the month, was at a 6.7 %… The last monthly rate below 6.7% occurred in October 2008... the month after Lehman collapsed. (Amazing this Obama)  Unemployment is almost at pre-recession levels. But wait! Something must be wrong… 1 million unemployment claims just disappeared overnight on December 28th… What jobs did they all get? Burger King?

January’s jobs data is embargoed until February 7th…. But based off of December’s estimates, here is what HAS to happen for Republican wet dreams to come true. Over the course of last year, across all of 2013, the ranks of the long-term unemployment declined by 897,000. For Republican dreams to materialize, this month of, January 2014, total employment must rise by 1.58 million workers or by a total equal to all those left unpaid by long term employment…. For the record, that would be a 60% increase in one single month, over the entire past year’s hirings decreasing the totals of the long-term unemployed….

It probably won’t happen.

Since the unemployed usually spend all their check each week, the economy for January just toof a hit of $1.67 billion dollars from the lack of money these unemployed would have spent.. Most of that was felt immediately in retail. Retail just hired 55,000 new hires in December. I hope most still have jobs.

One further factor which sort of smudges up the calculations, making things not so clear cut, … is the the huge number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) which has remained essentially unchanged at 7.8 million through December. These individuals who are working part time because their hours have been cut back or because they were unable to find full-time work.

I expect this to probably be where most of the absorption of the ex-communicated long termed unemployed will be found…..

Now so far, all I’ve talked about is money. But being unemployed is much more. It is about people…Human beings less fortunate than you or I, but, at a moment’s notice, at the whim of a boss and having no protections, we know we could be there too.(let’s hope the swirling rumors over HSBC’s imminent Lehman-sized collapse, aren’t true.)

How does one possibly show the human cost that this Republican obstinance is doing to the optimism, and the pride of this nation, the United States of America? Many of you are too young to remember this image ingrained in us,  but try to imagine a map of the United States of America and that it is under attack by nuclear weapons… When a strike hits, a white circle flashes on the map showing each lost city….

December 28th 2013….. San Diego…… Gone…… 1.3 million people.
January 4th 2014….. Wilmington Delaware…. gone… 70,000 people
January 11th 2014….. Canton, Ohio…… gone…. 70,000 people.
January 18th 2014….. Rapid City SD … gone…. 70,000 people.
January 25th 2014….. Scranton PA…… gone…. 70,000 people.

If these were real nukes dropping on our fellow citizens, launched by a sub-class of our fellow citizens, would we still be as silent, afraid to step out of line and express concern over fear of how we’d look to our corporate bosses and the snitches we work beside, and just shrug off the laughing Boehner and Cantor as they dry off with clean white cotton towels in the U.S House of Representatives members-only pool? I’m worried the answer is yes.

Well, guess what? There is something you can do. Act. Stop waiting. Do something. Act. Phone. Email. Text… Just act and tell your friends to act too.

Addendum: I saw this afterwards… it’s so ironic. After snuggly bashing the Soviets for years (and I was good at it) as being softly inferior to us tough, old capitalists, I with pure admiration today see their progeny in the squares of Ukraine, who won’t accept injustice lying down, who won’t see their dreams arbitrarily squelched, who won’t let something just get taken away from them because that entity is so powerful and distant, it seems senseless to contest it… I see them, and I say… wow, we really suck as human beings.. What is wrong with us?

And then I again see by the pool, Boehner and Cantor, just gaffawing away at us timid Democrats… Oh well. I guess that is how it goes. Sigh.

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 Potential For Delaware To Have Unlimited Revenue Streams

Got this idea from a thread embedded in one of Steve’s posts.

We know the Racino’s are losing money.  It is because of competition.  Delaware needs a new idea, and Colorado provides the answer…

Of course some will object.   Just like everyone originally objected to the idea of gambling ever coming to Delaware…

Gambling is now so entrenched, it is not only a part of our revenue stream, but its owners get concessions from the state itself at the expense of raises to the state employees.  Soon, state wages will be replaced by scratch-off cards…..

On the other hand, the revenues from marijuana are amazing.  Delaware could pay for one fifth of its state’s educational budget by legalizing and taxing this revenue stream alone.($82 million) However the smart move would be to put all these revenues into an endowment fund for later, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey are sure to follow suit as our fumes cross state lines and infiltrate their state halls….. just as they did with casino’s, and eventually that Delaware’s consolidation on that income stream dries up…. But with an endowment, we can keep the benefit filtering in for decades into the future…. “as far as the eye can see.”

Of course, the first word out of the mouths of those politically connected, would be… “what about our friends, the Racino owners?”

And there’s the rub.  They benefit too….  In what other state can you gamble and smoke weed at the same time?  We’ll have to build new toll lanes just for the traffic trying to get into this state!

There is a reason the opponents of Obama care are racing the clock to defund it before October 1st. They know how popular it will become to the American people.

I just looked and Delaware does not have their worksheets up yet, but in the state offices, things are looking rather rosy for the citizens of Delaware… Most of you will save thousands per year on medical bills.  Not all, but most..  Looking at the voting trends,  those who vote often, will all save money with insurance.

Other states do have their insurance options up and I have been looking through them.  The general trend is thusly.  If you are young, you are going to incur an expense you have not had to yet pay. Sorry.  That will come with sticker shock, as does a new car, as does your first house.  However, it should allow you the confidence to get checked out sooner, and therefore live healthier in your golden years than you otherwise would today if you had to pay full expense for care.

Hopefully, since you have to pay for it anyway, you will take advantage of it.

But you! Oh you! Who are old?  Who have pre-existing conditions?  Who have suffered with poor coverage for so long?  You are going to love what this does.  You will be able to figure out medical costs to the penny across your future years with your financial planning advisor, no matter what happens to your body.  The costs will be fixed, and a lot cheaper than you paying through the nose upon each occurrence.

One can describe it as buying a warranty.  What, the initial questioners ask?  You want me to pay money to this shop each month even  when nothing happens?  Yes and if something happens you get your car fixed for free.   Some gripe about losing $150 a month, until they see their first bill at a hospital would have cost them $5,000…. Then … they finally understand.

And you with families?  Especially you who have not taken your kids to a doctor because you couldn’t afford it?   You’re kids can now go…

So yes, those with money to lose will spend it all on ads telling you horror stories and capitalizing on one or two exceptions they make up as to who will pay more…

but just wait till October 1st, when you see that you start saving thousands…  EVERY SINGLE YEAR!

Then remember the Republican party tried to run the economy over a cliff, twice, to stop these savings from coming to you…..

October 1st, it is almost here.  About time for the pirated version to be leaked,  don’t you think?

I was awaiting the Mayor’s comments on what he would do about the violence in our city….

“Nothing. It’s the Parent’s fault” he said. If one remembers the campaign taking place just a year ago last week, one remembers the current mayor Dennis Williams as a candidate lambasting the former Baker administration and its proxy, Bill Montgomery, for echoing these same exact sentiments.

“You’re not doing anything about it; blaming vague root causes is not going to take care of the real problem, which is bullets flying up and down our city streets!” he repeated many times of his campaign.

This week’s announcement was a tremendous statement. It acknowledges failure. When one falls back upon the same defenses as one’s political opponent, that means one has failed.

Blaming vague routes for the problem. Here is the reaction to Dennis’s statement.

“Ok, Dennis. You are mayor. Fix it.. Fix every parent taking care of their child. How are you going to do that?”

The answer is no one can do that. No one can pass an enforceable law demanding good parenting. Therefore using this excuse is one’s acknowledgement that it can’t be fixed. The solution is then still out there, still needed. There are very viable solutions out there to counter this problem; and answers come from recognizing first what the problem is.

The real problem is heroin. Come right out and say it… I will take the liberty to write here how Dennis “should have” handled the question…

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Hi, I’m Dennis Williams, and I approve of this message. When I took over as mayor of the City of Wilmington, little did I know that the tightening of the control of prescription drugs would become so effective, it would make heroin the least expensive alternative. The heroin business in Wilmington is booming. When criminal businesses, which are businesses run by rules outside the canons of law, become profitable, they change ownership by means also outside the canons of law.

Heroin is dealt in this fashion these days. A supplier drives in from a safe spot outside, drops off prepackaged bags, and gives you a bill of sale. If you choose to deal, you sell the product, then pay the seller for his money. If the seller doesn’t get his cut, you don’t last long. Now you have to sell. You sell heroin compartmentalized so no one knows the whole operation. One person you pick makes contacts at Glasgow High, another at Brandywine, you pick one at Olive Garden, one at Red Lobster, etc. One sells to the local IBEW; another supplies Bank of America. These are people you know; and they sell to people they know.

Bringing it on property is too dangerous. They deal in phone numbers. A cell phone number puts you in touch with a guy on the street corner. You call, say who gave you the number, and get told where to make the transaction. You put the address in your GPS, and drive. You call, he comes over to say hi, you say hi back and hand him the money, he drops the bag in your car, says have a nice evening, and you drive off…. You and your friends share the heroin and take off to go clubbing in Philly with no more thought to it than like having a beer before hitting the road.

Obviously the sectors close to exits off 95 are prime commercial real estate. Most of our shootings happen right off 202 and 95. Easy off – easy on. If you are selling down-stream, you get fewer customers… If you are selling $200 a night, and the guys up the street whom you can plainly see are doing $2000 a night, you are going to look at all options on how to increase you sales. In this business, it is all about location.

Almost all our shootings are a result of drug trafficking. Whether for non-payment, for elimination, or for reprisals, almost all our shootings are related to this industry… Very similar I might add, the same way all of Chicago’s shootings were related to the illegal alcohol trafficked through the Prohibition years in that metropolitan area.

Changes are required beyond me to fix this problem completely. For this is an ongoing war that can never be won by using the same weapons we’ve been using over the past 50 years. People are resourceful; if they want something they find a way to get it, around every roadblock we can impose. They do not stop wanting this product. The alcohol violence in Chicago only went away when alcohol again became legal. It is time to consider what might happen, and how we could control it if we chose to make heroin legal. For when one can buy heroin in Wal*Mart, with no stigma, and trust that some government entity has verified its purity, and lack of harmful substances, no one in their right mind would drive into the city to make a transaction for what could turn out to be corn starch laced with arsenic. And if no one is driving into the city, there is no money to be made. If there is no money to be made, there is nothing to be gained from the illicit drug trade. If there is no money in crime, crime goes away…

There are very easy ways if we make it legal, to control usage. One, small nightly dispensations could become the rule, so overdosing would be impossible. Two, addicts show up regularly become readily apparent , and could be directed by Wal*Mart to various appropriate detoxing agencies. The possibilities are endless. But it would not destroy society because it would be regulated and taxed and otherwise like every other vice that has followed the same pursuit, liquor, beer, wine, cigarettes, cigars, gambling, could become a beneficial revenue source for the government…

Without going this far, there are some things that can help immediately, maybe save a life or two, though not take care of the problem. If you see a drug deal, call the anonymous number. Say, “I have someone dealing on the corner of Baynard and 22nd.” Dealers’ fear of the unknown is our greatest defense against these street corner transactions ever happening. When we start getting calls before murders take place, fewer murders will take place. Putting up cameras just moves the transactions to where there are no cameras. Same with putting police on corners. Our best bet is to have dealers so fearful someone will rat them out, they don’t come out, anywhere. They find another way to sell. In doing so, we’ve destroyed the property value of the prime real estate, so that it is not worth killing for. We cut crime.

With your help, we can do that. However everyone needs to recognize that the problem is one of business. These are business killings. They are about business. People need money to live and unfortunately with an illegal business, a lot of people have to die to keep that type of business alive and afloat.

Likewise picking up the random car bringing the packets in, means another car gets dispatched the same night and makes the drive down to fill the hole in supply…

The same with guns.

We can also crack down. Make it unprofitable so the sellers choose to sell in Elmere, New Castle City, Newark, Christiana, Claymont. The crime moves there and we cheer our gun deaths are down. All we did was transfer the problem to my friend Tom Gordan.

The long term option is to make it legal, and by doing so, suck all the money out of that business. If one can walk into Walgreens, present an ID, sign forms and pay $2 a small bag, and then go home and sleep it off, the $50 bags on the street corner are going to disappear. The same person, goes home and sleeps it off, in either way. One way costs them $50, costs us $150 a bag in trying to interdict it, and continues eating up our young urban men. The other way, generates taxes, keeps control, drops crime, makes money for Walgreens, creates new jobs, and allows for $48 dollars to be spent into our economy for other commodities. Again, either way, the same person sleeps it off.

I am calling for a new conversation, a bold, innovative way we can get drugs off our streets entirely. I’m am calling for a way we can remove the market of illegal substances out of our neighborhoods, off our streets, and into the business world where it really belongs. It’s a business and should have the legitimacy it deserves. It has a demand that will be met, if not legally, then it must be met illegally. We haven’t changed that in 50 years of trying. Only the opposite approach, of making it legal, controlled, available, and legitimizing it, will take the illegal activity currently devoted to filling that demand….

It is the only smart thing to do.

Every smart thing requires a person of immense courage to start the ball rolling. Although I have no more courage than the next person, I do recognize that I am in this position at this time, and must do something. I am starting the call to legalize these narcotics as being our most effective method of attacking the ills of this business while it is allowed to remain illegitimate.

This is very unlike my predecessors blaming the parents… I can do nothing about fixing parents. I can work our legislators and become a public spokesperson for making this business legal again, so we, society in general, can control it…

There will be those who through shallow thinking may not agree with this long term solution. Not everyone is smart. But, we have an great opportunity in this city, with a complete lack of Republican countervailing power which always make progress unattainable because of their higher-than-thou moralistic posturing, to actually make something happen. We have the resolve, we just need the release to allow us to make progress happen.

The arguments they will use against it, are the same once used against smoking, against drinking, and against gambling. WE legitimized all those businesses and the sky didn’t fall. It is time to accept rationality and begin the process of this one… In the meantime we will continue fighting against the symptoms of a social disease our current processes will never fix. Any help or information before a crime is to be committed or immediately afterwards, will be highly appreciated in our endeavor to make Wilmington, which is truly a wonderful city, again become a great place to live…… For despite our inability to eliminate the overall big picture, every life we save, is an actual life we save… There can be put no price too high on that. We need your calls.

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That is what Williams should have said.

Its been half a year, and we’ve seen, even after an overwhelming mandate from the people in the past election, our executives running opposite the trend, and becoming more conservative.

In Delaware, we saw the port almost privatized.  Public education sold out to Wall Street’s highest bidders,  the Delaware refinery almost voided the Coastal Protection Act,  We saw a minimum wage raise first watered down, then killed by committee. We saw only the wealthy get a tax break.  We saw draconian wage freezes on public employees.  We saw a medical board replaced, so it could then approve a sweetheart deal for an cutthroat Alabama (allegedly) medical firm.  We saw private corporate education plans being imprinted over the current fine teaching policies of Delaware’s institutions.

On the Federal Side, we saw bargaining superiority on higher taxes, pared away for nothing. We saw the continued allowance  of Republicans to veto very necessary appointments by use of a filibuster. We saw drone use increase, even as we discussed it’s ramifications.  We had the final admission of what most of us already had known, that the NSA was collecting everyone’s data to be stored and used for blackmail later if ever needed.  We are undergoing a sequester now, and it is simply accepted and all are silent, therefore complicit.   We keep getting abortion legislation even 40 some years after Roe versus Wade… We were supposed to improve the voting lines of last November, not make them harder.  We were going to get rid of guns, and couldn’t, so we’ve stopped talking about it..

None of these were the direction the majority of voters sought.  What they clamored for, was more power be given to the people, and taken away from giant firms with money…   The promise of freedom has morphed from a land where people can achieve their wildest dreams (they can’t do that now) to a land, where any corporation can instead achieve it’s wildest dream.   If you are part of that lucky corporation, you may be doing well;  if you are not, too bad.

The overall trends are unmistakable.  America wants it’s dream back. The dream that corporate America has stolen in the form of giving us lower wages and higher living costs.

No one has to get hurt.  We just need to pay people more.

It’s as if you were doing a  yearly corporate budget.  One classification has an overage every year and another is always running short by the same amount as that previous overage,   Let’s move that line here, so more falls where it is most needed…….

Those two classifications in our economy are our corporate profits and labor costs… Moving the money from profits to labor solves a lot of problems…

One, it increases demand for goods and services.   Buying things creates demand.  It is obvious that 300 million buyers can do more purchasing than the richest 1000 people.  And they will buy different things; things that help grow the economy.  Here is one example that works well to illustrate how this is.  Since the recession very few people have yet to change their toothbrush (have you?)  One is instructed to change it every 6 months.   Having 300 million people rush out to buy a new toothbrush does a lot more oomph for the economy, than a corporate tycoon flush to his gills with excess dollars, buying out toothbrush factories left and right just so he can set the price…

Using a car as an analogy, we are filling up our gas tank, then keeping it full by crimping the line that feeds the engine.  The engine sputters and fluts, barely pulling us forward, but we are happy our gas tank is full….

America knows this and voted anti-corporate in 2012.  Romney was corporate.  He could have (and maybe did) star in the movie Great Gatsby.  The refutation of Romney was America’s refutation of all Wall Street stands for….

Egyptians have no qualms with not succumbing to bad masters.  Americans should learn from them and begin do the same.

Diane picked up that the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting Wall Street investors are getting a little shaky with UNO, a quasi-government-private partnership that was supposed to rapidly expand charter schools in and around Chicago.

An expansion that was to be partially funded by $37.5 million of Wall Street’s money.

A crack has just opened in the impenetrable fortress wall. A pinpoint of light is shining through.

The easiest way to stop the charter school process may not be through legislation, but by an actions far simpler to achieve: Make charter schools unprofitable… A philanthropist will invest in a charter if it earns no money. But Wall Street investor certainly will not.

That is the problem they have with Chicago.. Chicago points the way on how to organize and hit Wall Street where it hurts…

A. Picket Charter Schools as unfair to Labor. Who wants to sign their children up in a school with picket signs outside protesting the destruction of the middle class by Wall Street? What kind of status symbol would that be, to have to tell your boss where your kids go to school? An embarrassment, that’s what.

B. Call state legislators to complain about anything negative you can find out about the “new” charter school. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. Truly, you are doing that lawmaker a favor; you are saving his butt from being blindsided by parents back home. All he hears from lobbyists in his office, is how great charter schools theoretically are. Reality is far different…

C. Threat of unionizing all Charter School Teachers… And why not? Why not enlist Charter School teachers and help them get organized to demand higher wages or strike? Aren’t they people too? Why should they work for a lot less than public school teachers, when they could easily be making the same salaries if they would just organize into a union, as do public teachers? What Charter School teacher would say no to higher wages? What Charter School Teacher could say no to higher wages… It is time to aggressively recruit.

D. Investigate all transactions to insure no embezzlement. Check over state funding to Charters which is published and look aggressively for corruption, nepotism, and anything to taint the charter school in bad light, thereby jeopardizing state funding…

Arne Duncun said… we would learn a lot from Chicago… and he was right.

In short, UNO obtained $98 million from the state legislature to build new charters. It turns out that $8.5 million of that money went to companies owned by two brothers of UNO’s number 2 official, Miguel d’Escoto. When the scandal broke, he stepped down from his $200,000 job, resulting in then Governor Pat Quinn to halt payment on the balance still owed to UNO…. Investors got worried and question UNO in a conference call, over the scandal, over the unionization of Charter teachers taking place, over the halt of construction on one of the new schools for failure to pay the bills, The governor has suspended payments of the remainder of state money until satisfied that the Charter is performing as promised. And this just in, UNO spokesperson confessed to the Chicago Sun-Times that “future funding may be at stake..”

The lesson here, is that getting a legislator to part with his campaign money coming in, is a lot harder than making Wall Street’s return on investment extremely risky. When Wall Street starts consistently losing money each time it invests in education, it will move on to something more prosperous.

We see what we have to do,…. Now, lets make it happen…

Union leaders. Start pressing charter schools to join.

Bloggers. Start pouring over the balance sheets on line of your nearest Charter School.

Parents. Write you legislator on how much Charter Schools have destroyed the educational experience for you child…

Yes we can do this… We can learn a lot from Chicago.

Kendall Massett wrote a piece in todays News Journal. “It’s time to change the conversation on charter schools.”

The point behind the article was that charter schools do some great things too.

It reminded me of a middle aged executive who fell in love with his secretary, and had carried on an affair over years while maintaining his family status, buttressed with a wife and two sons. Who, now that the news was out was sitting with her on her bed, head in hands, looking at losing all in a divorce settlement, being banned from his kids, losing his job on a morality clause, and now, with no future in front of him, for the first time, accepting his responsibility in what he’d done…. Looking at the tears streaming down his face and through his hands, his young, voluptuous secretary tries to console him… “Well, it’s not ALL bad.. Look at it this way… At least the sex was good…”

Kendall Massett’s assertion that we must continue Charter Schools because some good may come out of it, in itself is a losing argument. It ignores the bad. When making decisions, one can’t ignore the bad.

I have found the best way to explain the “charter school versus public school problem” is with a parable. Go figure, but most people will grasp a parable when facts, figures and numbers roll off their eyes and out their ears.

“Once upon a time, there was a loving single dad. A dad who was blessed with one child. He was poor, still paying off the funeral bills for his former wife and the kid’s mother. But they got along ok. There was enough to live on and that’s what they did. However one thing bothered this dad. Being with only one child, the dad had nothing to compare that child to. He questioned himself. Was this dad doing everything he could for his child? So the dad, had a great idea. He would adopt another son of the same age, so they two could compete together. Which ever was the best, would get rewarded first and through the competition his son would eventually get the best upbringing he possibly could. What the Dad did not figure upon, was that feeding two kids cost more than one. He only had enough to feed one. So he came up with a plan that which ever son did better at running around the block each morning got to eat first, and the other got to eat what was left over. Every morning, rain or shine, at 5:30 am, the race would occur. Knowing what was at stake both sons tried their best. Sometimes one won. Sometimes the other. But the Dad began to grow concerned because he was timing the races. Originally he had to rush to get the food ready before the first one burst in. But over time, the found he had more and more and sometimes plenty of time to set the table before the first would come through the door. For some unknown reason, they were running slower and slower and slower. He invited an expert in to see why? The expert asked what he fed the first kid when they were alone. It amounted to 1000 calories. The expert said… “Ah Ha” You are feeding two people on what you fed one. No matter how much running they do, together they can never do what originally one was able.

Kendall Massett doesn’t cover this issue. Obviously common sense would decree that if we are going to have charter schools, we need to fund them independently and not take away the funds from public schools. Trying to make someone do better with less resources may be possible on a percentage scale, but the overall result, will be a loss. If charter schools want to experiment with private or parochial funding, and people want to go there, excellent. We have choice. Likewise, if we increase taxes on the top 1% just to pay the entire budgets of charter schools so that then we can experiment, great, let’s do it and have choice. But to expect better results on half the calories, is impossible. And that is the expectation of what charters will do.

This study of next door Philadelphia, shows that test scores in Philly were collectively higher when there were NO charter schools, then when there were. Meaning that allowing Charter schools to come in and compete with Philly public schools, lowered Philadelphia’s cumulative test score average…. Simply put, in any other venue when two teams compete, they both have independent sponsors. Splitting ones resources to fund two teams competing against each other, well… common sense tells you that when they go up against other teams whose funding was unlimited… they are going to lose badly…

Finally one other factor in Kendall’s piece that burns. When an scientist does experimentation, he throws out all those episodes where something goes wrong and his hypothesis doesn’t work. When you experiment in education, all that “stuff” you throw out, is our own children.

Erase To The Top

Courtesy of Support Public Schools

Time’s Woman Of The Year:

How one all-nighter of erasures set American Education Back 20 years. Not since Hitler invaded France has one person set back civilization as much.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quite a coincidence!

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

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

Mathematically that stacks up thusly….

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

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

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

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

We now have evidence.