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To all those married on the first of July last year, including Sen. Karen Peterson…. Happy Anniversary…

I heard that Patty Blevins stopped the Senate at midnight (July 1) and a cake was brought out and dished out to legislators… I heard Patty prefers chocolate… over yellow…

And Delaware doubled the single sex marriages predicted for its first year…   And while at it, though early, happy anniversary also to those two 80+ year old men who waited 50 years, and got married last July 3….  As one of them told the clerk through tear filled eyes: “you don’t understand.  For the first time in my life, I am free.  I’m like everyone else….”

And what’s up with Greg Lavelle and Gary Simpson not clapping along with the entire General Assembly in congratulating Karen Petersen?  Looked like they were pouting.  Greg wasn’t even going to eat the cake, till McBride allegedly came over and yelled at him!

Douche bags…. Another reason to never vote Republican….

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The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the region at 6 a.m. Monday lasting until 7 p.m.

The weather report is identical to last week’s… 6 inches due starting at 10:00

Just like last week, we knew the exact forecast a day before…..

It was to start around 9.  The districts decided to go for the half day.  Clear roads going in at 6 am, but by 10:00 the roads were dangerous after the first hour’s snow.  The elementary schools didn’t get out until 12:30… often awaiting delayed buses from previous runs.  Furthermore, as everyone was leaving to go home from work, as the danger of the 2-3 inches fallen so far became apparent, they not only had to navigate at 5 mph on the account of the ice and snow, but all major routes were stop-and-go from blinking red school bus lights disgorging their precious cargo.

The entire northern state of Delaware was a disaster, by 1:00…  Exactly right when the buses were still running with elementary kids, and the snow was already too deep to go get them if anything had happened.  The buses were driving on unsafe roads…

This, I know has to be balanced against children who only get one meal a day and that is at school..  We can certainly thank our Republican friends for that later.  But we must sincerely consider whether any meal is a reason enough for creating the most costly snowstorm traffic damage estimates ever made  by New Castle’s County’s insurance companies..  Most could have been prevented if we’d just trusted the weatherman and said no school on account of snow….

And if it had been done the night before, all parents could have had contingency plans in place, instead of telling their boss they had to leave early to be home for their child getting off the bus, then finding themselves being stuck 1 hour and a half because of snow.   Meanwhile the child is standing outside the locked door, wondering where her parents are…..

We can do better, we must do better… call off school early.

We knew this but it  is now being published… and so it is in the news.

The world is getting warmer… and we can now predict our climate by looking at map at 300 miles south and guessing what our weather will be from that…

Just as plate tectonics and  Darwin’s origin of the species were able to lay the groundwork of reason  for explaining puzzling observations, this simplifies what to expect from global warming rather startlingly.

Texas is now  what we alway thought of when we considered the weather of Mexico; Oklahoma is now West Texas; Kansas is now Oklahoma; Nebraska is now Kansas; South Dakota is now Nebraska, North Dakota is now South Dakota: Southern Manitoba is now North Dakota…..

If  West Texas had 3 days of rain, now Oklahoma is getting 3 days of rain;  If it snowed 12  times in South Dakota, it is now doing the same in North Dakota… and so on.

So, to predict our heat, rain, winters, etc, our guide would be North Carolina.  Longer growing seasons,  some winters with no snow, hot summers…

However due to Global warming, the East Coast has a caveat.  An anomaly so to speak  and actually some relief from the North Carolina summer heat we would normally expect….

With the unprecedented melting of the Arctic and Greenland icecaps dumping its excess into the Labrador Current, that cold water drops South hugging the East Coast shoreline all the way down to North Carolina’s Outer Banks where it finally becomes neutralized…   Therefore even though we have hotter air masses, the colder ocean temperatures creates a buffer against Global warming off the entire northeastern US.

Europe, Japan, and Alaska all experience  the same mitigating effect, although with both Greenland and the Arctic Icecaps melting into the Labrador, the US East Coast gets a stronger volume of cold water.  Call it our icy shower effect….

Once melting stops and the currents dry up, we return to the North Carolina scenario of the twentieth century….

Cold Water in Summer Hugs Delaware's Shore  xoxoxo
Chart Courtesy of NOAA

So, we in Delaware really get the best climate on the East Coast.    Warm winters, little or no snow, and cool breezy summers….. as well as a longer growing period, and… less dependence on fossil fuels for winter heating.

Gee, global warming isn’t so bad for Delaware after all….  Oh, the rising seas?  There you go again… Why did you have to spoil the rosy picture I was painting?

 

I’m tying together three threads to make a knot..

A. The election 2012 showed the end of political dominance by “white people” on the national stage.

B. John Stapleford wrote a derogatory piece in Wilmington’s News Journal whining that “blacks and browns” (his words) were lazy, no good, bums and would always not vote for a white guy, no matter how fly…..

C. Martin Luther King Blvd. is renamed off of Duke of York Streets, William Penn Street, and Court Street….

This 2012 election bamboozled Republican strategists because they totally neglected to account for the votes of Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, who were heavily engaged in this election. To Republicans, these people never mattered. But, these people who never mattered, now have more votes. They, are the majority… and far more moral than any Republican Moral Majority could ever hope to be…..

John Stapleford’s piece was an attempt to denigrate this very vote. By saying thugs had overrun the election, he could still attempt to keep his values above water. He was trying to say….”our outdated values are still the true path; we were overwhelmed by critters and just lost one round, that’s all.” It didn’t fly. His audience almost to every man and woman, saw it as prejudice and nothing else. Instead, the die had been cast. This Obama was the direction America really wanted to go….

Dover changed the name. Now Dover is the 40th Capital City to have a Martin Luther King Boulevard. It will not be the last…. In a sad way, Delaware’s Colonial Heritage is being lost to the 20th Century… The Duke of York put Dover in the same class as Williamsburg. The colonial aspect of Dover is now gone. It is just old buildings on a street that happens to be named after the bravest American of the last century… Before there was correlation…. Now, what’s the correlation?

But that is … as it should be… Times change. And really… though sad to see 300 years of tradition swept away, exactly “who” is the Duke of York? How many of those voting in Dover itself, could have answered that question properly?

He, along with William Penn… have no meaning to people whose ancestors were sold, brought across the Atlantic, sold again, mistreated, and then once freed, quietly kept in second class status, until one man made so much noise it could be ignored no longer…..

It is proper and fitting that someone who has more name recognition and who deserves to be honored, replaces 300 years of tradition… We can only hope he may reign on that street sign, as long as did the Duke of York…..

The vote has passed. We are now in a new America, and it is good.

Remember those few donors during the Republican primaries who were sheltering candidates almost to the point of being their prime funder?

Among the nouveau riche, it appears one hasn’t arrived until he/she has a prize winning candidate in their barn… It used to be racehorses. It is now GOP candidates…

These people donating up to $100 million in support of their champion, according to sources in the Wall Street Journal (disclaimer: it is a Murdoch rag)… are the very reason so much noise by Boehner, McConnell, Norquist, are being made over raising the top marginal tax rate…

All sorts of schemes are being created by Republicans to deflect this increase in top marginal rate. The removal of or cap on deductions hurts those earning between $250,000 and $500,000 considerably more than it hurts billionaires. The higher marginal rates is the only tax that makes billionaires pay more.. All others they can use loopholes to get out of…

In other words when it comes to Republicans, as Romney said when speaking of the 47%…. YOU DON’T MATTER. Today’s Republican leadership has taken that level up to 99% who do not matter.

One can’t be too hard on these individuals though. With out the billions being funded by a “few good men”, the Republican party would shrivel up and wither away.

You saw how bad they got beat! Just imagine how worse it would be if they had 90% less cash to spend?

If we do go off the cliff, it will be solely because these Republicans don’t want to tax the 1%….

It will not be because of the other side…..

State Senator Tony DeLuca is “Making special interests play by the same rules as our hardworking families.

When you think of Tony DeLuca, the first thing that comes to your mind of course is that you automatically think of someone holding special interests accountable.

Accountability…. It means different things to different people. To Tony DeLuca, it has always meant playing by the same rules as our hard working families…..

For example, Tony has been the open government leader in the Delaware General Assembly. demonstrated by bringing up reform bill after reform bill to be voted upon by the senate. State Senator Tony DeLuca is making our government more transparent and damn it, .. he is also making special interests more accountable.

Because of Tony DeLuca, and only because of Tony DeLuca and his single handed effort with both hands behind his back, the legislative process is open now, for the very first time, to citizens…. Tony DeLuca modernized state government with information available on the Internet; and now, because of Tony DeLuca, all lobbyists are required to let the public know within five days who they represent and who they are lobbying for on each and every bill.

After all, Tony DeLuca…. He’s one of US…..

Tony’s commitment to accountability is clear. Check the facts:

1)SB212, 6/13/12; SB235, 6/12/12; SB50,4/12/11, HB5, 4/7/11; HB 1 16/2/09.
2) SB185, 5/2/12 “Governor, lawmakers, intorduce lobby reform bill ” Dover Post 3/29/12

SB 165 Supported by Common Cause.

Delaware should consider itself lucky to have as fine a man in the Delaware State Senate, as it has in Tony DeLuca.

The current party system is broken. Gridlock ties up DC, even to the point where the Republican Party will filibuster a bill that they themselves proposed when both houses were Republican. The filibuster is only pursued because if passed it will be considered by us, the public, to be a success for the standing president.

You can’t blame Republicans. They are just trying to survive. Tying up Washington so that nothing gets done, is the only option they have.

Which leaves us with a choice… Should WE the voters continue this same gridlock? Or shall we take matters into our own hands and do something about it?

If we split our votes, the Gridlock continues.

The only way to prevent future gridlock is to make the penalty for doing so, so severe that any future party treads very lightly if it dares try using gridlock as a political weapon again….

That penalty needs to be that the party obstructing all activity in Congress, not receive any votes to return.

Let’s examine this proposition…

Assume all Democrats and no Republicans return to Congress starting 2013. The House would be completely 100% Democratic, and the Senate Republicans would drop down to 36 if all 11 Republicans up this year lost and all Democrats won.

We would have a one party system… or would we?

The Democratic party would soon split. The Progressives from the Blue Dogs… We would continue to have two parties in Congress. It’s just that that they wouldn’t be jockeying around for political points against the other side.

Instead we’d have what Congress was supposed to do. Debate bills on their merits, and once all facts are on the table, vote them either up or down based on the personal convictions of each Senator or House Member…

We’d still have the same debates as the powerful lobbyists swirled around those who would most likely represent their interests…

But if would be as if America took one step to the left. As if the entire political tone of Congress, just shifted left.

Would the same thing work if the Republicans are put into all seats they run for?

No, and here is why. Republican policy is what got us in this mess. Phil Gramm deregulated derivatives. Eventually that caused the enitire markets to catch up to where Enron went earlier, and collapse. It was the Republicans who decided over Democrats objections, to not raise taxes on the wealthy in order to pay as we went for two wars. So now, we we have a bill coming titled “Payment Due,” for those two wars plus interest. It was Republicans who because we had a surplus, decided to stop that money coming into the Treasury that was paying off our debt. So under them, we added debt on, and stopped paying our payments. No wonder the deficit is so high.

They are the wrong person to put into unlimited power.. simply for when they were there, the got to exercise with impunity all their dreams. We are bankrupt now…

Harken back to the era of Clinton, and everyone was making money… whether you were poor, middle, or rich… You made money and had more left over to spend on yourself, than you do now…

That simple comparison is why we need to go to an all Democratic Congress and not an all Republican one.

We will always have divided government. It is just that when it becomse divided along party lines, and not along the lines of the American people, that we get the gridlock we see happening daily today…

Republicans are the cause.. Their elimination (no offense to the nice Republicans I know) will be the beginning of a new day for America.

The last time we eliminated Republicans was in 1932. It took 64 years for them to return. Those were the best years America has ever had.

Natural Law and Conservatism
Courtesy of Night Swim

Marriage is between a man and a woman. It is natural law. Natural law is the organic basis of the Declaration and the foundation of our Constitution. You can use whatever basis you want to justify a law. The only question is does the law itself meet constitutional muster.

I don’t care if a ‘talking flower’ tells you to pass a law, if the law turns out to be constitutional, common sense, and the majority believe it to be good policy, there is no reason to oppose it. I may want to check your medication, but I won’t oppose the law. (Written by Delaware’s Republican Emeritus: David Anderson)

Obviously Christine O’Donnell is the talking flower to which David is referencing. He seems to be saying that despite it being her that initiates the anti gay law that is to come about soon, if the anti gay law gets offered even by her, because he deems it to be a Natural Law, it will be passed and the majority of people will rejoice that being anti gay now has legal sanction.

Ok, I understand where he’s coming from, and could support his premise on Natural Law.. For example, if we were talking about the restriction of murder, I would think his argument would apply… Murder is not specifically mentioned in the Constitution. However, the killing of another for sport or pleasure would violate some type of Natural Law, and therefore, even though it is not mentioned in the Constitution, the fact that it is not mentioned in the Constitution, cannot be used to make it legal to murder for sport and pleasure…

Where he errs … is in his interpretation of Natural Law. What is natural law? One must take the root, the word nature and look there for answers… He states that natural law is between a man and a women. I’m sorry, but Homo sapians is the only species that marries. Single cells divide. They procreate without sex. They are natural, Therefore cloning, which is the procreation without sex, shares enough similarity to be natural too. Therefore Natural Law, demands that cloning be endorsed by the Constitution.

Then there is same sex relationships, often involving ejaculation. In the plant kingdom, there are self fertilizing plants that propagate their single line of genes. They, of the same gender actually have the equivalent of sex, they share their pollen. They are natural. Therefore by Natural Law, the human equivalent, two females in proximity, can also share the equivalent of sex. Since our Constitution is run by Natural Law, there is no reason to refute it.. Therefore Natural Law, demands that two females having sex, be endorsed by the Constitution.

Recently I saw the funniest thing. A little dog and a big dog. The little dog had his paws on the big dogs head and was just humping away on the big dogs head while the big dog was giving the little dog the sniff over.. Both were males.. and both were wagging their tales, so obviously they both enjoyed it. since neither of them knew how to read, it would be a safe bet to say their action was sanctioned by Natural Law. They were doing what nature intended.. especially when they aren’t making babies. Since two males having fun sex is in nature, it is Natural Law that they be enabled to, and therefore…. The Constitution, being founded on Natural Law, thereby fully endorses the mutual enjoyment of sex between the same gender.

Anyone who says otherwise is an activist judge.

Marriage, however is not found in the natural world. I can only think of one species, owls, that mate for life.. there may be others, but their numbers are dwarfed by the numbers of species that have random sex. In fact, random sex seems to have the upper hand in Natural Law, much more than marriage.

In fact, if you use Natural Law as the basis for the Constitution, then, you must accept the argument that cloning and homosexuality have far more traction with the Constitution than does the institution of marriage. In fact, according to Natural Law, the argument of marriage being sanctioned under the Constitution is rather weak…

So we come down to this point. Banning gay sex, even banning gay marriage, has nothing to do with Natural Law. It it your law. There is nothing natural about it. It is simply put,. your law that you are imposing upon the rest of us..

One would think that as more and more Americans look at this issue each time you bring it up, and abandon your party and support instead, the right of every American to pursue sexual happiness in their own way, even getting married, , that the idea would begin to occur to you and your shrinking party, that perhaps you are wrong.

Perhaps it is not natural to limit marriage to a combination that one has to search nature high and low, even to find one example of it.. Quite possibly you are wrong on this. Natural Law would certainly imply it.

During WWII, Gen. Eisenhower wanted to weed his military of homosexuals. He was all set to do so until his administrative right hand, said, “uh.. excuse me Dwight, I’m homosexual.” And that was the end of that. Unlike today’s Republicans, Eisenhower was a wise man.

So Dave, if you want to keep losing more elections, keep touting marriage as Natural Law. We will pound your party into smithereens… as we have ever since your party began this nonsense in ‘06…

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….