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Tommywonk's First Blog Post

People arbitrarily have their milestones.  Some may be grateful when they cross a hundred, a thousand, a million.  But for me, I have chosen one of Delaware’s great bloggers who retired at post 1850 as my personal marker of achievement…

Tommywonk used dry humor, and a crisp mind to make his points.  We were involved in facing down the four horsemen of the Delaware Legislature running through 2007-2008 leading to the first offshore wind agreement made in the United States.  Unfortunately the Republican Depression wiped out a multitude of global hedge funds, and the backers of ours, were included.  Currently the rights to Blue Water Wind are owned by one of the biggest opponents of it when we first pushed it forward.  Dave Burris and Jason Scott, complimented OUR team of four horsemen….

Anyways, most readers will have no idea of what I’m talking about and that is how it should be.  Time marches on, and those who look too much backwards upon the past, run right into a tree.

But I was always far behind him in posts since he started out.  I marked my catching up to him here….

Today’s blogging is rather boring compared to what used to take place on these pages. It is as if everyone tries to spout off what they know, and of course, that makes for rather dull personalities. Today we are dry. We used to be wet. We did silly things back then. We laughed a lot. When one of us hit a vein, we all jumped in to open it wide. The News Journal lost editorial control over its state.

Oh Well, I see it took me 553 days to better him up 1000… Seems so much shorter, like it just happened yesterday… lol.

As Rebecca Young used to say…. “Onward.”

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key lime pie for pi day 3 14

Photo Courtesy of  linnprentisliterary.blogspot.

This is tradition. This is the second Pi Day since Tommywonk has not put it up first… Last year it almost slipped past me…. Just for the record and also to help me find them all quicker in the future, here are those of the past….

2012
2011
2010
2009

So Happy Pi Day everyone…. And remember wonks, in just two years, we fill it out further. 3.1415…. Excuse me, but math always make me hungry, I’m going to get some right now… …….

Tommywonks First Blog Post

On the first day of Spring last year, I caught up to Tommywonk’s last numbered post: 1850. That was to be the milestone after which I decided to slow down.

Today, in little over 10 months (it seems much shorter), with this post, I now cross over the number that is exactly 500 more than his ending total.

I dread the day I again decide to pick the pace back up. (chuckle).

This is going to my hard core Republican friends. Why are you still supporting Romney?

1) You know he is not going to win.
2) You know as the election heats up, his Bain Capital experience will make Republicans untouchable for decades.
3) You can’t pin down where Romney stands on anything.
4) He tied his dog to a car.
5) He stands with black people and says “Who let the dogs out, woof, woof.”

Most of you are telling me, “I certainly can’t vote for Obama. I guess I’m not voting for President this time.”

Let’s say, just for argument sakes there was a presidential candidate out there who says to have good government you need: …………………

1. Become reality driven. Don’t kid yourself or others.
Find out what’s what and base your decisions and actions
on that.

2. Always be honest and tell the truth. It’s extremely
difficult to do any damage to anybody when you are
willing to tell the truth–regardless of the
consequences.

3. Always do what’s right and fair. Remember, the more
you actually accomplish, the louder your critics become.
You’ve got to learn to ignore your critics. You’ve got to
continue to do what you think is right. You’ve got to
maintain your integrity.

4. Determine your goal, develop a plan to reach that
goal, and then act. Don’t procrastinate.

5. Make sure everybody who ought to know what you’re
doing knows what you’re doing. Communicate.

6. Don’t hesitate to deliver bad news. There is always
time to salvage things. There is always time to fix
things. Henry Kissinger said that anything that can be
revealed eventually should be revealed immediately.

7. Last, be willing to do whatever it takes to get your
job done. If you’ve got a job that you don’t love enough
to do what it takes to get your job done, then quit and
get one that you do love, and then make a difference.

Honesty. Integrity. Principal.

Sounds good so far. Let us say just for argument, he had chief executive experience. Let us say just or argument that he once ran a state, one of the fifty in this union. Let us say while governor, this is what he did…..

During his tenure, New Mexico experienced the longest period without a tax-increase in the state’s entire history.

1) He cut the rate of government growth in half,

2) Left the New Mexico state government with a budget surplus and 1000 fewer employees (without firing anyone),

3) Privatized half of the prisons in the state,

4) Brought a state-wide school voucher system to New Mexico.

5) Vetoed 750 bills (more than all the vetoes of the other 49 Governors in the country at that time, combined) with only 2 overrides, earning him the nickname Gary “Veto” Johnson.

6) In 1999, Johnson became the highest-ranking elected official in the United States to advocate the legalization of drugs.

7) Shifted Medicaid to managed care.

ISN’T THAT WHAT YOU WANT? ISN’T THAT WHAT WE NEED?

Can you not think of a better way to show your lack of enthusiasm over a wealthy capitalist buying his way to the top of your ticket, by voting for someone who has character, who does what you’ve always wanted, a doer, not a talker?

And to think…. you were simply just going to throw your vote away.

His name is Gary Johnson. He is the new party’s candidate for President.

Remember Republicans. It is your values that are important. If your party has given up and moved on from your values, don’t think you have to be loyal to the word…. “Republican”… What you have to be loyal too, is yourself. Always. Never lie to yourself.

You don’t need to waste your vote on Romney. You probably need to find more about this guy, Gary Johnson, and then throw your support behind him.

Don’t worry it is not one of the two parties on whose ticket he is running. Remember, at one point in time, the Republican Party was a once a third party too. One that went mainstream because of its core values, its principles resonated with everyday American People.

Thursday, August 11, 2011…… Tommywonk,  posted his last post… number 1850.

His six years,  five months, nineteen days, … started out with this……

Memorium for Tommywonk's First Post Feb.23, 2005

"Conceptualized Art" by Tommywonk.

That length of time, is a remarkable achievement.  One that took, I’m sure,  a big bite out of his life… as well as, offered us glimpses into the mechanizations that were constantly going on, in his…

(We always had a heads up when the Arden Fair was coming, as well as the Philadelphia Folk Festival…. )

Not to mention the giant collective gasp breathed by all of us, when a van didn’t see him bicycling across the exit ramp where 52 E crosses 141 S….

But last August when he hung his posts up for the last time, I a relative latecomer, had a little over 200 posts to go in order to catch up to him….

Today,  with this post, I have reached his milestone.

Since Tommy has passed on/off Delaware’s blog scene, we have lost the scientific approach he provided, in his writing style, his WDEL on-air conversations, and any testamony he gave live, if you were ever lucky enough to hear him….  As a group, those persisting in this local blogging enterprises,  tend to be more emotional spun than logically woven.  Tommy provided a balance for all of us to be compared, and tended to keep the whole blog-dom neighborhood on an even keel….

Tommywonk was invaluable in providing information about what could have been Delaware’s crowning achievement:  an offshore wind farm that would have dropped rural Delaware’s electrical rates below the floor.

When the flow of  information became monopolized by both Delmarva Power and the “Four Horsemen” who controlled the General Assembly during the power vacuum of the Minner adminstration,  Tommy dug, and provided an  outlet that could not be silenced, allowing beneficial factual  information to get out… and into the right hands.

Tommy style was one of “chuckling”  …  His sense of humor was mild but quick, and anyone who pompously had stuck out their neck to speak an energy- untruth, soon had the floor cut out from under him in such a way, the the audience or readers, were STILL chuckling everytime they saw that person in the flesh….  Instead of being forced to listen to screaming micro-brains who had no idea of what they were saying… Tommy’s readers were usually rolling on the floor, laughing hysterically, and those who were the brunt of his epistles, didn’t dare show their faces again in the General Assembly, …. for months…

Looking over Tommy’s works one can see its growth and development.  The early posts were fresh items about random events, that were apolitical in nature.  Sort of along the spirit of Mike’s Musing now…

Then a political bent began to surface and a community was formed…  The Colossus of Rhody, First State Politics, Pencader Days, carried the message from the right.  These blogs were at one time, run by real people.   You knew their heartaches, their musical tastes, their huge events taken place in their lives.  In the early days, there was a lot of junk…  which if not important in the grand scale of things today, was a hell of a lot more interesting….

Back then, if we found something that cracked us up, we shared it. We never had a second thought.   EMI’s copyright laws were not even considered back then.

In between the Dem’s and Repug’s,  we had the Delaware Libertarian, featuring Steve Newton &  Tyler Nixon, who used to roll us on the floor laughing.  And Tyler Nixon, way back when he ran as a Republican against McDowell in 06, had ALL the support of blogdom, both the right and left…  (no one liked McDowell….)  Mike’s  Down With Absolutes also fit in here within the political spectrum…

And then, we had Delaware Liberal, which in the beginning was run by one man, who still shows himself there (congratulations old man)…  But he had moments where he left blogging forever, to return, then leave again, and return…  So the Delaware Liberal of today, has gone through some metamorphisms….  Most of the little blogs melded into Delaware Liberal, before siphoning off again.  (Donviti comes to mind).  The old days featured daily contributions by the likes of Pandora, Cassandra, Liberal Geek, others, and Jason.  It was later that Deldem and El Som moved over bringing with them some serious analytical skills; more have joined since.  Also we had Dana’s Delaware Watch, and Nancy’s Delaware Way…. and from the south….  Mike’s Musing, from Lewes town…. .

Mike’s Musing gave us lots of pictures from his Flicker account.  In a way, Mike was a lot like Tommywonk.  Especially when it came to numbers..  We were often treated to pics of odometers at various point in his Prius’s history.

But the life that surged throught the old blog world was awesome.  On final General Assembly night, all the bloggers would descend on Legislative Hall, and Dave Burris and Dana Garrett would be seen working in cahoots…  It was a beautiful thing to witness, and was probably the single one thing that broke the ground and later eased FOIA’s entrance into the General Assembly.  If two bloggers on opposite extremes could collaborate with inside info from each caucus,  why was so much fuss being made to keep everything secret?    It took the passing of some old guards to finally clear the way for open government to surface in Delaware, but eventually, the old guard parted, and that did come about.

Today, all those blogs still standing all have a tone of a more serious nature.  They are less spontaneous and fun, primarily because they are a lot less personable.

But I would guess, that is to be expected over the course of a long haul….  At first the journey is fresh, but after enough time slips past,  one’s focus narrows to just getting to that destination…..

Tommy fought that to the end.  He never tunneled into the mountain.   His posts were always a breath of fresh air, of originality, of  true life in printed form…..

Alas, things are not the same without him….  He was the seed of many, many of my writings.

I hope he is doing well in his new life…..   Hmmm,  he must be getting up there by now… I wonder … if he still rides,  bicycles?


Photo Courtesy of The Amazing Avacado

Wow, just got this in under the wire… This is our first Pi Day without Tommywonk to put it up first… and it has been a tradition here, every 3.14 to celebrate Pi Day….

For me, this tradition is a reminder of how awesomely crazy it was here back in the fun, formative days…

So… Enjoy…. 🙂

(..and Tommywonk…. Hope you had some pie..)

Pondering over Steve’s return and the ramifications which came with it, (for example, I noticed the re-humanization of Dana Garrett), I was reminiscing why so many bloggers had fallen off the wagon…

Back in the glory days, there was a rather eclectic collection of men and women who put their thoughts down nightly or almost on a regular basis. A few are left today… But missing are Mike Matthews, Shirley Vandever, Tommywonk, Dave Burris, Dana Garrett, Duffy, Maria Evans, Joe M., Mat Marshall, …..

Most all of these posted their reasons for giving it up…. and they all sound the same. Tireless demands of time, no real feeling for posting anymore, realization that it was a lot of hoopla and little real substance.

And ironically the more successful you became the more time you felt you had to spend answering comments. And for the amount of time spent, the numbers of people actually reading them, were dwarfed by just the voting totals of Delaware alone.

But it is with Steve’s return that I think I finally was able to put my finger on just why the blog-world fell apart. It was because we had stopped becoming a community. It is rather interesting to read something someone posts that says: I think thus about this subject and here is why…. It is less interesting to have a blurb saying: “check this out” and then click a video and sit back waiting through the commercial….and then after watching, think: “that was a waste of time…”

Each person had a personality. Shirley tried portraying herself as a crusty curmudgeon but she was anything but…. Dave would bluster about, but then, without warning come through with brilliance. Mat, provided a odd twist from the enlightened eyes of a Cab Calloway student. Donviti was … well Donviti..and that’s a good thing. Hube could on the turn of a dime, surprise you by agreeing with what you said. Kilroy roasted Red Clay school district, no doubt causing them to cringe with his misspellings, and put New Castle’s school troubles on the map. Duffy always found the most eclectic random findings, and mainstreamed them for the rest of us. Nancy, with her sources, and emails, provided the bulletin board for all of us to snatch our next story from… Coupled with airplay on WVUD,WHYY, WMGD, Al Mascitti and Rick Jensen, actual influence over current events was projected… or at least it felt that way…

What we had was a community. And that peer group was who you wrote for. Sometimes you wrote evocative pieces just imagining Hube reading it and reddening his ears. Other times you could get Nancy’s gander up, just by praising Chris Coons. One out of this group, even considered running for Governor, and probably should have, considering the complete tanking of the campaign by that person who did run.

But mostly, we wrote for each other… If other’s wanted to read they were welcome. I think some who tried to fly too close to the sun, and write like they were the News Journal, got burnt out, and dropped by the wayside.

It is interesting to see the change in both Hube’s and Delaware Liberal’s format, comparing todays with yesteryears. Today, everything is bite sized. Before, we had the extended version.

The difference is like eating crackers off the table in back of the meeting room, or, breaking for dinner. Taking a break for dinner, is much more enjoyable.

All great moments pass. It is fact that we look back on them in admiration, that makes them great. So, I guess, though the characters are still alive, and a few still active, we cannot return to those times, long ago and far away.

I can only hope that a new generation, may someday read this, and happen to come across something like this, and find inspiration within themselves to do it again….

I think it is safe to say, we “pulled it off big time”. We really did something, which in it’s time was unheard of, and what we did, still has lasting ramifications rippling through our state government today…

I think most of the problems we dealt with, got fixed. Although no one can point to us and say we did it, that we influenced the changes, they certainly can’t deny. After all, each and every one of those problems haunted legislature for a quite a long, long time, and.. they are gone now. We exposed them for what they were…

With that said and done, … it’s pretty cool.

Today the jobs bill got sent to the House.

Obama wants taxes on the wealthy, He wants increased taxes on corporate profits to help pay for his jobs bill…

As one reads the bill, one remembers that these same ideas, these same concepts were in last November’s finance bills, which passed the House, and got stalled in the Senate…..
One remembers these same ideas, these same concepts, were in the $4 Trillion Deficit Reduction Act, and all parties were excited that finally something good was coming out of Congress, ….. that is until the Eric Cantor contingent stormed out of the meetings because of higher taxes, and the votes fell short…

Metaphorically speaking it is like Obama (truth) keeps running into a brick wall(stupidity)… and we, keep blaming Obama for not being tough enough….

We should be focused on tearing down that wall…..

‘Tear Down that Wall, Delaware Liberal, Tear Down that Wall..”

Instead, in our frustration (exactly what it is) we blame the very one person on the attack….. ????

I remember a story told here once before, of a charge across “no man’s land” in WWI, where everyone was mowed down except one lucky person… as he stormed the trench, he looked around and noticed he was the only one facing a trench full of weaponry. In disgust, the threw down his weapon and walked away back to his own lines… In the strange code of soldiers honor, no one fired a shot…..

The wall has never been weaker. It is time to chip away at the Republican base, just like we did in 2006… We have facts.. they have Eric Cantor extolling them to remain firm… Our way gets America back on its feet; their way lets them keep their extra 5%. It would be wise to remember, that even Hitler had his dedicated youth during the last days… They have their Young Republicans… blindly following directives that make little if any sense.

Everyone needs to call them on it…

Now is the time to pull out every chart showing that Republicans ruin everything they put their hands on.. Whether it be the United States, the State of Delaware, or Sussex and Kent Counties… Republicans do no good at all..

Which is why they are so well funded….

If you were doing something obscenely illegal, wouldn’t you be paying off the law as well?

So look into yourselves and decide whether you want to be part of the problem… or solution…

The solution is to turn Republicans into a joke. And to do it publicly… The battle is independent voters. And they get hit with shit from both sides… Our shit, simply has to smell a little better….

Focusing on our frustration, only strengthens the other side; that other side which created the deficit, destroyed the global economy, lost 1 out of 10 American jobs, cost you 30% more in insurance premiums, Increased your gas prices 3 times, cost you 60% more for your electrical power, raised the cost of your prescriptions 450%….

Start tearing down the wall………………….

You have to see this. If you missed it, here is the final tour de force… (almost said France).

“This is about whether one faction can force the government to stop operating unless that faction gets its way. The essence of majority rule is that all citizens and parties accept the legitimacy of the government, even when those with opposing views hold power. The House Republicans do not acknowledge limits to their power in a divided government, and are holding up the machinery of government unless they get their way.”

Republicans are like a screaming child in a restaurant. Someone needs to take them out.

Two articles crossed my path the same day. One, was Tommywonk’s version of this News Journal output: True Cost of Electricity….. The outer was courtesy of the National Geographic Society, titled “Can China Go Green”…

China's Cutting Technology Sun-Moon Mansion
Photo Courtesy of Bloomberg

Some interesting facts I did not know.

1) China needs to maintain a rate of 8% growth, to keep it population happy, and protests at a minimum.

2) There are over 100,000 protests or demonstrations, put down by the Chinese government every year; most of them instigated and in reaction to major environmental catastrophes….

3) Most of America’s coal plants would be shut down as too dirty if they were operating in China. Their clean air standards are higher then ours.

4) Even though China leads the world in output from green energy methods, China still puts a new coal fired power plant on line, each and every week.

5) China is further ahead of the US when it comes to using new technology to develop green and renewable sources of energy.

6) Some cities already have 95% of their buildings fitted with solar water heaters. One company executive estimates that over 255 million Chinese get hot water from solar water heaters; that’s 81% of America’s population!…..

7) A Chinese sponsored economic report estimated for top officials, that China’s GDP lost nearly a quarter from environmental costs affiliated with it’s growth. The report says the Chinese economy is growing at 10% a year, but dealing with the air, water, and land pollution, and loss of land use, has cost roughly 2.5% of that lowering the GDP to 7.5%…

8. China burns 3 BILLION tons of coal a year, more than the US, Europe, and India combined.

9) As of today, China already tops the world by meeting 20% of their energy demand from renewable sources. Compare that to Delaware, our nation’s most ambitious, which hopes to achieve 25% renewable energy by 2025-2026….

10) Even thought China is scrubbing its exhaust for soot particles, carcinogens, nitrous and sulfurous elements, … it is still pumping tons of new Carbon Di-oxide every year. And can really do nothing about it…. until long after the Himalayan ice caps melt, halting the rivers flowing to the seas, the seas rise, and the heat across China intensifies…. It’s like telling your kids to diet, and then only buying them McDonald’s food for lunch and dinner… They have to eat!

Only sequestering the CO2, can save the world now… WE are locked too tight on the path that takes us past 2030, the year we see a 4 degree rise…

The Chinese say, only by making Carbon expensive on the world market, will it be able to afford the adjustments the world will need if it is to survive as we know it today.

This ties in directly to what Tommy was saying.

But after all the number crunching, it’s worth remembering that our energy policy is not just about economics; it’s about fewer chest X-rays and cancer cases and longer and healthier lives.

There are considerable costs to generating electricity that are not being paid for by our electric companies. Those miners, and manufacturers, and energy brokers, are getting a free pass, and we are passing the bill to our grandchildren.

It is ironic that those in Congress crying the loudest like babies over a silly arbitrary debt ceiling, are the very ones passing today’s costs of energy on to our children by stripping environmental reforms off the books…. Groups like the CRI need to come clean when they argue against any tampering with the carbon fuel economy.. So what if you do pay out of pocket a few cents more a month, especially if that tiny fee means you will never have to go to the doctors for treatment from coal pollution-caused emphysema ? A savings of $4,000?

If you want to see where Republicans are taking this nation, just look at the damage done by the old China…. before it began seriously to go green…..