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Outside the Perimeter
Courtesy of Department of Defense

Delaware Liberal ran a virtual caucus on their site over this weekend past, and three people showed up….Delaware’s apathy is especially apparent when compared to our neighbor up north, who is getting ready for prime time on April 22nd, Earth Day. Pennsylvania voters have until March 24th to switch or join parties. In all 187 delegates, including 29 super delegates will convene in Philadelphia for the National convention. The Republican ballot will list McCain, Huckabee, and Ron Paul…..

What will be interesting for Delaware, is that the current Pennsylvania polling shows the state is divided exactly in half, with half of the population supporting Obama, and the other going to Hillary.

The swing area, the area no one know what exactly will happen, is the southeast corner of Pennsylvania, just south of Philadelphia. From Upper Darby to Boothwyn, from Chester to West Chester….all guesses are good. It would be an opportune time for all supporters of a primary candidate to volunteer and work to make a difference. For it looks like the difference may be decided within thirty miles of Wilmington.

In the next 5 and a quarter weeks, that area will have unlimited access to both candidates. It’s do or die for both.

Of course for political junkies, local television becomes the primary news source up until the last votes are counted. For those of you who hate political ads……I would advise you not to watch TV, except of course on April 4th, and every week thereafter, when Battlestar Galactica makes it seasonal debut…….

From the best that I can see, it looks like I scooped Hube on this one…..being the B.S. fan that he is. For those of you who refuse to watch science fiction, many of us have found that the underlying controversies are lifted directly from today’s headlines….well, with the writer’s strike this year, shall we say last summer’s headlines. But if I missed his post announcing it, I am sure he will let me know right about…………………………………now.

But what he did scoop me, as well as the rest of the Delaware blogosphere, was the fact that he wears glasses. His doing so prevented him from the fate of Ralphie (The Christmas Story) in getting his eye poked out…..

The Colossus jumps into the Obama church controversy, with both feet in right sided shoes. Just for the record, Obama answered his critics in a ninety minute interview in Chicago, and won the interviewers grudgingly stingy respect.

Far removed from the Obama controversy, the Delaware Curmudgeon has apparently been a good little kitten…….for she shall have some pie.…..Although from the looks of things, it looks like she wasted no time going back to her “curmudgeous” ways…..

Kilroy joins the ubiquitous team of Delaware bloggers quite unhappy with their state legislature. He pleads, as does Ellen on Tommywonk, to follow through with their commitment to the electorate that put them there…….Is it just me, or does there seem to be a problem here……?

Delaware Watch points out why all children are getting left behind. Bush is giving out tax breaks to the top 1% of the population that are more than the entire Department of Education’s budget…..Not only are we unfunding our “no child left behind, but we are unfunding our entire educational system.
At least I hope the money not going to education is being spent wisely………meanwhile our own Mike Castle, who sits on the Education Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education as the ranking member, looks at Bush like a deer facing oncoming headlights, and says…….”ok.”

The opposite extreme of the nonjudgmental Mike Castle, occurs in the “instant verdict” court of John Feroce. His attempt to Swift Boat Obama over the choice words spoken by his minister, slams itself solidly upon the sandbar of logic dredged up by Steve Newton at Delaware Libertarian. Based on the program notes provided by the “Libertarian”, I think if I lived in Chicago,…….I would want to go to that church as well. it is active and making a positive difference.

(Anyway, if one were to substitute the word “republicans” everywhere Obama’s minister says “Americans”, his statement would be mainstream, echoing the sentiments of 89% of the population.) Feroce provides two clips, an accumulation of the most evocative points taken out of context. The only thing obvious coming out of this whole controversy, is that Feroce has never been in a black church. The tapes are actually quite mild, compared to what is being said in most black churches across this country. Steve beat me to the punch, but were I Obama, I most certainly would not disassociate myself from my pastor of 20 years, because some kook named O’Reilly cut and pasted video clips together with Window’s Movie Maker upon his show…….If you think Rev. Wright’s words are over the top, try reading the angry words of Jesus and the Apostle Paul sometime; it is obvious O’Reilly hasn’t.

But while my topic is on religion, Joe M. takes us down an interesting road, on one at least I have never been. We are on his odyssey to discover his search for the absence of religion, having spiraled down through Catholicism, to Wicca-ism, and now through the mid-years. Somehow thorough the shallowness of his experiences I can sense why he feels he must pursue that quest…….were my life experiences the same as his, I wonder if logic would have taken me on a similar journey. But my experiences were quite different, and propelled me in a different direction. So to find out what was missed…we await the fourth Canto.

Religion, being a touchy subject, one must always respect others boundaries. Religion is personal. One’s opinion may or may not resonate in those next to him. Therefore to pull me out of this topic we turn to Mike Mahaffie, and his search for boundaries, especially those laid down by Mason and Dixon. We also get insight into his trip into Washington as well, as well as background from where he came…..

Speaking of being on the road, Liberal geek is in Arizona. Not much info yet, let’s hope for pictures, and political insight from the far West.

All in all it was a quiet weekend. As if we were sitting around waiting for the next big engagement. A quiet breeze blowing down upon us from a nearby super-cell, a magnificent cloud which will soon change our lives with a vengeance. It could just be a foreboding… a sixth sense that something big is going to happen, perhaps picked up unconsciously like a soft rumble of thunder many miles away. But the feeling is there. Something is coming. Something …….big………

Outside the Perimeter
Courtesy of Department of Defense

If you haven’t already voted, you need to vote in the poll over at Delaware Liberal by 6:00 pm today. It is a rather tough choice. (I should mention to the reader out of full disclosure that someone has nominated my blog to be part of the process, which as they say at the Oscar Awards, just being nominated to be part of a very select group, is honor enough…..)

But in trying to decide on who I thought was the most influential blog this past year, I was at a loss. For how does one define whatever it is, that makes a blog: “the best blog of the year.” The confusion begins as soon as you say: ” Perhaps I like this one and should vote for it”…..

So what do you like? That is the conundrum….Let me list several examples: Do you like to comment? Then some blogs being more social than others, excel in that category. And if you like comments, do you enjoy “piefights” for sport, or do you prefer more substantive fodder, bordering along the lines of intellectual debate? Because even if you like commenting, styles differ around many blogs within this state.

Perhaps one could consider a blog by the number of scoops it accumulates over the year? Several blogs have broken substantial original stories this year. Some bloggers have actually become the news that they then report to others…..

Or is a blogger to be taken seriously by the number of public appearances on alternative media? Quite a few bloggers do just that, often on a weekly basis. One could call them “celebrities” in the media world. Is that a viable criteria for a choosing good blog, one that has feet in two different types of medias?

Or is a good blogger one who digs though reams of research and points out lies and mistruths, that up unto that point have been overlooked and would have led to catastrophic consequences if they had continued unnoticed?

Does one base a good blogger based on style? Too harsh or too gentlemanly would knock one out of the running? And is spelling and punctuation even important in this day and age?

Perhaps a good blogger should be based on influence. How many influential people look to see what has been written lately, and base their daily decisions on which way the wind seems to blow throughout the blog? How many real events have changed because of a blog would be another way of stating it.

Or does the blogger who hits hard at corruption and lies and innuendo, and thereby keeps the entire community honest, become the one who best represents the community.

Maybe the better blogger is the one who has multiple one liner posts that say “So and so has a post over here….” or again, maybe it’s the one who takes up two or three pages by covering all angles of one topic with great depth, thereby allowing the reader to become an expert in one reading.

Is the better blogger the one who writes on one topic, or the one how has no favorite topic and bounces around all over the news feeds?

Is the better blogger the one who writes independently, or the one who filters the local blog scene, to where everyone goes to in order to find out what there is to read today’s hot topic?

Bottom line, there are a myriad of traits that have become blogging over this year….There are niches of each category that have been carved out by a different person, that have become that person’s specialty, and are easily recognized by other bloggers. So like a newspaper that has different sections, a reporter, an editorialist, a feedback section, a sports page, a “living” page, the obituaries, our blogging world has its same.

When seen as a whole, however, that is when one can appreciate the quality with which we have been bestowed…

Let me give an example. With the wealth of talent at Delaware Liberal, I mean 5 contributors, it serves as the liberal news feed. Often with the question of “I wonder what is going on, ” I look over the daily entries and something usually becomes intriguing. For with 5 contributors if a newsworthy event happened, no doubt one of them picked up on it……This blog has become the draw for liberal commentary, often featuring comments from the “other side”, by that I mean Sussex County.

First State Politics, presents the other side of the news spectrum. Again blessed by a wealth of contributors, there is usually an opinion that either makes enough good sense, or makes so little sense at all, that it generates a wealth of responses. FSP is the draw for comments from the other side, the nucleus around which the little electrons fly.

The Colossus of Rhody, one of the earliest blogs in the state, probably has one of the most extensive blog rolls in the state…It often takes over the News Journal’s job and bust’s on dopey letters that actually bypass the dopey editorial board’s censorship and eventually become published. Although it has several contributors, most often the postings are attributed to Hube.

Then there are the dual blogs. These are tag teams of two people who both post on a regular basis. DWA recently has acquired Mat Marshal, formerly of Soapbox fame, who posts alongside Mike Mathews. This blog often breaks stories of local interest, and has a vibrant comment section.

Delaware Watch has been a mainstay of the Delaware scene for in blogger time frames, a long time. Recently it has became a dual blog with the addition of Stephan Crocket, although unfairly and out of habit, it is still considered by most to be Dana Garrett’s blog…..

Delaware Way, brings stories to the mainstream. Where does she find this stuff I often marvel. With a wealth of comments on others blogs, and featuring other’s stories on her blog, she mixes the sauce that uniquely make Delaware a vibrant blogging community. I am trying to think of a blog where I have not seen her name. Her importance within our community cannot be overrated. She is our social butterfly.

And now to the “Rangers”. These solo activists often have a particular cause with which they are attached. Kilroy has locked in on Education, particularly that of his Red Clay District. Sincerely dedicated to improving education he has exposed inadequacies and poked holes in ineffective administration, often illuminating for the first time, excesses promulgated by our “departments of education” whether they be large or small…..In the meantime, “our kids don’t know nothin…”

Tommywonk has taken on wind power, among other causes. During the fight, I made it a point to click on to “wonk” first to see if new developments had occurred. If they had, it was there, with links….Tommywonk represented the fight during on Delaware’s news station, WDEL. He was at the PSC meetings, a rally in Rehoboth, and WGMD in Sussex County, sometimes quite early in the morning…..

Maria Evans has occasionally scooped Tommywonk when it came to wind, a feat worthy of honorable mention in itself. Often doing the legwork herself, making the calls to solidify a story, she has provided the precise caliber of ammunition necessary, and we certainly hope she continues to do so.

Although she is far from what her blog’s name implies, Delaware Curmudgeon as entered the foray this year in 2007, often providing the clearcut biker’s insight and perspective that are sometimes lacking and much needed within our blogging community.

The cause of freedom, a worthy cause in itself, often mixed with a sharpened economic perspective can be found digitalized at the Federalist, aka 2007.

What makes Delaware…..Delaware? Mike Mahaffie keeps us focused. A picture is worth a 1000 words….(How many words are represented by a picture of 88888’s?) The little things: water tanks, USGS markers, sunsets, all line up to make us realize we have a state worth fighting for, that it is the little idiosyncrasies that make up the wondrous whole.

Staying grounded would be my characterization of this next player. When one goes too far on a limb, Pencader Days calls them out. Often as I cross his blog I realize just what it is that makes life important. And that is a gift that adults readily appreciate from one another….Whether it is to laugh, or to cry, I always leave this blog better than I enter………………

MBA, Merit Bound Alley, after months of slumber has again began to rumble this latter part of December. Reports of smoke and the smell of sulphur have been reported by the natives. A scientific team has been dispatched.

That’s it. If you haven’t voted, why not? Head over to Delaware Liberal, and look to the Left, at the top of the page.

As we go into election year, we will have partisan bickering (I hope, it’s fun) as well as the common sharing of ideas…..We have the opportunity to free our state government from secrecy (again) as well as force the candidates by our dialogs to address real problems and not those of their own making. And we will have the opportunity to move wind power forward, by exposing and eliminating the roadblocks placed along the path towards cheap clean energy.

2008 should be a good year…..But after taking the time to look back, one has to say that among Delaware’s blogging world, 2007 was amazing……..

Outside the Perimeter
Courtesy of Department of Defense

There has been some bantering about on some of the local blogs about a “war on Christmasbeing undertaken by a large majority of unseen beings…..Those beings go by many names….liberal, conservative, Jews, atheist, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc,etc……

Forgive my aloofness, but I seem to be skeptical about this war….Christmas, at least from my perspective, seems to be alive and well….

The majority of my household are actually looking forwards to its coming.

I have been known to startle people who hardly know me, by stating that I still believe in Santa Claus…..This little bell I have still rings for me when I shake it, and legend persists that as long as one still believes in Santa, they too can hear it’s crystal clear tones……

Hopefully, after I explain how I rationalize this belief, you too perhaps may be persuaded to believe again in Santa Claus, no matter how jaded you think you are today……..

Years ago, I began thinking about this question when I heard either as a story or a joke, about a child who not only believed in Santa, but questioned the sanity of those who did not? According to this child, those out there who did not believe in Santa, were absolutely daft!….After being told there was no Santa by his older sibling, he responded with the question: “if that is so… then how come everyone all over the world gets presents from him on Christmas Eve?”

Wiser heads may chuckle at the story….But….heads much wiser than that,…..may realize that this kid has a point…….

Why is it, …if one stops to think, that everyone gets a present under their tree on Christmas Day? Almost to the point that it matters little of what their religion may be? And what is it that makes this illusion persist, despite the didactic railings by Bill O’Reilly who as America’s Grinch, emphatically persists that there is “No Santa Claus” and never will be? (Tell that to his staffer who sued him for harassment: no Santa Claus indeed)?

Something forces the myth to continue, for an awful lot of trouble is undertaken by grownups of all ages to insure this tradition continues……

Some blame “Crass Commercialism” for the “war on Christmas.” More than likely they are just weary of standing in line, while they do their part to propel our economy forward….For in honest truth, if Christmas were abolished, our entire retail structure would collapse in shambles. Most of our retail outlets operate in the red all year until the start of black Friday shopping…… So a life without Christmas would be very bleak indeed: featuring unemployment, depressed wages, revenue shortfalls, cutbacks, more pink slips….

At the bottom of this”War on Christmas”, lies the question of why human beings spend so much time, energy, and effort on making other people happy? Is this trait prevalent in any other species of animal,… or plant? Does it make evolutionary sense that when one can ill afford to survive economically, that he undergoes further hardships to insure a smile on someone else’s face? From a logical perspective, it makes little sense at all…..Yet we still do it religiously.

This season, duty bound by a Pollyanna, I had no choice but to stand in line, at the last minute for what i thought was a perfect gift for someone I barely knew….(if anything at that time, I was grumbling in Scrooge fashion as to why I cowardly lacked the guts to just hand over a piece of American currency.) In the line in front of me was a young lady, I would guess of college age, buying two perfume sample kits, with assorted scents inside one case……At 17.69 apiece, it came to over 35 dollars….That’s over one third of a C note…..Being that this was no Paris Hilton in front of me, (my bad luck again), and remembering my past financial situations each semester that I returned home for the holidays, I thought that this poor person must love whoever was meant to receive those trinkets, a lot…..For why else would they spend money they so much needed for themselves, ….on someone else….And this person was not alone. As I looked to my left and right, at the 30 some checkouts open, and lines ranging between 5 and 10 per line, it was obvious that this poor person in front of me, was not a misguided, overly sympathetic, communist….sacrificing herself for the good of all…..She was part of the human equation, powered by something deeply rooted inside us, who was just like everyone else…..As I walked out to my car, still pondering the significance of what had just happened to me….I had to wait behind a line of 15 carts ahead of me, going through the security checkpoint at the front entrance……As I looked over the carts, all full, in front of me, I realized that at least 1500 dollars was leaving that store that very minute…..$1500 a minute yields $90,000 an hour… On this early shopping day, (this store being open for fifteen hours) means that on that day, more than likely, $1,350,000 was being spent on people other than the shoppers themselves….That was just in one store. There were 5 such mega stores in the mall I was shopping, all doing the same brisk business, and by multiplying that by the number of malls nationwide…..one gets a sense that Christmas is not dead, dying, or losing its oomph….It is as strong as ever.

So where is this “War on Christmas” coming from…..A quick look at the Google Page “War on Christmas” provides some answers…..All the picks lifted by Google’s algorithm show past-their-prime commentators desperate to maintain their ratings….and no one else….So is this “War On Christmas” just a made up thing, a ploy to capitalize upon the masses emotions, in order to drum up ratings for a network? (How come all of these commentators work for Fox?). Are we being hoodwinked by our news purveyors just so they can charge a higher rate for their advertising dollars?

According to Google: apparently so…..

So anyone who promotes the “War on Christmas” must be immediately suspect as trying to sell us a ball of wax in the form of our hero, Santa Claus…..

For like it or not, these television radicals like John Gibson and Bill O’Reilly, are way off base….There is a Santa Claus and proof of it is in every checkout line across this country…….It may not come in the form of a man who plays with elves, and kills grandma as she stumbles home on Christmas Eve……, but it is there, regardless of religion, regardless of creed, regardless of race, regardless of sexual preference, regardless of economic status, regardless of political persuasion, regardless of nationality, regardless of geographical location. It is there;….somewhere deep within our genomes the “Spirit of Christmas” lies, dormant through most the year, until a sudden ringing of a bell, activates it into action…….

It is this so called selfless “Spirit of Christmas” that pervades our planet this time of year, that I call “Santa Claus”. And I do believe in him…I do believe, I do believe…..With all my heart I believe that Santa Claus is alive and well and that under billions of trees, presents will appear inexplicably this Christmas day, often under trees that could ill afford them……And that is how with no trace of shame I can look in the eye of a 5 year old who has had his vision shattered by his older sister, and tell him not to worry, that there truly is a Santa Claus and pending his behavior, there will indeed be something to look forward to on Christmas Morning….

So my dear friends. As I read through what I have just espoused, perhaps without some common bond of emotional understanding, my argument may appear weak to you and ineffective……But if by some small chance, it touches a nerve and causes you to re-evaluate your own perspective on these wonderful Holiday’s,…………(so wonderful that we will be paying its bills for months to come)……..please accept it as my humble present to you dear readers, for all you have given me this past year………

So with all the warmth and sincerity that I can muster, going to all of you outside the perimeter, no matter how, when, where, or what your religious preferences may be, and knowing that we all carry the same gene deep within our beings:

Merry Christmas, friends. Merry Christmas….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Much controversy surrounded this ad. It is no wonder. The controversy came from a incredibly small remainder of human beings, who out of ignorance or hobbled by duty, still support the republican dream. They had no choice but to complain vociferously…..reality had given them no other choice…..

I see it with my kids…..it is human nature…..nothing to be ashamed of. When one is guilty of making a mistake…..one counters with their own outrageous accusation about one of their siblings.

Those of you who are employers, and confront employees about their errors, first have to work through their accusations about their fellow employee’s errors……

So it seems to be embedded in our genomes that if we, have no rational or reasonable method to explain our actions,………we create an outrage somewhere else to blunt our ineptitude and funnel anger into that direction.

Bottom line: it was just an ad.

To put things in perspective, how many Americans died because of the ad? How many Iraqis died because of the ad? How many Americans will be deformed for life, because of this ad? How many Iraqi’s will be deformed for life because of this ad? How many years will we be overtaxed, to pay for this ad? These are pertinent questions. And judging from the explosion of comment within the American press, the effect worked. We are actually, attempting to place on the floor of the Senate, an amendment condemning this ad.

Are we adding an amendment to stop the killing of Americans? No……Are we adding an amendment to stop the killing of Iraqi? No………Are we adding and amendment to stop pissing away mine and Dave Anderson’s future income? No…….

So in a sham, we are made to pretend we are outraged, outraged that something so horrible, so despicable has occurred! Calls within the VP’s office to Arrest Move-On, water-board them, kill them and drag their bodies behind Toyata pickups.

But there is something profoundly bizarre. This outrage occurred solely in the American Press and within the republican ranks of Congress. The Global press ignored it except to say “what’s wrong with these American’s getting so up-tight with an ad?” In blogger world, no one cares…you may Google some responses, but since bloggers tend to be better educated than elected republicans, the consensus has been “so what” Here is one example:

Once upon a time, everything was going great in our country — its finances, its wars, its economy, everything! — then some organization placed an ad in a newspaper and it was the most horrible thing ever.

It was real bad — there was an ad. In a newspaper.

And then everything went to shit and that ad was the only thing the pundits could talk about.

The end.

And on the Senate Floor came this rebuttal to the republican charge of outrageousness. Dick Durbin was the author.

Mr. DURBIN. Would the Senator yield for a question?

Mr. CORNYN. I yield for a question.

Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, in the 2004 Presidential campaign, I might ask the Senator from Texas, there was a group from Texas that attacked Senator John Kerry and said he was undeserving of the commendations and decorations he received for his courage in fighting in Vietnam and raised questions about others who served in the military who were part of his swift boat operation. One would have to say, by any stretch, that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth were attacking the honor and integrity of one of our colleagues who served with honor in the Vietnam war.

I would like to ask the Senator from Texas if he is prepared to remain consistent and if he is also prepared to amend his amendment to repudiate the activities, actions, and statements of the Texas-based Swift Boat Veterans for Truth organization with their unwarranted attacks on our colleague, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, during the 2004 campaign.”

The republicans, taken aback, bumblelingly responsed that Kerry was a political figure. It is perfectly fine to smear political figures anyway, anyhow, and anytime you can.

Here was the rebuttal:

MR. DURBIN … I am troubled by the conclusion of my colleague from Texas that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth could attack Senator JOHN KERRY for his valor and courage fighting for America in Vietnam and that for some reason we shouldn’t repudiate that attack; that it is OK because it happened, as my colleague said, during a political campaign. If this is about the honor and integrity of our Armed Forces, past and present, whether it takes place during a political campaign or at half time at a football game should make no difference. If the Senator from Texas believes we should stand on a regular basis and condemn those who would attack the honor and integrity of warriors who have served this country with valor in past wars and present wars, then he should be consistent. It is totally inconsistent for him to pick one organization and to ignore the obvious: There are others who have done the same thing.

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is a classic example of an organization that distorted the truth about Senator JOHN KERRY and others who served our country during the Vietnam war. The fact that they did it during a Presidential campaign should have absolutely nothing to do with it, if this is a matter of principle. However, if it is not a matter of principle and something else, then you would pick and choose those organizations you want to condemn or repudiate. Unfortunately, the Senator from Texas has picked one organization. He doesn’t want to talk about the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. He certainly doesn’t want to repudiate them. I think they should be repudiated. What they did cast a shadow on the combat decorations given to others during the course of that war.

What Senator JOHN KERRY did was to volunteer to serve our country, put his life on the line, face combat, stand up and fight for his fellow sailors on that swift boat, and then come back to the criticism, the chief criticism of a group known as the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.”

Finally this comment from Barbara Boxer, (D CA) :

MRS. BOXER: … The fact of the matter is the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth went after a war hero and told stories to the American people that were not true and tried to sully a hero’s reputation.

But he is not the only Senator who was attacked, as my friend remembers what happened to our colleague, Max Cleland. I know he does. Here is a veteran who gave three limbs for his country–three limbs. It is harder for him, for the first 2 hours of every day, to get ready for the day than it is for the Senator from Texas or myself or the Senator from Illinois to do our work for a month. Yet this man was viciously attacked and his patriotism called into question. Oh, yes, my friend might say, it was during a political campaign. It was disgusting. So we raise these issues.

What I wish to ask my friend is this: I was thinking–as the Senator from Texas, my friend and colleague, was speaking–I was thinking about some retired generals who spoke out against this war and said they were called traitors and worse. So I am looking at ways to incorporate into this a condemnation of anyone who would attack a retired general for speaking out against a war because I think that was low and it was horrible. It was frightening because, in a way, it was saying to these retired generals that they had no voice, no independent voice.

So I wish to thank my colleague, and I wonder if he recalls these generals. I will have more details as I put together my second-degree amendment as well.

Icing on the cake:

MR. DURBIN: … I don’t think the fact that it happens during a campaign absolves anybody from the responsibility of telling the truth and honoring those who served. In this case, two Democrats, Senator Max Cleland and Senator JOHN KERRY, were attacked, and there wasn’t a long line of people on the floor to condemn the attackers. Now that the Senator from Texas has decided we should bring this up as part of the Defense authorization bill, I hope he will be consistent, and I hope he will consistently stand up for the reputations of the men and women in uniform, starting with General Petraeus but including those who served in this war and other wars in the past.

Each of them deserves our respect. I might add, parenthetically–it is worth saying–even if we disagree with their political views, they still deserve our respect. To attack their honor and integrity is wrong.”

Once again we see how in the light of open and vigorous debate, that “silliness” becomes flushed out into the open, and becomes sanitized by the light of day. And thereby, through proper civilized use of debate, the American people remain protected from poorly passed legislation.

To beat Tyler Nixon to the punch, it is not just congressional republicans who use this method of obfuscation. Our state’s Democratic Senate is just as guilty……..

I can only hope that this facetious argument has merit in the long run. If it opens normal, hard working everyday American’s eyes, to the tactics of bait and switch, and keeps our eyes focused on what really matters……Americans fighting and dying for a lost cause……….then perpetrators of false diatribe, once exposed as the problem, can be removed from office in the next general election.

Regardless of which party they hail from…….

Bottom line: it was just an ad. And depending upon one’s interpretation, a very effective one at that. It seems like each time this foolish idea is debated in public, the few pixils of respect still left upon the face of the republican party, become removed byte by byte………

Someone is betting really big money on the S & P that a big event, such as 9/11, will drop the market 50% and will occur before September the 21st. This post was lifted from Crimes and Corruption of the New World Order. (August 26)

The two sales are being referred to by market traders as “bin Laden trades” because only an event on the scale of 9-11 could make these short-sell options valuable. There are 65,000 contracts @ $750.00 for the SPX 700 calls for open interest. That controls 6.5 million shares at $750 = $4.5 Billion. Not a single trade. But quite a bit of $$ on a contract that is 700 points away from current value (1360). No one would buy that deep “in the money” calls. No reason to. So if they were sold, then it looks like someone is betting on massive dislocation.

THEORIES:

The following theories are being discussed widely within the stock and options markets today regarding the enormous and very unusual activity reported above and two stories below. Those theories are:

1) A massive terrorist attack is going to take place before Sept. 21 to tank the markets, OR;

2) China, reeling over losing $10 Billion in bad loans to the sub-prime mortgage collapse presently taking place, is going to dump US currency and tank all of Capitalism with a Communist financial revolution. Either scenario is bad and the clock is ticking. The drop-dead date of these contracts is September 21. Whatever is going to happen MUST take place between now and then or the folks involved in these contracts will lose over $1 billion for having engaged in this activity.

3) “$1.78 Billion Bet that Stock Markets will crash by third week in September. Anonymous Stock Trader Sells 10K Contracts on EVERY S&P/Y “Strike” Shorts Stocks “in the money” effectively selling all his SPY holdings for cash up front without pressuring the market downward.

WTF?? This is an enormous and dangerous stock option activity. If it goes right, the guy makes about $2 Billion. If he’s wrong, his out of pocket costs for buying these options will exceed $700 Million!!! The entity who sold these contracts can only make money if the stock market totally crashes by the third week in September.

Bear in mind that the last time anyone conducted such large and unusual stock option trades (like this one) was in the weeks before the attacks of September 11.

Back then, they bought huge numbers of PUTS on the airline stocks of the same airlines whose planes were involved in the September 11 attacks.

Despite knowing who made these trades, the Securities and Exchange Commission NEVER revealed who made the unusual trades and no one was ever publicly identified as being responsible for the trades which made upwards of $50 million when the 9/11 attacks happened.

The fact that this latest activity by a single entity gambles on a complete collapse of the entire market by the third week in September, seems to indicate someone knows something really huge is in the works and they intend to profit almost $2 Billion within the next four weeks from whatever happens! This is really worrisome.”

As we come off the summer and plunge into perhaps the most eventful Autumn of our lives, the fall election season begins getting underway at full steam. This time they are a full year too early.

Iowa and New Hampshire, as it stands now, are 5 and 6 months away. It is now do or die for political hacks supporting all candidates…….

Instead of fishing about for a candidate who I think could lead this nation forward, and then get caught up in their game of having them try to impress me………..a better approach would be to publish what I am looking for, and perhaps all of you can see how your candidates stack up against real standards: not other candidates……

This time I am looking for a person who has made mistakes. No big deal….I make mistakes. And when someone asks me how I know whatever it was (that I fooled them into thinking) I knew, I smile, dodge the question, and move on because I wish not to revisit my memory of falling flat on my face when I was so young. Mistakes, I think, build character. I fear those who are so timid of making a mistake that when they inevitably do, they cover it up. Me? I respect someone who says ‘Yeah, I messed up,” and then goes on to say….”and afterwards this is what I learned fromt it…..”

I am looking for someone who talks to me and is honest to the American people. I am skeptical of anyone who says he speaks for the American people, when his campaign treasure chest is stockpiled with corporate contributions. I would rather see one ad that tells me a great person is running, than twenty voice-overs on a flag waving background…….. Money is not important; character is.

I am looking for someone with wisdom. Having suffered the lack thereof in the White House for the last seven years, to finally have someone who will make decisions based on logic, and not on impulses from alien spaceships, would be a refreshing change.

I am looking for someone who will support the middle class, not with words or pap legislation, but with real changes that return the balance of power now held by global corporations, back to the people themselves.

I am looking for someone who has his eyes on the future, and his feet firmly planted in the past. Energy needs to become cheaper. Someone tough will have to do it. Our health care needs fixed. Someone tough will have to do it. Our insurance system is broken. Someone tough is needed to fix it.

Experience is part of my equation. As this country free falls through the next four years, I want someone who has had his hands on the nylon ropes before, and can steer the chute to nail its target. Not someone learning the ropes for the first time…..

I want someone who reaches out; not reaches in. Whenever he has to make a command decision and the choices are between awfully bad, and terribly bad, I want someone who will allow any idea that works to be considered, without worrying from which party it came.

I want someone with dignity, who can return that aura to the Oval Office again. Someone older, no longer plagued by youthful indiscretions. Someone who remembers how average Americans view their president and can live up to those expectations.

I want someone who will balance the budget.

I want someone who will return more of my income back to me, so I can spend it on things I want to buy, not have to pay through the nose just to survive.

I want someone who will employ thousands of Americans to build projects that are sorely needed. We have bled parts of our society for too long. It is time for a transfusion.

I want someone who remembers that America was once not a country, just a vague area across the ocean. The difference between then and now, is borne on the backs of those who build. Whether through work with their hands, through service to others, or through smart relationships, America did not just happen. It was built. I want someone who remembers that and rewards those who do the work…………

I want someone who is moral. But who is wise enough to divorce the government from trying to determine what is moral, from that which is not. We have other systems to decide those issues. Perhaps after we have fixed our economy, our quality of life, our imploding budget, our stature among the world, we can return again to the playfully fun, if not unproductive, arguments of what “morality” really is.

I want someone who will protect me. But will protect the Constitution even more.

Finally I want someone who understands the economy. Without it this country is sunk. But I want someone who remembers that the economy is also for the people, of the people, and by the people. To have a successful economy, all citizens must benefit from its growth, not one or two.

So tell me now….how does your candidate stack up?

That's one hell of a Bond selloff, isn't it?

Isn’t Goldman Sachs in need of some quick cash.

Yesterday at opening someone sold short on most of their assets, panicking the market. I have never seen anything like it. The NYSE average dropping like seconds on a clock. Then at the 10% loss level (officially termed a correction) they began buying back.

By 4:30 the market rallied to within 15 points of where it started. They made a quick 10% in one day.

If you won yesterday, you played well. If you lost, you were played well………….

These games happened in 1929 quite frequently, leading up to the crash of October 24.

Goldman Sachs on Mysterious August 16 NYSE

It is so frustrating to live in these times. So many things need commented upon. They need researched. They need exposed. They need discussion.

It is in times like these that one discovers exactly what one’s priorities are.

I woke up feeling the need to comment on Delaware’s wind power. It has been awhile for me and I needed, particularly with the cancer clusters in the news today, to find outwhether any other coal fired power plants had cancer clusters popping out around them.

Then I received some economic news that set me off.   New insights of a Stock Crash that makes 1929 look puny.

I then got a call from someone who had no health care and wanted my advice on how to go about getting a cyst removed…..Another topic that needed addressed.

Later today I got fired up over watching a panel discussion describing the so called union of Canada, the US, and Mexico. Although the presentation was just on trade barriers only, during the questioning, the public conversation turned to covering a union of the three countries. The most telling of the answers was that this type of wild speculation was prevalent only because every negotiation was being done in secret. No one really knows what is going on on the larger scale because each splinter group is meeting with its counterpart without disclosing any information to the other splinter groups.

What was needed was full disclosure with one negotiation held around one table done in the open for all to see………

Sort of a metaphor for Delaware’s State legislature………

Next, while listening to WDEL I got fired up over my children’s education. Ideas popped out of the conversations and I needed to flush them out and post them.

But by the time I got back to post, it was time to check on the court case in San Francisco. Like a kid opening a present, I frantically searched for any comment from that telling exchange. I finally found one just minutes after it was posted.

So as I look back and reflect upon my day, I see I value the environment, cheap energy, open disclosure, improvements in education, and a fierce protection of our privacy. But at the core of my being, I will drop all these to protect the Constitution. The Constitution is really worth giving up ones life over.

And right now, after last weeks vote on the Protect America Act, our Constitution is in danger. Great danger. Of course each of our elected officials can decide NOT to be Julius Caesar and NOT take the reins of a dictatorship that have been handed to them, but they would be bucking the trend of human history, if they did so………

I am struggling to understand how and why any Democrat would or could have voted to allow this travesty to happen. The more I find about the turn surveillance has taken since 9/11, the more apparent it seems that everything was staged to allow the reins of power to be handed to a choice few. For once done, no one can take them away. I am struggling to figure how rational, thinking human beings, could be so unaware of the potental of wrong doing and yet so trusting of those who have proven they cannot be trusted.

After all that is why History is there. In 2002 when protesters were chanting “No Blood For Oil” I smiled and thought that made a nice chant, but that slogan was so far fetched that it never could have seriously been possible. My research into whatever files I could find leading up to the invasion of Iraq, have proved otherwise. Apparently, we did invade Iraq for oil……..

So even though the idea of a “shadow” government that could quietly become the acting government also seems like a nice chant, but is still a bit too far-fetched and could never be possible,……. I have, no choice, but to act like it is, based on the past actions of this administration.

Yes, of course I hope I’m wrong……I hope it with all my heart. But had a greater number of Americans seen the light in 02, and frozen this nation in its tracks, we would not be where we are today, looking over casualty lists……

This stuff is not out in the open. The main stream media neither can or will investigate deeply enough. Even then, the stories are getting buried when and if they are reported.

I can only hope that more citizens become concerned that their right to privacy has gone with their ability to challenge this administration.

With spy satellites now focusing cameras on our backyards with a resolution of 4.54 inches, we need to be very careful about who is looking. Men, it would be a smart idea to keep your clothes on. Women, watch out for those cleavage shots………

Ladies and Gentlemen: the Constitution is in grave danger. You need to hold your Congress accountable: they have made a decision worse than the Dred Scott Decision. Don’t just phone or email……That becomes a statistic. Show up at one of his meetings in Georgetown, Dover, Wilmington, or Newark……Ask him in front of everyone why he decided to sell your freedoms down the river……….Only public scrutiny and/or embarrassment can and will make the difference. For if our public officials  defray from defending the Constitution, then it is up to us to ensure that this document, and the freedoms that come with it, are still around for our grandkids and great-grandkids…………..

Even if just to stall for time, bite up several of the six months, distract the administration from carrying out their mysterious plans,  impeachment procedures need to begin.  Had such fortitude been present in Rome, as Caesar crossed the Rubicon, history could have turned out much differently………….

I